• Market News | VIX | Trader Talk | Trade Ideas | Jan 15, 2017, 8:33 AM

    Weekend Review of Volatility Indexes and ETPs - 1/9 - 1/13

    Weekend Review of Volatility Indexes and ETPs - 1/9 -  1/13

    There are two lines below although it may appear that there is only a purple line for parts of the VXST – VIX – VXV – VXMT curve.  In a round about way I’m saying not a lot happened in the world of S&P 500 option volatility last week. What really stands out on the table below is the price action of VVIX which rose over 12 points to finish the week over 90.  There were large buyers of February VIX call options last week which contributed to the rise[...]

  • VIX | Trader Talk | Futures | Trade Ideas | Jan 14, 2017, 5:43 PM

    Weekend Review of VIX Futures and Options - 1/9 - 1/13

    Weekend Review of VIX Futures and Options - 1/9 - 1/13

    Last week VIX managed to finish the day below the 2016 closing low (11.27) twice.  If it were only Friday’s close I’d throw an asterisk in there for the three-day weekend effect, but there’s no holiday excuse for the Wednesday close of 11.26. This past week they (whoever ‘they’ are) couldn’t get enough of February VIX Calls.  On Friday, paper bought over 60,000 VIX Feb 21 Calls for 0.49.  On Thursday, there were three block trades of[...]

  • Weekend Review of Russell 2000 Options and Volatility - 1/9 - 1/13

    Weekend Review of Russell 2000 Options and Volatility - 1/9 - 1/13

    It was a quiet week for the markets with a lack of economic data, the earnings calendar being light (that changes next week) and our president elect speaking to the press but not making statements to impact the equity markets too much.  The result was a 0.35% gain for the Russell 2000 (RUT) and a drop of 0.04% for large cap stocks as represented by the Russell 1000 (RUI). The next chart is a regular feature in this space.  I decided since the premium of the CBOE Russell 2000[...]

  • VIX | Trader Talk | Trade Ideas | Jan 11, 2017, 2:38 PM

    Getting the 2017 Party Started

    Getting the 2017 Party Started

    The cliffhanger last time involved the $6.50 put for UVXY expiring this Friday, January 13th.  I had sold twenty contracts on January 4th for premium received of $0.18 each.  It turns out that I got nervous about this put when UVXY touched 6.57 later that day.  I knew I had time, but I also believed that the nature of UVXY was not on my side, and I began plotting to trade out of these options and eventually replace them with more advantageous ones. It turns out I didn't have to wait[...]

  • Market News | Trader Talk | Trade Ideas | Jan 6, 2017, 10:10 AM

    Earnings Next Week 1/9 - 1/13

    Earnings Next Week 1/9 - 1/13

    One more week until earnings season kicks in.  In the mean time we have three major financials releasing numbers on Friday 13th.  As always the data below is based on the last three years of earnings results unless the ticker is in italics.  The columns show the biggest rally, biggest drop, average move, and what the stock did last quarter in reaction to earnings.  Finally, double check the earnings dates as not all were confirmed.

  • VIX | Trader Talk | Trade Ideas | Jan 5, 2017, 1:28 PM

    Follow the Bouncing...Arrow

    Follow the Bouncing...Arrow

    Yesterday, January 4th, in order to start out the new year with some degree of nail-biting (figuratively) drama, I hatched a little plan involving some short shares of UVXY.  The first thing I did was to buy to close 400 shares, reducing the 1,800 I had opened the previous day to 1,400 in quantity.  My plan was to re-short those 400 shares later in the day or on some upcoming day, along with 200 more which I envisioned as a day trade. Then, thinking about the 1,400 short shares I still[...]

  • Market News | Trader Talk | Trade Ideas | Jan 3, 2017, 11:04 AM

    Earnings Week of 1/3 - 1/6

    Earnings Week of 1/3 - 1/6

    A very small but mighty list with MON and WBA reporting Thursday before the open.  As always the data below is based on the last three years of earnings results unless the ticker is in italics.  The columns show the biggest rally, biggest drop, average move, and what the stock did last quarter in reaction to earnings.  Finally, double check the earnings dates as not all were confirmed.

  • Trader Talk | Trade Ideas | Dec 29, 2016, 8:54 AM

    Looking Forward to 2017

    Looking Forward to 2017

    Christmas certainly came early this year, but where would I look for more presents in the season of giving? Consumers, not corporations run the economy. We collectively are responsible for 70% of our economy, so when we are more confident, when sentiment is positive, it is reflected in stock prices. In 2017 I see several catalysts for higher consumer confidence: 1) Lower taxes 2) Redo or Replace Obamacare, both of which will put more change in consumer's pockets. Where will they spend that? CONSUMER[...]

  • Big Option Activity and Bullish Social Media Sentiment Before Today's KATE Rally

    Big Option Activity and Bullish Social Media Sentiment Before Today's KATE Rally

    Shares of Kate Spade (KATE) made a mid-day headline grabbing move as news came out saying the company was considering putting itself up for sale.  A couple of things happened before the news that have people talking.  The first was in the option market where a few minutes before the stock rallied there were a few very well timed call option purchases.  The time and sales below highlights some of the bigger trades from today. Data Source: LiveVol Pro The buy of just under 2,000 KATE[...]

  • Market News | Trader Talk | Dec 22, 2016, 11:47 AM

    Holiday Volumes as DJIA Tests 20K

    Holiday Volumes as DJIA Tests 20K

    Both equities and options volumes are down dramatically as we head into year end. The S&P 500 volumes traded were down 26% Monday, 30% Tuesday and 38% Wednesday versus the prior 10 day average. Options volumes have also been hit, but not as hard. Total options traded and cleared Monday were down 16% from the prior 10 days. Volumes were down 18% Tuesday and 28% yesterday. The CBOE's VIX, the most widely followed measure of risk in the markets is down from a post election high of 23% briefly broke[...]

  • VIX | Trader Talk | Futures | Trade Ideas | Election & VIX | 2016 Recap | Dec 17, 2016, 2:53 PM

    Weekend Review VIX Options and Futures 12/12 - 12/16

    Weekend Review VIX Options and Futures 12/12 - 12/16

    VIX was up slightly last week despite the markets having a relatively muted response to the first rate hike from the FOMC in just under a year.  The December VIX futures which expire this coming Wednesday actually dropped a bit as they had been slightly elevated relative to spot VIX.  One would never think the markets digested a rate hike last week by looking at the volatility market price action below. Wednesday last week there was a trader who decided volatility is going[...]

  • Market News | VIX | Trader Talk | Trade Ideas | Dec 17, 2016, 1:54 PM

    Weekend Review Russell 2000 Options and Volatility 12/12 - 12/16

    Weekend Review Russell 2000 Options and Volatility 12/12 - 12/16

    Small caps finally came under pressure last week with the Russell 2000 (RUT) down about 2% while the large cap focused Russell 1000 (RUI) finished basically flat on the week.  For the year RUT is still dominating up just over 20% while RUI is up a respectable 10.6% for 2016. The relative levels between the CBOE Russell 2000 Volatility Index (RVX) and VIX narrowed as RVX dropped last week and VIX rose.  Relative to most of 2016 the premium is still a bit high. Friday this past[...]

  • Market News | VIX | Trader Talk | Trade Ideas | Dec 16, 2016, 4:04 PM

    Panel on The Growing Role of Predictive Analytics in Investing

    Panel on The Growing Role of Predictive Analytics in Investing

    I had the pleasure of moderating a one-hour panel discussion for more than 60 attendees at CBOE on December 16 featuring these three experts: •        Joe Gits, CFA, CEO and Co-Founder - Social Market Analytics (SMA) •        Professor Koleman Strumpf, Professor of Business Economics - University of Kansas School of Business •        Dr. Wachi Bandara, Chief Research Officer – Pluribus Labs The panel[...]

  • Exploring the Rare Action in the S&P 500 Put / Call Ratio

    Exploring the Rare Action in the S&P 500 Put / Call Ratio

    Yesterday, astute market observer and Options Institute Instructor Kevin Davitt pointed out that the SPX Put Call Ratio had closed under 1.00 three days this month (Dec 7th, Dec 8th, and Dec 13th).  I knew this was a rarity, but didn’t realized how rare it was for this ratio to close below 1.00.  In fact, it has only happened sixteen times since July 2010 (which is how far back the data goes back on CBOE’s website).  Five of those sixteen occurrences happened in 2016 –[...]

  • Market News | Trader Talk | Dec 12, 2016, 9:56 AM

    Is The Fed Still Relevant? Markets Say YES!

    Is The Fed Still Relevant?  Markets Say YES!

    While it may seem stocks have been surging higher since the election a month ago, some areas of the market have stalled out and have retreated.  The Fed will meet this week, and with markets at all time highs and broad sector rallies around each turn it appears there is not a weak spot to be found.  Many bears have started to capitulate, and while this is more a process than an event we must continue to be aware of the bogey that could halt this tremendous rally.  None other than the[...]