Archive for 2009

Full Scale Elliott Wave Count on the SP500

Corey Rosenbloom charts the textbook Elliott Wave pattern which has been playing out since October 2007.

Full Scale Elliott Wave Count on the SP500

Courtesy of Corey Rosenbloom at Afraid to

With more people focusing in on Elliott Wave as the current decline from 2007 conforms to an ideal Elliott Pattern, let’s take a look at a potential count that begins in October 2007 and is broken-down in respective subdivisions all the way to March 2009.

S&P 500 Daily Elliott Wave Structure:

(You’ll need to click to view the full picture)

I won’t go into much detail so as to let the proposed wave labeling speak for itself.

I’m relatively new to Elliott Wave and am stunned at how the Wave Structure has played out almost perfectly to the rules and guidelines developed by Ralph Elliott in the 1930s.

Impulse Waves subdivide into 5 Waves (in the larger trend) and Corrective Waves (labeled “ABC”) subdivide into 3 Waves.

The 3rd is never the shortest, but is oftentimes the longest wave (this plays out on almost all subdivisions).

What’s amazing me is that if you look closely, the October near-vertical downward plunge is located in the Wave Structure exactly where you would expect it to be, confirming the count:  Sub-Wave 3 of Fractal Wave (3) of Major Wave 3 down.  To me, that’s chilling.

It’s also known as the “Point of Recognition” where people begin to “catch on” that we’re in a bear market and they generally stop buying pullbacks.  Until then, it was feasible to some investors that things weren’t so bad… though October officially changed that all.

Now, it seems everyone’s a bear and people – even on TV – are saying we’re going to be headed down for a long time and there’s no bottom in sight…

But if you look at the Wave Structure, we need a Wave (4) up and then a Wave (5) down to finish off Circled (Major) Wave 5 before launching upwards into some sort of upwards ABC Correction.

For now, take a moment to study over the Price Wave Structure that began in October 2007 and try to internalize it – to me, it appears a textbook example in real life of the Elliott Wave Principle.

Join up with the Market Club for additional commentaries, trade ideas, education, scans, and signals.

Corey Rosenbloom
Afraid to

AIG Bailout #2, Here We Come!

AIG, according to Braunie — dead horse we’re forced to throw money at, with no end in sight,… "criminally insane." - Ilene aig-bailout1

AIG Bailout #2, Here We Come!

AIG will receive additional federal assistance of up to $30 billion as part of a revamped government bailout, The Wall Street Journal’s online edition reported Sunday, citing unnamed sources. 

This morning details of what the next Government (taxpayer) bailout of American International Group (AIG) will look like are beginning to unfold. Also tomorrow morning (AIG) is expected to announce the largest corporate loss in United States history.

(AIG’s) Board of Directors are being called to a special Sunday night meeting to vote on another rescue for the company.

Information coming off the wires…


- The revised (AIG) agreement is expected to include an additional equity commitment of about $30B, more lenient terms on an existing preferred investment, and a lower interest rate on a $60B government credit line
- The new equity commitment would give (AIG) the ability to issue preferred stock to the government at a later date
- (AIG) will also give the Federal Reserve ownership interests in American Life Insurance (Alico), which generates more than half of its revenue from Japan, and Hong Kong-based life insurance group American International Assurance Co (AIA) in return for reducing its debt
- (AIG) may also securitize some U.S. life insurance policies and give them to the government to further reduce its debt.

I think our great Government is really trying to find a way to put the taxpayer squarely at risk for taking the hits on these so called toxic assets by spinning some nonsense about getting a great deal on their value. Twenty five cents on the dollar are some numbers currently circulating. Check out this article “propping up a house of cards”. It seems surreal and amazing that our Government poured 250 billion into (AIG)…a quarter of trillion dollars to save this company. It is a penny stock for god sakes and (AIG) is just an empty shell. Throwing

continue reading

Warren Buffett Has Spoken

Braunie at The Market Guardian is not optimistic that Warren Buffett’s investment style will make a successful comeback any time soon. As Joe Weisenthals article (below) further illustrates, it’s not only the change in market forces that is so discouraging, but also the government’s ability and willingness to change the rules mid-game.081212_losing_faithstandard

Warren Buffett Has Spoken

The Oracle Warren Buffett told his shareholders Saturday that 2008 was the company’s worst year on record, as the per share value of both the Class A and Class B stock fell 9.6%. In his annual letter, Buffett said neither he nor Charlie Munger, his partner in running Berkshire, can predict winning and losing years in advance, and that no one else can. “We’re certain, for example, that the economy will be in shambles throughout 2009 – and, for that matter, probably well beyond – but that conclusion does not tell us whether the stock market will rise or fall.”

The Old Oracle Buffett has had the worst 5 months in his career. His balance sheet is filled with bull market positions in this bear market. He hasn’t hedged his $38 billion of short puts. Warren is watching his fully invested position go down the drain. If stocks go to the p/e levels of 7-9x that we saw in ’74, he will be wiped out. I was recently reading an article where the author (a respected trader) said that he suspects Berkshire could be going to ZERO within the next 12 months. Seems very far fetched but who would have thought a year ago Dow 6000’s?

Mr. Buffett’s October investments were a complete show to help build confidence in the market. His infusions into Wells Fargo and Goldman Sachs were at least as dumb as the GE debacle. The act was stupid and egotistical of Buffett to think he could control market psychology. Buffett failed to recognize the situation for what it was -the end of an economic era. Like Greenspan, could this Guru of investment soon be a discredited?

It’s very sad to think Warren Buffett will witness the destruction of the company he built so many years ago. An entire

continue reading

Stress Tests By Institutional Risk Analytics

Chris Whalen and Dennis Lewis Santiago’s Institutional Risk Analytics performed Q4 stress tests for Citi, Bank of America, JP Morgan, and Wells Fargo. 

H/T to Henry Blodget at ClusterStock’s Citi Fails Stress Test, BAC and JPM Get "A’s".

Here are the reports.  Let’s start with Citigroup, which not surprisingly failed. – Ilene

Citi C Stress Test


JPM_Institutional Risk Analytics_Q4 08


BAC_Institutional Risk Analytics_Q4 08


WFC_Institutional Risk Analytics_Q4 2008



Citigroup Arithmetic Explained

Undoing the confusion on the Citigroup bailout, James Kwak explains the details in the numbers.

Citigroup Arithmetic Explained

Courtesy of The Baseline Scenario, by James Kwak

Since I’ve been writing about preferred and common stock so much this week, I thought I would just try to explain the arithmetic of the Citigroup deal announced today. (By the way, it isn’t a done deal: all it says is that Citi is offering a preferred-for-common conversion to its outside investors, and the government will match them dollar-for-dollar, although the WSJ says that several investors have agreed to participate.)

Right now, according to Google Finance, Citi has 5.45 billion common shares outstanding. It is offering to convert up to $27.5 billion of preferred shares held by “private” investors other than the U.S. government (like the government of Singapore and Prince Alwaleed) into common shares, at a conversion price of $3.25. That would create another 8.46 billion shares. For every dollar that is converted, the U.S. government will also convert one dollar of its preferred stock, up to $25 billion; that is the $25 billion from the first round of recapitalization back in October, which is paying a 5% dividend. (Fortunately someone realized we should convert that before converting the second chunk, which pays 8%.) That would create another 7.69 billion shares. So if everyone converts as much as possible, there will be 21.60 billion shares outstanding, of which the U.S. government will own 7.69, for an ownership stake of 36%, the number you read in the papers. (Actually, if the private investors convert exactly $25 billion and not $27.5 billion, the government would own 37%, but that’s a detail.) The other private investors would own 39%, and current shareholders would own 25%.

The government got some warrants on common shares in connection with the earlier recapitalizations. I assume the warrants it got for the first investment will no longer exist (because that first investment is being “paid back”), but the warrants on the second investment, if exercised, would presumably push the government up a couple percentage points.

Where did the $3.25 price come from? Who knows. Yesterday’s closing price was $2.46. If that price had been used, the government’s target ownership percentage would have been 38% instead of 36%,

continue reading

Another Weak Weekly Wrap-Up

This is getting tedious!

We were bearish going into the week but not this bearish.  It is unusual though that we have a weekly wrap-up with nothing but negative plays as we did last week but there was nothing very positive in the outlook after the action of the week of the 16th through the 20th, pictured here on this chart.

As I said in the last Weekly Wrap-Up: "Of course nothing beats sector specific covers against your own mix of positions but we like using the DIA puts as general virtual portfolio coverage although, as I mentioned last week, both the DAX and the Qs may now have farther to fall."  The Qs ended up dropping 8.5% for the week while the DAX tumbled 6%, underperforming other global indexes as we had expected it would.  Our hedge play , the DIA June $77 puts, which we went with at $8.22 on Friday and half covered with March $75 puts at $3.85 ended up at $9.85 and $5.40, not much improvement but accomplishing it's goal of converting a net $6.29 entry into puts that are now 100% in the money to our net entry.  At this point, every point down on the Dow is a penny we realize in intrinsic value.  Per our original plan, the $75 puts can still be rolled to 2x the Apr $66 puts, now $2.32, allowing for our long puts to be $11 in the money against the puts we sold.  The reality is more complex than that as we day-traded the covers around and rolled up the longer puts but we went into this weekend with the same bearish half-cover, not wanting to take chances after Friday's poor performance.

On Monday morning, I was not at all enthusiastic about our prospects for the week as we had the Bernanke testimony Tuesday and Wednesday and Trichet started us off with a thud by stating: ""In recent weeks we have seen the first signs of falling credit flows.  An important part of this fall is demand-driven. However…there are indications that falling credit flows reflect also supply-side factors and tight financing conditions associated with a phenomenon of deleveraging.  If such a behavior became widespread across the banking system, it would undermine the raison d’etre of the system as a
continue reading

Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

Who Bears the Burden for a $3 Trillion Mistake?

The Citigroup bailout plan involves shuffling deck chairs on the Titanic, while slowly cooking the frogs.

Who Bears the Burden for a $3 Trillion Mistake?

Courtesy of Mish

Citigroup plunged 39% on Friday to $1.50, a price last seen in 1992.

The plunge was in response to a Citigroup U.S. Accord on a Third Bailout that will convert the government’s preferred shares to common, thereby diluting existing common shareholders and exposing US taxpayers to more losses. 

Citigroup Inc. and the federal government agreed to a third rescue that will give U.S. taxpayers as much as 36% of the bank but expose their ownership stake to greater risk from the recession and housing crisis. The deal will punish existing shareholders of Citigroup, who will see their stake diluted by 74%, and likely do little to change the awkward relationship between federal officials and management of the New York company.

Depending on how many current holders of Citigroup preferred stock agree to a similar move, the company’s tangible common equity could surge to $81.1 billion from $29.7 billion at Dec. 31. That would reverse the recent slide in tangible common equity — a gauge of what shareholders would have left if the company were liquidated — that fueled a downward spiral in Citigroup shares.

The conversion leaves taxpayers exposed to the risk of greater losses. The government’s preferred holdings had stood ahead of common stock in Citigroup’s capital structure, meaning they were less likely to lose value if the company’s woes continue to mount. In addition, by converting much of the U.S. stake to common shares, Citigroup won’t have to pay the hefty dividend payouts that were attached to the preferred stock.

"The government is bending over backwards to not go along the lines of nationalization," said Bernie Sussman, chief investment officer of Spectrum Asset Management, a unit of Principal Financial Group Inc. that manages about $6.9 billion in assets. "They had the alternative to completely zero out the common stock."

Mysterious Plans Revisited

Let’s take a look one more time at Krugman’s article Mysterious plans

What Treasury now seems to be proposing is converting preferred to common.

[Mish: No longer a proposal but a done deal]

It’s true that preferred stock has some debt-like qualities — there are required dividend payments, etc.. But does anyone think that the reason banks are

continue reading

The Oracle Speaks – Words of Wisdom From Warren Buffett

Boy is this a tough market, even Berkshire Hathaway profits dropped 96%.

First of all, stop right now if you haven't read Warren Buffett's Chaiman's Letter in the Berkshire Hathaway Annual Report.  He can tell you a lot more about the state of the economy than I can.  Although I will go over some of the highlights of The Oracle of Omaha's 100-page report, you should read the whole thing – go ahead and read it, then come back – I'll wait… 

Berkshire Hathaway has produced a compounded annual gain in value of 362,319% since it's founding in 1964, about 10 times what you would have gotten investing in the S&P 500, roughly a 20% annual growth rate.  Included in that figure is a 9.6% decrease in book value last year, the first loss since 2001 and the second loss EVER.  The average S&P company dropped 37% of their book value in 2008 and this year is looking worse already.  "By the fourth quarter," says Mr. Buffett, "the credit crisis, coupled with tumbling home and stock prices, had produced a paralyzing fear that engulfed the country. A freefall in business activity ensued, accelerating at a pace that I have never before witnessed. The U.S. – and much of the world – became trapped in a vicious negative-feedback cycle. Fear led to business contraction, and that in turn led to even greater fear."

Buffett does not provide a positive outlook, he expects a rough 2009 and "for that matter, probably well beyond" but that does not shake his outlook that, over time, investments made today will pay off in the future.  He has a quote that is almost identical to one of mine: "Whether we’re talking about socks or stocks, I like buying quality merchandise when it is marked down."

Commentary on the housing market was: "The 1997-2000 fiasco should have served as a canary-in-the-coal-mine warning for the far-larger conventional housing market. But investors, government and rating agencies learned exactly nothing from the manufactured-home debacle. Instead, in an eerie rerun of that disaster, the same mistakes were repeated with conventional homes in the 2004-07 period: Lenders happily made loans that borrowers couldn’t repay out of their incomes, and borrowers just as happily signed up to meet those payments. Both parties counted on “house-price appreciation” to make this otherwise impossible arrangement work. It was Scarlett
continue reading

Tags: , ,

Golden Parachutes

Here’s another colorful, informational graphic representation of our financial world – the Goldren Parachutes, by Jess Bachman.

Golden Parachutes:  How the Bankers Went Down

Courtesy of Jess Bachman at WallStats 

When high-ranking executives are fired from a company, for whatever reason, they don’t go to the back of the unemployment line. Instead, they typically receive compensation in the form of the “golden parachute.” Golden parachutes can include severance pay, cash bonuses, stock options or other benefits. In the case of the financial crisis and the ensuing bank failures, if it seems like these executives are being rewarded for poor performance, you may be right. Here’s a look at what some bankers made on their way down.



Acknowledging that "we cannot borrow our way out of debt," Ellen Brown suggests the Federal Reserve stimulates our debt-ridden economy by creating new, essentially interest-free money, which does not have to be paid back.  Here’s how.


Ellen Brown, at the Web of Debt

“Diseases desperate grown are by desperate appliances relieved, or not at all.” – Shakespeare, “Hamlet”

David Tennant as Hamlet. Photograph: Tristram KentonMoody’s credit rating agency is warning that the U.S. government’s AAA credit rating is at risk, because it has taken on so much debt that there are few creditors left to underwrite it. Foreigners have bought as much as two-thirds of U.S. debt in recent years, but they could be doing much less purchasing of U.S. Treasury securities in the future, not so much out of a desire to chastise America as simply because they won’t have the funds to do it. Oil prices have fallen off a cliff and the U.S. purchase of foreign exports has dried up, slashing the surpluses that those countries previously recycled back into U.S. Treasuries. And domestic buyers of securities, to the extent that they can be found, will no doubt demand substantially higher returns than the rock-bottom interest rates at which Treasuries are available now.1

Who, then, is left to buy the government’s debt and fund President Obama’s $900 billion stimulus package? The taxpayers are obviously tapped out, so the money will have to be borrowed; but borrowed from whom? The pool of available lenders is shrinking fast. Morever, servicing the federal debt through private lenders imposes a crippling interest burden on the U.S. Treasury. The interest tab was $412 billion in fiscal year 2008, or about one-third of the federal government’s total income from personal income taxes ($1,220 billion in 2008). The taxpayers not only cannot afford the $900 billion; they cannot afford to increase their interest payments. But what is the alternative?The New Yorker October 20 2008

How about turning to the lender of last resort, the Federal Reserve itself? The advantage for the government of borrowing from its own central bank is that this money is virtually free. This is because the Federal Reserve rebates any interest it receives to the Treasury after deducting its costs, and the federal debt is never actually
continue reading



Swing trading portfolio - week of October 24th,2016

Reminder: OpTrader is available to chat with Members, comments are found below each post.


This post is for all our live virtual trade ideas and daily comments. Please click on "comments" below to follow our live discussion. All of our current  trades are listed in the spreadsheet below, with entry price (1/2 in and All in), and exit prices (1/3 out, 2/3 out, and All out).

We also indicate our stop, which is most of the time the "5 day moving average". All trades, unless indicated, are front-month ATM options. 

Please feel free to participate in the discussion and ask any questions you might have about this virtual portfolio, by clicking on the "comments" link right below.

To learn more about the swing trading virtual portfolio (strategy, performance, FAQ, etc.), please click here ...

more from OpTrader

Kimble Charting Solutions

Banks- This is putting a smile on this sector

Courtesy of Chris Kimble.

Historically, when strong bull markets have taken place, Banks go along for the ride. Since the summer of 2014, banks have under performed the broad market by around 12%, as the S&P is just a couple of percent from all-time highs. Are banks about to act healthier and put a smile on this sector, which could help the S&P breakout above the 2,150 level?

Below looks at the Bank Index (BKX)



more from Kimble C.S.

Zero Hedge

Podesta Files Part 17: Wikileaks Releases Another 3,400 Emails, Bringing Total To Over 30,000

Courtesy of ZeroHedge. View original post here.

With just 2 weeks to go until the election, today Wikileaks continued its ongoing Podesta files release when it unveiled another 3,432 emails in the latest Part 17 of its release, bringing the total emails released so far to 30,235 total emails, over 60% of the total set for publication ahead of the elections.

Yesterday's release provided data on ...

more from Tyler

Phil's Favorites

Number of Startup Businesses Continues Lengthy Decline: Is this a Problem?

Courtesy of Mish.

The number of startup businesses continues to slide. In 1977, the share of US firms that were less than a year old was at 16%. In 2014, the latest data, the percentage was 8%.

The Wall Street Journal says Sputtering Startups Weigh on U.S. Economic Growth.

Is that the case?

The U.S. economy is inching along, productivity is flagging and millions of Americans appear locked out of the labor market.

One key factor intertwined with this loss of dynamism: The U.S. is creating startup businesses at historically low rates.

The Americ...

more from Ilene

Chart School

Weekly Market Recap Oct 23, 2016

Courtesy of Blain.

The week that was…

A sleepy week indeed as almost all the “action” came out of a gap up Tuesday morning and a gap down Friday morning (which was met with buyers).  Outside of those events, the indexes stuck closely to unchanged most of the week.  Earnings began in earnest but outside of some individual high profile stories it was a lot of beating lowered expectations.

“Despite a couple of good reports, we’re in the midst of another earnings season that is hardly painting a bright picture,” said Mark Luschini, chief investment strategist at Janney Montgomery Scott. “Having another quarter where profits contract is not an underpinning for stocks to advance, and the market is searching for, if not demanding, a catalyst to move higher. At the moment, one is lackin...

more from Chart School


Misconceptions about the Nordic Economies

By The Foundation for Economic Education. Originally published at ValueWalk.

Nordic Economies

Photo by sebilden

Misconceptions about the Nordic Economies

The Nordic countries are usually mentioned in the Spanish political debate as examples of well-functioning and efficient Welfare States where the government provides citizens with a large range of social benefits. (The terms “Nordic” and “Scandinavian” will be employed interchangeably to refer to Sweden, Finland and Denmark. Norway and Iceland are excluded from my analysis.) Politicians, especially on the left side of the political spectrum, look at Sweden, Denmark, or Finland as successful social democratic experiments in which social entitlements are guaranteed by the ben...

more from ValueWalk

Market News

Breaking News And Best Of The Web

Courtesy of John Rubino.

The dollar is rising and so is inflation. Corporate debt and earnings becoming major near-term risks. China’s mortgage bubble is the biggest ever. US auto sales start to fall. Banks report surprisingly good earnings, mostly due to trading gains. Yellen considers aggressive “high-pressure” policy to engineer fast growth and rising wage inflation. Major cyber attack hits US east coast. Clinton way up in polls after final debate.  

Best Of The Web

Welcome to neocolinialism, exploited peasants! –

Why the global economy will disintegr...

more from Paul

Insider Scoop

Rockwell Collins to Acquire B/E Aerospace for $8.3B

Courtesy of Benzinga.

Rockwell Collins (NYSE: COL) and B/E Aerospace (NASDAQ: BEAV)  today announced that they have entered into a definitive agreement under which Rockwell Collins will acquire B/E Aerospace for approximately $6.4 billion in cash and stock, plus the assumption of $1.9 billion in net debt.

Under the terms of the agreement, each B/E Aerospace shareowner will receive total consideration of $62.00 per share, comprised of $34.10 per share in cash and $27.90 in shares of Rockwell Collins common stock, subject to a 7.5% collar. This represents a premium of 22.5% to the closing price of B/E Aerospace common stock on Friday, Octob... more from Insider

Members' Corner

The Orlando Massacre Part 3

Courtesy of Nattering Naybob.

A continuation of a Naybob of IT's Natterings from Part 1 and Part 2...

While many Christian churches expressed grief and offered free funeral services for the victims of the Orlando shooting, the fundamentalist Westboro Baptist Church held an anti-gay protest during the funeral of the victims.

But the Westboro Baptist Church's protest rally was blocked by about 200 people who formed a human barricade on the main street in downtown Orlando, ...

more from Our Members

Mapping The Market

The Most Overlooked Trait of Investing Success

Via Jean-Luc

Good article on investing success:

The Most Overlooked Trait of Investing Success

By Morgan Housel

There is a reason no Berkshire Hathaway investor chides Buffett when the company has a bad quarter. It’s because Buffett has so thoroughly convinced his investors that it’s pointless to try to navigate around 90-day intervals. He’s done that by writing incredibly lucid letters to investors for the last 50 years, communicating in easy-to-understand language at annual meetings, and speaking on TV in ways that someone with no investing experience can grasp.

Yes, Buffett runs an amazing investment company. But he also runs an amazing investor company. One of the most underappreciated part of his s...

more from M.T.M.

Digital Currencies

Gold, Silver and Blockchain - Fintech Solutions To Negative Rates, Bail-ins, Currency Debasement and Cashless

Courtesy of ZeroHedge. View original post here.

By Jan Skoyles

I was so pleased yesterday by the announcement that I have joined the Research team at GoldCore as it meant that I could finally start talking about it and was back in a role that lets me indulge in my passion by researching and geeking out on all things gold, silver and money.


more from Bitcoin


Epizyme - A Waiting Game

Reminder: Pharmboy is available to chat with Members, comments are found below each post.

Epizyme was founded in 2007, and trying to create drugs to treat patient's cancer by focusing on genetically-linked differences between normal and cancer cells. Cancer areas of focus include leukemia, Non-Hodgkin's lymphoma and breast cancer.  One of the Epizme cofounders, H. Robert Horvitz, won the Nobel Prize in Medicine in 2002 for "discoveries concerning genetic regulation of organ development and programmed cell death."

Before discussing the drug targets of Epizyme, understanding epigenetics is crucial to comprehend the company's goals.  

Genetic components are the DNA sequences that are 'inherited.'  Some of these genes are stronger than others in their expression (e.g., eye color).  Yet, some genes turn on or off due to external factors (environmental), and it is und...

more from Biotech

All About Trends

Mid-Day Update

Reminder: Harlan is available to chat with Members, comments are found below each post.

Click here for the full report.

To learn more, sign up for David's free newsletter and receive the free report from All About Trends - "How To Outperform 90% Of Wall Street With Just $500 A Week." Tell David PSW sent you. - Ilene...

more from David


PSW is more than just stock talk!


We know you love coming here for our Stocks & Options education, strategy and trade ideas, and for Phil's daily commentary which you can't live without, but there's more! features the most important and most interesting news items from around the web, all day, every day!

News: If you missed it, you can probably find it in our Market News section. We sift through piles of news so you don't have to.   

If you are looking for non-mainstream, provocatively-narrated news and opinion pieces which promise to make you think -- we feature Zero Hedge, ...

more from Promotions

FeedTheBull - Top Stock market and Finance Sites

About Phil:

Philip R. Davis is a founder Phil's Stock World, a stock and options trading site that teaches the art of options trading to newcomers and devises advanced strategies for expert traders...

Learn more About Phil >>

As Seen On:

About Ilene:

Ilene is editor and affiliate program coordinator for PSW. She manages the site market shadows, archives, more. Contact Ilene to learn about our affiliate and content sharing programs.

Market Shadows >>