Archive for June, 2011

So Much For That Japanese Recovery: Large Manufacturer Confidence Plummets

Courtesy of Tyler Durden

So much for the Japanese renaissance which somehow is supposed to lead to a surge in Q3 US GDP growth. Following yesterday’s surprisingly strong factory production growth rate of +5.7% (the second highest in history), every economist (and Joe LaVorgna), was already shifting their strawman from declining energy costs (which are now back to early June levels courtesy of the IEA idiocy), to Japan as the last bastion of growth. Alas, the just released Tankan quarterly index of large manufacturer confidence has confirmed that the rumors of Japan’s economic reincarnation have been greatly exaggerated after it dropped by the most since the Lehman collapse, plunging from +6 in March to -9, well below the economist (and Joe LaVorgna) consensus of -7. From Bloomberg: “Forecasts by Panasonic Corp. (6752) and Hitachi Ltd. for weaker earnings have added to signs of depressed demand. Monetary tightening by Asian economies grappling with inflation means that Japanese companies also can’t count on customers within the region for boosting sales. “The global economy is starting to slow, heightening uncertainties about its future direction,” Ryutaro Kono, chief economist at BNP Paribas in Tokyo, said before the report. “The downside risks to China and other emerging economies seem to be on the rise.” In other words, the global economic growth is impacting Japan, and it is not the Japanese slowdown that is impairing some mythical global growth story. Of course, by the time the economist (and Joe LaVorgna) pool figures this out, QE 3 will be well on its way.

There’s more:

Household demand has also been weak, with consumer outlays sliding 1.9 percent in May, a report today showed, a larger drop that predicted by analysts. The unemployment rate unexpectedly fell to 4.5 percent as more people gave up on looking for work and disaster areas were excluded from the survey. Consumer prices excluding fresh food increased 0.6 percent in May, the government said.

Panasonic last week forecast full-year profit will tumble 59 percent in the fiscal year started April after the earthquake disrupted factories and suppliers. Sales of car-related components and mobile phones will probably drop because of supply-chain bottlenecks, Panasonic’s Chief Financial Officer Makoto Uenoyama said.

Hitachi Ltd. last month forecast net income will drop 16 percent this fiscal year after the temblor crippled its factories.

Recent data indicates

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Caught In The Act: HFT Option Algos Observed Frontrunning Today’s PMI Release

Courtesy of Tyler Durden

In another case of purely coincidental serendipity, three days ago Zero Hedge informed readers that the “NYSE Boerse [sic] has just announced its purchase of Kingsbury International Ltd., which surveys managers for the Chicago Business Barometer, also known as the company that hosts the Chicago PMI data, in order to bring PMI data direct to feed subscribers. Net result: expect even more market volatility at each PMI release, now that the market is not two but three-tiered, and consisting of regular HFTs, HFTs with access to the Deutsche Boerse feed, and everyone else.” We concluded: “It is unclear if the ultra-speed, HFT friendly feed would be activated before its next release on June 30. That said, we will certainly coordinate with our friends at Nanex for any trading abnormalities, primarily in the critical ES futures, this Thursday at 9:42am, keeping a close eye on the tape, and indicating precisely when the tiered data release hits.” Well, as promised here is the Nanex data. As expected, it’s a stunner.

The shocker, however, resides not in the stock arena, but in what is now becoming the go to place for bulk frontrunning high frequency trading algorithms to chase what little volatility is left in the equity market: options, which, as previously noted, we now are confident will be the cause for the next big market wipe out.

Per Nanex:

Approximately 1/2 second before the 9:42 release of the Chicago PMI report, the option market exploded setting new records in quote rates, saturation, and delays. We have not yet determined why the equity market did not see a record explosion of quote traffic; rather it experienced the normal saturation/delay that happens all too frequently every trading day.

The electronic S&P 500 futures experienced a withdrawal of liquidity beginning about a minute before the release of the PMI number. At approximately 9:41:59.550, 1275 contracts cleared through 4 levels of the offer side of the order book. This coincided with the explosion in OPRA quote traffic.

The first image shows quote message rates for each of the 12 CQS data lines that carry data for NYSE, AMEX, and ARCA equities and ETFs in 2ms intervals. Notice how quickly activity drops after the peak compared to the OPRA images below it. Normally, options activity follows equity activity very closely.

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Measuring the Performance of the Ivy Portfolio

Courtesy of Doug Short

I’ve been posting a monthly moving average update for the five ETFs in featured in Mebane Faber and Eric Richardson’s Ivy Portfolio since the spring of 2009, when I featured my review of the book.

In addition to the monthly updates, last year I made a couple of generic studies of momentum investing with moving averages.

Learning from the S&P 500 Monthly MAs
Learning from the Nikkei Monthly MAs

Investing strategies are not the primary focus of my website, and I don’t personally track the performance of the Ivy Portfolio other than to highlight the monthly signals. For ETF performance tracking and backtesting, I use, an excellent website for analyzing the performance of individual ETFs and ETF portfolios based on customized moving-average strategies. There are many free tools on However performance backtesting of portfolios does require a paid subscription.


The image below illustrates my research on the Ivy Portfolio since 2007. If you click the image, you’ll open a HUGE version that also shows the monthly performance over the complete range as compared to SPY (SPDR S&P 500 Index). For cash, I’ve used SHY (Barclays Low Duration Treasury (2-yr).



Now, the portfolio in this illustration doesn’t *exactly* match the Ivy five. I picked 2007 as my starting point to show the performance from before the market peak in the Fall of that year. Thus I was forced to make one substitution for the Ivy ETFs — EFA (iShares MSCI EAFE Index Fund) in place of VEU (Vanguard FTSE All-World ex-US ETF), which was launched in early 2007 and didn’t produce a 10-month signal until December of that year. But the substitution presumably understates the all-Vanguard IVY portfolio: I make this assumption because the latest VEU monthly close has outperformed EFA since the March 2009 monthly close (84.5% versus 73.0%).

For anyone interested in researching momentum investing with ETFs, the website is an outstanding resource, one that I’m pleased to include in my dshort Favorites.






Daily Market Commentary: Rallies to Resistance

Courtesy of Declan Fallon

For a fourth day in a row markets posted gains. This took lead indices to resistance, although the Dow bucked the trend by smashing through.

I haven’t focused on the Dow as it hasn’t done anything unique, but today the Dow broke declining resistance connecting reaction highs for April. Volume climbed to register an accumulation day, supporting the validity of the break.



The S&P wasn’t able to achieve the same success, finishing the day at declining resistance. Volume was also lighter, although it was able to close above its 50-day MA. It might be a tall ask to see a fifth day of gains, but with the Dow comfortably ahead it’s not outside expectation (although unlikely).



The Nasdaq was interesting. Like the S&P it finished at resistance, but unlike the S&P and the Dow, technicals turned net bullish. So while price action underperformed that of the Dow, technically it’s better positioned for further gains. Volume climbed to register an accumulation day.



It’s supported by declining resistance breakouts in supporting breadth indicators, like the Percentage of Nasdaq Stocks above the 50-day MA.



Finally, the Russell 2000 is in a similar position to the Nasdaq; finishing at resistance with technicals net bullish.



For tomorrow, despite bullish technicals for the Russell 2000 and Nasdaq, look for modest losses as bulls prepare to drive a break of resistance and follow the lead of the Dow. The S&P is perhaps in the weakest position and the index most likely to show downside. The chief area lacking has been volume, this will have to increase if a break of declining resistance is to stick, irrespective of the index.

Current Treasury Snapshot

Courtesy of Doug Short

Quick take: Today was the last day of QE2, culminating in a four-day rally in stocks that probably had more to do with end-of-quarter accounting than then end of the Fed’s intervention. Yields have popped and Treasuries have plummeted across the spectrum. The ten-year note, which closed last week at its lowest yield since last November, is up 30 basis points in four days.

The behavior of Treasuries has been an area of special interest in light of the Fed’s second round of quantitative easing, which was formally announced on November 3rd. The first chart shows the percent change for a basket of eight Treasuries since November 4th.



The next chart shows the daily performance of several Treasuries and the Fed Funds Rate (FFR) since 2007. The source for the yields is the Daily Treasury Yield Curve Rates from the US Department of the Treasury and the New York Fed’s website for the FFR.



Here’s a closer look at the past year with the 30-year fixed mortgage added to the mix (excluding points).



Here’s a comparison of the yield curve at three points in time: 1) the Fed’s QE2 announcement, 2) the February interim high for the 7, 10, 20 and 30-year yields 3) and the latest curve.



The next chart shows the 2- and 10-year yields with the 2-10 spread highlighted in the background.



The final chart is an overlay of the CBOE Interest Rate 10-Year Treasury Note (TNX) and the S&P 500.



For a long-term view of weekly Treasury yields, also focusing on the 10-year, see my Treasury Yields in Perspective.





Where Is Tim Geithner Headed Next?

Courtesy of Tyler Durden

Goldman Sachs
36% (15 votes)
JP Morgan
10% (4 votes)
Any bank that will have him
7% (3 votes)
Tax Consultancy
2% (1 vote)
5% (2 votes)
Any company that will have him
0% (0 votes)
Ive League Professor
12% (5 votes)
Any non-profit that will have him
2% (1 vote)
Extended Unemployment Claims
10% (4 votes)
Solitary Confinement
2% (1 vote)
14% (6 votes)
Total votes: 42

Moving Averages: Month-End Update

Courtesy of Doug Short

Valid until the market close on July 29, 2011

The S&P 500 closed the month of June 1.83% below the previous monthly close. However, all three S&P 500 monthly moving averages we’ve been tracking are signaling an equities position. See the specifics here.

The Ivy Portfolio

The table below shows the current 10-month simple moving average (SMA) signal for each of the five ETFs featured in The Ivy Portfolio. I’ve also included a table of 12-month SMAs for the same ETFs for this popular alternative strategy.

Backtesting Moving Averages

Monthly Close Signals Over the past few years I’ve used Excel to track the performance of various moving-average timing strategies. But now I use the backtesting tools available on the website. Anyone who is interested in market timing with ETFs should have a look at this website. Here are the two tools I most frequently use:

Background on Moving Averages

Buying and selling based on a moving average of monthly closes can be an effective strategy for managing the risk of severe loss from major bear markets. In essence, when the monthly close of the index is above the moving average value, you hold the index. When the index closes below, you move to cash. The disadvantage is that it never gets you out at the precise top or back in at the very bottom. Also, it can produce the occasional whipsaw (short-term buy or sell signal), such as we’ve experienced this summer.

Nevertheless, a chart of the S&P 500 monthly closes since 1995 shows that a 10- or 12-month simple moving average (SMA) strategy would have insured participation in most of the upside price movement while dramatically reducing losses.

The 10-month exponential moving average (EMA) is a slight variant on the simple moving average. This version mathematically increases the weighting of newer data in the 10-month sequence. Since 1995 it has produced fewer whipsaws than the equivalent simple moving average, although it was a month slower to signal a sell after these two market tops.

A look…
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Fed Halts Sales Of Toxic AIG Sludge Upon Realization Any Balance Sheet Unwind Crashes The Market

Courtesy of Tyler Durden

Three weeks ago, when discussing the failed (yes, failed) Maiden Lane 2 auction by the New York Fed, we said: ‘Something quite disturbing happened during today’s latest attempt by the Fed to sell $3.8 billion in face amount of Maiden Lane 2 assets: it had a busted dutch auction. In fact, the auction was so massively busted, the New York Fed managed to sell only half of the bonds for sale, or $1.898 billion in 36 Cusips of the total 73 Cusips offered for sale." Subsequently we noted the sudden radiosilence from the Fed on this issue on Twitter. To be sure, every MBS trader and the kitchen sink promptly complained that the Fed was saturating the market with toxic AIG garbage, which prompted us to declare that: "unless someone opens up a release valve, we are about to see a massive regurgitation and even more massive repricing of credit risk, first in IG, then in HY and ABX/CMBX, and lastly, and most massively, in equities, which continue to exist in their own world and which are now totally disconnected with HY, which they used to track so very closely." We just got the release valve: from Bloomberg: "The Federal Reserve Bank of New York is halting its sales of mortgage bonds acquired in the rescue of American International Group Inc. "Given prevailing market conditions” for residential mortgage-backed securities, “we do not anticipate any sales of bonds in the near term or until such time as the New York Fed deems it will achieve value for the public," Jack Gutt, a New York Fed spokesman said in an e-mail." Uh, what prevailing market conditions: a Nasdaq which has ripped over 100 points in one week (granted on no volume and on unprecedented market manipulation but so what). Regardless, this is a huge slap in the face for the Fed, which has just proven that even in a surging market it can not unwind an amount from its book that is less than 1% of its total asset holdings without actually crashing the market.

We certainly can not wait for BTIG’s spin on this news tomorrow.

In the meantime, we remind readers of what we predicted, accurately, on June 9:

If dealers and funds are unable to handle a mere $31 billion MBS portfolio disposition, and its weekly sale (think of its

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ITC Rules Against Kodak in Lawsuit With Apple

Courtesy of Benzinga

The ruling can be found at this link.

In relevant part, the ruling reads, “Notice is hereby given that the U.S. International Trade Commission has determined to affirm in part, reverse in part, and remand in part, the final initial determination issued by the presiding administrative law judge on January 24, 2011, finding no violation of section 337 in the above-captioned investigation.”

Waccamaw to Appeal NASDAQ Decision

Courtesy of Benzinga


Market News

News You Can Use From Phil's Stock World


Financial Markets and Economy

The Fed just tweeted a brutal chart showing the sorry state of US department stores (Business Insider)

It's Black Friday, which means American consumers everywhere are knocking down doors in their efforts to take advantage of what they perceive to be a good deal.

Oil prices fall more than 3% as dollar and oversu...

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Zero Hedge

Taxation As A Severe Insult

Courtesy of ZeroHedge. View original post here.

Submitted by Tyler Durden.

Submitted by Tibor Machan via,

Who is Best Qualified to Decide how How Your Wealth Should be Used?

I have noted before that my fellow citizens and I are the best wealth redistributors one can find. We know quite well, with only rare exceptions, where the wealth we obtained should go – how we should spend or invest or save our earnings, etc.

But vast numbers of political thinkers and players disagree.  They hold that our resources must be taken from us and they, not we, should be the ones who decide what to do with them.  Why?  Who are these folks to butt in and remove us from the driver’s seat and p...

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Phil's Favorites

Chinese Debt Snowball Gaining Momentum

Courtesy of John Rubino.

Financial crises can happen quickly, like the bursting of the tech stock bubble in early 2000, or slowly, like the late-1980s junk bond bust. The shape of the crash depends mostly on the asset in question: Equities can plunge literally overnight, while bonds and bank loans can take a while to reach critical mass.

China’s bursting bubble is of the second type. During its post-2009 infrastructure binge, trillions of dollars were lent to (way too many) producers of cement, steel, chemicals and other basic industrial inputs. And now a growing number of them can’t make their payments:

China’s Bond Stresses Mount as Two More Companies Flag Concerns A Chinese fertilizer maker and a...

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Kimble Charting Solutions

Does Black Friday Matter For Gains The Rest Of The Year?

Courtesy of Chris Kimble.

We are entering one of the most bullish times of the year historically.  As we mentioned last week, the final 30 trading days of the year have been higher each of the last 12 years.


Getting to today, it is Black Friday – the official start to the holiday spending season.  We’ve seen many stats that show this day isn’t quite as important as it once was.  From many sales now starting on Thanksgiving, to Cyber Monday this coming Monday – there are other times people are looking for the best deals.  None the less,...

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Chart School

Greatest risk to the stock market is?

Courtesy of Read the Ticker.

Nope it is not interest rates, nope it is not Donald Trump, it is!

It is the CRUDE OIL crash, simple!

Jim Willie has good comments in the first 40 min of this pod cast.

Energy company ...
- Debt is blowing up (See energy element of HYG).
- Hedging at oil $100 is coming to an end.
- Iran coming back to the market, more supply.
- Saudi still providing massive supply.
- Oil tankers holding oil parked in the ocean are coming in to harbor to unload
- US dollar strength supports lower oil prices
- World wide DEMAND slump for energy or deflation.
- More oil being sold outside the US Dollar
- The Oil futures can not be manipulated easily as folks actually ...

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All About Trends

Mid-Day Update

Reminder: David 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...

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Sector Detector: Bulls wrest back control of market direction, despite global adversity

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

Courtesy of Sabrient Systems and Gradient Analytics

Some weeks when I write this article there is little new to talk about from the prior week. It’s always the Fed, global QE, China growth, election chatter, oil prices, etc. And then there are times like this in which there is so much happening that I don’t know where to start. Of course, the biggest market-moving news came the weekend before last when Paris was put face-to-face with the depths of human depravity and savagery. And yet the stock market responded with its best week of the year. As a result, the key issues dominating the front page and election chatter have moved from the economy and jobs to national security and a real war (rather than police ...

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Swing trading portfolio - week of November 23rd, 2015

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 ...

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Digital Currencies

Bitcoin's Computing Network is More Powerful than 525 Googles and 10,000 Banks!

Courtesy of ZeroHedge. View original post here.

Submitted by Reggie Middleton.

I've decided to build our startup - Veritaseum, a peer-to-peer financial services platform, directly on top of the Bitcoin Blockchain. Many queried why I would voluntarily give up a lucrative advisory and consulting business to chase virtual coins in cyberspace. That's exactly why I decided to do it. That level of misunderstanding of what is essentially the second coming of the Internet gave me a fundamental advantage over those who had deeper connections, more capital and more firepower. I was the first mover advantage holder.

You see, Bitcoin is not about coins, currency or price pops. It is a massive computing net...

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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, ...

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Whitney Tilson On LL, EXACT, And Martin Shkreli


Whitney Tilson On LL, EXACT, And Martin Shkreli

Courtesy of Value Walk

1) The shares of one of my largest short positions (~3%), Exact Sciences, crashed by more than 46% yesterday. Below is the article I published this morning on SeekingAlpha, explaining why I think it’s still a great short and thus shorted more yesterday. Here’s a summary:

  • The U.S. Preventative Services Task Force’s Colorectal Cancer Screening Draft Recommendation issued yesterday is devastating for Exact Sciences’ only product, Cologuard.
  • I think this is the beginning of the end for the company.
  • My price target for the stock a year from now is $3, so I shorted more yes...

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Baxter's Spinoff

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

Baxter Int. (BAX) is splitting off its BioSciences division into a new company called Baxalta. Shares of Baxalta will be given as a tax-free dividend, in the ratio of one to one, to BAX holders on record on June 17, 2015. That means, if you want to receive the Baxalta dividend, you need to buy the stock this week (on or before June 12).

The Baxalta Spinoff

By Ilene with Trevor of Lowenthal Capital Partners and Paul Price

In its recent filing with the SEC, Baxter provides:

“This information statement is being ...

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Mapping The Market

An update on oil proxies

Courtesy of Jean-Luc Saillard

Back in December, I wrote a post on my blog where I compared the performances of various ETFs related to the oil industry. I was looking for the best possible proxy to match the moves of oil prices if you didn't want to play with futures. At the time, I concluded that for medium term trades, USO and the leveraged ETFs UCO and SCO were the most promising. Longer term, broader ETFs like OIH and XLE might make better investment if oil prices do recover to more profitable prices since ETF linked to futures like USO, UCO and SCO do suffer from decay. It also seemed that DIG and DUG could be promising if OIH could recover as it should with the price of oil, but that they don't make a good proxy for the price of oil itself. 


more from M.T.M.

Help One Of Our Own PSW Members

"Hello PSW Members –

This is a non-trading topic, but I wanted to post it during trading hours so as many eyes can see it as possible.  Feel free to contact me directly at with any questions.

Last fall there was some discussion on the PSW board regarding setting up a YouCaring donation page for a PSW member, Shadowfax. Since then, we have been looking into ways to help get him additional medical services and to pay down his medical debts.  After following those leads, we are ready to move ahead with the YouCaring site. (Link is posted below.)  Any help you can give will be greatly appreciated; not only to help aid in his medical bill debt, but to also show what a great community this group is.

Thank you for you time!

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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...

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