#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)

$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

#MarketTiming – six days up and what now? – UPDATED

UPDATE: What now?

As suggested in the post below, I expected the market to move up this week, not as much as it did, but no matter.

Anytime one is on he right side of a six-day swing, either up or down, one cannot complain.

In this case, it’s six days up.

TQQQ, the 3x-leveraged and preferred trading ETF for the Nasdaq, gained 22% on the swing. Some major bellwether stocks have powered the six days, AAPL, MSFT, NVDA, AMZN FB, all up six days in a row; TWLO up six days and 73% on the move is by far the most spectacular example I follow.

Swing trading…what more can you say?

But what now?

This could stop right here. The NYMO was down today (see the chart below). How many times have we seen that mark the end, or at least a pause, after a four or more consecutive days up?

However, the all-important NYSI continues to rise so, unless this is going to drop right out of the sky, it’s probably a pause or a stall — it takes time to work off $2 trillion of Federal Reserve funny money spent in all the wrong places.

This has been a long spectacular rally since March, a fast up characteristic of bear-market rallies. If this is the end bullish traders and long-term investors who believe the bull market lives on will be in great danger.

If the market drops here and takes the NYSI negative, watch out…

An always remember there is no profit until you sell.

(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)

$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 – the Santa Claus rally goes crazy

The Santa Claus rally which arrived with a buy signal on the open of December 9th, is still going and going and going…

I wrote about this quiet rally trigger first in this link:

#MarketTiming – with not much fanfare Santa slips into view

Then, as the fanfare took hold:

#MarketTiming – the Santa Claus Rally, a progress report

Since that second post, TQQQ has gone from up from 9% to 17.7%, UPRO from 6% to 11.2%. The 3x-leveraged sector ETFs continue to surge: TECL (tech) up 21% now, ERX (energy) up 18.1% and SOXL (semis) up 29.9%. Among the bellwether stocks I follow, TSLA is leading the pack, up 27% now; NVDA up 13.4%; WYNN up 18.2% on a big jump out of a high-level consolidation today.

AAPL, which lagged early on, has now moved up a nice 10.9%, closing above 300.

Big gains in not much time – the rally is a mere 17 trading days old.

All of which is great for the bulls…except it’s all begun to go kind of crazy.

AAPL has a market cap of $1.3 trillion, somewhat insane no matter how much cash the company generates for buy-backs. MSFT is at $1.2 trillion; both GOOGL and AMZN are knocking on the trillion-dollar door. These stocks have market caps four and five times such “puny” companies as Walmart, Coca-Cola, Nike, Proctor and Gamble, Home Depot and even Exxon-Mobil. How crazy is this?

Speaking of buy-backs, corporate debt is likely piling up more and more as the FED keeps its foot on the printing-press pedal – margin debt did not move much last month so all this “irrational exuberance” has to be coming from somewhere.”

CNN Money’s “Fear and Greed” Index is at 97. Ninety-seven! That in and of itself is the stratosphere of extreme greed. It can’t go higher than 100. A year ago it touched 3, on a trap door that swings both ways.

Still, the market can go higher, and probably will, since there is momentum in that 97 number. It usually takes a divergence (a high below a high) in that index to trigger a decent down swing (see the red circles on the chart below). The index has to back off on a market dip (which is likely imminent) then fail to go higher as the market resumes its advance to another high.

And both breadth measures, the NYMO (short-term) and the all-important NYSI (longer-term) remain positive. So there is time for more rally.

Not much more to say at this time…except to note in markets going crazy (like 1999, like now) there is, in the end, no profit until one sells.

(click on the chart for a larger view)

$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)

$SPY – Runs up on a tweet into the FED…

MARKET TIMING SIGNALS FOR 6/19/2019.

Long-Term Breadth (NYSI): BUY DAY 11
Short-Term Breadth (NYMO): BUY DAY 2
Price: BUY DAY 2
Nifty-50-Stock-List: 34 BUYS, 14 NEW BUYS, 26 OVERBOUGHT; 16 SELLS, 1 NEW SELLS, 1 OVERSOLD.
CNN MONEY’S “Fear and Greed” Index: 44, Rising, FEAR LEVEL.
Bellwether Stocks: 13 UP, 2 DOWN.

WHAT?

The Market ran up today when President Trump tweeted that he and President XI would be meeting at the G-20 conference (like they weren’t going to?) and would discuss the tariff tensions between the US and China. Then it stopped for the day when a Chinese spokesman shortly after basically declared the victory and planned to have no more than lunch with Ding-Dong.

Now there’s a fundamental for you?!

Oh, and it also came out that Trump wanted to fire the head of the Federal Reserve. On the first day of the FOMC meeting that news breaks!

Used to be this kind of uncertainty and instability would tank the market but evidently not now, or at least not yet.

OF PARTICULAR NOTE TODAY:

Stocks followed through another day with more strength to the upside – 26 of the nifty-50 list are now overbought, and 12 of the bellwether stocks up on the day.

NVDA calls led the options day trade with an 82% gain, AAPL ITM calls were up 38%, BABA ITM calls up 26%, and finally the SPY calls also joined the rise, up 52%.

WHAT NEXT?

Tomorrow is a FED day, with the Federal Reserve Open Market Committee making known its policy on interest rates. Any thing can happen in reaction to the FED decision, but given the market is in a positive upswing, tomorrow should be more of the same bullishness no matter what the FED does.

Unless one is an investor, this is a day to sell into the FED if the market’s rising and buy if it is falling. The aftermath for the rest of the week will matter more.

#MarketTiming Signals – 4/9/19

THE SIGNALS AS OF 4/9/19.
Long-Term Breadth (NYSI): SELL FROM 4/9.
Short-Term Breadth (NYMO): SELL FROM 4/8.
Price: TQQQ SELL 4/9 UP 5.0%; UPRO SELL 4/9 UP 5.0%.3%; TNA SELL 2.7%
Nifty-50-Stock-List: 20 BUYS, 6 NEW BUY, 8 OVERBOUGHT; 30 SELLS, 6 NEW SELLS, 4 OVERSOLD.
CNN MONEY’S “Fear and Greed” Index: 71, DOWN, GREED LEVEL.
Bellwether Stocks: 4 UP, 11 DOWN.

OF NOTE, $10K Swing Trades, SPY OPTIONS:

SPY CLOSE – 287.33.
SOLD ON CLOSE – 282 APRIL IN-THE-MONEY UP 25.7%, 284 APRIL AT-THE-MONEY CALL UP 22.8%.
BUY ON OPEN – 288 APRIL IN-THE-MONEY PUT, 287 AT-THE-MONEY PUT.

OF NOTE, $10K Swing Trade Stocks:
SOLD ON CLOSE – WYNN, 17.6%; FSLR, up 6.6%; GS, UP 4.1%; NVDA UP 5.2%; AMZN UP 2.4%.
BUY ON OPEN – NFLX.

WHAT’S NEXT?
As noted in yesterday’s post, with the SPY is up eight days in a row and the NYMO turning down a profit-taking dip was coming “any day, any hour, any minute.”

Got that dip today causing profits to be taken on five bellwether stocks and SPY options (see table above). With the dip, however, the NYSI turned down – a bit of a surprise. Consequently, this pull back could get carried away to down side. Don’t really expect it after seeing so much momentum on the last bullish surge. Most likely it’s a mere dip to the zero line on the NYMO.

As said in the post below, as long as the NYMO and/or NYSI remain positive overall the usual play is to be long, take profits when the stocks give sell signals, and buy coming out of dips.

Trouble is, as of today, neither of them are positive so we’ll have to wait and see, or be ready to be nimble, playing offense with SPY puts on tomorrow’s open and playing defense immediately thereafter.

CNN MONEY’S “fear and Greed” pulled back, still at a “greed” level,” but it tends to be early at the top of swings. (Actually, the more I consider this, the more I’m beginning to think this dip COULD turn into a decent decline.) See the chart below.

AAPL finally had a reversal day and remains five days, by my measure, in overbought territory. If the market’s going to get carried away to the downside, the market-cap craziness of AAPL is a likely to be an easy down-and-dirty put play, maybe the 200 put for either Friday’s or the 4/18 expiration. The AAPL 190 April at-the-money call on this market rally is up a whopping 144% and has not, as yet, given an actual sell signal.

The banking stocks did today, a day late, what was suggested in this link – $XLF – Fighting an urge to short the bank stocks – so those short scalps are in play.

(click on the charts for a larger view)

#SwingTrading – 2-day swing ending with all bellwether stocks in black

The technical end of this trade, started just yesterday on the open, is tomorrow’s open.

But as of today’s close all 12 of my bellwether stocks are in the black so there’s a good chance they will remain in profits barring any over-night news.

Regardless, it is a market signal that runs this strategy so no later than tomorrow’s open a sell for swing traders it will be (would be nice to have a gap up for that).

My “bellwethers” are TSLA, NFLX, AMZN, BID, TWTR, BIDU, AAPL, GS, FB, NVDA, FSLR, BABA. See chart panel below. The white flags on the lower right of each chart is the current profit per 100K committed to the trade (also correlates to a percentage gain).

The current swing is led by BIDU up 4.5%, followed by BABA up 3% and NVDA 2.9%. That’s in two days.

As a side note BABA is up eight days in a row so if there is market weakness tomorrow it is ripe for a day-trade scalp on the short side.

(click on the chart for a larger view)