Editor's Note:
The tech-heavy NASDAQ fell -3.2% versus a -2.8% drop in the S&P 500. Our bullish trade on RHT was stopped out. Plus the USO trade was stopped out.

-James

Current Portfolio:


BULLISH Play Updates

Bristol-Myers Squibb - BMY - close: 31.49 change: +0.11

Stop Loss: 29.90
Target(s): 33.50
Current Gain/Loss: +1.0%
Time Frame: 6 to 8 weeks
New Positions: see below

Comments:
10/03 update: BMY continues to show relative strength. Yet I would hesitate to launch new positions, especially with the market's major indices hitting new 52-week lows.

current Position: Long BMY stock @ $31.15

- or -

Long 2012 Jan. $30 call (BMY1221A30) Entry $2.26

09/27 new stop loss @ 29.90
09/26 trade opened

Entry on September 26 at $31.15
Earnings Date 10/26/11 (unconfirmed)
Average Daily Volume = 13.6 million
Listed on September 22, 2011


PowerShares Gold Double Long - DGP - close: 54.44 change: +1.92

Stop Loss: 49.40
Target(s): 59.00, 64.00
Current Gain/Loss: -1.4%
Time Frame: 8 to 10 weeks
New Positions: see below

Comments:
10/03 update: It seems that gold has regained its "safe haven" status as investors buy the precious metal on today's stock market sell-off. The DGP gapped open higher at $54.53 and closed with a +3.6% gain.

- Small Positions -

current Position: long the DGP @ $55.26

09/27 trade opened
09/26 reload this trade. Buy the open tomorrow, new stop 49.40
09/26 Trade opened on gap down at $51.96.
Trade stopped out at $51.45 (-0.9% loss)

Entry on September 27 at $55.26
Earnings Date --/--/--

1st Attempt:

Entry on September 26 at $51.96
Exit on September 26 at $51.45 (-0.9%)


Average Daily Volume = 1.3 million
Listed on September 24, 2011


BEARISH Play Updates

Avon Products Inc. - AVP - close: 18.97 change: -0.63

Stop Loss: 20.25
Target(s): 17.75, 15.50
Current Gain/Loss: +4.9%
Time Frame: 4 to 8 weeks
New Positions: see below

Comments:
10/03 update: AVP sank to a new two-year low and closed down -3.2% for the session. I am not suggesting new positions at this time. Cautious traders may want to take profits early on the put option (currently +58%).

Earlier Comments:
Our targets are $17.75 and $15.50. Readers may want to consider the November puts instead of Octobers. FYI: The Point & Figure chart for AVP is bearish with a $7.00 target.

Current Position: short the stock @ $19.96

- or -

Long OCT $20 PUT (AVP1122V20) Entry $0.79

10/01 new stop loss @ 20.25

Entry on September 29 at $19.96
Earnings Date 10/27/11 (unconfirmed)
Average Daily Volume = 3.9 million
Listed on September 28, 2011


CSX Corp. - CSX - close: 18.39 change: -0.28

Stop Loss: 20.26
Target(s): 18.10, 16.25
Current Gain/Loss: + 6.4%
Time Frame: 3 to 6 weeks
New Positions: see below

Comments:
10/03 update: I am a little surprised that CSX did not see bigger declines today. The Dow Jones Transportation index fell -3.5%. CSX only fell -1.5%. I'm sure the plunge in airlines ($XAL -9.8%) probably accounted for most of the weakness in transports today, thanks to the AMR bankruptcy rumors.

The trend for CSX is still down. I would not open new positions at the moment. Readers may want to lower their stop loss a bit. Cautious traders may want to take profits on the put option now (currently +63%).

Earlier Comments:
Our first target is $18.10. Our second, much more aggressive target is $16.25, which could take a few weeks to get there.

Current Position: short CSX stock @ $19.65

- or -

Long OCT $20 PUT (CSX1122V20) Entry $1.20

Entry on September 28 at $19.65
Earnings Date 10/18/11 (confirmed)
Average Daily Volume = 12.4 million
Listed on September 27, 2011


Phillip Morris Intl. - PM - close: 61.76 change: -0.62

Stop Loss: 64.25
Target(s): 60.25, 57.50
Current Gain/Loss: +3.8%
Time Frame: 6 to 8 weeks
New Positions: see below

Comments:
10/03 update: Positive analyst comments on PM today may have helped slow its descent. Shares only fell -0.9% versus -2.8% for the S&P500 index. Readers will want to note that PM is nearing potential support at the mid March lows near $61.35. You may want to hesitate on launching new positions.

Current Position: short PM stock @ 64.21

- or -

Long NOV $60 PUT (PM1119W60) Entry $1.60

10/01 new stop loss at $64.25

Entry on September 29 at $64.21
Earnings Date 10/20/11 (unconfirmed)
Average Daily Volume = 10.9 million
Listed on September 28, 2011


Research In Motion - RIMM - close: 20.50 change: +0.20

Stop Loss: 22.65
Target(s): 18.25, 16.25
Current Gain/Loss: - 1.3%
Time Frame: 6 to 8 weeks
New Positions: see below

Comments:
10/03 update: Hmm... I need to urge caution here. A bounce in RIMM was not what we expected today. It's not too surprising since the $20.00 level could be psychological support but with the widespread market declines I was expecting RIMM to break down. If the NASDAQ can punch through its August lows then I would expect RIMM to follow it lower. At the moment there is a chance the NASDAQ sees an oversold bounce tomorrow and I'm worried that RIMM could bounce with it.

Therefore, no new positions on RIMM at the moment. We'll wait and see how shares perform tomorrow. Nimble traders could try and time a failed rally near $22 as a potential entry point. Fundamentally, I would argue that RIMM still has a lot of problems. Bulls on the stock would argue those problems are already baked into the share price. I'm not convinced that's true.

Earlier Comments:
Our downside targets are $18.25 and $16.25. I would keep our position size small. RIMM is likely to see some volatility.

- Small Positions -

current Position: short RIMM stock @ $20.22

- or -

Long OCT $20 PUT (RIMM1122V20) Entry $0.65

Entry on October 03 at $20.22
Earnings Date 12/15/11 (unconfirmed)
Average Daily Volume = 27.7 million
Listed on October 01, 2011


Vulcan Materials Co. - VMC - close: 26.19 change: -1.37

Stop Loss: 30.25
Target(s): 25.25, 23.00
Current Gain/Loss: +5.0%
Time Frame: 3 to 6 weeks
New Positions: see below

Comments:
10/03 update: Our VMC trade is off to a good start. Shares opened at $27.58 and plunged to a -4.9% drop. I would not chase it here. Wait for a failed rally near $28 or the 10-dma before launching new positions.

Earlier Comments:
FYI: Investors should note that the most recent data did list short interest at 19% of the 128 million share float. That is pretty high interest and raises the risk of a short squeeze if the market bounces.

- small positions -

current Position: Short VMC stock @ $27.58

- or -

Long OCT $26 PUT (VMC1122V26) Entry $1.50

Entry on October 03 at $27.58
Earnings Date 10/31/11 (unconfirmed)
Average Daily Volume = 2.0 million
Listed on October 01, 2011


Xilinx Inc. - XLNX - close: 27.06 change: -0.38

Stop Loss: 29.55
Target(s): 25.20, 23.00
Current Gain/Loss: +0.5%
Time Frame: 3 to 6 weeks
New Positions: see below

Comments:
10/03 update: I am a little surprised that XLNX did not see bigger declines today. The SOX semiconductor index fell -3.6% with a drop toward its August lows. XLNX opened at $27.22 and dipped to $26.77 intraday before paring its losses to just -1.3%. The overall trend is still down but I'm a little concerned that the SOX might bounce from its August lows and that could fuel a bounce in XLNX. Readers may want to wait for a new failed rally near $28.00-28.50 or a bounce near the 10-dma in XLNX before initiating new positions.

Earlier Comments:
FYI: The Point & Figure chart for XLNX is bearish with a $20 target. The bear-flag pattern on the daily chart would suggest a downside target near $23.

current Position: short XLNX stock @ $27.22

- or -

Long OCT $27 PUT (XLNX1122V27) Entry $0.94

Entry on October 03 at $27.22
Earnings Date 10/19/11 (confirmed)
Average Daily Volume = 5.1 million
Listed on October 01, 2011


CLOSED BULLISH PLAYS

Red Hat Inc. - RHT - close: 40.46 change: -1.80

Stop Loss: 41.75
Target(s): 46.50, 48.00
Current Gain/Loss: -2.2%
Time Frame: 6 to 8 weeks
New Positions: see below

Comments:
10/03 update: It was an ugly day for RHT. The stock underperformed the market with a -4.2% drop. Shares have broken down under possible short-term support at $42.00, at its 100-dma, its 10-dma, 20-dma, and its exponential 200-dma. I warned readers over the weekend that last week's action looked like a bearish reversal. Shares of RHT hit our stop loss at $41.75 pretty early this morning.

closed Position: Long RHT stock @ $42.72, exit 41.75 (-2.2%)

- or -

OCT $45 call (RHT1122J45) Entry $1.15, exit 0.75 (-34.7%)

10/03 stopped out at $41.75
09/29 new stop loss @ 41.75
09/27 new stop loss @ 41.40

chart:

Entry on September 26 at $42.72
Earnings Date 12/21/11 (unconfirmed)
Average Daily Volume = 2.7 million
Listed on September 24, 2011


U.S. Oil ETF - USO - close: 29.74 change: -0.75

Stop Loss: 30.45
Target(s): 34.50
Current Gain/Loss: -2.2%
Time Frame: 6 to 8 weeks
New Positions: see below

Comments:
10/03 update: The weekend brought no relief for oil. Investors are still concerned of a global slowdown. While the ISM data in the U.S. was better than expected it was worse than expected overseas. Oil prices tumbled helped in part by a rising U.S. dollar. The USO oil ETF gapped open lower at $30.01, which was below our stop loss at $30.45. The trade was closed immediately.

closed Position: Long the USO @ $30.71, exit 30.01 (-2.2%)

- or -

NOV $32 call (USO1119K32) Entry $1.81 exit $1.28 (-29.2%)

10/03 stopped out on gap down at $30.01
09/28 Cautious traders may want to exit early now
09/27 new stop loss @ 30.45
09/26 trade opened at $30.71
09/24 removed conditional entry, adjusted stop to $29.75.

chart:

Entry on September 26 at $30.71
Earnings Date --/--/--
Average Daily Volume = 10.7 million
Listed on September 22, 2011