Monday, May 21, 2007

Evening Market Comment

I've been out most of the late afternoon. Part of today's activities included taking my two older children to see Shrek The Third after school. We liked the movie, opting to go today to avoid the weekend crowds. It was nice to walk into a mostly empty theater. Still, a large group of kids decided to sit right behind us. While they were quiet, some kid kept bumping the back of seat. It was tempting to become Ogre like but I just turned around and gave a glance and the bumping stopped for the most part.

The air proved a bit too thin for the bulls today in record closing high S&P 500 territory with the index missing an all time close by just a few points. It was really the energy story that got trader's attention and helped to take stock off the highs: the continued rise in crude oil and the ascent of the retail gasoline price to record highs in real dollar terms.

Headlines like this: Israeli killed in rocket attack from Gaza and Al Qaeda's New Front in Lebanon only serve to add an element of concern in the energy market about stability in the Middle East. Add to that, worries about Nigeria and the result... Oil above $66 on Nigeria worry, US gasoline eyed.

Late today, news from Tracinda was no mirage: Tracinda looks to buy Bellagio, CityCenter from MGM. MGM jumped 15%.

The options screener was interesting today...

Elan (ELN) options were active on word that its Alzheimers treatment is going into advanced phase testing. The time to pounce on those was Friday, which featured unusually heavy call volume in the June 17.5 strike (took my profit there first thing this morning).

Amazon (AMZN) options volume remains amazing heavy as spreaders and directional players make their bets. 15k June 75s trading today - some folks have high hopes.

Valueclick (VCLK). They must have read Howard Lindzon's recent posts about Valueclick being a likely takeover target.

OptionsXpress (OXPS) was the subject of rumors that E*Trade would like to buy them. I did a brief in and out trade on that one today.

Yahoo! (YHOO) volume was especially heavy in the out of the money July calls - no doubt 37 to 42.5 and 35 to 40 July calendar spreads are the latest rage. This Seeking Alpha article gives some food for thought.

No comment on the rest since some are newly rolled out July calls. All info provided for informational purposes, not recommendations.

No comments: