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Call Updates

CurrencyShares Euro - FXE - cls: 159.29 chg: -0.10 stop: 156.75

Intraday weakness in the U.S. dollar helped lift the FXE above the $160 mark but the rally petered out at $160.44. One of our suggested entry points was to buy calls on the FXE at $160.55 so we're still on the sidelines. We are suggesting two different entry points to get long calls on the FXE. Our first entry point is a breakout to new highs at $160.55. Our second entry point would be a pull back to $158.00. Our stop loss is at $156.75. If we get filled at $160.55 we'll adjust the stop higher. Our five-week target is $164.50. Our ten-week target is $169.50. We are suggesting the August and September calls. Strikes are available at $1.00 increments.

Picked on July xx at $ xx.xx <-- see TRIGGER
Change since picked: + 0.00
Earnings Date 00/00/00
Average Daily Volume = 909 thousand

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CBOE Volatility Index - VIX - close: 28.54 chg: +0.06 stop:

Target achieved! The VIX spiked to 30.81 this morning when the DJIA plunged more than 200 points and the S&P 500 dipped to the 1200 level. Our first target to take some profits was $29.50. Our more aggressive, higher-risk target is the $34.00 level but the way this market is moving (down) the VIX is definitely seeing some momentum.

Picked on June 30 at $ 23.95
Change since picked: + 4.59
Earnings Date 00/00/00
Average Daily Volume = n/a million
 

Put Updates

Apple Inc. - AAPL - close: 169.64 chg: -4.24 stop: 181.01

AAPL struggled today, which shouldn't be a surprise following yesterday's failed rally near $180. The intraday low was $166.39. Our target is the $165.00 mark just above the simple 200-dma. If AAPL does trade lower we'll be considering bullish trading ideas in the $164-160 zone.

Picked on July 09 at $174.25
Change since picked: - 4.61
Earnings Date 07/21/08 (confirmed)
Average Daily Volume = 31.4 million

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Amazon.com - AMZN - close: 67.03 chg: +0.75 stop: 72.65

AMZN dipped to $62.99 this morning, setting new three-month lows, before bouncing back. The rally appeared to be running out of steam this afternoon. We had been suggesting that more conservative traders may want to think about an early exit near $65.00. Our target is $62.50.

Picked on July 10 at $ 69.75 *triggered
Change since picked: - 2.72
Earnings Date 07/23/08 (unconfirmed)
Average Daily Volume = 7.2 million

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iShares Rus.2000 - IWM - cls: 65.88 chg: -0.28 stop: 68.60

As expected the IWM broke down from its consolidation pattern. We would still consider new bearish put positions here. This is a higher-risk play since the market is so oversold and due for a bounce. On the other hand what we're doing is essentially playing the trend. Our target is the $61.00 mark.

FYI: If you prefer a more neutral strategy see the IWM strangle we listed on Monday.

Picked on July 14 at $ 66.16
Change since picked: - 0.28
Earnings Date 00/00/00
Average Daily Volume = 90 million
 

Strangle Updates

(What is a strangle? It's when a trader buys an out-of-the-money (OTM) call and an OTM put on the same stock. The strategy is neutral. You do not care what direction the stock moves as long as the move is big enough to make your investment profitable.)

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Alpha Nat. Res. - ANR - close: 94.92 chg: - 3.80 stop: n/a

ANR lost 3.8% during the market's sell-off today. We have three days left for July options. We're not suggesting new strangle positions at this time. This is a higher-risk strangle play with the options so expensive. The options we suggested were the July $105 calls (ANR-GA) and the July $85 puts (ANR-SQ). Our estimated cost was $9.40. We are adjusting our target to exit either option at $4.00.

Picked on June 15 at $ 94.25
Change since picked: + 0.67
Earnings Date 08/05/08 (unconfirmed)
Average Daily Volume = 3.7 million

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DIAMONDS - DIA - close: 109.30 chg: -1.20 stop: n/a

Investors are definitely getting worried. The DIA August $109 puts spiked to $3.95 intraday. Volume is rising on the sell-off and the VIX is hitting new relative highs. We are not suggesting new strangle positions on the DIA at this time. The options we suggested were the August $115 calls (DIA-HK) and the August $109 puts (DIA-TE). Our estimated cost is $4.35. We want to sell if either option hits $6.90 or more.

Picked on July 07 at $112.21
Change since picked: - 2.91
Earnings Date 00/00/00
Average Daily Volume = 15.5 million

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iShares Brazil - EWZ - cls: 82.46 chg: -0.12 stop: n/a

There has been no real change yet in the EWZ. This ETF dipped to $80 and bounced. We are not suggesting new strangle positions. The options we suggested were the August $90 calls (EWZ-HR) and the August $75 puts (EWQ-TO). Our estimated cost is $3.95. We want to sell if either option hits $5.90.

Picked on July 03 at $ 83.06
Change since picked: - 0.60
Earnings Date 00/00/00
Average Daily Volume = 13.6 million

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Corning Inc. - GLW - close: 19.83 chg: +0.01 stop: n/a

The afternoon bounce in GLW is rolling over. Today's move near $20.00 gave us another entry point. Try and open strangle positions as close to $20.00 as possible but we would use the $20.10-19.90 zone. The options we suggested were the August $22.50 calls (GLW-HX) and the August $17.50 puts (GLW-TW). Our estimated cost is $0.75. We want to sell if either option hits $1.50. Try and keep your investment balanced on both sides of the trade.

Picked on July 10 at $ 20.16
Change since picked: - 0.33
Earnings Date 07/30/08 (confirmed)
Average Daily Volume = 15.9 million

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Garmin Ltd. - GRMN - close: 43.17 chg: +1.12 stop: n/a

GRMN out performed the markets today and closed up 2.6%. We didn't see anything specific to account for the news. Unfortunately, the stock remains stuck in its trading range. We're not expecting a breakout with just three days to go until option expiration. The options we listed were the July $50 calls (GQR-GJ) and the July $40 puts (GQR-SH). Our estimated cost was $2.55 and we have adjusted our exit to breakeven at $2.55.

Picked on June 15 at $ 44.91
Change since picked: - 1.74
Earnings Date 07/30/08 (unconfirmed)
Average Daily Volume = 4.1 million

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Internet Holders - HHH - cls: 48.41 change: -0.72 stop: n/a

Weakness in the Internet sector pulled the HHH to a new 52-week low of $46.80. Shares recovered by the closing bell. We had been suggesting strangle positions in the $50.50-49.50 zone. The options we suggested were the August $55 calls (HHH-HK) and the August $45 puts (HHH-TI). Our estimated cost is $1.65. We want to sell if either option hits $2.45.

Picked on July 03 at $ 50.50
Change since picked: - 2.09
Earnings Date 00/00/00
Average Daily Volume = 132 thousand

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iShares Rus.2000 - IWM - cls: 65.88 chg: -0.28 stop: n/a

IWM appears to have broken down from its consolidation phase and the bounce gave us opportunity to open strangle positions. We would still consider new strangles in the $66.00-65.00 zone. The options we suggested were the August $70 calls (DIW-HR) and the August $61 puts (DIW-TI). Our estimated cost is $1.84. We want to sell if either option hits $2.75. More aggressive traders may want to aim for more.

Picked on July 14 at $ 66.16
Change since picked: - 0.28
Earnings Date 00/00/00
Average Daily Volume = 90 million

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KLA-Tencor - KLAC - close: 38.50 chg: +1.17 stop: n/a

The semiconductor stocks were bouncing ahead of Intel's earnings report out this evening. I haven't heard what Intel's numbers were yet. KLAC rallied to $39.60 before trimming its gains. We're down to our last three days before July options expire. Please note that we recently adjusted our exit targets. For strangle #1 we're moved the exit target from $3.00 to $2.25. For strangle #2 we're moved the target from $1.50 to $1.15. More conservative traders may want to move their targets to breakeven. We are not suggesting new positions at this time. We listed two different strangles on KLAC.

Suggested Options:
KLAC Strangle #1) The options we listed were the July $42.50 calls (KCQ-GV) and the July $37.50 puts (KCQ-SU). Our estimated cost is $1.65 We want to sell if either option hits $2.25

KLAC Strangle #2) The options we listed were the July $45.00 calls (KCQ-GI) and the July $35.00 puts (KCQ-SG). Our estimated cost is $0.70. We want to sell if either option hits $1.15.

Picked on June 22 at $ 40.07
Change since picked: - 1.57
Earnings Date 07/24/08 (unconfirmed)
Average Daily Volume = 3.7 million

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MarketVectors Agribusiness- MOO - close: 57.05 chg: -1.24 stop: n/a

The MOO is still trading sideways. We're not suggesting new positions at this time. The options we suggested were the August $62 calls (MYV-HJ) and the August $50 puts (MOO-TX). Our estimated cost is $2.10. We want to sell if either option hits $3.15.

Picked on July 03 at $ 57.25
Change since picked: - 0.20
Earnings Date 00/00/00
Average Daily Volume = 745 thousand

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PowerShares QQQ - QQQQ - cls: 44.24 chg: +0.01 stop: n/a

The afternoon bounce in the NASDAQ appeared to fail under its trend of lower highs. We're not suggesting new positions at this time. The options we suggested were the August $47 calls (QQQ-HU) and the August $43 puts (QQQ-TQ). Our estimated cost is $1.80. We want to sell if either option hits $2.75 or more.

Picked on July 07 at $ 44.90
Change since picked: - 0.66
Earnings Date 00/00/00
Average Daily Volume = 148 million

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UBS Ag - UBS - close: 17.96 change: -0.68 stop: 20.75

Financial stocks continue to sink. UBS lost more than 3% today. We're not suggesting new positions at this time. We listed two different strangles.

UBS Strangle #1) This uses the August $22.50 calls (UBS-HX) and $17.50 puts (UBS-TW). Our estimated cost was $1.90. We want to sell if either option hits $3.00.

UBS Strangle #2) This uses the August $25.00 calls (UBS-HE) and $15.00 puts (UBS-TC). Our estimated cost was $0.90. We want to sell if either option hits $1.90.

Picked on July 13 at $19.49
Change since picked: - 1.53
Earnings Date 08/12/08 (unconfirmed)
Average Daily Volume: 7.3 million

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United States Oil - USO - cls: 112.39 chg: -5.09 stop: n/a

Concerns that global economic weakness will reduce demand sent crude oil to its biggest one-day point drop in years. Yet the sell-off in oil did not break the bullish channel. The USO closed with a 4.4% decline. We are down to our last three days before July options expire. We are not suggesting new positions at this time. We suggested two different strangles. The strangle with the wider strikes costs less but has higher risk.

USO Strangle #1) The options we listed were the July $115 calls (IYS-GK) and the July $105 puts (IYS-SA). Our estimated cost is $7.10 We want to sell if either option hits $9.00.

USO Strangle #2) The options we listed were the July $120 calls (QSO-GP) and the July $100 puts (IYS-SV). Our estimated cost is $4.10. We want to sell if either option hits $4.10.

Picked on June 22 at $109.14
Change since picked: + 3.25
Earnings Date 00/00/00
Average Daily Volume = 12.5 million

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FinancialSector SPDR - XLF - cls: 17.17 chg: -0.55 stop: n/a

Investors continue to fret over the U.S. financial sector and the XLF lost another 3%. We're not suggesting new strangle positions at this time. The options we ended up with given the Monday morning open on the XLF were the August $21 calls (XLF-HU) and the August $17 puts (XJZ-TQ). Our estimated cost was $1.22. We want to sell if either option hits $2.85.

Picked on July 14 at $ 19.12
Change since picked: - 1.95
Earnings Date 00/00/00
Average Daily Volume = 128 million
 

Dropped Calls

Gold ETF - GLD - cls: 96.17 chg: +0.26 stop: 91.50

Target exceeded. Investors continue to worry about the U.S. markets and the financial sector. The U.S. dollar plunged intraday and gold spiked higher. The GLD hit $97.50 this morning. Our target to exit our calls was at $97.00. Volume was pretty high today and GLD closed off its highs, which is not a bullish signal. We are expecting resistance in the $97.50-100.00 zone.

Picked on July 09 at $ 91.50 /target achieved $97.00
Change since picked: + 4.67
Earnings Date 00/00/00
Average Daily Volume = 9.8 million

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Hess Corp. - HES - close: 103.66 chg: -7.59 stop: 107.24

Crude oil just got hammered today and HES followed it lower. We had grown cautious on HES following its failure to rebound and today's weakness was pretty ugly. The stock was one of the worst performers in the oil group with a 6.8% decline. Today's breakdown under the 100-dma is also very negative. The stock hit our stop loss at $107.24.

Picked on July 10 at $112.98 /stopped out 107.24
Change since picked: - 9.32
Earnings Date 07/30/08 (confirmed)
Average Daily Volume = 4.3 million

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Mosaic - MOS - cls: 137.18 chg: -8.51 stop: 135.75

The agribusiness and fertilizer stocks were caught in the market's widespread sell-off today. Shares of MOS plunged to $133.70 intraday hitting our stop loss at $135.75. The stock had previously hit our first target at $144.00. It looks like the entire group struggled to hold on to their afternoon bounce today. It doesn't look good for Wednesday.

Picked on July 08 at $133.57 *1st target hit $144.00
Change since picked: + 3.61
Earnings Date 07/28/08 (confirmed)
Average Daily Volume = 6.0 million
 

Dropped Puts

None
 

Dropped Strangles

Chevron - CVX - close: 89.42 chg: -3.38 stop: n/a

Target achieved. Crude oil delivered a one-day crash of $9 and CVX plunged 3.6% to break below its 200-dma and the $90.00 mark. The August $90 puts (CVX-TR) rose to our exit target at $3.85. They're currently trading $3.80bid/$3.90ask. While the puts have hit our target more aggressive traders may want to let it run and aim for more.

Picked on June 30 at $ 99.13 /target achieved (strangle)
Change since picked: - 9.71
Earnings Date 08/01/08 (confirmed)
Average Daily Volume = 13.3 million

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Eaton - ETN - close: 74.47 change: -5.42 stop: n/a

Target achieved and not quite achieved. It is decision time with our ETN strangle. ETN reported earnings this morning and beat estimates by 16 cents but then guided lower. The stock responded by gapping open lower and dipping to $68.75 before bouncing. If you bought the aggressive July options then we did great. Our estimated cost was $1.35. Our target to exit was $2.50. The July $75 puts opened at $3.30 (+144%) and traded to $5.60 (+315%)... so target exceeded! If you bought the August options, our preferred traded, we didn't quite make. The August $75 puts rallied to $7.60 (+70%) before paring its gains where it currently trades around $4.00. Our target to exit was $7.75. Now investors have a decision. Do you keep the play open and see if there is any follow through on the sell-off? Or do you abandon ship now and take a small loss on the August strangle. We're going to go with abandon ship. However, the market environment is negative and we still have more than four weeks left for the August options to turn profitable. You may want to hold yours.

The options we suggested for the aggressive July strangle, with just four days left before options expire, were the July $85 calls (ETN-GQ) and the July $75 puts (ETN-SO). Our estimated cost is $1.35. We want to sell if either option hits $2.50.

The options we suggested for the August strangle were the August $85 calls (ETN-HQ) and the August $75 puts (ETN-TO). Estimated cost with August options is $4.45. We want to sell if either option hits $7.75.

Picked on July 13 at $ 80.93
Change since picked: - 6.46
Earnings Date 07/15/08 (confirmed)
Average Daily Volume = 2.2 million
 

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