Editor's Note:
Next week could be volatile for Groupon with the company due to report earnings soon. Our trade was successful but we closed it early on Friday to avoid holding over the earnings announcement.

Current Portfolio:


BULLISH Play Updates

Ryland Group - RYL - close: 22.66 change: +0.18

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

Comments:
05/12 update: RYL managed a bounce off its Friday lows, which happened to be near support at the bottom of its current trading range. We are still waiting for a breakout through the top of this 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)

chart:

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: 32.21 change: +0.30

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

Comments:
05/12 update: Most of the U.S. financial sector saw a knee-jerk reaction lower on Friday morning as the markets reacted to the news of a $2 billion loss at JPMorgan (JPM) in one of its credit portfolios. Fortunately the gap down in USB wasn't that bad. This stock (USB) continues to get a lot of positive press as one of the healthier U.S. banks. Traders bought the dip on Friday and USB closed the day up +0.9%, outperforming its peers and the major indices. The stock's bullish trend remains intact as well.

If both USB and the S&P 500 index open positive on Monday we can use this move as a new bullish entry point.

FYI: Our May calls will expire after Friday. We'll need to plan an exit for these soon.

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


Meridian Biosciences - VIVO - close: 19.85 change: -0.03

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

Comments:
05/12 update: The market did not provide very fertile ground for VIVO on Friday. Shares saw their bounce stall and then fail at resistance near $20 and its 10-dma. We are still waiting for a breakout past this resistance.

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)

chart:

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: 33.55 change: +0.25

Stop Loss: 35.05
Target(s): 30.25
Current Gain/Loss: - 0.3%
Time Frame: 3 to 6 weeks
New Positions: see below

Comments:
05/12 update: I am growing concerned that ENDP may be finding a short-term bottom. The stock has held the $33.00 level three days in a row. There should be resistance in the $34.00-34.50 area but if the market manages to bounce we could see ENDP surge higher. I am not suggesting new positions at this time.

NOTE: Readers may want to seriously consider an early exit from our May puts now to limit losses. These options expire soon.

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

chart:

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: 36.58 change: -0.85

Stop Loss: 38.75
Target(s): 34.25
Current Gain/Loss: + 1.8%
Time Frame: 3 to 6 weeks
New Positions: see below

Comments:
05/12 update: GHL underperformed the market on Friday with a -2.2% decline. Shares look poised to breakdown from what might be considered a bear-flag pattern over the last few days. I would consider new bearish positions here at these levels.

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


Hi Tech Pharmacal - HITK - close: 31.89 change: -0.02

Stop Loss: 33.60
Target(s): $30.50
Current Gain/Loss: + 7.3%
Time Frame: 2 to 4 weeks
New Positions: see below

Comments:
05/12 update: HITK spent Friday hovering near recent support at the $32.00 level and its simple 300-dma. The path of least resistance still appears to be lower. However, readers may want to exit early now and lock in a gain. I am lowering our stop loss down to $33.60, just above last week's high. I am not suggesting new positions at this time.

current Position: short HITK stock @ $34.40

05/12/12 new stop loss @ 33.60
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

chart:

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: 33.34 change: -0.43

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

Comments:
05/12 update: HSP continues to underperform. The stock lost -1.2% on Friday. Shares look poised to breakdown further. 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)

chart:

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: 36.08 change: +0.38

Stop Loss: 38.25
Target(s): 34.50
Current Gain/Loss: + 4.4%
Time Frame: exit prior to the May 23rd earnings report
New Positions: see below

Comments:
05/12 update: After Thursday's big drop in NTAP the stock managed an oversold bounce. Shares gained +1.0% on Friday. Broken support near $38.00 should be new resistance but I'm not suggesting new positions at this time.

NOTE: We need to plan on exiting our May puts soon. They will expire this coming weekend.

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.

chart:

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


Sohu.com - SOHU - close: 45.75 change: -0.34

Stop Loss: 47.25
Target(s): 40.25
Current Gain/Loss: unopened
Time Frame: 3 to 6 weeks
New Positions: Yes, see below

Comments:
05/12 update: The intraday bounce attempt in SOHU didn't get very far. Shares closed near their lows for the week. SOHU looks ready to breakdown past its December lows and break support near $45.00. The 2011 low was $$45.40. I am suggesting a trigger to launch small bearish positions at $44.90.

I do consider this a more aggressive, higher-risk trade. We want to keep our position small because the most recent data listed short interest at almost 34% of the small 29.75 million-share float. If triggered we'll use a stop loss at $47.25. Our target is $40.25.
FYI: The Point & Figure chart for SOHU is bearish with a $35.00 target.

Trigger @ $44.90

Suggested Position: short SOHU stock @ (trigger)

- or -

buy the Jun $42.50 PUT (SOHU1216R42.5)

chart:

Entry on May xx at $ xx.xx
Earnings Date 07/30/12 (unconfirmed)
Average Daily Volume = 915 thousand
Listed on May 10, 2011


Visteon Corp. - VC - close: 44.72 change: -0.60

Stop Loss: 47.25
Target(s): 40.50
Current Gain/Loss: + 2.3%
Time Frame: 4 to 6 weeks
New Positions: see below

Comments:
05/12 update: It was a bearish week for VC with shares breaking support near the $46.00 level. Thursday's failed rally near prior support and new resistance provided another entry point for bearish positions. I am lowering our stop loss down to $47.25. 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

05/12/12 new stop loss @ 47.25
05/08/12 triggered @ 45.75

chart:

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

Groupon, Inc. - GRPN - close: 9.90 change: +0.03

Stop Loss: 10.65
Target(s): 8.50
Current Gain/Loss: + 8.3%
Time Frame: exit prior to May 14th earnings report
New Positions: see below

Comments:
05/12 update: GRPN is due to report earnings soon (May 14th) and we did not want to hold over the report. I suggested we exit positions on Friday at the closing bell. After dipping to $9.63 intraday GRPN closed almost unchanged with a three-cent gain.

(Small positions)

closed Position: short GRPN stock @ $10.80 exit $9.90 (+8.3%)

- or -

May $10 put (GRPN1219Q10) Entry $0.90 exit $1.00 (+11.1%)

05/11/12 planned exit at the close
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

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