Last Monday, the COVID-19 vaccine new caused $SPX to gap up 135 points on Monday's open. That was the largest percentage gap to a new all-time high in history.
As traders know, there's an old adage to "sell the news," especially if there has been anticipatory buying before "the news." And they did, drving $SPX back inside its 3200-3600 trading range.
This article was originally published in The Option Strategist Newsletter Volume 13, No. 3 on February 12, 2004.
Also known as the incremental return concept of covered call writing, this form of selling options against stock that is owned has several benefits that most investors don't realize. The goal of this strategy is to allow stock appreciation for a block of common stock between the current price and a selected target sale price, while also earning an incremental amount of income from selling options. The target sale price can be substantially above the current stock price. The typical investors positioned for this strategy are those with large stock holdings, interested in increasing current income, and wanting to refrain from selling the stock near current levels.
Election-related or not, the move from the bottom to the top of the $SPX trading range in just four trading days was impressive. The trading range extends from 3200 to nearly 3600 (the all-time highs at 3588). The recent moves have pretty much obliterated what had been a support and resistance area near 3400-3430, so the edges of the range itself are the only meaningful support and resistance currently.
This article was originally published in The Option Strategist Newsletter Volume 3, No. 23 on December 8, 1994.
We have written a few articles about collars this year, but another one is appropriate because it is a strategy that can give one peace of mind in a market like this.
To review, a collar consists of long stock, a long out-ofthe- money put, and a short out-of-the-money call. The resulting position has limited risk, because of the ownership of the put. It also has limited profit potential, because of the presence of the short call. In general, investors don’t like to pay a lot of cash out of pocket for the put/call combo that sits on top of the stock. In fact, a “no-cost collar” is one in which the price of the call is equal to or greater than the price of the put when the position is established.
Did you know McMillan Volatility Bands can be used on intra-day charts? McMillan Volatility Bands, a charting analysis tool developed by world-renowned options trader and author Lawrence G. McMillan, is an optimized approach to John Bollinger's Bollinger Bands. Leveraging his expertise in options trading, Lawrence designed his volatility-based version with a focus on how option prices are calculated – using the Black-Scholes definition of volatility. The McMillan Volatility Bands' pricing model assumes a financial asset's volatility should be measured in percentage change rather than absolute value change.
The selling that began with a modest overbought condition on October 12th has snowballed into a major decline, capable of testing whether or not a bull market still exists. Now the only remaining near-term support area is at 3200. If that gives way, a pattern of lower highs and lower lows will be in place, and that is the mark of a bear market. That would be a game- changer.
The pullback in stocks over this past week closed the third and final gap of the Oct 10th-12th buying spree, and $SPX came all the way back down to the breakout level of 3425-3430. It has bounced off of there for now, and so this might merely be a sort of classic pullback to test support and then move higher. As long as $SPX remains above 3400, its chart has a bullish slant to it.