Editor's Note:
There was no clear trend for stocks on Thursday although technology stocks struggled thanks to weakness in Cisco (CSCO).

Readers may want to start taking profits in our HITK trade. We are planning to exit our GRPN trade tomorrow. TSO was stopped out.

Current Portfolio:


BULLISH Play Updates

Ryland Group - RYL - close: 23.25 change: +0.60

Stop Loss: 21.80
Target(s): 25.75
Current Gain/Loss: unopened
Time Frame: 4 to 8 weeks
New Positions: Yes, see below

Comments:
05/10 update: There was no follow through on yesterday's relative strength in RYL. Shares pulled back with a -3.3% decline. The stock remains inside this $22-23.50 trading range.

I am suggesting a trigger to open small bullish positions at $23.60. We'll use a stop loss at 21.80. We want to keep our position size small because the homebuilders can be so volatile. Our target is $25.75. FYI: The Point & Figure chart for RYL is bullish with a $34.50 target.

Trigger @ 23.60

Suggested Position: buy RYL stock @ (trigger)

- or -

buy the Jun $24 call (RYL1216F24)

Entry on May xx at $ xx.xx
Earnings Date 07/25/12 (unconfirmed)
Average Daily Volume = 2.0 million
Listed on May 9, 2011


U.S. Bancorp - USB - close: 31.91 change: +0.44

Stop Loss: 30.90
Target(s): 34.75
Current Gain/Loss: - 1.0%
Time Frame: 3 to 6 weeks
New Positions: see below

Comments:
05/10 update: The financial stocks were showing relative strength today and USB outpaced its peers with a +1.3% gain. Today's move appears to be a bullish breakout from its recent consolidation. Unfortunately tomorrow could be challenging for the financial stocks. After the closing bell tonight JPM announced significant losses in its credit portfolio and that could spark selling pressure across the sector. I would hesitate to launch positions tomorrow.

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


Meridian Biosciences - VIVO - close: 19.88 change: +0.08

Stop Loss: 19.10
Target(s): 22.00
Current Gain/Loss: unopened
Time Frame: 4 to 8 weeks
New Positions: Yes, see below

Comments:
05/10 update: VIVO is still drifting higher. Shares briefly traded above resistance near $20.00 on an intraday basis.

Aggressive traders may want to launch bullish positions now. I am suggesting a trigger at $20.25. We'll use a stop loss at $19.10. Our multi-week target is $22.00.

Trigger @ $20.25

Suggested Position: buy VIVO stock @ (trigger)

Entry on May xx at $ xx.xx
Earnings Date 07/19/12 (unconfirmed)
Average Daily Volume = 281 thousand
Listed on May 8, 2011


BEARISH Play Updates

Endo Pharma. - ENDP - close: 33.30 change: +0.28

Stop Loss: 35.05
Target(s): 30.25
Current Gain/Loss: + 0.4%
Time Frame: 3 to 6 weeks
New Positions: see below

Comments:
05/10 update: ENDP recouped about a third of yesterday's losses with another bounce from the $33.00 level. Readers may want to wait for a new failed rally near $34.00 before considering new bearish positions.

Our target is $30.50. More aggressive traders could aim lower. The Point & Figure chart for ENDP is bearish with a $28 target.

current Position: short ENDP stock @ $33.45

- or -

Long May $35 put (ENDP1219Q35) Entry $1.85

05/08/12 triggered at $33.45

Entry on May 08 at $33.45
Earnings Date 05/01/12
Average Daily Volume = 1.4 million
Listed on May 5, 2011


Greenhill & Co. - GHL - close: 37.43 change: +0.01

Stop Loss: 38.75
Target(s): 34.25
Current Gain/Loss: - 0.5%
Time Frame: 3 to 6 weeks
New Positions: see below

Comments:
05/10 update: It was a very quiet day for shares of GHL. The stock closed virtually unchanged on the session. I am expecting the bounce to stall at what should be resistance near $38.00. I'd wait for shares to near $38.00 or fail near $38.00 before considering new positions.

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

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: 9.87 change: -0.20

Stop Loss: 10.65
Target(s): 8.50
Current Gain/Loss: + 8.6%
Time Frame: exit prior to May 14th earnings report
New Positions: see below

Comments:
05/10 update: GRPN underperformed with a -1.9% decline. Today marks a new record closing low for the stock. The company is due to report earnings after the closing bell on Monday, May 14th. We do not want to hold over the report. I am suggesting we exit positions tomorrow (Friday) at the closing bell. You may want to exit your trade on Monday instead.

Please note our new stop loss at $10.65. 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

05/10/12 prepare to exit tomorrow (Friday) at the close,
new stop loss @ 10.65
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

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: 31.91 change: -0.26

Stop Loss: 34.05
Target(s): $30.50
Current Gain/Loss: + 7.2%
Time Frame: 2 to 4 weeks
New Positions: see below

Comments:
05/10 update: It has taken more than three weeks but HITK is testing its April lows. Shares are also flirting with a breakdown under support near $32.00 and its 300-dma. More conservative traders will want to lock in gains now. I am not suggesting new positions at this time.

current Position: short HITK stock @ $34.40

05/09/12 new stop loss @ 34.05
05/08/12 readers may want to exit immediately
05/07/12 new stop loss @ 34.65
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


Hospira Inc. - HSP - close: 33.90 change: -0.20

Stop Loss: 34.25
Target(s): 30.25
Current Gain/Loss: unopened
Time Frame: 4 to 8 weeks
New Positions: Yes, see below

Comments:
05/10 update: HSP popped higher at the open but slowly drifted lower the rest of the session. There is no change from my prior comments. I am suggesting a trigger to launch bearish positions at $33.20. If triggered we will aim for the $30.25 mark.

FYI: Readers should note that HSP does have above average short interest. The most recent data listed short interest at 7.8% of the 165 million share float.

Trigger @ 33.20

Suggested Position: short HSP stock @ (trigger)

- or -

buy the Jun $30 PUT (HSP1216R30)

Entry on May xx at $ xx.xx
Earnings Date 07/26/12 (unconfirmed)
Average Daily Volume = 1.1 million
Listed on May 9, 2011


NetApp, Inc. - NTAP - close: 35.70 change: -2.08

Stop Loss: 38.25
Target(s): 34.50
Current Gain/Loss: + 5.4%
Time Frame: exit prior to the May 23rd earnings report
New Positions: see below

Comments:
05/10 update: The -5.5% plunge in NTAP may have been influenced by the drop in shares of CSCO, which weighed on the tech sector today. I am lowering our stop loss on NTAP down to $38.25. I am not suggesting new positions at this time.

If you're holding the May puts you may want to exit now (it's already up +94%).

Earlier Comments:
The plan was to keep our position size small to limit our risk. 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.

(small positions)

current Position: short NTAP stock @ $37.75

- or -

Long May $37 PUT (NTAP1219Q37) Entry $0.86

05/10/12 new stop loss @ 38.25
05/08/12 triggered @ 37.75
05/05/12 new stop loss @ 39.65, only use small positions.

Entry on May 08 at $37.75
Earnings Date 05/23/12 (unconfirmed)
Average Daily Volume = 6.2 million
Listed on May 3, 2011


Visteon Corp. - VC - close: 45.32 change: +0.20

Stop Loss: 48.25
Target(s): 40.50
Current Gain/Loss: + 0.9%
Time Frame: 4 to 6 weeks
New Positions: see below

Comments:
05/10 update: VC bounced up toward resistance near $46.00 this morning before slowly fading lower the rest of the day. This move looks like a new bearish entry point but readers may want to tighten their stop loss. FYI: The Point & Figure chart for VC is bearish with a $35 target. NOTE: VC does have options but the bid/ask spread seems too wide to trade.

current Position: short VC stock @ $45.75

05/08/12 triggered @ 45.75

Entry on May 08 at $45.75
Earnings Date 05/02/12
Average Daily Volume = 513 thousand
Listed on May 5, 2011


CLOSED BEARISH PLAYS

Tesoro Corp. - TSO - close: 22.93 change: +0.68

Stop Loss: 23.25
Target(s): 18.25
Current Gain/Loss: - 8.0%
Time Frame: 4 to 8 weeks
New Positions: see below

Comments:
05/10 update: A big two-day bounce on decent volume was enough to end our bearish trade in TSO. The stock got a boost today thanks to an upgrade to a "buy" this morning. Our stop loss was hit at $23.25.

closed Position: short TSO stock @ $21.53 exit $23.25 (-8.0%)

- or -

Jun $20 put (TSO1216R20) Entry $0.66 exit $0.30 (-54.5%)

05/10/12 stopped out at $23.25

chart:

Entry on May 08 at $21.53
Earnings Date 05/02/12
Average Daily Volume = 3.3 million
Listed on May 7, 2011