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I went into the Money Calendar to take a monthly "lay of the land"-type look around the markets; I get access to 10 years of historical data and all kinds of up-to-the-minute quotes and readouts.
And I've got to tell you now… I'm really excited about the next 30 days.
Now, COVID-19 lockdowns could be a potential spoiler, in which case we've got tactics like puts to profit from sudden, unexpected downturns.
But I'm seeing a lot of green among the market's best stocks. From today until December 31, there are just two "yellow" trading days – each with "only" 42 bullish trade opportunities.
For the rest of December, the Money Calendar is seeing between 49 and 151 bullish trading opportunities every day, and we can be 90% confident in each and every one of those.
Now, I'm not suggesting anyone go out and put on hundreds of trades this month – that's too much, even for a guy like me who loves trading.
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Instead, I've picked out what I think is one of the best of these dozens and dozens of opportunities. If you make the move I'm about to show you, you could be in the money before mid-January…
How to Bank the Best of the Best
Like I always say, I'm a rules-based pattern trader.
That means I like to pick trades based on repeatable, actionable patterns in stocks – I think it's the safest way to trade – and I can know what those patterns are because of the Money Calendar, the same proprietary system that's helped me deliver more than 72 double- and triple-digit winning research recommendations for my followers this year. (You can learn how to get my Money Calendar research right here.)
The pattern – the data – tells us that December is usually a really good time to be long in the markets. It's also a great time to make bullish trades: call options, put selling, and spreads.
In fact, since at least 1950, December has been the most reliably profitable month, with a higher average return. And for at least the last 100 years, the Dow alone averages a 1.55% gain. Or to put that another way, out of 100 Decembers, 74 have been profitable.
So there's a lot of green, and it's not just Christmas trees and holly. A lot of it is due to holiday retail sales, of course, and the yearly Wall Street hustle for fat year-end bonuses.
That usually translates into broad market gains, but of course, the lion's share of those profits usually go to a handful of sectors and a few winners.
The Money Calendar is pointing at one in particular right now; it's reliable – this stock has had a bullish December in nine of the past ten years, and the last time it didn't have a bang-up December was eight years ago.
This winner is Intuitive Surgical Inc. (NASDAQ: ISRG), out in Silicon Valley. Intuitive manufactures robotic medical products designed to make minimally invasive surgeries even easier. It's always nice when a buy-and-hold stock offers a trading opportunity, but what the company does is less important for this move than what its stock does.
The Money Calendar's "Power Meter" ranking on this stock is a whopping 347.82. Sometimes I call the Power Meter the "What have you done for me lately?" meter, meaning the higher the number, the stronger its performance over the past five years. A ranking of 347.82 is scorching – a serious outperformer.
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ISRG's profitable Money Calendar pattern runs from Dec. 4 through Jan. 14, so that tells you the absolute latest you'd want to let this run – the nearest expiration date on the bullish options is Jan. 15. On average, the profit during this time period is a little less than $18 per share, or $180 per contract.
Now, it might seem like a good idea to run out and buy an ISRG Jan. 15 2021 call, but ISRG is running at just around $735 a share right now – a pricey stock from where I'm standing. On top of that, these options will set you back in the neighborhood of 36 bucks apiece, or $3,600 for 100.
Honestly, a straight call option would probably make money, but that's a lot – a whole lot – to risk on one trade.
The best thing to do is "spread it around" and buy a lower-strike call like the ISRG Jan. 15 2021 $740 call for $32, and sell a higher-strike call, like the ISRG Jan. 15 $745 calls for $28, which slashes the price you pay to control shares that are likely headed higher over the next month or so.
This trade could be green before the middle of next month, but you can have the chance to see how it could be possible to double your stake in 100 hours – you read that correctly – with something I call the "Four-Day Profit Cycle." Take a look here…
About the Author
Tom Gentile, options trading specialist for Money Map Press, is widely known as America's No. 1 Pattern Trader thanks to his nearly 30 years of experience spotting lucrative patterns in options trading. Tom has taught over 300,000 traders his option trading secrets in a variety of settings, including seminars and workshops. He's also a bestselling author of eight books and training courses.