PFE - Pfizer, Inc. – Shares in Pfizer are among the few stocks in the Dow Jones Industrial Average that are trading higher today, up 0.80% on the session at $29.61 as of midday in New York, amid a down day for U.S. equities. The stock is on the rise after the drug maker announced the reorganization of its commercial operations into three business units. Weekly call options changing hands on the pharmaceutical company today indicate some traders are preparing for shares in the name to extend gains during the next four trading sessions. Upside call buyers looked to the Aug 02 ’13 $29.5 and $30 strike calls, snapping up more than 4,400 calls at the $29.5 strike for an average premium of $0.22 each. The contracts, most of which appear to have been purchased by one trader, make money at expiration in the event that Pfizer’s shares settle above the breakeven price of $29.72. It looks like traders purchased more than 2,800 calls at the Aug 02 ’13 $30 strike at a premium of $0.09 apiece. Buyers of the $30 weekly calls stand read to profit at expiration should shares in Pfizer rise another 1.6% to exceed $30.09.
AEO - American Eagle Outfitters – Options changing hands on teen retailer, American Eagle Outfitters, on Monday morning indicate at least one strategist is positioning for shares in the name to declines in the near term. Shares in AEO are off 0.40% to stand at $19.12 as of 11:55 a.m. ET. The Aug $19 strike put options are the most actively traded contracts as measured by volume on the retailer today, with around 5,600 lots traded versus open interest of 2,732 contracts. Most of the puts appear to have been purchased by one trader this morning for…
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…
Private equity firm Irving Place Capital ("IPC") and Victor Technologies ("Victor") announced today that they have entered into a definitive agreement to sell Victor to Colfax Corporation ("Colfax") (NYSE: CFX), a global manufacturer of gas- and fluid-handling and fabrication technology products. The all cash transaction values Victor at approximately $947 million, including the assumption of debt, and is subject to customary closing conditions.
Victor is a leading designer and manufacturer of a comprehensive suite of metal cutting, gas control, and specialty welding products. IPC acquired Victor, which was previously named Thermadyne Holdings Corporation, in a take-private transaction in December 2010.
"We are pleased with the progress that we have made in partnership ...
Who says QE is ineffective? If you’re an owner of real estate or financial assets, it’s pretty darn f*cking effective.
From the Wall Street Journal:
The net worth of U.S. households and nonprofit organizations rose 14% last year, or almost $10 trillion, to $80.7 trillion, the highest on record, according to a Federal Reserve report released Thursday. Even adjusted for inflation using the Fed’s preferred gauge of prices, U.S. household net worth—the value of homes, stocks and other assets minus debts and other liabilities—hit a fresh record.
Plenty of excuses out there for this evening's collosal miss in Chinese exports (-18.1% YoY vs an expectation of a 7.5% rise) mainly based on timing issues over the Lunar New Year (but didn't the 45 economists who forecast this data know the dates before they forecast?) This is a 6-sigma miss and plunges China's trade balance to its biggest miss on record and 2nd largest deficit on record. Combining Jan and Feb data (i.e. smoothing over the holiday), exports are still down 1.6% YoY - not good for the much-heralded global recovery. Exports to the rest of the BRICs were all down over 20% but no there is no contagion from an emergin...
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There is a fairly regular pattern to how the market behaves during what is called the "four-year election cycle." Typically, we get a peak in the spring, a bottom in late summer, and then a strong rally into the pre-election year:
We more or less had that pattern in 2010-2011, where we peaked in the spring, bottomed in the summer, and then rallied into the middle of the pre-election year (2011):
The Global X Social Media Index ETF (Ticker: SOCL) touched fresh record highs on Thursday morning, surprising no one given the top three holdings of the Fund are Hong Kong-based Tencent Holdings (12.678%), Facebook Inc. (12.506%) and LinkedIn Corp. (8.166%), which are up 130%, 160% and 22%, respectively, since this time last year. The SOCL reflects the performance of companies involved in the social media industry, including companies that provide social networking, file sharing and other web-based media applications. Shares in the ETF rose 1.3% today to a new high of $23.00, and have soared approximately 65% since this time last year.
Today brought three better than expected economic releases from Construction Spending, ISM Manufacturing, and Personal Income. The ISM figure was quite unexpected and Personal Income was well above expectations. If we ignore for a moment that the Final GDP reading for Q4 was lowered on Friday (which may or may not have been primarily caused by severe weather), we have had a week of better than expected economic numbers. Corporate earnings have also continued to exceed forecasts, albeit with a bit more cautious guidance.
Of course, none of that matters when the “war drums” start beating. Russia and the Ukraine are engaged in a serious game of “chicken” with a bear in the hen house. The Russian ruble has borne the brunt of the damage so far with a double digit drop today again...
Reminder: OpTrader is available to chat with Members, comments are found below each post.
This post is for all our live virtual trade ideas and daily comments. Please click on "comments" below to follow our live discussion. All of our current trades are listed in the spreadsheet below, with entry price (1/2 in and All in), and exit prices (1/3 out, 2/3 out, and All out).
We also indicate our stop, which is most of the time the "5 day moving average". All trades, unless indicated, are front-month ATM options.
Please feel free to participate in the discussion and ask any questions you might have about this virtual portfolio, by clicking on the "comments" link right below.
To learn more about the swing trading virtual portfolio (strategy, performance, FAQ, etc.), please click here...
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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...
Welcome to the fouth update of the IRA Virtual Portfolio. First I am going to summarize the current state of the Portfolio then I will get into all the activity we had during September expiration.
Profit and Loss – Net of closed positions the portfolio is up a total of $769
Market Commentary – Last expiration I said, "I would like to put a total of $20,000 to work by the end of SEP expiration. If the VIX pops up to around 20 I plan to put about $50,000 total to work." The market didn't quite reach the goal but I did manage to deploy $15,000 of buying power. I still feel the market is too high and expect a correction during October. If the vix pops up to around 20 I still plan to put about $50,000 to work. If a correction doesn't happen I still plan to have a total of $25,000 in buying power put to work by October expiration. Now on to the act...
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informational purposes only and is based upon information that is
considered to be reliable. However, neither MaddJack Enterprises, LLC
d/b/a PhilStockWorld (PSW) nor its affiliates
warrant its completeness, accuracy or adequacy and it should not be relied upon as such. Neither PSW nor its affiliates are responsible for any errors or omissions or for results obtained from the use of this information. Past performance, including the tracking of virtual trades and portfolios for educational purposes, is not necessarily indicative of future results. Neither Phil, Optrader, or anyone related to PSW is a registered financial adviser and they may hold positions in the stocks mentioned, which may change at any time without notice. Do not buy or sell based on anything that is written here, the risk of loss in trading is great.
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