from the desk of Dr. Terry F Allen

Skip navigation

Member Login  |  Contact Us  |  Sign Up

802-877-8330

Archive for the ‘Stock Options Strategies’ Category

Order Up a Starbucks Spread

Sunday, August 1st, 2021

Starbucks (SBUX) posted a solid earnings report on Tuesday, easily beating both top- and bottom-line expectations. Year-over-year sales and earnings comparisons were ridiculously high, as SBUX was one of the hardest-hit businesses during the depths of last year’s pandemic-rocked economy. But the company grew sales from two years ago and blew out analyst estimates. To top it off, SBUX raised sales and earnings guidance for FY21.

The market did not react well to the report, however, as the stock fell 3.6% through the end of the week. This could be due to the company reporting increased wage and inflation pressure. But analysts were undeterred. While there were no upgrades, price targets were raised across the board, with some reaching as high as $145 (the stock closed at $121.43 on Friday). The average price target is above $128.

On the charts, the stock’s drop pulled it down to its rising 20-day moving average. This trendline supported a pullback in mid-July and has not allowed a daily close below it in more than a month. Note that the short put of our credit spread trade is right at the 20-day.

If you agree that SBUX will stay above its 20-day moving average (blue line in chart), consider the following trade that relies on the stock remaining above 120 (red line in chart) through expiration in seven weeks.

Buy to Open SBUX 17Sep 115 put (SBUX210917P115)
Sell to Open SBUX 17Sep 120 put (SBUX210917120) for a credit of $1.60 (selling a vertical)

This credit is $0.02 less than the mid-point of the option spread when SBUX was trading at $121.43. Unless the stock rallies quickly from here, you should be able to get close to this amount.

Your commission on this trade will be only $1.30 per spread.  Each spread would then yield $158.70. This trade reduces your buying power by $500 and makes your net investment $341.30 ($500 – $158.70).  If SBUX closes above $120 on September 17, both options will expire worthless and your return on the spread would be 46% ($158.70 / $341.30).

As Easy as ABT

Sunday, July 25th, 2021

Abbott Laboratories (ABT) reported earnings before the bell on Thursday that beat top- and bottom line estimates. Moreover, the medical device, diagnostics and nutrition company beat expectations across all major business segments. While impressive year-over-year comparisons were helped by depressed activity a year ago, sales grew by 11% compared to 2019. Analysts were notably impressed, and many upgraded their price targets to as high as $136 (the stock closed at $121 on Friday).

The stock dropped on Thursday as much as 2.6% but recovered to close above its 20-day moving average (blue line in chart). This trendline has provided unwavering support since the stock climbed above it in late June. This is part of a larger rally that has covered 15% since the beginning of June. Friday’s 2% jump pulled the stock above the 120 level (red line in chart), which has served as a top since early May. The next sight of potential resistance is 125, the site of April’s high. After that is ABT’s all-time high of 128.54 reached in mid-February.

ABT Chart

If you agree that ABT will stay above its 20-day moving average, consider the following trade that relies on the stock remaining above 118 (green line in chart) through expiration in five weeks.

Buy to Open ABT 27Aug 115 put (ABT210827P115)
Sell to Open ABT 27Aug 118 put (ABT210827P118) for a credit of $0.90 (selling a vertical)

This credit is $0.03 less than the mid-point of the option spread when ABT was trading at $121. Unless the stock rallies quickly from here, you should be able to get close to this amount.

Your commission on this trade will be only $1.30 per spread.  Each spread would then yield $88.70. This trade reduces your buying power by $300 and makes your net investment $211.30 ($300 – $88.70).  If ABT closes above $118 on August 27, both options will expire worthless and your return on the spread would be 42% ($88.70 / $211.30).

Get a Charge Out of Plug Power (PLUG)

Tuesday, June 29th, 2021

PLUG is a hydrogen fuel cell provider based outside of Albany, NY. The company reported earnings on Tuesday (June 22) after a delay due to some accounting issues. While earnings missed the mark, PLUG’s strong current and projected revenue growth is considered more indicative of the company’s potential. The company also has a strong cash position on its balance sheet. Wall Street generally approved of the numbers, as several analysts raised their price targets.

After a 75% plunge from late January through early May, the stock has been on the rebound, gaining more than 70%. The recent strength has caused the 50-day moving average (blue line below) to turn higher for the first time in three months. Also in play is the rising 200-day moving average (red line below), which sits at $32.50. This trade relies on PLUG staying above the $30 level through the end of July, so support at the 200-day is critical.

Plug Chart

If you agree that PLUG will ride higher along its 200-day moving average, consider the following trade that relies on the stock remaining above $30 through expiration in five weeks.

Buy to Open PLUG 30Jul 27 put (PLUG210730P27)
Sell to Open PLUG 30Jul 30 put (PLUG210730P30) for a credit of $0.95 (selling a vertical)

This credit is $0.06 less than the mid-point of the option spread when PLUG was trading just below $32. Unless the stock rallies quickly from here, you should be able to get close to this amount.

Your commission on this trade will be only $1.30 per spread.  Each spread would then yield $93.70. This trade reduces your buying power by $300 and makes your net investment $206.30 ($300 – $93.70).  If PLUG closes above $30 on July 30, both options will expire worthless and your return on the spread would be 45% ($93.70 / $206.30).

Dell Technologies (DELL) Earnings Keep Uptrend Intact

Monday, March 1st, 2021

DELL reported quarterly results Thursday after the bell that easily beat expectations on both revenue and earnings. The company shipped more than 50 million PCs in 2020, a record high, taking advantage of the higher demand for home-based activities amid the pandemic. In response, several analysts raised their price targets, ranging up to $101, $20 higher than Friday’s close.

The strong results kept DELL’s stock price headed in the right direction. For the week, the stock ticked slightly higher, which is impressive given the Nasdaq’s 5% plunge. In the intermediate term, the stock has been riding along its rising 20-day moving average since crossing above it more than three months ago. Note that the short strike of our credit spread (red line below) lies below the 20-day and the recent lows near $78, so this dual support would need to break for the spread to move into the money.

DELL Chart March 2021 - Record High

DELL Chart March 2021

If you agree DELL’s uptrend will continue, or at least stay above $78, consider the following trade that relies on the stock remaining above $77.50 through expiration in seven weeks.

Buy to Open DELL 16Apr21 75 Put (DELL210416P75)
Sell to Open DELL 16Apr21 77.5 Put (DELL210416P77.5) for a credit of $0.90 (selling a vertical)

This credit is $0.03 less than the mid-point of the option spread when DELL was trading near $81. Unless the stock rallies quickly from here, you should be able to get close to this amount.

Your commission on this trade will be only $1.30 per spread.  Each spread would then yield $88.70. This reduces your buying power by $250 and makes your investment $161.30 ($250 – $88.70).  If DELL closes above $77.50 on April 16, both options will expire worthless, and your return on the spread would be 55% ($88.70 / $161.30), or 408% annualized.

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

Happy trading,

Terry

Wedbush Raises Price Target for Microsoft (MSFT) to $270

Monday, February 1st, 2021

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.

Wedbush recently raised their MSFT price target to $270 from $260 and said they see potential for it to reach as high as $300. The following two article discuss the price upgrade and reasons why MSFT appears poised to grow – Microsoft will leap another 20% as cloud-computing strength drives strong earnings, Wedbush says and Microsoft: Still Not Fully Priced, Here’s Why.

Technicals

From a technical perspective, MSFT recently posted a bullish breakout above a horizontal resistance level at $225. This same level had capped rallies three times in the fourth quarter of 2020 and is seen as strong support in the event the stock pulls back further from here. There is also support at $231.15 which marks the late August high.

MSFT Chart February 2021 - Undervalued

MSFT Chart February 2021

If you agree there’s further upside ahead for MSFT, consider this trade which relies on the stock remaining above $230 through the expiration in five weeks.

Buy To Open MSFT 05MAR21 225 Puts (MSFT210305P225)
Sell To Open MSFT 05MAR21 230 Puts (MSFT210305P230) for a credit of $1.73 (selling a vertical)

This credit is $0.02 less than the mid-point of the option spread when MSFT was trading near $232.  Unless the stock rallies quickly from here, you should be able to get close to this amount.

Your commission on this trade will be only $1.30 per spread.  Each spread would then yield $171.70. This reduces your buying power by $500 and makes your investment $328.30 ($500 – $171.70).  If MSFT closes at any price above $230 on March 5, both options will expire worthless, and your return on the spread would be 52% ($171.70 / $328.30), or 593% annualized.

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

IBD Underlying Updates January 30, 2021

IBD Underlying Updates January 30, 2021

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

Buy the Dip in Taiwan Semiconductor (TSM)

Monday, January 25th, 2021

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.

TSM’s solid fundamentals and positive technical outlook makes it an attractive stock to buy on dips. Take a look at what the following two articles have to say about the company’s growth prospects – Taiwan Semi Is Betting $28 Billion on Rising Demand for Chips and Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing: Our Top Technology Pick For 2021 Is At The Heart Of The Next Wave Of Technology.

Technicals

If you zoom out to a larger timeframe like a weekly or monthly chart, it’s pretty much been a straight line up for TSM. The stock has posted a 47% gain over the last three months and has advanced 124% from a year ago. Dips have been shallow during this time which means the current 5% decline from recent highs could be a buying oppurtunity. Support is in play from the lower line of a rising trend channel that has contained price action since late December. There is also a horizontal level near the bottom of the channel at $128.50 to create a support confluence.

TSM Chart January 2021 - Straight up trend

TSM Chart January 2021

If you agree there’s further upside ahead for TSM, consider this trade which relies on the stock remaining above $129 through the expiration in five weeks.

Buy To Open TSM 26FEB21 126 Puts (TSM210226P126)
Sell To Open TSM 26FEB21 129 Puts (TSM210226P129) for a credit of $1.45 (selling a vertical)

This credit is $0.02 less than the mid-point of the option spread when TSM was trading near $129.  Unless the stock rallies quickly from here, you should be able to get close to this amount.

Your commission on this trade will be only $1.30 per spread.  Each spread would then yield $143.70. This reduces your buying power by $300 and makes your investment $156.30 ($300 – $143.70).  If TSM closes at any price above $129 on February 26, both options will expire worthless, and your return on the spread would be 92% ($143.70 / $156.30), or 1049% annualized.

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

IBD Underlying Updates January 23, 2021

IBD Underlying Updates January 23, 2021

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

Advanced Micro Devices Signals More Upside After Breaking to a Record High

Monday, December 21st, 2020

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.

AMD has been in a steady uptrend since the start of November and looks set to continue the trend. Check out what the following two articles have to say about the stock – Buying Stocks for Christmas? Put These Tech Stocks Under the Tree and Jim Cramer: Focus on Single Semiconductor Names, Stay Away from ETF Baskets.

Technicals

From a technical standpoint, AMD has confirmed that it has resumed the uptrend by breaking above the September peak. The stock now shows strong support near the September high, around $94. Further support is found slightly below it from a confluence created by the 20-Day moving average and the lower line of a rising trend channel. In addition to the technical chart, AMD has been steadily outperforming the semiconductor index (SOX) and Intel (INTC) for four years.

AMD Chart December 2020 - record breaking momentum

AMD Chart December 2020

If you agree there’s further upside ahead for AMD, consider this trade which relies on the stock remaining above $96 through the expiration in five weeks.

Buy To Open AMD 22JAN21 93 Puts (AMD210122P93)
Sell To Open AMD 22JAN21 96 Puts (AMD210122P96) for a credit of $1.10 (selling a vertical)

This credit is $0.02 less than the mid-point of the option spread when AMD was trading near $96.  Unless the stock rallies quickly from here, you should be able to get close to this amount.

Your commission on this trade will be only $1.30 per spread.  Each spread would then yield $108.70. This reduces your buying power by $300 and makes your investment $191.30 ($300 – $108.70).  If AMD closes at any price above $96 on January 22, both options will expire worthless, and your return on the spread would be 57% ($108.70 / $191.30), or 650% annualized.

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

IBD Underlying Updates December 19, 2020

IBD Underlying Updates December 19, 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

Consider Adobe (ADBE) After the Latest Earnings Report

Monday, December 14th, 2020

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.

ADBE has been a regular on the IBD Top 50 list over the past few years and is a favorite among analysts. Check out what the following two reports have to say about it – This Is Adobe’s Must-Hold Support Level if You Buy the Earnings Dip and Adobe (ADBE) Perfectly Positioned for New Highs.

Technicals

Both of the articles linked above discuss a technical outlook for ADBE and for good reason. The stock trades near several moving averages on a daily chart and is also testing support from a rising trendline that originates from a low posted in early November. It’s rare to see such a strong confluence of support lining up in this way and considering the strength this stock has displayed over the years, the odds favor a move to the upside from this point.

ADBE Chart December 2020

ADBE Chart December 2020

If you agree there’s further upside ahead for ADBE, consider this trade which relies on the stock remaining above $475 through the expiration in five weeks.

Buy To Open ADBE 22JAN21 472.5 Puts (ADBE210122P472.5)
Sell To Open ADBE 22JAN21 475 Puts (ADBE210122P475) for a credit of $1.18 (selling a vertical)

This credit is $0.02 less than the mid-point of the option spread when ADBE was trading near $476.  Unless the stock rallies quickly from here, you should be able to get close to this amount.

Your commission on this trade will be only $1.30 per spread.  Each spread would then yield $116.70. This reduces your buying power by $250 and makes your investment $133.30 ($250 – $116.70).  If ADBE closes at any price above $475 on January 22, both options will expire worthless, and your return on the spread would be 88% ($116.70 / $133.30), or 1004% annualized.

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

IBD Underlying Updates December 12, 2020

IBD Underlying Updates December 12, 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

Will Amazon (AMZN) Break Higher Into the Year-End?

Monday, November 30th, 2020

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.

AMZN is up 74% in the year thus far and looks poised to continue the uptrend. The following two articles highlight some of the reasons investors may continue to push the stock price higher –  Cramer’s Year-End Game Plan: Load Up On Digital Retailers and Wall Street Analysts Say These 5 Stocks Are A Buy As The World Prepares For The Post-COVID-19 Era.

Technicals

AMZN has been consolidating sideways within a triangle since the start of September. These types of consolidations often end with an upward break when they are preceded by a strong bullish trend. On a monthly chart, the stock is set to print a bullish reversal candlestick pattern which hints that the uptrend might be restarting. Lastly, as mentioned in one of the articles above, seasonality patterns show that AMZN typically performs well in this part of the year.

AMZN Chart November 2020 - Year end upwards break

AMZN Chart November 2020

If you agree there’s further upside ahead for AMZN, consider this trade which relies on the stock remaining above $3195 through the expiry in six weeks.

Buy To Open AMZN 8JAN21 3190 Puts (AMZN210108P3190)
Sell To Open AMZN 8JAN21 3195 Puts (AMZN210108P3195) for a credit of $2.55 (selling a vertical)

This credit is $0.02 less than the mid-point of the option spread when AMZN was trading near $3195.  Unless the stock rallies quickly from here, you should be able to get close to this amount.

Your commission on this trade will be only $1.30 per spread.  Each spread would then yield $253.70. This reduces your buying power by $500 and makes your investment $246.30 ($500 – $253.70).  If AMZN closes at any price above $3195 on January 8, both options will expire worthless, and your return on the spread would be 103% ($253.70 / $246.30), or 964% annualized.

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

IBD Underlying Updates November 28, 2020

IBD Underlying Updates November 28, 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

Investors Flock to Facebook (FB) Post-Election

Monday, November 9th, 2020

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.

Facebook rose sharply higher in the past week for a gain of 11.5%. The following two articles discuss the rationale behind the move and its implications – 3 Stocks That Are Big Winners After The U.S. Election and Best Mutual Funds Buy Up FANG Stocks Amazon, Alphabet, Facebook.

Technicals

The price action points to the same narrative as suggested by the articles mentioned above. There was a large move lower ahead of the election, likely attributed to investors covering their position ahead of the election. But then the rally in the past week catapulted FB to a new 2-month high, signaling a clear shift in sentiment from the earlier uncertainty. Further, FB’s outperformance compared to the broader markets during this time shows that it remains a favorite among investors. Near-term support is seen at $284 as the price point acted as resistance last month. The strong show of buying as of late suggests that near-term dips will be shallow, but if FB dips below $284, further support is seen at the 50-Day moving average. This moving average falls near a rising trendline that originates from a low printed in late June.

FB Chart November 2020 - Post election spike FANG

FB Chart November 2020

If you agree there’s further upside ahead for FB, consider this trade which relies on the stock remaining above the $292.5 level through the expiration in five weeks.

Buy To Open FB 11DEC20 290 Puts (FB201211P290)
Sell To Open FB 11DEC20 292.5 Puts (FB201211P292.5) for a credit of $1.08 (selling a vertical)

This credit is $0.02 less than the mid-point of the option spread when FB was trading near $293.  Unless the stock rallies quickly from here, you should be able to get close to this amount.

Your commission on this trade will be only $1.30 per spread.  Each spread would then yield $106.70. This reduces your buying power by $250 and makes your investment $143.30 ($250 – $106.70).  If FB closes at any price above $292.5 on December 11, both options will expire worthless, and your return on the spread would be 74% ($106.70 / $143.30), or 844% annualized.

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

IBD Underlying Updates November 7, 2020

IBD Underlying Updates November 7, 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

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