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The Winner in AI Might Just Be an Old Standard

The Winner in AI Might Just Be an Old Standard

artificial intelligence


Artificial Intelligence, or AI, is likely to become increasingly important in the years ahead. This is the theory and development of computer systems able to perform tasks that normally require human intelligence, things like visual perception, speech recognition and decision making.

The market for this technology is expected to be large, as much as $191 billion a year by 2024 according to a report summarized by MarketWatch.com. That would require growth of about 37% a year for the industry, a rapid but attainable pace according to experts.

MarketRealist.com recently noted that Intel (Nasdaq: INTC) is one of the companies vying for revenues in the AI market. For the first time, Intel recently provided a glimpse of its AI-focused business. The company said in July that it earned $1.0 billion in revenues from selling AI chips in 2017.

For now, this is a relatively small piece of the company’s revenue, about 1.6% of Intel’s annual revenue. But, the report noted, “the company is showing confidence in its AI business by sharing details about it so early.”

This means the stock has significant long-term potential. However, the chart shows that the trend may take time to develop. The long-term chart below shows a potential topping pattern, although that could change with news from the company.

INTC weekly chart

Short Term Pattern Shows Consolidation

The next chart shows the shorter-term chart. The stock price is largely unchanged from the beginning of the year.

INTC daily chart

The consolidation could hold until news triggers the next big move in the stock. News may not come until the company reports earnings at the end of October.

Until then, the stock is likely to remain in a trading range. While some traders find trading ranges to be frustrating, this type of pattern does hold profit potential.

These strategies use options and the strategies can be used to strictly define the level of risk a trader accepts in dollar terms. That simply isn’t possible with stocks which can never be limited to less than 100% risk since stocks can fall to zero, even though that is unlikely.

Options are flexible tools and there are some strategies specifically designed to benefit from a relatively narrow trading range. These strategies can be ideal for traders expecting a stock’s trend to stall while waiting for the next news release from the company.

A Strategy to Benefit from a Trading Range

For INTC, there is a relatively high likelihood of a relatively narrow trading range now that the stock has moved sharply higher until the company provides news to push the price out of the range.

One options strategy that benefits from a stock in a trading range is an iron condor. This strategy has the added benefit of carrying limited risk.

To open an iron condor trade, the investor sells one call while buying another call with a higher exercise price and sells one put while buying another put with a lower exercise price. Typically, the exercise prices of the calls are above the market price of the stock and the exercise prices of the put options are below the current price of the underlying stock.

In an iron condor, the difference between the exercise prices of the two call options will be equal to the difference between the exercise prices of the two put options. The final requirement for this strategy is that all the options must have the same expiration date.

The risks and potential rewards of the strategy are shown in the following diagram.

short condor

Source: The Options Industry Council

The maximum gain on this trade is equal to the premiums received when the position is open. The maximum risk is equal to the difference in the two exercise prices less the amount of the premium received when the trade was opened.

Opening an Iron Condor in Intel

For Intel, the trade can be opened using the following four options contracts:

INTC iron condor

As you see, all of the options expire on the same day, Friday, September 21.

The difference in the exercise prices of the calls or puts is equal to $1.00. Since each contract covers 100 shares of stock, this means the maximum risk on the trade is equal to $100 less the premium received when the trade was opened.

Selling the options will generate $0.58 in income ($0.35 from the call and $0.23 from the put). Buying the options will cost $0.32 ($0.18 for the call and $0.14 for the put). This means opening the trade will result in a credit of $0.26, or $26 for each contract since each contract covers 100 shares.

The maximum risk on the trade is equal to the difference in strike prices ($1.00) minus the premium received ($0.26). This is equal to $0.74, or $74 since each contract covers 100 shares. Many brokers will require a margin deposit equal to the amount of risk. That means this trade may require just $74 in capital.

The maximum gain on the trade is the amount of premium received when the trade is opened. In this case, that is $0.26 or $26 per contract.

The potential reward on the trade ($26) is about 35% of the amount risked, a high potential return on investment for a trade that will be open for about two weeks. If a trade like this is entered every month, a small trader could quickly increase the amount of capital in their trading account.

This trade could also be closed out early to reduce the potential risks of the trade. It could still deliver its maximum gain even if the position is closed before the expiration date of the options.

The iron condor is an example of how options are a versatile tool and could meet many of your trading objectives. In this trade, options provide income and defined risk that should be lower than owning the stock.

These are the type of strategies that are explained and used in TradingTips.com’s Options Insider service. To learn more about how options can be used to meet your goals, click here for details on Options Insider.