Options Trader: Thursday Wrapup

by: Philip Davis

Well I said we could go anywhere today and we ended up nowhere!

We did go everywhere though -- we were up and down and up and down and up again (but then kind of down at the end) -- can you possibly have a more exciting 6 and a half hours where nothing actually happens?

The Dow blah blah blah, the S&P blah blah blah, the Nasdaq blah blah blah -- come on folks, nothing happened, what is there to say?

I'm a little annoyed because it's 9:30 and I have Mad Money on the TV as I write this and you would think something unbelievably amazing happened today and at this point I have to throw the churning flag on Mr. Cramer.

Has this guy ever advised people not to trade -- ever? I called for mostly cash last Wednesday (all last week actually) and I am so not sorry! Reading the comments today I would bet a lot of real people (not the crazed TV call-in fans) wish they had taken the week off as well...

This morning I said, "Very tight stops on calls today as any indication of consumer weakness can really spook the markets... If the dollar goes below 83, we are in BIG TROUBLE so I really have no desire to do anything other than manage my existing positions and wind down my month, something I'm sure many fund managers will be doing today as well!"

Yet I read the comments and everyone is trading like crazy...

I'm not saying everyone should just do what I say (please, please never do that!), but it would make me feel better if SOMEONE took my advice as I do tend to make pretty good macro calls.

Speaking of macro calls everyone will ignore:

The Wall Street Journal (who is quoting my views on the dollar anyway) now claim that Paulson is in my Inflation Nation Camp!

Paulson 1 12 06I think the little sketch they do of you in the WSJ says a lot about you and Paulson's looks like he's about to foreclose on Jimmy Stewart's bank...

Oil pulled off a close over our $63.09 mark despite a massive sell-off at the close (something I expected yesterday but didn't get). It was enough to make me glad I held my puts, although $63.75 at 2:15 probably would have had me throwing in the towel had I been around to watch it!

Perhaps I would have chosen to hold on with Suncor Energy Inc. (NYSE:SU) down .64 for the day and Tesoro Corp. (NYSE:TSO) down .54 (both are not heavily indexed so tend to trade truer to fundamentals), but I think we need a dollar bounce which may not be coming thanks to Mr. Grumpy up there!

Gold plowed through $650 and held it against a dollar that dropped .68%, below that critical 83 mark that could start some very nasty technical something (buying or selling, take your pick) into the weekend.

So gold gained 1.73%, moving 2:1 against the dollar, while oil gained 1.07%, 1.5:1 against the dollar. Copper gained a point and a half while platinum picked up 2.2%.

Gold Etc 1 12 06


Well my tight stops cost me a lot of plays today (especially as I wasn't around to void them on those crazy moves) but I'm not sorry to have almost all cash again. I'll be doing a monthly wrap-up over the weekend so we'll just review today's picks here:

  • Newmont Mining Corp. (NYSE:NEM) $47.50s were easy money coming in at .65 but we were out by 11:30 for .90 (up 45%) as it got stuck but holding it all day would have made you an extra nickel!
  • Mitsubishi UFJ Financial Group Inc. (NYSE:MTU) opened high but the Jan '08 $10s went nowhere, which is fine with me!
  • I took more ExxonMobil Corp. (NYSE:XOM) $75 puts for .55 and they actually held it for the day! I have very little confidence in the December oils coming in at this point...
  • I had better luck (so far) with the Oil Service HOLDRs ETF (NYSEARCA:OIH) $140 puts for $1.25, which picked up a dime at the close.

Almost the weekend, I can't wait to say goodbye to this crazy week!

Read all of Phil Davis's articles on Seeking Alpha