We had one of our bullish plays hit our target and another hit our entry point to buy calls.


CALL Play Updates

EQUINIX Inc. - EQIX - close: 107.06 change: -0.25 stop: 99.75

Tuesday ended with a quiet and disappointing session for EQIX. Shares did rebound from the intraday low but still closed in the red while most of the market closed higher. The general trend, which is up, remains unchanged. 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:       + 4.04 
Earnings Date            02/10/10 (unconfirmed)
Average Daily Volume =        501 thousand 
Listed on  December 09, 2009         


Infosys Tech. - INFY - close: 54.45 change: +0.37 stop: 49.90

INFY is still churning sideways in the $53-55 zone. There is no change from my prior comments. 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:       + 2.57
Earnings Date            01/12/10 (confirmed)
Average Daily Volume =        1.4 million  
Listed on  December 05, 2009         


General Dynamics - GD - close: 68.20 change: -0.39 stop: 67.45

I would seriously consider an early exit in GD right now. The stock has been under performing the last few days. Shares are still hovering near support but this relative weakness is worrisome. More cautious traders might want to abandon ship. I'm not suggesting new positions at this time.

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:       - 2.46
Earnings Date            01/27/10 (unconfirmed)
Average Daily Volume =        1.6 million  
Listed on  December 14, 2009         


Mettler Toledo - MTD - close: 106.02 change: +2.25 stop: 99.45

MTD displayed relative strength with a 2.1% gain and a new 2009 high. Our first target is $109.00.

Entry  on  December 19 at $102.66 (small positions) /gap down entry
Change since picked:       + 3.36
Earnings Date            02/04/10 (unconfirmed)
Average Daily Volume =        106 thousand
Listed on  December 19, 2009         


Blue Nile Inc. - NILE - close: 62.40 change: +2.01 stop: 57.40

Our new call play on NILE is off to a strong start. Shares rallied 3.3% with decent volume. Our first target is $64.90.

Entry  on  December 21 at $ 60.39
Change since picked:       + 2.01
Earnings Date            02/18/10 (unconfirmed)
Average Daily Volume =        144 thousand 
Listed on  December 21, 2009         


Norfolk Southern - NSC - close: 53.01 change: -0.07 stop: 49.75

The railroad stocks are still stuck in their trading range and NSC is hovering at the top of its trading range near $53.00. 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:       + 1.17
Earnings Date            01/27/10 (unconfirmed)
Average Daily Volume =        5.4 million  
Listed on  November 21, 2009         


Precision Castparts - PCP - close: 114.83 change: +1.01 stop: 107.25

The rally continues in PCP with the stock up three days in a row. Shares closed at another new 2009 high and hit $115.60 intraday. 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:       + 7.48
                            /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: 58.20 change: +0.53 stop: 54.95

Our call play on SF has been opened. The stock broke out to new highs after trading sideways for months. Our plan was to buy calls at $58.05. The stock hit $58.25 intraday. Our first target is $64.50. Our time frame is January expiration. The P&F chart is bullish and points to a $70 target.

Chart:

Entry  on  December 22 at $ 58.05
Change since picked:       + 0.15
Earnings Date            02/11/10 (unconfirmed)
Average Daily Volume =        207 thousand 
Listed on  December 16, 2009         


UnitedHealth Group - UNH - close: 32.32 change: +0.15 stop: 27.99

UNH continues to inch higher and set a new closing high for the year. At this time 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:       + 2.01
Earnings Date            01/21/10 (unconfirmed)
Average Daily Volume =        819 thousand 
Listed on  December 10, 2009         


United Tech. - UTX - close: 69.35 change: -0.01 stop: 67.45

UTX delivered another disappointing session. The stock remains stuck in the $69.00-70.00 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:       - 0.90
Earnings Date            01/21/10 (unconfirmed)
Average Daily Volume =        4.0 million  
Listed on  December 12, 2009         


Valmont Industries - VMI - close: 81.72 change: -0.48 stop: 78.45

VMI hit new relative highs this morning but couldn't hold them. Shares under performed the market with a 0.5% decline. 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:       + 0.72
Earnings Date            02/10/10 (unconfirmed)
Average Daily Volume =        238 thousand 
Listed on  December 05, 2009         


Vertex Pharma - VRTX - close: 42.90 change: +0.75 stop: 39.75

VRTX is extending its gains with another 1.7% rally. Our target to exit is at $44.25. My time frame is several weeks.

Entry  on  December 03 at $ 40.25
Change since picked:       + 2.65
Earnings Date            02/09/10 (unconfirmed)
Average Daily Volume =        3.2 million  
Listed on  November 23, 2009         


Whirlpool - WHR - close: 83.65 change: +0.10 stop: 74.99

Target achieved. WHR spiked to $85.01 this morning. Our first target to take profits was at $84.75. The stock eventually pared its gains and the move looks like a short-term top. I would expect a minor correction back toward $81-80. Our second target is $89.00. FYI: The Point & Figure chart is bullish with a $103 target.

Chart:

Entry  on  December 19 at $ 80.76 /gap higher entry
Change since picked:       + 2.89
                             /1st target hit $84.75 (+4.9%)
Earnings Date            02/08/10 (unconfirmed)
Average Daily Volume =        1.6 million  
Listed on  December 19, 2009         


PUT Play Updates

Freeport McMoran - FCX - close: 78.45 change: +0.49 stop: 80.55

FCX is still trying to bounce and it's inching closer to resistance near $80.00 again. Wait for the rally to fail before launching new put 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. I'm adding a second target at $68.50.

Entry  on  December 12 at $ 76.81 
Change since picked:       + 1.64
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: 200.36 change: +2.13 stop: n/a

AAPL is above round-number resistance at the $200 level and above its 50-dma. This is definitely short-term bullish. 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:       + 0.45
Earnings Date            01/21/10 (unconfirmed)
Average Daily Volume =       15.1 million  
Listed on  November 30, 2009         


United Parcel Service - UPS - close: 58.58 change: -0.04 stop: n/a

There is not much change in shares of UPS nor do I see any changes for our trade. I'm not suggesting new strangle positions.

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:       + 0.59 
Earnings Date            02/02/10 (unconfirmed)
Average Daily Volume =        4.7 million  
Listed on  November 21, 2009