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Quite Frankly

December 19, 2011


Good morning. The market posted a pre-holiday loss last week, with the SPY down 4.46 (3.5%) to close at 121.59. The VIX, however, was down 7.9% to close at 24.29, reflecting investor anticipation of markets entering a more holiday (meaning quieter and less volatile) period leading to the New Year. That would normally be the expectation, but the last few years have been anything but “normal” so if the premium levels decrease too much it might be worth putting on a position that would benefit from some unexpected movement.

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A Fine Line

March 14, 2011


Good morning. Despite a rally last Friday (after news of the disaster in Japan) the S&P closed down 1.63 (1.2%) to end a fairly volatile week. The VIX was up 5.3% to close at 20.07. Putting the VIX move into real numbers, we had been doing some long premium spreads in the SPY for those in the PIP program when the price of the weekly at the money straddle (SPY@ 132, the combined price of the 132 call and 132 put) was roughly 1.50 with 4-5 trading days to go.

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The Bottom Line

June 7, 2010


Good morning. One of the few calendar, or seasonal, type plays in the market that has been most consistent since the early 1980’s (time I started in the trading business) has been the relative lack of volatility in the market from essentially the May options expiration through Memorial Day and even until the 4th of July. When I remember the years when I had 11 traders trading in our group on the floor of the CBOE and how difficult it was to not end up long premium entering a time of holidays, time off, graduations, etc. Not this year, it seems.

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Goldman Sachs

April 19, 2010


Good morning. It was a very interesting close to the week last Friday, with the combined Google earnings disappointment and the civil complaint lodged against Goldman Sachs affecting the market. Still, the SPY managed to close only slightly down on the week at 119.36. That represents a loss of only .19 or .2%.

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The Water Is Still Cold

August 10, 2009


Good morning. First off, I would like to extend an invitation to you to attend our Saturday, August 29th Protected Index Program In-Office Seminar, which will be from 9:00am – 12:00pm at our downtown Chicago office. It is completely complimentary and we provide a nice continental breakfast, coffee bar and classroom materials. My brother Dan and I will be presenting and you will also get to meet some of the PTI brokers and staff and ask all the questions you want. Seats are still available but you must register to attend. Click here to view the details and register. I hope to see you there!

Yet another positive week for the market last week, propelled mainly by Friday’s rally after the relatively positive jobs data. For the week the SPY was up 2.4%, from 98.81 to 101.20, with most (1.31 points) of that gain coming on Friday. The VIX was also down on the week, from 25.92 to 24.76, although curiously still above the 23.09 close of two weeks ago. The even more amazing thing is the moves in individual stocks, mostly those that are steeped in government involvement.

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