Friday's jobs report was less than expected but it still managed to push the futures higher.

The S&P futures are holding at +6 Sunday night but with very little activity. We don't yet know if there is going to be sell the news event on Monday or a continued rally on good news and strong end of quarter retirement contributions.

I am neutral for Monday and for the rest of the week. I believe the markets need a rest and the lack of conviction over the last couple weeks indicates that rest could come any day now.

We are flat in the portfolio and I am not recommending any new positions today. I want to watch the market for a couple days and then decide which direction we should be playing. When in doubt I would rather remain in the safety of cash than be flipping a coin on market direction.

Jim Brown



Current Portfolio


No Open Positions


New Recommendations


None Today


Margin Requirements:

There are several different formulas for determining margin requirements for naked put writing. These are normally broker specific and some can require larger margin requirements than others.

Here is the most common margin calculation for naked puts.

100% of the option premium + ((20% of the Underlying Market Value) - (OTM Value))

For simplicity of calculation simply use 20% of the underlying stock price and you will always be safe. ($25 stock * 20% = $5 margin)


Prices Quoted in Newsletter

At Option Investor we have a long-standing policy prohibiting the editors and staff from actually trading the individual recommendations in order to conform to SEC rules concerning trades.

The prices quoted in the newsletter are the end of day prices in most cases.

When discussing fills or stops the prices quoted are the bid/ask at the time the entry trigger or exit stop is hit. This is NOT a price that someone on staff actually got using a live order.

For entry/exit points at the market open the prices quoted will be the opening print. The majority of the time the readers are able to get a better fill than the opening print because of market maker bias at the open.

For trades with an opening qualification the prices quoted will be the bid/ask at the time the qualification was met.

All of these rules normally produce worse prices than an active trader would normally get. Because they are standardized there may be some cases where a price quoted was better than an actual fill. If you received a price that was dramatically different than what was quoted just send us an email and we will use your price.