The holiday-shortened trading week ended on a quiet note; are investors pausing to refuel for next week?

The broad market finished flat for the week, but did manage to break the 5 week winning streak. The benchmark index SPX closed down -.7 points at 2036, recovering from a much steeper loss earlier in the day.

Below is a summary of our open positions:

SPX Weekly Iron Condor

The April 1 Iron Condor was opened Thursday (markets closed Friday); position details below:

- SOLD SPX April 1 2070 Call, 1.45 Credit.

- BOUGHT SPX April 1 2080 Call, .70 Debit.

- SOLD SPX April 1 1965 Put, 2.20 Credit.

- BOUGHT SPX April 1 1955 Put, 1.65 Debit.

Order was filled as an "Iron Condor" for $1.30 net credit (all four legs).

Margin/Risk is calculated by the width of the wings ($1,000), less credit received.

Margin/Risk for this week's trade: $870.

Target Gain: 7% of margin/risk or $60.

Max loss: 10% of margin/risk or $87.

Below is the risk graph of this week's position:

SPX April 1 Iron Condor:

Below is the SPX chart showing the short strikes:

SPX 6 month chart

The position is slightly above breakeven, the current debit to close is $1.20. Our order remains in place to exit the position for target gain or max loss.

Trade Management:

The guidelines call for the position to remain open until target gain is reached, as long as SPX stays between the short strikes. They also call for exiting at the pre-set max loss, or if SPX reaches either short strike. It is recommended to have "good to cancel" order in for both target gain and max loss. The setup of conditional orders can vary by broker, so please check with your broker if you are unfamiliar with conditional orders on your trading platform.

SPY April Iron Condor

This monthly position was opened on Monday, March 7. Position details below:

- SOLD SPY April 208 Call, .57 Credit.

- BOUGHT SPY April 213 Call, .09 Debit.

- SOLD SPY April 185 Put, .98 Credit.

- BOUGHT SPY April 180 Put, .59 Debit.

Order was filled as an "Iron Condor" for $.90 net credit (all four legs).

Margin/Risk is calculated by the width of the wings ($500), less credit received.

Margin/Risk for this trade: $410.

Target Gain: 10%of margin/risk.

Max loss: 15% of margin/risk.

Below is the risk graph of this position as of the close:

SPY April Iron Condor:

SPY closed Thursday at 203.12. The pullback towards the end of the week favored this position, it is currently +$35 and would continue from a further pullback next week as long as it's not too severe.

Below is the SPY chart showing the short strikes:

SPY 6 month chart

Trade Management:

The guidelines call for the position to remain open until target gain is reached, as long as SPY stays between the short strikes. They also call for exiting at the pre-set max loss, or if SPY reaches either short strike. It is recommended to have a "good to cancel" conditional order in to exit the position for target gain or max loss. Please follow your broker's specific guidelines on the setup of conditional orders as they can vary by broker.

RUT April Iron Butterfly

This monthly position was opened on Thursday, March 17. Position details are below:

- SOLD RUT April 1070 Call, 21.20 credit.

- BOUGHT RUT April 1120 Call, 3.00 debit..

- SOLD RUT April 1070 Put, 21.50 credit.

- BOUGHT RUT April 1020 Put, 7.70 debit.

Order was filled as an "Iron Condor" for $32.00 net credit (all four legs).

BOUGHT RUT April 1130 Call.

Call order was filled for $1.70 debit

Margin/Risk is calculated by the width of the wings ($5,000), less credit received plus the cost of the long call.

Margin/Risk for this trade: $1,970.

Target Gain: 5% of the gross margin ($250/contract)

Max loss: 10% of the gross margin ($500/contract)

RUT rallied up to the first upside adjustment the day the position was entered. The position was adjusted the following day (Friday, March 18), as follows:

Upside Adjustment March 18:

BOUGHT RUT April 1070 Call, 33.05 debit.

SOLD RUT April 1120 Call, 6.90 credit.

SOLD RUT April 1090 Call, 20.10 credit.

BOUGHT April 1140 Call, 2.65 debit.

Net debit (all four legs): $8.70

The position summary after the adjustment is as follows:

SHORT April 1090 Call

LONG April 1140 Call

SHORT April 1070 Put

LONG Apri l 1020 Put

LONG April 1130 Call purchased at trade entry to cut deltas.

The position is now a 20 point wide Iron Condor.

The pullback in RUT has helped our position. With RUT closing at 1079.53, the position is centered on the graph so we will continue to monitor before making any further adjustments.

Below is the risk graph of the position as of the close Thursday:

RUT April Iron Condor:

New Test Kitchen Trade; SPX Bearish Butterfly

This new trade was entered in Paper Money Wednesday, February 24. Position details are below:

- BOUGHT 3 SPX May 1 1915 Put, 73.40 debit..

- SOLD 6 SPX May 1 1875 Put, 58.10 credit.

- BOUGHT 3 SPX May 1 1825 Put, 43.40 debit.

Order was filled as a "Butterfly" for $.60 net debit(all three legs) per butterfly.

Margin/Risk is calculated at $1,000 per unit, plus the cost of the butterfly,

Margin/Risk for this trade: $3,180.

Target Gain: $500 for the 3-unit position

Max loss: $750 for the 3-unit position

As stated in the guidelines published February 17, the target gain and max loss may be modified depending on length of time in the trade, etc. Since this is a new trade being incorporated into the plan, we will evaluate progress as time goes on.

On Thursday, March 17, with SPX trading at 2034, a small adjustment was made to smooth the upside T +0 line. Adjustment details are below:

- SOLD (2) SPX May 1 1915 Puts, 13.40 credit.

- BOUGHT (2) SPX May 1 1895 Puts 11.10 debit.

- SOLD (2) SPX May 1 1825 Puts, 5.80 credit.

- BOUGHT (2) SPX May 1 1845 Puts, 6.90 debit

The adjustment filled for a net credit (all four legs) of $1.20

Below is the risk graph of this position as of the close Thursday:

SPX May 1 Bearish Butterfly:

The position is flat delta, which is expected, and a little above breakeven. We will continue to let it work as per the guidelines. While the position would welcome a pullback, we will evaluate next week to see if the third contract should be rolled similarly to the first two.

Trade updates will be posted as appropriate.

Next week's economic news is summarized below:

Monday

8:30 am International Trade

8:30 am Personal Income & Outlays

10:00 am Pending Home Sales Index

10:30 am Dallas Fed Manufacturing Survey

Tuesday

9:00 am S & P Case Shiller HPI

10:00 am Consumer Confidence

12:00 pm Fed Chair Janet Yellen speaks at Economic Club of New York

Wednesday

8:15 am ADP Employment Report

10:30 am EIA Petroleum Status Report

Thursday

8:30 am Jobless Claims

9:45 am Chicago PMI

Friday

8:30 am Monthly Employment Situation Report

10:00 am ISM Manufacturing Index

10:00 am Consumer Sentiment

10:00 am Construction Spending

Enjoy the long weekend! As always, stay keen on your risk management and trade carefully,

Dot Hazlin