Posts By: Steve Claussen


Short expiration week ahead. Last trading day Thursday.
This week due to the Good Friday market holiday on Friday, April 18, 2014, traders have a shortened trading week. It is important for option traders to know the changes which occur when a holiday falls on a typical expiration Friday. The last trading day for regular April options will occur on Thursday, April 17, 2014,…

What do the pros know?
What does everyone think of this market lately? Last Thursday the market closed at an all-time high. Then, after last Friday’s Job report came out and the market had a particularly strong market open, the tone suddenly and dramatically changed. Over the weekend, I read several articles highlighting how the bull market’s momentum had suddenly disappeared…

What’s up with the Google stock split?
The basics: The founders of Google (GOOG) have never split their stock. However the company is doing something very similar to a 2 for 1 stock split. The company will be distributing a 100% stock spin off. Google will be distributing 1 newly-created share of Google class C non-voting stock for each share held of Google class…

Need a downside hedge? But they cost too much — Using option spreads to lower your outright dollar cost.
The market this year has been a challenge.  The January barometer indicated a bearish market with both the monthly returns and the performance in the first 5 trading days being negative this year.  But as soon as that signal arrived, the market recovered much of the January loss in late February.  The market sold off…

Price shocks to the market highlight the benefit of using option exposure.
If you look at a 1-year chart of the market, you can see that we are sitting near all time highs in the S&P 500 index (SPX).  The 50-day simple moving average line shows only a couple of spots where there was a short term down move large enough to impact the otherwise positive trend.…

Tax season cometh.
I want to call your attention to a webinar the OptionsHouse team presented this week which is now available in the Webinar archives found here. Scott Erney, Special Accounts Manager, and John McCallum, Senior Customer Service Representative, joined Keith Wilton, Product Manager, to deliver a ton of great information all around tax prep. From answering which type…

Stock Repair vs. Covered Call
We just presented a webinar about trading in Volatile Markets and we discussed using the stock repair strategy. The stock repair strategy has the goal of lowering the breakeven of a stock position which is currently at a loss, without doubling up and committing more cash to a losing position. The full webinar is viewable…

Why ex-dividend dates are important to options traders
The Stock Replacement strategy is often taught as the first options trade for stock traders who’ve expanded their trading to include Options. Today’s blog is aimed at newer options traders and meant to be a primer/reminder for the consideration about dividends that need to be monitored when employing the stock replacement strategy. Specifically, knowing the…

Bearish Market? Choppy Market? What to do?
Experienced traders realize a fundamental truth: you cannot pick the type of market you are trading in, you can only identify and adapt, to successfully trade in current market conditions. Last year, the overall market put on a tremendous show.  The S&P 500 index was up over 30% on the year; every sell off seemed…

The Markets can go lower… now what?
Last week’s sell-off in the markets sent investors a loud-and-clear message that markets don’t go straight up all the time. There were tons of articles trying to assign “blame” for the bump that pointed to the turmoil in emerging markets or the expectation of another debt ceiling conflict in Washington. Forget trying to understand why. Savvy investors are…