Blogs

Weekly Stock Market Commentary 6/10/16

By Lawrence G. McMillan

The Standard & Poors 500 Index ($SPX) is nearing its all-time highs. But the progress has been rather slow, especially in light of the fact that all of our other indicators are on buy signals. As you can tell from Figure 1, there is heavy resistance all the way up to the all-time highs at 2135 (upper thick red line). The first support level is 2090, and then 2040 below that.

Equity-only put-call ratios remain on buy signals. In addition, the Total put-call ratio is on a buy signal as well.

Market breadth has been strong ever since $SPX broke out of the triangle on its chart (Figure 1). As a result, both breadth oscillators are on buy signals.

Is this market setting a trap?

By Lawrence G. McMillan

Stock prices maintained a positive stance throughout yesterday’s session, once again producing new closing and intraday highs for this move.  Moreover, these are the highest prices since last July 2015.  Still, one has the feeling that the rally should be stronger, instead of essentially inching higher day by day.  Overnight, S&P futures are down  8 points, so today might be a down day.  There is support at 2090 and then 2040 below that.  

Option Basics: Buying Options As a Stock Substitute (04:01)

By Lawrence G. McMillan

This article was originally published in The Option Strategist Newsletter Volume 4, No. 1 on January 12, 1995.

Buying options is often regarded as one of the most speculative activities. However, as we have shown time and time again, there are often differing ways in which one can establish a strategy. These different ways may change the speculative to the conservative, or at least moderate things somewhat. Buying options is no exception.

Option Basics: Bull Spreads (03:23)

By Lawrence G. McMillan

This article was originally published in The Option Strategist Newsletter Volume 3, No. 23 on December 8, 1994.  

 Traders sometimes use bull spreads instead of actually buying calls when they want to hedge their bets somewhat. In this article, we'll take a look at how the bull spread works, and perhaps shed some light on the somewhat unusual characteristics of its profit potential as time passes.

Option Basics: Backspreads (04:08)

By Lawrence G. McMillan

This article was originally published in The Option Strategist Newsletter Volume 4, No. 8 on April 27, 1995.

Since we are currently recommending a "backspread" strategy in OEX options (and have been for a while), we though it might be beneficial to define and review the strategy for subscribers who are not familiar with the term.

Weekly Stock Market Commentary 6/3/2016

By Lawrence G. McMillan

After a strong upside breakout last week from the triangle formation (blue lines in Figure 1), the market has spent this week in a tight range. There has been an improvement in the indicators in general, but the most important indicator -- the price chart of $SPX -- has not really responded.

A clear breakdown and close below 2090 would be a short- term negative, likely calling for a retest of support at 2060. A breakout over 2115 and then 2135 would be very bullish.

$VXST and UVXY Are Quite Low

By Lawrence G. McMillan

This article was originally featured in the 5/27/16 edition of The Option Strategist Newsletter.

As you can see from the right, $VXST (the CBOE’s short-term volatility index) is approaching 10. That seems incredibly low, and one would naturally think that it is a warning sign. But the $VXST chart of past two years (below) shows that it’s been at this level a lot – just not since August of 2015.

Lower Your Risk By Buying Options (02:24)

By Lawrence G. McMillan

This article was originally published in The Option Strategist Newsletter Volume 2, No. 24 on December 22, 1993.

We have often stated that one can reduce the risk of stock ownership by buying call options instead. This, of course, is contrary to what many consider to be "conventional wisdom", in which option purchases are viewed as extremely risky things. As with most investments — and a lot of other things in life — it's a matter of application; every strategy can't be painted with a broad brush. We'll go over the way to make call option buying a lower-risk alternative to buying common stock, and then we'll apply it to a currently popular strategy involving the purchase of the highest-yielding Dow-Jones stocks at year-end.

When Markets “Levitate” (Preview)

By Lawrence G. McMillan

We have often made note of times when a particular market is so strong that it closes above or below its 20-day moving average for long periods of time.  These are rather rare situations.  While they are occurring, it seems that the market is going to keep going in that same direction forever. A few bullish cases have lasted so long that it seems that the market is “levitating” above its moving average.  The last time this occurred was February-April of this year (Figure 1, yellow area).

Weekly Stock Market Commentary 5/27/16

By Lawrence G. McMillan

The Standard & Poors Index ($SPX) broke out of the triangle that had formed on its chart (see Figure1), and that breakout was strongly on the upside. The bears had plenty of chances to violate the support at 2040 on a closing basis, but were unable to do so. So now we'll see if the bulls can do better with their chance.

Trading or investing whether on margin or otherwise carries a high level of risk, and may not be suitable for all persons. Leverage can work against you as well as for you. Before deciding to trade or invest you should carefully consider your investment objectives, level of experience, and ability to tolerate risk. The possibility exists that you could sustain a loss of some or all of your initial investment or even more than your initial investment and therefore you should not invest money that you cannot afford to lose. You should be aware of all the risks associated with trading and investing, and seek advice from an independent financial advisor if you have any doubts. Past performance is not necessarily indicative of future results.
Visit the Disclosure & Policies page for full website disclosures.