XLF – Financial Select Sector SPDR ETF – The familiar shadow of a put butterfly spread appeared in the August contract on the XLF, an exchange-traded fund designed to provide investment results that correspond to the price and yield performance of the Financial Select Sector of the S&P 500 Index, suggesting shares of the fund may continue to decline in the next couple of months to expiration. Shares of the ETF are currently down more than 3.7% to $13.96 with 25 minutes remaining ahead of the closing bell. The bearish put butterfly spread involved the purchase of 10,000 now in-the-money puts at the August $14 strike for a premium of $0.62 apiece [wing 1], and the purchase of 10,000 puts at the lower August $12 strike for a premium of $0.17 each [wing 2]. The investor sold 20,000 puts at the central August $13 strike for a premium of $0.32 a-pop [body]. The net cost of the pessimistic play amounts to $0.15 per contract, thus preparing the investor to make money if shares slip beneath the upper breakeven price of $13.85 ahead of expiration day in August. Maximum available profits of $0.85 per contract are safe in the investor’s piggy bank if shares of the underlying fund decline another 14% from the current price of $13.96 to settle at $12.00 at expiration. Options implied volatility on the XLF jumped 17.5% to 35.96% by 3:38 pm (ET).
CMA – Comerica Inc. – Shares of the financial services firm edged 3.45% lower to stand at $37.25 with just 20 minute remaining in the trading session. Bearish investors dominated activity in CMA options this afternoon, with nearly all of the day’s volume centering on the put side of the field. One investor purchased a debit put spread, buying 7,500 now in-the-money puts at the August $37.5 strike for a premium of $2.50 each, and selling the same number of puts at the lower August $32.5 strike for a premium of $0.80 apiece. The net cost of the spread amounts to $1.70 per contract, and prepares the investor to make money should Comerica’s shares decline another 3.90% to breach the average breakeven point to the downside at $35.80 by expiration day in August. Maximum potential profits of $3.30 per contract are available to the responsible party if CMA’s shares plummet 12.75% from the current…
As the global equity and bond markets grind ever higher, abundant signs exist that we are once again living through an asset bubble – or rather a whole series of bubbles in a variety of markets. This makes this period quite interesting, but also quite dangerous.
With equity and bond markets at or near all-time record highs, with all financial assets consistently shrugging off bad – or worse – news as the riskiest of assets continue to find consistent upward bids, we find ourselves in familiar and bubbly territory.
As I type this, the market is exhibiting some bipolar disorder following multiple doses of Fed speak: Yesterday Bullard's presentation in Germany and Dudley's speech in New York, and today Bernanke's congressional testimony at 10 AM and the latest Fed Minutes at 2 PM.
Amidst the market confusion, I took a few minutes to review the Wall Street Journal's May survey of economists to see what they had forecast for the 10-year yield and the Fed Funds Rate out to December 2015. The survey was conducted May 3-7 and 48 economists responded, altho...
Lawmakers questioned Apple's CEO Tim Cook on tax matters yesterday. Felix Salmon explains (below) the details of the complicated tax scheme involving subsidiaries in Ireland and various contractual relationships that are legal but devised to lower the corporations' taxes.
And, why not? Since when do corporations live to maximize taxes and minimize profits? What CEO would survive that sort of behavior?
Apple's method of avoiding US taxes is a good argument for eliminating corporate taxes altogether. What do you think?
Doing a lot of data mining as we watch this market go parabolic.
The S&P 500 is 13.4% over the 200 day moving average. 10%+ is considered overbought, and 12% is very rare.
The current Relative Strength Index (RSI) on the S&P 500 is 75. Over 70 is generally overbought (below 30 oversold). To put in perspective in 1999 the S&P touched 70ish a few times but never hit 75. The NASDAQ in 1999 – early 2000 hit mid 70s a few days in July 99 and Mar 00. Then in the parabolic move in November and December 1999 (NASDAQ gained over 1000 pts!) it sat between 70 and mid 80s for most of two months; of course t...
SKS - Saks, Inc. – High-end retailer, Saks, Inc., popped up on our ‘hot by options volume’ market scanner this morning on heavier than usual trading traffic in upside calls. Shares in Saks are up 10% on Tuesday morning at a new 52-week high of $13.54 after the company posted first-quarter earnings in line with analyst expectations on higher-than-expected quarterly revenue. Shares in Saks are up more than 30% since this time last year. Bullish positions initiated in SKS options ahead of the earnings release yester...
So, what did the market want today? Nothing it appears. It traded on weak volume and had very little movement. This morning the market hated commodities especially silver, but by days end, the market liked silver, gold and even oil but not the dollar. Why?
Last week the economic reports were tough, with bad misses on more than one occasion. But the market tended to ignore the bad news, probably because money continues to pour into equities from money market funds, long term fixed income, and many struggling foreign economies. On Thursday, investors finally caved to even more bad news from Initial Jobless Claims and weak Housing Starts. Then on Friday, when Michigan Sentiment and Leading Indicators posted large positive surprises, the money came pouring back to generate qui...
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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.
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Reminder: Craigzooka is available to chat with Members regarding his virtual portfolio performance, comments are found below each post.
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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