Active Options Trading for March 13: GS, NFLX, FSLR, AMZN, GOOG, PCLN

Floor of the New York Stock ExchangeStocks are rallying big time into the close today with the Dow up 167 points, the Nasdaq is up 41 points and the S&P 500 is up 18 points. Optimism about the U.S. economy and the debt crisis in Europe has sent the Dow well over 13,100. The Fed’s statement today showed no change in policy. They did say however that inflation could see an increase due to higher energy costs. [Read more...]

Options Trading Heavy Volume: LVS, GS, WYNN, NFLX, AMZN, PCLN

Wall StreetLas Vegas Sands Corp. (NYSE:LVS) is down 0.37% at $56.64 this morning. LVS has traded 6.7 million shares so far today and trades 9.9 million shares a day on average. March 2 weekly options are seeing a lot of action today especially around strike price $55 and $57.50. Call options at $57.50 are up $0.14 right now at $0.26 with 6,845 contracts traded. Call options at $55 are up $0.36 at $2.21 with 2,790 contracts traded. There’s also a lot of trading for March 9 weekly option at $60 with over 4,500 contracts traded.

Goldman Sachs Group (NYSE:GS) is down 0.54% this morning at $120.48. GS has traded 3 million shares so far today and trades 7.1 million shares a day on average. Weekly options for March 2 at strike price $120 has seen the most volume today with 2,907 contracts traded. Calls at that price are down $0.93 at $0.68. March 2 options at $125 are down $0.11 at $0.01 with over 1,200 contracts traded. April options at $130 are also seeing decent volume today with more than 2,700 contracts traded. Those options are down $0.28 at $1.89. [Read more...]

Durable Goods Miss Pushes Futures Off Highs. Stocks to Watch: PSDV, ALIM, JASO, ZAGG, BDSI, PCLN, HGSI

Stock FuturesA slight pullback in oil prices is sending stock futures higher as we head into the open. Investors are also looking towards a long-term liquidity operation in the EU to determine the risk-appetite going forward. Dow futures are currently up 16 points to 12,985. Nasdaq 100 futures are up 4.25 pints to 2,612. The S&P 500 futures are rounding out the gains, up 1.50 points to 1,368.50.

Oil prices, down most of the session, have come back off their lows to trade slightly negative. Nymex futures are still in the $108 per barrel range after hitting a 9-month high of 109 last week. The worry with rising prices is that it will dampen consumer spending.

The big event out of Europe today will be the LTRO. The ECB is expected to announce the results of its second three-year LTRO. The once they conducted in December had more than 500 banks tap the ECB to the tune of 489 billion Euros. [Read more...]

Priceline (PCLN) Doubles 3Q Profit, $9.17 EPS Incorporated (NASDAQ:PCLN) headquartered out of Norwalk, CT reported on Monday it 3Q profit more than doubled as the online travel agency saw dramatic increases in its overseas growth.

Priceline shares rose 2.5% to $521.50 in after-hours trading following the earnings report.
Third-quarter gross bookings, the value of all travel services bought online, increased 56%, Priceline said. International bookings were up 73%, while domestic bookings rose 13%.

Priceline posted a profit of $469.5 million, or $9.17 a share, up from $223 million, or $4.41 a share, in the same period a year earlier. Excluding stock-based compensation and other charges, earnings rose to $9.95 a share from $5.33. Revenue jumped 45% to $1.45 billion.
Total operating expenses rose to $483.8 million, from $329.4 million.

Priceline projected that earnings for the current fourth quarter will be between $4.90 and $5 a share excluding items, while revenue should increase between 27% and 32% year over year. Analysts surveyed by Thomson Reuters had forecast fourth-quarter earnings of $5.13, and a 36% revenue increase. Priceline tempered its results by stating its spending should increase as the business expands.

Jeffery Boyd, President and Chief Executive Officer of the Priceline Group, said, “We believe our retail hotel businesses at, Agoda and continued to take meaningful share in their respective markets during the quarter, though our Name Your Own Price hotel business is challenged by increasing competition in the discount space.”

The Priceline Group is a leader in global online hotel reservations, with over 170,000 participating hotels worldwide. The Group is composed of four primary brands –,, and TravelJigsaw – and several ancillary brands. The Priceline Group provides online travel services in Europe, North America, South America, the Asia-Pacific region, the Middle East and Africa.

Investors Concerned Over Italy, The New Greece. Stocks to Watch: DISH, PCLN, ADPI

At 7:45 a.m. ET, Dow Jones Industrial Average futures had slid 43 points to 11,899, S&P 500 futures slipped 6 points to 1,245 and Nasdaq 100 futures slumped 8.3 points to 2,343. Mounting political instability in Italy is now coming to the forefront as “The New Greece”. It appears investors may be in for a volatile week as the drama continues to unfold in Europe.

European blue chips fell 0.46%, while the euro slid 0.57% to $1.375. The U.S. dollar rose 0.2% against a basket of six world currencies.

The English FTSE 100 slid 0.62% to 5,493 and the French CAC 40 slipped 0.27% to 5,950.

In Asia, the Japanese Nikkei 225 dropped 0.39% to 8,767 and the Chinese Hang Seng slumped 0.83% to 19,678.

Energy markets held on to gains despite a strengthening U.S. dollar.

The benchmark American crude oil contract rose 39 cents, or 0.42%, to $94.67 a barrel. Wholesale RBOB gasoline rose 3 cents, or 1%, to $2.69 a gallon.

Gold climbed $19.90, or 1.1%, to $1,776 a troy ounce. The yield on U.S. government debt was modestly lower. The benchmark 10-year Treasury yields 2.034% from 2.040%.

The sovereign debt crisis that started in the periphery of the euro zone may already be spreading straight into the European Union’s core. Italy has seen its public debt balloon to 119% of its GDP in 2010 from 106% in 2008, raising the question of how and when the Italians will need assistance. Italy needs to institute measures quickly to reduce its public sector. Italian Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi has seen his majority in parliament slowly disintegrate, paralyzing his ability to push needed reforms through parliament as the European Union is ramping up pressure to enact changes.

Stocks to watch today include DISH Network Corp. (NASDAQ:DISH), Incorporated (NASDAQ:PCLN) and American Dental Partners, Inc. (NASDAQ:ADPI)

Notable Stocks With Earnings This Week: DISH, LDK, PCLN, SZYM, BID

Earnings season continues this week with many notable companies releasing quarterly results. Notable companies releasing earnings include DISH Network Corp. (NASDAQ:DISH), LDK Solar Co., Ltd (NYSE:LDK), Incorporated (NASDAQ:PCLN), Solazyme Inc. (NASDAQ:SZYM) and Sotheby’s (NYSE:BID).

Dish Network Corp. (NASDAQ:DISH) will announce their earnings pre-market Monday and many investors will be watching closely. DISH bought Blockbuster earlier this year and in recent months have announced a new streaming service with Blockbuster. Dish Network is definitely trying to compete with the likes of Netfilx, Inc. (NASDAQ:NFLX) and DIRECTV (NASDAQ:DTV) DISH closed Friday down nearly 1% at $23.48 with over 4 million shares in volume.

LDK Solar Co., Ltd (NYSE:LDK) announces earnings pre-market Monday. LDK has been trading a bit lower recently after hitting an October high of around $4.53. LDK closed Friday up 3.5% at $3.77 with 1.3 million shares in volume. LDK has a current market cap of 533.32 million. LDK Solar is one of First Solar, Inc. (NASDAQ:FSLR) biggest competitors. Incorporated (NASDAQ:PCLN) announces earnings on Monday and analysts expect an EPS of $9.30. This EPS is on the high-end of the company’s guidance. PCLN closed Friday up more than 1% at $513.37. The stock is up about $80 since early October. PCLN has a current market cap of 25.55 billion.

Solazyme Inc. (NASDAQ:SZYM) releases earnings on Monday. SZYM has been in a steady uptrend so far this month, up over $1. The stock closed Friday up $0.63 at $9.91, a gain of 6.79%. SYZM traded less than half its average volume on Friday with 142 thousand shares traded. The stock has a market cap of 591.32 million. Solazyme’s main competitors are Amyris Inc. (NASDAQ:AMRS) and Gevo, Inc. (NASDAQ:GEVO).

Sotheby’s (NYSE:BID) releases earnings on Monday. These earnings will give investors valuable insights into how much consumers are spending at auction houses. This in turn can give people an idea of how the general economy is. While there is no arguing the general economy is not that great, if above-average income earners are spending less at auction houses then it shows that all aspects of the economy have slowed down. BID closed Friday up 0.60% at $35.11. The stock has a current market cap of 2.37 billion.

This week promises to be interesting with many companies reporting earnings. Plus the general uncertainty in Europe will continue to weigh heavily on investors.

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