June 27th, 2006
This morning we purchased the $60 July call for Ultra Petroleum Corp (UPL) for $2.20. This is probably not the best time to be purchasing or selling straight calls or puts. Market direction is pretty indeterminate right now.
June 15th, 2006
This morning about an hour after the opening bell we sold the LESSK options at $0.40 for a 66% loss. The impulse entrance to this play also had an impulse exit — a gut feeling indicated that the markets were going to rally today. The dow ended up 198 points.
- Stick to the strategy. The purchase of this option was done too far below the 30-day moving average. One of the technicals we look for are crosses through this moving average.
- We are not day traders. We don’t make snap decisions in the middle of the day to enter trades. We had already planned the limit order ahead of time. Let it exit as it did and call it a success.
Earlier this week, the Dow Jones had nearly reached the lowest point of the year. If this is now the beginning of a general uptrend in the markets, we will be seeing some call option plays soon.
June 13th, 2006
Just after our limit order to sell LESSD was automatically filled, we looked again at the LEH technicals. What we see here seems to be heavy institutional selling of this stock. Note the significant increase in volume as the price has dropped since the end of April. It has broken through resistance levels, it is in a down-trending industry during a generally bearish market. The fundamentals are poor/mediocre. We believe this stock still has some ways to go. We purchased the next lower strike price of $55 for $1.20.
June 13th, 2006
This morning we purchased the July 2006 $57.50 put option on Lehman Brothers Holdings Inc. (LEH) for $1.25. So as to not repeat this incident of buying an inflated market order at market opening, a limit order of $1.10 was submitted just seconds prior to the bell. Due to a network delay, the order timed out, and the ask price rose 13% to $1.25. Perhaps the most costly network delay we have ever encountered. After purchasing the options at $1.25, we set a limit order to sell at $1.85. This limit was hit later in the day, and we cashed out with a 48% profit in 1 day.
The story continues in the next entry (probably above this one.)
June 12th, 2006
This morning we sold our options at $0.65 for an 8% profit. An analyst upgraded the stock believing that it was oversold, sending the stock up on Friday morning. Since this shot our plan, we exited as soon as possible in the black.
We should probably learn spreads soon.
June 8th, 2006
This morning we purchased some July 2006 $20 put options on Corning Inc. (GLW) for $0.60. It was an exciting morning with a 50% gain in 3 hours, but the bid price settled back to the purchase price by end of day. We purchased this a day after 3 red arrows (phantom arrow on the stochastics) on more than double the average of volume, in a downtrending industry group with a bearish sentiment on the overall markets. However this trade turns out, these are exactly the types of trades we are looking for, where the short-term momentum according to the technicals is congruent with the trend of the industry group, overall markets, and state of the company fundamentals (medium/poor in this case.)
In selecting this particular option, we learned to use the delta parameter in a linear approximation to how the option price changes with respect to the underlying stock. As such our ROI calculations are more accurate since now they can take into consideration the time value rather than just the intrinsic value of the options. Soon we will break out the pad and paper and use the gamma parameter to calculate option price acceleration.
May 25th, 2006
Tonight (early Thursday morning) we purchased Option Volatility & Pricing by Sheldon Natenberg. Perhaps after reading and applying the ideas contained therein we will promote ourselves to The Intermediate Trader.
May 23rd, 2006
After our STKL stock showed 3 red arrows a few days ago, we decided to sell it for a $0.01 profit at $9.21. That’s a %0.1 profit in 1 month. Not that great but anything in the black is better than being red. What happened here reinforces our original strategy: we are looking for short-term momentum plays. This stock was held too long; at its peak the price was up 33%. Are we saying we should have sold at its peak? No; that’s impossible too tell. What we should have done was have an exit strategy. Decide ahead of time at what point to sell. For stocks, 20% would have been ambitious. For options, we will typically set a limit to cash out at 100%. Finding points of resistance or support will weigh in to our exit strategy.
May 22nd, 2006
Today was another amateur day. We purchased the June $32.50 call on Advanced Micro Devices Inc. (AMD) at $3. Last Friday Dell announced that they are planning to replace some of their higher-end servers with AMD chips, in place of Intel’s. Their stock shot up with 3 green arrows with 4X average volume. These 4 technicals were great, but what should have kept us out of this play were the facts:
- Slight down-trend of the 30-day moving average. (Today it has flattened out.)
- Down-trending industry group.
- Bearish sentiment on the markets as a whole.
We are not going to exit this play yet. Since the price is above average, the trend is turning, and may bounce off the 30-day m.a.
We were torn between paper-trading and purchasing the options, so we invested a smaller percentage into this speculative play.
May 17th, 2006
Today a limit order at $2.20 sold us out of the UVART position, resulting in a 100% return in 2½ days. The limit order to sell was placed the same day the option was purchased (Monday), since a 100% return seems to be a significant enough move where any more may result in an over-extended position, unless the news is exceptional to justify it, which in this case it was not. No doubt the record drop in the markets today, with the Dow Jones having a loss of 214 points, the worst in three years, accelerated our strategy. To compare, NVDA dropped 4.0%, whereas the NASDAQ on which it is listed dropped 1.5%. News agencies attribute the widespread sell-off to the consumer price index rising 0.6%.