Editor's Note:
The stock market has been very resilient. The jobs number on Friday morning was a huge miss. Yet stocks rebounded off their morning lows. It could have been significantly worse. The lack of selling is bullish.

We are going to take a more aggressive approach to new plays and adjust some triggers on the current play list. Stocks remain overbought so readers will want to strongly consider keeping your position size small to limit risk. Earnings season is about to start and we could see a spike in volatility.

-James

Current Portfolio:


BULLISH Play Updates

AMBEV - ABV - close: 33.05 change: -0.84

Stop Loss: 31.25
Target(s): 35.75, 37.75
Current Gain/Loss: - 0.6%
Time Frame: 6 to 9 weeks
New Positions: see below

Comments:
07/09 update: ABV has pulled back toward support as expected. Shares gapped open lower at $33.50 and quickly hit our trigger to launch bullish positions at $33.25. I would still consider new positions now. More conservative traders could wait and see if ABV dips toward technical support at its 50-dma near $32 before opening positions.

Earlier Comments:
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. Readers may want to keep their position size small.

Current Position: Long ABV stock @ $33.25

- or -

Long Aug. $34 call (ABV1120H34) entry @ 0.90

chart:

Entry on July 8 at $33.25
Earnings Date --/--/-- (unconfirmed)
Average Daily Volume: 6.3 million
Listed on July 5, 2011


American Express Co. - AXP - close: 53.07 change: -0.52

Stop Loss: 49.25
Target(s): 54.95
Current Gain/Loss: unopened
Time Frame: up to its earnings report
New Positions: Yes, see trigger

Comments:
07/09 update: We are taking a more aggressive approach to bullish entries in AXP. We will raise our buy-the-dip trigger to $52.00 with a stop loss at $50.95. Truly aggressive traders could buy AXP now. We only have about eight trading days left since we do not want to hold over the earnings report. I am inching our upside target to $54.95.

Trigger @ 52.00

Suggested Position: buy AXP stock @ 52.00

- or -

buy the Aug. $52.50 call (AXP1120H52.5) *updated strike*

chart:

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: 33.50 change: -0.33

Stop Loss: 31.90
Target(s): 33.60, 37.00
Current Gain/Loss: + 6.2%
Time Frame: 8 to 10 weeks
New Positions: see below

Comments:
07/09 update: CAKE continues to look strong. Traders bought the dip on Friday morning and CAKE reduced its loss to just -0.9%. I would still not open new positions with CAKE this close to resistance at $34.00. Please note our new stop loss at $31.90. We do not want to hold over the July 20th earnings report.

Current Position: Long CAKE stock @ $31.53

- or -

July $33 call (CAKE1116G33) Entry @ $0.75, exit 0.80 (+6.6%)

07/09 new stop loss @ 31.90
07/07 Target hit @ 33.60. CAKE +6.5%, option @ $0.80 (+6.6%)
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.

chart:

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


Cepheid - CPHD - close: 32.40 change: -0.94

Stop Loss: 31.85
Target(s): 33.00
Current Gain/Loss: - 1.8%
Time Frame: 3 to 5 weeks
New Positions: see below

Comments:
07/09 update: The stock market's weakness on Friday morning has pulled CPHD down toward significant support at its rising 50-dma near $32. This looks like a great entry point to buy the dip. My only concern is that CPHD did not see much of a bounce on Friday afternoon. Yet with our stop loss at $31.85 I would still open new positions here. Our target is $36.00. Aggressive traders could certainly aim higher but we don't want to hold over earnings in late July (date is unconfirmed).

NOTE: Readers may want to avoid the call options. The spreads are wide.

Current Position: Long CPHD stock @ $33.00

- or -

Long AUG $35 call (CPHD1120H35) entry @ $1.45

chart:

Entry on July 7 at $33.00
Earnings Date 07/21/11 (unconfirmed)
Average Daily Volume = 484 thousand
Listed on July 6, 2011


Dr. Pepper Snapple - DPS - close: 41.92 change: +0.27

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

Comments:
07/09 update: DPS spiked down to $41.41 on Friday morning but quickly bounced. I am adjusting our entry point strategy. Instead of waiting for a dip to $41.25 I am suggesting bullish positions now. Conservative traders could still wait for a dip near $41.00 or even $40.00 instead. We will raise our stop loss to $39.90. 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.

NOTE: I am updated our call strike to the Aug. $45s.

open positions now

Suggested Position: buy DPS stock @ current levels

- or -

buy the Aug. $45 call (DPS1120H45) current ask $0.35

chart:

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


Ecolab Inc. - ECL - close: 56.50 change: -0.14

Stop Loss: 53.90
Target(s): --.--, 59.90
Current Gain/Loss: + 5.9%
Time Frame: 6 to 8 weeks
New Positions: see below

Comments:
07/09 update: Profit taking on Friday morning pushed ECL down toward $56 but the stock recouped most of its losses. The trend remains higher but I would not launch new positions at this time. Please note our new stop loss at $53.90. More conservative traders may want to use a stop near $55 instead.

It was our plan to exit our July calls at the closing bell on Friday.

Current Position: Long ECL stock @ 53.35

- or -

July $55 call (ECL1116G55) Entry @ $0.60, exit $1.45 (+141.6%)

07/09 new stop loss @ 53.90
07/08 planned exit. July $55 call @ $1.45 (+141.6%)
07/07 Plan on exiting our July calls tomorrow at the close
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

chart:

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: 12.72 change: -0.12

Stop Loss: 12.20
Target(s): 13.20
Current Gain/Loss: + 4.5%
Time Frame: 4 to 6 weeks
New Positions: see below

Comments:
07/09 update: IPG limited profit taking on Friday to less than 1%. Shares still look a little bit overbought here. I am not suggesting new positions at this time. Please note our new stop loss at $12.20.

Our plan was to keep our position size small. Our 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

07/09 new stop loss @ 12.20
07/02 new stop loss @ 11.49

chart:

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: 30.42 change: -0.04

Stop Loss: 28.49
Target(s): 29.90, 32.25
Current Gain/Loss: + 7.4%
Time Frame: 6 to 8 weeks
New Positions: see below

Comments:
07/09 update: Many of the consumer discretionary and retail names have been very resilient. M gapped open lower on Friday morning and almost made it back into positive territory. The rebound and the breakout past resistance at $30.00 is bullish. I would consider new positions here. We will raise our stop loss to $28.49.

At the moment our final target is $32.25 but we might consider adjusting this target higher.

The plan was to exit our July calls on Friday at the closing bell. I am adding some new August calls to the trade below.

Earlier Comments:
Our plan was to keep positions small to limit our risk.

- small positions -

Current Position: Long M stock @ $28.30

- or -

(short-term)
July $29 call (M1116G29) Entry @ $0.56, exit $1.50 (+167.8%)

- or -

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

- 2nd Position, entry 7/11/11 -

suggested position: buy M stock @ current levels

buy the Aug. $32 call (M1120H32) current ask $0.77

07/09 new stop loss @ 28.49
07/09 Add 2nd position, buy stock/calls now
07/08 Planned exit. July $29 call @ $1.50 (+167.8%)
07/07 plan on exiting July calls tomorrow at the close
07/02 new stop loss @ 27.90
07/01 1st Target Hit @ 29.90 (+5.6%), options @ +107.1% (July) & +52.9% (Aug)

chart:

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: 31.25 change: -0.21

Stop Loss: 30.45
Target(s): 34.00
Current Gain/Loss: unopened
Time Frame: 6 to 8 weeks
New Positions: Yes, see trigger

Comments:
07/09 update: We are taking a more aggressive approach to positions in MMC. Shares dipped to and bounced from support near $31.00. I am suggesting we launch bullish positions now but we want to keep our position size small to limit our risk. Plus, I am raising our stop loss to $30.45.

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.

- open small positions now -

Suggested Position: buy MMC stock @ current levels

- or -

buy the Aug. $32 call (MMC1120H32) current ask $0.55 (new strike)

07/09 adjusted strategy. Buy MMC now, new stop loss @ 30.45, small positions only.

chart:

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


Nanometrics Inc. - NANO - close: 20.41 change: -0.35

Stop Loss: 19.45
Target(s): 19.25, 22.00
Current Gain/Loss: +21.3%
Time Frame: 6 to 8 weeks or more
New Positions: see below

Comments:
07/09 update: Eventually NANO is going to see some profit taking but for now the stock continues to hold up. Shares did see some profit taking on Friday but NANO did not break down under new support at $20.00. I am raising our stop loss to $19.40. Shares remain very overbought so I'm not suggesting new positions.

Our final exit target is $22.00. More aggressive traders may want to aim higher.

Current Position: Long NANO stock @ $16.82

07/09 new stop loss @ 19.45
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

chart:

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: 52.08 change: -0.55

Stop Loss: 49.85
Target(s): 54.75
Current Gain/Loss: + 1.6%
Time Frame: 3 to 4 weeks
New Positions: see below

Comments:
07/09 update: UNH saw a dip toward short-term support at $51.00 on Friday. The trend is still very much higher but I'd rather launch new positions on a dip or a bounce from the $51.00-50.00 area. The simple 50-dma has been consistent support for several weeks so a dip near the 50-dma (close to the $50 level) would certainly be an attractive entry point. Keep in mind that we don't have a lot of time left. 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

chart:

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

St. Jude Medical - STJ - close: 47.49 change: -0.33

Stop Loss: 48.75
Target(s): 47.00, 46.10
Current Gain/Loss: + 6.8%
Time Frame: 6 to 8 weeks
New Positions: see below

Comments:
07/09 update: STJ continues to sink under a trend of lower highs. Yet with the stock market showing so much strength I would not launch new bearish positions here. We are taking a more conservative approach and adjusting our stop loss down to $48.75.

Please note that the simple 200-dma has risen to $45.29. I am adjusting our final exit target to $46.10.

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

07/09 new stop loss @ 48.75, adjust final target to $46.10
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

chart:

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