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Call Or Put Options?

Call Options Or Put Options On Valeant Pharmaceuticals (VRX)?

Call Options Or Put Options On Valeant Pharmaceuticals (VRX)?

A major acquisition in the pharmaceuticals industry is making big news this week.  In fact, Valeant Pharmaceuticals (VRX) made quite the splash with its planned acquisition of Allergan (AGN). VRX shares are trading at $134.28, up nearly 16% over the last week.  The stock’s up 87% from the 52-week low of $71.99 and is 12% […]

Call Options Or Put Options On Yahoo (YHOO)?

Call Options Or Put Options On Yahoo (YHOO)?

As we approach the heart of earnings season, we’re starting to get to some of the more interesting companies.  In fact, last night brought the highly anticipated release of Yahoo’s (YHOO) quarterly results. YHOO shares are trading at $36.50, up nearly 7% today.  The stock’s up 61% from the 52-week low of $22.70 and is […]

Call Options Or Put Options On Alcoa (AA)?

Call Options Or Put Options On Alcoa (AA)?

Earnings season unofficially kicked off this week with Alcoa (AA) reporting after close on Tuesday.  So how did earnings look for the world’s largest aluminum producer? AA shares are trading at $12.97, up 3.5% today.  The stock’s up 71% from the 52-week low of $7.56 and is just 2% below the 52-week high of $13.18. […]

Call Options Or Put Options On Ford (F)?

Call Options Or Put Options On Ford (F)?

Ford (F) is making waves after jumping 5% in yesterday’s trade.  The automaker giant has been fairly quiet in regard to trading for the past couple months. F shares are currently trading at $16.32.  The stock’s up 38% from the 52-week low of $11.83 and is just 8% below the 52-week high of $17.78. Is […]

Call Options Or Put Options On Yahoo (YHOO)?

Call Options Or Put Options On Yahoo (YHOO)?

Yahoo (YHOO) is drawing attention from investors with the upcoming IPO of Alibaba.  YHOO owns 24% of Alibaba which is China’s largest e-commerce site. YHOO shares are currently trading at $39.11.  The stock’s up 79% from the 52-week low of $21.89 and is just 6% below the 52-week high of $41.72. Is this an opportunity […]

Call Options Or Put Options On SPDR Gold Shares (GLD)?

Call Options Or Put Options On SPDR Gold Shares (GLD)?

SPDR Gold Shares (GLD), by far the most popular gold ETF, is up 14% year-to-date.  Gold is back en vogue as investors are putting their money into more conservative investments these days. Currently, GLD shares are sitting at $132.66.  The ETF is up 16% from the 52-week low of $114.46 and is 15% below the […]

Unusual Options Trading Activity

HPQ, WFC Options – Unusual Trading Activity – April 21, 2014

HPQ, WFC Options – Unusual Trading Activity – April 21, 2014

This week we’re taking a look at unusual options trading activity in Hewlett-Packard (HPQ) and Wells Fargo (WFC). As many of you know, unusual options volume can be a valuable indicator as to what traders are thinking, and more importantly, where these stocks are heading in the short-term. This is something professional options traders pay a lot of […]

CCL, WDAY Options – Unusual Trading Activity – April 14, 2014

CCL, WDAY Options – Unusual Trading Activity – April 14, 2014

This week we’re taking a look at unusual options trading activity in Carnival (CCL) and Workday (WDAY). As many of you know, unusual options volume can be a valuable indicator as to what traders are thinking, and more importantly, where these stocks are heading in the short-term. This is something professional options traders pay a lot of attention […]

XLE, SLV Options – Unusual Trading Activity – April 7, 2014

XLE, SLV Options – Unusual Trading Activity – April 7, 2014

This week we’re taking a look at unusual options trading activity in Energy Select Sector SPDR (XLE) and iShares Silver Trust (SLV). As many of you know, unusual options volume can be a valuable indicator as to what traders are thinking, and more importantly, where these stocks are heading in the short-term. This is something professional options traders […]

POT, LGF Options – Unusual Trading Activity – March 31, 2014

POT, LGF Options – Unusual Trading Activity – March 31, 2014

This week we’re taking a look at unusual options trading activity in Potash (POT) and Lions Gate Entertainment (LGF). As many of you know, unusual options volume can be a valuable indicator as to what traders are thinking, and more importantly, where these stocks are heading in the short-term. This is something professional options traders pay a lot […]

ANR, GPS Options – Unusual Trading Activity – March 24, 2014

ANR, GPS Options – Unusual Trading Activity – March 24, 2014

This week we’re taking a look at unusual options trading activity in Alpha Natural Resources (ANR) and Gap (GPS). As many of you know, unusual options volume can be a valuable indicator as to what traders are thinking, and more importantly, where these stocks are heading in the short-term. This is something professional options traders pay a lot […]

VIX, IRDM Options – Unusual Trading Activity – March 17, 2014

VIX, IRDM Options – Unusual Trading Activity – March 17, 2014

This week we’re taking a look at unusual options trading activity in S&P 500 Volatility Index (VIX) and Iridium Communications (IRDM). As many of you know, unusual options volume can be a valuable indicator as to what traders are thinking, and more importantly, where these stocks are heading in the short-term. This is something professional options traders pay […]

Speculator's Corner

Speculator’s Corner:  Microsoft’s (MSFT) Big Hardware Gamble

Speculator’s Corner: Microsoft’s (MSFT) Big Hardware Gamble

Last week, I touched on Microsoft’s (MSFT) purchase of Nokia’s (NOK) phone business.  That article was a neutral look at the deal.  This time around, I’m going to give you my opinion on this game changing acquisition. To be more specific, I’m going to defend MSFT. You see, most of what I’ve read about the […]

Speculator’s Corner:  How To Trade LinkedIn (LNKD)

Speculator’s Corner: How To Trade LinkedIn (LNKD)

If you read or watch financial news, you’re probably hearing plenty about Facebook (FB).  After all, it’s the largest social network in the world and has something like 1 billion users.  And the stock is finally trading above its IPO price. But, there’s another online community doing extremely well – and it doesn’t get nearly […]

You’ll Never Guess Which Asset Has Been The Top Performer Over The Last Year

You’ll Never Guess Which Asset Has Been The Top Performer Over The Last Year

Imagine a basket of major assets.  In this basket are all the major stock indices, all the big commodities, and even all the major currencies (versus the Dollar).  Over the last 12 months, which of these assets do you think has performed the best? The S&P 500 is up nearly 24% over the period.  Not […]

Speculator’s Corner:  Is Tesla (TSLA) For Real?

Speculator’s Corner: Is Tesla (TSLA) For Real?

If you’ve been following stocks at all recently, then you’ve likely heard of Tesla Motors (TSLA).  It’s the “it” company right now. Tesla, of course, develops electric vehicles.  The Model S is the company’s only current automobile for sale, but another vehicle (Model X) will be available in 2014.  What makes the Model S unique […]

Speculator’s Corner:  Is Apple (AAPL) Ready To Rebound?

Speculator’s Corner: Is Apple (AAPL) Ready To Rebound?

As bad as last week was for the broad market, it was far worse for Apple (AAPL).  True, the S&P 500 was down 2% for the week, while the NASDAQ 100 dropped 2.7%.  But those don’t come close to AAPL’s steep decline of over 9% for the week. Moreover, the retail/tech giant is down 26% […]

Speculator’s Corner:  Corn Prices Getting Canned

Speculator’s Corner: Corn Prices Getting Canned

Last summer the worst drought in 70 years baked the heartland of America to a crisp.  The extreme heat and lack of rainfall baked fields of corn into worthless husks.  The drought ended up destroying 13% of last year’s corn crop.  It resulted in the smallest production since 2006. As the temperatures rose, so did […]

Breaking News

The Death Of The Nasdaq?

The Death Of The Nasdaq?

Unless you’ve been hiding under a rock for the last couple weeks, you probably noticed the substantial pullback in the Nasdaq.  Well, the pullback has impacted all the major indices, but Nasdaq stocks have been hit significantly harder than the others. Over the last week, the Nasdaq-100 index is down over 4%.  The index is […]

Should We Expect The Sideways Market Action To Continue?

Should We Expect The Sideways Market Action To Continue?

The economy continues to chug along at a moderate pace.  There’s not a whole lot to get excited about in the economic data.  However, there’s absolutely no reason to believe a recession is in our future either. The recent slew of economic reports has been mostly positive, and mostly in line with expectations.  Basically, any […]

Is King Digital Entertainment (KING) The Worst IPO Of The Year?

Is King Digital Entertainment (KING) The Worst IPO Of The Year?

If you’ve been waiting anxiously for the IPO of King Digital Entertainment (KING), you were in for a big disappointment this week.  In fact, in percentage terms, the KING IPO was the worst of the year so far. King’s IPO was priced at $22.50, right in the middle of the expected range.  However, the stock […]

What In The World Is Facebook Doing?

What In The World Is Facebook Doing?

Facebook (FB) is on a buying spree!  After making waves with its $19 billion purchase of messaging company WhatsApp, the social media giant is once again making headlines with a new acquisition. But if you thought the WhatsApp purchase made little sense, then this week’s transaction will be a real head scratcher. FB is spending […]

What’s This Massive VIX Options Trade Telling Us?

What’s This Massive VIX Options Trade Telling Us?

If you’ve been reading my articles for any length of time, you know I often like to point out unusual options trades.  Typically, once a week I’ll cover a couple trades which are either much bigger than normal or on stocks with historically low activity. However, sometimes I’ll come across a really interesting trade worth […]

Is This Company The Next Big Tech IPO?

Is This Company The Next Big Tech IPO?

Over the last year or so, tech IPOs appear to have regained their allure.  Investors are once again lining up to buy shares in the latest hot tech companies as they go public.  However, there does seem to be a more conservative level of IPO pricing this time around.  After the initial failures of companies […]

The Spread Trader

The Spread Trader:  Straddle On SPDR Gold Shares (GLD)

The Spread Trader: Straddle On SPDR Gold Shares (GLD)

Gold has been on an incredible, historic run.  At the end of 2008, the yellow metal was trading at roughly $700 per ounce.  For the next four years, it would do nothing but head higher. In fact, in August 2011, gold hit a high of over $1,900 per ounce.  And even though the price pulled […]

The Spread Trader:  Bull Call Spread On TIBCO Software (TIBX)

The Spread Trader: Bull Call Spread On TIBCO Software (TIBX)

TIBCO Software (TIBX) was on quite a roll going into 2012.  And for good reason… TIBCO’s “two-second advantage” gives their customers the ability to capture the right information, at the right time, and act on it preemptively for a competitive advantage. As their CEO, Vivek Ranadive, puts it…  “A little bit of the right information […]

The Spread Trader: Bear Put Spread On 3D Systems (DDD)

The Spread Trader: Bear Put Spread On 3D Systems (DDD)

Some of the hottest stocks of 2012 are those of companies that specialize in 3-D printing.  In a nutshell, 3-D printers convert digital objects in computer-aided design software or 3-D scanning and sculpting devices into physical objects made from plastic, metal, and composite print materials.  The two major players in 3-D printing are 3D Systems […]

The Spread Trader:  Bull Call Spread On Apple (AAPL)

The Spread Trader: Bull Call Spread On Apple (AAPL)

There’s no doubt about it, tech stocks have had a rough few months.  And the big daddy of all tech stocks, Apple (AAPL), has been no exception. In case you didn’t notice, after reaching a new all time high of $705 back on September 21st, Apple’s stock has tumbled $162 lower to around $543 today.  […]

The Spread Trader:  Bull Call Spread On Caterpillar (CAT)

The Spread Trader: Bull Call Spread On Caterpillar (CAT)

So far the Fed’s latest action hasn’t made a big impact on stock prices.  In fact, the markets have been trending modestly lower after an initial surge higher in the first days following the announcement of QE3. What’s behind the markets sluggish performance? Put simply, weak economic data. Despite the introduction of QE3, economic data […]

The Spread Trader:  Bull Call Spread On CBS Corp (CBS)

The Spread Trader: Bull Call Spread On CBS Corp (CBS)

Fall is here.  It’s a beautiful time of year here in Arizona.  The temperatures are falling and it’s once again tolerable to be outside… at least without a pool or some kind of air conditioning.  But it’s also a great time of year to be a couch potato.  Especially, if you’re into sports or politics. […]

Options Trading Strategies

Reverse Iron Butterfly Spread

Reverse Iron Butterfly Spread

The reverse iron butterfly spread is a complex, debit spread strategy which benefits from movement in the underlying instrument.  It’s similar in concept to a short butterfly spread, except it’s a debit spread.  A trader profits from a reverse iron butterfly spread when the underlying stock rallies or sells off. A reverse iron butterfly spread […]

Short Condor Spread

Short Condor Spread

The short condor spread is a complex credit spread strategy which benefits from movement in the underlying instrument.  A trader profits from a short condor spread when the underlying stock rallies or sells off. A short condor spread is made up of four options trades at once.  It can be done with either all calls […]

Short Straddle

Short Straddle

A Short Straddle is a neutral options strategy which produces a profit when the underlying stock doesn’t move much up or down.  It’s essentially the opposite of a Long Straddle which profits when the underlying stock makes a big move up or down. So, if you think your stock is going to move sideways for […]

Long Straddle

Long Straddle

A Long Straddle is created by buying both a put and a call with the same terms.  In other words, you buy both a put and a call on the same underlying stock, with the same strike price, and the same expiration date. A straddle purchase allows the buyer to make big potential profits if […]

Iron Butterfly Spread

Iron Butterfly Spread

The iron butterfly spread is a complex, neutral, credit spread strategy, similar to a long butterfly spread.  A trader profits from an iron butterfly spread when the underlying stock is stagnant or trades in a tight price range over the life of the spread. An iron butterfly spread is made up of four options trades […]

Delta Neutral Trading

Delta Neutral Trading

A delta neutral position is when two or more positions are used to establish a neutral market position.  A trader can apply a delta neutral position with stock and one or more options, OR two or more different options.  Whatever combination of securities used, the delta of the two securities offset each other so the […]