Option Investor


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New lows were everywhere. It was good we closed the 390/380 November RUT bull put spread. I never really thought the RUT would go down this far. But a lot of things have happened lately that I never expected. I don’t have a clue and anyone who says he does is BS-ing you. The RUT has been cut in half.

It looks like we’ll be OK on our November 360/350 bull put spread, but we’re at the mercy of the Friday settlement number. We have more than a 25-point cushion. It should be OK, but nothing is for sure in this market chaos. As I write this, the futures are up 8 points. Doesn’t mean much. They change by the minute, but it’s better than them being down 8 points.

Formerly The Big Three
The Big 3 is now the Little 3. I heard someone say that the market cap of the automotive stocks is smaller than the market cap of Mattel, who makes the toy cars. Ironic.

The automotive Beg-a-Thon apparently will resume in December. At least we didn’t throw more tax payer dollars down the toilet – yet. Nobody in their right mind believes all three car companies will survive without going into a version of bankruptcy. They’re not planning on doing anything different. They think their business models are just fine. It would be laughable – if it wasn’t pathetic.

At least congress will be getting their collective asses back to work before January. Who the hell do they think they are? They're getting paid. Let them work. The interrogation of the CEOs was interesting though. Among the softballs from the congressional weenies, some tough questions were asked - and dodged. Larry, Moe & Curly had no plan B prepared – after they flew in on their private jets. Bad decision on their part, especially if they expected any sympathy, from Congressmen or the public. They blew it big time, in many respects.

Riddle me this, Batman. I'm curious. Why does General Motors need Chevy, Pontiac and Buick? It looks to me like Pontiacs and Buicks are just Chevys with different tail lights. Let’s lose Pontiac. And isn’t the Mercury similar to Ford? Maybe I’m way off base here, but I think that life would go on just fine with a few less model choices.

I understand that union workers that get laid off when a plant cuts back are paid about 90% of their salary for not working. I hit the roof. That’s like farmers being paid for not growing a grop, while people in the country go hungry. I’ve heard more sense coming out of a George Bush bobble head doll.

The other day I read an article here on OI about a guy who suggested giving the money to car buyers rather than the car companies. Give a $5,000 rebate to anyone who buys an American made car. It would generate a ton of car sales and would make it easier for many to get loans with that $5,000 as a down payment. Another case of an idea that makes sense being ignored.

FYI – A Trade Idea
A friend of mine put on an interesting trade today. About 3 p.m., with the VIX at an absurd 80, he sold two contracts of the SPX March 750 puts and 2 contracts of the SPX March 750 calls (a sell straddle) and took in a healthy total premium of $206.

If the market goes up, the VIX will come down and he’ll be able to close out his options for substantially less than $206 and lock in a nice profit. If the market goes down, he’s covered down to 544. It’s a gamble, for sure. But, he’s got money and cajones. That’s all you need. Both my money (what’s left) and my cajones are on an extended vacation, so I’ll be content to monitor my friend’s trade.

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CPTI NOVEMBER Position #1 - RUT Bull Put Spread – 385.31
On 10/15, with the RUT at about 436, we sold 20 RUT November 390 puts and bought 20 RUT November 380 puts for a credit of $.80 ($1,600). Maintenance was $20,000. Earlier this week we closed out our position for $.70. We kept a dime of our premium – leaving us with a profit of $200.

CPTI NOVEMBER Position #2 - RUT Bull Put Spread – 385.31
On 10/16, with the RUT at about 480, we sold 20 RUT November 360 puts and bought 20 RUT November 350 puts for a credit of $.80 ($1,600). Maintenance is $20,000. - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -

CPTI DECEMBER Position #1 - RUT Bull Put Spread – 385.31
On 11/6, with the RUT at about 510, we sold 20 RUT December 330 puts and bought 20 RUT December 320 puts for a credit of $.55 ($1,100). Maintenance is $20,000.

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In the past, I outlined a strategy based on an initial investment of $100,000. At that time, $74,000 was spent on zero coupon bonds maturing in about seven years at a value of $100,000. The principal $100,000 investment is guaranteed. We're trading the remaining $26,000 to generate a "risk free" return on the original investment. We are not compounding our profits by dramatically increasing the number of contracts we trade. With the September profits, our new cash total is $66,440 ($64,220 + $2,100).

ZERO PLUS POSITION – RUT Bull Put Spread – 385.31
On 10/16. we sold 30 of the November 360 bull put spreads and bought 30 of the November RUT 350 spreads for a credit of $.80 ($2,400).

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Couch Potato Trader Disclaimer
All results reported in this section are hypothetical. While the numbers represented here may have been achieved or beaten by our readers, we make no representation that any individual investor achieved these exact results. The tracking for the plays listed in this section uses closing prices for the day the newsletter is published and it is not meant to imply that any reader actually received those prices (though many often do) or participated in these recommendations (even though many do). The portfolio represented here is hypothetical and for investment education purposes only. It is only an illustration of what type of gains a knowledgeable trader might receive utilizing these strategies. If you don't get close to these results, guess what. It isn't the fault of the strategies.

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