Bear Debit Spread Explained

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Bull Credit Spread

In options trading, a bull credit spread refers to any credit spread in which the value of the spread position decreases as the price of the underlying security rises. The simplest way to construct a bull credit spread is via puts. See bull put spread.

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As an alternative to writing covered calls, one can enter a bull call spread for a similar profit potential but with significantly less capital requirement. In place of holding the underlying stock in the covered call strategy, the alternative. [Read on. ]

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Understanding Put-Call Parity

Put-call parity is an important principle in options pricing first identified by Hans Stoll in his paper, The Relation Between Put and Call Prices, in 1969. It states that the premium of a call option implies a certain fair price for the corresponding put option having the same strike price and expiration date, and vice versa. [Read on. ]

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Stock Options Trading and Mentoring – Options strategies from pit vet Dan Passarelli

Posted on Thursday, February 20, 2020 at 1:51 PM

This market is enough to make some option traders crazy and broke. Who would have thought new highs would be consistently made almost on a week-to-week basis? For the most part, the major indexes have moved higher over the past several months, but there have been times when the market inexplicably has done a reversal at some resistance levels, as it did last Thursday. There is an option strategy that can possibly help. Let’s take a look below.

An iron condor is a market-neutral strategy that combines two credit spreads. A call credit spread is implemented above the current stock price, and a put credit spread is implemented below. The objective of any credit spread is to profit from the short options’ time decay while protecting the position with further out-of-the-money long options.

The iron condor is simply combining both the call and put credit spreads as one trade. The trade is based on the possibility of the stock trading between both credit spreads by expiration. Let’s use ABC stock as an example. If you have noticed that the stock has been trading between a range of $75 and $80 over the past few weeks, an iron condor might be an option with an expiration from about a week to about a month.

A call credit spread with the short strike call at 80 or higher would profit if the stock stayed below $80 at expiration. A short strike put at 75 or lower would profit if the stock stayed at $75 or higher at expiration. Both short options would need to be protected by further out-of-the-money (OTM) long options. Both spreads would expire worthless and both premiums are the trader’s to keep if ABC closes at or between the short strikes. The total risk on the trade is also reduced because of both premiums received.

Max profit is both credits from each credit spread. Max risk is the difference in one set of strike prices minus both premiums received. Maximum loss would occur if the stock is at or below $75 or at or above $80 at expiration. No matter what happens, one of the credit spreads will always expire worthless. This, of course, does not guarantee a profit though.

Iron condors are a great way to take advantage of time decay when it looks as if the stock will be traveling in a range for a certain amount of time even in a market like we have seen. The key is to have your profit and loss parameters set before entering the trade.

John Kmiecik
Senior Options Instructor
Market Taker Mentoring, Inc.

Bull Call Spread

The bull call spread option trading strategy is employed when the options trader thinks that the price of the underlying asset will go up moderately in the near term.

Bull call spreads can be implemented by buying an at-the-money call option while simultaneously writing a higher striking out-of-the-money call option of the same underlying security and the same expiration month.

Bull Call Spread Construction
Buy 1 ITM Call
Sell 1 OTM Call

By shorting the out-of-the-money call, the options trader reduces the cost of establishing the bullish position but forgoes the chance of making a large profit in the event that the underlying asset price skyrockets. The bull call spread option strategy is also known as the bull call debit spread as a debit is taken upon entering the trade.

Limited Upside profits

Maximum gain is reached for the bull call spread options strategy when the stock price move above the higher strike price of the two calls and it is equal to the difference between the strike price of the two call options minus the initial debit taken to enter the position.

The formula for calculating maximum profit is given below:

  • Max Profit = Strike Price of Short Call – Strike Price of Long Call – Net Premium Paid – Commissions Paid
  • Max Profit Achieved When Price of Underlying >= Strike Price of Short Call

Limited Downside risk

The bull call spread strategy will result in a loss if the stock price declines at expiration. Maximum loss cannot be more than the initial debit taken to enter the spread position.

The formula for calculating maximum loss is given below:

  • Max Loss = Net Premium Paid + Commissions Paid
  • Max Loss Occurs When Price of Underlying

Breakeven Point(s)

The underlier price at which break-even is achieved for the bull call spread position can be calculated using the following formula.

  • Breakeven Point = Strike Price of Long Call + Net Premium Paid

Bull Call Spread Example

An options trader believes that XYZ stock trading at $42 is going to rally soon and enters a bull call spread by buying a JUL 40 call for $300 and writing a JUL 45 call for $100. The net investment required to put on the spread is a debit of $200.

The stock price of XYZ begins to rise and closes at $46 on expiration date. Both options expire in-the-money with the JUL 40 call having an intrinsic value of $600 and the JUL 45 call having an intrinsic value of $100. This means that the spread is now worth $500 at expiration. Since the trader had a debit of $200 when he bought the spread, his net profit is $300.

If the price of XYZ had declined to $38 instead, both options expire worthless. The trader will lose his entire investment of $200, which is also his maximum possible loss.

Note: While we have covered the use of this strategy with reference to stock options, the bull call spread is equally applicable using ETF options, index options as well as options on futures.

Commissions

For ease of understanding, the calculations depicted in the above examples did not take into account commission charges as they are relatively small amounts (typically around $10 to $20) and varies across option brokerages.

However, for active traders, commissions can eat up a sizable portion of their profits in the long run. If you trade options actively, it is wise to look for a low commissions broker. Traders who trade large number of contracts in each trade should check out OptionsHouse.com as they offer a low fee of only $0.15 per contract (+$4.95 per trade).

Similar Strategies

The following strategies are similar to the bull call spread in that they are also bullish strategies that have limited profit potential and limited risk.

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