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Volatility

Larry McMillan Stock Market Update Video 6/1/2020

By Lawrence G. McMillan

Join Larry McMillan as he discusses the current state of his option-oriented stock market indicators.

Weekly Stock Market Commentary 5/29/2020

By Lawrence G. McMillan

Stocks broke upward out of the trading range this week, and have made new intraday highs for this rally each day since. Thus, the rally that began from the extreme oversold conditions on March 20th remains intact. There should be support in the 2940-2950 area, which was the top of the recent trading range. As for overhead resistance, the 200-day moving average was supposed to offer resistance, but so far it hasn't.

Weekly Stock Market Commentary 5/15/2020

By Lawrence G. McMillan

A double top is now evident on the $SPX chart in the 2950 area. So for now that is strong resistance. The question is whether we're in a trading range or a stronger downturn is in store.

There are three important support levels: 2800, 2720, AND 2650. I feel that sellers would become more aggressive as each of these were violated on a closing basis. So far, none have been.

Charting signals based on McMillan's “modified Bollinger Bands”

McMillan Volatility Bands are an alternative approach to John Bollinger's "Bollinger Band" study and developed by world-renowned options trader and author Lawrence G. McMillan. Given his background in options trading, it was natural for Lawrence to approach any volatility-based study in the same manner options are priced – using Black-Scholes definition of volatility.

Is It Too Late To Protect Your Stocks? (17:13)

By Lawrence G. McMillan

This article was originally published in The Option Strategist Newsletter Volume 17, No. 13 on July 11, 2008. 

The decision to set up a hedge to protect one’s stock portfolio is never an easy one. When times are good and stocks are rising, investors are loathe to spend the money required to hedge their positions. When times are bad, and the market is dropping, the cost of hedging increases. However, that fact is usually understood by investors, who might not mind paying a little more for insurance once it is obvious that stocks are no longer rising, in general. However, another impediment to hedging usually surfaces at that time: an investor fears that he has waited too long, and thus doesn’t want to buy insurance right at the bottom of the market’s decline.

Weekly Stock Market Commentary 4/13/2020

By Lawrence G. McMillan

The oversold rally that began with an intraday reversal on March 20th has regained steam and has risen above the 20-day Moving Average, as is typucal for an oversold rally.

For the record, there is resistance in the 2850-2900 area, even though support and resistance have meant much to this fast-moving market.

Equity-only put-call ratios are on buy signals. The current buy signals occurred right near the lows, on March 23rd and will remain in effect as long as the ratios are declining.

Weekly Stock Market Commentary 4/3/2020

By Lawrence G. McMillan

The oversold rally that was underway last week ran out of steam as soon as it ran into the declining 20-day moving average of $SPX. There is now resistance at 2650. The 2175-2190 level still qualifies as support, and it has not been tested at all.

The equity-only put-call ratios remain on buy signals, despite the fact that they have curled up ovhe past few days. These buy signals would be canceled if the ratios rise to new highs.

Some Perspectives on Volatility and Its History (Preview)

By Lawrence G. McMillan

We are currently, in March 2020, in one of the three most volatile markets in history.  In terms of absolute price change, it has no peers.  In terms of percentage price change, 1929, 1931-1933, and 1987 are all in the mix (but not 2008, which has been surpassed).  If we looked back even farther, there would be other markets which were volatile, too (1907, for example), but in this paper we are not looking back past 1928.  

My Recollections, as a Trader, of the Crash of ‘87

By Lawrence G. McMillan

Stocks had been declining somewhat since mid-August 1987. The week of October 12-16, 1987, saw an “up” day on Tuesday, October 13th, but then three successive down days, through the rest of the week. Friday, October 16th, 1987, was an expiration day (back then, the 3rd Friday was the only monthly expiration for listed options). The Dow closed down 110 that day – the worst decline, in points, in its history.

Weekly Stock Market Commentary 3/6/2020

By Lawrence G. McMillan

The markets are moving so quickly right now that it's difficult to assess some of the technical indicators. This is the first time since the 2008 financial crisis that volatility-based hedges are keeping traders afloat.

After two monster rally days this week (Monday and Wednesday), $SPX has resumed its decline with a vengeance. The lows of last Friday, February 28th, at 2885 still represent support although in a market moving this fast, is there really any "support?"

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