Editor's Note:
Technology stocks were strong performers today although gains were overshadowed by a rally in commodities. Our new play in EXPE has been triggered.

-James

Current Portfolio:


BULLISH Play Updates

Capital One Financial - COF - close: 55.37 change: +0.50

Stop Loss: 51.75
Target(s): 57.00, 59.50
Current Gain/Loss: + 4.3%
Time Frame: 4 to 8 weeks
New Positions: see below

Comments:
05/18 update: COF continued to bounce for the third day in a row. Shares are nearing potential resistance at its April highs near $55.50. I wouldn't be surprised to see shares pause and retrace here before moving higher.

Current Position: Long COF stock @ $53.07

- or -

Long the June $55 calls (COF1118F55) Entry @ $0.96

05/17 New stop loss @ 51.75

Entry on May 5 at $53.07
Earnings Date 07/21/11 (unconfirmed)
Average Daily Volume: 3.7 million
Listed on May 4th, 2011


Discover Financial Services - DFS - close: 25.33 change: +0.07

Stop Loss: 23.90
Target(s): 27.25
Current Gain/Loss: + 5.1%
Time Frame: 6 to 8 weeks
New Positions: see below

Comments:
05/18 update: There is no change from my prior comments on DFS. Shares hit new relative highs at $25.45 this afternoon. We are planning to exit our May $24 calls tomorrow at the closing bell.

(Small Positions)

Current Position: long DFS stock @ $24.10

- or -

Long the May $24 calls (DFS1121E24) Entry @ 0.50

05/18 Plan on exiting May $24 call at Thursday's close
05/17 New stop loss @ 23.90
05/04 Triggered at $24.10.
04/30 Added an alternative entry point @ $25.25
04/26 New trigger @ 24.10, New stop loss @ 23.40

Entry on May 4 at $24.10
Earnings Date 06/23/11 (unconfirmed)
Average Daily Volume: 5.9 million
Listed on April 12th, 2011


Dr. Pepper Snapple Group - DPS - close: 41.64 change: -0.58

Stop Loss: 37.90
Target(s): 44.90
Current Gain/Loss: unopened
Time Frame: 8 to 10 weeks
New Positions: Yes, see trigger

Comments:
05/18 update: We've been waiting for a pull back in DPS but I was surprised to see it today with the market moving higher. I am suggesting a buy-the-dip trigger to open bullish positions at $40.25. If triggered we'll use a stop loss at $37.90. Our target is $44.90.

buy-the-dip Trigger @ $40.25

Suggested Position: buy DPS stock @ $40.25

- or -

Buy the August $45 call (DPS1120H45) current ask $0.80

Entry on May x at $xx.xx
Earnings Date 07/28/11 (unconfirmed)
Average Daily Volume: 2.1 million
Listed on May 14th, 2011


EMC Corp. - EMC - close: 27.76 change: +0.34

Stop Loss: 26.45
Target(s): 29.95, 32.25
Current Gain/Loss: + 0.7%
Time Frame: 6 to 8 weeks
New Positions: see below

Comments:
05/18 update: EMC produced a +1.2% bounce but volume was pretty low today, which doesn't communicate a lot of confidence. EMC is approaching short-term resistance at $28.00.

Current Position: Long EMC stock @ $27.55

- or -

Long the June $27.00 calls (EMC1118F27) Entry @ $1.35

Second Option Position (listed 05/12/11)

Long the June $29.00 calls (EMC1118F29) Entry @ $0.45

05/12 New entry point. Added second option position.

Entry on May 3 at $27.55
Earnings Date 04/20/11
Average Daily Volume: 21.4 million
Listed on April 27th, 2011


Expedia Inc. - EXPE - close: 26.64 change: +1.08

Stop Loss: 24.74
Target(s): 27.75, 29.75
Current Gain/Loss: + 3.0%
Time Frame: 6 to 8 weeks
New Positions: see below

Comments:
05/18 update: Thankfully we didn't have to wait very long for EXPE to hit our bullish trigger. The stock opened higher at $25.63 and quickly hit our trigger to open positions a $25.85. Shares traded over $27 intraday and settled with a +4.2% gain. If you missed the entry point this morning I'd look for a dip near $26.00. Our targets are $27.75 and $29.75.

Current Position: Long EXPE stock @ 25.85

- or -

Long the June $25 call (EXPE1118F25) Entry @ $1.20

- or -

Long the July $27 call(EXPE1116G27) Entry @ $0.95

Annotated chart:

Entry on May 18 at $25.85
Earnings Date 07/28/11 (unconfirmed)
Average Daily Volume: 5.5 million
Listed on May 17th, 2011


Gilead Sciences Inc. - GILD - close: 40.34 change: -0.13

Stop Loss: 39.95
Target(s): 44.75
Current Gain/Loss: - 2.5%
Time Frame: 8 to 9 weeks
New Positions: see below

Comments:
05/18 update: Uh-oh! GILD did not really participate in the market's bounce today. Shares dipped toward support near $40 again before bouncing this afternoon. The intraday low was actually $39.98. I would wait for a rally from current levels before considering new positions.

Current Position: Long GILD stock @ $41.38

- or -

Long the June $41 calls (GILD1118F41) Entry @ $1.44

05/17 new stop loss @ 39.95

Entry on May 13 at $41.38
Earnings Date 07/19/11 (unconfirmed)
Average Daily Volume: 10.9 million
Listed on May 12th, 2011


Riverbed Technology, Inc. - RVBD - close: 37.98 change: +1.42

Stop Loss: 34.95
Target(s): 39.90, 43.00
Current Gain/Loss: + 1.9%
Time Frame: 6 to 8 weeks
New Positions: see below

Comments:
05/18 update: RVBD outperformed the NASDAQ today with its +3.8% gain. The close back above the 100-dma is another positive development. The lack of volume is a little bit concerning. The path of least resistance seems to be up again.

Current Position: Long RVBD stock @ $37.25

- or -

Long the June $40 call (RVBD1118F40) Entry @ $1.15

Entry on May 12 at $37.25
Earnings Date 07/21/11 (unconfirmed)
Average Daily Volume: 5.1 million
Listed on May 11th, 2011


SAIC, Inc. - SAI - close: 17.48 change: +0.17

Stop Loss: 16.95
Target(s): 18.40
Current Gain/Loss: + 0.8%
Time Frame: 8 to 9 weeks
New Positions: see below

Comments:
05/18 update: SAI is bouncing back toward the top of its trading range and resistance at $17.60. Until SAI breaks out past this level I am not suggesting new positions. Even if SAI does breakout I remain wary of this stock. Defense contractors could suffer once the budget cut talks resume in Washington.

Current Position: long SAI stock @ $17.33

- or -

Long the August $18.00 call (SAI1120H18) entry @ $0.55

04/30 Warning, SAI has produced a reversal. consider an early exit
04/27 New stop loss @ 16.95

Entry on April 6 at $17.33
Earnings Date 06/02/11 (unconfirmed)
Average Daily Volume: 2.4 million
Listed on April 5th, 2011


Semiconductor HOLDRs - SMH - close: 36.44 change: +0.80

Stop Loss: 35.49
Target(s): 39.95
Current Gain/Loss: unopened
Time Frame: 8 to 12 weeks
New Positions: Yes, see trigger

Comments:
05/18 update: Semiconductor stocks were strong performers today. The SOX gained +1.8% and the SMH rallied +2.2%.

Currently we're waiting for a breakout past resistance at $37.00. Our trigger to open positions is at $37.05. If the market's sell-off continues I might reconsider buying a dip near the 50-dma.

The SMH doesn't move very fast so it could take several weeks for this play to work out. Our first target is $39.95. The Point & Figure chart for SMH is bullish with a $61 target.

FYI: The top ten components in the SMH are: TXN, INTC, AMAT, ALTR, ADI, LLTC, XLNX, KLAC, BRCM, and ATML.

Trigger @ 37.05

Suggested Position: buy the SMH @ $37.05

- or -

Buy the August $40 calls (SMH1120H40) current ask $0.61

Entry on May x at $xx.xx
Earnings Date --/--/--
Average Daily Volume: 9.8 million
Listed on May 12th, 2011


DENTSPLY Intl. - XRAY - close: 39.63 change: +0.44

Stop Loss: 37.30
Target(s): 42.00, 44.50
Current Gain/Loss: + 1.6%
Time Frame: 6 to 8 weeks
New Positions: see below

Comments:
05/18 update: XRAY is extending its gains but it's doing so without volume. The $40.00 level might be round-number resistance. We'll have to wait and see. I am not suggesting new positions at this time. Our profit targets are $42.00 and $44.50. FYI: The Point & Figure chart for XRAY is bullish with a $59 target.

NOTE: Readers may want to avoid the options. XRAY doesn't have a lot of option volume and the spreads are wide, which puts traders at a disadvantage.

Current Position: Long XRAY stock @ 39.00

- or -

Long the June $40 call (XRAY1118F40) Entry @ 0.60

Entry on May 12 at $39.00
Earnings Date 07/25/11 (unconfirmed)
Average Daily Volume: 904 thousand
Listed on May 7th, 2011


BEARISH Play Updates

Raytheon Co. - RTN - close: 49.27 change: +0.42

Stop Loss: 50.15
Target(s): 45.25
Current Gain/Loss: - 1.2%
Time Frame: 3 to 4 weeks
New Positions: see below

Comments:
05/18 update: The defense sector indices rallied about +0.8% and RTN followed suit. This stock should have resistance at the $50.00 level but more conservative traders may want to abandon ship anyway. Our May puts are quickly vanishing. We'll exit these puts tomorrow (Thursday) at the closing bell, assuming they have a bid. No new positions at this time.

Small Positions

Current Position: Short RTN stock @ $48.68

- or -

Long the May $47.00 PUTs (RTN1121Q47) Entry @ $0.28

Entry on May 2 at $48.68
Earnings Date 04/28/11
Average Daily Volume: 2.6 million
Listed on April 30th, 2011


St. Jude Medical - STJ - close: 52.50 change: +0.80

Stop Loss: 54.20
Target(s): 47.00
Current Gain/Loss: unopened
Time Frame: 6 to 8 weeks
New Positions: Yes, see trigger

Comments:
05/18 update: STJ produced +1.5% bounce and is almost past key resistance at several of its moving averages. We're still waiting for a breakdown. Our trigger to open small bearish positions is at the $51.00 level. Our first target is $47.00.

I would keep our position size small (about half or less than a normal trade) to limit our risk.

Trigger @ 51.00 (Small Positions)

Suggested Position: Short STJ stock @ 51.00

- or -

buy the June $50 PUT (SJT1118R50) current ask $0.95

Entry on May x at $xx.xx
Earnings Date 07/21/11 (unconfirmed)
Average Daily Volume: 2.6 million
Listed on May 16th, 2011


Valero Energy - VLO - close: 26.58 change: +0.68

Stop Loss: 27.05
Target(s): 23.00
Current Gain/Loss: unopened
Time Frame: 3 to 4 weeks
New Positions: Yes, see trigger

Comments:
05/18 update: A big bounce in oil prices fueled gains for the energy sector and VLO gapped open higher and closed up +2.6%. Currently our plan is to launch bearish positions at $25.49. As an alternative we can watch for a failed rally near $28.00 and its 50-dma.

Trigger @ $25.49

Suggested Position: Short VLO stock @ $25.49

- or -

buy the June $25 PUT (VLO1118R25) current ask $0.70

Entry on May x at $xx.xx
Earnings Date 07/27/11 (unconfirmed)
Average Daily Volume: 11 million
Listed on May 14th, 2011