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Ophir Gottlieb posted a article in Trading BlogBacktest 1: The Bullish Option Trade Before Earnings in Alphabet Inc We start with the backtest that shows a higher historical return, but lower historical win rate. We will examine the outcome of getting long a weekly call option in Alphabet Inc 7-days before earnings (using calendar days) and selling the call before the earnings announcement if and only if the stock price is above the 50-day simple moving average. Here's the set-up in great clarity; again, note that the trade closes before earnings since GOOGL reports earnings after the market closes, so this trade does not make a bet on the earnings result. And here is the technical analysis -- note only one is "turned on," and that is the 50-day moving average requirement.: Here's a visual representation, where the stock price 7-days before earnings (circled) is above the 50-day moving average (black line), and therefore triggers a back-test. If the stock price fails the technical requirement, it's fine, we just put a pin in it and check next quarter. RISK MANAGEMENT We can add another layer of risk management to the back-test by instituting and 40% stop loss and a 40% limit gain. Here is that setting: In English, at the close of each trading day we check to see if the long option is either up or down 40% relative to the open price. If it was, the trade was closed. RESULTS Here are the results over the last three-years in Alphabet Inc: GOOGL: Long 40 Delta Call % Wins: 70% Wins: 7 Losses: 3 % Return: 277% Tap Here to See the Back-test The mechanics of the TradeMachine® stock option backtester are that it uses end of day prices for every back-test entry and exit (every trigger). Notice that while this is a 3-year back-test and we would expect four times that many earnings triggers (4 earnings per year), the technical requirement using the 50-day moving average has avoided 2 pre-earnings attempts. In other words -- it's working. Setting Expectations While this strategy had an overall return of 277%, the trade details keep us in bounds with expectations: ➡ The average percent return per trade was 27.6%. Backtest 2: The "Not Bearish" Option Trade Before Earnings in Alphabet Inc With a similar set-up, we examine the same phenomenon -- that is, pre-earnings bullish momentum. But, this time, rather than backtesting owning a call option with the earnings date occurring in the options expiration period, we look at the other side. We examine selling a put spread in options that expire before earnings are announced. Specifically, we look at opening the trade 7 calendar days before earnings, selling a 40 delta / 10 delta put spread, in options that expire the closest to 5-days but before the earnings date. We don't us any stops or limits -- this backtest simply waits until expiration. We also note that the technical requirements with the stock above the 50-day moving average, are identical -- this should result in the same number of trades. This is a trade, unlike the long call, that takes a position on the stock that is simply "not bearish," as opposed to aggressively bullish. RESULTS Here are the results over the last three-years in Alphabet Inc for the short put spread -- again, since these options are selected to expire before the earnings dates, this backtest does not take earnings risk. GOOGL: Short 40 / 10 Delta put Spread % Wins: 100% Wins: 10 Losses: 0 % Return: 161% Tap Here to See the Back-test The mechanics of the TradeMachine® stock option backtester are that it uses end of day prices for every back-test entry and exit (every trigger). Setting Expectations While this strategy had an overall return of 161%, the trade details keep us in bounds with expectations: ➡ The average percent return per trade was 20.5%. Decision So, there you have it in black and white. Owning the pre-earnings call yielded a substantially higher return, but with a 70% win rate, and the 3 losses, they were substantial, averaging -33.5%. returns (losses). This is in contrast to the short put spread which has yielded considerably smaller returns, but no losses in the last 3-years. Is This Just Because Of a Bull Market? It's a fair question to ask if these returns are simply a reflection of a bull market rather than a successful strategy. It turns out that this phenomenon of pre-earnings optimism also worked very well during 2007-2008, when the S&P 500 collapsed into the "Great Recession." The average return for this strategy, by stock, using the Nasdaq 100 and Dow 30 as the study group, saw a 45.3% return over those 2-years. And, of course, these are just 8 trades per stock, each lasting 7 days. * Yes. We are empirical. Back-testing More Time Periods in Alphabet Inc Now we can look at just the last year as well. We start with the long call back-test in which the options include the earnings date within the expiration period. GOOGL: Long 40 Delta Call % Wins: 100.00% Wins: 2 Losses: 0 % Return: 115% Tap Here to See the Back-test And now we can look at the short put spread in which the options exclude the earnings date within the expiration period. GOOGL: Short 40 / 10 Delta Put Spread % Wins: 100.00% Wins: 2 Losses: 0 % Return: 42.3% Tap Here to See the Back-test Again, the contrast is clear, but the decision is personal and not obvious. WHAT HAPPENED Don't trade blind, please. Try pattern recognition. Risk Disclosure Past performance is not an indication of future results. Ophir Gottlieb is the CEO & Co-founder of Capital Market Laboratories. Mr Gottlieb’s learning background stems from his graduate work in mathematics and measure theory at Stanford University and his time as an option market maker. He has been cited by Yahoo! Finance, CNNMoney, MarketWatch, Business Insider, Reuters, Bloomberg, Wall St. Journal, Dow Jones Newswire, Barron’s, Forbes, SF Chronicle, Chicago Tribune and Miami Herald. He created and authored what was believed to be the most heavily followed option trading blog in the world for three-years. Related articles: The Incredible Option Trade In VXX Earnings Momentum Trade In Oracle Post Earnings Option Trade In Facebook Option Trade After Earnings In AutoZone Pre-Earnings Momentum Trade In Netflix Microsoft Pre-Earnings Momentum Trade Post Earnings Trade In FedEx Pre Earnings Pattern In Apple Earnings Momentum Trading In Google PANW Broke The Golden Rule How To Profit From PayPal Volatility
Which is also the same day that Apple and Amazon report. Two trading days before 2-1-2018 would be Tuesday, January 30th. IDEA The idea is quite simple -- trying to take advantage of a pattern in short-term bullishness just before earnings, and then getting out of the way so no actual earnings risk is taken, looking at just the 2 trading days before earnings. The Short-term Option Swing Trade Ahead of Earnings in Alphabet Inc We will examine the outcome of going long a weekly out of the money call option in Alphabet Inc just two trading days before earnings and selling the call the day of the actual news. But, since Alphabet reports earnings after the market closes, this back-test does not take a position on the earnings result -- it closes before the report. Often times we look at option set-ups that are longer-term, and take no directional bet -- this is not one of those times. This is a no holds barred short-term bullish swing trade with options and that's it. It's a bullish bet, so must be conscious of the delta risk. RISK MANAGEMENT We can add another layer of risk management to the back-test by instituting and 40% stop loss and a 40% limit gain. Here is that setting: In English, at the close of each trading day we check to see if the long option is either up or down 40% relative to the open price. If it was, the trade was closed. RESULTS Below we present the back-test stats over the last two-years in Alphabet Inc: GOOGL: Long 40 Delta Call % Wins: 87.5% Wins: 7 Losses: 1 % Return: 136% Tap Here to See the Back-test The mechanics of the TradeMachine™ are that it uses end of day prices for every back-test entry and exit (every trigger). We see a 136% return, testing this over the last 8 earnings dates in Alphabet Inc. That's a total of just 16 days (2-day holding period for each earnings date, over 8 earnings dates). Setting Expectations While this strategy has an overall return of 136%, the trade details keep us in bounds with expectations: ➡ The average percent return per trade was 21% over two-days. ➡ The average percent return per winning trade was 28.4% over two-days. ➡ The percent return for the losing trade was -31% over two-days. Looking at More Recent History We did a multi-year back-test above, now we can look at just the last year: GOOGL: Long 40 Delta Call % Wins: 100% Wins: 4 Losses: 0 % Return: 102% Tap Here to See the Back-test We're now looking at102% returns, on 4 winning trades and 0 losing trades. ➡ The average percent return over the last year per trade was 22%. WHAT HAPPENED Bull markets tend to create optimism, whether it's deserved or not. To see how to find the best performing historical momentum, technical analysis or non-directional trades for any stock using empirical results rather than guesses, we welcome you to watch this quick demonstration video: Tap Here to See the Tools at Work Risk Disclosure You should read the Characteristics and Risks of Standardized Options. Past performance is not an indication of future results.
that time of the quarter again.... with GOOG implied earnings move being cheap (as usual) - currently at ~5% so below 10Q avg. of 7.1% and 4Q avg. of 5.3% I usually look at a tight RIC that needs ~2-3% move to make the max profit. currently with stock at 755 that would be 740/750/760/770 RIC with mid at about 9.15 and the 735/745/765/775 RIC with mid at about 8.50 - both expiring this Friday (18th). the first one needs ~2% move for max profit the 2nd one ~2.6% move. Lowest move in the last 10Q's was 2.4% so it has a high probability for the max profit but the loss if GOOG doesn't move will be large as well as you'll be trading the option on expiry day - so there wont be much time value left. Also spreads will be wide for that reason so in practice you'll need a move a bit bigger than above to close the RIC for say 9.90 (I wouldn't take the risk to let it expire unless we have a 10% move or so) for these reasons I would also look at the weekly that will be listed tomorrow - expiring next week and see how the numbers stack up there - that will give the stock a week longer to move (but also has the risk that the stock will revert to the mid) and in case GOOG doesn't move much you have a bit of time value left so loss will be closer to 50% rather than 70-80% I'll be trying to enter the trade near the close to be as delta neutral as possible. Chris, you have done this trade in the past so if you are around I'd like to hear your thoughts, m.