Category: Dr. Duke's Blog
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The markets gapped up at the open and ran up, but then gave back all of those gains and appeared to be meandering sideways most of the day. The major indexes are flirting with the resistance levels set back in June (about $950 on SPX and $535 on RUT). By mid-day, I was thinking it may be time to sell the long September calls that are protecting my condor's call spreads; the thought was to take that profit today and wait for the RUT to drop tomorrow and then my condor would be back in good shape. But during the last hour of trading today, the RUT and SPX both started strengthening and even more so after 4 pm ET. That tells me some big money is expecting the market to push through these resistance levels. RUT closed at $526.96, just below resistance, and SPX closed at $951.13, right at resistance.

I decided it was better to leave my upside protection in place. The risk/reward curves for the next day or two are essentially flat with my Sept calls in place, i.e., I can afford to allow the RUT to continue upward to about $550 and my position P/L should remain contained to a loss of less than about $2000 (less than an average month's gain). The Aug condor stands at a P/L of -$880, delta = -$28 and theta = +$45. This is a weak theta position, although it is still positive. Clearly, this position is at the "fish or cut bait" stage - in the next few days, we will either close our call spreads or sell our Sept calls (or both).

My Aug iron butterfly now stands at a position delta of -$48 and theta = +$71. This theta/delta ratio is better, but nothing to write home about. To varying degrees, both of these positions are on the edge of being closed if this market continues its strong surge upward.