May 22, 2017

Archives for February 2013

Short-Term Reprieve Makes An Appearance….

I am going to keep it very short tonight. The S&P 500 (SPY) took its largest tumble of the year today after reaching an extreme overbought state. My recent directional assumptions haven't played out as planned, but after today all of the positions in my two options selling strategies are in very good shape. In fact, I should be able to take a few profits if we see a short-term continuation of this reprieve. And that's the beauty of credit spreads. You can be completely wrong in your directional assumption and still come out on top. It's all about the probabilities...creating a large enough margin of error (through the selling out-of-the-money credit spreads) to absorb a continuation of the move you are fading. But now that … [Read more...]

Why I Sell Options To The Speculative Crowd

Trading often appeals to impulsive people, to gamblers, and to those who feel that the world owes them a living. If you trade for excitement, you are liable to take trades with bad odds and accept unnecessary risks. The markets are unforgiving, and emotional trading always results in losses. ---Alexander Elder, Trading for a Living I love Mr. Elder's quote. It embodies the typical retail options trader. Why do you think the most popular options strategy among retail options traders consists of buying out-of-the-money straight calls and puts? There is a reason why out-of-the-money options are so cheap; it's because they are the equivalent of buying a lottery ticket. And gamblers love lottery tickets. Look no further than the hype around … [Read more...]

Still Range-Bound Near the Top

Keeping it short tonight. After the worst day since November, the market was able to get back on its feet and rally back near the highs set a few days ago. I am still comfortable selling bear call spreads above the recent highs and the chart below from my esteemed colleague and friend Tim Knight shows why.   As you can see we are touching a long-term trend line and given the recent price action around this level I expect to see a short to intermediate-term pullback. But the most important aspect of this long-term trend line is the fact that I am able to sell options well above this level to give the margin of error that creates a high-probability trade. Yes, it's that simple. If you haven’t, join my Twitter … [Read more...]

Further Declines Ahead?

We finally saw a break in the market today. On the 26th I stated a market reversal looks imminent.  The decline today has the market back at that pivotal area. If that breaks we could see $146.50 in DIA and possibly a fill of the New Year gap. The gap fill is going to happen, the problem is we have no idea when. I am not one to play guessing games with the market. An assumption with a high-probability strategy wrapped around it  is more my speed...and the current market could be giving us some opportunities going forward. We now have a solid top or area of overhead resistance, which allows those of us who sell options premium a decent guideline over the short- to intermediate-term. Selling options above the current overhead … [Read more...]