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Thrilling Thursday – Back to the Top at 2,440 – Time to Short Again

The markets will go down again now

The reason doesn't matter – just that 2,440 is our magic number at the top and it's been a reliable shorting line since early June.  Yellen's testimony yesterday was a very silly reason to have a rally – she said the same things she's been saying all year, neither more hawkish or more doveish than she was when the S&P was 10% lower than it is now.

This is right where we thought we'd be as yesteray, at 9:09 am, in our Live Chat Room, I said to our Members:

On the indexes, 2,440 on /ES is our current shorting spot and we can see that's going to line up with /YM 21,500, /NQ 5,775 and /TF 1,425 so we WANT to short /ES at 2,440 as long as the others aren't breaking over and if ANY of them break over, we stop out of /ES and wait for at least 2 of them to cross back under and then short the laggard.  

The Nasdaq plowed up to 5,800 but the other indexes are right where we want to short them and the Russell (/TF) is our favorite short, at 1,425, moving $50 per contract (we prefer 2) per point in our favor.  Whenever the answer to "Why did the markets make all-time highs today?" is "no particular reason" – then it's a good time to short.

Speaking of shorts, you're welcome for yesterday's idea to short Oil (/CL) Futures, which hit our $46.20 target on the button and gave us a nice run back down to $45 for a $1,000 per contract gain and Gasoline (/RB) hit $1.50 for a $1,470 per contract gain and now we're back off the shorts as we're heading into the weekend where we're actually hoping Oil and Gasoline is pumped higher so we can short it again.  

Not much happening today but Target (TGT) interestingly raised their guidance "as a result of improved traffic and sales trends through the first two months of the quarter."  That suits us as we're long and it's a big raise from $1.06 to $1.15 and shares are up over 5% pre-market.   Expect a lot of retailers to bump up on that news today and we like GME, GNC, LB, M, RH, SKX, WMT and, of course, TGT.  In our Options Opportunity Portfolio, our recent trade idea was:

That trade cost us net $3,125 in cash and will pay $8,750 for a net $5,625 (180%) in profit if TGT is over $52.50 in Jan of 2019.  Notice we took advantage of the silly dip down to $50 in mid June and made a nice, conservative play on a stock we really wouldn't mind owning at net $45 if it went lower.  As it stands, we regret not having a chance to double down but we'll take the $5,625 as a consolation prize (we were more aggressive in our Long-Term Portfolio and Butterfly Portfolio).  

If you want to make a general trade on Retail into Earnings Season, the Retail ETF (XRT) is way down at $39 and that means you can pick up the Aug $39 (0.95)/$40 (0.50) bull call spread for just 0.45 and, if XRT gets back over $50 into Aug expirations (18th) you will make 0.55, which is over 120% in just 40 days! 

That's a fun way to play a recovery in retail without risking any particular stock – though we're very happy with our list…

 


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  1. Note that the comp is double.

    ~~Israel-based Teva Pharmaceutical Industries is expected to name Anglo-Swedish group AstraZeneca's Chief Executive Pascal Soriot as Teva's next CEO, the Calcalist financial news website said on Wednesday. Story link: {http://www.reuters.com/article/teva-pharm-ind-astrazeneca-ceo-idUSL8N1K35OO} http://www.reuters.com/article/teva-pharm-ind-astrazeneca-ceo-idUSL8N1K35OO

    * Soriot has met with Teva's (TEVA.N) search committee and its chairman and
    expressed his agreement to serve as its next CEO, Calcalist said.
    * Teva was left without a permanent CEO in February after Erez Vigodman stepped
    down, leaving new management to try to restore confidence in the world's
    biggest generic drugmaker after a series of missteps. Chief Financial Officer
    Eyal Desheh also resigned at the end of June.
    * Soriot is expected to earn twice as much as Vigodman and receive a bonus upon
    signing the contract, estimated at about $20 million, Calcalist said, adding
    that the financial terms were still being discussed.


  2. Anyone else having problems with TOS this morning? Stopped updating for a while at 7:45 and then charts aren't working. Is it just my computer or a system wide problem?


  3. yes —Tos problems—shut down and sign back on —seems to be working now


  4. Good morning…

    TGT up 5% pre market on boosting Q2 guidance.

    This will have positive effects on COST and other beaten down retailers.



  5. Good Morning.


  6. Phil,  PSW members -  thoughts on VRX here?   Safe time for a 2019 BCS?  Some members have chatted about this already…just curious.   New management, debt reduction underway, negative headline news appear to be in the rear view mirror.  US diversified biz decline is one headwind, but other businesses B&L, dermatology appear to be growing.


  7. TOS / Craig – It was really strange. I didn't restart but missing about 5 bars in the charts and they don't come back when you restart either.


  8. Any chance JO recovers? Re you sure there is terrible decay in this fund? I thought you once said that you thought there wasn't decay with JO? I know you like trading the futures better.

    Are you still bullish on coffee?


  9. go TEVA!

    No tease please!


  10. go M!!!

    no tease please ;-)


  11. New armchair trade!°

    CCP sell Feb 18 25 straddle for 3.70 and Buy the stock @ 25.70


  12. @ albo – AAOI nice!

     

    Applied Optoelectronics +7% after strong early Q2 results

    Applied Optoelectronics (NASDAQ:AAOI) has come off a trading halt up 7% premarket as it announced preliminary Q2 results set to beat guidance.

    It sees non-GAAP EPS of $1.31-$1.36, above its prior outlook of $1.09-$1.19, and revenue of $117.3M beating its earlier outlook of $106M-$112M.

    “Again this quarter, our results were driven by improvement in our manufacturing costs, capacity expansion and solid execution by our production team," says founder and CEO Dr. Thompson Lin.

    The company will elaborate on full results after the close Aug. 3.


  13. same for CHL

    Sell Dec 52.5 straddle for 4.30 and buy stock for 52.37


  14. CIM sell Dec 17 19/18 Strangle 1.30 and buy the stock at 18.68


  15. CSCO sell Feb 18 32/31 Strangle for 3.35 buy stock for 3.14


  16. F sell Jan18 12 straddle for 1.52 and buy stock @ 11.65


  17. Learner – Yes AAOI having a beneficial effect on most all of the fiber optic stocks. My favorite remains FNSR.

    BTW, I am long VRX and have been for quite some time.  I started buying it way too early, convinced that all the so-called gurus who bought the stock at much higher levels knew what they doing; at least somewhat.  Wrong.

    I thought VRX's prior practice of buying pharmaceutical companies and marking up their drugs was reprehensible, but that had changed when I got in. 

    Thanks to Phil's teachings, I rolled the position down and out in time.  DDed when the stock was below 10 and now the position shows a nice profit.  Am staying in for now and will cover some, if and when it gets to 20.

    Bill Miller thinks the stock can get to $30.  And Ackman, who was a good contrary indicator, is gone.(There I go, trusting gurus again.) 


  18. yodi 
    July 13th, 2017 at 10:12 am | PermalinkTweet thisIgnore this user

    CIM sell Dec 17 19/18 Strangle 1.30 and buy the stock at 18.68

    To confirm sell dec  19 call and buy the 18  puts ?

    Thanks


  19. Anyone shorting CL at 46?


  20. qcm yes correct


  21. Phil

    Any interest in Vantiv Inc VNTV

     Thanks


  22. Yodi > F > Looks like you have a good conservative play
    Earnings are on 7/26 – What are your expectations? The consensus EPS is $.35 and CFRA has a 12 mnth target of $14


  23. Aquila these are armchair trades if F goes up to 14 you very good for the put and the stock covers the caller. The worse thing you will get back the cash for the stock, but while things last you will collect the div.

    The automobile industry is sitting on a lot of stock (cars) so 14 would be very optimistic view!


  24. Yes albo, I have positions in both AAOI and FNSR.  This optical infrastructure upgrade cycle seems real and necessary this time as cloud computing, AI gets mainstream – they need the speed!  


  25. God damn it, I lost my comment!  

    Sorry guys, been banging away and the page just refreshed on me – unrecoverable.  I'll try to catch up.


  26. To much English ALE


  27. sorry phil…that sucks..


  28. NSA high P/E but has done well for me

    Sell Jan18 22.5 straddle for 3.25 and buy stock @ 22.05


  29. Wow, that so sucks!  

    Sorry for short notes but:

    TEVA – About time.

    Big Chart – LOOKS bullish but I have doubts.

    Europe has been selling off into the close and our index shorts are triggered.

    Image result for skeleton out of the closetVRX/Learner – Damn, I did a whole big thing but short story is I like them for a potential double but I'd still play cautiously with something like 2019 $12.50 puts sold for $2.35 against a $12.50 ($7.50)/20 ($4.25) bull call spread at $3.25 so net 0.90 on the $7.50 spread and worst case is a $13.40 entry.  By then you can be sure all the skeletons are out of the closet.

    JO/Jabob – OK, another one I spent ages on with charts and graphs.  We decided, after doing the math, that JO does not have a lot of decay but it does suffer the ordinary expense loss of an ETF and this is a very long-term play because we don't know if global warming will affect coffee production this year, next year or 2020.

    I like playing /KC becuase, if it does fall, I have the long-term conviction to ride it out (as with JO) but, when it does pop $2, we can also take quick profits off the table and be very happy and get in on the next pullback.  You can't do that with JO as the expenses of getting in and out constantly would outweigh the gains (because $2 on /KC is just 0.20 on JO).  

    So I like both for the LONG-term but this trade could take years to play out and I only get into /KC on pullbacks and then wait for the next pop and then cash in and wait again – works so far but, if you don't have the CONVICTION to stick out those dips – then it's way too dangerous to play.


  30. Earnings season kicks off tomorrow with C, WFC, JPM, and PNC all reporting.


  31. O sell Jan18 55 straddle for 6.50 and buy the stock for 55.00

    BTW my combined monthly return shows on this one 2.2%


  32. CCP/Yodi – Great business and a good trade.

    AAOI/Albo, Learner – Nice call on them!

    CHL/Yodi – I always like them around $50.  I meant to sell puts for the LTP but don't remember if I officially did.

    CIM always good, CSCO is another one that should be in the LTP, F we already have a lot of.  Great plays Yodi, thanks!  

    VRX/Albo – Good job riding them out. LOL on Ackman!   I agree on $30, reasonable target.

    /CL/Rcs – Dangerous short on a Thursday.  Shame on us for not flipping long /RB actually:

    VNTV/Qc – I like payment processing as a business but there's Apple Pay and Square being disruptive and PayPal is on the march and VNTV is valued at $12.5Bn and only makes a rising $213M so that's a 50x earnings.  For me to pay that (I wouldn't actually), I'd have to be very comfortable there were getting to $600M in 5 years (20 p/e) and that's 40% annual growth, which they are close to but I don't have the confidence they can keep growing at that pace for 5 more years with all the competition swirling around in that space.

    ALE/Yodi – Certainly more beer in the last two weeks than I've had in the past year.  I love English ale!  

    NSA/Yodi – My issue with them is they have benefited from cheap land acquisition costs and macro factors (people downsizing to smaller homes/expensive apartments) that are fading so, as with VNTV, I don't have confidence that they can sustain the growth long enough to justify the p/e.

    Earnings/Albo – Should be fun.

    O/Yodi – Can't play it because searching for it would crash the system.


  33. Needless to say, 10 points on /TF is take the money and run – lot's of fresh horses to switch to if they go lower.


  34. OHI Sell Dec 17 32 straddle for 4.10 and buy the stock for 32.93

    Thanks Phil for comments these are all armchair trades on which I am stocking up on


  35. Yellen just said 3% GDP growth in the next 3 years would be difficult.  Trump's budget assumes 4.5% GDP growth starting this year, which is beyond idiotic.  Couple that sort of deficit (caused by inept projections and stupid policies) with rising rates and you have an administration that is literally killing this country with an unsustainable debt load in order to skim a few Trillion for their Billionaire Buddies – most of whom will be running to tax havens and leaving all the suckers who voted for them with the bills. 

    I'm haven-hunting myself and business is booming with the brokers and lawyers I'm talking to.  Lots of American rats are already getting off the ship – think very hard about your future and what life will be like in 10 or 20 years in the US.  

    Sorry guys, have a dinner to go to this evening, only on for another 30 mins.


  36. OIH/Yodi – On that one I'd rather cherry-pick winners than do the index as you are saddled with guys who won't come back very easily.  Also, I'd wait until oil collapses in the fall.  Should take OIH with it.


  37. PFE, STWD also good but I am full up with them


  38. Deficits / Phil – No worries, there will be another Dem as president who will raise taxes and lower the deficits. Only to be blamed for raising taxes later to fix the mess left by Trump! Works great with people who have a 30 second attention span.


  39. By the way, If I'm wrong about needing another country, then I end up with a nice vacation home in Jersey that I rent out for off-shore income.  It's a hedge, think of it that way if you have that kind of money.


  40. Phil you got the wrong stock there this is OHI and NOT OIH


  41. Shame on me! Bought August 250 SPY puts and had a quick 10% that I didn't take off or put a stop on half…was greedy. Would've reloaded again here and had a little profit. At least I have a some time. 


  42. As I said to much ALE I don't know why you do not take a brake?


  43. Agree, appreciate your working on vacation and it' not like work, more like looking after your flock… but do enjoy yourself on vacation. We understand.


  44. Hedge/Phil – yup. Maybe I've been reading a bit too much Uimar Haique, but when I get back to Korea for the fall semester, I'm going to start looking around at houses. Funny when one begins to think of Korea as a refuge from what may happen in the US.


  45. OHI/Yodi – Ah, sorry, much better!  This is a break, as long as the family is having fun, I'm happy and I have my weekends away.  Frankly I've seen all the sights, museums, etc. so, this suits me just fine. 

    Funny/Snow – Thin line between comedy and tragedy indeed. 

    Got to go now – later all!


  46. enjoy your vacation Phil!


  47. QCOM: sell 2018 45 puts, buy 55 calls, sell 62.5 puts.  What says the horde?


  48. SQQQ - impressed with premiums on the calls going forward looks like a lot of expectation/hedging with these, at least by price – there is not a lot of depth to much of it though.


  49. Hang I think there are some infos wrong

    Qcom pays 4.04% interest. So my play would be sell the 57.5/55 strangle and buy the stock this will give you a combined monthly return of 2.38%


  50. QCOM – hanj,  we already have a trade in the LTP from the Vegas conference in Feb.   Do you want to wait and see through the upcoming earnings on July 19 – next week? 


  51. RIG/Phil – limping lamely at all time lows. Is there value in them…anywhere? Or just too much irrelevant capital stock/equipment that no one will use ever again?   


  52. Besides Qcom, most of the stocks I have mentioned today, have drawn back from their high and are a possible buy. Qcom, as learner mentioned, could go up or further down next week, so with this one and all of them the final decission is up to you, no one has a magic ball.


  53. Muck – more like looking after your flock…

    Jabo – enjoy your vacation Phil!

    Hey Dathan, not one FU today? or mention of FTR?  Where's your messiah now!!!  ROFLMAOPIMP!!!!

    Sorry Phil, I had to stir the pot brother, LU2.  Please enjoy a nice nitrogen cream ale, like Boddington's, tasty and less filling, ask for something like a Manchester cream ale on tap.  Then put up with flak from the bartender about what zone you are in.  In the end, probably something better over there out of the tap and Out.


  54. thankyou Horde.



  55. Phil

    Anyone trading Celgene Corp CELG

     

    Thanks


  56. AAPL with a nice move.


  57. Dathan, er Jabo - FU Nat!!!!

    Ah, order has been restored to the universe and Out.


  58. Don't be mean Nat… or I will have to remind you that 'you' would have been left in Egypt.. ;-)


  59. X – was some solid selling this morning. someone getting out rather than enter the gap above.


  60. Scaling out of JCP on this .40 move.  Still underwater on remaining position.


  61. Scott thanks for the comments on X This is the way I do react on a slide drop. I hold the Jan18 10/15 BCS.

    The stock trading now at 22.73, needs to drop more than 7 points to even endanger my position a drop of 30.7%, so for my point of view, I sit back patient and wait for maturity.


  62. Jabo – "Don't be mean Nat… or I will have to remind you that 'you' would have been left in Egypt.. ;-) "

    Oh those waters of Marah, yechhhhhh!!!!! Smiley.


  63. Better to drink MD 20/20. ROFLMAO….


  64. FTR up… wtf???? ;-)


  65. JO, GE, GNC, FTR, TGT, IMAX, M, F, LB, TEVA, GILD up 

    AMZN TSLA down…

    am i dreaming ;-)


  66. BIOC on a tear today +10% gain


  67. BIOC - Biocept nabs broad patent covering liquid biopsy; shares up 15%

    https://seekingalpha.com/news/3269026-biocept-nabs-broad-patent-covering-liquid-biopsy-shares-15-percent


  68. Jabo – "am i dreaming ;-) "

    No, you are in the nexxus


  69. This was probably it :

    Biocept (NASDAQ:BIOC) initiated with Buy rating and $2.50 (71% upside) price target by Chardan Capital. Shares are up 9% premarket on average volume.


  70. DJ Frontier Comm Price Target Cut to $13.75/Share From $26.25 by Citigroup 


  71. so they upgrade it in May and cut it almost in half now?

    7/13/17

    Citigroup

    Maintains

    Neutral

    13.8

    7/12/17

    Morgan Stanley

    Maintains

    Equal-Weight

    22.5

    5/03/17

    UBS

    Downgrades

    Neutral

    0.0

    5/03/17

    Citigroup

    Upgrades

    Neutral

    0.0

    5/03/17

    Cowen & Co.

    Downgrades

    Market Perform

    0.0

    3/22/17

    Goldman Sachs

    Downgrades

    Sell

    0.0

    3/07/17

    Bank of America

    Downgrades

    Neutral

    0.0

    2/28/17

    Morgan Stanley

    Downgrades

    Neutral

    0.0

    11/02/16

    Wells Fargo

    Downgrades

    Market Perform

     

    11/02/16

    Deutsche Bank

    Downgrades

    Hold


  72. 5/03/17

    Citigroup

    Upgrades

    Neutral

    0.0


  73. The story of DryShips:

    http://www.motherjones.com/kevin-drum/2017/07/the-bizarre-dryships-story-keeps-getting-more-bizarre/

    Very bizarre…

    Here’s what happened. Back in October, Dryships had about 10 million shares outstanding. Since then, they’ve executed reverse-splits that total up to a factor of 16,800:1. So if you owned 100,000 shares back then, today you own about six. By itself this doesn’t affect the value of the stock, but DryShips has issued such a gargantuan amount of new stock since October that it currently has 26 million shares outstanding—the equivalent of 450 billion pre-split shares. Your old 100,000 shares represented about 1 percent of the company. Your six shares today represent 0.00002 percent of the company. The effect of this massive dilution on long-term investors is obvious.


  74. I know some people thought I was exagerating when I mentioned that climate change will affect air travel. Well, someone published a study and it won't be fun:

    https://www.engadget.com/2017/07/13/climate-change-harder-airplane-take-off/

    The study, conducted by researches from Columbia University, NASA and the Logistics Management Institute, constructed models based on the five most popular aircraft and nineteen major airports around the world. The study says, "We find that on average, 10–30% of annual flights departing at the time of daily maximum temperature may require some weight restriction below their maximum takeoff weights, with mean restrictions ranging from 0.5 to 4% of total aircraft payload and fuel capacity by mid- to late century."

    It's based on science so probably fake!


  75. X/Yodi – heck of a late day bump on Trump tariff talk with much more volume… has got to be news reader bots. Question is, Do I want to play the gap if it enters?


  76. Elfenbein's Buy List – another interesting resource…

    http://www.crossingwallstreet.com/buylist


  77. Scott if you as me I will not continue with X there are better fishes in the pond. During the year they went from 10 to 40 and back to 20 tish. The rise only on the Trump BS. There is a lot of competition in Steel. They do not even pay a decent dividend.


  78. Scott – thanks for sharing, always interesting to see stock lists. Ernie has created a nice little story and good to see his transparency. Blogger then goes on to create fund based on his investing principles. He launched the fund in September 2016 and has attracted $12 mio. of capital so far, and the fund fees are running at about 0.8%, so $10,000 a year to Ernie for his time and trouble. I am surprised it is worthwhile to keep a vehicle of this sort going, with all the regulatory and compliance expenses for setting up and running the fund. I would have thought if a fund cannot attract at least $200 mio. of investor money then it will be challenged to be competitive.





  79. Science may just have found a way to treat the flu and common cold


  80. 60 Countries’ Digital Competitiveness, Indexed


  81. Britain takes step toward Brexit with repeal bill









  82. Germany sets EU tone with tighter curbs on foreign takeovers



  83. Good morning!

    This is my last dispatch from Europe, back in the command center on Monday with, hopefully, not too much jet lag.  I get two fantastic nights in my own bed and then off to NYC for the NYMEX Weds morning.  I like long vacations, you start missing home…

    QCOM/Hanj – We have the 2019 $45/55 bull call spread with the short $45 puts from way back on 2/13 in the LTP.  We netted in with a $2,000(ish) credit and I do still like them, your entry is fine too.

    SQQQ/Scott – Still my favorite hedge with so many 50x and 100x valuations in the index.

    RIG/Scott – We dumped them from the LTP because we didn't see any favorable conditions in the next 12 months.  Oil has to be steady above $60 for deepwater drilling to even begin to make a comeback and we're nowhere close with no prospects of getting close.  They've got to pay down those rigs whether someone rents them or not so not a good stock at the moment.

    CELG/QC – Not cheap so I'm not interested but a great company.

    $105Bn at $135 and they made $2Bn last year which seems like good growth from 2015's $1.6Bn but 2014 was $2Bn so really no earnings progress in 3 years despite sales up 50% which indicates there is margin pressure in that sector or high acquisition costs…  whatever it is, it's not what I want to see when I'm paying 50x earnings.

    X/Scott – That protectionism will be great for them. 

    JCP/Albo – May it rest in peace. 

    Still, $1.5Bn for 1,000 stores is $1.5M/store but then there's $5Bn of debt against $12Bn of low-margin sales that have yielded about $60M in Operating Income TOTAL over the last 3 years (net income was a $1.2Bn loss but there were write-downs and such).  More concerning is that they dropped $600M in cash over the past 3 years and only have $157M in the bank but also $206M of short-term investments which would be good news but they started the year with $762M so what happened there.  Also, it looks to me like they factored their receivables to get cash as net receivables has gone to zero (impossible in normal operations).  If I were making an offer to a store like this, I'd walk away and let them sweat it out because I'd know they have more pressure daily to sell and I also know no one is going to be stupid enough to buy them while I'm pressuring them to lower their price. 

    M, by comparison, has $1.2Bn in the bank and $8Bn in debt and has dropped $1Bn over 3 years in cash flow but $25Bn in sales and operating income of $6.2Bn (net income $3.1Bn) makes them a steal at $6.7Bn (same 1,000 stores).  Consider whether you'd rather own the JC Penny's stores in your area or the Macy's and Bloomingdales?   Also, M owns 447 of their stores outright and one of them is an entire block in midtown Manhattan, probably worth $3Bn by itself.  Sachs 5th avenue borrowed $3.7Bn against it's 5th Ave store so $3Bn is probably conservative for Herald Square.

    In the LTP, we only have 10 short M 2019 $28 puts we sold for $5.60 back in Jan and they are now $8.83 so let's:

    • Roll 10 short 2019 $28 puts ($8.83) to 15 short $23 puts ($7,500).
    • Buy 40 2019 $23 calls for $3.20 ($12,800) 
    • Sell 40 2019 $28 calls for $1.75 ($7,000)

    That's net $5,800 on the new spread less $5,600 we originally collected on the puts plus $1,330 we spent on the roll is net net $1,530 on $20,000 worth of Macy's spreads!  If M gets back to $28 in two years, we make $18,470 (1,200%) and, if not, we are THRILLED to roll to a lower 2021 strike and sell more puts.  

    Even if that doesn't work and we roll it out again to 2023 and we end up in for $5,000 and THEN we hit it – it's still a nice 300% return over 6 years!  As long as they don't go BK, this is a great play.

    DRYS/StJ – What a scam! 


  84. Mornin Phil – gotta love these Euro hours and playin NIkkei eh?  

    StJL – The story of DryShips: Very bizarre…  The same MO as the government, Fed, banks "confiscating" our money through debauch while we sleep.  SNAFU.


  85. Phil – AMZN, JCP, M, SHLD, WFM – Instead of $14B on Whole Foods, one might think Bezos wants: if the stores are all closed, with a word, she can get what she came for. So in trying to build that stairway from brick n mortar to online, one goes after JCP, M or SHLD, and it makes me wonder? and Out.