Option Investor

Daily Newsletter, Monday, 7/27/2015

Table of Contents

  1. Market Wrap
  2. New Plays
  3. In Play Updates and Reviews

Market Wrap

Monday Blahs Hit Market

by Thomas Hughes

Click here to email Thomas Hughes
The market opened with the Monday blahs as global woes weigh on stocks.


US markets had a rough day today as global woes, earnings and another FOMC meeting weigh on sentiment. Today's blame is mostly focused on China where mainland indices fell more than -8%. The drop, fueled by massive amounts of speculation and ongoing government action to stabilize markets, helped to subdue trading around the world as fears of slow-down and hard-landing for China are renewed.

The Japanese Nikkei fell nearly -1% on the China sell-off while indices in Europe closed with a loss near -2%, aided by Greece. A new round of negotiations has begun amid the usual theatrics I have come to expect from this arena. According to reports Greek officials remain stand-offish toward troika representatives as the next payment deadline bears down on them. Negotiators are reportedly in Greece and preparing for talks later this week.

Market Statistics

Futures trading indicated a sharply lower opening in the early portion of the pre-opening session. This held steady for the morning and was not aided by a better than expected read on Durable Goods orders. At the open indices fell hard to hit potential support levels by 9:45AM. The market bounced at that point but was not able to regain all of the initial losses. From then on the market trend sideways within a relatively narrow range up to and through the lunch time hour.

Afternoon trading was much the same. The indices drifted sideways in the middle of the days range until about 2:30, at which time they began to drift lower. By 3:30 they had retreated to hit a an afternoon low just above the morning low. The last half hour of trading saw the indices hover just above the afternoon low before a small bounce into the close of the day.

Economic Calendar

The Economy

Only one economic report today, Durable Goods. The headline number of 3.4% was better than expected but comes with a grain of salt. The previous month was revised lower to -2.2% from -1.8%. Analysts had been predicting durables to rise in the range of 3%. This month's gains are driven primarily by robust demand for passenger planes but other areas are expanding as well. Ex-transportation orders rose by 0.8% and on the core level capital goods rose by 0.9% although overall shipments remains flat. On a year-to-date basis core capital goods are down -3.4% compared to this same time last year.

The week is light in terms of number of reports if not so much in terms of weight. Tomorrow is the Case-Shiller real estate market report along with Consumer Confidence. Wednesday is dominated by the FOMC meeting but also includes Pending Home Sales. Thursday is weekly jobless claims along with the first read on 2nd quarter GDP.

Friday wraps it up with Chicago PMI, Employment Cost Index and Michigan Sentiment. Next week is the beginning of a new month which means a new round of monthly macro-economic data including ADP, Challenger, NFP and Unemployment reports along with auto/truck sales, construction spending and a handful of other significant data points.

Moody's Survey Of Business Confidence remains strong. The diffusion index gained 0.1% to hit 41.0%, the second week of increase after hitting a low three weeks ago. According to Moody's economist Mark Zandi the survey shows that sentiment is positive around the world, most notable in the US where sales, pricing, business investment and hiring are all strong.

According to FactSet 187 or 37% of S&P 500 companies have reported earnings so far this season. Of those who have reported 76% have beaten EPS estimates and 54% have beaten sales/revenue estimates. The blended rate of EPS growth has improved to -2.2%, up from the -4.8% predicted at the beginning of the reporting season. 9 of 10 sectors, led by telecom and energy, are reporting better than expected with Exxon and Chevron scheduled to report on Friday.

The current earnings surprise rate is +4.5% better than expected, slightly ahead of the 1 year average and slightly below the 4 year average. At this rate we can expect earnings growth to be very near to 0% by the end of the reporting season.

Energy remains the weakest link in the earnings chain. Ex-energy the blended rate moves up to +4.1% for the quarter. Looking out to the third quarter S&P 500 earnings growth is expected to remain negative, -2.2%, with an ex-energy projection of 3.8%. The energy sector is expected to decline near -50% for the quarter and the year. 2016 estimates remain robust but have moderated from +11.9% to +11.3% for the broad market and near +30% for the energy sector.

As always, forward outlook and guidance will be very important for the market moving forward. At this time 27 companies have issued guidance, 20 negative and 7 positive. There are 174 or 25% scheduled to report earnings this week.

The Oil Index

Oil prices fell another -2% as supply outweighs demand. WTI fell -2.4% to a 5.5 month low in today's session, led by a -2.7% drop in Brent. News reports are only adding to over-supply worries so I do not anticipate a bounce at this time. US rig counts have started to rise after hitting their low a month or so ago, Russia and Saudi Arabia are pumping as much as they can get out of the ground and Iran is gearing up to start selling its stockpiles. Also, poor growth expectations in China are not helping to support prices as fears of slowdown in that region persist. Oil prices could be moving down to retest long term lows seen earlier this year, near $43 for WTI.

The Oil Index fell 2.2% in today's session as the underlying commodity hit a new low. The index is now trading at a near 3 year low and below the 50% retracement of the 2009-2014 bull market in oil. The drop is driven in part by the fall in oil prices but also due to poor earnings results/expectations for this quarter and year. The sector is reporting better than expected but still down around -40% from last year which could keep selling pressure on until near-to-short term outlook improves. The indicators are pointing lower although stochastic has yet to fall below the lower signal line with target for support near 1,120 and the 61.8% retracement level. Long term outlook remains positive so this could be setting up the buying opportunity I have been waiting for. We'll get important earnings reports from Exxon and Chevron later this week.

The Gold Index

Gold prices gained about 1% in today's session but remain below $1100. Prices are being hurt by weakness in China as well as Fed speculation and interest rate time-line. A rise in rates is expected to lift the dollar, which lost about -0.8% today, and could pressure gold lower in the near to short term. Meanwhile inflation expectations remain tepid, leaving gold at a 5 year low, despite my views to the contrary.

The gold miners lost ground today as well. The drop in gold to new 5 year lows has blown earnings expectations going forward right out of the water. The Gold Miners ETF GDX tried to bounce back from Friday's low but ending up closing with a loss near -2% from last week's close. The ETF is trading below the 100% retracement level of the 2008-2011 bull market in gold and in danger of moving lower. Indications on both the weekly and daily charts are weak and moving lower suggesting prices will continue to move lower as well. Price action and increased volume also support the idea of capitulation in the market and could be presenting the entry point I have been watching for. The FOMC and earnings will tell the tale. Goldcorp reports earnings on Friday, Barrick Gold, Anglo Gold Ashanti, Randgold and Royal Gold all report next week.

In The News, Story Stocks and Earnings

Restaurant Brands International reported earnings before the bell. The results, better than expected, lifted the stock making it one of the few to trade positive in today's session. EPS of $0.30 was 10% better than projected driven on strong comp store sales and new store growth. The two primary brands, TM Hortons and Burger King, saw comp store sales growth of 5.5% and 6.7% respectively with new store growth of 52 and 141. Total sales gains were 8.4% for TM Horton and 11.6% for BK. Company exec Daniel Schwartz says company positioning should continue to provide value to stakeholders through the end of the year. The stock gained more than 3% in intraday trading and closed with a gain near 3%. Today's action created a pin-bar candle and closed beneath the$42.50 resistance line. QSR has been trading since mid-December 2014 after the merger of TM Horton and Burger King.

Rail carrier Norfolk Southern reported earnings of $1.41 per share this morning. The results are -23% lower than last year in the 2nd quarter and due mostly to fuel-surcharge (lack of) and coal headwinds, according to company CEO. If you remember, many of the rail carriers reported record earnings in 2014 driven by surcharges covering high fuel costs as well as high volumes of coal and natural gas. Despite the miss he also says that the company is positioned for growth citing trends in intermodal shipping, consumer spending and housing. Shares of the stock opened at a new 1.5 year low but were able to move higher from there. Price moved into positive territory briefly but closed with a loss of -0.2%.

Fiat Chrysler was fined a record $105 million dollars for its actions concerning recalls affecting millions of its vehicles. The Transportation Secretary says the company has made multiple blunders in its handling of recalls. He is putting the entire industry on notice that he will act if they do not take safety recalls seriously. This is only the latest of several developments that have put Fiat Chrysler in the spot light over safety concerns, the most notable before this the Takata air-bag recall. Shares of the stock lost about -4.25% in today's session. The company is expected to report earnings Thursday.

Baidu released earnings after the bell. The Chinese language search engine beat on the top and bottom lines but gave weak guidance and sent shares plunging 12% in after hours trading. Total revenue for the period increased over 38% with half of that coming from mobile. The company says it is positioned to grow but the weak guidance was not well received in light of recent market activity in China. Current projections call for another 34.7%-37.4% year-over-year increase.

The Indices

The market was weak today but it did not fall completely apart. Today's action is within recent ranges and largely precipitated by the fall in China, and anticipation of the FOMC meeting. Believe it or not we are waiting on the July policy meeting, a meeting fully on the table as a possibility for rate hike but largely expected to be another pass. What is expected from the statement is talk about the economy and indications of when the hike will or may come. Janet Yellen has said she is in favor of a 2015 hike so we can be sure it will be soon.

The NASDAQ Composite led today's decline with a fall of -0.96%. Price action created a small bodied candle, at a support line, with a small amount of upper wick. The candle is also below the short term moving average with declining indicators consistent with a bearish swing within the prevailing long term uptrend. The 5039 level could provide support tomorrow but the long term trend line, just below 5000, looks like a more likely target. The trend is still up and I believe we are bottoming/exiting an earnings trough so a dip to the trend line should present another buying opportunity provided. Stochastic and MACD are both showing strength but retreating in the near term. These need to be watched for signs of support as the index retreats to the trend line.

The Dow Jones Industrial Average lost -0.73% and has retreated to its trend line. It has also set a new 6 month low but remains within the 2015 trading range. The indicators are pointing lower but largely support range bound trading at this time. The trend line could be broken in the next day or two of trading with 17,250 and the bottom of the 2015 range as target for support.

The S&P 500 made the next largest decline, -0.58%. The broad market index closed near the low of the day but bounced off the 2061 support line twice in intraday action. It is also still well within its 2015 trading range and indicated lower in the near term. In the short term upside momentum has been growing over the past few moves up to test resistance and has left stochastic showing strength. This set-up could lead to a strong upward movement when momentum shifts back to the upside. Until then 2050 to 2060 looks like active support, if broken the index could fall to the long term trend line near 2000.

The Dow Jones Transportation Average made the smallest loss today, only -0.16%. This is perhaps because of positive forward outlook given by rail carriers and truckers. Today's action created a very small bodied candle that may otherwise just be spinning top except for where it is occurring. The index is testing for support at the 20% correction level hit earlier this month. The indicators are rolling over into a bearish crossover that could lead to lower prices so this level needs to be watched carefully.

The indices are trading within their ranges wrestling, still, with near term woes and ongoing economic recovery. The woes are largely overseas and affecting only a small portion of US business, the ongoing economic activity still slow but gaining ground all the time. In between are earnings and expectations; the near term reality not so good but so far better than expected, the longer term expectations is for improvement to point of being robust. In the end a combination that could keep the indices in their ranges until something changes.

At least one possibility for change occurs this week, the FOMC meeting on Wednesday afternoon. Another is the 25% of S&P 500 and 30% of Dow Industrials scheduled to report earnings this week. Another is economic data in the form of GDP, which is expect to swing from -0.2% to 2.6%. The FOMC statement could be the same as has been but I think we might see at least a little new verbiage. Earnings trends are unfolding as expected, so far, and I don't see much chance of this changing. Exxon and Chevron may be the most important of the week although there are numerous important names on the list. As for GDP, economic data has been steady and positive at least so should come in close to expectations. A big miss would not be good and could send the market testing support levels. And set us up for revisions in the future. Basically, this week could see a lot of activity.

Until then, remember the trend!

Thomas Hughes

New Plays

Poised For A Breakdown

by James Brown

Click here to email James Brown


The Michaels Companies, Inc. - MIK - close: 25.05 change: -0.31

Stop Loss: 26.55
Target(s): To Be Determined
Current Gain/Loss: Unopened
Entry on July -- at $---.--
Listed on July 27, 2015
Time Frame: Exit PRIOR to earnings in late August
Average Daily Volume = 729 thousand
New Positions: Yes, see below

Company Description

Trade Description:
It looks like investor sentiment on MIK has turned bearish. The stock produced big gains from its post-IPO lows near $15 in August 2014. The rally peaked in March this year near $30.00 after the company reported earnings.

If you're not familiar with MIK they are in the services sector. They're considered part of the specialty retail industry. According to the company, "The Michaels Companies, Inc. is North America's largest specialty retailer of arts and crafts (based on store count). As of May 2, 2015, the Company owns and operates 1,177 Michaels stores in 49 states and Canada and 118 Aaron Brothers stores, and produces 12 exclusive private brands including Recollections(R), Studio Decor(R), Bead Landing(R), Creatology(R), Ashland(R), Celebrate It(R), ArtMinds(R), Artist's Loft(R), Craft Smart(R), Loops & Threads(R), Imagin8(R) and Make Market(tm)."

The last couple of earnings reports have not been that exciting. MIK reported its 2015 Q4 results on March 19th. They beat estimates by a penny while revenues rose +3.4% to $1.6 billion, which was in-line with estimates. Unfortunately, MIK management lowered their guidance for Q1 and fiscal year 2016.

Even after lowering guidance MIK still missed estimates when they reported their Q1 results on June 4th. Earnings of $0.32 a share missed by a penny. Revenues were up +2.9% to $1.08 billion, which was in-line with estimates. Comparable store sales were up only +0.3%.

Looking at MIK's daily chart you can see that traders have been selling the rallies. Now MIK has a bearish pattern of lower highs. It recently broke down under support in the $26.00 area. Now MIK is testing round-number psychological support at $25.00 and technical support at its simple 200-dma. A breakdown here would definitely look bearish. Tonight we are suggesting a trigger to launch bearish positions at $24.75.

Trigger @ $24.75

- Suggested Positions -

Short MIK stock @ $24.75

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

Buy the SEP $25 PUT (MIK150918P25) current ask $1.30
option price is a current quote and not a suggested entry price.

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

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

Daily Chart:

Weekly Chart:

In Play Updates and Reviews

Locking In Potential Gains On MUR

by James Brown

Click here to email James Brown

Editor's Note:
Our plan was to exit the bearish Murphy Oil (MUR) trade today at the closing bell ahead of the company's earnings report this week.

The market's widespread decline made it a rough day for our bullish candidates. BNFT, CHRS, LXFT, and MBLY were stopped out. We have removed GLOB.

Current Portfolio:

BULLISH Play Updates

Burlington Stores, Inc. - BURL - close: 54.43 change: -0.06

Stop Loss: 53.65
Target(s): To Be Determined
Current Gain/Loss: -2.9%
Entry on July 16 at $56.05
Listed on July 15, 2015
Time Frame: Exit PRIOR to earnings in September
Average Daily Volume = 1.6 million
New Positions: see below

07/27/15: BURL is holding up. Shares dipped to short-term support near $54.00 and its 20-dma and bounced. The stock managed to close almost unchanged for the day, which is a victory for the bulls considering the market's decline.

No new positions at this time.

Trade Description: July 15, 2015:
Investors seem to be in a forgiving mood with BURL. The company's most recent earnings report was a disappointment but the stock has recovered. Now it looks like the longer-term bullish trend is poised to resume.

BURL is in the services sector. According to the company, "The Company, through its wholly-owned subsidiaries, operates a national chain of off-price retail stores offering ladies’, men’s and children’s apparel and accessories, home goods, baby products and coats, principally under the name Burlington Stores."

BURL's Q4 results were pretty good. The company announced these on March 17th. Earnings of $1.43 per share beat estimates and revenues were up +12% to $1.5 billion, also above estimates. Q4 comparable store sales surged +6.7% while gross margins improved 50 basis points. Management did warn that Q1 results would not be so hot but the stock didn't react to the negative guidance.

Shares did react when their chief merchandising officer resigned. This news hit on March 24th and shares of BURL peaked the next day. Shares fell more than 15% with a drop toward round-number support near $50 over the next few weeks. Then BURL reported its Q1 earnings on June 9th. Their bottom line results of $0.41 per share met estimates. Revenues were up +4.9% to $1.18 billion but that missed expectations.

The biggest miss was comps. BURL said their comparable store sales were only +0.8% versus the company's previous guidance of +2-3% and below analysts' estimates of +4%. Management issued mixed guidance for the second quarter and soft guidance for fiscal year 2016. They tried to soften the blow of bad news by announcing a $200 million stock buyback program to be completed over the next 24 months.

Wall Street was not happy over the terrible comps. Analysts are also concerned how a wage hike might impact margins. Wal-Mart, Target, the Gap, and TJX have all raised their minimum wage and other retailers are feeling pressure to raise theirs to retain employees. BURL announced they were raising their minimum wage to at least $9.00 an hour.

BURL's CEO Tom Kingsbury commented on their results, "We are pleased with our 64% increase in adjusted EPS which was driven by a robust gross margin expansion. While our comp sales were positive for the ninth consecutive quarter, we were negatively impacted by the timing of IRS tax refunds, lower markdown sales due to significantly less markdown inventory, increased store closures due to weather, and receipt flow issues in three key Easter businesses."

Naturally the market's reaction to bad news was to sell the stock. BURL plunged more than -8% posting its worst one-day loss since going public in 2013.

Fortunately for investors the sell-off was short-lived. BURL found support near $48.00 and its rising 200-dma. Now six weeks later the stock is above its pre-earnings highs and poised to breakout past potential resistance near $56.00. The long-term up trend looks poised to resume. Tonight we're suggesting a trigger to launch bullish positions at $56.05.

- Suggested Positions -

Long BURL stock @ $56.05

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

Long SEP $60 CALL (BURL150918C60) entry $1.30
option price is a current quote and not a suggested entry price.

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

07/25/15 Conservative investors may want to exit immediately!
07/24/15 BURL just confirmed the bearish reversal pattern.
07/23/15 Caution: BURL has produced a bearish engulfing candlestick reversal pattern
07/16/15 triggered @ $56.05
Option Format: symbol-year-month-day-call-strike

Guidewire Software, Inc. - GWRE - close: 59.03 change: -0.33

Stop Loss: 56.90
Target(s): To Be Determined
Current Gain/Loss: +1.3%
Entry on July 23 at $58.25
Listed on July 21, 2015
Time Frame: Exit PRIOR to earnings on Sept. 1st
Average Daily Volume = 368 thousand
New Positions: see below

07/27/15: GWRE dipped toward short-term support at $58.00 and bounced. Shares settled with a -0.55% decline. If the market continues to sink tomorrow I suspect we'll see GWRE test its 10-dma near $57.75.

No new positions at this time.

Trade Description: July 21, 2015:
The NASDAQ composite is up +10% year to date. GWRE is outperforming with a +13.3% gain. Shares spent three months, March-May, consolidating lower after the rally failed at resistance near $55.00. GWRE's direction changed after its latest earnings report.

GWRE is in the technology sector. According to the company, "Guidewire builds software products that help Property/Casualty insurers replace their legacy core systems and transform their business. Designed to be flexible and scalable, Guidewire products enable insurers to deliver excellent service, increase market share and lower operating costs. Guidewire InsuranceSuite provides the core systems used by insurers as operational systems of record. Additional products provide support for data management, business intelligence, anytime/anywhere access and guidance and monitoring. More than 180 Property/Casualty insurers around the world have selected Guidewire."

Last December GWRE reported its fiscal Q1 results that beat Wall Street estimates on both the top and bottom line. Management raised their Q2 guidance. On March 2nd GWRE reported earnings and revenues that beat analysts' estimates again. GWRE management then raised their fiscal year 2015 estimates. This earnings beat was not enough to lift the stock higher. Shares drifted lower for three months.

Shares of GWRE came alive again following its Q3 report on June 2nd. Earnings actually missed estimates by a penny with a profit of $0.04 per share. Revenues were only up +4% to $85.4 million, although that did beat expectations. The company provided lackluster Q4 guidance but guided for +20% revenue growth in fiscal 2016. The stock soared.

The rally off its June lows has pushed GWRE through multiple layers of resistance. Now the stock is setting new all-time closing highs. The point & figure chart is bullish and forecasting a long-term target of $80.00.

On a very short-term basis the $58.00 level appears to be resistance. We are suggesting a trigger to launch bullish positions at $58.25.

- Suggested Positions -

Long GWRE stock @ $58.25

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

Long OCT $60 CALL (GWRE151016C60) $2.80

07/25/15 new stop @ 56.90
07/23/15 new stop @ 56.40
07/23/15 triggered @ $58.25
Option Format: symbol-year-month-day-call-strike

21Vianet Group, Inc. - VNET - close: 19.89 change: -0.62

Stop Loss: 18.85
Target(s): To Be Determined
Current Gain/Loss: -4.1%
Entry on July 23 at $20.75
Listed on July 22, 2015
Time Frame: Exit PRIOR to earnings on August 25th
Average Daily Volume = 996 thousand
New Positions: see below

07/27/15: Chinese stocks had a really rough day with the Shanghai index falling -8.48% in one session. This prompted shares of VNET to gap down at the open. Honestly I'm surprised that the stock bounced and closed with a -3.0% loss and not a bigger decline.

If the Chinese market continues to fall it could doom our VNET trade. I would hesitate to launch new positions.

Trade Description: July 22, 2015:
Buckle your seatbelt. We are adding a fast-moving Chinese Internet stock to the play list tonight. This trade is not for the faint of heart. The Chinese market has been very volatile in recent weeks. This has been exacerbated by merger and acquisition news.

VNET is in the technology sector. According to the company, "21Vianet Group, Inc. is a leading carrier-neutral internet data center services provider in China. 21Vianet provides hosting and related services, managed network services, cloud services, content delivery network services, last-mile wired broadband services and business VPN services, improving the reliability, security and speed of its customers' internet infrastructure. Customers may locate their servers and networking equipment in 21Vianet's data centers and connect to China's internet backbone through 21Vianet's extensive fiber optic network. In addition, 21Vianet's proprietary smart routing technology enables customers' data to be delivered across the internet in a faster and more reliable manner. 21Vianet operates in more than 30 cities throughout China, servicing a diversified and loyal base of more than 2,000 customers that span numerous industries ranging from internet companies to government entities and blue-chip enterprises to small- to mid-sized enterprises."

The Wall Street Journal recently noted in June that seven U.S.-listed Chinese companies had been approached with offers to go private. That's a big spike in buyout offers. From January through May this year there had only been five such offers. One of the companies recently approached is VNET.

On June 10th VNET was approached with a preliminary non-binding proposal by Kingsoft Corp. and Tsinghua Unigroup International to go private for $23.00 per American depositary share ("ADSs"). That's the stock we can trade on the NASDAQ. Naturally the stock surged on this announcement. On June 16th VNET announced they had formed a special committee to review this proposal.

Unfortunately for shares of VNET and most Chinese stocks the Shanghai market in China had peaked in mid June and began to crash. The next three weeks saw a -30% plunge in the Shanghai market. The sell-off really accelerated in the first week of July. We can see the impact this market plunge was having on VNET with the big declines in early July.

Shares of VNET produced a huge bounce on July 9th when they announced the company had hired financial advisors and legal counsel to help them review the proposal to go private. In their press release they warned investors that "no decision has been made" nor is there any assurance that any "definitive offer will be made". This warning didn't stop the rally in VNET's stock which has continued to rise.

The Chinese government has thrown billions of dollars at their market to stop the crash and it seems to be working. The fever seems to have broken and this should provide a less dangerous environment for shares of VNET to trade in. We suspect VNET will continue to rally as the M&A talk heats up. However, this is an aggressive, higher-risk trade. There is no guarantee of a deal. Shares of VNET are clearly very volatile. I suggest small positions to limit risk.

NOTE: VNET does have options but the spreads are too wide to trade them.

*small positions to limit risk* - Suggested Positions -

Long VNET stock @ $20.75

07/27/15 The Chinese Shanghai index plunged -8.48%
07/23/15 triggered @ $20.75

BEARISH Play Updates

Best Buy Co., Inc. - BBY - close: 32.06 change: -0.40

Stop Loss: 33.80
Target(s): To Be Determined
Current Gain/Loss: +0.1%
Entry on July 27 at $32.10
Listed on July 25, 2015
Time Frame: Exit PRIOR to earnings in late August
Average Daily Volume = 4.3 million
New Positions: see below

07/27/15: Our new bearish play on BBY is open. The plan was to launch bearish positions at $32.15 but the gap down at $32.10 immediately triggered our play. I would still consider new positions at current levels.

In other news the big story for BBY today was headlines that BBY will be the first major retailer to start selling the Apple smartwatch. This should help drive more traffic to BBY's stores since people don't want to spend hundreds of dollars on a watch they haven't examined in person.

Trade Description: July 25, 2015:
Tonight's candidate is almost 50 years old. They were founded under the name "Sound of Music" but changed their name to "Best Buy" in 1983. Today they have over 1,400 locations, employ more than 125,000 people, and generate more than $40 billion in sales annually.

BBY is part of the services sector. According to the company, "Best Buy is a leading provider of technology products, services and solutions. The company offers expert service at an unbeatable price more than 1.5 billion times a year to the consumers, small business owners and educators who visit our stores, engage with Geek Squad Agents or use BestBuy.com or the Best Buy app. The company has operations in the U.S. where more than 70 percent of the population lives within 15 minutes of a Best Buy store, as well as in Canada and Mexico, where Best Buy has a physical and online presence."

The company launched a massive turnaround campaign almost three years ago as they struggled with extremely tough competition from companies like Amazon.com. The biggest problem for BBY is something called "showrooming". This is when customers come into a Best Buy store, they look around at products, ask questions from Best Buy staff, and they compare quality and price. Then they go home and buy what they want online for a cheaper price and have it delivered to their door.

BBY is acutely aware of the showrooming phenomenon. It's hard to compete with someone like Amazon who doesn't have the big overhead for large retail locations. BBY has been trying to compete on service plus they have redesigned their own online e-commerce offerings and they are seeing growth in their own online sales. BBY management has also been slashing expenses.

The turnaround has worked to a point. BBY's focus on cutting expenses is obviously good for profits. Yet sales remain slow. Looking at BBY's last couple of earnings reports their bottom line results have beaten Wall Street estimates (thanks to slashing costs) but revenues have been disappointing.

BBY reported their Q4 results on March 3rd, 2015 and revenues were only up +1.3% to $14.2 billion, which missed expectations. Comparable store sales were only up +1.3%.

BBY's Q1 result was worse. This report was announced on May 21st. They beat the bottom line EPS estimate again but revenues fell -0.9% to $8.56 billion. On the plus side their comparable store sales improved from -1.3% a year ago to +0.6% but this too was disappointing.

Shares of BBY have been in a down trend since they peaked near $42.00 in March this year. The stock has been in a bearish pattern of lower highs and lower lows. It looked like BBY might break this trend and then the stock was downgraded on July 17th.

Bank of America analyst Denise Chai reduced her rating on BBY to the equivalent of a "sell". She believes the company will see a tough second half to 2015. There is no must have product or upgrade cycle to drive customers into the store later this year. Chai expects BBY's sales to turn negative (-1%) in the second half.

BBY's stock collapsed on this downgrade and has been unable to recover. Today shares are poised to breakdown to new 2015 lows. Tonight we are suggesting a trigger to launch bearish positions at $32.15.

FYI: I am listing the October put options. BBY does have September options but the option strikes are at odd prices thanks to a $0.51 special dividend BBY paid in March and the option markets haven't caught up with new (normal) strikes yet.

I also want to point out that the point & figure chart is currently bullish for BBY. If shares traded below $32.00 it should generate a new sell signal.

- Suggested Positions -

Short BBY stock @ $32.15

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

Long OCT $30 PUT (BBY151016P30) entry $1.28

07/27/15 triggered on gap down at $32.10, trigger was $32.15
Option Format: symbol-year-month-day-call-strike

Cabot Corp. - CBT - close: 34.35 change: -0.45

Stop Loss: 35.65
Target(s): To Be Determined
Current Gain/Loss: +5.6%
Entry on July 20 at $36.40
Listed on July 18, 2015
Time Frame: Exit PRIOR to earnings on August 4th
Average Daily Volume = 457 thousand
New Positions: see below

07/27/15: The weakness in crude oil continues to undermine energy stocks. CBT fell -1.29%. Tonight we are adjusting the stop loss to $35.65.

No new positions at this time.

Trade Description: July 18, 2015:
The last couple of years have been rough for CBT investors. The stock peaked near $60.00 a share back in 2014. Today CBT is down -38% from its high and down -16% year to date.

CBT is in the basic materials sector. According to the company, "Cabot Corporation is a global specialty chemicals and performance materials company, headquartered in Boston, Massachusetts. The company is a leading provider of rubber and specialty carbons, activated carbon, inkjet colorants, cesium formate drilling fluids, fumed silica, and aerogel."

CBT's business seems to be slowing down. That's the picture I get looking at their last four earnings reports. 2014 Q3 revenues were up +4.3%. That slowed down to just +1.7% in 2014 Q4. Revenues fell -9.6% in Q1 2015. The slowdown accelerated in the second quarter. CBT reported its Q2 earnings on April 29th and revenues fell -22.7% to $694 million, significantly below analysts' estimates for $824 million. Q2 earnings were $0.53 a share, which missed estimates by 10 cents.

Three of CBT's four business segments saw declining sales. Reinforcement materials saw the biggest drop in the second quarter. Performance chemicals and specialty fluids also saw sales declines. Their purification solutions reported a small rise in sales.

Cabot President and CEO Patrick Prevost commented on his company's results, "We experienced a challenging quarter as the macroeconomic and competitive environment negatively affected our Reinforcement Materials and Specialty Fluids segments. Our volumes held up relatively well on a global basis, but we experienced margin pressure in Reinforcement Materials from lower contract pricing and feedstock-related effects. Purification Solutions results improved as customer orders rose for our mercury removal products in anticipation of the Mercury and Air Toxics Standards (MATS) implementation."

The MATS regulation did not work out well for CBT. That big drop in the stock price on June 29th was a reaction to the U.S. Supreme Court ruling on the EPA's attempt to regulate coal-fired power plant emissions. The market is interpreting the court's decision to mean less demand for CBT's chemicals that help power plants curb mercury emissions.

Technically CBT is in a bear market. The oversold bounce from the late June sell-off just failed. Now CBT is breaking down to new multi-year lows. We want to hop on board since the next support level looks like it could be $32 or lower. Tonight we're suggesting a trigger to launch bearish positions at $36.40. We will plan on exiting prior to CBT's earnings report on August 4th.

- Suggested Positions -

Short CBT stock @ $36.40

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

Long AUG $35 PUT (CBT150821P35) entry $0.75

07/27/15 new stop @ 35.65
07/25/15 new stop @ 36.15
07/22/15 new stop @ 36.85
07/20/15 triggered @ $36.40
Option Format: symbol-year-month-day-call-strike

Continental Resources, Inc. - CLR - close: 31.93 change: -2.52

Stop Loss: 33.75
Target(s): To Be Determined
Current Gain/Loss: +27.0%
Entry on June 22 at $43.75
Listed on June 20, 2015
Time Frame: Exit prior to earnings on August 5th
Average Daily Volume = 8.8 thousand
New Positions: see below

07/27/15: CLR was a big underperformer today with a -7.3% plunge to new 2015 lows. More conservative traders may want to take some money off the table right now, especially if you're long the put option.

Tonight we're adjusting the stop loss down to $33.75. Eventually the oversold energy stocks are going to bounce. Don't be surprised when they do.

No new positions at this time.

Trade Description: June 20, 2015:
There are a lot of currents moving the oil industry these days. Currency moves, OPEC production, access to capital, falling rig counts, and potential bankruptcies. The stock performance for U.S. shale oil drillers have been suffering. CLR is one such stock.

CLR is in the basic materials sector. According to the company, "Continental Resources (CLR) is a Top 10 independent oil producer in the United States and a leader in America's energy renaissance. Based in Oklahoma City, Continental is the largest leaseholder and one of the largest producers in the nation's premier oil field, the Bakken play of North Dakota and Montana. The Company also has significant positions in Oklahoma, including its SCOOP Woodford and SCOOP Springer discoveries and the Northwest Cana play."

Earnings have taken a hit. CLR reported their Q1 results on May 6th. They reported a net loss of $186 million or 36 cents a share. That's a big drop from a 61-cent profit a year ago. After adjusting for writedowns and one-time items CLR said their quarterly earnings were a loss of ($0.09) per share. That was actually four cents better than analysts' estimates for a ($0.13) loss. Revenues plunged -41% to $592.89 million even though CLR's production surged +36% from a year ago.

Bullish investors could argue that crude oil put in a bottom earlier this year and the commodity should rally toward year end. Bulls can also point to falling production costs as a tailwind for the industry. CLR said their completion costs for wells dropped -15% from the end of 2014. Obviously this makes the company more profitable (or at least cuts their losses). Optimistically CLR expects their cost reductions to hit 20% by mid-year. There are some on Wall Street who think the industry has seen a bottom. Shares of CLR were upgraded by Goldman Sachs to a "buy" in May.

Bulls also note that the plunge in active rigs should be bullish for oil and thus oil companies. Weekly rig count, compiled by Baker Hughes, showed that the number of active oil and gas rigs fell again last week. This is the 28th week in a row that the number of rigs has declined. We're now down to 857 active oil and gas rigs, which hasn't been this low since early 2003.

Naturally you might think that a plunge to 12-year lows for active rigs means that U.S. oil production would shrink as well. That hasn't happened yet. While costs are going down oil producers are actually more efficient at pumping per well so production is going up. The low rig count is a leading indictor that production will eventually decline but it could be months from now. The U.S. EIA doesn't expect U.S. production to fall until early next year.

A bigger problem for the oil industry is competition. The recent OPEC meeting showed that the Saudis are willing to pump as much oil as they can to maintain their market share regardless of the price of oil. These are state-run oil companies and don't have to report to shareholders like American drillers. Plus the average cost per barrel of oil is a lot lower in Saudi than the U.S.

Another challenge for many drillers is capital. Drilling shale oil wells and fracking costs a lot of money. The drop in crude oil prices has made lenders less likely to loan money to drillers. To compensate for the lack of capital the oil drillers might be forced to sell more stock to raise capital and this would dilute current shareholders and drive stock prices lower. This past week the Cowen research company said, ""We expect ... E&Ps to issue additional equity in 2H2015 to fund 2016 capex as borrowing bases will be declining and debt metrics deteriorating."

The issue of debt and access to capital could be a fatal one. There are growing predictions that we will see up to a dozen publicly traded oil and gas companies file for bankruptcy between July 2015 and June 2016. Now CLR is not on the list but if we see smaller rivals start to go bankrupt it is going to put pressure on all the oil-industry stocks.

Oil stocks are also going to react to currency moves. The Federal Reserve wants to raise rates and that will lift the dollar. Even if the Fed doesn't raise rates the QE programs in Japan and Europe could drive the yen and euro lower, which boosts the dollar. A rising dollar pressures commodity prices lower.

A lot of investors are already betting on CLR to decline. The most recent data listed short interest at 17.9% of the 84.8 million share float. We think the bears are right. CLR has been underperforming the broader market. The point & figure chart is bearish and forecasting at $35.00 target. I suspect the 2015 lows near $42.00 could be support. Tonight we are suggesting a trigger to open bearish positions at $43.75.

- Suggested Positions -

Short CLR stock @ $43.75

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

Long SEP $40 PUT (CLR150918P40) entry $2.00

07/27/15 new stop @ 33.75
07/25/15 new stop @ 36.15
07/23/15 new stop @ 36.85
07/20/15 new stop @ 37.75
07/16/15 new stop @ 39.25
07/06/15 new stop @ 40.65
07/04/15 new stop @ 43.55
06/27/15 new stop @ 44.85
06/25/15 new stop @ 48.35
06/22/15 triggered @ $43.75
Option Format: symbol-year-month-day-call-strike

Noble Energy, Inc. - NBL - close: 34.73 change: -0.64

Stop Loss: 36.30
Target(s): To Be Determined
Current Gain/Loss: -10.0%
Entry on July 13 at $38.60
Listed on July 11, 2015
Time Frame: Exit PRIOR to earnings on August 3rd
Average Daily Volume = 4.2 million
New Positions: see below

07/27/15: Another day, another decline for NBL. Shares gapped down at the open and eventually closed near its opening price.

Tonight we are adjusting the stop down to $36.30. No new positions at this time.

Trade Description: July 11, 2015:
Crude oil prices are down sharply the last two weeks and its putting pressure on the oil stocks. NBL is an oil company who has seen its stock plunge to new multi-year lows.

According to the company, "Noble Energy is a leading independent energy company engaged in worldwide oil and gas exploration and production. The Company has core operations onshore in the U.S., primarily in the DJ Basin and Marcellus Shale, in the Gulf of Mexico, offshore Eastern Mediterranean, and offshore West Africa."

There are several issues impacting the price of oil, which is pressuring oil stocks lower. Back in April we saw crude oil inventories in the U.S. hit 80-year highs. They stayed elevated for awhile before eventually fading. Summer time is driving season. A lot of people are on the road for vacation. The weather is more favorable. This time of year demand for oil rises as oil refiners boost their production of gasoline and other fuels.

Given the seasonality of U.S. oil demand normally rising in summer it was a surprise to see oil inventories rising instead of falling. The U.S. Energy Information Administration (EIA) has reported an inventory build the last two weeks in a row. Their most recent report was for the week ending July 3rd. Analysts were expecting oil inventories to drop 1 million barrels. Yet the EIA said inventories rose almost 300,000 barrels.

This EIA news was followed on Friday with a report from the International Energy Agency (IEA) who downgraded their global oil demand growth forecast from +1.4 million barrels per day in 2015 to +1.2 million barrels in 2016. That is still growth but the world is currently facing oversupply issues. If demand falls it's going to put pressure on oil prices.

Saudi Arabia, the biggest member of Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC) made it clear that they are willing to sacrifice price to maintain their market share. At the June 4th meeting OPEC left their output quota unchanged at 30 million barrels a day.

Crude oil is off its 2015 lows but the weakness this year has wreaked havoc in the oil sector. NBL reports its Q4 results in February. They beat the bottom line by three cents but revenues were down -19.4% from a year ago to $1.07 billion. That missed estimates by $233 million.

The sales decline accelerated in the first quarter. NBL reported its Q1 results on May 5th. They beat the bottom line by a penny but revenues crashed -45% to $759 million. That was $140 million below estimates.

If the oversupply issue wasn't bad enough the industry now faces a potential deal with Iran and the P5+1 nations. These countries are currently negotiating over Iran's nuclear program. If they do get a deal done it will unlock sanctions on Iran, which would allow the country to bring millions of barrels of oil to a market that is already struggling. Of course the opposite could occur. If the quarrelsome talks breakdown, and they could since they're already on their umpteenth postponed deadline, then crude oil prices could rally. That's probably our biggest risk on a bearish play in the oil sector. If the Iran talks breakdown it could fuel a big spike in the price of oil.

Technically NBL looks very weak. On the weekly chart below you can see the bear-flag consolidation pattern and the breakdown. On the daily chart there is what appears to be a bearish head-and-shoulders pattern. Plus, the simple fact that NBL continues to underperform, continues to sink, with the path of least resistance being lower. The point & figure chart is bearish and forecasting at $34.00 target.

The $38.70-38.80 area appears to be short-term support. Tonight we are suggesting a trigger to launch bearish positions at $38.60.

- Suggested Positions -

Short NBL stock @ $38.60

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

Long AUG $37.50 PUT (NBL150821P37.5) entry $1.40

07/27/15 new stop @ 36.30
07/25/15 new stop @ 37.35
07/23/15 new stop @ 38.25
07/20/15 new stop @ 39.05
07/16/15 new stop @ 40.15
07/13/15 triggered @ $38.60
Option Format: symbol-year-month-day-call-strike

Tessera Technologies - TSRA - close: 34.40 change: -0.24

Stop Loss: 35.55
Target(s): To Be Determined
Current Gain/Loss: +2.8%
Entry on July 16 at $35.40
Listed on July 09, 2015
Time Frame: Exit PRIOR to earnings in early August
Average Daily Volume = 518 thousand
New Positions: see below

07/27/15: TSRA bounced off its initial spike lower but the rebound failed and shares settled with a -0.6% decline.

There is no change from my recent comments. I am not suggesting new positions at this time.

Trade Description: July 9th, 2015:
TSRA claims that their technology is in 100% of today's smartphones. The stock was a pretty big winner last year with a rally from $18 to almost $36 in 2014. Shares appear to have peaked in March this year.

TSRA is in the technology sector. They're considered part of the semiconductor industry. According to the company, "Tessera Technologies, Inc., including its Invensas and FotoNation subsidiaries, generates revenue from licensing our technologies and intellectual property to customers and others who implement it for use in areas such as mobile computing and communications, memory and data storage, and 3DIC technologies, among others. Our technologies include semiconductor packaging and interconnect solutions, and products and solutions for mobile and computational imaging, including our FaceTools, FacePower, FotoSavvy, DigitalAperture, LifeFocus, face beautification, red-eye removal, High Dynamic Range, autofocus, panorama, and image stabilization intellectual property."

TSRA is not a widely followed stock on Wall Street. Their most recent earnings report managed to beat the estimates for the few analysts that follow the stock. Revenues were above expectations at $79.85 million but sales fell -9.6% from a year ago. Management did guide higher for the second quarter but the market reaction to this news was muted.

Shares of TSRA had been stuck under resistance near $40 for weeks. Unfortunately for shareholders TSRA began to breakdown in the last few days, possibly due to weakness in the semiconductor stocks. The point & figure chart has turned bearish and is forecasting at $29.00 target.

Today TSRA is hovering above key support near $35.00 and its simple 200-dma. A breakdown here could signal a drop toward round-number support at $30.00. Tonight we're suggesting small bearish positions at $35.40. We want to limit our positions size because TSRA has seen some sharp one-day spikes in the past.

*small positions to limit risk* - Suggested Positions -

Short TSRA stock @ $35.40

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

Long Aug $35 PUT (TSRA150821P35) entry $1.20

07/25/15 new stop @ 35.55
07/20/15 new stop @ $36.65
07/16/15 triggered @ $35.40
Option Format: symbol-year-month-day-call-strike


Benefitfocus, Inc. - BNFT - close: 43.14 change: -2.01

Stop Loss: 42.85
Target(s): To Be Determined
Current Gain/Loss: -1.9%
Entry on July 14 at $43.65
Listed on July 13, 2015
Time Frame: Exit PRIOR to earnings on August 3rd
Average Daily Volume = 173 thousand
New Positions: see below

07/27/15: The stock market's widespread sell-off today produced a really sharp decline in BNFT. Shares plunged -4.45% and hit our stop loss at $42.83 in the process.

Trade Description: July 13, 2015:
BNFT was founded 15 years ago with a dream to simplify understanding your healthcare benefits. They went public in 2013. Now they're the #1 cloud-based benefits management platform.

The company is considered part of the technology sector, specifically the application software industry. According to the company, "Benefitfocus, Inc. (BNFT) is a leading provider of cloud-based benefits software solutions for consumers, employers, insurance carriers and brokers. Benefitfocus has served more than 25 million consumers on its platform that consists of an integrated portfolio of products and services enabling clients to more efficiently shop, enroll, manage and exchange benefits information. With a user-friendly interface and consumer-centric design, the Benefitfocus Platform provides one place for consumers to access all their benefits. Benefitfocus solutions support the administration of all types of benefits including core medical, dental and other voluntary benefits plans as well as wellness programs."

Revenue growth has been pretty strong. BNFT reported its Q4 results back on February 24th. Earnings were a loss of ($0.39) per share. That was 23 cents better than expected. Revenues were up +32.7% to $40.2 million, which was above estimates. Management raised their Q1 guidance.

On May 6th the company announced its Q1 results, which were a loss of ($0.48) per share. That beat estimates by four cents. Revenues were up +39% from a year ago to $42.7 million, again this was above expectations. This time guidance was a little soft for Q2 and in-line with estimates for 2015.

Shares started to rally in June. That rally accelerated mid June thanks to an analyst upgrade. Now after a -18% correction from its June highs shares of BNFT look poised to run again. A rally from here could spark some short covering. The most recent data listed short interest at 32% of the very small 18.37 million share float. Tonight we are suggesting a trigger to open bullish positions at $43.65. More conservative traders may want to use a trigger at $44.05 instead. Our short-term target is the $50.00 area but we will plan on exiting prior to BNFT's earnings report in mid August (no firm date yet).

- Suggested Positions -

Long BNFT stock @ $43.65 exit $42.83 (-1.9%)

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

AUG $45 CALL (BNFT150821C45) entry $2.85 exit $1.80 (-36.8%)

07/27/15 stopped out at $42.83 (intraday gap down)
07/16/15 new stop @ 42.85
07/14/15 triggered @ $43.65
Option Format: symbol-year-month-day-call-strike


Coherus Biosciences - CHRS - close: 36.20 change: +0.74

Stop Loss: 34.85
Target(s): To Be Determined
Current Gain/Loss: -7.2%
Entry on July 21 at $37.50
Listed on July 20, 2015
Time Frame: Exit PRIOR to earnings in early August
Average Daily Volume = 327 thousand
New Positions: see below

07/27/15: CHRS bounced off its morning lows and managed to outperform the broader market with a +2.0% gain on the day. Unfortunately the gap down this morning was below our stop loss and we were immediately stopped out.

- Suggested Positions -

Long CHRS stock @ $37.50 exit $34.81 (-7.2%)

07/27/15 stopped out on gap down at $34.81
07/25/15 Conservative investors may want to exit immediately!
07/24/15 CHRS just confirmed the bearish reversal pattern.
07/23/15 new stop @ 34.85, Caution - CHRS has produced a bearish engulfing candlestick reversal pattern
07/21/15 triggered @ $37.50


Globant S.A. - GLOB - close: 30.81 change: -2.11

Stop Loss: 31.85
Target(s): To Be Determined
Current Gain/Loss: Unopened
Entry on July -- at $---.--
Listed on July 23, 2015
Time Frame: Exit PRIOR to earnings on August 13th
Average Daily Volume = 251 thousand
New Positions: see below

07/27/15: GLOB displayed significant weakness today. This morning before the bell shares were downgraded from a "buy" to a "neutral". The combination of a bearish analyst rating and a widespread market sell-off was a potent poison for GLOB. Shares gapped open lower and then plunged to a -10.8% decline. The stock managed a bounce of technical support at its 50-dma and pare its loss to -6.4%.

Our trade has not opened yet. Considering the recent pullback we are removing GLOB as a candidate.

Trade did not open.

07/27/15 removed from the newsletter, suggested entry was $35.15


Luxoft Holding, Inc. - LXFT - close: 60.08 change: -2.83

Stop Loss: 59.75
Target(s): To Be Determined
Current Gain/Loss: -4.1%
Entry on July 17 at $62.31
Listed on July 16, 2015
Time Frame: Exit PRIOR to earnings on August 12th
Average Daily Volume = 215 thousand
New Positions: see below

07/27/15: The European markets had a much worse day than the U.S. markets. The average decline was -2.3% among the major indices. This weakness probably exacerbated the move in LXFT today, which underperformed the broader market with a -4.49% decline.

Shares broke down under short-term support near $60.00 and hit our stop at $59.75.

*small positions to limit risk* - Suggested Positions -

Long LXFT stock @ $62.31 exit $59.75 (-4.1%)

07/27/15 stopped out
07/17/15 triggered on an intraday gap higher at $62.31.
Option Format: symbol-year-month-day-call-strike


Mobileye N.V. - MBLY - close: 58.79 change: -1.60

Stop Loss: 59.45
Target(s): To Be Determined
Current Gain/Loss: +5.2%
Entry on July 09 at $56.50
Listed on July 07, 2015
Time Frame: Exit PRIOR to earnings on August 6th
Average Daily Volume = 3.8 million
New Positions: see below

07/27/15: The stock market's big drop at the open today sparked a similar move in MBLY. Shares gapped open lower at $59.48 and quickly hit our stop at $59.45. MBLY eventually bounced off its rising 20-dma (technical) support but it settled with a -2.6% decline.

- Suggested Positions -

Long MBLY stock @ $56.40 exit $59.45 (+5.2%)

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

AUG $60 CALL (MBLY150821C60) entry $2.00 exit $2.40 (+20.0%)

07/27/15 stopped out
07/21/15 new stop @ 59.45
07/16/15 new stop @ 57.75, readers may want to take some money off the table right here.
07/14/15 new stop @ 55.85
07/11/15 new stop @ 53.85
07/09/15 triggered on gap open at $56.50
Option Format: symbol-year-month-day-call-strike



Murphy Oil - MUR - close: 33.07 change: -0.26

Stop Loss: 35.01
Target(s): To Be Determined
Current Gain/Loss: +19.6%
Entry on July 01 at $41.15
Listed on June 29, 2015
Time Frame: Exit PRIOR to MUR earnings on July 29th
Average Daily Volume = 1.9 million
New Positions: see below

07/27/15: Another day of weakness for crude oil helped push energy stocks lower. MUR dipped to $32.50 intraday before paring its loss. Our plan was to exit today at the closing bell to avoid holding over MUR's earnings report on July 29th.

- Suggested Positions -

Short MUR stock @ $41.15 exit $33.07 (+19.6%)

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

AUG $40 PUT (MUR150821P40) entry $1.30 exit $6.90 (+430.8%)

07/27/15 planned exit
07/25/15 new stop @ 35.01, prepare to exit on Monday at the closing bell
07/23/15 new stop @ 35.75
07/22/15 new stop @ 36.85
07/21/15 new stop @ 37.65
07/20/15 new stop @ 38.25
07/16/15 new stop @ 40.85
07/14/15 new stop @ 41.55
07/06/15 new stop @ 42.35
07/01/15 triggered @ $41.15
Option Format: symbol-year-month-day-call-strike