Options Trader: Wednesday Wrapup

by: Philip Davis

Wow -- how low can the VIX go?

So low, it seems that I'm not even going to discuss the non-movement of the indices other than the SOX (the HORROR) who are assassinating the Nasdaq. Actually, the Nasdaq was amazing against a 1.23% SOX drop, but I don't see them keeping that up for very long -- one has to snap soon.

Just be warned that the last time volatility bled this low was Thanksgiving weekend and we got a heck of a drop (300 pts) as the VIX came back up.

Oil didn't do much either today (up .35), which you would think is surprising against a 4.3M barrel draw that was 3x analysts estimates but as long as we hold $61.69 through Friday, I'm happy.

I'm going to wait to hear what OPEC has to say, but I am going to blow the whistle on the myth of Chinese demand this weekend (sneak peek in comments the other day) as this is the most overused excuse since hurricanes to pump up the price of oil!

I do have to say WOW to oil pumpers though. It takes a lot of guts to shove 21M additional barrels into February at $61.99 when March is Just $62.92, having fallen from $66.50 in just 8 sessions!

The dollar closed flat and gold gained a buck so there was not much point for showing up for anything today!


  • At this point I feel like I was robbed taking a .15 gain on the first half of my DALRQ Jan '08 $2.50s, now .80 (up .75!).
  • The Home Depot Inc. (NYSE:HD) May $40s finished the day at $2.25 (up .30).
  • Hewlett-Packard Co. (NYSE:HPQ) Jan $40s came in at just a buck.
  • Las Vegas Sands Corp. (NYSE:LVS) had a rough day, giving up 3 more dollars. The Jan $95 puts are now $6.20 (up 30%) and I'm taking them off at the first sign of trouble and looking to enter the Feb $80 puts so I can take half off the table.
  • Las Vegas Sands Chart 14 12 06

  • I hope I was right about GlobalSantaFe Corp. (NYSE:GSF) giving me a top on the Oil Service HOLDRs ETF (NYSEARCA:OIH). We initiated the Apr $140 puts for $6.40, hoping to sell the Jan $140 puts for $5.50 or more.
  • GSF vs OIH 14 12 06

  • Oceaneering International Inc. (NYSE:OII) went nowhere, despite the huge morning rise in crude -- very interesting! The Apr $40 puts finished even at $1.60.
  • I took another stab at optionsXpress Holdings Inc. (NASDAQ:OXPS) with the Mar $25s for $1.80.
  • Royal Dutch Shell (NYSE:RDS.A) $70 puts finished at $1.10 (up 10%) despite an up day indicating probably more hedging into OPEC than real bearish sentiment.
  • Energy Select Sector SPDR ETF (NYSEARCA:XLE) Jan $59 puts seemed cheap at a buck but we'll see....
  • Do not try this at home but I took a craps bet on the ExxonMobil Corp. (NYSE:XOM) Dec $75s for .15, my goal is to take .30 off the table (if offered) and let the rest ride, but almost certainly out at the close.
  • I got back in Yahoo! Inc. (NASDAQ:YHOO) Jan $27.50s for .75 and they gained a dime.

Well, pretty flat trading for a pretty flat day -- very appropriate!

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