The market started off in positive territory as the Dow traded to a high of 8100 but just turned negative after an hour and a half of trading. The Dow’s 150-point gain has been wiped out and as the Senate is grilling President Barack Obama’s Treasury Secretary nominee, Timothy Geithner, on Capitol Hill for his confirmation hearing.

Dude looks cool as a cucumber though. He has asked Congress to act quickly and forcefully to deal with the financial crisis. However, it is not helping the market.

The choppy trading session should continue and let’s not forget Apple (AAPL, $80.00, up $1.80) and eBay (EBAY, $12.85, up $0.30) report after the bell…not too worried about eBay put Apple is poised for a big move after the bell. It’s hard to say which way Apple will move because there are so many moving parts. There are 2-to-1 bets on the calls at this point as the Apple February 90 calls (QAABR, $2.25, up $0.25) have doubled the volume of the February 75 puts (QAANO, $3.75, down $0.75) – 6000 contracts have traded on the calls compared with 3000 for the puts. Coin flip, heads up, call it what you want but bets are being made.

The gold stocks have pulled back which I think provides a good entry point for the Barrick Gold (ABX, $34.38, down $0.41) and Goldcorp (GG, $25.53, down $0.90) call options.

The Goldcorp February 32.50 calls (GGBZ, $0.40, down $0.30) just went on sale for a 40% discount. Looks like a good entry point. The Barrick Gold February 40 calls (ABXBH, $0.90, down $0.20) are down 18% and I like positions here under a buck.

Rick Rouse