#MarketTiming the #Nifty50StockList – Marking progress in $QDEL

Today, a look a back at the swing signal and upswing in QDEL, number 25 on the Nifty-50 stock list.

Up 27% since the swing signal in an oversold list since the buy on the open 9/09, 13 trading days ago.

#MarketTiming the #ShortList – Stocks UPDATED

The obvious stock sectors that are no-brainers for shorting largely because Covid-19 has put them either out of business for the immediate future or has severely hampered profit prospects for this year.

The most obvious are the cruise companies – NCLH, CCL, RCL – since it’s going to be a long time before they can pack a liner with either customers and crews. And now several of the key destinations have so enjoyed being tourist free there is talk they are not even going to allow the ships to dock and disgorge passengers like they were doing before the pandemic.

Next on the list movie theaters – AMC, CNK – since even if they open with social distancing they will at reduced audience capacity. Can they make profits on half a house or less?

It’s the same in the airline sector – AAL, UAL, DAL, LUV – less flights, less passengers, more trouble with the virus every hour of the day. Throw with BA too. No need to buy passenger planes when there are so few passengers and you have a fleet of excess airliners in storage.

Banks are on the short list too — JPM, GS, BAC, C, WFC – largely because they have lagged the rally from the March low for too long. That spells trouble not only for the sector but for the market as a whole. If the economy is going to tank and take the stock market with it (any day, week, or month now), it’ll probably, seriously, start the drop in the banks.

UPDATE: Am adding YELP and TRIP to the list. Without as much to review as they had before the pandemic, they have diminished prospects for the near term and maybe longer.

Coal stocks – BTU, ARCH, SXC, CNX – on the short list because the coal sector is always a short. It is not the fuel of the future and is becoming more and more not the fuel of the present. If ever there is a sector for swing traders to short every bounce this is it.

In the $BLNK of the an eye, 40% and 12.6%

On my last swing buy signal $BLNK, a company in the business of providing charging stations for electric vehicles. You know, things like those posts in parking garages and any where else something like a Tesla might pull in for a recharge.

I’m not one to get into fundamentals but it seems to me BLNK is a baby with a whole world and all of its life ahead of it.

If one is so inclined to peruse the fundamentals there is this at BARCHART.COM.

Anyway…

Since my last swing buy on stocks, ten trading days ago, BLNK is up 40% (see the chart at the bottom of this post below). Since I tweeted this on its run out a Darvas Box it is up 12.6% from the open three days ago.

As some market guru might say — “Sprightly.”


AT THE CLOSE TODAY (9/22):

(click on the chart for a larger view)

$SPY #Options #DayTrading – FED CALLS an hour rally, then it’s all ka-PUTS

Today was a Federal Reserve open market pronouncement day. Pretty much as expected, no change in rates and no likely raise of rates at any time in the future.

One would think that’s pretty bullish, and it was for an about an hour (see the CALLS chart below), but like a lot rally days recently there’s a sell-off into the close (see the PUTS chart below).

When the market doesn’t charge ahead on so-called good news, it is not good news and it could turn bad in a hurry.

FIRST OPTION PLAY: THE CALLS

SECOND OPTIONS PLAY: THE PUTS

A SIDE NOTE ON THE PUTS PLAY:

Had that stayed with the initial breakeven and held to the close the second half would have been up around 130%. Them’s the breaks.

(click on the chart for a larger view)

#OptionsStrategy – #DayTrading $TSLA strangles

“No one can day trade stock options!” an irate administrator of a Facebook options trading group told me back at the beginning of the year.

His group was centered on “investment income using options.” He was basically doing covered calls or puts, rolling them forward when necessary, in an effort of adding ten or so percent to ownership of the stocks themselves. Fine.

I just happened to blunder into the group day trading SPY calls and puts for ten times that return. I don’t know if it was the returns or, as he said, his belief the practice was so risky I should not be suggesting it anyone.

I argued there were ways to control risk and he might want to open his mind.

He didn’t want to evidently since he blocked from the room.

Well, at the time I got tossed, I thought maybe he might right – after all, trading SPY options was not the same as stock options. As the most popular ETF its option were extremely liquid, with tight spreads, and three expiry days per week. I’ve chronicled much of the SPY trading in posts below so I won’t get into it anymore in this one.

Stock options didn’t have those qualities but some came close – AAPL and FB particularly, others like NFLX, NVDA. The trouble with each of the stock-option trades, however, was that not only did one have to get the direction right for the day (it is a call or a put?) but one also had to have enough movement to make it worthwhile, and then each trade needed to be monitored pretty much constantly all day.

What I was after was a strategy that could be put on early and ignored to the end of the day unless it hit a stop loss during the day, at which time there might have to be a reentry if there was still time to reap some reward.

The trouble with even the best stocks like AAPL, FB, etc. was there was usually not enough bang for the buck in a single day.

Then along came TSLA.

It didn’t take to discover TSLA weekly options were as good as it gets for day trading short strangles, lots of premium, a big range of movement and enough liquidity to fairly easy to put on the trade and, most importantly, to get out of the trade.

In a short strangle, one is playing time decay (theta) every day on the strikes both above and below the stock’s price at the start of the trade.

And one has to keep in mind that shorting options naked (without owning the stock) requires considerable margin buying power – one ends up needing to put up $30K to $50K to maybe make $500 on some days. That might not seem worth it, but the ringer in a day trade is it’s the same margin every day and stays the same as the daily profits pile up all week long. Oftentimes, the day by day ends up making double-digit on the margin requirement for the week (see the green cells in the table below).

Using a tight stop (like $200 per contract) and selecting the right spread of strikes prices, significant returns can be had in a month.

For August, the TSLA short strangles yielded $18,800 per contract on a maximum margin requirement of $50,521 per contract (as prescribed by the CBOE MARGIN CALCULATOR, a 37.4% return for the month (see the yellow cells in the table below).

That’s without having to know what TSLA was going to do on any given day in any volatile month of wild price swings.

(click on the table for a larger view)

#OptionsStrategy – #DayTrading $SPY Calls and Puts

The contents of this post appeared here last on June 11th. I’m lifting it intact because nothing ever changes in the strategy.

There are so many options strategies in the stock market the head spins – a straddle, a strangle, a naked and/or a covered put and/or call, a calendar, a condor, an iron condor, an iron butterfly (isn’t that a rock band?) and any combination of any of these for hedging purposes, for capital appreciation or preservation, for gambling. Mind boggling.

But buying options…

Buying options, just plain buying a call or a put, everyone will say is a “fool’s game.”

Regardless of whether a trader buys calls or puts on index ETFs like SPY or QQQ or IWM, or buys options on stocks, there are only three things that can happen – the option goes the trader’s way (good), or the option goes against the trader (bad), the option goes sideways with price decay over time (also bad).

Two out of the three possibilities for the option buyer are losers. What fool would want to play that game?

But is it really a fool’s game, like everyone in options trading says?

For day traders it doesn’t have to be. If the trader is persistent, disciplined and experienced, it almost never is.

Let’s take SPY options as the prime example — very liquid across multiple strikes, tight spreads, hardly any time decay on a trade for only a day, a stop-loss is close by and immediate, and the profits, if there is a trend for the day, can be substantial, even rather astounding.

Also great for scalping on any time frame intraday.

Again, the key, as always, is persistence, discipline, experience, and an entry signal the trader is comfortable taking.

$SPY #Options – #DayTrading puts as the market plummets

For twelve days the major market leaders defied the falling long-term breadth, measured by the McClellan Summation index (the all-important NYSI) dragging the general market high and higher on FED intervention (I guess) and irrational exuberance for the big, big tech stocks.

Well, today, the NYSI 13th day down, took care of that. Across the board, the indexes and stocks plummeted. The Dow was down 800 points, the Nasdaq Composite down 598. High flyers AAPL down 13%, TSLA down 14%, NVDA 13%, ZM down 14%. A lot of shock going around as exuberance gave to way how can this happen? Aren’t these stock things supposed to go up every day?

Funny.

Anyway, it was great day for day trading SPY puts:

The strategy for taking these trades is stated in this link: #DayTrading $SPY #Options – Buying calls and puts.

FIRST TRADE: 320%.

SECOND TRADE: SOME ICING ON THE DAY

$UVXY – a slow walk to its next explosion…

The fuse has been lit all that’s left is for the blast to blast.

ON August 10 I gave another heads up to look over at UVXY before it takes off, maybe to the stratosphere…again.

See this link: $UVXY – lighting a fuse for its next explosion…

In the link it was pointed out that UVXY – like other VIX derivatives – had again worked itself into a falling-wedge pattern.

The last time that happened was in January. In February, after a slow walk out of the wedge it suddenly rose nearly to 140 from 11 – FROM ELEVEN TO NEARLY ONE HUNDRED AND FORTY! That explosion was fueled by the worldwide pandemic and, in the U.S. particularly, by the utter incompetence of Trump and his administration to deal with it.

I have no idea what is going to drive it now, although the Trump disaster continues unabated, but UVXY has again walked out of a falling wedge and is slowly walking toward whatever it is (see the chart below).

Maybe it will be reality setting in that an economy — that has been masked by a exuberant market rally fed by FED pumping and a few big tech stocks like AAPL, AMZN, MSFT, FB — more or less sucks.

Much, much more than less.

So many sectors – airlines, movies theaters, cruise ships, BANKS, now even fossil-fuel stocks like XOM, CVX, BP – after the initial bounce off the March lows have been going sideways for months and are now poised to drop off cliffs the market has built for them.

UVXY showed a hard run up off its low today. That could mean it’s done with slow walking. Or maybe not.

Regardless, it likely won’t be much longer until it explodes to the upside, and when it does, it will be fast and across the rest of the market it will take no prisoners.

(click on the chart for a larger view)

#StockTrading – $NIO and its #DarvasBox

The basis of everything in the stock market is simplicity.

That’s hard to tell when there are thousands of opinions and indicators and time frames and derivatives flying around all the time. There must be a thousand videos on YouTube giving lessons in stock and option trading and now there’s also cryptocurrency too. There are brokerage programs and financial advisors and television commentators and TV guests galore. The mind boggles with all the information available, with all the noise, with all the complications.

But it all comes down to one simple fact – whatever it is, it either goes up or it goes down.

Even then, the question arises when is going to do one or the other?

So let me reminisce moment. I had a Twitter exchange recently with the excellent market-timing advisor, Brian Shannon, in which I had the opportunity to recall a conversation I had years and years ago in the parking lot of Cal. State University Northridge with the great market wizard, Willian O’Neil. He was just getting Investors Business Daily off the ground (that’ll tell you how many years ago it was) and was promoting it everywhere. That day at the university as he was leaving his presentation it turned out his car was parked next to mine. We had a nice chat about how useful his paper was, about his CANSLIM method of stock picking, his approach to timing the market particularly, and, as Hemingway used to say, how the weather was.

I asked him as he was trying to slip into his car to leave, what books and people influenced him when he started out. He paused, then with a sly smile and a twinkle in his eye, said “the Darvas book is awfully good.” The Nicolas Darvas book is “How I Made $2,000,000 In The Stock Market.” He made the money in the 1950s and published the book in 1960.

The book is a classic.

Darvas was one half of a renowned dance act that toured constantly and often gave ballroom-dancing demonstrations on cruise ships. The market was a sideline and since he couldn’t pay all that much attention to it while he was away, he would study the stock tables in Barrons and the Wall Street Journal to find stocks in sideways consolidations. He would then draw a box around the consolidation and He would give his broker instructions to buy the stock if the price came out of the top of the box and use the bottom of the box as a stop-loss level.

His stock investing system is simplicity itself. So simple, I’m sure there are those who go “What? It can’t be that easy.” Yes, it can.

Darvas turned his $10,000 savings into $2,000,000 in an 18-month period. As Bill O’Neil said “the Davas book is awfully good.” After I first read it, I realized that the sly smile and twinkle O’Neil gave me that day was him giving away his own stock-market secret – his CANSLIM methodology has Darvas written all over it.

Enough with the reminiscence, enough with the history. Dravas wrote that book 60 years ago.

What about now?

Nothing, absolutely nothing, has changed.

Let’s take NIO, the Chinese electric-vehicle TSLA wanna-be. See the chart below with the Dravas Boxes on each price consolidation since this year’s March low. NIO first came out of a Darvas Box at $3.20, then another at 4.17, then another at 7,91, and finally today again, on high volume, at 17.84 with no Darvas stops hit during its entire climb. Simplicity itself.

Of course, all of these boxes in NIO’s uptrend are in retrospect unless one happened to be focused on the stock and were watching for it to make its moves. That’s the past but notice is hereby given – NIO popped out of its box again today to 17.87 on a significant rise in volume. That makes it a buy on the open tomorrow. A tight stop would be the top line it just crossed at 16.44, and the stop Darvas would use would be the bottom of the box at around 10.5.

Stops are always determined by each individual’s risk tolerance but if the stops don’t get hit, NIO is an investment for the long term from this moment on.

(Click on the chart for a larger view)

Oh, and by the way:

(Click on the chart for a larger view)

#DayTrading $SPY #Options – after seven days up, SPY gets put

As SPY tried to gap into an 8th day up in a row, it was obvious any fall back through the open was trigger to buy the puts.

FIRST TRADE:

SECOND TRADE ENTRY:

SECOND TRADE CLOSE:

(CLICK ON CHART FOR A LARGER VIEW)