Posts By: Steve Claussen


Monday Morning Musings
What a difference a week makes! Last Monday investors were coming off of a Tech inspired rally which put the Nasdaq composite at an all-time record on the back of a massive positive earnings move by Google. To me, it felt like investors were a bit giddy waiting on Apple earnings Monday. Apple’s silence on…

Monday Morning Musings
Last week, the major market averages showed some sustained positive price movement. The S&P 500 index up almost 2.5%, the Russell small cap index lagged a bit but still posted a weekly gain of 1.2%, but the star of the show was clearly technology! The Nasdaq Composite rose almost 1% Friday to close the week…

When can a Credit Call Spread cost you more than the difference between the strikes? Watch out for dividends!
I have seen pretty experienced option traders get caught in a losing trade thinking that a credit call spread can never be worth more than the difference between the short and long strike prices. Credit Call vertical trades are typically taught as limited reward limited risk trades, where the difference between strike prices is the…

Monday Morning Musings
A roller coaster is the best description for the price action last week as the combo of the Greek debt crisis and the bear market in China sent major averages sharply lower Monday and into Tuesday. However, this market has been nothing if not resilient. Dovish Fed minutes, a reversal in Chinese share prices, bolstered…

Low Volatility Is Not Guaranteed
There is a great article today from the Wall Street Journal cautioning traders against allowing the recent history of low volatility of returns in the U.S. equity markets to cloud their better judgment with the assumption that a low volatility environment with positive returns will continue. The headline focus has now shifted from the Greek…

Monday Musings
Overseas markets have taken a beating today and the pre-market futures in the US imply a drop on the opening of over 1% this morning as negotiations in the Greek debt talks fell apart over the weekend. Any market rallies last week were attributed to optimism that some compromise would occur and the harsh reality…

Monday Musings
The Fed was the star of last week holding rates steady as expected but indicating that it would begin to increase the Fed Fund target rate sometime this year. The market’s immediate reaction was muted on Wednesday immediately following the announcement. The statement included a reduced economic growth forecast from the Fed and indicated that…

Nervous about a market pull back? How to take some chips off the table.
Many investors seem increasingly nervous about the market’s prospects. Just when traders felt that any more upside was limited due to the fact that the major indexes seemed stuck in a downward funk, with 3 straight down weeks, the Bulls enjoyed a sudden 1.3% rally on Wednesday this past week. Just as quickly, Friday morning’s…

Monday Morning Musings
Thanks to a big up day last Wednesday, the Dow Jones Industrial Average and the S&P 500 were able to scratch out small gains last week, but the technology NDX (Nasdaq 100) was not as fortunate for the bulls and experienced a small weekly loss.   Greece was the headline concern. The IMF said that…

Monday Musings
Markets tend to move in trending fashion. “The trend is bullish, the trend is bearish,” normally pretty obviously identifiable for traders. This is why moving averages are so important, to assist active investors in identifying what type of market environment we find ourselves. Well despite a third consecutive weekly decline in the major averages, this…