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A Better Way to Play Apple Earnings

Of course, you could turn this series of options trades around, particularly if you anticipate strength post-earnings. You could write the covered call first. From this perspective, I would consider selling the Apple May $660 call and collecting $22.15 ($2,215), as of Monday's close. If Apple soars post-earnings and you end up getting your shares called away, you've realized a roughly 7.2% gain.

To come to that number I used Monday's closing price of $636.23 on Apple. One hundred shares would run you $63,623. If you put in an order to sell your shares at $660, you would turn a 3.7% profit if it gets triggered. When you factor in the covered call income of $22.15, however, you generate gross proceeds of $68,215 and a 7.2% gain. That's powerful stuff, particularly if you enter the virtuous cycle by turning around and selling an Apple cash-secured put after you get your shares called away in a covered call trade.

For more on these and other basic options strategies, consider subscribing to my weekly Options Investing Newsletter.

Disclosure: At the time of publication, Rocco Pendola held no positions in AAPL.

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