The Christmas Euphoria Rally In Full Effect

December 20, 2019

It feels like it snuck up on us, but Christmas is just five days away.

We’re seeing the Santa rally in full effect with the S&P 500, NASDAQ-100 and Russell 2000 notching new all-time highs.

Back in the days of trading on the floor, today used to be a busy day known because it’s a triple witching day.

Triple witching is when index futures, index options, and stock options expire on the same day (on the third Friday in March, June, September, and December).

These positions that expire need to be rolled forward, so it’s likely we will see odd price action similar to a leaf blowing around.

The fear gauge for the S&P 500, known as the CBOE Market Volatility Index (VIX), is at 12.51.

This is below our key level at 15, so it’s likely we continue to see markets drift higher.

However, within these levels of complacency, we can see those quick snapbacks.

I oftentimes purchase a few puts in the S&P 500 as a bit of a hedge, or I rebalance my positions with selling some off to lock in profits.

Next week is going to be shortened with markets closed Wednesday and equity trading halted at 1:00 p.m. EST on Tuesday.

Now let’s talk shop — we have a lot to cover.

Portfolio Update

On Tuesday, we bought to open Uber Technologies Inc. (NYSE: UBER) Dec. 27, 2019, $30.50 call up to $0.40 per contract.

On Friday, you sold to close Uber Technologies Inc. (NYSE: UBER) Dec. 27, 2019, $30.50 call for a 50% gain!

Also, on today’s expiration, these two trades will expire worthless:

Evolent Health, Inc. (NYSE: EVH) December 20, 2019, $12.50 call
Right now we’re holding:

Editas Medicine, Inc. (NASDAQ: EDIT) Jan. 3, 2020, $45 call

After-Action Report

Uber Technologies Inc. (NYSE: UBER) Dec. 27, 2019, $30.50 call

  • Date: Dec. 16, 2019
  • Reason: Our tracker picked up a surge in call buying, which would pay off only if prices jumped higher. This recent IPO is on its butt and we could have possibly seen that move higher on an upcoming stock upgrade or news headline
  • Outcome: Exited for 50% gain!
  • Improvements: This took a few days, but we finally got the push higher we were seeking. We earned the right to make a profit and we took it. With a shortened holiday week, it made sense to lock in our gains and move on.

Evolent Health, Inc. (NYSE: EVH) December 20, 2019, $12.50 call

  • Date: September 26, 2019
  • Reason: Our Hot Money Tracker spotted a 500% increase in call options traded in Evolent Health, Inc.
  • Outcome: Expired worthless.
  • Improvements: This was snakebitten from the start. The next day prices collapsed and never couldn't rebound. We took our calculated shot, but this didn't work out. We got beat on this but is also why options are a better instrument than owning the stock.

As always, keep sending your questions and feedback to [email protected]

With a shortened upcoming holiday week in the markets, we are not sure if we will have a new trade.

We will see what pops up and keep you posted.

To your wealth, freedom and options!

Joshua M. Belanger
Joshua Belanger is founder of CounterVest and the editor of Hot Money Trader. He has been providing ordinary investors blockbuster returns since 2008. In 2018, the average return of Hot Money Trader beat the markets by over 15%