BBRY – BlackBerry Ltd. – Shares in BlackBerry are moving higher today, up as much as 7.3% during the first half of the session to touch $7.75, the highest level since November 1st. Today’s gains add to the strong rally in BBRY shares seen on Friday on the heels of comments from the company’s interim CEO, John Chen. Currently trading at $7.64 on the day, the stock is up 40% since touching down at a record low of $5.44 on December 10th.
Upwards of 100,000 contracts have changed hands on BlackBerry as of 12:30 p.m. EST on Monday, which is around the total options volume the stock sees on average each day. Trading in BBRY calls is outpacing that of puts, with the call/put ratio hovering near 3.0 as of the time of this writing. Trading in far out of the money put options expiring in March, however, indicates some traders are prepared for the rebound in the price of the underlying to potentially reverse course during the next few months. It looks like traders snapped up around 2,500 of the Mar ’14 $4.0 strike puts at a premium of $0.08 each. The contracts may be profitable at expiration if shares in BlackBerry plunge roughly 50% from the current price of $7.64 to breach the breakeven point on the downside at $3.92.
KORS – Michael Kors Holdings Ltd. – Options on Michael Kors are more active than usual today, with volume above 12,000 contracts as of 11:30 a.m. EST versus the stock’s average daily options volume of around 7,800 contracts. Shares in the retailer fell 5.1% to $79.59 during morning trading on cautious comments regarding holiday sales from an analyst at Wedbush Securities, which has an ‘Outperform’ rating on Kors and a target price of $84.00 on the stock.
Trading in KORS weekly call and put options this morning suggests one trader is positioning for the price of the underlying to remain volatile this week. It looks like one strategist purchased a 300-lot 27 Dec ’13 $80 straddle for a net premium of $2.20 each. The position makes money if shares in the retailer rally above the upper breakeven price of $82.20 or below the lower breakeven point at $77.80 by expiration this week.
KORS - Michael Kors Holdings Ltd. – Shares in luxury apparel and accessories retailer, Michael Kors Holdings Ltd., are soaring today after the company posted better-than-expected first-quarter earnings and same-store sales and raised its forecast for second-quarter and full year profit. The stock jumped 16% in the first half of the session to an intraday high of $49.12, nearing its post-IPO high of $50.69 reached back in March. One options strategist who initiated a three-legged bullish spread in the September expiry contracts yesterday ahead of the earnings report this morning saw the value of his or her position skyrocket overnight. It appears the trader sold 525 of the Sept. $36 strike put in order to partially offset the cost of buying a 525-lot Sept. $43/$48 call spread. The sale of the $36 puts and the $48 calls reduced the premium required to get long the Sept. $43 strike calls to just $0.70 per contract from the asking price of $2.82 apiece, effectively lowering the breakeven point to $43.70 from $45.82 while limiting profits to a maximum of $4.30 per contract. Shares in the name are currently above $48.00; if the stock exceeds $48.00 at September expiration, the options trader may walk away with the maximum payout available on the spread. Alternatively, the strategist could choose to take substantial profits off the table today or at some future date by buying-to-close the puts and selling-to-close the call spread.
APC - Anadarko Petroleum Corp. – A large call butterfly spread initiated on Anadarko Petroleum Corp. this afternoon suggests one options player is positioning for the price of the underlying to post big gains during the next few months. Shares in the name, up 0.65% on the day at $68.95 as of 12:50 p.m. in New York, have rallied 22% off the June 4th 52-week low of $56.42, though the stock remains down 12% year to date despite the summer rebound. The…
TIF - Tiffany & Co. – Options on the world’s second-largest luxury jewelry retailer are mixed today, with much of the action centering in the front month calls and puts. The day’s volume, currently at 21,500 contracts as of 11:35 a.m. in New York, is more than twice the stock’s 90-day average volume of 9,971 options. The pick-up in options activity arrives on the heels of the Company’s fourth-quarter results and full-year earnings guidance ahead of the opening bell. The jeweler’s full-year earnings forecast at $4.05 per share beat analyst expectations, sending the price of the underlying up as much as 8.0% on Tuesday morning to $74.20. The sharp rally in Tiffany’s shares is a move one strategist had been positioning for last week. It appears the investor initiated a bull call spread back on Monday March 12, buying the April $70/$75 spread roughly 3,500 times at an average net premium of $1.54 per contract. The rise in open interest at both strikes in the days that followed may mean the trader added to the position last week. The bullish play on the jeweler is working out so far, with the shares well above an estimated breakeven share price of $71.54 on the spread. The trader walks away with maximum available profits as long as Tiffany’s shares move up another 1.1% over today’s high of $74.20 to top $75.00 at expiration next month.
KORS - Michael Kors Holdings, Ltd. – The number of open options positions on Michael Kors Holdings, Ltd., as measured by open interest of 30,337 total contracts, is roughly 65.0% comprised of call positions. The preponderance of open KORS calls versus puts was heightened yesterday by one large transaction involving roughly 10,200 far out-of-the-money front month calls. The Company…
KORS - Michael Kors Holdings Ltd. – A number of options strategists appear to have benefitted handsomely from bullish positions held in the House of Kors today, with shares in the luxury retailer ballooning on better-than-expected third-quarter earnings. Shares in Michael Kors Holdings Ltd. have more than doubled since the December IPO, trading 22.7% higher on the day at $41.25 as of 11:40 a.m. Options on Kors are abuzz with after-earnings activity, with around 3.6 call options changing hands for each single put option in play. Some traders that placed bullish bets on the retailer in the weeks leading up to earnings in some cases saw the value of their positions sky-rocket. One buyer of a 1,500-lot Feb. $34/$37 call spread at an average net premium of $1.05 per contract on Feb. 9th may reel in maximum possible profits on the position at expiration, given shares in KORS are now trading well above the upper $37 strike. Call open interest in the front month is heaviest at the $33 strike where more than 5,480 positions were opened before today. It looks like most of the volume was generated in a single block of 4,831 calls that traded at $1.15 each on Feb 7th. The calls traded to the middle of the market one week ago with the bid/ask showing $1.05/$1.30. Today, these deep in-the-money calls trade at bid/ask of $8.20/$8.40 as of 12:15 p.m. The impact of better-than-expected earnings on the shares certainly makes for a happy Valentine’s Day for the trader in the event he or she purchased the contracts last week or a rather Grey day were the calls originally sold. Finally, investors positioning for shares in Kors to extend gains snapped up in-the-money calls at the $40 strike in February and March, as well as picked up around 255 calls out at the May $44 strike at an average premium of $1.56 each.…
“One day it started raining, and it didn’t quit for four months” ~ Forrest Gump
What’s especially frustrating right now, besides the fact that the S&P 500 is now in a 13.2% drawdown, is that we’re not seeing any sense of panic. While every bounce attempt is getting smaller in both size and duration, the market has yet to do the proverbial flush that we all seam to be waiting for. The “all clear” moment, if you will.
The last time stocks were selling off like this was the summer of 2011 when the S&P 500 fell 21.58% pea...
The canary in the coalmine of an increasingly desperate energy industry just croaked. With "unusual timing" and at "distressed prices,"Reuters reports that Phillips 66 - the major US refiner owned by Warren Buffett - dumped crude oil for immediate delivery into Cushing storage tonight. This sparked heavy selling of the front-month WTI contract (to a $26 handle) and crashed the 1st-2nd month spread to 5 year lows.
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Throughout the past 30 days of wild volatility, here’s what I didn’t do.
Panic. Worry. Sell.
In fact, the best I did was add to a couple of positions yesterday. The world was already in an uncertain state for the past 3+ years. It’s just that with the market rising, we pushed the issue to the back of our mind and ignored it.
A number of systemic, structural forces are intersecting in 2016. One is the rise of non-state, non-central-bank-issued crypto-currencies.
We all know money is created and distributed by governments and central banks. The reason is simple: control the money and you control everything.
The invention of the blockchain and crypto-currencies such as Bitcoin have opened the door to non-state, non-central-bank currencies--money that is global and independent of any state or central bank, or indeed, any bank, as crypto-currencies are structurally peer-to-peer, meaning they don't require a bank to function: people can exchange crypto-currencies to pay for goods and services without a bank acting as a clearinghouse for all these transactions.
Last year, the S&P 500 large caps closed 2015 essentially flat on a total return basis, while the NASDAQ 100 showed a little better performance at +8.3% and the Russell 2000 small caps fell -5.9%. Overall, stocks disappointed even in the face of modest expectations, especially the small caps as market leadership was mostly limited to a handful of large and mega-cap darlings.
Notably, the full year chart for the S&P 500 looks very much like 2011. It got off to a good start, drifted sideways for...
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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.
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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