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New Month, Same Exuberance: Powell, ISM Data Ahead After Steep November Gains December 1, 2020 9:47 AM   |  

December opens with stocks continuing to look positive as investors remain optimistic about a vaccine. Powell’s testimony, ISM data, and Salesforce earnings all loom today.

5 min read  |  Daily Market Update
Post-Holiday Buffet: Lots to Gnaw on Including Cyber Monday Sales, Zoom Earnings November 30, 2020 9:20 AM   |  

The week gets off to a busy start with investors focused on Cyber Monday shopping. There’s testimony from Fed Chairman Powell later in the week and a host of earnings data including Zoom and Kroger.

5 min read  |  Daily Market Update
MU 11 27 November 27, 2020 9:37 AM   |  

Our chief market strategist breaks down the day's top business stories and offers insight on how they might impact your trading and investing.

5 min read  |  Daily Market Update
Holiday Break: After Hitting 30,000, DJIA, Other Indices Hit Pause Ahead of Thanksgiving November 25, 2020 9:37 AM   |  

It looks like we’re in for some quiet, pre-holiday trading, but Deere earnings and jobless claims could draw some attention. Also, a bit of inflation data looms.

5 min read  |  Daily Market Update
December Outlook: A Whipsaw Year Approaches Finish Line with Pendulum Balanced November 24, 2020 12:07 PM   |  

It’s been a wild year on Wall Street, but December could bring a bit more calm. The market is roughly balanced between hopes for 2021 strength thanks to vaccines, and worries about mounting virus cases and slipping economic data.

5 min read  |  Market Insights
30,000 Reasons to Rally: DJIA Approaches Milestone as Market Cheers D.C. Developments November 24, 2020 9:16 AM   |  

It’s another green morning as investors watch the DJIA approach a major milestone and cheer developments in Washington. Retail earnings continue to roll in, with strong results from Dick’s Sporting Goods and Best Buy.

5 min read  |  Daily Market Update
Options Building Blocks: Why Should Investors Consider Covered Calls and Cash-Secured Puts? November 23, 2020 10:30 AM   |  

Selling covered calls and cash-secured puts can help investors generate additional income, increase their probability of success, decrease their volatility of returns, and lower their overall risk when compared to buying stock.

5 min read  |  Options Trading Basics
Booster Shot: Another Vaccine Appears Effective, Injecting New Risk Appetite November 23, 2020 9:28 AM   |  

The week starts with another vaccine boost thanks to AstraZeneca and Oxford University. Risk appetite appears to be back after last week’s late downturn, and a host of retail earnings loom.

5 min read  |  Daily Market Update
On the Fence: Investors Weigh Virus, Stimulus, Fed Lending Worries Against Vaccine Optimism November 20, 2020 9:36 AM   |  

Worries about virus count, lack of congressional stimulus package, and news that key Fed lending programs might not be renewed seem to be clashing with vaccine optimism, leaving investors and traders straddling the risk-on/off fence.

5 min read  |  Daily Market Update
Winding Down: As Holidays Approach, Market Balanced Between Virus Fears, Vaccine Hopes November 19, 2020 9:36 AM   |  

Virus shutdown fears and higher than expected weekly jobless claims could add some pressure to the stock markets today. Another area of focus could be earnings from Nvidia and Macy’s.

5 min read  |  Daily Market Update
Flight Attendants, Please Be Seated: Rally Resumes Flight Amid Boeing, Vaccine Optimism November 18, 2020 9:18 AM   |  

Focus today seems to be on more encouraging COVID-19 vaccine news, Boeing receiving clearance to fly its 737 Max, and positive earnings from Target. All these may be helping equity futures rally ahead of the market’s open.

5 min read  |  Daily Market Update
Shop and Drop: Despite Impressive Walmart, Home Depot Earnings, Stocks Weaker November 17, 2020 9:21 AM   |  

Earnings from retailers Walmart and Home Depot plus the addition of Tesla in the S&P 500 Index bring some positive news today. However, retail sales were weaker than expected which could put pressure on the market.

5 min read  |  Daily Market Update
Two for Two: Moderna Vaccine Data Keeps the Post-Election Rally Sizzling November 16, 2020 9:20 AM   |  

This feels like a repeat of last Monday, with vaccine news getting things off to a quick start. Retail earnings from Walmart, Target and Home Depot later this week could be the focus in days to come.

5 min read  |  Daily Market Update
Disney and Cisco to the Rescue: Solid Results Lead Market Back, Volatility Eases November 13, 2020 9:18 AM   |  

Stocks bounced back in pre-market trading after yesterday’s slide, helped by firm earnings from Disney and Cisco. Next week is the start of retail earnings, with Walmart and Target on the schedule along with a key retail sales report.

5 min read  |  Daily Market Update
Back and Forth: Pendulum Swings Toward Stay-at-Home Trade As Virus Count Rises November 12, 2020 9:45 AM   |  

This morning it seems that investors are leaning slightly toward the stay-at-home trade, perhaps as a result of climbing coronavirus cases and the realization that a vaccine likely will still take some time for approval and wide distribution.

5 min read  |  Daily Market Update
A Shot in the Arm: Stocks Continue to Rally as Vaccine News Spurs Economic Hope November 11, 2020 9:30 AM   |  

News earlier in the week that a vaccine demonstrated more than 90% effectiveness against COVID-19 is continuing to help propel stocks higher as investors apparently are pricing in a faster-than-expected economic recovery.

5 min read  |  Daily Market Update
Seeking Escape Velocity: “Reopening” Stocks Come Back to Earth After Monday Moonshot November 10, 2020 9:27 AM   |  

Stocks, commodities, and Treasury yields jumped Monday as two top uncertainties—election and the race to a vaccine—got some needed clarity. But some of the "stay-at-home" stocks stumbled. Where do we go from here?

5 min read  |  Daily Market Update
Leading with a One-Two Punch: Markets Surge on Vaccine, Election Optimism November 9, 2020 9:16 AM   |  

Think the market ended last week on a high note? It started this week a lot higher, after another big step toward election certainty on both the election and a COVID-19 vaccine.

5 min read  |  Daily Market Update
Besting Expectations: Jobs Report Comes In Ahead of Forecast as Busy Week Comes to Close November 6, 2020 9:59 AM   |  

After the market rose substantially this week, investors started out the morning looking to take a breather, and perhaps take some risk off the table. But with the payroll data coming in above expectations, markets shifted from solid red to mixed by the open.

5 min read  |  Daily Market Update
Hands Off! Fed Leaves Rates Alone, Citing Covid “Hardship,” as Stock Rally Accelerates November 5, 2020 3:45 PM   |  

The Fed left interest rates unchanged today in a unanimous decision that could potentially be another piece of support for the stock market. Investors tend to appreciate the Fed’s “hands off” policy.

5 min read  |  Daily Market Update
The Gridlock Trade: Rally in Big-Caps Rolls On, Volatility Falls Despite Presidential Uncertainty November 5, 2020 9:57 AM   |  

Investors seem to be focusing on chances of gridlock in Congress that might keep sweeping action on healthcare, taxes and tech firms from moving forward no matter who ends up in the Oval Office.

5 min read  |  Daily Market Update
Thumb-Twiddling and Nail-Biting: Markets Advance, Volatility Ebbs as Election Results Awaited November 4, 2020 9:54 AM   |  

Election results may be undecided, but volatility is lower ahead of the open. Traders seem to be moving back into Technology stocks. Bond yields, which were rising in the days leading to the election, plunged this morning.

5 min read  |  Daily Market Update
Wall Street Votes For Spending: Whoever Wins Could Reignite Fiscal Stimulus Hopes November 3, 2020 9:23 AM   |  

Election day started with stocks continuing Monday’s rally and some risk indicators stepping back. Volume has been thin, and it’s hard to imagine many people wanting to jump in and take a big stand with election results around the corner.

5 min read  |  Daily Market Update
November Outlook: Market Braced For Possible Election Night Turbulence, Risk-Off Trading October 28, 2020 7:30 AM   |  

The night of Nov. 3 and any aftermath of the election is likely to set the tone for November. Look for possible “risk-off” trading if results are close or contested, but also be on the watch for retail earnings, the Fed, and possible vaccine data as the month continues.

5 min read  |  Market Insights
Five Option Strategies for High-Volatility Trading Environments October 6, 2020 12:53 PM   |  

When faced with high volatility, many options traders turn to these five strategies designed to capitalize on elevated volatility levels.

3 min read  |  Advanced Options Strategies
It’s About the Algorithms: Is a Robo-Advisor Right for You? October 2, 2020 10:30 AM   |  

Like most financial advisors, robo-advisors recommend portfolios based on investors’ long-term financial goals, time horizon, and risk tolerance. Because robo-advisors generally use algorithms to make investment decisions, they avoid emotions and generally charge lower fees.

5 min read  |  Investing Basics
Options Volatility Skew: Why Off-Balance Isn’t All Bad October 1, 2020 11:16 AM   |  

How can skew offer insight into market sentiment? Implied volatility between out-of-the-money put and call options is almost always skewed depending on whether there’s panic to the downside or upside.

5 min read  |  Options Trading Basics
October Outlook: After a Shaky September, Volatility Looms Ahead of Election, Earnings September 28, 2020 10:30 AM   |  

It’s been a wild year so far with the pandemic, and now a presidential election is just a few weeks away. Between election news, earnings season, and hopes for a vaccine, October seems to promise plenty of action. And volatility.

5 min read  |  Market Insights
September Outlook: Summer Rally Could Face Challenge From Potential Rise in Volatility August 26, 2020 9:56 AM   |  

Investors see volatility rising in September as election approaches, meaning the market might start to feel the impact.

5 min read  |  Market Insights
Is the FIRE Movement Burning Out? Financial Independence, Retire Early in 2020 August 25, 2020 10:26 AM   |  

The “financial independence, retire early” (FIRE) movement was all the rage in 2018 and 2019, but the COVID-19 pandemic has changed the way we think about a lot of things. Has the upheaval in 2020 changed the desire to FIRE? And how might retirement plans be affected by the current situation?

5 min read  |  Retirement Planning
Facts on SPACs: What to Consider Before Investing in Blank-Check Companies August 20, 2020 10:38 AM   |  

Special-purpose acquisition companies (SPACs) have been around awhile, but they’ve gotten some new attention in 2020. Here’s a look at the mechanics and risks for investors involved in blank-check companies.

5 min read  |  Alternative Investing
Avoid the Knee Jerk: Financial Planning, Market Volatility, and 4 Signs It’s Time to Pivot July 24, 2020 10:30 AM   |  

Trying to figure out your financial planning during a time of market volatility? Learn how to stick to your financial goals.

5 min read  |  Investing Basics
Putting Up a Good Defense: Defensive Sectors & Stocks Strategy for Investors June 22, 2020 10:30 AM   |  

A good defense is the best offense, right? It’s sometimes true for investing as well. Here’s what investors should know about defensive investing and defensive sectors.

5 min read  |  ETFs & Mutual Funds
Outcome-Based Investing During Market Downturns June 18, 2020 10:30 AM   |  

Are you an investor who follows the daily or weekly ebb and flow of your retirement accounts? If so, market downturns might be a bit unsettling at times. But what if instead of focusing on today’s bottom line you focused instead on outcomes—your progress toward your goals? Here’s how.

5 min read  |  Goal Planning
Facing a Recession and Bear Market? Avoid 3 Mistakes Many Investors Make May 1, 2020 10:30 AM   |  

The escalating coronavirus pandemic that triggered a bear market in U.S. stocks in early 2020 looks to have tipped us into a possible recession. How can you prepare for and invest during a recession and bear market?

5 min read  |  Economic Trends
Bollinger Bands: What They Are and How to Use Them March 23, 2020 10:30 AM   |  

Learn about the Bollinger Bands technical indicator and how it can help identify volatility and overbought/oversold conditions in stocks and indices.

3 min read  |  Technical Analysis
Surfing the Jobs Report: Why It Matters and Strategies for Trading It February 10, 2020 10:30 AM   |  

The monthly U.S. Employment Situation report—commonly called the jobs report—is perhaps the most closely watched fundamental indicator for traders and investors. Here’s why.

5 min read  |  Advanced Options Strategies
What Are Tariffs and Who Really Pays For Them? November 19, 2019 2:48 PM   |  

Tariffs have been part of American economic history from the country’s origins. Are tariffs good or bad for investors?

5 min read  |  Investment Strategies
Ask a Trader: When High Volatility Hits, Should I Switch from Long to Short Options Strategies? November 12, 2019 3:39 PM   |  

Should you switch from trading long options strategies to short options strategies when volatility levels are high? Sometimes prices are high for a reason.

5 min read  |  Options Trading Basics
As You Wind Down the Road: Market Volatility, Risk, and Your Retirement Portfolio October 18, 2019 10:15 AM   |  

All investments experience market volatility, which is why retirement portfolio strategies should focus on allocating assets across investments of different risk levels.

3 min read  |  Retirement Planning
Weathering Earnings and Managing “Idiosyncratic” Risk October 11, 2019 10:15 AM   |  

When companies report quarterly earnings, the stakes can be high. A single earnings miss can dent an investment portfolio that’s concentrated. Here are a few ideas for managing idiosyncratic risk.

5 min read  |  Portfolio Strategy
Ask the Coach: This Volatility Is Scaring Me. Should I Be Cashing Out Stocks? October 7, 2019 1:53 PM   |  

When volatility rears its occasional head, some investors consider cashing out stocks. But are there better ways to ride out market volatility? Cameron May explains.

5 min read  |  Trading Strategies
Smart-Beta ETFs: Alternative Portfolio Allocation Beyond Market Cap September 24, 2019 10:15 AM   |  

What is a smart-beta ETF? Explore what qualifies as a smart-beta fund and what systems define this type of ETF.

5 min read  |  ETFs & Mutual Funds
Reaching for Yield: “Vanilla” Investments Can Be Risky, So Know What to Watch August 27, 2019 11:35 AM   |  

In these times of stock market volatility, many investors are looking for yield in fixed income and dividend stocks. However, there’s risk in these investments, too, so know what you’re getting into.

5 min read  |  Portfolio Strategy
Want to Trade War-Proof Stocks? Ways to Aim for Tariff Protection June 17, 2019 11:28 AM   |  

As trade war fears heat up between the U.S. and some of its major trading partners, some investors may be looking for tariff protection. Here are some things to consider as you aim for a “trade-war-proof” portfolio.

5 min read  |  Investment Strategies
Market Doldrums? Five Options Strategies for Low-Volatility Environments April 30, 2019 4:00 AM   |  

When volatility falls, many option traders turn to these five strategies designed to capitalize on depressed volatility levels.

3 min read  |  Advanced Options Strategies
Market Volatility: Can Robo-Advisors Help Avoid Emotional Trading? April 29, 2019 4:00 AM   |  

Trading with your emotions during times of market volatility? Explore whether a robo-advisor may be able to help.

5 min read  |  Investment Guidance
Surf’s Up? 3 Ways to Catch a Wave with VIX and Volatility Products April 9, 2019 4:00 AM   |  

Looking for volatility exposure? Learn about volatility products including VIX options.

6 min read  |  Advanced Options Strategies
Average True Range: Using the ATR Indicator in Your Trade Exit Strategy March 15, 2019 4:00 AM   |  

The average true range indicator could be a new arrow in your quiver of technical analysis tools.

2 min read  |  Technical Analysis
Retirees: Is Your Investing Plan Built for Market Volatility? March 14, 2019 4:00 AM   |  

Temporarily protect your retirement against volatility risk. Here are some retirement- planning strategies.

4 min read  |  Portfolio Management
Three Things to Consider for Your Equity Compensation Plan February 7, 2019 4:00 AM   |  

Got stock options? Set goals and have a plan. Here are three steps to consider for your equity compensation plan.

5 min read  |  Stocks & Stock Sectors
Bank CDs vs. Brokered CDs: What’s the Big Difference? February 4, 2019 4:00 AM   |  

CD investing isn’t limited to walking into your local bank branch and opening an account. Learn the potential benefits and risks of brokered CDs and how they differ from bank-issued CDs.

5 min read  |  Bonds & Fixed Income
Annual Vol Is Nice. What About Tomorrow? January 7, 2019 3:00 AM   |  

Volatility data is focused on the long term. Traders are focused on the short term. There is a way to convert volatility data so it can be useful for the trader.

4 min read  |  thinkMoney Magazine
Tips for Riding Out Volatility in Your Company’s Stock December 21, 2018 4:00 AM   |  

Does volatility worry you when it comes to the stock you've received as compensation? Learn tips to help manage this valid concern.

5 min read  |  Stocks & Stock Sectors
Grow Your Retirement Savings to Keep Up With Inflation November 26, 2018 4:00 AM   |  

Here’s why you need to keep your retirement money growing even when you’re already using it (hint: inflation and longevity).

7 min read  |  Retirement Planning
Basics of Investing in Stocks: What is a Stock? July 31, 2018 4:00 AM   |  

New to stock investing? Learn the basics of stocks, earnings, dividends, and how a stock’s value is determined.

5 min read  |  Investing Basics
Tips for Portfolio Diversification Amid Market Volatility July 2, 2018 4:00 AM   |  

The recent wave of volatility might serve as a reminder of the importance of using a diversified investment trading approach. Here are some tips to avoid possible traps in these choppy markets.

5 min read  |  Margin
Not All Big Moves Are Created Equal: Volatility and Probabilities January 7, 2018 11:00 PM   |  

Using volatility and market statistics is one of many keys to successful stock market trading. Learn how to incorporate them into your investment strategy.

7 min read  |  Options Trading Basics
Straddles and Strangles: Basic Volatility, Magnitude Strategies October 31, 2017 12:00 AM   |  

Learn how option straddles and strangles can give you exposure to implied volatility.

5 min read  |  Options Trading Basics
Earnings Calendar Tool to Help Investors Navigate Earnings Season October 30, 2017 12:00 AM   |  

With the earnings calendar tools available on the TD Ameritrade thinkorswim Platform, you can be in the know when it comes to the earnings season.

4 min read  |  Web Platform
Volanthology World Tour: Foreign Exchange Volatility October 5, 2017 12:00 AM   |  

Learn about the dynamics of foreign exchange volatility, and where to find currency volatility data.

3 min read  |  Forex
Black Swans: Part of the Wall Street Menagerie of Bulls and Bears July 31, 2017 12:00 AM   |  

Learn about “black swan” events and how you can attempt to protect yourself and your portfolio from adverse shocks.

4 min read  |  Portfolio Strategy
U.S. Presidential Election Cycle & Stock Market Performance August 30, 2016 12:00 AM   |  

The U.S. presidential election cycle theory of the stock market says that the market moves based on the year of the president's term. Is there any proof?

5 min read  |  Portfolio Strategy
Reversion to the Mean: Taking Volatility to a New Level July 7, 2016 12:00 AM   |  

Implied volatility tends to be mean reverting. But what does that really mean? Learn how options traders can potentially benefit from monitoring implied volat

4 min read  |  Options Trading Basics
Volatility Tips: When High Tide Is the New Low Tide July 5, 2016 12:00 AM   |  

When trying to select the right option strategies, which do you choose? Looking to IV percentiles for clues to VIX levels may help.

3 min read  |  thinkorswim Platform
Income Investing with Exchange-Traded Funds: Can It Be Done? March 8, 2016 11:00 PM   |  

ETFs have matured but they’re not done evolving. Morningstar’s Scott Burns urges income-seeking investors to expand their minds and their research.

5 min read  |  ETFs & Mutual Funds
Option Strategy Throw Down: Selling Strangles vs Iron Condors October 7, 2015 8:01 PM   |  

Volatility’s tendency to level out after a spike can present strategy opportunities, especially selling strategies found with strangles and iron condors.

5 min read  |  Advanced Options Strategies
Market Grudge Match: Enter a Trade Using Volatility or Price? October 1, 2015 6:03 PM   |  

Use volatility to pick an options strategy to speculate on a given direction, rather than to replace fundamental analysis and charts to determine potential.

7 min read  |  Options Trading Basics
Intermarket Clues: Are Bonds a Leading Indicator for Stocks? August 9, 2015 8:00 PM   |  

Study intermarket analysis, specifically bonds, for potential clues on the next leg for Federal Reserve policy and stock market reaction.

4 min read  |  Fundamental Analysis
Is Market Timing Possible? Try Sentiment Analysis to Get Closer July 5, 2015 8:00 PM   |  

Trying to time the market? Add sentiment analysis to your stock trading approach to help narrow the time horizon around an underlying security’s move.

2 min read  |  thinkorswim Platform
Size Up Option Straddles for a Reading on Earnings Volatility May 20, 2015 8:00 PM   |  

Check out short-term options pricing to gain a sense of how the underlying stock could move around an earnings release. You can track straddles or use the TD

3 min read  |  Options Trading Basics
How “Out” is Out of the Money? Options for Fear and Volatility April 29, 2015 8:00 PM   |  

Out-of-the-money call options may be hard to trade when volatility is low, but there are good opportunities for cheaper options trades during market extremes.

4 min read  |  Advanced Options Strategies
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Content intended for educational/informational purposes only. Not investment advice, or a recommendation of any security, strategy, or account type.

Be sure to understand all risks involved with each strategy, including commission costs, before attempting to place any trade. Clients must consider all relevant risk factors, including their own personal financial situations, before trading.


Market volatility, volume, and system availability may delay account access and trade executions.

Past performance of a security or strategy does not guarantee future results or success.

Options are not suitable for all investors as the special risks inherent to options trading may expose investors to potentially rapid and substantial losses. Options trading subject to TD Ameritrade review and approval. Please read Characteristics and Risks of Standardized Options before investing in options.

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