Big Up — Pass On It!
Better-than-expected sales over the Thanksgiving weekend and an upgrade
of a key tech stock has stock futures bid up the wazoo this morning. Intel,
which carries a lot of weight in several different indices, gets upgraded by Dan
Niles over at Lehman to "overweight" from "equal weight," and AMD is also raise
to "equal weight" at the same shop. INTC is currently up about $1.00 on the
news. There are plenty of downgrades to go around as well, CSCO and
EMC downgraded by RBC Capital Markets, Computer Sciences (CSC) and EDS by J.P.
Morgan, but they are attracting no attention this morning as we step into the
time machine and dial it back to 1999.
Hopefully everyone out there recognizes this for what it is. Two straight months
of rally in the market — not unusual at this time of year — and now the "upgrades"
start to roll in in the big-cap tech names. Get it? They want you to take it off
their hands — don’t.
Currently DJI futures are up $155, S&P futures are higher by 13.10, and Nasdaq
100 futures are up 28.00. In Europe, the FTSE 100 is up 47.90 points or 1.15%,
the DAX is up 148.13 points or 4.46%, and the CAC40 is higher by 62.99 points or
1.89%. In Asia, the Nikkei lost 41.09 points or .45%, and the Hang Seng rose
135.29 points or 1.34%. Interest rate futures are sharply lower (yields higher),
the dollar is sharply higher, gold futures are $1.00 lower, and crude futures
Friday was a continuation from Wednesday afternoon. The VIX gained .24
to 31.08, the VXN rose 2.06 to 49.48, and the QQV gained 1.51 to 42.58. The
other volatility indices have jumped as traders spread off risk from Wednesday’s
large purchases, and fears of terrorist acts over the weekend. If implied
volatility continues to rise this week, I would start to worry about it, but for
right now, it still looks like a bit of an anomaly.
HAL — Sold the January 15 buy-write at $14.55
when Halliburton jumped on the asbestos news. We recommended selling it at
$14.50, so we will mark it out there.
QQQ — If Tuesday’s lows ($26.90) are not taken out by next Friday, we
will cover the short January 23/26 call spreads.
Working Orders (Old Recommendations)
HAL — Sell the Halliburton January 15 buy-write at $14.50 to close.
Filled at $14.55 today.
QQQ — Subscribers short the January 23 /26 call spread at $1.50 (25%), leave an
order in the market to purchase the spread at $1.50 to close the trade.
Recap of open trades
HAL — Long the January 15 buy-write at $12.05 (100%). Sold at $14.50
DYN — Long the January 15 calls at $3.20 — left over from proxy buy-write
(50%). Left for dead.
GILD — Long the January 40 calls at an average price of $1.60 (50%).
Call Spread Positions
BGEN — Long the January 40/45 call spread at $1.25 (25%). Closed
out at $3.00 11/27/02.
CIEN — Long the January 5/7.5 call spread at $.05 (25%).
DIA — Long the December 80/84/86/90 call condor at $1.20 (25%).
QQQ — Short the January 23/26 call spread at $1.50 (25%).
Put Spread Positions
BAC — Long the January 60/70 put spread at $2.90 (25%).
KSS — Long the January 50/60 put spread at $2.475 (50%).
WAG — Long the January 30/35 put spread at $1.00 (25%). Closed out at
GILD — $34.50 closing only.
KSS — Two consecutive closes over $74.00
- Options trading involves substantial risk and
is not suitable for all Investors.
- Also note that spread strategies involve
multiple commissions and are not risk-free. Most spreads must be done in a
- Because of the importance of tax
considerations to all options transactions, the investor considering options
should consult with a tax advisor as to how taxes may affect the outcome of
contemplated options transactions.
- Supporting documentation for claims,
comparisons, recommendations, statistics or other technical data will be
furnished upon request. One or more of the contributors to these
commentaries may have a position in one or more of the securities mentioned.
- It is important to note that the options
strategies discussed herein are not suitable to all investors. Options are
complex investment tools and involve substantial risk. Moreover spreading
strategies do not eliminate risk and involve multiple commissions.
- Note: All individuals must have read the ODD
carefully before trading options. To obtain the document, click on the OCC