Ambarella (AMBA) Earnings on Deck

12:05pm (EST)

With second-quarter earnings season just a month away, earnings have been on the back-burner as Wall Street focuses on economic and geopolitical news in the meantime. Companies with different fiscal years fill the void during off months following the the rush at the start of the quarterly earnings announcements.

Ambarella (AMBA) will confess first-quarter results after today's closing bell with Wall Street looking for a profit of $0.36 a share on revenue of $63.5 million. The company has smashed estimates the past four quarters by 18, 17, 16, and 6 cents, respectively. The high estimate for the recently ended quarter has the company earning 41 cents a share.

Despite the impressive earnings beats, shares have struggled afterwards falling the past three earnings announcements. The pullbacks have been 4%, 11%, and nearly 7%. In the year ago period, shares rallied 9%.

Last week's sudden pullback from the $65 level to double-nickels ($55) came on drone launch concerns as the company's largest customer, DJI, may have dual-sourced video processing chips. DJI's Spark drone went on the market with a price tag of $499 and this concern could become a material headwind, if true.

Shares held the 100-day moving average on the punishment and are trying to hold shaky support at $59 and the 200-day moving average heading into the announcement. The 50-day moving average was in a solid uptrend but leveled off following the technical damage.

The recent action has juiced the option premiums in AMBA with weekly and monthly strikes available to trade. The regular AMBA June 60 calls (AMBA170616C00060000, $2.40, up $0.20) and the AMBA June 60 puts (AMBA170616P, $3.05, down $0.15) are pricing in a possible 8%-10% move in the stock during after-hours and into tomorrow's open.

I don't actively follow AMBA and I'm not sure if the recent volatility is an overreaction, or represents a buying opportunity ahead of earnings.

If shares were to make a run to $65 this week, the aforementioned call options would double from current levels as they would be $5 "in-the-money". If shares stay below $60 and falter on the news, the call options would expire worthless. If shares fell below $53.90, technically, by next Friday, the aforementioned put options would double from current levels.

I don't usually trade options that are priced over $2, especially with earnings trades, so I will be sitting on the sidelines watching the action. Other stocks in the chip sector could react in a positive or negative way based on AMBA's numbers and I'm looking to the possible upside in other names.

Today's action has been more of the same as yesterday with tight action to the downside. The market seems content to wait for the Thursday's fireworks showcasing a former head of the FBI's comments following his firing from a month ago and the outcome from the overseas election.

The Dow is down 5 points to 21,178 while the S&P 500 is off 2 points to 2,434. The Nasdaq is slipping a point to 6,294 and the Russell 2000 is declining 6 points to 1,390.

I have updated our current trades so let's go check the tape.

March Lows in Play

March Lows in Play

8:00am (EST)

The bulls were looking good for the first half of Wednesday's action as upper resistance was tested. However, the second half fade to session lows led to a mixed session with the broader market pulling back but Tech and the small-caps closing slightly higher. The bears are still on the verge of causing chaos as the blue-chips fell below their late March intraday low.

The Dow tumbled 118 points, or 0.6%, to finish at 20,404. The blue-chips made a run to 20,546 with resistance at 20,600-20,650 easily holding. The fade to a session low of 20,379 into the closing bell split support at 20,400-20,350. The close below the previous March low of 20,412 was a bearish development and gets 20,200-20,000 in play if 20,350 cracks.

The S&P 500 slipped 4 points, or 0.2%, to end at 2,338. The index traded to a high of 2,352 but failed lower resistance at 2,360-2,370 shortly after the open. I mentioned backup support at 2,325-2,300 continues to a be a possibility if 2,335 fails to hold and was yesterday's low.

The Nasdaq advanced 13 points, or 0.2%, to settle at 5,863. Tech made a morning journey north of 5,894 to push upper resistance at 5,875-5,900 but levels that held despite the bulls holding court all session. Support is at 5,825-5,800 on another move below 5,850.

The Russell 2000 climbed 5 point, or 0.4%, to close just under 1,367. The small-caps also held positive territory throughout Wednesday with the high checking in at 1,376. Upper resistance at 1,370-1,375 and the 50/100-day moving averages were cleared but also levels the bulls couldn't nail down. Support is at 1,360-1,350.

The S&P 500 Volatility Index ($VIX, 14.93, up 0.51) cleared upper support at 13.50-12.50 after kissing 13.46 intraday. The late day surge and 10% rebound off the low tapped a high of 15.15. Resistance is at 17-17.

From desk to press, futures look like this: Dow (+6); S&P 500 (+1); Nasdaq 100 (+3).

4Q Earnings Heat Up

4Q Earnings Season Heats Up

8:00am (EST)

The bears opened the shortened weak with a win as the recent bullish Tuesday's were outweighed by a shaky dollar. News that then President Elect, Donald Trump, said in an interview with the Wall Street Journal the US dollar was "too strong" led to some uneasiness and overall market weakness.

The rest of the week was shaky as December lows came into play but Friday's action kept the bottom of the trading ranges intact. With fourth-quarter earnings season coming into full swing, the bulls will need to show continued strength while trying to regain momentum for another possible run at all-time highs.

The Dow jumped 94 points, or 0.5%, to finish at 19,827 on Friday. The blue-chips held positive territory throughout the session with the high reaching 19,843. Resistance at 19,900-20,000 held tight with a close into this level a bullish start for the week. A move above the latter gets 20,200-20,350 in play. Support is at 19,800-19,725 with a move below 19,700 likely leading to 19,600-19,500 and the 50-day moving average. For the week, the index fell 58 points but is still up 65 points for the year.

The S&P 500 climbed 7 points, or 0.3%, to settle at 2,271. The index made a run to 2,276 shortly after the opening bell to clear lower resistance at 2,275-2,300. Although this level failed to hold, the close above 2,270 was semi-bullish. Support is at 2,260-2,250. A move below the latter could lead to a continued backtest to 2,240-2,235 and the 50-day moving average. The S&P 500 fell 3 points for the week, and is 33 points, year-to-date.

The Nasdaq added 15 points, or 0.3%, to close at 5,555. Tech raced to a high of 5,574 on the open with lower resistance at 5,575-5,600 holding by a point. Support remains at 5,525-5,500 with last week's lows reaching 5,527 on Tuesday and 5,528. If these levels hold throughout the week, we can say it was a "double bottom". However, a breech of either aforementioned numbers would be a bearish development. The Nasdaq fell 19 points last week and for 2017, is showing a 172-point gain.

The Russell 2000 popped a 6-pack, or 0.5%, to end at 1,351. The small-caps traded up to 1,355 midday but failed fresh resistance at 1,360-1,365. The lower highs and lower lows throughout last week pushed lower support at 1,345-1,340 and the 50-day moving average. There is additional risk to 1,325-1,320 if this level fails to hold over the near-term. Last week's 21-point dip led the overall market pullback with the index now showing a 6-point loss for the year.

The S&P 500 Volatility Index ($VIX, 11.54, down 1.24) stayed deflated throughout Friday's session with the low tapping 11.53. The 10% pullback and close just outside of support at 11.50-11 looked bullish. The 52-week low is at 10.93 with 10 and single-digits looking possible on a move below 10.75. Resistance is at 12.50-13.50 and the 50/100-day moving averages with continued closes above the latter leading to 14.50-15 and a breech of the 200-day moving average.

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How to Trade E*Trade’s Earnings

A sneaky play without taking the direct hit of an earnings announcement might be a bullish trade on E*Trade Financial (ETFC, $36.93, up $0.21). Shares have been in a strong, tight range for two weeks but have been setting higher highs and fresh 52-week peaks since mid-November.

Analysts are expecting a profit of $0.42 a share on revenue just shy of $502 million. The high estimate is pegged at $0.45 a share with the low at $0.39. The high revenue estimate is north of $517 million while the lowball is at $459 million. The company has topped estimates by 12 cents and 10 cents, twice, over the past three quarters.

The ETFC February 38 calls (ETFC170217C00038000, $0.95, up $0.15) look attractive at current levels and would give the trade a month to play out. If ETFC shares can clear $40 by mid-February, these options would easily double from current levels. Of course, an earnings miss, or lowered guidance, could cause a pullback in the stock.

NextOptions.com Index and Earnings Options Play List for 12/7/2016

NextOptions.com Index and Earnings Options Play List for 12/7/2016

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8:00am (EST)

The market was sluggish for much of Tuesday before picking up steam in the second half of action. The continued momentum was beautiful to see as I mentioned the bulls needed to show some follow through. The run to fresh all-time peaks were lead by the small-caps and another bullish sign.

The Dow advanced 35 points, or 0.2%, to close at 19,251. The blue-chips were weak throughout the first half of trading with the bears pushing a low of 19,184. Support at 19,100-19,000 has now held for 10-straight sessions with a solid floor being formed. The push to 19,255 keeps upper resistance at 19,200-19,350 in play. Continued closes above the latter could lead to a move towards 19,500-19,600 by yearend.

The S&P 500 added 7 points, or 0.3%, to finish at 2,212. The index slipped a couple of points to 2,202 shortly after the open with rising support at 2,200-2,195 holding. A move back below 2,190 would be a bearish development. Resistance at 2,215-2,225 was challenged on the bounce to 2,212 ahead of the closing bell. If the latter is cleared, pencil-in a test to 2,250, possibly, over the next 3-4 weeks.

The Nasdaq gained 24 points, or 0.5%, to settle at 5,333. Tech made a brief trip into negative territory midday to 5,299 with fresh upper support at 5,300-5,275 getting slightly stretched. The turnaround to just below 5,334 into the close was a bullish signal. Near-term resistance remains at 5,350-5,375.

The Russell 2000 surged nearly 15 points, or 1.1%, to end at 1,352. The small-caps tested 1,335 intraday with rising support at 1,330-1,325 trying to be established for the rest of the week. Prior resistance at 1,335-1,340 was blown away following the move to 1,353 and another all-time high.

The S&P 500 Volatility Index ($VIX, 11.79, down 0.35) traded in negative territory for much of the day following a brief look at 12.30 on the opening sluggishness. Short-term resistance has now moved down to 12.50-11.50. Continued closes below 11.50 should get a 10 handle and possibility, single-digits on the map.

Analogic (ALOG), Dave & Buster's Entertainment (DAVE), Sigma Designs (SIGM) announced earnings after Tuesday's close.

Hooker Furniture (HOFT), Lulelemon Athletica (LULU), Star Gas Partners (SGU), United Natural Foods (UNFI) are announcing numbers this morning.


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12/7/2016 comments:

Sprint (S, $8.17, up $0.12)

January 8 calls (S170120C00008000, $0.65, up $0.10)

Profiled Price: $0.55 (11/16/2016)

Exit: $1.10

Profit: 18%

Stop: None

Thoughts: Monday's high reached $8.61. Resistance is at $8-$8.25. Support is at $7.75-$7.50.


12/7/2016 comments:

Rambus (RMBS, $13.46, up $0.48)

January 14 calls (RMBS170120C00014000, $0.30, up $0.13)

Profiled Price: $0.36 (11/21/2016)

Exit: $0.75+

Profit: -18%

Stop: None

Thoughts: Resistance is at $13.50-$13.75. Fresh support is at $13.

12/7/2016 comments:

Array BioPharma (ARRY, $8.66, down $0.05)

January 8 calls (ARRY170120C00008000, $1.15, down $0.10)

Profiled Price: $0.75 (11/28/2016)

Exit: $1.50

Profit: 48%

Stop: None

Thoughts: Resistance is at $9. Support is at $8.50. We have a Price Target of $10 by mid to late January for the stock that would get these call options to $2 "in-the-money".


12/7/2016 comments:

Toll Brothers (TOL, $31.93, up $1.46)

January 30 calls (TOL170120C00030000, $2.50, up $0.90)

Profiled Price: $1.00 (12/5/2016)

Exit: $2.00+

Profit: 60%

Stop: $2.05

Thoughts: Set a Stop at $2.05 to ensure a triple-digit profit.

Shares traded to a peak of $32.18 yesterday with the calls kissing $2.55. We said we liked these calls to play a run to $32 on better-than-expected numbers and the company delivered.


12/7/2016 comments:

PowerShares QQQ ETF (QQQ, $116.88, up $0.28)

January 120 calls (QQQ170120C00120000, $0.75, flat)

Profiled Price: $0.65 (12/5/2016)

Exit: $1.50

Profit: 12%

Stop: None

Thoughts: Resistance is at $117.50-$118. Support is at $115. We like these call options to play a rebound to $120 and all-time highs by mid-January.


Upcoming Earnings


After the close: Casey's General Store (CASY), H&R Block (HRB), Ollie's (OLLI)


Before the open: Argan (AGX), Ciena (CIEN), Hovnanian Enterprises (HOV), Methode Electronics (MEI), Peak Resorts (SKIS), Vince Holding (VNCE)

No new recommendations today.