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.
Shares in Apple (Ticker: AAPL) are near their highs of the session in the final hour of trading on Wednesday, adding to the muted gains seen earlier in the day, following the release of the September FOMC meeting minutes and after activist investor and Apple shareholder Carl Icahn tweeted, “Tmrw we’ll be sending an open letter to @tim_cook. Believe it will be interesting.” Icahn’s tweet hit the ether at 2:33 pm ET and was met with a spike in volume in Apple shares. The stock is currently up 2.0% on the day at $100.75 as of 3:15 pm ET.
By now, we've all seen the "Bengate" video of the iPhone 6+ being bent by hand but now it turns out that the video that's gone viral may have been FAKED!!! This is a video that knocked 5% off AAPL's stock price this week, costing its investors $30Bn in lost market value – so not a harmless hoax.
As a disclaimer, it's important to note that, in our first Webcast of the year, we picked AAPL as our top trade idea and again, on TV on March 6th, I was almost embarrassed to say AAPL was once again our trade of the year for BNN (it was last year's trade too). AAPL is up 33% since than and our initial trade idea is up over 300% (we used options for leverage) but we still have bullish AAPL trades in our Member Portfolios – so we do like the company and have some bias…
That being said, we don't know the bias of "Unbox Therapy" and we don't KNOW that it's a hoax but it's starting to seem like one as AAPL has already put out a rare public statement rebuffing the claim, stating that only 9 customers to date have complained of bent phones (out of 20M sold) and now Consumer Reports has done a test confirming that, indeed, you can't bend an iPhone 6 Plus with your bare hands.
Speaking of hands, there are some inconsistencies in the Unbox video that are very disturbing. First of all, look at the hands in the image above and then look at the guy narrating the video – people are saying those are not the same hands. That may or may not be the case but it is certainly the case that there's a huge discrepancy in the video itself:
As you can see, the phone he is bending "live" at 1:38 in the video says it's Tuesday, 23rd at 2:26 but then, 40 seconds later, the "same" phone says it's 1:58. This is not an editing discrepancy since he had an UNBENT phone just seconds before 2:26 that…
Fortunately, our Big Chart kept us cautiously bearish into the weekend and the hedges in our Short-Term Portfolio functioned perfectly, gaining $13,000 on the day and completely offsetting the drop of $8,000 in our Long-Term Portfolio.
That's without our big hedge, DXD, kicking in yet, as the Dow is still over 17,000 but, should it fail, we'll see those STP gains multiply quickly.
For those of you who are not Members, and don't have access to our various Member Portfolios (and you can by subscribing here), we have done our best to prepare you for this drop as well. Last Thursday, right in the morning post, I shared our short stance with the general public, saying
Futures pumped back up to yesterday's highs at 17,125, 2,001.50, 4,080 and 1,156.5 so I like shorting below 17,100, 2,000, 4,075 and 1,155 – short the laggard, out of any of them cross back over – very simple!
That's our plan into the weekend. As I've mentioned before, we're also using DXD ($24 at the time), TZA ($14.68) and SQQQ ($35.26) to hedge our long portfolios – just in case things unravel over the weekend. We also discussed FXI ($40.30) puts earlier in the week as a play on China melting down so PLENTY of ways to profit from the downside.
This morning, the Futures are 17,050 on /YM (up $375 per contract), 1,979 on /ES (up $1,125 per contract), 4,035 on /NQ (up $900 per contract) and 1,116.50 on /TF (up $4,000 per contract) – so that strategy went pretty well.
It was a really ugly hold but we did hold 2,000 on the S&P all day long on Friday and that, as I've said for a long time, is finally a signal we need to do a little bottom-fishing. We have already been picking up some material stocks in our Live Member Chat Room, including adding BTU($13.29) on Friday morning to our Income Portfolio, despite a Goldman Sachs downgrade that cost them 5% pre-market.
In fact, 65% of China's energy comes from coal and, for the first time ever, China passed the EU in pollution levels per capita with each person in China producing 7.2 tons of carbon dioxide on average compared with 6.8 tons per European and just 1.9 tons per Indian.
Of course, none of them hold a candle to the US, where we proudly produce 16.4 tons of CO2 per person!
Still, with 1.3Bn people, China has now passed the US in overall carbon emissions, contributing to a new Global Record of 40Bn tons of CO2 added to the atmosphere in 2014. According to a recent UN study, at this rate, the theoretical limit for carbon in our atmosphere (before irreversible damage sets in) will be hit in just 30 years. But don't worry folks, that's just science and we can always vote Republican and ignore it.
Emissions grew 4.2 percent in China, 2.9 percent in the U.S. and 5.1 percent in India last year. The EU’s pollution level declined 1.8 percent because of weaker economic growth. So coal is not going away as soon as people think and we have been literally burning off the surplus this year. In Europe, utilities are switching back…
12 trading days since the S&P first hit 2,000 (Aug 25th) in which we have failed to hold 2,000 for a full day. Not one and, unless the Futures pop 10 points before we open, not today either. On 10 of those days, we've had a late-day run-up on low volume that popped us over 2,000 and on 7 of those days, 2,000 held at the close but EVERY SINGLE DAY – it also failed to hold.
Let's not forget that, during this time, we've had TRILLIONS of Dollars of additional stimulus pledged by Carney, Draghi, Kuroda and other minor Central Banksters and Yellen has certainly been as doveish as she could by (while still tapering our existing Trillion Dollar stimulus). This is how our market behaves WITH Trillions of Dollars of cash being pumped into the Global economy – I wonder what will happen when it stops?
Of course, maybe it won't stop but, if it doesn't, this chart will look even uglier. This is a chart of our projected net annual interest payments on our debt in 10 years. That's $880 BILLION Dollars each year, just in interest payments, up $650Bn from the $233Bn we are spending now.
That's WITHOUT additional stimulus so I guess we can go for a bit more and make it an even Trillion, right? These are what we used to call CONSEQENCES – back when we used to care about such things. The US is not the leader in debt issuance, not by a long shot. Japan is 150% more in debt than we are and China has now doubled our debt to GDP ratio, after having been a creditor back in 2007 but now the undisputed king of stimulus spending.
Europe is also a mess. As I said to our Members in an early-morning Alert: Another thing the US Media is purposely ignoring is the 12.5% correction in Europe (example on Germany chart) since July that, so far, has bounced weakly (4-point drop on EWG has weak bounce at 28.8 and strong at 29.6) – failing exactly…
If you want to play for an AAPL pop this afternoon, the QQQ weekly $100 calls are just .40 and QQQ topped out at $100.33 yesterday. Figure AAPL pops 2.5% and that pops the Nas and QQQ 0.5% so $100.50 + premium could be good for 50% if AAPL gets a good reaction – if not, it's probably going to lose less than a direct play on AAPL would.
TZA/Sn0 – Well TZA is only at $14.50 so the spread is half in the money at net $1.25 so it still has good upside if you add to it but I'd rather get the Jan $15/20 bull call spread at $1 as that gives you more time and more upside – if your TZA hedge goes in the money. That way, you can take $2 off the table on the Oct spread and know you still have plenty of upside if TZA keeps going up on you and also less downside exposure if it flips the other way.
When our 1pm Webinar started (at the same time Apple's conference started), the QQQ calls were just 0.42 and still playable and, as you can see on the chart, we even had a dip down to 0.30 briefly but that line held and we then jumped 100% back to 0.60 and then on to 0.72 before dropping back to 0.60, where we took our expected 50% gains and ran.
If you missed our Webcast yesterday, you should check out the replay because we discussed WHY we made that particular pick and HOW we selected it – very educational! That's because, at Philstockworld, our goal is to TEACH you to be a great trader – not just give you great trades.
That hasn’t hurt Apple financially by any stretch; in fact, it continues to make more on each device it sells than just about anyone. Still, a constant stream of promises from Apple’s top execs have drawn out the idea that something big is just around the corner. That something big is very likely making its debut at Apple’s event next Tuesday, which kicks off at 1pm EST / 10am PST and we'll be covering it live today during our Live Trading Webinar (1pm EST).
On top of the rumor pile are expectations for:
Bigger IPhones (to go after Samsung market share) + 10%
NFC and Mobile Payments (transaction revenues) + 20%
iOS8 (pushing iCloud) + 5%
iWatch (new product) + 20%
Apple TV (home integration) + 10%
So those are the most likely announcements and they have the POTENTIAL (if all goes well) to add 65% to AAPL's already massive market cap. Just enough, in fact, to make AAPL the world's first $1Tn company in 2016. We're already playing AAPL bullish in two of our PSW Portfolios but we have been since they were $450 ($64 post-split) and we're already up 50% (AAPL was our Stock of the Year selection), so we hedged a bit at $105.
The question for us is – do we remove those hedges in anticipation of AAPL's 2 consecutive 30% annual runs that we are predicting but, with AAPL already up 25% this year at $100 and having already been rejected at 30% ($105), we're keeping our partial cover – at least until we see the public's reaction to the new product line.
While it could be argued that a lot of good news is priced in, I think NFC/Mobile Payments is being completely missed along…
Volume in Apple Inc. (Ticker: AAPL) options is spiking today as shares in the name slide back into double-digits after yesterday trading up to a fresh record high of $103.74. Upwards of 1.5 million options contracts have changed hands on the stock by midday, which compares to average daily volume of around 940,000 contracts. Shares in AAPL are down roughly 4.5% on the day at $98.60, helped lower in part by comments from Pacific Crest analyst Andy Hargreaves, as investors await the company’s September 9 media event in Cupertino, California.
As of the time of this writing, roughly 1.9 call options are trading for each single put option changing hands on the stock. Perhaps some traders are taking profits following the stock’s roughly 30% rally since the start of 2014, or alternatively, picking up calls at relatively discounted premium levels amid the day’s selloff in the view that shares may potentially bounce back. The pop in implied volatility on the name, up 22% on the day at last check, could also be attracting traders to the options as well. Trading is most active in near term calls and puts. Specifically, the Sep 05 ’14 102.0 strike calls and the Sep 12 ’14 107.0 strike call options have each traded upwards of 66,000 times, trumping existing open interest levels. The Sep 05 ’14 99.0 strike put options are seeing volume in excess of 59,000 contracts as of midday.
“The top 25 hedge fund managers made more than all the kindergarten teachers in the country,” declared President Obama in a discussion of poverty at Georgetown University. Calling them “society’s lottery winners,” he proposed to hike their taxes.
Predictably, battle lines have been formed between two polarized sides. One side—let’s call them the Gauche for convenience’s sake—is unhappy with the pay disparity. CBS ...
Rare is the person who is a realist. We collectively live in a world of pretend and extend. Every one of us wants our present civilization to continue, though for countless millions the world has already turned upside down as unemployment has soared and war and terrorism proliferate. The very structure of life in our world is threatened because madmen have undermined the financial system through the creation of debt instead of wealth. We have collectively borrowed against our children’s future until their very future is in doubt.
Wednesday’s action was almost a 180 degree turn from Tuesday’s with the S&P 500 up 0.92% and the NASDAQ 1.47%. Sone vague belief in (yet another) resolution in Greece seemed to be the catalyst. Greek Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras said on Wednesday the negotiations are on the “final stretch” towards a positive deal, Reuters reported. Later in the day, German Finance Minister Wolfgang Schaeuble said there was not much progress in the Greek debt talks and he was surprised by the upbeat tone from some Greek government officials. Athens must make a 300 million euro payment to the International Monetary Fund on June 5, ahead of several other payments due to the IMF later in the month, for a total of 1.6 billion euros.
We’ll see if yesterday’s move was the head fake or today’s was shortly.
When one looks back over the past year, Health Care ETF (XLV) has been a good place to be. The above table looks at the 9 key sectors of the S&P 500, which reflects that XLV has done really well, grabbing the #1 spot over this time frame. Year-To-Date, XLV remains in the top spot as well.
Can this hot performance continue? Check out the pattern XLV has been forming the past few months
CLICK ON CHART TO ENLARGE
Over the past 90-days, XLV remains at the top spot as well, up a little over 2...
Early last week, stocks broke out, with the S&P 500 setting a new high with blue skies overhead. But then the market basically flat-lined for the rest of the week as bulls just couldn’t gather the fuel and conviction to take prices higher. In fact, the technical picture now has turned a bit defensive, at least for the short term, thus joining what has been a neutral-to-defensive tilt to our fundamentals-based Outlook rankings.
In this weekly update, I give my view of the current market environment, offer a technical analysis of the S&P 500 chart, review our weekly fundamentals-based SectorCast rankings of the ten U.S. business sectors, and then offer up some actionable trading ideas, including a sector rotation strategy using ETFs and an enhanced version using top-ranked stocks from the t...
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Understanding the new normal of a business model is key to the success of any company. The managment of companies need to adapt to the changing demand, but first they must recognize what changes are taking place. Big Pharma's business model is changing rapidly, and much like the airline industry, there will be but a handful of pharma companies left at the end of this path.
Most Big Pharma companies have traditionally done everything from research and development (R&D) through to commercialisation themselves. Research was proprietary, and diseases were cherry picked on the back of academic research that was done using NIH grants. This was in the heyday of research, where multiple companies had drugs for the same target (Mevocor, Zocor, Crestor, Lipitor), and could reap the rewards on multiple scales. However, in the c...
Bitcoin, the virtual digital currency, has been called the future of banking, a dangerous fad, and almost everything in between, but we're finally about to get some solid data to help settle the debate.
On Monday, the Nasdaq (NDAQ) stock exchange said it would ...
Chris Kimble likes the idea of shorting the US dollar if it bounces higher. Phil's likes the dollar better long here. These views are not inconsistent, actually, the dollar could bounce and drop again. We'll be watching.
Phil writes: If the Fed begins to tighten OR if Greece defaults OR if China begins to fall apart OR if Japan begins to unwind, then the Dollar could move 10% higher. Without any of those things happening – you still have the Fed pursuing a relatively stronger currency policy than the rest of the G8. So, if anything, I think the pressure should be up, not down.
UNLESS that 95 line does ultimately fail (as opposed to this being bullish consolidation at the prior breakout point), then I'd prefer to sell the UUP Jan $25 puts for $0.85 and buy the Sept $24 call...
Back in December, I wrote a post on my blog where I compared the performances of various ETFs related to the oil industry. I was looking for the best possible proxy to match the moves of oil prices if you didn't want to play with futures. At the time, I concluded that for medium term trades, USO and the leveraged ETFs UCO and SCO were the most promising. Longer term, broader ETFs like OIH and XLE might make better investment if oil prices do recover to more profitable prices since ETF linked to futures like USO, UCO and SCO do suffer from decay. It also seemed that DIG and DUG could be promising if OIH could recover as it should with the price of oil, but that they don't make a good proxy for the price of oil itself.
Kim Parlee interviews Phil on Money Talk. Be sure to watch the replays if you missed the show live on Wednesday night (it was recorded on Monday). As usual, Phil provides an excellent program packed with macro analysis, important lessons and trading ideas. ~ Ilene
The replay is now available on BNN's website. For the three part series, click on the links below.
Part 1 is here (discussing the macro outlook for the markets)
Part 2 is here. (discussing our main trading strategies)
Part 3 is here. (reviewing our pick of th...
This is a non-trading topic, but I wanted to post it during trading hours so as many eyes can see it as possible. Feel free to contact me directly at email@example.com with any questions.
Last fall there was some discussion on the PSW board regarding setting up a YouCaring donation page for a PSW member, Shadowfax. Since then, we have been looking into ways to help get him additional medical services and to pay down his medical debts. After following those leads, we are ready to move ahead with the YouCaring site. (Link is posted below.) Any help you can give will be greatly appreciated; not only to help aid in his medical bill debt, but to also show what a great community this group is.
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