CALL Play Updates

Adobe Systems - ADBE - close: 36.37 change: -0.13 stop: 35.79

A quiet session for the stock market equaled a quiet day for ADBE as well. The stock traded sideways in the $36-37 zone. I am suggesting a trigger to buy calls at $37.25. If triggered our first target is $39.95. Our second target is $42.25 but this might be a little optimistic. We won't have much time. ADBE is due to report earnings on December 15th and we don't want to hold over the announcement.

Entry  on  December xx at $ xx.xx <-- TRIGGER @ 37.25
Change since picked:       + 0.00
Earnings Date            12/15/09 (confirmed)
Average Daily Volume =        4.8 million  
Listed on  December 05, 2009         


Bucyrus Intl. - BUCY - close: 51.35 change: +0.49 stop: 51.90

BUCY managed a bounce off the bottom of its trading range. I don't see any changes from my weekend comments. We have a trigger to buy calls at $55.65. More aggressive traders may want to buy calls on a move over $52.50. If triggered at 55.65 our first target is $59.90. Our second target is $64.00.

We also have a trigger to buy puts at $48.95. Our first target is $45.50 (just above the 50-dma). Our second target is $40.50.

Picked on  December 01 at $ xx.xx <-- TRIGGER @ 55.65  (or 48.95, small positions)
Change since picked:       + 0.00
Earnings Date            02/18/10 (unconfirmed)
Average Daily Volume =        2.8 million  
Listed on  December 01, 2009         


Caterpillar - CAT - close: 57.56 change: -0.74 stop: 58.49

CAT is slipping closer to short-term support near $57.00 and technical support at its 50-dma. There is no change from my weekend comments. I'll probably drop CAT if shares close under $57.00. Currently, the plan is to buy calls with a trigger at $61.51. If triggered our first target is $64.95. Our second target is $69.00.

Picked on  December 01 at $ xx.xx <-- TRIGGER @ 61.51
Change since picked:       + 0.00
Earnings Date            01/26/10 (unconfirmed)
Average Daily Volume =        7.8 million  
Listed on  December 01, 2009         


Capella Education - CPLA - close: 71.89 change: +0.39 stop: 69.65

CPLA is still trying to rally but it's not having much success holding on to any gains. I am not suggesting new positions at this time. Thus far the 50-dma and the $70 region are holding as support. Our target is $79.50.

I do consider this an aggressive, higher-risk trade. Currently the Point & Figure chart is bullish with an $85 target.

Picked on  November 24 at $ 72.55
Change since picked:       - 0.66
Earnings Date            02/11/10 (unconfirmed)
Average Daily Volume =        126 thousand 
Listed on  November 24, 2009         


Fedex Corp. - FDX - close: 87.52 change: -0.41 stop: 83.90 *new*

It was a lackluster session for FDX with the stock trading sideways. It looks like that's about to change tomorrow. After the closing bell tonight FDX raised its earnings guidance above Wall Street's estimates. FDX has raised its estimates from the $0.65-0.95 range to $1.10 for the quarter ending November 30th. Analysts estimates were at $0.85. This is a big improvement and shares of FDX have rallied over $90 in after hours. Even shares of UPS were moving on the news.

Our first target is at $89.95 and if FDX gaps open above $90.00 we'll immediately take profits. I am raising our second and final target from $94.00 to $94.90. No new positions at this time. I am raising our stop loss to $83.90.

Picked on  December 01 at $ 85.75 
Change since picked:       + 1.77
Earnings Date            12/17/09 (confirmed)
Average Daily Volume =        2.6 million  
Listed on  November 30, 2009         


Infosys Tech. - INFY - close: 51.65 change: -0.81 stop: 49.90

The stock gapped down at the open. INFY retreated with a 1.5% decline. Readers can choose to wait for a bounce in the $51.00-50.00 zone before initiating new positions. Our first target to take profits is at $55.75. Our second and final target is $59.50. We will plan to exit ahead of the January 12th earnings report.

Entry  on  December 05 at $ 51.88 /gap down entry point
                           /originally listed at $52.46
Change since picked:       - 0.23
Earnings Date            01/12/10 (confirmed)
Average Daily Volume =        1.4 million  
Listed on  December 05, 2009         


Ishares Financial - IYF - close: 51.38 change: -0.68 stop: 49.99

The financials continue to trade sideways although today's session had a bearish tone. The IYF is slipping closer to technical support near its rising 100-dma. I'm not suggesting new positions at this time. We need to see a clearly defined bounce from the 100-dma or a new move over $52.50 (more cautious traders can wait for a move over $53.00) before I'd consider new positions. Our multi-week target is $59.00. I would use small positions.

Entry  on  December 03 at $ 52.60
Change since picked:       - 1.22
Earnings Date            --/--/--
Average Daily Volume =        3.1 million  
Listed on  December 02, 2009         


MSC Industrial Direct - MSM - close: 46.70 change: -0.19 stop: 44.90

MSM quietly drifted lower on Monday. I'm not suggesting new positions. Our first target is $49.75. Our second target is $52.50.

Picked on  November 17 at $ 46.62
Change since picked:       + 0.08
Earnings Date            01/07/10 (unconfirmed)
Average Daily Volume =        513 thousand 
Listed on  November 17, 2009         


Norfolk Southern - NSC - close: 52.33 change: -0.51 stop: 49.75

Lack of follow through on Friday's rally in NSC is a bit frustrating but not out of the ordinary. Readers can wait for a new rise over $53.00 before launching positions.

Our first target to take profits is at $54.90. Our second target is $58.50. Our time frame is several weeks. FYI: The Point & Figure chart is bullish with a $65 target.

Picked on  November 21 at $ 51.84 (small positions)/gap higher entry
Change since picked:       + 0.49 
Earnings Date            01/27/10 (unconfirmed)
Average Daily Volume =        5.4 million  
Listed on  November 21, 2009         


Precision Castparts - PCP - close: 111.30 change: +0.40 stop: 104.95

PCP is still showing relative strength and hit another new 2009 high this afternoon.

Our first target to take profits is at $112.45. Our second target is $118.75. The Point & Figure chart is bullish with a $131 target.

Picked on  December 01 at $107.35
Change since picked:       + 3.95
Earnings Date            01/20/10 (unconfirmed)
Average Daily Volume =        817 thousand 
Listed on  November 28, 2009         


Valmont Industries - VMI - close: 77.75 change: -1.75 stop: 77.65

VMI displayed some volatility this morning with a gap open lower and a sharp bounce but overall the trend today was lower. We're still waiting for a breakout over resistance. I am suggesting a trigger to buy calls at $81.00. If triggered our first target to take profits is at $84.90. Our second target is $88.75. FYI: The most recent data list short interest at 9% of the very small 20.1 million-share float.

Entry  on  December xx at $ xx.xx <-- TRIGGER @ 81.00
Change since picked:       + 0.00
Earnings Date            02/10/10 (unconfirmed)
Average Daily Volume =        238 thousand 
Listed on  December 05, 2009         


Vertex Pharma - VRTX - close: 39.19 change: -0.44 stop: 38.35 *new*

VRTX retreated from last week's high with a 1.1% decline. Volume was very light today. The stock has some support near $38.50 and we need to fine tune our stop loss just a little bit. I'm adjusting the stop from $38.49 to $38.35. We can buy calls on a bounce from $38.50 or wait for a rise over Friday's high of $40.44. Our target to exit is at $44.25. My time frame is several weeks.

Entry  on  December 03 at $ 40.25
Change since picked:       - 1.06
Earnings Date            02/09/10 (unconfirmed)
Average Daily Volume =        3.2 million  
Listed on  November 23, 2009         


PUT Play Updates

FISERV Inc. - FISV - close: 47.01 change: -0.07 stop: 48.55

The intraday rally attempt in FISV failed again near resistance. More conservative traders might want to adjust their stops toward $48.00. I'm still suggesting caution here. Currently our bearish target o FISV is $42.25.

Picked on  November 28 at $ 46.29
Change since picked:       + 0.72
Earnings Date            02/02/10 (unconfirmed)
Average Daily Volume =        1.4 million  
Listed on  November 28, 2009         


Green Mountain Coffee Roasters - GMCR - cls: 60.39 chg: -0.80 stop: 66.15

GMCR is still flirting with support at the $60.00 level although shares did hit a new two-month low at $59.60 intraday. Shares are currently looking oversold and due for a larger bounce. More conservative traders may want to scale back their position sizes or tighten their stops. I am not suggesting new positions at this time. Our second and final target is $56.00. This is a higher-risk trade considering the risk of a short squeeze.

Picked on  November 19 at $ 64.75
Change since picked:       - 4.36
                                /1st target hit @ 60.25 (-6.9%)
Earnings Date            01/28/10 (unconfirmed)
Average Daily Volume =        1.5 million  
Listed on  November 18, 2009         


Goldman Sachs - GS - close: 163.85 change: -3.39 stop: 175.25

It's not looking good for GS. The stock erased Friday's bounce with another failed rally at the 10-dma. Shares are poised to fall toward $160 and probably lower. Our target is $155.50. More aggressive traders could aim for the $150 area or the simple 200-dma.

Picked on  November 25 at $168.75
Change since picked:       - 4.90
Earnings Date            12/15/09 (unconfirmed, could be in January)
Average Daily Volume =        9.5 million  
Listed on  November 21, 2009         


Research In Motion - RIMM - close: 60.28 change: +1.53 stop: 62.05 *new*

Shares of RIMM are up 2.6% on news it has reached a deal to start selling phones in China. I'm surprised the stock isn't up more on the news. Shares rallied toward resistance at the 30-dma. More conservative traders may want to exit early right here. I am lowering our stop loss down to $62.05. I'm not suggesting new positions.

Our first target is $55.25. Our second target is $50.50. RIMM can be a volatile stock so I'm suggesting smaller position sizes.

Picked on  November 16 at $ 61.80
Change since picked:       - 1.52
Earnings Date            12/17/09 (unconfirmed)
Average Daily Volume =       18.9 million  
Listed on  November 12, 2009         


Strangle & Spread Play Updates

(What is a strangle? It's when a trader buys an out-of-the-money (OTM) call and an OTM put on the same stock. The strategy is neutral. You do not care what direction the stock moves as long as the move is big enough to make your investment profitable.)

Apple Inc. - AAPL - close: 188.95 change: -4.37 stop: n/a

The profit taking in AAPL is accelerating lower. Shares los 2.2% and closed under the $190 mark. The next level of potential support looks like it could be the $185 level. I am not suggesting new strangle positions at this time. FYI: The December $190 puts are currently trading around $5.00.

We have an aggressive December strangle and a less aggressive January strangle. The options in the December strangle were the December $210 calls (AJL-LV) and the December $190 puts (APV-XR). Our estimated cost is $3.83. We want to sell if either option hits $8.00 or more.

The options in the January strangle were January $220 calls (AJL-LV) and the January $180 puts (APV-XR). Our estimated cost is $5.60. We want to sell if either option hits $10.00 or more.

Picked on  November 30 at $199.91
Change since picked:       -10.96
Earnings Date            01/21/10 (unconfirmed)
Average Daily Volume =       15.1 million  
Listed on  November 30, 2009         


Goldman Sachs - GS - close: 163.85 change: -3.39 stop: n/a

The weakness in GS reinforces the bearish trend of lower highs. I am no longer suggesting new strangle positions on the stock.

The options suggested were the December $180 calls (GPY-LP) and the December $160 puts (GPY-XL). Our estimated cost is about $4.61. We want to sell if either option hits $9.00 or higher.

Picked on  November 21 at $171.67 /gap open entry
Change since picked:       - 7.82
Earnings Date            12/15/09 (unconfirmed, could be January)
Average Daily Volume =        9.5 million  
Listed on  November 21, 2009         


Ultra(Long)-S&P500 - SSO - close: 37.46 change: -0.14 stop: n/a

The odds against this play working are starting to mount up. The S&P 500 has been stuck trading sideways for nearly four weeks. If the jobs report isn't going to spark a move then what is going to kick the market out of its trading range? We only have two weeks left before December options expire. I'm not suggesting new strangle positions at this time.

The options suggested for this strangle were the December $40 calls (SUC-LN) and the December $34 puts (SOJ-XH). Our estimated cost was $1.70. We want to sell if either option hits $3.00 or higher.

Picked on  November 11 at $ 37.08
Change since picked:       + 0.38
Earnings Date            --/--/--
Average Daily Volume =         32 million  
Listed on  November 11, 2009         


United Parcel Service - UPS - close: 57.87 change: +0.00 stop: n/a

I was starting to think we would have been better off selling options against UPS. The stock has been trading sideways for weeks. However, tonight after the closing bell, rival Fedex (FDX) raised their earnings guidance by a significant amount. Shares of FDX and UPS are both trading higher after hours. I'm not suggesting new strangle positions at this time.

The options suggested for this trade were the December $60 calls (UPS-LL) and the December $55 puts (UPS-XK). Our estimated cost is $1.05. We want to sell if either option hits $3.00 or more.

Picked on  November 21 at $ 57.99 /gap open entry
Change since picked:       - 0.12 
Earnings Date            02/02/10 (unconfirmed)
Average Daily Volume =        4.7 million  
Listed on  November 21, 2009