A trio of retail names, TGT , ANF , and COST announce next week ... .

TGT announces on 3/6 before market open. Preliminarily, the March 16th, 11-day, 20-delta 69.5/81 short strangle pays 1.54 at the mid, with its defined risk counterpart, the 66.5/69/81/84 iron condor paying under 1/3rd the width of the wings at .83/contract, slightly shy of the credit I like to receive on those to pull the trigger.

For those into the short put/acquire/cover cycle type trade (I'm going to refer to these as "spack" trades for short):* the 30 delta, March 16th 71.5 short put is paying 1.37 at the mid, which would yield a cost basis of 70.13 of any assigned shares, a discount of 6.7% over where the underlying is currently trading.

ANF announces on 3/7 before market open. Given the size of the underlying, I'd probably go short straddle, with the March 16th 21 paying 3.22 at the door and its defined risk iron fly variation -- the 17/21/21/25 paying 2.56, slightly greater than 1/4 the width of the long strangle component of the setup, which is what I want to see at the least out of an iron fly.

The "spack" trade: the March 16th, 30 delta 19 short put is paying .91/contract, yielding a cost basis of 18.09 in any assigned shares versus 20.68 market, a 12.5% discount.

Lastly, COST announces on the 7th, after market close. The March 16th 177.5/200 short strangle is paying 2. 40 , with the defined risk 172.5/177.5/200/205 paying 1.21, somewhat short of 1/3rd the width of the wings.

The spack trade is to sell the March 16th 182.5 for 2.31/contract which would result in a cost basis of 180.19 in assigned shares -- a 4.8% discount over where shares are currently trading.

Sector-wise, the volatility remains in a familiar place, with XOP / OIH having the highest (34%). FXI (29%), XRT (27%), and XHB (26%) follow in descending order, with background implied a bit on the light side (I like >35% to bother).

Depending on your thoughts about where petro is heading: The XOP April 20th 31/37 short strangle is paying 1. 01 at the mid (neutral assumption); the April 20th 32 short put ( bullish assumption) is paying .74 with a resulting cost basis of 31.26 (an 8.4% discount over current share price); and the Plain Jane slightly monied April 20th 34 covered call (buy shares at 34.14, sell the April 20th 34 short call) costs 32.50 to put on (a 4.8% discount over current price) (selling the April 20th 34 short put for 1.47 yields basically the same metrics).

The FXI April 20th 44/51 short strangle is paying 1.41 at the mid, with the spack trade being to sell the April 20th 45 put for a .94 credit, resulting in a cost basis of 44.06 per share, a 6.8% discount over where the underlying is currently trading.

* -- Generally speaking, the cycle is to: (a) Sell puts. At expiry, if price is above your strike, you keep the premium. (b) If at expiry, price is below your strike, either allow yourself to be assigned, or roll the short put out "as is" for credit and therefore further cost basis reduction. (c) On assignment, proceed to cover your shares by selling calls against at or above your cost basis in the shares, looking to exit the trade profitably.


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