Editor's Note:

The U.S. market saw its rally pause on Friday but that didn't stop a couple of financial call plays (AXP & COF) from hitting our exit targets.

We have removed FDX and TSCO from the newsletter. Neither trade was opened. Our GTLS trade was triggered. I am suggesting an early exit in the EW trade.

Current Portfolio:


CALL Play Updates

Allergan Inc. - AGN - close: 93.00 change: -1.18

Stop Loss: 89.75
Target(s): 98.00
Current Option Gain/Loss: Unopened
Time Frame: 3 to 4 weeks
New Positions: Yes, see below

Comments:
03/17 update: After four days of gains and up six out of the last seven sessions, shares of AGN hit some profit taking on Friday. The -1.2% decline looks like a very short-term bearish reversal. That's okay since we are planning to buy the dip anyway. Currently the plan is to buy calls on a dip at $92.25. More conservative traders may want to wait for a dip into the $91-90 zone instead or better yet wait and buy a bounce.

We will start with a stop at $89.75. Our multi-week target is $98.00. FYI: The Point & Figure chart for AGN is bullish with a $110 target.

New buy-the-dip trigger @ 92.25

- Suggested Positions -

buy the Apr $92.50 call (AGN1221D92.5)

- or -

buy the Apr $95 call (AGN1221D95)

03/15/12 not open yet. New buy-the-dip trigger @ 92.25
03/14/12 not open yet. try again.

chart:

Entry on March xx at $ xx.xx
Earnings Date 05/03/12 (unconfirmed)
Average Daily Volume = 1.5 million
Listed on March 13, 2012


Airgas Inc. - ARG - close: 84.84 change: -0.11

Stop Loss: 81.75
Target(s): 87.00
Current Option Gain/Loss: (Mar82.5c: +45%) & Apr$85c: + 8.0%
Time Frame: 3 to 4 weeks
New Positions: see below

Comments:
03/17 update: Friday was a lackluster session for stocks. ARG initially rallied past $85.00 but settled with a very minor loss. If the market were to see a pullback I'd look for ARG to test its 10-dma near $83.00. I am not suggesting new positions at this time.

- Suggested Positions -

March position is closed.
Mar $82.50 call (ARG1217C82.5) Entry $1.00, exit $1.45 (+45%)

- or -

Long Apr $85.00 call (ARG1221D85) Entry $1.25

03/14/12 April $85 call play opened
Exited March $82.50 calls at the close (bid $1.45, +45%)
03/13/12 new stop loss @ 81.75
Buy April calls (see 2nd position) if ARG hits $84.05
Plan to sell our March calls at the closing bell tomorrow.
03/03/12 new stop loss @ 79.90
02/28/12 trade opened @ 82.21
02/27/12 not open yet, buy calls at the open tomorrow
02/24/12 not open yet, try again.

chart:

Entry on February 28 at $82.21
Earnings Date 05/07/12 (unconfirmed)
Average Daily Volume = 528 thousand
Listed on February 23, 2012


Clean Harbors, Inc. - CLH - close: 68.95 change: -0.01

Stop Loss: 66.75
Target(s): 71.50
Current Option Gain/Loss: + 3.8%
Time Frame: 3 to 4 weeks
New Positions: see below

Comments:
03/17 update: CLH has spent the last six days churning sideways under resistance near the $70.00 level. That consolidation has narrowed the last two and a half days. I am concerned with CLH's inability to break higher while the major indices continue to climb. More conservative traders may want to exit early now. I am not suggesting new positions at this time.

Earlier Comments:
Our target is $71.50 but more conservative traders may want to exit near $70.00. Aggressive trades could aim higher.

- Suggested Positions -

Long Apr $70 call (CLH1221D70) Entry $1.30

03/13/12 new stop loss @ 66.75
03/10/12 CLH is testing the $70.00 level. Readers may want to take profits now.

chart:

Entry on March 08 at $67.77
Earnings Date 05/02/12 (unconfirmed)
Average Daily Volume = 344 thousand
Listed on March 07, 2012


Chart Industries - GTLS - close: 74.40 change: +0.79

Stop Loss: 69.75
Target(s): 79.75
Current Option Gain/Loss: - 8.5%
Time Frame: 3 to 4 weeks
New Positions: see below

Comments:
03/17 update: Our new trade on GTLS has been triggered. The stock hit our entry point to buy calls at $74.25. Shares managed to hit a new record high at $75.00 before paring its gains.

Earlier Comments:
Our exit target is $79.75. More aggressive traders could aim higher. The Point & Figure chart for GTLS is bullish with an $82 target.

- Suggested Positions -

Long Apr $75 call (GTLS1221D75) Entry $3.50

03/16/12 triggered at $74.25

chart:

Entry on March 16 at $74.25
Earnings Date 05/03/12 (unconfirmed)
Average Daily Volume = 712 thousand
Listed on March 15, 2012


Herbalife Ltd. - HLF - close: 70.58 change: -0.17

Stop Loss: 67.75
Target(s): 74.75
Current Option Gain/Loss: - 9.6%
Time Frame: 3 to 4 weeks
New Positions: see below

Comments:
03/17 update: The major indices drifted sideways on Friday and HLF was content to drift along round-number support at the $70.00 level. As broken resistance the $70 mark should be support but I'd expect HLF to dip toward $68.00 if the market did see a pullback.

Earlier Comments:
Our quick target is $74.75. More aggressive traders may want to aim higher. FYI: The Point & Figure chart for HLF is bullish with a long-term $103 target.

- Suggested Positions -

Long Apr $70 call (HLF1221D70) Entry $3.10

chart:

Entry on March 15 at $70.50
Earnings Date 05/02/12 (unconfirmed)
Average Daily Volume = 1.6 million
Listed on March 14, 2012


IPG Photonics Corp. - IPGP - close: 55.47 change: -0.38

Stop Loss: 52.49
Target(s): 60.00
Current Option Gain/Loss: Unopened
Time Frame: 3 to 4 weeks
New Positions: Yes, see below

Comments:
03/17 update: IPGP is hovering under the $56.00 level. We are waiting for a breakout. The plan is to buy calls if IPGP can hit $56.25 or higher. Shares could see a bit of a short squeeze. The most recent data listed short interest at 16.5% of the small 37.1 million share float.

Trigger @ $56.25

- Suggested Positions -

buy the Apr $60 call (IPGP1221D60)

chart:

Entry on March xx at $ xx.xx
Earnings Date 05/03/12 (unconfirmed)
Average Daily Volume = 763 thousand
Listed on March 15, 2012


Whole Foods Market - WFM - close: 85.15 change: -0.34

Stop Loss: 81.75
Target(s): 87.50
Current Option Gain/Loss: +15.4%
Time Frame: 3 to 6 weeks
New Positions: see below

Comments:
03/17 update: Positive analyst comments and a new higher price target on Friday was not enough to lift shares of WFM. The market's major indices drifted sideways and WFM was content to consolidate sideways as well. WFM has spent most of the last three days in the $84.50-86.00 zone. If the market happens to see a pullback then WFM might find support near $84.00 and then in the $82.50-82.00 zone. I am not suggesting new positions at this time.

Currently our exit target is $87.50. More aggressive traders may want to aim for the $89.50-90.00 zone instead.

- Suggested Positions -

Long Apr $85 call (WFM1221D85) Entry $1.88

03/13/12 new stop loss @ 81.75

chart:

Entry on March 02 at $82.55
Earnings Date 05/03/12 (unconfirmed)
Average Daily Volume = 1.9 million
Listed on March 01, 2012


PUT Play Updates

AMERIGROUP Corp. - AGP - close: 65.47 change: +0.21

Stop Loss: 67.25
Target(s): 61.00
Current Option Gain/Loss: (Mar$65P: -82.1%) & Apr$60P: -37.5%
Time Frame: 3 to 4 weeks
New Positions: see below

Comments:
03/17 update: AGP's performance on Friday looked a lot like Wednesday and Thursday with a short spike higher at the open that fails near resistance at the $66.00 level. The overall posture for AGP looks bearish. The stock has formed a long-term bearish double top pattern with the peaks in July 2011 and February this year. Shares continue to trade under their 10-dma and their 50-dma. Yet I am not suggesting new positions at this time. A drop to a new relative low under $64.0 might change my mind on new put plays. Please note that I am lowering our stop loss down to $67.25.

- Suggested Positions -

March position is closed.
Mar $65 PUT (AGP1217o65) entry $1.40, exit $0.25 (-82.1%)

- or -

Long Apr $60 PUT (AGP1221p60) entry $1.20

03/17/12 new stop loss @ 67.25
03/14/12 planned exit for the Mar.$65 put, bid @ 0.25 (-82.1%)
03/13/12 new stop loss at $68.05
prepare to exit the March $65 puts at the open tomorrow,
we will keep the April $60 puts active.
03/06/12 AGP gapped open lower at $66.00

chart:

Entry on March 06 at $66.00
Earnings Date 05/02/12 (unconfirmed)
Average Daily Volume = 950 thousand
Listed on March 05, 2012


Centene Corp. - CNC - close: 45.46 change: -0.83

Stop Loss: 46.25
Target(s): 40.50
Current Option Gain/Loss: Unopened
Time Frame: 3 to 4 weeks
New Positions: Yes, see below

Comments:
03/17 update: There was no follow through on CNC's bounce on Thursday. The stock reversed with a -1.8% decline on Friday. Now shares are nearing support at $45.00 again.

I am suggesting a trigger to open bearish put positions at $44.75. This will require CNC to trade under its 50-dma and potential support at the $45.00 mark. If triggered we'll use a stop loss at $46.25. Our target is $40.50.

Trigger to buy PUTS @ $44.75

- Suggested Positions -

buy the Apr $45 PUT (CNC1221P45)

chart:

Entry on March xx at $ xx.xx
Earnings Date 04/24/12 (unconfirmed)
Average Daily Volume = 529 thousand
Listed on March 12, 2012


Joy Global, Inc. - JOY - close: 78.57 change: -0.07

Stop Loss: 81.65
Target(s): 72.50
Current Option Gain/Loss: -41.2%
Time Frame: 3 to 4 weeks
New Positions: see below

Comments:
03/17 update: Hmm... it's a little hard to explain the outperformance in JOY on Friday (+2.1%). Gold and silver were up fractionally. Copper was down. The GDX gold miner ETF was down. JOY saw a bounce back toward the $80 level and its 10-dma. Today's move does put us on the defensive. If shares rally back toward their midweek highs then we will get stopped out at $81.65. I am not suggesting new positions at this time.

Earlier Comments:
Our target is $72.50. More aggressive traders could aim lower. The Point & Figure chart for JOY is bearish with a $70 target.

- Suggested Positions -

Long Apr $75 PUT (JOY1221P75) Entry $2.52

03/15/12 trade opened on JOY's gap down at $77.38, which is under our trigger to buy puts at $77.75.

chart:

Entry on March 15 at $77.38
Earnings Date 06/04/12 (unconfirmed)
Average Daily Volume = 2.8 million
Listed on March 12, 2012


CLOSED BULLISH PLAYS

American Express Co - AXP - close: 56.55 change: -0.17

Stop Loss: 53.40
Target(s): 57.00
Current Option Gain/Loss: +91.6%
Time Frame: 4 to 8 weeks
New Positions: see below

Comments:
03/17 update: Target exceeded.

Shares of AXP gapped open higher at $57.31 on Friday morning. This is above our exit target at $57.00 so the trade was closed immediately.

Earlier Comments:
The plan was to keep our position size small.

- Suggested Positions - (Small Positions)

Apr 52.50 call (AXP1221D52.5) Entry $2.40 exit $4.60 (+ 91.6%)

03/16/12 target exceeded. AXP gapped above our exit target.
03/15/12 new stop loss @ 53.40
03/14/12 new stop loss @ 52.40, adjust exit to $57.00
03/03/12 new stop loss @ 51.40
02/29/12 AXP gapped down at $53.46
02/28/12 not open yet. buy calls at the open tomorrow.
02/27/12 not open yet, try again.

chart:

Entry on February 29 at $53.46
Earnings Date 04/19/12 (unconfirmed)
Average Daily Volume = 5.7 million
Listed on February 25, 2012


Capital One Financial - COF - close: 54.50 change: +0.87

Stop Loss: 49.75
Target(s): 54.75
Current Option Gain/Loss:(Mar$50c: +83.8%) & Apr$50c: +117.3%
Time Frame: 3 to 4 weeks
New Positions: see below

Comments:
03/17 update: Target achieved.

COF continued to rally on Friday. The stock outperformed the major indices and most of the financials with a +1.6% gain. Shares hit round-number resistance at $55.00 intraday. Our exit target was tagged at $54.75.

Earlier Comments:
We want to keep our position size small to limit our risk.

(small positions)

- Suggested Positions -

March position is closed.
Mar $50 call (COF1217C50) entry $1.30, exit $2.39 (+83.8%)

- or -

Apr $50 call (COF1221D50) entry $2.30 exit $5.00 (+117.3%)

03/16/12 target hit at $54.75
03/15/12 new stop loss @ 49.75
03/14/12 new stop loss @ 48.60
03/14/12 as planned, closed Mar $50 call, bid @ $2.39 (+83.8%)
03/13/12 prepare to exit March calls at the close tomorrow
03/03/12 new stop loss at $47.95
02/28/12 triggered at $50.25

chart:

Entry on February 28 at $50.25
Earnings Date 04/23/12 (unconfirmed)
Average Daily Volume = 6.4 million
Listed on February 15, 2012


FedEx Corp. - FDX - close: 94.34 change: -0.27

Stop Loss: 89.75
Target(s): 96.75
Current Option Gain/Loss: Unopened
Time Frame: 3 to 4 weeks
New Positions: see below

Comments:
03/17 update: The new trend for FDX appears to be up, especially given the breakout past short-term resistance near $92.50. Nimble traders may want to still try and buy calls on a dip. However, we are running out of time. FDX is due to report earnings on March 22nd. We do not want to hold over the earnings report. I am dropping FDX as a candidate and we will make room for another trade instead.


03/17/12 removed from the newsletter with earnings coming up.
Our trade never opened.
03/15/12 not open yet. new buy-the-dip trigger @ 92.75
03/14/12 not open yet. try again.

chart:

Entry on March xx at $ xx.xx
Earnings Date 03/22/12 (unconfirmed)
Average Daily Volume = 2.1 million
Listed on March 13, 2012


Tractor Supply Co. - TSCO - close: 85.81 change: -1.47

Stop Loss: 85.75
Target(s): 94.00
Current Option Gain/Loss: Unopened
Time Frame: 3 to 4 weeks
New Positions: see below

Comments:
03/17 update: TSCO is not cooperating. We've been worried about its lack of performance the last few days. Shares underperformed the market on Friday. The $85.00 level should be short-term support but my enthusiasm for this trade has cooled. Readers may want to keep an eye on TSCO for a breakout past the $88.50 area. We are removing TSCO as a trade.

Our trade did not open.

03/17/12 removed TSCO from the newsletter
03/14/12 adjust trigger to $88.75
03/13/12 if triggered at $88.50, only use small positions, move stop loss to $85.75

chart:

Entry on March xx at $ xx.xx
Earnings Date 04/19/12 (unconfirmed)
Average Daily Volume = 566 thousand
Listed on March 10, 2012


CLOSED BEARISH PLAYS

Edwards Lifesciences - EW - close: 71.42 change: +1.41

Stop Loss: 72.25
Target(s): 63.00
Current Option Gain/Loss: -69.6%
Time Frame: 3 to 4 weeks
New Positions: see below

Comments:
03/17 update: EW outperformed the market on Friday with a +2.0% gain. I couldn't find any news to account for the relative strength. This convincing break past the $70.00 level is not a good sign for the bears. While it's possible that the $72.00 level and its 100-dma will hold as overhead resistance I am suggesting we go ahead and exit early now.

- Suggested (Small) Positions -

Apr $65 PUT (EW1221p65) Entry $1.65, exit $0.50 (-69.6%)

03/17/12 EW is showing relative strength. We want to exit early

chart:

Entry on March 07 at $68.76
Earnings Date 04/19/12 (unconfirmed)
Average Daily Volume = 1.1 million
Listed on March 06, 2012