Current Portfolio:


BULLISH Play Updates

Brocade Communications - BRCD - close 5.67 change -0.01 stop 5.34

Target(s): 5.95, 6.20, 6.50
Key Support/Resistance Areas: 6.60, 6.20, 6.00, 5.75, 5.40, 5.00
Current Gain/Loss: -1.39%
Time Frame: 1 to 3 weeks
New Positions: Yes

Comments:
9/18 & 9/20: I am concerned about BRCD per my 9/15 comments. However, the stock has held its ground and remains in a bull flag. It could just as easily break higher or lower. If a breakout occurs before a pullback I suggest readers begin to look for an exit or tighten stops to protect profits. $5.95 and $6.20 are the primary targets.

9/15: Oh what a day makes. At an analyst day this afternoon BRCD said they were expecting gross margins to be at the low end of their estimated range in 2011. This news sent the stock tumbling. As such, I want to tighten the stop $5.34 and suggest we step aside if it is hit. I've lowered the first target to $5.95 which is just below today's high.

9/14: BRCD pulled a repeat of yesterday and printed its third consecutive bottoming tail candlestick. The stock remains in a bull flag but could pullback with the broader market. I think pullbacks can be bought and will be short lived.

Current Position: Long BRCD stock, entry was at $5.75

Options Traders: Long October $6 CALL

Entry on September 10, 2010
Earnings 11/23/10 (unconfirmed)
Average Daily Volume: 12.7 million
Listed on September 4, 2010


Noble Corp - NE - close 35.37 change +0.29 stop 32.25

Target(s): 35.90, 36.80, 38.30
Key Support/Resistance Areas: 36.95, 38.50, 33.50
Current Gain/Loss: +2.23%
Time Frame: 1 to 3 weeks
New Positions: Yes, on pullbacks

Comments:
9/20: NE continues to look strong but I am concerned about the overbought conditions. My comments below remain valid.

9/18: NE made a nice recovery today closing +1.7% on the day. The stock remains in a bull flag on its daily chart. If we break higher prior to a pullback I suggest readers look for an exit or tighten stops to lock in profits. I've added $35.90 as a target which is approximately +4% from our entry, while $36.80 is +6%. I'll be looking to take profits or tighten stops as these levels approach.

9/15: NE traded down to $34.36 and bounced hard into the close. Our first target is just under the 200-day SMA and near the 8/4 highs. Our stop is below the converging 20, 50, and 100 day moving averages. My comments from the play release remain the same.

Current Position: Long NE stock, entry was at $34.60

Options Traders: Long October $36.00 CALL

Entry on September 15, 2010
Earnings 10/20/10 (unconfirmed)
Average Daily Volume: 3.7 million
Listed on September 11, 2010


Northern Oil & Gas - NOG - close 15.51 change +0.45 stop 14.25

Target(s): 15.68, 15.95, 16.50
Key Support/Resistance Areas: 17.25, 16.20, 15.75, 15.00, 14.60
Current Gain/Loss: +3.06%
Time Frame: 1 to 3 weeks
New Positions: Yes, on pullbacks

Comments:
9/20: NOG broke to the upside today and out of its bull flag. This trade has some potential but I am concerned about the overbought conditions in the broader market. Our first target is overhead and readers should consider taking profits or tightening stops to protect them as they approach.

9/18: NOG bounced nicely off of its 50-day SMA on Thursday and remains above support. The stock is forming bull flag on its daily chart and we're looking for a breakout. If NOG heads higher before going lower be prepared to take profits as our targets approach. I'm concerned we may see a spike higher only to see it fail. I've added a target of $15.68 which is +4% higher than our entry. My comments from below remain valid.

9/14: We are long NOG at $15.05. There is solid support all the way down to $14.60 including an upward trend line, the 20 and 50-day moving averages and prior support/resistance levels. Pullbacks should get bought and I like new positions on any further dips. Our first target has been lowered 5 cents to $15.95 which is +6% higher than our entry. The play release is below.

Current Position: Long NOG stock, entry was at $15.05

Options Traders: Long October $15.00 CALL

Entry on September 14, 2010
Earnings 10/25/10 (unconfirmed)
Average Daily Volume: 506,000
Listed on September 8, 2010


iPath S&P 500 VIX ST Futures - VXX - close 17.16 change -0.22 stop NONE

Target(s): 18.45, 19.50, 20.40
Key Support/Resistance Areas: 17.50, 18.50, 19.75, 20.60
Current Gain/Loss: -5.48%
Time Frame: 1 week
New Positions: Yes, with tight stops.

Comments:
NOTE: I view this as an aggressive trade so small position size is recommended. Long VXX is a bearish play on equities, however, it is listed as long play because we are long the underlying instrument.

9/20: I want to temporarily remove the stop in VXX as it is too close to current levels. We will get a spike in volatility in the coming days which is when we will close VXX for a profit, or tighten stops. This is risky move and a judgment call based on the current overbought conditions and low volatility levels. My comments below remain valid.

9/18: My guess is that a breakout prior to a pullback will most likely stop us out in VXX. But I like volatility here as the market is in much need of a healthy pullback. A pullback will likely be fast and furious and VXX should spike 5% to 10% which will give us an opportunity to close this position for a profit. I've added a target of $18.50. Be ready to take profits or tighten stops to protect them as our targets approach. My comments from below have not changed.

9/15: VXX opened higher today but struggled to hold on to its gains as the market recovered from early losses. Tomorrow's jobless claims is likely to set the tone for the broader market for the remainder of the week. If there is a sell-off I can easily see VXX surging 5% to 10% higher. Otherwise, it will inch closer to our stop and we may need to exhibit some patience.

Current Position: Long VXX stock, entry was at 17.70

Options Traders: Long October $19.00 CALL

Entry on September 14, 2010
Earnings N/A (unconfirmed)
Average Daily Volume: 21 million
Listed on September 13, 2010


BEARISH Play Updates

Freeport-McMoRan - FCX - close 83.35 change +1.63 stop 84.55

Target(s): 80.20, 79.40, 78.00
Key Support/Resistance Areas: 84.25, 76.50, 75.00
Current Gain/Loss: -2.96%
Time Frame: 1 week
New Positions: Yes, if playing for quick pullback

Comments:
9/20: A Goldman Sachs upgrade on FCX to buy from neutral sent the stock +2% higher today. As a result, our position suffered greatly and now we need to look for an exit. This move higher in FCX can not continue but it appears any dips will most likely get bought. I've added an immediate target of $80.20, while $79.40 will fill a gap higher. FCX should make it down to these levels on a pullback and is where I suggest readers close positions or tighten stops to protect capital, even if it means a loss. This could all come at once on one big down day.

9/18: FCX looks toppy and ready for pullback, but then again most things do right now. We are looking for a retracement of some of the recent gains which could come quick and hit our targets. Be ready to close positions if it occurs.

Current Position: Short FCX stock, entry was at $80.95

Options Traders: Long October $75.00 PUT

Entry on September 15, 2008
Earnings: 10/20/2010 (unconfirmed)
Average Daily Volume: 10 million
Listed on September 14, 2010


CLOSED BEARISH PLAYS

Temple-Inland - TIN - close 18.90 change -1.18 stop 19.80

Target(s): 18.60, 18.10
Key Support/Resistance Areas: 20.25, 18.00
Final Gain/Loss: +4.99%
Time Frame: 1 to 2 weeks
new Positions: Closed

Comments:
9/20: That was quick! Goldman Sachs made some cautious comments about the sector/stock and TIN triggered our short entry at the open. The wave of selling I referred to in the play release began in earnest. Our final target was hit very quickly so the position was closed for a +5% gain. After the lambasting the stock took this morning I suspect TIN will experience resistance near current levels and another wave of selling could begin if the broader market begins a correction.

9/18: We are back with a short play in TIN after closing a nice winning trade several weeks ago. On 8/31 the stock broke to the upside on heavy volume and has rallied +30% ever since. Over the past two weeks TIN has been drifting higher in an ascending channel on light volume, which is sign this move higher is built on weak foundation and may be coming to an end. If TIN falls out of the channel I believe it could create a wave of selling as traders who bought the stock will run for the exits to lock in profits. The stock is also underneath its 100-day and 200-day SMA's. I suggest we initiate short positions if TIN trades to $19.30 which is below Thursday's low and the 50-day SMA. More nimble traders may want to consider a short position at current levels but it is a riskier situation. If triggered, our two targets are -4.5% and -6.5% lower.

Closed Position: Short TIN stock at $18.10, entry was at $19.10

Annotated chart:

Entry on September 20, 2010
Earnings: 10/19/2010 (unconfirmed)
Average Daily Volume: 2.3 million
Listed on September 18, 2010


Intuit, Inc. - INTU - close 45.52 change +0.63 stop 45.52

Target(s): 42.90, 42.20, 41.40
Key Support/Resistance Areas: 45.00, 43.25, 42.00, 41.35, 50-day SMA
Current Gain/Loss: -5.05%
Time Frame: 1 to 2 weeks
New Positions: Closed

Comments:
9/20: INTU simply won't pullback, despite downgrades and price targets from analysts being reached. Our stop was hit this morning so we are flat for -5% loss.

9/18: We could be in trouble in this play as the stock broke its intraday downtrend line on Thursday and is consolidating near its all-time highs. A double top scenario is still in play but broader market strength will most likely cause our stop to get hit. I like new positions here with tight stops, i.e. you are either right or right out of the trade with little at risk. I've adjusted the targets and the stop up a few cents. If INTU falls be ready to close positions or tighten stops as I think dips will get bought.

9/11: We got a little unlucky with the gap lower in INTU on Friday but it was expected on the heels of a downgrade. Nonetheless, I'm looking for the stock to continue lower. The broader market will most likely determine how far this goes. Our first two targets are -3% and -4.5% lower from here. The play write-up is below.

Closed Position: Short INTU stock at $45.52, entry was at $43.33

Annotated chart:

Entry on September, 10, 2010
Earnings: 11/18/2010 (unconfirmed)
Average Daily Volume: 4 million
Listed on September 9, 2010