HPQ - Hewlett-Packard Co. – Bullish trading in Hewlett-Packard options this morning suggests some traders are positioning for a rebound in battered shares of the tech giant. The stock snapped a four-day losing streak on Tuesday, rallying 2.1% to $21.50 by midday in New York, following the better-than-expected ISM non-manufacturing index report this morning. Shares in HPQ have lost nearly 30.0% of their value since mid-February. Traders picking up in-the-money calls in the July expiry are prepared to benefit should shares in Hewlett continue to recover during the next six weeks. More than 11,500 calls have changed hands at the July $21 strike against open interest of 3,028 positions. It looks like most of the contracts were purchased for an average premium of $1.36 apiece, thus positioning buyers to profit at expiration should HPQ’s shares rally another 4.0% to surpass the average breakeven point at $22.36.
NWSA - News Corp. – A sizable trade in News Corp. call options today appears to be a bet against any significant rally in shares of the international media company during the next eight trading sessions. The stock is currently flat on the day at $18.59 as of 12:15 p.m. ET. News Corp. popped up on our ‘hot by options volume’ market scanner this morning after some 8,295 June $19 strike calls were sold at a premium of $0.20 apiece. The strategy results in maximum possible profits of $0.20 per contract should the options expire worthless next week. Naked short calls leave the seller vulnerable to unlimited losses to the upside in the event of a rally in the price of the underlying above the effective breakeven price of $19.20, however, it’s possible the strategist is long the stock and selling covered rather than uncovered calls against the position. Shares in News Corp. have declined 10.2% in the past four weeks, but need only rally 3.3% over the current price of $18.59 to…
RIMM – Research in Motion Limited – Optimistic options players populated the Blackberry maker’s August contract, selling puts and buying calls to prepare for the price of the underlying stock to continue climbing ahead of expiration day next month. RIMM’s shares rallied as much as 4.53% today to an intraday high of $55.59 on reports the Canadian company will reveal its new touch screen BlackBerry in New York next Tuesday. Investors are chomping at the bit to see if the BlackBerry 9800 can give iPhone maker, Apple, a run for its money – or market share. RIMM’s shares have bounced up off their early-July lows, but the recovery could be short-lived if the 9800 turns out to be a disappointment. Traders hoping to see a successful launch of the touch screen device, and subsequent share price appreciation, employed bullish strategies. Investors picked up at least 3,800 calls at the now in-the-money August $55 strike for an average premium of $2.15 apiece. Buying interest spread to the higher August $57.5 strike where 3,900 calls were purchased at an average premium of $1.16 each. Uber-bulls bought roughly 2,900 call options at the August $60 strike for an average premium of $0.68 a-pop. Investors long the August $60 strike calls are poised to profit should RIMM’s shares surge 9.25% to surpass the average breakeven price of $60.68 by August expiration. The sale of out-of-the-money put options is another bullish signal investors are itching for the current rally to continue. Traders sold some 2,000 puts at the August $50 strike for an average premium of $0.55 each, and shed another 5,200 puts at the higher August $52.5 strike for an average premium of $1.21 apiece. In total, options players exchanged more than 91,300 contracts on Research in Motion by 3:40 pm ET. Options implied volatility on RIMM is up 3.4% to 43.85% ahead of the final bell.
INTU – Intuit Inc. – The provider of business and financial management solutions popped up on our ‘hot by options volume’ market scanner late in the trading session after one options strategist initiated a bearish transaction in the October contract. Intuit’s shares are down slightly by 0.15% to stand at $39.50 as of 3:15 pm ET. It looks like the trader bought a plain-vanilla debit put spread, buying 6,346 puts at the October $37.5 strike for a…
JCI – Johnson Controls, Inc. – A long strangle enacted on the maker of batteries for automobiles and hybrid electric vehicles this afternoon implies the firm’s share price could swing dramatically ahead of May expiration. Johnson’s shares gained 0.72% in late afternoon trading to stand at $33.35. Earlier in the session shares of the underlying stock reached a new 52-week high of $33.60. The investor responsible for the long strangle play is expecting to profit if JCI’s shares trade outside of a specified range ahead of expiration day. The volatility player purchased roughly 10,000 puts at the May $32 strike for an average premium of $0.89 apiece and picked up 10,000 calls at the higher May $34 strike for $1.14 each. The net cost of the strangle amounts to $2.03 per contract. Shares must trade above the upper breakeven price of $36.03, or trade beneath the lower breakeven point at $29.97, in order for the strangler to amass profits ahead of May expiration.
LEA – Lear Corp. – Bullish options activity on the manufacturer of automotive seat systems suggests at least one investor is preparing for shares to trade at a significantly higher price by expiration in September. Lear’s shares increased 0.85% to $80.37during the current session to trade just $0.53 below the current 52-week high on the stock of $80.90. The optimistic options strategist initiated a debit call spread by purchasing 2,500 calls at the September $85 strike for a premium of $5.40 apiece, and by selling the same number of calls at the higher September $95 strike for $2.10 each. Net premium paid for the transaction amounts to $3.30 per contract. Thus, the trader stands ready to accrue maximum potential profits of $6.70 per contract if Lear’s shares surge 18.20% from the current price to $95.00 by expiration day in September.
X – United States Steel Corp. – Bullish options trading on U.S. Steel Corp. today follows news reports that steelmakers are set to hike prices globally as the economic recovery drains inventory levels and boosts demand and prices for raw materials. The price of steel, according to a Bloomberg News article, increased 9.1% in the U.S. during the month of February. U.S. Steel’s shares rallied 2% during the first half of the trading session to stand at $64.77, and earlier this morning traded up to…
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.
An interesting article on MarketWatch today caught my attention. The subhead is the money quote, “Back in April every economist in a survey thought yields would rise. Guess what they did next.”
Every? The article refers to 67 economists polled by Bloomberg, all of whom would seem to believe in the quantity theory of money. This means they believe a rising money supply causes rising prices. That means they think the bond market expects inflation. Which means they expect the interest rate to rise, because investors will somehow demand more.
IBM, Coca-Cola and McDonalds are three of America’s largest corporations and most well-known brands. They are true multinationals in every sense of the word and they dominate their industries both at home and abroad. They are numbers 23, 58 and 106 on the Fortune 500 list, respectively. Together, they make up 12 percent of the Dow Jones Industrial Average’s total weighting.
And all three are plagued by the same problem – they’re shrinking. More than this, their shrinkage is finally being recognized on The Street, now that investors are peeling back all of the layers of buybac...
Europe was in rally mode when the US markets opened, and the EURO STOXX 50 would subsequently close with a 2.19% gain. The S&P 500 opened at its intraday low, up 0.28%, and headed higher through the day to its 2.02% high in the final hour. Its closing gain of 1.96% was its best one-day performance since its 2.18% surge on October 10th of last year. The popular financial press attibutes today's gain to speculation more ECB stimulus and the strong Apple-earnings effect.
The yield on the 10-year Note closed at 2.23%, up 3 bps from yesterday's close.
Here is a 15-minute chart of the past five sessions.
Here is a daily chart of the index. In yesterday's update I pointed out the proximity of the close to the 200-day price moving average. It certainly offered no resistance today, and volume was 23% above its 50...
Last week brought even more stock market weakness and volatility as the selloff became self-perpetuating, with nobody mid-day on Wednesday wanting to be the last guy left holding equities. Hedge funds and other weak holders exacerbated the situation. But the extreme volatility and panic selling finally led some bulls (along with many corporate insiders) to summon a little backbone and buy into weakness, and the market finished the week on a high note, with continued momentum likely into the first part of this week.
Despite concerns about global economic growth and a persistent lack of inflation, especially given all the global quantitative easing, fundamentals for U.S. stocks still look good, and I believe this overdue correction ultimately will shape up to be a great buying opportunity -- i.e., th...
Now that bitcoin has subsided from speculative bubble to functioning currency (see the price chart below), it’s safe for non-speculators to explore the whole “cryptocurrency” thing. So…is bitcoin or one of its growing list of competitors a useful addition to the average person’s array of bank accounts and credit cards — or is it a replacement for most of those things? And how does one make this transition?
With his usual excellent timing, London-based financial writer/actor/stand-up comic Dominic Frisby has just released Bitcoin: The Future of Money? in which he explains all this in terms most readers will have no tr...
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What do falling energy prices mean for the US consumer? Sober Look writes a brief yet thorough overview of the consequences of the correction in the price of crude oil. There are good aspects, particularly for the consumer, bad aspects, and out-right ugly possibilities. For more on this subject, read James Hamilton's How will Saudi Arabia respond to lower oil prices? In previous eras, Saudi Arabia would tighten the supply to help increase prices, but in this "game of chicken," the rules m...
Shares in Apple (Ticker: AAPL) are near their highs of the session in the final hour of trading on Wednesday, adding to the muted gains seen earlier in the day, following the release of the September FOMC meeting minutes and after activist investor and Apple shareholder Carl Icahn tweeted, “Tmrw we’ll be sending an open letter to @tim_cook. Believe it will be interesting.” Icahn’s tweet hit the ether at 2:33 pm ET and was met with a spike in volume in Apple shares. The stock is currently up 2.0% on the day at $100.75 as of 3:15 pm ET.
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Well PSW Subscribers....I am still here, barely. From my last post a few months ago to now, nothing has changed much, but there are a few bargins out there that as investors, should be put on the watch list (again) and if so desired....buy a small amount.
First, the media is on a tear against biotechs/pharma, ripping companies for their drug prices. Gilead's HepC drug, Sovaldi, is priced at $84K for the 12-week treatment. Pundits were screaming bloody murder that it was a total rip off, but when one investigates the other drugs out there, and the consequences of not taking Sovaldi vs. another drug combinations, then things become clearer. For instance, Olysio (JNJ) is about $66,000 for a 12-week treatment, but is approved for fewer types of patients AND...
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