Thursday, February 28, 2013

Not Dead Yet...

For a moment there, I was wondering if I had become overly bearish by shorting VXX puts and doing a covered call on the UVXY, essentially going long on the VIX in a very concentrated time period.  

The SPY puts I bought early this morning also dipped into the red big time before bouncing back into the green in an Angry Birds kind of way as the market suddenly U-turned during the final minutes of trading.  Blood started rushing - cranking up the excitement level in a major, major way.

It's still unclear whether I'll be able to take profit on anything any time soon, but for now:

+1.41% SBA
-0.07% Roth IRA

-0.15% DJIA
-0.07% Nasdaq
-0.09% S&P

+0.55% FTSE
+0.94% Eurofirst
+2.71% Nikkei
+2.26% Shanghai

-0.86% WTI
-0.67% Brent
-1.10% Gold

+4.89% VIX

Check out this dramatic red candlestick on the SPY 10-day 15-minute chart...  Will we see 150 or even 148.75 again?

Touch It... Touch It!

I've been waiting all day for prices on the 10-day 15-minute SPY chart to touch its 25 SMA for a bearish crossover.

Are we going to get there soon or will I get my TETSOB handed to me on a silver platter?

At the Risk of Becoming A Laughing Stock: Into SPY Mar 16 '13 $151 Puts @ $1.43...

Still a tonne of open interest and there is very little US data coming out over the next few days.

Could the FWFOCH derail the market fun?  Would something unexpected crop up again?

Let's see... 

Disseminated Wrongful Information: GDP Worse Than Expected!

It was the Preliminary GDP Price Index that was better than expected...

Fed Dove-Hawk Scale...

Fed Dove-Hawk Scale courtesy Thomson Reuters...

P.S. Soooo coool!!!

Preliminary GDP & Unemployment Claims Better Than Expected...

Have I inadvertently dug my own grave?

Should I convert some of my cash to stocks?


Wednesday, February 27, 2013

OMG... How Much Horsemeat Did You Guys Eat?

Needless to say, this was one of the worst-performing days for me in a while.  I did more harm than good by buying into some VIX ETFs early in the morning.  The VIX quickly knifed down and ended the day down another -13.57%.  

Even in the final seconds of trading, I was tempted to, but refrained from, buying some more SPY puts - stopping myself as it would make me an official bear.  I'm aiming for asset protection and why not?  It allows me to profit from a bi-directional market and there are only two ways the market can go - up or down - and I've got positions for both scenarios.  I might even make this a long term strategy.

It is noteworthy that both the VXX and UVXY have not touched their 19 February 2013 lows and yet the S&P 500 is trading near its 3-month high.  Moreover, volume on SPY closed at only about 81% of its 10-day average.  Is this the potential beginning of more divergence?

I'm in that painful position where my daily profits don't offset my daily losses, though I'm still slightly in the green overall in my Roth IRA by a very small margin.  Do I wish I hadn't cashed out?  Not yet!

-3.10% SBA
+0.52% Roth IRA

+1.26% DJIA
+1.04% Nasdaq
+1.27% S&P 

+0.88% FTSE
+0.90% Eurofirst
-1.27% Nikkei
+0.87% Shanghai

+0.24% WTI
-0.67% Brent

-12.86% VIX

Knifed, Knifed, Baby...

Someone help me get this dagger out!

Into UVXY @ $10.83... Sold UVXY Mar 16 '13 $11 Calls @ $1.20

$1.37 per share gross gain if assigned...

Short VXX Mar 01 '13 $25.50 Puts @ $0.93...

Tuesday, February 26, 2013

Oooohhh: Lehman's U.S. brokerage finalizes settlements

Lehman's U.S. brokerage finalizes settlements

Passive Aggressive Market Action... More Bernanke Tomorrow!

I spent most of the day researching good trading opportunities, but haven't been able to find anything compelling in the options market and yet do not wish to commit additional capital at this point.  It's kind of frustrating how passive aggressive the market is...

It's clearly a mind game, so who will be the first to blink?

Bernanke's up again tomorrow and again on Friday night.  We've also got a tonne of manufacturing data out from China, the UK, and the US in addition to US GDP.

In the meantime, my portfolio continues to speak softly whilst carrying a big stick.

+0.11% SBA
+0.43% Roth IRA

+0.84% DJIA
+0.43% Nasdaq
+0.61% S&P 

-1.34% FTSE
-1.36% Eurofirst
-2.26% Nikkei
-1.40% Shanghai

-0.52% WTI
-1.55% Brent
+1.44% Gold

-11.69% VIX

Out of XLV Mar 16 '13 $43 Puts @ $0.76...

+$0.42 per share gross gain, or +123% gross...

Give Me A Sign... Hit Me Bernanke One More Time!

Monday, February 25, 2013

Don't Fight The Red?

It's too soon to tell, but had I stayed for the ride to the S&P downside for a little bit longer, I would have been able to get another +$1.73 per share out of the SPY March 16 $151 puts trade.

Not complaining and not saying I knew it would happen, but I sure missed out big time.  

Who knows?  Maybe Bernanke would boost the markets tomorrow.  And if he does, maybe I'll come in for another encore - maybe...  It seems to me there's a lot more profit potential to being on the short side right now.

My portfolio is far from perfectly hedged, but my puts are helping somewhat:

-0.53% Roth IRA
+0.18% SBA

-1.55% DJIA
-1.44% Nasdaq
-1.83% S&P 
+0.31% FTSE
+0.04% Eurofirst
+2.43% Nikkei
+0.50% Shanghai

+1.47% Gold
-0.24% WTI
-0.24% Brent

Into XLF Mar 16 '13 $17 Put @ $0.16...

Similar type of setup as my earlier SPY puts...

Tonnes of open interest and trading near its 3-month low...

Out of SPY Mar 16 '13 $151 Puts @ $2.03...

+$0.77 per share, or +61.11% gross...

Now that's putting out!

Into SPY Mar 16 '13 $151 Puts @ $1.26...

Taking my chances!

Tonnes of open interest on this issue...

Trading at a 3-month low...

If we see profit-taking or a reversal in the market that sends the S&P dropping, I might be able to make some tremendous gains between now and options expiry...

Bernanke's Challenge: Prime Markets for End of QE

I woke up to an extra four figures in my account due to a mispricing of my puts on the E*Trade platform.  It could happen - and don't say you weren't warned!

Bernanke's Challenge: Prime Markets for End of QE

Friday, February 22, 2013

Put Off?

It took a lot of discipline not to jump into today's rally, but I'm still really anxious about all the possible scenarios that could ensue.  Would I get faked out?  Would I suffer more retracements?  So I'm keeping my hedges for now!

-0.02% Roth IRA
-2.00% SBA

+0.86% DJIA 
+0.97% Nasdaq
+0.88% S&P 
+0.70% FTSE
+1.21% Eurofirst
+0.68% Nikkei
-0.51% Shanghai

Don't Shoot The Diva!

Thursday, February 21, 2013

Will The Proof Be In the Putting?

With my Roth IRA experiencing withdrawal symptoms, somehow my cash-heavy SBA actually ended the day with a daily gain courtesy of CENX and FOLD.  

Anything else in the green today involved either a long put or a short call.

Buy on a dip?  Not till June 2012 levels, I say!

As it stands, over 30% of my Roth IRA is unhedged and BAC has taken an 8% hit since last week.  

The market is clearly rejecting the tops and volume has spiked with today's sell-off.  

GS - 1.86x 10-day volume, closing below daily 50% Fib level
BAC - 1.4x 10-day volume, closing below daily 50% Fib level
MS - 1.46x 10-day volume, closing below daily 50% Fib level
JPM - 1.27x 10-day volume, closing above daily 50% Fib level

Does anyone else notice a potential triple top forming on the S&P 500 chart going back to 1950?  Maybe, just maybe, I should look for some more puts to buy further down the road!

One More: Into XLK Mar 16 '13 $29 Puts @ $0.37...

I noticed my Roth IRA has been behaving like the Nasdaq, so to hedge it, I'm buying puts for the XLK, a technology sector ETF worth $9.1 billion in market capitalisation.

It is trading at about its 52 week 50% Fib retracement level within a relatively tight price range and somewhat of a low yield.

Plus, AAPL is its top holding, representing about 14% of the fund's portfolio.  

We may see some outflow from the fund if prices fall below the 52 week 50% Fib level.

Again, this is a big enough position so that I'll be able to make some moola in case of a continuing downtrend, but not enough to kill me if I end up with a losing trade.

P.S. List of ETFs with AAPL exposure...

I Do This With A Tiny Bit of Trepidation & Hesitation: Into More XLF Apr 20 '13 $17 Puts @ $0.29...

Bought XLF Apr 20 '13 $17 Put @ $0.27...

XLF, a US financial sector ETF worth $10.9 billion, is trading quite near to its 52 WH.  

I chose the April 20 expiry date as it gives me two drivers to work with: potential downside risk from the sequestration and round 2 of earnings announcements from the US banking sector.

Plus there is significant open interest and good volume today.  

I used a portion of my profits from the SPY puts to trade this position and should this be a losing proposition, the loss won't kill me.

However, it will help me sleep at night!

Closed Out SPY Mar 08 '13 $152 Put @ $2.4...

Over +100% gross profit...

Am going to research some other put issues to buy further into the year!

NTI: Ouch, It Hurts!

Wish I didn't have to go and buy back those shares yesterday, but at least the blow has been cushioned by the $1.10 premium in calls I sold and the $1.27 per share dividend...

Wednesday, February 20, 2013

Crazy Day!

-1.54% on the Roth IRA...

Thank the Lord I at least hedged myself just a little bit and am now 34% cash on the Roth IRA and 62% cash on the SBA.

I sold some calls and bought some puts, but one of my more significant positions - BAC - got ruffled after the FOMC Minutes.

My SPY puts increased over +50% today though!

If only I can do naked calls...  

Out of LYG @ $3.35...

Buh bye, GOLs!  I really wanted to stay longer, but I'm unfortunately very fraidy...

Gross loss of $0.05 - seriously!

Bought SPY Mar 08 '13 $152 Put @ $1.16...

Just in case...

This small position could offset some substantial losses if the market trades against my existing positions...

Plus, no one is yet talking about sequestration as a big deal on CNBC.  It's really kind of quiet, which makes me very suspicious that Wall Street may be plotting another market top that will seemingly come from left field.  

If I'm being my usual cynical and paranoid self and end up being wrong, the loss won't kill me...

Bought XLV Mar 16 '13 $43 Put @ $0.34...

XLV, a healthcare ETF, is trading at its 5-year high and it looks like there could be a bearish divergence formation setting up on the 10-day 15 minute chart with volume tapering off.

This is a small position and definitely against the trend, but if we get a sell-off of 5-10%, gains could be substantial.

Closed Out NTI Mar 16 '13 $30 Put @ $1.4

Gross profit of $0.65 per share...

Sold NTI Mar 16 '13 $30 Call @ $1.10...

Into NTI Again @ $29.82...

Aarrgggghhh... E*Trade!  It has been disseminating wrongful earnings announcements and ex-dividend dates for the longest time!!!

It turns out shareholders on file by 21 February 2013 will receive a dividend.

Will kill NTI $30 put and sell a $30 call now...

Killed SD Mar 16 '13 $7 Put @ $1.22...

Gross loss of $0.06...

Out of AMD @ Market = $2.8121...

Gross gain of more or less +18%...

Saw huge blocks of selling and basically am getting a little bit fraidy!

47% Cash In Roth IRA... 52% Cash In SBA...

Wondering if I should stay conservative and be a little bit more defensive?

Killed NOR @ $5.64...

Loss of about 11 or 12%...  Revenues missed by $0.09 per share.

Going to redeploy this capital and hopefully put it to better use!!

P.S. On NTI...

P.S. +$2.6403 gain per share including dividend, or +9.12% gross gain (in just one daaaaayyyyy!!!  yaaaaayyyy!!!)

P.P.S.  Keeping NTI $30 Put alive for now...

Out of NTI @ Market = $30.3203

What's up with the trade confirmation delays at E*Trade?

It used to be instantaneous and now there's a delay of a few minutes.

Tuesday, February 19, 2013

Short SD Mar 16 '13 $7 Put @ $1.14...

Effective selling price on SD Mar 16'13 $6 Call of $6.41...

Effective purchase price on SD Marc 16'13 $7 Put of $5.86...

Let's see if this goes according to plan...

Sold SD Mar 16 '13 $6 Call @ $0.41

Into SD @ $6.0078...

Not my usual P/S and P/B below 1 type of play...

Out of NMR @ Market = $5.8715

Profit of around +3%...

Will purchase again at original price of $5.66...

Assignments: JRCC, SPF, NTI...

Effective assignment prices:

Purchased JRCC shares @ $2.891

Sold SPF @ $8.57

Sold NTI @ $25.40...

Expired NTI $25 Puts, collecting $0.50 per share

Yes! Short NTI Mar 16 '13 $30 Put @ $2.05...

Tomorrow, I'm going to do a covered call on NTI.  As these are American-style options, I don't want to risk getting called today.  It can happen and we all know how evil market makers can get...

Into NTI @ $28.95 (Extended Hours Trade)...

Want to make sure I'm on file for collecting the $1.27 per share in quarterly dividends since my shares got called away!

Friday, February 15, 2013

Closed Out NOR $5 Call @ $0.90...

Gross loss of $0.05...

Will consider current NOR position as a sort of "averaging in" type of play that pairs up with my existing CENX position.

For better or for worse, for richer or for poorer...

Out of XIN @ $4.632...

More or less +18%...

Be My... Market Maker!

My NTI $25 call is -1,025.92% so far...  My market maker must be laughing all the way to the bank!

Friday, February 8, 2013

Thursday, February 7, 2013