NaughtyPines

THE WEEK AHEAD: HD, CSCO, TGT, BBY, WMT, GPS, AMAT EARNINGS

NYSE:HD   HOME DEPOT INC (THE)
We have bevvy of retail earnings announcements next week as the full season tapers off:

HD             announces earnings on Tuesday before market open with a background implied volatility of 23% (top quarter of 52-week range).
CSCO             -- Wednesday before market open with a background of 27 (near 52-week high).
TGT             -- Wednesday before market open, at 36 (top quarter of 52-week range).
BBY             -- Thursday, before market open, at 53 (near 52-week high).
WMT             -- Thursday, before market open, at 25 (near 52-week high).
GPS             -- Thursday, after market close, at 44 (above middle, but below top quarter of 52-week range).
AMAT             -- Thursday, after market close, at 41 (near 52-week high).

I generally prefer playing earnings where the background volatility exceeds 50%, and it's in the top-quarter of its 52-week range, implying that the best candidate for an earnings contraction play would be BBY             with AMAT             close behind/worth watching for an increase in implied volatility running into the announcement.

Broad-market exchange-traded fund-wise, there isn't much to play: the Brazilian exchange-traded fund continues to print implied volatility percentages at or above 30% (currently, 35-ish), followed by the petro exchange-traded fund, XOP             (34).

For non-earnings individuals, TEVA             (72/upper end of its 52-week range) continues to garner my attention, along with CTL (56), which -- post-earnings -- maintains high volatility .

The majors -- well, there isn't much to look at. IWM             leads with a background implied of 16, which is basically tied with the QQQ's at 16. SPY             comes in at a paltry 13 ... .

On the volatility product front, the first /VX future trading at or above 16 is out in May (184 DTE             ), meaning that a <90 DTE             VIX             Term Structure trade isn't in the offing for me. However, the VXST/VIX ratio finished Friday's session somewhat elevated (.92), so it's worth keeping an eye out for any >1.00 pops in which to consider Contango Drift trades, particularly as we wind into a rollover with VIX             spot trading at 11.29 relative to the Nov contract's 11.60 (2 DTE             ).
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