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.…
I am tired of hearing people insist that the Fed can expand credit all it wants. Sometimes an analogy clarifies a subject, so let's try one.
It may sound crazy, but suppose the government were to decide that the health of the nation depends upon producing Jaguar automobiles and providing them to as many people as possible. To facilitate that goal, it begins operating Jaguar plants all over the country, subsidizing production with tax money. To...
Natural Gas prices are down over 11.5% in the last 2 days, falling to their lowest price since January 2013, as a familiar tale of excess production in the face of ebbing demand looms large. As WSJ reports, BNP Paribas' Teri Viswanath notes "the delayed return of cold weather has simply curbed all buying interest," and this was exaggerated by technical selling as the market broke previous support around 3.50. Ironically, given its detrimental impact on GDP, Macquarie points out, "it is increasingly apparent to us that weather will need to b...
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I will be keeping posts to a minimum until the New Year. Friday finished with a bit of a high volume flourish, which added a nice gloss to Thursday's big gains.
The Russell 2000 managed to go one step further with a breakout. Watch this index over the coming days; if it can hold the move it will bring other indices with it. The Russell 2000 has under-performed (relatively) all year, and if bulls are to maintain a broader market rally into a sixth year then the Russell 2000 will have to do most of the leg work. As an important side note, the Russell 2000 turned net bullish technically. The flip-side is to watch for a 'bull trap', but even here, this might instead widen the recent trading range handle as major resistance lives at 1,210/15 not at 1,190.
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...
Stocks have needed a reason to take a breather and pull back in this long-standing ultra-bullish climate, with strong economic data and seasonality providing impressive tailwinds -- and plummeting oil prices certainly have given it to them. But this minor pullback was fully expected and indeed desirable for market health. The future remains bright for the U.S. economy and corporate profits despite the collapse in oil, and now the overbought technical condition has been relieved. While most sectors are gathering fundamental support and our sector rotation model remains bullish, the Energy sector looks fundamentally weak and continues to ran...
Stocks got off to a rocky start on the first trading day in December, with the S&P 500 Index slipping just below 2050 on Monday. Based on one large bullish SPX options trade executed on Wednesday, however, such price action is not likely to break the trend of strong gains observed in the benchmark index since mid-October. It looks like one options market participant purchased 25,000 of the 31Dec’14 2105/2115 call spreads at a net premium of $2.70 each. The trade cost $6.75mm to put on, and represents the maximum potential loss on the position should the 2105 calls expire worthless at the end of December. The call spread could reap profits of as much as $7.30 per spread, or $18.25mm, in the event that the SPX ends the year above 2115. The index would need to rally 2.0% over the current level...
I officially bought 250 shares of EZCH at $18.76 and sold 300 shares of IGT at $17.09 in Market Shadows' Virtual Portfolio yesterday (Fri. 11-21).
Click here for Thursday's post where I was thinking about buying EZCH. After further reading, I decided to add it to the virtual portfolio and to sell IGT and several other stocks, which we'll be saying goodbye to next week.
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 firstname.lastname@example.org 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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