August 20, 2017

Sell in May and Go Away? Sell Credit Spreads

The seasonal winds are upon us. And as a seller of various options strategies I couldn't be happier. The seasonally-weak period, better known as "Sell in May and Go Away", is the perfect time to use various options selling strategies. My preferred strategies, particularly for smaller accounts, are credit spreads, specifically vertical spreads and iron condors. Trading has been rather slow over the past month so I expect to see significantly more trading opportunities ahead. In fact, I will most likely place a few trades over the coming days. Stay tuned. Right now I'm keeping my eye on Real Estate (IYR) , Utilities (XLU) and Silver (SLV). But it's the S&P 500 (SPY) that I'm most interested in at the moment. Even though SPY hasn't … [Read more...]

How I’m Playing the Surge in High Beta Stocks

Over the past several weeks we have seen the S&P 500 (SPY) and Dow (DIA) push lower while the higher beta indexes Nasdaq 100 (QQQ) and Russell 2000 (IWM). As you can see in the table below both ETFs are now in a short-term overbought state. There are a few ways I might play the overbought readings in IWM and QQQ. First, I could buy a put. This would, of course, be a fairly risky trade as it would be very directional with duration working against the position. I would prefer to see a reading above 85 before I truly pursued buying a put. Moreover, due to the directional nature of the trade I would keep my size smaller than a normal spread position. Furthermore, along with an overbought reading above 85, I would prefer to see my … [Read more...]

Where Might We Be Headed?

A few random thoughts. The S&P 500 (SPY) has pushed lower for three consecutive days. The net loss a paltry 0.9%. But the intermediate to long-term extreme overbought state that had reached record highs has a lot of work left before it gets back to a neutral state. If anything, we now have another target area for our bear calls spreads and if we get a push into a short-term, yes let me repeat, a short-term oversold state in the market, we just might have to add a few bull put spreads. While the push lower hasn't been impressive I still think we have more room to go. How far? Take a look at the chart below.                   The blue lines mark the … [Read more...]

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...]

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...]

A Reversal Looks Imminent

Is the rally over? Or will we see a continuation of the current rally? If you believe in mean-reversion, it's hard to deny the overbought extremes that currently reside in the market. Just look at the SPY chart below.                                 As you can clearly see, over every time frame the major market benchmark has reached an extreme overbought state. If the SPY chart isn't enough evidence to at least make you question the sustainability of the current rally, just take a look at the VXX … [Read more...]

Several ETFs in Short-Term Extremes

Most of the ETFs I follow for the High-Probability, Mean-Reversion indicator have pushed into an overbought to very overbought state. But, what is most interesting is the extreme overbought readings over the shortest of time frames I follow. For instance, readings in IWM and SPY are in the high 90' extreme we don't often see in the benchmark ETFs. As a result, we are finding more and more opportunities for bear call spreads. The only downside is the low implied volatility., but one way to combat low volatility, particularly if you are expecting a quick fade of the current trend is to take use a bear call spread with a lower probability of success, say in the 60-70 range. This will allow you to bring in more premium and if a move to … [Read more...]

January Options Expiration is Upon Us

The market continues to soar. Have you seen the new all-time highs in the Russell 2000 (IWM)? But the small-caps aren't the only sector roaring right now, Consumer Discretionary (XLY) , Healthcare (XLV) and Real Estate (IYR) are all in a short-term overbought state. As a result, all of them are perfect candidates for out-of-the-money bear call spreads. I will talk about a trade or two tomorrow on the blog, but today I wanted to let everyone know that I will be sending out invites to my strategies over the next few days. Yes, it has been a long time coming...finally it's here. If you have already contacted me about my strategies, don't worry, you will have first dibs. Those who have not contacted me I will be sending out the … [Read more...]

It’s All About the New Year’s Gap. Will it Close? If so, When?

The small caps,  as seen by the Russell 2000 ETF (NYSE:IWM), remain the most resilient of all sectors within the market. The Dow (DIA), S&P 500 (SPY) and Nasdaq 100 (QQQ) have pushed back into neutral states. Since the upside gap on 1/2 the major benchmarks have struggled to advance. The large gap underneath seems to be weighing on the market which makes me more apt to lean towards the bearish side until the gap is resolved. Of course, as we all know we could see another push towards the upside, but again, with out-of-the-money credit spreads I can create a margin for error that allows me to be absolutely wrong in my assumption, yet still profit from on the trade. It all comes down to probabilities. If we are able to go out to the … [Read more...]

Options Strategies and the 85% Probability of Success

Quick note: Well, I am finally back into the swing of things. It was my hope that I would have my strategies launched last week, but I have decided to wait until next weekend. The response has been overwhelming, more than I ever imagined. As a result, I will have to be somewhat selective in how many subscribers I choose for each strategy. As I stated weeks ago, those of you who have emailed me will have the first opportunity to join. I will also allow emails to continue throughout the week. So, if you are interested in one of more of my strategies please email me and I will send you the initial invite. Once I have sent the initial email out, I will reevaluate my subscriber count and then open it up to everyone else. This will occur … [Read more...]