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Posts Tagged ‘Volatility’

Transunion (TRU): A Stable and Consistent Player

Monday, July 31st, 2017

This week we are discussing another one of the Investor’s Business Daily (IBD) Top 50 List companies.  We use this list in one of our portfolio’s to find stocks that have displayed consistent upwards momentum and we look to place spreads that take advantage of this underlying strength.

Terry

Transunion (TRU): A Stable and Consistent Player

Several analysts have recently refreshed their bullish outlook towards Transunion.  UBS Asset Management has increased their stake in the company and both Morgan Stanley as well as Deutsche Bank have raised their price targets to $50.

Transunion has been trading higher within a rising trend channel since the middle of February.  After testing the lower line of the trend channel in the past week, the stock recovered to hit a fresh 52-week high.  The $44.45 level held the stock price lower for a month prior to finally breaking above it earlier this month.  The level is now viewed as support and its proximity to the 20-day moving average as well as the channel bottom emphasizes the area as strong support.

 

TRU Chart July 2017

TRU Chart July 2017

*source Tradingview.com

If you concur that there’s further upside ahead for Transunion, consider this trade which is a bet that the stock will continue to advance, at least a little.

Buy To Open TRU 15SEP17 45 Puts (TRU170915P45)
Sell To Open TRU 15SEP17 46 Puts (TRU170915P46) for a credit of $0.46 (selling a vertical)

This price was $0.02 less than the mid-point of the option spread when TRU was trading just above  $45.  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 $44 and your broker would charge a $100 maintenance fee, making your investment $56 ($100 – $44).  If TRU closes at any price above $46 on September 15, 2017, both options would expire worthless, and your return on the spread would be 78% (624% annualized).

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

IBD Underlying Updates July 31, 2017

IBD Underlying Updates July 31, 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 114.7% 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

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

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

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

40% Possible in 2 Weeks With an Iron Condor?

Monday, April 17th, 2017

Today’s idea involves an esoteric Exchange Traded Product (ETP) called SVXY.  It is one of our favorite underlyings at Terry’s Tips.  Chances are, you don’t know very much about it, and I can’t help you much in this short note.  But I will share a trade I made on this ETP this morning, and my thinking behind this trade.

Terry

40% Possible in 2 Weeks With an Iron Condor?

The best way to explain how SVXY works might be to explain that it is the inverse of VXX, the ETP that some people buy when they fear that the market is about to crash.  Many articles have been published extolling the virtues of VXX as the ideal protection against a setback in the market.  When the market falls, volatility (VIX) most always rises, and when VIX rises, VXX almost always does as well.  It is not uncommon for VXX to double in value in a very short time when the market corrects.

The only problem with VXX is that in the long run, it is just about the worst equity that you could imagine buying.  Over the last 5 years, it has fallen from a split-adjusted several thousand dollar price to today’s $18 level.  About every year and a half, a reverse 1-for-4 reverse split must be engineered on VXX to keep the price high enough to bother with buying.  The last time this happened was in August 2016.  It pushed the price up from just over $9 to about $40, and it has lost over half its value since then.

Clearly, you would only buy VXX if you felt strongly that the market was about to implode.  Most of the time, we prefer to own the inverse of VXX.  That is SVXY.  So far, it has gone from $90 to over $140 in 2017, only to fall back to about $123 last week when geopolitical fears arose and depressed the market a bit, and even more significant for volatility-related ETPs like VXX and SVXY, volatility (VIX) rose from the 11 -13 range where it has hung out most of the time for the past few years to about 16 today.

When VIX rose and SVXY fell last week, something interesting happened. Implied volatility (IV) of the SVXY options skyrocketed to nearly double what it was a month ago.  I think that these high option prices will not exist for too long, and would like to sell some at this time.

Rather than selling either or both puts and calls naked (inviting the possibility of unlimited loss), a good way of selling high-IV options is through an iron condor spread.  I believe that SVXY, trading near the $123 where it opened this morning, is unlikely to be higher than $135 or lower than $95 in 11 days when the 28April17 options expire.

This is the spread I executed this morning:

Buy to Open # 28Apr17 140 calls (SVXY170428C140)
Sell to Open # 28Apr17 135 calls (SVXY170428C135)
Buy to Open # 28Apr17 90 puts (SVXY170428P90)
Sell to Open # 28Apr17 95 puts (SVXY170428P95) for a credit of $1.63 (selling an iron condor)

I received $163 for each contract I sold, less $5 in commissions.  My maximum loss is $500 less the $158 net I received, or $342.  If SVXY ends up at any price between $95 and $135 on April 28, all of these options will expire worthless and I will be able to keep my $158.  This works out to a 46% gain for the 11 days of waiting.

As with any investment, you would only commit money that you can truly afford to lose.  I like my chances here, and I committed an amount that would not change my style of living if I lost it.

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

How to Make 27% in 45 Days With a Bet on Tesla

Sunday, March 5th, 2017

The 9 actual portfolios carried out by Terry’s Tips are having a great 2017 so far.  Their composite value has increased 23.8% for the year, about 4 times as great as the overall market (SPY) has advanced.

The basic strategy employed by most of these portfolios is to bet on what the company won’t do rather than what it will do. Most of the time, that involves picking a blue chip company that you really like, especially one paying a large dividend, and betting that it won’t fall by very much.  You don’t care if it goes up or stays flat.  You just don’t want it to fall more than a few points while you hold your option positions.

Today, I would like to offer a different kind of a bet based on what a popular company might not do.  The company is Tesla (TSLA), and what we think it will not do is to move much higher than it is right now, at least for the next few months.

Terry

 How to Make 27% in 45 Days With a Bet on Tesla

Tesla is a company which has thousands of passionate supporters.  They have bid up the price of a company with fabulous ideas but no earnings to near all-time highs.  If you peruse some of the multiple articles recently written about the company, you can’t help but wonder how the current lofty price can be maintained.

Here are some of the things that are being said:

It’s possible that the Model 3 could bury Tesla in several ways, including:

  • It being substantially late.
  • It not being profitable at the low price it was promised, and thus require a much higher selling price.
  • A much higher selling price or emerging competition leading to much lower than expected volumes.

Tesla will need to spend about $8 billion in its network of charging stations in the U.S. alone if it wants to make recharging a car as convenient as going to a gas station.

Tesla’s acquisition of SolarCity was really a bailout. SolarCity was in deep financial trouble. It could have gone bankrupt, and will need a huge infusion of capital to survive.

The company has historically issued overly optimistic projections, and the recent exodus of its CFO is evidence that some executives are rebelling.

More and more traditional car companies are coming out with all-electric models that will compete directly with Tesla.

China represented 15.6% of its automotive sales during 2016. China’s market is weakening during early 2017 due to tax changes. Hong Kong will be crashing due to the elimination of a tax waiver which will nearly double the price of a Model S.

Goldman Sachs recently downgraded the stock and said it expected it would fall by 25% over the next six months.

Tesla has a market cap of $40 billion on revenue of around $7 billion, while General Motors (G) has a market cap of $55 million on revenue of $166 billion. Ford (F) has similar multiples, and Toyota (TM), despite significant topline growth, still has a P/S ratio of only 0.49. These numbers make Tesla look astronomically overvalued and are the reason TSLA is a magnet for short sellers.

TSLA will probably need $35 billion over the next 9 years to support its planned ramping up of manufacturing.  This will require additional stock sales which could dampen prices.

And there are many others out there making other dire predictions…

So what do you do if these writers have collectively convinced you that TSLA is overvalued?  One thing you could conclude is that the stock will not move much higher from here.

Here is a possible trade you might consider:

With TSLA trading about $252, you might believe that it is highly unlikely to move higher than $270 in the next 7 weeks.  This is a trade you might consider:

Buy To Open # TSLA 21Apr17 275 calls (TSLA170421C275)
Sell To Open # TSLA 21Apr17 270 calls (TSLA170421C270) for a credit of $1.10  (selling a vertical)

This spread is called a vertical call credit spread.  We prefer using calls rather than puts if you are bearish on the stock because if you are right, and the stock is trading below the strike price of the calls you sold on expiration day, both call options will expire worthless and no further trades need to be made or commissions payable.

For each contract sold, you would receive $110 less commissions of $2.50 (the rate Terry’s Tips’ subscribers pay at thinkorswim), or $107.50.  The broker will place a $500 maintenance requirement on you per spread.  Subtracting out the $107.50 you received, your net investment is $392.50 per spread.  This is also the maximum loss you would incur if TSLA closes above $275 April 21, 2017 (unless you rolled the spread over to a future month near the expiration date, something we often do, usually at a credit, if the stock has gained a bit since the original trade was placed).

Making a gain of $107.50 on an investment of $392.50 works out to a 27% for the 7 weeks you will have to wait it out.  That works out to over 200% annualized, and you can be wrong (i.e., the stock rises) by $18 and still make this gain.

If you were REALLY convinced that TSLA wouldn’t move higher in the next 7 weeks, you might consider selling this spread:

Buy To Open # TSLA 21Apr17 255 calls (TSLA170421C255)
Sell To Open # TSLA 21Apr17 260 calls (TSLA170421C260) for a credit of $2.00  (selling a vertical)

This spread does not allow the stock to move up much at all (about $3) for the maximum gain to come your way, but if you are right and the stock ends up at any price below $255 on April 21, you would gain a whopping 67% in the next 7 weeks.

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

Happy trading.

Terry

How to Make 50% in 5 Months With Options on Celgene

Thursday, March 2nd, 2017

One of my favorite option plays is to pick a company I like (or one that several people I respect like) and place a bet that it will at least stay flat for the next few months. Actually, most of the time, I can find a spread that will make a great gain even if the stock falls by a few dollars while I hold the spread.

Today, I would like to share an investment we placed in a Terry’s Tips portfolio just yesterday. By the way, this portfolio has similar spreads in four other companies we like, and it has gained over 20% in the first two months of 2017. We have already closed out two spreads early and reinvested the cash in new plays. The portfolio is on target to make over 100% for the year (and it is available for Auto-Trade at thinkorswim for anyone not interested in placing the trades themselves).

Terry

How to Make 50% in 5 Months With Options on Celgene

Not only is CELG on many analysts’ “Top Picks for 2017” list, but several recent Seeking Alpha contributors have extolled the company’s business and future. One article said “Few large-cap biotech concerns have a clearer earnings and revenue growth trajectory over the next 3-5 years than Celgene.”

Zacks said, “We are expecting an above average return from the stock in the next few months.” See full article here.

So we like the company’s prospects, and this is the spread we sold yesterday when CELG was trading at $123.65:

Buy To Open # CELG 21Jul17 115 puts (CELG170721P115)
Sell To Open # CELG 21Jul17 120 puts (CELG170721P120) for a credit limit of $1.72 (selling a vertical)

For each contract sold, we received $172 less commissions of $2.50 (the rate Terry’s Tips’ subscribers pay at thinkorswim), or $169.50. The broker will place a $500 maintenance requirement on us per spread. Subtracting out the $169.50 we received, our net investment is $330.50 per spread. This is also the maximum loss we would incur if CELG closes below $115 on July 21, 2017 (unless we rolled the spread over to a future month near the expiration date, something we often do, usually at a credit, if the stock has fallen a bit since we placed the original trade).

Making a gain of $169.50 on an investment of $330.50 works out to a 51% for the five months we will have to wait it out. That works out to over 100% a year, and the stock doesn’t have to go up a penny to make that amount. In fact, it can fall by $3.65 and we will still make 51% on our money after commissions.

If the stock is trading below $120 as we near expiration in July, we might roll the spread out to a future month, hopefully at a credit. If this possibility arises (of course, we hope it won’t), we will send out a blog describing what we did as soon as we can, just in case you want to follow along.

This spread is called a vertical put credit spread. We prefer using puts rather than calls even though we are bullish on the stock because if we are right, and the stock is trading above the strike price of the puts we sold on expiration day, both put options will expire worthless and no further commissions will be due.

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

Happy trading.

Terry

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