On Friday we saw a jobs report for the ages. We’ve never seen such a massive bullish surprise from the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS).
Analysts were expecting the BLS to report job losses of 8.3 million and an unemployment rate of nearly 20%. Instead, the BLS reported the U.S. economy created — yes, created — 2.5 million jobs, pushing the unemployment rate down to 13%.
Now, 13% unemployment is still an incredibly troubling economic number. But compared to the 20% analysts were anticipating, this is outrageously bullish news for Wall Street. You can see why traders pushed the S&P 500 up more than 2.5% last Friday. It’s like Christmas came early.
This bullish news is fantastic for our portfolio in general, and it also gives us an excellent opportunity to generate some quick cash on our Cisco Systems (NASDAQ:CSCO) shares.
Selling into the Bullishness
We’ve been holding shares of CSCO since August of 2019. Though the company has struggled, we like the stock because, during the pandemic, companies with ties to business and connectivity technology have been increasingly important.
The best time to sell a covered call is when you’re selling into bullish strength because the value of the call options is going to be inflated. Sometimes selling a covered call into bullish strength can be risky because you never know how high the stock is ultimately going to go, but in this instance, we have an excellent resistance level we can use to set our strike price.
Two weeks ago, we noticed investors were pushing out of tech stocks and into financial stocks. Now it looks like tech is catching up, making this a good time to sell calls against CSCO.
Rising to Resistance at $50
Looking back at the price action on the CSCO chart since August 2019, $50 has been an incredibly strong resistance level. The stock tried to break up through this level in late August 2019 and again before reporting earnings in February 2020. It failed both times.
Daily Chart of Cisco Systems (CSCO) — Chart Source: TradingView
We expect this level to serve as strong resistance the next time the stock reaches it. There will be plenty of traders who will either be looking to take their short-term profits off the table or reduce their exposure to the stock at that price level. This should keep the stock below $50 in the short term.
So, we have an excellent strike price for our covered call. When picking an expiration date, we recommend sooner rather than later. That will allow you the flexibility you need to collect even more profits as your CSCO calls lose value.
InvestorPlace advisers John Jagerson and S. Wade Hansen, both Chartered Market Technician (CMT) designees, are co-founders of LearningMarkets.com, as well as the co-editors of Strategic Trader.