by Option Review - November 20th, 2012 2:10 pm
Today’s tickers: HPQ, KKD & ABX
HPQ - Hewlett-Packard Co. – Shares in HPQ fell to their lowest level in a decade on Tuesday after the company announced fourth-quarter results that missed analyst expectations for sales and included an $8.8 billion impairment charge related to its Autonomy business. Options on the PC maker are seeing heavy volume amid an ugly selloff in the price of the underlying, currently trading down 11% at $11.84 as of 12:35 p.m. ET. Nearly 250,000 call and put options have changed hands on the stock versus the average daily options volume of 47,726 contracts. Calls are slightly more active than puts, with the call-to-put ratio hovering around 1.1 in early-afternoon trading. Weekly calls, specifically the Nov. 23 ’12 $12 strike contracts, attracted particularly heavy trading traffic today. It looks like some strategists are betting the stock could rebound somewhat off its post-earnings report lows by the end of the week. Upwards of 23,000 of the $12 strike weekly calls traded in the first half of the session today against open interest of just 696 contracts. It appears most of these contracts were purchased for an average premium of $0.10 apiece, and may mean some options market participants are placing cheap near-term bullish bets on the computer maker. Traders long the weekly contracts make money as long as shares in HPQ increase 2.2% over the current price of $11.84 to settle above the average breakeven price of $12.10 at expiration.
KKD - Krispy Kreme Doughnuts, Inc. – It’s a sweet day for investors in Krispy Kreme Doughnuts, Inc., with shares in the name soaring 22.5% on the back of better-than-expected third-quarter earnings to the highest level in more than a year. Shares in the doughnut maker are off earlier highs, but continue to trade up approximately 20% on the session at $9.04 as of 11:50 a.m. ET. Buyers of bullish options on Krispy Kreme yesterday prior to the earnings report are enjoying sizable overnight…
by Option Review - November 1st, 2012 1:53 pm
Today’s tickers: RIMM, VRTX & ABX
RIMM - Research In Motion Ltd. – Upside call buying in Blackberry maker, Research In Motion, could result in quick overnight profits for some traders as long as shares in the name extend gains through the end of the trading week. Shares in RIMM are up 9% this morning to stand at $8.65 as of 11:55 a.m. in New York, adding to Wednesday’s more than 4.5% gain in the stock, sparked by reports that wireless carriers have started lab-testing the company’s Blackberry 10 phones. Options traders who purchased weekly calls on Research In Motion yesterday have in some cases seen the value of bullish positions rise markedly since the prior session. For example, buyers of around 1,600 Nov. 02 ’12 $8.5 strike calls on Wednesday for roughly $0.01 per contract now find these options changing hands at $0.18 apiece. Traders appear to be bulking up on the $8.5 strike weekly calls, purchasing another 2,300 contracts in morning trading on Thursday. Bulls also snapped up 2,300 calls at the higher Nov. 02 ’12 $9.0 strike for an average premium of $0.02 each. Continued gains in shares of the wireless company ahead of the weekend may result in substantial gains on positions established today. Not all trading traffic in weekly options with one full trading session remaining to expiration is bullish. Buyers of around 2,400 puts at the Nov. 02 ’12 $8.5 strike for an average premium of $0.13 apiece, and some 4,000 of the Nov. 02 ’12 $8.0 strike put options at $0.05 each, may profit at expiration if RIMM’s shares return some of the week’s gains tomorrow.
VRTX - Vertex Pharmaceuticals, Inc. – Shares in drug maker, Vertex Pharmaceuticals, Inc., are soaring today, up better than 7% at $51.72 in early-afternoon trade, on news the biotechnology company agreed to test one of its experimental hepatitis C drugs with therapies from Johnson & Johnson and GlaxoSmithKline. Cambridge, Mass.-based Vertex is…
by phil - August 7th, 2012 8:30 am
GRANDPA JOE: But this roof is made of glass. It’ll shatter into a thousand pieces. We’ll be cut to ribbons!
WILLY WONKA: Probably.
Is today going to be the day? After pressing against our breakout levels on and off since failing them in May, today do we should finally have the gas to get over the top or will our Must Hold levels keep acting like a solid barrier? Our goals on the Big Chart have been Dow 13,200, S&P 1,400, Nas 3,000, NYSE 8,000 and Russell 800 and we came right up against them yesterday but failed to punch through.
It is certainly no surprise, in this BS manipulated market, that the levels they failed to take out yesterday in regular trading are all being crossed in ultra-light pre-market trading because, as we know, investors are complete idiots who use squiggly lines on a chart to make all of their major financial decisions. Essentially, when you follow TA – you are saying to hedge fund managers – "If you can get your stock to cross this line, I will buy it." That's very much like me saying to my youngest daughter that if she can get her older sister to say "quit it," I will give her $20. Once she decides I'm serious – I'd be hearing "quit it" all day long.
We were, at the time, at the top of a very bogus-looking, low-volume rally (again) that had taken us up 7.5% from 12,100 in early June to 13,187 at yesterday's high. The S&P has been our leader but the Russell keeps flashing warning signs as it failed to hold it's -2.5% line (780) at the beginning of the month and looking very similar to the pre-disaster pattern we had in April, ahead of the May collapse – which we also tried to warn you about while it was on the way up on QE rumors (see "Federally Fueled Thursday – QE Maybe?" or "Thank GDP it's Friday – Reality Check?". Despite being dead right to call a top at the time – it took the market another week to drop but we fell off a cliff on Friday, May 4th and we were down 1,000 points by the 18th so better a week early than a week late with these calls.
Willy Wonka understood stock market physics, there…
by phil - June 6th, 2012 8:23 am
Wheeee – isn't this a fun ride?
I warned the bears on Friday that the drop was a bear trap and we told you Monday was "Time to Buy" as CNBC chased the last of the sheeple out of their bullish positions so all their fund buddies (and us) could scoop up shares at super-low prices. Yesterday we targeted 1,284 on the S&P and we were off by a point as it rose to 1,285 at the end of the day – can't win them all, I guess…
In Friday's post I mentioned that the ABX 2014 $30/45 bull call spread at $6.60, selling the 2014 $30 puts for $3.40 for net $3.20 that we had picked up on 5/3 was only at $3.40 and still made a nice entry – ABX has been having a lovely week and popped from $39 to $42 and the spread is now $4.70 – up a lovely 38% in three days but should be well on the way to $45 today and the max gain on that spread is cashing the spread at the full $15 and a $11.80 profit for a 368% gain on cash so being up 38% in 3 days is what we call at PSW being "on track."
The other two trade ideas I singled out as still liking from Friday's post were both CHK plays and the 3 CHK 2014 $25/35 bull call spreads, selling a single 2014 $18 put netted out at a $1.20 credit on Friday morning but did even better as an entry on Friday as CHK fell all the way back to $15.60. Yesterday they were back to $17 (on the way to $18, I imagine) and the spread is already netting another $1.95 for a very quick 262% gain on cash, which is why we love those!
I called for a short on TLT in the $130s and they topped out right at $130.36 at Friday's close, tested it again on Monday and fell back to $127.60 yesterday while our long point on XLF was $13.50 and, so far, not much excitement there. Those were just the trade ideas from the morning post, of course – our real fun came in Member Chat where our aggressive bullish trade ideas during the panic Friday and Monday were:
- TQQQ July $43/47 bull call spread at $2, selling BA
by phil - June 1st, 2012 8:26 am
Oh you people are such suckers!
You panic out of positions at rock bottom prices and you'll sit there like a deer in the headlights when we bounce back until we're already too high again and then you'll chase the top – only becoming fully invested after we've already exited. Don't blame me – I try to warn you, but no one listens to me.
This morning the markets are in full panic more and that's fine with us as not only are we still "Cashy and Cautious" but what did we tell you Wednesday morning? "TZA July $19/25 bull call spread at $1.50, selling $18 puts for $1.05 for net .45" along with EDZ at $17.23 and SQQQ at $51.80. SQQQ is at $53.79 (up 3.8%) and EDZ is $17.90 (up 3.9% and the TZA hedge is already at net .80, which is up 77% in just two days (so far) – now that's a hedge! When you have your hedges in place, THEN you can bottom fish with impunity and boy is the fishing good out there!
Today we get our Non-Farm Payroll numbers and there's a rumor out there that it's a big miss at 120,000 or lower. CNBC has been pretty much reporting it as a fact all morning and Europe is freaking out for that and many other reasons so I had occasion to look back at last month's NFP report, where we predicted it would be a miss with the the title: "The Blow Jobs Deal to the Market Could be Huge." That was 10% ago on our indexes are back to testing last week's lows, where we began to get bullish with our Twice in a Lifetime List of stocks that are back at their 2009 panic lows which we still like enough to sell puts in (giving us an additional 15-20% discount on initial entry).
That post capped off a week of bearish picks as we followed through with our plan to cash out into the April rally – it's those bearish profits we're now GAMBLING with as we bottom fish but, as noted above – we're hedging our bullish bets because there's no limit to how badly investors can freak out in the stock market – CASH remains KING!
by phil - April 19th, 2012 8:28 am
We are just loving these crazy-assed market moves. Every morning we have a pump job to short into and every afternoon there is a BS stick-save to re-establish our shorts. It's merely a matter of time before those floors begin to crack. I mean, really – how much of this abuse can they take?
Notice, in Dave Fry's SPY chart, the high-volume selling followed by low-volume pumping – that's the very unhealthy pattern the "rally" was built on, which means there really aren't any buyers waiting to scoop up shares when they dip – just Trade Bots that tease the indexes higher so the IBanks can keep pulling in the bag-holders as the "smart money" stampedes for the exits.
Yesterday was great fun. As I noted in the morning post, we went short on the Oil Futures (/CL) at $104.50 in our morning Member Chat and even in the morning post there was still time to catch it at $104. Oil sold off all the way to $102.60 at 2:10 and my 2:14 comment to Members nailed the turn as I said:
Oil coming right to our goal at $102.50 ($38.50 USO) so let's not be greedy and look to take $1.20 off the table on those 1/2 USO positions in the $25KP and $5KP as it's better to get out while the gettin's good.
That's what we mean when we talk about taking non-greedy exits (I had set $38.50 as my USO target for our exit at 11:08 but it didn't look like we'd get it so we got out). We caught the bottom and got out clean and this morning we got a chance to re-load our shorts at $103.50 on that predictable morning pump. Sure, you can say the markets aren't fixed and maybe we just have amazingly good timing – either way we make the same money!
We did manage to find a few things we liked, one of which was CHK, as the stock plunged to $17.20 on much ado about not too much as people took issue with the CEO borrowing money to invest in their wells. We didn't think it was such a big deal and our trade idea at at 10:23 in Member Chat gave us a good opportunity to buy right into the day's low at…
by phil - February 20th, 2012 6:37 am
Why do we scream at each other
This is what it sounds like
When doves cry – Prince
It's no coincidence that this week we will be hearing from Fed Governors Kocherllakota (1pm Tues), Hoenig (12:30 Weds), Plosser (1:30 Weds), and Bullard (9:15 Thurs) ahead of our 2-Year Note Auction (1pm Tues), 5-Year Note Auction (1pm Weds) and 7-Year Note Auction (1pm Thursday) as the Fed needs to bring out 4 of it's 5 most hawkish members to talk up the Dollar (by talking down QE3) to keep those rates paid as low as possible for Treasury.
Once the Hawks drive the rates down and the notes are sold, the Doves will once again be released to talk them back up by extolling the glories of QE3 – completely reversing whatever was said before just as the Hawks will once again be called upon to reverse what the Doves say at a later date – when they need rates to come back down. The joke of it all is that traders will react to each statement, every time, as if it's a "game changer" and adjust their positions to reflect the new reality of the moment. It reminds me of a quote from Orwell's 1984:
As soon as all the corrections which happened to be necessary in any particular number of The Times had been assembled and collated, that number would be reprinted, the original copy destroyed, and the corrected copy placed on the files in its stead. This process of continuous alteration was applied not only to newspapers, but to books, periodicals, pamphlets, posters, leaflets, films, sound-tracks, cartoons, photographs – to every kind of literature or documentation which might conceivably hold any political or ideological significance.
Day by day and almost minute by minute the past was brought up to date. In this way every prediction made by the Party could be shown by documentary evidence to have been correct, nor was any item of news, or any expression of opinion, which conflicted with the needs of the moment, ever allowed to remain on record. All history was a palimpsest, scraped clean and reinscribed exactly as often as was necessary. In no case would it have been possible, once the deed was done, to prove that any falsification had taken place.
by phil - February 15th, 2012 8:27 am
You can't fight the Fed.
Whether this market is like 1929 or 1999 either way the bulls had a good run until it burst into flames – much as the people on the Hindenberg had a lovely trip across the Atlantic with a bit of a rough landing in New Jersey.
So let's not spoil the party by worrying about the Future (or even the present for that matter) – let's just look at all the lovely things we can buy and make 500% this year if the S&P breaks 1,360 and heads higher on a sea of freshly printed Dollars, Yen, Euros, Francs, Pounds and, possibly even Drachmas (but ixnay on the Uanyay – no one wants to talk about that!).
Gold has got to be a good inflationary bet and ABX has lots of it. Currently trading at $47.61, you can sell the Jan $40 puts for $3.05 and that obligates you to buy the stock at $40 and you can leverage that $3.05 by buying the Jan $43/52.50 bull call spread for $4.40 for a net cash outlay of $1.35 on the $9.50 spread. That's a potential for 603% upside at $52.50 but, even if they flatline at $47.50, it's still a $4.50 win on the spread and the short puts would expire worthless for a $3.15 profit and that means you are starting out 233% ahead and all ABX has to do is not blow it.
Now, I'm going to do this one time to make it clear on margin. If you DON'T have a Portfolio Margin account, TOS says the margin on the above trade (for selling the Jan $40 puts) is $390 per contract. 3 ounces of gold are $5,190. If you run this spread with 10 contracts, you'll have $1,350 cash out of pocket and $3,900 in margin so close enough to 3 ounces of gold but these 10 contracts make $3,150 if ABX is at the same price at the end of the year and $8,150 if ABX is higher.
Of course we're assuming ABX is well-correlated to gold (and it is the World's largest gold miner so not too much of a stretch there) but clearly you are more likely to make $3,150 on this ABX spread than you are to see your $5,190, 3-ounce gold purchase gain $3,150 (60% – gold $2,768)…
by phil - October 27th, 2011 8:24 am
You ask, What is our aim? I can answer with one word: Victory—victory at all costs, victory in spite of all terror, victory however long and hard the road may be; for without victory there is no survival. – Winston Churchill
I do HAVE to say "I told you so!"
When I was interviewed on Monday and they asked why I’m bullish, I replied that "stimulus trumps everything" and that’s what we’ve been playing for, especially in our new White Christmas Portfolio, which will be off to a rockin’ start with the aggressive upside trades that I not only mentioned in yesterday’s post - which made easy fills yesterday morning, as the markets shook out the last of the weak hands on yet another rumor-driven dip.
We got our daily double on the AGQ calls, as expected and SSO fell all the way to $44.20 (150% profit on that trade if they finish Friday above $45) while FAS dropped $13.35 and that spread will be good for a 2,100% gain if FAS can get back to and hold $14 – which should be a snap thanks to our friends at the EU.
In the morning Alert to Members, I put up this cute little Gif to illustrate the day’s action and it was a real roller-coaster day but we stayed generally bullish, taking quick profits off our morning bear plays on DIA and USO. We added a bullish trade ideas for AMZN (complex spread), TNA (short Nov $40 puts at $3.60) but that was it for the day because my comment to Members at 11:01 was: "Dollar rejected at 76.80 – still hope for the bulls!"
Well, those bulls were us and we already had our bets in place from last week, when things were cheaper so there was nothing to do but watch as the markets took off like a rocket from that point forward. Heck, we were so bullish we even sold NFLX puts (Nov $67.50 puts for $3) as a bullish offset to a DXD hedge (which we’ll pull the bottom of today). On Monday we had picked up bullish trades on AAPL and GLW and I mentioned EWG in Friday’s post (those should be looking good this morning!) as well as our plays to go long in the Russell Futures at…
by phil - September 26th, 2011 8:27 am
Up, up and away!
As I mentioned in Friday’s morning’s post, we did a lot of bottom-fishing on Thursday as we began to develop Disaster fatigue with long plays on XLF at $11.50, shorting TLT at $123, shorting VXX at $49.50, TNA at $34.50, BRK.B at $65, AA at $10.20, VLO at $19, IMAX at $15.75, BA at $58.32, AGQ at $170, CHK at $27.50, DIS at $30.14 and ABX at $47.50. They were hedged, of course and, for the most part, you still had a nice chance to make those entries on Friday – but not so much this morning as the futures are up about 1.5% already (7:30).
Friday morning, in my Alert to Members, I reminded them that BCS looked like an excellent VALUE to me, no matter what the PRICE was ($8.75 after hitting $8.40 the day before) and this morning, that PRICE is up well over 10% in EU trading. Did the VALUE of BCS change materially over the weekend? Of course not, certainly not by the $4Bn their market cap gained – like the song, the VALUE remains the same – only the highly variable price of a share of BCS is undergoing ch-ch-changes…
I pointed out similar hedged, long-term plays could be made on GS ($94), MS ($13), BAC ($6) and C ($24). Of course we hedged them per our discussion in the morning post (TZA was our morning choice but we’re out over 650 on the RUT) but then we went long on EWG (Germany) again with the very aggressive Oct $16,18 bull call spread at $1.30, offset by the sale of the $17 puts for .90 for net .40 on the $2 spread. 10 of those in our virtual $25,000 Portfolio cost $400 and can return $2,000 in less than 30 days if EWG is over $18 and, guess what – they’re over $18 this morning!
Another bullish bet we placed was USO Nov $28/30 bull call spread at $1.30, selling the $27 puts for $1.10 for net .20 on the $2 spread with a 900% upside if USO simply doesn’t drop from where it is now. That’s what’s nice about options – you don’t need the market to go up to make money good money. On this trade idea, your worst-case scenario is owning USO at net $27.20, about 10% lower than it…