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Legged into XOM Calendar Spread

This play is a favorite of mine. 2 weeks or so before expiration I pick up a couple calendar spreads in XOM, and they seem to work out fairly consistently. Hopefully this month will be no different. I saw XOM coming into some resistance from last month and also observed that it wasn't really participating in the up move with the rest of the market. So I picked up some Feb 80 puts at 3.80 a piece. I waited to get a couple of dimes, then I sold the front month against for a nice wide calendar spread. I make money as long as the stock stays within 75-85 in a week and a half, which I think is very feasible. I'll close out late next week.

Here's the risk profile for a single contract, as an example:

by Steven Place

Steven Place is the founder and head trader at