Week in Review – April 21 – 25, 2014


Option to Profit Week in Review
April 21 – 25, 2014
4 / 5 2 5 3*  / 1 4   / 0 0


Weekly Up to Date Performance

April 21 – 25, 2014

New purchases for the week beat the time adjusted S&P 500  by 1.2% and also surpassed the unadjusted S&P 500 index by 0.8% during a week that ended badly on more geo-political concerns.

The market lost all of its moderate gains for the week on its final day of trading and finished with an adjusted loss for the we
ek of 0.4% and an unadjusted loss of 0.1%. On the other hand, new positions gained 0.7%.

As often happens when the overall market is week the existing positions beat the overall market after trailing last week and disrupting a string of weeks in which it had beaten the market. This week it beat the overall market by a relatively large 0.7%

For positions closed in 2014 the performance exceeded that of the S&P 500 by 1.6%. They were up 3.3% out-performing the market by 93.9%.

While it wasn’t a good way to end the week, it was finally one that made sense, given the renewed tension overseas.

What is still surprising is that past periods of heightened tension, that coincidentally perhaps came on Fridays, didn’t really erode the market, other than for one time. That time, however, saw most of the losses recouped in the final 30 minutes of trading, which was really unusual.

This time around it was just a dour day from the beginning as the selling was much worse than the pre-open market would have had you believe was in store.

As usual, the real value of a covered option strategy becomes clear when the market is struggling or flat or even mildly to moderately higher. That leaves only truly strong market performance that’s difficult to match. While that was the norm for 2013 it may be time to remember that isn’t the historical norm. Generally stocks go up and down, only occasionally doing so in a sustained manner.

In case you haven’t noticed, this isn’t 2013.

In the past 5 years we’ve seen two of those large sustained moves, one in each direction.

I know which direction I prefer, but I also know which direction wasn’t as bad as it should have been.

I have mixed feelings about this week, especially with Friday’s disappointment.

Although it didn’t snatch any positions from the jaws of assignment, I wasn’t able to get much in the way of new coverage on existing positions this week. While there was some reasonable rollover activity and generating some income for the forward week, I still would have preferred more assignments and having more cash on the sidelines. I also would have liked more in the way of ex-dividend plays, but the past few weeks have been a combination of slim pickings and poor timing in terms of price movements right before those ex-dividend dates.

At least it was fortuitous, maybe serendipitous, that most of the week’s rollovers were able to get done on Thursday, especially since Friday is the much more common time to do so. For those following along on my personal trades the same goes for rolling over some of those puts.

What a difference a day makes. Who knew?

< span style="font-family: arial, helvetica, sans-serif; font-size: medium;">All in all positions faired reasonably well, but it’s really clear that companies are taking it on the chin when earnings aren’t meeting expectations, or even worse, when offering diminished guidance. That speaks to a very wary market and it’s not as if money from one sector is rolling into another one.

My sense is that money that’s fleeing is partially going into traditional safety areas, but also going off to the side. While I don’t generally want to be with the crowd, I have no argument with setting some money aside. I just wish that this week would have allowed me to join them in a more meaningful way.

The optimist sees that sideline cash as money ready to drive the market higher. The pessimist sees everything as a negative, so I won’t even venture a guess as to what degree they read this weakness and wariness.

Next week is already populated with a number of expiring positions so I will likely be looking for opportunities to sell contracts for the following week, as was done this week for all other than the Facebook puts.

What I don’t know is how willing I’ll be to add too many new positions as cash is available, but definitely beginning to run low and beginning to test my comfort level.

Hopefully it will be a quiet weekend and cooler heads prevail in Russia and Ulkraine, but no one can feel very secure when having to rely on the behavior of others.

That’s what I continually told myself when I would leave my kids home alone , telling them not to touch the fireworks and hypodermic syringes I would routinely leave scattered on the kitchen table.

I wonder if they listened?



This week’s details may be seen in the Weekly Performance spreadsheet * or in the PDF file, as well as as in the summary.below

(Note: Duplicate mention of positions reflects different priced lots):

New Positions Opened:  BX, FB (puts), JPM, KSS, TXN, UNH

Puts Closed in order to take profits:  none

Calls Rolled over, taking profits, into the next weekly cycle:  BBY, GPS, LOW, MOS

Calls Rolled over, taking profits, into extended weekly cycle:  EBAY (5/9)

Calls Rolled over, taking profits, into the monthly cycle:  none

Calls Rolled Over, taking profits, into a future monthly cycle: none

Calls Rolled Up, taking net profits into same cyclenone


Put contracts sold and still open: none

Put contracts expired: FB

Put contract rolled over: none

Long term call contracts sold:  none

Calls Assigned:   BMY*, CSCO, HFC (* will query subscribers on Monday to see if BMY assigned, having closed at $50.51)

Calls Expired:   C, LULU, MA, VZ

Puts Assigned:  none

Stock positions Closed to take profits:  none

Stock positions Closed to take losses: none

Calls Closed to Take Profits: none

Ex-dividend Positions:  LOW (4/21 $0.18), BX (4/24 $0.35)

Ex-dividend Positions Next Week:  none



For the coming week the existing positions have lots t
hat still require the sale of contracts:   AGQ, C, CLF, DRI, FCX, FDO, GM, IP, JCP, LULU, MA, MCP, MOS,  NEM, PBR, PM, RIG, TGT, VZ, WFM, WLT, WY (See “Weekly Performance” spreadsheet or PDF file)

* If you don’t have a program to read or modify spreadsheets, you can download the OpenOffice Suite at no cost.