by Option Review - June 26th, 2012 4:16 pm
Today’s tickers: DOW, CVH & ARO
DOW - Dow Chemical Co. – Bearish trading in DOW options this morning suggests some traders are positioning for the price of the underlying to decline further this summer. Shares in Dow Chemical fell 1.6% to $31.73 on Tuesday following a downgrade to ‘Neutral’ from ‘Overweight’ at JPMorgan. Upwards of 4,500 puts changed hands at the Aug. $31 strike in the first half of the trading session against open interest of 1,413 contracts. It looks like most of the puts were purchased at a premium of $1.33 apiece, including a large block of 1,568 contracts that traded within minutes of the opening bell this morning. Put buyers may be taking outright bearish positions on the name or hedging long positions in the underlying shares ahead of the company’s second-quarter earnings report on July 26th. Profits – or downside protection – kick in on the long put positions should shares in the manufacturer of plastic materials and chemicals slide 6.5% to breach the effective breakeven price of $29.67 by August expiration.
CVH - Coventry Health Care, Inc. – The managed care company popped up on our scanners this morning after a large bearish spread was initiated in the front month options today ahead of a decision from the Supreme Court on the 2010 health care law. Shares in Coventry Health Care are off their lows of the session but remain in negative territory, down 0.60% at $33.33 as of 12:15 p.m. in New York. A large 5,000-lot July $28/$32 put spread appears to have been purchased for a premium of $0.95 per contract. The position, rather sizable next to overall open interest on the stock of 32,696 contracts, could be a hedge to protect a long position in the stock or an outright bearish stance on the near term performance of the shares. The spread is profitable – or yields downside protection – in the event that Coventry’s shares decline…
by Option Review - July 13th, 2011 5:36 pm
Today’s tickers: RHT, MDRX, CQB & DOW
RHT - Red Hat, Inc. – Options activity in December contract calls on the world’s leading provider of open source solutions suggests shares in Red Hat may rally more than 10.0% to their highest in more than a decade by the end of 2011. The stock gained 1.80% this afternoon to trade at $44.57 by 12:30 pm on the East Coast, paring some losses realized earlier in this week. In the previous four weeks Red Hat’s shares moved up 17.0% on strong first-quarter earnings as well as analyst upgrades. Bullish strategists expecting the company’s shares to extend gains purchased around 4,390 call options at the December $46 strike on open interest of just 242 contracts. Traders paid an average premium of $3.40 per contract and stand ready to profit should Red Hat’s shares surge 10.8% over the current price of $44.57 to exceed the average breakeven point to the upside at $49.40 by expiration day in December. The Raleigh, NC-based company reports second-quarter earnings after the market closes on September 22. Call buyers may see the value of their positions sky-rocket if Red Hat’s second-quarter results send the price of the underlying skyward.
MDRX - Allscripts-Misys Healthcare Solutions, Inc. – Allscripts shares rose 1.1% to $19.96 this morning after the company said it expects adjusted earnings and revenues for the second quarter to come in better than analysts’ estimates. Despite positive comments from the Chicago, IL-based company, it looks like some options traders are positioning for shares in the healthcare information services company to pullback ahead of August expiration. Allscripts reports second-quarter earnings on August 4. MDRX shares rose 9.1% in the past two weeks, but put buyers populating the stock today are prepared to benefit should shares erase recent gains in the next…
by Option Review - April 29th, 2011 4:09 pm
Today’s tickers: NTGR, GT, DOW & S
NTGR - Netgear, Inc. – The maker of networking products for at-home and small business use reported better-than-expected first-quarter earnings on Thursday after the closing bell, and projected second-quarter sales of $270 million, which beat the consensus estimate of $240.3 million. Shares in the San Jose, CA-based company subsequently jumped 28.4% today to secure an intraday- and new all-time high of $43.67. Investors expecting the price of the underlying to trend higher through the next couple of months traded more than 2,800 calls at the June $45 strike on just 10 lots of previously existing open interest. The majority of the call options were purchased for an average premium of $1.35 each. Call buyers make money if shares in Netgear rally another 6.1% over today’s high of $43.67 to surpass the average breakeven price of $46.35 by expiration day in June. Meanwhile, pre-earnings report buyers of May contract call options have seen the value of their positions sky-rocket today. One trader appears to be taking profits, selling 50 now deep in-the-money calls at the May $31 strike for an average premium of $10.38 each, which he appears to have initially purchased for just $3.60 apiece on Thursday. Open interest levels at the two highest-available strike prices in the front month indicate call buyers paid as much as $0.35 per contract to buy fewer than 100 calls at each of the May $37 and $38 strikes earlier in the week. Today, these same calls tout asking prices of $4.60 and $3.80, respectively. Approximately 4,200 call and put options have changed hands on Netgear just before 1:00pm on overall previously existing open interest of 5,678 contracts on the stock.
GT - Goodyear Tire & Rubber Co. – Shares in the largest U.S. tire manufacturer shot up…
by ilene - September 18th, 2010 8:54 pm
Courtesy of The Pragmatic Capitalist
Taking the other side of the extremely bearish Robert Prechter view of the markets is today’s chart of the day which shows the performance of several post-massive bear market rallies:
Today’s chart illustrates rallies that followed massive bear markets. For today’s chart, a ‘massive’ bear market is defined as a decline of greater than 50%. Since the Dow’s inception in 1896, there have been only three bear markets whereby the Dow declined more than 50% (early 1930s, late 1930s until early 1940s, and during the very recent financial crisis). Today’s chart also adds the rally that followed the dot-com bust during which the Nasdaq declined 78%. The current Dow rally has followed a path that is fairly similar to that of post-massive bear market rallies. The initial surge of the current rally lasted nearly 300 trading days and has been trading flat/choppy ever since. If the current rally were to continue to follow the post-massive bear market rally pattern, the current choppy phase would continue for another 200+ trading days.
- The market is at a critical juncture. Where we go from here may surprise you. Find out right now with the exclusive charts of Chart of the Day Plus.
by Chart School - September 15th, 2010 4:30 pm
Chris Kimble writes:
"Good morning…I attempt to share ideas for longer-term and short-term investors. The attached chart might appeal to both."
Here’s the chart of the Dow going back 70 years. It shows the Dow at the top of its resistance channel, which it has been above in the recent past. With 70 years of perspective, even a rather large drop in the market now would just look like reversion to the mean. – Ilene
click on chart to enlarge
For more charts by Chris, check out his blog: Kimble Charting Solutions.
by phil - August 14th, 2010 3:43 am
Talk about feeling outnumbered!
As the guy in Airplane kind of said – "Looks like I pricked the wrong week to get bullish!" Of course, as I often tell people I am neither bullish nor bearish – I'm rangeish – and our range is the 5% band between around Dow 10,200 and S&P 1,070, which takes us as low as Dow 9,690 and S&P 1,016 and as high as Dow 10,710 and S&P 1,123 before I really "flip flop" my positions. Despite the fact that this is the range we predicted last October and is the range we've been in (other than a brief trip to 11,200, which we shorted the hell out of) all year – people still seem to find it necessary to call me either bullish or bearish as we navigate the channel.
I suppose I have been HOPEFUL for the month (now heading into day 14) that we will finally make a little progress and establish a higher floor at our usual mid-points while, at the same time, the MSM have decided that we are all going to die. That does make me kind of bullish by comparison doesn't it? We are mainly in cash and we are well hedged to the downside so, unless we are REALLY heading much, much lower, there is little profit in speculating to the downside, other than our quick trades. As PT Barnum once said:
"A man who is all caution, will never dare to take hold and be successful; and a man who is all boldness, is merely reckless, and must eventually fail. A man may go on "’change" and make fifty, or one hundred thousand dollars in speculating in stocks, at a single operation. But if he has simple boldness without caution, it is mere chance, and what he gains to-day he will lose to-morrow. You must have both the caution and the boldness, to insure success."
Balance is the key to long-term success and we've had many conversations about that in Member Chat. Our goal is to be neither bullish or bearish but rather to sell premium to both the bulls and the bears when conditions permit us. As Ravalos said Friday in Member Chat:
"Ever since I became member (actually before I became member I
by Option Review - July 14th, 2010 4:40 pm
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…
by Chart School - July 1st, 2010 5:13 pm
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
Courtesy of Mish
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!
Meanwhile doom and gloomers like Robert Prechter think the Dow will fall to 1,000.
To that I say "Poppycock" (pretty harsh language indeed for those who know me well).
By my optimistic comparison, I think the Dow’s downside is 5,000. That is a stunning 400% more optimistic appraisal of the current state of affairs than Prechter.
Furthermore, I freely admit that the DOW, instead of dropping, just may meander around 10,000 for another decade.
Wow. Except for public pension plan assumptions, imagine the parties we can have over that!
by ilene - June 16th, 2010 1:14 pm
Courtesy of The Pragmatic Capitalist
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.”
Source: Dow Theory Letters
by Option Review - June 10th, 2010 4:24 pm
Today’s tickers: HOG, SKS, MDRX, DFS, NFLX, IGT & DOW
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…