Tuesday, June 3, 2008

Another rough day at the office.

Well, I closed out my first two earnings plays today. Unfortunately they both closed red. I guess it would have been too much to ask that I close green on a new trading strategy the first time I tried it.

I started grabbing GES calls yesterday. I could have gotten priced in better if I had waited until today. The market did a shake down in the after noon, and while stocks did recover some from their lows, it was not quite enough to get the interest going on my calls. Doing these plays I may actually be better off buying calls that are in the money, rather than going with the cheaper out of the money calls. It's hard to tell if my theory is bad, or if today was just an aberration due to the market sell off. I decided against my original plan of selling all of the calls at the end of the day, and kept 1/4 of my positions to hold into earnings, as the stock price was resting on a strong support level, and GES has had a couple of recent earnings surprises.

Well, so far that seems like it was a good idea. GES is up 8% in after hours. Of course that does not mean that it will still be up at market open tomorrow. IPI had blow out earnings recently but went down after earnings on Monday and still hasn't recovered.

The difference though is that GES and retail in general have been fairly beaten down recently, while IPI and fertilizer had already seen big gains before earnings release. We'll see what happens with that tomorrow.

VIP was my second option play. I broke one of my rules buying it though. I put a bid in at open, which filled and then immediately lost 50% value. I was fighting an uphill battle all day, and never recovered. As always I need to remember never to purchase options between 6:30 am and 7:00 am (market open to 10am market time). It bites me in the hiney 90% of the time.

I purchased some JTX calls yesterday. I had an opportunity to sell for 100% gain at one point today and didn't take it. Earnings are pre market on Thursday so I will be selling those before close of market tomorrow. I'll be back here to update this post with how that trade turns out.

My one round trip today was SOLF. It broke through resistance and I bought the calls for a round trip based on the bump in the squeeze rating between Monday and Tuesday. It didn't stay above that resistance long, and ended up plummeting with the rest of the market. I was tempted several times to average down, but had decided not to for a couple of reasons. First of all it was still over a dollar away from the next support level (which was a weak support anyway) and also because I just started tracking this stock. I have not had a lot of success playing the solar sector, despite the huge amounts of money other people seem to make with it. My timing with solars has been horrible, so I decided rather than averaging down, I would just ride the position out to see if I got the bounce I thought we would the last hour of trading. As it happens we did get that bounce, and I sold for a .25 per contract loss. The good part of this story is that because I stuck with my plan, my loss was less than it could have been. Had fear ruled me, I could have sold those options for a .65 per contract loss when the shake down occurred.

My favorite part of today was that I was able to finally add some ENER to my investment account. It's only a small position, as there is a long way down to a support level, but I'm happy to have it. I purchased the stock, as I'm still new to following this stocks fluctuations. I would have to have a really strong signal that the stock is moving in a particular direction before I try to round trip the options.

Always perform your own due diligence before making any investment.

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