PFE - Pfizer, Inc. – Shares in the world’s largest drug maker are up sharply on Tuesday, trading 3% higher on the session at $27.65 as of 11:10 a.m. ET, the highest level in more than five years. Pfizer’s shares are rallying after the company posted better-than-expected fourth-quarter earnings ahead of the opening bell and forecast2013 earnings above analyst estimates. The stock has gained more than 17.5% since mid-November. Heavy trading traffic in Pfizer call options this morning suggests traders are positioning for shares in the name to extend gains during the next couple of months. February expiry calls are changing hands at a clip, with notable volume exceeding open interest at the Feb. $28 strike price. Most of the Feb. $28 calls in play appear to have been purchased for an average premium of $0.08 each. Meanwhile, the single-largest print in PFE call options, a block of 24,500 contracts, traded at the Mar. $28 striking price. It looks like one strategist purchased the call options at a premium of $0.17 each during the first 20 minutes of the trading day. Overall call volume at the Mar. $28 strike exceeds 28,500 contracts as of 11:30 a.m. ET, trumping open interest of 9,870 contracts. Traders long the upside calls stand ready to profit at March expiration should Pfizer’s shares increase another 2.0% to surpass the breakeven point at $28.17.
DFS - Discover Financial Services, Inc. – Bearish options on credit card issuer and electronic payment services provider, Discover Financial Services, are active this morning with shares in the name trading 0.5% lower on the session at $37.87 as of 11:35 a.m. ET. March expiry put options are the most actively traded contracts on Discover today, with upwards of 9,400 lots in play at the $37 strike versus open interest of just 33 contracts. It looks like one or more traders purchased the bulk of the volume for an average premium of $0.91 each. Put buyers may profit at expiration in six weeks in the event that shares in DFS slump nearly…
LZ - Lubrizol Corp. – It looks like a well-timed bullish bet on Lubrizol Corp. initiated in April contract calls less than one week ago paid off big time for one options strategist following the announcement of Berkshire Hathaway’s $9 billion acquisition of the specialty-chemicals company this morning. Shares in Lubrizol Corp. shot up as much as 27.3% during the session to hit an intraday and all-time high of $134.20, which is just 80 pennies shy of the $135.00 a share deal reported today. Options volume on the stock is heaviest at the April $110 strike where one trader appears to have raked profits in off of the table within the first 20 minutes of the opening bell. Open interest patterns at that strike suggest around 2,650 calls were picked up for an average premium of $2.35 per contract back on March 9, 2011, when shares in the Lubrizol closed the session at a $106.55. The purchase of the calls, which were the closest-to-the-money contracts available at the time of the transaction, cost the investor around $622,750. Since then, news of the deal with Berkshire Hathaway sent shares in the chemical company soaring, driving up the value of the now deep in-the-money April $110 call options. It looks like the investor sold the 2,650 calls this morning at a premium of $23.90 per contract. Net profits on the sale amount to $21.55 per contract, or a grand total of $5,710,750. Lubrizol’s overall reading of options implied volatility came crashing down today, and currently stands 88.3% lower at 3.75% as of 11:35am in New York.
AFL - Aflac, Inc. – Shares in the U.S.-based insurance provider, which provides health and life insurance to a large portion of the Japanese population, fell 3.80% to $53.44 by 1:00pm in New York trading. The stock earlier declined more than 6.0% to touch down at an intraday low of $52.12. Investors bracing for further bearish movement in Aflac’s shares picked up April $50 strike…
NEM – Newmont Mining Corp. – Shares of the gold mining company are up 2.90% to $51.74 this afternoon as gold stocks across the board rallied along with the price of the previous metal. Newmont’s shares recovered significantly since reaching a low point for the year 2010 of $42.87 back on January 29, 2010. The current price per NEM share of $51.74 represents an impressive 20.65% rally over its January low of $42.87. One options trader populating our screens today expects the good times at Newmont Mining to continue through March expiration. The investor purchased a debit call spread by picking up 5,000 calls at the March $55 strike for a premium of $0.52 apiece, marked against the sale of 5,000 calls at the higher March $57.5 strike for $0.17 each. The net cost of the transaction amounts to $0.36 per contract. The trader is prepared to pocket maximum potential profits of $2.14 per contract should Newmont’s shares rally another 11.15% to $57.50 by expiration day. Shares of the underlying stock must increase at least 7% from the current price in order for the call-spreader to breakeven on the trade at $55.36 per share.
EWZ – iShares MSCI Brazil Index ETF – Bearish options positioning on the Brazil exchange-traded fund, which generally reflects the price and yield performance of securities in the Brazilian market as measured by the MSCI Brazil index, indicates one investor is bracing for a pull back in the price of the underlying shares by April expiration. Shares of the underlying fund are trading 1.85% higher to $70.97 with approximately forty-five minutes remaining in the session. The trader sold 10,000 calls at the April $72 strike for a premium of $2.55 apiece in order to partially offset the cost of purchasing 10,000 put options at the lower April $70 strike for $2.73 each. The investor paid a net premium of $0.18 per contract for the bearish risk reversal transaction. The pessimistic play yields profits to the trader if shares of the EWZ trade beneath the breakeven price of $69.82 ahead of expiration in April. We note that shares traded as low as $62.79 on February 8, 2010, and failed to rally above $70.00 until the current session’s breakout.
ZION – Zions Bancorp. – A bullish options player celebrated the 2.80% rally in ZION’s share…
I’ve been a long time investor in the solar space (circa late 06) and one thing that has really irked me over the years is the complete lack of differentiation. Much like the market as a whole nowadays, its "all or nothing" in this space. The one exception has been First Solar (FSLR) – an American "thin film" (different technology than most solar companies) producer. The Chinese names have especially all been thrown together in one pot and when its time to run up solar, they all go up together (in varying degrees) and when solar is out of favor they all get pole axed. Hence doing any due diligence is really a waste of time.
Yingli Green Energy (YGE) and a company that has cost me many real (and virtual) dollars over the years, Trina Solar (TSL) are 2 of the Chinese solar markets with good size, and the most integrated production models. This should have differentiated them over the years – but as I said above, not in American investors eyes. We like "big easy to understand, sweeping themes" – i.e. oil up, solar good. And that’s as comprehensive as it seems to get.
We are seeing some nice action in both these names today, on the back of an analyst report which is alluding to the advantages the two companies have. Now that silicon (which is the main cost component on the material side) has swooned after bottlenecks plagued the industry for 3+ years, the other main cost is labor. And you are not going to compete with the Chinese on labor costs…
Both Trina Solar (TSL) and Yingli Green Energy(YGE) shares are trading higher today following upgrades by Morgan Stanley analyst Sunil Gupta. He thinks both companies are going to take market share in the solar sector from U.S.-based and European rivals. Here are the details
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.
Like a bad case of hemorrhoids, debt is a topic too often left out of polite conversation. It's a good thing then that you don't come here for polite conversation. It is a topic previously written about in these pages and one which has the power to keep me awake at nights when I really ought to be doing other things.
In our quest to clearly understand debt around this ball of dirt we call home, how it impacts us, if it impacts us and what it all means we've had our team put together a comprehensive report on the topic. The report itself ...
Oil crashed today, with crude oil prices dropping from around $95 to $91 in a matter of minutes.
There were various theories for why, but the most compelling one is that there seems to be a lot more production than estimated.
Morgan Stanley sent out a note this evening from analyst Adam Longson that contains this table of production numbers/estimates for key producers. The key thing is that production is on the rise almost everywhere. Check out Libya, where output for the month surged to its highest level of the year. Everyone was freaking out a...
The S&P 500 closed September with a monthly loss of 1.55%. All three S&P 500 MAs and three of the five the Ivy Portfolio ETF MAs are signaling "Invested".
The Ivy Portfolio
The table below shows the current 10-month simple moving average (SMA) signal for each of the five ETFs featured in The Ivy Portfolio. I've also included a table of 12-month SMAs for the same ETFs for this popular alternative strategy.
For a facinating analysis of the Ivy Portfolio strategy, see this article by Adam Butler, Mike Philbrick and Rodrigo Gordillo:
The CBOE Vix Index topped 17.0 and the highest level since early-August on Monday morning amid declines in U.S. equities to start the trading week. The volatility index is off its earlier highs to trade 5.0% higher on the session at 15.65 as of 11:30 am ET. Options volume on the VIX is hovering near 360,000 contracts, or just more than 50% of the average daily reading of around 660,000 contracts. Calls are far more active than put options, as evidenced by the call/put ratio up above 4.2 in morning trading, perhaps as some traders position for volatility to stick around.
Large call spreads traded on the VIX today caught our attention as one big optio...
Yes, the market showed significant weakness last week for the first time in quite a while. In fact, the Dow Jones Industrial Average moved triple digits each day. But it was all quite predictable, as I suggested in last week's article, and certainly nothing to worry about. Now the market appears to be poised for a modest technical rebound, and longer term, U.S. equities should be in good shape for a year-end rally. However, I still believe more downside is in order before any new highs are challenged. Moreover, market breadth is important for a sustained bull run, so the challenge for investors will be to put together broader bullish conviction, including the small caps.
In this weekly update, I give my view of the current market environment, offer a technical analysis of the S&P 500 chart, re...
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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).
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Ebola is spreading too quickly for Ebola-vaccine makers to conduct typical studies of safety and efficacy on experimental vaccines. Instead, vaccines will be tested for basic safety, but then deployed with protocols devised now in order to test for efficacy essentially on the field. Testing has to be expedited because the situation in West Africa gets worse every day while there are no approved vaccines or other treatments.
The chart below is from a paper in the New England Journal of Medicine showing estimates of the virus's trajectory projecting out to November 1, 2014. If current trends continue...
Despite the various opinions on Bitcoin, there is no question as to its ultimate value: its ability to bypass government restrictions, including economic embargoes and capital controls, to transmit quasi-anonymous money to anyone anywhere.
Opinions differ as to what constitutes "money."
The English word "money" derives from the Latin word "moneta," which means to "mint." Historically, "money" was minted in the form of precious metals, most notably gold and silver. Minted metal was considered "money" because it possessed luster, was scarce, and had perceive...
Reminder: Pharmboy is available to chat with Members, comments are found below each post.
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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