Today’s tickers: HRS, EWZ, RSH, PNRA, IVN, LO & DOW
HRS – Harris Corp. – A three-legged bullish play on the international communications and information technology company that serves government and commercial markets around the world indicates one option strategist expects shares of the underlying stock to rally significantly by expiration day in February 2011. Harris Corp.’s shares are up 0.95% at $44.46 just before 2:30 pm (ET), but earlier in the session rallied as much as 1.8% to an intraday high of $44.84. HRS shares moved higher on news the firm recently won a number of large contracts. One such contract is a 30-month, $25-million contract under the Network-Centric Solutions contract vehicle, which requires Harris to upgrade network infrastructure at 15 National Guard sites. Harris Corp. popped up on our ‘hot by options volume’ market scanner in the first half of the trading day following the implementation of a three-legged bullish transaction. The investor responsible for the trade essentially sold puts to finance the purchase of a debit call spread. In doing so, the trader sold 1,500 puts at the February 2011 $35 strike for a premium of $1.75 per contract, purchased 1,500 calls at the February 2011 $45 strike for a premium of $4.65 each, and sold 1,500 calls at the higher February 2011 $55 strike for premium of $1.20 apiece. The net cost of the transaction amounts to $1.70 per contract. Thus, the options player is poised to profit as long as Harris Corp.’s shares rally 5.00% over the current price of $44.46 to surpass the effective breakeven point at $46.70 by expiration day. The investor walks away with maximum potential profits of $8.30 per contract if HRS shares surge 23.7% to trade above $55.00 by February 2011 expiration. The short put stance at the February 2011 $35 strike implies the investor is happy to have 150,000 shares of the underlying stock put to him at $35.00 each should the puts land in-the-money by expiration day.
EWZ – iShares MSCI Brazil Index Fund – An investor itching for a rally in shares of the Brazil ETF purchased a bullish call butterfly spread in the August contract this afternoon. Shares of the EWZ, an exchange-traded fund designed to correspond to the price and yield performance of publicly traded securities in the aggregate in the Brazilian market, as measured by the MSCI Brazil Index, fell 1.05% to trade at…
Mish is a picture of optimism compared to Robert Prechter (of Elliott Wave Fame). Robert Prechter is wrong, instead of dropping to 1,000, the Dow may only drop to 5,000, and even that may be too pessimistic in Mish’s eyes. - Ilene
I don’t know about you but I am psyched. The prospects of an ongoing party for another decade are extremely good as the following chart shows.
Dow Jones Industrial Average – 1999 to Present
click on chart for sharper image
Market participants put on their party hats and started cheering in 1999 when the DOW crossed 10,000 for the first time. They have been cheering pretty much nonstop ever since.
Admittedly there was a bit of a party lag between early 2005 and late 2008 but the party hats have been working overtime since mid-2008 as shown below.
Dow Jones Industrial Average – October 2010 to Present
click on chart for sharper image
Lost Decades Comparison
Please bear in mind that some pessimists liken the above behavior to a period of stunning underperformance of the Japanese Nikkei Index over the last two decades.
Japan’s Two Lost Decades
click on chart for sharper image
The Perpetually Optimistic Mish
Being the ever-optimist that I am, I want to quickly point out that while Japan essentially went straight down over two decades, the US by comparison has put in stunning outperformance by going nowhere.
Indeed, the Dow Jones Index is remarkably sitting exactly where it was in April of 1999, over 10 years ago while the Nikkei over the same timeframe fell by about 50%.
Optimists such as myself have only one thing to say: Hallelujah!
Richard Russell has been very vocally bearish of late. He’s not the only notable investor who has turned increasingly bearish in recent months. Currently, Russell believes we are in the “dead zone” – a sort of no man’s land for the market where we could potentially meander for a while, attempt to regain our footing and then get knocked flat on our backs:
“We’re in the area that I call the “dead zone.” I’ve been here before, and it’s not easy to write in the dead zone. The dead zone tends to appear after a period of dramatic and clearly-defined action. After such periods the market will often act like an exhausted prize fighter who has been knocked down to the canvas. He gets to his feet, but he is unsteady on his feet, and he’s playing for time — until his head clears. He’s fending off the other fighter as best he can, and he’s depending on his experience. Will he make it to the end of the round? But what kind of shape is he in for the next round?
To be more specific, the last significant low for the Dow was recorded on June 7 at 9816, Transports 4038. I want to watch these two points for indications of further strength or weakness.
The Lowry’s figures are important at this juncture. Their Selling Pressure Index at 707 is 462 points above their Buying Power Index which stands at 245. Thus Selling Pressure is in the dominant position, which suggests that the market should work sharply lower at the drop of a dime.”
HOG – Harley-Davidson, Inc. – Motorcycle maker, Harley-Davidson, Inc., attracted hoards of options investors during the session with its shares rallying as much as 5.85% in morning trading to secure an intraday high of $27.71. Harley’s shares are currently up a more modest 1.80% to $26.65 just before 12:40 pm (ET). Bullish tactics dominated activity in the June contract, with optimistic traders picking up some 4,300 calls at the June $28 strike for an average premium of $0.52 apiece. Call buyers at this strike price make money only if Harley-Davidson’s shares exceed $28.52 ahead of June expiration. Optimism spread to the higher June $30 strike where 1,100 calls were purchased at an average premium of $0.15 each. The calls are not a profitable acquisition for traders unless Harley’s shares jump more than 13.1% over the current price of $26.65 to exceed the average breakeven price of $30.15 by June expiration day. Investor sentiment is mixed in the July contract. While bulls purchased call options at the July $30 strike for an average premium of $0.82 apiece, bearish traders employed different strategies. It looks like some pessimistic investors essentially opted to sell call options in order to finance the purchase of debit put spreads. These traders appear to have purchased roughly 4,000 puts at the July $25 strike for an average premium of $1.23 each, and sold about the same number of puts at the lower July $20 strike for $0.23 apiece. Additional financing for the bearish spread was provided by the sale of approximately 4,000 calls at the July $30 strike for an average premium of $0.82 each. Thus, the average net cost of the combination play amounts to $0.18 per contract. Investors employing this strategy are prepared to profit should HOG’s shares decline 6.9% to breach the effective breakeven price to the downside at $24.82 by July expiration. Maximum available profits of $4.82 per contract accumulate for bearish individuals if shares of the underlying stock plummet 24.95% from the current price of $26.65 to break through $20.00 by expiration day.
SKS – Saks, Inc. – Some investors made bullish moves on Saks, Inc. today with shares of the underlying stock up as much as 5.2% in the first half of the trading session to an intraday high of $8.50. The luxury retailer’s share price rose on optimism consumer spending…
The time scales are different, but the similarities in the historical DOW chart and a recent 60 minute chart of the S&P 500 are amazingly alike.
click on chart for sharper image
Although these types of direct historical comparisons have limited trading value, it is still interesting to see similar patterns repeat now and then. The market action from the high in April matches the market action from the October 1929 high almost perfectly (albeit on different time scales).
Should the pattern continue you might expect something like this.
Dow October 1929 – July 1933
click on chart for sharper image
The first chart ended October 1930, where the above red arrow starts. I am not calling for the pattern to continue, but I am certainly open to the idea that it could.
EEM – iShares MSCI Emerging Markets Index ETF – Contrarian options activity on the EEM, an exchange-traded fund designed to produce investment results that correspond to the price and yield performance of the MSCI Emerging Markets Index, points to optimism the fund’s shares may rebound sharply by July expiration. Shares of the emerging markets ETF are down 1.10% to stand at $37.68 just before 3:30 pm (ET). One bullish strategist positioning for a rally in the next couple of months purchased a ratio call spread on the fund. The investor picked up 3,000 calls at the July $38 strike for an average premium of $2.05 each, and sold 6,000 calls at the higher July $41 strike for a premium of $0.73 apiece. The net cost of the transaction amounts to $0.59 per contract. The trader responsible for the ratio spread makes money as long as shares of the EEM rally 2.41% to surpass the effective breakeven price of $38.59. Maximum available profits of $2.41 per contract pad the investor’s wallet if, by expiration, shares of the emerging markets fund rally 8.80% to $41.00. Shares of the EEM last traded at $41.00 back on May 4, 2010.
PFE – Pfizer, Inc. – Shares of the research-based global pharmaceutical company earlier rallied slightly to an intraday high of $15.42, but slipped lower in afternoon trading to stand 0.40% lower on the day at $15.17 as of 2:45 pm (ET). Bullish options activity took place on the stock despite the slight share price erosion suggesting one investor expects Pfizer’s shares to rebound sharply by September expiration. The optimistic individual purchased a debit call spread, picking up roughly 4,000 calls at the September $17 strike for an average premium of $0.30 each, and selling about the same number of calls at the higher September $19 strike for an average premium of $0.06 apiece. The investor paid a net $0.24 per contract to establish the spread. Pfizer’s shares must rally 13.65% over the current price of $15.17 in order for the investor to break even on the transaction at $17.24. Shares must surge 25.25% to exceed $19.00 before the trader accrues maximum available profits of $1.76 per contract.
XLF – Financial Select Sector SPDR – A put spread on the XLF, an exchange-traded fund designed to yield investment results that correspond…
The look of love is in your eyes
A look your smile can’t disguise
The look of love is saying so much more than just words could ever say
And what my heart has heard, well it takes my breath away
This is the 60_minute DJIA, still entrenched in a short-term SELL, despite market strength over the past couple of days.
Same holds true for the 240_minute DJIA, still well into SELL MODE.
I consider this the most important of the three charts. It’s a Daily DJIA that suggests the decline of the past few weeks is unfinished. Note that there are several hundred DJIA points to go before this Daily trend is even threatened. That’s where the 60 & 240 minute charts come in, early warning systems which haven’t yet been triggered.
Listen, it’s not THAT unrealistic, look at the Dow from March 2009 to now! It’s a miracle!
Schwarzenegger economic adviser David Crane writes about the bizarre situation in WSJ saying in 1999, then governor Gray Davis signed into law a bill that made looting California legal and gave state pensioners quite a boost in income based on completely unrealistic projections of fund performance (you know, the sort of stuff prospectuses warn about).
What Calpers failed to disclose, however, was that (1) the state budget was on the hook for shortfalls should actual investment returns fall short of assumed investment returns, (2) those assumed investment returns implicitly projected the Dow Jones would reach roughly 25,000 by 2009 and 28,000,000 by 2099, unrealistic to say the least (3) shortfalls could turn out to be hundreds of billions of dollars, (4) Calpers’s own employees would benefit from the pension increases and (5) members of Calpers’s board had received contributions from the public employee unions who would benefit from the legislation. Had such a flagrant case of non-disclosure occurred in the private sector, even a sleepy SEC and US Attorney would have noticed.
Hahahahahahahahaha a 28,000,000 Dow by 2099! Now that’s funny.
F%$k schools, f&*k roads, f*%k social services, as long as our state employees are taken care of, what the hell do we need the rest of that sh*t for?!
Bram observes that gasoline is already $8/gallon (when converted from liters priced in euros) in The Netherlands, yet auto owners still spend hours every day commuting to work.
And this is a small nation with an extensive (if expensive) pubic transit system.
To the degree that every dollar/euro/quatloo spent on petrol/diesel is a dollar/euro/quatloo which is not available to be saved or spent on other goods/services, it is in effect a tax (notwithstanding the high taxes already tacked onto petrol/diesel in most of the EU nations).
Why would people continue to drive despite massive financial disincentives to do so? Could the high cost of housing be a factor, as Bram suggests? Or is personal transport so addictive that we are like the lab rats who famously starved themselves to death by continually pressing the button which released more cocaine for their "enjoyment"?
That experiment may be apocryphal, and I mention it only to suggest that there are clearly powerful emotional attractors involved in our decisions to own and drive autos. That is, it is not only a financial decision. But could the economy/society be modified structurally to bring work and home closer together, or to at least ease the financial and social decisions to move the two into close proximity?
Here is Bram’s informative commentary:
I read your story about fuel prices today. Here in the Netherlands the fuel prices are skyhigh, but everyone is still driving his metal cubicle and waiting patiently in traffic jams. Talking about the rise of hidden taxes. In 1993 it was 46.1% tax. Now in 2010 it is 72% on gasoline.
Advisor Perspectives welcomes guest contributions. The views presented here do not necessarily represent those of Advisor Perspectives.
The optimism on the key stock indices is increasing as the fundamentals that suggest the rally will go on continue to deteriorate. Investors beware; this disparity doesn't end well. The possible upside gains look to be very small, and the downside risks are increasing.
To me, it feels like we are back in 2007 all over again, when key stock indices were making fresh highs and fundamentals across the board were tormented. Stock advisors were telling their clients to buy more. Irrationality was exuberant. I remember one celebrity stock advisor saying something along the lines of, "I know it doesn't make sense buying overvalued stocks, but don't worry; they are going to go higher."
With NATO actively building up its airforce support in Poland and the Baltic states in recent days in a flashback to cold war military escalation and deterrence, and even launching AWACS planes over Poland and Romania to monitor the Ukraine crisis and "enhance the alliance's situational awareness," the inevitable has finally happened, and other Russian neighbor states, ones not alligned with the military treaty, have escalated in turn only this time they are showing their allegiance not to the west but to Russia.
Shares in McDonald’s are up the most in the Dow Jones Industrial Average today, rising nearly 4.0% to $98.92 and the highest level since November 26th during the first hour of the session. The rally in shares of the world’s largest restaurant chain today is more than making up for yesterday’s dip in the price of the underlying on the heels of a larger than expected dip in February same store sales. Options traders hungry for continued gains in the stock in the very near term appear to be snapping up weekly options across several striking prices today.
The most traded weekly options by volume are the 14 Mar ’14 $97 strike...
DAILY PRICE REPORT
Today’s AM fix was USD 1,348.00, EUR 973.57 and GBP 810.44 per ounce.
Yesterday’s AM fix was USD 1,334.25, EUR 961.55 and GBP 800.87 per ounce.
Gold rose $0.7 or 0.05% yesterday, to $1,339.90/oz. Silver dropped $0.08 or 0.38% to $20.81/oz.
Gold in US Dollars - 1 Year (Bloomberg)
Gold rose in all currencies again today and headed towards a four month high in dollar terms as the standoff between Russia and Ukraine led to demand for gold as a haven. Silver surged 1.4%, platinum added 0.3% to $1,481.60/oz and pal...
Today was the beginning of “spring break” for the market. At least it seemed that way with a very low trading volume of only 600M shares on the NYSE. Either the college crowd does more trading than we imagined or parents are taking the week off as well.
The market barely woke up for the session with the S&P 500 down 0.05% and the NASDAQ down 0.03%. However, the DJI must have gotten extra sleep this weekend as it was up 0.21%. Small caps took a bigger hit with the Russell 2000 dropping nearly 0.50% percent. There was nothing major in the news other than a disappointing trading figure from China. Indeed, the whole week will only include a meager four major economic reports with Wholesale Inventories tomorrow, Retail Sales and Jobless Claims on Thursday, and Producer Price In...
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.
To learn more about the swing trading virtual portfolio (strategy, performance, FAQ, etc.), please click here...
Reminder: Pharmboy is available to chat with Members, comments are found below each post.
Ladies and Gentlemen, hobos and tramps,
Cross-eyed mosquitoes, and Bow-legged ants,
I come before you, To stand behind you,
To tell you something, I know nothing about.
And so the circus begins in Union Square, San Francisco for this weeks JP Morgan Healthcare Conference. Will the momentum from 2013, which carried the S&P Spider Biotech ETF to all time highs, carry on in 2014? The Biotech ETF beat the S&P by better than 3 points.
As I noted in my previous post, Biotechs Galore - IPOs and More, biotechs were rushing to IPOs so that venture capitalists could unwind their holdings (funds are usually 5-7 years), as well as take advantage of the opportune moment...
Welcome to the fouth update of the IRA Virtual Portfolio. First I am going to summarize the current state of the Portfolio then I will get into all the activity we had during September expiration.
Profit and Loss – Net of closed positions the portfolio is up a total of $769
Market Commentary – Last expiration I said, "I would like to put a total of $20,000 to work by the end of SEP expiration. If the VIX pops up to around 20 I plan to put about $50,000 total to work." The market didn't quite reach the goal but I did manage to deploy $15,000 of buying power. I still feel the market is too high and expect a correction during October. If the vix pops up to around 20 I still plan to put about $50,000 to work. If a correction doesn't happen I still plan to have a total of $25,000 in buying power put to work by October expiration. Now on to the act...
Note: The material presented in this commentary is provided for
informational purposes only and is based upon information that is
considered to be reliable. However, neither MaddJack Enterprises, LLC
d/b/a PhilStockWorld (PSW) nor its affiliates
warrant its completeness, accuracy or adequacy and it should not be relied upon as such. Neither PSW nor its affiliates are responsible for any errors or omissions or for results obtained from the use of this information. Past performance, including the tracking of virtual trades and portfolios for educational purposes, is not necessarily indicative of future results. Neither Phil, Optrader, or anyone related to PSW is a registered financial adviser and they may hold positions in the stocks mentioned, which may change at any time without notice. Do not buy or sell based on anything that is written here, the risk of loss in trading is great.
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.