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Just Another Manic Monday

We're off to a fast global start already.

In comments on Friday I had trouble figuring out if the FXI was pointing to an 800-point gain or a 200-point gain in China today.  I need to remember to just average myself whenever I'm confused as the Hang Seng jumped 511 points (2.5%) as China loosened some banking restrictions so Kudos to the clever FXI traders for picking up on this way ahead of the game on Friday!

Everyone in Asia was having fun this morning with a 124-point gain in the Nikkei (led by our TM!) and 169 points added to Bombay.  The dollar came back a little against they Yen, back over the critical 120-Yen mark which boosted Japanese export firms.

Europe is in a good mood this morning as DCX managed to dump Chrysler for $7.5Bn but EU energy companies are quaking in their boots as the Union opens formal antitrust cases against RWE.AG and E "over possible abuse of their dominant positions in transporting and supplying natural gas." Regulators have said they believe a few large companies control too much of the market and seldom compete across national borders.  If the companies are found to be in violation of EU law, the commission could impose fines of as much as 10% of their annual revenue.  The commission could also order "structural remedies" — such as a government-ordered breakup of the companies.

Ha ha ha, ha ha ha!  I predicted this would happen in the fall and I predicted that the Dems would take up this cause over here after the '08 elections so stay turned!

Both European stocks and US futures are trading flat ahead of our open but more bad news out of Nigeria is pushing oil and gas higher so we should get a very interesting week in the US oil markets.  We still have earnings for the week from ELOS (today); AMAT, HD and WMT (Tues); BEAS, DE, FD, HPQ, MT and PETM (Weds); ALKS, ADSK, CHINA, INTU, JWN, MRVL, PDC and TOPT (Thurs) so things are really winding down.

Data for the week according to is as follows:

Date ET Release For Actual Consensus Prior
May 15 08:30 CPI Apr   0.5% 0.5% 0.6%
May 15 08:30 Core CPI Apr


0.2% 0.2% 0.1%
May 15 08:30 NY Empire State Index May   8.0 9.0 3.8
May 15 09:00 Net Foreign Purchases Mar     $75.0B $58.1B
May 16 08:30 Housing Starts Apr   1480K 1480K 1518K
May 16 08:30 Building Permits Apr   1525K 1520K 1564K
May 16 09:15 Industrial Production Apr   0.2% 0.3% -0.2%
May 16 09:15 Capacity Utilization Apr   81.4% 81.5% 81.4%
May 16 10:30 Crude Inventories 05/11   NA NA 5511K
May 17 08:30 Initial Claims 05/12   315K 310K 297K
May 17 10:00 Leading Indicators Apr   -0.2% 0.0% 0.1%
May 17 12:00 Philadelphia Fed May   3.0 4.0 0.2
May 18 10:00 Mich Sentiment-Prel. May   85.0 86.5 87.1

Unless the CPI is a surprise there is nothing earth shaking here so I'll be a lot more interested in the markets reaction to the numbers than the numbers themselves.  We'll see how our levels hold up this week as we have a lot of critical spots to watch:















Dow 13,326 111 12,468 12,600 13,000 13,500
Transports 2,888 28 2,825 2,900 3,000 3,250
S&P 1,505 14 1,430 1,460 1,500 1,550
NYSE 9,787 117 9,218 9,465 9,600 10,000
Nasdaq 2,562 28 2,454 2,500 2,600 2,750
SOX 504 6 477 490 500 560
Russell 829 10 803 820 850 900
Hang Seng 20,979 511 20,200 20,600 21,000 22,000
Nikkei 17,677 124 17,400 17,500 18,300 18,500
BSE (India) 13,965 169 13,200 14,000 14,725 15,000
DAX 7,492 13 6,900 7,000 7,400 8,000
CAC 40 6,039 -11 5,650 5,800 6,000 7,000
FTSE 6,550


6,325 6,450 6,600 7,000

13,500 is literally just 2 good days away for the Dow but it's not going to get there without the transports.  Hopefully the Russell can bring up the rear and we still need India to stop being a drag on the Asian markets.  London will be the one to watch in the Euro zone as they bounce between 6,450 and 6,600 after a rate hike and Blaire's resignation.

Gasoline is averaging a US record $3.07 as we head into the Summer Driving Season and it's hard to imagine this will continue to not matter to the US consumer but we'll have to wait about a month to get the figures in to see if demand is really as high as they say it is or if the refiners have been right to operate at less than 87% capacity all winter.  We'll continue to watch the $62.50 mark for oil this week and I no longer have a lot of confidence in a huge sell-off ahead of the June contract close as they managed to dump 200M barrels at the end of the May period without tanking the price (also with the timely aid of Nigerian rebels) last month.

Gold will struggle with $670 this week and will give us an early indication of a dollar bounce so we'll watch that and watch the dollar at 82.50 as a break above there will cause all sorts of covering.

Looks like another interesting week ahead of us!


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  1. #
    Posted May 14, 2007 at 9:16 am | Permalink

    Schaeffer also likes the Homebuilders Spdr (XHB) and individual homebuilders as well in a bullish position. He took a bath on Lennar 45 calls and is currently taking a bath on the selling of RYL May 47.5 P’s….have learned to take his suggestions with caution!

    Posted May 14, 2007 at 9:18 am | Permalink

    Yeeha! TM, F, VRTX, MRVL, MOT and AAPL all up in BMO trading….good be a great day!!

  2. Karcom,
    Schaeffer can’t pick a winner!
    Phil What did you think of Spiderman? Kristen needs to do SOMETHING with her hair.
    Ok back to the market!

  3. TM off to a very slow start compared to Asia, where it jumped 5%. I’m buying back my caller right away. XXX

  4. Spiderman – wasn’t good enough to see twice and that’s going to hurt it in the long run but it was still very cool. The mistake they make with all these movies is trying to have a plot. In a comic the plot is like 2 pages and the rest of the book is Crash, Boom, Bang – that’s how they should keep the movies…

  5. NFX takes bite out of Stone.

    $575 million for purchase of SGY’s Rockie Mountain assets. 200 Bcfe proved. ($2.88/mcfe). Seems a little high but you’ve got another 150 of probables and you’re getting 600,000 net acres with deep potential in the Uinta.

    This will bump reserve life another ~ 5%

    They confirmed they’re marketing their North Sea properties in addition to Bohai Bay, China.

    They’re starting to look like they want to get bought out.

    This should be one of those cases where the buyer goes up on news of the acquisition.

    SGY has tried to merge itself off twice and this sale is a big leap forwrd towards streamlining the story. Maybe the third time will be the charm.

  6. PTR flying again!

    APPL on a tear.

    Selling DIA $135 puts for .95 with $1.10 stop as mo play against my June puts. XXX

  7. Bastardi upped the ante for Hurricanes over the weekend. Looking for a real bad season for Florida with multiple strikes and some combo Florida, then gulf coast hits. CNBC should love this and natural gas may try to break as the shorts cry mea culpa.

  8. VLO – What about the VLO Jun Puts bought for $1.85 on Friday? Add to them or let go?

  9. No shite with the hurricane expectations….Have a 150K mortgage on a property in central FL, insurance was 1900 last year, this year 4050!!

  10. Karm,

    Just got back from central Florida. Weather was great last week. Could smell the wildfire smoke in Winter Park, which was kind of odd.

  11. Hurricanes – AIG isn’t taking it seriously so I suspect that report until they move down. If they break $72.50 down I will sell the $70s as a mo play (no premium).

    Retail still out of favor.

    TIE going down (for a change).

    SLB doing nicely.

    ADBE going nuts.

  12. Phil,

    Should we make your DIA put trade (above) if we want to manage the DIA 132/134 call spread we have (from last week- net debit of $1)? Losing more than 20% at this point on that one. Thanks.

  13. FWLT
    cashed out for +30% (bought when 95 was broken on Friday)!

  14. Raining in Central Florida right now but apparently not getting to the fires in North Florida.

  15. BIDU
    breaking out today!

  16. It rains every day in Central Florida. At least a little bit. Usually about 3 it seems to me.

  17. JBX up 3, earnings on 5/16

  18. Not lately Pitch.

  19. VLO – when something goes bad on my a day later I usually just watch it to get my bearings. Down .40 is no time to DD but my decision tree is that I still have faith so I will DD at around $1 if it hits that.

    CCJ back on the move.

    SUN with some very strange action (up down).

    ATI $115 puts for $1.88 stop at $1.50 mo play (.25 tstop) XXX

  20. Phil,
    Still have my goog put spread (long jun $450 puts @ $10.50 and short may $470 puts @ $6.20) and am in a slightly positive position overall. How should i play this as may options expire this week?

  21. AMAT
    flying today!

  22. DIA – Oops that was the $134 puts I was selling, not the $135s, which are in the money. XXX I sold those because they have a .70 spread, so even if it goes down I have cushion and it’s just to make up some of my losses (hopefully) on the June $132 puts.

    CME up another $5 – markets are so silly, last week they couldn’t find a buyer….

    GOOG still laying around.

    S&P having big trouble at 1,510, not good if they can’t break it.

    LOW having a good day with earnings not till 21st. I like HD better and they report tomorrow so I’m going to pick up some LOW $32.50s for .05 just for fun as big HD earnings could knock LOW up a buck.

  23. Ford Motor Co. (F : Ford Motor Company

    F (8.73, +0.36, +4.3%) , meanwhile, gained 4.8%. Ford’s founding family is reportedly considering selling a controlling stake, according to a report from Bloomberg News.

    Those stinkin Jan 08 10 C’s that were growing moldy in my port at .40 are now at .70!!

  24. GOOG puts – I can’t bring myself to buy out my putters while they still hold a lot of premium. Of course if you have a small profit and can afford the move you can buy out the $470 putter and sell the $460 puts while it falls and hopefully get yourself into a better, safer position. The premium on the $470 puts is $2 but the $460s sell for $2.50 and are $4 out of the money so it’s a great trade-off. XXX

  25. Phil,

    which TM caller r u buying back? should I follow? I have now position on any TM options

  26. Nice call on that CYD so far, Happy

  27. IBN having another great day.

    T waking up.

    It just occured to DCX holders that they will have to account for a $30Bn loss on this sale!

    Don’t let the Dow fool you, markets getting weak. Taking out my DIA putter as I don’t trust this to hold. XXX

    F – I would take the money and run or sell calls against.

  28. CYD (common)
    took 1/3 off; +52%!

  29. TM – I had sold May $120s for $1.42 which were in the money but the premium jumped up so I haven’t bought them back yet (now $2.55). I only sold against 2/5 of my position so it won’t kill me but I will take them out if it breaks $122. My calls are Oct and Jan so I have plenty of time to sell Junes later.

    VLO – see why we don’t panic.

  30. MRVL: 10,000 $17.50 May calls just traded

  31. CYD
    thanks! It scares me a little when they run it up before earnings. So, taking some profits is good.

  32. Buying BIDU right now for momo. May135

  33. Gold weak again, seems appetite starting to diminish.

  34. SAN FRANCISCO (MarketWatch) — Ford Motor Co. (F : Ford Motor Company
    News , chart , profile , more
    Last: 8.91+0.54+6.45%

    10:00am 05/14/2007

    family attorney David Hempstead on Monday denied a report that the Ford’s are in talks to unload their controlling stake in the troubled automaker. “The Ford family is not discussing the sale of its holdings in Ford Motor Co.,” he said. “Statements attributable to unnamed sources are untrue.” Ford stock surged more than 5.1% to $8.80 in early trades after the report from Bloomberg News

  35. Note to new members – during expiration week I take a lot of momentum (mo) trades on May contracts. These are very dangerous and very speculative and I do not recommend them for most people but there are lots of people who like to know what I’m trading so I post them. I do it this week because the premiums are low and the leverage is high but all that turns quickly against you when you’re wrong and I stop out of most of these trades the second they go the wrong way. I also tend not to log + or – .25 positions as they tend to even out and are a waste of space.

    Casinos taking a general hit – something may be up in Vegas again.

    Spent .25 to move DIA $132 puts to $133 puts at $1.50 XXX

  36. Sorry that was June DIA puts!

  37. Phil – it doesn’t look like the GOOG 480 calls is working- DD or dump?

  38. Z – is TK and HAL doing what you expect -

  39. GOOG $460 puts now at $3.25 and $4 is the best they’ve been in 2 weeks (other than spikes) so that’s what I’m looking for on the sale but I’ll take $3 if it breaks back up with the market (not looking likely).

  40. Hi Phil,

    On GOOG $460 puts, are you waiting for a bounce to buy back the $470 putter or have you already done that?


  41. Phil LVS got downgraded today and Wynn had a intiation for $106.

  42. GOOG $480s – oops forgot about those. Just leaving them as it was a gamble for me, if I do that every month and it hits one out of 4 times I end up ahead but it’s always a crap shoot.

    There is a massive effort underway to keep EBAY below $35 which makes me want the June $35s at .75 XXX

  43. 52 week high for MRO

  44. NFX – held up nicely this morning post acquisition announcement. I like it if you can get calls (June or Longer) at around $45. They’re starting to use some the language I used in my report referring to themselves as The “New” Newfield. The Street obviously doesn’t think they paid too much and they got a lot fo undeveloped acreage with it. Also, selling off the non core stuff is big here.

  45. my atiqc may $115 puts just stopped out at $2.35 for a nice $450 profit should i get back in again and if so where?

  46. GOOG – $470 puts were bought out first on downward momentum, then wait for the turn to sell $460 puts which are hovering around $3. I’m watching AAPL and the Qs for clues as to if this is the bottom for Goog but I’m not too worried about it taking off on me as I can always resell the $470 puts.

    Movement is very strange today so I’m going to not trade for a while and see what happens. Anything but down is great for the day but the Nasdaq and the Russell really need to turn it around.

  47. AMAT
    is going crazy!!

  48. IBN – I don’t want to be chicken little and rain on Phil’s enthusiasm for IBN. Yes indeed it is up nicely BUT the two big India CEFs (the only ones in US besides ITN) are still selling at 10-12% discount, so I feel ‘something wrong’ – kind of like betting on C/BAC heavily when you see DIA near futures being discounted 10%!

  49. PTR
    cashed out for +12.5% (perhaps too soon)!

  50. Phil, against general thinking, it seems the dollar has found its’ feet. Any thoughts on how to play dollar strength ?

  51. ATI- I don’t go back to the well that often, I’m done at $2.40, which isn’t bad for an hour’s work. You can watch TIE at $39 for a reentry signal if they fail it there but at this point I wouldn’t bet on ATI going against the Dow so be careful if the market holds up. XXX

  52. AMAT

  53. Phil Im looking at CLF, they have earnings on wednesday I think. What do you think about them?

  54. AMAT – lots of $20 callers, I think the $20 puts are going to be very tempting at .20. I’m going to pick up a few there and DD at a dime.

    IBN – I have a note to myself to sell June $45s so we’ll see how long I can put that off.

    Dollar strength is a shocker for so many. Great for Japanese exports so theres EWJ, SNE and the ever popular TM. Great for China and bad for commodity companies, especially global ones that get paid in dollars they don’t really want. Could also be bad for US stocks as it makes our stuff seem more expensive. I wouldn’t count the wiggles we get as a dollar move just yet, we have to break 84 in order to show any signs of reversing an 18 month downtrend.

    Speaking of commodities, FCX getting killed, not sure why but it’s a big Cramer stop that looks toppy anyway. Taking the $70 puts at .50 for mo to see where this stops with a .20 tsop.

  55. Optiondragon
    BIDU- right there with ya but I bought Junes 130′s
    NOV- Got back in when down $1
    ICE- grabbed some when down

  56. I wouldn’t be rushing to go long the dollar just yet. None of my charts indicate a turn on the years long down-trend… maybe your thinking short-term though… In which case – good luck!

  57. GENZ – so glad I didn’t buy out my putter!

    NYT finally falling, been worried about those puts…

    CLF – nice looking stock but I don’t understand their business well enough to play them. My understanding is they are hugely dependent on the US steel industry which is hugely dependent on the auto industry and commercial construction which may get hit by rate hikes. They make a nice LTP play but the Leaps are kind of expensive with the Jan ’09 $80s at $11.10. Selling the June $75s for $3.95 gives you a lot of it back and these guys rarely spike either way. It’s a good play if you are bullish long-term but I just think they may be due for a correction so please do remind me if they back off a bit.

  58. HAL breaking out to 2007 highs on strong UNG!

  59. Phil,

    IBN – Why sell Jun $45 Puts v/s buying Jun $40 around $0.70?

    As per ‘analysts’ in India, they price their US$ 5b secondary in the low/mid $30s for June…More of it expected to be bought in UK/EU than US – US$ & JPY are both down 5%+ since April but Euro/GBP are not.

  60. BillbigD – GSF probably does the same move as NOV in a few minutes

  61. NE almost fully recovered from a little pt this morning. Service looks very strong with gas and oil holding $8 and $60+ well.

  62. IBN – that’s a sale against my leaps, not a naked sell.

    AMD is slowly but steadily climbing a wall of worry, huge 4-day run.

    Skype going to WMT! How on earth can Ebay be down???

  63. nuts, stopped out of fcxqn @ $0.20 w/ a loss of $0.25. is this trade dead or should i re-enter?

  64. ZZZ,
    Thanks on GSF and HAL. Don’t know why I keep forgetting GSF. Picked up both.

  65. My Blackberry Pearl has not received any emails since yesterday 10PM. Might be the reason why RIMM is down.

  66. Ok Phil I came up with 3 excellent earnings plays that can be played 3 ways a piece, this week.
    Three ways meaning-1)Pre earnings run and IV increases as pre earnings play.
    2) Straddle or strangle going into earnings playing earnings volatility directly.
    3)Post earnings play using gap trading strategies.
    Best one is 1) JBX- Jack owns Qdoba(which i love) and from my understanding it is growing very nicely and is popular like CMG.
    33 million share float with 10%share short @ 3million shares
    Nice short ratio of 8 which is half of CMG which was at 16.
    Historically volatility before during and after earnings.
    Has beat earnings est consistantly and pretty hefty past 2 Qs.
    Thinking about either a 75 straddle 2 to 1 overweight long or a 70-80 strangle 3 to 1 overweight long

  67. RIMM June $140 puts coming back into the money.

  68. 2) earnings play is DE. excellent all around and big benefactor to Agflation.
    3) CLF- thanks for the thoughts
    4)FMCN- Gotta be hot but is it already expected? Earnings Thursday

  69. Optrader,
    RIMM- I was just going to ask if anyone knew what was happening with this one

  70. Why do I have this gut feeling the market is going to implode by EOD and end negative 50 or so….might jump on the Q P’s with that thought

  71. if you go with the theory of min pain on goog may calls vs may puts the min pain seems located @ $470, what is your thoughts on goog close price at may expirations?

  72. Phil -

    FD – I own the JAN 08 37.50′s (cost basis 9.98). Which strike price of JUN calls would you recommend selling against the LEAP? Thank you, David

  73. EBAY,
    there is a report that SKYPE takes in about $1.5/user revenue for last year! I guess that’s why going to WMT isn’t valued much

  74. RIMM-Service is back on

  75. LVS – I need to roll my puter and I want to do it before he sticks me with more stock. I have the Jan ’08 110 puts I bought at 17.00 (now worth 31.30) and he currently has the May 90 puts he bought at 3.17 (now worth 11.15). What would be a good bracket to roll him to? I’m thinking of rolling him to the 80′s since those have the most extrinsic value, but I’d have to pay about 7.50 to do that. I can roll him to the 85′s for about 4.10. But either way, I’m paying a lot to roll this guy.

  76. FCX – that’s the problem with mo, if you lose the momentum you need to walk away. Thats very different than a fundamental trade like TM or TSO or T (so I guess it’s any symbol beginning with T) where I DD and DD and roll and DD as I am sure it’ s going to go sometime. In a momentum play you take a 20% loss and a 20% profit pretty quickly and you hope to once in a while get a double to make up for all the annoyance.

    RIMM – wow can they just be getting that unreliable? Perhaps you are just unpopular? 8-)

    Actually, RIMM has a long-awaited restatement out soon and some profit taking is to be expected.

    JBX – I love that company! Up 5% today though, where were you on Friday with this? Cramer picked them last week too so my choice would be to sell the $75 calls for $2.50 but I’ll hold them naked with a $3 stop until tomorrow as this may be some irrational exuberance. I’ll cover with the Dec $80s, currently $5.50 ahead of earnings. XXX (but you need to be able to sell naked calls).

    CEPH having a good day. Taking GSK $57.50s for .20 for a fun play (lots of odd buy signals coming in – total gamble).

  77. Karmcon, I got the same feeling earlier as the recent winning trades started to fade. Am in IWM puts for June. Bonds continue to drift….

  78. is appl done with its run?

  79. Phil – so it seems that you like LOW long for an earnings play off of HD tomorrow, with no guarantees – yes? Plus somewhat bullish on EBAY? Thanks

  80. JBX, it was on Cramers Gameplan. My bro had it up for the past week but I ignored it=(.

    BIDU on the way up. I’m thinking the shorts are really scrambling now that it is breaking out and taking out stop losses for short positions. SINA has earnings today and they compete with BIDU! New 52 week high.
    I’m running some correlations on SINA earnings impact and see very little so far but im digging deeper.

  81. Phil,

    I have AAPL Oct95 puts from before earnings with Jun95s sold against. I’m going to take out the putter since there’s very little premium left, and I’d like to sell another put, but the question is which. The Jun100s are hardly worth the trouble, and the Jun105s will tie up margin for a while. Does it make sense to roll my Oct95 puts to Oct100s, and then sell the Jun105s after a pullback? Thanks.

  82. BIDU- exploding higher!

  83. AMAT has hard resistance at $20.83. If it holds up there, might be a good spot to buy the $20 puts, but which month, May or June?


  84. RIG & NOV back to green

  85. BRKR broke down to almost 200DMA, now appears to be recovering. Some decent insider buying by CEO last week. Volume is strong and RSI shows oversold. Anyone have a strategy for playing this one?


  86. Phil,

    Do you think DNDN can go to $8 without any positive news from the company?

  87. Happy,

    Can you do a chart on CRDN?

  88. Phil any TSO mo play? It is looking a little tired, but the 120 P IS STILL $2.3 (kinda expensive).

  89. WFR – thinking of selling the May 60s. Still has 0.91 of premium with 4 days to go. Anyone think WFR is going up another dollar this weeK?

  90. Wow I’m furious, I just lost a big post so forgive quick comments:

    Market strong on Europe close, very good sign.

    GOOG – I will be reupping plays from pre-earnings, more on that later. Goog way undervaled to market.

    FD – I would move to 1.5X Jan ’09 $45s at $4.40 and sell the June $40s for $2 to begin recouping some losses. I like them long but not short term. Earnings are weds and you can cap a big gain by spending .15 on the current $42.50s

    EBAY – 1,800 WMT stores x 1 new subscriber a day x 365 days a year x just $1 in profits = a 50% gain in Ebays net profits. Even if the people never use the service but Ebay makes a buck off selling the headset this is a home run. We are the only civilized country on the planet that doesn’t have a rapid adoption of VOIP (but we are also the only civilized nation that debates whether evolution should be taught in school so what do you expect?).

    LVS – dropping $31.30 Jan $110 puts to 3x $8.85 Jan 80 puts and using the change to buy out current $95 putter and selling Jun $80 puts for $4 as I still think they are due for a comeback. I will only sell half now and another half when I see a turn (.50 tstop). XXX

    LOW – I just like a possible reaction by them to good HD earnings and since their calls don’t carry an earnings premium it’s a nice possible gain on a sector bounce. HD would have to have strong numbers for this to play out so it’s more of a fun bet.

    AAPL – I am using my Oct $95 puts stricktly to protect my naked calls now so I’m not selling against it but the June $110 puts are $3.90 which is a $2.90 premium, very nice for a month. It’s worth spending $1.40 to tighten up the puts to the Oct $100s at $4.85 XXX

    BIDU – I could cry over all those June calls we sold!

    AMAT – I never got my .20 on the May $20 puts but I’m not going to up my offer by 25% with 4 days to go!

  91. APPL

    Here is what is in the rumor mill. Just a heads up.

  92. BIDU
    cashed out for +20% gain. But, it looks like it’ll hit 135+ today!

  93. BRKR – $7.50s are only $2.30 (.80 premium) which, to me, beats risking all my money on the stock. You can sell the June $10s for .25 but you’d cry if they get a pop….

    DNDN – can go to $8 if the FDA does nothing to dispell the rumor that they may still say something this week. They just filed their financial condition on Edgar and it’s what I said last week, they have enough money to last a year so it’s not a risky as many think. It’s hard to say how many people are still short on this one but it won’t take much to cause a big squeeze over $7. There are over 400,000 in the money puts (40M shares) against 81M total shares of stock so if that’s any indication of short interest this could still be very exciting.

    TSO – I’m tired of them at this point! I have to get out of my May $120 puts and I’ll probably move to the June $120s for an extra $1 as I’m losing .40 a day on these…

    WFR – tempting though it is you have MRVL earnings this week and they could rally the SOX but if you don’t mind rolling then 90 cents is 90 cents…

  94. Cashed out of BIDU for a 30% gain too but could have nailed it @1.40 today for more. Gotta wait for an IV drop after the first 1.5 hours

  95. Apple – at this point I’m just waiting 2 more generations for the IPod that crawls into your ear and attaches itself to your brain stem, drawing power from the vibrations on your eardrum… It has to happen sooner or later. I always tease my wife about looking like a Borg with her permanant ear headset but I see it more and more and it’s only a matter of time before we voluntarily lay down on an outpatient table to get upgrades…

    Bush on TV in a half hour, about to introduce a very lame energy saving program that is way too little way too late. At least it’s a foot in the door for some real policy changes down the road.

    WFMI still a grocery store.

  96. TSO- the Epic continues. It really looked like you harpooned TSO Moby good at the beginning of the month but it won’t trend lower. Bolling was short TSO too but removed it after a week of finding support.
    Gas prices are at crazy levels and TSO is heavily shorted!

  97. AAPL- I know this sounds dumb but by not living in a city where you take the Metro I didn’t understand how many of these things are out there. There wasn’t one kid in Paris that didn’t have one.
    BIDU- sometimes a chart does help

  98. AIG never dropped. AET up too. I can’t buy this hurricane story with these guys up.

    New Nielson ratings for DVR playbacks could end up helping TIVO as they will market alternate ratings once advertisers accept the concept (they know what you watch, when you watch it – very big brother). They’re a risky stock but the Nov$5s dropped to $1.60 and I have a $1.50 offer in but may pay $1.60 if I don’t get a bite. On a bounce I can sell June $5s or Aug $7.50s for .50 or better to wipe out my premium. XXX

    I see several airlines going up which is usually a good indicator that oil/gas is going down.

    IBN – selling the June $45s here for $1.50 as that’s a nice return on my Dec calls. XXX

  99. TSO
    Phil’s way of playing eventually gets it right. Yep, I remember LVS!

  100. “sometimes a chart does help”
    BillBigD, you’re funny, man! =D Are you back from Europe? Did you bring back any souvenirs for us?

  101. CEPH
    is making a move!

  102. ICE is acting like they are going to give a competing bid. The new stories out say that they might do a counter bid. ICE going down for the rest of the day looks good.

  103. IBN – Bought Jun $40 PUTs @ 0.65. Short INFY & VSL from earlier and long IIF/IIF.

  104. CRS
    added another 2 points today! That’s 10+ points in a week!

    interesting one to keep an eye on…

  105. Happy
    Yes am back! Nice to see some basketball playoffs.

  106. Oops – that was long IIF & IFN – both still trading at 10-12% discount to NAV (providing some cushion against a 3% overnight downturn like in Feb/March)

  107. SNDA

  108. Skype – 196M global users!

    Bush sounds like he’s reading an old Al Gore speech!

    20% cut in consumption over 10 years is his “bold” initiative. He’s making it complex with lots of caveats so VLO, XOM et al is liking it as it’s basically saying he promises to do nothing at all between now and the end of his term. He ran away without answering questions but I predict they attack the press secretary on this one.

    On the whole, he could not possibly have done less to conserve energy unless he flat out said he want’s to give Hummers to the poor. CVX is hitting a new all-time high on the same day they cut production due to “Nigerian Rebel Attacks” – what a sham!

  109. Phil:

    Do I understand right that u r selling june110p and buy oct100c?

    the June $110 puts are $3.90 which is a $2.90 premium, very nice for a month. It’s worth spending $1.40 to tighten up the puts to the Oct $100s at $4.85 XXX

  110. SNDA- Bear Sterns upgrade

  111. SKYPE
    I’m a user. Called my mom in Asia for Mother’s Day on my laptop!

  112. SNDA upgrade
    about time!

  113. Phil, Are you still in the OSK (Jun 65 / May 60) trade? If yes, what is your threshold for closing the trade? I’m in at even , currently at +.35

  114. Market turning ugly here, I don’t think Bush gave people any confidence that the consumer will be able to save on gas this decade…

  115. B-Ball
    BillBigD, Suns or Spurs?

  116. HappyTrading, lol same here, I call mom every weekend on Skype. My parents have computer at home, with Skype and vid cam installed, so Skype-to-Skype is an option, but it is often more convenient to call Skype to phone line and pay the 6 cents per minute or whatever. I probably spend about $10/month on Skype calls.

    I have been the lucky recepient of some huge gains these last couple of weeks, holding AAPL $140 and $150 leaps. I want to protect these but not want to sell half. maybe sell an option against them? Any suggestions? Thanks!

  117. AAPL – I already have Oct $95 puts and I spent $1.40 to roll them to the Oct $100 puts.

    OSK – the play was July $65s and sell the $60s for $1.48. Doing it with the Junes is cutting it close but my logic was that they would be pinned for this week to $60 for the week as that’s where your big pay-off comes. In either case as you are in for no money then whatever is left on Friday is your proft, there is no merit to buying out your caller while he still has a premium.

    Transports getting murdered thanks to the Prez. Somebody didn’t like what he had to say and slammed a sell button on the markets in general but at least the oil sector is getting dragged down too. Still 193M barrels open in June NYMEX and July is up to 329M already so I’m going to grab some CVX $80 puts fof .65 as a suicidal mo play (dd at .50, out at .40 with a .15 tstop after that). XXX

  118. kinda strange that AAPL is strong today inspite of it being an options expiration week. Last few months they just tried to cook up some BS on AAPL to pull it down. I wonder there could be some big news out of AAPL soon. It will be fun to watch the big money players who sold those calls which are way in the money, get screwed once :-)

  119. AAPL leaps – I’m not a big fan of being that far out of the money but with Apple you never know. If it’s the ’09s then you have all the time in the world to roll your caller and the best move is to sell June $105s for $6.45 with a $2.40 premium and $6 of downside protection. You are capping your gains at $2 per month by selling these but if you have 18 months of gains ahead of you protecting cheap positions why wouldn’t you want to do that?

    You can “go for it” by selling the $110s for $3.45, an insane non-earnings, non-event premium for your caller. You need a lot of margin to sell these though because you will be charged the gap between the calls you sell and your strike price but you could combine the two positions into the $100 leaps, putting you in the money able to sell close calles with far less risk should appple spike up.

  120. SBUX-trying to hold $29
    B-Ball- I like the syle of both GS and the Suns
    Dow-now RED

  121. MEE being sured by govm’t for polluting. Billions!

  122. OSK : Oops , Jul 65 it is . The symbols are way too confusing :-) Thanks for the clarification.

  123. shld would you sell june 180′s long 09 190′s

    or would you go 175′s ?

    also where is your html affiliate code?


    also the june july adbe 42.5 45 diag calendars ???


  124. MSFT also very strong recently. Looking to buy some leaps if it goes down.

  125. GOOG – Is it worth the risk selling May $450 Puts for around $1.20 against May $440s and Jun $450s I hold?

  126. EBAY – trying to buy more June $35s at .55, no sale so far.

  127. sold some TSO 120 puts for 3.1 against my leap puts

  128. I think it was msquare who mentioned before the CTSH quarterly results that it might go down. Congrats on that call. I bought some CTSH June 80 puts after the earnings.

  129. Strategy question: this EBAY position makes a good example……wise to sell the may 35s against the june 35s? Only 10 cents, but with the junes at .55, is about a 20% take?

  130. MEE halted

  131. PCU-buying back June 90′s!
    I use yahoo messenger phone service when traveling. 1 cent per minute from Europe, South America to call the states

  132. Phil,

    I bought 50 of the 25 strike puts on Massey right after you posted, do you think it will go to $20?


  133. bought ebay jun $35 @ $0.70, got stopped out @ $0.55, dd back in @ $0.55

  134. SHLD – earnings on 5/31 so you could get locked in a tedious trade. That’s the danger. I would not take that play now as you are taking on a $22 risk where you will lose about $5 for every $10 drop and you are covering yourself (and capping your gain) with the $180 call at $4 so you are “only” protected on the first $10 while a $10 gain will have you owing your caller more money than you will make on your leaps.

    Sept 180s are $10.05 and you can sell the June $175s for $6.35 which gives you 2 more months to sell and another shot at earnings in a catastrophe while a big gain leaves you with a 3 month time premium advantage over your caller. In the money Sept calls all the way down to $150 ($25 in the money) have a greater than $4 premium but of course your hope is the stock stays under $180, at least early in the day after earnings and that it doesn’t drop more than 10% and put your Sept under water.

    HTML affilliate thing is on the top of I think – did Jared never get back to you?

    ADBE – I just took the Oct $42.50s as I really believe in their earnings.

    MSFT – my July $32.50s are a bit of a disappointment so far.

    GOOG – the way it’s been behaving it’s hard to say anything is safe. I got my $4 target selling the $460s and that’s a chance I’m willing to take but I’m really surprised it’s doing so poorly. If they weren’t expiring Friday I would never but they lose $1 per day and I just have to hope $460 holds.

  135. CTSH – I think it is heading towards $75s. I am waiting and plan to sell $75 puts as it gets closer to $75 with view of owning the stock on the cheap.

    In a small way like your VLO rule for the refiners, CTSH follows INFY (same space but bigger and more India based with less US$ exposure). INFY still in a holding pattern after earnings but I think (and hope as I am short) headed down to it’s 200d MA of $49

  136. GOOG has a very orderly 3 yr support line and they are right at support at $460. It has not violated this support in the entire 3 yrs, why would they violate now? I bought a few shares today.


  137. wish i had the guts to short cy, it seems to be headed towards $14 on its sale of sunpower

  138. EBay selling Mays – for me I look at what it costs me to sell and buy back as I have to assume the worst. Add to that the time hassle of watching it and my risk/reward drops below my interest but, in a vacuum, it’s crazy not to take 20% for 4 days.

    MEE – D’oh, should have played that, lawsuit exceeds value of company…
    I wouldn’t have gone out of the money Bryan but it may look like an ingenious move now. They are up to $.77 already and now I want them too. I’m going to grab the MEE July $25 puts for $1.75 and maybe sell some May $25 puts if I can get $1.50 for them. XXX

  139. cramer calling shrinking multiple for starbucks & whole foods says inspite of thier being popular hangouts they are overpriced. calling a buy on ebay.

  140. MEE – Any thoughts on whether this is isolated or will the feds go slap the other miners?

  141. PRST running. I bought 20 Oct $7.50s at .80.


  142. Ebay seems a great play for a slowdown in consumer. Pawn shop for 21st Century anyone ?

  143. EBAY/Mo plays – I usually enter 1/3 of what I intend to spend (usually 10 contract/$1K) and I will DD at my stop and then reset stop at same amount but lower so my blended entry on Ebay at .75, .55 is .65 with a .45 stop. Rarely would I use my remaining money to buy more at .45 as that would leave my basis at .55 but a very stiff loss at .40 (where I would place a very firm stop). It’s kind of impossible for me to convey all this on every mo play but that’s my general guidline but it’s a gut call when I hit my stop as to stop or DD, depends what the 5 or 10 min charts look like at the time (I never look at 1Min chart nless I’m looking for something very specific).

    Cramer lumping SBUX in with WFMI! He like my Ebay play.

    Picking up QQQQ $46s for .55 as it went so well on Thursday when I got out at .80, I’m covered with the DIA puts so not too worried about a crash. XXX

    CTSH rule – the trick is to figure out who is really the leader of the pack.

    MEE not running out of sellers. Company only made $40M last year and if they get you for cleanup even bankruptcy doesn’t help plus there’s the inevitable class action suits..

  144. MEE – the fact that the Feds are enforcing anything will put a scare in the sector. Some miners actually play by the rules and will make nice buys if there’s a panic but I wouldn’t want to start guessing. Hopefully some sector analyst will have a handle on this so let’s keep an eye out for suggestions.

    I can’t get any puts on these guys, I wonder if IAB is hooking people up? Bryan may be sitting on a goldmine!

  145. Phil:
    You holding on to GE July GEFS thru this week?

  146. GE is June 37.5

  147. Anyone a little worried that the xmas tree up down pattern of the SPY over the last few days is indicative of a market top…

  148. GE – yes. I will roll those back if they lose and would DD at .20.

  149. Must learn to follow my gut feelings…..In May QQQQ 47 P at .45 just got out at .72

  150. VIP-picking up speed from Thursday pullback

  151. could it be AAPL split announcement this week?

  152. alfamike: who’s not worried! I lightened up by about 15% last week, still more invested then for months and looking for a transition back to more cash and some short in the next two weeks. I believe we are in a wave 5 intermediate top and looking for the blow off above SPX 1520. Weekly advance is clearly extended. It is only the mixed sentiment data that has me holding on for now, but I am nervous as a cat on a hot tim roof. Hard stops on everything.


  153. Arch coal getting sued by the ohio valley enviro commision for violating clean water act. Feds have not filed suit yet.

  154. Karmcon, great trade. still running RTY short for tomorrow

  155. MEE trading again, moving up $1

  156. SPY – my optimist glass says it’s consolidating at 1,500 for a breakout. If they hold 1,500 we’re still in good shape but below that and we topped.

    LOL Karm – your guts crossed with my guts as I just got in going the other way!

    AAPL – I can’t see them wanting to let it go past $120 unless they are going to go 3:1. If I’m Jobs and think the IPhone is going to be a hit and I think ITV et al will be upside surprises then a 2:1 split would only last me until Xmas and we’d be back over $100 but a 3:1 split should hold us over to next year. If they do a 3:1 split, that’s a real buy signal!

    Oil once again fails to hold $62.50, if it weren’t for the rollover next week this would be a terrible sign.

    MEE opened back up and went up. “Company believes it achieved a compliance rate of 99% or better.” ie. Deny, deny, deny… Still liking the July $25 puts which I got at $1.20 and I’m selling the $30 puts against them as a mo play for $3.20 XXX

  157. JBX
    all-time high on huge volume ahead of earnings on Wed AM!

  158. I’m buying JBX trading earnings with a strangle. Overweight long.

  159. MCF – Contago Oil & Gas – Another day, another new high. No options but PQ and HK are my best looks at similiar plays. PQ should have big well news this week.

  160. NFX finding the love now.

  161. JBX
    premiums are crazy! May 80s are at .65/.75 with 700+ contracts traded; before today the open interest was “80″!!

  162. One interesting change with Apple regarding splits is Eric Schmidt’s involvement with Apple…..we’ll see if Google philosophy of not splitting stocks carries over to Apple!

  163. JBX – that’s why we sold calls this morning.

  164. what do you think of a small gamble on MAY put of MEE at .20 for the fun of it?

  165. optiondragon

    What range do you use for your strangle strategy’s (are you buying the 75C’s and the 70P’s…..Overweight long I presume is the call portion of the strategy, but what ratio do you utilize..2-1, 3-1?? Many Tanks

  166. MEE – I think that’s going to be like betting on those asbestos companies to make a comeback. These guys are no XOM, they can’t afford to spend $10M a year in court until everyone who sued them is dead.

  167. hello. my first day. stilll trying to figure out how to best use this site. are all picks here in one portfolio or other?

  168. Welcome 6!

    All picks made during the day are here in comments. I try to summarize relevant posts in the tab on top called intraday and the portfolios are updated at the end of each week. The best way to get your bearings seems to be reading the last 2 weeks worth of posts and comments as we cover pretty much every topic under the sun if you give us a few days.

    Also, lots of good stuff in our education section, there will be a new educational post this evening I hope!

    I’m off now but feel free to ask whatever, after hours we have a lot more time that while markets are open.

  169. Any thoughts on CNE and the Nov 15′s…..stock at 14.55 and these calls are .55 (ask), seems undervalued to me. (OpEx “Pricer” calculates a theoretical value of .921!) I know these Canadian trusts are slow movers price rise due to their mos dividends, but an estimate of 17.50 by 1-1-08 and subtracting out the 1.40 (max) in divs -16.10. Prorating for 1 less month of appreciation would equal a stock price with all factors occurring as projected of 15.87 at Nov X. Too good to be true??

  170. I am buying the 75′s and the 70′s with a 3 to 1 dollar overweight long. Playing for volatility, with a long biased.

  171. optiondragon – what are you buying ?

  172. Gotta run big lightening storm approaching…gl and have a gr8 evening all

  173. Karmcon – I’ve got a huge lump of CNE – my biggest play, got in at low 13′s and have rode it up while collecting the fat divi, which is why I went long the stock instead of buying the calls. I use Interactive Brokers so have access to Portfolio Margin rules alowing me to buy a chunk of 12.50 puts to protect me and then loaded up on stock but with very little margin requirement. If you have Portfolio Margin then it makes this strategy (collecting the divi’s) well worth a look.

  174. Ramana-JBX strangle

  175. AMD – Phil, know you hate this stock but it seems to want to break descending trendline. . Any thoughts? Seems to continue to build momentum. . . Might be some option pinning going on ..

  176. Wang’s World
    new post up!

  177. Motorola is scheduled to announce new devices tomorrow.

    US Airways mulling Boeing, Airbus order, up to 90 planes

    Honda plans hydrogen car for U.S.

    IPhone selling on EBAY for 1000+

    Latin American eBay Files for IPO

    Alliances are linchpin of mega memory fabs

    Last week, ONGC announced that its wholly-owned subsidiary and overseas investment arm, ONGC Videsh Ltd (OVL), had discovered both oil and gas in a block off the shores of Iran. Initial reports pegged the oil reserves at over a billion barrels and gas at 10 trillion cubic feet (tcf).

    Kuwait claims major new oil and gas find.

    Billions in Oil Missing in Iraq, U.S. Study Says

  178. Phil,

    AAPL Oct100/Jun110 puts – I haven’t had a chance to thank you for your suggestion. Though margin requirements are higher, it makes more sense from a premium selling standpoint. Thanks.

  179. CNE – looks a little strained here but I don’t see any reason not to buy the Nov $15 calls for .55 as it does seem very cheap. Maybe wait until they break through resistance at $14.76 though.

    AMD – fundamentally dead but you can play the charts as plenty of people have no concept of fundamentals and they are the only people left holding this stock. If they were worth anything someone would have bought them by now for $8Bn (1/15th the price of Intel for their #1 competitor – who wouldn’t want that?).

    IPhone – how can they promis 6/11 delivery on Ebay?

  180. You’re very welcome KC!