Pictured here is the only earnings announcement-related volatility contraction play with the metrics I'm looking for: greater than 70% rank and greater than 50% 30-day (it was 68/55 as of Friday close). Setup Metrics: 3.40 credit, break evens at 20.60/27.40, -8.20 delta, 3.1 theta.

Obvious alternatives would be the April 18th 21/27 short strangle paying 1.21 with break evens at 19.79/28.21, a delta of -4.5, and theta of 2.43 and -- for those with a defined risk bent -- the 19/22/26/29 iron condor in the same expiry, paying 1.23 with 20.77/27.23 break evens, a -2.64 delta, and a theta of 1.15.

On the exchange-traded fund front, the highest volatility remains in petro, with OIH , XOP , and USO taking the top three spots for 30-day implied at 31, 30, and 29, respectively, followed by EWZ at 29, and GDXJ at 26. With the exception of GDXJ , however, all of these are in the lower one quarter of their 52-week range (GDXJ's in the 31st percentile). As with last week, I'll continue to sell premium in XOP , albeit smaller than usual, reserving buying power for a richer volatility environment.

Single names with earnings in the rear view ranked by 30-day: TSLA (12/49), FCX (24/43), X (18/43), TWTR (8/38), and BIDU (24/35). I'm in a FCX slightly bullish short straddle at 14 as a kind of quasi-bullish copper play, and have gone with a "not a penny more" short put in X (See Posts Below).

As alternative plays, the X April 18th 24 short straddle is paying 2.83 (.71 at 25% max) with the 21/27 short strangle paying .84 (.42 at 50% max)

The TWTR April 18th 32 short straddle is paying 3.61 at the mid (.90 at 25% max) with the 28/35 short strangle paying 1.19 (.60 at 50% max) in the same expiry.

Spreads in both TSLA and BIDU are unattractively wide.
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