CALL Play Updates

EQUINIX Inc. - EQIX - close: 108.11 change: +0.35 stop: 102.75 *new*

EQIX is still struggling to truly breakout past the $108 level. The sideways consolidation over the last few days does have a bullish trend of higher lows. Odds favor a breakout to the upside. I am raising our stop loss to $102.75. I am not suggesting new positions at this time. Our first target is $109.50. Our second target is $113.50. The plan was to use small position sizes to limit risk.

Suggested Options:
No new positions at this time.

Annotated Chart:

Entry  on  December 09 at $103.02
Change since picked:       + 5.09 
Earnings Date            02/10/10 (unconfirmed)
Average Daily Volume =        501 thousand 
Listed on  December 09, 2009         


Infosys Tech. - INFY - close: 55.99 change: +0.38 stop: 51.95

INFY continues to drift higher and shares hit a new high on Thursday at $56.00. I am not suggesting new positions at this time. INFY has already hit our first target at $55.75. Our second and final target is $59.50. We will plan to exit ahead of the January 12th earnings report.

Suggested Options:
No new positions at this time.

Annotated Chart:

Entry  on  December 05 at $ 51.88 /gap down entry point
                           /originally listed at $52.46
Change since picked:       + 4.11
                            /1st target hit @ 55.75 (+7.4%)
Earnings Date            01/12/10 (confirmed)
Average Daily Volume =        1.4 million  
Listed on  December 05, 2009         


Mettler Toledo - MTD - close: 106.24 change: +0.55 stop: 99.45

MTD is up about 6% in the last five days. I wouldn't be surprised to see a dip back toward $103-102. Wait for a pull back before considering new bullish positions. Our first target is $109.00.

Suggested Options:
If MTD provides a new entry point in the 102.50-100.00 zone then I'd use the January or February calls.

Annotated Chart:

Entry  on  December 19 at $102.66 (small positions) /gap down entry
Change since picked:       + 3.58
Earnings Date            02/04/10 (unconfirmed)
Average Daily Volume =        106 thousand
Listed on  December 19, 2009         


Norfolk Southern - NSC - close: 54.24 change: +0.42 stop: 50.95

The railroad stocks continued to march higher after breaking out from their trading range. NSC also hit new highs for the year. If you're looking for a new entry point consider waiting for a dip or a bounce back 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.

Suggested Options:
If NSC provides a new entry point I'd use the February calls.

Annotated Chart:

Picked on  November 21 at $ 51.84 (small positions)/gap higher entry
Change since picked:       + 2.40
Earnings Date            01/27/10 (unconfirmed)
Average Daily Volume =        5.4 million  
Listed on  November 21, 2009         


NUCOR Corp. - NUE - close: 47.10 change: +1.00 stop: 41.75

NUE continues to leap higher with another gap open on Thursday morning. Shares are up several days in a row now. The stock looks short-term overbought and due for a dip. I'm adjusting our stop loss to $42.75. More conservative traders may want to bump their stops closer to $44.00. Our multi-week target is $49.50. We will plan to exit ahead of the late January earnings report.

Suggested Options:
No new positions at this time.

Annotated Chart:

Entry  on  December 22 at $ 45.85 (1/2 position or less) /gap higher entry
Change since picked:       + 1.25
Earnings Date            01/28/10 (unconfirmed)
Average Daily Volume =        4.5 million  
Listed on  December 22, 2009         


Precision Castparts - PCP - close: 113.99 change: +0.82 stop: 107.25

So far so good. PCP continues to march higher. If there is a pull back look for short-term support near $111-110. If the $110 level breaks then look for support near $107.50. I'm not suggesting new positions at this time. PCP has already hit our first target at $112.45. Our second target is $118.75. The Point & Figure chart is bullish with a $157 target (it was $131).

Suggested Options:
No new positions at this time.

Annotated Chart:

Picked on  December 01 at $107.35
Change since picked:       + 6.64
                            /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: 58.51 change: +0.17 stop: 54.95

SF is hovering near its 2009 highs. Given the breakout over resistance near $57.50-58.00 I would still consider new bullish positions at these levels. Our first target is $64.50. Our time frame is January expiration. The P&F chart is bullish and points to a $70 target.

Suggested Options:
We can choose the January or April calls. Right now my preference is the January 60s.

Annotated Chart:

Entry  on  December 22 at $ 58.05
Change since picked:       + 0.46
Earnings Date            02/11/10 (unconfirmed)
Average Daily Volume =        207 thousand 
Listed on  December 16, 2009         


UnitedHealth Group - UNH - close: 31.68 change: +0.06 stop: 27.99

The upward momentum in UNH has reversed a little. Shares look poised for more profit taking. I don't see any changes from my prior comments. Broken resistance near $30.00 should be new support. 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.

Suggested Options:
If UNH provides a new entry point I would use the January or March calls. Right now my preference is the March $33 strike.

Annotated Chart:

Entry  on  December 10 at $ 30.31 
Change since picked:       + 1.37
Earnings Date            01/21/10 (unconfirmed)
Average Daily Volume =        819 thousand 
Listed on  December 10, 2009         


United Tech. - UTX - close: 70.36 change: +0.85 stop: 67.45

UTX displayed some relative strength on Thursday with a 1.2% gain. The stock is back above the $70.25 mark and I would consider new bullish positions here. 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.

Suggested Options:
I am suggesting the January or February calls. My preference would be the Jan. $70s (UTX-AN) or the February $70s (UTX-BN).

Annotated Chart:

Entry  on  December 15 at $ 70.25
Change since picked:       + 0.11
Earnings Date            01/21/10 (unconfirmed)
Average Daily Volume =        4.0 million  
Listed on  December 12, 2009         


Valmont Industries - VMI - close: 81.78 change: +0.39 stop: 78.45

The sideways consolidation in shares of VMI have narrowed over the last few days. The path of least resistance should be up. 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, which suggests this stock could see a short squeeze.

Suggested Options:
At this point if you open new bullish positions I'd prefer the February $80 or $85 calls.

Annotated Chart:

Entry  on  December 10 at $ 81.00
Change since picked:       + 0.78
Earnings Date            02/10/10 (unconfirmed)
Average Daily Volume =        238 thousand 
Listed on  December 05, 2009         


Vertex Pharma - VRTX - close: 43.04 change: +0.39 stop: 39.75

Traders bought the dip again on Thursday and VRTX set a new closing high for the year. I am not suggesting new positions at this time. Our target to exit is at $44.25.

Suggested Options:
No new positions at this time.

Annotated Chart:

Entry  on  December 03 at $ 40.25
Change since picked:       + 2.79
Earnings Date            02/09/10 (unconfirmed)
Average Daily Volume =        3.2 million  
Listed on  November 23, 2009         


Whirlpool - WHR - close: 82.95 change: +0.07 stop: 75.95

WHR turned sideways on Thursday. I would still look for a dip near $80.00 before WHR moves much higher. We can use a dip or a bounce near $81-80 as a new entry point to buy calls. More conservative traders may want to adjust their stop loss closer to $80. WHR has already hit our first target at $84.75. Our second target is $89.00. FYI: The Point & Figure chart is bullish with a $103 target.

Suggested Options:
If WHR provides a new entry point I would use the January or February calls. My preference is the $85 strike.

Annotated Chart:

Entry  on  December 19 at $ 80.76 /gap higher entry
Change since picked:       + 2.19
                             /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

*Currently we do not have any put play updates*


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: 209.04 change: +6.94 stop: n/a

Shares of AAPL exploded higher on Thursday. Investors were responding to rumors that AAPL will launch a new product next month. Many expect it will be a new tablet computer. AAPL closed at new 2009 highs. Shares are short-term overbought and are due for some profit taking. 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.

Suggested Options:
No new positions at this time.

Annotated Chart:

Picked on  November 30 at $199.91
Change since picked:       + 9.13
Earnings Date            01/21/10 (unconfirmed)
Average Daily Volume =       15.1 million  
Listed on  November 30, 2009         


United Parcel Service - UPS - close: 58.12 change: +0.12 stop: n/a

The transportation index tagged another new 52-week high on Thursday. Yet UPS remains in its trading range. 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.

Suggested Options:
No new strangle positions.

Annotated Chart:

Picked on  November 21 at $ 57.99 /gap open entry
Change since picked:       + 0.13 
Earnings Date            02/02/10 (unconfirmed)
Average Daily Volume =        4.7 million  
Listed on  November 21, 2009         


CLOSED BULLISH PLAYS

General Dynamics - GD - close: 68.34 change: +0.14 stop: 67.45

All right. I give up. GD refuses to bounce even though the market is hitting new highs for the year. We're going to drop GD right here but I'd keep it on your watch list should the stock breakout over $70 again.

Chart:

Entry  on  December 14 at $ 70.66 (half position)
Change since picked:       - 2.32 <-- exit early (-3.2%)
Earnings Date            01/27/10 (unconfirmed)
Average Daily Volume =        1.6 million  
Listed on  December 14, 2009