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Posts Tagged ‘APOL’

Apollo Education (APOL) Gets Subpoenaed/ Profit Alerts (QQQ, IWM)!!!

Wednesday, April 2nd, 2014

12:30pm (EST)

Shares of Apollo Education Group (APOL, $32.09, down $3.07) are down 9% today following mixed earnings.  The company reported a profit of $0.28 a share on revenue of $679 million versus expectations for $0.19 a share on revenue of $689 million.

The beat on earnings was due to some special-items but the miss on revenue was more significant.  Looking forward, Apollo is expecting full-year revenue for 2014 to come in at $3-$3.1 billion versus expectations in between these numbers.

The bigger news is that Apollo’s University of Phoenix subsidiary was served with a subpoena from the US Department of Education.

We have talked about Apollo’s skeletons in the closet and have always been bearish on the stock.  We specifically mentioned their “boiler room” tactics from years ago and we have said the Education stocks are in a bubble.  With student-debt approaching $1 trillion with a “T”, the sector is overvalued and we have been waiting for the perfect opportunity to go short some of the names in the game.

The zombies from the education department are looking into Apollo’s marketing, recruitment, enrollment and financial aid processing as part of their investigation.  Better late than never as we have been warning of the company’s shenanigans for years.

Here were our thoughts from our Earnings section from Sunday’s Weekly Wrap (quotes from 3/28/14):

Apollo Education Group (APOL, $32.85, up $0.45)

April 35 calls (APOL140419C00035, $1.15, up $0.18)

April 30 puts (APOL140419P00030000, $0.90, down $0.10)

Thoughts:  The stock we love to hate.  Shares often move 10% or more and while we are bearish on the stock, shares seem to hang above $30.  We have listed a possible strangle option trade but we will likely sit for this earnings session.” (END)

We looked at a possible earnings trade but we didn’t like the setup and shares have trended higher on recent earnings announcements.  With April options expiring in less than 3 weeks, the premiums were also expensive and overinflated.

The April 35 calls (APOL140419C00035, $0.15, down $1.92) closed north of $2 and had nearly doubled going into yesterday’s close but are down over 90% today.

Meanwhile , the April 30 puts (APOL140419P00030000, $0.35, down $0.05) are trading lower despite the stock’s nasty drop.

As you can see, the premiums in both the calls and puts have been deflated following the news.  We will keep Apollo on our Watch List as there will be a day when the opportunity will be there for us to go short.

As far as the market, the bulls are up but there has been some weakness.

The Dow is advancing 14 points to 16,546 while the S&P 500 is higher by 4 points to 1,889.  The Nasdaq is gaining 3 points to 4,271 and the Russell 2000 is up 2 points to 1,191.

We have a lot to cover inside our Members Area, including of first 2 Profit Alerts for the month.  We could have additional trades today for both our Daily and Weekly Wrap but we wanted to get this update out before getting into new positions.  Stay locked-and-loaded over the next hour or so as there is a good chance you hear from us again.  For now, let’s go ring the register.

Wall Street, Apollo Education Group (APOL) has a Problem

Wednesday, January 8th, 2014

1:35pm (EST)

No matter how much you hate a stock or feel it is overvalued, overhyped, or that analysts just don’t get it – it is often best to sit on the sidelines as emotions can play a major role in the difference on a good trade or bad trade.

With the student loan debt surpassing $1 trillion, there will come a judgement day when company books will have to reset as more and more loans default.  Blame the zombies for the majority of these problems as they pay out unemployment benefits and encourage everyone to go to school.  Especially, online colleges that they help fund with taxpayers money.

Back to the main point.

Apollo Education Group (APOL, $30.52, up $3.59) is a stock we have hated for years but have respected because it is made of teflon.  We talked about the company’s story in our Weekly Wrap and here were our thoughts ahead of earnings (quotes from 1/3/2014):

Apollo Education Group (APOL, $27.03, up $0.14) is

January 25 puts (APOL140118P00025000, $0.70, down $0.05)

January 30 calls (APOL140118C00030000, $0.55, up $0.05)

Thoughts:  For those of you that have followed us over the years, you know we have always been bearish on Apollo Group as it is one of our favorite ways to play the $1 trillion in student debt loans.  We have covered the company’s “shady” history and we believe this is a low-teens to single-digit stock.  However, shares have been in a strong uptrend of late and that could continue depending on how the company spins its earnings report.  If we do take action, it will likely be a strangle option trade and where we would use both options to play a possible 10%-15% move on the news. (END)

Shares pushed $30 in after-hours trading last night and closed at $29.55.  They opened at $x this morning and have traded up to $29.93 and have trade to a high of $31.94.

The January 30 calls (APOL140118C00030000, $1.05, up $0.05) were at double-nickels (55 cents) and went out on Tuesday’s session at 57 cents.  They have trade to a high of $2 after opening at 86 cents.

The January 25 puts (APOL140118P00025000, $0.05, down $0.77) were at 70 cents Sunday night and went into yesterday’s close at 82 cents.  They opened at 10 cents this morning and traded to 40 cents before falling to a nickel.

A 10-contract trade for each call and put option is known as a strangle option trade.

Our gut instinct was right and going long the calls against our emotions would have paid off nicely.  The strangle trade would have made nearly 100% had the options been closed at the open and that is a sweet profit on less than 24 hours of work.

Still, to manage this trade would have been tricky but we liked the risk/ reward the options offered even though we hate the stock.

There will be a day we come back to Apollo Group as resistance is at $32 and in the past has been a brick wall.

As we head into the second half of trading, the market is mixed and the fireworks begin at 2pm as the Fed minutes will be released.

The Dow is down 63 points to 16,467 while the S&P 500 is higher by a fraction and is holding 1,838.  The Nasdaq is advancing 15 points to 4,168 while the Russell 2000 is lower by 2 points to 1,155.  The S&P 500 Volatility Index ($VIX, 13.09, up 0.17) is basically flat but could spike 5%-10% into the close.

Subscribers, check the Members Area for the updates.  We could have additional Profit Alerts and perhaps New Trades shortly after the Fed minutes are released so stay locked and loaded into the close.

Bulls Still Pushing

Tuesday, March 27th, 2012

1:05pm (EST)

The market has remained in a tight range following Monday’s surge as mixed economic news has helped both the bulls and bears today.  Headlines from across the pond have been relatively quiet but we are expecting news from Spain could be a pain later in the week.

As far as the numbers here at home, the Case/Shiller Home Price Index fell 0.8% while the Consumer Confidence report came in at 70.2, versus expectations for a reading of 70.  The Richmond Fed Manufacturing Index came in with a print of 7, versus expectations for a reading of 18.

As far as stocks, Apollo Group (APOL, $39.78, down $3.42), a stock we love to hate on, is down 8% despite beating Wall Street’s estimates.  The company reported a profit of $0.58 a share on revenue of $970 million versus expectations for a profit of $0.38 a share on revenue of $933 million.  Overall degreed enrollment at the company’s University of Phoenix “campus” fell 12% while new enrollments were up 1%.  However, Apollo Group said new enrollments could fall double-digits percentage wise for the current quarter.

Shares rallied to $58 earlier this year and at the end of February they fell from $51 to $43.  We have talked about the company’s shady enrollment practices in the past but shares seem to trade to the beat of a different drum.  Perhaps Wall Street is finally seeing the light as a couple of analysts have downgraded the stock today.

Although we were on the sidelines, we wished we would have placed the April 40 puts (APOL120421P00042000, $2.55, up $0.70) on our Watch List.  The options are up 70% and could move further on a continued slide in Apollo Group’s stock.

No worries.  We still have some nice pin going for our current trades.

As we head to press, the Dow is up 2 points to 13,240 while the S&P 500 is higher by a point to 1,417.  The Nasdaq is showing a gain of 6 points to 3,129.  We have profits to take on one of our current trades as we are closing HALF positions.  The options are up 30% in just one day and the trade could be getting crowded.  Subscribers, check the Members Area for the updates.   

Houston, Apollo (APOL) Has a Problem

Tuesday, March 29th, 2011

1:35pm (EST) 

The bulls got off to a slow start as they let the bears take the early lead at the open.  Futures were pointing towards a flat to slightly higher start but turned negative after our morning update.  Economic news was light before the bell and some of the weakness at the start can be attributed to the S&P/CaseShiller Home Price Index which came in at 3.1% for January.  The report showed home prices fell in 19 of the 20 largest U.S. cities tracked by the index. 

After the open, the Consumer Confidence Index for March also came in worse-than-expected at 63.4.  The suit-and-ties were looking for a print of 65.  The March reading was also less than the upwardly revised 72 posting that was registered for February.

Despite the news, the market has chugged higher.

The Dow is up 67 points to 12,264 while the S&P 500 is higher by 6 points to 1,316.  The Nasdaq is showing an 18 point pop and is at 2,748.

One stock we want to cover today is Apollo Group (APOL, $39.35, down $3.00) which is down 7% after reporting earnings that missed Wall Street’s expectations.  The company reported a loss of $64 million, or $0.45 a share, versus a year-earlier profit of $93 million, or $0.60 a share.  Excluding the write-downs and estimated litigation losses, earnings would have been $0.83 a share.  Revenue fell 2% to $1.05 billion.

Analysts were looking $0.69 a share on $1.03 billion in revenue.

We have been following Apollo for years and we have been pretty brutal on the company’s past shenanigans.  We have covered their boiler room atmosphere on how their “counselors” were pushing these “college loans” on anyone and everyone because they were funded by the government.

These types of “colleges” have been around for years and we are sure you have seen Apollo’s University of Phoenix ad promoting a “student” in her pajamas taking online courses.  To make a long story short, many of the students are spending the “grants” elsewhere or paying bills and don’t seem too worried about paying back the money.

We profiled a strangle option trade on Monday morning for our Watch List for Apollo Group and here were our thoughts:

“ Apollo reports earnings on Tuesday.  We hate the stock and would think a break below $40 is coming.  However, Apollo doesn’t always trade this way despite being shady which is why we listed this as a strangle option trade.  We are tempted to make it a 2-to-1 put ratio trade but we will probably stay on the sidelines altogether.” (END) 

We profiled the April 41 puts (APOL110416P00041000, $2.15, up $0.65) and the April 45 call (APOL110416C00045000, $0.05, down $0.98) which were going for $1.00 and $1.25, respectively.  The puts opened at $3.05 and have traded up to $3.20 today which was more than enough to make this a very profitable trade. 

Although we haven’t officially released these kinds of strangle option trades for 2011, yet, we have used them in the past.  Once we get into April, we are expecting these types of trades to work well during earnings season. 

We have a lot to cover in our Members Area so let’s get on it.  We will be back in the morning with a full update.

Bulls Holding Support, Strayer Education (STRA) Gets Whacked

Monday, January 10th, 2011

12:35pm (EST)

The market opened lower on the negative headlines from overseas, which we covered this morning, and the momentum to the downside was strong as the Dow headed towards a triple digit loss shortly after the bell.  The index has traded to a low of 11,573 so it didn’t quite hit triple-figures. 

We have bounced off the lows but some investors seem to be taking profits ahead of the earnings season which kicks off tonight.  Alcoa’s (AA, $16.48, up $0.06) earnings report after the close today will “officially” be the start of 4Q earnings season and Wall Street is looking for a profit of $0.19 a share on revenue of $5.7 billion, on average.  The consensus range is for Alcoa to earn $0.16-$0.30 on $5.5-$6.1 billion for revenue so there is a chance the company surprises or disappoints.

Alcoa has posted better-than-expected results for the past two quarters, beating both earnings and revenue estimates.  The 52-week high is $17.60 and shares were strong all last week heading into today’s report.  We pointed out in our latest video that the company would be announcing today and a call option trade would have worked well last week.  For our trading manual, How to Trade Options on Momentum Stocks, we show you how to play earnings but we will probably sit Alcoa’s out.  With a recent 20+% pop in the stock, we feel the easy money has already been made.

One group having a rough day is the Educational sector which is getting hammered after Strayer Education (STRA, $118.17, down $35.07) said winter enrollment is off by 20%.  We have been warning you to stay away from this sector for years (unless you are shorting it), especially Apollo Group (APOL, $35.89, down $2.09) because of the shady shenanigans they use to enroll people.  The entire sector is a joke and the hammer is about to fall as the sector’s debt begins to swell on unpaid student loans.

As we head to press, the Dow is down 44 points to 11,630 and we are looking for 11,600 to hold.  There is further support at 11,500 but we doubt things get that crazy today.

The S&P 500 is off by 4 points to 1,267 and has traded to a low of 1,262.  After breaking out past 1,250-1,260 last week, this zone should act as support.

The Nasdaq is showing a decline of 5 points to 2,698 and has dipped below 2,700.  There is further support at 2,650 but Tech still looks strong.

We have a ton of information to cover this afternoon in our Members Area as one of our trades was stopped out.  We had already closed half of the recommendation to protect profits but the other half continued to surge before falling back today.  Still, we can’t complain.  Our subscribers banked over 180% on the trade.

We will be back Tuesday morning with a full update.    

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    Hey Rick! Here is an update on what your picks have done in my accounts.

    1) Great call on the JoyG March 55. I bought when you said, then bought again on one of the dips. Booked 80+% profit. Made enough to pay for your service for years to come.

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    3) Took profit on your Imax March 12.5. 20 cent trailing stop at 1.90 yesterday. Not sure what the profit on that was, but profit is profit.

    I see that you took a loss on some of these. It’s all good. I look to trade your “ideas” not your exact calls. I THANK YOU! For your ideas and commentary. Keep up the good work. And keep those ideas coming. LAWRENCE O.

    Loving this subscription so far! I got into the BRK feb 76 calls the day you talked about right before the up over 300% (0.70 to 2.475)! Keep the good picks coming and let's see some OSIS and EMC upside soon! Just wanted to share my positive enthusiasm on your gives us individual investors great ideas on not only the options market, but also the broader equity market! Case in point is BRK...I can't always read the breaking business news but its easy to read your twice daily updates on my smartphone...helped me get some BRK shares immediately after the split which I will hold for the long haul! Thanks again! C.J.

    Aloha Rick - Thank you so much for the great CL pick. I am not sure if there was buy-out/merger news or what but at 3PM today Colgate-Palmolive absolutely EXPLODED to the upside, and my calls turned into green candy when they went from 1.40 to 3.8 in a matter of seconds! I even sold a few for over 4.0! Much thanks and keep the solid picks up my friend, honestly. Only a fool would scoff at 267% gains... Peace! SHAUN

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    Woo hoo! Out for 50% on WMT this am. Making up for my depression for getting out of pcln for a 30% gain monday :( you the man! any word on the manual? My friend Mike ( who I sent to your service) told me he emailed you about your integrity in reporting fills. I echo that sentiment big time.. keep it up! Cheers!
    PARAG P.

    Hi Rick, as a new member all I can say is, 'show off' LOL, with PCLN. JAY P.

    Rick, I am a new subscriber to your service, and I want to say I am impressed. I am impressed by your results, but more than that I am impressed by your reporting of your fills. You could have easily said you got that Wal-Mart call today for 80 cents, instead you reported 98 cents! Good job and keep it up, I watched the reporting of the fills first, and then I subscribed. Thank You. MIKE

    Hi, good morning. I jumped the gun a little on this one (PCLN). But still made $1,675.00 profit!! Very happy!! Keep up the good work!! Thanks. TRISH D.

    Hi there, I have joined recently, and I am very happy to tell you that I am up over $10,000 on your picks in a month. I started on 10/7 with the Intel pick. I'll be your member for life. Please don't quit on us. Also, I am learning a lot about options. I didn’t get in your recent APOL and that gold trade and only had one loss on CHK. I appreciate all the DD you do. I enjoy your market commentaries. Best advice site period, and I have tried a few here and there. Again, you guys rock! MIN L.

    Thanks be to Momentum Options Trading for providing me with some fantastic wins. I just started with this service and am up nearly 50% in less than a month. There have been losses, but if I manage them properly, I will continue the best efforts given on the blog (in which there are no complaints). What a great cause for humanity. I feel more confident about my trades and continue to play the wins. Best of all, I am now keeping my regular paychecks in the bank! Thank you! JOE G.

    Rick - I wanted to say thanks for getting me started on the right foot with your service. I have made six trades since starting on October 22, 2009. Five are winners and One loser netting me $6,245. Thanks again and keep the trade recommendations coming. GREG F.

    I got into the Nike 60 Call at 1.85, sold at 5.00, also bought a 55 put at 1.05, but got stopped out at .35. What a ride! $2830.00 in the black even with the put. It's right at 100% return. I hope earnings season coming up is going to look like this trade. NOEL

    Nice call on Nike. I think I'll go buy a pair with my profits! : ) I did the straddle for safety but still made 62% on the trade. Not bad for less than 24 hours. If Goldman is right, then the Nov 70s or 75's could be a steal today. TODD F.

    What a sweet way to get introduced to Momentum. My first trade based on your picks and it a 2X. Thank you! PAUL H.

    “Limit order was set at 1.60 on RIMM so it sold. I may have left some money on the table but you can't go broke making a profit. That was a fun trade. Thank you. Good call. I’ve been watching and trading Rick's advice since March. It’s usually a fun ride, but I give him heck when it's wrong to. :) ” NOEL

    “Your service rocks! I made bank on Dendreon last week! The other thing I have to say is that it took me quite a while to find a REAL options trading service like yours. Most of what’s out there is 99% scam and very sketchy. Momentum Options Trading is the first service I found that I can trust and seriously make money with.” CHRISTIAN

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    “I did follow a lot of your trades with 1-2 contracts per trade and YTD I’m up 108%. I try not to follow blindly by not entering all of your trades and sometimes entering the ones you don’t. I entered AIG a few weeks ago against recommendation – that one hurt.” CHARLES M.

    “I have been following you for several months and am interested in the new service. I hate to see the free service go away but as they say, “all good things must come to an end”. My ability to join will be greatly influenced by the monthly fee so I’m very curious to see the new prices. Thanks for making April a great month for me and my family.” BRYAN C.

    “I have really enjoyed the past month since finding your blog. You have made some great calls. I would appreciate info. on the new options mentoring program. Thanks.” JOHN H.

    “Hi Rick, I have been following your blog for several months now and I would like to be including on the list for your new service and to receive more information about it. And yes I was a Dendreon winner with your tips. Turned $280 into $7700, and literally saved my butt.” JEFFREY

    “I made over 6k on your Dendreon trade, and I’m very interested in learning how you pick and trade options. Sign me up.” ED

    “Rick – Wow what a day! I got in at the Dendreon calls at $2.25. Thanks to for your advice. I appreciate that. This company has a lock on this type of therapy and no one else in the world is close. Kind of reminds me of the type of companies that Peter Lynch and Warren Buffet suggest that investments be made in. Companies that can build a moat around their business model, that allows them to charge a premium for their product or service. In other words - a monopoly.” GREG

    “Hi Rick, Thank you so much for the Dendreon trade, I made almost $10,000 with that trade with a little over $2,000 investment. You have shown me the power of options trading. Again, thank you so much for all your inputs.” KEN

    “Hi Rick, thanks for the encouragement to play the dendreon calls! did freaking great! Got in the first lot at $1.44 on 3-24-09, sold at $2.45, 70% not bad. Bought it back at $2.30 on 4-7-09 closed out on 4-14-09 for 454% gain! Wow! I love it when that happens. So, thanks the encouragement to get back in when others were saying sell, sell, sell. Keep up the good work.” GARETT

    “Rick – Thanks for Dendreon – it has made all the headlines today! I missed on RIMM earlier, but I’ve been holding onto DNDN calls since 3rd week March. Of course today it all paid off today, as DNDN rocketed up.” TERENCE

    Jan. 31 2012
    Rick, new member...Studied all current trades, did some chart work,picked ZNGA, PEP, MGM...Sold on Feb. 2 for $3600.00 profit...Cost for 1-year membership to your newsletter was less than $1000.00..All I have to say..Thank you. John H –

    Rick, I purchased 10 contracts of the Nike March 85 puts Thursday afternoon for $2.00. Thing is, I was upset because the puts went down to $1.60 or so before the market closed. Well, needless to say Nike didn’t impress Wall Street and when I turned on the computer this morning the puts were worth $7.10! Sold them for a $5,100 profit!. Thanks again, you are the MAN. Chuck J-

    Hi Rick,

    I will start off with a thank you for your time and dedication to all
    the research you and your team commit yourself to. This is not me just being excited about the profits I have accumulated aka (bank) ! You have helped me get back to the passion I had of researching stocks/options. Keith N-

    Hi Rick,

    I want to share my great results on GMCR. Based on your comments on February 15th, I bought 20 options at $0.28. They closed today at $7.00, which is a 2,300% gain. My $560 dollars turned into $14,000 in less than a month. In decades of trading, this is my single best trade ever. Thank you! By the way, the Dow was down 228 points today and I could care less. What a great trade. It proves the amazing power of options. I am so grateful for your service, which calls it straight all the time, your options trading manual, and most of all, your amazing skill
    at finding winning trades. I have attached a copy of the trade from
    my brokerage screen.

    Hi Rick,

    Wow!! my account it up 70% since i joined last month and market is going the opposite direction. Really appreciate your service. I just wanted to drop a note to say THANK YOU. Hope to be with you guys for a very long time. Mel


    Great call on Fosl I bought the may 120 puts for 3.70 yesterday morning just sold for $32.00 today
    Keep up the great work
    Thank you, Henri

    Rick –

    I bought 10 Deckers Outdoor (DECK) May 55 puts at $0.50 on 4/26/12 and sold them on 4/27/12 for $1.65. I made $1150 in one day. Thanks. I knew something good would happen sooner or later.
    HOW THE HECK did you know Green Mountain Coffee (GMCR) was going to go down 20 points???!!!! I bought 10 of the May 35 puts at $0.49 and then 5 more at .30. I sold them at 5.80. Thank you again.
    You have made a believer out of me. Alan

    Rick –
    I have only been a member for about 6 weeks but I have done well on most of the trades. My first two were QQQ and SPY a month ago and since then I've gotten into the groove and been doing well.
    I try to execute the trades that you recommend as soon as you send them out, sometimes I can't and I miss the Entry price. However, sometimes when I miss the Entry, the price goes down and I get a better price.
    That's exactly what happened with GMCR.
    You recommended it at around $.81 I think, but by the time I got to it, the price was $.27. I bought 100 Puts on Wednesday May 2, 2012 and sold half of them 24 hours later at $5.95 for a nice 2,203% gain. As per your recommendation, as GMCR went above $30 I sold the remaining 50 Puts at $5.50 for a slightly less 2,037% gain.
    On average that one trade netted me a 2,120% gain, entirely based on YOUR recommendation (and a little bit of luck). To put this in real terms, I risked $2,700 on Wednesday and pocketed $54,550 just 24 hours later.
    So uhh, let's do that again real soon!!
    Feel free to use my name. The tax guys have me on speed-dial already anyway. Dennis

    That was awesome on your GMCR pick, I know how risky it can been holding into earnings but you pulled it off. 
    I just started my autotrading with you today and am in on your QQQ play. I look forward this service. 
    I have a busy career and I have tried to follow and trade throughout the day and found it too hard. I hope you continue to have a great year, I plan to go along for the ride. I am starting slow but will pile more in once I have secured some profits. 
    Keep up the good work your trading has been spot on. I am sure you paid your dues to get this point in your career. Anthony


    Great call on GMCR!  I have been trading for about 15 years actively.  This may be the best trade I ever made.  Got in on Monday, April 30 and the stock was up from when you recommended it.  It went up further after I got in.  Here are the facts:
    Monday, April 30th: Bought 15 June 37's at $1.25= $1900 approx
    Thursday, May 3rd: Sold 15 June 37's at $9.30=$13,950
    Gain for the week: $12,050.
    I understand you will not get them all right.  It’s important to ride those winners and as you could tell from my selling price, I sold when the stock went to $28.10, so left a little on the table.  Who can complain.
    Keep the suggestions coming, looking for another jump on your FSLR, one that I have been riding very hard.
    Best regards, Bob

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