Editor's Note:
Shares of Harley Davidson were outperforming the market today. Unfortunately our bearish plays on EZCH and FMCN were stopped out.

-James

Current Portfolio:


BULLISH Play Updates

Ball Corp. - BLL - close: 36.86 change: +0.03

Stop Loss: 39.00
Target(s): 35.35
Current Gain/Loss: + 0.8%
Time Frame: up to the earnings report (01/26)
New Positions: see below

Comments:
01/10 update: I found the action in BLL today disappointing. The initial pop higher at the open faded. Shares barely closed in the green in spite of the market's widespread strength. I am not suggesting new positions at this time.

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

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


Harley-Davidson - HOG - close: 39.35 change: -0.23

Stop Loss: 38.75
Target(s): 44.50
Current Gain/Loss: - 0.0%
Time Frame: up to the earnings report (late January)
New Positions: see below

Comments:
01/10 update: HOG displayed some relative strength today with a +2.5% gain. Shares also broke out past resistance at the $40.00 level. The intraday high was $40.36, which was just enough to hit our trigger at $40.35. I would still consider new positions now.

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.

current Position: long HOG stock @ 40.35

- or -

Long Feb $40 call (HOG1221B40) entry $2.06

Entry on January 10 at $40.35
Earnings Date 01/24/12 (unconfirmed)
Average Daily Volume = 1.5 million
Listed on January 05, 2011


Lam Research - LRCX - close: 39.00 change: +0.29

Stop Loss: 36.90
Target(s): 39.50
Current Gain/Loss: + 5.3%
Time Frame: 3 to 4 weeks
New Positions: see below

Comments:
01/10 update: Readers will want to seriously consider an exit now. Yesterday we adjusted our exit target down to $39.50. Naturally LRCX rallied to an intraday high of $39.49 before paring its gains. I am not suggesting new positions. We are raising our stop loss to $36.90. I am suggesting we exit our January $38 calls (current bid $1.30, +116%) at the opening bell tomorrow.

(small positions)

current Position: Long LRCX stock @ $37.02

- or -

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

01/10/12 prepare to exit calls tomorrow at the open
LRCX hit $39.49 intraday. exit target is 39.50
New stop loss @ 36.90
01/09/12 new stop loss @ 36.40, adjust target to $39.50
01/03/12 new stop loss @ 35.75
12/23/11 trade opened.
12/22/11 trade not open yet. try again.

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: 10.51 change: -0.04

Stop Loss: 10.10
Target(s): 11.90
Current Gain/Loss: - 0.7%
Time Frame: 6 to 8 weeks
New Positions: see below

Comments:
01/10 update: PETS underperformed the market today. Shares spiked higher at the open but eventually saw gains fade to a -0.3% decline. I am not suggesting new positions at this time. Please note our new stop loss at $10.10.

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

01/10/12 new stop loss @ 10.10
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.

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: 46.82 change: +0.23

Stop Loss: 43.95
Target(s): 49.75
Current Gain/Loss: + 1.6%
Time Frame: up to the January earnings report.
New Positions: see below

Comments:
01/10 update: SBUX hit new all-time highs on an intraday basis this morning. Volume was light but the path of least resistance seems to be higher. I am a bit hesitant to open new positions in SBUX. 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

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

Ctrip.com Intl. - CTRP - close: 22.44 change: -0.51

Stop Loss: 24.05
Target(s): 20.25
Current Gain/Loss: + 1.3%
Time Frame: up to earnings in mid February.
New Positions: see below

Comments:
01/10 update: Our new bearish play on CTRP is off to a decent start. Shares popped higher this morning but the bounce ran out of steam near $23. I did notice that volume was more than double the normal today. I don't see any changes from my prior comments.

Earlier Comments:
I do want to warn you that short interest on CTRP is nearing 10% of the float, which raises the risk of a short squeeze. I am suggesting we keep our position size small to limit our risk. More conservative traders can wait for a new relative low under $22.00 as their entry point instead. Our exit target is $20.25. I'm starting this play with a wide stop loss (a.k.a. riskier stop loss) at $24.05. FYI: The Point & Figure chart for CTRP is bearish with a $9.00 target.

Small Positions

current Position: short CTRP stock @ $22.87

- or -

Long Feb $22 PUT (CTRP1218N22) entry $1.20

Entry on January 10 at $22.87
Earnings Date 02/13/12 (unconfirmed)
Average Daily Volume = 1.8 million
Listed on January 09, 2011


Electronic Arts - EA - close: 19.46 change: +0.04

Stop Loss: 21.05
Target(s): 18.00
Current Gain/Loss: + 2.5%
Time Frame: up to the earnings report
New Positions: see below

Comments:
01/10 update: The early morning pop in shares of EA faded and the stock continues to look vulnerable here. Readers may want to look for a new failed rally near $20.00 before considering new positions.

Our plan was to keep our position size small to limit risk.

Our exit target is $18.00 but we may adjust it as the play progresses. Please note that we want to exit prior to the early February earnings report (still unconfirmed).

(Small Positions)

current Position: short EA stock @ 19.97

- or -

Long 2012Jan $20 PUT (EA1221M20) entry $0.70

Entry on January 09 at $19.97
Earnings Date 02/01/12 (unconfirmed)
Average Daily Volume = 4.9 million
Listed on January 07, 2011


Jos. A Bank Clothiers - JOSB - close: 47.01 change: +0.61

Stop Loss: 48.55
Target(s): 41.00
Current Gain/Loss: - 0.5%
Time Frame: 4 to 6 weeks
New Positions: see below

Comments:
01/10 update: The stock market's widespread gains helped JOSB to a +1.3% bounce. Look for resistance near $48.00 as a potential entry point for new positions.

Earlier Comments:
I suspect the path of least resistance is down and I'm not the only one. The most recent data listed short interest at 19% of the small 27.5 million-share float. This high amount of short interest does raise the risk of a short squeeze should the stock suddenly reverse unexpectedly.

Our target is $41.00 but don't be surprised to see a temporary bounce near $44.00. FYI: The Point & Figure chart for JOSB is bearish with a $39.00 target.

(Small Positions)

Suggested Position: short JOSB stock @ 46.75

- or -

Long Feb. $45 PUT (JOSB1218N45) entry $1.55

Entry on January 09 at $46.75
Earnings Date 03/29/12 (unconfirmed)
Average Daily Volume = 236 thousand
Listed on January 07, 2011


Target Corp. - TGT - close: 48.79 change: +0.22

Stop Loss: 50.50
Target(s): 46.05
Current Gain/Loss: - 1.6%
Time Frame: 3 to 6 weeks
New Positions: see below

Comments:
01/10 update: TGT spent the session churning sideways in a very tight range. The stock managed to eke out a +0.4% gain. I am not suggesting new positions at this time. 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.

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

EZchip Semiconductor - EZCH - close: 29.77 change: +0.23

Stop Loss: 30.10
Target(s): 25.50
Current Gain/Loss: - 6.0%
Time Frame: 3 to 6 weeks
New Positions: see below

Comments:
01/10 update: I cautioned readers yesterday that EZCH as flirting with a breakout near resistance at $30.00. Yesterday it hit $30.08 intraday. Today the stock hit $30.11 before fading lower. Our stop loss was hit at $30.10.

Earlier Comments:
We want to keep our position size small to limit our risk. FYI: The Point & Figure chart for EZCH is bearish with a $24 target.

closed Position: short EZCH @ 28.38, exit 30.10

- or -

Jan $28 PUT (EZCH1221M28) entry $0.95, exit 0.15 (- 84.2%)

01/10/12 stopped out at $30.10 (-6.0%)

chart:

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


Focus Media Holdings - FMCN - close: 20.52 change: +1.81

Stop Loss: 20.51
Target(s): 15.50
Current Gain/Loss: - 1.2%
Time Frame: 6 to 8 weeks
New Positions: see below

Comments:
01/10 update: FMCN was way too volatile for us today. Shares gapped open higher at $20.25 and quickly hit our stop loss at $20.51. FMCN hit an intraday high of $21.21 before settling with a +9.6% gain. I am starting to wonder if management is getting desperate. Late last week this media company was coming under fire for buying a ginseng plantation. Today the company's leadership announced a new dividend plan to payout 25% of its non-GAAP net income over the next four quarters.

Our trade has been stopped out at $20.51 but I would keep FMCN on your watch list. I suspect we'll see it trend lower again.

NOTE: here's the real surprise: The option actually posted a gain!

(Small Positions)

closed Position: short FMCN stock @ $20.25, exit 20.51 (-1.2%)

- or -

Feb $18 PUT (FMCN1218N18) entry $0.95, exit 1.00 (+ 5.2%)

01/10/11 trade opened at $20.25, closed at $20.51

chart:

Entry on January 10 at $20.25
Earnings Date 03/06/12 (unconfirmed)
Average Daily Volume = 2.7 million
Listed on January 09, 2011