Editor's Note:
Shares of APEI accelerated lower and hit our exit target on Friday. Meanwhile the market's widespread weakness helped three of our bullish trades get stopped out (RUE, SDRL, TEVA).

Current Portfolio:


BULLISH Play Updates

The Home Depot - HD - close: 51.96 change: -0.51

Stop Loss: 50.95
Target(s): 54.75
Current Gain/Loss: - 0.5%
Time Frame: exit prior to the May 15th earnings report
New Positions: see below

Comments:
05/05 update: The up trend is still intact but HD did end the week on a down note. I have been cautioning readers to look for a dip near $52.00 or the 20-dma. Shares fell into that area on Friday thanks to the market's widespread declines. I am inching our stop loss up to $50.95. We only have about six trading days left so I'm not suggesting new positions at this time.

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

05/05/12 new stop loss @ 50.95
04/27/12 triggered at $52.25

chart:

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


U.S. Bancorp - USB - close: 31.67 change: -0.27

Stop Loss: 30.90
Target(s): 34.75
Current Gain/Loss: - 1.8%
Time Frame: 3 to 6 weeks
New Positions: see below

Comments:
05/05 update: USB has dipped to short-term support near the $31.50 area. A bounce from here can be used as a new bullish entry point. However, if the market continues to sink next week then USB will probably test the $31.00 mark and its rising 50-dma instead. Cautious traders will want to wait and see if we get a dip to $31.00 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

chart:

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: 38.55 change: -1.23

Stop Loss: 38.40
Target(s): 44.00
Current Gain/Loss: - 3.9%
Time Frame: exit prior to the mid May earnings report
New Positions: see below

Comments:
05/05 update: I warned readers that Thursday's action in WSM was bearish. The stock really underperformed on Friday with a -3.0% decline. This drop on Friday only confirms the failed rally/bearish reversal from Thursday. Shares have fallen to short-term support near $38.50. There is a chance that WSM sees a little oversold bounce on Monday-Tuesday. Conservative traders will want to exit immediately. I'd like to try and reduce our losses by exiting on a bounce from current levels but we'll leave our stop loss at $38.40 just in case the sell-off continues on Monday.

Suggested Position: buy WSM stock @ $40.15

- or -

Long May $40 call (WSM1219E40) Entry $1.50

05/05/12 WSM has produced a bearish reversal. Look to exit on a bounce but keep the stop at $38.40.
05/03/12 triggered at $40.15

chart:

Entry on May 03 at $40.15
Earnings Date 05/17/12 (unconfirmed)
Average Daily Volume = 2.1 million
Listed on April 28, 2011


BEARISH Play Updates

Greenhill & Co. - GHL - close: 36.61 change: -0.25

Stop Loss: 38.75
Target(s): 34.25
Current Gain/Loss: + 1.7%
Time Frame: 3 to 6 weeks
New Positions: see below

Comments:
05/05 update: GHL continued to sink on Friday and fell to $35.31 intraday (a -4.2% decline). Yet the stock surprised us with a big afternoon bounce, which pared its losses to just -0.6%. The big rebound should put bearish traders on the defensive because GHL has a high amount of short interest. Too much unexpected strength could spark a short squeeze.

I am not suggesting new positions at this time. We will lower our stop loss to $38.75.

Earlier Comments:
We do want to keep our position size small since being short GHL is a popular trade. The most recent data listed short interest at 18.5% of the small 26.8 million share float. That does raise the risk of a short squeeze.
FYI: The Point & Figure chart for GHL is bearish with a $29 target.

(small positions)

current Position: short GHL stock @ 37.25

05/05/12 new stop loss @ 38.75
05/03/12 triggered @ 37.25

chart:

Entry on May 03 at $37.25
Earnings Date 07/18/12 (unconfirmed)
Average Daily Volume = 508 thousand
Listed on May 2, 2011


Groupon, Inc. - GRPN - close: 9.97 change: -0.34

Stop Loss: 11.55
Target(s): 8.50
Current Gain/Loss: + 7.7%
Time Frame: exit prior to May 14th earnings report
New Positions: see below

Comments:
05/05 update: There was no follow through on Thursday's attempt at a bounce off the $10.00 level. Instead GRPN drifted sideways. The close under the $10.00 mark is bearish. I am lowering our stop loss down to $11.55. More conservative traders may want to go ahead and take profits now. I am not suggesting new positions at this time. Remember this is an aggressive, higher-risk trade.

Note: I am adjusting our exit target to $8.50 .

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

05/05/12 new stop loss @ 11.55. more conservative traders may want to take profits now (trade is up +7.7%).
Adjusted exit target to $8.50

chart:

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: 32.47 change: -0.57

Stop Loss: 35.05
Target(s): $30.50
Current Gain/Loss: + 5.6%
Time Frame: 2 to 4 weeks
New Positions: see below

Comments:
05/05 update: HITK underperformed the broader market on Friday with a -1.7% decline. The stock is nearing potential support near $32.00 and its simple 300-dma. More conservative traders may want to take profits now or near the $32.00 level. I am not suggesting new positions at this time.

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

chart:

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


NetApp, Inc. - NTAP - close: 38.42 change: -0.06

Stop Loss: 39.65
Target(s): 34.50
Current Gain/Loss: unopened
Time Frame: exit prior to the late May earnings report
New Positions: Yes, see below

Comments:
05/05 update: Hmm... NTAP held up a lot better than expected. Shares only dipped to $37.85 before bouncing back to close almost unchanged on the day. We will keep our trigger at $37.75 but if triggered we want to keep our position size small to limit our risk. I am lowering our stop loss to $39.65.

We do not want to hold over the late May earnings report (date still unconfirmed). FYI: The Point & Figure chart for NTAP is bearish with a $31 target.

Trigger @ 37.75 (small positions)

Suggested Position: short NTAP stock @ (trigger)

- or -

buy the May $37 PUT (NTAP1219Q37)

05/05/12 new stop loss @ 39.65, only use small positions.

chart:

Entry on May xx at $ xx.xx
Earnings Date 05/23/12 (unconfirmed)
Average Daily Volume = 6.2 million
Listed on May 3, 2011


Quality Systems - QSII - close: 36.99 change: -0.83

Stop Loss: 39.15
Target(s): 34.50
Current Gain/Loss: + 3.5%
Time Frame: exit prior to the late May earnings report
New Positions: see below

Comments:
05/05 update: QSII saw a very brief spike higher on Friday morning, trading above its $37-38 trading range, but the rally didn't last and shares reversed to close down -2.1%. The stock looks poised to breakdown under support at the $37.00 level. Readers could use a new relative low as an entry point for bearish positions.

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

05/05/12 Friday's action looks like a bearish reversal. The stock is poised to break support at $37.00 soon
05/02/12 Caution! QSII produced a bullish reversal candlestick today. Readers may want to exit early now. new stop loss at $39.15.

chart:

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: 37.95 change: -0.56

Stop Loss: 39.35
Target(s): 34.25
Current Gain/Loss: - 1.3%
Time Frame: 3 to 6 weeks
New Positions: see below

Comments:
05/05 update: STJ has started to roll over and might be poised to resume its down trend. The stock is now back below its simple 10-dma. I am lowering our stop loss to $39.35, just above last week's high.

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

05/05/12 new stop loss @ 39.35
04/23/12 new stop loss @ 40.05
04/23/12 triggered at $37.45

chart:

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

rue21, Inc. - RUE - close: 30.24 change: -1.25

Stop Loss: 29.75
Target(s): 33.50
Current Gain/Loss: - 1.6%
Time Frame: exit prior to the late May earnings report
New Positions: see below

Comments:
05/05 update: Ouch! Shares of RUE were crushed for a -8% loss on Friday. Here's the strange thing. I could not find any news or catalyst to account for the sell-off. Shares just gapped open lower at $29.99, briefly traded up to fill the gap, and then plunged. The stock hit our stop loss at $29.75 early in the session. RUE has now broken down through all of its short-term moving averages and broken the bullish trend of higher lows.

(small positions)

closed Position: Long RUE stock @ $30.25 exit $29.75 (-1.6%)

- or -

May $30 call (RUE1219E30) Entry $1.70 exit $0.75*(-55.8%)

*option exit price is an estimate. option did not trade at the time of our exit
05/04/12 stopped out at $29.75
05/01/12 new stop loss @ 29.75
04/26/12 new stop loss @ 29.10
04/17/12 triggered at $30.25

chart:

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: 38.99 change: -0.12

Stop Loss: 37.40
Target(s): 41.50
Current Gain/Loss: - 3.2%
Time Frame: up to the late May earnings report
New Positions: see below

Comments:
05/05 update: The worse than expected jobs data sent the price of crude oil sharply lower and that wreaked havoc in the oil and energy sector. Shares of SDRL gapped open lower at $38.28 and fell under several layers of short-term support to hit our stop loss at $37.40.

closed Position: Long SDRL stock @ $38.65 exit $37.40 (-3.2%)

- or -

Jun $40 call (SDRL1216F40) Entry $0.65 exit $0.30 (-53.8%)

05/04/12 stopped out at $37.40
04/30/12 triggered at $38.65

chart:

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: 44.44 change: -0.95

Stop Loss: 44.45
Target(s): 49.50
Current Gain/Loss: - 3.8%
Time Frame: exit prior to the May 9th earnings report
New Positions: see below

Comments:
05/05 update: TEVA was not immune to the market's widespread declines on Friday. Shares actually underperformed with a -2.0% decline. The stock gapped open lower on Friday morning and eventually dipped to technical support at its 100-dma before trying to pare its losses. Our stop was hit at $44.45.

closed Position: Long TEVA stock @ $46.25 exit $44.45 (-3.8%)

- or -

May $45 call (TEVA1219E45) Entry $1.65 exit $0.75 (-54.5%)

05/04/12 stopped out at $44.45
05/01/12 triggered at $46.25

chart:

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


CLOSED BEARISH PLAYS

American Public Education - APEI - close: 31.11 change: -0.79

Stop Loss: 34.55
Target(s): 31.50
Current Gain/Loss: + 9.4%
Time Frame: up to its May 10th earnings report
New Positions: see below

Comments:
05/05 update: Target achieved.

APEI continued to sink on Friday and hit $30.84 intraday. Our exit target was $31.50.

Earlier Comments:
The plan was to limit our risk with small positions.

(small positions)

closed Position: short APEI stock @ $34.75 exit $31.50 (+9.4%)

- or -

May $35 PUT (APEI1219Q35) Entry $2.10 exit $3.40 (+61.9%)

05/04/12 target hit at $31.50
05/03/12 new stop loss @ 34.55, adjust exit to $31.50, readers may want to take profits now!
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

chart:

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