Calendar Spread

The Charade Continues: London Gold And Silver Markets Set For Even More Paper Trading

Today the London Metal Exchange (LME) and the World Gold Council (WGC) jointly announced the launch next year of standardised gold and silver spot and futures contracts which will trade on the LME’s electronic platform LMESelect, will clear on the LME central clearing platform LME Clear, and that will be settled ‘loco London’. Together these new products will be known as LMEprecious.’

'Transitory' Excuses Destroyed As Mainstream Wakes Up To Crashing Yield Curve

The US Treasury yield curve is flattening again, with parts finally in 2016 surpassing the bearishness exhibited to start 2015. The mainstream is just now starting to notice likely because unlike last year there are no longer credible excuses to simply wish it away. “Transitory” is not a word you find much anymore, replaced instead by reluctant and forced acknowledgement that there is real economic peril here. Bearishness in the yield curve is not something new, however, only the notice of it.

How To Trade The Fed's Upcoming "Policy Error" In Three Parts

"... the next 12-18 months will be divided into three periods corresponding to the three distinct regimes of market dynamics. They can be summarized by the following modes of the curve: short-term tactical bear flatteners on the back of a Fed liftoff story, followed by volatile bear steepeners of the “taper-tantrum” type around mid-year, and a bull-flattening finale as structural factors deem rate hikes to be a policy mistake."

The Fed's Artificial Steepening Of The Yield Curve

To be blunt about it, the Federal Reserve under interest rate targeting clearly and artificially shifted the treasury curve toward steepness; they did so as a means to influence investor behavior and, as silly as it sounds, mood. In other words, the yield curve is not made solely out of actual market and fundamental conditions, but of influence from decidedly non-market political action (actually only threats of action that have been forced only since 2007). Given that station, there is no real reason to believe that absolute levels bear any similar resemblance to signals of past function... in other words - waiting for curve inversion as a signal of recession is no longer valid.

The "Anti-Widowmaker" Trade: Get Paid To Wait For The Japanese House Of Card To Collapse

Taking a “short position” in either Japanese interest rates or their currency is a fundamentally sound idea; however it may take three to seven years for the “Macro-profits” to be fully realized. Over that time, a short position will demand a cost, either in the terms of the negative carry of a spot position or the time decay of a short-dated option. Additionally, since it is unlikely you will enter the trade at the extreme, there could be some mark-to-market vibrations that may breach your risk limits. To the rescue is the strange circumstance of a widening USD vs. JPY Rate differential in conjunction with a flattening Volatility Term Surface. Below is a table of mid-market values for Par Strike USD call // JPY put options with expiries from one-year to ten-years. The critical observation is that a five-year option costs more than a ten-year option; thus the weird dynamic of owning an option with (effectively) positive “theta”: You are paid to own an option !

Gold Implied Vol To Surge? Gold Sept15/Dec15 $3300 Calendar Spread Trades

Too lazy to bring up the chart but take our word for it: a block trade $3,330 Gold September/December 2015 calendar spread just hit the tape at 8:46 am on the CME at an 18.5 bps spread. Looks like someone is starting to believe that the CME interventions in gold via margin hikes will merely compress the implied vol which will explode sooner or later. Also, without knowing the details behind the trade, we wonder if the strike is an indication of where gold is headed or merely a arbed matrix glitch in the implied vol curve. We will try to bring you more on any other odd Greeks we notice in the gold market which is increasingly positioning itself as a reserve currency.

Goldman's Top Vol Trades For 2011

Goldman's Krag Gregory has proposed several interesting vol ideas all of which, however, are predicated by Goldman's attempt to merely leverage (clients) into the company's bullish outlook on the economy and markets. To wit: "Our US Portfolio Strategy team’s SPX target of 1500 coupled with high 1y skew and low rates biases us to strategies that sell expensive puts to fund upside." The eight trades specifically are: Trade #1: Sell S&P 500 Dec-11 variance at 22.8; Trade #2: Sell RUT Dec-11 variance at 30; Trade #3: Sell S&P 500 Apr-11/Dec-11 forward variance at 24.2; Trade #4: Risk reversals. Buy a Dec-11 S&P 500 104.6% call; Sell a 90% put to fund; Trade #5: Knock-in risk reversals. Buy a Dec-11 S&P 500 102.7% call. Sell a 95% put with a 82% (1060) knock-in to fund; Trade #6: 1x2 Call spread overlay. Buy Mar-11 SPX 100%/104.4% 1x2 call spreads for 1.4%; Trade #7: Buy Dec-11 SPX 100%/116% 1x2 call spread; sell a 8.5% OTM put to fund as a standalone options strategy; Trade #8: Calendar spread as a hedge. Buy Mar-11 SPX ATM put, sell Dec-11 82% put to fund.

SEC Probing 3Com Option Trades

The SEC has no problem being all over what is handed to them on a silver platter. As to the pyramid scheme that the market now is, they'll just leave that one alone. " Bullish bets on 3Com Corp. options four hours before Hewlett-Packard Co.’s bid for the maker of computer-networking equipment are being investigated by regulators, according to a person familiar with the matter."

$1.5 Million In Blatant Insider Trading Profit Following 3Com Acquisition (Or An Innocent Calendar Spread)

3Com's acquisition by Hewlett Packard for $7.90/share after the close today came as a surprise to many, but not all. Because someone bought 3 times the open interest in November $5 calls and 15 times the open interest of the December calls. In summary: 3,961 Nov $5 calls were purchased today (964 open interest) for $0.65, as were 3,269 December $5 Calls (210 open interest) for $0.85. The profit, assuming the insider action was by one entity, is about $870,000 on the Novembers and $650,000 on the December strikes, for a not too shabby illegal daily P&L of $1.5 million. This is so blatant it is sufficiently stupid that even the SEC will presumably catch the perpetrator. Here's to hoping the trader ends up being Galleon's Raj Raj buying options from his E-Trade account while on bail. Of course, we fully expect any prosecution case against the perpetrator to fall apart at the seams courtesy of a completely inept legal team at the SEC and the Justice Department.