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  • Are Interest Rates Going Higher Sooner Than Expected?

    Are Interest Rates Going Higher Sooner Than Expected?

    After closely watching geopolitical events play out, the focus of many investors has shifted to the Fed and interest rates. Between the most recent Fed Meeting notes being released and the conference in Jackson Hole, there’s been ample opportunity for Fed watchers to (attempt to) glean information about the future of interest rates. However, Yellen’s […]

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    | August 22, 2014 | 0 Comments

Call Or Put Options?

Call Options Or Put Options On Best Buy (BBY)?

Call Options Or Put Options On Best Buy (BBY)?

It’s been a long time since Best Buy (BBY) has been a truly relevant stock. However, the electronics retailer is up over 4% this past week and broke out of a tight trading range. BBY shares are currently trading at $31.04. The stock is trading 29% below the 52-week high of $43.93 and is 42% […]

Call Options Or Put Options On King Digital Entertainment (KING)?

Call Options Or Put Options On King Digital Entertainment (KING)?

It’s been a rough day so far for King Digital Entertainment (KING). The mobile game company is down 23% on a big earnings miss. KING shares are currently trading at $14.02. The stock is trading 40% below the 52-week high of $23.48 and is now 8% below the previous 52-week low of $15.26. Is this […]

Call Options Or Put Options On Sprint (S)?

Call Options Or Put Options On Sprint (S)?

Wireless carrier Sprint (S) is making headlines this week. The company just ended its merger plans with rival T-Mobile (TMUS). S shares are currently trading at $5.96, down 18% on the day. The stock is trading 48% below the 52-week high of $11.47 and is just 1% above the 52-week low of $5.92. Is this […]

Call Options Or Put Options On Twitter (TWTR)?

Call Options Or Put Options On Twitter (TWTR)?

Micro-blogging giant Twitter (TWTR) has mostly had a rough go so far in 2014. However, the company’s fortunes may be changing after its most recent earnings report. TWTR shares are currently trading at $46.44, up 20% on the day. The stock is trading 38% below the 52-week high of $74.73 and is 57% above the […]

Call Options Or Put Options On Plug Power (PLUG)?

Call Options Or Put Options On Plug Power (PLUG)?

Fuel cell developer Plug Power (PLUG) has been an investor favorite this year. The stock is up an eye-popping 1,267% from this time last year! PLUG shares are currently trading at $5.48. The stock is trading 53% below the 52-week high of $11.72 and is 1,421% above the 52-week low of $0.36. Is this an […]

Call Options Or Put Options On International Business Machines (IBM)?

Call Options Or Put Options On International Business Machines (IBM)?

International Business Machines (IBM) hasn’t exactly been the strongest performer this year. However, the blue chip company may have just changed its fortunes this week. IBM shares are currently trading at $191.49, up just about 2% on the year. The stock is trading 3% below the 52-week high of $198.06 and is 13% above the […]

Unusual Options Trading Activity

KO, XLK Options – Unusual Trading Activity – August 18, 2014

KO, XLK Options – Unusual Trading Activity – August 18, 2014

This week we’re taking a look at unusual options trading activity in Coca-Cola (KO) and Technology Select Sector SPDR ETF (XLK). 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 […]

LVS, JBLU Options – Unusual Trading Activity – August 11, 2014

LVS, JBLU Options – Unusual Trading Activity – August 11, 2014

This week we’re taking a look at unusual options trading activity in Las Vegas Sands (LVS) and JetBlue Airways (JBLU). 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 […]

HYG, XLU Options – Unusual Trading Activity – August 4, 2014

HYG, XLU Options – Unusual Trading Activity – August 4, 2014

This week we’re taking a look at unusual options trading activity in iShares iBoxx High Yield Corporate Bond ETF (HYG) and Utilities Select Sector SPDR ETF (XLU). 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 […]

MSFT, IWM Options – Unusual Trading Activity – July 28, 2014

MSFT, IWM Options – Unusual Trading Activity – July 28, 2014

This week we’re taking a look at unusual options trading activity in Microsoft (MSFT) and iShares Russell 2000 (IWM). 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 […]

HON, SFUN Options – Unusual Trading Activity – July 21, 2014

HON, SFUN Options – Unusual Trading Activity – July 21, 2014

This week we’re taking a look at unusual options trading activity in Honeywell (HON) and SouFun (SFUN). 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 […]

GLUU, FSL Options – Unusual Trading Activity – July 14, 2014

GLUU, FSL Options – Unusual Trading Activity – July 14, 2014

This week we’re taking a look at unusual options trading activity in Glu Mobile (GLUU) and Freescale Semiconductor (FSL). 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 […]

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

Are Interest Rates Going Higher Sooner Than Expected?

Are Interest Rates Going Higher Sooner Than Expected?

After closely watching geopolitical events play out, the focus of many investors has shifted to the Fed and interest rates. Between the most recent Fed Meeting notes being released and the conference in Jackson Hole, there’s been ample opportunity for Fed watchers to (attempt to) glean information about the future of interest rates. However, Yellen’s […]

Is Now A Good Time To Invest In Gold?

Is Now A Good Time To Invest In Gold?

In 2011, the price of gold spiked above $1,800 an ounce, the highest it’s ever been. It was all anyone would talk about. Around that time, gold buyers popped up on every corner, a sure signal of a fad. Three years later, gold is still trading well above historical levels. At $1,300 an ounce, the […]

Should You Trade Commodity Options?

Should You Trade Commodity Options?

The vast majority of my articles focus on trading equities options and equity index options. Of course, those are the most popular options, so it makes sense. However, let’s not forget about commodity options. First off, when trading commodity options, I recommend only trading options on commodity ETFs. Yes, options do trade on commodity futures. […]

Is This The Start Of A Market Correction?

Is This The Start Of A Market Correction?

US equities are finally experiencing a legitimate selloff after what’s been a very mundane summer. In fact, the major indices dropped yesterday the most since the market sold off in April. The VIX also jumped above 17 for the first time since April’s volatile period. However, it’s hard to classify any VIX level below 20 […]

What Was The Fed Thinking?

What Was The Fed Thinking?

Ever since interest rates hit zero, we’ve come to expect consistent, mostly boring talk out of the Fed. The central bank has pledged to keep rates low for the foreseeable future. And, quantitative easing is slowly winding down. There’s not a whole Yellen and the Fed could say or do at this point that hasn’t […]

Is The Latest Hot IPO Worth Investing In?

Is The Latest Hot IPO Worth Investing In?

It’s been awhile since we’ve had a buzz-worthy IPO to discuss. Lately, IPO hype has been pretty sparse. After a big year for initial public offerings in 2013, the somewhat less bullish environment this year seems to have discouraged big name IPOs from moving forward. However, IPOs may be back en vogue after GoPro’s (GPRO) […]

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 […]