Schaeffer's Trading Floor Blog

Good Morning

by 3/4/2005 7:41 AM
Stocks quoted in this article:

If you have been following the action over the last couple of days, you can probably guess how stock futures are positioned relative to fair value...basically flat. With a little more than 45 minutes until the employment report, S&P futures are trading a few cents above fair value. Gold is flat at 430 and oil is down 15 cents to 53.42....

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Don't Miss Out...

by 3/3/2005 4:49 PM
Stocks quoted in this article:

Have you clicked here for your chance to win a free T-shirt...from this morning's "Why I Should Win!" drawing...It might be the easiest thing you do all day...


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Final Figures

by 3/3/2005 4:48 PM
Stocks quoted in this article:

The SPX traded in a low-to-high range of 11 points yet closed within 30 cents or so of breakeven....what a minute, you say - isn't that yesterday's assessment?... actually it is today's...and yesterday's.

If you compare the chart in the link above to the SPX intraday chart I published in the post below, you can see we opened on opposite sides of the spectrum but whipsawed the same into the close...

For the record....

Index Index Value Point Change Percent Change
S&P 500 (SPX) 1210.5 0.4 points 0.03 percent
Dow Jones Industrial Average (DJIA) 10833.0 21 points 0.2 percent
Nasdaq Composite (COMP) 2058.4 -9.1 points -0.44 percent
Russell 2000 (RUT) 638.3 1.0 points 0.15 percent
CBOE Market Volatility Index (VXO) 12.56 -0.03 points -0.2 percent

...you can see a slight loss on the COMP and a flattish finish on the rest. The "big picture" shows....

...that the NDX amplifies the weakness we see in the COMP as the semis, networkers, and biotech failed to get the bounce back to breakeven memo. Oil pulled back from its highs but oil stocks held their gains.

It appears that everyone is "waiting" on tomorrow morning's employment report as the indices hold their ground, poised just below resistance. And that is where we will pick it up tomorrow morning...


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The Closing View

by 3/3/2005 4:14 PM
Stocks quoted in this article:

Sorry for the short lull...I took a gamble that the action would remain quiet and I stepped away from my screen to debate the implications of some numbers I had crunched. The conversation took a turn to the theoretical and time slipped away...

Fortunately...


Chart Courtesy of Thomson/ILX

...my gut was right and we drifted into the close. Of course, given the lackluster action of the last two days and the "looming" employment report tomorrow, it didn't take a genius to deduce the action would be quiet into the close. Just call me master of the obvious...

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Worth Noting?

by 3/3/2005 2:56 PM
Stocks quoted in this article:

For those who have access...the "Ahead Of The Tape" column on page C1 in today's Wall Street Journal is worth pondering. The article discusses the low CBOE Market Volatility Index readings and talks about how many have turned to selling premium as a way to enhance portfolio returns.

However, the article quotes a hedge fund manager who suggests that selling long dated calls (while popular) isn't the best choice. He recommends buying long dated calls on companies with "proven track records". Anheuser-Busch is the example stock used.

Perhaps I am reading too much into this, but it seems that many are debating whether to sell calls or buy them. How come no one looks at the cheap premium and thinks that maybe its not a bad idea to...dare I say it...buy some puts?

Just my two cents...

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