Posts Tagged ‘AGNC’

Limited Brands Calls Look For Near-Term Rally


Today’s tickers: LTD, AGNC & LYB

LTD - Limited Brands, Inc. – Options on the operator of retail brands Victoria’s Secret, Bath & Body Works and others, are more active than usual today, with volume topping 8,500 contracts as of 1:40 p.m. ET, versus the stock’s average daily options volume of 1,058 contracts. The bulk of the action is in the October expiry options, where it appears one strategist purchased roughly 6,000 calls at the Oct. $49 strike for an average premium of $0.35 apiece. Upside call buying may pay off for the trader at expiration later this week if shares in LTD rally 1.7% over the current price of $48.54 to top the average breakeven price of $49.35. Limited Brands holds its 2012 Investor Day starting at 8:30 a.m. on Wednesday morning. The stock traded up to an all-time high of $52.20 in September.

AGNC - American Capital Agency Corp. – Shares in mortgage REIT, American Capital Agency Corp., fell as much as 9% this morning to an intraday low of $29.63, extending recent declines following the Fed’s decision last month to expand its mortgage bond-buying program. The stock, currently off its lows and down 2.4% on the day at $31.91 as of 1:05 p.m. ET, has dropped 13% in the past four weeks. A sizable bullish options trade initiated on AGNC this morning suggests one strategist is prepared to benefit from a rebound in the price of the underlying. The options player appears to have purchased 2,120 calls at the Nov. $31 strike for a premium of $1.27 apiece, and sold 4,240 calls at the Nov. $34 strike at a premium of $0.20 each. Net premium paid to establish the spread amounts to $1.07 per contract, with profits available on the upside in the event that AGNC shares reverse course and top the breakeven price of $32.07 by November expiration. Maximum potential profits of $1.93 per contract are available on the position should…
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Income Virtual Portfolio – Cashing it in for an Early Retirement!

What a crazy couple of weeks.

Ka-ching is the word though as we did NOTHING – as planned back on the 18th, in our last update - as we expected the market to go down then up.  On Friday, we took our short puts off the table as we expect there is a better than average possibility that we go back down again between now and expirations (15th), so we took our short-term winners off the table.  The only move we did execute in the past two weeks, other than taking our virtual money and running, was the sale of 10 FCX July $47 puts for $1.21 ($1,120) on the 24th and those cashed out yesterday at .13, up $1,080 two weeks early so of course we take it off the table!  

Our other short July puts that were cashed out were:  

  • 20 short GLW Aug $20 calls at $1.30, out at .20 – up $2,200
  • 20 XLF July $15 puts sold for .50, out at .06 – up $880
  • 10 INTC July $22 puts sold for $1.05, out at .15 – up $900
  • 5 BA July $75 puts sold for $2.50, out at $1.40 – up $450
  • 5 DE July $77.50 puts sold for net .67, out at

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Income Virtual Portfolio – June Update – Wayyyyy Ahead! (Members Only)

Well, this is embarrassing…  

When we set up this virtual portfolio on April 9th, the idea was to create a virtual portfolio for people like my Mom, who just became a widow, and so many of her friends, who need a relatively safe place to invest their money but would rather not live off the 6% returns generated by the typical retirement fund.  Our primary goals in the virtual portfolio is A) Don't Lose Money, which is Warren Buffett's Rule #1 of investing and B) To generate a relatively steady monthly income of $4,000 against our $500,000 virtual portfolio (about 10% a year).  

Despite the fact that we have allocated less than 40% of our cash, we have accidentally made WAY too much money already and this is NOT the lesson we are trying to teach!  What happened is, this past couple of weeks, we had a really nice dip in the markets and our disaster hedges kicked in – as they are supposed to – but our other positions were already well-hedged and well positioned enough that they haven't really lost anything so we ended up far, far ahead of the curve.  While that's a good thing, obviously, the danger here is getting the wrong idea.  We got lucky – and one day we may get unlucky – so let's keep ourselves grounded and people who are just catching up need to keep in mind that this is not meant to be a get-rich quick virtual portfolio.  

If we made too much money on a dip – it's because we were OVER-hedged and that's something we will attempt NOT to do in the future.  To some extent, it's a discipline problem for me because I essentially BET that the market would go down and then I BET the market would go back up with our DIA adjustments (as well as overriding our original plan to stop out our new short puts with 30% losses).  There was a logic to it because we were only about 25% invested so we had plenty of cash to layer in bullish plays if the market did go up and they we would have rolled our protective shorts (which would have been losing) up to cover.  Instead, the shorts paid off and we didn't have enough…
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Buy List – Time for a Fresh Batch? (Members Only)

I am one reluctant bull!

I am still trying to be bullish, I am trying to get enthusiastic about this rally and it's been 3 weeks since I went to mainly cash rather than leave the majority of our Buy List on the table.  The Dow was at 10,850 that day and I didn't think we'd see the top of 11,000 for more than a day but now we've been up here for 2 weeks and yesterday we had strong(ish) volume on a strong up day and I'm still having trouble believing it BUT – believe it we must as long as our upside levels hold.  

Those levels are now: Dow 11,000, S&P 1,200, Nas 2,500, NYSE 7,700 and Russell 720.

We had a nice, relaxing holiday but now we have hard work ahead as I think the investing environment is littered with land mines – ready to blow up in our face if we take any mis-steps.  This bull has horns and we were gored by daring to go bearish in our $100K Virtual Portfolio but our Buy List is all bull and, hopefully, no crap as we try to make safe plays out of the finest companies.  

Ideally, our Buy List plays are about finding bargains.  We may love AAPL, but they are not on sale.  Earning season will hopefully be a great time to do some bargain hunting so this list will be a work in progress but for today we're just going to review our remaining open plays from the last list and also I would like Members to please use the comment section on this post to suggest companies we should be looking at.  Who do you think is trading way too cheaply?  We especially love dividend payers, of course and I'll be looking for companies that service the top 10%, not the bottom 90% – who still look pretty screwed to me and, from yesterday's news, it seems like the top 10% is down to the top 8% but it doesn't seem to bother the markets so we won't dwell on the implications until we're below 5% and, of course, our goal is to be in the top 5% when it all hits the fan…

After having really good timing on our Feb 8th entries, March 18th seemed like a good time to take the money and run and we shut down 2/3 of our Buy List postions.  Let's do a
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Weekend Trend Spotting and Virtual Portfolio Management

What a wild last 30 day's we've had! 

I'm going to do a little bit of charting today so we don't miss out on the next potential Meatball Market (where bad news "just doesn't matter") as we get past earnings season without any serious dings.  Of course, like Icarus, they higher we go, the further we have to fall, especially when we're getting there on wax wings but part of our fundamental outlook is looking at market sentiment along with the motives, means and opportunity of the manipulators

The Fed threw a little monkey-wrench into the works Thursday with a surprise rate move but the market was amazingly unphased and, as you'll notice on the chart below, we are neatly repeating the same move we saw in early November, when we waited 400 points for the correction that never came – until January 20th of course!  This week, we took a few pokes at short plays and got burned and we went into the weekend a little bearish but mostly neutral.  Our Buy List is off to the races, of course and only 2 of our 42 trade ideas there (AGNC and DF) are off course – I had meant to do an update this week but there's no point! 

We don't pay much attention to the Buy List in our daily posts or even in chat because those trades do their job with very little fuss.  Ideally, the bulk of your virtual portfolio should be made up of boring, low-touch trades that make nice, consistent returns and THAT allows us to have fun with our more aggressive short-term plays that do demand our regular attention.  Someone asked me about allocation the other day and I said that, generally, I feel 75% should be in long-term, well-hedged positions like the ones on our Buy List while the other 25% should be used for more opportunistic trading and, generally, we rarely stray from keeping 1/2 of that in cash to remain flexible. 

Of our aggressive virtual portfolio, we try to keep our allocations to no more than 10% of our cash on new positions (which means the more trades you make, the less you put into the next trade) and limit our losses to 20% of a full position or 2%
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The Buy List – Q1 2010 (Members Only)


Well we finally hit our levels!

Fundamentally, I still don't buy this rally but, technically, we could go up and up from here.  We discussed in chat yesterday how we may be in a pattern similar to 2003-7 where we came out of the dot com crash and 9/11, which took the market lower than it should have and then government stimulus took us higher than we should have been.  Sure it all ended badly but there was a really good ride up in between.  HOWERVER, 2004, which is about where we would be now, was a choppy and downtrending year.  That is not a problem for our buy/write strategy as long as we keep our heads and scale into our positions.

Obviously we can't rely on patterns to simply keep repeating themselves.  We could have another terrorist attack, we could have more stimulus or maybe both in our future but, until we see the patten broken, we can play for a similar move.  Our buy/write strategy is ideal for this as it's a conservative play that gives us 15-20% downside protection.  Combine this with our usual strategy to scale into positons along with some sensible disaster hedges and we can build a nice, bullish virtual portfolio for 2010.  Keep in mind we don't fear the upside with buy/writes as our "worst case" there is we get called away with a nice profit.  

I put up our latest Watch List on Dec 22nd, following through from our bullish lists of September 6thOctober 8th and Nov 24th.  These are the bullish plays that form the bulk of our virtual portfolios and that sometimes gets lost in our weekly short-term trading.  It was a lot like shooting fish in a barrel, picking winners since September (we had our last Buy List on July 11th our first since the bottom in March, which was followed by the more conservatively mixed $100K Virtual Portfolio that we used from April through July, when we were worried the market would be choppy (it was).  As always, our active lists are found under the Virtual Portfolio Tab near the top of our pages - always check there for recent updates.

We did…
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Phil's Favorites

Thanksgiving amid the Threats


Thoughts from the Frontline: Thanksgiving amid the Threats

Courtesy of John Mauldin

“Nobody in Europe will be abandoned. Nobody in Europe will be excluded. Europe only succeeds if we work together.”
– Angela Merkel, December 15, 2010

“Within our mandate, the ECB is ready to do whatever it takes to preserve the euro. Believe me, it will be enough.”
– Mario Draghi, July 25, 2012

“We have to safeguard the spirit behind Schengen,” Mr Juncker told the European Parliament on Wednesday. “Yes, the Schengen system is partly comatose. But . . . a single currency does not exist if Schengen fails. It is one of the pillars of the construction of Europe.”

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Market News

News You Can Use From Phil's Stock World


Financial Markets and Economy

IMF Approves Reserve-Currency Status for China's Yuan (Bloomberg)

The IMF will add the yuan to its basket of reserve currencies, an international stamp of approval of the progress China has made integrating into a global economic system dominated for decades by the U.S., Europe and Japan.

The most creative thing central banks have done since the financial crisis has had 'unspectacular' results (Bloomberg)

The most creative thing done by central banks since the financial crisis is taking benchmark ...

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Zero Hedge

Seeking A Savior

Courtesy of ZeroHedge. View original post here.

Submitted by Tyler Durden.

Submitted by Jeff Thomas via,

It’s an unfortunate truth that, when people are worried about the future, they often put their faith in politicians to somehow make everything better.

Politicians, of course, are famous for promising panaceas for whatever is troubling voters, and they even invent new troubles to worry about, presenting themselves as the only ones who can solve these woes.

Not surprising then, that, over time, any nation may slowly deteriorate into a population of nebbishes who turn to their government to do their thinking for them and take responsibility for their futures.


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Chart School

Semiconductor Index Breaks 200-day MA

Courtesy of Declan.

Today offered a heavier than expected volume day post-holiday. The majority of this action was to the downside, but the Semiconductor Index bucked the trend.  The latter index was able to push above its 200-day MA as it posted a relative advantage against the Nasdaq 100. While the Nasdaq and Nasdaq 100 suffered losses today, both will be helped by strength in the Semiconductor Index.  All technicals for the Semiconductor Index are in the green, with a return of the MACD to a 'buy' trigger (above the bullish zero line - a bullish development).

The Nasdaq suffered a minor loss. It wasn't able to challenge the recent high, but it's close enough ...

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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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Kimble Charting Solutions

Crude Oil Market As Oversold As 1999 Lows

Courtesy of Chris Kimble.

Crude Oil is quite simply the most important commodity on the planet. But volatility with Crude Oil prices emerges every time there is conflict in oil producing nations or an economic slowdown.

And this has led to some pretty big swings in Crude Oil prices over the past several years.

But the latest swing lower is nearing a moment of truth. In fact, this decline may be the most important swing lower of the 2000’s.

Why?  Because oil prices are currently testing a key price support level comprised of the 2004 breakout level (above the 1990 highs) and the 2009 price lows – see red circles and line. In fact, this price support area also marks the 23.6 Fibonacci support level (from the 1999 lows to 2008 highs).  AND crude oil is as oversold as it was back at the 1999 price lows!

But that’s no...

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Swing trading portfolio - week of November 30th, 2015

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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Insider Scoop

An Inexpensive Small-Cap ETF For December Gains

Courtesy of Benzinga.

Related IJR Of Rate Hikes And Small-Cap ETFs Active Management Mediocrity Continues There's still time to go small (Seeking Alpha)

Tuesday marks the start of December, and with the arrival of the last month of the year imminent, there... more from Insider

Digital Currencies

The Bitcoin Universe Explained

Courtesy of ZeroHedge. View original post here.

As evidenced by the Greek, Chinese, and now Argentine 'jumps', the world remains increasingly aware of the inevitable worth of fiat currencies and fears the desperate acts of governments as the react to that reality (and is looking for alternatives).

This infographic explains the wide ranges of the Bitcoin universe, accompanied with quotes from some of its best-known business leaders.

Courtesy of: Visual Capitalist ...

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Sector Detector: Bulls wrest back control of market direction, despite global adversity

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

Courtesy of Sabrient Systems and Gradient Analytics

Some weeks when I write this article there is little new to talk about from the prior week. It’s always the Fed, global QE, China growth, election chatter, oil prices, etc. And then there are times like this in which there is so much happening that I don’t know where to start. Of course, the biggest market-moving news came the weekend before last when Paris was put face-to-face with the depths of human depravity and savagery. And yet the stock market responded with its best week of the year. As a result, the key issues dominating the front page and election chatter have moved from the economy and jobs to national security and a real war (rather than police ...

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PSW is more than just stock talk!


We know you love coming here for our Stocks & Options education, strategy and trade ideas, and for Phil's daily commentary which you can't live without, but there's more! features the most important and most interesting news items from around the web, all day, every day!

News: If you missed it, you can probably find it in our Market News section. We sift through piles of news so you don't have to.   

If you are looking for non-mainstream, provocatively-narrated news and opinion pieces which promise to make you think -- we feature Zero Hedge, ...

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Whitney Tilson On LL, EXACT, And Martin Shkreli


Whitney Tilson On LL, EXACT, And Martin Shkreli

Courtesy of Value Walk

1) The shares of one of my largest short positions (~3%), Exact Sciences, crashed by more than 46% yesterday. Below is the article I published this morning on SeekingAlpha, explaining why I think it’s still a great short and thus shorted more yesterday. Here’s a summary:

  • The U.S. Preventative Services Task Force’s Colorectal Cancer Screening Draft Recommendation issued yesterday is devastating for Exact Sciences’ only product, Cologuard.
  • I think this is the beginning of the end for the company.
  • My price target for the stock a year from now is $3, so I shorted more yes...

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Baxter's Spinoff

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

Baxter Int. (BAX) is splitting off its BioSciences division into a new company called Baxalta. Shares of Baxalta will be given as a tax-free dividend, in the ratio of one to one, to BAX holders on record on June 17, 2015. That means, if you want to receive the Baxalta dividend, you need to buy the stock this week (on or before June 12).

The Baxalta Spinoff

By Ilene with Trevor of Lowenthal Capital Partners and Paul Price

In its recent filing with the SEC, Baxter provides:

“This information statement is being ...

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Mapping The Market

An update on oil proxies

Courtesy of Jean-Luc Saillard

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. 


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Help One Of Our Own PSW Members

"Hello PSW Members –

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 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.

Thank you for you time!

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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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