Unfinished Business

Yesterday was one of the lowest volume days of the year, and today was not an exciting day. This isn’t unusual just before a holiday weekend, though it’s rare to see much slowdown before Thursday. Yesterday I mentioned two levels that were unfinished business that might well need to be completed on NQ and TF. […]
Slope of Hope

I just need to eliminate my ehh trades

Last night, I was reading the review of one of our traders, Trader A, who wrote,
“I just need to stick to my plays that make me money (ETRM, TWTO, GLYC) and just faze out those ehhh ehh trades, I will become very consistent and very profitable.”
To Trader A, I responded,
” When u say get rid of ehh trades be more specific.
My PlayBook is abc (specific variables that make up the trade)
My antiPlayBook is 123 789 2334 trades (specific variable that define the trade)

Specific, specific, specific.”
Said another way, I do not understand what I want to faze out my ehh trades means.  What are your ehh trades?  If you do Read more […]
SMB Capital

SMBU’s Options Tribe Webinar: Frank Fahey of Optionvue Systems, International: How an options veteran trades broken wing butterflies

This week, former market maker and options trading professional Frank Fahey discusses how he trades broken wing butterflies in a large account. Read more […]
SMB Capital

Working Your Way Up the Ladder

Let’s face it…futures trading can at times be counterintuitive. Traditionally, there are two prices – the bid and the ask. The bid is the highest price that everyone else is willing to pay for something. This is where you’re supposed to sell. The ask represents the lowest price at which everyone else is willing to sell something. This is where you’re supposed to buy. Retail futures traders have been expected to trade at the mercy of the market makers’ bid-ask spreads. OptionsHouse begs to differ.

The Futures Trading LadderIntroducing the Futures Trading Ladder

New to OH 2.0, the Trading Ladder allows you to place orders that make intuitive sense. Do you see the red and green bars under the Bid and Ask columns? Click on any green bar under the Bid column to join the buyers and to become part of the overall market bid. Click on any red bar under the Ask column to join the sellers and to become a part of the overall market ask.

For example, if you wanted to buy futures at 2355.00, you’d click on the green bar to the left of the 2355.00 strike. Note that the green bar has the number 286 in it:  That’s the current number of futures contracts already bidding 2355.00. You’re going to be joining them. Hence, if you were to place an order to buy 10 contracts, you’d see that number rise to 296, as you’d now be represented as part of the bid.

You can set your desired quantity, order type (limit or market), and duration (day or GTC) using the blue buttons at the top of the Ladder.

Two Ways to Place an Order

At OptionsHouse, we know that for some of you, speed is of the essence. So if you’ve got more of that “ready, fire, aim” mentality, we have an Auto Send feature. Simply look for the words “Auto Send” at the top right of the Ladder. You can toggle that label between “ON” and “OFF”. If you see a green box with the word “ON” as shown in this image , then you have the green light to instantly send your order to the market without having to devote any precious seconds to double-checking your order.

For the rest of us mere mortals who prefer to be safe than sorry, click on the green box and make sure it turns red so you can see the word “OFF” as shown in this image . If this is the case, then when you click on a green bar, a pre-populated Buy ticket appears so that you can preview and confirm your buy order. Clicking on a red bar will bring up the Sell ticket so you can confirm your sell order. Happy Trading!

The post Working Your Way Up the Ladder appeared first on OptionsHouse.

OptionsHouse Blog – OptionsHouse

Why are whales whale-sized?

“Why Did The Biggest Whales Get So Big?” (Atlantic) is popular science at its most fun. Is this profound or obvious? Argument for obvious: If you want to cross an ocean you need a bigger ship than for crossing a pond, so of course ocean-crossing animals are bigger than pond-crossing animals. Argument for profound: Arctic terns are small and yet they migrate across continents.

[The writer quotes a biologist (not a planetary physicist, but that’s okay because any American who didn’t major in Gender Studies or Folklore is now a climate prophet!) who seems confident that the Earth’s oceans will be completely different in 100 years and won’t support big whales. Is it time to invest in a whale museum? Or will there still be some cold nutrient-rich waters closer to the poles?]

Philip Greenspun’s Weblog

New iOS App Trading Tips & Highlights

Options Chain

Options are a big part of the OptionsHouse experience. The Option Chain on the mobile application offers a way to quickly build an option spread of your liking or create a simple option trade. You can quickly scroll through the expirations and choose the one(s) you would like to view.

Make trade selections by tapping on the prices in the Bid and Ask columns of the Calls and Puts sections. As you build out your spread on the Option Chain, you can view your selected options locked to the top of the chain. You don’t have to constantly scroll through your various selections to double check that you have selected the correct contracts for your trade.

You can also customize your Options Chain experience by changing the settings. Control how many strikes you see, whether or not you want to see non-standard expirations, centering the near value, or even controlling what data points you want to see such as Volume or Delta. View those data points for calls or puts by tapping on Calls or Puts right below the expiration selection bar. Once you finish building out your spread, complete your trade by tapping on the trade icon in the bottom navigation bar. Inside the trade feature, you can make more edits to what you have selected in the Options Chain or just quickly finish your trade.


Keeping track of positions in your portfolio is important to any trader. When viewing positions on OptionsHouse mobile app, you can customize and quickly scroll through real-time streaming data points for your positions. There are also indicators attached to your positions such as ‘Open Order’, ‘Dividend’, or ‘Expiring’ to give you a quick glance at the status of your various positions.

You can also choose how you view your positions by grouping your strategies or changing which data points you want to see for your positions. In addition to changing which data points you see, you can change the order you see them in.

There are also several trade actions you can make in positions. You can add to a current position, close it, or roll an option by either going into the Position detail by tapping on a positions, or tapping on the Trade icon for each position. In addition to viewing your positions, you can easily navigate and see your order history and balances when looking at your positions.


Positions on mobile allows you to quickly glance at your portfolio so you can see your account value and the performance of your holdings in the market. It is also easily grouped with Balances and Orders which gives more detail on your account status and order history.


When opportunities in the market arise, you often want to seize them as quickly as you can. On OptionsHouse mobile, you can quickly build your trade by using the various trading features on the app.

Select a strategy (e.g. Iron Condor) from the strategy picker for a pre-defined spread template. You can then edit to suit your preferences or if you’re not comfortable with using a pre-set strategy, then you can build a custom strategy by adding legs and building your trade manually one leg at a time. You can edit each leg by tapping on it to open it in edit mode and then save the changes. You can also edit more than one leg at a time.

After building your trade, if you don’t want to execute your trade right away, you can save and view it anytime in Orders. Orders which can be found in Portfolio on the bottom navigation or by going to the more menu and navigating to Orders. In Orders, you can execute or modify the trade at a later date at your convenience.

In addition, there are other selections that you can make along with your trade in order to enhance it such as price types and term selections. Price types for single leg orders can be Limit, Stop, Stop Limit, or Market. For multi-leg orders, you can select Limit Debit, Limit Credit, or Market. You can also tap on the ‘Bid’, ‘Mid’, or ‘Ask’ buttons in the Price section to change the Limit Price. In the Term section, you can change the duration and also select whether your trade is All-or-None.

Trading is an integral part of OptionsHouse mobile experience. For ease of use, you can prepare your trade on various parts of the app and have it be built on the Trade Screen for quick execution. For example, you can build out a spread on the Option Chain, close or add positions in Positions, or execute an order in Orders. Once any of those actions are selected, the trade is built out for you on the trade feature. From there, you can edit your trade as needed or just go ahead and preview. If the trade is satisfactory then just confirm and you are done!

The post New iOS App Trading Tips & Highlights appeared first on OptionsHouse.

OptionsHouse Blog – OptionsHouse

Medical School 2020, Year 1, Week 27

From our anonymous insider…

“Lactation: Use it, or lose it” is our theme for two days. A family physician brought in one of her patients, a 30-year-old mother of two. When four-month-old “Nora” got hungry, she whipped her breasts out in front of the whole class. The physician explained that the breasts are made of 4-18 glandular ducts with suspensory connective tissue and fat. The baby needs to be rotated using different positions (e.g., the football hold) to ensure each duct is used.

Two hormones are important for lactation. Prolactin, secreted by the anterior pituitary gland, signals the glandular ducts to produce milk. If the ducts begin to build up in pressure, prolactin secretion will be inhibited. Once this cascade has begun, it is almost impossible to reverse the spiral, which is why breastfeeding in the first days after delivery is critical. Although prolactin produces milk, oxytocin (the love hormone) causes the release of milk. When a baby is on the nipple, the ducts contract, producing a let down. Other signals, such as a baby crying,can cause oxytocin release. We were fortunate enough to see a let down: Milk shot out of the nipple for several inches and sprayed all over the baby’s face and clothes. Nora was loving it.

“Breastfeeding should last for at least six months and up to one year plus/minus two months.” The physician continued, “A child will let you know when he or she is ready to wean. The child will start grabbing solid foods and teething on the nipple.” Current conventional wisdom, confirmed by the most heavily cited studies, is that breastfeeding for at least six months (1) builds mother-child bonds with oxytocin release, (2) decreases the child’s risk of obesity, increases IQ, improves immune system function and improves social skills, and (3) decreases the mother’s risk of breast and ovarian cancer.

The family physician noted that her specialty, increasingly rare in American cities, is the only one that follows both mother and child during pregnancy, labor, and after birth. “This allows a whole different perspective that used to be the norm. In most big city hospitals, the moment after delivery, the infant is whisked away by the pediatrician, while the mother is followed up by the Ob/Gyn. Family medicine bridges this patient divide by caring for both mother and child and sometimes grandmother too.”

On the advice of yesterday’s physicians, Americans abandoned breastfeeding in favor of formula. On the advice of today’s physicians, Breastfeeding rates are back up to roughly 50 percent and are tracked by the CDC. The mother explained how difficult breastfeeding was for her first child. “If it was not for my physician, I would have quit after one month.” She developed a severe case of mastitis (inflammation of the glandular ducts caused by an infection or obstruction). “Every time I breastfed, I would cry in pain.” The worst thing to do for mastitis is to stop feeding. Instead, you should feed or pump in short pulses. The physician noted, “A big misconception about breastfeeding is that it should not hurt. It will hurt. A lot.” In addition to the biting, oxytocin release in the first few weeks can cause painful uterine contractions similar to the experience of labor. The physician continued to explain the difficult decisions her patient’s face without extended maternity leave. “They ask themselves, ‘should I quit my job to breastfeed, pump, or switch to formula?’ Each presents challenges especially if the pump is not covered by insurance, or if the family gets insurance through their job.” (This seemed to support Ivanka Trump’s observation that motherhood has become the primary obstacle to women’s professional advancement, but Anita still isn’t in a positive mood about any Trump family member.)

The physician noted how there exists a black market for milk, especially for colostrum. Colostrum is the milk produced in late pregnancy that is rich in antibodies and protein. Our modern range of reproductive technologies, including surrogacy, has produced the largest number of families in which an infant is present and yet no adult is capable of lactation. “Colostrum is worth more than gold!”

That evening I attended an optional workshop on women’s health led by three female physicians, one of them an OB/GYN specialist. Fifteen students, including five men, from different years showed up. We practiced inserting different intrauterine devices (IUDs) in dummies. IUDs are shaped like a “T” with arms that spring out when deployed, thus anchoring the device in the uterine horns. The IUD is connected to two strings that exit the uterus through the cervix. A physician can pull on the strings to remove the IUD. The strings are trimmed during insertion so that they end just outside the cervix, which enables women with IUDs to check the strings every month to ensure the device has not been displaced. None of my classmates with IUDs knew that they were supposed to do this.

The first IUD marketed was Teva’s Paragard. “Paragard is the most cost-effective contraceptive ever created,” noted the gynecologist. Paragard uses copper to kill sperm before they can reach the egg for fertilization. It is is effective for ten years. Most women are choosing Skyla and Mirena, a progesterone IUD. These are more expensive but women like it because of the decreased bleeding. One family physician with experience with adolescents noted, “Paragard has this unfortunate misnomer that it causes heavy bleeding. It’s just a woman’s normal cycle. The progesterone IUDs give lighter bleeding. Some women on Skyla or Mirana stop having periods altogether.” I asked if older or younger women are more receptive to IUDs versus normal birth control methods. She responded, “Younger women (under 25) are by far more resistant to IUDs. They don’t want anything in their body but they want to have plenty of sex. I have to beg them to use some form of contraceptive.”

A pediatric gynecologist gave two lectures on puberty. My favorite fact: fifty percent of healthy adult weight is added during puberty. Females begin puberty, on average, at age nine with the growth spurt, followed by thelarche (breast development) at age 10 and finally menarche at age 12.5. These ages are delayed in larger families, higher altitudes, and rural settings. Males begin puberty, on average, at age 11 with an increase in testicular volume. This is followed by pubic hair, the all-important growth spurt, voice changes, axillary hair, the ability to ejaculate, and fertility. The class chuckled when he commented, “Males are shooting blanks for a bit. Males can ejaculate before fertility.”

In his practice, he evaluates “precocious puberty”. He deems puberty premature if the child reaches a stage three or more years before normal. The most severe cases are generally due to a hormone-secreting pituitary adenoma. Some of his patients undergo the growth spurt and menarche at age six. Black children typically undergo puberty 1-1.5 years before risk-adjusted white children. “My colleagues in other countries have it easier. Race cohorts are not as meaningful in the US because of genetic and ethnic mixing. Other countries these ‘normal’ numbers are more relevant.”

A week before exams and the library once again is crowded. Students stare at laptops (with peeks at an open Facebook window) or textbooks. The librarian brings her 12-cup coffee machine out for students to use during exam week. About half of us bring mugs while the rest walk across the street for Starbucks.

Pharmacology is a huge part of this exam and memorizing drug names is one of our toughest challenges to date. A friend’s mother advises companies on drug names, which may reflect millions of dollars of analysis. Names that “flow” are easily remembered: gliflozin is a typical suffix for drugs that make glucose flow in the urine (SGLT2 inhibitor); glutides keep the GLT1 incretin tide coming on. Classmates say that they are enjoying TV drug ads a lot more than they used to.

Statistics for the week… Study: 20 hours. Sleep: 7 hours/night; Fun: 1 day. Example fun: Jane and I ran a 5k trail run.

More: http://fifthchance.com/MedicalSchool2020

Philip Greenspun’s Weblog

That’s The Ticket!

Ready to place a trade? Our Trade Ticket lets you trade anything you want, the way you want to. Let’s dive right in…

Options ChainTrading an Option:

The option chain has all of the information you need to place a trade. From the chain, find the option you want to trade and then…

  • To buy an option, click on the Ask
  • To sell an option, click on the Bid

Trading More than One Option at a Time:

A spread is a trade that contains different options that trade as one group. Each different option in the group is called a “leg”. You can buy one leg and sell another. Or,sometimes you may choose to buy all legs of your spread, while other times you may choose to sell them. With our Trade Ticket, you can even buy and sell legs in different ratios.

On the OH 2.0 platform, to create a SPREAD, you:

OptionsHouse 2.0 Trading Ticket

  • Click on the respective Bid (to sell) or Ask (to buy) of the leg you want to trade
    • This automatically brings up an order ticket displaying the first leg of your trade
  • What if you want to trade another leg? No problem…just click on the Bid or Ask of your next option leg and voila! Your trade ticket now shows both option legs grouped and ready to be sent to the market
  • You can add up to 4 legs per trade ticket

And If You Change Your Mind…

No problem. Traders change their minds all the time.

If you decide you no longer like one of the legs in your trade, simply delete it by clicking on the  button on the right hand side of any leg on the trade ticket.

If you decide to buy something rather than sell it, click on the respective button below the Action column. 

You can also change strikes, expirations, and option type (call vs. put) by using any of the pull-down menus pertaining to each trade leg.

Finally, if you’re just not ready to trade now, click on the  on the top right corner of the trade ticket to minimize the ticket and trade at a later time. To delete the order, click on the  in that same top right corner and it’s gone. No hard feelings.

The post That’s The Ticket! appeared first on OptionsHouse.

OptionsHouse Blog – OptionsHouse

Binge and Purge

I remain heavily short the market, with a mere 4 of my zillions of positions still in the red (and by only a tiny amount). One of my favorite shorts is Brinker International, the company that owns purveyor of vomitous junk at Chilli’s as well as some other unfortunate venues. Here is the topping pattern: […]
Slope of Hope

Trailer Trash

One of my favorite people of all time, Norm MacDonald, somewhat famously embarrassed Courtney Thorne-Smith in this Conan interview back in the late 1990s. If you haven’t seen it, you absolutely should watch the whole thing, or if you have seen it a dozen times, like me, you will enjoy watching it again. In spite […]
Slope of Hope