Posts Tagged ‘STEC’

Bullish Player Goes for Second Helping of Kraft Call Options

Today’s tickers: KFT, GG, AEO & STEC

KFT - Kraft Foods, Inc. – Retail-therapy may be less attractive today following disappointing reports from industry giants such as The Gap, Inc., but options traders are still managing to enhance bullish spirits by turning to food instead. Kraft Foods popped up on our scanners today due to heavy trading traffic in June contract call options. It looks like one player is extending optimism on the stock, having purchased call options on Kraft five weeks prior, on April 15. Shares in Kraft Foods increased as much as 1.3% this afternoon to touch an intraday and new 52-week high of $35.44. It appears the investor purchased June $34 strike calls five weeks ago for an average premium of $0.40 per contract when shares in the name were hovering around $33.29. Kraft’s shares rallied 6.45% in the past five weeks to touch today’s new 52-week high, but the value of the June $34 strike calls has increased more than three-fold during the same time period. Some 7,000 call options at the June $34 strike were sold today for an average premium of $1.46 each. If we assume the call seller and buyer are one and the same, net profits on the position amount to $1.06 per contract. Next, it looks like a fresh batch of roughly 7,000 call options were purchased up at the higher June $36 strike for an average premium of $0.25 per contract. Profits on the fresh bullish stance kick in at expiration next month as long as Kraft’s shares rally another 2.3% to exceed $36.25 within the next six weeks. Other bullish players purchased some 1,400 in-the-money calls at the June $33 strike for an average premium of $2.44 each. Another strategist appears to be ditching a bearish position on Kraft Foods by unraveling a ratio put spread in the September contract. Options implied volatility on Kraft trimmed 3.5% to stand at 31.33% this afternoon.…
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Hartford Financial Services Group Call Options in High Demand

Today’s tickers: HIG, EW, GENZ, AWK, STEC, DELL, HTZ, DBRN & OVTI

HIGHartford Financial Services Group, Inc.Call options on the insurance and financial services firm are flying off the shelves today with shares trading higher by as much as 2.95% to tie down an intraday high of $22.99. As of 2:20 pm ET, more than 14.1 calls have changed hands on HIG for each single put option in action on the stock thus far in the session. The sharp increase in demand for calls bumped up the insurer’s overall reading of options implied volatility 26.4% to today’s high of 56.57%. While some investors populating HIG are selling calls, the majority of calls traded were purchased by traders positioning for continue appreciation in the price of the underlying shares. Near-term optimists picked up roughly 7,500 calls at the September $23 strike for an average premium of $0.50 each. Call buyers at this strike make money if HIG’s shares rally above the average breakeven price of $23.50 by expiration day next Friday. Other bulls purchased some 4,600 calls at the September $24 strike for premium of $0.23 each. Another 2,800 calls were scooped up at the higher September $25 strike at an average premium of $0.16 a-pop. More than 10,800 calls changed hands at the September $26 strike versus previously existing open interest of just 3,300 lots. The vast majority of those calls, some 7,000 contracts, traded to the middle of the market at a premium of $0.12 apiece. Bullish sentiment on the insurance company spread to the October $24 strike where some 2,000 calls were coveted at an average premium of $0.76 each. Investors holding these contracts stand ready to accumulate profits if HIG’s shares jump 7.7% over today’s high of $22.99 to exceed the average breakeven price of $24.76 by October expiration. An additional 2,000 calls were picked up at the October $25 strike for premium of $0.70 a-pop. Traders long the calls make money if shares surge 11.8% to trade above $25.70 ahead of expiration day next month. Options traders exchanged more than 66,700 contracts on Hartford Financial Services Group by 2:30 pm ET.

EW – Edwards Life Sciences Corp. – The provider of products and technologies created to treat advanced cardiovascular disease popped up on our ‘hot by options volume’ market scanner after…
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Appetite for Options on YUM! Brands, Inc. Grows Ahead of Earnings

Today’s tickers: YUM, INTC, CBRL, CASY, RMD, PG & STEC

YUM – YUM! Brands, Inc. – Traders are placing bullish and bearish bets on the operator of KFC, Pizza Hut and Taco Bell ahead of the firm’s second-quarter earnings report slated for release after the closing bell on Tuesday afternoon. YUM’s shares are up 0.97% to stand at $40.66 with 35 minutes remaining in the trading day. The overall reading of options implied volatility jumped 21.8% to 33.38% this afternoon as investors anxiously await the firm’s earnings for the second quarter. Some investors are preparing for a rally following earnings and ahead of July expiration. These optimistic individuals picked up at least 1,300 now in-the-money calls at the July $40 strike for an average premium of $1.13 apiece. Investors long the calls make money if YUM’s shares increase 1.15% to trade above the effective breakeven price of $41.13 by expiration on Friday. Bullish sentiment spread to the higher July $41 strike where 1,000 calls were purchased at an average premium of $0.57 a-pop. Traders long the higher-strike call options stand ready to accrue profits should YUM! Brands’ shares rally 2.2% to surpass the average breakeven price of $41.57 by expiration day. In contrast to the bullish behavior observed, pessimistic players purchased put options on the stock to position for disappointing second-quarter earnings from the firm. Bears bought approximately 4,900 puts at the July $40 strike for an average premium of $0.95 per contract. Put buyers make money if YUM’s shares decline 3.95% from the current price of $40.66 to breach the average breakeven point to the downside at $39.05 by July expiration.

INTC – Intel Corp. – Options investors are hard at work populating the chip maker with various trading strategies ahead of Intel’s second-quarter earnings report scheduled for release after the closing bell tomorrow. Thus far in the session more than 144,700 option contracts have changed hands on INTC with investors exchanging 2 call options on the stock for each single put option in play today. The semiconductor manufacturer’s shares are currently up 1.40% to stand at $20.53 as of 3:10 pm (ET). One options trader expecting Intel’s shares to remain range-bound through expiration in January 2012 opted to sell a strangle in the first half of the trading session. It looks like the investor sold 5,000 calls at the January 2012 $25 strike for a premium of $1.54…
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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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Retail Reversal Combination Grabs Attention on XRT

Today’s tickers: XRT, MGM, DE, GLD, UUP, NWL, HNZ, EWZ, UNH, OSTK & STEC

XRT – SPDR S&P Retail ETF – A three-legged transaction in the December contract on the retail exchange-traded fund reveals bearish sentiment by one investor. Shares of the XRT are trading nearly 1% higher today to $34.60. It looks like the trader sold call options in order to offset the cost of buying a put spread. The put spread involved the purchase of 5,000 puts at the December 33 strike for a premium of 1.07 apiece, marked against the sale off 5,000 puts at the lower December 30 strike for approximately 37 cents each. The sale of 5,000 calls at the higher December 36 strike knocked another 87 cents per contract off the total price of the bearish play. The investor more than offset the cost of buying the spread and thus receives a net credit of 17 cents per contract. The full credit is retained by the trader as long as shares of the XRT remain below $36.00 through expiration. Additional profits may accumulate if shares dip below $33.00, while maximum potential gains of 3.00 per contract require that shares trade down to $30.00.

MGM – MGM Mirage, Inc. – Shares of the casino resort operator slipped 2.5% lower to $9.40 today but one options optimist initiated a bullish play on the stock in the March 2010 contract. It appears the trader put on a ratio call spread by buying one in-the-money call option for every three out-of-the-money calls sold. The investor purchased 10,000 calls at the deep in-the-money March 7.0 strike for 3.20 apiece and simultaneously sold 30,000 calls at the higher March 12 strike for 1.05 each. The net cost of the transaction is reduced to just one nickel per contract. The investor probably does not expect shares to rally through $12.00 by expiration because he is short 20,000 calls at that strike price in the March contract. Shares of MGM last traded above $12.00 on October 14, 2009.

DE – Deere & Co. – A large bearish butterfly spread appeared in the March 2010 contract on the agricultural equipment maker. The transaction indicates one investor is positioning for significant declines in the price of DE shares by expiration. Shares are down 1% to $46.76 with just under 90 minutes remaining in the trading day. The investor purchased the upper wing of the…
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More Profits on Urban Outfitters

Today’s tickers: URBN, URE, IPG, WDC, JPM, STEC & ATHR

URBN– The clothing-haven for hipsters jumped to the top of our ‘hot by options volume’ market scanner this afternoon after one Urban-bear was observed taking profits in the January 2010 contract. It appears that this individual originally established a 40,000 lot put spread on July 22, 2008, at a net cost of 4.50. The trader partially unraveled the spread on November 13, 2008, leaving open interest of approximately 28,000 lots at each of the strike prices involved in the spread. Today he has once again targeted his urban-hunting ground to go in for the kill by closing out the position completely. The January 15 strike price saw 26,500 put options purchased for a premium of 1.19 apiece spread against the sale of 26,500 deep in-the-money puts at the January 30 strike for 10.04 per contract. The gross premium realized on this leg of the trade amounts to 8.85. Subtracting the 4.50 paid to initially purchase the bearish put spread yields profits of 4.35 or approximately $11,527,500. – Urban Outfitters, Inc.

URE– The bruised and battered real estate ETF has deflated more than 4.5% today to $3.50. In just a few short days, it will have been one full year since the fund was trading a staggering 841% higher at $32.94. One investor, who has no doubt witnessed the plunge in the price of the underlying over the course of the year, has taken a bearish stance on the stock today. This individual looks to have sold short 25,500 puts at the July 3.0 strike price for a premium of 15 cents per contract or $382,500. If the price of the URE falls beneath $3.00 by expiration, the trader appears happy to have the underlying shares put to him at an effective price of $2.85 each. Otherwise, he retains the full premium received on the transaction if the puts land out-of-the-money by the third Friday of next month. – ProShares Ultra Real Estate

IPG – Shares of the advertising and marketing services firm have declined more than 2% today to stand at $5.53. Despite the current erosion in the price of the underlying, one option trader was observed getting bullish on the stock through expiration in October. Hoping for a significant recovery in shares, the investor purchased 31,500 calls at the October 7.5 strike price for an average premium of
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Phil's Favorites

Signs of a Bottom

 

Signs of a Bottom

Courtesy of 

The S&P 500 gained 6.4% last week, the second-best post-pandemic performance for the large-cap index.  For a moment there, we were out of bear-market territory, bouncing to an 18.5% decline from all-time highs. Now, it’s a bear market again ¯\_(?)_/¯

All silliness aside, calls for a bottom appear premature.

Michael Cembalest and his team did some work on what you want to be on the lookout for, and we’re not there qui...



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ValueWalk

Let General Mills Command A Position In Your Defensive Portfolio

By MarketBeat. Originally published at ValueWalk.

Recession Resistant General Mills Rockets Higher Outlook

We’ve been interested in General Mills (NYSE:GIS) for some time now and we couldn’t be happier with the FQ4 2022 results. The company not only beat on the top and bottom line but issued favorable guidance in the face of mounting economic headwinds. The takeaway here is that defensive consumer staple stocks like General Mills are among the best positioned for today’s times and General Mills is among the best picks. Trading at only 18.5X it’s earnings outlook the stock is undervalued relative to its peers while paying an ...



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Zero Hedge

Why Is The VIX So Low? A Surprising Answer Emerges In The Market's Microstructure

Courtesy of ZeroHedge View original post here.

One of the most frequent questions tossed around Wall Street trading desks (and strip clubs), and which was duly covered by Bloomberg recently in "Fear Has Gone Missing in Wall Street’s Slow-Motion Bear Market", is why despite the crushing bear market and the coming recession, does the VIX refuse to rise sustainably above 30, or in other words, why is the VIX so low?

As Goldman's Rocky Fishman wrote in a recent note "Option Markets Ta...



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Politics

Putin's propaganda is rooted in Russian history - and that's why it works

 

Putin’s propaganda is rooted in Russian history – and that’s why it works

Courtesy of Julia Khrebtan-Hörhager, Colorado State University and Evgeniya Pyatovskaya, University of South Florida

Russia’s war against Ukraine is pressing into its fifth month – despite several rounds of failed peace talks, and Western countries’ issuing severe economic sanctions against Russia.

The war isn’t happening just on Ukrainian soil. President Vladimir Putin’s propaganda is propelling...



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Kimble Charting Solutions

Doc Copper Pattern Suggesting Another Huge Decline Is To Be Expected?

Courtesy of Chris Kimble

Looks like the historic run higher in copper prices may be taking a breather.

While we cannot say that the LONG-term rally is over. It definitely has put in an intermediate top.

Back in March, we wrote about this possibility in our article, “Is Copper Repeating Historic Double Top Price Pattern?” There have been two other historic double tops that have taken place in the past 20 years.

Well, here we are today and the double top pattern is breaking down and Doc Copper is on the ropes. Below is an updated ...



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Chart School

Gold Stocks Review

Courtesy of Read the Ticker

Gold miners do well when gold is higher, and borrowing and gasoline costs are lower.

Lets start with a question: Why do governments own gold?

1) The need it to support their economy during an energy crisis. If their currency is collapsing oil producers will not take fiat for settlement, but they will accept gold.
2) While the US prints money the purchasing power of the US dollar is declining, hence gold is a hedge.

A particular market action which forces traders to move gold higher is when oil moves higher while the US dollar falls. This means the US dollar is losing purchasing power against oil, therefore gold will go higher as the demand for (1) above explodes. Some history, gold moved higher sharply in these years 2007, 2011, 2016, 2020. All ...

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Digital Currencies

Scams and cryptocurrency can go hand in hand - here's how they work and what to watch out for

 

Scams and cryptocurrency can go hand in hand – here’s how they work and what to watch out for

The anonymous nature of cryptocurrency transactions is ideal for con artists. seksan Mongkhonkhamsao/Moment via Getty Images

Courtesy of Yaniv Hanoch, University of Southampton and Stacey Wood, Scripps College

When one of our students told us they were going to drop out of college ...



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Biotech/COVID-19

At last, COVID-19 shots for little kids - 5 essential reads

 

At last, COVID-19 shots for little kids – 5 essential reads

Millions of U.S. children between the ages of 6 months and 4 years will soon be eligible for COVID-19 shots. FatCamera/E+ via Getty Images

Courtesy of Amanda Mascarelli, The Conversation

For many parents of kids under age 5, a safe and effective COVID-19 vaccine could not come soon enough. A full year and a half after shots first became available for adults, their wait is nearly over.

On June 17, 2022, the Food and Drug Administration ...



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Promotions

Phil: Be the House Not the Gambler at the Fintech Conference in Vegas

 

Phil gave an excellent, educational presentation called "Be the House Not the Gambler: Using Stock Options to Significantly Boost Your Portfolio Performance" at the FinTwit Conference hosted by Lupton Capital and Benzinga on May 14 in Las Vegas. The video is set to start playing at 5:30:45, when Phil takes the stage (but you can see previous presentations by backtracking).

AGENDA 
9:00 AM Opening Remarks with Jonah Lupton, Entrepreneur & Investor
9:05 AM Wagging the Dog: How to Profit From Derivative Driven Moves in the Market with Steven Place, Founder, Investingwithoptions.com
10:00 AM The MarketWebs & The Path of Least Resistance, Christian Fromhertz, CEO, The Tribeca Trade Group
10:55 AM Fireside Chat with Gareth Mann, Founder & CEO, AlphaStream & Spencer Israel, Executive Producer, Benzinga
11:25 AM Sponsor Pitch: Carolyn Bao, VP of Marke...



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Mapping The Market

Suez Canal: Critical Waterway Comes to a Halt

 

Suez Canal: Critical Waterway Comes to a Halt

Courtesy of Marcus Lu, Visual Capitalist

The Suez Canal: A Critical Waterway Comes to a Halt

On March 23, 2021, a massive ship named Ever Given became lodged in the Suez Canal, completely blocking traffic in both directions. According to the Suez Canal Authority, the 1,312 foot long (400 m) container ship ran aground during a sandstorm that caused low visibility, impacting the ship’s navigation. The vessel is owned by Taiwanese shipping firm, Evergreen Marine.

With over 2...



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The Technical Traders

Adaptive Fibonacci Price Modeling System Suggests Market Peak May Be Near

Courtesy of Technical Traders

Our Adaptive Fibonacci Price Modeling system is suggesting a moderate price peak may be already setting up in the NASDAQ while the Dow Jones, S&P500, and Transportation Index continue to rally beyond the projected Fibonacci Price Expansion Levels.  This indicates that capital may be shifting away from the already lofty Technology sector and into Basic Materials, Financials, Energy, Consumer Staples, Utilities, as well as other sectors.

This type of a structural market shift indicates a move away from speculation and towards Blue Chip returns. It suggests traders and investors are expecting the US consumer to come back strong (or at least hold up the market at...



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Lee's Free Thinking

Texas, Florida, Arizona, Georgia - The Branch COVIDIANS Are Still Burning Down the House

 

Texas, Florida, Arizona, Georgia – The Branch COVIDIANS Are Still Burning Down the House

Courtesy of Lee Adler, WallStreetExaminer 

The numbers of new cases in some of the hardest hit COVID19 states have started to plateau, or even decline, over the past few days. A few pundits have noted it and concluded that it was a hopeful sign. 

Is it real or is something else going on? Like a restriction in the numbers of tests, or simply the inability to test enough, or are some people simply giving up on getting tested? Because as we all know from our dear leader, the less testing, the less...



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Insider Scoop

Economic Data Scheduled For Friday

Courtesy of Benzinga

  • Data on nonfarm payrolls and unemployment rate for March will be released at 8:30 a.m. ET.
  • US Services Purchasing Managers' Index for March is scheduled for release at 9:45 a.m. ET.
  • The ISM's non-manufacturing index for March will be released at 10:00 a.m. ET.
  • The Baker Hughes North American rig count report for the latest week is scheduled for release at 1:00 p.m. ET.
...

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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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Ilene is editor and affiliate program coordinator for PSW. Contact Ilene to learn about our affiliate and content sharing programs.