Archive for January, 2012

ETFs Quiet Before The Storm (SPY, DIA, QQQ, IWM)

Courtesy of John Nyaradi.

ETFs Quiet Before The Storm (SPY, DIA, QQQ, IWM)ETFs were quiet today as investors readied themselves for Econ Reports, Facebook IPO, and European woes tomorrow

Major markets and index ETFs were mixed today as investors anticipate tomorrow’s Econ Reports, a possible Facebook IPO, and a possible European solution.  The S&P 500 decreased .05%, the Dow Jones Industrial Average dropped .16%, the NASDAQ composite increased .07%, and the Russell 2000 Index decreased .06%.  Index ETFs followed suite as the SPDR S&P 500 ETF (NYSEARCA:SPY) declined .13%, the SPDR Dow Jones Industrial Average ETF (NYSEARCA:DIA) decreased .15%, the PowerShares QQQ Series 1 Trust ETF (NASDAQ:QQQ) increased .13%, and the iShares Russell 2000 Index ETF (NYSEARCA:IWM) decreased .04%.  Quiet before the storm…

Europe, of course, remains the largest wild card as policy makers struggle to find a sovereign debt solution and Greece debt talks continue to stall.  Of course, the only real way to fix the debt dilemma is to, well, to pay off all of the debt, except that paying off debt requires heavy revenue increases and heavy spending decreases, both of which would cripple an economy on the verge of (some would argue an economy already in) a recession.  Quiet before the storm…

Tomorrow also brings the Facebook IPO announcement, which could possibly send all markets skyward for a minute or two.  Facebook will file for a $5 billion IPO, which is the largest ever IPO from the Silicon Valley.  As Facebook is valued at approximately $80 billion, watch out for tech ETFs, especially the Q’s, as tomorrow will be a big day for the tech sector.  Quiet before the storm…

And lastly, tomorrow brings us a slew of economic report cards, including the ADP unemployment report, ISM report, construction spending report, and motor vehicle sales report, any of which would rock the boat on a normal day.  Quiet before the storm…

Commodities ETFs and VIX ETFs were flat today, while US Dollar ETFs and Treasury Bond ETFs were up slightly, likely because the Fed seems more stable than the European Central Bank.  Keep in mind that Iran could at any moment attempt to close the Strait of Hormuz or shut off  European oil supplies, which would create a whole different kind of chaos for us all.  Quiet before the storm…

Bottom Line:
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Moving Averages: Month-End Update

Courtesy of Doug Short.

Valid until the market close on February 29, 2012

The S&P 500 closed January with a gain of 4.36% from the December close. All three index signals indicated an invested 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 back at the 10- and 12-month moving averages in the Dow…
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Courtesy of Bruce Krasting

The Congressional Budget Office (CBO) is out with its annual report. It’s a blockbuster. This 165 page monster is filled with dozens of charts, graphs and detailed projections. It will be talked about for weeks. The report provides a dismal outlook for the economy. There is one data point I'd like to focus on.

Here is the CBO forecast for real GDP for 2012 and 2013:




The 1.1% Real GDP number for 2013 surprised me. The CBO’s expectations are way under those of both the “Blue Chip” economists and the Federal Reserve:

What does it mean if the economy is going to slow, as CBO now thinks? Some consequences:



The CBO now forecasts Social Security to run into trouble in just a few years. This is a very substantial change in the outlook for SS. Changed fortunes make it certain that America’s favorite entitlement program will be on the table for a significant re-vamp.

The CBO has answered two critical question:

1) In what year does SS first goes into deficit (including interest)?

2) What is the size of the SS Trust Fund when #1 has been achieved?

Key data is here:



Using this information, we can estimate the Trust Funds (TF) balances over time, and compare them to what SS forecast in its report to Congress ten-months ago:

SSTF's "Intermediate" (Base) case:


The bottom line is that the SSTF is going to top out three years ahead of “schedule” and be $800B shy of what it was “supposed” to be.

I think the CBO report has created a big headache for a good number of folks in D.C. Most of them are running for office this year. They certainly won't be able to wave the CBO report as a measure of how well they are doing.


Bill Dudley’s Financial Holdings Disclosed At Time Of AIG Bailout

Courtesy of ZeroHedge. View original post here.

Submitted by Tyler Durden.

Earlier today, the New York Fed was kind enough to voluntarily disclose the finacial holdings and assets of one former Goldman Sachs employee, and current FRBNY president Bill Dudley. Bill Dudley is also known as the gentleman to have received, when he was stil head of the PPT, aka the Fed’s Open Markets Group, a waiver signed by one Tim Geithner on September 19, 2008, allowing him to keep not only his investment in AIG, which was “de minimis” at $1,200, but also in General Electric, which was not de minimis at $106,830. And while his modest holdings of AIG likely did not impact Dudley’s protocol of bailing out the failed insurer, his interest in GE, and thus its then fully held subsidiary NBC Universal, parent of such comedy channels as CNBC, could potentially have been a source of conflict. Which is why the Fed has disclosed the full holdings of Dudley as of the 2008 year, in which we find that the bulk of Dudley’s net worth was held by JPMorgan Chase Deferred Income Benefit Award (over $1MM) and JPM Chase Deferred Compensation ($500,001-$1,000,000). Was Mr. Dudley also completely conflict free vis-a-vis the bulk of his holdings, and their custodian, and did the New York’s Fed largesse to bail out JPM among many others, have anything to do with this particular heretofore unknown detail? Of course not. After all, Jon Corzine is a free man. In other news, anyone who needs urgent access to the discount window or a $1 trillion overnight loan at 0.001% interest, should just call the Fed’s 24/7 hotline: 877-52-FRBNY.

This is how the Fed generously classified its release:

In order to promote transparency and in response to media interest, the
Federal Reserve Banks are today making available the financial
disclosure forms and related documents filed by their current presidents
with Federal Reserve Bank ethics officers. 

Full Dudley financial disclosure:



Full text of Waiver granted to Bill Dudley, and signed by Tim Geithner:



And as a reference, the New York Fed’s code of conduct:


Goldilocks Is Back – China PMI Rises To 50.5, Modest Beat Of Expectations, Shy Of Whisper Number

Courtesy of ZeroHedge. View original post here.

Submitted by Tyler Durden.

China’s goal-seeked economy performed admirably in January, and its Manufacturing PMI came absolutely golidlocks at 50.5, an increase from 50.3, previously, just modestly beating Wall Street expectations of a slight contraction of 40.6, yet a less than earlier whisper numbers which put it at 52. As such, thereis absolutely no indication if the PBoC will further tighten or ease in the next month, just as the PBoC likes it, because while many have been demanding easing in the last several weeks, and especially the housing market, the reality is that hot pockets of inflation still remain. Furthermore, the last thing China needs is to proceed with full on easing just as Bernanke goes ahead and launches QE x which will export more hot money, and thus inflation, to China than anywhere else, with the possible exception of gold.

And here are some observations from Bloomberg’s Michael McDonough:

  • Headline PMI remained above 50 for two consecutive months; another 50-plus reading in Feb. would be very positive sign,
  • Underlying data still weak with new export orders falling to 46.9 from 48.6, while new orders rose to 50.4
  • Typically if this were true bottom, all forward-looking sub-components would rise above 50 in a month prior or the same     month as headline index 
  • Building domestic pressure coupled with foreign risks should  continue to weigh on the Chinese economy, including the PMI going forward, forcing policy makers to cut RRR and eventually policy rates once they are convinced threat of inflation has been squelched

PMI charted:

First Results Are In – Live Tracker Of Florida GOP Primary

Courtesy of ZeroHedge. View original post here.

Submitted by Tyler Durden.

The first numbers in the Florida GOP Primary have started trickling in with the polls still open, and while as already noted DieBold did ‘leak’ the final results of the election previously, those who either care what the outcome of tonight’s event is, or are masochists, or both, are welcome to follow the latest developments below.

CNN Live:

and Live maps:

Benzinga’s M&A Chatter for Tuesday January 31, 2012

Courtesy of Benzinga.

The following are the M&A deals, rumors and chatter circulating on Wall Street for Tuesday January 31, 2012:

Multiband Announces Expiration of Letter of Intent to Acquire WPCS International

The Expired Offer:
Multiband Corporation (NASDAQ: MBND) announced Tuesday that it will allow a Letter of Intent for the remaining portion of an acquisition with WPCS International (NASDAQ: WPCS) to expire effective February 1, 2012 as the Company believes it is not viable to conclude the transaction as originally intended given current market valuations. This will result in Multiband losing exclusivity to negotiate a purchase of the remaining business operations of WPCS. The original agreement included a provision that during the exclusivity timeframe, Multiband would not sell any of the 709,271 common shares of WPCS International it currently owned. This restriction will now be lifted as well. The terms are consistent with those detailed in the parties’ original June 2011 Letter of Intent.

WPCS International closed at $1.69 Tuesday, a loss of 0.59% for the day on 4.75 times the average daily volume.

Global NuTech Acquires Texas Gulf Oil and Gas

The Deal:
Global NuTech (BOCL) announced Tuesday that the company has acquired 100% of the stock of Houston, Texas based Texas Gulf Oil & Gas. The acquisition from private equity firm Corporate Strategies Merchant Bankers includes individual oilfield producing assets and options throughout the Austin Chalk and near the Eagle Ford shale play in Texas. These assets include leases, options and working interests in 19 oil wells throughout the area and additional options to invest in wells to be drilled or re-entered in three leases identified as the Tilmon, Lay, and Rodenberg. David Mathews, CEO of Global NuTech, said, “Texas Gulf Oil & Gas provides us a platform to expand vertically in the energy markets, specifically in energy services, exploration and production. The President of Texas Gulf, Damon Wagley, brings many years of experience and a qualified team to expand the company’s service and exploration business. The Wagley family first entered the oil and gas business in 1952, and brings a wealth of knowledge, experience and relationships that extend from central Texas to the North Sea. We are quite fortunate to have Damon Wagley’s oil field experience and leadership to build Texas Gulf…
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Did God Hack Goldman Sachs?

Courtesy of ZeroHedge. View original post here.

Submitted by Tyler Durden.

It is oddly appropriate that when a reader opens the client portal of Goldman Sachs, also known as the bank that does God’s work, in order to pull Jan Hatzius’ take on today’s economic data assortment, one would encounter the following amusingly intentional easter egg…

As a reminder Psalm 138:

1 A Psalm of David. I give thee thanks, O LORD, with my whole heart; before the gods I sing thy praise; 2 I bow down toward thy holy temple and give thanks to thy name for thy steadfast love and thy faithfulness; for thou hast exalted above everything thy name and thy word. 3 On the day I called, thou didst answer me, my strength of soul thou didst increase. 4 All the kings of the earth shall praise thee, O LORD, for they have heard the words of thy mouth; 5 and they shall sing of the ways of the LORD, for great is the glory of the LORD. 6 For though the LORD is high, he regards the lowly; but the haughty he knows from afar. 7 Though I walk in the midst of trouble, thou dost preserve my life; thou dost stretch out thy hand against the wrath of my enemies, and thy right hand delivers me. 8 The LORD will fulfil his purpose for me; thy steadfast love, O LORD, endures for ever. Do not forsake the work of thy hands.

All joking aside, it appears out friends at 200 West have a bit of a mole infestation on their hands…

S&P 500 Snapshot: Fourth Day Down, But a Great January

Courtesy of Doug Short.

The S&P 500 popped at the open, but then fell to a midday low, off about half a percent, before making a steady comeback. The closing hour played touch-and-go with break even, with the finally tally being a fractional loss of 0.05% for the day. That’s the fourth consecutive finish in the red. But the month of January saw a gain of 4.36%. To put that into context, that’s the 11th best January since the inception of the S&P 500, in March 1957. The index is 3.76% below its interim high at the end of April 2011.

From an intermediate perspective, the S&P 500 is 94.0% above the March 2009 closing low and 16.1% below the nominal all-time high of October 2007.

Below are two charts of the index, with and without the 50 and 200-day moving averages.





For a better sense of how these declines figure into a larger historical context, here’s a long-term view of secular bull and bear markets in the S&P Composite since 1871.

For a bit of international flavor, here’s a chart series that includes an overlay of the S&P 500, the Dow Crash of 1929 and Great Depression, and the so-called L-shaped “recovery” of the Nikkei 225. I update these weekly.

These charts are not intended as a forecast but rather as a way to study the current market in relation to historic market cycles.





Digimarc Resolves License Dispute with Verance

Courtesy of Benzinga.

Digimarc Corporation (NASDAQ: DMRC) announced today resolution of all disputes with Verance Corporation regarding existing patent and breach of contract claims. Digimarc and Verance will file a joint motion to dismiss Digimarc’s breach of contract claim against Verance related to Verance’s alleged failure to make payments under a license agreement entered into between Digimarc and Verance in August 2002. They also will file a joint motion to dismiss Verance’s appeal in its action for declaratory judgment alleging invalidity and non-infringement of twenty-two Digimarc patents.

In connection with the resolution of these matters, Digimarc and Verance entered into a three year renewal and extension license agreement, effective October 1, 2011, pursuant to which Verance paid Digimarc $8 million for amounts due to Digimarc through September 30, 2011. The agreement further provides that Verance will continue to pay royalties quarterly to Digimarc. Upon completion of the initial three year term, Verance may renew the agreement for up to nine additional one year periods. The renewal and extension license agreement replaces the August 2002 license agreement between the parties.

For more Benzinga, visit Benzinga Professional Service, Value Investor, and Stocks Under $5.


Zero Hedge

Iran's Ayatollah Pens Letter To Western Youth: "You Should Know That Terror Has Been Supported By Certain Great Powers"

Courtesy of ZeroHedge. View original post here.

Submitted by Tyler Durden.

For those of a cynical persuasion, it’s difficult to ignore the similarities between Islamic State’s brand of puritanical Islam and Saudi Arabia’s propagation of Wahhabism. Put simply, indoctrinating the masses with an ultra orthodox ideal that breeds intolerance sows the seeds of extremism and on that score, Riyadh and Raqqa are really no different. Indeed, Kamel Daoud, a columnist for Quotidien d’Oran, and the author of “The Meursault Investigation” recently described the Saudis as “an ISIS that made it.” 

Still, the US (a...

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Phil's Favorites

Former CIA Deputy Director Gives A Stunning Reason Why Obama Has Not Attacked ISIS' Oil Infrastructure

Courtesy of ZeroHedge. View original post here.

As we pointed out a week ago, even before the downing of the Russian jet by a Turkish F-16, the most important question that nobody had asked about ISIS is where is the funding for the terrorist organization coming from, and more importantly, since everyone tacitly knows where said funding is coming from (as we have revealed in an ongoing series of posts "Meet The Man Who Funds ISIS: Bilal Erdogan, The Son Of Turkey's President", "...

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Digital Currencies

The Bitcoin Universe Explained

Courtesy of ZeroHedge. View original post here.

As evidenced by the Greek, Chinese, and now Argentine 'jumps', the world remains increasingly aware of the inevitable worth of fiat currencies and fears the desperate acts of governments as the react to that reality (and is looking for alternatives).

This infographic explains the wide ranges of the Bitcoin universe, accompanied with quotes from some of its best-known business leaders.

Courtesy of: Visual Capitalist ...

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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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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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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. 


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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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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.

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