SKS - Saks, Inc. – Timely bullish bets initiated in Saks options just seconds prior to the closing bell on Tuesday are generating sizable gains for at least one trader today, with shares in the high-end retailer up at the highest level since 2008. The stock closed Tuesday up 11% on the day at $13.67 after the company reported first-quarter revenue above average analyst expectations. Within minutes of the close shares in SKS moved sharply to the upside after the New York Post, citing a source familiar with the matter, reported that Saks has hired Goldman Sachs Group, Inc. to explore strategic options, including a potential sale of the company. Shares gained as much as 22% over yesterday’s close to touch $16.70 in the pre-market on Wednesday. The stock currently trades up 14% on the session at $15.59 as of 11:50 a.m. in New York. Options on SKS were active throughout Tuesday’s trading sessions, but it was the last-minute flurry of call buying at the Jun $13 and $14 strikes that look rather interesting in hindsight. It looks like some 1,339 calls were purchased at the Jun $14 strike for a premium of $0.30 each, all with a time stamp of 15:59:35. Volume of 347 of the Jun $13 strike calls changed hands at 15:59:29 yesterday and look to have been purchased at $0.85 per contract. As of midday on the East Coast, the value of the Jun $13 strike calls have tripled to $2.65 each, while premium on the $14 calls has risen six-fold overnight to $1.80 per contract. Meanwhile, trades initiated on Saks today are betting the shares continue move higher, with a block of 3,000 of the Jun $15 strike calls purchased for a premium of $1.10 per contract in the early going this morning. These contracts make money if shares in Saks rally another 3.3% over the current price of $15.59 to surpass the effective breakeven point at $16.10 by June expiration.
PFE - Pfizer, Inc. – Shares in the world’s largest drug maker are up sharply on Tuesday, trading 3% higher on the session at $27.65 as of 11:10 a.m. ET, the highest level in more than five years. Pfizer’s shares are rallying after the company posted better-than-expected fourth-quarter earnings ahead of the opening bell and forecast2013 earnings above analyst estimates. The stock has gained more than 17.5% since mid-November. Heavy trading traffic in Pfizer call options this morning suggests traders are positioning for shares in the name to extend gains during the next couple of months. February expiry calls are changing hands at a clip, with notable volume exceeding open interest at the Feb. $28 strike price. Most of the Feb. $28 calls in play appear to have been purchased for an average premium of $0.08 each. Meanwhile, the single-largest print in PFE call options, a block of 24,500 contracts, traded at the Mar. $28 striking price. It looks like one strategist purchased the call options at a premium of $0.17 each during the first 20 minutes of the trading day. Overall call volume at the Mar. $28 strike exceeds 28,500 contracts as of 11:30 a.m. ET, trumping open interest of 9,870 contracts. Traders long the upside calls stand ready to profit at March expiration should Pfizer’s shares increase another 2.0% to surpass the breakeven point at $28.17.
DFS - Discover Financial Services, Inc. – Bearish options on credit card issuer and electronic payment services provider, Discover Financial Services, are active this morning with shares in the name trading 0.5% lower on the session at $37.87 as of 11:35 a.m. ET. March expiry put options are the most actively traded contracts on Discover today, with upwards of 9,400 lots in play at the $37 strike versus open interest of just 33 contracts. It looks like one or more traders purchased the bulk of the volume for an average premium of $0.91 each. Put buyers may profit at expiration in six weeks in the event that shares in DFS slump nearly…
PFE - Pfizer, Inc. – Weekly options changing hands on drug maker, Pfizer, Inc., in the early going on Thursday are looking for shares to potentially extend their move to the upside next week. Shares in PFE are up 2.3% this morning, trading at a new five-year high of $27.28 ahead of the company’s fourth-quarter earnings report on Tuesday. Traders positioning for Pfizer’s shares to rally during the next six trading sessions snapped up around 500 in-the-money calls at the Feb. 01 ’13 $27 strike for an average premium of $0.29 apiece. Upside call volume is more substantial at the higher Feb. 01 ’13 $27.5 strike, where some 3,100 contracts are in play against zero open positions. Most of the $27.5 strike weekly calls appear to have been purchased for an average premium of $0.09 each, thus positioning buyers to profit at expiration next week should the price of the underlying rise another 1.1% to top the average breakeven point at $27.59.
NWSA - News Corp. – A large one-by-two ratio call spread initiated on News Corp. this morning suggests the stock may see limited, albeit substantial, gains during the next six months. Shares in New Corp., roughly flat on the session to stand at $27.38 as of 11:55 a.m. ET, have increased more than 45% since this time last year to trade near their highest level in more than a decade. The single-largest transaction in NWSA options today combines the purchase of 6,250 calls at the July $28 strike for a premium of $1.40 each, with the sale of 12,500 calls at the July $30 strike at a premium of $0.55 apiece. Net premium paid to establish the sizable spread amounts to $0.30 per contract. The bullish position makes money if shares in NWSA rally 3.4% over the current price of $27.38 to surpass the effective breakeven point at $28.30, with maximum potential profits of $1.70 per contract available should the price of the underlying rise 9.6% to settle at $30.00 at July expiration.…
TAP - Molson Coors Brewing Company – Shares in the beer brewing company are on the decline today, joining the broad-based sell-off in equities as investors re-focus attention on the debt crisis in Europe and looming fiscal cliff in the U.S. with the conclusion of Tuesday’s Presidential election. Molson Coors shares are down roughly 4% as of 12:10 p.m. ET to stand at $41.48 after the company reported better-than-expected third-quarter profits, but missed revenue estimates, ahead of the opening bell this morning. One or more options traders appear to be bracing for further declines in the price of the underlying shares during the five months. It looks like strategists purchased more than 1,000 puts at the April 2013 $40 strike for an average premium of $1.90 per contract. The bearish puts may be profitable at expiration if TAP’s shares drop more than 8% from the current level to breach the average breakeven price of $38.10 at expiration next year. Shares in Molson Coors Brewing Co. last traded below $38.10 in June.
PFE - Pfizer, Inc. – Pharmaceuticals giant, Pfizer, Inc., is trading well off its lowest level of the session at present, down 0.95% at $24.26 as of 12:40 p.m. ET after earlier sliding as much as 2% to an intraday low of $23.99 on Wednesday morning. Heavy trading traffic in weekly options with two full trading sessions remaining to expiration indicates short-term bets on the stock are looking for shares to move. The bulk of the volume is in weekly calls looking for a quick rebound in the price of the underlying, though buyers did generate some traffic in the weekly puts as well. Weekly options volume is greatest in the Nov. 09 ’12 $25 strike call where upwards of 9,700 lots changed hands against open interest of 6,548 contracts. Most of the calls in play this morning appear to have been purchased for an average premium of…
JOY - Joy Global, Inc. – Shares in mining equipment maker, Joy Global, rallied as much as 3.2% at the start of the session to $75.18, but the stock has since slipped into negative territory, trading down 0.50% to stand at $72.51 as of 12:50 p.m. in New York. Call buying on JOY this morning indicates traders are gearing up for shares in the Milwaukee, Wisconsin-based Company to increase in the near term. Weekly calls and front month calls saw the most action today before the stock surrendered gains to join in on the broad market decline. In-the-money $70 strike weekly calls changed hands 1,000 times for an average premium of $3.89 apiece, and appear to have been purchased by traders expecting shares to top $73.89 at expiration. Call buyers also targeted the $75 and $77.5 strike weekly options, snapping up more than 400 lots at each strike at average premiums of $1.66 and $0.32 each, respectively. Front month calls were most active at the April $80 strike, where more than 4,650 contracts traded against open interest of 3,935 positions. It looks like the majority of the contracts were purchased for an average premium of $0.47 apiece, thus positioning buyers to make money should Joy Global’s shares jump 11.0% to exceed the average breakeven price of $80.47 at expiration next week.
SFLY - Shutterfly, Inc. – The selloff in shares of Shutterfly continued for a second-straight day on news Facebook will pay roughly $1 billion to buy Instagram’s photo-sharing application. SFLY’s shares are 4.4% lower today to stand at $26.98, but have lost 60.0% of their value in the past 52 weeks since reaching an all-time high of $66.70 back on April 28, 2011. Some traders appear to be positioning for the…
Why do we scream at each other
This is what it sounds like When doves cry – Prince
It's no coincidence that this week we will be hearing from Fed Governors Kocherllakota (1pm Tues), Hoenig (12:30 Weds), Plosser (1:30 Weds), and Bullard (9:15 Thurs) ahead of our 2-Year Note Auction (1pm Tues), 5-Year Note Auction (1pm Weds) and 7-Year Note Auction (1pm Thursday) as the Fed needs to bring out 4 of it's 5 most hawkish members to talk up the Dollar (by talking down QE3) to keep those rates paid as low as possible for Treasury.
Once the Hawks drive the rates down and the notes are sold, the Doves will once again be released to talk them back up by extolling the glories of QE3 – completely reversing whatever was said before just as the Hawks will once again be called upon to reverse what the Doves say at a later date – when they need rates to come back down. The joke of it all is that traders will react to each statement, every time, as if it's a "game changer" and adjust their positions to reflect the new reality of the moment. It reminds me of a quote from Orwell's 1984:
As soon as all the corrections which happened to be necessary in any particular number of The Times had been assembled and collated, that number would be reprinted, the original copy destroyed, and the corrected copy placed on the files in its stead. This process of continuous alteration was applied not only to newspapers, but to books, periodicals, pamphlets, posters, leaflets, films, sound-tracks, cartoons, photographs – to every kind of literature or documentation which might conceivably hold any political or ideological significance.
Day by day and almost minute by minute the past was brought up to date. In this way every prediction made by the Party could be shown by documentary evidence to have been correct, nor was any item of news, or any expression of opinion, which conflicted with the needs of the moment, ever allowed to remain on record. All history was a palimpsest, scraped clean and reinscribed exactly as often as was necessary. In no case would it have been possible, once the deed was done, to prove that any falsification had taken place.
The Yen finally got back to 77 and EUR/CHF back to 1.21 so my theory that the BOJ has given up on the Dollar and moved to boosting the Euro is playing out nicely.
This does not make me more bullish (expecting falling Dollar to boost the markets) because, in the grand scheme of things, this is kind of like now there are two kids building a sand wall on the beach instead of one – sure it will last longer than the wall just one kid was building but, eventually, the tide will get it anyway or, as Jimi Hendrix said more poetically: "Castles made of sand, fall in the sea, eventually."
Once you start messing around with Forex markets, you are messing with major macro forces that are hard to control. Japanese banks have $7.5Tn of Japanese bonds at 1% – what happens to the value of those bonds if the BOJ does push the Yen down 10%? Who takes that $750Bn hit? What if rates go up to 2% – what's the value of the bonds then? Who will bail out the Japanese Banks when they have a multi-Trillion Dollar (several hundred Trillion Yen) hole in their balance sheets? Do Japanese spreadsheets even have room for Quadrillions? They are going to need it!
Then there's this Bloomberg article on the Central Banks, who have doubled their balance sheets since 2006 to $13.2Tn but, magically, have caused no inflation (according to Ben Bernanke – not according to people who actually buy food and stuff). China is now sitting on $4.5Tn of other people's TBills (mostly ours) and that's up $1.5Tn in a year. The ECB is right behind them with $3.6Tn and another $1Tn supposedly coming in the next EFSF round and the Fed has $2.9Tn plus whatever nonsense they are running off book.
So, how is it that WE are the bad currency here? If the Dollar is a problem, then China, who's GDP is only about $8Tn (optimistically, possibly $5.5Tn depending on who's measuring) is almost as insane as Japanese bankers and maybe more so as they are betting on our country's ability to pay and maintain the value of the Dollar (already a fail, right?). I suppose no one can ever recognize losses and just carry more and more junk…
PFE - Pfizer Inc. – Signs of bearish sentiment on the drug maker cropped up in Pfizer options on Monday, one day prior to the Company’s fourth-quarter earnings release ahead of the opening bell on Tuesday morning. Pfizer’s shares are down 0.40% to stand at $21.39 as of 11:50 a.m. in New York. In-the-money call selling in the weekly options may mean some traders anticipate a pullback below $21.00 in the price of the underlying by expiration. Traders sold more than 2,500 calls at the Feb. ’03 $21 strike to pocket an average premium of $0.44 apiece. Call sellers walk away with the full amount of premium in hand as long as shares in Pfizer settle below $21.00 at the end of the week. Call selling can be risky, particularly if sellers are naked short the call options and shares in Pfizer rally rather than retreat as the strategy predicts. Losses accumulate on the upside above an effective breakeven share price of $21.44. Meanwhile, a longer-term bearish play popped up in the April expiry. One investor purchased a 2,000-lot April $19/$22 put spread at a net premium of $1.09 per contract. The strategist may be outright bearish on Pfizer, positioning for a limited pullback in the shares over the next several months. Alternatively, the trader may be cautiously optimistic on the pharmaceuticals giant, establishing the put spread to hedge a long position in the underlying shares. Profits, or downside protection, on the spread kick in if shares in Pfizer drop 2.2% to breach the effective breakeven price of $20.91 by April expiration. Maximum potential profits of $1.91 per contract are available to the investor should shares in PFE plunge 11.2% to settle at or below $19.00.…
That’s the index we need to catch up to the Dow now that the S&P is halfway to goal at 1,297 (from our Must Hold line at 1,235). The Dow is in La La Land, led by MCD (up 31%), IBM (up 26%), PFE (up 24%), HD (up 20%) and KFT (up 20%) while this year’s Dogs of the Dow are BAC (down 59%), AA (down 43%), HPQ (down 39%) and JPM (down 22%).
While the losers may seem to outweigh the winners, that’s not how it works as the Dow is price-weighted so BAC dropping from $14 to $5.50 "only" costs the Dow about 68 points (roughly 8 points for each Dollar), IBMs rise from $145 to $185 added a whopping 320 points.
So a 26% rise in one component and a 59% drop in another nets out to a gain of 252 points! At the beginning of the year, they had roughly the same market cap ($150Bn) but IBM has gained $70Bn and BAC has lost $100Bn which, of course, translates into a net gain of 2% on the entire Dow – BECAUSE IT IS THE STUPIDEST INDEX ON EARTH!
That’s why CSCO and TRV replaced C and GM in June of 2009. C was at $28.80 and is down a bit, GM went BK from $45 (which would have been a 360-point loss in the Dow) while CSCO was disappointing but essentially flat and TRV is up $20, adding another 160 points so a 520-point swing (5%) on those substitutions alone. In September of 2008, AIG ($135 at the time) was swapped for KFT ($32). KFT is just $37.70 but AIG was…
European leaders have two weeks to settle differences and flesh out a strategy to terminate their sovereign debt crisis as global finance chiefs warn failure to do so would endanger the world economy. “The risk of a recession would be increased dramatically were the Europeans to fail to accomplish goals that they’ve set for themselves,” Canadian Finance Minister Jim Flaherty said after the G-20 meeting on Saturday.
The Brussels meeting “has the potential to turn into a positive historic moment,” Joachim Fels, London-based chief economist at Morgan Stanley, wrote in a note to clients yesterday. “But it could also easily turn into a negative catalyst.”
Europe’s plan, which has still to be made public, includes writing down Greek bonds by as much as 50 percent, establishing a backstop for banks and magnifying the strength of the 440 billion-euro ($611 billion) temporary rescue fund known as the European Financial Stability Facility. “The plan has the right elements,” U.S. Treasury Secretary Timothy F. Geithner said in Paris. “They clearly have more work to do on the strategy and the details.”
The G-20 officials — who met to prepare for a Nov. 3-4 gathering of leaders in Cannes, France (and we’re fondly remembering London’s 2009 meeting with the graphic on the right) — said in a statement that the world economy faces “heightened tensions and significant downside risks.” European authorities must “decisively address the current challenges through a comprehensive plan.”
The policy makers held out the possibility of rewarding European action with more aid from the International Monetary Fund, while splitting over whether the Washington-based lender’s $390 billion war chest needs topping up. Europe’s latest strategy hinges on putting Greece, whose government forecasts its debt to reach 172 percent of gross domestic product in 2012, on a sustainable path. Austerity has plunged the country deeper into recession and provoked civil unrest that threatens political stability.
My reaction to this in Member Chat this Morning was to call for shorting the jacked up Dow Futures (/YM) at 11,600, saying:
Speaking of the illusion of power – yet another G20 meeting ends with yet another plan to have a plan but this time, for some insane reason, they only gave themselves a week to fix everything. I’ll be writing about this this morning but the gist of it is the Finance Ministers have essentially sent their own
Here's the latest weekend update from Serge Perreault, a Chartered Professional Accountant and market technician located near Montreal, Canada. Serge has been following the U.S. market in a series of weekly charts. Here is his update on the S&P 500.
The S&P 500 bounced off its uptrend resistance and paused its ascension, on average volume and on falling momentum.
A break of this week's low (1636) would confirm a correction in the direction of the EMA10 (1603).
While some, we are sure, will view this brief clip as partisan showmanship by Representative Steve Pearce, the questions he asks Treasury Secretary should surely be responded to in some manner that is anything but the typical perfunctory shrug these matters normally garner. From Lew's apparent disbelief that the IRS Audits debacle was in any way 'political' to Lew's "waiting for the investigation' on Jon Corzine's misappropriation of funds, and finally to the "War on the Poor" that Pearce describes the current administration's policies (for the benefit of Wall Street); these few minutes are well worth some time as we 'remember' this weekend.
Via google translate from Corriere Della Sera, Beppe Grillo is in favor of a "Referendum on the Euro Within a year" "Europe needs to be rethought. We consider just one year of information and then hold a referendum to say yes or no to the euro and yes or no to Europe. " Beppe Grillo to ride a strong theme of the last election campaign the 5 Star Movement. "Europe on the euro and the British teach us democracy. No party can claim the right to decide for 60 million people. "
"I want to go to Europe and re-discuss a Plan B to be in five years, "added the leader M5S, explaining:" When we ...
ANF - Abercrombie & Fitch Co. – Shares in teen retailer, Abercrombie & Fitch Co., are getting hammered today, down 10% at $48.92 in early-afternoon trading after the company reported a wider-than-expected first-quarter loss and missed topline estimates, lowered its full year earnings forecast and said same-store sales would be down slightly for the rest of the year. A review of pre-earnings report activity in Abercrombie options yesterday indicates one trader was prepared for the pullback today. It looks like the strategist initiate...
While the S&P 500 has had quite a year already the Nikkei has been the story of the globe as they are performing acts of central banking that even put the U.S. Fed to shame. And Japan's central bank can buy ETFs and REITs directly per their charter versus the U.S. bank. Combined with a yen in free fall it's been a heck of a move for the Nikkei since last November. I noted last week we were seeing extremely rare weekly and monthly type overbought readings on bo...
Few stocks have attracted more news over the last six months than nutritional supplement maker Herbalife (NYSE: HLF).
Even casual market observers are aware of the circumstances surrounding the the initial bout of extreme volatility in the name back in December 2012. The shares went into free-fall at the end of the year after hedge fund manager Bill Ackman revealed in typical sanctimonious fashion that his firm Pershing Square Capital Management was short around $1 billion worth of the stock.
Amid much pomp and circumstance, Ackman laid out his short thesis at a New York investment conference and...
The market went through some gyrations on Wednesday in reaction to Fed Chairman Bernanke’s testimony before the Joint Economic Committee. He first defended continued quant easing by warning, “A premature tightening of monetary policy could lead interest rates to rise temporarily but also would carry a substantial risk of slowing or ending the economic recovery.” Stocks dutifully rallied and all major indexes hit new intraday highs.
But alas, consensus is apparently not a given over the longer term. The minutes hinted that a tapering off could start sooner, “A number of participants expressed willingness to adjust the flow of purchases downward as early as the June meeting if the economic information received by that time showed evidence of sufficiently strong and sustained growth.” So …...
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I am going to share with you how I manage my IRA and the power of reducing your cost basis. My goal each year is a 20% return in my IRA. Sometimes I make it and sometimes I don't, but I believe that all of my success is due to reducing my cost basis. To illustrate the power of reducing your cost basis here are some trades we did last year. These trades are taken from an educational portfolio we ran in a paper-trading account for a little more than a year.
We bought RIG on 5/15/2012 for $44.13, sold it on 1/18/2013 for $46 but booked a profit of $1,154.
We bought MT on 1/4/2012 for $19.24, sold it on 12/21/2012 for $15 but booked a profit of $454.
We bought CHK on 1/27/2012 for $21.93, sold it on 10/19/2012 for $18 b...
Stock market posts another record setting week, but the big news came after Friday’s close.
Courtesy of NASA
The stock market put on another record setting show with the Dow Jones Industrial Average (NYSEARCA:DIA) closing at a record high 15,118 and the S&P 500 (NYSEARCA:SPY) closing at 1633.70, another all time closing high.
For the week, the Dow Jones Industrial Average (NYSEARCA:DIA) gained 1%, the S&P 500 (NYSEARCA:SPY) climbed 1.2%, the Nasdaq Composite (NYSEARCA:...
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Well, well, well....it is good to know that there are others in the scientific arena who believed that YMI Bioscience's data (cough - Gilead) is a better drug than Incyte's Jakafi. Now, the definitive data are still unknown, but there was enough evidence from a Phase 2 trial to take a small risk for a huge reward. So, let's forget about Apple (AAPL), and do nothing but biotechs from now until Congress passes universal health care coverage for prescriptions....and drive the prices down so that research and development is no longer feasible to conduct in the US. Even Seattle Genetics (SGEN) has been on a tear as of late...
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