Editor's Note:
Shares of EA plunged on disappointing video game sales last year. The stock hit our exit target. We also saw CTRP and JOSB hit our stop losses. Meanwhile our TGH play has been triggered.

-James

Current Portfolio:


BULLISH Play Updates

Ball Corp. - BLL - close: 37.64 change: -0.18

Stop Loss: 39.00
Target(s): 36.25
Current Gain/Loss: + 2.9%
Time Frame: up to the earnings report (01/26)
New Positions: see below

Comments:
01/14 update: It proved to be a strong week for BLL. Shares did see some profit taking on Friday but traders bought the dip at $37.20 and BLL pared its losses. I am not suggesting new positions at this time. We want to exit prior to the earnings report on January 26th. More conservative traders might want to raise their stops toward the $36.50 level or closer to the 10-dma.

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

01/12/12 new stop loss @ 36.25
01/11/12 new stop loss @ 35.75
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


Cisco Systems Inc. - CSCO - close: 19.06 change: -0.09

Stop Loss: 18.60
Target(s): 20.75
Current Gain/Loss: unopened
Time Frame: up to CSCO's February earnings
New Positions: Yes, see below

Comments:
01/14 update: CSCO saw some minor profit taking on Friday. I do not see any changes from my Thursday night comments. CSCO is on the verge of breaking out past resistance near its late 2011 highs. I am suggesting at trigger to open bullish positions at $19.35. We want to ride the stock up to its early February earnings report but exit prior to the announcement. FYI: The Point & Figure chart for CSCO is bullish with a long-term $27.00 target.

Trigger @ 19.35

Suggested Position: buy CSCO stock @ 19.35

- or -

buy the Feb $20 call (CSCO1218B20)

chart:

Entry on January xx at $ xx.xx
Earnings Date 02/08/12 (confirmed)
Average Daily Volume = 39.0 million
Listed on January 12, 2011


Harley-Davidson - HOG - close: 42.03 change: +1.28

Stop Loss: 39.40
Target(s): 44.50
Current Gain/Loss: + 4.1%
Time Frame: up to the earnings report (late January)
New Positions: see below

Comments:
01/14 update: HOG was a strong performer on Friday with a +3.1% gain on volume more than twice its norm. That's a bullish signal but I wouldn't chase it here. We are raising our stop loss to $39.40. Our current target is $44.50 but more conservative traders may want to exit near potential resistance in the $43.00-43.25 area.

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

01/14/12 new stop loss @ 39.40. There is potential resistance in the $43.00-43.25 area.

chart:

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


PetMed Express Inc. - PETS - close: 10.82 change: +0.23

Stop Loss: 10.29
Target(s): 11.90
Current Gain/Loss: + 2.1%
Time Frame: up to the January earnings report.
New Positions: see below

Comments:
01/14 update: PETS was also showing relative strength on Friday with a +2.1% gain. Traders bought the dip near its rising 10-dma again. The stock does have potential resistance at $11.00 and its simple or exponential 200-dma. Readers may want to consider an early exit near the $11.00 mark.

I am not suggesting new positions at this time and we are raising the stop loss to $10.29.

We do want to exit prior to the January 23rd earnings announcement.

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 26% 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

01/14/12 new stop loss @ 10.29
01/11/12 new stop loss @ 10.20
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.

chart:

Entry on January 03 at $10.59
Earnings Date 01/23/12 (confirmed)
Average Daily Volume = 231 thousand
Listed on December 27, 2011


Starbucks Corp. - SBUX - close: 47.36 change: -0.24

Stop Loss: 45.75
Target(s): 49.75
Current Gain/Loss: + 2.7%
Time Frame: up to the January earnings report.
New Positions: see below

Comments:
01/14 update: SBUX held up pretty well considering the market's widespread pull back on Friday morning. Shares essentially held at the $47.00 level when traders could have used the market's Friday morning weakness to sell SBUX hard and lock in gains.

If we had more time I would leave our stop loss relatively wide to give SBUX room to move. However, we plan to exit prior to the January 26th earnings report. Therefore I am raising our stop loss up to $45.75. More conservative traders may want to put their stop at breakeven. I am not suggesting new positions at this time.

current Position: long SBUX stock @ $46.08

- or -

Long FEB $47 call (SBUX1218B47) entry $1.56

01/14/12 new stop loss @ 45.75, plan to exit prior to earnings
01/12/12 new stop loss @ 44.90
01/11/12 new stop loss @ 44.60
01/07/12 new stop loss @ 43.95

chart:

Entry on December 29 at $46.08
Earnings Date 01/26/12 (confirmed)
Average Daily Volume = 5.1 million
Listed on December 28, 2011


Textainer Group Holdings - TGH - close: 29.52 change: -0.42

Stop Loss: 28.95
Target(s): 34.00
Current Gain/Loss: - 3.5%
Time Frame: 3 to 4 weeks
New Positions: see below

Comments:
01/14 update: Hmm... I'm not happy with Friday's performance in TGH. Shares opened at $29.85 and within moments the stock had spiked to $30.77 and then immediately reversed. Looking at the time and sales you can see that all the action happened at 09:30:02 Friday morning. The "rally" past resistance lasted less than one second. Sometimes that happens in a thinly traded stock, which is why we normally try to avoid trading stocks with daily average volume of less than 300,000 a day. TGH's is 172,000.

Currently TGH is still inside the $29.00-30.50 trading range. I am not suggesting new positions at this time. We'll wait for another rally past $30.60 before considering new positions.

Earlier Comments:
A breakout could spark some short covering. The most recent data listed short interest at 11% of the very small 12.8 million share float. That raises the risk of a short squeeze. Plus, TGH should appeal to the high-yield crowd since shares sport a 4.7% yield. NOTE: TGH does have options but the spreads are a little wide.

current Position: Long TGH stock @ 30.60

01/13/12 TGH hit our trigger at $30.60 and reversed in less than one second. I am suggesting caution here.

chart:

Entry on January 13 at $30.60
Earnings Date 02/09/12 (unconfirmed)
Average Daily Volume = 172 thousand
Listed on January 11, 2011


Vertex Pharmaceuticals - VRTX - close: 36.81 change: -0.26

Stop Loss: 33.95
Target(s): 39.50
Current Gain/Loss: unopened
Time Frame: up to the February earnings
New Positions: Yes, see below

Comments:
01/14 update: We are still waiting for a pull back in VRTX. However, tonight we're adjusting our entry and stop. I am suggesting we open bullish positions at $35.05 and use a stop loss at $33.95. I would keep our position size small. We have less than three full weeks before we plan to exit to avoid VRTX's early February earnings report.

Trigger @ 35.05 (small positions)

Suggested Position: buy VRTX stock @ 35.05

- or -

buy the Feb $35 call (VRTX1218B35)

01/14/12 adjusted strategy: trigger @ 35.05, stop loss 33.95.

chart:

Entry on January xx at $ xx.xx
Earnings Date 02/02/12 (unconfirmed)
Average Daily Volume = 3.0 million
Listed on January 10, 2011


BEARISH Play Updates

Target Corp. - TGT - close: 49.82 change: +0.01

Stop Loss: 50.50
Target(s): 46.05
Current Gain/Loss: - 3.7%
Time Frame: 3 to 6 weeks
New Positions: see below

Comments:
01/14 update: We have been expecting an oversold bounce back toward $50.00. Shares rallied to $50.22 before fading to virtually unchanged on the session. This could be used as a new bearish entry point although readers may want to tighten their stop loss.

(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

Ctrip.com Intl. - CTRP - close: 24.31 change: +0.50

Stop Loss: 24.05
Target(s): 20.25
Current Gain/Loss: - 6.8%
Time Frame: up to earnings in mid February.
New Positions: see below

Comments:
01/14 update: Ouch! It was a rough week for bears in CTRP. On Monday the 9th the stock fell to new two-year lows. Shares spent a couple of days consolidating sideways. Then in the last two days CTRP has produced a significant bounce. From Monday's low to Friday's intraday high CTRP was up +17%.

Friday morning CTRP was upgraded and shares gapped higher at $24.44. That was above our stop loss at $24.05 so our trade was closed immediately. NOTE: If you had waited for a breakdown under $22.00 the trade never opened.

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. FYI: The Point & Figure chart for CTRP is bearish with a $9.00 target.

Small Positions

closed Position: short CTRP stock @ $22.87, exit $24.44 (-6.8%)

- or -

Feb $22 PUT (CTRP1218N22) entry $1.20, exit $0.65 (-45.8%)

01/13/12 CTRP gapped higher at $24.44, above our stop at $24.05
01/12/12 CTRP is bouncing higher. Readers may want to exit immediately

chart:

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: 18.04 change: -1.47

Stop Loss: 21.05
Target(s): 18.00
Current Gain/Loss: + 9.8%
Time Frame: up to the earnings report
New Positions: see below

Comments:
01/14 update: Target achieved. The major video game stocks were down hard today on news that video game sales fell -8% in 2011. Volume surged to more than three times the norm as EA plunged to new four-month lows. The intraday low was $17.95. Our exit target was hit at $18.00.

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

(Small Positions)

closed Position: short EA stock @ 19.97, exit 18.00 (+9.8%)

- or -

2012Jan $20 PUT (EA1221M20) entry $0.70 exit $1.94 (+177.1%)

01/13/12 exit target hit at $18.00.

chart:

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: 47.43 change: +0.16

Stop Loss: 48.05
Target(s): 41.00
Current Gain/Loss: - 2.7%
Time Frame: 4 to 6 weeks
New Positions: see below

Comments:
01/14 update: Our JOSB trade has been stopped out. On Thursday I noted that a breakout past $47.50 might be a bullish move so we lowered our stop loss to $48.05. The stock spiked higher on Friday morning and that's unusual since the market was moving lower on Friday morning. JOSB hit our stop at $48.05 before paring its gains.

The larger trend still looks bearish but I'd probably wait for a new failed rally in the $49-50 zone before considering new bearish positions. Of course given the two-month trend line of lower highs we may have had our stop loss too tight.

Earlier Comments:
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.

(Small Positions)

closed Position: short JOSB stock @ 46.75 exit $48.05 (-2.7%)

- or -

Feb. $45 PUT (JOSB1218N45) entry $1.55 exit $0.70*(-54.8%)

*option exit is an estimate. put didn't trade when we were stopped out
01/13/12 stopped out at $48.05
01/12/12 new stop loss @ 48.05

chart:

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