DRI - Darden Restaurants, Inc. – Options strategists are feasting on near-term call and put options on the operator of eateries such as Red Lobster and Olive Garden ahead of the firm’s second-quarter earnings report, which is scheduled for release before the market opens on Tuesday. Shares in Darden Restaurants rallied as much as 1.6% during the session to touch an intraday high of $50.67. The impending earnings announcement as well as increased demand for options on the stock lifted Darden’s overall reading of options implied volatility 12.0% to 33.20% as of 12:40pm in New York. Investors expecting shares to shatter the current 52-week high of $50.83 by January 2011 expiration scooped up in-the-money call options. It looks like bulls purchased roughly 2,000 now in-the-money calls at the January 2011 $50 strike for an average premium of $1.92 per contract. Call buyers are prepared to profit should shares in Darden Restaurants jump 2.5% over today’s high of $50.67 to surpass the average breakeven price on the calls at $51.92 by January expiration day. Meanwhile, traders wary that shares of the underlying stock may slip following earnings picked up roughly 1,800 puts at the same January 2011 $50 strike for an average premium of $1.76 each. Put buyers at this strike are poised to profit in the event that the restaurant operator’s shares decline 4.8% to trade below the effective breakeven point on the downside at $48.24 by expiration next month.
AKS - AK Steel Holding Corp. – Options activity on the steel producer today suggests one strategist expects shares in AK Steel Holding Corp. to remain range-bound over the next six months to June 2011 expiration. AK Steel’s shares fell as much as 3.4% during the first half of the trading session to touch down at an intraday low of $15.72. The steel maker’s shares rallied sharply at the end of last week, rising 14.3% from Wednesday’s closing price of $14.42 to Friday’s high of $16.48. But, the sale…
Usually when I can’t think of what to write it helps me to go over our virtual portfolios so I started this morning reviewing the Buy List but I didn’t get far because it was silly. Of 43 plays on the buy list, 39 are doing well – too well in fact to the point where it’s hard for me, in good conscience, not to say let’s kill the whole thing and get back to cash as we’re up about 20% in 2 months and that’s just ridiculous – most people would call that a good year and go on vacation.
The Buy List was 100% bullish and we did catch a good bottom on our early February entries. I was gung ho bullish then because I felt comfortable that the 10,000 line on the Dow would prevail and that we were good for a run back to the top (10,700), following, more or less, the pattern we had in 2004 (see original post for charts). Well that’s pretty much what’s happened since then but that’s not making me happy because I see no reason we won’t complete that pattern and begin falling off a cliff shortly.
As you all know, I’m not a big fan of TA, or patterns for that matter but the reason I started looking for patterns was to try to get a handle on how long market could really keep going up before falling victim to exhaustion. To me it seemed we weren’t at that point on Feb 6th but now that we’ve put in that big push back up – if we can’t punch up to new highs on all our indexes then I do think it’s time for the markets to take a break.
Clearly I’ve been too bearish for the past couple of weeks and we are now 224 points over 10,400 on the Dow which is where I turned bearish as the January data made me lose faith in our ability to get back to 10,700. I should have stuck to the TA because we’re a lot closer to 10,700 than we are to 10,400. With the Russell and Nasdaq exploding to their own new highs. You can see though, from the above chart, why I do want to wait to see the NYSE, Dow and S&P confirm this move up – it’s not far now!…
From time to time I'm asked why I don't include Market Cap to GDP among the long-term valuation indicators I routinely follow. The metric gained popularity in recent years thanks to Warren Buffett's remark in a 2001 Fortune Magazine interview that "it is probably the best single measure of where valuations stand at any given moment."
Hiding behind the big boys (literally) appears to be the m.o. of France's President Hollande who declared today that "there will be no referendum in Crimea without Ukraine's agreement," and added that it is a necessity for Russia to "accept the solution." We suspect Vladimir Putin will have something to say about that but who is going to argue with Hollande given the following image...
Why do I anticipate reading and reviewing this report so much? Because we are a nation of laws and not of men. At least I think we are . . . although sometimes I wonder. As the WJP highlights,
“Effective rule of law helps reduce corruption, alleviate poverty, improve public health and education, and protect people from injustices and dangers large and small,” said William H. Neukom, WJP Founder and CEO. “Wherever we come from, the rule of law can always be streng...
The Global X Social Media Index ETF (Ticker: SOCL) touched fresh record highs on Thursday morning, surprising no one given the top three holdings of the Fund are Hong Kong-based Tencent Holdings (12.678%), Facebook Inc. (12.506%) and LinkedIn Corp. (8.166%), which are up 130%, 160% and 22%, respectively, since this time last year. The SOCL reflects the performance of companies involved in the social media industry, including companies that provide social networking, file sharing and other web-based media applications. Shares in the ETF rose 1.3% today to a new high of $23.00, and have soared approximately 65% since this time last year.
Today brought three better than expected economic releases from Construction Spending, ISM Manufacturing, and Personal Income. The ISM figure was quite unexpected and Personal Income was well above expectations. If we ignore for a moment that the Final GDP reading for Q4 was lowered on Friday (which may or may not have been primarily caused by severe weather), we have had a week of better than expected economic numbers. Corporate earnings have also continued to exceed forecasts, albeit with a bit more cautious guidance.
Of course, none of that matters when the “war drums” start beating. Russia and the Ukraine are engaged in a serious game of “chicken” with a bear in the hen house. The Russian ruble has borne the brunt of the damage so far with a double digit drop today again...
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Ladies and Gentlemen, hobos and tramps,
Cross-eyed mosquitoes, and Bow-legged ants,
I come before you, To stand behind you,
To tell you something, I know nothing about.
And so the circus begins in Union Square, San Francisco for this weeks JP Morgan Healthcare Conference. Will the momentum from 2013, which carried the S&P Spider Biotech ETF to all time highs, carry on in 2014? The Biotech ETF beat the S&P by better than 3 points.
As I noted in my previous post, Biotechs Galore - IPOs and More, biotechs were rushing to IPOs so that venture capitalists could unwind their holdings (funds are usually 5-7 years), as well as take advantage of the opportune moment...
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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