Option Investor

Daily Newsletter, Wednesday, 07/09/2008

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Table of Contents

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

Market Wrap

Crazy Action

I think that the title sums up not only today but the various markets general volatile movements. Over the weekend I read an article in some other publication by McMillan about how and why the CBOE Volatility Index (VIX) has been so subsided as compared to huge spikes the index experienced during Marchs decline. While it appears that some investors are in panic mode calling for a recession or possible crash the VIX isnt really reflecting the fear. Mr. McMillan referenced option traders tendency to hedge with Options and Futures on the VIX and VXN (Nasdaq 100 Volatility Index) as well as buying the Ultra Short Proshares of the S&P 500, Nasdaq 100 and Russell 2000 (symbols: SDS, QID, & TWM, respectively). In the article he pointed out many variables that could possibly cause the VIX (S&P 500 Implied Volatility) to stay close to the actual volatility of the S&P 500. I tend to emphasize the VIX versus many of the other contrarian/sentiment indicators because of the long term consistency of the signals it has given. The main point is that while many of the sentiment and technical indicators out there are suggesting the market is oversold the market hasnt capitulated as suggested by the VIX spiking to around 30. The VIX moves higher as option traders buy SPX puts to hedge their portfolios and buy calls to speculate a bounce. Basically when everyone has thrown in the towel and pays whatever it takes to hedge the volatility spikes. Once the panic subsides as indicated by the VIX contracting from its highs a tradable long may be established (but use stops at either price levels or a break out of volatility).

As the chart above shows the VIX spiked up to over 26.90 which is just below the candle wick from March 24th. The close lower on Monday signaled a long entry. The exit is always the hardest part. We could have covered the trade at the close with a nice profit or set a trailing stop at a break above 24.09 on the VIX itself. How do we trade this? A long trade can be done many ways. We can buy SPX Calls, Buy a SPX Call Diagonal Spread, Sell an SPX Put Vertical, buy the Ultra Proshare S&P 500 (SSO), Sell the SSO puts or put spread, Buy a Call Diagonal on the SSO, Buy the VIX Puts, Sell the VIX Calls, etc. It really depends upon your time horizon, ability to trade intraday, ability and knowledge of trading complex spreads and available risk capital. As for the exit, a break below the 20 day simple moving average (SMA) (red line) is usually a confirmation of continued contraction. Since the VIX found support and bounced significantly from it today the trailing 10 day SMA or the previous high of 24.09 would be a good trailing stop so as not to get whipsawed and give back all of yesterdays hypothetical profits.

News Today

I heard rumors about Bank of America today that covered that the stock is one of the greatest value investments available from the company having to cut its dividend. At todays close of $22.06 the current yield is 11.60%. The CEO spoke after the close and squashed the dividend cut theory and the stock is trading up to about $22.84 in after hours trading. CNBC even had a round table discussion regarding the stock as either a great dividend play or an eventual drag on the economy from potential unforeseen write downs. The options market has put a heavy price on the future movement of the stock by setting Implied Volatility on the front month July options at 95.06%. According to Yahoo! earnings are expected to be released on July 21st while options expire on July 15th. You could sell the July 20 puts for $0.44 per contract and the July 25 Calls for $0.23 per contract to create a slightly positively biased short strangle. A strangle is similar to a straddle except the calls and puts have different strike prices. The trade brings in about $0.67 per contract or $67 for an initial margin requirement of approximately $240 per contract. This is about a 25% return for 7 days left.

In the technology sector Cisco Systems (CSCO) declined 1.32 to 21.56 on news that UBS said that CSCO faces challenges due to slowing sales in the U.S. and Europe. UBS cut their price target to $25.50 from $27.00.

The above chart is the 5 minute S&P 500 CME eMini futures contract. As the chart shows the market started the day with a little gap up but filled in within the first five minutes of todays New York Session. We saw a bounce back to the pre-market highs but by noon the market had begun to fall and break down below the 10:00 AM lows. The European Markets all closed strong.

FTSE: 5528.3 +87.8 +1.6%, DAX: 6395.4 +91.0 +1.4%, CAC: 4339.7 +64.1 +1.5%.

At 1789 million the NYSE volume exceeded the 5o day moving average of 1613 million shares. However, todays level is less than yesterdays volume of 2098 million shares. There were 1103 advancing stocks versus 2112 declining stocks. The ARMS index or TRIN spiked up at 2.42. A close above 1.50 is a good buy signal while a close above 2 is an even better signal. The TRINs high number reflects a flush out on high selling volume.


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On the Nasdaq Composite the volume barely exceeded the 50 day moving average. Todays volume of 2254 million shares was slightly above the 50 day average of 2096 million shares. There were 940 advancing stocks versus 1936 declining stocks today. The TRINQ also exceeded 2 to suggest a buying opportunity. However, it should be noted that the TRIN trade is a short term profit target trade and not a long term signal. Another method of trading the TRIN is on an open high above 1.5 buy the Dow or S&P Futures or options and sell all or part once the TRIN bottoms out and begins to head back up.
Crude Inventories were released today and seemed bullish for oil in that the inventories declined 5,840,000 barrels versus the 1,982,000 barrels that were expected. However, crude declined about 0.4% and spurred a decline of 2.1% in the energy sector.

The S&P 500 (SPX)

After choppy trading up until lunch time the SPX dropped suddenly to lose yesterdays entire advance up. The chart below shows the daily price of the SPX with moving averages.

The upper level of resistance is at 1292 from two intraday highs. A close above 1292 would help the pending bounce camp sound sane. Tuesdays low of 1240 stands as our near term support. However, the 127.2% Fibonacci level at 1207.13 stands as the next price extension level. Another decline like today would put the SPX near that level and set a significant new low. However, for now the SPX seems to be congregating near the 100% retracement level. The longer term moving averages are very far from being in play. The 50 day Exponential Moving Average (EMA) is at 1335.98 at the close. A run to that would require a quick 90 point (7%) move up to even test that level.

The above chart is a daily SPX chart with Slow Stochastic, Bollinger bands and RSI. I also have the 8 day EMA embedded into the 21 day EMA Bollinger band indicator. I programmed the EMA Bollinger bands in order to get a more responsive standard deviation measurement. That is the upper and lower bands. The lower band is at 1227 and has provided a nice gentle slide down. The 8 day EMA, on the other hand, has provided consistent resistance on the slide down. A close above the 8 day EMA may provide a confirmation long entry. Notice that today the SPX traded above the 8 day EMA but obviously failed to hold. It is hard to wait for the market to move up over 30 points prior to buying but at least there would be a reason to buy and a risk management level to sell (recent low). At yesterdays close the Stochastics and RSI both indicated a strong re-emergence. The indicators are suggesting that the SPX still has more room to drop before the long is confirmed.

This is a weekly chart of the SPX and shows support from 2006 at 1219.29. A test of this level along with a close above the lower Bollinger band from the daily chart would provide a decent early entry of a partial position. Both weekly RSI and Slow Stochastics are oversold.

The open interest support levels are indicated in bight yellow. The 1250 strike price level is the peak put open interest at 24,080 contracts. 1250 is slightly above todays close (1244.69) but has been somewhat of a magnet for the SPX as indicated by the discussion on the 100% Fibonacci retracement level. The 1300 strike has the peak open interest at 77.266 open contracts. But 1275 comes in next as a peak in open interest. 1275 should continue to provide resistance as it has for the last few trading sessions. Todays high on the SPX was 1277.36.

The Nasdaq 100 (NDX)

The daily chart of the NDX above shows price support levels and moving averages. The NDX has been more range bound and less trend setting than the SPX. Nevertheless the NDX is still down over 14% year to date. The 1801 gap from April 15th has been the recent support level. However, the NDX has a gap down at 1751 that may need to be filled while we are so close. That requires a 70 point drop to fill which would cause more damage to the technical health of the NDX. There is resistance at the 89 day SMA (1888) and again at 1910 from the gap down on June 26th.

Looking at the chart above the NDX doesnt look that bad. RSI and Slow Stochastics are out of oversold territory and the lower Bollinger band is trying to stabilize. The recent low is our support level and if broken would put the 1751 gap as the downside short target. The 8 day EMA (pink line) has also flattened and therefore made the closing confirmation above it more achievable than that of the SPXs.

Looking at the weekly chart of the NDX the 1770 price level becomes even more of a target in that the 200 EMA closed there today. The volatility of the NDX is really represented in the chart above. It is still uptrending until the 50 week simple moving average (SMA) declines through the 89 week SMA. There is a coincidence level at 1910 from the gap down and the 89 week SMA (soon to include the 50 week EMA and SMA).

The NDX closed at 1819.18 today just below the 1825 put strike. Again the 1750 support level is represented by the 1750 put strikes peak open interest. The 1950 strike price suggests that there are a lot of calls sold at 1950 and therefore represent selling pressure. 1975 is the peak open interest at 13,001 contracts open. Signals on Index Put/Call ratios are generally higher than that of equity because of the tendency of institutional traders to trade them more often than amateurs. Therefore a 2:1 ratio generally signals a buy signal and 0.80 indicates a sell signal.

Upcoming Events

This week still has plenty of market moving data to come out of the government. Tomorrow morning the initial claims can either help or hurt any overnight strategies (like the TRIN trade). Michigan Sentiment and import/export trade data will be influencing market participants trading decisions.

The stocks above are the more widely held stocks that I thought you all would like to know are reporting over the next few days. Next week we will be in the middle of earnings season. That means I will show you some more examples of the short strangle and short iron condor volatility play I trade during earnings season. Just be patient for the long trade. Eventually the market will go back up. The question is from where. I am currently serving as portfolio manager for a branch of a major Registered Investment Advisory. The portfolios are basically balanced between Domestic and International equity and fixed income investments, real estate and commodities. I use non-correlating investments in assets traded through funds and ETFs. Anyway the point is that the advisers that I trade for are beginning to get nervous because their clients are scared that the end of the world is near. From my experience, most of the time when the adviser decides to throw in the towel and sell everything the end of the decline is near. They tend tell clients not to worry and to hold on tight because the investments are diversified and use strategic portfolio allocation. So when the market continues to fall and more people call they join the sentiment in a concerted effort to relate. Since the adviser was wrong the first time the clients called and the market drops another 10% then the adviser begins to believe the client is right and that they should sell everything. I heard the suggestion to sell everything at todays close. I didnt and wont. I will reposition into different vehicles that will advance faster than what I have now. Good luck and good trading.

The Contrarian

The Contrarian

Contrarian defined: In simple terms it is taking the opposite position of the majority opinion. Once the majority of market participants have become bullish, as indicated by the various sentiment indicators below, the contrarians interpretation is a bearish signal. The signal is bearish because the assumption is that those that have bought are bullish and want the market to go up. And if everyone that was going to buy has already bought, who else remains to buy?

The signals of the following indicators must all be in alignment to issue a confirmed signal. But you could use the indicator(s) that suits your investment style to launch trading positions from. I wont provide specific recommendations on what to buy. I prefer to use the signal confirmations as an indication to alter the portfolio bias. If I am adjusting a single position, like an Iron Condor or Double Diagonal, the signals help determine with how the position is directionally leaned as determined by the Delta and breakeven points. For instance, we have been Neutral with a slight Bearish tendency. If the Investors Intelligence polls indicate a Positive bias signal, I will sell more puts or roll them to a higher strike price as well as reducing calls or rolling them to a higher strike price too.

The CBOE Equity Put/Call Ratio

About a week ago starting on 6/30 the CBOE Equity Put/Call ratio 10 and 20 day moving averages crossed on another. With the 10 day MA (pink line) below the 20 day MA (blue line), the signal was moved to a confirmed Positive Bias. However, the moving averages crisscrossed each other over the next two days but still remained on a positive bias. With all of the volatility in the markets over the last week there had been an increase in the volume of puts traded versus the volume of calls traded. The daily Equity Put/Call Volume ratio exceeded 0.80 at 0.8526 and 0.8872 on Friday and Monday, respectively. This recent peak helped push the 10 day moving average up to its recent high of 0.774 which was last visited on July 1st. June 20th was the day that the 10 day moving average peaked over 0.806. The drop back below 0.80 the following day resulted in the signal changing to a Neutral bias. On Monday the 20 day moving average closed at 0.786. Tuesdays close showed a very slight dip in the 20 day MA. If both moving averages begin to trend down the Positive signal will be confirmed.

The Signal: As mentioned prior the signal was shifted to a Positive bias last week when the 10 day MA dipped below the 20 day MA. The decline in the 10 day MA showed little conviction as compared to the decline from Marchs peak. But a cross is a confirmation. SIGNAL: POSITIVE BIAS

The CBOE Volatility Index ($VIX)

The signal: As mentioned in last weeks newsletter with the breakout on Mondays (6/30/08) close (22.53) the signal is being moved back to a Negative bias and will remain so until the 10 day moving average (MA) closes below the 20 day MA. The 10 (green line) and 20 (red line) day MAs of the CBOE Volatility Index (VIX) continued to advance upward toward the resistance level established from the 2/28/08 low. Previous highs are new support while previous lows are new resistance. The signal will be changed to Neutral if the 10 day moving average curls over or the 10 day MA run up to resistance at 24 (Blue dotted line). At the point of inflection where the 10 day MA crosses the 20 day MA, the bias will be sharply changed to a Positive bias. Today the 10 day MA ticked up a little to 23.60 from 23.57. With the 20 day MA closing down from 23.01 to 22.99 the signal is being changed to a Neutral Bias from a Negative Signal. SIGNAL: NEUTRAL BIAS

The Investors Intelligence Polls

I prefer to use the Investors Intelligence polls as the third indicator because of the integrated confusion that is associated with the Indicator. Confusion means some exclusivity. While there is an indicator that polls investors, the confusion from this indicator comes from the fact that the service that provides the numbers actually polls investment newsletter writers. These newsletter writers are loosely referred to as Advisors. The percentage of bullish advisors is usually skewed toward bullishness due to the inherent nature of humans to be optimistic. In addition, since most investment newsletter readers are human and therefore optimistic (read bullish), advisors that are paid to write usually write about what will garner the most readers. As a contrarian I have to be an amateur psychologist. So the skew comes into effect with the range in which bullish signals are given versus that of the range bearish signals are given. For instance, the indicator signals Negatively Biased (bearish) when the Bullish Percent of Advisors exceeds 55% while the indicator signals Positively Biased (bullish) when the Bearish Percent of Advisors exceeds 45%. The skew I wrote about is the 10% difference. While I mostly look for strong confirmation from a reversal high levels of either Bearish or Bullish percents will cause me to make a shift in the signal prior to the confirmation.

As of this mornings release from Investors Intelligence the number of bullish newsletter writers/advisors polled continued to decrease to 27.4% from 31.9%. The percent of bearish newsletter writers/advisor polled increased another 2.6% to 47.3%. Notice that the Bearish percent poll is above the 45% threshold that changes the bias. Also the spread between the percent of bullish and bearish advisors has hit a long term low of negative 19.9%. I have been using this indicator for about ten years and dont remember the spread this low. Looking at the grid chart above the spread declined to -13.8% on March 19th.

Last week I wrote "When the Bearish% reaches near 45% the market is usually oversold. It is unusual to see the spread in negative territory. Most of the times the spread declined below 0 the market (S&P 500) tends to bounce soon after. Negative spreads indicate extremes in bearish sentiment. Thus the contrarian move is to move to a bullish bias."

I also wrote that I am tempted to step in front of the signal and issue a Positive Bias now. However, I prefer to see a confirmation with a higher spread next week. My patience was rewarded. In hindsight it would have been prudent to remain Negatively Biased until now but I cant go back now. With this extreme low in sentiment showing that the majority of the newsletter writers that will go bearish have turned bearish I am moving the signal to a Positive Bias. SIGNAL: POSITVE BIAS

Summary: We have two indicators pointing to a positive bias. The laggard is the VIX which will probably turn to Positive if the VIX closes down from Tuesdays close of 23.15. There isnt a load the boat scenario yet until all three signals align. If youve ever watched a drag race we want three greens to go!

Robert J. Ogilvie

New Plays

New Option Plays

Call Options Plays
Put Options Plays
Strangle Options Plays

New Calls

Gold ETF - GLD - cls: 91.50 chg: +0.64 stop: 89.45

Company Description:
The StreetTRACKS Gold Trust is an exchange traded fund (ETF) that reflects the price of gold bullion.

Why We Like It:
Technically the GLD has produced an inverse (bullish) version of a head-and-shoulders pattern. The Point & Figure chart is bullish. Plus, if the market does see a sharp, capitulation sell-off there could be a panic rally into gold. We're suggesting August calls here with a stop loss at $89.45. Our target is the $97.00 mark but the $95.00 level could be overhead resistance and more conservative traders may want to jump out near $95. Keep an eye on the U.S. dollar. If the dollar rallies sharply it will push gold lower.

Suggested Options:
We are suggesting the August calls. Strikes are available at $1.00 increments.

BUY CALL AUG 90.00 GLD-HL open interest= 667 current ask $3.80
BUY CALL AUG 93.00 GLD-HO open interest= 698 current ask $2.35
BUY CALL AUG 96.00 GLD-HR open interest= 127 current ask $1.45

Picked on July 09 at $ 91.50
Change since picked: + 0.00
Earnings Date 00/00/00
Average Daily Volume = 9.8 million

New Puts

Apple Inc. - AAPL - close: 174.25 chg: -5.30 stop: 181.01

Company Description:
Apple Inc. produces Mac computers, iPods, the iPhone and recently sold their 5 billionth song on thei iTunes store.

Why We Like It:
We know that just about everyone loves this stock but short-term AAPL looks poised to retest its 200-dma. The stock produced a classic failed rally near resistance at $180 and its 50-dma. We're suggesting puts now with a stop loss above today's high. Our target is $165.00. More aggressive traders could aim for the $160 region. We will be expecting a bounce either at the 200-dma or at $160. If we don't see some follow through lower relatively soon we're going to exit early.

Suggested Options:
We are suggesting the August puts but we plan to exit ahead of the July 21st earnings report.

BUY PUT AUG 175.00 APV-TO open interest=3352 current ask $11.65
BUY PUT AUG 170.00 APV-TN open interest=4125 current ask $ 9.30
BUY PUT AUG 165.00 APV-TM open interest=4197 current ask $ 7.30

Picked on July 09 at $174.25
Change since picked: + 0.00
Earnings Date 07/21/08 (confirmed)
Average Daily Volume = 31.4 million

New Strangles

None today.

Play Updates

In Play Updates and Reviews

Call Updates

CF Inds. - CF - close: 152.23 chg: +7.76 stop: 137.45 *new*

Positive comments about the fundamentals of the potash and fertilizer industries from a Goldman Sachs analyst really energized the group today. Shares of CF opened at $145.06 and surged to $155.01 intraday. We have adjusted our "entry" price to reflect today's open. Wait for a pull back before considering new bullish positions. Our target is the $159.00 mark. Please note that we are adjusting the stop loss to $137.45.

Picked on July 08 at $145.06 *gap open entry
Change since picked: + 7.76
Earnings Date 07/28/08 (unconfirmed)
Average Daily Volume = 2.7 million


Fording Candn.Trust - FDG - cls: 75.62 chg: +0.27 stop: 69.90

Warning! The action in FDG today was bearish. The stock rallied to $80.41 before falling back to earth. This failed rally near $80.00 is very short-term bearish. At this point we would wait and watch for a new dip and a bounce in the $70-72.50 zone before considering new call positions. Our target is $84.00. More conservative traders, if you did open positions this morning, will want to strongly consider exiting early now and just cutting your losses early.

Picked on July 08 at $ 75.35
Change since picked: + 0.27
Earnings Date 07/23/08 (confirmed)
Average Daily Volume = 2.4 million


Mosaic - MOS - cls: 137.04 chg: +5.92 stop: 118.99

MOS received a new "buy" rating today and combined with the positive analyst comments from Goldman Sachs about the fertilizer industry you can see why shares were up 4.5%. The stock gapped open at $133.57 so we have adjusted our "picked" price. Shares rallied to the $140 region before running out of steam. If you're looking for a new entry point wait for a dip and signs of a bounce first. We're setting two targets. Our first target is $144.00. Our second target is $158.00. Just remember that we do not want to hold over the late July earnings report.

Picked on July 08 at $133.57 *gap open entry
Change since picked: + 5.92
Earnings Date 07/31/08 (unconfirmed)
Average Daily Volume = 6.0 million


Research In Motion - RIMM - cls: 117.54 chg: -4.50 stop: 114.75

There were a couple of articles out today suggesting that RIMM's upcoming "Thunder" model of smart phones are not ready yet for public consumption. This may have contributed to the 3.6% decline in the stock price. Shares produced a failed rally at the 10-dma. This is bearish! The next stop is probably the $115 level. Wait for a bounce near $115. Actually, it you study the daily chart you could argue that RIMM is more likely to fall towards the $114.00-113.00 levels closer to the July lows and 200-dma. If you're willing to take the risk then adjust your stop loss under the July 7th low of $112.65. More conservative traders may just want to abandon ship given the market's roll over today. This is an aggressive play due to our risk-reward ratio.

Picked on July 08 at $122.04
Change since picked: - 4.50
Earnings Date 09/25/08 (unconfirmed)
Average Daily Volume = 17.7 million


CBOE Volatility Index - VIX - close: 25.23 chg: +2.08 stop:

As of yesterday the VIX looked like it was in trouble but that proved to be a momentary worry. Investors are growing more worried with the market's inability to find a bottom. This might be another bullish entry point. We were suggesting the August options. We were listing two targets. One target is $29.50 and a second one at $34.00.

Picked on June 30 at $ 23.95
Change since picked: + 1.28
Earnings Date 00/00/00
Average Daily Volume = n/a million

Put Updates

Amazon.com - AMZN - close: 70.61 chg: -4.43 stop: 73.85

The bounce in AMZN has failed near its 10-dma and the sell-off was really picking up steam this afternoon. This is a new two-month closing low for AMZN and the stock is poised to test the $70.00 mark tomorrow. Our suggested entry point to buy puts is at $69.75. If triggered our target is $62.50.

Picked on July xx at $ xx.xx <-- see TRIGGER
Change since picked: + 0.00
Earnings Date 07/23/08 (unconfirmed)
Average Daily Volume = 7.2 million

Strangle Updates

(What is a strangle? It's when a trader buys an out-of-the-money (OTM) call and an OTM put on the same stock. The strategy is neutral. You do not care what direction the stock moves as long as the move is big enough to make your investment profitable.)


Alpha Nat. Res. - ANR - close: 89.18 chg: + 3.88 stop: n/a

ANR continues to trade with a lot of volatility. We have seven trading days left and ANR needs to be well above $105 or under $85 if we are to make a profit here. We're not suggesting new strangle positions at this time. This is a higher-risk strangle play with the options so expensive. The options we suggested were the July $105 calls (ANR-GA) and the July $85 puts (ANR-SQ). Our estimated cost was $9.40. We want to sell if either option hits $14.50.

Picked on June 15 at $ 94.25
Change since picked: - 5.07
Earnings Date 08/05/08 (unconfirmed)
Average Daily Volume = 3.7 million


Chevron - CVX - close: 93.91 chg: -1.88 stop: n/a

CVX has very clearly broken lower from its consolidation phase. Today shares lost another 1.9% and closed under support near $95.00. We are not suggesting new strangle positions at this time. The options we suggested were the August $110 calls (CVX-HB) and the August $90 puts (CVX-TR). Our estimated cost is $2.20 (based on June 30th prices we needed 2 calls per 1 put). We want to sell if the puts $3.85 or if the calls hit $1.90. More aggressive traders may want to aim higher.

Picked on June 30 at $ 99.13
Change since picked: - 5.22
Earnings Date 08/01/08 (confirmed)
Average Daily Volume = 13.3 million


DIAMONDS - DIA - close: 111.66 chg: -2.08 stop: n/a

It was an ugly reversal day for the DIA. The markets erased Tuesday's gains. DIA fell through our suggested entry range again and we're not suggesting new positions. The options we suggested were the August $115 calls (DIA-HK) and the August $109 puts (DIA-TE). Our estimated cost is $4.35. We want to sell if either option hits $6.90 or more.

Picked on July 07 at $112.21
Change since picked: - 0.55
Earnings Date 00/00/00
Average Daily Volume = 15.5 million


iShares Brazil - EWZ - cls: 79.31 chg: -2.45 stop: n/a

The oversold bounce from the $80.00 in the EWZ has failed. Shares reversed into a 3% loss and closed under the $80 level. We are not suggesting new strangle positions. The options we suggested were the August $90 calls (EWZ-HR) and the August $75 puts (EWQ-TO). Our estimated cost is $3.95. We want to sell if either option hits $5.90.

Picked on July 03 at $ 83.06
Change since picked: - 3.75
Earnings Date 00/00/00
Average Daily Volume = 13.6 million


Garmin Ltd. - GRMN - close: 42.67 chg: -1.43 stop: n/a

The bounce in GRMN also reversed and shares are back inside their trading range. We're not suggesting new positions at this time. The options we listed were the July $50 calls (GQR-GJ) and the July $40 puts (GQR-SH). Our estimated cost was $2.55. We want to sell if either option hits $ 4.75 or higher.

Picked on June 15 at $ 44.91
Change since picked: - 2.24
Earnings Date 07/30/08 (unconfirmed)
Average Daily Volume = 4.1 million


Internet Holders - HHH - cls: 50.96 change: -1.85 stop: n/a

The Internet Holders fell back today with a 3.5% loss. If the HHH trades near $50.00 again readers could open new strangle positions. Our suggested entry point was the $50.50-49.50 zone, which hasn't been hit yet. The options we suggested were the August $55 calls (HHH-HK) and the August $45 puts (HHH-TI). Our estimated cost is $1.60 (to be adjusted when triggered). We want to sell if either option hits $2.45.

Picked on July 03 at $ xx.xx
Change since picked: + 0.71
Earnings Date 00/00/00
Average Daily Volume = 132 thousand


KLA-Tencor - KLAC - close: 37.60 chg: -3.05 stop: n/a

We are finally seeing some movement in KLAC. The stock lost 7.6% following a Barrons article that KLAC may be losing market shares to AMAT. Plus, an earnings warning from MTSN did not help the semiconductor sector. KLAC has fallen out of its trading range. We are not suggesting new positions at this time. We listed two different strangles on KLAC.

Suggested Options:
KLAC Strangle #1) The options we listed were the July $42.50 calls (KCQ-GV) and the July $37.50 puts (KCQ-SU). Our estimated cost is $1.65 We want to sell if either option hits $3.00.

KLAC Strangle #2) The options we listed were the July $45.00 calls (KCQ-GI) and the July $35.00 puts (KCQ-SG). Our estimated cost is $0.70. We want to sell if either option hits $1.50.

Picked on June 22 at $ 40.07
Change since picked: - 2.47
Earnings Date 07/24/08 (unconfirmed)
Average Daily Volume = 3.7 million


Lehman Brothers - LEH - cls: 19.74 chg: -2.53 stop: n/a

Ouch! It was a very ugly day for the financials. Shares of LEH plunged more than 11% and closed under the $20.00 mark. Today's move gave us another chance to open strangles near $20.00. The options we suggested were the August $25 calls (LYH-HE) and the August $15 puts (LYH-TC). Our estimated cost is $2.54. We want to sell if either option hits $4.25 or more.

Picked on July 07 at $ 20.84
Change since picked: - 1.10
Earnings Date 09/18/08 (unconfirmed)
Average Daily Volume = 44 million


MarketVectors Agribusiness- MOO - close: 57.69 chg: +1.30 stop: n/a

Most of the agribusiness stocks bounced today but the rally was fading lower into the closing bell. We were suggesting readers open strangle positions in the $57.00-58.00 zone. The options we suggested were the August $62 calls (MYV-HJ) and the August $50 puts (MOO-TX). Our estimated cost is $2.10. We want to sell if either option hits $3.15.

Picked on July 03 at $ 57.25
Change since picked: + 0.44
Earnings Date 00/00/00
Average Daily Volume = 745 thousand


PowerShares QQQ - QQQQ - cls: 44.75 chg: -1.22 stop: n/a

Yesterday's powerful rally was squashed today with a 2.6% loss in the Qs. Our suggested entry zone was the $45.25-44.75 region. The options we suggested were the August $47 calls (QQQ-HU) and the August $43 puts (QQQ-TQ). Our estimated cost is $1.80. We want to sell if either option hits $2.75 or more.

Picked on July 07 at $ 44.90
Change since picked: - 0.15
Earnings Date 00/00/00
Average Daily Volume = 148 million


United States Oil - USO - cls: 109.65 chg: -0.27 stop: n/a

Crude oil didn't move much following a two-day sell-off and news that Iran fired some new test missiles today. The USO remains at a pivotal spot near the bottom of its bullish channel. Oil should either see a sharp rebound from the bottom of the channel or a sharper breakdown. What we need is a big move and soon. We have less than two weeks left before July options expire and we need to see a bigger move in oil and the USO if these strangles are going to pay off! We are not suggesting new positions at this time. We suggested two different strangles. The strangle with the wider strikes costs less but has higher risk.

USO Strangle #1) The options we listed were the July $115 calls (IYS-GK) and the July $105 puts (IYS-SA). Our estimated cost is $7.10 We want to sell if either option hits $9.75.

USO Strangle #2) The options we listed were the July $120 calls (QSO-GP) and the July $100 puts (IYS-SV). Our estimated cost is $4.10. We want to sell if either option hits $6.50.

Picked on June 22 at $109.14
Change since picked: + 0.51
Earnings Date 00/00/00
Average Daily Volume = 12.5 million

Dropped Calls


Dropped Puts


Dropped Strangles


Today's Newsletter Notes: Market Wrap and The Contrarian by Robert Ogilvie and all other plays and content by the Option Investor staff.


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