Live: Friday, February 21, 2020

9:45 a.m. New York time

In stocks, I’ve added INVA to the Momentum Portfolio, which — along with Robotics — is today’s focus — for a $15.25 debit per share.

KBH dropped from the Value Portfolio, a day after I entered the position, and was moved to the Bench, along with PHM, which was dropped from the Growth Portfolio, although it remains viable in the SP500 Portfolio.

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

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Live: Thursday, February 20, 2020

9:45 a.m. New York time

Yesterday’s short iron condor exits cleared my accounts of the FEB series of options positions. My options contracts now expire on March 20. Their next milestone comes on February 28, which is 21 days before expiration. On that day I shall exit all profitable positions.

The unprofitable positions is the problem, as always. Do I get rid of them immediately? Do I hang on to them until expiration week, in the hope that they will improve? I’ve tried both strategies for good and bad results. Each position, after all, is sui generis, and my best strategy is, I would think, to treat each losing position separately, without an overarching rule.

I’ll begin to buy the next series of options, APR, on March 3.

Having freed up cash with the sale of FEBs, I entered several new share positions in today’s focus portfolios, Growth and Genetics. The Growth symbol also appears on the Momentum Portfolio. I exited a former Value Portfolio position now on the Bench and used those funds to add a position to Value.

The trades:

  • Growth
    • Entry: AEL, for a debit of $33.10 per share.
  • Genetics
    • Entry: REGN, , a $398.84 debit.
  • Value
    • Entry: KBH, a $39.93 debit.
  • Bench
    • Exit: RUSHA (formerly Value) for a credit of $43.17 per share, down $0.49 from the entry price.  The loss was 1.1% over 27 days for a -15% annual rate.
    • Transfer: GIII back to Value

By Tim Bovee, Portland, Oregon, February 20, 2020

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Live: Wednesday, February 19, 2020

3:20 p.m. New York time

I’ve exited my short iron condor position on XLK and updated the analysis with results. This was a full exit, in contrast to my partial TLT and XLE exits.

2:15 p.m. New York time

I’ve updated my analyses of short iron condors on TLT and XLE with results after my partial exit.

12:40 p.m. New York time

I partially exited two losing short iron condor positions today as the FEB series of monthly options nears expiration after Friday’s close. I exited the calls TLT position and the puts in XLE, leaving an out-of-the-money short spread in each case that I anticipate will expire without value. I shall update the analyses later today.

One other losing position from the series, XLK, remains, and I hope to exit it on Thursday.

In shares, I cleaned out three positions from the Bench in order to raise funds for new trades, and also exited a position that had dropped from the Robotics Portfolio and didn’t qualify for the Bench.

The three exits from the Bench, two profitable and one for a loss:

  • AMED, for a $193.89 credit, a $12.56 profit per share. The position produced a 6.9% return over 19 days, or a +133% annual rate.
  • IMKTA, a $36.52 credit, a loss of $6.31 per share, producing a 14.7% loss over 15 days for a -358% annual rate.
  • OESX, a $6.32 credit, a profit of 62 cents per share, producing a 10.9% return over seven days for a +569% annual rate.

And from the Robotics Portfolio, I exited SPLK for a $175.42 credit, up $18.56 from the entry price, producing an 11.8% return over 20 days for a +216% annual rate.

Three positions were moved to the Bench: DAL from the SP500 Portfolio, and GIII and RUSHA, both from Value.

I entered no new stock positions.

By Tim Bovee, Portland, Oregon, February 19, 2020

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Live: Tuesday, February 18, 2020

9:50 a.m. New York time

This is expiration week for my remaining short iron condor positions in the FEB options series. TLT, XLE and XLK all remain well in the money on one leg. I’ll give them another day, for time decay to work (decay being in my favor for short positions), and exit the losing legs on Wednesday, allowing the remaining spreads to expire valueless (also in my favor).

In stocks, the focus portfolios today are Momentum and Robotics. Given AAPL’s sharp decline in response to the impact of the COVID19 virus on its manufacturing operations in China, I jumped in and expanded my holdings in the company, which appears on the Robotics Portfolio. It gives me slightly outsized exposure in AAPL, but I’m comfortable with that. AAPL’s entry debit was $318.00 per share.

Two positions dropped off of their portfolios — IBP in Growth and CYH in Momentum — and I’ve transferred them to the Bench.

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

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Live: Friday, February 14, 2020

11:30 a.m. New York time

I exited the stock in my Income Portfolio, replacing it with a stock in the SP500 Portfolio. I also added a position to the Growth Portfolio — today’s focus, along with Genetics — and moved a Momentum position to the Bench.

The Income position, JCAP, was in the small remainder of a Roth IRA. It fell to a Zacks rank of hold (3) with the lowest scores possible for all three strategies — value, growth and momentum. All of this and more than a month to go before the first quarterly dividend.

JCAP went for a $20.31 per-share credit, up 29 cents from entry, producing a 1.4% return over 17 days for a 31% annual rate. Sorry to miss the 1.7% quarterly dividend, but so it goes.

Rather than bringing another income play on board, I turned to the blue chips in the SP500 Portfolio, entering RL in the Roth account, for a debit of $121.97 per share.

In the Growth Portfolio I added a position in IBP for a debit of $75.28.

APAM dropped off the Momentum Portfolio but, with a rank of strong buy (1), it qualifies for the Bench. I’ll continue to hold the position until the Zacks rank falls below hold (3) or, while at hold, the momentum score falls below B (where it sits today).

Monday is a market holiday in the United States. Trading resumes on Tuesday, February 18.

That day also begins expiration week for my February short iron condors. Three options positions remain: TLT, XLE and XLK. All have options that are out of the money, and Tuesday or Wednesday I shall dispose of those portions of the positions and allow what’s left to expire without value, the preferred outcome for short options positions like these.

In stocks, Tuesday’s focus will be on the Momentum and Robotics portfolios.

By Tim Bovee, Portland, Oregon, February 14, 2020

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Live: Thursday, February 13, 2020

10:40 a.m. New York time

No exits today. For entries, the focus portfolios are Value and the S&P 500. The new SP500 portfolio is lagging its companion, Value, and so I chose both new positions from the SP500: DAL for $58.80 per share and QRVO for $110.26.

OESX dropped off the Momentum portfolio, the day after I entered the position, and I have moved it to the Bench.

By Tim Bovee, Portland, Oregon, February 13, 2020

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Live: Wednesday, February 12, 2020

12:20 p.m. New York time

Little trading today, with no exits and two entries, in the Momentum Portfolio, today’s focus. Also, a couple of transfers from the Bench back into their respective portfolios, a new portfolio and a rotation change to accommodate it.

First, the entries: DVA for an $88.04 per share debit, and OESX for a $5.70 debit.

The transfers from the Bench: CYH again qualified for the Momentum Portfolio and SPLK, for Robotics.

I’ve noted that the Zacks algorithm serves up an uncommonly large number of mid-cap and small-cap symbols. No surprise. They tend to be the most volatile.

However, I do see value in balancing my holdings with some large caps. So I’ve created a portfolio consisting of the S&P 500 index symbols with a strong buy rank (1) from Zacks. There are today 21 symbols that meet that criteria, about 4% of the 505 stocks in the S&P 500. I already hold two symbols: DVA in Momentum — today’s purchase — and PHM in Growth.

I’m shortening the new portfolio to SP500, treating it as a watchlist portfolio, and modifying the rotation to pair each watchlist portfolio with a strategy portfolio. So tomorrow will be Value and SP500, Friday will pair Growth and Genetics, and Tuesday, after the Monday market holiday, will pair Value and Robotics, and then the day after the rotation will begin again with Value/SP500.

By Tim Bovee, Portland, Oregon, February 12, 2020

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Live: Tuesday, February 11, 2020

12:35 p.m. New York time

I exited one stock position, IBTX, from today’s focus portfolio, Growth, and entered two positions in that portfolio. SNX in Growth and IMKTA in Value were both moved to the Bench as they ceased to qualify for their strategy portfolios. MOD qualified again for the Value portfolio and left the Bench, no doubt happy to be back in the game.

The details:

  • Growth
    • Exit
      • IBTX, for a $55.17 credit per share, a return of $1.53 over 11 days, or 2.8%, a 94% annual rate.
    • Entries
      • LITE, for a $92.30 debit per share.
      • STM, a $30.88 debit.
    • Benched
      • SNX
  • Value
    • Benched
      • IMKTA
    • Returned from Bench
      • MOD

12:20 p.m. New York time

I’ve updated EEM Analysis with results.

11:05 a.m. New York time

I’ve exited my short iron condor position on TLT for 50% of maximum potential profit, with 10 days to go before expiration on February 21. I’ll update the analysis later today with detailed results.

By Tim Bovee, Portland, Oregon, February 11, 2020

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Live: Monday, February 10, 2020

10:30 a.m. New York time

Two stock positions from the Bench gave exit signals from the Zacks algorithms.

SNPS, which had been in Robotics for six days and on the Bench for five, produced a breakeven after it’s momentum strategy score dropped to C, alongside its D score for the growth strategy. My Bench rules for watchlist holdings requires an A or B score for either growth or momentum

KMTUY failed to qualify for its portfolio after a day, and three days after that was kicked off the Bench after its rank declined 4 (sell). It was also upon entry in the Robotics Portfolio. The stock fell sharply on Friday, producing a heavy loss upon exit today.

I used the funds freed up by the exits to add two positions to today’s focus portfolio, Value.

The details:

  • Value
    • Entries
      • GIII, for a $27.91 debit per share.
      • SNPS, a $154.91 debit.
  • Bench
    • Exits
      • KMTUY, for a $21.41 credit per share, $1.10 below the entry price, producing a 4.9% loss over four days for a -444% annual rate.
      • SNPS, for a $154.91 credit, unchanged from the entry point, producing neither a loss or a gain over 11 days.

By Tim Bovee, Portland, Oregon, February 10, 2020

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Live: Friday, February 7, 2020

12:10 a.m. New York time

I quite carelessly failed to check out the Genetics and Robotics portfolios on my run through the tables this morning. A new entry from yesterday, KMTUY, whipsawed off of the qualifying Robotics symbols, and I’ve moved it to the Bench, with a Zacks rank of 3 (hold), a Value score of A and Growth and Momentum scores of B. I’ve made corresponding changes below.

11:55 a.m. New York time

My revised rule set for stocks, posted to the menu bar Trading Rules pulldown earlier in the week, has successfully stopped the mad churn of entries and exits that threatened to bring my system down in to pile of rubble. It’s very much like waking up to clear skies and a beautiful dawn after an overnight typhoon.

I made a slight change this morning to tighten the Bench rules up just a bit. As initially posted, the rule set required a Zacks strategy score of C or better for symbols on the Bench. I’ve changed that to a score of B or better. It triggers no change at this point, as all Benched symbols meet the higher standard.

In stock trades today, no exits and no transfers to the Bench. I entered one position in today’s focus portfolio.

Stock Trades

  • Momentum Portfolio
    • Entry
      • APAM, for a $36.33 debit
  • Robotics Portfolio
    • To the Bench
      • KMTUY

By Tim Bovee, Portland, Oregon, February 7, 2020

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