Gordon Lewis

Gordon Lewis is the Chief Investment Strategist and editor for the popular daily newsletter – Options Trading Research. He’s also editor of our dynamic theme-based options trading service, Advanced Options Adviser, and one of the key analysts behind the highly successful Options Trading Wire.

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Unusual Options Activity In Morgan Stanley $MS

| November 11, 2015 | 0 Comments
Unusual Options Activity In Morgan Stanley $MS

Unusual Options Activity In Morgan Stanley $MS  As many of you know, unusual options activity can be a valuable indicator as to what traders are thinking, and more importantly, where these stocks are heading in the short-term. This is something professional options traders pay a lot of attention to, and for good reason…  Unusual options activity can […]

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Trade Summary: November 9, 2015

| November 9, 2015

November 9, 2015    Trade Rationale It’s less than three weeks until Thanksgiving hits, so you know what that means… time for holiday shopping.  For many, the period from Thanksgiving until the start of Christmas marks the prime shopping period for holiday gifts and other purchases.  At least part of the popularity of the period […]

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The Benefits Of Using Covered Calls

| November 6, 2015 | 0 Comments
The Benefits Of Using Covered Calls

The Benefits Of Using Covered Calls Covered calls are an extremely popular yet often misunderstood options strategy.  This strategy is widely used by retail and institutional traders alike.  However, I frequently feel the strategy is misrepresented, and sometimes poorly executed. You see, a covered call strategy seems simple in theory (and it certainly can be).  […]

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Unusual Options Activity In Hertz $HTZ

| November 4, 2015 | 0 Comments
Unusual Options Activity In Hertz $HTZ

Unusual Options Activity In Hertz $HTZ  As many of you know, unusual options activity can be a valuable indicator as to what traders are thinking, and more importantly, where these stocks are heading in the short-term. This is something professional options traders pay a lot of attention to, and for good reason…  Unusual options activity can “tip […]

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Update: November 2, 2015

| November 2, 2015

November 2, 2015   Portfolio Update It took a while, but the US stock market is back to pre-correction levels.  Basically, after the 10% plunge in the S&P 500 in August, the benchmark index has almost fully recovered.  It’s up roughly 3% for the year.  It took a bit less than 3 months to recover, […]

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Options Trading Is Much Better Than Stock Trading

| October 30, 2015 | 0 Comments
Options Trading Is Much Better Than Stock Trading

Options Trading Is Much Better Than Stock Trading This is an options trading site, so of course we spend a lot of time talking about the benefits of options.  I regularly point out the virtues of using options instead of stocks.  That should come as no surprise to most people who trade options regularly. Yet, […]

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Unusual Options Activity In Apple $AAPL

| October 28, 2015 | 0 Comments
Unusual Options Activity In Apple $AAPL

Unusual Options Activity In Apple $AAPL  As many of you know, unusual options activity can be a valuable indicator as to what traders are thinking, and more importantly, where these stocks are heading in the short-term. This is something professional options traders pay a lot of attention to, and for good reason…  Unusual options activity can “tip […]

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Trade Summary: October 26, 2015

| October 26, 2015

October 26, 2015    Trade Rationale The tech sector got a huge boost last week due to great earnings from several key players.  The Nasdaq 100 index actually gapped higher at one point last week, something you don’t see an index do all that often.  The tech benchmark is now up nearly 10% for the […]

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The Best Time For Using Covered Calls

| October 23, 2015 | 0 Comments
The Best Time For Using Covered Calls

The Best Time For Using Covered Calls There probably isn’t an options-related topic as misunderstood – yet extremely popular – as trading covered calls.  Covered calls are widely used by retail and institutional traders alike.  However, I often feel the strategy is misrepresented, and sometimes poorly executed. You see, a covered call strategy seems simple […]

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Unusual Options Activity In Disney $DIS

| October 21, 2015 | 0 Comments
Unusual Options Activity In Disney $DIS

Unusual Options Activity In Disney $DIS  As many of you know, unusual options activity can be a valuable indicator as to what traders are thinking, and more importantly, where these stocks are heading in the short-term. This is something professional options traders pay a lot of attention to, and for good reason…  Unusual options activity can “tip […]

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Update: October 19, 2015

| October 19, 2015

October 19, 2015   Portfolio Update The US stock market has finally calmed down, and many stocks are on their way back up.  Over the last month, the S&P 500 is up 4%.  For the year, stocks are back to being positive overall.  That’s certainly a relief to investors, who hope 2015 finishes with a […]

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Trading $NFLX Options

| October 16, 2015 | 0 Comments
Trading $NFLX Options

Trading $NFLX Options Typically, I like to write about general strategies for trading options.  I’ll choose some overarching topic, like using options to trade earnings, and write about broad-based strategies for doing so.  In something of a change for me, I’ve decided to start writing more often about trading options on specific stocks. There’s growing […]

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Unusual Options Activity In Twitter $TWTR

| October 14, 2015 | 0 Comments
Unusual Options Activity In Twitter $TWTR

Unusual Options Activity In Twitter $TWTR  As many of you know, unusual options activity can be a valuable indicator as to what traders are thinking, and more importantly, where these stocks are heading in the short-term. This is something professional options traders pay a lot of attention to, and for good reason…  Unusual options activity can “tip […]

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Trade Summary: October 12, 2015

| October 12, 2015

October 12, 2015    Trade Rationale Well, US stocks have finally regained some bullish momentum.  It’s the first extended uptrend we’ve seen since the August selloff.  The S&P 500 is now almost back to even on the year.  It doesn’t sound like much, but that’s a 5.5% gain over the last month. More importantly, the […]

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Options Trading Strategies For Earnings Season

| October 9, 2015 | 0 Comments
Options Trading Strategies For Earnings Season

Options Trading Strategies For Earnings Season Earnings season is once again upon us, creating opportunities for both large gains and large losses.  As a rule of thumb, individual stocks tend to react more significantly during earnings periods than other times of the year. The problem is figuring out which way a stock is going to […]

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Unusual Options Activity In Illumina $ILMN

| October 7, 2015 | 0 Comments
Unusual Options Activity In Illumina $ILMN

Unusual Options Activity In Illumina $ILMN  As many of you know, unusual options activity can be a valuable indicator as to what traders are thinking, and more importantly, where these stocks are heading in the short-term. This is something professional options traders pay a lot of attention to, and for good reason…  Unusual options activity can “tip […]

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Update: October 5, 2015

| October 5, 2015

October 5, 2015   Portfolio Update While there still has been a fair amount of volatility since our last update, the last several trading days have been very good for US stocks.  The S&P 500 is already up over 3.5% in October after having a tough September.  The index is creeping back to even for […]

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Options Trading Strategies When Your Stock Is Down 5%

| October 2, 2015 | 0 Comments
Options Trading Strategies When Your Stock Is Down 5%

Options Trading Strategies When Your Stock Is Down 5% Market volatility has picked up considerably since the stock correction from late August.  The VIX, a popular method of measuring market volatility, has been trading above 20 for well over a month.  In comparison, the 200-day moving average is around 16. We’re essentially seeing volatility levels […]

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Unusual Options Activity In Microsoft $MSFT

| September 30, 2015 | 0 Comments
Unusual Options Activity In Microsoft $MSFT

Unusual Options Activity In Microsoft $MSFT  As many of you know, unusual options activity can be a valuable indicator as to what traders are thinking, and more importantly, where these stocks are heading in the short-term. This is something professional options traders pay a lot of attention to, and for good reason…  Unusual options activity can “tip […]

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Trade Summary: September 28, 2015

| September 28, 2015

September 28, 2015    Trade Rationale The market can’t seem to shake this downturn.  Volatility remains elevated and many stocks are taking a beating.  However, is there really all that much to worry about?  Yes, interest rates are likely to increase this year.  Yes, emerging markets are a mess.  But should the S&P 500 really […]

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Unusual Options Activity In iShares US Real Estate ETF $IYR

| September 23, 2015 | 0 Comments
Unusual Options Activity In iShares US Real Estate ETF $IYR

Unusual Options Activity In iShares US Real Estate ETF $IYR  As many of you know, unusual options activity can be a valuable indicator as to what traders are thinking, and more importantly, where these stocks are heading in the short-term. This is something professional options traders pay a lot of attention to, and for good reason…  Unusual […]

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Update: September 21, 2015

| September 21, 2015

September 21, 2015   Portfolio Update The S&P 500 has stabilized in the past week, at least in terms of daily swings.  The benchmark US equity index still has quite a bit of ground to recover to get back to pre-correction levels.  However, we seem to at least be done with the wild volatility for […]

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Big Time VIX Trades Could Mean Volatility Is About To Decrease

| September 11, 2015 | 0 Comments
Big Time VIX Trades Could Mean Volatility Is About To Decrease

Big Time VIX Trades Could Mean Volatility Is About To Decrease The VIX continues to generate plenty of financial news as it remains elevated above normal levels.  Volatility has started to settle in recent days, but don’t expect a complete capitulation until after the next Fed meeting. As a reminder, the VIX (S&P 500 Volatility […]

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Unusual Options Activity In Microsoft $MSFT

| September 9, 2015 | 0 Comments
Unusual Options Activity In Microsoft $MSFT

Unusual Options Activity In Microsoft $MSFT  As many of you know, unusual options activity can be a valuable indicator as to what traders are thinking, and more importantly, where these stocks are heading in the short-term. This is something professional options traders pay a lot of attention to, and for good reason…  Unusual options activity can “tip […]

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Trade Summary: September 8, 2015

| September 8, 2015

September 8, 2015    Trade Rationale With the market being closed for Labor Day, I’m released our new trades today.  And for something of a change, we’re actually starting the week with the major stock indices up about 2%.  Not a bad way to start things off on this short week.  Just a quick administrative […]

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Major VIX Action Suggests Volatility Is Going To Decline

| September 4, 2015 | 0 Comments
Major VIX Action Suggests Volatility Is Going To Decline

Major VIX Action Suggests Volatility Is Going To Decline The VIX has been front and center in the financial news lately with all the volatility that’s hit the market the past couple weeks.  The collapse of the Chinese economy is spooking investors and adding a sizeable level of uncertainty to US financial markets. As a […]

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Unusual Options Activity In Oracle $ORCL

| September 2, 2015 | 0 Comments
Unusual Options Activity In Oracle $ORCL

Unusual Options Activity In Oracle $ORCL  As many of you know, unusual options activity can be a valuable indicator as to what traders are thinking, and more importantly, where these stocks are heading in the short-term. This is something professional options traders pay a lot of attention to, and for good reason…  Unusual options activity can “tip […]

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Update: August 31, 2015

| August 31, 2015

August 31, 2015   Portfolio Update Without stating too much of the obvious, a lot has happened in the two weeks since our last update.  For all intents and purposes, we’ve had a full on correction since then.  We’ve also seen about a 50% retracement since the correction.  Talk about a volatile two weeks! The […]

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Why Is The VIX So High?

| August 28, 2015 | 0 Comments
Why Is The VIX So High?

Why Is The VIX So High? Unless you’ve had no contact with civilization over the past week, you’re likely aware that the stock market has gone through something of a correction.  Moreover, volatility has been through the roof.  In fact, the VIX reached its highest level since 2011. As a brief reminder, the VIX (S&P […]

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Unusual Options Activity In PowerShares DB US Dollar Bullish ETF $UUP

| August 26, 2015 | 0 Comments
Unusual Options Activity In PowerShares DB US Dollar Bullish ETF $UUP

Unusual Options Activity In PowerShares DB US Dollar Bullish ETF $UUP As many of you know, unusual options activity can be a valuable indicator as to what traders are thinking, and more importantly, where these stocks are heading in the short-term. This is something professional options traders pay a lot of attention to, and for good reason…  […]

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Trade Summary: August 24, 2015

| August 24, 2015

August 24, 2015    Trade Rationale Well, it’s certainly an interesting time to put on a new set of trades.  The market has basically entered correction territory, with the S&P 500 down 10% in a week. Volatility has vaulted to crazy levels as well.  We’re dealing with a major dose of overselling, but it will […]

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Update: August 17, 2015

| August 17, 2015

August 17, 2015   Portfolio Update The past couple weeks have continued to be a display of market choppiness and indecision.  The S&P 500 has generally moved sideways, but volatility has picked up just a bit.  The benchmark US equity index is still up about 3% on the year (after being down about 1.5% since […]

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Buying A Call Option On United States Oil $USO

| August 14, 2015 | 0 Comments
Buying A Call Option On United States Oil $USO

Buying A Call Option On United States Oil $USO Crude oil is once again making headlines as it plunges towards the $40 per barrel mark.  The world’s most popular commodity has dropped 20% over the past month and has everyone trying to pick a bottom. Is a drop in the price of oil good for […]

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Unusual Options Activity In Apache $APA

| August 12, 2015 | 0 Comments
Unusual Options Activity In Apache $APA

Unusual Options Activity In Apache $APA As many of you know, unusual options activity can be a valuable indicator as to what traders are thinking, and more importantly, where these stocks are heading in the short-term. This is something professional options traders pay a lot of attention to, and for good reason…  Unusual options activity can “tip […]

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Trade Summary: August 10, 2015

| August 10, 2015

August 10, 2015    Trade Rationale The S&P 500 has been range bound for the last six months.  It’s the very definition of sideways trading.  We haven’t seen a prolonged period of trading like this in quite some time.  As I’ve written before, we call this a stock picker’s market. We’ve done a couple themes […]

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Unusual Options Activity In Apple $AAPL

| August 7, 2015 | 0 Comments
Unusual Options Activity In Apple $AAPL

Unusual Options Activity In Apple $AAPL As many of you know, unusual options activity can be a valuable indicator as to what traders are thinking, and more importantly, where these stocks are heading in the short-term. This is something professional options traders pay a lot of attention to, and for good reason…  Unusual options activity can “tip […]

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Update: August 3, 2015

| August 3, 2015

August 3, 2015   Portfolio Update Another couple weeks passed, and another period of mostly sideways action in US equities.  The S&P 500 seems to be range bound, although the range is big enough that we’re seeing semi-big moves in either direction.  Overall, the benchmark index is up just under 3.5% on the year. Meanwhile, […]

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Does Recent VIX Action Suggest A Market Meltdown Is Coming?

| July 31, 2015 | 0 Comments
Does Recent VIX Action Suggest A Market Meltdown Is Coming?

Does Recent VIX Action Suggest A Market Meltdown Is Coming? Savvy investors know that VIX options are always worth keeping an eye on.  It’s where the smart money tends to execute important trading strategies and portfolio hedges.  Some of the biggest trades you’ll ever see happen in the VIX options pit. Of course, the VIX […]

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Unusual Options Activity In Twitter $TWTR

| July 29, 2015 | 0 Comments
Unusual Options Activity In Twitter $TWTR

Unusual Options Activity In Twitter $TWTR As many of you know, unusual options activity can be a valuable indicator as to what traders are thinking, and more importantly, where these stocks are heading in the short-term. This is something professional options traders pay a lot of attention to, and for good reason…  Unusual options activity can “tip […]

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Trade Summary: July 27, 2015

| July 27, 2015

July 27, 2015    Trade Rationale There’s clearly been a lot more going on in the financial markets this summer than what we’re used to seeing during the hot months.  Volatility has been higher than normal based mostly on events in Europe (regarding Greece) and China (regarding the stock market selloff). With so much going […]

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New Weekly VIX Options Are Great For Volatility Traders

| July 24, 2015 | 0 Comments
New Weekly VIX Options Are Great For Volatility Traders

New Weekly VIX Options Are Great For Volatility Traders As volatility becomes a more popular metric for investors to watch, so does trading volatility products.  The VIX itself is tradable through futures and options.  VIX options are heavily traded by large institutions as an alternative to S&P 500 options. As a reminder, the VIX (S&P […]

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Unusual Options Activity In Bank Of America $BAC

| July 22, 2015 | 0 Comments
Unusual Options Activity In Bank Of America $BAC

Unusual Options Activity In Bank Of America $BAC As many of you know, unusual options activity can be a valuable indicator as to what traders are thinking, and more importantly, where these stocks are heading in the short-term. This is something professional options traders pay a lot of attention to, and for good reason…  Unusual options activity […]

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Update: July 20, 2015

| July 20, 2015 | 0 Comments

July 20, 2015   Portfolio Update What a difference a couple weeks make!  Last time I updated you, we were in the midst of a major volatility revival.  The VIX has gotten up to 20, and Greece was threatening to leave the Euro.  Oh yeah, the Chinese stock market was also crashing. Here’s what I […]

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Buying A Call Option On Intel $INTC

| July 17, 2015 | 0 Comments
Buying A Call Option On Intel $INTC

Buying A Call Option On Intel $INTC                                        The semiconductor industry has been on an interesting path so far this year.  Overall, chipmakers are underperforming the market as a whole.  However, certain individual companies are doing quite well. The biggest news from the industry has been the amount of huge mergers over the last year.  Three […]

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Unusual Options Activity In Market Vectors Semiconductor ETF $SMH

| July 15, 2015 | 0 Comments
Unusual Options Activity In Market Vectors Semiconductor ETF $SMH

Unusual Options Activity In Market Vectors Semiconductor ETF $SMH As many of you know, unusual options activity can be a valuable indicator as to what traders are thinking, and more importantly, where these stocks are heading in the short-term. This is something professional options traders pay a lot of attention to, and for good reason…  Unusual options […]

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Trade Summary: July 13, 2015

| July 13, 2015

July 13, 2015   Trade Rationale Well it’s certainly been an interesting period since our last trade.  During the last few weeks, we’ve seen a fair share of volatility.  The broad market has sold off sharply and then regained ground.  The headlines are coming in fast and furious. Basically, the negotiations for a Greek bailout […]

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A Large VIX Call Trade Suggests No Panic Is Necessary

| July 10, 2015 | 0 Comments
A Large VIX Call Trade Suggests No Panic Is Necessary

A Large VIX Call Trade Suggests No Panic Is Necessary Over the past couple weeks, we’re finally getting to see why the VIX is often called the ‘fear gauge’ for investors.  There hasn’t been a lot to be concerned about this year until recently, so the VIX has been mostly running at low levels. Lately […]

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Unusual Options Activity In Activision Blizzard $ATVI

| July 8, 2015 | 0 Comments
Unusual Options Activity In Activision Blizzard $ATVI

Unusual Options Activity In Activision Blizzard $ATVI  As many of you know, unusual options activity can be a valuable indicator as to what traders are thinking, and more importantly, where these stocks are heading in the short-term. This is something professional options traders pay a lot of attention to, and for good reason…  Unusual options activity can […]

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Update: July 6, 2015

| July 6, 2015
Update:  July 6, 2015

July 6, 2015   Portfolio Update It’s been awhile since I wrote one of these after there’s been some real action to talk about.  This past week, we saw the return of volatility to the financial markets as the Greece crisis finally unfolded into, well, a real crisis.  While the impact of a Greece exit […]

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Is This Large VIX Trade Signaling An End To Investor Fear?

| June 26, 2015 | 0 Comments
Is This Large VIX Trade Signaling An End To Investor Fear?

Is This Large VIX Trade Signaling An End To Investor Fear? There’s a reason the VIX is often called the investor ‘fear gauge’.  The benchmark volatility index is often the first place to see when investors start increasing the hedges on their portfolio. Of course, hedges tend to increase along with investor concern over a […]

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Weekly Update: June 25, 2015

| June 25, 2015

Weekly Update:  June 25, 2015   What To Watch There’s been a fair amount of big news this past week, but the market has been relatively calm despite the headlines.  The S&P 500 is up about a half percent from this time last week.  Meanwhile, small caps continue to lead the way, up 1.5% in […]

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Unusual Options Activity In Medtronic $MDT

| June 24, 2015 | 0 Comments
Unusual Options Activity In Medtronic $MDT

Unusual Options Activity In Medtronic $MDT As many of you know, unusual options activity can be a valuable indicator as to what traders are thinking, and more importantly, where these stocks are heading in the short-term. This is something professional options traders pay a lot of attention to, and for good reason…  Unusual options activity can “tip […]

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Trade Summary: June 23, 2015

| June 23, 2015

June 23, 2015    Trade Rationale Stocks have settled down since our last trade and are back doing their sideways dance.  With over half the year completed, it’s beginning to look like we’re in for a relatively flat year overall for equities.  As I’ve said before, it essentially makes it a stock picker’s market. With […]

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Does This Giant VIX Trade Imply A Market Correction Is Coming?

| June 19, 2015 | 0 Comments
Does This Giant VIX Trade Imply A Market Correction Is Coming?

Does This Giant VIX Trade Imply A Market Correction Is Coming? Savvy investors know that VIX options are always worth keeping an eye on.  It’s where the smart money tends to execute important trading strategies and portfolio hedges.  Some of the biggest trades you’ll ever see happen in the VIX options pit. Of course, the […]

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Unusual Options Activity In Hilton Worldwide $HLT

| June 17, 2015 | 0 Comments
Unusual Options Activity In Hilton Worldwide $HLT

Unusual Options Activity In Hilton Worldwide $HLT As many of you know, unusual options activity can be a valuable indicator as to what traders are thinking, and more importantly, where these stocks are heading in the short-term. This is something professional options traders pay a lot of attention to, and for good reason…  Unusual options activity can […]

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Update: June 15, 2015

| June 15, 2015

June 15, 2015   Portfolio Update Just a quick administrative note to kick things off:  I’ll be out of town next Monday, so next week’s trade will come out on Tuesday.  Also, the following week, the office is closed for Independence Day, so there will no update until the following week. The action has finally […]

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Buying A Put Option On Box $BOX

| June 12, 2015 | 0 Comments
Buying A Put Option On Box $BOX

Buying A Put Option On Box $BOX There are typically ample opportunities to find attractive call option to buy on a weekly basis.  It’s fairly common to find stocks that have been oversold in the short-term.  There are plenty of reasons for overselling to take place. On the other hand, overbought stocks are harder to […]

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Unusual Options Activity In Harley-Davidson $HOG

| June 10, 2015 | 0 Comments
Unusual Options Activity In Harley-Davidson $HOG

Unusual Options Activity In Harley-Davidson $HOG As many of you know, unusual options activity can be a valuable indicator as to what traders are thinking, and more importantly, where these stocks are heading in the short-term. This is something professional options traders pay a lot of attention to, and for good reason…  Unusual options activity can “tip […]

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Trade Summary: June 8, 2015

| June 8, 2015

June 8, 2015    Trade Rationale For the first time in what seems like months, the equities market is seeing some down days.  It’s not like the selling has been extreme, but there definitely have been more negative days than what’s usual.  Of course, we’re still within 3% of record highs in the major indices, […]

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This Gigantic VIX Trade Could Be A Big Deal

| June 5, 2015 | 0 Comments
This Gigantic VIX Trade Could Be A Big Deal

This Gigantic VIX Trade Could Be A Big Deal With the summer doldrums kicking in for the US financial markets, it’s normal to expect volatility to be low for the next several weeks.  Of course, you never know what may happen.  But, the summer is typically a slower period for financial news. The financial media […]

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Unusual Options Activity In Gold Companies

| June 3, 2015 | 0 Comments
Unusual Options Activity In Gold Companies

Unusual Options Activity In Gold Companies As many of you know, unusual options activity can be a valuable indicator as to what traders are thinking, and more importantly, where these stocks are heading in the short-term. This is something professional options traders pay a lot of attention to, and for good reason…  Unusual options activity can “tip […]

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Update: June 1, 2015

| June 1, 2015

June 1, 2015   Portfolio Update Summer is just about here, and stocks are starting to act like it.  That is, the range for the S&P 500 is becoming narrower with each passing week.  While we’re certainly in a bull market, the action has been more sideways than anything. Over the last month, the S&P […]

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Buying A Call Option On Marvell Technology $MRVL

| May 29, 2015 | 0 Comments
Buying A Call Option On Marvell Technology $MRVL

Buying A Call Option On Marvell Technology $MRVL Big things are happening in the semiconductor industry.  Avago Technologies $AVGO is buying Broadcom $BRCM for $37 billion.  That’s the largest chip industry deal ever.  The combined entity will provide chips for everything from iPhones to server farms. That’s obviously big news for the industry, which has […]

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Unusual Options Activity In Apple $AAPL

| May 27, 2015 | 0 Comments
Unusual Options Activity In Apple $AAPL

Unusual Options Activity In Apple $AAPL As many of you know, unusual options activity can be a valuable indicator as to what traders are thinking, and more importantly, where these stocks are heading in the short-term. This is something professional options traders pay a lot of attention to, and for good reason…  Unusual options activity can “tip […]

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Trade Summary: May 26, 2015

| May 26, 2015

May 26, 2015    Trade Rationale With the markets closed yesterday for Memorial Day, we pushed the latest trade summary to today.  The thing about Memorial Day, it often reminds us that the summer season has truly arrived.  Personally, I associate summer with hot, sunny days.  And, I associate sunny days with solar and renewable […]

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This Large VIX Trade Isn’t What We’re Used To Seeing

| May 22, 2015 | 0 Comments
This Large VIX Trade Isn’t What We’re Used To Seeing

This Large VIX Trade Isn’t What We’re Used To Seeing VIX options are always worth keeping an eye on.  That’s where the smart money tends to execute important trading strategies and portfolio hedges.  Some of the biggest trades you’ll ever see happen in the VIX options pit. Of course, the VIX (S&P 500 Volatility Index) […]

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Buying A Call Option on Take-Two Interactive Software $TTWO

| May 20, 2015 | 0 Comments
Buying A Call Option on Take-Two Interactive Software $TTWO

Buying A Call Option On Take-Two Interactive Software $TTWO                                        Video game companies can make for interesting investment opportunities.  Like a movie production company, the fortunes of a business can often come from one blockbuster hit.  However, it can be often difficult to predict what game is going to be the next blockbuster. Moreover, the gaming […]

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Update: May 18, 2015

| May 18, 2015

May 18, 2015   Portfolio Update As we head into the summer, US equities are hitting record highs and market-moving news is slowing down.  That’s not to say we won’t see any volatility during the summer months.  However, I do expect it to be relatively quiet on the news front – at least as long […]

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Unusual Options Activity In Goldman Sachs $GS

| May 18, 2015 | 0 Comments
Unusual Options Activity In Goldman Sachs $GS

Unusual Options Activity In Goldman Sachs $GS As many of you know, unusual options activity can be a valuable indicator as to what traders are thinking, and more importantly, where these stocks are heading in the short-term. This is something professional options traders pay a lot of attention to, and for good reason…  Unusual options activity can […]

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Buying A Call Option On Twitter $TWTR

| May 15, 2015 | 0 Comments
Buying A Call Option On Twitter $TWTR

Buying A Call Option On Twitter $TWTR Social media stocks have always been a lightning rod for investor debates.  Some people love them, others won’t touch them (or flat out short them).  New industries and business models often tend to act as battlegrounds for investors. But social media has been particularly contentious.  Social media companies […]

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This Massive VIX Trade Is Betting On Higher Volatility This Summer

| May 13, 2015 | 0 Comments
This Massive VIX Trade Is Betting On Higher Volatility This Summer

This Massive VIX Trade Is Betting On Higher Volatility This Summer The VIX (S&P 500 Volatility Index) is a measure of implied volatility levels on S&P 500 options.  As you probably know by now if you’re interested in options trading, overall market volatility is most commonly tracked by watching the VIX. VIX is popular because […]

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Trade Summary: May 11, 2015

| May 11, 2015

May 11, 2015    Trade Rationale Hard to believe but we’re already in mid-May… summer’s almost here!  Not sure what happened to the spring, but hard to ignore the rising temperatures.  More importantly, it’s also hard to ignore the fact that kids are going to be out of school in about two weeks! So with […]

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Unusual Options Activity In The Blackstone Group $BX

| May 11, 2015 | 0 Comments
Unusual Options Activity In The Blackstone Group $BX

Unusual Options Activity In The Blackstone Group $BX As many of you know, unusual options activity can be a valuable indicator as to what traders are thinking, and more importantly, where these stocks are heading in the short-term. This is something professional options traders pay a lot of attention to, and for good reason…  Unusual options activity […]

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These VIX Trades Signals Higher Volatility Is On The Way

| May 8, 2015 | 0 Comments
These VIX Trades Signals Higher Volatility Is On The Way

These VIX Trades Signal Higher Volatility Is On The Way As you probably know if you read my articles on a regular basis, overall market volatility is most commonly tracked by watching the VIX.  The VIX (S&P 500 Volatility Index) is a measure of implied volatility levels on S&P 500 options. VIX is popular because […]

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Buying A Call Option On United States Oil ETF $USO

| May 6, 2015 | 0 Comments
Buying A Call Option On United States Oil ETF $USO

Buying A Call Option On United States Oil ETF $USO One of the biggest stories over the last year has been the plunge in oil prices.  Massive supplies and lack of demand caused the price of crude oil to drop below $45 per barrel.  It was a price level many thought we’d never see again. […]

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Unusual Options Activity In Global X FTSE Greece 20 ETF $GREK

| May 4, 2015 | 0 Comments
Unusual Options Activity In Global X FTSE Greece 20 ETF $GREK

Unusual Options Activity In Global X FTSE Greece 20 ETF $GREK As many of you know, unusual options activity can be a valuable indicator as to what traders are thinking, and more importantly, where these stocks are heading in the short-term. This is something professional options traders pay a lot of attention to, and for good reason…  […]

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Buying A Put Option On Yelp $YELP

| May 1, 2015 | 0 Comments
Buying A Put Option On Yelp $YELP

Buying A Put Option On Yelp $YELP When a stock has a bad day, my first instinct is to look for a reason to buy it.  It’s normal for investors to overreact to bad news and cause a company’s shares to drop more than necessary.  Often times, you’ll see a stock which has fallen off […]

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This VIX Trade Suggests Higher Volatility Could Be Just Ahead

| April 29, 2015 | 0 Comments
This VIX Trade Suggests Higher Volatility Could Be Just Ahead

This VIX Trade Suggests Higher Volatility Could Be Just Ahead Trading volatility – or volatility products – has become extremely widespread.  It’s true for options traders of course.  But, even those traders who never touch options may still trade (or at least follow) volatility levels. As you know, overall market volatility is most commonly tracked […]

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Trade Summary: April 27, 2015

| April 27, 2015

April 27, 2015    Trade Rationale For our last trade thesis two weeks ago, we went with the idea that it’s a stock picker’s market.  That is, relying on overall market/sector moves isn’t going to really get you anywhere.  Instead, we have to focus on micro scenarios for individual stocks. The last time out, we […]

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Unusual Options Activity In Time Warner Cable $TWC

| April 27, 2015 | 0 Comments
Unusual Options Activity In Time Warner Cable $TWC

Unusual Options Activity In Time Warner Cable $TWC As many of you know, unusual options activity can be a valuable indicator as to what traders are thinking, and more importantly, where these stocks are heading in the short-term. This is something professional options traders pay a lot of attention to, and for good reason…  Unusual options activity […]

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Another Interesting, Giant VIX Trade Happened

| April 24, 2015 | 0 Comments
Another Interesting, Giant VIX Trade Happened

Another Interesting, Giant VIX Trade Happened As an options trader, you should always have a general idea of what’s going on with volatility.  You don’t necessarily have to master the concept.  But, the more you know about the topic, the better off you tend to be. As you know, overall market volatility is most commonly […]

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Buying A Call Option On Facebook $FB

| April 22, 2015 | 0 Comments
Buying A Call Option On Facebook $FB

Buying A Call Option On Facebook $FB Social media has been something of an enigma to investors.  On one hand, it’s the ultimate growth industry in the age of mobile devices and ever-present Internet connections.  On the other hand, it tends to lack predictable earnings. It’s not unusual for an up and coming industry to […]

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Update: April 20, 2015

| April 20, 2015

April 20, 2015   Portfolio Update While US stocks continue to trade sideways, there’s been a bit more action the last couple days.  Over the last month, the S&P 500 is up a little over a half a percent, and 2.5% on the year so far.  Meanwhile, small caps (as measured by the Russell 2000) […]

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Unusual Options Activity In Home Depot $HD

| April 20, 2015 | 0 Comments
Unusual Options Activity In Home Depot $HD

As many of you know, unusual options activity can be a valuable indicator as to what traders are thinking, and more importantly, where these stocks are heading in the short-term. This is something professional options traders pay a lot of attention to, and for good reason…  Unusual options activity can “tip off” big moves in a stock, […]

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This Unusual VIX Trade Is Worth A Second Look

| April 17, 2015 | 0 Comments
This Unusual VIX Trade Is Worth A Second Look

This Unusual VIX Trade Is Worth A Second Look As I like to regularly point out, as an option trader, you should always be keeping an eye on what the VIX is doing.  Even if you’re not a volatility trader, the VIX should give you an idea of how cheap or expensive options are on […]

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Buying A Call Option On JPMorgan Chase $JPM

| April 15, 2015 | 0 Comments
Buying A Call Option On JPMorgan Chase $JPM

Buying A Call Option On JPMorgan Chase $JPM The financial sector has been one of the more challenging sectors to invest in since the financial crisis of 2008/2009.  The sector itself (especially banks) got hit the hardest during the crash.  And, it’s been one of the slowest to recover from the damage. Additional regulations have […]

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Trade Summary: April 13, 2015

| April 13, 2015

April 13, 2015    Trade Rationale Volatility has drained out of the equity markets over the past month or so.  We may get some action in the coming weeks as earnings season has kicked off.  At the moment though, the stock market is locked into a sideways trading range. That can be a challenging period […]

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Unusual Options Activity In Blackstone $BX

| April 13, 2015 | 0 Comments
Unusual Options Activity In Blackstone $BX

Unusual Options Activity In Blackstone $BX As many of you know, unusual options activity can be a valuable indicator as to what traders are thinking, and more importantly, where these stocks are heading in the short-term. This is something professional options traders pay a lot of attention to, and for good reason…  Unusual options activity can “tip […]

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What Can We Learn From Options Action In Altera $ALTR?

| April 10, 2015 | 0 Comments
What Can We Learn From Options Action In Altera $ALTR?

What Can We Learn From Options Action in $ALTR? As regular readers know, I spend a lot of time discussing large and unusual options trades.  Generally speaking, you can gain quite a bit of insight based on what the smart money is doing in options. But what about options activity in general?  Can overall options […]

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Buying A Call Option On Twitter $TWTR

| April 8, 2015 | 0 Comments
Buying A Call Option On Twitter $TWTR

Buying A Call Option On Twitter $TWTR Social media can be a hard industry to gauge when it comes to making investing decisions.  The companies are relatively new.  And, they use what we tend to consider as non-traditional business models. Moreover, there’s still a lot of consolidation going on in the space.  It’s uncertain who […]

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Update: April 6, 2015

| April 6, 2015

April 6, 2015   Portfolio Update US equities are stuck in a sideways trading range.  However, the range has narrowed quite a bit over the past month.  This could suggest a breakout is going to occur (one way or another).  The S&P 500 is only up about 1% on the year.  However, Nasdaq stocks are […]

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What’s This VXX Trade Telling Us?

| April 6, 2015 | 0 Comments
What’s This VXX Trade Telling Us?

What’s This VXX Trade Telling Us? There are good reasons why trading iPath S&P 500 VIX Short-Term Futures ETN $VXX is extremely popular.  With an average volume of nearly 50 million shares a day, both retail and institutional traders must be active in this ETN. As a quick refresher, VXX is a way to get […]

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Big TLT Options Trade Suggests Rates Are Going To Stay Low

| April 1, 2015 | 0 Comments
Big TLT Options Trade Suggests Rates Are Going To Stay Low

Big TLT Options Trade Suggests Rates Are Going To Stay Low Large and unusual options trades don’t just give us clues on the possible direction of individual equities.  The same theory can be applied on a macro level. For instance, a big options trade in a sector or country ETF may give us valuable information […]

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Trade Summary: March 30, 2015

| March 30, 2015

March 30, 2015    Trade Rationale The US economy continues to improve.  While we may not have experienced a fast recovery, at the very least, we’re recovering.  No where can this be seen more predominantly than in the job market. While many other economic indicators have shown mixed results over the past several months, the […]

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Unusual Options Activity In Blackberry $BBRY

| March 30, 2015 | 0 Comments
Unusual Options Activity In Blackberry $BBRY

Unusual Options Activity In Blackberry $BBRY As many of you know, unusual options activity can be a valuable indicator as to what traders are thinking, and more importantly, where these stocks are heading in the short-term. This is something professional options traders pay a lot of attention to, and for good reason…  Unusual options activity can “tip […]

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Buying A Put Option on SanDisk $SNDK

| March 27, 2015 | 0 Comments
Buying A Put Option on SanDisk $SNDK

Buying A Put Option On SanDisk $SNDK When a company sells off sharply, I tend to look for a reason to buy it.  It’s normal for investors to overreact to bad news and cause a stock to be oversold.  Often times, you’ll see a stock which has fallen off a cliff slowly regain ground as […]

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Is This UVXY Trade As Important As It Seems?

| March 25, 2015 | 0 Comments
Is This UVXY Trade As Important As It Seems?

Is This UVXY Trade As Important As It Seems? As regular readers know, volatility levels can give us an idea of overall investor concern.  Is there fear of a selloff or market instability?  Volatility is the best gauge we have of uneasiness. Of course, overall market volatility is most commonly followed by watching the VIX.  […]

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Update: March 23, 2015

| March 23, 2015

March 23, 2015   Portfolio Update US equities continue on to trade mostly sideways, with a slight upward bias. The S&P 500 is up over 2% on the year, but the path has hardly been a straight line. Meanwhile, small caps have performed much better, with the Russell 2000 up over 5% on the year. […]

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Unusual Options Activity In eBay $EBAY

| March 23, 2015 | 0 Comments
Unusual Options Activity In eBay $EBAY

Unusual Options Activity In eBay $EBAY As many of you know, unusual options activity can be a valuable indicator as to what traders are thinking, and more importantly, where these stocks are heading in the short-term. This is something professional options traders pay a lot of attention to, and for good reason…  Unusual options activity can “tip […]

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How Is The VIX Reacting To The Fed Meeting?

| March 20, 2015 | 0 Comments
How Is The VIX Reacting To The Fed Meeting?

How Is The VIX Reacting To The Fed Meeting? As an options trader, you can’t understate the importance of volatility.  You don’t necessarily have to master the concept to be a good options trader. But, the more you know about the topic, the better off you tend to be. As you know, overall market volatility […]

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