This article was originally published in The Option Strategist Newsletter Volume 1, No. 4 on February 13, 1992.
LEAPS is an acronym for Long-term Equity AnticiPation Securities. This is a wordy name for "long-term option". A LEAPS (or is it a LEAP?) is nothing more than a listed call or put option that is issued with two or more years of time remaining. It is therefore a longer-term option than one is used to dealing with. Other than that, there is no material difference between LEAPS and other calls and puts. Strategies involving long-term options are not substantially different from those involving shorter-term options. However, the fact that the option has so much time remaining seems to favor the buyer and be a detriment to the seller. This is one reason why LEAPS have been popular.
As we have shown, there is a massive number of overbought put-call charts and just a general level of extreme speculation in the current market. In late 2017 and 2019, conditions were similar and they persisted into February before the market collapsed. The market is rarely so accommodating as to keep repeating itself, so while I definitely feel that a major correction could occur, I would expect our indicators to get ahead of that. But just in case something comes out of the blue, this strategy is designed to generate large gains in a collapsing market, at only a small cost if that does not happen.
Over the past three days, $SPX finally managed to break out to new all-time closing and intraday highs. Thus, the $SPX chart is bullish, as there is no classical resistance -- by definition -- when it is at all-time highs.
$SPX has advanced an astonishing 1,500 points, or 68%, from the March lows. No matter how you interpret that, it does not jibe with the economics caused by COVID-19. But TINA and FOMO are formidable proponents of buying stocks, and they have certainly won the day.
This article was originally published in The Option Strategist Newsletter Volume 1, No. 23 on November 27, 1992.
The article that appears on our front page is generally meant to be informative and/or instructional. It often ties in with current market conditions, which means the topics are quite specific. We do, however, have a broader array of topics that we insert when market conditions warrant. This is one of those times. We will discuss the use of LEAPS (long-term options) as a substitute for stock ownership. Many brokerage firms and investment publications are proponents of this strategy. However, as you will see, it sometimes is over-rated.