by Option Review - April 24th, 2013 8:50 pm
Today’s tickers: IRBT, AIG & GLW
by Option Review - October 17th, 2012 4:42 pm
Today’s tickers: WHR, AIG & GRMN
WHR - Whirlpool Corp. – Shares in the maker of home appliances rallied as much as 4.6% today to a new 52-week high of $88.79 after U.S. housing starts rose to the highest level since June 2008. The stock has been on a tear since the start of summer, trading up more than 60% since the end of June, and some options traders appear to be positioning for the rally to continue in the near term. Bullish players looked to the Nov. $90 and $92.5 strikes, snapping up roughly 1,000 of the $90 strike call for an average premium of $2.80 each, and purchasing around 375 calls up at the $92.5 strike price for an average premium of $1.95 apiece this morning. Call buyers stand ready to profit at expiration next month should Whirlpool’s shares rally another 4.5% and 6.4% to top average breakeven prices of $92.80 and $94.45, respectively. Traders snapping up WHR calls may also be looking ahead to the company’s third-quarter earnings report, scheduled for release prior to the opening bell next Tuesday.
AIG - American International Group, Inc. – A large put spread initiated on insurer, AIG, this morning may be the work of one strategist locking in gains on the stock on the heels of a more than 35% rally in the price of the shares since June 4th. AIG’s shares are currently up 1.6% on the day to stand at $36.93 as of 1:00 p.m. ET. The single-largest transaction in options on the insurer today, the purchase of a 13,550-lot Jan. 2013 $32/$37 bear put spread at a net premium of $1.46 per contract, profits from- or provides protection against- limited declines in the share price through January expiration. The trade makes money if shares in AIG decline 3.8% from the current level to breach the effective breakeven price of $35.54, with maximum potential gains of $3.54 per contract in the event of…
by Option Review - September 12th, 2012 3:05 pm
Today’s tickers: YHOO, MPEL & AIG
YHOO - Yahoo!, Inc. – Shares in the Internet media company rallied as much as 2.6% this morning to $15.55 after AllThingsD, citing sources familiar with the situation, reported Yahoo will sell half of its stake in Chinese Internet company, Alibaba, next week. Alibaba is reportedly expected to pay $7.6 billion to buy back 20% of the company in the deal, leaving Yahoo with a 20% stake in the company. Options traders positioning for shares in Yahoo to extend gains ahead of the weekend purchased weekly call options in the first hour of the trading session on Wednesday. It looks like bullish players snapped up around 1,400 of the Sep 14 ’12 $15 strike calls for an average premium of $0.46 apiece. In-the-money call buyers stand ready to profit should Yahoo’s shares settle above the average breakeven price of $15.46 at expiration. Overall options volume on Yahoo is approaching 60,000 contracts at present; calls are far more active than puts, with the call-to-put ratio exceeding 4.0 as of 11:25 a.m. in New York.
MPEL - Melco Crown Entertainment Ltd. – A call spread initiated on casino operator, Melco Crown Entertainment, this morning suggests one options strategist is positioning for shares in the name to rally into 2013. Melco and other casino stocks with operations in Macau are extending gains today one week after the gambling hub reported a 5.5% increase in August revenues, the second-highest monthly reading ever for Macau’s casino industry. Shares in Melco, which have posted double-digit percentage gains since last week, gained 1.9% this morning to stand at $12.83 as of 11:45 a.m. ET. It looks like one trader purchased a 1,000-lot Jan. 2013 $11/$15 call spread at a net premium of $2.00 per contract. The bullish strategy makes money if shares in the casino operator rally above the effective breakeven price of $13.00, and generates maximum potential profits of $2.00 per contract in the event…
by Option Review - May 21st, 2012 3:01 pm
Today’s tickers: LOW, CBE & AIG
LOW - Lowe’s Companies, Inc. – Shares in Lowe’s were hammered Monday after the home improvement retailer lowered its full-year earnings forecast and reported a smaller-than-expected increase in same-store sales. The stock is currently down 9.7% at $25.72 as of 12:30 p.m. ET following the company’s first-quarter earnings report this morning. Options activity in the front month is mixed, with some traders positioning for the stock to rebound, while others brace for further downside in the near term. Strategists constructing positions that benefit from a recovery in the shares homed in on the June $27 strike call, trading upwards of 5,800 contracts versus open interest of 18 positions. It looks like most of the calls were purchased for an average premium of $0.45 apiece, thus positioning longs to profit should LOW’s shares rally 6.7% to top $27.45 by June expiration. Meanwhile, put buying at the June $25 strike points to near-term bearish sentiment on the stock. Traders exchanged more than 2,300 of the $25 strike put options, purchasing most of the volume at an average premium of $0.65 each. The strategy may be profitable at expiration next month should Lowe’s shares decline another 5.3% to breach the average breakeven price of $24.35. Options volume of 30,715 on the second-largest U.S. home improvement retailer this afternoon today runs at twice the 90-day average options volume for the name.
CBE - Cooper Industries PLC – Shares in the Maynooth, Ireland-based maker of electrical products and tools rallied nearly 30.0% to a record-high of $71.73 today after diversified power management company, Eaton Corp., agreed to buy Cooper Industries in a cash and stock deal valued at $11.8 billion. Options on Cooper are more active than usual with just fewer than 800 contracts in play as of 1:00 p.m. ET versus the 90-day average options volume on the stock of 91 contracts. Open interest in July expiry call options on CBE suggests one…
by Option Review - March 27th, 2012 1:50 pm
Today’s tickers: UA, AIG & TIE
UA - Under Armour, Inc. – Options on the athletic apparel maker are more active than usual today, with volume of 11,300 contracts running more than four times the stock’s 90-day average options volume of 2,475 contracts. Shares in Under Armour are down 0.80% at $98.19 in early-afternoon trade, slipping Tuesday after hitting a new all time high of $99.35 on Monday. Options traders exchanging around 2.5 calls on the name for each single put in play so far in the session appear to be positioning for the price of the underlying to continue to secure fresh highs in the next few weeks. In- and out-of-the-money calls in the front month are seeing the most action, with the April $95 and $97.5 strike calls trading upwards of 1,100 times each. Traders positioning for fresh record highs in the price of the stock snapped up more than 500 calls at each of the April $105 and $110 strikes, paying premiums of $1.00 and $0.33 apiece, respectively. Call buyers may profit at expiration should Under Armour’s shares post sharp gains prior to the Company’s first-quarter earnings report on April 24th. The April contract calls expire several days ahead of UA’s earnings release. Traders long the call options may profit at April expiration as long as Under Armour’s shares surge 6.7% and 11.1% to top average breakeven prices of $106.00 and $110.33, respectively.
AIG - American International Group, Inc. – Shares in AIG have mostly traded within the range of $20.00 to $30.00 during the most recent six month period. Activity in long-dated call options on the insurer, however, suggests one strategist is positioning for the price of the underlying to break out strongly to the upside at some point during the next ten months. Shares…
by Phil Davis - March 19th, 2012 8:23 am
We are still trying to get more bullish.
Over the weekend we set a new, higher set of levels for our Big Chart on the assumption that our breakout levels hold up and our new Must Hold lines become Dow 13,600 (not there yet), S&P 1,360, Nasdaq 3,000, NYSE 8,000 and Russell 800, which means it's now up to the Dow and Nasdaq to continue to show leadership if we're going to be having a rally good enough to get us to add our next 10 bullish plays.
I already added 2 aggressive upside trade ideas on XLF and SPY in the weekend post and last week we already looked at WFR, X, BAC, GLW, BBY, CHK, AAPL, AA, and BA but we also added a new Long Put List (Members Only), which had 19 stocks that we thought were good downside horses to ride if, per chance, we fail to hold 3 of our 5 breakout levels.
It shouldn't be too much to ask – IF this is a real bull market. We've been extremely skeptical up to this point and, Fundamentally, I still have my doubts but Technically, we can't keep fighting the tape so were drawing a line in the sand for Mr. Market to cross and, if it does so, we're happy to play along. If it fails to do so, however, well – we've already made those bets!
Our aggressive take on the Dow is the result of analyzing the 5 components that were replaced since the crash with MO and HON thrown out for BAC and CVX in Feb of 2008, AIG replaced by KFT in Sept 2008 and C and GM replaced by CSCO and TRV in June 2009, causing a massive distortion in the index, meaning 16,000 is the old 15,000, possibly even lower:
The Nasdaq is similarly distorted by AAPL, who are up 500% since 2009 and when a stock that is 11.5% of an index is up 500%, that stock alone causes the index to go up 57.5%, which is why we now call it the AAPLdaq. The AAPLdaq itself is "only" up 100%, which means the ENTIRE rest of the index is lagging with a 42.5% contribution – those who tell you that tech is somehow loved again are fooling themselves…
by Option Review - March 5th, 2012 1:38 pm
Today’s tickers: P, AIG, EXPR & BHI
P - Pandora Media, Inc. – Shares in the provider of Internet music services are up 6.5% at $14.80 this afternoon on the heels of an upgrade to ‘buy’ from ‘hold’ at Stifel Nicolaus and leading up to Pandora’s fourth-quarter earnings release ahead of the opening bell on Tuesday morning. Options on Pandora Media, Inc. are more active than usual today as investors take positions prior to the fourth-quarter performance report. Call options are far more popular than puts, with more than nine calls changing hands on Pandora for each single put in play. Volume is heaviest at the Mar. $16 strike, where more than 7,000 calls traded against open interest of just 917 contracts. Trading in the $16 calls is mixed, but it looks like slightly more of the contracts were purchased for an average premium of $0.44 each. Call buyers may profit at expiration in the event that Pandora’s shares surge 11.1% to surpass the average breakeven price of $16.44. Bullish positioning was also seen in the Mar. $17 strike calls as traders paid an average premium of $0.17 for around 400 of the contracts. Overall options volume on Pandora is fast approaching 20,000 contracts on the day just before 1:20 p.m. in New York trade.
AIG - American International Group, Inc. – The insurance giant’s shares are off their highest levels of the session, but remain positive, up 2.2% at $30.46 as of 11:45 a.m. in New York. Shares rallied as much as 5.0% to $31.30 this morning on news AIG is selling $6 billion in shares of AIA Group Ltd. to institutional investors. The bullish move in the price of the underlying shares is a boon for traders observed snapping up weekly call options at the tail-end…
by Option Review - February 29th, 2012 1:39 pm
Today’s tickers: BID, AIG & WDC
BID - Sotheby’s Holdings Inc. – The major indices opened Wednesday in positive territory on the heels of a positive revision to fourth-quarter GDP data; however, gains proved short-lived as stocks reversed course during Fed Chairman Bernanke’s testimony to Congress. Sotheby’s shares followed the broad market trend, erasing early gains to trade 2.5% lower on the session at $38.96 as of 11:55 a.m. in New York. The auctioneer is scheduled to release fourth-quarter earnings after the final bell this afternoon, and it looks like some options players are initiating bullish positions on the stock ahead of the report. Options are most active out at the April $45 strike, where more than 1,800 calls changed hands against open interest of 900 contracts. Traders appear to have purchased the majority of the calls for an average premium of $1.02 apiece. The single largest transaction, a block of 807 of the calls, traded to the middle of the market within minutes of the opening bell at $1.05 each. Investors paying an average premium of $1.02 per contract for the call options may profit at expiration in the event that BID’s shares jump 18.1% over the current price of $38.96 to surpass the average breakeven price of $46.02. Shares in Sotheby’s last traded above $46.02 back in July 2011. The auctioneer’s shares have moved up more than 30.0% year-to-date.
AIG - American International Group, Inc. – The insurer popped up on our ‘most active by options volume’ market scanner this morning after a large block of call options changed hands in the April expiry. More than 19,300 calls in total have changed hands at the April $32 strike against open interest of just 843 contracts, with the largest stake initiated in one block of 16,445 calls…
by Phil Davis - December 28th, 2011 6:53 am
Watch the Nasdaq.
That’s the index we need to catch up to the Dow now that the S&P is halfway to goal at 1,297 (from our Must Hold line at 1,235). The Dow is in La La Land, led by MCD (up 31%), IBM (up 26%), PFE (up 24%), HD (up 20%) and KFT (up 20%) while this year’s Dogs of the Dow are BAC (down 59%), AA (down 43%), HPQ (down 39%) and JPM (down 22%).
While the losers may seem to outweigh the winners, that’s not how it works as the Dow is price-weighted so BAC dropping from $14 to $5.50 "only" costs the Dow about 68 points (roughly 8 points for each Dollar), IBMs rise from $145 to $185 added a whopping 320 points.
So a 26% rise in one component and a 59% drop in another nets out to a gain of 252 points! At the beginning of the year, they had roughly the same market cap ($150Bn) but IBM has gained $70Bn and BAC has lost $100Bn which, of course, translates into a net gain of 2% on the entire Dow – BECAUSE IT IS THE STUPIDEST INDEX ON EARTH!
Our Members, of course, know this. I wrote "DJIA: The Most Useless, Overused Tool on the Planet" back in 2006, when GM was still part of the Dow so no need to rehash it all here other than to mention the fact that a 30-component index has made 5 substitutions in the 5 years since I wrote that article only serve to highlight how ridiculous it is to use the Dow to draw long-term conclusions. The Dow is manipulated because it’s easy to and Uncle Rupert sits with the other Masters of the Universe to decide how to use this headline tool to make things look as good as possible in the US markets.
That’s why CSCO and TRV replaced C and GM in June of 2009. C was at $28.80 and is down a bit, GM went BK from $45 (which would have been a 360-point loss in the Dow) while CSCO was disappointing but essentially flat and TRV is up $20, adding another 160 points so a 520-point swing (5%) on those substitutions alone. In September of 2008, AIG ($135 at the time) was swapped for KFT ($32). KFT is just $37.70 but AIG was…
by Option Review - November 7th, 2011 1:03 pm
Today’s tickers: AIG, PHM, TKLC & CECO
AIG - American International Group, Inc. – The insurer’s shares, which fell 2.5% to trade at $23.31 this afternoon, may remain range-bound through year-end, according to one options position established in the December contract. AIG was cut to ‘Hold’ from ‘Buy’ with a 12-month share price target of $26.00 at Sandler O’Neill today. It looks like one investor sold a 5,000-lot straddle at the Dec. $24 strike for a gross premium of $3.45 per contract. The straddle-seller keeps the full amount of premium received on the transaction as long as shares in AIG settle at $24.00 at expiration day next month. Some amount of premium is safe in the investor’s wallet as long as shares trade within the $20.55 to $27.45 range implied by the position. But, the investor risks uncapped losses to the upside above the upper breakeven price of $27.45, and losses to the downside in the event that shares slip beneath the lower breakeven point at $20.55, at expiration in December. The position was not tied to stock.
PHM - PulteGroup, Inc. – The homebuilding company popped up on our scanners this morning after one investor initiated a large bullish position that may be profitable if PulteGroup’s shares realize double-digit gains by expiration next month. Shares in PHM are currently up 1.8% at $5.58 as of 11:50 am in New York, perhaps on a positive note about the sector from an analyst at Wells Fargo. It looks like one trader purchased a block of 12,000 call options at the Dec. $6.0 strike for a premium of $0.35 each, in the first hour of the trading week. The investor stands ready to profit should shares in PulteGroup rally another 13.8% over the current price of $5.58 to surpass the effective breakeven point on the upside at $6.35 by expiration. Shares in PHM last traded above $6.35 at the beginning of August.
TKLC - Tekelec – Shares in the provider of communication network software and systems surged 11.8% to a six-month high of $11.07 this morning on news investors led by private-equity firm, Siris Capital Group LLC, agreed to buy Tekelec for $780 million. Shareholders in the Morrisville, North Carolina-based Company will reportedly receive $11.00 a share in cash in the deal. Relatively large call open interest in the November contract suggests some strategists saw the value of previously established bullish positions on Tekelec sky-rocket on the move…