Posts Tagged ‘ESRX’

Call Buyers Shrug Off $2 Billion Disaster, Position For UBS Recovery Story

Today’s tickers: UBS, MHP, ESRX & DGX

UBS - UBS AG – Switzerland’s largest bank said it may be unprofitable in the third quarter due to the staggering $2 billion in trading losses one of its employees racked up in unauthorized dealing. The news sent shares in UBS down as much as 11.6% to a two-year low of $11.21, but options traders appear to have largely shrugged off concerns and are betting on a rebound in the price of the underlying. Call buying and put selling on the stock appear to be the most oft-employed strategies of the day. Investors expecting shares to recover in the next five weeks picked up roughly 3,100 calls at the October $12 strike for an average premium of $0.73 each. Call buyers profit if shares in UBS rally 12.5% over the stock’s current price of $11.32 to exceed the average breakeven point at $12.73 by expiration day next month. Meanwhile, put sellers targeted the October $10, $11 and $12 strikes, suggesting some investors expect shares to exceed those levels through October expiration. Traders pocketed an average premium of $1.27 per contract on the sale of roughly 615 puts at the October $12 strike. Premium received is money in the bank for sellers of the options as long as the contracts expire worthless next month. Longer-dated calls drew some attention, as well. Investors snapped up around 2,000 calls at the December $12 strike for an average premium of $1.10 each. Traders may see the value of these calls appreciate if shares in UBS reverse course over the next few months to December expiration. The positions are profitable at expiration if shares exceed the effective breakeven price of $13.10.

MHP - McGraw-Hill Companies, Inc. – A burst of activity in McGraw-Hill call options minutes before 12:00 pm…
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Long-Term Bulls Eye Express Scripts Options…Again

Today’s tickers: ESRX, RPTP, SKX & SLAB

ESRX - Express Scripts, Inc. – Sizable bullish bets in long-dated call and put options on the pharmacy benefit management services provider suggest shares in Express Scripts may sky-rocket over the next year and a half. Similar options combination plays were initiated at the end of last week following news Express Scripts agreed to purchase rival Medco Health Solutions Inc. for $29.1 billion in a deal that would make the company the largest U.S. pharmacy benefits manager. Shares in Saint Louis, MO-based Express Scripts slipped 0.60% during the first half of the trading session to $56.95 as of 11:50 am ET. The price of the underlying rallied as much as 12.0% to $57.47 on news of the merger agreement. Large prints in January 2013 contract on Friday appeared to be the work of an investor selling blocks of puts to partially finance the purchase of a bull call spread. The strategist responsible for the four-legged transaction rakes in maximum available profits on the trade if shares in ESRX top $70.00 at expiration. Heavy trading in the same expiry within the first hour of the opening bell indicates another options player may see shares in Express Scripts soaring to $80.00 during the next 18 months. The more recent long-term bullish combo trade on Express Scripts differs somewhat from that observed on Friday, but both transactions are looking for shares to reach all-time highs. The investor this morning appears to have sold 8,000 puts at the Jan. 2013 $42.5 strike for a premium of $2.19 each, spread against the purchase of an 8,000-lot Jan. 2013 $65/$80 call spread at a net premium of $3.34 per contract. The sale of the put options reduces the net cost of the three-way transaction to $1.15 per contract, thus positioning the investor to profit should shares in Express Scripts surge 16.2% over the current price of $56.95 to surpass the effective breakeven point to the upside at $66.15 at Jan. 2013 expiration.…
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Option Bulls Buy Calls to Celebrate New Coverage of NuVasive Spinal Treatment

Today’s tickers: NUVA, TRE, FXE, BBY, DECK, LEN, AA, ESRX, JDSU & UNH

NUVA – NuVasive Inc. – The spinal surgery equipment maker’s shares are up sharply today by more than 32.50% to $39.38. NuVasive’s shares surged on news health insurance company, Aetna, is changing its policy to allow reimbursement for surgical spine treatment know as lateral interbody fusion. Bullish posturing in call options was observed today following the news about extended coverage for the treatment, which was previously excluded for being an experimental procedure. Plain-vanilla call buyers picked up nearly 2,000 contracts at the March $40 strike for an average premium of $1.34 apiece. Investors long the calls are prepared to pocket profits if NUVA’s shares rally above the effective breakeven point on the calls at $41.34 by expiration day next month.

TRE – Tanzanian Royalty Exploration Corp. – British Columbia, Canada-based gold mining company, Tanzanian Royalty Exploration Corp., attracted heavier than usual two-way trading traffic in put options today. The firm, which explores and acquires gold properties in Tanzania, realized a 2.30% rally in its shares during the session to $4.05. More than 25,000 in-the-money put options changed hands at the October $5 strike with the majority of the volume trading to the bid. Approximately 14,200 puts were sold for an average premium of $1.31 per contract, while 5,200 put contracts were purchased at that strike for roughly the same amount of premium. In-the-money put sellers are perhaps anticipating continued bullish movement in the price of the underlying by October expiration. Investors short the puts keep the full $1.31 premium per contract if TRE’s shares rally above $5.00 by expiration day. Put sellers stand ready to have shares of the underlying stock put to them at an effective price of $3.69 apiece in the event that the put contracts remain in-the-money through expiration day.

FXE – CurrencyShares Euro Trust – Shares of the FXE exchange-traded fund, which reflects the price of the Euro, are up 0.45% to $135.88 in afternoon trading. A decent-sized put butterfly spread on the fund indicates one investor does not expect the current rally to continue. On the contrary, the parameters of the spread benefit the trader most if shares decrease roughly 2.25% in value by April expiration. To enact the bearish butterfly play, the investor purchased 5,000 puts at the April $134 strike for a premium of $1.50 apiece [wing 1], and picked…
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Option Player Reenergizes Bullish Stance on RRI Energy, Inc.

Today’s tickers: RRI, USO, GLD, MT, AEM, INTC, ESRX, C, KO & GEOY

RRI – RRI Energy, Inc. – A large-volume call option combination play launched RRI Energy onto our ‘most active by options volume’ market scanner this afternoon. The investor responsible for the activity banked profits by selling-to-close a previously established long call position. The trader also initiated a new bullish stance on the stock to position for a near-term rebound in shares of the underlying. RRI’s shares are down more than 2.5% today to $5.58. It appears the investor originally purchased 35,000 calls at the now deep in-the-money December 4.0 strike for a premium of 1.30 apiece in early November when shares were at $5.15. Today the trader sold the chunk of call options for 1.55 each, banking net profits of 15 cents per contract. Finally, the RRI-optimist established a fresh bullish stance at the in-the-money January 5.0 strike by buying 35,000 calls for a premium of 85 cents apiece. Shares must rally about 5% from today’s price in order for the investor to break even at $5.85 by expiration next month. The increase in demand for option contracts on the stock lifted option implied volatility significantly. Volatility on RRI Energy increased 21.66% from an intraday low of 55.31% to a high of 67.29%.

USO – United States Oil Fund LP – Shares of the USO fund slipped slightly lower during the trading session, falling less than 1% to $36.50, as of 3:00 pm (EDT). Short strangle plays in the July contract suggest shares of the fund are likely to remain range-bound for the next seven months to expiration. Investors shed 2,500 calls at the July 38 strike for a premium of 3.56 apiece, in conjunction with the sale of the same number of puts at the lower July 33 strike for a premium of 2.75 each. Short-stranglers receive a gross premium of 6.31 per contract on the trade. They keep the full amount of premium if USO’s shares trade within the strike prices described through expiration. Shares of the fund traded within the range of $33-$38 for the four month period starting July 15, 2009, and ending October 12, 2009. Perhaps today’s short strangle sellers expect to see similar inertia in USO shares for the next seven months to expiration.

GLD – SPDR Gold Trust ETF – A bullish risk reversal on the gold exchange-traded fund suggests…
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Wary Wells Fargo bull adopts cautious collar approach

Today’s tickers: WFC, MA, S, ESRX, CREE, RIMM & CELG

WFC Wells Fargo & Co. – Shares have rallied slightly by about 1% to $14.37. Options investors were very active on the stock today, but one trade in particular caught our attention in the May contract where one investor has established a protective collar in conjunction with a large volume-sale of call options as a vehicle to fund the strategy. To initiate the collar, this trader purchased shares of the underlying stock and simultaneously purchased 42,000 puts at the May 12 strike price for a premium of 1.70. The put options serve to protect this investor should shares experience a significant decline over the course of the next two months. The sale of 42,000 calls at the May 20 strike price for 1.00 was established for a couple of reasons. First, the 1.00 premium pocketed on the sale effectively reduces the cost of the put options to just 70 cents apiece. Second, the short position at the upper strike price has effectively given this trader an exit strategy should shares rally to $20.00 by expiration. If such a rally were to occur, the shares could be called away from him at expiration and he would have reeled in gains of 39% on the $5.63 rise in the value of the underlying. Of course, if this scenario were to take place, the puts purchased would expire worthless and the net cost of 70 cents he paid out today would be lost.

MA MasterCard, Inc. Class A – The global payment solutions company is off by more than 4.5% to $159.87. MA appeared on our ‘most active by options volume’ market scanner after one investor took a bullish stance on the company using options. At the May 180 strike price 10,000 calls were purchased for 5.40 apiece while at the May 200 strike 10,000 calls were sold for a premium of 1.40 per contract. The net cost of the trade amounts to 4.00 and yields a maximum potential profit for the investor of 16.0 if shares were to rally up to $200.00 by expiration next month. Shares would need to experience a rally of about 15% from the current price in order to reach the breakeven point at $184.00. MasterCard has not traded above $184.00 since October of 2008, but this investor appears to be optimistic that MA will rebound in the…
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Zero Hedge

Liquidity Strains Reappear As China's "Golden Week" Stock & Housing Market Disappoints

Courtesy of ZeroHedge. View original post here.

Submitted by Tyler Durden.

Despite last night's disappointingly weak China re-open (notably less than US ADRs had implied), it appears everyone and their pet rabbit levered up as China margin-buying rose CNY21bn - the most in 2 months. It appears China's housing market also disappointed hope-strewn expectations as Golden Week home sales slowed dramatically YoY (blamed on weather). All is not well in the liquidioty stress department as despite ongoing injections, o/n HIBOR spiked 240bps overnight. China stocks are mixed at the open as PBOC strengthens the Yuan fix for the 5th day in a row to 2 month highs. Concerns are also growing in China's c...

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Phil's Favorites

Chart o' the Day: The (non) Velocity of Money

Courtesy of Joshua M. Brown, The Reformed Broker

Why were the inflation hawks so wrong about quantitative easing? Why didn’t all the “money printing” lead to commodity prices skyrocketing?

One answer is that, while bank reserves were boosted, lending didn’t take off and there was no uptick in the velocity of money – the speed at which capital zooms through the economy and turns over. Absent velocity of money, QE could be looked at as either ineffective or actually causing a deflationary environment, where capital is hoarded and everyone is too petrified to risk it on productive endeavors.

Christopher Wood (CLSA) explains further in his new GREED & fear note:

To GREED & fear the best way to illustrate that quantitative easing is not working is the continuing declin...

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All About Trends

Mid-Day Update

Reminder: David is available to chat with Members, comments are found below each post.

Click here for the full report.

To learn more, sign up for David's free newsletter and receive the free report from All About Trends - "How To Outperform 90% Of Wall Street With Just $500 A Week." Tell David PSW sent you. - Ilene...

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Market News

News You Can Use From Phil's Stock World


Financial Markets and Economy

Zambia Seeks to Restore Confidence With Budget Amid Power Crisis (Bloomberg)

Zambian Finance Minister Alexander Chikwanda is seeking to restore confidence in the economy to help reverse the world’s worst currency, record borrowing costs and sliding growth. The two things that matter the most to the outlook are the copper price and power supply, which he has little control over. 

The World Bank is betting on mass migration driving the global economy (Business Insider)

The impact of&nb...

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Kimble Charting Solutions

S&P 500…Stuck in this zone, welcome to the “Chop House!”

Courtesy of Chris Kimble.


What do S&P 500 bull and bears have in common? There opportunities are being limited by a tight range!

I started sharing with members several weeks ago that the patterns suggested the S&P would be in a “Chop House” environment for a while and that I doubted bulls nor bears would be that happy of campers.

In this type of an environment, unless you are really quick, nimble and accurate, its a time and place to take it easy and let this play out. For the majority of traders, the distance between the close on 8/25 at 186 and the close of 200 on 9/16...

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Whitney Tilson On LL, EXACT, And Martin Shkreli


Whitney Tilson On LL, EXACT, And Martin Shkreli

Courtesy of Value Walk

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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Chart School

Yesterday's Losses Reversed

Courtesy of Declan.

Bulls can be happy with today's progress. What weakness emerged today was reversed by the close, a change on yesterday's action where sellers dumped in the last few minutes of trading. Volume climbed to register an accumulation day.

The S&P finished at the 50-day MA, but beyond that there is plenty of room beyond that to run to the next level of resistance at 2,045. Technicals are net bullish.

The Nasdaq pushed off its 20-day MA and has another 50 points of maneuver before it gets to its 50-day MA.  Technicals are not yet net bullish, but they are close.


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Sector Detector: Searching for solid support in the face of global headwinds

Reminder: Sabrient is available to chat with Members, comments are found below each post.

Courtesy of Sabrient Systems and Gradient Analytics

Uncertainty about the health of the global economy led investors to flee U.S. equities during Q3, primarily driven by worries about China's growth prospects and the Federal Reserve’s decision to not raise rates. Sure, there are plenty of real and perceived headwinds, but on balance it seems that a recession here at home is not in the cards. And when you consider sentiment and the technical picture, it appears that a continuation of Friday’s bounce is in store. The question remains as to whether the seasonally strong Q4 will be able to propel the bulls through levels of resistance that have built up.

In this weekly update, I give my view o...

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Swing trading portfolio - week of October 5th, 2015

Reminder: OpTrader is available to chat with Members, comments are found below each post.


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.

To learn more about the swing trading virtual portfolio (strategy, performance, FAQ, etc.), please click here ...

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Baxter's Spinoff

Reminder: Pharmboy and Ilene are available to chat with Members, comments are found below each post.

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).

The Baxalta Spinoff

By Ilene with Trevor of Lowenthal Capital Partners and Paul Price

In its recent filing with the SEC, Baxter provides:

“This information statement is being ...

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Mapping The Market

An update on oil proxies

Courtesy of Jean-Luc Saillard

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. 


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Watch the Phil Davis Special on Money Talk on BNN TV!

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...

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Help One Of Our Own PSW Members

"Hello PSW Members –

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 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.

Thank you for you time!

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About Phil:

Philip R. Davis is a founder Phil's Stock World, a stock and options trading site that teaches the art of options trading to newcomers and devises advanced strategies for expert traders...

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Ilene is editor and affiliate program coordinator for PSW. She manages the site market shadows, archives, more. Contact Ilene to learn about our affiliate and content sharing programs.

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