from the desk of Dr. Terry F Allen

Skip navigation

Member Login  |  Contact Us  |  Sign Up

1-800-803-4595

Posts Tagged ‘Bullish Options strategies’

Macom Tech Solutions (MTSI) Surges to All-Time High, What’s Next?

Monday, July 24th, 2017

This week we are featuring a company listed on the Investor’s Business Daily (IBD) Top 50 List that broke to an all-time high in the past week.  In one of our portfolio’s, we use the IBD Top 50 List to find stocks that show strong upward momentum and place spreads which will profit if the upward momentum continues.  Actually, the stock can even fall a little for the maximum gain to be realized on these spreads.

Terry

Macom Tech Solutions (MTSI) Surges to All-Time High, What’s Next?

Macom Technology Solutions had its price target recently raised by Needham & Company and several firms have added to already sizeable positions.  Here are two of them-  First Trust Advisors LP Increases Stake in Macom Technology Solutions Holdings and FMR LLC Boosts Position in Macom Technology Solutions Holdings.

MTSI has been in an uptrend since late 2012 and broke to an all-time high in the past week.  The technical break followed an 8-week consolidation below a horizontal resistance level at $61.25 which is now viewed as strong support.  MTSI surged above the level on Thursday and held near its highs into the weekly close to offer confirmation of a sustained bullish break.

MTSI Chart July 2017

MTSI Chart July 2017

*source Tradingview.com

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

Buy To Open MTSI 18Aug17 55 Puts (MTSI170818P55)
Sell To Open MTSI 18Aug17 60 Puts (MTSI170818P60) for a credit of $1.18 (selling a vertical)

This price was $0.02 less than the mid-point of the option spread when MTSI was trading near $63.  Unless the stock rallies quickly from here, you should be able to get close to this amount.

If you use our favorite broker for this trade, tastyworks, your commission on this trade will only be $1 per opening contract ($2 per spread) (and there is no commission on closing trades, only the $.10 clearing fee).  Each contract would then yield $116 and your broker would charge a $500 maintenance fee, making your investment $384 ($500 – $116).  If MTSI closes at any price above $60 on August 18, 2017, both options would expire worthless, and your return on the spread would be 30% (395% annualized).

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

IBD Underlying Updates July 21, 2017

IBD Underlying Updates July 21, 2017

IBD Underlying Updates July 21, 2017

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.  The Terry’s Tips portfolio which places spreads like the above one has gained 113.5% so far in 2017 in spite of incurring some losses on some of the spreads placed.  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

Is Taiwan Semiconductor (TSM) Ready To Resume Higher?

Tuesday, July 18th, 2017

This week we are featuring a company that was just added to the Investor’s Business Daily (IBD) Top 50 List.  I hope that it is of interest to you.  The Terry’s Tips’  portfolio that places trades on our selections from the IBD Top 50 List has gained 117.7% so far in 2017.  Terry’s Tips subscribers who have trades placed in their accounts through Auto-Trade or who follow the portfolio on their own are happy campers right now.

Terry

Is Taiwan Semiconductor (TSM) Ready To Resume Higher?

Taiwan Semiconductor has been gaining popularity among investors as the company supplies key components used in the Iphone.  Apple’s smartphone saw sales exceeding 50 million units last quarter.  These analysts weigh in on why there may be further upside ahead for Taiwan Semiconductor’s stock price – 3 Things This Apple Inc. Supplier Wants You to Know and How To Become A Billionaire In One Step: Sell Components To Apple.

The technical indicators point to a healthy uptrend in TSM.  The stock price recently bounced higher from support at $34.42 and has regained the 20-day moving average.  The stock has held above the same moving average on a weekly chart for most of this year.  A rising trend channel has been in play since May last year and the lower line of the channel offers additional support near recent lows.

TSM Chart July 2017

TSM Chart July 2017

*source Tradingview.com

If you concur Taiwan Semiconductor is ready to resume higher, consider this trade which is a bet that the stock will continue to advance, or at least not decline very much over the next four weeks.

Buy To Open TSM 18Aug17 34 Puts (TSM170818P34)
Sell To Open TSM 18Aug17 35 Puts (TSM170818P35) for a credit of $0.21 (selling a vertical)

This price was $0.02 less than the mid-point of the option spread when TSM was trading near $36.  Unless the stock rallies quickly from here, you should be able to get close to this amount.

If you use our favorite broker for this trade, tastyworks, your commission on this trade will only be $1 per opening contract ($2 per spread) (and there is no commission on closing trades, only the $.10 clearing fee).  Each contract would then yield $19 and your broker would charge a $100 maintenance fee, making your investment $81 ($100 – $19).  If TSM closes at any price above $35 on August 18, 2017, both options would expire worthless, and your return on the spread would be 23% (299% annualized).

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

IBD Underlying Updates July 14, 2017

IBD Underlying Updates July 14, 2017

IBD Underlying Updates July 14, 2017

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.  The Terry’s Tips portfolio which places spreads like the above one has gained 80% in the first six months of 2017 in spite of incurring some losses on some of the spreads placed.  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

Consider NutriSystem (NTRI) After The Price Correction

Monday, July 10th, 2017

This week we are looking at another of the Investor’s Business Daily (IBD) Top 50 companies.  In one of our portfolios, we use this list to find stocks that have displayed strong upward momentum and place option trades that take advantage of the trend.

Terry

Consider NutriSystem (NTRI) After The Price Correction

Several research firms have recently upgraded their rating on NutriSystem, the following article provides some details – NutriSytem Inc Receives Consensus Rating of “buy” from Brokerages.  As well, some big players upped their exposure to NutriSystem in the first quarter which is discussed in this article – Swiss National Bank Boosts Stake In NutriSystem Inc.

From a technical perspective, NTRI broke higher from a bullish flag pattern in late June to signal that a seven-week correction from a high posted in April may have completed.

The stock has been trending higher since 2013 and an acceleration of upside momentum is seen from early 2016.  NutriSystem broke above the 100-day moving average in the second quarter of 2016 and aside from a very brief dip below the indicator in January and June this year, the stock has held above it.

NTRI Graph July 2017

NTRI Graph July 2017

*source Tradingview.com

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

Buy To Open NTRI 18Aug17 45 Puts (NTRI170818P40)
Sell To Open NTRI 18Aug17 50 Puts (NTRI170818P45) for a credit of $1.48 (selling a vertical)

This price was $0.02 less than the mid-point of the option spread when NTRI was trading near $52.  Unless the stock rallies quickly from here, you should be able to get close to this amount.

If you use our favorite broker for this trade, tastyworks, your commission on this trade will only be $1 per opening contract ($2 per spread) (and there is no commission on closing trades, only the $.10 clearing fee).  Each contract would then yield $146 and your broker would charge a $500 maintenance fee, making your investment $354 ($500 – $146).  If NTRI closes at any price above $50 on August 18, 2017, both options would expire worthless, and your return on the spread would be 41% (355% annualized).

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

IBD Underlying Updates July 7, 2017

IBD Underlying Updates July 7, 2017

IBD Underlying Updates July 7, 2017

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.  The Terry’s Tips portfolio which places spreads like the above one has gained 80% in the first six months of 2017 in spite of incurring some losses on some of the spreads placed.  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

Align Technology (ALGN) A Buy After Being Added To The S&P 500

Monday, July 3rd, 2017

This week we are featuring a company listed on the Investor’s Business Daily (IBD) Top 50 List that has also recently been added to the S&P 500 index.  The stock has displayed strong upwards momentum and we look to place spreads that take advantage of this underlying strength.

Terry

Align Technology (ALGN) A Buy After Being Added To The S&P 500

Align Technology is the designer and manufacturer of the Invisalign System which they state is the most advanced clear aligner system in the world.  Analysts are optimistic of the company’s growth prospects and have recently revised up their expectations.  Zacks ranks this stock as a Strong Buy and these analysts have recently raised their targets: Align Technology (ALGN) PT Raised to $175 at Morgan Stanley; Huge At-Home Ortho Opportunity and Leerink Lifts Target On Align Technology, Sees 27% Upside.

From a technical perspective, ALGN boasts a strong uptrend and trades above key technical indicators.  On a daily chart, the stock jumped above the 20-day moving average following an earnings report in January and has held above it since.

A rising trend channel has been identified to contain price action since late April and a horizontal level at $145.24 offers additional support to create a confluence near the lower bound of the trend channel.

ALGN Chart July 2017

ALGN Chart July 2017

*source Tradingview.com

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

Buy To Open ALGN 18Aug17 140 Puts (ALGN170818P140)
Sell To Open ALGN 18Aug17 145 Puts (ALGN170818P145) for a credit of $1.60 (selling a vertical)

This price was $0.02 less than the mid-point of the option spread when ALGN was trading near $150.  Unless the stock rallies quickly from here, you should be able to get close to this amount.

If you use our favorite broker for this trade, tastyworks, your commission on this trade will only be $1 per opening contract ($2 per spread) (and there is no commission on closing trades, only the $.10 clearing fee).  Each contract would then yield $158 and your broker would charge a $500 maintenance fee, making your investment $342 ($500 – $158).  If ALGN closes at any price above $145 on August 18, 2017, both options would expire worthless, and your return on the spread would be 46% (342% annualized).

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

IBD Underlying Updates July 1, 2017

IBD Underlying Updates July 3, 2017

IBD Underlying Updates June 30, 2017

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.  The Terry’s Tips portfolio which places spreads like the above one has gained 80% in the first six months of 2017 in spite of incurring some losses on some of the spreads placed.  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

Merck Breaks Out, can it Continue to Trade Higher?

Wednesday, June 28th, 2017

This week we are featuring an option trading idea based on a stock that just broke out following the Senate healthcare bill.  I hope that it is of interest to you.

Terry

Merck Breaks Out, can it Continue to Trade Higher?
Merck, broke out to fresh all-time highs last week following news from the proposed senate bill that would allow for less regulation and would not crack down on drug pricing.  The Senate appears to be moving toward a vote, which should keep MRK buoyed.

If you concur with the views expressed by these analysts, consider making this trade which is a bet that MRK will continue to advance (or at least not decline very much) over the next six weeks:

Technicals

After breaking out, prices are consolidating above the recent breakout level.  The stock should remain above a downward sloping trend line that shows support near $65. Additional support is seen near the 20-day moving average at $64.33.  Momentum has turned positive as the MACD (moving average convergence divergence) index generated a crossover buy signal.

MRK Chart June 2017

MRK Chart June 2017

*source Stockcharts.com

Buy To Open MRK AUG18   62.50 puts (MRK170818P625
Sell To Open MRK AUG18   65.00 puts (MRK170818P650) for a credit of $0.65 (selling a vertical)

This price was $0.02 less than the mid-point of the option spread when MRK was trading slightly above $66.20.  Unless the stock rallies quickly from here, you should be able to get close to this amount.

If you use our favorite broker for this trade, tastyworks, your commission on this trade will only be $2 per spread (and there is no commission on closing trades, only the $.10 clearing fee).  Each contract would then yield $63 and your broker would charge a $250 maintenance fee, making your investment $187 ($250 – $63).  If MRK closes at any price above $65 on August 18, 2017, both options would expire worthless, and your return on the spread would be 34% (230% annualized).

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

Happy trading,

Terry

Lumentum Holdings (LITE) Is Coiling For An Up Move

Tuesday, June 27th, 2017

This week we are looking at another company listed on the Investor’s Business Daily (IBD) Top 50 List.  We use this list in our portfolio to find stocks that have been strongly trending higher and this week’s stock is an outperformer which has done exactly that.  The Terry’s Tips ’ portfolio that uses this list as its source for underlying ideas is now up 90.3% for the year to date.

Terry

Lumentum Holdings (LITE) Is Coiling For An Up Move

Lumentum Holdings hit all-time highs earlier this month and analysts believe there’s further upside ahead.  Here are two articles that reveal where Lumentum could be heading and why – Lumentum (LITE) PT Raised to $80 at Needham & Company; 3D Sensing Could Double LITE’S Value and DA Davidson Starts Lumentum (LITE) at Buy.

The technical outlook for LITE is solid.  The stock has been trending higher for over a year and a half and an acceleration of momentum can be seen since the start of May, shortly after the company announced earnings.

The earnings report caused a gap above the 20-day moving average and the stock has held above it since.  In addition to the moving average, horizontal support has been identified at $60.50 which held a decline earlier this month.

Lumentum has been consolidating sideways in a range over the past two weeks which is common in strong bullish trends.  A break of the upper end of the range, identified at $65.30, is likely to accompany an acceleration to the upside.

Lumentum Chart June 2017

Lumentum Chart June 2017

*source Tradingview.com

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

Buy To Open LITE 18Augy17 55 Puts (LITE170818P55)
Sell To Open LITE 18Aug17 60 Puts (LITE170818P60) for a credit of $1.73 (selling a vertical)

This price was $0.02 less than the mid-point of the option spread when LITE was trading at $64.  Unless the stock rallies quickly from here, you should be able to get close to this amount.

If you use our favorite broker for this trade, tastyworks, your commission on this trade will only be $2 per spread (and there is no commission on closing trades, only the $.10 clearing fee).  Each contract would then yield $171 and your broker would charge a $500 maintenance fee, making your investment $329 ($500 – $171).  If LITE closes at any price above $60 on August 18, 2017, both options would expire worthless, and your return on the spread would be 52% (312% annualized).

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

IBD Underlying Updates June 23, 2017

IBD Underlying Updates June 23, 2017

IBD Underlying Updates June 23, 2017

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.  As we said above, the Terry’s Tips portfolio which places spreads like the above one has gained 90% in the first six months of 2017 in spite of incurring some losses on some of the spreads placed.  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

Is Alibaba (BABA) Ready to Accelerate Higher?

Wednesday, June 21st, 2017

This week we are featuring an option trading idea based on a stock on the IBD Top 50 List that just delivered robust earnings guidance.  We have added this spread to the Terry’s Tips  portfolio which trades vertical credit put spreads on selected IBD Top 50 companies (this portfolio has gained 77% so far in 2017).

Terry

Is Alibaba (BABA) Ready to Accelerate Higher?

Alibaba, broke out to fresh all-time highs last week following better than expected financial results both on the top and bottom line.  Prices have been forming a bull flag pattern which is a pause that refreshes higher.

If you concur with the views expressed by these analysts, consider making this trade which is a bet that BABA will continue to advance (or at least not decline very much) over the next five weeks:

What impressed investors even more than the company’s financial result, was the company’s forward guidance. The Chinese e-commerce giant estimates that revenue will increase almost 50% in the 2018 fiscal year. Analysts had previously estimated a revenue increase of about 35%. In the wake of this news, the average price target was raised to $160 with the highest at $190.

Technicals

After a round of profit taking the stock should resume its climb.  The stock price has not closed below its 10-day moving average since February.  One way to bet on a further climb would be to put on a bull put credit spread where the short strike was below the 20-day moving average.  Support is seen near the 10-day moving average at $136.92.

 

BABA Chart June 2017

*source Stockcharts.com

Buy To Open BABA 21Jul17 133 puts (BABA170728P133)
Sell To Open BABA 21Jul17 136 puts (BABA170728P136) for a credit of $1.12 (selling a vertical)

This price was $0.03 less than the mid-point of the option spread when BABA was trading slightly above $139.  Unless the stock rallies quickly from here, you should be able to get close to this amount.

If you use our favorite broker for this trade, tastyworks, your commission on this trade will only be $2 per contract (and there is no commission on closing trades, only the $.10 clearing fee).  Each contract would then yield $110 and your broker would charge a $300 maintenance fee, making your investment $190 ($300 – $110).  If BABA closes at any price above $136 on July 28, 2017, both options would expire worthless, and your return on the spread would be 58% (603% annualized).

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

Happy trading,

Terry

Actual Positions in One Terry’s Tips Portfolio

Monday, June 5th, 2017

For the first time ever, I will share with you the exact strategy we use in one of the 9 portfolios we carry out at Terry’s Tips.  I will reveal the exact positions we have in this portfolio, their original cost, and our reasoning for putting them on.  This portfolio started out with $3000 at the beginning of 2017, and has gained 83% so far.  It is not our best performing portfolio, but it exceeds the average 2017 gain of 51.7% for all 9 portfolios.

Terry

Actual Positions in One Terry’s Tips Portfolio

Our Honey Badger portfolio is one of our most aggressive (least conservative).  Our strategy is to select companies which rank high on the Investor’s Business Daily Top 50 List, and make the assumption that these high-momentum stocks will continue to be strong for another six or ten weeks.  The stocks don’t actually have to go up at all for us to make the maximum gain on the spreads we place.  We select strike prices which are just below the then-current stock price so we can tolerate a small drop in the price while we hold the positions.

Here are the exact words we published in our June 3, 2017 Saturday Report which reviews performance of all nine portfolios:

Summary of Honey BadgerPortfolio This portfolio started with $3000 in early January 2017.  It will be our most aggressive portfolio. We will select companies from Investor’s Business Daily (IBD) highest-ranked momentum list (The Top 50) and sell vertical put credit spreads betting that the momentum will last at least another 2 months or so.  In 2017, we have had profitable trades with NVDA, HQY, AMAT, ANET, and ULTA, and suffered a big loss on GS which fell by $30 after we placed the trade.

Current positions:

On May 8 when LRCX was trading at $152:
Buy To Open (BTO) 3 LRCX 16Jun17 145 puts (LRCX170616P145)
Sell To Open (STO) 3 LRCX 16Jun17 150 puts (LRCX170616P150) for a credit of $1.90  (selling a vertical)
If LRCX ends up above $150 on June 16, this spread will gain $562.50 after commissions on an investment of $937.50, or 60% (360% annualized)

On May 11 when AVGO was trading at $230:

BTO 4 AVGO 23Jun17 220 puts (AVGO170623P220)

STO 4 AVGO 23Jun17 225 puts (AVGO170623P225) for a credit of $1.62  (selling a vertical)   If ULTA ends up above $225 on June 23, this spread will gain $638 after commissions on an investment of $1362, or 47% (281% annualized)

On May 11 when ULTA was trading at $300:

BTO 4 ULTA 16Jun17 290 puts (ULTA170616P290)

STO 4 ULTA 16Jun17 295 puts (ULTA170616P295) for a credit of $1.90  (selling a vertical)

If ULTA ends up above $295 on June 17, this spread will gain $750 after commissions on an investment of $1250, or 60% (360% annualized)

Honey Badger Portfolio Positions June 2017

Honey Badger Portfolio Positions June 2017

 Results for the week:  With AVGO (at $254.53) up $13.32 (5.5%), LRCX (at $158.74) up $3.62 (2.3%) and ULTA (at $311.47) up $9.07 (3.0%), for the week, the portfolio gained $810 or 17.3%.   The big gain this week came about because of the surge in AVGO which makes the spread almost certain to make the maximum gain when it expires in three weeks.  All three stocks in this portfolio are comfortably above the price then need to be to achieve the maximum gain.  If they remain above the strike of the option we have sold, we will pick up another $180 in 3 weeks.  This will make the gain for the first six months of the year a nice 88% (after commissions, of course).

Since the IBD Top 50 list is such an important source for this portfolio, we keep a careful watch on the stocks which are added on to the list each week and which ones are deleted.  Over time, we hope to determine whether deletions might be good prospects for bearish spreads.  Momentum often works in both directions, and perhaps stocks which had strong upward momentum will have strong downward momentum when IBD determines that the upward trend has ended.

Here are the changes we reported to our subscribers this week:

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

IBD Underlying Updates June 2017

IBD Underlying Updates June 2017

We hope you enjoyed this peek at one of our portfolios, and the strategy we use in this portfolio.  While we know that lots of newsletters out there are making all sorts of great promises about how wonderful their performance is, we don’t know of a single one which will reveal all their trades and is doing anywhere near what we have done. Our results include all commissions as well (most newsletters conveniently ignore commissions to make their results look better).  We invite you to come on board and share in our success.

Happy trading,

Terry

44% in 46 Days From a Play on ULTA?

Tuesday, April 4th, 2017

I would like to share a trade that we made in one of our Terry’s Tips portfolios today.  By the way, we have 9 portfolios that we carry out for paying subscribers where they can see every trade (including commissions) as we make them. All of these portfolios have made positive gains so far in 2017, and the composite average has picked up 28.8% at the end of the first quarter.  Not bad compared to conventional investment results.

Enjoy today’s offering.

Terry

44% in 46 Days From a Play on ULTA?

There is a lot to like about Ulta Salon, Cosmetics & Fragrance’s (ULTA).  It has been a darling of Wall Street this year, rising about 50%.  It appears on IBD’s Top 50 list of momentum stocks.  The Motley Fool guys have written over 300 articles on the company and include it in their top three beauty stocks.  The company has a plan to add on 500 new stores, and they have exceeded earnings estimates every quarter for the past year.

The chart for the last year shows a steady climb upward, but there have been some setbacks along the way:

 

ULTA Chart April 2017

ULTA Chart April 2017

If you think the momentum might continue for about six more weeks, you might consider this trade we made on April 3rd when ULTA was trading about $285.

Buy To Open 4 ULTA 19May17 275 puts (ULTA170519P275)

Sell To Open 4 ULTA 19May17 280 puts (ULTA170519P280) for a credit limit of $1.55  (selling a vertical)

We collected $620 from this trade, less commissions of $10 at the rate Terry’s Tips  subscribers pay at thinkorswim.  A maintenance requirement of $2000 will be assessed by the broker, less the $610 net we collected, making it a $1390 investment.  This would be the maximum loss if the stock ended up below $275 on May 19th.  If it is at any price above $280 on that day, it works out to a 44% gain for the 46 days we will have to wait.

The stock can fall about $5 and we will still make the maximum gain. While this might not be much downside protection, it is surely a lot better deal than owning the stock where even a dollar drop in the stock will result in a loss for the period.

If the stock does fall below $280 near the end of the six-week period, we would probably roll out the spread to a future time period, a tactic that will give us a little more time for it to rise above $280.  If that becomes necessary, we will send you a note explaining the action we took.

As with any investment, you should do your own research on the fundamentals of any stock or options you buy, and you should only be risking money that you can truly afford to lose.

Happy trading.

Terry

Benefiting From the Current Uncertainty of Oil Supply

Tuesday, November 29th, 2016

The price of oil is fluctuating all over the place because of the uncertainty of OPEC’s current effort to get a widespread agreement to restrict supply. This has resulted in unusually high short-term option prices for USO (the stock that mirrors the price of oil). I would like to share with you an options spread I made in my personal account today which I believe has an extremely high likelihood of success.

Terry

Benefiting From the Current Uncertainty of Oil Supply

I personally believe that the long-run price of oil is destined to be lower. The world is just making too much of it and electric cars are soon to be here (Tesla is gearing up to make 500,000 next year and nearly a million in two years). But in the short run, anything can happen.

Meanwhile, OPEC is trying to coax producers to limit supply in an effort to boost oil prices. Every time they boast of a little success, the price of oil bounces higher until more evidence comes out that not every country is on board. Iran and Yemen won’t even show up to the meeting. Many oil-producing companies have hated one another for centuries, and the idea of cooperating with each other seems a little preposterous to me.

The good old U.S.A. is one of the major producers of oil these days, and it is not one of the participants in OPEC’s discussion of limiting supply. Two significant new domestic oil discoveries have been announced in the last couple of months, and the total number of operating rigs has moved steadily higher in spite of the currently low oil prices.

Bottom line, option prices on USO are higher than we have seen them in quite a while, especially the shortest-term options. Implied volatility (IV) of the long-term options I would like to buy is only 36 compared to 64 for the shortest-term weekly options I will be selling to someone else.

Given my inclination to expect lower rather than higher prices in the future, I am buying both puts and calls which expire a little over a year from now and selling puts and calls which expire on Friday. Here are the trades I made today when USO was trading at $10.47:

Buy To Open 20 USO 19Jan18 10 puts (USO180119P10)
Sell To Open 20 USO 02Dec16 10 puts (USO161202P10) for a debit of $1.20 (buying a calendar)

Buy To Open 20 USO 19Jan18 10 calls (USO180119C10)
Sell To Open 20 USO 02Dec16 10.5 calls (USO161202C10.5) for a debit of $1.58 (buying a diagonal)

Of course, you can buy just one of each of these spreads if you wish, but I decided to pick up 20 of them. For the puts, I paid $1.43 ($143) for an option that has 60 weeks of remaining life. That means it will decay in value by an average of $2.38 every week of its life. On the other hand, I collected $.23 ($23) from selling the 02Dec16 out-of-the-money 10 put, or almost 10 times what the long-term put will fall by. If I could sell that put 60 times, I would collect $1380 of over the next 60 weeks, more than 10 times what I paid for the original spread.

Here is the risk profile graph which shows what my spreads should be worth when the short options expire on Friday:

USO Risk Profile Graph December 2016

USO Risk Profile Graph December 2016

My total investment in these spreads was about $5600 after commissions, and I could conceivably make a double-digit return in my very first week. If these short-term option prices hold up for a few more weeks, I might be able to duplicate these possible returns many more times before the market settles down.

As usual, I must add the caveat that you should not invest any money in options that you cannot truly afford to lose. Options are leveraged investments and can lose money, just as most investments. I like my chances with the above investment, however, and look forward to selling new calls and puts each week for a little over a year against my long options which have over a year of remaining life.

Making 36%

Making 36% — A Duffer's Guide to Breaking Par in the Market Every Year in Good Years and Bad

This book may not improve your golf game, but it might change your financial situation so that you will have more time for the greens and fairways (and sometimes the woods).

Learn why Dr. Allen believes that the 10K Strategy is less risky than owning stocks or mutual funds, and why it is especially appropriate for your IRA.

Order Now

Success Stories

I have been trading the equity markets with many different strategies for over 40 years. Terry Allen's strategies have been the most consistent money makers for me. I used them during the 2008 melt-down, to earn over 50% annualized return, while all my neighbors were crying about their losses.

~ John Collins