The Money Tree

Safely Generating Income in Retirement

Posts Tagged ‘NUE’

July 2014 Results

Posted by mounddweller on August 9, 2014

Fellow Traders,

I’m slow to post my monthly results again.  I think it is partly the result of my apathy towards this market.  As I mentioned last month I’m finding it harder and harder to identify trades which meet my level of comfort with regard to risk vs. reward.

However, that being said I did do a few trades during the month of July.  Let’s see what my closed trades looked like.

I closed 5 trades in July, netting $1,357.84.  The bulk of my profits came from a long-held position in INTC.  You may recall back in April I sold JUL and AUG calls on INTC at strike prices of $27 and $26 respectively.  At expiration in JUL my shares were called away at $27.  This resulted in a gain of $851, over $4 per share.   I chose not to roll my options out and up simply because it has been my experience that chasing a stock up doesn’t work.  I’d rather allow the position to be called away and then start again fresh when the stock inevitably takes another dip.

My other closed trades in July were in LOW, GIS, NUE, and XLNX.  With LOW and XLNX I bought back my puts early, locking in a profit before expiration.  GIS and NUE were held to expiration and expired OTM.  My average holding period for the four trades was 16 days.  GIS was the longest held at 25 days and XLNX the shortest at 6 days.

In July I also initiated 3 new trades and rolled out one existing trade.  My new trades were in MAT, TROW, and QCOM.  The existing trade I extended by rolling out was in the $VIX.  More about that in a few weeks when I report my AUG results.  So here’s what my 3 new trades look like:

(1) On 7/17 – STO 4 MAT AUG $35 puts at $0.35.  I got in a little early but I liked this trade because MAT is oversold, beaten down, and has been left for dead.  Had I waited a few more days I could have gotten $0.50 for my puts.  MAT has strong support at $35 and pays a quarterly dividend of $0.38/share.  If MAT slips below $35 at expiration my plan is to take assignment and sell the SEP calls while capturing the next dividend on 8/25.  While MAT is not on my long-term hold wish list, should I be assigned I wouldn’t mind owning it at the current price and holding it until it recovered.

(2) On 7/24 – STO 1 TROW AUG $80 put at $1.35.  Clearly I was early on this one as well.  The stock has continued to move south since I sold my put.  On Friday it closed at $78.11.  Unlike MAT, TROW is on my long-term hold list.  I want to build a ‘hold forever’ position in TROW, reinvesting the dividends until I’m ready to retire and then living on them in retirement.  For this reason, should TROW close ITM I will accept assignment and begin collecting the modest, but rapidly growing quarterly dividend of $0.44.  It has increased its dividend every year for the past 27.  In the past 5 years the dividend has grown 76%, from $0.25 to $0.44/qtr.

(3) On 7/24 – STO 2 QCOM AUG $74.50 puts at $0.60.  This trade has taken me on a wild ride.  The first week I felt like a genius.  However, on 7/31 my puts went ITM so I immediately rolled down and out two weeks to the AUG29 $74 puts for a net credit.  However, you’ll have to wait until SEP to hear how the wild ride ends because on 8/1 QCOM took another dip and I had to roll further out and down to the SEP $72.50 puts.  I’m no longer feeling like a genius and hope that I’m able to extract myself from the trade with all of my money if not my pride intact.

Well that’s it for another month.  If I get so motivated and find some time I may post again this month telling you a bit more about the stocks in my dividend superstar list and which ones I’m looking to accumulate long-term for my retirement.

Best of luck to my fellow traders.  Be safe out there!





Posted in Portfolio Updates | Tagged: , , , , , , , | Leave a Comment »

June 2014 Results

Posted by mounddweller on July 6, 2014

Fellow Traders,

A belated Happy Independence Day to you!  I hope each of you has had a wonderful holiday relaxing and enjoying good food, drink, and the company of friends.

To be honest I don’t have much to report this month.  Several factors limited my trading activity not the least of which is the height of the market and the record lows in the $VIX.

I only closed two trades in June.  On May 20th I sold 3 JUN EXC $33 puts at $0.35.  At expiration on June 21st these puts expired OTM.  The result was a small gain of $96.55 with a net ROIC of 0.98%.  My other closed trade was in Nucor.    On June 4th I sold two 27JUN $49 puts at $0.55.  These barely expired OTM with NUE trading at $49.09 on Friday, June 27th.  My profit was $102.05 with a net ROIC of 1.04%.

During the month I opened two new naked put trades.  On June 24th I sold 2 JUL GIS $52.50 puts at $0.50.  Also, on June 30th I sold 3 JUL NUE $48 puts at $0.56.

As I mentioned at the beginning of this post it is becoming increasingly difficult to find trades which meet my risk / reward criteria.  The $VIX is so low that the only trades with any premium are close to ATM or are on risky stocks.  Thus, I’ve limited my trades to ones where the high quality stock appears to be bouncing off the lower Bollinger band (BB).

That’s it for this month.  Best of luck to everyone one in the coming month.  Be ever vigilant!  A correction could occur when we least expect it.










Posted in Portfolio Updates | Tagged: , , , | Leave a Comment »

New Trade – CAT

Posted by mounddweller on June 15, 2013

Fellow Traders,

I executed a new trade today.  As I mentioned in my earlier post on CHRW, I’ve had my eye on CAT for some time now.   In just a moment I’ll explain my line of reasoning for this trade.

Caterpillar Inc. manufactures and sells construction and mining equipment, diesel and natural gas engines, industrial gas turbines, and diesel-electric locomotives worldwide.  It was formerly known as Caterpillar Tractor Co. and changed its name to Caterpillar Inc. in 1986. The company was founded in 1925 and is headquartered in Peoria, Illinois.  (courtesy of Yahoo Finance)

Here are the specifics for my trade:

STO 2 JUL $80 puts at $1.00

This is not my first rodeo with CAT.  I’ve successfully traded it twice earlier this year.  I learned about the potential for trading puts in CAT from my investing friend and hero Teddi over at  I’ve kept it on my watch list ever since.

Here’s why I like this trade right now…

(1) It is trading well down in the range its established over the past year ($80 – $90).  It did rally at the beginning of the year to $100 but has since fallen back into the trading range.

(2) Earlier this week it bounced off its lower Bollinger Band at around $83 and now appears to be trending back up.

(3) The slight uptick in volatility has increased option prices such that I could go for a lower strike price and still receive a decent premium

Here’s a 3-month price chart which shows the bounce off of the lower Bollinger Band.

BLOG - CAT 3M v2

So, why didn’t I sell the $82.50 puts?  Well, despite the bounce off the lower Bollinger Band being a good signal for a price reversal, with the current uncertainty in the overall market I decided I wanted a little less risk in this trade.  That coupled with the fact that CAT has strong support at $80.

Here’s a three year chart which shows the strong support at $80.

BLOG - CAT 3 Yr Chart

That’s it for this one.  I’m still keeping an eye on the NUE JUL $42 puts.  However it didn’t fade as much on Friday so I’ve elected to wait a bit longer before I pull the trigger on that one.



Posted in Troy's New Picks! | Tagged: , , , | Leave a Comment »

New Trade – CHRW

Posted by mounddweller on June 13, 2013

Fellow Traders,

I executed a new trade today.  I’ve had my eye on this one for some time now.   I sold puts on C. H. Robinson Worldwide (CHRW).

C.H. Robinson Worldwide, Inc., a third-party logistics company, provides freight transportation services and logistics solutions to companies in various industries worldwide. It offers transportation and logistics services, such as truckload, less than truckload, intermodal, ocean, and air freight transportation, as well as other logistics services, including transportation management, customs brokerage, and warehousing. The company has contractual relationships with approximately 56,000 transportation companies, including motor carriers, railroads, air freight, and ocean carriers. It also engages in buying, selling, and marketing fresh produce. It offers its fresh produce to grocery retailers, restaurants, produce wholesalers, and foodservice distributors through a network of independent produce growers and suppliers. The company operates through a network of 276 branch offices in North America, Europe, Asia, South America, and Australia. C.H. Robinson Worldwide, Inc. was founded in 1905 and is headquartered in Eden Prairie, Minnesota.  (courtesy of Yahoo Finance)

Here are the specifics for my trade:

STO 2 JUL $55 puts at $1.10

You’ll notice I didn’t go hog-wild with this one.  By that I mean I intentionally kept this a small trade.  I did so because I’ve never traded CHRW before and thus don’t have any experience in how volatile it is or an understanding of how it reacts to market and company specific news.

However, as I mentioned above I have had my eye on it for some time.  Here’s why…

(1) It is on my Dividend Superstars list

(a)  It has increased its dividend annually for the past 16 years

(b)  It’s dividend growth rate for the past 5 years is 12.9%

(c) It’s payout ratio is relatively low, only 38%, thus it has plenty of room to continue growing the dividend

(2) It is trading at multi-year lows

(3) It is trading at a significant level of support

(4) The first three reasons mean I wouldn’t mind owning it at this price and am interested in possibly establishing a longer-term position in it.

(5) Given the low level of volatility in the market, I liked the potential 2% ROIC if the puts expire worthless.

Here’s a one-year price chart which shows the strong support at $56.

BLOG - CHRW 1yr Chart

Here’s the three year chart which show just how far back the support at $56 extends.

BLOG - CHRW 3yr Chart

That’s it for this one.  Other trades I’m currently keeping an eye on include the NUE JUL $42 puts and the CAT JUL $80 puts.  Both ran away from me today but given the recent volatility I expect they’ll come back down and I’ll get another chance to pull the trigger.




Posted in Potential Trades, Troy's New Picks! | Tagged: , , , | 2 Comments »

April 2013 Results

Posted by mounddweller on April 30, 2013

Fellow Traders,

You’ll recall earlier this year I started a new series of posts summarizing my monthly trading results.   Today being the last trading day of the month let’s take a look and see how I did.

Number of Closed Positions: 4

Profit on Closed Trades: $447.50

Total Capital Used on Closed Trades: $46,600.00

Average Number of Days Trades Were Open: 27

Return on Invested Capital: 0.96%

OK, before I move on to the stats for my open trades, let me tell you a little more about these closed trades.  All 4 closed trades were naked puts.   Half expired OTM and half I bought back before expiration at a profit.  I had CSCO puts at the $20 strike and POT puts at the $37 strike expire OTM.  ITW and KSS I bought back early, both for $0.05.

Now let’s look at my open trades.

Number of Open Positions: 6

Net Cash Flow in April from Open Positions: $355.05

Total Capital Used on Open Trades: $71,050

Net Cash Flow on Invested Capital: 0.50%

The return on invested capital for my open positions is much lower than normal because I did a poor job of managing them.  I waited too long to roll out my GDX position.  This resulted in having 300 shares put to me at $40.  Because of this I was not able to generate any cash flow by rolling out my NPs.  Neither was I reasonably able to sell covered calls on my new long position unless I wanted to sell them far, far out in time or way ITM.  I also did a poor job of rolling out my open positions in CAT and NUE.  While I was able to roll-out for net credits in both cases, they were small net credits.   My other open positions are as follows:  CSCO MAY $19, TEVA MAY $37.50, and CCJ MAY $19.

I am cautiously optimistic heading into May.  Best of luck to all my readers!



Posted in Portfolio Updates | Tagged: , , , , , , , , , | 1 Comment »