So many stocks are overbought currently that it’s hard to find a good stock to buy without being concerned about a short-term pullback. I ran a scan of S&P 500 stocks on January 6, and 320 members of the index have weekly stochastics readings above 70. The rally in the overall market over the last few months has created the current situation.
Each month I build a list of stocks that meet certain fundamental requirements and then I keep an eye on the weekly charts, trying to find a good entry point to buy the stocks that I am interested in. Over the last few weeks, it has become harder and harder to find stocks that I like AND like the current price.
I can exercise patience and wait to see if the stock pulls back, or in some cases I can write puts on the stock and see if the stock drops down to what I see as a support level. In some cases, it doesn’t make sense to write the puts because the reward for making the trade doesn’t outweigh the risk. One stock that hit my radar in the last few days that I believe it makes sense to write puts on is Stoneco Ltd. (STNE). The fintech software company has rallied sharply since May, but it is tremendously overbought.
There is a trend line that connects the lows from the last seven months and that trend line is down near $65 at this time. The stock is currently trading just above $80, so we are talking about a difference of 18.75% between the current price and the trend line.
The February $67.50-strike puts are selling for $1.25 currently, or $125 per option contract, and the margin requirement to sell the puts is $800. If the options expire worthless on February 19, that would mean a return on margin of 15.6% in just 45 days.
As far as I’m concerned, the key to writing options is that you have to like the stock and want to own it. The fundamentals have to make sense and make it attractive. If we look at Tickeron’s Fundamental Analysis screener, Stoneco scores well on its P/E Growth Rating and the SMR Rating, Outlook Rating, and Price Growth Rating is average. The Valuation Rating and the Profit vs. Risk Rating are both poor, but that goes along with the overbought levels we see on the chart. Should the stock drop 15-20%, those ratings should improve.
On the technical side, Stoneco has received short-term bearish signals from five different indicators in the last 11 days. This suggests that a pullback is coming.
If the technical indicators are right and the stock does fall, it can fall all the way down to $67.50 and those investors that wrote the puts will still earn the 15.6% return on margin. If the stock drops below the $67.50 strike price, 100 shares of the stock can be assigned to the writer of the puts for each option they sold. If this happens, the investor now owns the stock with an entry price of $66.25. The strike price is the purchase price, but investors received $1.25 for selling the puts.
The entire outlook from Tickeron appears below and personally I like the idea of getting paid to wait for a better entry point on Stoneco.