It was a bullish day on Wall Street and we're definitely seeing some signs of strength on our play list.


CALL Play Updates

EQUINIX Inc. - EQIX - close: 107.31 change: +0.82 stop: 99.75

EQIX rallied toward last week's and its 52-week highs. The stock closed up with a 0.7% gain albeit on below average volume. More conservative traders will want to seriously consider raising their stop loss. Our first target is $109.50. Our second target is $113.50. The plan was to use small position sizes to limit risk.

Entry  on  December 09 at $103.02
Change since picked:       + 4.29 
Earnings Date            02/10/10 (unconfirmed)
Average Daily Volume =        501 thousand 
Listed on  December 09, 2009         


Infosys Tech. - INFY - close: 54.08 change: -0.56 stop: 49.90

It was a quiet day for INFY. I'm a bit surprised too since the NASDAQ rallied to new highs. Shares of INFY continued to trade sideways in the $53-55 zone. Readers may want to use a dip or a bounce near $53.00 as 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:       + 2.20
Earnings Date            01/12/10 (confirmed)
Average Daily Volume =        1.4 million  
Listed on  December 05, 2009         


General Dynamics - GD - close: 68.59 change: +0.35 stop: 67.45

GD is bouncing from its trendline of support but the rebound today wasn't very inspiring. I would still consider buying calls here but more cautious traders may want to see more follow through on the bounce first.

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:       - 2.07
Earnings Date            01/27/10 (unconfirmed)
Average Daily Volume =        1.6 million  
Listed on  December 14, 2009         


Mettler Toledo - MTD - close: 103.77 change: +0.74 stop: 99.45

MTD produced a small gap down this morning, which gave us a better entry point on our option price. Traders quickly bought the dip and MTD closed at new 2009 highs. I am suggesting bullish positions but keep positions small. A better entry point would be a dip closer to $100, which should be round-number support. Our first target is $109.00.

Entry  on  December 19 at $102.66 (small positions) /gap down entry
Change since picked:       + 0.74
Earnings Date            02/04/10 (unconfirmed)
Average Daily Volume =        106 thousand
Listed on  December 19, 2009         


Norfolk Southern - NSC - close: 53.08 change: +1.04 stop: 49.75

It was a decent day for railroad stocks with the DJUSRR index up 1.4%. Unfortunately this sector index is still trading under resistance near 520. Shares of NSC rallied 1.99% slightly outperforming its peers. A move over today's high (53.27) could be a new entry point to buy calls. 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:       + 1.24
Earnings Date            01/27/10 (unconfirmed)
Average Daily Volume =        5.4 million  
Listed on  November 21, 2009         


Precision Castparts - PCP - close: 113.82 change: +1.44 stop: 107.25

PCP tagged a new 2009 high at $113.91. I don't see any changes from my weekend comments. 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:       + 6.47
                            /1st target hit $112.45 (+4.7%)
Earnings Date            01/20/10 (unconfirmed)
Average Daily Volume =        817 thousand 
Listed on  November 28, 2009         


Stifel Financial - SF - close: 57.67 change: +0.70 stop: 54.95

SF gained 1.2% and set a new closing high but we still want to see a little more confirmation. Aggressive traders could open positions now. I'm suggesting a trigger to buy calls at $58.05. If triggered our first target is $64.50. Our time frame is January expiration. The P&F chart is bullish and points to a $70 target.

Entry  on  December xx at $ xx.xx <-- TRIGGER @ 58.05
Change since picked:       + 0.00
Earnings Date            02/11/10 (unconfirmed)
Average Daily Volume =        207 thousand 
Listed on  December 16, 2009         


UnitedHealth Group - UNH - close: 32.17 change: +0.63 stop: 27.99

Healthcare stocks were some of the best performers today with the HMO index up 3% on news that the Senate democrats had scored a key victory to prevent a republican filibuster on the healthcare bill. This bill is one step closer to getting passed and it could happen before the year is out.

I'd consider buying new call positions on a dip or bounce near $30.50-30.00. 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:       + 1.86
Earnings Date            01/21/10 (unconfirmed)
Average Daily Volume =        819 thousand 
Listed on  December 10, 2009         


United Tech. - UTX - close: 69.36 change: -0.10 stop: 67.45

I'm a little surprised by the under performance in UTX the last few days. Shares are still hovering in the $69-70 zone. I'm suggesting readers wait for a new rise over $70.25 to launch positions. More conservative traders may want to use a tighter stop loss. 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:       - 0.89
Earnings Date            01/21/10 (unconfirmed)
Average Daily Volume =        4.0 million  
Listed on  December 12, 2009         


Valmont Industries - VMI - close: 82.35 change: +2.07 stop: 78.45

VMI displayed relative strength with a 2.5% gain on Monday. Shares set a new eight-week closing high. Over the weekend I suggested looking for a rebound over $81.00 as a new entry point and we got it. 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:       + 1.35
Earnings Date            02/10/10 (unconfirmed)
Average Daily Volume =        238 thousand 
Listed on  December 05, 2009         


Vertex Pharma - VRTX - close: 42.15 change: -0.19 stop: 39.75

Hmm... it was odd to see VRTX under performing the drug and biotech sector but shares still closed near their 52-week highs. Our target to exit is at $44.25. My time frame is several weeks.

Entry  on  December 03 at $ 40.25
Change since picked:       + 1.90
Earnings Date            02/09/10 (unconfirmed)
Average Daily Volume =        3.2 million  
Listed on  November 23, 2009         


Whirlpool - WHR - close: 83.55 change: +2.86 stop: 74.99

WHR is showing lots of relative strength with a 3.5% rally following Friday's bullish breakout over $80.00. Believe it or not our option actually ticked lower at the open, which provided a slightly better entry point. At this time readers may want to wait for a dip back toward the $81-80 zone before launching new positions. Our first target to take profits is at $84.75. Our second target is $89.00. FYI: The Point & Figure chart is bullish with a $103 target.

Entry  on  December 19 at $ 80.76 /gap higher entry
Change since picked:       + 2.79
Earnings Date            02/08/10 (unconfirmed)
Average Daily Volume =        1.6 million  
Listed on  December 19, 2009         


PUT Play Updates

Freeport McMoran - FCX - close: 77.96 change: +1.42 stop: 80.55

Gold and gold mining stocks ticked lower on dollar strength today. Yet FCX managed to buck the trend and post a 1.8% bounce. Readers can look for a failed rally in the $79-80 zone as a new entry point to buy puts.

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. I'm adding a second target at $68.50.

Entry  on  December 12 at $ 76.81 
Change since picked:       + 1.15
Earnings Date            01/26/10 (unconfirmed)
Average Daily Volume =       12.6 million  
Listed on  December 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: 198.23 change: +2.80 stop: n/a

AAPL has broken out past its multi-week trendline of lower highs but shares have yet to break resistance at the $200 mark. I am not suggesting new strangle positions at this time.

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:       - 1.68
Earnings Date            01/21/10 (unconfirmed)
Average Daily Volume =       15.1 million  
Listed on  November 30, 2009         


United Parcel Service - UPS - close: 58.62 change: +0.64 stop: n/a

Today is one of the busiest days of the year for the likes of UPS and FDX with tens of millions of packages getting shipped across the country for Christmas. Yet shares of UPS are still stuck in a trading range.

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:       + 0.63 
Earnings Date            02/02/10 (unconfirmed)
Average Daily Volume =        4.7 million  
Listed on  November 21, 2009