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Fickle Friday Morning

We have to give the markets a pass today.

It’s option expiration day and any movement you see today needs to be taken with a rather large grain of salt. 


The Fed came out with a bold statement – that low unemployment may not necessarily lead to higher inflation.  This is part of the new global paradigm we’ve been discussing for the past 2 years (see all previous columns!).  As I’ve often said about outsourcing, we don’t just outsource the low-paying jobs, we outsource the pollution, the inadequate housing, the health, welfare, education and retirement burdens that come with employing 50M minimum wage workers who couldn’t be found in this country even if you wanted them.

Speaking of the globe – is it just me or is money getting cheaper? Here’s a 30 year chart of the 30 year note, you tell me why HB’s making a comeback.

Maybe the global markets have gotten so efficient that money can be profitably marketed for just 4% interest.  If we think of money as a product and think of Central Banks, the IMF and, of course computers as devices we use to increase manufacturing and distribution efficiency, it’s not so hard to see that maybe the cost of money has simply declined over the years.  Citibank certainly seems to be able to squeeze out a living in this environment…

China raised the deposit rates for lenders for the 5th time in 8 months, still trying to keep a 10% cap on their growth rate.  Starting 2/25, commercial banks must keep 10% of their deposits on reserve with the People’s Bank of China, compared with 9.5% previously.  "There is relatively large pressure to expand lending, and a further increase in the reserve requirement ratio was needed in response to changes in the liquidity situation," the central bank said in explaining the move.

Japan’s GDP grew at 4.8% in Q4 and they are complaining that their consumers are asleep at the wheel!  What will happen when they wake up and start shopping?  What if American consumers start saving like the Japanese do?  LOL – well of course that’s not going to happen but it’s funny to say!

Asian stocks were flat today, taking a much needed break after a week of nice gains.  India was the exception with another huge day, this time leaping 2.5%, up 345 points to 12,355.  The BSE was my 2006 choice for the market of the year and it was indeed the winner and I’m getting nervous about my choice for 2007 as the Dow is taking a little longer than I wanted to get it in gear.  It’s going to take some 300 point days on our end to start catching up!

TM ousted DCX as Europe’s top car maker with a 21% rise in January sales over last year.  Still the total was 76,649 registrations out of 1.29M total for the month, indicating TM still has room to double by just taking 6% of the market share away from the other competitors.  Heck, GM loses 6% of their market share per quarter!

Europe is flat too and the EU backed off making their 20% by 2010 target for renewable energy mandatory.  This should provide some relief to EON who also are under the microscope for simply being too darned big.

Today I say: Ask not what the markets can do for you, but what you can do for the markets!  We’re going to need some real investor confidence to give us the boost we need to break free so clap hands for the semis, who need it the most but we also need our pals Google and Apple to come out of hibernation and give us the green light to go back into tech

Steve Balmer was no help yesterday, telling us we have been overestimating Vista shipments so look for a bad start as this DOW, S&P and Nasdaq heavyweight takes a 2% hit to start the day:

The global heatwave I mentioned last week in comments is heating up with London and Paris posting 50 degree weather this week.  Our weather should break this week, just in time for the NYMEX boys to shake the ice off their 400M+ April barrels and decide where to put them by March 20th. 


Still, we don’t like to short oil into the weekend so make sure you have reasonable cover plays into the weekend.  If we are lucky enough to get ahead I will be lightening up a bit on profitable puts.  We still have the ellusive $58.50 mark as topside resistance with $57 being the downside break point they have been working so hard to defend.  There are currently 102,225 open March contracts so this week’s contest is going to be for whoever comes closest to the March barrel count as reported by at the close of Tuesday’s trading.


The winner will get a free month of membership AND an IPod Shuffle providing they are 18 years of age and a resident of this solar system and providing that it’s legal and proper for me to have a contest like this!  If this works out, we can do one every month!

Gold will do whatever the dollar doesn’t so we won’t worry about it.


BRCM is back in the news as the option scandal heats up again.  I recommended them way back on 9/11 at $25.70, saying at the time that the sell-off was overdone.  Now that the stock is up at $35 I wouldn’t be so sure it’s safe to ignore the short-term impact of additional news.

Also of note, back then I said: "The IRS may take issue with what is looking like, on a wide scale, a $100Bn plus fraud that has been perpetrated on the US public as the companies manipulated books to create long-term capital gains but the benefit should have been realized at the time. Worry much more about that than class action suits!" and gosh, wouldn’t you know it – that’s exactly what’s happening!

In that same article I recommended LBTYA (was $25, now $30) and CMCSA (was $35, now $41, down from $45 last month) so don’t say I never give you any straight stock picks!  I pick stocks when I dont’ think they are overbought – now is just not one of those times!


Just as I was getting fed up with KO, GS came out with an upgrade today!  They also like our PEP so this should be a good day for our beverage plays.  Unfortunately, Goldman giveth and Goldman taketh away as they don’t like our STZ but, since they are already down to a dime from our .35 purchase – we don’t like them either!  Here’s a nice article by Jon Markman on Why Coke’s a Buy.

Today is a good day to make sure you made all your trades for long-term positions as we discussed in the very extensive weekend review.  I’ve got my Dow puts as I still think that oil and housing can drag us down a bit but I don’t feel a real sense of urgency to force sales unless we start losing my levels.  Don’t forget Monday is a holiday but Asia will be mostly closed too and not much usually happens in Europe anyway…

GT is down because of a strike that killed their quarter.  Today may be a good time to get in.

EXPE got hit by a downgrade!  I’m selling the March $22.50s for .50 as insurance on our leaps!

Lots of moves to make today:

  • AAPL Mar $90s will be DD’d at .90 or less

    • maybe for a buck but I’m hoping for an option dip.
    • This will allow me to sell Mar $85s for $3 against my July $85s without worrying that it will shoot up on me
  • Must watch the BOBJ $40 caller
  • Must watch the BTU $40 putter
  • CTX $50 putter seems safe to expire
  • DELL needs to DD or roll to a lower bracket, I can’t decide yet
  • I hope our DIA $125 putter will expire worthless!

    • I may consider selling DIA Mach $128s for $1.30 against my Junes
  • FDX $115 caller must be dealt with

    • I think buying them out as FDX looks pinned, not stalled
  • I must bite the bullet on the GOOG putters, we went too far in the money!
  • MRO Feb $85 putter is sure to expire worthless
  • MSFT April $30s should probably come off, we have a small buffer on the Feb $30s we sold
  • Our NOV $65 putter should go out worthless
  • PD $115 putter should go down without a fight
  • SLB $65 putter needs to be taken out
  • XOM Feb $72.50 puts will be rolled to Mar $72.50 puts for .45.

Have a really good holiday weekend,

- Phil

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  1. Phil,
    I have a question on getting a better price on spreads. Do you initially try a reduced net debit or increased net credit when entering a spread? I know you do this on a straight buy or sell, but was wondering if it is a good technique on spreads. Thanks.

  2. GE;
    Is this a potential candidate for the long term? It hit six month resistence yesterday, and closed just under its 50 sma.

    WSJ reports after years of putting up with a patchy, overburdened rail network, China is suddenly shoveling billions of dollars into new tracks and high-speed trains. Beijing has embarked on a five-year plan through 2010 that calls for a near quadrupling of investment to modernize the country’s railways, which it sees as a foundation of a prosperous economy. For General Electric (GE), Siemens (SI) and other makers of locomotives, signaling devices and related high-tech railway gear, the planned spending represents a potential sales bonanza. China is already the world’s second-largest market for freight trains and related equipment, after the U.S., and it is the fastest-growing mkt for both passenger trains and those carrying freight. GE, which recently signed contracts with the Ministry of Railways for more than $700 mln of locomotives and signaling systems, forecasts that China will be the rail industry’s No. 1 mkt in the world in 20 years. The scale of China’s planned railway expansion is unprecedented, says Nigel Rayner, a transportation specialist at the Asian Development Bank, which has lent the Chinese govt $2.94 bln for railway improvements since 1989.

    And Citi likes GOOG here.


  3. Hi Phil:

    With the Japanese economy on a strong path, do you anticipate a rate hike by BOJ and what would be nice play in anticipation of such a move (assuming one occurs !!!) … I would be more interested in knowing about all the ‘cheap money’, you alluded to this morning, how would it react to a a rate hike by BOJ…

    - Ramana

  4. I’m still a call seller virgin, but actually might sell some covered calls today on WFMI. .Most likely will do the March 45 Phil as you recommended, now worth roughly 3 bucks. .If I lose my WFMI shares, I won’t be crying much as you could agree, lol. . Yeah, call me silly, but hey, it’s the first time for me doing this, lol.


  5. Phil, I never had a chance to buy TM. It never pulled back enough for me to enter. Do you think I should wait or start a little position soon to start building a position? Thanks.


  6. The core producer price index rose 0.2% which is in line with estimates

    Including food and energy the PPI fell 0.6%, which also matched forecasts.

    Housing starts fell 14% to 1.6 million units in Janaury. This was slighly less then the 1.65 million units and represents the largest monthly decline since 1997.

    Building permits fell 2.8% to 1.56 million, also shy of the 1.59 millin forecast.

  7. Looking at some options on a few stocks I have been tracking, it seems to me that the contract prices have just gotten over priced. Any of you seeing the same, any thoughts?

  8. Phil,

    I’m in the SU spread with you. I should learn a bit from this one.

    Bill P.

  9. digger,

    How do you mean overpriced ? During X week, there’s so much volatility that the spreads on popular options get wider than normal, so that it’s “harder to get in”, or conversely, “harder to get out”.

    Maybe you have some specific examples of what you looked at (yesterday vs. today, or whatever) ?

  10. sakiko -Three off the top of my head – BNI, XOM, OXPS, as compared to theoretical value

  11. ADM is issuing about $1B in senior convertible notes, and buying back $400M of their own stock. Am I missing something? Why not issue $600M in notes…
    If they were smart they’d make it callable convertible stock. Then they could issue notes, use the money to buy back stock, force conversion to retire the debt (using the stock they just bought to fill the notes) -repeat repeat repeat! You’d lose a little each time, but with a simple revolving line of credit you could make a little “real” borrowing go a long way towards boosting the price at which you get your exercise your backdated options…

  12. Someone here the other day day had said they wished they bought some calls in MSFT when it dipped below 29. Is that same person pulling the trigger today? I am thinking about doing so.

  13. Phil,

    My guess for the March contract close is 47M barrels

  14. GOOG called an “attractive risk/reward” by C on expiration Day!

    Bought way too many GOOG $470s for .20, selling 1/2 at .40 and crossing my fingers!

  15. Hi Phil,

    RE GRMN, do you plan to take the caller or roll him to March?


  16. Herb Meyer’s comments are worth reading.
    He was an intelligence advisor in the Reagan Administration



  17. GM all, I see the HB’s read this headline and said, this is a good thing. then we have less inventory! Stock price should go up!

    /us-housing-starts-plunge-14% to lowest rate in 10 years :!: :!:

  18. Too slow to pull the trigger on ONXX. Now too scared !

  19. I’m with you, Sakiko. I watched it all morning, thought about it, and just watched it go up.
    What to do? lol

    NMX and ICE all over the map this morning.


  20. OIH
    Turning down, APR 130 puts are 3.3-3.5.


  21. NMX- nice follow thru on yesterday’s big up day

  22. Juliet, I am in several TM APR positions…..the APR 135′s have come down in price to a more reasonable level, imo

  23. what does phil mean when says MSFT april $30 should come off – thanks

  24. Thanks karmcon. I also bought lots of GOOG $470 for 20 cents as Phil did. Hope it goes to at least 50 cents.


  25. Phil,

    SNDK – are you rolling the 40 Callers to Mar 40?

  26. morning all. phil, are we selling the hb march puts this morning?

  27. Spreads – I usually don’t buy the spreads. I will buy or sell one leg first based on what I think the mo is (with a tight stop in case I’m wrong) and work int the spread that way.


    GE is always a candidate for me, one of my few retirement stocks… I’d rather see a breakout back over $37 before I’m convinced they’re coming back with the market. I’d rather see them test $34 before getting in.


    BOJ – hiking from 0 to .25 is hardly going to rock the markets but it may drive the yen up fast – possibly bad for exporters (can anything kill TM?) as yens are being handed out by people all over the world who borrow them cheaply to buy other currencies.

    My premise on money is that it has nothing to do with rates (well, a little) and that it’s really about the flow of capital being so efficient now that money can be profitably lent out for 4%, so rates may remain low DESPITE the best efforts of the CBs.


    Almost certainly out of GOOG by 11 by the way if it doesn’t move


    TM – I’ve been waiting for an entry since November! I guess at this pont I’ll be looking for $130 if I get so lucky but I’m in no hurry to chase, I’d rather let it flatten a bit and then take a leap spread.


    SU, we’re getting a nice pop today, making our putter sweat! Meanwhile I’m offering .75 for the Mar $70 puts but it’s all assuming we hold $58.50 on oil.


    AMD – good plan!


    MFST Apr $30s sold at .55, already down to .48 – I’m not jumping back in soon.


  28. digger,

    Yep, I just think it’s that the formulae lag behind real world. The implied volatility shown in the pricer in the OXPS screens often has to be jiggled with to “come out right”, and if there are very big recent moves (like BNI), the IV (which is based on historical closing prices) has to deal – or doesn’t deal – with the outlier move.

    Remember that the MM is pricing to protect himself on moves.

    When people ask me what I do at the computer all day, I tell them that “I am buying and selling risk in equity derivatives” (which sounds better than “I’m unemployed right now”). Just like the insurance companies, we option traders – including the Option MM – are taking on risk from other people, and we base our pricing on what we believe is the mispricing in the underlying value (given a specific timeframe and outlook).

    I’ll try to find you a better explanation of the IV component and why it’s often mispriced, but so far, everything I read requires a PhD.

  29. Sakiko, you’re too damn funny .. .

  30. Good one Sakiko, I will remember that.

  31. GRMN – no need the way they’re dropping! I LOVE expiration day!


    HB’s – well that is the correction mechanism, silly as it seems but the key is sales are holding up. What is not taken into account is all the deals and incentives but it will take a while for a margin squeeze to become obvious.


    SNDK – no, I think they are pinned, I can afford to wait until next week to make a new sale.


    HBs – I’m setting 20% stops at this point – of the profits if they’re ahead or of the original basis if behind. I don’t think I’ll be triggering though – 14% drop in starts is a 14% decliine in sales no matter how you try to sugar-coat it!

  32. QCOM
    Still strong; 6-months high, at least. They pushed it hard above 41.4 resistance. This is very good!

  33. Thanx Sakiko

  34. LOL Sakiko

  35. LOL Sakiko! I never tell people I do stocks – it’s way worse than being a doctor or a lawyer because EVERYONE thinks it’s an immediate invitation for a portfolio consultation! I’m going to try your answer as it seems like the sort of thing that will make people’s eyes glaze over…

  36. Sakiko Phil and others much brighter than I

    If the IV in the OXPS takes a PhD to understand because of things like leptokurtotic
    moves, (taller peaks/fatter tails in normal distribution curve), and Chaos theory applied
    to option pricing models then what value is IV and theoretical value displayed on OXPS option pricer.
    What value is OXPS’ dragon since it seems obsolete as it is posted

    All of us at the end of the day are looking for some “reading of the tea leaves’
    or measuring stick/algorithm to enter/exit trades. It is tough to break even,
    tougher yet when commissions are added to both sides with nickel and dime spreads.

  37. What’s up with QCOM?


  38. Anyone has any thoughts on these two stocks?

    AMD – Anybody think this is a good long play? It’s near all time lows.

    CRM – Huge run-up leading to earnings. Good short or do you think it will go higher?

  39. BHI really needs to hold $65 here.

  40. When people ask me what I do at the computer all day, I tell them that “I am buying and selling risk in equity derivatives”

    sakiko, that’s a totally new way of looking at things. Kinda brings some dignity to my sitting here in my underwear trying to make buck. JUST KIDDING!! LOL. Have the inclination to put a 3 piece suit on now.

    Theres talk that AMD will need to raise capital.

  41. Looks like they are trying to drag BA down to 90.

  42. Maven Nova,
    I have been playing CRM and stock is acting strong. On Earning don’t know how they will act but have a buddy there that says things are going great. But learn a long time ago Salesguys don’t know S*it.
    It is also getting some ink in IBD(charts) Not much help i know.

  43. Bought bunch of QCOM Mar $45 for 50 cents. Hope it conitunes up!


  44. QCOM/Nasdaq
    They’re reviving interests in IT companies. Very good for SOX, and thus, Nasdaq. IT goes up, Internet goes up! Watch Nasdaq go 2500+!!

  45. Phil
    what’s the plan to take out SNDK COF TXN Feb callers?
    Wait last minute?

  46. 10:38 QCOM Qualcomm options activity: Calls bid following press conference report (42.31 +1.01) -Update-

    QCOM calls are active following a report that it, NOK and S have scheduled a press conference for next Wednesday, potentially in regards to the Nokia/Qualcomm dispute (see 10:22 comment for details). This report has fueled speculation about a possible resolution, as well as M&A chatter. The most option trading has taken place in the Feb 42.50 calls (which expire today), as the stock spiked above the strike to a high of 43.38. Around 28.7K Feb 42.50 calls have traded vs open interest of 40.8K. March calls are also seeing heightened activity, with implied volatility moving higher. Around 25.6K Mar 45 calls have traded on the day, with the majority of activity taking place in the past 20 minutes. The Mar 42.50 and 47.50 calls are also seeing increased volume, pushing implied volatility higher. The increased call buying suggests expectations for heightened volatility in QCOM over the next month, potentially with an upside bias.

  47. Wow, osmeone just dumped 1m shares of MSFT! Crazy volume today.

    Phil, NYX is hanging around its LOD, now under 86. Any plays here, and can you recommend anything for us traders crippled by Ameritrade who can’t sell against longer-term contracts to reduce premium?

    Thanks and happy Friday everyone…

  48. Nigerian rebels running up the price of gasoline.

    DOW just keeps going up!

    CTX down nicely.

    HRL getting killed – lost that earnings gamble!

  49. chuck,

    That’s why trading is an experience thing… You should only use whatever tools to help SCREEN down interesting trades (start with: how much money do I want to play?, how long do I want to play it?), and then apply FA/TA or silly momo against what is screened. Remember that news can screw you quickly.

    Phil is a big seller of premium, which decays every day, and (most other things being held equal) makes his position better because it makes the premium buyer’s position worse. A lot of the lazy portfolios depend on this scheme, while they build positions in the underlying. Now, this is kinda like watching grass grow, but think of what happens when you don’t take care of the dang weeds out there !

    Also, if commissions are killing you as a percentage (on directional trades), get into bigger trades with lower risk. The nickels on exit usually only matter during X week (and then it’s BAD). I generally have a different trading style at the beginning of front month than I do during X week, and you need to get hep to all the ways that you can keep money at work. However this doesn’t mean that you have to trade every day (people usually lose money this way). Find good trade setups and enter them. That’s really what I’m doing here.

  50. RIMM- nice comeback from yesterday’s dump
    POT-over $160 looking to break All time high (I hope)

  51. POT
    is “roasting”!

  52. Chuck – that’s why your real money should be in the much more expensive, in the money, long-term trades. The short term plays you can never make money on are exactly the sort of things you should be selling, not buying.

    It’s very much a case of penny wise and pound foolish when you go for “cheap” options as the nickel spread can put you 10% behind as soon as you buy and the nickel commission makes it 20%. Now you have to make 20% just to get even – you’d better have a damn good reason for buying in those cases.


    Speaking of foolish bets:

    GOOG just made a nice stop flushing move – hopefully it will amount to something soon!


    AMD near lows for good reason. I’d wait.

    CRM – too rich to chase but a great company.

  53. MSFT
    seems the analyst still put target price around 32+
    credit suisse mentions CEO did poor job on vista explanation…
    phil you sold but seems stock is holding??

  54. POT
    new 52-wk high!! Smokin’!!

  55. Just wanted to say Hi to all! I just subscribed today but have been a long time reader since Phil’s blog was on blogger. I couldn’t sign up at the transition time due to personal financial setbacks in the software engineering world but now I’m back and ready to make some money. Best wishes, more fun, and continued success to all on this site! Back to playing my wii!

  56. Was that your million shares of MSFT Phil?

  57. Welcome wiiboxer!

  58. Phil, would like to buy some leaps08 for both CY and T- any suggestions? Wait for pullbacks?

  59. wiiboxer
    Welcome G/L

    Dell CEO Says It Will Take 18 Months To Improve -ReportLast update: 2/16/2007 11:07:48 AMDell Inc. (DELL) Chief Executive Michael Dell thinks it will take 18 months for the company to turn around, reported BusinessWeek online. In a wide ranging interview with Michael Dell, who returned as CEO late last month after the company ousted Kevin Rollins, Dell told BusinessWeek that while the company isn’t giving forecasts he thinks it will take about 18 months to “effect changes.” As for acquisitions, Dell said that while the company doesn’t need to engage in a big buy, he wouldn’t rule it out. Dell said the Round Rock, Texas, computer maker plans to expand its services, do more in emerging markets and plans to launch a new product in China in a few weeks. Dell is slated to report fourth-quarter earnings next Wednesday

  60. Taking out SNDK etc. once there is no premium, I genereally set a 20% trailing stop to try to get near the low if it spikes down.


    Rmyadsk – I recommend another broker! I guess they are telling you that selling options is their monopoly… I will work on some spreads over the weekend if you remind me – pair trades where we take a call on a strong stock and a put on a weak stock in the same sector.

    If the market can’t break up from here, straight call buying can be suicidal, especially now, as that would make this the top of a trading range.

  61. Speaking of Long Term. What criteria are we looking at before we start selling BAC options against our LEAP position? I was just curious since I’m starting to look at the mid range calls to sell for them.

  62. MSFT – just because I chose not to lose .07 (20%) by gutting it out doesn’t mean I don’t want it back.

    I just want to see how it handles this and pick a reentry but I’ll give it the weekend.


    Welcome Wiiboxer! Glad to have you here.


    4M shares – LOL, I don’t like them THAT much!


    CY, T – I really want to wait out the weekend before getting into anything. We either break out next week or confirm this as a top. Sometimes the only way to win is not to play…

  63. BAC – hoping it was held down into expiration. Most sellers of contracts tend to do so ahead of expiration (and there is merit to never leaving yourself uncovered) and then you have the usual pinning so contracts have a bit better than 50/50 chance of becoming more “scarce” and more expensive the week after expiration so, unless I have a good reason to sell, I’m willing to wait (but I have my DIA puts to cover me).

    By the way, that is February logic – August logic is much different!

  64. GM in talks to buy Chrysler Group!

    Holy cow – that’s like landing the Hindenberg on the Titanic!!!

  65. CROX-moving higher looks like I missed it at least today LOL
    Phil-you are right LEAPS are great, I use them all the time instead of Stock. I bought COH JAN 08 40′s when the stock got crushed from 35 to 27 last summer. Would love to see more of these plays in the LTP!

  66. Open Mar OTM Calls LMT $.60 COL $.85…

  67. Duh, I guess I’m a little foggy today, forgot about the price pinning factor during X week. This is why I like this forum, it straightens my mind out on days I’m preoccupied.

  68. Naaa
    watch Renault buying Jeep and chinese DCX… my 2c

  69. Good one Phil about GM, my husband came in to see why I was laughing so hard.

  70. Nice Double on BWLD

  71. WMT reports Tues. before the open. “place your bets, place your bets”.

  72. zman,
    If BHI follows it’s pattern it should rebound a few points from here. Any thought on playing a rebound?

  73. BWLD is going to crush. Mid 60′s soon.
    CRM will do well. Q1 tends to be a dicey quarter for software, but I think we are going to see AppExchange (their platform) show real signs of growth.

  74. Holding BEAV July $30,Bought caller a few days ago. Should I roll into July $35???

  75. DCX up 10 since the 13th they say another 10 after they dump Chrysler

  76. GOOG finally taking off!


  77. Nevada Home Sales down 36% of all existing homes final qtr of 2006 vs. 2005. Includes condos, manufactured, and single family homes. Reno down 23%. My nearest development, a Lennar operation, is offering a Hummer with any new home purchase….My RE buddies no longer hang about the local Tables, can find them at the nearest free BAR….

  78. Do I recall correctly that max pain was 470 on GOOG?

  79. ONXX – at this point I can’t decide whether to go long or short on this stock. Seems overbought but you can’t argue with momentum right now. . Anybody consider some Puts? Probably a waste of money.

  80. BWLD – I love that company, I should have grabbed it on that sell-off!


    WMT is totally screwed Long-term by minimum wage increase. $2 and hour x 2M adds up very fast!


    BEAV – I rolled to jul $35s\

  81. Winston,

    I wouldn’t add a putter below $66. They’re holding tooth and nail to $65 this morning. Yesterday’s thrasing labeled an over-reaction at Lehman and GS who both had upgraded in last couple of months. So even with 4 downgrades since the report stock hanging tough. Also, up oil & gas lending support. I’d certainly wait if you’re inclined to be short for Tuesday’s action (why waste premium on a 3 day weekend?). Today very boring energy trading so far.

  82. Speaking of bets, now that I can get “the ‘Monday’ price”, I’m in on HD Mar 42.5C @ $0.50 – They report Tuesday, and even though Goldman’s analyst issued a lowered expectation on earnings, I believe that the new guy (Miller) is going to get a pass from WS and forward guidance will be good enough to see Something.

    They traded higher than 43.00 last year.

    I’m also in on that GOOG Feb 470C X-Pin Lottery @ $ 0.15 — we’ll see !

  83. Size,

    Looking at the numbers leads me to believe that GOOG MP is 460. But the numbers are very close to it being 470.

  84. GOOG – test coming up as it hits center 1 min BBand at $468 in about 5 mins – either up or time to take .25 on at least half

  85. CRM--
    SAN FRANCISCO (MarketWatch) — Inc. is expected to report a surge in sales and higher profit when it releases fiscal fourth-quarter results after the close of U.S. markets Wednesday.

    The report should also continue the company’s long-term trend of spending a big chunk of its net income on marketing expenses.

    Analysts surveyed by Thomson Financial anticipate will post earnings per share of 7 cents for the quarter, up from 5 cents a year earlier.

    Revenue is seen rising 57% to $143 million from $91 million.

  86. Motley Fool Stock Advisor just recommended Unit Corp (UNT). UNT is the “third-largest deep onshore oil and natural gas explorer in the United States, with more than 116 rigs in operation.”

    Any comments? MF is usually pretty good with there picks.

  87. BSX Lay-offs in play, trending up! @16.99

  88. On the long side (yes I really said long side) I’m looking at CRZO pretty hard. Very nice acreage positions in 3 shale plays. Of the players with any acreage position of note, these guys have the lowest Mkt Cap/Shale acreage ratio out there and their wells are starting to really hit it. They don’t announce until March so they could conceivable make a $4-5 (15%+ run in the next few weeks) as I think gas is going to hold up ok.

  89. HD may suffer from no winter sales (snowblowers, shovels, salt…) otherwise I would have played them too.

  90. Daveo,

    Just quick but if I were to play an onshore company long that would be it. Lots of deep drilling going on in Wyoming (UPL) and their rigs won’t likely suffer from a downturn (that hasn’t yet started) b/c these are long lead time, expensive projects that once budgeted keep the rig tied up for a long time.

  91. There goes .40 – now I’m in this for fun!

  92. WMT – on the other hand the same folks who are getting that wage increase most likely shop at WMT, no?

  93. Wuhooo GOOG $470 making money!


  94. Out of the GOOG 470′s, made a little, that is good enough for me lately.

  95. Setting a 30% remaining Goog postion stop at a .10 trail (now .45) to guarantee at least 25% profit on total position.

  96. Not much action in terms of volume today with the markets. Most likely the Big Boys already headed to the Hamptons since it is President Day on Monday?

  97. WMT – if you got a 40% raise, would you shop at Wal-Mart?

  98. Phil: AXP April 60′s above cost basis (+10%) but I’m still naked. Still just relax and ride?

  99. COH- $50.00 all time high!!!!! Yipeeee

  100. Thanks Phil, sold half of GOOG at 65 cents.


  101. Yes, if you’re at minimum wage and you get a 40% raise you still shop at Walmart. You’re still below poverty level. ..


  102. This should be interesting. Have my GPS caller at 20. GPS is pinned at exactly 20 right now.

  103. There goes 1/3 at .45, stopping rest at .30 – no sense being greedy – if it goes over $470 we can always buy the $480s for a nickel and gamble that way (total waste though most likely).

  104. Panicked and sold some more at 45 cents…lol.


  105. AXPs were not looking for a cover – just a stock that seemed too cheap – don’t forget they fell in sympathy with MA for no good reason.


    .65! Damn J – you’ve got the touch!

    What a nice way to end the week…

  106. Karl,

    I see your ABT guy going for $52.50. How’d you make out on any of the plays (jack_of_hearts, for example) from Tuesday ?

  107. Thank you Phil, made the loss back from my BIDU play.


  108. Good trading all…am off to see the DA (divorce atty)….she’s prob had the meter running since showering this morning so I better make an appearance to get some value :!: Make some money yutes!

  109. ACOR anyone know this stock?


  110. You’re showering with your divorce attorney Karmcon?

  111. Somebody just picked up all of my supposedly worthless MRK 45C for a nickel. Just goes to show you that sometimes it pays to leave your stuff out there on X Day.

  112. I believe I would turn non hetero before that would happen…engage the biggest and ugliest and then you’re never sidetracked!

  113. Thanks Phil on the GOOG call;-) I was able to pay for my first months subscription to your site and then some. I only bought a few calls this morning, played some wii, came back and its up. What a fun morning!

  114. JBX thoughts anyone? Earnings next Wednesday a.m. Owns Qdoba…small, not growing as fast as CMG, but better food. I have driven miles to get a JBX taco.

  115. RIMM
    Can shoot for 140 today!

    Still holding my Feb 470!! I’m waiting for 470+ on GOOG! Also picked up some March 500s!

    Coming back; might be good time to jump back in.

    Starting to ramp up speed!

    Looking to pick up more March 22.5 @ .9. Got some @ 1.05.

  116. EQIX
    BillBigD, I got in this morning with March 85 calls @ 4.

  117. hows the think or swim for trades, thinking moving from ameritrade .

  118. COF – took a chance and took out caller for $2, waiting on selling march.

    Taking pinning chance with FD, bought out $40 caller for $4.10

    SHLD selling Mar $185s for $8 (now $7.20, no less than $7) against leaps

    SNDK – took out $40 callers for .65

    I guess I’m bullish because, other than leaving my DIA puts – I’m not into covering much

  119. That’s it for GOOG – raising stops to .50, will waste a nickel on $480s if it starts running but not on greed by wishing it to break $470 while my premium expires.

  120. Phil -

    Very busy today w/ options expiration, so I don’t have a lot of time to chat. Regarding last night’s thread, basically military / national security issues and social issues need not be mutually exclusive. You are in effect arguing they are. I am not arguing that.

    What I am arguing is rogue nations aligned with global terrorism is the war of the 21st century, and like it or not, we are in that war. Ignoring and retreating to Fortress America will not solve anything, other than embolden the fanatics; knock out weak dominoes, and make the threat ever more serious and dangerous. This is why I believe in what our government is doing and has done to protect us and confront them, they ought to do more, however are worn down by domestic political enemies (the left; the dems and the media).

    Regarding Global Warming, as I have said, I think its all junk science; and I am not convinced that if it exists it is due to man; or how much is; but for argument sake let’s assume you are right and there is a 1% catastrophe possibility. Should the gov’t “do more”.
    Well, yes and no. Not sure what the gov’t can really do here. In general, government is a wasteful beauracracy. They can’t manage Social Security, Medicare, Education, the Environement, the Post office, pretty much anything you can think of. They can and have to manage the military; and even there we know its always not the most efficient enterprise either. But that’s the gov’ts job; to defend the country and our national interests; and to ensure freedom, law and order, life liberty and the pursuit of happiness at home.

    “Spending more” usually doesn’t solve problems when it comes to the gov’t. It just wastes more. Private enterprise, entrepreneurship and ingenuity do a lot more than the government can ever do. You want to trust the bozos in Congress with this ? the corrupt-o-crats at the UN ? the weenies in Brussels ? the communist Chinese ? Who’s gonna work the magic ? Al Gore ? He’s gonna fly in on his energy efficient Gulfstream and jump into his energy efficient SUV fleet and do this ?

    Talk about creating distractions and straw men … the global warming debate is IT.

    And only 30 years ago the same “experts” and “media” were complaining about Global Cooling and the next ice age. I guess the gov’t solved that, but went too far.

    Anyway, if anyone could engineer useful, practical, efficient and economic solutions to the so-called problem without taxing us out of existence and destroying economies, I could go along. But that’s not what this debate is about. Its about expanding gov’t beauracracies and the nanny state in the name of political correctness.

    And the argument that “if not for the war we good do this that and the other thing” just does not hold any water, IMO.

    Apologies for another long winded discussion.

    Hope everyone is making money today.

    Phil I did jump in on some SU Mar 70 puts at 75 cents (too early) ; thanks for the idea.


    For the speculators out there; short X into the close; short SU into the close or next week; or sell naked calls; see if you can scalp some premium today.

  121. thoughts on EOG? still have May 65′s laying around

  122. With penny option trading; one could take a flyer on AMD 15′s for 2 cents . Bid 1 cent ask 2 cents.

  123. Phil
    Regarding your play on
    “AAPL Mar $90s will be DD’d at .90 or less

    * maybe for a buck but I’m hoping for an option dip.
    * This will allow me to sell Mar $85s for $3 against my July $85s without worrying that it will shoot up on me”

    Mar 90s are .90
    Mar 85s are currently 2.6
    Would you buy the 90s now and wait for a rise next week to sell the 85s? or sell them now for 2.6?

  124. Also, on FD : are you planning to sell more calls on them before earnings?

  125. Outsourcing Labor, pollution, medical, etc.

    Phil that’s true and a good point.

    But, by not enforcing our immigration laws or securing our borders and letting millions of illegal immigrants in to the country, to take low paying jobs and burden schools, roads, pollution, healthcare etc., you are simultaneously IMPORTING the same problem all so Karl Rove and Ted Kennedy’s kids don’t have to flip burgers, build homes, clean floors, wash dishes etc. so they can all become investment bankers and lawyers. This shows how disingenuous the “amnesty” crowd in this country is, when what it is all about is trying to alter the political landscape by creating a new, beholden demographic group.

    Anyone see Dennis Miller on Leno the other night ? He went to B of A and closed his bank accounts b/c B of A is marketing bank accounts to “the undocumented” .. illegals without social security numbers etc. That sounds like a real useful program to combat money laundering, crime, terrorism, etc as well. And the feds turn a blind eye. Good for Dennis !

  126. GL Karm!

    Nickels on X day – it’s amazing how often you get them. The logic escapes me but it works.

    ACOR – typical biotech, people alreay made 10x on this one since September so be careful…


    JBX is just waiting for good earnings to take off (or crash). I think they’re not growing fast enough to do it for the recent run-up. I like the Jun $65s for $3.50 protecting with the Mar $60 puts for .55 but its a bit expensive so I’m not playing it myself.


    Congrats Wii! Nice way to get started but very important disclaimer that I do not approve of that kind of day trading in general! Just during expiration week you get such huge leverage on silly plays like that that it can be worth the risk.

    Speaking of which – boy am I glad I raised those stops – knocked down to .30 already! Almost makes me want to get back in (I think I need to attend a workshop!)

  127. Got out and settled for GOOG Feb 470C @ $ 0.50 (+233%). I missed that initial panic rally and the value really started to drain out. Don’t have the same touch as juliet ! Thanks, Phil.

  128. Fed’s Moskow: May Still Need Some Additional Policy Firming

  129. GOOG
    I probably didn’t buy nearly as much Feb 470 as you guys did (only 10 for me). The March 500 is giving my money back for the Feb’s already. So, it’s a free trade for me. Would be cool if I can get above 1 for the Feb 470s.

  130. CAP
    I must agree with your statements from Cap
    Posted February 16, 2007 at 1:27 pm

    All the infighting in Washington has weakened this great nation. They have lost sight of whats truly important to the health of the US and that’s its citizens.

  131. SU – I firmly believe it is pinning up into expiration – movement is nonsense ever since the BP buy-out rumorl. I also have BP puts in case it is true but, if BP is rewarded for spending $40Bn to take SU’s p/e up to 20 when not only are they vulnerable to low oil prices but they are vulnerable to high gas prices – then I will just give up!

    What I will not give up on is defending our way of life from right wing-nuts, but I’ll get back to you over the weekend! 8-)


    I was tempted on EOG but I decided the charts were against me and I have plenty of puts already.


    FD – no I think it is pinned but bear in mind that I am covered with DIA puts so I don’t mind if we have a market dip (and my sales + gains on my basis will more than make up for my DIA losses if the market gaps higher).


    I didn’t know Dennis Miller was still on TV – lost interest in him when he sold out…

  132. MOT has found its sacrificial lamb
    SCHAUMBURG, Ill., Feb 16, 2007 /PRNewswire-FirstCall via COMTEX/ — Motorola, Inc. (MOT) today announced that Ron Garriques, Executive Vice President and President of the Company’s Mobile Devices business, has resigned effective immediately. Ray Roman, senior vice president, global sales, and Terry Vega, senior vice president, global devices, will assume responsibility as interim co-heads of the Mobile Devices business

  133. Phil – If we want to cover with DIA puts, which ones would be good to get into?

  134. I think both wings are nuts, its when you gravitate more toward the middle that I see common sense…well as much common sense as you will see from a polition anyway.

    Anyway, I’ll be heading out on a two week tour. I’ll check in from my laptop at nights when I get a chance and to make some late/early trades. I’m riding my oil puts over the 3 dayer. Good luck.

    10-7 in t-minus one hour.

  135. I think both wings are nuts, its when you gravitate more toward the middle that I see common sense…well as much common sense as you will see from a politics anyway.

    Anyway, I’ll be heading out on a two week tour. I’ll check in from my laptop at nights when I get a chance and to make some late/early trades. I’m riding my oil puts over the 3 dayer. Good luck.

    10-7 in t-minus one hour.

  136. That was weird…double post. Sry

  137. happyTrading,

    These big popularity guys (BIDU, GOOG, AMZN) always seem to maxpain. So I went in with confidence this morning even though a fun play; just waited a little longer than juliet, I think, so it was cheaper.

    I still have their book {.GOPBG} on my screen; the decay is palpable as watch the underlying lollygag at 70 cents under the 470 maxpain. I like studying this stuff; that BIDU 105 overshot yesterday within three minutes of my exit (and 45 cents), and pinned 105 today, of course. At least that trade made triple what was lost on the BIDU 125C lottery ticket…

  138. Hi Phil….any interest in YRCW at this time?

  139. Sakiko … LOL .. very good and funny.

    Kustomz … now that’s a photo I don’t need to see.

    and re: AMD … “who” is saying they need to raise $

  140. Most of the world’s scientists under retirement age need Grants from Enviornmental Loons to keep their jobs. Hence, they disregard any scientific methods and go along with Senor Gore…Since most have teaching positions, keep spreading BS…..

  141. Hi All,
    Need some advice here. How do you decide whether or not to sell calls or puts against a position that you already own? I bought dome MER June 100 Puts a few days ago for 7.80. It’s now about 9.00, since MER is moving down. Does it make sense to sell a March or April 90 Put against it to hedge against MER moving up in price next week?

  142. NYX – looks like they may be going for the 90′s?

  143. AMZN

    Have Apr 40c @ 1.75 (now 2.10)
    Sold Feb 40c @ .50 (now .15)

    Seems someone(‘s) trying to pin AMZN at $40. I almost rolled caller to March earlier…now wondering how long to hold out…


  144. ICE- .50 from all time high again! Nice run from Monday

  145. Out of BTU Mar $40s for $2

    Moved CHKP Apr $20 puts to Apr $22.50 puts for .05 addl (plus commis!)

    DELL May $27.50s moved to May $25s for .80, selling Mar $25s for .70

    GME DD on Mar $55s for $1.10

    GOOG just did another huge stop flush (and there weren’t any) – MIGHT be setting up for another move.

  146. GOOG
    Is everyone seeing the static 463.22 ask, which the bid is around 469? What’s up with that?

  147. I am anti-wing nut, right or left (I just see most of them on the left).

    Hey, how do I get a smiley face into these comment boxes ?


  148. happyTrading,

    I saw that; IB platform… gone now, no fill on tape.

  149. DIA – I have the Mar $127 puts, the more expensive ones – which are quarterlies that run until the 31st

    Have fun DDay – we’ll sink the oil market for you while you’re gone!

    YRCW – I wouldn’t buy at this price, I still have my Apr $45s but they are a roll of a roll.

    Elotek – … AND they are still on about that round earth thing! I’ve looked and looked and it’s flat for sure, damned globe companies paying them off is what it is…

    MER – selling puts and calls, it’s tricky as you are capping your existing gains and taking a risk so you need to be doing it based on the merits, not just on any play. To me they look pinned and I would hold out for a bounce next week although they are currently below the 50 dma by .40, which is dangerous.

    NYX may be a nice momentum buy next week!

    AMZN – I took out my caller and left it naked as today’s move looks forced, hopefully I’m right.

    Markets in general held up amazingly well today, as much as we could have expected for an ex day.

  150. Kustomz,

    Not sure he was a sacrificial lamb.

    In a separate press release on Friday, Dell Inc. (NasdaqGS:DELL – News) said Garriques would join the company to head its newly created Global Consumer Organization. Dell, the world’s second-largest PC maker, said Garriques will report directly to Michael Dell, chairman and chief executive.

  151. Thanks Phil on YRCW

  152. VLO grop members dropping off – could be some dumping coming up!

    ECA, SLB, SU, TSO – VLO, XOM and CVX may confirm soon!

  153. GS
    turning GREEN!

    Might go for 110!

  154. LOL – the opposite happened, they all snapped up!

  155. DIA Mar 127 1/4 puts – What is the advantage (besides an additional week) of buying the quarterlies over the “standards?”

  156. the only smilies I know are (you have to do them with no space):

    8 – )

    ; – )

    I see other people do more but that’s all I know.

  157. DIAs – it’s 15 days, that’s a lot! 50% more time for 30% more money – why would you not?

  158. Pitch, hmmm now you’ve got me wondering, is it that bad at MOT that he left to go work for DELL!!!! This cant be good.

  159. Do you like sndk 09 45′s selling march 40′s? thx
    Have you ever really been burned with this type of diagonal?
    certainly cheaper than doing the straight calendar 40/40

  160. Sold Mar $108′s FXI against 110′s…(Jan’08)

  161. Phil,

    I’m trying to do the Dell Trade but it looks like u may have a typo…as the #’s are different…please let me know.


    Took out my callers on AAPL 85…..@ 0.05….Do you think Mar 85 2.65 are good to sell against our julys?

  162. Phil,

    Just want to make sure, you DD and bought the GME March 55 Calls, right? Just wanted to make sure you bought and not sold. I didn’t have any prior position. .Well, doesn’t matter anyway, I just bought some GME March 55 Calls, lol


  163. AMGN @ 66.31 dn 2
    52 wk low is 63
    Want to start building LT ’08 $65s @8.30
    anyone in this? thanks

  164. I think he is referring to the emoticons you put in some of your posts, Phil -like the smiling yellow face with the sunglasses.

    On the subject of global warming and science:
    It is not true that most scientists under retirement age need funding from environmental loons. NASA and NOAA, for example, are funded by the government. Many large universities both here abroad, either publicly or privately funded, have smashing research departments and facilities. Likewise, organizations such as the DOD actively study climatology, perform atmospheric research, and so forth. Many think-tanks and non-profits, often well-funded, perform research as well. They are scientists, they study things and for the most part are more interested in their studies than the political repercussions that other people attribute to their research.

    Junk Science: Are you a climatologist? Have you conducted a fairly thorough review of the scientific literature on the subject? A scientist would tell you that he/she doesn’t use terms like “Junk Science” or “Gospel” to describe global warming. Scientists measure and analyze phenomena, such as temperature changes or core samples or amounts of certain gases in the atmosphere. They then construct theories that may explain the data, and then test those theories to see if and how they are valid or invalid. They publish their findings, which are peer-reviewed and then further developed by other studies.

    To find out what the scientific consensus is on climate change, one turns to places like this:

  165. DD on TDW Mar $50 puts at .55

    VLO Mar $55 puts too tempting at $.05

    Same with Mar XOM $75 puts for $1.20 Happy to DD and roll to April – I’ll be right one day! (if not my Apr $80s will be in the money…)

    Taking half the YRCW Apr $45s for $2.80

  166. An oil speculator dies, goes to heaven and sees St. Peter at the Pearly Gates who promptly rebuffs him: “Sorry. The room for speculators is full. We can’t fit you in.” The speculator thought for a second and asked, “Could I stay if I made some room?” St. Peter didn’t see how that was possible and says, “Sure.” The speculator pokes his head in the speculator’s room and shouted out, “Oil discovered in Hell!” Seconds later, everyone piles out of the room to go to Hell. St. Peter, impressed, welcomes the oil speculator in—but the speculator hesitated and turned. “Hey, where are you going? There’s space for you in Heaven now!” The speculator says, “I better go too. There might be some truth to that rumor after all.”

  167. SHLD finally hit 52 w high! Really nice way to end the week! Horaay!


  168. Jeanne

    AMGN – there is a conference call at 4 today re a study by a Danish group on the Aranesp drug. The study allegedely was stopped because of potential negative results of the study. So, if you buy them today, you are betting one way or the other on the reaction to this news conference.


    That is what Phil posted. You just leave out the spaces and voila! ;-)

  169. Phil – Did you really mean the Feb 55 puts were tempting @ 0.05? The Mar 55 puts are @ 1.10. Or did you mean the Mar 45 puts, LOL!

  170. Watch the callers on SHLD… Golly, I didn’t know Gore was pushing the Flat Earth thing… too!!

  171. Phil
    Dell May $25s for .80??
    I see them at 1.3

  172. Phil – VLO’s that is…

  173. kbh march50 put .50 do you think this is a good play

  174. Global warming, we should call whats going on GLOBAL WARNING.
    I use me own wits when i analyze information. Leaving yourself open to the idea that a paid economist can give you a better idea as to the health of our planet rather than a scientist that has all the tools at his or her disposal is ludicrous and just plain lazy thinking.

  175. :)

  176. Pitch thanks for the heads up on AMGN

  177. 8)

  178. 8-)

  179. Look at the drop in X and some others to get pinned !

  180. Kustomz, no problem. Here is more info, if you want it.


    At issue here is a relatively large, randomized and controlled Dutch study designed to determine whether use of Amgen’s Aranesp would have a beneficial effect on head and neck cancer patients undergoing radiation therapy. Simply put, if patients got Aranesp to raise their hemoglobin levels, it would make tumors more sensitive to radiation.

    This study was stopped early on October 18, 2006 because of information on potential negative events. On Dec. 1, the study’s lead investigator posted an interim analysis on the web site of the Danish Head and Neck Cancer Group. Among those findings, the analysis of the study’s primary endpoint — locoregional failure of radiation treatment — showed a “small but significant poor outcome in patients treated with Aranesp,” according to the study summary. The investigator, in his conclusion, stated that “the likelihood of a reverse outcome i.e. that Aranesp would be significantly better than control was almost non-existent.”

    In reporting this data widely for the first time, the Cancer Letter quotes doctors who raise the suggestion that EPO drugs (in this case Aranesp) might actually protect tumors from therapy. These doctors want the Danish study to be fully vetted, presented in public, which could (should) lead to further studies that investigate the implications. If it is found that EPO drugs like Aranesp do widely protect tumors from therapy, obviously Amgen’s EPO franchise would be severely damaged.

    But let’s not go there yet. It should be noted that there is already evidence, from an earlier German study in 2003, that use of EPO drugs in head and neck cancer patients might do more harm than good. Because of this German study, some oncologists already don’t use EPO drugs in head and neck cancer patients. Can data in head and neck cancer — even from two studies — be extrapolated to other types of cancer?

    The other bothersome thing has to do with disclosure. The Cancer Letter reports that Amgen has known about the results from this Danish study since it was stopped and the interim analysis posted to the web, but the company made no mention of it on its last quarterly conference call, even though it was on that call when it discussed another negative Aranesp study in cancer patients. I’ve placed a call to Amgen, waiting for a response.

  181. Sorry to post a rumor, but I heard it from someone who follows the industry and is well respected.

    It’s not GM that is interested in Chrysler, it is GE.


  182. Pitch,
    AMGN -Thanks, maybe should wait on this one-new to leaps-still learning.

  183. LOL Ramana, I think you have a space after that one. Did you copy and paste? 8-)

  184. Jeanne, I just happened across it. I think it just was called today. So, who would have known.

  185. SNDK – yes I have been burned many times and this would be one of them. If we get a rally and tech comes back you can get nailed. Arnie and I were lucky to escape our original SNDK plays. I like a diagonal when I love the stock long term but think it will take a while to get moving. The key is yoiu have to be ready to pay the extra money for your position if it goes up.

    So if you buy the ’09 $45s for $4 and sell the Mar $40s for $2, you need to say to yourself that you would be happy to pay $7 (his money back + 3 more) for your ’09 $45s if the stock is at that mark in March. Since the ’09 $40s are $6, it’s not such a tragedy as that’s what you can expect your calls to be worth but these positions are only meant to make around 5% a month anyway.

    DELL was a move of existing position. Sold May $27.50s for .40, bought May $25s for 1.20, sold the March $25s for .70. As I was Down .60 on the position, I will be thrilled to get even but it’s not likely to be a big win.

    GME – I effectively just bought another round as it was an entry position but it is now double the original amount of contracts. Of course if I dd, I like it as a straight entry.

    AMGN – remind me next week, not buying new calls until I see what’s up.

    Emoticons – I know, if I had put them together they would have formed the faces and not done him any good!


    Oh for goodness sakes – even Exxon now says it’s a serious problem – the people who deny global warming are now on the ever shrinking fringe. As to the cause – what difference does it make?

    If your home is being destroyed by a man with a hose you stop him don’t you? If your home is being destoyed by a flood you try to stop it don’t you – or do you do nothing and say, well man didn’t cause it so there’s no point in trying to prevent it from destroying our home?

    This is the trick used by neo-cons to grind all social progams to a halt, they will discuss issues to death until it’s too late or they have a chance to buy the industries that benefit. A war they will jump into as soon as someone looks at them the wrong way because they love to blow stuff up (especially using the things their companies make) but anything that doesn’t benefit the agri-inducstrial complex that funds the party is beaten down at all costs.

  186. :-) 8-)

  187. LOL alright Pitch…i got it…

  188. SNDK I am now DDeing on my April 42.5…
    Hoping to sell March when it will go up (when not if)

    looking at XOM to close below 75 to hurt those many callers… max pain

  189. X
    Wow! a quick new 52-wk high. now it’s barely green. Chart shows more room for another jump w/ or w/o the merger. If the merger comes this week, or next week, that’ll be sweet!

    letting the Febs go; but, holding on to the March’s.

    Can it turn green? I think it’ll be close.

  190. COF March 85 only at .65 XXX

  191. VLO was Mar at $1.05!

    Speakign of tempting, I’m back in GOOG at .15 (just a craps bet now).

    GE? I need citation for that!

  192. STN has been a nice run. Closed. Some interesting stuff coming up on Boyd Gaming…
    Stay tuned…

  193. By the way, be careful with GOOG febs – you may get jammed into the money at the last second and be foreced to buy 5,000 shares next week!

  194. A war they will jump into as soon as someone looks at them the wrong way because they love to blow stuff up (especially using the things their companies make) but anything that doesn’t benefit the agri-inducstrial complex that funds the party is beaten down at all costs.

    This is a fact, all you have to do is lobby Washington and the powers that be and whamo you got yourself a war. First questions are how much can we make and can we pull the wool over the Americans eyes. We all follow blindly into the abyss. Maybe the people that attacked us on 9/11 are smarter than we take them for. They have divided this country as much as our own leaders.

  195. good WARNING on the GOOG Febs-having been thru the exact mess described, in ain’t no fun!!

  196. LOL, I also went back to those GOOG @ $0.15

    .. When is that meeting ?

  197. GOOG
    Febs, yep! Better to let them go, instead of trying to squeeze out .05.

  198. Someone just paid .20 for 2,000 goog $470s, was absolutely a buy because he hit the ask in 30 secs.

  199. I’m all out of GOOG, thanks again Phil. Now, I’m busy kicking myself for letting go of my SHLD Feb 185 for tooooooo cheap yesterday. Should have waited till today to roll to March but again that would have been too risky.


  200. kays,

    See, we could have had at least 50 cents today !

  201. I know everybody hates WFMI, but stock is looking pretty good technically. . It is getting ready to break through its 50 MA of $46.70. . But then again, like Phil says, it is a grocery store stock, lol.. Phil, think I owe you an apology since I said I woudn’t mention this stock ever again..

  202. GOOG
    watch it close right at 470; these guys are good when they want to be.

    Nice push above the 416.5 support/resistance. Should be heading over 220 next week!

  203. Meeting is either a big party where we high-five ourselves if we get .25 or better or a sad little group thearapy session at the YMCA if we get .05 or less… .10-.20 I can live with and convince myself it was a reasonable risk…


  204. GES
    breaking out!! new 52-wk high!!

  205. GOOG – Think about what you are buying for .15 – 1/2 hour of the movement of a $500 stock that is .20 out of the money and you’re downside is .15 with no limit up… It is a good deal and I would do it every month!

  206. RIMM
    flying! 140+ next week!

  207. Phil, Re Goog… All week you are conservative watching every penny, then on expiration day the secret gambler is allowed out of the vault!

  208. what would be an appropriate option for X if it’s bound to jump with or without the merger? thanks

  209. Looks like GOOG call dropped to .05 with stock price at 470.00. Does that mean people can’t get out of their positions? I usually don’t get filled when the option price drops to .05.

  210. GOOG price dropped just below now it looks like. Do they use an exact time to determine whether the option expired ITM or not?

  211. Goog – as I said, it was a craps roll, just for fun and I do allow myself those on ex day (if I’ve had a good week).

    In this case, much like craps – the money gets whisked away before you can blink – I was lucky to get a nickel back to pay for the commision! It’s very frustrating as it did go up almost .50 from where I bought it but I was .70 out of the money with 30 mins to go so I was losing .02 per minute against the rise (which is pretty much the exact rate of the climb – in case you don’t think these things are manipulated).

    I wouldn’t have held so long but I got suckered by the guy who bought 2,000 at .20, I thought he know something but he’s just an idiot who blew $40,000 in 20 minutes…

  212. wow, SNDK going down afterhours, citing weak component pricing.

  213. OK, I got a nickel for a 66% loss. That was going to be Brunch if I won. I’ll see where that JBX is.

  214. Looks like some costcutting measures on SNDK, however, so that would be a pretty bullish sign. ., right?

  215. Phil, the guy who bought at 0.20, could just be buying back calls he sold earlier. Could be part of anything. I opened a butterfly earlier and closed it before the close. I sold the $470 calls, which were part of it, at $0.50. Unfortunately it was not 2,000 of them, but this guy could have done the same.

  216. X got way too Xpensive! I would just stay away.

    Goog – less than a nickel is considered void by (I think) every broker. That’s a good sign for Google, it means they want their shares…


    Well, I’m off to the city!

    Have a good weekend all – see you at the meeting Sakiko!

    - Phil

  217. Sakiko:
    Two tacos, one dollar.
    Taco is cooked in the deep fat fryer.
    I have had 10 in one sitting. 5 bucks!
    Sad to say, there is no JBX in my state.


  218. Opt – yes but I don’t see why he would pay a dime over (unless he was so far ahead he didn’t care).

  219. What timing for SNDK to release that on a Friday afternoon with a holiday coming. .Half of Wall Street probably gone by now. .lol

  220. Have a nice weekend everyone!


  221. GOOG
    they missed 470 by .06! LOL!

    Nice run to the finish! We’re not done yet!

    a little toppy here. see where it goes next week. tried to take profits, but, order didn’t go through.

    should’ve gotten back in the Feb 155s for under a buck today; was watching GOOG to closely. WOW!! 158.32 finish!

    87. Nice finish! More to come.

    Getting it going, too!

    down 1+ each. should’ve hung on to the puts. Was looking for that 15% correction. We might be just starting.

    Bounced back! Looking good!

    finishing strong! Will look to take some profits on Monday. 3 consecutive days of big runs on big volumes; some profit taking may be in order.

    Not bad. Will have to wait ’til next week for a real breakout. Monday might be choppy.

  222. Now that I think about it, there’s only one JBX in the town I’m in at the moment; but I’m heading back down to LA for the long weekend (just there on VDay!) to try to keep my team’s sailboat ahead of six others.

    Gosh, 5 bucks of tacos would keep me occupied all day; decelerated metabolism sure gets in the way of a good time.

    Have a good weekend (and holiday if you get one) everyone !

  223. anyone else watching this? SNDK at 38 and some change now. . .hard to believe.

  224. SNDK the CEO was nice enough to let everyone know at CES that it was going to get ugly.

  225. Sakiko ketosis is a bitch!!

  226. Kustomz, so is my X!

  227. Ah… neo cons!

    Remember these funny words, no child left behind. Just the other day UNICEF came out with a study about child wellbeing in rich countries and--make no mistake about it-- the US had a bad bad rank in that study. Of course health care, for example, is prime area where the US is leaving children behind.

    Global warming is real. Of course we are more sensitive to this when our current winter is so warm that it feels like spring all the time, and we can hope that things will go back to more normal in the coming years. It would be plain dumb though to rely on ones own common sense and deny scientic research, when the stakes are so high for humanity as a whole. Lets just face the danger and do our best to avoid desaster. The US can do much more than they are now doing. This is sth that Bush has not done, and it will be bad marks for him on his report card. But it would be typical for Bush, who is a big spender of our childrens money, to also discount future trouble through massive climate change. Let them fix it! Grrr.

  228. Sorry to hear Pitch, hope your luck changes. I have been fortunate in that dept.

  229. It is not a bad thing, just a fact. All is well now!

  230. AMGN – update from Cramer’s site

    Amgen is taking this whole Aranesp controversy very seriously. CEO Kevin Sharer led this afternoon’s conference call, joined by the rest of the company’s top management, including chief scientist Roger Perlmutter.

    To keep this brief, Amgen says all they know about the analysis of today’s much-discussed head-and-neck cancer study is what has been posted on the web by the Danish investigator. [To find the summary yourself, Google "DAHANCA 10.] Since this is an independent (non-Amgen) study, the company doesn’t oversee the trial, doesn’t control the data, and therefore, was not in a position to comment publicly.

    Amgen defended Aranesp’s safety and efficacy in strong terms. The Danish study was an off-label use of Aranesp is a patient population that is not typically anemic (because they’re not getting chemotherapy.) The study also allowed patients to reach a hemoglobin level above what is recommended on Aranesp’s approved label. Other studies conducted to address Aranesp’s role in directly improving outcomes of cancer therapy are underway, but to date, none of these studies have shown a negative signal against Aranesp.

    What does this all mean for investors? I think analysts bullish on Amgen will be out in force tonight and Tuesday defending the stock. But that won’t entirely erase all the questions, and I think the “Aranesp overhang” will stick around for awhile. As Justin said earlier, Amgen’s business in the U.S. might skate through fine, but in Europe, it might be tougher. I’ve been bullish on Amgen, but the stock has been hit hard on all this Aranesp safety worry and I don’t know when it turns around.

    And while I understand the reason Amgen gave for not disclosing this Danish study before, it still bugs me that the company didn’t do so.

  231. Wow

    Scotts Miracle-Gro (SMG:NYSE) announced a one-time dividend of $8 a share. Investors of record Feb. 26 will qualify for the March 5 payment. The stock was trading about 3% higher in after-hours action from its $53.37 closing price.

  232. More on SMG – this seems kind of crazy

    The dividend will be funded through increased borrowings under its new credit facility, the supplier of lawn and garden products said in a statement

  233. SNDK .,. just got back from dinner and see the news and AH trading.
    Ugh, that’s ugly

  234. Oh yes, that Bush, he is a cold hearted Bogeyman who hates children … oh he is so evil.

    And the UN telling us how bad it is in the US for children, now that’s rich.

    Children have it so much better, well, uh, nowhere. Saudi ? Indonesia ? China ? France ? Venezuela ? Iran (training to be suicide bombers). Yup, its just so terrible here in the US that millions of people every year want to come here legally or illegally. Imagine how many more would want to come here if that pro-pollution anti-child warmonger Bush wasn’t in charge.

  235. Less than a nickel; not void, but optional. I have had stock put to me even right on the strike price. Depends on the broker. Sometimes it may depend on the news over the weekend.

  236. what i want to know is where is the asteriod defense system ,we know that asteriods wipe out all life the planet, we have to protect our selves from this menance before its too late, even if there only a 1% chance of being hit. we have to for the childern sake.

  237. Likewoods-

    These are from:
    Which is the website of the Near Earth Tracking Program, which is funded by NASA:

    “The most dangerous asteroids, capable of a global disaster, are extremely rare. The threshold size is believed to be 1/2 to 1 km. These bodies impact the Earth only once every 1,000 centuries on average. Comets in this size range are thought to impact even less frequently, perhaps once every 5,000 centuries or so.”

    “If we were to discover tomorrow that a comet or asteroid is on an Earth- intersecting path, what could we do about it ? --
    “The scenario you have in mind is most likely to unfold as follows. In the course of our search for Earth-crossing asteroids, we could find one that will hit not in the next year, or even in the next ten years, but might hit in the next hundred years. We believe that the chance that we will find such an object is only 1 in 1,000, even after a complete search. If we do find such an object, we will have plenty of time to track it, measure its orbit more precisely, and plan a system for deflecting it from its current orbit (hopefully away from the Earth’s). There will be no great hurry, and no great panic. It would be a project for all the world’s nations to take part in. It could be a globally unifying event. Because we will have found it long before it actually hits the Earth, it probably would take only a small impulse (chemical rockets, or perhaps mass drivers) to divert it from a threatening path.

    There is a much smaller chance that we would find one that could impact in the next 10 years. The chance of that happening is 1 in 10,000. If this were to happen, we would probably still have time to launch a crash program of scientific and technological research, with the goal of characterizing both the structure of the menacing asteroid, and the best means for diverting its orbit.

    The least likely scenario is that we would find one that could hit in the next year. The chance is 1 in 100,000. In that case, there is probably little that we could do to divert it.”

    Also: and

  238. normally lay off news stock rise… will have tow ait Tuesday for SNDK

    OC off AH as well -may offer nice entry during the week

  239. Speaking of the Valero indicator! A fire at their main refinery on Friday evening going into a long weekend is quite a hat trick. Like Phil warned, best not to be short over the weekend, at least on gasoline

  240. The Bush administration. What if the United States were a large corporation, and the CEO beat the drums and went to great lengths to convince the board and shareholders that a certain acquisition was absolutely necessary and vitally important, and then several years down the road it turns out the acquisition was a disaster. Furthermore, it has turned out in the meantime that the evidence was questionable, the plan was drastically shortsighted at best, and the CEO doesn’t have any answers. It’s a massive draw on the company’s resources, both emotional and material, and everyone is wondering where the value went.
    The things that we could have done with the international goodwill and money that we spent on the Iraq war, and are still spending -not to mention the affect on the people directly involved with waging it -to me they are simply staggering. It was a bad idea, plain and simple. Maybe the inspiration was idiotic, or maybe it was fine and the execution was the flawed part. Does it matter? It might or might not be morally reprehensible, which depends upon each individual’s conviction, there we all have our opinions; but economically -a realm in which empirical verification is possible -it didn’t even come close to working.
    I also agree with Phil that America used to be the example, the innovator, the new era. The measure of a nations progress or regression isn’t where it is now, but what it does with what it has. We are not doing what we could with what we have.
    Which isn’t a political argument. To cast everyone in America in terms of two almost meaninglessly broad generalizations is ridiculous. Political arguments, which in theory are arguments about the state of the polis, seem generally to involve spitballs and the sticking out of tongues. What happened to people being responsible for the country they live in, their statements, their actions?
    I take this seriously, since these are among the most important issues in the realm of human endeavor. No one will take care of this for us, and if you want proof then look at some of the lunacies that take place under the name of governance and stewardship. Which is my way of excusing myself for making a post devoid of humor or market info.

  241. Phil,

    Thought I’d post this because down towards the bottom there’s a bit about your old friend GS:

  242. The thought hadn’t occured to me about buying some cheap February 470 Google Options today, and then getting pinned into them if they fell over 470. . That would have to be the same as being in Option Hell, wouldn’t it? Since in reality, you would be required all of those shares at 470 bucks? Ouch!

  243. GME – I didn’t even realize this stock split occurs next Tuesday.. . Think we will have a little selloff after the split, since stocks normally do that due to more dilution of shares?

  244. Have only seen one other guess at the oil barrels on tue. game……
    I’ll speculate 37M :-)

  245. Meet the new boss; same as the old boss ….

    Rep. Jefferson Gets Seat on Homeland Security
    Rep. William Jefferson, the Louisiana Democrat who’s facing an ongoing federal corruption probe, is being granted a spot on the Homeland Security Committee, according to Democratic aides.

    The appointment will be announced Friday, according to one aide who requested anonymity because the decision isn’t yet official.

    Jefferson was removed from his seat on the Ways and Means Committee, one of the most important panels in Congress, by Democratic leader Nancy Pelosi (Calif.) last summer in an attempt to show how seriously Democrats viewed the allegations of corruption.

    But the move by Pelosi, who was still minority leader at the time, infuriated members of the Congressional Black Caucus, who said Jefferson shouldn’t be punished unless he is indicted; federal prosecutors have yet to bring an indictment, despite an FBI raid 18 months ago on his home that yielded $90,000 in cash in his freezer.

    Other lawmakers were angling for the seat on Homeland Security, which was the last slot available on the panel, according to another Democratic aide

    Ah yes, the new ethical regime in all its glory … Cold Cash Jefferson … ought to be in Guantanamo !

  246. That’s a great article Rock!

    GME – the nice thing about a split is that you have 2 options for one commission paid – great if it works out.

    Yes very few guesses so far – too late now so easy contest to win, I’m going for 42M.

  247. I’ll go with 21M

  248. i’ll go with 45m

  249. The Valero Plant consumes 158k Bbls per day when running!

  250. It’s not too late to guess is it. Man, semi-vacation is a real bear, way behind on reading.

    If it’s not too late I’ll take 40m