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…
Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko has claimed that Russian president Vladimir Putin is out to conquer the “whole of Europe”. Following Putin’s aggressive annexation of Crimea last year, the international community as a whole has been waiting to see where the Russian leader trains his sights next. Poroshenko’s allegations reflect what much of the current international leadership fears: that the 2014 Crimean conflict is only the beginning of a new geopolitical dynamic.
I wrote a story about poor Clarence who retired in 1979, and even poorer Larry who retired last year. I created these characters to challenge the notion of calculating a real interest rate by subtracting inflation. The idea is that the decline of a currency can be measured by the rate of price increases. This price-centric view leads to the concept of purchasing power—the amount of stuff that a dollar can buy. It’s the flip side of prices. When prices rise, purchasing power falls.
Recall in the story, Clarence retired in 1979. At the time, inflation was running at 14% but he could only get 11% i...
The Financial Times reports September Rate Rise Odds Improve as Lockhart Speaks. Expectations that the Federal Reserve will lift interest rates in September popped on Tuesday after Dennis Lockhart, president of the Atlanta Fed, said there would need to be a "significant deterioration" in economic activity to prevent the central bank from moving after its next monetary policy meeting.
Federal funds futures imply a 48 per cent probability that the Fed will lift rates in September, up from just 38 per cent on Monday, according to data and calculations from Bloomberg.
The same calculations imply that a move will have already taken place by October, while federal funds ...
The left chart looks at the Nasdaq Composite index over the past 20-years.
Currently the index is back at the same price as it was back at the Dot Com highs. With the trend being up (above support and moving averages) the NAS, is attempting a “continuation of trend breakout” at this time. Should the index achieve a breakout above the 2000 levels, it would be viewed as a bullish continuation event.
The right chart looks at Apple over the past 5-years. For the past 6-months, Apple has struggled to get above the $133 level. From a very short-term perspective a short-term support line could be giving way, of a bearish r...
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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 top-ranked sectors.
Corporate earnings reports have been mixed at best, interspersed with the occasional spectacular report -- primarily from mega-caps like Google (GOOGL), Facebook (FB), or Amazon (AMZN). Some of the bul...
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Baxter Int. (BAX) is splitting off its BioSciences division into a new company called Baxalta. Shares of Baxalta will be given as a tax-free dividend, in the ratio of one to one, to BAX holders on record on June 17, 2015. That means, if you want to receive the Baxalta dividend, you need to buy the stock this week (on or before June 12).
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 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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