Monsanto (MON) has been trading in a consolidation range of between $101 and $108.50 since mid-July. Within that range, the stock's price has bounced back and forth several times.
The company reported earnings before the open on Wednesday, and the stock's price opened right at support and then moved up, forming a strong bullish signal. But without technical confirmation of this signal, what does it mean?
The chart below highlights the consolidation range and the bullish signal engulfing signal on earnings day. When a stock has been range-bound like this, it generally will remain in the range until sufficient technical signals appear. Even so, we can identify short-term trends within the range.
With Monsanto's share price exactly at the bottom of the range on earnings day, you should expect a short-term bullish trend that takes the stock as high as the top of the range at $108.50.
In this scenario, a worthwhile trade is the sale of a put option. Even though this sale is uncovered, the short put option will have the same market risk as a covered call. If the stock's price moves below the option's strike price, you can close the put or roll it forward to avoid having it be exercised. If the stock's price moves up, however, time decay will lead to short-term profits.
The stock closed on Wednesday at $103.18. Look at the Oct. 14 options, which expire in eight days. The 104 put closed on Wednesday at a bid of 0.67. Subtracting trading costs, selling this put will net you $58. Time decay makes the timing for this trade exceptional. The stock's consolidation is likely to hold, and it should trade higher.