2018 is looking good so far for the bulls.

The broad market ended the first week of 2018 on an upbeat note, all the major indices posted record gains.

The benchmark index SPX closed +19.16 points at 2743.15, a gain of .70%. Friday's close represented a weekly gain of 2.6%, the biggest weekly gain since November 11, 2016.

SPX 6 month chart

VIX 6 month chart

The VIX closed yesterday unchanged from the previous day at 9.22.

Below is the open position status:

AAPL Iron Condor for February 16

SOLD AAPL February 16 190 Call, 1.53 credit.

BOUGHT AAPL February 16 195 Call, .90 debit.

SOLD AAPL February 16 160 Put, 1.81 credit.

BOUGHT AAPL February 16 155 Put, 1.14 debit.

Order was filled as an "Iron Condor" for $1.30 net credit (all four legs).

Margin/Risk is calculated by the width of the wings ($500), less credit received.

Margin/Risk for this trade: $370.

Target Gain: 10% of margin/risk.

Max loss: 15% of margin/risk.

Please note that AAPL reports earnings on February 1, so we will close the position prior to the release.

Below is the risk graph of the position as of the close Friday:

AAPL February 16 Iron Condor Iron Condor:

Below is the AAPL chart showing the short strikes:

AAPL 6 month chart

AAPL closed Friday at 175, an increase of 1.15%. The position is currently +$34. Target gain is $37, so with any market cooperation we could have an opportunity to exit next week.

Next week's economic news is summarized below:

Monday, January 8

No releases


10:00 am Fed's Neel Kashkari speaks


8:30 am Import/Export Prices

9:00 am Fed's Charles Evans speaks

10:30 am EIA Petroleum Status Report

1:30 pm Fed's James Bullard speaks


8:30 am Jobless Claims

8:30 am Producer Price Index


8:30 am Consumer Price Index

8:30 am Retail Sales

Next week is the planned entry for the February SPY Iron Condor. Monday will be 39 days to expiration, so we will look at setups and enter by mid-week depending on market conditions and available credit. We also plan to look at entering the RUT Put Credit Spread trade on Tuesday for March 16 monthly cycle, which will be 65 days to expiration.

For those unfamiliar with the strategies we trade, the trade management guidelines for all the Couch Potato Trader plays can be found here: Link to Articles

Trade updates will be posted as appropriate.

As always, stay keen on your risk management and trade carefully,

Dot Hazlin