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Category: Dr. Duke's Blog
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During a discussion with a fellow trader today, I said I often feel like a two headed monster: one head is trying to rationalize today's price moves and predict tomorrow's moves; the other head is ignoring all of the talking heads and simply responding to the market's moves according to predefined trading rules. I like to trade options with non-directional income generation strategies. To be successful with these strategies, it is essential that you quiet the part of your mind that is tempted to predict the market's next move. I think my ego is strongly tied to these predictive analyses because it is so attractive to think I outsmarted everyone else. As a result, I have found it very important to always doublecheck my rationale before making a trade. Am I listening to the right head?

Today, the markets traded basically sideways in a low volume, choppy market. This has been a remarkable run for the Russell 2000 Index: since July 10, we have had eleven trading sessions; nine have been up days with only two sideways to slightly down days. So a bit of a slow down isn't too surprising. The RUT closed at $548.46 and the SPX closed at $979.26, both up less than 0.5% for the day.

My iron butterfly position is essentially unchanged at a P/L = -$2,424, delta = -$83, and theta = +$89. My summary comments from yesterday are still applicable.

My Aug iron condor stands at a P/L = -$1,425, delta = -$8, and theta = +$122. I still have one of my Sept $530 calls protecting my $570/$580 call spreads. That protection plus a strong positive theta has me feeling pretty good about this condor position in spite of adjusting for both downside and upside moves this month.