Friday night.

One definite upside of this creepy Monday-Friday fly-by effect is that in my subjective experience, my life mostly consists of weekends now. How cool is that? Heh. This weekend’s project: learning more about trading options. More precisely, about finding inefficiencies in their pricing, when someone accidentally fatfingers a wrong price, and it’s yours for the taking. When you short a stock, you take on a lot of risk, since your losses can be potentially infinite if the stock price goes up by more than 100%. When you buy a put, on the other hand, you can still lose 100% of your money, but never more than that. It’s the user-friendly, safety-scissors version of shorting.

Earlier today, I figured it’d be a fine idea to short SeaWorld. (SEAS) They’re objectively bad guys, so on top of the profit motive, there’d also be some satisfaction for benefiting from their loss. As of today, this stock is priced 47% higher than their highest 2020 price point, just before the pandemic. I somehow doubt that most people’s “revenge spending” on entertainment will include going to SeaWorld to observe depressed and abused sea creatures all day every day. (Some might, but basing the entire stock’s valuation on those weirdos would be kinda fishy.) SeaWorld hasn’t added anything groundbreaking to their marine torture chambers – there are no krakens, no giant squids, no mermaids, no sirens. At $50.74, they’re grotesquely overpriced. So… buying puts, trading options. I got lucky to find a particularly inefficient price point on $25 puts for June 2021: they were selling at a much lower price than all the others. The price has normalized since I bought in earlier today, and that alone has resulted in a 56.6% unrealized profit. In one day. If the SeaWorld stock makes the slightest move downward between now and June, my gains will be even greater. That is remarkable, but also just plain dumb luck: I stumbled on that pricing inefficiency. But if I learn how to find them, and not just manually… Heh. Sounds like a new hobby.

In covid news, it’s possible that there was something wrong with a batch of AstraZeneca vaccines sent to the EU. Two women developed serious blood clots days after receiving their shots; one of them died. So far, the European Medicines Agency (EMA) said it wasn’t due to the vaccine, since blood clots hadn’t been reported among recorded side effects. Even so, multiple countries have suspended AstraZeneca vaccinations, if only partially. This article claims that Austria, Estonia, Latvia, Lithuania and Luxembourg suspended vaccinations from that particular batch, which would’ve been enough for a million shots. Additionally, Denmark, Norway, and Iceland suspended the use of the AstraZeneca vaccine altogether, regardless of which batch it came from. That particular brand of vaccine had already faced a lot of prejudice in Europe, with people allegedly refusing to take it, and with Germany doing an awkward 180-turn, first claiming it’s not efficient, then grudgingly saying the opposite.

It’s worth noting that AstraZeneca still hasn’t received the FDA’s emergency authorization. One major problem is that AstraZeneca’s vaccine manufacturing is distributed and not centralized, meaning there could be variations depending on where a particular batch was made. It’s especially tricky since the clinical trial vaccines had also been manufactured at different sites: I’m not sure how they’d even begin to untangle that if there was, indeed, some variation based on the point of origin. Oof. Just… oof.

In better news, it looks like Canada might have vaccinated 100,000 people today for the very first time – at least according to fellow covid geeks. The official news should break shortly. That’s way, way less than what the US is doing, but at least the pace is ramping up, eh.

A tiny bit more good news with every passing day. What a strange and unfamiliar sensation.

Good night, y’all. I hope your weekend is entertaining, edumacational, or both.