VOYA - ING US, Inc. – Shares in ING Group’s U.S. retirement, investment and insurance business are up as much as 8.0% today to $26.98, the highest level since the company’s May 2nd IPO. ING US was rated new ‘buy’ at BTIG LLC with a 12-month target share price of $31.00 today. The stock has rallied nearly 40% over the IPO price of $19.50, and some options traders are positioning for the price of the underlying to extend gains during the second half of the year. November expiry options are the most active contracts by volume on VOYA today, with notable fresh interest in the Nov $25 and $30 calls. Traders appear to have purchased around 200 lots at each striking price for average premiums of $2.71 and $1.14 each, respectively. Call buyers stand ready to profit at November expiration should shares in ING US rally another 2.7% and 15% to surpass average breakeven prices of $27.71 and $31.14, respectively. Meanwhile, traders snapping up Nov $20 and $25 strike puts are positioned to make money in the event of a pullback in the price of the underlying through November expiration. The company is scheduled to report first-quarter earnings ahead of the open on Thursday. Overall options volume on VOYA is sizable, with more than 1,500 contracts in play as of 12:15 p.m. ET versus overall open interest on the stock of 190 contracts.
GRPN - Groupon, Inc. – A large trade in Groupon options in the early going on Monday looks for the price of the underlying to remain in the single-digits through January of 2014. Shares in GRPN are down 0.45% on the day at $6.94 as of 12:20 p.m. ET. The stock has increased roughly 30% since the company reported better-than-expected first-quarter revenue and a narrower-than-expected first-quarter loss on May 8th. It looks like one strategist betting shares in Groupon will trade below $10.00 through the start of 2014 sold around 50,000 calls at the Jan 2014 $10 strike for…
GRPN - Groupon, Inc. – Shares in Groupon are up 11.11% at $11.00 today on expectations the company may report better-than-expected first-quarter earnings after the final bell. Options on the stock are quite active as well, but not all of the positioning is looking for a positive earnings surprise tonight. Fresh interest building in the June expiry puts portends potential fresh record lows for the shares in the near future. One-by-two June $7.0/$9.0 ratio put spreads purchased this morning position traders to profit from limited bearish movement in the price of the underlying during the next five weeks. Of the more than 3,300 put options in play at the June $7.0 and $9.0 strikes, the largest blocks of options changing hands are the purchase of 486 $9.0 strike puts spread against the sale of 972 $7.0 strike options, done at a net premium outlay of $0.33 per contract. The ratio spread may be a profitable strategy should Groupon’s shares drop 21.1% to slip beneath the effective breakeven point at $8.67. Maximum possible profits of $1.67 per contract are available on the positions if shares in the name drop 36.4% to settle at $7.00 at June expiration. Groupon’s shares on Friday traded down to an all-time low of $9.63.
DLTR - Dollar Tree Stores, Inc. – Bearish options are in play on Dollar Tree, Inc. this morning ahead of the discount consumer goods retailer’s first-quarter earnings report on Thursday. Shares in Dollar Tree are currently down 1.5% at $101.05 as of 12:50 in New York. It looks like the investor buying a sizable debit put spread on DLTR this morning paid an average net premium of $3.31 per contract for a roughly 3,000-lot June $85/$100 spread. The position makes money if shares in…
I entered a few tournaments in Atlantic City, made it to a couple of final tables but didn't win any. It did remind me that a bluff can only get you so far – at a certain point, you have to actually have the cards in order to win. As I pointed out to Members this morning – the Global Markets have bluffed their way through the first quarter and now comes earnings season and it's time for the economy to show it's cards and now we'll see who ends up with all the chips!
These are NOT cards you want to be playing with unless you are forced. That's the thing, GS, JPM, MS, Fund Managers, etc – they HAVE to play. Since they have to play whatever cards that are dealt – they do the logical thing – THEY BLUFF! Although what's scary about the Banksters is that, when they bluff, it's like the dealer bluffing because they control so much of the game and their only real goal is to get you to play so they can rake…
GRPN - Groupon, Inc. – The provider of a diverse mix of local daily deals featuring anything from Botox injections and manicures to fine-dining experiences and cupcakes, popped up on our scanners this morning after a sizable options combo play was initiated in the May expiry. Shares in Groupon are in negative territory this afternoon, but earlier increased as much as 2.6% to touch an intraday high of $18.76. The stock, which reached a peak of $27.78 in its first day as a publicly traded company back in November, just about halved in value in the weeks following the IPO. Quick rallies in the share price paired with subsequent pullbacks have been a fairly consistent pattern for GRPN shares in 2012, though recently the stock price has been less volatile, trading in the range of roughly $16.25 to $18.60 in the past few weeks. Perhaps the relative stagnation in the shares spurred one option strategist to position for the stock to take another stab at the upside in the next couple of months. The trader appears to have sold 5,000 May $13 strike put options in order to partially finance the purchase of a 5,000-lot May $19/$22 call spread, all for a net premium outlay of $0.55 per contract. The three-way spread prepares the trader to make money should GRPN’s shares rally 7.8% over the current price of $18.14 to surpass the average breakeven point at $19.55 by expiration in May. Maximum possible profits of $2.45 per contract are available on the position as long as shares in the daily deals provider jump 21.3% to settle above $22.00 at expiration. Groupon, Inc. is scheduled to report first-quarter earnings after the market closes on May 8th.
Our senior index finished the day at 1,358.04, just 0.96 under our 10% line at 1,359. Oddly enough, it never actually crossed the line that we had predicted would be the top of this run in April of 2009. It's a simple 2% overshoot of the 100% run from the S&P bottom at 666.
If the S&P can get over the line and hold it – we will be THRILLED to finally redraw our Big Chart but, if not, then this is just the blow-off top of the range, reeling in the suckers ahead of the big reversal that no one could have possibly seen coming (except this guy but he's like 100 and just got divorced, so he's bound to be in a bad mood).
Is there anyone who was born SINCE radio who is willing to still be bearish? As you can see from David Fry's chart, since December 19th, other than a few red days out of over 40 – it's been tough to be a bear. This is what it was like in 1999, when the experienced market players would be well-hedged and missing the rally while some kid who works for him quits because he bet his student loan money on Yahoo and now drives a Porsche.
Sure 9 months later the Porsche was repossessed and the kid was flipping burgers but WE WANT TO BE THAT KID – IT'S FUN TO BE THAT KID – until it isn't again. The funny thing is, we only gave those dot com companies Millions when they IPO'd – now we give out Billions because, of course, this time is different, it's a new paradigm, this changes everything, you have to understand the new metrics, sock puppets rule….
McDonald's was founded in 1940 by two brothers actually named McDonald. Ray Krok bought the chain from them and created the World's greatest franchise which now has over 26,000 franchise operations and over 6,000 company stores employing about 1.7M people worldwide selling $24Bn worth of food a year with a $5Bn net profit. Facebook has 3,200 people but they generate $1.2M in revenues per employee ($3.8Bn) and drops $1Bn to the bottom line. Facebook's assets are mainly IP and those are about as valuable as MySpace's assets now…
"Investors" are so desperate to hold on to short-term paper that they paid $100 for a 3-month Treasury-bill at today's auction. That is a 0% yield - for the first time ever - lower even than the auction right after Lehman's bankruptcy in Nov 2008.
It is probably safe to say that NIRP next, followed by more negative yields further to the right as the US gradually becomes Europe.
Here's my theoretical question for the day: Why are mules stubborn, and why can't blind jackasses see?
I ask that question in regards to a few recent news articles. One is on Japan, one the US, and one on emerging markets with various overlaps in between.
Let's start with Japan.
Brink of "Technical" Recession
The Financial Times reports Japan on Brink of Technical Recession. Japan is on the verge of a technical recession after data on industrial production raised the prospect of a second consecutive quarter of negative growth. Industrial production for August — a crucial input into gross domestic product — unexpectedly fell by 0.5...
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The Fed’s decision to not raise the fed funds rate at this time was ultimately taken by the market as a no-confidence vote on our economic health, which just added to the fear and uncertainty that was already present. Rather than cheering the decision, market participants took the initial euphoric rally as a selling opportunity, and the proverbial wall of worry grew a bit higher. Nevertheless, keep in mind that markets prefer to climb a wall of worry rather than ride a crowded bandwagon, and I continue to envision higher levels for the markets after further backing-and-filling and testing of support levels (perhaps even including the August lows).
With the VIX index jumping 120 percent on a weekly basis, the most in its history, and with the index measuring volatility or "fear" up near 47 percent on the day, one might think professional investors might be concerned. While the sell off did surprise some, certain hedge fund managers have started to dip their toes in the water to buy stocks they have on their accumulation list, while other algorithmic strategies are actually prospering in this volatile but generally consistently trending market.
Stock market sell off surprises some while others were prepared and are hedged prospering
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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.
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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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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