The chart that is making one trader bet on Apple again

There's something in the charts that has renewed Todd Gordon's faith in Apple.

Just over a week ago, the founder of believed that Apple's rally had temporarily stalled. But the stock's performance after the tech giant reported earnings Aug. 1, when the shares hit a new all-time high, has the trader back on the Apple train.

"Apple is performing quite well post-earnings," Gordon said Tuesday on CNBC's "Trading Nation." "We saw a little bit of a sell-off post that really nice earnings gap."

He is referring specifically to the "gap" in Apple's chart as the company soared after earnings. According to Gordon, the fact that the stock has remained above its breakout level is typically a bullish sign that a further rally is on the way.

"We were unable to close that gap, which usually suggests underlying strength in the stock," he said. "It looks like Apple is clear to move up into the $160s."

But given that Apple options remain relatively expensive, Gordon wants to sell bullish put options rather than buy bullish call options. Specifically, he is selling the September 160-strike put and pairing that with the purchase of the September monthly 155-strike put for a credit of $2.12 per share, or $212 per options spread.

That amount is the most Gordon can make, and he will get to keep the whole credit if Apple closes at or above $160 on Sept. 15 expiration. If Apple were to close below $155 on Sept. 15, then Gordon would see the maximum loss of $288.

However, Gordon isn't too concerned about the skewed risk-to-reward ratio. With Apple shares at $160 on Tuesday, he does not stand to lose money unless Apple closed below $157.88 on September expiration. And if the shares do start to slide, he plans to exit the trade.

"If we were to go back and re-approach the $156 mark, let's cut the trade and contain any remaining risk that's left out there," Gordon said.

Since its earnings beat on Aug. 1, Apple has rallied more than 6 percent. The stock is up 38 percent year to date.


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Trading Nation is a multimedia financial news program that shows investors and traders how to use the news of the day to their advantage. This is where experts from across the financial world – including macro strategists, technical analysts, stock-pickers, and traders who specialize in options, currencies, and fixed income – come together to find the best ways to capitalize on recent developments in the market. Trading Nation: Where headlines become opportunities.

Michael Santoli

Michael Santoli joined CNBC in October 2015 as a Senior Markets Commentator, based at the network's Global Headquarters in Englewood Cliffs, N.J.  Santoli brings his extensive markets expertise to CNBC's Business Day programming, with a regular appearance on CNBC's “Closing Bell (M-F, 3PM-5PM ET).   In addition, he contributes to CNBCand CNBC PRO, writing regular articles and creating original digital videos.

Previously, Santoli was a Senior Columnist at Yahoo Finance, where he wrote analysis and commentary on the stock market, corporate news and the economy. He also appeared on Yahoo Finance video programs, where he offered insights on the most important business stories of the day, and was a regular contributor to CNBC and other networks.

Follow Michael Santoli on Twitter @michaelsantoli

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