from the desk of Dr. Terry F Allen

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Buy the Dip in Microsoft (MSFT)

This week we are looking at another of the Investor’s Business Daily (IBD) Top 50 List companies.  We use this list in one of our options portfolios to spot outperforming stocks and place option spreads that take advantage of the momentum.

Microsoft’s stock price dipped in the past week and these two following articles point out several reasons why investors might want to take advantage of the dip – Microsoft (MSFT): Strong Industry, Solid Earnings Estimate Revisions, and 3 Reasons Microsoft Has More Growth Ahead of It.

Technicals

While MSFT corrected lower last week, downward momentum is lacking when compared to prior weeks. The stock is currently testing the 20-day moving average which is an indicator MSFT has not traded below on a sustained basis in at least six months. Further support is seen at $174 which is a horizontal level near that acted as resistance last month. The strongest appeal to this stock is that the upward momentum has been increasing since it broke out in late October, and this upward momentum has not been negated by the recent dip. It would take a sustained drop below $174 to alter the near-term outlook for MSFT.

MSFT Chart February 2020 buy in dip

MSFT Chart February 2020

If you agree there’s further upside ahead for MSFT, consider this trade which is a bet that the stock will continue to advance over the next five weeks, or at least not decline very much.

Buy To Open MSFT 27MAR20 175 Puts (MSFT200327P175)
Sell To Open MSFT 27MAR20 177.5 Puts (MSFT200327P177.5) for a credit of $0.98 (selling a vertical)

This price was $0.02 less than the mid-point of the option spread when MSFT was trading near $179.  Unless the stock rallies quickly from here, you should be able to get close to this amount.

Your commission on this trade will only be $1.30 per spread.  Each contract would then yield $96.70 and your broker would charge a $250 maintenance fee, making your investment $153.30 ($250 – $96.70).  If MSFT closes at any price above $177.5 on March 27, both options would expire worthless, and your return on the spread would be 63% (719% annualized).

Changes to Investor’s Business Daily (IBD) Top 50 This Week:

IBD Underlying Updates February 22, 2020

IBD Underlying Updates February 22, 2020

We have found that the Investor’s Business Daily Top 50 List has been a reliable source of stocks that are likely to move higher in the short run.  Recent additions to the list might be particularly good choices for this strategy, and deletions might be good indicators for exiting a position that you might already have on that stock.

As with all investments, you should only make option trades with money that you can truly afford to lose.

Happy trading,

Terry

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