6:00AM

Altria Group (MO, $22.30, up $0.25). The company spun-off Philip Morris (PM, $52.00, up $1.93) last month so this will be its first quarterly report without the tobacco business. The move was designed to separate the fast-growing international business from all the litigation and headaches associated with the tobacco industry. The company reports after the bell.

American Express Company (AXP, $44.38, up $0.41). Reports after the market closes. Financials have bounced back as of late but will the short-lived rally hold up?

Baidu.com (BIDU, $349.66, down $0.44). Baidu was flat yesterday and announces earnings after the market closes. Today could get volatile as traders place their bets on whether this stock is headed for $400 or back down to $300. The stock has gained 40 points in a week so we could get a huge move after the bell in either direction.

Potash (POT, $204.12, down $12.71). The stock was due for a pause and will announce earnings BEFORE the bell this morning. The May 200 calls (PYPEX, $17.70) were profiled at $6.40 and I told you to set higher stops on Monday when they reached this level if the stock continued to go up. The May 200 calls hit a high of $25 yesterday before selling off big-time. If you had used a “trailing” $2 stop, you would have been out at $23 as the stock started to fade. This is how you squeeze out extra profits in trades while at the same time protecting your gains.

Taser (TASR, $9.42, down $0.10). After hitting a 52-week high of nearly $20 back in October, Taser has been treading water at $10 for most of 2008. Not a good sign and the stock always brings legality issues with it. I just don’t trust this stock. The company announces earnings BEFORE the bell.

Rick Rouse
Rick@OptionsMentoring.com