INTC - Intel Corp. – Shares in Intel kicked off the trading session in negative territory on Wednesday morning, declining as much as 1.1% versus a 0.65% decline in the S&P 500 Index in the early going. U.S. stocks have since halved earlier losses and Intel’s shares are moving higher, up 0.65% on the session at $21.90 as of 10:50 a.m. ET. Heavy trading traffic in June expiry calls near the start of the trading day suggests one strategist is positioning for shares in Intel Corp. to rally during the next few months. Upwards of 27,000 calls have changed hands at the Jun. $23 strike versus open interest of 10,898 contracts. It looks like most of the volume was purchased at an average premium of $0.26 apiece, including the single-largest print of 15,988 calls traded. The bullish bet on INTC is working this morning, with premium required to purchase the Jun. $23 strike calls up more than 30% over the $0.26 in premium paid this morning to stand at $0.35 each as of 11:00 a.m. in New York. Profits are available on the strategy at June expiration in the event that Intel’s shares rise 6.0% over the current price of $21.90 to surpass the average breakeven point at $23.26. Intel’s first-quarter earnings report is less than three weeks away, scheduled for release after the closing bell on April 16th.
AOL - AOL, Inc. – Options are changing hands at a clip on the online content, products and services provider this morning, with shares in AOL rising sharply following an upgrade to ‘Overweight’ from ‘Equal Weight’ with a target price increase to $44.00 from $38.00 at Barclays. Shares in AOL rallied as much as 9.5% during the first half of the session to $39.62. Traders anticipating additional near-term gains in the price of the underlying shares purchased front month call options on the stock this morning. It looks like buyers stepped in to buy contracts across the April $37, $38, $39, $40 and…
AOL - AOL, Inc. – Shares in online media company, AOL, Inc., jumped more than 16% today to a record high of $41.80 after the company posted third-quarter earnings and sales that beat analyst forecasts and said advertising revenue increased 7% in the quarter, the most in years. Options traders appear to be buying into the rally, snapping up front-month call options to position for continued gains in the price of the underlying in the near term. Bulls picked up nearly 5,000 of the deep in-the-money Nov. $39 strike calls for an average premium of $1.22 apiece this morning, and stand ready to profit at expiration as long as AOL’s shares top the average breakeven price of $40.22. Upside calls are also active at the higher Nov. $40 striking price, where upwards of 5,500 in-the-money calls changed hands against open interest of 1,239 contracts. Time and sales data suggests most of the $40 calls were purchased in the first half of the session at an average premium of $0.82 a-pop. Call buyers make money if shares in the Internet media company extend gains to settle above $40.82 at expiration next week.
THC - Tenet Healthcare Corp. – Health care services company, Tenet Healthcare Corp., is selling off ahead of its third-quarter earnings report tomorrow morning, with shares in the name down nearly 5% as of 1:30 p.m. ET to stand at $24.65. At least one options trader is preparing for the price of the underlying to extend losses in the near term, buying a 5,000-lot Nov. $21/$24 bear put spread at a net premium of $0.67 per contract. The put spread starts making money if shares in Tenet Healthcare slip 5.4% to breach the effective breakeven price of $23.33 by November expiration. Maximum potential profits of $2.33 per contract are available to the downside should shares plunge 15% to $21.00 by expiration next week.…
AOL - AOL, Inc. – Put activity on AOL this morning may be the work of one strategist locking in gains on the high-flying stock. Shares in AOL, up roughly 175% since October 2011, are currently down 1.8% on the day to stand at $35.92 as of 11:20 a.m. ET. The largest trade in AOL options this morning was the purchase of 4,500 of the Nov. $34 strike put for a premium of $0.80 per contract. The options trade does not appear to have been tied to stock, although the put buyer may be establishing downside protection to hedge an existing long position in the shares. Alternatively, the sizable transaction could be an outright bearish bet that shares will decline in the near term, perhaps in the aftermath of the company’s third-quarter earnings report on October 31st. The position makes money if shares in AOL drop 7.5% from the current level to breach the effective breakeven price of $33.20 by November expiration.
EXPR - Express, Inc. – Options in play on Express this morning suggests shares in the apparel retailer, hard hit in recent months and sitting at all-time lows, may stage a significant turn-around in the next six months. Express shares, down nearly 60% from a March 2012 peak of $26.27, fell 2.35% in the first half of the trading session to $11.23 by 11:35 a.m. in New York. Upside call buying at the April 2013 $15 strike, where some 2,300 contracts were picked up for an average premium of $0.73 apiece, suggests at least one trader is positioning for EXPR shares to potentially increase sharply by expiration next year. The calls may be profitable at April expiration in the event that Express, Inc. shares jump 40% to exceed the average breakeven price of $15.73. The specialty retailer reports third-quarter earnings ahead of the opening bell on November 28th.…
AOL - AOL, Inc. – Options volume on AOL is up sharply today on news the web services company agreed to sell and license patents to Microsoft in a deal valued at more than $1 billion. The deal drove shares in AOL, Inc. up as much as 46.6% to an intraday- and new 52-week high of $27.00. More than 28,000 options have changed hands on AOL as of 1:00 p.m. in New York, which is roughly 22 times the stock’s 90-day average volume of 1,276 contracts. Options traders positioning for shares in AOL to extend gains in the near term snapped up calls in the front month. Fresh interest building in the April $26, $27 and $28 strikes was largely initiated by buyers. Volume is substantial at the $27 strike, where around 2,250 calls changed hands against 2 open positions. It looks like traders paid an average premium of $0.53 apiece for the options, which may be profitable at expiration as long as shares in AOL rally another 2.0% to surpass the average breakeven price of $27.53 at expiration. Bullish bets initiated back in March certainly seem to be paying off handsomely for some strategists in the aftermath of the run-up in shares. Open interest in the April $19 strike call suggests 200 contracts were purchased for a premium of $0.40 each on March 16th, while another 200 lots were picked up on March 22nd at a premium of $0.25 apiece. These calls currently tout a last-traded price of $7.85, a roughly 20-fold increase over premiums required to purchase the options just a few weeks ago.
JCP - J.C. Penney, Inc. – A long-term bullish options play on retailer, J.C. Penney, Inc., looks for shares in the name to tack on substantial…
HAL - Halliburton Co. – Options activity on Halliburton suggests one strategist seized the opportunity to take a bullish stance on the provider of oil equipment and services this morning on the heels of a 27.5% dip in the price of the underlying during the past three weeks. Shares in Houston, TX-based Halliburton recovered 4.8% of their value thus far in the session to trade at $44.46 as of 11:45 am ET. It looks like the options player is positioned for limited, albeit potentially substantial, bullish movement in the price of the underlying through September expiration. The investor initiated a ratio call spread, buying 5,000 calls at the September $50 strike for a premium of $1.21 each, and selling 10,000 calls up at the September $55 strike at a premium of $0.425 apiece. Net premium paid to initiate the spread amounts to $0.36 per contract, thus preparing the trader to profit should shares in HAL rally another 13.3% over the current price of $44.46 to surpass the effective breakeven price of $50.36 by expiration next month. Maximum potential profits of $4.46 per contract pad the investor’s wallet in the event that Halliburton’s shares surge 23.7% to settle at $55.00 at September expiration. HAL’s shares reached a 52-week high of $57.77 on July 25 before the market meltdown pulled the price of oil and oil and gas companies down with it.
AOL - AOL, Inc. – U.S. stocks are rallying ahead of the FOMC statement this afternoon, recovering somewhat from Monday’s harrowing selloff, but investors in global web services provider AOL suffered more pain today as shares in the name failed to join in the broad market gain. AOL’s shares plunged 22.0% today to $11.75, the lowest traded price since the company’s 2009 spinoff from…
TSCO - Tractor Supply Co. – Bullish players paid Tractor Supply Co. options a visit at the start of the U.S. trading week with shares in the operator of retail farm and ranch stores increasing as much as 2.4% to a new all-time high of $69.45. Investors expecting shares in the specialty retailer to extend gains in the near term exchanged more than 1,400 calls at the July $70 strike against previously existing open interest of 265 contracts. It looks like most of the calls were purchased for an average premium of $0.77 apiece. Call buyers make money if shares in Tractor Supply rally another 1.9% over today’s high of $69.45 to surpass the average breakeven price of $70.77 by July expiration. Put options in the front month attracted some attention, as well. Investors betting shares in TSCO are likely to exceed $60.00 through expiration day sold 267 puts at the July $60 strike for an average premium of $0.09 each. Meanwhile, some 300 puts were purchased for an average premium of $0.40 up at the July $65 strike. The rise in demand for options on the stock helped lift options implied volatility on the stock 7.2% to 31.84% by 11:30 am ET. July contract call and put options expire ahead of Tractor Supply Co.’s second-quarter earnings report after the final bell on July 20.
INFY - Infosys Technologies Ltd. – Shares in Infosys have been in recovery-mode since touching down at a 6-month low of $60.30 two weeks prior. The stock gained 9.7% to trade as high as $66.14 this morning, but options activity on the stock today suggests one strategist is poised to benefit from a pull back in the price of the underlying. The provider of IT services and solutions is…
Chalk up another €5 billion in capital flight from Greece in April. Total eurozone exposure to Greek currency liabilities now sits at €115 Billion, not counting accelerated capital flight in recent weeks.
Just when you thought the US regulators may have finally become less tone deaf to the shame of the revolving door, especially following last year's latest scandal confirming Goldman runs the New York Fed (and every other central bank), here comes the SEC with an absolute shocker, not only proving once and for all that when it comes to regulatory capture, there is nobody in charge quite like Lloyd Blankfein, but unv...
The tug of war between the bulls and bears has created an unusual situation this year, a historically tight trading range! The chart below reflects that the Dow Jones has traded within a 6.68% high to low trading range this year. That is the 4th tightest trading range through May, in the past 115 years.
CLICK ON CHART TO ENLARGE
The inset table to the right looks at future performance of the Dow following narrow trading ranges through May. As you can see, most of the time the market has ended the year to the upside. Will it be different this time?
Wednesday’s action was almost a 180 degree turn from Tuesday’s with the S&P 500 up 0.92% and the NASDAQ 1.47%. Sone vague belief in (yet another) resolution in Greece seemed to be the catalyst. Greek Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras said on Wednesday the negotiations are on the “final stretch” towards a positive deal, Reuters reported. Later in the day, German Finance Minister Wolfgang Schaeuble said there was not much progress in the Greek debt talks and he was surprised by the upbeat tone from some Greek government officials. Athens must make a 300 million euro payment to the International Monetary Fund on June 5, ahead of several other payments due to the IMF later in the month, for a total of 1.6 billion euros.
We’ll see if yesterday’s move was the head fake or today’s was shortly.
Early last week, stocks broke out, with the S&P 500 setting a new high with blue skies overhead. But then the market basically flat-lined for the rest of the week as bulls just couldn’t gather the fuel and conviction to take prices higher. In fact, the technical picture now has turned a bit defensive, at least for the short term, thus joining what has been a neutral-to-defensive tilt to our fundamentals-based Outlook rankings.
In this weekly update, I give my view of the current market environment, offer a technical analysis of the S&P 500 chart, review our weekly fundamentals-based SectorCast rankings of the ten U.S. business sectors, and then offer up some actionable trading ideas, including a sector rotation strategy using ETFs and an enhanced version using top-ranked stocks from the t...
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Understanding the new normal of a business model is key to the success of any company. The managment of companies need to adapt to the changing demand, but first they must recognize what changes are taking place. Big Pharma's business model is changing rapidly, and much like the airline industry, there will be but a handful of pharma companies left at the end of this path.
Most Big Pharma companies have traditionally done everything from research and development (R&D) through to commercialisation themselves. Research was proprietary, and diseases were cherry picked on the back of academic research that was done using NIH grants. This was in the heyday of research, where multiple companies had drugs for the same target (Mevocor, Zocor, Crestor, Lipitor), and could reap the rewards on multiple scales. However, in the c...
Bitcoin, the virtual digital currency, has been called the future of banking, a dangerous fad, and almost everything in between, but we're finally about to get some solid data to help settle the debate.
On Monday, the Nasdaq (NDAQ) stock exchange said it would ...
Chris Kimble likes the idea of shorting the US dollar if it bounces higher. Phil's likes the dollar better long here. These views are not inconsistent, actually, the dollar could bounce and drop again. We'll be watching.
Phil writes: If the Fed begins to tighten OR if Greece defaults OR if China begins to fall apart OR if Japan begins to unwind, then the Dollar could move 10% higher. Without any of those things happening – you still have the Fed pursuing a relatively stronger currency policy than the rest of the G8. So, if anything, I think the pressure should be up, not down.
UNLESS that 95 line does ultimately fail (as opposed to this being bullish consolidation at the prior breakout point), then I'd prefer to sell the UUP Jan $25 puts for $0.85 and buy the Sept $24 call...
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.
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...
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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