Trading in upside call options on PetSmart (Ticker: PETM) today suggests some options players may be positioning for shares in the pet supplies retailer to rally following the company’s fourth-quarter earnings report on Wednesday ahead of the open. PETM opened the session lower amid a down day for U.S. stocks, but are currently in positive territory, up 0.30% on the day at $67.27. Options volume is nearly four times the stock’s average daily level, with overall volume hovering near 4,000 contracts as of the time of this writing.
The most traded options by volume on PetSmart are the Mar $70 strike calls after some 3,600 of the contracts appear to have been purchased most at a premium of $0.90 each. Buyers of the $70 calls stand ready to profit at expiration this month in the event that shares in PETM rally another 5.0% over the current price of $67.27 to exceed the breakeven point at $70.90. Shares in PetSmart last traded above $70.90 back on January 3rd.
PETM - PetSmart, Inc. – Shares in the specialty retailer of products and services for pets and their owners fell sharplythis morning on a downgrade to ‘reduce’ from ‘neutral’ at Nomura, with the stock currently trading 7.4% lower on the session at $64.81 as of 11:25 a.m. ET. A sizable bearish options strategy initiated on PetSmart in the early going suggests one trader is bracing for shares to extend declines during the next couple of months. It looks like the strategist purchased a 2,000-lot March $60/$65 put spread for a net premium of $1.55 per contract. The bearish position starts making money if shares in PETM decline 2.1% from the current price of $64.81 to breach the effective breakeven point at $63.45. Maximum potential profits of $3.45 per contract are available on the spread in the event that shares drop more than 7.4% to settle below $60.00 at April expiration. Two weeks ago we noted a similar bear put spread initiated on PETM; the similar-sized position was an April $60/$65 put spread purchased at a net premium of $1.80 per contract. Both positions result in maximum possible profits if shares in PetSmart drop to $60.00 by expiration in March and April.
FURX - Furiex Pharmaceuticals, Inc. – Shares in Furiex Pharmaceuticals are soaring today, up 52% to stand at $32.33 just before midday in New York, after the company confirmed that its partner, Japanese firm Takeda Pharmaceutical Co., received approval from the U.S. FDA for three new type 2 diabetes therapies designed to treat the disease in adults in combination with diet and exercise. Furiex options, which typically see daily volume of around 33 contracts on average, are far more active than usual on news of the approval, with volume topping 1,685 contracts during the first half of the session. Put options are more active than calls, with roughly two puts in play for each single call option. The stock this morning rallied 55% to an all-time high of $32.97, but had already started making moves to the upside at…
STZ - Constellation Brands, Inc. – A large stock and options combination play on wine, beer and spirits producer, Constellation Brands, Inc., appears to be a synthetic put on the name that benefits from bearish movement in the price of the underlying in the near term.Shares in STZ, up roughly 80% since mid-June 2012, are currently down 1.1% on Monday afternoon to stand at $35.24 as of 12:05 p.m. in New York trading. The hefty transaction in STZ options today pushed overall options volume to a level well above the stock’s average daily options volume of around 13,100 contracts. The largest transaction in STZ options appears to be the purchase of a 20,000-lot Feb. $37.5/$42.5 call spread for an average net premium outlay of $0.75 per contract, tied to the sale of STZ shares at $34.80 on a 25.5 delta.The synthetic put position is a bearish strategy that prepares the trader to profit from declines in the price of Constellation Brands’ shares through February expiration.
PETM - PetSmart, Inc. – Shares in the specialty retailer of products and services for pets and their owners are in negative territory on the first trading session of the week, down 1.0% at $67.50 as of 11:30 a.m. ET on Monday. A sizable bearish options strategy initiated on PetSmart today suggests one trader is bracing for shares to potentially extend declines during the next few months. It looks like the strategist purchased a 2,000-lot April $60/$65 put spread for a net premium of $1.80 per contract. The bearish position starts making money if shares in PETM decline 6.4% from the current price of $67.50 to breach the effective breakeven point at $63.20. Maximum potential profits of $3.20 per contract are available on the trade in the event that shares drop more than 11% to settle below $60.00 at April expiration. PetSmart’s shares last traded below $60.00 in May 2012.
ARO - Aeropostale, Inc. – Shares in teen retailer, Aeropostale, Inc., are up 6.2% this morning at $13.87 in sympathy with Abercrombie & Fitch after that company raised its guidance for full-year earnings and reported better-than-expected third-quarter results before the opening bell on Wednesday. Aeropostale, which acquired online women’s apparel and shoe retailer GoJane.com yesterday, is scheduled to report third-quarter earnings after the close of trading on November 29th. ARO call options are buzzing with activity today, with some traders adjusting existing positions, while others take profits and establish bullish stances on the stock ahead of earnings in two weeks. One strategist responsible for the purchase of approximately 2,000 Nov. $14 strike calls for a premium of $0.10 apiece back on October 31st appears to be selling the calls today for three times that amount, or $0.30 in premium per option contract. Meanwhile, the purchase of more than 2,000 upside calls out at the Dec. $14 strike for a premium of $1.00 apiece looks for shares in ARO to extend gains in the near term. The trader or traders picking up the Dec. $14 strike calls may profit at expiration next month if shares in Aeropostale rally another 8% to surpass the average breakeven price of $15.00 at expiration. Call buying spread to the Dec. $15 and $16 strikes as well, with more than 500 contracts purchased at each strike earlier in the trading session. Interest in the Dec. $14, $15 and $16 strike calls today adds to positions established during the prior trading week.
WYNN - Wynn Resorts Ltd. – Trading traffic in call options on casino resort operator, Wynn Resorts Ltd., this morning suggests one strategist is positioning for shares in the name to rally substantially by year end. Shares in Wynn Resorts are down 1.2% this morning to stand at $105.67 as of 11:50 a.m. ET. The most active contracts on WYNN by volume so far today are the…
JPM - JPMorgan Chase & Co. – A New York Times report that said JPMorgan’s trading losses could reach $9 billion sent ripples across financial stocks on Thursday morning and pushed shares in the largest bank down as much as 4.1% to $35.26 in the first half of the session. Interest building in the newly issued weekly options contracts on JPM today suggests some strategists are positioning for the price of the underlying to make moves, either to the upside or downside, next week. Out-of-the-money put buying, particularly in the July 06 ’12 $32 and $34 strikes, looks for shares in the financial services provider to extend declines. Traders snapping up around 1,200 of the $34 put options for an average premium of $0.26 each profit at expiration next week should shares slip another 4.3% and settle below the breakeven price of $33.74. Low-probability bearish bets are on the rise at the July 06 ’12 $32 strike, with more than 500 puts purchased for a premium of $0.08 apiece. The value of these contracts could rise rapidly in the days ahead should JPM’s shares continue to come under selling pressure. On the flip side, traders buying far out-of-the-money weekly calls on the stock may see profits if the price of the underlying reverses course. Traders ready to benefit from a rebound in the stock price next week purchased around 850 of the $37 strike call for an average premium of $0.10 each and more than 220 of the $38 strike call for $0.05 apiece. Shares in JPM are hovering around their lows of the session as of midday in New York.
SLV - iShares Silver Trust ETF – Shares in the silver ETF have tanked since last summer, falling more than 40% from a 52-week high of $42.78 in August 2011, down to today’s current price and fresh 52-week low of $25.46. A burst of put buying on SLV…
RHT - Red Hat, Inc. – The software maker popped up on our scanners this morning after sizable trades were initiated in the front month calls. At first glance the activity could be mistaken for a pre-earnings bullish bet on shares in Red Hat ahead of the Company’s fourth-quarter release after the final bell on Wednesday. However, the transaction is likely bearish on RHT as the April expiry call activity appears to be tied to the sale of stock. Shares in Red Hat are up 1.7% at $52.74 in early-afternoon trade. The strategist responsible for the largest trade in RHT options appears to have purchased a 3,848-lot April $55/$57.5 call spread at a net premium of $0.75 per contract. The debit call spread was established seconds before a block of 50,000 shares in RHT sold at $52.70. The stock and options combo play positions the trader to profit on the short stock leg as long as Red Hat’s shares pullback sufficiently from the $52.70-level to offset the cost of buying the options. Meanwhile, the call spread hedges the position, protecting the trader from losses to the upside in the event that shares extend gains.
TSCO - Tractor Supply Co. – Shares in the largest U.S. retail farm and ranch store chain jumped 5.4% on Monday to hit a new 52-week high of $90.66. The Brentwood, Tennessee-based Company is scheduled to present at the Telsey Advisory Group’s 4th Annual Spring Consumer Conference on Wednesday morning. Options activity on Tractor Supply Co. this morning suggests some traders are positioning for the price of the underlying to extend gains in the near term. Around 795 calls changed hands at the May $95 strike against open interest of 51 contracts. It looks like most of these calls…
VIA B - Viacom, Inc. Class B – Options on the global entertainment content company are active ahead of the release of the firm’s third-quarter earnings report before the opening bell tomorrow. Investors are establishing both bullish and bearish positions on Viacom using near-term put and call options. Viacom’s shares are currently up 0.15% at $38.09 with just fewer than thirty minutes remaining in the trading session. Traders fearing the price of the underlying stock could fall following earnings initiated bear put spreads. Put players picked up approximately 3,000 in-the-money puts at the November $38 strike for an average premium of $0.77 each, and sold about the same number of puts at the lower November $36 strike for an average premium of $0.14 a-pop. Average net premium required to purchase the spread amounts to $0.63 per contract. Thus, investors are prepared to profit, or realize downside protection, in the event that shares in Viacom fall 1.9% from the current price of $38.09 to breach the average breakeven point at $37.37 by expiration day. Maximum potential profits of $1.37 per contract are available if VIA’s shares plunge 5.5% lower to trade below $36.00 by November expiration. Meanwhile, investors taking bullish stances ahead of earnings looked to the November $39 strike to purchase approximately 1,600 calls for an average premium of $0.32 per contract. Call buyers profit if Viacom’s shares rally 3.2% to surpass the average breakeven price of $39.32 by expiration day.
BJ - BJ’s Wholesale Club, Inc. – Reports that the warehouse club operator is considering hiring an advisor to review options including a potential sale to a leveraged-buyout firm in a deal that could net as much as $3 billion sent shares flying higher today and drew speculators to the…
Maybe there is a shining city on the hill with 1,000 points of light and if I simply close my eyes and believe in it, I will be transported there and everything will be wonderful and China will expand and Europe will expand and the US markets will rise and rise as the 18M unemployed people line up in the streets to cheer us as we all drive past them in our new cars as we head over to the gas station to pay $4 for gas, honking joyfully as we pass by each empty storefront and each abandoned home.
It was good to take quick bearish profits, as I warned in yesterday’s post because quick profits are all the bears get these days as it was indeed a "Whipsaw Wednesday," and Buffett’s warning went in one ear and out the other of investors so quickly that clearly there was no gray matter slowing it down along the way! I was very proud of our short plays on COF, HPQ, RTP, SRS, RTH and our DUG long but all had a half-life on their success so short you could have run an atomic clock with it. Fortunately, we had our bounce levels to guide us and our 3 of 5 rule to get out of bearish positions so the damage was more to our pride than our virtual portfolios.
Although I could see the turn in my 9:45 Alert to Members, I didn’t have the heart to make any bullish calls as it just seemed like such nonsense. By 10:12 we were even more concerned that something was up and I said: "Don’t get too excited bears. As I said in the post, profits need to come quickly off the table – this is not a market for riding 20% profits too far." Sadly, I then proceeded to make a short play on OIH at 10:26 that stopped out at 10:34 and an incredibly poorly timed idea to get the DIA $93 puts at 11:22, just minutes before the market went flying and stopped that one out too as we flew through our bounce zone of Dow 9,200, S&P 986, Nas 1,946, NYSE 6,400 and RUT 555. Now that they’ve held up so well, those levels now become our watch levels to the downside and it makes the previous support levels of Dow 9,100, S&P…
Everywhere I go I’m asked, “Will there be inflation or deflation? Are we in a bull or bear market? Is the bond bull market over and will interest rates rise?”
The flippant answer to all those questions is “Yes.” And that can be the correct answer as well, but it depends on what your time frame is and what tools you use to measure the markets and inflation. One of the newer members of the Mauldin Economics team is Jawad Mian, who writes a powerful global macro letter from his base in Dubai. He has been making the case for the “end of the deflation trade” (or more properly the return of a reflationary period) and the knock-on effects that would cause. Longtime readers know that I am in the secular deflation camp ...
Just when you thought the US regulators may have finally become less tone deaf to the shame of the revolving door, especially following last year's latest scandal confirming Goldman runs the New York Fed (and every other central bank), here comes the SEC with an absolute shocker, not only proving once and for all that when it comes to regulatory capture, there is nobody in charge quite like Lloyd Blankfein, but unv...
The tug of war between the bulls and bears has created an unusual situation this year, a historically tight trading range! The chart below reflects that the Dow Jones has traded within a 6.68% high to low trading range this year. That is the 4th tightest trading range through May, in the past 115 years.
CLICK ON CHART TO ENLARGE
The inset table to the right looks at future performance of the Dow following narrow trading ranges through May. As you can see, most of the time the market has ended the year to the upside. Will it be different this time?
Wednesday’s action was almost a 180 degree turn from Tuesday’s with the S&P 500 up 0.92% and the NASDAQ 1.47%. Sone vague belief in (yet another) resolution in Greece seemed to be the catalyst. Greek Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras said on Wednesday the negotiations are on the “final stretch” towards a positive deal, Reuters reported. Later in the day, German Finance Minister Wolfgang Schaeuble said there was not much progress in the Greek debt talks and he was surprised by the upbeat tone from some Greek government officials. Athens must make a 300 million euro payment to the International Monetary Fund on June 5, ahead of several other payments due to the IMF later in the month, for a total of 1.6 billion euros.
We’ll see if yesterday’s move was the head fake or today’s was shortly.
Early last week, stocks broke out, with the S&P 500 setting a new high with blue skies overhead. But then the market basically flat-lined for the rest of the week as bulls just couldn’t gather the fuel and conviction to take prices higher. In fact, the technical picture now has turned a bit defensive, at least for the short term, thus joining what has been a neutral-to-defensive tilt to our fundamentals-based Outlook rankings.
In this weekly update, I give my view of the current market environment, offer a technical analysis of the S&P 500 chart, review our weekly fundamentals-based SectorCast rankings of the ten U.S. business sectors, and then offer up some actionable trading ideas, including a sector rotation strategy using ETFs and an enhanced version using top-ranked stocks from the t...
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Understanding the new normal of a business model is key to the success of any company. The managment of companies need to adapt to the changing demand, but first they must recognize what changes are taking place. Big Pharma's business model is changing rapidly, and much like the airline industry, there will be but a handful of pharma companies left at the end of this path.
Most Big Pharma companies have traditionally done everything from research and development (R&D) through to commercialisation themselves. Research was proprietary, and diseases were cherry picked on the back of academic research that was done using NIH grants. This was in the heyday of research, where multiple companies had drugs for the same target (Mevocor, Zocor, Crestor, Lipitor), and could reap the rewards on multiple scales. However, in the c...
Bitcoin, the virtual digital currency, has been called the future of banking, a dangerous fad, and almost everything in between, but we're finally about to get some solid data to help settle the debate.
On Monday, the Nasdaq (NDAQ) stock exchange said it would ...
Chris Kimble likes the idea of shorting the US dollar if it bounces higher. Phil's likes the dollar better long here. These views are not inconsistent, actually, the dollar could bounce and drop again. We'll be watching.
Phil writes: If the Fed begins to tighten OR if Greece defaults OR if China begins to fall apart OR if Japan begins to unwind, then the Dollar could move 10% higher. Without any of those things happening – you still have the Fed pursuing a relatively stronger currency policy than the rest of the G8. So, if anything, I think the pressure should be up, not down.
UNLESS that 95 line does ultimately fail (as opposed to this being bullish consolidation at the prior breakout point), then I'd prefer to sell the UUP Jan $25 puts for $0.85 and buy the Sept $24 call...
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.
Kim Parlee interviews Phil on Money Talk. Be sure to watch the replays if you missed the show live on Wednesday night (it was recorded on Monday). As usual, Phil provides an excellent program packed with macro analysis, important lessons and trading ideas. ~ Ilene
The replay is now available on BNN's website. For the three part series, click on the links below.
Part 1 is here (discussing the macro outlook for the markets)
Part 2 is here. (discussing our main trading strategies)
Part 3 is here. (reviewing our pick of th...
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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