BBY - Best Buy Co., Inc. – Options on Best Buy are active this morning ahead of the consumer electronics retailer’s second-quarter earnings report prior to the opening bell on Tuesday morning. Shares in BBY are rising ahead of earnings, up 1.75% at $30.90 as of 11:40 a.m. ET. Weekly call and put options are the most actively traded contracts by volume as of the time of this writing, with more puts changing hands than calls and the put/call ratio hovering around 2.75. Much of the trades initiated this morning appear to be near-term bullish on BBY, with put sellers stepping in as well as upside call buyers. It looks like more than 2,000 of the Aug 23 ’13 $28.5 strike puts were sold in the early going for a premium of $0.55 apiece, while roughly 2,000 of the Aug 23 ’13 $29 puts were sold at a premium of $0.70 each. Put sellers keep the premium received on the trades as long as shares in Best Buy settle above the $28.5 and $29 striking prices at expiration this week. The positions start to lose money, however, in the event that BBY shares decline nearly 10% from the current price to trade below effective breakeven points at $27.95 and $28.30, respectively, at expiration. Finally, options traders exchanged more than 2,400 of the Aug 23 ’13 $31 strike calls versus open interest of 152 contracts. Time and sales data suggests much of the volume was purchased for an average premium of $1.20 apiece, thus positioning buyers of the calls to profit should shares in Best Buy rally 4.2% over the current price of $30.90 to exceed an average breakeven point and new 52-week high of $32.20.
INTC - Intel Corporation – Shares in Intel are up the…
BIG - Big Lots, Inc. – Shares in closeout retailer, Big Lots, are in negative territory this morning, down 2.6% at $35.06 as of 11:00 a.m. ET amid a down day for U.S. equities. The stock popped up on our ‘hot by options volume’ market scanner near the start of the trading session due to heavier than usual trading in September expiry puts. The Sep $32.5 strike puts are the most traded options by volume on BIG thus far in the session, with more than 2,800 lots in play versus open interest of 368 contracts. Time and sales data suggests most of the put options were purchased for an average premium of $0.77 apiece. Put buyers stand ready to profit at expiration should shares in Big Lots drop 9.5% from the current price of $35.06 to settle below the breakeven point at $31.73. Shares in BIG last traded below $31.73 on July 1st. The company’s unconfirmed second-quarter earnings release date is next Thursday, August 22nd.
INTC - Intel Corporation – Trading in weekly options on Intel is mixed this morning, with shares in the chipmaker off 2.0% to stand at $22.12 as of midday in New York. Volume in the newly issued August 23 ’13 expiry options is heaviest in the $22 puts, with more than 18,000 contracts traded thus far in the session. A look at time and sales data suggests that most of the put options were purchased for an average premium of $0.18 apiece. The near-term bearish contracts make money at expiration next week if shares in Intel decline another 1.4% from the current price of $22.12 to breach the effective breakeven point on the downside at $21.82. Conversely, fresh interest in the Aug 23 ’13 $22.5 strike calls indicates some traders are…
INTC - Intel Corp. – Shares in Intel are trading lower on Thursday, down as much as 3.7% in the early going to $23.25, after the world’s largest maker of semiconductors reported lower than expected second-quarter earnings and sales and said third-quarter revenue may come in lower than analyst estimates. Options on INTC are changing hands at a clip today, with volume approaching 115,000 contracts as of 11:45 a.m. ET versus average daily volume of around 128,000 contracts. Trading in Intel puts is outpacing that of calls, with the put/call ratio hovering near 1.7 as of the time of this writing. Fresh interest in October expiry put options today suggests one trader is bracing for the price of the underlying to potentially drop substantially during the next few months. More than 15,000 put options traded at the Oct $20 strike during the first hour of the trading session versus open interest of 9,296 contracts. The put options appear to have been purchased for an average premium of $0.26 apiece. The bearish position makes money at expiration should shares in Intel plunge 15% from the current price of $23.30 to breach the average breakeven point on the downside at $19.74. Shares in Intel last traded below $19.74 in December.
SHW - Sherwin-Williams Co. – Options are more active than usual on paint retailer Sherwin-Williams Co. today with shares in the name down more than 10% to $163.63 at the open after the company reported lower than expected second-quarter earnings prior to the opening bell and after antitrust regulators in Mexico voted to block the company’s takeover of Mexico City-based, Consorcio Comex SA de CV. Shares in Sherwin-Williams dipped to the lowest level since April at the start of the session, but some options traders appear to be positioning for…
INTC - Intel Corp. – Put options purchased on Intel during the final 30 minutes of trading last week have since roughly tripled in value, with shares in the chipmaker down 3.5% at $23.22 on Monday morning. The stock was cut to ‘Underweight’ from ‘Equal-weight’ with a 12-month target price of $20.00 at Evercore Partners this morning. The largest increase in open interest in weekly options on INTC was in the Jul 12 ’13 $23.5 strike puts. Time and sales data indicates more than 4,400 of the $23.5 strike put options were purchased for an average premium of $0.13 apiece on Friday afternoon. The contracts are now changing hands at more than three times that level, with the last-traded price on the contracts at $0.43 each just before midday in New York. Today, some traders appear to be bracing for further weakness in the price of the underlying, buying around 800 of the Jul 12 ’13 $23 strike puts for an average premium of $0.15 each, and picking up around 500 of the $22.5 strike weekly put contracts at an average premium of $0.05 apiece. Intel reports second-quarter earnings next Wednesday.
LEG - Leggett & Platt, Inc. – The diversified U.S. manufacturer of components in residential and office furniture, among other products, appeared on our ‘hot by options volume’ market scanner this morning due to a sizable trade in August expiry puts. Shares in Leggett & Platt are down 0.30% at $31.18 as of 12:25 p.m. ET. The largest transaction in LEG options thus far in the session suggests one trader is bracing for shares in the name to pullback during the next five weeks. It looks like the options player purchased 1,000 puts at the Aug $30 strike for a premium of $0.55 apiece. The trade, which…
Heavy volume in Intel options as shares rally to highest since August
Today’s tickers: INTC, LRCX & IRM
INTC - Intel Corp. – Shares in Intel Corp. are bucking the trend on Monday, up better than 4.0% at $25.27 as of midday in New York amid a weak start to the trading week for U.S. equities. The chipmaker was raised to ‘Outperform’ from ‘Market Perform’ with a target share price of $28.00 from $23.00 at FBR Capital today. Bullish trades initiated on Intel on Friday are generating gains for some strategists today, with premium on weekly calls up sharply with the move in the price of the underlying stock. It looks like more than 7,000 of the Jun 07 ’13 $25 strike calls were purchased on Friday for an average premium of $0.11 each. Today, these contracts are changing hands for $0.41 each, a near four-fold increase over the weekend. Traders positioning for the stock to extend gains this week snapped up around 1,000 calls at the Jun 07 ’13 $26 strike for an average premium of $0.06 apiece. The bullish bet makes money at expiration as long as shares in INTC rally another 3.1% to exceed the average breakeven price of $26.06. Shares in Intel are up roughly 20% since the start of 2013.
LRCX - Lam Research Corp. – Bullish options are changing hands on Lam Research Corp. today, with shares in the name trading up as much as 5.0% to a new two-year high of $49.13 after analysts at Needham reiterated a ‘Buy’ rating on the stock and raised their price target to $60.00 from $53.00. Traders placing bullish bets on LRCX looked to the front month calls, buying roughly 1,000 of
INTC - Intel Corp. – Shares in Intel kicked off the trading session in negative territory on Wednesday morning, declining as much as 1.1% versus a 0.65% decline in the S&P 500 Index in the early going. U.S. stocks have since halved earlier losses and Intel’s shares are moving higher, up 0.65% on the session at $21.90 as of 10:50 a.m. ET. Heavy trading traffic in June expiry calls near the start of the trading day suggests one strategist is positioning for shares in Intel Corp. to rally during the next few months. Upwards of 27,000 calls have changed hands at the Jun. $23 strike versus open interest of 10,898 contracts. It looks like most of the volume was purchased at an average premium of $0.26 apiece, including the single-largest print of 15,988 calls traded. The bullish bet on INTC is working this morning, with premium required to purchase the Jun. $23 strike calls up more than 30% over the $0.26 in premium paid this morning to stand at $0.35 each as of 11:00 a.m. in New York. Profits are available on the strategy at June expiration in the event that Intel’s shares rise 6.0% over the current price of $21.90 to surpass the average breakeven point at $23.26. Intel’s first-quarter earnings report is less than three weeks away, scheduled for release after the closing bell on April 16th.
AOL - AOL, Inc. – Options are changing hands at a clip on the online content, products and services provider this morning, with shares in AOL rising sharply following an upgrade to ‘Overweight’ from ‘Equal Weight’ with a target price increase to $44.00 from $38.00 at Barclays. Shares in AOL rallied as much as 9.5% during the first half of the session to $39.62. Traders anticipating additional near-term gains in the price of the underlying shares purchased front month call options on the stock this morning. It looks like buyers stepped in to buy contracts across the April $37, $38, $39, $40 and…
INTC - Intel Corp. – Trading traffic in weekly call and put options on Intel Corp. this morning is mixed, with some positions looking for shares to move higher during the next five sessions, while others brace for the stock to head lower from here. Shares in the chip giant are down 1.25% on Friday to stand at $21.38 as of midday in New York. The most actively traded Mar. 22 ’13 expiry options as measured by volume are the $21 strike puts, as of the time of this writing, with volume in excess of 8,600 lots versus open interest of 20 contracts. It looks like most of the $21 weekly puts were purchased at an average premium of $0.10 apiece, thus positioning buyers to profit in the event that INTC shares decline 2.2% from the current price of $21.38 to breach the effective breakeven point on the downside at $20.90 by expiration. Meanwhile, traders itching for a rally in Intel’s shares next week snapped up call options across several striking prices. The Mar. 22 ’13 $21.5 strike calls are seeing the most volume, with 1,400 lots traded against open interest of 578 contracts. The bulk of the $21.5 strike calls appear to have been purchased at an average premium of $0.18 each. Traders long the calls stand ready to profit at expiration should shares in INTC increase 1.4% to top the average breakeven price of $21.68.
PGNX - Progenics Pharmaceuticals, Inc. – Shares in biotechnology company, Progenics Pharmaceuticals, are soaring on Friday, trading up more than 45% to touch a seven-month high of $4.94 in the early going after the company reported a narrower-than-expected fourth-quarter loss ahead of the opening bell. PGNX popped up on our ‘hot by options volume’ market scanner due to heavy trading in the May expiry puts. The most active contracts are the May $4.0 strike puts, with more than 5,100 lots in play versus open interest of 8 contracts. Volume in the $4.0 strike puts alone…
SPY - SPDR S&P 500 ETF – A large trade in SPY call options, one that comprised more than 15% of the 630,000 options contracts that had changed hands on the ETF by 11:05 a.m. ET on Thursday morning, appear to be a massive bullish play that looks for the S&P 500 Index to rise to fresh five-year highs next week. Shares in the SPY, an ETF that tracks the performance of the S&P 500 Index, are moving higher for a third consecutive session, up 0.45% at $147.71, helped by a decline in initial jobless claims, strong housing starts and better-than-expected corporate earnings reports. The outright purchase of 100,000 calls at the Jan. 25 ’13 $150 strike at a premium of $0.165 per contract benefits from continued gains in the price of the underlying fund during the next six trading sessions. The position may be profitable at expiration next week should SPY shares tack on another 1.7% to top the effective breakeven price of $150.165, the highest level since 2007.
INTC - Intel Corp. – Options volume on chip maker, Intel Corp., is on pace to surpass its daily average of approximately 155,300 contracts this morning, with overall options volume on the stock topping 150,000 contracts as of 10:55 a.m. ET. Upside calls on Intel are active, with shares in the name up 1.2% on the session at $22.37, ahead of the company’s fourth-quarter earnings report set for release after the closing bell today. Call options set to expire at the end of the trading week are seeing the most action this morning, specifically the Jan. $23.5 strike contracts. Upwards of 48,000 calls have changed hands at the $23.5 striking price, versus previously existing open interest of 11,801 contracts. It looks like most of the contracts were purchased in the early going for an average premium of $0.12 apiece. Bullish calls may be profitable at expiration should Intel’s shares surge 5.6% post-earnings to exceed the average breakeven price of $23.62. Like-minded strategists snapped up 3,000 weekly calls out at the…
INTC - Intel Corp. – Shares in the chip maker are in negative territory this morning, trading lower with the broader market on signs budget talks are stalling and lawmakers may not reach a deal by year end. Intel’s shares are down better than 2% to stand at $20.59 as of midday in New York. Fresh interest in weekly call and put options on the name this morning suggests traders are preparing for volatility in the price of the underlying through the end of 2012. Options players bracing for Intel’s shares to potentially fall sharply during the next four trading session snapped up around 1,000 puts at the Dec. 28 ’12 $20 strike and another 550 puts at the Dec. 28 ’12 $19.5 strike at premiums of $0.07 and $0.04 apiece, respectively. Traders long the $20 and $19.5 strike contracts may profit in the event that Intel’s shares drop roughly 3.2% and 5.5% to settle below the effective breakeven prices of $19.93 and $19.46 by expiration next week. Meanwhile, strategists holding out hope that a deal gets done and lifts equities in the near term appear to be purchasing upside calls today. The Dec. 28 ’12 $21 strike calls saw the most volume, with upwards of 5,000 contracts in play during the first half of the session. Time and sales data suggests the bulk of the volume was purchased for an average premium of $0.15 apiece. Buyers of the $21 strike calls profit at expiration as long as Intel’s shares rally 2.7% to settle above $21.15.
HALO - Halozyme Therapeutics, Inc. – Upside calls on biopharmaceutical company, Halozyme Therapeutics, Inc., are active today, with shares in the name rallying as much as 30% to $7.19 on Friday morning. The stock popped after Halozyme announced it will work with Pfizer to create up to six new injectable drugs. Options traders positioning for HALO’s shares to extend gains during the next four weeks purchased around 250 calls at the Jan. 2013 $7.5 strike for an average premium of $0.37 per contract. Call…
As you can see from David Fry's SPY chart, we went up and finished down but the volume was a bit lower to the upside than the sell-off into the close. MSFT and INTC led us to the downside – no surprise really as we discussed both this weekend as Dow components to avoid in the current cycle.
There was no significant economic data, just the usual nonsense about Greece and, of course, the drumbeat of fear regarding the US fiscal cliff that the MSM is banging 24/7. "What's up with that fiscal cliff" is now how 90% of my conversations begin with anyone who knows what I do for a living.
I now find that it's easier to say "Oh, we're all totally doomed" than to explain why we're not because when, for example, I say this to one of my Mother's friends – they nod wisely and agree with me while, if I try to explain why they shouldn't worry so much – they get all confused and then say to my Mom – "I thought he was supposed to understand the stock market."
I guess I should have tried this with my children. Rather than sitting up for 15 minutes or so explaining why there are not monsters under their bed – I could have just agreed with them and said "Yep, big hungry ones!" Maybe they'd never sleep again but at least I'd sound knowledgeable about monsters and the imminent dangers they posed to sleeping children.
Stocks are now at 3-month lows and it's been a month since we strung together 2 up days in a row (Oct 15-17) with the S&P falling from 1,470 on Oct 5th to yesterday's low of 1,371 fir a 99-point drop in 25 trading sessions (6.8%) – losing an average of 4 S&P points a day with 1,360 being our Must Hold line on the Big Chart. The S&P and the NYSE are both, so far, holding their lines (NYSE is 8,000) and they are our broadest indexes but we're pretty close to having to layer our disaster hedges as we cross those -7.5% lines.
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.
While it would be a stretch to say that you run on lithium, you may stand to benefit greatly from it. Human biochemistry is one of the most complicated systems in existence. Certainly, it’s the most studied of complicated systems. As the tools available to biotechnologists increase in power exponentially, the pace of discovery in all the biological sciences is increasing dramatically. The science of nutrition is no exception. In fact, it appears to be one of the biggest and earliest beneficiaries.
The term bioinformatics refers to the application of computer technologies such as advanced correlation analysis to biological data. In conjunction with increasingly sophisticated databank software, the abili...
A year and a half I wrote an essay on how the US chooses to view Russia, titled The Image of the Enemy. I was living in Russia at the time, and, after observing the American anti-Russian rhetoric and the Russian reaction to it, I made some observations that seemed important at the time. It turns out that I managed to spot an important trend, but given the quick pace of developments since then, these observations are now woefully out of date, and so here is an update.
Europe was in rally mode when the US markets opened, and the EURO STOXX 50 would subsequently close with a 2.19% gain. The S&P 500 opened at its intraday low, up 0.28%, and headed higher through the day to its 2.02% high in the final hour. Its closing gain of 1.96% was its best one-day performance since its 2.18% surge on October 10th of last year. The popular financial press attibutes today's gain to speculation more ECB stimulus and the strong Apple-earnings effect.
The yield on the 10-year Note closed at 2.23%, up 3 bps from yesterday's close.
Here is a 15-minute chart of the past five sessions.
Here is a daily chart of the index. In yesterday's update I pointed out the proximity of the close to the 200-day price moving average. It certainly offered no resistance today, and volume was 23% above its 50...
Last week brought even more stock market weakness and volatility as the selloff became self-perpetuating, with nobody mid-day on Wednesday wanting to be the last guy left holding equities. Hedge funds and other weak holders exacerbated the situation. But the extreme volatility and panic selling finally led some bulls (along with many corporate insiders) to summon a little backbone and buy into weakness, and the market finished the week on a high note, with continued momentum likely into the first part of this week.
Despite concerns about global economic growth and a persistent lack of inflation, especially given all the global quantitative easing, fundamentals for U.S. stocks still look good, and I believe this overdue correction ultimately will shape up to be a great buying opportunity -- i.e., th...
Now that bitcoin has subsided from speculative bubble to functioning currency (see the price chart below), it’s safe for non-speculators to explore the whole “cryptocurrency” thing. So…is bitcoin or one of its growing list of competitors a useful addition to the average person’s array of bank accounts and credit cards — or is it a replacement for most of those things? And how does one make this transition?
With his usual excellent timing, London-based financial writer/actor/stand-up comic Dominic Frisby has just released Bitcoin: The Future of Money? in which he explains all this in terms most readers will have no tr...
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What do falling energy prices mean for the US consumer? Sober Look writes a brief yet thorough overview of the consequences of the correction in the price of crude oil. There are good aspects, particularly for the consumer, bad aspects, and out-right ugly possibilities. For more on this subject, read James Hamilton's How will Saudi Arabia respond to lower oil prices? In previous eras, Saudi Arabia would tighten the supply to help increase prices, but in this "game of chicken," the rules m...
Shares in Apple (Ticker: AAPL) are near their highs of the session in the final hour of trading on Wednesday, adding to the muted gains seen earlier in the day, following the release of the September FOMC meeting minutes and after activist investor and Apple shareholder Carl Icahn tweeted, “Tmrw we’ll be sending an open letter to @tim_cook. Believe it will be interesting.” Icahn’s tweet hit the ether at 2:33 pm ET and was met with a spike in volume in Apple shares. The stock is currently up 2.0% on the day at $100.75 as of 3:15 pm ET.
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Well PSW Subscribers....I am still here, barely. From my last post a few months ago to now, nothing has changed much, but there are a few bargins out there that as investors, should be put on the watch list (again) and if so desired....buy a small amount.
First, the media is on a tear against biotechs/pharma, ripping companies for their drug prices. Gilead's HepC drug, Sovaldi, is priced at $84K for the 12-week treatment. Pundits were screaming bloody murder that it was a total rip off, but when one investigates the other drugs out there, and the consequences of not taking Sovaldi vs. another drug combinations, then things become clearer. For instance, Olysio (JNJ) is about $66,000 for a 12-week treatment, but is approved for fewer types of patients AND...
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