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Stock Market Today Holds Record Highs – BBY, TIF Notch Gains, DGLY Slumps By Garrett Baldwin

Wed, 27 Aug 2014 17:39:25 -0400

U.S. stock markets remained relatively unchanged this afternoon, maintaining their record highs. On a day of very light volumes, most of the attention focused on monetary policy in Europe and several retail companies that reported earnings today.

The post Stock Market Today Holds Record Highs – BBY, TIF Notch Gains, DGLY Slumps appeared first on Money Morning - Only the News You Can Profit From.




Stock Market News Today Driven by BKW and AMZN Acquisitions By Garrett Baldwin

Wed, 27 Aug 2014 09:21:39 -0400

Stock market news today, August 27, 2014: U.S. stock markets struck multiple intraday records on Tuesday, as strong consumer data suggested further momentum for the economy. The S&P 500 hit another record, fresh off its first intraday rise over the 2,000 level yesterday.

The post Stock Market News Today Driven by BKW and AMZN Acquisitions appeared first on Money Morning - Only the News You Can Profit From.




Hot Stocks to Watch Today Led by TIF, WSM, and BYI By Diane Alter

Wed, 27 Aug 2014 07:00:38 -0400

The S&P 500 topped 2,000 for the first time Monday, driven in part by robust second-quarter earnings.

While the majority of companies have already posted results, a number of key sector players report Wednesday, including a handful of major retailers, a leading luxury jeweler, a spirits giant, the world's largest offshore driller, and more.

The post Hot Stocks to Watch Today Led by TIF, WSM, and BYI appeared first on Money Morning - Only the News You Can Profit From.




Dow Jones Today To Ride High On Positive Economic Data By Garrett Baldwin

Wed, 28 May 2014 08:29:34 -0400

Dow Jones today, May 28, 2014: The Dow Jones Today (Wednesday) will likely continue to benefit from positive economic data released earlier in the week, including growing consumer confidence and expansion in the U.S. service sector.

Tuesday saw the Dow close up nearly 70 points, while the S&P 500 hit a new record.

The post Dow Jones Today To Ride High On Positive Economic Data appeared first on Money Morning - Only the News You Can Profit From.




Ten Stocks to Watch Today By Diane Alter

Wed, 28 May 2014 07:00:48 -0400

Stocks to watch for May 28, 2014: A number of key industry players post numbers Wednesday and land on our stocks to watch list. Included on the roster are an upscale apparel retailer, a designer shoe warehouse, and a luxury home builder. Also making the list is an automaker that's been making headlines for all the wrong reasons.

The post Ten Stocks to Watch Today appeared first on Money Morning - Only the News You Can Profit From.




Dividend Stocks: 25 Companies That Just Increased Their Payouts

Tue, 03 Dec 2013 13:11:01 -0500

It's been a good year to own stocks, with markets hitting record highs. But investors holding dividend stocks have profited the most.

Even better, if the market pulls back from those record highs, dividend stocks typically perform better during a correction than non-dividend paying stocks.




Zale Options Active As Shares Pop After Earnings

Wed, 28 Aug 2013 14:29:35 -0400

Today’s tickers: ZLC, GCI & CHS

ZLC – Zale Corporation – Shares in jewelry retailer, Zale Corp., are soaring today, rallying as much as 23.6% during morning trading to touch a new four-year high of $11.08 after the company posted a narrower than expected fourth-quarter loss and its highest full year net income in six years ahead of the opening bell. Some options traders looking for the stock to rise after earnings initiated bullish trades on Zale two weeks prior to the report. Traders snapped up ZLC call options back on August 14th, for example, purchasing around 500 of the Sep $10 calls for an average premium of $0.86 apiece. The value of these calls has since increased substantially, with the asking premium up at $1.35 each as of 12:30 p.m. ET. Options traders also picked up the Sep $12.5 strike and the Nov $12.5 strike calls back on August 14th at premiums of $0.35 and $0.60 per contract, respectively. Today, it looks like traders are adding to bullish interest on the jeweler. More than 900 of the Nov $12.5 strike calls changed hands during morning trading versus open interest of 640 contracts, and it looks like most of the call options were purchased at a premium of $0.80 each. Buyers of the $12.5 strike calls stand ready to profit at November expiration should shares in ZLC rally 20% over today’s high of $11.08 to top the breakeven price of $13.30.

GCI – Gannett Co. Inc. – Trading in Gannet Co. put options today suggests one strategist is bracing for shares in the media company to potentially pull back in the near term. Shares in…
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Dividend Increasers for March

Sun, 10 Mar 2013 16:54:00 -0400

Stock indices are making new highs as more companies are increasing their dividends. A boost in dividends usually means that the company's future earnings prospects are very favorable. Here are some that have raised their dividends recently.

General Dynamics (GD) is increasing its quarterly dividend by 9.8%

Zimmer Announced an 11% increase in its quarterly dividend

Taubman Centers (TCO) declared a regular quarterly dividend of $0.50 per share, an increase of 8.1 percent.

Chico’s (CHS) raised its quarterly dividend by 4.8%

Colgate-Palmolive (CL) boosted its quarterly dividend by 10%

Devon Energy (DVN) raised its quarterly dividend by 10%

International Game Technology (IGT) bumped up its quarterly dividend by 33%

Qualcomm (QCOM) raised its quarterly dividend 40%

If you like stock lists like this, such as a list of stocks going ex-dividend, beer stocks, candy stocks, or coffee stocks, go to WallStreetNewsNetwork.com.




Stocks to Buy Now: These Three Retailers are Prime Takeover Targets

Thu, 28 Feb 2013 17:36:58 -0500

Tags: good stocks to buy, Penny Stocks, stocks to buy, stocks to buy in 2013, Stocks to buy now, stocks to buy right now, stocks to buy today, stocks to watch, The Biggest News from the Stock Market Today, top stocks



Weekly Calls Prescribe Further Gains In Pfizer Shares

Thu, 24 Jan 2013 13:48:43 -0500

 

Today’s tickers: PFE, NWSA & CHS

PFE - Pfizer, Inc. – Weekly options changing hands on drug maker, Pfizer, Inc., in the early going on Thursday are looking for shares to potentially extend their move to the upside next week. Shares in PFE are up 2.3% this morning, trading at a new five-year high of $27.28 ahead of the company’s fourth-quarter earnings report on Tuesday. Traders positioning for Pfizer’s shares to rally during the next six trading sessions snapped up around 500 in-the-money calls at the Feb. 01 ’13 $27 strike for an average premium of $0.29 apiece. Upside call volume is more substantial at the higher Feb. 01 ’13 $27.5 strike, where some 3,100 contracts are in play against zero open positions. Most of the $27.5 strike weekly calls appear to have been purchased for an average premium of $0.09 each, thus positioning buyers to profit at expiration next week should the price of the underlying rise another 1.1% to top the average breakeven point at $27.59.

NWSA - News Corp. – A large one-by-two ratio call spread initiated on News Corp. this morning suggests the stock may see limited, albeit substantial, gains during the next six months. Shares in New Corp., roughly flat on the session to stand at $27.38 as of 11:55 a.m. ET, have increased more than 45% since this time last year to trade near their highest level in more than a decade. The single-largest transaction in NWSA options today combines the purchase of 6,250 calls at the July $28 strike for a premium of $1.40 each, with the sale of 12,500 calls at the July $30 strike at a premium of $0.55 apiece. Net premium paid to establish the sizable spread amounts to $0.30 per contract. The bullish position makes money if shares in NWSA rally 3.4% over the current price of $27.38 to surpass the effective breakeven point at $28.30, with maximum potential profits of $1.70 per contract available should the price of the underlying rise 9.6% to settle at $30.00 at July expiration.…
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Chico's 2Q Profits Improve – Analyst Blog

Thu, 23 Aug 2012 09:00:29 -0400

Chico's FAS Inc. (CHS) reported robust second-quarter 2012 earnings per share of 32 cents, surpassing the Zacks Consensus Estimate of 30 cents. Moreover, quarterly earnings surged 28% from the prior-year quarter's earnings of 25 cents per share. Sales Net sales climbed 16.4% to $641.7 million from the prior-year quarter and were almost in line with [...]



Brookdale Senior Living Options Pop On Sunrise deal

Wed, 22 Aug 2012 13:08:27 -0400

 

Today’s tickers: BKD, CHS & LMT

BKD - Brookdale Senior Living, Inc. – The operator of retirement communities and assisted living facilities may be rallying in sympathy with Sunrise Senior Living, Inc. after that company agreed to be acquired by Health Care REIT, Inc., in an all-cash deal valued at $1 billion or $14.50 a share. Brookdale’s shares are currently up better than 8% on the day and more than 25% year-to-date; trading at a fresh 52-week high of $21.52 just before 12:00 p.m. EDT. Options on BKD are far more active than usual today, with volume exceeding 2,200 contracts versus the stock’s 90-day average daily options volume of 243 contracts. Most of the trading traffic in Brookdale options is in the Jan. 2013 $20 strike put where 2,010 lots changed hands against zero open positions. Time and sales on the trading indicates one strategist sold 1,700 of the put options at a premium of $1.25 apiece in the first hour of the trading session. The put seller keeps the full amount of premium received on the transaction as long as shares in Brookdale settle above $20.00 at January expiration. The trader could wind up having 170,000 shares of the underlying put to him at an effective price of $18.75 each in the event the contracts land in-the-money at expiration.

CHS - Chico’s FAS, Inc. – Shares in women’s apparel and accessories retailer, Chico’s FAS, Inc., jumped 8.8% to a multi-year high of $18.58 after reporting better-than-expected second-quarter earnings and sales ahead of the opening bell this morning. The clothing company also raised the low end of its prior forecast for full year 2012 revenue, helping the stock rally to the highest intraday price since August 2007. Options traders positioning for shares in the retailer to extend gains during the next five months snapped up around 700 calls at the Jan. 2013 $21 strike for an average premium of $0.60 apiece today. Call buyers may…
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Ann Beats, Ups Fiscal Guidance – Analyst Blog

Wed, 22 Aug 2012 09:51:22 -0400

Driven by strong top-line performance along with improved margins, the upscale segment retailer, Ann Inc.’s (ANN) earnings of 63 cents per share for the second quarter of fiscal 2012 surged over 34% from the prior-year quarter’s earnings of 47 cents. Moreover, quarterly earnings beat the Zacks Consensus Estimate of 51 cents per share. Quarterly Details [...]



Put Options Eye Fresh Lows For Groupon

Mon, 14 May 2012 13:48:46 -0400

  Today’s tickers: GRPN, DLTR & CHS GRPN - Groupon, Inc. – Shares in Groupon are up 11.11% at $11.00 today on expectations the company may report better-than-expected first-quarter earnings after the final bell. Options on the stock are quite active as well, but not all of the positioning is looking for a positive earnings surprise tonight. Fresh interest building in the June expiry puts portends potential fresh record lows for the shares in the near future. One-by-two June $7.0/$9.0 ratio put spreads purchased this morning position traders to profit from limited bearish movement in the price of the underlying during the next five weeks. Of the more than 3,300 put options in play at the June $7.0 and $9.0 strikes, the largest blocks of options changing hands are the purchase of 486 $9.0 strike puts spread against the sale of 972 $7.0 strike options, done at a net premium outlay of $0.33 per contract. The ratio spread may be a profitable strategy should Groupon’s shares drop 21.1% to slip beneath the effective breakeven point at $8.67. Maximum possible profits of $1.67 per contract are available on the positions if shares in the name drop 36.4% to settle at $7.00 at June expiration. Groupon’s shares on Friday traded down to an all-time low of $9.63. DLTR - Dollar Tree Stores, Inc. – Bearish options are in play on Dollar Tree, Inc. this morning ahead of the discount consumer goods retailer’s first-quarter earnings report on Thursday. Shares in Dollar Tree are currently down 1.5% at $101.05 as of 12:50 in New York. It looks like the investor buying a sizable debit put spread on DLTR this morning paid an average net premium of $3.31 per contract for a roughly 3,000-lot June $85/$100 spread. The position makes money if shares in…[...]



Tiffany Options Active As Shares Lead S&P 500 Gainers

Tue, 20 Mar 2012 13:23:14 -0400

  Today’s tickers: TIF, KORS & CHS TIF - Tiffany & Co. – Options on the world’s second-largest luxury jewelry retailer are mixed today, with much of the action centering in the front month calls and puts. The day’s volume, currently at 21,500 contracts as of 11:35 a.m. in New York, is more than twice the stock’s 90-day average volume of 9,971 options. The pick-up in options activity arrives on the heels of the Company’s fourth-quarter results and full-year earnings guidance ahead of the opening bell. The jeweler’s full-year earnings forecast at $4.05 per share beat analyst expectations, sending the price of the underlying up as much as 8.0% on Tuesday morning to $74.20. The sharp rally in Tiffany’s shares is a move one strategist had been positioning for last week. It appears the investor initiated a bull call spread back on Monday March 12, buying the April $70/$75 spread roughly 3,500 times at an average net premium of $1.54 per contract. The rise in open interest at both strikes in the days that followed may mean the trader added to the position last week. The bullish play on the jeweler is working out so far, with the shares well above an estimated breakeven share price of $71.54 on the spread. The trader walks away with maximum available profits as long as Tiffany’s shares move up another 1.1% over today’s high of $74.20 to top $75.00 at expiration next month. KORS - Michael Kors Holdings, Ltd. – The number of open options positions on Michael Kors Holdings, Ltd., as measured by open interest of 30,337 total contracts, is roughly 65.0% comprised of call positions. The preponderance of open KORS calls versus puts was heightened yesterday by one large transaction involving roughly 10,200 far out-of-the-money front month calls. The Company…[...]



Procter & Gamble Weekly Call Volume Jumps Ahead Of Conference

Wed, 22 Feb 2012 13:52:45 -0500

Today’s tickers: PG, CHS & FIRE PG - Procter & Gamble Co. – A burst of call buying in the weekly options on consumer products giant Procter & Gamble appears to be a sizable bullish bet that shares will rally heading into the weekend. Shares in PG are up 0.30% today at $64.61 ahead of the Consumer Analyst Group of New York Conference in Boca Raton, Florida on Thursday. Statements from P&G’s top management, particularly regarding details of the Company’s cost cutting plans, could move the stock tomorrow. The investor or investors responsible for exchanging more than 16,000 calls at the Feb. ’24 $65 strike against open interest of 2,037 contracts for an average premium of $0.15 each, may profit at expiration should shares settle above the average breakeven price of $65.15. CHS - Chico’s FAS, Inc. – Bullish traders who purchased Chico’s call options in advance of the retailer’s positive earnings surprise on Wednesday, in some cases, doubled their money overnight. Shares in the seller of women’s clothing and accessories rallied as much as 15.5% to $14.80 this morning after the Company beat top- and bottom-line fourth quarter estimates, and forecast higher than expected full year sales of $2.5 billion. Options players speculating shares in Chico’s could surge after earnings snapped up call options in the front month that today trade at substantially higher premiums. One strategist appears to have purchased around 1,400 calls at the Mar. $14 strike for a premium of $0.25 each yesterday afternoon. The sharp rise in CHS shares this morning now has the $14 strike calls trading at more than twice that amount, with a last traded price of $0.70. Call selling at the $14 strike today may represent profit taking on the position. Meanwhile, fresh call selling up at the April $15…[...]



Bull Call Spread Sees Strong Rally In Las Vegas Sands Corp. Shares In 2012

Fri, 23 Dec 2011 14:43:36 -0500

 Commentary to resume Tuesday, January 3, 2012 Today’s tickers: LVS, MNTA, CHS & KLIC LVS - Las Vegas Sands Corp. – Bullish action in Las Vegas Sands call options this morning indicates one strategist is betting shares in the casino resort operator will rally sharply in the first couple of months of 2012. Shares today rose 1.15% to $43.24 by 12:45 PM in New York, on the final trading session before the Christmas holiday. The investor positioning for big gains in the price of the underlying next year purchased a bull call spread, buying 2,000 calls at the Feb. 2012 $46 strike, and selling the same number of calls at the Feb. 2012 $50 strike, all for a net premium outlay of $1.05 per contract. Profits are available on the spread in the event that shares in LVS climb 8.8% to top the effective breakeven price of $47.05 at expiration. The bullish player may walk away with maximum potential profits of $2.95 per contract as long as the casino resort company’s shares jump 15.6% to settle above $50.00 at expiration in February. Las Vegas Sands Corp.’s shares last traded above $50.00 back on September 21, but haven’t closed above $50.00 since February 3, 2011. The call spread may be the trader’s limited-risk, limited-reward play on the stock ahead of its fourth-quarter earnings report on February 2, 2012. A positive surprise from the Company may result in substantial profits to the call-spreader should shares in LVS move up toward the $50.00 level. MNTA - Momenta Pharmaceuticals, Inc. – Shares in the biotechnology company moved up 7.0% overnight to $18.20 ahead of a 10:00 AM EST conference call held to discuss the recently announced collaboration with Baxter International, Inc. to develop and commercialize products called biosimilars. Baxter will reportedly pay Momenta Pharmaceuticals $33 million in cash…[...]



Bearishness Detected In U.S. Bancorp Options

Thu, 22 Dec 2011 13:25:39 -0500

Today’s tickers: USB, V, USG & CHS USB - U.S. Bancorp – Financials extended gains Thursday and appear on track to wrap up the week on a positive note. Shares in U.S. Bancorp joined in on the rally to trade 1.75% higher at $27.28 as of 12:05 PM in New York, though its shares haven’t climbed quite like those of sector heavyweights Citigroup, JPMorgan and Bank of America today. Earlier in the week we noted a bearish transaction on USB in the Mar. 2012 contract that appeared to be the purchase of 10,000 $28 strike calls tied to the sale of 320,000 shares of the underlying. The position may be profitable if shares in U.S. Bancorp pull back ahead of expiration. Today, it looks like a different bearish strategy was initiated in USB call options. One trader sold 5,000 calls outright at June 2012 $32 strike within minutes of the opening bell this morning to pocket premium of $0.43 per contract. The investor responsible for the trade walks away with the full amount of premium in hand as long as shares in USB fail to rally above $32.00 at expiration day. If the trader holds no position in the underlying, he or she is naked short the call options and may start to lose money in the event that USB’s shares soar 18.9% in the first half of 2012 to exceed the effective upper breakeven price of $32.43 at June expiration. U.S. Bancorp reports fourth-quarter earnings on January 18, 2011. V - Visa, Inc. – The near-term prospects for shares in Visa, which today rallied to a fresh high of $101.97, are good according to investors initiating bullish positions in options-land this morning. The global payments technology company’s call options are quite active, with more than 3.5 calls changing hands on the stock for each…[...]



BP, Total Call Options In Play For A Second Day

Fri, 21 Oct 2011 15:01:10 -0400

Today’s tickers: BP, TOT, CHS, CJES & ANF BP & TOT - BP PLC & Total SA – Intriguing activity in call options covering Europe’s second- and third-largest oil companies, BP and Total, carried over from Thursday’s trading day to the final session of the week. Shares in both companies are up on the day, with BP gaining 1.8% to $42.07, and Total rising 1.1% to $52.36, by 12:35 pm EDT. Yesterday we noted one strategist’s dispersion trade; selling calls on Total and buying calls on BP, in a position that seemed to suggest fruitful months ahead for BP and less-stellar share price performance at Total. News out on BP today may support such bullish sentiment. The company was reportedly granted approval by U.S. regulators to once again engage in oil exploration in the Gulf of Mexico, its first such approval since the company’s disastrous offshore spill in 2010. BP is slated to report its performance for the third quarter ahead of the opening bell on October 25, while Total reveals its numbers pre-market on October 28. The call activity in both names this morning is almost identical to that observed on Thursday. It looks like the investor sold some 7,600 Total calls at the May 2012 $55 strike for a premium of $3.30 each, and purchased around 8,400 calls on BP at the April $44 strike for a premium of $2.89 apiece. The strategist…[...]



Pay to Play: What China's Rising Wages Mean for Investors

Tue, 22 Mar 2011 06:00:17 -0400

There's a sea change underway in China's economy - one that's evident in soaring prices, shrinking trade surpluses, and higher property values. And it's being driven by higher wages for workers that for decades have been grossly underpaid.

From the country's fast-growing urban centers to its frontier countryside, wages are rising rapidly across China.

China's 31 provinces boosted minimum wages by an average of 24% last year, according to Yin Weimin, China's minister of human resources and social security. Meanwhile, the average monthly income for migrant workers rose 13% to $256.89 (1,690 yuan).

Six provinces already have raised minimum wages this year, and labor shortages and government mandates will likely compel the remaining 25 to follow suit.




Company News: GRMN, CHS, LTD, AVGO, TJX, EPD, DEP, VRTX

Thu, 24 Feb 2011 08:51:36 -0500

• Garmin Ltd. (NASDAQ:GRMN) reported Q4 EPS of $0.83, lower than the Zacks Consensus Estimate of $0.87 per share. Revenues for the quarter fell 21% year-over-year to $838.0 million, missing the Zacks Consensus Estimate of $860.0 million • Chico’s FAS, Inc. (NYSE:CHS) reported Q4 EPS of $0.12, slightly lower than the Zacks Consensus Estimate of [...](image)



Bulls Scoop Up Valero Energy Corp. Calls

Wed, 16 Feb 2011 18:05:37 -0500

Today’s tickers: VLO, MRVL, CHS & MU VLO - Valero Energy Corp. – Traders flocked to the options playing field on Valero Energy Corp. this morning after the operator of refineries was raised to ‘Top Pick’ from ‘Sector Perform’ with a 12-month target share price of $35.00 at RBC Capital Markets. Shares in Valero are up 3.35% to stand at $29.40 just after 11:40am in New York. Earlier in the session the price of the underlying increased as much as 4.1% to $29.61, the highest Valero’s shares have traded since October of 2008. Near- as well as long-term bulls made their mark in VLO call options in the first half of the session. Investors expecting Valero to extend gains through expiration next month scooped up more than 2,300 calls at the March $31 strike for an average premium of $0.71 apiece. Call buyers at this strike stand prepared to make money should shares in the oil refiner rally another 7.1% over today’s high of $29.61 to surpass the average breakeven price of $31.71 by expiration day in March. Investors eyeing longer-term and more substantial gains in Valero’s shares purchased approximately 10,200 calls out at the January 2012 $35 strike for an average premium of $1.73 a-pop, on previously existing open interest of 3,126 contracts at that strike. Traders long the calls profit in the event that VLO’s shares jump 24.05% to exceed the breakeven at $36.73 within the next eleven months to expiration in 2012. Valero Energy Corp.’s shares last traded above $36.73 back in early July of 2008. MRVL - Marvell Technology Group, Ltd. – Options strategists itching for a substantial near-term rally in chipmaker Marvell Technology Group are buying call spreads in the March contract this morning. Shares in the name are up slightly by 0.10% to stand at…[...]



Option Activity Alert: VLO, MRVL, CHS, MU

Wed, 16 Feb 2011 13:02:45 -0500

VLO – Valero Energy Corp. – Traders flocked to the options playing field on Valero Energy Corp. this morning after the operator of refineries was raised to ‘Top Pick’ from ‘Sector Perform’ with a 12-month target share price of $35.00 at RBC Capital Markets. Shares in Valero are up 3.35% to stand at $29.40 just [...](image)



Dell Call Options Active in Afternoon Trading

Tue, 12 Oct 2010 17:45:43 -0400

Today’s tickers: DELL, AGU, EEM, GERN, SPY, IP, SFD & CHS DELL - Dell, Inc. – Speculation that Michael Dell, Chairman and CEO of Dell, Inc., may buy the computer company or pay a special dividend lifted shares of the world’s third-largest PC maker this afternoon and spurred demand for out-of-the-money call options. Dell’s shares rallied nearly 3.00% today to touch an intraday high of $14.14, but are currently up 1.50% at $13.94 as of 3:05 p.m. Options traders honed in on October $14 strike calls, exchanging more than 23,100 of those contracts by 3:00 p.m., versus previously existing open interest of 10,783 calls at that strike. It looks like roughly 11,800 of those call options were purchased at an average premium of $0.21 a-pop. Call buyers make money if Dell’s shares exceed the average breakeven price of $14.21 by October expiration on Friday. Other optimistic signaling on the stock involved the sale of some 2,100 in-the-money puts at the October $14 strike where investors received an average premium of $0.34 per contract. Options implied volatility is up 15.2% to stand at 41.52% with less than one hour remaining before the final bell. AGU - Agrium, Inc. – Shares of Canada’s second-largest fertilizer producer rallied as much as 3.2% today to reign in an intraday high of $85.66 after corn futures jumped to a near two-year high. Agrium was upgraded to ‘sector outperformer’ from ‘sector performer’ at CIBC World Markets where analysts upped their target share price on the company to $100.00 from $70.00. One options trader was prepared for the bullish move in the Agrium’s shares and opted to book profits, as well as extend optimism on the stock in the November contract. It looks like the investor purchased 10,000 calls at the November $85 strike for an average premium of $2.75 apiece back on October 8, 2010, when shares were trading around $80.36. Today the trader sold the calls for a premium of $4.10 apiece to pocket net profits of $1.35 per contract. Next, the investor extended bullish sentiment on the stock by picking up a fresh batch of 10,000 calls at the higher November $90 strike for an average premium of $2.375 each. The new long call position is profitable for the investor if Agrium’s shares surge 7.85% over today’s high of $85.66 to surpass the average breakeven point at $92.375 by November expiration. EEM - iShares MSCI Emerging Markets Index ETF – A sizable put…[...]



Contrarian Player Sees Visa Recovery Story Unfolding by Jan. 2012

Mon, 13 Sep 2010 20:09:45 -0400

Today’s tickers: V, EMC, MON, SAY, MJN, ADM, BBY, EDMC, EBAY & CHS

V - Visa, Inc. – Shares of the global payments company plunged 4.7% this afternoon to an intraday and new 52-week low of $64.90 following reports that said federal caps and pending litigation may limit Visa’s ability to increase prices. The price of the underlying was also helped lower by a downgrade to ‘market perform’ from ‘outperform’ at Sanford Bernstein, where analysts have a 12-month target price of $77.00 a share on the stock. The sharp decline in the price of the credit card issuer’s shares inspired near-term bearish options trading. More interesting, however, were the contrarian players seen initiating bullish positions in the longer-dated January 2012 contract. One optimistic strategist enacted a three-legged bullish combination play to position for a rebound in Visa’s shares. The investor appears to have sold roughly 2,500 puts at the January 2012 $50 strike for premium of $4.39 each, purchased about the same number of January 2012 $70 strike calls at an average premium of $8.37 a-pop, and sold approximately 2,500 calls at the higher January 2012 $90 strike for a premium of $2.50 apiece. The average net cost of the transaction reduces to $1.48 per contract. Thus, the contrarian player stands ready to make money should Visa’s shares jump 10.1% over today’s low of $64.90 to exceed the average breakeven price of $71.48 by expiration day. Maximum potential profits of $18.52 per contract are available to the investor should shares surge 38.7% to trade above $90.00 by January 2012 expiration. Visa’s shares last traded above $90.00 back on May 4, 2010. Options implied volatility on Visa, Inc. is up 10.8% at 33.75% with just over 20 minutes remaining ahead of the closing bell.

EMC - EMC Corp. – A large chunk of call options were purchased on EMC Corp. in early afternoon trading, however, it looks like the investor responsible for the transaction is taking a bearish stance on the stock rather than a bullish one. EMC’s shares rallied as much as 2.25% in the first half of the trading day to reach an intraday high of $20.43. The current 52-week high on the stock is $20.97, attained back on August 4, 2010. At first glance, the purchase of 20,000 calls at the January 2011 $21 strike at a premium of $1.00 each looks like a bullish bet by an options strategist looking for…
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Bulls Bombard Research in Motion Ahead of BlackBerry 9800 Launch

Wed, 28 Jul 2010 17:21:41 -0400

Today’s tickers: RIMM, INTU, LVS, RRC, MHS, HSP & CHS

RIMM - Research in Motion Limited – Optimistic options players populated the Blackberry maker’s August contract, selling puts and buying calls to prepare for the price of the underlying stock to continue climbing ahead of expiration day next month. RIMM’s shares rallied as much as 4.53% today to an intraday high of $55.59 on reports the Canadian company will reveal its new touch screen BlackBerry in New York next Tuesday. Investors are chomping at the bit to see if the BlackBerry 9800 can give iPhone maker, Apple, a run for its money – or market share. RIMM’s shares have bounced up off their early-July lows, but the recovery could be short-lived if the 9800 turns out to be a disappointment. Traders hoping to see a successful launch of the touch screen device, and subsequent share price appreciation, employed bullish strategies. Investors picked up at least 3,800 calls at the now in-the-money August $55 strike for an average premium of $2.15 apiece. Buying interest spread to the higher August $57.5 strike where 3,900 calls were purchased at an average premium of $1.16 each. Uber-bulls bought roughly 2,900 call options at the August $60 strike for an average premium of $0.68 a-pop. Investors long the August $60 strike calls are poised to profit should RIMM’s shares surge 9.25% to surpass the average breakeven price of $60.68 by August expiration. The sale of out-of-the-money put options is another bullish signal investors are itching for the current rally to continue. Traders sold some 2,000 puts at the August $50 strike for an average premium of $0.55 each, and shed another 5,200 puts at the higher August $52.5 strike for an average premium of $1.21 apiece. In total, options players exchanged more than 91,300 contracts on Research in Motion by 3:40 pm ET. Options implied volatility on RIMM is up 3.4% to 43.85% ahead of the final bell.

INTU - Intuit Inc. – The provider of business and financial management solutions popped up on our ‘hot by options volume’ market scanner late in the trading session after one options strategist initiated a bearish transaction in the October contract. Intuit’s shares are down slightly by 0.15% to stand at $39.50 as of 3:15 pm ET. It looks like the trader bought a plain-vanilla debit put spread, buying 6,346 puts at the October $37.5 strike for a premium of $1.08 each,…
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Optimistic Option Traders Target Chico’s FAS (CHS)

Wed, 28 Jul 2010 13:09:58 -0400

CHS – Chico’s FAS, Inc. – Optimistic options players are buying calls on the national specialty retailer of private branded women’s clothing and accessories today perhaps to get in on the ground floor of what could wind up being a significant rebound in the price of its shares. CHS’s shares plunged [...](image)



Caution Is the Buzzword After Last Week’s Stock Market Drop

Tue, 01 Jun 2010 06:00:05 -0400

Risk aversion was the story of the week last week amid rising exasperation with Eurozone countries to act in unison to solve their debt afflictions and swelling concerns that financial reform may constrain U.S. financial companies' profits. Economic reports didn't offer much help to the stock market, as industrial manufacturing outlooks showed a surprising amount of slowing.

Stocks mounted a modest bounce on Friday after a week that saw the major market averages sink another 2% to 4%. All of the positive action in the week came in a single low-volume session on Thursday that didn't ultimately do much to erase the negative tone of the worst May since the Kennedy administration.

More troublesome was the fact that positive corporate earnings news and mergers failed to bolster the appetite for stocks. Companies as varied as Dell Inc. (Nasdaq: DELL), Chicos FAS Inc. (NYSE: CHS), Brocade Communications Systems Inc. (Nasdaq: BRCD) and Sears Holding Corp. (Nasdaq: SHLD) beat analysts' expectations this month but saw their shares thrashed by up to 20%.

Most emerging markets fell hard during the week, and there was a broad sense that institutional investors were purging portfolios of high-beta assets that could be vulnerable to a slowdown in earnings growth. This is why bland food makers like Campbell Soup Co. (NYSE: CPB) and General Mills (NYSE: GIS) have survived the month without a crunch, but more economically sensitive companies like Johnson & Johnson (NYSE: JNJ) and Intel Corp. (Nasdaq: INTC) have flailed.

While the Standard & Poor's 500 Index did not close on Friday above its 200-day average -- the level that separates bull cycles from bear cycles -- the Nasdaq 100, Midcap 400 and Smallcap 600 did. This will be used by bulls as evidence that the May decline was just a modest setback on an upward journey.

Yet bears are making a good case that this is much more than a mere correction. Breadth has been hellaciously negative except for the 11-1 positive session on Thursday, and less than 100 stocks are making new highs on the three major U.S. exchanges. Plus volume has been much bigger on down days than up days, a sign of distribution.