Deep down, you knew it was coming… a sell-off.

The market’s bullish climb was never backed by positive economic news, technical data, or even common sense.

And now, as the market teeters on the brink, self-directed investors are facing even more uncertainty — we are entering a seasonally weak time for stocks.

Let me explain…

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ETF Unusual Activity at Mid Session

The total option volume is 5.3 million contracts so far today as activity is mixed in the indexes and ETFs, according to optionMONSTER’s data systems. The SPDR S&P 500 Fund (SPY) has 934,000 options traded, dominated by 691,000 puts. The S&P 500 Index (SPX) options are next up with 220,000 contracts, of…

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Mid-Session Unusual Activity Scan: CHK, AES, MGM

Nearing the halfway mark in today’s session, here are the individual equity names with the most call and put buying on optionMONSTER’s ActionTracker data system. MGM Resorts International (MGM): Some 13,000 May 13 calls were bought for $0.19 to $0.21 as investors look for upside in the share price. MGM fell 3.10 percent…

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Gold: The Bargain of a Lifetime

You knew this was coming. You knew it couldn’t last forever. That bull market in gold you’ve come to know and love? It’s over… Done. Kaput. At least, that’s what the fools in the mainstream press would have you believe: “Gold’s Decade-Long Bull Run Is Dead, Gartman Says” — Forbes “The Gold…

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Unusual ITT play exploits industry panic

Fear abounds in ITT Education Services, and one investor is using it to get long.

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Reduce Risk by 65% and Beat Buy and Hold

Earnings season officially kicked off earlier this week and many self-directed investors are getting nervous about their holdings. Combine worries about earnings season with continued European debt woes and the upcoming “sell in May” phenomenon, and you can see why investors are concerned about the intermediate-term future of their investments.

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VIDEO: Contango setting up on the VIX Sonar Report

— Option Monster

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ETF Unusual Activity at Mid Session

Total option volume tops 6.1 million contracts as the typical names top the action in indexes and exchange-traded products, optionMONSTER’s data systems show.

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Essential Investment Lessons Learned from Gamblers

Any time you make a bet with the best of it, where the odds are in your favor, you have earned something on that bet, whether you actually win or lose the bet. By the same token, when you make a bet with the worst of it, where the odds are not in your favor, you have lost something, whether you actually win or lose the bet.

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New Directional Put Plays – TIF

Tiffany & Co – TIF – close: 65.93 change: -1.07

Stop Loss: 67.65
Target(s): 60.50
Current Option Gain/Loss: Unopened
Time Frame: exit prior to the late May earnings report
New Positions: Yes, see below

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Index, ETF option volumes near midday

Total option volume is light this morning with just 4.3 million contracts traded so far and very light action in the indexes and exchange-traded products, according to optionMONSTER’s data systems.

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Akamai chart bullish before earnings

Bulls are going after Akamai Technologies today despite the weak market tape, and the stock is showing some positive technical signs ahead of Wednesday’s earnings report after the close.

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