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From a technical perspective, the Industrial Select Sector SPDR Fund (NYSEARCA:XLI) looks unlikely to go up much further. It’s at a point with a lot of overhead resistance, and has been making a down-slanting trend, with tops lower than the previous tops. That’s why I’m opting to take this bearish position on the industrials:
Using a spread order, sell to open the XLI June 15th $77 call and buy to open the XLI June 15th $79 call for a net credit of about $0.35.
For those who might be new to this strategy, a call credit spread is a bearish position that involves writing (selling to open) an option and simultaneously purchasing (buying to open) an option at a different strike price in the same underlying security. The position, or leg, of the spread trade that you sell gives you a cash credit to your trading account. The option you buy limits your risk and lowers your margin requirement for the trade.
This is a bearish trade in which you want the underlying share price to stay below the lower strike price of the spread. In this case, we want XLI to stay below $77 through the June 15 expiration.
Now, because XLI is a composite of a lot of different stocks, it doesn’t tend to move dramatically either way. That’s what you’re always looking for with credit spreads and put writes. But one of the biggest industrials is Boeing Co (NYSE:BA), which went up much too far and is adjusting. Also, the gridlock in Washington, D.C. makes it unlikely that we’ll see the promised infrastructure construction — which was a bullish catalyst bulls were hoping for in this group. So, I see good odds with this bearish position.
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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.