Editor's Note:
The performance in the large cap indices was not that impressive but there were plenty of stocks rebounding higher today.

MRO hit our bullish entry trigger.

Several bearish plays were closed today. CBS, GEOS, JCI, RIG, and RKT all hit our new lowered stops.


Current Portfolio:


BULLISH Play Updates

Marathon Oil - MRO - close: 33.50 change: +0.77

Stop Loss: 31.30
Target(s): To Be Determined
Current Option Gain/Loss: +1.1%
Entry on October 16 at $33.15
Listed on October 15, 2014
Time Frame: Exit prior to earnings on Nov. 3rd
Average Daily Volume = 5.5 million
New Positions: see below

Comments:
10/16/14: Our new bullish trade on MRO is off to a strong start. Shares outperformed the broader market with a +2.35% gain today. Our trigger to open positions was hit at $33.15.

Earlier Comments: October 15, 2014:
Oil and energy stocks have been crushed in the last several weeks thanks to plummeting crude oil prices. Oil recently hit new four-year lows. Investors are worried this collapse in oil prices will impact margins for the producers. We won't know until earnings results come out but right now the sell-off in shares of MRO look extremely overdone. The stock has collapsed from multi-year highs near $41.50 to new 2014 lows near $31 in less than two months. That's a 25% correction (and technically a bear market).

MRO is a global energy company. They explore for, produce, and market oil and natural gas. They are also involved in the oil sands mining in Canada and the big shale oil and gas basins in the United States. The company has operations in Angola, Equatorial Guinea, Ethiopia, Gabon, Kenya, Libya, Norway, the United Kingdom, and the Kurdistan region of Iraq.

Today shares of MRO briefly traded below their 2014 lows set in February this year around $31.60. The double bottom intraday in the $31.35-31.40 area looks like a potential bottom. We want to speculate on an oversold bounce. I do consider this a more aggressive, higher-risk trade so keep position size small.

We are suggesting an entry trigger at $33.15. Plan to exit prior to MRO's earnings report in early November.

- Suggested Positions -

Long MRO stock @ $33.15

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

Long NOV $33 call (MRO141122c33) entry $1.90*

10/16/14 triggered @ 33.15
*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


Noodles & Co. - NDLS - close: $21.66 change: -0.05

Stop Loss: 19.90
Target(s): To Be Determined
Current Option Gain/Loss: +2.1%
Entry on October 15 at $21.21
Listed on October 14, 2014
Time Frame: 3 to 5 weeks
Average Daily Volume = 444 thousand
New Positions: see below

Comments:
10/16/14: NDLS saw a brief spike lower at the open but shares spent most of the day consolidating sideways. The next challenge for the bulls is getting past the late August highs in the $22.00-22.60 area.

Earlier Comments: October 14, 2014:
NDLS stock has had a rough start. The company held its IPO in mid 2013. The initial surge send shares of NDLS from the low $30s to over $50. Once the newness left the stock was left to churn water.

NDLS spent most of 2013 struggling and failing to breakout past $50.00 again. The last twelve months have been bearish with a trend of lower highs and lower lows. The company has disappointing results to blame for the sell-off in its stock price.

Currently NDLS has 410 locations in 31 states in the U.S. Management has suggested their long-term goal is 2,500 restaurants. That could be a challenge considering the recent sales slowdown. Their most recent earnings report was in August. You can see the big drop on the daily chart. NDLS missed estimates and lowered its 2014 guidance. Investors were not too keen on falling same-store sales growth either.

Bears have been right on this stock for months. The biggest critique is that shares of NDLS are expensive at over 50 times the trailing 12 month earnings. While the bears may be right, NDLS is expensive, the stock's bearish momentum has stalled.

It is possible that all the bad news is priced in after a -42.5% drop this year. NDLS has seen a higher low and more recently a bullish breakout above its simple 50-dma. You'll also notice that NDLS has completely ignored the market's recent weakness. The major indices have been crashing but NDLS has been slowly marching higher.

If this strength continues NDLS could see some short covering. The most recent data listed short interest at 12.6% of the very small 21.3 million share float. The point & figure chart is already bullish and suggesting a long-term target at $27.00.

Tonight we are suggesting small positions if NDLS can trade at $21.21 or higher. If triggered I'm suggesting a target in the $24.50-25.00 zone but we will plan on exiting prior to the company's earnings report in mid November.

- Suggested Positions -

Long NDLS stock @ $21.21

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

Long NOV $22.50 call (NDLS141122c22.5) entry $1.20*

10/15/14 triggered @ 21.21
*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




BEARISH Play Updates

Jacobs Engineering Group - JEC - close: 45.23 change: -1.49

Stop Loss: 48.25
Target(s): To Be Determined
Current Option Gain/Loss: + 1.4%
Entry on October 15 at $45.88
Listed on October 13, 2014
Time Frame: 3 to 6 weeks
Average Daily Volume = 1.0 million
New Positions: , see below

Comments:
10/16/14: It was a good day for JEC bears. The stock's bounce attempt failed under its 10-dma again. Shares settled at new lows with a -3.1% decline. Today's move looks like a new bearish entry point.

Earlier Comments: October 13, 2014:
JEC is part of the services sector. Although you might consider it an industrial considering what they do. JEC provides technical services and construction services around the world. They were founded in 1947 and now have about 200 offices around the world.

Unfortunately for JEC most of the world is seeing an economic slowdown. That is pressuring sales. JEC is developing a trend of missing earnings and has missed Wall Street's EPS estimate four quarters in a row.

The stock started to see an oversold bounce in early October but that bounce has stalled under its 10-dma and the $48.00 area. Now JEC is down -25.8% this year and poised to continue its underperformance.

I do want to note that the timing of this trade might be a little aggressive. Momentum is clearly lower but the major market indices are starting to look a little oversold and could bounce. Traders may want to start this trade with small positions to limit their risk.

We are suggesting a trigger to open bearish positions on JEC at $46.15.

*consider small positions to limit risk*

- Suggested Positions -

Short JEC stock @ $45.88

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

Long NOV $47.50 PUT (JEC141122P47.50) entry $2.65*

10/15/14 triggered on gap down at $45.88, suggested entry was $46.15
*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


Knowles Corp. - KN - close: 19.55 change: +0.45

Stop Loss: 20.30
Target(s): To Be Determined
Current Option Gain/Loss: +24.1%
Entry on September 30 at $25.75
Listed on September 29, 2014
Time Frame: 8 to 12 weeks
Average Daily Volume = 1.5 million
New Positions: see below

Comments:
10/16/14: KN bounced back toward round-number resistance near $20.00 and stalled. Tonight I'm inching our stop loss down to $20.30. More conservative investors may want to just take profits now.

I'm not suggesting new positions.

Earlier Comments: September 29, 2014:
Knowles Corp. has been around since 1946 but until recently was part of Dover Corp. (DOV). Knowles (KN) was spun off early this year.

What exactly does KN do? According to a company press release "Knowles Corporation is a market leader and global supplier of advanced micro-acoustic solutions and specialty components serving the mobile communications, consumer electronics, medical technology, military, aerospace and industrial markets. Knowles has a leading position in micro-electro-mechanical systems microphones, speakers and receivers which are used in smartphones, tablets and mobile handsets. Knowles is also a leading manufacturer of transducers used in hearing aids and other medical devices and has a strong position in oscillators (timing devices) and capacitor components which enable various types of communication."

KN has sales of more than $1 billion a year. Yet revenues have been falling. It seems to be getting worse. Back in April they reported a -1% drop in revenues. Their last quarterly report showed a -5.3% decline in revenues.

Technically the stock has been stuck in a $28.00-34.00 trading range for months. That changed in the last few days. KN has broken down below the bottom of the range. Its recent attempt at an oversold bounce already appears to be failing.

Tonight we're suggesting a trigger to open bearish positions at $25.75, which would be a new low. We are not setting an exit target tonight but I will note the point & figure chart is bearish and forecasting an $18 target.

Bear in mind that KN does have slightly elevated short interest at more than 10% of the 85 million share float. You may want to consider put options instead of shorting the stock.

- Suggested Positions -

Short KN stock @ $25.75

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

Long NOV $25 PUT (KN141122P25) entry $1.20*

10/16/14 new stop @ 20.30
10/15/14 new stop @ 20.65
10/13/14 new stop @ 21.75
10/11/14 new stop @ 25.05
10/07/14 new stop @ 26.75
09/30/14 triggered @ 25.75
*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


SodaStream Intl. Ltd. - SODA - close: 21.09 change: -0.12

Stop Loss: 21.75
Target(s): To Be Determined
Current Option Gain/Loss: +5.4%
Entry on October 07 at $22.30
Listed on October 06, 2014
Time Frame: 8 to 12 weeks
Average Daily Volume = 897 thousand
New Positions: see below

Comments:
10/16/14: SODA did not see a lot of follow through on its prior two-day bounce. Shares stalled at short-term resistance near $21.50. I don't see any changes from my prior comments.

Traders may want to take profits early now. I am not suggesting new positions at this time.

Earlier Comments: October 6, 2014:
SODA is in the consumer goods sector. The company makes in-home beverage machines and the consumable flavor packets and carbonation systems that allow consumers to make their own drinks. The stock IPO'd back in November 2010. They came to market with 5.4 million shares at $20.00 each. SODA's first trade was $24.75 on November 3, 2010. Several months later SODA was testing the $80.00 level. It's been a rocky road for SODA but today the stock is down -41.7% in 2014 and down -64.4% from its 2013 highs near $76.

Why is SODA in decline? The company is facing growing competition. For a long time SODA was a rumored takeover target. Wall Street speculated that companies like Coca-Cola (KO) or PepsiCo (PEP) or Dr. Pepper Snapple Group (DPS) might buy SODA. There was even a rumor that Starbucks (SBUX) might have been interested. None of these rumors panned out.

Now SODA is facing competition from KO who has teamed up with Keurig Green Mountain (GMCR) to make their own in-home soda machine. PEP has teamed up with Bevyz, a European company, who has their own machine, and the two will soon rollout packets with PepsiCo flavors.

The market is worried that against these heavyweights SODA will lose market share. It seems that sales are already disappointing Wall Street. Shares of SODA collapsed in January this year on a big earnings miss. Their most recent earnings report was July 30th and while SODA beat the EPS estimates, management lowed their 2014 guidance.

The path of least resistance is down. We are suggesting a trigger to open bearish positions at $27.35 but I am cautioning investors to consider this a higher-risk, more aggressive trade. There is a still a risk that SODA will be bought. Almost a month ago there was a story overseas that SODA was in talks with a British hedge fund to buy the company near $40 a share. Most recently there have been stories that foreign beer makers like SABMiller and Diageo might be interested in buying the company.

If SODA gets cheap enough someone might try and buy it. Yet that doesn't mean SODA won't sink toward $20.00 a share first. Part of the risk is the rumor mill. If there are any convincing rumors of an impending deal we could see SODA spike higher. The most recent data listed short interest at 31.7% of the small 20.8 million share float. That increases our risk. You may want to buy a put option to limit your risk to the price of the option.

*small positions, higher-risk trade*

- Suggested Positions -

Short SODA stock @ $22.30

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

Long NOV $27.50 PUT (SODA141122P27.5) entry $5.30

10/13/14 new stop @ 21.75
10/11/14 new stop @ 22.75
10/07/14 new stop @ 23.25
10/07/14 Trigger was $27.35, trade opens on gap down at $22.30
10/07/14 SODA issues an earnings warning before the opening bell
Option Format: symbol-year-month-day-call-strike


CLOSED BEARISH PLAYS

CBS Corp. - CBS - close: 51.18 change: +0.43

Stop Loss: 51.05
Target(s): To Be Determined
Current Option Gain/Loss: + 6.8%
Entry on September 22 at $54.75
Listed on September 20, 2014
Time Frame: 8 to 12 weeks
Average Daily Volume = 6.1 million
New Positions: see below

Comments:
10/16/14: After a seven-week drop it looks like shares of CBS are finally seeing an oversold bounce. Shares spiked above their 10-dma today and hit our stop loss at $51.05. I warned readers yesterday that we could get stopped out today.

- Suggested Positions -

Short CBS stock @ $54.75 exit $51.05 (+6.8%)

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

2015 Jan $55 put (CBS150117P55) entry $3.40* exit $5.90** (+73.5%)

10/16/14 stopped out
**option exit price is an estimate since the option did not trade at the time our play was closed.
10/13/14 new stop @ 51.05
10/11/14 new stop @ 52.55
10/02/14 new stop @ 54.25
10/01/14 new stop @ 55.05
09/30/14 new stop @ 55.65
09/22/14 new stop @ $56.35
09/22/14 triggered @ 54.75
*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:


Geospace Technologies - GEOS - close: 31.18 change: +1.48

Stop Loss: 30.05
Target(s): To Be Determined
Current Option Gain/Loss: - 2.4%
Entry on October 08 at $29.35
Listed on October 07, 2014
Time Frame: 8 to 12 weeks
Average Daily Volume = 273 thousand
New Positions: see below

Comments:
10/16/14: GEOS did not cooperate. The stock has produced a sharp, two-day bounce and shares hit our stop at $30.05 today. After yesterday's performance I warned readers we would likely get stopped out today.

NOTE: The option spreads have been pretty ugly the last few days with all the market volatility. That hurt us.

- Suggested Positions -

Short GEOS stock @ $29.35 exit $30.05 (-2.4%)

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

NOV $30 put (GEOS141122P30) entry $2.60* exit $1.25** (-51.9%)

10/16/14 stopped out
**option exit price is an estimate since the option did not trade at the time our play was closed.
10/13/14 new stop @ 30.05
10/11/14 new stop @ 30.55
10/08/14 triggered @ 29.35
*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:


Johnson Controls Inc. - JCI - close: 40.69 change: +0.79

Stop Loss: 40.65
Target(s): To Be Determined
Current Option Gain/Loss: +10.5%
Entry on September 23 at $45.40
Listed on September 22, 2014
Time Frame: 8 to 12 weeks
Average Daily Volume = 2.5 million
New Positions: see below

Comments:
10/16/14: I have cautioned readers the last few days that the $40.00 area might be round-number support for JCI. The stock managed a pretty strong bounce today and closed up +1.9%. Our stop loss was hit at $40.65.

Prior support in the $43-44 area should be new resistance.

- Suggested Positions -

Short JCI stock @$45.40 exit $40.65 (+10.5%)

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

2015 Jan $45 PUT (JCI150117P45) entry $2.25 exit $5.10* (+126.6%)

10/16/14 stopped out
*option exit price is an estimate since the option did not trade at the time our play was closed.
10/15/14 new stop @ 40.65
10/13/14 new stop @ 41.25, traders may want to take profits near $40.00
10/11/14 new stop @ 43.25
10/07/14 new stop @ 45.55
09/30/14 new stop @ 46.05
09/23/14 triggered @ $45.40
Option Format: symbol-year-month-day-call-strike

chart:


Transocean Ltd. - RIG - close: 30.15 change: +0.71

Stop Loss: 30.35
Target(s): To Be Determined
Current Option Gain/Loss: +20.5%
Entry on September 03 at $38.20
Listed on August 25, 2014
Time Frame: 8 to 12 weeks
Average Daily Volume = 6.4 million
New Positions: see below

Comments:
10/16/14: Our bearish play on RIG has been one of our best trades of the year. After six weekly losses in a row RIG is starting to see an oversold bounce. Shares pierced their 10-dma and hit our stop loss at $30.35.

The put option trade on RIG, which we closed yesterday, probably was our best trade of the year (an estimated +2,333%).

- Suggested Positions -

Short RIG @ $38.20 exit $30.35 (+20.5%)

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

OCT $35 PUT (RIG141018P35) entry $0.27* exit $6.57 (+2,333.3%)

10/16/14 stopped out
10/15/14 new stop @ 30.35
10/15/14 planned exit for the October puts
10/14/14 prepare to exit our option trade tomorrow morning
10/13/14 new stop @ 30.55
10/11/14 new stop @ 31.05
10/09/14 new stop @ 32.25
10/08/14 new stop @ 32.55
10/02/14 new stop @ 32.75
10/01/14 new stop @ 33.10
09/30/14 new stop @ 33.75
09/27/14 investors may want to take some profits now
09/25/14 new stop @ 34.50
09/22/14 new stop @ 34.75
09/20/14 new stop @ 37.55
09/17/14 new stop @ 38.05
09/06/14 new stop @ 39.05
09/03/14 trade begins. RIG gaps higher at $38.20
*option entry price is an estimate since the option did not trade at the time our play was opened.
09/02/14 remove the trigger ($37.25) and short RIG now at current levels.
Option Format: symbol-year-month-day-call-strike

chart:


Rock-Tenn Co. - RKT - close: 46.01 change: +0.87

Stop Loss: 46.10
Target(s): To Be Determined
Current Option Gain/Loss: -3.0%
Entry on October 13 at $44.75
Listed on October 11, 2014
Time Frame: Exit prior to earnings on November 3rd
Average Daily Volume = 809 thousand
New Positions: see below

Comments:
10/16/14: The bounce in RKT continued today with a +1.9% gain. Shares rallied up to their 10-dma intraday. Our new stop loss was hit at $46.10.

I would keep an eye on RKT. If this bounce fails in the $46-47 zone it could prove to be a new bearish entry point.

- Suggested Positions -

Short RKT stock @ $44.75 exit $46.10 (-3.0%)

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

NOV $45 PUT (RKT141122P45) entry $2.35* exit $1.70** (-27.6%)

10/16/14 stopped out
**option exit price is an estimate since the option did not trade at the time our play was closed.
10/15/14 new stop @ 46.10, caution, RKT has produced a potential bullish reversal pattern
10/14/14 new stop @ 46.55
10/13/14 triggered @ 44.75
*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: