$SPY options – can little losers be the prelude to a big winner?

I came into today expecting a sell-off in the general market.

It didn’t happen, at least not right off the bat. At the end of the day, it sort of sold down in a way that may mean the market “plop” I suggest yesterday will come tomorrow.

For the past three days the market has been in a very tight range – for instance SPY opened Tuesday at 285.39, opened Wednesday again at 285.39 and today at 285.53, a total range of 14 cents in three days. This might be great if one is selling SPY options but I don’t even look at the short side naked because it takes too much margin. Instead in what I’ve been calling, tongue-in-cheek “the fool’s game,” these three days have been yuck. I mean PURE YUCK!

Today was a little loser again.

Because I’ve been posting winners, primarily to explore the potential of day trading SPY calls and puts on the long side (“the fool’s game”), I’ve been met on the internet as expected by a chorus of naysayers who believe what I’m saying is far “too good to be true.” So I’ve decided to post this loser to reassure that while it is good and it is true it is not every day.

Today’s loss came from trading $10K on each trade, first the 284 call, expiring tomorrow (see the the chart on the left below), then the 286 put on the day-trading reversal. The call lost 22.8% percent on the $10K trade, $2282. The put, which was deeply underwater most of the day (see the white profit histogram on the chart on the right below), managed to surge to a .9% profit on the SPY sell-down into the close, $958. Total loss for the day was $1324 for $10K traded, 13.2% for the day.

That 22% loss on the calls and the 13% loss overall is why money management is most important in trading anything, especially any strategy like this. It is intended to be traded small versus one’s overall portfolio and traded everyday.

The tight range of the past three days suggest SPY could go big either way tomorrow. My hope is it will be a trending day either up or down since the real money here is made on trending days, usually days of options expiration like Friday (in fact, YTD Friday’s have been the best days of the week), or like last Monday…

Monday’s SPY 283 call (see the pattern on the charts) trended all day. As a result, the profit for week remains at 57% despite the yuck, yuck chop of Tuesday, Wednesday and today.

As a great, wise film fool once said: “That’s…

(click on the chart for a larger view)

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