Option Investor
Newsletter

Daily Newsletter, Wednesday, 8/10/2011

Table of Contents

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

Market Wrap

Whipsaw

by Keene Little

Click here to email Keene Little
Market Stats

I think I need to go out to the store and get a neck brace. The whipsaws in this market are causing a severe case of whiplash. Either that or my neck and shoulder muscles are all tense from trying to figure out whether the DOW is going to rally 1000 points or decline 1000 points. It gets half way there and then does a hard reversal. I'm expecting lower prices for the stock market but how we get there and what kind of bounces can we expect on the way down are the big questions.

Yesterday's monster rally into the close had most everyone looking higher. That's when the little munchkin bear snuck in and knee-capped the bulls while they were sleeping. Equity futures were pointing hard down before the bell but with the DOW futures down about 200 points that was only a 38% retracement of Tuesday afternoon's rally. Agh, that's nothing! Or so we initially thought. The DOW continued to sell off in the morning, retracing more than 2/3 of Tuesday's rally. Then hope returned in the afternoon as the bounce was picking up speed but that little knee-capping munchkin snuck in again and whacked the bulls harder. The selloff into the close wiped out most of yesterday afternoon's rally.

Yesterday's 430-point rally turned into a 520-point loss today. If that doesn't dishearten bulls I don't know what will. At this point it's looking like either the market will immediately head lower, but potentially not much lower and maybe even only a test of Tuesday's low, or it will chop up and down in a sideways consolidation pattern before heading lower next week.

There's been an argument over what actually caused the huge selling spike on Monday. Most think it was due to the S&P downgrade but others argue that the downgrade was already baked into the cake. The real reason for the market's selloff, they argue, is the ongoing struggle with European sovereign debt and the European financial system. That was the excuse du jour for Wednesday's decline as well (banks had another hard day)

As an example of how European markets are struggling even worse than ours, Germany's DAX index suffered more than a 25% decline, high to low, in just 7 trading days. And this is the strongest country in the EU. S&P bore the brunt of the blame over the weekend and on Monday but I think the problems in the financial markets are much greater than a downgrade that most people are ignoring (have you seen what the bond market has done since the downgrade?). It's easier to find a scapegoat to blame (S&P) than to recognize that the stock market has been inflated beyond a reasonable value. Traders are usually proud of their accomplishments in a bull market but are quick to blame others in a bear market.

Part of today's weakness started in the overnight session as the futures declined sharply by the opening bell. News that the Bank of England trimmed its outlook for the U.K.'s economic growth caused sentiment to turn even more negative. BOE lowered its forecast for U.K. GDP from 1.8% down to 1.4%. This constant lowering of forecasts on both sides of the Atlantic is causing many to question the valuations of the stock markets, which have been rallying on the expectations of increasing growth, not decreasing.

I've mentioned many times before that the stock market is one of the best reflectors of social mood. Many think the stock market is an efficient mechanism for price determination based on a slew of fundamentals (P/E, cash, business model, order backlog, etc.). My opinion is that it's just a way for a lot of analysts to make guesses as to what a stock is worth. But you'll notice those same analysts jacking up their valuations during a bull market and then down during a bear market. Rarely will they lead the market. Not long ago we were getting some pretty outlandish projections for GOOG

The stock market reacts to herding behavior which is a reflection of social mood. If you buy and sell stocks based on their fundamental background you will soon be holding much lower-priced stock in a bear market and wondering why the stupid traders are selling such a strong stock. Trust me, I've been there. It's all about supply and demand and when people are worried and angry they tend to be sellers, regardless of the underlying value of the company. Whether it's a stock or gold or oil, don't get hung up on what the value should be; honor your stops, get out and reevaluate.

We're seeing more evidence of social mood turning sour. Greece has been at the forefront of the new austerity programs being implemented across Europe and their people started rioting first. People are becoming more frustrated with their governments and other institutions (part of our losing faith in these organizations) and with the inequalities between the haves and have-nots (look at the angst in the U.S. between Main Street and Wall Street). That anger and frustration shows up in a weakening economy and stock markets as consumers pull in their horns and pay their debts down and save for what they see are rainy days coming. Many will say this creates a self-fulfilling prophecy but in fact it's the other way around -- their collective mood shift changes the way they behave and that in turn causes an economic contraction and a bear market.

The London riots add even more angst to an already angst-driven economy and stock market. The chart below shows the U.K. misery index going back to 1975. This index is based on their unemployment rate plus the inflation rate. Obviously, a high unemployment rate along with a high inflation rate cause a lot more pain and anger at the "system" that caused this. Noted on the chart are the riots and you can see a cluster of them when the index was high in the 1980's, whereas there was only one riot between 1990 and 2010 when the index was low. Now the index is spiking up and there's every indication that social strife is on the rise. And by the way, we in the U.S. are not immune to riots in the near future.

U.K. Misery Index, chart courtesy Thomson Reuters

This is the cycle of the social mood swings and our stock market reflects this as well. The discord and inability to compromise in our government is all part and parcel of the same thing. We're angry with our government and their ineptitude and want to throw the bums out. I remember telling friends and family that whoever got elected president in 2008 would be a one-term president because of the swings in the market that I thought would likely put us back into a bear market by 2012. I still believe Obama will not be reelected but it wouldn't have mattered who was president -- the people are angry and want to throw the bums out. For the first time, polls show the majority of people now want to throw out even their own Congressman. Prior to this point most people were angry with Congress but liked their own Congressman.

In this environment it's going to be difficult for the stock market to do anything but sell off. People are turning scared, especially with the recent memory of 2008, and their first reaction now is to sell. The past two weeks have been witness to the strongest selling we've seen since the fall of 2008, and in some measurements it's even stronger selling than what was experienced in the 1987 stock market crash. Now we're already wondering where the bottom might be.

Updating SPX's weekly chart from Monday, Tuesday's new low managed to tag the 38% retracement of the 2009-2011 rally at 1101.73 (the day's low was 1101.54). I'd say there were a few computers programmed to start some buying there and then short covering took over from there, giving us the monster rally in the final hour of trading. I had mentioned it will be important to see where SPX closes for the week in reference to its 200-week MA near 1155. So far it's not looking good but the choppy price action and large price swings leaves several options open. For now I'm showing a bounce is due (from here or from a minor new low first) and then another leg down to the 1040 area before setting up a larger bounce into the end of the year.

S&P 500, SPX, Weekly chart

On the daily chart below I'm showing another leg down into next week to complete a 5-wave move down from July 7th. The new low might be just a test of yesterday's low near 1101 or it could make a minor new low (1080). If we get it, it should be accompanied by lots of bullish divergences on the charts and indicate a good setup for getting long for what should be a higher bounce. On the daily chart, as opposed to the weekly chart, I'm counting the move down from May as a large A-B-C decline (instead of a 1-2-3) simply as a reminder to myself that we could get a larger bounce into September before heading lower again. It would also tie in with a possible wave count shown later on the DOW and NDX charts. The bottom line is that we should be looking for an end to the current selling, even if it will be after one more drop back down, rather than piling into the short side.

S&P 500, SPX, Daily chart

Key Levels for SPX:
- bullish above 1290
- stay bearish below 1200

As with all the indexes, note the 50-dma coming down and ready to cross down through the 200-dma (the "Death Cross"). The last Death Cross was on July 2, 2010, the day after the July 1, 2010 low for the year. I know there are more than a few people who like to be able to look back and say the same thing about this year's cross, which will be tomorrow. So bottom on Friday? If only the market operated like a fine Swiss watch in that regard. Unfortunately I think this Death Cross will be the real deal.

The 120-min chart below shows the wave count for an expected 5-wave move down from July 7th, with the steep decline being the 3rd wave. I've drawn a parallel down-channel for the decline and show a projection for the current 4th wave consolidation over to the top of the channel, perhaps finishing around 1150, before dropping down in the 5th wave. The light red and dashed line shows an alternate wave count that will be explained on the DOW and NDX charts.

S&P 500, SPX, 120-min chart

On July 21st the DOW matched its July 7th high (NDX made a new high into July 26th) and on its daily chart I'm counting that high as the completion of its rally (not on previous high on July 7th or the May high like I am for SPX). That would mean the sharp decline since that high is the 1st wave down, which calls for a sharp and higher bounce for the 2nd wave correction (as opposed to a smaller 4th wave correction that I've got for SPX). The difference between the two wave counts makes it difficult to judge how high the next bounce will be, which of course means caution in trading the bounce. If SPX gets above 1200 and the DOW gets above 11450 then the DOW's pattern will look more likely, in which case a higher bounce to SPX 1250-1260 and DOW 11700 (12K?) can be expected. It would also mean a much stronger decline into September once the bounce completes.

Dow Industrials, INDU, Daily chart

Key Levels for DOW:
- bullish above 12,000
- stay bearish below 11,450

NDX has a cleaner 5-wave pattern for the move up from June's low to its July 26th high, making it look more probable that the sharp decline is the 1st wave down. A higher bounce that retraces 50%-62% of the decline would have NDX testing either of its two broken uptrend lines from March 2009 (through the July and August 2010 lows). It could also bounce all the way back up to its broken 200-dma or 50-dma, near 2300. For now that gives us an upside target zone of roughly 2200-2300.

Nasdaq-100, NDX, Daily chart

Key Levels for NDX:
- bullish above 2325
- stay bearish below 2200

The RUT looks like SPX, with the lower highs in July and on July 21st, and its decline looks like it could use one more minor new low to finish a 5-wave move down from the July 7th high. From there it should be ready for a bigger bounce into at least early September before heading lower again.

Russell-2000, RUT, Daily chart

Key Levels for RUT:
- bullish above 800
- stay bearish below 724

Bonds continue to be the safe-haven hiding place. John Gray, writing on the Market Monitor, had a good question that he posed to readers:

"Why would anybody be buying U.S. Treasury Bonds (and Notes)? The interest on the shorter-term stuff is practically non-existent, not to mention the fact that you have a huge market risk. If bond prices ever start falling, you are going backwards (in a hurry). Jim wrote about some banks that were actually charging a fee to large depositors just for the privilege of depositing their money with them. If yields drop any more, you are going to have to pay the government for the right to own them. What's wrong with under the mattress?"

Good point by John -- at this point I think cash is absolutely the best place to stash your cash. In a deflationary environment, cash is one of the very few asset classes that will appreciate in value. But the stock market is spooking a lot of investors and they're fleeing to the perceived safety of Treasuries. S&P is warning us of our debt problem but there's still very little fear of the U.S. government defaulting on its loans. But that trade may soon be reversing and could hurt recent buyers of bonds. On Monday I updated the chart of TNX, the 10-year yield, and showed potential support at a price projection at 2.06%. The low so far is 2.09% and therefore a warning for now that we could soon see a reversal of the stock/bond trade (or see the stock market and the bond market selling off together, which would indicate a major shift in intermarket dynamics).

The 20+ year Treasury ETF, TLT, is also into a Fib zone that warns of a reversal, at a time when the daily, weekly and monthly oscillators are in overbought territory. It's not that it can't stay overbought but when hitting potentially important Fibs and the previous high in August 2010 it's a time for caution on the long side of TLT. The big consolidation pattern since the June 2009 low has two equal legs up for the double zigzag pattern (a-b-c-x-a-b-c) at 109.92. The a-b-c move up from February has the c-wave = 162% of the a-wave at 108.64. The high so far (yesterday) is in the middle at 109.37. The bullish sentiment on bonds is running 98%+ and therefore the long side on bonds is a very overcrowded trade. Watch for a drop below 102 to trigger more selling. TBT, the inverse fund, is a way to play the short side in bonds (such as in your retirement account as a way to hedge your bond position).

20+ Year Treasury ETF, TLT, Weekly chart

The banks, as measured by the BIX index, need to turn around here otherwise there could be a lot more pain immediately ahead. The longer-term pattern is setup for a bounce but only if it starts now. Looking at measured moves, which the banking indexes are fond of doing, two equal legs down from the high in April 2010 is at 110.70. Two equal legs down from the high in February 2011 is at 108.87. Today's low was 108.00 so it's still in "throw-under" territory. Hopefully it's not being thrown under the bus. The next support level for BIX is about 10% lower near 98 (the July 2009 low). One Fib that could provide support is the 50% retracement of its 2009-2010 rally, which is at 104.70. Interestingly, yesterday afternoon's rally was stopped at the 38% retracement at 118.38 (118.36 was the high).

Banking index, BIX, Daily chart

The TRAN is similar to the SPX and RUT patterns in which it looks like it's hammering out a small 4th wave correction to be followed by a minor new low (or test of yesterday's low), which will then be followed by a higher bounce into the end of the month before rolling back over into September.

Transportation Index, TRAN, Daily chart

The dollar continues to flop around like a fish just pulled out of the water. We're just waiting for it to pick a direction and go. Trade the direction of the break above 75.40 or below 73.80.

U.S. Dollar contract, DX, Daily chart

In tonight's gold chart I'm showing the weekly chart a little closer than Monday's update. I've redrawn the parallel up-channel for the rally from 2009 using the log scale, which is a better way to look at it since the rally has gone parabolic and the change in price over that time has been significant. The top of the channel is near 1800 and today's high hit it with a high of 1801. But in after-hours, gold pushed even higher and hit 1817.60 near 6:30 PM. If gold really gets a blow-off top, there's another trend line along the highs from 2006-2008 that's currently near 1950. On a weekly and monthly basis the oscillators are buried in overbought and with a 98% bullish sentiment on the metal it's now a very overcrowded trade and ripe for a strong reversal. Manage this one carefully if you've been buying into the rally. It seems it's gold's turn to finish with a parabolic climb, following silver's climb into its April high.

Gold continuous contract, GC, Weekly chart

Silver continues to wait patiently for gold to finish, still holding below its bounce high on August 4th. If gold drags silver kicking and screaming higher, there is still an upside Fib target at 43.12 (62% retracement of its May decline) but the pattern looks good now for a continuation lower. When (not if) gold starts back down it will likely drop fast and I suspect silver will outpace it to the downside.

Silver continuous contract, SI, Daily chart

In another potential measured move, oil has two equal legs down from May at 75.40 (1st "leg" from May to June and 2nd leg from July into August). It also reached its longer-term uptrend line from 1998-2002 and its 38% retracement of its 2008 decline. These retracements have been used by traders on the way down from the May high: after dropping back through the 62% in May it became resistance; the 50% at 90.23 then became support in June; now it's testing the 38% at 76.77. So between the two equal legs down, the 38% retracement and the longer-term uptrend line, it looks ready for a bounce and it's just a guess but I'm projecting the bounce back up to the 50% near 90 before heading lower again. A drop below 75 would indicate it's heading lower sooner rather than later. Remember, oil is one of those asset classes that will drop no matter how strong the fundamentals tell us it should rally. It goes with the stock market, which is governed by traders' moods, not value.

Oil continuous contract, CL, Daily chart

Today's economic reports were not market movers and tomorrow's will not be either. Friday's reports could be important, depending on whether the market is at a tipping point.

Economic reports, summary and Key Trading Levels

Cisco Systems (CSCO) reported after the bell and surprise surprise actually got a surprise response this time (Jim showed a recent chart of CSCO and for the past many quarters they've gapped down on earnings. Tomorrow is looking a little more positive for them (after hours looks like they'll settle about a $1 higher from their 13.75 closing price). They reported revenue up slightly but earnings and profits were down from a year ago. But analysts had expected adjusted income of 38 cents/share and CSCO reported 40 cents. Futures are up some on the news but in this wild market it's anyone's guess what it will mean tomorrow morning.

We're in a wild market right now where 500 and 600-point swings in the DOW is not unexpected at this point. The after-hours session is continuing to show some volatility with the DOW futures swinging 110 points already. If Tuesday's and today's price action is part of a consolidation pattern, following the steep decline, it could continue into Friday before heading lower next week. There is also the possibility we'll see a quick new low in the morning and then start a higher bounce.

It hasn't been working as well as it used to but tomorrow is the Thursday prior to opex week, what I've called head-fake Thursday. Typically we've seen the market decline in the morning and then start a rally that gets shorts running for cover and sparks a big rally into opex. I know more than a few people who would love to see that play out again. The flip side is an ugly opex week with a strong decline as options positions (which are mostly bullish) are either hedged or closed, both of which add to selling pressure.

We're due a bounce but that doesn't mean we'll get one, or it could be from a much lower level. But at this point, based on the price pattern and building bullish divergences, I'd be reluctant to chase the market lower from here. I'd rather miss a trade on the short side than risk a sudden short-covering rally (like yesterday afternoon) that takes me out with a bad fill. Trying to catch falling knives is not a good idea either. In these volatile times it's not a bad idea to sit on your hands so that you can't click the mouse. Better to wish you were in a trade that you're not than to wish you were out of a trade that you're in. When it looks like we've put in a bottom, look for a pullback to try the long side for a trade. By this time next week I'm hoping we'll have a good idea for what upside target we'll want to watch for a better shorting opportunity. Until then, watch and learn by paper trading what you're seeing (take good notes and don't cheat).

Good luck as we head for opex week and I'll be back with you next Wednesday.

Key Levels for SPX:
- bullish above 1290
- stay bearish below 1200

Key Levels for DOW:
- bullish above 12,000
- stay bearish below 11,450

Key Levels for NDX:
- bullish above 2325
- stay bearish below 2200

Key Levels for RUT:
- bullish above 800
- stay bearish below 724

Keene H. Little, CMT


New Option Plays

Another Ugly Day

by James Brown

Click here to email James Brown

Editor's Note:

The market's major indices gave up most of yesterday's gains. The S&P 500 index closed on its lows for the session, which normally does not bode well for the next day's open. Personally I suspect we'll see this index retest its lows from yesterday near the 1100 level. If it can bounce again is the real question.

The market still seems too oversold to buy puts. Although from the big rise in the volatility index today (VIX) there were plenty of investors buying puts. Unless you are a veteran day trader with the scars to prove it I would hesitate to swim in this market. Tomorrow I'd sit on the sidelines to watch the action and let the hedge funds beat each other up instead pummeling you or I with this insane volatility and whipsaw market action.

If you're feeling nimble then I would be very, very tempted to buy calls on the market if we see the S&P 500 index decline toward what should be support near 1050.

We're not adding any new plays tonight but I did tweak the entry point strategy on some of our unopened trades in the play updates section.

- James


In Play Updates and Reviews

COG Hits Our Target!

by James Brown

Click here to email James Brown

Editor's Note:

The stock market's lack of follow through higher is a very ugly development. The S&P 500 index has reversed yesterday's end of day gains. Now we're faced with the prospect of retesting and possibly breaking yesterday's lows.

I heard several traders and analysts suggesting that investors should exit this market immediately. There is no strength and no one knows where the bottom is. They were hoping that Monday's session and the Tuesday morning drop was the capitulation bottom but evidently that's not the case yet. Meanwhile investor sentiment numbers are still too bullish to indicate a bottom.

Yet after hours we are not seeing a lot of action in the S&P 500. Cautious traders will want to sit out tomorrow!

-James

Current Portfolio:


CALL Play Updates

Abercrombie & Fitch Co - ANF - close: 65.64 change: -0.30

Stop Loss: n/a
Target(s): 69.75, 73.50
Current Option Gain/Loss: Unopened
Time Frame: 1 to 3 weeks
New Positions: see below

Comments:
08/10 update: Wednesday was another rough day for the markets. Stocks opened lower, including ANF, so our condition to buy calls was not met. Shares did trade up off its lows and hit $67.50 intraday. ANF eventually settled with a 30-cent (-0.4%) loss, which is a show of relative strength compared to the -4.4% plunge in the S&P500.

I suspect there is a growing possibility ANF might retest support near $60.00 and its 200-dma. However, there is no telling what the market is going to do tomorrow morning. Cautious traders will want to sit out on the sidelines.

I am listing two different entry points. If ANF and the S&P500 open positive tomorrow then we will buy the Aug. $70 or Sept.$70 calls. If not, then look for a dip. Yesterday's low was $60.77. I am suggesting an alternative buy-the-dip entry point at $61.00, which in this case we'll buy the $65.00 calls for August and September.

Earlier Comments:
This is an aggressive, higher-risk trade. ANF is due to report earnings on August 17th. We do not want to hold over the report. I am listing both Aug. and Sept. calls. Keep in mind August calls expire in less than two weeks. We are not listing a stop loss on this trade but if you buy September calls you may want to reconsider and add a stop loss.

buy the Aug. $70 and Sep. $70 calls if ANF and S&P500 open positive tomorrow.

- Suggested (SMALL) Positions -

buy the AUG $70 call (ANF1120H70)

- or -

buy the SEP $70 call (ANF1117I70)

- or -

As an alternative, buy the dip at $61.00

- Suggested (SMALL) Positions -

buy the AUG $65 call (ANF1120H65)

- or -

buy the SEP $65 call (ANF1117I65)

Entry on August xx at $ xx.xx
Earnings Date 08/17/11 (confirmed)
Average Daily Volume = 2.8 million
Listed on August 9, 2011


Core Labs - CLB - close: 100.64 change: +0.83

Stop Loss: n/a
Target(s): 104.90, 109.75
Current Option Gain/Loss: -20.0% & +50.0%
Time Frame: 3 to 4 weeks
New Positions: see below

Comments:
08/10 update: CLB displayed some relative strength today. The stock almost hit our first target but the rally stalled at $104.52 this afternoon. CLB ended the day up +0.8%. The strength is encouraging but I would not buy calls here. The market weakness is worrisome. There is a chance CLB will retest support near the $97-95 zone. Aggressive traders could use to buy calls on a dip in that area. I am suggesting readers wait. We will wait and watch to see how the market performs tomorrow and then reconsider new positions.

NOTE: The bid has returned to the Aug. $105 calls.

Earlier Comments:
It's an aggressive trade so keep your position size small. FYI: August options expire in less than two weeks.

- Suggested (SMALL) Positions -

Long AUG $105 call (CLB1120H105) Entry $1.25*

- or -

Long SEP $105 call (CLB1117I105) Entry $2.00
08/10 no new positions at this time.
08/08 we are REMOVING the stop loss for this trade
08/05 stop loss @ 95.45, under the 200-dma
08/05 play opened.
08/05 *entry price is an estimate. option did not trade today
08/04 Adjusted our strategy for the decline. New stop loss @ 95.80. New targets are $104.90 and $109.75. Buy calls if both CLB and S&P 500 are positive at the open tomorrow.

Entry on August 5 at $100.23
Earnings Date 10/20/11 (unconfirmed)
Average Daily Volume = 526 thousand
Listed on August 2, 2011


Cabot Oil & Gas - COG - close: 66.70 change: +1.09

Stop Loss: n/a
Target(s): 69.75, 72.00
Current Option Gain/Loss: +146.1% & +68.8%
Time Frame: 2 to 3 weeks
New Positions: see below

Comments:
08/10 update: Target achieved. COG saw a strong rally this afternoon. Shares hit $69.98. Our first target to take profits was hit at $69.75. The Aug. $70 call was trading with a bid at $2.75 (+323%) and the Sep. $70 call was trading with a bid at $3.90 (+73.3%). Unfortunately when the market began to accelerate lower COG's rally failed at resistance near $70.00. I'm concerned there is a good chance COG will retest the $60 area. Conservative traders may want to take profits now and exit early.

I am not suggesting new positions at this time but aggressive traders might want to buy calls on a dip or a bounce near $60.

Earlier comments:
This is an aggressive trade. The plan was to keep our position size small to limit our risk. FYI: August options expire in less than two weeks.

- Suggested (SMALL) Positions -

Long AUG $70 call (COG1120H70) Entry @ $0.65

- or -

Long SEP $70 call (COG1117I70) Entry $ $2.25*

08/10 1st target hit @ 69.75.
Aug. $70 call bid @ $2.75 (+323%), Sep. $70 call bid @ $3.90 (+73.3%)
08/08 * entry price on the Sept. $70 call is an estimate since the option did not trade on Monday.
08/08 COG gapped open lower at $64.23. No Stop Loss.

chart:

Entry on August 8 at $64.23
Earnings Date 10/25/11 (unconfirmed)
Average Daily Volume = 1.9 million
Listed on August 6, 2011


Deckers Outdoor - DECK - close: 82.72 change: -2.80

Stop Loss: n/a
Target(s): 93.50, 97.00
Current Option Gain/Loss: Unopened
Time Frame: 1 to 3 weeks
New Positions: see below

Comments:
08/10 update: Our new play in DECK is not opened. Shares gapped open lower this morning so our condition to buy calls was not met. DECK eventually saw a rally toward $86.75 this afternoon but reversed lower as the market plunged again. There is a good chance DECK will retest support in the $78-77 zone again. However, there is no telling what the market is going to do tomorrow morning. Cautious traders will want to sit out on the sidelines.

I am listing two different entry points. If DECK and the S&P500 open positive tomorrow then we will buy the Aug. $90 or Sept.$90 calls. If not, then look for a dip. Yesterday's low was $77.57. I am suggesting an alternative buy-the-dip entry point at $78.00, which in this case we'll buy the $85.00 calls for August and September.

Earlier Comments:
I do consider this an aggressive trade. DECK can be a volatile normally and in this market the moves get a little crazy. We definitely want to keep our position size small. I am listing August and September calls but keep in mind that August options expire in less than two weeks. I am not listing a stop loss on this trade.

Buy the $90 calls if DECK and the S&P500 open positive

- Suggested (SMALL) Positions -

buy the AUG $90 call (DECK1120H90)

- or -

buy the SEP $90 call (DECK1117I90)

- or -

As an alternative... buy the dip at $78.00

- Suggested (SMALL) Positions -

buy the AUG $85 call (DECK1120H85)

- or -

buy the SEP $85 call (DECK1117I85)

Entry on August xx at $ xx.xx
Earnings Date 10/27/11 (unconfirmed)
Average Daily Volume = 1.3 million
Listed on August 9, 2011


Green Mountain Coffee Roasters - GMCR - close: 98.05 change: - 1.44

Stop Loss: n/a
Target(s): 99.50, 107.50
Current Option Gain/Loss: +117.1% & + 98.6%
Time Frame: 2 to 3 weeks
New Positions: see below

Comments:
08/10 update: GMCR held up pretty well considering the size of the drop in the market's major indices. Shares hit $101.39 intraday but settled with a -1.4% decline compared with a -4% drop in the NASDAQ. I am not suggesting new positions at this time. If the market continues to fall GMCR could easily its lows near $90.00. Traders will want to seriously consider exiting any August calls now. We only have seven trading days left before August expiration.

Earlier Comments:
As a high-risk, speculative play we wanted to keep our position size very small. We are not using a stop loss on this play. FYI: August options expire in less than two weeks. We're expecting the bounce to be fast and sharp but you may want to trade September calls for the extra time.

- Suggested (SMALL) Positions -

Long AUG $95 call (GMCR1120H95) Entry @ $2.74

- or -

Long SEP $100 call (GMCR1117I100) Entry $3.65
08/10 Consider exiting all August options now
08/09 adjusting 2nd target to $107.50
08/09 1st target hit at $99.50.
Aug. $95 call bid $6.30 (+129.9%), Sep. $100 call bid $6.95 (+90.4%)
08/08 we are not using a stop loss on this trade

Entry on August 8 at $91.26
Earnings Date 12/08/11 (unconfirmed)
Average Daily Volume = 2.9 million
Listed on August 6, 2011


O'Reilly Automotive - ORLY - close: 57.53 change: -2.46

Stop Loss: n/a
Target(s): 63.75, 66.00
Current Option Gain/Loss: Unopened
Time Frame: 2 to 3 weeks
New Positions: see below

Comments:
08/10 update: We changed our entry point strategy on ORLY last night but the conditions to buy calls were not met this morning. Shares gapped open lower so we're still on the sidelines. Today's -4.1% drop essentially erased yesterday's gains. Now there is a chance ORLY will actually retest last week's lows.

We are altering our entry point strategy. We'll put a buy-the-dip entry point at $55.00 since the $55-54 zone should be the next level of support. If triggered we'll readjust our targets.

Earlier Comments:
Use a small position size to limit your risk. FYI: August options expire in less than two weeks. We're expecting the bounce to be fast and sharp but you may want to trade September calls for the extra time.

buy the dip at $55.00

- Suggested Positions -

buy the AUG $55 call (ORLY1120H55)

- or -

buy the SEP $60 call (ORLY1117I60)
08/10 new trigger at $55.00
08/09 adjusted targets to $63.75 and $66.00.

Entry on August xx at $ xx.xx
Earnings Date 10/26/11 (unconfirmed)
Average Daily Volume = 1.7 million
Listed on August 6, 2011


SPDR S&P500 ETF - SPY - close: 112.29 change: -5.19

Stop Loss: n/a
Target(s): 119.75, 122.50
Current Option Gain/Loss: -46.5% & -30.5%
Time Frame: 2 to 4 weeks
New Positions: see below

Comments:
08/10 update: Ouch! The volatility in this market is ridiculous. I heard a chorus of traders and analysts telling everyone to get out of this market because you can't trade it. Today's drop in the SPY essentially erased yesterday's end of day gains. It looks like the SPY will retest its lows near $110 soon. This time I would not be so eager to buy the dip. Instead you may want to wait and buy a bounce instead. The newsletter is not suggesting new positions at this time.

Earlier Comments:
We are not using a stop loss on this trade. FYI: August options expire in two weeks. We're expecting the bounce to be fast and sharp but you may want to trade September calls for the extra time.

- Suggested (SMALL) Positions -

Long AUG $118 call (SPY1120H118) Entry $2.15

- or -

Long SEP $120 call (SPY1117I120) Entry $2.55

08/08 trade opened at $115.00. We are not using a stop loss.

Entry on August 8 at $115.00
Earnings Date --/--/--
Average Daily Volume = 235 million
Listed on August 6, 2011


U.S. Oil Fund - USO - close: 31.78 change: +0.16

Stop Loss: n/a
Target(s): $37.50, 40.00
Current Option Gain/Loss: + 3.4%
Time Frame: 2 to 3 months
New Positions: see below

Comments:
08/10 update: Oil and the USO was not quite as volatile as the equity markets. The USO actually managed to close up in positive territory. Unfortunately, if we see another widespread sell-off tomorrow it could drag the USO down with it. Nimble traders could try and buy a dip near $30.00 again. Just remember that we're not using a stop loss on this trade so keep your position size small!

Earlier Comments:
This is another lottery-ticket style of play. We are not listing a stop loss. We plan on holding this trade for several weeks.

- Suggested Positions -

Long NOV $34 call (USO1119K34) Entry $2.05

Entry on August 9 at $31.97
Earnings Date --/--/--
Average Daily Volume = 10.7 million
Listed on August 8, 2011


PUT Play Updates

CBOE Volatility Index - VIX - close: 42.99 change: + 7.93

Stop Loss: n/a
Target(s): 26.00, 22.50
Current Option Gain/Loss: -96.0% & -46.2%
Second Position Gain/Loss: -88.8% & - 14.0%
Third Position Gain/Loss: - 8.7%
Time Frame: 2 to 3 weeks
New Positions: see below

Comments:
08/09 update: The volatility in this market has been pretty incredible. After yesterday's -13 point drop the VIX surged another +22.6% to close up almost 8 points. It looks like it could go a lot higher if the S&P 500 index breaks down under support near the 1100 level. Of course I use the term "support" very loosely. Support levels haven't lasted very long in this market.

We are not suggesting new positions in the VIX at this time.

Earlier Comments:
I am not listing a stop loss on this trade. We should consider this a higher-risk, speculative trade. I'm setting our targets at 26.00 and 22.50. NOTE: August VIX options expire after the 17th of the month. You may want to buy Septembers instead.

- Suggested Positions -

Long AUG $25.00 PUT (VIX1117T25) Entry $2.50

- or -

Long SEP $25.00 PUT (VIX1121U25) Entry $4.00

- Second Position, entered at the open on Monday, Aug. 8th -
(very small positions)

Long AUG $25.00 PUT (VIX1117T25) Entry $0.90

- or -

Long SEP $25.00 PUT (VIX1121U25) Entry $2.50

- 3rd Position, listed Aug. 8th, Open Aug. 9th @ open. -

Long SEP $30.00 PUT (VXI1121U30) Entry $5.70

08/08 3rd position listed to buy at the open on Aug. 9th
08/08 2nd position was filled the open.

Entry on August 5 at $28.48
Earnings Date --/--/--
Average Daily Volume = xxx
Listed on August 4, 2011


Market Neutral Play Updates

Cisco Systems - CSCO - close: 13.73 change: -0.33

Stop Loss: n/a
Target(s): ----
Current Straddle Gain/Loss: + 5.4%
Current Strangle Gain/Loss: - 35.7%
Time Frame: less than two weeks
New Positions: no, no new positions at this time

Comments:
08/10 update: CSCO opened at $13.93, danced around the $14.00 level and then closed down -2.3% ahead of its earnings report. The company reported earnings of 40 cents a share, which was two cents better than expected. Revenues surged +3.7% to $11.2 billion, which was also better than expected. The stock spiked higher in after hours market and briefly saw a +10% gain but the after hours rally was fading into the night. We will have to see how the stock performs tomorrow.

I am not suggesting new positions at this time.

NOTE: The strangle is pretty aggressive. CSCO may not move that much.

Option Straddle (cost: $1.43, current: $1.51)

Long AUG $14 call (CSCO1120H14) Entry $0.65, current bid $0.64
- and -
Long AUG $14 put (CSCO1120T14) Entry $0.78, current bid $0.87

- or -

Option Strangle (cost: $0.28, current: $0.18)

Long AUG $16 call (CSCO1120H16) Entry $0.14, current bid $0.10
- and -
Long AUG $12 put (CSCO1120T12) Entry $0.14, current bid $0.08

Entry on August 10 at $13.93
Earnings Date 08/10/11 (confirmed)
Average Daily Volume = 68.7 million
Listed on August 9, 2011