Posts Tagged ‘SII’

Weekly Wrap-Up – Buffett’s Daring Derivative Deal Does Well

I was going to talk about Buffett's annual letter to investors.

Fortunately, I procrastinated and other people did some detailed reporting like Ravi Nagarajan, Andy Fry, Scott Patterson and Joe Del Bruno – who does a great job of pointing out that Berkshire's 4th quarter results were propped up by Buffett's $1.05Bn gains in derivatives betting (something Buffett himself once called "weapons of mass financial destruction" but, as we well know – if you can't beat them…), which accounted for 1/3 of Berkshire's $3.06Bn profits

Buffett's biggest bet was selling a put against the S&P 500 back in March – a move I said at the time was BRILLIANT and Buffett himself now says about his own options trading:  "We are delighted that we hold the derivatives contracts that we do.  To date, we have significantly profited from the float they provide. We expect also to earn further investment income over the life of our contracts."  

What did Buffett do?  Exactly what we teach you to do here at PSW - he took advantage of an irrational move in the markets and SOLD INTO THE EXCITEMENT, getting a fat premium from some sucker that bet the S&P would not hold 666 5 years from now.  Buffett effectively sold $5Bn worth of puts that expires worthless at S&P 700 between 2019 and 2027, putting $5Bn in his pocket and holding aside $1Bn in margin, which is how much he's already ahead on the bet.  Like a good options trader, he has a plan and he's trading his plan, making sure his investment is on track and patiently letting time do it's work as it eats away at the put-holder's premium. 

What about the risk?  Well I can't speak for Buffett's stop-loss technique but we're talking about a company that has (had) $40Bn in cash using their excess margin to make a $5Bn bet that the S&P would not stay below 700 for 10 years.  Buffett and I both tell people – NEVER buy a stock (or sell a put against one) that you are not willing to own for 10 years.  The S&P was 5% below at the time and would have had to drop, perhaps, 20% more to cost him $1Bn so let's call the stop 550 on the S&P where Buffett risked 2.5% of his cash against a posible 400% gain on his $1Bn risk allocation over 10+ years.  While it is true that if the
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Investor Removes Comcast Strangle to Bank Profits

Today’s tickers: CMCSA, HSY, GLD, ORCL, XRT, ERTS, FXI, PFE, SII & JCP

CMCSA – Comcast Corp. – A large-volume short strangle established at the beginning of the month on the entertainment and communications services firm was unraveled today, yielding one investor a nice chunk of change heading into the weekend. Comcast’s shares are up 1% to $15.89 in afternoon trading. It appears the trader originally sold roughly 35,000 calls at the July $17 strike for a volume-weighted average premium of $0.74 apiece in combination with the sale of 35,000 puts at the July $14 strike for a premium of $0.74 each. The original transaction likely occurred on February 4, 2010, and yielded a gross premium of $1.48 per contract to the trader. Today the investor purchased-to-close the short strangle, buying back the calls at a reduced premium of $0.60 each, and buying the put options for $0.56 apiece. The trader paid a gross premium of $1.16 to close out the short stance. Therefore, the investor walks away with net profits of $0.32 per contract for a grand total of $1.120 million. It is important to note, however, that the trader left a great deal of money sitting on the table. Comcast’s shares are still trading within the boundaries of the $14/$17 strike prices required for maximum profit potential. The investor would have accumulated profits of $1.48 per contract – a total of $5.180 million – if CMCSA shares remained range-bound and if the trader held the position through expiration. Perhaps this individual unraveled the strangle in anticipation of greater volatility in the price of the underlying stock going forward.

HSY – The Hershey Company – Bullish investors satisfied sugar cravings this afternoon by devouring Hershey call options. Shares of the chocolatier rallied 2.70% to $39.88 today. Option traders picked up 1,600 calls at the March $41 strike for a premium of $0.47 apiece. The higher March $42.5 strike attracted greater volume with more than 5,300 calls purchased for a premium of $0.23 per contract. Higher-strike call buyers are positioned to accumulate profits if Hershey’s share price exceeds its current 52-week high of $42.25, attained back on July 23, 2009, by expiration next month. These optimistic individuals profit if shares increase 7.15% from the current price to surpass the effective breakeven point on the calls at $42.73.

GLD – SPDR Gold Trust ETF – Shares of the gold exchange-traded fund,…
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Bullish Trader Quenches Thirst for Calls by Assembling Ratio Spread on PepsiCo

Today’s tickers: PEP, ODP, PFE, EK, AET, PFE, EWT, BIDU, ZION & SII

PEP – PepsiCo, Inc. – Global beverage and snack company, PepsiCo, attracted the attention of bullish option traders in late afternoon trading. PEP’s shares appreciated just less than 1% during the session to stand at $62.05 with 45 minutes remaining before the closing bell. It looks like one trader initiated a ratio call spread on the stock in order to position for continued upward momentum in the price of the underlying through expiration in April. The investor purchased 6,000 calls at the April $62.5 strike for an average premium of $1.93 apiece, spread against the sale of 12,000 calls at the higher April $65 strike for roughly $0.92 each. The net cost of the transaction amounts to just $0.09 per contract. Shares need only rise $0.54 over the current price in order for the investor to breakeven on the trade. Maximum available profits of $2.41 per contract accumulate if the price of PEP’s shares rally 4.75% to $65.00 by expiration day in April.

ODP – Office Depot, Inc. – A sold strangle play on the global supplier of office supplies this afternoon indicates one investor expects shares of Office Depot to remain range-bound for the next several months. ODP’s shares improved 1.25% during the trading day to arrive at $6.61 each. It appears the investor sold 15,000 calls at the April $7.5 strike for a premium of $0.30 apiece, and sold 15,000 put options at the lower April $6 strike for an average premium of $0.47 each. The strangler pockets a gross premium of $0.77 per contract, which he keeps in full as long as shares of the office supplies company trade within the strike prices described above, through expiration. Lower volatility in the price of the underlying shares as well as declines in option implied volatility on the stock benefit the investor in this case. The trader is exposed to losses, however, if shares of Office Depot swing outside of the upper breakeven price of $8.27, or if the stock declines beneath the lower breakeven point at $5.23 by expiration.

PFE – Pfizer, Inc. – Massive chunks of long-dated call options traded on the pharmaceutical company this afternoon. It is unclear what the exact motivation or position of the responsible party is, but it certainly appears to be the work of a Pfizer-bull. Shares continue to…
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New Bank of America CEO Gets Thumbs Up From Investors

Today’s tickers: BAC, HES, SII & DHI

BAC – Bank of America – A New Year and a fresh start in the corner office for incumbent CEO Brian Moynihan at Bank of America. Comments from his maiden voyage speech at a conference today noted that banks had over lent and consumers had taken on too much debt. It’s time to get back to work and as a responsible lender Mr. Moynihan wants to take the lead and do the right thing. His point that the worst of the crisis is now behind us in the context of credit seems to have been taken to heart by investors surrounding BAC’s shares today lifting it 3.9% to $15.65. Option investors appear to have taken profits on January call options at the $14 and $15 strikes instead favoring the $16/$19 strikes to play a bullish call spread combination. Volume patterns suggest the sale of around 33,000 call options for three cents at the upper strike while the $16 calls appear to have been purchased for around 18 cents thus lowering the breakeven at this point to a further rally of 3.1%. Investors also appeared to sell 22,000 puts expiring this month at the $15 strike – a sustained rally would render these worthless at expiration. Puts expiring February at the same $15 strike were also ditched at a premium of 73 cents, while option implied volatility remained unchanged at 37%.

HES – Hess Corp. – A New Year jump in commodity prices was largely inspired by a sustained bout of cold weather sending crude oil prices on the rise above $80. Shares in oil companies rose with those at Hess up 4% at $62.92, while one long-term option bull appeared to purchase 6,750 bullish call options using the January 2011 expiration. The $75 strike price traded at an average price of $4.60 per contract implying a break even share price at expiration of $79.60, requiring an annual rise for shares at Hess of 26.5% from its current level.

SII – Smith International Inc. – Oil services provider, Smith international is also higher by 2.8% today at $27.92 while our scanners picked up unusual options volume. We’re missing one data point to completely and accurately identify this trading strategy, but we think we get the gist. The option combination involved the purchase of puts expiring in April at the $23 strike where an investor…
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Zero Hedge

FX Volatility Nears All Time Low In "Perfect Storm Of Vol, Skew And Carry"

Courtesy of ZeroHedge View original post here.

While the VIX still has a fair ways to go before it plumbs the all-time single-digits lows that defined the spectacularly serene equity markets in 2017, FX vol is already there: the JPMorgan Global FX volatility index has dropped to 6 year low levels, and is just shy of all time lows.

Of course, most of this stability in the FX realm is due to central banks depressing cross-asset vol; yet the more vol is pushed lower, the higher it will spring back once c...



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Phil's Favorites

American influence could take the hit as Putin, Zelenskiy try to make peace in Donbass

 

American influence could take the hit as Putin, Zelenskiy try to make peace in Donbass

Zelenskiy is facing a tough meeting with Russia’s Putin on Dec. 9. Ukrainian Presidential Press Office via AP

Courtesy of Erik C. Nisbet, The Ohio State University and Olga Kamenchuk, The Ohio State University

President Vladimir Putin of Russia and his Ukrainian counterpart, Volodymyr Zelenskiy, are set ...



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Kimble Charting Solutions

Gold Miners Indicator Attempting Multi-Year Breakout, Says Joe Friday

Courtesy of Chris Kimble

Are Gold Mining stocks about to be sent a bullish signal they haven’t received in years? Possible says Joe Friday.

This chart looks at the Senior Miner/Junior miner (GDXJ/GDX) ratio over the past few years. Historically when the ratio is heading up, miners tend to do very well.

The ratio has created a series of lower highs just below the falling line (1), since the summer of 2016. The ratio is currently testing the strong falling resistance line and the June 2019 highs at (2).

Joe Friday Just The Facts Ma’am; If the ratio succeeds in a double breakout at (2), it sends miners a long-awaited bullish message.

...

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Insider Scoop

Scott Galloway Calls For Twitter's Board To Replace 'Part-Time CEO' Jack Dorsey Amid Africa Move Plans

Courtesy of Benzinga

A shareholder in Twitter Inc. (NASDAQ: TWTR) and New York University business professor wrote an open letter Friday to the company's board calling for the replacement of CEO Jack Dorsey.

What To Know

Scott Galloway, who owns more than 330,000 shares of Twitter stock a...



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Lee's Free Thinking

Chart Shows the Fed Ramping Up Not QE - Funding Almost All Treasury Issuance

 

Chart Shows the Fed Ramping Up Not QE – Funding Almost All Treasury Issuance

Courtesy of Lee Adler, Wall Street Examiner 

The Fed is ramping up “Not QE” .

The Fed bought $2.2 billion in notes today in its POMO, “not QE,” operations. Actually $2.15 billion because they sold back a whole $50 million. Must have been a little glitch in the force.

This brings the Fed’s total outright purchases of Treasuries to $170 billion since it started Not QE, on September 17.

It also did $107 billion in gross new repo loans to Primary Dealers to buy Tre...



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Chart School

Silver stock taking the sector higher

Courtesy of Read the Ticker

As the US economy begins to show late cycle characteristics like: GDP slowing, higher inflation, higher wage costs, CEO confidence slump. 

Previous Post: Gold Stocks Review

The big players in the market are looking for the next swing off good value lows. This means more money is finding it way into the gold and silver sector, and it is said gold and silver stocks actually lead the metal prices.

The cycle below shows prices are ready to move in the months ahead (older chart re posted).


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Digital Currencies

Chinese Crypto Exchange IDAX Locks Cold Wallet As CEO "Goes Missing"

Courtesy of ZeroHedge

By William Suberg via CoinTelegraph.com

Chinese cryptocurrency exchange IDAX has suspended deposits and withdrawals after its CEO allegedly disappeared.

In a blog post on Nov. 29, IDAX, which earlier this week warned it was seeing a run on withdrawals, said the whereabouts of Lei Guorong were currently unkno...



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Members' Corner

Sacha Baron Cohen Uses ADL Speech to Tear Apart Mark Zuckerberg and Facebook

 

Sacha Baron Cohen Uses ADL Speech to Tear Apart Mark Zuckerberg and Facebook

By Matt Wilstein

Excerpt:

Sacha Baron Cohen accepted the International Leadership Award at the Anti-Defamation League’s Never is Now summit on anti-Semitism and hate Thursday. And the comedian and actor used his keynote speech to single out the one Jewish-American who he believes is doing the most to facilitate “hate and violence” in America: Facebook founder and CEO Mark Zuckerberg.

He began with a joke at the Trump administration’s expense. “Thank you, ADL, for this recognition and your work in fighting racism, hate and bigotry,” Baron Cohen said, according to his prepared...



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The Technical Traders

VIX Warns Of Imminent Market Correction

Courtesy of Technical Traders

The VIX is warning that a market peak may be setting up in the global markets and that investors should be cautious of the extremely low price in the VIX. These extremely low prices in the VIX are typically followed by some type of increased volatility in the markets.

The US Federal Reserve continues to push an easy money policy and has recently begun acquiring more dept allowing a deeper move towards a Quantitative Easing stance. This move, along with investor confidence in the US markets, has prompted early warning signs that the market has reached near extreme levels/peaks. 

Vix Value Drops Before Monthly Expiration

When the VIX falls to levels below 12~13, this typically v...



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Biotech

Why telling people with diabetes to use Walmart insulin can be dangerous advice

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

 

Why telling people with diabetes to use Walmart insulin can be dangerous advice

A vial of insulin. Prices for the drug, crucial for those with diabetes, have soared in recent years. Oleksandr Nagaiets/Shutterstock.com

Courtesy of Jeffrey Bennett, Vanderbilt University

About 7.4 million people ...



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Mapping The Market

How IPOs Are Priced

Via Jean Luc 

Funny but probably true:

...

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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:

 

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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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