Mama said that there would be days like Tuesday. If I recall correctly, she never said a thing about months, though.
What do we already know about Microsoft coming into Wednesday? Well, we know that the firm has moved its focus away from the legacy software business lines, such as the Windows operating system. We know that its new focus has been on the cloud and artificial intelligence. I would expect strong results for both the "Azure" cloud and public cloud lines as I would like to see MSFT further entrenched as number two in this space behind fellow Action Alerts Plus holding Amazon (AMZN - Get Report) . That firm reports tomorrow, by the way.
Don't forget that Microsoft is expanding the firm's Azure service for government and is still very much alive in the pursuit of the Pentagon's JEDI project, potentially worth $10 billion.
Also important will be anything said regarding the firm's recently announced decisions to invest more heavily in the Internet of Things and edge computing. Other items also of interest could be the future of gaming, and the firm's decision to tie CEO Satya Nadella's compensation to the performance of the job-seeking and business networking social media site, LinkedIn.
I come into Wednesday's report long the shares.
I only show you this two and a half year chart to illustrate just how long the 50-day simple moving average had acted as support when tested for MSFT. That is, until a couple of weeks ago. That line suddenly looks like mild resistance. Nerdy? Yes. Interesting? Yes.
Let's get back to trading this thing. Relative Strength is somewhat neutral coming into Wednesday night's numbers. The daily Moving Average Convergence Divergence is on the ugly side, but appears close to forming a positive-looking cross-over.
Now look at the Fibonacci model that I have laid out for you, stretching from the February low through the present. See that double bottom that has formed almost precisely at the 38.2% retracement level? That's still where support lives. I intend to add to my long close to that spot.
--Target Price: $125;
--Panic Point: $99;
--Wall Street Average Target Price: $122.93 (according to TipRanks).
Last night, one October 26 $108 Straddle would have cost you $5.37, or 537 bucks. (For the new people, a straddle is a simple options strategy consisting of the purchase (or sale) of a like number of calls and puts bearing the same strike price with the same expiration date. This is a direction neutral play on volatility, where the underlying share price must move more than the combined premium paid in order for such a purchase to be profitable.)
This information implies to me expectations of a 4.9% move in the shares during Wednesday night's pajama session. This would be a larger-than-usual move for not only this stock, but for the broader equity market, as well. Now, at least you know where the options market thinks you can buy these and where you can sell them.
Opportunity knocks. It always does.
(A longer version of this column appeared at 7:31 a.m. ET on Real Money, our premium site for active traders. Click here to get great columns like this from Stephen "Sarge" Guilfoyle, Jim Cramer and other experts throughout the market day.)