Current Portfolio:

BULLISH Play Updates

Itron, Inc - ITRI - close 62.60 change+0.79 stop 57.80

Target(s): 63.75, 65.00
Key Support/Resistance Areas: 66.00, 64.00, 60.50, 59.00, 57.00
Time Frame: 1 to 3 weeks

10/9: Not much has changed in my comments from Thursday. The dip was bought again in ITRI. The stock's rising 20-day SMA (currently $59.58 and rising about 24 cents per day) should act as support. This puts the 20-day between $60.50 and $61.00 later this week. I think this play has some potential and suggest we raise the trigger $61.00 and use the dip as a buying opportunity. I've also raised the stop to $57.80. If triggered, our targets are +4.5% and +6.5% higher.

10/7: The dip in ITRI was bought today and we did not get filled. The stock came within 22 cents of hitting our trigger on Tuesday but has since run higher. Nimble traders could consider buying a breakout but this is a higher risk situation. Let's remain patient for now and use dips as buying opportunities. Our trigger remains in place.

10/6: ITRI was a strong performer today as the stock gained +1.71% when the broader market struggled. I think we will get the pullback and suggest using the weakness to enter long positions. I'm going to raise the trigger to $59.75 which is near Tuesday's low as I don't see ITRI trading much lower unless a broader market correction is more severe than I anticipate.

Suggested Position: Long ITRI stock if it trades up to $59.75

Options Traders: Buy November $60.00 CALL, current ask $1.60

Annotated chart:

Entry on October XX
Earnings 10/28/2010 (unconfirmed)
Average Daily Volume: 412,000
Listed on October 4, 2010

Logitech Intl. - LOGI - close: 17.60 change: +0.52 stop: 16.40

Target(s): 18.50, 19.50
Key Support/Resistance Areas: about every 50-cents (17.50, 17.00, 16.50)
Current Gain/Loss: Unopened
Time Frame: 3 to 4 weeks
New Positions: Yes, see trigger

10/9: LOGI looks bullish and on the verge of breaking out higher. Considering the broader market's overbought conditions buying a breakout is a higher risk trade, but it could also be the right one. The volume patterns look great as the stock has pulled back on lighter volume. If the market cooperates LOGI should have no issues trading up to $18.50. I still think a dip is better entry and am comfortable raising the trigger to $17.15 to enter long positions. Let's also raise the stop to $16.40.

10/7: LOGI lost nearly -2% today on no news. We are looking to buy a dip per the comments below which have not changed.

10/5: The market is not following through on any dips. Buying LOGI at this level is a higher risk situation so I suggest we remain patient. Our trigger of $16.60 remains the same.

10/2: LOGI spent the better part of a year consolidating lower in a long, slow trend of lower highs and lower lows. It looks like the momentum has changed in the last couple of months. More recently LOGI has surged from $16.00 and created a new higher-high this past week. The move was fueled by short covering. LOGI has about 16% short interest. I believe there is more upside in store but we don't want to chase LOGI at current levels. Wait for a little dip and use a trigger to launch bullish positions at $16.60. We'll put the stop loss near the 50-dma. Our targets are $18.50 and $19.50. FYI: The recent rally has created a new point and figure chart buy signal with a $23 target.

Trigger to open positions @ $17.15

Suggested Position: Buy LOGI stock @ $17.15, stop $ 16.40

Annotated chart:

Entry on October xx
Earnings Date 10/27/10 (unconfirmed)
Average Daily Volume: 1.6 million
Listed on October 2nd, 2010

BEARISH Play Updates

FLIR Systems - FLIR - close 24.61 change -0.03 stop 27.55

Target(s): 24.25, 21.00
Key Support/Resistance Areas: 28.00, 27.00, 26.50, 25.50, 24.00
Current Gain/Loss: Unopened
Time Frame: 4 to 6 weeks
New Positions: Yes, see trigger

10/9: We may have missed the move in FLIR. I can not chase it lower at these levels. Let's see what the stock give us in the next few days. If it can manage a bounce back up towards $26.00 it will find a brick wall at its declining 20-day SMA and prior resistance. Let's adjust the trigger down 5 cents to $25.85.

10/7: FLIR is trading terrible and we may have missed the move due to too high of an entry trigger. The stock lost another -1.4% today. My comments below remain the same.

10/5: FLIR was downgraded today to Outperform from Strong Buy at Raymond James and the stock was a big underperformer compared to its peers and the broader market. There is resistance at $25.50. If FLIR breaks through this level it should trade up towards our trigger of $26.20 fairly quick. More nimble traders may want to try a short trade at current levels.

10/2: In August shares of FLIR broke down from a huge consolidation pattern. The market's widespread rally in September lifted FLIR toward resistance but the stock couldn't breakout. Now shares are under performing their peers and the major indices. Aggressive traders could launch positions now. I think we'll get a better entry point if we wait for a bounce. I'm suggesting a trigger to launch bearish positions at $26.50. If triggered we'll use a stop loss at $27.55. Our first target is $24.25. Our longer, more aggressive target is $21.00 although you may not want to hold over the earnings report! FYI: The point and figure chart is bearish with a $17 target.

Trigger to open positions @ $25.85

Suggested Position: Short FLIR stock @ $25.85, stop loss @ $27.55

Annotated chart:

Entry on October xx
Earnings Date 10/21/10 (unconfirmed)
Average Daily Volume: 1.7 million
Listed on October 2nd, 2010

Microsoft - MSFT - close 24.57 change +0.04 stop 25.60

Target(s): 23.50, 23.10
Key Support/Resistance Areas: 25.50, 24.75, 23.75, 23.00
Current Gain/Loss: -0.29%
Time Frame: 1 to 2 weeks
New Positions: Neutral

10/9: There is not much to report on MSFT. The stock is consolidating below its converging moving averages and looks like it wants to turn back down. The stock tends to be a slow mover but if the market corrects it has the potential to go quick. I think our stop is in the right place and suggest we give this some time to work. My comment below remain valid.

10/7: Microsoft hit our target to enter short positions at $24.50. The New York Times released an article today speculating that MSFT may make a bid for Adobe (ADBE). More often the acquiring company (MSFT) struggles on news of an acquisition. However, investors have been hammering MSFT to use their cash to better position the company for growth. If this turns out to be true it could be what investors want to hear which could spark buying of the stock. We have a stop in place if that in fact happens but readers should use caution.

10/6: MSFT came within 10 cents of reaching our trigger to enter short positions. I continue to like the short set-up and suggest we lower the trigger to $24.50 which is just below today's highs.

10/5: Microsoft was downgraded by Goldman Sachs yesterday and Janney today from Buy to Neutral, citing limited upside in share value due to an elongated PC refresh cycle and a newer threat from tablets where windows does not have a presence. The stock has been underperforming the broader market for months and I view today's bounce as a shorting opportunity. Let's use a trigger of $24.65 to initiate short positions. Our targets are -4.5% and -6% lower than our entry.

Suggested Position: Short MSFT stock if it trades to $24.65

Options Traders: Buy November $24.00 PUT, current ask $0.81

Annotated chart:

Entry on October 7, 2010
Earnings: 10/28/10 (unconfirmed)
Average Daily Volume: 60 million
Listed on October 5, 2010

PowerShares QQQ Trust - QQQQ - close 49.75 change +0.34 stop 50.05

Target(s): 47.25
Key Support/Resistance Areas: 49.75-50.00, 47.25
Current Gain/Loss: -1.51%
Time Frame: 1 to 2 weeks
New Positions: Yes, with tight stops

10/9: There are not many changes to my comments. We have a tight stop overhead if QQQQ breaks out. However, I would be leery of any gap higher on Monday which could be sold into. As such, this is how I suggest readers manage the trade. Temporarily remove the stop and wait for Monday's open. If there is a gap higher near our stop, place a new protective stop above the opening range. This provides us the chance to measure the true strength or weakness of QQQQ. Often times this will keep you in the trade and looking for a better exit. At these elevated levels it would not surprise me to see a gap higher and an immediate sell-off so we don't want to have a GTC stop in place that gets taken out if QQQQ is only going to head lower. This is just a scenario. If the markets are surging higher and convincingly break the opening range then we need to get out of the way.

10/7: We have a tight stop overhead to close positions should QQQQ break higher on the employment report tomorrow. Otherwise, a decline could come quick and I suggest being ready to take profits or tighten stops.

10/6: Tech stocks were a big underperformer today but we need follow through in the coming days. If we are wrong about the correction we have a tight stop to keep losses under control.

10/2: Over the next three months I'm actually bullish on the market and the NDX (and QQQQ). Yet short-term this tech-heavy index (ETF) is very overbought and due for a correction. Normally trying to call tops and bottoms can be very dangerous but after a week of moving sideways it looks like the upward momentum is gone. I'm suggesting small bearish positions now. We'll use a stop loss at $50.05. Our short-term target is $47.25 (near the 38.2% Fib retracement). Once the QQQQ has reached our target I would switch directions and start looking for a bullish entry point somewhere in the $47-46 zone. My time frame for this pull back is less than two weeks. Readers may want to consider trading the options instead of the ETF.

Current Position: Short QQQQ stock, entry was at $49.01
Options Traders: Long November 47.00 PUT

Annotated chart:

Entry on October 4, 2010
Earnings Date N/A (unconfirmed)
Average Daily Volume: 77.6 million
Listed on October 2, 2010

Xilinx, Inc. - XLNX - close 26.08 change +0.15 stop 26.85

Target(s): 25.00, 24.60, 24.30
Key Support/Resistance Areas: 26.75, 26.00, 25.30, 25.00, 24.00
Current Gain/Loss: -1.09%
Time Frame: 1 to 2 weeks
New Positions:

10/9: The dips keep getting bought in XLNX. Semi's can be volatile so watch for a potential quick sell-off. I suggest being ready to take profits or tighten stops to protect them as our targets approach.

10/7: XLNX hit our trigger of $25.80 to enter short positions. The stock is consolidating near its converging moving averages. Friday could be a volatile day and if the reaction to the employment report is favorable readers may want to exit early. Otherwise, XLNX should quickly head towards our targets. I would wait to see the reaction to the employment report if positions have not been opened.

10/6: XLNX has experienced a slew of downgrades in recent weeks and I believe the stock is on the verge of a further correction towards its September lows. Analyst have also been issuing cautious comments on the semiconductor sector as a whole. XLNX's 50, 20, and 100 day SMA's are all converging which should provide resistance on any attempted bounces. Let's initiate short positions with a trigger of $25.80 or $25.59 which should get us in the position tomorrow. If triggered at $25.80 our targets range from -3% to -6% lower.

Current Position: Short XLNX stock, entry was at $25.80

Options Traders: Buy November $25.00 PUT, current ask $0.94

Annotated chart:

Entry on October 7, 2010
Earnings: 10/20/10 (unconfirmed)
Average Daily Volume: 7.3 million
Listed on October 6, 2010