Option Investor
Newsletter

Daily Newsletter, Monday, 4/17/2017

Table of Contents

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

Market Wrap

Geopolitics And Earnings

by Thomas Hughes

Click here to email Thomas Hughes

Introduction

The market rebound from last week's geopolitical driven mini-meltdown with earnings season on tap. Geopolitical hot-spots continue to flare and pose a risk to near-term market action but today at least did not overpower the bulls. Market action was light in the post-holiday session as we enter the peak of earnings season. There were few reports today but that changes tomorrow and will get more intense over the next 3 to 4 weeks.

Asian indices were mixed as usual but affected by North Korea. The Japanese market was flat as traders keep an out for threat of missile attack, Chinese markets were down despite better than expected GDP and Industrial Output data. Chinese 1st quarter GDP rose to an annual pace of 6.9% in the 1st quarter, Industrial Output rose 7.6% to a +1year high, both sign of rebound in the world's largest developing market. European markets were closed for the Easter holiday.

Market Statistics

Futures trading was flat for most of the morning although it did show a little strength going into the open. There was little data or earnings reported before the bell, and no new political developments at home or abroad, so trading was light. The indices were indicated to open with a gain near 0.2%, initial gains were closer to half that but the difference was quickly made up. The S&P 500 put on about 7 points in the 1st minute of trading and then slowly extended that to near 14 points by lunchtime. The 2,342 level emerged as resistance, capping gains till mid-afternoon, but it did not look strong. Mid-afternoon the market broke through that resistance and extended the rally to the highs of the day, where it remained until the close of trading.

Comments from Steve Mnuchin helped lift stocks in late day trading. He says that tax reform may not happen as quick as first anticipated and that border adjustment may not be needed to reach the $1 trillion gap in the Trump tax plan.

Economic Calendar

The Economy

One report today, The Empire State Manufacturing Survey. The survey declined sharply but remains positive and indicative of expansion, just moderated expansion. The index fell -11 points to 5.2 from last months surprisingly strong reading of 16.2. Within the report New Orders declined to 7.0, also showing slowing growth, while shipments and labor indicators both rose. Shipments rose to a high 13.7 while hiring rose 5 points to 13.5 and a 2 year high. The caveat is that the workweek index shrank to 8.8, expansionary but less expansionary than before. Forward outlook remains strong, gaining 3 points to hit 39.5.


Moody's Survey of Business Confidence fell -1.2% to 32.8, the lowest level in 2 months. Mr. Zandi says global business confidence remains strong despite the geopolitical shocks we've seen, based on the numbers I'd have to say it looks like it may be wavering a bit. Forward outlook remains strong, especially in the US, with notably strong responses to questions about hiring and investment. Looking back over the longer term, confidence remains high relative to recent lows but well off the highs of 2015.


Earnings season is underway and will only gain momentum from here. So far it looks OK, not stellar, but no more than what that market was expecting. To date about 6% of the S&P 500 has reported with 76% of those beating earnings estimates and 56% beating on the revenue end, both consistent with recent trends. The blended rate for earnings is now 9.2%, up a tenth in the last week, and will be the highest since Q4 2011. Of the 11 sectors, 3 are beating expectations led by the financials and materials sectors.


Looking forward estimates remain expansionary although the numbers continue to shift. In the short term growth remains but expansion slows, longer term growth returns to expansion. Second quarter outlook has ticked higher by a tenth to 8.7%, 3rd quarter outlook has held steady at 8.2% and fourth quarter outlook has risen to 12.6%. Full year 2017 remains strong at 9.7%, expanding to 12% in 2018.


The Dollar Index

The Dollar Index fell about a half percent to test support at the $100 level and bounced from there. The index closed with a loss of near 0.25% following the bounce and may test support again. This level is near the lower end of the short-term trading range and has been tested several times before. The indicators are consistent with this, and a possible move down to test stronger support at the $99 level. Near-term, geopolitical fears and flight-to-safety are hurting the dollar. Longer-term these fears are likely to subside and leave the index ready to rally as underlying fundamentals return to the forefront. A break below $100 could go as low as $99, a bounce would face first resistance at $101.


The Gold Index

Gold prices have hit a new 5 month high on flight-to-safety. The spot price traded above $1,295 in the early part of the session but gave up all of today's gains by the close of the session. Even so spot price remains high, just shy of $1,290, and poised to go higher on any hint of escalating tensions. Technical target for resistance is $1,300 but may not mean much in the face of safety-seeking.

The gold miners tried to advance in today's trading but could not hold the gains. The Gold Miners ETF GDX edged higher at the open only to fall throughout the day, closing with a loss near -0.75% and near the low of the day. The miners are supported by rising gold prices but that support is tenuous. The indicators are consistent with a rising market near-term, upside target for resistance is $25.50. Longer-term economic trends and FOMC outlook support a stronger dollar so upside potential could be limited to the top of the 6 month range, near $26.


The Oil Index

Oil prices fell more than -1% on easing tensions but the price is still above $52.50. Today's action was also driven by shifting fundamentals as US rig counts continue to rise, Chinese economic data suggests demand may be stronger than anticipated and OPEC mulls extending the production cut. We may not see oil prices rise much from here but we are likely not to see them fall much either, not until one or another factor takes dominance.

The Oil Index fell in early trading to test support at 1,175 and the bottom of Friday's long black candle. The ETF appears to be in process of bottoming with potential for short to long-term earnings driven rally. The indicators are consistent with a move to test support following a bounce but have not yet fired the longer-term signal. Support may be tested further, a break below 1,175 would be bearish near-term with downside target near 1,150. A bounce from here would be bullish with first target for resistance at 1,200 and then 1,225.


In The News, Story Stocks and Earnings

Netflix reported earnings after the bell and did not quite meet expectations. The company was able to match revenue estimates and slightly beat EPS estimates but subscriber numbers fell short. Both US and International subscriber growth came in below estimates, driving a sharp sell-off later met by bargain hunters. Shares of the stock initially fell by more than -1% on the news and then later bounced back to set a new all-time high.


United Airlines reported better than expected results after the bell as well, and was able to raise forward guidance. The beleaguered airline reported flat passenger revenue growth but forecasts at least +1% in the coming quarter. Company CEO says last week's passenger issue is a watershed moment for the company, which is dedicated to being top in customer service. Shares of the stock rose marginally on the news.


The VIX fell more than -8.00%. The index created a long black candle, engulfing the 2 previous candles and falling below the 15 level. This action is not definitive but has the look of a peak in fear, near-term at least, and suggests it could subside over the next few days. The indicators are bullish but not showing much strength and consistent with a peak. A fall from here could take it down to 12.50 or lower.


The Indices

The indices were buoyant all day, getting extra lift in the late hours of the session. The Dow Jones Transportation Average led with a gain of 1.31%. The index created a long white candle, confirming support, and appears to be confirming a bottom in the range of 8,900. The indicators do not confirm at this time, stochastic for one suggesting a further test of support could come. A break below 8,900 would be bearish in the near-term with target near 8,750. A continuation of the bounce would be trend-following with first upside target near 9,200.


The Dow Jones Industrial Average made the second spot with a gain of 0.90%. The blue chips created a medium sized white bodied candle rising up from support at 20,500. This level has been tested several times over the past 6 weeks and looks like it could be the jumping off point for another rally. The indicators are consistent with a test of support at this level but have not confirmed with the strong signal. A continuation of today's bounce would be trend-following with upside target near 21,000 in the near term. A break below 20,500 would be bearish in the near-term at least, with downside target near 20,000.


The NASDAQ Composite comes in third today with a gain of 0.89%. The tech heavy index created a medium sized white bodied candle capped at the short-term moving average. It has been in consolidation over the past 6 weeks and is now trading near the middle of that range, just below the all-time high. Today's action may indicate support at the 5,800 level and if so a possible confirmation of short and long-term trends. The indicators are so far consistent with support at this level but have not confirmed and suggest that it may be tested again. A break below 5,800 would be bearish with downside target near 5,750, a bounce would be bullish and trend following with upside target near the current all-time high and higher.


The S&P 500 brings up the rear in today's session with a gain of only 0.86%. The broad market created a medium sized white bodied candle capped at the short-term moving average. Today's action may confirm support at or just below current levels but has yet to be confirmed itself. The indicators are set up to confirm, poised to make a second and higher low following a bottom, but have not. A move above the short-term moving average would be bullish and help confirm the bottom A failure to move above the short-term moving average would be bearish in the near-term at least, with downside target near 2,300.


The market is geared up and ready for earnings. Geopolitical fears have helped it get wound up while waiting but it looks, at least for now, as if a short-term consolidation has formed with a chance of extending the rally. The signs are all there, all we now is the signal.

This week is important because it is the first full week of earnings season, the week more than a token number of names will report, and will set the tone for the next 6 weeks. There could be some volatility during the week but I expect by Friday we'll have a good idea which way the wind is blowing. Between then and now there are nearly 200 earnings reports and a handful of economic reports including housing starts, building permits and the Fed's Beige Book. I am cautiously bullish in the near-term, wary of headlines, and more firmly bullish in the long.

Until then, remember the trend!

Thomas Hughes


New Plays

Try, Try Again

by Jim Brown

Click here to email Jim Brown
Editor's Note

If at first you do not succeed, try, try again. That is a life principle hammered into young children at an early age. It also works for drug companies. There are no drug companies that have never seen a drug trial fail unless they are very young with limited candidates.



NEW BULLISH Plays

JUNO - Juno Therapeutics - Company Profile

Juno Therapeutics, Inc., a biopharmaceutical company, engages in developing cell-based cancer immunotherapies. The company develops cell-based cancer immunotherapies based on its chimeric antigen receptor and T cell receptor technologies to genetically engineer T cells to recognize and kill cancer cells. Its CD19 product candidates include JCAR017 that is in Phase I/II trials for adults with relapsed or refractory (r/r) B cell aggressive non-Hodgkin lymphoma (NHL) and pediatric patients with r/r B cell acute lymphoblastic leukemia (ALL); JCAR014, which is in Phase I/II trials to treat various B cell malignancies in patients relapsed or refractory to standard therapies; and JCAR015 that is in Phase II trials for adult patients with r/r ALL. The company's CD22 product candidate comprise JCAR018, which is in Phase I trial for pediatric and young adult patients with CD22-positive r/r ALL or r/r NHL. Its additional product candidates include CD171, a cell-surface adhesion molecule to treat neuroblastoma; Lewis Y for the treatment of lung cancer; JCAR023, which is in Phase I trial for patients with refractory or recurrent pediatric neuroblastoma; MUC-16, a protein for treating ovarian cancers; IL-12, a cytokine to overcome the inhibitory effects; ROR-1, a protein for the treatment of non-small cell lung, triple negative breast, pancreatic, and prostate cancers; WT-1, an intracellular protein that is in Phase I/II clinical trials to treat adult myeloid leukemia and non-small cell lung, breast, pancreatic, ovarian, and colorectal cancers; and IL13ra2 for treating glioblastoma. Juno Therapeutics, Inc. has collaboration agreements with Celgene Corporation, Fate Therapeutics, Inc., Editas Medicine, Inc., MedImmune Limited, and Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center. Company description from FinViz.com.

Juno shares were hammered in March after they reported they were ending a trial early on a hot new CAR-T drug they had expected to do well. The Phase II Rocket Trial of JCAR015 was paused twice and finally ended early after two patients died from swelling in the brain. The CAR-T process involves removing T-cells from their blood and reengineering them to recognize cancer cells from acute lymphoblastic leukemia and kill them. Once the modification is complete, they are re-injected into the patient so they can go to work. In this particular case the brain swelling was a side effect.

However, that is not the only drug in process at Juno. They will have more than 20 trials in progress by the end of 2017 on a variety of anticancer drugs. The company has nearly $1 billion in cash and a burn rate of about $200 million a year. They are in no danger of running out of money and they have dozens of partnerships and collaborations contributing money for research.

Earnings May 31st.

Over the last three weeks Juno has not declined. The stock is continuing to move slowly higher with resistance currently at $25. Once through that level the next resistance is $33.

With the biotech sector selling off every other day you would have expected JUNO to be reactive to those moves but the stock continues to climb.

With a JUNO trade at $24.55

Buy JUNO shares, initial stop loss $22.50.

No options due to price and strike availability.



NEW BEARISH Plays

No New Bearish Plays



In Play Updates and Reviews

Real or Memorex?

by Jim Brown

Click here to email Jim Brown

Editors Note:

Many readers might not be old enough to remember the Memorex ads on TV where a singer breaks a glass with her voice. The follow up punch line was "Is it her real voice or a Memorex recording of her voice?" Applying that to the market rebound today, "Is it the beginning of a real rally, or just a copy of the numerous head fakes in the past weeks?" The rebound was a relief rally that the long weekend was over and the U.S. did not launch missiles into North Korea. Half of the gains came from a buy program at 3:05 that kicked off additional short covering into the close.

The geopolitical worries may be over but we will be bogged down with fiscal worries later in the week over the government funding and debt ceiling battle scheduled for next week.





Current Portfolio


Stop Loss Updates

Check the graphic below for any new stop losses in bright yellow. We need to always be prepared for an unexpected decline.


Profit Targets

Check the graphic below for any profit stops in green. We need to always be prepared for a profit exit at resistance.





Current Position Changes


No Changes



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BULLISH Play Updates

ECA - Encana Corporation - Company Profile

Comments:

No specific news. Minor gain despite drop in oil prices.

Original Trade Description: March 13th

Encana Corporation, together with its subsidiaries, engages in the exploration, development, production, and marketing of natural gas, oil, and natural gas liquids in Canada and the United States. The company owns interests in various assets, such as the Montney in northern British Columbia and northwest Alberta; Duvernay in west central Alberta; and other upstream operations, including Wheatland in southern Alberta, Horn River in northeast British Columbia, and Deep Panuke located offshore Nova Scotia. It also holds interests in assets that comprise the Eagle Ford in south Texas; Permian in west Texas; San Juan in northwest New Mexico; Piceance in northwest Colorado; and Tuscaloosa Marine Shale in east Louisiana and west Mississippi. Company description from FinViz.com.

Encana reported earnings of 9 cents compares to estimates for 3 cents. Revenue of $822 million also beat estimates for $771.9 million. Production averages 237,100 Boepd. Drilling and completion costs declined by 30%. They reduced long term debt by $1.1 billion and net debt by 50%. They replaced 326% of production.

They currently have more than 10,000 premium drilling locations and expect to grow that number in 2017. Since December 31st, they have added more than 50 premium locations in the Eagle Ford alone. They ended 2016 with a whopping $5.3 billion in liquidity and cash of nearly $1 billion. They expect to spend $1.6 to $1.8 billion on capex in 2017 and grow liquids production by 35%. Capex willbe funded by cash on hand. Proved reserves were 920 million barrels and 3P reserves were 2.372 billion barrels.

With the cash, production rates, reserves and drilling inventory listed above they are definitely an acquisition candidate with only a $10 billion market cap.

JP Morgan initiated coverage with an overweight rating and $16 price target.

Earnings May 18th.

Over the last couple of weeks an investor built up 7,000 July $11 calls at $1 each and 7,000 October $11 calls at $1.50 each. That is a $1.7 million investment in call options. I am suggesting we follow them in that trade as well as buy the stock. They may know something that is not public information or they just believe that the company is too good to pass up. With the drop in crude prices ECA has fallen to a 5-month low and is resting on the 200-day average.

Position 3/14/17:

Long ECA shares @ $10.43, see portfolio graphic for stop loss.

Optional: Long October $11 call @ $1.40, no stop loss.



HABT - Habit Restaurants - Company Profile

Comments:

No specific news. The company changed the earnings date to May 3rd. Minor gain today but tied the three-month high from Wednesday. Habit is nearing resistance at $18. If we can get through that level, the next challenge would be $21 and then $24. The historic high in 2014 was $44.

Original Trade Description: March 22nd.

The Habit Restaurants, Inc., a holding company, operates fast casual restaurants under The Habit Burger Grill name. It specializes in offering fresh made-to-order char-grilled burgers and sandwiches featuring choice tri-tip steak, grilled chicken, and sushi-grade albacore tuna cooked over an open flame; and salads, as well as sides, shakes, and malts. As of March 2, 2017, the company operated approximately 170 restaurants in 15 locations in California, Arizona, Utah, New Jersey, Florida, Idaho, Virginia, Nevada, Washington, and Maryland, the United States; and the United Arab Emirates. The Habit Restaurants, Inc. was founded in 1969 and is headquartered in Irvine, California. Company description from FinViz.com.

Habit reported earnings of 7 cents that beat estimates for 3 cents. Revenue rose 21.8% to $73.9 million. Same store sales rose 1.7%. This was the 52nd consecutive quarter of positive same store sales. They opened 11 company stores and 2 franchises in Q4. The CEO said they were proud of their strong beat considering it is a fiercely competitive environment.

For full year 2017, they guided to revenue of $338 to $342 million, which represents 19.8% growth at the midpoint. The guided for 2% same store sales and the opening of 31 to 33 new company stores alony with 5 to 7 franchised stores. Analysts were expecting $339.2 million.

Earnings June 1st.

Shares spiked from $14 to $16 on the news and then pulled back for two weeks on post earnings depression. They have since recovered that $16 level and are about to break out to a new three month high. Shares dipped on Tuesday but very little and the rebound today erased the dip completely.

Position 3/23/17:

Long HABT shares, currently $15.95, see portfolio graphic for stop loss.
Optional: Long June $17 call @ 70 cents, no initial stop loss.



ILG - ILG Inc - Company Profile

Comments:

No specific news. Decent gain to a new 52-week high.

Original Trade Description: April 8th.

ILG, Inc., together with its subsidiaries, provides non-traditional lodging covering a portfolio of leisure businesses from vacation exchange and rental to vacation ownership. The company operates through two segments, Exchange and Rental, and Vacation Ownership. The Exchange and Rental segment offers leisure and travel-related products and services to owners of vacation interests and others primarily through various membership programs, as well as related services to resort developer clients; and allows owners of vacation ownership interests to exchange their occupancy rights for alternative accommodations at another resort and/or occupancy period. This segment also provides vacation property rental services for condominium owners, hotel owners, and homeowners' associations. The Vacation Ownership segment engages in the management of vacation ownership resorts; and the sale, marketing, and financing of vacation ownership interests, as well as in the provision of related services to owners and associations. As of December 31, 2016, it provided management services to approximately 250 vacation ownership properties and/or their associations. The company was formerly known as Interval Leisure Group, Inc. and changed its name to ILG, Inc. Company description from FinViz.com.

ILG reported earnings of 48 cents on revenue of $455 million. Net income rose from $16 million to $61 million. Earnings rose from 27 cents to 48 cents. Free cash flow was $180 million. Analysts had expected revenue of $464 million and shares fell sharply over the next week. The company guided for full year revenue of $1.72 to $1.86 billion.

They repurchased 6.5 million shares and paid $52 million in dividends to return $153 million to shareholders. They currently pay a 2.83% dividend.

The company has been on an acquisition and renovation binge. They sometimes acquire properties in great locations that have issues and then spend a few million on renovations to turn them into star attractions. In May they completed the acquisition of Vistana Signature Experiences, formerly known as Starwood Vacation Ownership for $1.15 billion in cash and stock. With the transaction, they acquired an 80-year global license for the use of the Westin and Sheraton brands.

Despite their vast holdings and strong revenue they are still a relative unknown in the investment community. However, with their Vistana acquisition along with the Hyatt and St Regis vacation brands they are starting to become known.

Shares have risen $3 in the last four weeks and have begun to accelerate. The company is a member of the S&P-600 but with the acquisition of Vistana it has a market cap over $3 billion and is eligible for inclusion into the S&P-500. That could provide a nice boost to the stock price but it would be pure speculation.There are many companies with a higher market cap that have not been included.

Earnings May 30th.

Position 4/10/17:

Long ILG shares @ $21.28, see portfolio graphic for stop loss.

Optional: Long June $22 call @ 60 cents.



KRNT - Kornit Digital - Company Profile

Comments:

No specific news. Big 6% rebound to a new high.

Original Trade Description: April 5th.

Kornit Digital develops, manufactures and markets industrial digital printing technologies for the garment, apparel and textile industries. Kornit delivers complete solutions, including digital printing systems, inks, consumables, software and after-sales support. Leading the digital direct-to-garment printing market with its exclusive eco-friendly NeoPigment printing process, Kornit caters directly to the changing needs of the textile printing value chain. Kornit’s technology enables innovative business models based on web-to-print, on-demand and mass customization concepts. With its immense experience in the direct-to-garment market, Kornit also offers a revolutionary approach to the roll-to-roll textile printing industry: Digitally printing with a single ink set onto multiple types of fabric with no additional finishing processes. Founded in 2003, Kornit Digital is a global company, headquartered in Israel with offices in the USA, Europe and Asia Pacific, and serves customers in more than 100 countries worldwide. Company description from Kornit.

The company description pretty much says it all. They have developed a process to print on fabric that is fast and cheap and the company is setting new highs as the demand for their product increases.

The company reported earnings of 16 cents on a 33.4% increase in revenue to $34 million. There was a secondary offering in January that raised $38 million for the company and was very oversubscribed.

The big spike in early January was news the company granted Amazon warrants to buy up to 2.9 million shares at $13. Since KRNT only has 31 million shares outstanding that is nearly a 10% position in the company. The warrants came after Amazon placed an order for a "large number" of textile production systems for Amazon's own use in the Merch by Amazon program.

Earnings May 16th.

Shares made a new high on March 31st and they closed within 10 cents of that high on Thursday. Shares have risen over the available option strikes so this will be a stock only position.

Position 4/7/17:

Long KRNT shares @ $19.00, see portfolio graphic for stop loss.




BEARISH Play Updates

FSLR - First Solar - Company Profile

Comments:

No specific news. Shares have now declined for three consecutive days.

Original Trade Description: March 30th.

First Solar, Inc. provides solar energy solutions in the United States and internationally. It operates through two segments, Components and Systems. The Components segment designs, manufactures, and sells cadmium telluride solar modules that convert sunlight into electricity. This segment offers its products to solar power systems integrators and operators. The Systems segment provides turn-key photovoltaic solar power systems or solar solutions, such as project development; engineering, procurement, and construction; and operating and maintenance services to utilities, independent power producers, commercial and industrial companies, and other system owners. The company was formerly known as First Solar Holdings, Inc. and changed its name to First Solar, Inc. in 2006. Company description from FinViz.com.

First Solar shares have been under pressure for months. On March 20th they were removed from the S&P-500 and investors are still selling the shares.

They reported a Q4 loss of $6.92 per share compared to estimates for $1.00 in earnings. The earnings included a $729 million restructuring charge compared to only $4 million in Q3. If we back out the restructuring charges the company would have earned $1.24 and shown a sizeable beat. However, revenue declined from $480 million in Q3 to $208 million in Q4.

Earnings May 23rd.

First Solar is building quality projects but they are facing a stiff headwind. Tax incentives around the world are shrinking and it is becoming increasingly harder to make a profit. Whenever they get a big power generation facility completed they are forced to sell it to recover their money rather than sit back and let the long term profits roll in.

On Thursday, March 30th, they sold the 250-megawatt Moapa Southern Pauite Solar Project in Nevade to Capital Dynamics, a Swiss private equity firm. The facility supplies power to the Los Angles Dept of Water and Power. They did not disclose the terms of the sale and the stock tanked again. By not disclosing the terms, investors always fear the worst, that they were forced to sell at a big discount.

The stance taken by the new Trump administration on EPA restrictions on coal and gas fired electric generation plants will make power cheap again and these massive solar developments will find it harder to break even. Solar power generation is getting cheaper to build but it cannot compete with gas fired plants at $3 or coal fired plants that operate even cheaper.

Shares broke to a five-year low last week and today's decline is a lower low. The prior low back in 2012 was $11.50 and we could be headed to that level long term.

Update 4/7/17: Reportedly FSLR wants to exit its joint venture with Sunpower (SPWR). The two companies package completed utility scale solar farms into a "Yield Co" for sale to investors. Yield Cos have lost favor with the investing public after SunEdison filed bankruptcy in 2016. Shares posted a minor gain.

Update 4/10/17: Despite a negative article on Bloomberg shares still posted a strong gain of $1.16.

Position 3/31/17:

Short FSLR shares @ $27.50, see portfolio graphic for stop loss.

Optional: Long June $25 put @ $1.15, see portfolio graphic for stop loss.



VXX - Volatility Index Futures - ETF Description

Comments:

The VXX fell -5% with the market in rebound mode. Definitely looks like a good entry.

Original Trade Description: April 12th.

The VXX is a short-term volatility product based on the VIX futures. As a futures product it has the rollover curse. Every time they roll to a new futures contract, they have to pay a premium and that lowers the price of the ETF. It is a flawed product with a perpetual decline built in from the monthly roll over in the futures contracts.

As evidence of this flaw, they have now done four 1:4 reverse stock splits. The last four reverse splits occurred at $13.11 (11/2010), $8.77 (10/2012), $12.84 (11/2013), $9.52 (8/8/16). The prospectus says it can reverse split anytime it trades under $25 for a prolonged period and the splits will always be 1:4.

The VXX has rebounded $3 over the last week as the volatility returned. The VIX traded over 16 today and could hit 18 if there are any geopolitical events over the Easter weekend.

Unfortunately, put options are expensive with a volatility instrument at this price level. The only recommendation is to short the ETF and forget it. If we do get a prolonged rally as some are expecting we could see strong market gains in the next 2-3 months. This will be a long-term position. This is not a 2-3 week play. I can guarantee you, if history holds, we can play this until it splits 1:4 again at $10. Once we are in the position and profitable I will put a trailing stop loss on it. We will take profits and then look for a bounce to get back in.

We know from experience that the VXX always declines. The last time we shorted this ETF we had a $7.23 gain.

Position 4/13/17:

Short the VXX @ $17.98, no stop loss because it always declines eventually.





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