The markets have stayed true to historical form by rallying during the first week of a new month, and the surge has brought the indices back up to within shouting distance from their recent highs.
Sector indices also remain bullish, with all nine sectors now in bullish trends. Global indices also continue to improve, with five of the eight we track now in bullish trends relative to their key moving averages. On the downside, the Dow Transports continue to trend lower even after a rally this past week, but the Transports have been weak all year without negative consequences for the primary indices.
Further confirmation for the “risk on” trade comes from U.S. Treasuries and the U.S. dollar. We’re tracking those using the iShares Barclays 20+ Year Treasury Bond Fund (NYSE:TLT) and PowerShares DB US Dollar Index Bullish ETF (NYSE:UUP).
TLT failed to overtake resistance at $124 over the past week and on Thursday took a turn lower. If that holds, a very visible definitive of “lower highs and lower lows” will be in place. UUP remains deep in a bearish trend relative to its key moving averages. Bearishness in TLT and UUP actually are good for stocks, as it signals money is leaving those safe havens and being deployed in more risky assets.
So signs point to the rally continuing, although a follow-through next week would make us feel a whole lot better about that. Options buyers should continue to favor calls over puts.
Here’s a trade to take advantage of current market conditions:
Recommended Fast Options Trade: Amgen
Amgen (NASDAQ:AMGN) is a major biotechnology company. The stock has broken out of a short trading range to move to new all-time highs. Amgen should continue its rally, especially if the indices themselves can move to new high ground. Here is the best way to play more strength in Amgen:
I recommend that you buy the Amgen (AMGN) Jan 92.5 Call (AMGN130119C00092500) at a suggested price of $1.40 ($140 per contract).
After taking the position, enter a good-till-cancelled contingent order to sell this option if the stock hits its target price of $89.90. That should give you an option price of about $2.40, for a 71% profit.
Close this position and cut losses if the stock closes below $82.70, when the option price should be about 70 cents.
Ken Trester is editor of the popular Maximum Options program. Trester has been trading options since the first exchanges opened in 1973 with a winning streak that goes back to 1984 with money-doubling average annual profits since 1990.