Shares in Ford Motor Co. (Ticker: F) are in negative territory on Tuesday afternoon, though off the lowest level of the session, following the release of June sales data. The stock is roughly unchanged on the day at $17.20 as of 1:40 pm ET, recovering from an earlier intraday low of $17.07. Trading in weekly options contracts expiring 11Jul’14 on the automaker this morning suggests one or more traders are bracing for shares to potentially extend losses during the next seven sessions.
The most traded contracts expiring 11Jul’14 are the 17.0 strike puts, with volume exceeding 11,000 contracts versus open interest of around 1,400 contracts. It looks like most of the volume was purchased within 15 minutes of the opening bell today at a premium of $0.11 each. The put options may be profitable at expiration next week if shares in Ford drop 1.8% from the current price of $17.20 to trade below the effective breakeven point at $16.89.
F – Ford Motor Corp – Shares in the automaker rallied to a new 52-week high on Thursday, trading up as much as 2.8% to $18.01 in the early going after the company reported third-quarter earnings that beat analyst estimates and raised its guidance for the full year.
Some options traders appear to be positioning for shares in Ford Motor Co. to extend gains in the near term, snapping up cheap out of the money call options expiring one week from tomorrow. Upwards of 2,900 of the Nov 01 ’13 $18.5 strike calls changed hands during the first hour of the trading session against open interest of 966 contracts. Time and sales data suggests most of the volume was purchased at a premium of $0.05 each. Call buyers stand ready to profit at expiration next week in the event that Ford’s shares rally 3.0% over the morning’s fresh 52-week high of $18.01 to exceed the effective breakeven point at $18.55.
Overall options volume on Ford is running above average today, with roughly 104,000 contracts traded so far today as compared to the stock’s average daily options volume of around 71,500 contracts as of 11:10 a.m. ET.
ASTX – Astex Pharmaceuticals Inc. – Options volume on Astex Pharmaceuticals is soaring on Wednesday afternoon following a story in the Nikkei newspaper that said Otsuka Holdings Co., Ltd. has agreed to acquire Astex for JPY 90 billion. Shares in ASTX rallied as much as 40% this afternoon to a multi-year high of $9.39 and sent options volume on the name up above 23,000 contracts by 3:10 p.m. ET versus the stock’s average daily volume of around 3,600 contracts. Options volume is most heavily concentrated in the September expiry contracts. Buyers appear to be stepping in to buy both the Sep $8.0 strike call and put options, which have traded roughly 2,300 and 4,000 times each, respectively, as of the time of this writing. Substantial volume is also building in the $9.0 strike calls expiring in September and October, with volumes topping 3,400 and 2,400 contracts in each case. Shares in ASTX are currently off the highest levels of the day, up 24% at $8.29.
TPX – Tempur Sealy International Inc. – Trading traffic in options on mattress maker Tempur Sealy International suggests options players are looking for the price of the underlying to edge higher during the next couple of weeks. Shares in the name are up 4.6% right now to stand at $41.58, and earlier traded up to $42.57, the highest level since July 25th. The most traded contracts on TPX today are the Sep $43 strike calls, with more than 2,900 contracts exchanged versus open interest of 375 contracts. Time and sales data suggests most of the call options were purchased for an average premium of $0.97 each, though the bulk of the volume – close to 2,000 lots – were picked up by one market participant at a premium of $1.00 apiece. Sep $43 strike calls purchased at $1.00 per contract may be profitable at expiration if shares in Tempur Sealy rally 5.8% over the current price of $41.58 to top the breakeven point at $44.00.
GNW - Genworth Financial, Inc. – Shares in Genworth Financial increased as much as 11.2% in the early going on Monday, touching a fresh 52-week high of $10.94 on the back of an upgrade to ‘sector outperform’ at Scotia Capital. The insurer’s shares have increased more than 30% since the beginning of March as investors position for the provider of mortgage guaranties to benefit from strengthening in the U.S. housing market. One options combination strategy initiated on Genworth this morning looks for shares in the name to potentially rise another 35% by September expiration. The trader appears to have sold roughly 5,400 put options at the Sep. $9.0 strike in order to offset the cost of purchasing a 5,400-lot Sep. $12/$15 strike call spread. Net premium required to initiate the bullish play netted out to zero, thus positioning the strategist to profit in the event of a near 10% upside move off today’s high of $10.94 to exceed $12.00. Maximum potential profits of $3.00 per contract are available on the position should GNW shares surge 37% to $15.00 by September expiration.
EZCH - EZchip Semiconductor Ltd. – Put options on the maker of Ethernet network processors are active this morning after Kerrisdale Capital announced a short position in the stock, sending shares in EZchip Semiconductor down more than 8.0% in the early going to an intraday low of $21.80. The shares have since rebounded sharply to trade up 0.50% on the session at $23.90 as of 12:35 p.m. ET. The most actively traded contracts on EZchip today are the Mar. $22 strike puts, with upwards of 6,200 lots in play versus open interest of 211 contracts. Time and sales data suggests most of the volume was purchased at an average premium of $0.38 apiece. The intraday recovery in shares of EZchip has not been kind to buyers of the $22 strike puts, with premium on the contracts roughly halving to $0.20 each by 12:45 p.m. ET. Traders long the $22 strike put…
F - Ford Motor Co. – What appears to be a large one-by-three ratio call spread on Ford suggests one options market participant is looking for sizable, albeit limited, gains in the price of the automaker’s shares during the next five weeks. Ford Motor Co. shares are currently up 0.45% at $11.54 as of 12:55 p.m. ET. It looks like the options player purchased 25,000 calls at the Jan. 2013 $12.5 strike for a premium of $0.12 apiece, and sold 75,000 calls up at the $14 strike at a premium of $0.02 each. Net premium paid to establish the position amounts to $0.06 per contract and may be profitable in the event that Ford’s shares rally 9% off the current price to exceed the effective breakeven point at $12.56. Maximum potential profits of $1.44 per contract are available on the spread should shares in Ford jump more than 20% to settle at $14.00 at expiration next year. Shares in Ford last traded above $14.00 back in July 2011.
YMI - YM Biosciences, Inc. – Shares in the drug development company are up nearly 80% today at $2.89 after Gilead Sciences, Inc. agreed to purchase the Canadian biotechnology company in an all-cash deal valued at $510 million or $2.95 a share. Traders who purchased upside calls on YM Biosciences ahead of the deal saw the value of their contracts rise sharply along with the price of the underlying shares this morning. YMI call selling in the early going may be the work of traders taking substantial profits off the table. Time and sales data for transactions in the Dec. $2.5 strike calls back in November suggests traders purchased most of the 2,043 open contracts for an average premium of $0.05 apiece last month. The sale of at least 1,600 now in-the-money Dec. $2.5 strike calls this morning for an average premium of $0.40 each may mean traders are banking hefty gains that amount to eight times the original investment. Open interest in YMI options is largest in the Jan. 2013 $2.5…
LVS - Las Vegas Sands Corp. – Casino stocks are popping today in sympathy with Wynn Resorts Ltd. after that company posted better-than-expected third-quarter earnings, announced plans to double its regular quarterly dividend and declared a $7.50 a-share special cash dividend. Las Vegas Sands Corp., which is scheduled to release third-quarter results tomorrow, rallied as much as 4.5% on Thursday morning to hit $46.30 in the early going. One options player appears to be positioning for further near-term upside with the purchase of a bull call spread in the newly issued weekly options that expire one week from tomorrow. It looks like the trader purchased a 400-lot Nov. 02 ’12 $47.5/$50 call spread for a net premium of $0.54 per contract. The strategy makes money if shares in LVS increase 5% from the current level of $45.70 to top the effective breakeven point at $48.04, with maximum potential profits of $1.96 per contract available on the position should shares surge 9.4% to hit $50.00 by expiration next week.
CROX - Crocs, Inc. – Shares in plastic-clog maker, Crocs, Inc., are getting slammed today after the company’s fourth-quarter top and bottom line estimates came in lower than analysts expected. The stock is down more than 20% at $12.89 as of 12:05 p.m. in New York. Crocs reported better-than-expected third-quarter profits after the final bell on Wednesday, but missed expectations for revenue in the quarter. Front month put activity on CROX this morning suggests one or more traders are holding out hope for a mild recovery in the shares in the near term. The sale of around 1,800 puts at the Nov. $13 strike provides an average premium of $0.32 per contract to sellers, who keep the full amount of premium as long as shares in the shoe maker exceed $13.00 at expiration next month. The puts were sold within the first couple of minutes of the opening bell this morning…
PG - Procter & Gamble Co. – Consumer products giant, Procter & Gamble, is trading higher today in advance of the company’s first-quarter earnings report ahead of the opening bell on Thursday. Shares in P&G are currently up 1.25% to stand at $68.28 as of midday in New York. A sizable ratio put spread initiated on the stock this morning indicates one strategist is prepared for limited bearish movement in the price of the underlying through year end. It looks like the trader purchased 2,000 puts at the Dec. $67.5 strike for a premium of $1.22 apiece and sold 4,000 puts at the lower Dec. $65 strike at a premium of $0.56 each. Net premium paid to establish the position amounts to $0.10 per contract and provides downside protection – or profits – beneath a breakeven share price of $67.40 through December expiration. Maximum potential profits of $2.40 per contract are available on the ratio spread should P&G’s shares slide 4.8% from the current level to settle at $65.00 at expiration. Shares in Procter & Gamble last traded at $65.00 in the first week of August.
F - Ford Motor Co. – Shares in the automaker tacked on 1% this morning to stand at $10.10 by 10:50 a.m. ET on reports the company plans to close its last remaining vehicle-making plant in the United Kingdom. Near-term bullish positioning in Ford options straight out of the gate this morning suggests some traders anticipate further gains in the price of the underlying during the next couple of trading sessions. The most heavily trafficked of the Oct. 26 ’12 options contracts are the $10 strike calls, which changed hands more than 7,800 times against open interest of 2,843 lots. It looks like most of the in-the-money calls were purchased in the first 10 minutes of the trading session at an average premium of $0.17 apiece, thus preparing buyers to profit at expiration…
Who said investing is hard? 4 of our 5 major indexes fall in synch and stop dead at the 50 day moving average that we've been watching on our Big Chart for over two months now as bullish support. Yawn…
Of course, if you think this can possibly be result of individual decisions made by millions of global investors than it's you that need to wake up. This is a completely machine-driven market and that's a GOOD thing if you follow our charts, as they give you very clear indications of all the major inflection points.
I'm not at all a TA guy – I merely accept the fact that the markets are fixed and the moves are coordinated and we set our points accordingly according to our 5% Rule, which works best in Bot-driven markets. Since we only adjust our Big Chart once a year or less – it lets us dispense with all that TA BS in less than two minutes a day and move on to more important things like – FUNDAMENTALS!
What we can do, however, is combine our view of the Big Chart with some fundamentals to figure out what the market will do at serious inflection points. Note on Dave Fry's SPY chart, we get a good view of the weak 50 dma.
Before we despair, however, look at that upwardly jammin' 200 dma – that sucker is going to pop the index like it was hit with a tennis racket at right about 1,320 in about 2 weeks so we have a jittery sell-off in a choppy early earnings season to look forward to and then something good happening at the end of the month to spark a rally.
Oh sorry, I planned to conclude with that but it's so freakin' obvious – why waste time with exposition?
Going back to the Big Chart, you can see on the S&P (and the others) that we still have a constructively bullish "M" pattern where the lows are lining up in an up-trend that mirrors the rising 200 dma. Obviously, if we fail to hold these 50 dmas – the next stop is that 200 DMA, which is generally intersecting the 2.5% lines on each index but forget those – it's all about the NYSE, which is our broadest index and is already testing its 200 dma AND…
Why do we scream at each other
This is what it sounds like When doves cry – Prince
It's no coincidence that this week we will be hearing from Fed Governors Kocherllakota (1pm Tues), Hoenig (12:30 Weds), Plosser (1:30 Weds), and Bullard (9:15 Thurs) ahead of our 2-Year Note Auction (1pm Tues), 5-Year Note Auction (1pm Weds) and 7-Year Note Auction (1pm Thursday) as the Fed needs to bring out 4 of it's 5 most hawkish members to talk up the Dollar (by talking down QE3) to keep those rates paid as low as possible for Treasury.
Once the Hawks drive the rates down and the notes are sold, the Doves will once again be released to talk them back up by extolling the glories of QE3 – completely reversing whatever was said before just as the Hawks will once again be called upon to reverse what the Doves say at a later date – when they need rates to come back down. The joke of it all is that traders will react to each statement, every time, as if it's a "game changer" and adjust their positions to reflect the new reality of the moment. It reminds me of a quote from Orwell's 1984:
As soon as all the corrections which happened to be necessary in any particular number of The Times had been assembled and collated, that number would be reprinted, the original copy destroyed, and the corrected copy placed on the files in its stead. This process of continuous alteration was applied not only to newspapers, but to books, periodicals, pamphlets, posters, leaflets, films, sound-tracks, cartoons, photographs – to every kind of literature or documentation which might conceivably hold any political or ideological significance.
Day by day and almost minute by minute the past was brought up to date. In this way every prediction made by the Party could be shown by documentary evidence to have been correct, nor was any item of news, or any expression of opinion, which conflicted with the needs of the moment, ever allowed to remain on record. All history was a palimpsest, scraped clean and reinscribed exactly as often as was necessary. In no case would it have been possible, once the deed was done, to prove that any falsification had taken place.
The Yen finally got back to 77 and EUR/CHF back to 1.21 so my theory that the BOJ has given up on the Dollar and moved to boosting the Euro is playing out nicely.
This does not make me more bullish (expecting falling Dollar to boost the markets) because, in the grand scheme of things, this is kind of like now there are two kids building a sand wall on the beach instead of one – sure it will last longer than the wall just one kid was building but, eventually, the tide will get it anyway or, as Jimi Hendrix said more poetically: "Castles made of sand, fall in the sea, eventually."
Once you start messing around with Forex markets, you are messing with major macro forces that are hard to control. Japanese banks have $7.5Tn of Japanese bonds at 1% – what happens to the value of those bonds if the BOJ does push the Yen down 10%? Who takes that $750Bn hit? What if rates go up to 2% – what's the value of the bonds then? Who will bail out the Japanese Banks when they have a multi-Trillion Dollar (several hundred Trillion Yen) hole in their balance sheets? Do Japanese spreadsheets even have room for Quadrillions? They are going to need it!
Then there's this Bloomberg article on the Central Banks, who have doubled their balance sheets since 2006 to $13.2Tn but, magically, have caused no inflation (according to Ben Bernanke – not according to people who actually buy food and stuff). China is now sitting on $4.5Tn of other people's TBills (mostly ours) and that's up $1.5Tn in a year. The ECB is right behind them with $3.6Tn and another $1Tn supposedly coming in the next EFSF round and the Fed has $2.9Tn plus whatever nonsense they are running off book.
So, how is it that WE are the bad currency here? If the Dollar is a problem, then China, who's GDP is only about $8Tn (optimistically, possibly $5.5Tn depending on who's measuring) is almost as insane as Japanese bankers and maybe more so as they are betting on our country's ability to pay and maintain the value of the Dollar (already a fail, right?). I suppose no one can ever recognize losses and just carry more and more junk…
And you thought the preliminary 0.2% Q1 GDP print from last month was bad. Moments ago, just as we warned, the BEA released its latest, first, revision of Q1 GDP (pre second-seasonal adjustments of course), and we just got confirmation that for the third time in the past four years, the US economy suffered a quarterly contraction, with the Q1 GDP revised drastically from a 0.2% growth to a drop of -0.7%: the worst print since snow struck, so very unexpectedly, last winter.
Walker Evans Saint Charles Street. Liberty Theatre, New Orleans 1935
With the 3rd US Q1 GDP print coming in at -0.7% (-3% if not for inventories), perhaps the media spotlights – and lively imagination – can move away from Greece for a few weeks. The US has enough problems of its own, it would seem. For one thing, its Q1 GDP is now worse than Greece’s. Of course its debt is also much higher, just not to the IMF and ECB. But let’s leave that one be for the moment. Though a bit of perspective works miracles at times.
Of course it’s not a technical recession yet for the US, which only recently presented a +4% quarter with a straight face, and there’s always the ‘multiple seasonal adjustment’ tool. But still. It’s ugly.
Could the S&P 500 be pulling a repeat of the 2000-2007 topping process?
The chart above reflects that the tops in 2000 & 2007 were 7 years and 7 months apart. Is it possible that another top is taking place 7 years and 7 months from the 2007 high? As the S&P is facing this potential time window repeating pattern, it is also staring the Fibonacci 161% Extension resistance level based upon the 2007 highs and 2009 lows, at the top of a rising wedge.
Is the S&P the only market facing a breakout test? The chart below takes a look at the white hot DAX index.
After 2 volatile days, a return to more calm on Thursday as the S&P 500 fell 0.13% and the NASDAQ 0.17%. The daily Greek drama continues; IMF Managing Director Christine Lagare told a German newspaper that a Greek exit from the euro zone was possible but that this would probably not herald the end of the euro currency. On Wednesday, both U.S. and European equities rallied after Greece said it had stated crafting a “staff level agreement” with its international bailout supervisors. However, European officials rebuked the claims on Thursday, saying there was some way to go before any agreement could be drawn up and that they were surprised by the upbeat sentiment from Greece.
Indexes look much the same as we entered the week.
Early last week, stocks broke out, with the S&P 500 setting a new high with blue skies overhead. But then the market basically flat-lined for the rest of the week as bulls just couldn’t gather the fuel and conviction to take prices higher. In fact, the technical picture now has turned a bit defensive, at least for the short term, thus joining what has been a neutral-to-defensive tilt to our fundamentals-based Outlook rankings.
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 t...
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Understanding the new normal of a business model is key to the success of any company. The managment of companies need to adapt to the changing demand, but first they must recognize what changes are taking place. Big Pharma's business model is changing rapidly, and much like the airline industry, there will be but a handful of pharma companies left at the end of this path.
Most Big Pharma companies have traditionally done everything from research and development (R&D) through to commercialisation themselves. Research was proprietary, and diseases were cherry picked on the back of academic research that was done using NIH grants. This was in the heyday of research, where multiple companies had drugs for the same target (Mevocor, Zocor, Crestor, Lipitor), and could reap the rewards on multiple scales. However, in the c...
Bitcoin, the virtual digital currency, has been called the future of banking, a dangerous fad, and almost everything in between, but we're finally about to get some solid data to help settle the debate.
On Monday, the Nasdaq (NDAQ) stock exchange said it would ...
Chris Kimble likes the idea of shorting the US dollar if it bounces higher. Phil's likes the dollar better long here. These views are not inconsistent, actually, the dollar could bounce and drop again. We'll be watching.
Phil writes: If the Fed begins to tighten OR if Greece defaults OR if China begins to fall apart OR if Japan begins to unwind, then the Dollar could move 10% higher. Without any of those things happening – you still have the Fed pursuing a relatively stronger currency policy than the rest of the G8. So, if anything, I think the pressure should be up, not down.
UNLESS that 95 line does ultimately fail (as opposed to this being bullish consolidation at the prior breakout point), then I'd prefer to sell the UUP Jan $25 puts for $0.85 and buy the Sept $24 call...
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 firstname.lastname@example.org 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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