Earnings results have been mixed. Thus far investors have been selling the news no matter what the results but that might change tomorrow. Keep an eye on FITB, SBUX, and STX.


BULLISH Play Updates

Cisco Systems Inc. - CSCO - close: 24.41 change: -0.44 stop: 23.95

CSCO was not immune to the market's widespread decline. Shares dipped toward $24.00 and the bottom of its recent trading range only to bounce back and close with a 1.7% decline. I'd wait for a new move over $25.10 before launching new positions.

Our first target to take profits is at $27.40. The goal is a little optimistic since we plan to exit ahead of the early February earnings report. We want to keep our positions small to reduce risk.

Entry on   January 14 at $25.05 
Change since picked:     - 0.64 (small positions)   
Earnings Date          02/03/10 (confirmed)         
Average Daily Volume:        34 million      
Listed on   January 09, 2009    


CVR Energy - CVI - close: 8.32 change: -0.09 stop: 7.50

Profit taking in CVI was minor. The stock provided us another entry point on a dip toward $8.00. Traders did buy the dip and shares closed down 1%. I remain bullish on CVI here. Our target long-term target is $12.50. CVI has to push past resistance at the 200-dma (near $8.74) and the $10.00 level first.

Entry on   January 19 at $ 8.20 
Change since picked:     + 0.12 
Earnings Date          03/10/10 (confirmed)         
Average Daily Volume:       411 thousand     
Listed on   January 17, 2009    


Diana Shipping Inc. - DSX - close: 15.08 change: -0.51 stop: 14.95

The China news today was negative for the shipping stocks. If China is trying to slow down its economic growth that should mean less demand for trade and less demand for commodities, which in turn means less demand for shipping. Shares of DSX gapped open lower at $15.46 and fell toward round-number support at $15.00. This should be support but if there is any follow through tomorrow we'll get stopped out. It's possible that investors overreacted to the China news and stocks could bounce tomorrow but I would wait for a new move over $15.50 before launching new positions. This sector and this stock can be volatile. I do consider this an aggressive, higher-risk trade. We want to keep positions small. Our first target is $17.90.

Entry on   January 09 at $16.44 /gap higher entry
Change since picked:     - 1.36 (small positions)
Earnings Date          02/18/10 (unconfirmed)    
Average Daily Volume:       1.5 million       
Listed on   January 09, 2009    


Home Depot - HD - close: 28.66 change: -0.22 stop: 27.95 *new*

The building permits data and housing starts number this morning did not have much impact on shares of HD. The stock traded sideways in a narrow range. Readers may want to wait for a move over $29.00 before considering new bullish positions. I am inching up our stop loss to $27.95.

Our first target is $30.60. Our second target is $32.45. We'll plan to exit ahead of the February earnings report. FYI: The P&F chart is very bullish with a $44 target.

Entry on  December 14 at $28.82 *gap higher entry 
Change since picked:     - 0.16   			 
Earnings Date          02/23/10 (unconfirmed)     
Average Daily Volume:      15.7 million      
Listed on  December 12, 2009    


Hologic Inc. - HOLX - close: 15.63 change: -0.31 stop: 14.75

After yesterday's big breakout HOLX experienced some profit taking and gave back 1.9%. I remain bullish on the stock but I'm not suggesting new positions at this time. Our first target to take profits is at $16.45. Our second target is $17.25.

Entry on   January 13 at $15.15   (small positions)
Change since picked:     + 0.47   			  
Earnings Date          02/01/10 (unconfirmed)      
Average Daily Volume:       2.7 million      
Listed on   January 04, 2009    


North American Palladium - PAL - close: 4.60 change: -0.18 stop: 3.85

Honestly I'm a little surprised that PAL did not see heavier profit taking. The China news was very bad for miners and commodities. If the country is trying to curb its economic growth then demand should contract. Yet PAL only gave up 3.7%. The trend is still up although I probably would not launch new positions at this time. Our stop loss is at $3.85 but more conservative traders may want to use a tighter stop. Consider keeping your position size small to limit your risk. Our first target is $7.00.

Entry on   January 19 at $4.50 
Change since picked:    + 0.10   			
Earnings Date         02/22/10 (unconfirmed)   
Average Daily Volume:      1.4 million 
Listed on   January 17, 2009    


Potlatch Corp. - PCH - close: 32.32 change: -0.62 stop: 31.70 *new*

The widespread market decline did not have much impact on PCH. The stock merely traded toward the bottom of its narrow trading range. I am inching up our stop loss to $31.70. I'm not suggesting new positions at this time. Our first target to take profits is at $33.60. Our second target is $35.75.

Entry on  November 16 at $30.30 
Change since picked:     + 2.64 
Earnings Date          02/11/10 (unconfirmed) 
Average Daily Volume:       503 thousand     
Listed on  November 11, 2009    


ParkerVision Inc. - PRKR - close: 2.00 change: -0.01 stop: 1.79

In spite of the market's widespread weakness the semiconductor stocks didn't move much. The SOX semiconductor index fell 0.29%. Shares of PRKR gave up a penny after traders bought the dip again near $1.90. I remain bullish on PRKR but given the market's performance today readers may want to wait for a new move over $2.05 before launching positions.

I suspect that PRKR could see a short squeeze. The most recent data listed short interest at more than 16% of the very small 28 million-share float.

We want to keep positions small to limit our risk. Our first target to take profits is at $2.45. Our second target is $2.75. We do not want to hold over the mid March earnings report.

Entry on   January 19 at $ 2.01 (small positions)
Change since picked:     - 0.01   			
Earnings Date          03/15/10 (unconfirmed)    
Average Daily Volume:       183 thousand
Listed on   January 19, 2009    


Renolds American - RAI - close: 54.03 change: -0.57 stop: 52.85

Traders bought the dip in RAI at $53.42, which is near the rising 30-dma. I would still consider new positions but readers could wait for confirmation and look to buy a bounce tomorrow.

We have two positions. The plan is to exit our first position at $55.90. The target on our second position is $59.50.

1st Trade
Entry on  November 14 at $50.32  
Change since picked:     + 3.71  
                       /sell half @ 53.15 (+5.6%) 
2nd Trade
Entry on   January 19 at $54.60 (small positions)
Change since picked:     - 0.57  
 
Earnings Date          02/11/10 (unconfirmed)     
Average Daily Volume:       1.6 million      
Listed on  November 14, 2009    


Sigma Designs - SIGM - close: 11.48 change: -0.23 stop: 10.95

Shares of SIGM gave back a good chunk of yesterday's gains. I remain bullish on the stock above its 50-dma but readers could wait to buy another dip or a bounce near $11.20 again. The plan was to use small positions to keep our risk down. Our first target to take profits is at $12.95.

Entry on   January 15 at $11.30 
Change since picked:     + 0.18   			  
Earnings Date          03/04/10 (unconfirmed)      
Average Daily Volume:       392 thousand  
Listed on   January 09, 2009    


Vishay Intertechnology - VSH - close: 9.37 change: +0.55 stop: 8.45 *new*

Hmm... it's a case of the mystery rally. I can't find any news to explain the 6.2% rally in VSH especially on a day that most of the market turned lower. However, I won't complain. The stock broke out to new highs on very strong volume, which is bullish. I am raising our stop loss to $8.45. Our target is $9.95. The plan was to keep positions small to limit our risk.

Entry on   January 08 at $ 8.85 (small positions)
Change since picked:     + 0.52   			
Earnings Date          02/09/10 (unconfirmed)    
Average Daily Volume:       1.1 million 
Listed on   January 05, 2009    


Wright Express Corp. - WXS - close: 32.61 change: -0.90 stop: 30.95

WXS gave back yesterday's gains and more with a sharp spike lower at the open. The bounce off its lows was pretty meager. I would wait and watch for a new bounce near $32.00 before considering new positions.

Our first target is $35.90. I'm setting a longer-term target at $39.50 but we want to sell the majority of our position at $35.90. We will plan to exit ahead of the February earnings report.

Entry on  December 21 at $32.30   
Change since picked:     + 0.31   
Earnings Date          02/10/10 (unconfirmed)
Average Daily Volume:       209 thousand   
Listed on  December 19, 2009    


BEARISH Play Updates

Best Buy - BBY - close: 38.77 change: -0.33 stop: 41.26

BBY is inching closer toward its 200-dma. Unless the market really breaks down I am still expecting BBY to bounce from its 200-dma. Wait for the bounce to roll over before considering new bearish positions. I'm looking at the $40 or $41 levels as overhead resistance. Alternatively you can wait for a breakdown under the 200-dma near $38.45 as our next entry point. Our first target is $35.25.

Entry on   January 12 at $38.95 (small positions)
Change since picked:     - 0.18   			
Earnings Date          03/25/10 (unconfirmed)    
Average Daily Volume:       8.0 million      
Listed on   January 02, 2009    


CLOSED BULLISH PLAYS

Fifth Third Bancorp - FITB - close: 11.31 change: -0.08 stop: 10.49

We have run out of time on FITB. Shares held up reasonably well considering some of the disappointing earnings reports in the banking sector this morning. Unfortunately we have to exit to avoid FITB's earnings report tomorrow. I'd keep the stock on your watch list to see how it trades after the report.

chart:

Entry on   January 13 at $11.43 (small positions)/gap down entry
Change since picked:     - 0.12 <-- exit early (-1.0%)
Earnings Date          01/21/10 (confirmed)    
Average Daily Volume:      12.7 million 
Listed on   January 09, 2009    


Starbucks Corp. - SBUX - close: 23.29 change: -0.29 stop: 22.49

Our plan was to exit shares of SBUX today at the close to avoid earnings. The company appears to have beat expectations and raised its earnings guidance. The stock is actually trading above resistance near $24.00 in after hours but we'll see if this strength carries over into tomorrow. We may end up jumping back in.

chart:

Entry on  December 10 at $22.25   
Change since picked:     + 1.04 <-- early exit (+4.6%)
Earnings Date          01/20/10 (confirmed) 
Average Daily Volume:      10.9 million    
Listed on  November 30, 2009    


Seagate Technology - STX - close: 17.76 change: -0.40 stop: 17.45

STX almost hit our stop loss today. Shares broke down under the 30-dma and hit $17.46 before paring its losses. The stock still closed down 2.2%. Our plan was to exit tonight at the closing bell to avoid holding over earnings.

The company appears to have blown away the estimates and shares are trading higher in after hours. We'll have to see if this strength continues into Thursday's session. Just like SBUX we might end up jumping back into STX again relatively soon.

chart:

Entry on  December 19 at $17.83 /gap open higher (small positions)
Change since picked:     - 0.07 <-- exit early (-0.03%)
Earnings Date          01/20/10 (confirmed)        
Average Daily Volume:       8.2 million     
Listed on  December 19, 2009