Phil, I followed your investing ideas in LTP quite closely. It seems your insightful fundamental analysis knowledge serves you v. well. I get entertained and they are profitable.
Phil has some great insight into the market. He's given me a different perspective on the market and I know I'm a better trader/investor because of it.
I've been trading options since the late 80's and Phil is right. Unless you know what is going to happen (how can you, unless you have insider information), then do what the smart money does - be the house. Remember guys, we're allowed to sell options. If you're afraid to be short, then do a spread to limit your liability. When I think about the money I've made and lost on options, a good approximation is that I win 30% of the time when I do a straight buy; I win about 70% of the time when I do a spread; I win nearly 90% of the time when I sell naked.
Phil, I don't know how I can thank you enough for your guidance this past week. I'm up significantly in my portfolio and I've never been so relaxed watching the market panic. Thanks once again for being here for us.
Thanks for the USO mention, Phil, 140% on my USO lottery ticket in 12 hours, and no hesitation in taking the money and running — you have trained us well. Sometimes it's teaching, but with this kind of stuff, where you get whipped like a dog if you let 250% profit melt away, it's definitely training. Happy Fourth!!!
100KP dividend plays - FYI, I'm loving them...thanks, Phil!!! Including the $0.848/share dividend, I am up 100% on my $2.38 net entry on LYG...that's pretty cool!
Phil// Cashing out of my LT holdings have been going on for over two weeks. However, I have elected not to cash all of the holdings including my AAPL, Jan 16 Short Puts at $470 and $480. Plus, I am being opportunistic in selectively putting on those positions for beat down stocks by selling 2016 Puts. That said, YTD harvested profits now stand at $135k on a current account balance of $683K or a 19.81% YTD return. Thanks for your expertise in teaching me how to be patient, be the banker, but also not being greedy, cashing out and harvesting profits.
The virtuous trade / Phil throws out so many ideas, that understandably he rejects all calls for a running total of how all ""quoted"" ideas are performing – it would be unworkable. But without such a list, I think it behooves us to call out the trades that have made a difference. January 13 expiration is going to be a big month for me as a significant number of sold put positions will expire worthless. One example of the power of patience and leaving well alone:
VLO – sold Jan 13, 17.5 puts for $3.45 – and this trade was placed in August 2011. VLO is currently a tad over $35!
And as time went by, and I got more experienced – with the help of Phil and the contributions from board members, I started selling short term puts and calls around this position. Sometimes having to roll, sometimes doubling down but always knowing what I was getting into, and feeling very calm and focussed that whatever happened I could handle it. And if I couldn't then there was always Phil to lend a helping hand. All in all, my profits since August 2011 would qualify as a tidy addition to any earnings from the day job.
Thank you Sir.
I traded with Phil for approximately three years, and consistently averaged 80% returns yearly... some of which was due to my skills as a trader, but much was a direct result of what I learned as a member of Phil's site.... both from Phil, and the many talented traders that hang out there. Phil... if you are reading along... thanks, again for the approximately $ 3 mil I made tagging along with you.... in order to make you feel good for the work you did... I gave the government 50% of it all, so you made your contribution....
From following Phil I have opened up BCS and occasion will strangle some stocks. I will occasionally hedge using an ETF ultra. I have a big take down occasionally but so far I am way ahead of the S&P, and since buying into PSW some years ago by seeing Phil on Seeking Alpha I feel more confident in my abilities. FYI I am a retired entrepreneur formerly in the real estate and insurance businesses.
I am an investor, not a trader. The information at Phil's World is top-notch and always relevant. It is great to see your website thriving.
Maya, After years of being pretty good at picking stocks I still managed to lose almost as much as I made.All the reading Phil asked us to do as a new member (And everything else I can get my hands on lately) has revealed my Achilles Heal.Good stock picks do not necessarily make money. My problem was swinging for the fences. Since becoming a member Jan 1 this year and getting into to scaling into small trades I am amazed at the steady profit growth I have experienced already while not worrying about getting killed. And having fun doing it.. Phil, Thanks for the education, the help you give and the chance to learn more and get better. Also thanks to all the members who have answered the few questions I had when your not around.
Phil is a master at keeping you laughing, as well as making you money. - It is like " laughing all the way to the bank!"
Phil fantastic call on the markets… I owe you BIG…thanks and have a great weekend!
Phil: I loaded up big time yesterday on your suggestion of the AMZN September 75 naked puts. They are up 43%!
Phil, Thanks for the long calls@ $ 85 on AAPL. A quick $4900. Paid for my subscription!!
Thanks for the oil tip Phil: Bot & sold the USO May 29 calls for net $125. Not bad for few minutes work.
Thanks to Phil (again) for the lessons on the art of the roll, selling premium and hanging tight under fire (particularly in the first hour of trading-MADNESS). Watching you manage the $25KP has really helped my trading in a big way.
Phil, I meant to post over the weekend, but I was busy having fun . Last week was a very nice week for me, and I wanted to thank you for all that you do. I am pretty much back to cash and really feel like I am learning. I have out performed the $5kp by a very large margin. Thanks again for the service you provide.
We are lucky to be in America and it is great to be part of the PSW tribe. Keeps me thinkin' and gatherin' the profits. ~ 42 % gain in my trading account year to date, which keeps me happy. Half to a third of the trading account is reserved in margin capacity that Is not committed. So, again thanks Phil and all of you other members.
Peace of mind / I have a portfolio mainly consisting of long term long calls, short term short calls and puts, and long term BCS. Three years, ago when I started my journey on this board I would be freaking out panicking as to what to do, as many of the short calls are ITM, Three years later (today) I look at the screen and serenely process the information. Three years ago, I inevitably made the wrong decisions which cost me a lot of money. Three years on I calmly roll the positions to whatever makes sense. No drama, no hair pulling, and a great cost saver. I guess they call that the power of education.
Phil – In the event of a mkt meltdown, which of the indices, in your opinion do you think has the most potential for % move down. I'm looking at call options on SDS and the DXD. Any thoughts? Ideas?
Thanks .. and thanks for being a great teacher! I've learned so much in only a month!
What a quarter! (AAPL, etc.) "People react; PSW'ers anticipate." Thanks everyone for a vibrant board.
Phil - I just referred 10 people. Last week was a 50% gainer for me. There are companies that want to sell mentoring service for thousands of dollars. This is far better of a deal with very good advice.
The best play I made this year was PSW. Will renew my membership tonight. Looking for the same trading profit percentages next year, but will have an advantage from the compounding, and much better skills acquired from you and the many skilled PSW co-pilots. Thanks!
/NKD- Kownichiwa Cowboy!! One week of patience and scaling in and out pays off. This is a testament to Phil's fundamental analysis with the PSW technique. Thanks Phil.
I really would like to meet all of the posters here who seem like an intriguing bunch of intelligent, opinionated (without being obnoxious or condescending most of the time), and well spoken people. Not so easy to find in this age of instant gratification and me first attitudes. Usually this results in groups where misinformation is used to gain an advantage, or whatever it takes to beat the other guys. I love the one for all, all for one vibe here, sharing your best ideas and helping each other work together for a common goal, to be successful investors!
By the way thank you Phil for the DNDN idea. 3x till this morning and will 4x my small investment by next OE THANKS !!!!
Wow, Phil, we pretty much made your levels.
Dow 7,404, S&P 775, Nas 1,466, NYSE 4,839 and RUT 402
My sceen is showing:
Dow 7,404, S&P 777, Nas 1,462, NYSE 4,868 and RUT 404
Killed it tonight trading copper. Anyone who jumped in right after election is up about 75k on one contract!
Phil, I just wanted to say thanks for being there. The world needs more of you. Your site continues to positively change my life daily.
Delta calls active as spread play indicates further bullish move
By Andrew Wilkinson
Overall option volume on Delta Air Lines Inc. (Ticker: DAL) by 11:45am ET on Monday of 50,000 contracts is already in line with the typical 10-day average reading. The stock is trading higher at $46.63 (+1.00%) and stands in the middle of a $10.00 range tracked during the past three months. Implied volatility on its options is about 2.5% higher at 31.4%. Much of today’s option activity results from a call spread involving 10,000 contracts at the 48.0 strike expiring in September, while the opposing leg involved the same-size sale at the 55.0 strike. At the individual strike prices it appears that implied volatility is slightly higher on the nearby strike and lower at the higher strike. The 7-point wide call spread appears to have taken place shortly after the market opened and at a net premium of $2.07. From the Strategy Performance Graph below we can see the turning points associated with the transaction. The breakeven for the trade expiring in 130-days is $50.07 while the maximum profit would occur should Delta’s share price reach $55.00, at which point the investor stands to max out the gain of $4.93 per contract.
Chart – Strategy performance plot for September 48/55 call spread
Ralph Lauren Put Options In Play Ahead Of Earnings
By Caitlin Duffy
Ralph Lauren shares are on the rise ahead of the company’s fourth-quarter earnings report on Wednesday. RL is up roughly $0.60 or 0.45% Monday morning to trade at $135.00, but the stock has had a rough first half of 2015, with shares down nearly 30% since reaching a 52-week high of $187.49 back on December 31, 2014. A ratio put spread initiated on the stock this morning suggests one trader may be positioning for shares to dip following the quarterly report midweek. It looks like the trader purchased 1,000 of the May 130.0 strike puts at a premium of $2.15 each and sold 2,000 of the May 125.0 strike puts at a premium of $0.85 apiece. Net premium paid for the position amounts to $0.45 per contract. The spread makes money in the event that shares in Ralph Lauren…
Not surprisingly, Apple options are active ahead of the company’s second-quarter earnings report after the bell on Monday. Shares are in rally mode, up almost 1.1% on the day at $130.06 on Thursday afternoon. Volume as of the time of this writing (3:30 pm ET) is approaching 786,000 contracts, which is approximately 105% of the average daily options volume traded on AAPL of around 750,000 contracts. Much of the volume changing hands during today’s session is in the Apr24 ’15 expiry weekly calls, which expire ahead of the company’s earnings release. But, a review of open interest on Apple reveals interesting patterns. Open interest is largest by far in 130.0 strike call options across all available expiries. There are approximately 505,000 open call positions at the 130.0 strike on Apple at present. Much of that open interest, roughly 20% of it, is in the regular May expiry 130.0 calls.
Traders exchanged more than one million option contracts on Apple (Ticker: AAPL) today amid a 1.2% dip in the price its shares. The 1.04 million contracts traded so far in the session compares to an average daily options volume for Apple over the past 10 days of roughly 750,000 contracts. The below snapshot displays the day’s option volume split out into call and put options across active strike prices. The chart includes monthly expiration options, while excluding weeklys. The 125.0 strike April 17 ’15 expiry calls and puts are most active today, but cease trading as markets close out another week this afternoon.
Implied volatility on the S&P 500 Index (Ticker: SPX) popped Friday morning amid a more than 1.0% decline in the index to the lowest level since April 9. The roughly 12% move higher in the reading of IV on SPX is perhaps the motivation for sellers of iron condors in the April 24 expiry options contracts. The trades were of different sizes and at different striking prices. One of the trades was constructed through the sale of the Apr 24 ’15 1875/1975 put spread against the sale of the Apr 24 ’15 2140/2210 call spread at a net premium of $0.55 per contract. The 1,500-lot trade makes maximum potential gains of approximately $82,500 as long as the SPX trades above 1975 and below 2140 at expiration next week. The smaller of the two condors yields a net credit of $0.50 per contract and involved the sale of the 1885/1985 put spread against the sale of the 2150/2210 call spread. The seller of the 500-lot iron condor stands ready to bank maximum possible profits of around $25,000 in the event that the index trades above 1985 and below 2150 at expiration. The chart below displays a one-week chart of the VIX, which rallied roughly 14% this morning to 14.44.
Option activity on Smith & Wesson Holding Corp. suggests some traders may have pulled the trigger on bullish positions on the firearms maker today. SWHC shares are soaring, up nearly 15% at $14.93 as of the time of this writing, after the company updated guidance for the fourth quarter and full fiscal 2015 year (ending April 30, 2015), stating that orders through the fiscal fourth quarter were stronger than previously expected. The company upped its guidance for the quarter, pushing shares in the name to the highest level since June 2014 and sparking heavier than usual options activity. With little more than 60 minutes remaining in the trading session, traders have pushed options volume on SWHC to more than 5,600 contracts as compared to the stock’s average daily options volume of around 400 contracts. The bulk of the activity is in call options, notably the May 15.0 strike contracts. Roughly 2,500 of the 15.0 strike calls have changed hands against zero open interest. Most of the volume appears to have been purchased at a premium of $0.45 each. Buyers of these options stand ready to profit at May expiration in the event that SWHC shares continue to rally, specifically if the stock tops an average breakeven price of $15.45. Smith & Wesson fourth-quarter earnings are estimated for release in the back-half of June.
Chart – SWHC 15.0 strike options most active, specifically May expiry calls
Heavy trading volume in shares of industrial conglomerate General Electric (Ticker: GE) caused its price to surge by 9.1% to $28.08 on Friday on news of further divestiture and a stock buyback program. Gains have accelerated in the afternoon following heavy option positioning earlier in the session. Some 225mm shares had traded by 2pm ET in comparison to typical volume of around 30mm. The share price jumped straight through the June high of $27.53 after call buying in the June series hinted of further gains. Some 49,000 call options have changed hands on Friday at the 29.0 strike price at an average premium of about 40-cents. The breakeven price for buyers of $29.40 implies a further gain for its shares of 4.7%, where the company last traded in April 2008. More recently, the stock peaked in December 2013 at $28.13 before arresting its decline at $23.41 in January. Before trading on Friday, investors held less than 3,000 open positions at the 29.0 strike for June expiration.
Chart – June 29 strike calls were the most actively traded contract as General Electric gains 9.1%
Bullish trades abound in Cypress Semiconductor options today, most notably a massive bull call spread initiated in the July expiry contracts. One strategist appears to have purchased 30,000 of the Jul 16.0 strike calls at a premium of $0.89 each and sold the same number of Jul 19.0 strike calls at a premium of $0.22 apiece. Net premium paid to put on the spread amounts to $0.67 per contract, thus establishing a breakeven share price of $16.67 on the trade. Cypress shares reached a 52-week high of $16.25 back on Friday, March 13th, and would need to rally 4.6% over the current level to exceed the breakeven point of $16.25. The spread generates maximum potential profits of $2.33 per contract in the event that CY shares surge more than 20% in the next four months to reach $19.00 by July expiration. Shares in Cypress are down 1.0% at $15.54 as of the time of this writing.
Chart – Three-month chart of CY (magenta line: b/e point, blue line: max profit)
With stories and analysis pointing to fewer and fewer physical places to store crude oil coupled at the hip with an ever-strengthening dollar, it’s hard to get optimistic on the outlook for energy prices. The cost of a barrel of WTI for April delivery has fallen again ahead of the Fed’s March meeting by 3.4% to $43.33 helping drive down shares in the United States Oil Fund (Ticker: USO) to a fresh 52-week low.
Since the start of March the price of USO shares have fallen from above $19.00 to $16.18 (-15%). Option traders posturing for even lower oil prices appear to be riding the crest of a wave. The number of open positions in bearish strike prices from 16.0-19.0 in the USO has increased by 44% to 1.33 million in the past two weeks and compares to bullish open interest at the same strikes of 370,600 contracts. Bears have built positions of 300,000 at the 15.0, 16.0 and 17.0 strikes as the slide in crude oil prices has picked-up its pace. Since the rebound ran out of steam on March 4, implied volatility in the April series has jumped from 42% to 54% today. In the options market, that implies traders currently expect the USO to land within a price range of $14.90 and $18.10. By the same token, May expiration crude prices, where implied volatility is running at 57%, currently dictate a price range covered by $37.75 and $50.25 for the cost of a barrel of crude.
Chart – Bearish USO put option open interest has surged to 1.3 million at strikes from 15.0 to 19.0
Shares in Lumber Liquidators (Ticker: LL) continue to rebound and last traded higher by 11.2% at $36.40 following the company’s investor call on Thursday. Implied volatility on its options has fallen by 12.1% to 87.7% having reached 127% as a result of the recent scandal. Option volume of 61,000 contracts is evenly split between calls and puts as implied volatility at higher strikes continues to soften faster than at lower strikes. The following chart from the IB Volatility Lab compares implied volatility readings in the April 17 expiration across available strikes with the volatility structure of one week ago. Under normal conditions, the cost of a 10% out-of-the-money call should be around the same as a 10% out-of-the-money put. Last week, downside volatility of 99.2% was 3.2-points higher than upside volatility. As the entire volatility structure softens in response to a rising share price, option traders are softening the volatility level at higher strike prices, forcing the difference to widen to 4.2-points. As the chart shows, downside volatility remains elevated at increasingly lower strike prices.
Chart – Time lapse skew on Lumber Liquidators options
ADR shares in Brazil’s state-controlled oil and gas giant Petrobras (Ticker: PBR) continue to jump around following the recent announcement that investigations were underway connecting politicians with payouts from company officials. How that goes, nobody knows. The revelation is further bad news for investors who have seen PBR shares slump in the last six months from almost $21.00 to $5.28 on Wednesday. Around a month ago, when the shares stood at $6.45, investors plowed into bearish options in a big way, taking on a position of 107,000 puts expiring in July. At the time the positions were made, shares in Petrobras would have needed to fall by a further 22% to land at the 5.0 strike price. Option implied volatility that day at 67% has increased today to 72% as uncertainty grows. Meanwhile, the options have gained in value, boosted by rising volatility and stand today at 71-cents. We figure that without the volatility boost, the options would be worth 8-cents less. Still, that’s a healthy gain from the initial 42-cent premium paid back in February.
Chart – Despite a rebound, implied volatility continues to reflect uncertainty
Summary: All of the US equity indices made new all-time highs again this week. Treasuries were the biggest winner. A drawdown of at least 5-8% in SPX is odds-on before year end, but there are a number of compelling studies suggesting that 2017 will probably continue to be a good year for US equities.
* * *
On Friday, SPX and DJIA made new all-time highs (ATH). During the week, COMPQ, NDX, RUT and NYSE also made new ATHs. All the indices moving to new highs together suggests that this is a broadl...
The Democrat Party, its Media serfs, and Social Justice Incorporated are all outraged because we uppity normals are again presuming to rule ourselves, and their agony is delightful. Less delightful is how, in the process of trying to claw their way back into power, they are incinerating the norms and rules that preserve our political order. That stuff Hillary babbled about honoring the legiti...
In this session we continued our discussion of growth by first looking at the limitations of analyst estimates of growth and then examining the fundamentals that drive growth. Starting with a very simple algebraic proof that growth in earnings has to come either from new investments or improved efficiency, we looked at how best to estimate growth in three measures of earnings: earnings per share, net income and operating income. With each measure of earnings, the estimation of growth boiled down to answering two questions: (1) How much is this company reinvesting to generating for future growth? (2) How well is it reinvesting? (3) How much growth is added or lost by changes in returns on existing investments? In the next session, we will continue this discussion after the quiz.
New discoveries about the human mind show the limitations of reason.
By Elizabeth Kolbert
In “Denying to the Grave: Why We Ignore the Facts That Will Save Us” (Oxford), Jack Gorman, a psychiatrist, and his daughter, Sara Gorman, a public-health specialist, probe the gap between what science tells us and what we tell ourselves. Their concern is with those persistent beliefs which are not just demonstrably false but also potentially deadly, like the conviction that vaccines are hazardous. Of course, what’s hazardous is not being vaccinated; that’s why vaccines were created in the first place. “Immunization is one of the triumphs of modern medicine,” the Gormans no...
US stocks finish at record high. Gold and silver at multi-week highs. Bitcoin near all-time high. Trump national security adviser scandal evolving, EPA chief controversy ramping up after email release. Debate over Putin and fake news intensifies.
As the Trump presidency unravels, unraveling the country along with it, there is no real political antecedent, no lessons from American history on which to draw and provide guidance. We are in entirely uncharted waters.
But there is an antecedent in our popular culture that provides a prism through which to view the contemporary calamity, especially the alleged collusion between Trump’s henchmen and Russian intelligence to deny Hillary Clinton the presidency. I am not the first observer who has ...
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