$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)

$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)

#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)

#DayTrading $SPY #Options – Buying 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.

$UVXY – lighting a fuse for its next explosion…

File this under “history repeating slash history rhyming.”

The last time I posted a VIX ETF heads up was January 14TH ($TVIX – Just a heads up…), when TVIX was 40ish and UVXY was 10 something. Both, at the time of that post, were down eight days in a row in a falling wedge pattern, like UVXY is now (see the chart below).

I suggested at that time that whatever buy trigger came along it was going to come along soon and those leveraged ETFs were going to explode.

Three days later they popped nicely, not spectacularly but nicely, then backed off to retest the lows into early February. Then there was a another buy, triggered by a down turn in the NYSI, the longer-term breadth measure of the McClellan Oscillator, on February 19th.

And the VIX ETFs exploded.

UVXY went from under 11 to as high as 135. In two weeks. TVIX, which rocketed from 40 to a 1000, is no longer with us, having killed itself with success…well, extreme volatility.

The blast was driven by the onset of the Covid-19 pandemic in the United States. It started slow but with President Trump’s incompetence and his totally botching of this country’s response to the virus (calling it a “hoax”), it ran the major indexes down 36% in a few weeks.

The market has rallied back to the previous highs with Congress putting out a two-trillion-dollar stimulus that once again helped Wall Street but not much on Main Street, and with the Federal Reserve throwing money onto the market like gasoline on a bonfire.

Truly, it has been a market rally led by tech and irrational exuberance. Remarkably, the banks have been relative laggards in the rally, never a good sign for the market longer term.

So what now?

As yet, the market has not come to terms with how severely the economy has been damaged with double-digit unemployment, with a possible waves of evictions, with thirty/forty million people out of work, with relative consumer buying power in the shitter, with small businesses failing all over the place (YELP predicts sixty percent of restaurants will not recover). And now schools likely will not be able to fully open.

Even now the Trump Administration doesn’t have the slightest idea what to do, and Republican Senators are dickering with each other, holding up the Democratic rescue plan. Trump has returned to the coronavirus briefing podium to spout his lies and ignorance. Trump’s big botch goes on while the rest of the world has shown to varying degrees what should have been done.

Five million Americans have been infected and 170,000 have died (with both those numbers still rising fast). As the rest of the world continues to make progress against the pandemic (New Zealand has not had a new case now for 100 days), the United States, governed by not much more than an orangutan, continues to be a mind-boggling catastrophe.

What now? What now?!

This is just another heads up…like last time:

Watch UVXY. It will tell, and there will be money to be made there. It’s setting up another explosion. After these eight days down in a row it could come tomorrow or two weeks from now but it’s likely the fuse has been lit.

(click on the chart for a larger view)

$SPY #Options – #DayTrading calls on a FED day

The Federal Reserve announced its actions Wednesday in what was going be a foregone conclusion – nothing new, more to come.

So call that bullish.

CLOSING FIRST HALF:

CLOSING DAY TRADE:

$TSLA slams into an “outside day”

And it hit that wall on the day after its earnings report vaulted it into the airy realm of irrational exuberance.

All over stock market social media, Elon Musk fans and TSLA shareholders were ecstatic as the monster stock, in the midst of a world-wide pandemic and facing the prospect of a dire economic downturn, virtually doubled in no time at all. TSLA has boundless prospects long-term – long-long-term – but its recent rocket ride was crazy. Even Musk said so some time ago.

CRAZY!

So no surprise today as one of the oldest of Wall-Street adages strutted on stage yet again – “Buy the rumor, sell the news.”

The stock plummeted 163 point from its open today and 77 points lower than its close yesterday on higher than average volume, in other words the very definition of an outside day.

So what next?

Actually outside days are somewhat up in the air. In an up trend (and TSLA certainly is in one), it can be a mere bump in the road so to speak, but whenever violent action like that a happens, particularly on good earnings news, one has to see if anyone has been killed in the crash.

Today’s low, me thinks, is the line to live by. If TSLA rises above it, tomorrow, it’s a long with the today’s low as the stop loss. If it continues to drop, the low becomes the protective stop for the shorts.

(click on the chart for a larger view)

$SPY #Options – #DayTrade on call Monday

The option day-trade play was the at-the-money 321 call for a 53% profit on one half and a 170% profit on the second half.

See tweets below for time stamps.

TRADING STRATEGY:

Buying SPY Puts And Calls

PROFITS ON HALF:

END OF THE DAY TRADE:

(Click on chart for a larger view)