Stock Market Workings - Spread Betting & CFDs Guide

Megathread: President Donald Trump announces he has tested positive for Coronavirus | Part II

President Donald Trump announced he and First Lady Melania Trump had tested positive for the virus and will begin their quarantine and recovery process immediately. The news comes after it was announced that close presidential aide Hope Hicks tested positive Wednesday evening.
Megathread Part I

Submissions that may interest you

SUBMISSION DOMAIN
Trump, first lady to quarantine after top aide tests positive for coronavirus thehill.com
Trump flew to New Jersey for a fundraiser, reportedly after learning Hope Hicks had COVID-19 symptoms theweek.com
Putin says Trump's 'inherent vitality' will see him through COVID-19 reuters.com
Trump in 'quarantine process' after top aide gets COVID-19 sfgate.com
Trump in ‘Quarantine Process' After Top Aide Gets COVID-19 nbcwashington.com
President Donald Trump, first lady to quarantine after top aide tests positive for COVID-19 upi.com
Trump in ‘quarantine process’ after top aide gets COVID-19 bostonherald.com
Trump's positive Covid-19 test throws country into fresh upheaval amp.cnn.com
Putin offers Trump wishes of 'sincere support' after positive coronavirus test thehill.com
Trump tests positive for COVID-19: What happens if the president cannot perform his duties? wftv.com
President Trump and first lady Melania test positive for COVID-19 cbsnews.com
Fears for Joe Biden after Trump tests positive for Covid theguardian.com
Trump's positive Covid test was a surprise that many saw coming theguardian.com
Biden Will Get Urgent COVID-19 Test After Trump’s Diagnosis, Says Report thedailybeast.com
Vice President Mike Pence and second lady test negative for coronavirus following Trump's positive diagnosis cnbc.com
VP Mike Pence tests negative and 'remains in good heath,' after Trump tests positive for COVID-19 timesunion.com
The Finance 202: Stock futures dive on the news that Trump has coronavirus washingtonpost.com
Putin wished Trump a speedy recovery after his COVID-19 diagnosis, and said his 'innate vitality' will see him through businessinsider.com
Mike Pence and wife Karen test negative for coronavirus after Trump diagnosis independent.co.uk
China’s state media outlet mocks Trump for contracting coronavirus nypost.com
Inb4 trump has now "contracted" coronavirus cos his team knew he f****d up the first debate that bad that any further appearance would be detrimental to his campaign. sbs.com.au
Putin says Trump's 'inherent vitality' will see him through COVID-19 reuters.com
Mike Pence and wife Karen test negative for coronavirus after Trump diagnosis independent.co.uk
Trump tests positive for COVID-19: Pence tests negative, Biden reportedly getting test usatoday.com
Timeline: How Trump Has Downplayed The Coronavirus Pandemic npr.org
Trump's coronavirus diagnosis presents America with new clear, present dangers axios.com
Biden to get tested Friday morning following Trump COVID-19 positive test: report thehill.com
The virus spares no one’: World reacts to Trump’s positive coronavirus test washingtonpost.com
Shock, sympathy, mockery: World reacts to Trump infection - CBC News cbc.ca
Trump’s Covid diagnosis renews testing debate on Capitol Hill politico.com
Mike Pence, who will assume the presidency if Trump is incapacitated, has tested negative for COVID-19 businessinsider.com
Biden wishes Trump, first lady 'swift recovery' after positive COVID-19 tests thehill.com
MyPillow Guy Mike Lindell Shouts Out Unproven COVID-19 'Cure' To Trump huffpost.com
Age, obesity put Trump at high risk for severe coronavirus infection axios.com
Chinese state media mocks Trump's positive virus test: 'Paid the price for his gamble to play down' pandemic thehill.com
Older, overweight and male: Trump's COVID risk factors make him vulnerable reuters.com
President Trump’s positive Covid-19 test throws country into fresh upheaval mercurynews.com
Trump’s Covid-19 Diagnosis Reshapes Election a Month From Vote bloomberg.com
MyPillow Guy Mike Lindell Shouts Out Unproven COVID-19 ‘Cure’ To Trump m.huffpost.com
Trump’s positive coronavirus test will keep him out of swing states he hasn't visited yet independent.co.uk
QAnon Believers Think Trump Got COVID On Purpose Because of Course They Do - QAnon followers believe the virus is fake, but also that Trump has it. And they're "dangerously hype" about it. vice.com
Biden says he's 'praying for the health and safety" of Trump after the president's COVID-19 diagnosis businessinsider.com
Keller: Will Voters Punish Trump For Deriding Coronavirus Precautions? boston.cbslocal.com
‘Wear A God Damn Mask,’ Joe Kennedy Tweets While Wishing Trump Fast Covid Recovery boston.cbslocal.com
New York Times slammed for suggesting Trump might not remain on ballot after coronavirus diagnosis foxnews.com
Trump joked while people suffered with Covid. Well, is now the time to stop? theguardian.com
Pence, second lady test negative for coronavirus after Trump's positive result thehill.com
Coronavirus: Pelosi says Trump’s failure to wear masks at rallies was ‘brazen invitation’ independent.co.uk
Fox's Kilmeade: Trump could serve as positive example if he beats COVID while in 'danger age' of 74 thehill.com
White House wanted to keep Hope Hicks's positive COVID-19 test private: report thehill.com
Trump experiencing ‘mild symptoms’ after coronavirus diagnosis cnbc.com
Trump experiencing 'mild symptoms' after coronavirus diagnosis cnbc.com
Trump’s strange pre-spin on his coronavirus diagnosis: It came from military, police who want to ‘hug’ and ‘kiss’ you washingtonpost.com
Minnesota congressmen traveled with Trump before, after Duluth rally and positive COVID-19 test duluthnewstribune.com
White House official: Trump experiencing ‘mild’ symptoms of coronavirus after positive test apnews.com
Putin sends Trump a telegram offering ‘sincere support’ after positive coronavirus test marketwatch.com
RNC chair Ronna McDaniel has tested positive for coronavirus following Trump diagnosis independent.co.uk
Trump’s Behavior Was ‘Brazen Invitation’ for the Coronavirus, Pelosi Says thedailybeast.com
Trump, first lady positive for virus; he has 'mild symptoms' apnews.com
Trump, first lady positive for virus; he has ‘mild symptoms’ apnews.com
Donald Trump has 'mild symptoms' after contracting coronavirus news.sky.com
President Donald Trump's coronavirus infection draws international sympathy and a degree of schadenfreude eu.usatoday.com
Gretchen Whitmer: Donald Trump's COVID-19 diagnosis 'wakeup call to every single American' freep.com
Kushner, Ivanka Trump test negative for COVID-19 thehill.com
Tracking Trump: Where the president was and who he came in contact with before announcing his positive coronavirus test marketwatch.com
Of Course Donald Trump Got Covid newrepublic.com
Trump has ‘mild symptoms’ after testing positive for COVID-19 wkow.com
Trump and Melania test positive for Covid. foxnews.com
Leftists Cheer News Trump, Hope Hicks Infected With COVID-19: ‘I Hope They Both Die’ dailywire.com
White House coronavirus adviser Scott Atlas reacts to Trump's coronavirus diagnosis, says 'zero reason to panic' foxnews.com
Piers Morgan rips mockery of Trump after contracting COVID-19: 'No better than the man they loathe' thehill.com
Trump Has ‘Mild Symptoms’ After He and First Lady Test Positive for COVID-19 nbcnewyork.com
US stocks slump after Trump tests positive for virus bostonglobe.com
Trump’s test shows how Covid-19 might threaten Barrett confirmation rollcall.com
UK bookmakers stop taking bets on US election after Trump gets Covid-19 edition.cnn.com
WATCH: Trump ignored the science and his own experts on coronavirus — now he's tested positive for COVID-19, while more than 200,000 Americans have died businessinsider.com
Pelosi: Trump Flouting COVID-19 Guidelines Was 'A Brazen Invitation For This To Happen' - The president, who said he tested positive early Friday, has downplayed the COVID-19 pandemic, even as more than 200,000 Americans have died. huffpost.com
Trump Supreme Court nominee Amy Coney Barrett tests negative for coronavirus thehill.com
Trump’s pre-spin seems to blame military, police interactions for coronavirus diagnosis washingtonpost.com
How Many People Has Donald Trump Already Infected With COVID-19? vanityfair.com
Concern over Biden's possible exposure to COVID-19 after Trump tests positive abcnews.go.com
RNC chairwoman tests positive for coronavirus after she was with President Trump, who has COVID nydailynews.com
Donald Trump's Positive COVID-19 Announcement Becomes His Most Liked Tweet Ever newsweek.com
Hicks, hubris and not a lot of masks: the week Trump caught Covid theguardian.com
'We continue to pray': Joe Biden offers thoughts, prayers to President Trump for speedy recovery after coronavirus test usatoday.com
Nancy Pelosi says Trump’s behavior was ‘brazen invitation’ after COVID-19 infection nypost.com
Pelosi says Trump's actions were a 'brazen invitation' for a positive COVID-19 test, calls his diagnosis 'very sad' and 'tragic' businessinsider.com
Conspiracy theorists believe Trump is using COVID results to postpone the election — Many online are calling b.s. amid the shocking news. dailydot.com
A Steelworker Who Sat In The Debate Hall On Trump’s Positive Coronavirus Test: “It’s Frustrating” buzzfeednews.com
President Trump showing mild symptoms after testing positive for COVID-19: officials nydailynews.com
Mitch McConnell says the next presidential debate could be held remotely via videoconference after Trump tests positive for COVID-19 businessinsider.com
Trump experiencing mild Covid symptoms: Why the first week matters nbcnews.com
Trump had close contact with "dozens" on trip after White House learned he was exposed to COVID-19. Trump traveled to a fundraiser after Hope Hicks already tested positive and he was "feeling poorly" salon.com
Trump Kept Regular Schedule After Learning Close Aide Had Covid bloomberg.com
Map: President Trump’s travels the week he tested positive for Covid-19 nbcnews.com
QAnon, the far-right, and some left-wingers are all spreading conspiracies about Trump's COVID-19 diagnosis businessinsider.com
GOP donors panic after coming close to Trump at fundraiser hours before his positive Covid-19 test cnbc.com
Trump experiencing "mild symptoms" of the Coronavirus newsday.com
Biden, Harris express wishes for speedy 'recovery' after Trump's positive coronavirus test foxnews.com
Trump and Melania 'paid the price': Chinese propaganda mocks president after COVID-19 diagnosis - The editor-in-chief of one of China's state-run media outlets suggested that President Donald Trump and the US first lady, Melania Trump, "paid the price" by contracting the coronavirus. businessinsider.com
Putin sends Trump a telegram to wish him speedy recovery from COVID-19: agencies cite Kremlin (Reuters) reuters.com
Trump coronavirus: Pence ‘praying for full recovery’ of president and first Lady Melania after positive test independent.co.uk
After Trump's COVID-19 diagnosis, Trump, Biden appearances in Arizona next week unclear azcentral.com
Trump’s coronavirus infection is an indictment of his approach to the pandemic - The diagnosis is another reminder of his administration’s failure on Covid-19. vox.com
“No one knows where this is going to go”: Pandemonium inside the White House as Trump contracts COVID-19 vanityfair.com
Trump experiencing mild symptoms from COVID-19 telegraph.co.uk
Judge Amy Coney Barrett tests negative for COVID-19 after Trump contracts virus nydailynews.com
President Trump apparently has COVID-19 thebulletin.org
Stocks Fall After Trump Tests Positive for Covid-19 nytimes.com
Twitter users predicted Trump's October COVID-19 diagnosis dailydot.com
White House learned of Hicks's positive test before Trump left for fundraiser: Meadows thehill.com
[GOP donors 'freaking out' after coming close to Trump at fundraiser hours before his positive Covid-19 test](https://www.cnbc.com/2020/10/02/gop-donors-panic-after-coming-close-to-trump-at-fundraiser-hours-before-positive-covid-19-test.html?__source=sharebar twitter&par=sharebar)
Chris Wallace Says He's Getting Tested for Coronavirus After Being Exposed to Trump During Debate — "I don't think there's any question it's going to raise questions again about how seriously the president has taken the coronavirus," Wallace said Friday. people.com
Trump's Covid diagnosis upends campaign, presents challenge for Biden — "This election isn't about Trump getting Covid, it's about America getting Covid," one Democratic strategist said. nbcnews.com
Trump tests positive for COVID-19: Trump 'feeling mild symptoms,' but 'energetic'; Bidens praying for Trumps - live updates usatoday.com
At 74 and obese, Covid-19 could be very serious for Donald Trump telegraph.co.uk
John Cleese Revels in Donald Trump's COVID-19 Diagnosis — The 'Monty Python' icon has made it clear in the past he is not a fan of the president's and often criticizes him via social media. hollywoodreporter.com
What Trump’s Positive Coronavirus Test Means for the Presidential Campaign newyorker.com
Pelosi: Trump Flouting COVID-19 Guidelines Was ‘A Brazen Invitation For This To Happen’ m.huffpost.com
The Surprising Leftists Who Actually Wished Trump Well After COVID Diagnosis townhall.com
How Will Trump’s Positive COVID-19 Test Affect The Election? fivethirtyeight.com
Trump campaign did not notify Biden of positive coronavirus test thehill.com
President Trump has ‘mild symptoms’ after testing positive for the coronavirus opb.org
Trump downplayed Hope Hicks' Covid diagnosis on Fox hours before announcing he also tested positive cnn.com
Mary Trump Slams President After Coronavirus Diagnosis: ‘Wear a F*cking Mask’ thedailybeast.com
Trump's age and weight could put him at higher risk for severe coronavirus infection cbsnews.com
Will Trump’s COVID-19 Infection Change the Way He Manages the Pandemic? It Didn’t for the Leaders of Brazil and the U.K. time.com
Trump's busy week before his positive Covid-19 test – in pictures - US news theguardian.com
Timeline of Donald Trump’s activities in week coronavirus hit home mlive.com
Global stocks fall, dollar gains after Trump gets coronavirus uk.reuters.com
The latest coronavirus test results for Trump’s advisers and allies washingtonpost.com
Sen Rob Portman, Rep Jim Jordan, Jon Husted will get COVID tests after being around Donald Trump beaconjournal.com
Trump’s coronavirus infection is the result of his deadly, foolish recklessness latimes.com
Positive! Trump’s Covid Bungling Now Takes a Personal Toll thenation.com
Boris Johnson, who almost died of covid-19, wishes Trump a ‘speedy recovery’ washingtonpost.com
Did President Trump Refer to the Coronavirus as a 'Hoax'? snopes.com
The world was already in chaos before Trump's COVID-19 diagnosis, and now there is more uncertainty than ever businessinsider.com
Joe Biden has tested negative for coronavirus after Trump tests positive vox.com
Trump says he and first lady have tested positive for the coronavirus washingtonpost.com
Trump has coronavirus: Biden tests negative for COVID-19 after sharing debate stage with president - WATCH LIVE abc7ny.com
'Not a Tragic Accident—A Crime Scene': Critics Say Trump Covid Diagnosis a 'Culmination' of His Deadly Pandemic Response commondreams.org
After Trump's Positive Test, Here's The Status Of The Line Of Succession npr.org
Trump suggested US troops or police were to blame for infecting White House staff just before he tested positive for COVID-19 businessinsider.com
Democratic nominee Joe Biden tests negative for coronavirus after potential exposure, Trump's diagnosis cnbc.com
Schumer demands Senate coronavirus testing program after Trump diagnosis thehill.com
Flights for Donald Trump's Wisconsin rallies canceled after president tests positive for COVID-19 madison.com
Joe Biden tests negative for coronavirus after Trump tests positive businessinsider.com
Trump's coronavirus diagnosis guarantees this election will be about everything he has tried to avoid cnn.com
The stock market's fear gauge surges 12% after President Trump tests positive for COVID-19 news.sky.com
Trump Team Knew of Hicks’ Positive Test—but Went Ahead With Golf Club Fundraiser thedailybeast.com
InfoWars’ DeAnna Lorraine Claims ‘the Left’ May Have Given Trump COVID-19 Through His Debate Mic rightwingwatch.org
Getting COVID-19 Is Probably Not a Brilliant Ploy for Sympathy That Will Boost Trump’s Reelection Chances slate.com
House Probe Into Trump's Failed Covid-19 Response Shows "Unprecedented, Coordinated" Political Interference commondreams.org
This Republican senator is the early leader for worst take on Trump's coronavirus diagnosis cnn.com
Chris McDonald ‘Wouldn’t Put it Past’ Democrats to Infect Trump With COVID-19 to Stop the Presidential Debates rightwingwatch.org
Trump supporter potentially exposed to COVID-19 from RNC chair's visit cincinnati.com
GOP senator on Judiciary panel tests positive for Covid-19 days after meeting with Trump's nominee cnn.com
Today’s coronavirus news: Ontario sets new record with 732 reported cases; Trump, first lady test positive for virus; Biden tests negative thestar.com
[Politico] Trump coronavirus diagnosis leaves lawmakers exposed politico.com
RNC chair Ronna McDaniel says she has COVID-19, hours after Trump 6abc.com
Nancy Pelosi Says Donald Trump's Actions Were 'Brazen Invitation' to Catch COVID newsweek.com
Trump Has Repeatedly Downplayed COVID-19. What Will He Do Now That He Has It? buzzfeednews.com
No, Trump Isn’t Faking COVID In A Master Scheme To Vanquish Biden talkingpointsmemo.com
Trump Could Only Ignore the Reality of Coronavirus for So Long jacobinmag.com
Trump’s ‘positive for COVID-19’ tweet is his most ‘liked’ post ever marketwatch.com
Trump’s refusal to wear a face mask is a catastrophe A face mask might have protected Trump — and the people around him — from the coronavirus. vox.com
Schumer says Trump coronavirus diagnosis shows what happens 'when you ignore science' foxnews.com
Sen. Mike Lee, who met with Trump Supreme Court pick Amy Coney Barrett, tests positive for COVID-19 usatoday.com
Nancy Pelosi says continuity of government is ‘always in place’ after Trump tests positive for Covid-19 cnbc.com
Naomi Klein: I Fear Trump Will Exploit His COVID Infection to Further Destabilize the Election democracynow.org
PolitiFact - Trump’s health and COVID-19: Here’s what we know politifact.com
Confusion, concern infiltrate White House after Trump’s positive test politico.com
Putin, Who Has Spent Almost Six Months In Isolation To Avoid The Coronavirus, Sent Trump A Get Well Note buzzfeednews.com
Trumpworld delighted in cruelty. Now that Trump has COVID, it demands empathy. businessinsider.com
Where Trump went (and who he was with) leading up to his coronavirus diagnosis politico.com
Biden tests negative for COVID-19, reminds folks to 'wear a mask' after being mocked by Trump for mask at debate usatoday.com
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How to be Wrong and Still Make Money: A comprehensive guide to selling credit spreads

So I first dipped my toes into options trading a few years ago. I had previously been swing trading stocks so I had a couple years of experience before that, but the leverage and potential returns that options provided really piqued my interest. After it was all said and done, I lost almost $20,000 buying options. After realizing that someone was getting all of this money I was losing, I learned about option selling and haven’t looked back since.
I recently posted my YTD performance here, and received a lot of questions about how I did it. My strategy changed over time, but I first started with credit spreads, which may be applicable to more people since it’s a strategy that works with smaller accounts too. I got a lot of questions about how I played credit spreads and it’s tough to completely explain what I do through a comment here and a comment there so I created this guide explaining my exact approach to trading credit spreads. Here you go:
This is a wall of text, so if you're a more visual learner, here's a link to videos explaining all four parts:
Part One
Part Two
Part Three
Part Four

Part One: The Basics

So what is a spread? A high level conceptual explanation is that you’re essentially betting on a stock to finish above or below a certain price upon expiration. One of the advantages here is that you can set this number out of the money, so if a stock is trading at $100, you can bet that it’ll remain below $110 by a certain date. This is a bearish position, so if you’re correct and it goes down, you’ll make max profit. The catch though is that even if you’re wrong, you basically have a 10% upward cushion before you start to lose any money. So the easiest way to describe it is a strategy that lets you make money if you’re right, but also make money if you’re slightly off.
How does it work? So in the above example, if we were bearish on a stock we would open what’s called a call credit spread. We could set it up where we sell a 110c for a credit of $1.50, and buy a 115c for a debit of $0.50. This means that in this transaction we receive $1.50, and pay $0.50 for a net credit of $1. That credit is your max profit on the play. If you’re familiar with options you’ll know that if the stock finishes at or below $110 upon expiration, both of these calls will be worthless. That’s great news for us because the long leg we bought (115c) for 0.50 will be a loss, but we’ll get to keep the full $1.50 from the short leg (110c) that we sold, resulting in us realizing our max gain on the trade of $1.
Why not just sell the 110c and collect the full $1.50? While it cuts into our profits, the reason we buy the 115c in this example for $0.50 isn’t to cut into our profits when we’re correct, but rather protect us when we’re wrong. If the stock in the example stays below $110, we’re good to go and we’ll hit max profit. But what if it goes to $120, $150, or something crazy happens and it hits $200. If the stock hits $150 upon expiration, that 110c that we sold for $1.50 will be worth $40, meaning that we’ll incur a $3,875 loss in pursuit of a $150 gain. We’ve seen crazy run ups from the likes of TSLA and ZM lately, and people who sold what we call “naked options” got absolutely killed. With our spread, yes our 110c will be worth $40 meaning we’re down $4,000 on that position, but the 115c we bought behind it will be worth $35 meaning we’re up $3,500 there for a net loss of $500. Additionally, we get to keep that $1.00 credit we received up front no matter what, so our loss with this spread is actually $500-$100=$400 as opposed to the $3,875 loss that we would’ve seen had we sold the 110c by itself. THAT is the value in selling a spread as opposed to a naked option.
Why are you multiplying everything by 100? Each options contract is worth 100 shares, so a contract that is trading for $1.50 actually costs $150 to purchase.
Another high level point I like to make is that there are really 5 different things that can happen when you make a play. Let’s say you think a stock will go up. It can (1) go up a ton and you’d be correct, (2) go up a little and you’d be correct, (3) trade flat and you’d be incorrect, (4), go down a little and you’d be incorrect, or (5) go down a lot and you’d be incorrect. With a bullish spread, you’d hit max profit on 4/5 , or 80% of the possible outcomes, whereas if you bought stock or purchased an option you’d only be profitable on (1) or (2). Obviously the actual outcomes are a little more complex, but for a base-level understanding of the advantages a spread provides, I think this is a good way to look at it.
So that’s the value of a spread. A lot of traders are introduced to option selling and are scared of the prospect of incurring a huge loss like we mentioned above, but using credit spreads is a great way of receiving the benefits that selling has to offer while limiting a lot of the risks. So let’s move onto actually opening a spread.

Part Two: Making the Trade

So for actually opening a spread up, we have a four-step approach we take: Pick a Stock Pick a Direction Pick a Strike Price Execute the Trade
1: Picking a Stock:
One of the most important things I tell people is to trade what you know. I have a watchlist of 25-30 stocks that I watch and get familiar with during the day. That way if I recognize a good opportunity, I’ll have a decent base of knowledge to rely on to make what I feel is a smart play. It’s super easy to get caught up in the “stock of the week” and try to jump in on a play because a ticker is in the news. If you’re not familiar with a stock, don’t trade it.
For this example (the one used in the video), Wayfair was trading in a 195-210 range for a little bit and then had a big day where it broke up out of that range and up towards $220. This was an unusual move that I noticed since it was on my watchlist, so I decided to make a play.
STOCK: WAYFAIR
2: Picking a direction:
So if we look at Wayfair’s YTD chart, it has exploded this year. A clear upward trend, but a recent trend that I noticed from following the stock was that every time it broke out like this, there would be a little bit of a pullback afterwards. Additionally, I felt the stock was overvalued on a fundamental basis (had a negative book value at the time of the trade) so I wanted to play this stock back down. This is probably the quickest and easiest step of the four, since you’ll likely already have an opinion on most of the stocks that you follow.
DIRECTION: DOWN
3:Picking a Strike Price:
So we know that we’re going to be playing Wayfair back down, but now the question is what spread are we going to set up to do that. In this example Wayfair was trading at $218.42 at the time that we decided to make this trade. In the video we illustrate a trading channel that Wayfair was at the top of. It was also approaching the ATH of $221.54. A lot of the time that will act as resistance for a stock, meaning it’ll bounce down off of it. So in order to give ourselves a bit of a cushion we decided to set our short leg at 222.50, meaning that we’re playing the stock to stay below $222.50 by the end of that week.
So with this play it means in plain English that if we’re correct and the stock goes down, we hit max profit. But if we’re wrong and it goes up, we still have a $4.08 cushion before we’re not hitting max profit anymore. So we could be a little wrong, have the stock go up a few dollars, and still walk away with max profit.
STRIKE PRICE OF SHORT LEG: $222.50
4: Executing the Trade:
I’ll be the first to tell you that when I started trading spreads I didn’t realize you could open both legs of the spread at once. I was stupid. I would like to think I’m at least a little bit smarter now. If you look at the options screen for most brokers, you’ll just see single legs. Switching over to “vertical” allows you to set up the entire spread in one trade. If you use something like RH, there’s a feature that allows you to select multiple options, so you’ll select the one you wish to sell (short leg) and the one you wish to buy (long leg).
In this example we selected the 222.5/227.5c spread, meaning that we sold the short leg of 222.5 and the long leg of 227.5. The net credit was 1.45, which is our max gain on the trade. A wider spread gives a larger credit but also increases max loss. This is a $5 wide spread but we could have made it a tighter spread with a $2.5 width. Typically the best risk to reward ratio is on the tightest spreads, but a slightly wider spread will raise your breakeven price and studies have shown that it actually results in better expected value long term.
Circling back to the credit we received of $1.45, this means that our max profit was $145 and our max loss was $355 for each spread that we sold. We know that because our broker tells us that, but a quick way to calculate it is the width of the spread minus the credit. A $1.45 credit on $5 wide spread means a $5-$1.45=$3.55 max loss.
When I evaluate trades like this I look for a max profit to max loss ratio of 1:2 to 1:4. Based on different scanners I’ve seen, the best expected values tend to fall on spreads within that risk/reward ratio. The ratio on this trade is 1:2.44.
So we put our order in for a credit of $1.45, it filled, and now we get to sit back and watch. Sometimes your order won’t fill right away. In fact, most of the time it won’t fill right away. It’s important to be patient with your fill price and not chase it downwards. We want the highest credit possible. So if the credit on these spreads dropped to 1.30 when I was trying to place an order, it usually isn’t a great idea to drop my order price down to 1.30 just to get a fill. The only time I would recommend that is if you’re trying to open a spread right before the market closes. Otherwise, hang tight. Patience pays.

Part 3: Managing the Trade

So now that we’ve made the trade, it’s time to manage it. In my opinion one of the best parts about trading spreads is that they don’t require active management. You get to sit back and watch the price. Once the trade has been opened, which is also quick, it takes very little effort.
So with the Wayfair example we used, our analysis turned out perfectly, as Wayfair touched the ATH and dipped back down to end the week safely at $214. We hit max profit on that trade, but what if the trade goes against us? That’s what we’ll take a look at in this section.
One thing we didn’t address in part two is when to open the trade. We like opening spreads on Mondays and Tuesdays, and monitoring them during the week. This is the part of my strategy that is a little bit controversial, as there is a (legitimate) school of thought that selling spreads about 45 DTE is better value. I like that idea and if you would rather do that then absolutely go for it. It’s important to trade what you’re comfortable with. All of the lessons in here still apply to that strategy. With that said though, I stick with the weekly strategy of opening them at the beginning of the week and look to close them throughout the week.
The way I see it, your % of max profit should be the metric you’re looking at when deciding what to do with a spread. Divided up equally, that means if you progressed through the week to max profit in a linear fashion, you would be at 20% of max profit on Monday, 40% on Tuesday, and so forth. A good rule of thumb I use is that if you’re ever on the fence about whether or not to close something out, do so if your return exceeds the linear return for that day of the week. The market can move quickly and I’ve had several times where I have regretted not closing a spread out. It’s important to take profit.
Another thing I’ll add to this is that this weekly strategy gets a little risky on Thursday afternoon headed into Friday. If your spread is remotely close to being in the money on Thursday afternoon, close it out. Now that I type that out I realize that may all sound a little convoluted, but it’s better visualized in the video I’ve linked for this section.
Now let's get into what happens if a trade really starts to move against you. With the strategy we use there are really two options: (1) Close the trade for a loss and move on, or (2) Roll the strikes higher.
The first option is pretty self explanatory, but a quick note I want to add here is that you can have a stock move way against you but still be able to close the trade for less than max loss. The example I use in my video is I played FB earnings, thought it would go down, but it shot way above my spread and well into max loss territory. We opened a 245/247.5c spread for a credit of $0.54. FB was reporting earnings on a Thursday night and we sold this spread that expired the following day, so there wasn’t a ton of time to manage it. Long story short, FB killed earnings and shot up to $256 that morning. Really not a prayer that it would come back down to the spread I opened by the end of the day. But despite the fact that this trade went way against us and we had almost no time to manage it since it was a Friday play, we were still able to close out for a debit of $1.90. Yes that’s a loss of $1.36 per spread, but we SAVED an additional $0.60 cent loss by avoiding a max loss debit of $2.50. That’s another benefit of spreads.
Let’s talk about option two. This is the best option to use if you’re confident that you’re correct about the ultimate price action on a stock, but you need a little extra wiggle room on the trade. For this example we’ll look at a TSLA call spread that I opened. TSLA was trading at $1542 after an incredible run, so I figured I would play it below 1600 with a 1600/1610c spread that offered a credit of $2.52. As is the theme with this section, TSLA exploded the following morning (Tuesday) and went all the way up to $1794 at one point. My spread was literally almost $200 out of the money. One of the biggest possible moves against myself that I had ever seen. Despite this crazy move, it was only Tuesday and we were able to close the first spread for a debit of only $5.25 (as opposed to a $10 max debit). We opened 6 of these off the bat so this was a loss of $1638. From there we “rolled” our strikes higher, opening 10 1750/1760c spreads for a credit of $3.45. So the closing and subsequent opening of a spread like we did here is what we are referring to when we say we “rolled the strikes higher”.
By the end of the week TSLA had finally crashed a bit and it finished at $1506. This meant the second of spreads we opened were easily max profit. And while we lost $1,638 on the first set of spreads we opened here, we profited $3,450 on the second set of spreads so we were able to still finish the week with a $1,812 profit on TSLA. The funny thing with this one is that the original spread would have hit max profit since it dropped all the way back down to 1500, but we would have had the same result had TSLA finished anywhere below 1750.
Rolling the strikes higher gave me extra breathing room and turned a potential disaster into a profitable trade. One thing I’ll add though is that with this method you do run the risk of increasing your potential max loss. Because of that, I’ll only roll my strikes higher ONCE. Anything past that is chasing a losing trade. If I roll my strikes higher and it’s still going against me, I’m at the point where I need to accept the fact that I don’t fundamentally understand a stock as well as I thought I did and move on. There is always another trade out there.
The final point I’ll add to this is ALWAYS CLOSE OUT YOUR SPREADS. The only time I’ll let a spread expire worthless is if my spread is OTM by a crazy amount and it would quite literally take a historic after-hours move on Friday to take me back ITM. Other than that, close your spreads out. Even if it’s just for a $0.05 debit. It may seem annoying but I’ll tell you why in the following section.

Part 4: Additional Risks and Considerations

I will start this section by saying I’ve never been impacted by any of the following risks, but it’s important to be aware of 100% of the possible outcomes of your trade before you enter it. They’re infrequent but this really wouldn’t be a comprehensive guide if I omitted them. They are as follows: (1) Early Assignment, (2) Dividend Risk, (3) Pin Risk.
1: Early Assignment:
The best way to start this section is by talking about why your max loss is actually your max loss. We know it’s quickly calculated as the width of your spread minus the credit, but why is that?
Let’s use a 110/115c spread as an example. We’ll say we received a credit of $1. We know that if the stock finishes anywhere below 110 then both legs are worthless and we’ll hold onto that $1 credit. But what happens if we’re in a max loss position. Let’s say the stock finishes at $120.
In this situation the short leg (110c) we sold would be worth $10 (120-110), meaning that we would owe $1,000 on that position. The long leg we bought would be worth $5 (120-115), meaning we are holding a position worth $500. The net effect is a $500 loss, but remember that’s netted against the $100 credit you received, so it’s a max loss of $400. That math checks out as the width of the spread is $5, the credit is $1, so the max loss is 5-1=$4*100=$400.
So that’s how it works upon expiration. But lets say this position moved against you, you still have a few days until expiration, but the stock is at $120. Since there are a few days left, you probably could close the contract for a debit of $3.50 rather than the max loss debit of $5. However, since your short leg is ITM the person you sold the option to may choose to exercise their option. As a result, that would require you to take on a short position of $110*100=$11,000 per contract sold. You may not be able to afford to cover that, or your broker may not let you hold that position. So what happens is your long leg gets exercised as well resulting in you taking a max loss early. So while on paper you received a credit of $1 that could have been closed for a debit of $3.50 and your loss was only $2.50, early assignment results in you prematurely taking a max loss.
When does this happen? It typically doesn’t, since it requires the buyer sacrificing the remaining extrinsic value on the option, but it’s more likely with certain stocks. There are three different classifications of a stock that relate to it’s borrowing ability: Easy to Borrow (ETB), Hard to Borrow (HTB), and Not Available to Borrow (NTB). The harder a stock is to borrow, the more likely it is that a call is exercised early because it gives the buyer a way to acquire a stock which may not be available to them through their broker. So if you’re selling call spreads that are close to being ITM, make sure to check out the borrowing status of the stock.
2: Dividend Risk:
This risk relates to the first one discussed, as it’s just another way you risk early assignment. If a company is announcing a dividend, there will be something known as an “ex-div” date, which means that all shareholders as of that date are entitled to receive the divident, which will be distributed usually at a later date. Because of this, call buyers may exercise an out of the money call option in an effort to acquire those shares.
Remembering that exercising an option means that you sacrifice all remaining extrinsic value, another reason a buyer may exercise a call option before an ex-dividend date is that the value of the dividend announced is greater than the extrinsic value remaining in the option. Say a 100c is trading at $2 and the underlying (stock) is currently at 101. The extrinsic value is the value of the option in excess of what it would be worth upon expiration. So the extrinsic value in this situation is $1, since the 100c trading for $2 is just $1 in excess of the current strike price. If the company in question here announced a $2 dividend, an option buyer would likely exercise their call option because the $2 dividend is greater than the $1 of extrinsic value.
3: Pin Risk:
We know that if your spread finishes out of the money it’s a max gain and if both legs of your spread finish in the money it’s a max loss. But what happens when the price of a stock finishes between the two legs of your spread? Let’s take a look.
So using a 100/110c spread as an example, let’s say that the stock finishes at 105. Your long leg, which is there to protect you, is worthless so you wouldn’t exercise it. However the short leg at 100 that you sold will be exercised by the buyer since it’s ITM. As a result, you’re now short 100 shares at a price of 100 and you’ll be holding that position over the weekend. This can go both ways from here, but since we’re focused on risk let’s say that this stock you’re now short shoots up over the weekend and some sort of news/event brings it up to $120.
With this short position of 100 shares at $100 you’re borrowing $10,000 worth of stock. Now that the stock is worth $120 this position is now worth $12,000. Over the weekend you’ve sustained a $2,000 loss. If we received a credit of $3 when we opened this spread, we may have thought that our max loss was 10-3=$7*100=$700. Since we failed to close the spread out, this position has now resulted in a $2,000 loss net of the $300 credit that you received when you opened the position. So on a trade where you thought you could lose at most $700, you’re now down almost $2k.
I can’t repeat it enough, but THIS IS WHY WE CLOSE OUT SPREADS BEFORE EXPIRATION. That is the single most important takeaway I can give you here. Spreads are great since they’re defined risk and defined gain. When you’re buying options you have a defined loss but a potentially infinite gain. This can make it really easy to get greedy and I’ve seen countless traders lose big profits because they keep holding out for more. When you have a defined gain and defined loss it makes it easier to make smart decisions, take profits, and continuously build on those profits over time.
That was an enormous wall of text but I hope it helps explain, from a base level, what spreads are and how they work. Switching from buying options to selling options has dramatically changed my performance in the market so I hope sharing this can do the same for someone else. If you have any questions let me know and I’d be happy to answer them.
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On Spells and Society, or how 5e spells completely change everyone's lives.

Today i have a confession to make: i'm a little bit of a minmaxer. And honestly, i think that's a pretty desirable trait in a DM. The minmaxer knows the rules, and exploits them to maximum efficiency.
"But wait, what does that have to do with spell use in society?" - someone, probably.
Well, the thing is that humans are absolutely all about minmaxing. There's a rule in the universe that reads "gas expands when hot", and suddenly we have steam engines (or something like that, i'm a political scientist not an engineer). A rule says 1+1 = 2, and suddenly we have calculus, computers and all kinds of digital stuff that runs on math. Sound is energy? Let's convert that shit into electricity, run it through a wire and turn it back into sound on the other side.
Bruh. Science is just minmaxing the laws of nature. Humanity in real life is just a big bunch of munchkins, and it should be no different in your setting.
And that is why minmaxing magic usage is something societies as a whole would do, specially with some notable spells. Today i will go in depth on how and why each of these notable mentions has a huge impact on a fantasy society.
We'll go from lowest level to highest, keeping in mind that the lower level a spell the more common it should be to find someone who has it, so often a level 2-3 spell will have more impact than a level 9 spell.

Mending (cantrip).
Repair anything in one minute. Your axe lost its edge? Tore your shirt? Just have someone Mend it.
Someone out there is crying "but wait! Not every village has a wizard!" and while that is true, keep in mind any High Elf knows a cantrip, as can any Variant Human.
A single "mender" could replace a lot of the work a smith, woodworker or seamstress does, freeing their time to only work on making new things rather than repair old ones.

Prestidigitation (cantrip).
Clean anything in six seconds. Committed axe murders until the axe got blunt, and now there's blood everywhere? Dog shit on your pillow out of spite? Someone walked all over the living room with muddy boots? Just Prestidigitate it away.
This may look like a small thing, but its actually huge when you apply it to laundry. Before washing machines were a thing housewives had to spend several hours a week washing them manually, and with Prestidigitation you can just hire someone to get it done in a few minutes.
A single "magic cleaner" can attend to several dozen homes, if not hundreds, thus freeing several hours of the time of dozens of women.
Fun fact: there's an interesting theory that says feminism only existed because of laundry machines and similar devices. Women found themselves having more free time, which they used to read and socialize. Educated women with more contacts made for easy organization of political movements, and the fact men were now able to do "the women's work" by pushing a button meant men were less opposed to losing their housewives' labor. Having specialized menders and magic cleaners could cause a comparable revolution in a fantasy setting, and help explain why women have a similar standing to men even in combat occupations such as adventuring.

Healing in general (1st-2nd level).
This one is fairly obvious. A commoner has 4 hit points, that means just about any spell is a full heal to the average person. That means most cuts, stab wounds, etc. can be solved by the resident cleric. Even broken bones that would leave you in bed for months can be solved in a matter of seconds as soon as the holy man arrives.
But that's nothing compared to the ability to cure diseases. While the only spell that can cure diseases is Lesser Restoration, which is second level, a paladin can do it much more easily with just a Lay on Hands. This means if one or two people catch a disease it can just be eradicated with a touch.
However doing that comes with a cost. If everyone is instantly expunged of illness, the populace does not build up their immune systems. Regular disease becomes less common, sure, but whenever it is reintroduced (by, say, immigrants or contact with less civilized humanoids) it can spread like wildfire, afflicting people so fast that no amount of healers will have the magic juice to deal with it.
Diseases become rare, plagues become common.

Continual Flame (2nd).
Ok, this one is a topic i love and could easily be its own post.
There's an article called "Why the Falling Cost of Light Matters", which goes in detail about how man went from chopping wood for fire, to using animal fat for candles, then other oils, whale oil, kerosene, then finally incandescent light bulbs, and more recently LED lights. Each of these leaps is orders of grandeur more efficient than the previous one, to the point that the cost of light today is about 500,000 times cheaper than it was for for a caveman. And until the early 1900s the only way mankind knew of making light was to set things on fire.
Continual Flame on the other hand allows you to turn 50gp worth of rubies and a 2nd level spell slot into a torch that burns forever. In a society that spends 60 hours of labor to be able to generate 140 minutes of light, this is a huge game changer.
This single spell, which i am 99% sure was just created as an excuse for why the dungeon is lit despite going for centuries without maintenance, allows you to have things like public lighting. Even if you only add a new "torchpost" every other week or month sooner or later you'll be left with a neatly lit city, specially if the city has had thousands of years in which to gather the rubies and light them up.
And because the demand of rubies becomes so important, consider how governments would react. Lighting the streets is a public service, if its strategically relevant to make the city safer at night, would that not warrant some restrictions on ruby sales? Perhaps even banning the use of rubies in jewelry?
Trivia: John D. Rockefeller, the richest man in history, gained his wealth selling kerosene. Kerosene at the time was used to light lamps. Gasoline was invented much later, when Rockefeller tasked a bunch of scientists to come up with a use for some byproducts of the kerosene production. This illustrates how much money is to be had in the lighting industry, and you could even have your own Rockefeller ruby baron in your game. I shall call him... Dohn J. Stonebreaker. Perfect name for a mining entrepreneur.
Whether the ruby trade ends up a monopoly under the direct supervision of the king or a free market, do keep in mind that Continual Flame is by far the most efficient way of creating light.

Gentle Repose (2nd).
Cast it on a corpse, and it stays preserved for 10 days.
This has many potential uses, from preserving foodstuffs (hey, some rare meats are expensive enough to warrant it) to keeping the bodies of old rulers preserved. Even if a ruler died of old age and cannot be resurrected, the body could be kept "fresh" out of respect/ceremony. Besides, it keeps the corpse from becoming undead.

Skywrite (2nd).
Ok, this one is mostly a gag. While the spell can be used by officials to make official announcements to the populace, such as new laws or important news, i like to just use it for spam. I mean, its a ritual spell that writes a message on the sky; what else would people use it for?
Imagine you show up in a city, and there's half a dozen clouds reading "buy at X, we have what you need", "get your farming supplies over at Joe's store" or "vote Y for the city council".
The possibilities are endless, and there's no way the players can expect it. Just keep in mind that by RAW the spell can only do words, meaning no images. No Patrick, "8===D" is not a word.

Zone of Truth (2nd).
This one is too obvious. Put all suspects of a crime into a ZoT, wait a couple minutes to make sure they fail the save, then ask each one if he did it. Sure its not a perfect system, things like the Ring of Mind Shielding still exist, but it's got a better chance of getting the right guy than most medieval justice systems. And probably more than a few contemporary ones. All while taking only a fraction of the time.
More importantly, with all the average crimes being handled instantly, the guards and investigators have more time to properly investigate the more unusual crimes that might actually involve a Thought Shield, Ring of Mind Shielding or a level 17 Mastermind.
There is a human rights argument against messing with people's minds in any way, which is why this may not be practiced in every kingdom. But there are definitely some more lawful societies that would use ZoT on just about every crime.
Why swear to speak the truth and nothing but the truth when you can just stand in a zone of truth?
Another interesting use for ZoT is oaths. When someone is appointed into an office, gets to a high rank in the military or a guild, just put them in a ZoT while they make their oath to stand for the organization's values and yadda yadda. Of course they can be corrupted later on, but at least you make sure they're honest when they are sworn in.

Sending (3rd).
Sending is busted in so many ways.
The more "vanilla" use of it is to just communicate over long distances. We all know that information is important, and that sometimes getting information a whole day ahead can lead to a 40% return on a massive two-year investment. Being able to know of invasions, monsters, disasters, etc. without waiting days or weeks for a courier can be vital for the survival of a nation. Another notable example is that one dude who ran super fast for a while to be the first to tell his side of a recent event.
But the real broken thing here is... Sending can Send to any creature, on any plane; the only restriction being "with which you are familiar". In D&D dead people just get sent to one of the afterlife planes, meaning that talking to your dead grandfather would be as simple as Sending to him. Settling inheritance disputes was never easier!
Before moving on to the next point let me ask you something: Is a cleric familiar with his god? Is a warlock familiar with his patron?

Speak With Dead (3rd).
Much like Sending, this lets you easily settle disputes. Is the senate/council arguing over a controversial topic? Just ask the beloved hero or ruler from 200 years ago what he thinks on the subject. As long his skeleton still has a jaw (or if he has been kept in Gentle Repose), he can answer.
This can also be used to ask people who killed them, except murderers also know this. Plan on killing someone? Accidentally killed someone? Make sure to inutilize the jaw. Its either that, being so stealthy the victim can't identify you, or being caught.

Note on spell availability.
Oh boy. No world-altering 4th level spells for some reason, and suddenly we're playing with the big boys now.
Spells up to 3rd level are what I'd consider "somewhat accessible", and can be arranged for a fee even for regular citizens. For instance the vanilla Priest statblock (MM348) is a 5th level cleric, and the standard vanilla Druid (MM346) a 4th level druid.
Spells of 5th level onward will be considered something only the top 1% is able to afford, or large organizations such as guilds, temples or government.

Dream (5th).
I was originally going to put Dream along with Sending and Telepathy as "long range communication", but decided against it due to each of them having unique uses.
And when it comes to Dream, it has the unique ability of allowing you to put your 8 hours of sleep to good use. A tutor could hire someone to cast Dream on him, thus allowing him to teach his student for 8 hours at any distance. This is a way you could even access hermits that live in the middle of nowhere or in secluded monasteries. Very wealthy families or rulers would be willing to pay a good amount of money to make sure their heirs get that extra bit of education.
Its like online classes, but while you sleep!
Another interesting use is for cheating. Know a princess or queen you like? She likes you back? Her dad put 400 trained soldiers between you? No problemo! Just find a 9th level Bard, Warlock or Wizard, but who am i kidding, of course it'll be a bard. And that bard is probably you. Now you have 8 hours to do whatever you want, and no physical evidence will be left.

Raise Dead (5th).
Few things matter more in life than death. And the ability to resurrect people has a huge impact on society. The impact is so huge that this topic needs topics of its own.
First, diamond monopoly. Remember what i said about how Continual Flame would lead to controlled ruby sales due to its strategic value? This is the same principle, but a hundred times stronger. Resurrection is a huge strategic resource. It makes assassinations harder, can be used to bring back your officials or highest level soldiers over and over during a war, etc. This means more authoritarian regimes would do everything within their power to control the supply and stock of diamonds. Which in turn means if anyone wants to have someone resurrected, even in times of peace, they'll need to call in a favor, do a quest, grease some hands...
Second, resurrection insurance. People hate risks. That's why insurance is such a huge industry, taking up about 15% of the US GDP. People insure their cars, houses... even their lives. Resurrection just means "life insurance" is taken more literally. This makes even more sense when you consider how expensive resurrection is: nobody can afford it in one go, but if you pay a little every month or year you can save up enough to have it done when the need arises.
This is generally incompatible with the idea of a State-run monopoly over diamonds, but that just means different countries within a setting can take different approaches.
To make things easier, i even used some microeconomics to make a sheet in my personal random generators to calculate the price of such a service. Just head to the "Insurance" tab and fill in the information relative to your setting.
With actual life insurance resurrection can cost as little as 5gp a year for humans or 8sp a year for elves, making resurrection way more affordable than it looks.
Also, do you know why pirates wore a single gold earring? It was so that if your body washes up on the shore whoever finds it can use the money to arrange a proper burial. Sure there's a risk of the finder taking it and walking away, but the pirates did it anyway. With resurrection in play, might as well just wear a diamond earring instead and hope the finder is nice enough to bring you back.
I got so carried away with the whole insurance thing i almost forgot: the possibility of resurrection also changes how murders are committed.
If you want someone dead but resurrection exists, you have to remove the vital organs. Decapitation would be far more common. Sure resurrection is still possible, but it requires higher level spells or Reincarnate, which has... quirks.
As a result it should be very obvious when someone was killed by accident or an overreaction, and when someone was specifically out to kill the victim.

Scrying (5th).
This one is somewhat obvious, in that everyone and their mother knows it helps finding people. But who needs finding? Well, that would be those who are hiding.
The main use i see for this spell, by far, is locating escaped criminals. Just collect a sample of hair or blood when arresting someone (or shipping them to hard labor which is way smarter), and if they escape you'll be almost guaranteed to successfully scry on them.
A similar concept to this is seen in the Dragon Age series. If you're a mage the paladins keep a sample of your blood in something called a phylactery, and that can be used to track you down. There's even a quest or two about mages trying to destroy their phylacteries before escaping.
Similarly, if you plan a jailbreak it would be highly beneficial to destroy the blood/hair sample first. As a matter of fact i can even see a thieves guild hiring a low level party to take out the sample while the professional infiltrators get the prisoner out. Keep in mind both events must be done at the same time, otherwise the guards will just collect a new sample or would have already taken it to the wizard.
But guards aren't the only ones with resources. A loan shark could keep blood samples of his debtors, a mobster can keep one of those who owe him favors, etc. And the blood is ceremoniously returned only when the debt is fully paid.

Teleportation Circle (5th), Transport Via Plants (6th).
In other words, long range teleportation. This is such a huge thing that it is hard to properly explain how important it is.
Teleportation Circle creates a 10ft. circle, and everyone has one round to get in and appear on the target location. Assuming 30ft. movement that means you can get 192 people through, which is a lot of potential merchants going across any distance. Or 672 people dashing.
Math note: A 30ft radius square around a 10ft. diameter square, minus the 4 original squares. Or [(6*2+2)^2]-4 squares of 5ft. each. Hence 192 people.
Getting hundreds of merchants, workers, soldiers, etc. across any distance is nothing to scoff at. In fact, it could help explain why PHB item prices are so standardized: Arbitrage is so easy and cheap that price differences across multiple markets become negligible. Unless of course countries start setting up tax collectors outside of the permanent teleportation circles in order to charge tariffs.
Transport Via Plants does something very similar but it requires 5ft of movement to go through, which means less people can be teleported. On the other hand it doesn't burn 50gp and can take you to any tree the druid is familiar with, making it nearly impossible for tax collectors to be waiting on the other side. Unfortunately druids tend to be a lot less willing to aid smugglers, so your best bet might be a bard using spells that don't belong to his list.
With these methods of long range teleportation not only does trade get easier, but it also becomes possible to colonize or inhabit far away places. For instance if someone finds a gold mine in the antarctic you could set up a mine and bring food and other supplies via teleportation.

Major Image (6th level slot).
Major Image is a 3rd level spell that creates an illusion over a 20ft cube, complete with image, sound, smell and temperature. When cast with a 6th level slot or higher, it lasts indefinitely.
That my friends, is a huge spell. Why get the world's best painter to decorate the ceiling of your cathedral when you can just get an illusion made in six seconds?
The uses for decorating large buildings is already good, but remember: we're not restricted to sight.
Cast this on a room and it'll always be cool and smell nice. Inns would love that, as would anyone who always sleeps or works in the same room. Desert cities have never been so chill.
You can even use an illusion to make the front of your shop seem flashier, while hollering on loop to bring customers in.
The only limit to this spell is your imagination, though I'm pretty sure it was originally made just to hide secret passages.
Trivia: the ki-rin (VGM163) can cast Major Image as a 6th level spell, at will. It's probably meant to give them fabulous lairs yet all it takes is someone doing the holy horsey a big favor, and it could enchant the whole city in a few hours. Shiniest city on the planet, always at a nice temperature and with a fragrance of lilac, gooseberries or whatever you want.

Simulacrum (7th).
Spend 12 hours and 1500gp worth of ruby dust, and get a clone of yourself. Notably, each caster can only have one simulacrum, regardless of who the person he cloned is.
How this changes the world? By allowing the rich and powerful to be in two places at once. Kings now have a perfect impersonator who thinks just like them. A wealthy banker can run two branches of his company. Etc.
This makes life much easier, but also competes with Continual Flame over resources.
It also gives "go fuck yourself" a whole new meaning, making the sentence a valid Suggestion.

Clone (8th).
If there's one spell i despise, its Clone.
Wizard-only preemptive resurrection. Touch spell, costs 1.000gp worth of diamonds each time, takes 120 days to come into effect, and creates a copy of the creature that the soul occupies if the original dies. Oh, and the copy can be made younger.
Why is it so despicable? Because it makes people effectively immortal. Accidents and assassinations just get you sent to the clone, and old age can be forever delayed because you keep going back to younger versions of yourself. Being a touch spell means the wizard can cast it on anyone he wants.
In other words: high level wizards, and only wizards, get to make anyone immortal.
That means wizards will inevitably rule any world in which this spell exists.
Think about it. Rulers want to live forever. Wizards can make you live forever. Wizards want other stuff, which you must give them if you want to continue being Cloned. Rulers who refuse this deal eventually die, rulers who accept stick around forever. Natural selection makes it so that eventually the only rulers left are those who sold their soul to wizards. Figuratively, i hope.
The fact that there are only a handful of wizards out there who are high enough level to cast the spell means its easier for them organize and/or form a cartel or union (cartels/unions are easier to maintain the fewer suppliers are involved).
This leads to a dystopian scenario where mages rule, kings are authoritarian pawns and nobody else has a say in anything. Honestly it would make for a fun campaign in and of itself, but unless that's specifically what you're going for it'll just derail everything else.
Oh, and Clone also means any and all liches are absolute idiots. Liches are people who turned themselves into undead abominations in order to gain eternal life at the cost of having to feed on souls. They're all able to cast 9th level wizard spells, so why not just cast an 8th level one and keep undeath away? Saves you the trouble of going after souls, and you keep the ability to enjoy food or a day in the sun.

Demiplane (8th).
Your own 30ft. room of nothingness. Perfect place for storage and a DM's nightmare given how once players have access to it they'll just start looting furniture and such. Oh the horror.
But alas, infinite storage is not the reason this is a broken spell. No sir.
Remember: you can access someone else's demiplane. That means a caster in city 1 can put things into a demiplane, and a caster in city 2 can pull them out of any surface.
But wait, there's more! There's nothing anywhere saying you can't have two doors to the same demiplane open at once. Now you're effectively opening a portal between two places, which stays open for a whole hour.
But wait, there's even more! Anyone from any plane can open a door to your neat little demiplane. Now we can get multiple casters from multiple planes connecting all of those places, for one hour. Sure this is a very expensive thing to do since you're having to coordinate multiple high level individuals in different planes, but the payoff is just as high. We're talking about potential integration between the most varied markets imaginable, few things in the multiverse are more valuable or profitable. Its a do-it-yourself Sigil.
One little plot hook i like about demiplanes is abandoned/inactive ones. Old wizard/warlock died, and nobody knows how to access his demiplanes. Because he's at least level 15 you just know there's some good stuff in there, but nobody can get to it. Now the players have to find a journal, diary, stored memory or any other way of knowing enough about the demiplane to access it.

True Polymorph (9th).
True Polymorph. The spell that can turn any race into any other race, or object. And vice-versa. You can go full fairy godmother and turn mice into horses. For a spell that can change anything about one's body it would not be an unusual ruling to say it can change one's sex. At the very least it can turn a man into a chair, and the chair into a woman (or vice-versa of course).
But honestly, that's just the tip of the True Polymorph iceberg. Just read this more carefully:
> You transform the creature into a different creature, the creature into a nonmagical object, or the object into a creature
This means you can turn a rock or twig into a human. A fully functional human with, as far as the rules go, a soul. You can create life.
But wait, there's more! Nothing there says you have to turn the target into a known creature on an existing creature. The narcissist bard wants to create a whole race of people who look like him? True Polymorph. A player wants to play a weird ass homebrew race and you have no idea how it would fit into the setting? True Polymorph. Wizard needs a way to quickly populate a kingdom and doesn't want to wait decades for the subjects to grow up? True Polymorph. Warlock must provide his patron 100 souls in order to free his own? True Polymorph. The sorcerer wants to do something cool? Fuck that guy, sorcerers don't get any of the fun high level spells; True Poly is available to literally every arcane caster but the sorcerer.
Note: what good is Twinned Spell if all the high level twinnable spells have been specifically made unavailable to sorcerers?
Do keep in mind however that this brings a whole new discussion on human rights. Does a table have rights? Does it have rights after being turned into a living thing? If it had an owner, is it now a slave? Your country will need so many new laws, just to deal with this one spell.
People often say that high level wizards are deities for all intents and purposes. This is the utmost proof of that. Clerics don't get to create life out of thin air, wizards do. The cleric worships a deity, the wizard is the deity.

Conclusion.
Intelligent creatures not only can game the system, but it is entirely in character for them to do so. I'll even argue that if humanoids don't use magic to improve their lives when it's available, you're pushing the suspension of disbelief.
With this post i hope to have helped you make more complex and realistic societies, as well as provide a few interesting and unusual plot hooks
Lastly, as much as i hate comment begging i must admit i am eager to see what spells other players think can completely change the world. Because at the end of the day we all know that extra d6 damage is not what causes empires to rise and fall, its the utility spells that make the best stories.

Edit: Added spell level to all spells, and would like to thank u/kaul_field for helping with finishing touches and being overall a great mod.
submitted by Isphus to DnDBehindTheScreen [link] [comments]

A Comprehensive Guide to Trading Credit Spreads-- A follow-up to my original theta gains post

I was hesitant to post this here at first because my gains post I submitted received some criticism about whether or not my approach to spreads was a true "theta gang" strategy. That point is probably still a little bit contentious but I get a lot of questions about my strategy from readers in this sub so I figured I would post it here. I will offer the disclaimer that this is a little risker of an approach to spreads due to my timeframe, but I think the advice it offers (regardless of timeframe) is helpful. I will also add that this is only 50% of the complete strategy I run, so I'll try to throw together another in-depth post about the other half of my strategy if it gets enough interest.
So I first dipped my toes into options trading a few years ago. I had previously been swing trading stocks so I had a couple years of experience before that, but the leverage and potential returns that options provided really piqued my interest. After it was all said and done, I lost almost $20,000 buying options. After realizing that someone was getting all of this money I was losing, I learned about option selling and haven’t looked back since.
I recently posted my YTD performance here, and received a lot of questions about how I did it. My strategy changed over time, but I first started with credit spreads, which may be applicable to more people since it’s a strategy that works with smaller accounts too. I got a lot of questions about how I played credit spreads and it’s tough to completely explain what I do through a comment here and a comment there so I created this guide explaining my exact approach to trading credit spreads. Here you go:
This is a wall of text, so if you're a more visual learner, here's a link to videos explaining all four parts:
Part One
Part Two
Part Three
Part Four

Part One: The Basics

So what is a spread? A high level conceptual explanation is that you’re essentially betting on a stock to finish above or below a certain price upon expiration. One of the advantages here is that you can set this number out of the money, so if a stock is trading at $100, you can bet that it’ll remain below $110 by a certain date. This is a bearish position, so if you’re correct and it goes down, you’ll make max profit. The catch though is that even if you’re wrong, you basically have a 10% upward cushion before you start to lose any money. So the easiest way to describe it is a strategy that lets you make money if you’re right, but also make money if you’re slightly off.
How does it work? So in the above example, if we were bearish on a stock we would open what’s called a call credit spread. We could set it up where we sell a 110c for a credit of $1.50, and buy a 115c for a debit of $0.50. This means that in this transaction we receive $1.50, and pay $0.50 for a net credit of $1. That credit is your max profit on the play. If you’re familiar with options you’ll know that if the stock finishes at or below $110 upon expiration, both of these calls will be worthless. That’s great news for us because the long leg we bought (115c) for 0.50 will be a loss, but we’ll get to keep the full $1.50 from the short leg (110c) that we sold, resulting in us realizing our max gain on the trade of $1.
Why not just sell the 110c and collect the full $1.50? While it cuts into our profits, the reason we buy the 115c in this example for $0.50 isn’t to cut into our profits when we’re correct, but rather protect us when we’re wrong. If the stock in the example stays below $110, we’re good to go and we’ll hit max profit. But what if it goes to $120, $150, or something crazy happens and it hits $200. If the stock hits $150 upon expiration, that 110c that we sold for $1.50 will be worth $40, meaning that we’ll incur a $3,875 loss in pursuit of a $150 gain. We’ve seen crazy run ups from the likes of TSLA and ZM lately, and people who sold what we call “naked options” got absolutely killed. With our spread, yes our 110c will be worth $40 meaning we’re down $4,000 on that position, but the 115c we bought behind it will be worth $35 meaning we’re up $3,500 there for a net loss of $500. Additionally, we get to keep that $1.00 credit we received up front no matter what, so our loss with this spread is actually $500-$100=$400 as opposed to the $3,875 loss that we would’ve seen had we sold the 110c by itself. THAT is the value in selling a spread as opposed to a naked option.
Why are you multiplying everything by 100? Each options contract is worth 100 shares, so a contract that is trading for $1.50 actually costs $150 to purchase.
Another high level point I like to make is that there are really 5 different things that can happen when you make a play. Let’s say you think a stock will go up. It can (1) go up a ton and you’d be correct, (2) go up a little and you’d be correct, (3) trade flat and you’d be incorrect, (4), go down a little and you’d be incorrect, or (5) go down a lot and you’d be incorrect. With a bullish spread, you’d hit max profit on 4/5 , or 80% of the possible outcomes, whereas if you bought stock or purchased an option you’d only be profitable on (1) or (2). Obviously the actual outcomes are a little more complex, but for a base-level understanding of the advantages a spread provides, I think this is a good way to look at it.
So that’s the value of a spread. A lot of traders are introduced to option selling and are scared of the prospect of incurring a huge loss like we mentioned above, but using credit spreads is a great way of receiving the benefits that selling has to offer while limiting a lot of the risks. So let’s move onto actually opening a spread.

Part Two: Making the Trade

So for actually opening a spread up, we have a four-step approach we take: Pick a Stock Pick a Direction Pick a Strike Price Execute the Trade
1: Picking a Stock:
One of the most important things I tell people is to trade what you know. I have a watchlist of 25-30 stocks that I watch and get familiar with during the day. That way if I recognize a good opportunity, I’ll have a decent base of knowledge to rely on to make what I feel is a smart play. It’s super easy to get caught up in the “stock of the week” and try to jump in on a play because a ticker is in the news. If you’re not familiar with a stock, don’t trade it.
For this example (the one used in the video), Wayfair was trading in a 195-210 range for a little bit and then had a big day where it broke up out of that range and up towards $220. This was an unusual move that I noticed since it was on my watchlist, so I decided to make a play.
STOCK: WAYFAIR
2: Picking a direction:
So if we look at Wayfair’s YTD chart, it has exploded this year. A clear upward trend, but a recent trend that I noticed from following the stock was that every time it broke out like this, there would be a little bit of a pullback afterwards. Additionally, I felt the stock was overvalued on a fundamental basis (had a negative book value at the time of the trade) so I wanted to play this stock back down. This is probably the quickest and easiest step of the four, since you’ll likely already have an opinion on most of the stocks that you follow.
DIRECTION: DOWN
3:Picking a Strike Price:
So we know that we’re going to be playing Wayfair back down, but now the question is what spread are we going to set up to do that. In this example Wayfair was trading at $218.42 at the time that we decided to make this trade. In the video we illustrate a trading channel that Wayfair was at the top of. It was also approaching the ATH of $221.54. A lot of the time that will act as resistance for a stock, meaning it’ll bounce down off of it. So in order to give ourselves a bit of a cushion we decided to set our short leg at 222.50, meaning that we’re playing the stock to stay below $222.50 by the end of that week.
So with this play it means in plain English that if we’re correct and the stock goes down, we hit max profit. But if we’re wrong and it goes up, we still have a $4.08 cushion before we’re not hitting max profit anymore. So we could be a little wrong, have the stock go up a few dollars, and still walk away with max profit.
STRIKE PRICE OF SHORT LEG: $222.50
4: Executing the Trade:
I’ll be the first to tell you that when I started trading spreads I didn’t realize you could open both legs of the spread at was. I was stupid. I would like to think I’m at least a little bit smarter now. If you look at the options screen for most brokers, you’ll just see single legs. Switching over to “vertical” allows you to set up the entire spread in one trade. If you use something like RH, there’s a feature that allows you to select multiple options, so you’ll select the one you wish to sell (short leg) and the one you wish to buy (long leg).
In this example we selected the 222.5/227.5c spread, meaning that we sold the short leg of 222.5 and the long leg of 227.5. The net credit was 1.45, which is our max gain on the trade. A wider spread gives a larger credit but also increases max loss. This is a $5 wide spread but we could have made it a tighter spread with a $2.5 width. Typically the best risk to reward ratio is on the tightest spreads, but a slightly wider spread will raise your breakeven price and studies have shown that it actually results in better expected value long term.
Circling back to the credit we received of $1.45, this means that our max profit was $145 and our max loss was $355 for each spread that we sold. We know that because our broker tells us that, but a quick way to calculate it is the width of the spread minus the credit. A $1.45 credit on $5 wide spread means a $5-$1.45=$3.55 max loss.
When I evaluate trades like this I look for a max profit to max loss ratio of 1:2 to 1:4. Based on different scanners I’ve seen, the best expected values tend to fall on spreads within that risk/reward ratio. The ratio on this trade is 1:2.44.
So we put our order in for a credit of $1.45, it filled, and now we get to sit back and watch. Sometimes your order won’t fill right away. In fact, most of the time it won’t fill right away. It’s important to be patient with your fill price and not chase it downwards. We want the highest credit possible. So if the credit on these spreads dropped to 1.30 when I was trying to place an order, it usually isn’t a great idea to drop my order price down to 1.30 just to get a fill. The only time I would recommend that is if you’re trying to open a spread right before the market closes. Otherwise, hang tight. Patience pays.

Part 3: Managing the Trade

So now that we’ve made the trade, it’s time to manage it. In my opinion one of the best parts about trading spreads is that they don’t require active management. You get to sit back and watch the price. Once the trade has been opened, which is also quick, it takes very little effort.
So with the Wayfair example we used, our analysis turned out perfectly, as Wayfair touched the ATH and dipped back down to end the week safely at $214. We hit max profit on that trade, but what if the trade goes against us? That’s what we’ll take a look at in this section.
One thing we didn’t address in part two is when to open the trade. We like opening spreads on Mondays and Tuesdays, and monitoring them during the week. This is the part of my strategy that is a little bit controversial, as there is a (legitimate) school of thought that selling spreads about 45 DTE is better value. I like that idea and if you would rather do that then absolutely go for it. It’s important to trade what you’re comfortable with. All of the lessons in here still apply to that strategy. With that said though, I stick with the weekly strategy of opening them at the beginning of the week and look to close them throughout the week.
The way I see it, your % of max profit should be the metric you’re looking at when deciding what to do with a spread. Divided up equally, that means if you progressed through the week to max profit in a linear fashion, you would be at 20% of max profit on Monday, 40% on Tuesday, and so forth. A good rule of thumb I use is that if you’re ever on the fence about whether or not to close something out, do so if your return exceeds the linear return for that day of the week. The market can move quickly and I’ve had several times where I have regretted not closing a spread out. It’s important to take profit.
Another thing I’ll add to this is that this weekly strategy gets a little risky on Thursday afternoon headed into Friday. If your spread is remotely close to being in the money on Thursday afternoon, close it out. Now that I type that out I realize that may all sound a little convoluted, but it’s better visualized in the video I’ve linked for this section.
Now let's get into what happens if a trade really starts to move against you. With the strategy we use there are really two options: (1) Close the trade for a loss and move on, or (2) Roll the strikes higher.
The first option is pretty self explanatory, but a quick note I want to add here is that you can have a stock move way against you but still be able to close the trade for less than max loss. The example I use in my video is I played FB earnings, thought it would go down, but it shot way above my spread and well into max loss territory. We opened a 245/247.5c spread for a credit of $0.54. FB was reporting earnings on a Thursday night and we sold this spread that expired the following day, so there wasn’t a ton of time to manage it. Long story short, FB killed earnings and shot up to $256 that morning. Really not a prayer that it would come back down to the spread I opened by the end of the day. But despite the fact that this trade went way against us and we had almost no time to manage it since it was a Friday play, we were still able to close out for a debit of $1.90. Yes that’s a loss of $1.36 per spread, but we SAVED an additional $0.60 cent loss by avoiding a max loss debit of $2.50. That’s another benefit of spreads.
Let’s talk about option two. This is the best option to use if you’re confident that you’re correct about the ultimate price action on a stock, but you need a little extra wiggle room on the trade. For this example we’ll look at a TSLA call spread that I opened. TSLA was trading at $1542 after an incredible run, so I figured I would play it below 1600 with a 1600/1610c spread that offered a credit of $2.52. As is the theme with this section, TSLA exploded the following morning (Tuesday) and went all the way up to $1794 at one point. My spread was literally almost $200 out of the money. One of the biggest possible moves against myself that I had ever seen. Despite this crazy move, it was only Tuesday and we were able to close the first spread for a debit of only $5.25 (as opposed to a $10 max debit). We opened 6 of these off the bat so this was a loss of $1638. From there we “rolled” our strikes higher, opening 10 1750/1760c spreads for a credit of $3.45. So the closing and subsequent opening of a spread like we did here is what we are referring to when we say we “rolled the strikes higher”.
By the end of the week TSLA had finally crashed a bit and it finished at $1506. This meant the second of spreads we opened were easily max profit. And while we lost $1,638 on the first set of spreads we opened here, we profited $3,450 on the second set of spreads so we were able to still finish the week with a $1,812 profit on TSLA. The funny thing with this one is that the original spread would have hit max profit since it dropped all the way back down to 1500, but we would have had the same result had TSLA finished anywhere below 1750.
Rolling the strikes higher gave me extra breathing room and turned a potential disaster into a profitable trade. One thing I’ll add though is that with this method you do run the risk of increasing your potential max loss. Because of that, I’ll only roll my strikes higher ONCE. Anything past that is chasing a losing trade. If I roll my strikes higher and it’s still going against me, I’m at the point where I need to accept the fact that I don’t fundamentally understand a stock as well as I thought I did and move on. There is always another trade out there.
The final point I’ll add to this is ALWAYS CLOSE OUT YOUR SPREADS. The only time I’ll let a spread expire worthless is if my spread is OTM by a crazy amount and it would quite literally take a historic after-hours move on Friday to take me back ITM. Other than that, close your spreads out. Even if it’s just for a $0.05 debit. It may seem annoying but I’ll tell you why in the following section.

Part 4: Additional Risks and Considerations

I will start this section by saying I’ve never been impacted by any of the following risks, but it’s important to be aware of 100% of the possible outcomes of your trade before you enter it. They’re infrequent but this really wouldn’t be a comprehensive guide if I omitted them. They are as follows: (1) Early Assignment, (2) Dividend Risk, (3) Pin Risk.
1: Early Assignment:
The best way to start this section is by talking about why your max loss is actually your max loss. We know it’s quickly calculated as the width of your spread minus the credit, but why is that?
Let’s use a 110/115c spread as an example. We’ll say we received a credit of $1. We know that if the stock finishes anywhere below 110 then both legs are worthless and we’ll hold onto that $1 credit. But what happens if we’re in a max loss position. Let’s say the stock finishes at $120.
In this situation the short leg (110c) we sold would be worth $10 (120-110), meaning that we would owe $1,000 on that position. The long leg we bought would be worth $5 (120-115), meaning we are holding a position worth $500. The net effect is a $500 loss, but remember that’s netted against the $100 credit you received, so it’s a max loss of $400. That math checks out as the width of the spread is $5, the credit is $1, so the max loss is 5-1=$4*100=$400.
So that’s how it works upon expiration. But lets say this position moved against you, you still have a few days until expiration, but the stock is at $120. Since there are a few days left, you probably could close the contract for a debit of $3.50 rather than the max loss debit of $5. However, since your short leg is ITM the person you sold the option to may choose to exercise their option. As a result, that would require you to take on a short position of $110*100=$11,000 per contract sold. You may not be able to afford to cover that, or your broker may not let you hold that position. So what happens is your long leg gets exercised as well resulting in you taking a max loss early. So while on paper you received a credit of $1 that could have been closed for a debit of $3.50 and your loss was only $2.50, early assignment results in you prematurely taking a max loss.
When does this happen? It typically doesn’t, since it requires the buyer sacrificing the remaining extrinsic value on the option, but it’s more likely with certain stocks. There are three different classifications of a stock that relate to it’s borrowing ability: Easy to Borrow (ETB), Hard to Borrow (HTB), and Not Available to Borrow (NTB). The harder a stock is to borrow, the more likely it is that a call is exercised early because it gives the buyer a way to acquire a stock which may not be available to them through their broker. So if you’re selling call spreads that are close to being ITM, make sure to check out the borrowing status of the stock.
2: Dividend Risk:
This risk relates to the first one discussed, as it’s just another way you risk early assignment. If a company is announcing a dividend, there will be something known as an “ex-div” date, which means that all shareholders as of that date are entitled to receive the divident, which will be distributed usually at a later date. Because of this, call buyers may exercise an out of the money call option in an effort to acquire those shares.
Remembering that exercising an option means that you sacrifice all remaining extrinsic value, another reason a buyer may exercise a call option before an ex-dividend date is that the value of the dividend announced is greater than the extrinsic value remaining in the option. Say a 100c is trading at $2 and the underlying (stock) is currently at 101. The extrinsic value is the value of the option in excess of what it would be worth upon expiration. So the extrinsic value in this situation is $1, since the 100c trading for $2 is just $1 in excess of the current strike price. If the company in question here announced a $2 dividend, an option buyer would likely exercise their call option because the $2 dividend is greater than the $1 of extrinsic value.
3: Pin Risk:
We know that if your spread finishes out of the money it’s a max gain and if both legs of your spread finish in the money it’s a max loss. But what happens when the price of a stock finishes between the two legs of your spread? Let’s take a look.
So using a 100/110c spread as an example, let’s say that the stock finishes at 105. Your long leg, which is there to protect you, is worthless so you wouldn’t exercise it. However the short leg at 100 that you sold will be exercised by the buyer since it’s ITM. As a result, you’re now short 100 shares at a price of 100 and you’ll be holding that position over the weekend. This can go both ways from here, but since we’re focused on risk let’s say that this stock you’re now short shoots up over the weekend and some sort of news/event brings it up to $120.
With this short position of 100 shares at $100 you’re borrowing $10,000 worth of stock. Now that the stock is worth $120 this position is now worth $12,000. Over the weekend you’ve sustained a $2,000 loss. If we received a credit of $3 when we opened this spread, we may have thought that our max loss was 10-3=$7*100=$700. Since we failed to close the spread out, this position has now resulted in a $2,000 loss net of the $300 credit that you received when you opened the position. So on a trade where you thought you could lose at most $700, you’re now down almost $2k.
I can’t repeat it enough, but THIS IS WHY WE CLOSE OUT SPREADS BEFORE EXPIRATION. That is the single most important takeaway I can give you here. Spreads are great since they’re defined risk and defined gain. When you’re buying options you have a defined loss but a potentially infinite gain. This can make it really easy to get greedy and I’ve seen countless traders lose big profits because they keep holding out for more. When you have a defined gain and defined loss it makes it easier to make smart decisions, take profits, and continuously build on those profits over time.
That was an enormous wall of text but I hope it helps explain, from a base level, what spreads are and how they work. Switching from buying options to selling options has dramatically changed my performance in the market so I hope sharing this can do the same for someone else. If you have any questions let me know and I’d be happy to answer them.
submitted by fuzz11 to thetagang [link] [comments]

Bloomberg: Nikola founder Milton's fall reveals what his backers feared

Back in March, long before a short seller would raise questions about electric-truck company Nikola Corp. and hasten its founder’s exit, early investors in the company were expressing concerns of their own. Those investors, led by mutual-fund giant Fidelity Investments, were worried that Trevor Milton, for all his brash visionary talk and Twitter braggadocio, lacked the ability that Elon Musk possesses to deliver these sorts of newfangled products to market. They lobbied successfully to remove him as CEO before the company’s June IPO and for Milton’s father to leave the board, according to people familiar with the matter. When the deal was done, Milton only held the title of chairman, the post he resigned this month.
The back-room negotiations show that Milton’s past was a concern to investors months before General Motors Co. executives placed a bet on the company in a US$2 billion deal carved out after the IPO. They liked Milton’s vision and his ability to raise cash and felt the venture was safeguarded from his shortcomings in operations by his push upstairs, say people familiar with the matter. Nonetheless, the events that have unfolded since the short-seller report, with Nikola’s stock plunging amid a steady stream of negative headlines, have exposed just how high the risks still were.
Now, it’s up to former GM Vice Chairman Steve Girsky, whose blank-check company VectoIQ took Nikola public via reverse merger in June, and Nikola CEO Mark Russell to stabilize the business and regain investor confidence. The plan with GM was to use Nikola’s hot stock and Milton’s ability to raise money to build a hydrogen-fueled trucking business with GM’s technology.
“There is obviously someone on the diligence side who isn’t going to get a nice bonus this year,” said Reilly Brennan, founder of the venture capital fund Trucks Inc. “The best possible thing if you’re a shareholder is that Milton is no longer running the company and you have Girsky as chairman and GM providing technology.”
The GM deal was originally scheduled to close Sept. 30, and the automaker has said it plans to carry through, but that timing may slip, say people familiar with the matter. BP Plc is still engaged with Nikola in talks to partner on a network of hydrogen fueling stations for fuel-cell trucks the company hopes to sell, but also is slowing the pace for a deal, said the people, who asked not to be identified discussing private information. BP and GM declined to comment.
Milton’s tale reads like a Greek tragedy. The report by short seller Hindenburg Research accused Milton of overhyping Nikola’s technology and has prompted investigations by the Justice Department and U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission. A cousin has accused him of a decades-ago sexual assault, which he denies. The company’s value peaked at US$30 billion and is now worth about US$7 billion.
Girsky and GM Chief Executive Officer Mary Barra have both said publicly that they did plenty of due diligence. People familiar with the matter say that GM found out when scouting the deal that it had better batteries and fuel-cell technology but joined forces because Nikola had a working semi truck and access to capital markets. In addition, GM will get paid to build Nikola’s Badger pickup on existing assembly lines. Milton was so excited to get the Badger pickup program moving that he signed a deal that heavily favored GM, one of the people said.
Nikola’s stock and GM’s US$2 billion stake are worth less than half what they were on Sept. 8, when the deal was announced. Milton’s own stake is worth US$1.7 billion, down from almost US$5 billion at one point.
Milton said in a June interview with Bloomberg News that he grew up in modest surroundings in Layton, Utah. His family moved to Las Vegas when he was very young and he lost his mother to cancer shortly after moving back to Utah in the sixth grade. He wrote on Twitter he didn’t finish high school, earning an equivalency certification instead, and later dropped out of college. His Twitter account has since been deleted.
He grew up in a tight-knit Mormon family, according to Aubrey Smith, his first cousin. She went on social media recently and accused him of sexually assaulting her in 1999 when she was 15 and he was 17.
In a public account on Facebook and Twitter, and repeated in a phone interview, Smith said that Milton came onto her at the funeral of their grandfather. He took her shirt off without permission, Smith wrote, and then he touched her inappropriately before someone knocked at the door and she ran out.
Milton denied the allegations through a spokesman.
Smith said Milton raised money from family members to get his start. He founded and ran several businesses, including a home-security company that Milton claims he sold for US$1.5 million. Next, in 2009, he founded an e-commerce platform called Upillar.com, which Milton claims “pioneered the shopping cart online.”
Then he got into clean propulsion but ended up embroiled in litigation with dHybrid Inc., which he founded in 2009. The company retrofitted diesel vehicles with natural-gas-burning turbines, claiming the dual system had greater efficiency.
But a deal with Swift Transportation Co. in 2010 ended in court when Swift alleged dHybrid defaulted on a US$322,000 loan and that it retrofitted only half of the agreed vehicles. The case was dismissed in 2015.
Milton later tried to sell dHybrid to a company called sPower in May 2012 but that, too, got mired in lawsuits after sPower backed out and accused Milton of exaggerating its technological capabilities.
Amid the litigation, Milton started another company with a very similar name, dHybrid Systems, selling it in 2014 to Worthington Industries.
During an interview with Bloomberg in June, Milton said that dHybrid Inc. was a success but conceded that, “we ended up closing that one down because of some litigation.”
His next startup was Nikola, founding it in 2014 in Salt Lake City before moving to Phoenix. Emulating Musk, he took the name from the electricity pioneer Nikola Tesla, and the company was soon billed as the Tesla of Trucks. His plan was seen as potentially disrupting the entire transportation industry by making trucks that ran on batteries or hydrogen-fuel cells. He also planned to build a network of hydrogen filling stations.
Friends and Family
Milton had friends and family members working for Nikola despite resumes that didn’t match the job. His brother, Travis Milton, is director of hydrogen and infrastructure. His LinkedIn profile shows that most of his experience was being “self-employed” in Maui. The short seller, Hindenburg Research, said that Travis Milton poured concrete as a contractor. Milton’s father Bill was originally on the board but stepped down when VectoIQ took the company public.
The company’s stock prospectus said that Nikola had awarded more than 3 million stock options “to recognize the superior performance and contribution of specific employees.” The list included Travis Milton and an uncle, Lance Milton, the document said, acknowledging that they are relatives.
As Milton went public with Nikola’s technology, questions soon arose involving his claims about the company’s fuel-cell system. He bragged in an investor video in 2019 that the company had created “what other manufacturers said was impossible to design.” But while Nikola holds patents in fuel-cell and battery technology, most of its planned hardware was coming from German supplier Robert Bosch Gmbh.
Nikola Demonstrations
It became clear that Milton had gotten ahead of himself. A 2016 demonstration showed a truck that didn’t have a working hydrogen-fuel-cell system and was missing key parts, people familiar with the matter said in June. Milton said at the time that the parts were removed as a safety precaution.
In July of this year, he recorded a video of the semi truck in which he ran alongside the vehicle as it coasted at low speeds in a parking lot. Aping Musk’s combative social-media persona, Milton took a shot at his detractors saying, “these damned trolls, I wonder if they are going to apologize to everyone for the lies they spread the tens of thousands of comments about how fake we are.”
Girsky said in the webcast “Autoline This Week,” in which Bloomberg participated, that he has been in Nikola’s fuel-cell trucks and that they work.
Still, when the GM deal was done, GM will be supplying all of the technology for every global market except Europe. Nikola’s pickup truck, called Badger, will use GM’s Ultium battery, and the semis will run on a fuel cell developed by GM and Honda Motor Co.
Since Milton’s departure, Nikola has billed itself more as an integrator of other technologies into its Badger pickup and semi trucks.
For GM’s part, the automaker is protected from any financial downside. GM got 11 per cent of the stock for no cash investment and gets paid for its technology. If Nikola fails, GM won’t lose a dime.
Milton has remained silent and is out of the company. He unknowingly presaged his own downfall in the June interview with Bloomberg: “Part of becoming a better person in life is losing everything you have got and having nothing left.”
https://www.bnnbloomberg.ca/nikola-founder-milton-s-fall-reveals-what-his-backers-feared-1.1500376
submitted by closingbell to investing [link] [comments]

Nvidia’s Stocks May Plunge 12% Following Its Deal For Arm

NVIDIA Corp. (NVDA) shares have soared in 2020, more than doubling versus an S&P 500 rising by less than 3%. The stock got an extra boost this past week after it announced it would acquire Arm Holdings from SoftBank Group for $40 billion. Despite the significant acquisition, some traders are betting the stock has seen its peak and is heading lower. Meanwhile, an analysis of the technical chart suggests the equity drops 12% from its price of $487 on September 18.
NVIDIA paid what amounts to nearly 21 times sales for Arm Holdings, based on the fiscal year 2020 results. However, that is about the same premium that SoftBank paid for Arm back in 2016, when SoftBank bought the company for $31 billion. One could argue that NVIDIA may have even overpaid for Arm, given that revenue growth has decelerated since 2015.
Betting The Shares Will Fall
The deal to acquire Arm from Softbank will be dilutive to existing shareholders. NVIDIA will pay $21.5 billion in its stock to SoftBank, allowing SoftBank to take a stake in NVIDIA of between 6.7% and 8.1%. That dilution could be why an options trader is betting that NVIDIA stock falls from its current levels.
On September 18, the open interest levels for the NVIDIA November 20 $500 puts and calls rose. The data shows that 4,000 of the $500 calls were sold for about $49.40, and 4,000 of the $500 puts were bought for approximately $52.90. It creates a bearish spread transaction where the trader paid about $3.50 for the contracts and is a bet the stock is below $496.50 by the expiration date.
Technicals Nearing A Breaking Point
Additionally, the technical chart suggests that NVIDIA shares may fall as well. The stock has already fallen about 18% from its peak, and those declines may grow worse. The shares are now sitting on an uptrend that formed in early March. Should the stock fall below that trendline and break support at $460, it could result in the shares falling to around $427, a drop of an additional 12%.
Expensive Deal
The deal for Arm Holdings is likely to prove to be an expensive one for NVIDIA, with the company paying about $21 billion in stock to close the acquisition, while likely financing the balance through cash and debt. The company had about $11 billion in cash and short-term investments at the end of the July quarter.
NVIDIA paid about 20.6 times those 2020 sales for Arm, about the same as the 20 times sales Softbank paid in 2016. But consider that Arm had revenue growth of just 1.5% in 2019 and 7.5% in 2020. Arm had revenue growth of 15% in 2015 in US dollar terms, and 22% in British pounds. When adjusting for growth, one could argue that NVIDIA could have gotten Arm for a lower price to sales multiple when considering the slower growth rate.
Growth Through Acquisition
The latest move, which follows last year’s purchase of Mellanox, could even be seen as a sign by some investors that NVIDIA now needs to move to a model of growth by addition, helping to maintain those big sales and earnings growth rates. The company needs to keep these tremendous growth rates to support the massive earnings multiple the market affords it, currently at 44.1 times next year’s earnings estimates.
It will be interesting to see how investors digest NVIDIA’s significant acquisition. Given the stock’s enormous move higher, it would not be surprising at all to see the shares fall to lower prices over the short- to medium-term.
Michael Kramer is a financial market strategist and the portfolio manager of the Mott Capital Thematic Growth Portfolio.
https://www.forbes.com/sites/kramermichael/2020/09/20/nvidias-stocks-may-plunge-12-followings-it-deal-for-arm/amp/
submitted by Brothanogood to stocks [link] [comments]

5 Strategies in Quant Trading Algorithms

Hey everyone, I am a former Wall Street trader and quant researcher. When I was preparing for my own interviews, I have noticed the lack of accurate information and so I will be providing my own perspectives. One common pattern I see is people building their own algorithm by blindly fitting statistical methods such as moving averages onto data.
I have published this elsewhere, but have copy pasted it entirely below for you to read to keep it in the spirit of the sub rules. Edit: Removed link.

What it was like trading on Wall Street

Right out of college, I began my trading career at an electronic hedge fund on Wall Street. Several friends pitched trading to me as being a more disciplined version of wallstreetbets that actually made money. After flopping several initial interviews, I was fortunate to land a job at a top-tier firm of the likes of Jane Street, SIG, Optiver and IMC.
On my first day, I was instantly hooked.
My primary role there was to be a market maker. To explain this, imagine that you are a merchant. Suppose you wanted to purchase a commodity such as an apple. You would need to locate an apple seller and agree on a fair price. Market makers are the middle-men that cuts out this interaction by being always willing to buy or sell at a given price.
In finance lingo, this is called providing liquidity to financial exchanges. At any given moment, you should be confident to liquidate your position for cash. To give a sense of scale, tens of trillions in dollars are processed through these firms every year.
My time trading has been one of the most transformative periods of my life. It not only taught me a lot of technical knowledge, but it also moulded me to be a self-starter, independent thinker, and hard worker. I strongly recommend anyone that loves problem solving to give trading a shot. You do not need a mathematics or finance background to get in.
The trading culture is analogous to professional sports. It is a zero sum game where there is a clear defined winner and loser — you either make or lose money. This means that both your compensation and job security is highly dependent on your performance. For those that are curious, the rough distribution of a trader’s compensation based on performance is a tenth of the annual NBA salary.
There is a mystique about trading in popular media due to the abstraction of complicated quantitative models. I will shed light on some of the fundamental principles rooted in all trading strategies, and how they might apply to you.

Arbitrage

One way traders make money is through an arbitrage or a risk free trade. Suppose you could buy an apple from Sam for $1, and then sell an apple to Megan at $3. A rational person would orchestrate both legs of these trades to gain $2 risk free.
Arbitrages are not only found in financial markets. The popular e-commerce strategy of drop-shipping is a form of arbitrage. Suppose you find a tripod selling on AliExpress at $10. You could list the same tripod on Amazon for $20. If someone buys from you, then you could simply purchase the tripod off AliExpress and take home a neat $10 profit.
The same could be applied to garage sales. If you find a baseball card for $2 that has a last sold price on EBay for $100, you have the potential to make $98. Of course this is not a perfect arbitrage as you face the risk of finding a buyer, but the upside makes this worthwhile.

Positive expected value bets

Another way traders make money is similar to the way a casino stacks the odds in their favour. Imagine you flip a fair coin. If it lands on heads you win $3, and if it lands on tails you lose $1. If you flip the coin only once, you may be unlucky and lose the dollar. However in the long run, you are expected to make a positive profit of $1 per coin flip. This is referred to as a positive expected value bet. Over the span of millions of transactions, you are almost guaranteed to make a profit.
This exact principle is why you should never gamble in casino games such as roulette. These games are all negative expected value bets, which guarantees you to lose money over the long run. Of course there are exceptions to this, such as poker or card counting in black jack.
The next time you walk into a casino, make a mental note to observe the ways it is designed to keep you there for as long as possible. Note the lack of windows and the maze like configurations. Even the free drinks and the cheap accommodation are all a farce to keep you there.

Relative Pricing

Relative pricing is a great strategy to use when there are two products that have clear causal relationships. Let us consider an apple and a carton of apple juice. Suppose there have a causal relationship where the carton is always $9 more expensive than the apple. The apple and the carton is currently trading at $1 and $10 respectively.
If the price of the apple goes up to $2, the price is not immediately reflected on the carton. There will always be a time lag. It is also important to note that there is no way we can determine if the apple is trading at fair value or if its overpriced. So how do we take advantage of this situation?
If we buy the carton for $10 and sell the apple for $2, we have essentially bought the ‘spread’ for $8. The spread is fairly valued at $9 due to the causal relationship, meaning we have made $1. The reason high frequency trading firms focus so much on latency in the nanoseconds is to be the first to scoop up these relative mispricing.
This is the backbone for delta one strategies. Common pairs that are traded against each other includes ETFs and their inverse counterpart, a particular stock against an ETF that contains the stock, or synthetic option structures.

Correlations

Correlations are mutual connections between two things. When they trend in the same direction they are said to have a positive correlation, and the vice versa is true for negative correlations. A popular example of positive correlation is the number of shark attacks with the number of ice-cream sales. It is important to note that shark attacks do not cause ice-cream sales.
Often times there are no intuitive reason for certain correlations, but they still work. The legendary Renaissance Technologies sifted through petabytes of historical data to find profitable signals. For instance, good morning weather in a city tended to predict an upward movement in its stock exchange. One could theoretically buy stock on the opening and sell at noon to make a profit.
One important piece of advice is to disregard any retail trader selling a course to you, claiming that they have a system. These are all scams. At best, these are bottom of the mill signals that are hardly profitable after transaction costs. It is also unlikely that you have the system latency, trading experience or research capabilities to do this on your own. It is possible, but very difficult.

Mean reversions

Another common strategy traders rely on is mean reversion trends. In the options world the primary focus is purchasing volatility when it is cheap compared to historical values, and vice versa. Buying options is essentially synonymous with buying volatility. Of course, it is not as simple as this so don’t go punting your savings on Robinhood using this strategy.
For most people, the most applicable mean reversion trend is interest rates. These tend to fluctuate up and down depending on if the central banks want to stimulate saving or spending. As global interest rates are next to zero or negative, it may be a good idea to lock in this low rate for your mortgages. Again, consult with a financial advisor before you do anything.
submitted by chriswugan to algotrading [link] [comments]

Wall Street Week Ahead for the trading week beginning October 5th, 2020

Good Friday evening to all of you here on StockMarket. I hope everyone on this sub made out pretty nicely in the market this past week, and is ready for the new trading week ahead.
Here is everything you need to know to get you ready for the trading week beginning October 5th, 2020.

Trump’s health and fiscal stimulus fight will steer the markets in the week ahead - (Source)

President Donald Trump’s health and the state of a fiscal stimulus package will be the main focus for markets in the coming week.
In the early morning hours Friday, President Donald Trump tweeted that he and the first lady tested positive for Covid. Stocks sold off hard, but the S&P 500 came off its lows in Friday trading and closed down just under 1%. It was up 1.5% for the week.
The market was helped by signs that a stimulus package is still a possibility, after House Speaker Nancy Pelosi asked airlines not to furlough workers. She promised either a stand alone aid bill, or a bigger negotiated relief legislation that would help the industry.
“The market is going to watch health updates from the White House medical staff, and it’s going to watch how the president communicates with the public,” said Julian Emanuel, head of equities and derivatives at BTIG. “Will we see him in person in the next week in any form? What’s his volume of tweets? All as a way to first gauge the severity of the case.”
Trump and Melania Trump are reported to have mild cases, but as time goes on the market will turn to how the illness could impact the presidential election.
Former Vice President Joe Biden gained slightly in the polls after the first debate Tuesday night, and now the calendar for further debates is in question. The market has seemingly warmed to Biden, and even though he would raise taxes, it is assumed Democrats would quickly pass a major infrastructure package if there is a Democratic sweep of Congress.
Trump, however, is widely seen on Wall Street as stronger on the economy and better for markets.
“What you’ve done from a campaign perspective, is you’ve taken away the thing that gives him the most energy - his ability to interact with crowds,” said Emanuel. “The president had wanted to paint the economic recovery of the last three or four months as the cornerstone, and this basically puts the virus back as topic number 1, number 2 and number 3. And it’s all the more so because the data is coming in weaker than expected.”
The market is fixated on the prospect of stimulus to help business, the unemployed and state and local governments. The House passed a $2.2 trillion package this week, but there is still no agreement with Republicans. Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin has pushed for a $1.6 trillion package.
“I think there’s an underlying bid under the market because nobody wants to be super short if we get a stimulus approved, but you can’t be too long in case his mild symptoms turn into severe symptoms,” said Scott Redler, partner with T3live.com. “We’re in a tough spot but overall we’re still pretty constructive.”
Emanuel said the fact the president is now ill could hurt confidence and slow down some of the improvement in the economy.
“The underlying tone is, again, whether its directly or later, there’s going to be stimulus,” Emanuel said. ”’Whether it’s this month or November, this reinforces the need for stimulus because the president falling ill signals to, at the margin, the person whose thinking about going out to dinner to think again. It’s a significant economic and psychological hindrance.”
Also coming up in the week ahead is a speech Tuesday by Fed Chairman Jerome Powell to the National Association of Business Economists.
Powell is also expected to push for the stimulus package to boost the economy so the recovery does not stall.
“I think his whole objective is to try to get Congress and the Administration to sign onto a fiscal rescue package,” said Mark Zandi, chief economist at Moody’s Analytics. “He’ll all but come out and say [the recovery] is not a ‘V.’ Without additional support from lawmakers, risks are pretty high that we backtrack. I think that’s the kind of outlook he’s going to give. It’s going to be full-throated.”
September’s employment report, released Friday, was seen by some as a warning that the economy is not rebounding as expected. There were 661,000 jobs added in September, well below the 800,000 expected.
Besides Powell, there are a half dozen other Fed speakers. There are also minutes from the Fed’s last minute released Wednesday afternoon.

This past week saw the following moves in the S&P:

(CLICK HERE FOR THE FULL S&P TREE MAP FOR THE PAST WEEK!)

Major Indices for this past week:

(CLICK HERE FOR THE MAJOR INDICES FOR THE PAST WEEK!)

Major Futures Markets as of Friday's close:

(CLICK HERE FOR THE MAJOR FUTURES INDICES AS OF FRIDAY!)

Economic Calendar for the Week Ahead:

(CLICK HERE FOR THE FULL ECONOMIC CALENDAR FOR THE WEEK AHEAD!)

Percentage Changes for the Major Indices, WTD, MTD, QTD, YTD as of Friday's close:

(CLICK HERE FOR THE CHART!)

S&P Sectors for the Past Week:

(CLICK HERE FOR THE CHART!)

Major Indices Pullback/Correction Levels as of Friday's close:

(CLICK HERE FOR THE CHART!

Major Indices Rally Levels as of Friday's close:

(CLICK HERE FOR THE CHART!)

Most Anticipated Earnings Releases for this week:

(CLICK HERE FOR THE CHART!)

Here are the upcoming IPO's for this week:

(CLICK HERE FOR THE CHART!)

Friday's Stock Analyst Upgrades & Downgrades:

(CLICK HERE FOR THE CHART LINK #1!)
(CLICK HERE FOR THE CHART LINK #2!)
(CLICK HERE FOR THE CHART LINK #3!)

Make Up Your [email protected]#$%&* Mind!

We've all had versions of this conversation where you or the person you were talking to just couldn't make up their mind. At the end of the day, it only causes trouble and plans are ruined.
The market is having its own back and forth this year trying to decide between growth and value. Just today, growth stocks are getting slaughtered while value stocks are up marginally. As an example, the Russell 1000 Growth index is down 1.8% on the day while the Russell 1000 Value index has managed to rally 0.25%. The chart below shows the daily performance spread between the Russell 1000 Growth index and the Russell 1000 Value index for each day in 2020. Today's performance spread between the two indices marks the ninth time this year that value has outperformed growth by more than two percentage points. At the other extreme, there have also been eight trading days where growth outperformed value by more than two percentage points.
(CLICK HERE FOR THE CHART!)
So how does this year's frequency of days where the performance spread between the two indices was more than two percentage points stack up to other years? The chart below shows the daily performance spread between the two indices going all the way back to 1990. Over the last thirty years, the only two periods where we saw a frequency of these large daily dislocations was back in 2008 and the period spanning 2000 and 2001. In fact, with 17 days this year where the performance spread between the two indices was greater than two percentage points, the only other years that saw a higher frequency of large dislocations were 2000 (54) and 2001 (28). If you think the market has been indecisive this year, in 2000 we saw these types of daily dislocations an average of once per week.
(CLICK HERE FOR THE CHART!)

Election Anxiety Weighs on October Market Performance

October often evokes fear on Wall Street as memories are stirred of crashes in 1929, 1987, the 554-point drop on October 27, 1997, back-to-back massacres in 1978 and 1979, Friday the 13th in 1989 and the 733-point drop on October 15, 2008. During the week ending October 10, 2008, Dow lost 1,874.19 points (18.2%), the worst weekly decline in our database going back to 1901, in percentage terms. March 2020 now holds the dubious honor of producing the worst, second and third worst DJIA weekly point declines. The term “Octoberphobia” has been used to describe the phenomenon of major market drops occurring during the month. Market calamities can become a self-fulfilling prophecy, so stay on the lookout and don’t get whipsawed if it happens.
But October has become a turnaround month—a “bear killer” if you will. Twelve post-WWII bear markets have ended in October: 1946, 1957, 1960, 1962, 1966, 1974, 1987, 1990, 1998, 2001, 2002 and 2011 (S&P 500 declined 19.4%). However, eight were midterm bottoms. Over the last 21 years, October’s performance has been solid. Average gains over the last 21-years range from 1.3% by Russell 1000 to 2.4% by NASDAQ. Small caps have still struggled though with Russell 2000 gaining a modest 0.5%
(CLICK HERE FOR THE CHART!)
Election-year Octobers rank dead last for Dow, S&P 500 (since 1952), NASDAQ (since 1972), Russell 1000, and Russell 2000 (since 1980). Eliminating gruesome 2008 from the calculation provides a moderate amount of relief, as rankings climb to mid pack. Should a meaningful decline materialize in October it is likely to be an excellent buying opportunity, especially for any depressed technology and small-cap shares.

What Have Democratic Sweeps Meant for the S&P 500?

Headed into the first presidential debate Tuesday night, betting markets (ElectionBettingOdds.com) placed Democratic candidate Joe Biden as the slight favorite to take the White House in November. The debate resulted in Biden gaining another 5 percentage point chance of winning the Presidency. As of this morning, Biden's odds to win are at 59.8% versus Trump's odds of 38.9%. Additionally, Democrats are slight favorites to win control of the Senate (58.4% to 41.5%) and big favorites to maintain the House (82.8% to 17.1%). Given these odds, in the chart below we show the average performance of the S&P 500 from the three months before Election Day through three months after Election Day for all election years post-WWII that resulted in a sweep of the executive and legislative branch by the Democrats.
As shown, on average the S&P 500 has been on the decline in the weeks leading up to Election Day, though in the days just before the Election there has been a small rally that sharply reverses once the results come in. After the initial post-Election drop, the market has trended a bit higher, but by three months after the Election, it has only found itself around the same levels as Election Day; on average a 2.6% loss versus where the index stood three months prior.
(CLICK HERE FOR THE CHART!)
The composite shown above is comprised of six different years: 1948, 1960, 1964, 1976, 1992, and 2008. While on average the S&P 500 has traded lower, it is not necessarily a sure-fire thing. For example, 1948 and 2008 were the only years that saw the S&P 500 trade and stay significantly lower in the wake of the election. In 1976, there was similarly a sell-off in the immediate aftermath of the election, but the index did make its way back up to the highs of that six-month time frame later on albeit no new high was put in place. Meanwhile, 1960, 1964, and 1992 all saw the S&P 500 run higher after the election even despite some periods of consolidation after initial moves higher. In our B.I.G. Tips report from Tuesday, we show these same charts for all Presidential election years post WWII including a look at the average performance given every potential election outcome.
(CLICK HERE FOR THE CHART!)

How Current Returns Stack Up to History

Even after September's weakness, the S&P 500's trailing 12-month total return stood at an impressive 14.9%. Given the events of the last 12 months, one could even say that performance is remarkable. What's even crazier is that the S&P 500's performance over the last 12 months is more than three times stronger than the 12 month period before that (+4.25%). The chart below compares the S&P 500's annualized total returns over the last one, two, five, ten, and twenty years and compares that performance to the historical average return of the index over those same time periods.
The S&P 500's historical average 12-month return is 11.7%, so the current 14.9% gain exceeds that average by more than three full percentage points. Over a two-year window, though, the S&P 500's annualized return of 9.4% is more than a full percentage point below the historical average. Looking further out, the S&P 500's trailing five and ten-year annualized return has been much stronger than average, which makes sense given the long bull market we were in. Over a 20 year window, though, the S&P 500 is only just starting to work off some of the declines from the dot-com bust and as a result, the 6.4% annualized gain is a four and a half percentage points below the long-term average of 10.9%.
(CLICK HERE FOR THE CHART!)
Below we show how the current performance of the S&P 500 in each of the time frames shown compares to all other periods on a percentile basis. The S&P 500's performance over the last year, ranks just below 56th percentile of all other periods, while the two-year performance ranks just below the 42nd percentile. Even as the five and ten-year periods have seen well above average returns, they still rank in just the mid-60s on a percentile basis. The S&P 500's ranking over a 20-year time period is a completely different story ranking in single-digits on a percentile basis. Even with the equity market right near record highs, the last two decades have been forgettable for US equities.
(CLICK HERE FOR THE CHART!)

Seasonals Are Back In Style Again

There is no denying that market seasonality has not worked so well this year. But we have been here before and history is on our side. Over the long term, intermediate term and short term market seasonality has suffered brief periods when seasonality was overridden by more powerful forces. The COVID pandemic and economic shutdown certainly qualifies. But it is only a matter of time until repetitive human behavior patterns and people and institutions return to moving money around in the usual daily, weekly, monthly, quarterly and seasonal patterns.
The return of perennial September weakness is emblematic of a return to normal market behavior and a reflection of the fact that despite the continuing concerns about surges in coronavirus cases life is beginning to return to normal. In our area, about 25-30 miles north of New York City, our kids are beginning hybrid learning, playing rugby, lacrosse and other sports (yes with some COVID protocols, but tackling and facing-off), golf outings are happening and people are going to restaurants and out and about.
The chart here shows the historical One-Year Pattern of the S&P 500 Since 1950 versus 2020. The black line shows the seasonal pattern since 1950. The blue represents the pattern since 1988. We use 1988 as it is the first year after the 1987 Crash when the market underwent a major systemic change with the implementation of downside protection circuit breakers and collars. It is noteworthy how the seasonal pattern persists during both the 70-year and 31-year timeframes.
2020 is plotted on the right axis due to the magnitude of the move this year. The yellow box highlights the rebirth of seasonality this September, especially during this notoriously negative Week After Triple Witching Week as detailed page 108 of the 2020 Almanac, indicated by the two black arrows
Years like 1980, 1982, 2009 and 2016 with unseasonably early weakness and bear markets like 2020 returned to normal seasonal patterns in short order. And years like 1954, 1958, 1980, 1982, 1995 and 2009 that exhibited double-digit gains in the Worst Six Months still proceeded to deliver further sizable gains in the subsequent Best Six Months (page 52, STA 2020). We believe the return of market seasonality is upon us. So remain cautious through the end of September and be alert to Octoberophobia, but remain ready to pounce on our Best Months Seasonal MACD Buy Signal, when it triggers.
(CLICK HERE FOR THE CHART!)

STOCK MARKET VIDEO: Stock Market Analysis Video for Week Ending October 2nd, 2020

(CLICK HERE FOR THE YOUTUBE VIDEO!)

STOCK MARKET VIDEO: ShadowTrader Video Weekly 10.4.20

([CLICK HERE FOR THE YOUTUBE VIDEO!]())
(VIDEO NOT YET POSTED.)
Here are the most notable companies (tickers) reporting earnings in this upcoming trading week ahead-
  • $DPZ
  • $PAYX
  • $RPM
  • $HELE
  • $AYI
  • $LEVI
  • $LW
  • $LNDC
  • $SAR
  • $EXFO
  • $RGP
(CLICK HERE FOR NEXT WEEK'S MOST NOTABLE EARNINGS RELEASES!)
(CLICK HERE FOR NEXT WEEK'S HIGHEST VOLATILITY EARNINGS RELEASES!)
Below are some of the notable companies coming out with earnings releases this upcoming trading week ahead which includes the date/time of release & consensus estimates courtesy of Earnings Whispers:

Monday 10.5.20 Before Market Open:

([CLICK HERE FOR MONDAY'S PRE-MARKET EARNINGS TIME & ESTIMATES!]())
(NONE.)

Monday 10.5.20 After Market Close:

([CLICK HERE FOR MONDAY'S AFTER-MARKET EARNINGS TIME & ESTIMATES!]())
(NONE.)

Tuesday 10.6.20 Before Market Open:

(CLICK HERE FOR TUESDAY'S PRE-MARKET EARNINGS TIME & ESTIMATES!)

Tuesday 10.6.20 After Market Close:

(CLICK HERE FOR TUESDAY'S AFTER-MARKET EARNINGS TIME & ESTIMATES!)

Wednesday 10.7.20 Before Market Open:

(CLICK HERE FOR WEDNESDAY'S PRE-MARKET EARNINGS TIME & ESTIMATES!)

Wednesday 10.7.20 After Market Close:

(CLICK HERE FOR WEDNESDAY'S AFTER-MARKET EARNINGS TIME & ESTIMATES!)

Thursday 10.8.20 Before Market Open:

(CLICK HERE FOR THURSDAY'S PRE-MARKET EARNINGS TIME & ESTIMATES!)

Thursday 10.8.20 After Market Close:

([CLICK HERE FOR THURSDAY'S AFTER-MARKET EARNINGS TIME & ESTIMATES!]())
(NONE.)

Friday 10.9.20 Before Market Open:

([CLICK HERE FOR FRIDAY'S PRE-MARKET EARNINGS TIME & ESTIMATES!]())
(NONE.)

Friday 10.9.20 After Market Close:

([CLICK HERE FOR FRIDAY'S AFTER-MARKET EARNINGS TIME & ESTIMATES!]())
(NONE.)

Domino's Pizza, Inc. $433.78

Domino's Pizza, Inc. (DPZ) is confirmed to report earnings at approximately 7:30 AM ET on Thursday, October 8, 2020. The consensus earnings estimate is $2.73 per share on revenue of $944.53 million and the Earnings Whisper ® number is $2.83 per share. Investor sentiment going into the company's earnings release has 76% expecting an earnings beat. Consensus estimates are for year-over-year earnings growth of 33.17% with revenue increasing by 15.07%. Short interest has decreased by 31.5% since the company's last earnings release while the stock has drifted higher by 7.4% from its open following the earnings release to be 22.3% above its 200 day moving average of $354.71. Overall earnings estimates have been revised higher since the company's last earnings release. Option traders are pricing in a 7.3% move on earnings and the stock has averaged a 8.2% move in recent quarters.

(CLICK HERE FOR THE CHART!)

Paychex, Inc. $79.43

Paychex, Inc. (PAYX) is confirmed to report earnings at approximately 8:30 AM ET on Tuesday, October 6, 2020. The consensus earnings estimate is $0.56 per share on revenue of $895.39 million and the Earnings Whisper ® number is $0.57 per share. Investor sentiment going into the company's earnings release has 49% expecting an earnings beat. Consensus estimates are for earnings to decline year-over-year by 21.13% with revenue decreasing by 9.74%. Short interest has decreased by 9.7% since the company's last earnings release while the stock has drifted higher by 2.8% from its open following the earnings release to be 6.0% above its 200 day moving average of $74.91. Overall earnings estimates have been revised lower since the company's last earnings release. On Friday, September 18, 2020 there was some notable buying of 1,269 contracts of the $90.00 call expiring on Friday, March 19, 2021. Option traders are pricing in a 4.8% move on earnings and the stock has averaged a 2.1% move in recent quarters.

(CLICK HERE FOR THE CHART!)

RPM International Inc. $82.64

RPM International Inc. (RPM) is confirmed to report earnings at approximately 6:45 AM ET on Wednesday, October 7, 2020. The consensus earnings estimate is $1.21 per share on revenue of $1.49 billion and the Earnings Whisper ® number is $1.26 per share. Investor sentiment going into the company's earnings release has 65% expecting an earnings beat. Consensus estimates are for year-over-year earnings growth of 27.37% with revenue increasing by 1.17%. Short interest has decreased by 39.7% since the company's last earnings release while the stock has drifted higher by 3.3% from its open following the earnings release to be 12.4% above its 200 day moving average of $73.51. Overall earnings estimates have been revised higher since the company's last earnings release. Option traders are pricing in a 4.4% move on earnings and the stock has averaged a 2.3% move in recent quarters.

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Helen of Troy Ltd. $199.83

Helen of Troy Ltd. (HELE) is confirmed to report earnings at approximately 6:30 AM ET on Thursday, October 8, 2020. The consensus earnings estimate is $2.39 per share on revenue of $451.26 million and the Earnings Whisper ® number is $2.57 per share. Investor sentiment going into the company's earnings release has 62% expecting an earnings beat. Consensus estimates are for year-over-year earnings growth of 18.91% with revenue increasing by 9.00%. Short interest has decreased by 6.4% since the company's last earnings release while the stock has drifted lower by 4.4% from its open following the earnings release to be 12.8% above its 200 day moving average of $177.13. Overall earnings estimates have been revised higher since the company's last earnings release. Option traders are pricing in a 5.7% move on earnings and the stock has averaged a 8.9% move in recent quarters.

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Acuity Brands, Inc. $105.61

Acuity Brands, Inc. (AYI) is confirmed to report earnings at approximately 8:40 AM ET on Thursday, October 8, 2020. The consensus earnings estimate is $2.01 per share on revenue of $814.63 million and the Earnings Whisper ® number is $2.12 per share. Investor sentiment going into the company's earnings release has 46% expecting an earnings beat. Consensus estimates are for earnings to decline year-over-year by 28.21% with revenue decreasing by 13.16%. Short interest has increased by 62.6% since the company's last earnings release while the stock has drifted higher by 5.6% from its open following the earnings release to be 4.1% above its 200 day moving average of $101.43. Overall earnings estimates have been revised higher since the company's last earnings release. Option traders are pricing in a 5.8% move on earnings and the stock has averaged a 9.0% move in recent quarters.

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Levi Strauss & Co. $14.15

Levi Strauss & Co. (LEVI) is confirmed to report earnings at approximately 4:00 PM ET on Tuesday, October 6, 2020. The consensus estimate is for a loss of $0.27 per share on revenue of $766.84 million and the Earnings Whisper ® number is ($0.20) per share. Investor sentiment going into the company's earnings release has 40% expecting an earnings beat. Consensus estimates are for earnings to decline year-over-year by 187.10% with revenue decreasing by 47.01%. Short interest has increased by 3.9% since the company's last earnings release while the stock has drifted higher by 7.3% from its open following the earnings release to be 3.5% below its 200 day moving average of $14.66. Overall earnings estimates have been revised higher since the company's last earnings release. On Friday, October 2, 2020 there was some notable buying of 8,166 contracts of the $14.00 call expiring on Friday, October 16, 2020. Option traders are pricing in a 10.6% move on earnings and the stock has averaged a 6.9% move in recent quarters.

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Lamb Weston Holdings, Inc. $67.93

Lamb Weston Holdings, Inc. (LW) is confirmed to report earnings at approximately 8:30 AM ET on Wednesday, October 7, 2020. The consensus earnings estimate is $0.30 per share on revenue of $877.60 million and the Earnings Whisper ® number is $0.28 per share. Investor sentiment going into the company's earnings release has 36% expecting an earnings beat. Consensus estimates are for earnings to decline year-over-year by 62.03% with revenue decreasing by 11.26%. Short interest has decreased by 21.7% since the company's last earnings release while the stock has drifted higher by 4.1% from its open following the earnings release to be 1.8% below its 200 day moving average of $69.17. Overall earnings estimates have been revised lower since the company's last earnings release. On Friday, October 2, 2020 there was some notable buying of 1,580 contracts of the $70.00 call expiring on Friday, October 16, 2020. Option traders are pricing in a 8.3% move on earnings and the stock has averaged a 6.7% move in recent quarters.

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Landec Corp. $9.43

Landec Corp. (LNDC) is confirmed to report earnings at approximately 4:20 PM ET on Tuesday, October 6, 2020. The consensus estimate is for a loss of $0.11 per share on revenue of $127.86 million and the Earnings Whisper ® number is ($0.09) per share. Investor sentiment going into the company's earnings release has 41% expecting an earnings beat. Consensus estimates are for year-over-year earnings growth of 31.25% with revenue decreasing by 7.82%. Short interest has decreased by 5.1% since the company's last earnings release while the stock has drifted lower by 12.3% from its open following the earnings release to be 8.4% below its 200 day moving average of $10.30. Overall earnings estimates have been revised lower since the company's last earnings release. Option traders are pricing in a 16.7% move on earnings and the stock has averaged a 10.6% move in recent quarters.

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Saratoga Investment Corp $17.27

Saratoga Investment Corp (SAR) is confirmed to report earnings at approximately 4:00 PM ET on Wednesday, October 7, 2020. The consensus earnings estimate is $0.47 per share on revenue of $12.95 million. Investor sentiment going into the company's earnings release has 48% expecting an earnings beat. Consensus estimates are for earnings to decline year-over-year by 30.88% with revenue decreasing by 6.75%. Short interest has decreased by 60.5% since the company's last earnings release while the stock has drifted higher by 6.3% from its open following the earnings release. Overall earnings estimates have been revised lower since the company's last earnings release.

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EXFO Inc. $3.24

EXFO Inc. (EXFO) is confirmed to report earnings at approximately 4:00 PM ET on Wednesday, October 7, 2020. The consensus earnings estimate is $0.07 per share on revenue of $64.85 million and the Earnings Whisper ® number is $0.07 per share. Investor sentiment going into the company's earnings release has 30% expecting an earnings beat. Consensus estimates are for year-over-year earnings growth of 40.00% with revenue decreasing by 7.59%. Short interest has decreased by 17.5% since the company's last earnings release while the stock has drifted lower by 14.7% from its open following the earnings release. Overall earnings estimates have been revised higher since the company's last earnings release.

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DISCUSS!

What are you all watching for in this upcoming trading week?
I hope you all have a wonderful weekend and a great trading week ahead StockMarket.
submitted by bigbear0083 to StockMarket [link] [comments]

Trading Shares versus Spread Betting Spread Betting Strategies and Ideas What is Spread Trading? ☝️ - YouTube Spread Betting AIM Stocks and Penny Stocks WHAT IS THE STOCK MARKET?  The Stock Market Explained ...

Stock market index spread betting guide with live prices & charts. Plus daily stock market analysis, an indices spread betting price comparison, tips on where to trade commission-free and tax-free* as well as In understanding the stock market we cover what the stock market is, how the stock market works and the best way to buy and sell stocks. Spread-Betting.com Spread Betting and Trading Academy The spread is what the market maker gets for doing the transaction. He will widen the spread or narrow the spread to suit his purpose. Narrow spreads tend to attract buyers because they can make money faster and wider spreads attract sellers because sellers know that buyers won't buy a big spread. What is Spread Betting? Spread betting refers to speculating on the direction of a financial market without actually owning the underlying security. Spread betting is a derivative strategy, in which participants do not own the underlying asset they bet on, such as a stock or commodity. Rather, spread bettors simply speculate on whether the ...

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Trading Shares versus Spread Betting

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