Editors Note:

The Nasdaq continued to make new highs thanks to the biotech sector with a six day gain. The big cap tech stocks failed to perform but the biotech sector was on fire thanks to the JP Morgan Healthcare Conference. The Dow and the S&P opened lower, tried to rebound intraday but then collapsed in the afternoon. There is still plenty of overhead resistance and it may actually be moving lower, down from the 19,975 from last week to 19,950 this week. That suggests some sellers are no longer content to wait for the big moves to exit.

Citigroup downgraded Goldman Sachs to a sell rating and that weighed on the Dow but stocks like CAT, HD and AXP that had been weak suddenly decided to rally again.



Current Portfolio


Stop Loss Updates

Check the graphic below for any new stop losses in bright yellow. We need to always be prepared for an unexpected decline.


Profit Targets

Check the graphic below for any profit stops in green. We need to always be prepared for a profit exit at resistance.




Current Position Changes


PVH - PVH Corp

Long call position was entered at the open.

FDX - FedEx

Long call position remains unopened until a trade at $191.85



If you are looking for a different type of option strategy, try these newsletters:

Credit spreads and naked puts = OptionWriter

Long term option investments = LEAPS Investor

3-6 month Option Trades = Ultimate Investor

Iron Condors = Couch Potato Trader

Long and short equity trades = Premier Investor



BULLISH Play Updates

FDX - FedEx - Company Profile

Comments:

No specific news. The Dow Transports rallied 1% and FDX declined. That is not a good sign. If FDX does not recover tomorrow, I will drop the recommendation.

The position remains unopened until a trade at $191.85.

Original Trade Description: Jan 7th

FedEx Corporation provides transportation, e-commerce, and business services in the United States and internationally. The company's FedEx Express segment provides various shipping services for the delivery of packages and freight; international trade services specializing in customs brokerage, and ocean and air freight forwarding services; assistance with the customs-trade partnership against terrorism program; and customs clearance services, as well as an information tool that allows customers to track and manage imports. This segment also publishes customs duty and tax information; and offers critical inventory logistics, transportation management, and temperature-controlled transportation services, as well as international express transportation, small-package ground delivery, and freight transportation services. Its FedEx Ground segment provides business and residential money-back guaranteed ground package delivery services; and consolidates and delivers low-weight and less time-sensitive business-to-consumer packages, as well as offers third-party logistics services. The company's FedEx Freight segment offers less-than-truckload freight, and freight-shipping services. As of May 31, 2016, this segment operated approximately 65,000 vehicles and trailers from a network of approximately 370 service centers. Its FedEx Services segment provides sale, marketing, information technology, communication, customer, technical support, billing and collection, and other back-office support services; FedEx Mobile, a suite of solutions to track packages, create shipping labels, view account-specific rate quotes, and access drop-off location information; access to copying and digital printing through retail and Web-based platforms, signs and graphics, professional finishing, computer rentals, and ground shipping and time-definite express shipping services; and packing services, supplies, and boxes. Company description from FinViz.com.

On December 21st, FDX reported earnings of $2.80 that missed estimates for $2.91. Revenue rose 20% to $14.93 billion and beat estimates for $14.91 billion. The problem with the earnings was a large amount of spending to build new distribution hubs and improve others ahead of the holiday season.

FedEx said they were in the midst of a record-breaking holiday shipping season and package volume was expected to rise 10% or more over 2015. They raised full year guidance from $10.85-$11.35 to $10.95-$11.45. The CEO said the recent improvements would allow them to ship more packages at a lower cost with improved delivery.

During the holiday shopping season my family spends a lot of money on Amazon for gifts for our extended family. Because I am a Prime member, others in the family use my account to make purchases and everything comes to my house. In the 2015 season, UPS delivered to my house almost every single day from Amazon. I might get a box from USPS once a week and FedEx maybe once a week.

This year UPS only came twice between Thanksgiving and Christmas. Fedex came 3-4 days a week and USPS 3-4 days a week. That suggests FedEx gained a significant amount of market share from Amazon and moved a lot more packages than UPS. Hopefully this added to their profits on the improved shipping network.

Cowen just reiterated an outperform and raised the price target from $180 to $240.

Earnings are March 21st.

Because their earnings are expected to be good, the March option prices are out of sight at $7.50 for a $195 call with FDX at $190. We have to use the February options to get a reasonable price. Given the potential for market volatility between now and expiration, we do not want to spend a lot of money on premium.

I am putting an entry trigger on the position just in case the market decides to turn negative on Monday.

With a FDX trade at $191.85

Buy Feb $195 call, currently $3.25, initial stop loss $186.65


PVH - PVH Corp - Company Profile

Comments:

No specific news. Shares rallied nearly 2% in a mixed market. This position is off to a good start.

Original Trade Description: Jan 9th

PVH Corp. operates as an apparel company in the United States and internationally. The company operates through six segments: Calvin Klein North America, Calvin Klein International, Tommy Hilfiger North America, Tommy Hilfiger International, Heritage Brands Wholesale, and Heritage Brands Retail. It designs, markets, and retails men's and women's apparel and accessories, branded dress shirts, neckwear, sportswear, jeans wear, intimate apparel, swim products, handbags, footwear, golf apparel, fragrances, cosmetics, eyewear, hosiery, socks, jewelry, watches, outerwear, small leather goods, and home furnishings, as well as other related products. The company offers its products under its own brands, such as Calvin Klein, Tommy Hilfiger, Van Heusen, IZOD, ARROW, Warner's, Olga, and Eagle; and licensed brands comprising Speedo, Geoffrey Beene, Kenneth Cole New York, Kenneth Cole Reaction, Sean John, MICHAEL Michael Kors, Michael Kors Collection, and Chaps, as well as various other licensed and private label brands. Company description from FinViz.com.

In November, PVH guided lower for the full year because of a $1.65 per share negative impact from foreign currency exchange issues and some other problems. Shares fell from $119 to $90 where they spent most of December.

They guided for Q4 earnings in a range of $1.13 to $1.18 after a 23-cent impact for currency issues. On January 5th, the company updated guidance saying, "earnings would be at least at the top end of its guidance ranges for both Q4 and full year." That suggests a positive holiday shopping season. As of late last week 11 retail companies had reported sales for holiday shopping and 8 of them reported declines. It was a rough quarter and PVH raised guidance.

Earnings are March 1st.

I am playing PVH for multiple reasons, one of which is that they already lost $30 in the December guidance crash. The $90 support level has held and once a positive market returns, they should be favored by longer-term investors. Since they have already seen a steep decline, a market drop over the next couple weeks should not impact them materially.

I am reaching out to the March expirations so there will be some earnings expectations built into the premium when we exit before they report. If you want to use the February cycle the premiums are about $1 cheaper.

Position 1/10/17:

Long Mar $95 call @ $3.90, see portfolio graphic or stop loss.



BEARISH Play Updates (Alpha by Symbol)

CAT - Caterpillar - Company Profile

Comments:

No specific news. CAT rebounded nearly 2% despite the lack of headlines. This helped lift the Dow off its lows.

Original Trade Description: December 17th

Caterpillar Inc. manufactures and sells construction and mining equipment, diesel and natural gas engines, industrial gas turbines, and diesel-electric locomotives worldwide. The company's Construction Industries segment offers backhoe, small wheel, skid steer, multi-terrain, compact track, medium and compact wheel, and track-type loaders; mini, wheel, and track excavators; track-type tractors; and select work tools, motor graders, telehandlers, soil compactors, and pipelayers, as well as its related parts for the heavy and general construction, rental, mining and quarry, and aggregates markets. Its Resource Industries segment provides electric rope and hydraulic shovels; draglines; drills; highwall and longwall miners; hard rock vehicles; articulated, large mining, and off-highway trucks; large wheel loaders; wheel tractor scrapers; wheel dozers; machinery components; hard rock continuous mining systems; electronics and control systems; and select work tools for use in mining and quarry applications. The company's Energy & Transportation segment offers reciprocating engines, generator sets, marine propulsion systems, gas turbines and turbine-related services, diesel-electric locomotives, and other rail-related products and services. Its Financial Products segment provides retail and wholesale financing for Caterpillar equipment, machinery, and engines; offers property, casualty, life, accident, and health insurance; insurance brokerage services; and purchases short-term trade receivables. The company's All Other segments remanufactures Cat engines and components, and provides remanufacturing services for other companies; offers business strategy, and development, management, manufacturing, marketing, and support primarily for paving, forestry, industrial, waste, and Cat products. Company description from FinViz.com.

Caterpillar's business has been in decline for several years as the energy sector went into hibernation and Asia's economic growth appeared to slow. For some reason, the stock bottomed on January at $58 and rallied to almost $100 despite a weak outlook in every earnings cycle. The $18 post election bounce was just another example of irrational exuberance. The election did not sell more tractors overnight and a pickup in their business could be several quarters away.

The best thing Caterpillar has in its favor is OPEC's decision to cut production. That means a year from now oil prices may have recovered slightly and energy companies may begin to buy more tractors. That is a long time off for an $18 spike.

Earnings in 2014 were $6.38, 2015 $4.64, 2016 they are estimated to be $3.26 and for 2018 analysts expect $3.15. However, CAT said last week that the estimates were overly optimistic. While Asian sales may have quit declining there is no material rebound at present.

Earnings Jan 24th.

This is a play on the retracement of that $18 bounce. When the company says analyst expectations are overly optimistic you can bet analysts will begin to lower their numbers. That should produce an extra weight on the stock in addition to any normal decline with the Dow in January.

The earnings are Jan 24th and the February options are expensive. Since this is a short-term position, I am recommending the January options. I believe any material decline will happen in the first two weeks of January.

Position 12/19/16:

Long Jan $90 put @ $1.89, see portfolio graphic for stop loss.


DIA Dow ETF - ETF Profile

Comments:

No attempt at 20K again today as the Dow opened lower and then posted only a mediocre intraday rebound before slipping back into negative territory.

Original Trade Description: December 7th

The SPDR Dow Jones® Industrial Average ETF Trust seeks to provide investment results that, before expenses, correspond generally to the price and yield performance of the Dow Jones Industrial Average.

Remember Dow 10,000? Traders talked about it for weeks. When it was finally hit, they were passing out Dow 10,000 hats on the floor of the NYSE for a week. That was December 11th 2003. It was a big milestone for the market.

Now 13 years later we are about to double that with Dow 20,000. Given the place on the calendar, the massive post election rally and the potential for normal profit taking in January, the Dow 20,000 touch could be a massive sell on the news event.

However, we are only 386 points way and it could happen as soon as next week. The Fed rate announcement on Wednesday could either cripple that potential or accelerate it if the Fed maintains a dovish posture on future rate hikes. I believe we will hit Dow 20K before the end of December. When that happens I want to be short the DIA ETF and plan on holding it through January.

I am choosing the Dow because it is the most overbought and could produce the biggest percentage move. Just look at Goldman's chart and the profit that needs to be removed there.

Because there will be plenty of other traders thinking along the same lines I want to enter the put position at 19,900 or $199 on the DIA ETF. I know I am jumping in front of a speeding train to enter a short position on a runaway market but the potential is very high for a good trade.

Position 12/12/16:

12/12 - 1/2 position: Long Feb $195 put @ $3.40, no initial stop loss.

12/13 - 1/2 position: Long Feb $195 put @ $3.15, no initial stop loss.


DRI - Darden Restaurants - Company Profile

Comments:

No specific news. Despite some negative comments on the restaurant sector this morning, Darden rebounded 1%. The negative trend is still intact.

Original Trade Description: December 20th

Darden Restaurants, Inc., through its subsidiaries, owns and operates full-service restaurants in the United States and Canada. As of May 29, 2016, it owned and operated 1,536 restaurants, which included 843 Olive Garden, 481 LongHorn Steakhouse, 54 The Capital Grille, 65 Yard House, 40 Seasons 52, 37 Bahama Breeze, and 16 Eddie V's restaurants. Company description from FinViz.com.

Darden Restaurants (DRI) reported earnings on Tuesday of 64 cents that beat estimates by a penny. Revenue of $1.64 billion missed estimates for $1.65 billion. They guided for the full year 2017 to earnings of $3.87-$3.97 per share. Same store sales growth was choppy. Olive Garden saw +2.6%, Longhorn Steakhouse +0.1%, Capital Grille+1.2%, Eddie V's +2.7%, Yard House +0.7%, Seasons 52 -0.3% and Bahama Breeze +2.6%. Shares spiked $2 on the news but faded in the afternoon to close negative. Darden had rallied 23% since the election.

The idea behind the rally was the end of the push for a $15 per hour minimum wage. When Clinton lost, that effort turned into wishful thinking because republicans have held the view that a lower wage offers entry level workers an opportunity and they can move up in the organization if they are qualified and work hard. Was that worth a 23% rally in Darden shares? I find it hard to believe.

Now that Darden earnings are over, we should expect a couple weeks of post earnigns depression and given the recent rally and the chance for a market decline in early January, the Darden drop could be significant.

Position 12/21/16:

Long Feb $72.50 put @ $1.55, see portfolio graphic for stop loss.


GATX - GATX Corporation - Company Profile

Comments:

No specific news. Minor rebound but still below prior support.

Original Trade Description: December 15th

GATX Corporation leases, operates, manages, and remarkets assets in the rail and marine markets in North America and internationally. The company operates in four segments: Rail North America, Rail International, American Steamship Company (ASC), and Portfolio Management. The Rail North America segment primarily leases railcars and locomotive, as well as other ancillary services. This segment also offers repair, maintenance, modification, and regulatory compliance services on the railcar fleet. The Rail International segment leases railcars, as well as offers repair, regulatory compliance, and modernization work for railcars. The ASC segment operates a fleet of vessels that provide waterborne transportation of dry bulk commodities, such as iron ore, coal, limestone aggregates, and metallurgical limestone for steel makers, automobile manufacturing, electricity generation, and non-residential construction markets. The Portfolio Management segment is involved in leasing, asset remarketing, and marine operations, as well as manages portfolios of assets for third parties. As of December 31, 2015, it operated a fleet of 17 vessels; a fleet of approximately 106,100 cars; a fleet of 18,400 boxcars; and a fleet of 611 older four-axle and 26 six-axle locomotives. Company description from FinViz.com.

There has been no news since the company announced a 40 cent dividend on Oct 28th. The dividend is payable on Dec 31st to holders on Dec 15th. That is today. That means nobody else is going to be buying the shares to get the dividend.

Earnings Jan 19th.

GATX has rallied 69% since the election. I can only assume it was because of the rally in the Dow Transports in anticipation of a better economy in 2017. There is no current fundamental reason for a 69% rally and odds are good once the stock begins to roll over with the market it could fall very hard. Apparently other investors believe the same way since the only put strike with any volume is the January 60 puts. There is more volume in that one strike than all the other strikes combined.

Position 12/16/15:

Long Jan $60 put @ $2.35, see portfolio graphic for stop loss.




If you like the trade setups you have been receiving and you are on a free trial then now is the time to subscribe. Don't wait until you miss a newsletter to decide you want to take the plunge.

subscribe now