If you remember, my “calendar” listed a short-term post-election rally to be followed by a downward trending market into the early part of December. And then a renewed rally heading into January.
I didn’t include yesterday’s coronavirus vaccine news from Pfizer in that mix, but yesterday’s reaction to that news strikes me as having put a cherry on top of recent optimism.
By my accounting, the good news–election relatively peaceful, positive vaccine news, hope for a limited coronavirus stimulus before January–is now baked into stock prices.
By that same accounting, there’s a bushel of bad news that isn’t in prices–the possibility of another cliffhanger before Congress decides to fund the government again, a rising tide of coronavirus cases (with 142,000 new cases on Monday), the possibility that some states will need to implement restrictions on economic activity to control an out-of-control virus, the continued lame-duck hijinks from the White House, and a slowing economy.
So at this point I’m not interested in chasing prices higher. In my opinion I’ll get better buying opportunities in the weeks ahead.
And I am selectively buying Put options on some of the stocks that rose most outlandishly on Monday. I’m looking at many of the names that I thought were attractive before–American Airlines, MGM Resorts International, Wells Fargo–for January 15, 2021 Puts. But after Monday, I can get the same Put or a Put with a higher strike price for less cash. For example, in my personal account I bought American Airlines January 15, 2021 Put options with a strike price of $11 for $128 a contract on November 5, last Thursday. I bought more of that same Put for just $82 a contract today.
As of the close in New York the Standard & Poor’s 500 was down 0.14% and the NASDAQ Composite was off 1.37% with the NASDAQ 100 down 1.74%. The Dow Jones Industrial Average was up 0.90% largely on a 5% gain in Boeing shares.
Technology continued the sell off from yesterday. Facebook (FB) was down 2.27% at the close. Amazon (AMZN) had slid 3.46%. NVidia (NVDA) was lower by 6.31%. And Microsoft (MSFT) had dropped 3.38%.