11:15am (EST)

The unemployment numbers really threw a monkey wrench in this morning’s trading plan and despite the Dow’s best efforts, we have slipped off of our highs. The unemployment rate jumped again, to 8.9% from 8.5%, as many businesses continue to be cautious from hiring. Selected areas are picking up around the country but most firms are refraining from hiring new workers. Still, the market’s overall reaction to the report was positive but has faded.

I didn’t pull the trigger on any trades, yet, and still don’t know if I will. I think the market can bounce back and challenge its highs of the day but the final hour of trading is looking like a toss-up. General Electric (GE, $14.25, up $0.29) hit a high of $14.45 and faded right at 10am. I was hoping the stock would hold and continue higher but we didn’t get that. This is why I always preach about waiting 30 minutes after the open. Yeah, sometimes you can go long at the open, but today wasn’t that day because of the employment report.

The GE May 15 calls (GEWEH, $0.12, up $0.01) have traded as high as 22 cents after opening at 15 cents and if I pull the trigger, this is the target I might aim for. Remember, I had a “saved” order to get in at 14 cents but I was a penny off on where I thought the call options would open this morning.

One trade that I do like right now is Blackstone Group (BX, $13.20, up $0.71). The June 15 calls (BXFC, $0.60, up $0.10) look tempting at these levels and I will be doing a write-up in the Weekly Wrap Sunday night.

Rick Rouse