Options Stock Options

  • While corporate credit markets are all in a frenzy, some of the more sober traders out there point out the underlying fundamentals are still in good shape.

  • Options-straddle prices in Amazon.com and Apple continue to predict that the stocks could move by 12% or more following earnings. But the straddle prices in Baidu.com have reached rarified levels ahead of its earnings on Wednesday evening.

  • AT&T -- the sole network provider for Apple's  iPhone -- reported service plan activation numbers that were lower than analysts expected.

  • Texas Instruments posted a lower quarterly profit on weak demand for its calculators and other products, and gave a disappointing revenue forecast for the third quarter, sending shares down 3% on Monday.

  • Speculators continue to have a big appetite for buying volatility, at least if trading in options of the Volatility index is any indication. The VIX has been holding close to where it left off after Friday's sell-off in spite of today's market rebound, indicating that traders are anticipating more swings in the market.

  • Bausch & Lomb is likely to stick to its agreement to be acquired by Warburg Pincus for $3.67 billion, or $65 per share in cash, reported CNBC's David Faber.

  • Shares of Tellabs surged 19 percent Monday, after a financial news Web site reported the U.S. telecommunications equipment maker was entertaining a $7 billion bid by a joint venture of Nokia and Siemens.

  • Schering-Plough on Monday said second-quarter earnings more than doubled, driven by growing demand for its Zetia and Vytorin cholesterol drugs and its treatments for arthritis and allergies.

  • The flurry of quarterly results is set to continue in the coming week and options trading volume has been pointing to a number of earnings plays that are on the radar of traders.

  • Dragon Seal Wine

    China may be known for a lot of things--its rich culture, its gastronomic delights, its burgeoning economy. But I bet you'd never, ever guess that it's also got a budding, European style wine industry. I visited the ninth biggest winery today, in the northwest corner of Beijing. Amid the wide roadways, the construction sites and scores of people who simply have no fear of moving vehicles sits the Dragon Seal winery.

  • One area of trading that has seen explosive growth this year is the options market.  Year over year trading volume in June jumped over 30% and is up 25% for the first half of the year, according to the Options Industry Council.

  • Options speculators chasing after rumors that Lehman Brothers would be forced to announce exposure problems to subprime derivatives paid little attention to the firm even after it called the rumors "unfounded".

  • Despite the Dow's move above 14,000, there’s evidence from the Volatility Index, or VIX, that investors are preparing for more volatility in the market.

  • While Vodafone itself has debunked a story in FT.com's Alphaville blog that Vodaphone was "mulling" a $160 billion takeover of Verizon, Verizon options have been actively traded.

  • Speculation in London newspapers over the weekend about a potential $50 billion offer on the way for Alcoa from BHP Billiton is among the largest of possible deals for traders to focus on today.

  • Energizer's $1.16 billion bid for small consumer products company Playtex Products may be the starting point for more deals in what has been a quiet sector lately.

  • Today wasn't an all-time high for the Nasdaq, but there were plenty of investors who snapped up shares of semis and networking stocks. More than a few big cap techs posted multi-year highs on bullish predictions ahead of earnings, which kick off next week.

  • Rather than reaching for the Dramamine, many options market speculators are seeing opportunity in increased stock market volatility through purchasing call options tied to the Volatility index.

  • Despite anxiety over subprime loans, tightening credit and weak housing, the U.S. stock market seems to keep bouncing back. Why? On "Morning Call," Bill Schultz, chief investment officer at McQueen, Ball & Associates, and David Dietze, president & chief investment strategist at Point View Financial Services, offered their takes.

  • Those who bought Alcoa July call options on Monday managed to catch a break in spite of lackluster quarterly results.  Late Monday the aluminum maker posted revenue figures below analysts' estimates -- the very type of news that can hammer a company's shares and evaporate the value of call options.