Category Archives: Uncategorized

It’s Getting Cold in Burlington

September 6, 2022

Burlington Stores (BURL) reported earnings on August 25 that beat on profits but missed on revenue. Same-store sales fell 17%, more than analysts expected. The reasons should sound familiar by now – consumers coming under increasing price pressures and too much inventory. More significantly, BURL slashed its quarterly and full-year earnings forecast.

Analysts, as usual, are right on with their assessment of the stock. Despite the price being cut in half this year, BURL has an average “buy” rating. I’m not sure what chart they’re looking at. In fact, there are more “buy” and “strong buy” ratings now than in June. Go figure. To their credit, most analysts lowered their price targets for the off-price retailer. But the average target of $176 is still 23% above Friday’s close.

The stock was hammered after the report, dropping 10% to fall below both the 50-day (blue line) and 20-day (red line) moving averages. And it hasn’t recovered since then. We are thus playing a bearish credit spread with the short call (green line) sitting on the 20-day moving average, which is rolling over. Thus, the stock will have to break above two points of resistance to move the spread into the money.

If you agree that BURL will struggle to break through resistance, consider the following trade that relies on the stock staying below $155 through expiration in seven weeks:

Buy to Open the BURL 21Oct 160 call (BURL221021C160)
Sell to Open the BURL 21Oct 155 call (BURL221021C155) for a credit of $1.55 (selling a vertical)

This credit is $0.05 less than the mid-point price of the spread at Friday’s $143.46 close. Unless BURL falls quickly, you should be able to get close to that price.

The commission on this trade should be no more than $1.30 per spread. Each spread would then yield $153.70. This trade reduces your buying power by $500, making your net investment $346.30 per spread ($500 – $153.70). If BURL closes below $155 on October 21, both options will expire worthless and your return on the spread would be 44% ($153.70/$346.30). 

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

Watch for the Bear Trap

Zurich-based Chubb Limited (CB) is the world’s largest publicly traded property and casualty insurance company. CB reported earnings this week that topped estimates. But the market wasn’t sure how to react, as analysts offered a mix of target price increases and decreases.  What’s clear, however, is that analysts are overwhelmingly bullish toward CB, as 84% give the stock a buy or better rating. Perhaps this is due to the “conventional” wisdom that insurance companies benefit from rising interest rates.

But analysts would be well advised to check out CB’s chart. Despite the solid earnings numbers, the stock ended the week flat. Moreover, it failed to break out of a four-month downtrend that has seen the stock drop 14%. This slide has been guided by the 20-day moving average (blue line in chart), which hasn’t allowed a daily close above it since early June. Above that lies the 50-day moving average (red line), which has yet to be tested. It sits at the $196 level, just a point above the short strike of our call credit spread. At its current slope, it will fall below this strike in the coming week. Thus, the stock will have to pierce two points of resistance to move into the money.

If you agree that the 20-day moving average will continue guiding CB lower, consider the following trade that relies on the stock staying below $195 (green line) through expiration in seven weeks:

Buy to Open the CB 16Sep 200 call (CB220916C200)
Sell to Open the CB 16Sep 195 call (CB220916C195) for a credit of $1.40 (selling a vertical)

This credit is $0.02 less than the mid-point price of the spread at Friday’s $188.64 close. Unless CB drops quickly, you should be able to get close to that price.

The commission on this trade should be no more than $1.30 per spread. Each spread would then yield $138.70. This trade reduces your buying power by $500, making your net investment $361.30 per spread ($500 – $138.70). If CB closes below $195 on September 16, both options will expire worthless and your return on the spread would be 38% ($138.70/$361.30).  

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

Dressing Down this Stock 

Levi Strauss (LEVI) was one of the only well-known names that reported earnings this week ahead of the banks kicking off the season next week. The company beat estimates on both revenue and earnings, posting higher sales while avoiding – perhaps temporarily – excess retailer inventory and slowing consumer spending. The company cited a shift to more casual clothes from the burgeoning remote work crowd. 

That makes sense, but why wouldn’t that have applied during the past two years? The stock is on a slide that’s covered 46% in the past 14 months. It’s down 34% this year. And all it could manage after a stellar earnings report was a meager 1% gain after peaking 6.6% higher. More importantly, the shares were soundly rejected by the declining 50-day moving average at the $17.50 level. This trendline has rejected numerous rally attempts, allowing just a handful of closes above it since it turned south in January. 

This trade is a bet that LEVI’s downtrend will continue. Earnings and the brief respite they brought are in the past. Now the company must face what all consumer stocks are facing – inflation fears, supply chain issues and a worried customer. Plus, the stock has to contend with its 50-day moving average. Note that the short call of our bearish call spread is 3% above the 50-day, so the stock will have to power through this resistance to move the spread into the money. 

If you agree that LEVI will continue its slide under the weight of its 50-day (blue line), consider the following trade that relies on the stock staying below $18 (red line) through expiration in six weeks.  

Buy to Open LEVI 19Aug 20 call (LEVI220819C20)

Sell to Open LEVI 19Aug 18 call (LEVI220819C18) for a credit of $0.55 (selling a vertical)

This credit is $0.05 less than the mid-point of the option spread when LEVI was trading at $16.58. Unless the stock drops quickly from here, you should be able to get close to this amount.

Your commission on this trade should be no more than $1.30 per spread.  Each spread would then yield $53.70. This trade reduces your buying power by $200 and makes your net investment $146.30 ($200 – $53.70) for one spread.  If LEVI closes below $18 on August 19, both options will expire worthless and your return on the spread would be 37% ($53.70/$146.30).

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

Just Do It … or Not

Nike (NKE) reported earnings on Monday that beat on the top and bottom lines. But many were not impressed, citing disappointing gross margin guidance, among other metrics. The stock was hit with a slew of target price downgrades, though that’s been the norm for all stocks as analysts make feeble attempts to catch up with the bear market. Nevertheless, saying analyst reactions were mixed would probably be an overstatement. The stock reacted by crashing to a two-year low and falling 45% from its November high. Given the current market environment and the latest numbers, it’s difficult to make a bullish case for the stock over the near term. So, we won’t. That said, we’re giving plenty of room on the upside, using a call spread with the short call sitting just below the declining 20-day moving average (red line), which twice rebuffed rally attempts in June. The 50-day moving average (blue line) is also in play as potential resistance.

If you agree that NKE will continue its overall downtrend, consider the following trade that relies on the stock staying below $110 (green line) through expiration in seven weeks.  

Buy to Open NKE 19Aug 115 call (NKE220819C115)
Sell to Open NKE 19Aug 110 call (NKE220819C110) for a credit of $1.05 (selling a vertical)

This credit is $0.02 less than the mid-point of the option spread when NKE was trading at $101. Unless the stock drops quickly from here, you should be able to get close to this amount.

Your commission on this trade should be no more than $1.30 per spread.  Each spread would then yield $103.70. This trade reduces your buying power by $500 and makes your net investment $396.30 ($500 – $103.70) for one spread.  If NKE closes below $110 on August 19, both options will expire worthless and your return on the spread would be 26% ($103.70/$396.30).

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

No Garden Party

Darden Restaurants (DRI) reported earnings this week that beat on both revenue and profits. But the owner of such popular chains as Olive Garden, LongHorn Steakhouse and Capital Grille was beset by higher food, beverage and labor costs even as customers are more comfortable eating out again.

Analysts weighed in with a plateful of target price decreases, although there were no rating downgrades. This has been common for most stocks, as analysts re-adjust their targets amid the 2022 swoon. Nevertheless, some targets are now barely above the current share price, which does not inspire confidence about DRI’s near-term price action.

The stock reacted with a small increase on Thursday and then popped 3.6% on Friday. But most stocks surged on Friday, so it doesn’t appear that earnings gave DRI a boost. Although the stock is up 8% off a 52-week low hit last week, it is bumping into its 20-day moving average at the 120 level (red line in chart). The 50-day moving average lies overhead at the 125 level (blue line). Although DRI has managed to overtake the 50-day at times, it ultimately retreats into a tailspin. Given this history, we’re using a bearish call credit spread with the short call strike (green line) sitting right on the 50-day.

If you agree that DRI will continue its overall downtrend, consider the following trade that relies on the stock staying below $125 through expiration in eight weeks.  

Buy to Open DRI 19Aug 130 call (DRI220819C130)
Sell to Open DRI 19Aug 125 call (DRI220819C125) for a credit of $1.50 (selling a vertical)

This credit is $0.05 less than the mid-point of the option spread when DRI was trading at $120. Unless the stock drops quickly from here, you should be able to get close to this amount.

Your commission on this trade should be no more than $1.30 per spread.  Each spread would then yield $148.70. This trade reduces your buying power by $500 and makes your net investment $351.30 ($500 – $148.70) for one spread.  If DRI closes below $125 on August 19, both options will expire worthless and your return on the spread would be 42% ($148.70/$351.30).

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

Channel This

Roku (ROKU) is a stock many believe is in play as a takeover candidate. Netflix and Disney are potential suitors, among others. Whatever the rumor or sentiment, the stock has been flat for the past seven weeks, which is saying something. In fact, since April 27, ROKU is down 2.7% while QQQ has fallen more than 13%.

There’s no denying that ROKU has been a spectacular flop for the past year. The shares are down a whopping 83% from their July 2021 high. But the stock has held up well over the past couple of months with takeover rumors in the air. It may not be advancing, but it’s not falling either. Moreover, the stock appears to have found solid support in the 72-73 area, the site of a two-year low.

One way to see how the market feels about a stock is by looking at equidistant out-of-the-money put and call prices. Currently, calls are trading for more than their corresponding puts, suggesting that the market sees more risk to the upside. That is highly unusual in this market, where most everything has richer put prices. We are therefore trading a put credit spread with the short put strike below the recent two-year low level. 

If you agree that ROKU is in play and will continue sideways at worst, consider the following trade that relies on the stock staying above $70 through expiration in six weeks. Note that ROKU is scheduled to report earnings the day before expiration.

Buy to Open ROKU 29Jul 65 put (ROKU220729P65)
Sell to Open ROKU 29Jul 70 put (ROKU220729P70) for a credit of $1.50 (selling a vertical)

This credit is $0.05 less than the mid-point of the option spread when ROKU was trading at $82.42. Unless the stock surges quickly from here, you should be able to get close to this amount.

Your commission on this trade should be no more than $1.30 per spread.  Each spread would then yield $148.70. This trade reduces your buying power by $500 and makes your net investment $351.30 ($500 – $148.70) for one spread.  If ROKU closes above $70 on July 29, both options will expire worthless and your return on the spread would be 42% ($148.70/$351.30).

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

On Target Trade

Target (TGT) reported earnings before the bell on Wednesday that beat estimates on both revenue and profits. The company also expects its fiscal Q4 comparable sales growth to be higher than previous forecasts. Moreover, TGT claimed the supply chain mess has not been an issue – store shelves are full and ready for the holiday buying onslaught.

Analysts were mostly bullish on the report, giving TGT several target price increases (there was one lower price). One went as high as $350, a 38% premium to Friday’s closing price. The stock price was not rewarded, however. The shares dropped 4.7% on Wednesday and slid further the rest of the week. However, this was a common theme among several retailers, including Walmart (WMT). In fact, the overall retail sector was lower for the week.

The pullback dropped the shares to just above their 50-day moving average (blue line in chart). This trade is thus a bet that TGT will regain its footing and stay above the 50-day as holiday sales numbers – that are predicted to be robust – start rolling in. The short 245 strike (red line) of our put credit spread is below the 50-day, relying on trendline support to hold through expiration.

If you agree that TGT will stay atop its 50-day moving average line in chart), consider the following trade that relies on the stock remaining above 245  (through expiration in six weeks.

Buy to Open TGT 31Dec 240 put (TGT211231P240)
Sell to Open TGT 31Dec 245 put (TGT211231P245) for a credit of $1.60 (selling a vertical)

This credit is $0.02 less than the mid-point of the option spread when TGT was trading around $251. Unless the stock rises 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) for one spread.  If TGT closes above $245 on December 31, both options will expire worthless and your return on the spread would be 46% ($158.70/$341.30).

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

An AFRMation Trade

Affirm Holdings (AFRM) provides a platform for point-of-sale payments for consumers and merchants. In August, AFRM announced a partnership with Amazon.com (AMZN) to offer flexible payment solutions to customers with AMZN purchases above $50. AFRM reported earnings on Wednesday after the bell that missed on profits but beat on revenue. The company also raised sales guidance.

Wall Street apparently forgave the earnings miss, largely because it was not clear if the discrepancy used comparable numbers. Moreover, AFRM said its AMZN relationship as a buy-now-pay-later service was exclusive. Clearly, analysts were looking at AFRM’s growth prospects, as the company was greeted with several target price upgrades that reached as high as $185 (the stock closed at $149 on Friday).

After a nasty, four-day 21% plunge heading into earnings that pulled the stock to its 50-day moving average, the stock rebounded 13.7% the day after the earnings news. Given the earnings rebound, analyst target upgrades and deal with AMZN, we are going with a bullish trade on AFRM that keys on the stock maintaining its three-month rally and staying atop its 50-day moving average (blue line in chart). The short put strike of our credit spread sits at $133 (red line in chart), just below the 50-day.

If you agree that AFRM will continue its uptrend and stay atop its 50-day moving average line in chart), consider the following trade that relies on the stock remaining above $133  (through expiration in seven weeks.

Buy to Open AFRM 31Dec 128 put (AFRM211231P128)
Sell to Open AFRM 31Dec 133 put (AFRM211231P133) for a credit of $1.85 (selling a vertical)

This credit is $0.05 less than the mid-point of the option spread when AFRM was trading at $149. Unless the stock rises 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 $183.70. This trade reduces your buying power by $500 and makes your net investment $316.30 ($500 – $183.70) for one spread.  If AFRM closes above $133 on December 31, both options will expire worthless and your return on the spread would be 58% ($183.70/$316.30).

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

A Me(h)T Trade

MetLife (MET) won’t get anyone’s juices flowing. It’s frankly a rather boring insurance and financial services company that’s been around for 158 years. But who cares … if we can make money on a trade, right?

MET reported earnings last week that beat estimates on the top and bottom lines. Hardly anyone noticed. Analysts were silent. There were no stories other than a dry listing of its key performance numbers. And the stock fell 2% the next day. Ho hum.

But MET is up 36% for the year, which is well ahead of the S&P 500’s 25%. After a swoon in June and July, the stock has been grinding steadily higher along the dual support of its 50-day and 200-day moving averages. The key is the 50-day (blue line in chart), which has allowed just three daily closes below it during the past three months. This trendline, which is rising slightly, sits at $61.10, which is above the short strike of our put spread trade. Thus, MET would have to pierce this support to hurt this trade. And the 200-day (red line in chart) sits at $61 to provide another layer of support. The last time MET closed below the 200-day was more than a year ago.

If you agree that MET will continue its slow ascent and stay atop its 50-day moving average line in chart), consider the following trade that relies on the stock remaining above $62.50  (through expiration in six weeks.

Buy to Open MET 17Dec 60 put (MET211217P60)
Sell to Open MET 17Dec 62.5 put (MET211217P62.5) for a credit of $0.75 (selling a vertical)

This credit is $0.04 less than the mid-point of the option spread when MET was trading at $64. Unless the stock rises 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 $73.70. This trade reduces your buying power by $250 and makes your net investment $176.30 ($250 – $73.70) for one spread.  If MET closes above $62.50 on December 17, both options will expire worthless and your return on the spread would be 42% ($73.70/$176.30).

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

An Intuitive Trade

Intuitive Surgical (ISRG) – the maker of the da Vinci robotic surgical system – reported earnings on Tuesday that showed a solid increase from a year earlier and beat estimates, though not by much. The company shipped 72% more da Vinci units compared to a year earlier. Also, the company tightened – but did not increase – its 2021 guidance. The report was accompanied by Johnson & Johnson (JNJ) announcing a two-year delay in developing a rival soft-tissue surgical robot.

Though there were no upgrades, analysts apparently approved of the numbers through price target increases. One went as high as $381 (ISRG closed at $341.52 on Friday). The stock reacted well to the report, gaining 2.8% through the end of the week. In the process, the shares moved above the 20-day moving average for the first time in six weeks. The stock has tended to respect the 20-day, using it as support during a three-month, 34% rally and as resistance during the recent three-week decline. Note that the short put of our credit spread is below this trendline.

ISRG Chart

If you agree that ISRG will stay atop its 20-day moving average (blue line in chart) line in chart), consider the following trade that relies on the stock remaining above $330 (red line in chart)  (through expiration in four weeks.

Buy to Open ISRG 19Nov 325 call (ISRG211119C325)
Sell to Open ISRG 19Nov 330 call (ISRG211119C330) for a credit of $1.55 (selling a vertical)

This credit is $0.02 less than the mid-point of the option spread when ISRG was trading at $341.52. Unless the stock falls 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 $153.70. This trade reduces your buying power by $500 and makes your net investment $346.30 ($500 – $153.70) for one spread.  If ISRG closes above $330 on November 19, both options will expire worthless and your return on the spread would be 44% ($153.70/$346.30).

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

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