Live: Friday, January 31, 2020

4:05 p.m. New York time

And the markets close, with no fill on my exit order for the XBI short iron condor.

3:25 p.m. New York time

I’ve updated my XLV short iron condor analysis with results.

3 p.m. New York time

My exit order on my short iron condor on XLY was filled, and I’ve updated the analysis with results.

XLV was just filled, and I shall turn to that next. I also have an exit order on XBI for 4.7% of maximum potential profit, yet unfilled.

1:10 p.m. New York time

Two more stop/losses on stocks were triggered, both of them set at double the Wilder Average True Range.

  • Growth Portfolio
    • Exit
      • RH, for a $212.26 credit, down $10.90 per share from the price at entry, producing a 4.9% loss over 10 days for -178% annual rate.
  • Genetics
    • Exit
      • SYRS, a $6.81 credit, down $1.61, for a 19.1% loss over 17 days, a -411% annual rate.

11:20 a.m. New York time

We’re 21 days out from expiration of my current options series, and by rules, this is when I cash in my winners. I include trading fees in determining whether or not a position is winning.

All of my positions are short iron condors expiring February 21.

I’ve placed exit orders on  XLV and XLY, the only two clear winners in the batch. No fills as of yet. XLV is at 19% of maximum potential profit, and XLY, at 9%.

XLI is a penny below the credit I received at entry, which places it at 2.2% of maximum potential profit, without considering fees. I’m going to treat it as a loser today and see what develops.

The absolute losers, at present, are EEM, TLT, XBI, XLE and XLK. Two of them, EEM and XLE, are below their profit ranges, and TLT is above its profit range.

The positions I don’t exit today move to sudden death mode, meaning that I sell them when they become profitable enough to at least cover my trading fees.

I’ll have results on the two that I’m exiting today as soon as the orders are filled.

10:40 a.m. New York time

Today’s focus portfolio for stocks is Growth.

I exited three positions today, two of them — KBH and GPX — through a stops. I entered three positions in the in the Growth Portfolio.

Stock Trades

  • Growth Portfolio
    • Entries
      • AMED, for a $181.33 debit.
      • IBTX, a $53.64 debit.
      • PHM, a $45.52 debit.
  • Value Portfolio
    • Exits
      • GPX, for a $13.77 credit per share, down $1.19 from entry for a 8.0% loss over 14 days, a -207% annual rate.
      • SANM, a $32.14 credit, down $1.09 from entry, producing a 3.3% loss over two days for a -597% annual rate.
  • Momentum Portfolio
    • Exit
      • KBH, for a $38.11 credit, down 55 cents from entry for a 1.4% loss over three days, a -173% annual rate.

By Tim Bovee, Portland, Oregon, January 31, 2020

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Live: Thursday, January 30, 2020

1:10 p.m. New York time

I manage my options 21 days before expiration, a practice shown to increase the likelihood of a winning trade, according to research conducted by the financial network TastyTradeWhat it means practically is that tomorrow — Friday — I shall be exiting my profitable positions built from options expiring February 21, and setting the stops for the unprofitable positions to the price that would make them profitable enough to cover trading fees.

I have eight short iron condor positions built from the Februaries that will be up for management. XBI, XLI, XLV and XLY are profitable today. Two of the unprofitable positions, EEM and XLE, are below their profit zones, and two others, TLT and and XLK, are above.

Heretofore it has been unusual for half of my positions to remain open past Management Day.

It was a somewhat volatile day for my share holdings, with three positions — WCC, SNX and AES — hitting their stop/losses, and four ceasing to qualify for their portfolios. The focus portfolio today was Robotics, and I added three positions.

Stock Trades

  • Value Portfolio
    • Exits
      • OVV, for a $15.86 credit per share, down 93 cents from entry, resulting in a 5.5% loss over one day for a -2,011% annual rate.
      • WCC, a $50.58 credit, down $3.45 from entry, a 6.4% loss over six days for a -389% annual rate.
      • SNX, for a $136.34 credit, down $8.15 from entry, producing a -5.6% loss over six days for a -343% annual rate.
  • Momentum Portfolio
    • Exits
      • ELVT, a $5.61 credit, up 69 cents from entry, a 14.0% return over three days, or a 1,699% annual rate.
      • SEM, a $23.38 credit, down 95 cents from entry, a 3.9% loss over one day for a -1,425% annual rate.
  • Genetics and Robotics portfolios
    • Exit
      • AAPL, for a $320.69 credit, up $6.83 from the price at entry, producing a 2.2% return over two days, or a 397% annual rate.
  • Robotics Portfolio
    • Entries
      • SNPS, for a $149.13 debit per share.
      • SPLK, a $156.86 debit.
      • TCEH, a $48.19 debit.
  • Utilities Portfolio
    • Exit
      • AES, which, after becoming disqualified from its portfolio, had been on the Bench awaiting an ex-dividend date, for a $19.98 credit, down 34 cents from entry, for 1.7% loss over 17 days, a -36% annual rate.

By Tim Bovee, Portland, Oregon, January 30, 2020

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Live: Wednesday, January 29, 2020

2:40 p.m. New York time

I’ve entered an additional stock position, in  SEM, to fill the position held by FRTA, which I exited today. I bought SEM for a debit of 24.33 per share.

11:40 a.m. New York time

In stocks, today’s focus portfolio is Value, and I entered three positions. I also exited one position each from Momentum and Robotics as they no longer qualified.

Stock Trades

  • Value Portfolio
    • Entries
      • BRY, for a $6.98 debit per share.
      • OVV, a $16.79 debit.
      • SANM, a $33.23 debit.
  • Momentum Portfolio
    • Exit
      • FRTA, a two-day whipsaw, for a credit of $13.71 per share, down 61 cents from the entry price, producing a 4.3% loss over two days for a -777% annual rate. There was no obvious news to explain the drop.
  • Robotics Portfolio
    • Exit
      • ADSK, a $199.49 credit, up $3.11 from entry, producing a 1.6% return over one day for a 579% annual rate.
    •  Entry
      • TSM, a $57.11 debit.

By Tim Bovee, Portland, Oregon, January 29, 2020

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Live: Tuesday, January 28, 2020

10:30 a.m. New York time

My options positions, which will reach Management Day on Friday, have improved considerably since yesterday’s market-wide decline. Out of eight positions expiring in February, four are profitable and, if that continues, will be sold on Friday. Four are unprofitable, and I’ll hang on to each of them until it becomes profitable or we’re close to expiration. Only one of the four, XLE, is beyond its profit zone. The underlying is trading for $55.53 at present, and the put strike is at $56.21.

The positions, all of them short iron condors, are on EEM, TLT, XBI, XLE, XLI, XLK, XLV and XLY.

In stocks, today’s focus is on the Genetics Portfolio. There were no exits. I opened five new positions in several portfolios, taking care to ensure that each was in an uptrend as well as meeting my other criteria. In terms of portfolios, the new positions are all over the map.

Stock Trades

  • Genetics Portfolio
    • Entries
      • AAPL, for a $313.86 debit per share.
      • EDIT, a $28.99 debit.
  • Robotics Portfolio
    • Entries
      • ADSK, a $196.38 debit.
  • Momentum
    • Entries
      • KBH, a $38.66 debit.
  • Income
    • Entries
      • JCAP, a real estate investment trust with a buy score from Zacks and a 7% dividend, for a $20.02 debit.

By Tim Bovee, Portland, Oregon, January 28, 2020

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Live: Monday, January 27, 2020

11:50 a.m. New York time

As the world knows, today began as a down day in the markets. I awoke this morning to the gentle clanging of stop/losses triggering on seven of my stock holdings. My options holdings were giving silent screens of pain as they moved away from profitability five days before I’m scheduled to exit the profitable positions.

The Wuhan coronavirus panic has been blamed for the declines. Given the history of the markets over the past year, I’m more inclined to think that the long-awaited major correction is stepping forward. But January honors the Roman god Janus, who is said to have adapted, trading in his double face — Peace or War — for the 21st century’s great concerns: Bull market or Bear. So perhaps the never-ending bull market written by the trading algorithms has not ended yet.

Today’s focus portfolio is Momentum, and a quick check while sipping morning tea — Japanese Bancha, my favorite — I discovered that SNE had dropped off of the Momentum Portfolio, requiring that it be sold. All in all, way too exciting for a Monday morning.

I found three candidates in the Momentum screen that also were still in their uptrends, and I added them to the portfolio.

Today’s exits, combined with those last week left me a with wheelbarrow of free cash and no obviously good place to park it. As always, research will solve that problem.

In the trades below, SNE dropped off the Momentum screen and was manually sold, AAPL exited when its trailing 2% stop/loss was triggered, and the rest had my standard trialing stop/loss that was triggered, set at double the Average True Range.

Stock Trades

  • Growth
    • Exits
      • CRMT, for a $106.28 credit per share, down $3.33 from entry, a 3.0% loss over six days for a -185% annual rate.
      • LHCG, a $144.40 credit, up $0.78 from entry, a 0.5% return for a +12% annual rate.
      • YY, a $56.50 credit, down $7.47 from entry, an 11.7% loss over six days for a -711% annual rate.
  • Momentum
    • Exits
      • MX, a $14.36 credit,  down $1.56 from entry, a -9.8% loss over five days for a -717% annual rate
      • SNE, a $71.43 credit, up 0.83, showing a 1.2% return over 19 days for a +23% annual rate
    • Entries
      • CVH, a $4.51 per share debit.
      • ELVT, a $4.93 debit.
      • FRTA, a $14.32 debit.
  •  Genetics
    • Exit
      • AAPL, a $309.07 credit, up $17.17 from entry, producing a 5.9% return over 27 days for an +80% annual rate.
  • Robotics
    • Exits
      • CSOD, a $59.41 credit, down $3.09 from entry, a 3.0% loss over four days for a -441% annual rate.
      • TSM, a $55.52 credit, down $1.70 from entry, a -3.0% loss over four days for a -272% annual rate.

By Tim Bovee, Portland, Oregon, January 27, 2020

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Live: Friday, January 24, 2020

3:15 p.m. New York time

Additional stop/losses have been triggered. APAM in Momentum and EIX in Utilities had tight stops because they no longer qualified for their portfolios. SYNA had the standard twice the Average True Range for a stop, and HYG — my vehicle for junk-bond income — had a long-standing fixed stop that was triggered after a four-day decline in price.

The details:

  • Momentum Portfolio
    • Exits
      • APAM, a $33.59 credit, down 96 cents from entry, producing a 2.8% loss over nine days for a -113% annual rate.
      • SYNA, a $71.04 credit, up $1.49 from entry, for a 2.1% return over 17 days for a +46% annual rate.
  • Utilities Portfolio
    • Exit
      • EIX, for a $77.20 credit, up 23 cents from entry, or a 0.3% return over eight days for a 14% annual rate.
  • Bond Income
    • Exit
      • HYG, for an $87.72 credit, up 79 cents, excluding dividends. With dividends included, the position produced a 3.3% return over 185 days, or a 7% annual rate.

2:15 p.m. New York time

Of my eight short iron condor positions expiring February 21, all are well below my management point, which is 50% of maximum potential profit. Two are unprofitable and trading above the breakeven point (TLT and XLK). One other is also unprofitable but trading within the profit zone (XLE). Five are profitable at the present (EEM, XBI, XLI, XLV and XLY).

The positions reach 21 days before expiration on Friday of next week, and at that point I’ll exit all positions that are profitable, even if minimally so, a manage-early practice shown by TastyTrade research to improve results.

In stocks, I moved the stop/losses of the positions to double the Average True Range, or closer in a few cases. And sure enough, three positions — EDIT in the Genetics Portfolio, TER in Robotics and VIPS on the Bench — all triggered their stop/losses. Only TER had the standard double ATR stop. EDIT and VIPS each had a single ATR stop.

Two positions no longer qualified for their portfolios. I tightened the trailing stops for APAM in the Momentum Portfolio and EIX in Utilities, since both were trending upward. When EIX exits, it will be the last position in Utilities, which I shall then discontinue.

I sold three other positions. And I entered three, all in the Values Portfolio, which is the focus portfolio for the day.

Stock Trades

  • Value Portfolio
    • Entries
      • RUSH, for a $43.66 debit.
      • SNX, a $144.49 debit.
      • WCC, a $54.03 debit.
  • Momentum Portfolio
    • Exit
      • MS, for a $54.4 credit, down $1.71 from the entry level, producing a 3.0% loss over two days for a -556% annual rate.
  • Genetics Portfolio
    • Exits
      • CDXS for a $17.12 credit, down 18 cents from entry, resulting in a 1.0% loss over one day for a 372% annual rate.
      • EDIT, a $31.79 credit, down $3.78 from entry for an 11.9% loss and a -434% annual rate.
      • REGN, a $345.07 credit, down $14.49 from entry, a 4.0% loss for a 1,471% annual rate.
  • Bench Portfolio
    • Exit
      • VIPS for a $13.64 credit, down $1.61 from entry, producing a -10.6% loss, or a -351% annual rate.

By Tim Bovee, Portland, Oregon, January 24, 2020

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Live: Thursday, January 23, 2020

Update 2/4/2020Note that this method of exiting created problems and I have abandoned it. See the new Trading Rules explanation on the pulldown menu at the top of any page.


1:10 p.m. New York time

Today was taking out the trash day, as I cleared out some positions from the Bench that no longer had a reason for being there. And it turned out to be a down day on the markets generally, so there were mainly losses.

I’ve reworked my stock trading rules to bring them into line with my current practices, adding a few new things along the way. Here they are:

      1. Entry
        1. When the Zacks criteria are met.
          1. Strategy portfolios, which are the results of queries into the Zacks database: When the stock appears on the screening, meaning it matches all of my search criteria.
          2. Watchlist portfolios, which are lists of stocks: When a stock on the watchlist has a Zacks rank of 1 or 2.
          3. Income portfolios: When the fund has a Zacks rank of 1, 2 or 3.
        2. Set a trailing stop/loss for each position.
            1. The standard stop/loss will be set at double the 14-day Wilder Average True Range at the time the stop is set.
            2. The stop/loss can be varied to meet the needs of a position.
      1. Position Management
        1. Exit each position that fails to meet the criteria of its portfolio.
          1. In exiting, consider setting a close trailing stop/loss rather than exiting outright, in case the position rises.
          2. A position that no longer meets the criteria of its portfolio may be moved to the Bench if there is a reason to continue to hold it, such as an ex-dividend date in the near future.

The biggest change is the trailing stop/loss requirement. I’ll be updating the Trading Rules section with these changes over the weekend.

Today’s focus was on the watchlist portfolios. I’m in the process of phasing out the Utilities Portfolio, replacing it with a Robotics Portfolio based on the holdings of the ARKQ exchange-traded fund, which also manages the ARKG fund, the source of the watchlist for my Genetics Portfolio (although ARKG calls it “genomics”).

Today’s Trades

  • Genetics
    • Entries
      • CDXS, for a $17.29 debit.
      • REGN, a $359.56 debit.
  • Robotics
    • Entries
      • CSOD, for a $62.43 debit.
      • TER, a $76.15 debit.
      • TSM, a $57.22 debit
  • Growth
    • Exits
      • AMED, for a $180.64 credit per share, down 31 cents from the entry level, a 0.2% loss over two days for a -31% annual rate.
      • ATSG, a $21.53 credit, down $1.64, for a 7.1% loss over 20 days, a a -129% annual rate.
      • NTAP, a $59.99 credit, down $1.65, producing a 2.7% loss over two days for a -489% annual rate.
  • Momentum
    • Exits
      • PERI, for a $9.06 credit, down 56 cents from the entry level, producing a 5.8% loss over one day for a -2,125% annual rate.
  • Bench
    • Exits
      • NGLOY, for a $14.06 credit per shares, up two cents from the entry level, producing a 0.1% return over 20 days for a 2.6% annual rate.
      •  PFGC, a $51.87 credit, down 23 cents, a 0.5% loss over 16 days for a -10% annual rate.
      • TALO, a $25.88 credit, down $5.11 from entry, a 16.5% loss over 16 days for a -376% annual rate.
      • TNK, a $20.02 credit, down $3.77 from entry, a 15.9% loss over nine days for a -643% annual rate.

By Tim Bovee, Portland, Oregon, January 23, 2020

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Live: Wednesday, January 22, 2020

12:05 p.m. New York time

I’ve updated GLD Analysis with results of my short iron condor trade.

11:20 a.m. New York time

My short iron condor position on GLD was filled for half of maximum potential profit. I shall update the analysis with results later today.

In stocks, today’s focus is on the Momentum Portfolio. I entered three positions and exited two positions in Momentum, and also exited two positions in the Growth Portfolio.

Stock Trades

  • Momentum
    • Exits
      • ICHR, for a $37.98 credit per share, down 73 cents from the entry price, producing a 1.9% loss over seven days, or a -98% annual rate.
      • SNX, a $146.65 credit, down $3.89 from entry, showing a 2.6% loss over seven days for a -135% annual rate.
    • Entries
      • MS for a $56.15 debit.
      • MX, a $15.92 debit
      • PERI, a $9.62 debit
  • Growth
    • Exits
      • EBMT, for a $22.51 credit, up 12 cents from the entry price, producing a 0.5% return over one day for a +196% annual rate.
      • SSNC, a $64.33 credit, up 67 cents from entry for a 1.1% return over one day, which is a 384% annual rate

By Tim Bovee, Portland, Oregon, January 22, 2020

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Live: Tuesday, January 21, 2020

12:50 p.m. New York time

This is another heavy day in the Zacks algorithm ‘verse. Four exits in the Growth Portfolio, another in Momentum, and seven additions to Growth.

This is primarily a Growth Portfolio day in my rotation of strategy-based queries. I’ll exit from all portfolios as needed, but give priority to entering new positions in Growth.

Adding to the complexity is the fact that I’m fully invested at this point, so all new positions will need be filled from the proceeds of exits. Another complexity: I’m in the process of increasing my target position size by 50%., so the exits may not cover all new positions.

This turned out to be a good day to try out an idea I’ve had bouncing around my head: Exiting positions once they exceed a 5% profit. This would be in line with the wisdom of financier and trader Bernard Baruch (1870-1965), who famously said, “Nobody ever lost money taking a profit.”

The average holding period for each of my positions is 13 calendar days, a bit less than 28 trades a year. A 5% return, then, is 140% annualized, meaning that if I could repeat that return on a position every time I traded, I’d double that chunk of money each year, and then some.

Clearly, a 100% rate of success is insanely optimistic, but let’s say I succeed only 10% of the time. In that scenario, I’ve earned 14% on money each year, still not bad. Moreover, I can lose 1% on 13 of the trades, and still not be down for the year.

In implementing the 5% rule today, I exited FORM and MKSI in the Growth Portfolio and HIBB in the Value Portfolio

Today’s trades

Positions marked with an asterisk (*) before the symbol were exited under the 5% rule described above. 

  • Growth Portfolio
    • Exits
      • BRT, for a $17.85 per share credit, up 18 cents from entry, producing a 1.0% return over 11 days for a +34% annual rate.
      • FN, a $66.29 credit, up 29 cents, resulting in a 0.4% return over 12 days, or a +13% annual rate.
      • *FORM, a $27.63 credit, up $1.54, for a +5.9% return over 15 days, or a 143% annual rate.
      • ITRI, a $87.42 credit, up $4.09, sowing a 4.9% return over 13 days for a +138% annual rate.
      • *MKSI, a $115.36 credit, $8.37 above the entry price. The return was $7.9% over 14 days for a 204% annual rate.
      • TX, for a $22.70 credit, down 50 cents from the entry price, producing a 2.1% loss over eight days for a -98% annual rate.
    • Entries
      • AMED, for a $180.95 debit.
      • CRMT, a $109.61 debit.
      • EBMT, a $22.39 debit.
      • NTAP, a $61.64 debit.
      • RH, a $223.16 debit.
      • SSNC, a $63.36 debit.
      • YY, a $63.97 debit.
  • Momentum Portfolio
    • Exits
      • *HELE, for a $182.95 credit per share, up 77 cents from entry, producing a 0.4% return over 14 days for a +11% annual rate.
  • Value Portfolio
    • Exits
      • *HIBB, for a $26.94% credit, up $2.05 from entry, producing a +8.2% return over 11 days for a +273% annual rate.

Tomorrow’s trading will focus on the Momentum Portfolio.

By Tim Bovee, Portland, Oregon, January 21, 2020

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Live: Saturday, January 18, 2020

2:25 p.m. New York time

The remaining put options leg of my short iron condor on XLY, which traded for the last time on Friday, expired today without value. That was the assumption I used in the results I posted last Wednesday, which stand.

By Tim Bovee, Portland, Oregon, January 18, 2020

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