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Posts Tagged ‘PGR’

Ratio Put Spread Pops Up On Safeway

www.interactivebrokers.com

 

Today’s tickers: SWY, GM & PGR

SWY - Safeway Inc. – The North American retailer of groceries and consumer products reports fourth-quarter earnings five weeks from today, and it appears one options player may be locking in gains in Safeway’s shares should investors lose their appetite for the stock following the report. Shares today rose 1.25% to a six-month high of $21.82, on the heels of a more than 35.0% rally since the end of September. The largest transaction in Safeway options today was the one-by-two ratio put spread initiated in the March expiry in the first half of the trading session. It looks like the investor responsible for the spread purchased 4,100 in-the-money puts at the Mar. $22 strike for a premium of $1.09 each and sold 8,200 puts at the lower Mar. $20 strike at a premium of $0.37 apiece. Net premium required to establish the trade amounts to $0.35 per contract. The sale of twice as many lower-strike put options greatly reduces the cost of the directional play and suggests the investor expects limited bearish movement in the price of the underlying rather than a nosedive in the next couple of months. Profits – or downside protection – kick in if shares in Safeway decline 0.80% to breach the effective breakeven price of $21.65, while maximum possible gains of $1.65 per contract result in the event that shares drop 8.3% to settle at $20.00 at expiration in March.

GM - General Motors Co. – Shares in General Motors are up 0.80% at $24.70 after the Company revealed it sold 9.03 million vehicles globally in 2011, which could earn the Detroit, Michigan-based Company the title of world’s largest automaker by unit sales. One sizable options strategy on GM this morning…
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Testy Tuesday – How Many Times Will You Fall for the Same Thing?

Isn't this exciting!

The pre-markets are up 1% after a long weekend.  That hasn't happened since – two weeks ago!  Of course last Tuesday, we were jammed up as well and the Tuesday after Christmas, we were jammed up as well but THIS TIME – we're REALLY feeling it, right?  

The funniest thing is the way they have dozens of idiots saying all sorts of ridiculous things on CNBC and not one of them mentions even the vaguest hint of deja vu in what has been the most consistent pattern of late 2011, early 2012.

On this Dollar chart from Scott Pluschau, you can see the dives that are occasionally taken to goose the markets and we have another one this morning with the Dollar down 1%, making the 1% pop in the futures slightly less impressive when taken in context.  

This time may be different because, according to Friday's Legacy Commitments of Traders Report released by the CTFC, Commercial Traders are now net short on the Dollar to the tune of 59,023 to just 6,061 longs – about a 10:1 ratio that is EXTREME to say the least.  Non-Reportable, Non-Commercial Traders (ie. Speculators), on the other hand, are almost 10:1 the other way with 9,765 long contracts and just 1,390 shorts.  Reportable Non-Commercial Traders (Hedge Funds) fill out the rest of the longs with 52,644 long contracts against just 8,057 shorts.  

To some extent, hedge funds are also speculators and usually you would assume their bets are covered but that's kind of hard to see with a 7:1 long/short ratio.  Keep in mind that Commercial Traders are institutions with business reasons to hedge – they are not going to be flip-flopping their positions so they will NOT be buying Dollars just because they get cheaper.  So, if it all hits the fan and the Funds shift to short – we could get quite a tidal-wave of Dollar selling.

That's an odd sort of positions for the speculating class to be taking (super-long on the Dollar) considering the possibility of a highly dilutive quantitative event (QE3) in the very near future.   This is why we can't be gung-ho bearish – tempting though it may be and this is why every little rumor of Europe being "fixed" sends the Dollar flying down – there are no buyers – only nervous long Dollar holders.  

As you…
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Testy Tuesday – Already?

Wheeeee, this is fun!

It’s only been a week since I called for "Turnaround Tuesday" and asked the question "Will CNBC Apologize to America" for their ridiculous, sickening parade of negativity that chased their poor viewers out of the market (now 600 points ago) by completely misrepresenting the economic outlook in order to protect the TERRIBLE advice given by Jim Cramer, the Fast Money Crew, their sponsors etc. etc. – it was all one national frenzy of media negativity designed to shove retail investors entirely out of the market while the cognoscenti went shopping.

It’s not just CNBC, of course, it’s a problem with the whole MSM but I ranted about corporate (top 0.01%) control of the media last week so let’s move on as we wave bye-bye to all the beautiful sheeple who were kind enough to sell us their stocks at the bottom, despite my warnings.  Our 500% upside plays are now well on their way to making 500% for us and our "9 Fabulous Dow Plays Plus a Chip Shot" are also looking good already.  Even the trade ideas I mentioned right in last Tuesday’s post are well on track as I said last week:

On Friday, I had said to Members right at 9:38, in the Morning Alert: "If we run up, then it will be prudent to get more neutral into the weekend but if we stay down and hold our levels, then saying a little bullish will be fine. Out of short-term short trades if you haven’t already.  Keep in mind we have some great 500% upside plays you can still grab here if you think you are too short." 

The latter was a reference to our 500% upside plays.  We also went with EEM July $38 calls at .99, and a QLD $50/53 bull call spread for $1.30 (selling puts as well for more profits) as well as long plays on RIMM, AA, HOV, VLO and TASR.  My optimism was based on the considered TA analysis I shared with Members at 2:39:

After completing last month’s "Omega III" market pattern on the Trade Bots, it’s now time to spring the bear trap and run the "Apha II" into options expiration on July 16th.  Maybe there will be as little logic to the rise as there was to the fall – who really cares – it’s just our jobs to try to


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Ford Motor Co. Calls Fly Off the Shelves

www.interactivebrokers.com

Today’s tickers: F, PGR, IBM, YHOO, SMH, LINTA, VALE, POT, LEN & RRGB

F – Ford Motor Co. – Call options on automobile maker, Ford Motor Co., are flying off the assembly line this afternoon with shares of the underlying stock soaring 4.5% higher to $13.36. Investors exchanged more than 381,000 option contracts on Ford by 3:25 pm (ET), and paid extra attention to call contracts, trading more than 3.7 calls to each single put option in action. The most heavily trafficked area of the Ford options arena today are call contracts at the September $14 strike where bullish players bought up approximately 86,000 lots for an average premium of $1.12 apiece. More than 99,100 calls changed hands at this strike, which puts the previously existing open interest of 22,831 contracts to shame. Call-buyers holding the September $14 strike call options are positioned to make money if the auto maker’s shares surge 13.2% over the current price to surpass the average breakeven price of $15.12 by September expiration. Ford’s overall reading of options implied volatility is up 14.5% to 39.48% with 30 minutes remaining in the trading session.

PGR – The Progressive Corp. – Bullish options investors dabbled in call options on the insurance holding company in late afternoon trading with shares of the underlying stock rallying up 5.55% to a new 52-week high of $20.55. One investor was prepared for the rally and banked profits on a previously established long call position today. It looks like the options optimist originally purchased 2,000 calls at the May $20 strike for an average premium of $0.35 apiece back on March 25, 2010, when shares of Progressive Corp. were trading at around $18.86 each. The subsequent surge in the value of Progressive’s shares prompted the trader to sell the calls today for a premium of $0.95 apiece, thus banking net profits of $0.60 per contract. Finally, the investor initiated a fresh bullish stance on the stock by purchasing 2,000 calls at the higher August $22.5 strike for a premium of $0.40 each. The trader makes money on the new call acquisition if the insurer’s shares increase another 11.45% to exceed the effective breakeven share price of $22.90 by expiration day in August.

IBM – International Business Machines Corp. – The computer services giant received a vote of confidence by one big bullish options player this afternoon amid a 1.7% increase in the…
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Testy Tuesday – Have the Markets Become Comfortably Numb?

"There is no pain you are receding
A distant ship’s smoke on the horizon.
You are only coming through in waves.
Your lips move but I can’t hear what you’re saying.
When I was a child
I caught a fleeting glimpse
Out of the corner of my eye.
I turned to look but it was gone
I cannot put my finger on it now
The child is grown,
The dream is gone.
but I have become comfortably numb
." – Pink Floyd
 

I have a theory that the markets (and the American people in general) aren’t irrational, they are simply shell-shocked after suffering a very traumatic group financial experience… 

To be shell-shocked is to be "mentally confused, upset, or exhausted as a result of excessive stress" and the most common symptoms are: Fatigue, slower reaction times, indecision, disconnection from one’s surroundings, and inability to prioritize – That certainly sounds like our Congress doesn’t it?  Combat stress disorder was first diagnosed in WWI, when 10% of the troops were killed and 56% wounded – far worse than had been experienced in previous wars.  Our current financial crisis has similarly affected more people than any previous crisis with almost everyone knowing someone who is bankrupt or lost their jobs or homes and almost no one escaped the carnage of the downturn without some financial damage. 

Combat fatigue may go a long way to explaining the severe drop-off in volume that has plagued the markets since March, with participation now down to 25% of where we were last January and that leaves us open to the blatant sort of market manipulation that Karl Denninger caught last week as well as the usual nonsense we get daily from HFT programs that drive the market with such precision that we are able to tell how the day is going to go by simply checking our hourly volume targets.  Here’s a clip from CNBC where a floor trader discusses market manipulation as a fact of trading (2 mins in).  

As Nicholas Santiago points out on In The Money Stocks,   "January is usually a very high volume month, yet it has started off the New Year even lighter than the last two months of 2009.  Light volume markets are very difficult to short. Hence the old saying, ‘never short a dull market’."  Not only is the market volume…
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Weekly Wrap Up – Double Up or Double Top?

Not such a good week!

Last week was FANTASTIC and we had 28 winning trades out of 36 with an average gain of 42% on the winners and an average loss of 12% on the losers – now THAT’s A GOOD WEEK.  We were stopped out of most of our bearish trades on Monday but we took a lot of new ones, which I’ll get into later…  Of course, since we are rangish and play both ends, the good news is we still had our "losers" and puts that we sold on long positions and those turned into huge winners in just 5 days:

  • AA at $13.30, out at $15 -  up 12.7%
  • AAPL Jan $165 puts sold for $7.40, now $4.70 – up 36%
  • BAC Oct $17 puts sold for .97, now .28 – up 71%
  • DIA Nov $92 calls at $5.40, now $7.30 - up 35%
  • MHP 2011 $25 puts sold for $5.20, now 5.10 – up 2%
  • RIMM March $100 calls at $1.45, now $1.25, down 13.7%

So, of the 6 that were not working last week, 5 are winners this week.  As I mentioned at the end of last week’s wrap up, we were more than satisfied with our 5% drop that week and we did expect a bit of a bounce but we made the mistake of thinking The 250 points we gained by Tuesday morning was the end of it, but here we are at the end of the week, another 100 points higher and right back where we started from when we shorted into the rally in mid September. 

Last weekend we were at a great point in our range as all our put plays had just paid off, this will be an interesting contrast as we have serious problems with our new short plays and we have a little less conviction than we had in mid September that we will get our correction – not after such a sharp turn off the 5% line this week.  Nonetheless, we did stay 55% bearish into the weekend overall – still playing for our range.  But, I’m getting ahead of myself, so let’s go back to Monday and see how we got here….

Monday Market Manipulation – Goldman’s CIT Bonanza

I was not at all pleased with the scam GS was running on CIT and neither were many in the press but their attention span lasted all of 24 hours as the markets
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Zero Hedge

China Hard Landing: Blame The Smog

Courtesy of ZeroHedge. View original post here.

Submitted by Tyler Durden.

Earlier this week, we got further evidence of just how quickly China’s economy is slowing down (hard landing anyone?) when the March manufacturing PMI printed in contraction territory, the employment sub index dove to Lehman levels, and rail freight fell 9%. While disconcerting, this isn’t all that surprising given that if one looks at what really matters (i.e electricity usage, rail freight volume, and credit growth), it’s pretty clear that China’s economy isn’t expanding at anywhere near the targeted 7% and hasn’t been for quite some time: 

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Phil's Favorites

3 Things: No Money, Wall Street's Big Scam, Bottom 80%

Courtesy of Lance Roberts via STA Wealth Management

Much of the commentary from the more liberal leaning media has continued to tout that the rise in asset markets over the last few years are clear evidence of economic prosperity in this country. However, is that really the case?

In order for rising asset prices to be reflective of overall economic prosperity, the "wealth" generated by those rising asset prices should impact a broad swath of the American populous. Let's take a look to see if that is the case.

"Mo Money" Or No Money

...



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Promotions

Watch Phil on Money Talk on BNN Now!

Kim Parlee interviews Phil on Money Talk. Be sure to watch the replays if you missed the show last night. As usual, Phil provides an excellent program packed with macro analysis, important lessons and trading ideas. (And get this, Obama - the President - is following Phil on Twitter.) ~ Ilene

 

The replay is now available on BNN's website. For the three part series, click on the links below. 

Part 1 is here. Part 2 is here. Part 3 is here.   ...

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All About Trends

Mid-Day Update

Reminder: David is available to chat with Members, comments are found below each post.

Click here for the full report.




To learn more, sign up for David's free newsletter and receive the free report from All About Trends - "How To Outperform 90% Of Wall Street With Just $500 A Week." Tell David PSW sent you. - Ilene...

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Insider Scoop

Stifel, Bank Of America Are Talking About Apollo Education

Courtesy of Benzinga.

Related APOL Stocks Hitting 52-Week Lows Morning Market Losers Apollo falls on sales, outlook (Investor's Business Daily)

On Thursday, Stifel issued a report on Apollo Education Group Inc (NASDAQ: APOL) as the stock's volume has not recovered. Stifel lowered its target price from $35 to $25, but still rates Apollo Education as a Buy.

"Our Buy thesis which ...



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Chart School

S&P 500 Snapshot: Four-Day Selloff

Courtesy of Doug Short.

The S&P 500 dropped at the open, despite a good jobless claims report, and hit its -0.75% intraday low. A slow rally took the index to its 0.30% intraday high in the early afternoon. But subsequent selling pushed the index back into the red. It closed with a modest 0.24% decline, the forth consecutive daily loss.

The yield on the 10-year Note rose 8 bps to 2.01%.

Here is a 15-minute chart of the past five sessions.

Here is a daily chart of the index, where trading volume was right at its 50-day moving average.

A Perspective on Drawdowns

Here's a snapshot of selloffs since the 2009 trough.

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Sabrient

Sector Detector: Bulls retake the wheel, with a little help from their friends at the Fed

Reminder: Sabrient is available to chat with Members, comments are found below each post.

Courtesy of Scott Martindale at Sabrient Systems

Well, it didn’t take long for the bulls to jump on their buying opportunity, with a little help from the bulls’ friend in the Fed. In fact, despite huge daily swings in the market averages driven by daily news regarding timing of interest rate hikes, the strength in the dollar, and oil prices, trading actually has been quite rational, honoring technical formations and support levels and dutifully selling overbought conditions and buying when oversold. Yes, the tried and true investing clichés continue to work -- “Don’t fight the Fed,” and “The trend is your friend.”

In this weekly update, I give my view of the cur...



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OpTrader

Swing trading portfolio - week of March, 23rd, 2015

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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Digital Currencies

Bitcoin vs. Uber: Bitcoin Lovers Respond to Mish

Courtesy of Mish.

I recently commented that it would not surprise me if bitcoin plunged to $1.00. That was not a prediction, it was a comment.

Still, I still feel a collapse in bitcoin is likely.

For discussion, please see Cash Dinosaur: France Limits Cash Transactions to €1,000, Puts Restrictions on Gold; Bitcoin End Coming?

In response, reader Creighton writes ...

Hello Mish

While I'm not going to argue the point about the possibility that Bitcoin drops to $1, or less, (that could happen yet, but not for the reasons you propose) I felt it necessary to point out something you seem to have overlooked.

While it's likely that the US government watching Bitco...



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Market Shadows

Kimble Charts: South Korea's EWY

Kimble Charts: South Korea's EWY

By Ilene 

Chris Kimble likes the iShares MSCI South Korea Capped (EWY), but only if it breaks out of a pennant pattern. This South Korean equities ETF has underperformed the S&P 500 by 60% since 2011.

You're probably familiar with its largest holding, Samsung Electronics Co Ltd, and at least several other represented companies such as Hyundai Motor Co and Kia Motors Corp.

...



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Option Review

Cypress Semi Draws Bullish Option Plays

Bullish trades abound in Cypress Semiconductor options today, most notably a massive bull call spread initiated in the July expiry contracts. One strategist appears to have purchased 30,000 of the Jul 16.0 strike calls at a premium of $0.89 each and sold the same number of Jul 19.0 strike calls at a premium of $0.22 apiece. Net premium paid to put on the spread amounts to $0.67 per contract, thus establishing a breakeven share price of $16.67 on the trade. Cypress shares reached a 52-week high of $16.25 back on Friday, March 13th, and would need to rally 4.6% over the current level to exceed the breakeven point of $16.25. The spread generates maximum potential profits of $2.33 per contract in the event that CY shares surge more than 20% in the next four months to reach $19.00 by July expiration. Shar...



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Pharmboy

2015 - Biotech Fever

Reminder: Pharmboy is available to chat with Members, comments are found below each post.

PSW Members - well, what a year for biotechs!   The Biotech Index (IBB) is up a whopping 40%, beating the S&P hands down!  The healthcare sector has had a number of high flying IPOs, and beat the Tech Sector in total nubmer of IPOs in the past 12 months.  What could go wrong?

Phil has given his Secret Santa Inflation Hedges for 2015, and since I have been trying to keep my head above water between work, PSW, and baseball with my boys...it is time that something is put together for PSW on biotechs in 2015.

Cancer and fibrosis remain two of the hottest areas for VC backed biotechs to invest their monies.  A number of companies have gone IPO which have drugs/technologies that fight cancer, includin...



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Stock World Weekly

Stock World Weekly

Newsletter writers are available to chat with Members regarding topics presented in SWW, comments are found below each post.

Here's this week's Stock World Weekly.

Click here and sign in with your user name and password. 

 

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Help One Of Our Own PSW Members

"Hello PSW Members –

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 jennifersurovy@yahoo.com 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.

http://www.youcaring.com/medical-fundraiser/help-get-shadowfax-out-from-the-darkness-of-medical-bills-/126743

Thank you for you time!




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Philip R. Davis is a founder Phil's Stock World, a stock and options trading site that teaches the art of options trading to newcomers and devises advanced strategies for expert traders...

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Ilene is editor and affiliate program coordinator for PSW. She manages the site market shadows, archives, more. Contact Ilene to learn about our affiliate and content sharing programs.

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