Skip to main content

Morning Update

Yesterday JC Penny reported what some are calling “The Worst Quarter in the History of Retail.” The company reported a quarterly loss of $2.51 per shares and that revenue dropped 24.8%. Revenue at stores open for at least a year fell 31.7% and customer traffic dropped 17% last quarter following a 10% decrease in third quarter. Not surprisingly these dismal numbers spurred option traders to make some large bearish bets on the stock. The biggest was the purchase of 30,000 May 16 puts for $1.57 with the stock at 17.50.

This trade will be profitable if JCP is below 14.43, 17.5% lower, by May expiration. One of the biggest concerns investors should have in JC Penny’s cash supply. In November they told investors that they would end the year with $1 billion in cash, but ended up with only $930 million. Wednesday they then told investors that they had delayed $85 million in payments to their suppliers until the early part of the first quarter. This is another red flag that the company is running out of cash. This caught the attention of ratings agencies Standard & Poor’s and Fitch who both lowered their credit ratings on the company, which was already at junk status. Analysts at Morgan Stanley said yesterday that they expect Penny’s to run out of cash in the third quarter. Running out of cash means that JCP will be out of options for further changes to strategy and may not be able to pays its loans or suppliers.

If this scenario begins to materialize JCP’s stock is likely to make a break towards the 14 handle, which will make this trade very profitable. There are a lot of eyes on Wall Street watching this stock and some of the trading in it can be emotionally driven as it reacts to the day to day news flow. Therefore to trade this name right now you need to have a favorable risk/reward and at least a two month time frame so that a trade thesis has time to play out and emerge from the stock prices noise.

Comments

Popular posts from this blog

FED Rate Hikes Could Cause Unintended Volatility Shock

Last week the Federal Open Market Committee surprised no one when they raised rates 0.25 basis points to increase rates to between 1% and 1.25%.  What did surprise the market, was the revelation that the FED is committed to normalize rates, even if inflation does not meet their target.  This was reiterated this week in a speech by William Dudley, President of the Federal Reserve Bank of New York, who stated he feels the FED needs to raise rates, despite low inflation, to be ready to act if the economy does slow down.
The market has been quick to respond, and nothing was hit harder by a reduction in inflation expectations than commodities.  Gold, since the announcement, is lower by 2.39%, and oil is down -3.18%.  Crude futures have broken their upward trend line and appear poised to test the previous low of $39.56.
While, oil has been under pressure all year, the S&P 500 does not seem to care, as it continues to make all-time highs.  Oil is down 23% year to date, while the S&P…

Gold and Treasuries Say “RISK OFF”, But VIX Says "RISK ON"

Today we are seeing a modest rebound in the market after yesterday’s small selloff.  Volatility remains extremely low, with the VIX hovering around 10.  It’s important for traders to recognize how low the VIX has been lately.  Since 2010, the VIX has only closed below 10 five times, and each of those five times has come in the last month.                   However, the market is not without risks right now.  Gold has rallied 6.5% since May 9th.  Treasuries have rallied, pushing rates to below 2.15.  So, the market is currently in a risk off mode while equities are in a period of historically low risk.  The VVIX (the VIX of the VIX), for its part, is not sounding the all clear signal, 87 is in the medium range for VIX volatility.  Tomorrow we have a potential market moving event with James Comey’s testimony to Congress.  The last time Comey’s name was in the news, we saw the VIX move from 10.5 to over 15 in one trading day (a 50% increase) on a day where the market was down over 2%.  …

Markets Soft without Stimulus

Markets around the world pulled back the reigns as central banks look to taper quantitative easing. Japan’s central bank decided to leave their current pace of monetary policy unchecked, which has effectively cut the Nikkei down 1.5% on the day, affecting nearly every market in-between, scaring the DJIA 165 points off the start this morning. US Treasuries have now notched the highest yield in 14 months on the 10 year note.

This morning 55,257 EEM July 35 puts were purchased by a trader for $0.29 each, costing him a large $1,602,453. This is a bearish move on the Emerging Markets ETF, with expectations that by the July expiration, the price of EEM will dip below $34.71. EEM opened today at $39.32 and if this trader was to pass the breakeven point, the ETF would have to drop by more than 11.7% within a little over a month.

EEM opened today 1.9% lower than its closing price yesterday and since the 52-week high the ETF experienced in early January, it has lowered by over 13%. While this …