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…
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% of that virtual portfolio MAX. 2% of 25% is 0.5% of the total virtual portfolio. If our Buy/Write Virtual…
Interesting article by Joshua Brown on investors performing worse than the funds they trade in and out of. It's the same principle at play that Paul Price describes in his article: March Madness and Your Trading Decisions.
As the following chart of the day from Bloomberg shows, as of this week, hedge funds have made "the biggest bet ever" against gold by taking Comex gold shorts to all time highs.
To their reflexive benefit, we will admit, they have managed to push the price of gold lower, not much... but it is lower (whether with the BIS' assistance or not is irrelevant). It is a different question if the price of gold is low enough to reflect such a record bearishness. But the biggest question is what happens if there is a catalyst to launch a covering rall...
SKS - Saks, Inc. – Timely bullish bets initiated in Saks options just seconds prior to the closing bell on Tuesday are generating sizable gains for at least one trader today, with shares in the high-end retailer up at the highest level since 2008. The stock closed Tuesday up 11% on the day at $13.67 after the company reported first-quarter revenue above average analyst expectations. Within minutes of the close shares in SKS moved sharply to the upside after the New York Post, citing a source familiar with the matter, reported...
With yesterday's dovish duo Bullard and Dudley to set expectations, the S&P 500 rallied in anticipation of Chairman Bernanke's congressional testimony and soared to its all-time intraday high, up 1.07% during his prepared remarks. But the Q&A deflated the balloon, and the 2 PM release of the latest Fed Minutes accelerated the decline. It seems that the possibility of tapering QE in the near term is not entirely off the table. The index hit its -1.23% intraday low about 30 minutes before the final bell. It then trimmed its loss to close down 0.83%. The 10-year yield jumped 9 bps to close at 2.03%, just off the 2013 interim high of 2.07% on March 11th and 37 bps off its 2013 low set 14 sessions back.
Here is a 15-minute look at the week so far.
Not surprisingly the volume on today's 2.32% high-low intraday range was 24% above its 50-day movi...
Doing a lot of data mining as we watch this market go parabolic.
The S&P 500 is 13.4% over the 200 day moving average. 10%+ is considered overbought, and 12% is very rare.
The current Relative Strength Index (RSI) on the S&P 500 is 75. Over 70 is generally overbought (below 30 oversold). To put in perspective in 1999 the S&P touched 70ish a few times but never hit 75. The NASDAQ in 1999 – early 2000 hit mid 70s a few days in July 99 and Mar 00. Then in the parabolic move in November and December 1999 (NASDAQ gained over 1000 pts!) it sat between 70 and mid 80s for most of two months; of course t...
So, what did the market want today? Nothing it appears. It traded on weak volume and had very little movement. This morning the market hated commodities especially silver, but by days end, the market liked silver, gold and even oil but not the dollar. Why?
Last week the economic reports were tough, with bad misses on more than one occasion. But the market tended to ignore the bad news, probably because money continues to pour into equities from money market funds, long term fixed income, and many struggling foreign economies. On Thursday, investors finally caved to even more bad news from Initial Jobless Claims and weak Housing Starts. Then on Friday, when Michigan Sentiment and Leading Indicators posted large positive surprises, the money came pouring back to generate qui...
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.
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Reminder: Craigzooka is available to chat with Members regarding his virtual portfolio performance, comments are found below each post.
I am going to share with you how I manage my IRA and the power of reducing your cost basis. My goal each year is a 20% return in my IRA. Sometimes I make it and sometimes I don't, but I believe that all of my success is due to reducing my cost basis. To illustrate the power of reducing your cost basis here are some trades we did last year. These trades are taken from an educational portfolio we ran in a paper-trading account for a little more than a year.
We bought RIG on 5/15/2012 for $44.13, sold it on 1/18/2013 for $46 but booked a profit of $1,154.
We bought MT on 1/4/2012 for $19.24, sold it on 12/21/2012 for $15 but booked a profit of $454.
We bought CHK on 1/27/2012 for $21.93, sold it on 10/19/2012 for $18 b...
Stock market posts another record setting week, but the big news came after Friday’s close.
Courtesy of NASA
The stock market put on another record setting show with the Dow Jones Industrial Average (NYSEARCA:DIA) closing at a record high 15,118 and the S&P 500 (NYSEARCA:SPY) closing at 1633.70, another all time closing high.
For the week, the Dow Jones Industrial Average (NYSEARCA:DIA) gained 1%, the S&P 500 (NYSEARCA:SPY) climbed 1.2%, the Nasdaq Composite (NYSEARCA:...
Reminder: Pharmboy is available to chat with Members, comments are found below each post.
Well, well, well....it is good to know that there are others in the scientific arena who believed that YMI Bioscience's data (cough - Gilead) is a better drug than Incyte's Jakafi. Now, the definitive data are still unknown, but there was enough evidence from a Phase 2 trial to take a small risk for a huge reward. So, let's forget about Apple (AAPL), and do nothing but biotechs from now until Congress passes universal health care coverage for prescriptions....and drive the prices down so that research and development is no longer feasible to conduct in the US. Even Seattle Genetics (SGEN) has been on a tear as of late...
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