by Option Review - May 2nd, 2013 8:28 pm
Today’s tickers: YELP, MGM & DD
by Option Review - October 23rd, 2012 2:00 pm
Today’s tickers: KO, DD & ARMH
KO - Coca-Cola Co. – Shares in Coca-Cola Co. declined to a near six-month low of $36.54 on Tuesday, joining the broad market decline on global growth concerns and weak earnings. Options traders anticipating further declines in the price of the beverage maker’s shares snapped up December expiry puts straight out of the gate this morning. Traders buying more than 1,800 of the Dec. $35 strike put at an average premium of $0.46 apiece today stand ready to profit at expiration in the event that KO shares slide 5.5% from the current level to breach the average breakeven price of $34.54. Strategists purchasing the $35 calls appear to be adding to bearish positions established on Monday. Traders yesterday paid an average premium of $0.32 apiece for around 400 of the Dec. $35 strike call; premium required to purchase these contracts has increased roughly 40% overnight.
DD - DuPont Co. – Weaker-than-expected third-quarter earnings released by chemical maker, DuPont, ahead of the opening bell this morning saw shares in the name trade down as much as 9.3% on Tuesday to $45.11, the lowest level since the start of 2012. Traders positioning for the price of the underlying to extend losses through the end of the year established bearish positions in the November and December expiry options today. Options players picked up more than 700 of the Nov. $43 strike put in early-morning trade for an average premium of $0.40 apiece, and purchased around 600 of the Nov. $44 strike put at an average premium of $0.49 each. Buyers of the lower Nov. $43 strike put profit at expiration in the event that DuPont’s shares slide another 5.5% to breach the average breakeven price of $42.60. Like-minded bears looked to the Dec. $43 strike put, buying up 1,000 contracts for an average premium of $0.79 apiece. Traders long the put options stand ready to profit by December expiration in the event…
by Option Review - July 24th, 2012 2:00 pm
Today’s tickers: CPB, GFI & DD
CPB - Campbell Soup Co. – Put options on the food products company are active this morning after Campbell Soup Co. said full-year sales growth for 2012 will likely be at the lower end of its prior forecast. Shares in the maker of soup, sauces and beverages are down 1.4% on the day at $32.38 as of 12:10 p.m. in New York. Put buying in the September expiry suggests some options market participants may be preparing for shares in CPB to extend losses after the company reports fourth-quarter earnings on September 4th. Most of the contracts in play appear to have been purchased by one strategist given the identical timing of transactions in the Sept. $31 and $32 strikes. Lighter volume in the Sept. $32 strike put indicates around 180 contracts were purchased for an average premium of $0.39 each, while more than 900 puts were purchased at the Sept. $31 strike for a premium of $0.39 each. The $31 puts may be profitable in the event shares in CPB drop 5.5% to breach the average breakeven price of $30.61 at expiration.
GFI - Gold Fields Ltd. – Heavy call buying in Gold Fields Ltd. indicates one or more traders are positioning for shares in the gold mining company to rise during the next few months. Shares in the gold producer are currently up 0.65% on the day at $12.13 as of 12:30 p.m. on the East Coast. Trading traffic in Gold Fields options is heaviest in the Oct. $12 strike call, which has changed hands more than 18,000 times so far today versus open interest of 858 contracts. It looks like most of the calls were purchased for an average premium of $0.85 apiece by strategists eyeing a 6%-plus move to the upside above the breakeven price of $12.85 by October expiration. The company is scheduled to report second-quarter earnings ahead of the opening bell on August 23rd.…
by Option Review - December 9th, 2011 1:25 pm
Today’s tickers: DD, BCSI, JBLU & FCS
DD - EI du Pont de Nemours & Co. – Shares in the U.S. chemical maker dropped on Friday after the company lowered full-year earnings guidance by $0.10 a share to a range of $3.87 to $3.95 a share. The stock is off its lowest point of the session to stand 4.75% lower on the day at $44.31 just before 12:00 PM ET. Activity in DuPont put options expiring in January 2012 indicate some traders are positioning for the price of the underlying to extend losses in the near term. It appears one strategist initiated a ratio put spread, buying 2,250 puts at the Jan. 2012 $41 strike for a premium of $0.94 each, and selling 4,500 puts at the lower Jan. 2012 $38 strike at a premium of $0.48 apiece. The spread yields a net credit of $0.02 per contract and positions the trader add to profits in the event that shares drop 7.5% from the current price of $44.31 to breach the effective breakeven point on the downside at $41.00 by expiration. Maximum potential profits of $3.02 per contract are available to the investor should DuPont’s shares plunge 14.2% to settle at $38.00 at expiration day in January. The chemical company is scheduled to report fourth-quarter earnings ahead of the opening bell on January 25, after the Jan. 2012 expiry puts will have expired.
BCSI - Blue Coat Systems, Inc. – Investors that bought December expiry call options in the latter half of November saw the value of their positions sky-rocket overnight on news Blue Coat Systems, Inc. agreed to be purchased by an investor group for a reported $1.3 billion. Shares in the provider of Internet-security software jumped 44.5% to $25.27 in the first half of the trading session. Call open interest in the front…
by phil - June 8th, 2011 7:54 am
S&P 1,260. That’s the line we need to hold.
That’s where we started the Year on January 3rd and we finished that day at 1,271, beginning a fine tradition of making almost all of our gains on the first day of the month, continuing a very disturbing (and very fake) year-long trend that I am calling "sell the next day (of the month) and go away." (chart by Bespoke).
Notice that this trend became very disturbing at the same time Uncle Ben announced his fabulous QE2 plan that showered money on his fellow Banksters according to a nice, predictable schedule that allowed them to lever up their investments to inflate stocks and commodities, trapping index fund investors (especially the working poor who make monthly contributions to IRA and 401K accounts in a nice, predictable and controllable fashion). It’s a simple plan, index fund managers get your pension money at the end of the month, they are required to buy baskets of stocks to balance their funds and that action can be manipulated by clever bankers who jack up the prices and then sell into the fake demand they created – effectively stealing tens of Billions each month out of the paychecks of working Americans. Just another one of those great crimes they commit where they steal a little bit of money from everyone, every day.
Speaking of robbing from the rich to give to the poor (see "The Dooh Nibor Economy"), it’s time we said happy 10th anniversary to the Bush/Obama tax cuts that have, as Barry Ritholtz put it: "driven the balanced budget he inherited from President Clinton deep into the red." So deep in the red, in fact, that even now Congress is still debating about extending the $14.5Tn deficit that the Congressional Budget Office says will double over the next 10 years if these cuts remain in place.
That’s right, those same tax cuts that are "off the table" in negotiations in Congress are, other than war spending, the sole cause of our nation’s deficit. This country does not have a spending problem, it has a collecting problem! As Mike Konczal, a research fellow at the Roosevelt Institute, noted: "It’s not like this has unleashed a wave of productivity, or better incentives, or increased work output. It’s mostly just rich people got a lot more money."
by phil - January 1st, 2011 8:28 am
I am still trying to get more bullish.
I was thinking about writing something cute like I resolve to get more bullish but that would be wrong. I try, in my own humble way, to "get" the market right. That means I am not bullish or bearish but Truthish (to further botch Stephen Colbert’s use of the word) and, as Buddah says: "There are only two mistakes one can make along the road to truth; not going all the way, and not starting." Confucious reminds us that there are three methods by which we may learn wisdom: "First, by reflection, which is noblest; Second, by imitation, which is easiest; and third by experience, which is the bitterest."
In that spirit, we will spend the day in reflection so that we are better able to start on that long road to the truth so that we will be better able to imitate the things that will work in the year to come while trying to avoid making mistakes that will give us bitter experiences.
This post is not about me – We had a fantastic year and I’ve already given some outlook for 2011 back on the 19th in that weekend’s "It’s Never too Early to Predict the Future" and our current position is short-term bearish in the Jan-April time-frame, looking for a pullback to at least 1,200 on the S&P and possibly back to 1,150.
After that, we are expecting a return to steady gains but without the irrational exuberance we’re currently experiencing. So no, I am not bearish – I simply think we’ve gotten ahead of ourselves. Since we don’t know where the rally train will stop, we have our "Breakout Defense – 5,000% in 5 Trades or Less" from Dec 11th, which were a set of very bullish, highly levered plays where a little bet can pay off a lot if we simply hold our long-established breakout levels.
How much is "a lot"? Well my GE trade idea, for example, was to sell the 2013 $12.50 puts for $1.10 (net $1.15 in ordinary margin according to TOS) and to use that money to buy the 2012 $17.50/20 bull call spread for .95, which was a net .15 credit on a $2.50 spread that was on the money at the time. GE has gained about .75 since the 11th and…
by Option Review - July 27th, 2010 4:55 pm
Today’s tickers: MGM, SLV, CISG, GENZ, XRX, JNPR & DD
MGM – MGM Resorts International – The operator of casino resorts attracted bullish options players this afternoon with the price of the underlying stock rallying as much as 3.65% to an intraday high of $11.36. It looks like investors expecting shares to continue higher ahead of August expiration purchased call options. The most optimistic of individuals picked up approximately 5,200 calls at the August $13 strike for an average premium of $0.21 each. Call buyers at this strike make money if MGM’s shares surge 16.3% to trade above the average breakeven price on the upside at $13.21 by expiration day next month. Other bullish traders who are perhaps hoping shares can retain the present rally, but not looking for shares to move much higher ahead of expiration in August, sold 3,000 puts at the August $10 strike for an average premium of $0.37 each. If investors are selling these puts outright, they walk away with the full premium received on the transaction as long as MGM’s shares exceed $10.00 through expiration day. Investors populating MGM Resorts International today exchanged more than 2.2 call options for each single put option in play on the stock as of 3:45 pm ET. MGM is scheduled to report its second-quarter results ahead of the opening bell of August 3, 2010.
SLV – iShares Silver Trust ETF – Shares of the iShares Silver Trust fell more than 2.90% to $17.26 in late afternoon trading inspiring some traders to load up on put options. Fresh put activity was most heavily concentrated in the September contract where current put volume at in- and out-of-the-money strikes exceeds previously existing open interest. Investors bracing for further bearish movement in the price of the SLV’s shares purchased 1,900 in-the-money puts at the September $18 strike for an average premium of $1.17 apiece. In-the-money put buyers are prepared to profit should shares of the fund decline another 2.5% to slip beneath the average breakeven point on the downside at $16.83 by September expiration. Put volume was heaviest at the September $16 strike where more than 16,700 contracts changed hands by 3:25 pm ET. It looks like investors purchased at least 14,400 of those lots for an average premium of $0.29 each. Shares of the fund must fall 9.00% from the current price before September $16 strike put buyers breakeven at a…
by phil - June 6th, 2010 8:27 am
That is the per capita average GDP for the 6Bn ape-like creatures on this planet who have pockets and purses. Of the still hairy and pocketless apes, there are only about 1M left and they are mainly prisoners so we won’t be worrying about them but it would be nice to consider the plight of our ancestors once in a while… Anyway, so 6Bn of us fill in those last 3 images in the planetary labor pool with the vast majority of us STILL FARMING and, of course, a select group of us are still hunting and gathering and contributing very little to the GDP.
None of our problems are new – as noted in this 2005 cartoon:
The United States of America with it’s highly evolved population of shopoholics has a per capita GDP of $46,381 – VERY IMPRESSIVE but we rank 6th! Brunei does a little better than we do and Singapore is up at $50,523 (so let’s hear it for corporal punishment) and Norway (one of my top choices of countries to flee to when it all hits the fan) is at $52,561 but Luxembourgh ($78,395 – banking) and Qatar ($83,841 – oil) simply trounce us in earnings power per person. For those of you who like to think Capitalism is all about keeping score – they must be better than you because they make more money, right?
Below the US, per capita GDP drops off fairly quickly. Rounding out the top 10 are Switzerland ($43,007 – watches and more bankers), Hong Kong ($42,748 – don’t tell China!), Netherlands ($39,938 – legal drugs!), Ireland ($39,468 – free beer when on wellfare!) and Australia ($38,911 – beer comes in oil cans plus gigantic bouncing rats). 20th on the list is Germany at $34,212, Greece is 25th at $29,882 (but not for long), 30th is South Korea at $27,978, 40th is Slovakia at $21,245. Lithuania comes in at 50 with $16,542 (1 ahead of Russia) and it steadies out there with emerging market star Brazil in 75th place with $10,514 and, keep in mind – that is where you FINALLY get to the average leverl of economic activity for the world.
Another BRIC in the global wall is mighty China, with a per capita GDP of $6,567 for each of their 1.2Bn persons and India’s Billion people average out at less than half of that, at $2,941, ranking 128th and still ahead of 53…
by Option Review - May 7th, 2010 5:07 pm
Today’s tickers: XHB, XLV, SHW, CSCO, AMR, DD & FRX
XHB – SPDR S&P Homebuilders ETF – It looks like one big options player threw in the towel on a massive bullish stance involving XHB call contracts today as shares of the underlying fund surrendered 2% to stand at $17.31 as of 1:00 pm (ET). The investor appears to have purchased roughly 50,000 calls at the January 2011 $22.5 strike for an average premium of $0.60 apiece back on April 22, 2010, when shares of the fund were trading at a volume-weighted average price of $19.04. Just four days after the purchase of the call contracts, the homebuilders fund’s share price touched a new 52-week high of $20.00. With the benefit of hindsight, it’s clear the trader would have been better off ditching the calls back on April 26, 2010. However, it seems the investor decided to sell the calls today – perhaps fearing the fund’s shares are only heading lower – for an average premium of $0.66 apiece to take in average net profits of $0.06 per contract. Again, with our hindsight coming in at a perfect 20/20, the trader made the right decision to sell the calls this morning because shares of the XHB are now down 3.1% to $17.11 as of 1:15 pm (ET), and the calls may now be sold for just $0.57 per contract. Waiting just a couple of hours more to sell the calls today would have resulted in a net loss rather than a net gain to the trader.
XLV – Health Care Select Sector SPDR Fund – Shares of the XLV, an exchange-traded fund that tracks the price and yield performance of the Health Care Select Sector of the S&P 500 Index, are trading 0.90% lower at $29.85 as of 12:35 pm (ET). Options traders populating the fund today are mostly placing bearish bets that shares of the underlying fund are set to decline ahead of May expiration. However, there was some notable contrarian activity in May contract calls, as well. Pessimistic players bracing for continued share price erosion picked up roughly 5,400 puts at the now in-the-money May $30 strike for an average premium of $0.56 apiece. Put buyers at this strike price make money if the XLV’s share price slips beneath the average breakeven point to the downside at $29.44 by expiration day. Buying interest continued at the more bearish…
by Option Review - March 18th, 2010 4:21 pm
Today’s tickers: C, ERTS, ATVI, DNDN, HIG, DD, RCL, SFD & AMR
C – Citigroup, Inc. – One investor established a mammoth bullish stance on Citigroup in the first 20 minutes of the current trading session. Citigroup’s shares at the time of the transaction were trading at approximately $4.05, but have since slipped lower and are down 0.50% to $4.03 as of 2:45 pm (ET). It looks like the Citi-bull sold 240,000 put options outright at the April $4.0 strike to take in a premium of $0.16 per contract. Premium received on the sale, which represents maximum potential profits, amounts to $3.840 million to the investor if Citigroup’s shares trade above $4.00 through expiration day. The short stance in put options implies the investor is willing to have 24 million shares of the underlying stock put to him at an effective price of $3.84 each should the puts land in-the-money at expiration.
ERTS – Electronic Arts, Inc. – An enormous bullish debit call spread purchased on video game software publishing company, Electronic Arts, Inc., indicates one big options investor is expecting shares of the underlying stock to rally sharply ahead of expiration in January 2011. Electronic Arts’ shares are up 2.40% this afternoon to $18.57. The options player purchased approximately 61,000 call options at the January 2011 $25 strike for an average premium of $0.60 apiece, and sold roughly the same number of contracts at the higher January 2011 $30 strike for $0.14 each. The net cost of the spread amounts to $0.46 per contract, thus yielding maximum potential profits of $4.54 apiece if shares surge through $30.00 by expiration day next year. ERTS shares must increase at least 37% from the current price in order for the investor to break even on the trade at $25.46. Maximum profit acquisition of $4.54 per contract, or total gains of $27.694 million, requires a 61.55% rally in shares to $30.00 by January expiration. The 122,000 call options utilized in the transaction represent a staggering 44.58% of total existing open interest on the stock of 273,639 contracts.
ATVI – Activision Blizzard, Inc. – The producer of online, console and hand-held games received a vote of confidence by one large options player anticipating bullish movement in the price of its shares through expiration in January 2011. Activision’s shares rallied 2.12% to $12.05 in the first half of the trading session. The optimistic investor established…