Monday, May 14, 2012

Google: Short, Long, or Both?

I agree with everything Mark_Lexus says in his blog post here.  Google (GOOG) has been in a tight range since its post-ER selloff - right between the 50- and 200-day smas.  Mark suggests waiting for either an upward or downward break of that range, and then entering credit put spreads accordingly.  He generally doesn't open credit call spreads, and that works for him.

As I said, I don't disagree with his setups as his winners far outnumber his losers.  But I want to point out a few extra setups:

#1 - On a break above the 50-day sma at ~620, I would enter the same trade as Mark with credit put spreads under the 200-day sma at ~590.

#2 - On a break below the 200-day sma, one could enter credit CALL spreads with the short strike above the 50-day sma.  As you can see from the chart, there is a symmetrical triangle/pennant forming.  This is typically a continuation pattern after a big move (like the one we just saw).  The width of the triangle is ~30 points, so this would be the target in a measured move down.  Seems like a great setup, but I wouldn't trade this unless we see a convincing break with continued market weakness.  The alternate trade is credit put spreads in line with Mark's setup.

#3 - Last, and most aggressive, setup is to continue playing the current range with an iron condor.  It's up to you to decide your required risk/reward levels and place the short strikes accordingly.  The benefit of an iron condor is that it allows you to be much more generous with your strike placement, as you are essentially placing credit spreads with the same amount of margin used.

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