Editor's Note:
The major indices spent most of last week consolidating sideways.

We did see BLL and LRCX show some strength on Friday. I am removing NTGR as a trading candidate.

-James

Current Portfolio:


BULLISH Play Updates

Ball Corp. - BLL - close: 37.12 change: +0.85

Stop Loss: 39.00
Target(s): 35.35
Current Gain/Loss: + 1.5%
Time Frame: up to the earnings report (01/26)
New Positions: see below

Comments:
01/07 update: Positive analyst comments on Friday helped boost shares of BLL. The stock hit our trigger to open bullish positions at $36.55 and ended the day up +2.3%.

Don't forget that we plan to exit ahead of the late January earnings report.

Earlier Comments:
Our target is $39.00. More conservative traders may want to take profits early near $38.00 instead. FYI: The Point & Figure chart for BLL is currently bearish but a rally past $37.00 would produce a brand new buy signal.

current Position: Long BLL stock @ 36.55

- or -

Long Feb $35 call (BLL1221A35) entry 2.30

01/06/12 trade triggered at $36.55
01/05/12 adjusted stop loss to $35.35, plan to exit prior to earnings

chart:

Entry on January 06 at $36.55
Earnings Date 01/26/12 (confirmed)
Average Daily Volume = 985 thousand
Listed on January 03, 2011


GlaxoSmithKline - GSK - close: 46.18 change: +0.05

Stop Loss: 44.90
Target(s): 49.25
Current Gain/Loss: + 0.9%
Time Frame: 6 to 8 weeks
New Positions: see below

Comments:
01/07 update: Friday turned out to be another quiet day for GSK. Shares failed to really build on Tuesday's big gain but this sideways movement mirrored what happened in the major indices. GSK still has a bullish trend of higher lows and higher highs. It's just a slow-moving stock. More conservative traders may want to raise their stops. Keep in mind that we do not want to hold over GSK's earnings report expected in mid February.

Our multi-week target is $49.25 (GSK doesn't move very fast).
FYI: The Point & Figure chart for GSK is bullish with a $56 target.

current Position: long GSK stock @ 45.75

- or -

Long Feb $46 call (GSK1218B46) entry $1.05

01/04/12 new stop loss @ 44.90

chart:

Entry on December 23 at $45.75
Earnings Date 02/07/12 (unconfirmed)
Average Daily Volume = 2.5 million
Listed on December 22, 2011


Harley-Davidson - HOG - close: 39.58 change: -0.31

Stop Loss: 38.75
Target(s): 44.50
Current Gain/Loss: unopened
Time Frame: up to the earnings report (late January)
New Positions: Yes, see below

Comments:
01/07 update: HOG's late morning rally attempt on Friday failed near resistance at $40.00. The high was $40.07. We're still waiting for a stronger breakout.

I am suggesting a trigger to open small bullish positions at $40.35 with a stop loss at $38.75. Our target is $44.50 but we may have to exit early given our time frame. HOG is tentatively scheduled to report earnings in late January and we do not want to hold over the announcement.

Trigger @ 40.35

Suggested Position: buy HOG stock @ 40.35

- or -

buy the Feb $40 call (HOG1221B40)

chart:

Entry on January xx at $ xx.xx
Earnings Date 01/24/12 (unconfirmed)
Average Daily Volume = 1.5 million
Listed on January 05, 2011


Lam Research - LRCX - close: 37.84 change: +0.47

Stop Loss: 35.75
Target(s): 39.75
Current Gain/Loss: + 2.2%
Time Frame: 3 to 4 weeks
New Positions: see below

Comments:
01/07 update: LRCX displayed relative strength on Friday. The stock's +1.2% gain outperformed the NASDAQ and its peers in the semiconductor sector. LRCX is nearing resistance around the $38.00 level so I would not open new bullish positions at this time.

(small positions)

current Position: Long LRCX stock @ $37.02

- or -

Long 2012Jan $38 call (LRCX1221A38) entry $0.60

01/03/12 new stop loss @ 35.75
12/23/11 trade opened.
12/22/11 trade not open yet. try again.

chart:

Entry on December 23 at $37.02
Earnings Date 01/25/12 (unconfirmed)
Average Daily Volume = 4.0 million
Listed on December 21, 2011


PetMed Express Inc. - PETS - close: 10.45 change: +0.11

Stop Loss: 9.90
Target(s): 11.90
Current Gain/Loss: - 1.3%
Time Frame: 6 to 8 weeks
New Positions: see below

Comments:
01/07 update: Shares of PETS saw some volatility on Friday morning but traders bought the dip near $10.00 and its rising 20-dma. The stock bounced back into the green to post a +1.0% gain. The rebound near $10 is positive. If both PETS and the S&P 500 index open positive on Monday I would be tempted to launch new positions.

Earlier Comments:
A breakout could spark a short squeeze. The stock could see a short squeeze due to the high amount of short interest. The most recent data listed short interest is almost 29% of the very small 19.8 million-share float.

PETS has potential technical resistance at the simple 150-dma at $10.35. I would keep our position size small to limit our risk. The simple and exponential 200-dma could be significant overhead resistance and PETS struggled with resistance near $11.50 in the past.

NOTE: I would prefer to trade the stock over the options but we're listing the options as an alternative.

(small positions)

current Position: Long PETS stock @ $10.59

- or -

Long Feb $10 call (PETS1218B10) entry $0.74

01/04/12 readers may want to exit early. PETS is not cooperating and the action looks bearish.
01/03/12 PETS gapped higher at $10.59, which is above our trigger at $10.45.

chart:

Entry on January 03 at $10.59
Earnings Date 01/24/12 (unconfirmed)
Average Daily Volume = 231 thousand
Listed on December 27, 2011


Starbucks Corp. - SBUX - close: 46.72 change: +0.36

Stop Loss: 43.95
Target(s): 49.75
Current Gain/Loss: + 1.3%
Time Frame: up to the January earnings report.
New Positions: see below

Comments:
01/07 update: SBUX continues to bounce. The stock is up three days in a row and nearing its all-time high set on Tuesday. Given the stock market's lack of progress this past week I am a bit hesitant to open new positions in SBUX but shares are showing relative strength. We will inch up our stop loss to $43.95. More conservative traders may want a stop closer to $44.50 or near $45.00 instead.

NOTE: SBUX is tentatively scheduled to report earnings in late January. Normally we prefer to exit prior to any earnings announcement.

Earlier Comments:
Our multi-week target is $49.75. FYI: The Point & Figure chart for SBUX is bullish with a long-term $75 target.

current Position: long SBUX stock @ $46.08

- or -

Long FEB $47 call (SBUX1218B47) entry $1.56

01/07/12 new stop loss @ 43.95

chart:

Entry on December 29 at $46.08
Earnings Date 01/25/12 (unconfirmed)
Average Daily Volume = 5.1 million
Listed on December 28, 2011


BEARISH Play Updates

EZchip Semiconductor - EZCH - close: 29.30 change: -0.38

Stop Loss: 30.10
Target(s): 25.50
Current Gain/Loss: - 3.2%
Time Frame: 3 to 6 weeks
New Positions: see below

Comments:
01/07 update: There was no follow through on Thursday's bounce and EZCH remains under resistance at $30.00. Yet I would not launch new positions at this time.

Earlier Comments:
We want to keep our position size small to limit our risk. The $26.60 level has been support in the past but we're aiming for $25.50. More aggressive trades may want to aim for $23 over the next several weeks. FYI: The Point & Figure chart for EZCH is bearish with a $24 target.

Suggested Position: short EZCH @ 28.38

- or -

Long Jan $28 PUT (EZCH1221M28) entry $0.95

chart:

Entry on December 29 at $28.38
Earnings Date 02/08/12 (unconfirmed)
Average Daily Volume = 280 thousand
Listed on December 28, 2011


Target Corp. - TGT - close: 48.95 change: +0.44

Stop Loss: 50.50
Target(s): 46.05
Current Gain/Loss: - 1.9%
Time Frame: 3 to 6 weeks
New Positions: see below

Comments:
01/07 update: There should be no surprises here. I cautioned readers to expect a bounce in TGT. Shares made it to $49.56 before paring its gains. I am not suggesting new positions at this time. We'll wait to see if the bounce continues on Monday. The $49.50-50.00 zone should be resistance.

(small positions)

current Position: short TGT stock @ 48.00

- or -

Long Feb $50 PUT (TGT1218B50) entry $2.65

01/05/12 new stop loss @ 50.50
01/05/12 Our trade was opened on the gap down at $48.00 instead of our trigger at $49.45 thanks to TGT's missed same-store sales numbers and an earnings warning.

chart:

Entry on January 05 at $48.00
Earnings Date 02/22/12 (unconfirmed)
Average Daily Volume = 4.6 million
Listed on January 04, 2011


CLOSED BEARISH PLAYS

Netgear Inc. - NTGR - close: 35.70 change: +0.56

Stop Loss: 34.60
Target(s): 30.25
Current Gain/Loss: unopened
Time Frame: 3 to 6 weeks
New Positions: see below

Comments:
01/07 update: We are dropping NTGR as a bearish candidate. Our trade never opened and shares are not cooperating. Recent trading action is starting to look bullish but shares still have resistance near $38.00.

Trigger @ 33.20

Trade Never Opened.

01/07/12 removed NTGR as a trading candidate

chart:

Entry on December xx at $ xx.xx
Earnings Date 02/09/12 (unconfirmed)
Average Daily Volume = 317 thousand
Listed on December 31, 2011