by Phil Davis - May 30th, 2014 8:21 am
I hurt myself today
To see if I still feel
I focus on the pain
The only thing that's real – Nine Inch Nails
Were we wrong to cash out?
It's hard to feel bad about taking a 19% profit off the table after just 6 months (in our $500,000 Long-Term Portfolio) but we had another low-volume pump-job yesterday that sent some of the positions we closed up sharply and left us regretting our timing – just a little.
Still, the time to sell your positions is when other people are buying, not while everyone is panicking. We got great exit prices and, on the whole, it was fairly stress-free. S&P 1,920 was our predicted top and we pulled the trigger to take the money and run at 1,910 because, as experience has taught us – it doesn't pay to be greedy!
Last week and this week, I laid out my case for why the economy is not as good as it seems and certainly not good enough to be paying all-time highs for stocks. As you can see from the chart on the left – I'm certainly not the only one who thinks so as the "smart money" has flown out of the market this year, taking advantage of each record high to sell, Sell, SELL!!!
We were a little more patient, we moved our Conservative Income Portfolio ($500,000) to cash at the end of March and avoided the April sell-off and have since been buying bargain stocks in that portfolio. We had left our more aggressive Long-Term Portfolio ($500,000) on the table but this last leg of the rally left it up a ridiculous 19% for the year – and that's halfway to our best-case goal so it's a good time to take a break, step back, and see how the market handles early June.
It's not like we can't find anything to do with our cash. In additions to our usual Futures trading, we still have our Short-Term ($100,000), Butterfly ($100,000) and $25,000 Portfolios to play with and, since Wednesday…
by Option Review - April 22nd, 2014 1:57 pm
by Option Review - November 14th, 2012 1:23 pm
Today’s tickers: ARO, WYNN & PETM
ARO - Aeropostale, Inc. – Shares in teen retailer, Aeropostale, Inc., are up 6.2% this morning at $13.87 in sympathy with Abercrombie & Fitch after that company raised its guidance for full-year earnings and reported better-than-expected third-quarter results before the opening bell on Wednesday. Aeropostale, which acquired online women’s apparel and shoe retailer GoJane.com yesterday, is scheduled to report third-quarter earnings after the close of trading on November 29th. ARO call options are buzzing with activity today, with some traders adjusting existing positions, while others take profits and establish bullish stances on the stock ahead of earnings in two weeks. One strategist responsible for the purchase of approximately 2,000 Nov. $14 strike calls for a premium of $0.10 apiece back on October 31st appears to be selling the calls today for three times that amount, or $0.30 in premium per option contract. Meanwhile, the purchase of more than 2,000 upside calls out at the Dec. $14 strike for a premium of $1.00 apiece looks for shares in ARO to extend gains in the near term. The trader or traders picking up the Dec. $14 strike calls may profit at expiration next month if shares in Aeropostale rally another 8% to surpass the average breakeven price of $15.00 at expiration. Call buying spread to the Dec. $15 and $16 strikes as well, with more than 500 contracts purchased at each strike earlier in the trading session. Interest in the Dec. $14, $15 and $16 strike calls today adds to positions established during the prior trading week.
WYNN - Wynn Resorts Ltd. – Trading traffic in call options on casino resort operator, Wynn Resorts Ltd., this morning suggests one strategist is positioning for shares in the name to rally substantially by year end. Shares in Wynn Resorts are down 1.2% this morning to stand at $105.67 as of 11:50 a.m. ET. The most active contracts on WYNN by volume so far today are the…
by Option Review - August 20th, 2012 1:48 pm
Today’s tickers: CVH, CS & WYNN
CVH - Coventry Health Care, Inc. – Options traders who purchased Coventry Health Care call options earlier this month are sitting on substantial paper profits this morning; shares in the managed care company rose 19% to a new four-year high of $41.70 on news Aetna is buying the company for $42.08 a share, in a deal valued at $7.3 billion. One winning trade initiated just before the weekend was the purchase of 220 of the Sept. $36 strike calls for a premium of $0.80 apiece. These contracts are now deep in-the-money and cost $5.80 each to purchase, or 7.25 times more than one trader paid on Friday afternoon. A larger bullish stake was established last Wednesday with the purchase of 2,650 of the Jan. 2013 $33 strike calls at a premium of $2.55 per contract. The asking price on the calls is currently up three-fold at $8.90 apiece as of 11:30 a.m. in New York. Finally, the purchase of some 1,650 calls at the Sept. $35 strike for an average premium of $0.53 each back on August 6th has generated big potential profits. Traders who picked up the $35 calls at $0.53 apiece could currently sell the calls for 11 times as much, or $6.30 per contract, as of 11:40 a.m. ET. Another winner from the deal is hedge fund, Greenlight Capital, Inc., which disclosed a 4.98% stake in Coventry and a long position in around 3.1 million shares in Aetna in the second quarter ended June 30th.
CS - Credit Suisse, Inc. – Traders are buying upside call options on Credit Suisse for a second consecutive trading session, positioning for shares in the Swiss bank to rebound. The stock has lost 40% of its value since March 19th, slipping around 1.5% this morning to $17.98. On Friday, buyers stepped in to pick up approximately 4,000 of the Sept. $18.97 strike calls for an average premium of $0.50 each…
by Phil Davis - April 19th, 2012 8:28 am
We are just loving these crazy-assed market moves. Every morning we have a pump job to short into and every afternoon there is a BS stick-save to re-establish our shorts. It's merely a matter of time before those floors begin to crack. I mean, really – how much of this abuse can they take?
Notice, in Dave Fry's SPY chart, the high-volume selling followed by low-volume pumping – that's the very unhealthy pattern the "rally" was built on, which means there really aren't any buyers waiting to scoop up shares when they dip – just Trade Bots that tease the indexes higher so the IBanks can keep pulling in the bag-holders as the "smart money" stampedes for the exits.
Yesterday was great fun. As I noted in the morning post, we went short on the Oil Futures (/CL) at $104.50 in our morning Member Chat and even in the morning post there was still time to catch it at $104. Oil sold off all the way to $102.60 at 2:10 and my 2:14 comment to Members nailed the turn as I said:
Oil coming right to our goal at $102.50 ($38.50 USO) so let's not be greedy and look to take $1.20 off the table on those 1/2 USO positions in the $25KP and $5KP as it's better to get out while the gettin's good.
That's what we mean when we talk about taking non-greedy exits (I had set $38.50 as my USO target for our exit at 11:08 but it didn't look like we'd get it so we got out). We caught the bottom and got out clean and this morning we got a chance to re-load our shorts at $103.50 on that predictable morning pump. Sure, you can say the markets aren't fixed and maybe we just have amazingly good timing – either way we make the same money!
We did manage to find a few things we liked, one of which was CHK, as the stock plunged to $17.20 on much ado about not too much as people took issue with the CEO borrowing money to invest in their wells. We didn't think it was such a big deal and our trade idea at at 10:23 in Member Chat gave us a good opportunity to buy right into the day's low at…
by Phil Davis - March 7th, 2012 7:52 am
Was that it?
On February 24th I wrote "TGIF – Sell in March and Go Away?" and I laid out my case for why I thought we were going to fall off the table in March and we have, indeed, fallen right off the table right on schedule since then. I said that Friday, that the post was intended as a bookend to my September 30th bottom call as I felt that we had captured all of the upside we were likely to see off the "good news" that Greece was "fixed" and the economy was "improving."
I'm not going to say anything bad about the economy here, I'll let Michael Snyder do that with his "15 Potentially MASSIVE Threats to the US Economy over the next 12 Months" – I think he pretty much covers it! 8 trading days ago (2/24), we had two short trade ideas in our Morning Alert to Members, they were:
- SQQQ April $13/17 bull call spread at .70, still .70 (even)
- DXD April $13/15 bull call spread at net .55, now .70 – up 27%
In Member Chat that day, Exec asked if I was getting bearish and my response was:
Bearish/Exec – Are you kidding, this is me painting a sunny picture! Give me a few drinks and I'll tell you how off the rails the Global Economy is right now… Do you know how much Kool Aid I have to consume not to scream short on every single stock I see. CAT $116, CMG $386, DIA $130, GMCR we already did at $70, IBM $200, KO $70, MA $415, MCD $100, MMM $88, MO $30, MON $80, MOS $59, OIH $45, PCLN $593 (did them too), QQQ $64, SPY $137, TM $85, USO $41.50 (got 'em), UTX $84, V $117, WYNN $119, XOM $87, XRT $59 (got 'em) – and that's just off my watch list of stock I like to buy when they're cheap! We are not just priced for perfection, we are priced for perfection plus a return to full employment a forgiveness of all debts without write-downs and inflation without rising interest – we are priced for Nirvana!
by Option Review - March 2nd, 2012 1:37 pm
Today’s tickers: WYNN, FL & JPM
WYNN - Wynn Resorts, Ltd. – More than 36,000 option contracts changed hands on the casino operator on Friday morning before the stock was halted with news pending at 10:18 a.m. in New York trade. Wynn Resorts kicked off the final trading session of the week up better than 6.0%, making it the biggest gainer in the S&P 500 Index, after an 8-K filing, which has since been retracted by the company, suggested progress had been made on a new resort in the Cotai region of Macau. The stock resumed trading after Wynn Resorts said the 8-K was mistakenly filed and shares surrendered gains temporarily as the market digested news of the retraction. Clawing back the filing does not seem to have dampened excitement over potential expansion in the gambling hub, as Wynn’s shares quickly regained their footing to hit an intraday high of $132.59 after trading resumed. Options volume on the Las Vegas-based company has doubled since this morning, with more than 80,000 contracts in play as of 1:00 p.m. ET. Investors are favoring calls over puts, exchanging roughly 1.9 call options on WYNN for each single put contract in action today. The stock continues to be the leader in the S&P 500, though shares are off their highest level this afternoon, currently up 5.5% on the day to stand at $128.77.
FL - Foot Locker, Inc. – Options on athletic footwear and apparel retailer, Foot Locker, Inc., are more active than usual this morning following the release of better-than-expected fourth-quarter earnings after the bell on Thursday. Shares in the New York, New York-based Company rallied earlier in the session, but slipped into negative territory to trade 1.1% lower on the day at $29.10 as of 11:30 a.m. on the East…
by Option Review - February 21st, 2012 1:39 pm
Today’s tickers: WYNN, CTRP, DTV & WMT
WYNN - Wynn Resorts, Ltd. – Weekly options on Wynn Resorts are humming with activity today on news the casino operator is cutting ties with principal shareholder and director, Kazuo Okada. Wynn is the biggest gainer in the S&P 500 Index this afternoon, with the stock trading 6.7% higher on the day at $120.24. Options activity suggests some traders expect the stock to extend gains on the news, at least through the end of this week. Feb. ’24 $120 strike calls printed the most volume of the weekly contracts, with some 2,660 lots changing hands against open interest of 204 positions. It looks like most of the $120 strike calls were purchased for an average premium of $2.04 apiece. Traders long the contracts stand ready to profit at expiration in the event that Wynn’s shares rally another 1.5% to surpass the average breakeven price of $122.04. Bullish activity spread to the higher Feb. ’24 $125 strike where around 1,100 call options were snapped up at an average premium of $0.50 each. Finally, fresh interest is building in far out-of-the-money contracts at the Feb. ’24 $130 strike where some 925 contracts traded against zero open positions. Most of the calls appear to have been purchased for an average premium of $0.16 each, positioning traders to profit should shares soar 8.25% to top the average breakeven price of $130.16 by expiration. Shares in WYNN last traded above $130.16 in November of last year.
CTRP - Ctrip.com International, Ltd. – Shares in China’s largest online travel site took a big hit Tuesday after the Company reported lower-than-expected fourth-quarter earnings on Monday. The earnings miss was followed by a number of analyst downgrades, helping drive Ctrip.com’s shares down as much as 10.3% to an intraday…
by Phil Davis - November 18th, 2011 8:10 am
Wheeeeeeeee, what a ride this week!
Since we went bearish on Tuesday afternoon, the Dow has dropped 450 points. That pushed our White Christmas Portfolio over the top (as we flipped bearish, of course) with a virtual balance of $26,075 including $2,565 of unrealized gains on our still-open (and still bearish) positions. That’s up $11,075 (73.7%) from our $15,000 start on October 24th and we’ll be getting back to cash and going for another $10,000 (our original goal) before Christmas.
How did we do it? We teach keeping trades short and simple in a choppy market as we stick to our trading range. Trades in the WCP were very much like the trade ideas I published Wednesday morning, from our Tuesday Member Chat at 3:21. As we had a little BS rally Wednesday afternoon, many of the trades were still makeable that day. In fact, in Seeking Allpha, where the post didn’t even go up until later that morning, Jamesbwood was able to take advantage of the XOM $77.50 puts at .14 (less than our original entry) and took a double off the table at .28 – a 100% day trade!
All of those trades ideas are great examples of the kind of trades we look for in our White Christmas Portfolio (our current, virtual, short-term portfolio) – ones we can get quickly in and out of with nice gains. We were quite satisfied with our oil shorts and cashed those out yesterday and, had President Obama followed my advice and sold those 140M barrels for $100 (could have gotten $102), he could have bought them back yesterday at $98.50 for a quick $210M profit – enough to pay for at least an hour’s worth of the deficit! Percentage-wise, he would have been better off subscribing and taking those trade ideas from our Member Chat. Those Wednesday morning trade ideas were:
- GOOG $625/620 bear put spread at $3.10 is a nice downside play – figure risking $1 to make $1.90.
GOOG is at $600 and this spread will likely expire at $5 today – up 61.3%
- MMM $82.50 puts are $1, also a good trade for a crash tomorrow.
MMM finished the day at $80.43 and the $82.50 puts were $2.35 – up 135%
- WYNN $130/125 bear put
by Phil Davis - August 8th, 2011 6:23 am
Wheeeeeeee, this is fun!
There’s nothing like an active virtual portfolio to get you through a rough market. The last update to our very aggressive virtual porfolio was on the July 28th, when I said to Members "On the whole, we’re pretty short so we’ll be either adding longs or cashing in shorts tomorrow to get a little more even into the weekend but still bearish if there’s no debt deal." There was, of course, no debt deal that week and the next morning I said in our Member Alert:
Volume is not very high – this is a retail panic so far. If you have short positions, strongly consider put tight stops on them (this includes the $25KP and Income Virtual Portfolio) as they put plenty of cash in your pocket and we can always find another layer of shorts if the RUT can’t hold 775.
Needless to say, the RUT failed (10% ago!) and we stayed generally bearish. At the time we "only" had $57,760 of virtual cash (after starting with just $25,000!) with $960 worth of unrealized losses in our remaining, mostly bearish positions. How do you think that worked out? That’s right, possibly our biggest gains of the year! In the last two weeks, we closed the following positions as the markets collapsed around us: