Week in Review – November 24 – 28, 2014


Option to Profit Week in Review
November 24 – 28,  2014
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Weekly Up to Date Performance

November 24 – 28, 2014

New positions opened this week out-performed the S&P 500 on both an adjusted and unadjusted basis bu 0.8% this week, as the overall market was only 0.2% higher for the week and the newly opened p[ositions ended the week 1.0% higher.

With no positions assigned this week the 2014 total of 191 positions have finished 3.6% higher, as compared to 2.0% for the S&P 500 for the comparable holding periods. That 1.6% advantage represents a 83.1% difference in return.

For those with relatively little energy exposure this was a good week, but for those with an equal or disproportionate exposure, Friday was a brutal day, as the week may have ended on a note of capitulation for those stocks.

Other than speculation about what was going to come out of Thursday’s OPEC meeting there was very little going on this week and the market had essentially nothing to respond to, as even the GDP, revisions and all, was a non-event.

It had been a nice and calm week with some reasonable trading activity and results leading up to the Thanksgiving Day holiday.

With Thursday a day off, there was reason to think that today would be like many other Fridays after Thanksiving over the years and would be the beginning to what is traditionally an above average end to the year.

Instead, the week ended as a really good example of the power of individual sectors and how they can obscure what was happening in the much broader market.

The week ended in dramatic form, continiong a consistent erosion in oil prices over the past month.

While energy, in all forms, had an unbelievable response to OPEC’s decision to do nothing, it’s dramatic drop may not have met the traditional criteria to have been considered as having capitulated, its price drop was still stunning.

That drop basically came all at once anjd didn’t detriorate in any meaningful or frenzied way during a thankfully shortened trading session.

While logic says that  such a sharp drop in energy prices has to be good, that’s not necessarily the case for US markets.

Where this drop differs from other drops is that it is likely that growing supply has outpaced demand. In cases where the market has fallen as energy prices have fallen it has been because declining demand led to an over-supply.

So maybe this time around the market will do the logical thing and head higher as input costs can head significantly lower, unless companies are tied down by long term and expensive commodity contracts.

Of course, for the end use, the prospects of significantly decreased energy costs, esepcially as winter is here, could translate into more cash avalilable for discretionary spending. Who knows, decreased gas prices could also lead to more driving and increased federal and state gas tax revenues, too.

Those benefits, though, may not come close to offsetting share price declines that were really ourtageous today.

It was a good week to have opebned some new positions and it was also a good time to have executed some early rollovers, rather than waiting for the end of the week. Just witness the very hard decline in Dow Chemical today, that probably due to its petrocjhemical businesses was hit as hard as any other company solely in the energy sector. The move in Dow Chemical took it from being a “sure thiing” assignment, to one that ened the week far out of the money, but a logical stock to have some seller’s remorse kind of rebound.

Next week may see some continuing fallout from OPEC’s unexpected, but logical decision to not cut supply, at least in the energy sector. It would be reasonable, though, to see some broader buying, both to be part of that traditional December rally and in the belief that falling energy prices are good for the economy, which in turn must be good for markets.

The latter has to remain to be seen, but I’m not adverse to adding some new positions next week, but again may look at trying to further populate the December 12, 2014 expiration, as there are already a fair number of positions expiring next week.

While this was a frustrating week if holding energy, it was at least a nice week for collecting lots of dividends. Next week will be the same and I increasingly do not want to put dividends at risk for early assignment as the contiinuing decrease in volatility is also reducing the reward from trying to double dip.

For now, I’m happy to have a few extra hours of no trading this week, especially after the demonstration of how punishing the market can be, even when the events aren’t really surprising.

I’m hopeful that the drop in oil and the entire sector will in fact be the same as a capitulation, but  that’s now far from certain as the dynamics of supply are very complex and the players are all, rightfully, distrustful of one another.


For anyone who has ever played the Prisoner’s Dilemma game, that is exactly what the world is looking at now, as producers will jockey fro what they believe will bring them an optimal outcome.

The likelihood is that whatever they choose it will be good for us, as people, but not bnecessarily good for us as investors, with or without exposure to energy. 



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:   GDX, GME, JOY, LXK

Puts Closed in order to take profits:  none

Calls Rolled over, taking profits, into the next weekly cycle:  JOY

Calls Rolled over, taking profits, into extended weekly cycle:  GDX (12/12), GME (12/12), LVS (12/12)

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

Calls Rolled Over, taking profits, into a future monthly cyclenone

Calls Rolled Up, taking net profits into same cyclenone

New STO:  TMUS (12/12)

Put contracts expired: none

Put contracts rolled over: none

Long term call contracts sold:  none

Calls Assigned: none

Calls Expired:  BP, DOW, JOY

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: MAT (11/24 $0.38), HFC (11/25 $0.50 Special Dividend), K (11/26 $0.49), LXK (11/15 $0.36), SBGI (11/26 $0.16)

Ex-dividend Positions Next Week:  JOY (12/2 $0.20), HFC (12/2 $0.32), MOS (12/2 $0.25), COH (12/3 $0.34), HAL (12/3 $0.18), NEM (12/3 $0.025)



For the coming week the existing positions have lots that still require the sale of contracts:   AGQ, ANF, CHK, CLF, COH, FAST, FCX, GM, HAL, HFC, .JCP,  LULU, LVS, MCP, MOS,  NEM, PBR, RIG, WFM, WLT (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.