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Short Term Bearish Options Trade On Las Vegas Sands

www.interactivebrokers.com

A roughly quarter of a million dollar play in the 17Apr’14 expiry $74 strike put options on Las Vegas Sands Corp (Ticker: LVS) caught our eye this morning, as just one full trading session remains in the life of these contracts in this holiday-shortened week. Shares in LVS are up more than 2.0% on the session at $74.90 just before 11:30 am ET and off an earlier session high of $75.44. Like many of the relative outperformers of 2014, shares in LVS have declined substantially since the beginning of March, down around 15% at its current level from a high of $88.28. Recent sessions have been volatile in this and other high-beta names, and perhaps this environment is just what the morning’s put trader is looking for ahead of expiration.

The prior two trading sessions this week saw shares in LVS trade up initially only to get slammed midday. Perhaps the aim of the very short-term trade in the $74 puts this morning was for this pattern to persist. It looks like around 4,000 of the 17Apr’14 $74 puts were purchased at an average premium of $0.62 each in the early going, versus open interest of just 264 contracts. Thus far in the session, premium on the $74 puts has eroded amid gains in the price of the underlying. But, if the shares suffer a midday slump as they have in recent sessions, premium on these contracts would move inversely. For example, on Tuesday, the stock opened at $74.73, but by 1:00 pm ET had dropped about 5.0% down to its intraday low of $71.09, ultimately ending the session down just 2.0% to close at $73.19.


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Bearish Prints In DDD Put Options

www.interactivebrokers.com

3D Systems shares had been in positive territory earlier in the session, up as much as 4.2% to touch an intraday high of $50.85. The stock bounced off a low of $47.17 in the early going, a new six-month low for the share price and a more than 50% drop from DDD’s record high of $97.28 reached back on January 3rd. Shares managed to stay in the green for much of the session before succumbing to selling pressure this afternoon. Options expiring next week suggests at least one trader is positioning for further weakness in the near term.

The 17Apr’14 $47 puts traded more than 2,000 times this morning against previously existing open interest of just 94 contracts. Time and sales data indicates most of the puts were purchased at a premium of $1.45 each. The puts may be profitable at expiration in the holiday-shortened week to come, in the event that DDD shares drop more than 5.0% from the current price of $48.13 to trade below the breakeven point at $45.55. Shares in the 3D printing company last traded below $45.55 in August 2013. 


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Bearish Trade In Small-Cap ETF Options

www.interactivebrokers.com

A big early print in the iShares Russell 2000 ETF (Ticker: IWM) on Thursday may be a short-term hedge to protect against further market losses during the next five weeks. The options market participant appears to have purchased the regular May $107/$113 bear put spread 40,000 times for a net premium of $1.33 per contract. The trade starts making money if shares in the small-cap ETF decline 2.7% from the current price of $114.78 to trade below the effective breakeven point at $111.67. Maximum potential profits of $4.67 per contract are available on the spread should shares in the IWM drop 6.8% to $107.00 by expiration next month.

Note: At the end of the day, IWM was at 111.96, down 3.29(2.86%). ~ Ilene 


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Large Trade In FXI Options

www.interactivebrokers.com

Big prints in FXI call options caught our eye on Tuesday morning amid a positive start to trading for shares in the iShares China Large-cap ETF. A review of the trade this morning as well as a look at changes in open interest in the relevant strike prices, suggests the options market participant likely closed out a large bull call spread initiated back on March 18th that resulted in substantial gains in just two weeks.

It looks like the trader originally purchased a 30,000-lot 16May’14 $34/$35.5 call spread at a net premium of $0.56 when shares in the ETF were trading around $33.66. The rally in the price of FXI shares, which are up roughly 6.0% since March 18th, allowed the options player to reap much of the profits available by holding the long call spread. The trader appears to have sold the 30,000 lot $34/$35.5 call spread this morning at a net $1.00 per contract. Not bad for a two-week turnaround. Shares in FXI are currently up 0.30% on the day to stand at $35.88 as of 2:25 p.m. ET.


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Bearish Options Trade On EEM

www.interactivebrokers.com

A synthetic put trade initiated on the iShares Emerging Markets ETF on Monday morning suggests one large options market participant is positioning to benefit from a pullback in the price of the underlying shares by regular May expiration. Shares in the EEM are today trading up 1.0% at $41.17 as of 11:15 a.m. ET.

The purchase of approximately 80,600 of the May $41.5 strike calls at a premium of $1.05 per contract was tied to the sale of EEM stock at $41.22. Shares in the ETF have rallied 11% in the past two months since touching down at a six-month low of $37.05 at the beginning of February. The synthetic put established with EEM stock and options today benefits if the ETF reverses those gains during the next two months.


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Constellation Brands Put Options In Play Ahead Of Q4 Earnings

www.interactivebrokers.com

Put options are changing hands on the wine, beer and spirits company today, perhaps as traders look ahead to the release of fourth-quarter earnings from Constellation Brands on April 9th prior to the opening bell. Shares in the name are today trading higher by 1.25% to stand at $83.10 just before 3:00 p.m. ET.

The most traded contracts on STZ as of the time of this writing are the April $77.5 and $80 strike puts, with more than 1,300 options in play at each striking price. It looks like one or more traders purchased most of the contracts, paying an average premium of $0.885 per contract for the $77.5 strike puts, and shelling out an average premium of $1.39 each for the higher $80 strike put options. Put buyers may profit at expiration next month in the event that shares in Constellation Brands slide roughly 8.0% and 5.0% from the current level to breach the average breakeven prices of $76.615 and $78.61, respectively.


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Call Butterfly Spread Looks For Run In Sprint Shares To Continue

www.interactivebrokers.com

Options volume on Sprint jumped a little less than one hour into the trading session on Thursday after a large three-legged strategy was initiated in the May expiry calls. The call butterfly spread purchased on the wireless carrier this morning looks for shares in Sprint to rise substantially from the current level by expiration in seven weeks. Shares in the name are up 4.5% at $9.37 as of 11:00 a.m. ET.

It looks like one strategist purchased 20,000 calls at both the May $10 and $12 strikes for a combined premium of $0.60 per contract and sold 40,000 of the May $11 strike calls at a premium of $0.24 apiece, effectively reducing the net cost of the spread to $0.12 per contract. The sizable bullish trade reaps maximum potential gains of $0.88 per contract in the event that shares in Sprint rally 17% over the current price of $9.37 to settle at $11.00 at May expiration. The breakeven points of $10.12 and $11.88 indicate the position is profitable within those bounds, while outside of those levels losses on the position are capped at $0.12 per contract, or the premium paid to initiate the butterfly spread. Shares in Sprint last traded around $11.00 at the end of December when the stock hit $11.48, the highest since SoftBank Corp.’s takeover of the wireless carrier last summer.


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USG Corp. Options Active

www.interactivebrokers.com

Shares in USG Corp. fell nearly 5.0% on Wednesday to $31.35 and the lowest level since February 6th, but trading in call options on the maker of wallboard this morning suggests one or more traders may be positioning for the price of the underlying to bounce back in the next couple of months. The stock is off its lows as of 12:30 p.m. ET, trading down a lesser 3.3% on the session at $31.87.

The most traded options on USG so far today are the 16May’14 $30 strike calls, with around 2,800 contracts in play against open interest of 301 positions. It looks like most of these in-the-money calls were purchased in the early going at an average premium of $2.98 each. The calls may be profitable at expiration in the event that USG shares rally 3.5% over the current price of $31.87 to exceed the breakeven price of $32.98. The stock closed out Tuesday’s session at $32.98. USG Corp. is scheduled to report first-quarter earnings on April 24th.


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Sonic Corp. Calls Active As Shares Hit Highest Since ’07

www.interactivebrokers.com

Shares in Sonic Corp. jumped 12% to $23.51, the highest level since December of 2007, on Tuesday morning after the drive-in restaurants chain reported second-quarter earnings that topped the average of analyst estimates by one penny. Options volume on the stock is above average levels, with around 1,500 contracts in play thus far in the session versus average daily options volume on Sonic of around 620 contracts. Trading in Sonic calls is outpacing that in puts, with the call/put ratio hovering near 2.8 as of 11:20 a.m. ET.

Trades initiated in Sonic options on Monday prior to the company’s Q2 earnings release suggests some trader may be able to sink their teeth into overnight profits. The largest rise in open interest across currently available SONC options series was in the 17Apr’14 22.5 strike calls, with the level of open interest ticking up by 580 contracts overnight. A review of time and sales data indicates most of those calls were likely purchased on Monday for an average premium of $0.35 each. The sharp rally in the price of the underlying to fresh multi-year highs pushed premium on the 22.5 calls up to as high as $1.35 each during the first half of the session today. The last traded price on the contracts stands at $1.00 with the stock off session highs as of 11:30 a.m. ET.


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Bullish Options Play Eyes Further Upside In Ulta

www.interactivebrokers.com

Shares in Ulta Salon Cosmetics & Fragrances Inc. (Ticker: ULTA) rose more than 9.0% to as high as $97.86 on Friday morning, the highest price for the stock since the first trading day of the year, after the company released results for the fourth quarter and reported same-store sales growth above its estimated range. The rise in ULTA shares spurred heavier than usual options trading on the stock, with volume up above 13,000 contracts as of 1:15 p.m. EDT, which is roughly three times the average daily reading. Much of the volume is concentrated in the March expiry calls, with the heaviest trading seen in the Mar $97.5 strike calls.

Looking out to activity in the September expiry options today, one trader appears to be positioning for the price of Ulta Salon’s shares to potentially gain another 20% over the current share price of $95.80 to hit $115.00 by expiration in six months. It looks like the strategist purchased a 200-lot Sep 95/115 call spread for a net premium of $7.15 per contract. The trade is profitable at expiration if shares in ULTA trade 7.0% higher than the current price to top the effective breakeven point at $102.15, with maximum potential profits of $12.85 per contract available on the spread given a 20% rally in the share price to $115.00. The stock traded up to an all-time high of $132.72 as recently as November 18th of last year.


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Zero Hedge

Goldman Reports Worst Q1 Results Since Lehman, Average Employee Pay Drops 7% To $376,840

Courtesy of ZeroHedge. View original post here.

Submitted by Tyler Durden.

Moments ago Goldman reports its first quarter earnings, which beat expectations that had been drastically lowered into this quarter. Specifically, total Q1 revenue printed at $9.33 billion, beating expectations of $8.66Bn, while EPS, which declined 6% from a year ago, also beat Estimates of $3.49 at $4.02. Looking at the key operating segments, the all important FICC revenue was $2.85Bn, also above the sharply reduced estimate of $2.63Bn, while IB was $1.78Bn, more than the Wall Street estimate of $1.52Bn. That was the good news.

The bad news: Goldman's first quarter results were the worst since the Lehman crisis, and just to put the critical FICC group's revenues in perspe...



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Phil's Favorites

Talk of Bloodless Coup in Donetsk; European Countries Resent US Tone; Low Hopes for Peace Talks; War, What Is It Good For?

Courtesy of Mish.

Another bloodless coup in Ukraine is underway. This time, it's in the Donetsk region.

Should it come to that ending, it would be the third Ukrainian coup in a matter of months (counting the ouster of former president Viktor Yanukovych followed by the coup in Crimea).

Talk of Bloodless, Passive Coup in Donetsk

Please consider Kiev’s Weak Grip on East Falters.
Moscow is only an hour ahead of Donetsk but the inflammatory descriptions emanating from Russia over events in eastern Ukraine on Wednesday were much further distanced from reality.

As President Vladimir Putin was talking of his neighbouring country as being “on the brink of a civil war”, in Slavya...



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Insider Scoop

UPDATE: DuPont Posts Drop In Q1 Net Profit

Courtesy of Benzinga.

Related DD Earnings Scheduled For April 17, 2014 Stocks To Watch For April 17, 2014 Monsanto Beats Views As Profit Climbs (Fox Business)

DuPont Co (NYSE: DD) reported a 57% decline in its first-quarter earnings.

DuPont's quarterly profit slipped to $1.44 billion, or $1.54 per share, compared to a year-earlier profit of $3.35 billion, or $3.58 per share. Excludi...



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Chart School

S&P 500 Snapshot: Rally Day Three, Back in the Green for 2014

Courtesy of Doug Short.

When the US market opened, Japan's Nikkei had closed with a massive 3.01% gain and the EURO STOXX 50 was in rally mode, ultimately to log a 1.54% advance. The Federal Reserve had published better-than-forecast March Industrial Production data with a substantial upward revision to the February numbers. The S&P 500 popped at the open and rose in a couple of waves through the day to its 1.05% intraday high at the closing bell. This was the third day of gains and enough to put the index back in the green year-to-date but still 1.51% off its record closing high set ten sessions ago on April 2nd.

The yield on the 10-year note finished at 2.65%, up 1 bp from Friday's close and 5 bps off the 2014 low of 2.60%.

Here is a snapshot of the past five sessions.

Volume for today's advance was above slightly below its 50-day moving average. The c...



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Option Review

Short Term Bearish Options Trade On Las Vegas Sands

A roughly quarter of a million dollar play in the 17Apr’14 expiry $74 strike put options on Las Vegas Sands Corp (Ticker: LVS) caught our eye this morning, as just one full trading session remains in the life of these contracts in this holiday-shortened week. Shares in LVS are up more than 2.0% on the session at $74.90 just before 11:30 am ET and off an earlier session high of $75.44. Like many of the relative outperformers of 2014, shares in LVS have declined substantially since the beginning of March, down around 15% at its current level from a high of $88.28. Recent sessions have been volatile in this and other high-beta names, and perhaps this environment is just what the morning’s put trader is looking for ahead of expiration.

...

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All About Trends

Mid-Day Update

Reminder: David is available to chat with Members, comments are found below each post.

Click here for the full report.




To learn more, sign up for David's free newsletter and receive the free report from All About Trends - "How To Outperform 90% Of Wall Street With Just $500 A Week." Tell David PSW sent you. - Ilene...

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Sabrient

What the Market Wants: Positive News and Stocks at Bargain Prices

Courtesy of David Brown, Sabrient Systems and Gradient Analytics

Last week’s market performance was nasty again, especially for the Small-cap Growth style/cap, down 4%.  Large-caps faired the best, losing only 2.7%.  That’s ugly and today’s market seemed likely to be uglier today with escalating tensions over the weekend in Ukraine. 

But once again, positive economic trumped the beating of the war drums. Retail Sales jumped up 1.1% over a projected 0.8% and last month’s tepid 0.3%, which was revised up to 0.7%.  While autos led, sales were up solidly overall.  Business inventories were about as expected with a positive tone.  Citigroup (C) handily beat estimates to add to the morning’s surprises.  As a result, the market was positive through most of the day, led by the DJI, up 0.91%, and the S&P 500, up 0.82%.  NASDAQ had a less...



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Digital Currencies

Facebook Takes Life Seriously and Moves To Create Its Own Virtual Currency, Increases UltraCoin Valuation Significantly

Courtesy of ZeroHedge. View original post here.

Submitted by Reggie Middleton.

The Financial Times reports:

[Facebook] The social network is only weeks away from obtaining regulatory approval in Ireland for a service that would allow its users to store money on Facebook and use it to pay and exchange money with others, according to several people involved in the process. 

The authorisation from Ireland’s central bank to become an “e-money” institution would allow ...



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OpTrader

Swing trading portfolio - week of April 14th 2014

Reminder: OpTrader is available to chat with Members, comments are found below each post.

This post is for all our live virtual trade ideas and daily comments. Please click on "comments" below to follow our live discussion. All of our current  trades are listed in the spreadsheet below, with entry price (1/2 in and All in), and exit prices (1/3 out, 2/3 out, and All out).

We also indicate our stop, which is most of the time the "5 day moving average". All trades, unless indicated, are front-month ATM options. 

Please feel free to participate in the discussion and ask any questions you might have about this virtual portfolio, by clicking on the "comments" link right below.

To learn more about the swing trading virtual portfolio (strategy, performance, FAQ, etc.), please click here...



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Market Shadows

Winning: Defined as Losing Less

By Paul Price of Market Shadows

Market Shadows Excelled – With a 1.36% Weekly Decline

In the land of the blind, the one-eyed man is King. Our Virtual Value Porfolio took on that role this week as we lost a modest 1.36% of our value while the DJIA, S&P 500 and Nasdaq Composite dropped from 2.35% - 3.10%.

We remain bullish despite the shaky end of week sentiment. Our original $100,000 now totals $145,058 including our 2.8% cash reserve.

 ...



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Stock World Weekly

Stock World Weekly

Newsletter writers are available to chat with Members regarding topics presented in SWW, comments are found below each post.

Here is the new Stock World Weekly. Please sign in with your user name and password, or sign up for a free trial to Stock World Weekly. Click here. 

Chart by Paul Price.

...

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Promotions

See Live Demo Of This Google-Like Trade Algorithm

I just wanted to be sure you saw this.  There’s a ‘live’ training webinar this Thursday, March 27th at Noon or 9:00 pm ET.

If GOOGLE, the NSA, and Steve Jobs all got together in a room with the task of building a tremendously accurate trading algorithm… it wouldn’t just be any ordinary system… it’d be the greatest trading algorithm in the world.

Well, I hate to break it to you though… they never got around to building it, but my friends at Market Tamer did.

Follow this link to register for their training webinar where they’ll demonstrate the tested and proven Algorithm powered by the same technological principles that have made GOOGLE the #1 search engine on the planet!

And get this…had you done nothing b...



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Pharmboy

Here We Go Again - Pharma & Biotechs 2014

Reminder: Pharmboy is available to chat with Members, comments are found below each post.

Ladies and Gentlemen, hobos and tramps,
Cross-eyed mosquitoes, and Bow-legged ants,
I come before you, To stand behind you,
To tell you something, I know nothing about.

And so the circus begins in Union Square, San Francisco for this weeks JP Morgan Healthcare Conference.  Will the momentum from 2013, which carried the S&P Spider Biotech ETF to all time highs, carry on in 2014?  The Biotech ETF beat the S&P by better than 3 points.

As I noted in my previous post, Biotechs Galore - IPOs and More, biotechs were rushing to IPOs so that venture capitalists could unwind their holdings (funds are usually 5-7 years), as well as take advantage of the opportune moment...



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About Phil:

Philip R. Davis is a founder Phil's Stock World, a stock and options trading site that teaches the art of options trading to newcomers and devises advanced strategies for expert traders...

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Ilene is editor and affiliate program coordinator for PSW. She manages the site market shadows, archives, more. Contact Ilene to learn about our affiliate and content sharing programs.

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