If you are feeling the least bit hesitant to jump back into the markets I want to say, "it's okay." You don't have to. More conservative traders should probably NOT open new positions at this time. A better entry point would be on a bounce from the bottom of the range or a breakout through the top of the range if you're bullish, just the opposite if you're bearish.
Now, just a reminder with all of our suggested plays below...It is up to the individual trader to decide which month and which strike price best suits your trading style and risk.
*None* Please see tonight's new plays.
Volatility Index - VIX - cls: 56.10 chg: - 7.58 stop: n/a
Seven more days. That is all we have left before November options stop trading. Expiration is November 19th but they stop trading at the end of the day before (Tues. Nov. 18th). Where will the VIX be? Right now the trend is down. Friday's session delivered a perfect failed rally after a two-day oversold bounce.
If I had to make a trade from here I would be selling at-the-money or out-of-the-money November calls. More aggressive traders could try selling some in-the-money calls but I wouldn't go deeper than the 50 strikes. You will want to use some sort of stop loss, mental or otherwise, to buy back your short position if the VIX reverses higher again (example: if the VIX trades over 65, buy back your calls).
If the VIX is under your call's strike price at expiration (11/19/08) they'll expire at zero ($0.00) and you keep all the premium you sold it for.
Overall we are not suggesting readers buy new put positions.
Note: The VIX options, which are European style options, have a unique expiration date. November VIX options expire on November 19th, 2008. The last day of trading for these options is the Tuesday before expiration. For more information check this link:
Our September 16th put position (suggested entry at 30.30) has a 25.50 target. In all honesty this position may be dead. We still have plenty of time with these next two. The September 29th position (suggested entry at 46.72) has two targets at 36.00 and 31.00. Our October 8th position (entry 57.53) has two targets at 40.00 and 35.00.
CBOE Volatility Index - VIX - cls: 56.10 chg: - 7.58 stop: n/a
This next week could be exciting. We'll have a pretty good idea if our VIX spreads are going to be profitable or not. Right now, with the VIX's failed rally on Friday, it's moving the right direction and we know it can move fast.
If you wanted to open new spreads here you could. We're going to list a new VIX spread (#4) down below using the November 50 and November 65 strikes.
In tonight's update for the different positions I'm going to discuss more detail on where we should be profitable.
Please see the CBOE website for details on margin requirements for selling VIX options. Link:
Note: VIX options are European style options that settle for cash at expiration. Furthermore VIX options have unique expiration dates. November options expire on Wednesday, November 19, 2008 and will stop trading on Tuesday, November 18th.
VIX spread #2 with November options (date Oct. 12th):
We wanted to SELL the November 30 calls (opening price 10/13/08 was $ 8.60) and BUY the November 50 (opening price was $1.61) as a hedge against the VIX remaining elevated.
Hypothetically we have sold the November 30 calls at $8.60 (credit). We bought the Nov. 50 calls for $1.61 (debit). Based on these numbers we would need the VIX to close under 37.00 for us to be profitable. If it closes higher than 37.00 then the intrinsic value of the Nov. 30 calls will be higher than what we paid for it and we'll have to come up with the difference. Example: if the VIX is at 40.00 another $1.40 will be taken out of our accounts when the VIX options are settled because the Nov. 30 call will be worth $10.00.
Now, if you sold the higher-strike call (Nov.50) when we discussed it a couple of weeks ago you could have gotten $9.00-11.00 for it. Let's say you got $10.00 for it. Now our "credit" to our account is $8.60 for the Nov. 30 calls and $8.39 ($10.00 for selling Nov. 50 call minus the $1.61 we paid for it) for a total income of $16.99. This gives us a much wider margin for error. With this scenario, the VIX would have to close over 47.00 before we lost any money.
Alternatively if you sold the Nov. 50 call around $5.00 then our breakeven point is a VIX settling at 42.00.
In a different format the play is:
VIX spread #3 with November options (published 10/22/08):
We wanted to SELL the November 35 calls (10/23/08 opening price was $ 14.00) and BUY the November 60 (10/23/08 opening price was $3.00) as a hedge against the VIX remaining elevated. We'll fill in the prices Thursday morning. Our account will be credited with the amount for selling the November 35 calls, while it the price paid for the 60 calls will be deducted.
Hypothetically we have sold the November 35 calls at $14.00 (credit). We bought the Nov. 60 calls for $3.00 (debit). Based on these numbers we would need the VIX to close under 46.00 for us to be profitable. If it closes higher than 46.00 then the intrinsic value of the Nov. 35 calls will be higher than what we paid for it and we'll have to come up with the difference. Example: if the VIX is at 50.00 at settlement another $6.00 because the Nov. 35 call will be worth $20.00.
Now, if you sold the higher-strike call (Nov.60) when we discussed it a couple of weeks ago you could have gotten $5.50-6.50 for it. Let's say you got $6.00 for it. Now our "credit" to our account is $14.00 for the Nov. 35 calls and $3.00 ($6.00 for selling the Nov. 60 call minus the $3.00 we paid for it) for a total income of $17.00. This gives us a much wider margin for error. With this scenario, the VIX would have to close over 52.00 before we lost any money.
Alternatively if you sold the Nov. 50 call around $3.00 then our breakeven point is a VIX settling at 49.00.
In a different format the play is: