Editor's Note:
The stock market saw widespread declines. There were a few pockets of weakness but overall the drop was pretty mild.

We have dropped DRI as a candidate.

Current Portfolio:


BULLISH Play Updates

Bank of America - BAC - close: 8.15 change: -0.07

Stop Loss: 7.90
Target(s): 9.25 or 9.75
Current Gain/Loss: - 1.2%

Entry on August 21 at $8.25
Listed on August 20, 2011
Time Frame: 6 to 9 weeks
Average Daily Volume = 103 million
New Positions: see below

Comments:
08/23/12 update: BAC drifted lower along with the rest of the financial sector. I've been suggesting that readers wait for a dip near the $8.05 area as our next entry point.

The plan was to use small positions to limit our risk.

current Position: Long BAC stock @ $8.25

- or -

Long 2013 Jan $9.00 call (BAC1319a9) Entry $0.47

08/21/12 triggered @ 8.25



eBay Inc. - EBAY - close: 46.81 change: -0.20

Stop Loss: 44.75
Target(s): 49.75
Current Gain/Loss: + 1.2%

Entry on August 17 at $46.25
Listed on August 16, 2011
Time Frame: 4 to 6 weeks
Average Daily Volume = 12.3 million
New Positions: see below

Comments:
08/23/12 update: EBAY continued to see a little bit of profit taking after tagging new record highs yesterday. Look for support near $46.00 and its 10-dma.

current Position: Long EBAY stock @ $46.25

- or -

Long Oct $47 call (EBAY1220J47) Entry $1.89

08/17/12 triggered at $46.25



Energy XXI Ltd. - EXXI - close: 33.75 change: -1.30

Stop Loss: 32.45
Target(s): 37.75
Current Gain/Loss: - 0.9%

Entry on August 15 at $34.05
Listed on August 11, 2011
Time Frame: 6 to 8 weeks
Average Daily Volume = 968 thousand
New Positions: see below

Comments:
08/23/12 update: Ouch! What happened to EXXI? The stock just erased several days worth of gains with a -3.7% plunge. Shares seem to have found some short-term support at the 150-dma near $33.50. More conservative traders may want to abandon ship. I am not suggesting new positions.

current Position: Long EXXI stock @ $34.05

- or -

Long Sep $35 call (EXXI1222i35) Entry $1.45

08/15/12 triggered at $34.05



Integra Life Sciences - IART - close: 39.46 change: -0.54

Stop Loss: 39.45
Target(s): 44.50
Current Gain/Loss: unopened

Entry on August xx at $ xx.xx
Listed on August 21, 2011
Time Frame: 6 to 8 weeks
Average Daily Volume = 171 thousand
New Positions: Yes, see below

Comments:
08/23/12 update: IART seems to be fading back toward support near $39.00. We're waiting for a breakout higher.

I am suggesting a trigger at $40.60 as our entry point. We'll use a stop loss at $39.45. Our multi-week target is $44.50. FYI: The Point & Figure chart for IART is bullish with a long-term $61 target.

Trigger @ 40.60

Suggested Position: buy IART stock @ $40.60



Nuance Comm. - NUAN - close: 23.93 change: -0.10

Stop Loss: 22.90
Target(s): 28.00
Current Gain/Loss: - 2.3%

Entry on August 21 at $24.50
Listed on August 18, 2011
Time Frame: 6 to 8 weeks
Average Daily Volume = 4.1 million
New Positions: see below

Comments:
08/23/12 update: Thursday was a quiet session for NUAN with the stock drifting sideways along the $24.00 level. Readers may want to wait for a new rise past $24.50 before initiating positions.

current Position: Long NUAN stock @ $24.50

- (or for more adventurous traders, try this option) -

Long Oct $25 call (NUAN1220j25) Entry $1.30*

08/21/12 triggered @ 24.50
*option entry price is an estimate. it did not trade at the time our play was opened.



PulteGroup - PHM - close: 13.32 change: +0.03

Stop Loss: 12.45
Target(s): 14.50
Current Gain/Loss: + 8.4%
Time Frame: 6 to 8 weeks

Entry on August 09 at $12.29
Listed on August 8, 2011
Average Daily Volume = 14.5 million New Positions: see below

Comments:
08/23/12 update: It's the same story here with PHM. The stock is consolidating sideways. More conservative traders may want to take profits now or as PHM nears resistance at $14.00. I am not suggesting new positions at this time.

Current Position: Long PHM stock @ $12.29

- or -

Long Oct $13 call (PHM1220j13) Entry $0.70

08/20/12 new stop loss @ 12.45
08/18/12 new stop loss @ 11.95
08/17/12 PHM stalls/reverses at resistance near $14.00
08/09/12 new stop loss @ 11.80
08/09/12 triggered on gap higher at $12.29. Trigger was $12.25.



Seagate Technology - STX - close: 33.69 change: -1.48

Stop Loss: 33.35
Target(s): 38.00
Current Gain/Loss: -3.1%

Entry on August 17 at $34.75
Listed on August 16, 2011
Time Frame: 6 to 8 weeks
Average Daily Volume = 11.6 million
New Positions: see below

Comments:
08/23/12 update: STX had a bad day with a -4.2% drop. The close under its simple 10-dma and short-term support at $34.00 definitely looks short-term bearish. This is why STX was labeled an aggressive trade and to keep our position size small. If there is any follow through tomorrow then STX will hit our stop at $33.35.

Earlier Comments:
STX is arguably overbought here and overdue for a correction. I am suggesting we keep our position size small to limit our risk.

current Position: Long STX stock @ $34.75

- or -

Long Dec $37 call (STX1222L37) Entry $2.35

08/17/12 triggered @ 34.75



Tempur Pedic Intl. - TPX - close: 31.72 change: -0.10

Stop Loss: 29.75
Target(s): 39.00
Current Gain/Loss: - 2.4%
Time Frame: 6 to 8 weeks

Entry on August 16 at $32.50
Listed on August 7, 2011
Average Daily Volume = 2.5 million New Positions: see below

Comments:
08/23/12 update: TPX tried to rally intraday but didn't get very far. I don't see any changes from my prior comments. More conservative traders may want to up their stop closer to the $31.00 level. I am not suggesting new positions at this time.

Earlier Comments:
I do consider this somewhat of an aggressive trade so we will want to limit the size of our position. Our multi-week target is $39.00 since the $40.00 level is probably round-number resistance.

(small positions)

current Position: Long TPX stock @ $32.50

- or -

Long Sep $33 call (TPX1222I33) Entry $1.75

08/16/12 triggered @ 32.50



BEARISH Play Updates

Cliffs Natural Resources - CLF - close: 39.23 change: -2.09

Stop Loss: 43.05
Target(s): 36.50
Current Gain/Loss: + 6.4%

Entry on August 15 at $41.99
Listed on August 14, 2011
Time Frame: 6 to 8 weeks
Average Daily Volume = 5.3 million
New Positions: see below

Comments:
08/23/12 update: The sell-off in CLF is accelerating with shares falling -5.0% today. Readers may want to cinch their stops down. I'm not suggesting new positions at this time.

current Position: short CLF stock @ $41.99

- or -

Long Oct $40 PUT (CLF1220V40) Entry $2.20

08/21/12 new stop loss @ 43.05



Suburban Propane Partners - SPH - close: 37.40 change: -0.01

Stop Loss: 38.05
Target(s): 35.50
Current Gain/Loss: + 3.5%
Time Frame: 6 to 8 weeks

Entry on August 08 at $38.76
Listed on August 6, 2011
Average Daily Volume = 625 thousand New Positions: see below

Comments:
08/23/12 update: Right now SPH is moving at a glacial pace. Readers may want to exit now and move on, especially with the bid on our option up to $2.75. I am not suggesting new positions at this time.

current Position: short SPH @ $38.76

- or -

Long Sep $40 PUT entry @ $2.20

08/14/12 I repeat, readers may want to lock in gains now and exit early
08/13/12 new stop loss @ 38.05
08/09/12 new stop loss @ 39.15
08/08/12 triggered on gap down at $38.76 (trigger was 39.75)



Strayer Education - STRA - close: 67.61 change: +1.08

Stop Loss: 71.65
Target(s): 61.50
Current Gain/Loss: - 0.2%

Entry on August 23 at $67.50
Listed on August 22, 2011
Time Frame: 6 to 8 weeks
Average Daily Volume = 294 thousand
New Positions: see below

Comments:
08/23/12 update: STRA began trading ex-dividend this morning. The dividend was $1.00, which explains STRA gapping down from $68.50 to $67.50 at the open. I don't see any other changes. The trend is down.

Earlier Comments:
Part of our challenge is that the for-profit education stocks have been bearish for a while. The most recent data listed short interest in STRA at 41% of the very small 11 million share float. That raises our risk of a short squeeze. Given this risk I'd rather buy put options but the options spreads are too wide to trade. We'll try and limit our risk by keeping our position size small.

*Small Positions Only!*

current Position: short STRA stock @ $67.50 )



TIM Participacoes S.A. - TSU - close: 19.30 change: -0.21

Stop Loss: 21.25
Target(s): 17.50
Current Gain/Loss: + 2.5%

Entry on August 22 at $19.80
Listed on August 21, 2011
Time Frame: 4 to 6 weeks
Average Daily Volume = 2.3 million
New Positions: see below

Comments:
08/23/12 update: TSU tagged another new relative low with a -1.0% decline today. I would not be surprised to see a little oversold bounce back into the $19.70-20.00 zone. Look for $20.00 to be new overhead resistance.

current Position: short TSU stock @ $19.80 (Small Positions)

08/22/12 triggered @ 19.80



CLOSED BULLISH PLAYS

Darden Restaurants, Inc. - DRI - close: 51.45 change: -1.40

Stop Loss: 52.90
Target(s): 58.50
Current Gain/Loss: unopened

Entry on August xx at $ xx.xx
Listed on August 18, 2011
Time Frame: 6 to 8 weeks
Average Daily Volume = 1.3 million
New Positions: Yes, see below

Comments:
08/23/12 update: The pullback in DRI is picking up speed. We are dropping it as a candidate. Our trigger to launch positions at $54.15 was not hit.

Trade did not open.

08/23/12 removed from the play list.

chart: