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…
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With just a tad more than three weeks left in the year it is time to start focusing on what 2014 will likely bring. Of course, what really happens over the next twelve months is likely to be far different than what is currently expected, but issuing prognostications, making conjectures and telling fortunes has always kept business brisk on Wall Street.
Crowd of people gather outside the New York Stock Exchange following the Crash of 1929.
They say those who forget the lessons of history are doomed to repeat them.
As a student of market history, I’ve seen that maxim made true time and again. The cycle swings fear back to greed. The overcautious become the overzealous. And at the top, the story is always the same: Too much credit, too much speculation, the suspension of disbelief, and the spread of the idea that this time is different.
Apple (NASDAQ: AAPL) is once again the leader of tech headlines.
With investors support for an extra-large smartphone (an iPhone XL, perhaps?), news of a China Mobile (NYSE: CHL) deal and a report that President Obama can't use an iPhone due to security reasons, this week proved to be fairly exciting.
Sony (NYSE: SNE) also made some noise after announci...
BIG – Big Lots, Inc. – Shares in the largest U.S. broadline closeout retailer are down big today, with the stock dropping nearly 14% to $32.00, the lowest level since August 23rd., after Big Lots posted a wider than expected third-quarter loss of $0.18 a share on revenue that came in below the average analyst estimate for the metric.
December expiry options changing hands on Big Lots in the early going today indicate some traders are positioning for the price of the underlying to sell down further during the next couple of weeks. Traders appear to have purc...
As the charts last week indicated might happen, the S&P 500 has fallen four straight days and failed to hold its breakout above 1800 while the Dow Jones Industrials lost 16,000. Only the NASDAQ is still holding on to its breakout above 4000. Although the Basic Materials sector was the leader on Wednesday, the Technology sector was strong, as well, and in fact Tech stocks have been the strongest over the past week and the past month.
As markets finally show a willingness to pullback somewhat from their torrid pace, the bears are trotting out every naysayer they can lay their hands on to scare investors away, including smart folks like Carl Icahn, who is “very cautious,” and Nobel Prize winner Robert Shiller and his stock market “bubble” assertions. Sure, valuations are high on a historic...
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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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These rallies are becoming familiar. In early July we saw a streak of 12 of 13 sessions in a row up, early September 11 of 12, and mid October 11 of 13 (current streak). It is a bit uncanny the similarities and how the escalator goes straight up in vertical ascent as we see indexes come out of mini corrections during QE. So we are about at the same stage where the last two began to tire, so it will be interesting if this is similar or if the current consensus of the market that there is nothing to worry about until next year as the Fed and D.C. are both off the table and this 3% annual growth rate in earnings we are now seeing in the S...
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...
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Come and get it! Read all about it! Biotechs, biotechs and more biotechs to buy buy buy for your portfolio! To date, almost 30 biotech companies have hit the market. Most of the time, there are fewer than 10-12!
For the last five years, biotechs have had issues obtaining offer prices above expectations. In 2013, that trend looks to be broken. According to BiotechNow, the offer prices are 4% above expectations! In addition, biotechs are going public with little more than a wing and a prayer (pre-clinical or Phase 1 data only). Really? What this means is that the drug or technology looks good in mice, rats, or dogs, etc, but there is no smidgen of evidence that it will work in humans. That's what is called an appitite for RISK!
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