Editor's Note:
Last week's huge bounce off its August 24th low appears to be failing. Stocks were down around the world today. The U.S. market slipped -3%. Volatility spiked on another big down day.

Our bearish LCI trade is open.


Current Portfolio:


BULLISH Play Updates

Keurig Green Mountain, Inc. - GMCR - close: 55.10 change: -1.50

Stop Loss: None, no stop at this time.
Target(s): To Be Determined
Current Gain/Loss: +0.0%
Entry on August 31 at $55.10
Listed on August 29, 2015
Time Frame: Exit prior to earnings in November
Average Daily Volume = 2.6 million
New Positions: see below

Comments:
09/01/15: GMCR dipped back toward $55.00 today. This level was previous resistance so it's not surprising to see it act as new support. If this level fails the next support area could be $52.00.

Trade Description: August 29, 2015:
When everyone has the same opinion on a stock sometimes shares will move the opposite direction.

It has not been a good year for GMCR. Shares are down -59% year to date and off -65% from its all-time high set on November 18, 2014 ($157.10). After months and months of declines GMCR could be poised for a big bounce.

If you're not familiar with GMCR they are in the consumer goods sector. When they launched their single-serving coffee brewer it changed the coffee world forever.

According to the company, "As a leader in specialty coffee, coffee makers, teas and other beverages, Keurig Green Mountain (Keurig) (GMCR), is recognized for its award-winning beverages, innovative brewing technology, and socially responsible business practices. The Company has inspired consumer passion for its products by revolutionizing beverage preparation at home and in the workplace. Keurig supports local and global communities by investing in sustainably-grown coffee and by its active involvement in a variety of social and environmental projects. By helping consumers drink for themselves, we believe we can brew a better world."

The company is suffering from heavy competition in the single-serving coffee/hot beverage pod business. The consumer market did not react well when GMCR introduced their Keurig 2.0 brewer, which was designed to only work with company-specific pods. They have also suffered multiple delays on introducing their Keurig Kold machine, which is a cold beverage machine similar to Sodastream.

The stock peaked in November 2014 right before its quarterly earnings report. They beat earnings and revenue estimates but management guided lower. GMCR has guided lower every quarter since then.

In February 2015 they reported earnings and revenues that missed estimates (and guided lower). In early May they reported earnings and revenues that missed estimates (and guided lower). On May 15th the stock sank after the company's presentation on its new Keurig Kold machine. Wall Street is worried that GMCR is pricing their Kold machine too high (around $300) when rival Sodastream's cold beverage maker is only $99.

GMCR's most recent earnings report was August 5th. They reported Q3 earnings of $0.80 per share, which actually beat estimates by a penny but revenues were down -5.2% to $970 million, which was a miss. Management lowered their Q4 guidance. The company said brewer machine sales were down -26%.

Management tried to soften the blow of this disappointing quarterly report and lowered guidance by announcing a $1 billion stock buyback program. The stock collapsed anyway with a plunge from $75 to $52.65.

Everything looks bearish for GMCR. So why are we suggesting a bullish trade? Basically GMCR's stock is so oversold that when it bounces it could see a big bounce. Wall Street analysts have been downgrading GMCR's stock and lowering price targets for the last several months. Everyone is so bearish that an unexpected rally could spark some serious short covering.

When the market collapsed on Monday, August 24th, GMCR fell from $50 to $45.25 but ended the day at $$51.30. That's right. GMCR actually ended Monday with a gain. Shares are now up five days in a row. The $55.00-56.00 area is resistance but a breakout could spark a rally toward $60-65 or its simple 50-dma (currently near $66.50). Technically, last week's bounce, has produced a bullish engulfing candlestick reversal pattern on GMCR's weekly chart. This pattern needs to see confirmation and we want to be ready if this rebound continues.

Friday's high was $54.46. Thursday's high was $54.61. Tonight we are suggesting a trigger to launch bullish positions at $55.10. More aggressive traders might want to consider jumping in early around the $54.75 area. GMCR can be very volatile. I do consider this an aggressive, higher-risk trade.

*small positions to limit risk* - Suggested Positions -

Long GMCR stock @ $55.10

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

Long NOV $60 CALL (GMCR151120K60) entry $3.07

08/31/15 triggered @ $55.10
Option Format: symbol-year-month-day-call-strike


NuVasive, Inc. - NUVA - close: 52.01 change: -0.71

Stop Loss: 49.85
Target(s): To Be Determined
Current Gain/Loss: Unopened
Entry on August -- at $---.--
Listed on August 29, 2015
Time Frame: Exit 6 to 8 weeks (option traders exit prior to expiration)
Average Daily Volume = 592 thousand
New Positions: Yes, see below

Comments:
09/01/15: We are not giving up on NUVA (yet). The NASDAQ fell -2.95% today. NUVA only slipped -1.3%. Currently we are still on the sidelines. Our suggested entry point is $54.55.

Trade Description: August 29, 2015:
Investors want to see earnings growth and NUVA has delivered. The company's bullish results have helped fuel a +14% gain year to date. The NASDAQ composite is only up +1.9%. Traders were quick to buy the dip when the market crashed a few days ago and shares look poised to run.

NUVA is in the healthcare sector. They're part of the medical device industry. According to the company, "NuVasive is an innovative global medical device company that is changing spine surgery with minimally disruptive surgical products and procedurally-integrated solutions for the spine. The Company is the third largest player in the $9.0 billion global spine market. NuVasive offers a comprehensive spine portfolio of more than 90 unique products developed to improve spine surgery and patient outcomes. The Company's principal procedural solution is its Maximum Access Surgery, or MAS®, platform for lateral spine fusion. MAS was designed to provide safer, reproducible, and clinically proven outcomes, and is a highly differentiated solution with fully integrated neuromonitoring, customizable exposure, and a broad offering of application-specific implants and fixation devices designed to address a variety of pathologies."

NUVA has reported strong growth and offered a bullish outlook this year. Starting in January 2015 NUVA raised its full year guidance. They reported earnings on February 24th and beat estimates. They guided higher again on April 1st. Their earnings report on May 4th beat estimates on both the top and bottom line and management raised their 2015 guidance. That pattern repeated with their July 28th earnings report. NUVA beat estimates on both the top and bottom line. The company raised their 2015 estimates above Wall Street expectations. The stock soared to new multi-year highs on this news.

NUVA started to see some profit taking in early August. When the market collapsed a few days ago shares spiked down to $48.00. This was a -14% correction from its early August high. Traders bought the dip and NUVA is up four days in a row. The point & figure chart is bullish and forecasting at $63.00 target.

Tonight we are suggesting a trigger to open bullish positions at $54.55. This would be a new two-week high. We will start this play with a stop loss at $49.85.

Trigger @ $54.55

- Suggested Positions -

Buy NUVA stock @ $54.55

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

Buy the OCT $55 CALL (NUVA151016C55)

Entry disclaimer: To avoid an unfavorable entry point, we will not launch a new play if the stock gaps open more than $1.00 past our suggested entry point.

Option Format: symbol-year-month-day-call-strike


Oshkosh Corp. - OSK - close: 40.79 change: -1.26

Stop Loss: None, no stop at this time.
Target(s): To Be Determined
Current Gain/Loss: -3.6%
Entry on August 31 at $42.30
Listed on August 27, 2015
Time Frame: 8 to 12 weeks
Average Daily Volume = 1.1 million
New Positions: see below

Comments:
09/01/15: Last night's announcement that OSK was adding 10 million shares to their buyback program didn't do much for the stock. Shares did see a small gap higher at $42.30 and then they plunged -2.99%, which was inline with the broader market's weakness. The $40.00 level should be short-term support.

I am not suggesting new positions at this time.

Trade Description: August 27, 2015:
The future looks a little brighter for OSK after a big contract win from the U.S. military. OSK has been making vehicles for the military for over 90 years. Earlier this year (January) the military tested new prototypes for a new Humvee design from the likes of Lockheed Martin, AM General, and OSK. This week the Wall Street Journal reported that OSK had won the contract.

OSK is in the consumer goods sector. According to the company, "Oshkosh Corporation is a leading designer, manufacturer and marketer of a broad range of specialty access equipment, commercial, fire & emergency and military vehicles and vehicle bodies. Oshkosh Corporation manufactures, distributes and services products under the brands of Oshkosh®, JLG®, Pierce®, McNeilus®, Jerr-Dan®, Frontline®, CON-E-CO®, London® and IMT®. Oshkosh products are valued worldwide in businesses where high quality, superior performance, rugged reliability and long-term value are paramount."

The new Humvee contract is a big deal. The Pentagon has been cutting back on spending the last few years. This new contract could last 25 years. OSK won with its design that is lighter in weight, providers greater range, and better protection against mines and roadside bombs. Officially the vehicle is called a Joint Light Tactical Vehicle (JLTV).

The initial contract is valued at $6.75 billion for 17,000 vehicles. It could be extended out to year 2040 since the U.S. army wants to buy almost 50,000 new JLTVs for itself and about 5,500 for the Marines. The overall program could be worth $30 billion over 25 years.

OSK's revenues last year were only $6.2 billion so this is a nice boost.

Technically shares of OSK appear to have produced a bullish double bottom. The stock market's spike lower on Monday morning pushed OSK toward its late July lows. This week's rebound in the market has seen OSK breakout past resistance near $40.00 and its 50-dma. This reversal higher has produced a new buy signal on the point & figure chart, which is forecasting a long-term $63.00 target.

Today's high was $42.21. Tonight we are suggesting a trigger to launch bullish positions at $42.30.

- Suggested Positions -

Long OSK stock @ $42.30

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

Long 2016 Jan $45 CALL (OSK160115C45) entry $3.30

08/31/15 triggered @ $42.30
Option Format: symbol-year-month-day-call-strike


Starbucks - SBUX - close: 53.50 change: -1.21

Stop Loss: 51.15
Target(s): To Be Determined
Current Gain/Loss: -3.0%
Entry on August 27 at $55.15
Listed on August 25, 2015
Time Frame: Exit prior to earnings in October
Average Daily Volume = 8.0 million
New Positions: see below

Comments:
09/01/15: SBUX gapped open lower this morning and bounced. Unfortunately the bounce failed at its 10-dma. Shares settled near its 100-dma with a -2.2% decline. If this market weakness continues tomorrow we should expect SBUX to test the $52.00 area.

No new positions at this time.

Trade Description: August 25, 2015:
The sell-off in shares of SBUX is a bit ridiculous. The Thursday-Friday-Monday sell-off in the market saw SBUX fall from $57.59 to $42.05. That was a -27% drop in less than three days. The company's fundamentals didn't deteriorate -27%. The recent market turmoil presents an opportunity to buy SBUX. Jump to the bottom of this play description for details.

Here's a little bit about SBUX and the company's performance:

The world seems to have an insatiable appetite for coffee. Starbucks is more than happy to help fill that need. The first Starbucks opened in Seattle back in 1971. Today they are a global brand with locations in 66 countries. SBUX operates more than 21,000 retail stores with more than 300,000 workers.

A few years ago Business Insider published some facts on SBUX. The average SBUX customer stops by six times a month. The really loyal, top 20% of customers, come in 16 times a month. There are nearly 90,000 potential drink combinations at your local Starbucks. The company spends more money on healthcare for its employees than it does on coffee beans.

The company's earnings results were only mediocre most of 2014 year. You can see the results in SBUX's long-term chart below. After incredible gains in 2013 SBUX has essentially consolidated sideways in 2014. SBUX broke out of that sideways funk after it reported earnings in January 2015.

Five-Year Plan

In late 2014 SBUX announced their five-year plan to increase profitability. Here's an excerpt from a company press release:

"The seismic shift in consumer behavior underway presents tremendous opportunity for businesses the world over that are prepared and positioned to seize it," Schultz said (Howard Schultz is the Founder, Chairman, President, and CEO of Starbucks). "Over the next five years, Starbucks will continue to lean into this new era by innovating in transformational ways across coffee, tea and retail, elevating our customer and partner experiences, continuing to extend our leadership position in digital and mobile technologies, and unlocking new markets, channels and formats around the world. Investing in our coffee, our people and the communities we serve will remain at our core as we continue to redefine the role and responsibility of a public company in today's disruptive global consumer, economic and retail environments."

"Starbucks business, operations and growth trajectory around the world have never been stronger, and we are more confident than ever in our ability to continue to drive significant growth and meet our long term financial targets," said Troy Alstead, Starbucks chief operating officer. "We have more customers visiting more stores more frequently, both in the U.S. and around the world, than at any time in our history. And we expect both the number of customers visiting our stores and the amount they spend with us to accelerate in the years ahead. With a robust pipeline of mobile commerce innovations that will drive transactions and unprecedented speed of service, Starbucks is ushering in a new era of customer convenience. We believe the runway of opportunity for Starbucks inside and outside of our stores is both vast and unmatched by any other retailer on the planet."

The company believes they can grow revenues from $16 billion in FY2014 to almost $30 billion by FY2019. To do that they will expand deeper into regions like China, Japan, India, and Brazil. SBUX expects to nearly double its stores in China to over 3,000 locations in the next five years

They're also working hard on their mobile ordering technology to speed up the experience so customers don't have to wait in line so long at their busiest locations. This will also include a delivery service.

Part of the five-year plan is a new marketing campaign called Starbucks Evening experience. The company wants to be the "third place" between home and work. After 4:00 p.m. they will start offering alcohol, mainly wine and beer, in addition to new tapas-like smaller plates.

The company recently launched its first ever Starbucks Reserve Roastery and Tasting Room in Seattle, near their iconic first retail store. The new roastery is supposed to be the ultimate coffee lovers experience. CEO Schultz said they will eventually open up about 100 of these Starbucks Reserve locations.

Earnings results:

It was a very strong holiday period for SBUX thanks in part to astonishing gift card sales. The amount of money loaded onto SBUX gift cards during the holidays surged +17% to a record $1.6 billion. One out of every seven Americans received a SBUX gift card. The company also saw significant growth overseas with its China and Asia-Pacific business soaring +85% to sales of $495 million. Their mobile transactions have reached seven million transactions a week.

SBUX reported its Q2 (2015) on April 23rd. Earnings of $0.33 a share were in-line with estimates. Revenues were up +17.8% to $4.56 billion, slightly above expectations. It was their strongest growth in four years. Customers are responding well to new drink options and an updated food menu. They're also developing new delivery options, mobile pay options, and alcoholic drinks available at select locations.

Worldwide same-store sales grew +7%. This was significantly above estimates. It also marked the 21st consecutive quarter where SBUX's comparable store sales were +5% or more.

The company issued mixed guidance. The stronger dollar is having an impact. They see fiscal 2015 results in the $1.55-1.57 range. That compares to Wall Street estimates for $1.57 per share. However, the company's revenue estimates are more optimistic. They're forecasting +16-18% sales growth into the $19.1-19.4 billion zone compares to analysts' estimates of $19.1 billion.

The trend of earnings pops continued in July with shares gapping up to new all-time highs following its Q2 report on July 23rd. Earnings were $0.42 per share, a penny above estimates. Revenues were up +17.5% to $4.88 billion, just a hair above expectations. Global same-store sales were up +7% and their non-GAAP operating margin improved 100 basis points to 19.5%. Management is still guiding 2015 revenues to rise +17% in the $19.1-19.4 billion range.

Recent Sell-off & Entry Point

The recent stock market bloodletting saw SBUX breakdown below a multitude of support levels. The weakness on Monday morning was just ridiculous. SBUX opened on Monday, August 24th near technical support at its 200-dma and then it plunged to $42.05. The stock bounced back to $50 by the closing bell. The rebound struggled today but SBUX displayed relative strength with a +1.48% gain versus a -1.35% drop in the S&P 500 and a -0.4% decline in the NASDAQ.

If the stock market continues to sink we want to take advantage of the weakness in SBUX and launch bullish positions on a dip near its 200-dma. Today the simple 200-dma is at $48.04. We will set our entry trigger at $48.00. We are starting this play without a stop loss. More conservative investors might want to wait on launching positions since the next few days could be volatile for the broader market (SBUX included).

- Suggested Positions -

Long shares of SBUX @ $55.15

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

Long NOV $57.50 CALL (SBUX151120C57.5) entry $2.00

08/29/15 new stop at $51.15
08/27/15 Triggered @ $55.15
08/26/15 Entry point adjustment - move the buy-the-dip trigger from $48.00 to $50.00. Plus, add a secondary trigger to open bullish positions at $55.15.
Option Format: symbol-year-month-day-call-strike




BEARISH Play Updates

Lannett Co. - LCI - close: 47.29 change: -0.66

Stop Loss: 51.55
Target(s): To Be Determined
Current Gain/Loss: -1.9%
Entry on September 01 at $46.42
Listed on August 31, 2015
Time Frame: Exit 6 to 8 weeks (ahead of October option expiration)
Average Daily Volume = 858 thousand
New Positions: see below

Comments:
09/01/15: Our new bearish trade on LCI was triggered on the gap down this morning. Shares opened a $46.42. LCI managed to pare its losses by the close with a -1.3% decline on the day. I would still consider new positions at current levels but more conservative traders might want to wait for a drop below $46.0 before initiating positions.

I am not suggesting new option positions. The option pricing this morning was whacky. Our entry price on the put option jumped higher and killed our entry point.

Trade Description: August 31, 2015:
LCI has seen tremendous earnings and revenue growth over the last few years but it looks like their growth rate might be slowing down.

LCI is in the healthcare sector. According to the company, "Founded in 1942, Lannett develops, manufactures and distributes generic prescription pharmaceutical products in tablet, capsule and oral liquid forms to customers throughout the United States. Lannett markets its products primarily to drug wholesalers, retail drug chains, distributors, and government agencies."

Looking at LCI's last four quarterly reports the company has beaten Wall Street's earnings estimates every time. The trend in revenue growth could be a warning. Their Q1 revenues (announced Nov. 3rd, 2014) were up +103.8%. Q2 revenues (Feb. 4th) rose +69.7%. Q3 revenues were only up +24.3%.

LCI's most recent earnings report was August 25th. The company delivered a profit of $0.91 per share. That was four cents above estimates and a +42% improvement from a year ago. Revenues grew +23% to $99.28 million, also above expectations. The market's problem with the results seems to be LCI's 2016 guidance, which was a little soft.

LCI's full-year 2015 earnings growth was an impressive +162%. Unfortunately the stock market is always looking forward, not backward. It appears that investors are growing cautious.

Technically the stock broke down back in May following its Q3 earnings report. Then during the June-through-early August time frame shares of LCI produced a bearish head-and-shoulders pattern. That pattern broke when LCI fell below short-term support at $55.00 and long-term technical support at the 200-dma.

Now it looks like the oversold bounce from last week's low is failing. Shares underperformed the market with a -3.8% decline today. LCI has also broken below a long-term trend line of support. I suspect that LCI could fall toward round-number support near $40.00.

Tonight we are suggesting a trigger to launch bearish positions at $47.25. However, I want to caution readers to limit their risk and use small positions. The most recent data listed short interest at 26% of the relatively small 26.74 million share float. That much short interest raises our risk of a short squeeze and could make LCI more volatile.

- Suggested Positions -

Short LCI stock @ $47.25

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

long OCT $45 PUT (LCI151016P45) entry $5.00

09/01/15 triggered on a gap down at $46.42, suggested entry was $47.25
Option Format: symbol-year-month-day-call-strike


iPath S&P500 VIX Futures ETN - VXX - close: 30.76 change: +3.91

Stop Loss: None, no stop at this time.
Target(s): To Be Determined
Current Gain/Loss: -41.0%
Entry on August 25 at $21.82
Listed on August 24, 2015
Time Frame: Exit prior to October option expiration
Average Daily Volume = 50 million
New Positions: see below

Comments:
09/01/15: Buckle your seat belt. The market's decline today fueled a big move in volatility. The VIX surged +10% while the VXX rallied +14.5% to new six-month highs.

Check out the chart below. The weekly chart suggests spikes in the VXX do not last very long.

If think stocks are going to collapse into a new bear market then I probably would not launch bearish positions on the VXX. However, if you think this is just a temporary pullback in stock prices then that means this spike in volatility is temporary.

We are still optimistic on the market and expect a rebound. Therefore we are doubling down on this bearish VXX trade. Launch new bearish positions at the opening bell tomorrow. You may want to limit your risk by using the options. I would not be surprised to see another spike higher at the open.

I'm listing a new entry point below.

Note - I have extended our time frame. Exit prior to October option expiration.

Trade Description: August 24, 2015
The U.S. stock market's sell-off in the last three days has been extreme. Most of the major indices have collapsed into correction territory (-10% from their highs). The volatile moves in the market have investors panicking for protection. This drives up demand for put options and this fuels a rally in the CBOE volatility index (the VIX).

You can see on this long-term weekly chart that the VIX spiked up to levels not seen since the 2008 bear market during the financial crisis. Moves like this do not happen very often. The VIX rarely stays this high very long.

(see VIX chart from the August 24th play description)

How do we trade the VIX? One way is the VXX, which is an ETN but trades like a stock.

Here is an explanation from the product website:

The iPath® S&P 500 VIX Short-Term Futures® ETNs (the "ETNs") are designed to provide exposure to the S&P 500 VIX Short-Term FuturesTM Index Total Return (the "Index"). The ETNs are riskier than ordinary unsecured debt securities and have no principal protection. The ETNs are unsecured debt obligations of the issuer, Barclays Bank PLC, and are not, either directly or indirectly, an obligation of or guaranteed by any third party. Any payment to be made on the ETNs, including any payment at maturity or upon redemption, depends on the ability of Barclays Bank PLC to satisfy its obligations as they come due. An investment in the ETNs involves significant risks, including possible loss of principal and may not be suitable for all investors.

The Index is designed to provide access to equity market volatility through CBOE Volatility Index® (the "VIX Index") futures. The Index offers exposure to a daily rolling long position in the first and second month VIX futures contracts and reflects market participants' views of the future direction of the VIX index at the time of expiration of the VIX futures contracts comprising the Index. Owning the ETNs is not the same as owning interests in the index components included in the Index or a security directly linked to the performance of the Index.

I encourage readers to check out a long-term chart of the VXX. This thing has been a consistent loser. One market pundit said the VXX is where money goes to die - if you're buying it. We do not want to buy it. We want to short it. Shorting rallies seems to be a winning strategy on the VXX with a constant trend of lower highs.

Today the VXX spiked up to four-month highs near $28.00 before fading. We are suggesting bearish positions at the opening bell tomorrow. The market volatility is probably not done yet so we are not listing a stop loss yet. Our time frame is two or three weeks (or less).

- Suggested Positions -

Short the VXX @ $21.82

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

Long OCT $20 PUT (VXX151016P20) entry $2.93

- Double Down On The September 1st Spike Higher -

- Launch new bearish positions at the open tomorrow (Sep. 2nd)

Short the VXX @ the open

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

Buy OCT $20 PUT (VXX151016P20) current ask $0.63

09/01/15 Double down on this trade with the VXX's spike to 6-month highs
08/25/15 trade begins. VXX gaps down at $21.82
Option Format: symbol-year-month-day-call-strike

chart: