SPLK - Splunk, Inc. – Options on software and data analysis company, Splunk, Inc., are far more active than usual this morning, with volume topping 4,600 contracts versus the stock’s average daily options volume of 670 contracts, as of 11:20 a.m. ET. Shares in the name are up better than 6% on the day to stand at $31.63, the highest level since October 2012. Traders positioning for shares in the name to extend gains in the near term snapped up January and February expiry call options. Upside calls with one full trading week remaining to expiration looked to the Jan. $30 and $35 strikes, purchasing around 500 and 220 contracts at those striking prices, at average premiums of $0.92 and $0.11 apiece, respectively. Bullish activity spread to the Feb. $35 strike where around 450 calls were purchased for an average premium of $0.41 each, preparing buyers to profit at February expiration in the event that Splunk shares rally another 12% to exceed the average breakeven price of $35.41. But, not all of the activity is in SPLK calls; trading traffic is also robust in the Jan. $30 strike put options. Traders exchanged around 1,300 puts at the Jan. $30 strike versus previously existing open interest of 446 contracts. Put players paid an average premium of $0.42 per contract, and may profit at expiration in the event that Splunk’s shares slip 6.5% from the current price to trade below $29.58.
GNK - Genco Shipping & Trading, Ltd. – Call options looking for shares in drybulk shipping company, Genco Shipping & Trading, Ltd., to rally substantially during the next five weeks were active this morning as shares in the name moved higher. The stock gained more than 4% during the first 15 minutes of the session, hitting an intraday high of $4.24. However, the stock was unable to hang onto earlier gains, and currently trades down 4% on the day at $3.91 as of 12:40 p.m. in New York. Traders positioning for Genco’s shares to extend the start-of-session rally purchased more than…
GM - General Motors Co. – A couple of bullish bets in options covering automobile manufacturer, General Motors, may prove prudent investments for some strategists should shares in GM increase approximately 15.0% by January expiration. Shares in the Detroit, MI-based company are on the rise in early-afternoon trade, standing 0.45% higher on the session at $26.54 as of 12:10 pm in New York. It looks like options players initiated two ratio call spreads this morning. The larger of the transactions involved the purchase of 3,602 calls at the Jan. 2012 $26 strike at a premium of $2.82 each, against the sale of 7,204 calls up at the Jan. 2012 $30 strike for a premium of $1.22 apiece. Net premium paid for the spread amounts to $0.38 per contract, thus positioning the trader to make money should shares in the automaker exceed the effective breakeven price of $26.38 at expiration in January. The investor could rake in maximum potential profits of $3.62 per contract in the event that shares in GM rally 13.0% to settle at $30.00 at expiration next year. Meanwhile, the smaller and more optimistic of the trades engaged the purchase of 1,000 Jan. 2012 $27 strike calls for an average premium of $2.37 each, and the sale of twice as many of the Jan. 2012 $31 strike contracts at an average premium of $0.97 a-pop. The net cost of the spread amounts to $0.43 apiece, and therefore an average breakeven share price of $31.43. Maximum potential profits of $3.57 per contract are available on the trade should shares in the car maker surge 16.8% to settle at $31.00 at expiration day. Shares in GM last traded above $31.00 back in mid-July.
BCSI - Blue Coat Systems, Inc. – Call options on Blue…
Robert Hagstrom currently serves as Chief Investment Strategist of Legg Mason Inc (NYSE:LM) Investment Counsel. Previously, Robert was Senior Vice President and Portfolio Manager of the Growth Equity Strategy at Legg Mason Capital Management. Prior to that, he served as President and Chief Investment Officer of Legg Mason Focus Capital, General Partner of Focus Capital Advisory, and Principal at Lloyd, Leith and Sawin. Robert acted as Portfolio Manager with First Fidelity Bank from 1989 to 1991. From 1984 to 1989, he was a Financial Advisor for Legg Mason Wood Walker, Inc. Robert earned a B.A. and M.A. from Villanova University. Robert received the CFA designation in 1992 and is a member of T...
The left chart looks at the Nasdaq Composite index over the past 20-years.
Currently the index is back at the same price as it was back at the Dot Com highs. With the trend being up (above support and moving averages) the NAS, is attempting a “continuation of trend breakout” at this time. Should the index achieve a breakout above the 2000 levels, it would be viewed as a bullish continuation event.
The right chart looks at Apple over the past 5-years. For the past 6-months, Apple has struggled to get above the $133 level. From a very short-term perspective a short-term support line could be giving way, of a bearish r...
“It’s an election about who will protect our economy in a period of ongoing global instability,” Stephen Harper, Prime Minister of Canada, announced on Sunday as he officially kicked off the campaign for the federal elections on October 19. He’d just asked Governor Gen...
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In this weekly update, I give my view of the current market environment, offer a technical analysis of the S&P 500 chart, review our weekly fundamentals-based SectorCast rankings of the ten U.S. business sectors, and then offer up some actionable trading ideas, including a sector rotation strategy using ETFs and an enhanced version using top-ranked stocks from the top-ranked sectors.
Corporate earnings reports have been mixed at best, interspersed with the occasional spectacular report -- primarily from mega-caps like Google (GOOGL), Facebook (FB), or Amazon (AMZN). Some of the bul...
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Baxter Int. (BAX) is splitting off its BioSciences division into a new company called Baxalta. Shares of Baxalta will be given as a tax-free dividend, in the ratio of one to one, to BAX holders on record on June 17, 2015. That means, if you want to receive the Baxalta dividend, you need to buy the stock this week (on or before June 12).
Back in December, I wrote a post on my blog where I compared the performances of various ETFs related to the oil industry. I was looking for the best possible proxy to match the moves of oil prices if you didn't want to play with futures. At the time, I concluded that for medium term trades, USO and the leveraged ETFs UCO and SCO were the most promising. Longer term, broader ETFs like OIH and XLE might make better investment if oil prices do recover to more profitable prices since ETF linked to futures like USO, UCO and SCO do suffer from decay. It also seemed that DIG and DUG could be promising if OIH could recover as it should with the price of oil, but that they don't make a good proxy for the price of oil itself.
Kim Parlee interviews Phil on Money Talk. Be sure to watch the replays if you missed the show live on Wednesday night (it was recorded on Monday). As usual, Phil provides an excellent program packed with macro analysis, important lessons and trading ideas. ~ Ilene
The replay is now available on BNN's website. For the three part series, click on the links below.
Part 1 is here (discussing the macro outlook for the markets)
Part 2 is here. (discussing our main trading strategies)
Part 3 is here. (reviewing our pick of th...
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 email@example.com 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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