Options volume on troubled retailer J.C. Penney Co. (Ticker: JCP) exploded Thursday morning to top 230,000 contracts during the first hour of the trading session, which is nearly three times the stock’s average daily reading for the metric. The surge in options activity on JCP accompanies a more than 20% rally in the price of the underlying to $7.50 today after the company reported its first profit in more than two years in the fourth quarter amid signs of progress with the turnaround at the retailer. Shares increased to the highest level since mid-January following Penney’s fourth-quarter earnings report.
The most traded call options on JCP as of the time of this writing are the 21 Mar ’14 7.0 strike calls, with roughly 23,000 contracts in play (this is approximately 70% of open existing interest at that strike of around 33,800 contracts). Time and sales data from this morning suggests most of the volume changing hands at that strike today was purchased at a premium of $0.75 each. Buyers of in-the-money call options could be buying to open near-term bullish positions on the stock or adjusting previously established positions on the heels of the sharp rally in the stock overnight. Traders getting long the calls at $0.75 per contract today may profit at expiration next month if shares in the retailer rally another 3.3% over today’s high of $7.50 to exceed the effective breakeven point at $7.75.
JCP – J.C. Penney Co., Inc. – Trading in weekly options that expire one week from Friday looks for shares in J.C. Penney to continue to push to the upside in the near term. Shares in JCP are up more than 6.0% this morning at a two-month high of $9.95, having rallied approximately 60% off a record low of $6.24 reached back on October 22nd.
Upside calls expiring at the end of next week are active this morning, with fresh interest in the Dec 06 ’13 $10 and $10.5 strike calls looking for the stock to extend gains. Around 3,000 of the $10 strike calls have changed hands so far today against zero open interest, with much of the volume purchased in the early going at an average premium of $0.24 each. Buyers of these contracts stand ready to profit at expiration next week in the event that JCP shares settle above the average breakeven point at $10.24. Volume in the Dec 06 ’13 $10.5 strike calls is pushing toward 700 contracts as of the time of this writing, with much of the interest buying the calls at an average premium of $0.13 each. Traders long the $10.5 strike calls stand ready to profit at expiration next week if shares in the retailer rise 7.0% over the current price of $9.95 to exceed the breakeven point at $10.63.
TSLA – Tesla Motors Inc. – Shares in electric carmaker Tesla Motors are vacillating between negative and positive today, currently down 0.40% at $120.00 just before 11:00 a.m. EST.
Trading in far out of the money put options on TSLA in the early going today suggests one options player may be positioning for shares in the name to continue to decline during the next few weeks. What…
JCP – J.C. Penney Co., Inc. – Options volume on retailer J.C. Penney is above 200,000 contracts at 12:45 p.m. in New York trading, which is more than three times the stock’s average daily options volume of around 61,000 contracts, as shares in the name move sharply to the downside. Shares in JCP fell as much as 16.5% during morning trading to $9.93, the lowest level since December of 2000.
Fresh interest in short-dated options suggests some traders are bracing for the price of the underlying to extend losses this week. Early-bird buyers of weekly puts are in some cases seeing sizable intraday gains in the value of their positions. Buyers of the Sep 27 ’13 $10 strike puts in the early going snapped up around 1,000 contracts for an average premium of $0.11 each. These put options are now worth more than twice as much, with the last-traded price on the $10 strike puts at $0.30 as of 12:45 p.m. ET. More than 6,700 of the Sep 27 ’13 $10 strike puts have changed hands so far today versus open interest of just 287 contracts.
The November expiry put options are the most heavily traded as measured by volume, perhaps as traders look ahead to the company’s third-quarter earnings report. The stock is off session lows, down 13% at $10.34. Options traders are exchanging calls and puts on JCP in roughly equal numbers, with the call/put ratio hovering just above 1.0.
FWM - Fairway Group Holdings Corp. – Shares in food retailer, Fairway, are up slightly on Wednesday, trading 0.20% higher on the session at $20.92 as of 11:25 a.m. ET ahead of the company’s fourth-quarter earnings report on Thursday before the open, Fairway’s first quarterly release since becoming a publicly traded company on April 17th. The stock gained more than 30% to close at $17.50 on its first day trading in the secondary market and has since rallied another 20% to current levels. Fairway popped up on our ‘hot by options volume’ market scanner early in the trading session after one trader purchased front month puts on the stock. It looks like the strategist is bracing for shares in FWM to potentially drop after earnings, buying 40 of the Jun $20 strike puts for a premium of $0.70 per contract. The trade makes money if shares in Fairway decline more than 7.0% from the current price of $20.92 to breach the effective breakeven point on the downside at $19.30 by June expiration. Shares in Fairway last week touched a record high of $22.50.
APA - Apache Corp. – An upgrade to ‘Buy’ from ‘Hold’ with a target share price of $105.00 from $90.00 at Deutsche Bank helped lift shares in Apache this morning, with the stock rising as much as 2.3% during the first half of the session to $86.31.Weekly options in play on Apache today, however, suggests some traders are positioning for the price of the underlying to surrender today’s gains and then some during the next couple of sessions. The energy company’s shares have rallied sharply in recent weeks, up better than 25% in the past six weeks since touching down at a 52-week low of $67.91 on April 22nd. Near-term bearish options are most active at the Jun 07 ’13 $82.5 strike where upwards of 2,000 puts have changed hands against open interest of 259 contracts. It looks like most of the volume was purchased in the early going for…
JCP - J.C. Penney Co., Inc. – Upside call buying in weekly options on J.C. Penney this morning suggest some traders are positioning for shares in the department store operator to rally during the final week of the year. Shares in JCP are up 2.65% at $20.11 as of 11:05 a.m. in New York, but are down more than 40% since the start of 2012. Fresh interest in weekly calls looks for shares in the retailer to extend this morning’s gains when the market reopens after the Christmas holiday. Volume is heaviest at the Dec. 28 ’12 $20 strike, where upwards of 3,500 calls changed hands against open interest of 1,469 contracts. It looks like most of the volume was purchased for an average premium of $0.68 each in the early going. In-the-money call buyers stand ready to profit at expiration this week should shares in JCP rally another 2.8% to top the average breakeven price of $20.68. Bullish positioning spread to the Dec. 28 ’12 $20.5 and $21 strikes, with more than 650 contracts purchased at each strike for average premiums of $0.45 and $0.28 apiece, respectively. Finally, around 275 of the Dec. 28 ’12 $22 strike calls were picked up at an average premium of $0.20 each, thus positioning buyers to profit in the event of a more than 10% move in the share price to $22.20 by expiration.
RPTP - Raptor Pharmaceutical Corp. – Shares in Raptor Pharmaceutical Corp. fell sharply in after-hours trading on Friday after the company said the U.S. Food and Drug Administration needs more time to complete its review of Raptor’s New Drug Application (NDA) for RP103 (PROCYSBI™), a potential treatment for nephropathic cystinosis, according to a press release issued by Raptor on Friday. Shares continue to slide on Monday morning, down 7% at $5.34 as of 11:25 a.m. ET. One or more traders preparing for Raptor’s shares to continue to slide in the New Year snapped up put options in the February expiry. Traders exchanged more than 750 puts at the Feb.…
JCP - J.C. Penney Co., Inc. – The department store operator’s shares had their worst percentage drop in more than two decades on Wednesday after the Company reported a loss for the first quarter, sales that fell more than expected and discontinued its quarterly dividend. The stock trades 17.3% lower this afternoon at $27.54. May expiry options changing hands on J.C. Penney this morning appear to be looking for a modest rebound off the lows by the end of the week. Call buyers snapped up more than 500 of the May $28 strike calls for an average premium of $1.00 each and purchased another 1,700 calls at the higher May $29 strike at an average premium of $0.49 apiece. The May $30 and $31 strike calls attracted buyers as well, with more than 3,000 and 1,600 contracts purchased at each, at premiums of $0.31 and $0.13 each, respectively. Meanwhile, strategists betting shares in JCP are at their lowest for the week sold May $27 and $28 strike put options, pocketing average premiums of $2.96 and $0.15 per contract on the trades. Put sellers walk away with the full amount of premium in hand as long as shares in J.C. Penney settle above $28.00 at expiration. Overall activity in JCP options is up sharply following earnings, with more than 138,000 lots in play versus the stock’s 90-day average options volume of 36,354 contracts.
OSUR - OraSure Technologies, Inc. – Shares in the medical equipment maker hoping to bring the first at-home HIV test to market jumped as much as 35.0% to a more than 5-year high of $12.28 today after a unanimous vote yesterday by an advisory panel was viewed favorably by investors. The FDA is expected to make a decision on the test in the next few months. Calls and puts are changing hands in roughly equal numbers this afternoon and overall volume is currently up above 2,200 contracts…
AOL - AOL, Inc. – Options volume on AOL is up sharply today on news the web services company agreed to sell and license patents to Microsoft in a deal valued at more than $1 billion. The deal drove shares in AOL, Inc. up as much as 46.6% to an intraday- and new 52-week high of $27.00. More than 28,000 options have changed hands on AOL as of 1:00 p.m. in New York, which is roughly 22 times the stock’s 90-day average volume of 1,276 contracts. Options traders positioning for shares in AOL to extend gains in the near term snapped up calls in the front month. Fresh interest building in the April $26, $27 and $28 strikes was largely initiated by buyers. Volume is substantial at the $27 strike, where around 2,250 calls changed hands against 2 open positions. It looks like traders paid an average premium of $0.53 apiece for the options, which may be profitable at expiration as long as shares in AOL rally another 2.0% to surpass the average breakeven price of $27.53 at expiration. Bullish bets initiated back in March certainly seem to be paying off handsomely for some strategists in the aftermath of the run-up in shares. Open interest in the April $19 strike call suggests 200 contracts were purchased for a premium of $0.40 each on March 16th, while another 200 lots were picked up on March 22nd at a premium of $0.25 apiece. These calls currently tout a last-traded price of $7.85, a roughly 20-fold increase over premiums required to purchase the options just a few weeks ago.
JCP - J.C. Penney, Inc. – A long-term bullish options play on retailer, J.C. Penney, Inc., looks for shares in the name to tack on substantial…
David Fry summed up yesterday’s action perfectly, saying "Wednesday’s massive rally was prompted by sudden global central bank intervention adding (printing money) liquidity (reducing the lending rate overseas to zero basically) to shore up sovereign debt in the eurozone. They basically set up a swap facility to do the job in the future. Is it a cure or a bailout? No, this is a handout. And it doesn’t solve the problems the eurozone is facing."
"But, it must be said that the European leaders must have hit a dead end in talks and a potential financial panic must have seemed likely. Mind you, Mr. Bernanke is perfectly comfortable with reflation and money printing. He’s been at it for a long time. It will take years for the Freedom of Information Act to discover how much money and to whom the U.S. has given free money. Americans and others will see price increases in all products and services as a result of a weaker dollar negatively affecting purchasing power. Beyond Moral Hazard issues this is the cost you’ll see and perhaps even wonder why."
It’s the classic "stick save" that was clearly (to us) telegraphed by the very low-volume blow-off bottom last week and now, in retrospect, it is also clear that the market manipulators and their media hounds were pulling out all the stops to get retail investors to SELLSELLSELL.
As I mentioned yesterday, I’ve been railing against the market manipulation and the media nonsense that had been going on each month and today we learn that Wall Street execs did, in fact, meet privately with top Fed officials in September, according to Fed documents, and they "recommended" Central Banks make a joint effort to address the Eurozone debt crisis. Don’t forget that our Fed works for the Banksters, not vice versa! In addition to knowing well in advance this move was coming, their suggestions included boosting the global economy by buying securities, a move that may yet happen as many investors believe yesterday’s swap announcement was a prelude to additional coordinated action.
You see, it’s not enough for Lloyd Blanfein (allegedly and for example, of course, a fine man like Lloyd would never do this) to know that the Fed is going to make a massive move like yesterday – there’s much more money to be made if…
JCP - J.C. Penney Co., Inc. – Frenzied options trading ensued following reports that Ron Johnson, head of retail at Apple Inc., was named CEO of J.C. Penney Co. The news drove shares in the department store operator up 19.5% to $35.97by 1:40 pm in New York. The number of options in play on JCP today is approaching 171,000 contracts in afternoon trade, topping overall open interest on the stock of 160,338 contracts.Johnson’s appointment to JCP seems to have injected traders with a renewed sense of optimism on the department store owner. The previous four weeks were not kind to shares in J.C. Penney, which declined 27.3% since mid-May to $29.82 this past Friday.
Investors are exchanging roughly 1.6 call options on JCP for each single put option in action. June and July contract calls are the most active with in- and out-of-the-money call buying a seemingly popular strategy amongst traders. Investors who picked up calls a few hours ago at the start of the rally paid far less than the current asking price on the options in most cases. June $30 strike calls, for example, were purchased around 1,100 times earlier in the session for an average premium of $1.79 each. The now deep in-the-money calls currently tout a hefty price tag of $5.90 per contract. Trading traffic in options expiring this Friday ballooned during the session. Call volume at the June $32strike, the most at any single strike in the front month, is greater than 12,500 contracts against previously existing open positions of 3,818 contracts. Early-birds paid an average premium of around $0.46 per contract for those calls, which now have an asking price of $3.90 a-pop. July contract calls drew crowds, as well. The July $35 and $36 strike…
This isn’t complicated people – what’s the 2.5% line off of $103? $100.425. That’s where we’ll look for oil to consolidate but below that line we’ll be comfortable with our shorts again, looking for those next legs down to $98.88 (down 4%) and then $97.85, where we will once again look for a 20% retrace to $98.88 and then a nice short there when it fails. So come on – you can play along at home – don’t miss out on making the next $1.129Bn!
Meanwhile, what’s a 20% bounce off a $3 drop? 60 cents, right? Where did oil bounce to in the futures? $100.60? This is not rocket science folks… We teach these little tips to our Members every day at Philstockworld. Sure you may find it disturbing that the chart we drew up (above) in early April is hit almost to the penny on the NYSE yesterday (2 months later) as it halted right on our red line – but that just shows us that Bots are running this market (as we keep telling you) and it also means that we can rely on our ranges and that makes it EASY to make good trading decisions.
Also in Member Chat last night, I reviewed 8 short put ideas (bullish) that can net us over $3,000 in 15 days if we get a bounce and hold our "Must Hold" levels. This is the nice thing about hedging – we make money on the way up OR on the way down and, when we are trading in a range – like we hopefully will this summer – then we make money both ways on a regular basis! Let the market manipulators play their…
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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What makes Janet Yellen and a number of other FOMC members so dovish with respect to monetary policy and in particular the trajectory of rate normalization? A Credit Suisse report sites 3 key factors, which Yellen calls “unusual headwinds":
1. Tighter fiscal policy.
The combination of lower government spending and tax increases has created a drag on economic growth (see chart). This drag is now diminishing, but given the tepid recovery Yellen still views it as a headwind.
Bears made further inroads to the Semiconductor index, and Russell 2000, which delivered knock on results elsewhere. The Semiconductor index had the worst of the action, slicing through its 50-day MA with a near 2% loss. If bulls wanted value a quick return above the 50-day MA would set up a 'bear trap' and may generate enough juice for a challenge of 650.
The Russell 2000 is playing for a swing low retest, although the 200-day MA may provide a long opportunity (stops on loss of 1,131). Technicals with the bears, but not oversold.
Volume in Starbucks options is running approximately three times the average daily level for the stock as of 1:15 p.m. ET ahead of the company’s third-quarter earnings report after the close. Shares in the name are up roughly 1.0% just before midday to stand at $79.95. Traders of SBUX options today are more active in calls than puts, with the call/put ratio hovering near 2.0 as of the time of this writing. Much of the volume is in 25Jul’14 expiry options contracts, most notably in the $80 and $83 strike calls which have traded roughly 3,350 and 2,550 times respectively and in excess of existing open interest levels in both strikes. A portion of the volume in the $80 and $83 calls appears to be part of a spread trade.
Despite a highly eventful week in the news, not much has changed from a stock market perspective. No doubt, investors have grown immune to the daily reports of geopolitical turmoil, including Ukraine vs. Russia for control of the eastern regions, Japan’s dispute with China over territorial waters, Sunni vs. Shiite for control of Iraq, Christians being driven out by Islamists, and other religious conflicts in places like Nigeria and Central African Republic. But last Thursday’s news of the Malaysian airliner tragically getting shot down over Ukraine, coupled with Israel’s ground incursion into Gaza, had the makings of a potential Black Swan event, which in my view is the only thing that could derail the relentless bull march higher in stocks.
Nevertheless, when it became clear that the airline...
We tried holding up stock prices but couldn’t get the job done. Market Shadows’ Virtual Value Portfolio dipped by 2% during the week but still holds on to a market-beating 8.45% gain YTD. There was no escaping the downdraft after a major Portuguese bank failed. Of all the triggers for a large selloff, I’d guess the Portuguese bank failure was pretty far down most people's list of "things to worry about."
All three major indices gave up some ground with the Nasdaq composite taking the hardest hi...
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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...
I just wanted to be sure you saw this. There’s a ‘live’ training webinar this Thursday, March 27th at Noon or 9:00 pm ET.
If GOOGLE, the NSA, and Steve Jobs all got together in a room with the task of building a tremendously accurate trading algorithm… it wouldn’t just be any ordinary system… it’d be the greatest trading algorithm in the world.
Well, I hate to break it to you though… they never got around to building it, but my friends at Market Tamer did.
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