by Option Review - May 1st, 2013 5:53 pm
Today’s tickers: CBS, DWA & EEM
by Option Review - May 2nd, 2012 1:48 pm
Today’s tickers: CHK, FLS & CBS
CHK - Chesapeake Energy Corp. – Traders positioning for shares in the second-largest U.S. natural gas driller to potentially drop to lows not seen in years are snapping up weekly put options this morning. The stock is down more than 13.2% at $17.00 as of 11:00 am ET after Chesapeake Energy Corp. reported a surprise loss in the first quarter amid continued concern and uncertainty surrounding actions of the Company’s CEO. Bearish interest is notable in the May 04 ’12 $16 strike puts, with more than 5,100 of those contracts purchased earlier in the session for an average premium of $0.10 apiece. Put buyers may turn a quick profit if shares in Chesapeake decline another 6.5% to breach the breakeven price of $15.90 by expiration. Weekly put buyers acting ahead of the earnings report appear to have done well for themselves, with the May 04 ’12 $19 strike puts purchased around 4,800 times on Tuesday for an average premium of $0.33 apiece. Less than 24 hours later, those same $19 strike put options are six times as expensive, trading at $1.97 per contract on Wednesday morning.
FLS - Flowserve Corp. – Shares in the provider of pump systems and control valves are up sharply on Wednesday morning, trading up 4.0% at $118.06 as of 11:15 am in New York. The stock slipped slightly earlier in the week following the Company’s first-quarter earnings report, but have more than made up for that pullback today. Flowserve appeared on our ‘hot by options volume’ market scanner in the first hour of the session after one strategist initiated a sizable put spread in the June expiry. It looks like the trader purchased a 1,500-lot June $95/$105 spread for a net premium of $0.85 apiece. The put…
by Option Review - April 19th, 2012 2:17 pm
Today’s tickers: P, CBS & XCO
P - Pandora Media, Inc. – Traders that appear to be speculating on a rebound in shares of the provider of Internet radio services turned-up the volume in Pandora Media call options today. Shares in Pandora, which have been beaten down in recent months, increased as much as 10.5% to $8.91 in the first half of the session before losing some steam to stand up 4.9% on the day at $8.45 as of 1:15 p.m. ET. The stock is down 15.0% year-to-date and more than 65.0% since touching a peak value of $26.00 at the June 2011 IPO. June expiry call options saw the most action today, with the $9.0 strike call changing hands more than 6,700 times versus open interest of just 354 contracts. Most of the $9.0 calls appear to have been purchased for an average premium of $0.76 apiece. Call buyers profit at expiration as long as shares in Pandora jump 15.0% to surpass the average breakeven point at $9.76 by June expiration. Traders positioning for shares to extend gains also snapped up around 1,000 in-the-money calls at the June $8.0 strike for a premium of $1.10 a-pop. Pandora Media, Inc. is slated to release first-quarter earnings after the market closes on May 24th.
CBS - CBS Corp. – A burst of call buying on CBS Corp. caught our eye today, with shares in the name trading up 1.2% at $33.31 in early-afternoon trade. The bulk of the options volume in the mass media company appears to be betting on continued near-term appreciation in the price of the underlying shares, perhaps ahead of the Company's first quarter earnings release after the final bell on May 1st. The most active contracts in play on CBS Corp. today are the May…
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 24th, 2011 4:05 pm
Today’s tickers: SFD, SD, CBS & BMTI
SFD - Smithfield Foods, Inc. – Shares in the hog producer and pork processing company rallied as much as 5.95% this afternoon to touch an intraday- and more than two-year high of $24.04 following an upgrade to ‘buy’ from ‘hold’ with a 12-month target share price of $28.00 at BB&T Capital Markets. Options on Smithfield Foods are more active than usual today, but investors are favoring puts over calls as of 12:40pm. More than 2.6 puts are trading on SFD at present for each single call in action. Put volume is heaviest at the July $23 strike where more than 4,340 contracts have changed hands on open interest of just 609 lots. Investors bought almost all of the put options at the July $23 strike for a premium of $1.50 apiece. Put buyers make money if shares in the packaged meat provider plunge 10.6% from today’s high of $24.04 to breach the effective breakeven price of $21.50 ahead of July expiration. Demand for puts on the stock spread to the lower July $22 strike where more than 1,750 puts were picked up at a premium of $1.10 each, versus previously existing open interest of 213 contracts. Traders long the puts stand prepared to profit in the event that Smithfield’s shares drop 13.0% in the next four months to trade below the effective breakeven price of $20.90 by expiration day. The closeness in the timing of the put transactions at these strikes suggest one investor could be responsible for most if not all of the put activity described. The trader or traders responsible for the put buying may be outright bearish on Smithfield Foods through July expiration, or are perhaps building up downside protection on a long position in the underlying stock. The pork producer is scheduled to report fourth-quarter earnings ahead of the opening bell on June 16, 2011.…
by Option Review - October 13th, 2010 4:54 pm
Today’s tickers: HUM, SIGA, ALXN, CBS, REP & GAP
HUM - Humana Inc. – Call options on the health benefits company are in high demand this afternoon with shares of the underlying stock trading higher by 3.15% to arrive at $53.85 in the final hour of the session. Shares rallied as much as 3.965% earlier today to secure a new 2-year high of $54.27. An analyst at Wedbush said earlier that health insurers may wind up reporting a better third quarter than previously forecast. Additionally, she mentioned Humana is her top pick for a health insurer that’s most likely to top Wall Street estimates in the third quarter. Humana is scheduled to report results ahead of the opening bell on November 1, 2010. Activity in November contract calls indicates one big player sees today’s rally in Humana’s shares extending through to expiration day next month, post-earnings. It looks like the bullish investor purchased 14,176 calls outright at the November $55 strike for an average premium of $1.425 per contract. The call buyer makes money if HUM’s shares rally another 4.8% over the current price of $53.85 to surpass the average breakeven point to the upside at $56.425 ahead of expiration. Options implied volatility on HUM is up 11.6% to arrive at 32.71% with 35 minutes remaining in the session.
SIGA - SIGA Technologies, Inc. – Shares of the bio-defense company jumped 52.7% today to an all time high of $13.07 on reports the firm won a U.S. government contract worth up to $2.8 billion to supply its smallpox antiviral drug. The stock is currently up 42.75% at $12.22 heading into the close. Options traders initiated bullish stances on the stock right out of the gate this morning in order to position for continued appreciation in the price of SIGA’s shares. Investors picked up approximately 1,200 in-the-money calls at the October $12 strike for an average premium of $0.44 apiece, and are poised to profit should shares exceed $12.44 through expiration on Friday. Nearly 1,000 calls were…
Who Owns The Media? The 6 Monolithic Corporations That Control Almost Everything We Watch, Hear And Read
by ilene - October 6th, 2010 8:49 pm
Who Owns The Media? The 6 Monolithic Corporations That Control Almost Everything We Watch, Hear And Read
Courtesy of Michael Snyder at Economic Collapse
Back in 1983, approximately 50 corporations controlled the vast majority of all news media in the United States. Today, ownership of the news media has been concentrated in the hands of just six incredibly powerful media corporations. These corporate behemoths control most of what we watch, hear and read every single day. They own television networks, cable channels, movie studios, newspapers, magazines, publishing houses, music labels and even many of our favorite websites. Sadly, most Americans don’t even stop to think about who is feeding them the endless hours of news and entertainment that they constantly ingest.
Most Americans don’t really seem to care about who owns the media. But they should. The truth is that each of us is deeply influenced by the messages that are constantly being pounded into our heads by the mainstream media. The average American watches 153 hours of television a month. In fact, most Americans begin to feel physically uncomfortable if they go too long without watching or listening to something. Sadly, most Americans have become absolutely addicted to news and entertainment and the ownership of all that news and entertainment that we crave is being concentrated in fewer and fewer hands each year.
The six corporations that collectively control U.S. media today are Time Warner, Walt Disney, Viacom, Rupert Murdoch’s News Corp., CBS Corporation and NBC Universal. Together, the "big six" absolutely dominate news and entertainment in the United States. But even those areas of the media that the "big six" do not completely control are becoming increasingly concentrated. For example, Clear Channel now owns over 1000 radio stations across the United States. Companies like Google, Yahoo and Microsoft are increasingly dominating the Internet.
But it is the "big six" that are the biggest concerns. When you control what Americans watch, hear and read you gain a great deal of control over what they think. They don’t call it "programming" for nothing.
Back in 1983 it was bad enough that about 50 corporations dominated U.S. media. But since that time, power over the media has rapidly become concentrated in the hands of fewer and fewer people….
by Option Review - October 5th, 2010 4:16 pm
Today’s tickers: IPG, UPS, ATML, CBS, CHL, CAVM, ROST & WL
IPG - Interpublic Group Companies, Inc. – Long-term bullish trading in Interpublic Group LEAPs indicates one strategist is preparing for the price of the underlying stock to climb substantially higher by expiration day in January 2012. Shares of the advertising and marketing services firm rose 4.80% to $10.46 by 2:50 pm ET. The options strategist appears to have enacted a delta neutral transaction, buying 210,000 shares of the underlying stock at $10.40 each, spread against the sale of 5,000 calls at the January 2012 $12.5 strike for an average premium of $0.975 apiece on a 0.42 delta. The sale of the calls can be considered a financing mechanism as well as a potential exit strategy on the long position in shares. The investor could wind up having the shares called from him at $12.50 each in the event that at expiration IPG’s shares exceed $12.50. In this case, the trader would realize gains of 32.625% on the rally in shares from the reduced purchase price of $9.425 a share up to $12.50 a share. Interpublic’s overall reading of options implied volatility is down 3.4% at 40.65% one hour before the final bell. The marketing services provider announces its third-quarter results before the market opens on October 29, 2010.
UPS - United Parcel Service, Inc. – A sizeable near-term bullish transaction involving 23,000 call options and a large chunk of UPS shares caught our eye today. Shares of the world’s largest package delivery company, which announced Friday it plans to raise the non-contractual UPS Freight rate by 5.9% starting October 18, are currently up 3.20% to stand at $68.25 as of 2:30 pm ET. It looks like the investor responsible for the transaction established a covered call on the stock to position for the price of the underlying shares to continue higher ahead of October expiration. The trader purchased approximately 322,000 shares at $67.57 each and sold 23,000 calls at a premium of $0.19 apiece on…
by ilene - July 14th, 2010 11:25 am
Courtesy of Jr. Deputy Accountant
A federal appeals court struck down a Federal Communications Commission policy on indecency Tuesday, saying that regulations barring the use of “fleeting expletives” on radio and television violated the First Amendment because they were vague and could inhibit free speech.
The decision, which many constitutional scholars expect to be appealed to the Supreme Court, stems from a challenge by Fox, CBS and other broadcasters to the F.C.C.’s decision in 2004 to begin enforcing a stricter standard of what kind of language is allowed on free, over-the-air television.
The stricter policy followed several incidents that drew widespread public complaint, including Janet Jackson’s breast-baring episode at the 2004 Super Bowl and repeated instances of profanity by celebrities, including Cher, Paris Hilton and Bono, during the live broadcasts of awards programs. The Janet Jackson incident did not involve speech but it drew wide public outrage that spurred a crackdown by the F.C.C.
In a unanimous three-judge decision, the Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit in New York said that the F.C.C.’s current policy created “a chilling effect that goes far beyond the fleeting expletives at issue here” because it left broadcasters without a reliable guide to what the commission would find offensive.
The appeals court emphasized that it was not precluding federal regulation of broadcast standards. “We do not suggest that the F.C.C. could not create a constitutional policy,” the court said. “We hold only that the F.C.C.’s current policy fails constitutional scrutiny.”
So the court gives the FCC a fleeting "F" for FAIL. And the best part is that the judges totally let loose with all kinds of profanity in the ruling.
by Phil Davis - January 1st, 2010 2:42 pm
Thursday’s close was very exciting, wasn’t it?
Well it sure was for us as my 10:01 Alert to Members was a play on the DIA Jan $103 puts at .56. Thanks to the late afternoon dip, they finished the day at .90 (up 60%) after peaking out at .95, a very nice win to close off the year. That was the only Alert trade all week as this market has been too tough to call and we don’t make trades just for the hell of it. I had been sniping at DIA puts all week expecting a pay-off but Thursday it finally came together.
Of course, I also strongly advocated hedging on Thursday morning and listed 4 trade ideas in the morning post to hedge ourselves against the possibility of just such a drop so don’t say you haven’t been warned. Whether there will be follow-through on Monday or a full reversal remains to be seen and, even if I knew, I wouldn’t tell you here because this is a review – predictions are another article entirely.
We treaded very cautiously into last year because our PSW Holiday Retail Survey was not looking very pretty so it was no surprise to us, on Dec 26th, when we got some horrific retail reports. These are, of course, the same reports that we "beat" this year – but not by much. Dec 29th was Monday and Israeli jets attacked Hamas targets in the Gaza sending oil flying up to $48 a barrel. That gave us a nice commodity rally into the close of the year but January 2nd was a Friday and we decided (fortunately) to take the money and run on our long plays, holding open our main cover of SKF Jan $120s at $4.35, which hit $80 later in the month (up 1,732%) and USO Feb $32 puts at $3.40, which hit $10.50 in the Feb dip (up 208%) so, on the whole, not too differently positioned than we are now, coming into the new year. Visually 2009 looked a little like this:
January – Waiting for Obama, or Something, to Change
We began January much the same way we ended December with my Wed Jan 7th comment being: "We call it "Testy Tuesday" for a reason and our 5% rule was tested twice during the day but the market failed to…