Category: Dr. Duke's Blog
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The GDP report this morning had a mixed message that led to quiet, choppy trading. Second quarter GDP dropped by 1%, better than the expected -1.5%, but personal consumption expenditures dropped by 1.2%, worse than the expected -0.5%. This left the major indexes largely unchanged on lower trading volume. RUT closed at $556.71, down $1.09. Today's RUT candlestick was an even more classic shooting star than yesterday. The psychological profile behind the shooting star candlestick pattern is this: the market opens and the bulls push the market to new highs, but they can't hold those highs; the bears pull it back down to a closing price near the opening price. Often, this suggests a weakening of the bullish side of the tug of war. We'll see.

My iron butterfly position is in trouble. I decided to give it one more gasp for a profit by closing the 550/600 call spreads and rolling them to 570/620 and closing the 460/510 put spreads and rolling them up to 480/530. Please note that every time I roll these spreads up to follow this trend, I am putting more capital at risk and decreasing the potential gain if the trade eventually works out. Thus, I wouldn't recommend this tactic for everyone, so don't follow it blindly. My current iron butterfly position consists of two contracts each of the 570/620 calls, 560/610 calls, 480/530 puts, and 470/520 puts, with a P/L of -$2,612, delta = -$73, and theta = +$167. This adjustment restored a more reasonable theta/delta ratio and kept me in the game, but the maximum potential profit is diminishing.

My August iron condor is handling this bullish trend well so far with a P/L of -$895, delta = -57 and theta = +$148. We are near an area of the risk/reward curve where the downward steepness begins to be painful as our losses increase. The consolidation of the RUT price chart over the past few sessions has helped this condor position a lot as the time to expiration has ticked away. We started this iron condor with a potential profit of $4,000; under no circumstances do I want to allow this position to lose more than that potential profit. So I will be watching the P/L and the theta/delta ratio as we progress into next week.