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…
“Nobody in Europe will be abandoned. Nobody in Europe will be excluded. Europe only succeeds if we work together.”
– Angela Merkel, December 15, 2010
“Within our mandate, the ECB is ready to do whatever it takes to preserve the euro. Believe me, it will be enough.”
– Mario Draghi, July 25, 2012
“We have to safeguard the spirit behind Schengen,” Mr Juncker told the European Parliament on Wednesday. “Yes, the Schengen system is partly comatose. But . . . a single currency does not exist if Schengen fails. It is one of the pillars of the construction of Europe.”
The IMF will add the yuan to its basket of reserve currencies, an international stamp of approval of the progress China has made integrating into a global economic system dominated for decades by the U.S., Europe and Japan.
It’s an unfortunate truth that, when people are worried about the future, they often put their faith in politicians to somehow make everything better.
Politicians, of course, are famous for promising panaceas for whatever is troubling voters, and they even invent new troubles to worry about, presenting themselves as the only ones who can solve these woes.
Not surprising then, that, over time, any nation may slowly deteriorate into a population of nebbishes who turn to their government to do their thinking for them and take responsibility for their futures.
Today offered a heavier than expected volume day post-holiday. The majority of this action was to the downside, but the Semiconductor Index bucked the trend. The latter index was able to push above its 200-day MA as it posted a relative advantage against the Nasdaq 100. While the Nasdaq and Nasdaq 100 suffered losses today, both will be helped by strength in the Semiconductor Index. All technicals for the Semiconductor Index are in the green, with a return of the MACD to a 'buy' trigger (above the bullish zero line - a bullish development).
The Nasdaq suffered a minor loss. It wasn't able to challenge the recent high, but it's close enough ...
Crude Oil is quite simply the most important commodity on the planet. But volatility with Crude Oil prices emerges every time there is conflict in oil producing nations or an economic slowdown.
And this has led to some pretty big swings in Crude Oil prices over the past several years.
But the latest swing lower is nearing a moment of truth. In fact, this decline may be the most important swing lower of the 2000’s.
Why? Because oil prices are currently testing a key price support level comprised of the 2004 breakout level (above the 1990 highs) and the 2009 price lows – see red circles and line. In fact, this price support area also marks the 23.6 Fibonacci support level (from the 1999 lows to 2008 highs). AND crude oil is as oversold as it was back at the 1999 price lows!
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As evidenced by the Greek, Chinese, and now Argentine 'jumps', the world remains increasingly aware of the inevitable worth of fiat currencies and fears the desperate acts of governments as the react to that reality (and is looking for alternatives).
This infographic explains the wide ranges of the Bitcoin universe, accompanied with quotes from some of its best-known business leaders.
Some weeks when I write this article there is little new to talk about from the prior week. It’s always the Fed, global QE, China growth, election chatter, oil prices, etc. And then there are times like this in which there is so much happening that I don’t know where to start. Of course, the biggest market-moving news came the weekend before last when Paris was put face-to-face with the depths of human depravity and savagery. And yet the stock market responded with its best week of the year. As a result, the key issues dominating the front page and election chatter have moved from the economy and jobs to national security and a real war (rather than police ...
1) The shares of one of my largest short positions (~3%), Exact Sciences, crashed by more than 46% yesterday. Below is the article I published this morning on SeekingAlpha, explaining why I think it’s still a great short and thus shorted more yesterday. Here’s a summary:
The U.S. Preventative Services Task Force’s Colorectal Cancer Screening Draft Recommendation issued yesterday is devastating for Exact Sciences’ only product, Cologuard.
I think this is the beginning of the end for the company.
My price target for the stock a year from now is $3, so I shorted more yes...
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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.
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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