Tag Archives: Bearish Options Strategies

Cutting Back on Meds

November 28, 2022

Medical-device maker Medtronic (MDT) reported earnings this week that hardly impressed the Street. Quarterly sales and earnings fell from a year earlier, with revenue falling short of analyst expectations while profits met projections. The company also cut its full-year guidance, citing the usual supply-chain disruptions and a slower recovery in medical procedures postponed due to the pandemic.

MDT’s report was met with a couple of downgrades along with a heavy dose of target price declines. Nevertheless, the average price target sits above $94, about 19% higher than Friday’s close. That leaves room for more price target cutbacks.

The stock price has been sliding from more than a year, falling 42% from a record high reached in Sep. 2021. Since April, MDT has displayed a pattern of lower highs and lows with the 50-day moving average keeping a lid on brief rallies. The 50-day currently sits at $83, which is also the strike of the short call in our credit spread. This trade is thus based on the current downtrend continuing, with the declining 50-day providing resistance and keeping our spread out of the money.

If you agree that MDT will continue to trade beneath the 50-day moving average (blue line), consider the following trade that relies on the stock staying below $83 (red line) through expiration in six weeks:

Buy to Open the MDT 6 Jan 85 call (MDT230106C85)
Sell to Open the MDT 6 Jan 83 call (MDT230106C83) for a credit of $0.40 (selling a vertical)

This credit is $0.03 less than the mid-point price of the spread at Friday’s $79.12 close. Unless MDT 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 $38.70. This trade reduces your buying power by $200, making your net investment $161.30 per spread ($200 – $38.70). If MDT closes below $83 on Jan. 6, both options will expire worthless and your return on the spread would be 24% ($38.70/$161.30). 

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

Down Goes Tyson

November 21, 2022

Down Goes Tyson

Tyson Foods (TSN) can’t seem to get out of its own way. The company reported earnings on Nov. 14 that missed estimates on profits but beat on revenue. Higher chicken prices squeezed gross margins, which were cut in half.

But TSN has other problems. The week before earnings, the company’s CFO was arrested for public intoxication and criminal trespass. This week, the company recalled 94,000 pounds of ground beef that reportedly contained a “reflective, mirror-like material,” whatever that means.

Analysts didn’t seem to like the earnings news, as the stock was hit with a few target price downgrades. Even so, the average price target is 24% above Friday’s close, which seems overly optimistic. Perhaps the options market is more in touch with TSN’s prospects, as out-of-the-money puts are priced higher than the corresponding calls.

The stock traded lower after earnings and throughout the week, falling nearly 3%. While hardly catastrophic, the more bearish development is the continued resistance provided by the 50-day moving average. The stock hasn’t closed a day above the 50-day since it crossed below it in early August. Moreover, recent rally attempts in the past couple of weeks were firmly rebuffed.

This trade is based on TSN continuing to trade sideways or lower beneath the weight of the 50-day moving average (blue line). Note that the short call strike (red line) of our credit spread lies just above this trendline, meaning that TSN will have to overcome this resistance to put our spread in danger

If you agree that TSN will continue to trade beneath the 50-day moving average, consider the following trade that relies on the stock staying below $67.50 through expiration in four weeks:

Buy to Open the TSN 16 Dec 70 call (TSN221216C70)
Sell to Open the TSN 16 Dec 67.5 call (TSN221216C67.5) for a credit of $0.50 (selling a vertical)

This credit is $0.02 less than the mid-point price of the spread at Friday’s $65.52 close. Unless TSN 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 $48.70. This trade reduces your buying power by $250, making your net investment $201.30 per spread ($250 – $48.70). If TSN closes below $67.50 on Dec. 16, both options will expire worthless and your return on the spread would be 24% ($48.70/$201.30). 

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

ABBV Not Immune to a Pullback

October 8, 2022

Pharmaceutical giant AbbVie (ABBV) reported mixed results in its recent earnings report. While earnings beat the consensus estimate, revenue fell short. Notably, the company’s immunology portfolio, which includes popular TV-ad drugs such as Humira, fell short of expectations. ABBV’s CEO cited the usual (and seemingly generic) “economic headwinds” as hurting the company’s aesthetic business (ABBVIE makes Botox).

While analysts didn’t hit ABBV with any downgrades, there was a flurry of target price decreases. The average estimate is now $157, about 8% above Friday’s close. That doesn’t seem unreasonable, nor is the average analyst rating, which has been slipping into the buy-hold region.

On the charts, ABBV’s earnings knocked the stock below its 200-day moving average, a  trendline that has provided solid resistance to any rally attempts other than a brief spurt  prior to earnings. This trade is thus a bet that the stock will continue to trade sideways as it has for the past six months, with the 200-day defining the upper rail of the trading range. Note that the short call of our spread is above the 200-day, so the stock will have to break this resistance to move the spread into the money.

If you agree that ABBV will continue to respect the 200-day (blue line), consider the following trade that relies on the stock staying below $150 (red line) through expiration in six weeks:

Buy to Open the ABBV 16 Dec 155 call (ABBV221216C155)
Sell to Open the ABBV 16 Dec 150 call (ABBV221216C150) for a credit of $1.98 (selling a vertical)

This credit is $0.02 less than the mid-point price of the spread at Monday’s $148.10 close. Unless ABBV 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 $196.80. This trade reduces your buying power by $500, making your net investment $303.20 per spread ($500 – $196.80). If ABBV closes below $150 on Dec. 16, both options will expire worthless and your return on the spread would be 65% ($196.80/$303.20).    

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

Schwab Tested

October 24, 2022

Schwab (SCHW) reported earnings on Monday before the open that set records for both earnings per share and revenue. Both numbers exceeded the consensus analyst estimates. SCHW attributed the great quarter to its “diversified financial model and a significant benefit from higher rates.”

Analysts didn’t appear moved by the record numbers, though. There were no upgrades (nor downgrades), and just one price target decrease. Perhaps that’s because analysts have been overly bullish on a stock that is down 16% this year. Plus, analysts have an average price target that is 19% above Friday’s close.

Despite the earnings success, the stock didn’t do much in a week where the S&P 500 climbed nearly 5%. The stock couldn’t even manage a weekly gain of 2%, keeping it mired in a trading range that has persisted since late July. On the chart, the shares are looking up at the 20-day, 50-day and 200-day moving averages, all of which are pointing lower.

This trade is based on SCHW continuing to struggle in gaining any momentum now that earnings is past. Heavy overhead resistance should keep the stock contained. That’s why we’re going with a call credit spread with the short call strike sitting just above the 200-day moving average (blue line). Note that the 20-day and 50-day trendlines sit between the stock price and short strike, too.If you agree that SCHW will continue to trade sideways, consider the following trade that relies on the stock staying below $75 (red line) through expiration in five weeks:

Buy to Open the SCHW 25 Nov 77 call (SCHW221125C77)
Sell to Open the SCHW 25 Nov 75 call (SCHW221125C75) for a credit of $0.50 (selling a vertical)

This credit is $0.03 less than the mid-point price of the spread at Friday’s $70.32 close. Unless SCHW sags 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 $48.70. This trade reduces your buying power by $200, making your net investment $151.30 per spread ($200 – $48.70). If SCHW closes below $75 on Nov. 25, both options will expire worthless and your return on the spread would be 32% ($48.70/$151.30). 

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

Underspiced

Spice maker McCormick (MKC) reported earnings this week that had no sizzle. Revenue and earnings both missed expectations by more than a little. The CEO said that “supply chain challenges continued, and recovery of certain constrained materials has taken longer than expected.” I’m not sure what that specifically means, but it doesn’t sound good.

The stock reacted with a brief burst on Thursday, but eventually finished lower. This shouldn’t be a surprise, though, as the stock has been in a pronounced decline since mid-August. The downtrend has covered more than 20%, pulling MKC to its lowest level since the COVID crash in early 2020. Moreover, the descent has been perfectly contained by the 20-day moving average, which hasn’t allowed a single close above it since Aug. 23.

If you agree that MKC will continue to decline under the weight of the 20-day (blue line), consider the following trade that relies on the stock staying below $75 (red line) through expiration in six weeks:

Buy to Open the MKC 18 Nov 80 call (MKC221118C80)
Sell to Open the MKC 18 Nov 75 call (MKC221111C75) for a credit of $1.45 (selling a vertical)

This credit is $0.05 less than the mid-point price of the spread at Friday’s $73.44 close. Unless MKC sags 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 $143.70. This trade reduces your buying power by $500, making your net investment $356.30 per spread ($500 – $143.70). If MKC closes below $75 on Nov. 18, both options will expire worthless and your return on the spread would be 40% ($143.70/$356.30). 

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

Housing Poor

Housing Poor

Homebuilding stocks got a boost early in the week after a prominent housing analyst upgraded the entire sector, including a rare “double upgrade” for Lennar (LEN) from underweight to overweight. The rationale was that housing tends to outperform coming out of a bear market and that “early pain = early gain.”

Now, he could very well be right … at some point. Housing stocks, along with the broader market, will eventually pull out of this bear market. But that’s off in the future. We’re still in the “early pain” phase.

LEN got a boost from the news but then trended lower after a mixed earnings report and another 75 bps rate hike from the Fed (with more to come). The stock could not pierce its declining 20-day moving average (blue line), which has kept a lid on LEN’s rally attempts after turning lower two months ago. Furthermore, the 50-day moving average (red line), which is now headed lower, sits overhead, ready to provide resistance.

This trade is based on more “early pain” for the homebuilders based on rising interest rates, mortgage rates at 14-year highs and the looming prospect of a recession. We are playing a call credit spread with the short call sitting above the 50-day, meaning that LEN will have to overcome two points of resistance to move the spread into the money.

If you agree that LEN will continue to slide lower, consider the following trade that relies on the stock staying below $82 (green line) through expiration in six weeks:

Buy to Open the LEN 4Nov 85 call (LEN221104C85)
Sell to Open the LEN 4Nov 82 call (LEN221104C82) for a credit of $1.05 (selling a vertical)

This credit is $0.02 less than the mid-point price of the spread at Friday’s $77.07 close. Unless LEN sags 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 $103.70. This trade reduces your buying power by $300, making your net investment $196.30 per spread ($300 – $103.70). If LEN closes below $82 on Nov. 4, both options will expire worthless and your return on the spread would be 53% ($103.70/$196.30). 

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

Pumped Up

Pumped Up

Much is made of gas prices declining for so many weeks in a row (I think we’re at 13 and counting). And that’s great for drivers. But what about the oil companies. Don’t they suffer when pump prices decline? Apparently not.

Gas prices peaked in mid-June and have dropped about 25% since then. But Chevron (CVX) has gained more than 5% during that period. For the year, CVX is up 33%. Its only major blip this year was the June swoon that pulled all stocks lower. But the decline was supported by the 200-day moving average, which allowed just a handful of daily closes below it in mid-July.

This trade is based on the strength of oil companies continuing for the next couple of months. More specifically, it is relying on the continued support of the 200-day. Note that the short put of our spread is right on the 200-day (blue line) and will be below it given the trendline’s current slope. Thus, CVX will have to penetrate that support to move the spread into the money.

If you agree that CVX will respect the 200-day, consider the following trade that relies on the stock staying above $148 (red line) through expiration in six weeks:

Buy to Open the CVX 28Oct 145 put (CVX221028P145)
Sell to Open the CVX 28Oct 148 put (CVX221028P148) for a credit of $0.75 (selling a vertical)

This credit is $0.05 less than the mid-point price of the spread at Friday’s $156.45 close. Unless CVX pops 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 $73.70. This trade reduces your buying power by $300, making your net investment $226.30 per spread ($300 – $73.70). If CVX closes above $148 on October 28, both options will expire worthless and your return on the spread would be 33% ($73.70/$226.30). 

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

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

For Whom the Bear Tolls

August 29 2022

For Whom the Bear Tolls

This is not a great time to be a homebuilder. The housing boom is over by most accounts. Consumer confidence in the housing market dropped to its lowest point since 2011. Sales of new homes plunged to a 6-1/2-year low in July. The Fed is not letting up on its interest-rate crusade. Do I need to go on?

Toll Brothers (TOL) echoed this sentiment in its recent earnings report. Although net income rose sharply in the third quarter and beat the analyst consensus estimate, revenue came up a bit short. More importantly, the homebuilder expects to deliver about 1,000 fewer units in fiscal 2022 than previously estimated.

TOL didn’t do much after earnings this week. In fact, it hasn’t done much for the past several months. The stock has been trading sideways for five months, with the top of the range around the $50 level. The fact that the shares couldn’t gain ground when housing was hot and interest rates low does not bode well for the future. Thus, we are going with a bearish call spread with the short call at the top of this trading range.

If you agree that TOL will continue sideways at best and lower at worst, consider the following trade that relies on the stock staying below $50 (blue line) through expiration in six weeks:

Buy to Open the TOL 7Oct 52 call (TOL221007C52)
Sell to Open the TOL 7Oct 50 call (TOL221007C50) for a credit of $0.45 (selling a vertical)

This credit is $0.02 less than the mid-point price of the spread at Friday’s $46.12 close. Unless TOL 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 $43.70. This trade reduces your buying power by $200, making your net investment $156.30 per spread ($200 – $43.70). If TOL closes below $50 on October 7, both options will expire worthless and your return on the spread would be 28% ($43.70/$156.30). 

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