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…
Private equity firm Irving Place Capital ("IPC") and Victor Technologies ("Victor") announced today that they have entered into a definitive agreement to sell Victor to Colfax Corporation ("Colfax") (NYSE: CFX), a global manufacturer of gas- and fluid-handling and fabrication technology products. The all cash transaction values Victor at approximately $947 million, including the assumption of debt, and is subject to customary closing conditions.
Victor is a leading designer and manufacturer of a comprehensive suite of metal cutting, gas control, and specialty welding products. IPC acquired Victor, which was previously named Thermadyne Holdings Corporation, in a take-private transaction in December 2010.
"We are pleased with the progress that we have made in partnership ...
“The belief that wealth subsists not in ideas, attitudes, moral codes, and mental disciplines but in identifiable and static things that can be seized and redistributed is the materialist superstition. It stultified the works of Marx and other prophets of violence and envy. It frustrates every socialist revolutionary who imagines that by seizing the so-called means of production he can capture the crucial capital of an economy. It is the undoing of nearly every conglomerateur who believes he can safely enter new industries by buying rather than by learning them. It confounds every bureaucrat who imagines he can buy the fruits of research and development.
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And What Might the Copper Carry Trade and Plunge in Chinese Exports Be Signaling to Investors?
How likely is the market to continue higher from here? Despite everything the market inches up. Now either we are all amiss, and in face of those high winds we still see market being so resilient, which means the market will break higher and move decisively up, or next week it breaks.
Great question, and you frame it well when you reference the wall of worry the stock market continues to resiliently climb. It reminds me of a client in AR who always asks, "Yes, but where are you wrong?" Oftentimes I haven't had a satisfactory and simple answer. But, today, I think I do. And I will keep it simple.
It would appear the fecal matter is starting to come into contact with the rotating object in China. Worrying headlines are beginning to mount on the back of real economic events (an actual default and a collapse in exports):
*COPPER IN SHANGHAI FALLS BY 5% DAILY LIMIT TO 46,670 YUAN A TON
*CHINA YUAN WEAKENS 0.46% TO 6.1564 VS U.S. DOLLAR
*YUAN DROPS MOST SINCE 2008
Aside from that Iron ore prices are crumbling, Asian stocks are dropping, Chinese corporate bond prices aee falling at their fastest pace in almost 4 months, and all this as 7-day repo drops to one-year lows (as bank...
The Global X Social Media Index ETF (Ticker: SOCL) touched fresh record highs on Thursday morning, surprising no one given the top three holdings of the Fund are Hong Kong-based Tencent Holdings (12.678%), Facebook Inc. (12.506%) and LinkedIn Corp. (8.166%), which are up 130%, 160% and 22%, respectively, since this time last year. The SOCL reflects the performance of companies involved in the social media industry, including companies that provide social networking, file sharing and other web-based media applications. Shares in the ETF rose 1.3% today to a new high of $23.00, and have soared approximately 65% since this time last year.
Today brought three better than expected economic releases from Construction Spending, ISM Manufacturing, and Personal Income. The ISM figure was quite unexpected and Personal Income was well above expectations. If we ignore for a moment that the Final GDP reading for Q4 was lowered on Friday (which may or may not have been primarily caused by severe weather), we have had a week of better than expected economic numbers. Corporate earnings have also continued to exceed forecasts, albeit with a bit more cautious guidance.
Of course, none of that matters when the “war drums” start beating. Russia and the Ukraine are engaged in a serious game of “chicken” with a bear in the hen house. The Russian ruble has borne the brunt of the damage so far with a double digit drop today again...
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Ladies and Gentlemen, hobos and tramps,
Cross-eyed mosquitoes, and Bow-legged ants,
I come before you, To stand behind you,
To tell you something, I know nothing about.
And so the circus begins in Union Square, San Francisco for this weeks JP Morgan Healthcare Conference. Will the momentum from 2013, which carried the S&P Spider Biotech ETF to all time highs, carry on in 2014? The Biotech ETF beat the S&P by better than 3 points.
As I noted in my previous post, Biotechs Galore - IPOs and More, biotechs were rushing to IPOs so that venture capitalists could unwind their holdings (funds are usually 5-7 years), as well as take advantage of the opportune moment...
Welcome to the fouth update of the IRA Virtual Portfolio. First I am going to summarize the current state of the Portfolio then I will get into all the activity we had during September expiration.
Profit and Loss – Net of closed positions the portfolio is up a total of $769
Market Commentary – Last expiration I said, "I would like to put a total of $20,000 to work by the end of SEP expiration. If the VIX pops up to around 20 I plan to put about $50,000 total to work." The market didn't quite reach the goal but I did manage to deploy $15,000 of buying power. I still feel the market is too high and expect a correction during October. If the vix pops up to around 20 I still plan to put about $50,000 to work. If a correction doesn't happen I still plan to have a total of $25,000 in buying power put to work by October expiration. Now on to the act...
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