Posts Tagged ‘CHSI’

Traders Build Up Bullish Positions on IBM Corp.

 Today’s tickers: IBM, CHSI, TCB & BC

IBM - International Business Machines Corp. – Bulls positioning for shares in IBM to extend gains flocked to the options market today, populating weekly as well as longer-dated expiries with signs of optimism. Shares in the computer services company increased as much as 3.35% during the session to secure an intraday- and new all-time high of $167.72. The stock jumped after a number of analysts raised their share price targets in the aftermath of IBM’s analyst meeting on Tuesday. Investors expecting the uptrend to continue at least through the end of this week purchased March $165 and $170 strike calls, and sold nearly 2,000 of the March $165 strike puts in the weekly contract set to expire on Friday. Bullish sentiment spread to the March contract call options set to expire on the 18th of this month, with investors buying around 2,000 in-the-money calls at the March $165 strike for an average premium of $2.60 each. Call volume is greatest at the higher March $170 strike where more than 9,950 calls changed hands on open interest of 5,480 contracts. It looks like the majority of the calls were purchased for an average premium of $0.62 apiece. Investors long the higher-strike calls are poised to profit should shares in IBM rally another 1.7% to surpass the average breakeven price of $170.62 by expiration day. IBM is scheduled to report first-quarter earnings after the market closes for the day on April 18, 2011.

CHSI - Catalyst Health Solutions, Inc. – Options on the full-service pharmacy benefit management (PBM) company are active today on news it agreed to purchase Walgreen Company’s PBM business for $525 million. Shares in Catalyst Health Solutions jumped 18.3% during the session to hit an intraday and all-time high of $52.69. One options player appears to have nearly doubled his money in the span of three weeks by taking profits on a bullish stance initiated back on February 16, 2011, when shares in CHSI closed at $45.65. It…
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Weekend Wrap-Up, Ripping Through the Top or Topping and About to Tip?

What a week this has been!

In last week's 600-Point Weekly Wrap-UP, I said it would take some spectacular earnings results next week to keep the rally going and it seems like we got them this week as roughly 85% of the companies reporting this week beat expectations with 42 of this week's reporting companies guiding up and only 18 guiding down.  While people like Richard Bernstein may make very good arguments for why we shouldn't focus too much on quarterly earnings surprises, I have to say I am somewhat swayed by the preponderance of evidence we've gotten this week that, by and large, the vast majority of our companies are weathering the storm far better than analysts have expected.  

"It's pretty amazing what passes for good news these days," remarks Barry Ritholtz on his blog, The Big Picture (www.ritholtz.com.) "Beating dramatically lowered earnings forecasts on cost-cutting and layoffs — rather than top-line growth — seems to be the order of the day.  The irony is that the Wall Street analyst community overestimated earnings at the top of the cycle — pure extrapolation of trend to infinity. They seem to be doing the same thing now, only extrapolating falling earnings to zero. What that produces is not true upside surprises, but merely jumping over a dramatically lowered bar," he says. 

It's interesting Barry says this now because it sounded familiar and I went back to my May 2nd Weekly Wrap-Up, where the sentiment was very similar and I said at the time: "With 2/3 of the S&P 500 weighing in, earnings have been 70% positive.  I had warned earlier in the week that we are only beating a very low bar but we are beating nonetheless.  As you can see from the above chart, even if we do keep moving up, we are heading into some very serious overhead resistance that may not prove futile this time.  With the added pressure of the old "sell in May, go away" adage – there will be a lot of obstacles to overcome this week and next so we will remain on guard but we have also trained ourselves not to think and simply go with the flow, letting our levels guide us and, so far, our levels keep saying yes – despite our common sense
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