1:00pm (EST) The bears took advantage of a weak housing report today and have crashed the earnings party the bulls were ready to have.  The Commerce Department said applications for home building permits, a measure of future construction, fell in September by the largest amount in five months.  Not a good sign for the housing industry which has been struggling to recover this year. We mentioned Apple’s (AAPL, $199.00, up $9.14) earnings this morning and we knew $200 would be the new battle ground for the stock.  Shares are now trading at a “premium” according to some analysts and could fall over the near-term now that all of the hoopla is out.  And that could be the case but we tend to shy away from buying Apple put options because it is such a strong company.  It looks ripe for a short at these levels but I don’t think I’d sleep easy betting against Apple no matter how high shares have run. I was sure hoping the company would announce a stock-split but that didn’t happen.  A 3-for-1 split would put shares at $67 and make it affordable for the retail investor to purchase the stock again.  The smartphone market will get even more intense over the next several quarters but Apple is head and shoulders above the competition.  And Mac sales are set to EXPLODE.  Caterpillar (CAT, $59.00, up $1.15) also came in with a great report as the company posted earnings of $0.64 a share, blowing-out Wall Street’s estimate of just $0.06 a share.  Shares have traded to a high of $61 and the outperformance was attributed to the foreign exchange, lower tax rates and accounting.  Revenues came in at $7.3 billion, versus estimates of $7.5 billion but Caterpillar believes the worst is behind us.  Quote…the company’s CEO now sees “encouraging signs that indicate a recovery may be underway.” Yahoo (YHOO, $16.95, down $0.26) reports after the bell and Wall Street is looking for earnings of $0.07 a share on revenue of $1.1 billion.  For the second quarter, Yahoo did 16 cents a share and easily doubled 8 cents the Street was looking for.  The November 17 calls (YHQKR, $0.85, down $0.10) have traded over 7,000 contracts compared with 3,500 contracts of the November 17 puts (YHQWR, $0.90, up $0.20).  That is a 2-to-1 ratio for the bulls and the action is suggesting an 8%-10% move up or down on Wednesday.  We’d love to play this one but we are going to sit on the sidelines.  As we head to press, the Dow is down 87 points to 10,005, the S&P 500 is off by 10 to 1,087 while the Nasdaq is lower by 21 points and is trading at 2,155.  We have profiled a new trade today and it is in the retail sector.  If you are a current subscriber, please check the Members Area NOW for the 1pm Update.]]>