BUCY hit our bullish target. Meanwhile we're updating four stops.


CALL Play Updates

Capella Education - CPLA - close: 76.51 change: -0.28 stop: 74.90 *new*

We have two days left before December options expire. I am suggesting that we exit tomorrow (Thursday) at the closing bell, that's assuming CPLA doesn't hit our target at $78.50 first. We'll raise the stop loss to $74.90.

Picked on  November 24 at $ 72.55
Change since picked:       + 3.96
Earnings Date            02/11/10 (unconfirmed)
Average Daily Volume =        126 thousand 
Listed on  November 24, 2009         


EQUINIX Inc. - EQIX - close: 106.37 change: +0.36 stop: 99.75

EQIX hit new highs at $108.14 but pared its gains by the close. I am not suggesting new bullish positions at this time. More conservative traders will want to raise their stops. Our target is $109.50. The plan was to use small position sizes.

Entry  on  December 09 at $103.02
Change since picked:       + 3.35
Earnings Date            02/10/10 (unconfirmed)
Average Daily Volume =        501 thousand 
Listed on  December 09, 2009         


F5 Networks - FFIV - close: 50.31 change: -0.71 stop: 49.75 *new*

We need to turn more defensive on FFIV. The stock under performed today with a failed rally at $52.00 and a drop back toward support near $50.00. The stock has created a little head-and-shoulders pattern over the last couple of weeks. If FFIV breaks down under $50.00 again it could portend a correction toward $47.00. I am raising our stop loss to $49.75. I am not suggesting new bullish positions at this time. The plan was to use small positions to limit our risk. Our first target to take profits is at $54.90. Our second target is $57.45.

Entry  on  December 09 at $ 52.08
Change since picked:       - 1.77
Earnings Date            01/20/10 (unconfirmed)
Average Daily Volume =        1.2 million  
Listed on  December 09, 2009         


Infosys Tech. - INFY - close: 54.43 change: +1.12 stop: 49.90

INFY has rallied to new 52-week highs and hit $54.99 intraday. More conservative traders may want to take some money off the table right now and/or raise their stop loss. I am not suggesting new positions at this time but a bounce near $52.50-53.00 could be a new entry point. 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:       + 2.55
Earnings Date            01/12/10 (confirmed)
Average Daily Volume =        1.4 million  
Listed on  December 05, 2009         


General Dynamics - GD - close: 69.45 change: -0.22 stop: 67.45

Traders bought the dip in GD at $68.85. I remain bullish here and would use the intraday bounce as a new entry point to buy calls.

Our first target to take profits in GD is $74.95. FYI: The Point & Figure chart is bullish with a $105 target.

Entry  on  December 14 at $ 70.66 (half position)
Change since picked:       - 1.21
Earnings Date            01/27/10 (unconfirmed)
Average Daily Volume =        1.6 million  
Listed on  December 14, 2009         


MSC Industrial Direct - MSM - close: 47.13 change: -0.12 stop: 44.90

We are almost out of time and odds are against us for our December position. I would still be tempted to buy March calls on a move over $47.50. However, we will close this play Friday at the close if there is any option premium left.

Picked on  November 17 at $ 46.62
Change since picked:       + 0.51
Earnings Date            01/07/10 (unconfirmed)
Average Daily Volume =        513 thousand 
Listed on  November 17, 2009         


Norfolk Southern - NSC - close: 52.86 change: +0.08 stop: 49.75

NSC is still hovering near the top of its trading range. I want to see a new relative high (53.25) or a close over $53.00 before launching new positions. Our first target is now $56.50. Our second and final target is $59.50. 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:       + 1.02
Earnings Date            01/27/10 (unconfirmed)
Average Daily Volume =        5.4 million  
Listed on  November 21, 2009         


Precision Castparts - PCP - close: 111.15 change: -1.29 stop: 107.25

PCP is seeing a little bit of consolidation with a dip back toward its 10-dma. If that fails look for support in the $110-109 zone. PCP has already hit our first target 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:       + 3.80
                            /1st target hit $112.45 (+4.7%)
Earnings Date            01/20/10 (unconfirmed)
Average Daily Volume =        817 thousand 
Listed on  November 28, 2009         


UnitedHealth Group - UNH - close: 32.20 change: +0.88 stop: 27.99 *new*

The rally in healthcare continues and UNH added another 2.8%. Volume continues to surge, which suggests the rally is getting stronger. New stop loss at $27.99.

Our first target is $34.00. Our longer-term target is $36.00. Our time frame is several weeks. If you buy March calls you might want to think about holding over the late January earnings report.

Entry  on  December 10 at $ 30.31 
Change since picked:       + 1.89
Earnings Date            01/21/10 (unconfirmed)
Average Daily Volume =        819 thousand 
Listed on  December 10, 2009         


United Tech. - UTX - close: 70.25 change: +0.00 stop: 67.45

UTX hit new 52-week highs at $70.75 but closed unchanged on the session. I'm still bullish with the stock above $70.00. Our first target is $74.75. The Point & Figure chart is bullish with a $95.00 target.

Entry  on  December 15 at $ 70.25
Change since picked:       + 0.00
Earnings Date            01/21/10 (unconfirmed)
Average Daily Volume =        4.0 million  
Listed on  December 12, 2009         


Valmont Industries - VMI - close: 81.50 change: -0.06 stop: 78.45

It was a quiet day for VMI with the stock hovering near $82.00 most of the session. 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 10 at $ 81.00
Change since picked:       + 0.50
Earnings Date            02/10/10 (unconfirmed)
Average Daily Volume =        238 thousand 
Listed on  December 05, 2009         


Vertex Pharma - VRTX - close: 42.51 change: +0.95 stop: 38.90 *new*

VRTX continues to show relative strength. The stock has broken out past its November highs with a 2.2% gain today. I am raising our stop loss to $38.90. Our target to exit is at $44.25. My time frame is several weeks.

Entry  on  December 03 at $ 40.25
Change since picked:       + 2.26
Earnings Date            02/09/10 (unconfirmed)
Average Daily Volume =        3.2 million  
Listed on  November 23, 2009         


Weyerhaeuser - WY - close: 43.99 change: +0.88 stop: 40.75

WY gapped open higher for the third day in a row. Shares rolled over under the $45.00 level. I'm still in a wait-and-see mode after Tuesday's big move. Let's hold on another day and just watch WY on Thursday before making any decisions on new bullish positions. No new positions at this time.

Entry  on  December 14 at $ xx.xx 
Change since picked:       + 0.00
Earnings Date            02/05/10 (unconfirmed)
Average Daily Volume =        1.6 million  
Listed on  December 14, 2009         


PUT Play Updates

Freeport McMoran - FCX - close: 79.45 change: +1.36 stop: 80.55

Commodity stocks were in rally mode on dollar weakness. Gold was up. Copper and silver were bouncing. Shares of FCX rallied to resistance near $80.00 again and closed with a 1.7% gain. If this commodity rally continues we will get stopped out at $80.55. Given today's performance we should take a more cautious approach to new positions.

Remember, we should consider this an aggressive, higher-risk trade because the dollar, commodities, and shares of FCX can be somewhat volatile. The plan was to use very small positions to limit risk. Our first target is $72.50.

Entry  on  December 12 at $ 76.81 
Change since picked:       + 2.64
Earnings Date            01/26/10 (unconfirmed)
Average Daily Volume =       12.6 million  
Listed on  December 12, 2009         


Goldman Sachs - GS - close: 164.99 change: +2.25 stop: 170.25

We're almost out of time. December options expire in two days. If GS closes above $165 on Friday our suggested option will expire worthless. I'm suggesting more conservative readers start exiting in the $163-162 zone instead of waiting for a dip toward $160. Officially I'm changing our exit target to $160.55.

Picked on  November 25 at $168.75
Change since picked:       - 3.76 
Earnings Date            12/15/09 (unconfirmed, could be in January)
Average Daily Volume =        9.5 million  
Listed on  November 21, 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: 195.03 change: +0.86 stop: n/a

Our December strangle is pretty much dead with just two days left. I wouldn't be surprised to see AAPL settle at $195 on Friday. I am not suggesting new strangle positions at this time.

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 will try and recoup some capital if either option hits $3.00.

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:       - 4.88
Earnings Date            01/21/10 (unconfirmed)
Average Daily Volume =       15.1 million  
Listed on  November 30, 2009         


Goldman Sachs - GS - close: 164.99 change: +2.25 stop: n/a

We have two days left. 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 may want to sell if either option hits $3.50 or higher just to recoup some capital.

Picked on  November 21 at $171.67 /gap open entry
Change since picked:       - 6.68
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: 37.94 change: +0.13 stop: n/a

There is no change from my prior comments. This trade is dead and we're just watching the clock.

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.

Picked on  November 11 at $ 37.08
Change since picked:       + 0.86
Earnings Date            --/--/--
Average Daily Volume =         32 million  
Listed on  November 11, 2009         


United Parcel Service - UPS - close: 59.00 change: -0.25 stop: n/a

The lack of movement in UPS this last month has been pretty amazing. Our December strangle looks like it will expire worthless.

December Strangle
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. At this time we want to sell if either option turns positive again.

January Strangle
The options suggested for the January strangle were the January $60.00 calls (UPS-AL) and the January $55.00 puts (UPS-MK). Our estimated cost was $1.35. I would plan to sell if either option hit $3.50 or more.

Picked on  November 21 at $ 57.99 /gap open entry
Change since picked:       + 1.01 
Earnings Date            02/02/10 (unconfirmed)
Average Daily Volume =        4.7 million  
Listed on  November 21, 2009         


CLOSED BULLISH PLAYS

Bucyrus Intl. - BUCY - close: 53.31 change: -0.53 stop: 49.85

Target achieved. BUCY spiked to $55.18 this morning. Our target to exit was $54.90 so the play is closed. If shares can breakout past the top of this trading range near $55.00 we might reconsider new bullish positions.

Chart:
loss.

Entry  on  December 09 at $ 50.72 
Change since picked:       + 4.18 <-- target hit @ 54.90 (+8.2%)
Earnings Date            02/18/10 (unconfirmed)
Average Daily Volume =        2.8 million  
Listed on  December 01, 2009         


Fedex Corp. - FDX - close: 89.95 change: -1.41 stop: 86.75

FDX hit a new 2009 high at $92.59. Unfortunately shares reversed and FDX ended up producing a bearish engulfing candlestick (reversal) pattern. Our original trade listed the December options, which expire in two days. Given this deadline I'm suggesting an immediate exit.

Chart:

Picked on  December 01 at $ 85.75 
Change since picked:       + 4.20 <-- early exit @ 89.95 (+4.8%)
Earnings Date            12/17/09 (confirmed)
Average Daily Volume =        2.6 million  
Listed on  November 30, 2009