Option Investor
Newsletter

Daily Newsletter, Tuesday, 8/23/2011

Table of Contents

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

Market Wrap

Market Earthquake

by Jim Brown

Click here to email Jim Brown
Shorts fled equities today on worries that Bernanke would say something positive on Friday. Now there is a serious risk of a sell the news event.

Market Statistics

Was today short covering or pent up buying? The rebound today came from support levels from the earlier August lows and could be seen as traders buying the dip. Buyers ignored bad news and tech stocks led the move higher. The tale of the tape suggests there were several major buy programs that could indicate an asset allocation move by more than one fund. Bonds are up so strongly and stocks dipping to support represented an opportunity for funds to bring their ratios back into balance by raising equity positions.

Futures were up +20 point overnight but had returned to the flat line before the open ahead of three possibly upsetting economic reports at 10:AM. The first was the Richmond Fed Manufacturing Survey for August. The headline number declined to -10 from the -1 reading in July. This was the third time out of the last four months the index has been in contraction territory.

The internal components were significantly negative. New orders fell to -11 from -5 an back orders fell to -25 from -18. Capital expenditure plans fell to 10.0 and the lowest level since September. This suggests manufacturers are going into hoard mode and conserving cash. The employment component fell to 1.0 and well off the 16.2 seen back in May.

The headline number at -10 was the lowest level of activity since March 2009. This decline in the Fed 5th district could be further incentive for Bernanke to ratchet up his market supporting comments on Friday. The debt debacle and the continuing worries over Europe have weighed heavily on business sentiment.

Richmond Fed Chart

New home sales declined to an annualized rate of 298,000 from the prior rate of 312,000. This was for the July period. Despite the decline the pace of sales was still +6.8% over the same period in 2010. The median home price decreased by -6.4% from June but is still +4.7% over the same period in 2010. Basically the spring spike has faded and sales should continue to slow as we move into the dormant winter season. We are bumping along the bottom until we can get a sustained move back over 400,000 per month.

New Home Sales

The Mass Layoff report for July showed a slight increase to 1,579 events from 1,532 in June. The number of employees impacted were 145,000, up only slightly from 143,444 in June. Manufacturing accounted for 28% of all layoff events and 33% of the initial jobless claims. This report is a lagging indicator since the nonfarm payrolls has more current data.

On a side note I heard presidential candidate Rick Santorum in an interview over the weekend and he had a novel approach for bringing manufacturing back to the USA. He advocates cutting the corporate tax rate from 35% to zero for companies that move their manufacturing back to the USA. This would provide an incentive for companies to bring manufacturing back to the U.S. and help offset the higher wages paid to U.S. workers over places like Mexico and China. Paying a U.S. worker $20 an hour compared to $5 in Mexico is a definite hindrance to companies wanting to stay in the USA. The U.S. has the second highest corporate tax rate in the world so that along with the high labor cost is forcing companies to go overseas or to South America.

A company with thousands of workers produces a major and long lasting economic impact on the mostly suburban or rural areas where they locate. The amount of economic activity generated by local manufacturing is enormous. Parts suppliers benefit, transportation companies benefit and local consumer retailers benefit. Having thousands of new workers produces tax revenue (sales and income) for local governments. Manufacturing used to account for 21% of the nations jobs but it has fallen to 9% thanks to the exportation of jobs to Mexico and China. That represents a loss of nearly 18 million American jobs. Bringing even 25% back would be a major victory and significant economic boost. Santorum has nearly zero chance as a candidate and I am not plugging him here but I thought the manufacturing tax cut was a good idea. I know I am in the minority here based on the comments on the web wherever his idea was discussed.

For the rest of the week the Kansas Fed Survey, GDP and Bernanke speech are the main events.

Economic Calendar

After today's rally I fear the Bernanke speech as a sell the news event. There is an almost zero chance he will announce anything with a QE in front of it and despite the Richmond Survey today the odds are good his speech will now be market neutral. The Fed has been criticized for supporting equities and coming out with a new program with the market already in rally mode would bring more criticism. I also heard several analysts claiming he can't say anything that could be seen as political because the President is going to announce his new jobs program right after Labor Day. "Bernanke can't be seen as upstaging the president" was the context of the conversations. All of this suggests Friday may be exciting but not in the way most traders would like.

The big news for the day was not earnings, IPOs or acquisitions. It was the 5.9 magnitude earthquake 3.7 miles deep below Mineral Virginia. The quake rocked nearly the entire northeast with tremors felt in New York City and as far west as Illinois. There did not appear to be any major damage from the "slow roller" but airports and trains all over the east coast were halted until damage could be assessed.

In New York some traders left the trading floors as the minute long quake struck fear into those not used to feeling the earth move. However, the electronic trading systems never blinked. Closed to Virginia nuclear power plants were knocked offline by earthquake sensors that triggered shutdowns but all were operating normally on backup diesel generators. The damage appeared to be limited to cracked windows, chimneys and a few water main breaks. We are very lucky the quake was so deep and relatively mild because residents in that area are not used to earthquakes. One historian said a quake of that magnitude in that area was last recorded back in the 1880s.

In equities Sprint was a high flyer with a +10% gain after a report in the Wall Street Journal said the company would begin selling the iPhone 5 in October. Sprint has never sold the iPhone before so this is a new surge of business for them. According to the WSJ Sprint will be selling both the iPhone 4 and the iPhone 5 when it launches in October. Sprint has 52 million subscribers. Verizon has 106 million and AT&T 99 million. That represents a big audience boost for Apple as well. Piper Jaffray predicted Sprint would sell six million iPhones in 2012. Piper raised estimates for Apple's iPhone sales growth in 2012 from +30% to +37%. They also boosted expected calendar year earnings to $34.59 per share from $33.72.

The Arm Holdings CEO tried to squash the takeover talk by Apple saying the company already made the chips for Apple devices and any such takeover attempt would incur significant regulatory issues. He also said a deal with Intel would also face insurmountable objections. He said Arm needed to remain independent and agnostic. He was referring to its role as a license dealer to a broad field of chip and device makers. ARM shares rose +9% on the rumors.

Apple Chart

Gold hit a new high overnight at $1917.90 overnight but the rally in equities and the Libyan civil war ending produced some profit taking in the yellow metal. Shares fell -$60 to close at $1831. That is a -3% decline in gold and a +3% rally in the Dow. Helping to push gold lower was a sharp rally in the dollar that started at 7:30 this morning. The dollar had plunged sharply overnight after China's PMI came in better than expected. Ironically the World Gold Council reported today that gold demand soared to its second highest quarterly level in Q2. China and India led purchases totaling more than $45.5 billion for the three-month period. China represents 55% of jewelry demand and 52% of bullion demand. The global growth rate for gold in Q2 was +7% but India saw demand rise +38%. More than 46% of the increase in global demand came in the form of jewelry with a whopping 442.5 tonnes going into jewelry. 102.9 tonnes of that jewelry went to China. Gold ETFs consumed 291 tonnes, the highest increase on record compared to only 51.7 tonnes in Q2-2010. Technology demand for electronic circuits rose +4% at 83.8 tonnes. Central banks purchased 69.4 tonnes and the second highest quarterly purchases in the last two years.

Gold Chart

Financials rallied strongly today after several analysts said the sell off was seriously over done. Claims from Monday that Bank America needed to raise another $50 billion in capital were countered by various analysts on Tuesday. Dick Bove said there was no reason for BAC to raise more capital unless there was another undisclosed loss in the tens of billions. He said of the 28 analysts following BAC none of them were expecting a loss for the next two quarters or even in 2012. He said, "if they continue shrinking their balance sheet the way they are and continue to show a profit the way they are, then there is no reason to raise capital. He repeated the recently coined phrase, "this is not 2008" and banks do not have to payoff all their short-term debt immediately because counter party transactions seized up.

Bove has been very negative on the markets for the last three weeks and he said today investors should be buying banks with both fists.

Bank America Chart

Hurricane Irene lost a lot of strength and changed direction significantly and may not hit Florida or even make landfall as a hurricane at all. Irene had strengthened to category three but after moving eastward from Cuba it unexpectedly fell to a category one status as it veered to the northeast. Florida appears to have dodged another disaster but North Carolina and Virginia are next in the crosshairs.

Irene Chart

I think some of the market bounce was due to better than expected economics. Yes, I know all three reports were negative but the Richmond Manufacturing Survey was expected to be a lot worse. There is not really a whisper number for the Richmond Survey but analyst chatter were clearly expecting a major decline similar to the Philly Fed decline to -30.7 last Thursday. A decline to only -10 was seen as a minor victory and maybe conditions are not as bad as feared.

The Kansas Manufacturing Survey on Thursday is going to be a key report now in hopes of another better than expected showing. The Kansas survey was barely positive at +3.0 for July.

The S&P rebounded +3.4% and ignored bad economic news and a major earthquake that rattled trading floors. That would appear to be somewhat bullish but we have to realize that most of the gains were powered by short covering.

Monday's +200 point Dow rally at the open saw all the gains erased by the close and if it were not for a small buy program at the close Monday would probably have been negative. That -200 point fade probably attracted a large number of shorts with the S&P actually dipping negative just before the close. When the market shook off a +20 point gain in the S&P futures overnight to open flat there were probably more shorts adding to their positions. The sudden rebound on "less bad" economics caught them flat footed and racing to cover. The real key is the resistance at 1200-1205 ahead of the Kansas Fed, GDP and Bernanke speech. Remember, one day does not make a trend.

S&P-500 Chart

The Dow dipped to prior support at 10,800 on Friday and failed to move lower on Monday. Like with the S&P this is a textbook retest of the lows although the time frame may be too short for a valid retest. The rally today was powered by the energy sector and the industrials. Only one component closed in the red and that was Bank America. The Dow rallied +3% but remains well below resistance at 11,400-11,500.

Dow Table

Dow Chart

The Nasdaq was a carbon copy of the other indexes except it did dip lower over the prior three days before rebounding +4.3% today and a +100 point gain. Apple +17 and Google +20 were the leaders of the bounce. The Nasdaq finished in the middle of its recent range with another 100 points needed to test resistance at 2550.

Nasdaq Chart

The Russell rebounded +4.9% and was power by what was clearly short covering. The intraday chart of the Russell was nearly vertical. Small caps had been more heavily shorted than the blue chips and today's rebound was the covering of those shorts. Russell 700 is the next battle zone.

Russell Chart

The market rebound makes it less likely for Bernanke to do something drastic if at all. If market were still in decline he would have had more incentive to act. Now his message will likely be "the Fed is react to act if the situation warrants but for now we believe the recovery is underway only slower than we expected." However, if he does not have any specific actions to announce he will probably turn into a cheerleader for the economy instead. If he can improve consumer and investor confidence by pointing out economic positives then he can still be a hero.

I fear the market is expecting too much and may be disappointed. If the Kansas Survey and GDP come in less bad than expected then maybe there is hope the rebound will stick. Unfortunately until we see some continuation of today's gains and a break over short-term resistance this is just a bear market bounce. I will be rooting for a breakout but there are a lot of potholes in our path that could produce a breakdown instead.

Jim Brown

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New Option Plays

Healthcare & Industrials

by James Brown

Click here to email James Brown

Editor's Note:

I am cautiously optimistic here. The stock market could be forming a bullish double bottom pattern. However, there are plenty of skeptics and some traders see today as nothing more than an oversold bounce in a bear market. My biggest concern is probably Friday. Ben Bernanke's comments could fuel the bounce or they could disappoint traders, which would send the market lower in a hurry.

We need to trade small to limit our risk.

FYI: Another stock that caught my eye as a potential bullish trade tonight is EW.

- James


NEW DIRECTIONAL CALL PLAYS

CR Bard Inc. - BCR - close: 89.84 change: +2.85

Stop Loss: 86.25
Target(s): 94.75, 98.25
Current Option Gain/Loss: Unopened
Time Frame: 3 to 4 weeks
New Positions: Yes, see below

Company Description

Why We Like It:
It's been a rough ride for BCR ever since the massive drop from almost $113 to $100 on its earnings report back in July. The correction hit an intraday low of $85.05 on August 9th. This past week has seen traders buying the dip in the $87.00-86.50 zone. If the market is forming a bullish double bottom then we want to take advantage of it with a stock that can move like BCR.

Readers may want to wait for a rally past round-number resistance at $90.00. I am suggesting small bullish positions now if both BCR and the S&P500 both open positive tomorrow. If triggered we'll use a stop below today's low at $86.25. Our targets are $94.75 and $98.25, just under the simple 200-dma.

buy calls if BCR and the S&P500 both open positive tomorrow

- Suggested (small) Positions -

buy the SEP $90 call (BCR1117I90) current ask $3.10

- or -

buy the OCT $95 call (BCR1122J95) current ask $2.45

Annotated Chart:

Entry on August xx at $ xx.xx
Earnings Date 10/20/11 (unconfirmed)
Average Daily Volume = 1.25 million
Listed on August 23, 2011


Caterpillar Inc. - CAT - close: 82.98 change: +3.09

Stop Loss: 79.40
Target(s): 87.00, 94.50
Current Option Gain/Loss: Unopened
Time Frame: 3 to 4 weeks
New Positions: Yes, see below

Company Description

Why We Like It:
Worries over a slowing global economy and concerns over a new recession in the U.S. have helped push CAT from $110 to $80 over the past few weeks. Shares have managed to hold on to support near $80.00. If the stock market is forming a bullish double bottom pattern, then this could be an entry point to buy calls. I would keep position size small. There is no guarantee of a technical bottom in the market and Bernanke could disappoint traders on Friday, sending the market lower.

I am suggesting small bullish positions now but only if CAT and the S&P500 both open positive tomorrow morning. We'll use a stop loss at $79.40. Our first target is $87.00. Our second, more aggressive target is $94.50.

buy calls if CAT and the S&P500 both open positive tomorrow

- Suggested Positions -

buy the SEP $85 call (CAT1117I85) current ask $3.10

- or -

buy the OCT $90 call (CAT1122J90) current ask $2.93

Annotated Chart:

Weekly Chart:

Entry on August xx at $ xx.xx
Earnings Date 10/24/11 (unconfirmed)
Average Daily Volume = 13.9 million
Listed on August 23, 2011



In Play Updates and Reviews

Stocks Bounce Back Big

by James Brown

Click here to email James Brown

Editor's Note:

Tuesday saw the U.S. markets stage a sharp rebound with very widespread gains. DECK, GMCR, and EXXI were all up very strong today. Our new play on SRCL has been opened. We are removing COG as a candidate.

-James

Current Portfolio:


CALL Play Updates

Deckers Outdoor - DECK - close: 80.50 change: +6.29

Stop Loss: n/a
Target(s): 93.50, 97.00
Current Option Gain/Loss: -71.2%
Time Frame: 1 to 3 weeks
New Positions: see below

Comments:
08/23 update: DECK took a big chunk out of its recent losses with a +8.4% rally today. Shares managed to rally back above the $80 level but still faces technical resistance at the simple and exponential 200-dma overhead. The oversold bounce is tempting but I would not buy this rebound.

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 not listing a stop loss on this trade.

- Suggested (SMALL) Positions -

Long SEP $90 call (DECK1117I90) Entry $4.70

08/20 Remainder of our August $90 call position expires at $0.00 (-100%), We took profits on these on the 12th at +232%
08/18 DECK is down nearly 20 points in three days
08/12 1st target hit @ 93.50
bid on Aug. $90 call @ $5.05 (+232.2%)
bid on Sep. $90 call @ $8.45 (+79.7%)

Entry on August 11 at $83.53
Earnings Date 10/27/11 (unconfirmed)
Average Daily Volume = 1.3 million
Listed on August 9, 2011


Dow Jones Industrial (ETF) - DIA - close: 111.37 change: +3.07

Stop Loss: 105.70
Target(s): 114.50,
Current Option Gain/Loss: Sep $110: +30.1% & Sep $112: +29.5%
Time Frame: 2 to 4 weeks
New Positions: see below

Comments:
08/23 update: Tuesday's widespread market bounce produced big gains for the indices. The Dow Industrials rallied +2.9% and the DIA was close on its heels with a +2.8% gain. If you believe that stocks are forming a bullish double bottom, then you can use this as a new entry point. I did mention a close over $110 as an alternative entry point. Personally, I'm cautious on the market here and would rather wait and see what Bernanke has to say on Friday.

Earlier Comments:
We will need to use our position size to limit risk.

- Suggested (small) Positions -

Long SEP $110 call (DIA1117I110) Entry $3.15

- or -

Long SEP $112 call (DIA1117I112) Entry $2.20

08/20 add a stop loss at $105.70

Entry on August 19 at $108.00
Earnings Date --/--/--
Average Daily Volume = 15 million
Listed on August 18, 2011


Energy XXI Ltd. - EXXI - close: 24.46 change: +2.42

Stop Loss: 19.90
Target(s): 27.50, 29.75
Current Option Gain/Loss: + 26.9%
Time Frame: 6 to 12 weeks
New Positions: see below

Comments:
08/23 update: EXXI was a very strong performer on Tuesday. The stock was upgraded to a "strong buy" this morning. Shares rallied to a +10.9% gain by the closing bell, which helped erase a good portion of its recent declines. Our first multi-month target is $27.50. I'm adding a secondary target at $29.75.

- Suggested Positions -

Long DEC $25 call (EXXI1117L25) Entry $2.60

Entry on August 22 at $22.00
Earnings Date 10/25/11 (unconfirmed)
Average Daily Volume = 1.4 million
Listed on August 20, 2011


Green Mountain Coffee Roasters - GMCR - close: 95.05 change: + 9.63

Stop Loss: n/a
Target(s): 99.50, 107.50
Current Option Gain/Loss: ---.-- & (-10.9%)
Time Frame: 2 to 3 weeks
New Positions: see below

Comments:
08/23 update: GMCR produced a very big bounce today. Shares rallied from $85 to $95 for a +11.2% gain. This helped erase a significant portion of our losses and the Sep. $100 call is almost in positive territory again. Cautious traders will want to seriously consider an early exit now to recoup your capital. The newsletter has decided to hold on to this position and see if shares can breakout past $100. I am not suggesting new positions at this time.

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.

- Suggested (SMALL) Positions -

Long SEP $100 call (GMCR1117I100) Entry $3.65

08/23 Cautious traders may want to exit now with the bid on our Sep. $100 call at $3.25 (-10.9%)
08/18 if you're bearish on the market, then exit now! Sep.bid @$2.29
08/15 exit August $95 calls immediately. Bid @ $7.95 (+190.1%)
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: 63.19 change: +1.35

Stop Loss: 59.40
Target(s): 63.75, 66.00
Current Option Gain/Loss: + 89.4%
Time Frame: 2 to 3 weeks
New Positions: see below

Comments:
08/23 update: ORLY continues the slow and steady march higher. The stock added +2.1% and closed above the 50-dma. Volume was very strong on today's rally. The intraday high was $63.64 and our first target is $63.75. More conservative traders may want to go ahead and take profits now. Please note our new stop loss at $59.40. I'm not suggesting new positions at this time.

Earlier Comments:
Use a small position size to limit your risk.

- Suggested (small) Positions -

Long SEP $60 call (ORLY1117I60) entry $1.90

08/23 new stop loss @ 59.40
08/20 new stop loss @ 57.80
08/15 trade opened
08/13 adjusted entry point. removed Aug. strike
08/10 new trigger at $55.00
08/09 adjusted targets to $63.75 and $66.00.

Entry on August 15 at $60.37
Earnings Date 10/26/11 (unconfirmed)
Average Daily Volume = 1.7 million
Listed on August 6, 2011


SPDR S&P500 ETF - SPY - close: 116.44 change: +3.71

Stop Loss: n/a
Target(s): 119.75, 122.50
Current Option Gain/Loss: Sep.$120call (-30.1%)
Time Frame: 2 to 4 weeks
New Positions: see below

Comments:
08/23 update: Stocks delivered pretty strong gains on Tuesday. Gains were very widespread. The SPY managed to close above short-term technical resistance at its 10-dma. Today's bounce will fuel hopes the market has found a bottom but many traders are staying cautious and consider this just an oversold bounce.

Earlier Comments:
We are not using a stop loss on this trade.

- Suggested (SMALL) Positions -

Long SEP $120 call (SPY1117I120) Entry $2.55

08/20 Trigger to add positions at $112.00 was NOT hit. We are removing the entry point. Do not add to positions at this time.
08/18 adding a new entry point to buy the Sep.$118call at $112.00
08/16 exit Aug. $118 call now. bid $2.26 (+5.1%)
08/15 1st target hit @ 119.75
bid on the Aug. $118 call @ $2.15 (+0.0%)
bid on the Sep. $120 call @ $3.32 (+30.1%)
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


Stericycle Inc. - SRCL - close: 83.65 change: +2.53

Stop Loss: 77.75
Target(s): 84.90. 88.50
Current Option Gain/Loss: +22.8%
Time Frame: 2 to 4 weeks
New Positions: see below

Comments:
08/23 update: Our new trade on SRCL is off to a strong start. Both the stock and the S&P500 opened positive so the trade was activated this morning. SRCL opened at $81.29 and rallied past its 200-ema and closed with a +3.1% gain. If you do not feel like chasing it here then look for a dip back toward the $82.00 area as an entry point.

- Suggested (small) Positions -

Long SEP $85 call (SRCL1117I85) Entry $1.75

Entry on August 23 at $81.29
Earnings Date 10/27/11 (unconfirmed)
Average Daily Volume = 858 thousand
Listed on August 22, 2011


U.S. Oil Fund - USO - close: 33.42 change: +0.70

Stop Loss: n/a
Target(s): $37.50, 40.00
Current Option Gain/Loss: +19.5%
Time Frame: 2 to 3 months
New Positions: see below

Comments:
08/23 update: Oil was showing some strength today and the USO rallied +2.1%. Volume has been elevated the last few days and today was no exception with volume at 17.4 million shares.

The $34.00 level could be very short-term support. I am not suggesting new positions at these levels.

Earlier Comments:
We're not using a stop loss on our original trade (Nov. $34 call entered on Aug. 9th) so keep your position size small!

This is a lottery-ticket style of play.

- Suggested Positions -

Long NOV $34 call (USO1119K34) Entry $2.05

New Entry Point: Buy calls if USO hits $30.50 (again)

Buy the NOV $34 call (USO1119K34)
If triggered, use a stop at $29.00 for this position.

08/20 Adding a new buy-the-dip entry at $30.50, stop @ 29.00

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


United Technologies Corp. - UTX - close: 69.93 change: +2.25

Stop Loss: n/a
Target(s): 76.40, 79.75
Current Option Gain/Loss: (Sep. - 72.1%)
Time Frame: 2 to 4 weeks
New Positions: see below

Comments:
08/23 update: Hmm... is UTX forming a bullish double bottom pattern? The stock saw a sharp rebound (+3.3%) as it followed the market higher. The Dow Industrials rallied +2.9%. Yet UTX failed to close above round-number resistance at $70.00.

This certainly looks like a new entry point but readers may want to add a stop loss at $66.99, under the recent lows.

Earlier Comments:
We want to keep our position size small since I'm not listing a stop loss.

- Suggested Positions -

Long SEP $75 call (UTX1117I75) Entry $1.83

08/20 New entry point to buy calls on dip at $65.00
08/20 Our aggressive, higher-risk trade with August options has expired. Entry price on Aug. $75 call (UTX1120H75) was $0.29. exit 0.00 (-100%)

Entry on August 15 at $73.21
Earnings Date 10/20/11 (unconfirmed)
Average Daily Volume = 6.6 million
Listed on August 13, 2011


Whole Foods Market, Inc. - WFM - close: 58.92 change: +2.15

Stop Loss: n/a
Target(s): 63.50
Current Option Gain/Loss: - 13.8%
Time Frame: 2 to 4 weeks
New Positions: see below

Comments:
08/23 update: The big bounce in WFM today (+3.7%) has left the stock back above its 200-dma and back above our entry point. Readers could use this bounce as a new entry point but you may want to consider adding a stop loss near the $56.00 level.

Earlier Comments:
We want to keep our position size small since we're not listing a stop loss.

- Suggested Positions -

Long SEP $60 call (WFM1117I60) Entry $2.45

Entry on August 15 at $58.68
Earnings Date 11/03/11 (unconfirmed)
Average Daily Volume = 2.3 million
Listed on August 13, 2011


PUT Play Updates

Alexander & Baldwin, Inc. - ALEX - close: 38.58 change: +1.23

Stop Loss: 40.75
Target(s): 32.50
Current Option Gain/Loss: Sep: -60.0%, DEC: -18.1%
Time Frame: 4 to 12 weeks
New Positions: see below

Comments:
08/23 update: I am surprised that ALEX did not see a strong bounce. Today's +3.2% gain was in-line with the market's gain. Considering all the short interest in the shipping stocks we need to be prepared for big bounces but these should eventually roll over as reality reasserts itself.

A failed rally near $40 could be used as a new entry point to buy puts.

- Suggested Positions -

Long SEP $35 PUT (ALEX1117U35) Entry $1.00*

- or -

Long DEC $30 PUT (ALEX1117X30) Entry $1.10*

08/22 ALEX gapped open higher at $38.33
* options did not trade on Monday. These entries are estimates.

Entry on August 22 at $38.33
Earnings Date 11/10/11 (unconfirmed)
Average Daily Volume = 279 thousand
Listed on August 20, 2011


Teekay Corp. - TK - close: 23.80 change: +0.62

Stop Loss: 24.55
Target(s): 20.25, 17.50
Current Option Gain/Loss: SEP: -35.2%, OCT: -26.6%
Time Frame: 4 to 8 weeks
New Positions: see below

Comments:
08/23 update: TK saw a +2.6% bounce but that failed to keep up with the S&P500's gain. My comments on our ALEX play apply here as well. Readers may want to wait for a failed rally near $24.00 before initiating new positions.

- Suggested Positions -

Long SEP $22.50 PUT (TK1117U22.5) Entry $0.85

- or -

Long OCT $20.00 PUT (TK1122V20) Entry $0.75*

08/22 *option did not trade, this is an estimate.

Entry on August 22 at $23.44
Earnings Date 11/03/11 (unconfirmed)
Average Daily Volume = 531 thousand
Listed on August 20, 2011


CBOE Volatility Index - VIX - close: 36.27 change: - 6.17

Stop Loss: n/a
Target(s): 26.00, 22.50
Current Option Gain/Loss: -93.7%
Second Position Gain/Loss: - 90.0%
Third Position Gain/Loss: -72.8%
Time Frame: 2 to 3 weeks
New Positions: see below

Comments:
08/23 update: The VIX gave up -14.5% thanks to the market's big rebound today. Yet that leaves the VIX where it opened about four days ago. It remains elevated. I am not suggesting new positions 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.

- Suggested Positions -

Long SEP $25.00 PUT (VIX1121U25) Entry $4.00

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

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

08/17 August VIX options expire
1st position Aug. $25 put @ $0.00 (-100%)
2nd position Aug. $25 put @ $0.00 (-100%)
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


CLOSED BULLISH PLAYS

Cabot Oil & Gas - COG - close: 70.21 change: +4.10

Stop Loss: 57.00
Target(s): 69.50
Current Option Gain/Loss: Unopened
Time Frame: 3 to 6 weeks
New Positions: Yes, see below

Comments:
08/23 update: COG produced a very big bounce today with a +6.2% gain and a close over potential round-number resistance at $70.00. The move is bullish but we do not want to chase it. Our buy-the-dip trigger at $63.00 has not been hit.

We are dropping COG as a candidate but I would keep this stock on your watch list.

Buy-the-Dip @ $63.00 was not hit

Trade did not open

chart:

Entry on August xx at $ xx.xx
Earnings Date 10/25/11 (unconfirmed)
Average Daily Volume = 2.22 million
Listed on August 20, 2011