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April 21, 2017 - Markets Hold Key Levels By Options University
“Down but not out” might be a good way to describe the U.S. markets these days. The S&P 500 is about 3% off of it’s high, and the Dow is on pace for the worst month in 15 months. All major markets except the Nasdaq have slipped below their 50-day moving average, oil is dropping, Russia is buzzing Alaska, North Korea is blustering, visible earnings misses occurred, and that was just this week. Still, the “knockout” blow has NOT come yet, and major market support is still in place.
Most sectors are still mostly flat. Technology, cyclicals, and consumer staples are performing best lately, while energy and financials are dropping off. Earnings season is just now getting started, but today has brought yet another earnings disappointment with Verizon missing their target by one penny. Good options traders can make money in any market, and some even retire rich. Click here to learn more.
With the sense that the markets have weathered a lot of storms, there are still several stocks that are mostly thriving. Even if a “last hurrah” raging bull market doesn’t happen yet this spring, there are still individual solid citizens to choose from for a few short-term “guerilla calendar spreads”. For this, we just need to identify some high basing, grinding, or channeling stocks with strong liquidity and weekly options. From there, we can buy options out to May or June, and sell a quick series of short term options at the same out-of-the-money strike. This is a moderate way of squeezing the last of the bullish seasonality before we hunker down for the softer summer months.
European markets were mixed and very flat with the Dax and the FTSE off just a tiny bit. The French elections could have implications on Eurozone unity. In Asia, markets were mostly up fractionally with the exception of the Nikkei, which was flat. Unrest remains as North Korea aims rhetoric at the United States.
Once again crude inventories were reduced slightly, but this was offset somewhat by gasoline inventories increasing slightly. Despite reassurances from OPEC about keeping the supply restricted, the oil markets still face a glut of crude that will not go away soon, and prices are still drifting in the low 50’s range. For amazing insights on the oil market, listen to Courtney Smith, a true commodities expert.
In the last two weeks, initial jobless claims have exceeded expectations significantly. This week, analysts expected 242K new claims (a slight uptick over last week’s figure of 234K). The latest actual number for this week is 244K, just slightly above the projections.
There are two essential reasons to be bullish on biotech. For one, according to The Pew Research Center, about 15% of the U.S. population and about 8% of the global population are over the age of 65 right now. In the next 13 years, that’s expected to soar to 20% and 12%, respectively to more than 360 million folks age 65 and above. That catalyst alone will increase demand for better healthcare over the years. That also means a lot of biotech companies are very likely to benefit from a growing consumer base. In fact, our biotech expert Ian Cooper is looking into trades having to do with macular degeneration, an age-related eye condition. Two, biotech is recession proof. It’s not as if we can stop people from aging or having medical conditions.
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Profiting from Trading Stock Options
What Are Stock Options?
Options are financial instruments that give the right, but not the obligation, to engage in a future transaction on some type of underlying security. Buying a call option provides the right to buy a specified amount of a security at a set strike price at some time on or before expiration, and vice versa buying a put option provides the right to sell. Upon the option holder's choice to exercise the option, the options writer who sold, or wrote the option must fulfill the terms of the contract.
Options Trading Software Valuation Models
Theoretically the value of an option can be determined by a variety of techniques, software, systems, including sophisticated option valuation software models. These software models can forecast and predict how the value of the option will change with changing market conditions. The risks associated with trading and owning options can now be better understood and managed with higher degrees of precision with these options software models.
Different Types of Stock Options
Exchange-traded options are an important type of options which have standardized contract features and trade on public exchanges, allowing trading among independent parties. Over-the-counter options are traded between private parties, most times well-capitalized institutions, which have negotiated separate trading and clearing arrangements with one another. Another important type of option, particularly in the U.S.A., are employee stock options, that are awarded by a company to their employees as additional incentive compensation.
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