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Thoughtful Thursday – Markets at a Crossroads

 

"I went down to the crossroads, fell down on my knees.
Down to the crossroads, fell down on my knees.
I'm standin' at the crossroad, babe, I believe I'm sinking down." – Cream

Earnings are simply not that exciting.

The growth in earnings was SUPPOSED to come from the Financials and the Energy Sector and we've gotten so-so reports from the Financial Majors and oil just collapsed to $50.50 yesterday (a profit of $2,500 per contract for those of you who followed our morning call to short at $53!) and that can't be great for Q2 profits if we stay down here, can it?

We've been telling you for years what a complete and utter scam the oil market is and knowing it's a scam is the secret to our success.  Today is the last trading day for the May contracts and they still have 25M barrels of fake, Fake, FAKE!!! open orders to get rid of – down 100,000, 1,000-barrel contracts (80%) since Tuesday's post and, lo and behold – June is up 55,000 contracts (that are also FAKE) while the other 45,000 fake orders have been distributed across longer months – in order to fake that demand down the road as well.

Image result for seinfeld fake fake fake animated gifSince we KNOW the trading is FAKE!!!, we KNEW they had to get rid of over 100,000 May orders in 2 days and we knew that would put pressure on oil and that made a good short – it's not very complicated and we do it ALL THE TIME because, although it's a total scam – it's a very predictable one…

After today, however, we will be flipping long on oil and, in yesterday's Live Trading Webinar, we identified a great long position on the Oil ETF (USO), using July call options and, of course, we'll be looking for opportunities to go long on oil in the Futures (/CL), using our brand new oil trading range chart.  Oil will be pumped back to $55-60 into July (and then we'll go short again) so why fight the tide when we can ride along?

Speaking of scams, kudos to Andreas Hopf, over at Seeing Alpha for his article on "The Big Tesla Swindle" which does a great job of summing up all the reasons we have a conviction short on Tesla (TSLA) into earnings.  As noted by Hopf:

Tesla's current portion of long-term debt, due over the next 12 months, comes in at around $1 billion, while accounts payable are approaching $2 billion. CapEx is about to be boosted to $2 billion to $2.5 billion ahead of July Model 3 production - twice the total CapEx of 2016 plus half of that of 2015. 

It is more than questionable that the required production equipment, the urgently needed service centre build-out and a denser international battery charger network can be financed without tapping capital markets again soon. FCF remains as illusory as ever and with SolarCity in the mix, itself an exquisite cash incinerator, Tesla gives birth to a new financial metric - cash burn from operations:

There's much, much more – I just love that "cash burn from operations" line, something I pointed out less eloquently after viewing Q4 earnings and deciding (too early) to short TSLA.  Another factor in our timing of the shorts was that, in the US (where 58% of Tesla's are sold), there are only 48,058 $7,500 Federal Tax Credits available to Tesla and it's very unlikely the Trump Administration will approve extending tax credits to the exact kind of people who don't vote for them just to perpetuate the Global Warming Hoax, right?  

That's going to effectively raise the price of Tesla's by $7,500 per vehicle by July (assuming they hit their sales numbers).  Of course, it's doubtful TSLA will actually warn on future sales in this quarter's conference calls but you can imagine there must be some analyst somewhere who knows how to do math…

Image result for jeff bezos philstockworldWe're also short Amazon (AMZN) into earnings as recent profit stumbles in the cloud business represent a real threat to Amazon, who lose money selling on the retail side and make it up with fat profits in cloud services (because they need the servers anyway to run their retail operation).  This has, historically, given them a huge advantage over their non-retailing competition but Moore's Law means those advantages shrink every year and the growth of the cloud marketplace is shrinking.

After 6 years of very rapid growth, from $10Bn in 2010 to $120Bn last year (almost $20Bn average annual growth), the cloud market is projected to finish 2018 at $140Bn (half the growth) and plateau out under $200Bn in the 2020s, after which the price wars ensue as faster and cheaper servers chase after the same (relatively) amount of data storage needs:

Image result for cloud service growth

That's our shorting premise for Amazon, nothing to do with retail, they are the greatest retailer in the World – because they are willing to sell things at a net loss.  This makes your buyers very, very happy and keeps them loyal and, even better, it keeps investors betting on your company – as long as they think you could make a profit "if you wanted to."  Read any bullish take on AMZN and that's what it comes down to – IF they wanted to, they could make a profit, so ignore the current losses.

As I noted in yesterday's post, we're shorting the Nasdaq in anticipation of a reality check on earnings and this week we still have a bunch of heavy-hitters waiting to report but next week and the week after are the peak for earnings and we shall see how things play out:

Travelers (TRV) and Verizon (VZ) are two more Dow components that are missing this morning, so that does not bode well for the Dow getting back over 20,500 – forget 21,000.  On a brighter note, despite this not being a Free Trade Idea Month, I did give you a good one on Tuesday with Snap On (SNA), saying:

Speaking of fun ahead.  If you want to play the President, he'll be stopping buy at Snap-On (SNA) today and Presidential visits tend to lead to gains as the Trump sheeple will buy anything he's selling.  SNA is actually a nice little company and tools are a good infrastructure play so we can play them for a quick bump with the April $160 ($5.30)/165 ($2.90) bull call spread at $2.40, which will pay $5 above $165 on Friday for a $2.60 (108%) profit in 4 days if all goes well.

Earnings were this morning and SNA beat on the top and bottom line and should close well over our $165 target for the week and our spread will pay back $5 for a $2.60 profit (108%) in 4 days, as promised.  

DO NOT pay $3/day to sign up for the PSW Report or you will get trade ideas like this on a regular basis and then you will have to pay taxes on your profits, which is really, really annoying.  

 


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  1. Nasdaq proving resilient!


  2. Some solutions to out of control CEO pay:

    http://fortune.com/2017/04/19/executive-compensation-ceo-pay/

    Rather, boards generally peg annual bonuses to a series of customized and too-easy benchmarks. This process is conceptually flawed, because they incentivize CEOs to focus on short-term goals. Moreover, CEOs are rewarded for hitting targets that are either mushily subjective or can be easily manipulated. If you want more sales, simply cut prices. If you want more cash flow, hold back investment.

    When targets aren’t hit, boards often reward the CEO anyway. Nationwide Mutual Insurance once doubled the boss’s bonus by erasing the effect of claims from tornados on earnings.

    Worst of all, CEOs get bonuses for merely doing their job. The CEO of Cheniere Energy, Clifford notes, got a bonus for completing the financing on a liquefied natural-gas terminal. If the terminal is profitable, the CEO will be rewarded via his holdings of stock. If it isn’t, why pay him for it? Iger got a bonus, in part, for relaunching Star Wars. Iger has done a good job and should be paid for it—but once, not three times. [...]

    How to break the cycle? In Clifford’s ideal, CEOs would get a salary and restricted stock—and nothing more. The stock couldn’t be cashed until retirement, and half of it would be canceled if shareholders didn’t realize an above-average return over the CEO’s tenure.

    Graphic shows the CEO-to-worker compensation ration since 1979


  3. Some new research on Chinese growth:

    http://ritholtz.com/2017/04/chinese-growth-overstated/

    While we present evidence that China’s growth was not as weak as claimed by some analysts in 2015 and is not experiencing a sharp slowdown right now, we have no way of saying whether the current pace of growth will be sustainable far into the future. The fact that bank loan growth appears to have been such a durable predictor of China’s overall economic growth raises some cause for concern. Should lending decline for some reason—if, for example, the assumptions underlying existing lending are found to be unwarranted—then the Chinese economy could experience considerable turmoil. Rather than dismissing such risks, our research simply indicates that, at present, there are few immediate indications that Chinese growth is being systematically overestimated.

    A different conclusion than most.


  4. This week's webinar replay is now available! 

    Watch it here:

    https://youtu.be/InbIymrFQxo


  5. Greg

    Your YouTube link does not work.


  6. Coffee under 1.395 where I took a poke


  7. Should be up shortly. I put up the link a little early, YouTube isn't done "processing" yet. 


  8. Okay… now you should be able to get to it.



  9. Good Morning.


  10. TSLA is getting a masterful pump from institutions and retail that listen to Elon's tweets.  The fact that is has gone up in the last few days in the wake of the following news:

    Slashing prices on the Model S which further hurts their profit margins, hurts resale value on existing cars and shows that the demand is really not as fervent as they say.

    Class action lawsuit against TSLA alleging their autopilot 2 is dangerous

    An possible strike that I'm sure TSLA will use as an excuse as to why the Model 3's were not being produced by July

    And the financial engineering of buying back the Solar City Bonds.  The only good news has been tweets about vapor products by Muskie.  I can't wait to see earnings.  Either a lot of people on the inside know something they shouldn't or this pump is for a major miss.


  11. Can someone write out the USO trade from the webinar?  I don't see it yesterday in chat.


  12. Well, unless it's just the USO July 9 calls….which would be paying premium, so I don't believe that's the whole thing.


  13. Big Chart – Gotta take back those 50 dmas or it's just more pumpy nonsense.  

    You know I'm shorting /TF at 1,375 – that's a reflex!  


  14. /RB 1.666, go long around here? I'm still watching but eager to pull the trigger around 1.65. Not sure we'll get there. 


  15. LB   +3.5%


  16. Burben:  Yesterday's USO trade was to buy the July 9 calls.  Phil suggested selling the 12 calls later after USO rises.  He suggested paying 1.70 for the July calls, although unless /CL drops further is not likely to be possible.


  17. CEOs/StJ – Good luck.  It's like baseball players, the teams are too scared to miss out to not pay up so they all end up overpaying by miles.  And, as a "stock", you want a high-priced CEO you can blame when things go bad – that way you can get an even higher-priced CEO to replace him and the stock will go up again.

    China/StJ – Hard to get real numbers but also hard to bet against a country that prints its own money, owns 70% of the corporations and doesn't have much reporting transparency. 

    Charts/StJ – Notice how peak democracy coincides with peak literacy.  

    TSLA/Rustle – Praying for sanity.

    USO/Burr – We just bought the July $9s – $1.75 at the time and still $1.75 

    That is the whole thing and we hope to sell the $12s for maybe 0.40 (now 0.15).

    /RB/Jeff – Oil will be a drag until they are done dumping May contracts but then we should be able to move higher.  I'm not enthusiastic this week because the weak Dollar presents a danger to the /RB long because, if the Dollar pops up, it will hurt /RB

    Remember when there was a $3 spread? 

    Still liking 99.50 long on /DX – this is about a riding Euro today.

    LB/Stock – Gosh I love fundamantals!  

    Victoria's Secret, Nike Are Great, But Amazon Is Millennials' 'Most-Loved': Survey

    L Brands: Patient Investors Will Be Rewarded


  18. I'm going 2 long /CL at $50.80 – hard to see how that's going to fail with OPEC meeting late May and the holiday weekend.  Same goes for /RB but I'd rather just buy more oil.


  19. QCOM still being sold off on the conservative guidance by mgmt. yesterday.  At some point if it reaches mid to low 40s, perhaps an opportunity to DD for an additional 2019 BCS.   NXP acquisition is expected to close before end of this year.


  20. Wow, China chopped my 20 min interview down to 5 mins – I guess I have to be more careful of what I say…. crying

    And check out this stranger-than-fiction robo newscast.  Notice Russia is working WITH China to keep tabs on those crazy Americans – once again, Trump craziness benefits Russia.  

    Bloomberg CCI tracks lower

    • The Bloomberg Consumer Comfort Index declined to 49.9 from 51.0 last week.
    • The State of the Economy index fell to 48.0 from 49.3.
    • The Personal Finance Index came in at 58.8 vs. 60.1 last week.
    • Mar. Leading Indicators: +0.4% to 126.7 vs. +0.2% consensus, +0.5% (revised) prior.
    • Coincident Index +0.2% to 114.9 vs. +0.0% prior.
    • Lagging Index +0.0% to 123.6 vs. +0.2% prior.
    • “The March increase and upward trend in the U.S. LEI point to continued economic growth in 2017, with perhaps an acceleration later in the year if consumer spending and investment pick up,” said Ataman Ozyildirim, Director of Business Cycles and Growth Research at The Conference Board
    • April Philly Fed Business Outlook+22 vs. +25 expected, +32.8 prior.
    • New Orders +27.4 vs. +38.6 prior.
    • Shipments +23.4 vs. +32.9. prior.
    • Inventories +17.8 vs. +11.8 prior.
    • Number of Employees +19.9 vs. +17.5 prior.
    • A roughly 17% tumble in Ally Financial (NYSE:ALLY) over the last two months makes for a buying opportunity ahead of Q1 earnings due April 27, says BTIG's Mark Palmer.
    • Palmer blames investor concern about consumer credit and falling used-car prices for the recent selloff. He does cut his estimate for Q1 EPS to $0.50 from $0.55 based on expectation for higher loan-loss provisions (inline with management guidance from a month ago).
    • These headwind worries are overblown though, he says, and now Ally trades at just 0.74x tangible book value, allowing the company to continue to accretively buy back stock.
    • His $30 price target suggests about 50% upside for the stock.

    Not dead yet:  AmEx +2.3% after earnings; analysts weigh in

    • via Bloomberg
    • A middle-of-the-roader on the stock, Morgan Stanley's Betsy Graseck acknowledges improving revenue growth, but says American Express (NYSE:AXP) will likely need to continue paying for that growth with another boost in promotional offerings next year. She lifts her price target to $85 from $83.
    • Nomura's Bill Carcache reiterates his Reduce rating and $63 price target. The stock should do well today, but he figures at least some of the beat was driven by non-recurring items like record Q4 investment spending, and unsustainable cuts in marketing and promotion.
    • Another bear on the name, RBC's Jason Arnold says not to forget the boost to Q1 provided by a lower tax rate. Heated competition means marketing/rewards expense pressure isn't going anywhere. He lifts his PT to $63 from $60.
    • A bull on AmEx, Bernstein's Kevin St. Pierre says robust adjusted revenue growth bolsters his case, with 12%-plus EPS growth doable beyond this year. He lifts his PT to a Street-high $95.
    • Shares +2.3% premarket to $77.29.
    • Previously: AmEx rises 2.2% after earnings beat (April 19)

    Crude rebounds on OPEC comments

    • Oil fell by around 4%, or $2 per barrel, in Wednesday's trade – its worst day in six weeks – but prices are bouncing back today. Crude futures +1% to $50.92.
    • Comments by OPEC members, including oil ministers from Kuwait and Saudi Arabia, about extending a production cut are helping, but concerns about oversupply and increased shale production continue to weigh on prices.
    • Crude futures roll to the June contract following today's close.
    • Previously: Oil tumbles more than 4% (Apr. 19 2017)
    • CSX +2.5% AH after comfortably beating Q1 earnings expectations on a 9.5% Y/Y increase in revenues to $2.87B, fueled in part by a 3% rise in coal shipments.
    • CSX says its intermodal business grew 1% during Q1, while the only segment to retreat during the period was its forest products unit, which contracted 1%.
    • Same store sales pricing improved 3.9%, reflecting gains across all major markets and led by temporal strength in export coal; overall core pricing gained 7% amid increased fuel recovery and a favorable product mix.
    • CSX says it is making adjustments throughout the company to improve asset utilization, achieve greater operations efficiency and reduce its cost structure under new CEO Hunter Harrison

    • The EPA says it will reconsider a rule limiting emissions of methane and other pollutants from oil and gas operations, in the Trump administration's latest attempt to dismantle environmental regulations started under former Pres. Obama.
    • The American Petroleum Institute and other energy industry groups had petitioned the EPA to reconsider the rule.
    • The EPA says it will delay the rule's compliance date, which had been June 3, for 90 days as it takes public comments.

    • General Motors (NYSE:GM) is ceasing its Venezuelan operations after its assets in the country were seized by public authorities.
    • "In addition, other assets of the company, such as vehicles, have been illegally taken from its facilities," General Motors Venezolana said in a statement.
    • The action will cause "irreparable damage" to the unit, its 2,678 workers, 79 dealers and suppliers

    • Two Venezuelan students and a National Guard sergeant died on Wednesday after being shot during protests against President Maduro.
    • The deaths mean eight people have now been killed during demonstrations this month amid a devastating economic crisis.
    • "If we were millions today, tomorrow we'll be more," said opposition leader Henrique Capriles, calling for another protest on Thursday.

    • Philip Morris (NYSE:PM) reports revenue rose 1.7% if the impact of the currency swings is backed out in Q1.
    • European Union revenue fell 7.9% to $1.71B.
    • Eastern Europe, Middle East & Africa revenue declined 2.1% to $1.47B.
    • Asia revenue slipped 6% to $1.85B.
    • Latin America & Canada revenue decreased 3.5% to $605M.
    • Cigarette shipment volume dropped 11.5% to 173.55B units.
    • The brands with the highest cigarette shipment volume growth for the quarter were Chesterfield +13.4% and Philip Morris +15.2%.
    • Gross margin rate squeezed 20 bps to 23.5%.
    • The company expects cigarette and heated tobacco unit volume decline of 3% to 4% for FY2017.
    • PM -2.12% premarket.
    • Cowen warns that an increase in the use of cannabis in the U.S. could cut into alcohol sales. The firm notes that alcohol incidence fell over the last seven years among 18 to 25 year olds, while marijuana usage increased.
    • Surveys by Cowen suggest that cannabis consumers will continue the trend of using less alcohol which will push alcohol consumption per capita lower as new generations come of age.
    • The shakeout by Cowen from the beer-to-pot development is Outperform ratings on Kush Bottles (OTCQB:KSHB), Turning Point Brands (NYSE:TPB) and Canopy Growth (OTCPK:TWMJF). Molson Coors (NYSE:TAP) is downgraded to Market Perform from Outperform, while Constellation Brands (NYSE:STZ) is held at Outperform due to a well-balanced portfolio and Anheuser-Busch InBev (NYSE:BUD) is left out of the equation due to its high mix of global sales.
    • Source: Bloomberg

    • Dow Chemical (NYSE:DOW) is pushing the Trump administration to scrap the findings of government scientists that a group of widely used pesticides are harmful to ~1,800 critically threatened or endangered species, AP reports.
    • The scientists have compiled studies over four years showing three pesticides under review – chlorpyrifos, diazinon and malathion – pose a risk to nearly every endangered species they studied, and regulators at federal agencies which share enforcement of the Endangered Species Act are close to issuing findings expected to result in new limits on how and where the pesticides can be used.
    • Dow's request comes after EPA boss Scott Pruitt announced last month the reversal of an Obama administration effort to bar the use of the company's chlorpyrifos pesticide on food.

    • Here we go again with the M&A talk in the grocery sector. Today's thesis from Credit Suisse suggests that a Kroger (KR +0.2%) takeover of Whole Foods Market (WFM +0.5%) is very logical due to the "massive" cost synergies that could be derived from the combination.
    • CS estimates that the cost savings could be as high as $400M to $600M and add $0.40 to Kroger's EPS before any re-investments. The addition of Whole Foods could pump up Kroger's natural and organic sales by 80%.
    • A deal is seen going off at $40 to $45 per WFM share.
    • The firm rates Whole Foods at Outperform with a $40 price target due to the M&A premium. The 52-week high on Whole Foods is $35.58.
    • With consumers choosing healthier options and a slew of sugar taxes. U.S. soda and energy drink sales decreased about 1.2% in 2016, falling for the 12th year in a row, according to trade publication Beverage Digest.
    • However, total sales dollars increased 2% to $80.6B as soft drink makers pushed smaller packs at higher prices per ounce, while lowering emphasis on large discounts packs

    • Stifel Nicolaus upgrades Starbucks (NASDAQ:SBUX) to a Buy rating from Hold on a positive view for the chain's comparable sales track.
    • The firm sees U.S. comparable sales growth of at least 5% to 6% for the next four quarters beginning in FQ3 after coffee giant turns in around a 3% gain for the current quarter. Global comparable sales are seen rising at a mid-single-digit pace this fiscal year.
    • Looking further down the road, Stifel thinks Starbucks can expand its ready-to-drink and packaged coffee/tea businesses.
    • Source: Bloomberg
    • SBUX +1.37% premarket to $59.85 vs. a 52-week trading range of $50.84 to $61.43
    • Select Comfort (NASDAQ:SCSS) races higher after Q1 revenue tops estimates.
    • Comparable sales were up 3% to sail past the -1.9% mark expected by analysts. The extra sales leverage helped the company lift its operating income 350 bps to 9.1% of sales.
    • "Consumers are responding enthusiastically to our brand and differentiated products," says CEO Shelly Ibach.
    • Analysts are still cautious on the retailer, with Bank of America Merrill Lynch saying now is not the time for an investor to jump in and Keybanc warning on mattress trends (per NotableCalls)
    • Previously: Select Comfort beats by $0.12, beats on revenue (April 19)
    • SCSS +14.61% premarket to $29.65 vs. a 52-week trading range of $17.95 to $28.34.
    • The news is good for the mattress sector after Select Comfort (NASDAQ:SCSS) CEO Shelly Ibach painted a rosy picture during the firm's conference call on demand from consumers and their willingness to pay up for mattress innovation.
    • "We experienced strong consumer demand for our life-changing innovations. Our average revenue per mattress unit was up 2% in the quarter as we continue to grow our FlexFit Bed adjustable base business with strong mix," she noted.
    • "We have increased our full year 2017 earnings guidance to a range of $1.25 to $1.50 per share. We are confident in our ability to deliver on our plans and continue to make the necessary progress towards our 2019 EPS target of $2.75," said Ibach.
    • Select Comfort earnings call transcript
    • Select Comfort is up 13.65% premarket. Peer Tempur Sealy (NYSE:TPX) is 3.14% higher

    Quest Diagnostics non-GAAP EPS up 18% in Q1; shares ahead 3% premarket

    • Quest Diagnostics (DGX +1%Q1 results: Revenues: $1,899M (+1.9%); Operating Income: $279M (+8.6%); Net Income: $164M (+59.2%); EPS: $1.16 (+63.4%); Non-GAAP EPS: $1.33 (+17.7%); Quick Assets: $367M (+2.2%); CF Ops: $196M (+28.1%).
    • 2017 Guidance: Revenues: $7.64B – 7.72B (unch); GAAP EPS: $4.73 – 4.88 from $4.65 – 4.80; Non-GAAP EPS: $5.45 – 5.60 from $5.37 – 5.52; CF Ops: ~$1.1B (unch); CAPEX: $250M – 300M (unch).
    • Shares are up 3% premarket on light volume.

    Qualcomm +2.9% after Q2 beats on top, bottom lines

    • Qualcomm (QCOM -0.1%) has turned up after hours, +2.9%, after it beat analyst expectations with Q2 revenues and profits.
    • Revenues rose 8% Y/Y to $6B, flat with the previous quarter, and net income rose 28% from last year (and 12% Q/Q).
    • Revenues by segment: QCT, $3.68B (up 10%); QTL, $2.25B (up 5%). Earnings before taxes, by segment: QCT: $475M (up 179%); QTL, $1.96B (up 5%).
    • Growth was solid "especially in the important automotive, networking and IoT growth areas,” says CEO Steve Mollenkopf.
    • Cash, equivalents and marketable securities were at $28.9B at quarter's end, vs. a year-ago $30B.
    • Effective annual income tax rate estimated at 17% for the full year, and 13% for Q2 (15% non-GAAP).
    • For Q3, it's guiding to revenues of $5.3B-$6.1B (ranging from a 12% decline to a 1% gain Y/Y) and non-GAAP EPS of $0.90-$1.15 (22% decline to 1% gain). Analyst consensus is for revenues of $5.91B and EPS of $1.10. Guidance is wide due to uncertainty over possible underpayments from Apple contract manufacturers.
    • It expects MSM chip shipments of 180M-200M (a 10% decrease to flat) and total reported device sales of $59B-$67B.
    • Conference call coming at 4:45 p.m. ET.
    • Filing with press release

    Verizon -2.2% as core wireless customers drop for first time

    • Verizon (NYSE:VZ) is off 2.2% premarket after a first: losing core subscribers in a quarter for the first time ever, in Q1 earnings results that missed analyst expectations as revenue flagged.
    • Revenues fell 7.3% on a headline basis; excluding divestitures and acquisitions, it fell 4.5%. EBITDA was $11.2B, missing an expected $11.26B.
    • Retail postpaid connections were down a net 307,000, including 289,000 losses in phones; that decline was mitigated mid-quarter by the introduction of its unlimited plans, Verizon notes. Before those plans were rolled out, retail postpaid phone net losses were 389,000.
    • Retail postpaid churn was 1.15%, and retail postpaid connections grew 1.2% to 108.5M. It added 49,000 net smartphones to the base. Retail prepaid connections were up 0.5% to 5.4M.
    • Wireline revenues were off 0.6% to $7.9B; FiOS revenues were up 4.7% to $2.9B, chiefly driven by business markets.
    • For 2017, it expects organic revenues consistent with 2016, with improvement in wireless service revenue and equipment revenue trends. Capex expected at $16.8B-$17.5B, with an effective tax rate of 34-36%.
    • Earnings slides
    • Press Release

    CNN: Ousting O'Reilly will cost Fox tens of millions

    • Parting ways with ousted host Bill O'Reilly will cost Fox News (FOX +0.5%FOXA +0.7%tens of millions of dollars in a payout, CNN reports.
    • It's a "staggering amount," a source tells CNN, though Fox and O'Reilly won't acknowledge that a parachute exists.
    • O'Reilly, who hosted Fox News' top-rated show, had signed a new contract worth about $25M a year and lasting through the next presidential election last month, shortly before the news that he wouldn't be returning to The O'Reilly Factor from his vacation.
    • That set up an exit payment, sources said, but O'Reilly won't get everything he was owed.
    • Asked last night about the exit, Fox CEO James Murdoch said "We did a thorough investigation, a thorough review, and we reached a conclusion. Everything that we said in our statement is all you need to know."
    • The company ended up paying more than $40M to former Fox News CEO Roger Ailes when he was forced out last summer.

    WSJ: Google developing built-in ad blocker for Chrome browser

    • Google (GOOGGOOGL) is bringing an ad-blocking feature to the mobile and desktop versions of its Chrome browser, The Wall Street Journal reports.
    • It's still ironing out details, including whether the feature would be enabled by default (if it does indeed come to pass), sources told the WSJ.
    • But one option could be blocking all ads on sites that had one offending ad, placing a bigger burden on site owners to ensure all advertising meets standards.
    • The company would rely on the Coalition for Better Ads to determine which ads don't meet the cut, meaning likely blocking for pop-ups, autoplay videos with sound and "prestitial" countdown ads.
    • Why an ad-blocker from Google, which depends on ad revenue? To block the rapid growth of third-party blockers and to better control the process, according to the report.

  21. KCN17 below $140 now.  Is it time to start going long?


  22. Well I was too early on KC but I can be patient now. In for 3 contracts avg 140.25. Hoping I won't have to wait until next week 


  23. I'm in for 2 contracts at 139.50


  24. Phil, /SI back to the 18 line.  Like it here long?  

    If /DX rises, will that put more downwards pressure on /SI and /GC?  


  25. I have 3 short /TF at 1375 avg now. 


  26. looking at a daily, 1-yr, chart of /DX…looks more likely to test 98.5 before returning to 100.  (the downward channel since beginning of year).  i am hoping that's not the case.  but "hope" doesn't usually pan out for me.


  27. I am happy that fox will pay bill o close to 100 million they were his prime enablers and he made them billions but they are won't be fox without him or the money making juggernaut they've been i won't miss him i do like macallum tho

     

    "it is what it is"

    Werner Erhard (alot)


  28. With /ES /NQ and /TF all over their lines, I'm waiting for a cross below before shorting.


  29. burrben  SMART!


  30. Phil, of all the portfolio positions, which do you think are the most undervalued right now. I'm thinking GILD is probably one and F is another. Do you still like TWTR down here?


  31. Phil, do you think any of the cannabis stocks Cowen mentions above are interesting?


  32. Angel – EST, omg, flashbacks to 70's – mid 80's  "in touch" pre metro sexuals and malodorous birkenstock wearing lola granolas with unshaven armpits. Now I really need booze again. Thanks bunches chu-chu for the "philly" phlash and Out.


  33. Bill O'Reilly payout is max one year of salary.


  34.  So much for not being greedy. Should have been happy with my early morning gains on KC instead of going back in for more. Now I have to sit and sweat out whether this is the start of a bigger drop or just a dip


  35. /KCN7/CJ – Yes, see above but it might go lower before it's done. 

    /KC/Craigs – It's not really meant to be a day trade but I'm shooting for $150+ by July so, if we jump up $5, it's silly not to cash out so early – that's the only reason I got out (reluctantly) at $1.46 yesterday morning.  It does it often enough (up and pull back) that it's dumb not to take the quick profits and wait for a new entry:

    /SI/Burr – Not a long now because the Dollar is too low (99.50) and if it pops back to 101, then /SI takes a 2-3% hit (0.50) so $17.50 would be great (but doubtful) for a long and over $18, I'd go long with a tight stop or $17.75 or $17.50 – at which point I'd have the conviction to stay in.  

    /TF/Jeff – Well the idea was to take profits on the earlier dip.  Crossing back over 1,370 killed the trade but I do still like the short – only the indexes are flying now and I'd wait for them to calm down before shorting again.

    Nikkei (/NKD) is now the laggard to the upside and also benefits from a rising Dollar so 18,600 is a good long line for them. 

    Dollar/Lunar – I think 98.50 is too weak given Euro concerns.  French polls gave them a relief rally today but just an initial reaction.

    O'Reilly/Angel – I'm sure they'll find some other rubbish-spouting neanderthal to replace him with in short order.  

    Image result for neanderthal bill o'reilly

    They're paying him $25M to go away – he must have some good stuff on Fox for them to pay that.

    Waiting/Burr – Very wise! 

    Undervalued/Jet – Hmm, can't think of the name…  Oh yes, FU FTR!  - that's the one!   $2.26Bn at $1.91 for a company with 5.4M subscribers at a going rate of $1,100 per subscriber in Telco acquisitions.  They just added another 25,000 customers this month and the only reason they are in such debt is because they just picked up 1.7M VZ customers (TX, CA, FL) AND 11,000 VZ employees, which makes for a much smoother transition and moves towards giving FTR a national footprint.  But these things take time and most traders have no patience so it will continue to be a bargain until it isn't.

    As to GILD, F – sure, I still like them (look on the review post for ones I note are "good for a new trade".  TWTR I LIKE but they are speculative, not one I would make a top pick.

    Cannabis/Jet – I don't like it because Jeff Sessions can destroy the industry overnight so why take the risk.  My play on pot is MO because, when and if pot becomes truly legal, they will quickly snap up the "big" players and drop 20-packs of joints in the store so fast your head will spin.  Are you going to go to the local pot shop or are you going to go to the 7-11 to get some joints?  The fact that there are very, very few specialty tobacco shops in the states is a strong indication that the "gourmet" stoner market will not be enough to support competition with the big boys. 


  36. O'Reilly / Phil – Imagine if some regular Joe cost his company millions to settle sexual harassment suits, how much would he get when he is fired? They should ask him to pay back all the legal fees…


  37. The /KC trade got ugly fast.  I can't find any good reports on why it's down 3%.  Anyone?  


  38. I thought I did wait for a new entry on GC with $1.40 average weight to contracts


  39. Pharm's picks:

    BLCM  + 4%

    JUNO  +2%

    KITE   recent option activity:  today 3000 July $100 calls

    yesterday 500 July $90/70   bull risk reversals

    4-18     1000 July $90 calls

    3-09      500 Jan18 $80 puts  sell to open


  40. That got garbled, was supposed to be KC 1.40  avg on 2 contracts . I wonder if the regular coffee traders get upset seeing us in their trade and try to punish us for infringing. Too conspiratorial?


  41. FU JO!!!!!!


  42. I am sure he's getting more than 25 he has a 4 year contract at 100 and the network was aware of these allegations before they resigned him opps..

    coffee getting creamed


  43. Well, I guess this is a big enough move that we have to calculate the lines again:

    Dow 21,000 to 20,475 was a 2.5% drop and that's 575 points so we look for a weak bounce of 125 (rounding up to 25 line) for 20,600 and a strong bounce to 20,725 but the 20,750 line would need to be taken out to impress me.

    S&P 2,400 to 2,340 was the 2.5% drop and that's 60 points so 12.5-point bounces give us 2,352.5 (weak) and 2,365 (strong) and we're at 2,352 right now!  

    Nas 5,440 to 5,300 is the 2.5% drop of 140 points so a weak bounce is 28 but the Nas is very big on 25-point moves so I'd call 5,325, 5,350 and 5,375 all significant but none of that matters because the Nas is at 5,450 now!  5,500 would  put us 10% above 5,000 and then we'd look for the 100-point retrace to 5,400 so you want to see support there if the Nas is going to break higher.

    RUT 1,400 less 2.5% was 1,365 and that's 35 so 7.5 bounces to 1,372.50 and 1,385.  The Russell actually dropped the full 5% to 1,330 so that was 70 and call it 15-point bounces there to 1,345 and 1,360 so you can see what a significant area 1,360-1,385 is.

    As I noted above, /NKD makes the best long as it's down from 19,600 to 18,400 (6.12%) for 1,200 points so we can call them 250-point bounces to 18,650 and 18,900 – we're just testing 18,650 now up a quick 50 from our earlier play.  

    That's it – time to smash our brains in with a brick and simply watch the technicals – obviously the Fundies are out the window so it's all about the momentum.


  44. Phil/Craigs/Burrben – A Cup O /KC Joe – "The /KC trade got ugly fast.  I can't find any good reports on why it's down 3%.  Anyone?  "

    Thouest invoke me from my slumber…. in case you missed it on April 18th, ICO April report….

    Growers such as Uganda, Indonesia, Honduras, India and Peru, who  contribute almost a quarter of global exports, significantly increased their shipments in the first months of coffee year 2016/17 and this pushed prices down.

    In combination with a positive outlook for the 2017/18 crop in Brazil and Vietnam previous supply concerns seem to have been largely alleviated and the market lacks any strong signals to reverse from its gradual decline.

    Certified stocks on the New York and London futures markets have increased further by 2.4 per cent (from 1.49 million bags in February to 1.53 million bags in March) and 1.9 per cent (from 2.80 million bags in February to 2.85 million bags in March) respectively.

    At the same time, the ICO said that inventories in consuming countries continued to build up. For example, in February coffee stocks in the United States reached 6.45 million bags, the highest level since May 2003.  

    Source Independent - You Buy the Truth, We Pay The Price…

    For ICO – click here then click on NEWSLETTER and SUBSCRIBE.

    Yes, Coffee getting creamed and Out. Thank you Angel.


  45. Coffee/Naybob – That's the pattern, reports come out and it tanks, then it begins to recover until the next report.  Last May, the bottom was put in at $135, then up to $165 in the summer.  If you're not going to buy low – when are you going to buy? 

    Speaking of buying low – Had to short 2 /TF at 1,381.30 after looking at those charts.  If Nas goes uver 5,450 I'll probably give up so – tight stops! 


  46. We also have these dividend plays:

    BMY stock with June $60 C STO.  Buy back the 60Cs and sell June 57.5 C.  Also sell the June 50 Ps.  Right now I am down $120 on the trade per 100 shares.

    PFE stock with June 35 calls.  Up ever so slightly.

    Others:

    CRIS – stock with Aug $5 C STO

    PETX – stock with Aug $5 P STO

    BMRN – Apr 90/95 BCS.  Down $80 per calendar.  

    ACAD – Jan 18 37 P STO

    SGYP – Apr 5 P STO. Trying to sell the Jul 5 P for net 30c credit.

    PLX, ISCO and gulp, GTPH…all penny stocks…All dead trades from eons ago.  


  47. We should have gone long Palladium and short Coffee….

    http://www.finviz.com/futures_performance.ashx


  48. Biotech market caps--wowza!


  49. Biotech caps…..$212B to $717B in 6 yrs….who's ur Daddy?  :)


  50. Goodbye TSLA, prop job over.  Major recalls on their parking brake.


  51. Pharm

    What about  JUNO, KITE AND BLCM

    Thanks


  52. Parking brake recall? Doesn't sound like much. Any detail?



  53. Alcohol stocks to fall because of marijuana?  Puleeeze.  When was the last time you seen someone smoking a joint without a beer in the other hand.  Go long Pizza!


  54. JUNO – Jan 18 25/35 BCS…underwater and should roll up most likely, but waiting.

    KITE –   Jan 18 45/55 BCS….these are now gone as we did the trade in Oct for net $3.60ish.

    BCRM – stock and May 17 P STO, May 17 17.5 C bought (under water), Aug 15 C STO.  Will sell Aug Ps here when another dip hits.


  55. TSLA falls 1% on the recall.  Musk doesn't even have to spin that little dip


  56. Up moves in the market mean nothing until 50dma is taken out on a daily close on all the majors.


  57. FU TSLA!!!


  58. Again, in the wake of all bad news, still nothing can stop TSLA


  59. Nothing could stop World Com or Yahoo either


  60. " long Palladium and short Coffee"/Burr  - That's called the Putin Play.  No wait, that was long Polonium in your Coffee…  cool

    Image result for putin wink animated gif

    Biotech/Pharm – Amazing who they keep their relative market shares with all that growth.  

    TSLA/Rustle – You don't understand man, this isn't going to hurt them.  Soon they will make 100M cars a year and they'll recall 50M cars at a time and Musk will fix them with his chewing gum – he's a genius!!!

    In December, a Tesla Model X owner in California sued Tesla over what he claims was a sudden acceleration caused by his all-electric SUV. He seeks to turn the suit into a class action citing several other instances of sudden acceleration in Tesla’s vehicles – something we covered extensively and we concluded that the evidence points toward pedal misapplication, including in one particular case where the logs were reviewed by a third-party. 

    An 85-year-old man died in Houston yesterday after crashing a Tesla Model S through a brick wall and into a swimming pool. The accident happened just a week after another reported fatality in a Model S crash, which until recently was a rare occurrence.

    I don't think it's a defect, I think the cars are simply becoming self-aware and killing their drivers.  That Musk is a genius, you know…

    Image result for king christine animated gif

    LOL CDN, good call!  Also, go short all-you-can-eat sushi – those guys have no idea how much a stoned American can eat (or my kids for that matter)…


  61. Canada/Trump – after todays oval office "bigly" free trade news conference and Trumps penchant for repeating the last thing he watched on TV, he must have been watching a rerun of Southpark's "Blame Canada" episode!!! Sad!!! 




  62. Phil,

    Closing out /TF and /NQ shorts for a small loss? 


  63. I'm still in, I can't find a reason for the rally.  

    Republicans try again on healthcare bill

    • According to the Washington Post, Republicans will hold a conference call on Saturday to fine-tune legislative language in their healthcare bill, withdrawn about a month ago because it lacked support. Next Wednesday is the apparent target date for the vote

    Freddie Mac: Mortgage rates slide to five-month lows, with 30-year at 3.97%

    • Mortgage rates fell for the fifth straight week, with the benchmark 30-year fixed sliding below 4% for the first time in six months, according to Freddie Mac's latest survey.
    • The 30-year fixed-rate mortgage averaged 3.97% during the past week, down from 4.08% in the previous week and below 4% for the first time since Nov. 17, and the 15-year fixed-rate mortgage averaged 3.23%, down from 3.34%.
    • Treasury yields that guide mortgage costs have dropped on investor expectations that an economy under Pres. Trump will prove less robust than anticipated, according to the publisher of Inside Mortgage Finance.

    Oil prices could fall again on U.S. shale influx, Total CEO says

    • Total (TOT +1.1%) CEO Patrick Pouyanne says oil prices could fall again by year-end because of a rapid increase in U.S. shale production.
    • Pouyanne thinks the OPEC production agreement is working well and will be extended, "but in simple terms, the short-term effect on the markets is not immediate because stocks are extremely high."
    • Another 18-24 months, rather than six months, will be needed for demand to outstrip supply, the CEO says.
    • A Dutch court orders prosecutors to open an investigation into whether the Royal Dutch Shell (RDS.ARDS.B) and Exxon Mobil (NYSE:XOM) joint venture that oversees production at the Groningen gas field bears any criminal responsibility for earthquakes.
    • Several small quakes caused by production at the country's largest gas field have damaged thousands of buildings and structures across the Groningen province, and prosecutors previously have declined to act but an appeals court is now directing them to open an investigation.
    • The JV, which has accepted civil responsibility for damage caused by the quakes and is paying damages of more than €1B ($1.1B), says it is surprised by the decision
    • Steel stocks are higher as Pres. Trump is expected to meet with industry executives today at the White House and sign a directive asking for a probe into whether imports of foreign-made steel are hurting U.S. national security.
    • Trump reportedly will sign the memorandum authorizing a probe under section 232 of the Trade Expansion Act of 1962, a rarely used law that allows emergency trade sanctions based on reasons of national security.
    • Meanwhile, the U.S. International Trade Commission today will hear an antitrust complaint from U.S. Steel (X +3.8%) that rival Chinese manufacturers colluded to fix prices to undercut competitors in the U.S. market; in November, a trade judge rejected the claim, saying the agency did not have legal authority to hear the allegations.
    • Other steel-related stocks (SLX +2.2%) also are higher: AKS +4.4%STLD +2.7%NUE +1.7%CLF +4.1%MT +3.3%ATI +2.1%RS +1.1%WOR +1.6%.

    • Tesla (TSLA -1%) issued a voluntary recall for around 53K vehicles built early last year for a brake issue, according to a CNBC report.
    • The recall action covers both Model S cars and Model X SUVs. 31K of the recalled cars are located in the U.S.
    • The story is developing. More details will be added as they become available.
    • Update: TechCrunch posted the e-mail sent to Tesla owners impacted by the recall. A key portion is below.
    • "Tesla recently discovered a potential manufacturing issue with the electric parking brakes installed on certain Model S and Model X vehicles that could prevent the parking brake from releasing. We do not believe this issue could ever lead to a safety concern for our customers, and we have not seen a single accident or injury relating to it. However, in order to be overly cautious, we are going to be proactively replacing these parts to ensure that no issues arise."
    • There's a big reversal for Foot Locker (FL +4%) from its premarket decline after Buckingham Research upgrades the retailer to Buy from Neutral. In a tweet, Buckingham Research says that it's looking beyond the Q1 noise.
    • Investors are joinging Buckingham in focusing on the favorable view from Foot Locker on March and April comparable sales over the below consensus Q1 EPS guidance.
    • Previously: Foot Locker drops after cutting guidance (April 20)
    • A better-than-expected read from Foot Locker (FL +5.1%) on comparable sales in March and April is a shot in the arm to retail stocks
    • The excuse heard across the sector that late tax refunds impacted February sales is getting some validation from the Foot Locker numbers. There's also some favorable earnings reports and analyst upgrades that are helping to boost sentiment.
    • The S&P Retail ETF (NYSEARCA:XRT) is up 1.62% on the day, compared to the 0.51% gain for the S&P 500 Index. Notable gainers include apparel sellers Destination XL Group (DXLG+5.9%), Abercrombie & Fitch (ANF +7.4%), Express (EXPR +6.6%), Genesco (GCO +5.4%), Ascena Retail Group (ASNA +5.6%), Guess (GES +4.9%), American Eagle Outfitters (AEO+4.8%), Buckle (BKE +4.7%), L Brands (LB +2.7%), J Jill (JILL +1.1%), Nordstrom (JWN +3%) and The Children's Place (PLCE +3.3%).
    • The rally is somewhat broad, with Wal-Mart (WMT +1.1%), Target (TGT +1.5%), Staples (SPLS+1.7%), Macy's (M +3.4%) and Best Buy (BBY +2.3%) also heading in the right direction.
    • Adidas (OTCQX:ADDYYOTCQX:ADDDF) sees its margins in the U.S. improving in the near term as the business continues to track back.
    • The gains in the U.S. could help offset lower margins for Adidas in China, where the company is expected to see a slight decline from its impressive 35% margin rate from last year. Adidas has a long-term plan to have 12K stores opened in China.
    • Adidas CEO Kasper Rorsted is in China for the first time since taking over his position. Earlier today, he made an interesting comment about retail in general. "Brick-and-mortar traditional and fast-moving consumer goods has dramatically slowed down. Traffic in large malls has slowed down. That is one trend and right now that's not being offset by anything," he observed. What's the end game for Adidas if the mall channel dries up?

    Teva launches new asthma meds

    • Teva Pharmaceutical Industries (TEVA +0.3%announces the simultaneous U.S. launch of AirDuo RespiClick (fluticasone propionate and salmeterol) and its authorized generic for the treatment of asthma patients at least 12 years old who are inadequately controlled on an inhaled corticosteroid or whose disease severity warrants the use of an ICS/LABA combination.
    • The company says it expects the bulk of sales to come from the generic product.

    Apple +0.8% as firms boost targets for iPhone demand

    • Apple (AAPL +0.8%) is higher today in the wake of a pair of price target hikes.
    • Stifel has boosted its target to $150 from $130, with expectations that iPhone shipments this year will rise 4% to 224.7M (vs. its previous forecast of 215.7). Analyst Aaron Rakers expects higher 2018 shipments as well: 250.6M (up 11.5%) vs. a previous 230.5M.
    • Morgan Stanley raised its target to $161 from $154, implying 13.5% upside, saying the company has a clear path to an iPhone "supercycle" with demand for 260M-264M units. When Apple reports May 2, analyst Katy Huberty's expecting "typically" conservative guidance and a boosted dividend and stock buyback

  64. Markets – must be Janet/FOMC buying bigly?


  65. Gee, I hate to use logic here but what is the cost of recalling 60% of the cars you sell when you don't have any local dealerships for people to bring their cars to?  

    Probably doesn't matter, they recalled 90,000 cars (all of them) in Nov 2015 and the stock was $200 back then.  Even if it costs them $3,000 a car to recall, it's only $150M which is not even a 10th of what they lost last year, so who's going to notice? 


  66. Nikkei vs JPY/USD – Usually, weak yen vs dollar (carry off) Nikkei rises.  Strong yen vs dollar (carry on) Nikkei falls.  Today, an unusual but small divergence.  Makes one wonder or wander.

    Cup O Joe - 165 last summer, after mother nature had her way and tooketh, and this year she giveth. Having to predict the weather or traders psyche can be frustrating. But the predictable rhythm of the 5% rule and the algo bots, along with a skillful master, Phil, is something you have on your side.

    Fickle nature can be somewhat avoided in axiomatic seasonal monetary flows.  Check any date this year, then go back to last year or any year, same polarity, differing in flux, but reliable in timing, which is everything.  Although there are many other dynamics involved, at least knowing when its going to tighten or loosen can't be a bad thing.

    Double blind test, check your pulse, much the same, predictable. Remember, reported numbers are latent by 28 days.  Say there's a pop March end, that does'nt get reported until April end.  Kinda like GDP, hint. And the Fed will think everything is back on track, gotta raise.  

    Now think oil (Advill), ensuing contraction ends mid July, but reported mid August.  June – July check an oil chart, remember all QE periods raised the price of oil.  The banks had to put that money somewhere. On that oil chart pay close attention to June 18th, 2014 (FOMC meeting) and July 9th, 2014 (release of the minutes).  

    It was buried in the minutia, the Fed would end their taper and QE in October.  Note the ensuing carnage in the price of oil and commodities. This just happened to coincide with one of the biggest "dollar" or liquidity squeezes in recent history.  Coincidence? Gibb's Rule #39 – No such thing.

    Whether its the 5% rule, fib or M-flows, from an anticipatory standpoint, having timing on your side can't be a bad thing.  Don't chase, wait till the target walks into your crosshairs then squeeze. Ginger Rodgers comes to mind, had to squeeze and time everything, in reverse.

    Jay – a bong filled with beer, even. Now that's an idea.

    Great question: "If you're not going to buy low – when are you going to buy?"

    Famous broker Bilo Sellhi's Answer: Lower. Smiley with rolling eyes and out.


  67. President Trump signed an executive order April 18 that he says will promote a “Buy American and Hire American” agenda. The order targets the US H1-B visa program, which is designed to attract foreign workers with specialized advanced skills, and directs government agencies to enact changes to …


  68. Each year, the United States produces more per person than most other advanced economies. In 2015 real GDP per capita was $56,000 in the United States. The real GDP per capita in that same year was only $47,000 in Germany, $41,000 in France and the United Kingdom, and just $36,000 in Italy, …


  69. After taking $89 million in losses so far in 2017, one trader is doubling down on bets the US stock market is in for a rude awakening.<p>The mystery trader’s investment vehicle of choice is the CBOE Volatility Index, or VIX, a measure of expected price swings in US equities that serves as a barometer …


  70. On Thursday, Verizon turned in a dismal earnings report, with profits falling 20% and post-paid phone subscriber losses reaching a record high.<p>”At least they’re setting records,” T-Mobile CEO John Legere tweeted gleefully. There was a lot to be pleased about if you’re a T-Mobile exec.<p>Verizon missed …


  71. Apple has published a new series of videos in celebration of Earth Day that both highlight the company’s green energy efforts and explain some of the science behind clean energy today. The video series includes comical illustrations and narrations from Apple execs including VP Lisa Jackson.<p>Each …


  72. Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau comments on Canada’s approach to the legalization of marijuana. He speaks during an interview with Bloomberg …


  73. One Reason Why Natural Gas Stocks Are Sucking Wind

    Wind capacity passed hydro power in March 2017.<p>Last year, new wind capacity increased by 8.2 GW and was roughly 82 GW, as of the end of 2016.<p>In a …


  74. Oil producers are moving closer towards agreement on extending the Opec-led deal to limit output, Saudi Arabia’s energy minister said on Thursday, as …


  75. When we want to measure the economic activity of a country, we tend to reach for the gross domestic product, or GDP. This may be an imperfect …


  76. For months, the oil market has focused on supply. What if the problem is demand?<p>Oil markets tumbled Wednesday after the U.S. Energy Information Administration reported an unexpected increase in gasoline stockpiles. U.S. crude futures fell 3.8%--their worst day since early March.<p>Refiners are …


  77. Isaac Newton was one of the smartest people to ever live.<p>But being a smart physicist is not necessarily the same thing as being a smart investor.<p>And, unfortunately for him, Newton learned that the hard way.<p>In an updated and annotated text of Benjamin Graham’s classic “The Intelligent Investor,” …


  78. When <b>Tesla</b> (NASDAQ: TSLA) bought SolarCity in late 2016, it was supposed to create a vertically integrated renewable energy company. People thought Elon Musk could marry EV sales with solar and combine SolarCity’s installation arm with Tesla’s Powerwall to create a path for customers to eventually …


  79. He has a private jet, a pedigree of winning billion-dollar settlements, and the (sometimes grudging) respect of his adversaries.<p>Now, he wants to become pharma’s latest headache.<p>Class action attorney Steve Berman is coming after a drug industry he says is “gouging” the American consumer. And his …


  80. Here’s some eye-opening data on Medicare. Consider yourself enlightened.<p>You’re probably aware that Medicare provides health coverage for seniors 65 …


  81. Phil/F  Into the F spread with common – thanks!


  82. Flux/Naybob – Good chart. 

    Image result for flux capacitor animated gif

    F/Hanj – Ah, that's why they jumped today?  

    Oil finishing lame at $50.73.



  83. Phil/F  Not me haha.

    I did just add some Berkshire also – 5% of total.


  84. Pharm/OMER  I might have asked you about thisone before.  I just bought it.


  85. wtf GNC!!!!!!


  86. Phil,

    Are you still long /cl?


  87. OMER/Hanj – any expectation for earnings in May?


  88. I wonder if we're being jammed up for OpEx but can't see what the advantage would be (other than crushing the shorts).  

    More media consolidation:

    • The FCC has voted 2-1 to restore the "UHF Discount," a move that will ease retrictions on station ownership — and make more acquisitions possible among broadcast owners.
    • That's likely to have its impact on big station owners, including Sinclair Broadcast Group (NASDAQ:SBGI), which is reportedly considering a bid for Tribune Media (TRCO -0.5%) in the high 30s per share. Other station owners: CBS (NYSE:CBS), Fox (FOXFOXA), Nexstar Media Group (NASDAQ:NXST).
    • The vote came along party lines, with sole Democrat Mignon Clyburn dissenting. The UHF Discount, which allows companies to count half the coverage reach of their UHF stations, is a holdover from the pre-digital TV era, when UHF and VHF signals were different, she says.
    • “The commission just wrapped up and put a bow on a huge gift for those large broadcasters, with ambitious dreams of more consolidation,” Clyburn said. “Now I am not a betting woman, but mark my word: This order will have an immediate impact, on the purchase and sale of television stations.”
    • via Ted Johnson at Variety

    Housing prices are soaring in Toronto, and a 15% tax aims to do something about it

    Ocwen shares tumble after regulator accuses company of ‘systemic’ misconduct

    Americans splurged on eating out and entertainment, while cutting back on clothes

    March set a remarkable new record for global warming, NOAA reports

    Can Trump kill us before Global Warming does?  Looks like a close race…

    The exhaustive list of everyone who’s died of a marijuana overdose. Happy #420

    55% of US teens don't see the need for a cable or satellite TV subscription.

    Trump administration seizes on controversial Scalia opinion to rewrite Clean Water Rule

    Your complete Republican-to-English guide to understanding the GOP’s health care rhetoric

    Treasury's Mnuchin: We're 'pretty close' to bringing forward 'major tax reform'

    There's been renewed debate over U.S. foreign aid. So exactly how much does the U.S. spend?

    Canada's "Iceberg Alley" has seen more than 600 bergs so far in April; normal would be 80


  89. GNC/Jabob – $7 to $9.50 is 35% and a weak retrace is 0.50 ($9) and a strong retrace is $1 ($8.50).  That's how it works…

    /CL/Japar – What?  Is it July already?  Yes, I'm still long 2 at $50.80 and I'll add 2 more at $50.20 to average $50.50 on 4 and then, if we drop to $49.50 – I'd add 4 more for 8 at $49…

    Slipping in polls, Marine Le Pen vows to restrict immigration and make France "more French."

    30 affordable US cities where the average home costs $250,000 or less — via

    Fox auditions for replacing O'Reilly:

     


  90. Rumor so far:

    BREAKING: French officer has been killed and another wounded in shooting incident close to Champ Elysees


  91. Wisconsin Supreme Court rejects request from 56 judges to address judicial campaign cash

    Confirmed:  DEVELOPING: Paris police shut Champs Elysee after shots kill officer, AFP reports

    Pregnancy is a pre-existing condition under "improved" TrumpDon'tCare Plan:

    Estimated surcharges: Asthma—$4,270 Pregnancy—$17,060 Rheumatoid arthritis—$26,180 Metastatic cancer—$140,510

    Jeff Sessions is awful, and doesn't seem to understand that Hawaii is a part of the USA

    We're going to use American steel, we're going to use American labor, we are going to come first in all deals. ??

    Subway shutters some US stores amid slower sales


  92. Bought some JO june and sept calls.  Hope this dump in KC is shortlived!!!


  93. Terrorist threats / Phil – I guess people think that the GOP has the chance of muzzling Trump. It's the only valid explanation I think.


  94. Phil; Thanks for the info on the restaurant in Brooklyn.  I'm really looking for something in central/north NJ and I'm sure you had said for your birthday you were going local for great lamb chops.  If I am remembering wrong, no response needed.  Have a great evening.


  95. Nice move in CLF today, up 8%


  96. Those surcharges are catastrophic for people. Folks with the conditions listed often fall out of work and are not capable of dealing with their healthcare needs AND a job to pay the bills. Tax payers end up footing most of it at the end. 


  97. These guys in Congress don't care Jeffdoc – they would like to just pass something, anything if that mean hurting millions so that they can move on to tax cuts! 


  98. On the topic of tax cuts, the GOP might be caught between a rock and hard place:

    http://www.slate.com/articles/news_and_politics/politics/2017/04/can_the_gop_be_a_blue_collar_party_and_the_party_of_lower_taxes.html

    Consider the politics of swapping a tax deduction that helps well-heeled professionals for a refundable credit that helps cash-strapped parents pay for diapers and child care. My guess is that the Club for Growth and Americans for Tax Reform wouldn’t be thrilled. But Republican voters, both new and old, just might be. The GOP has been trending toward becoming the party of blue-collar white voters for years, and though Trump might have accelerated the process, chances are it’s not going to end with him. Whether it’s now or in the near future, Republicans have no choice but to rethink what it means to be the party of lower taxes while also being the party of the (white) working class. A Great Tax Swap would fit the bill.



  99. Goldman is so untouchable, when you try and touch them, your hand disappears.   

    Good one, Phil!


  100. OMER…..risky proposition, but science is interesting for kidney disease.  mAb is against MASP-2.  It appears to work in several very small trials, and has FDA backing for a quick approval if it works in the larger trial.  Balance sheet says that they need to raise money, so a quick spike up means…..they are raising money.  Option spreads are wider than a mack truck…so maybe selling a put for a quick(er) buck is better.


  101. Phil, Your webinar video is not working correctly  

    @ 12mins the audio stops working 

    @  22mins the audio comes back but doesn't match the visual


  102. Medical marijuana etf brand new on the Toronto exchange: HMMJ.to. I can't seem to get a quote on it in the TOS mobile app. 


  103. Oreilly – they are paying him to not cooperate with any other investigation.  That's the biggest risk – someone ELSE comes along and says oreilly shows that  Fox Corporate knew this all along – and that Ailes and Rupert actively participated in the coverup…HUGE liability.


  104. I really got killed by re entering the KC trade today at 140. I wish I had seen Naybob's comment earlier.


  105. Pregnancy is a pre-existing condition under "improved" TrumpDon'tCare Plan:

    Estimated surcharges: Asthma—$4,270 Pregnancy—$17,060 Rheumatoid arthritis—$26,180 Metastatic cancer—$140,510

    That's not insurance. That's carjacking.


  106. O'Reilly / Rexx – Of course, could not happen to bunch of nicer guys!  You have to wonder what kind of ship they ran there. Ailes, O'Reilly – it's a wonder they found women to work there.


  107. /KC- in the same boat Craigs


  108. /KC

    I saw that report and it was released on the 18th.  Today is the 20th.  So it took two full days for the market to read that report and today drop 5%?  

    Before I enter any futures trades I generally read through stocktwits and twitter using #KC_F or whatever futures symbol I'm trading.  

    It doesn't answer the question of why TODAY.


  109. good earnings and according to the media  a bullish comment by Mnuchin were the catalysts for today's explosive rally. i thought we made a tradeable low last Thursday and that the internals were strong and were predicting further price gains

    another important note: the NASDAQ Comp and the NASDAQ 100 made an all time highs; unlikely to be an isolated event and we should move higher  

    we had a 7$ move higher in oil last few weeks followed by weakness i am working on a couple of indicators for energies ill keep you posted during my beta phase


  110. From inside futures on /KC

    "… while others noted that some hedge longs had to liquidate before the May deliveries which start in New York today. Both ideas are probably correct. The markets are still in a trading range for now, but the market lost its bullish tone. A lot of analysts say that the market needs to rally due to the reduced production this year and next. However, the current market tone and fundamentals suggest that there is Coffee around. The world cash market remains slow, with a lack of demand the primary problem. …"


  111. Trading.. bah humbug. Screwtop Bordeaux for me this week.

    However, there has been some joy. For example, was enjoying some Frettin' Fingers earlier (https://youtu.be/HlWL4EdTRjA ), and then a friend sent this along: Roy Rogers: Terraplane Blues – Wow!
     https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mtfXb1zUF9E

    and Rogers is currently touring, too. Enjoy!
    http://www.roy-rogers.com/


  112. Good morning!

    Flatlining so far but, after yesterday's big move, flat is bullish.

    Dollar creeping back, up at 99.78, oil $50.70 and /KCN7 seems to have bottomed at $133.55 and now back to $1.35.

    • A new index fund has launched that will let investors chase the growth potential of ETFs themselves.
    • The ETF Industry Exposure ETF (TETF), which trades on NYSE Arca, will track an index covering companies that directly or indirectly provide services and support to the ETF industry.
    • It comes to market after a record $375B was poured into the funds globally last year.

    Asian Stocks Gain on Kuroda, U.S. Tax Reform Hopes. Asian stocks climbed on optimism for a U.S. tax overhaul. Weakness in the yen pushed Tokyo shares higher after Bank of Japan Governor Haruhiko Kuroda said he will keep accommodative policy in place. Japanese and Australian shares climbed, while futures contracts in Hong Kong were flat. The S&P 500 Index had its second best day since March as U.S. Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin said plans to reform taxes have progressed. The euro was steady after a police officer was shot in Paris just days before France’s presidential election starts. The yen traded at 109.35 per dollar as of 9:08 a.m. in Tokyo after dropping 0.4 percent on Thursday. Japan’s Topix index rose 0.8 percent, heading for its first weekly gain in more than a month. Australia’s S&P/ASX 200 Index climbed 0.6 percent. South Korea’s Kospi index added 0.5 percent. Hang Seng futures were up less than 0.1 percent.

    Ignore China's Credit Risks at Your Peril, Says Top Bond ManagerInvestors in Chinese debt aren’t paying enough attention to rising credit risks, according to a top bond fund manager. Some market participants have focused on the impact of an improving economy and rising money-market rates, while overlooking the possibility that defaults will increase, said He Qian, manager of Fortis Haitong Pure Bond Fund at HFT Investment Management Co. "It’s interesting that investors were paying more attention to credit risks this time last year, when there were not as many credit events," said He, whose $895 million fund has beaten 99 percent of its competitors since 2014, data compiled by Bloomberg show. "Such risks seem to have faded from investors’ memories.”

     

    • Business activity in the eurozone hit a fresh six-year high in April amid strong demand, with the bloc's flash composite PMI coming in at 56.7, compared to 56.4 in March.
    • "France's elections pose the highest near-term risk to the outlook, but in the lead-up to the vote the business mood has clearly been buoyant," said Chris Williamson, chief business economist at IHS Markit.

    • Draft EU negotiating guidelines reveal that Britain will be paying off obligations to Brussels for years after Brexit.
    • According to Reuters, other conditions include the U.K. remaining subject to EU courts and allowing relatives of European immigrants to continue settling in the U.K.
    • During the Brexit transition period, rules would be enforced by European Court of Justice.

    • The IMF may finance Greece's current bailout program with a small amount for one year and "end at the same time with the ESM program, in August 2018," government spokesman Dimitris Tzanakopoulos told reporters.
    • Greece wants to conclude the review as soon as possible to receive bailout loans and help the country qualify for inclusion in the ECB's quantitative easing program.
    • ETFs: GREK

    Shorts Smoked – Stocks End 'High' As Dollar Dumps'n'Pumps

    Options market shows insider alarm on 'Frexit' upset

    Trump to sign 'financial-related' executive actions on Friday: Sources

    Trump: 'I think we'll get both' a vote on health care and keeping government open next week

    Senate may ‘jam’ health-care bill through really fast after House passage: Kudlow

    Deutsche Bank(DB) Fined $157MM After Its Traders Were Found To Still Use Chat Rooms To Rig FX Trading

    Goldman(GS) Begs Clients To BTF Oil Dip

    Exxon backed by group of Republican AGs in fight over climate probe

    • A group of 11 Republican attorneys general join forces in court to help stop an investigation into whether Exxon Mobil (NYSE:XOM) misled investors about the effects of fossil fuels on the global climate.
    • The AGs filed a brief today in U.S. District Court in Manhattan supporting a lawsuit by XOM, which says the probe by the New York and Massachusetts AGs is an unconstitutional excess of power.
    • The two Democrat AGs "falsely presume that the scientific debate regarding climate change is settled," the group says, adding that the state probes are using government power to chill free speech.
    • XOM’s lawsuit seeks to block subpoenas for millions of pages of documents and executives’ internal emails that may have discussed climate change.

     

    • Steelmakers rebounded in a big way today after Pres. Trump ordered a U.S. investigation of steel imports and China iron ore prices rose following a selloff that may have been overdone.
    • But a WSJ analysis notes that Trump’s bid to slow the flow of imports into the U.S. steel market is fighting strong currents: U.S. market prices are among the world’s highest, and a strong dollar makes overseas products even more competitive.
    • Wider duties on imports also could encourage U.S. producers to further drive up their prices, complicating Trump’s pledge to support U.S. manufacturers.
    • Even within the U.S. steel industry, many of the biggest producers are global companies with operations that could be affected by new trade sanctions.

    • A high-tech Tesla (NASDAQ:TSLA) semi truck could amass billions of dollars in revenues just by capturing a small fraction of the U.S. trucking market, Morgan Stanley's Adam Jonas says, adding TSLA's announced entry into electric autonomous semi trucks makes "a lot of sense – maybe even more sense than passenger cars."
    • In one hypothetical scenario outlined by Jonas, TSLA could become a truck manufacturer; if it could sell 25K trucks/year, Jonas estimates TSLA could add $2.5B in annual revenue just by capturing 10% of the total U.S. new truck market – worth about as much as selling 70K Model 3 cars at base prices.
    • TSLA's move also could be a boon for trucking companies: Jonas thinks an autonomous electric version could save them 60%-70% vs. conventional trucks, due to lower fuel, maintenance and insurance costs.
    • Jonas is not the only analyst who thinks TSLA's truck business could be a big deal; Piper Jaffray's Alex Potter yesterday downgraded truck manufacturers Cummins and Paccar, partly due to the potential threat from TSLA.

    • Confirming plans for his newest company called Neuralink, Elon Musk said he will be CEO of the startup that aims to merge computers with brains and allow for "consensual telepathy."
    • In about four years Neuralink hopes to market a device that would help treat severe brain injuries, and within eight to 10 years it would become usable for people with no disability.
    • The Galaxy S8 hits store shelves today and Samsung (OTC:SSNLF) is hoping sales will make up for last year's disastrous recall of the Note 7.
    • The phone's OLED "infinity" screen has piqued the interest of many, along with its Bixby assistant, new navigation keys and high-end tech.
    • Samsung said last week that pre-orders had surpassed those for the S7

    Apple(AAPL) expected to ship 250 million phones in 2018

    U.S. Preparing Charges To Arrest Julian Assange


  113. NAS volume yesterday does not support a new record upside breakout unless we have more follow through today and Monday which I doubt. Several big events on horizon over next seven days all of which have potential to spike the market in either direction -

    1) French elections on Sunday,

    2} critical  earningsr eporting day -Apr 27,

    3) Republicans working on new health care vote on same week as budget resolution is due ( hey has there been any piece of legislation passed in the first 100 days?)

    We will be on a roll coaster ride next week which is just fine for GS, Jamie , Morgan Stanley, et al. We will be below 5400 on the NAS and 11,350 NYA within the next few trading days.


  114. 3380 on the Euro Stoxx 50 and 12,100 on the DAX should be upper bounds of resistance. Breaking above will confirm bullish trend is still in play..