Editor's Note:
It was another day of gains for most of the market on Thursday. Our HGSI trade is open. We closed our PETS trade. TGT was stopped out.

Current Portfolio:


BULLISH Play Updates

Ball Corp. - BLL - close: 38.15 change: +0.46

Stop Loss: 39.00
Target(s): 36.65
Current Gain/Loss: + 4.3%
Time Frame: up to the earnings report (01/26)
New Positions: see below

Comments:
01/19 update: The intraday bounce from Wednesday carried over into Thursday's session. The stock rallied past resistance at $38.00 and outperformed the major indices with a +1.2% gain. The mini-breakout today is encouraging but I would not buy BLL here. Readers may want to start taking profits now, especially in the calls, which are up +39%. We want to exit prior to the earnings report on January 26th.

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: 35.74 change: -0.29

Stop Loss: 34.20
Target(s): 39.50
Current Gain/Loss: unopened
Time Frame: 3 to 4 weeks
New Positions: Yes, see below

Comments:
01/19 update: Hmm... BMRN is not cooperating. That's two days in a row it has been unable to meet our entry point requirements. I am adjusting our entry point strategy. We'll use a trigger at $36.20 and move our stop loss up to $34.20. We want to keep our position size small to limit our risk.

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.

Trigger @ 36.20, stop loss 34.20 (small positions)

Suggested Position: buy BMRN stock @ $36.20

01/19/12 trade did not open. Adjust entry to use a trigger at $36.20, new stop loss at $34.20
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: 19.79 change: +0.25

Stop Loss: 18.60
Target(s): 20.75
Current Gain/Loss: + 2.1%
Time Frame: up to CSCO's February earnings
New Positions: see below

Comments:
01/19 update: Technology stocks were showing some relative strength today. CSCO added +1.2% and is racing toward potential round-number resistance at $20.00. This $20 level could also act as a magnet, especially for option expiration tomorrow. I am not suggesting new positions at this time.

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


Human Genome Sciences - HGSI - close: 9.05 change: +0.13

Stop Loss: 8.30
Target(s): 11.00
Current Gain/Loss: - 0.1%
Time Frame: 3 to 4 weeks
New Positions: see below

Comments:
01/19 update: HGSI outperformed the market with a +1.4% gain. Unfortunately the stock's gap open higher at $9.06 did impact our entry point. The stock's pop this morning could have been due to a new analyst "buy" rating on the stock. I am still bullish here but keep in mind this is an aggressive trade and HGSI can be a volatile stock.

Our target is $11.00 but readers should note that the $10.00 level and the simple 100-dma could act as overhead resistance. I am suggesting we keep our position size small to limit our risk.

(small positions)

current Position: Long HGSI stock @ $9.06 n

- or -

Long Feb $10 call (HGSI1218B10) Entry $0.59

01/19/12 HGSI gapped open higher at $9.06 on a new "buy" rating

Entry on January 19 at $9.06
Earnings Date 02/23/12 (unconfirmed)
Average Daily Volume = 7.1 million
Listed on January 18, 2011


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

Stop Loss: 40.99
Target(s): 44.50
Current Gain/Loss: + 4.2%
Time Frame: up to the earnings report Jan. 24th
New Positions: see below

Comments:
01/19 update: HOG managed another gain (+0.3%) but volume is fading. I am suggesting we go ahead and exit these positions at the closing bell tomorrow (Friday, Jan 20th). We'll raise our stop loss up to $40.99.

FYI: The Feb. $40 call has a bid of $3.00 (+45.6%).

current Position: long HOG stock @ 40.35

- or -

Long Feb $40 call (HOG1221B40) entry $2.06

01/19/12 prepare to exit tomorrow (Jan 20th) at the closing bell.
01/19/12 new stop loss @ 40.99
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


SAIC, Inc. - SAI - close: 13.26 change: +0.09

Stop Loss: 12.74
Target(s): 14.50
Current Gain/Loss: + 1.2%
Time Frame: 6 to 8 weeks
New Positions: see below

Comments:
01/19 update: SAI managed to outperform the S&P 500 with a +0.6% gain today. Shares also closed at their highs for the session, which normally bodes well for tomorrow morning.

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: 48.02 change: -0.02

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:
01/19 update: The rally in SBUX took a day off. Shares have been consolidating sideways at record highs near $48.00 for a few days now. Looking at the weekly chart SBUX seems very overbought. Readers may want to seriously consider an early exit tomorrow. I am not suggesting new positions at this time.

We plan to exit prior to the earnings report on Jan. 26th.

current Position: long SBUX stock @ $46.08

- or -

Long FEB $47 call (SBUX1218B47) entry $1.56

01/19/12 Readers may want to take profits now!
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: 4.81 change: -0.04

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:
01/19 update: SWHC spiked to a new relative high at $4.95 before reversing lower and settling with a -0.8% decline. I don't see any changes from my prior comments.

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: 31.23 change: +0.46

Stop Loss: 28.95
Target(s): 34.00
Current Gain/Loss: + 2.0%
Time Frame: 3 to 4 weeks
New Positions: see below

Comments:
01/19 update: Traders bought the dip this morning near $3.40 and the stock rallied to a new relative high. Today's +1.5% gain outperformed the major indices. Please note our new stop loss at $29.40.

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

01/19/12 new stop loss @ 29.40
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: 17.74 change: -0.02

Stop Loss: 19.75
Target(s): 15.00
Current Gain/Loss: + 0.3%
Time Frame: 4 to 6 weeks, exit prior to earnings
New Positions: see below

Comments:
01/19 update: With the stock market in rally mode I am not that surprised to see CJES struggle making new lows. The stock did underperform the market again today. If you want to get nitpicky you could argue that today and yesterday almost looks like a very short-term bullish double bottom on the intraday chart. I would hesitate to open new positions at this time.

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


CLOSED BULLISH PLAYS

PetMed Express Inc. - PETS - close: 11.08 change: +0.08

Stop Loss: 10.59
Target(s): 11.90
Current Gain/Loss: + 4.6%
Time Frame: up to the January earnings report.
New Positions: see below

Comments:
01/19 update: It was our plan to exit our PETS trade at the closing bell today. The stock was kind enough to rally to a new multi-month high.

(small positions)

closed Position: Long PETS stock @ $10.59, $11.08 (+4.6%)

- or -

Long Feb $10 call (PETS1218B10) entry $0.74, exit $1.00 (+35.1%)

01/19/12 exited at the close
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.

chart:

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


CLOSED BEARISH PLAYS

Target Corp. - TGT - close: 50.90 change: +1.03

Stop Loss: 50.50
Target(s): 46.05
Current Gain/Loss: - 5.2%
Time Frame: 3 to 6 weeks
New Positions: see below

Comments:
01/19 update: The RLX retail index has been surging higher. TGT finally decided to participate in the sector's rally. The stock surged +2.0% and broke through resistance near $50.00 and its simple 200-dma. Our stop loss was hit at $50.50. This loss would have been a lot smaller if TGT had not gapped open lower on Jan. 5th.

(small positions)

closed Position: short TGT stock @ 48.00, exit $50.50 (-5.2%)

- or -

Feb $50 PUT (TGT1218B50) entry $2.65, exit $1.04 (-60.7%)

01/19/12 stopped out at $50.50
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