On Monday, January 4th, the new year got off to a rocky start as selling built and exploded into a 90+ point selloff in $SPX. However, the decline bottomed at 3662, and the market has been rallying ever since. That brief selloff seems to have rejuvenated the market, and not only are new all-time highs being made, but they have been accompanied once again by rapidly expanding breadth.
This article was originally published in The Option Strategist Newsletter Volume 7, No. 11 on June 11, 1998.
An option strategist is often faced with a difficult choice when it comes to selling (overpriced) options in a neutral manner -- i.e., “selling volatility”. Many traders don’t like to sell naked options – especially naked equity options – yet many forms of spreads designed to limit risk seem to force the strategist into a directional (bullish or bearish) strategy that he doesn’t really want.
It looks like things are going to be very interesting in the new year. The market is strong, as evidenced by new all-time highs in all of the major indices this past week $SPX, $NDX, $DJX, and $RUT (although $RUT has faltered a bit in the last couple of days). Since price action is the most important indicator, the overall trend remains bullish as long as $SPX holds above support.
This article was originally published in The Option Strategist Newsletter Volume 21, No. 22 on November 30, 2012.
We often trade the first day of the month, since we have done a considerable amount of research on the subject.
The table below shows the gains from trading $SPX on only the first day of the month. That is, it is theoretically bought at the close on trading on the last trading day of the previous month, and it is sold at the close of the first trading day of the new month.
This article was originally published in The Option Strategist Newsletter Volume 11, No. 23 on December 12, 2002.
As we head into the end of the year, it is time to turn our attention to matters such as the January Effect and other year-end tendencies. In recent years, the January Effect has changed its nature somewhat, but can still be a profitable item to trade. In addition, volatility patterns near year-end have a traditional look to them. We’ll take a look at both in this article, plus a couple of other oft-quoted “January barometers” to see if they really hold water or not.
The bears took advantage of a small window before the "Santa Claus rally" begins to drive $SPX down a bit. Once again, support in the 3630 3650 area has held. We are still viewing 3550 as the more important support area, for if that were broken, then the $SPX chart would take on a bearish aura.
Equity-only put-call ratios continue to decline, and thus they remain on buy signals. They are extremely overbought, but that is not a sell signal.