Options Trader: Thursday Morning Ideas

by: Philip Davis

Whoever brokered the iPhone deal should be flown out to Iraq to work with the Sunnis and Shiites!

See, things can get resolved if we all work at it. Diplomacy is even working with Iran - not WITH Iran per se, but with the U.N., where the administration finally gets to say "I told you so" as it looks like Iran has been naughty and enriching more uranium than previously thought. If they can just manage to restrain the urge to go it alone, we should be able to start lining up the International community on this one. You would think these tensions would throw oil prices through the roof, but as long as we don’t start pounding the war drums - diplomacy, even including sanctions, is the last thing that oil traders want to see!

World Peace

Asia was in a "Don’t Worry, Be Happy" sort of mood this morning with the Nikkei breaking the 18,000 mark and the Hang Seng jumping back to 20,800. Somehow I don’t think we’d get that kind of response here if the Fed doubled the overnight rates… India and Pakistan agreed to try not to blow each other up, which was certainly a help as well. Diplomacy is definitely in the air as even the Doha trade negotiations may be resuming but we’re on a tight schedule there before the whole thing becomes a political football.

As expected, Mitsubishi UFJ Financial Group Inc (NYSE:MTU) did well, up another point overnight, but Hong Kong real estate posted a big comeback, which should be great for our
iShares FTSE/Xinhua China 25 Indeces (NYSEARCA:FXI)! Also we thought, the dollar barely budged against the Yen and lost ground to the Euro, keeping it flat overall - but I think people are confused if they thought this would all play out in one day!

Europe generally up with little excitement this morning and the U.S. futures look pretty good.

Today I will consider anything less than retaking our Tuesday levels to be a failure:

Dow 12,786.
• Transports are already ahead at 2,971!
S&P 1,460.
NYSE 9,458.
Nasdaq is also marching on to 2,525!
SOX need to take 475.
Russell is our leader and needs to break 830!

That shouldn’t be too hard, should it?

US Markets

Oil is, as usual our wildcard. We’re ready for a nice pop in the sector and I just posted an extensive list of potential put plays if we get a nice run-up in crude today. Analysts are looking for a 2.5Mb drawdown in distillates as the last hurrah for winter. Zman has a great preview of the inventories and I’m going to take a wait and see attitude into the inventories (although I always say that, but I start buying by 10!).

If gold holds $680 oil is most likely heading up but, of course we need oil to fall back below $60 and it’s not a real drop until we cross back below $58.50, very unlikely heading into the weekend.

Oil and Dollar


Today should be very exciting with the iPhone settlement boosting the Nasdaq.

There is also the battle royale shaping up of Google (NASDAQ:GOOG) vs. Microsoft (NASDAQ:MSFT) as Google unveils its new web-based office suite. This is really just a rehash of old news and I will be buying MSFT on a dip here.

Toll Brothers, Inc. (NYSE:TOL) had terrible earnings and lowered guidance - what do you want to bet they go up? We’ll see if I’m getting the hang of builder logic!

In the mergers of the damned competition Whole Foods Market (WFMI) is acquiring
Wild Oats Markets (OATS) to challenge bad idea of the month General Motors (NYSE:GM) & Chrysler!

It should be a very interesting day…