Editor's Note:
The market's major averages managed to extend their gains as investors see hope in the latest round of bailout talks for Greece and a potential debt ceiling deal in the U.S.

Unfortunately, most of our bullish candidates produced rather disappointing results in spite of the market's gains. Meanwhile our aggressive short trade on VIT has been stopped out.

-James

Current Portfolio:


BULLISH Play Updates

CROCS Inc. - CROX - close: 26.92 change: -0.47

Stop Loss: 25.85
Target(s): 29.90, 31.75
Current Gain/Loss: - 1.4%
Time Frame: up to its earnings report
New Positions: see below

Comments:
07/21 update: The action in CROX today is worrisome. Shares spiked up toward $28.00, which was resistance in early July, and the stock failed. The move today looks like a short-term bearish reversal/failed rally pattern. I would expect a dip into the $26.50-26.00 area soon. I am not suggesting new positions tonight.

Earlier Comments:
There is a chance CROX could see a lot more short covering with shares nearing new multi-year highs. The most recent data listed short interest at 12.6% of the 83.9 million-share float. FYI: The Point & Figure chart for CROX is bullish with a $52.50 target.

Suggested Position: Long CROX stock @ $27.31

- or -

Long AUG $28 call (CROX1120H28) Entry @ $1.15

Entry on July 20 at $27.31
Earnings Date 08/04/11 (unconfirmed)
Average Daily Volume = 2.1 million
Listed on July 19, 2011


Globe Specialty Metals, Inc. - GSM - close: 24.66 change: +0.27

Stop Loss: 23.80
Target(s): 27.25, 29.50
Current Gain/Loss: - 2.0%
Time Frame: 6 to 8 weeks
New Positions: see below

Comments:
07/21 update: GSM managed a +1.1% gain today but the stock continues to fail at resistance near $25.00. Readers may want to use a trigger at $25.05 to launch new bullish positions in GSM. The plan was to keep our positions small to limit our risk.

Earlier Comments:
We should consider this an aggressive, higher-risk trade so let's keep our position size small to limit risk. We can always add to positions down the road. FYI: The Point & Figure chart for GSM is bullish with a $28.50 target.

- SMALL positions -

Current Position: Long GMS stock @ $25.18

- or -

Long AUG $25 call (GSM1120H25) Entry @ $1.60

07/20 New stop loss @ 23.80

Entry on July 14 at $25.18
Earnings Date 09/15/11 (unconfirmed)
Average Daily Volume = 874 thousand
Listed on July 13, 2011


Kaiser Aluminum - KALU - close: 56.30 change: +0.65

Stop Loss: 52.49
Target(s): 59.75
Current Gain/Loss: + 5.1%
Time Frame: 3 to 5 weeks
New Positions: see below

Comments:
07/21 update: KALU is still hovering near its recent highs and added +1.1% today. I don't see any changes from my prior comments. Readers may want to wait for a dip near $55.00 before initiating new positions. We are planning to exit ahead of the July 27th earnings report.

Earlier Comments:
Our target is the $59.75 mark since the $60 level looks like resistance. Investors could certainly aim higher. KALU has a high amount of short interest and the stock could experience a short squeeze. FYI: Investors should note that the most recent data listed short interest at 9.9% of the very small 18.5 million share float.

- Small Positions -

Current Position: Long KALU @ $53.56

- or -

Long AUG $55 call (KALU1120H55) Entry @ $1.30

07/20 New stop loss @ 52.49

Entry on July 11 at $53.56
Earnings Date 07/27/11 (confirmed)
Average Daily Volume = 183 thousand
Listed on July 9, 2011


Kennametal Inc. - KMT - close: 44.99 change: +0.32

Stop Loss: 42.30
Target(s): 49.00
Current Gain/Loss: + 1.9%
Time Frame: up to its earnings report 7/28
New Positions: see below

Comments:
07/21 update: KMT posted a gain but I found the action today to look bearish. The early morning rally failed near its highs from Tuesday. Volume was below average. I'd prefer to look for a new entry point on a dip or a bounce from $44.00. We do not want to hold over the July 28th earnings report.

Earlier Comments:
I do consider this a somewhat aggressive, higher-risk trade. More than one of KMT's technical indicators on the daily chart are at or nearing a bearish signal. Plus, the stock has resistance near the $45 level, which is where KMT failed two weeks ago. I suspect the stock will breakout to new highs if the market cooperates but we do not want to hold this position over the July 28th earnings report. We'll just plan on exiting in front of the earnings report. FYI: The Point & Figure chart for KMT is very bullish with an $80 target.

Current Position: Long KMT stock @ $44.13

Entry on July 19 at $44.13
Earnings Date 07/28/11 (confirmed)
Average Daily Volume = 826 thousand
Listed on July 18, 2011


Macy's Inc. - M - close: 29.94 change: +0.34

Stop Loss: 28.90
Target(s): 29.90, 32.25
Current Gain/Loss: + 5.8%
2nd Position Gain/Loss: + 0.2% Time Frame: 6 to 8 weeks
New Positions: see below

Comments:
07/21 update: Macy's bounced back to the top of its trading range and stalled. I am not suggesting new positions at this time. Our final target is $32.25 but we might consider adjusting this target higher.

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

- small positions -

Current Position: Long M stock @ $28.30

- or -

Long Aug. $30 call (M1120H30) Entry @ $0.85

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

suggested position: Long M stock @ $29.86

Long Aug. $32 call (M1120H32) Entry @ $0.63

07/16 new stop loss @ 28.90
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)

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


Vanguard Natural Resources - VNR - cls: 30.31 chg: -0.09

Stop Loss: 28.99
Target(s): 33.25
Current Gain/Loss: - 0.9%
Time Frame: 3 to 4 weeks
New Positions: Yes, see below

Comments:
07/21 update: Thursday was a disappointing session for VNR. Shares spiked to a new multi-week high this morning and then reversed. The stock faded back toward round-number support at $30.00 and technical support at its 100-dma. The relative weakness today, with the market in rally mode, is worrisome. I am not suggesting new positions at this time. Cautious traders might want to consider an alternative stop in the $29.30-29.40 area instead. Our target is $33.25.

Current Position: Long VNR stock @ $30.61

- or -

Long AUG $30 call (VNR1120H30) Entry @ $1.20

07/19 Play is opened @ 30.61
07/18 The requirements to launch positions was not met. Try again. Both VNR and the S&P 500 need to open higher tomorrow.

Entry on July 19 at $30.61
Earnings Date 08/04/11 (unconfirmed)
Average Daily Volume = 193 thousand
Listed on July 16, 2011


Western Refining Inc. - WNR - close: 21.13 change: +0.09

Stop Loss: 19.75
Target(s): 22.00, 24.50
Current Gain/Loss: + 8.3%
Time Frame: 6 to 8 weeks
New Positions: see below

Comments:
07/21 update: WNR managed to eke out another gain. If you look at the stock's intraday chart you can see that WNR has been essentially drifting sideways in a narrow range near $21. This is not helping the technical oscillators, which are starting to turn bearish. More conservative traders may want to take profits now. I would expect a dip toward the 10-dma or the $20.00 level. I am raising our stop loss to $19.75.

Earlier Comments:
FYI: The Point & Figure chart for WNR is bullish with a $28.50 target. Plus, the most recent data listed short interest at 38% of the 54.2 million-share float. That's plenty of fuel for a short squeeze.

Current Position: Long WNR stock @ 19.50

- or -

Long AUG. $22 call (WNR1120H22) Entry @ $0.65

07/21 new stop loss @ 19.75
07/20 expect a dip toward the $20.35 area.
07/19 New stop loss @ 18.90. New targets @ 22.00 and $24.50

Entry on July 11 at $19.50
Earnings Date 08/04/11 (unconfirmed)
Average Daily Volume = 4.0 million
Listed on July 9, 2011


BEARISH Play Updates

OptionsXpress Holdings - OXPS - close: 15.80 change: +0.40

Stop Loss: 16.05
Target(s): 14.05, 13.65
Current Gain/Loss: - 3.6%
Time Frame: about 2 weeks
New Positions: see below

Comments:
07/21 update: The market's rally continues to fuel short covering in OXPS. The stock is now above resistance near $15.50 and rallied to resistance near $16.00 before paring its gains. A reversal here could be used as a new bearish entry point. However, if the market's major indices continue to rally tomorrow there is a good chance we will get stopped out at $16.05. I am not suggesting new positions at this time.

Earlier Comments:
Our first target is $14.05 as the $14.00 level is likely support.

Current Position: short OXPS stock @ $15.24

- or -

Long AUG $15 PUT (OXPS1120T15) Entry @ $0.45

07/21 OXPS is testing resistance at $16.00.
07/20 Failure at the 200-dma is a new bearish entry point.

Entry on July 18 at $15.24
Earnings Date 07/27/11 (unconfirmed)
Average Daily Volume = 696 thousand
Listed on July 16, 2011


CLOSED BEARISH PLAYS

VanceInfo Technologies - VIT - close: 20.12 change: +0.85

Stop Loss: 20.15
Target(s): 15.15, 12.75
Current Gain/Loss: -11.5%
Time Frame: 4 to 6 weeks
New Positions: see below

Comments:
07/21 update: The stock market's gains continues to fuel short covering in VIT. Shares managed to breakout past resistance at the $20.00 level and hit our stop loss at $20.15. The long-term trend for VIT is still bearish but short-term bulls have bears on the run. The next level of resistance is probably $22.00 or the 50-dma.

Earlier Comments:
The most recent data listed short interest at more than 30% of the very small 23.6 million-share float. There is definitely reason to worry over a potential short squeeze, which explains the sharp oversold bounces. Thus readers may want to buy the puts to limit your risk instead of shorting the stock.

Closed Position: short VIT stock @ $18.06, exit $20.15 (-11.5%)

- or -

AUG $17.50 PUT (VIT1120T17.5) Entry @ $2.15, exit 0.90 (-58.1%)

07/21 Stopped out @ 20.15

chart:

Entry on July 18 at $18.06
Earnings Date 08/15/11 (unconfirmed)
Average Daily Volume = 1.0 million
Listed on July 16, 2011