What If You Only Traded One Stock?

Posted on September 10, 2017

This was an idea that came to me this weekend while watching Football.  My two main passions are football and the stock market, so I like to relate the two as I always see similarities, in the end, both are about winning.  Football is an intricate sport getting eleven men to work together on 120+ […]

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The 7 Classes of Great Investments in Equities

Posted on September 4, 2017

I recently saw a tweet that noted “fundamentals tell me what to buy, and technicals tell me when & where.”  I complete agree with this philosophy, though an extreme generalization.  Technical analysis is a great tool for choosing entry/exit points, setting stop-levels, and overall assessing the demand for a stock.  Fundamental analysis is even more […]

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When Do You Have Enough? – The Work/Life Balance Struggle

Posted on August 7, 2017

This is a question my wife asks me a lot, and it’s a good one.  After 16 months of fatherhood it also becomes clear that it is a question I want to answer as I have no doubt that time is the most valuable commodity in the World.  I built a business out of thin […]

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Options Flow Catching One Big Mover after Another

Posted on April 5, 2017

I have covered in depth previously the rationale and approach to utilizing options activity as the best way of stock discovery, and then applying technical and fundamental analysis to the names.  In this post I want to simply show how effective the approach is after hitting five monster moves over the past month. Over the […]

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OptionsHawk in Earnings Season

Posted on January 15, 2017

At OptionsHawk we are constantly creating new tools to allow traders to be more informed in decision making, and earnings season is a time that the site really excels with unparalleled research and analysis. A quick view of some of the access OptionsHawk provides members for trading better in earnings season: Earnings Calendar:  The calendar […]

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Go-Pro (GPRO) Options Activity Case Study

Posted on November 3, 2016

Go-Pro (GPRO) shares are down around 20% after hours following one of the ugliest earnings reports of the season, and this is a great example of teaching how to distinguish options activity worth following. On CNBC’s Fast Money on Thursday, one of the Najarian brothers highlighted “unusual” call buying in Go-Pro (GPRO) and recommended it, […]

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Introducing Relativity Capital

Posted on October 27, 2016

Over the past year I have been working on a new venture which is now ready to launch.  Relativity Capital will be managing money for investors that seek a portfolio that is actively managed, quickly adapts to ever changing market conditions, and utilizes option strategies for optimal reward/risk trading.  For additional details about the Investment […]

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Valspar (VAL) Options Activity Signal into Takeover Announcement

Posted on March 20, 2016

On March 20th, 2016 Sherwin Williams (SHW) announced an $11.3B deal for Valspar (VAL) at $113/share cash with Valspar having closed at $83.83. VAL was a name consistently highlighted to clients with unusual options activity. Key Takeaways: Multiple Days of ITM and OTM Call Buying with the Stock Weak and Strong and Steady Growth in […]

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Hillshire Brands (HSH): A Takeover the Options Market Saw Coming, Again…

Posted on May 27, 2014

Hillshire Brands (HSH) recently announced a planned acquisition of Pinnacle Foods (PF) in early May and shares initially reacted poorly trading down to $34.25, but quickly recovered and the last two weeks have traded in a $35.25/$37 range. During this time the options market was positioning for HSH shares to trade sharply higher the next […]

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Red Flags Waving, Mr. Market May Need a Summer Breather

Posted on April 25, 2014

Anyone following me the last few years on Twitter knows I have been one of the most bullish people on this market, and consistently bullish, not wavering back and forth, always seeing value in the market on any dip.  I remain very bullish for the market 2-3 years out, and even for the second half […]

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InvenSense (INVN): Traders Position for Volatility, Skew Signalling M&A?

Posted on March 4, 2014

 InvenSense (INVN) finished the day with a strong move the last two hours as implied volatility soared, 30 day IV jumped 21.5% on the day to 63.4%, approaching levels generally seen into earnings.  INVN finished the day trading 42,396 calls, 8X daily average, though most of the action broken into smaller trades.  The April calls […]

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Strategist Sees Clovis Oncology (CLVS) Range-Bound, Albeit a Large One

Posted on March 3, 2014

Clovis Oncology (CLVS) traded 4X daily options on the day mainly due to one large  trade, a trader at the ISE sold 1,000 July $105/$60 strangles at $12.20 to open.  This position is looking for CLVS shares to be in the $47.80 to $117.20 range come July expiration.   The $2.5B Biotech is nowhere near […]

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Euronet Worldwide (EEFT), A Fallen Star Worth Catching

Posted on February 27, 2014

 A risk-reversal is a professional trade used to maximize leverage and generally shows a lot of confidence in a view, the trader willing to buy the stock in size ( puts sold), but also wanting upside exposure ( calls bought) and uses proceeds to purchase upside calls.  Now, when I see these trades done for […]

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Time Warner (TWX) Upside Calls Attractive with Further Re-Org. Potential

Posted on February 24, 2014

 Time Warner (TWX) shares have been fairly quiet with many of the top media names like Disney (DIS) and CBS Corp (CBS) rallying sharply to new highs.  It’s a name worth a look at this level looking forward the next 6 months, and will break it down below on each degree of analysis. Fundamental: Time […]

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Categorizing the Types of Options Flow Analysis and the Research Process

Posted on February 13, 2014

 This is a follow up to "Methods to My Madness – Trading Options Flow" from 8-29-2012 where I explained my style of trading. (Link to 8-29 Article) (Sorry the format on the blog got messed up). The strategy of trading options flow has become a lot more popular since I posted that article, but now […]

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Trading Inverted Implied Volatility Skew with Vertical Call Spreads

Posted on August 16, 2013

A discussion today on Twitter led me to thinking this could be a helpful topic to discuss… It is Friday, so will keep this short, and hopefully sweet. I often will note "inverted" or "bullish" skew when discussing a stock’s options IV (Implied Volatility) profile. I do not want to get into a deep explanation […]

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Fortinet and Source Fire Seen as Takeover Targets, Pro-Option Strategies

Posted on February 27, 2013

On Monday this week I highlighted to subscriber two large trades in similar Tech stocks, Source Fire (FIRE) and Fortinet (FTNT), both of which are in the hot network security industry.  Both of these companies are clearly takeover targets, growth names in a secular growth trend with no debt, and large cap Tech companies like […]

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Record Call Buying in CBS Corp. Precedes Strategic Initiative News

Posted on January 16, 2013

CBS Corp (CBS) shares are surging 8% tonight after announcing plans to convert its America’s Outdoor Business into a REIT and divest its European and Asian Outdoors Business.The news comes to no surprise to OptionsHawk members because I have been highlighting the strong Institutional call buying in CBS every day since 1-9-13 and will breakdown […]

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2013: The Year of Facebook Calls, Options Analysis and Why

Posted on January 10, 2013

Facebook (FB) quickly became one of the most actively traded options since its IPO and averages 133,000 calls and 107,000 puts per day.  Open Interest in calls is above 1.2 million and just over 1 million puts in open interest.The options activity in the first 7 trading days of 2013 has taken it to a […]

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Trading Stocks Post-Earnings Based on Options Activity

Posted on October 29, 2012

As Hurricane Sandy bears down on New England I figure I had some time to put together a quick educational post with two examples from last week, focusing on trading stocks/options following an earnings reaction.I often utilize my analysis of options activity to determine the magnitude and direction a stock will trade after earnings, and […]

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Fed-Ex (FDX) – A Trading Lesson in Knowing the Options Flow and Catalyst

Posted on October 11, 2012

It was an ugly day for markets with another 100+ point drop in the Dow Jones, but in the Options Hawk Trading Hub there are opportunities to make money on the long side and short side every day with constant flow of actionable analysis on the market and individual stocks.A trade played out perfectly this […]

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Cliffs Natural (CLF) – How One Pro has been Trading the Puts

Posted on September 5, 2012

I have been highlighting elevated put buying in Cliff’s Natural (CLF) recently and it is another great display of sticking with winners, but adjusting your trade along the way to take partial profits.The anatomy of the trade: (Shares Down to $33.70 from $41.40 in this Period)The Recent Trader that has been riding CLF lower began […]

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Methods to My Madness – Trading Options Flow

Posted on August 29, 2012

As many of my followers know by now I monitor the options market for large Institutional trades or unusual trading (5X+ daily average) in a stock’s options.  I field a lot of questions about this style of trading and wanted to write up an overview to better explain my methods.  This is in no way […]

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Apple (AAPL): Dissecting October Options Action, Trader Up $15M Presses for More

Posted on August 24, 2012

Apple saw a few large blocks of calls and puts trade in October options on Monday and Tuesday this week, much of which was adjusting former bullish positions highlighted, but wanted to take a look at the positions with a focus on the new positions that are currently open.  I do not have any visuals […]

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Salesforce.com (CRM) is Not Rich on Valuation – Shorting It is Dangerous

Posted on August 18, 2012

Similar to the same types that like to say Amazon.com (AMZN) is rich on valuation, the same is said about Salesforce.com (CRM), and usually the same indicator is used to form this opinion, the P/E ratio.Salesforce.com (CRM) trades 74X forward earnings so it immediately is labeled as over-valued by those that are using very old […]

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Oasis Petroleum (OAS) – Hot Options Trading Last Hour, Takeover in the Works?

Posted on August 10, 2012

I wanted to highlight some hot action in Oasis Petro (OAS) seen in the last hour today that I noted on twitter well before anyone else saw what was taking place and shares are bid at $30 after hours continuing the late day strength.  I have zero insider knowledge and am just speculating because today’s […]

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Nexen (NXY) – Option Traders Score Big on $15B Takeover

Posted on July 23, 2012

Nexen (NXY) shares are trading at $26.55 this morning, up a 55% jump from Friday as China’s CNOOC (CEO) Announced a $27.50/Share $15.1B Deal for shares.The deal comes following a surge in unusually bullish options trading in Nexen (NXY) since July 16th, and in large size, the type of trades that really lead one to […]

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Procter & Gamble (PG) – Option Traders See Rally Through 2012

Posted on July 12, 2012

I was hoping to get this piece out earlier this week after observing 10 days of relentless call buying for size in the PG January 2013 calls.  Shares jumped today by 3.75% on news that Pershing Square’s Bill Ackman is taking his "largest ever initial stake in a company" with P&G shares.OptionsHawk members were alerted […]

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Forget Direction! Trading Consolidation via Long Volatility Strategies

Posted on July 5, 2012

One of the many advantages of trading options is that you do not need to pick a direction to have a winning trade, you can use indicators and statistics to set up high probability strategies that are Delta Neutral.Each week in the Options Hunter Newsletter I put out on Sundays, one of the 7 trades […]

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First Solar: Reviewing the Hot Options Action as Stock Surges

Posted on June 12, 2012

The smart money has much better information access and you and I can do all of the technical and fundamental analysis in the World, but still not have the advanced trading tools that the Institutions have, and they are the ones moving the market.  Instead of doing all the hard work, you can follow the […]

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Call Buyers Look for Relief Rally in Banks (MS and C)

Posted on June 6, 2012

The Bank stocks showed relative strength today for the first time in weeks and is clearly the group trading with a high correlation to developments in Europe with the debt crisis where Spanish and Italian yields have been on the rise (commodity stocks are partially correlated to the deepening recession in Europe, but more to […]

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Option Traders Position for Homebuilders to Pullback this Summer

Posted on June 3, 2012

The home-builders have been one of the strongest groups in 2012 and to this point have avoided much of the market’s pullback.  Looking at 7 of the larger residential construction names (DHI, LEN, MDC, MTH, PHM, RYL, and TOL) the average YTD performance is around +28.5%.  Much of this has been attributed to an extended short squeeze […]

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Large Oil & Gas E&P Stocks Hanging on by a Thread, Crude Charts

Posted on May 31, 2012

I am seeing a lot of the Large Cap Oil E&P stocks near critical breakdown levels that could result in another 10%+ downside.Looking at Crude Oil going back to 2008 the 50% Fibonacci at $90 was recently broken, next major Retracement is at $77 which would align with the Summer 2011 lows.  The 200 week […]

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Bottom-Fishing Beaten Up Stocks with Call Fly’s

Posted on May 22, 2012

 This morning in the Options Hawk Trading Hub I was looking at a few names that have been beaten down, mostly on earnings, and many with large gaps, that are starting to show signs of basing.  Although the stocks are unlikely to make sharp moves higher without any near term catalysts, we could see these […]

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Vulnerable Stock Charts with High Sales Exposure to Europe

Posted on May 11, 2012

Europe is not healthy whether looking at the Debt Crisis, Political Uncertainty, or the Poor PMI and Other Economic Data-points.  In an effort to risk exposure to Europe I suspect the first stocks that will be sold by Institutions are the ones that will be impacted the most by the recession in Europe, and although we […]

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Human Genome Sciences (HGSI): Trader Nets $2.7M on Trade Day Before Takeover Offer

Posted on April 19, 2012

Human Genome Sciences (HGSI) is a hot stock this morning with shares gaining 100% after announcing Glaxo (GSK) made a $13/Share Offer, a deal valued at $2.58B, and one that HGSI rejected.The news comes less than 24 hours after a large, unusual bullish spread traded in the HGSI options yesterday, one that I highlighted to clients […]

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Hedging: Getting Bang for Your Buck

Posted on March 20, 2012

The S&P hit 1,414 yesterday which is getting very close to the upside targets of 1,420 and 1,435 and the market trend remains strong to the extent that it has been a very tough tape to short, not many individual stocks providing good reward/risk short opportunities.I still see further upside for markets through April options expiration, […]

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Raytheon (RTN) Options: Are Traders Looking to Profit from an Iranian Missile Strike on the US?

Posted on March 1, 2012

I will start by saying this could be a stretch, but is a thought that entered my mind due to recent options activity in Raytheon (RTN).  Remember that back in the day unusual options trades came before the 9-11 Attacks with put options in airlines, and ahead of the Bank collapse with puts in the […]

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Trading Technical Breakouts with Options Flow Confirmation: IBM case Study

Posted on February 23, 2012

As most of you know by now I look at every stock on three elements, fundamentals, technical view, and money flow sentiment, specifically options activity.IBM was a perfect example today, a chart that me and just about everyone else was watching, shares had consolidated in a tight range for weeks after jumping on earnings and […]

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Options Hawk Subscription Products: What It Is and What It Is Not

Posted on February 20, 2012

With the markets being closed for President’s Day I have some free time to clarify the Options Hawk subscription products.First, any one that has used my service can validate that it is the single best full-service trading product in the market with an options focus.  I provide a complete product ranging from pre-market reports to […]

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The Life on an Option Contract: Following the Money Trail in Salesforce.com (CRM)

Posted on February 15, 2012

One of the toughest concepts for traders is to keep your winners and let them ride, and cut your losers.  This applies to trading options, just as it does with stocks, although options allow more flexibility to adjust positions while winning, or while losing.Salesforce.com (CRM) shares have made a strong run lately, and a name […]

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CNBC’s Fast Money Caught in Another Lie

Posted on February 9, 2012

I know I should not have been shocked, because these guys on CNBC’s Fast Money are constantly caught in lies, and in the Internet Age it is not very hard to get caught in a bold-faced lie.Today we can look at Nuance Communications (NUAN), which was set to report earnings after the close, and Dr. […]

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Earnings Options Trade Selection: Knowing the Reward/Risk and Probabilities

Posted on February 1, 2012

Trading options on earnings is a the best way to trade because you do not always have to trade direction, you are also trading the volatility structure, and have the ability to define your reward/risk (commonly referred to as risk/reward, but I have always preferred the reward/risk ratio, just semantics)Amazon was the big report tonight, and […]

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Option Strategists Position for Grind Higher in Oil & Gas Producers

Posted on January 27, 2012

In tracking Institutional and Unusual Options Activity one of the most important things to do is to look for themes.  Often this is seen sector-based, seeing unusual call activity across a group, often seen in Gold Miners, Airlines, Solar, and Home Construction before the groups make a big multi–month run.Today a theme was seen in the […]

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Netflix (NFLX) Earnings: $3.981M Trade Sees Less Drama this Time

Posted on January 24, 2012

Netflix (NFLX) will report earnings January 25th, 2012 after the close, and Street estimates range from $0.40 EPS to $0.70 EPS with $0.55 the consensus, while Revenues have an $816.6M to $894.6M range with $857.6M the consensus.Netflix faces a lot of scrutiny into earnings with rising content costs, increased competition, declining customer satisfaction, and weaker […]

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Equinix (EQIX) is Hot, Watching the Monster Butterfly Spread in Open Interest

Posted on January 16, 2012

Equinix (EQIX) is one of the nicer weekly charts right now, especially in Tech, as it has outperformed its peers by a wide margin to start 2012.I have been tracking this one closely because back on May 5th 2011 with shares at $99 a January $110/$130/$145 Butterfly Call Spread traded 9,400X18,800 contracts at a debit […]

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January 11th, 2012 – Options Action in Solar Stocks Goes Wild, Scalper’s Delight

Posted on January 11, 2012

If you are unaware by now, the solar stocks,and particularly the Chinese solar stocks rallied today on massive stock volume.What you may not be aware of is that option traders were buying calls in these names right off the opening bell, and call volume and volatility soared, to the point that by 2:30pm most of […]

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OCZ Tech (OCZ) – Bullish Options Action into Earnings

Posted on January 6, 2012

OCZ Tech (OCZ) will report results on 1/9/12 after the close, and shares have gapped higher each of the last two reports.  It actually posted a 0.03 Loss vs. an Expected 0.03 Gain last report, but FY12 guidance was near the high end.OCZ is a leading player in solid state drives (SSD) that are replacing […]

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Apollo Group (APOL) Earnings 1/5/12 – Options Traders Positioning in Size

Posted on January 4, 2012

I have been watching a lot of size trade in Apollo Group (APOL) options recently, and most of the trades have been collars, or other stock-tied trades, so it is tough to take a directional approach into results, but wanted to lay out the full view into earnings. Apollo is a $6.95B leader in online […]

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Buyout Targets in Each Sector for 2012

Posted on January 2, 2012

I have always had a good eye for buyout targets and have been long call options in quite a few takeovers the past 2 years.  Obviously there is no exact science here, and it is difficult to predict, as seen when I looked back at Goldman, CSFB, and UBS’ M&A targets for 2011 and each […]

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10 Small Cap Picks for 2012

Posted on December 28, 2011

Instead of making a bunch of random 2012 market predictions and hoping to be right on 25% of them, I think there is more value on picking actual stocks that will outperform in the year ahead. I am screening for small cap stocks, mostly growth names with emerging themes, and ones that trade at least […]

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Speculating on Earnings with Options in a Separate Account – Educational

Posted on September 25, 2011

Although many misunderstand options trading and consider it too "risky", it is actually a way to trade smarter, defining your risk and utilizing strategies to win in markets trending higher, lower, or sideways. The flexibility of options allows for larger gains, better risk management, and can supplement any equity portfolio, even if just looking to […]

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Caterpillar (CAT): Playing the Breakdown Re-Test and a Look into My Trading Process

Posted on September 6, 2011

One of the most common technical moves comes via the "re-test", whether it is a stock in an uptrend that breaks out of consolidation and then eventually comes back down and re-tests that level, or a stock that breaks key support, but then sees a bounce back to test that level. These generally come on […]

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5 Bullish Set-Ups into the Week

Posted on August 28, 2011

The reversal move by the markets Friday left some strong looking charts, and although the market remains submerged under its falling 20 day EMA, certain charts are starting to set-up bullish, and many relative strength names still have rising 10, 20, 50, and 200 day moving averages and are either above, or near breaking above […]

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Reviewing this Week’s Earnings Snapshots Option Trades

Posted on August 18, 2011

Throughout earnings season I send these to subscribers each Sunday night, and for the bigger names I do In Depth Earnings Focus Stories, examples at: http://optionshawk.com/index_files/optiontrader.htmlI wanted to review them:Earnings Snapshots for the Week of August 15th-19thAgilent (A) reports earnings Monday after the close and shares have been under pressure the last few weeks on […]

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Riverbed (RVBD) and Akamai (AKAM): Option Strategists Buying the Blood, Long-Term

Posted on August 3, 2011

Riverbed Tech (RVBD) and Akamai Tech (AKAM) are two former high flying growth Tech stocks that have both been crushed on earnings this quarter, with Riverbed now 35% off highs and Akamai 47% off highs.Riverbed now has just a $4.47B market cap and down to 25.1X forward earnings, while Akamai has a $4.41B market cap, […]

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Inside Look: Earnings Snapshots from this Week

Posted on July 28, 2011

Earnings season is like Christmas for option traders, and it comes 4 times a year. We do a lot of earnings trades with my service and I have posted on my website many of the "Earnings Focus" stories for the major reports where I do a thorough analysis into earnings and provide directional and non-directional […]

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Petrohawk Energy (HK) $12.1B Buyout: A Game Changer for Natural Gas Stocks

Posted on July 14, 2011

After the close tonight it was announced that BHP Billiton (BHP) made a $12.1B All Cash Deal for Petrohawk Energy (HK) at $38.75/Share, a 65% premium!I posted on twitter earlier the detail of a June 27th options trade where a trader sold 30,000 January 2012 $21 puts and bought 30,000 January 2012 $25 calls. The […]

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Open Table (OPEN) Options: Having a Great Plan and Not Executing

Posted on July 13, 2011

Open Table (OPEN) is a name that was soaring to start last week, and although it was on minimal volume and right back to resistance, I saw a lot of people playing this one long, or at least via the virtual Twitter trading account.What I saw was that shares remained in a downtrend since very […]

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M&A: DST Systems (DST) a Potential Deal Stock

Posted on July 7, 2011

Short post today, but an interesting trade I saw today, and shares are on a 9 day run and look to be trading like a deal stock:DST Systems (DST) received buyout interest back in June and shares touched just below $60, but then pulled back to $50, and are now back on the move higher. […]

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Options Flow Case Study: Yea BEBE! Bebe Stores Jumps 33% in 5 Days

Posted on July 4, 2011

Understanding where options traders are positioned into key events, such as earnings, always gives you an edge up on figuring out the directional bias.With options activity I look at two types that are important. You have the "High Impact" trades, which are clear signs of Institutional positioning in the options markets, large lots of contracts […]

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Ariad Pharma (ARIA): Bullish Option Spread Targets 2H 2011 Catalysts

Posted on June 22, 2011

This was an interesting spread I came across after hours, and after some research it looks like a very nice trade…Ariad Pharma (ARIA) call volume jumped to 3X daily average as the August $11 / January 2012 $11 calendar call spread traded 2,500 contracts at $1.20 to open, the trader trying to time the Biotech […]

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Philip Morris (PM): Option Trade Looks for Flame to Burn Out

Posted on

I do a lot of work after hours scanning for any action in the options market I may have missed during the day, and this spread in Philip Morris really caught my eye as a large trade that makes a lot of sense with the current Technical and Fundamental outlook.Philip Morris (PM) with a large […]

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Smart Money Positioning for Late Summer Commodity Rally

Posted on June 19, 2011

Discovering trends in options activity often leads to the highest probability trades, and the recent trend has been large opening positions in commodity names, mainly the metals.The S&P has corrected more than 8% in the last 2 months, while Metals (XME) have corrected more than 19% in the same time period, notable weakness in Coal, […]

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Cisco (CSCO) – Long Term Option Strategy Beats Buying Stock

Posted on June 16, 2011

As a lead in I have always felt that there really is no sense ever buying an equity where the options are liquid with tight spreads, because if you are confident in your view, the use of leverage allows you to better position for larger gains, whether you want to use deep in-the-money calls/puts or […]

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Could Rio Tinto (RTP) Acquire the Rest of Ivanhoe Mines (IVN)?

Posted on June 13, 2011

Ivanhoe Mines (IVN) is a $14.5B miner that is trading 3.88X book value. It’s principal property is the Oyu Tolgoi copper & gold mine development project in southern Mongolia. The Company announced on June 9th that construction is ahead of schedule, currently 23% complete.Ivanhoe is partnered with Rio Tinto (RIO), a $129B miner with nearly […]

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Packaging and Paper M&A is Hot -Who’s Next?

Posted on June 9, 2011

…MeadWestvaco (MWV) and Bemis (BMS) are Two Names that Stick Out…Temple Inland (TIN) recently received a $30.60/share offer from International Paper (IP), a 44% premium, valuing the Company around $3.3B, or 15X earnings, 0.85X sales, and 3.5X book value. On EV/EBITDA, commonly used in M&A Analysis, TIN is at 9.3 while MWV is at 6.8 […]

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Will Oil Service/Equipment See Increased M&A? Is Cameron (CAM) a Target?

Posted on June 3, 2011

The Oil Services (OIH) group has outperformed the market recently and Crude seems to magnet to the $100 level, buyers at $95 and sellers at $105. I would expect M&A in this group moving forward, as valuation is fair, and synergies can result in great cost-savings. It is also no secret that the large Exploration […]

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Ethan Allen (ETH): Put Volume Soars to 240X Avg. – A Seasonal Sell?

Posted on June 2, 2011

Ethan Allen (ETH) shares fell 6% as MasterCard Spending Pulse data showed weak spending in furniture and it traded 6,066 puts on the day, 240X daily average with most of the action on the offer as bearish buyers cause IV30 to jump 21.8% on the day. The August $20 puts were the target today as […]

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Options Expiration Pins for May 20th

Posted on May 20, 2011

Options Expiration Strike Pegs:AMZN Max Pain $190 – Looking for $200 Pin – $195/$200 1X2 Call Spread an OptionGOOG Max Pain $535 – Selling the $530 Straddle an OptionBIDU Max Pain is $135 – May $130/$135/$140 Butterfly Spread an OptionPOT Max Pain at $55 – June $55 Calls at $1.50 CheapCAT Max Pain $105 – […]

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CRM: The Force is Strong with this One

Posted on May 19, 2011

Salesforce.com (CRM) is trading 7.9% higher after hours to $146.50 ahead of the CEO on Cramer, and the Company beat by a penny on EPS but beat big on revenues, and along with raising its guidance, it showed new customer adds, the real key to its report as it continues to show itself as the […]

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Sherwin Williams (SHW): Painting a Bullish Picture

Posted on May 17, 2011

Sherwin Williams is a name catching my eye, a great ascending triangle has setup above the prior resistance, now support at $79. If shares can push through $86.30 on volume it would measure a move to above $90. ADX is climbing after a bullish crossover and RSI is rising, although a bit overbought. Shares have […]

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S&P 500: Current Technical Outlook

Posted on May 15, 2011

The S&P traded in a choppy narrow range last week and closed the week slightly lower than where it opened, and is flirting with a technical breakdown. Shares have formed a descending triangle above the 50 day EMA and prior support at 1,330, along with a 50% Fibonacci Retracement of the 1,290 to 1,370 range.. […]

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Apple (AAPL): Prepping for Explosive Move – Traders Get Long Volatility into Developers Conf.

Posted on May 13, 2011

Apple (AAPL) traded a large spread on the PHLX May 12th that I am trying to drill down on, between 3:15 and 3:25pm. All in all it appears that at 3:17pm a trader bought 4,000 May $350/$355 call spreads at $1.29 and 4,000 May $335/$330 put spreads at $0.36. After that the trader looked to […]

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Polaris (PII) – Ratio Put Spread Looks for Slow Slide, Gap Fill

Posted on May 11, 2011

Polaris (PII) recently reported a blowout quarter, and now shares have consolidated in a tight range. The growth story is intact here, and on any significant fall I would be a buyer of this stock, but one trader is looking for a slide in shares:Polaris (PII) traded 4,675 puts on the day, more than 20X […]

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PSS World Medical (PSSI): Stealth Options Action of the Day

Posted on May 10, 2011

PSS World Medical (PSSI) traded 50X daily call volume as 1,000 June $30 calls were bought on the CBOE at $0.625, with the bid-ask at $0.55/$0.80, so not an aggressive purchase, but appears to have been a buyer based on the IV movement. Earnings are May 12th before the open and shares are at all […]

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Archer Daniels (ADM): Option Trader Sees Further Downside with Ratio Put Spread

Posted on May 8, 2011

Archer Daniels (ADM) shares continue to slide post-earnings, and one bearish trader sees more downside potential for the grains Company. The trader traded the June $34/$32 ratio put spread for 2,500X5,000 contracts at $0.27 debit, looking for a fall to $32, and seeing limited upside despite the valuation. The trader’s profit zone is from $30.27 […]

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6 Speculative Option Trades on Small Caps Reporting Earnings this Week

Posted on May 1, 2011

Every week I look to the week ahead and screen for small caps that report earnings and then filter them out by looking at fundamentals and the charts using FinViz to find some names that others are likely not watching, but could trade strong post-earnings. Although the options tend to be illiquid, I will provide […]

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Sunpower Surges 38.65%: Were Option Traders Lucky, Good, or Cheating?

Posted on April 28, 2011

After the close it was announced that Total SA (TOT) has offered to buy 60% of Sunpower (SPWRA) for $1.38B, a $23.25 Tender Offer Price, and shares jumped 38.65% in one of the largest Solar deal to date, an industry that has yet to see much M&A.I had recently posted a bullish "Options Radar" to […]

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Amazon (AMZN): Reviewing Options Strategy for Earnings

Posted on April 27, 2011

I try and put together in depth earnings analysis reports in my chat ahead the major reports, and all signs were bullish heading into Amazon (AMZN) yesterday. Here is what I Posted:OPTIONS RADAR: Amazon Action and Skew Looking for Move Higher on EarningsAnalysis:Amazon (AMZN) is trading 1.65% lower into earnings and as of 2:15pm is […]

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Mastec (MTZ): Construction Co. with Great Fundamentals Attracts Bullish Options Action

Posted on April 26, 2011

MasTec (MTZ) traded 5,556 calls on the day, more than 30X daily average call volume as IV30 jumped 19.8%, yet shares were down 1.9% on the day. The action was in June, and mainly $22.50/$25 call spreads bought at $1.15 throughout the session, shares at $22.56 to $23. Earnings come after market on May 4th […]

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Woodward (WWD): Potential Undiscovered Gem

Posted on April 23, 2011

It must be the stock-junkie in me, but I get excited when I come across a new Company in my weekend scans that I have never heard of previously.Such is the case with Woodward (WWD), an Industrial with a $2.34B market cap that trades nearly 300,000 shares a day, so it was surprising to me […]

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Polycom (PLCM): Previewing the Quarter – Potential Options Strategy

Posted on April 20, 2011

Polycom (PLCM) will report earnings Thursday, April 21st after the close and the Street is looking for EPS of $0.42 and Revenues of $337.8M. For FY11 EPS estimates are at $2.05 and Revenues at $1.45B. Due to the Holiday, shares will not open for trade until next Monday.Polycom is not exactly your every day popular […]

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Amarin (AMRN) – Option Traders Nail It, Strike Gold

Posted on April 18, 2011

Amarin (AMRN) announced very positive Phase 3 ANCHOR Trial Results this Morning for AMR101 and is setting up to open more than 60% higher.Amarin is a name that has been coming up on my option scans for a couple months now. Traders were mostly active in June with the Q2 data release expected and traders […]

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F-5 Networks (FFIV): Trading Earnings with Options in the Quarter After the Disaster

Posted on April 17, 2011

F-5 (FFIV) is set to report earnings on April 20th after the close, and it will be the first real news out of the Company since it crumbled 21.35% last quarter on earnings that brought the entire Technology sector down with it.F-5 shares have continued to trend lower, although initially rebounding a week after the […]

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Infosys (INFY): Sneaky Option Traders Play Earnings with Cognizant (CTSH) Puts

Posted on April 15, 2011

With earnings season here, it is not only important to pay attention to the stocks that will be reporting, but also to the closest competitors/peers. Some of these are obvious like Deere/Caterpillar, At&T/Verizon, Salesforce/VMware, while others take more digging, but there is almost almost a read-through from an earnings report that will impact a related […]

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Qihoo 360 Tech Jumps 13.45% Day After Call Volume Sets Record

Posted on April 14, 2011

Qihoo 360 Tech (QIHU) shares jumped 13.45% today, and even more considering the turnaround in yesterday’s session after I put the following note out to clients in the morning:"Qihoo 360 Tech (QIHU) the next potential China Tech name to run seeing 2,075 calls trade, bullish buying of 1,520 September $35 calls with shares at $24.60, […]

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Kellogg Co (K) Calls….They’re Gr-r-r-eat!!

Posted on April 11, 2011

Although the Dow Jones actually finished up a point today the market sure felt much weaker. I did, however, notice strength in the consumer staples, a name that has held up fairly well considering the rising commodity prices weighing on margins. As we enter earnings season I feel that the sentiment is so bearish in […]

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15 Bullish Set-Ups for March 9th

Posted on March 9, 2011

ITW: Consolidation BreakoutNDAQ: Bull Flag – Break of $29 KeyCAKE: Looks Great on Break of $30, Trend ResistanceLMT: Channel Down to Support – Like Above $81RL: Post-Earnings Consolidation, Nearing BreakOutEMR: Riding 50 EMA – Could See Highs SoonDD: Looks Excellent Above $55CAT: Consolidation; Above $105YUM: Clean Strong Volume Break to HighsDHR: Bull Consolidation, Break of […]

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Silver (SLV) – Trading the Parabolic Move with Option Spreads

Posted on March 4, 2011

Silver (SLV) has been on an absolute tear and without getting into too many details of why, some of the reasons include:1) Silver is the only commodity with both industrial uses and monetary value2) Unlike Gold, Silver is Consumed and Needs to be Replaced3) Silver Production Increases Can Not Meet Demand4) There is a Massive […]

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Costco (COST) – Option Trader Plays Earnings Via the Ratio Put Spread

Posted on March 1, 2011

Costco (COST) options were active ahead of earnings to be reported before the open tomorrow morning, call volume 4X daily average and put volume near 4X daily average. There were a couple large trades on the day, early in the day the March $75/$80 "Call Stupid" Spreads traded around 2,500 contracts, both legs pricing below […]

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Weight Watchers (WTW): Insider Info into Earnings, or Just a Hungry Bull?

Posted on February 17, 2011

Weight Watchers (WTW) posted a slamming quarter this morning, the classic beat and raise, blowing away Street estimates. Shares are indicated to open higher by more than 11% this morning, light pre-market volume, but looks like it will be a big winner today.On February 14th, Monday, I noticed very unusual action in the Weight Watchers […]

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Corning (GLW) Case Study – The Importance of Following Options Flow

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In the first three minutes of trade today I saw big blocks buying the February $22 calls in Corning (GLW) at $0.42, offer side buying and soon that swelled to 5,000 contracts (More than 8,000 traded by day end). Shares opened quietly but started to make a run soon after, sending the calls for $0.42 […]

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Whole Foods (WFMI): Reviewing A Successful Double Calendar Spread Earnings Startegy

Posted on February 12, 2011

Whole Foods (WFMI) was set to report earnings on February 9th after the close and I had a good feeling it would continue its momentum from strong earnings last quarter, and also felt the options market was not pricing in enough volatility, seeing it as a stock that had consolidated with tight Bollinger Bands and […]

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Bullish Breakout from Today, Many Large Cap

Posted on October 1, 2010

CSX Corp (CSX)3M (MMM)Lamar Advertising (LAMR)Consol Energy (CNX)Helmerich and Payne (HP)Moody’s (MCO)Statoil (STO)Thomson Creek (TC)Grainger (GWW)Waste Mgmt. (WM)BE Aerospace (BEAV)

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Posted on September 28, 2010

NPS Pharma (NPSP) Triggered at $6.75 – First Target $7.50, Potential for Bull Flag Breakout, Good VolumeAluminum China (ACH) Triggers at $23 – Target $27 on Ascending Triangle Break (Call Buying)Analog Devices (ADI) Triggers at $31 – Ascending Triangle Breakout (Call Buying) – First Target $34 2008 HighsDigital River (DRIV) Triggers at $32 – Breaks […]

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12 Fresh Breakouts You Need to be Watching

Posted on September 13, 2010

Xyratex (XRTX) Breaks Channel Down for Implied Move to $17 – Great Value Name as WellInfineon (INFN) Weekly Chart Breakout for Potential Move to $15Lexmark (LXK) Key Break of Resistance – Should be Good to $45Cypress Semi (CY) Breaks Key $11.75 Resistance for Implied Move Exactly at #13.75 May HighsViacom (VIA.B) Descending Triangle Breakout for […]

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My Rules for Who to Follow on Twitter

Posted on August 15, 2010

As of this writing I have 1,927 followers and follow 71, and I feel the higher that ratio the better.Around half of the 71 follows for me are somehow tied to the Oakland Raiders, Boston Bruins, Fantasy Baseball/Football, NFL/NH:, and Hunting/Fishing, but I thought I would provide my "technique" for finding worthy follows on Stock […]

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Thomas and Betts (TNB): Buy on Valuation, Technicals, and Seasonality

Posted on July 7, 2010

Thomas and Betts (TNB) is trading 10.75X earnings, 0.95X sales, 3.88X cash value, and 8.6X free cash flow with a $1.8B market cap. Shares were raised to Outperform at Wells Fargo on June 1st and are down around 12% since then, likely on concerns over residential construction.However, shares have become a value play and the […]

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10 Charts for Bulls

Posted on June 9, 2010

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Week of May 24th to May 28th Events

Posted on May 23, 2010

I provide the week ahead preview to my subscribers in the weekly Options Hunter Newsletter. Here is a sneak peak at the events you should be watching this week:Week Ahead: Earnings are few and far between this week as the season comes to a close but we will hear from Medtronic, Campbell’s Soup, Heinz, CostCo, […]

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Polycom (PLCM) – Inverse Head and Shoulders Breakout

Posted on March 11, 2010

Broke out past key resistance on 1.7X relative volumeReady for an easy move to $35 highs from 2007

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Orient Express Hotel (OEH): By the Book Breakout

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Triangle Breakout on 2.7X Relative Volume Above Upper Keltner ChannelShares closed at $12.30 today, and I see this as a double in 2010 – Target $25

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Verisign (VRSN): Great Breakout and Bullish Action

Posted on March 4, 2010

Verisign shares broke out of an ascending triangle implying a move that is likely to see resistance at $33, more than 25% higher from here. The owner of the .com and various other Internet identifications is likely to continue to experience strong growth, and recent price increases should boos the bottom line. Also, cyber security […]

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Finisar (FNSR): Major Breakout

Posted on February 22, 2010

The $800M market cap maker of networking equipment is on a long road back, trading as high as $410 in the Tech Bubble, and as low as $1.69 in the March lows. Shares are now trading at $12.22 and breaking out of an inverse head and shoulders, implying we could see a move North of […]

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Defense Stocks on the Offensive

Posted on February 21, 2010

The Aerospace/Defense Sector is hot and the stocks are breaking out. As a group of the 25 stocks that trade 100,000+ shares a day with a market cap greater than $300M it is one of the cheapest groups on valuation as well, here are some stats on the average company metrics:Forward P/E: 13.5X; Price/Sales: 1.3X; […]

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Henry Schein (HSIC) Cup and Handle Breakout

Posted on February 15, 2010

Medical Device Firm Trading at a Good Value and with a 9.83 Short Ratio, Target of $63

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2010: The Year of Large Cap BioTech

Posted on February 2, 2010

Starting off 2010 the markets had a rough January, losing around 4% on the S&P, often a bearish indication for the year ahead, but BioTech large caps are seeing a resurgence. Breakouts are developing in Amgen (AMGN), Cephalon (CEPH), OSI Pharma (OSIP), Gilead (GILD), Genzyme (GENZ), Acorda (ACOR), Biogen (BIIB), Dendreon (DNDN), Talecris (TLCR), Regeneron […]

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Campbell’s Soup (CPB) Breaking Out in Down Market

Posted on January 28, 2010

Packaged goods are the best plays with commodity prices falling and Campbells broke out on a volume surge.

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FedEx (FDX) Head and Shoulders Reversal

Posted on January 25, 2010

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Amylin (AMLN): Breaking out Ahead of 3-5 FDA

Posted on January 14, 2010

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VmWare (VMW) and Wynn Resorts (WYNN): Masterful Gap Fill Plays

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I love looking for gap fill plays and sometimes you have to look back a couple of years and I found two great ones with VMW and WYNN today. RSI also broke out in VMW.

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Textron (TXT) and Illinois Tool (ITW) Breakouts

Posted on January 11, 2010

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Flow Serve (FLS): Class 5 Rapid Breakout

Posted on January 10, 2010

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AGCO Breaks Out with Room to Run – Target $45

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Cummins (CMI): A Diesel Powered Breakout

Posted on January 7, 2010

Looking for a break of that 61.8 Fib Level at $51.55 to Drive this to $60.

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Plexus (PLXS): Waiting on $30.90 Breakout

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InfoSpace (INSP): A Multitude of Breakouts

Posted on January 6, 2010

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Paccar (PCAR) Channel Bounce – Room to Run to $40

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Manitowoc (MTW) Ready to Run Higher

Posted on January 5, 2010

Disclosure: Long March $5 Calls at $3 from 9/8

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BorgWarner (BWA) – A Sweet Bull Flag Breakout

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Conoco Phillips (COP) Bullish Breakout

Posted on January 4, 2010

Oil and Gas Names were absolutely on fire today, and COP is an underperformer that looks certain to make it to $60 near term

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Brinker (EAT) Bearish Set-Up

Posted on January 3, 2010

Channel Down Resistance and Failing

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McGraw Hill (MHP) Bullish Set-Up

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Consolidation Above Prior Breakout Level

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