Today’s tickers: KRE, CPN, PRGO, FITB, DPS, SMH & M
KRE - SPDR KBW Regional Banking ETF – A large-volume debit put spread initiated on the SPDR KBW Regional Banking ETF this afternoon suggests one options investor is wary that the significant run up in the price of the underlying fund since the start of December could reverse course next year. Shares of the KRE, an exchange-traded fund that tracks the performance of the KBW Regional Banking Index, are up slightly by 0.10% to trade at $25.18 as of 3:30pm. The strategist responsible for the put spread may be building up downside protection, or alternatively, could be taking an outright bearish stance on the regional banking sector through March 2011. Shares in the fund rallied 14.25% during December so far to reach a 6-month high of $25.59 this past Wednesday. The put-spreader picked up 19,000 put options at the March 2011 $24 strike for a premium of $0.81 each, and sold the same number of puts at the lower March 2011 $20 strike at a premium of $0.16 apiece. Net premium paid to initiate the spread amounts to $0.65 per contract. Thus, the investor is prepared to make money, or realize downside protection, if shares of the KRE fall 7.3% from the current price of $25.18 to breach the effective breakeven point on the spread at $23.35 by March 2011 expiration. Maximum potential profits of $3.35 per contract are available to the put-spreader should shares of the underlying fund plummet 20.6% lower to trade below $20.00 by expiration day next year. The fund’s shares have not traded below $20.00 in more than a year.
CPN - Calpine Corp. – A large chunk of call options were picked up on Calpine Corp. late in session by a bullish strategist positioning for shares to rally substantially ahead of January 2011 expiration. Shares of the independent power generation company are up 2.6% this afternoon to stand at $13.22 in the final hour of the trading week. Calpine was recently…
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 firstname.lastname@example.org 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.
In last weekend's update, only one the eight indexes on my watchlist posted a weekly gain. This weekend's numbers have reversed. Seven indexes closed the week with a gain and there were some substantial ones at that. Japan's Nikkei erased the previous week's -5.02% plunge with a 5.22% surge. The S&P 500 finished second with a 4.12% advance. China's Shanghai Composite was the sole loser, down 1.66%.
In fact, the Shanghai Composite remains the only index on the watch list in bear territory -- the traditional designation for a 20% decline from an interim high. The index is down 33.68% from its August 2009 peak. See the table inset (lower right) in the chart below.
If you're following Valeant's proposed takeover (or merger) of Allergan and the lawsuit by Allergan against Valeant and notorious hedge fund manager William Ackman, for insider trading this is a must-read article.
Linette Lopez describes the roles played by key Wall Street hedge fund owners--Jim Chanos, John Paulson, and Mason Morfit, a major shareholder in Valeant. Linette goes through the con...
There is lots of action in Southwest Airlines Co. November expiry call options today ahead of the air carrier’s third-quarter earnings report prior to the opening bell on Thursday. Among the large block trades initiated throughout the trading session, there appears to be at least one options market participant establishing a call spread in far out of the money options. It looks like the trader purchased a 4,000-lot Nov 37/39 call spread at a net premium of $0.40 apiece. The trade makes money if shares in Southwest rally 9.0% over the current price of $34.32 to exceed the effective breakeven point at $37.40, with maximum potential profits of $1.60 per contract available in the event that shares jump more than 13% to $39.00 by expiration. In September, the stock tou...
Last week brought even more stock market weakness and volatility as the selloff became self-perpetuating, with nobody mid-day on Wednesday wanting to be the last guy left holding equities. Hedge funds and other weak holders exacerbated the situation. But the extreme volatility and panic selling finally led some bulls (along with many corporate insiders) to summon a little backbone and buy into weakness, and the market finished the week on a high note, with continued momentum likely into the first part of this week.
Despite concerns about global economic growth and a persistent lack of inflation, especially given all the global quantitative easing, fundamentals for U.S. stocks still look good, and I believe this overdue correction ultimately will shape up to be a great buying opportunity -- i.e., th...
Now that bitcoin has subsided from speculative bubble to functioning currency (see the price chart below), it’s safe for non-speculators to explore the whole “cryptocurrency” thing. So…is bitcoin or one of its growing list of competitors a useful addition to the average person’s array of bank accounts and credit cards — or is it a replacement for most of those things? And how does one make this transition?
With his usual excellent timing, London-based financial writer/actor/stand-up comic Dominic Frisby has just released Bitcoin: The Future of Money? in which he explains all this in terms most readers will have no tr...
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Well PSW Subscribers....I am still here, barely. From my last post a few months ago to now, nothing has changed much, but there are a few bargins out there that as investors, should be put on the watch list (again) and if so desired....buy a small amount.
First, the media is on a tear against biotechs/pharma, ripping companies for their drug prices. Gilead's HepC drug, Sovaldi, is priced at $84K for the 12-week treatment. Pundits were screaming bloody murder that it was a total rip off, but when one investigates the other drugs out there, and the consequences of not taking Sovaldi vs. another drug combinations, then things become clearer. For instance, Olysio (JNJ) is about $66,000 for a 12-week treatment, but is approved for fewer types of patients AND...
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