Liz here, just purely exasperated with Covid. I don’t mind telling you.

My kid’s been off school for several weeks on quarantine – not necessarily because he’s sick, but because other people might have been. We bought him a kids’ Alexa to bribe him to eat one circle of banana a day.

If hell indeed has circles, I’m convinced they are increasingly large banana circles. Like, when you get down into the ninth ring (treachery!) your punishment is to make a recalcitrant four-year-old, who’s been quarantined for three weeks, eat a mile-wide banana circle.


While I’m sitting here in banana hell… and likely not leaving anytime soon…I figured I might as well double my money on PCR tests.

That is, in fact, my official Options NASCAR play for today…

Yesterday, we kicked off our Third Friday profits race with Mark’s IBM puts. Here are all the competition rules, which are totally arbitrary because I made them up.

I figured I’d throw my hat into the ring with the big boys, so here’s a Covid play that I think will get a nice boost from the Omicron variant over the next month.

Oh, and I’m also shorting PTON again, because I’m in a foul mood and I hate them.

Here are two Nickel Slots that could each make you 100%…
It May Actually Take Less Time To Make This 100% Than to Wait In Line At The Clinic

We tried to go get tested as a family several times last week, in a futile bid to bring the quarantine to a close, and every place had a line stretching around the block. My precocious child trotted along in his little mask saying “wowwwwww everyone has Omicron, guys.”

At some point in one of the massive lines, I started thinking about all of those PCR tests and what a massive multibillion industry this is. (I admit it, I am sick. BUT I DON’T KNOW IF IT’S COVID because I can’t get into the clinic.)

Diagnostics stocks in general rose 24% in 2021 (that was last year — wow, that feels weird to say). And Omicron is spreading like a foul miasma in schools – the daily hospitalization rate for kids in the U.S. was up 58% during the week before Christmas.

I can only imagine what will happen as everyone comes back after Christmas break…

We have here Qiagen NV (NYSE: QGEN), an $11B diagnostics company that beat Q3 earnings estimates and – to my untrained eye – appears to be pulling back to some sort of support level. (We will call this level the “W-87 level,” to generate some authenticity.)

As I’ve said many times, I don’t have a crystal ball, just COMMON SENSE. The operative point with QGEN is that they’ve officially confirmed that their PCR tests pick up Omicron accurately – something not all tests can do.

I actually like this company longer-term, looking at the fundamentals – they’re far from a one-trick Covid pony, as they’re doing some very cool things with gene sequencing and blood tests for lymphoma. I may go back in here later on with some longer-term calls…

But for the short term – by Third Friday, in fact – I think it’s especially safe to bet on increased need for PCR testing as people go back to school and Omicron continues its dastardly work.

(I don’t mean to sound insensitive, but I am cooped up with this child and his bananas and I’m screaming into the void.)

Here’s the over-under for this one. Basically, if QGEN even hits $54 (a scant $2 upward move) by mid-January, you make 50%. It only gets better from there. If it hits $55 by the same time, you make 111% (my lucky number, also my anniversary).

Here’s what to do:


Action to Take

Buy-to-Open QGEN January 21, 2022 $55.00 Calls. Pay no more than $1.25.

Enter as a Good-til-Canceled (GTC) order

Oh, and as previously promised, I’m gonna short PTON again. Every time we check in on this stock, it gets worse. And the options are cheap right now, too.

I’m not one to look a gift stationary bike in the mouth. Here’s what to do:


Action to Take:

Buy-to-Open PTON January 21, 2022 $27.00 Puts. Pay no more than $1.00

Enter as a Good-til-Canceled (GTC) order

All right, I am now officially on the leaderboard with Options NASCAR. Woot woot! I feel slightly better already.

Oh, and not really apropos of anything, but right before our big snowstorm I took this picture out of our back slider. Those saucers are obviously the reflection of our recessed kitchen lighting – but do they not look like UFOs?? THE TRUTH IS OUT THERE.

What, I’ve been quarantined too long, you say? WHAT COULD HAVE GIVEN YOU THAT IMPRESSION?

I’ll be back tomorrow with CJ’s Options NASCAR entry!

Hang loose,


Notify of
Inline Feedbacks
View all comments