Editor's Note:

Stocks were volatile on Thursday, probably due to the lack of volume with many traders away ahead of the three-day weekend. The manufacturing data released this morning was positive around the world and that's good news for the bulls but stocks remain overbought and due for a correction. The markets will be closed for Good Friday tomorrow but investors will still be watching for the jobs number. Any big hit or miss in the jobs report could spark big moves on Monday.

I did update a few stop losses today.

Current Portfolio:


CALL Play Updates

Apple Inc - AAPL close: 235.97 change: +0.97 stop: 232.45 *new*

AAPL continues to grab headlines as the company garners more kudos for its iPad that is due to be launched this weekend. Shares spiked to $238.73 this morning, sold off to $232.75 on market weakness and the bounced back into the closing bell. I really hope we don't regret not closing this play on Thursday (tonight). Instead I am suggesting we exit this trade on Monday at the closing bell assuming AAPL does not hit our exit target at $239.75 first. Please note our new stop loss at $232.45. I am not suggesting new positions at this time.

Current Position: BUY CALL APRIL $230 (AAPL 10D230.00) @ $5.25

03/30/10 - 1st Target Exceeded on gap open
AAPL opened at $236.60. The April $230 call opened at $9.20 (+75%)

Entry on March 23rd at $228.00
Earnings Date 04/21/10
Average Daily Volume = 18.6 million
Listed on March 22nd, 2010


Express Scripts - ESRX - close: 102.39 change: +0.63 stop: 99.90 *new*

ESRX is still inching higher. The sell-off midday didn't seem so bad in ESRX as it was in some of the market's high-flyers. I am adjusting our stop loss to $99.90. While I remain bullish on ESRX I would hesitate to launch new positions until we see the jobs report on Friday. Our first target is $104.90. Our second target is $107.45. Our time frame is just a couple of weeks.

Current Position: BUY CALL APRIL $105 (ESRX 10D105.00) at $1.10

Entry on March 24th at $101.99
Earnings Date 04/29/10
Average Daily Volume = 2.51 million
Listed on March 23rd, 2010


Coca-Cola - KO - close: 55.30 change: +0.30 stop: 52.95

KO continues to bounce higher. Shares are very close to breaking out from the short-term $54.50-55.35 trading range the stock has been in the last few days. If you were looking for confirmation of the move readers could open new positions on a rise past the $55.50 level. More cautious traders may want to consider a stop loss closer to $54.00 or even $54.50. The stock doesn't move super fast but I envision a rally toward the December highs over the next few weeks. Our target to exit is $59.00.

Current Position: BUY CALL May $55.00 (KO 10E55.00) at $1.62

Entry on March 24th at $ 55.22
Earnings Date 04/21/10
Average Daily Volume = 14.6 million
Listed on March 23rd, 2010


L-3 Communications - LLL - close: 92.53 change: +0.90 stop: 88.90

The defense sector remains very overbought and due for a correction so anyone considering bullish positions in the group needs to be careful. With that in mind the action in LLL today was encouraging. There was no follow through on yesterday's weakness. I would still hesitate to launch new positions. A bounce from $90.00 would be a more attractive entry point. Our first target is $97.00. Our final target is $99.75.

We chose the $100 calls to keep our capital investment very small. Keep your position size limited.

Current Position: BUY CALL APRIL 100.00 (LLL 10D100.00) @ $0.30

Entry on March 18th at $ 93.88
Earnings Date 04/22/10
Average Daily Volume = 908 thousand
Listed on March 17th, 2010


NII Holdings Inc. - NIHD - close: 42.43 change: +0.75 stop: 39.90 *new*

Shares of NIHD hit new 52-week highs with a rally to $43.21 midday. Shares eventually trimmed its gains but still outperformed the market with a 1.79% gain. Volume was not bad consider it's the day before a three-day weekend. Broken resistance near $42.00 could actually turn into short-term support. I am inching our stop loss higher to $39.90. Our first target is the $44.00 level.

Current Position: BUY CALL APRIL $40 (NIHD 10D40.00) @ $1.85

Entry on March 11th at $ 40.10
Earnings Date 04/22/10
Average Daily Volume = 2.68 million
Listed on March 10th, 2010


Priceline.com - PCLN - close: 257.00 change: + 2.00 stop: 239.85

PCLN continues to chop around the $233.00-260.00 trading range. The stock actually hit $260.28 this morning and that gave more conservative traders another exit to cash out. The April $260 options hit $6.69. I am not suggesting new bullish positions at this time. I still think more conservative traders, if you haven't taken some money off the table, may want to do so. This remains a very aggressive, higher-risk trade given PCLN's volatility and overbought stature. We need to keep our positions small. Our target is $275.00. Our time frame is about four weeks.

Current Position: BUY CALL APRIL $260 (PCLN 10D260.00) @ 2.15

Entry on March 25th at $246.60
Earnings Date 05/11/10
Average Daily Volume = 793 thousand
Listed on March 23rd, 2010


Panera Bread Co. - PNRA - close: 76.38 change: -0.11 stop: 74.75

The correction in shares of PNRA continues. The stock dipped to $75.78 this afternoon before trimming its losses in the last 30 minutes of trading. I've been expecting a pull back toward $75.00 so the dip may not be over yet.

I am not suggesting new positions at this time. This was an aggressive trade given our entry point. Our first target is $82.45. FYI: It is worth noting that PNRA could announce a stock split one of these days. The last time shares split was in the $75-80 zone back in June 2002.

Current Position: CALL APR 80.00 (PNRA 10D80.00) @ $1.35

Entry on March 11th at $ 77.18
Earnings Date 04/28/10
Average Daily Volume = 519 thousand
Listed on March 9th, 2010


PartnerRe Ltd. - PRE - close: 79.76 change: +0.04 stop: 77.75

There was an early morning spike in shares of PRE but the stock failed to breakout over resistance near the $80.50 level. I still do not see any changes from my prior comments. The larger trend is still bullish. If the stock closes under $79.00 we'll drop it as a bullish candidate. Currently we have a trigger to buy calls at $80.55. More conservative traders may want to raise that trigger to $80.75 or higher just to reduce the chance we get triggered on an intraday spike higher.

If triggered we'll use a stop loss at $77.75 (under the March 19th low). Our first target is $84.75. Our second, longer-term target is $89.00. There is potential resistance near the October 2009 highs ($81.70) so don't be surprised to see some congestion there.

Trigger to buy calls at $80.55

Suggested Position: BUY CALL MAY $80.00 (PRE 10E80.00) current ask $2.10

Entry on March xxth at $ xx.xx
Earnings Date 04/27/10
Average Daily Volume = 989 thousand
Listed on March 20th, 2010


Wynn Resorts - WYNN - close: 77.40 change: +1.57 stop: 69.20

The casino and gambling stocks continue to rally and WYNN recouped yesterday's losses with a bounce back toward resistance near $78.00. I still hesitate to chase it here but more aggressive traders may want to consider bullish positions over $78.00. Currently we are waiting to buy calls on a dip. The plan is to use a trigger at $71.50. I have inched the stop loss down to $69.20. Our first target is $76.50. Our second target is $79.90. Longer-term traders could aim a lot higher. Please note that I have changed the option to MAY $75 calls.

Trigger to buy calls at $71.50

Suggested Position: BUY CALL MAY $75 (WYNN 10E75.00) current ask $5.55

Entry on March xxth at $ xx.xx
Earnings Date 05/05/10
Average Daily Volume = 2.7 million
Listed on March 24th, 2010


PUT Play Updates

Amedisys Inc. - AMED - close: 56.99 change: +1.77 stop: 59.05

Stocks experienced a global market rally on Thursday and the healthcare sector was one of the strongest performers. Shares of AMED did well with a 3.2% gain. Unfortunately our bias on AMED is bearish. The stock gapped open at $55.88 and closed on its highs for the session, which is bullish for the next trading day. Readers may want to wait for the stock to roll over first under the $59.00 level before initiating new positions. Our target to exit is $50.25. Our time frame is about two weeks.

Current Position: PUT APRIL $50.00 (AMED 10P50.00) $ 0.85

Entry on April 1st at $ 55.88
Earnings Date 04/28/10
Average Daily Volume = 749 thousand
Listed on March 31st, 2010


AvalonBay Comm. - AVB - close: 85.74 change: -0.61 stop: 90.15

Good news! AVB displayed relative weakness and broke down under short-term support near $86.00. The stock has hit our trigger to buy puts at $85.75 so the trade is now open. Our target is $80.50. The simple 50-dma might be technical support but once the market begins to correct I don't believe the 50-dma will stop it. We should consider this somewhat aggressive since the P&F chart for AVB is still bullish and shares offer a 4% dividend yield, which might attract some capital in a prolonged downturn. Plus, our stop loss is a little wide.

Trade is now open at $85.75

Current Position: PUT APRIL $85.00 (AVB 10P85.00) @ $1.70

Chart:

Entry on April 1st at $ 85.75
Earnings Date 04/28/10
Average Daily Volume = 5.67 million
Listed on March 30th, 2010


iShares Russell 2000 - IWM - close: 68.43 change: +0.63 stop: 70.15

Small caps still look vulnerable. Stocks were stronger this morning but the small cap index failed to rally past Wednesday's highs. While the group did bounce late in the session they still seem the most fragile. I remain bearish but readers may want to wait for the IWM to trade under Thursday's low of $67.39 before initiating new positions.

Broken resistance near $65.00 should be new support. Our target will be $65.10. We're not trying to knock the ball of the cover with this trade. We're just looking for a decent gain on what could be a temporary correction for the small caps. More aggressive traders could aim for the $62-60 zone.

Keep in mind that April options expire in three weeks. You may want to trade May options instead.

Current Position: BUY PUT APRIL $65.00 (IWM 10P65.00) @ $0.47

Entry on March 29th at $ 68.11
Earnings Date --/--/--
Average Daily Volume = 60.4 million
Listed on March 27th, 2010


CLOSED BEARISH PLAYS

ishares China - FXI - close: 43.27 change: +1.17 stop: 42.55

Our put play on the FXI has not panned out. News that the Chinese central bank was issuing dovish comments on keeping interest rates low for the time being was naturally interpreted as bullish for the Chinese markets. Plus, the Chinese PMI data came in bullish. The Asian markets rallied. The FXI appears to have broken its trend of lower highs. We may want to considering buying calls on this ETF if shares pull back and retest the $42.00 level. Our play was stopped out when the FXI opened at $42.91 this morning.

Stopped out @ 42.91(gap open)

Closed Position: PUT MAY $40.00 (FXI 10Q40.00) @ 0.58
Entry was at $1.28

Chart:

Entry on March 29th at $ 41.15
Earnings Date --/--/--
Average Daily Volume = 21.3 million
Listed on March 27th, 2010


ProShares Ultra(Long) Basic Mat. - UYM - close: 37.17 chg: +1.39 stop: 37.26

I am dropping UYM as a bearish candidate. Demand for commodities is going to rise with the pace of manufacturing picking up around the world. Today there was news from China, Europe, Britain, and the U.S. that manufacturing was on the rise. Naturally commodities rallied on this news and the UYM soared 3.8% and broke through resistance near the $37.00 level. Our trigger to open positions has not been hit at $34.30 and we are dropping the UYM as a bearish play. More nimble traders may want to consider switching directions and buying calls.

TRADE NEVER OPENED

Trigger to buy puts at $34.30

Suggested Position: BUY PUT MAY $30.00 (UYM 10Q30.00) current ask $1.20

Chart:

Entry on March xxth at $ xx.xx *never opened*
Earnings Date --/--/--
Average Daily Volume = 4.5 million
Listed on March 27th, 2010