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Half in the Money Option Spread Strategies

|Includes:Apple Inc. (AAPL), BAC, BBRY, CAT, CELG, DIA, DRYS, F, FSLR, GOOG, GS, PALM, SPY

As the May options expiration winds down, I am searching for option spreads to open for June. Normally I implement this strategy with 30-40 days until expiration as we have 36 days until expiration. This strategy has worked quite well over the last 3 months of using it, and as previously shared with my blog followers; I'd like to share it with my followers on Seeking Alpha as a special thank you.

I use this strategy for both Puts and Calls. Below are some of my latest “half in the money” option spread strategies. I call them half in the money, because the current price of the stock is very close to being exactly in-between both option strike prices. The current bull/bear ratio is also given after each company and ticker. I use the bull/bear ratio screener to get ideas of how strong and weak specific stocks are. For a detailed list of the components in the Bull/Bear Ratio I use click here. If the bull/bear ratio is high I'll be using the call strategy, if it is low I'll be using a put strategy, if the stock is range bound I'll make my decision based on other criteria or wait until it becomes more bullish/bearish.

Company (Ticker), Bull/Bear Ratio, Strategy (prices and probabilities as of pre-market Friday May 15, 2009).

Apple (NASDAQ:AAPL), 6:4, Buy the June 120 Call and sell the June 125 Call. Risk $2.75 per share, potential payoff if AAPL closes at expiration above $125 is $500 (net of $225 or 81%). The current options market is factoring in a 47% chance of the 125 Call option expiring in the money.

Google (NASDAQ:GOOG), 6:5, Buy the June 370 Call and sell the June 410 Call. Risk $19.80 a share, with a chance of making $4,000 (net of $2,020 or 102%) if Google closes above $410 at June expiration. This option spread needs Google to close at $389.80 come expiration to break even, everything above until $410 is profit. The current probability of this spread paying the maximum profit is 30.6%.

Palm (PALM), 10:1, Buy the June 9 Call and sell them June 13 Call. Risk $180, with a chance of making $400 (net of $220 or 122%) if Palm closes above $13 at June expiration. The options market is giving this spread a 30% probability of expiring at maximum profitability.

Research in Motion (RIMM), 7:3, Buy the June 65 Call and sell the June 75 Call. The total risk for this position is $510 with a chance of $1000 (net of $490 or 96%). The current probability of RIMM expiring at or above $75 come June expiration is 43.5%

First Solar (NASDAQ:FSLR), 8:3, Buy the June 175 Call and sell the June 185 Call. Total risk is $500 with the chance of $1000 (net of $500 or 100%) if FSLR expires at or above $185 a share come June expiration. The current probability of FSLR expiring at or above $185 is 48.7%.

Goldman Sachs (NYSE:GS), 9:2, Buy the June 130 Call and sell the June 140 Call (strategy not exactly in the middle GS at $133.60). Total risk is $480 with the chance of $1000 (net of $520 or 108%). The options market is currently pricing in a 38.8% chance GS will expire at or above $140 a share at June expiration.

S&P SPDR (NYSEARCA:SPY), 6:4, Buy the June 87 Call and sell the June 91 Call. Risk $2.23 per share, with a potential payoff of $400 (net of $177 or 79%) if SPY closes at or above $91 on June expiration. The current probability of this position paying the maximum is 44.1%.

Caterpillar (NYSE:CAT), 6:5, Buy the June 34 Call and sell the June 38 Call. Total risk of $192 with a potential payoff of $400 (net of $208 or 108%) if CAT closes at or above $38 on June expiration. CAT is current .15 (15 cents) above the break even point. The options market is factoring in a 39.5% chance the CAT June 38 Call option expires in the money.

Celgene (NASDAQ:CELG), 3:7, Buy the June 45 Put and sell the June 35 Put. Risk of $450 with a chance of $1000 (net of $550 or 122%) if CELG expires at or below 35 on June expiration. The current probability this option spread will pay its maximum is 13.4%.

Dryships (NASDAQ:DRYS), 3:8, Buy the June 7.50 Put and sell the June 4 Put. Total risk of $160 per contract with a chance of $350 (net of $190 or 118%) if DRYS closes at or below $4 on June option expiration. The current probability this option spread will pay its maximum is 15.5%.

Bank of America (NYSE:BAC), 7:4, Buy the June 10 Call and sell the June 12 Call. Total risk of $1.00 per share with a potential payoff of $2.00 a share (net of $1 per share or 100%) if BAC closes at or above $12 on June expiration. The current probability BAC will close at or above $12 by June expiration is 54.9% according to the options market.

Ford (NYSE:F), 6:4, Buy the June 4 Call and sell the June 6 Call. The total risk of opening this position is $101 per contract with a potential of making $99 profit per contract or a 98% return if Ford closes at or above $6 on June expiration. The current options market is factoring in a 39.7% chance Ford will close at or above $6 on June expiration.

Note that any of these spreads can be traded before expiration to capture a gain. If you'd like to learn more about options trading, check out my blog or option trading E-Book.

Disclosure: Long GOOG, PALM, GS, CAT, BAC

Stocks: AAPL, GOOG, PALM, BBRY, FSLR, GS, SPY, CAT, CELG, DRYS, BAC, F, DIA