Editor's Note:
Thanks to positive comments from analyst Meredith Whitney the financial sector was one of the market's best performers today. That helped our BAC trade.

I have removed GPOR as a candidate. PPO was triggered.

Current Portfolio:


BULLISH Play Updates

Bank of America - BAC - close: 11.00 change: +0.42

Stop Loss: 10.40
Target(s): 11.50
Current Gain/Loss: + 8.9%

Entry on December 05 at $10.10
Listed on December 01, 2012
Time Frame: 6 to 8 weeks
Average Daily Volume = 150 million
New Positions: see below

Comments:
12/17/12: Thank you, Meredith Whitney! The influential analyst turned positive on some of the big financial stocks and BAC was on her list. It looks like shorts panicked and the stock gapped higher. Shares rallied to a +3.9% gain and paused at the $11.00 mark. Our readers may want to take profits now but we are aiming for $11.50. Please note our new stop loss at $10.40. (Note our call option has doubled +100%)

Earlier Comments:
If triggered our target is $11.50. More aggressive traders could aim for $12.00. This is a multi-week trade.

current Position: Long BAC stock @ $10.10

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

Long 2013 Jan $10 call (BAC1319a10) entry $0.51

12/17/12 new stop loss @ 10.40
12/08/12 new stop loss @ 9.89



Banner Corp. - BANR - close: 30.37 change: +0.08

Stop Loss: 29.40
Target(s): 34.00
Current Gain/Loss: - 0.4%

Entry on November 21 at $30.49
Listed on November 20, 2012
Time Frame: 8 to 10 weeks
Average Daily Volume = 157 thousand
New Positions: see below

Comments:
12/17/12: BANR is still slowly drifting higher, emphasis on "slowly". I am not suggesting new positions at this time.

NOTE: BANR doesn't move very fast. This trade could take a couple of months.

*Small Positions*

current Position: Long BANR stock @ $30.49

12/15/12 new stop loss @ 29.40
11/21/12 out trade opened on the gap higher.



Ball Corp. - BLL - close: 44.20 change: -0.05

Stop Loss: 43.45
Target(s): 48.00
Current Gain/Loss: + 0.8%

Entry on November 06 at $43.85
Listed on November 3, 2012
Time Frame: 6 to 8 weeks
Average Daily Volume = 687 thousand
New Positions: see below

Comments:
12/17/12: BLL spiked lower this morning but managed to pare its losses to just five cents. The relative weakness is a concern. We have our stop loss at $43.45. More conservative traders may want to inch their stops higher. I am not suggesting new positions.

current Position: Long BLL stock @ $43.85

12/12/12 new stop loss @ 43.45
11/24/12 new stop loss @ 43.25
11/17/12 new stop loss @ 42.55
11/06/12 triggered @ 43.85



Cree, Inc. - CREE - close: 34.04 change: +0.12

Stop Loss: 32.45
Target(s): 39.00
Current Gain/Loss: + 0.9%

Entry on December 11 at $33.75
Listed on December 10, 2012
Time Frame: 6 to 8 weeks
Average Daily Volume = 1.3 million
New Positions: see below

Comments:
12/17/12: Hmm... the rally in CREE today was pretty meager. Shares spent the session churning on either side of $34.00. The overall trend remains bullish.

Earlier Comments:
If this rally continues CREE could see a short squeeze. The most recent data listed short interest at 17% of the 113 million-share float. If triggered our multi-week target is $39.00. FYI: The Point & Figure chart for CREE is bullish with a $42 target.

current Position: long CREE stock @ $33.75

12/15/12 new stop loss @ 32.45



Electronic Arts - EA - close: 15.42 change: +0.12

Stop Loss: 14.49
Target(s): 17.50
Current Gain/Loss: + 4.8%

Entry on December 10 at $14.72
Listed on December 08, 2012
Time Frame: 6 to 8 weeks
Average Daily Volume = 4.5 million
New Positions: see below

Comments:
12/17/12: EA continues to churn sideways under resistance near $15.00. The stock did manage a +0.7% gain. Plus the stock looks poised to breakout higher. Keep in mind that the $16.00 level and the 300-dma near $16.00 could be resistance. We are aiming for $17.50 but readers might want to take profits near $16.00 instead.

Earlier Comments:
EA can be volatile so we'll keep our position size small to limit our risk. We will target a move to $17.50 over the next few weeks. FYI: The Point & Figure chart for EA is bullish with a $21 target.

*Small Positions*

current Position: Long EA stock @ $14.72

12/12/12 new stop loss @ $14.49



ITT Educational Services - ESI - close: 19.12 change: -0.25

Stop Loss: 18.99
Target(s): 24.75
Current Gain/Loss: - 5.1%

Entry on December 14 at $20.15
Listed on December 12, 2012
Time Frame: 2 to 6 weeks
Average Daily Volume = 500 thousand
New Positions: see below

Comments:
12/17/12: ESI retreated lower on Monday following Friday's failed rally pattern. I remain cautious here and we're not suggesting new positions at this time. If there is any follow through lower tomorrow then ESI will most likely hit our stop loss at $18.99.

If we do not get stopped out I would wait for a new relative high (above 20.16) before considering new bullish positions.

Earlier Comments:
A breakout past this level could spark a significant short squeeze. The most recent data listed short interest at almost 200% of the very small 14.9 million share float. Yes, you read that right, 200% of the float. You'll notice the rally in early September. That looks like a short squeeze. We'd like to catch the next one.

I do consider this a more aggressive, higher-risk trade.

*Small positions*

current Position: Long ESI stock @ $20.15



Granite Construction - GVA - close: 33.74 change: +1.06

Stop Loss: 31.40
Target(s): 34.50
Current Gain/Loss: + 8.0%

Entry on December 10 at $31.23
Listed on December 08, 2012
Time Frame: 6 to 8 weeks
Average Daily Volume = 240 thousand
New Positions: see below

Comments:
12/17/12: GVA soared on Monday with a +3.2% gain and another new multi-year high. More conservative traders may want to take profits now. We are aiming for $34.50. Please note our new stop loss at $31.40.

FYI: The Point & Figure chart for GVA is bullish with a long-term $43.50 target.

Suggested Position: buy GVA stock @ (the open)

12/17/12 new stop loss @ 31.40
12/15/12 new stop loss @ $30.75



Pegasystems Inc. - PEGA - close: 22.63 change: +0.30

Stop Loss: 21.40
Target(s): 24.00
Current Gain/Loss: + 6.5%

Entry on December 10 at $21.25
Listed on December 04, 2012
Time Frame: 6 to 8 weeks
Average Daily Volume = 257 thousand
New Positions: see below

Comments:
12/17/12: The rebound in PEGA continued on Monday. The stock added +1.3% and closed above technical resistance at its 50-dma. This is good news for the bulls. I am raising our stop loss to $21.40.

current Position: Long PEGA stock @ $21.25

12/17/12 new stop loss @ $21.40
12/15/12 new stop loss @ $20.95
12/12/12 new stop loss @ $20.49



Polypore Intl. - PPO - close: 44.21 change: +3.25

Stop Loss: 39.95
Target(s): 46.00
Current Gain/Loss: + 6.5%

Entry on December 17 at $41.50
Listed on December 15, 2012
Time Frame: 6 to 8 weeks
Average Daily Volume = 389 thousand
New Positions: see below

Comments:
12/17/12: Would you believe PPO was actually downgraded this morning? Yes, the stock was downgraded from a "strong buy" to a "buy" but that didn't stop the stock from seeing a short squeeze. PPO opened at $41.00 and then surged to $44.73 intraday. Our trigger to open positions was hit at $41.50 this morning. I am raising our stop loss to $39.95. I'm not suggesting new positions at this time. We are aiming for $46.00 but more aggressive traders may want to aim for the $48-50 zone instead.

current Position: Long PPO stock @ $41.50

12/17/12 new stop loss @ 39.95
12/17/12 triggered @ 41.50



Stamps.com Inc. - STMP - close: 25.23 change: -0.14

Stop Loss: 24.95
Target(s): 29.50
Current Gain/Loss: unopened

Entry on December xx at $ xx.xx
Listed on December 11, 2012
Time Frame: 4 to 8 weeks
Average Daily Volume = 250 thousand
New Positions: Yes, see below

Comments:
12/17/12: Hmm... STMP did not participate in the market's widespread rally on Monday. That is troubling. Traders did buy the dip at support near $25.00 again. I don't see any changes from my prior comments. We will wait and use a trigger to open bullish positions at $26.25. As you can tell from the chart, STMP is a volatile stock. Therefore I am suggesting we keep our position size small to limit our risk.

Trigger @ 26.25 *Small Positions*

Suggested Position: buy STMP stock @ (trigger)



Tenneco Inc. - TEN - close: 32.96 change: +0.54

Stop Loss: 31.85
Target(s): 37.00
Current Gain/Loss: - 0.6%

Entry on December 12 at $33.15
Listed on December 04, 2012
Time Frame: 6 to 8 weeks
Average Daily Volume = 517 thousand
New Positions: Yes, see below

Comments:
12/17/12: TEN displayed a little bit of relative strength today with a +1.6% gain. Shares are back above their 10-dma but they are still under resistance near $33.00. Today's high was $33.16. Readers could use a rally past $33.20 as a new bullish entry point.

Earlier Comments:
We need to be patient with TEN. The stock does not move very fast.

*Small positions*

current Position: Long TEN stock @ $33.15

12/15/12 new stop loss @ $31.85



ValueClick, Inc. - VCLK - close: 19.70 change: +0.21

Stop Loss: 18.95
Target(s): 19.85
Current Gain/Loss: + 8.2%

Entry on November 20 at $18.20
Listed on November 19, 2012
Time Frame: 4 to 6 weeks
Average Daily Volume = 666 thousand
New Positions: see below

Comments:
12/17/12: The bounce in VCLK continued on Monday and shares added +1.0%. The stock is challenging last week's high and look poised to rally toward $20.00. We are planning to exit at $19.85. More aggressive traders could aim higher.

Earlier Comments:
I would keep our position size small. VCLK has been volatile in the past.

current Position: Long VCLK stock @ $18.20

12/15/12 new stop loss @ 18.95
12/11/12 new stop loss @ 18.75
12/08/12 new stop loss @ 18.45, adjust target down to $19.85
11/28/12 new stop loss @ 17.85



BEARISH Play Updates

Chesapeake Granite Wash Trust - CHKR - close: 17.29 change: -0.07

Stop Loss: 18.25
Target(s): 16.40
Current Gain/Loss: + 3.4%

Entry on December 04 at $17.90
Listed on November 26, 2012
Time Frame: 6 to 8 weeks
Average Daily Volume = 226 thousand
New Positions: see below

Comments:
12/17/12: CHKR failed to participate in the market's widespread rally today. That is good news for the bears. I am adjusting our stop loss down to $18.05. I am not suggesting new positions at this time.

Earlier Comments:
Our initial target is $16.40 but we might reconsider and aim lower.

*Small Positions*

current Position: short CHKR stock @ $17.90

12/17/12 new stop loss @ 18.05
12/10/12 new stop loss @ 18.25



Stone Energy Corp. - SGY - close: 19.80 change: -0.13

Stop Loss: 20.75
Target(s): 16.00
Current Gain/Loss: - 0.0%

Entry on December 04 at $19.80
Listed on December 03, 2012
Time Frame: 3 to 6 weeks
Average Daily Volume = 719 thousand
New Positions: see below

Comments:
12/17/12: SGY also underperformed the market on Monday. The stock fell toward its early December lows and bounced. The rebound is a bit troubling but we are going to adjust our stop loss down to $20.75 in an effort to try and reduce our risk. I am not suggesting new positions at this time.

The next major support is all the way down near $15.00. We will target a drop to $16.00. FYI: The Point & Figure chart is bearish and forecasting at long-term $12 target.

current Position: short SGY stock @ $19.80

12/17/12 new stop loss @ 20.75
12/05/12 SGY surges following M&A news with peers.



Telephone & Data Systems - TDS - close: 22.74 change: +0.63

Stop Loss: 22.55
Target(s): 20.15
Current Gain/Loss: unopened

Entry on December xx at $ xx.xx
Listed on December 15, 2012
Time Frame: 6 to 8 weeks
Average Daily Volume = 561 thousand
New Positions: Yes, see below

Comments:
12/17/12: TDS produced a big bounce from support on Monday with a +2.8% gain. Fortunately our trade is not open yet. We're waiting for a breakdown below support at $22.00. If shares continue to rally tomorrow we will likely drop TDS as a candidate. For now, our strategy is unchanged.

Earlier Comments:
I am suggesting a trigger to launch bearish positions at $21.90. Our target is $20.15. FYI: The Point & Figure chart for TDS is bearish with a long-term $9.00 target.

Trigger @ 21.90

Suggested Position: short TDS stock @ (trigger)



CLOSED BULLISH PLAYS

Gulfport Energy - GPOR - close: 38.71 change: -0.19

Stop Loss: 37.40
Target(s): 44.00
Current Gain/Loss: unopened

Entry on December xx at $ xx.xx
Listed on December 13, 2012
Time Frame: 6 to 8 weeks
Average Daily Volume = 1.0 million
New Positions: see below

Comments:
12/17/12: We are dropping GPOR as an active candidate. The trading gods were kind that GPOR only $39.23 at its best levels of the day. Our trigger was $39.25 so thankfully our trade did not open. Why are we thankful? After the closing bell tonight GPOR announced plans to buy a significant chunk of oil and gas assets in the Utica Shale and the plan on paying for it by issuing another nine million new shares of stock. Currently GPOR has about 55.7 million shares outstanding and this new secondary offering dilutes shareholders by about 16%. The stock spiked down after hours tonight to the $37.50 area.

Trade did not open.

12/17/12 GPOR is trading lower on news of its secondary offering. We are dropping it as a candidate.

chart: