Editor's Note:
The fact that stocks are not seeing any profit taking following last week's gains is a bullish signal. That doesn't mean the market won't see profit taking but thus far no one is in a selling mood. Traders are probably waiting for the jobs data on Friday morning.

-James

Current Portfolio:


BULLISH Play Updates

AMBEV - ABV - close: 34.47 change: -0.02

Stop Loss: 31.25
Target(s): 35.75, 37.75
Current Gain/Loss: unopened
Time Frame: 6 to 9 weeks
New Positions: Yes, see trigger

Comments:
07/06 update: ABV spent the day hovering near its highs. I don't see any changes from my Tuesday night comments. I am suggesting bullish positions on a dip at $33.25. If triggered we'll use a stop loss at $31.25. Our multi-week upside targets are $35.75 and $37.75 (given enough time). My biggest concern is that I can't find an earnings report date for this Brazilian company. If they report earnings and miss or disappoint while we're long the stock it could be very painful.

Trigger @ $31.25

Suggested Position: buy ABV stock @ $31.25

- or -

buy the Aug. $34 call (ABV1120H34)

Entry on July x at $xx.xx
Earnings Date --/--/-- (unconfirmed)
Average Daily Volume: 6.3 million
Listed on July 5, 2011


American Express Co. - AXP - close: 52.76 change: +0.43

Stop Loss: 49.25
Target(s): 54.75
Current Gain/Loss: unopened
Time Frame: up to its earnings report
New Positions: Yes, see trigger

Comments:
07/06 update: AXP was bucking the trend in financials today. The banking indices and the XLF ETF all closed lower. Yet AXP posted a +0.8% gain after rebounding from its morning lows near $51.80.

There is no change from my weekend comments. On a short-term basis the stock is overbought. I am suggesting we launch bullish positions on a dip at $51.00. More conservative traders could wait for a dip closer to $50.00 instead. I'm setting our target at $54.90 but that might be a little optimistic since we do not want to hold over the July 20th earnings report.

Trigger @ 51.00

Suggested Position: buy AXP stock @ 51.00

- or -

buy the Aug. $50 call (AXP1120H50)

Entry on July x at $xx.xx
Earnings Date 07/20/11 (unconfirmed)
Average Daily Volume: 7.0 million
Listed on July 2, 2011


Cheesecake Factory Inc. - CAKE - close: 33.16 change: -0.18

Stop Loss: 30.75
Target(s): 33.60, 37.00
Current Gain/Loss: + 5.1%
Time Frame: 8 to 10 weeks
New Positions: see below

Comments:
07/06 update: CAKE slipped -0.5% after churning sideways all day. There is no change from my prior comments. More conservative traders may want to exit the July calls immediately. I am not suggesting new bullish positions at this time. Currently our first target to take profits and exit the calls is at $33.60. The high today was only $33.40.

Earlier Comments:
Keep in mind that CAKE doesn't move very fast (at least not normally) so we'll need some patience for this trade to work. FYI: The Point & Figure chart for CAKE is bullish with a $59 target.

Current Position: Long CAKE stock @ $31.53

- or -

Long the July $33 call (CAKE1116G33) Entry @ $0.75

07/05 adjusted 1st target to $33.60
07/02 new stop loss @ 30.75
06/30 consider the opportunity cost of staying in CAKE. maybe you should exit early
06/28 New stop loss @ 29.65
06/09 CAKE is bouncing from the 200-dma as expected.
06/04 More conservative traders may want to exit early. We are expecting a drop to the 200-dma.

Entry on May 20 at $31.53
Earnings Date 07/21/11 (unconfirmed)
Average Daily Volume: 1.0 million
Listed on May 19th, 2011


Dr. Pepper Snapple - DPS - close: 42.81 change: +0.07

Stop Loss: 39.40
Target(s): 46.00
Current Gain/Loss: unopened
Time Frame: 6 to 8 weeks
New Positions: Yes, see trigger

Comments:
07/06 update: DPS saw its rally stall a bit today but shares still eked out a gain. Currently our plan is to buy a dip near support at $41.25. More aggressive traders may want to start inching up their trigger point to launch positions. Normally I would avoid holding over earnings but I am tempted to hold over DPS' late July earnings report. Our multi-week target is $46.00.

Trigger @ $41.25

Suggested Position: buy DPS stock @ $41.25

- or -

buy the Aug. $40 call (DPS1120H40)

Entry on July x at $xx.xx
Earnings Date 07/28/11 (unconfirmed)
Average Daily Volume: 1.8 million
Listed on June 30, 2011


Ecolab Inc. - ECL - close: 56.62 change: +0.23

Stop Loss: 53.45
Target(s): 57.00, 59.90
Current Gain/Loss: + 6.1%
Time Frame: 6 to 8 weeks
New Positions: see below

Comments:
07/06 update: ECL continues to churn sideways inside the $56-57 zone. There is no change from my prior comments. Cautious traders may want to exit the July calls immediately to lock in a gain.

If ECL pulls back the stock should find some support near the $55.00 area. I am not suggesting new positions at current levels.

Current Position: Long ECL stock @ 53.35

- or -

Long July $55 call (ECL1116G55) Entry @ $0.60

07/02 Sell half. ECL @ 56.76 (+6.3%), Option @ $1.75 (+191.6%)
06/30 new stop loss @ 53.45
06/18 new stop loss @ 52.45
06/04 new stop loss @ 51.90

Entry on May 26 at $53.35
Earnings Date 07/26/11 (unconfirmed)
Average Daily Volume: 1.5 million
Listed on May 18th, 2011


Interpublic Group - IPG - close: 12.59 change: -0.16

Stop Loss: 11.49
Target(s): 13.20
Current Gain/Loss: + 3.4%
Time Frame: 4 to 6 weeks
New Positions: see below

Comments:
07/06 update: IPG was overbought and due for some profit taking. Shares lost -1.25% today. Don't be fooled by the afternoon rebound off its intraday low. I would expect a deeper correction. I am not suggesting new positions at this time. More conservative traders may want to use a stop closer to $12.00 instead.

Our plan was to keep our position size small. Our first target is $13.20 near the 2011 highs. FYI: We do not want to hold over the late July earnings report.

- small positions -

Current Position: Long IPG stock @ $12.17

- or -

Long Aug $12.00 call (IPG1120H12) Entry @ $0.85

07/02 new stop loss @ 11.49

Entry on June 29 at $12.17
Earnings Date 07/28/11 (unconfirmed)
Average Daily Volume: 7.5 million
Listed on June 28, 2011


Macy's Inc. - M - close: 28.87 change: -0.73

Stop Loss: 27.90
Target(s): 29.90, 32.25
Current Gain/Loss: + 2.0%
Time Frame: 6 to 8 weeks
New Positions: see below

Comments:
07/06 update: After yesterday's failed rally at resistance near $30.00 shares of Macy's are accelerating lower. This is not a surprise and I cautioned readers to expect a pull back. Tomorrow could be interesting as several retailers will share their June same-store sales numbers. Positive results could naturally boost the retail stocks while a disappointment could spark additional profit taking.

Our final target remains $32.25 but cautious traders may want to exit our July calls completely right here.

I am not suggesting new positions at this time. Our plan was to keep positions small to limit our risk.

- small positions -

Current Position: Long M stock @ $28.30

- or -

(short-term)
Long July $29 call (M1116G29) Entry @ $0.56

- or -

(a bit longer-term)
Long Aug. $30 call (M1120H30) Entry @ $0.85

07/02 new stop loss @ 27.90
07/01 1st Target Hit @ 29.90 (+5.6%), options @ +107.1% (July) & +52.9% (Aug)

Entry on June 28 at $28.30
Earnings Date 08/10/11 (unconfirmed)
Average Daily Volume: 8.6 million
Listed on June 27, 2011


Marsh & McLennan Companies - MMC - close: 31.32 change: -0.16

Stop Loss: 29.75
Target(s): 34.00
Current Gain/Loss: unopened
Time Frame: 6 to 8 weeks
New Positions: Yes, see trigger

Comments:
07/06 update: MMC is still consolidating sideways. I am adjusting our buy-the-dip trigger fro $31.00 down to $30.65. If triggered we'll use a stop at $29.75. Our target is $34.00 but that might be a little optimistic. MMC does not move super fast. We do not want to hold over the early August earnings report.

Trigger @ 30.65

Suggested Position: buy MMC stock @ 31.00

- or -

buy the Aug. $31 call (MMC1120H31)

Entry on July x at $xx.xx
Earnings Date 08/03/11 (unconfirmed)
Average Daily Volume: 3.4 million
Listed on July 2, 2011


Nanometrics Inc. - NANO - close: 19.77 change: +0.03

Stop Loss: 17.65
Target(s): 19.25, 22.00
Current Gain/Loss: +17.5%
Time Frame: 6 to 8 weeks or more
New Positions: see below

Comments:
07/06 update: NANO is still holding up pretty well. Shares actually managed a gain today. There is no change from my prior comments.

If the market does see some profit taking this stock could easily fall toward $18.00 or lower. Cautious traders may want to exit completely right here since the $20.00 level is resistance. Our final target remains $22.00.

FYI: NANO does have options but the spreads are so wide I wouldn't trade them.

Current Position: Long NANO stock @ $16.82

07/05 new stop loss @ 17.65
07/02 new stop loss @ 17.45. Consider an early exit right here @ $20.00
06/30 new stop loss @ 16.90
06/28 First Target hit @ 19.25 (+14.4%)
06/28 New stop loss @ 16.49

Entry on June 13 at $16.82
Earnings Date 08/04/11 (unconfirmed)
Average Daily Volume: 467 thousand
Listed on June 11th, 2011


UnitedHealth Group Inc. - UNH - close: 53.13 change: +0.28

Stop Loss: 49.85
Target(s): 54.75
Current Gain/Loss: + 3.6%
Time Frame: 3 to 4 weeks
New Positions: see below

Comments:
07/06 update: UNH spent the day sliding sideways and just happened to end on an up note. There is no change from my weekend comments. I would wait for a dip into the $51.00-50.00 area before launching new positions.

We do not want to hold over the July 19th earnings report.

- small positions -

Suggested Position: Long UNH stock @ $51.25

- or -

Long July $50 call (UNH1116G50) Entry @ $2.07

07/02 new stop loss @ 49.85

Entry on June 24 at $51.25
Earnings Date 07/19/11 (confirmed)
Average Daily Volume: 7.9 million
Listed on June 23, 2011


BEARISH Play Updates

Aon Corp. - AON - close: 51.48 change: -0.03

Stop Loss: 52.05
Target(s): 47.00
Current Gain/Loss: + 0.2%
Time Frame: 6 to 8 weeks
New Positions: see below

Comments:
07/06 update: Traders bought the dip at $51.00 this morning. We remain in danger here. Another surge higher in the stock market and AON might trade over resistance near $52.00. At the moment AON is hovering under its 100-dma. I am not suggesting new positions at this time.

(small positions only)

Current Position: short AON stock @ 51.61

07/02 Readers may want to exit early with AON @ 51.75
06/18 adjusted exit target to $47.00
06/16 planned exit, June $50 put @ +11.1%
06/16 new stop loss @ 52.05
05/31 New stop loss @ 52.75
05/23 gap down entry @ 51.61

Entry on May 23 at $51.61
Earnings Date 07/29/11 (unconfirmed)
Average Daily Volume: 1.7 million
Listed on May 21st, 2011


St. Jude Medical - STJ - close: 47.89 change: +0.15

Stop Loss: 50.05
Target(s): 47.00, 45.25
Current Gain/Loss: + 6.1%
Time Frame: 6 to 8 weeks
New Positions: see below

Comments:
07/06 update: There was no follow through on yesterday's reversal lower, which is disappointing. Yet STJ still has a bearish trend of lower highs. Cautious traders may want to lower their stops closer to $49.00 instead. I'm not suggesting new positions at this time.

Earlier Comments:
We wanted to keep our position size small (about half or less than a normal trade) to limit our risk.

(Small Positions)

Current Position: Short STJ stock @ 51.00

07/01 STJ has filled the gap just as expected
06/25 Adjusted final target to $45.25
06/23 1st target exceeded. Gap down at $46.50 (+8.8%)
06/23 new stop loss @ 50.05
06/16 exit June $50 put @ $1.95 (+95%)
06/15 prepare to exit our June $50 puts on Thursday at the close
06/04 New stop loss @ 51.05, added second target at $45.75
05/23 New stop loss @ 52.26

Entry on May 20 at $51.00
Earnings Date 07/21/11 (unconfirmed)
Average Daily Volume: 2.6 million
Listed on May 16th, 2011