EVENT: AAPL will report their fiscal Q2 earnings on Apr 24th after the market close.
-Implied move in the options market almost 7%, vs ~4.25% avg move over the last 4 qtrs.
MY QUICK TAKE ON AAPL’S RECENT VOLATILITY: The fever appears to have broken, investors have gone from climbing all over each other to buy shares to relentlessly selling shares over the last 9 trading days (stock has been down 7 out of the last 9 days since making all time highs Apr 10th. It also appears that a little sanity has taken hold as investors have chosen to trim positions, possibly on the heals of generally lackluster earnings guidance from a few large tech bellwethers, to fear that the company could have a similar miss to their Sept qtr that saw push out in demand in front of iPhone 4s, as we get some color on the new iPad launch.
Historical, Implied and Skew:
April27 weeklies (yellow) are flying high with vol in the 60’s. That should get even more jacked going into the earnings on the 24th. May (green) is also quite high, in the upper 40’s:
The implied vol (red) we’re seeing in near term options is actually pretty high historically, it’s been climbing steadily going into this earnings, but, so has the actual vol (blue) in the stock as AAPL has sold off it’s parabolic highs:
So all in all vol is pretty rich, but the stock has been whipping around.
MY TRADE: I want to sell the move, but in a defined risk fashion, I want to sell a strangle in the weekly options but covering my tail by buying a further out strangle. This strategy is called an Iron Condor for those who haven’t used one or maybe even heard of one….it sounds a bit intimidating, but it is really as simple as selling 2 spreads with defined risk, in this case I will be selling an out of the money call spread and selling an out of the money put spread.
I AM NOT PUTTING THIS TRADE ON UNTIL LATE TUESDAY AFTERNOON, RIGHT BEFORE EARNINGS AS I FEEL VOLS WILL STAY BID OR EVEN RISE AND THAT WILL BE THE MOST OPPORTUNE TIME TO PICK STRIKES. TRADE BELOW IS AN EXAMPLE OF WHAT I INTEND TO DO.
TRADE: AAPL ($574) Sell Apr wkly 620/610 Call Spread and Sell the Apr wkly 545/535 Put Spread for Total of $5.30
-Sell the April weekly 620/610 call spread for ~$2.70,
-Sell the April weekly 545/535 put spread for ~$2.60
Break-Even on April 27th Expiration:
-Profits If stock is btwn 545 and 610, max gain of 5.00
-Losses of up to 5.00 if stock is btwn 540 and 535 or btwn 615 and 620, Max loss of 5.00 if stock is above 620 or below 535