Trading in out of the money calls on OpenTable (Ticker: OPEN) this morning pushed options volume on the provider of online restaurant reservation services to more than twice the average daily level this morning, with upwards of 9,000 contracts changing hands in the early going versus an average daily reading of around 4,300 contracts.
The most traded options on OPEN are the 21Feb’14 $77.5 strike calls, with around 6,000 lots in play against open interest of roughly 1,200 contracts. It looks like traders quick enough out of the gate managed to pay as little as $0.10 apiece for approximately 1,500 of the calls. Gains in the price of the underlying, which spiked 4.0% near the open, coupled with an influx of buyers of the $77.5 calls pushed the premium on the contracts up to as high as $0.80 each at the same time that the stock price touched its intraday high of $77.85. The price of the underlying has since backed off those highs dragging down with it the prevailing premium on the contracts, which currently show a bid/ask spread of $0.05/$0.20 each. With expiration looming large and the price of the stock sitting decidedly lower than the $77.5 striking price, the morning purchase of these contracts may have generated transaction costs and little else by the looks of it. However, a review of time and sales data indicates some traders stepped in to sell the calls at an average premium of $0.27 each roughly an hour into the session. It’s difficult to say either way who is behind the selling, but perhaps buyers of the calls this morning were able to book quick profits on their positions at OpenTable this morning.
Looking out to options with more life left in them, the March expiry calls were also active during the first 30 minutes of the session. The Mar $80 strike calls traded roughly 1,000 times, with much of the volume purchased at a premium of $1.90 per contract. Traders long the calls stand ready to profit at expiration next month in the event that shares in OpenTable surge 7.0% over the current price of $76.50 to exceed the breakeven point at $81.90. Shares in the name last traded above $81.90 back on January 21st.
Chart – P&L of long Mar 80 Call Strategy in IB Option Strategy Lab
Current (solid line), At expiration (dotted line)
OPEN - OpenTable, Inc. – Shares in OpenTable are moving lower this morning, down 2.9% at $65.96 as of 11:10 a.m. ET, after analysts at Citigroup initiated a ‘sell’ rating on the stock with a price target of $58.00. Options on the provider of online restaurant reservations are more active than usual, with volume nearing 1,200 contracts versus the stock’s average daily volume of around 600 contracts. Front month put options are seeing the most action, specifically at the Jul $65 strike where more than 800 contracts have changed hands so far today. It looks like most of the $65 puts were purchased for an average premium of $1.13 apiece, thus positioning buyers to profit at expiration next week in the event that OpenTable’s shares dip 3.2% from the current price of $65.96 to breach the average breakeven point on the downside at $63.87.
FDO - Family Dollar Stores, Inc. – Upside call options are changing hands on discount retailer, Family Dollar Stores, Inc., today with shares in the name up as much as 4.6% in the early going to touch a six-month high of $66.90. The company reported better than expected third-quarter comparable store sales growth and higher than expected third-quarter earnings ahead of the opening bell. The Aug $67.5 strike calls attracted the most volume during morning trading, with upwards of 3,900 contracts in play against open interest of 138 contracts. It looks like most of the $67.5 strike calls were purchased for an average premium of $1.60 apiece. Call buyers stand ready to profit at expiration next month should shares in FDO rally another 3.3% over today’s high of $66.90 to surpass the average breakeven price of $69.10. Shares in Family Dollar Stores last traded above $69.10 in December of 2012.
Perhaps the the moves up in fellow 4-letter stocks like PCLN ($25Bn market cap), NFLX ($13Bn), OPEN ($2.5Bn), BIDU ($50Bn) and GMCR ($9.4Bn) don't seem quite so crazy in light of the 40% reduction in AAPL ($314Bn) – take the money out of one bucket and you HAVE to fill up the others!
This does make me feel better as there may actually be a rational reason for NFLX having a p/e of 82 despite the fact that they have a completely indefensible service that already has competition from several on-line clones as well as big boys like AMZN, not to mention every cable and satellite company in America. Why does WFMI, a GROCERY STORE, trade at 41 times it's projected 2011 earnings in the middle of the worst food inflation in US history? It's not just because rich people are stupid and will overpay for anything because they hate to have people think they can't afford stuff – it's because their market cap is $11.4Bn and if you take 40% of AAPL's $300Bn and distribute it around the Nasdaq – then WFMI get's $1.2Bn of additional allocation.
That's not exactly how it works but that's the effect. A $1Bn Index fund who follows the Nasdaq has $205M of AAPL stock (20.49%) and, after the reweighing, they are to have $123M of AAPL stock. The other $82M does, in fact, get distributed to the other Nasdaq stocks according to the new weightings. Do you think that doesn't distort the markets? Of course, that doesn't "just" affect the Nasdaq – AAPL is a heavyweight in all the indexes.
The special rebalancing of the NASDAQ-100 Index will be enacted based on index securities and shares outstanding as of March 31…
No man born with a living soul
Can be working for the clampdown
Kick over the wall 'cause government's to fall
How can you refuse it?
Let fury have the hour, anger can be power
D'you know that you can use it?
The voices in your head are calling
Stop wasting your time, there's nothing coming
Only a fool would think someone could save you
In these days of evil presidentes
Working for the clampdown
But lately one or two has fully paid their due For working for the clampdown – The Clash
Portugal said in September it would cut the wage bill by 5 percent for public workers earning more than 1,500 euros ($2005) a month, freeze hiring and raise value-added taxes by 2 percentage points to 23 percent to help reduce a deficit that amounted to 9.3 percent of gross domestic product last year. The measures are included in the government’s 2011 spending plan, which faces a final vote in parliament on Nov. 26. “The strike arises in a context of a set of measures that are quite significant and have social impact,” said Carlos Firme, a director at Lisbon-based Banif Banco de Investimento SA. “It’s natural that there are demonstrations of discontent.”
I'm sure King George's Bankster buddies told him the same thing when the American colonists expressed their "discontent" – Don't worry my King, there's sure to be some grumbling from the peasants but your stimulus package is working wonderfully – now come outside and check out the golden horseshoes I put on my carriage team!
We were able to add a little bling to our own rides as those QQQQ $53 puts I told you about in yesterday's morning post, which we picked up in Member chat on Monday at .45, opened at .75 and flew on up to $1.25 (up another 110% from Monday's entry) and pulled back to finish the day at .98. We were, of course, very happy to…
Today offered a heavier than expected volume day post-holiday. The majority of this action was to the downside, but the Semiconductor Index bucked the trend. The latter index was able to push above its 200-day MA as it posted a relative advantage against the Nasdaq 100. While the Nasdaq and Nasdaq 100 suffered losses today, both will be helped by strength in the Semiconductor Index. All technicals for the Semiconductor Index are in the green, with a return of the MACD to a 'buy' trigger (above the bullish zero line - a bullish development).
The Nasdaq suffered a minor loss. It wasn't able to challenge the recent high, but it's close enough ...
One week ago, gold market observers were surprised when in the span of four days, gold held in the JPM Comex vault declined by nearly 50%, starting on November 16 when the 668,498 ounces held in the vault below 1 Chase Manhattan Plaza declined precipitously to just 347,899 ounces, a new all time low.
Furthermore, as of the latest Comex activity update, on Friday the Registered gold held by JPM dropped another 2,802 ounces to a record low and virtually negligible 7,975 ounces, essentially equivalent to zero as shown in the chart below, even as JPM's eligible gold has also been seeing a substantial decline in recent months.
Crude Oil is quite simply the most important commodity on the planet. But volatility with Crude Oil prices emerges every time there is conflict in oil producing nations or an economic slowdown.
And this has led to some pretty big swings in Crude Oil prices over the past several years.
But the latest swing lower is nearing a moment of truth. In fact, this decline may be the most important swing lower of the 2000’s.
Why? Because oil prices are currently testing a key price support level comprised of the 2004 breakout level (above the 1990 highs) and the 2009 price lows – see red circles and line. In fact, this price support area also marks the 23.6 Fibonacci support level (from the 1999 lows to 2008 highs). AND crude oil is as oversold as it was back at the 1999 price lows!
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As evidenced by the Greek, Chinese, and now Argentine 'jumps', the world remains increasingly aware of the inevitable worth of fiat currencies and fears the desperate acts of governments as the react to that reality (and is looking for alternatives).
This infographic explains the wide ranges of the Bitcoin universe, accompanied with quotes from some of its best-known business leaders.
Some weeks when I write this article there is little new to talk about from the prior week. It’s always the Fed, global QE, China growth, election chatter, oil prices, etc. And then there are times like this in which there is so much happening that I don’t know where to start. Of course, the biggest market-moving news came the weekend before last when Paris was put face-to-face with the depths of human depravity and savagery. And yet the stock market responded with its best week of the year. As a result, the key issues dominating the front page and election chatter have moved from the economy and jobs to national security and a real war (rather than police ...
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...
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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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