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.
Whether the problem is with low interest rates themselves or the fact that rates still aren’t low enough to ignite a new credit boom is not clear. What is clear is that the world’s money center banks are facing a brutal downsizing. From today’s Wall Street Journal:
Hot on the heels of Deutsche Bank's admission that all is not well, Credit Suisse's announcement last night of a major capital raise was greeted by buying pressure from investors. However, reality punched them in the face this morning as CS releasaed its investor day details and, as Bloomberg reports, is looking to raise up to CHF8 billion (almost 50% larger than Goldman Sachs investor survey suggested). Clearly, CS' has a much more massive capital shortfall than expected.
U.S. stock-index futures were little changed, after disappointing results from Alcoa Inc. offset optimism from a winning streak that’s put the Standard & Poor’s 500 Index on track for its best week of the year.
1) The shares of one of my largest short positions (~3%), Exact Sciences, crashed by more than 46% yesterday. Below is the article I published this morning on SeekingAlpha, explaining why I think it’s still a great short and thus shorted more yesterday. Here’s a summary:
The U.S. Preventative Services Task Force’s Colorectal Cancer Screening Draft Recommendation issued yesterday is devastating for Exact Sciences’ only product, Cologuard.
I think this is the beginning of the end for the company.
My price target for the stock a year from now is $3, so I shorted more yes...
Bulls can be happy with today's progress. What weakness emerged today was reversed by the close, a change on yesterday's action where sellers dumped in the last few minutes of trading. Volume climbed to register an accumulation day.
The S&P finished at the 50-day MA, but beyond that there is plenty of room beyond that to run to the next level of resistance at 2,045. Technicals are net bullish.
The Nasdaq pushed off its 20-day MA and has another 50 points of maneuver before it gets to its 50-day MA. Technicals are not yet net bullish, but they are close.
Uncertainty about the health of the global economy led investors to flee U.S. equities during Q3, primarily driven by worries about China's growth prospects and the Federal Reserve’s decision to not raise rates. Sure, there are plenty of real and perceived headwinds, but on balance it seems that a recession here at home is not in the cards. And when you consider sentiment and the technical picture, it appears that a continuation of Friday’s bounce is in store. The question remains as to whether the seasonally strong Q4 will be able to propel the bulls through levels of resistance that have built up.
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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...
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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