UA - Under Armour, Inc. – Options on the athletic apparel maker are more active than usual today, with volume of 11,300 contracts running more than four times the stock’s 90-day average options volume of 2,475 contracts. Shares in Under Armour are down 0.80% at $98.19 in early-afternoon trade, slipping Tuesday after hitting a new all time high of $99.35 on Monday. Options traders exchanging around 2.5 calls on the name for each single put in play so far in the session appear to be positioning for the price of the underlying to continue to secure fresh highs in the next few weeks. In- and out-of-the-money calls in the front month are seeing the most action, with the April $95 and $97.5 strike calls trading upwards of 1,100 times each. Traders positioning for fresh record highs in the price of the stock snapped up more than 500 calls at each of the April $105 and $110 strikes, paying premiums of $1.00 and $0.33 apiece, respectively. Call buyers may profit at expiration should Under Armour’s shares post sharp gains prior to the Company’s first-quarter earnings report on April 24th. The April contract calls expire several days ahead of UA’s earnings release. Traders long the call options may profit at April expiration as long as Under Armour’s shares surge 6.7% and 11.1% to top average breakeven prices of $106.00 and $110.33, respectively.
AIG - American International Group, Inc. – Shares in AIG have mostly traded within the range of $20.00 to $30.00 during the most recent six month period. Activity in long-dated call options on the insurer, however, suggests one strategist is positioning for the price of the underlying to break out strongly to the upside at some point during the next ten months. Shares…
ORCL – Oracle Corp. – Shares of the software company rallied as much as 1.45% this afternoon to touch an intraday high of $25.75, which is just $0.88 below the stock’s current 52-week high of $26.63. Options activity on Oracle is quite active ahead of the firm’s first-quarter earnings report scheduled for release after the closing bell tomorrow evening. One options investor hoping to see Oracle’s shares extend gains through the start of 2011 initiated a delta neutral hedge in the January 2011 contract. It looks like the trader purchased a total of 12,500 puts at the January 2011 $21 strike for a premium of $0.45 apiece, tied to the purchase of a large number of ORCL shares for $25.65 each, on a 0.15 delta. The long position in shares suggests perhaps that the investor expects tomorrow’s earnings report to lift shares and/or foresees continued bullish movement in the price of the underlying stock over the next 5 months. But, the put options serve as a type of insurance policy for the trader in case Oracle’s shares falter going forward. Options investors exchanged more than 77,800 contracts on the software maker by 3:10 pm ET.
DV – DeVry, Inc. – The for-profit operator of colleges and universities popped up on our ‘hot by options volume’ marker scanner after one investor initiated a call spread in the November contract. DeVry’s shares fell as much as 2.9% in the first half of the trading session to touch down at an intraday low of $41.25, but made a strong recovery in early afternoon trading, and currently stand 1.25% higher on the day at $43.01 as of 12:52 pm ET. The investor populating the November contract wisely established a contrarian debit call spread on the stock when shares were still in the red. The options strategist purchased 2,000 calls at the November $45 strike at a premium of $2.00 each, and sold the same number of calls at the higher November $50 strike for premium of $0.65 apiece. Net premium paid to purchase the spread amounts to $1.35 per contract. The investor is positioned to make money if DeVry’s shares rally another 7.8% over the current price of $43.01 to surpass the effective breakeven point at $46.35 by expiration day in November. Maximum potential profits of $3.65 per contract are available to the call-spreader if…
CRM – Salesforce.com, Inc. – A large-volume ratio call spread on the provider of customer relationship management services this afternoon implies one options investor expects CRM shares to rally significantly by August expiration. Salesforce.com’s shares increased as much as 1.83% today to reach a new 52-week high of $81.23 during the current session. According to a Reuters report this weekend, analysts at Deutsche Bank maintain their ‘buy’ rating on the stock and raised their share price target on CRM to $110 from $100. The optimistic options trader populating the stock this afternoon purchased 13,000 calls at the August $85 strike for a premium of $5.00 apiece, and sold 26,000 calls at the higher August $100 strike for $1.05 each. Net premium paid by the investor for the transaction amounts to $2.90 per contract. Maximum available profits of $12.10 per contract accumulate for the trader if shares of the underlying stock surge at least 23% from the new 52-week high of $81.23 to reach $100.00 by August expiration. The investor starts to make money as long as CRM’s shares trade above the effective breakeven point at $87.90 ahead of expiration day.
CPB – Campbell Soup Co. – Options traders anticipating a sharp increase in the price of Campbell Soup Co.’s shares by November expiration scooped up record numbers of call options on the global manufacturer and marketer of branded convenience food products today. CPB’s shares traded 0.25% higher in late afternoon trading to $35.45, which is just off their current 52-week high of $35.80 (attained back on December 2, 2009). Campbell-bulls purchased approximately 5,200 calls at the November $40 strike for an average premium of $0.55 per contract. Investors holding these contracts are prepared to profit should Campbell’s share price jump 14.4% from the current price to exceed the average breakeven point to the upside at $40.55. Investors exchanged roughly 5,925 option contracts on CPB during the trading session, which represents 56% of the total existing open interest on the stock of 10,567 lots.
VALE – Vale S.A. – Diverse bullish options strategies employed on Brazilian metals and mining company, Vale S.A., today indicates investors are expecting the price of the iron-ore maker’s shares to appreciate in the next few months. Vale’s shares rallied 1.20% at the start of the session to an intraday high – and new…
By a wide margin, but not quite a majority (yet), Let's quit EU say 46 per cent of voters in poll. Asked the exact question Conservatives want to put the public in the 2017 referendum – “Do you think that the UK should remain a member of the EU” – 46 per cent opt to come out, a higher figure than in other recent surveys.
Just 30 per cent say they want to remain.
In a further boost for the eurosceptic cause, 44 per cent want an “in/out” referendum immediately, although 29 per cent are prepared to wait until 2017, David Cameron's preferred option.
The headline figure using ICM’s “Wisdom Index” method – which asks voters to predict the result of the ...
The mystique of the Bermuda Triangle has caught the imagination and interest of generations. In much the same way it has also caught my attention and I feel that now there is a Bermuda Triangle of economics - a space where everything tends to disappear without radar contact, a black hole in which rationality and science is replaced by hope, superstition and nonsense pundits like myself pretending to understand the real drivers of the economy.
The Bermuda Triangle in real life runs from Bermuda to Puerto Rico to Miami. The economic one runs from high stock mark...
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The $OEXA200R Monthly (the percentage of S&P 100 stocks above their 200 DMA) is a technical indicator available on StockCharts.com used to find the "sweet spot" time period in the market when you have the best chance of making money. See Is This the Best Stock Market Indicator Ever? for a discussion of this technical tool.
The charts below are current through the week's close.
U.S. equity futures traded slightly lower in early pre-market trade following mixed economic data out of the eurozone. The moves follow basically flat trading on Wall Street from Monday after futures rallied into the open following weaker than expected Chinese data.
In other news around the markets:
The German ZEW Economic Sentiment Index rose to 36.4 in May from 36.3 in April but missed expectations of a gain to 38.3. The current conditions index was also weak and over 77 percent of respondents said they do not expect another rate cut in the next six months.
It seems that every Tuesday in 2013 since January 8 has been positive on the Dow. And this past Tuesday was no exception. Now that sounds like a trend to put money on -- buy the SPDR Dow Jones Industrial Average ETF (DIA) at the close each Monday and close out the position late on Tuesday.
The Dow and S&P 500 both hit new all-time highs once again on Wednesday, while the Nasdaq hit its highest level since November 2000. The “risk on” allocation of new investment capital into cyclicals continues, although Wednesday saw leadership from defensive sectors Consumer Staples, Utilities, and Telecom, along with Financials. Nevertheless, ConvergEx reports that the average correlation of the ten S&P business sectors to the overall index averaged 82% last month. While that is below the 86% averag...
BMY - Bristol-Myers Squibb Co. – Shares in drug maker, Bristol-Myers Squibb Co., are ripping higher today, up 6.5% at $44.94, the highest level in more than a decade, ahead of the release of the American Society of Clinical Oncology (ASCO) 2013 Annual Meeting abstracts tonight. The ASCO Annual Meeting begins on May 31st in Chicago. Options on BMY are far more active than usual today, with overall volume topping 64,000 contracts by 12:25 p.m. ET, versus average daily volume of around 11,400 c...
We are starting to see some very extreme readings on our monthly and weekly index charts since there has been no correction this year. I posted below first the monthly chart of the S&P 500 going back 15 years showing bollinger bands – rarely do we get above the upper one, and never have we been this far above. Then below that I posted (with 4 charts of 4 years each) the weekly data and you can see we are at a rare time we are above the weekly bollinger band as well. This non stop rally is getting very historical.
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Stock market posts another record setting week, but the big news came after Friday’s close.
Courtesy of NASA
The stock market put on another record setting show with the Dow Jones Industrial Average (NYSEARCA:DIA) closing at a record high 15,118 and the S&P 500 (NYSEARCA:SPY) closing at 1633.70, another all time closing high.
For the week, the Dow Jones Industrial Average (NYSEARCA:DIA) gained 1%, the S&P 500 (NYSEARCA:SPY) climbed 1.2%, the Nasdaq Composite (NYSEARCA:...
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Well, well, well....it is good to know that there are others in the scientific arena who believed that YMI Bioscience's data (cough - Gilead) is a better drug than Incyte's Jakafi. Now, the definitive data are still unknown, but there was enough evidence from a Phase 2 trial to take a small risk for a huge reward. So, let's forget about Apple (AAPL), and do nothing but biotechs from now until Congress passes universal health care coverage for prescriptions....and drive the prices down so that research and development is no longer feasible to conduct in the US. Even Seattle Genetics (SGEN) has been on a tear as of late...
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