Wednesday, December 22, 2010

Sea of Red

Aqumin had a successful launch of our AV Professional Beta last Thursday and I want to thank all of our Beta Testers. Here is a simple way to use AlphaVision Pro to look at the holiday action (or lack of it) using the Option Landscape for the SPY.

For traders new to options the Christmas holidays mark a generally illiquid time as the market takes a week or so off. I use the Option Landscape to take a look at the S&P 500 ETF (SPY). Note below you see mostly red buildings (each building height is the current implied volatility) which signals drops in implied volatility for most call options in the SPY around the 125 handle. I show the Mid Vol point of the SPY around 11.54% for the Dec Quarterlies. That seems cheap until you look at the 14 Day Historical (Realized) of the SPY itself. That number is a single digit.

(If you would like to be a beta tester go to

The underlying market will need to pick up to the end of the year to support even these lower Implied Volatility levels.

Snapshot taken at Dec 22nd at 10am ET.

Merry Xmas!

Andrew Giovinazzi

Thursday, December 16, 2010

A WEEKLY look at the SLV

One thing Aqumin’s AlphaVision landscape does very well is show broad market relative comparisons of pricing information. I have been keeping an eye on the CBOE’s new Weekly products for a while trying to get a sense of how they trade. And, duh, it is just expiration every week.

Using the Aqumin Option Landscape (patent pending) to see current Mid Volatility between the bid/ask and 2 week Historical Volatility a nice little pattern emerges. Greener series have MidVol higher than the current 2 week historical (that is mostly in the junk calls). Red series means the MidVol is trading below the 2 Week HV. If you look at the Option Landscape for the iShares Silver Trust ETF (SLV) below you see a lot of red centered around the at the money options, especially in the Weeklies.


This means the current Weekly pricing does not expect the SLV to be as volatile next week as it has been over the previous two. The Christmas effect is damping down those silver bells.

(If you want to learn more about 3D visualization of financial data visit

Andrew Giovinazzi

If you want to use this Option Landscape in AV Professional click the 14 Day MidVol Outlook View in the Option View Library.

Monday, December 13, 2010

Visualize Your Sales Force with AlphaVision and GoodData

Aqumin is a Financial Market Visualization company. Our AlphaVision software provides a 3D market view that helps financial professionals get an edge. In developing our Enterprise Intelligence server we often run across technologies and opportunities outside of finance that are worth looking into. We recently discovered GoodData(

GoodData is a cloud based application that provides a new way of interacting with business data. They host a number of APIs that allow you to upload data to their servers. Once the data is there they provide a number robust solution for analyzing and presenting the data through a web interface. They have a number of modules that make it very easy to export data from other data services like and

We thought it might be interesting to see if we couldpush this data in to AlphaVision to create a top level ‘god’s eye view’ of the data to complement GoodData’s fantastic data summary tools. We used GoodData’s sample Sales project and here are some of the images we were able to produce(click on the image to see the full sized image):

Closed Sales Timeline:
(Click to enlarge)

In this landscape we display all of the closed sales that have closed in the system. The height and color of each tower is the Expected Revenue of the sale. Tall green towers are bigger deals than short red towers. We then plot the sales with the x-axis being age of the deal in the system and expected revenue on the y-axis. We can quickly see that this particular sales force has been very successful. The number of sales increase as age decreases.

Open Leads Timeline:
(Click to enlarge)

In this landscape we are looking at the open leads. The height is still the Expected Revenue but we’ve changed the color to the probability that the deal will close. Fortunately for this organization it looks like the more valuable sales are also the most likely to close. There may be a story here. Is this just wishful thinking or are these deals actually closing at the estimated probabilities? Another interesting artifact in this sales lead landscape is the strong bands that occur at particular times (ie the strong band of red around 94 days). What is causing this? Did the Sales VP send out a memo to update the system. Was this a clerk entering contacts from a trade show?

Stage Time Line:
(Click to enlarge)

In this landscape we change the y-axis to the currently classified ‘stage’ of the sales lead. This shows a ‘stale’ categorization. There seems to be a number of very old open items in each category. This may make sense for a prospect, but what about negotiation? At some point you may need to be honest with yourself that your negotiations have broken down and it is time to re-categorize the lead. If you were to tie this landscape to a web asset using the sales lead id you could quickly identify the sales leads that need to be updated and take care of the task in AlphaVision.

After completing this experiment we feel like there are some very interesting applications to be discovered in the sales area. If you are an existing GoodData customer we’d love to talk with you about how AlphaVison can help you get additional value out of your GoodData investment. If you are having trouble getting your hands around your sales force you may want to consider taking a look at GoodData’s offerings and how it can be enhanced using AlphaVision.

Technical Details: These landscapes were created using Aqumin’s AlphaVision running on an average laptop with a mid grade graphics GPU. Data was pulled from GoodData using a GoodData connector in Aqumin’s Enterprise Intelligence Server.

Wednesday, December 8, 2010

Airport Trade….

The Airport Trade was famous in the 90’s when a floor member, I think it was the CBOT, put on a huge position and left for Brazil. If it worked out, he came back and if it did not he became a new Rio resident. Never came back.

Dashing off on a trip now (no crazy open positions) and I am reviewing the post I did for today and I noticed a pretty solid undercurrent in Historical Volatility in Aqumin’s AlphaVision Landscape ( In general I use the landscape to look for a trading opportunity in real time. Given all the market activity, what looks interesting? Sometimes a longer term trend might appear that is just a consequence of how the data ended up being arranged in a particular view.

Airport Trade Looking at a standard list of two week historical volatilities might not look too exciting. But in AlphaVision™, with the added dimension of relative movement something shows up. The red/white buildings are all names in the top 500 Market Cap stocks and ETF’s trading near or below 37 volatility on a 2 week basis. The 37 volatility number is not that significant, but since I have been watching that is now a good chunk of the market trading down there and corresponds to the lower VIX numbers. Notice most of the tall buildings are red. The building height is the absolute value of an underlying move as a percentage of 1 Standard Deviation. All this means is that tall buildings are moving more than their volatilities imply. Notice how most of that action is bunched in the lower volatility names. The name I selected, Tata Motors, stands out as a volatile name not moving as a point of reference.

Andrew Giovinazzi

Wednesday, December 1, 2010

We've got your Sales Growth right here...

One of the recurring stories of these past two earnings seasons was the lack of sales growth.  Or maybe it was just the lack of guidance.  Either way those reasons were enough to send more than a few stocks down the market garbage chute in the short term.  Now I want to take a look at the last 6 months and see if there are any bargains out there with real, growing sales.

First I use the Aqumin ( Landscape to indentify relative 6 month Total Returns.  The bigger the spike the bigger the 6 month total return, and there are plenty of tall spikes out there the last 6 months.  Also, I used the soft sorting of the AlphaVision ColorBar to highlight 5 year Geometric Sales Growth of 15 Percent or more (in Dark Green).  The sales shrinkers are in red. (Even most of those are up the last 6 months)

SalesGrowthWchart My simple little sort left me with Southwestern Energy Co. (SWN).  SWN leads the Energy sector in Sales Growth (5 year compounded Sales Growth) and what I thought was interesting is that the sales numbers are back up to the 2008 highs.  The stock is not.  In a day of massive rallying, using AlphaVision, it is not too hard to find a name that is not yet ahead of itself.

Andrew Giovinazzi

For AV for Bloomberg users, just click in the View Library to interact with this view live (Geometric Growth Sales per Diluted Share). If you are not an AlphaVision for Bloomberg Subscriber please follow the download link here:  Download AV for Bloomberg