#MarketTiming – To short the usual suspects…

The general market has had a dandy little bounce the last two days and may continue to the upside into the holiday weekend.

But sometimes in the endless quest to detect “what happens next” it is not what is happening, but instead it is what is not happening.

Since most stocks in most sectors rally with a rising mass market those that don’t usually get hit the hardest with the market turns.

Since I think all of the market’s rallies now are bounces to be sold until the biggest reward comes when the realization sets in that there is nothing supporting this supposed bull market except the fumes in the Fed’s liquidity tank, I’ve taken a look around to what is not bouncing.

Really took just a glance around.

Didn’t have to look much past the usual suspects, the airlines, cruise ships, theater chains, and coal. Those first three sectors are severely distressed by the pandemic in this the worst of times. Coal is always a short even in the best of times.

Take a look at the two-day charts below to see the lack of bounce these last two days in all of these stocks.

AIRLINES — AAL, ALK, DAL, LUV, UAL, and most importantly, BA. Hope springs eternal in this sector but it does not fly. ALK has canceled 130 flights so far and mothballed 30 airliners. AAL and UAL, in desperation, have said they will fill their flights to capacity while others have said they have eliminated middle seating in an attempt to social distance, but it is doubtful the hordes of passengers they packed in previous to the pandemic will return any time soon. They are going to lose money, maybe on every flight. BA rallied yesterday on news of 737 MAX re-certification tests as if anyone is going to want to order that plane anytime soon, especially since most airlines are in the process of canceling orders (Norwegian Airlines canceled 97 orders today).

CRUISE LINES – CCL, RCL, NCLH. What’s there to say further? Can cheaply offered luxury cancel the memories of being trapped on cruises of contagion and death while the charlatan President of the United States, no less, says he would rather have passengers die there than muck up his Coronavirus positive case counts on shore? And what’s it going to cost to hire crew members for those voyages, if any crew can be hired at all?

THEATER CHAINS – AMC, CNK (which now owns Regal, the largest chain in the US). These movie theaters have a chance to make adjustment to cope with social distancing but still…even for the biggest blockbuster offering it will be irresponsible to operate at more than 50% capacity (if not illegal in some states). How much profit margin is there in half a house?

COAL STOCKS – BTU, ARCH, SXC, CNX. Coal, no matter how many times Trump says he loves it, has no sustainable future. Just compare the stocks in the sector to the solar stocks. On the next leg down, it looks as if BTU particularly may once again wipe out shareholder equity with yet another bankruptcy filing.

It’s going to take some market timing to pick the entries for when these stocks break down again. For me that’s watching what NYMO and NYSI, as my prime measures of mass-market psychology, are doing, but I assume anyone capable to shorting has their own indicators to rely on.

Regardless, when the time comes, I’m looking to take the slide down in what has now become the USA’s continued botched-coronavirus-response carnival.

(click on the chart for a larger view)

#ShortStrangles – $TSLA marching through March for a 62% gain…

Day trading weekly short strangles on TSLA, even as the market swung wildly both up and down, has turned out a steady 62% gain for March.

The total cash gain per options contract for the month was $10,969, using a maximum margin of just under $18k. Every week had a double-digit gain.

See the green-colored weekly totals and the final yellow-colored cumulative total for the month on the table below.

Each short strangle had a hard %200 stop loss. If stopped out the strangle is rewritten for new strikes calculated on the stop’s price level. Each trade is closed at the market at the end of the day to eliminate overnight risk.

The same short strangle strategy can be applied to any volatile stock with liquid weekly options – TSLA here, but other prospective stocks would include AAPL, NVDA, BA, ROKU, GS, FB, WYNN and NFLX. No doubt others from time to time depending on market conditions and an individual stock’s story (for instance, BA of late).

The reference for this strategy is this link: $TSLA – Day trading short strangles for simplicity’s sake.

There are many complicated options strategies but this blog strives to apply the idea that simple is best, or at least better…

Remember this information is presented here, and throughout this blog, for entertainment purposes and as my personal journal for trading and tracking strategies, and should not in any way be construed as investment advice.

(CLICK ON THE TABLE FOR A LARGER VIEW)

#MarketTiming – looking for a swing leg up…

Nearly every night for past two weeks, the overnight index futures have been trying to mount another leg up for the market from the March 23rd bottom, and nearly every day the bears try to knock it back down.

Actually that’s typical – as J.P. is reputed to have said famously: “The market will fluctuate.”

As a day and swing trader I’m just sitting on the edge of my desk chair waiting to see which way to go.

Technically speaking, the SPY chart is showing an island reversal for the recent spectacular bounce off the market low.

That is bearish.

In addition the chart patterns I watch most closely — the NYSI and NYMO — are decidedly bearish. After getting wildly and rapidly overbought on the bounce, they have retreated with both highs below highs on the NYMO and a drop below the zero line on the NYSI. In bullish times it usually take three or four NYMO highs below highs to stop a rally. In bearish times it may take but one and several lows above lows to mount one. So far that has been true again (see the NYMO/NYSI line in the middle of the first chart below).

Long term investors, if they are in this market below current price levels, are losing time (at least a year, maybe as much as Trump’s entire term). If they are in at higher price levels they are truly trapped, losing time and losing money.

Regardless, I keep hearing both groups wishing and hoping — and pleading for — more bounce, either to cut paper losses or to get out.

So what’s next?

Having said all the bearish stuff, let’s take a look at the a couple short-term rally possibilities.

The NYMO, despite the current bearish pattern, just did something that is normal in bullish times and is at least a glimmer for a another leg up. It has dipped to the zero line three weeks (15 trading days) from its low. Three to four weeks into is normal for a twelve to fourteen week McClellan Oscillator cycle; it happens all the time in bull markets. Could this be a hint this is the week to try for more upside? A bit of relief, a surge of hope for the bulls? Maybe.

In addition, every day I tabulate all the stocks on my nifty-fifty stock list as to whether they are on buys, buys-overbought, sells, sells-oversold. Have been doing that for years, and it is a list that talks.

See the histogram on the second chart below for reference.

I’ve said before any time 40 or more of those stocks are on sells that is either the bottom of a swing or the beginning of the bottom of the swing. On the chart below, that tallies as 30 or more (stocks on buys minus stocks on sells). The red box mark each time this has happened.

During bull markets, when the nifty-fifty start up again, they either lead or confirm the next up swing. But since February that has not been case. No need to guess why that is so. Whenever a reliable indicator has a change in behavior, it screams there is SOMETHING BIGGER GOING ON HERE! My stock list is one among several technical indicators that have just announced the bear is out of his cave (and he’s given the world a vicious virus besides).

But…like the glimmer on the NYMO, there is a glimmer here also. The stocks on sells has been under forty for three days (there is no four days on this chart), and for the past two of those days it’s been slowing slogging its way higher.

Monday will be important but I’m going guess… The market is going to pop and take a leg up for at least a couple days this week.

Needless to say, I could be totally wrong about this since I am arguing against the NYMO and NYSI at the moment, the two most important measures of market psychology there is.

If so…well…it will be a short…again.

(CLICK ON THE CHART FOR A LARGER VIEW)

(CLICK ON THE CHART FOR A LARGER VIEW)

#STOCKS — $BA and its birds of a feather…

This is what happens when the US taxpayers put up $50 or so billion dollars to buy your company and then don’t take it away from the shareholders.

BA (Boeing) is up 85 percent this week (in four days) thanks to the general market bounce and being a large part of a $50-billion taxpayer bailout in the stimulus bill.

It’s up 55 percentage points higher than the next nearest stocks in the DOW Industrial Average (CVS, UTX, HD).

All those percentage points this week for a company that was crying for a bailout even before the market selloff, and a company that last week shut down its operations in the Puget Sound area (laying off 7000 employees) even before the Washington State Governor ordered ALL essential business closed to fight the virus.

It turned out in the last couple of years, Boeing has become the poster child of all of American corporate malfeasance. Buying back stocks with tax breaks instead of attending to core businesses. Taking advantage of artificially low interest rates, courtesy of a loose Federal Reserve, to add debt and to hide diminishing earnings per share. Having wildly over paid chief executives. Those guys at Boeing a few years back moved their executive offices to Dennis Hastert’s district in Chicago when he was Speaker of the House – just before he was indicted and sent to prison. Having atrocious labor relations. They moved an entire manufacturing division to South Carolina to avoid the unions in Seattle and had to admit later they would never make up the multi-billion-dollar shortfall it took to train those yahoos to make airplaines. And finally, characteristically in the Trump era, the company got caught slipshod production values, but not before it killed a lot of passengers in two crashes. Simply said, it’s probably more known for the Max-737 and that fuck-up grounding of what? A third of the fleet?

Nevertheless Boeing, admittedly, is also so important to the US economy it is truly too big to die. It does not, however, need yet another corporate bailout by beleaguered US taxpayers.

It needs to be nationalized.

Instead, it’s pretty much leading the bounce and flying in the same thin bear-market air as the rest of the market.

And along with it, there are the rest of the birds feahtered in its bailout nest. AAL (American Airlines) up 45%, DAL (Delta) up 44%, UAL (United) up 39%, ALGT (Allegiant) up 39%. We all love these airlines, right? Love the service? Paying for extra bags? Getting stranded by canceled flights?

And the food, airline food, now that’s the best the world has to offer, right?

See the chart below. Big pop. And, of course, it better not come down with the next decline otherwise the big check from the taxpayers will be wasted.

(Click on the chart to get the picture)

$TSLA – Day trading short strangles for simplicity’s sake

I’ve been told repeatedly on Facebook and Reddit that no one can day trade options on stocks. No one?

Is that a flat-out challenge or what?

So I set about to see if it could be simple enough to be possible. Simple because it’s a day trade, and because I’ve been chasing the simple in trading forever. To my mind Henry David Thoreau -“Simplify, simplify, simplify’ – is the greatest stock market guru of all. And I wanted it to be systematic so it could be done day in and day out as rhythmically as a perfect golf swing.

First, a few simple basics.

When one buys an option in the stock market there are only three things that can happen and two of them are bad for the buyer. It goes your way right away which is good. It goes against you, which is bad. Or it goes sideways and time decay eats away the premium paid, which is bad. It’s the same selling an option but much better because the time decay is on the seller’s side. If the stock goes sideways, the seller keeps the premium on the option. In other words, if one buys an option, one has a 66% chance of losing money; if one sells the option, it’s a 66% chance of making money.

So, obviously, it’s best to be on the sell side…

Simple as that?

Not so fast, if one does this without owning the stock, it’s called being “naked”, being naked a call, naked a put. The trouble is the margin requirement on those are often times so high one might as well be trading the stock. One might have to put up as much as $20,000 on a day trade with the prospect of making a couple of hundred bucks. A lot of risk, it would seem, for not much return. And it’s a day trade so there’s not all that much time to have the stock go your way or sideways.

No wonder the guy knocking me on Facebook is certain day-trading options of stocks can’t be done.

He’s wrong, of course, or I wouldn’t writing this.

On the table below I’ve taken the margin requirements calculated by the Chicago Board Options Exchange (CBOE) and applied to day trading short strangles on weekly TSLA options for every trading day for a month. A short strangle is selling both an out-of-the-money call and an out-of-the-money put.

To illustrate the day trade:

Let’s take the last trade on the table, the 3/13 short selling the 540 call and the 520 put while TSLA itself was at 530.89. This is a trade on the day of the weekly expiration.

The maximum gain on this trade would have been $1,511 if TSLA had stayed between 540 and 520 by the end of the day. But TSLA vaulted to 546 on the market’s last-half-hour rally cutting the gain at the close to $810, a 53% gain on the actual credit received for selling the two options. Not bad. However, the margin requirement was $11,217 on the naked sales for the expiration day so the gain was actually 7.2% on overall margin for the day. Also not bad.

This is a strategy that can be used on a any prominent stock — AAPL, NFLX SHOP, NFLX BA, NVDA — with decent options liquidity and worthwhile price swings. And it’s a strategy that can be used week in and week out without ever having to buy the stock itself.

On the table below, there are the details for each day trade on TSLA (peruse if you choose), but what’s most important are the weekly totals in green boxes for each week, the net cash for the week and the percentage gain; and the final gain for the past four weeks in the yellow stripe, $11,478, generally a 57.3 gain on margin.

Because this is a day trading strategy the same cash margin is being used over and over again anew each day and although it is most often a lower requirement day by day, the percentage gain here is calculated on a flat $20,000 margin requirement…for simplicity’s sake.

(click on the table for a larger view)

#MarketTiming $SPY – Buy now, resell later…

Gotta be a bounce if only because it can’t go down forever.

CNN Money’s Fear and Greed Index is at one. One. It can’t go below zero.

Forty-nine of my nifty-50 stock list are on sells with forty-eight of them oversold. I can’t remember 48 oversold all at once before.

The VIX is at 75. That is virtually a bear market momentum number.

The VIX leveraged ETFs, TVIX and UVXY, have been the stars of this market plunge. See the charts below. Since the NYSI downturn 13 trading days ago UVXY is up 40% and TVIX is up 72%

TVIX was at 40 when I posted this advance notice in January – $TVIX – Just a heads up… – and closed today at 399. Absolutely f-ing spectacular if I was so myself.

So what now?

This is a only a guess because I have no actual upturns anywhere – not in the NYMO, let alone the NYSI, not in price, not in volatility, definitely not in fear and greed but this exercise band is stretched so far, the market ether has to crash tomorrow or snap back.

I’m guessing the shorts cover only because they have made so much profit this week and it would be prudent to take some before the weekend.

Could be wrong.

President Incompetent could try to “reassure” the market again, or claim everything is hunky-dory again, or blame Obama again or blame the Fed yet again. (Hell, the Fed fought the NYSI mid-day today and lost that battle big time by the close.) Yes, yes he claims he knows a lot about the stock market but knows nothing so he slam the market down another thousand points or more…again

But if he shuts the tweet up…

My guess is it’s a buy now – not for the long term – and a resell later.

Regardless – tight stops.

(click on the charts for a larger view)

On $AAPL — its broken parabolic updated…

AAPL keeps trying to bounce off the market’s gaps down, but as time goes by it is still working its way down to where its recent parabolic rise began.

This decline with take some time. There will be bounces to sell along the way but when a parabolic breaks it creates so much overhead supply (i.e. holders who want to get out) the stock’s decline is usually inevitable.

The target price for the stock is approximately $220 to $230.

This was first outlined in this link:

#STOCKS – on $AAPL gone parabolic

And reiterated in this link when its parabolic rise first broke:

ON $AAPL gone parabolic – with an updated chart…

(click on the chart for a larger view)

#MarketTiming – From the Kerplunk to a bounce

Warned of a sell-off here back in February 9th in this post:

$SPY – Up, up, up…and KERPLUNK?

Well, the market defied the sell-off warning for a couple of weeks as it ran up past the setup, but that run up is gone now in the rubble of the last four days.

TVIX and UVXY, the leveraged VIX ETFs were backing into the starting blocks, backing into the starting blocks — here $TVIX – Just a heads up… and here $TVIX – Just a heads up… — until finally there were off with TVIX up 92% in the last four days, and UVXY up 67%. I remember when I posted that heads up someone on Twitter or Facebook scoffed at me an told me I basically full of shit (I get a lot of that at market tops).

Now there are stocks all over the place down 20% or more just on market timing. It’s likely nothing as changed at many of those companies since four days ago except for the market sell off. Such is the madness of crowds.

None of this is any surprise really, since there were signs everywhere that the indexes were running on the fumes of AAPL vapor and a, I guess, a whopping TSLA short squeeze (everyone said Elon Musk was crazy, and then it turned out is was more like crazy smart). Over at Virgin Galantic (SPCE), where Richard Branson’s company has put a mere two winged space craft in space for short jaunts, there are passengers buying seats on flying ships to Mars. Say what?

As the indexes made new highs, there were divergences on the NYMO/NYSI, CNN’s Fear and Greed Index, S&P 500 stocks versus their 200-day moving average, and news lows were gradually climbing above new highs before bolting much higher (see the chart below).

Then there is the Coronavirus…and again news comes along like black swans crying when market internals are obviously falling apart.

So what now?

This sell off is so extremely oversold there is going to be a bounce. Likely tomorrow.

Forty-eight of the stocks on my nifty-50 stock list are on sells with 36 individually oversold (that is a lot). The indexes are down more in this four-day thrust than they’ve been in more than a year. It is just too much too quickly.

However, the question is going to be what to do with this bounce? Hang on and hope it’s V-bottom? Or sit on the edge of your seat looking for a chance to SELL EVERYTHING?

The bull market of the past year would suggest the former, everything else suggests the later. But it should be noted that CNN’s Fear and Greed Index is at 22 today. While that’s an “extreme fear” level, it has more room to move down which suggests when the bounce happens, tomorrow or whenever, the low of left behind will be tested, and if by then this is a full-fledged bear market, this bounce is going to be remembered as a last chance to sell for a long time.

P.S. And if it doesn’t bounce? Ai-Yi-Yi!

(click on the chart for a larger view)

#ShortStrangles on #Stocks – day trading the weekly #options

Interesting week last week in the strategy to day trade short strangles on various stocks.

The basic idea with this strategy is limit risk while taking advantage of daily time decay on the calls and puts expiring on each Friday.

The trades are taken 30 minutes into each day and closed at the close. The protective stop is a 5-minute close either above the upper strike or below the lower strike. If a protective stop is hit then both sides are closes on the stop.

Since the opposite strike hedges the losing strike, a stop at that point is usually a breakeven or small loss for the trade, and sometimes, depending how long during the day the trade has run, yields a small profit. When the stop is hit and the trade closed, if there is a enough time left in the day, the strangle can be rewritten and reentered at the next strike levels.

Last week the short strangles were on TSLA, NFLX and SHOP. See the table below for the day-by-day trading.

TSLA stopped out on Thursday for a 3.6% loss on the margin requirement (see the table) but the reentry has a 2% gain before the end of the day, mitigating the initial loss.”

What is obvious is how steady the week was for logging profits. Since this is day trading, the trades are using roughly the same cash margin over and over each day. As a result, although the daily gains for options trading may be relatively small, the accumulated profits for the week can have a notable return.

Margin requirements can vary day by day, strike by strike and, I supposed, broker by broker. Those listed here are calculated on the margin calculator at the CBOE. For presentation purposes, I’ve calculated the dollar amount on these trades as per each contract.

The short TSLA strangles gained 18.79% for the week, SHOP gained 6.52% and NFLX gained 11.03%. See the green blocks on the table to those results.

In the last green block, I averaged the margins across the week and across the three stocks and came up with the $11,857 number. The highest requirement was the $20K per contract on TSLA at the beginning of the week (that would also be the minimum required to trade this for the week).

The total profit for the trades was $4,759 for the week, a yield of 10% on the three strangles combined.

That’s what I meant when I said above it can have a “notable return.”

(click on the table for a larger view)

ON $AAPL gone parabolic – with an updated chart…

This is a followup to the post below as AAPL takes a predictable hit today.

Wrote the following in this link a couple of week ago: On $AAPL Gone Parabolic.

At the risk of a massive understatement, let’s just say AAPL has gone up…a lot.

In fact one look at its chart below reveals is has gone parabolic.

Let’s define a parabolic move first. Basically, according the website, Prometheos Market Insight, when a stock makes a enough of a move to create three distinct supporting trend lines (see the green lines on the chart below), then accelerates, it is in a parabolic move (the red line on the chart).

There is both good news in that, and bad news.

The good news you own it, the bad news its latest rise is unsustainable. Although one can only guess when and at what level it parabola ends (the way it always is with that phenomenon), but when the inevitable end comes it will likely be violent and the stock could eventually go back to where the parabolic began.

At this point, a rough estimate of where it began in AAPL is around $230.

It’s hard to believe it will ever quit going up as it’s wildly (exuberantly) rising, but I would suggest there is no profit here until one sells.

Also, one other thing to keep in mind, AAPL today, according to Yahoo Finance, has a market cap of 1.377 trillion dollars. That in itself is unprecedented in market history, but it is also nearly $100 billion higher than next highest market cap, MSFT (but that as they say is another story).


(CLICK TO SEE A LARGER VIEW OF THE UPDATED CHART)