Featured Article

Call Or Put Options?

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 […]

Call Options Or Put Options On Glu Mobile (GLUU)?

Call Options Or Put Options On Glu Mobile (GLUU)?

Glu Mobile (GLUU) develops games for smartphones and tablets. The company typically uses a free-to-play model with optional in-app purchases used to generate revenues. GLUU shares are currently trading at $5.83. The stock is now trading 3% higher than the previous 52-week high of $5.68 and is 178% above the 52-week low of $2.10. Is this […]

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

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

King Digital Entertainment (KING) develops games for digital platforms, especially mobile devices. The company’s Candy Crush Saga is one of the most popular games in history, in terms of number of users. KING shares are currently trading at $22.64. The stock is now trading 4% higher than the previous 52-week high of $21.67 and is […]

Call Options Or Put Options On Barnes & Noble (BKS)?

Call Options Or Put Options On Barnes & Noble (BKS)?

Barnes & Noble (BKS) is the last major physical bookstore chain still standing. The book-selling business has been decimated by online sales, most notably from Amazon.com (AMZN). BKS shares are currently trading at $21.86. The stock’s down just 2% from the 52-week high of $22.41 and is 74% above the 52-week low of $12.59. Is […]

Call Options Or Put Options On Priceline.com (PCLN)?

Call Options Or Put Options On Priceline.com (PCLN)?

Priceline.com (PCLN) is an online travel, hotel reservation, and rental car booking company. PCLN stock is sitting right at its 50-day moving average and looks like it could be ready to make a move. But will it be higher or lower? PCLN shares are currently trading at $1191.90, up 3% year-to-date. The stock’s down 14% […]

Call Options Or Put Options On GT Advanced Technologies (GTAT)?

Call Options Or Put Options On GT Advanced Technologies (GTAT)?

GT Advanced Technologies (GTAT) has been a hot stock this year. The electronics material and equipment maker is up nearly 90% for the year. GTAT shares are currently trading for $17.29. The stock’s down 11% from the 52-week high of $19.44 and is an impressive 403% above the previous 52-week low of $3.44. Is this […]

Unusual Options Trading Activity

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 […]

IYR, HES Options – Unusual Trading Activity – July 7, 2014

IYR, HES Options – Unusual Trading Activity – July 7, 2014

This week we’re taking a look at unusual options trading activity in iShares Dow Jones US Real Estate (IYR) and Hess (HES). 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 […]

SPX, BBRY Options – Unusual Trading Activity – June 30, 2014

SPX, BBRY Options – Unusual Trading Activity – June 30, 2014

This week we’re taking a look at unusual options trading activity in S&P 500 (SPX) and BlackBerry (BBRY). 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 […]

PCG, AZN Options – Unusual Trading Activity – June 23, 2014

PCG, AZN Options – Unusual Trading Activity – June 23, 2014

This week we’re taking a look at unusual options trading activity in PG&E (PCG) and AstraZeneca (AZN). 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 […]

JNK, OIH Options – Unusual Trading Activity – June 16, 2014

JNK, OIH Options – Unusual Trading Activity – June 16, 2014

This week we’re taking a look at unusual options trading activity in SPDR Barclays Capital High Yield Bond ETF (JNK) and Market Vectors Oil Services ETF (OIH). 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 […]

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

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) […]

Will Amazon’s (AMZN) Entry Into The Smartphone Market Pay Off?

Will Amazon’s (AMZN) Entry Into The Smartphone Market Pay Off?

While most investors were focused on the FOMC meeting this week, perhaps the bigger news came from the corporate world. More specifically, online retail giant Amazon.com (AMZN) made quite the statement with its entry into the smartphone market. In case you missed, AMZN and CEO Jeff Bezos unveiled the company’s brand new Fire Phone. Essentially, […]

Is Intel’s (INTC) Resurgence The Real Deal?

Is Intel’s (INTC) Resurgence The Real Deal?

PC chip powerhouse, Intel (INTC), is making waves today with the shares spiking 7% higher. It’s the first time in a while the chipmaker has been in the news for positive reasons. Basically, INTC is getting lots of investor love after raising forecasts. The company raised its revenue guidance for the second quarter. It estimates […]

Watch Out For September

Watch Out For September

Recently, I wrote an article discussing an interesting trade in iShares MSCI Emerging Markets (EEM) options. The trade was meaningful because it was a significant bet or hedge on the entire emerging markets asset class. This week, there’s once again been an intriguing trade worth discussing. This massive trade could have broader implications on the […]

Are Emerging Markets In Trouble?

Are Emerging Markets In Trouble?

Typically, once a week (usually on Mondays), I write about unusual options trades for the week.   There’s much that can be gained by seeing what the smart money is doing in the options markets. Sometimes, however, there are big trades which I believe are so meaningful, they deserve their own column. One of those game-changing […]

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 […]