Well, That Was Rare

At a tie that I really want to be conserving cash, I find myself doing odd things.

Saturday night and then again on Sunday, I actually thought about buying options.

In this case, that alone was pretty odd.

What wasn’t odd was that the thought was to buy S&P 500 puts.

They were really pretty inexpensive, reflecting the continuing belief that volatility was extinct and that the market was expecting to go higher and higher.

Well, long story short, I didn’t buy those options.

But I did spend money, even though that’s not so rare.

What was rare is that this morning, before the opening bell, I bought some shares of Under Armour, after it plunged on earnings and the news that its CFO was leaving.

What made that exceptionally rare was that by making that purchase before the opening bell, there was no opportunity to sell calls at the same time.

So that shares sat there naked. Continue reading “Well, That Was Rare”

Going to Cash

Well, for a minute, anyway.

I did close 2 positions today, one for a substantial loss.

That was Joy Global, which for the longest time has been ready to close on a deal to be bought out.

That has really been dead money, but I kept thinking that maybe someone or somebody else would come along and sweeten the offer, especially as the economy was eventually going to improve in China.

But suddenly, there has been a lot of selling of those shares by institutional holders, so I gave up and took the cash.

The same for that EMC spin-off after the buyout from Dell.

That one, at least had a decent profit. Continue reading “Going to Cash”

Now What?

Or, what now?

The market moved pretty decisively today as it finally broke through that elusive 20,000 barrier, that really wasn’t so very elusive.

It really didn’t take that long to breach the 20,000 level, but you do have to wonder what comes next.

Historically, if you are a covered option trader, your portfolio performs better, in relative terms during a downward trend.

I know that to be true in my own experience, but I have really been enjoying this post-election stock market celebration, even as I may not yet find anything to celebrate in the election itself.

Certainly not the process, but I’m still open-minded as far as what comes next. Continue reading “Now What?”

Hoping to Keep a Strategy Alive and Imbued with Belief

There are so many sayings and expressions around the concept of hope.

The most recent, and the one that was identified with a successful Presidential campaign, was “Hope you can believe in.”

“Keep hope alive,” was a rallying point of Jesse Jackson and chanted  at some many venues.

“Hope is not a strategy,” is something that’s frequently said when it comes to investments.

For me, I was just hoping to get more trades done today.

I did keep the streak for 2017 alive by making a trade today, but there were so many that I wanted to see made today.

Why that matters is that my 2017 strategy has, thus far, been more of a “hit and run” one.

I want to sell as many calls as I can, especially on non-performing holdings, at whatever strike I can in order to generate some meaningful income revenue.

This week, following the end of the January 2017 option cycle, I have lots of those non-performing positions. Continue reading “Hoping to Keep a Strategy Alive and Imbued with Belief”

What a Great Week


TheAcsMan, Eddy ElfenbeinWhat a great week.

As my wife likes to continually remind me, “it’s not always about you,” but then again, I don’t really see her TheAcsWoman site anywhere, now do I?

But this was a great week, even as it isn’t always about the stock market.

The stock market basically did nothing on the week, but who cares?

Ordinarily, my answer to that rhetorical question would be “I do,” but this week was different.

It was different because, despite political differences and still some astonishment as I watched the Inauguration, still wondering how both political parties could have failed so badly as to get us to this point, it became clear that what hasn’t failed is our nation’s ability to move forward.

That explains why I attended one of the Inaugural Balls last night, although I did try to keep a low profile, due to my well-known political ties on the other side of the aisle.

I made the mistake, though, of being in the same place and the same time as the famed Eddy Elfenbein, of Crossing Wall Street and, so, it was hard to escape the cameras.

But the point is that the process is one that reflects greatness, as does peaceful protest.

So I’m excited about what next week brings, which now brings me back to the stock market and how the stock market affects me, because it is all about me. Continue reading “What a Great Week”

Keeping the Streak Alive

I think I know how Joe DiMaggio must have felt.

After having made at least one trade for the first 11 trading days of the year, I doubt that I can keep it going for another 45 days, but I can dream.

I was hoping to get some trades done this week, but for the most part that hope was tied to do something with some of the many positions set to expire this week as the January 2017 option cycle was getting ready to come to its end.

I was hoping not to really be faced with a deluge of trades on Friday, especially since I have to have my attention focused on a few of those positions that had calls sold upon them at strike prices well below their purchase prices.

What surprised me is that I actually parted with some money in order to keep the streak alive.

I also tied that money up until next week.

I wasn’t planning for either of those things to happen, but very little really goes according to script.

The market did almost nothing today, as the DJIA moved a little bit further away from the 20,000 level.

Even a Janet Yellen speech today did little to shake things up, as she spoke mostly in academic terms and there was little for anyone to understand and to then act upon. Continue reading “Keeping the Streak Alive”

What Comes Next?

The road ahead really is pretty unclear.

The stock market may have been expressing a little of the uncertainty that awaits as we get ready to see the proverbial rubber hit the road.

What may be coming clear to some is that the bluster may not have too much behind it.

Or maybe it will.

That’s the problem.

We are in such untested waters that it may be crazy to actually put anything at risk right now, especially as we still sit so close to all time highs.

As we await Inauguration Day and we will be back to having only a single President at a time, we may get to find out whether words will be finding their counterpart in actions.

What we know right now is that we probably shouldn’t have taken too many words with a literal meaning.

What we also know is that there may not be very much agreement between the President and the other elected officials across from him in the Capital.

Even ones in his own party. Continue reading “What Comes Next?”

Wouldn’t that be Great?

everydayIf only this picture was true.

At least when it came to trading.

So far, this year has been a trader’s dream come true.

I’ve made trades each and every trading day of the year, but the only problem has been that there is no trading on Saturday and Sunday.

On top of that, you’ve got those pesky holidays.

The past couple of years I welcomed some of those pesky holidays.

But for a really large part of the 2007 to 2014 period I was actually upset whenever there was a day off from trading.

It’s nice to feel that way again. Continue reading “Wouldn’t that be Great?”

Small Victories

smallvictoriesIt may be too soon to call this a victory, but for the moment, I’ll take whatever I can.

In this case, the victory was waking up this morning an still having Monday’s share purchase of Whole Foods in the account.

Whole Foods was ex-dividend today for $0.14

But shares closed yesterday at $30.73, which meant that the $30.50 strikes could have been assigned early.

But it’s all about the math and the probability of what could still happen over the course of the days remaining on the option contract.

In this case, following the $30.73 close and then deducting that $0.14 dividend, Whole Food shares would then start being available to trade at $30.59

For the option holder, the question was would it be worth actually paying the $30.50 for shares in order to grab the $0.14 dividend or hoping that maybe there was still some juice in that option contract.

Of course, if the option holder decided to grab the dividend, not only would he have to pay the $30.50 for shares, but he would also take the risk of shares declining in value at the open. Continue reading “Small Victories”

Deal Me In

dealI don’t know what it is about 2017, but whatever it is, I want to be dealt in on it.

While a 1.3% increase YTD on the S&P 500 isn’t necessarily the kind of thing that legends are built upon, it’s far, far better than the first 10 days in 2016.

I don’t like to project very much, especially if that means counting and spending money that you don’t really have, but 2016 ended being up such a nice year when compared to the already good S&P p500 performance, that I am beginning to salivate about the prospects for 2017.

That’s probably not a really good idea.

What I especially like is that I’ve had a trade in each of the 6 trading days to date.

That’s a pattern that I would really love to continue.

Today’s early rollover of the Cliffs Natural Resources puts in the face of commodity strength is something that I hope to be doing a lot of, much as was the case with Marathon Oil in the latter half of 2016. Continue reading “Deal Me In”