Editor's Note:
Stocks managed an intraday bounce off their midday lows.

Our AET trade was stopped out. FMCN was triggered.

Current Portfolio:


BULLISH Play Updates

ACI Worldwide, Inc. - ACIW - close: 44.97 change: -1.07

Stop Loss: 43.75
Target(s): 49.00
Current Gain/Loss: + 2.1%
Time Frame: exit prior to the late July earnings report.
New Positions: see below

Comments:
07/17/12 update: Our gains in ACIW are fading with today's -2.3% decline. The stock has closed under the 10-dma again and looks poised to retest support near $44.00. My worries that ACIW might be forming a short-term bearish double top are getting bigger. Readers may want to exit early but there is still a chance ACIW bounces at $44 again. I am not suggesting new positions. Don't forget that we want to exit prior to the late July earnings report (the last week of July).

current Position: Long ACIW stock @ $44.05

07/03/12 new stop loss @ 43.75
06/29/12 triggered @ 44.05

Entry on June 29 at $44.05
Earnings Date 07/26/12 (unconfirmed)
Average Daily Volume = 318 thousand
Listed on June 27, 2011


Extra Space Storage - EXR - close: 32.22 change: +0.57

Stop Loss: 29.99
Target(s): 33.50
Current Gain/Loss: + 3.4%
Time Frame: exit prior to the late July earnings report
New Positions: see below

Comments:
07/17/12 update: EXR displayed some relative strength today. Its +1.8% gain pushed the stock to another new high. Cautious traders might want to consider a stop loss closer to the $31 level.

Our target is $33.50 but we'll plan to exit prior to the late July earnings report.

Suggested Position: Long EXR stock @ $31.15

07/09/12 triggered @ 31.15

Entry on July 09 at $31.15
Earnings Date 07/26/12 (unconfirmed)
Average Daily Volume = 1.5 million
Listed on July 07, 2011


IdaCorp. - IDA - close: 43.18 change: -0.17

Stop Loss: 41.90
Target(s): 45.00
Current Gain/Loss: + 0.1%
Time Frame: exit prior to the early August earnings report
New Positions: see below

Comments:
07/17/12 update: Bingo! Yesterday I suggested looking for a dip near support at $43.00 as a new entry point. IDA provided that dip midday. Actually shares might retest the $43 area again tomorrow. Our multi-week target is $45.00.

current Position: Long IDA stock @ $43.15

07/13/12 triggered @ 43.15

Entry on July 13 at $43.15
Earnings Date 08/02/12 (unconfirmed)
Average Daily Volume = 217 thousand
Listed on July 11, 2011


Lennar Corp. - LEN - close: 31.15 change: -0.24

Stop Loss: 29.49
Target(s): 34.50
Current Gain/Loss: - 0.8%
Time Frame: 6 to 8 weeks
New Positions: see below

Comments:
07/17/12 update: LEN seems to be consolidating sideways under recent resistance near $32.00. Readers may want to wait for a breakout past $32.00 before initiating new positions.

Earlier Comments:
The most recent data listed short interest at almost 22% of the 161 million share float. LEN could see a short squeeze if it shows any strength. FYI: The Point & Figure chart for LEN is bullish with a long-term $46 target.

current Position: Long LEN @ $31.40

- or -

Long Aug $32 call (LEN1218H32) Entry $1.57

07/13/12 triggered @ 31.40

Entry on July 13 at $31.40
Earnings Date 09/12/12 (unconfirmed)
Average Daily Volume = 7.2 million
Listed on July 12, 2011


Prudential Financial - PRU - close: 48.65 change: +0.30

Stop Loss: 47.49
Target(s): 53.00
Current Gain/Loss: unopened
Time Frame: exit prior to the Aug. 1st earnings report.
New Positions: Yes, see below

Comments:
07/17/12 update: Shares of PRU were upgraded this morning but the pop on this news didn't last very long. Traders did buy the dip intraday and now PRU looks poised to rally back above the $49.00 level again.

I am suggesting a trigger to launch positions at $49.50. Please note that the $50.00 level could still be round-number resistance so more conservative traders may want to use a trigger above the $50.00 mark. Our target is $53.00 but we'll plan to exit ahead of the August 1st earnings report.

Trigger @ 49.50

Suggested Position: buy PRU stock @ (trigger)

- or -

buy the Aug $50 call (PRU1218H50)

Entry on July xx at $ xx.xx
Earnings Date 08/01/12 (confirmed)
Average Daily Volume = 3.0 million
Listed on July 14, 2011


BEARISH Play Updates

Focus Media Holdings - FMCN - close: 18.01 change: -0.74

Stop Loss: 20.10
Target(s): 15.25
Current Gain/Loss: + 2.1%
Time Frame: 4 to 6 weeks
New Positions: see below

Comments:
07/17/12 update: We didn't have to wait very long for FMCN to hit our trigger. Many of the Chinese stocks underperformed today. Shares of FMCN plunged from $19.00 to $16.80 this morning before paring its losses. Our trigger to open bearish positions was hit at $18.40. The big bounce off its lows is a bit concerning. It's worth nothing that the weakness today did indeed create a new P&F chart sell signal that now points to a $10 target. If this bounce continues then look for short-term resistance near $19.00.

Readers will want to consider limiting the size of their positions since FMCN can be such a volatile stock (or just use the options to limit how much capital you have exposed).

current Position: short FMCN stock @ $18.40

- or -

Long Aug $18 PUT (FMCN1218T18) Entry $1.50

Entry on July 17 at $18.40
Earnings Date 05/29/12
Average Daily Volume = 2.2 million
Listed on July 16, 2011


Groupon, Inc. - GRPN - close: 7.21 change: -0.46

Stop Loss: 9.05
Target(s): 6.25
Current Gain/Loss: +14.2%
Time Frame: exit prior to the early August earnings report
New Positions: see below

Comments:
07/17/12 update: GRPN continues to underperform. The stock lost another -5.9% today and set a new closing low. Readers may want to tighten their stop loss and cautious traders might want to just take profits now.

I'm not suggesting new positions.

*Small Positions*

current Position: short GRPN stock @ $8.40

- or -

Long Aug $8.00 PUT (GRPN1218T8) Entry $0.80

07/12/12 new stop loss @ 9.05

Entry on July 09 at $8.40
Earnings Date 08/08/12 (unconfirmed)
Average Daily Volume = 8.1 million
Listed on July 07, 2011


Home Inns & Hotels Management - HMIN - close: 18.28 change: -1.03

Stop Loss: 20.25
Target(s): 18.00 & 15.50
Current Gain/Loss: + 6.7%
Time Frame: exit prior to the Aug. 9th earnings report
New Positions: see below

Comments:
07/17/12 update: The rally attempt in HMIN failed and shares succumbed to the weakness hitting many of the Chinese stocks today. Shares closed down -5.3%. This looks like a new bearish entry point (with our target at $15.50).

HMIN hit our first target at $18.00 on July 12th.

Our second target is $15.50.

Earlier Comments:
Readers may want to keep their position size small or use the options to limit their risk. The most recent data listed short interest at 17% of the 24.2 million share float.

Suggested Position: short HMIN stock @ $19.60

- or -

Long Aug $20 PUT (HMIN1218T20) Entry $1.70

07/12/12 new stop loss @ 20.25
07/12/12 1st target hit @ 18.00 (+8.2%)
1st target hit @ 18.00, option bid @ $2.50 (+47.0%)*
(option exit price is an estimate since the option did not trade at the time our first target was hit)
07/10/12 triggered @ 19.60

Entry on July 10 at $19.60
Earnings Date 08/09/12 (confirmed)
Average Daily Volume = 284 thousand
Listed on July 09, 2011


Harley-Davidson - HOG - close: 43.84 change: +0.04

Stop Loss: 45.25
Target(s): 40.25
Current Gain/Loss: + 0.0%
Time Frame: exit prior to the Aug. 1st earnings
New Positions: see below

Comments:
07/17/12 update: Hmm... HOG is just not cooperating. Shares have been hovering near the $50.00 level for three and a half days. On one hand the fact that shares did not bounce with the market today is bearish. On the other hand HOG is attached to this support near $50 and the 200-dma. Readers may want to wait for confirmation of the down trend and look for a new drop under $42.90 before launching positions.

We do not want to hold over the Aug. 1st earnings report. FYI: The Point & Figure chart for HOG is bearish with a $35.00 target.

current Position: short HOG stock @ $43.86

- or -

Long Aug $42 PUT (HOG1218T42) Entry $1.62

Entry on July 16 at $43.86
Earnings Date 08/01/12 (confirmed)
Average Daily Volume = 2.2 million
Listed on July 14, 2011


Riverbed Tech. - RVBD - close: 13.85 change: -0.16

Stop Loss: 15.10
Target(s): 12.50
Current Gain/Loss: + 4.5%
Time Frame: exit prior to the July 24th earnings report
New Positions: see below

Comments:
07/17/12 update: As expected the bounce in RVBD is losing steam. Shares underperformed the market with a -1.1% decline. I would not launch new positions at this time. The current challenge for the bears is short-term support near $13.30. Keep in mind that we don't have much time left. RVBD is due to report earnings on July 24th.

current Position: short RVBD stock @ $14.50

- or -

Long Aug $14 PUT (RVBD1218T14) Entry $1.16

07/12/12 new stop loss @ 15.10

Entry on July xx at $ xx.xx
Earnings Date 07/24/12 (confirmed)
Average Daily Volume = 3.4 million
Listed on July 09, 2011


TRW Automotive - TRW - close: 35.34 change: +0.30

Stop Loss: 36.35
Target(s): 30.50
Current Gain/Loss: + 1.0%
Time Frame: exit prior to the July 31st earnings report
New Positions: see below

Comments:
07/17/12 update: TRW is little changed for the day with a 30-cent bounce. The larger pattern remains bearish. The key level to watch is resistance at the $36.00 mark.

current Position: short TRW stock @ $35.38

- or -

Long Aug $35 PUT (TRW1218T35) Entry $1.90

07/12/12 new stop loss @ 36.35

Entry on July 11 at $35.38
Earnings Date 07/31/12 (confirmed)
Average Daily Volume = 949 thousand
Listed on July 10, 2011


CLOSED BEARISH PLAYS

 

Aetna Inc. - AET - close: 38.66 change: +0.63

Stop Loss: 38.55
Target(s): 35.10
Current Gain/Loss: - 0.3%
Time Frame: 3 to 6 weeks
New Positions: see below

Comments:
07/17/12 update: AET continues to bounce and shares have broken away from short-term resistance near $38.00. The stock hit our stop loss at $38.55 closing this trade.

closed Position: short AET stock @ $38.45 exit $38.55 (-0.3%)

- or -

Aug $38 PUT (AET1218T38) Entry $1.65 exit $1.05 (-36.3%)

07/17/12 stopped out at $38.55
07/12/12 new stop loss @ 38.55
07/03/12 new stop loss @ 39.55
07/03/12 triggered @ 38.45

chart:

Entry on July 03 at $38.45
Earnings Date 07/31/12 (unconfirmed)
Average Daily Volume = 6.0 million
Listed on June 30, 2011