Options Trader: Thursday Morning Ideas

by: Philip Davis

Asian markets were generally down with Hong Kong being a notable exception on rising commodity stocks.

Europe seems optimistic this morning and we will have to see how our own averages handle their technical marks. We are looking for the bottoms we didn't hold yesterday to firm up a bit today if we should cross over: Dow 11,185, S&P 1,275, NYSE 8,200. Failure at these levels will send us crashing back down again.

Will oil hold $75? Will gold break its 50 dma at $635? Both look very bullish and yesterday's idiotic commoditiy sell-off may give us a chance to pick up some bargains today but my strategy is to hope they run up some more and then start shorting as I really don't think $75 is sustainable (but I'm not willing to bet on it on a Thursday).

This is a real do or die day for the market but I won't be at all happy if we have another commodity led rally (not like we've had any other kind). My real concern though is that we will have no rally at all and set a very negative forward tone.

As usual we don't really care what the Dow does but let's keep an eye on the S&P and the NYSE to see if we should play at all. I will not be playing as I have meetings but


In addition to the beaten down issues from Monday's list, we should be looking at a couple of underperforming oil and gold plays but only if oil breaks and holds $75 and gold is up, even if only a little. Don't forget oil inventories today so watch out for the 10:30 report and watch that Valero Rule!

AU dropped 4% yesterday for no reason and I misprinted $55s when I meant $50s yesterday. The $50s are now 1/2 price at .80.

SUN has been underporforming for good reason, they totally blew last quarter, but I think the refining issues should be behind them and this quarter should go much better. The $70s are $1.45 but watch the 50 dma at $70.

SLB is resting on its 50 at $64 so I like the $65s for $2, stopping out if it dips below that line.

PTEN is way oversold and the Aug $27.50s are $2.15.

Business is good at the strip clubs: RICK is up 21% in June with a 72% profit increase. It's a real bargain at $6.08 and, next time you're in, you can tell Lola you're one of the owners!

ELNK is way oversold at $8.40 and the Jan '09 $10s are just $1.30 but just owning the stock works too. You can wait to see how it handles the 50 dma at $8.55 if you are concerned.