by Option Review - May 7th, 2013 6:58 am
Today’s tickers: DIS, VMED & MS
by Option Review - April 29th, 2013 8:02 pm
Today’s tickers: DIS, NTE & VLO
by Option Review - November 28th, 2012 2:34 pm
Today’s tickers: DIS, TFM & HOLX
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.…
by phil - November 16th, 2012 8:32 am
Falling, falling, falling.
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…
by Option Review - November 9th, 2012 3:08 pm
Today’s tickers: DIS, VRA & PLCE
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…
by Option Review - October 31st, 2012 2:07 pm
Today’s tickers: GM, PBR & DIS
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…
by Option Review - May 4th, 2012 2:49 pm
Today’s tickers: DIS, NWL & HAIN
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…
by phil - May 2nd, 2012 6:40 am
Yesterday did not count.
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…
by phil - March 28th, 2012 8:19 am
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…
by phil - February 17th, 2012 8:19 am
A day late and a point short on the S&P.
Our senior index finished the day at 1,358.04, just 0.96 under our 10% line at 1,359. Oddly enough, it never actually crossed the line that we had predicted would be the top of this run in April of 2009. It's a simple 2% overshoot of the 100% run from the S&P bottom at 666.
If the S&P can get over the line and hold it – we will be THRILLED to finally redraw our Big Chart but, if not, then this is just the blow-off top of the range, reeling in the suckers ahead of the big reversal that no one could have possibly seen coming (except this guy but he's like 100 and just got divorced, so he's bound to be in a bad mood).
Is there anyone who was born SINCE radio who is willing to still be bearish? As you can see from David Fry's chart, since December 19th, other than a few red days out of over 40 – it's been tough to be a bear. This is what it was like in 1999, when the experienced market players would be well-hedged and missing the rally while some kid who works for him quits because he bet his student loan money on Yahoo and now drives a Porsche.
Sure 9 months later the Porsche was repossessed and the kid was flipping burgers but WE WANT TO BE THAT KID – IT'S FUN TO BE THAT KID – until it isn't again. The funny thing is, we only gave those dot com companies Millions when they IPO'd – now we give out Billions because, of course, this time is different, it's a new paradigm, this changes everything, you have to understand the new metrics, sock puppets rule….
McDonald's was founded in 1940 by two brothers actually named McDonald. Ray Krok bought the chain from them and created the World's greatest franchise which now has over 26,000 franchise operations and over 6,000 company stores employing about 1.7M people worldwide selling $24Bn worth of food a year with a $5Bn net profit. Facebook has 3,200 people but they generate $1.2M in revenues per employee ($3.8Bn) and drops $1Bn to the bottom line. Facebook's assets are mainly IP and those are about as valuable as MySpace's assets now…