P - Pandora Media, Inc. – Shares in Pandora are spiking today, up as much as 8.3% in the early going to a one-month high of $17.78, after the stock was raised to ‘Outperform’ from ‘Market Perform’ at Cowen with a 12-month target price of $22.00. Options traders snapped up July expiry calls straight out of the gate this morning, initiating bullish positions that benefit from continued gains in the price of the underlying during the next few weeks. The Jul $17 strike options attracted the most volume in early trading, with roughly 3,600 calls in play versus open interest of 2,722 contracts as of 11:00 a.m. ET. Most of the calls appear to have been purchased by one strategist for a premium of $1.25 per contract. The call buyer makes money at expiration next month as long as Pandora’s shares rise 2.6% over today’s high of $17.78 to exceed the effective breakeven price of $18.25. Pandora bulls are also buying Jul $18 and $19 strike calls this morning, with roughly 900 of the $18 strike contracts purchased at an average premium of $0.72, and roughly 500 of the $19 strike calls picked up at an average premium of $0.37 apiece. Shares in Pandora are up 95% since the start of 2013.
APOL - Apollo Group, Inc. – Declines in new enrollments and slumping third-quarter profits reported by the University of Phoenix operator after the close on Tuesday sent shares in the name down substantially on Wednesday. The stock, which will relinquish its spot in the S&P 500 Index and make its way into the S&P Midcap 400 later in the week, fell as much as 8.9% to $17.66 in early trading. Contrarian traders positioning for shares in Apollo to snap back in the near term appear to be buying July expiry calls today. The Jul $19 and $20 strike calls were active in the early going this morning, with roughly 950 of the $19 calls purchased for an average premium of $0.71…
JCP - J.C. Penney Co., Inc. – Upside call buying in weekly options on J.C. Penney this morning suggest some traders are positioning for shares in the department store operator to rally during the final week of the year. Shares in JCP are up 2.65% at $20.11 as of 11:05 a.m. in New York, but are down more than 40% since the start of 2012. Fresh interest in weekly calls looks for shares in the retailer to extend this morning’s gains when the market reopens after the Christmas holiday. Volume is heaviest at the Dec. 28 ’12 $20 strike, where upwards of 3,500 calls changed hands against open interest of 1,469 contracts. It looks like most of the volume was purchased for an average premium of $0.68 each in the early going. In-the-money call buyers stand ready to profit at expiration this week should shares in JCP rally another 2.8% to top the average breakeven price of $20.68. Bullish positioning spread to the Dec. 28 ’12 $20.5 and $21 strikes, with more than 650 contracts purchased at each strike for average premiums of $0.45 and $0.28 apiece, respectively. Finally, around 275 of the Dec. 28 ’12 $22 strike calls were picked up at an average premium of $0.20 each, thus positioning buyers to profit in the event of a more than 10% move in the share price to $22.20 by expiration.
RPTP - Raptor Pharmaceutical Corp. – Shares in Raptor Pharmaceutical Corp. fell sharply in after-hours trading on Friday after the company said the U.S. Food and Drug Administration needs more time to complete its review of Raptor’s New Drug Application (NDA) for RP103 (PROCYSBI™), a potential treatment for nephropathic cystinosis, according to a press release issued by Raptor on Friday. Shares continue to slide on Monday morning, down 7% at $5.34 as of 11:25 a.m. ET. One or more traders preparing for Raptor’s shares to continue to slide in the New Year snapped up put options in the February expiry. Traders exchanged more than 750 puts at the Feb.…
ESRX - Express Scripts, Inc. – Sizable bullish bets in long-dated call and put options on the pharmacy benefit management services provider suggest shares in Express Scripts may sky-rocket over the next year and a half. Similar options combination plays were initiated at the end of last week following news Express Scripts agreed to purchase rival Medco Health Solutions Inc. for $29.1 billion in a deal that would make the company the largest U.S. pharmacy benefits manager. Shares in Saint Louis, MO-based Express Scripts slipped 0.60% during the first half of the trading session to $56.95 as of 11:50 am ET. The price of the underlying rallied as much as 12.0% to $57.47 on news of the merger agreement. Large prints in January 2013 contract on Friday appeared to be the work of an investor selling blocks of puts to partially finance the purchase of a bull call spread. The strategist responsible for the four-legged transaction rakes in maximum available profits on the trade if shares in ESRX top $70.00 at expiration. Heavy trading in the same expiry within the first hour of the opening bell indicates another options player may see shares in Express Scripts soaring to $80.00 during the next 18 months. The more recent long-term bullish combo trade on Express Scripts differs somewhat from that observed on Friday, but both transactions are looking for shares to reach all-time highs. The investor this morning appears to have sold 8,000 puts at the Jan. 2013 $42.5 strike for a premium of $2.19 each, spread against the purchase of an 8,000-lot Jan. 2013 $65/$80 call spread at a net premium of $3.34 per contract. The sale of the put options reduces the net cost of the three-way transaction to $1.15 per contract, thus positioning the investor to profit should shares in Express Scripts surge 16.2% over the current price of $56.95 to surpass the effective breakeven point to the upside at $66.15 at Jan. 2013 expiration.…
There are many things going on in the Greece vs Institutions+Germany negotiations, and many more on the fringe of the talks, with opinions being vented left and right, not least of all in the media, often driven more by a particular agenda than by facts or know-how.
What most fail to acknowledge is to what extent the position of the creditor institutions is powered by economic religion, and that is a shame, because it makes it very difficult for the average reader and viewer to understand what happens, and why.
While Ben Bernanke will never agree that global economic growth has ground to a halt as a result of his monetary policies, a phenomenon which in the past year has been dubbed "secular stagnation" by the very serious weathermen (and will certainly never admit the reason for such stagnation), with every passing month one thing becomes clear: there can be no growth and certainly no prosperity for the broader population with a $200 trillion (and rising at over ...
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 email@example.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.
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