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Call Updates

CurrencyShares Euro - FXE - cls: 158.69 chg: +0.08 stop: 156.75

Friday did not see any action in either the dollar or the Euro. We're still sitting on the sidelines with two different entry points to buy calls on the FXE. One is a dip to $158.00. The other entry point is a rise past $160.55. We are no longer suggesting August options. The FXE can move slowly so we're only suggesting the September or longer calls at this point. If you are bullish on the dollar or bearish on the Euro then you could wait for a bearish breakdown under technical support at the Euro's 100-dma and use it as an entry to buy puts instead. If we are triggered our ten-week target is the $169.50 mark.

Suggested Options:
We are suggesting the 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: 24.05 chg: -0.96 stop:

The VIX could be in for a rough week. The market has produced a pretty good bounce from oversold levels and I doubt the bounce is over yet. We expect the market to hit new relative lows this year but the question is whether or not that will happen before August options expire? The VIX has already exceeded our first target at 29.50 but will it trade back above 30 before our options expire? We listed this as a lottery ticket play as a bet on whether or not the market has an extreme sell-off. There is no way to know if the VIX will spike toward 30 or 35 again in the next four weeks. My short-term bias for the VIX would be down, probably toward the 50-dma around 21.75. We don't have a stop loss on this play as it was very speculative to begin with. However, if the VIX closes under 24.00 or its 200-dma (near 23) we'll drop this play and wait for another entry point, which could appear in the next couple of weeks. We would strongly consider just closing this play at current levels. Our secondary, aggressive target was 34.00.

Suggested Options:
We are not suggesting new plays on the VIX at this time.

Picked on June 30 at $ 23.95 /1st target hit 29.50
Change since picked: + 0.10
Earnings Date 00/00/00
Average Daily Volume = n/a million
 

Put Updates

None
 

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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Popular Inc. - BPOP - close: 6.89 change: +0.23 stop: n/a

We really didn't see a very big post-earnings move in BPOP. Due to the lack of movement following the report more conservative traders may want to give some serious thought to exiting early right here. You could still sell both options and recoup about $0.50 of our initial cost. We're going to stick with the play for now since there is still four weeks left before August options expire. We're no longer suggesting new plays. The options we listed were the August $7.50 calls (BQW-HU) and the August $5.00 puts (BQW-TA). Our estimated cost was $0.65. We want to sell if either option hits $1.45 or more.

Suggested Options:
We are not suggesting new strangle positions in BPOP at this time.

Picked on July 16 at $ 5.82
Change since picked: + 1.07
Earnings Date 07/18/08 (confirmed)
Average Daily Volume = 3.4 million

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DIAMONDS - DIA - close: 114.95 chg: +0.98 stop: n/a

The Dow Jones Industrial Average managed to edge past the early July resistance with Friday's afternoon gains. The DIA continues to look bullish with a close near its highs for the day. We are not suggesting new strangles. 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.

Suggested Options:
We are not suggesting new strangle positions in the DIA at this time.

Picked on July 07 at $112.21
Change since picked: + 2.74
Earnings Date 00/00/00
Average Daily Volume = 15.5 million

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iShares Brazil - EWZ - cls: 80.92 chg: +0.12 stop: n/a

The EWZ has spent almost two weeks consolidating sideways. It should see a breakout relatively soon through the top or bottom of its $84-79 trading range. If we don't see some significant movement by the end of next week (July 25th) we'll consider abandoning this play. 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.

Suggested Options:
We are not suggesting new strangle positions in the EWZ at this time. However, readers may want to give it some thought. You could use the August $85 calls and the August $75 puts and it would cost about $3.60.

Picked on July 03 at $ 83.06
Change since picked: - 2.14
Earnings Date 00/00/00
Average Daily Volume = 13.6 million

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FosterWheeler - FWLT - close: 57.94 chg: -1.06 stop: n/a

The crushing sell-off in oil futures this past week has been tough on the energy sector and tough on FWLT. The stock hit new two-month lows on Friday. We are not suggesting new strangle positions in FWLT at this time. The options we suggested were the August $70 calls (UFB-HN) and the August $50 puts (UFB-TJ). Our estimated cost was $2.60. We want to sell if either option hits $4.00.

Suggested Options:
We are not suggesting new strangle positions in FWLT at this time.

Picked on July 15 at $ 61.24
Change since picked: - 3.30
Earnings Date 08/06/08 (unconfirmed)
Average Daily Volume = 2.5 million

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Corning Inc. - GLW - close: 20.20 chg: -0.48 stop: n/a

Friday turned out to be an ugly day for GLW. The oversold bounce is already struggling and GLW produced a bearish engulfing candlestick. We had previously suggested readers open strangle positions in the $20.25-19.75 zone. If you opened new positions today it would only cost about $0.65. 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.

Suggested Options:
See above.

Picked on July 10 at $ 20.16
Change since picked: + 0.04
Earnings Date 07/30/08 (confirmed)
Average Daily Volume = 15.9 million

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Google Inc. - GOOG - close: 481.32 chg: -52.12 stop: n/a

Bingo! Investors were a little disappointed with GOOG's earnings report on Thursday night. Friday morning saw GOOG gap down to $498 and post its biggest one-day loss ($52) in years. The stock closed near its lows for the day, which is bearish for Monday. I'm surprised that the put options did not rise further. The August $480 puts (GOP-TI) hit $19.70 intraday and are currently trading around $17.70big/$18.50ask. Readers have a decision to make. Do you sell now on the post-earnings pop? Or do you hold on and see if there is any follow through? We're going to hold on. Given this disappointment shares of GOOG could drift toward the $450 region. We're not suggesting new strangle positions in GOOG at this time. The options we listed were the August $590 calls (GOO-HR) and the August $480 puts (GOP-TI). Our estimated cost was $19.10. We want to sell if either option hits $30.00 or more.

Suggested Options:
We are not suggesting new strangle positions in GOOG at this time.

Picked on July 16 at $535.60
Change since picked: -54.28
Earnings Date 07/17/08 (confirmed)
Average Daily Volume = 4.5 million

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Internet Holders - HHH - cls: 48.60 change: -0.82 stop: n/a

I was a little surprised to see the HHH only post a 1.6% loss. Then I remembered that GOOG is not part of the HHH Internet HOLDRs. GOOG didn't IPO until after the HHH had already been created. HHH's top four holdings are AMZN, EBAY, YHOO, and TWX which account for about 84% of the ETF. Thus far the trend in the HHH is still down. If we don't see another big move by the end of next week we're going to be considering an early exit! We are not suggesting new positions. 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.

Suggested Options:
We are not suggesting new strangle positions in the HHH at this time.

Picked on July 03 at $ 50.50
Change since picked: - 1.90
Earnings Date 00/00/00
Average Daily Volume = 132 thousand

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iShares Rus.2000 - IWM - cls: 68.88 chg: +0.48 stop: n/a

The IWM broke out from its two-week trading range a few days ago. One could argue the index has produced a bullish double-bottom in the past three weeks. Yet the rally the last couple of days seems to be struggling! We are not suggesting new strangle positions at this time. 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.

Suggested Options:
We are not suggesting new strangle positions in the IWM at this time.

Picked on July 14 at $ 66.16
Change since picked: + 2.72
Earnings Date 00/00/00
Average Daily Volume = 90 million

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MarketVectors Agribusiness- MOO - close: 54.75 chg: -0.58 stop: n/a

After two weeks of consolidating sideways in the $54-58 range it looks like the MOO might finally be ready to move. Shares closed under the $55.00 level and its 200-dma, both of which have been support. 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.

Suggested Options:
We are not suggesting new strangle positions in the MOO at this time.

Picked on July 03 at $ 57.25
Change since picked: - 2.50
Earnings Date 00/00/00
Average Daily Volume = 745 thousand

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PowerShares QQQ - QQQQ - cls: 44.59 chg: -1.05 stop: n/a

The NASDAQ 100 index broke from its five-week bearish channel on Thursday and then on Friday is gapped down back into the channel thanks to negative earnings reports from MSFT and GOOG. 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.

Suggested Options:
We are not suggesting new strangle positions in the QQQQ at this time.

Picked on July 07 at $ 44.90
Change since picked: - 0.31
Earnings Date 00/00/00
Average Daily Volume = 148 million

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Starbucks - SBUX - close: 14.34 change: -0.05 stop: n/a

SBUX is still trying to bounce from its trendline of lower lows but the bulls are having trouble with the 10-dma. Don't forget that earnings are coming up at the end of July and we will hold over the report. We are not suggesting new strangle positions at this time. The options we suggested for the strangle were the August $14.00 calls (SQX-HK) and the August $13.00 puts (SQX-TJ). Our estimated cost was $1.38. We want to sell if either option hits $3.50 or more.

Suggested Options:
We are not suggesting new strangles in SBUX at this time.

Picked on July 15 at $ 13.58
Change since picked: + 0.76
Earnings Date 07/30/08 (confirmed)
Average Daily Volume = 14 million

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UBS Ag - UBS - close: 21.48 change: +0.96 stop: n/a

Shares of UBS continued to rally and this time they out did their American rivals. The stock posted a 4.6% gain although most of it was in the morning gap higher. 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.

Suggested Options:
We are not suggesting new strangles in UBS at this time.

Picked on July 13 at $19.49
Change since picked: + 1.99
Earnings Date 08/12/08 (unconfirmed)
Average Daily Volume: 7.3 million

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Ultra Financials - UYG - close: 20.40 chg: +0.84 stop: n/a

Readers may want to think about doing some profit taking now with the August $20 calls currently trading around $2.30big/$2.55ask. The UYG rallied again and closed above potential round-number resistance at $20.00. We are no longer suggesting new strangle positions at this time. The options we suggested were the August $20.00 calls (UYG-HD) and the Augsut $11.00 puts (UUF-TM). Our estimated cost was $1.45. We want to sell if either option hits $3.50 or more.

Suggested Options:
We are no longer suggesting new strangles on the UYG at this time.

Picked on July 15 at $ 14.75
Change since picked: + 5.65
Earnings Date 00/00/00
Average Daily Volume = 27.3 million

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FinancialSector SPDR - XLF - cls: 20.67 chg: +0.41 stop: n/a

The XLF is another way to play the financials. It rallied again on Friday adding another 2%. It might be time for a minor correction in the rebound. We are not suggesting new positions at this time. The options we ended up with given the Monday, July 14th, 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.

Suggested Options:
We are not suggesting new strangles in the XLF at this time.

Annotated chart:

Picked on July 14 at $ 19.12
Change since picked: + 1.55
Earnings Date 00/00/00
Average Daily Volume = 128 million
 

Dropped Calls

None
 

Dropped Puts

Apple Inc. - AAPL - close: 165.15 chg: -6.66 stop: 181.01

Target exceeded! As expected the big weakness in MSFT and GOOG weighed on most of the major tech stocks and AAPL, which had already been acting weak, plunged toward its 200-dma. The intraday low was $165.00. Our recently adjusted target was $166.50, previously we had been aiming for $165.00. I suspect that AAPL will bounce in the $165-160 zone and the $165 region has additional support with its rising 200-dma and 100-dma. Keep in mind that the short-term trend is bearish until it breaks out past the $180 area. FYI: We are adding a strangle on AAPL to try and capture any post-earnings volatility following its report on Monday, July 21st.

Picked on July 09 at $174.25 /target exceeded 166.50
Change since picked: - 9.10
Earnings Date 07/21/08 (confirmed)
Average Daily Volume = 31.4 million
 

Dropped Strangles

Garmin Ltd. - GRMN - close: 45.04 chg: -1.59 stop: n/a

GRMN has done nothing for a month. It should not be a surprise to see the stock pinned to the $45.00 strike price at Friday's closing bell. We warned readers that might happen a week ago. Unfortunately, our strangle has expired. The options we listed were the July $50 calls (GQR-GJ) and the July $40 puts (GQR-SH). Our estimated cost was $2.55.

Picked on June 15 at $ 44.91
Change since picked: + 0.13
Earnings Date 07/30/08 (unconfirmed)
Average Daily Volume = 4.1 million

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KLA-Tencor - KLAC - close: 39.95 chg: -0.27 stop: n/a

It's been almost a month and KLAC has gone sideways almost the whole time. Quite honestly this was a terrible strangle play. Every time it looked like the stock might breakout it reversed the other direction. Our strangles have expired. 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 was $1.65. 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 was $0.70.

Picked on June 22 at $ 40.07
Change since picked: - 0.12
Earnings Date 07/24/08 (unconfirmed)
Average Daily Volume = 3.7 million

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United States Oil - USO - cls: 104.44 chg: -1.09 stop: n/a

Crude oil and the USO produced some record setting moves in the last few weeks. Unfortunately, they were followed by record setting moves the opposite direction. Oil has actually broken its multi-month bullish channel but is the breakdown for real? Our strangles used July options so they have expired. USO Strangle #1) The options we listed were the July $115 calls (IYS-GK) and the July $105 puts (IYS-SA). Our estimated cost was $7.10. USO Strangle #2) The options we listed were the July $120 calls (QSO-GP) and the July $100 puts (IYS-SV). Our estimated cost was $4.10.

Picked on June 22 at $109.14
Change since picked: - 4.70
Earnings Date 00/00/00
Average Daily Volume = 12.5 million
 

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