The RealMoney contributors are in the business of trading and investing all day on the basis of ongoing news flow. Below, we offer the top five ideas that RealMoney contributors posted today and how they played those ideas.

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1. KOL Still Has Room to Run

By Don Dion

7:59 a.m. EST

I just finished reviewing our coal research, and the short-term outlook for the

Market Vectors Coal

(KOL) - Get Report

ETF remains good even though it has been a top performer of my

ETF Action

service year to date. During previous years of severe winters, share prices of coal stocks that make up KOL started weakening around mid- to late February. Let's hold the position a bit longer.

Long KOL.

2. TIF

By Timothy Collins

9:28 a.m. EST

Tiffany

(TIF) - Get Report

raised guidance for the second time since Nov. 25. Full-year guidance back on the 25th was raised from $1.65-$1.78 to $1.88-$1.98. Now TIF is raising again, taking full-year numbers to $2.07-$2.12. Comps were up an impressive 8%, and TIF projects EPS well beyond even the highest analyst on the Street. The company has executed well on its plan to move to lower-priced, higher-margin products, although the management said sales were up across all price points. Though I have been bearish on the overall economy, this is a bit of a surprise to me. Also, TIF is benefiting similarly to

Best Buy

(BBY) - Get Report

and

Bed Bath & Beyond

(BBBY) - Get Report

, two other retailers I favor, in that competition has liquidated or is in the process.

I'll be looking to cash in January call positions this week, but I'll also be looking to establish longer-dated bullish positions. A successful retest in the $44s or a break above $47 will lead me to get much longer, in both the trading and the long-term portfolio.

Long TIF.

3. New Reading on Consumer Confidence Today

By Ken Shreve

10:36 a.m. EST

Alcoa's

(AA) - Get Report

earnings weren't up to snuff, but the latest reading from the

Investor's Business Daily

/TIPP Economic Optimism Index had some good news. Consumer confidence perked up in January as the index rose 2 points to 48.8. Readings over 50 signify optimism; below 50 mean pessimism.

It's the first reading on consumer confidence each month and has a good track record of foreshadowing other confidence indicators put out later in the month by the Univ. of Michigan and The Conference Board. The poll was conducted between Jan. 4 and Jan. 9 with 923 adults surveyed.

There are three components to the index, two of which are in optimistic territory. The Six-Month Economic Outlook rose 5.1 points to 51.8; the

Personal Financial Outlook

lost 0.2 points to 53.4.

The Confidence in Federal Economic Policies component rose 1 point to 41.2, but it's still firmly entrenched in pessimistic territory.

No positions.

4. Earnings Revisions Support This Market

By Brian Gilmartin

10:30 a.m. EST

The analyst revision data below continues to tell a positive story in terms of corporate earnings.

The revision trend over the past three months, including third-quarter 2009 earnings, indicates that half to two-thirds of analyst estimate revisions are upward-leaning.

As always, the true litmus test will be the total revisions for the weeks ending Jan. 22 and Jan. 29, at which point we'll have about half the

S&P 500's

companies reported for fourth quarter 2009.

If year-over-year growth comparisons are distorted due to easy year-ago comps, these upward/downward revisions can give an investor a better tell in terms of bias.

Even if a stock sells off following an earnings report, we can look at the subsequent revisions in estimates to see if we want to buy on weakness.

No positions.

5. Reprogramming for 2010

By Alan Farley

1:18 p.m. EST

I've been chatting with a few trading friends. We're all thinking about the need to reprogram our expectations for 2010 after the hell-on-earth that was dished out to short-sellers last year.

Maybe today starts a big-deal correction, maybe it doesn't. But I'm not going to assume that everything is peachy just because it always turned out peachy in 2009.

That said, I'm still looking to the long side on my long-term accounts, with buys on

Caterpillar

(CAT) - Get Report

and

CSX Corp.

(CSX) - Get Report

after their big breakouts. No need to fight the trend with these stocks. I've also started to dip back into gold just a bit, with the

Gold Trust ETF

(GLD) - Get Report

and

Randgold Resources

(GOLD) - Get Report

. I'd definitely avoid being early on that stock because it's making a beeline for the 80 strike.

Long CAT, CSX, GOLD, GLD.

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This article was written by a staff member of RealMoney.com.