by Option Review - September 10th, 2012 2:43 pm
Today’s tickers: GMCR, INTC & SHFL
GMCR - Green Mountain Coffee Roasters, Inc. – Weekly options on the specialty coffee company and provider of Keurig single-cup brewing systems are active this morning with shares in Green Mountain up nearly 10% in the first half of the session to touch $30.49, the highest the shares have traded since May. Green Mountain’s shares are moving higher for a third consecutive session, having rallied sharply last week, and some options traders appear to be positioning for the price of the underlying to extend gains this week. Bullish bets are on the rise at the Sep. 14 ’12 $29 and $30 strikes, the two highest strike prices currently available in GMCR weekly options. Traders exchanged upwards of 1,100 in-the-money calls at the $29 strike, and appear to have purchased most of the volume for an average premium of $1.28 apiece. Weekly call volume is heaviest up at the $30 strike where more than 2,200 lots changed hands against open interest of 817 contracts. It looks like most of the $30 calls were purchased this morning for an average premium of $0.91 each. Traders long the $30 calls may profit at expiration in the event Green Mountain’s shares settle above the average breakeven price of $30.91. Shares in the seller of K-cups are still down nearly 75% since this time last year. Overall options volume on GMCR is greater than usual, with 60,000 contracts in play as of midday in New York versus the stock’s average daily options volume of around 18,500 contracts.
INTC - Intel Corp. – Shares in chip giant, Intel Corp., are getting hit today on concerns the company may need further cuts to guidance following Friday’s downward revision to its third-quarter revenue forecast. The stock is down 3.3% this afternoon to stand at $23.40 as of 12:30 p.m. ET, adding to a more than 4% drop in the price of the underlying on Friday. Trading traffic…
by Option Review - July 6th, 2012 12:57 pm
Today’s tickers: EMC, MWW & GMCR
EMC - EMC Corp. – Bearish positioning in EMC Corp. options is on the rise this morning as shares in the provider of enterprise storage systems, software and services move 5.5% lower to $23.85. EMC and other software providers are getting hit hard today after Informatica Corp. reported preliminary second-quarter earnings and revenue that missed estimates amid a challenging macroeconomic environment, particularly in Europe. A disappointing jobs number is also pressuring U.S. equities on the final trading session of the week. One strategist appears to have purchased disaster insurance on EMC Corp. within the first five minutes of the opening bell this morning. The Jan. 2013 $16 strike put changed hands more than 2,000 times against open interest of just 30 contracts and it looks like nearly all of the puts were purchased for an average premium of $0.29 apiece. The put options may increase in value over the second half of the year should shares in EMC continue to pull back. The price of the underlying is still positive for the year, up 8.8% year-to-date; however, the stock has come off sharply in recent months, down 20.5% from a 52-week high of $30.00 set at the end of March. The $16 puts are profitable at expiration next year in the event EMC’s shares tumble 34% from the current level to breach the average breakeven price of $15.71. This breakeven point is well below the stock’s 52-week low of $19.84, though well above the stock’s financial crisis low of $8.25. Near-term bearish action is also evident in the Aug. $23 puts where some 3,300 puts were picked up for an average premium of $0.70 apiece in the first half of the trading session. EMC Corp. reports its second-quarter results ahead of the open on July 24th.
by Option Review - June 11th, 2012 1:38 pm
Today’s tickers: GMCR, PBI & FMCN
GMCR - Green Mountain Coffee Roasters, Inc. – Shares in Green Mountain Coffee Roasters fell as much as 8.95% this morning to a fresh all-time low of $21.06 after grocery chain operator, Kroger Co., said it plans to sell private label coffee pods for Green Mountain’s Keurig single-cup brewing machine. GMCR’s patent on the K-cups expires in September. Green Mountain’s shares have lost 80.0% of their value since September 2011, when the stock touched an all-time high of $115.98. Options traders expecting shares in GMCR to extend losses snapped up puts on the Waterbury, Vermont-based coffee company. Short-term bearish bets are building in the June $21 strike put where some 2,500 lots were purchased for an average premium of $0.53 apiece. Strategists positioning for a more severe pullback in the price of the underlying picked up roughly 2,000 puts at the July $17 strike for an average premium of $0.66 each. Traders long the $17 strike put stand prepared to profit at expiration next month should shares in Green Mountain tumble 22.4% from today’s low of $22.06 to breach the average breakeven price of $16.34. Not all of the action in GMCR options is bearish today; some strategists appear to be buying out-of-the-money calls that could pay off if shares in GMCR stage a near-term rebound.
PBI - Pitney Bowes, Inc. – Heavier than usual options activity on Pitney Bowes pushed the provider of end-to-end mail stream solutions onto our ‘hot by options volume’ market scanner this morning, with the day’s volume up near 17,000 lots versus the stock’s average daily volume over the past 90 days of 6,713 contracts. Shares in PBI are currently down 1.0% to stand at $14.14 in early-afternoon trading. Almost all of the volume is in the July $13 strike put where more than 16,600 contracts changed hands against open interest of 4,205 contracts. It looks like most of the puts were sold for…
by phil - June 1st, 2012 8:26 am
Oh you people are such suckers!
You panic out of positions at rock bottom prices and you'll sit there like a deer in the headlights when we bounce back until we're already too high again and then you'll chase the top – only becoming fully invested after we've already exited. Don't blame me – I try to warn you, but no one listens to me.
This morning the markets are in full panic more and that's fine with us as not only are we still "Cashy and Cautious" but what did we tell you Wednesday morning? "TZA July $19/25 bull call spread at $1.50, selling $18 puts for $1.05 for net .45" along with EDZ at $17.23 and SQQQ at $51.80. SQQQ is at $53.79 (up 3.8%) and EDZ is $17.90 (up 3.9% and the TZA hedge is already at net .80, which is up 77% in just two days (so far) – now that's a hedge! When you have your hedges in place, THEN you can bottom fish with impunity and boy is the fishing good out there!
Today we get our Non-Farm Payroll numbers and there's a rumor out there that it's a big miss at 120,000 or lower. CNBC has been pretty much reporting it as a fact all morning and Europe is freaking out for that and many other reasons so I had occasion to look back at last month's NFP report, where we predicted it would be a miss with the the title: "The Blow Jobs Deal to the Market Could be Huge." That was 10% ago on our indexes are back to testing last week's lows, where we began to get bullish with our Twice in a Lifetime List of stocks that are back at their 2009 panic lows which we still like enough to sell puts in (giving us an additional 15-20% discount on initial entry).
That post capped off a week of bearish picks as we followed through with our plan to cash out into the April rally – it's those bearish profits we're now GAMBLING with as we bottom fish but, as noted above – we're hedging our bullish bets because there's no limit to how badly investors can freak out in the stock market – CASH remains KING!
by phil - May 3rd, 2012 7:52 am
Spain is up 2.3% this morning (7:30).
They are bouncing Europe with them despite a pretty poor round of trading in Asia (flat). Why? Because Spain's 3 & 5-year note sales "only" went for 100 more basis points than last time with the 3-years coming in at 4.04%, up 54% from last year's auction at 2.62% and the 5-year notes fetched 4.75%, up only 28% from the last 5-year note sale so YAY – Spain is fixed!!!
A whole $3.3Bn worth of bonds were sold or about 1/3 of 1% of what has been allocated through bailout programs to buy this junk but this autction is moving $80Tn worth of global equities up 1% ($800B) – talk about getting bang for your bailout buck!
I'm not going to get into how silly this is getting – we went through this all in '07 and '08 and the markets can be amazingly silly when they are in denial so we'll just go with the flow and pick up some nice upside momentum plays – as long as we can stay over 3 of 5 of our Big Chart's 2.5% lines and, if the pre-market move up holds – they should have no problem taking back 3,075 on the Nasdaq, 820 on the Russell and 8,200 on the NYSE. We're already over 1,400 on the S&P on yesterday's stick-save close and the poor Dow has 800 whole points to go before they catch up at 14,000 so it looks like the Dow will be the logical bullish bet if the other 3 indexes join the S&P over the line.
So IF the Dow is over 13,300 AND the other indexes are over our mark – how much money can we make playing for the Dow to catch up and make it to 14,000. 700 points is a lot, so there should be many ways to play this to our advantage. DIA $133 calls are $1 and have a delta of .44 so you capture 44% of a move up, which means a 100-point rise in the Dow will get you a 44% gain – it's a good trade to enter with tight stops below 13,300 as the Dow has 2 weeks and two days left to make those 800 points and that should be a cake-walk as they're already up 400 points in the last 7 sessions and, as we know from our friends at CNBC –…
by phil - April 17th, 2012 8:27 am
Wheeeee, what a ride!
As you can see from David Fry's chart of the SPY, we're all over the place but, notably, there's a method to the market's madness as high-volume selling is followed by low-volume buying – allowing the funds to dump out onto the retail bagholders at top dollar while the carnival barkers in the MSM tell the sheeple to buy those f'ing dips.
Cramer said, in last night's show, that the Dow is composed of big international companies that were finally able to break free from concerns over Europe’s debt crisis. For the entire month of April, these stocks were held hostage to the Europe’s debt troubles. Cramer said most of these companies have no real ties to Europe, though, so the fears are overblown.
We ended up with what amounted to a frontsie-backsie day where all of the last month's winners, stocks that were unaffected by the weak euro and the miserable European stock markets, got pummeled, while the losers that had become risk free shorts because of an expected European decline were actually able to rally.
What a moron! Seriously – "frontsie-backsie"??? I guess he needs to treat his audience like they are 2 because bigger kids might realize that telling investors to ignore Europe would be just as idiotic as an Asian or European carnival barker telling the rubes over there to ignore America when making investment decisions. Is it really possible, in this day and age, that people still believe America is immune to what is happening in the rest of the World?
Look at the downtrend in the Global Commodities Index – do you think you are immune from that? I guess, to some extent we are, because CNBC's sponsors continue to use any excuse to pump up the PRICE of commodities, no matter how much DEMAND falls off (see yesterday's chart on gasoline volume consumption).
As Fundamental investors, we can often be a bit ahead of the curve but we find the market usually catches up to reality at some point. Cramer and his ilk know they can fool all of the people some of the time and some of the people all of the time (known as their "core audience") but even the mighty Corporate Media can't fool all of the people all of the time.
by phil - March 28th, 2012 8:19 am
Wasn't it just 2 days ago that the EU was all set to pop the ESM to $1.25Tn and the IMF was going to add another Trillion and the Fed was talking about more QE in the $1.25Tn range, which plunged the Dollar to multi-week lows? Shouldn't adding 6% of the entire planet's GDP in additional stimulus give us more than a one-day pop in the markets?
As I pointed out in Monday's Morning Alert to Members – these are all just RUMORS and my conclusion in the Alert was:
Despite the bullish turn of events (which we anticipated last week) we're more inclined to cash out our bullish trades into the excitement and press our bear bets and TOMORROW, if we're still over our levels – THEN we will scramble to add some aggressive bullish trades to our virtual portfolios. Again, I cannot stress enough that CASH is my preferred position because this market is tough to call and you need to be very flexible and very nimble to trade it.
We proceeded as planned and, so far, we haven't had any reason to capitulate and get more bullish and that is both surprising and disappointing as this is the end of the first quarter of 2012 – if not now – when? As David Fry notes:
Monday’s rally was typical as we head toward the end of the quarter. Hedge fund performance fees are on the line and any way to boost these profits is job one. Top holdings for hedge funds include the usual suspects: AAPL, IBM, INTC, BAC, DIS, HD etc.
With little volume it’s easy for algos and hedge funds to prop stocks on little hard news. Tuesday we briefly saw more of this. Just as markets were weakening a story appeared using the Fed’s favorite oracle, the WSJ, as Fed governor Rosengren stated, “more stimulus is on the table”. Immediately HFT algos jumped and markets rose if only briefly.
It's very exciting for us as PLCN (see Thursday's notes) went all the way up to $736 on Monday and sold off on some pretty heavy trading yesterday. Slowly but surely, our negative premise is beginning to take shape as Piper Jaffray is finally catching up with us and noting "a sharp decline in unique visitors to Priceline's booking.com" from growth of 61 percent during the…
by phil - March 12th, 2012 8:24 am
$35Bn worth of 3-year notes to sell today.
That will be followed by $21Bn worth of 10-year notes tomorrow and $13Bn worth of 30-year notes on Wednesday. The 3-years are expected to fetch about 1.5%, 2% for the 10-year and 3.12% for the 30-years despite the fact that that represent negative returns to inflation. So, either it's just a scam where the Fed, through its member banks, purchase whatever Treasury wants to sell to keep up the illusion that the US is able to borrow cheap OR the rest of the World is so horrifically scary that Global investors are willing to take a loss on $69Bn long-term, rather than risk leaving it in a bank or putting it into a stock or commodities or in the notes that are handed out by other countries.
Like Greece, for example, who were just "fixed" yet today the NEW BONDS are trading as 18.1% for 11-year notes. Hmm, 18.1% for Greece, which has just been declared "safe" by the EU or 2% for US notes? Something is clearly wrong with this picture… You KNOW something is wrong but, if you are buying equities, then you are choosing to pretend that, although there is a very obvious scam going on in the bond markets, that it somehow doesn't affect the equity markets. Come on – admit that you are lying to yourself – you'll feel better!
Buying equities in a Federally funded, Bot-propped rally is no different than participating in an obvious Ponzi scheme. You KNOW it's fishy but EVERYONE is doing it so you just want a little taste and you tell yourself you're just going to help yourself to some of that free money and then you will get out (dumping your shares on some other sucker who will be closer to the eventual burning than you were). That's called the greater fool theory and it works great as the World is bursting at the seams with fools but, eventually, the fools and their money are parted and SOMEONE is left holding the bag.
Will it be you? Of course not, you are no fool! Someone else will buy your GMCR shares for $63, right? Well, that was right on Thursday, but on Friday they dropped to $52.50 and that was after drifting gently down from $69 earlier in the month. It was "just" a…
by phil - March 9th, 2012 7:53 am
The Greek debt crisis is over!
Again. Well, for now. Despite the "voluntary" participation of 85% of the debt-holders, collective action clauses (CAC) will be triggered to force other bondholders and a similar action in Argentina led to 10 years of lawsuits – so we have that to look forward to. "The rule of law has been treated with contempt," said Marc Ostwald from Monument Securities. "This will lead to litigation for the next ten years. It has become a massive impediment for long-term investors, and people will now be very wary about Spain and Portugal."
“Even if we band aid this Greek situation right now, they’re going to default down the road or write down 100 percent of the debt,” said Scott Wren, senior equity strategist at Wells Fargo Advisors.
Now the European Commission has sent a team of experts to Spain to check its budget deficit data, according to Spanish website Expansion, and they will be greeted by a National Strike, scheduled for March 29th, to protest the austerity measures the EU is trying to enforce. Greek bonds are already passing the 20% mark again so this "fix" has lasted all of a few hours and already we're seeing rates creep up in Italy, Spain and Portugal (Ireland can't even borrow money – at any price) and part of the reason is they just blatantly screwed over the last batch of bondholders and Credit Default Swaps have now been revealed as completely useless tools to protect bond investments – and part of the reason is Uncle Sam needs to borrow a record $227Bn to pay the bills for February alone:
While the above chart may look like a catastrophe to a casual observer, especially considering February is the shortest month of the year – others may be cheered by the thought that the US will never actually have to pay this money back, as Greece has now shown us all that the path to default is celebrated by global markets climbing to record highs. So, if Greece's $450Bn default can get us to Dow 13,000 – imagine what the US's $16Tn default will do – I can't wait!
We are waiting for the jobs report this morning but according to the Gallup poll, there aren't any. Gallup sees 9.1% unemployment in February, up…
by phil - March 7th, 2012 7:52 am
Was that it?
On February 24th I wrote "TGIF – Sell in March and Go Away?" and I laid out my case for why I thought we were going to fall off the table in March and we have, indeed, fallen right off the table right on schedule since then. I said that Friday, that the post was intended as a bookend to my September 30th bottom call as I felt that we had captured all of the upside we were likely to see off the "good news" that Greece was "fixed" and the economy was "improving."
I'm not going to say anything bad about the economy here, I'll let Michael Snyder do that with his "15 Potentially MASSIVE Threats to the US Economy over the next 12 Months" – I think he pretty much covers it! 8 trading days ago (2/24), we had two short trade ideas in our Morning Alert to Members, they were:
- SQQQ April $13/17 bull call spread at .70, still .70 (even)
- DXD April $13/15 bull call spread at net .55, now .70 – up 27%
In Member Chat that day, Exec asked if I was getting bearish and my response was:
Bearish/Exec – Are you kidding, this is me painting a sunny picture! Give me a few drinks and I'll tell you how off the rails the Global Economy is right now… Do you know how much Kool Aid I have to consume not to scream short on every single stock I see. CAT $116, CMG $386, DIA $130, GMCR we already did at $70, IBM $200, KO $70, MA $415, MCD $100, MMM $88, MO $30, MON $80, MOS $59, OIH $45, PCLN $593 (did them too), QQQ $64, SPY $137, TM $85, USO $41.50 (got 'em), UTX $84, V $117, WYNN $119, XOM $87, XRT $59 (got 'em) – and that's just off my watch list of stock I like to buy when they're cheap! We are not just priced for perfection, we are priced for perfection plus a return to full employment a forgiveness of all debts without write-downs and inflation without rising interest – we are priced for Nirvana!