Editor's Note:
Investors were in such a rush to sell stocks this morning that many U.S. equities gapped open lower. Yet there was very little or no follow through and the market recouped a good chunk of its losses by the closing bell.

The opening weakness was enough to stop out BITA and WCN.


Current Portfolio:


BULLISH Play Updates

Microsoft Corp. - MSFT - close: 41.69 change: +0.02

Stop Loss: 39.90
Target(s): To Be Determined
Current Gain/Loss: - 0.4%

Entry on June 17 at $41.85
Listed on June 14, 2014
Time Frame: 10 to 12 weeks
Average Daily Volume = 23 million
New Positions: see below

Comments:
07/10/14: I cautioned readers that we might see MSFT test support near $41.00. Shares hit $41.05 during the market's drop this morning. MSFT rebounded back to virtually unchanged by the closing bell.

The PC-related tech industry got some good news today. IDC Worldwide Quarterly PC tracker said Q2 PC sales around the globe only fell -1.7%. Previous estimated suggested we could see PC sales fall -7.1%.

Earlier Comments: June 14, 2014:
It's back to the future with old-tech heavyweights making progress on Friday. Semiconductor giant Intel (INTC) surprised the market with an announcement Thursday night. INTC raised their revenue guidance due to stronger PC sales. That's right, they said stronger PC sales. Intel chips are in about 80% of the world's PCs. Unfortunately the PC has been declared dead for years due to the explosion of laptops, smartphones, and tablets. It is true that PC shipments have been falling for the last eight quarters in a row. IDC expects PC shipments to fall another -6% in 2014. If that's true then what's the story behind Intel's positive guidance? It might be Microsoft.

Microsoft ended support for its Windows XP operating system in April this year. No more support means they would no longer provide patches or virus updates to protect your system from hackers. With credit card data being stolen a constant threat for businesses the lack of support for XP has sparked an upgrade cycle, especially among corporations.

There does seem to be some disagreement on just how long and how big of an effect this upgrade cycle will last. Was it a one quarter bump or will it last throughout the rest of 2014? An FBR analyst estimates that 25% of the PCs connected to the Internet still run Windows XP. That is a very large number so the upgrade cycle for Microsoft could last a while. It could be bigger than expected too.

Not only are consumers and businesses going to upgrade their operating system from Windows XP to Windows 8 but they will most likely buy an upgraded copy of Microsoft Office. MSFT will likely sell a few more copies of SQL server as well.

The MSFT story is not just about software either. The company seems to be making in-roads into the healthcare sector with their Surface Pro 3 tablets. MSFT is also slugging it out with Sony in the game console wars. Consumers bought $3.6 billion in video games in the first quarter of 2014. MSFT's line up of games for its Xbox One looks pretty good following the annual E3 conference last week.

Technically shares of MSFT are in a long-term up trend and hitting 14-year highs. As an investor would you rather buy a 10-year bond with a 2.6% yield or MSFT with a 2.7% yield and good chance for price appreciation?

More conservative investors may want to wait for a rally past $42.00 before initiating positions.

current Position: long MSFT stock @ $41.85

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

Long 2015 Jan $45 call (MSFT150117c45) entry $1.16

06/30/14 new stop @ 39.90
06/17/14 triggered @ 41.85
Option Format: symbol-year-month-day-call-strike



SoftBank Corp. - SFTBY - close: 36.54 change: -0.86

Stop Loss: 35.35
Target(s): To Be Determined
Current Gain/Loss: -0.4%

Entry on June 17 at $36.68
Listed on June 16, 2014
Time Frame: 8 to 12 weeks
Average Daily Volume = 499 thousand
New Positions: see below

Comments:
07/10/14: SFTBY underperformed the rest of the market today with a -2.2% decline. Shares have closed below their simple 50-dma and settled on the exponential 200-dma near $36.50.

Currently our stop loss is at $35.35. More conservative investors may want to raise their stop closer to $36.00 instead.

I am not suggesting new positions at this time. Resistance remains overhead near $38.50.

Earlier Comments: June 16, 2014:
SoftBank Corp. has been referred to as the Warren Buffet of Technology although a better comparison is probably to Buffet's Berkshire Hathaway. They are a holding company with hundreds of businesses. According to the company website SFTBY has 235 subsidiaries and 108 affiliates (including 150 consolidated subsidiaries and 83 equity method companies). SoftBank Group possesses both advanced infrastructure and diverse services and content, and invests in promising companies working in the Internet field.

SFTBY owns 80.2% of Sprint Corp., 33.3% of eAccess Ltd., 100% of WILLCOM, Inc., 33.3% of Wireless City Planning Inc., 58.5% of GungHo Online Entertainment, and 42.5% of Yahoo Japan Corp. They also own 34% of Renren Inc., which is considered the Chinese version of Facebook. They also own 36.7% of Alibaba Corp., which is a much larger and more profitable version of Amazon.com. That's on top of owning SoftBank Telecom, SoftBank BB Corp. and SoftBank Mobile.

SFTBY's combined telecom assets makes the company one of the largest telecom/wireless players in Japan. In 2013 they added 4.1 million new subscribers and more than double the 1.19 million subscriber gain by NTT DoCoMo and 2.8 million for AU, which is owned by KDDI. Softbank added 47% of the Android phones activated in Japan and 39% of the iPhone 4s and 5c models. Both metrics are the largest in Japan and shows how Softbank is gaining market share.

Their Renren investment could be a big. China already has the largest Internet audience on the planet and it's only going to get bigger. Currently Renren has about 200 million users. This will grow. Like Facebook, Renren is developing its mobile platform. Renren is currently valued at about $8 per user but this seems extremely low considering what Facebook paid for WhatsApp.

SFTBY's majority stake in Sprint is starting to pay off. Sprint has had a rough few years working through its merger with Nextel. Sprint later acquired Clearwire. It looks like Sprint is now in recovery mode after adding +477,000 subscribers in Q4 2013 versus losing -337,000 in Q4 2012. SFTBY wants to acquire T-Mobile and combine it with Sprint. Currently 75% of U.S. customers are on AT&T or Verizon. SFTBY calls them an American duopoly but they believe by combining Sprint, the third largest carrier, with T-Mobile, the fourth largest, the combined company could compete with AT&T and Verizon, which would be good for competition and ultimately consumers.

Today the real allure of SFTBY is its 37% ownership of Alibaba. Amazon.com (AMZN) is an Internet powerhouse with sales of $86 billion in 2013 and a net profit of $274 million. Alibaba dwarfs AMZN with 2013 sales of $160 billion and a profit of $2.16 billion. Right now it looks like Alibaba will IPO this summer. Analysts have been estimating they could be the biggest IPO in history with a value of $160 to 185 billion.

There were new numbers out on Alibaba today with the company stating that its Q4 revenues only rose +39% to $1.9 billion. That's down from 62% growth in Q3. Margins retreated from 51.3% to 45.3% on higher marketing costs. This spooked investors today into thinking that maybe the valuation may not be in the $160-185 billion range.

We believe that SFTBY's shares are very undervalued and when the Alibaba IPO does hit this stock could soar. Tonight we're suggesting investors launch positions tomorrow morning at current levels. Depending on your trading style this could be an aggressive entry point. Technically SFTBY still has resistance in the $38-39 zone. More conservative investors may want to wait for SFTBY to close above $39.00 before initiating new positions. The risk of not launching positions now is that we do not know when Alibaba is going to announce its IPO. It could be any day and likely in the next few weeks. We will plan on exiting after Alibaba's first day of trading.

Current Position: Long SFTBY stock @ $36.68

06/30/14 new stop $ 35.35
06/17/14 trade opens. SFTBY gapped down at $36.68
note: SFTBY does not have options.



BEARISH Play Updates


None. We do not have any active bearish trades.




CLOSED BULLISH PLAYS

Bitauto Holdings - BITA - close: 48.06 change: +1.33

Stop Loss: 43.45
Target(s): To Be Determined
Current Gain/Loss: - 9.0%

Entry on June 30 at $47.75
Listed on June 28, 2014
Time Frame: 8 to 12 weeks
Average Daily Volume = 933 thousand
New Positions: see below

Comments:
07/10/14: Ouch! It's been a really rough week for the momentum names. The stock market plunged at the open with many stocks gapping lower. BITA was one of them. Shares gapped down at $44.00 and hit a low of $43.17 before bouncing all the way back to $48.00. That means BITA was down -7.6% at its worst levels of the session and then surged +11.3% off this morning's low.

Our stop loss was hit at $43.45.

I still think BITA has promise but you may want to wait for a close above $50.00 before considering new positions. Or if stocks turn south then a bounce off $40.00 might work as a potential entry point.

Earlier Comments:
Please note I do consider a more aggressive, higher-risk trade. BITA has been a volatile stock in the past. Investors may want to use small positions to limit their risk.

*small positions to limit risk*

closed Position: long BITA stock @ $47.75 exit $43.45 (-9.0%)

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

Oct $50 call (BITA141018C50) entry $5.40* exit $3.75** (-30.5%)

07/10/14 stopped out
**option exit price is an estimate since the option did not trade at the time our play was closed.
07/08/14 readers may want to raise their stop after today's big drop
06/30/14 triggered @ 47.75
*option entry price is an estimate since the option did not trade at the time our play was opened.
Option Format: symbol-year-month-day-call-strike

chart:



Waste Connections, Inc. - WCN - close: 47.62 change: -0.66

Stop Loss: 47.85
Target(s): 49.85
Current Gain/Loss: -0.2%

Entry on June 25 at $47.75
Listed on June 21, 2014
Time Frame: exit before earnings on July 21st
Average Daily Volume = 464 thousand
New Positions: see below

Comments:
07/10/14: The majority of the stock market seemed to gap down at the opening bell. Shares of WCN were no exception and the stock gapped down at $47.66. That is below our suggested stop loss at $47.85 so the play closed immediately. WCN spent the rest of the day slowly drifting sideways.

closed Position: Long WCN stock @ $47.75 exit $47.66 (-0.2%)

07/10/14 stopped out on gap down at $47.66
07/05/14 new stop @ 47.85
06/25/14 triggered @ 47.75

chart: