Posted by: ctraderd | April 3, 2014

Return- 4/3/14

Hey everyone. I hope you have been doing well over the last eight or so months both with life and trading. I dropped off the map for a bit to refocus my strategy and just take some personal time. I had been losing a lot and was down on my luck making bad trade after bad trade. I took the time to learn and look at many different things and just analyze my life to find out if trading really was for me. I figured out it was and I have returned. Came back with a great trade too. At Wednesday’s close, I purchased 25 INTC AprWk1 26 Calls at $.09 anticipating a bounce in Intel at the open. I got what I predicted and exited early this morning at $.28 for a profit of $398.20 and a gain of +211%. You can see more details at my page. Everything went according to plan, and you can expect a watchlist for the week of 4/7/14. I’m back and doing well!




Posted by: ctraderd | July 14, 2013

Watchlist- Week of 7/15/13 $HPQ $MSTX $NKE

Last week, the market skyrocketed as we trending higher with the indexes approaching all time highs once again. The Dow Jones Industrial Average gained +475.75 for +3.17%, the S&P 500 gained +54.55 for +3.36%, and QQQ shares closed Friday’s trading session at $75.30 for a gain of +2.90 or +4.02% on the week. Last week I didn’t close any trades but I opened up two. I bought 3000 more shares of MSTX at the same price as my original fill, or $.4400 on Monday. I am now holding 6000 shares, and I will likely not add anymore. I also added 5 HPQ Aug13 27 Calls at $.60 on Wednesday. Before making any decisions based on this article, read my disclaimer and do your own research!!

1.) Hewlett-Packard Company (HPQ)

Last week, HPQ gained +.57 for +2.22%. As previously mentioned, on Wednesday I bought 5 HPQ Aug13 27 Calls at $.60.  I am currently up +$10 unrealized as the Calls closed the week at $.62 for a gain of around +3.33%. At the peak of last week I was up nearly +33%, but I want 100%+ gains on these babies. My reason for buying these calls was that HPQ received an analyst upgrade in the past week. The upgrade was from Jim Suva, an analyst at Citigroup (C) and he upgraded Hewlett-Packard from a sell to a buy on Wednesday. The reason why was not because of sales in PCs, but because of services, which actually accounts for about one fifth of the company’s sales. Suva placed a price target on HPQ of $32/share. I am only risking $315 on this trade and I will sell if $25 breaks to the downside.

2.) Mast Therapeutics, Inc. (MSTX)

MSTX gained +.0345 last week for a total of +7.75%. The bounce in MSTX was driven by an excellent presentation at the JMP securities conference. The stock did falter a bit on Friday, but fought its way back to close to breakeven on the day. I am currently up a total of +.0395/share on my total position for 6000 shares for a total of +8.9%. My price target remains $.65+ and my stop remains .$40.

3.) Nike, Inc. (NKE)

NKE gained +.21 last week for a total of just +.33%. I will be selling my calls at the open tomorrow most likely to preserve what cash is left in the position. The puts are pretty much a goner with a -100% come Friday. I had a chance to exit both positions at a profit at one time or another, but my hesitation made me stay in them unfortunately. One of my biggest flaws as a trader is failure to take profits in most cases. A number of trades I have made in the past could have been profitable if I had not let greed overrun me.

Posted by: ctraderd | July 7, 2013

Watchlist- Week of 7/8/13 $MSTX $NKE

Last week, the Dow Jones Industrial Average had a fantastic week gain +225.70 for a total of +1.51%, the S&P 500 gained +23.53 for +1.46% and QQQ shares closed Friday’s trading session at $72.58, gained +1.59 for a total of +2.25% on the week. Last week, I made two trades. In the first trade, I bought 7 SPY JulWk1 161.5 Calls at $1.23 and I sold them a bit later at $1.57 for a +27.64% gain. My next trade did not work out the same. I bought 7 SCTY Jul13 41 Calls at $1.85 and had to sell them later at $1.40 for a -24.32% loss in just a few minutes. Overall on the week I lost -$137.80, and that figure is my realized P/L for the month of July so far. I also opened up a long position of 3000 shares in MSTX at $.4400 average. Before making any decisions based on this article, read my disclaimer and do your own research!!

1.) Mast Therapeutics, Inc. (MSTX)

MSTX went sideways last week and I bought 3000 shares as before mentioned. The reason for my buy was because the stock is near all time lows and has a high probability of bouncing off of them. My price target is $.65+ in 1 month.


2.) Nike Inc. (NKE)

NKE gained +1.88 last week for a total of +3.05%. I am still holding a straddle I bought for an earning splay on the stock. Unfortunately, this decision to hold has turned out bad for me, as I could have exited both of the legs at a profit previously. However, I am currently down ~550 on the straddle as a whole. I must learn how to play and exit straddles effectively with no hesitation.


Posted by: ctraderd | June 23, 2013

Watchlist- Week of 6/24/13 $CPSS $ELNK

Before we jump into the market action from last week, I would like to announce that June 23rd, 2013 is my one year anniversary of when I created this blog and organization of CTraderD. It’s been a ride guys. I would like to thank all of you for your continued help, support and encouragement which has kept me going during hard times in the market this past year. Thank you! Now that that’s out of the way, let’s jump into this week’s watchlist.

Last week, the Dow Jones Industrial Average lost -376.68 for a total of -2.48%, the S&P 500 lost -48.00 for a total of -2.93%, and QQQ shares closed Friday’s trading session at $70.43 losing -2.50 for -3.43% on the week. Last Thursday was the S&P 500’s largest fall since 2011. Unfortunately, I took a massive Options Expiration loss of -$745.34 when my 10 IWM Jun13 101 Calls that I bought at $.73 expired at $0.00 so I lost -100% on them. I am now at a -$678.87 loss on the month of June, making one wining trade and two losing ones. Hopefully I can make that cash back this upcoming week before the month closes out. Before making any decisions based on this article, read my disclaimer and do your own research!!

1.) Consumer Portfolio Services, Inc. (CPSS)

Last week, CPSS lost -.22 for -2.93%. The stock was added to the Russell Global Index on Monday of this week, and it bounced ~$.50 but then gave up it’s gains from Monday in the sessions of Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday and went negative on the week. I am at a loss, but my 25% stop at $6.93 has not yet been triggered, so I am continuing to hold until my price target of $13+ is met, or my stop is triggered. I am still holding 500 shares at $9.236 average so I am currently at a -21.9% loss.


2.) EarthLink, Inc. (ELNK)

Last week, ELNK gained +.10 for a total of +1.65%. I am currently up +.09 for +1.4% on my position of 500 shares from $6.07.  I may be exiting this position premature to my price target of $6.50 because this position is tying up a big chunk of cash that I should be using to make more than one trade. This pick was not long term, an was purely technical. However, ELNK had a great press release on Wednesday. The news stated that ELNK announced the launch of it’s new 4G on-the-go wireless internet plans . More from this press release:

“Powered by Clearwire’s 4G mobile broadband service via a wholesale agreement announced last September, the two packages offer a hotspot device which provides convenient,mobile Internet access in over 80 cities nationwide. Starting at $29.95 a month, the service delivers wireless Internet on up to 8 Wi-Fi enabled devices including smartphones, tablets and laptops and does not require a contract.” (Source:

Posted by: ctraderd | June 16, 2013

Watchlist- Week of 6/17/13 $CPSS $IWM $ELNK

Last week, the markets offset each other. The Dow Jones Industrial Average gained +29.56 last week for a total of +.20%, the S&P 500 lost -19.62 for a total of -1.19%, and QQQ shares closed Friday’s trading session at $72.28 losing -1.02 on the week for a total of -1.46%. I only made 1 trade last week, and that trade was when I decided to go long 500 shares of DVAX at $1.22. I exited around 3 hours later on the same day at $1.22 losing -$17.91 on commission. These markets are so insanely crazy and unpredictable right now that I’m just sitting tight and waiting for a good opportunity to arise before I enter anything. One of my biggest rules in trading is “Don’t always feel like you have to be in the markets.” This means that you don’t always have to trade. If you don’t feel like it, or you don’t know how to make money in the markets at the current time, stay out of them. It’s better to do nothing then lose money. To see my trades, visit my page. Before making any trades based on this article, read my disclaimer and do your own research!!

1.) Consumer Portfolio Services, Inc. (CPSS)

Last week, CPSS lost -.08 for -1.07%. This thing was all over the place last week. It had multiple .20 moves in both ways, up and down. The weekly range was from $7.32-$7.92. CPSS unfortunately closed near the week’s low at $7.43. I am still sticking to my price target of $13+ with a stop/loss at $6.93, or -25% on the trade as a whole. I am still holding 500 shares from $9.236 average. I’m in for the long haul on this one still guys.

2.) iShares Russell 2000 Index Fund (IWM)

Last week, IWM fell -.48 for a total of -.42%. Just like CPSS, this index was insanely volatile and wild. I am still holding some Jun13 101 Calls which will likely expire worthless and be around at $760 loss when they do. I will then be at a loss on the month, but I believe with a few smart trades I can make that cash back in no time.

3.) EarthLink, Inc. (ELNK)

Last week, ELNK gained +.09 for a total of +1.51%. I longed 500 shares at $6.07 and the stock closed the week at $6.06. My profit target is $6.50 within this week. I also have my stop set at $5.85 just in case this trade turns around on me. I bought ELNK purely on a technical standpoint. On a one year chart in which each candle equals one day, ELNK is form a head and shoulders pattern here currently. Also, ELNK formed a double hammer pattern to initiate the head and shoulders pattern. From what I’ve seen in the past, usually ELNK breaks out a bit afterwards of a double hammer pattern as well.

Posted by: ctraderd | June 2, 2013

Watchlist- Week of 6/3/13 $CPSS $IWM

Last week, the Dow Jones Industrial Average fell –191.60 for –1.25%, the S&P 500 fell –11.86 for –.72%, and QQQ shares closed Friday’s trading session at $73.25 gaining just +.15 for +.21% on the day. The DJIA and S&P 500 were actually both sideways on the week on Friday at around 2:30 EST. Then, out of no where, the market decided to dive off a cliff as millions of shares of stocks were sold and the indexes absolutely tanked. In the aftermath the Dow had tanked around 200 points in the sell off. This leads me to wonder whether this selling action was just people taking profits for the month of May, or whether it was the start of a major turn in the market’s trend. The last time we saw action like this was on the Friday of 1987, before the Great Crash of 1987. I honestly have no idea what is going to happen on Monday, but another crash might happen.

Last week I closed two trades and opened another one. All of these trades were in IWM. In the first trade, I closed out my position of 5 Jun13 96 Calls calls at $3.46 from $2.74 for a $329.73 profit. Then I did another small swing trade in which I bought 10 Jun13 100 Calls at $1.88 and exited them the next day at $1.94 for a small $29.28 profit. After that, I opened up a position of long 10 Jun13 101 Calls at $.73 and am still holding them currently. You can see all these trades on my page. Last week I made a realized profit of $359.01 and closed out the month of May with a $1,159.87 profit. Before making any decisions based on this article, read my disclaimer and do your own research!! 

1.) Consumer Portfolio Services, Inc. (CPSS)

Last week, CPSS closed out the week at $7.77 losing –.27 for –3.36% on the week. However, on Thursday and Friday, CPSS had a great run going. The stock climbed around +.55 in the two days and made back nearly 66% of the stock’s losses on the week. The surge was caused by an equal weight initiation by Stephen’s with a price target of $9 per share. I am still long 500 shares from $9.236 average and am down –$733 unrealized for –15.8%. I do have a 25% stop/loss at $6.93 which I will let sell if touched. My price target remains at least $10+ but ideally $13+. 

2.) iShares Russell 2000 Index (IWM)

Last week, IWM held on to its gains despite the big late-afternoon sell off in the whole market on Friday, gaining +.61 on the week for +.63%. IWM is the equivalent of SPY and DIA, but IWM is parallel to the Russell 2000 Index. I am currently holding 10 Jun13 96 Puts on IWM and have been hedging myself through the form of Calls on the stock throughout the week. I have bought and sold two Call hedges so far (mentioned above), and am holding more Calls as a hedge to my Puts currently. I am hedged either way for Monday, if the market falls, or if it bounces. Playing this Index has been very profitable for me so far and I will continue to play this one with options as my main trading vehicle.

Posted by: ctraderd | May 19, 2013

Watchlist- Week of 5/20/13 $CPSS $SCTY

Last week, the Dow Jones Industrial Average was on fire, gaining +235.91 for +1.56%. Also, the S&P 500 gained +36.44 for +2.23%, and QQQ shares closed Friday’s trading session at $74.30, gaining +1.28 for +1.74% on the week. I made three trades last week. In the first trade I bought and sold 2 ESI Jun13 25 Calls for a measly +$15.94 profit. My execution was awful in that trade. In my next trade, I dumped my position in EFC for -$29.23 loss because I needed to free up cash and the stock wasn’t budging. My third and best trade of the week was when I decided to buy 3 SCTY Jun13 45 Calls at $5.00 for a day trade. I then sold around 30 minutes later at $6.00 for a +$269.86 profit. I nailed that day trade on the nose. Keep reading for more info about that trade. Overall on the week, I made a realized profit of +$256.57 and I am now up +$731.61 on the month. You can see all these trades on my page. Now let’s get into this week’s watchlist. Before making any decisions based on this article, read my disclaimer and do your own research!! 

1.) Consumer Portfolio Services, Inc. (CPSS)

Last week, CPSS lost –.14 for –1.53%. I am still holding my long position of 500 shares and am down –$118 unrealized. CPSS is at $9.00 and my breakeven is at $9.236 average. I am down only 2.5% on the trade as a whole and am looking to sell at around $13.00+, my original price target. I am still in for the long haul on this baby.

2.) SolarCity Corporation (SCTY)

Last week, SCTY gained +13.67 for a total of +44.6%. What triggered this gigantic run up mostly came on Friday. On Friday, GS announced that they were going to give SCTY $500 million to do new projects with. This deal would give SCTY the capital to go ahead the construction of more that 110 MW (megawatts) of power generation capacity. This news event caused SCTY to bounce +26.09% to $45. I made +$269.86 from this gain as well. I was sitting in my third period class on my phone because there wasn’t any work to be done. I was checking stock quotes and I noticed SCTY was up ~9%. I looked for a news item, and found that they had made a deal with GS for $500 million. I was surprised by the fact that SCTY was only up 9% on this wonderful news. Because of this, I decided to sell EFC because it never moved and put some of that capital in 3 SCTY 45 Calls at $5.00. I put my phone away to concentrate on class for a bit, and then I pulled it out again next period. About 28 minutes after I had bought, these babies were up to $6.00 for an unrealized gain of +$300. I decided not to be greedy and sold for a +$269.86 gain for 20%. I plan to do some more of these same option trades on this one next week, whether it be puts or calls.

Notice: After this week, I will be out of school until next school year so I will be able to watch and trade for full days! Let’s bank guys!

Posted by: ctraderd | May 12, 2013

Watchlist- Week of 5/13/13 $CPSS $EFC

Last week, the Dow Jones Industrial Average gained +144.53 for +.97%, the S&P 500 gained +17.57 for +1.89%, and QQQ shares closed Friday’s trading session at $73.05, gaining +.71 for +.98% on the week. Last week, I only opened up one position and that was when I bought 125 shares of EFC at $25.45. Other than that I’ve just been sticking to my position of long 500 CPSS at an average of $9.236. Before making any decisions based on this article, read my disclaimer and do your own research!!

1.) Consumer Portfolio Services, Inc. (CPSS)

CPSS gained +.74 for +8.81% last week, closing Friday’s trading session at $9.14. I am down approximately –1% on the trade, or –$48. So far this trade has gone pretty well. My patience has worked so far and my price target still remains $13.00+ before I think about selling any of the 500 shares, so I’m in for the haul still.

2.) Ellington Financial, LLC (EFC)

Last week, EFC dropped –.531 for –2.05%. Let’s start with some background on this one.

Utilizing a flexible and opportunistic investment strategy, Ellington Financial has built a portfolio of mortgage-related investments, consistently striving to deliver attractive returns to shareholders. Ellington Financial is externally managed and advised by Ellington Financial Management LLC (our "Manager" or "Ellington Financial Management"), an affiliate of Ellington Management Group, L.L.C. ("Elllington Management Group" or "EMG"), and thus benefits from EMG’s deep experience in the mortgage-related markets, highly analytical investment processes, operational expertise and resources, and extensive relationship base, providing significant competitive advantages.

Additionally, an emphasis on risk management is fundamental to the Ellington Financial approach – driving attractive, risk-adjusted returns across market cycles and enabling us to identify and succeed in investment opportunities that we believe are consistent with our investment strategy. Ellington Financial’s understanding of the market across asset classes, over time, and through a highly analytical lens helps us to realize potential and unlock value (Source:

EFC has a market cap of $517.14 million and earnings are continuing to rise. From 2009 to 2012, EFC’s net income is up around 3.8%, but from 2011 to 2012, EFC’s net income has taken an extraordinary leap of 940% from $10.33 million to $97.15 million! I believe that for the 2013 fiscal year, EFC is set to post their first $100 million+ year in net income. Ellington has a book value/share of about $24.85 and $2.90/share in cash. Also, EFC pays a dividend of 12.15% or $3.08/share a year, which is a huge plus. I bought 125 shares at $25.45 on Friday with a price target of $30.00+.

Posted by: ctraderd | April 21, 2013

Watchlist- Week of 4/22/13 $DXJ $CPSS $SCTY

Last week the Dow Jones Industrial Average lost a staggering –317.55 for –2.14%, the S&P 500 lost –23.90 for –1.51% and QQQ shares closed Friday’s trading session at $68.09, losing –1.56 for –2.24% on the week. I made a big decision last week and that decision was to close my “learning” trade in AMRN in which I took a huge -$2,543.95 loss. I also closed my positions in INTC for gigantic combined loss of -$2,437.73. I also closed my position in VELT for a –$482.42 loss. So last week, as a total, my losses amounted to –$5,464.10. I am now at a loss on the month of –$3,894.58 and –$5,116.81 all time. Check out my page to see my trades. My account is currently sitting at $7,883.19 and I am holding no positions. I am shifting my strategy over from short-term/day trades based on technical analysis to an investing/long-term/value strategy based on fundamental analysis. If I choose, I may still decide to make a day trade every now and then, but I will mostly be in for the long haul on most stocks. So without further ado, I shall introduce my new portfolio. Before making any decisions based on this article, read my disclaimer and do your own research!!

1.) WisdomTree Japan Hedged Equity Fund (DXJ)

DXJ continued its uptrend last week, gaining +.92 for +2.00% last week. I might pick up some options next week to grab some of the profits as the Nikkei 225 moves higher, or lower. This one is still my #1 Pick for 2013.

2.) Consumer Portfolio Services, Inc. (CPSS)

Last week, CPSS lost –.3799 for –3.92%. Let’s start with some background on this one.

Consumer Portfolio Services (CPS) is an independent specialty finance company that provides indirect automobile financing to individuals with past credit problems, low incomes or limited credit histories. We purchase retail installment sales contracts primarily from franchised automobile dealerships secured by late model used vehicles and, to a lesser extent, new vehicles. We fund these contract purchases on a long-term basis primarily through the securitization markets and service the contracts over their lives. Our headquarters are located in Irvine, California and we have three additional strategically located servicing branches in Virginia, Florida and Illinois.
Since we began operations in 1991 and through December 2011, we have purchased over $9 billion in contracts. We currently service a total managed portfolio of approximately $800 million with approximately 100,000 customers and 525 employees. We maintain dealer relationships in 45 states across the United States. Our common stock is traded on the NASDAQ National Market System under the ticker “CPSS.” (Source:

CPSS has been on fire fundamentally. Fourth quarter net income was barely below the net income of the whole fiscal year of 2012. In the fourth quarter of 2012, CPSS reported $64.83 million in net income. For 2012, CPSS reported just $69.41 million. This means that 93.4% of CPSS’s net income came from the fourth quarter of 2012 alone. CPSS has a market cap of $186.93 million, and a book value/share of just $3.09. The company is earned $.12/diluted share and $.19/basic share in the first quarter of 2013. CPSS reported net income of just $3.8 million, which shows that most of their income comes in the last quarter of the year. However, that $3.8 million is a staggering +742% increase from the first quarter of 2012. As the income keeps increasing, I believe that the stock price will keep increasing as well. For this reason, I will buy 300 shares of CPSS below $9.50/share and I will hold these shares with a price target of $13.00+. I will also set a trailing stop of 10% to protect principle.

3.) SolarCity Corporation (SCTY)

SCTY gained +.67 for +3.40% last week. Since SolarCity’s IPO back in December, the company has gained +8.58 for +72.77%. Let’s start with some background on the company.

SolarCity provides homeowners, businesses and government organizations cleaner, more affordable alternatives to their utility bills-we call this Better Energy. Our long-term relationships with customers allow us to provide them clean distributed energy, as a result of the demand for Better Energy we have installed more solar energy systems than any other company in the United States. SolarCity currently serves thousands of communities in 14 states, and customers include tens of thousands of homeowners, hundreds of schools and universities, leading commercial entities such as Walmart, eBay and Intel, and major government organizations such as the U.S. Military. Approximately 21% of our new residential solar energy system customers in 2011 purchased additional energy products or services from us, and as our customers’ energy needs evolve over time, we believe we are well-positioned to be their distributed energy provider of choice. (Source:

SCTY has a market cap of $1.53 billion, a book value per share of $2.93 and a cash value per share of $2.13. The company’s revenue from sales is $128.66 million. In the fourth quarter of 2012, SCTY reported a net income loss of –$3.01 million, however, that figure is up from –$31.05 million in the third quarter of 2012. That is a +90.3% increase in net income in just one quarter. This company has not been on the market long, but the reason I’m looking at it is because the company is owned by Elon Musk, the owner of Tesla Motors, Inc. (TSLA). TSLA has gained +23.94 for +100.21% since its IPO in early September of 2010. I believe that Elon Musk can take this company (SCTY) in the same direction. For that reason, I will likely buy 100 shares of this one under $20.50 on Monday. I will set a 10% trailing stop to protect principle. My price target for this one is $30.00+ in a little over 6 months.

Posted by: ctraderd | April 15, 2013

$INTC Earnings Play

Let’s start off with some background on Intel Corporation (INTC).

We are the world’s largest semiconductor chip maker, based on revenue. We develop advanced integrated digital technology, primarily integrated circuits, for industries such as computing and communications. Integrated circuits are semiconductor chips etched with interconnected electronic switches. We also develop computing platforms, which we define as integrated hardware and software computing technologies that are designed to provide an optimized solution. Our goal is to be the preeminent computing solutions company that powers the worldwide digital economy. We are transforming from a company with a primary focus on the design and manufacture of semiconductor chips for PCs and servers to a computing company that delivers complete solutions in the form of hardware and software platforms and supporting services.

We were incorporated in California in 1968 and reincorporated in Delaware in 1989. (Source:

INTC is expected to report earnings tomorrow, Tuesday, April 16th after the closing bell with an estimated EPS of $.41/share. In recent quarters, INTC has had pretty steady sales, so I am confident that they will continue this trend with a sales revenue somewhere around $13.5 billion for this quarter. Gross income has been deteriorating on a four quarter trend, so I expect the amount to be around $7.5 billion and for the most important item, net income has been also deteriorating since the first quarter of 2012. I believe that INTC’s net income will be somewhere around the range of $2.3 billion. In my opinion, INTC will post earnings probably around the estimates of $.41/share.

In order to play INTC’s earnings, I entered an Apr13 21.5 Straddle, in which I bought 10 of each the Apr13 21.5 Calls and Apr13 21.5 Puts. I bought the Calls at $.51 and am currently down –$120 for –23.5%. However, I bought the Puts at $.36 and am up +$140 for +38.8%. Overall, I am up +$20 on the straddle. My gameplan for these is to exit the losing position right away on Wednesday, April 17th at the open, and let the winning position ride. I will then determine when to sell the winning position as the day goes on.

Older Posts »