by Option Review - March 22nd, 2013 1:51 pm
Today’s tickers: NKE, MDLZ & TIBX
by Option Review - September 18th, 2012 2:06 pm
Today’s tickers: DF, ENR & NKE
DF - Dean Foods Co. – Shares in the producer of a variety of plant-based beverages and branded and private label dairy products started the session in negative territory, but have since turned positive to trade 0.30% higher on the day at $16.59 as of 11:20 a.m. ET. Options on Dean Foods Co. are more active than usual today, with volume in excess of 1,500 contracts versus the stock’s average daily volume of 692 contracts. Strategies in play this morning suggest some traders are positioning for Dean’s shares to tick higher in the near term, while others are bracing for a possible pullback in the weeks ahead. The stock has gained more than 90% since this time last year. A 200-lot Oct. $14/$16 debit put spread initiated at a net premium of $0.35 per contract may be an outright bearish stance on the food and beverage company, or could be a hedge to protect the value of a long position in the shares. The spread makes money if Dean Foods Co. shares decline 6% to breach the breakeven price of $15.65 by October expiration. Maximum potential profits of $1.65 per contract are available on the position in the event DF shares drop 16% to $14.00. Meanwhile, one or more traders preparing for shares in the name to rally ahead of expiration next month purchased more than 720 calls at a premium of $0.40 each. Call buyers make money if DF shares rally 5% to top the average breakeven price of $17.40 by October expiration. Dean’s shares last traded above $17.40 back on August 8th when the stock hit a two-year high of $17.50.
ENR - Energizer Holdings, Inc.– Batteries and consumer products maker, Energizer Holdings, Inc., reaffirmed its fiscal 2012 earnings guidance, said fourth-quarter net income will likely top earnings from the year ago quarter and announced plans to cut payrolls and reduce costs. Shares reacted positively, rallying as…
by Phil Davis - September 21st, 2011 8:28 am
Strap in folks, it’s going to be another wild ride!
As you can see from Doug Short’s S&P chart,we are about to slam right into that collapsing 50-day moving average, now at 1,223.40 – right about where the S&P topped out on yesterday’s morning spike. Unfortunately, the Nasdaq topped out and headed down before the other indexes got a chance to complete their up cycle and the Dollar rose back over the 77.50 line and tanked the market – exactly as we predicted it would at the bottom of yesterday morning’s post.
Of course, I can’t MAKE these things happen – I can only tell you what’s going to happen and give you trade ideas to help you profit from it. I mentioned that we had picked up 10 DIA 9/30 $115.75 calls in our virtual $25,000 Portfolio at $1.05 on Monday and they topped out at $1.75 (up 66%) but we took a non-greedy exit at $1.45 in the morning spike (up 33%) and we switched to 20 QQQ 9/30 $57 calls at .45 in the afternoon sell-off. So, we made $350 off a $1,050 investment and then we spend $900 but now we have 20 contracts instead of 10 but we also have $450 in cash so now risking just $600 of our original investment on the much more volatile Fed day.
Another trade idea we like ahead of the Fed that’s still playable is 20 FAS weekly $13/14 bull call spreads at .38 ($760), selling 10 JPM Oct $28 put for .55 ($550) for net $210 invested on the 20 $1 spreads. The worst-case on this spread is owning JPM for net $28.10, which is 13% off the current price and the best case is a $1,790 profit (852%) in a week. That sounds like a lot but options let you do funny things like at 11:30 in Member Chat, we saw PCLN making new highs against news that we thought was not actually that good for them on closer examination. Our trade idea to take advantage of that was:
If you want to play PCLN bearish – it’s very risky but the weekly $565/555 bear put spread is $6 and you can sell the $565 calls for $4.70 for net $1.30 on the $10 spread. Oct $620s are $4.10 so your bet is
by Phil Davis - April 15th, 2011 8:19 am
Well who’d have thunk it?
The cost of doing business is rising and GOOG happens to be one of those businesses that lacks pricing power as their rates are generally set through an auction process and their users have to VOLUNTEER to pay more money to advertise. Most advertisers on Google are on fixed budgets, like MSM advertisers and Google has done a great job of replicating that model. Why then, should it be surprising if a maturing Google begins to look more like a traditional media outlet than a dot com company with exploding growth?
Don’t get me wrong, we love Google long-term but we did short them as well as BIDU into Google earnings as we felt Google would disappoint enough to spook BIDU investors as well. We’re taking the short money and running and looking for some bullish plays now – the drop from $630 last month to $545 today is plenty of froth blown off the top for us to get long-term interested again. As you can see from the tag cloud of the Conference Call, growth is still there, especially in mobile display ads (Android a bit disappointing) and no major negatives. I’m not going to write a whole thing about GOOG though, there are thousands of people doing that and our Members know well enough where I stand. I’m more interested in examining the bigger picture.
We expected Q1 earnings to be rough and we’ve already seen FDX, NKE, ORCL, RIMM, FAST, FCS and AA struggle so hopefully you don’t have to be hit on the head with another whole week of earnings before you get a little more cautious. Next week we hear from C, HAL, LLY, TXN, BK, GS, INTC, IBM, SYK, USB, VMW and YHOO on Monday and Tuesday and then we’re off to the races with hundreds of companies reporting each week for the rest of the month. Our job in the first few weeks of earnings season is to get a feel for the quarter and, so far, that feeling is rough.
It’s all about inflation, of course and don’t say we didn’t warn you about that one! We went more bearish up at those 100% lines we’ve been watching and now the question really is – how bad was it? Inflation is, after all, our long-term BULLISH premise. We don’t think corporations…
by Option Review - December 21st, 2010 4:10 pm
Today’s tickers: F, NKE, TSRA, PCX, STI, CSCO & SNDK
F - Ford Motor Co. – A couple of large-volume spreads initiated in longer-dated call and put options on the automaker caught our eye this afternoon. Shares in Ford Motor Company increased 0.90% this afternoon to stand at $17.00 in the final minutes of the trading day. It looks like one bullish player employed the use of a debit call spread in the April 2011 contract while a more cautious investor utilized a ratio put spread expiring in June of 2011. The options optimist picked up 10,000 calls at the April 2011 $17 strike for a premium of $1.25 each, and sold the same number of calls at the higher April 2011 $20 strike at a premium of $0.29 apiece, in order to position for continued bullish movement in the price of the car manufacturer’s shares. The trader paid a net premium of $0.96 per contract for the spread, and is positioned to make money should Ford’s shares rally another 5.6% over the current price of $17.00 to exceed the effective breakeven point at $17.96 by expiration day in April. Maximum potential profits of $2.04 per contract are available to the call-spreader if Ford’s shares jump 17.6% to first surpass the current 52-week high of $17.42 on the stock, and ultimately trade above $20.00 ahead of expiration. Further along in the June 2011 contract, another strategist dabbled in put options, perhaps as a way to hedge a long position in the underlying shares through the first half of 2011, or alternatively to bet on a pullback in Ford’s shares. It looks like the investor picked up 12,500 puts at the June $17 strike at a premium of $1.63 each, and sold 25,000 puts at the lower June 2011 $14 strike for a premium of $0.54 a-pop. The trader paid a net $0.55 per contract for the ratio spread and starts making money if Ford’s shares slip beneath the effective breakeven price of $16.45 ahead of June expiration. The investor may walk away with maximum potential profits of $2.45 per contract in the event that the automaker’s shares plunge 17.6% to settle at $14.00 at expiration day. Selling twice…
by Phil Davis - June 6th, 2010 8:27 am
That is the per capita average GDP for the 6Bn ape-like creatures on this planet who have pockets and purses. Of the still hairy and pocketless apes, there are only about 1M left and they are mainly prisoners so we won’t be worrying about them but it would be nice to consider the plight of our ancestors once in a while… Anyway, so 6Bn of us fill in those last 3 images in the planetary labor pool with the vast majority of us STILL FARMING and, of course, a select group of us are still hunting and gathering and contributing very little to the GDP.
None of our problems are new – as noted in this 2005 cartoon:
The United States of America with it’s highly evolved population of shopoholics has a per capita GDP of $46,381 – VERY IMPRESSIVE but we rank 6th! Brunei does a little better than we do and Singapore is up at $50,523 (so let’s hear it for corporal punishment) and Norway (one of my top choices of countries to flee to when it all hits the fan) is at $52,561 but Luxembourgh ($78,395 – banking) and Qatar ($83,841 – oil) simply trounce us in earnings power per person. For those of you who like to think Capitalism is all about keeping score – they must be better than you because they make more money, right?
Below the US, per capita GDP drops off fairly quickly. Rounding out the top 10 are Switzerland ($43,007 – watches and more bankers), Hong Kong ($42,748 – don’t tell China!), Netherlands ($39,938 – legal drugs!), Ireland ($39,468 – free beer when on wellfare!) and Australia ($38,911 – beer comes in oil cans plus gigantic bouncing rats). 20th on the list is Germany at $34,212, Greece is 25th at $29,882 (but not for long), 30th is South Korea at $27,978, 40th is Slovakia at $21,245. Lithuania comes in at 50 with $16,542 (1 ahead of Russia) and it steadies out there with emerging market star Brazil in 75th place with $10,514 and, keep in mind – that is where you FINALLY get to the average leverl of economic activity for the world.
Another BRIC in the global wall is mighty China, with a per capita GDP of $6,567 for each of their 1.2Bn persons and India’s Billion people average out at less than half of that, at $2,941, ranking 128th and still ahead of 53…
by Option Review - May 13th, 2010 4:14 pm
Today’s tickers: MON, AA, NFLX, EWG, NKE, EQIX & V
MON – Monsanto Co. – Bearish options investors are having a field day selling out-of-the-money call options on agricultural products manufacturer, Monsanto Co., today with shares of the underlying stock down 2.60% to $55.37 as of 12:20 pm (ET). Options players expecting shares of the maker of genetically modified seeds to trade below $60.00 through May expiration shed 1,400 calls at the May $60 strike to receive an average premium of $0.22 per contract. Pessimists with a larger appetite for risk shed some 4,200 calls at the May $57.5 strike to pocket an average premium of $0.61 per contract. Investors short the May $57.5 strike calls keep the full premium received as long as Monsanto’s share price does not exceed $57.50 at expiration day this month. The $0.61 premium per contract is theirs to keep in exchange for bearing the risk that shares rebound ahead of expiration. Call-sellers face potentially unlimited losses to the upside if Monsanto’s share price rallies 4.95% over the current value of $55.27 to surpass the effective breakeven price of $58.11. Options implied volatility on Monsanto is up 9% to 36.03% as of 12:30 pm (ET).
AA – Alcoa, Inc. – A large-volume transaction involving call options on the aluminum manufacturer indicates one big options player is itching for a sharp rally in the price of the underlying stock by September expiration. Alcoa’s shares are trading 4.55% higher on the day at $13.03, and earlier touched an intraday high of $13.24. It looks like the investor picked up 20,000 in-the-money calls at the October $12 strike for a premium of $2.09 each and simultaneously sold the same number of calls at the higher October $16 strike for a premium of $0.50 apiece. The net cost of the transaction amounts to $1.59 per contract. Thus, the optimistic individual is positioned to accrue maximum potential profits of $2.41 per contract should Alcoa’s shares surge 22.8% from the current value of $13.03 to surpass the $16.00-level by expiration day in September.
NFLX – Netflix, Inc. – Shares of the provider of DVD-rental-by-mail services surged as much as 10.8% during the first half of the trading session to attain a new 52-week high of $119.50. Netflix, Inc. shares are currently up a more modest 6.35% to $114.73 as of 12:40 pm (ET). Near-term optimistic traders hoping to see shares of…
by Option Review - September 30th, 2009 4:31 pm
Today’s tickers: HGSI, AET, DTV, EEM, CMG, XLE, GE & NKE
HGSI - Option plays executed late in the trading session drew our attention to biopharmaceutical company, Human Genome Sciences, Inc. Shares of HGSI are currently off slightly by less than 0.25% to $18.80. The first transaction appears to be the work of an investor expecting volatility on Human Genome Sciences to decline. The trader initiated a sold straddle by selling 20,000 calls at the October 19 strike for 80 cents each, in combination with the sale of 20,000 puts at the same strike for 80 pennies apiece. The gross premium pocketed by the investor amounts to 1.60 per contract for a total of $3,200,000. The total amount of premium on the straddle strategy is retained by the trader as long as the stock settles at $19.00 by expiration next month. Perhaps the investor is selling into today’s higher volatility reading of 123% from 106% at the start of the week. We note that the transaction could be interpreted in another manner. It is possible that this investor is bearish on HGSI and thus executing a reversal play. If this is the case, the trader sold 20,000 calls for 80 cents in order to buy 20,000 puts for 80 cents each. If the trade was a bearish risk reversal, the investor offset the cost of getting long the put options by selling the calls and put on the trade for free. Profits to the downside will increase for the trader if shares decline beneath $19.00 by expiration. – Human Genome Sciences, Inc. –
AET - The health care benefits company popped onto our ‘most active by options volume’ market scanner after one investor shed a large chunk of call options in the November contract. A number of health care benefits/insurance firms experienced share price declines today perhaps after the Senate Finance Committee rejected two amendments to put a public health-insurance option into the committee’s health-system reform proposal on Tuesday. Shares of AET are trading 1% lower to $27.96. Approximately 20,000 calls were sold short at the November 31 strike for an average premium of 92 cents apiece. The investor responsible for the sale may have executed the trade for a number of reasons. One possibility is that the trader is long the stock and adding income to his portfolio by selling covered calls. Another viable explanation is that the investor is short…
by Option Review - September 29th, 2009 4:19 pm
Today’s tickers: XLF, NKE, SLV, WAG, CVS, PSS, RYL & TCB
XLF - A large bullish trade just went across the tape on the Amex in the financial sector ETF in which a 50,000 lot call spread traded in the XLF at a 27 cent premium involving 17 and 19 strike calls. The underlying share price of $15.08 would need to rally 14.5% over the course of the next three months to allow this investor to break even. We make it mid-October last year that the XLF share price last popped above $17, while recent overhead resistance has restrained the bulls at $15.50. – Financial Select Sector SPDR –
NKE - Call options on the maker of footwear and apparel were in high demand today with shares of NKE up 1.8% to $60.02. Nike is schedule to release results for the first quarter after the closing bell today. Analysts are expecting the firm to report 97 cents per share on revenue of $4.9 billion. Option traders exchanged more than 17,400 calls at the October 60 strike on existing open interest at the strike of just 6,900 contracts. Approximately 8,100 of the calls were purchased for an average premium of 1.78 apiece. The October 60 strike calls have managed to land in-the-money this afternoon. However, investors long the calls will not begin to amass profits unless the stock rises another 3% to breach the breakeven point at $61.78. Another 6,050 calls were exchanged at the higher October 65 strike for an average premium of 40 cents apiece. The higher strike calls were both bought and sold by investors placing bets on Nike ahead of first-quarter earnings results. – Nike, Inc. –
SLV - One investor initiated a long-term bullish play on the silver exchange-traded fund amid a slight 0.25% dip in shares to $15.88. The trader looked to the November 16 strike to purchase 14,000 calls for an average premium of 90 cents apiece. At the same time, the investor spread the nearer-term purchase against the sale of 14,000 calls at the January 2012 20 strike for 2.80 per contract. The trader pockets a net credit of 1.90 per contract on the transaction. The investor is likely expecting the calls to land in-the-money by expiration in November. If this occurs, he may exercise the options and take delivery of the underlying shares for an effective price of $14.10 [$16.00 – 1.90 = $14.10]. If…
by Phil Davis - September 28th, 2009 8:26 am
The number of unemployed people per job opening has climbed to 6:
Six is a lot, as you can see from the above chart. 6 means that if you get a job, 5 people absolutely will NOT be able to get a job because you just took the last one. Notice Job Openings are still falling and people without jobs are still rising – this is not a good combination, despite how great you hear things are getting on TV. In the first 6 months of this year, there are half as many manufacturing jobs available, 17% less Government Jobs, 21% less Professional Jobs and 21% less Educational Jobs.
Call me old-fashioned but I still think you need people to work in order to have a strong economy. If we have 10% unemployment (the "official" number) and only 1 in 6 people COULD get jobs if they filled every single available opening tomorrow. That still leaves us with 8.5% unemployment. We are miles and miles away from creating jobs and that is very scary.
As I predicted in the Weekend Wrap-Up, Merkel won her election in Germany and the new "Pro-Business" coalition is making investors happy but Germany has some silly rule about balancing their budget so it will be a long time before you see the massive tax cuts that investors are salivating over. Also, one would think people would sober up and short the Euro if their plan is to start running the German printing presses in a US-styled Spendocracy but no action in the currency markets so far. I wrote some extensive commentary on the German situation in Member Chat so I won’t get into it again here.
This weekend, I also posed the questions "Are Fundamentals Making a Comeback," or are we just resting before the next big push to 10,000? We’ll be keeping a very close eye on our 5% rule levels next week, especially the retrace levels from the 20% run-ups since early July: