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 (if applicable) how they played those ideas.

Apple: All Dressed Up, but No Place to Go

By Alan Farley
7:32 a.m. EDT

Apple ( AAPL) reports third-quarter earnings results after Monday's close. The stock has recovered from the 2008 crash in a U-shaped pattern, which has brought the price back up to the May 2008 high, around $193. It's spent the last two weeks at that level, in a holding pattern ahead of its eagerly awaited results.

Unfortunately, this is perfect spot for the stock to start an intermediate correction that drops price down to $150 or so. Even a report that blows away expectations might run into major trouble, because the all-time high is sitting just 10 points above the 2008 high, near $203.

These twin resistance levels, along with "round number resistance" at $200, mark significant barriers that are unlikely to be mounted until 2010, at the earliest.

Positions: None

Bank Earnings

By Tim Melvin
10:16 a.m. EDT

I am watching the bank reports very carefully, and so far I do not like what I am seeing. Almost across the board, banks of all shapes and sizes are reporting that loan losses continue to grow at a somewhat alarming rate. The BB&T ( BBT) story is a major headline, and while the bank's basic business is doing OK, the credit problems are getting worse. I do like the fact that loan-loss reserves for the quarter were more than charge-offs. I consider under-reserving to be a major red flag.

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