Saturday, September 16, 2017

Monthly: Better and better, 65 - 5 grade A-

I count 65 winners, 5 loser for the September option cycle for my most profitable month of 2017. I am up about 2.9% for the month, up about 11.6% for 2017. Sure 11% isn’t all that when compared to the the trading unicorns and the YOLO crowd. However, for a relatively slow moving trader that is almost always hedged trader, I see it is as good news.

Here are a few etfs I track, best to worst:
EEM +30.2% emerging markets equity
GLD +14.5% gold

SPY +11.5% S&P 500, U.S. large cap
SLV +10.0% silver

TLT +6.5% 20-year Treasury bonds
IWM +5.6% Russell 2000, U.S. small cap

My trading account is right there with SPY with a gain of 11.6%.

SPY also gets an additional 1.5% in dividends (13% total return), so I am behind. That said, I feel like I am positioned at lower risk than buy-and-hold. A simliar return with what seems like less risk is a good thing. I managed profits, even though I felt like the market was due for a 5% drop in September. I did take some precautions, but didn’t let my bias get totally in the way of more profits. Like I said, this option cycle was my most profitable of the year.

I like to use the phrase, “listen to the markets.” Observe how the market responds to various event. Observe the stock market chatter online and in person. With so a lot of chatter about a sharp correction or crash, these events become less likely. Crashes tend to be rare events. Way too many newbies think crashes happen every year or two. Severe crashes are more like once every 20 to 30 years, so the time frame might be out to 2028 or later.

I plan to continue to listen going forward.While the major indexes have had a good year, there certainly have been sectors such as oil, retail, and most recently airlines that have way underperformed. Some stubborn investors have gone heavy into these laggards, and many have underperformed. There can be merit to investing in beaten down sectors. However, there is also the value trap. Investing in what seem like good values, without factoring in the secular decline in those businesses.

Weekly: more bull

Not even another missile launch could rattle the zombie bull market as it lurches forward. On Friday Nvidia broke out to the upside. I scramble to rebalance back near delta neutral. On Reddit, so many still seem to be looking for a sharp down move. Heck, I am one of them. However, I am not letting my bias get in the way of profits. The path of least resistance remains to the upside.

Here are the trades (p = puts, c = calls, sell means sell-to-open, cover means buy-to-close, number near the end is price per contract, percentages are vs. premium collected):

Mon Sell QQQ SepW4 138 p
Cover QQQ Sep 140 p 05 for 80% profit
Cover BABA SepW4 150 p 05 for 80% profit
Cover SPY Sep 235 p 04 for 90% profit

Sell SPY SepW5 239 p 36
Sell SPY Sep27 240 p 32
Sell QQQ SepW4 139 p 16

Tue Cover SPY Sep 249 c 115 for a 300% loss
Sell MCD Nov 140 p 64 add to longs on the dip

Sell SHOP Oct 80 p 20 new long

Sell TSLA strangle 215 credit: Sell TSLA Oct 300 p 154
Sell TSLA Oct 450 c 61

Wed Cover NVDA Sep 180 c 05 for 95% profit
Cover IWM Sep 142 c 54 for 325% loss

Thu Sell NVDA OctW1 145 p 22

Sell AAPL strangle for 37 credit: Sell AAPL SepW5 148 p 22
Sell AAPL SepW5 172.5 c 15

Roll BABA for 36 credit: Cover BABA Oct 140 p 15 for 70% profit
Sell BABA Oct 155 p 51

Cover GILD Sep 80 p 09 for a 25% profit

Fri Nvidia breaks out. I rebalance back to neutral.
Cover NVDA Sep 148 p 01 for 95% profit
Cover SPG Sep 165 c 05 for 90% profit
Cover BRKB Sep 165 c 01 for 98% profit

Sell BA Oct 215 p 40

Sell NVDA SepW4 165 p 23
Sell NVDA Oct 160 p 116
Sell NVDA SepW5 160 p 59

Sell TSLA SepW4 340 p 27
Sell SPG Oct 145 p 42
Sell BRKB Oct 175 p 94

Saturday, September 09, 2017

Weekly: storm clouds

Hurricane Irma follows Harvey, and a possible hydrogen bomb test in North Korea over the weekend send stocks lower. I make a few modest moves, then the market recovers on Wednesday. BRK.B and some other insurance related stocks move lower, then rally. I close out one leg near the lows. I eek out a tiny gain for the week. New positions include selling a strangle on IBB, a bull credit spread on AMZN, new long in TRV.

Here are the trades (p = puts, c = calls, number near end is price per contract, percentage gain/loss is based on premium collected, actual gains/losses tend to be much smaller because of margin requirements)

Tue Another hurricane, and a bomb test in North Korea rattle the markets.
Sell BRKB Oct 185 c 86
Sell NVDA SepW4 182.5 c 51

Sell GILD Oct 95 c 19
Sell RCL Oct 135 c 27

Sell BA Oct 270 c 18

Wed Sell NVDA Sep 148 p 29
Sell MCD Oct 145 p 35

Sell BABA SepW4 150 p 26
Sell HON Oct 115 p 21

Thu Berkshire knifes lower, probably on hurricane insurance losses.
Cover BRKB Sep 175 p 211 for a 325% loss

Sell IBB strangle: Sell IBB Oct 290 p 90
Sell IBB Oct 375 c 36

Sell GILD Sep 80 p 14

Fri Roll SPG: Cover SPG Sep 140 p 02Sell SPG Oct 145 p 99

Roll BRKB: Cover BRKB Sep 175 c
Sell BRKB Oct 180 c

AMZN vertical for 46 credit: Sell AMZN Sep 935 p
Buy AMZN Sep 915 p
Amazon continues lower so I go into the red by the end of the day.

Sell NVDA SepW4 185 c
Sell TRV Sep 110 p

Cover MCD Sep 140 p 02 for 85% gain

Cover AAPL SepW2 157.5 p 02 for 95% gain
I feel nervous about Apple and close the position with 45 minutes left.

Saturday, September 02, 2017

Weekly: bears despair

The bears had a few days of hope in August, only to see the zombie bull crush them again. I was short a bunch of strangles, so the heat got turned up, but I made money this week. Most of the weekly options are coming in safe.

The technical evidence is strongly on the side of the bulls. So despite my prediction of a correction real soon now, I am staying mechanical, instead of letting my prediction creep into bias.

Mon Roll CMG for 53 credit: Cover CMG Sep 250 p 17 for 75% profit
Sell CMG Sep 275 p 70

Sell AAPL strangle: Sell AAPL Sep 145 p 20
Sell AAPL Sep 175 c 18

Sell LMT Oct 265 p 65
Sell NVDA Sep 180 c 58

Sell RCL Oct 100 p
Sell SPG Oct 175 c 41

Sell TSLA Sep 400 c 31

Wed Sell BABA Oct 140 p 53
Sell BA Oct 200 p 56

Sell QQQ Sep 135 p 17
Sell GILD Oct 70 p 21

Thu IWM SepW4 130 p 20
Sell SPY Sep 240 p 37

Sell AAPL SepW2 157.5 p 27
Sell BRKB Oct 170 p 86

Sell QQQ Sep 140 p 29

Cover SPY Sep 217 p 05
Cover SPY Sep 217 p 05

Fri Cover QQQ Sep 146 c 20 for breakevenRoll SPY: Cover SPY SepW2 236 p 05 for 85% profit
Sell SPY SepW4 240 p 43

Saturday, August 26, 2017

Weekly: flat footed rally

The big rally on Tuesday caught me flat footed. I got whipsawed on Monday on some SPY puts. However, despite those minor mishaps, the week was profitable. Profits are good. Spent a lot of time managing BRKB, IWM, NVDA, TSLA positions. Added a new long in XME, sold new strangles in BABA, CMG. Thankfully the rally didn't roar ahead, otherwise I would have been hit on both ends.

Here are the trades (p = puts, c = calls, sell means sell-to-open, number near end is price per contract, cover means buy-to-close):

Mon Cover SPY AugW4 242.5 p 136 for a 400% loss
Sell TSLA AugW4 262.5 c 28
Sell NVDA SepW2 175 c 73

Roll IWM: Cover IWM Sep 146 c 01 for 90% gain
Sell IWM Sep 142 c 15

Sell SPY AugW4 237 p 13
Sell TSLA SepW1 372.5 c 49
Sell SPY SepW1 234 p 24

Tue Big time market rally catches me flat footed. I add long delta via selling puts

Sell SPY SepW2 236 p 35
Sell BRKB Oct 165 p 52

Cover TSLA AugW4 385 c 02 for 94% profit

Roll BRKB for 167 credit: Cover BRKB Sep 180 c for 225% loss
Sell BRKB Oct 180 c 349

Sell IWM SepW1 131 p 19
Sell SPY Sep 235 p 54
Sell QQQ SepW1 138 p 17

Sell BRKB Sep 175 p 52
Sell TSLA SepW1 300 p 47

Wed Sell NVDA SepW2 148 p 55

Sell BABA strangle 64: Sell BABA Sep 152.5 p
Sell BABA Sep 195 c

Sell CMG strangle 120: Sell CMG Sep 250 p
Sell CMG Sep 340 c

Sell TSLA Sep 310 p 162

Thu Sell SPG Oct 140 p 74
Sell XME Oct 27 p 21

Saturday, August 19, 2017

Monthly: Fragile Market, Grade C+ 72-9

I count 72 winners, 9 losers for the August option cycle. The good news is that I closed the 2017 performance gap with SPY. The bad news is that I did that with SPY falling back, and had a minor loss for the month. Boeing, Facebook were two of the problem stocks this month. Both went higher than I thought they would.

A good adjective is fragile, this seems a fragile market, with possible frustration for both bulls and bears. It was a stressful month of trading with some relatively big up and big down days.

Here are some etfs and their YTD performance, best to worst:

EEM +24.7% emerging market equity
GLD +11.6% gold

SPY +8.6% U.S. large cap stocks
SLV +6.6% silver

TLT +6.3% US 20-year treasury bond etf
IWM +0.1% Russell 2000 US small cap

My trading account +8.7% nominally ahead of SPY, but both SPY and TLT also add about 1% in dividends. U.S. small cap stocks, as measured by the Russell 2000, are now basically flat for 2017. Gold has leapt ahead of SPY in year-to-date performance. I am hanging in there. Who would have guessed that EEM is way ahead of the pack, given the election rhetoric.

Going forward, I have a mish-mosh of positions, with a lot of free cash after expiration. As with most premium sellers, a big move either way causes a lot of consternation. I believe that any downside action will be contained. It has been so long since 5% or 10% down moves, that there is a ton of money waiting to buy a dip. This means that the first dip is likely to be met by a large number of buyers.

The wildcard is unforeseen events. Possible events that are on the front burner, such as North Korea, debt ceiling, legislative gridlock, are extremely unlikely to be the catalyst for a bear market decline. I don’t have a clear plan or position at this point. Even if I did, I can change and adapt relatively quickly. As always, my moves tend to be relatively cautious, mostly low risk, low reward plays. With premiums still relatively low, it is often very low reward. I still have a working theory of a 5% decline into Sep/Oct, but the air drop decline on Thursday would make an immediate decline painful. Time and price are both important, and virtually no one gets both right on the nose.

Weekly: safe harbor

It was a rocky week, with a big up day, and a big down day. For the most part I made it into harbor safely. I made a lot of trades, but nothing noteworthy. A lot of rolling and rebalancing, and closing out trades for profit.

Here are the trades (p = puts, c = calls, number near the end is price per contract):

Mon Sell NVDA SepW1 140 p 52

Roll IWM: Cover IWM Aug 129 p 03 for 93% profitSell IWM AugW4 132 p 24

Market makers finally letting me out of some Boeing positions to free up buying power. I entered many orders last week to cover these, but they would not fill me.
Cover BA Aug 170 p 01 for 99% profit
Cover BA Aug 175 p 01 for 98% profit
Cover BA Aug 180 p 01 for 98% profit

Mind you, these profits were more than offset by the huge loss on sold calls.

Sell TSLA AugW4 325 p 74
Sell SPY Aug 242 p 25

Roll NVDA: Cover NVDA Aug 120 p 01 for 98% profit
Sell NVDA Aug 152.5 p 18

Roll BRKB: Cover BRKB Aug 172.5 p 05 for 77% profit
Sell BRKB Sep 170 p 51

Tue I take profits on three positions:
Cover COST Aug 145 p 03
Cover JPM Aug 82.5 p 01
Cover TSLA AUg 310 p 03

Wed Roll SPY: Cover SPY Aug 242 p 05
Sell SPY AugW4 242.5 p 28

Sell QQQ AugW4 140 p 18
Sell AAPL AugW4 152.5 p 20

Roll BRKB: Cover BRKB Aug 165 p 01
Sell BRKB Sep 170 p 34

Sell NVDA SepW1 182.5 c 54

Thu Sell SPY AugW4 248 c 18Sell NVDA AugW4 175 c 34

Cover TSLA Aug 295 p 01
Sell QQQ SepW1 146 c 23

Sell AAPL AugW4 167.5 c
Cover TSLA Aug 400 c 01

Sell TSLA AugW4 385 c 38
Cover NVDA Aug 175 c 01

Fri Sell NVDA SepW1 175 c
Cover NFLX Aug 162.5 p 02

Sell NFLX AugW4 148 p 24
Sell MCD Sep 140 p 17

Cover SPG Sep 175 c 02
Sell SPG Sep 165 c 43

Cover QQQ Sep 152 c 02
Cover QQQ Aug 135 p 01

Cover CAT Aug 105 p 01
Sell QQQ Sep 147 c 30

Cover SPY AugW4 c 03
Sell SPY Sep 249 c 30

Friday, August 11, 2017

Weekly: Fire and Fury

Tension between North Korea and the U.S., is cited as a reason for the big drop on Thursday. Nvidia earnings were good, but the stock dropped. Most of my losses for the week were from NVDA. I go further and further out on selling premium. My account balance was down, but the losses are modest.

Here are the trades (p = puts, c = calls, sell means sell-to-open, cover means buy-to-close, number is price per contract).

Mon Sell TSLA Aug 310 p 46 rebalanceSell LMT Sep 275 p 65

Sell NVDA AugW2 142 p 24 pre-earnings

Wed BA got assigned Aug 220 calls, I had 100 shares long bot at 228
I sold the calls for about 50 cents, so about a 1600% loss on that option leg.

Sell NFLX Aug 162.5 p 44
Sell AAPL Aug 150 p 18

Thu Market dips. I sell calls to hedge sold puts.
Sell NFLX Aug 190 c 12

Sell SPY Aug 249 c 18
Sell QQQ Aug 146 c 11

Sell SPG Sep 175 c 33
Sell LMT Sep 330 c 20

Sell NVDA AugW2 205 c 19
Sell IWM Sep 118 p 26

Sell IWM Sep 146 c 13
Sell AAPL Aug 165 c 15

Sell SPY Sep 252 c 21
Sell ILMN Sep 240 c 40 new long

Fri Nvidia dips on earnings, I rebalanceSell NVDA Aug 175 c 47
Sell NVDA Aug 182.5 c 20

Sell NVDA Aug 140 p 22
Sell NVDA Aug 172.5 c 28

Cover (buy-to-close) NVDA Aug 200 c 03
Cover (buy-to-close) BA Aug 185 p 02

Saturday, August 05, 2017

Weekly: If I knew better, I'd do better

If I knew better, I’d do better. After last week’s losses, I was more cautious. The week was profitable, but could have been better. Took a loss on a Costco leg, new long position in ILMN. Made money on TSLA, even with the big up move.

Here are trades: (p = puts, c = calls, number near the end is price per contract):

Mon Sell BA Aug 217.5 p 30
Sell NVDA Aug 200 c 61

Sell HON Sep 125 p 27
Sell COST Aug 150 p 53

Tue Cover BRKB Aug 175 c 247 for a 180% loss
Roll: Cover TSLA AugW1 400 c 04 for a 90% gain
Sell TSLA AugW1 360 c 51

Sell BA Aug 255 c 15

Wed Sell ILMN Sep 160 p 60 new longSell BRKB Sep 165 p 48 rebalance

Sell AAPL Aug 144 p 17 new long

Cover AMD Aug 13.5 p 69 for a 300% loss
Cover COST Aug 160 c 247 for a 1000% loss

Cover BRKB Aug 160 p 02 for a 95% gain
Cover SPG Aug 140 p 05 for 90% gain

Thu Roll TSLA: Cover TSLA AugW1 275 p 01 for 98% profit
Sell TSLA Aug 295 p 66

Sell COST Aug 167.5 c 13
Sell AAPL Aug 1675.5 c 10

Fri Roll: Cover TSLA AugW1 360 c 04 for 90% profitSell TSLA Aug 400 c 24

Sell BRKB Aug 172.5 p 24
Sell RCL Sep 105 p 26

Profits: Cover QQQ Aug 130 p 03
Cover HON Aug 120 p 02
Cover NVDA Aug 240 c 04

Friday, July 28, 2017

Weekly: WTF week? AMD BA CAT FB MCD

WTF? Boeing had its biggest point move in stock history (public since 1972). I was on the wrong side of that, short strangles and took a huge loss on the call side. I rolled the calls, and that roll got destroyed the next day, as BA kept moving higher.

I rolled the dice on FB and came up snake eyes. I guessed wrong, and also mangled the execution. BA and FB may have to go on my nemisis stock list, stocks to avoid. I add new positions in ALGN AMD CAT MCD after earnings.

Just as I pivot to slightly more bullish, the market sells off sharply on Thursday. Like I said, WTF?

Here is the sad tale of the tape: (p = puts, c = calls, sell means sell-to-open, cover means buy-to-close, there are a couple of long positions as part of ratio spreads, and one share purchase, number near end is price per contract).

Mon Sell TSLA JulW4 310 p 43
Sell NVDA JulW4 177.5 c 33

Sell IBB Aug 355 c 30Sell BRKB Sep 180 c 58

Roll COST down: Sell COST Aug 160 c 23
Cover COST Aug 185 c 02 for a 90% gain

FB bear backratio: Buy FB Aug 160 p 283
Sell 2x FB Aug 150 p 79 in ratio debit $125 per unit

Tue SPY backratio: Buy SPY Oct 240 p 246
Sell 2x SPY Oct 225 p 94 in ratio, $58 debit per spread

Sell MCD Aug 148 p 26 earnings
Sell CAT Aug 105 p 32 earnings

Sell SPG Sep 140 p 59

Wed Boeing gaps higher after earnings. I place a mid order when BA is around 228 to close my sold calls, but BA keeps moving higher. I cover with stock, as I pivot from short to long. However as the rally gains strength, I am near delta neutral at the close of 233+. You could say it was a bad day to be short Boeing as it had its largest point gain in company history (came public in 1972).

Buy BA shares 228.47 (equivalent to about a 1600% loss on the sold 220 calls)
Sell BA Aug 215 p 107

Sell BA Aug 237.5 c 93
Sell BA Sep 200 p 59

Sell BA JulW4 200 p 25

Sell QQQ Sep 130 p 37

CMG vertical credit spread, bear: Sell CMG Aug 385 c
Buy CMG Aug 400 c

Cover NFLX AugW1 160p 05

Sell-to-close SPY Sep 222 p 33 for a 75% loss on this leg

Thu Another painful day. BA keeps running, I rolled the dice on FB and came up craps, QQQ rally pushes past my stop. A trifecta of big losers.

Cover BA Aug 237.5 c 625 for 1200% loss
Cover QQQ Aug 145 c 213 for 400% loss

Sell-to-close FB Aug 160 p 41 for 75% loss
Looks like I was wrong about a market decline so I add delta
Sell SPY Sep 232 p 64

Just in time for a sharp sell-off. WTF?
Sell AMD Aug 17 c 12
Sell QQQ Sep 152 c 22

Sell NVDA AugW1 175 c 36
Sell BA Sep 260 c 55

Cover (buy-to-close) FB Aug 150 p 55% gain, but loss was more than debit on the spread.
It would have been difficult to mangle the Facebook trade any worse. Yikes. Thankfully the dollar loss is relatively small.

Fri Sell ALGN Aug 150 p 26

Sell TSLA strangle (before earnings):
Sell TSLA AugW1 275 p 57
Sell TSLA AugW1 400 c 43
a roll of the dice on Tesla before earnings, but the odds are in my favor

Saturday, July 22, 2017

Monthly: Meat Grinder market 60-11 Grade B-

The modest dip turned out to be a head fake. I sold a lot of calls on the dip and had to cover some of them for huge percentages losses. BA, NVDA, QQQ, ULTA were some of the problem stocks. The big picture is that I was up about 1.7% for the trading month, now up about 8.8% for 2017. Half a loaf is how I often describe these kinds of results. Makes sense for someone that is almost always hedging their bets. The calendar 2017 recap, ranking them best to worst:

EEM +24.6% emerging market equity
SPY +10.4% S&P 500, U.S. large cap

GLD +8.8% gold
IWM +5.7% Russell 2000, U.S. small cap

TLT +5.5% U.S. 20 year treasuries
SLV +3.2% silver

My account +8.8%, so I am in the game, but lagging buy and hold of SPY. There is approximately another +1% on SPY and TLT for dividends, I am just looking at raw numbers for the etfs. Biggest losers so far in 2017 include: ULTA, FL, AAPL. Biggest winners include NVDA (despite the huge losses), BRKB, SPG, NTES, UNH.

A few people on Reddit are citing some new Etrade TV ads as a sign of a market top. For those that haven’t seen them, there is one where a young kid buys a boat, and the tag line is don’t get mad, get even, get Etrade. As if the stock market is free money.

Certainly this is the kind of thing seen at market tops. However, by itself, it is not enough evidence for me. People I talk to, seem still skittish, still afraid of the market. Seems like a lot of people are preparing for the next bear market, when we haven’t even seen a decent correction in a long while. I am still guessing at a pull back in Sep/Oct, but it is just a guess.

Friday, July 21, 2017

Weekly: Lucky 11, new longs NFLX COF

Nasdaq finally declines on Friday, after ten straight up days. Straight line moves tend to be bad for premium sellers. I take some more losses: BA NVDA QQQ. All is not doom and gloom, because I am up for the week, the month. I'll post the monthly summary in a day or so. New longs include NFLX COF

Here are the trades (p = puts, c = calls, number near the end is price per contract, sell means sell-to-open, cover means buy-to-close):

Tue Cover NVDA Jul 165 c 345 for a 1000% loss
Sell NVDA JulW4 190 c 26

Sell NFLX AugW1 160 p 33 new long

Sell QQQ AugW1 135 p 18
Sell QQQ Aug 135 p 41

Wed More losses on sold calls, though there are some profits too
Cover BA Jul 210 c 115 for a 300% loss
Cover QQQ Jul 144 c 62 for a 250% loss

Cover COST Jul 175 c 01
Cover SPY Jul 212 p 01

Cover BA Jul 170 p 01

Roll BRKB for 58 credit: Cover BRKB Jul 170 c 142
Sell BRKB Sep 175 c 194

Sell BA AugW1 195 p 47

Thu Roll VRX: Cover VRX Jul 17.5 c 19 for a 50% lossSell VRX Aug 22 c 21

Sell TSLA strangle: Sell TSLA JulW4 295 p 88
Sell TSLA JulW4 360 c 41

Sell NVDA AugW1 148 p 42
Sell NVDA AugW1 182.5 c 62

Sell QQQ AugW2 136 p 25

Fri Cover IWM Jul 132 p 01
Sell COF Aug 80 p 22 earnings, new long

Saturday, July 15, 2017

Weekly: Both sides now

It was a good week for buy-and-hold, especially tech and defense stocks, not so good for strangle sellers. I get hit on both sides, taking big losses in BA, NVDA, ULTA. It could have been a lot worse. I started covering sold calls on NVDA at 155, it closed the week at 165. A 27 point move (about 20% on 138) in a short time period is going to cause problems for strangle sellers. The good news is a slight gain for the week, but I fall further behind the bogey of buy-and-hold on SPY.

Here are the trades (p = puts, c = calls, sell means sell-to-open, cover means buy-to-close, number near the end is price per contract):

Mon Sell NVDA Jul 138 p 103
Sell NVDA JulW4 135 p 95

Roll BA: Cover BA Jul 175 p 05
Sell BA Aug 180 p 75
Sell BA Jul 195 p 29

Roll LMT 70: Cover LMT Jul 255 p 15
Sell LMT Aug 260 p

Roll TSLA 56: Cover TSLA Jul 400 c 09
Sell TSLA Jul 352.5 c

Roll ULTA : Cover ULTA Jul 290 c 20
Sell ULTA Jul 280 c

Roll IBB 140: Cover IBB Jul 287.5 p
Sell IBB Aug 285 p

Tue Ulta Beauty and NVDA move against me. They both cross the strike price, which is my mental stop level. I cover both for big losses.

Cover ULTA 260 p 810 for a 1100% loss
Cover NVDA JulW2 155 c 276 for a 500% loss

Sell BA Jul 197.5 p 31
Sell NVDA Jul 142 p 46

Wed Another frustrating day, as more stops get run. Percent loss is vs. premium collected.

Cover BA Jul 207.5 c 278 for a 600% loss
Cover SPY Jul 225 p 03 buying power move for 95% gain

Cover NVDA Jul 120 p 03 for 93% gain
Cover NVDA Jul 160 c 420 for a 500% loss

Sell BA Aug 185 p 68
Sell QQQ Aug 130 p 48

Sell NVDA Aug 120 p 70

Fri Sell QQQ Aug 132 p 30

Friday, July 07, 2017

Weekly: Fireworks

A wild week, but like most fireworks displays, it was mostly sound and light, not much lasting change. TSLA finally came back to earth. Unfortunately, strangle sellers can hit on both ends of big moves. The jury is still out on TSLA and many more positions, but it is uncomfortable. Some are saying the trends is now down in QQQ. Could be, but I need more evidence.

Here are the trades (p=puts, c=calls, sell means sell-to-open, cover means buy-to-close, the number near the end is price per contract).

On Monday morning, I thought it would be quite holiday trade for the half day, but the fireworks started early. Big moves in BRKB, NVDA and others,
make for an active trading day.

Mon Sell IWM Aug 129 p 44
Sell NVDA Jul 160 c 68
Sell SPG Aug 145 p 64
Sell BRKB Aug 165 p 87
Cover ULTA Jul 330 c 05
Cover NVDA Jul 200 c 04

Sell NVDA Jul 165 c 33
Sell IBB Jul 287.5 p 76

Sell NVDA JulW2 155 c 44
Sell JPM Aug 82.5 p 25
Wed Roll TSLA: Cover TSLA Jul 450 c 04 for 87% profit
Sell TSLA Jul 400 c 27
Sell SPG Aug 175 c 42
Cover FDX Jul 170 p 02 for 92% profit

Cover ULTA Jul 315 c 05 for 90% profit

Thu Sell ULTA Jul 290 c 55

Cover QQQ Jul 146 c 01 for 95% profit
Thu Sell ULTA Jul 290 c 55

Saturday, July 01, 2017

Weekly: Rollercoaster

The market goes up, goes down. Sector rotate in and out of favor. I had computer troubles this week. Bought a new computer. Like moving, getting a new computer tends to mean a lot of unpleasant chores. I bought a Lenovo Flex. It isn't the latest and greatest, but my computer needs tend to modest. I also have an Ipad Air.

As for the market, I attended the Investor’s Business Weekly meetup (CANSLIM). The phrase “show me” market is a good description. One person said that the upcoming July earnings cycle could make or break many stocks, and the market as a whole.

I keep dancing, even though I still feel out of synch with the markets. Here are the trades (p = puts, c = calls, sell means sell-to-open, cover means buy-to-close, number near the end if price per contract.

Mon Sell VRX Aug 12 p 22Sell SPG Aug 140 p 56

Tue Sell TSLA strangle: Sell TSLA Jul 295 p 61Sell TSLA Jul 450 c 35

Sell NVDA JulW2 167.5 c 57
Sell NVDA JunW5 157.5 c 18

Sell QQQ Aug 148 c 24
Sell SPY backratio: Sell 2x SPY Sep 217 p 84 each
Buy SPY Sep 222 p 113 each

Thu Sell NVDA Jul 162.5 cSell QQQ Jul 144 c 19

Sell QQQ Aug 145 c 55
Sell IWM Jul 145 c 25

Sell BA Jul 207.5 c 41

Fri Sell VRX Aug 13 p 31

Saturday, June 24, 2017

Weekly: retail bust

The shake out caused by Amazons acquisitiong of Whole Foods continues to send tremors. The latest AMZN idea of sending a big box full of clothes for people to try on, with no charge for returns, and a discount for buying multiple items sent some stocks lower. ULTA would seem to be Amazon-proof, but that stock moved lower, and I took a big loss on one leg. I sold strangles on COST, and so far it is in the red.

Here are the trades (p = puts, c = calls, sell means sell-to-open, cover means buy-to-close, number near the end is price per contract)

Mon Sell MCD Jul 141 p 20
Sell NVDA JunW5 141 p 41
Sell ULTA Jul 315 c 50

Tue
Sell MCD Aug 140 p 61
Sell BA Aug 175 p 80

Wed
Sell BA Aug 220 c 51
Sell NVDA JulW1 177.5 c 66
Sell BA JulW1 185 p 24

Sell COST strangle:
Sell COST Aug 145 p 58
Sell COST Aug 185 c 17

Thu
Cover ULTA Jul 285 p 680 for a 700% loss. Ouch

Sell BRKB Jul 175 c 49

Sell TSLA JunW5 337.5 p 45
Sell VRX Aug 11 p 27

Sell UNH Jul 170 p 43
Sell UNH Jul 205 c 19

Sell QQQ Aug 128 p 50

Fri
Sell COST Jul 175 c
Sell BRKB Aug 175 c 90

Sell NVDA Jul 172.5 c 151
Sell BA Jul 185 p 37

Saturday, June 17, 2017

Monthly: 61-9 Grade C as tech falters

I count 61 winners, 9 losers for the June cycle, self-grade is C. Overall, a modest profit, even with some whopper losers in percentage terms. There were more than a few frustrating whipsaw moves, where I covered and then the underlying reversed. The tech sell off made for a difficult month. It could have been a lot worse. The AMZN merger with WFM set off more land mines for premium sellers. 
 
A few ETFs from best to worst for 2017:
 
EEM +17.7% emerging markets equity
GLD +8.9% gold
 
SPY +8.5% S&P 500, U.S. large cap
TLT +6.0% U.S. 20 year treasuries
 
SLV +4.5% silver
IWM +4.0% Russell 2000, U.S. small cap

My account is up +7.0%, lagging behind SPY, ahead of IWM. Note, the above numbers do not include dividends, which add about another 1% to SPY and a bit more to TLT.

Going forward, the bull market is intact. Again, signs of the top will be inverted yield curve, transports leading the first leg down, exuberant sentiment. Of these only the sentiment of stock market newsletters is in the red zone. Yields are getting there, but not yet inverted in the U.S. Transports are still okay. I am guessing there will be a steeper correction in late September, early October, but it is just a guess. Bear market? Don't see a bear market.

Weekly: land mines

Tough week, with a lot of land mines. I took a few hits, but came out ahead for the week.

Here are the trades (p = puts, c = calls, cover means buy-to-close, sell means sell-to-open, number near the end is the price per contract):

Mon Tech wreck continues. I book some huge losses on AAPL and NVDA.

Cover AAPL Jun 145 p 320 approximately 450% loss
Cover NVDA Jun 145 p 545 about a 1000% loss in 2 trading days
 
I move closer back to delta neutral with some small moves:
Sell AAPL JunW4 130 p 42
Sell NVDA Jun 162.5 c 46
 
Sell MCD Jul 160 c 18
Sell ULTA Jul 330 c 65
 
Roll BRKB: Cover Jun 165 c 468
Sell BRKB Jul 170 c 288

Tue Cover LMT Jun 260 p 04
Roll and rebalance Tesla as it zooms higher
 
Cover TSLA Jun 285 p 02
Sell TSLA JunW5 320 p
Sell TSLA Jun 350 p 61
 
Wed Cover TSLA Jun 375 c 805 another monster loss -1400%
Cover ULTA Jun 300 p 210 another bad loss -250%
 
Sell TSLA Jun 407.5 33
Sell NVDA Jul 185 c 92
 
Sell TSLA JunW4 325 p 139
 
Cover WYNN Jun 135 c 127 for a 300% loss
 
Roll BA: Cover BA Jun 177.5 p 04
Cover BA Jun 167.5 01
Sell BA Jul 175 p 42 
Sell BA Aug 170 p 98

Sell NVDA Jun 140 p 17
Sell QQQ Jul 146 c 23

Thu Cover AAPL Jun 157.5 c 01
 
Roll BA: Cover Jun 195 c 93 for a 600% loss
Sell BA Jul 210c 29
 
Fri Sell IWM Jul 147 c
Sell C Jul 57.5 p 15
 
Sell WYNN Jul 115 p 50

Friday, June 09, 2017

Weekly: Rule #1, Bat vs. Bat, and the Wrecking Ball

The pop song Wrecking Ball is the theme for this week. As the long rally in the big name tech stocks reverses in spectacular fashion on Friday. I suffer some losses, but am glad I tend to be such a cautious trader. Action like this was inevitable. Only unicorns and liars are able to buy the bottoms and sell the tops. I am neither. 

More than a few do the opposite Bat junior on Tastytrade called the exact top within a few minutes with his abysmal timing. Here the links to the two Tastytrade episodes: Link1 is the Thursday show with NVDA still moving up, and Link2 is Friday after the whipsaw crash move. For those that don't do links the message is to stay mechanical. Limit your losses, no matter what the market is doing.

For me, it boils down to:

Rule #1: Live to Trade Another Day


Here are the trades (p = puts, c = calls, sell means sell-to-open, cover means buy-to-close, number near the end of each line is price per contract):

Mon Sell NVDA Jun 134 p 32
Sell QQQ Jul 132 p 35
 
Sell BRKB Jul 160 p 79
 
Sell ULTA Jun 300 p 60
Sell ULTA Jul 285 p 90
 
Tue I close a few more positions for profit. I am getting whipsawed in ULTA, TSLA and more.
 
Cover CAT Jun 90 p 03
Cover FB Jun 140 p 04
 
Cover TSLA Jun 260 p 04
Cover BRKB Jun 150 p 01
 
Sell TSLA JunW4 310 p 84
Sell SPY Jul 225 p 54
 
Thu Damage control on NVDA and TSLA as they continue up
Cover TSLA Jun 275 p 05
 
Cover IWM Jun 129 p 05
Cover NVDA Jun 125 p 05
 
Sell NVDA Jun 143 p 42
Sell TSLA Jun 335 p 87
 
Sell IWM Jul 129 p 47
Sell NVDA Jul 130 p 87
 
Sell NVDA Jul 200 c 50
 
Buy NVDA shares 1/2 unit 155.18
 
Sell NVDA Jun 145 p 49

Fri Holy whipsaw Batman! Flash crash in some big name tech stocks, whipsaws more than a few. I keep dancing, but the music is way too fast for me to keep up. I suffer modest losses.
 
Cover JPM Jun 77.5 p 02
Cover BRKB Jun 155 p 01
Cover BRKB Jun 170 c 88
 
Roll IWM: 
Cover IWM Jul 125 p 20
Sell IWM Jul 132 p 50
 
Sell NVDA Jun 170 c 58
Sell NVDA JunW4 180 c 68

Sell AAPL Jun 157.5 c 21
Sell TSLA JunW4 400 c 117
 
Sell QQQ Jul 148 c 27