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CBOE Origin Remembrances: David Krell

By Lawrence G. McMillan

David Krell was the Chairman and co-founder of the first U.S. electronic options exchange – the International Securities Exchange (ISE).  I spoke with him recently, to get his perspective on what proved to be a very important development in option trading.

Weekly Stock Market Commentary 7/21/2023

By Lawrence G. McMillan

Most major stock indices made new 2023 highs this past week ($RUT; IWM is still a little shy of that). Thus, the charts remain positive, and a "core" bullish position is warranted. There are several gaps on the $SPX chart, and a pullback to support at 4440 would fill all the recent ones. There is further support at 4385, and then major support at 4330 and 4200. A violation of the support at 4330 would be a very negative development and would require a change of our "core" position, but a pullback of that depth doesn't seem likely right now.

On the upside, the next resistance area is at 4650, the March 2022 highs, which occurred early in the 2022 bear market. Beyond that, the all-time highs at 4800 could be in play.

Weekly Stock Market Commentary 7/14/2023

By Lawrence G. McMillan

The last five trading days have seen $SPX rally strongly, breaking out to new 2023 highs. This keeps the $SPX chart bullish and keeps us in our "core" bullish position. $SPX has now reached the first (minor) resistance area at 4510. Above here, the next significant resistance is at 4630, and then the all-time highs at 4800 would be within reach.

Weekly Stock Market Commentary 7/7/2023

By Lawrence G. McMillan

Stocks charged ahead to a new yearly high at the end of the second quarter, but have faltered a bit since then. A rather sharp pullback occurred yesterday, based on fears that the central banks around the world are not done raising interest rates. That's news? I guess it was to those who sold yesterday. In any case, that pullback closed a couple of upside gaps on the $SPX chart. However, it has left a potentially important island reversal on the $SPX chart now (circled area on the chart in Figure 1).

Weekly Stock Market Commentary 6/30/2023

By Lawrence G. McMillan

The correction that took place following June option expiration (the 3rd Friday) lasted just about a week, and prices have rallied since then. That decline bottomed out at about 4330 very nearly the peak of last August. So that is the first support level now. There is further support at 4200, the level which had represented resistance for so long. Any pullbacks should find ample support there, but if $SPX were to fall back below 4200, that would represent a very bearish development.

Barclay’s Pulls The Plug on Commodity ETNs

By Lawrence G. McMillan

In a rather stunning move, Barclay’s Bank PLC, the underwriter of the iPath series of ETNs1, announced that it is closing 21 of them. The majority of the notes set to be redeemed are derivatives-based and track commodities. Many of them carried a “Bloomberg” designation in their title. Unfortunately, many of these that are closing are the only ETPs available in the US to speculate on specific commodities, such as orange juice or cotton. In our put-call ratio positions, we have often used the options on these ETNs instead of buying commodity futures options. The largest ETN being closing is the Copper ETN (JJC), with about $71 million in assets.

Weekly Stock Market Commentary 6/9/2023

By Lawrence G. McMillan

The broad stock market confirmed the breakout over 4200, with only a minor consolidation. Now it is attempting to break out above 4300, which is the next resistance level. If that is accomplished, then there should be somewhat clear sailing overhead for a while.

Equity-only put-call ratios remain bullish, as they continue to fall. They are in overbought territory, but "overbought does not mean sell."

Weekly Stock Market Commentary 5/26/2023

By Lawrence G. McMillan

The trading range environment for $SPX is still in place. The horizontal lines on the chart in Figure 1 depict the extent of the three most prominent ranges that are in place right now. Most recently, the tightest range is 4100-4200. A slightly wider range, 4050-4200, exists if one extends back into April. Then the larger range, roughly 3800-4200 encompasses all of 2023 and even the last part of 2022. Of course, 4200 is the top of all of these ranges. One can be sure that aggressive traders have been and will continue to short the market at 4200. If it eventually breaks out to the upside, there will likely be some heavy short covering to accompany that move.

Volatility Capture: The Best of Both Worlds

By Lawrence G. McMillan

In today's market, you may find yourself invested in cash or Treasury bills, enjoying the recent increase in yields. However, you may miss out on the opportunity to maximize your returns. With Volatility Capture, you can break free from this limitation and enjoy the best of both worlds.

Here's how Volatility Capture works for you: