THE WEEK AHEAD: EBAY, FB, MSFT, BABA, AAPL, XOM EARNINGS
EBAY announces on the 31st (Wednesday) after market open: implied percentile/rank 72/background 33.
FB , on the 31st after: 90/34
MSFT , also on the 31st after: 100/29
BABA, on February 1st before: 94/40
AAPL , on February 1st after: 97/30
XOM , on February 2nd before: 91/19
Of these, BABA looks the most promising. Preliminarily, the Feb 9th 192.5/222.5 20 delta short strangle pays 4.71 at the mid, with its defined risk counterpart -- the Feb 9th 187.5/192.5/222.5/227 iron condor -- paying 1.77.
On the exchange traded fund front: While there are underlyings with implied in the greater than 70 percentiles, background implied remains muted, so these are likely to be of limited productiveness. Here are the top five: IYR (100/17); FXI (100/27); XLU (93/17); XLB (87/18).
products: While VIX finished Friday lower to 11.08, didn't follow suit and were off only between .05-.10 across the term structure. Feb was off .10, but the March contract actually finished up by .05, meaning that neither VXX nor UVXY were down much. While I'm not in a position to read the minds of /VX traders, my guess is that they're positioning anew for the expiry of the continuing resolution that expires on February 8th (that play wasn't particularly productive the last go-round) or, more likely, a debt ceiling showdown in March, which has far more important ramifications for the market than a government shut-down, since a debt ceiling actually involves U.S. default concerns (historically, virtually illusory), while a failure to fund the government does not.
In any event, I missed the opening of the March 9th weekly in VXX to put on my weekly short play, and have spreads on in the monthly at current levels (short leg at 27), so will look to add in spreads in the March 23rd when it opens. Granted, what I have on looks a little battered here, particularly in the late February, early March expiries. The only thing to do is be patient, wait, and see whether the succumb to pressure to unload at least their February contracts so they're not left holding the bag and then to roll out for duration if particular spreads can't be taken off in profit or scratched out at expiry ... .