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Thoughtful Thursday – Jackson Hole Dreams

Image result for fed jackson holeIt's time for the Fed conference.

Central Banksters from around the World will fly to Jackson Hole, Wyoming to congratulate each other on what a great job they are all doing while ignoring protestors who will do their best to point out what a terrible job the Central Banksters have been doing on restoring the actual economy – where 80% of the people are one missed paycheck away from poverty.

According to the latest data from the U.S. Bureau of Economic Analysis, the personal saving rate in the United States is 5.7%. This means that out of every $100 in after-tax income Americans bring in, approximately $5.70 is being saved for things like retirement, emergency expenses, and rainy-day savings.

US Personal Saving Rate Chart

You should be saving between 10% to 15% of your income. Fidelity recommends a minimum of 15%, but keep in mind that this includes any employer matching retirement contributions. So, if your employer contributes say, 4% of your salary to your 401(k), this implies that you should be saving 11% of your income.

Total debt (including mortgages, auto loans and student loans) is expected to surpass the amounts owed at the beginning of the Great Recession by the end of 2016, NerdWallet found, mostly due to mortgages and student loans. Many Americans find it difficult to stick to savings goals and that’s even worse if you have a family.  The amount that a two-parent, two-child family needs just to pay the bills (but not have money left over for savings) ranges from about $50,000 to more than $100,000 depending on where a family lives 

Mortgage debt jumped from $159,020 per household in 2010 to $172,806 in 2016, and debt from auto loans grew from $20,032 in 2010 to $28,535 in 2016.  Nationwide, total household debt (including mortgages, auto loans and student loans) now equals almost $12.4 trillion, up from about $11.7 trillion in 2010. That's adding $200Bn per year in debt accounting for ALL of our Retail Sales growth since the recession.  

Image result for trickle down economics reaganMedian household income has grown 28% over the last 13 years, said Sean McQuay, a personal finance expert at NerdWallet, but expenses have outpaced it significantly. Case in point: Medical costs increased by 57% and food and beverage prices by 36% in that period.  Rent has risen 3.9% in the last year alone, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics. “The economy is doing better, but we’re really not seeing that trickle down to individual households the way we’d hope,” McQuay said. 

That's the reality the Fed and their fellow Central Banksters are residing over – the greatest increase in income and wealth inequality since the 1920s as the wealth of the Top 1% has passed the total wealth of the bottom 99% and the wealth of the Top 0.1% alone (300,000 Americans) is now more than the bottom 300M (1,000x more per person):

Image result for wealth inequality 2016

What if the 300,000 people with 1,000x the assets want a 10% return?  That's 100x and that means the bottom 300,000,000 people will have to give 10% of their money to the top 300,000 less whatever gains can be accomplished through GDP growth.  So, if GDP grows at 3%, the bottom 90% only have to transfer 7% of their money to the top 300,000 – so economic growth IS good for everyone, right?  

Image result for wealth inequality 2016And don't even try to narrow the focus from there because the top 62 people in this World now have more wealth thant the bottom 50% (3.5Bn) combined.  In America specifically, it's even more disproportionate, with the 20 richest people owning half the wealth.  Donald Trump is only ranked at 156th richest with $3.7Bn – he doesn't even make the list but he does have vast armies protecting his wealth, which is becoming the power-move for those on the Forbes 400 list, who own a staggering 61% of the wealth of the United States while controlling almost all of the rest.  

And it's a wise move because, if those 3.5Bn people realized they could double their lifestyle by simply sacrificing 62 people – well, a lot of cultures would call that a real "win/win" scenario, right?  Interestingly enough, we are probably soon reaching the end-game of capitalism as we have now concentrated so much wealth in the hands of so few people that there's no longer enough profit in exploiting the bottom 50% to make it worth the time of the top 1%.   

Image result for wealth inequality 2016

Already the Top 1% in the US are making over 20% of the income in the US while the bottom 50% now only get 12%.  That's almost a 2:1 ration of for the top 3M over the bottom 160M and again, like total wealth, in order to give 1M people a 10% raise, we have to give 160M people a 20% pay cut.  Given that those people are already living below the poverty line, the Top 1% may soon be forced to seek out other people who still have money in order to increase their fortunes. 

Fortunately, the 51-99% (157M) still make 68% of the money and the Top 10% can make 10% more by only taking 3% of that money – which will be accomplished under President Trump's new tax plan, of course.  So don't worry about the Top 1%, they should be able to keep growing their wealth at the expense of the rest of the Top 50% for quite a few years before those idiots stop fighting with each other and realize they have a common enemy.  

And yes, the Top 0.1% are your enemy.  They take much more than they need and give much less than they can.  If you ean $100,000 a year and pay $2,000 in school taxes and, if Jeff Bezos, who made $20Bn last year (200,000 times more than you) didn't pay $400M in school taxes (he didn't), then he didn't pay his fair share, did he.  If Jeff Bezos doesn't pay his fair share of school taxes then EVERY OTHER PERSON in the community has to pay to make up for his shortfall and if his shortfall is $399M and the community (all of Seattle) is 1M people – then everyone who is not Jeff Bezos has to come up with $399 more in school taxes.

This is how Trump's tax plan will transfer Trillions of Dollars from the Top 51-2% to the Top 1%, by allowing the Top 1% (which includes Trump and his family, of course) to pay far less – the rest of us simply have to pay far more and, if we don't pay it now, it simply becomes more debt that our country will need to pay eventually.  

Japan, in fact, is looking to pay off their massive debts with a 10% sales tax.  That, of course, massively, dispropotionally impacts the poor, who spend 100% of their money on goods and services vs wealthy people, who tend to spend 1/3 or less.  The income goes to the Top 1% but the debts they leave behind are EVERYBODY's problem.

The Fed keeps all of this going with their ongoing QE programs, that provide the liquidity for the greatest transfer of wealth from the bottom 99% to the Top 1% the World has ever seen:

Expect more of the same this week as Draghi just gave a speech yesterday flat out stating that QE pushes investors into riskier assets and concludes that it is still a good tool to be used to maintain market stability and to foster inflation growth.  But, after 8 years of Quantitative Easing, where is the inflation?  While we have certainly inflated the stock market, wages and prices have remained stagnant because there are only so many cows a rich person can eat in a day and so many loaves of bread and so much wine he can drink and, when those rich people are actively discouraged from supporting the "lazy" poor – then all the money that fills up their vaults does nothing to increase the overall consumption.  

These policies are not just destroying America – they are destroying the entire planet and, at the moment, the only people who can do something about it (the Top 10-2%) are too excited to be sucking crumbs off the plates of the Top 1% to realize that they are next on the carving board.  

 


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  1. Good morning!


  2. ~~ TEVA -Teva Pharma downgraded to Underperform from Neutral at Credit Suisse.  

    Timely, eh ?


  3. Classic Harami pattern it seems although I am not a candle pattern specialist unless it's to arrange them around a bathtub!


  4. TEVA / Albo – They must have spend days mulling over that difficult analysis.


  5. Uber seems to have recovered from their PR disaster but still losing money by the bucket load:

    https://www.axios.com/exclusive-uber-financials-2475912645.html



  6. hope it stays above 16…

    unreal 


  7. It's looking more and more like retail stocks have pretty well discounted the rather dismal outlook ahead for many of them.  We've seen big jumps in AEO, TLYS, & DLTR on small beats.  SIG actually had strong results and it's up huge this morning.  Even SHLD, which had a horrible quarter is up.  Also TUES.


  8. Good Morning.



  9. Good morning!  

    Oil took a nice, sharp dip after attempting $48.50 again – so internally weak.  

    /RB made it all the way to $1.65 and that's that for that play.

    Dow right at our shorting line (22,850) but need confirmation:

    2,450 is the /ES line.

    5,875 on /NQ

    1,375 on /ES 

    Dax over 12,250 is bullish so no bear plays if it's over:

    And Eurostock 3,460 (since 3,500 is not going to happen):

    Big Chart – RUT needs to get over 1,378.35 (200 dma) to prove things are turning up.   NYSE nees the 50 dma at 11,837 (20 away at the moment) and SPX needs 2,450 – same as the /ES line.  

    I am batting 1,000 on penny stocks, check out GRNBF:

    Speaking of penny stocks, the guys putting out GreenCoinX(sorry BDC) are actually listed as GRNBF, a penny stock trading at 0.184 at the moment (I have 20,000 – mentioned it a while ago).  The difference with GreenCoinX is that it's NOT anonymous and that means, MAYBE, they will have an easier time being accepted by Governments, which matters a lot in the 3rd World, where they are targeting their business as an on-line bank alternative.  Their limit is supposedly 200M coins and they are currently trading at $1.15 and GRNBF has 60M of them as an asset.  They charge no fees and don't make money on the use of the coin – just if the coin makes money. 

    I may interview these guys in a week or two and I'm not suggesting that this stock is anything more than a craps roll BUT I like the discount that owning GRNBF gives you to the currency as, in theory (if GreenCoinX were widely traded) they own $69M worth of coins yet 0.18 values the company at less than $3M so it's the 20:1 discount to THEORETICAL value that makes it interesting to me.  

    If these were BitCoin-like and took off to $10 each, then the company would get noticed and the value of their holding would be realized (at $600M) and the stock, IN THEORY, could hit $600M as well and that would be 200x on the investment so it pays better than roulette with a bit less odds of success.

    GreenBank Subsidiary GreenCoinX Enables XGC to Trade on 15 Crypto Currency Exchanges

    Isle of Man Welcomes GreenCoinX

    Submitted on 2016/04/22 at 1:41 pm

    GBTC/Hanj – GRNBF is not an ETF, it's an on-line bank that owns/controls GreenCoinX and simply has 60M of them as an asset so no friction cost of ownership is another nice feature but just silly speculation – the most interesting one out of dozens of them I wouldn't put a penny into.  Yes, mining is hard – it was hard in 1849 when tens of thousands of people headed west to mine for gold in the US and, you know what – none of them made any money either – but they did dig up a lot of ground and made the people selling the land and selling the mining equipment and maps very rich – so I prefer to stay on that side of the trade – the side that sells to the traders!  

    Submitted on 2016/06/08 at 3:10 pm

    GBTC/BDC – That's why I like GRNBF, they are undervalued to their coins but, of course, huge risk that they never catch on.  

    Submitted on 2016/08/11 at 6:47 am

    Cryptocurrency/Shash – Well there's always a new one and I don't see much difference from one to the other, quite frankly.  I think they are more like gambling on random events – certainly nothing to be taken seriously.  I did pick up some GRNBF who are running GreenCoinX, which differentiates itself by NOT being anonymous, which is much more appealing to governments but they are having trouble gaining traction.  Anyway, just some fun money and the whole thing is like the penny stock phase – thousands of companies and, a few years later – maybe two survivors.

    I feel the same way about our GreenCoin investment, we have a cryptocurrency with a difference that makes it stand out from the others.  Between that and our ability to create a transactional base and a platform to promote it – it's a fun pizza bet that can turn into millions of Dollars.  

    Uber/StJ – Current business model doesn't matter in this case as the big investors are all in on the self-driving car model that will eliminate the drivers and 5x their revenues.  Figure a driver makes $20K a year which allows for $1,500 monthly car upkeep and they still double the $3K they currently take in fees on the same trips.  

    Wheee on /TF already, so glad I was scaling in!  

    Retail/Albo – How about XRT – the whole ETF got killed and we're heading into Christmas.  GNC is one of their holdings and WFM but they are pretty well spread-out with lots of underpriced names (and NFLX):

    Top 10 Holdings (13.52% of Total Assets)

    Get Quotes for Top Holdings

    Company Symbol % Assets
    Dillard's Inc DDS 1.50%
    GNC Holdings Inc GNC 1.42%
    Groupon Inc GRPN 1.38%
    Sears Holdings Corp SHLD 1.38%
    HSN Inc HSNI 1.37%
    Nutrisystem Inc NTRI 1.35%
    Whole Foods Market Inc WFM 1.30%
    Liberty Ventures Group A LVNTA 1.28%
    Netflix Inc NFLX 1.28%
    Tailored Brands Inc TLRD 1.26%

    So I wouldn't look for a big move up but we don't need one if we are BEING THE HOUSE.  So, for the OOP, let's:

    • Sell 10 XRT Jan $36 puts for $1 ($1,000)
    • Buy 10 XRT Jan $37 calls for $3.40 ($3,400) 
    • Sell 10 XRT Jan $42 calls for $0.850 ($850) 

    ?That's net $1,550 on the $5,000 spread that's $3,500 in the money to start.  Upside potential at $42 is $3,450 (222%) in 148 days – not too shabby.


  10. Phil – Thanks on XRT.

    Great call on GRNBF.  Sometimes these little guys work out.

    Still long tons of QUIK.  Waiting for Samsung to announce their new products.  


  11. BDC/BTC-Buying,

    I am also using coinbase but in coinbase you need to add a payment method to buy/sell BTC and that is where I am confused as I am not sure whether I want to link my bank account to it. Have you done it? Other 2 available methods are paypal and Credit Card (4% fee).

    regards


  12. Imax continues virtual reality investment, opening new VR center in Toronto

    Font size: A | A | A

     

    9:04 AM ET 8/24/17 | MarketWatch

    Imax Corp. (IMAX) said on Thursday it's expanding its virtual reality business, opening a new virtual reality center at a Cineplex theater in Toronto, Canada. Along with the new VR center, Imax will add a new Imax auditorium at Cineplex theaters in Toronto and Regina. As U.S. box office trends have slowed, Imax has been investing heavily in virtual reality in hopes of driving traffic to movie theaters, and has been focused on expanding its international reach. Imax opened its flagship VR center in Los Angeles in January, followed by another location in New York City. The premium film exhibitor plans to launch eight more centers in North America, Western Europe and Asia this year. The plan is to use these as pilot locations to test consumer experience with the burgeoning technology, pricing and different content offerings. Imax said it plans to roll out the VR center concept globally at select multiplexes, shopping malls and tourist destinations. Shares of Imax have declined nearly 44% in the year to date, as cinema chains and film exhibitors have struggled to contend with weak box office results and concerns of shrinking theatrical windows and further digital disruption. The S&P 500 index , by comparison, is up more than 9% in the year


  13. Jabo- can post a link to that IMAX story?


  14. Jabo-Thx


  15. Morning all!

    Webinar replay is now up!

    https://youtu.be/UDSlnCG7zn8


  16. M    somebody likes the Jan$21 calls for  $2.05    5000x     sees value like us but is the fool paying premium


  17. pat – yes, I linked a checking account. You can always open up a new one exclusively for this purpose of course, and keep things separate that way.

    Phil – rich people – my experience with a few of them is after eating all the cows and drinking all the wine they can handle, they take some extra money and fund start-up companies. They never give you as much money as you want or need, but you need them.


  18. Phil – for the record, my Seattle taxes went up $600 this year, so the $399 if for Bezos and $201 for a few of the others…   8)


  19. Phil,

    What are you looking at in terms of entry on /CL and /RB for holiday run up?


  20. those global elitist policy makers never saw bitcoin coming.

    but we did.

    http://www.zerohedge.com/news/2017-05-31/real-reason-own-bitcoin


  21. Phil, 

    Are you still short /TF?


  22. TEVA IMAX and FTR all green…

    will someone please close the market now!!!


  23. BDC/BTC-Buying

    I was able to link my checking account. Now I guess if I want to invest $1000 to buy green coins how would I go about doing it. Do I need to buy bitcoin first and then using that buy the green coins?

    I get only 0.23506653 BTC for my $1000 as the bitcoin rate is very high currently. Does it mean I would have done better if I would have bought it when bitcoin was in $2000 range? Am I not overpaying at this point?

    Even if I deposit BTC to my address using coinexchange.io, how would I convert that to Green coin? Sorry too many questions but it is little confusing for me…

    thanks and regards


  24. Jabo It must be spring in the US???


  25. or it's only 1150.

    lets see where we are at at 4pm..

    it would be nice for them to stop crashing every week for a change!


  26. IMAX/Jabob – Got a nice pop today despite the fact that that news isn't really new.  

    /YM took a nice 100-point dip from 21,850.

    M/Stock – Maybe someone sold 5,000 calls to cover.  

    Start-ups/BDC – It's good to get trickled on.

    Oil/Japar – Oh I'm very happy with this entry ($47.25) on /CL as a long but /RB we took off $1.60 yesterday and made 0.05 so I have no need to rush in on that. 

    August 22nd, 2017 at 12:24 pm | (Unlocked) | Permalink 

    Now /RB is lagging and they should be a fun play over $1.59 with tight stops below into the holiday.

    August 23rd, 2017 at 10:48 am | (Unlocked) | Permalink

    Oil looking good over $48, /RB over $1.60 – easy money when you pay attention.

    See, it's not like I change my mind about levels every 5 minutes. They are the same long spots unless something fundamentally changes.  Like just now, for instance, I started shorting /TF again because it hit 1,375 again – not complicated. 

    LOL Jabob.  Sadly, they will keep trading.  Shocking that we got to 0.80 ($12) and bounced on FTR, right?  Who would have thought???  Now worry about whether we get a weak or strong bounce.  

    In the case of a stock like FTR, we have to take into account that it's not the same company it was at $60 (when it was making $3.60/share from 2011-2014) but they are still making enough to spit out $2.40 in dividends so easily $24 could be justified and I'd say $36 would be right when people start getting optimistic so we should use $36 to $12 as our drop zone and that's $24 so call it $4.80 for a bounce to $16.80 (weak) and $21.60 (strong) but the fall took 6 months so they have 45 days to hit the weak bounce and then 45 more to make strong – if the stock is going to recover fully.  Probably though, it won't and we can only hope for consolidation at the weak bounce line within 3 months and then a break over for the next consolidation into next year.   That's if all is going well.  

    Bitcoin/Pat – If you are quickly converting to another coin, then the current cost of BitCoin is not a major factor as you get more GreenCoins per BitCoin due to the same exchange that causes you to get less Dollars per BitCoin.  Of course, all these crazy fluctuations is what's keeping cryptocurrencies from being widely adopted but who knows, one day they may settle down.


  27. Well Phil…the lips are ready to kiss but we only have 4 months..

    will gladly fly to time square if I need to, of course ;-)


  28. http://www.philstockworld.com/2017/04/24/bdcs-crypto-

    pat_swap………..BDC put out some very good instructions a few months ago on how to buy BTC and Greencoin.  I used that info to buy greencoin and it worked very well.  Above is the link. 


  29. 2017 Q2 Earnings – everything is awesome:
    https://twitter.com/puru__saxena/status/900571824907370498


  30. /CL – would have thought TS Harvey would make an impact…perhaps this is a short squeeze?


  31. Earnings/Scott – I love that over-used chart that tells you nothing other than analysts set low targets for earnings. 

    The reality is S&P 500 earnings were $130/share in 2014, when the S&P was at 1,850 (and we set our Big Chart levels) and now, 3 years later, we're at $140 share (7.6% higher) but the S&P 500 is at 2,450 (32% higher).  That's all there is to my bearishness at these levels.

    We haven't updated the Big Chart and I'd be happy to concede we should be 10% higher (2,035) based on earnings and I'd even say 20% higher (2,220) isn't unrealistic if we have a positive economic outlook but 2,450 is 12% too high – it's that simple to me.  

    Harvey/Latch – You need a lot more than a storm to move things.   Now we're down at $47.14 which is -2.62%, that's a bit much so I added another long to /CL

    I'll be much more excited if /TF rolls back over though.  I'm pretty sure it will.  

    All the "W"s are breaking low:


  32. GWW – Nice company, pays a $5 dividend (3%) and has been unfairly trashed as they restructure.  I THINK this is a good floor but let's just sell 5 of the April $150 puts for $10 in the LTP to remind us to keep an eye on them (and put $5,000 in our pockets).


  33. CMG coming back to – are people moving to value?


  34. Pat – correct there is no difference mechanical difference between bitcoin and any stock here on PSW: the cheaper you got in, the more it goes up for you. I';ve personally seen bitcoins low as $2, should you have a ccess to a time machine (I'll rent it from you), go back and buy 500 coins for $1k (now $2.4M).

    Obviouslt if you'd bought at BTC 2k, you'd get twice as much as 4k. no one knows the future price. Assume it will be zero and everything else is a win by comparison. That's how I look at crypto.

    Follow utlyguy's link for the specific instruction set on generic altcoin buying. My advice: spread your $1k around several coins you like. Happy trading. You can buy 100 coins for $10 each for example. Maybe one of those is the next 100Xer and you get your $1k back and still have 99 coins that can go to 0 and still break even. Crypto is new and fun, have fun with it – that's the point.







  35. 1. The tarnished American brand





  36. Actually, that Texas storm is getting stronger, might end up being a hurricane and that's bullish for gasoline, oil should follow it up but we're already long and I'd stick with /CL over /RB.


  37. Storm — will have to go check on my little boat tomorrow morning-- double up on the lines and make sure they move up with the surge….and make sure my bilge pumps work.


  38. Harvey impacting some refineries :

    ~~ (Lyondell 265kbd: runs cut, Citgo 157kbd: shut down, Flint Hills 296kbd: shut down, Valero 293kbd: mulling shutdown). Oil production is not being impacted but refinery activity is. 

    Bought a few UGA calls for possible scalp.


  39. Took the money and ran on /TF at 1,370.5 – it's just been too bouncy and other indexes perking up.

    Refineries/Albo – And that will cause them to consume less oil so build in oil and draw on gasoline expected.  

    /RB flying now.

    I've got 3 long /CL at $47.24 so I'm happy enough.  


  40. /YM below 21,800 with tight stops above would be my fresh horse if /TF fails 1,370. 2,440 on /ES and 5,835 on /ES are the other lines to watch for a 3/4 play.  

    Amazon Prime Members will get Whole Foods discounts!  I'm in baby!!!  

    Amazon says Whole Foods deal will close Monday, special discounts to begin immediately

     

    Whole Foods Market will offer lower prices starting Monday on a selection of best-selling grocery staples across its stores, with more to come.

    In addition, Amazon and Whole Foods Market technology teams will begin to integrate Amazon Prime into the Whole Foods Market point-of-sale system, and when this work is complete, Prime members will receive special savings and in-store benefits. The two companies will invent in additional areas over time, including in merchandising and logistics, to enable lower prices for Whole Foods Market customers.

    "We're determined to make healthy and organic food affordable for everyone. Everybody should be able to eat Whole Foods Market quality — we will lower prices without compromising Whole Foods Market's long-held commitment to the highest standards," said Jeff Wilke, CEO of Amazon Worldwide Consumer. "To get started, we're going to lower prices beginning Monday on a selection of best-selling grocery staples, including Whole Trade organic bananas, responsibly-farmed salmon, organic large brown eggs, animal-welfare-rated 85% lean ground beef, and more. And this is just the beginning — we will make Amazon Prime the customer rewards program at Whole Foods Market and continuously lower prices as we invent together. There is significant work and opportunity ahead, and we're thrilled to get started."

    The other supermarkets are freaking out – down 3% at the moment.  The last thing they need is a price war with WFM.  


  41. Hey, I figured out a good use of the merger.  AMZN can analyze what I buy at WFM and then offer to ship me the things that don't need to be fresh.  That would encourage people to buy more things on-line and, of course, people who shop at WFM in the first place are great target audiences for prime Memberships if they don't already have them.  If AMZN can train people over time to have 25% of their shopping delivered – it increases efficiency, opens up space in the stores and maintains a loyalty from the customers.  That would be a sensible way to go.

    Also, they are really good at "You may also like…."  

    Oops, levels are breaking – time for more shorts!  


  42. Phil – RB – This will be a good setup for a shorts later? after holidays


  43. /RB/Bulls – If it stays this high.  We'll see what the hurricane does but above $1.70 I'd rather be short than long.  


  44. global warming plays are about as sure a money maker as anything out there. TX will get 2-4 FEET OF RAIN. When you're measuring rain in meters rounded to whole numbers, that's when you know you are totally f'd!


  45. 3 long Cl at 47.6….come on Harvey!!!


  46. FU TEVA!!!!


  47. We came in #7 this year in the Top 100 Stock Blogs – big move up!  

    Texas/BDC – I was in Houston once when they got pounded by a storm, downtown was totally flooded out – this is looking about that bad.  City could be offline for a week.

    TEVA/Jabob – A watched pot…


    • Tropical storm Harvey will become a Category 2 hurricane late today, says Weather.com's Dan Leonard, as the storm grows stronger and more quickly than many meteorologists had been forecasting.
    • "Historic flooding from Houston to San Antonio is very possible," drenching the area for 4-5 days, says Leonard, a top weather advisor to commodity traders and hedge fund managers.
    • Magellan Midstream Partners (MMP +0.4%) and NuStar Energy (NS +0.4%) say they have suspended operations at their terminals in Corpus Christi, Tex., and Citgo reportedly is shutting down its refinery; Shell, Anadarko and Exxon already have said they are cutting production at some of their area facilities.

    • The shock to the grocery industry over Amazon firing off lower prices at Whole Foods right off the bat is extending over to the food supplier and food producer sectors.
    • Chefs' Warehouse (CHEF -1.4%), SpartanNash (SPTN -1.4%), Core-Mark (CORE -1.1%), G WIlli-Food (WILC -0.6%), Performance Food Group (PFGC -2.2%), General Mills (GIS -2.7%), Post Holdings (POST -1.2%), Kellogg (K -2.5%), Pinnacle Foods (PF -2.6%) and B&G Foods (BGS -2.5%) are all in reverse.
    • The grocery store sector is getting jolted by news that Amazon is wasting no time is lowering prices at Whole Foods (NASDAQ:WFM).
    • Kroger (NYSE:KR) is down 4.40%, while Sprouts Farmers Market (NASDAQ:SFM) has shed 2.8%. Ingles Markets (IMKTA -3.1%) and Supervalue (SVU -3.5%) also dropped quickly off the news.
    • Supplier United Natural Foods (UNFI -3.3%) and Hain Celestial (HAIN -2.4%) are also reeling.
    • Amazon (AMZN -0.7%) will close on its deal to acquire Whole Foods Market (NASDAQ:WFM) on August 28.
    • The e-commerce giant isn't wasting any time setting a new tone as it promises that Whole Foods Market will offer lower prices starting Monday on a selection of best-selling grocery staples across stores.
    • As part of the marriage, Amazon Prime will be integrated into the Whole Foods Market point-of-sale system.
    • “We’re determined to make healthy and organic food affordable for everyone. Everybody should be able to eat Whole Foods Market quality – we will lower prices without compromising Whole Foods Market’s long-held commitment to the highest standards,” says Amazon Worldwide Consumer CEO Jeff Wilke.
    • The pricing strategy from Amazon will be closely watched across food retail, including by management at Kroger (KR -3.2%), Target (TGT -0.8%), Costco (COST -1.4%), Supervalu (SVU-2%) and Wal-Mart (WMT -1%).
    • Source: Press Release
    • Cowen Research provides an update on Starbucks (SBUX) after meeting with management.
    • Analyst Andrew Charles says the midpoint of current SBUX long-term guidance implies 5% global comparable sales growtht and 17% EPS growth, above his expectations for a drop by management to an outlook for 3% to 5% comps and 12% to 17% EPS growth.
    • Charles indicates the good news for investors is that the lower guidance range is already priced in.
    • "The key to share appreciation remains reaccelerating domestic comps, with an emphasis on innovation, growth in MSR members and improving thru-put during peak morning hours," writes Charles.
    • SBUX is rated at Outperform with a price target of $63.
    • In the wake allegations that PetMed Express (PETS +2.7%) was intentionally marketing pet opioid Tramadol to people, Google has removed the ads from its searches. The ads previously appeared when key words such as "opiate pills to get you high" were used.
    • The company has reached out to Google representatives but the details have not yet emerged.
    • Bearish research shop Aurelius Value, whose report trimmed a chunk off the company's stock price, says the company was "turning a blind eye" to the Google ad data, adding, "[You] can't claim to be a good online marketer and not know what is going on" with the Tramadol ads.
    • Previously: PetMed Express takes issue with "false and defamatory" report; stock rebounds 15% from session low (Aug. 23)
    • Heading into Labor Day weekend, Disney's (NYSE:DIS) "Force Friday" will leverage augmented reality in the worldwide merchandise promotion tied to its holiday release of Star Wars: The Last Jedi.
    • Retailers around the world will open at midnight Sept. 1 with new toys and merchandise from the blockbuster franchise
    • Displays in more than 20,000 retail locations across 30 countries (including Wal-Mart, Target, Best Buy and Apple stores) will start featuring AR content that can be tapped with smartphones beginning early in the morning of Sept. 1.
    • Characters from the movies will "come to life" and be overlaid on surroundings, allowing users to take pictures with them. That will include the reveal of a new character. The content will be accessible throughout that weekend.
    • Shares of IMAX (NYSE:IMAXjump 3.9% after the company announced a new deal with Cineplex.
    • The relatively high level of short interest on IMAX has added volatility to daily moves.
    • IMAX trades about 45% below its 52-week high.
    • Previously: IMAX and Cineplex expand partnership (Aug. 24)
    • Aluminum prices rise near six-year highs, the latest commodity to enjoy a boost from China’s efforts to cut supply to curb pollution.
    • Aluminum futures in Shanghai jumped as much as 3.2% to the equivalent of nearly $2,500/metric ton, joining strong rallies in prices for iron ore and zinc.
    • J.P. Morgan analysts forecast aluminum prices will rise another $100/ton in Q4, "well supported by collective realization that supply reform is a reality, despite Chinese aluminum inventories more than quadrupling so far this year… However, these higher prices will probably prompt smelters outside of China to initiate restarts, pushing the global market into a surplus."
    • Saying they are tired of waiting for Congress to act, Michigan state legislators have introduced a bill that would require drug makers to justify price hikes greater than 10% in one year 30% over five years. Companies who refuse to play along could face penalties of up to $100K a day.
    • The state joins Maryland and New York who have undertaken similar action. Several months ago, Maryland passed a law allowing the attorney general to intervene if a generic drug's price spikes by 50% in one year or if the price increases while there are no more than three suppliers. New York Governor Andrew Cuomo wants to create a board that will determine a "fair price" for a medication while a state senator there introduced a bill to control the prices of certain drugs.
    • Unsurprisingly, Big Pharma and generic drug industry lobbyists are working diligently to oppose such actions. In Ohio, backers of a drug pricing measure recently filed a complaint about the use of confidential contributions, or dark money, to finance efforts to defeat their initiative.
    • A new survey shows that Apple (NASDAQ:AAPL) iPhone owners are more loyal and likely to upgrade to the upcoming premium model than a Barclays analyst predicted.
    • The survey from Fluent included 2K U.S. consumers and found that 79% of current iPhone owners would purchase another iPhone as their next phone. This compares to 63% for Samsung and 31% for Android. 
    • The data showed 34% of Americans have an iPhone and that most of that number has one of the two latest models, the iPhone 6 and iPhone 7.  
    • Barclays had estimated 18% of iPhone owners would buy the forthcoming flagship phone but Fluent’s results put the number at the much higher 40%, though two-thirds did say the rumored $1K price tag was too high.  
    • In other news, the AP reports that Apple will receive $208M in tax breaks for building two data centers near Des Moines, Iowa. The data centers will create about 50 jobs. 
    • The Iowa Economic Development Authority will give $19.6M in state tax refunds to Apple and the suburb of Waukee will pitch in a $188M property tax break.
    • Previously: New iPhones might release September 22; Apple TV lost Q1 market share (Aug. 23)
    • Ahead of its earnings report tonight, Broadcom (AVGO -1.9%) is seeing some renewed bullishness from covering analysts.
    • Rosenblatt Securities has reiterated its Buy rating and holds a $270 price target. And KeyCorp reiterated its Overweight rating and has a $280 price target. Earlier this week, Cowen reiterated an Outperform and $260 target.
    • Canaccord Genuity, meanwhile, has boosted its price target to $300 from $272, implying 19% upside from today's price.
    • The firm says its survey shows pent-up demand for iPhone products, leading to expectations for a strong upgrade cycle considering the potential for a 40% increase in Broadcom content in the new platform.
    • "With our expectation Apple will sell 250M iPhones in (calendar) 2018 combined with Broadcom’s increasing content share, we believe our Broadcom estimates could prove conservative, especially if the iPhone 8 mix is greater than anticipated," it says.
    • Accordingly, it's boosting EPS estimates for fiscal 2017 to $15.76 from $15.69, and for 2018 to $17.21 from $16.65.
    • Trends in the wired division are strong and could offer upside based on cloud and data center market strength, Canaccord says. The company's also likely to "meaningfully" increase its dividend at the end of the October fiscal year.
    • After the close, Broadcom's expected to report Q3 EPS of $4.03 on revenues of $4.46B.

    • U.S. Department of Energy study on the electric grid recommends relaxing rules on coal plants and easier permitting for resources such as coal, nuclear and hydropower.
    • The report says cheap and abundant natural has been the primary factor behind the closure of coal and nuclear plants in recent years, with environmental regulations and subsidies for renewable energy sources only secondary factors.
    • The report’s main recommendation is for a change in how regulators price electricity to reward steady production, which is common at nuclear and coal-fired plants.

     

     


  48. ouch…bu so true Phil


  49. as much as I don't agree with Perry I am glad to see nuclear getting a boost


  50. BDC/Phil/ultyguy/BTC-Buy,

    it looks like there is a lot of fee associated to buy BTC. If I want to buy $1000 worth of BTC the fee charged is $14.90. is this correct?

    regards


  51. Phil – whats your cut and run upside on CL?


  52. Phil/BTC-Buy

    "~~If you are quickly converting to another coin, then the current cost of BitCoin is not a major factor as you get more GreenCoins per BitCoin due to the same exchange that causes you to get less Dollars per BitCoin"

    by the above statement you actually meant less BitCoins per Dollar as your last three words if I am getting it right.

    So for e.g. 10 days back 1 USD = 1 Bitcoin = 10 Green Coin.

    In 10 days Bitcoin gets doubled.  so now 2 USD = 1 Bitcoin = 20 Green Coin.

    Is this correct?

    Regards


  53. Sold 1/2 UGA calls, up 20%.  Will keep balance overnight.


  54. SQM was a good pick


  55. Wow, this is a tempting Friday activity, helicopter out to the Hamptons to see Lauryn Hill give a concert on the beach.  This is a company PSW Investments was working with.

    Speaking of PSW Investments – Our TradeExchange guys just closed a deal with Motley Fool and we're also closing on a $5M round of financing!  

    I know people have contacted Greg about getting in on what is probably our last round of private capital raising (next stop is IPO) as well as participating in the Hedge Fund and I plan to speak to you this weekend – so expect a call.

    - Phil

    BitCoin/Pat – That's how the exchanges get paid.  Not sure if it can be avoided but I'm not the expert.  

    /CL/Bulls – I don't think the hurricane is all that bullish for oil as it shuts down the refineries that use oil but, on the other hand, it also may prevent ships from delivering oil so that could cause a draw in existing inventories.  Anyway, my upside premise for oil was the holiday weekend and that's still happening and I don't know how high we'll go but next Thurs/Fri is my target for the up move – probably just under $50 if I had to guess.

    BitCoins/Pat – Yes, that is what I meant.  Getting less BitCoin per $1 (1/4,000thish) is the current rate but then you get more GreenCoins per 1/4,000th of a BitCoin (I have no idea what the math is).  

    1,375 again on /TF.  I guess I'm fighting the Fed on this one. 


  56. M       now bullish insider buys


  57. Phil, where can one get more information about PSW investments?


  58. Phil/Big Move Up – Great Job and Congrats to You and the Gang!  :)


  59. JUNO, KITE, BLCM      Pharm's picks all up today


  60. Bought some USO Sept 9 calls, very little premium in them


  61. PSW Investments/Ult – Contact Greg at philstockworld dot com and he can get you on the list. 

    Big Moves/1020 – And, don't forget, we're always interested in checking out opportunities.   If these early round companies were liquid, we'd be swimming in cash.  On the other hand, wait a few more years and we 10x again.  Funn, for example, is raising at a $100M valuation, which makes our 2% "worth" $2M but totally illiquid, of course

    USO/Jeff – Good way to play.  

    Another red close?  


  62. I don't know how much sense these tax deals make:

    https://arstechnica.com/tech-policy/2017/08/iowa-town-gives-200m-subsidy-to-get-apples-newest-data-center/

    Apple is building a $1.375 billion center near Des Moines, Iowa, after having secured more than $200 million in tax credits from local government.

    The data center will support 157 jobs paying $7.8 million in wages, according to IEDA. The facilities will run entirely on renewable energy, as do other Apple data centers. (Wind energy is big in the Hawkeye State.)

    It's not that many jobs… It's like Wisconsin offering $3B to Foxconn!


  63. FTR  I can't see too many wanting to short here, having to cover the 20% dividend. Also there's a lot of shorts with some good gains, I see profit taking into the ex div date on Sept 15. Does this make sense? I sure don't want to pay 5% a quarter to hold a short on a company that has been beaten down as far as FTR… I got my puts sold at $12, looking more and more like a smart move and as long as they keep that dividend.. two good looking days off a spike low makes me think this could have some legs. I'm biased of course, but how much sense does this approach make? Cover shorts for a nice gain before the dividend and we could get a nice little squeeze going…


  64. Phil do you think RB could hit 1.70 tomorrow on the hurricane effect?


  65.  As a follow-up to my previous question I looked up the effect on oil and gasoline prices from the last major hurricane to make landfall in Texas which was Ike on September 13, 2008 .interestingly the price of both dropped significantly in the two trading  days following that event! Just a heads up


  66. So now that RB opened at 1.695 we can forget that question 


  67. What is up with the widening spread between WTI and brent? Now around $4.50… what does it mean and do you think it will continue? Do you have a historical context? I know it's been around 3 for a long time but I'm new at following oil. Perhaps the storm snaps us back in line? Or is the rest of the world worried about something else?


  68. Latch and anyone else close, stay safe! Good luck to you…


  69. AAPL/StJ – Well 157 x 100K is $15.7M/yr so it will take those idiots 13 years just for the salary money coming in to equal the tax breaks.  Of course, it's a $1.4Bn building project and figure a large percentage of that money goes to local labor and materials so it's not terrible but still going a bit overboard to please the Corporate masters.  

    FTR/Mkucs – All the ETFs dumped them too:

    That's a $0 ETF score!   

    Credit score is what we have to watch:

    Several large investors have recently modified their holdings of the stock. Teachers Advisors LLC increased its stake in shares of Frontier Communications Corporation by 10.2% in the fourth quarter. Teachers Advisors LLC now owns 1,542,051 shares of the utilities provider’s stock valued at $5,212,000 after buying an additional 142,788 shares in the last quarter. Macquarie Group Ltd. increased its stake in shares of Frontier Communications Corporation by 63.9% in the fourth quarter. Macquarie Group Ltd. now owns 57,000 shares of the utilities provider’s stock valued at $193,000 after buying an additional 22,222 shares in the last quarter. Creative Planning increased its stake in shares of Frontier Communications Corporation by 3.3% in the first quarter. Creative Planning now owns 218,705 shares of the utilities provider’s stock valued at $468,000 after buying an additional 7,009 shares in the last quarter. Gulf International Bank UK Ltd increased its stake in shares of Frontier Communications Corporation by 1.0% in the first quarter. Gulf International Bank UK Ltd now owns 393,937 shares of the utilities provider’s stock valued at $843,000 after buying an additional 3,900 shares in the last quarter. Finally, Bank of Montreal Can increased its stake in shares of Frontier Communications Corporation by 18.9% in the first quarter. Bank of Montreal Can now owns 3,780,896 shares of the utilities provider’s stock valued at $8,091,000 after buying an additional 601,074 shares in the last quarter.

    F them!  

    One issue I've noticed reading analyst reports on FTR is that these robo-reports, which dominate the market, haven't all adjusted to the post-split price.  That means they are using averages (of analyst estimates) that are off by a factor of 15 in some cases.  

    /RB/Craigs – I think we can hit $1.7262 before turning down.  cool  If not for the holiday, it would be a terrific short after the fact.  Also note that /RBV7 hasn't taken off yet (not as much) at $1.58.  The Sept contract (/RBU7) only has a few days to go and those barrels will be hard to find if we have a shortage so that's why Sept is spiking up but, by Oct, we should be getting back to normal so not as big move on /RBV7.  

    Spread/Mkucs – /CL and /BZ – also hurricane related gambling I imagine.  It's a very wide spread, usually $2.50 ish so $5 is really extreme.   I guess, on the whole, I'd rather short /BZ than go long /CL after the holiday's if /BZ is that much higher.  


  70. Phil--you are scaring me with that FTR report and the credit worthiness.

    A BK would be pretty devastating. I sure hope that the likelihood of that happening is ZERO.


  71. Thanks for the research craigs.  And thanks for the safety message muck.  Will be my first hurricane    I secured the boat on a floating pier. Should be okay as Galveston should get the side blow, not head on. 


  72. /RB wow. 1.73.   CL had a good job but stalled at 47.77. No complaints from me..holding 3 at 47.62 and will put 2 stops at 47. 

    Harvey is slowing down, not good as it could make it meaner. 


  73. 47.7


  74. this is pretty funny. Behold, some guy launched an ICO token on the ethereum chain literally called "useless ethereum token" in a weekend. He set up a website that transparently proclaimed he was creating no value whatsoever and was going to simply spend any money he made on personal stuff. So naturally, this being crypto, he raised $100k.

    https://uetoken.com/

    That shows you the value of absolutely nothing, the basal state valuation of crypto's version of pure dirt. And it currently carries a $91k market cap:

    https://coinmarketcap.com/assets/useless-ethereum-token/


  75. Samsung guilty verdict is a victory for reformers














  76. Harvey is getting meaner. Also heading closer to Houston http://www.nhc.noaa.gov/text/refresh/MIATCDAT4+shtml/250235.shtml?


  77. Only 1 CL short now.  Switching back to TF 


  78. Good morning!  

    Running late from a breakfast meeting.   On to the morning post.


  79. I would not short oil with this hurricane.  Also, early in the contract cycle so they can mess around all they want.


  80. I can't get Scottrade to load, site appears to be down


  81. Sorry. I meant one long CL. One short TF 1376


  82.  Does anyone know the name of the Study Phil uses on TOS to draw the lines? Can't find pivot or Fibonacci 


  83. Scottrade, me too mkuc