DAL - Delta Air Lines, Inc. – Options on the Atlanta, Georgia-based airline were among the most actively traded as measured by volume this morning after a large block of bearish puts changed hands in the first hour of the trading session. Shares in Delta Air Lines are sliding on a down day for the broader market, trading 4.0% lower at $9.15 as of 12:10 p.m. ET. Volume in Delta options was heaviest at the Dec. $8.0 strike, where upwards of 11,500 puts traded against previously existing open interest of 3,299 contracts. It looks like 9,110 of the $8.0 strike puts traded in a block and appear to have been purchased along with the remainder of the overall volume at a premium of $0.48 per contract. The sizable stake in DAL puts may represent outright bearish positioning on the airline through the end of the calendar year, or could be a hedge to protect the value of an existing position in the underlying shares. Profits, or downside protection, kick in if shares in Delta plunge 18% from the current price of $9.15 to breach the effective breakeven point at $7.52 by December expiration. Shares in Delta Air Lines, Inc. last traded below $7.52 in November 2011.
GES - Guess?, Inc. – Bulls buying front-month calls on Wednesday afternoon ahead of Guess, Inc.’s second-quarter earnings report were crushed today after the retailer revealed declining same-store sales and lowered estimates for full-year earnings and revenue. Shares in Guess reacted to the disappointing report by dropping 20% to an intraday low of $26.73. The largest increase in September expiration call option open interest overnight was in the $36 strike contracts, which rose by 904 lots to 1,406 contracts. A review of time and sales from Wednesday afternoon shows the purchase of approximately 850 of the Sep. $35 calls for a premium of $0.95 apiece just after 12:20 p.m. ET. Less than 24…
DELL - Dell, Inc. – Speculation that Michael Dell, Chairman and CEO of Dell, Inc., may buy the computer company or pay a special dividend lifted shares of the world’s third-largest PC maker this afternoon and spurred demand for out-of-the-money call options. Dell’s shares rallied nearly 3.00% today to touch an intraday high of $14.14, but are currently up 1.50% at $13.94 as of 3:05 p.m. Options traders honed in on October $14 strike calls, exchanging more than 23,100 of those contracts by 3:00 p.m., versus previously existing open interest of 10,783 calls at that strike. It looks like roughly 11,800 of those call options were purchased at an average premium of $0.21 a-pop. Call buyers make money if Dell’s shares exceed the average breakeven price of $14.21 by October expiration on Friday. Other optimistic signaling on the stock involved the sale of some 2,100 in-the-money puts at the October $14 strike where investors received an average premium of $0.34 per contract. Options implied volatility is up 15.2% to stand at 41.52% with less than one hour remaining before the final bell.
AGU - Agrium, Inc. – Shares of Canada’s second-largest fertilizer producer rallied as much as 3.2% today to reign in an intraday high of $85.66 after corn futures jumped to a near two-year high. Agrium was upgraded to ‘sector outperformer’ from ‘sector performer’ at CIBC World Markets where analysts upped their target share price on the company to $100.00 from $70.00. One options trader was prepared for the bullish move in the Agrium’s shares and opted to book profits, as well as extend optimism on the stock in the November contract. It looks like the investor purchased 10,000 calls at the November $85 strike for an average premium…
A lot of mail we get from people interested in our service had the question: "Are option trades as easy to follow as stock trades?"
I think the quick answer to that is yes for straight options and no for spreads but like many things that are worth doing, they are worth learning. I’m going to start a new teaching series here so we can analyze some trades after the fact as practice may make perfect but it also pays to go over our winners as well as our mistakes as finding out where we went right is as important as finding out where we went wrong. Trading has, of late, become much less about the merits of the particular stock and more about the timing of your entries as good stocks and bad stocks can move up and down 5% on any given day.
One of the things we like to do is watch for overbought sectors to short. We had been taking pot-shots at POT all week as it was really running away with itself and on Thursday I discussed with members how the whole sector was getting overbought and, in Friday morning’s post I said: "I advocate more shorts into the open if they insist on this ridiculous pre-market pump (down just .25% at 9 am), especially in the over-hyped Agriculture industry, which could not be up for stupider reasons," which neatly summarized my outlook on the sector.
We got exactly the pump action we wanted in the morning and I sent out a 10:34 Alert to Members, sensing that we were topping out on the run in the indexes and I recommended the following plays:
Big disconnect with DBA and AGU, MOS and POT now. It’s a little crazy to do a day trade but the POT $115 puts have .20 in premium at $6.10 and you can sell the $110 puts for $2 if it turns against you. I like the June $90 puts on them for $1.95, looking for $1 and rolling up if it goes the other way at .85 per $5.
AGU July $40 puts are $1.05. MOS $50 puts are a fun day trade for .10 but you need to get 3/4 out at .15 and leave the 1/4 or 1/2 out at .20 and 1/2 out at .30 if you get that lucky but consider the .10
I think it was almost two years ago that I was in Cyprus. Cyprus had just come through its crisis and was still in shell shock. I was there to get a feel for what it was like, and a number of my readers had courteously arranged for me to meet with all sorts of people and do a few presentations. A local group arranged for me to speak at the lecture hall of the Central Bank of Cyprus in Nicosia.
There were about 50 people in the room. I was busily working on Code Red at the time and had money flows, quantitative easing, and currency wars at the front of my brain. As part of my presentation, I talked about how countries would seek to use currency devaluation in order to gain an advantage over other countries – that we were getting ready to enter an era of currency wars, which would be dis...
Last week two prominent Ukrainian opposition figures were gunned down in broad daylight. They join as many as ten others who have been killed or committed suicide under suspicious circumstances just this year. These individuals have one important thing in common: they were either part of or friendly with the Yanukovych government, which a US-backed coup overthrew last year. They include members of the Ukrainian parliament and former chief editors of major opposition new...
It was a good response from buyers to push markets higher through the day. However, the gains didn't really change the larger picture where markets remain range bound. In the case of the S&P, bulls really need a break of 2120 to bring confidence back to buyers. The S&P is also enjoying the start of a relative performance advantage against the Russell 2000. It's early days, but today was a good start. The Nasdaq closed the 'breakdown gap,' but it hasn't yet done enough to challenge the March 'bull trap.' The Nasdaq also enjoys a relative advantage against the S&P. This might be the index to lead out tomorrow. ...
Google has had a disappointing year when comparing it to the S&P 500 and other tech stocks. As you can see above, it has under performed the Nasdaq 100 index by nearly 19% and it has lagged the broad market by more than 10% in the past year.
Did Google create a double top over the past year, prior to this under performance? The jury is out on this question at this time.
This under performance by Google now has it testing a support line that dates back to its IPO price over a decade ago.
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As we get into the heart of earnings season and anticipate the GDP report for Q1, the investor spotlight has been taken off the Federal Reserve and timing of its first interest rate hike, at least temporarily. Even though Q1 economic growth will undoubtedly look weak, the future remains bright for the U.S economy – even though many multinationals will struggle with top-line growth due to the strong dollar – and any near-term selloff resulting from weak economic or earnings news should be bought yet again in expectation of better results for the balance of the year. High sector correlations remain a concern, reflectin...
As noted earlier, with equities now a barren wasteland of volume (and liquidity), the last remaining HFT master (of whale order frontrunning)has been forced to go to those asset classes where organic flow is still abundant such as FX, courtesy of central banks engaged in global currency wars. However, HFTs rea...
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...
In my last post (Part 1 of this article), I looked at alternative ETFs that could be used as hedges against the corrections that we have seen during that long 2 year bull run. Looking at the results, it seems that for short (less than a month) corrections, a VIX ETF like VXX could actually be a viable candidate to hedge or speculate on the way down. Another alternative ETF was TMF, a long Treasuries ETF which banks on the fact that when markets go down, money tends to pack into treasuries viewed as safe instruments. In some cases, TMF even outperformed the usual hedging instruments like leveraged ETFs. There could of course be other factors at play since some of 2014 corrections were related to geopolitical events which are certain...
Reminder: Pharmboy is available to chat with Members, comments are found below each post.
PSW Members - well, what a year for biotechs! The Biotech Index (IBB) is up a whopping 40%, beating the S&P hands down! The healthcare sector has had a number of high flying IPOs, and beat the Tech Sector in total nubmer of IPOs in the past 12 months. What could go wrong?
Phil has given his Secret Santa Inflation Hedges for 2015, and since I have been trying to keep my head above water between work, PSW, and baseball with my boys...it is time that something is put together for PSW on biotechs in 2015.
Cancer and fibrosis remain two of the hottest areas for VC backed biotechs to invest their monies. A number of companies have gone IPO which have drugs/technologies that fight cancer, includin...
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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