Option Investor

Daily Newsletter, Sunday, 5/24/2015

Table of Contents

  1. Leaps Trader Commentary
  2. Portfolio
  3. New Plays
  4. Play Updates
  5. Watch

Leaps Trader Commentary

The Market Is Stuck Riding The Brakes

by James Brown

Click here to email James Brown

Last week I suggested it was full speed ahead for stocks. Unfortunately someone forgot to tell the market. Big cap U.S. stocks rallied on Monday (May 18th) and the S&P 500 index broke out to new highs. That was about it for market movement. The rest of the week saw stocks drift sideways. Bloomberg.com called it the slowest week of the year. The S&P 500 traded inside a 15-point range for the last five trading days.

We discussed the bearish divergence between the Dow Industrials and the Dow Transports last weekend. The transports accelerated lower thanks to a very sharp sell-off in the airline stocks. Railroads did not perform very well either. The transportation average fell -2.29% last week, which pushes the year to date loss to -7.19%. Thankfully this weakness was offset by relative strength in financials (+1.3%), semiconductors (+1.5%), and the biotechs, which rallied +3.3% last week.

The bond market tagged a new relative low and bounced. The yield on the U.S. ten-year bond ended the week at 2.2%. Yields on a German 10-year bond are 0.6%. Meanwhile the U.S. dollar surged. After falling five weeks in a row the U.S. dollar produced a big bounce and that sent commodities lower. Gold and silver both posted losses and crude oil had a rough time last week.

Trading volume began to evaporate as we got closer and closer to the long, holiday weekend. Investors were essentially on the sidelines all week. There was the potential for headlines out of Europe (regarding Greece) on Friday. There was Federal Reserve President Janet Yellen's speech on Friday. Both could have been reasons for traders to just sit and wait. Of course it's natural for traders to take positions off ahead of a long weekend for fear of what new headlines the weekend might bring.

Economic Data

There were multiple data points on the residential real estate market last week. Housing starts surged +20% in April to a 1.135 million pace. That's up from March's 926,000 reading. We haven't seen housing starts this strong since late 2007. They haven't jumped this much, +20% in one month, in almost 25 years. The market's first reaction was to sell the news. If the housing sector gets too hot it could be seen as a reason for the Federal Reserve to raise rates sooner rather than later.

The funny thing is that the NAHB housing market index, which is essentially a sentiment or confidence survey among the homebuilders, actually fell from 56 to 54. Analysts were expecting a rise to 58. The existing home sales figures fell -3.3% in April to an annual pace of 5.04 million homes.

In other news, the Philly fed business outlook survey fell from 7.5 in April to 6.7 in May. The consumer price index (CPI) rose +0.1% in April. The core-CPI, which excludes food and energy costs, surged +0.3%. This was the biggest rise in the core-CPI since January 2013. The annual pace (trailing 12 months) for the core-CPI is +1.8% and that's nearing the Federal Reserve's 2.0% target.

The FOMC minutes from the prior meeting was a non-event. Some of the Fed members expressed concern that the seasonal weakness in Q1 might bleed over into Q2. This reaffirmed the common belief there will be no rate hike in June.

The big story on Friday was Fed Chairman Janet Yellen's speech. In summary, Yellen wants to raise rates but she's still worried the U.S. economy isn't ready yet. The Fed wants to see steady improvement in the labor market and feel confident that inflation will hit their 2% target. The Fed is forecasting U.S. GDP growth to be in the 2.0-2.5% range for the foreseeable future and that's lower than they would like before raising rates, which could slow the economy. The Atlanta Fed is forecasting Q2 GDP growth of just +0.7%.

No one expects the Fed to raise rates at the June meeting. There is a possibility they could do it at the July meeting but most economists are expecting the Fed to raise rates once in September and then they're done for the year. Quite a few analysts do not expect the Fed to raise rates at all this year.

FYI: The Fed also has meetings scheduled in October and December.

Overseas Economic Data

Japan released a lot of data last week. Their March core machinery orders were up +2.9% for the month and up +2.6% versus a year ago. Japan's industrial produce was down -0.8% in March, which was worse than expected. Japan's May Flash manufacturing PMI improved from 49.9 to 50.9, which was also better than estimated. The country's Q1 GDP estimate came in at +0.6%. That was above expectations and boosted its year over year growth to +2.4%. It looks like their QE program might be working. The Bank of Japan left their monetary policy unchanged with its interest rate at 0.1%. The BoJ also upgraded their economic outlook for the first time in two years.

China continues to struggle with its economic slowdown. Their Flash HSBC manufacturing PMI reading for May improved from 48.9 to 49.91 but that was below expectations and the third month in a row in contraction territory (below 50.0). Their China Flash manufacturing outlook index dropped to a 13-month low at 48.4 in May. If you recall China's central bank just recently cut rates for the third time in six months and that usually takes a while to filter through the economy. Disappointing economic data has not stopped the rally in Chinese stocks. Their main market index hit new multi-year highs last week.

European finance leaders are still worried about growth in the region but they're turning more optimistic. Germany's Flash manufacturing PMI reading for May was a disappointment with a drop from 52.1 to 51.4, which was below expectations.

Benoit Coeure, a member of the European Central Bank, moved the market on Tuesday. Coeure said that the ECB might "frontload" their QE purchases in June to avoid a liquidity slowdown later this summer. This sparked a temporary rally in bonds and pushed the euro currency lower.

On Friday ECB President Mario Draghi delivered an optimistic viewpoint. Essentially he said that the Eurozone's economic prospects look better now than they have in the past seven years.

We also made it another week without the Greek time bomb going off. Greek Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras met with German Chancellor Angela Merkel and French President Francois Hollande for high-level negotiations. Everyone knows that Greece is out of money and will not be able to make their next big debt payment to the IMF on June 5th. That's only two weeks away!

Major Indices:

The S&P 500 index eked out a +0.16% gain for the week. Year to date it is up +3.2%. The breakout past resistance at 2,120 is bullish but there hasn't been any follow through higher. On the plus side the path of least resistance is still higher.

I'd look for support near 2,080 on any market drop. Below that the 2,040 level should be underpinned by the rising 200-dma.

Five-Day chart of the S&P 500 index:

chart of the S&P 500 index:

The NASDAQ is up two weeks in a row thanks to a +0.8% gain last week. You can see on the chart how the index struggled with resistance near the 5,100 level. If this rally continues the 11-month trend line of higher highs is overhead resistance. On the downside the 5,000 mark and the 4,900 level should offer some support. Year to date the NASDAQ composite is up +7.5%.

chart of the NASDAQ Composite index:

The small cap Russell 2000 index delivered a disappointing performance. Monday's bullish breakout past its 50-dma did not see any follow through higher. The $RUT struggled with the 1,260 level all week long. It ended the week with a +0.6% gain and that boosts the current streak to three up weeks in a row.

The 1,260 and 1,280 levels are resistance. If we are lucky the 1,240 level will be support. If the $RUT breaks 1,240 again I wouldn't be surprised to see a drop toward the 1,200 level.

chart of the Russell 2000 index

Economic Data & Event Calendar

The U.S. market is closed on Monday for the Memorial Day holiday. That leaves just four trading days left for the month of May. Most of this week's economic reports will come out on Tuesday. I don't expect any of them to be market moving.

On Friday we'll get our second estimate on Q1 GDP growth. The first estimate was +0.25% but analysts are expecting that to be revised lower to -0.8%. That is assuming the U.S. Bureau of Economic Analysis doesn't change the way we calculate GDP. They have been talking about boosting their seasonal adjustments, which would likely boost the estimate high enough to avoid a negative GDP print.

- Monday, May 25 -
U.S. market closed for Memorial Day

- Tuesday, May 26 -
Durable Goods
New Home Sales
Case-Shiller 20-city home price index
Richmond Fed manufacturing survey
Texas Fed manufacturing survey
Consumer confidence

- Wednesday, May 27 -
(nothing significant)

- Thursday, April 28 -
Pending home sales

- Friday, May 29 -
Q1 U.S. GDP (2nd) estimate
Consumer sentiment

Additional Events to be aware of:

June 5th - OPEC meeting

Looking Ahead:

Looking at the big picture I don't see any real changes from last weekend. The S&P 500 is poised to move higher. Investors are just searching for a catalyst. It's entirely possible that the longer we stay at new highs that money managers will get desperate and start throwing money at the winners to boost their performance. The first half of the year is going to be over in a month.

Last week I talked about the lack of bullish sentiment. That trend continues. Bullish sentiment has fallen for the fifth week in a row. The AAII investor sentiment survey saw bulls drop -1.5% to 25.2%. Bears fell -1.4% to 25.05. That means half (almost 50%) of investors surveyed are neutral on the market. A normal reading is only 30.5% of investors are neutral.

A recent poll by Merrill Lynch corroborates this outlook. They found that money managers have more cash sitting on the sidelines that any time since mid 2009. Imagine that. We are in a bull market with the S&P 500 at a new record high and money managers are afraid to put new money into stocks. Hopefully they are just waiting to buy the next dip.

Charles Rotbiut, the AAII editor, did some research. He found that when neutral sentiment is high for an extended period of time it normally precedes a market rally. Based on his research, 80% of the time the S&P 500 index is higher six months and twelve months down the road.

We all know that a bull market can climb the wall of worry. Here are a few bricks in the wall. The ECB's QE will likely push the euro lower and that's going to boost the dollar. A strong dollar is going to hurt big cap company earnings since they do so much business overseas.

The small cap index is underperforming and may have just formed a new lower high. As a counter-point the S&P 500 midcap ETF (MDY) is trading near all-time highs and mirroring the big caps.

One brick in the wall of worry that is really concerning is the lack of consumer spending. JP Morgan's Senior Global Economist Joseph Lupton believes "something has gone wrong with the global consumer." Lupton noted that U.S. retail sales have missed expectations five months in a row. He also points out that slower consumer spending has turned into a worldwide phenomenon. He questions whether this is just a temporary "soft patch" or a longer-term challenge. (read more on the topic here.)

I suspect that the holiday-shortened week in front of us could be quiet. It is the week after that worries me. Greece and its creditors are still at an impasse but that could change rapidly. U.S. and European stock and bond markets could turn volatile the closer we get to Greece's June 5th deadline. Greece has already warned they can't afford to make this payment without help. (Greece says it will default).

Enough about Greece! It's the weekend and a long weekend at that. Be prepared for a lot more traffic. AAA said that gasoline prices this Memorial Day weekend are the cheapest this time of year since 2010. The average price for a gallon of gas is $2.73. That's almost a $1.00 cheaper than a year ago. AAA estimates that Americans have already saved $50 billion on gas this year. They are also estimating that car traffic this holiday weekend will hit 10-year highs.

Have a wonderful Memorial Day weekend and thank a veteran for their service!

~ James

"Our debt to the heroic men and valiant women in the service of our country can never be repaid. They have earned our undying gratitude. America will never forget their sacrifices."
– President Harry S. Truman


Portfolio Update

by James Brown

Click here to email James Brown

Current Portfolio

Portfolio Comments:

Most of the market spent the last four days churning sideways. The exception appeared to be the transportation average, which plunged on weakness in airline stocks.

Optimistically the big cap and midcap indices could be poised to breakout higher from last week's mini-consolidation. Both the SPY and the MDY are hovering just above broken resistance.

I have updated stop losses on AMBA, ANTM, and DATA.
(AMBA and ANTM were new plays last weekend).

Disclaimer: At any given time the author may have positions in any or all of any companies mentioned in the Leaps Newsletter.

--Position Summary Table--
Table lists Directional CALL or PUT/LEAPS only.
Insurance puts, if applicable, are not shown.

Red symbol/name represents a play or option position exited or closed this week.

New Plays

Bulls Getting Frustrated?

by James Brown

Click here to email James Brown

- New Trades -

Editor's Note:

(May 24, 2015)

It was another frustrating week if you're bullish on stocks. Monday saw the S&P 500 break through resistance at 2,120 and then fail to see any follow through higher the rest of the week.

I am not adding any new trades tonight. We've added several plays this month already. The market's lack of follow through is worrisome.

I am adding a couple of new candidates to the watch list. Keep an eye on ADI and ATVI. We'd like to see both stocks dip before initiating positions (check the watch list for details).

Radar Screen:
Here is a list of stocks on my radar screen. These have potential to be LEAPS trades down the road if the right entry point presents itself. In no particular order:


Nearly all of these companies on my radar screen have earnings coming up in the next week.

Play Updates

Driving Into The Sunset With Toyota

by James Brown

Click here to email James Brown

Editor's Note:

Overall it was a pretty mild week for the stock market. The S&P 500 spent the last few days churning sideways in a narrow range. A lot of our active plays followed suit.

We want to exit our TM trade immediately.

Closed Plays

None. No closed plays this week.

Play Updates

Apple Inc. - AAPL - close: 132.54

05/24/15: AAPL is looking a little healthier. Shares outperformed the broader market with a decent gain last week. These are new four-week highs.

On Thursday a Morgan Stanley analyst issued a positive report on AAPL. Analyst Katy Huberty believes AAPL is going to have a strong quarter and expects the next couple of years to see strong iPhone demand. She raised her iPhone sales estimate for the June quarter from 46 million to 50 million. Huberty also upgraded her AAPL estimates for fiscal 2015 and 2016 by 5% and 7%, respectively. Katy estimates that half of AAPL's iPhone customers (that's about 450 million people) will upgrade their phones by fiscal 2016. She also noted that demand for AAPL's smartwatch has surged +60% since March. You can read more about her forecast on this CNBC article: here. The main point was her price target on AAPL is currently $166 but she could see it rising to $195, a +50% move from its recent $130 price.

I am not suggesting new positions in AAPL at this time.

Trade Description: November 2, 2014:
Love it or hate it AAPL always has Wall Street's attention. It has a cult-like following. The company's success has turned AAPL's stock into the biggest big cap in the U.S. markets with a current valuation of more than $633 billion.

The company is involved in multiple industries from hardware, software, and media but it's best known for its consumer electronics. The iPod helped perpetuate the digital music revolution. The iPhone, according to AAPL, is the best smartphone in the world. The iPad helped bring the tablet PC to the mass market. The company makes waves in every industry they touch with a very distinctive brand (iOS, iWork, iLife, iMessage, iCloud, iTunes, etc.) and they've done an amazing job at building an Apple-branded ecosystem. Now they're getting into the electronic payments business with Apple Pay.

The company's latest earnings report was super strong. AAPL reported its Q4 (calendar Q3) results on October 20th. Wall Street was expecting a profit of $1.31 a share on revenues of $39.84 billion. The company delivered a profit f $1.42 a share with revenues up +12.4% to $42.12 billion. The EPS number was a +20% improvement from a year ago. Gross margins were up +1% from a year ago to 38%. International sales were 60% of the company's revenues.

AAPL's iPhone sales exceeded estimates at 39.27 million in the quarter and up nearly 16% from a year ago. The only soft spot in their ecosystem seems to be iPad sales, which have declined several quarters in a row. The company hopes to rejuvenate its tablet sales with a refresh of the iPad models. More importantly AAPL management raised their Q1 (calendar Q4) guidance as they expect revenues in the $63.5-66.5 billion in the quarter. Recent news would suggest that AAPL might deliver an incredible 50 million iPhone 6s in 2014. That's not counting their new iPhone 6+.

The better than expected results and bullish guidance sent the stock to new highs. The rally has created a quadruple top breakout buy signal on its point & figure chart that is currently forecasting at $133 target. Yet we do not want to chase AAPL here. The stock is up $12 from its October low. We do want to be ready if shares see a pullback.

Tonight I am suggesting a buy-the-dip trigger to buy calls at $103.50 with a stop loss at $98.90. (We amended the buy-the-dip trigger to $111.00 on Nov. 30th).

- Suggested Positions -
DEC 09, 2014 - entry price on AAPL @ 110.19, option @ 9.55
symbol: AAPL160115C120 2016 JAN $120 call - current bid/ask $17.50/17.70

04/27/15 AAPL crushes earnings estimates (again)
04/12/15 new stop @ 118.00
03/01/15 Caution: AAPL could be poised for a pullback. Consider taking profits now and then re-enter this trade later.
02/22/15 new stop @ 114.00
02/15/15 new stop @ 109.50
12/09/14 triggered on gap down at $110.19, trigger was $111.00
11/30/14 raise the buy-the-dip entry trigger to $111.00
11/16/14 raise the buy-the-dip entry trigger to $108.00
Adjust the strike price to the 2016 Jan $120 call.
Option Format: symbol-year-month-day-call-strike

Current Target: To Be Determined
Current Stop loss: 118.00
Play Entered on: 12/09/14
Originally listed on the Watch List: 11/02/14

Adobe Systems - ADBE - close: 80.04

05/24/15: After trading sideways, just beneath resistance at $80.00 for a few days, ADBE finally broke out above this level. I would consider new positions here at current levels. Alternatively, if you think the market will correct lower, then watch for ADBE to find support in the $77.50 region and buy a dip there.

Trade Description: May 3, 2015:
ADBE is in the technology sector. According to the company's website, "Adobe is changing the world through digital experiences. Content built and optimized with Adobe products is everywhere you look — from websites, video games, and smartphones to televisions, tablets, and beyond. Adobe® Creative Cloud® software offers the most innovative tools for creating digital media, while Adobe Marketing Cloud delivers groundbreaking solutions for data-driven marketing. Our leadership in these two emerging categories, Digital Media and Digital Marketing, provides our customers with a real competitive advantage, positioning Adobe for continued growth well into the future. As one of the largest software companies in the world, Adobe achieved revenue of more than US$4 billion in 2013."

The company's most recent earnings report was March 17th. Results were $0.44 a share, which was five cents better than expected. Revenues were up +10.9% to $1.11 billion, also above expectations. The company continues to see success with their subscription model and added 517,000 new creative cloud subscriptions, a +28% improvement from a year ago.

Technically the stock is in a long-term up trend. Shares just spent the last few weeks consolidating sideways and looks ready for the next move higher. A rise past $78.00 would generate a new buy signal on the point & figure chart.

I am suggesting we wait for ADBE to close above $77.75 and then buy calls the next morning with a stop loss at $71.85. More conservative investors may want to wait for ADBE to close over short-term resistance at $80.00 as an alternative entry point for bullish positions.

- Suggested Positions -
MAY 15, 2015 - entry price on ADBE @ 80.00, option @ 4.60
symbol: ADBE160115C85 2016 JAN $85 call - current bid/ask $4.25/4.40

05/15/15 trade begins. ADBE opens at $80.00
05/14/15 triggered. ADBE closed @ $79.43, above our trigger of $77.75
Option Format: symbol-year-month-day-call-strike

Current Target: To Be Determined
Current Stop loss: 71.85
Play Entered on: 05/15/15
Originally listed on the Watch List: 05/03/15

Akamai Technology - AKAM - close: 77.66

05/24/15: AKAM spent the week consolidating sideways and closed down 30 cents for the week. It did not help that Oppenheimer downgraded AKAM from outperform to neutral. Shares mostly ignored the downgrade.

I am not suggesting new positions at this time.

Earlier Comments: March 8, 2015:
If you surf the Internet then you're probably seeing content delivered by AKAM's technology. They help customers speed up online content and have a fast-growing security business.

The company is part of the technology sector. They provide cloud services for delivering content across the Internet. Customers include 47% of the Global 500 companies.

AKAM describes itself as "the global leader in Content Delivery Network (CDN) services, Akamai makes the Internet fast, reliable and secure for its customers. The company's advanced web performance, mobile performance, cloud security and media delivery solutions are revolutionizing how businesses optimize consumer, enterprise and entertainment experiences for any device, anywhere."

Last year was a strong one for earnings and revenue growth. AKAM beat Wall Street estimates on both the top and bottom line the past four quarters in a row. They raised guidance twice. AKAM's average revenue growth last year was +24.5%. Their most recent report was on February 10th where AKAM delivered a profit and revenue number above expectations. Several analyst firms raised their price target on AKAM following its Q4 results.

Management hosted an investor day in late February. They expect sales growth to be in the high teens for 2015. They forecasting sales to hit $5 billion by 2020 compared to about $2 billion in 2014. AKAM reported that their cyber security business is surging with +191% growth last year.

This week AKAM disclosed in their 10-K filing that they were conducting an internal probe into their sales practices in a foreign country. They didn't say which country. This is a potential risk if the U.S. government decides to do their own investigation but the stock didn't really react that much to the news.

It is worth noting that there has been some speculation that AKAM is a buyout target. One analyst suggested that Amazon.com (AMZN) could be a suitor.

After a big rally in February the upward momentum in AKAM has stalled. Shares look like they could see a correction lower. If that occurs then prior resistance near $65.00 should be significant support. We want to be ready to take advantage of the weakness.

Tonight I'm suggesting a buy-the-dip trigger to buy calls if AKAM dips to $65.25. We'll start this trade with a stop at $59.75.

- Suggested Positions -
MAR 25, 2015 - entry price on AKAM @ 71.50, option @ 4.15
symbol: AKAM160115C80 2016 JAN $80 call - current bid/ask $5.45/5.65

05/17/15 new stop @ 71.75
05/02/15 new stop @ 69.00
03/25/15 Triggered at $71.50
03/22/15 Strategy update: Move the buy-the-dip trigger to $71.50, move the stop loss to $67.90, adjust the option to the 2016 Jan. $80.00 call
Option Format: symbol-year-month-day-call-strike

Current Target: To Be Determined
Current Stop loss: 71.75
Play Entered on: 03/25/15
Originally listed on the Watch List: 03/08/15

Ambarella, Inc. - AMBA - close: 83.68

05/24/15: AMBA was in rocket-mode for a little while. The stock surged higher seven days in a row. Shares finally saw some profit taking on Thursday. AMBA does look ripe for a pullback. That could happen before or after the company's earnings report. AMBA is scheduled to report earnings on June 2nd. Broken resistance in the $77.00 area should be new support.

Please note our new stop loss at $73.75. I am not suggesting new positions at this time.

Trade Description: May 3, 2015:
If you're looking for relative strength then AMBA has it in spades. Year to date the stock is already up +50%. AMBA is in the technology sector. They're considered part of the semiconductor and semiconductor equipment makers. The company was founded in 2004 and went public in October 2012 at $6.00 a share. That price was significantly below where AMBA was expected to price in the $9-11 range. Investor sentiment has definitely changed since then.

The company has grown from making broadcast-class encoders to making consumer and sports cameras, security cameras, and now automotive cameras. Their high-definition chips are being integrated into security IP cameras and wearable cameras. AMBA is also capturing part of a new market - cameras on consumer-level remote control drones.

The last two plus years have seen a strong performance in AMBA with the stock up more than +600% from its IPO price. AMBA has GoPro, Inc. (GPRO) to thank for part of that rally. GPRO came to market in June 2014 and the stock has been in rally mode since mid August with a rally in GPRO from less than $40 to $90 a share. I mention GPRO because AMBA happens to make the HD camera sensors in many of GPRO's action camera products. GPRO's IPO drew a lot of attention to AMBA. Now GPRO's rally has collapsed while AMBA has continued to climb.

Part of GPRO's trouble is competition from a large Chinese rival - Xiaomi. GPRO is currently seen as best of breed in the action camera market but it may not hold that spot forever. Xiaomi is selling similar cameras at a significant discount to GPRO and both cameras use AMBA's technology. Both camera makers have different models. GPRO's top of the line still has better components than Xiaomi's - at least for now. The real winner is AMBA since they supply to both companies. Multiple analysts have commented on AMBA's relationship with Xiaomi and believe it will bear significant fruit in the future.

AMBA has been killing it on the earnings front. They have beaten Wall Street's earnings and revenue estimates for the last five quarters in a row. Their most recent report was their Q4 results on March 3rd. Analysts were expecting a profit of $0.49 a share on revenues of $59.3 million. AMBA delivered $0.68 a share with revenues soaring +61% to $64.7 million.

AMBA's next earnings report is not until June 2nd. However, GPRO's recent earnings could be an early look at AMBA's business. GPRO just reported its Q1 results on April 28th. Earnings were better than expected and revenues soared +54% to $363 million. GPRO beat Wall Street estimates on both the top and bottom line. GPRO's management raised their 2015 Q2 guidance significantly above analysts' estimates. That's bullish news for AMBA. Shares of AMBA rallied on GPRO's results.

Currently AMBA is sitting just below resistance in the $76-77 area. I am suggesting we wait for AMBA to close above $77.50 and then buy calls the next morning with an initial stop loss at $69.00. More aggressive traders may want to use an intraday trigger instead since AMBA could breakout and surge higher. I am putting a limit on this trade. We do not want to open positions if AMBA spikes above $81.00. Essentially our entry window to launch bullish positions is the $77.50-81.00 zone.

- Suggested Positions -
MAY 18, 2015 - entry price on AMBA @ 79.86, option @ 7.40
symbol: AMBA160115C90 2016 JAN $90 call - current bid/ask $8.30/10.10

05/24/15 new stop @ 73.75
05/18/15 Trade begins. AMBA opens at $79.86
05/15/15 Triggered. AMBA closed at $79.86, above our trigger of $77.50
Option Format: symbol-year-month-day-call-strike

Current Target: To Be Determined
Current Stop loss: 73.75
Play Entered on: 05/18/15
Originally listed on the Watch List: 05/03/15

Anthem Inc. - ANTM - close: 164.19

05/24/15: ANTM hit new all-time highs last week. Unfortunately shares encountered new resistance in the $165.00 area. If ANTM does see any profit taking we can watch for what should be support near $160.00 (prior resistance).

I am not suggesting new positions at this time. Nimble traders could buy calls on a new bounce near $160. Tonight we will raise the stop loss to $154.75.

Trade Description: May 10, 2015:
The Affordable Care Act (a.k.a. Obamacare) was first feared by healthcare companies. Now they have embraced it. Obamacare has definitely been good for ANTM with waves of new enrollees.

ANTM, previously known as Wellpoint, is in the healthcare sector. According to the company, "Anthem is working to transform health care with trusted and caring solutions. Our health plan companies deliver quality products and services that give their members access to the care they need. With nearly 71 million people served by its affiliated companies, including more than 38 million enrolled in its family of health plans, Anthem is one of the nation’s leading health benefits companies."

ANTM has raised its guidance the last four quarters in a row! Their most recent earnings report was April 29th. ANTM delivered their 2015 Q1 results of $3.14 per share. That was 45 cents above estimates. Revenues came in below expectations but traders didn't care because ANTM raised their guidance above Wall Street's estimate.

Now analysts are starting to raise their price targets on the stock. Shares have broken out of a multi-week consolidation pattern. ANTM is poised to rally through resistance near $160.00 and hit new all-time highs.

Tonight I am suggesting we wait for ANTM to close above $161.00 and then buy calls the next morning with a stop loss at $152.00.

- Suggested Positions -
MAY 18, 2015 - entry price on ANTM @ 162.00, option @ 7.95
symbol: ANTM160115C170 2016 JAN $170 call - current bid/ask $8.15/9.10

05/24/15 new stop loss @ 154.75
05/18/15 trade begins. ANTM opens at $162.00
05/15/15 Trade is triggered. ANTM closes above our $161.00 trigger
Option Format: symbol-year-month-day-call-strike

Current Target: To Be Determined
Current Stop loss: 154.75
Play Entered on: 05/18/15
Originally listed on the Watch List: 05/10/15

Ashland, Inc. - ASH - close: 128.59

05/24/15: It was a relatively quiet week for shares of ASH. The stock traded sideways inside the $128-129 range. I am still urging caution after the big drop on May 12th. No new positions at this time.

Trade Description: April 12, 2015:
ASH is in the basic materials sector. The XLB materials ETF is up +2.3% this year. Shares of ASH are outperforming their peers with a +8% gain in 2015.

According to the company, "Ashland Inc. (ASH) is a global leader in providing specialty chemical solutions to customers in a wide range of consumer and industrial markets, including architectural coatings, automotive, construction, energy, food and beverage, personal care and pharmaceutical. Through our three commercial units - Ashland Specialty Ingredients, Ashland Performance Materials and Valvoline - we use good chemistry to make great things happen for customers in more than 100 countries."

Looking at the last couple of earnings reports ASH has been beating estimates on the bottom line. Their most recent report was January 26th where ASH reported a profit of $1.46 per share on revenues of $1.39 billion. Earnings beat estimates by four cents while revenues were down -2.9% from a year ago thanks to foreign currency headwinds (i.e. impact of the strong dollar). Management said that last quarter their strongest growth was in many of the company's higher-margin products.

Technically shares have been building on a bullish trend of higher lows. The point & figure chart is very bullish and forecasting a long-term target of $200 a share.

The all-time high was set on March 2nd, 2015 at $130.66. Tonight I am suggesting we wait for ASH to close above $130.75 and then buy calls the next morning with a stop loss at $124.75.

- Suggested Positions -
MAY 12, 2015 - entry price on ASH @ 127.49, option @ 4.00
symbol: ASH160115C140 2016 JAN $140 call - current bid/ask $3.40/3.70

05/12/15 Trade begins. ASH gaps lower at $127.49
05/11/15 Triggered. ASH closed at $131.52, above our trigger of 131.25
05/10/15 Adjust entry trigger to a close above $131.25 (was 130.75)
04/26/15 Do not open positions if ASH gaps open above $132.50
Option Format: symbol-year-month-day-call-strike

Current Target: To Be Determined
Current Stop loss: 124.75
Play Entered on: 05/12/15
Originally listed on the Watch List: 04/12/15

Tableau Software - DATA - close: 113.36

05/24/15: A rally on Monday and Tuesday last week helped push DATA to new record highs. Shares spent the last three days slowly fading lower. The stock did manage to end the week with a $3.00 gain.

The relative strength is encouraging but I am not suggesting new positions at this time.

Tonight we are moving the stop loss to $102.75.

Trade Description: April 26, 2015:
The market for analyzing big business data is growing fast. DATA is leading the charge. According to the company, "Tableau Software (NYSE: DATA) helps people see and understand data. Tableau helps anyone quickly analyze, visualize and share information. More than 26,000 customer accounts get rapid results with Tableau in the office and on-the-go. And tens of thousands of people use Tableau Public to share data in their blogs and websites."

The last couple of earnings reports have been very impressive. DATA released their Q3 results on November 5, 2014. Results were 12 cents above estimates with revenues up +71% to $104.5 million, also above estimates.

Their Q4 results came out in early February. Analysts were expecting a profit of $0.11 a share on revenues of $122.58 million. DATA delivered $0.42 a share with revenues up +75% to $142.9 million. In the fourth quarter they added 2,600 new customers. They closed 304 transactions worth more than $100,000, a +70% improvement from a year ago.

Christian Chabot, Chief Executive Officer of Tableau. "In 2014, we experienced the strongest demand we've seen in our history, as the move to agile analytics grows faster than ever."

Management offered earnings guidance that was in-line with Wall Street estimates but they see revenues coming in above expectations.

Wall Street is bullish and the last couple of weeks have seen new price targets at $115 and $127. The point & figure chart is forecasting at $117.00 target.

DATA has been talked about as a potential take over target and that might be why their options are so expensive. DATA's next earnings report is coming up on May 7th. More conservative traders may want to sit this one out until we see how the market reacts to DATA's Q1 results.

I am labeling this a more aggressive play because shares can be volatile with multi-point single-day moves. Tonight we want to buy calls on a dip at $100.00.

- Suggested Positions -
APR 27, 2015 - entry price on DATA @ 100.00, option @ 12.10
symbol: DATA160115C110 2016 JAN $110 call - current bid/ask $15.60/17.50

05/24/15 new stop @ 102.75
05/17/15 new stop @ 97.40
05/10/15 new stop loss @ 94.75
05/08/15 the stock soars to new highs in reaction to earnings and a couple of upgrades.
05/07/15 DATA delivered better than expected earnings and raises guidance above Wall Street expectations
04/27/15 triggered @ $100.00
Remember, this is a higher-risk trade. Consider small positions to limit risk.
Option Format: symbol-year-month-day-call-strike

Current Target: To Be Determined
Current Stop loss: 102.75
Play Entered on: 04/27/15
Originally listed on the Watch List: 04/26/15

iShares MSCI Germany - EWG - close: 30.18

05/24/15: We made it through the week without too many fireworks from the Greece situation. There was another meeting among Eurozone finance ministers on Thursday and Friday. Germany is still trying to woo Greece to the negotiating table. The new government in Greece remains adamant about no new austerity. Someone has to cave in soon. Greece has some huge debt payments to make in June and July and they don't have any money left. Europe has been baiting them with another big tranche of bailout funds but they won't give it to Greece without some reforms.

Shares of the EWG spent most of the week at new six-week highs but then suddenly dropped on Friday. I don't see any changes from my recent comments. I am not suggesting new positions. The Greece situation remains the wildcard that could end this play.

We should assume that if Greece does leave the euro or defaults on its debt that this trade gets stopped out due to volatile movement in the European markets.

FYI: I want to remind readers that this is ETF is not hedged against weakness in the euro. The trend is up but its performance will lag the major European markets. You could look at hedged European ETFs but many of them have very low volume and do not have options (especially LEAPS). If you're curious check out these symbols: HEWG, DBGR, DXGE. Be sure to do your homework.

Earlier Comments: February 22, 2015:
The EWG is an exchange traded fund (ETF) that mimics the MSCI Germany index. This includes small, mid, and large-cap companies.

The U.S. market has enjoyed several years worth of QE programs that helped fuel market gains. Now that the U.S. QE program is over Europe is about to start on their own QE program. The European Central Bank (ECB) will start its quantitative program in March this year. The central bank will purchase about €60 billion a month through September 2016 but they've already announced that they will extend this deadline if they need to.

This is significant. After years of promising to do something about the Eurozone economy and fight the threat of deflation the ECB is finally acting. They might be too late to fend off deflation but investors seem to have hope that Europe can turn things around.

Germany should be a prime beneficiary of this program. The ECB's QE will continue to pressure the euro lower and that makes Germany's exports more competitive. Investors are have already starting betting on an improvement in the Germany market with a significant bounce in the EWG.

Today the EWG has broken through technical resistance at its simple 200-dma. Now it's about to challenge resistance near the $30.00 mark. Tonight I am suggesting investors wait for the EWG to close above $30.00 and then buy calls the next morning with a stop loss at $26.85.

FYI: If you want a broader European ETF I did consider the VGK but about half of its holdings are British and Swiss companies and may not see the same benefit from a weaker euro.

- Suggested Positions -
MAR 23, 2015 - entry price on EWG @ 30.24, option @ 1.95
symbol: EWG160115C30 2016 JAN $30 call - current bid/ask $1.45/1.65

05/10/15 new stop @ 28.40
03/23/15 Trade begins. EWG opens at $30.24
03/20/15 EWG closed @ $30.26, above our suggested entry: a close above $30.00
Option Format: symbol-year-month-day-call-strike

Current Target: To Be Determined
Current Stop loss: 28.40
Play Entered on: 03/23/15
Originally listed on the Watch List: 02/22/15

iShares MSCI Italy Capped ETF - EWI - close: 15.78

05/24/15: It was a sleep week for the EWI. This ETF gapped down on Monday and then spent the rest of the week churning sideways in the $15.80-16.00 zone. I warned readers last weekend that I expected a pullback. The correction may not be over. The next level of support could be the $15.40 region.

No new positions at this time.

FYI: This EWI trade suffers the same risk that the EWG trade does. If Greece ends up leaving the Eurozone or defaults on its debt it will generate significant market volatility in Europe. I would expect EWI to hit our stop if we do see a Greek exit.

Trade Description: April 5, 2015:
Italy could be on the brink of an economic turnaround. The Wall Street Journal recently reported that Italy could escape from its chronic economic fatigue. The country's economic growth has been slowing down for years with growth falling from +2% in the 1980s to +1.4% in the 1990s to just +0.6% in the 2000s. The country has averaged -0.5% growth since 2010.

The situation appears to be changing. Markit's manufacturing PMI data for March hit 53.3, an 11-month high. Numbers above 50.0 suggest growth. UniCredit is forecasting Italian GDP growth of +0.2% in Q1 2015, which would snap the country out of its three-year recession.

The Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD) has upgraded their forecast on Italy for 2015 and 2016. They now see growth of +0.6% in 2015 and +1.3% in 2016.

The combination of lower oil prices and a weaker euro to boost exports should boost European economic growth. Plus, the European Central Bank (ECB) just launched a 60 billion euro QE program in March 2015 that will last at least through September 2016 or longer if they don't hit their 2% inflation target.

Investors know that QE helped fuel a multi-year rally in the U.S. stock market and they are expecting a similar reaction in the European stock markets.

The EWI could be a way to play it. This is an ETF that mimics the MSCI Italy 25/50 index. Underlying stocks are traded on the Milan stock exchange. It's one of the most liquid ETFs focused on Italy.

Technically the EWI appears to have formed an inverse (bullish version) of a head-and-shoulders pattern. It's also on the verge of breaking out past its simple 200-dma. Tonight I am suggesting investors wait for the EWI to close above $15.25 and then buy calls the next morning.

Warning: The biggest risk is probably a Greek exit from the Eurozone. Negative headlines that suggest the Greek might exit could generate a lot of volatility in the EWI.

- Suggested Positions -
APR 07, 2015 - entry price on EWI @ 15.31, option @ 2.35
symbol: EWI170120C15 2017 JAN $15 call - current bid/ask $1.85/1.10

05/17/15 new stop @ 14.70
05/03/15 new stop @ 14.40
04/07/15 trade begins. EWI opens at $15.31
04/06/15 EWI closed @ 15.29, above our trigger of $15.25
Option Format: symbol-year-month-day-call-strike

Current Target: To Be Determined
Current Stop loss: 14.70
Play Entered on: 04/07/15
Originally listed on the Watch List: 04/05/15

Facebook, Inc. - FB - close: 80.54

05/24/15: We are about seven weeks into this FB trade and the stock has been a disappointment. This past week saw shares of FB struggling in the $79.50-82.00 range and with a bearish trend of lower highs as well.

I am not suggesting new positions at this time. A close above $82.00 might change my mind.

Earlier Comments: March 22, 2015:
Facebook probably needs no introduction. It's the largest social media platform on the planet. As of December 31st, 2014 the company reported 1.19 billion monthly active users and 890 million daily active users. If FB were a country that probably puts them as the third most populous country on the planet (behind India and China).

This past week the company announced a new mobile payment service through FB's messenger app. The new service will compete with similar programs through PayPal, Apple Pay, and Google Wallet.

The announcement combined with a broad market rally helped fuel a +7% gain in FB's stock last week. FB's market cap has risen past $230 billion making it the tenth largest company in the S&P 500.

Growth has been phenomenal. According to IBD, FB's Q4 earnings were up +69% form a year ago. Revenues were up +49%. Wall Street is expecting FB's profit to rise +12% in 2015 and +32% in 2016.

Technically shares of FB have broken out from a very significant consolidation pattern. The point & figure chart is bullish and forecasting at $96.00 target. I think it will go higher. After a five-day run we do not want to chase it here. I'm suggesting a buy-the-dip entry trigger at $82.00 with a stop loss at $74.75.

- Suggested Positions -
APR 01, 2015 - entry price on FB @ 81.00, option @ 4.92
symbol: FB160115C90 2016 JAN $90 call - current bid/ask $3.30/3.40

04/23/15 Q1 earnings report
04/01/15 triggered @ 81.00
03/29/15 move the buy-the-dip trigger from $82.00 down to $81.00
Option Format: symbol-year-month-day-call-strike

Current Target: To Be Determined
Current Stop loss: 74.75
Play Entered on: 04/01/15
Originally listed on the Watch List: 03/22/15

Gilead Sciences - GILD - close: 111.71

05/24/15: Biotech stocks were showing relative strength last week. GILD helped lead the charge. Traders bought the dip on Wednesday near $108 and GILD bounced to a new six-month high.

The stock is up sharply from its $100 low in early May. I am not suggesting new positions at this time. More conservative investors may want to raise their stop loss.

Trade Description: May 3, 2015:
GILD seems to be everyone's favorite biotech stock. I only hear bullish opinions about the future of the company, and for good reason. They have some pretty amazing treatments with products for HIV/AIDS, liver diseases, oncology, cardiovascular, respiratory, and more. GILD has essentially revolutionized how we treat major diseases like HIV and Hepatitis C.

According to the company website, "Gilead Sciences, Inc. is a research-based biopharmaceutical company that discovers, develops and commercializes innovative medicines in areas of unmet medical need. We strive to transform and simplify care for people with life-threatening illnesses around the world. Gilead's portfolio of products and pipeline of investigational drugs includes treatments for HIV/AIDS, liver diseases, cancer and inflammation, and serious respiratory and cardiovascular conditions."

Last year (2014) everyone has been raving over GILD's hepatitis C treatment called Sovaldi. Hepatitis C is a form of viral hepatitis that causes chronic inflammation of the liver. About 185 million people currently suffer with hepatitis C. Previously the most common treatment for hepatitis C had serious side effects and was less than 50% successful. GILD changed that with their Sovaldi drug that not only treats the symptoms but actually cures the patient. The company has drawn some negative publicity over the cost since GILD charges $84,000 for a 12-week course of Sovaldi in the United States. The fact that 80% to 90% of patients who take Sovaldi are cured is a major milestone.

The Financial Times noted that before Sovaldi the impact of hepatitis C in the U.S. took a heavy toll on the healthcare system. The disease can lead to liver failure and cancer, both of which cost significantly more than Sovaldi's $84,000 price target. Hepatitis C is the leading cause for liver transplants in the U.S., which can cost a minimum of $145,000. One consulting firm estimated that the annual cost of hepatitis C to the U.S. healthcare system was going to surge from $30 billion to $85 billion in the next twenty years. Sovaldi has the potential to change. that.

The company is a cash machine. Their Q2 2014 revenues soared +136%. Q3 revenues were up +117%. Q4 2014 sales were +134%. They also announced a $15 billion stock buyback program.

GILD's most recent earnings report was their 2015 Q1 announcement on April 30th. Wall Street was expecting a profit of $2.32 per share on revenues of $6.89 billion. GILD delivered $2.94 per share with revenues rising +51.9% to $7.59 billion. Management then raised their 2015 sales forecast from $26-27 billion to $28-29 billion.

Technically shares of GILD have been consolidating sideways under a trend of lower highs for months. The last half of April appears to have produced a bullish breakout but GILD still has resistance in the $106 area. Tonight I am suggesting we wait for GILD to close above $106.50 and then buy calls the next morning.

- Suggested Positions -
MAY 15, 2015 - entry price on GILD @ 109.05, option @ 7.75
symbol: GILD160115C115 2016 JAN $115 call - current bid/ask $8.00/8.20

05/15/15 Trade begins. GILD opens at $109.05
05/14/15 Triggered. GILD closed @ 108.74, above our trigger of $106.50
Option Format: symbol-year-month-day-call-strike

Current Target: To Be Determined
Current Stop loss: 99.00
Play Entered on: 05/15/15
Originally listed on the Watch List: 05/03/15

iShares US Home Construction ETF - ITB - close: 27.02

05/24/15: Last Monday we got the monthly NAHB home builder confidence survey. It fell two points to 54 in May. That was below estimates. Analysts were expecting a rise to 58. Optimistically it is the 11 month in a row with readings above 50, which suggest a more positive outlook.

Homebuilding stocks also responded to the stronger than expected April housing starts number. The Commerce Department said starts surged +20% from the prior month to an annual pace of 1.135 million. It's the biggest one-month gain since late 2007. You can see how shares of the ITB gapped open higher and then spiked to a new four-week high on Tuesday morning in response to this news.

The Monday-Tuesday rally helped the ITB post its third weekly gain in a row. Unfortunately this ETF spent the rest of the week fading lower. I suspect we will see this ETF retest the $26.50 area before moving higher again.

I am not suggesting new positions at this time.

Earlier Comments: January 11, 2015:
The ITB is an exchange traded fund that mimics the Dow Jones U.S. Select Home Construction Index. The top 12 holdings are DHI, LEN, PHM, TOL, NVR, HD, TPH, LOW, RYL, SHW, KBH and MTH.

This index has been stuck in a trading range for years. That looks like it's about to change. Have you looked at a chart of the 10-year bond yield lately? Bond yields are going lower. That's going to pressure mortgage rates lower and that's bullish for home sales. This past week saw 30-year mortgage rates dip below 3.6%. That's a 19-month low.

If that wasn't enough of a tailwind President Obama wants to help. On January 7th the White House announced plans to reduce the government mortgage insurance premiums in an effort to boost home ownership. Another positive for the homebuilders is the U.S. Federal Reserve. We just had two fed governors come out last week saying they think the Fed should hold off on raising rates. The longer the Fed waits to start raising rates the better it will be for homebuilders.

Currently the ITB appears to be breaking out past major resistance and closed at multi-year highs. I'd like to see a little bit more follow through. Tonight I'm suggesting we wait for the ITB to close above $27.00 and then buy calls the next morning with a stop loss at $23.95.

- Suggested Positions -
FEB 11, 2015 - entry price on ITB @ 27.09, option @ 1.70
symbol: ITB160115C30 2016 JAN $30 call - current bid/ask $0.70/1.05

03/01/15 new stop @ $25.45
02/11/15 trade begins. ITB opens at $27.09
02/10/15 ITB closes at $27.10, above our trigger at $27.00
Option Format: symbol-year-month-day-call-strike

Current Target: ITB @ TBD
Current Stop loss: 25.45
Play Entered on: 02/11/15
Originally listed on the Watch List: 01/11/15

Level 3 Communications - LVLT - close: 55.33

05/24/15: LVLT continues to churn sideways inside the $54.75-57.00 trading range. The stock has been stuck in this range since its April 29th breakout to new highs.

More conservative traders may want to raise their stop loss. I am not suggesting new positions at this time.

Earlier Comments: December 28, 2014:
LVLT is a communication services company. Their marketing material describes LVLT as "Level 3 Communications, Inc. is a Fortune 500 company that provides local, national and global communications services to enterprise, government and carrier customers. Level 3's comprehensive portfolio of secure, managed solutions includes fiber and infrastructure solutions; IP-based voice and data communications; wide-area Ethernet services; video and content distribution; data center and cloud-based solutions. Level 3 serves customers in more than 500 markets in over 60 countries over a global services platform anchored by owned fiber networks on three continents and connected by extensive undersea facilities."

They just recently completed a merger with TW Telecom. Earnings have been improving. LVLT has beaten Wall Street's earnings estimates the last three quarters in a row. Technically shares have been outperforming the broader market. The NASDAQ composite is up +15% in 2014 while LVLT is up +50%. The point & figure chart is bullish and forecasting a long-term target at $75.00.

Currently shares of LVLT are hovering just below key resistance at the $50.00 mark. I am suggesting we wait for LVLT to close above $50.50 and then buy calls the next morning with a stop loss at $45.45.

- Suggested Positions -
MAR 04, 2015 - entry price on LVLT @ 54.71, option @ 3.90
symbol:LVLT160115C60 2016 JAN $60 call - current bid/ask $2.80/3.20

05/10/15 new stop @ 51.45
04/29/15 Better than expected earnings
04/12/15 Caution! LVLT looks weak. A breakdown under $53.00 probably portends a drop to support at $50.00
03/04/15 trade begins. LVLT opens at $54.71
03/03/15 Triggered. LVLT closed at $54.90, above our trigger of $54.50
02/22/15 Strategy update: Wait for LVLT to close above $54.50, then buy calls the next morning with a new stop at $49.45. Adjust the option strike to 2016 Jan $60 call
02/08/15 Adjust entry point strategy: Buy calls on a dip at $50.75 with a stop loss at $46.25. Option Format: symbol-year-month-day-call-strike

Current Target: LVLT @ TBD
Current Stop loss: 51.45
Play Entered on: 03/04/15
Originally listed on the Watch List: 12/28/14

MasterCard Inc. - MA - close: 92.69

05/24/15: MA's upward momentum has stalled. Shares are down two weeks in a row. Last week's move was pretty minor. Shares have been hovering in the $93-94 zone.

The company was in the headlines on Friday after a deal with Target broke down. The two companies were trying to workout a $19 million deal to settle lawsuits arising from Target's massive data breach from 2013. The deal did not get enough support from the banks and credit unions who had issued MasterCard credit and debit cards. In the overall scheme of things this is a very minor event and will not move the needle on MA's results.

If the broader market reverses lower I would expect MA to test support near $90.00. No new positions at this time.

Trade Description: May 3, 2015:
We are adding MA back to the watch list. Here's our recent watch list play description from April:

Do you have a credit card? How about a debit card? Odds are you do. About 70% of Americans have a credit card and many have more than one. Inside the United States there are over 500 million credit cards between American Express, MA, and Visa. There's more than 1.12 billion globally (not counting the U.S.). There's also another 572 million MA or Visa debit cards in the U.S. (MasterCard has more than 144 million). Not counting America there are more than 1.2 billion debit cards around the world.

Now what if you could charge a small percentage for consumers using their plastic every time they make a purchase? That's MA's business model. As of 2013 their market share of global transactions (credit or debit) was about 27%. They are the second biggest credit and debit card company behind Visa (V). According to the company, "MasterCard (MA), www.mastercard.com, is a technology company in the global payments industry. We operate the world's fastest payments processing network, connecting consumers, financial institutions, merchants, governments and businesses in more than 210 countries and territories. MasterCard's products and solutions make everyday commerce activities – such as shopping, traveling, running a business and managing finances – easier, more secure and more efficient for everyone."

MA has been delivering steady growth. They reported their Q3 results on October 30th with earnings up +19% from a year ago to $0.87 a share. That beat estimates. Revenues were up +12.8% to $2.5 billion, also above expectations. The bullish trend continued when MA reported its 2014 Q4 results on January 30th. Earnings per share soared +32% from a year ago to $0.69 and revenues grew +13.6% to $2.42 billion. Both metrics were above Wall Street expectations.

The company did warn that the surge in the U.S. dollar was impacting results but they still see strong single-digit revenue growth for 2015. They reaffirmed +20% earnings growth.

Meanwhile one of MA's biggest rivals, American Express (AXP), is not having a good year. AXP lost its exclusive deal with Costco (COST) last month. This deal generated 20% of AXP's loans and about 10% of their annual card growth. AXP is also losing its partnership with JetBlue (JBLU). AXP's losses will likely be MA's and Visa's gain.

Recently MA announced it had signed a 10-year deal with Citigroup. Not only is Citigroup one of the biggest banks on the planet they are the largest credit card issuer in the world. The press release states "Citi will begin aligning the company's consumer proprietary credit and debit portfolios to the MasterCard network in 2015." One analyst has already opined that the deal should provide a "decent tailwind for EPS growth" (for MA). Speaking of opinions, a couple of analysts at Nomura believe that MA is cheap at current valuations and could be seen as safe haven investment given their steady earnings growth.

"Despite a mixed global economy, we delivered solid results for the quarter and for the full year in 2014," said Ajay Banga, president and CEO, MasterCard. "This year is off to a good start with several new wins, as well as renewals of some important customer agreements, with more in the pipeline. Looking ahead, we will continue to be at the forefront of our industry by driving payment innovation with solutions such as MasterPass, and by increasing electronic payments usage globally as demonstrated by our significant expanded acceptance footprint across Africa."

Shares of MA look like a potential trade again. The company recently reported earnings on April 29th. The beat estimates on the bottom line with a profit of $0.89 per share. Revenues were only up +2.7% to $2.23 billion, which was below expectations. Part of the challenge were currency headwinds.

Wall Street seems to think that MA will do well in spite of the tough business environment. The spike higher on April 22nd was news that the country of China was going to open up their market to foreign companies. Previously companies like MA and Visa could only do business in China by partnering with a domestic firm (China UnionPay). Now the Chinese government is opening up the bank card-clearing market to foreigners. This is huge. The Chinese market for this business was $6.8 trillion in transactions last year. Now MA gets a chance to compete for its share of this business.

Shares of MA still have resistance near $93.00. We want to see MA close above $93.25 and then buy calls the next morning with a stop loss at $88.00.

- Suggested Positions -
MAY 11, 2015 - entry price on MA @ 93.48, option @ 5.95
symbol: MA160115C95 2016 JAN $95 call - current bid/ask $5.15/5.25

05/11/15 trade begins. MA opens at $93.48
05/08/15 triggered with a close @ $93.51 (above $93.25)
Option Format: symbol-year-month-day-call-strike

Current Target: MA @ TBD
Current Stop loss: 88.00
Play Entered on: 05/11/15
Originally listed on the Watch List: 05/03/15

Nike, Inc. - NKE - close: 104.43

05/24/15: The rally in NKE took a pause last week to catch its breath. The stock came to a stop and drifted sideways in the $104.00-105.25 zone. News that shares had been initiated with a "buy" and a new $120 price target on Thursday failed to move the stock very much.

I would consider buying dips in the $102-103 range.

Earlier Comments: March 29, 2015:
In Greek mythology Nike is the winged goddess of victory. It's an appropriate brand name for the American athletic wear giant. Nike is the 800-pound gorilla in the industry with annual sales of more than $30 billion.

If you're not familiar with the company, "NIKE, Inc., based near Beaverton, Oregon, is the world’s leading designer, marketer and distributor of authentic athletic footwear, apparel, equipment and accessories for a wide variety of sports and fitness activities. Wholly-owned NIKE, Inc. subsidiaries include Converse Inc., which designs, markets and distributes athletic lifestyle footwear, apparel and accessories, and Hurley International LLC, which designs, markets and distributes surf and youth lifestyle footwear, apparel and accessories."

The company's most recent earnings report was March 19th, after the closing bell. NKE reported its Q3 2015 results. Analysts were expecting a profit of $0.84 a share on revenues of $7.62 billion. NKE delivered a profit of +0.89 a share or +16% from a year ago. Revenues were up +7% to $7.46 billion. However, if you back out the currency headwinds, their revenues were up +13%.

The company reported sales growth across every geographical region. Their gross margins improved 140 basis points to 45.9 percent. Management said their online sales are soaring. Nike.com saw its revenues jump +42% last quarter.

The current quarter is NKE's 2015 Q4 (March-July) and the company said orders for Q4 in North America are up +15%, which is above analysts' estimates of +11.6%. Orders from China are up +11%, also above estimates. In the company's earnings release NKE said, "As of the end of the quarter, worldwide futures orders for NIKE Brand athletic footwear and apparel scheduled for delivery from March 2015 through July 2015 were 2 percent higher than orders reported for the same period last year. Excluding currency changes, reported orders would have increased 11 percent."

One big concern is the U.S. dollar. Sales in Europe were up +21% but when you factor in euro weakness and dollar strength that sales growth drops to +10%. The strength in the U.S. dollar is a major headwind but after NKE's Q3 results Wall Street feels that the company is managing the currency impact very well. The company is forecasting low double digit sales growth in the current quarter.

Wall Street applauded the results and shares of NKE gapped open higher on March 20th to hit all-time highs. There was a parade of bullish analyst comments. Several firms raised their price target on NKE. Here's a brief list of new price target: $106, $110, $115, $116.00. The point & figure chart is more optimistic as it is forecasting at $125.00 target.

Shares of NKE have seen some profit taking, which isn't a surprise considering the market's recent decline. However, now that NKE has filled the gap, traders jumped in to buy the dip. The stock looks poised to breakout past round-number resistance at $100.00 (again). Tonight I am suggesting investors wait for NIKE to close above $101.00 and then buy calls the next morning with a stop loss at $94.45.

- Suggested Positions -
MAY 11, 2015 - entry price on NKE @ 102.42, option @ 4.20
symbol: NKE160115C110 2016 JAN $110 call - current bid/ask $4.35/4.50

05/11/15 trade begins. NKE opens at $102.42
05/08/15 Triggered with a close @ $102.44 (above 102.00)
05/03/15 move the stop loss from 95.75 to 97.45
04/12/15 Strategy update: adjust the trigger to a close above $102.00 and the stop loss to $95.75 (from a close above $101.00 and a stop at $94.45)
Option Format: symbol-year-month-day-call-strike

Current Target: NKE @ TBD
Current Stop loss: 97.45
Play Entered on: 05/11/15
Originally listed on the Watch List: 03/29/15

Starbucks Corp. - SBUX - close: 51.48

05/24/15: Investors remained in a buy-the-dip mood for SBUX. Shares spiked down on Wednesday but quickly rebounded. SBUX ended the week with a decent gain and marked its second weekly advance in a row. The stock is nearing what could be short-term resistance at its April highs near $52.00.

I am not suggesting new positions at this time.

Trade Description: April 26, 2015:
SBUX shares are soaring to new all-time highs.

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. The good news is that looks the consolidation is over.

Five-Year Plan

Late last year 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.

SBUX is having a pretty good 2015 so far with the stock up +26%, outperforming the broader market. A lot of this gain was thanks to a post-earnings pops. SBUX reported its Q1 2015 results on January 22nd. Adjusted earnings, backing out one-time charges, were $0.80 a share. That's in-line with estimates. Revenues were up +13.3% to $4.8 billion, also in-line with estimates. 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. Investors applauded the news anyway and sent SBUX soaring to new all-time highs the next day.

That whole scenario just happened again on Friday with the company delivering exceptional growth. 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 stock market applauded SBUX's results and shares popped to new highs. We do not want to chase it. Shares will likely fill the gap from Friday morning. Tonight I am suggesting a buy-the-dip trigger at $50.00. More nimble traders may want to consider a trigger closer to $49.70 instead.

- Suggested Positions -
APR 28, 2015 - entry price on SBUX @ 50.00, option @ 1.59
symbol:SBUX160115C55 2016 JAN $55 call - current bid/ask $1.99/2.05

04/28/15 triggered @ 50.00
Option Format: symbol-year-month-day-call-strike

Current Target: SBUX @ TBD
Current Stop loss: 47.25
Play Entered on: 04/28/15
Originally listed on the Watch List: 04/26/15

SolarCity Corp. - SCTY - close: 62.59

05/24/15: Chinese solar stocks were in the news last week when shares of Hanergy Thin Film Solar (HNGSF) crashed. The U.S. listed shares fell from $1.00 to about $0.40 in one day. It's not a widely traded stock in the U.S. but the company's stock had rallied from $0.20 to $1.00 in less than six months. This crash in HNGSF did not seem to influence the larger, more liquid solar names. SCTY bounced off its midweek lows and closed virtually unchanged for the week.

If you're looking for a new entry point I suggest you hesitate. FirstSolar (FSLR) looks like it's about to breakdown and that could drag the other solar names with it. Let's see how SCTY looks a week from now before initiating new positions.

Trade Description: May 10, 2015:
SCTY is the largest solar panel installer in the U.S. The company has grown thanks to its business model that leases the solar panel system to homeowners over a twenty year period instead of a large upfront cost in the $20K to $30K range. Meanwhile margins have improved as the price of solar panels plunged -80% in the last few years.

SCTY currently has more than 217,000 customers. They are aiming for one million customers by the middle of 2018. The company's most recent earnings report was May 5th. The company reported a loss of $1.52 per share, which was better than Wall Street's estimate for a loss of $1.60 per share. Revenues were up +6.3% to $67.5 million, which was +17% above analysts' estimates. The company added 28,000 new customers last quarter.

Bears will argue that the company's costs and expenses are soaring. That's true. SCTY has boosted its sales force by almost 90% in the last year. Their sales and marketing expenses grew from about $47 million a year ago to $86.7 million.

The company is forecasting they will install 180 megawatts of solar systems in the second quarter. They're aiming for 920MW to 1,000 MW for all of 2015. They just recently expanded into New Hampshire, which is their 17th state for residential installations. There is talk that SCTY could expand overseas in the next year or two.

One analysts just raised their price target on SCTY to $99.00 per share. The point & figure chart is forecasting at $92.00 target. The last several days have seen shares of SCCTY consolidate sideways in the $58-62 zone. A breakout here could spark the next leg higher. I am suggesting we wait for SCTY to close above $62.50 and then buy calls the next day with a stop loss at $57.40. However, please note that I am putting a condition on this trade. We want to see SCTY close in the $62.50-64.00 range. If SCTY spikes higher and closes above this region then no trade. We'll re-evaluate next weekend.

- Suggested Positions -
MAY 15, 2015 - entry price on SCTY @ 62.62, option @ 5.40
symbol:SCTY160115C70 2016 JAN $70 call - current bid/ask $4.70/5.00

05/15/15 trade begins. SCTY opens at $62.62
05/14/15 triggered. SCTY closed @ $62.72, above our trigger of $62.50
Option Format: symbol-year-month-day-call-strike

Current Target: SCTY @ TBD
Current Stop loss: 57.40
Play Entered on: 05/15/15
Originally listed on the Watch List: 05/10/15

Toyota Motor Corp. - TM - close: 138.22

05/24/15: Alert! It's time to exit our TM trade. Shares peaked in March near $145 per share. The stock has produced three lower highs since then. The most recent bounce just failed near $140 and its 50-dma.

I am suggesting an immediate exit on Tuesday morning (U.S. markets are closed on Monday).

- Suggested Positions -
DEC 02, 2014 - entry price on TM @ 126.56, option @ 8.75
symbol: TM160115C130 2016 JAN $130 call - current bid/ask $12.00/12.80

05/24/15 prepare to exit immediately (Tuesday morning)
04/26/15 new stop @ 136.40
03/22/15 new stop @ 133.45
03/15/15 new stop @ 129.00
03/03/15 U.S. sales +13.3% in February
02/22/15 new stop @ 127.25
02/15/15 new stop @ 124.50
02/04/15 TM delivers better than expected earnings results and raises guidance
12/07/14 new stop @ $119.00
12/02/14 trade begins. TM opens at $126.56
12/01/14 trade is triggered. TM closes at $124.94, above our 124.00 trigger
Option Format: symbol-year-month-day-call-strike

Current Target: TM @ TBD
Current Stop loss: 136.40
Play Entered on: 12/02/14

Originally listed on the Watch List: 11/30/14

Textron Inc. - TXT - close: 46.35

05/24/15: TXT, like so many stocks this week, has spent the last few days churning sideways inside a narrow range. If the market dips I would expect TXT to test short-term support near $45.00. Shares have resistance near $47.00.

I am not suggesting new positions at this time.

Earlier Comments: February 15, 2015:
TXT is in the industrial goods sector. They deal mostly in the aerospace industry. According to the company, "Textron Inc. is a multi-industry company that leverages its global network of aircraft, defense, industrial and finance businesses to provide customers with innovative solutions and services. Textron is known around the world for its powerful brands such as Bell Helicopter, Cessna, Beechcraft, Hawker, Jacobsen, Kautex, Lycoming, E-Z-GO, Greenlee, and Textron Systems."

The earnings picture last year was mixed. Better than expected results and bullish guidance helped power a big rally last October. Their most recent earnings report was January 28th. TXT's earnings of $0.76 a share were up +26% from a year ago but 1 cent worse than Wall Street estimates. Revenues were up +16.8% to $4.1 billion, also below estimates.

It's interesting how TXT missed Wall Street's earnings estimates on both the top and bottom line and management lowered their guidance for all of 2015. Yet the stock did not sell off. Normally an earnings miss or weak guidance would spark significant selling. Instead investors just calmly bought the dip and now TXT is breaking out to new multi-year highs.

If bad news like that can't shake the stock lower then the path of least resistance is definitely higher. The last couple of months look like a significant consolidation pattern and now TXT has produced a bullish breakout past resistance in the $44.00-44.50 zone. The point & figure chart is bullish and forecasting a long-term target at $67.00.

Tonight I am suggesting small bullish positions if TXT can close above $45.10. Wait for shares to close above this level and then buy calls the next morning.

- Suggested Positions -
FEB 25, 2015 - entry price on TXT @ 45.30, option @ 3.00
symbol: TXT160115C50 2016 JAN $50 call - current bid/ask $2.02/2.36

05/03/15 new stop @ 42.40
04/12/15 new stop @ 41.85
02/25/15 trade begins. TXT opens at $45.30
02/24/15 TXT closed @ $45.33, above our trigger of $45.10
Option Format: symbol-year-month-day-call-strike

Current Target: TXT @ TBD
Current Stop loss: 42.40
Play Entered on: 02/25/15
Originally listed on the Watch List: 02/15/15


Tech Leads The Way

by James Brown

Click here to email James Brown

New Watch List Entries

ADI - Analog Devices Inc.

ATVI - Activision Blizzard Inc.

Active Watch List Candidates

None. Please see tonight's new watch list candidates.

Dropped Watch List Entries

JCI has been removed.

New Watch List Candidates:

Analog Devices - ADI - close: 67.10

Company Info

Shares of ADI are hitting 15-year highs as investors react positively to its most recent earnings report.

ADI is in the technology sector. They are part of the semiconductor industry. According to the company, "Analog Devices (NASDAQ: ADI) is a world leader in the design, manufacture, and marketing of a broad portfolio of high performance analog, mixed-signal, and digital signal processing (DSP) integrated circuits (ICs) used in virtually all types of electronic equipment. Since our inception in 1965, we have focused on solving the engineering challenges associated with signal processing in electronic equipment.

Used by over 100,000 customers worldwide, our signal processing products play a fundamental role in converting, conditioning, and processing real-world phenomena such as temperature, pressure, sound, light, speed, and motion into electrical signals to be used in a wide array of electronic devices. We focus on key strategic markets where our signal processing technology is often a critical differentiator in our customers' products, namely the industrial, automotive, communications, and consumer markets.

We currently produce a wide range of innovative products—including data converters, amplifiers and linear products, radio frequency (RF) ICs, power management products, sensors based on microelectromechanical systems (MEMS) technology and other sensors, and processing products, including DSP and other processors—that are designed to meet the needs of our broad base of customers."

The company's earnings performance has definitely improved in the last few quarters. Last August they reported earnings that were in-line with estimates as revenues rose +7.9%. The next three quarters in a row have seen ADI beat Wall Street estimates on both the top and the bottom line. Revenues were up +20%, +22.9% and +18.2%, respectively.

Their most recent report was May 19th when ADI reported its Q2 results. Earnings were up +23.7% from a year ago to $0.73 a share, which was a penny above estimates. Management's guidance was in-line with Wall Street estimates and the stock rallied.

ADI's President and CEO Vincent Roche commented on his company's quarterly performance, "We had a very successful second quarter driven by the quality of our innovation, the diversity of our business, and our strong execution. Revenue increased to a record $821 million, and our operating model generated strong cash flows and diluted earnings per share growth that was well ahead of revenue growth. Looking ahead, our book to bill ratio was positive in the second quarter and we are seeing stable order rates across all our end markets. As a result, we are planning for sequential growth in the third quarter and for revenue to be in the range of $825 million to $865 million."

Multiple analyst firms raised their price target on ADI following this report. Shares rallied to multi-year highs. We do not want to chase it here. Broken resistance in the $64-65 zone should be new support. Tonight I am suggesting a buy-the-dip trigger to buy calls at $65.10. We will try and limit our risk with a stop loss at $59.85.

Buy-a-dip trigger: $65.10 (intraday trigger, stop 59.85)

BUY the 2016 Jan $70 call (ADI160115C70) current ask $3.40

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

Chart of ADI:

Originally listed on the Watch List: 05/24/15

Activision Blizzard, Inc. - ATVI - close: 25.49

Company Info

Consumer spend more money on video games than they do at the movie theater. ATVI is the biggest with annual sales of $4.58 billion. Electronic Arts (EA) is hot on its heels with revenues of $4.52 billion a year.

ATVI is home to some of the biggest franchises in video game history. According to the company, "Activision Blizzard, Inc. is the largest and most profitable western interactive entertainment publishing company. It develops and publishes some of the most successful and beloved entertainment franchises in any medium, including Call of Duty , Call of Duty Online, Destiny , Skylanders, World of Warcraft , StarCraft , Diablo, and Hearthstone: Heroes of Warcraft. Headquartered in Santa Monica, California, it maintains operations throughout the United States, Europe, and Asia. Activision Blizzard develops and publishes games on all leading interactive platforms and its games are available in most countries around the world."

Investors have been pretty forgiving when it comes to ATVI's recent earnings reports. On February 5th they beat the bottom line estimate but missed the revenue number. Revenues were down -2.6% from a year ago. ATVI blamed currency headwinds for the revenue miss since half of their sales are outside the U.S. and represent a significant chunk of their profits. Plus, the video game business is prone to lumpy quarters as sales rise and fall on new releases and expansions. Management lowered their Q1 and 2015 guidance.

ATVI just reported its Q1 results on May 6th. Earnings per share fell -15.7% from a year ago to $0.16 but that was actually 9 cents better than expected. Revenues fell again, this time down -8.9%. Management lowered their Q2 guidance but they raised their fiscal 2015 earnings guidance above Wall Street estimates. That was enough to send shares of ATVI higher. A few analysts have commented that ATVI's 2015 guidance is too conservative.

Bobby Kotick, Chief Executive Officer of Activision Blizzard, commented on his company's quarterly results, "...This deepening level of engagement with a widening base of players across our franchises is what drove another successful quarter. We delivered better-than-expected Q1 results, increased our 2015 non-GAAP revenue outlook to $4.425 billion and earnings per share outlook to $1.20. Last quarter, on a non-GAAP basis, we delivered record higher-margin digital revenues of over half a billion dollars a Q1 record on an absolute basis and an all-time high on a percentage basis."

There were a number of headlines about how ATVI's Warcraft MMORPG saw its subscriber numbers fall from 10 million to 7.1 million in the last quarter. Investors don't seem to care. The Warcraft game is a cash cow but it's 11 years old. Investors could be looking forward.

ATVI said their new Destiny sci-fi shooter game and the Blizzard's fantasy card game have more than 50 million registered players (between them) with over $1 billion in sales.

ATVI also has several new titles coming out. They're on the verge of releasing "Heroes of the Storm", which will take on the current category champion "League of Legends" for the MOBA-style video game. More than ten million people have already signed up for the Heroes beta. ATVI has announced the next iteration of their Call of Duty franchise (CoD), which will be "Call of Duty: Black Ops III", which is another major cash-generating franchise. ATVI is also launching a new game called "Overwatch" and they'll release a new version of "Guitar Hero", which had 40 million players at its peak.

Currently shares of ATVI are up three weeks in a row and look a little bit overbought. Broken resistance near $24.00 should be significant support. Tonight I am suggesting a buy-the-dip trigger at $24.25 with a stop loss at $21.85.

Buy-a-dip trigger: $24.15 (intraday trigger, stop 21.85)

BUY the 2016 Jan $25 call (ATVI160115C25) current ask $2.41

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

Chart of ATVI:

Originally listed on the Watch List: 05/24/15

Active Watch List Candidates:

Johnson Controls Inc. - JCI - close: 51.23

05/24/15: JCI actually showed some relative strength last week. Shares managed to breakout from the $50-51 trading range. In spite of this improvement I am removing it as a watch list candidate. Investors may want to keep it on their radar screen for a close above the $53.00-53.50 area as a potential buy signal.

Trade did not open.

05/24/15 removed from the newsletter, suggested entry was a close above $53.50

Originally listed on the Watch List: 04/26/15