T – AT&T Inc. – Heavy trading traffic in AT&T put options today indicates at least one strategist is bracing for the price of the underlying stock to potentially slump to fresh 52-week lows during the next couple of months. Shares in AT&T, down more than 13% since late April, are off 0.80% on the session at $33.61 as of 12:15 p.m. in New York trading. The wireless carrier popped up on our ‘most active by options volume’ market scanner this morning after one strategist purchased roughly 20,000 of the Oct $31 puts for a premium of $0.25 apiece. The trade may be an outright bearish bet that shares in AT&T continue to fall in the near term, or could be a hedge to protect a long position in the underlying stock. The puts make money at expiration if shares in the telecommunications company drop 8.5% from the current price of $33.61 to breach the effective breakeven point on the downside at $30.75. The stock last traded below $30.75 in April of 2012.
HCP – HCP, Inc. – Options changing hands on healthcare REIT, HCP, Inc., on Wednesday morning look for shares in the name to rally during the next couple of months. The stock, down more than 20% from an all-time high of $53.06 reached in May, trades 0.80% higher on the session at $40.30 as of 11:40 a.m. ET. Trading traffic in HCP call options indicates some traders are positioning for the price of the underlying to rebound. The most actively traded contracts by volume today are the Oct $45 strike calls, with more than 5,000 call options in play against open interest of 1,902 contracts. It looks like much of the volume was purchased for an average premium of $0.22 apiece, thus positioning buyers to profit…
ABC - AmerisourceBergen Corp – Shares in AmerisourceBergen are up 2.4% today and nearly 30% year to date, but options in play on the stock suggest one or more traders are bracing for the price of the underlying to potentially pull back during the next couple of months. Shares are currently hovering around $55.00 as of 12:45 p.m. ET, helped higher by an upgrade to ‘Outperform’ from ‘Market Perform’ at Leerink Swann yesterday. The most actively traded options on ABC are the Aug $50 puts, with upwards of 18,000 contracts traded thus far in the session against open interest of just 160 contracts. Time and sales data suggests much of the volume was purchased for an average premium of $0.88 each, thus positioning buyers to profit should shares in ABC drop more than 10% from the current level to breach the average breakeven point on the downside at $49.12 by August expiration. Shares in AmerisourceBergen last traded below $49.12 in March.
VNDA - Vanda Pharmaceuticals, Inc. – Far out of the money call buying on Vanda Pharmaceuticals today indicates some traders are positioning for shares in the name to extend gains in the near term, with the stock up more than 18% on the session at a new three-year high of $11.94 as of 12:30 p.m. ET. The stock moved up sharply today after hedge fund, Baker Bros. Advisors, LLC, disclosed in a 13G filing a 13.99% stake in the company, roughly double the number of shares held by the fund as of the end of March 2013. Shares in VNDA have rallied approximately 120% since mid-May. Options players betting the price of the underlying has more room to run ahead of June expiration snapped up several hundred calls at the Jun $13 and $14 strikes on Tuesday morning. It looks like traders picked up around 500 calls at the $13 strike for an average premium of $0.65 each, and purchased some 300 lots at the higher $14 strike at an average premium…
DMND - Diamond Foods, Inc. – Bullish options in play on the maker of Pop Secret® popcorn and other packaged consumer food products look for shares in Diamond Foods to rally in the near term. Shares in DMND are up 2.8% at $16.70 as of 12:45 p.m. ET, moving higher ahead of the company’s third-quarter earnings report after the closing bell. The stock is off its 2013 high of $17.99 reached back in March, but is still at a more than 20% premium to where the shares closed on December 31st of last year. Despite the recent rally in the stock, shares in the name are still down more than 80% since September of 2011. Traders positioning for shares to rally snapped up Jun $17 strike calls straight out of the gate this morning, picking up around 3,000 contracts for an average premium of $0.65 apiece. Call buyers may profit at expiration should the price of the underlying rise 5.6% over the current price of $16.70 to top the average breakeven point at $17.65.
XLB - Materials Select Sector SPDR ETF – Shares in the XLB are up 0.55% at $40.38 on Monday afternoon, rebounding somewhat after last week touching down to the lowest level since May 2nd. Options changing hands on the Materials Select Sector SPDR ETF early in the session suggest some traders are positioning for the price of the underlying to decline during the next few months. Upwards of 10,000 puts traded at the Sep $40 strike versus open interest of 3,942 contracts this morning, with much of the volume purchased for an average premium of $1.67 each. The largest print was the purchase of a block of 6,000 of the $40 puts at a premium of $1.68 per contract. Put buyers stand ready to profit at September expiration should the price of the underlying fund decline 5.0% from the current level to trade…
DMND - Diamond Foods, Inc. – Call options on Diamond Foods, Inc., are changing hands at a clip this morning, amid a strong rally in the price of the underlying on above-average volume in the stock. Shares in the nut producer increased as much as 12.8% on Monday morning to $16.25, the highest level since mid-November. The stock currently trades up 10% on the session at $15.85 as of 11:55 a.m. ET. Traders positioning for shares in the name to extend gains this week snapped up bullish options on the stock. The Feb. $16 strike calls attracted the heaviest volume, with upwards of 4,100 calls in play versus open interest of 1,063 contracts. Time and sales data suggests the bulk of the $16 calls were purchased for an average premium of $0.23 apiece. Call buyer stand ready to profit at expiration in the event that Diamond’s shares rally another 2.4% over the current price of $15.85 to exceed the average breakeven point at $16.23. The higher Feb. $17 strike calls are also active today, with nearly 700 lots in play against open interest of 15 contracts. Traders paying an average premium of $0.15 apiece for the $17 strike calls profit at expiration this week as long as DMND shares rise 8.2% from the current level to top $17.15.
NVO - Novo Nordisk A/S – Shares in Danish drug maker, Novo Nordisk, are down 13.9% to stand at $165.58 as of 11:30 a.m. ET on Monday morning on concerns the U.S. Food and Drug Administration’s request for more data on two of Novo’s products will significantly delay the release of those drugs in U.S. markets. Options on the largest maker of insulin are more active than usual today, with volume topping 1,430 contracts during the first half of the trading session versus average daily options volume of around 225 contracts. Put selling on the stock suggests some traders expect the selling pressure to subside, at least in the near term. Upwards of 230…
DMND - Diamond Foods, Inc. – Shares in Diamond Foods fell more than 11% on Monday morning to an intraday low of $13.12 following the company’s fourth-quarter earnings release after the closing bell on Friday. The stock last month slipped to $12.85, the lowest level since the company revealed it must restate two years of earnings, lost its bid to purchase the Pringles brand, and replaced top executives. Options on the maker of Emerald nuts and other consumer food products are far more active than usual today, with some positions looking for shares in the name to slump to fresh lows and others preparing for a near-term rebound in the price of the underlying. The put-to-call volume is hovering around 2-to-1 just after midday in New York, and the bulk of trading traffic is in the weekly contracts. Traders exchanged more than 3,350 of the Dec. 14 ’12 $13.5 strike puts this morning, buying most of the contracts for an average premium of $0.58 apiece. The $13 strike weekly put options attracted heavy volume as well, with some 1,700 lots in play versus zero open positions. Traders buying the $13 strike contracts paid an average premium of $0.34 per contract in the early going, and stand ready to profit at expiration in the event that Diamond’s shares decline 6% from the current price of $13.48, to trade below the breakeven point at $12.66. Meanwhile, fresh interest in the Dec. 14 ’12 $13.5 strike calls today indicates some traders may profit from a near-term pop in the share price. Upwards of 3,900 of the $13.5 strike calls have changed hands as of 12:30 p.m. ET, and it appears much of the volume was purchased for an average premium of $0.40 apiece. Call buyers make money if shares in Diamond Foods settle above the average breakeven price of $13.40 at expiration.
IR - Ingersoll-Rand PLC – Options volume on industrial machinery maker, Ingersoll-Rand, rose well above the stock’s daily average this morning due to heavy trading…
The former Vice-Chairman of Goldman Sachs (Draghi) says everything is fixed and the global markets go flying – what's not to trust? Would anyone form GS ever lie to us? Would GS be involved in manipulating the Global Markets – of course not!
Now that I've fulfilled my obligation to get my mother back unharmed – let's get real. Draghi said the violent spike in bond yields in recent days was hampering "the functioning of the monetary policy transmission channels" – the EXACT expression used to justify each of the ECB's previous market interventions.
Yields on Spanish two-year debt plunged 72 basis points to 5.47% in barely an hour, with comparable moves on Italian debt – easing the pressure before a string of debt auctions in Rome over coming days. The MIB index of stocks in Milan surged by 5.6%. Madrid's IBEX rose 6%, the biggest jump in two years, led by an explosive rise in bank shares. Mr Draghi's comments came as Spain claimed backing from France and Germany for activation of the eurozone's rescue fund (EFSF) to buy Spanish bonds, though this would require calling the Bundestag's finance committee back from holiday for a vote. Action by the EFSF would provide "political cover" for the ECB to join the fray in a two-pronged attack. "We're firing on all cylinders: that is what has ignited the markets," said Hans Redeker, currency chief at Morgan Stanley.
Joint statements from Madrid, Paris and Berlin said market turbulence "does not reflect the fundamentals of the Spanish economy, or the sustainability of its public debt". According to Ambrose Pritchard, "the wording seems scripted to clear the way for intervention." Of course, now it's time to put up or shut up as the Fed meets next week and the ECB has their pre-holiday meeting next week as well…
It might be a little early because we did get another $267Bn from the Fed yesterday but that plus $125Bn given to Spain and $100Bn to the IMF this month is "just" $492Bn and that, according to our calculations, should be good for 1,350 on the S&P, tops. If they want to get to 1,400 – they'll need another $500Bn from Europe and, while it is widely expected to come – the Fed came up short and if the EU comes up short as well, we could be talking flash crash so we took advantage of the pre-Fed run-up (as planned in yesterday's post) to get back to cash.
I don't know if you guys usually click on my little links but this one was the most important of the day – Don't be white people – GET OUT!!!!
This one was so important that I tweeted it (you can follow me here) and Facebooked it (you can follow us here) and I even put it out on Seeking Alpha's Stock Talks (you can follow me here) so don't say I didn't warn you. Sure the market may go up as funds dress windows into the end of the Quarter/Half next week but we caught the run off the bottom this month so why push it when the upside looks limited and the downside does not?
Other than 2014 spreads in our new Income Portfolio – all of our virtual portfolios went to cash rather than risking very nice first half gains. As of yesterday morning they were:
Much thanks to StJ for keeping these tracking portfolios – all back to cash now and hopefully we can match that performance in the second half of the year although I think we're going to ditch the very boring $5,000 Portfolio in favor of a $25,000 Portfolio…
As you can see from the Big Chart, we are testing the 50 day moving averages on the Dow (12,746), S&P (1,347), Nasdaq (2,920), NYSE (7,756) and the Russell (781) IF all goes well and we move up from here. The Dow is already over and the S&P and Russell are close so we'll be watching them closely this morning to see if we should stay bullish or cash out our winners while we wait for some actual bullish news – because the rumors that are driving us higher so far are running out of steam.
The G20 meeting drags on in day 2 and we await their announcement. China dropped $43Bn into the IMF last night and India, Russia, Brazil and Mexico will also commit $10Bn EACH for another $40Bn and that brings the IMF's war chest up to $456Bn. Even Turkey put up $5Bn – we're talking about an all-out Global effort here so we expect A LOT more from the big guns.
Let's not dwell on what it means that Turkey has to bail out Europe and instead focus on Christine Lagarde's statement that the commitments demonstrate "the broad commitment of the membership to ensure the IMF has access to adequate resources to carry out its mandate in the interests of global financial stability." So now it's up to the G20 and that means it's up to Merkel today and Bernanke tomorrow.
Merkel faces mounting pressure to make even greater concessions, by putting Germany's financial muscle behind an integrated banking and borrowing system to keep the euro intact. The question is whether, after two years of muddling through, Europe's pre- eminent power can act quickly and decisively. "I think she will remain an incrementalist: we have not yet reached the point where it is obvious that we are hanging over the precipice," said Paul de Grauwe, a professor at the London School of Economics. "It looks again that what is going to come out is going to temporarily pacify markets until it is clear that it is not going to be sufficient."
For those of you who don't speak Economics – "not going to be sufficient" = DOOM!!!
All of our global indexes are on quite a tear in anticipation of more bailouts/QE from the G20 this week. If we don't get it – prepare for…
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…
Why do we scream at each other
This is what it sounds like When doves cry – Prince
It's no coincidence that this week we will be hearing from Fed Governors Kocherllakota (1pm Tues), Hoenig (12:30 Weds), Plosser (1:30 Weds), and Bullard (9:15 Thurs) ahead of our 2-Year Note Auction (1pm Tues), 5-Year Note Auction (1pm Weds) and 7-Year Note Auction (1pm Thursday) as the Fed needs to bring out 4 of it's 5 most hawkish members to talk up the Dollar (by talking down QE3) to keep those rates paid as low as possible for Treasury.
Once the Hawks drive the rates down and the notes are sold, the Doves will once again be released to talk them back up by extolling the glories of QE3 – completely reversing whatever was said before just as the Hawks will once again be called upon to reverse what the Doves say at a later date – when they need rates to come back down. The joke of it all is that traders will react to each statement, every time, as if it's a "game changer" and adjust their positions to reflect the new reality of the moment. It reminds me of a quote from Orwell's 1984:
As soon as all the corrections which happened to be necessary in any particular number of The Times had been assembled and collated, that number would be reprinted, the original copy destroyed, and the corrected copy placed on the files in its stead. This process of continuous alteration was applied not only to newspapers, but to books, periodicals, pamphlets, posters, leaflets, films, sound-tracks, cartoons, photographs – to every kind of literature or documentation which might conceivably hold any political or ideological significance.
Day by day and almost minute by minute the past was brought up to date. In this way every prediction made by the Party could be shown by documentary evidence to have been correct, nor was any item of news, or any expression of opinion, which conflicted with the needs of the moment, ever allowed to remain on record. All history was a palimpsest, scraped clean and reinscribed exactly as often as was necessary. In no case would it have been possible, once the deed was done, to prove that any falsification had taken place.
Syriza is one vote short of an outright majority. However, Syriza has already secured an alliance with the Independent Greeks, a right-wing party that shares little common ground with Syriza except for its rejection of austerity measures.
The coalition would have at least 162 seats, and that's an allegedly comfortabl...
Last week, the S&P 500 put an end to its streak of weekly losses, despite giving back some gains on Friday. Thursday provided the big catalyst, with the ECB’s announcement of its bold new monetary stimulus plan. Investors were cheered and soothed for the moment. And U.S. fundamentals still look strong. But with Greece trying to turn back time, with volatility elevated (and likely to continue as such), and with the technical situation still dicey, the near term outlook is still worrisome.
In this weekly update, I give my view of the current market environment, offer a technical analysis of the S&P 500 chart...
While Obama is doing everything in his power to show that when it comes to commiserating with the Saudis, he is first in line, the US relationship with that "other" US ally in the region, Israel, is in a fast and furious state of "crash and burn."
Recall, that it was yesterday when it was revealed that President Obama will forgo a visit to the Taj Mahal during his visit to India in order to pay respects in Saudi Arabia after the death of King Abdullah, the White House announced early Saturday morning. Vice President Biden was initially scheduled to lead the U.S. delegation, but he will instea...
A bit of a hodgepodge of charts to review. I'll start with my favourite of the bunch: the relationship between oil and gold prices. Peaks in the relative price between these commodities have historically provided swing lows for commodities - oil in particular. Certainly, sufficient time has passed between peaks to mark a major low.
The relationship between Nasdaq Highs and Lows doesn't suggest we have reached any major inflection yet. Ideally, Nasdaq Lows should spike above 100 to mark a major low, with 200+ for 'back up the truck' style low.
Reminder: OpTrader is available to chat with Members, comments are found below each post.
This post is for all our live virtual trade ideas and daily comments. Please click on "comments" below to follow our live discussion. All of our current trades are listed in the spreadsheet below, with entry price (1/2 in and All in), and exit prices (1/3 out, 2/3 out, and All out).
We also indicate our stop, which is most of the time the "5 day moving average". All trades, unless indicated, are front-month ATM options.
Please feel free to participate in the discussion and ask any questions you might have about this virtual portfolio, by clicking on the "comments" link right below.
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An interview with John Ehlers of Stock Spotter and Mesa Software
Ilene: John, in our last discussion about trading systems in general and yours in particular (Can trading be reduced to cycles, stresses and vibrations?) you mentioned Monte Carlo simulations and their use in measuring performance. Can you explain more about how you measure the performance of a trading system?
John: Let's start with comparing trading with gambling. The two have several things in common. In both ...
So as I was saying yesterday (Bitcoin: The Biggest Clown Show In History?), Bitcoin has several obstacles on the path to potential success as an alternative currency. But I forgot to mention hacking and theft at Bitcoin exchanges and other technical problems. This is related to the lack of government backing and the fact that the value of Bitcoins is based entirely on confidence.
Reminder: Pharmboy is available to chat with Members, comments are found below each post.
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...
Stocks got off to a rocky start on the first trading day in December, with the S&P 500 Index slipping just below 2050 on Monday. Based on one large bullish SPX options trade executed on Wednesday, however, such price action is not likely to break the trend of strong gains observed in the benchmark index since mid-October. It looks like one options market participant purchased 25,000 of the 31Dec’14 2105/2115 call spreads at a net premium of $2.70 each. The trade cost $6.75mm to put on, and represents the maximum potential loss on the position should the 2105 calls expire worthless at the end of December. The call spread could reap profits of as much as $7.30 per spread, or $18.25mm, in the event that the SPX ends the year above 2115. The index would need to rally 2.0% over the current level...
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.
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considered to be reliable. However, neither PSW Investments, LLC d/b/a PhilStockWorld (PSW)
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This material is not intended as an offer or solicitation for the purchase or sale of any security or other financial instrument. Securities or other financial instruments mentioned in this material are not suitable for all investors. Any opinions expressed herein are given in good faith, are subject to change without notice, and are only intended at the moment of their issue as conditions quickly change. The information contained herein does not constitute advice on the tax consequences of making any particular investment decision. This material does not take into account your particular investment objectives, financial situations or needs and is not intended as a recommendation to you of any particular securities, financial instruments or strategies. Before investing, you should consider whether it is suitable for your particular circumstances and, as necessary, seek professional advice.
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