Editor's Note:
The U.S. stock market managed relatively widespread gains on Thursday. Unfortunately we did see our AMD and ESI trades stopped out.

Current Portfolio:


BULLISH Play Updates

Banner Corp. - BANR - close: 30.87 change: +0.13

Stop Loss: 29.40
Target(s): 34.00
Current Gain/Loss: + 1.2%

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:
12/20/12: BANR rallied to $31.24 intraday before trimming its gains. This was a new multi-year high for the stock. The trend is up but BANR just moves super slow. 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: 45.46 change: +0.89

Stop Loss: 43.85
Target(s): 48.00
Current Gain/Loss: + 3.7%

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:
12/20/12: BLL displayed some relative strength on Thursday with a +1.99% gain and a bullish breakout over what has been significant resistance near $45.00. This is great news for the future of our trade in BLL. I am raising our stop loss to $43.85.

current Position: Long BLL stock @ $43.85

12/20/12 new stop loss @ 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: 34.64 change: -0.02

Stop Loss: 32.45
Target(s): 39.00
Current Gain/Loss: + 2.6%

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:
12/20/12: CREE is still churning sideways underneath resistance at the $35.00 level. I am not suggesting new positions at this time.

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



Juniper Networks, Inc. - JNPR - close: 20.35 change: +0.19

Stop Loss: 19.25
Target(s): 23.50
Current Gain/Loss: + 1.0%

Entry on December 18 at $20.15
Listed on December 17, 2012
Time Frame: 6 to 8 weeks
Average Daily Volume = 7.8 million
New Positions: see below

Comments:
12/20/12: JNPR followed a common pattern seen today. The stock was weak this morning only to reverse before lunchtime and rally to gains by the closing bell. This rebound near the $20 level could be used as a new bullish entry point. I told readers yesterday to look for a dip near $20.00.

Earlier Comments:
The stock can be somewhat volatile so I am suggesting we keep our position size small. FYI: The Point & Figure chart for JNPR is bullish with a $26.00 target.

current Position: Long JNPR stock @ $20.15



Nuance Communications - NUAN - close: 22.40 change: -0.50

Stop Loss: 22.40
Target(s): 25.75
Current Gain/Loss: unopened

Entry on December xx at $ xx.xx
Listed on December 19, 2012
Time Frame: 6 to 8 weeks
Average Daily Volume = 2.2 million
New Positions: Yes, see below

Comments:
12/20/12: Hmm... NUAN underperformed the market with a -2.1% decline on Thursday. This failure at resistance near $23 and its 200-dma and the close under short-term support near $22.50 is definitely bearish. I'm not ready to give up just yet. We'll wait and see if there is any follow through.

Currently the plan calls for a breakout. We are suggesting small bullish positions with a trigger to initiate a trade at $23.20. If triggered our target is $25.75. NUAN can be a volatile stock so I am suggesting we keep our position size small to limit our risk.

Trigger @ 23.20

Suggested Position: buy NUAN stock @ (trigger)



Pegasystems Inc. - PEGA - close: 23.63 change: +0.36

Stop Loss: 21.90
Target(s): 23.75
Current Gain/Loss: +11.2%

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:
12/20/12: PEGA is almost there! The stock continues to climb and added another +1.5% today. The intraday high, set right near the close today, was $23.73. Our exit target is $23.75. I am raising our stop loss to $21.90. I am not suggesting new positions at current levels.

current Position: Long PEGA stock @ $21.25

12/20/12 new stop loss @ 21.90
12/18/12 adjust exit target to $23.75
12/17/12 new stop loss @ $21.40
12/15/12 new stop loss @ $20.95
12/12/12 new stop loss @ $20.49



Stamps.com Inc. - STMP - close: 26.35 change: +0.37

Stop Loss: 24.95
Target(s): 29.50
Current Gain/Loss: + 0.4%

Entry on December 18 at $26.25
Listed on December 11, 2012
Time Frame: 4 to 8 weeks
Average Daily Volume = 250 thousand
New Positions: see below

Comments:
12/20/12: Thankfully there was no follow through on yesterday's bearish performance in STMP. The stock bounced off the $26.00 level today. Readers could use this move as a new entry point for bullish positions.

Earlier Comments:
Don't forget that STMP can be a volatile stock and we want to keep our position size small to limit our risk.

*Small Positions*

current Position: Long STMP stock @ $26.25



Suntech Power - STP - close: 1.21 change: -0.05

Stop Loss: 0.97
Target(s): 1.48
Current Gain/Loss: + 9.0%

Entry on December 19 at $1.11
Listed on December 18, 2012
Time Frame: 6 to 8 weeks
Average Daily Volume = 1.8 million
New Positions: see below

Comments:
12/20/12: I am not surprised to see a little profit taking in STP today after yesterday's huge surge higher. The stock dipped to $1.16 before paring its losses. I am not suggesting new positions at current levels.

Earlier Comments:
This can be a volatile stock. I am suggesting we keep our position size small to limit our risk.

*Small Positions*

current Position: long STP stock @ $1.11



Tenneco Inc. - TEN - close: 34.49 change: +0.20

Stop Loss: 31.85
Target(s): 37.00
Current Gain/Loss: + 4.0%

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: , see below

Comments:
12/20/12: TEN recovered from its morning dip near $34.00 and shares added +0.5%. I am not suggesting new positions at this time.

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



BEARISH Play Updates

Chesapeake Granite Wash Trust - CHKR - close: 17.14 change: -0.25

Stop Loss: 18.05
Target(s): 16.40
Current Gain/Loss: + 4.2%

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:
12/20/12: After days of churning sideways we are seeing some movement in CHKR. The stock tried to rally this morning but reversed at its 20-dma and fell to a -1.4% decline. The stock looks poised for further weakness. I am not suggesting new positions at this time.

*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: 20.27 change: +0.12

Stop Loss: 20.75
Target(s): 16.00
Current Gain/Loss: - 2.4%

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:
12/20/12: Shares of SGY were downgraded this morning before the open. This news prompted the stock to gap open lower at $19.72 but SGY managed a bounce at $19.27. The stock rebounded all the way back to fill the gap and more with a +0.5% gain. I remain cautiously bearish here. 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.



CLOSED BULLISH PLAYS

Advanced Micro Devices - AMD - close: 2.40 change: -0.12

Stop Loss: 2.37
Target(s): 2.98
Current Gain/Loss: - 7.1%

Entry on December 19 at $2.5
Listed on December 18, 2012
Time Frame: 6 to 8 weeks
Average Daily Volume = 27.5 million
New Positions: see below

Comments:
12/20/12: Our bullish bet on AMD did not pan out thanks to a downgrade today. A stock analyst cut their earnings estimates on AMD and shares plunged to... drum roll please... $2.37 intraday. It just so happens that our stop loss is at $2.37 so the trade has been closed. It still looks like AMD may have formed a significant bottom over the last several weeks but it may need to consolidate further before advancing any higher.

*Small Positions*

closed Position: Long AMD stock @ $2.55 exit $2.37 (-7.1%)

12/20/12 stopped out

chart:



ITT Educational Services - ESI - close: 18.32 change: -1.13

Stop Loss: 18.99
Target(s): 24.75
Current Gain/Loss: - 5.8%

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:
12/20/12: Thursday proved to be an ugly day for shares of ESI. I cautioned readers last night that yesterday's move looked like a bearish reversal. Today we saw the stock plunge -5.8% and hit our stop loss at $18.99 along the way.

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

*Small positions*

closed Position: Long ESI stock @ $20.15 exit $18.99 (-5.8%)

12/20/12 stopped out
12/19/12 today's bearish reversal is worrisome. Readers may want to exit early now!

chart: