Option Investor

Daily Newsletter, Thursday, 6/30/2016

Table of Contents

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

Market Wrap

A Third Day Of Gains

by Thomas Hughes

Click here to email Thomas Hughes


The market moved higher as Brexit fears recede. Global markets have recovered most of the losses post-Brexit but worry remains over the future impact of Britain's historic vote. Today is also the last day of the 2nd quarter and the 1st half of 2016, so portfolio re-shuffling is surely having an effect on prices too. The Dow Jones Industrial Average and S&P 500 both ended the quarter with small gains.

Asian indices were quiet today, closing mostly flat after trading higher in the early part of the session. EU markets were a little more lively. The early part of the session saw them trade mostly flat but a late day rally sparked by comments from the BOE helped to push them firmly into positive territory. The DAX gained a little more than 0.70% while the FTSE 100 was able to gain about 2.25% and close at a new high for the year. While there is evident relief the Brexit will not have major impact on the near term longer term outlook remains negative. The BOE's Carney said in statements that "the economic outlook has deteriorated and some monetary policy easing will likely be required over the summer".

Market Statistics

Futures trading indicated a flat to mildly positive open for the US market all morning. Along with global markets, M&A activity and some better than expected economic data helped to support prices. At the open of trading indices opened higher but held a tight range, just above break even levels, for the first hour, up to and until the statements from the BOE. By 10:30AM a near term bottom had been hammered out resulting in a mild rally which lasted for about an hour. By 11:30AM the indices had reached a high and begun to consolidated near those levels, about 0.55% for the broad market.

After a quick consolidation today's rally was able to move higher. By 1PM another intraday high was hit, about +1%, at which time another consolidation took place. By 2PM those highs were being tested and by 2:30 the market was reaching new highs once again. The remainder of the afternoon saw the indices move sideways within a narrow range until the final minutes of trading. The market gave a final surge into the close leaving the indices at the high of the day.

Economic Calendar

The Economy

Initial jobless claims rose by 10,000, in line with expectations, to hit 268,000. This is the 69th week of claims below 300,000, the longest streak since 1973. The prior week's data was revised down by -1,000, the 4 week moving average remains unchanged. On a not adjusted basis claims rose 5.3%, more than the 1.2% predicted by the seasonal factors. Not adjusted claims are now -5.3% below last years level. New Jersey and Connecticut had the largest increases in claims, +3,210 and +2,612, while California and New York had the largest declines, -9,516 and -2,446. Initial claims remains low relative to the long term trends, trending near the long term low and consistent with labor market health.

Continuing claims fell by -20,000 from a downward revision to last week of -2,000 to hit 2.120 million. The four week moving average of continuing claims fell -13,000 to hit 2.133 million, the lowest level since November of 2000. While it appears as if initials claims may be stabilizing around the 270K mark, continuing claims appears to still be in down trend and consistent with ongoing labor market recovery.

The total number of jobless claims rose by 8,569 to hit 2.032 million. This gain was expected and is consistent with historic/seasonal trends. Based on the historical data we can expect this figure to continue rising over the next 5-6 weeks. Regardless, total claims are -5.3% below last years level and consistent with labor market recovery and declining unemployment. We'll get the next round of monthly labor data next week, we may not get a jump in job creation but I expect to see unemployment at least remain steady if not decline.

Chicago PMI was released at 9:45AM and rose a surprising 7.5 points to 56.8. This is the highest level since January 2015. The gains were made on increases in new orders, the highest level since 10/2014, backlog orders, the highest level since 3/11, and productivity, a new high for 2016. Inventories, which had posted declines for the past 7 months, saw double digit increases from May's 6.5 year low. Employment was the only gauge to decline, falling below the expansionary 50 level.

Tomorrow be on the look out for Auto/Truck sales, ISM Manufacturing and Construction Spending.

The Dollar Index

The Dollar Index jumped a little more than 0.5% today, making most the gains following the BOE comments. The index appears to be setting up for another move higher, perhaps as high as the $100 level. Price action is forming a nice little flag at this time, with a $3.50 flag pole, that is confirmed by bullish indicators. Driving the move is an expected rate hike from the FOMC sometime this year and dovish expectations for just about every other major central bank. Today's BOE statements have put easing firmly on their table, the ECB is already considering some form of action and the BOJ is expected to do some easing later this summer or during the fall at latest, all of which will help to strengthen the dollar. For now, the 50% retracement level, near $96.50, is resistance. A break above there would be bullish.

The Oil Index

Oil prices fell nearly -3% in today's action as fading supply disruptions over shadow hopes for supply/demand rebalancing. WTI fell about $1.50 to trade near the $48.50 level. Issues putting downward pressure on prices include but not are not limited to Nigerian supply coming back online after the recent round of attacks, OPEC's June Output hitting a new high and improving Canadian output. Adding to the downward pressure on prices is the BOE's outlook on economic risk and profit taking related to end-of-quarter activity and the 3 day holiday weekend. Prices will likely remain volatile and susceptible to news driven moves but it looks like $50 is gaining strength as resistance, support is evident just above $45.

The Oil Index gained about 0.75%, extended the move above the short term moving average and 1,120 level and looks set to move higher. Even so, the index remains range bound with upper resistance near 1,175 and lower support just below the 1,100 level. The indicators are mixed and support range bound trading, both trending near the middle of their respective ranges and consistent with a market trading around a point of equilibrium, roughly the 1,120 level. This range is likely to continue until more concrete evidence of rebalance/imbalance comes to light.

The Gold Index

Gold prices pulled back by a half percent in today's action. Rising dollar value and profit taking following the massive rise in spot prices both had an impact. At the same time declining fear of Brexit fall-out have sapped some of the safety trade. Spot price fell about $8 to trade below $1320, near the middle of a possible new range. Near term support is near $1300, previous resistance, with new resistance targets near $1,350. In terms of catalysts Brexit news could spark a renewed flight to safety, a strengthening dollar could cap gains and send gold moving lower

The gold miners were able to post some small gains today despite the pull-back in gold prices. The miners ETF GDX rose about 0.75% to set a new multi-year high. The indicators are bullish so a continuation of the rally is possible but divergences are present so caution is due. Next target for resistance is just above today's close, near $28.

In The News, Story Stocks and Earnings

Mondelez made big news today when it announced it was in talks to purchase Hershey's. The deal is reported to be worth $107 per share in cash and stock and would result in a new company named Hershey's with headquarters in Pennsylvania. The news hit the wires in the pre-opening session and cause shares of Hershey's to jump as much as 20%, and for circuit breakers to halt trading at least twice. The deal is not yet finalized, the board rejected this offer later in the day saying there was no basis for further discussion. Based on Hershey's closing prices, above $113, the market thinks the Mondelez bid could be raised.

ConAgra, one of the largest makers of packaged food products, reported earnings before the bell. The company missed revenue expectations but produced EPS in-line with estimates. The results were driven by a -6% drop in commercial food sales, a -12% drop in consumer food sales and 110 basis point improvement in margins. Guidance for the coming quarter is positive, slightly above consensus, and is expecting double digit growth. Shares of the stock fell in the pre-market session, opened lower than yesterday's close, and then rose throughout the day to close with a gain of 0.44% and just below the all-time high.

The financials were one of today's leading sectors. The entire sector saw gains in the wake of yesterday's CCAR results led by JPM (+1.70%), Chubb (+1.75%) and Goldman Sachs (+2.15%). Today's gains made up nearly all of the losses incurred post Brexit, the Financial Sector SPDR XLF rising more than 1.5% in the session and just over 6% for the week. Prices are above the $22 support target but below the short term moving average which may provide resistance. The indicators are mixed but are generally consistent with a market rising from a low; stochastic is firing a strong signal that is not yet confirmed by MACD. If the ETF continues to move higher and break above the short term moving average it could go to $24.

After the close of today's session the National Highway Safety Administration reported that Tesla was under an investigation focused on 25,000 of its Model S cars. The investigation is in response to a traffic fatality related to use of the auto-pilot feature. Tesla says this is the first know fatality in over 130 million miles of auto-pilot use, compared to 1 fatality in every 60 million miles worldwide. Shares of the stock fell -3% on the news.

Williams Companies reported that 6 of its 13 board members resigned after ETE withdrew from the planned merger of the two companies.

Micron Technology reported earnings after the bell and missed on the top and bottom lines. The company reported a net loss of -$0.09 per share, well below consensus estimates, with revenue falling -25% below the comparable quarter last year. Due to declining sales and "challenging market conditions" the company is going to cut an unspecified number of jobs from the global workforce in an attempt to save $300 million annually. The stock fell -8% in after hours trading.

The Indices

The indices were able to march higher today despite what at first looked to be a lack luster day of trading. The day's leader was the S&P 500 with a gain of 1.36%. The broad market created a third large white candle in a row, completing what might normally be strong bullish signal if not for the fact that the market is rebounding from the wild Brexit driven sell-off and on the cusp of a weak earnings season. The index broke above the short term moving average and looks set to move up to retest resistance, near the 2,120 level, but will need a new bullish catalyst to move much higher. The indicators are mixed and do not show much strength in the market, stochastic is firing an early buy but MACD has yet to confirm, both more consistent with range bound trading than anything else. I may be wrong, the rally may turn into a sustained move higher, but I would like to see how the market reacts to the pre-Brexit resistance before getting overly bullish.

The Dow Jones Industrial Average and NASDAQ Composite both closed with a gain of 1.33%. The difference is that the Dow Jones closed positive for the quarter while the NASDAQ remained in negative territory. The blue chips created a third long white candle, not overly strong, breaking above the short term moving average in a move that looks set to test resistance at the 18,000 level. This resistance is the same level at which the index was trading last Thursday and a possible area of reversal. The indicators are mixed, stochastic is pointing higher following a bullish crossover but MACD remains in bearish territory, so a break above resistance does not look likely at this time. If the industrials are able to break above 18,000 next resistance target is near 18,350 and the all time high.

The tech heavy NASDAQ Composite also closed with a gain of 1.33% but was not able to move into positive territory for the quarter. The index is moving higher off of the Brexit Bottom and may continue to do so, today's action broke above the short term moving average which may help propel it higher. The indicators are rolling into what could be a buy signal but has not yet been confirmed by MACD leaving them consistent with range bound trading. First target for resistance is near 4,859, the high set last Friday, with next target near 4,950.

The Dow Jones Transportation Average made the smallest gain today, only 0.97%. This index is set up much the same as the others but appears to have already met its resistance. Today's action created a small white candle with long lower shadow that closed just shy of the 7,500 resistance line. The candle's lower shadow is indicative of some weakness in the market and helps with the idea that the market is at resistance. A move above 7,500 would be bullish and could take it up to the short term moving average near 7,600. A failure to break above this level may result in a retreat to lower support levels, first target is near 7,250.

To put it mildly, the market has seen quite a bit of volatility over the past week due to the Brexit and I don't think it is over. This week's rally off the Brexit Bottom looks promising but is driven by short covering and relief and not sound market fundamentals which makes it highly questionable in my view. The market has shrugged off the Brexit vote but the risk associated with it remain. Not only are the full effects unknown, the actual event has not even begun. Invoking Article 50, the official request from Britain to the EU to begin the process, may not occur until later this fall and when it does we could see another big sell-off.

More important to short term direction is the upcoming earnings season. The cycle is not expected to be good and estimates continue to fall so there is little reason for the market to be in rally mode now. If Micron can be used as a gauge there is a real chance that earnings could be worse than expected. I still see a chance for an earnings driven correction and am waiting patiently for the season to unfold.

Looking forward, the market is expected to return to earnings growth in the second half but with the dollar gaining strength and poised to move higher it could have a negative impact on outlook, not to mention the possible economic effects of Brexit. When, if, earnings outlook brightens it will be time for the market to move to new all time highs. Until then I expect to see more of the sideways range bound trading we've seen over the past 18 months.

Don't forget that tomorrow is the first day of a new quarter. It's very possible that we'll see some volatility as managers put money to work getting ready for the second half of the year. I remain very cautious for the near term and optimistic the market will rally later in the year.

Until then, remember the trend!

Thomas Hughes



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New Option Plays

Reversing Course

by Jim Brown

Click here to email Jim Brown

Editors Note:

With the major indexes at resistance, it is time to change direction. The bullish bounce is officially overbought and now at strong resistance. Time to plan for a decline.


No New Bullish Plays


IWM - Russell 2000 ETF - ETF Description

The Russell 2000 ETF attempts to track the investment results of the Russell 2000 Index composed of small-capitalization U.S. equities.

The Russell 2000 is facing strong resistance from 1150-1165. The index actually touched 1,190 in early June but I seriously doubt we will see that level again. The S&P closed right at 2,100 and has strong resistance from 2100-2115. The Dow closed only 72 points under the post Brexit close at 18,011.

We recovered from the post Brexit crash on a combination of equity fund window dressing for the end of the quarter and pension funds rebalancing the ratio of bond to equities. Reportedly they had to buy up to $18 billion in equities.

Now we are at resistance and all those uplifting events are over. The uncertainty over the UK exit still exists and the dollar/pound imbalance will cause a significant number of earnings warnings for Q3.

All the fundamentals point to a weak July and the artificial lift from the end of the quarter buying is over.

Note the volume in SPY and IWM puts for August on Thursday. The far right column is the open interest and the second from the right is the volume traded on Thursday. This is about 3 times the number of calls for the same period. The vast majority of traders are expecting a market decline.

I am recommending we buy puts on the IWM because the premiums are cheaper. I am recommending an entry trigger because we could still move higher ahead of the long weekend. S&P future are down -4 but that could be temporary.

With an IWM trade at $113.95

Buy August $112 puts, currently $2.31. No initial stop loss.

In Play Updates and Reviews

Now for the Real Test

by Jim Brown

Click here to email Jim Brown

Editors Note:

The second quarter window dressing is over. Will the real market please stand up? The equity funds succeeded in lifting the Dow back to within 72 points of the pre Brexit close at 18,011. The S&P has rallied back to within 1 point of 2,100. The end of quarter window dressing was a powerful force over the last three days but that expired at the close. The window undressing could begin on Friday but most likely on Tuesday. The pension funds rebalanced their bond/equity ratios and that also provided a positive bias to the market.

Next week could be a challenge as we officially move into the summer doldrums. Volume will be very light as a holiday week and any buy/sell programs could move the market significantly. Funds are probably going to be cautious about the ongoing uncertainty in the UK and the potential for earnings warnings because of the strong dollar and weak pound.

There is a very good possibility of a market decline in the coming weeks. The resistance at 2100-2115 and 18,000 is strong and another failure at that level could set the tone for July.

I am recommending we close the IWM call position with the markets at strong resistance. We are up 100% in four days. There is no reason to try and squeeze another few nickels out and risk losing some quarters.

Current Portfolio

Current Position Changes

Z - Zillow Group

The long call position was entered with a trade at $35.09.

Profit Targets

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

Stop Loss Updates

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

BULLISH Play Updates

CNC - Centene Corp -
Company Description


A Bloomberg article speculated at a breakup of the Anthem/Cigna merger could cause a shopping spree in the smaller companies like CNC, WellCare and Molina. The Justice Dept reportedly told Anthem its planned acquisition of Cigna could not be fixed by selling off parts of their business. Strong gain to new 10-month high.

Original Trade Description: June 21st.

Centene Corporation operates as a diversified and multi-national healthcare enterprise that provides programs and services to under-insured and uninsured individuals in the United States. It operates through two segments, Managed Care and Specialty Services. The Managed Care segment offers Medicaid and Medicaid-related health plan coverage to individuals through government subsidized programs, including Medicaid, the State childrens health insurance program, long-term care, foster care, and dual-eligible individual, as well as aged, blind, or disabled programs. Its health plans include primary and specialty physician care, inpatient and outpatient hospital care, emergency and urgent care, prenatal care, laboratory and x-ray services, home health and durable medical equipment, behavioral health and substance abuse, 24-hour nurse advice line, transportation assistance, vision care, dental care, immunizations, prescriptions and limited over-the-counter drugs, specialty pharmacy, therapies, social work services, and care coordination. The Specialty Services segment provides pharmacy benefits management services; health, triage, wellness, and disease management services; vision services; dental services; correctional healthcare services; in-home health services; and integrated long-term care services, as well as care management software that automate the clinical, administrative, and technical components of care management programs.

On Monday Centene was upgraded by Barclays to overweight (buy) with an $82 price target. They based the upgrade on the growth and valuation potential after the completion of the $6.8 billion Health Net (HNT) merger at the end of March. Health Net had 5.9 million individuals in plans in all 50 states. They also offered employee assistance plans to approximately 7.3 million individuals. The combined companies now insure more than 10 million individuals. Barclays said the combined management team had improved with the merger.

Barclays said, "we believe shares of CNC have simply corrected too far and too long, and now represent a very attractive investment."

Earnings are July 26th.

Shares spiked $2 on the upgrade and failed to pull back on Tuesday. That spike pushed CNC over resistance and any further move higher would be a breakout.

Position 6/22/16

Long August $72.50 call @ $1.97, see portfolio graphic for stop loss.

COST - Costco - Company Description


Costco shares failed to post a gain after Oppenheimer cut earnings estimates from $1.74 to $1.69. They maintained a buy rating with a price target of $175.

Original Trade Description: June 11th.

Costco Wholesale Corporation, together with its subsidiaries, operates membership warehouses. The company offers branded and private-label products in a range of merchandise categories. It provides dry and institutionally packaged foods; snack foods, candy, tobacco, alcoholic and nonalcoholic beverages, and cleaning and institutional supplies; appliances, electronics, health and beauty aids, hardware, and garden and patio; meat, bakery, deli, and produce; and apparel and small appliances. The company also operates gas stations, pharmacies, food courts, optical dispensing centers, photo-processing centers, and hearing-aid centers; and engages in the travel business. They operate 690 warehouse stores plus online shopping.

A Costco membership costs $55. It is almost worth the cost if all you bought was gasoline. The store charges 7-15 cents less than the prevailing rates at other local stations. There are normally lines at the Costco pumps because it is a bargain. If you purchased 15 gallons of gas per week and saved an average of 10 cents you would save $78 a year and more than enough to cover the cost of the membership. Multicar families would save even more.

However, Costco to many people means bulk purchases of items too big to store in your normal pantry. The mental image of Costco is someone pushing a cart with cases of toilet paper, paper towels, laundry soap and canned goods. While that may be true for a lot of shoppers there are still bargains on everything else. My son stopped there on Saturday to buy 15 gallons of ice cream, 10 watermelons, scores of picnic plates and plastic utensils for a party he was throwing. I know people who only shop at Costco and do not go to stores like Safeway, Kroger, etc. Once you get the Costco shopping virus it is hard to not go there. You can even by caskets at Costco. Members bought 465,000 cars through Costco in 2015. The warehouse chain is the number 1 seller of organic food at $4 billion in 2015 compared to Whole Foods at $3.6 billion. Costco has 84 million paying members and you can cancel at any time and get a full refund.

This has helped Costco maintain an average annual growth rate of 13% while other stores are lucky to manage 2-4% a year. Walmart only grew at 0.44% last year and Target 5.4%. In the latest quarter adjusted for fuel and currency fluctuations Costco managed only 3% same store sales growth compared to estimates for 4.6%. They blamed the colder than normal April weather and the weak retail consumer. We already know from other retailers that sales were down sharply all across the sector.

They reported adjusted earnings of $1.24 compared to estimates for $1.22. Revenue rose +2.6% to $26.77 billion and missed estimates for $27.07 billion for the reasons I stated above. Analysts expect earnings to grow 12% annually over the next two years.

Earnings are Sept 29th.

Shares spiked up to $154 after earnings on May 26th and then went sideways for a week while those gains were consolidated. Now they are trending higher again and even closed up on Friday in a weak market.

Position 6/13/16:

Long Oct $160 call @ $4.40, see portfolio graphic for stop loss.

GRUB - GrubHub - Company Description


No specific news. Small breakout over resistance despite an 80 cent decline from the morning high.

Original Trade Description: June 27th.

I recommended GRUB as a LEAP position in the LEAPS Newsletter on Sunday. With the minor drop back to support today I am recommending it here on a short term option.

GrubHub Inc., together with its subsidiaries, provides an online and mobile platform for restaurant pick-up and delivery orders in the United States. The company connects approximately 44,000 local restaurants with diners in approximately 1,000 cities. It operates GrubHub and Seamless Websites through grubhub.com and seamless.com. The company also offers GrubHub and Seamless mobile applications and mobile Websites for iPhone, iPad, Android, iWatch, and Apple TV devices; and Seamless Corporate program that helps businesses address inefficiencies in food ordering and associated billing. In addition, it provides Allmenus.com and MenuPages, which provide an aggregated database of approximately 380,000 menus from restaurants in 50 states.

GrubHub is a concept that is catching fire and the bigger they get the more restaurants want to sign on to the service. They now serve 44,000 restaurants. They do not markup prices. Whatever the restaurant charges is what you pay. Diners can customize any order to their own taste specifications and dietary needs.

Restaurants benefit because the service drives more orders. Many people cannot take 2 hours out of their day to go to the restaurant to eat. GrubHub brings the restaurant to them. Restaurants typically see about 30% more takeout orders during their first year when they sign up for the Grubhub service. Delivery fees range from free to $3.99.

GrubHub currently has more than 6.9 million diners. Ordering through the GrubHub online menu is 50% faster than ordering from the restaurant on the phone.

The company recently announced participation with national chain restaurants including Boston Market, Johnny Rocket's, California Pizza Kitchen, Veggie Grill, On the Border and Panda Express. This is a natural for fast food chains. They prepare the food fast and it gets to the diner fast.

An analyst at Moness Crespi Hardt just upgraded them to buy from neutral saying the fundamentals are rapidly improving with the addition of the chain restaurants. Secondly they completely overhauled their tech platform in 2015 and the benefits are rising quickly. They are also integrating POS features including Apple Pay. He also believes they are a potential acquisition target by companies like Amazon, Uber and Postmates. His biggest point is the addition of the chain restaurants. Adding companies with hundreds or even thousands of restaurants will catapult them to the next level.

Earnings August 2nd.

Shares have been rising and they closed at an 8-month high on Thursday. In Friday's market crash they gave back only 1.4%, which was nothing compared to the rest of the market. In Monday's market they dropped back to retest Friday's low but that support held. This is very good relative strength.

Position 6/28/16:

Long Aug $30.00 call @ $2.30, see portfolio graphic for stop loss.

IWM - Russell 2000 ETF - ETF Description


Another nice gain but I think the rally may have run its course. I am recommending we close this position with strong resistance at $115 and the S&P at 2,100.


Original Trade Description: June 25th.

The Russell 2000 ETF attempts to track the investment results of the Russell 2000 Index composed of small-capitalization U.S. equities.

The Russell indexes were "reconstituted" at the close on Friday. Unlike an S&P-500 rebalance where only the weightings change, the Russell indexes have additions and deletions that impact all the weightings and constitution.

The Russell company sorts all the U.S. stocks by market cap and the top 1,000 become the Russell 1000 and the next 2,000 become the Russell 2000 Index. Stocks that grew over the last year can shift out of the R2K and into the R1K. Stocks that saw their market cap shrink can move from the R1K to the R2K. Stocks that were acquired are eliminated and new stocks take their place in the overall order. Stocks that saw their market cap shrink enough to place them far enough down the list to miss the 3,000 stock cutoff are removed from the indexes. It is a complicated procedure and funds that follow the indexes have a lot of restructuring to accomplish in a single day.

The Russell 2000 Index normally has a positive bias in the week after the rebalance as fund managers clean up their portfolios and balance the positions correctly. With a 3,000 stock universe in the Russell 1000, 2000, 3000, it is next to impossible to get it all completed on Friday. Managers know which stocks were dropped and those were sold at the close. Getting the weighting right on the remaining stocks and the new stocks added to the indexes is a little more complicated.

This means managers are buying stocks in small amounts for most of next week until the weightings match the index and their benchmarks. This produces the slight upward bias.

Whether that bias can overcome the negative Brexit sentiment is unknown but remember, nothing changed in Europe. At this point, the Brexit is just a headline. The actual changes will be many months if not years in the future.

Current support for the IWM is down in the $109 range with some congestion around $110. I am going to recommend two entry points. If we rise on Monday, I want to enter the position with an IWN trade at $113. If the market goes lower, I want to enter the trade at $110. If there is volatility and the $113 entry is made first, I still want to add to it with a trade at $110. If we move lower and the $110 entry is made first then the $113 entry recommendation is cancelled.

This will be a short term position for a couple weeks just to capture a rebound and the potential to return to resistance at $118-$120.

Position with an IWM trade at $110:

Long August $115 call @ $1.35. See portfolio graphic for stop loss.

JPM - JP Morgan - Company Description


No specific news. The news of the new $10.6 billion share buyback powered the shares to $62.20 in the afterhours market on Wednesday and the stock was not able to add to those gains today.

Original Trade Description: May 11th.

JPMorgan Chase & Co. operates as a financial services company worldwide. It operates through Consumer & Community Banking, Corporate & Investment Bank, Commercial Banking, and Asset Management segments. The Consumer & Community Banking segment offers deposit and investment products and services to consumers; lending, deposit, and cash management and payment solutions to small businesses; residential mortgages and home equity loans; and credit cards, payment services, payment processing services, auto loans and leases, and student loans. The Corporate & Investment Bank segment provides investment banking products and services, including advising on corporate strategy and structure, capital-raising in equity and debt markets, as well as loan origination and syndication; treasury services, such as cash management and liquidity solutions; and cash securities and derivative instruments, risk management solutions, prime brokerage, and research services. It also offers securities services, including custody, fund accounting and administration, and securities lending products for asset managers, insurance companies, and public and private investment funds.

JP Morgan has 15% revenue exposure to Brexit. That will be the major market mover the rest of the week. They are also expected to increase their capital return percentages for buybacks and dividends. Those will be announced next Wednesday.

I am playing the call side because the potential for a short squeeze on a remain vote or a major buy the dip program on an exit vote. The put options are more than double the call options so it appears everyone is expecting the worst. Shares have declined to the bottom of their uptrend channel.

I am using the August options to capture all the events over the next couple weeks. Earnings are July 14th and we will exit before earnings.

This is probably a 100% loser or a 200% gainer. There is no in between because of the binary nature of the event. We cannot use stop losses on this position because of the potential for opening gaps.

Position 6/23/16:

Long August $65 call @ $1.31, see portfolio graphic for stop loss.

NVDA - Nvidia - Company Description


Nvidia is rumored to be ready to announce the cheaper high end video card called the GTX-1060 at $249-$299. The recently released GTX-1080 high end card is $440-$699. The GTX-1080 cards have been sold out for a month.

Original Trade Description: June 28th.

NVIDIA Corporation operates as a visual computing company worldwide. It operates in two segments, GPU and Tegra Processor. The GPU segment offers processors, which include GeForce for PC gaming; Quadro for design professionals working in computer-aided design, video editing, special effects, and other creative applications; Tesla for deep learning, accelerated computing, and general purpose computing; and GRID for cloud-based streaming on gaming devices. The Tegra Processor segment provides processors that integrate a computer onto a single chip under the Tegra brand name; DRIVE automotive computers, which offer supercomputing capabilities; and tablet and portable devices for mobile gaming under the SHIELD name. The companyÂ’s products are used in gaming, professional visualization, datacenter, and automotive markets. It sells its products primarily to original equipment manufacturers, original design manufacturers, system builders, motherboard manufacturers, add-in board manufacturers, and retailers/distributors.

Q1 earnings rose 46% to 33 cents and beat earnings by a penny. They hiked full year revenue guidance as well as the current quarter. Tor Q2 they raised the forecast to $1.35 billion that was above analyst estimates at $1.28 billion. Gaming revenue was up 17% to $687 million but all areas of effort saw significant gains. They recently released a new graphics card that is twice as fast and 40% cheaper than the card it is replacing.

Nvidia's Graphics Processing Units or GPUs have become more than just video chips. They have become supercomputing processors and can be packaged in large groups to parallel process monster datasets and computations that would have taken weeks with conventional chips. They are truly revolutionizing the processor industry.

The focus on Artificial Intelligence or AI, a lot of companies like Google and Amazon are turning to GPUs to handle the monster amounts of data they collect every day. Facebook already uses Nvidia M40 GPU accelerators to power its Big Sur machine learning computers. Those NVIDIA GPUs were specifically designes to train deep neural networks for enterprise data centers, and the company says they are 10-20 times faster than other network computers. Nvidia said their GPD powered machine learning computers can help train networks new things in just a few hours that would take days or weeks with less powerful systems.

The new P100 GPU is 12 times faster than the prior version and can provide more performance than "several hundred computer nodes" and up to eight P100s can be interconnected to provide previously unheard of computing power. The chips in the GPUs contain more than 15.3 billion transistors each and the largest chip ever built at 16 nanometer technology. That is twice as many as on Intel's biggest chips. The P100 delivers more than 10 teraflops of performance. One teraflop can process one trillion floating-point instructions per second and the P100 can do 10 teraflops or 10 trillion calculations per second.

The COSMOS weather forecasting application runs faster on the P100 than the 27 servers, running twin multicore processors each that were previously tasked with the project. Intel makes commodity processors for the millions of PCs and servers in the world. Nvidia is light years ahead of Intel in technology. Nvidia's data center revenue increased 63% in Q1.

More than 50 automakers are testing the new Drive PX chip for self-driving cars. The chip combines inputs from cameras, lasers, maps and sensors to allow cars to drive themselves and learn from each experience.

Earnings August 11th.

Shares closed at a new high at $48.50 on Thursday. On Friday they dropped to $45.30 to stop us out. That was a $3 drop. Today the stock rebounded off the opening low and only gave back 49 cents. I believe with any market that is not crashing Nvidia will be back at new highs very quickly.

Position 6/28/16:

Long August $47 call @ $2.55, see portfolio graphic for stop loss.

PVH - PVH Corp - Company Description


No specific news. Another $1.41 gain to $94. The momentum continues.

Original Trade Description: June 27th.

PVH Corp. operates as an apparel company in the United States and internationally. The company operates through six segments: Calvin Klein North America, Calvin Klein International, Tommy Hilfiger North America, Tommy Hilfiger International, Heritage Brands Wholesale, and Heritage Brands Retail. It designs, markets, and retails mens and womens apparel and accessories, branded dress shirts, neckwear, sportswear, jeans wear, intimate apparel, swim products, handbags, footwear, golf apparel, fragrances, cosmetics, eyewear, hosiery, socks, jewelry, watches, outerwear, small leather goods, and home furnishings, as well as other related products. The company offers its products under its own brands, such as Calvin Klein, Tommy Hilfiger, Van Heusen, IZOD, ARROW, Warners, Olga, and Eagle; and licensed brands comprising Speedo, Geoffrey Beene, Kenneth Cole New York, Kenneth Cole Reaction, Sean John, MICHAEL Michael Kors, Michael Kors Collection, and Chaps, as well as various other licensed and private label brands.

PVH has been absolutely crushed in the sell off because they were thought to have as large presence in the UK. Shares closed at a new 9-month high of $102.70 on Thursday. Today they touched $84 intraday for a whopping $18 or roughly 18% decline in two days from a new high.

PVH thought it was important enough that they filed a disclosure with the SEC saying they only derived 3% of their revenues from the UK. Even with the massive drop in the pound the company did not think any UK weakness would be material to their results.

The company has been on a growth spurt by acquiring brands and doing license deals with other brands to improve the variety of its offerings. On June 15th the CEO spoke at a Piper Jaffray Consumer Conference and said business was improving in Q2. He said the problems with other retailers represented an opportunity for the Calvin Klein and Tommy Hilfiger brands. He said the Tommy Hilfiger women's business generates 30% of their revenue and was a growth opportunity since they recently added it to the line. They teamed up with super model Gigi Hadid to make the brand more relative to younger, fashion oriented women.

With their Q1 earnings they raised guidance from $6.30-$6.50 to $6.45-$6.55 a share for the full year. The CEO said the guidance was conservative because this "does not seem like the environment ro tray and be a hero."

Earnings August 24th.

Position 6/28/16:

Long August $90 call @ $4.23, see portfolio graphic for stop loss.

QRVO - Qorvo Inc - Company Description


No specific news. Continued gain to a post Brexit high.

Original Trade Description: June 14th.

Qorvo, Inc. provides technologies and radio frequency (RF) solutions for mobile, infrastructure, and defense and aerospace applications worldwide. It operates through Mobile Products (MP) and Infrastructure and Defense Products (IDP) segments. The MP segment supplies its RF solutions into mobile devices, including smartphones, notebook computers, wearables, tablets, and cellular-based applications for the Internet of things. The IDP segment provides low noise amplifiers, switches, radio frequency filter solutions, CMOS system-on-a-chip solutions. This segment supplies its RF solutions to wireless network infrastructure, defense, and aerospace markets; and connectivity applications for commercial, consumer, industrial, and automotive markets.

Qorvo is a major supplier to Apple and other smartphone manufacturers. The slowdown in Apple iPhone sales hurt earnings last quarter but sales increases to Samsung and Chinese handset maker Huawei have helped to offset sluggish demand. The Samsung Galaxy S7 is selling very well and taking over the smartphone market. Strong base station demand rose +25% sequentially and a 9% increase in defense spending is helping offset the perceived slowdown in iPhones.

However, sales of the new iPhone 5E were only expected to be 10-15 million but sales have ramped up and are now expected to be in the 40-45 million range. Citigroup upgraded Qorvo and downgraded Slyworks saying the high performance Qorvo chips were much better than the Skyworks product and the company had a commanding lead in that segment. Qorvo is much better positioned for the carrier aggregation market and the low-band market fed by Skyworks was seeing a lot more competition.

Qorvo should benefit significantly from the ramp of 3G and 4G handsets into India and lower dollar emerging markets. The 5G specifications are starting to emerge and Qorvo is expected to be a leader in that transition, which will involve hundreds of millions of chips.

Earnings August 3rd.

Shares of QRVO gained 74 cents today in a very weak market. I have to stretch some on the strike because shares are just under $55 and that strike is too expensive. I am going out to $60 to get some premium relief.

Position 6/15/16:

Long Aug $60 call @ $2.10, see portfolio graphic for stop loss.

SWHC - Smith & Wesson - Company Description


No specific news. New 3-month high.

Original Trade Description: June 25th.

Smith & Wesson was founded in 1852 and manufacturers firearms in the U.S. and internationally under many different brands but primarily Smith & Wesson.

Gun sales are booming again. With every terrorist attack or mass shooting more consumers rush out to buy guns for self defense. With the potential for additional attacks in the U.S. this trend is not going to slow. However, sales are cyclical. They surge after attacks like San Bernardino or Orlando or after speeches by politicians about gun control. President Obama has been the best gun salesman we have ever had. Every push by the administration to get more laws passed results in millions of new gun sales. The constant gun headlines over the last two weeks have lifted S&W to 3-month highs.

In their Q4 earnings where there was a surge in gun sales after San Bernardino. In their recent Q1 earnings there was no mention of the Orlando shootings because the shooting was only 4 days before their earnings. The Q1 results did not have any sales bump from that event.

In their Q1 report, they posted earnings of 63 cents compared to estimates for 54 cents. Revenue of $221 million also beat estimates for $214 million. They guided for the full year for revenue between $740-$760 million and analysts were expecting $723 million. They guided for full year earnings of $1.83-$1.93 and analysts were only expecting $1.66. Q1 sales rose +22% and the CEO said demand was strong. They forecast current quarter revenue at $190-$200 million and analysts were only expecting $162 million. That is a massive improvement.

Since the Orlando shooting there has been nonstop headlines about gun control. Gun stores are reporting four times the volume in traffic and many stores are having trouble keeping guns in stock. This is going to be a banner quarter for S&W.

Earnings August 25th.

Shares have been in constant rebound since the earnings on June 16th erased fears about slowing sales. The stock gained 51 cents on Friday despite the severely negative market.

Position 6/27/16:

Long Sept $27 call @ $1.70, see portfolio graphic for stop loss.

Z - Zillow Group - Company Description


No specific news. Shares rallied 3% to a new historic high.

Original Trade Description: June 29th.

Zillow Group, Inc. operates real estate and home-related information marketplaces on mobile and the Web in the United States. It offers a portfolio of brands and products to help people find vital information about homes, and connect with local professionals. The company's brands focus on various stages of the home lifecycle, such as renting, buying, selling, financing, and home improvement. Its portfolio of consumer brands includes real estate and rental marketplaces comprising Zillow, Trulia, StreetEasy, and HotPads. The company also provides advertising services to real estate agents and rental and mortgage professionals; and owns and operates various brands that offer technology solutions to real estate, rental and mortgage professionals, including DotLoop, Mortech, Diverse Solutions, and Retsly.

Back in August 2015 Zillow Group split its stock 2:1 but the new stock had no voting rights. The Class C stock trades under the symbol Z while the Class A stock with rights traded under the symbol ZG. The company did this so the voting rights would not be diluted. Multiple companies have done this including the biggest to date with Google and Facebook. The split has no impact on the company operation except that employees now receive Z shares and any acquisitions will be made with Z shares.

The company acquired Trulia.com for $2.6 billion in 2015 and contrary to analyst concerns the integration has been relatively smooth. There were some hiccups but everything is functioning normally today.

They reported Q1 earnings of 13 cents that beat estimates for a loss of 9 cents. Revenue rose from $127.3 million to $186 million and beat estimates for $177 million. They also raised full year guidance from $805-$815 million to $825-$835 million. Analysts were expecting $794 million. They ended the quarter with $514 million in cash. Marketplace revenue rose 23%, real estate revenue rose 34% and mortgage revenue rose 65%.

Earnings August 2nd.

In early June, the company made a windfall settlement with Move.com for $130 million after two years of litigation. Analysts were expecting $1.8-$2.0 billion. This pending litigation had been a cloud over the stock for the last 8 months. After the settlement shares spiked to $32 and traded sideways for two weeks before moving up to new highs at $35.50. The Brexit crash knocked the shares back to $32.75 but after the last two days of gains it is threatening to breakout once again.

Shares closed at $35 so the August $40 strike is a little far out for a short period of time. I am going to stretch to the November $40 strike, which will have significant expectation premium when we exit before earnings.

Position 6/30/16:

Long Nov $40 call @ $2.30, initial stop loss $32.50.

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