Week in Review – May 30 – June 3, 2016

 

Option to Profit

Week in Review

 

May 30 – JUNE 3, 2016

 

NEW POSITIONS/STO NEW STO ROLLOVERS CALLS ASSIGNED/PUTS EXPIRED CALLS EXPIRED/PUTS ASSIGNED CLOSED EX-DIVIDEND
0  /  0 0 1 1   /   0 0   /   0 0 4

 

Weekly Up to Date Performance

May 30 – June 3, 2016


This may have been the week that the market grew up, but then realized that the adults in the room had no clue of what was going on.

That’s because they embraced the idea of higher interest rates coming as soon as in 3 weeks after having taken the bait laid out by FOMC members with all of their hawkish talk.

Instead, Friday’s Employment Situation Report didn’t exactly paint a picture of a vibrant and expanding economy.

Anyway, I was too unsure about much of anything this week and made no new opening position trades.

As opposed to last week’s specacular market performance, this week was fairly mediocre, saved only by a series of comebacks that avoided erasing all of the previous week’s gains.

The S&P 500 ended the week finishing completely unchanged both an unadjusted and adjusted basis.

But still, there was a little good news as there was one rollover, one assignment and 4 ex-dividend positions.

On top of that, existing positions ended the week 1.8% higher than the S&P 500.

With one new assignments on the week those positions closed in 2016 were 8.3% higher, while the comparable performance for the S&P 500 during the same holding periods has been 1.7% higher. That represents a 383.6% difference in return on closed positions. That would be much more impressive if there were many more closed positions in 2016, but that just hasn’t been the case.

The market ended up the week going absolutely nowhere.

That was much better than the direction it had been headed during 3 of the week’s 4 trading days.

In those three days there were some pretty large losses, but if not completely erased on any of those days, they were greatly reduced.

The most surprising of the 3 days was the closing day of the week.

The market really didn’t like the disappointing Employment Situation Report, but it acquitted itself nicely as it prepared for a weekend of wondering just what is really going on.

I have no clue, nor any real idea of whether the FOMC is playing mind games with everyone, but am pleased with the week.

In addition to having more money, on paper, anyway, than the previous week, there was enough to keep me satisfied with both income flow and generation of some cash available for re-investing next week.

Now, with only a single position set to expire next week and a little bit of extra cash to spend, I also know that there are 6 ex-dividend positions to satisfy some of that thirst for cash.

With the likelihood of an interest rate increase coming in June pretty small and with earnings out of the way, for the most part, there’s not too much to drive stocks, other than perhaps oil or some unexpectedly good or bad news from China.

I wouldn’t mind spending some money next week, but don’t really feel compelled with all of those ex-dividend positions.

I wouldn’t mind just being able to rollover the one expiring position next week and then simply see what the end of the June 2016 cycle will have to offer.

Of course, that is unless the FOMC really surprises everyone in the days before that expiration.

.

This week’s details may be seen in the Weekly Performance spreadsheet * or in the PDF file, as well as in the summary below

(Note: Duplicate mention of positions reflects different priced lots):



New Positions Opened:  none

Puts Closed in order to take profits:  none

Calls Rolled over, taking profits, into the next weekly cycle: Holly Frontier

Calls Rolled over, taking profits, into extended weekly cycle:  none

Calls Rolled over, taking profits, into the monthly cycle: none

Calls Rolled Over, taking profits, into a future monthly cycle:  none

Calls Rolled Up, taking net profits into same cyclenone

New STO: none

Put contracts expired: none

Put contracts rolled over: none

Long term call contracts sold:  none

Calls Assigned:  MRO

Calls Expired:  none

Puts Assigned:  none

Stock positions Closed to take profits:  none

Stock positions Closed to take losses: none

Calls Closed to Take Profits: none

Ex-dividend Positions  MOS (5/31 $0.275), ANF (6/1 $0.20), BAC (6/1 $0.05), COH (6/1 $0.34)

Ex-dividend Positions Next Week:  BBY (6/10 $0.28), HPQ (6/6 $0.12),KSS (6/6 $0.50), NEM (6/7 $0.025), GM (6/8 $0.38), WY (6/8 $0.31)

For the coming week the existing positions have lots that still require the sale of contracts:   AGQ, ANF, AZN, BBBY, BBY, CHK, CLF, COH, CSCO,  CY, DOW, FAST, FCX, GDX, GM, GPS, HAL, HFC, HPQ, INTC, IP, JCP, JOY, KMI, KSS, LVS, MCPIQ, MOS, NEM, RIG, WFM, WLTGQ, WY (See “Weekly Performance” spreadsheet or PDF file)



* If you don’t have a program to read or modify spreadsheets, you can download the OpenOffice Suite at no cost.



Week In Review – May 23 – 27, 2016

 

Option to Profit

Week in Review

 

May 23 – 27, 2016

 

NEW POSITIONS/STO NEW STO ROLLOVERS CALLS ASSIGNED/PUTS EXPIRED CALLS EXPIRED/PUTS ASSIGNED CLOSED EX-DIVIDEND
1  /  1 0 1 0   /   0 0   /   0 0 3

 

Weekly Up to Date Performance

May 23 – 16, 2016


This may have been the week that the market grew up.

That’s because they embraced the idea of higher interest rates coming as soon as in 3 weeks.

Although, if you remember what happened the last time the market grew up you might recall that embrace loosened very fast.

The market had a really spectacular week, with the S&P 500 gaining 2.3% on an unadjusted basis and 2.5% when factoring in the day in which that new position was opened.

Although the sole new purchase for the week gained 1.6%, it couldn’t keep up with the market’s performance and trailed the market by 0.7% on an unadjusted basis and 0.9% on an adjusted basis.

Existing positions, though, were only 0.7% higher, as they were the previous week. Their lack of relative performance was due to materials and precious metals having a rough week.

With no new assignments on the week those positions closed in 2016 were 8.2% higher, while the comparable performance for the S&P 500 during the same holding periods has been 1.6% higher. That represents a 418.2% difference in return on closed positions. Unfortunately, there are still very few closed positions on the year.

For the first time in a couple of weeks the market actually had a theme and it wasn’t oil.

This week the market embraced the idea that a slight increase in interest rates would be good for all involved.

With a slight upward revision in GDP and some decent earnings numbers as that season is coming to a close, there was maybe some reason to believe that the economy wasn’t so bad, after all.

Even with a more hawkish tone from Chairman Janet Yellen, markets were upbeat as the S&P 500 no stands only about 1.5% from its all time high.

Of course, that brings us back to the last time that the market embraced the idea of a rate increase coming soon.

That optimism vanished very quickly and took us into the first 6 weeks of 2016.

That wasn’t pretty.

This past week was another in a series of very quiet trading weeks.

While I am overloaded on energy, I couldn’t resist adding more shares of another in the sector, mostly to capture its dividend and the expectation that it was in a bottoming out pattern.

In fact, in the coming week, the only 2 expiring positions are both in the energy sector and I wouldn’t mind continuing to roll them over, even if they end up being in the money.

I may change my mind on that as the week progresses.

That’s because I still may be able to find a reason to add some new positions in order to generate some income and I also have 4 positions that are ex-dividend next week.

I’d be more inclined to roll an in the money positions over if I didn’t open any new positions, as I wouldn’t have quite the same need to replenish cash.

With a holiday shortened week coming up and volatility dropping, there may not be too many appealing premiums out there for a weekly contract, so I may be looking more at extended weekly options or even adding to the names that already have monthly June 2016 contracts coming up for expration.

For the next few days I won’t think about any of those things too much.

Happy and safe Memorial Day to all.

This week’s details may be seen in the Weekly Performance spreadsheet * or in the PDF file, as well as in the summary below

(Note: Duplicate mention of positions reflects different priced lots):



New Positions Opened:  Holly Frontier

Puts Closed in order to take profits:  none

Calls Rolled over, taking profits, into the next weekly cycle: Holly Frontier

Calls Rolled over, taking profits, into extended weekly cycle:  none

Calls Rolled over, taking profits, into the monthly cycle: none

Calls Rolled Over, taking profits, into a future monthly cycle:  none

Calls Rolled Up, taking net profits into same cyclenone

New STO: none

Put contracts expired: none

Put contracts rolled over: none

Long term call contracts sold:  none

Calls Assigned:none

Calls Expired:  none

Puts Assigned:  none

Stock positions Closed to take profits:  none

Stock positions Closed to take losses: none

Calls Closed to Take Profits: none

Ex-dividend Positions  HAL (5/27 $0.18), HFC (5/25 $0.33), IP (5/25 $0.44)

Ex-dividend Positions Next Week:  MOS (5/31 $0.275), ANF (6/1 $0.20), BAC (6/1 $0.05), COH (6/1 $0.34)

For the coming week the existing positions have lots that still require the sale of contracts:   AGQ, ANF, AZN, BBBY, BBY, CHK, CLF, COH, CSCO,  CY, DOW, FAST, FCX, GDX, GM, GPS, HAL, HFC, HPQ, INTC, IP, JCP, JOY, KMI, KSS, LVS, MCPIQ, MOS, NEM, RIG, WFM, WLTGQ, WY (See “Weekly Performance” spreadsheet or PDF file)



* If you don’t have a program to read or modify spreadsheets, you can download the OpenOffice Suite at no cost.



Week in Review – May 16 – 20, 2016

 

Option to Profit

Week in Review

 

May 16 – 20, 2016

 

NEW POSITIONS/STO NEW STO ROLLOVERS CALLS ASSIGNED/PUTS EXPIRED CALLS EXPIRED/PUTS ASSIGNED CLOSED EX-DIVIDEND
0  /  0 0 3 2   /   0 3   /   0 0 1

 

Weekly Up to Date Performance

May 16 – 20, 2016


Unbelievable. Two consecutive weeks with some trades.

The market again had no clue of what it wanted this week, but at actually had some decent earnings news and did overcome the stress of the possibility of an interest rate hike in June.

There were no new positions opened this week as the S&P 500 ended the 3 week losing streak with a 0.3% gain.

While the market did gain a little, existing positions had a pretty decent week.

Those positions gained 0.7% on the week.

With 2 assignments on the week those positions closed in 2016 were 8.2% higher, while the comparable performance for the S&P 500 during the same holding periods has been 1.6% higher. That represents a 418.2% difference in return on closed positions. Unfortunately, though, even with 2 assignments this week, there are very few closed positions on the year.

There was again absolutely no theme to the week.

Again.

The market did just what it did last week. It either made no move at all, or really big moves.

Stocks did and didn’t really follow oil and they didn’t nercessarily follow retail earnings.

It seems that they were more concerned with what may be a rising price environment that could offer the FOMC reason to push their own rates higher.

When Friday was all said and done, the week ended a three week losing streak and brought may 2016’s option cycle to an end.

I was reasonably happy for the week, mostly because there were some rollovers, some assignments and one paltry ex-dividend position.

Unfortunately, there were also some positions that expired and aren’t contributing any income beginning on Monday.

With the assignments, though, there may be some more reason and ability to go and spend money.

Still, I’d rather put the laggards to work, even as there may be some bargain looking positions out there.

With no positions expiring next week and only 2 ex-dividend positions, I would definitely like to have an opportunity top generate some income, but I don’t feel like getting reckless.

This week’s details may be seen in the Weekly Performance spreadsheet * or in the PDF file, as well as in the summary below

(Note: Duplicate mention of positions reflects different priced lots):



New Positions Opened:  none

Puts Closed in order to take profits:  none

Calls Rolled over, taking profits, into the next weekly cycle: none

Calls Rolled over, taking profits, into extended weekly cycle:  MRO (6/3)

Calls Rolled over, taking profits, into the monthly cycle: none

Calls Rolled Over, taking profits, into a future monthly cycle:  CSCO (7/2016), FAST (9/2016)

Calls Rolled Up, taking net profits into same cyclenone

New STO: none

Put contracts expired: none

Put contracts rolled over: none

Long term call contracts sold:  none

Calls Assigned: CY, HPE

Calls Expired:  BBBY, M, STX

Puts Assigned:  none

Stock positions Closed to take profits:  none

Stock positions Closed to take losses: none

Calls Closed to Take Profits: none

Ex-dividend Positions  MRO (5/16 $0.05)

Ex-dividend Positions Next Week:  HFC (5/25 $0.33), IP (5/25 $0.44)

For the coming week the existing positions have lots that still require the sale of contracts:   AGQ, ANF, AZN, BBBY, BBY, CHK, CLF, COH, CSCO,  CY, DOW, FAST, FCX, GDX, GM, GPS, HAL, HFC, HPQ, INTC, IP, JCP, JOY, KMI, KSS, LVS, MCPIQ, MOS, NEM, RIG, WFM, WLTGQ, WY (See “Weekly Performance” spreadsheet or PDF file)



* If you don’t have a program to read or modify spreadsheets, you can download the OpenOffice Suite at no cost.



Week in Review – May 9 – 13, 2016

 

Option to Profit

Week in Review

 

May 9 – 13, 2016

 

NEW POSITIONS/STO NEW STO ROLLOVERS CALLS ASSIGNED/PUTS EXPIRED CALLS EXPIRED/PUTS ASSIGNED CLOSED EX-DIVIDEND
1  /  1 1 1 0   /   0 0   /   0 0 0

 

Weekly Up to Date Performance

May 9 – 13, 2016


Unbelievable.

Finally a week with some trades.

The market had no clue of what it wanted this week, but at least it survived some horrible retailer earnings performance.

There was one new position opened for the week and despite it being in the money, I elected to roll it over.

That position was 6.6% higher than the adjusted and unadjusted S&P 500 on the week.

It was 6.1% higher, while both the adjusted and unadjusted S&P 500 were 0.5% lower.

Existing positions, having taken advantage the past couple of months of the strength in oil and commodities, continued to give gains back from the previous 4 weeks.

With no assignments, closed positions continue to be 7.8% higher, while the comparable performance for the S&P 500 during the same holding periods has been 2.7% higher. That represents a 189.2% difference in return on closed positions. Unfortunately, though, there are very few closed positions on the year.

There was again absolutely no theme to the week.

They either made no move at all, or really big moves.

Stocks did and didn’t really follow oil, but they did really follow retail earnings.

At least for a day.

And lately, a one day streak may be just about all anyone can hope for.

This was an interesting week.

I think it has been about 3 years or so, since the last time rolling over a well in the money position.

I used to do that much more regularly when volatility was much higher.

In those cases, the forward week premiums were so much better than the costs of closing the positions and it made lots of sense to keep the position open.

Hopefully, I’ll still believe that next week, but with some deep liquidity, continued adverse price moves in oil could still leave that position as one that I’d like to hold onto, just to get more and more premium.

Even if that position gets assigned early later today, because it is ex-dividend on Monday, the return would be a good one.

If only I had many, many more shares.

With no ex-dividend positions this week, it was at least nice to generate some income from that single new purchase, its rollover and then jumping the gun on a rollover of a position expiring next week.

Next week will be the end of the May 2016 option cycle and for the first time in a while, there are a number of positions expiring.

Hopefully, some of those will at least be in range for rollovers or maybe even assignment.

I don’t expect to be in a buying mode on Monday, but am open to the idea.

The risk is that there more retail earnings may weigh heavily again on the market.

If so, there may be reason to once again look at forward month option expiration dates for the rollovers, as was done with Best Buy, today and has been the case for much of the past 6 months.

Unfortunately, much of the market lately has been a waiting game and the waiting has gotten longer and longer.

For certain, the market hasn’t been in a forgiving mood for a long time and it has had a much longer memory than it used to have whenever it has been disappointed.


This week’s details may be seen in the Weekly Performance spreadsheet * or in the PDF file, as well as in the summary below

(Note: Duplicate mention of positions reflects different priced lots):



New Positions Opened:  MRO

Puts Closed in order to take profits:  none

Calls Rolled over, taking profits, into the next weekly cycle: MRO

Calls Rolled over, taking profits, into extended weekly cycle:  none

Calls Rolled over, taking profits, into the monthly cycle: BBY (9/15)

Calls Rolled Over, taking profits, into a future monthly cycle:  none

Calls Rolled Up, taking net profits into same cyclenone

New STO: none

Put contracts expired: none

Put contracts rolled over: none

Long term call contracts sold:  none

Calls Assigned: none

Calls Expired:  none

Puts Assigned:  none

Stock positions Closed to take profits:  none

Stock positions Closed to take losses: none

Calls Closed to Take Profits: none

Ex-dividend Positions  none

Ex-dividend Positions Next Week:  MRO (5/16 $0.05)

For the coming week the existing positions have lots that still require the sale of contracts:   AGQ, ANF, AZN, BBBY, BBY, CHK, CLF, COH, CSCO,  CY, DOW, FAST, FCX, GDX, GM, GPS, HAL, HFC, HPQ, INTC, IP, JCP, JOY, KMI, KSS, LVS, MCPIQ, MOS, NEM, RIG, WFM, WLTGQ, WY (See “Weekly Performance” spreadsheet or PDF file)



* If you don’t have a program to read or modify spreadsheets, you can download the OpenOffice Suite at no cost.



 

Option to Profit

Week in Review

 

May 2 – 6, 2016

 

NEW POSITIONS/STO NEW STO ROLLOVERS CALLS ASSIGNED/PUTS EXPIRED CALLS EXPIRED/PUTS ASSIGNED CLOSED EX-DIVIDEND
0  /  0 0 0 0   /   0 0   /   0 0 3

 

Weekly Up to Date Performance

May 2 – 6, 2016


Two weeks ago was one of the best weeks that I could remember in a long, long time.

Last week was alright, but it’s all very relative, especially as compared to this week, last week would have been great.

For the market it was a mediocre week, at best, with lots of ambivalence and indecision.

It was another week where I had a very hard time justifying parting with any money.

When it was all done, following Friday’s decision to move higher after a few hours of real indecision, the S&P 500 finished the week 0.4% lower.

Existing positions, having taken advantage the past couple of months of the strength in oil and commodities, gave lots of the gains back the past 2-3 weeks of gains back this week.

There was absolutely no trading this week and other than the 3 ex-dividend positions, there was no ability to generate any income.

With no assignments, closed positions continue to be 7.8% higher, while the comparable performance for the S&P 500 during the same holding periods has been 2.7% higher. That represents a 189.2% difference in return on closed positions. Unfortunately, though, there are very few closed positions on the year.

There was absolutely no theme to the week.

Stocks didn’t really follow oil and they didn’t really follow earnings.

They also didn’t really follow the ADP report nor the Employment Situation Report.

With those numbers being on the weak side it has to raise questions about whether much is going to happen between now and the June FOMC meeting to warrant an interest rate increase.

That leaves traders to ponder whether that’s good or bad for them and whether that’s good or bad for the economy.

The latter is probably easier to answer, but traders don’t really care about the economy.

This week I did absolutely nothing other than to wait for something to happen and nothing really happened.

There was no compelling reason to buy anything and no real opportunity to sell anything on existing positions.

If not for 3 ex-dividend positions it would have been like being in suspended animation for the week.

Next week is just another chance to ask the same questions: 

Next week? Who knows?

What could make next week interesting is that retailers are going to start taking center stage.

While GDP seems to have taken a breather and now oil prices are moving higher and employment growth is slowing down, where is any spending going to come from?

Good question.

You would have to think that the question has already been asked and that a discount in share prices has already been taken.

Who knows?

With no assignments this week and no positions set to expire next week, I’d still really like to do something with what little cash I have in reserve, especially since there are no ex-dividend positions next week.

Since I have a feeling that I may not be reaching too deeply into my pockets next week, i wouldn’t mind a little more of a shave off from the top, as we’re still less than 4% away from those all time highs.

You wouldn’t know it, but we are.

This week’s details may be seen in the Weekly Performance spreadsheet * or in the PDF file, as well as in the summary below

(Note: Duplicate mention of positions reflects different priced lots):



New Positions Opened:  none

Puts Closed in order to take profits:  none

Calls Rolled over, taking profits, into the next weekly cycle: none

Calls Rolled over, taking profits, into extended weekly cycle:  none

Calls Rolled over, taking profits, into the monthly cycle: none

Calls Rolled Over, taking profits, into a future monthly cycle:  none

Calls Rolled Up, taking net profits into same cyclenone

New STO: none

Put contracts expired: none

Put contracts rolled over: none

Long term call contracts sold:  none

Calls Assigned: MAT, MRO

Calls Expired:  none

Puts Assigned:  none

Stock positions Closed to take profits:  none

Stock positions Closed to take losses: none

Calls Closed to Take Profits: none

Ex-dividend Positions  BP (5/4 $0.595), INTC (5/4 $0.26), STX (5/6 $0.63)

Ex-dividend Positions Next Week:  none

For the coming week the existing positions have lots that still require the sale of contracts:   AGQ, ANF, AZN, BBBY, BBY, CHK, CLF, COH, CSCO,  CY, DOW, FAST, FCX, GDX, GM, GPS, HAL, HFC, HPQ, INTC, IP, JCP, JOY, KMI, KSS, LVS, MCPIQ, MOS, NEM, RIG, WFM, WLTGQ, WY (See “Weekly Performance” spreadsheet or PDF file)



* If you don’t have a program to read or modify spreadsheets, you can download the OpenOffice Suite at no cost.



Week In Review – April 18 – 22, 2016

 

Option to Profit

Week in Review

 

APRIL 18 – 22, 2016

 

NEW POSITIONS/STO NEW STO ROLLOVERS CALLS ASSIGNED/PUTS EXPIRED CALLS EXPIRED/PUTS ASSIGNED CLOSED EX-DIVIDEND
1  /  1 1 1 0   /   0 0   /   1 0 1

 

Weekly Up to Date Performance

April 18 – 22, 2016


This was one of the best weeks that I can remember in a long, long time.

For the market it was a decent week, but for a change, most everything went well on a personal note.

There was a single new position opened for the week and it out-performed both the adjusted and unnadjusted S&P 500 by 2.1%

That was just pure luck, though.

That position ended the week 2.6% higher, while the S&P 500 was 0.5% higher on the week.

Even better was that existing positions, continuing to find strength in energy, commodities and really all around, ended the week 1.4% higher than the S&P 500.

The only negatives were that there were no assignments and one short position got assigned.

With no assignments, closed positions continue to be 7.8% higher, while the comparable performance for the S&P 500 during the same holding periods has been 2.7% higher. That represents a 189.2% difference in return on closed positions. Unfortunately, though, there are very few closed positions on the year.

I’m not quite certain what the theme was this week.

Sure, there were earnings and sure, oil was higher on the week, but I’m not really certain what made the market do what it did.

Mostly, I find the last two days of the week, when some big names disappointed, to be pretty optimistic.

Up until then, the market had been happy with earnings beating lowered expectations.

But the fact that it could brutally punish some names for not only missing earnings, but continuing to provide lower guidance, yet still close higher, is pretty impressive.

I was just happy to have made a trade and gotten a chance to roll it over, while at the same time being able to sell calls on an uncovered position.

There was only a single ex-dividend position, but all in all, getting some income for the week, while watching asset value continue to climb nicely higher, left me feeling pretty good.

With a little bit of  cash for next week, but less than I thought, as the one possible assignment turned into a rollover, I still am open to the idea of adding some new positions, especially since I have none expiring next week.

While there are 3 ex-dividend positions next week, I’d like to add to the income stream.

Other than earnings next week, which promises to make things busy, maybe an FOMC Statement and the GDP release the following day could shake things up a bit.

I guess that if the FOMC announced a rate hike it would be pretty embarrassing if the GDP was flat, but you never do know.

For now, even as volatility falls, I hope that markets continue this move higher, as the bottom line is really all that matters and I do enjoy watching some recovery in beaten down energy and commodity prices, while it lasts.

I think that those increases can last, I’m just wondering how long the market will follow, but as long as it has already done so, why stop now?

This week’s details may be seen in the Weekly Performance spreadsheet * or in the PDF file, as well as in the summary below

(Note: Duplicate mention of positions reflects different priced lots):



New Positions Opened:  M

Puts Closed in order to take profits:  none

Calls Rolled over, taking profits, into the next weekly cycle: M

Calls Rolled over, taking profits, into extended weekly cycle:  none

Calls Rolled over, taking profits, into the monthly cycle: none

Calls Rolled Over, taking profits, into a future monthly cycle:  none

Calls Rolled Up, taking net profits into same cyclenone

New STO: WY

Put contracts expired: none

Put contracts rolled over: none

Long term call contracts sold:  none

Calls Assigned: MAT, MRO

Calls Expired:  none

Puts Assigned:  STX

Stock positions Closed to take profits:  none

Stock positions Closed to take losses: none

Calls Closed to Take Profits: none

Ex-dividend Positions  FAST (4/22 $0.30)

Ex-dividend Positions Next Week:  F (2/27 $0.15), MS (2/27 $0.15), KMI (2/28 $0.125)

For the coming week the existing positions have lots that still require the sale of contracts:   AGQ, ANF, AZN, BBBY, BBY, CHK, CLF, COH, CSCO,  CY, DOW, FAST, FCX, GDX, GM, GPS, HAL, HFC, HPQ, INTC, IP, JCP, JOY, KMI, KSS, LVS, MCPIQ, MOS, NEM, RIG, WFM, WLTGQ, WY (See “Weekly Performance” spreadsheet or PDF file)



* If you don’t have a program to read or modify spreadsheets, you can download the OpenOffice Suite at no cost.



Week in Review – April 11 – 15, 2016

 

Option to Profit

Week in Review

 

APRIL 11 – 15, 2016

 

NEW POSITIONS/STO NEW STO ROLLOVERS CALLS ASSIGNED/PUTS EXPIRED CALLS EXPIRED/PUTS ASSIGNED CLOSED EX-DIVIDEND
0  /  1 1 1 2   /   0 0   /   0 0 0

 

Weekly Up to Date Performance

April 11 – 15, 2016


This was just another in a series of weeks that have characterized 2016. Which is exactly what I said last week, maybe even the week before, as well.

Once again, there was absolutely nothing of fundamental value to inspire markets in either direction.

Instead, it continues to be all about oil and rumors about oil.

This week the news was that at the end of the week we would see Saudi Arabia and Russia agree to oil production decreases.

We went through that rumor a couple of months ago and when it didn’t materialize, markets gave back all of their gains.

We’ll see what Monday brings as there are already murmurings about Russia’s cooperation, just as the previous agreement was undone by Iran’s unwillingness to participate in basic economic fundamentals.

In the meantime, there was one new positioned opened for the week and it seriously under-performed the unadjusted S&P 500 by 7.3% and the adjusted S&P 500 by 5.6%

It was 5.7% lower, while the unadjusted S&P 500 finished the week % higher and the adjusted S&P 500 ended the week % lower.

At least existing positions offered some comfort as they beat the performance of the S&P 500 for the week finishing 0.9% better than the overall market and for a change wasn’t a hollow victory, as those positions did manage to move 2.5% higher on the week.

There were also two assignments, adding to the paltry few for 2016.

Those positions are 7.8% higher, while the comparable performance for the S&P 500 during the same holding periods has been 2.7% higher. That represents a 189.2% difference in return on closed positions. Unfortunately, though, there are very few closed positions on the year.

This was just another week of the same old stuff, except that for the most part stocks went higher.

It was all about oil, even as earnings started to trickle out.

With banks beginning to report and at least not stinking the place up, there is some hope that the ensuing weeks could yet bring something positive to bear.

With some of the latest economic data that has been coming through, there isn’t too much reason to believe that the consumer has come to life and that we’ll see evidence of that in the past quarter’s earnings, but after a few years of waiting for exactly that to happen, sooner or later it will have to be the case.

That’s just like having been waiting for the past 2 years for oil to start recovering in price.

That “sooner or later” stuff gets old pretty fast, but it’s hard to walk away from that belief.

With one assignment this week, there’s a little more cash to fuel some purchases, but 2016 has just been so slow, that I’m not terribly convinced that I’ll let go of any cash next week.

With no positions up for rollover and only a single ex-dividend position next week, I’d love to have some additional opportunity to generate some cash, but I’ll be waiting along with others to see what happens with the weekend meeting of the big oil producers.

While stocks and oil weren’t in total lock step this week, a big move in oil in either direction could change that very quickly, although I think that the handwriting is finally on the wall for that association to be coming to its rational end.

But here, too, the sooner or later approach has been much more heavily weighted on the “later” part of the equation.

I’m ready for something in the here and now.

This week’s details may be seen in the Weekly Performance spreadsheet * or in the PDF file, as well as in the summary below

(Note: Duplicate mention of positions reflects different priced lots):



New Positions Opened:  STX (puts)

Puts Closed in order to take profits:  none

Calls Rolled over, taking profits, into the next weekly cycle: none

Calls Rolled over, taking profits, into extended weekly cycle:  none

Calls Rolled over, taking profits, into the monthly cycle: none

Calls Rolled Over, taking profits, into a future monthly cycle:  none

Calls Rolled Up, taking net profits into same cyclenone

New STO: HPQ

Put contracts expired: none

Put contracts rolled over: STX

Long term call contracts sold:  none

Calls Assigned: MAT, MRO

Calls Expired:  none

Puts Assigned:  none

Stock positions Closed to take profits:  none

Stock positions Closed to take losses: none

Calls Closed to Take Profits: none

Ex-dividend Positions  none

Ex-dividend Positions Next Week:  FAST (4/22 $0.30)

For the coming week the existing positions have lots that still require the sale of contracts:   AGQ, ANF, AZN, BBBY, BBY, CHK, CLF, COH, CSCO,  CY, DOW, FAST, FCX, GDX, GM, GPS, HAL, HFC, HPQ, INTC, IP, JCP, JOY, KMI, KSS, LVS, MCPIQ, MOS, NEM, RIG, WFM, WLTGQ, WY (See “Weekly Performance” spreadsheet or PDF file)



* If you don’t have a program to read or modify spreadsheets, you can download the OpenOffice Suite at no cost.



Week In Review – April 4 – 8, 2016

 

Option to Profit

Week in Review

 

APRIL 4 – 8, 2016

 

NEW POSITIONS/STO NEW STO ROLLOVERS CALLS ASSIGNED/PUTS EXPIRED CALLS EXPIRED/PUTS ASSIGNED CLOSED EX-DIVIDEND
0  /  0 0 1 0   /   0 0   /   0 0 3

 

Weekly Up to Date Performance

April 4 – 8.March 28 – , 2016


This was just another in a series of weeks that have characterized 2016.

There was absolutely nothing of fundamental value to inspire markets in either direction.

Instead, it continues to be all about oil, with markets also sometimes reacting to occasional remarks from those who have say over where and when interest rates may be heading.

Friday initially looked like it might put some distance between itself and its baseline to start 2016, but the early strong gain disappeared and it was only the final 15 minutes that could bring the market into positive territory.

For the day and for the year.

Although I was willing to open new positions this week, I could find no reason to do so, even after a nice start to the week.

Instead of last week, in which I did the same and just watched, this time the S&P 500 finished 1.2% lower as the previous week finished 1.8% higher.

Existing positions matched the performance of the S&P 500 for the week finishing 0.1% better than the overall market, but again, that’s a hollow victory, as those positions were still 1.1% lower on the week.

For the most part, the Janet Yellen inspired rally of last week held.

Not in terms of points gained this week, but rather in there being no real challenge to the dovish tone that she had expressed.

With the FOMC minutes being released this week and with a few FOMC Governors speaking, it would have been very easy for some competing thoughts about the economy or the timing of interest rates to have reared their heads.

Instead, it was mostly calming words.

What moved the market and as the tally was settled, into negative territory, was again oil.

This week oil had some big moves up and big moves down.

The stock market followed, although its moves weren’t as exaggerated.

There was no point during this week that I felt ready to add new positions. That despite the fact that I was hoping to do so and was willing to part with some of the remaining small cash reserve.

Despite a good start to the week, I didn’t see any reason for confidence and the market’s action was fairly tepid and seemed even more unpredictable than usual.

Having just finished the first quarter, it seems all too neat and clean that the second quarter should begin as if nothing had preceded it.

The market’s decline for the week leaves it right where it started 2016 as we are about to head into a new earnings season next week.

I’m still prepared to add new positions, but I generally am not thrilled about doing so as a new season begins.

I often like to wait to get the financial sector out of the way and see whether it sets a tone, or not.

The over-riding tone, however, for the past year is that earnings season has been one quarter of disappointment after another.

With the big rush of stock buybacks already accomplished, and often at far higher stock prices, it may be interesting to see how comparisons fare, as the artificial boost to the metric that everyone follows, the P/E, can be so easily manipulated.

Next week marks the end of the April 2016 option cycle and for the first time in as long as I can recall, I was about to head into that ending week with nothing to expire.

That is until yesterday’s early rollover of the single position expiring this week.

Back when volatility was low, I hated to see a stock that was rolled over eventually head above its strike price before the close of trading on Friday. That’s because I preferred to get the assignment proceeds and plow the cash into some other income generating position.

But this week, with the volatility still high, at least on that position, I didn’t mind squeezing more return out of it and making it into a serial rollover position.

Otherwise, with only that position set to expire next week, it may be another very quiet week as we await those earnings and any hint that the economy may be doing better than we’ve giving it credit for.

I don’t know if that will be received as good or bad news, but it should be taken with a smile and could give the market reason to move higher.


This week’s details may be seen in the Weekly Performance spreadsheet * or in the PDF file, as well as in the summary below

(Note: Duplicate mention of positions reflects different priced lots):



New Positions Opened:  none

Puts Closed in order to take profits:  none

Calls Rolled over, taking profits, into the next weekly cycle: MRO

Calls Rolled over, taking profits, into extended weekly cycle:  none

Calls Rolled over, taking profits, into the monthly cycle: none

Calls Rolled Over, taking profits, into a future monthly cycle:  none

Calls Rolled Up, taking net profits into same cyclenone

New STO: none

Put contracts expired: none

Put contracts rolled over: none

Long term call contracts sold:  none

Calls Assigned: none

Calls Expired:  none

Puts Assigned:  none

Stock positions Closed to take profits:  none

Stock positions Closed to take losses: none

Calls Closed to Take Profits: none

Ex-dividend Positions   CSCO (4/4 $0.26), GPS (4/4 $0.23), WFM (4/6 $0.135)

Ex-dividend Positions Next Week:  none

For the coming week the existing positions have lots that still require the sale of contracts:   AGQ, ANF, AZN, BBBY, BBY, CHK, CLF, COH, CSCO,  CY, DOW, FAST, FCX, GDX, GM, GPS, HAL, HFC, HPQ, INTC, IP, JCP, JOY, KMI, KSS, LVS, MCPIQ, MOS, NEM, RIG, WFM, WLTGQ, WY (See “Weekly Performance” spreadsheet or PDF file)



* If you don’t have a program to read or modify spreadsheets, you can download the OpenOffice Suite at no cost.



Week In Review – March 28 – April 1, 2016

 

Option to Profit

Week in Review

 

MARCH 28 – APRIL 1, 2016

 

NEW POSITIONS/STO NEW STO ROLLOVERS CALLS ASSIGNED/PUTS EXPIRED CALLS EXPIRED/PUTS ASSIGNED CLOSED EX-DIVIDEND
0  /  0 2 1 0   /   0 0   /   0 0 3

 

Weekly Up to Date Performance

March 28 – April 1,  2016


This week was one that had very little of fundamental value going for it, until Friday’s Employment Situation Report.

Until that point, it was all Janet Yellen inspired.

Once again, no new positions were opened this week as there really was no reason to believe that anything of substance would occur or have any kind of sustaining impact.

By “sustaining” I mean more than a day or two.

For what was mostly a week of watching, the S&P 500 ended the week 1.8% higher.

Existing positions weren’t able to match the performance of the S&P 500 for the week as they were hobbled by oil reacting to Saudi Arabia’s line in the sand over production cuts.

Still, as energy wavered, the market closed the book on the first quarter of 2016, which was truly a tale of two very different halves and which worked out nicely from a more global strategic perspective.

After coming off a rare week lower since the market turned on February 11th, Janet Yellen gave doves a reason to smile.

Even the more hawkish Federal Reserve Governors couldn’t upset the optimistic tone that had come back to the market as we headed into the Employment Situation Report.

Despite an initial negative reaction to another 200,000+ monthly increase in new jobs, the market quickly reversed itself and closed up nicely higher for the week.

As the first quarter of 2016 came to its end, it’s amazing how it has really been a tale of two halves.

There was the world before February 11th and the world after.

Nothing of any kind of substance has changed, but the world is so very, very different for traders.

For now, though, it does seem that traders are still more likely to look at news the opposite way in which a normal person would interpret the news.

Good is bad and bad is good.

For the most part no news is also good news.

This week at least had some ex-dividend positions and a chance to roll over some uncovered positions, in addition to getting an opportunity to roll over the single expiring position.

In keeping with the theme of 2016 and the latter part of 2015, where possible, there’s been some reason to use longer term expiration dates.

Sometimes the reason is to accumulate some more dividends and sometimes it’s to take advantage of some volatility and maybe even to capitalize on some gains in the shares themselves.

That was the case this week as the process of gaining cover for uncovered positions is still progressing far too slowly, for my tastes.

It remains, however, a long term outlook and I don’t mind using short term, mid-term and long term approaches all in the name of boosting return and waiting out some of the ups and downs that every market seems to have.

With no assignments this week, I’m still scraping the bottom of the barrel for some cash, but wouldn’t be overly hesitant to borrow from myself, as a form of margin, if anything looks appealing.

At the moment, some positions do look appealing, despite the market’s second half of the first quarter story.

This week’s details may be seen in the Weekly Performance spreadsheet * or in the PDF file, as well as in the summary below

(Note: Duplicate mention of positions reflects different priced lots):



New Positions Opened:  none

Puts Closed in order to take profits:  none

Calls Rolled over, taking profits, into the next weekly cycle: none

Calls Rolled over, taking profits, into extended weekly cycle:  none

Calls Rolled over, taking profits, into the monthly cycle: none

Calls Rolled Over, taking profits, into a future monthly cycle:  none

Calls Rolled Up, taking net profits into same cyclenone

New STO: CY, CY

Put contracts expired: none

Put contracts rolled over: none

Long term call contracts sold:  none

Calls Assigned: none

Calls Expired:  none

Puts Assigned:  none

Stock positions Closed to take profits:  none

Stock positions Closed to take losses: none

Calls Closed to Take Profits: none

Ex-dividend Positions   CY (3/29 $0.11), DOW (3/29 $0.48), EMC (3/30 $0.11)

Ex-dividend Positions Next Week:  CSCO (4/4 $0.26), GPS (4/4 $0.23), WFM (4/6 $0.135)

For the coming week the existing positions have lots that still require the sale of contracts:   AGQ, ANF, AZN, BBBY, BBY, CHK, CLF, COH, CSCO,  CY, DOW, FAST, FCX, GDX, GM, GPS, HAL, HFC, HPQ, INTC, IP, JCP, JOY, KMI, KSS, LVS, MCPIQ, MOS, NEM, RIG, WFM, WLTGQ, WY (See “Weekly Performance” spreadsheet or PDF file)



* If you don’t have a program to read or modify spreadsheets, you can download the OpenOffice Suite at no cost.



Week In Review – March 21 – 25, 2016

 

Option to Profit

Week in Review

 

MARCH 21 – 25, 2016

 

NEW POSITIONS/STO NEW STO ROLLOVERS CALLS ASSIGNED/PUTS EXPIRED CALLS EXPIRED/PUTS ASSIGNED CLOSED EX-DIVIDEND
2  /  2 0 1 0   /   0 0   /   0 0 0

 

Weekly Up to Date Performance

March 21 – 25,  2016


This was supposed to be a very quiet week as much of the world was getting ready to celebrate Easter.

There was very little on the economic news front and one less trading day, but still, lots can happen. There certainly was a lot that happened, but the impact of events in Europe haven’t translated into markets gone out of control.

Before those events I saw fit to open 2 new positions and it wasn’t the horror in Brussels to blame, but instead the downdraft in oil.

As a result new positions trailed both the adjusted and unadjusted S&P 500 by 1.2%. 

Those new positions were 1.9% lower, while the S&P 500 ended the week 0.7% lower.

Existing positions were able to match the performance of the S&P 500 for the week as it was 1.3% higher, as the market finally undid the losses of the first 6 weeks of 2016.

This was thew first week in quite a while that the markets were lower.

Riding on the coattails of oil most all sectors have been moving higher since February 11th, but that came to a halt this week as oil was significantly lower and the market had to also deal with the kind of tragedy that we hope to never have to hear about, much less endure.

With news that more oil rigs were sidelined this week as inventories were rising, you can only imagine that the supply – demand cycle will continue to play out, as at some point the lack of drilling results in relatively lower supply and perhaps oil can find some footing again.

But predicting doesn’t usually work out very well, as anyone who had bet that interest rates would have by now been well on their way toward climbing higher and higher.

What this week did have was a rarity for 2016.

That being the opening of more than one new position.

Fortunately, despite the bottom falling out of the energy sector on Wednesday, there was still an opportunity to roll over that one expiring position and to at least generate a little more premium cash, while the volatility remains high.

What this week also will have, and it is another rarity, is the announcement of what may significant economic news coming on a day that there is no stock trading.

In this case, it’s tomorrow’s GDP, which could hold the keys to whether or not that next interest rate increase might be here before June.

Whatever will be that number, there’s not too much we can do but watch as the futures may react and leave us to wonder what Monday may bring.

Next week isn’t quite as quiet, particularly with a number of Federal reserve Governors hitting the streets to share their opinions, which often seem quite at odds with one another.

Beyond that, we do have another Employment Situation Report to contend with.

And then, there’s also that issue of oil and whether stocks will continue to follow, or perhaps do like they did this week and not be so predictable in their direction nor magnitude.

With some ex-dividend positions next week, but only one expiring position, I wouldn’t mind opening another new position or more, but I’ll be very curious to see what that GDP number will be like and how the markets may react if the number is surprising in whatever direction it may elect.

This week’s details may be seen in the Weekly Performance spreadsheet * or in the PDF file, as well as in the summary below

(Note: Duplicate mention of positions reflects different priced lots):



New Positions Opened:  CY, MRO

Puts Closed in order to take profits:  none

Calls Rolled over, taking profits, into the next weekly cycle: none

Calls Rolled over, taking profits, into extended weekly cycle:  MRO (4/8)

Calls Rolled over, taking profits, into the monthly cycle: none

Calls Rolled Over, taking profits, into a future monthly cycle:  none

Calls Rolled Up, taking net profits into same cyclenone

New STO: none

Put contracts expired: none

Put contracts rolled over: none

Long term call contracts sold:  none

Calls Assigned: none

Calls Expired:  none

Puts Assigned:  none

Stock positions Closed to take profits:  none

Stock positions Closed to take losses: none

Calls Closed to Take Profits: none

Ex-dividend Positions   none

Ex-dividend Positions Next Week:  CY (3/29 $0.11), DOW (3/29 $0.48), EMC (3/30 $0.11)

For the coming week the existing positions have lots that still require the sale of contracts:   AGQ, ANF, AZN, BBBY, BBY, CHK, CLF, COH, CSCO,  CY, DOW, FAST, FCX, GDX, GM, GPS, HAL, HFC, HPQ, INTC, IP, JCP, JOY, KMI, KSS, LVS, MCPIQ, MOS, NEM, RIG, WFM, WLTGQ, WY (See “Weekly Performance” spreadsheet or PDF file)



* If you don’t have a program to read or modify spreadsheets, you can download the OpenOffice Suite at no cost.



Week In Review – March 14 – 18, 2016

 

Option to Profit

Week in Review

 

MARCH 14 – 18, 2016

 

NEW POSITIONS/STO NEW STO ROLLOVERS CALLS ASSIGNED/PUTS EXPIRED CALLS EXPIRED/PUTS ASSIGNED CLOSED EX-DIVIDEND
0  /  0 0 1 1   /   0 0   /   0 0 3

 

Weekly Up to Date Performance

March 14 – 18,  2016


At least this week it wasn’t all about oil.

For the first time in about 2 months we had a minor diversion from oil, thanks to an FOMC meeting.

There were no new positions opened this week.

Existing positions were able to match the performance of the S&P 500 for the week as it was 1.3% higher, as the market finally undid the losses of the first 6 weeks of 2016.

There was finally another assignment this week to join the solitary other assignment of 2016, marking the slowest start to a year that I can recall since 2008 and certainly the slowest for OTP.

To date, with only 2 assigned positions on the year, they are out-performing the S&P 500 for their holding periods by 3.2%, as the closed positions are 3.1% higher and the S&P 500 for the same periods of time is 3.0% higher.

Still, with such little activity, it does continue to feel good to seeing portfolio values, especially when that performance exceeds the market, as it did again this week and continues to build on its relative out-performance for all of 2016.

The market finished nicely higher for the week, following the trend that began at 2016’s low point on February 11th.

Oil continued higher, but despite some thought that maybe stocks were thinking about going their own way, by the latter part of the week any idea like that was thrown out.

What the week offered was news from the FOMC that interest rates will not likely be increased as often as they may have originally planned.

Even though that reflects poorly on the economy, investors took that as being good news for them.

More cheap money is clearly more important than more economic expansion.

Just as with stocks following oil higher, at some point there has to be a realization that it’s the economy that should really matter and not being able to avoid a 0.25% increase in rates.

But that’s a realization for some other time.

It was nice to have a rollover this week and especially nice to have an assignment.

Although there were 3 ex-dividend positions this week, I still would have liked to have seen some more income opportunities. While Best Buy also had a Special Dividend, in addition to its regular dividend, I don’t really count those as the option strike prices are adjusted lower to account for those special dividends.

I had hoped to be able to sell some calls on uncovered positions, but simply couldn’t get what I thought were fair prices, as volatility started to decline across the board.

Nest week is a trading shortened week as markets will be closed on Friday.

There isn’t too much in the way of economic news next week, although the GDP will be released on Fridays as markets are closed.

Since the FOMC has already guided down on their GDP projection for 2016 there shouldn’t be too many surprises, although we won’t really know until the following Monday rolls along.

This week’s details may be seen in the Weekly Performance spreadsheet * or in the PDF file, as well as in the summary below

(Note: Duplicate mention of positions reflects different priced lots):



New Positions Opened:  none

Puts Closed in order to take profits:  none

Calls Rolled over, taking profits, into the next weekly cycle: none

Calls Rolled over, taking profits, into extended weekly cycle:  M (4/1)

Calls Rolled over, taking profits, into the monthly cycle: none

Calls Rolled Over, taking profits, into a future monthly cycle:  none

Calls Rolled Up, taking net profits into same cyclenone

New STO: none

Put contracts expired: none

Put contracts rolled over: none

Long term call contracts sold:  none

Calls Assigned: GM

Calls Expired:  none

Puts Assigned:  none

Stock positions Closed to take profits:  none

Stock positions Closed to take losses: none

Calls Closed to Take Profits: none

Ex-dividend Positions   BBY (3/15 $0.28), BBY (3/15 $0.45 Special Dividend), JOY (3/16 $0.01),  LVS (3/18 $0.72)

Ex-dividend Positions Next Week:  none

For the coming week the existing positions have lots that still require the sale of contracts:   AGQ, ANF, AZN, BBBY, BBY, CHK, CLF, COH, CSCO,  CY, DOW, FAST, FCX, GDX, GM, GPS, HAL, HFC, HPQ, INTC, IP, JCP, JOY, KMI, KSS, LVS, MCPIQ, MOS, NEM, RIG, WFM, WLTGQ, WY (See “Weekly Performance” spreadsheet or PDF file)



* If you don’t have a program to read or modify spreadsheets, you can download the OpenOffice Suite at no cost.



Weekend Update – March 13, 2016

While most see virtually no chance of an interest rate increase announcement at this week’s FOMC meeting, it is expected that a June or July rate hike has a 50% chance of occurrence.

Stock market investors may like certainty, but traders often like the volatility that arises from uncertainty.

In this case, however, as there may be increasing certainty of a rate hike, time may be running out for traders who have generally reveled in a low rate environment and lashed out when threatened with rate increases.

For one group time may be running out, but for another their time may be coming. That could make the next 3 months interesting as positioning one’s self for advantage in anticipation of events may be a reasonable idea.

That’s not to say, though, that the past 3 months haven’t been interesting and haven’t offered opportunities for re-positioning. So far, 2016 has been a tale of two markets, with a sharp dividing line at February 11th.

The week’s spike in the 10 Year Treasury Note still leaves market determined interest rates far from where they were as 2016 got started. The same is true for 30 Year Daily Mortgage Rates rates as such arcane issues as “supply and demand” can end up doing the FOMC’s work and by the time June rolls around we may all be wondering what they had been waiting for.

Of course, the same was appearing to be the case just a few months ago, but then the lack of strong evidence of an environment that might have warranted the FOMC’s interest rate increase decision may have given traders new life.

That may explain the nearly 10% market jump in the past month that has almost erased the 2016 loss up until that point.

Or for those technicians who may be agnostic as to events going on around them, they may point at Bollinger Bands and the 50 Day Moving Average. For them, February 11th and 29th may have been the key moments in defining the market’s next move, regardless of what headlines may have been appearing,

Either of those explanations for the market’s sudden rise is far easier to understand than it simply following the price of oil higher.

One has to wonder how much time is left for that association to continue to play out. While there had been some disagreement over what relative roles supply and demand may have played in oil’s price descent, there’s increasing agreement that decreasing demand was not the driver in the dynamic.

Yet markets have reacted as if the price of oil was being predicated purely by demand. While it made little sense for a broad stock market decline as supply driven oil price decreases were unfolding, it doesn’t get any better by stocks moving higher in tandem with oil.

Time may also be running out for the illogical response to the changes in the price of oil, particularly if its ascent  continues. At some point, maybe that surfeit of energy will cause a light bulb to get powered someplace and to finally go on in someone’s head long enough to ask an obvious question or two.

Why the demand for stocks should rise as the price of oil does the same, whether supply or demand driven, is curious as that price increase only serves to sap profits and the consumer’s discretionary cash pile.

I’ve been happy to see the stock market’s recovery in the past 30 days, but as supply and demand may be somewhat arcane, there is another general law that may have some application.

What goes up must come down.

Unless your own personal time is really running out, we’re all destined to see gravity return sooner or later, even as it has been suspended for the past few weeks.

If you have more time remaining than most then you’ll be chagrined to see the same over and over again only to come to the realization that from an investing point of view, time never really runs out.

As usual, the week’s potential stock selections are classified as being in the Traditional, Double Dip Dividend, Momentum or “PEE” categories.

As so much attention is placed on oil and interest rates, it was actually nice to see a stock like Pfizer (PFE), discussed last week, actually move up on pertinent news.

However, it wasn’t the specter of pertinent news that put some focus on Pfizer. Instead it was more of a case of looking at stocks and sectors that had been left behind in the market’s move higher.

Add Astra Zeneca (AZN) to that list.

Astra Zeneca isn’t a stranger to being left out of the limelight and its less than desirable liquidity in the options market is one reflection of that relative anonymity and one reason that I don’t consider its purchase very often.

However, it appears as if it is developing some reasonable support at the $29 level and with an equally reasonable premium it is a stock that I wouldn’t mind holding for a longer period of time, particularly if that came as a result of frequent rollovers of the weekly options.

Given the low volume of options trading in Astra Zeneca, it was noticeable that a relatively large out of the money position traded with a 4 month time frame, which would encompass next month’s earnings, but not that of the subsequent quarter.

The expectation, given the expanded open interest of the $32.50 and $35 calls and in a volume far greater than those of July 2016 put contracts, is that some significant move higher awaits.

If Astra Zeneca can trade at the $29-$30 level for some time until July, I would be more than happy to serially collect the option premiums, even if to see shares ultimately assigned following the anticipated price surge.

GameStop (GME) is a company that has spent years fighting the conviction of so many, particularly those making it one of the most popular stocks to short, that it’s time was running out.

Somehow, GameStop has consistently been able to prove the long term thesis to be wrong, even as it has periodically gone through some downward paroxysms that may have regarded well time short sales of the stock.

The most recent strategic challenge came about 2 years ago when Wal-Mart (WMT) announced that it  would start buying back used games for store credits.

In the “Where Are They Now?” department, Wal-Mart is still buying back games, but price sensitive gamers may still find that GameStop is the place to take their business.

GameStop is usually a company that I prefer to explore through the sale of puts. Its premium always reflects the chance that the bottom could fall out anytime soon and earnings will be reported on March 24th, with expectations of $2.25/share earnings on what I consider a staggering $3.6 Billion on the quarterly top line.

Not too bad for a dinosaur whose time has repeatedly run out.

Another whose time may be running out is Williams Companies (WMB) in its merger with Energy Transfer Equity LP (ETE). In what has already been a very rocky road, the pock marks became more clear as an SEC filing indicated that Energy Transfer Equity had carried out a private offering of convertible shares to a select group of investors, in order to finance the merger.

Williams Companies was reportedly not satisfied with the transaction which it believed was too costly wand would dilute shares.

The arbitrage community took note of the increasing divergence between Williams’ market price and that which was being offered in the merger, as an increasing likelihood of the deal not being consummated.

If you can bear some significant drama and maybe some significant trauma in a sector that already has plenty of its own, without the need for a side show, this is the place to be.

With a weekly ROI of approximately 5%  if an at the money call option is sold a few weeks of continued clashing between Williams and Energy Transfer Partners could result in significant accumulation of premium.

Interestingly, the options market seems to be more optimistic, at least for the coming week, at least not believing that a complete breakdown is in the near future.

With a beta of 3.5, there’s not too much doubt that establishing any kind of position in Williams Companies might just be the very definition of insanity.

Finally, there are actually various definitions of what may constitute insanity. 

After having owned shares of Las Vegas Sands (LVS) on many occasions over the past few years, I’m still sitting on two lots of shares at much higher prices and am looking forward to being extricated. At the same time, though, I’m thinking of adding shares.

Insane?

On the one hand, you might define insanity as having funded the Newt Gingrich effort for pre-eminence in the 2012 Republican primaries to the tune of $100 million or more.

On yet another hand, given the volatility in Macao and the ability of the Chinese government to create or destroy opportunity by simple edict, along with the ability to present economic reports to suit the needs of the moment, insanity may be the decision to purchase more shares of Las Vegas Sands.

Or perhaps insanity may be deciding to increase your dividend by 30% after your shares had fallen by almost 40%.

Still, no one has called Sheldon Adelson insane, as there is undoubtedly lots and lots of method behind his decisions, particularly the use of the dividend to support his own interests. That makes me suspect that the current 119% payout ration doesn’t require a red flag to be raised.

With a $0.72 dividend representing a 5.6% yield, I might be willing to cede that dividend and accept early assignment of shares if selling calls, simply to get the premium, which represents some reward for the insanity of purchasing shares.

At the age of 82, Adelson gives no suggestion of time running out, even as a man who knows the odds as well as anyone.

For now, I think that dividend is safe and even with a significant decline in price from here, perhaps to the $45 level, the premiums still offer enough opportunity to offset that risk, but in such an event, it may be nice to let someone pay you for the time it could take for the share price to recover.

Luckily, with options, time never really has to run out if you’re doing the selling.

Traditional Stocks: Astra Zeneca

Momentum Stocks: GameStop, Williams Companies

Double-Dip Dividend:  Las Vegas Sands (3/18 $0.72)

Premiums Enhanced by Earnings: none

Remember, these are just guidelines for the coming week. The above selections may become actionable – most often coupling a share purchase with call option sales or the sale of covered put contracts – in adjustment to and consideration of market movements. The overriding objective is to create a healthy income stream for the week, with reduction of trading risk.

 

 

Week in Review – March 7 – 11, 2016

 

Option to Profit

Week in Review

 

MARCH 7 – 11, 2016

 

NEW POSITIONS/STO NEW STO ROLLOVERS CALLS ASSIGNED/PUTS EXPIRED CALLS EXPIRED/PUTS ASSIGNED CLOSED EX-DIVIDEND
1  /  1 1 1 0   /   0 0   /   0 0 6

 

Weekly Up to Date Performance

March 7 – 11,  2016


No matter how each week ends, it’s still pretty clear that all that matters was, is and maybe always will be, oil.

Seems like I’ve said that more than just a few times, because I actually said exactly the same thing last week and very similar words in previous weeks.

This past week again saw multiple examples, including multiple examples of intra-day reversals in oil and then the obligatory intra-day reversals in the stock market.

This week did have another rare event, which was the opening of a new position.

That new position was 1.9% higher on the week, finishing 0.8% higher than both the adjusted and unadjusted S&P 500, as the latter was still a nice  1.2% higher, continuing a series of nicely performing weeks.

While there was some significant give back in the advance in commodities this week, it continues to be nice seeing portfolio values climb, especially when that performance exceeds the market, as it did again this week and continues to build on its relative out-performance for all of 2016.

Also feeling good was the ability to sell calls on another uncovered position and seeing some more become candidates as there’s lots of catch up going on.

The key is whether that catch up will continue to continue.


While oil continued to be center stage, there really was nothing else of interest going on for the week.

Following some steep climbs higher over the previous 2 weeks, commodities gave quite a bit back this week, but the market’s rally did broaden a little.

Next week comes the potential for some big news as there’s another FOMC Statement release and a Chairman’s press conference to follow.

That combination often has a way of making things pop, but its really uncertain what may be said, just as it’s really uncertain what the reaction could be, because it’s also not clear how we are willing to treat good economic news at the moment.

I think that it should be treated as welcome news, but that doesn’t really matter. The heat of the moment is all that really will matter.

There’s not too much likelihood of any change in interest rates next week, but you never know what minor change in wording can trigger fear or exhilaration.

I was just happy this week to actually make some trades and generate some revenue.

That was in addition to another nice week for ex-dividend positions, which slows down some next week, with only 3 ex-dividend stocks to contribute to the cash accumulation effort.

Next week is also the end of the March 2016 option cycle and there are only 2 positions sets to expire, so it’s not likely to be a very busy trading week.

With having used longer options the past few months the expiring ones are spread out more than before in a hope to buy time for continued price climbs and to get paid a little extra by waiting, in the form of premiums and dividends.

As long as there continues to be some relative out-performance and better yet absolute performance to the upside, I don’t really mind less trading, but I really do like it when positive moves are accompanied by more trading.

By my historical trading, three trades in a week is far from a busy week, but if 2016 is going to be the standard, well, then I’m absolutely exhausted.

This week’s details may be seen in the Weekly Performance spreadsheet * or in the PDF file, as well as in the summary below

(Note: Duplicate mention of positions reflects different priced lots):



New Positions Opened:  GM

Puts Closed in order to take profits:  none

Calls Rolled over, taking profits, into the next weekly cycle: GM

Calls Rolled over, taking profits, into extended weekly cycle:  none

Calls Rolled over, taking profits, into the monthly cycle: none

Calls Rolled Over, taking profits, into a future monthly cycle:  none

Calls Rolled Up, taking net profits into same cyclenone

New STO: IP

Put contracts expired: none

Put contracts rolled over: none

Long term call contracts sold:  none

Calls Assigned: none

Calls Expired:  none

Puts Assigned:  none

Stock positions Closed to take profits:  none

Stock positions Closed to take losses: none

Calls Closed to Take Profits: none

Ex-dividend Positions   HPE (3/7 $0.06), HPQ (3/7 $0.06), KSS (3/7 $0.50), NEM (3/8 $0.03), GM (3/9 $0.38), M (3/11 $0.36)

Ex-dividend Positions Next Week:  BBY (3/15 $0.28), JOY (3/16 $0.01),  LVS (3/18 $0.72)

For the coming week the existing positions have lots that still require the sale of contracts:   AGQ, ANF, AZN, BBBY, BBY, CHK, CLF, COH, CSCO,  CY, DOW, FAST, FCX, GDX, GM, GPS, HAL, HFC, HPQ, INTC, IP, JCP, JOY, KMI, KSS, LVS, MCPIQ, MOS, NEM, RIG, WFM, WLTGQ, WY (See “Weekly Performance” spreadsheet or PDF file)



* If you don’t have a program to read or modify spreadsheets, you can download the OpenOffice Suite at no cost.



Week In Review – February 29 – March 4, 2016

 

Option to Profit

Week in Review

 

FEBRUARY 29 – MARCH 4, 2016

 

NEW POSITIONS/STO NEW STO ROLLOVERS CALLS ASSIGNED/PUTS EXPIRED CALLS EXPIRED/PUTS ASSIGNED CLOSED EX-DIVIDEND
0  /  0 1 0 0   /   0 0   /   0 0 7

 

Weekly Up to Date Performance

February 29 – March 4,  2016


No matter how each week ends, it’s still pretty clear that all that matters was, is and maybe always will be, oil.

Seems like I’ve said that more than just a few times.

This past week again saw multiple examples, including multiple examples of intra-day reversals in oil and then the obligatory intra-day reversals in the stock market.

Sometimes, though, if only for brief periods of time, it looked as if some disassociations were beginning to happen, but the theme continued.

This week again, those reversals were good, as oil ended the week nearly 10% higher.

But yet again, there were no new positions opened for the week, as it is far too closely associated with oil and those moves in oil have not been based in anything that anyone can identify as being meaningful.

Still, this was a very good week.

The S&P was 2.6% higher, but the OTP Portfolio outpaced that by 2.4%, owing to the real strength in oil and commodities.

Continuing to watch portfolio value claw back does still feel good, especially when that performance exceeds the market, as it did again this week and for all of 2016.

Also feeling good was the ability to sell calls on another position and seeing some more become candidates as there’s lots of catch up going on.

The key is whether that catch up will continue.

While oil continued to be center stage, Friday’s Employment Situation Report may have given some solace to those afraid of an interest rate increase.

Despite the very strong numbers, the impact of part-time employment on the numbers and the falling average wage made the nearly 250,000 additional jobs not as impressive as it seemed at first blush.

With no reason to sell-off on Friday’s news the S&P 500 was able to end the week with another gain and now only 6.5% below its all time high.

What a difference the past 3 weeks have made, but it’s hard to imagine where the market would be had oil not surprised everyone with such a large net move higher.

As was the case just about a month ago when oil moved about 20% higher in a single week, it isn’t easy to maintain the gaps higher, so it wouldn’t be out of the ordinary to see profit taking come in on the oil side of the equation and subsequently pull stocks lower, too.

Unless of course the oil market continues to ignore fundamentals or the stock market decides to divorce itself from energy prices dominated by increasing delivery of supply.

In addition to having watched portfolio value increase nicely again this week, there was also the matter of having had 7 ex-dividend positions.

With no positions expiring this week and none for next week, I would still like to consider spending some of my limited cash, but having another 6 ex-dividend positions next week gives me some source for income without having to put anything additional at risk.

What next week does have is nothing.

There is really very little economic news in advance of the following week’s FOMC Statement release.

While next week might have been the perfect time to announce an interest rate increase, as there is a Chairman’s press conference, the general belief is that a rate hike is off the table until the June 2016 meeting.

Since so many people believe that to be the case, there has to be some trepidation if the FOMC decides that they’ve seen enough and want to be ahead of the curve and not reactive.

That would also explain the first interest rate increase, which in hindsight may still not look as having been data driven, but with each passing day that feeling may be waning.

While I would like to do something more meaningful than just watching and making an occasional trade, I might still consider trading that for some continued portfolio asset increases next week as we get closer to the FOMC meeting

 

This week’s details may be seen in the Weekly Performance spreadsheet * or in the PDF file, as well as in the summary below

(Note: Duplicate mention of positions reflects different priced lots):



New Positions Opened:  none

Puts Closed in order to take profits:  none

Calls Rolled over, taking profits, into the next weekly cycle: none

Calls Rolled over, taking profits, into extended weekly cycle:  none

Calls Rolled over, taking profits, into the monthly cycle: none

Calls Rolled Over, taking profits, into a future monthly cycle:  none

Calls Rolled Up, taking net profits into same cyclenone

New STO: CSCO

Put contracts expired: none

Put contracts rolled over: none

Long term call contracts sold:  none

Calls Assigned: none

Calls Expired:  none

Puts Assigned:  none

Stock positions Closed to take profits:  none

Stock positions Closed to take losses: none

Calls Closed to Take Profits: none

Ex-dividend Positions   ANF (3/2 $0.20), BAC (3/2 $0.05), COH (3/2 $0.34), HAL (2/29 $0.18), HFC (3/2 $0.33), MOS (3/1 $0.28), WY (3/4 $0.31)

Ex-dividend Positions Next Week:   HPE (3/7 $0.06), HPQ (3/7 $0.06), KSS (3/7 $0.50), NEM (3/8 $0.03), GM (3/9 $0.38), M (3/11 $0.36)

For the coming week the existing positions have lots that still require the sale of contracts:   AGQ, ANF, AZN, BBBY, BBY, CHK, CLF, COH, CSCO,  CY, DOW, FAST, FCX, GDX, GM, GPS, HAL, HFC, HPQ, INTC, IP, JCP, JOY, KMI, KSS, LVS, MCPIQ, MOS, NEM, RIG, WFM, WLTGQ, WY (See “Weekly Performance” spreadsheet or PDF file)



* If you don’t have a program to read or modify spreadsheets, you can download the OpenOffice Suite at no cost.



Week in Review – February 22 – 26, 2016

 

Option to Profit

Week in Review

 

FEBRUARY 22 – 26, 2016

 

NEW POSITIONS/STO NEW STO ROLLOVERS CALLS ASSIGNED/PUTS EXPIRED CALLS EXPIRED/PUTS ASSIGNED CLOSED EX-DIVIDEND
0  /  0 2 0 0   /   0 0   /   0 0 0

 

Weekly Up to Date Performance

February 22 – 26,  2016


No matter how each week ends, it’s pretty clear that all that matters was, is and maybe will be, oil.

This past week saw multiple examples, including multiple examples of intra-day reversals in oil and then the obligatory intra-day reversals in the stock market.

This week, those reversals were good.

But again, there were no new positions opened for the week, as it continues to be mostly a situation of the market going lower and then stocks attempting to erase some of those losses.

During the week the S&P 500 was 1.6% higher and that was good enough again for me. Watching portfolio value claw back does feel good, especially when that performance exceeds the market, as it did by 0.9%

Also feeling good was the ability to sell calls on a couple of uncovered positions, although some other hoped for trades went unrequited.

This was another week of nothing more than oil, oil and oil.

With some suggestion that the economy may be heating up, maybe more than just rents and health care, has to come the concern that interest rates will be rising soon.

In the past, that has mostly been a concern and received lots of negative reaction, but as the March 2016 FOMC meeting draws more near, we may get to see whether the market has a more forward looking penchant, rather than being so negative about the prospect that would actually reflect an improving economy.

With no new assignments this week, I at least do look forward to 7 ex-dividend positions next week, but would still love to see some chance to open some new positions and put some existing positions to work.

Even as prices do show some ability to climb and volatility does decrease, there is still the chance to secure some better premiums than was the case through almost all of 2015.

Increasingly, I look at using the longer term options and am slowly seeing some light at the end of the tunnel for some positions that had been badly beaten down, but could end up having been reasonably good performers, even if assigned at their purchase prices.

I’d rather be able to get even more than that when having to hold a position for an unduly long time, but for me, it’s still about beating the index for the same period of holding time.

I hope that the market doesn’t forget to follow oil higher in the event that there is some sustained move in that direction. It would be a real shame to have seen it follow oil lower, only to come to the realization that a move higher has some real negative implications with regard to the expense side of life.

So, I wouldn’t mind making some trades next week, but I also wouldn’t mind more passivity, as long as asset values continue to climb and make up for some lost ground.

I haven’t asked for much lately, so I hope that’s not over-stepping my boundaries.

 

.

This week’s details may be seen in the Weekly Performance spreadsheet * or in the PDF file, as well as in the summary below

(Note: Duplicate mention of positions reflects different priced lots):



New Positions Opened:  none

Puts Closed in order to take profits:  none

Calls Rolled over, taking profits, into the next weekly cycle: none

Calls Rolled over, taking profits, into extended weekly cycle:  none

Calls Rolled over, taking profits, into the monthly cycle: none

Calls Rolled Over, taking profits, into a future monthly cycle:  none

Calls Rolled Up, taking net profits into same cyclenone

New STO:  BBY

Put contracts expired: none

Put contracts rolled over: none

Long term call contracts sold:  none

Calls Assigned: eBay

Calls Expired:  Ford

Puts Assigned:  none

Stock positions Closed to take profits:  none

Stock positions Closed to take losses: none

Calls Closed to Take Profits: none

Ex-dividend Positions   none

Ex-dividend Positions Next Week:   ANF (3/2 $0.20), BAC (3/2 $0.05), COH (3/2 $0.34), HAL (2/29 $0.18), HFC (3/2 $0.33), MOS (3/1 $0.28), WY (3/4 $0.31)

For the coming week the existing positions have lots that still require the sale of contracts:   AGQ, ANF, AZN, BBBY, BBY, CHK, CLF, COH, CSCO,  CY, DOW, FAST, FCX, GDX, GM, GPS, HAL, HFC, HPQ, INTC, IP, JCP, JOY, KMI, KSS, LVS, MCPIQ, MOS, NEM, RIG, WFM, WLTGQ, WY (See “Weekly Performance” spreadsheet or PDF file)



* If you don’t have a program to read or modify spreadsheets, you can download the OpenOffice Suite at no cost.