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Daily Newsletter, Monday, 06/11/2007

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Table of Contents

  1. Market Wrap
  2. New Option Plays
  3. In Play Updates and Reviews

Market Wrap

Banks "Key" as Yields Move Higher

After a sharp move higher in Treasury yields and some weakness in equities last week, Treasuries and stocks looked to settle in on Monday.

NASDAQ actually looks to be trying to take on a bullish leadership role in recent sessions. Followers of both the NYSE and NASDAQ NH/NL ratios have been more accustomed to seeing the NASDAQ's NH/NL ratio indications reverse lower, then have the NYSE NH/NL ratios follow, but of late, the table has turned.

Broader market breadth as depicted by StockCharts.com's NYSE Summation Ratio ($NYSI) that fell 44.02 today and remains in a column of "O" (decliners outnumbering advancers) to close at a measure of +403.33 today, and gives a "sell signal" at +420 suggests near-term internal damage has been done at big board. Tonight's closing measure violates the March'07 low a/d summation reading of 440 on a 20-point box chart.

Investors and traders are welcome to visit StockCharts.com and view a point and figure chart. I've been updating this chart on a 20-point box chart.

NASDAQ's Summation Ratio ($NASI) remains in a column of "X", but has started to slip with a closing measure of -31.01 at tonight's close. Earlier this month, this indicator of broader breadth at the NASDAQ reversed up from a -100 measure to reach +20 (envision 0.00 as a waterline), but would reverse back lower into a column of "O" and become more defensive once again with a -40 reading.

U.S. Market Watch - 06/11/07 Close

Energy prices rebounded after Friday's sharp sell off that saw July Crude Oil (cl07n) fall 3.24% to settle at $64.75%. Today's rebound in July Crude ($+1.21, or +1.87%) to $65.97 may have been attributed to state-owned Saudi Arabian Oil Co., or Aramco, informing Asian and European consumers of Saudi oil to expect a cut of 9.5% to 10% in supply in July.

Sector action had the Oil Service HOLDRs (AMEX:OIH) $169.90 +1.47% recouping the bulk of Thursday's declines, while the sometimes rate-sensitive Utilities HOLDRs (AMEX:UTH) $141.69 +1.09% may have seen some short-covering with the longest-dated 30-year yield ($TYX.X) holding near the 5.25% level, a level that currently marks the Fed's target on fed fund of 5.25%.

The Utilities HOLDRs (UTH) have fallen 6.85% from their recent all-time closing high of $152.12 on May 21.

Homebuilders as depicted by the Dow Jones Home Construction Index ($DJUSHB) are right back at their April and May option expiration lows of 600, where psychology of higher mortgage rates adds to lackluster commentary from sector CEO's.

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Late this evening, after the market closed, homebuilder Standard Pacific (NYSE:SPF) $19.88 -1.82% said cancellation rates for the first two months of its Q2 were up 28% vs. +35% a year ago. The builder cited continued weakness in Florida and Arizona, but said California bucked the trend, with new orders up 13% compared to a year ago. The company said California's cancellation rate was +29%, but down from the +42% last year.

Bank of America's Daniel Oppenheim said he expects lower new home prices as expectations for cancellations worsen. Mr. Oppenheim thinks buyer will wait things out near-term, looking for another round of incentives/price cuts offered by builders.

One stock that was on the move today, and atop the NYSE's list of most actives was telecom service provider Qwest Communications (NYSE:Q) $9.36 -7.96%. After closing above the $10 for the first time in 5-years, the company's CEO Richard Notebaert said he will leave the Denver-based telecommunications company. Mr. Notebaert did not give a specific timetable for his departure until the company's board selects a replacement.

Mr. Notebaert has been credited with saving the telecom giant from bankruptcy amid a multibillion-dollar accounting scandal that saw shares of Qwest trade as low as $1.07 in 2002.

S&P Depository Receipts (SPY) - Weekly Intervals

There wasn't a lot of action in the S&P 500 Depository Receipts (AMEX:SPY) $151.30 +0.17% today, but last week's trade saw a hefty 779.7 million shares trade hand into this week's quarterly expiration.

Seeing some further deterioration in the NYSE Summation ($NYSI) of late, and a NASDAQ Summation ($NASI) at roughly zero (O), I think bulls holding full positions should scale back to 1/2 position exposure.

A quick glance at Dorsey/Wright and Associates S&P 500 Bullish % (BPSPX), which simply takes the 500 point and figure charts of those components, and stacks them into two piles (one pile contains charts that are on a "buy signal" and one pile those charts containing a "sell signal") shows a net loss of 4.61%, or 23 stocks to reversing lower point and figure sell signals. On June 1 and June 4, this important indicator of supply/demand was at 78.96% and still "bull confirmed," where a reversing lower measure of 72.00% would show some sign of supply outstripping demand with a "bull correction" reading.

While overseas market action certainly seems to be "driving" some weakness here in the U.S. equity and Treasury markets, I want to put some things in perspective, as it relates to Treasury yields, mainly the benchmark 10-year Yield ($TNX.X).

Still, per my Tuesday, 5/29/07 Market Wrap and SPY chart there, the SPY refuses to see a close below its 5/11/07 doji close of 5/11/07.

10-year Treasury Yield - Weekly Intervals

Last week's decision by the European Central Bank to raise rates there to 4.0%, looks to have "accelerated" selling in the benchmark 10-year Treasury Yield ($TNX.X) last week.

While the benchmark bond's yield had been creeping higher, last week's rise was rather sharp, up 25.8 basis points.

I've said before that market participants get "jittery" anytime a currency, or a major bond makes a sharp and sudden move. Last week was no exception.

But is the "jump" in the 10-year ($TNX.X) a sign of doom and gloom?

I don't think so.

As "smart" as I believe bond traders are, and the $TNX.X a reflection of that market, things seem to get out of skew from time to time.

It amazes how quickly even the benchmark 10-year YIELD can move when it hits some point of "pain" for the wrong side of the trade, where a sudden group think sends YIELDS higher, or lower in quick fashion.

From here, or current yield, traders and investors of bonds and equities will likely see shifts in their psychology. Should yield continue to rise toward 5.25%, which just so happens to be the Fed's current target on fed funds, I would think equity traders might play things a bit more "defensive," looking to see if another rapid move higher is in the making.

The "big picture," which the WEEKLY interval chart allows, we can see the last time the Fed raised rates was back on 6/29/06. From there, the 10-year bond found strong buying, driving yield lower (for bonds, as prices RISE, yields DECLINE).

One could say the bond market is probably getting back closer to where it "should be," given Fed commentary, and the current fed funds rate.

Remember! When Treasury yields were FALLING, well below the current fed funds target, some were certain it was a signal from the bond market that the economy was slowing and had entered recession.

And yes, this is where the banks, once again, become "key."

It has been my long-held belief that the banks can be one of the best reads on the bond market and broader economy.

Banks can RISE in price, even as Treasury YIELDS rise.

Actually, since last summer, as Treasury YIELDs fell, a bank that lends money to consumers (business and individuals) like you and I, have probably seen their "gross margins" squeezed a bit.

Many loans' interest rates are derived from Treasury bond yields, and as YIELDS fell, despite a fed funds rate of 5.25%, that "spread" narrowed.

The other "variable," which makes the banking sector a pretty good read on the economy is this.

HOW MUCH LOAN activity is there, even as a bank's margins improve? For the banks, it is a POSITIVE that they are now getting back some "margin" from higher YIELD in the bond market, but what, if any NEGATIVE impact will it have on the number of LOANS generated.

I can sell one Mercedes Benz for $100,000, mark it up from my cost of $30,000 from the manufacturer, but if I only sell one at that HEFTY margin, can I really make any money and keep my dealership open? Selling 20,000 Mercedes with a $10,000 markup margin would be more profitable.

S&P Banks Index (BIX.X) - Weekly Intervals

The 10-week, or 50-day SMA (blue), the 30-week, or 150-day SMA (brown) and 40-week, or 200-day SMA (red) all converge at, or around the 400 level. You can feel the pressure building here.

In October'05 as the 10-year Yield ($TNX.X) rose from 43.00, or 4.3%, the BIX.X was under selling pressure, and it Fed critics were roaring that the Fed would have to raise rates rapidly, mirroring the move in the 10-year at that time.

The BIX.X reverses course from those October'05 lows and surged from 335 to 370, an incredible 10.5% in just six weeks as the 10-year yield ($TNX.X) rose from 4.3% to as high as 4.682% during the same time period.

The BIX.X will likely be a "key" sector to monitor during the next couple of weeks.

Fundamentals that are bullish for banks is that loan demand stay steady, as they get some "margin relief" from rising Treasury yields, which many loan interest rates are eventually derived.

The bearish fundamentals, that haven't played out as witnessed by the technicals, is that the RISE in Treasury bonds, would be too great that LOAN DEMAND suffers significantly enough, that no matter how great the "margin relief," the loan demand works against that relief.

Key levels look to be 390 support and 405 resistance. A break of that range will likely see the major indexes follow.
 


New Plays

New Option Plays

Call Options Plays
Put Options Plays
Strangle Options Plays
AVB None None
DIA    
ESS    
OEX    
REG    

Play Editor's Note: The market's lack of follow through on Friday's bounce looks bearish but the overall trend is still up. We want to speculate on a pull back with some puts on the major indices. However, we're going to label these more aggressive, speculative plays (on the DIA, OEX and SPX). This will either be a great entry point or we'll be stopped out quickly as the rally continues. You'll also notice that we're adding more than one put play in the REIT sector. The whole group appears to be breaking down again. We suggest you pick one you like instead of trying to play them all.


New Calls

AvalonBay - AVB - cls: 122.84 chg: -1.66 stop: 125.55

Company Description:
AvalonBay, an S&P 500 company, is in the business of developing, redeveloping, acquiring, and managing apartment communities in high barrier- to-entry markets of the United States. As of December 31, 2006, the company owned or held an ownership interest in 167 apartment communities containing 48,294 apartment homes in ten states and the District of Columbia, of which 17 communities are under construction and six communities are under reconstruction. (source: company press release or website)

Why We Like It:
We are seeing sector-wide weakness in the RETIs and the oversold bounce in AVB appears to be failing. The stock produced a bearish failed rally near $125 and its 50-dma today. Volume was a bit light so it's hard to put too much confidence behind the move. Therefore traders may want to consider this a more aggressive play. You'll also notice that we are adding more than one put play in the REIT sector. We suggest you just pick one instead of trying to play them all. We will try and limit our risk with a relatively tight stop loss at $125.55. More aggressive traders may want to use a wider stop. Our target is the $115.50-115.00 range. FYI: Another REIT stock that looks like a potential put candidate is SPG.

Suggested Options:
We are suggesting the July puts.

BUY PUT JUL 125 AVB-SE open interest=165 current ask $6.10
BUY PUT JUL 120 AVB-SD open interest=221 current ask $3.70
BUY PUT JUL 115 AVB-SC open interest= 92 current ask $1.90

Picked on June 11 at $122.84
Change since picked: + 0.00
Earnings Date 07/26/07 (unconfirmed)
Average Daily Volume = 903 thousand

---

Diamonds - DIA - close: 134.24 chg: +0.14 stop: 135.26

Company Description:
The DIAMONDS Trust, Series 1, is an Exchange Traded Fund or ETF that seeks to mimic the performance of the Dow Jones Industrial Average.

Why We Like It:
The bounce in the DJIA looks like it's struggling. More than that the rebound looks injured and bears might see this as easy prey and swoop in for a kill. We do consider this a more aggressive play because the bears have been getting beat up for more than two months. However, we'll try and limit our risk with a relatively tight stop loss. We're suggesting puts on the DIA with the DIA under $135 (or the Dow Industrials under 13,500). Our target is the $130.50-130.00 range. There is potential support at the rising 50-dma currently near $131.40.

Suggested Options:
The options on the DIA are traded in $1 strike prices. If you don't like our suggested strikes feel free to pick your own. We are suggesting the July strikes.

BUY PUT JUL 135 DAW-SE open interest=10758 current ask $2.45
BUY PUT JUL 134 DAW-SD open interest= 7232 current ask $2.05
BUY PUT JUL 133 DAW-SC open interest= 8368 current ask $1.70
BUY PUT JUL 132 DAW-SB open interest= 6191 current ask $1.45
BUY PUT JUL 131 DAW-SA open interest= 4705 current ask $1.20
BUY PUT JUL 130 DAW-SZ open interest=47355 current ask $1.00

Picked on June 11 at $134.24
Change since picked: + 0.00
Earnings Date 00/00/00
Average Daily Volume = 10.8 million

---

ESSEX Property - ESS - cls: 119.47 chg: -0.95 stop: 122.51

Company Description:
Essex Property Trust, Inc., located in Palo Alto, California and traded on the New York Stock Exchange (ESS), is a fully integrated real estate investment trust (REIT) that acquires, develops, redevelops, and manages multifamily residential properties in selected West Coast communities. (source: company press release or website)

Why We Like It:
ESS is another bearish candidate in the deteriorating REIT sector. The bounce in ESS is already rolling over. We're suggesting puts with the stock under $120.00. Our target is the $111.00-110.00 range. We'll try and limit our risk with a tight stop loss. More conservative traders could use an even tighter stop loss near today's or last Thursday's high. The P&F chart looks very bearish with a $100 target. FYI: More aggressive traders may want to use a wider stop loss. Plus, we want to note that another REIT stock that looks like a potential put candidate is SPG.

Suggested Options:
We are suggesting the July puts.

BUY PUT JUL 125 ESS-SE open interest=96 current ask $8.10
BUY PUT JUL 120 ESS-SD open interest=57 current ask $5.00
BUY PUT JUL 115 ESS-SC open interest= 2 current ask $2.65

Picked on June 11 at $119.47
Change since picked: + 0.00
Earnings Date 08/02/07 (unconfirmed)
Average Daily Volume = 344 thousand

---

S&P 100 Index - OEX - cls: 693.73 chg: +0.62 stop: 700.25

Company Description:
This is the Standard & Poor's 100 index.

Why We Like It:
If the market is rolling over then a great way to play it is the OEX options. We are suggesting puts with the OEX under $700. We'll set two targets. Our first target is $685 just above the rising 50-dma. Our second target is the $681-680 range. Really aggressive traders may want to hang on and aim for a decline toward $675. Trading the OEX is not for everyone so we consider this a higher-risk, more aggressive play.

FYI: You could also play puts on the S&P 500 (SPX) and aim for the 1490 level or the 50-dma. We aren't listing it as a play since the options are so expensive.

Suggested Options:
We are suggesting the July puts.

BUY PUT JUL 695 OEY-SS open interest=1603 current ask $11.50
BUY PUT JUL 690 OEY-SR open interest=1930 current ask $ 9.60
BUY PUT JUL 685 OEY-SQ open interest=1909 current ask $ 8.10

Picked on June 11 at $693.733
Change since picked: + 0.00
Earnings Date 00/00/00
Average Daily Volume = 1270

---

Regency Centers - REG - cls: 74.68 chg: -1.70 stop: 77.76

Company Description::
Regency is the leading national owner, operator, and developer of grocery-anchored and community shopping centers. At March 31, 2007, the Company owned 409 retail properties, including those held in joint ventures. (source: company press release or website)

Why We Like It:
REG is another bearish candidate in the REIT sector. The stock has broken down under its 200-dma recently and today's decline pulled shares under round-number support at $75.00. Volume has been rising on the declines, which is bearish. There is some support near $72.50 but our target is the $70.50-70.00 range. We are listing more than one put candidate in the REIT sector. We suggest you pick one you like instead of trying to trade them all. FYI: Another REIT stock that looks like a potential put candidate is SPG.

Suggested Options:
We are suggesting the July puts.

BUY PUT JUL 80 REG-SP open interest= 12 current ask $5.90
BUY PUT JUL 75 REG-SO open interest= 62 current ask $2.65
BUY PUT JUL 70 REG-SN open interest= 25 current ask $1.05

Picked on June 11 at $ 74.68
Change since picked: + 0.00
Earnings Date 08/01/07 (unconfirmed)
Average Daily Volume = 374 thousand
 

New Puts

None today.
 

New Strangles

None today.
 


Play Updates

In Play Updates and Reviews

Call Updates

Ashland - ASH - cls: 61.93 change: +0.44 stop: 59.95

ASH out performed the markets on Monday with a 0.7% gain but the rally began to run out of steam late in the session near June's highs. Should the broader indices dip tomorrow we'd look for a pull back in ASH near $61.00 or $60.50. We reiterate our concerns from the weekend newsletter that given the market's action the last few days this is a risky spot to be considering new bullish positions anywhere. Looking at ASH's chart we see potential resistance at the falling 100-dma near $64 but we're going to aim for the 200-dma near $64.50. More aggressive traders may want to aim higher. FYI: The P&F chart is still bearish with a $54 target.

Picked on June 10 at $ 61.49
Change since picked: + 0.44
Earnings Date 07/25/07 (unconfirmed)
Average Daily Volume = 657 thousand

---

Avery Dennison - AVY - cls: 65.91 chg: +0.27 stop: 64.19

Our new play in AVY is now open. Shares continued to rally and hit an intraday high of $66.10, breaking out over the $66.00 level. Our suggested trigger was at $66.05. Volume came in a little bit better than average, which is positive. However, AVY's failure to hold its breakout over $66 is a concern. We would probably expect a dip back toward $65.50 or $65.00 especially if the major averages pull back. More aggressive traders might consider buying a dip. We would wait for a new high over $66.10 before considering new positions. Our target is the $69.75-70.00 range. FYI: The P&F chart is still bearish and points to a $55 target but the stock is bouncing from P&F support.

Picked on June 11 at $ 66.05
Change since picked: - 0.14
Earnings Date 07/24/07 (unconfirmed)
Average Daily Volume = 728 thousand

---

Baker Hughes - BHI - cls: 83.98 change: +0.96 stop: 79.95

Another rally in crude oil helped the oil stocks trek higher. Shares of BHI out performed its peers with a 1.1% gain and a rally past its 10-dma again. The move over $84.00 intraday looked like a new entry point to buy calls but BHI failed to hold it. We remain bullish here but more conservative traders may want to tighten their stops toward last week's lows. Currently our target for BHI is the $89.00-90.00 range.

Picked on June 04 at $ 84.26
Change since picked: - 0.28
Earnings Date 07/25/07 (unconfirmed)
Average Daily Volume = 4.3 million

---

FTSE/Xinhau China Index - FXI - cls: 116.95 chg: +1.25 stop: 111.90

The Chinese market continued to rally with the Shanghai index up over 2%. The FXI rose over 1% and broke out over resistance near $116.00. The ETF hit our trigger to buy it at $116.75. Now that the play is open our target is the $124.00-125.00 range. We would expect some temporary resistance near $120. FYI: The Chinese markets are long-term overbought even after the recent correction. We would consider this a more aggressive, higher-risk play.

Picked on June 11 at $116.75
Change since picked: + 0.20
Earnings Date 00/00/00 (unconfirmed)
Average Daily Volume = 2.4 million

---

General Dynamics - GD - cls: 80.31 change: -0.27 stop: 78.35

Caution! Shares of GD failed to breakout past the $81.00 level. The stock struggled near $80.60 and was rolling over late in the session. While a bounce near $79 or its 50-dma could be a new entry point we are growing more nervous with the lack of follow through. We're suggesting that readers now wait for a rise past $81 before considering new positions. We have two targets. Our first target is the $84.50-85.00 range. Our second target is the $87.50-90.00 range. We do not want to hold over the mid July earnings report. FYI: GD will be presenting at an investor conference on June 14th.

Picked on June 10 at $ 80.58
Change since picked: - 0.27
Earnings Date 07/18/07 (unconfirmed)
Average Daily Volume = 1.3 million

---

Global SantaFe - GSF - cls: 68.59 chg: +0.66 stop: 65.90

The 0.97% bounce in GSF was encouraging but we wouldn't get too excited yet. The rally began to fail midday and the stock was sliding lower into the close. It's unfortunate that GSF began to pare its gains since the rise past $69.00 looked like another entry point. More conservative traders may want to place their stop loss under Friday's low.

Picked on June 03 at $ 68.86
Change since picked: - 0.27
Earnings Date 08/01/07 (unconfirmed)
Average Daily Volume = 4.8 million

---

China Life - LFC - cls: 47.67 chg: +0.01 stop: 45.75

Most of the Chinese stocks were in rally mode with the Shanghai index up 2%. Yet shares of LFC, at least the ones traded here in New York, failed to participate. There was a midday rally to $48.21 but that eventually failed. We're still on the sidelines. Our suggested trigger to buy calls is at $48.25. After today more conservative traders may want to set their trigger to buy calls at $48.51. If triggered our target is the $54.00-55.00 range. We do expect some temporary resistance near $51.00.

Picked on June xx at $ xx.xx <-- see TRIGGER
Change since picked: + 0.00
Earnings Date 08/25/07 (unconfirmed)
Average Daily Volume = 1.0 million

---

Vangard Emergy Mkts ETF -VWO- cls: 87.80 chg: +0.26 stop: 84.99

The VWO produced a decent bounce on Monday but the ETF began to pare its gains late this afternoon. We're not suggesting new positions. Our target is the $89.85-90.00 range.

Picked on May 16 at $ 86.15
Change since picked: + 1.65
Earnings Date 00/00/00 (unconfirmed)
Average Daily Volume = 416 thousand

---

XTO Energy - XTO - cls: 60.70 chg: +0.18 stop: 56.74

Gosh! After Cramer's big endorsement of XTO on Friday we expected a bigger pop today. XTO posted another gain but the stock struggled near $61.30 more than once today. Shares look poised to dip back to the $60 level and probably near the 10-dma (currently near 59.50). Our target is the $64.75-67.50 range. More conservative traders may want to tighten their stops toward $58.00.

Picked on May 27 at $ 57.63
Change since picked: + 3.07
Earnings Date 07/25/07 (unconfirmed)
Average Daily Volume = 3.2 million
 

Put Updates

Anixter Intl. - AXE - cls: 70.35 chg: +1.29 stop: 71.55

The rebound in AXE was a little too strong for our liking today. Shares rose 1.8% and rallied back above what should have been resistance near $70.00 and its 50-dma. While the trend remains bearish we're concerned that AXE might stop us out before rolling over again. More aggressive traders may want to widen their stop loss a bit to give AXE more room to maneuver. We would wait for a new decline under today's low near $69.30 before considering new positions. We are aiming for the $65.25-65.00 range. The P&F chart is bearish with a $63.00 target.

Picked on June 07 at $ 68.99
Change since picked: + 1.36
Earnings Date 07/24/07 (unconfirmed)
Average Daily Volume = 520 thousand

---

Gilead Sciences - GILD - cls: 79.22 chg: +0.22 stop: 82.55

It looks like Monday's trading in GILD has provided a new entry point to buy puts. The stock produced a bearish failed rally pattern in the $80 zone (actually 80.26). Our target is the $75.25-72.50 range. FYI: The stock is set to split 2-for-1 on June 25th. The P&F chart shows a new quadruple bottom breakdown sell signal with a $71 target.

Picked on June 07 at $ 79.90
Change since picked: - 0.78
Earnings Date 07/18/07 (unconfirmed)
Average Daily Volume = 4.1 million

---

QUALCOMM - QCOM - cls: 41.39 change: -0.48 stop: 44.05

Shares of QCOM continue to slide. We don't see any changes from our weekend comments. If shares of QCOM can bounce from here we would look for a failed rally under $44 and its 50-dma, which could be used as a new entry point. However, we're not going to wait for a bounce so we're suggesting puts now. QCOM can be a volatile stock so this should be considered a higher-risk, more aggressive play. Shares should see some support near $40.00 and its 200-dma but we're aiming for the $37.00-36.00 range. FYI: In the news today Nokia (NOK) filed a counter suit against QCOM in response to QCOM's patent infringement suit it filed back in April.

Picked on June 10 at $ 41.87
Change since picked: - 0.48
Earnings Date 07/18/07 (unconfirmed)
Average Daily Volume = 18.0 million

---

Vital Images - VTAL - cls: 26.02 chg: -0.18 stop: 29.05

We don't see any changes from our weekend comments on VTAL. More conservative traders may want to tighten their stops a bit. Our target is the $25.15-25.00 range.

Picked on May 16 at $ 27.99
Change since picked: - 1.97
Earnings Date 04/26/07 (confirmed)
Average Daily Volume = 191 thousand
 

Strangle Updates

None
 

Dropped Calls

None
 

Dropped Puts

None
 

Dropped Strangles

None
 

Today's Newsletter Notes: Market Wrap by Jeff Bailey and all other plays and content by the Option Investor staff.

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