With a Wary Eye on Cisco

Cisco Systems (CSCO), due to report earnings after the close, is a name I'll be watching closely this evening. Tech reports have become more mixed lately, and I admit I don't have a great feel for this one ahead of earnings. The stock would look great if it got above $26.50, but a sell-the-news reaction could bring shares down to $25.25. There has been some heavy call action Wednesday -- however, I will simply buy some monthly $25 puts in order to hedge my core long stock and call it a day on this one.

Wal-Mart (WMT) -- Daily Source: StockCharts.com View Chart » View in New Window »

I'm not as optimistic about Wal-Mart (WMT). Retailers haven't been impressing of late, and the chart shows hesitation among buyers right now. I am using a small August $77.5-$75 put spread, priced at $1.12, to simulate a short position. The intrinsic value here is $1.06, so time decay isn't much of a factor. Obviously a strong report from Wal-Mart has the potential to wipe out the trade, so I am staying small -- think just 10 or 20 basis points of a portfolio for risk....136 more words left in this article. To read them, just click below and try Real Money FREE for 14 days.

Read the full story and get access to the Real Money Pro trading floor.

There’s no substitute for a trading floor to get great ideas, so Jim Cramer created a better one at Real Money and blogs there exclusively. We then added legendary hedge fund manager, Doug Kass, with his exclusive Daily Diary and best investing ideas. Staffed with more than 4 dozen investing pros, money managers, journalists and analysts, Real Money Pro gives you a flood of opinions, analysis and actionable trading advice found nowhere else, and allows you to interact directly with each expert.

Already a Subscriber? Please login.

Except as otherwise indicated, quotes are delayed. Quotes delayed at least 20 minutes for all exchanges. Market Data provided by Interactive Data. Company fundamental data provided by Morningstar. Earnings and ratings provided by Zacks. Mutual fund data provided by Valueline. ETF data provided by Lipper. Powered and implemented by Interactive Data Managed Solutions.

TheStreet Ratings updates stock ratings daily. However, if no rating change occurs, the data on this page does not update. The data does update after 90 days if no rating change occurs within that time period.

IDC calculates the Market Cap for the basic symbol to include common shares only. Year-to-date mutual fund returns are calculated on a monthly basis by Value Line and posted mid-month.