I don?t double up short positions very often. I am too old to lose all my money and go back to work as an entry-level analyst at Morgan Stanley. Besides, they probably wouldn?t have me back anyway. It is a different company than it was 30 years ago, a lot different.
However, the dead cat, short covering bounce we got off this morning?s Hong Kong dump does allow me to get back into the short side of the (SPY) one more time.
We managed to gain 20 (SPX) points, or 2 entire (SPY) handles from the Monday morning capitulation, puke on your shoes low. Except this time, we are a weekend closer to expiration, only 14 trading days until October 15.
And waiting all the way until Friday for the September nonfarm payroll buys us a free week.
Does anyone really care what?s going on in Hong Kong, China, or anywhere else in the world, for that matter? Not really. It appears only day traders do, and those of us who have family members there, like me.
The beginning of October is usually the scariest two weeks of the year. So a bet that the (SPY) doesn?t blast up to new all time highs during this period looks like a pretty good idea.
Buying the S&P 500 (SPY) October, 2014 $202-$205 vertical in-the-money bear put spread with the volatility index (VIX) just short of the $17 handle, the highest print in six months, is also getting us the best short term spread prices this year. It?s almost like the good old days.
If the prospect of executing this trade causes the hair on the back of your neck to stand up, take a look at the charts below.
The Russell 2000 (IWM) broke through to a new low this morning, proving that a solid, three-month downtrend in the small caps is still alive and well.
The chart looks even worse for the iShares iBoxx High Yield Corporate Bond ETF (HYG), which has become a very important lead security for traders to keep a laser like focus on.
NASDAQ (QQQ) and the Dow Jones Average ($INDU) are sitting bang on crucial support lines. Alibaba is still sucking all the oxygen out of the technology sector, with major institutions selling everything else to take instant 5% stakes in the new issue. This is great news for the sector for the long term, but not so great for the short term.
Finally, I asked my ace Mad Day Trader, Jim Parker, his thoughtful take here. He believes that short term, markets are oversold and due for a rallyette. He wouldn?t be shorting stocks here with My money! But is the (SPY) going to a new all time high in 14 trading days? Absolutely no way!
There is another factor to consider here. We have recently clocked substantial profits with our short positions in the Euro (FXE) and the Russell 2000 (IWM).
So we can afford the luxury of getting aggressive here when everyone else is running and hiding. We are essentially now playing with the house?s money. The only question is whether we will next post a larger gain, or a smaller one. That is a position of strength, and a great place to trade from.
So I think the net net of all of this is that best case, the risk markets all keep trending downward, worse case, they flat line sideways, at least for the next 14 trading days. Either way, it is a win-win for me. That makes the S&P 500 (SPY) October, 2014 $202-$205 in-the-money bear put spread a winner in my book.
You can buy this spread anywhere in a $2.60-$2.75 range and have a reasonable expectation of making money on this trade.
This is a rare instance where there is no outright stock or ETF equivalent to this trade. If you sell short the stock market here, such as through purchasing the ProShares Ultra Short S&P 500 ETF (SDS), we could rally all the way up to, but just short of the all time high, and you would get your head handed to you.
If this happens with the S&P 500 (SPY) October, 2014 $202-$205 in-the-money bear put spread, you make your maximum profit of 1.30% of your total portfolio. This is why I play in the options market. So non options players are better to stand aside on this trade and just watch it for educational purposes.