Editor's Note:
Stocks were up with a broad-based rally on Wednesday and the S&P 500 has broken out past the 1,300 level.

We saw CSCO hit our entry point. CJES, a bearish trade, hit our entry point. I have removed VRTX as a candidate.

Current Portfolio:


BULLISH Play Updates

Ball Corp. - BLL - close: 37.14 change: -0.50

Stop Loss: 39.00
Target(s): 36.65
Current Gain/Loss: + 3.1%
Time Frame: up to the earnings report (01/26)
New Positions: see below

Comments:
01/18 update: BLL found support near $37 and its rising 10-dma. Shares bounced to a +1.4% gain. I am not suggesting new positions at this time. We want to exit prior to the earnings report on January 26th. I am raising our stop loss to $36.65.

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

01/18/12 new stop loss @ 36.65
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

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


BioMarin Pharmaceuticals - BMRN - close: 36.03 change: +0.17

Stop Loss: 33.80
Target(s): 39.50
Current Gain/Loss: unopened
Time Frame: 3 to 4 weeks
New Positions: Yes, see below

Comments:
01/18 update: Our new BMRN trade is not open yet. The stock saw a small gap down at the open today. Shares recovered and spent the rest of the session moving sideways near the $36.00 level. I am suggesting we try again. The plan is to open bullish positions tomorrow morning but only if both BMRN and the S&P 500 open positive. If the S&P 500 happens to open flat then we'll base our entry on BMRN's open.

Our target is $39.50. We want to exit prior to the earnings report in mid February. FYI: The Point & Figure chart for BMRN is bullish with a $47.50 target.

NOTE: BMRN does have options but the spreads are too wide to trade.

*See Entry Details Above*

Suggested Position: buy BMRN stock @ the open

01/18/12 trade did not open. try again.

Entry on January xx at $ xx.xx
Earnings Date 02/16/12 (unconfirmed)
Average Daily Volume = 839 thousand
Listed on January 17, 2011


Cisco Systems Inc. - CSCO - close: 19.54 change: +0.24

Stop Loss: 18.60
Target(s): 20.75
Current Gain/Loss: + 0.8%
Time Frame: up to CSCO's February earnings
New Positions: see below

Comments:
01/18 update: Our CSCO trade is open. The stock gapped higher at $19.37, which was above our entry point trigger at $19.35. The stock rallied to a +1.2% gain and a new multi-month high. I would still consider new positions now at current levels.

Earlier Comments:
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.

Long Position: Long CSCO stock @ 19.37

- or -

Long Feb $20 call (CSCO1218B20) Entry $0.43

01/18/12 trade opened on gap higher at $19.37

Entry on January 18 at $19.37
Earnings Date 02/08/12 (confirmed)
Average Daily Volume = 39.0 million
Listed on January 12, 2011


Harley-Davidson - HOG - close: 41.89 change: +0.47

Stop Loss: 39.40
Target(s): 44.50
Current Gain/Loss: + 3.8%
Time Frame: up to the earnings report (late January)
New Positions: see below

Comments:
01/18 update: Thankfully there was no follow through on what could have been a bearish reversal yesterday. HOG bounced this morning but spent most of the day churning sideways near $41.80. I would not be surprised to see a correction toward the rising 10-dma or even the $40.00 level. I am not suggesting new positions at this time.

NOTE: We plan to exit prior to the earnings report on Jan. 24th.

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.

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


PetMed Express Inc. - PETS - close: 11.00 change: +0.04

Stop Loss: 10.59
Target(s): 11.90
Current Gain/Loss: + 3.8%
Time Frame: up to the January earnings report.
New Positions: see below

Comments:
01/18 update: Traders bought the dip this morning but PETS was unable to breakout past resistance near $11.00. We are almost out of time on this trade. Earnings are due on January 23rd, before the opening bell. I am suggesting we exit our PETS positions at the closing bell tomorrow. We will raise our stop loss to breakeven at $10.59.

(small positions)

current Position: Long PETS stock @ $10.59

- or -

Long Feb $10 call (PETS1218B10) entry $0.74

01/18/12 prepare to exit tomorrow at the close
01/18/12 new stop loss @ 10.59
01/17/12 new stop loss @ 10.45, Readers have a decision to make with PETS near resistance at $11.00. Do you exit now or hold on?
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.

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


SAIC, Inc. - SAI - close: 13.17 change: +0.13

Stop Loss: 12.74
Target(s): 14.50
Current Gain/Loss: + 0.5%
Time Frame: 6 to 8 weeks
New Positions: see below

Comments:
01/18 update: SAI spent most of the day churning under the $13.10 level but started to see some upward momentum late in the session.

Our target is $14.50 but I have to warn you that I see potential resistance near $13.50, and the 150-dma, the exponential 200-dma and the simple 200-dma.

(Small Positions)

Suggested Position: long SAI stock @ $13.10

- or -

Long Feb $12 call (SAI1218B12) Entry $1.30

Entry on January 17 at $13.10
Earnings Date 03/22/12 (unconfirmed)
Average Daily Volume = 1.7 million
Listed on January 14, 2011


Starbucks Corp. - SBUX - close: 48.04 change: +0.33

Stop Loss: 46.40
Target(s): 49.00
Current Gain/Loss: + 4.2%
Time Frame: up to the January earnings report.
New Positions: see below

Comments:
01/18 update: Another day, another gain for SBUX. The stock continues to drift higher. I am starting to think we might want to exit before the weekend. Readers may want to contemplate a close on Thursday or Friday. I am raising our stop loss up to $46.40. I am also moving our exit target down to $49.00.

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

01/18/12 new stop loss $ 46.40, adjust exit to $49.00
01/17/12 new stop loss @ 45.95
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

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


Smith & Wesson Holding Corp. - SWHC - close: 4.85 change: +0.16

Stop Loss: 4.45
Target(s): 5.65 or 6.40
Current Gain/Loss: + 0.4%
Time Frame: 6 to 8 weeks
New Positions: see below

Comments:
01/18 update: Traders bought the dip this morning a $4.59 and SWHC rallied to a +3.4% gain. The stock is on the verge of hitting new two-year highs.

Earlier Comments:
I do consider this a very aggressive trade and we want to keep our position size small. The $5.00 level could be resistance but we're going to aim higher. I am setting two different targets depending on your risk tolerance. I'd aim for $5.65 or $6.40. FYI: The Point & Figure chart for SWHC is bullish with a long-term $9.50 target.

(Small Positions)

Suggested Position: long SWHC stock @ $4.83

Entry on January 17 at $4.83
Earnings Date 03/12/12 (unconfirmed)
Average Daily Volume = 962 thousand
Listed on January 14, 2011


Textainer Group Holdings - TGH - close: 30.77 change: +0.98

Stop Loss: 28.95
Target(s): 34.00
Current Gain/Loss: + 0.5%
Time Frame: 3 to 4 weeks
New Positions: see below

Comments:
01/18 update: The stock market's widespread gain is starting to have an affect on TGH. Shares broke out to new multi-month highs with today's +3.2% gain. Today's move can be used as a new entry point.

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.

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


BEARISH Play Updates

C&J Energy Services, Inc. - CJES - close: 17.76 change: -0.24

Stop Loss: 19.75
Target(s): 15.00
Current Gain/Loss: + 0.2%
Time Frame: 4 to 6 weeks, exit prior to earnings
New Positions: see below

Comments:
01/18 update: Our new trade on CJES has already been triggered. The stock opened lower at $17.89 and fell to $17.11 before bouncing. The relative weakness is a good sign on such a strong market day. I would still be cautious when it comes to opening bearish positions with the market in rally mode.

Earlier Comments:
Our target is $15.00. We do want to keep our position size small to limit our risk. The most recent data listed short interest at about 15% of the small 35.9 million-share float. That does raise the risk of a short squeeze. You may want to use put options to limit your risk instead of shorting the stock. FYI: The Point & Figure chart for CJES is bearish with a $12.00 target.

Current Position: short CJES stock @ 17.80

- or -

Long Feb $17.50 put (CJES1218N17.5) Entry $0.98

Entry on January 18 at $17.80
Earnings Date 02/15/12 (unconfirmed)
Average Daily Volume = 923 thousand
Listed on January 17, 2011


Target Corp. - TGT - close: 49.87 change: -0.01

Stop Loss: 50.50
Target(s): 46.05
Current Gain/Loss: - 3.9%
Time Frame: 3 to 6 weeks
New Positions: see below

Comments:
01/18 update: TGT gapped open lower today in what appears to be a reaction to new that company has suspended its efforts to sell its credit card receivables. The stock did recover to close almost unchanged on the session. I remain bearish with shares under $50.00.

(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 BULLISH PLAYS

Vertex Pharmaceuticals - VRTX - close: 37.47 change: +0.96

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

Comments:
01/18 update: Our proposed entry point strategy to buy a dip in VRTX is not working out. The market's broad-based strength has allowed VRTX to build a new trading range in the $36-37.50 zone. Readers might want to consider bullish positions if VRTX trade over $37.75 but I am concerned about potential resistance at the 100-dma, 200-ema, and the $40.00 level.

Trigger @ 35.05 (small positions)

Our Trade Did Not Open

01/18/12 Removed VRTX as an active candidate
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