Posts Tagged ‘MRK’

Options Trade Portends Recovery In Oracle Shares

Today’s tickers: ORCL, MRK & WCG

ORCL - Oracle Corp. – Shares in software company, Oracle Corp., are getting crushed today, down as much as 9.5% to a seven-month low of $30.06, after the company reported fourth-quarter sales that missed estimates for a second consecutive quarter. The sharp move in the price of the underlying on this options expiration Friday sparked heavy trading traffic in ORCL calls and puts today, with volume rising above 108,500 contracts by 11:25 a.m. ET versus the stock’s average daily volume of around 43,000 contracts. Activity in the January 2014 expiry options during the first 20 minutes of the session suggests one strategist is positioning for shares in the largest maker of database software to rebound during the second half of the year. It looks like the trader picked up roughly 5,000 calls at the Jan ‘14 $31 strike for an average premium of $2.13 per contract. The upside calls make money at expiration next year as long as shares in Oracle Corp. rally more than 10% over today’s low of $30.06 to top the average breakeven point at $33.13.

MRK - Merck & Co., Inc. – Shares in drug maker, Merck, are bucking the trend today, up as much as 2.8% in the early going to $47.60 amid a second consecutive session of selling across U.S. equities. Merck’s shares are currently off their highest level of the session to stand higher by 1.0% on the day at $46.77 just before midday in New York. Options traders anticipating continued gains in Merck’s shares in the near term appear to be buying the Jun 28 ’13 expiry weekly calls on the stock today. A burst of activity in the Jun 28 ’13 $48 and $48.5 strike calls just after 9:37 a.m. ET this morning appears to be the work of one trader snapping up more than 500 contracts at each strike at average premiums of $0.32 and $0.19 apiece, respectively. The bullish stance on MRK may pay off should shares in the name rally another…
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Finally Friday – Maybe Tomorrow the Markets Won’t Fall

Falling, falling, falling

That's all the markets have been doing lately.  As you can see from our Big Chart – it's been a pretty orderly sell-off according to our 5% rule with roughly a 4-5% drop during October with some consolidation, followed by a much steeper 4-5% drop after the election.

We're back to the point where we expect resistance at an 8% total drop as well as some bounce action where once again we'll be measuring for strong or weak bounces to determine whether or not we can get a turn again (our indicators kept us bearish last time).  Regarding the current action, I said to our Members yesterday in Chat:  

I think there is a lot of selling as people take capital gains while they can.  I think that it's very possible that it's going to be very difficult to get a proper rally into the end of the year because there are plenty of people waiting for a rally to take their gains, whether through timing or position.  The problem with this state of not knowing is it becomes prudent for people to hedge for the worst and, if someone had a 20% gain for the year and now it's 15% and they can take it off now and keep 12.75% (after 15% tax) vs possibly hitting another 5% drop and running down to 8.5% this year or possibly 7% (at 30%) if they wait until next year and there's no recovery (and the more the cliff looms the less likely recovery seems) then it almost doesn't make sense not to take the 12.75% and run.  So that's very possibly the selling pressure we see and it may continue to be relentless into the end of the year unless there is some sort of resolution or delay to the cliff. 

While we don't think the Fiscal Cliff will end up being a big deal – that doesn't stop others from panicking.  This week we've been scooping up positions they have been running away from but, if we're going to have another leg down – we'll be needing those disaster hedges (see Wednesday's post) to keep us out of trouble.  It doesn't take much to profit from a downturn, fortunately, when we use good hedges.  On Wednesday I suggested the TZA April $17/24 bull call spread for $1.40, selling the $14…
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O’Reilly Automotive Q2 Guidance Drives Pickup In Options Activity

 

Today’s tickers: ORLY, MRK & PCS

ORLY - O'Reilly Automotive, Inc. – Shares in auto parts retailer, O’Reilly Automotive, are facing double-digit declines today after the company cut its second-quarter same-store sales projection and said earnings for the quarter are likely to come in at the low end of their previously estimated $1.13 to $1.17 a share range. The stock is off the lows of the session, down 15.0% at $81.97 just before midday in New York after earlier sliding as much as 21.5% to an intraday and six-month low of $75.61. The sharp pullback in O’Reilly shares today appears to have attracted contrarian players to the front month calls. Traders positioning for the price of the underlying to rebound in the near term snapped up at least a few hundred calls at the July $80 strike for an average premium of $1.93 apiece this morning. The intraday improvement in the share price during the first half of the session now sees these calls changing hands at $4.30 apiece. Similar bullish positioning is building in the July $85 strike calls, as well. It looks like traders purchased roughly 600 of the $85 calls for an average premium of $0.65 apiece in the first few hours of the trading day, contracts that now tout an asking price of $1.65 each. Call buyers may walk away with big profits at expiration should O’Reilly Automotive’s shares continue to recover during the next few weeks. The front month calls expire the week prior to ORLY’s second-quarter earnings report on July 25th.

MRK - Merck & Co., Inc. – Call options on Merck & Co. are active today as shares in the drug maker tack on 1.7% to trade at a near multi-year high of $40.73. The stock has climbed roughly 10.0% since the first of the month. Substantial volume is building in the Aug. $42 strike call where approximately 20,000 lots changed hands by…
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XLF Options Active After Buffett’s Thumbs-Up On BofA

Today’s tickers: XLF, LIZ, MRK & PSS

XLF - Financial Select Sector SPDR ETF – The financials ETF popped Thursday morning on news Warren Buffett’s Berkshire Hathaway bought $5 billion worth of cumulative perpetual preferred stock in beleaguered U.S. lender, Bank of America Corp. The XLF’s morning rally gave way to losses in early-afternoon trade as heavy selling in Germany and soaring yields on Euro-area sovereign debt reminded markets that the crisis overseas may worsen. Shares in the XLF stand 0.50% lower on the session at $12.64, erasing earlier gains of as much as 4.95% to $13.33. Nearly 430,000 option contracts have changed hands on the Financial SPDR, with traders favoring puts over calls roughly 1.8 times to 1. Much of the heavy options volume resides in contracts expiring in the next few months, but longer-dated contracts attracted sizable interest, as well. Fresh positioning in the March 2012 $13 strike call and put options suggests some strategists expect shares in the fund to stagnate. Traders appear to have sold roughly 20,000 of the March 2012 $13 strike straddle to pocket average gross premium of $2.98 per contract. Straddle-sellers may be taking advantage of inflated levels of options implied volatility on the fund, which currently stands well above historical, as well as the time-rich premium built into the price of both the calls and the puts. Investors selling the straddle benefit from the roughly .07 of a penny daily decline in the value of the position, according to the roughly -.0035 reading of Theta on both the calls and the puts. Additionally, subsiding levels of implied volatility may lower the cost of buying back the straddle at some point ahead of expiration. In seven months time, when March expiration rolls around, traders walk away with the full amount of premium received on the straddle as long as shares in the XLF settle at $13.00.…
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F’ing Thursday – Give Us a Break!

Holy cow – when will it end?  

As I mentioned yesterday, we were expecting a whipsaw after the morning sell-off and we played that perfectly with bullish trades on the DIA and OIH and, as we move up, we took bearish plays on GLL, TZA and QQQ.  All good so far but then we did a little bottom fishing before wising up and shorting USO into the close – just in case.  The futures were up 2% this morning at 5am and I had to warn our Members:  

Overall, this is too weak to get us over the hump and we are going to have to lean a little more bearish unless we can follow Europe up 2.5% or more.  Our charts will turn from "spiking low on volume" to "consolidating for a move below 20%" very quickly if we don’t gets something bullish going by tomorrow.  

The Dollar was at 74.64 at the time and it’s only 75.04 now (7:50) but the futures have gone from up 2% to down 1% in less than 3 hours – that is insane!  How are retail investors supposed to play this market?  The average person does not have the stomach for watching their virtual portfolio’s value go up and down 5% a day – at some point they are all going to pull the plug and walk away.  Of course, as I was saying yesterday – that’s just what the Banksters want you to do, assuming they know QE3 is right around the corner, accompanied by a 20%+ market rally into the year’s end.  

Anyway, hope is NOT a strategy for the prudent investor so I published another set of Disaster Hedges this morning as it’s time to add a layer to our longer hedges (which are now deeply in the money).  I hate to chase these plays but one thing we learned in 2008 is that there may never be a bottom (not in the short run) no matter how oversold you think things may be.  Was the market wrong in 2008 to go below S&P 1,000?  Well 3 years of subsequent trading seem to indicate that it was – but that did not stop us from dropping 33% lower, to 666 (the mark of the Blankfein!).   

Our entire goal in a sell-off like this is to simply preserve our cash.  The lower we…
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Impending Q3 Earnings Report Spurs Demand for Viacom Options

Today’s tickers: VIA B, BJ, MRK, EEM, PETM & C

VIA B - Viacom, Inc. Class B – Options on the global entertainment content company are active ahead of the release of the firm’s third-quarter earnings report before the opening bell tomorrow. Investors are establishing both bullish and bearish positions on Viacom using near-term put and call options. Viacom’s shares are currently up 0.15% at $38.09 with just fewer than thirty minutes remaining in the trading session. Traders fearing the price of the underlying stock could fall following earnings initiated bear put spreads. Put players picked up approximately 3,000 in-the-money puts at the November $38 strike for an average premium of $0.77 each, and sold about the same number of puts at the lower November $36 strike for an average premium of $0.14 a-pop. Average net premium required to purchase the spread amounts to $0.63 per contract. Thus, investors are prepared to profit, or realize downside protection, in the event that shares in Viacom fall 1.9% from the current price of $38.09 to breach the average breakeven point at $37.37 by expiration day. Maximum potential profits of $1.37 per contract are available if VIA’s shares plunge 5.5% lower to trade below $36.00 by November expiration. Meanwhile, investors taking bullish stances ahead of earnings looked to the November $39 strike to purchase approximately 1,600 calls for an average premium of $0.32 per contract. Call buyers profit if Viacom’s shares rally 3.2% to surpass the average breakeven price of $39.32 by expiration day.

BJ - BJ’s Wholesale Club, Inc. – Reports that the warehouse club operator is considering hiring an advisor to review options including a potential sale to a leveraged-buyout firm in a deal that could net as much as $3 billion sent shares flying higher today and drew speculators to the…
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Defending Your Virtual Portfolio With Dividends – Q4 (Members Only)

In uncertain markets, dividends can give you a critical investing edge.

As you can see from the chart on the left, just mindlessly investing in dividend-paying stocks can give you more than a 2:1 annual advantage in your investments

Of course, here at PSW, we teach the art of selling options premiums – something that turns virtually any stock into a "dividend" payer.  For example, MSFT is only a small, 2% dividend-payer but a fairly solid cash-machine of a stock that we don't feel is likely to go bankrupt overnight so it makes for a nice safe staple in a long-term virtual portfolio.  But MSFT is also a very poorly-run company that hasn't grown in 20 years but we can make it a much more interesting stock by simply selling covered calls.

For example, in our August edition of Dividend Payers,  we looked at MSFT for $24.23 and we sell the Sept $24 calls for .77.  This lowered our effective basis to $23.46 and selling the call putus in no special danger – we simply agreed to sell MSFT for $24 on expiration day in September (the 17th).

The stock was called away from us, and we made a .54 profit or 2.3% of our net $23.46 cash investment in less than 30 days.  That works out to a 26% annualized ROI and we had an opportunity (as we had expected) to buy the stock again and again at $24 on Oct 4th and 5th and sell the November $24 calls for .90 for a net $23.10 re-entry and ANOTHER 3.8% GAIN if we are called away at $24 or greater on Nov 19th.  Doesn't that beat waiting a whole quarter for your 1% dividend checks?  

Of course, you can optimize all this with timing and we favor stocks that are on sale – this is just a very simple example of how our most basic options strategy can drastically boost your annual returns on any stock in your virtual portfolio.

Let's say you don't want to mess around with MSFT every month.  You could have simply sold the 2012 $22.50s for $4.40 (also suggested in the August post), that dropped your net entry from $24.23 to $19.83…
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Defending Your Virtual Portfolio With Dividends (Members Only)

In uncertain markets, dividends can give you a critical investing edge.

As you can see from the chart on the left, just mindlessly investing in dividend-paying stocks can give you more than a 2:1 annual advantage in your investments

Of course, here at PSW, we teach the art of selling options premiums – something that turns virtually any stock into a "dividend" payer.  For example, MSFT is only a small, 2% dividend-payer but a fairly solid cash-machine of a stock that we don’t feel is likely to go bankrupt overnight so it makes for a nice safe staple in a long-term virtual portfolio.  But MSFT is also a very poorly-run company that hasn’t grown in 20 years but we can make it a much more interesting stock by simply selling covered calls.

For example, we buy MSFT for $24.23 and we sell the Sept $24 calls for .77.  This lowers our effective basis to $23.46 and selling the call puts us in no special danger – we are simply agreeing to sell MSFT for $24 on expiration day in September (the 17th).  Should the stock be called away from us, we make a .54 profit or 2.3% of our net $23.46 cash investment in less than 30 days.  That works out to a 26% annualized ROI and, even if we get called away, we can simply buy the stock again and again and sell calls every month.  Of course, you can optimize all this with timing and we favor stocks that are on sale – this is just a very simple example of how our most basic options strategy can drastically boost your annual returns on any stock in your virtual portfolio.

Let’s say you don’t want to mess around with MSFT every month.  You can simply sell the 2012 $22.50s for $4.40, that drops your net entry from $24.23 to $19.83 and getting called away at $22.50 would be a profit of 13.5% over 17 months PLUS you would be getting your .52 annual dividend so let’s call it .75 more for a total profit (if MSFT holds $22.50) of $3.42 or 17.25% – 1% a month certainly beats what the banks are offering these days!  Not as sexy as the 26% ROI you make by working the trade every month but you do get a built-in cushion that drops your break-even price to $19.83, which is a full 18% below…
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Q2 Buy List – Rounding Out The Top 20 (Members Only)

Finally a chance to buy again! 

The problem with hitting the dead bottom with our June 7th Buy List is there haven't been any good entry opportunities since for new Members.  Now we are back down to about the bottom of the "flash crash" (S&P 1,065) and it does look like we may be forming another bottom. right about where we were when I wrote on June 6th "The Worst-Case Scenario:  Getting Real With Global GDP!" where I pointed out:  Things are just simply not bad enough to sit on our hands with a big pile of cash

I am still not advocating going over a 25% commitment to long-term positions so PLEASE - keep that in mind at all times - our buying premise is that we have cash (with a target of staying at least 75% cash right now) and we will need more disaster hedges if we can't hold this week's lows.  If we have a 2% hedge in place now that pays 10% on a market drop of no more than 20% below where we are now, then we can expect to have 10% of our money from that hedge to pay for any stocks that are put to us and, if we are only allocating 20-25% of our cash to buy round 1 here, then logically, that extra 2% we're putting up as insurance will pay for half of an unexpected drop.  If we get less confident in holding our levels, then we can up our hedges.

That means, if we spent $25,000 to buy round 1 of stocks and $5,000 of insurance that pays 500% if we hit our assignment area (down 20%) and we are assigned a basked to stocks, which force us to double down, then the $25,000 we need to double down with will come from our insurance hedge and that means we'll be in 2x the stock for $30,000 with $75,000 more cash on the side (assuming it was a $100K Virtual Portfolio). 

Let's keep this example dead simple and say we buy the SPY for $106.82 and let's say we buy 300 shares for $32,000.  Now we cover that with the sale of the March $103 calls for $12 and the $95 puts for $6 and that nets out to $88.82 ($26,346) and our upside at $103 is $14.18 ($4,254 or 13%).  We are committed to owning 600 shares of SPY at the $88.82 we paid
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The Worst-Case Scenario: Getting Real With Global GDP!

$10,500.

That is the per capita average GDP for the 6Bn ape-like creatures on this planet who have pockets and purses.  Of the still hairy and pocketless apes, there are only about 1M left and they are mainly prisoners so we won’t be worrying about them but it would be nice to consider the plight of our ancestors once in a while…  Anyway, so 6Bn of us fill in those last 3 images in the planetary labor pool with the vast majority of us STILL FARMING and, of course, a select group of us are still hunting and gathering and contributing very little to the GDP

None of our problems are new – as noted in this 2005 cartoon:

The United States of America with it’s highly evolved population of shopoholics has a per capita GDP of $46,381 – VERY IMPRESSIVE but we rank 6th!  Brunei does a little better than we do and Singapore is up at $50,523 (so let’s hear it for corporal punishment) and Norway (one of my top choices of countries to flee to when it all hits the fan) is at $52,561 but Luxembourgh ($78,395 – banking) and Qatar ($83,841 – oil) simply trounce us in earnings power per person.  For those of you who like to think Capitalism is all about keeping score – they must be better than you because they make more money, right?

Below the US, per capita GDP drops off fairly quickly.  Rounding out the top 10 are Switzerland ($43,007 – watches and more bankers), Hong Kong ($42,748 – don’t tell China!), Netherlands ($39,938 – legal drugs!), Ireland ($39,468 – free beer when on wellfare!) and Australia ($38,911 – beer comes in oil cans plus gigantic bouncing rats).  20th on the list is Germany at $34,212, Greece is 25th at $29,882 (but not for long), 30th is South Korea at $27,978, 40th is Slovakia at $21,245.  Lithuania comes in at 50 with $16,542 (1 ahead of Russia) and it steadies out there with emerging market star Brazil in 75th place with $10,514 and, keep in mind – that is where you FINALLY get to the average leverl of economic activity for the world. 

Another BRIC in the global wall is mighty China, with a per capita GDP of $6,567 for each of their 1.2Bn persons and India’s Billion people average out at less than half of that, at $2,941, ranking 128th and still ahead of 53…
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Zero Hedge

2.2 Million Homes In America Still Have Negative Equity, Despite Record High Prices

Courtesy of ZeroHedge. View original post here.

As the boom in mortgage applications and refinancing activity last week would suggest, the return of interest rates toward multi-year lows this year is helping to pump more froth into the already bubblicious American housing market.

But while somebody will inevitably be left holding the bag when the bubble bursts, for now, at least, the inexorable rise in American home prices has bequeathed an outsize benefit on at least one gro...



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Phil's Favorites

Oh, the Conspiracies!

 

Scientist, technology consultant and best-selling author, David Brin explores the topic of conspiracies theories and how to avoid being sucked into them. He shares his "coping mechanism" and the questions he asks himself when evaluating stories to see where they fall on the continuum betwen total garbage, half-truths, and plausible accounts of actual events.

For David's latest posts, visit the Contrary Brin Blog. For his books and short stories, visit his website

 

...

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Biotech

Consumer genetic testing customers stretch their DNA data further with third-party interpretation websites

Reminder: Pharmboy is available to chat with Members, comments are found below each post.

 

Consumer genetic testing customers stretch their DNA data further with third-party interpretation websites

If you’ve got the raw data, why not mine it for more info? Sergey Nivens/Shutterstock.com

Courtesy of Sarah Catherine Nelson, University of Washington

Back in 2016, Helen (a pseudonym) took three different direct-to-consumer (DTC) genetic tests: AncestryDNA, 23andMe and FamilyTreeDNA. She saw genetic testing as a way...



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Kimble Charting Solutions

Gold Bugs Index Attempting 8-Year Breakout, Says Joe Friday

Courtesy of Chris Kimble.

Are Gold Bugs fans about to receive positive news they haven’t had in years? Possible!

This chart looks at the Gold Bugs Index (HUI) on a weekly basis over a couple of decades. The index has spent the majority of the past 20-year inside of rising channel (1).

The index hit the top of the channel in 2011, where it peaked and started creating a series of lower highs for the past 8-years, which has formed line (2).

The index is now kissing the underside of falling resistance and the underside the 2016/2017 lows at (3).

Joe Friday Just The Fa...



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Insider Scoop

Wedbush: Apple's Stock Could Gain $20-$25 From US-China Trade Deal

Courtesy of Benzinga.

The Sino-American trade dispute and near-term developments could prove to be a "major swing factor" for Apple Inc. (NASDAQ: AAPL), according to Wedbush.

The Analyst

Daniel Ives maintained an Outperform rating on Apple with an unchanged $235 pric...



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Chart School

Silver Review

Courtesy of Read the Ticker.

The folks in the federal reserve will debase the US dollar currency to an extreme degree silver will finally lift off the floor.. 

Note: Readers should re watch the silver back screen news video, here.

The following video looks at price action and Wyckoff logic.

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Chart in video

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If gold moves, silver wi...

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Digital Currencies

Cryptos Are Crashing As Asia Opens, Bitcoin Back Below $8k

Courtesy of ZeroHedge. View original post here.

Having survived the day's bloodbath in US tech stocks, cryptos are crashing in the early Asian session, apparently playing catch-down to the day's de-risking.

While no catalyst is immediately evident, there are some reports noting 13 large global banks are preparing to launch digital versions of major global currencies next year, though we suspect this drop was more algorithmic that fundamental-driven.

...



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ValueWalk

More Examples Of "Typical Tesla "wise-guy scamminess"

By Jacob Wolinsky. Originally published at ValueWalk.

Stanphyl Capital’s letter to investors for the month of March 2019.

rawpixel / Pixabay

Friends and Fellow Investors:

For March 2019 the fund was up approximately 5.5% net of all fees and expenses. By way of comparison, the S&P 500 was up approximately 1.9% while the Russell 2000 was down approximately 2.1%. Year-to-date 2019 the fund is up approximately 12.8% while the S&P 500 is up approximately 13.6% and the ...



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Members' Corner

Despacito - How to Make Money the Old-Fashioned Way - SLOWLY!

Are you ready to retire?  

For most people, the purpose of investing is to build up enough wealth to allow you to retire.  In general, that's usually enough money to reliably generate a year's worth of your average income, each year into your retirement so that that, plus you Social Security, should be enough to pay your bills without having to draw down on your principle.

Unfortunately, as the last decade has shown us, we can't count on bonds to pay us more than 3% and the average return from the stock market over the past 20 years has been erratic - to say the least - with 4 negative years (2000, 2001, 2002 and 2008) and 14 positives, though mostly in the 10% range on the positives.  A string of losses like we had from 2000-02 could easily wipe out a decades worth of gains.

Still, the stock market has been better over the last 10 (7%) an...



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Mapping The Market

It's Not Capitalism, it's Crony Capitalism

A good start from :

It's Not Capitalism, it's Crony Capitalism

Excerpt:

The threat to America is this: we have abandoned our core philosophy. Our first principle of this nation as a meritocracy, a free-market economy, where competition drives economic decision-making. In its place, we have allowed a malignancy to fester, a virulent pus-filled bastardized form of economics so corrosive in nature, so dangerously pestilent, that it presents an extinction-level threat to America – both the actual nation and the “idea” of America.

This all-encompassing mutant corruption saps men’s souls, crushes opportunities, and destroys economic mobility. Its a Smash & Grab system of ill-gotten re...



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OpTrader

Swing trading portfolio - week of September 11th, 2017

Reminder: OpTrader is available to chat with Members, comments are found below each post.

 

This post is for all our live virtual trade ideas and daily comments. Please click on "comments" below to follow our live discussion. All of our current  trades are listed in the spreadsheet below, with entry price (1/2 in and All in), and exit prices (1/3 out, 2/3 out, and All out).

We also indicate our stop, which is most of the time the "5 day moving average". All trades, unless indicated, are front-month ATM options. 

Please feel free to participate in the discussion and ask any questions you might have about this virtual portfolio, by clicking on the "comments" link right below.

To learn more about the swing trading virtual portfolio (strategy, performance, FAQ, etc.), please click here ...



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Promotions

Free eBook - "My Top Strategies for 2017"

 

 

Here's a free ebook for you to check out! 

Phil has a chapter in a newly-released eBook that we think you’ll enjoy.

In My Top Strategies for 2017, Phil's chapter is Secret Santa’s Inflation Hedges for 2017.

This chapter isn’t about risk or leverage. Phil present a few smart, practical ideas you can use as a hedge against inflation as well as hedging strategies designed to assist you in staying ahead of the markets.

Some other great content in this free eBook includes:

 

·       How 2017 Will Affect Oil, the US Dollar and the European Union

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About Phil:

Philip R. Davis is a founder Phil's Stock World, a stock and options trading site that teaches the art of options trading to newcomers and devises advanced strategies for expert traders...

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About Ilene:

Ilene is editor and affiliate program coordinator for PSW. She manages the site market shadows, archives, more. Contact Ilene to learn about our affiliate and content sharing programs.

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