Wait for this price action in NVDA before buying a breakout

Breakout Pullback Trade Follow-Up

Not always, but when a breakout pulls back, it can give you a
great chance to get into a trade at a bargain price. This was the case with our
December call backspread on NVIDIA Corporation
Quote |
Chart |
News |
back on August 12.
You’ll recall we identified a classic breakout from a ‘cup with handle’
formation, and then over the course of several days following the breakout,
watched the stock dip back into the handle region, as can be seen in Figure 1.

NVIDIA Corporation
Quote |
Chart |
News |
, which designs, develops and
markets graphics processors software for use in personal computers and digital
entertainment platforms, has since that time has rallied from 29.34 up to 34.23
(at the time of this writing), as can be seen in Figure 2.

Figure 1 — Generated Using
OptionVue 5
Options Analysis Software

Figure 3 contains the details of the December call backspread
at entry and at current prices. As you can see, the December 25 was originally
sold for 5.00 ($500) and for the two out of the December 30 calls we paid 2.20
for ($220 each, or $440). This left us with a net credit of $60, which after
commissions would be our potential downside profit if we fell low enough, a nice
bonus to these types of trades since when these types of breakouts fail, they
can drop far.

But since NVDA has risen, the position has produced a profit
on the upside of $210, as can be seen in Figure 3. The current spread price has
moved from +$60 to -$150, so if we closed this trade, we would show a profit of
$210 (based on 9/29/05 settlement prices).

Figure 2 — Generated Using
OptionVue 5
Options Analysis Software

This represents a profit of 36.8% on required margin for the
trade, which was $640. While there is potential for more upside profit (upside
profit potential is unlimited in a call backspread), it might be a good idea to
lock in some profit and not let remaining positions show more losses than you
have already realized. This way you have a “risk free” position in place for
potential win fall gains.


Entry Prices

Current Prices


Net Gain/Loss

-1 Dec 25 Call




+2 Dec 30 Calls





Figure 3 — NVDA December Call backspread current prices are
based on settlement 9/29/05.

Next week, I will look at some of the down gapper call spread
trades highlighted in previous articles.

Have a great weekend!

John Summa

John F. Summa is Founder and President of

and a registered Commodity Trading Advisor (CTA) with the National Futures
Association (NFA). Founded in 1998, OptionsNerd.com offers trading
seminars and tutorials to options traders, futures and option trading
advisories and managed futures and options CTA account services.

Summa’s trading articles have appeared in Technical Analysis of Stocks &
Commodities magazine, as well as Active Trader Magazine, Options Trader
Magazine, Futures Magazine, Stock, Futures & Options Magazine, and Investopedia.com. He coauthored

Options on Futures: New
Trading Strategies and Options on Futures Workbook
(John Wiley & Sons, 2001) and more recently wrote the groundbreaking

Against The Crowd: Profiting From Fear and Greed in Stock, Futures and
Options Markets
(John Wiley & Sons,
2004), which includes Mr. Summa’s innovative quantitative bear and bull
news-flow Contrarian indicator.
Mr. Summa is a PhD-trained economist
and operates a
delta-neutral options trading CTA program.