Short Strangles on Stocks 9/16 -9/20

Short Strangles on Stocks 9/9 – 9/13

This week’s short strangles (see chart panel below):

Last week’s short strangles:

Results were for the week but during the week (and FB stopped out at breakeven):

CHART KEY: The number in the yellow flag on the lower right is the cost of the strangle. The number in the white flag on the lower right is the price gain on the position (a negative number on the shorts is a gain). The number in the green flag on the lower left of each chart in the panel is the percentage gain or loss on the price of the strangle (not accounting for margin needed for the position).

(click on chart for a larger view)

#OptionsStrategy – Stealing money with short strangles on stocks

If there is any way to consistently steal money in the market it might be short strangles on stocks.

That is: with persistence, experience and discipline.

For example last week’s strangles as posted on twitter:

The key is to select the price spreads between the puts and calls for the near Friday’s expiration at a measured distance. There are all kinds of number-crunching strategies for determining the options spread below and above the stock price (Tasty Trade Network is a good reference), but since I believe it is best to keep it simple, and since it’s only for a week, I just eyeball it.

If the stock closes the week between the price of the short put and the short call the short strangle expires worthless, basically a 100% gain.

Those gains stated in the tweet above are for the strangle change itself on the each stock with no consideration for the margin requirements on selling naked options. Needless to say the margins are high and may be prohibitive for most but, even with the high margins, there is three to five percent per week possible on short stock strangle trades and, also needless to say, three to five percent per week adds up over a year’s time.

This week’s strangles:

$SPY – dead cat or not, the open always matters…

MARKET TIMING SIGNALS FOR 7/18/2019.

Long-Term Breadth (the NYSI): Sell DAY 2
Short-Term Breadth (the NYMO): Buy DAY 1
Price: Buy DAY 1
Nifty-50-Stock-List: 17 BUYS, 9 NEW BUYS, 8 OVERBOUGHT; 32 SELLS, 2 NEW SELLS, 8 OVERSOLD.
CNN MONEY’S “Fear and Greed” Index: 47, rising, NEUTRAL LEVEL.
Bellwether Stocks: 7 UP, 8 DOWN.

WHAT?

In yesterday’s post it was noted that:

“The market will go down until it doesn’t, and granted, that could be even as early as tomorrow. The VIX remains below 15, which is a bullish level indicating this is likely a pullback and not a serious correction.”

The is pretty much what happened with a gap down before recovering.

While all three of my end-of-the-day signals were on or went to sells on today’s open in options trading and day trading the open always matters.

See the charts below. Color-coding on the these TradeStation charts has been getting simpler and simpler.

Those trades were triggered by the open for each option. They are set for $10K in each trade (what I call the “10KDayTrade” on Twitter) only to make calculating the percentage gains and losses easier. So $10K in 296 call for Friday’s expiration made about $5,900 into the close on the black chart on the left and the brief trade in Friday’s 298 put on the blue chart to the right lost about $900 so the net today across both trades was about 50%.

WHAT NEXT?

Today’s recovery was enough to turn up the NYMO which is a cautious buy signal. I say “cautious” because long-term breadth is declining. Consequently, today’s turn could be a dead-cat bounce with the downward slide resuming in short order. It’s a trade worth taking with a tight, impatient stop — in other words for me it better go my way right away or I’m going away.

At same time, tomorrow’s open, like today’s, is going to matter in both options and day trading. As far as I’m concerned SPY options are always a day trade. Stocks are a different game. Based on today’s close, stocks on my bellwether list to watch for longs tomorrow are AAPL, FSLR, SHOP, TWLO, and NVDA while BABA, WYNN and QCOM may be shorts.

The open for each will tell the story.

(click on the charts below for a larger view)

#MarketTiming – Long-term breadth says sell the rally

MARKET TIMING SIGNALS FOR 7/18/2019.

Long-Term Breadth (NYSI): Sell DAY 1
Short-Term Breadth (NYMO): Sell DAY 3
Price: Sell DAY 2
Nifty-50-Stock-List: 13 BUYS, 1 NEW BUYS, 4 OVERBOUGHT; 37 SELLS, 11 NEW SELLS, 12 OVERSOLD.
CNN MONEY’S “Fear and Greed” Index: 46, falling, NEUTRAL LEVEL.
Bellwether Stocks: 6 UP, 9 DOWN.

WHAT?

The market took the tumble that been brewing for the past couple of days.

First short-term breadth turned down after a sequence of highs below highs, then price triggered a sell on today’s open, and now long-term breadth has given a sell signal for tomorrow’s open.

That last part is the most significant. Long-term breadth (the NYSI) is the primary context behind the entire market. If it is going up the bulls have the ball, if it is going down the market will tumble too. Maybe not right away — it can whipsaw like anything else, but if it keeps going down most stocks will follow.

Technically the sell signals are on tomorrow’s open but at today’s close this upswing, which began on the open of 6/28 (13 trading days ago), took TQQQ up 8.2%, UPRO up 5.1%, FNGU (the FANG ETF) up 12.4% and TNA remarkably was flat. Among notable stocks TSLA advanced 15.1%, SHOP 7.3%, TWLO 6.1%, WYNN 99%, FB 5.9% and AAPL lagged at up 2.3%.

The Nifty-50-stock-list was a mixed bag with as many stock down double digits as those up double digits. In retrospect that was probably a read on the raggedness of the rally.

However, INS, the number-one stock on the list coming into the upswing vaulted a spectacular 49.4%.

Interesting to note the divergence that registered on the overbought Fear-and-Greed Index, kept by CNN Money, called the exact top two days ago in SPY and in QQQ (see the chart below) and was telling across the board.

WHAT NEXT?

With the NYSI declining, one can only assume swing traders will be looking for short entries, options traders playing puts predominantly (see the post below), and long-term investors should tighten stops to their individual risk tolerance or just hold their breath and hope not to die.

Of note: NFLX after the bell reported earnings, a shortfall in expected subscriptions, and is getting clobbered in overnight trading. That may set a tone for trading tomorrow. Intriguing how often news comes along from somewhere to agree with the NYMO/NYSI breadth indicators.

Nothing much more to say. The market will go down until it doesn’t, and granted, that could be even as early as tomorrow. The VIX remains below 15, which is a bullish level indicating this is likely a pullback and not a serious correction.

(click on the Fear-and-Greed chart below for a larger view)

$SPY – trudging higher but watching for a reversal day

MARKET TIMING SIGNALS FOR 7/16/2019.

Long-Term Breadth (NYSI): BUY DAY 12
Short-Term Breadth (NYMO): Sell DAY 1
Price: BUY DAY 2
Nifty-50-Stock-List: 20 BUYS, 4 NEW BUYS, 13 OVERBOUGHT; 30 SELLS, 4 NEW SELLS, 11 OVERSOLD.
CNN MONEY’S “Fear and Greed” Index: 57, falling, GREED LEVEL.
Bellwether Stocks: 11 UP, 4 DOWN.

WHAT?

The market moved sluggishly higher today.

In the case of SPY it was five days in a row, and except for a minor blip in the middle of the advance, TQQQ would be the same. SPY, by my measure, has been overbought for three trading days, which is often all she wrote, but not always.

During this entire move up, my nifty-50 stock list has never had more than 25 stocks on buys. The last time I saw above thirty was two weeks ago (37 on 7/1). Those stocks are trudging through a muddle. That might or might now mean something. Notably TNA, the 3xLeveraged ETF for the Russell small caps has gone nowhere.

Still SPY has managed to make new all-time highs, which is either ragingly bullish, or it’s about to die on the first down day.

WHAT NEXT?

Let’s consider that first day down for a moment, especially since short-term breadth, which has been putting in highs below high (see chart below), turned down today with SPY overbought and up five days in a row (see this many times before a dip).

Trader Vic Sperandeo noted one time that any time a major index goes four or more days in one direction at the end of an intermediate advance or decline the first reversal day is the change of trend. Trouble is I don’t think he ever quite defined what constitutes an intermediate advance or decline. One can look at charts and see he has been right again and again and again but then there is that one time…and that one time can kill anyone who doesn’t play defense. This advance is essentially five weeks old with a minor drop in the middle, projected here in this post below :#MarketTiming – a black candles Thursday leading to….

In addition SPY ended the day in a black candle. The black candle makes today’s high (301.13) and today low (300.19) key numbers, above the former there more rally to come, below the latter a dip to the downside, a easy read of price action. Those highs below highs on the NYMO (again see the chart below) are a warning. There is a divergence in CNN Money’s Fear and Greed Index not confirming the new highs. There’s the Russell stall so far… These things are beginning to pile up.

Five weeks of solid gains may not be the end of the upswing but it is worth guarding against Trader Vic’s “first reversal day.”

All that aside. until long-term breadth turns down, the long side will remain the side to play. Dips are to be bought in the indexes, the ETFs, stocks. Eleven of my bellwether stocks were up today with decent gains, see AAPL, TSLA, SHOP, BABA as examples. So there is still strong buying in big names, which is probably the place to focus most trades.

It always sounds stupid with one says it but it is the one simple, absolute truth — the market will go up until is doesn’t.

(click on the chart for a larger view)

#MarketTiming – a black candles Thursday leading to…

MARKET TIMING SIGNALS FOR 6/21/2019.

Long-Term Breadth (NYSI): BUY DAY 11
Short-Term Breadth (NYMO): BUY DAY 4
Price: BUY DAY 3
Nifty-50-Stock-List: 36 BUYS, 9 NEW BUYS, 28 OVERBOUGHT; 14 SELLS, 6 NEW SELLS, 0 OVERSOLD.
CNN MONEY’S “Fear and Greed” Index: 473, rising, NEUTRAL LEVEL.
Bellwether Stocks: 13 UP, 2 DOWN.

WHAT?

The market gaped higher again Thursday and for the most part finished higher but…

But most indexes, ETFs, stocks closed below their opens creating black candles on their charts (see the charts below). Black candles are obvious times of indecision springing up oftentimes at the end of up swings.

The three major leveraged ETFs – TQQQ, UPRO, TNA – ended the day black. Seventeen of the stocks, more than a third, of the nifty-50 stock list ended in black candles. Thirteen of the 15 bellwether stocks — AAPL, FB, NFLX, GS, AMZN, SHOP, etc. – were up on the day but fourteen of them ended in black candles.

WHAT NEXT?

As noted before black candles create an easy read for traders as the obvious indecisiveness resolves itself- above the high of the candle, the rally resumes, below the low, it falls back. It’s that simple.

With this much indecision going around, and with the current swing up thirteen days old, and with 28 of the nifty-50 stocks overbought, and with all but three of the bellwether stocks overbought (and the other three already on sells), almost needless to say, it could be time for at least a dip, if not a solid drop.

(click on the chart panel for a larger view)

#MarketTiming – Stall or drop?

Been on vacation so haven’t been able to keep this blog as timely as I would like.

And besides, being in places where there was not even cell-phone coverage, I see I’ve missed a pretty sprightly rally. That’s the way it goes sometimes.

Anyway, TQQQ, my favorite leveraged ETF, is up 21% on the short-term breadth signal (the NYMO), six trading days ago. That signal triggering from double-bottom territory on the NYMO set the stage for the rest of the signals. Consequently, TQQQ is up 12% on its price signal and 8.3% on the long-term breath signal (the NYSI).

See the charts below — from left to right, short-term breadth, price, long-term breadth.

Since the rally’s start on the open of 6/4, other leveraged ETFs of note were SOXL (semiconductors) up 23.7%, FAS (financials) up 11.6% and FNGU (fang stocks) up 25.8%.

Gains among my be “bellwether stocks” were led by TSLA up 20%, coming from deeply oversold, AAPL up 11%, WYNN up 12.4%, SHOP (newly added to my list) up 14.4%, AMD up 14.5% and even a biggie like MSFT was up 9%.

Did I mention that we’re talking just six trading days, from Tuesday last week to Tuesday today? I guess I did. Six days, needless to say, that is what swing trading is all about.

So what now?

Both short-term breadth and price gave sell signals today with much of the market still wildly overbought. Likely we get a pullback starting tomorrow. Or at least a sideways stall to work off the overbought conditions. Note the big black candle of indecision today on the chart to the right. Below the low of that candle it’s a drop, above the high a resumption of the bounce.

If, by chance, this upswing was just more of the thrust from December to make everyone believe the bearish growl last fall was nothing to listen too, I suppose this rally could drop right out of the sky.

Either way, as long as the long-term breadth (the NYSI) is rising, the path of least resistance is up.

(click on the charts for a larger view)

#MarketTiming – tracks of the bear?

Sometimes, as they say, it’s not a stock market, it’s a market of stocks:

(Click on the chart to see the full twitter thread)

(Click on the chart to see the full twitter thread)

(Click on the chart to see the full twitter thread)

(Click on the chart to see the full twitter thread)

(Click on the chart to see the full twitter thread)

(Click on the chart to see the full twitter thread)

#MarketTiming – Oversold and very close to a bounce…

MARKET TIMING SIGNALS FOR 5/13/2019.

Long-Term Breadth (NYSI): SELL FROM 5/6.
Short-Term Breadth (NYMO): SELL FROM 5/13.
Price: SELL FROM 5/13.
Nifty-50-Stock-List: 9 BUYS, 0 NEW BUYS, 2 OVERBOUGHT; 41 SELLS, 14 NEW SELLS, 30 OVERSOLD.
CNN MONEY’S “Fear and Greed” Index: 32, FALLING, FEAR LEVEL.
Bellwether Stocks: 0 UP, 15 DOWN.

OF NOTE SPY OPTIONS:

In a very bearish trading environment, today was a put day (see post below) with the in-the-money at the open 284 put rocketing to a 144% gain at its peak and registering through a chop at the end of the day a 76% gain. That final gain is if one was not paying attention, but obviously there were profit taking points all during the day – as it gained 100%, coming off the top for 121%, selling on the first blue-bar sell signal for 90% (see the chart in the post below).

WHAT:

Today’s market action was again news driven as the US-China trade talks broke off Friday with Trump escalating the pressure with a jump in tariffs on many Chinese imports from 10% to 25%, then tweeting over the weekend several threats to make it worse.

Finally, China retaliated with $60B in tariffs on US products, most farm products in the heart of Trump’s voter support. Sixty billion is not that much on its face but in the scheme of things it was a sign China is not going to, as some Trump supporters were claiming, “bend a knee.”

With an all-out trade war getting closer and closer to a real possibility (don’t these guys ever read history?) it was inevitable the US market was going to take a big rip.

On a technical note, except for a one-day up blip on 5/3, the long-term breadth, as measured by the NYSI, has been been falling since 4/17 (see the red vertical line on the chart below). Since that time, the market managed to trudge higher but the indexes are all now below the level they were at when the NYSI turned down. In other words never bet against the NYSI. It sometimes takes a while but it most often wins in the end.

In a previous post on the this pullback, I said: “If the market focuses more and more on the Trump administration turmoil in Washington, it is likely to unstable for some time.” That still is the what’s what.

WHAT’S NEXT?

However, for now, it is time for a bounce. It may not come Tuesday (a “turnaround Tuesday”?) but it is very close by.

The market can go down as long as it wants but not forever.

At this point SPY is down seven of the past nine trading day, the nasdaq down eight of the last ten. Short-term breadth, the NYMO, is deeply oversold. VIX has moved from the “12s” to 20 in the same amount of time. It’s getting to be too far, too fast, which always leads to a quick bounce. Except for QCOM, all the bellwether stocks are sells and were flushed to oversold with big drops in the indexes today.

In addition, my nifty-50-stock-list has 41 stocks on sells and 30 individual stock on the list oversold. Forty or more on sells is oftentimes the beginning of the end, if not the end, of a downswing.

I’m not one for Fibonacci numbers because like all support and resistance indicators they are notable only as long as the market doesn’t slice right through them (which it often does), but they are sometimes fun to take a look at and right now it appears SPY is sitting on one on a retrace of the rally from December (see the chart below). Supposedly that’s as good a spot as any for a bounce to begin.

(click on the chart for a larger view)