Benefits of Trading Options

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Not getting the returns that you are looking for trading stocks, futures, or Forex? Learn to trade options!

  • Options provide a more efficient use of capital for trading
  • Options offer higher risk adjusted returns
  • Options provide flexibility in directional strategy and time element advantages

Cam at the Close 2.28.12

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The ECB has lent over $450 Euros since it incorporated LTRO on December 21, 2012. There is speculation that the ECB is going to inject another $470 billion this week. In my opinion, the market has anticipated this move for a while and I think the official announcement should be a non-event. Then again, the trick is always trying to determine what information is priced in to markets and what isn’t. Amyris Inc. (AMRS) is getting crushed since the company reported poor fourth quarter results from its leading drugs. AMRS is down over 11% to $5.72. Apple (AAPL) is expected to announce its iPad 3 on March 7th. AAPL made another new 52 week high of $534.62. Dominos Pizza (DPZ) broke out of its wedge today and shot up 13.50% to $38.02. Pizza stocks were some of the best performing stocks in 2011. ZAGG Inc. (ZAGG) saw a 10% rally today after a .02 earnings beat. I am surprised the stock isn’t up more given that 50% of its shares are sold short.

With Gold and Silver showing continued strength, small beta pin actions plays are starting to show signs of strength. I like Paramount Gold Mining (PZG) on a break of $2.82-$2.84. Very easy risk management as a stop can be placed underneath the descending trend line. A break of $3.15 on heavily volume could send PZG to $4 in a short amount of time.


Unusual Options Activity 2.28.2012

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Andrew Keene analyzes and dissects daily options order flow to compile the most complete “End of Day” Equity Options Report.

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  • Rich and Cheap Implied Volatility vs 30 day Historical
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S&P Emini Pivot Points for 2.29.2012

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Get the Daily Key Price Levels that Professional S&P EMini Traders trade on.

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Earnings Trade of the Day 2.28.2012

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Trade: I sold the COST March 82.50-80 Put Spread and sold the March 87.50-90 Call Spread for $.75 total. 
Profitable: I make money on this trade if COST Closes between $81.75-$88.25 by March 16, 2012.
Break-even: I break-even on this trade if COST Closes at $81.75 or $88.25 by March 16, 2012.
Unprofitable: This trade is unprofitable if COST Closes under $81.75 or above $88.25 by March 16, 2012.  The most I can lose on this trade is the amount this spread can be worth $2.50 minus the amount I sold it for $.75 for a total of $1.75.

UPDATE 2.29.2012 I got filled on this trade yesterday and COST is rallying but not enough for this spread to be worth more than I sold it for.  This spread that I sold for $.75 is worth $.57 good for 24% profit in one day. 

UPDATE 3.1.2012 I will leave this position on until expiration and it is currently worth $.44.

UPDATE 3.2.2012 After not taking my SINA and GPS earnings plays off for profits after earnings, I am bidding $.37 for this spread, good for a double if I get filled.

UPDATE 3.7.2012  This spread is still worth $.75 and I knew it would be worth more if I didnt close it, so now I am leacing it on because if the stock expired today it would be worthless.


Trade: I sold the FSLR March 40-41 Call Spread for $.24. 
 I make money on this trade if FSLR Closes under $40.24 by March 16, 2012.
 I break-even on this trade if FSLR Closes at $40.24 by March 16, 2012.
 This trade is unprofitable if FSLR Closes above $40.24 by March 16, 2012.  The most I can lose on this trade is the amount this spread can be worth $1 minus the amount I sold it for $.24 for a total of $.76.

UPDATE 2.29.2012 I did not get filled on this trade and I am a little upset, because the stock is selling off hard making this spread worthless.  Oh well, on to the next trade, but the thought that it was a winner makes me feel a little better.  On to the next trade.

UPDATE 3.1.2012 With FSLR selling off once again, this spread will expire worthless tomorrow.

UPDATE 3.2.2012 With FSLR selling off once again, this spread will expire worthless today.

UPDATE 3.5.2012 This spread expired to be worthless.  


Trade: I bought the SODA April 35-55 Strangle and sold the March 35-55 Strangle for $1.30 total. 
Profitable: I make money on this trade if SODA closes between $35-$55 and the April volatility does not get crushed too bad.
Break-even: I break-even on this trade if SODA Stangle Swap is worth $1.30.
Unprofitable: This trade is unprofitable if SODA Strangle Swap is worth less than $1.30.  This is a very hard trade to explain, but I basically want to the front month Strangle to be worthless and have April volatility not get crushed, so the April strangle is worth more than $1.30.

UPDATE 2.29.2012 With SODA selling off, but not as much as expected this spread is worth $1.10.  I will leave this trade on, because there is still a 35% skew between April and March volatility, so I think it will flat line, making this trade profitable.  

UPDATE 3.1.2012 With the spread increasing in value everyday closer to expiration, this spread is now worth $1.35.  I will be looking to sell the spread around $1.75.

UPDATE 3.2.2012 I am offering this spread in the book at $1.65 and maybe I will get filled.  The reason I like to put orders in the “spread book” is because it is free advertising, if someone wants to take the other side of the trade.

UPDATE 3.5.2012 I have this spread offered at $1.60 in the spread book, I have teo things working for me, the closer to March expiration the better and the more SODA selld off the better as well.  

UPDATE 3.6.2012 With the stock selling off even more, this spread is worth $1.65 and I am trying to sell it and close it, so I can move to the next trade.

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Halftime Report for 2.28.2012

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Apple makes another FRESH ALL-TIME HIGH AT $533.20. Ipad 3 is supposedly coming out next Wednesday March 7th in New York according to numerous reports.

The June CBOE VIX futures are trading at $26 and October CBOE VIX futures are at $29. Are the CBOE VIX future curves anticipating higher volatility to come?

Wednesday, keep an eye out for Bernanke’s (semi- annual testimony) speech. Also, Sweden and India reports Q4 GDP numbers. Finally, 2nd round of LTRO program in Europe to take place.

Wednesdays before the bell earnings:

Joy- Joy Global should meet or beat profits and sales expectations because it’s expanding into China’s International Mining Business. Analysts expect Joy to report $1.35 a share, up from $.96 a year ago. Revenue estimates are $1.15B for the quarter and year end revenue of $5.5B.

Liz Claiborne- Quarterly Earnings and estimates Q4E of $.10 Quarterly Revenue Q4E $477M. As of January 31st, their was a huge short float of 30%. Any good news regarding earnings could send the shorts running and the stock flying.

Movers and Shakers (APOL) down $5.40 (11%) to $45.02

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Levels to Watch: 50DMA- $53.5, 100 DMA -$50.04, 200 DMA- $47.59.

Support 1-$50.72


(Chart Glance) Before Earnings, Apollo was resting on its primary support level at $52. Apol has beeb underperforming the broader market since the beginning of the year. Today, a huge bearish gap down into previouss 2011 support. $40 seems like near term support.

 Apollo shares plunge 14% as Apollo cuts its estimates for enrollment and operating profit. After board of directors gave positive numbers and forecasts for the last six months, insiders have been liquidating their positions and not adding to them.

By Greg Zimny

Movers and Shakers (PCLN) Up $41.50 (7%) to $634.99

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Levels to watch: 50 DMA- $519.98, 100 DMA -$507.59, 200 DMA- $507.59.

 Support 1- $597

 Support 2- $574.2

 Support 3- $507.6

 Chart Glance: rallied out of a major consolidation zone. Clean high volume breakout to new highs. Price action displays clear demand for current levels. The stock is in a clear uptrend. The $550 level was a resistance zone that PCLN struggled to get through.

 After Earnings: PCLN CEO Jeffery Boyd stated, “PCLNs hotel bookings growth outperformed rivals.” Gross Margin has widened to 73% from 65.5%. International bookings were up %66 vs 55% forecast. PCLNs “name your own price” business model, was hurt by competitors “discount strategies.” Bookings predicted to slow down in quarters to come because of high gas prices cramping the consumer.

By Greg Zimny

Morning Rage 2.28.2012

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I believe that the Credit Crisis is not yet over. The next Country to watch is Portugal. Portugal passed its third bailout review by the ECB this morning. S&P Kraemer s states, “if there is a country that will default, most likely it would be Portugal.”

Today after the close:

Azo- After bell earnings. Quarterly Earnings and Revenue: (Q2E) $4.01 Quarterly Revenue: (Q2E) $1.8B. Maybe some AZO news leaked after hours yesterday because AZO was trading around the $412 level.

Dpz- Domino’s Quarterly Earnings and Revenue: (QE4) $.49 Quarterly Revenue: $512M. Domino’s earnings have increased the last five consecutive years. In my opinion, this quarter will not be any different as the consumer is still spending money on eating out.

Kog- After the bell today. Quarterly Earnings and Revenue (QE4) $.09 Quarterly Revenue (QE4) $59.9M. History shows that KOG sells off after earnings. In my opinion, KOG will miss on earnings because of bad weather but give a positive forward guidance. Finally, we saw a customer buy 9,500 Mar 10 Puts. Either a customers huge bet to the downside or profit protection strategies.

By: Greg Zimny