Editor's Note:
Tonight we closed a couple of bearish trades to avoid holding over the earnings report (FSLR, ROVI).

Current Portfolio:


BULLISH Play Updates

The Home Depot - HD - close: 52.71 change: +0.39

Stop Loss: 50.75
Target(s): 54.75
Current Gain/Loss: + 0.8%
Time Frame: exit prior to the May 15th earnings report
New Positions: see below

Comments:
05/02 update: HD continues to show relative strength and posted a +0.7% gain on Wednesday. If you're looking for a new entry point consider buying a dip near $52.00.

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: 31.49 change: +0.51

Stop Loss: 29.75
Target(s): 33.50
Current Gain/Loss: + 4.1%
Time Frame: exit prior to the late May earnings report
New Positions: see below

Comments:
05/02 update: RUE is also showing relative strength. Traders bought the dip this morning and RUE posted a +1.6% by the close. I am not suggesting new positions at these levels.

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: 39.11 change: -0.33

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:
05/02 update: Oil service names underperformed today. SDRL gapped down but eventually pared its losses to -0.8% on the session. I don't see any changes from my prior comments.

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: 45.74 change: -0.13

Stop Loss: 44.45
Target(s): 49.50
Current Gain/Loss: - 1.1%
Time Frame: exit prior to the May 9th earnings report
New Positions: see below

Comments:
05/02 update: It was a quiet day for TEVA with shares testing short-term support near their 10-dma and the $45.50 level. I am not suggesting new positions with TEVA below $46.00. 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: 32.04 change: -0.25

Stop Loss: 30.90
Target(s): 34.75
Current Gain/Loss: - 0.6%
Time Frame: 3 to 6 weeks
New Positions: see below

Comments:
05/02 update: USB erased yesterday's gain with a 25-cent loss today. I suspect we will see USB test its 10-dma or dip toward the $31.50 area. Wait for that dip before considering new positions. Or more conservative traders could wait for 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: 39.95 change: +1.10

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:
05/02 update: WSM displayed relative strength with a big rally today (+2.8%) but shares remain under resistance at the $40.00 mark. The intraday high was only $40.09 so our trade is not open yet.

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: 33.00 change: -0.52

Stop Loss: 35.05
Target(s): 31.00
Current Gain/Loss: + 5.0%
Time Frame: up to its May 10th earnings report
New Positions: see below

Comments:
05/02 update: APEI continues to sink. Shares dipped to $32.55 intraday. An afternoon bounce trimmed its losses to -1.5%. I am lowering our stop loss down to $35.05. More conservative traders may want to take profits right now.

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

05/02/12 new stop loss @ 35.05, readers may want to take profits now
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


Groupon, Inc. - GRPN - close: 10.58 change: -0.29

Stop Loss: 11.75
Target(s): 7.50
Current Gain/Loss: + 2.0%
Time Frame: exit prior to May 14th earnings report
New Positions: see below

Comments:
05/02 update: GRPN gapped open at $10.80 and then spent most of the day churning sideways below closing near its lows for the day. I don't see any changes from my Tuesday night comments. Just remember this is an aggressive, higher-risk trade.

Earlier Comments:
Investors are unhappy with management, worried about earnings, and concerned that the upcoming lock up expiration could put even more pressure on the stock. The lock up period expires on June 1st (delayed from May 2nd). I do consider this an aggressive, higher-risk trade. The trend is down but GRPN is definitely oversold at this point. We want to use small positions to limit our risk. Readers may want to use options to limit their risk even further. We do not want to hold over the May 14th earnings report.

(Small positions)

Suggested Position: short GRPN stock @ $10.80

- or -

Long May $10 put (GRPN1219Q10) Entry $0.90

Entry on May 02 at $10.80
Earnings Date 05/14/12 (confirmed)
Average Daily Volume = 2.6 million
Listed on May 01, 2011


Hi Tech Pharmacal - HITK - close: 33.20 change: +0.53

Stop Loss: 35.05
Target(s): $30.50
Current Gain/Loss: + 3.5%
Time Frame: 2 to 4 weeks
New Positions: see below

Comments:
05/02 update: Hmm... I could not find any news to explain HITK's relative strength today. Shares rallied off their morning lows to outperform the market with a +1.6% gain. More conservative traders may want to exit early and lock in a profit now. I am not suggesting new positions at this time.

There is potential support near $32.00 and its 300-dma but we're currently 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: 38.14 change: +0.71

Stop Loss: 39.15
Target(s): 34.50
Current Gain/Loss: + 0.5%
Time Frame: exit prior to the late May earnings report
New Positions: see below

Comments:
05/02 update: Warning! Readers may want to exit this position immediately. QSII rallied off short-term support at $37.00 and closed above short-term resistance at $38.00. The move has created a bullish engulfing candlestick reversal pattern on the daily chart. I am lowering our stop loss down to $39.15. I am not suggesting new positions at this time.

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

05/02/12 Caution! QSII produced a bullish reversal candlestick today. Readers may want to exit early now. new stop loss at $39.15.

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


St. Jude Medical - STJ - close: 38.83 change: -0.22

Stop Loss: 40.05
Target(s): 34.25
Current Gain/Loss: - 3.7%
Time Frame: 3 to 6 weeks
New Positions: see below

Comments:
05/02 update: STJ slipped -0.5% and closed back under its 150-dma. I remain cautious here. I'm not suggesting new positions. More conservative traders 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 BEARISH PLAYS

First Solar, Inc. - FSLR - close: 18.21 change: -0.21

Stop Loss: 20.05
Target(s): 15.25
Current Gain/Loss: + 5.1%
Time Frame: exit prior to earnings on May 3rd
New Positions: see below

Comments:
05/02 update: Our plan was to exit FSLR positions at the close today to avoid holding over its earnings report tomorrow. Shares fell -1.1% on the session.

(small positions)

closed Position: short FSLR stock @ $19.19 exit $18.21 (+5.1%)

- or -

May $18 PUT (FSLR1219Q18) Entry $1.36 exit $1.50 (+10.2%)

05/02/12 planned exit at the close
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

chart:

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


Rovi Corp. - ROVI - close: 28.46 change: -0.43

Stop Loss: 30.05
Target(s): 26.25
Current Gain/Loss: + 2.8%
Time Frame: exit prior to the May 3rd earnings report
New Positions: see below

Comments:
05/02 update: The bounce in ROVI is rolling over. Unfortunately we are out of time. The plan was to exit positions tonight at the close to avoid holding over earnings.

closed Position: short ROVI stock @ $29.27 exit $28.46 (+2.8%)

- or -

MAY $30 PUT (ROVI1219Q30) Entry $2.45 exit $2.35 (- 4.0%)

05/02/12 planned exit at the close
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

chart:

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