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Friday Fedapalooza – 8 Fed Speakers in One Day + Draghi!

Hang on to your hats!  

Janet Yellen speaks at 10 am, EST and she's scheduled to discuss her "Labor Dashboard" and, from that, the pontiffs will then attempt to read the tea leaves of Future Fed action.  She'll likely note that the Labor Market is generally improving but that there is no immediate reason to raise rates.  The definition of immediate will be much debated.  

If that does not confuse us enough, we will hear from 7 of the Fed Dwarves as well including Williams, Lockhart, Plosser and Bullard.  Draghi takes the stage at 2pm, EST.  In case Yellen's empty promises don't do the trick, Draghi is sure to have even emptier ones – whatever it takes to end the week on a positive note!  

Still, we're playing the day bearish (we added bear plays in yesterday's Live Member Chat and we're short /YM below 17,000 along with other Futures) as it's hard to imagine what Yellen and company can possibly say that they haven't already said.  Unlimited amounts of FREE MONEY forever is already priced into market expectations – anything less will be a severe disappointment.  Any firm mention of ending QE in the next 12 months can send the markets down sharply.  As "clarified" by Goldman Sachs:

 

With opinions mixed as to whether or not Jackson Hole will be the forum for Yellen to say something new, many are trying to figure out if it is a buy the rumor and then buy more after the fact event, a buy the rumor sell the fact event, or a do nothing with the rumors and then buy the fact if the USD is actually rallying after the fact event.

 

According to Zero Hedge, only "Full Doveish" statements are likely to lift the markets at this point.  Those would be for Yellen to:

1) Argue that the natural rate is less than 5 ¼ -  5 ½ %

 

2) Advocate for a temporary overshoot of the inflation target

 

3) Emphasize the uncertainty around NAIRU estimates that tightening can wait till there is real evidence of accelerating inflation.

 

4) Introduce a soft wage target of about 3.5%, consistent with  aspirational 1.5% productivity growth and 2% unit labor cost growth

 

As we discussed on Wednesday, Fed policies to date have been a boon to the top 1% but not so much for the rest of society.  After almost losing everything in 2008-9, the top 10-1% are simply pleased to be back to where they were – and you would be too if the low end of your income was $160,000.  If not, you are not in the top 10% and that means – NO RECOVERY FOR YOU!

Economically, the question is: Do we need the bottom 90% to succeed in order to enjoy ourselves.  Obviously not so far, as the market is up 200% since March, 2009 while wages for the bottom 90% are up 0.5%, falling 10% behind the inflation the Fed likes to pretend doesn't exist (though Shadowstats paints a very different picture).  We don't need the American bottom 90% because it's just 270M people in a Global Economy of 7Bn, so not even 4% of the people we in the top 10% sell stuff to while they, unfortunately, tend to sell to each other – hence the deflationary spiral that allows the Fed to give us (the top 1%) MORE FREE MONEY!!!

In fact, since it benefits us to pay our local labor force as little as possible, why would we ever want the bottom 90% to recover?  If the US labor force starts feeling good about themselves they might want to be paid more – and we can't have that, can we?  That's a lesson we learned when we allowed the middle class to prosper in the 50s and 60s – they unionized and demanded fair wages – NEVER AGAIN!!!    

Less employees making lower wages with fewer benefits is the cornerstone of our market rally.  That coupled with less shares available to the public has made stocks themselves a rare commodity that has been free to bubble away.  The end game is to invest in automation and ultimately do away with the need for workers entirely – something else we discussed in Wednesday's post.    

The only question now is: "How long can this Free Money Party continue?"  Clearly, none of the stocks we're tracking are pricing in even 2% Fed Funds rates in the next few years, even though the historical average is 3.5%.

When the Federal Government is selling 10-year notes at 3% and lending money to the banks at 0.25%, that 2.75% gap is a loss and that loss is paid for by the American people in the form of increasing debt and deficits and the declining value of our Dollar (because we have dumb-assed policies).  The declining Dollar further boosts the exports we sell to the rest of the World so we don't have to worry about the fact that the bottom 90% in this country no longer have any money to spend.    

That's the double whammy we're hitting the bottom 90% yet – they've run out of money long ago and now we're going after their retirement savings (in fact, the whole idea of retirement is pretty much off the table for them now!) and their children (we've already stopped educating them – what's the point?) and, by the time we're done, their children's children will be born into a lifetime of debt.

Thank you Federal Reserve, we couldn't have done it without you!  

Have a great weekend, 

- Phil

 


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  1. Got caught up in the lively discussion last night and forgot to post the lines.

    Only 2 down days in the last 10 – maybe we make it 3 before the weekend!


  2. Oil Lines

    R3 – 96.63
    R2 – 95.54
    R1 – 94.68
    PP – 93.59
    S1 – 92.73
    S2 – 91.64
    S3 – 90.78


  3. Quote of the day:  "Markets are never wrong, but opinions are often very wrong."


  4. “The last things to talk about today are the Jackson Hole speech at 10am and Draghi at 2.30pm. These may be significant market movers and I am concerned that the retracement I've been watching for all week may start, and possibly end, with one of those speeches if the reaction is violent. I'll be keeping these patterns on my screens all day to watch progress. What I would like, if Lady Fortuna is taking requests today, would be for a touch of the upper band at 2001 today and rejection there into a retracement that lasts into Monday. We'll see how that goes.” Springheel Jack


  5. So much for millions of apps – most people don't seem to care:

    http://qz.com/253618/most-smartphone-users-download-zero-apps-per-month/

    App downloads per month chart


  6. Good morning!  

    Little scalping moves so far in the Futures but nothing really matters until 10 and then there will be hours of back and forth and more rumors driving us crazy for the rest of the day.  Thank God we're balanced or this would be very worrying….

    Very strange on the Big Chart to have 4 "V" recoveries but a broken "W" on the Russell.  Last time, the RUT was the true indicator and the rest pulled down long after the RUT failed at 1,200 (easy to see on the chart).  This time must be different because everyone is ignoring the fail signal the RUT is flashing like a police light.

    Until the S&P breaks over 2,000 and the Dow holds 17,000 and the NYSE makes 11,000 and the RUT holds 1,160 – I'm still going to have to stay skeptical – I really don't think I'm asking too much of the market if it wants me to commit more money to the bullish cause.  


  7. Krugman on Plosser:

    http://krugman.blogs.nytimes.com/2014/08/21/hawks-crying-wolf/

    The article highlights Charles Plosser of the Philadephia Fed; if you’ve been following these things, you know that Plosser has been warning about imminent inflation since the beginning of the crisis. He did it in 2008; he did it in 2009; he did it in 2010; he did it in 2011; I’m getting tired here, but you can easily find him doing the same in 2012 and 2013. And he has of course been wrong all the way — but he’s doing it again. This is news?

    The real story here is the remarkable resilience of inflation panic: people who worry about inflation never seem daunted in the least by the repeated failure of their predictions. It’s an interesting question why.


  8. Apps/StJ – There's too damned many of them.  I go to the App store once in a while and it's like going to a record store if you never heard of any of the artists or a book store if they just had titles with no explanation and you had to pick up random books and start reading them just to get some idea of what they are about.  There's probably a huge market for an App review service or an App of the Month Club but I'd hate to have to be the poor sucker trying all those friggin' apps looking for one good one.  

    You would think this would be something GOOG would be good at – figuring out what Apps you might like…

    I'm working back into /YM again from 17,010 to 17,025, probably 1-5 contracts, pause over 17,025 and take the loss to 17,050 and then DD for an average around 17,035 and hopefully back to 5 on a pullback or 5 out over 17,035 and still 5 tragically short all the way to next DD at 17,100 where I'd have pretty good conviction on 10+ short (average 17,050 with a $2,500 loss into the weekend).  

    That's the way you plan a futures trade – you plan how much you are willing to lose and, if you make a little instead – you take it and you're very happy!  


  9. Here you go again with facts Phil – totally unfair!


  10. Oil failed $93.50 again – just sad…  Silver hit $19.40 (and yes, I still like /SI long), Gold $1,280 (/YG long is good too), Copper $3.20+ is a good signal for the rarer metals, Nat Gas still $3.877 and Gasoline failing as we thought it would, now $2.738.  

    Forgot about /NKD – Nice drop from 15,600 back to 15,500 but 15,500 is holding up now – that's interesting as it was our shorting line.  


  11. Shares of Apple Inc. (AAPL) are slightly lower in pre-market trade after it was reported that company suppliers are scrambling to get enough screens ready for the new iPhone 6 smartphone as the need to redesign a key component disrupted panel production ahead of next month's expected launch, supply chain sources told Reuters.


  12. One of my biggest complaints against this Republican controlled Congress is that in their zeal to ensure that Obama fails they keep working against his pet projects which would be creating jobs by spending on infrastructure and caring for the needy like the woman in that meme Phil posted. This where they decide that the budget should be balanced, on the backs of the poor and disabled, because obviously they don't contribute to campaigns and many of the disabled don't vote, so they don't count and they can't fight back. Easy pickins for these heartless bastards and they convince their followers that these are the people draining all the money and creating those deficits. Has nothing to do with cutting taxes back in 2001 and starting two very costly wars! Nope it's those darned worthless disabled folks. I participated in a task force for our local school district to help shape policies to educate the developmentally challenged and I heard more than one staunch local Republican say " why spend money on these retards to educate people who can't learn". Followed by " if we put money into building good programs for them, our schools will be full of retards taking advantage of us". This seems to be what is happening in the national debate, with cleaned up terminology. You can insert almost any group that needs help instead of the developmentally challenged. This is why I have so much feeling about the issue. I'm done talking about this now for a while. I will get back to markets and financial discussion only. Sorry for taking up so much space, but I do believe it is a serious problem and very shortsighted when we give up on people who could contribute a great deal to our communities. My son loves to work and will perform tasks to perfection given the opportunity and instruction. spend a little today and receive much in return down the road is what we should be saying.


  13. Facts/StJ – They seem to be everywhere.  Kind of makes you wonder why other people seem to have so much trouble finding them…  

    Fed/Diamond – But we're not the only country on Earth, you know.  The Fed raises rates (not this year) and the Dollar goes up and yes, Gold will jerk down immediately BUT, the next day, other countries wake up with their currency falling and THEY move more money into gold for stability.  Not only that but again, all these idiots ignore the FUNDAMENTALS of gold, which is that it currently costs about $1,150 per ounce to pull out of the ground.  If you drop the price of gold below $1,150 per ounce, you force production to shut down and create a gold shortage.    

    This has nothing to do with "feelings" or "sentiment", this is a mathematical FACT that puts a base price on gold.  It's not that gold can't go below that price for a while but, on the whole, it simply can't stay there.  Therefore, when we have opportunities to buy gold at $1,285 with a 10% or more discount through our hedges – we take it – because we are INVESTORS and not traders and we KNOW the value of the commodity we're buying and we don't let the opinions of random analysts (who are no smarter than you or I) chase us out of perfectly good investments.  

    Don't forget, Matt Turner's (one of the analysts) job may be specifically to chase you (retail investors) out of gold in order for his firm to buy it up cheaply ahead of a move higher.  This is Market Manipulation 101.

    AAPL/Diamond – And speaking of manipulative rumors!  

    What's up with PCLN lately?  Based on what I just paid for my Mom's ticket, I'd think they would be doing great:

    Of course, I would never use them for airfare – you only get a date from them and then they tell you how many planes you have to get on to get to your destination.  You are instructed to allow "up to" 24 hours of travel time.  Who the Hell can travel like that?

    The CMG $700, NFLX $400 race is still on:

    WYNN failing $200 – nice for us (STP)!  

    GMCR, on the other hand, is popping on a KRFT deal, even though it's yet another bite into their direct cup sales:

    Keurig Green Mountain, Inc. and Kraft Foods Group, Inc. Announce Licensing Agreement

    In the STP, I'll want to press our bet but we can't afford it in the $25KP, unfortunately.  


  14. Not a good day for politics, Craigs – save it for the weekend please. 


  15. Phil; what do you expect CL to do today into the weekend?


  16. Phil – Gold – I just posted that so everyone who might have an interest in gold could see what is being discussed …


  17. Phil- Said I was done now. I am. your meme got me going again and I apologize to all.

    AAPL- could just be following its pattern of late, dropping in the AM, up midday, back down at the close. That seems to be what has been happening the last few sessions. 


  18. Apparently GMCR woke up and smelled the coffee.


  19. WYNN / Phil – Posted an article yesterday about the problems in Macau – revenues down and their big customers (real estate tycoons and corrupt politicians) being squeezed by lower real estate prices and anti-corruption crackdown!


  20. /CL-Made some $ this morning following oil down, but not enough to cover the loss on yesterday's unexplained ride up. 


  21. And, by the way Rustle, the original conversation re NFLX and CMG was:

    • rustle123 (premium) 

      Which happens first, NFLX to 400 or CMG to 700?

      Phil 

      First/Rustle – NFLX $400 more likely.  

    On that day, NFLX was $457 and CMG was $667.  On Aug 1st, NFLX was $412.50 – I am satisfied with that result as it wasn't me who set the targets.  I got a 10% drop long before you got a 5% pop (still waiting, actually).  cool

    Oil/Options – I don't expect anything out of oil today.  We don't bet oil all the time, in fact, if you go back and read our various trade reviews (Portfolio Tab), you'll see there are weeks in which we don't trade oil at all.  Usually, those weeks are right after the rollover (like this week and next), when the price action of oil is especially hard to predict.  Weekends are never good times to play either.  The reason we are so successful with our picks is because we DON'T make picks when we're not almost positive of direction – and then we're only right most of the time.  This is called "The Rothstein Strategy":

    Gold/Diamond – And I just made that comment so that everyone who might have an interest gets some context for what they are reading.  See how that all works out?  

    AAPL/Craigs – See yesterday's plan for AAPL.  

    WYNN/StJ – Well that was our premise with all year, since they made silly highs.  I'm glad people are finally catching on to my premise – it wasn't complicated – it just took a little time to play out.

    Lots of downward pressure into Yellen's speech.  


  22. Good Morning!



  23. Phil – :-)


  24. TASR- wow, up 2.5% when most are down! CIM not looking bad today either! Almost back to $3.30 again.


  25. Any thoughts on a speculative SPY short for today in case Jackson Hole doesn't go so well?


  26. Nice of you to join us 1020. 

    By the way, I've noticed something on Facebook.  As time goes by, I see less and less Conservative Memes in my FB stream even though I have plenty of Conservative friends and read Conservative sites.  I think this is because I don't tend to "like" those things and FB has decided that, since I don't actively like them, I don't want to read them.  This is very dangerous as things like this tend to funnel people into narrower and narrower little worlds where the only information they get is information they already agree with.  

    This is why monopolies or oligarchies are a huge problem.  Even if you have a "choice", it's generally one extreme or another and, once they have you – they pump up the propaganda to make sure you stay in the camp.  

    There's something really, really wrong though with robots at FB, GOOG, etc. deciding what you are going to read each day and literally cutting off information that you don't already "like".  

    Values/1020 – I would love to put values courses into schools (or at least Philosophy).  You used to get morals education at church, temple, whatever - but now hardly anyone goes and we are raising a rudderless generation who get their morals from the Kardashians.   That's not good!  

    TASR/Criags – I think they have a really good run ahead thanks to Ferguson.  

    SPY/Brill – Well we just pumped up our DXDs yesterday and our SQQQ but you can play SPY ($199.32) Sept $200/197.50 bear put spread at $1.05 and that pays $2.50 if the S&P falls down for a nice 138% in 28 days.  


  27. Indexes moving up on Yellen comments.  I don't see a copy – anyone else? 


  28. Phil – I know you that you like both NLY (I am long) and CIM (no position) but looking at these guys numbers, I see that both pay about a 10% dividend but the payout ratio for NLY is 52% and it's 151% for CIM. This looks sustainable for NLY, but clearly not for CIM. I am not familiar with the structure of these guys so maybe I am missing something. In any case, I am comfortable with NLY!


  29. I'm tuning into Fox to see if there is as much outrage over 18 executed Israelis in one day as there was over one US citizen the other day:

    Masked Hamas gunmen on Friday afternoon killed seven suspected informants for Israel near a Gaza City mosque as worshipers were ending midday prayers, bringing the total number of alleged collaborators killed in the coastal strip during the day to 18, according to witnesses and Hamas media.

    One witness said masked gunmen lined up the seven men in a side street and opened fire on them. He spoke on condition of anonymity, fearing for his own safety.

    Hamas Caught On Video Firing Rockets From A Densely Packed Residential Neighborhood

    Yep, BUYBUYBUY – there's nothing wrong in the World…  

    Holy Crap, Yellen wrote a book!   Whatever people wanted to get out of her speech – it's in there!  

    No bear bets off this nonsense – let the markets rise again and then we can look at the Futures from wherever they stop.  


  30. Here are some point from Yellen:

    In prepared remarks for the annual Jackson Hole policy conference, Yellen said the Fed was now questioning both the degree of remaining slack in the labor market and the timing of rate hikes relative to that slack.

    Yet Yellen also said it was difficult to gauge the remaining slack in the labor market, and that internal Fed gauges of the labor market suggested the unemployment rate was overstating progress.


  31. So I guess more free money – BUY, BUY, BUY!


  32. Phil/values   No goo goo ga ga here.  Please and Thank You were first the two words taught!

    Raising the kids to have great character, woven into who they are, has been priority one from the day they were born…. It starts and ends at home.  :)


  33. Albo – FNSR moving up! Earnings on 9/11 – hoping for some good news as this is a hole in my portfolio!


  34. 1020

    welcome back to the cauldron of 1000 cooks and one shopper


  35. Ethics, morals/Phil &1020 – interesting dilemma. One that doesn't really exist in Korea, as there is a solid consensus around Confucian ethics, even amongst the very conservative devout Christians, as Confucianism isn't considered a religion. TV shows and movies reflect those ethics, and it's not so much that schools teach them – they do – but they're pervasive. As the country has urbanized, many people have slid into materialism, and are now discovering the problems with that, so there's a national conversation that's pretty interesting to eavesdrop on. Part of it is an architectural problem – how do you restore extended family and village culture in big slab apartment buildings.


  36. Anyone else get that Darwin Investing newletter this morning suggesting a $119/114 bull put spread to make a $.78 credit if it gets to $119 before Sep expiration?  I'm a little confounded as to why you would do this.  Why wouldn't you just sell the Sep $114 puts if you wanted to make $78 in 30 days, rather than risk losing up to $4.22 if it drops?


  37. Thanks angel!  I like to shop….. ;)


  38. Those are the magic words, StJ (see above notes from Z hedge in post).  She says she doesn't believe the unemployment numbers – even though they have hit her targets, so  - MORE FREE MONEY!!!

    This does not dissuade me from wanting to short the Futures.  /YM 17,045 is very nice (stop over 17,055), /ES needs to be under 1,990, /NQ under 4,050 and /TF under 1,160 to confirm.  Dollar popped to 82.37 but that will come down and help keep markets up.  Oil just popped to $93.75 – we'll see if they can take $94 but tough call either way.  

    Home/1020 – It's not my kids I'm worried about, it's the animals they have to deal with every day!  Think about it, your kids have to go out in the World and it's NOT a good idea if we pursue a strategy of letting each kid's parents be the only source of ethics lessons.  For instance, I keep cash in a different pocket than my wallet and so, in the house, it's usually right out on my bookshelf next to my wallet.  My kids would never touch my money (or anyone else's) without asking but I figured out one of their friends was helping herself to the occasional $20 whenever she visited.  

    Ethics/Snow – Exactly, you need to agree on National Ethics – pretending you don't have to is just silly.  We do have laws, but we don't teach kids what they are or, more importantly, WHY they are.  That is a failure as a society. 

    Darwin/Rperi – Didn't see it, what's the actual spread?  


  39. here it is:

    Monsanto’s most recent trend suggests a bullish bias. One trading opportunity on Monsanto is a Bull Put Spread using a strike $119.00 short put and a strike $114.00 long put offers a potential 18.48% return on risk over the next 31 calendar days. Maximum profit would be generated if the Bull Put Spread were to expire worthless, which would occur if the stock were above $119.00 by expiration. The full premium credit of $0.78 would be kept by the premium seller. The risk of $4.22 would be incurred if the stock dropped below the $114.00 long put strike price.


  40. INTC/Phil – Hello Phil, how would one play big tech companies that have rallied a lot this year – Specifically, INTC, what is the best way to protect the gains, i guess i am struggling with what is a good time to hedge/insure against these gains. thank you. NR.


  41. CMG vs NFLX/Phil

    I say we have to wait till one hits the goal.  After CMG big collapse yesterday after the move up, and if the market tanks in Sep, you still might have it won, but not yet.  Still ongoing.  I don't have money on it so I can wait.  Personally I'd love to see NFLX fall to low 400's if not more.  I'm still shocked how well it's holding up though I did write some 487.50 calls for next week today.


  42. snow/ethics  Good character needs to be a state of mind. That's why we use examples in everyday life to help the kids recognize what good manners and morals look like, and what they don't. Mom and Dad IS the first place they look.

     

    There is a good possibilty that if a parent does not appreciate how a child acts, they may not need to look any further than a mirror….  :)


  43. Next game/Phil

    And as for next game, which happens first  AAPL at 115 or TSLA at 200?  I'm going with AAPL


  44. Phil- I made that comment on PCLN being totally on workable & you mentioned it was international travel that propped that horrendous price. I still think they must money launder, or some other nefarious activities because I have tried since they began to use them with no results. Just a total waste of time going on their site. Anyways, as I read more & more different opinions it seems that there is no place to put cash to get any returns so this market may not correct in the near future. I wanted to let you know what happened to Ino. Since they made it a nonstandard option after the reverse split it was not 1k shares as shown on my statement, only 250 which never was shown anywhere. Since I couldn't buy back the option because the option price for some reason stayed high, I was assigned the 250 shares @ $2500, so it was nothing like 2 for 1. Anyways of course the stock was below $10.00 when I was assigned (which is exactly what I expected) I sold the stock immediately, but I had the 600 from the sale of the put so was up a whopping 427.00 at the sale. This has happened to me before with ETFC, which I avoid like the plague so I wondered how it would wash out & now I know. Things are totally manipulated, there is no way around that, but as you say, play their game & you can do OK.


  45. Phil/ethics  You're right. Parents should not be the only source, but where do you find it?


  46. ~~
    From Briefing Trader:

    Event Trader: Yellen's speech is generally be taken as a slightly more hawkish tilt for her; it ceretainly provides more credence to Fed's Fisher comment that he sees more people coming toward his side of the argument

    In general this is just the next step for the Fed towards its slow tightening process. With regards to inflation the Fed continues to not be overly concerned.

     


  47. Phil – Let's not kid ourselves, we can raise great kids, then they meet some 'bag', fall in love and in no time, all of those 'lessons' go out the window….. We can only hope that a bit of self respect remains.

     

    That's life.


  48. Yellen still talking but that hasn't stopped the markets from reacting already.  

    MON/Rperi – Those are the World's stupidest trades.  You can be right 5 times in a row and wiped out by a single wrong turn.  MON is at $117.16 and they want you to sell the $119 put (now $2.90 and $2 in the money) and buy the $114 put (now 0.85 and $3 out of the money) in hopes MON goes over $119 and you make the net $2.05.  Those are the Sept prices, I don't know where they got 0.78.  Still, less risk to simply buy the $115/119 bull call spread for $2.10 and then you make 100% of the move up over $117.10 and your loss is limited to $2 but your break-even is the same with less downside.  

    INTC/Nramanuja – Are you saying you own INTC and want to protect it?  INTC is up from $25 to $35 this year – 40%.  I'd take the money and run – end of story. If you don't want to sell for tax reasons, I'd sell the 2016 $30 calls for $6.40 and just lock in what I've already got.  If you can get out of the stock – get out.  JDSU is a much better deal at the moment.  You could also cash the stock ($35.14) and buy the 2016 $35/45 bull call spread for $2.70 and sell the $30 puts for $2.10 so, for net 0.60 – you catch all of the upside from $35.60 to $45 and your worst case to the downside is owning INTC again at net $30.60, saving you from a 15% dip in the stock (and even better if you stop out the bull call spread with $1.60 left).  The margin on the short $30 puts looks like $3 plus the $2.70 cash for the spread means you leave net $5.70 on the table and have $29.30 in cash back in your account to look for cheaper stocks with!  

    CMG/Rustle – Nope, I'm calling it a victory now.  I didn't realize you had a 2:1 advantage on me until I did the math!  devil

    AAPL/TSLA/Rustle – Hmm, unfortunately that goes to AAPL.  TSLA just has too many fans and too few shares (124M).  This is the key to many MoMo stocks with 30M in the top 10% and figure 10M of them buy stocks and that's in the US alone.  Globally, there are probably 40M active investors but then there's all the people who don't even realize they are buying TSLA stock through Index Funds and TSLA is in the Nas as well as INDS and CELS and CEXX and GRNTRN and GRNUS….  Add that to the fact that 106% of the float is held by insiders and Institutionals and it's going to take a lot more than logic to bring it down:

    Breakdown
    % of Shares Held by All Insider and 5% Owners: 35%
    % of Shares Held by Institutional & Mutual Fund Owners: 68%
    % of Float Held by Institutional & Mutual Fund Owners: 106%
    Number of Institutions Holding Shares: 254

    20% owned by just these 4 funds:

    Holder Shares % Out Value* Reported
    FMR, LLC 9,177,319 7.36 2,203,107,199 Jun 30, 2014
    Baillie Gifford and Company 5,326,528 4.27 1,278,686,311 Jun 30, 2014
    Morgan Stanley 4,037,883 3.24 969,334,192 Jun 30, 2014
    Price (T.Rowe) Associates Inc 3,838,033 3.08 921,358,201 Jun 30, 2014
    Jennison Associates LLC 3,723,814 2.99 893,938,788 Jun 30, 2014

    Wheeee! on the Indexes, by the way:  17,000 again (time to lighten up), 1,986, 4,053 and 1,156

    Oil zoomed back to $93!  


  49. Pirate-I have also been frustrated in my attempts to use Priceline, but I use booking.com all the time and they are a huge part of Priceline's revenue stream. I think they also have a stake or own OpenTable which I use regularly. There is more here than just Priceline website.


  50. STJ – Not sure we'll get a great quarter from FNSR.  Margins may still be under pressure.  Over the intermediate term (6 Mos, or so), I think the stock goes much higher.


  51. MON – I agree on the stupidity of those trades just wanted to make sure I was correct in my thinking.


  52. Wow Pirate, what a hassle.  Good reason to exit stocks before the shenannigans begin.  As to PCLN, I did use them for an experiment in Atlantic City and ended up in the Trump Plaza (not what I call 4-star) for a good price.  I can see how their hotel auctions can work because I can put up with a bad room a lot easier than I can put up with a 6-hour layover in Chicago on my way from NY to Miami.  Of course, when I was in college, I guess I would have had a book and a backpack and be thrilled that I saved $300 – so I'm sure that's working too for the bottom 80% clientele.  As to money-laundering – that's what casinos are for!  Nothing like having 10 of your guys getting $5,000 worth of chips per hour and feeding them to you (they can do it right at a table if you know how to play) and then you take your $100,000 and put it on credit in Macau and withdraw it in Vegas – all squeeky clean!  

    Where/1020 – That's the thing, we need to push to get it on the school curriculums.  Of course people will go ape-shit arguing over what should be taught, unfortunately – but SOMETHING should be taught.  

    Tightening/Albo – No matter what Yellen SAYS, the fact is that stimulus is losing it's effectiveness (the kind the Fed is using, anyway) and they have no choice but to pull back.  That's why I can't get off my top call – these highs will not be sustained as rates creep up, which they will in less than 12 months.  

    Kids/1020 – I don't really agree with that.  There are things I simply would never do because that's not how I was raised.  Learning to stay away from bad people is one of the things I hammer home to my kids.  When I was a kid, I was at a party and 2 guys I knew did qualludes and decided to steal a car (of the parents of the house – we were about 14-15 with no licenses) and, like an idiot/hero – I jumped into the car to stop them.  Had we been killed, end of story.  Had we killed someone else – I doubt I'd be here.  As it was, we only killed one mailbox before I convinced them to go back.  It's not enough to teach your kids what's right and what's wrong – you have to teach them that they need to be aware of other people who can end up getting them in trouble – even if it's just "friends of friends"

    MON/Rperi – Any time you are buying more premium than you are selling – it's probably a trade to avoid.  


  53. Phil/kids  Sorry – my example is when they are adults, when there is not much you can do about who's company they keep….


  54. Priceline/Phil

    I love using Priceline for hotel rooms.  Stayed at some very nice Hyatt's for $50 a day and had a Marriott once for $70 for the day and Courtyard by Marriott for $45.  When it's just business and/or passing through, you can't beat the rates you get.  Other hotels I've got for under $60 a day there are Doubletree, Sheraton, and La Quinta.


  55. Phil – I grew up in what my dad coined "The golden ghetto" where many of the 'good' kids did alot of crazy sh*t, even by today's standards. Nothing violent, just a bunch of stoopid kids doing some real, stoopid things….

    ….ahh, the good 'ol days…. ;)


  56. That's the thing, we need to push to get it on the school curriculums.  Of course people will go ape-shit arguing over what should be taught, unfortunately – but SOMETHING should be taught.

     

    Phil--how could they ever put it in a school curriculum if people have a fit if the 10 Commandments are publicly displayed?


  57. On the hour

    11:00 AM ET

    • Dow -0.27%.
    • 10-yr -0.16%.
    • Euro -0.36% vs. dollar.
    • Crude -0.85% to $93.16.
    • Gold +0.22% to $1,278.20.


  58. 58.com adds to losses on Morgan Stanley downgrade

    10:22 AM ET · WUBA

    • Morgan Stanley has downgraded 58.com (WUBA -5.8%) to Underweight a day after the Chinese online classifieds leader sold off due to its soft Q3 guidance and aggressive spending plans.
    • Much like Credit Suisse, MS is worried 58.com‘s spending will pressure margins. Its target is $37.50.


  59. Markets take Yellen’s remarks in stride

    10:12 AM ET · SPY

    • The major equity averages remain little-changed as do Treasury prices following the release of Janet Yellen’s Jackson Hole address. Her talk sticks to the game plan – the first rate hike remains on tap for next year; the headline unemployment rate overstates labor market improvement; if employment or inflation picks up, hikes could come sooner than expected.
    • SPY +0.1%, TLT +0.1%, TBT -0.2%
    • Gold (NYSEARCA:GLD) remains as it was prior to the speech, +0.2% to $1,278 per ounce.
    • The dollar (UUP +0.2%) creeps higher.


  60. Reuters: iPhone 6 LCD production slowed by late redesign

    10:50 AM ET · AAPL

    • Reuters reports Apple (AAPL +0.4%) originally wanted the iPhone 6 to use a single LCD backlight film layer instead of the normal two, but changed its mind after finding a single layer wasn’t bright enough.
    • The about-face is said to have put screen assembly “on hold for part of June and July.” Production is now back on track, and suppliers are “working flat-out to make up for lost time.” The WSJ reported in July Apple has placed orders for 70M-80M iPhone 6 units to be produced by Dec. 30.
    • Japan Display, Sharp (OTCPK:SHCAY), and LG Display (LPL -2.6%) are reportedly the iPhone 6′s LCD suppliers. Japan Display has previously said shipments for “a large customer” (believed to be Apple) might be delayed in calendar Q3.
    • Apple has shrugged off the report, and is trading near $101.


  61. Yellen sticks to game plan at Jackson Hole

    10:05 AM ET

    • Debate at the Fed is “naturally shifting” to when the central bank should begin to hike interest rates, says Janet Yellen in her speech at Jackson Hole, as the economy is getting closer to full employment and stable inflation.
    • Nineteen labor market indicators tracked by the Fed suggest the decline in the headline unemployment rate overstates improvement in the labor market, she says. On the other hand, rate hikes could come sooner than expected should progress in employment pick up and/or inflation moves up at a speedier pace.
    • “The Committee will be closely monitoring incoming information on the labor market and inflation in determining the appropriate stance of monetary policy.”


  62. STJ – You mentioned that you were long NLY.  Another MREIT that you might take a look at is DX.  Much smaller, but mgt is very risk averse and they have a good track record.  Divd is somewhat higher.

    http://seekingalpha.com/article/2345795-dynex-capital-is-the-best-buy-in-the-mreit-

    universehttp://finance.yahoo.com/q/bc?t=5y&s=NLY&l=on&z=l&q=l&c=dx&ql=1


  63. Vodafone buying Greek ISP; questionable AT&T rumor emerges

    10:03 AM ET · VOD

    • Vodafone (VOD +1.3%) is paying €72.7M ($97M) to acquire a 72.7% stake in Greek broadband/phone service provider Hellas Online. The deal will bring Vodafone’s total stake above 91%, and is expected to close in Q4.
    • Hellas had 519K customers at the end of 2013, good for an estimated 11% local share. It had 2013 revenue of €227.4M, and EBITDA of €68.4M.
    • The deal follows Vodafone’s acquisitions of German cable provider Kabel Deutschland and Spanish cable provider ONO, as the carrier pushes ahead with its goal of offering mobile/wireline bundles (both by itself, and via partnerships) throughout Europe.
    • Separately, The Daily Mail has passed on a rumor that AT&T’s (NYSE:T) advisers are now “working around the clock on a cash bid worth more than £3 a share” for Vodafone.
    • The rumor should be taken with a heavy dose of salt, given 1) AT&T is currently preoccupied with closing the DirecTV acquisition. 2) it implies AT&T would be paying a 46% premium to Vodafone’s current London trading price, and valuing the company at ~$130B. 3) AT&T, which has a $179B market cap and $84B in debt, would be very hard-pressed to finance a ~$130B deal solely with cash.
    • A 6-month prohibition on an AT&T bid for Vodafone ended in July. However, AT&T CEO Randall Stephenson stated in March “the window may be closing” for his company to acquire European wireless assets, and is reportedly unhappy with Vodafone’s wireline expansion efforts.


  64. Keurig Green Mountain signs licensing deal with Kraft

    09:41 AM ET · GMCR

    • Keurig Green Mountain (GMCR +8.5%) and Kraft Foods Group (KRFT +0.3%) sign a new licensing deal which will see Kraft-branded packs sold for Keurig commercial and consumer coffee brewing systems in the U.S.
    • Distribution will begin this fall.
    • Financial terms of the arrangement weren’t disclosed.
    • What to watch: The deal is a bit of a coup for Keurig with Kraft selling unlicensed K-cup packets previously.


  65. Analysts weigh in on Gap

    09:24 AM ET · GPS

    • Investment firms weigh in on Gap (NYSE:GPS) following the retailer’s Q2 report.
    • Sterne Agee liked what it saw, reiterating its Buy rating and taking its price target to $50,
    • Canaccord Genuity highlighted the potential for Gap to see long-term margin gains.
    • Janney Capital upgrades the retailer to Buy from Neutral on the promise that omni-channel will drive sales growth.
    • GPS +2.8% premarket


  66. Deere announces layoffs amid slow demand

    09:15 AM ET · DE

    • About 460 employees at Deere’s (NYSE:DE) Waterloo, Iowa operation will be placed on indefinite layoff, effective October 20, “in response to current market demand for its products.”
    • Press release
    • Following its earning release earlier this month, Deere had said to expect some trimming of jobs.
    • Earlier this morning: Deere slips after Macquarie downgrade
    • The stock remains lower by 1% in premarket trade.


  67. Citigroup earning little in profits from Japan retail ops

    08:15 AM ET · C

    • Citibank Japan had net income of $12.9M last year – that’s less than the total compensation of CEO Michael Corbat, and it helps explain why C has reportedly put the unit on the block.
    • “It is very difficult to make money from lending in Japan unless you’re in higher-margin consumer lending or if you’ve got a very large scale of operations like the megabanks have,” says analyst David Marshall. “In an environment in which interest rates are very low and investors are still somewhat risk adverse despite economics, it is hard to make money.”
    • Among the possible buyers are Shinsei Bank and Mitsubishi UJF (NYSE:MTU), according to the Nikkei.
    • Previously: WSJ: Citi considering sale of retail ops in Japan


  68. Phil

    These are the wisest words I have ever heard from a parent. Congrats you get it!

    ~~ It's not enough to teach your kids what's right and what's wrong – you have to teach them that they need to be aware of other people who can end up getting them in trouble – even if it's just "friends of friends"


  69. Key Nike selling channel reports strong numbers

    08:01 AM ET · NKE

    • Shares of Nike (NYSE:NKE) are on watch after Foot Locker shows strong comparable-sales growth in Q2.
    • The retail chain remains one of Nike’s strongest selling channels as the companies maintain a strategic relationship (but wary) relationship.


  70. Anxiety surrounds Madison Square Garden

    08:15 AM ET · MSG

    • ISI Group downgrades Madison Square Garden (NASDAQ:MSG) to a Neutral rating from Buy.
    • The company has seen a wave of brokerage firm downgrades over the last month on concerns over valuation.
    • MSG has also become a battleground stock of sorts with short interest and momentum buyers creating added volatility.


  71. Aging F-16s demand new U.S F-35 fleet

    07:49 AM ET

    • Following the Air Force’s mandatory inspections on all 157 of its F-16 D-model jets this week, 82 of the fighters are still grounded due to cracks between the front and rear pilot seats.
    • The aging fleet of Cold War-era fighter jets underscores the U.S. Air Force’s need for new equipment, say analysts.
    • Incidents like these are expected increase in coming years, due to the relatively slow pace at which the military is buying F-35 fighter jets which will replace the F-16s.
    • The F-35 program is facing its own set of issues, including funding, the delay of software testing and flight restrictions due to June’s engine fire.


  72. Piper Jaffray sees upside for Best Buy in 2H

    07:29 AM ET · BBY

    • Piper Jaffray backs its Buy rating on Best Buy (NYSE:BBY) heading into the retailer’s Q2 earnings release next week.
    • The investment firm expects a negative BBY comp, but sees some gross margin improvement.
    • Things may get easier in Q3 and Q4 for Best Buy when it starts to lap easier comps and with an iPhone launch scheduled.


  73. Yikes-thanks for the $ laundering lesson and good luck with raising kids. Since I had so little guiidance, training whatever, I tried to do everything right with ours-took them to Sunday school, taught them table manners, no foul language allowed (I charged them $ for that out their allowance) & stressed education, education down the yin-yang. I thought we were failing miserably until the Mom of one of their friends told me how "delightful" our children were when they came over to her house. They had good manners, spoke respectfully, took off their shoes etc, etc. I was flabbergasted. I thanked her & then thought to myself, "They don't behave like that at home!" Not one of the four finished their college education, only one goes regularly to church, BUT they seem for the most part to be of good character. All bets are off with teenagers-I made mine read every newspaper report of teenagers getting killed because of drinking, drugging at the dinner table to try to impress on them the dangers. Even grounded them when I found beer cans in the trunk & take the school bus to school with the teenyboppers (horrors!) So, it is one tough job to raise kids & it is most definitely not all about parents. Teachers, friends all make an impact. And the drugging, drinking & generally using of mind altering substances is extremely pervasive in our culture & the toughest event to deal with ever  So scare the crap out of them-I still do with mine!


  74. Phil,

      What's wrong with the Ten Commandments, or at least a slightly modified list excluding 1,2 and 3, as the basis for values? How could anyone argue with 4-10 as a reasonable basis? I don't think its a good idea to take any group's deity's name in vain, so 2 has some validity and what's wrong with a Lord's day/day of reflection/contemplation depending on one's views?


  75. Argentina CDS auction set for Sept. 3

    07:07 AM ET · ARGT

    • The International Swaps and Derivatives Association has set Sept. 3 as the auction date to settle Argentina’s CDSs.
    • After a 14-to-1 vote yesterday, the ISDA determined that the auction will include the two controversial yen-denominated bonds in the list of deliverable securities.
    • The auction, run by Creditex and Markit, will establish the payout that holders of protection on Argentine bonds will receive as a result of the country’s recent default.
    • Previously: Argentina CDS auction delayed until September
    • ETFs: ARGT


  76. DuPont files patent infringement lawsuit against SunEdison

    Yesterday, 02:56 PM ET · SUNE

    • DuPont ([[DD] +0.4%) says it has filed a patent infringement lawsuit against SunEdison (SUNE -0.3%) and its NVT affiliate, alleging infringement of its patented tellurium paste technology.
    • DuPont says that by sourcing and using photovoltaic cells and solar modules containing Samsung SDI front-side metallization paste, SUNE is infringing on DD’s patent.


  77. Federal prosecutors uncover new info in GM recall probe

    03:44 AM ET · GM

    • Federal prosecutors have uncovered that GM (NYSE:GM) lawyers were present at key meetings when information was discussed about auto problems of some vehicles, Reuters reports.
    • The DOJ is probing what level the lawyers participated in those discussions and what they did afterward with the information that was shared during the meetings.
    • GM has previously pinned most of the blame on lower-level employees and has left most of the company’s tops execs untouched.


  78. BP to spend $9.3B on Australian retail business, exploration

    04:28 AM ET · BP

    • BP (NYSE:BP) is planning to spend A$10B ($9.3B) over the next decade on expanding its gas station network and developing oil and gas projects in Australia.
    • The new objective is fueled by BP’s new focus on expanding its retail business on the continent, while scaling back on refining operations.
    • “The big opportunities we’re after is at the customer end of the business,” says President Andy Holmes “Filling stations…that’s the area where we’re turning up our focus.”


  79. Aeropostale -9% after forecasting steeper Q3 loss

    Yesterday, 05:15 PM ET · ARO

    • Aeropostale (NYSE:ARO) -9.2% AH despite posting a narrower than expected Q2 loss, as the struggling teen apparel retailer issues downside guidance for Q3, sees a loss of $0.44-$0.48/share vs. analyst consensus for a $0.35 loss.
    • Q2 gross margin narrowed to 15.8% from 17.9%, but input costs fell 11% to $333M.
    • ARO had pre-announced some of its Q2 results earlier in the week while announcing the return of former CEO Julian Geiger to replace Thomas Johnson.


  80. Judge Griesa declares Argentina’s proposed debt swap “lawless”

    02:26 AM ET · ARGT

    • In an emergency hearing held yesterday due to Argentina’s newly proposed debt swap, Judge Thomas Griesa declared that the attempt to dodge his rulings was “lawless”, but stopped short of finding the country in contempt of court.
    • Meanwhile, a group of Argentina’s exchange bondholders is working with Deutsche Bank to eliminate the “RUFO clause” preventing the sovereign from offering holdout creditors better terms than those of its 2005 and 2010 restructurings.
    • ETFs: ARGT


  81. Gap raises earnings outlook, plans India expansion

    Yesterday, 05:49 PM ET · GPS

    • Gap (NYSE:GPS) +1.2% AH after edging analyst estimates for Q2 earnings and revenues, boosted by firm sales at its Old Navy business.
    • Q2 comp sales were flat vs. a 5% increase in the year-ago quarter; Gap sales suffered a 5% decline, Banana Republic was flat, and Old Navy gained 4% Y/Y.
    • Q2 operating margin was 14.2% vs. 13.5% a year ago, but GPS continues to expect roughly flat margin for the full year.
    • Raises FY 2014 EPS guidance to $2.95-$3.00 vs. prior forecast of $2.90-$2.95 and $2.95 analyst consensus estimate.
    • Announces plans to enter India through franchise-operated Gap brand stores in 201, starting in Mumbai and Delhi; Gap expects eventually to have ~40 stores in the country.


  82. Mozambique sees $30B investment for start-up of 2018 LNG exports

    Yesterday, 03:29 PM ET · APC

    • Mozambique will invest more than $30B to begin building capacity in its natural gas sector to produce 20M metric tons/year of liquefied natural gas, with the first exports due to start in 2018, according to the head of the national oil company.
    • The investments will be made to develop the northern ports of Pemba and Palma, where a giant logistics base and LNG production plants are planned that will use gas produced from offshore fields in the Rovuma Basin being developed by Anadarko Petroleum (NYSE:APC) and Eni (NYSE:E).
    • Commitments from APC and Eni already run into several billions of dollars, but the national oil company estimate is the first to put an overall price tag on the first phase of Mozambique’s LNG ambitions.


  83. Israel nearing $60B in gas sales to Egypt liquefaction plants

    Yesterday, 07:19 PM ET · NBL

    • Amid the latest flareup of Middle East violence, one-time enemies Israel and Egypt are negotiating deals that may mean the sale of $60B in Israeli natural gas to liquefaction plants in Egypt.
    • Executives at Noble Energy (NYSE:NBL) and units of Israel’s Delek Group said this week they expect to finalize by year-end agreements to deliver as much as 6.2T cf of gas over 15 years from the Tamar and Leviathan offshore fields to LNG facilities in Egypt.
    • For Israel, the two fields have more than enough gas to supply it for decades, so it is seeking a way to export the excess, and shipping it to Egypt would be faster than building LNG plants; the Russia-Ukraine crisis has made energy security a top priority for Europe, which will be scrutinizing all potential energy sources.


  84. Sears burns through another $750M, eyes balance sheet help

    Yesterday, 06:56 PM ET · SHLD

    • Sears’ (NASDAQ:SHLD) operations burned through another $747M as it lost another $573M in a dismal Q2, prompting it to say in its earnings call that it is weighing additional steps to shore up its balance sheet.
    • SHLD may look to refinance some debt, including its revolving credit facility, which comes due in April 2016, and it has $1B in senior secured notes that come due in Oct. 2018; it also could issue debt against its real estate, similar to what J.C. Penney did last year when it secured a $2.25B loan with mortgages on its property.
    • SHLD has raised $665M YTD, in part by spinning off Lands’ End to shareholders; it plans to raise $1B this year and may sell its 51% stake in Sears Canada and its Sears Auto Center business.
    • Fitch analyst Monica Aggarwal expects Sears to need $2B in cash in 2014 to fund operations and cover pension, interest and other obligations, but she is not optimistic: “We don’t see them having the levers to turn this business around.”
    • Meanwhile, sales have now fallen for 30 straight quarters, and Credit Suisse is calling Sears “one of the worst service stores in America.”


  85. GameStop +6.6% AH on FQ2 beat, strong console sales

    Yesterday, 05:56 PM ET · GME

    • Strong Xbox One/PS4 sales fueled a 124.8% Y/Y FQ2 increase in GameStop’s (NYSE:GME) new hardware sales to $332.3M (19% of revenue), which in turn drove the company’s big revenue beat. Comparable store sales rose 21.9%.
    • New software sales +15.6% Y/Y to $497M; pre-owned value game sales +5.5% to $558M; game accessories +17% to $107.5M; digital +6% to $52.3M; mobile/consumer electronics +85.1% to $112.1M.
    • A mix shift towards hardware led gross margin to fall 260 bps Y/Y to 31.8%. SG&A spend fell to 27.5% of revenue from 30.5%. $75.5M was spent on buybacks.
    • GameStop expects FQ3 EPS of $0.58-$0.64 (above a $0.57 consensus), with comp. sales growth of 1%-5%. FY14 EPS guidance of $3.40-$3.70 is being maintained for now (consensus is already up to $3.67); 6%-12% full-year comp. sales growth is expected.
    • FQ2 results, PR


  86. Kurdish crude oil status to be determined today

    06:40 AM ET · USO

    • The status of Kurdish crude oil will come to a head today, as the high-stakes dispute over a tanker carrying 1M barrels of Kurdish crude still situated in the Gulf of Mexico will be determined by a federal court in Texas.
    • The ruling will define the status of importing the controversial crude, as the Iraqi Oil Ministry and the Kurdistan Regional Government wrangle over the latter’s right to produce and sell its natural resources.
    • Previously: Kurds petition U.S. court to let tanker enter Texas
    • ETFs: USO, OIL, UCO, SCO, BNO, DTO, DBO, CRUD, USL, UWTI, DWTI, DNO, SZO, OLO, OLEM, TWTI


  87. U.S. weighs options to combat Islamic State

    03:24 AM ET · USO

    • The U.S. has indicated it will be expanding its international campaign to combat extremists of the Islamic State, and will likely extend its fight from Iraq into neighboring Syria.
    • The Obama administration has outlined several different fronts to combat ISIS, including continued airstrikes, support for the new Iraqi central government and influencing Persian Gulf states to halt funding their citizens may be providing the extremist forces.
    • ISIS is well-funded by its many criminal activities and seizure of numerous oil fields. The latter has caused trouble in crude markets, causing many unauthorized oil purchases and the indirect funding of the extremist militant group.
    • ETFs: USO, OIL, UCO, SCO, BNO, DTO, DBO, GULF, CRUD, USL, MES, UWTI, DWTI, DNO, SZO, OLO, OLEM, TWTI


  88. How to tell if construction is dead?

    The well drilling rig has been idle for 2 weeks at the last job.

    Another has left his excavator, a third has a loader dump truck and trailer, a forth Gradall lift, and last the cement pump truck. 5 different contractors not moving idle equipment until they have to. That house been milked for 15 months is about 1,500 square feet of ugly box, so all the other subs have had one job!


  89. DX / Albo – Thanks, I'll have a look!


  90. DX / Albo – I need some insights into these REITs as DX has a payout ratio of 3950% per Yahoo! Clearly not sustainable either but I guess you have to look at that differently than a regular company!


  91. MAGICAL SLOPPY BUYER APPEARS! (MSB)

    best example of msb day in long time…russia/ukaine could be in direct war this weekend….yellen only dovish not uber dovish…market runs up and is hugely overbought ahead of yellen…..we start selling off….then bam! msb msb msb…volume 30% below norm on naz makes qqq weapon of choice…its so easy its insane


  92. Beware of no volume Jackson hole conferences especially when AAPL is holding up the NASDQ, the only green. TLT hitting $117 doesn't bode well either.

    Most interesting is AAPL is in a supply chain, glass not sapphire, and manufacturing, not bright enough, delay formation. It should be noted that this disguise has been used before. I applaud there vision of sales will not be robust as originally thought, building inventory will upset stock holders. Easy pump today.


  93. STJ – I know.  I don't pretend to understand the financials.  DX was recommended to me by a REIT analyst that I respect.


  94. Phil/XLE

    I'm holding XLE sept 93 puts at an avg of .54, now .40 so down 25%.  I stayed with them as oil has come down thinking this would follow but probably need more time…XLE moving my way a bit today, but wanted to know what you thought about the position since there's not a lot of time left.  Would spending about .95 to go out to Oct 97/93 put spread for net 1.50 on the $4 spread seem reasonable?  Interested to see how you'd manage it.  Thanks!


  95. /TF creeping towards 1160, phil- thoughts?


  96. Phil/RIG,

    2% down today and hitting 52 week low.

    http://finviz.com/publish/082214/RIGc0dl1201.png

    any play yet.

    Thanks as always


  97. albo financials

    Very easy to understand, just look past what they are supposed to be and realize they are run by crooks.


  98. Phil / POT- What are your thoughts on Potash?  Looks like about a 4% divd at these levels.  Buy / write?  Thanks!


  99. INTC/Phil – Thank you for the response Phil. No i dont own stock now… However, I work there and have stocks vesting 25%/year over next 4 years. I have seen before that sometimes by the time they vest the gains disappear… What would you recommend for that? should i puts for 100% of them right now or buy puts for 25% that vests next April and wait and see for the rest… Thanks again Phil!! NR


  100. Shadow – Maybe so, but I'm not ready to give up on humanity just yet. :-)

    I'm probably wrong, but it occurs to me that gold is so unloved right now that it might be time for a turn.


  101. Hi Phil. Been doing well with Jan 75/100 BCS, having rolled over the short call a few times. The  short call now can be rolled to Jan16 120 at even money.  Would that make sense? Then hold the  long call until expiration and then establish new spread? Thanks.


  102. GILD is turning my 1's into 10's :)


  103. albo

    Calling a thief a thief is not giving up on humanity. Morality tells me that it is best not to make money with banking and financials.

    Gold is different, it is a commodity that is bound to bottom soon although not necessarily this year. ABX makes the most sense and buy write that gets gold down to Phil's cost can't go wrong with time.


  104. GMCR Jan15 110 puts – time to roll or DD?


  105. lots of momo bubble valuations higher today……vjet, loco, crm, gmcrdraghi speaks at 2:30…probably driving things more than yellen really…
    pentagon telling russia to remove convoy vehicles immediately..hahaha..putin will get right on that
    pentagon telling russia to remove convoy vehicles immediately..hahaha..putin will get right on that

    they are talking about a possible delay of iphone 6 and aapl at new high!…either that report is complete shit or it shows how oblivious market is right now

     

     


  106. PCLN/Rustle – Absolutely, great for that sort of thing if you are traveling alone with flexible plans.  If it's my family on a vacation though, I wouldn't risk it.  

    Stupidity/1020 – Oh we had plenty of that, my kids do nothing compared to what we did – hopefully it stays that way but I worry about all this repression explosively decompressing in college.  

    10 Commandments/Jabob – That's the thing, I don't have a problem with that and you need to get both sides to agree on some basics.  I think that we could appoint a group of philosophers from various religious groups to come up with some sort of core to teach in schools.  The big trick is to agree it should be done in the first place.  

    CIM/StJ – By the way, I missed that before.  Since they invest in RMBS and sit on about $12Bn in securities, which they roll, it's very had to say what a "sustainable" payout ratio is.  They loaded up at what they assumed was a market low and, if all goes well, they could end up with a massive windfall down the road.  They could also blow it – it's a matter of trusting the management not to screw up.  

    Chimera Investment Corp Stock Downgraded (CIM)

    Scaring/Pirate – I always wanted to be the cool parent that got stoned with their kids – but they don't have those anymore.  In fact, my kids would probably call the cops!  My parents weren't those parents but I had friends who were and they grew up OK.  As European Jews, they never thought anything was wrong with drinking, even when we were young – they only cared that we do it responsibly.  On the other hand, if they though for one second we were doing harder drugs (we didn't) they would have locked us in rehab immediately – no grounding.  I haven't had to deal with that yet with 12 & 14 year old girls – that is something the do in schools these days – my kids think drugs and alcohol are TERRIBLE things and I haven't tried to convince them otherwise.

    You mention scaring your kids but my parents were much funnier.  I didn't know it at the time but they knew (or suspected) if we were coming home wasted and they would leave their bedroom door open at the top of the stairs and intercept us as we tried to sneak up to our bedrooms and purposely engage us in strange conversations just to goof on us.  They thought it was hysterical!  

    10 commandments/Kevin – As above, I'm all for it.  And, you know what, for a couple of thousand years, so was most of European Culture.  People need rules to live by, those are the basics.  

    Construction/Shadow – Good point.   The house on my corner could be going much faster too. 

    Not to get too behind but my brother has a McMansion in Rockland Country and his whole block is about 2-acre lots with great homes.  The house behind him was abandoned/foreclosed over a year ago and it's actually starting to rot from neglect.  Probably an $800,000 home sitting empty and now it needs a new basement (flooded, mold) and the deck is failing and the yard is like a jungle.  He had to get the town involved to force the bank to drain the pool and clean it as it was a health hazard.  The fence around the home is collapsing too and my brother was only allowed to fix the part that touched his property.  There are homes like that in almost every neighborhood – we certainly don't have a recovery while things like this are going on.  

    Just shorted /TF at 1,160.5, seems like it might be getting tired.  Thrilled to get 1,158.50.


  107. Phil/TF- I'm on board at 1161!  Let's hope our premise isn't wrong!


  108. Looks like they are squeezing momos again like last Friday.


  109. Phil

    Teton Valley Idaho is still about a 75% unoccupied level, no statistics for Alta Wyoming and because less than half the houses are visible occupancy is unknown but my subdivision is 5 of 17. 


  110. NFLX is looking like it is going to break out.  Obviously need to wait to see if they can hold it for a couple days, but kind of annoying for my short 2015 515 calls.


  111. Maybe 2 PM speech will change things but IWM is banging off resistance, confluence, SMAs, XMA, money flow negative, and no volume!


  112. pat_swap/RIG – Book value is around $47 and strong long-term support at $38.  We will see if that level holds today.  You are receiving $0.75 dividend per quarter, from a company that reported $1.61 in earnings last quarter.  Stock price has moved down with the price of oil lately. 

    Phil/inflation – Great point about Shadowstats.  Meaning, if the government calculated CPI the same way today, as it did in 1990, reported inflation would be 6%.  We can probably all agree, that with approximately $17,000,000,000,000 in debt, the Feds will do everything in their power to keep interest rates low.  No matter what Professor Yellen or anybody else says today.  I think they just like to pull our chain!


  113. It's slower than I thought today, so a few random ramblings, I pray indulgence.

    After my portfolio got taken to the back of the woodshed at the end of 2001, I dusted myself down and decided I needed to understand trading stocks much better. I thought TA was the way to go. I somehow found a way to Gary B. Smith who was writing for the thestreet.com (heresy I know, but back then …..). You can find an example of GBS's style here – in fact deep in the recesses of thestreet.com archives, which I am sure they have overlooked a number of his articles still exist. I liked what he wrote because he appeared to be a very technical trader and for me TA combined with technical mechanical trading systems seemed to be the way to go to eliminate the emotional bias of the internet bubble days. GBS led me to worden.com and I became, for a while, rather OCD on TC2000 and the technical analysis of stocks. In fact the only place it led me to was the wilderness. I was exhausted having made a fortune and then soon after lost a fortune. The only maxim that I took away from the Worden Brothers, was their objectives to develop 'investors who think for themselves'. But this is all an aside.

     

    I've done well since 2010 (it's well documented I have PD to thank for that), but I am amazed how far I am behind in keeping up with the intellectual thinking of ideas and responses shared on the board. Phil mentioned that great returns have a lot to do with timing. Too right. I timed my entry back into the market in 2010 when only a fool could not have made money. I count my blessings that I used the period post 2001 until 2010 to accumulate cash and resisted the temptation to reinvest. Funnily enough, it was the pre-subprime era when the markets were marching relentlessly upwards. 

    "Lessons in life will be repeated until they are learned" – Unknown

     

    To be honest, half of the stuff Phil writes takes me an inordinate amount of time to understand. Take 'fresh horses'. Well, one particular penny seems to have dropped. I figure that if I can put on 2016 ITM spreads for 50% of the price of the strike price difference, and close out existing positions that have already achieved 90% profit potential, that may not be such a bad approach. I've got a 'balanced portfolio' – but it still gives me an adrenalin rush when the markets go up, and a gut wrenching feeling when the markets go down. I still have a lot to learn.


  114. new CMG vs NFLX/Phil

    Okay, NFLX 500 or CMG 700, which comes first.  CMG weak after bs spike yesterday and NFLX has been very strong lately.  It must actually hit price before a win is declared.  Logically CMG should do it first but I'm going to say NFLX thinking some stupid rumor in the next month or dopey announcement will squeeze it there.


  115. Where do you guys look to see volume intraday?



  116. jeffdoc

    All show volume intra day the trick is paying attention to what it usually is for any given stock or exchange. I keep a ticker or 2 on screen and it is either flowing fast normal or, today, sometimes stopped.


  117. BTW for those that still question HFT dominates watch IWM ticker today, no trades and then a group in milliseconds, also note bid and ask sales numbers are the same. 


  118. Another is order desk bids and asks instead of filling with sales numbers matching just come and go.


  119. MSB/Angel – And still there is no volume.  I guess this is the new normal.  Much easier to push the markets around when you're the only one playing:

    SPY 5 MINUTE

    8-21-2014 4-18-21 PM Bankster

    Jackson Hole/Shadow – That's right, you should be our man on the scene at that conference!  Get out there and tell them you're working for PSW!  

    XLE/$25KP, Jeff – The thing is that oil has to STAY down long enough for people to re-price expectations for the energy stocks.  I'm dumbfounded that XLE blasted up while oil was down this week but I think the premise is sound – just the time-frame is off.  I think, with 28 days to expiration, we can give it until Weds.

    /TF/Ric – As above, shorted.  

    RIG/Pat – Don't we already have them somewhere?  I like them long-term but choppy for now. Ah, there it is, in the LTP we just sold the 2016 $33 puts for $3.05, now $3.85.  I'm comfortable with that target but, if you are not in it, you might want to wait until they settle – maybe they test $35.  

    POT/Email – I kind of like them on sale but DE had crap numbers so demand not likely to be good and $35 not actually that cheap for them, $30 is.  If you are impatient, you can establish a $30.75 entry on 1x by selling the 2016 $35 puts for $5.25, that blows away the $1.40 dividend and makes about what you'd make with a buy/write over the same period (maybe 15% at best) but only a 1x commitment if they head lower – best of all Worlds.  Still – I'd wait to see how next week goes.  

    INTC/Nram – That's a bit trickier.  I don't know your basis but you can sell the 2016 $35 calls for $3.55 in the amount you vest through Jan 2016 (in case you get called away) and you can buy 2016 $30 puts for $2.10 so you get net $1.45 with a call away at net $36.45 and your worst case is the stock falls and you salvage $31.55.  Of course you'll be able to roll the callers, so not a hard cap and the best thing is, if the market tanks but you still have faith in INTC, you can sell the puts and buy back the calls and make an aggressive play for a bounce.

    AAPL?/Taihu – I don't know what short call but I can't see why you'd want to be short all the way to 2016 on AAPL – that can end up being very unpleasant.  Over the weekend, I'd stick with protection.  

    GILD/Burr – Power move on that one!  

    GILD/Abhish – Yesterday's trade idea still about the same price:

    On GILD, think they beat so I'd go with the 2016 $80/100 bull call spread at $9.50 (same as AAPL) and sell the $70 puts for $5 for net $4.50 on the $20 spread. 

    God I love Fundamental Investing!!!  cheeky

    GMCR/Edro – Thanks for remembering.  In the STP, we have 5 short Jan $110 puts, now $3.40, it's only $4.45 to roll them to the $125 puts ($7.85), so that's worth doing and we can add 5 more there and our cost is then $20.50 – $3.40 = ($17.10 + 7.85 +7.85)/2 = 10 at $16.40, which is less than those puts were yesterday morning, so I like that play for a pullback.  We also had some profits from a previous short put sale I'm not including – maybe $5 or so. 

    We can't afford this in the $25KP, just a tragic loss, though we can afford $680 to double down at $3.40, so let's do that as the $110s were $7.40 yesterday.  

    AAPL/Angel – There are always ridiculous rumors before AAPL releases.  They prey on the fact that AAPL absolutely never comments on rumors so it allows the manipulators to jam the stock around.   AAPL's attitude is that, if the shareholders don't have faith to stick around – screw them.  


  120. Winston/life lessons – thanks for sharing your experience.

    I like this quote:

    "Experience is the worst kind of teacher.  It gives you the test first, and then the lesson after."


  121. /TF/Ric — Out at 1,160 I hope.  If the line holds and the other indexes aren't confirming weak – we get out!  


  122. A super large sell! way under bid! watch out!


  123. Phil/TF – Yep! Out at 1160.8 for a very small profit but at least no losses!


  124. Phil/politics – a wise person, with a lot more life experience than us, advises me to keep politics and religion out of business meetings.  I am going to add to her advice, and refrain from those topics in online business forums also…


  125. Jackson Hole Phil

    Don't even put me on payroll, Send money to the fund and I will go and mention PSW is the only real market players. When will you un-rig the markets so regular people can invest. I'll check in 30 minutes while I get ready to maybe go.


  126. SYRIA DEATH TOLL TOPS 190,000-UN…our media barely even mentions it.


  127. Phil

    By next year get prepared, even a tee shirt with PSW and message will work in Jackson, at the conference I might be better with a nice suit, I have a couple very nice but after 20 years don't fit. My money is on debt and getting to PA for help.


  128. pro wise words!

    Religion is best separated, schools should teach moderation and do onto others as you want done to you.


  129. Does anyone have a list of good stocks for monthly put selling?  Stocks that aren't bad to own in the long run?

    Reason I ask is that, I need to start showing a "monthly income" which only results from Realized PnL not UnRealizedPnL as our 2016 spreads do.  

    It's for purposes of a future business.  Any good ideas?  

    I don't have LiveVol anylonger and they used to have a good scanner.  


  130. CIM / Phil – Thanks. The article actually points out problems I saw in the balance sheet:

     However, as a counter to these strengths, we also find weaknesses including deteriorating net income, disappointing return on equity and weak operating cash flow.

    Mostly the cash flow situation. I'll stick to NLY for now.


  131. Quote of the day:

    Felix Salmon, “No longer is being an investment banker seen as the best way for a young, talented graduate to make lots of money and achieve great worldly success. Smart kids are moving to San Francisco rather than New York or London.  (FT)

    One can only hope but there was an article yesterday in Quartz mentioning the fact that IB had to raise salaries to keep their best people as they are now more attracted to "real" businesses!


  132. Phil

    My idea is expanding. It is your investment but tee shirts with your message would work. We would wear them all the time and with another small booth charge or two could promote at continuous affairs. Arlyn and I like doing these things and we are very good at only giving away shirts to people that will help. Do everyone a favor, no dark colors especially black, Harley made that mistake, too hot, and shows everything more than white. Lots of big bucks in Jackson and they are the target.


  133. True – that has been the problem for a long time, no one has the patience for a 10 year portfolio anymore:

    http://www.bloomberg.com/news/2013-11-06/a-few-words-about-valuation-ritholtz-chart.html

    The problem we run into is that valuation is not a timing tool. A momentum trader will tell you from personal experience that overpriced stocks can and do get more expensive. Value investors will tell you from their personal experience that cheap stocks can get a whole lot cheaper.

    Mean reversion does not occur immediately after an asset moves away from its long-term trend. Any bond trader can tell you that from their personal experience of the past 30 years.

    Source: Mebane Faber


  134. STJ investment banker jobs have not come back, in fact those few that get in are some of the most fired personnel in any industry. The only in is from big money with contacts to more big money, classy schools don't work anymore. 


  135. Unoccupied/Shadow – That is just insane.  And there are people living on the streets!  What's going to happen when the money is no longer free and the Banksters realize they are simply never going to fill these homes up at the current prices?  

    NFLX/Palotay – The thing that will not die.  One day, one day…

    Inflation/Prof – There's PLENTY of money out there, it's just not moving (no velocity).  If velocity ever comes back, with the piles of money they have out now – that genie will never go back in the bottle!  

    The question is, what will it take to ignite the economy?  I still maintain we need real increases in wages and, believe it or not, wage inflation is one of the things the Fed fights against!  

    Very nice Winston, thanks for sharing – I'm sure it helps a lot of people.  I hear that "penny drop" concept a lot from people – I guess it's normal in most professions that, at some point, you "get" certain concepts and they suddenly seem obvious – but only after struggling for a few years.  Hopefully, by discussing it, we can help to shorten the curve for others.  


  136. angel—the media only mentions it if Israel "did" it … Otherwise… nothing… crazy right?


  137. Phil housing

    This situation is holding back the economy and I want to move so much it hurts. Sorry but everyone from materials to real estate commissions must get back to reality. Wage inflation should be a priority until wages catch up on 40 years of inflation. Then the fed should START!! to be concerned or the concept of a consumer economy must be abandoned.


  138. 190000!!!! good lord


  139. Did anyone get fills on the OIH and WMT butterfly's that were posted earlier in the week?  I've been working the B/A all week and no dice.  


  140. Oh, I should mention I don't have any longs, I'm just starting the butterflys anew.


  141. To answer my own question, here are some good videos a guy put together for scans on selling premium.  Good weekend watching on using TOS.

    https://www.youtube.com/user/TickerTank/videos


  142. angel— it is sick… 

    maybe our defense budget actually makes sense.

    I wouldn't want to live in a place where there was sharia law.

    helps us appreciate our govt.

    they may be inept and easily purchased… but at least it is relatively safe in the US.


  143. I would not go to the games anymore:

    http://talkingpointsmemo.com/livewire/chicago-cubs-field-workers-obamacare-tarp-disaster

    Citing "numerous sources with direct knowledge," the Sun-Times reported that the Cubs had sent home 10 grounds crew workers early the night of the Tuesday game that ended in disaster. And at least part of the reason, per the newspaper's sources, is that the team has been trying to keep seasonal workers under 30 hours per week as the Affordable Care Act takes effect.

    The law requires large employers to offer health insurance to full-time employees (defined as those who work more than 30 hours a week) or pay a fine. The rule takes effect in 2015.

    A spokesman for the Cubs, which are reportedly worth $1 billion and were the most profitable team in baseball in 2013, didn't refute the claims when asked by the Sun-Times, but he denied personnel changes were responsible for the field tarp incident.

    And what's the average salary of one of their players! Can't these guys take a 1% paycut to help pay for the insurance. Sick!


  144. Prof / "Rules of Conversation" -

    Don't even stress about your political affiliation or voicing it . Listen, as a citizen within a "democracy" (well, now more likely corporate plut-oligarchy at this moment) it is actually an informal part time job to expound your concerns about the nature and process of the political landscape and the policies which it enacts. I'd wager that if we aren't talking about politics, economics, philosophy/religion, the ecological or social systems at large then we really aren't doing the job that we were intended to do. Controversial topics they maybe, but necessity demands we put them on the table and examine them (and have them examined) – public scrutiny is the only check that we have on our own musings, so its important if uncomfortable.


  145. CMG/Rustle – LOL, same thing, I don't believe NFLX can justify it but CMG might.  It would take a strong market to get either over those humps.  No reality (earnings) for NFLX until late Oct.  

    Volume/Jeff – I use SPY, which is at 45M at the moment (2pm).  Another slow day but we assume 50% of day's volume in last 30 mins. 

    Tanker/Living – Cool:

    Only 800,000 barrels of oil?  Interesting as we can't afford to build bigger tankers here with all the crazy regs"

    A VesselsValue.com spokesperson weighed in on their calculation:

     

    "To be Jones Act, a ship must be U.S. built, owned, crewed, classed and flagged. The cost to build vessels in the U.S. is 3-4 times more than Korean or Japanese yards, due primarily to higher labor costs. Additionally, Jones Act vessels operate in a protected market so they generally experience much more stable and higher freight rates."

     

    Both these factors result in second hand - and obviously newbuild - values of Jones Act vessels being substantially higher than for non-Jones Act vessels of the same type, size, age. It is surprising, but this is a value premium that is carried through all of our tanker valuations."

    /TF/Ric – You have to expect the bounce at a line like 1,160 and look for a fresh horse to switch to after you cash out.  I was watching /YM, which was still a bit over 17,000 and, if /TF didn't bounce, then I would have jumped onto /YM shorts instead.  

    Politics/Prof – You should refrain!  Seriously, you can link to inflamatory BS but, if you are going to paste it in chat, those become your words and you are going to piss people off. 

    Payroll/Shadow – Who said anything about payroll?  I said you can SAY you work for PSW – when you are captured, we will completely disavow you!  While you are rubbing shoulders with all the Central Banksters, see if you can get a few Billion out of them – seems very easy to do…  wink

    Syria/Angel – Yawn, is that thing still going on?  At least Darfur is all fixed, right? 

    'Darfur: The Genocide the World Got Tired of'

    Monthly put selling/Burr – I'm not a huge fan because, of course, you can get burned on a big drop – more so than if you had collected 5x by selling longer contracts.  With the VIX so low, it's a real pain in the ass selling monthly puts but we can look at things that have recently plunged, like RIG but, even with that drop, the Sept $37 puts are only .53 ($1 out of the money) – that's after dropping 0.70 today alone.  So, on the weekend, we can look for a few, but I'm not big fan of the overall strategy vs selling the 2016 $35 puts for $4.75.  Actually, just because you sell the 2016s, doesn't mean you can't cash out the ones that are working each month.  Say you sell 20 and each month you buy back a couple of the best performers?   In the LTP, for example, we have 10 short put positions (straight ones) and 7 of them are profitable and most are June/July – so a good example set that also points out to the flaw in including small caps (as EGLE and HOV are way down and need to play out over the whole two years):

    And, from the Income Portfolio:

    STP:

    So, following the same general strategy we use now, you could have quite a nice set assembled in a couple of months and then, each month, you'd just have to pick a winner to cash in.  But, of course, as you can see from the longer-dated contract – it is MUCH better to run these over time.  

    CIM/StJ – Don't forget they doubled their holdings this year.  Just like when we add options positions, it makes the balance sheet look bad for a while.


  146. Phil

    Work and pay are assumed by all including IRS. I can't be paid unless enough to compensate for SS disability and medical insurance, I would be homeless in seconds. I can help free but it can't cost a dime.

    Think tee shirts with http://www.philstockworld.com and a cleaver message, not cool in NYC but here suits are not cool. The bankers dress like the rest, and no fancy dresses.


  147. DRAGHI 'WE STAND READY'

    EURO AREA ECONOMY 'WHATS HE WAITING FOR'


  148. angelcur Draghi

    He is using Bernanke's 3rd tool, Communication                                              of BS!


  149. Phil-I should have said "tried to scare." They, as most teenagers, thought they were invincible. I had 4 between 13 ^ 19 years old. The oldest & youngest were the least trouble the youngest being a girl. The 2 middle boys were tough. When they got high sniffing glue before we were taking them to a Bengals football game their Dad finally had enough of their shenanigans & took their allowances away. When they sobered up I told them they didn't have to worry about going on to college as they had destroyed about 20K gray cells & would probably be happy digging ditches for a living since they wouldn't have any brains to do anything else! I have to laugh now because one son is a cop!


  150. Draghi / Angel – What I am trying to understand really is what he is waiting for. Yes, hyperinflation left some bad memories in Germany, but that was 75 years ago and to counter that risk, they are willing to risk deflation which is in many ways a lot more pernicious.

    And b) do they think that Europe is in a bubble and will be immune to inflation shall it come back in other areas going fill speed with QE? Why not participate in the party anyway because you will suffer the hangover whether or not you drink the Kool-Aid. Really strange.


  151. Phil

    On Aug 1 you posted

    These are all on the Buy List – so down't act surprised!  Let's put 40 of the SQQQ spreads for $6,200 in the STP and sell 20 WEN 2016 $7 puts for ($1,600) and sell 10 WFM 2016 $33 puts for $2,500 and 10 RIG 2016 $33 puts for $3,000 – those go in the LTP!  

    but I don't see WEN in the LTP now.  What happened to it?


  152. private son

    My gone friend Hank as everything from highway patrol to CIA told me he didn't ever meet anyone in the profession that was not on the edge of commit or enforce crime. That continues to scare me as too many cops are now criminals just like the banksters, currently immune to law.


  153. POT / Phil – Much appreciated.  With so many other solid options from your buy list no reason to jump early on Potash


  154. Shadow-Yeh we thought we'd be visiting him in prison he was so incorrigible, but he is very rigid in his thinking. All problems are solved with force, or threat of force. Now he has a teenage daughter & doesn't like us near her for fear we'll tell her his "fun times." The sins of the father stuff. LIke he would bribe the girl in front of him in school for a dollar, or he would sneeze on her! Every time I walked in the door at school a teacher would accost me to complain about his latest stunts. Amazing.


  155. private

    All is well!


  156. Real business/StJ – I agree, been heading that way myself.  

    Shirts/Shadow – I agree, next year I will fund a T-shirt operation to see how it goes.  Keep in mind it will take some time to prepare.  I'm sure people here can come up with good ideas for shirts.  

    Valuation/StJ – That's why 95% of the most successful investors are value investors.  Once you have a decade under your belt – the traders tend to get left in the dust.  

    Housing/Shadow – The biggest problem is taxes are out of control.  People who bought a $250,000 home in the 90s with a $1,300 mortgage and thought they'd be almost paid off by now, now have $1,000 a moth in taxes and that's why people can't afford to buy their home.  Originally, they had a $1,300 mortgage plus maybe $300 in tax for $1,600 a month, now it's $2,300 a month, almost 50% more expensive.  So it doesn't matter if your home is the same price – it's less affordable than it was by a long shot.  At the rate taxes are increasing, people are wising up to what a booby-trap a home can be.  

    Butterflies/Burr – They were easy enough to leg into with all the up and down action.  Those were from 8/11, not this week!  If you try to buy the spreads as a unit, it's very hard to fill.  

    Sharia Law/Jabob – That will be good until some Sharia Corporation decides it wants the Supreme Court to uphold it's religious principles so they can stone their employees or something…

    Cubs/StJ – Only $74M salary for the team.  Figure health insurance for 10 groundskeepers would be 10 x $1,000 x 12 =  $120,000 or 0.16%.  That means the guy on the team making the minimum wage on the team ($500,000) would have to kick in $800 in order for the people who work hard to keep their field playable would be taken care of if they were sick or injured.  What is this, Communism?!?   Just take that Liberal BS somewhere else, sir – we don't want your kind around here!   wink

    Draghi made nice noises and gave us another pop.  Bill Gross is spinning it on CNBC for additional effect.  

    Kids/Pirate – That's why I try to let mine be kids.  What they do today has little to do with what they'll do the rest of their lives.  Within reason, now is the time for them to have fun and explore.  Plenty of time to be serious between 30 and 80.  As long as their grades are good, I am happy to see them enjoying themselves but, on the other hand, I think girls are easier than boys – boys seem to go more crazy around 16-25. 

    WEN/LTP, Spider – My bad, I missed that one.  I'll add 20 WEN 2016 $7 puts at .80 to the LTP from 8/1.  

    There's another good example, Burr – we waited for a nice market dip and THEN we punched a lot of short puts that day:

    /TF/Jasu – 1,110 SHOULD be bouncy but indexes are scary weak at the moment.  I'm for just watching. 

    As a new hedge, I still like SQQQ, which is "only" up to $41.40 and the Dec $43/50 bull call spread is $1.55 and that pays $7 so 350% as a standalone and you can sell against them: 

    • ABX ($18.23) 2016 $17 puts for $2.05
    • CCJ ($20.00) 2016 $17 puts for $1.60
    • CLF ($17.45) 2016 $13 puts for $2.40
    • HOV ($3.95) 2016 $4 puts for .90
    • IRBT ($32.21) March $25 puts for $1.80
    • KBH ($16.33) 2016 $13 puts for $1.20 
    • PFE ($29.01) 2016 $25 puts for $1.45
    • PNW ($54.40) Jan $60 puts for $7.95 
    • TEX ($34.35) 2016 $28 puts for $3.10
    • TASR ($11.60) 2016 $10 puts for $1.20
    • RIG ($40.30) 2016 $33 puts for $3
    • WFM ($38.12) 2016 $33 puts for $2.50
    • WEN ($8.11) 2016 $7 puts for .80

    These are all on the Buy List – so down't act surprised!  Let's put 40 of the SQQQ spreads for $6,200 in the STP and sell 20 WEN 2016 $7 puts for ($1,600) and sell 10 WFM 2016 $33 puts for $2,500 and 10 RIG 2016 $33 puts for $3,000 – those go in the LTP!  

    I think if you try to force them each month, you won't be taking the best opportunities.  Better to sell puts when the selling is good and then reap the profits as they come around.  

    POT/Email – Good example of what a Buy List is for.  You should always have a list of 20 stocks you'd like to buy if they go on sale and know what "on sale" would be so that, when the sale does happen, you are of a good mindset to buy them despite the bad chart (pending verifying your premise in light of additional information, of course).  


  157. Phil If I am not wrong we played WEN 6/11 to sell Jan16 10p for 2.55 in the expectation they will go up 


  158. Wheeee!  Nice little sell-off into the close again.  Getting so we can just do this play every day and do quite well.

    16,975, 1,985, 4,051 and 1,159.4 with 15 mins to go.  


  159. Now we have the 30 minute dip instead of the last hour pump!


  160. Cubs/StJ – Don't forget, you can always go to White Sox games instead!  They have some of the finest groundskeepers in baseball AND they have won a World Series within the last century.  

    Inflation/Phil – That is a very thought-provoking money supply chart.  Don't we need higher interest rates, in order for banks to be more willing to lend more money out?  


  161. Phil

    Tee shirts next year is a lot of missed days, places can do they in days, and skip sm and m sizes, even some kids are too big.


  162. WEN/Yodi –  I don't see it on 6/11 but I am sure we wanted it for an offset to the SQQQ play, because we didn't have a lot of confidence in that one paying off.  

    Rates/Prof – It's a chicken and egg thing but, in reality, the spread between what they borrow at (0.25%) and what they lend at (4% on mortgages) is huge.  Of course they have to pick up longer-term blended rates but still around 2% and, traditionally, 1.5-3% is the spread the bankers usually get on a mortgage.  Sure they are not eager to lend at these lows, but they are writing tons of auto and student loans – because those are generally more like 8%.  

    Like everything else in a society that rewards it – it's driven by GREED!  

    Tee shirts/Shadow – But the conference will be over by then.  I did have an "Occupy" shirt made – I wore it for a TV spot once.  Had that movement not died, I could have sold those…

    Wheeeee on the RUT – 1,158.5 – as predicted.  

    With that I'd better take a bow and call it a week!  wink

    Have a great weekend, 

    - Phil


  163. White Sox / Prof – Actually, I don't care about Chicago teams anyway since I live near Phila and the Phillies have won the World Series *this* century! Not that I care that much about baseball – I used to, but there are not enough hours in the day for everything and a baseball game nowadays is waste of a good picnic!


  164. Phil

    Conference is over but promotions can be daily, a general thing like be the house!


  165. Phil WEN sold on 6/10 and 6/11 but as usual was very questionable about the play so sold only 2x and at present 60$ in credit just 3 of your special hamburgers. The stock seems to go now where,

    nice week end to all


  166. Phil / Greed

    Ah yes, the ruthless pursuit of greed – must be the perfect virtue around which to structure the long-term economic development of a society! Does make me wonder, though: if cooperation, sharing, trust and responsibility are essential to long-term viability of communities, how does a community,fare when its mode of production and distribution is, in its operation and reasoning, uncomfortably close to the motivational system which drives the actions of the clinically-diagnosed psychopath? Oh well, I'm sure everything should be jjust fine right? Right…, 


  167. Phil – I understand you're point of view on the monthly selling, BUT I need to have an account statement that shows monthly consistent gains or losses.  Right now having Jan16 positions, the statement doesn't show that.

    So I agree with you, but think of this as a different requirement for an account.  That's why I started with the Butterflies, or really double diagonals in some cases.


  168. Phil

    If you want to sell tee shirts you will make $1 to $5 each and not sell a singlee membership!


  169. White Sox/StJ – I have been on my own "fan strike" since 1994 when the White Sox owner helped pull the plug on a potential World Series season.  Of course, moving to San Diego in 1999 has given me much no better things to do with my limited free time.. 

    Cubs/Phil – well there you go again with your "workers of the world unite!" rant about the Cubs owners.  Why is it their fault?  They didn't make the policy about 30 hours.  Why did the umpires let it rain for 15 minutes, before calling for the tarp?  Why couldn't the Cubs get 10 fans to help out pulling the tarp?  Was it because of the UTPU?  United Tarp Pullers Union… haha ;)


  170. Prof – Wow you really have a bug up your butt about Obama, it seems. The 30 hour policy is a good one if companies don't keep hiring and trying to avoid treating employees like nothing more than a disposable commodity and started treating them like people who have value! Why shouldn't a billion dollar company spend a few extra bucks to have their employees work 30 hours and give them benefits that will take care of them and thier families so people can live and prosper instead of merely exist. This is the crux of the argument and if you don't get this you really are not looking. You may disagree and say corporations should try to extract every last dollar by dehumanizing their workers, but long term this is not going to create prosperity for more than the owners of the companies, the .01%


  171. Prof- Let me add that I have run two businesses of my own. One was a high end apparel manufacturing company where I paid employees a competitive wage and provided as many and as good a benefit package as we could. The other was a low end food business where we needed to pay minimum wage and offer no benefits to employees. In the first I attracted bright capable people who were eager to contribute, worked overtime with no complaint when needed and were like a family that truly cared about each other. The second had horrific employee turnover, absenteeism that was unmanageable, and a workforce that scared away customers by treating an order as if it was an intrusion into their texting/surfing time. Unfortunately the manufacturing business which was an industry leader and recognized for outstanding products was lost to the modern need for having the cheapest product with no interest in quality which forced us to manufacture in China. We also were killed by a government program to save the textile mills which forced us to pay extremely high tariffs on fabric imports and pushed us offshore to be competitive. Of course, there is much more to it. But trying to cut to the chase.


  172. Craig, it is unfortunate that you had two business failures.  Hopefully you learned something about competition and free enterprise.  I'm not going to stoop down to your lower level regarding politics.  Perhaps you can learn something from successful business people like Phil Davis and myself.  Remember, Improvement begins with "I."


  173. Maybe RIG isn't done falling…

    Transocean LTD (NYSE:RIG) has been trending lower for some time now, off nearly 31% from its mid-November annual high of $55.74. In today's session, the stock is extending this decline, down 0.5% at $38.54, prompting one bearish option trader to bet on a longer-term slide to levels not seen in almost 10 years.

    Shortly after the open, one block of 5,000 January 2015 30-strike puts was sold for $0.27 apiece, while a symmetrical block of 5,000 January 2015 35-strike puts was simultaneously bought for $1.27 each. Volume exceeds open interest at each strike, making it safe to assume a long put spread was initiated for a net debit of $1.00 per pair of contracts.

    By initiating this two-legged strategy, the speculator has set a downside target in mind; specifically, the round-number $30 mark — an area not seen by RIG since August 2004. In the best-case scenario, RIG will settle squarely at this spot at January 2015 options expiration, allowing the trader to pocket the maximum potential reward of $4.00 (difference between the two strikes less the net debit) on the purchased puts, while the sold puts can be left to expire worthless. However, she will still be able to profit if RIG breaches the breakeven mark of $34.00, which is calculated by subtracting the net debit from the bought strike. On the other hand, the most the speculator stands to lose is the initial net debit, should RIG settle north of $35 at options expiration.

    Today's bearish positioning only highlights the withstanding trend witnessed in Transocean LTD's (NYSE:RIG) options pits. At the International Securities Exchange (ISE), Chicago Board Options Exchange (CBOE), and NASDAQ OMX PHLX (PHLX), the stock's 50-day put/call volume ratio of 1.20 ranks in the 98th percentile of its annual range. In other words, puts have been bought to open over calls at a faster clip just 2% of the time within the past year.


  174. Winston – Just wanted to say Thanks for posting you're thoughts and ideas.  I find you're posts interesting and applicable.  


  175. RIG  / Burrben – It may be just my contrarian nature (Republican in California, White Sox fan growing up in Chicago), but Transocean looks like a bargain here near $38 a share.  Book value is currently $46.29, they have $2.12B in cash on hand to ride out this notoriously cyclical industry, management has done everything it can regarding cost control, and the high short interest may lead to a short squeeze as often times short sellers are late and scare easily.  Most people don't have the guts to "buy low, sell high" but you are getting paid almost 8% per year until a catalyst emerges.


  176. RIG comes under oil and I have an opinion that it is good long term investment but may not pay until the world glut of oil is worked off. That could take a number of years. Hard to loose under book value unless those offshore assets stay idle for the duration of low oil prices.


  177. More than 1,000 businesses affected by same malware as Target
    http://www.latimes.com/business/technology/la-fi-tn-1000-malware-target-20140822-story.html


  178. Yellen resists pressure to tighten monetary policy more quickly
    http://www.latimes.com/business/la-fi-yellen-interest-rates-20140823-story.html


  179. Phil

    Just a matter of time and the big steal will be through smart phones. I have tried to point out there are no protections, it is not I'm negative to technology but there is no longer consumer protection on top of computer safety.


  180. Airbnb Hands Over Data About 124 Hosts To The NY Attorney General
    http://techcrunch.com/2014/08/22/airbnb-host-data-ny-ag/


  181. The real problem that at this point unsolvable is back in the 90s the federal government demanded back doors into all computers. Until they are closed hackers will sneak in, or walk in and that includes the perfect apple.



  182. Fed chair Janet Yellen cautious in speech on ‘damaged’ US economy
    http://www.theguardian.com/business/2014/aug/22/fed-chair-janet-yellen-damage-us-economy-jackson-hole


  183. European markets tumble as Russian convoy presses into Ukraine
    http://fortune.com/2014/08/22/european-markets-tumble-as-russian-convoy-presses-into-ukraine/



  184. Hot Dog on a Stick is purchased from bankruptcy for $12.2 million
    http://www.latimes.com/business/la-fi-hot-dog-stick-levine-leichtman-20140821-story.html



  185. Big investors are hoarding string instruments at the expense of musicians
    http://qz.com/253303/big-investors-are-hoarding-string-instruments-at-the-expense-of-musicians/




  186. Workers spend more time planning vacation than retirement
    http://money.cnn.com/2014/08/19/retirement/401k-investments/


  187. I really don't have a take on it.  I haven't been in RIG for a long time, but I know it's a fav here on the site.  I might do some analysis this weekend looking at it's IV percentile, etc.  


  188. Maersk’s shipping container volume surges, boosting trade outlook
    http://www.theglobeandmail.com/try-it-now/?articleId=20117163


  189. Hi Phil,

    I'm relatively new to your service and have been enjoying it.  My question has probably been addressed already but I haven't found it on the site.  It appears that the virtual portfolios are just that.   You enter hypothetical positions and then track them over time.  While on your futures recommendations it appears you are actually trading your own capital.  Are my assumptions correct?  It so why do you do it this way.  If the portfolios are not your actual investments how do you invest your own capital?  Is it very similar to the portfolios? 



  190. Solar panel shortage looms even as manufacturers invest in production
    http://fortune.com/2014/08/19/solar-panel-shortage-looms-even-as-manufacturers-invest-in-production/


  191. Germans Happily Pay More for Renewable Energy. But Would Others?
    http://time.com/3148684/germans-happily-pay-more-for-renewable-energy-but-would-others/


  192. Leaked: Details Of Google’s Attempt To Get You To Pay For YouTube
    http://www.businessinsider.com/google-set-to-launch-youtube-music-key-2014-8



  193.  I'm reading Barbara Tuchman's The March of Folly – from Troy to Vietnam, and it's fascinating and repelling me at the same time.  If you can get past the somewhat dated literary voice (she was a lot easier read back when I was in college and all my professors wrote their textbooks like that) it's a fascinating review of inept governments throughout history and the incredibly obvious policy mistakes they insisted on making despite their own best interests and often clear evidence such policies would not work.  The parallels are striking between our current corporate-kleptocracy-captured governments in almost every case she cites, especially when you consider Robert Reich's The Disease of American Democracy.  I guess the bright side is that compared to some of the examples, things could be a lot worse.


  194. Prof / "successful business people like myself and Phil?  You have made a couple of monstrous assumptions there. chum.  Firstly, that you "learned something about competition" because you were successful in a particular business.  With all due respect, even a stopped clock is right twice a day. The idea that paying people well and treating them more than fairly is a "loser sfrategy,", which, forgive me if I'm wrong, seems to be what you imply, is an absurd generalization.  I ran a company that installed well over USD 1 Billion in energy projects which was very profitable and successful precisely because we hired and retained the best talent in the industry and paid them very well.  I guess being McScrooge is the only viable strategy in many low-margin businesses, but I doubt that, e.g. , either Apple or Google were built paying minimum wage to people with room temperature IQs.  "Improvement begins with "I"?  Was that Plato, Nietsche or Dale Carnegie, I forget?  

    And as for the success of Phil's business model, well, we all think he's  pretty great, but you must have had a kiss on your first date if he's already shared his financials with you,


  195. ZZ/ Biz Success – Dale Carnegie's "How to win friends and influence people" should be required reading for every aspiring business owner.  Every employee that has ever worked for me has called me the "best boss they ever had."  EVERY single one!  Another key to my business success was receiving an MBA degree, with honors, from a top university, with dual emphases in Finance and Marketing, BEFORE starting a business. After all, "an investment in knowledge always pays the best interest.". I guess that quote is the reason we are all members here.  By the way, that gem is from Benjamin Franklin, in case you were wondering.  


  196. ZZ – There are three different strategies to business success:

    1. Lowest cost (i.e. Wal-Mart)

    2. Great service (i.e. Ritz Carlton)

    3. Best innovation (i.e Google)

    The type and pay of workers depends on your biz model…

    You're welcome :)


  197. Good morning! 

    WEN/Yodi – I'm sorry but I simply can't find a trade idea for WEN on 6/10 or 6/11.

    Psychopaths/Yo – I think the problem is that, while cooperation, sharing, trust and responsibility do, in fact, lead to better societies, they also lead to us non-psychopaths placing too much value on individual freedom – including the freedom of others to be greedy, psychopathic assholes.  As the saying goes: "All that is necessary for the triumph of evil is that good men do nothing."  

    Unfortunately, it is the tendency of "good" men to do nothing because we (and I try to be good) tend to be tolerant and so, the intolerant and the greedy are allowed to break the rules of a polite, sharing society and take advantage of our better natures.  

    That's what's going on in America and most of the World, we liberal, tolerant, sharing types (ie. the polite majority) are besieged by those who would take more than their fare share, would segregate and pontificate and force their World view on others.  Those kind of people are easy to find, they have always existed – but they flourish in a tolerant environment because there are so many people they can take advantage of.  Look at the Welfare List for the Country:

    The "red" states are the taker states.  Despite all the BS they spout about not wanting Big Government, their hands are sure out for Federal Funds and who are the suckers giving it to them?  The "blue" states?  Why?  Because we are full of people who give and care and share and all those squishy words that make people like Prof want to throw up.  

    At a certain point, this situation will finally become intolerable enough where the Blue States get together and decide we don't want to be in a country full of Shiites anymore and, like Russia, this country will break apart.  I think if NY and CA were on the same coast, it would have happened by now.  It's becoming more and more clear that "Liberal" Democrats and "Conservative" Republicans don't want the same things – not the same tax system, not the same laws, not the same wars, not the same foreign policy, not the same education system, not the same safety nets and there doesn't seem to be any room for compromise.  

    We all love "our" country but that country is getting more polarized every day and, so far, all the Conservatives have seen is the tolerant side of Liberalism.  We had a revolution back in the 60s – it didn't stick – it's probably time for another one.

    And another great quote from our revered Founding Father:


  198. zz/prof Well said, ZZ

    prof – choosing to "ignore this user" Your comments are not in the spirit of this board…


  199. Monthlies/Burr – Maybe I'm not making it clear, I'm suggesting building up a portfolio of long-term put sales that you KNOW have a big advantage over time and EACH MONTH, you can cash in some winners for a steady income.  Butterflies work too, cash in winners, roll losers.  If you want steady, I don't recall having any bad months in the Butterflies though, as with any strategy – it can happen.  

    Selling/Shadow – I'm sorry then, I don't seem to understand what you are proposing.  

    Cubs/Prof – Wow, you are amazing!  We need a museum exhibit for you next to the Neanderthals…  Why is it the Cubs owners fault that they would rather keep grown men from working over 30 hours a week just to avoid giving them health insurance?  Really?  Can you possibly not understand the mechanics of employment?  It all would have been fine if the umpires had allowed for the owners' cheapness or the Fans who paid $200+ per family to go to the game should be pressed into labor so the owners don't have to part with another $8.25 for the groundskeeper?  That is seriously your point of view?    

    Of course, the Cubs aren't the most profitable team in baseball because they take care of the sick, are they?  $120,000 on health care would be almost 0.4% of their profits and profits are much more important than people, right?  Oh wait, I apologize, I was wrong.  How silly of me – groundskeepers are considered SEASONAL employees, they only work from April to September (there is no October for the Cubs!) so just $60,000 in health care costs is the reason they ruined a game.  If that's the way you ran your business, Prof, I pity your employees and your customers!  

    30 hours/Craigs – That 30-hour thing was a compromise and a mistake.  Employees should get health care.  Human beings should get health care.  In Europe, EVERYONE has health care and it's simply part of your taxes and they pay 1/2 of what we do to cover 500M people while we're covering about 240M for double the price.  Why?  Because of idiots like Prof who want to maintain the ridiculous status quo rather than "modernize" (and I hate to use that word since Universal Health Care was established in the 40s and 50s in most of the World) our TERRIBLE system.  

    I do blame Obama for this mess.  I blame Obama for not pressing his advantage in 2009 and ramming Universal Health Care down the Republican's throats when he had a chance.  Next time, hopefully, there will be no mercy – as I said above, the "Liberals" have to either learn not to be pussies and take back this country or we have to leave it to descend into darkness – compromise simply isn't working.  

    Workers/Craigs – I agree, I found the same thing when I owned companies.  Much better off paying for quality workers, who then care about the jobs they do and are more productive and more involved in the company's success – because they know that it's shared.  Prof is a Billion miles off base comparing his corporate thuggary to mine – I used to make sure everyone worked ENOUGH hours to qualify for our 100% health care coverage, because I thought it was one of the best ways I could give something back to the people who helped me be successful.  

    Sure I could have made another million or two by being a jackass – but just yesterday I got a call from someone who worked for me since she was 15 until I sold the company and now she's got her own business (thanks to stock options) and employs many people.  There are a lot of people like that out of the 100+ who worked for me who went on to be successful entrepreneurs and I can't even name 10 who left us over the years because it was a great place to work – we all made money!  I wouldn't trade that legacy for more money – it's ridiculous to even compare it, what does money accomplish in the long run if you just keep it for yourself?  

    Improvements/Prof – PLEASE don't imagine I could possibly agree with your drivel!  Wealth begins with "We" and We, the People, are getting fed up of seeing the wealth of this great nation being funneled into the hands of the greedy few who try to justify their hubris with God and Country BS.  

    For a successful revolution it is not enough that there is discontent. What is required is a profound and thorough conviction of the justice, necessity and importance of political and social rights. - B. R. Ambedkar

    RIG/Burr – It's not done falling because someone bets it isn't done falling?  That's a purely TA trade, what happens when they unwind it?

    And what Prof said (amazingly).  

    Glut/Shadow – I don't think it will stop the drilling though some of the deep-ocean rigs that produce costly oil may get shut down and that could cause an awkward transition as RIG has to move them to a more profitable location.  Plenty of new wells being discovered, so demand is there but moving rigs is a lot of expensive down time.  

    Phones/Shadow – You're right.  I would have a separate, small bank account set up for the phone to prevent major theft.  It's going to be like the Wild West out there for quite a while.

    Portfolios/Spider – Well, for one thing, the stuff we track is only a small percentage of the picks we make and the purpose of the virtual portfolios is to provide an EXAMPLE of how to organize trades and work them over time.  This is a site aimed at "teaching a man to fish", not giving out fish – you (and everyone) need to pick trade ideas that suit your own investment needs over your own time horizons.  I usually don't participate in the Futures trading either but, sometimes, as a teaching example, I try to detail some live trades so people can hopefully learn by example.  As you'll see over time (because we're in a cycle of long-term investment trading, which I prefer), the LTP and the Income Portfolio will mature over time and will both become great income producers.  The Income Portfolio is more conservative – aimed at the kind of investing a retired person might do with $500,000 they can't afford to lose while the LTP/STP is more aggressive and assumes a person with a 10-30 year window to retirement, which is the strategy I prefer.  

    By the way, we finished the week with the LTP at $606,845 (up 21.4%) and the STP at $136,144 (up 36.1%) for a total of $743,000 so still on a good track as we were at $727,000 last Friday AND we got a lot more aggressively bearish with our SQQQ and DXD adjustments as well as pressing that GMCR short (which one assumes would go down in a crash but who knows with that F'ing thing).

    Speaking of lessons – it's the MIX we care about, not the balance of each portfolio or even the individual positions.  We PURPOSELY pick bullish and bearish bets in the STP for BALANCE – one side is likely to win and one side is likely to lose and, if we pick REALLY well – sometimes both sides win!  

    On the whole though,  the main job of the STP is to protect the LTP which, so far, hasn't needed much protecting.  So we took some of our STP profits this week and invested them in more protection (the aforementioned rolls).  If the market breaks higher, now we have sufficient cover to add more longs in the LTP – BALANCE!!!  

    GMCR crushed the $25KP this week, up only 8% now with a 7% loss on the week.  I double-checked and we only made $920 selling the short Jan $90 puts so the net of this trade is -$2,500 at the moment – 10% of the Portfolio.  In retrospect, it was too risky to have in the small portfolio – my mistake.  

    Our Income Portfolio is up 7.1% about where we started the week and we now have 4 dividend-payers, on our way to having 10 lined up by next year.  

    The Butterfly Portfolio is at $122,705, up 22% and down $2,400 on the week – it's no particular thing, more the declining VIX taking the premium out of our long positions, which have quite a bit of premium in them as we're only hedging with short-term sales.  No worries as we have 16 months still to go!  

    And what ZZ said.  And let's not forget how COST, who pays their employees well, is kicking the crap out of their competition.  As are "casual dining" restaurants, who also get better quality people (due to bigger checks and bigger tips), who are prospering while the fast food places are trying to figure out where their customers are going.  You can't get more efficient and automated than MCD, can you?  Why would people go to more expensive restaurants when MCD has a $1 hamburger on the value menu?  Because MONEY ISN'T EVERYTHING!!!  

    If Capitalism were as easy as Prof thinks it is, this wouldn't be happening in a bull market, would it:

    Ritz/Prof – Owned by MAR now, who were one of my Vegas picks last November.  


  200. Prof- Nowhere in my message did I say that the businesses failed. As a matter of fact, the apparel business was a very successful and respected company that was around for a very long time. We made product for just about every clothing store in America at one time including Saks, Bloomingdales, Barneys, etc. also for designers like Ralph Lauren, Calvin Klein, Bill Blass, etc, etc. I sold the business for a very nice figure when I could no longer travel due to having a child with autism, I referred to losing our domestic manufacturing ability, not losing the business.

    The food business was an attempt to start a large franchise type of model, and while we didn't get there, it was by no means unsuccesful, I just wasn't interested in running a single location business as it was not what I need at this stage of my life. You are really out of line and I have been respectful of you in what I write trying to make my points with out personal attacks, other than to say I think you seem to not like President Obama, which I think is apparent in your writing.

    I don't know anything about you so it would be presumptuous of me to attack you or assume from what you write that you are a moron. I would never do that. I believe I have made some passionate well thought out arguments, supported by facts and personal experiences while you have simply made negative statements about "liberals". I believe that is the spirit of this group, to talk about politics as it relates to economics and bring facts and experience.

    I could go on and on about the many unique and innovative things we did to run our businesses, such as working with the very powerful amalgamated clothing workers union to switch from domestic manufacturing to offshore production in the 80's before it was commonly done. We were one of the first. I could talk about the pension issues we faced and dealt with 25 years ago that are now becoming a huge issue everywhere.

    My business experience is likely over your head, so I won't get into it any further here. Hoping you do well with your investing which is what we are here for. Sorry to all the rest here for this. Another Republican strategy, when the other side makes sense with facts and points out the flaws in your argument with a strong message, start with defaming and attacking the messenger to deflect from the issues on which you can't defend your stance. Make up some stuff, throw it out there and have Fox news report it in all its "truthiness"


  201. I wrote that last bit in anger after reading Profs last post and didn't go all the way through to see what Phil and ZZ and others wrote. thank you all for your intelligent and eloquent words. Much better than my response. I would like to add that I am a Dale Carnegie grad and used those teachings often in my life Prof. I repeat that Dale would not have made assumptions about me that were negative, he would have used a positive tack and found common ground we could agree on while gently trying to convince me of his point with well thought out arguments that related to my experience and were complimentary. Enough about that and defending my business life. I will say that if you were the best boss ever (which I heard often from my employees as well, especially around Christmas) and you don't understand the idea of providing enough hours and benefits to them, your people must have worked for Ebenezer Scrooge prior to you.

    Phil- I have often read that if we had adopted Hillary Clinton's health care reform in 1992 or whenever it was proposed, we would have solved all of the issues facing us today and would have a great healthcare system that would be the envy of the world. here is another example of Republicans blocking something that would benefit the nation because they didn't want the person who brought it to succeed. Very familiar, right?


  202. For those not in who want an IRBT play, or who like me need another: MAR 14 30/35 BCS selling the 30 puts is currently a free trade (not counting margin of course), 100% in the money. 


  203. I'm sorry again, but I can't stop. Prof, your comments about getting an MBA being a key to success, while not wrong,  are just narrow. I was a CPA before running my first business and I believe this prepared me better than an MBA would have. Most of the MBA's I hired and have met along the way, never understood the fundamentals of business because they were too busy with concepts of marketing and finance that didn't always apply to the matters of the day. By understanding how to read a financial statement and what was behind those numbers, I was able to make decisions that helped us through all kinds of economic conditions. Managing inventory and cash are not generally taught in Grad school, but are keys to running a business successfully. Give me an accounting background any day over an MBA for running a business. OK, now I'm done, I promise!


  204. Free/Deano – The most dangerous term in the World!  Still, very nice trade idea…

    MBA/Craigs – I have a friend who went for his MBA at Wharton 5 years ago instead of taking the $200,000 and investing in AAPL instead, as I suggested.  AAPL was under $100 at the time, his Wharton MBA has led to a worse job than the one he left and, by his own admission, he learned nothing.  Of course the AAPL shares would be $1.4M now and I TRY not to remind him of that every time we talk…  My plan with my kids is to fill up a briefcase with $250,000 in cash and say to them – you can take this money and start your own business or you can go to college.   These days, you can learn all you want on-line (MIT On-Line Rocks) WHILE getting some real-life experience.  Unless one of them wants to be a professional – I'd rather they learn by doing.  If nothing else, the experience will look good on the college application a year or two later…


  205. Fascinating discussion this morning and once again Phil, bringing facts to the table…

    One of my best friends always asks me why the Dems or Obama just don't go on TV and do a presentation with all the facts that you are presenting. Like Ross Perot did back in '92… The problem with that is that conservative outlets like Fox, Limbaugh and others have now convinced so deeply their uneducated audience that a) the other side is unpatriotic, b) they are takers, c) they lie to take your guns and your bible, d) they are baby killers an e) you can trust science and education that you would have no shot at convincing anyone that they are voting against their best interest! Furthermore, how can people who take someone like Palin seriously be convinced by facts!

    Secession might actually be the only recourse at this point and would turn out to be a harsh lesson for many. And probably bitterness born out of lies and propaganda. Many examples of that around the world.



  206. I think it may be another couple of years before they replace us:


  207. Deano – MY MAN!  I love those trade ideas.  I wish there was a way to scan for them

    MY MAN



  208. Remember a couple of weeks ago, we were talking about those awful states where the police are hassling people for money?

    But there is another, unnoticed irony in the venue itself. Three times a month—one day and two nights—the City Council chamber also serves as home to the incredibly busy and extremely profitable Ferguson municipal court.

    report issued just last week by the nonprofit lawyer’s group ArchCity Defenders notes that in the court’s 36 three-hour sessions in 2013, it handled 12,108 cases and 24,532 warrants. That is an average of 1.5 cases and three warrants per Ferguson household. Fines and court fees for the year in this city of just 21,000 people totaled $2,635,400.

    The sum made the municipal court the city’s second-biggest source of revenue. It also almost certainly was a major factor in the antagonism between the police and the citizenry preceding the tragedy that resulted when Wilson had another encounter with a subject six months after he got his commendation.

    And any complete investigation into how Michael Brown came to be sprawled dead in the street with a half-dozen bullet wounds must consider not just the cop but the system he served, a system whose primary components include a minor court that generates major money, much of it from poor and working people.

    1984+20:  The past only counts if you don't erase it:

    Republican congressional candidate Jim Hagedorn could face a major obstacle in his race to unseat Minnesota Democrat Tim Walz: conservative blogger Jim Hagedorn.

    Hagedorn, the son of retired congressman Tom Hagedorn, was a surprise victor in last Tuesday's GOP primary. But he brings some serious baggage to his race against Walz, a four-term incumbent. In posts from his old blog, Mr. Conservative, unearthed by the Minnesota politics blog Bluestem Prairie*, Hagedorn made light of American Indians, President Obama's Kenyan ancestry, and female Supreme Court justices, among others, in ways many voters won't appreciate.

    Hagedorn deleted many of his old posts prior to his 2010 run for Walz's seat—he lost in the GOP primary. But some of his writings can still be found via the Internet Archive or in screenshots taken by the Minnesota Independent. These were not mere juvenile ramblings, either: Hagedorn was a Treasury Department official at the time.


  209. Phil- the auto bot conversation is exactly what conversation with someone with Asperger's syndrome (a variation of autistic disorder) sounds like! That was a very funny post. As for MBA's , I think you hit the nail on the head! College degrees are also worthless, except that without one you can't even be considered for a decent job. I just put my twins through college and the cost was beyond outrageous. I was digging through some old papers and found a bill from University of Pennsylvania Wharton school from 1974. Cost of a semester was $1500, just school, nothing else in that figure, but still amazing, no?! 


  210. Phil / bounce lines – Would you do a bounce line discussion for next week, please?  Both market up and down. I was fine with the lines last week-end but got lost once the week started. I haven't developed the understanding of dealing with adjustments as the week moves along.


  211. A very political weekend here !, so I could like to have some given the fact that I share 2 different health services, 

    In Spain I paid about  200€ monthly for Health  ( retirement funds  are  included in the monthly base but I separate it for comparison),  When I stay in TX.( about 4 months during the year) I get a specific policy for that 3 months that covers a non resident  medical costs I pay about $1,100 for Mary and about  $900 for me, and is for 90 days.

     

    About Prof comments about businesses, he is inferring that because you are not a businessmen you are not capable of a decent life, is like assuming we are in a lawyer country or architects country and anybody else is dog shit.  A decent country is a place where you have equal opportunities but different results, BUT your results are those that allows you a minimum decent life, when I commented  here with friends in a dinner  that WMT has a food stamps service included in the "salary package", they didn´t believe me, I had to search in a Ipad in the moment because they could accept it.


  212. Phil /  Question;

     

    EXXI  is an oil company in Eagle field  my friends in Tx are recommending me for a long, I mentioned to you  a few weeks ago, have a opinion?.

     

    MSLP  Paolo Santos is a decent writer I follow in Seeking Alpha and he is usually sober in the analysis however he just published this recommendation  that really call my attention, perhaps is useful to review it.

    http://seekingalpha.com/article/2442595-musclepharm-might-be-a-monster.

    Regards.


  213. Deano/Free Trade: thanks for sharing – we all need to work together on this kind of data mining exercise. In terms of automating the process, the closest thing I came to was PowerOptions (I believe you can still get a 14 day free trial).

    One of the hurdle's to overcome on these 'apparent' trades is the bid/ask spread – and for IRBT it is running in the region of 10%. Fills are unlikely to get a net cost down to zero, but it nevertheless is the place to start. TASR exhibits more or less the same bid/ask penalty. 


  214. MSLP/Advill- I follow Dr. Philip Frost whose company Opko health I have been following for about four years and I believ is on the verge of becoming a major player in biotech. It is still highly speculative and there are many pitfalls ahead, but this guy has a history of building companies that reward patient shareholders. Why do I mention this in response to your post about MSLP, because Dr. Frost is an early backer o MSLP and is a key player in it's rise and strategy. I think he is still involved and heavily invested, although I have not been closely following MSLP of late, Based on what I have seen now though that will change and I am going to be looking carefully. Two things concern me. The first is tht they are late to the energy drink market. However their strategy of using science as a marketing tool is a bit different than just using caffeine. These drinks are not just soft drinks and are priced accordingly. Another thing ( and the most serious)  to beware of here is the management which I can't decide about. The share dilution is massive and it is worrisome. At the end of 2011 there were 713K shares outstanding. End of 2013 almost 9 million and now over 11 million. These guys have built the company using shareholder money and by issuing shares to pay for everything along the way. I worry that they have gotten addicted to this practice and they will continue to be greedy in their use of shares to compensate officers and directors. This bears watching, but I do like that Dr. Frost is involved and he does have a history of backing winners! 


  215. EXXI/Advill- The CEO appeared on Cramers circus recently and here is an excerpt;

    "In his second "Behind the Boom" segment, Cramer checked in with John Schiller Jr., chairman and CEO of Energy XXI , a stock that's down 37% for the year, despite Cramer recommending the stock earlier this year.

    Schiller said Energy XXI is doing a lot to fix their communications with Wall Street so that there are no surprises going forward. He said now that his company's acquisitions are complete, they will be focusing on execution, drilling one good well after another, to get production levels back to where they need to be.

    Schiller continued that Energy XXI has a number of short term issues that are hampering production. For example, the company drilled a few wells that are currently only producing natural gas, he said, but those gas caps will be bled off soon and the oil will come. In other areas, Energy XXI just doesn't have the infrastructure needed to transport the oil they are producing to market.

    Cramer said that with many of their problems moving behind them, he's still a fan of this 3% yielding stock."

    This stock has been beaten down from a price of $38/share to its current $16.21. Wednesday  it was down to $15.48. We can collect a 3.1% dividend while we wait for it to recover which I am guessing it will. If we believe RIG is going to recover at some point, this one should too since they are both in the domestic oil and gas production business. RIG is equipment and these guys are the ones doing the drilling. They are selling at a 20% discount to book value and while revenue and earnings are down from prior years, they are still pretty solid and I think the dividen should be safe on earnings of about $725million from 1.2 billion in revenues. Not a bad little company to buy while its on sale if you think the oil and gas business is only temporarily down.


  216. http://www.nytimes.com/2014/08/24/books/review/excellent-sheep-by-william-deresiewicz.html?smprod=nytcore-ipad&smid=nytcore-ipad-share

    William Deresiewicz argues that Ivy League schools graduate narrow-minded students who are later dissatisfied and purposeless.


  217. http://www.nytimes.com/2014/08/24/realestate/moving-out-of-brooklyn-because-of-high-prices.html?smprod=nytcore-ipad&smid=nytcore-ipad-share

    Brooklynites are moving out, fed up with rising rents, bidding wars and neighborhoods that no longer resemble the low-rise bohemian enclaves they found when they arrived.


  218. http://www.nytimes.com/2014/08/24/magazine/delivery-start-ups-are-back-like-its-1999.html?smprod=nytcore-ipad&smid=nytcore-ipad-share

    Silicon Valley wants to save you from ever having to leave your couch. Will it work this time around?


  219. MSLP

    I am a novice on these maters but I have looked at MSLP and I don’t see it…

    On 2010 shares were +$1,000… Now $12

    Since mid 2011 shares have been hovering between the mid teens down to $4 and up again to the mid teens.

    A $130 mil company with negatives: profit margin, operating margin, ROA, ROE, cash flows, etc.

    Less than 5% ownership by insiders

    Regarding seekingalpha’s article I probably could fit those graphs to any other company I wish to fit to the purpose I want (as Phil says, I can compare apples to oranges, and even to bananas! :-) ).

    Please explain it to me because I just don’t see it.


  220. MSLP/ Aka;   I don´t know much about the company either that´s why I´m asking here, but according Santos it has the same financial structure, same trend that Monster beverage, what called my attention was the graphic and the partner,, I´m in a wait and see mode.


  221. Craig / EXXI;

     

    Yes, it has been suffering a lot in stock market, my friend is  in the field   consultant  (it´s  funny for me to have this information anyway), is a comment I had of someone  living of the oil business.


  222. Politics / Religion

    I just don’t comment on these topics any more because I ALWAYS end up being shouted to. Politics have now become one with religion on people’s lives: both are sacred and untouchable. The worst part is that most people don’t know their religion or their politics.

    Being an atheist I know more about religion than 99.9% of the religious people I’ve talked to (Christian, Catholic, Muslim, etc.), and when you point to them the fact that morality has NOTHING to do with religion they become angry!!!

    Being, mostly, an anarchist I know more about politics than 99.9% of the people I’ve talked to (left, right and center), and most become angry when I point to the fact that MOST politicians (left, right and center) pursue the policies that benefit THEM, and not the ones that benefit the citizens they are supposed to serve.

    Any way, I thank Phil and all of you for the help and knowledge I get from this forum on the economic, monetary and strategic side of the discussion. Live long and prosper.


  223. Phil

    You said you could sell the shirt you made and skipped over I said tee shirts to promote PSW with web address and a message, forget Jackson hole, not much chance of you getting a central banker member. I said Arlyn and I would wear them and explain your investment idea anywhere and at various business shows where you can rent a booth for any reason. Jackson has plenty of money and not one decent broker and I am not excluding other states. I like interaction with other people and would do it as something to do, contact with humans, and not  cost anything but time. Giving away shirts to the right people does work and we can pick them. Even got a note from Helen, the fund, about tee shirts. You solicit new members every morning and  this personal thing has always worked better than the net. You have to meet people all the time right? An email isn't good enough. My only demand for this is You pay all expenses, if it doesn't work I will be ready to quit before you.

    Another proof of the net doesn't substitute for contact is the fund, PSW members were generous because they have a relationship but other than a very few Anonymous unknowns donations were only PSW and I am not getting to PA or MD. Fact is my situation is significantly worse months later and all the talking about healthcare tells me to give up. I have regressed to not being able to do most everything and some days I don't have the energy to eat. I spend most of my time just thinking how can I end this. No one should have to suffer this much in the great USA and Craig reminds me there are thousands stuck in nothing works. What happens when he can't fight for his son? I have a clue having no one to help me. BTW Arlyn has almost identical problems with the same few places for solutions, same 2010 accident same injuries, that is why I backed her surgeries last year, imposable to watch.


  224. If any of us use quotes of other good men to show that we have similar virtues, we should probably hold beliefs that are similar to the person we are quoting. Let's see what other things Ben Franklin said -

    Anger is never without Reason, but seldom with a good One.

    Be civil to all; sociable to many; familiar with few; friend to one; enemy to none.

    Content makes poor men rich; discontentment makes rich men poor.

    He that is of the opinion money will do everything may well be suspected of doing everything for money.

    He that would live in peace and at ease, must not speak all he knows nor judge all he sees.

    Remember not only to say the right thing in the right place, but far more difficult still, to leave unsaid the wrong thing at the tempting moment.

    Search others for their virtues, thyself for thy vices.

    Well done is better than well said.

    Who is wise? He that learns from every One.
    Who is powerful? He that governs his Passions.
    Who is rich? He that is content.
    Who is that? Nobody.
     
    Take it from Richard, poor and lame,
    what's begun in anger ends in shame.

    This last one is of a different vein, but really is a "gem" -

     He who would give up essential liberty to purchase a little temporary safety deserve neither liberty nor safety.


  225. ~~akademia

    Morality, you got that right, I said about the same yesterday, this blog. I try to convince myself there is a god but and I mean I am very vocal on ALL ORGANIZED RELIGIONS ARE BASED ON IMPERFECT HUMAN SELF CENTERED OPPINION! I have nothing to do will all of them and secondly mentioned separation of church, state, and education. God may back good people but he sure as hell doesn't tell these immoral religious devils they are godlike in their preaching's. 


  226. Phil / politics – Well, you sure won that argument.  (sarcastic)  You and your members claim such a righteous attitude, but proceed to insult my personality, my intelligence, my education… I guess it's a good thing I didn't bring up my religion… so for now I guess I will try to shut up and just "cling to my guns and my bible."

    If you ever got out of your big-city bubble of NYC (and CHI, LA, SF, Boston), you might find that the vast majority of this country are more like the faithful and liberty-loving personalities of myself and our nation's founders. 

    It's no wonder you have seemed to scared off the rest of the non- liberals from this website…

    p.s. if you truly love your government so much, you can always write $250,000 checks made out to "U.S. Treasury" instead of giving suitcases of cash to your kids.  How selfish and unpatriotic of you!


  227. Craig / Carnegie training – Congratulations on completing it!  Perhaps you can educate our mutual friend Phil about Dale Carnegie's rule that "you can never win an argument.". Isn't it ironic how Phil rails against the 1%, when – financially speaking – he is one of them, while I am part of the 99%…

    … thanks to many of you for demonstrating why most of the rest of the country hates NYC so much… not because of your ego or arrogance, but because of your condescending ignorance of other people's viewpoints.

    One last thought…

    "The problem with socialism is that eventually you run out of other people's money to spend."

    - Margaret Thatcher


  228. PROF you religious right ——————————————————————-

    I said 2 days ago I missed hearing from the conservatives!

    I don't miss what your preaching. Your kind has spent most of the money, screwed the masses, destroyed the environment, and horded most of the money. My being destroyed financially and physically is the result of policies you preach.

    You start religion and you claim to be a long member, I question that, but you may end up the second thrown out!


  229. Phil said:

    "We all love "our" country but that country is getting more polarized every day and, so far, all the Conservatives have seen is the tolerant side of Liberalism.  We had a revolution back in the 60s – it didn't stick – it's probably time for another one."

    Really?

    Let's see how the teams stack up, Liberals vs. Conservatives:

    Liberals: lawyers, Hollywood types, tree huggers, pot smokers, atheists, disabled, young poor, old broke

    Conservatives: doctors, Rednecks, Marines, Navy Seals, Christians, young ambitious, old rich

    Talk about David vs. Goliath, but in this case, David does not pray… so God is on our side, too!

    By the way, thanks for calling me/us "idiots, Neanderthals, and Shiites.". It just proves my point.

    Prof, over and out!


  230. Prof

    Now you have insulted me, a disabled  person. You think I deserve to suffer? I was once OK but now spent all my money on medical care and question how long I can survive not to mention I am humiliated that my only chance is a fund Phil started the idea and 2 mostly silent women have done all the work. People like you prove America is cruel and everyone is disposable.

    I don't even believe you because the anger your showing is for reason. What is it?


  231. Prof / Commentary -

    Prof, you're sounding like an advert for the Club for Growth back during the Bush/Kerry election in '04, and it's pouring out terribly.

    Beyond the stereotyping you're doing about who is in/out of the liberal and conservative factions – and honestly that tactic always seems to perk up the ears of the right-wing (wrong-wing) of the political spectrum, you might realize that current/veteran soldiers are no all crowded into one space. Their dispersion across the span of politics, from complete egalitarianism (complete equality) to complete authoritarianism (complete hierarchy) to egalitarianism is much more even than you'd like to probably\like to believe.

    Listen, you're beginning to insult people. I'm finding i hard to see your line of reasoning now. I don't think I'm the only one.,Now I have a lot of practice with tolerance, shit (all types), and the tolerance of shit. Continue to speak your mind, but do so respectfully and you'll get that respect back. Do so without respect for others, and you're going to find your respect currency  dwindling in value significantly.

    This board has a lot of respect for the speech of thers, and it's probably why Phil and many of us here feel like you need to be able to speak your mind even in light of sparking a level of disagreement with your views that might be found in the minds of conflict forces who are in open warfare with each other.


  232. I am quite certain the Pope is not a conservative and he surely is Christian! And I don't think Jesus would be a conservative either. Not sure where God would line up given the diverse stories I read about Him in the Bible.


  233. I wish I could edit my posts, I always come off looking like a spelling- and grammar-challenged dufus when I post a comment that's been digitally scribbled at typing speed.


  234. SJJ

    Prof may if lucky avoid most of his negative categories but the old is only avoided by early death. There is always what I call "checking out". I am disabled but by many standards also old and he may think I deserve a 25% cut when it coverts to old age social security but I worry how to deal with it. I like to look on the bright side unless the GOP guts it more I will qualify for more physical therapy as they now limit the disabled, but paying the 20% average $100 per week will stop that! 


  235. Atheists?    "A"God is on our side?" — I seem to have heard that before:  "Caedite eos. Novit enim Dominus qui sunt eius!!!"  Of course, that was 13th Century Beziers, before 20,000 Cathars, men, women and children were put to the sword,  but….  

     

    https://www.bing.com/videos/search?q=some+men+you+just+can%27t+reach&go=Submit&qs=bs&form=QBVR#view=detail&mid=7B22254BE68D7C2BC60E7B22254BE68D7C2BC60E


  236. Shadow – Aren't you in Wyoming?

    http://talkingpointsmemo.com/livewire/wyoming-medicaid-expansion-options

    Wyoming looks like it might be the latest Republican-run state to come around on Obamacare's Medicaid expansion.

    The Associated Press reported this week that Gov. Matt Mead (R) and the state's top health official had met with federal officials to discuss a possible deal to expand the low-income insurance program under the law. Mead will present the options early next year the state legislature, which has thus far rejected the expansion, according to the AP.


  237. There are more recent references Zero – see "Gott mit uns"


  238. BTW, if any of you are fans of track and field, you have to look at that video from the European Championship and see my compatriot run the last 400 m in the 4 x 400 m relay:

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8mlU9FfSx0A

    Never see that before… That's some great run!


  239. yo_mamma, hard to take you seriously with that username…

    I share facts and ideas, Phil responds with insults (i.e. "idiot") and threats (i.e. "revolution").

    Do you really think he would do that, if we were sitting at the bar or poker table.

    Phil's responses (i.e. red / blue states implying the poorer red states are "on the take" from the feds), are illogical at best, and agitating.  (Kind of like listening to Obama's 1984-ish doublespeak-- makes my brain hurt from its dumbing-down)

    So, I try to respond with humor, because there is no middle- ground with you people.  You know everything.

    But don't worry about that upcoming revolution…. you have the LGBT… course, we have the NRA…

    HAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA 


  240. STJ Mead

    Yes I have heard that and the less than national news is he is waiting for the government to give Wyoming a special deal, a state with 500,000 people. He is doing this because a republican opponent said she would expand Medicaid. He also says he doesn't trust the feds and hates Obama more than Texas. I hope they adopt expansion, chance 1%, but it will do little if anything to help me as what I need is not done in Wyoming. Still hoping a big contributor steps up, my only hope. 


  241. For example:

    Phil / MCD's decline – "Events, food purchased away from home and live entertainment are increasingly unaffordable to the bottom 90%."

    http://www.oftwominds.com/blogaug14/fiver8-14.html

    Phil / WMT's decline - the bottom 90% have moved on to the dollar stores for non-food purchases, and groceries are a loss leader for Wal-Mart's biz model.

    Working people are suffering, but 1%ers like you don't realize it, living in big-city bubbles.

    Phil / politics – stick to what you're good at – stealing money from people that have less knowledge of trading options than you do.  After all, "you are the house" so you can take money from those less fortunate than you.

    Someone could logically call you a "hypocrite" but I detest name-calling.  If you have anything else mean to say to me, say it i. person to my face one-to-one like a real man….

    THAT IS ALL


  242. Prof / Pens & Swords -

    You seem perfectly capable getting yourself booted from this website, so I don't think I need to offer anything else other than invite you to just … well … keep going. I think at this point, free speech may do a tough job for me. Here I thought I'd have to fight a war with an idiot, but your own words appear to be my best weapon. 

    Anyhow, wishing you well at Clown College this year.


  243. StJ – absolutely phénoménal


  244. Winston – I wonder how fast she ran that last 400 m?


  245. Phil – Please continue emphasizing FUNDAMENTALS and add more “why” and “how it applies” explanations (like you have done with GMCR and ABX troubled mines). Thanks!

    Now advert your eyes because I am posting some additional TA info and links. ;-)

    Note: Some thoughts for newbies …

    If you trade with “FA” (like Phil) and have a strong conviction in a stock, you may stay in a trade even though it moves significantly against you (maybe even DD or 2xDD). However, trading with TA may let you know it’s time to take profits (reduce risk/exposure): lighten up, add covers and/or exit a trade completely … knowing that you can ALWAYS get back in, add to your position or remove the covers later. Even if you trade FA, TA may assist you on entries and exits by helping identify trends and possible trend changes. 

    Some traders believe that trading with both FA and TA helps them trade with better success, although everyone needs to find what works for them, and if something makes sense to you and you are having success with it … use caution because changing may be detrimental to your trading confidence as well as to your portfolio balance. However, for those that are still struggling with trading or lack the confidence to trade, do not give up: reduce position sizing, scale into trades and keep searching for a system or method of trading that works for you and which makes sense to you. The ONLY wrong way of trading is consistently losing money (not just temporary portfolio drawdowns). Every successful trader has eventually found their own unique method that makes sense to them, that they are comfortable with, and that they have success with … and that is the RIGHT way of trading.  

    Some basic information for TA newbies …

    Strong stocks tend to get stronger, while the weak stocks tend to get weaker. This makes sense because Wall Street loves its winners and hates its losers. However, stocks do not go up forever nor do they go down forever and entire sectors (of stocks) go in and out of favor with traders.

    Sector Rotation Models help identify which sectors are outperforming and which are underperforming. You can use this information to trade ETF’s or you can pick the strongest stocks in the strongest sectors to go long or you can pick the weakest stocks in the weakest sectors to go short. Recognizing trend changes should be important to traders that utilize trends (in order to trade successfully).

    Sector Rotation Models exist primarily to help investors identify and participate in new trending sectors of the stock market. There are a number of ways of looking at sector rotation:

    Sector Rotation Based on Performance; and

    Sector Rotation Illustrations; and

    Relative Rotation Graphs (RRG Charts) with instructions.

    How RRG’s can be useful in identifying sector rotation & trend changes:

    ChartSchool: Relative Rotation Graphs (RRG Charts) explained; and 

    An article by Julius de Kempenaer (who developed RRGs).

    RRGs help identify (visually) when a sector or stock that is going down may be getting ready to turn up as well as a sector or stock that may still be going up, but may be getting ready to turn down. Remember, nothing in the market works 100% of the time, and RRGs are just another tool and/or indicator to use that may help you trade better on an entry or exit strategy.

    Hopefully this will help.


  246. http://news.yahoo.com/katie-couric-interviews-melinda-gates-072408129.html

    The problem is this is heroic! 50+ billion, pocket change.


  247. Problem with the right!

    Very wet, barley on my land has sprouted because it is too wet and sprouted making it worthless to the malt buyers. I call the Mormon farmer and ask to get some of the grain to malt and eventually beer and he says I must pay for it. Fuck him I will have him arrested if he trust passes, I get 1% free or the grain rots! Think he gets it? There is no way it will feed their horses. 


  248. Wow, what a lot of political BS.  Funny how it's always the Conservatives who seem to start a ruckus in the first place…

    I see Prof has hit an almost record for being ignored – quite an achievement for those of you who remember Cap!

    And Prof, I didn't call you an idiot, I said "idiots like Prof" and that wasn't nice and I would say I was sorry but then you went on to be such an ass that I'm not sorry at all.  I did not know you were in the downtrodden 99%, I thought you were an incredibly successful businessman who was beloved by his employees and had all the answers.  I'm not sure what "condescending ignorance" is but, since your last thought is Margaret Thatcher – I guess I'll be going with guilty as charged on that one!  

    I don't know why you are so sensitive.  Didn't Dale Carnegie say "Instead of worrying about what people say of you, why not spend time trying to accomplish something they will admire."?  Carnegie also said "The person who seeks all their applause from outside has their happiness in another's keeping." which, in case you don't understand, means I don't need to get your approval to feel good about myself.  You say many words, but none are backed by any facts – not a single link to anything to support anything you say – where's that Carnegie training – I don't remember the chapter about lashing out and beating people over the head with your dogma until they give up arguing…  blush

    And, aside from the fact that I already do write large checks to the US Treasury – even though I strongly object to half of it being spent to fund wars and another large chunk of it going towards corporate bailouts and Red State Welfare – I also understand the concept of leverage so, rather than take $250,000 and drop it into the ashtray of an F-35 so your pals can go kill people they disagree with, I would rather use it to support people who will change the laws of this land and they can begin to reign in some of that misplaced $50Tn of wealth accumulated by the top 1% – just 10% of it will knock out most of our debt in just 3 years!  

    So I'm "threatening" you with revolution but then you think your idealized "Rednecks, Marines, Navy Seals, Christians.." will kick our ass?  I'm not the one revolting, I'm the one trying to warn thickheads in the top 1% and top 10% about what I do see out in the REAL World, where the chart above shows clearly that the total wealth of the bottom 50% of this population doesn't amount to what AND of the top 3 members of the top 1% personally own.  No plantation ever had such disparity between slaves and masters – you really think this will last – do you really think human beings will put up with this for generations?  

    Anyway, your disgusting statement re. "disabled, young poor, old broke" shows your true colors and I too will be using my ignore button – making you only the second Member I've ever chosen to ignore.  


  249. Thanks Phil that includes three of my categories.


  250. $1,500/Craigs – Yep, those were the days.  I had a Regents Scholarship and a Merit Scholarship and they covered one semester and worked as an assistant Maitre' D at a Yacht club to cover the rest (with a student loan, of course).  While in school, delivering pizzas gave me spending money.  With the prices now, there's no possible way my kids could work their own way through a decent college – another way our system has failed completely.  

    "An educated citizenry is a vital requisite for our survival as a free people." – TJ yet again!  

    Bounce lines/Chas – I stopped talking about them because we popped them (except the RUT) and that got us off the bear case until we got back to the top, which led us to press our bets in case it's a double top but, if we break over now on S&P, etc (and NYSE 11,000), then we'll be getting a lot more aggressive with bullish bets.  That's the gist of how we use the bounce lines but feel free to ask questions next week – I'm happy to clarify that stuff for people.  Diamond's TA seminar is good too. 

    Health/Advill – How do you compare the care, costs, etc?  Have you had cause to use the US system?  That WMT thing is tragically true – yet another form of corporate welfare.  

    How McDonald's and Wal-Mart Became Welfare Queens …

    According to one study, American fast food workers receive more than $7 billion dollars in public assistance. As it turns out, McDonald's has a “McResource” line that helps employees and their families enroll in various state and local assistance programs. It exploded into the public when a recording of the McResource line advocated that full-time employees sign up for food stamps and welfare.

    Wal-Mart, the nation’s largest private sector employer, is also the biggest consumer of taxpayer supported aid. According to Florida Congressman Alan Grayson, in many states, Wal-Mart employees are the largest group of Medicaid recipients. They are also the single biggest group of food stamp recipients. Wal-mart’s "associates" are paid so little, according to Grayson, that they receive $1,000 on average in public assistance. These amount to massive taxpayer subsidies for private companies.

    Both McDonald's and Wal-Mart are engaging in perfectly legal behavior. The system was set up long ago in ways that failed to imagine companies doing this. Yes, they are taking advantage of the taxpayer, but they are also operating within the law.  Which means it is time to change those outdated rules.

    EXXI/Advill – Turns out Cramer has been pumping them all year and they still are down about 1/3 after being down 1/3 last year and 20% the year before that.  You would think that would make them zero but, luckily, it's diminishing cuts so $39 goes to $32 and $32 to $25 and $25 to $16.  Essentially, they spent a ton of money drilling their asses off and haven't really hit it yet – this is how E&P companies die.  

    Of course oil prices aren't in their favor even if their new wells do start producing and now they've used up all their tax write-offs while revenues and earnings are declining anyway.  This is a $1.5Bn company with $1.3Bn in debt that is paying out a $37M dividend – that doesn't make me like the stock, that makes me concerned that management/major investors (97% insider/Fund held) is more concerned with lining their pockets than strengthening the company's balance sheet which, by the way, had no cash left at the beginning of the year but now has $300M after borrowing $500M to start the year off.  Yeah – let's borrow more money to pay more dividends!  

    So, not the kind of company I like, especially with oil under $100 so it depends on how clever your friends are because this company looks like it's run by Bush (not once, not twice but 3 times (Harken, Spectrum and the aptly-named Arbusto) did GW Bush fail to find oil in Texas).  

    MSLP/Advill, Craigs, Akad - Well, the guy certainly writes about them often enough, 4 articles in the past month.  I don't know where he was when the stock was at $6 in March but, now that it's over $12, he's banging the table!  I don't know their stuff, it's nutritional products for athletes, which is a nice space to be in since you sell 0.50 worth of vitamins for $5.  Sales growth is solid, no debt and little cash but a positive cash flow – I'd say they believe in themselves and are pouring all the money back into marketing and growth.  Since they lost money last year and are making money now, they have another 2 Qs at least of crushing comps so, on the whole, it's certainly worth a gamble.  Too bad no options but, at $12.14, the 200 dma is at $9 but I'd put a stop at $10 if they can't hold that.

    Atheism/Akad – Hey, my daughter is one too.  You guys should get together for the holidays!  Oh darn, no holidays – that's why your "religion" will never catch on…  cheeky

    Tee shirts/Shadow – OK, we can revisit concept next weekend, when I'm not burying relatives.  

    Franklin/RJ – How about:

    Any fool can criticize, condemn and complain – and most fools do.

    If all printers were determined not to print anything till they were sure it would offend nobody, there would be very little printed.


  251. Conservatives/StJ – Have you seen Untold History?  Very well done – I just watched "The Rise of the Right" – just make sure you don't have anything near you that you might be tempted to throw at the screen.  Comes with documentation for further reading as well.  

    Disclose.tvOliver Stone: The Untold History Of The United States: Reagan… Ep 08


  252. Please consider this above all this, what will really actually happen whoever you want to blame depends on macro powers. The last devastated country was the result of an earthquake and that was not in 2010. Interest rates worldwide rose 5% because the lender had another priority and something similar will rule the future. All this debt will come to roost  and my hint is it will not be the US domestic entitlements. The old the sick the disabled will not matter when the world has to offset the biggest disaster of all time. What is anyone's guess but the time is soon and that same self greed will be to blame.


  253. Thanks for the video, Phil.


  254. Phil / U.S. interest rates:  The U.S. economy viewed as a whole appears pretty clearly to have bottomed out and begun to move upwards [you know the numbers better than I do, but here's a cite anyway -- http://bea.gov/newsreleases/national/GDP/GDPnewsrelease.htm.  At the same time, mortgage rates dropped to under 4.15% 30 year / 3.425% 15 year last week.  I bought a U.S. house I would like to mortgage.  What would be your guess as to how fast they might move up again?  Should I move quickly, or should I panic and move even more quickly, would you guess?  I'm inclined towards the latter at the moment.  I expressly relieve you of any responsibility for what can in fairness only be a guess.


  255. Is cap still a member? What happened to the other guy? Peter? I found cap mostly respectful… Anyways…



  256. Boy o boy sitting here as a German letting the thunderstorm (political discussion) go by. I can only smile how some people like to blow there own trumpet. I thought and I pointed out on various occasions that this is a site where we learn and teach how to trade and leave the politics to some other sites. Why am I paying good money to listen to BS. Sure most political events will effect the market. If you are all such big shots why don't you help one of your country man to come out of his medical problems. If every one of you would have put just 100$ in the fund we would have reached our goal. Just put your money where your mouth is. Pressing the ignore button does not save a sick person ether. To me normally people thinking they are the greatest need help as they have a minority complex. It looks like they are King Kong. So with owning all the big companies why can you not chip in a 100$ to help a man, instead of blowing your own horn and talking BS. ??????????????????


  257. As I brought to believe the membership is full at a number of 500 x100$ = 50,000.00$ needed for tne fund. From the one side Phil wants to increase the fees to reduce the inflow of membership on the other side Phil tries to promote the site every day to get more members. Controdicting each other.??? So that is why we only collected some 3,500 in the shadow fund? Are these all the poor members spending who do not have big companies behind them? I trust we do not want to lose more members due to higher fees!


  258. Good morning!  

    What Yodi is talking about, in case people don't know, is the Shadow Fund, a YouCaring project to help Shadowfax pay for some of his medical bills.  To date, it's raised just $4,923 despite being featured on the front page of our site (rather than collecting ad revenues – we would have done better donating the ad revenues!) for a few months and being mentioned in Chat numerous times.  

    While Yodi seems to fancy himself quite the scold, he himself has put in the same average $100 that 50 other people have.  I realistically did not believe 100% would participate and, in fact, having worked with many charities for decades, this is about the average participation in any group (10%) and this is why the Conservative propaganda that we should leave charity in the hands of "the job creators" is completely insane.  

    2012 ContributionsCharitable giving nationwide is $316Bn out of a $17Tn economy (1.8%).  Corporations give just $18Bn to charity (0.1%) and, sadly, spend more money on advertising to tell you how charitable they are than they do on the actual charities themselves and spend 10x more money lobbying not to pay taxes that might help the poor than they do actually helping the poor.  That's the reality of this country.  

    Most charity money is collected in the 4th Quarter as most people begin to feel charitable around Christmas and Thanksgiving so I still have hope that the Shadow Fund will do better into the end of the year but it won't if Shadow and Yodi turn it into a negative, unpleasant experience for people – there's a reason you don't see berating ads and begging adds ANYWHERE in the charity World – they completely turn people off and have the opposite effect that is intended.  I have told this to Nick (Shadow) and Yodi before yet they both seem to feel they are wiser than I am in this regard and continue with their strategy.

    The recent ALS Ice-Bucket Challenge is a great example of how POSITIVE messaging can raise money but, despite rock stars and Presidents getting cold water dumped on their heads ALS has raised just $2.2M more than they did last year with just 630,000 new donors (average $3.49 each) - despite all the media coverage.  That disease has the name of a World-famous athlete attached to it (baseball player Lou Gehrig, for those of you outside US) and, despite a full-court press on both the on-line social media and the MSM – those are the very sad statistics.  

    So, on the whole, we're doing pretty good at PSW considering and we're certainly proving the need for taxation to help the poor, not Adam Smith's all too-invisible hand.  

    One thing I will say about charities in America is you get tremendous participation from the bottom 80% but, unfortunately, they don't have money so they donate their time instead.  65M Americans volunteered 7.9Bn hours of their time to charity last year, for an average of 123 hours each.  If you are a top 1%'er, you are well aware that your time is money and that's a month of your time!  

    So the sad state of affairs (and I doubt other countries are very different) is that those who have the least continue to do the most but, in today's economy, with disposable incomes dropping faster than inflation (because the inflation numbers are BS) – all the bottom 80% can afford to contribute is time.  If those of you who don't have the time could perhaps set aside a little money for Shadow instead – that would be great! 

    For those of you who don't have money but have maybe 60 seconds of your time to contribute – all you have to do is share Shadow's link in Facebook with perhaps a personal comment from you to your friends about how just $5 or $10 could help get us on our way to the goal.   So far, no one has shared the link on Facebook, not even Yodi!  

    Share on facebook

    I'll be the first.  There, I'm done already (10 seconds).  


  259.  


  260. Maybe I don't get this ALS thing.  Isn't the challenge to EITHER donate OR dump an ice bucket over your head?  

    If so then all the rich people dumping ice buckets don't NEED to donate.  

    It would have been better if at the end of the "challenge" the showed the amount of the check they were giving.


  261. The idea was that those that can't afford to donate would instead put out viral (hopefully) videos of themselves getting ice dumped on their heads in order to spread the messange and find more cash donors.  This was a good idea because of the model of charity donations I noted above – many people are willing to volunteer, few are willing to donate actual cash.  

    The challenge was misinterpreted and turned into a thing where it was "cool" to get ice water dumped on you and, as you can tell by the very poor cash numbers – unfortunately it ends up getting roughly the same result as an Email marketing campaign now (0.01% success) as far as raising funds goes.  

    It is a sad day in America when Charlie Sheen is one of the only people who gets it:


  262. Phil, I have a large BRK/B-A position and am looking at laying on some hedges specific to Berkshire. Appreciate your suggestions – note- no put selling as positions held in IRA accounts. 


  263. I've got to go do funeral stuff but I'll get back to that later, Pstas.

    Have a good day all, play nice! 


  264. Mortgage/ZZ – I don't think it will be violent or sudden (barring some G20 default/crisis) but I do think it will be certain that we won't be seeing 4% again on 30s for a long, long time.  I wouldn't rush a purchase, patience usually pays off, but maybe you have something else you would like to refinance/borrow against now, so you can bank the cash at 4%, and then shop as a powerful cash buyer later?  

    My friend and I are looking for something in LA, probably on the beach in Hermosa.  Could be a while before something comes up (ideally, we'd like a three-family my friend can live in and rent the other 2) but, when it does, cash will be king.  


  265. By all means take care of family obligation first. My sympathies on your loss. I have reached the age where such events are all too common. Funerals do remind me of the value of priorities and humility. 


  266. Mortgage /  Thanks for your comments, Phil.  I bought the house last year before prices in the community spiked upwards considerably.  There were multiple offers at the asked the day it went on sale, I only got it fbecause I didn't 


  267. Phil – Please accept my sympathies and prayers in the time of your loss. Peace,


  268. include a finance condition.  (ipad typing, awful stuff).  Prices have risen since then, but I thought rates would drop since the major economies were still tanking.  But I seem to be pushing my luck at this point, hence the question.  You may be doing the same on Hermosa Beach: once the gun goes off, prices (on good lots in that city, e.g.) were up 26% within a year. 


  269. Please accept my sympathies as well, Phil, best wishes to the family.



  270. Shadowfund posted to FB. Being Canadian I had to take a few extra seconds to comment on the "wonderful" US health care system. :-)


  271. Facebook, and comments, Sorry I do not mess with Facebook even that they have some how listed my name. You never seem to get out of these traps again. It just clocks up my email. In my view it is more getting hassled than what it is worth. I regret that my comments have not been taken that well or even misunderstood.

    Just felt the website does serve better discussing trades, as getting frustrated on politics, which you can not change in any case. Obviously Phil runs his website the way he wishes and my comments were possible not called for.


  272. pstas,

    I am not a Barron's subscriber, so could not read the article. Who are they saying comprises the 3rd wave of buyers?


  273. yodi – The idea behind posting to FB is to share the link in order to try and spread the word about Nick and Arlyn and maybe get even one person to help. In my case my 100 FB friends will have access to the link (I have the rest of FB locked out.) If you don't use FB then this doesn't apply to you. I find FB useful for keeping up with family and friends who are spread around the world. I've never had an issue with my mailbox being clogged with FB messages so I'm surprised that you are having issues, especially since you don't have a FB account.


  274. grenowoods

    Thank for your explanation. I must have opened an account sometimes. But well I do not use it.


  275. ~~~~Nick, Those are some nasty looking screws in the xray, no wonder you are in such pain. I hope you get the pain relief you seek

    Sorry I never had a clue what I said was begging. The main 2 people behind this were one get a first career job including moving to a new state to eventually pay of student loans and the other has a dying relative in Canada. People tend to get busy and forget with others wait. I was trying to remind, Jeffdoc even thanked for the reminder as he had planned to donate. Because of craigsa' s son I was reminded of how broken medicine is in America and I wanted him to know how bad I felt for his son's future. I don't care how rich or successful he is unless he is .001% he can't do whatever for the rest of a younger mans life.

    I will spare all of details of functional problems but the last contributor summed one issue with their comment, "Nick those are some nasty looking screws in the x-ray, no wonder you are in so much pain. I hope you get the pain relief you seek." Actually it was a CT, other pictures below right. The obviousness seen by any lay person is why they were posted.

    Thank you all and I will say no more!


  276. This blog insists on putting cut past at the top even when I typed it in the proper place. Phil I hope this issue that I have mentioned numerous times can be fixed. It wasn't at the top when I hit submit.


  277. Dear Yodi:  I don’t think your comments were inappropriate, since you were only trying to help a fellow member with a serious medical problem.  But we members don’t know much about each other, so your harsh comments regarding their charity or generosity was more a product of frustration than information.  Most people don’t like to speak of their private matters, and charity is one of them. 

    I have lived in what we call the 3rd world for the last 9 years, and the need for charity is constant and pervasive.  People everywhere, the poor included, have their dignity, and seldom ask for help directly, but there are very few avenues of charity in these countries, most work is done by women [I am male], and “giving” women babies and moving on to the next one is pervasive in these cultures, is a symbol of machismo.  I directly support – by which I mean all living and medical costs – of over a score of women and their children; my own wife is the 6th of 10 children, the first 5 of which were kidnapped and killed in the  poorest country in our hemisphere.  She was the strongest.   This is not charity from afar; this is up close and personal, on a daily basis.   

     

    So I do appreciate the humanity of your comments, but you must understand that, from my standpoint, Shadow lives in the wealthiest country in the world, and, on a relative basis, the chance that he can obtain help from that country for his obvious need exists:  where I am, there simply is no such thing.  But I do wish that the U.S. had the political will to put in place the health care systems that are commonplace for most EU countries, including your own.  Pax Vobiscum.


  278. zeroxzero

    There are worse places in the world but you are wrong about the US medical system. It is nowhere near #1 and definitely not universal for everyone. What is the biggest cause of bankruptcy? Medical expenses. Sooner or later now that you have returned to the US I think your opinion will change.

    I also encourage you to first consider if you really need a mortgage since you bought the house last year, and if you do apply tomorrow!


  279. Get Ready for S&P 2300

    Yet, despite the Fed's taper, bond yields have dropped, and the economic backdrop is once again ideal for stocks. The growth in U.S. gross domestic product is strong but not too strong, while inflation and bond yields remain muted. That "Goldilocks" scenario will allow Janet Yellen and her colleagues at the Federal Reserve to take as much time as they need before hiking interest rates — and that will "pull forward" future stock returns into the final months of 2014, Bannister says. Instead of seeing gains spread out over, say, the next three years, the S&P 500 could gain nearly 16% by year end.

    Such a surge isn't without precedent. Bannister explains that extended bull markets can be divided into three stages. During the first, so-called intrepid bulls jump in when everyone else is fearful, and push stocks higher. They're followed by the "mainstream" bulls, who take the baton when the market appears less risky. Finally, the "stragglers" jump in for a final surge.

    Some of the most prominent stragglers are the hedge fund and mutual fund managers who have doubted this rally, and underperformed because of it. "Portfolio managers feeling the pressure of underperforming will have to take action," says Michael Marrale, head of research, sales, and trading at ITG. He expects the market to top 2000 soon.

    The three-stage pattern occurred during the long rallies of the 1920s, 1950s, and 1990s, and the current market seems to be following the pattern to a T, Bannister says. If history repeats, those who have sat out most of the rally will at last return to the fold and be responsible for the final push to 2300.


  280. I thought this comic really captured the big problem with our elections today in a very brief and funny way.

    http://www.gocomics.com/pearlsbeforeswine/2014/08/24#.U_pEbmFxaAx.google

    last thoughts for Prof/ you keep saying you are putting up facts, but I cannot find a single link to or reference to a fact in anything you have written, whereas many of us have done that. You accuse others of belittling and name calling , but only in response to you and generally only after something really mean on your part. I think if you would go back and really read through it all you might see this, but only if you really read it through. If not then maybe it is hopeless, because it seems quite clear that there were many opportunities for this conversation to be just that and instead you chose to hurl insults and opinion without substantiation, which is what is happening with conservative pundits and outlets nationally, IN MY OPINION, but I could be wrong and welcome any facts to the contrary backed by proof. I also welcome a different opinion if put forth respectfully, which is what Prof has been missing in this whole back and forth. I apologize for answering in a like manner and not staying on the high road. By the way, I am neither a New Yorker nor a Californian but proud to be a liberal who cares about people and my community (community not limited to geographic boundaries) .


  281. http://news.yahoo.com/photos/strong-earthquake-rocks-california-1408895316-slideshow/

    Well we came this close to what I mentioned yesterday. Warning this again was not the big San Andréa's fault now over due. America is not at all ready! 


  282. ~~craigsa620

    Forget Prof—--its is all that counts. The last guy like him was not Cap, he was rather nice while being an ass never having any back up. The real jerk was gel1 who hid money offshore to avoid taxes and said he would never give a cent to his kids. Maybe he got arrested for tax evasion, he sure did post doing so, but he did go out with an all time high insulting Phil in, ask Phil. Long term, as he stated member, prof likely has no clue about either of them or he would have treaded lightly.


  283. Shadowfax or anyone,    
    I am curious as to how the YouCaring site works.  When does the recipient get the money and does the recipient have access to the e-mail addresses and identity of the donors, other than the anonymous ones?    [ I ask that question because I have not received a thank you for my  $X00 donation made almost 3 months ago.  Normally most charities send some sort of thank you note and a current update, which helps engage the donor and the charity to form a common bond that eventually leads to further support. ]


  284. Why in the world would someone be interested in MSLP  or even EXXI when there are so many great stocks out there.  That's what our buy list is for.


  285. stochbern

    Thanks! They don't do anything but provide the site and there fee is more or less what charge cards charge so it isn't expected by at least me. I have reframed from thanking by not bring up in chat individuals. most give their handle and anyone interested can check the site to find out who and how much.

    No addresses are given out to prevent contributors from being solicited.

    The money is transferred to my checking account approximately the next business day. So far I have sent every penny and all I have to pay bills. The reason I have done this rather than go to the east and run up thousands more is I can't afford the minimum payment while I don't even eat like I used to.

    For you and anyone wanting a reply from me for the same 3% you could send to my pay pall. Another is contact through that same e-mail and I will return my snail mail address, a check has no charges, which I do not want to post, I didn't want my name or e-mail posted but pressure from Phil I relinquished. Very difficult for me to even accept I have failed to maintain independence, last loan I had was paid off in 1979. Now in debt, even bill collectors. nsenape@hotmail.com


  286. pstas

    Thanks!


  287. zeroxzero

    Please contact me through my e-mail above.


  288. Phil/Ice bucket

    I think you misread the article you posted:

    "By many accounts, the ice-bucket challenge’s success is staggering. As of Friday, The ALS Association had received $53.3 million in donations, up from a mere $2.2 million during the same period last year, and the association attracted more than 630,000 new donors during this period. Celebrities — from George Bush to Ben Affleck — have taken part in it, the media has written hundreds of stories on the topic, and pretty much every American has seen at least one — if not dozens — of icy videos on their social media feeds. Those, no doubt, are statistics any charity would envy."


  289. Anyone wanting more contact me e-mail, I have every filter under the sun so under title put you PSW name. I even answer people who think I am the worse thing ever.


  290. Prof

    regarding your 8:13 comment:

     Even though I have paid Phil thousands of dollars,  I do not feel that he has stolen anything from me.  I have paid an institution of higher learning, PSW, for an education on investing, option trading and now futures.  When I started a few years ago, I was at the elementary school level. Having progressed through middle, upper and college levels,  I am working on my MBA of this craft.  Not only do I get to learn from our professor, Phil, but his aids Pharmboy,  Peter D,   Yodi  and stjeanluc.  In addition there are many other “students” who ask very good questions during class to further enhance my education.  I am happy to pay for all that,  plus have all my news for the day condensed and filtered and sent directly to me.  That, my friend, is not “taking from those less fortunate.”


  291. ~~rj_jarboe ALS

    I for a second, looked way better to me.


  292. stockbern

    Please contact me off PSW.


  293. Phil – I used your ALS donation figures to make a point to someone and got this in return. Just FYI so you can update.

    http://www.usatoday.com/story/news/nation-now/2014/08/21/ice-bucket-challenge-als-donations/14383843/


  294. Who is this "prof" person?

    I can't see any of his comments………


  295. :)


  296. Does Prof realize that saying Phil is cheating his members out of money, on the PSW forum discussion, is an actionable legal offense? I certainly hope he/she/it does…


  297. Sorry guys, i read "up from a mere" as "up a mere" and that does make a massive difference.  All the more reason then for us to push The Shadow Fund out on social media.  I guess I misread the item as it didn't occur to me for a second that ALS only recieved $2.2M last year (to date) – that's very low.  

    And thanks Stock, I appreciate it.  


  298. Yellen's tone at Jackson Hole this weekend has been super-dovish, and with Draghi making the same noises  [...with euro-area unemployment at 11.5 percent, Draghi said ECB policy makers “stand ready to adjust our policy stance further” after the 18-nation economy stalled in the second quarter.(the Germans seem to be keeping their heads down at the moment)], hiking U.S. rates at this point would strengthen the U.S. dollar and ding U.S. exports — not to be desired.  Yes, it would make imports cheaper, but those are produced by foreign workers, and "jobs jobs jobs" is the theme worldwide].

     

      So I agree with those on the site who think that we are off the races, 19,000 or bust --   "Fundamentals?  We don't need no stinkin' fundamentals!!."  I reckon that we are about to hear a great sucking sound as name-brand U.S. large caps are vacuumed up by Europeans, Japanese, Chinese, and all the big U.S. funds that have blown it this year.   I sound delusionary even to myself in writing this, admittedly.


  299. Arcade Fire at Glastonbury 2014:  Reflektor:  https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zp4gm544kHI&feature=youtu.be


  300. ZZ is that Dow or S&P 19000?  I'm sure either one is possible but I need to plan :)


  301. Phil / Charity by Demographics -

    I think this video will back up your point just a bit about who is willing to give to those in need. A great video nonetheless about how the poorest amongst us may have the most empathy or others and who seem to share when they perceive another person's need:

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YD1VT7YRJ5I


  302. I thought I wrote "Jackson Hole", not "Jackson-in-the-Hole", so that would be the Dow, if Jumping Janet keeps Yellen!!!


  303. seems i missed some pyrotechnics over the week end…glad to say

    ZO'  20000 DOW V LIKELY


  304. Thought you all might enjoy this. I have to admit I don't really get it, but the end made me laugh pretty hard. So, here is Sarah Palin's ice bucket challenge video. On a personal note, while I find her views and politics reprehensible, I am strangely attracted, and can't help admire the lovely rack! Apologies to the women for this sexist comment, but c'mon, she certainly isn't hiding it.

    http://www.motherjones.com/contributor/2014/08/sarah-palins-ice-bucket-challenge-video-actually-kind-funny


  305. zeroxzero

    Thank you for your explanation, Besides Germany I have lived myself in different countries poor and reach and have learned to appreciate what I have and learned today. My possible direct tone was not taken to well by some. I still have to learn myself.

    One day, in one of my businesses I noticed a fellow renting a shop next to mine, with the intention of selling different type of clothing. Knowing the situation and business flow in this specific mall as well as location, I said to my wife, The man is just wasting his money putting up all the work and decoration as the location was not good for his type of business. Asking my wife "shall I tell him my opinion?" she said NO. But I felt I would do him a favor telling him and I spoke to him. Arrogant he turned my advise aside. Not saying more he closed his shop after 6 month of miserable existence.

    Lesson learned better say nothing and smile. But as you can see I still fall for the same trap 


  306. zeroxzero should lock his rate immediately.  You can always refinance down, but when rates go up you lost your chance.  Make sense?


  307. stockbern / PSW cost:

    You said:  "Even though I have paid Phil thousands of dollars,  I do not feel that he has stolen anything from me.". Full disclosure, Phil granted me a free lifetime membership, back in 2006, and I have the invoice to prove it. Does that make you feel any differently about the high cost of your "education?"

    Phil / politics:

    Since this will be my comment, I am now forgiving all of you that poured hate on me.  I forgive you, and share these words of advice, courtesy of Joel Osteen:

    Jesus said, "Let your light shine before men so that they may see your good works.  You are the light of the world.  Don't add to the darkness, turn your light on. It has the greatest effect in dark places."

    I apologize to anyone offended by my words.  Sorry the debate became so emotional.  My stubbornness gets the better of me sometimes.  We are all sinners, but through faith we are saved.


  308. Prof,

    You make me laugh. 

    Here in my home town Aachen, you can just about stroll over any sidewalk without problems.

    However just go over the border 50 Km further you visit a bit larger city Liege, Belgium, and you have to watch out where you walking "Dogshit" every where. May I say you just stepped in it. Just clean your shoes, learn out of it and get on with it. They say "andere Menschen andere Sitten!"


  309. Phil thanks for comments about EXXI and MSLP, will have in mind.


  310. Good morning!  

    Huge pump in the Futures at 2am and CME is down (open at 9am they say) so all sorts of shenanigans this morning.

    /YM topped at 17,072, now 17,037 (17,050 is shorting line), /ES topped at 1,997 (would have been S&P 2,000), now 1,993 (1,995 is shorting line), /NQ topped out at 4,077, now 4,070 (4,075 is the shorting line), /TF topped out at 1,169, now 1,165 (1,165 is the shorting line).

    So, strategically, we could watch the RUT to cross and short that (assuming the others stay under) or wait for the RUT to confirm while looking to catch the Nas failing the 4,070 line.  Either way, I'd want to see both of those under before risking a down bet.  We're so close to 2,000 – it's very likely someone will try to force it.

    Nothing blew up over the weekend (other than earthquake in Nappa) so that's good news.  Oil is $93.79 and I'm going to have trouble believing the economy is recovering until it's over $94.50.  Gold is $1,279 and you know we like /YG long over that $1,280 line but $1,285 is where we get more comfortable.  Silver is $19.335, copper $3.20 is the strongest of the 3 at the moment so watch that line to hold before betting metals up.  Nat gas is plowing up to $3.92 as the Ukraine doesn't improve but $4 will be a tough sell.  Gasoline $2.745 was rejected at $2.7575 last week so we'll see how that goes.  

    The Dollar is at 82.55, down from a high of 82.70 but not much effect there.  /NKD is at 15,600 and you KNOW we like that line for shorting but they did test 15,650 earlier this morning, so be careful.  $1.32 buys you a Euro (which Draghi is turning into toilet paper), $1.659 for a Pound and 104 Yen buys you a Dollar.  Don't forget, Japan wants a strong Euro too, so not too happy about sub $1.32, which is why I like /NKD shorts today. 

    Screen Shot 2014 08 22 at 2.32.24 PMDraghi Signals Shift From Austerity

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    India fell 200 points into their close but the rest of Asia finished strong and Europe was up 1%, except the UK, who are not participating.  From that, we can infer that the crashing Euro is boosting equities over there – not something having to do with the economy.  

    Here's a few things not to worry about:

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    Investors lost patience with BlueScope Steel's recovery strategy, dumping more than US$405 million of the Australian steelmaker's shares after it reported a fourth straight annual loss and forecast flat earnings in the coming months. 4:23 AM

    • Euro Down on Draghi Comments

      The euro sank to its lowest level in nearly a year and European stocks climbed, after ECB President Mario Draghi signaled a shift in emphasis. 4:45 AM

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    Russian Media Stocks Lead Drop as Ukraine Crisis DeepensMedia companies led a rout in Russian stocks in New York after Mail.ru Group Ltd. (MAIL), which operates the country’s biggest social networks, cut its sales forecast amid a slowing economy and tension in Ukraine. Yandex NV, Russia’s largest Internet company, fell for a third day and CTC Media Ltd., which owns the nation’s sixth-biggest TV station, declined the most in two weeks on Aug. 22. Mail.ru plunged 12 percent in London. The Bloomberg Russia-US Equity Index of the country’s most-traded shares in the U.S. slumped 0.8 percent after stocks in Moscow ended a ten-day advance, the longest stretch of gains in almost nine years.

    Israel Threatens Expanded Airstrikes, Gaza Ground OperationIsraeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu told residents of the Hamas-ruled Gaza Strip that any militant target was fair game, as aircraft struck dozens of sites and his defense minister hinted at a new ground incursion. “I urge Gaza residents to immediately evacuate all facilities used by Hamas to carry out terrorist activities,” Netanyahu said at a cabinet meeting held at military headquarters today in Tel Aviv, according to an e-mailed statement. “Every such site is a target for us.”

    Hedge Fund Crude Bets Tumble Amid Surging Global Supply. Speculators are the least bullish on U.S. crude oil prices in 16 months as refinery maintenance weakens demand at a time when Libya and Iraq are swelling global supplies. Futures dropped a fifth consecutive week after money managers reduced net-long positions in West Texas Intermediate, the U.S. benchmark grade, by 14 percent in the seven days ended Aug. 19, the Commodity Futures Trading Commission said.

    China plans its own OS to take on likes of Microsoft(MSFT), Google(GOOG)

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    Japan Sales Tax Increase Loses Public Support. Support fell 6 points to 30% from month-earlier, while opposition rose 4 points to 63%, citing poll by Nikkei and TV Tokyo.


  311. BRK.B/Pstas – Of course there's no options against the A shares, so you can only use the a for hedges and that restriction means you have to only buy puts to protect yourself – that's pretty expensive.  With BRK.B at $135.75, you can sell the 2016 $140 calls for $9.50 and use that to fund the $140/155 bear put spread at $9.80 and, for net 0.30 per B share, you will get paid $15 for any finish below $140 but $140 is then your cap, so 10% downside protection in exchange for capping your gains at $140 (but, of course, you can roll down the road).  It's good for locking in gains for tax reasons. 

    Of course, the short calls would be considered naked against unconverted A shares, so that might complicate things.  Otherwise, given those restrictions – all you are doing is buying puts and that means spending some of your money to protect shares, rather than cashing the shares.  The only logical reason to do that would be because you are at least 75% certain that your gains over 16 months will outweigh the cost of the protection. To that end, I'd rather spend $12 for the $140 puts than $6 on the $125 puts for net $119.  

    By paying $6 for the $140 puts with the stock at $135.25 you are buying $4.75 of position that you don't actually have, so that can reasonably be deducted from the cost of the puts, leaving your with paying $7.25 to "protect" $140 (5%) until Jan 2016.  If you don't think BRK.B can do far better than 5% between now and 2016, then why the Hell aren't you cashing now?  Essentially, for 5% of your current $135, you are locking in a sale at net $128, worst case vs unlimited upside over $140.

    In 1998, BRK.B was $40 (didn't actually exist, of course) and in 2003 it was still $40, so 5 bad years there.  In 2008 it was $95 but then back to $50 in 2009 and now $135 so a good stock to hold through thick and thin but, at $5 a year for protection since 1998 x 16 years – that's $80 of your $95 gain spent on hedges.  Now you have the added worry of Buffett dying, so your desire to hedge won't diminish going forward and it's very likely that the cost of hedging will go up (as the risk of Warren dying grows).

    I would rather get out of the stock entirely, have your $135.75 on the sidelines and buy the 2016 $130/150 bull call spread for $9 and then you are paying just $3.25 in premium and you still make all the money from $139 to $150 and, if BRK.B pops $140, you can add $140/160 bull call spreads (now $7), hopefully at longer dates, to capture the next move up.  If BRK.B goes from $135 to over $160, you will have spent $16ish to get $30 back, so you get 50% of the upside without having to buy any puts that you don't believe in.  

    Of course, based on your bullish premise that makes you not want to sell at $135.75, you could just get the 2016 $125/150 bull call spreads at $13 and then you are back in at net $138 with all the upside to $150 and you can stop out if the spread fails $10 for low risk vs the potential $12 gain and, if you REALLY think $150 is too low (+12% by Jan 2016)  - why are you hedging?  

    On to the new post!