DAN - Dana Holding Corporation – Bullish options are changing hands on Dana Holding Corp today, with shares in the name up as much as 3.5% on the day to a new 52-week high of $22.67. The auto parts maker this morning announced it has entered into a $200 million accelerated share repurchase agreement, after previously increasing its buyback program to $1 billion some six weeks prior. The most actively traded options contracts on DAN today are the Aug $22 strike calls, with volume topping 1,000 lots versus open interest of 252 contracts. Time and sales data suggests one trader purchased most of the calls at a premium of $0.30 apiece within the first few minutes of the opening bell this morning. Intraday gains in the price of the underlying shares has more than doubled the value of the position, lifting the asking price on the $22 calls up to $0.85 each as of 11:50 a.m. ET. Dana Holding Corp. is scheduled to participate in the J.P. Morgan Auto Conference in New York tomorrow morning.
LNKD - LinkedIn Corp. – Shares in LinkedIn are up sharply on Monday, trading up 3.0% during morning trading to a record high of $239.90, after the stock was raised to ‘buy’ from ‘hold’ with a 12-month target price of $280.00 at Needham & Co. Trading traffic in LinkedIn options expiring in October suggests some strategists are positioning for shares to continue higher during the next couple of months. More than 600 of the Oct $280 calls changed hands this morning against open interest of 72 contracts. It looks like most of the calls were purchased, with some of the contracts picked up for as much as $3.10 apiece. Call buyers stand ready to profit at October expiration in the event…
PMTI - Palomar Medical Technologies, Inc. – Options on Palomar Medical Technologies are trading more actively than usual on Monday, with volume topping 1,200 lots in the early going versus average daily volume of around 30 contracts and compared to total open interest of 372 contracts. Traders appear to be positioning for shares in the maker of proprietary laser systems for hair removal to rally in the near term, with shares in the name up better than 3.2% this morning at a fresh 52-week high of $11.30. Palomar shares have increased 60% since mid-November 2012. The April $12.5 strike calls attracted the most volume during the first half of the trading session, with upwards of 960 lots in play versus open interest of two contracts. Time and sales data suggests most of the $12.5 strike calls were purchased for an average premium of $0.85 each. Call buyers stand ready to profit at expiration next month should shares in Palomar tack on another 18% to top the average breakeven price of $13.35.
LNKD - LinkedIn Corp. – Shares in LinkedIn are bucking the trend today, increasing as much as 2.2% to hit a fresh record high of $174.25 on Monday morning amid a tepid start to the trading week for U.S. stocks. Traders positioning for shares in the online professional network operator to continue to hit new highs during the next four sessions snapped up weekly calls on the stock today. Buyers stepped in the purchase the Mar. 08 ’13 $175 and $180 strike calls in the early going this morning, paying average premiums of $2.20 and $0.96 apiece for the contracts. Traders long the upside calls may profit at expiration this week in the event that LNKD shares rally another 1.7% and 3.9% to surpass average breakeven prices of $177.20 and $180.96, respectively. Meanwhile, sellers of the Mar. 08 ’13 $175 strike put options are also positioned to benefit from a short-term bullish view on LNKD should shares extend gains this week.…
LNKD - LinkedIn Corp. – Shares in the online professional networking company are soaring today, up as much as 7.0% to touch a record-high of $168.82 during the first half of the trading session on positive analyst comments. The price target on LinkedIn was raised to $200.00 from $160.00 at Evercore this morning, and the stock was rated new ‘Buy’ with a 12-month target price of $195.00 at Wunderlich Securities. LNKD shares, up nearly 40% in the past two weeks alone, have rallied more than 95% since this time last year. Options traders positioning for shares in the name to move higher this week snapped up in- and out-of-the-money weekly calls on the stock today. Traders looked to the Mar. 01 ’13 $160, $165 and $170 strikes, driving volume at each strike well above open interest levels. The $165 and $170 strike calls are the most active by volume, with upwards of 2,300 contracts in play at each as of 11:25 a.m. ET. Much of the volume appears to have been purchased at average premiums of $1.98 and $1.10 apiece, respectively. Meanwhile, nearly 1,000 call options have changed hands at the higher Mar. 01 ’13 $175 strike versus open interest of 250 contracts. Trading in the $175 calls is mixed, with roughly equal numbers of contracts purchased and sold. Buyers of around 350 of the $175 strike calls paid an average premium of $0.34 apiece in the early going, and may profit at expiration this week should shares in LNKD rally another 4.0% over today’s record high of $168.82 to surpass the average breakeven point at $175.34.
DLTR - Dollar Tree, Inc. – Upside calls purchased on Tuesday ahead of Dollar Tree’s fourth-quarter earnings report this morning landed one or more traders substantial overnight paper profits, with shares in Dollar Tree spiking nearly 14% to an intraday high of $46.71 on Wednesday morning. The largest increase in open interest on Dollar Tree overnight was in the Mar. $42.5 strike calls; a review…
MCP - Molycorp, Inc. – Shares in rare earth metals mining company, Molycorp, Inc., are reeling Thursday morning after the Greenwood Village, Colorado-based company missed its 2012 production target and lowered its 2013 revenue and cash estimates. The stock is currently down 24% on the day to stand at $8.20 as of 11:00 a.m. ET. Analysts at JPMorgan cut their price target on the stock to $5.00 from $8.00 today. Options traders positioning for shares to weaken further by the end of this week initiated bearish plays in weekly put contracts. Put volume is on the rise at the Jan 11 ’13 $9.0, $8.5 and $8.0 striking prices this morning. Traders appear to have purchased around 1,100 in-the-money puts at the $9.0 strike, and another 2,350 lots at the $8.5 strike in the early going. The $8.0 strike puts have traded upwards of 2,200 times thus far today versus zero previously opened positions, with the bulk of the contracts purchased for an average premium of $0.13 apiece. Traders long the Jan. 11 ’13 $8.0 strike puts stand ready to profit at expiration this week should Molycorp’s shares decline another 4% from the current price of $8.20 to breach the average breakeven point at $7.87. MCP shares, down more than 70% since January 2012, last traded below $7.87 on November 23rd.
IACI - InterActiveCorp – Options activity on media and Internet company, InterActiveCorp, this morning indicates one trader is preparing for shares in the name to potentially decline in the near term, perhaps following the company’s fourth-quarter earnings report in February. Shares in the operator of online dating websites, match.com and okcupid, are down more than 3% today at $43.99 as of 11:15 a.m. in New York. The single-largest transaction in IACI options this morning was the purchase of 1,500-lot Feb. $40/$45 put spread for a net premium of $1.55 each. The bearish spread makes money if shares in InterActiveCorp slip 1.2% from the current level to trade below the breakeven price of $43.45. Maximum potential profits of $3.45 are available…
LNKD - LinkedIn Corp. – Shares in the professional social-networking site operator jumped 6% to a three-month high of $113.89 in the first half of the trading session after the Internet stock was raised to 'buy' from 'hold' with a share price target of $142.00 at Jefferies. Traders snapping up weekly calls on the stock this morning appear to be climbing aboard the bullish-bandwagon, positioning for additional near-term gains in the price of the underlying shares in the back half of this week. Volume in the weekly contracts is heaviest at the Sep. 07 '12 $115 strike where upwards of 3,100 calls changed hands against open interest of 543 positions. It looks like most of the $115 calls were purchased for an average premium of $0.47 apiece, thus preparing buyers to profit at expiration in the event LNKD shares exceed the average breakeven price of $115.47. Upside calls are also in play at the Sep. 07 '12 $120 strike, with roughly 460 of the contracts purchased this morning for an average premium of $0.15 each. Some bullish positions initiated yesterday and Friday are already seeing substantial paper profits given the big upside move in the shares today. Upside call buyers who picked up around 700 of the Sep. 07 '12 $110 strike call during the prior two trading sessions paid between $0.60 and $0.75 apiece for most of the contracts. Premium on the $110 weekly calls has increased five-fold since then from roughly $0.75 each on Tuesday to $4.10 per contract as of 12:15 p.m. ET on Wednesday.
MW - The Men’s Wearhouse, Inc. – Options on men’s clothing retailer, Men’s Wearhouse, are active ahead of the company’s second-quarter earnings report after the close this afternoon. Shares in the name are up 0.90% at $31.80 as of 12:35 p.m. ET, and at least one strategist is positioning for further gains in the share price in the near term. The…
You panic out of positions at rock bottom prices and you'll sit there like a deer in the headlights when we bounce back until we're already too high again and then you'll chase the top – only becoming fully invested after we've already exited. Don't blame me – I try to warn you, but no one listens to me.
This morning the markets are in full panic more and that's fine with us as not only are we still "Cashy and Cautious" but what did we tell you Wednesday morning? "TZA July $19/25 bull call spread at $1.50, selling $18 puts for $1.05 for net .45" along with EDZ at $17.23 and SQQQ at $51.80. SQQQ is at $53.79 (up 3.8%) and EDZ is $17.90 (up 3.9% and the TZA hedge is already at net .80, which is up 77% in just two days (so far) – now that's a hedge! When you have your hedges in place, THEN you can bottom fish with impunity and boy is the fishing good out there!
Today we get our Non-Farm Payroll numbers and there's a rumor out there that it's a big miss at 120,000 or lower. CNBC has been pretty much reporting it as a fact all morning and Europe is freaking out for that and many other reasons so I had occasion to look back at last month's NFP report, where we predicted it would be a miss with the the title: "The Blow Jobs Deal to the Market Could be Huge." That was 10% ago on our indexes are back to testing last week's lows, where we began to get bullish with our Twice in a Lifetime List of stocks that are back at their 2009 panic lows which we still like enough to sell puts in (giving us an additional 15-20% discount on initial entry).
That post capped off a week of bearish picks as we followed through with our plan to cash out into the April rally – it's those bearish profits we're now GAMBLING with as we bottom fish but, as noted above – we're hedging our bullish bets because there's no limit to how badly investors can freak out in the stock market – CASH remains KING!
A quick review of the week leading up to the last NFP report is a nice view of…
LNKD - LinkedIn Corp. – Activity in far out-of-the-money put options on the social networking site for professionals suggests some traders fear the price of the underlying could drop substantially from current levels. Shares in LNKD closed last week at $117.31, up nearly 80.0% year-to-date at the highest closing price since the IPO, following the release of better-than-expect first-quarter earnings. However, near-term bearish positions initiated this morning look for declines in the near term, while longer-term put purchases paint a far gloomier picture for the shares during the next few months. LinkedIn’s shares are off their lows of the session, but remain firmly in the red, down 4.7% at $106.24 as of 12:25 p.m. in New York. Weekly put buyers snapped up puts at the May $100 and $95 strikes, shelling out an average premium of $1.24 and $0.75, respectively, for more than 500 contracts at each strike. Traders may profit at the end of the week if shares in LinkedIn continue to sink. Meanwhile, the purchase of more than 1,650 puts at the July $70 strike for an average premium of $1.22 apiece look for shares to plunge more than 35.0% this summer. Traders long the $70 strike puts make money if shares in LNKD settle below the effective breakeven price of $68.78 at July expiration.
XRT - SPDR S&P Retail ETF – Retail stocks may continue to sell off, by the looks of massive stakes taken in XRT put options this morning. Shares in the equal-weighted retail ETF are down 1.5% at $59.45 this afternoon as stocks across the board sink. The two largest trades in XRT options today are in the May $56 put, with a total of 55,000 contracts purchased in two blocks at a premium of $0.35…
DJX - 1/100 of the Dow Jones Industrial Average – A massive vega trade initiated in the DJX today sent off ripples across major indices and single-stock names as market makers scrambled to hedge their sales of volatility that occurred due to the trade. The purchase of 30,000 Dec. 2014 $135 calls on the DJX, delta-hedged by a June 2014 $132 collar, is a pure volatility play that makes money if markets grow increasingly choppy going forward. Signs Europe’s crises may be coming to the fore once again could play a role in rising market volatility, which U.S. equities have largely been able to cast aside during the first quarter given positive domestic economic data and strong corporate earnings. The VIX has remained below 25 all year, passing much of its time just above or below the 17-level. For an investor anticipating rough seas up ahead, multi-year lows for the fear index provide an opportunity to lock in vega while it’s relatively cheap rather than wait for Nostradamus’ Armageddon, or more likely, continued turmoil across the pond, to blow volatility through the roof.
LNKD - LinkedIn Corp. – Shares in the social networking site for professionals are up 0.25% this afternoon to stand at $106.65 ahead of the Company’s first-quarter earnings report after the final bell today. Trading traffic in LinkedIn weekly calls suggests some traders are positioning for shares in the name to extend gains following the report. Notable bullish interest is building in the May 04 ’12 $115 strike options where more than 2,000 calls changed hands against open interest of 878 contracts by 12:15 pm in New York. It looks like most of the calls were purchased for an average premium of $3.07 apiece, thus positioning traders to profit…
LULU - Lululemon Athletic, Inc. – Lululemon’s shares are in rally-mode today, ahead of the athletic apparel retailer’s fourth-quarter earnings report Thursday morning. The stock trades higher by 1.45% to stand at $73.94 in early-afternoon trade, and it looks like some traders are using LULU options to taking pre-earnings report positions that benefit from further upside moves in the price of the underlying. One strategist appears to have initiated a bullish butterfly spread, buying around 3,000 calls at the April $75 and $85 strikes, and selling 6,000 calls at the April $80 strike, all for a net premium outlay of $0.92 per contract. The parameters of the spread indicate potential losses, and potential gains, are limited; maximum possible losses are capped at $0.92 per contract. The trader may profit at expiration in the event that Lululemon’s shares rally 2.7% to surpass the effective breakeven price of $75.92, with maximum possible profits of $4.08 per contract available given an 8.2% move higher in the shares to $80.00. It looks like the butterfly spread is not the only bullish strategy calling for LULU’s shares to head higher. Last Friday, a large block of 12,551 April $80 strike calls were purchased for a premium of $1.60 each. While both transactions look for Lululemon’s shares to rally to fresh record highs, one earns maximum possible gains if shares settle at $80.00, while the other looks for shares to rally above $81.60 by expiration next month. More than 33,500 option contracts have changed hands on LULU just before 12:30 p.m. in New York.
ARIA - ARIAD Pharmaceuticals, Inc. – Options on biotechnology company, ARIAD Pharmaceuticals, are more active than usual today following Tuesday’s reported 13-to-1 ruling by the FDA’s Oncologic Drugs Advisory Committee against the use ridaforolimus. The…
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…
A roughly quarter of a million dollar play in the 17Apr’14 expiry $74 strike put options on Las Vegas Sands Corp (Ticker: LVS) caught our eye this morning, as just one full trading session remains in the life of these contracts in this holiday-shortened week. Shares in LVS are up more than 2.0% on the session at $74.90 just before 11:30 am ET and off an earlier session high of $75.44. Like many of the relative outperformers of 2014, shares in LVS have declined substantially since the beginning of March, down around 15% at its current level from a high of $88.28. Recent sessions have been volatile in this and other high-beta names, and perhaps this environment is just what the morning’s put trader is looking for ahead of expiration.
Some analysts are beginning to suggest that inflation in the Unites States may have bottomed. As discussed earlier this years (see post), US inflation indicators were pointing to the lowest rate since 2009. Are the global disinflationary pressures going to push the rate of price increases in the US to new lows or have we hit the bottom?
First of all, what is the market telling us? Market expectations of future inflation remain subdued, with the so-called breakeven (implied from TIPS) rates still near the 3-year low.
What would we do without the Wall Street Journal? Do people actually pay for this lame-brained noise?
Retail Sales Surge as Consumers Rev Up Growth Indicator Posts Best Monthly Growth Since September 2012
In fact, we are now entering the fifth season of head-fakes about “escape velocity” acceleration in as many years. Yet the Wall Street stock peddlers and their financial media echo boxes are so fixated on the latest “delta”—that is,&nbs...
Note from dshort: This commentary has been revised to include March Real Retail Sales (adjusted with yesterday's CPI report) and today's release of March Industrial Production.
Official recession calls are the responsibility of the NBER Business Cycle Dating Committee, which is understandably vague about the specific indicators on which they base their decisions. This committee statement is about as close as they get to identifying their method.
There is, however, a general belief that there are four big indicators that the committee weighs heavily in their cycle identification process. They are:
Real Personal Income (excluding transfer payments)
Last week’s market performance was nasty again, especially for the Small-cap Growth style/cap, down 4%. Large-caps faired the best, losing only 2.7%. That’s ugly and today’s market seemed likely to be uglier today with escalating tensions over the weekend in Ukraine.
But once again, positive economic trumped the beating of the war drums. Retail Sales jumped up 1.1% over a projected 0.8% and last month’s tepid 0.3%, which was revised up to 0.7%. While autos led, sales were up solidly overall. Business inventories were about as expected with a positive tone. Citigroup (C) handily beat estimates to add to the morning’s surprises. As a result, the market was positive through most of the day, led by the DJI, up 0.91%, and the S&P 500, up 0.82%. NASDAQ had a less...
[Facebook] The social network is only weeks away from obtaining regulatory approval in Ireland for a service that would allow its users to store money on Facebook and use it to pay and exchange money with others, according to several people involved in the process.
The authorisation from Ireland’s central bank to become an “e-money” institution would allow ...
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Market Shadows Excelled – With a 1.36% Weekly Decline
In the land of the blind, the one-eyed man is King. Our Virtual Value Porfolio took on that role this week as we lost a modest 1.36% of our value while the DJIA, S&P 500 and Nasdaq Composite dropped from 2.35% - 3.10%.
We remain bullish despite the shaky end of week sentiment. Our original $100,000 now totals $145,058 including our 2.8% cash reserve.
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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Ladies and Gentlemen, hobos and tramps,
Cross-eyed mosquitoes, and Bow-legged ants,
I come before you, To stand behind you,
To tell you something, I know nothing about.
And so the circus begins in Union Square, San Francisco for this weeks JP Morgan Healthcare Conference. Will the momentum from 2013, which carried the S&P Spider Biotech ETF to all time highs, carry on in 2014? The Biotech ETF beat the S&P by better than 3 points.
As I noted in my previous post, Biotechs Galore - IPOs and More, biotechs were rushing to IPOs so that venture capitalists could unwind their holdings (funds are usually 5-7 years), as well as take advantage of the opportune moment...
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