After taking a long, 4-day weekend off from trading, we sure came back to an interesting day for the markets. The US FED released the minutes from their January meeting today, and that combined with further weak economic data lead to broad declines across most major indices. Most of those declines came in just the last hour or so of trading. The S&P500 index (shown in the chart below) finished the day at 1,828.75, a loss of -12.01 points, or -0.65%.
It was a mixed-result day for us, with just two trades made, one winner, and one loser. And with both being for the same $100 investment. The sharp decline in the last hour and a half, however, made the day look at lot better by putting both of our currently open (expiring Friday) “long-term” trades on S&P500 futures. Still plenty of time for that to change yet, but the trades sure look a whole lot better now than they did at the beginning of the day. But let’s go over the two short-term trades made today before getting to the others.
The VIX trade shown in the image above was the first trade entered, and the last trade closed. It was entered as a high/low call option for a $100 investment, and offering a return of 70%. This shows the status of the trade about 45 minutes into things, but it got much better from there. However, we also later opened a very short-term play on S&P500 futures that did not end so well. This trade was also entered as a high/low call option — right before markets started their sharp end-of-the-day decline.
The image above shows the S&P500 trade just seconds after opening the position, and unfortunately we didn’t get an image from after prices fell off a cliff. But they did. And this trade was not even offering a 10% refund rate so we go home with nothing but a broken dream and bitter tears. Oh wait, it’s only $100, and we don’t even work in a highrise building to jump out of anyway. But all kidding aside let’s briefly summarise our trades for the day.
High/Low VIX Call Option Contract
Trade Outcome: ITM
Entry Time / Expiry: 18:57 / 21:00
Returns Offered: 70% + 10% OTM Refund Rate
Entry Rate / Expiry Rate: 14.7000 / 15.5400
Profit/Loss: $70 Profit
High/Low S&P500 Future Call Option
Trade Outcome: OTM
Entry Time / Expiry: 19:43 / 20:30
Returns Offered: 75%
Entry Rate / Expiry Rate: 1834.875 / 1827.125
Profit/Loss: $100 Loss
Which brings us to the end-of-day totals for Wednesday, 2-19-2014. The image above shows a chart of the VIX and our two open long-term trades right before markets closing today. As you can see the VIX trade is far into the money by this point, and our two long-term trades now have a nice little cushion as well. This result is what really “saves the day” for us. Largely because of the fact that the two long-term trades are for much larger sums than our $100 standard, at $250 and $277 respectively. Their combined payouts would be a bit over $900 if they finish ITM.
2-19-2014 Daily Trade Totals
Trades Made: Two (2) High/Low Contracts
Trade Outcomes: One (1) ITM and One (1) OTM
Total Investments: $200
Total Returns Received: $170
Total Daily Profit/Loss: -$30 Daily Loss
Daily ROI: -15% Loss On Daily Investment
A Look At The Open Long-Term Trades
Both long-term trades are on the S&P500 index, with one being opened on the 14th, and the other on the 18th. And both had been on the wrong side of break even essentially the entire time up until today’s declines. Hopefully they can stay on this side of things through Friday. Both trades will expire at 17:10 on Friday, and both offer returns of 75% on investment.
With the S&P finishing at 1828.75 today, we don’t have a heck of a lot of wiggle room on these trades. We do, however, maintain our bearish short-term stance. A stance which was strengthened by today’s price action. If these trades can manage to finish ITM that would give a nice boost to our month-to-date profitability and performance numbers. If, on the other hand, they were to both finish OTM that would actually bring us into negative territory for the month so far, an outcome we would like to avoid. Until next time folks, trade smart and be lucky!