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
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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
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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
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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.
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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
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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.
“The cash shortage may get even worse before the quarter-end because banks will have to hoard cash to meet loan-to-deposit ratio requirements,” said Chen Qi, a strategist at UBS Securities Co. in Shanghai. “The central bank probably won’t come out to intervene unless there is a sharp decline in economic growth and large capital outflows.”
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Futures Tick Higher Ahead of Fed
U.S. equity futures traded slightly higher ahead of the much anticipated Federal Reserve meeting Wednesday. With rumors of tapering, not tapering, and Chairman Bernanke stepping down, all eyes will be on the policy statement, the revised forecast, and the chairman's press conference.
LZB - La-Z-Boy, Inc. – Shares in furniture producer, La-Z-Boy, Inc., increased as much as 3.9% to $19.80 at the start of the session, the highest level since 2004, ahead of the company’s fourth-quarter earnings report after the closing bell today. Options volume is up ahead of the report, with roughly 400 contracts in play this afternoon versus average daily volume of around 80 contracts. Trading in La-Z-Boy call options is outpacing puts, with the call/put ratio up above 4.3 as of the time of this writing. Some traders appear to be p...
Today's market meme was "pleasant trading ahead of the Fed." The recently troublesome and highly volatile Nikkei finished the day with a minor slip of -0.20%, and the eurozone was on hold with the EURO STOXX 50 closing a hair below flat at -0.07%. On the home front, the June CPI report for May offered no surprises and the housing numbers (permits and starts) were a bit light but not statistically significant. With no news from June FOMC until tomorrow afternoon, the S&P 500 opened at its intraday low, 0.04% above yesterday's close, and traded with no drama to its intraday high, up 0.92%, in the mid-afternoon. The buying eased in the last 45 minutes of trading and the index closed with a modestly trimmed gain of 0.78%.
After the volatile session yesterday, the S&P 500 has broken back above the channel we have been discussing for a few weeks and now the Russell 2000 and NASDAQ appear to be joining (was not the case yesterday). If not for the focus on the FOMC presser tomorrow you'd have a nice clean breakout starting here. Tomorrow is of course a major wildcard.
On a related note – the 50 day moving average has been quite the support in 2013. In fact no year other than 1995 in the past 30 comes close to what we are seeing this year. ...
The market responded well today to good economic news and to the positive and somewhat surprising response to the election of a moderate Iranian President. Some moderation in Turkey didn’t hurt either, and overnight positive markets in Asia and Europe gave bullish investors enough encouragement to buy equities broadly.
This drove all three major domestic indices up about 1% before a late small selloff left the S&P 500 Index up nearly 1% and the Nasdaq and Dow Jones Industrial Average both up well over 0.5%. We think it likely this week that the market will challenge highs set in late May.
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I am going to share with you how I manage my IRA and the power of reducing your cost basis. My goal each year is a 20% return in my IRA. Sometimes I make it and sometimes I don't, but I believe that all of my success is due to reducing my cost basis. To illustrate the power of reducing your cost basis here are some trades we did last year. These trades are taken from an educational portfolio we ran in a paper-trading account for a little more than a year.
We bought RIG on 5/15/2012 for $44.13, sold it on 1/18/2013 for $46 but booked a profit of $1,154.
We bought MT on 1/4/2012 for $19.24, sold it on 12/21/2012 for $15 but booked a profit of $454.
We bought CHK on 1/27/2012 for $21.93, sold it on 10/19/2012 for $18 b...
Stock market posts another record setting week, but the big news came after Friday’s close.
Courtesy of NASA
The stock market put on another record setting show with the Dow Jones Industrial Average (NYSEARCA:DIA) closing at a record high 15,118 and the S&P 500 (NYSEARCA:SPY) closing at 1633.70, another all time closing high.
For the week, the Dow Jones Industrial Average (NYSEARCA:DIA) gained 1%, the S&P 500 (NYSEARCA:SPY) climbed 1.2%, the Nasdaq Composite (NYSEARCA:...
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Well, well, well....it is good to know that there are others in the scientific arena who believed that YMI Bioscience's data (cough - Gilead) is a better drug than Incyte's Jakafi. Now, the definitive data are still unknown, but there was enough evidence from a Phase 2 trial to take a small risk for a huge reward. So, let's forget about Apple (AAPL), and do nothing but biotechs from now until Congress passes universal health care coverage for prescriptions....and drive the prices down so that research and development is no longer feasible to conduct in the US. Even Seattle Genetics (SGEN) has been on a tear as of late...
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