Author: Jay Soloff

How Squeeze Extra Cash From Your Bond Funds With Options

How Squeeze Extra Cash From Your Bond Funds With Options

With interest rates moving higher, so are bond yields.  However, bond funds still aren’t that exciting from a yield perspective.  For instance, iShares 7-10 Year Treasury Bond ETF (IEF) has a dividend yield of only 1.5%. One way to boost the cash flow from popular bond funds like IEF is to sell calls against the […]

Trade of the Week: High Yield Bonds

Trade of the Week: High Yield Bonds

A massive options trade occurred last week in iBoxx $ High Yield Corporate Bond ETF (HYG).  HYG is a massively popular high yield bond fund that also has a very active options chain.  A put spread was recently sold on HYG with over 150,000 contracts per leg.  This trade is likely meant to boost “yield” […]

Are Financial Stocks Stuck Moving Sideways?

Are Financial Stocks Stuck Moving Sideways?

Based on a large options trade in the Financial Select Sector SPDR ETF (XLF), it appears  a well-capitalized trader believes that financial stocks may move sideways for the remainder of the year.  The trader possibly sold a 5,000-lot strangle in January XLF options.  A strangle involves selling a call above and a put below the […]

Trade of the Week: Time and Sales

Trade of the Week: Time and Sales

Once you are able to determine where unusual options activity is occurring, the next step is looking at the time and sales list.  This is the granular trade information, where you can sort the list and look at what the biggest trades have been, and what caused the underlying instrument to show up on your […]

Trade of the Week: Unusual Options Activity

Trade of the Week: Unusual Options Activity

When searching for and analyzing unusual options activity, it’s important to understand all the data being presented.  Key variables include volume, relative volume, bearish versus bullish activity, and upcoming earnings/event dates.  Having a grasp of these data points will help traders better grasp why unusual activity may be occurring. 972% Total Returns Investing in This […]

To Hedge Your Portfolio For Free

To Hedge Your Portfolio For Free

An intriguing way to hedge your portfolio’s downside risk for essentially no cost is by using a put spread collar. A large zero-cost put spread collar was placed last week on the SPDR S&P 500 ETF (SPY)  The trader sold calls and used the proceeds to purchase a put spread.  The position will give a […]

Trade of the Week: BABA

Trade of the Week: BABA

Chinese stocks saw a significant amount of options activity last week when Chinese regulators appeared to ease up on some restrictive practices.  Chinese internet giant Alibaba (BABA) was up 15% in a day, while trading over 1 million options. It looks like some of the biggest block trades were bullish call purchases in September and […]

Is PINS A Buy Low Candidate?

Is PINS A Buy Low Candidate?

Pinterest (PINS) is a social media company that lost users after the pandemic lessened, causing the stock price to plummet. However, the company has recently begun adding users again. A large options block trade in PINS from last week  looks like a very bullish call position in July options. This may be a sign that […]

Trade of the Week: NKLA

Trade of the Week: NKLA

Electric vehicle stocks haven’t been nearly as active as they were during the heart of the Covid crisis. However, Nikoka (NKLA) options traded over 200,000 contracts on a busy day last week, which is 4x the regular amount. In this case, it appears that a large institutional position was either rolled to July or closed […]

A Cheap Way To Hedge Stock Market Risk

A Cheap Way To Hedge Stock Market Risk

Options are commonly used as hedging instruments, especially options on indexes and ETFs.  The iShares MSCI EAFE ETF (EFA) is a popular asset allocation ETF which invests in stocks in developed countries ex US.  As such, it makes for a good product to hedge with (using options), since it tracks the global equities market fairly […]