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Option LEAPS

LEAPS have nothing to do with how high a basketball player can jump, or anything a frog does, or even those crazy years that come along every four years when February has 29 days.

Option LEAPS are simply options that have a long life span, usually a year or more.  There is no precise time period for when an option is called a LEAP, but the one-year lifespan is generally accepted to be about when it starts.

An option might start out being a LEAP, but over time as there are fewer months remaining until it expires, it is no longer called a LEAP.

LEAPS is an acronym for Long-term Equity AnticiPationS. Most LEAPS expire in January, but in the past few years, additional long-term months have been offered for many underlying stocks.

One of the most popular use of LEAPS is as the long side in a calendar spread.  A person buys a LEAP which goes down very slowly in value and simultaneously sells someone else a short-term option at the same strike price which goes down much faster in value.  For a free report on how calendar spreads work, go to How to Make 70% a Year With Calendar Spreads.

Terry's Tips Stock Options Trading Blog

December 17, 2018

Will Growth Prospects Keep Mastercard (MA) Bid?

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.

Terry

Will Growth Prospects Keep Mastercard (MA) Bid?

Mastercard has had some positive news coverage as of late, take a look at these two articles – Visa & Mastercard: Strong Growth and Dividend Hike Opportunities? And IBD Stock Of The Day Master Shows Strength – And Gives This Market Warning.

As outlined by one of the above articles, MA is currently facing it’s 200-Day moving average.  Althought the article points out that the stock technically trades below it, there does not seem to be enough evidence of a clear break, or that bears have taken control.  The stock has held above a horizontal level found near $193 found close to the moving average that has acted as both support and resistance on several occasions since May.  Dips below this confluence area of support in the recent past have been short-lived, as seen on a monthly chart, where the stock has managed to hold above $197 on a monthly close basis.

[caption id="attachment_2295" align="alignnone" width="300"]MA Chart December 2018 MA Chart December 2018[/caption]

*source Tradingview.com

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

Buy To Open MA 25JAN18 190 Puts (MA190125P190)
Sell To Open MA 25JAN18 192.5 Puts (MA190125P192.5) for a credit of $1.10 (selling a vertical)

This price was $0.02 less than the mid-point of the option spread when MA was trading near $195.  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 $2.50 per spread (the rate charged by thinkorswim for Terry’s Tips’ subscribers).  Each contract would then yield $107.50 and your broker would charge a $250 maintenance fee, making your investment $142.50 ($250 – $107.50).  If MA closes at any price above $192.5 on January 25, both options would expire worthless, and your return on the spread would be 75% (702% annualized).

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

[caption id="attachment_2296" align="alignnone" width="300"]IBD Underlying Updates December 13, 2018 IBD Underlying Updates December 13, 2018[/caption]

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

December 10, 2018

Will Medpace Holdings (MEDP) Break to New All Time Highs?

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.

Terry

Will Medpace Holdings (MEDP) Break to New All Time Highs?

Medpace Holdings has been getting some media attention as of late, take a look at these two articles to see what analysts are saying about this stock – MEDP vs PRAH: Which Stock Should Value Investors Buy Now? and Bullish Trend Signal for Medpace Holdings.

The technical appeal in MEDP is it’s outperformance compared to the broader markets as well as some of the other stocks on the IBD Top 50 list.  MEDP has had a pickup in upside momentum since late October which seems to suggest it has resumed it’s uptrend following a correction.  In the past week, the stock saw some sellers near the $64 price point which resulted in a decline towards its 20-day moving average.  A break of $64 would have the stock trading at all time highs.  The stock appears to be well supported here with further support slightly below the 20-day moving average at $55 which was a level that held it higher after the gap up in late July.  As well, there is a rising trendline near the horizontal level that is drawn by connecting the October and November low

[caption id="attachment_2292" align="alignnone" width="300"]MEDP Chart December 2018 MEDP Chart December 2018[/caption]

*source Tradingview.com

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

Buy To Open MEDP 18JAN19 50 Puts (MEDP190118P50)
Sell To Open MEDP 18JAN19 55 Puts (MEDP190118P55) for a credit of $1.33 (selling a vertical)

This price was $0.02 less than the mid-point of the option spread when MEDP was trading near $58.  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 $2.50 per spread (the rate charged by thinkorswim for Terry’s Tips’ subscribers).  Each contract would then yield $130.50 and your broker would charge a $500 maintenance fee, making your investment $369.50 ($500 – $130.50).  If MEDP closes at any price above $55 on January 18, both options would expire worthless, and your return on the spread would be 35% (312% annualized).

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

[caption id="attachment_2293" align="alignnone" width="238"]IBD Underlying Updates December 6, 2018 IBD Underlying Updates December 6, 2018[/caption]

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

December 2, 2018

Can Intel Corp. (INTC) Overcome The $50 Psychological Barrier?

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.

Last week, the market (SPY) enjoyed its best week in 7 years.  The 8 real-life option portfolios carried out by Terry’s Tips shared in the good news.  Our composite portfolio value gained 27% for the week, one of our best weeks ever.

Terry

Can Intel Corp. (INTC) Overcome The $50 Psychological Barrier?

Several analysts think Intel stock can move a lot higher, here are two of them – Why Intel ‘s Stock Is Poised To Surge and Bull of the Day: Intel (INTC).

From a technical perspective, INTC is facing . . .

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TD Ameritrade

This Chicago brokerage firm with the unlikely name thinkorswim, Inc. by TD Ameritrade is considered by many to be the best option-friendly broker. For openers, they have extremely good analytic software and their option trading platform is exceptional. Thinkorswim Mobile has been called the best mobile app in the industry. In 2017, TD Ameritrade received 4 stars out of 5 in the annual Barron`s* Best Online Brokers Survey. TD Ameritrade was tops as an online broker for long-term investors and for novices. The company is the only broker that receives the highest 5.0 score for research amenities among all firms participated in the ranking last year.

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