DIS - Walt Disney Co. – Shares in Disney are off 0.50% on the session at $65.50 amid declines in U.S. stocks, but trading traffic in weekly call options this morning suggests some traders are looking for the price of the underlying to reverse course in the near term. The Jul 26 ’13 $67.5 strike call options on Disney are active for a second consecutive session, with around 600 contracts traded as of 11:20 a.m. in New York. It looks like most of the calls were purchased in the early going for an average premium of $0.14 apiece. The bullish position may be profitable at expiration next week should shares in Disney rally more than 3.0% over the current price of $65.50 to exceed the average breakeven point at $67.64. Yesterday afternoon, roughly 400 of the $67.5 strike calls were purchased for a premium of $0.23 each. The weekly calls expire prior to Disney’s third-quarter earnings report on August 6th.
JAKK - Jakks Pacific, Inc. – Put activity on toy producer, Jakks Pacific, Inc., today indicates some traders are positioning for shares in the name to continue to drop. The stock yesterday plunged 40% after the company reported a surprise second-quarter loss, forecast a loss for the full year and suspended its quarterly dividend. Shares declined another 2.6% this morning to stand at $6.81 as of 11:35 a.m. ET. Traders expecting the stock may have further to fall in the near term picked up Aug $5.0 strike calls, buying roughly 470 lots for a premium of $0.20 each during the first 10 minutes of the trading day. Buyers of the $5.0 strike calls stand ready to profit at expiration next month should shares in Jakks Pacific tumble 30% from the current price of $6.81 to breach the effective…
DIS - Walt Disney Co. – Front month call options changing hands on Disney today suggest some traders are positioning for shares in the name to break well above recent all-time highs in the near future. The stock, up some 50% since this time last year, increased 0.45% near the open this morning to touch a record high of $65.09 after Iron Man 3, produced by Marvel Studios, a division of the Walt Disney Co., earned more than $175 million in its opening weekend in North America. Traders betting the stock pushes to fresh highs snapped up roughly 2,800 calls at the May $67.5 strike for an average premium of $0.48 apiece during the first half of the session. Call buyers make money at expiration if shares in Disney surge 4.4% over today’s high of $65.09 to top the average breakeven point at $67.98. Walt Disney Co. reports second-quarter earnings after the closing bell tomorrow.
VMED - Virgin Media, Inc. – Big prints in Virgin Media put options on Monday morning indicates at least one trader is bracing for shares in the name to potentially pull back off recent record highs. Shares in Virgin earlier today rallied 0.40% to touch a fresh all-time high of $50.31. The stock has more than doubled since this time last year and is up roughly 1600% since touching down at a 2008 financial-crisis low of $2.96. The May $50 strike put contracts traded approximately 5,000 times by midday in New York versus open interest of just 15 contracts. It looks like most of the volume was purchased at a premium of $0.55 each, thus positioning buyers to profit in the event that VMED’s shares slip 1.7% from today’s high of $50.31 to breach the effective breakeven point on the downside at $49.45 by expiration next week.
MS - Morgan Stanley – Shares in Morgan Stanley are on the rise…
DIS - Walt Disney Co. – Trading traffic in weekly call options on Disney suggests traders are positioning for shares in the name to extend gains, with the stock up as much as 2.2% at a new all-time high of $63.25 today on the heels of an upgrade to ‘Buy’ from ‘Neutral’ with a target price of $72.00 at UBS. Shares in Disney are up nearly 50% since this time last year. Traders betting the stock pushes to fresh highs this week appear to be buying the May 03 ’13 $65 strike weekly calls. Roughly 400 contracts have changed hands versus open interest of 13 contracts as of 12:30 p.m. ET, and it looks like the bulk of the volume was purchased in the early going for an average premium of $0.07 per contract. Weekly call buyers make money at expiration this week if shares in Disney increase another 2.9% over today’s high of $63.25 to top the average breakeven point at $65.07. Walt Disney Co. reports second-quarter earnings after the closing bell next Tuesday.
NTE - Nam Tai Electronics, Inc. – Buyers of bearish options on electrical components and products provider, Nam Tai Electronics, Inc., last week prior to the company’s first-quarter earnings report ahead of the open this morning are seeing big gains in the value of those contracts, with shares in the name tumbling more than 30% today to the lowest level since August of 2012. Traders last week snapped up front month put options, buying around 1,500 lots at the May $10 strike for an average premium of $0.40 each and roughly 575 puts at the May $12.5 strike at an average premium of $1.48 apiece. The sharp selloff in shares of Nam Tai today now finds the $10 and $12.5 strike put contracts changing hands at $2.40 and $5.00 apiece, respectively, as of 12:15 p.m. in New York. Overall options volume in excess of 12,000 contracts in play on NTE today is substantial versus the stock’s average…
DIS - Walt Disney Co. – Put options on the world’s largest entertainment company are active on a morning that finds U.S. equities reversing earlier losses and moving into positive territory on favorable comments from Speaker of the House, John Boehner, regarding budget talks. Disney shares, in negative territory for much of the morning, are currently flat on the session at $48.60 as of 11:25 a.m. ET. Downside puts expiring January 2013 are the most active contracts on Disney today, with the $44 strike put changing hands upwards of 5,400 times in the first hour of the session. It looks like most of the volume was purchased for an average premium of $0.42 apiece. Put buyers may profit at expiration next year should shares in DIS decline more than 10% from the current price of $48.60 to breach the average breakeven price of $43.58. Put open interest of 8,335 contracts at the Jan. 2013 $44 strike is sufficient to cover today’s volume of roughly 5,400 contracts. The bulk of the previously existing positions comprising open interest were purchased on November 9th. Shares in Disney have traded above $44.00 since the end of May.
TFM - Fresh Market, Inc. – The operator of 115 food retail stores in 20 states throughout the U.S. popped up on our scanners this morning with options volume up sharply and the price of the underlying down substantially following the company’s third-quarter earnings report and a downgrade to ‘Sell’ from ‘Neutral’ with a 12-month share price target of $45.00 at Northcoast Research. Shares in Fresh Market are currently down more than 14% at $51.75 as of 12:15 p.m. in New York. Front month put buying on Fresh Market suggests some traders anticipate possible further declines in the near term. The Dec. $50 strike puts attracted the most volume in the first half of the session, with more than 1,000 lots in play versus open interest of 144 contracts.…
That's all the markets have been doing lately. As you can see from our Big Chart – it's been a pretty orderly sell-off according to our 5% rule with roughly a 4-5% drop during October with some consolidation, followed by a much steeper 4-5% drop after the election.
We're back to the point where we expect resistance at an 8% total drop as well as some bounce action where once again we'll be measuring for strong or weak bounces to determine whether or not we can get a turn again (our indicators kept us bearish last time). Regarding the current action, I said to our Members yesterday in Chat:
I think there is a lot of selling as people take capital gains while they can. I think that it's very possible that it's going to be very difficult to get a proper rally into the end of the year because there are plenty of people waiting for a rally to take their gains, whether through timing or position. The problem with this state of not knowing is it becomes prudent for people to hedge for the worst and, if someone had a 20% gain for the year and now it's 15% and they can take it off now and keep 12.75% (after 15% tax) vs possibly hitting another 5% drop and running down to 8.5% this year or possibly 7% (at 30%) if they wait until next year and there's no recovery (and the more the cliff looms the less likely recovery seems) then it almost doesn't make sense not to take the 12.75% and run. So that's very possibly the selling pressure we see and it may continue to be relentless into the end of the year unless there is some sort of resolution or delay to the cliff.
While we don't think the Fiscal Cliff will end up being a big deal – that doesn't stop others from panicking. This week we've been scooping up positions they have been running away from but, if we're going to have another leg down – we'll be needing those disaster hedges (see Wednesday's post) to keep us out of trouble. It doesn't take much to profit from a downturn, fortunately, when we use good hedges. On Wednesday I suggested the TZA April $17/24 bull call spread for $1.40, selling the $14…
DIS - Walt Disney Co. – Just six weeks ago, shares in the operator of the happiest place on earth were hitting fresh all-time highs, peaking at $53.40 in the final week of September, on the heels of an impressive 40% rally since the start of 2012. More recently, however, the stock has been edging down off the September high, sliding roughly 6% ahead of Disney’s fourth-quarter earnings report released after the close on Thursday. Shares in Walt Disney Co. gave up another 5.75% today to trade at $47.17 just before midday on the East Coast after the company posted earnings in line with expectations and sales that missed analyst estimates. The final weeks of 2012 may see shares in Disney continue to pull back by the looks of activity in far out-of-the-money put options expiring in December. Some traders snapped up bearish contracts on DIS that may be profitable if shares slip to their lowest levels since May, purchasing around 1,000 puts at the Dec. $44 strike for an average premium of $0.58 apiece. Like-minded bears picked up roughly 400 puts at the lower Dec. $43 strike for an average of $0.40 apiece, and shelled out $0.29 per contract, on average, to buy more than 425 puts at the Dec. $42 striking price. Traders long the Dec. $42 strike puts stand ready to profit at expiration next month should Disney shares drop 11.5% from the current level to settle below an average breakeven price of $41.71.
VRA - Vera Bradley, Inc. – Fresh interest in Vera Bradley call options this morning suggests some traders are positioning for shares in the maker of handbags and accessories to rally as the 2012 calendar year draws to a close. The stock today trades down 2.5% to stand at $26.20 as of 11:30 a.m. ET. The jump in call activity arrives four weeks ahead of Vera Bradley’s third-quarter earnings report after the closing bell on…
GM - General Motors Co. – Shares in the largest U.S. automaker are popping on Wednesday after the company reported third-quarter earnings that handily beat analyst expectations. The stock is up better than 8% just before midday in New York to stand at $25.15. Traders expecting shares in GM to extend gains heading into the weekend snapped up weekly calls that have two full trading sessions remaining to expiration. The most active weekly calls are the Nov. 02 ’12 $25 strike contracts, which have changed hands more than 2,800 times against open interest of 369 lots. It looks like most of the $25 calls were purchased earlier this morning for an average premium of $0.22 per contract, thus positioning buyers to profit should GM’s shares exceed the average breakeven price of $25.22 at expiration this week. Intraday gains in the price of the underlying have benefited early-bird call buyers, with premium on the $25 strike contracts now up more than 115% since this morning to arrive at $0.48 per contract. Meanwhile, options players who purchased upside calls at the end of last week are seeing substantial paper profits on their positions today. Bullish traders appear to have purchased around 1,000 calls at the Nov. 02 ’12 $23.5 strike for an average premium of $0.48 apiece last Friday. Today these deep in-the-money call options are changing hands at around $1.70 each as of 12:00 p.m. ET, a more than three-fold increase in value.
PBR - Petrobras Brasileiro SA – Bearish traders are bulking up on short-dated put options on Brazilian oil and gas company, Petrobras, this morning, with shares in the name down more than 5.2% at $21.21 on Wednesday. Buyers of put options with two full trading sessions to go before expiration appear to be positioning for shares in the world’s largest deep-water oil driller to extend declines. Traders positioned to potentially profit from further selling pressure in PBR…
DIS - Walt Disney Co. – Light front-month call buying in Disney this morning suggests some traders may be positioning for shares in the name to rally following the Company’s second-quarter earnings report on Tuesday of next week. Shares in the operator of the Happiest Place on Earth are down 2.0% at $42.92, joining in on the broad market decline on the heels of today’s jobs report. Traders picking up the May $43, $44 and $45 strike calls may see the value of their positions increase prior to expiration should Disney’s earnings beat expectations and send the price of the underlying higher. The most active DIS contracts at present are the Oct. $47 strike calls, with 5,000 lots changing hands in the first half of the session against open interest of 1,178 positions. It looks like most of the calls were sold for a premium of $1.17 each. The trader or traders responsible for the call sale keep the full amount of premium as long as shares in Disney fail to rally above $47.00 by October expiration. Strategists may be long the stock and selling covered calls, however, if these are naked short calls, sellers of the options face unbridled losses above a breakeven share price of $48.17.
NWL - Newell Rubbermaid, Inc. – A large block of call options sold on Newell Rubbermaid launched the consumer products maker onto our ‘hot by options volume’ market scanner this morning. The massive trade indicates the seller of the options expects the price of the underlying to remain below $20.00 through June expiration. Shares in NWL are currently down 1.5% on the day at $18.37 as of 11:55 pm in New York. It looks like the trader responsible for the transaction sold 30,000 calls…
Until the end of day, the volume was low and, as you can see from Dave Fry's SPY chart, the morning pump was mostly erased by the end of the day. In fact, on the Russell and Nasdaq – it was entirely erased. What a friggin' joke, yet no one will investigate it and few will even question it.
As we often say at PSW – We don't care IF the game is rigged, as long as we know HOW the game is rigged and get to place our bets accordingly. In my Morning Alert to Members at 10:05, my comment on the move up was:
Not too many markets are open so super low-volume means we can pretty much ignore whatever's happening. Some wild gyrations at the open already with AAPL popping $10 to goose the Nas and they are spiking us up and down at will on this low volume.
At 12:02 we made our planned adjustments to our 4 active virtual portfolios, taking advantage of the big, bad spike to move to cheap June bear positions and cash out our long plays and just get generally more aggressively bearish at what we thought was going to be the top for the day. The most aggressive move was made in our most aggressive, $25,000 Portfolio (pictured here from its 10am status BEFORE many changes were made), where we flipped our protective TNA hedge from bullish to very bearish – shifting the balance of the portfolio much more bearish with a single move:
TNA – $60s are now $4 so let's take that and run on 5 (1/2), as that's more than we paid for the spread and we'll ride the $63s half-covered with a stop on 5 at $3 (now $2.25). Also, a stop on the 5 remaining $60s at $3, at which point we would reset the stop on the $63s, of course.
Needless to say, that trade worked out huge already as the $60s all stopped out at a $3.50 average ($3,500), which is $500 more than our max potential gain on the spread and the $63 calls already finished the day at $1.10 ($1,100) for a net of $2,400 (so far) off our $1,450 entry on 4/26 – so up 65% in less than a week on the trade we used to…
Wasn't it just 2 days ago that the EU was all set to pop the ESM to $1.25Tn and the IMF was going to add another Trillion and the Fed was talking about more QE in the $1.25Tn range, which plunged the Dollar to multi-week lows? Shouldn't adding 6% of the entire planet's GDP in additional stimulus give us more than a one-day pop in the markets?
As I pointed out in Monday's Morning Alert to Members – these are all just RUMORS and my conclusion in the Alert was:
Despite the bullish turn of events (which we anticipated last week) we're more inclined to cash out our bullish trades into the excitement and press our bear bets and TOMORROW, if we're still over our levels – THEN we will scramble to add some aggressive bullish trades to our virtual portfolios. Again, I cannot stress enough that CASH is my preferred position because this market is tough to call and you need to be very flexible and very nimble to trade it.
We proceeded as planned and, so far, we haven't had any reason to capitulate and get more bullish and that is both surprising and disappointing as this is the end of the first quarter of 2012 – if not now – when? As David Fry notes:
Monday’s rally was typical as we head toward the end of the quarter. Hedge fund performance fees are on the line and any way to boost these profits is job one. Top holdings for hedge funds include the usual suspects: AAPL, IBM, INTC, BAC, DIS, HD etc.
With little volume it’s easy for algos and hedge funds to prop stocks on little hard news. Tuesday we briefly saw more of this. Just as markets were weakening a story appeared using the Fed’s favorite oracle, the WSJ, as Fed governor Rosengren stated, “more stimulus is on the table”. Immediately HFT algos jumped and markets rose if only briefly.
It's very exciting for us as PLCN (see Thursday's notes) went all the way up to $736 on Monday and sold off on some pretty heavy trading yesterday. Slowly but surely, our negative premise is beginning to take shape as Piper Jaffray is finally catching up with us and noting "a sharp decline in unique visitors to Priceline's booking.com" from growth of 61 percent during the…
This is discouraging. There seems to be a prevailing attitude, even among very intelligent people (personal observation), that science is just another subject of equivalence to religion, or apparently astrology, in explaining life in the big universe. Or, subjects that are not within the realm of science are imagined to be a science based on a misunderstanding of what science is.
This misunderstanding of science may reflect a failed education system, and unfortunately, we may be traveling backwards. The highest percent of non-skeptics were in the youngest age group where a majority of people think astrology is at least "sort of" scientific.
In China, in contrast, 92% of people polled said they do not believe "in horoscopes." The exact question the researchers asked may in part explain the discrepant results. And I wonder, did some Americans get Astrology confused with Astronomy? Also not good.
After the high-level EU summit on the migrant issue, hastily convened after close to a thousand people drowned last weekend off the Lybian coast, Dutch PM Mark Rutte was quoted by ‘his’ domestic press as saying ‘Our first priority is saving human lives’. That sounds commendable, and it also sounds just like what everybody knows everybody else wants to hear. One can be forgiven, therefore, for thinking that it’s somewhat unfortunate that the one person tasked by Brussels with executing the noble ‘saving lives’ strategy, doesn’t ...
Seven of the eight indexes on our world watch list traded higher this week, with China's Shanghai Composite as the top performer, up 2.48%. India's SENSEX was the outlier to the south, with a -3.53% contraction. In fact, the average of the seven gainers was an impressive 1.52%. But the SENSEX pulls the overall average down to 0.89%.
The Shanghai Composite looks to be in bubble mode, up 92% from its interim trough in late October.
Here is an overlay of the eight for a sense of their comparative performance so far in 2015.
Here is a table of the 2015 data performance, sorted from high to low, along with the interim highs for the eight indexes. All eight indexes are in the green, with the top five gains ranging 14.72% to 35.83%. Not bad for a mid-April checkpoint.
King Dollar has been on a role since last summer, up over 20% in less than a year. When looking back on the US$, the rally has been rare and nearly historic. Majority of the rally took place inside the steep rising channel above. Over the past month the US$ might have put in a double top. Over the past few days, the US$ has slipped a little below rising support at red arrow above.
Here's an interesting argument by Felix Salmon, although I think he is taking two correct observations and mistakenly attributing a cause-and-effect relationship to them: Bitcoin is going nowhere because women are not involved.
More likely, in my opinion, women are not involved in bitcoin because bitcoin is going nowhere (and they know it). Or maybe, simply, bitcoin is going nowhere and women are not involved.
Nathaniel Popper’s new book, Digital Gold, is as close as you can get to being the definitive account of the history of Bitcoin. As its subtitle proclaims, the book tells the story of the “misfits” (the first generation of hacker-l...
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As we get into the heart of earnings season and anticipate the GDP report for Q1, the investor spotlight has been taken off the Federal Reserve and timing of its first interest rate hike, at least temporarily. Even though Q1 economic growth will undoubtedly look weak, the future remains bright for the U.S economy – even though many multinationals will struggle with top-line growth due to the strong dollar – and any near-term selloff resulting from weak economic or earnings news should be bought yet again in expectation of better results for the balance of the year. High sector correlations remain a concern, reflectin...
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...
In my last post (Part 1 of this article), I looked at alternative ETFs that could be used as hedges against the corrections that we have seen during that long 2 year bull run. Looking at the results, it seems that for short (less than a month) corrections, a VIX ETF like VXX could actually be a viable candidate to hedge or speculate on the way down. Another alternative ETF was TMF, a long Treasuries ETF which banks on the fact that when markets go down, money tends to pack into treasuries viewed as safe instruments. In some cases, TMF even outperformed the usual hedging instruments like leveraged ETFs. There could of course be other factors at play since some of 2014 corrections were related to geopolitical events which are certain...
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PSW Members - well, what a year for biotechs! The Biotech Index (IBB) is up a whopping 40%, beating the S&P hands down! The healthcare sector has had a number of high flying IPOs, and beat the Tech Sector in total nubmer of IPOs in the past 12 months. What could go wrong?
Phil has given his Secret Santa Inflation Hedges for 2015, and since I have been trying to keep my head above water between work, PSW, and baseball with my boys...it is time that something is put together for PSW on biotechs in 2015.
Cancer and fibrosis remain two of the hottest areas for VC backed biotechs to invest their monies. A number of companies have gone IPO which have drugs/technologies that fight cancer, includin...
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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