Editor's Note:
Stocks continue to drift sideways as investors wait for Friday and Ben Bernanke's speech from Jackson Hole.

Current Portfolio:


BULLISH Play Updates

Bank of America - BAC - close: 7.96 change: -0.11

Stop Loss: 7.90
Target(s): 9.25 or 9.75
Current Gain/Loss: - 3.5%

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:
08/28/12 update: Warning! BAC continues to pullback. Shares have broken what should have been short-term support at the 10-dma and the $8.00 mark. If there is any follow through lower tomorrow BAC should hit our stop loss at $7.90.

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: 46.94 change: -0.04

Stop Loss: 44.75
Target(s): 49.75
Current Gain/Loss: + 1.5%

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:
08/28/12 update: Tuesday looked like a carbon copy of Monday with EBAY drifting sideways in a narrow range. Look for short-term support near $46.00 and again at $45.00.

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: 32.99 change: -0.41

Stop Loss: 32.45
Target(s): 37.75
Current Gain/Loss: - 3.1%

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:
08/28/12 update: EXXI is not looking so hot. The stock underperformed today with a -1.2% decline. Shares briefly traded underneath their 200-dma and the $33.00 level. If there is any follow through lower tomorrow EXXI should hit our stop loss at $32.45.

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: 40.09 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:
08/28/12 update: IART displayed some relative strength with a +1.3% gain. The close over $40.00 is bullish but at $40.09 it's not a very convincing breakout.

Right now the plan is to launch bullish positions at $40.60. 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: 24.07 change: +0.11

Stop Loss: 23.40
Target(s): 28.00
Current Gain/Loss: - 1.8%

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:
08/28/12 update: I blame the sideways churn in shares of NUAN on the similar sideways chop in the market's major indices. Unfortunately it looks worse on NUAN because the stock is underneath its 200-dma. I am not suggesting new positions at this time.

current Position: Long NUAN stock @ $24.50

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

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

08/25/12 new stop loss @ 23.40
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: 13.28 change: +0.04

Stop Loss: 12.45
Target(s): 13.90
Current Gain/Loss: + 8.1%
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:
08/28/12 update: PHM is still consolidating sideways. I will note that some of the technical indicators on the daily chart are nearing bearish signals. Readers may want to exit early right now.

Our exit target is $13.90. I am not suggesting new positions.

Current Position: Long PHM stock @ $12.29

- or -

Long Oct $13 call (PHM1220j13) Entry $0.70

08/25/12 adjust exit target to $13.90
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.



Theravance Inc. - THRX - close: 27.19 change: +0.28

Stop Loss: 25.90
Target(s): 31.00
Current Gain/Loss: - 1.7%

Entry on August 24 at $ 27.65
Listed on August 23, 2011
Time Frame: 4 to 8 weeks
Average Daily Volume = 492 thousand
New Positions: see below

Comments:
08/28/12 update: There was no follow through on yesterday's pullback. THRX looks poised to make another rally towards short-term resistance at $28.00. More conservative traders may want to raise their stops close to $26.51 (yesterday's low).

I am not suggesting new positions at this time.

Earlier Comments:
THRX is a biotech firm and the stock could see a short squeeze. The most recent data listed short interest at 22% of the 52.6 million-share float. We do want to keep our position size small.

*small positions*

current Position: Long THRX stock @ $27.65

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

Long Oct $30 call (THRX1220j30) entry $1.55



Tempur Pedic Intl. - TPX - close: 32.15 change: -0.26

Stop Loss: 29.75
Target(s): 39.00
Current Gain/Loss: - 1.1%
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:
08/28/12 update: TPX is struggling to maintain its upward momentum with the market moving sideways. More conservative traders may want to up their stop closer to the $31.00 level.

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: 37.36 change: -0.36

Stop Loss: 40.05
Target(s): 36.50
Current Gain/Loss: +11.0%

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:
08/28/12 update: CLF gapped down and then spent the rest of the day moving sideways. Readers may want to take profits now. I am not suggesting new positions.

current Position: short CLF stock @ $41.99

- or -

Long Oct $40 PUT (CLF1220V40) Entry $2.20

08/27/12 new stop loss @ 40.05, readers may want to take profits now
08/25/12 new stop loss @ 41.60
08/21/12 new stop loss @ 43.05



Dolby Labs - DLB - close: 34.14 change: +0.08

Stop Loss: 35.11
Target(s): 30.15
Current Gain/Loss: - 1.6%

Entry on August 24 at $33.60
Listed on August 23, 2011
Time Frame: 6 to 8 weeks
Average Daily Volume = 992 thousand
New Positions: see below

Comments:
08/28/12 update: DLB is still churning sideways on either side of $34.00. I don't see any changes from my previous comments. I would still consider new positions now at current levels or you could wait for a new drop under $33.75 as another entry point.

*Small Positions*

current Position: short DLB stock @ $33.60

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

Long Sep $35 PUT (DLB1222u35) Entry $1.90



Navistar Intl. - NAV - close: 22.76 change: -0.56

Stop Loss: 25.15
Target(s): 20.25
Current Gain/Loss: +2.0%

Entry on August 28 at $ 23.22
Listed on August 25, 2011
Time Frame: 6 to 8 weeks
Average Daily Volume = 1.7 million
New Positions: see below

Comments:
08/28/12 update: NAV opened at $23.22 and fell to a -2.4% decline for the day. The stock is essentially testing last week's low. If the stock manages to bounce we can look for short-term resistance near $24.00.

Suggested Position: short NAV stock @ $23.22 )

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

Long Sep $20 PUT (NAV1222u20) Entry $0.70

08/28/12 trade opens with NAV at $23.22
08/27/12 NAV gaps open above our stop loss, effectively negating our trade. We are reloading and trying again. Launch positions at the open tomorrow



Strayer Education - STRA - close: 65.04 change: +0.15

Stop Loss: 68.65
Target(s): 61.50
Current Gain/Loss: + 3.6%

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:
08/28/12 update: STRA saw its decline stall with a sideways session. If the stock were to suddenly bounce look for resistance near $68.00. I am not suggesting new positions at this time.

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

08/27/12 new stop loss @ 68.65
08/25/12 new stop loss @ 70.25



Tesco Corp. - TESO - close: 9.95 change: +0.21

Stop Loss: 10.55
Target(s): 8.15
Current Gain/Loss: - 1.9%

Entry on August 28 at $9.76
Listed on August 27, 2011
Time Frame: 6 to 8 weeks
Average Daily Volume = 304 thousand
New Positions: see below

Comments:
08/28/12 update: TESO opened at $9.76 and eventually bounced back toward round-number resistance at the $10.00 level. I would still consider new positions at current levels.

FYI: The Point & Figure chart for TESO is bearish with a $4.00 target.

current Position: short TESO stock @ $9.76



TIM Participacoes S.A. - TSU - close: 18.97 change: -0.15

Stop Loss: 20.55
Target(s): 17.50
Current Gain/Loss: + 4.2%

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:
08/28/12 update: TSU continues to sink and closed at a new 52-week low. I am not suggesting new positions at this time.

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

08/27/12 new stop loss @ 20.55
08/22/12 triggered @ 19.80