Editor's Note:
SQQQ and IBN were stopped out. We exited ABX as planned. Both TEVA and USB were triggered. I want to caution readers that several stocks rallied with the market and then reversed hard in what looks like a failed rally pattern.

Please note that we are also planning to exit FSLR and ROVI tomorrow.

Current Portfolio:


BULLISH Play Updates

The Home Depot - HD - close: 52.32 change: +0.53

Stop Loss: 50.75
Target(s): 54.75
Current Gain/Loss: + 0.1%
Time Frame: exit prior to the May 15th earnings report
New Positions: see below

Comments:
05/01 update: The market's widespread strength helped push HD to a new 52-week high. Readers can use this bullish breakout as a new entry point.

Our short-term target is $54.75 but we'll plan on exiting prior to the May 15th earnings report.

Suggested Position: Long HD stock @ $52.25

- or -

Long May $52.50 call (HD1219E52.5) Entry $0.85

04/27/12 triggered at $52.25

Entry on April 27 at $52.25
Earnings Date 05/15/12 (confirmed)
Average Daily Volume = 8.6 million
Listed on April 26, 2011


rue21, Inc. - RUE - close: 30.98 change: +0.63

Stop Loss: 29.75
Target(s): 33.50
Current Gain/Loss: + 2.4%
Time Frame: exit prior to the late May earnings report
New Positions: see below

Comments:
05/01 update: RUE erased yesterday's loss with a +2.0% gain today. The stock has rallied past resistance near $31.00 and almost hit $32.00 before trimming its gains. I am raising our stop loss up to $29.75.

Our multi-week target is $33.50. We want to exit prior to the late May earnings report. FYI: The Point & Figure chart for RUE is bullish with a long-term $48.00 target.

(small positions)

Suggested Position: Long RUE stock @ $30.25

- or -

Long May $30 call (RUE1219E30) Entry $1.70

05/01/12 new stop loss @ 29.75
04/26/12 new stop loss @ 29.10
04/17/12 triggered at $30.25

Entry on April 17 at $30.25
Earnings Date 05/24/12 (unconfirmed)
Average Daily Volume = 304 thousand
Listed on April 164, 2011


SeaDrill Limited - SDRL - close: 39.44 change: +0.31

Stop Loss: 37.40
Target(s): 41.50
Current Gain/Loss: + 2.0%
Time Frame: up to the late May earnings report
New Positions: see below

Comments:
05/01 update: SDRL rallied toward resistance near $40.00 before trimming its gains. If you're looking for a new entry point I'd probably wait for a pullback into the $39.00-38.50 area.

We do not want to hold over the very late May earnings report (end of the month).

Suggested Position: Long SDRL stock @ $38.65

- or -

Long Jun $40 call (SDRL1216F40) Entry $0.65

04/30/12 triggered at $38.65

Entry on April 30 at $38.65
Earnings Date 05/31/12 (unconfirmed)
Average Daily Volume = 2.0 million
Listed on April 28, 2011


Teva Pharma - TEVA - close: 45.87 change: +0.11

Stop Loss: 44.45
Target(s): 49.50
Current Gain/Loss: - 0.8%
Time Frame: exit prior to the May 9th earnings report
New Positions: see below

Comments:
05/01 update: Uh-oh! TEVA may have posted a gain today but the action looks bearish. The stock broke through resistance at $46.00, hit our trigger to open positions at $46.25, rallied to $46.38, only to reverse sharply lower and close back under the $46.00 level. This could be considered a bull trap or a failed rally pattern.

Our trade is open but at this point I'd wait for a rise pat $46.50 before considering new positions. We do not want to hold over the May 9th earnings report.

current Position: Long TEVA stock @ $46.25

- or -

Long May $45 call (TEVA1219E45) Entry $1.65

05/01/12 triggered at $46.25

Entry on May 01 at $46.25
Earnings Date 05/09/12 (confirmed)
Average Daily Volume = 3.3 million
Listed on April 25, 2011


U.S. Bancorp - USB - close: 32.17 change: -0.26

Stop Loss: 30.90
Target(s): 34.75
Current Gain/Loss: + 0.1%
Time Frame: 3 to 6 weeks
New Positions: see below

Comments:
05/01 update: Hmm... we have a similar situation with USB. The market's widespread rally this morning helped push USB higher. The stock hit a new high and then reversed to give back almost all of its gains. The move looks like a potential short-term top or reversal. Unfortunately our trade was triggered at $32.25.

At this point readers may want to wait for a new bounce off the $32.00 level or a new rally past $32.50 before considering new positions.

Our target is $34.75 but more aggressive traders could aim higher.

current Position: Long USB stock @ $32.25

- or -

Long May $32 call (USB1219E32) Entry $0.70

05/01/12 triggered @ 32.25

Entry on May 01 at $32.25
Earnings Date 07/18/12 (unconfirmed)
Average Daily Volume = 10.3 million
Listed on April 30, 2011


Williams Sonoma Inc. - WSM - close: 38.85 change: +0.16

Stop Loss: 38.40
Target(s): 44.00
Current Gain/Loss: unopened
Time Frame: exit prior to the mid May earnings report
New Positions: Yes, see below

Comments:
05/01 update: WSM did not see that much of a bounce today. Shares failed to challenge its recent high. That doesn't bode well. Fortunately we are still sitting on the sidelines waiting for a breakout.

I am suggesting a trigger to launch bullish positions at $40.15 with a stop loss at $38.40. We will target a run to $44.00 but we do not want to hold over the mid May earnings report.

Trigger @ $40.15

Suggested Position: buy WSM stock @ (trigger)

- or -

buy the May $40 call (WSM1219E40)

Entry on April xx at $ xx.xx
Earnings Date 05/17/12 (unconfirmed)
Average Daily Volume = 2.1 million
Listed on April 28, 2011


BEARISH Play Updates

American Public Education - APEI - close: 33.52 change: -1.20

Stop Loss: 35.55
Target(s): 31.00
Current Gain/Loss: + 3.5%
Time Frame: up to its May 10th earnings report
New Positions: see below

Comments:
05/01 update: It was a good day to be short APEI. The stock underperformed the market and plunged to a -3.4% decline. I am lowering our stop loss to $35.55.

Earlier Comments:
The plan was to limit our risk with small positions. Our exit target is $31.00 but we do not want to hold over the May 10th earnings report. This is a higher-risk trade. Lots of investors think APEI is going lower and the most recent data listed short interest at 20% of the very small 16.8 million share float. That does raise the risk of a short squeeze. You may want to limit your exposure by trading options.

(small positions)

Suggested Position: short APEI stock @ $34.75

- or -

Long May $35 PUT (APEI1219Q35) Entry $2.10

05/01/12 new stop loss @ 35.55
04/28/12 new stop loss @ 36.05
04/23/12 new stop loss @ 36.60
04/19/12 triggered at $34.75

Entry on April 19 at $34.75
Earnings Date 05/10/12 (unconfirmed)
Average Daily Volume = 202 thousand
Listed on April 18, 2011


First Solar, Inc. - FSLR - close: 18.42 change: +0.02

Stop Loss: 20.05
Target(s): 15.25
Current Gain/Loss: + 4.0%
Time Frame: exit prior to earnings on May 3rd
New Positions: see below

Comments:
05/01 update: FSLR keeps trying to bounce but it's not making much progress. Today shares hit $19.48 intraday before giving back nearly all of its gains. Right now our plan is to exit positions tomorrow (May 2nd) at the closing bell to avoid holding over earnings on the 3rd. I am inching our stop loss down to $20.05.

(small positions)

current Position: short FSLR stock @ $19.19

- or -

Long May $18 PUT (FSLR1219Q18) Entry $1.36

05/01/12 new stop loss @ 20.05, exit tomorrow at the close
04/30/12 new stop loss @ 20.25
04/28/12 we will plan to exit on May 2nd at the close if the trade is still open by then
04/28/12 new stop loss @ 20.75
04/26/12 new stop loss @ 21.55

Entry on April 24 at $19.19
Earnings Date 05/03/12 (unconfirmed)
Average Daily Volume = 7.1 million
Listed on April 23, 2011


Hi Tech Pharmacal - HITK - close: 32.67 change: +0.08

Stop Loss: 35.05
Target(s): $30.50
Current Gain/Loss: + 5.0%
Time Frame: 2 to 4 weeks
New Positions: see below

Comments:
05/01 update: The stock market's gains this morning helped fuel a bounce in HITK but shares gave back almost all of its gains. There is no change from my prior comments. I am not suggesting new positions at this time.

More conservative traders may want to lock in gains on a dip near $32.00. Currently we're aiming for $30.50.

current Position: short HITK stock @ $34.40

04/21/12 new stop loss @ 35.05, adjust exit target to $30.50
04/19/12 planned exit for our April put: $1.30 (-13.3%)
04/18/12 prepare to exit our April $35 puts at the close tomorrow
04/14/12 new stop loss @ 35.55
04/10/12 triggered at $34.40

Entry on April 10 at $34.40
Earnings Date 07/05/12 (unconfirmed)
Average Daily Volume = 155 thousand
Listed on April 09, 2011


Quality Systems - QSII - close: 37.43 change: +0.03

Stop Loss: 40.25
Target(s): 34.50
Current Gain/Loss: + 2.3%
Time Frame: exit prior to the late May earnings report
New Positions: see below

Comments:
05/01 update: The bounce attempt in QSII failed at short-term resistance near $38.00 but shares also reinforced short-term support near $37.00. I am not suggesting new positions at this time. More conservative traders may want to start inching their stop loss lower.

Earlier Comments:
I do see potential support at $36.00 and $34.00 and we are going to set our exit target at $34.50 but we plan to exit prior to the late May earnings report. Readers may want to use small positions. The most recent data listed short interest at 12% of the relatively small 39.4 million share float so that does raise the risk of a possible short squeeze.

current Position: short QSII stock @ $38.33

- or -

Long May $40 PUT (QSII1219Q40) Entry $1.90

Entry on April 26 at $38.33
Earnings Date 05/24/12 (unconfirmed)
Average Daily Volume = 476 thousand
Listed on April 25, 2011


Rovi Corp. - ROVI - close: 28.64 change: -0.62

Stop Loss: 30.05
Target(s): 26.25
Current Gain/Loss: + 1.3%
Time Frame: exit prior to the May 3rd earnings report
New Positions: see below

Comments:
05/01 update: The stock market's big pop this morning helped push ROVI to $29.59 intraday. Shares did appear to reverse under short-term technical resistance at the 20-dma. This would look like a bearish entry point but we are out of time. The plan is to exit tomorrow (May 2nd) at the closing bell to avoid earnings on the 3rd.

Earlier Comments:
There is potential support near $28.00 and $26.00. We are setting our exit target at $26.25.

open positions on Monday morning

Suggested Position: short ROVI stock @ $29.27

- or -

Long MAY $30 PUT (ROVI1219Q30) Entry $2.45

05/01/12 prepare to exit at the close tomorrow May 2nd
04/30/12 new stop loss @ 30.05
04/28/12 plan to exit on May 2nd at the close if trade is still open
04/23/12 new stop loss @ 30.25

Entry on April 16 at $29.27
Earnings Date 05/03/12 (confirmed)
Average Daily Volume = 1.2 million
Listed on April 14, 2011


St. Jude Medical - STJ - close: 39.05 change: +0.33

Stop Loss: 40.05
Target(s): 34.25
Current Gain/Loss: - 3.4%
Time Frame: 3 to 6 weeks
New Positions: see below

Comments:
05/01 update: We may have to concede that shares of STJ have bottomed on us. The stock has been marching higher since traders bought the dip on April 23rd. Currently STJ is testing technical resistance at its 20-dma and 150-dma so I'm not giving up just yet but we are not suggesting new positions. Readers may want to just exit early now.

Our target is $34.25. FYI: The Point & Figure chart for STJ is bearish with a $31.00 target.

current Position: short STJ stock @ $37.45

- or -

Long May $37.50 PUT (STJ1219Q37.5) Entry $1.20

04/23/12 new stop loss @ 40.05
04/23/12 triggered at $37.45

Entry on April 23 at $37.45
Earnings Date 04/18/12
Average Daily Volume = 5.1 million
Listed on April 21, 2011


CLOSED BULLISH PLAYS

ProShares UltraPro Short QQQ - SQQQ - close: 10.92 change: -0.05

Stop Loss: 10.60
Target(s): 11.25
Current Gain/Loss: - 8.6%
Time Frame: 4 to 8 weeks
New Positions: see below

Comments:
05/01 update: Our trade on the volatile SQQQ hit our stop loss at $10.60 today. The market's sharp rally this morning was enough to push the SQQQ to $10.56 intraday.

Earlier Comments:
Remember, this is the triple inverse ETF on the QQQ so expect volatility.

current Position: Long SQQQ @ $11.60 exit 10.60 (-8.6%)

- or -

May $12.00 call (SQQQ1219E12) Entry $0.73 exit $0.10 (-86.3%)

05/01/12 stopped out at $10.60
04/28/12 try to reduce losses by exiting on a bounce. Adjust exit target to $11.25
04/26/12 odds are we will see the SQQQ hit our stop early tomorrow
04/16/12 triggered at $11.60

chart:

Entry on April 16 at $11.60
Earnings Date --/--/--
Average Daily Volume = 2.3 million
Listed on April 10, 2011


CLOSED BEARISH PLAYS

Barrick Gold - ABX - close: 40.44 change: +0.01

Stop Loss: 41.05
Target(s): 37.50
Current Gain/Loss: + 1.4%
Time Frame: up to the May 2nd earnings report
New Positions: see below

Comments:
05/01 update: It was a quiet day for ABX and shares closed virtually unchanged. It was our plan to exit tonight at the closing bell to avoid holding over the earnings report tomorrow.

(small positions)

closed Position: short ABX stock @ $41.02 exit $40.44 (+1.4%)

- or -

May $40 PUT (ABX1219Q40) Entry $1.13 exit 0.86 (-23.8%)

05/01/12 planned exit at the close
04/30/12 new stop loss @ 41.05, prepare to exit at the close tomorrow
04/28/12 new stop loss @ 41.55
04/28/12 prepare to exit on May 1st at the closing bell
04/21/12 new stop loss @ 42.20

chart:

Entry on April 17 at $41.02
Earnings Date 05/02/12 (confirmed)
Average Daily Volume = 7.9 million
Listed on April 164, 2011


ICICI Bank Ltd. - IBN - close: 34.07 change: +0.18

Stop Loss: 34.15
Target(s): 30.25
Current Gain/Loss: - 6.6%
Time Frame: 3 to 6 weeks
New Positions: see below

Comments:
05/01 update: A four day bounce in IBN was enough to push shares past several layers of resistance and hit our stop loss at $34.15 today.

closed Position: short IBN stock @ 32.05 exit 34.15 (-6.6%)

- or -

May $32 PUT (IBN1219Q32) Entry $1.32 exit $0.28 (-78.7%)

05/01/12 stopped out at $34.15
04/30/12 IBN continues to bounce. Readers may want to exit early now!
04/28/12 new stop loss @ 34.15
04/23/12 triggered on gap down at $32.05, trigger was 32.75

chart:

Entry on April 23 at $32.05 (gap down)
Earnings Date --/--/-- (unconfirmed)
Average Daily Volume = 1.9 million
Listed on April 14, 2011