Be Cautious Trading Netflix Options Ahead of Monday's Earnings
Relax on Netflix.

Netflix (NFLX) reports earnings Monday after the bell, and the industry is looking for $0.63 in earnings per share. However, technical analysis tells us to trade cautiously.

Let's look at Netflix's chart:

The first think you'll notice is a bearish Chaikin Money Flow (CMF) and a suddenly bullish-looking daily Moving Average Convergence Divergence oscillator (MACD), with all three components above zero.

The stock's early April bounce for the most part bounced to where it was supposed to. What I see now is the central trend line on the pitchfork pattern above acting as a pivot rather than as support or resistance.

Add it all up and my thought is that Netflix becomes unpredictable in response to nice earnings. (Lousy earnings would be easier to predict.)

My warning to small investors would be this: Although I'm often a proponent of writing options rather than buying them, Netflix offers tremendous potential get yourself run over.

If you go the options route, I think using strike prices at least $30 away from the last sale and settling for three of four bucks would be more prudent than keeping it tight and trying to score $14 or $15. However, a simple equity stake in Netflix might be less risky for the retail trader than selling even one April 20-dated option.

At the time of publication, Guilfoyle had no positions in the stocks mentioned, although positions may change at any time.

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