S&P 4,000 Thursday – It’s Up to AAPL to Seal the Deal


We’re back baby!  

S&P 500 with 5% Rule Applied

Even with a 0.75% rate hike yesterday, the S&P 500 blasted back over 4,000 and that is just what we were hoping for this week as the Nasdaq, now 12,540 – is exceeding the expectations we had on Monday, when I said 

As you can see from this list, we’ll have a very firm handle on the Nasdaq by the end of the week and all we’re looking for from a technical standpoint is for the Nasdaq to stay over 12,000 and the S&P to hold 4,000 and the rest is very likely to sort itself out.  

Now you can see why, on July 14th, I was “optimistic” during my Bloomberg interview.  We are still working through the 10 favorite trade ideas I listed that day.  LEVI, CROX, WSM, F, LOGI, JPM and THC have already started moving higher while RH, BBY & BIG are still floundering and, as I was reminded this morning, WBA is still under $40, which is $34Bn and the company makes about $4Bn a year so not even 9 times earnings to buy Walgreens-Boots.

We just reviewed their Earnings Presentation this morning in our Live Chat Room and I can’t believe the negativity on this place where 67M people were vaccinated since last year.  ALL those people came to the store.  If they each spent $10 while they were there, that’s $670M of retail business and earnings were indeed up 13.9% from last year.

I guess people think Covid is “over” but it’s not by a long shot and we will be needing boosters for years to come.  Other than our Money Talk Portfolio, we had cashed in our WBA positions so now is a good time to add them back.

For our Long-Term Portfolio, let’s:

    • Sell 10 WBA 2024 $40 puts for $6 ($6,000) 
    • Buy 25 WBA 2024 $35 calls for $6.80 ($17,000)
    • Sell 25 WBA 2024 $45 calls for $2.35 ($5,875) 

That’s net $5,125 on the $25,000 spread that’s half in the money to start.  To the downside, we risk being assigned 1,000 shares at $40 and, if we lose the $5,125 entirely, our net cost of 1,000 shares would be $45.125 per share.  On the other hand, we are starting out half in the money on a $25,000 spread with $19,875 (387%) upside potential in 18 months.

In reality, we’re going to be thrilled to buy more if WBA goes lower and the puts can be rolled to 2025 $35 puts when they come out.  Having 25 spreads also paves the way for us to sell short calls while we wait.  The October $40s, for example, are $1.60 for 85 days (and we have 540 days to sell) so just selling 10 of those for $1,600 gives us 32% of our cash outlay back – but we’re too optimistic to do that just yet.  

BBY we are not going to play at the moment as the company just guided lower for Q2 (earnings will be out Aug 30th) but Revenue is projected at $10.26Bn vs $10.83Bn expected – a 5% miss – so we’ll be looking for an over-reaction to take advantage of in our Earnings Portfolio.  

As high inflation continued and consumer sentiment deteriorated, demand in the consumer electronics industry softened even further, leading to Q2 results below the expectations we shared in May,” said BBY CEO Corie Barry.”

BBY has a gloomy outlook but they’ll figure it out and, with net profits still around $2Bn, I don’t mind paying $16.75Bn for the company ($74.50/share) while they ride out the storm.  When times were good, they were getting $140/share – so I’d rather buy them when they are down – we’ll see what kind of sale prices we get off this guidance!  

8:30 Update:  Speaking of gloomy, Q1 GDP came in much better than the prior estimate of -1.6% at -0.9% but not as good as Leading Economorons had projected at -0.5% (based on what, I have no idea).  So we are getting better – just not that fast.   Core PCE prices were 4.4%, cooling off from 5.2%, so that’s good too. No reason for the market to be upset about this so it’s all up to AMZN and AAPL this evening – really just AAPL, with their $2.5 TRILLION Dollar market cap.  

AAPL never really got cheap again after we sold it so we only have it left in our Butterfly Portfolio so I almost hope they do miss and give us an entry but I don’t think they will as they just hired Lamborghini’s chassis designer, Luigi Taraborrelli, to join their EV division.  AAPL already has a partnership with Ferrari so I guess we can see which way they are heading in EV design – not exactly cost-cutting moves.  

Still, China lockdowns and supply issues are a wildcard for Q2 sales and guidance – so we’ll see what they have to say this evening.  

That brings us back to our final laggard, Big Lots (BIG) and boy do people not understand their model.  Like any Retailer, BIG is dealing with cost pressures in gross margins due to freight and inventory shrink (theft) while operating costs are heightened due to supply chain inflation and labor inflation (increasing wages to store employees).

BUT, when you hear about stores like TGT and WMT taking hits as they seek to rebalance their inventory – think about Big Lots scooping that inventory up at low prices and then selling it to discount shoppers. 

BIG generates $4.4M per location vs $2-3M at Dollar Tree or Dollar General yet BIG has a Market Cap of just $565M at $19.50 with $5.7Bn in sales and they made $178M last year (this year probably even).  DLTR is valued at $36Bn with $1.8Bn (20x) in profits on $28Bn in sales and DG is valued at $55.5Bn with $2.5Bn in profits (20x) on $37Bn in sales. 

Big has 1,400 stores vs 8,000 for DLTR and 18,000 for DG so it’s got plenty of room to grow and that’s how we look at it – as a long-term investment.  The company has authorized $160M to buy back it’s own stock – 1/3 of it if they spend it at this price!  

We already have BIG in our Long-Term Portfolio and, at this point, we’re going to buy back the 20 short 2024 $55 calls for 0.35 ($700) and roll our 40 2024 $30 calls at $2.40 ($9,600) to 60 of the 2024 $15 ($6.50)/30 ($2.40) bull call spreads at net $4.10 ($24,600) and, after earnings, we’ll see about selling some short calls (we already sold short puts).  

Our original net was $5,620 and now we’re spending net $15,700 to end up with 60 of the 2024 $15/30 spreads ($90,000 potential) that are $24,000 in the money with 10 2024 $30 puts.  In April , we had rolled for $8,000 and doubled down for $14,500 for a total net of $43,820 so, at $30, our potential gain is now $46,180 (105%) despite BIG being down 50% from our initial entry in October of last year.  

As a new trade on BIG for our Earnings Portfolio, let’s:  

    • Sell 10 BIG 2024 $20 puts for $6 ($6,000) 
    • Buy 20 BIG 2024 $20 calls for $4.80 ($9,600) 
    • Sell 20 BIG $2024 $30 calls for $2.40 ($4,800) 

That’s a net credit of $1,200 so our worst-case is owning 1,000 shares of BIG for net $18.80 ($18,800).  The upside potential at $30 is $20,000 and anything over $19 is a profit.  Don’t you just love options?!?  

PLENTY of things for us to buy in a recovering market – especially when CEOs don’t have faith in their own company as they buy into the incessant doom and gloom we are all being bombarded with.  


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Good Morning.

SPWR up today. We got 2024, but still

Phil I hate to tell you your vavorite stock is going to play with the 38th now.

Even look at PFE great beat down 3.2%. I like FSLR today!

Hey PSW. Finally able to get into the ‘new’ and improved site! Very well done.

A few things to note:

LQDA is legit.  😎  Patent dispute is put to rest. I like them still at $5.
GLUE now has options. Watch them. Sell puts to start a position – the puts have wide spreads and are thinly traded. $7.5s for about a buck.

I will look into a few more for our future endeavors.

You have to be fast to sell short term calls today. FLSR Aug 95 call was over 3$ now 2.20

Still like BX loaded up 14 days ago at 87- 88 today 98 again, need to catch them when they down.

Phil – BIG,
.. and they have massive short interest (38%) so one ounce of good news and the squeeze will be like the 4th of July!

Phil- Any thoughts on GILD? They are stuck low in their range. I have the 60/75 BCS, just meh.