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Non-Farm Friday – Is America Working?

Dow 22,000, Nasdaq 100 6,000, Russell 1,400, S&P 2,475! 

NOW we have something to celebrate over the holiday weekend.  We had a fantastic week trading the Futures – other than my Dow shorts, which got crushed (see yesterday's post) but I'm still in them over the weekend – just in case North Korea nukes us or gets nuked or if people realize the GOP tax cuts are nothing more than a massive transfer of wealth from the Middle Class to Donald Trump, his family, and his friends.  

Notice on Paul Ryan's Simple Tax Postcard, that line 2 says "Add 1/2 of investment income."  Half?  What about the other half?  That's an interesting way to sneak in a 50% tax cut for the rich, isn't it?  MOST of the money rich people make is investment income.  And, as noted by VOX:

One is that line 3’s reference to “specified savings plans” is completely punting on the question of what the specified savings plans are.

The other is that in lines 9, 10, and 11, the form achieves simplicity by saying nothing at all about what the relevant credits are or who is eligible to claim them and in what quantity.

To make either of these provisions work, you would, in practice, need to work with some additional forms.

The reason a tax form is complicated is because it's real.  Paul Ryan and Donald Trump's fantasy post-card is no different than the current 1040EZ form except it's laid out differently (and omitting details like you name, address, date, signature…) and, of course, in order for this to work you'd have to put your Social Security number on an open post card – like some kind of moron who never heard of identity theft.   Yet morons are Ryan and Trump's base and they are eating this stuff up and it's not those morons I have a problem with but the morons in the MSM who report on this stuff without brining up how obviously stupid it is.  

According to the Tax Policy Center, the GOP plan could reduce federal tax revenue by as much as $7.8 trillion over the span of ten years – adding over $10Tn (50%) to the deficit after intersest (which will no longer be deductible).  Multi-millionaires in the top 0.1 percent of the population are looking at an enormous windfall that will boost their after-tax incomes by 12-20 percent.  Middle class families would get relatively little. And if that multi-trillion dollar revenue hole is actually offset by spending cuts as Republicans say they want to do, middle class families will end up worse off.  As noted by our own BioDieselChris in Member Chat:

You can already see some pretty insidious shit going on here, like in the "standard deduction" versus "mortgage interest + charity." So no more real estate tax deduction, no more unreimbursed business, or medical (over 7.5%) or miscellaneous (over 2%) deductions huh? That's a massive tax hike for the middle class, and really the middle class, which the Schedule A (deductions) favors the most, those are the ones who broach the MFJ 12,700 standard deduction and often have 20k in mortgage interest, real estate tax and charity and are in the 25 and 28% brackets. So cutting these is a huge tax burden for the middle class.

As usual, the markets are celebrating the idea of tax cuts for the rich and we've gotten very rich this week, with our Long-Term Portfolio jumping over $100,000 (16.66%) since our 8/18 review.  That's right, the same exact positions left completely untouched gained $100,000 in less than two weeks – not a bad collection of calls, right?  The Short-Term Portfolio, however, which we use to hedge against losses in the LTP, lost $3,200 – so more like 15% total gains in our paired portfolio strategy.

Next week I'll be on BNN's Money Talk with Kim Parlee and we're going to start a brand new portfolio which we will track on the show as well as at Philstockworld, where we're hoping to match the success of our Nasdaq Portfolio, which made over 100% in 4 months (see yesterday's report for those trades, which include a great hedge on the Nasdaq).  As you can see from the link above, we shares our Trade of the Year idea on Wheaton Precious Metals (WPM) on the show and that trade is already up $12,250 (612%) from our net $2,000 entry with 4 months to go – those are the kind of trade ideas we'll be sharing in our new portfolio so tune in, or SUBSCRIBE and get hundreds of other great ideas.  

By the way, even at this level ($14,250), the full payout of the spread is $25,000 at $22 (WPM is now $20.78) so you can still make $10,750 (75%) in just 4 months, picking up the scraps that are left by our Members – not bad for you cheapskate readers! 

Now, on to new business.  Non-Farm Payrolls were, as we expected on Monday, a miss at 156,000 vs 189,000 expected by leading economorons and both June and July were revised down 20,000 jobs each so a complete disaster and we'll see if "THEY" can maintain the market highs into the holiday in the face of this obviously TERRIBLE data but, of course, the spin will be that this keeps the Fed on hold, so all is well on Wall Street, right?

That's 3 straight months of declining payrolls with Aug coming in like May while you need to chop 10% off June and July from the chart – go Trump!  Keep in mind the July report was a 20,000 beat (now adjusted to no beat) on Aug 3rd and the Dow popped from 22,000 to 22,100 on that fake news.  On July 7th, we got a fake June reading of 230,000 jobs and that took the Dow from 21,350 all the way to 21,650 the following week.  So how much of the BS gains will unwind in the face of reality?  This is why I stuck with my Dow Futures (/YM) shorts.  

The indexes would be down already but the Dollar took a tumble back to 92.30 on that news (less people working means less need for Dollars).   We still like the Dollar (/DX) long at 92 or over the 92.50 line with tight stops under the lines.  

Oil and gasoline should be calming down a bit as things have stopped getting worse.  We finished our longs with massive profits yesterday (Wednesday's $1.63 gasoline bet (/RB) finished at $1.75 for a gain of $5,040 per contract).  I told our Members in our Live Chat Room that I didn't think it was worth the risk holding into today (plus, very greedy after having such amazing gains).  

And now the holiday weekend is upon us and it's hard to imagine there's a lot of enthusiasm for holding stocks at record highs when there's a madman threatening to use nuclear missiles in power – and I'm a little worried about Kim Jong Il as well!  

There's no doubt that fixing the hurricane damage will be good for our GDP, possibly adding as much as 0.5% ($90Bn) to our GDP but 3.5% "growth" would be considered fantastic.  If we can just continue to warm up the globe and wipe out a major city every year – things are going to be great!  

Have a nice weekend,

- Phil

 


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  1. Phil will you be sharing this new portfolio with us before presenting it on BNN? Also I was wondering if there was any way that we could get a text message when you post your comments so we can be alerted quickly instead of having to be glued to the chat screen. I often am late seeing your futures trade ideas and would love to have some way to be alerted that you have posted these like you do with the top trades. Just throwing the idea out there for you and Greg to consider if it is not a lot of trouble.


  2. The Russell has quietly been on a tear…


  3. Good Morning.


  4. Nice new high on WYNN.


  5. IMAX showing some life. 


  6. Good morning!  

    GM crushed it on sales, up 7.5%.

    Dow ticking down a bit at the open, I've got 14 short now at 21,946 avg so a ways to go before I'm even. 

    Alerts/Craigs – That's why we post an RSS feed on each post, you can set up a reader and alert yourself when I comment but PLEASE stop waiting to follow my moves and concentrate more on understanding what we're doing so you can make your own.  Look at the above /RB chart.  I posted it in the morning (not to mention previously in Member Chat) and all day long there were opportunities at $1.63 and we've literally been talking about the gasoline trade for a week – if you miss that – an alert isn't going to fix it for you.   

    We are, however, launching a hedge fund so, if you want to have your money managed ($250,000 min) – contact Greg at Philstockworld dot com and he will get you on the list!  

    Big Chart – Too good to believe. 

    • Dow +0.2% to 21,992.95. S&P +0.24% to 2,477.38. Nasdaq +0.27% to 6,445.90.
    • Treasurys: 30-year -0.28%. 10-yr -0.07%. 5-yr -0.03%.
    • Commodities: Crude -0.38% to $47.05. Gold +0.66% to $1,330.87.
    • Currencies: Euro -0.05% vs. dollar. Yen -0.08%. Pound -0.44%.
    • Alongside the minor miss in the August payrolls number (156K jobs added vs. 180K expected), July's 209K job gain was revised down to 189K, and June's 231K cut to 210K.
    • The unemployment rate unexpectedly ticked up to 4.4% even as the labor force participation rate stayed flat at 62.9%. The broader U-6 unemployment rate was flat at 8.6%. A year ago, it stood at 9.7%.
    • The average workweek slipped 0.1 hour to 34.4 hours. Average hourly earnings were up $0.03 to $26.39; this following a rise of $0.09 in July. On a year-over-year basis, they're up 2.5%.
    • Full report
    • For now, markets are reacting as expected (for a miss): Dollar (UUPUDN) lower, gold (NYSEARCA:GLD) higher, Treasury yields (TLTTBT) lower, rate hike odds lower. Stock index futures (SPYQQQDIA) remain modestly in the green.
    • Previously: Payrolls a bit soft; UE rate ticks higher (Sept. 1)
    • The death toll from Tropical Storm Harvey has risen to 44 and the storm could wind up being the most expensive natural disaster in American history.
    • It could cost the economy about $190B, according to AccuWeather, which predicts it will total more than Katrina and Sandy combined.
    • "You had the greatest rainfall ever measured in the continental U.S… damage to the supply chain across the country, jobs lost and health problems."
    • Some Texas operations crippled by Hurricane Harvey are back online as UPS and FedEx (NYSE:FDX) restarted flights at Houston's main airport.
    • "The safety of our employees comes first and we will be resuming service as soon as it is safe to do so," said UPS spokesman Matt O'Connor.
    • Two days ago, the storm stopped or sharply limited deliveries to more than 730 zip codes in Texas and Louisiana.
    • American Electric Power (AEP -0.1%) has cut customer outages in Texas to 88K from a Sunday peak of 220K but is struggling with "devastated" electric transmission lines and significant distribution losses, CEO Nick Akins tells Bloomberg.
    • "We are focused on getting the infrastructure associated with transmission and distribution, which is devastated in a significant way… we have several, several lines that are out, [including] one of the lines where over 20 miles of structure is laying on the ground," the CEO says.
    • Akins says more than 500 transmission structures in Texas remain in need of restoration.
    • Echoing the similar robust official data reported yesterday, Caixin/Markit's China Manufacturing PMI rose to 51.6 in August, compared with 51.1 in July and beating economists’ expectations for a slight dip to 50.9.
    • Total new business grew at the strongest rate in more than three years, while export orders saw the sharpest increase in over seven years, pointing to strong demand at home and abroad.
    • Previously: China: Manufacturing up, services slip (Aug. 31 2017)
    • Slipping against the dollar and flat against the euro, sterling is on track to record its worst month since October, as Brexit uncertainty weighs on the currency.
    • EU and U.K. teams agreed that "no decisive progress" had been made in the latest round of Brexit talks, with the EU's chief negotiator, Michel Barnier, criticizing the U.K. for "demanding the impossible."

    • Mexico and Canada would remain in NAFTA even if the Trump administration abandoned the deal, Mexican Economy Minister Ildefonso Guajardo declared, noting that only Washington might consider leaving the accord.
    • The statement comes as second round of NAFTA negotiations begins today in Mexico City, with the three countries pushing to modernize the 23-year-old trade agreement.

    Oilfield services stocks have dropped too far, Credit Suisse analyst says

    • Now may be time to take the plunge into oilfield services stocks, Credit Suisse analysts say, after the group has shed ~5% in the past week amid Harvey's devastation of Houston and surrounding areas.
    • The costs will be “astronomical,” but CS analyst James Wicklund believes oil and gas drilling and production actually should come back online fairly quickly, and while Eagle Ford operators may have some initial difficulties, the need for increased oil production is inevitable.
    • Even so, Wicklund says investors must be selective, buying companies whose technology or execution has lowered the breakeven cost of oil or allowed the rig count to drop while growing production; his favorites in the group are Halliburton (NYSE:HAL), U.S. Silica (NYSE:SLCA), Weatherford (NYSE:WFT), Select Energy Services (NYSE:WTTR), NSC Multistate (Pending:NCSM), Solaris Oilfield (Pending:SOI) and Mammoth Energy (NASDAQ:TUSK).
    • Ford (NYSE:F) unit sales -2.1% to 209,987 vs. -2.4% estimated by Edmunds.
    • Passenger car sales -9% to 47,652 units.
    • SUV sales -11% to 65,626 units.
    • Truck sales +9% to 96,619 units.
    • YTD U.S. sales -4.1% to 1,711,211 units.
    • Shares of Ford are up 0.91% premarket to $11.13.
    • Demand for Ford's (NYSE:F) F-Series continues to impress even as other models hit a lull. F-Series sales rose 15% to 77,007 units.
    • "We continue to see customers choosing high trim-level F-Series trucks for Super Duty and with new 2018 F-150 orders. We are seeing high demand overall for our F-Series lineup this year, outpacing full-size truck segment growth 2 to 1 with a 15 percent increase for August," notes U.S. sales exec Mark LaNeve.
    • During the month, the F-Series average transaction price rose $3,400 to $45,600 per vehicle.
    • Sales growth by brand: Ford -2.0% to 201,189 units, Lincoln -5.8% to 8,708 units. Double-digit sales drops were seen for the Taurus, Fiesta and Escape models during the month.
    • Ford's inventory came in at 67 days supply vs. 66 days last month and 65 days supply a year ago.
    • Previously: Ford U.S. sales fall less than anticipated (Sept. 1)
    • Toyota (NYSE:TM) unit sales +6.8% to 227,625 units vs +12% forecast by Edmunds.
    • Toyota division sales were up 8% to 196,824 units.
    • Lexus division sales fell 0.4% to 30,801 units.
    • Camry sales fell 8% to 30,246 units and Corolla sales were down 15% to 25,995 units. Demand for the Highlands was strong, with sales up 26% to 18,845 units.
    • YTD Toyota U.S. sales -1.3% to 1,604,847 units.

     

    • A federal judge in California today rejected a lawsuit by Wyoming potentially seeking more than $1B in additional penalties for environmental damages linked to Volkswagen’s (OTCPK:VLKAFOTCPK:VLKAY) diesel emissions scandal.
    • Wyoming cannot separately pursue Clean Air Act claims because conduct that takes place during vehicle manufacturing is intended to be regulated by the EPA, not the states, the judge said.
    • The decision could end a sizable risk the company faced if states could separately pursue claims under the U.S. Clean Air Act and other environmental regulations.

    General Electric Is FUBAR 

    • Campbell Soup (CPB -7.3%) CEO Denise Morrison called the packaged foods industry "challenging" as consumers change their preferences and new competition continues to step in.
    • “Several variables are at play including value players expanding their presence in the U.S., the growth of store brands and the explosion of e-commerce and meal delivery services disrupting the market,” according Morrison. "We expect conditions to remain hyper competitive for the foreseeable future," she warns.
    • Kraft Heinz (KHC -1.6%), B&G Foods (BGS -1%), Mondelez International (MDLZ -2.3%), Archer Daniels Midland (ADM -1.6%), Blue Apron (APRN -1.7%) and Conagra Brands (CAG -1%) are all lower as investors eye the frank comments from Campbell's chief.
    • Macau gaming revenue increased 20.4% Y/Y in August to 22.7B patacas ($2.8B), according to data from the Gaming Inspection and Coordination Bureau. The mark tops the consensus estimate for an 18.5% rise.
    • Casino traffic was reduced in Macau during the last week of the month due to the impact of struck by Typhoon Haro.
    • Macau casino stocks: Wynn Macau (OTCPK:WYNMFOTCPK:WYNMYWYNN), Sands China (OTCPK:SCHYYOTCPK:SCHYFLVS), MGM China (OTCPK:MCHVFOTCPK:MCHVYMGM), Galaxy Entertainment (OTCPK:GXYEF), SJM Holdings (OTCPK:SJMHFOTCPK:SJMHY), Melco Resorts & Entertainment (NASDAQ:MLCO).

    Lululemon rallies after lifting guidance

    • Lululemon (NASDAQ:LULU) reports comparable sales increased 7% in Q2. On a constant dollar basis, comparable sales were up 2%.
    • Gross margin was 51.6% of sales during the quarter vs. 50.5% expected and 49.4% a year ago.
    • Operating margin fell 160 bps to 12.8% of sales during the quarter.
    • "The acceleration that we have seen across the business in the second quarter enables us to take another positive step on our path towards achieving $4 billion in revenue by 2020," says Lululemon CEO Laurent Potdevin.
    • Looking ahead, Lululemon sees full-year revenue of $2.55B to $2.60B vs. $2.55B consensus and full-year EPS $2.35 to $2.42 vs. $2.32 consensus.
    • LULU +7.75% premarket to $61.99
    • Barnes & Noble (NYSE:BKS) denies that it's in active talks with a suitor over a buyout.
    • "Although we have an obligation as a public company to listen to any proposals or offers from outside parties, we are not engaged in a process at this time," a B&N spokesperson tells New York Post.
    • Shares of Barnes & Noble ran up 6.6% yesterday after Dealreporter said the companywas considering a move to go private.
    • Previously: Barnes & Noble rallies on sale intrigue (Aug. 31)

    Britain's cost watchdog not on board with AstraZeneca's Faslodex

    • Britain's National Institute for Health and Care Excellence (NICE), the advisor to the National Health Service on costs and services, publishes draft guidance saying the benefits of AstraZeneca's (NYSE:AZN) breast cancer drug FASLODEX (fulvestrant) are "too uncertain" to make it cost effective, specifically, that the current evidence does not prove that it prolongs survival more than existing cheaper treatments.
    • The draft guidance is open for public comment until September 25.
    • NICE says ~32K women in England are diagnosed with breast cancer each year, with ~1,200 eligible for treatment with FASLODEX.
    • The situation is a common occurrence between NICE and developers of new expensive therapies. There is always a price at which NICE will support inclusion into the NHS treatment paradigm. In some cases, it just takes a bit of time to get there.

    Qualcomm announces new autonomous vehicle reference design and chipset

    • Qualcomm (NASDAQ:QCOMannounces a new Cellular Vehicle-to-Everything reference design to help autonomous vehicles communicate sensor data for better safety and situational awareness.
    • The reference design includes the 9150 C-V2X chipset based on specs from a telecommunication collaboration called the 3rd Generation Partnership Project. The chipset runs the Intelligent Transportation Systems V2X stack and the Hardware Security Module. 
    • Announced automotive partners endorsing the chipset include Ford and Audi.   
    • Previously: Qualcomm and Himax announce 3D sensor collab; QCOM joins IoT alliance (Aug. 30)

    On the road to $1Tn:  NPD: AirPods were 85% of wireless headphone market this year

    • NPD reports that 900K wireless headphone units were sold in the U.S. so far this year and Apple’s (NASDAQ:AAPL) AirPods lead the market.
    • AirPods accounted for 85% of totally wireless headphone sales in the period due to ecosystem compatibility that makes the headphones work like an iPhone extension. 
    • NPD says new entrants to the totally wireless market will need to bring feature differentiation, improved sound quality, or service and app integration to have a shot at taking on the AirPod dominance.  
    • Previously: Sony launches three smartphones, smart speaker, and AirPod competitor (Aug. 31)

  7. Phil I did very well on the RB trade  and I don't wait for your posts to make moves, but I do like to see them in a timely manner so thanks for the tip on the RSS feeds. Really helps me if I see that you either confirm or don't with my moves and occasionally you will post and I miss something that may have change my trade on a loser. 


  8. Image may contain: 1 person, text

    No automatic alt text available.

    Mexico's national guard bringing relief aid to Houston:

    Image may contain: outdoor

    #BuildtheWall

    • ISM Manufacturing 58.8, most since 2011.  
    • U of Michigan Sentiment 96.8 ticked down a bit, worst since July.  
    • Construction Spending down 0.6%

    Data is all over the place but my issue is "why the all-time highs then?"  


  9. hen there's a madman threatening to use nuclear missiles in power – and I'm a little worried about Kim Jong Il as well!

     

    hilarious


  10. Phil- RSS. On the site's faq. ……We provide RSS feeds on the free site, but unfortunately RSS doesn't work behind security barriers

    does this mean it will not work for those with the chat feature ?  Also how's it going with Trade Exchange?


  11. Phil – send me a bitcoin address, I owe you 0.01 BTC


  12. Wow, you guys have to get WikiBuy – it's an extension you add to Chrome browsers but I'm sure it works on other stuff.  I was just ordering meals from Sakara and, as I was going to checkout, a pop-up went on my screen and said "Would you like me to try some discount codes I found on the Web?" so I click yes and it apparently submitted a few attempts and then saved me $50!  Now that is artificial intelligence I can get behind. 

    Of course, this is also the doom of retail because when this kind of power gets into the hands of shoppers – it will be very difficult for stores to make good margins.  I guess it's fair, the pendulum will swing back to the consumers for a change.  

    RSS/Latch – It's my understanding that it does work, check with Greg.  Trade Exchange is raising a $5M round, which is nice as we own 10% of it!  Still a work in progress though.  At $50M, our $5M will be a 100% return for PSWI investors!   And that's only one of our projects (and we're still looking for more if anyone has one).  


  13. LOL BDC, that's a Greg thing.  I remain blissfully clueless as to the mechanics of wallets.  


  14. Phil – new generation socialization and communication - "They are having a very different life than we did… strange new ways."

    The latter part of your comment from yesterday, reminded me of this clip of your namesake, especially from 1:58 on, and Out.


  15. Watching for a good entry on USG.  If and when it breaks through the 200dMA, I'll likely put on a BCS.  The stock was up 80%+ in the eight months following Katrina.  Far stronger than HD, LOW,  etc.

    BTW, I would have never thought of F as a Harvey play.


  16. Wikibuy is great….


  17. …works great on Amazon :)


  18. RSS works fine, I use RSSOwl (free RSS reader if you don't want to use your browser's reader).  Today's feed 'address' would be http://www.philstockworld.com/2017/09/01/non-farm-friday-is-america-working-16/feed/atom.  It is important to remove all the extra information from the email link if you use that, and then add the /feed/atom to the URL.


  19. Ok, the .&nbsp is something the reply box added, it should NOT be there.


  20. Enfilade – Harvey vs Katrina – Hurricane Katrina (and 4 weeks later Rita hit) was the worst insured loss event in the history of insurance anywhere in the world.  Bigger than 9/11, the earthquake and tsunami in Japan (Fukushima), and Hurricane Andrew (the previous benchmark).

    Between 1980 and 2005, homeowners insurers in Louisiana wrote a total of $13B in homeowners insurance premium, from which they earned $1B in profit.

    In one day, Aug. 29, 2005, Katrina's landfall cost those insurers $8B. When she was done spinning her head, a combined $41B of insured losses in Louisiana, Mississippi, Alabama, Florida, Georgia and Tennessee.

    Although Harvey's loss total may exceed $30B, much of that will be uninsured. For what its worth and Out.


  21. LOL Naybob! 

    Indexes staying afloat after early selling.  

    DAX still not back to 12,250

    Oil spiking back up but not so much /RB – I'm not playing either, too much effort for a Friday.

    I do have the March /NGs though.  

    USG/Albo – I'm pretty sure the easy money is in the bag on that one but next week's inventory will be very favorable.  

    RSS/Lotter – Thanks, good info!  

    Uninsured/Naybob – Well, what do you expect from a state where auto insurance is optional?

    • Seadrill (SDRL +70.3%) shoots higher in early trading after a Bloomberg report suggests the struggling company is mentioned as a potential target of a Chinese company on the hunt for offshore drilling assets.
    • State-owned China Merchants Group has looked at various assets and companies including SDRL, although no formal offer has been made, according to the report.
    • A full takeover of SDRL would be difficult given the company’s debt restructuring, which could impact the timing of any transaction; SDRL has warned that the restructuring likely will involve filing for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection.

     


  22. Phil – Texas Auto Insurance – You are correct. Since a single at fault accident could wipe out your bond and leave you liable for the remainder, my attorney Bernie C.M. Cirroc (aka Cro-Magnon Keyrock – Unfrozen Caveman Lawyer) recommends paying the annual premium.  

    Here are the alternatives which DO NOT LIMIT liability, nor pay for attorney's fees which your insurance company would provide, and can tie up quite a bit of cash.

    1. A surety bond from two individual sureties that own property in Texas, with the same coverage limitations as liability insurance.
    2. $55,000 cash or securities deposit with the state Comptroller.
    3. $55,000 cash or cashier's check deposit with the county judge of the county in which the car is registered.
    4. Certificate of self-insurance – You must own a fleet of more than 25 cars to qualify for a certificate of self-insurance.  Essentially fleet bond posting.

    Here is the chapter and verse and Out.


  23. This should be good for QCOM moving forward:

    https://arstechnica.com/cars/2017/09/qualcomm-covers-all-the-bases-with-a-cellular-vehicle-to-everything-chipset/

    ue in the second half of 2018, it's called the Qualcomm 9150 C-V2X chipset, and the name sort of gives it away. C is for cellular, for it will work with 4G and emerging 5G networks. And V2X—Vehicle-to-Everything—means it also uses the 5.9GHz V2X protocol that is meant to directly connect to other cars, traffic lights, and even pedestrians. The C-V2X chipset also has an integrated global navigation satellite system built in, and Qualcomm has also come up with a C-V2X reference design that pairs the chipset with an application processor running its Intelligent Transportation Systems V2X stack and a hardware security module.

    Still long…


  24. Phil – Non Farm Payrolls – a 3 month decline, but far worse.  Monthly change declining since May 2015, and cut in half.  Monthly change vs trailing 12 months declining since Feb 2015 and headed into depths typically reserved for pre-recession.  A Ro-BUST jobs market indeed and Out.


  25. LQMT – Is there specific reason for the jump over the last couple of days? 


  26. QCOM/StJ – Doesn't mean theirs is the best but a step in the right direction and, of course, I like them anyway. 

    NFP/Naybob – Well it goes back to what I keep saying about bubble growth.  If there's no underlying actual growth in the economy, then you get to the point where we don't need any more people to work and we go right back to a tightening cycle and while all this stock market growth looks impressive – it does nothing for the actual economy.  Nor does Corporate Profits when they are based on buybacks and cost-cutting, rather than actual increases in sales. 

    LQMT/Justav – Always rumors before new IPhones are released.  One day, there will be a liquid metal IPhone and this stock will be at $30 and my kids will never have to work for the rest of their lives!  

    Next storm is looming – check out those wind-speed forecasts!  Long /NG again! 

    Nice quick chart of things to look for when evaluating a company:

    Adding insult to injury, the Mets are pitching Harvey against Houston tomorrow! 

    636397188671247208-AX177-0F68-9.JPG

    This image on the left is being forwarded by Conservatives all over the Web and it's FAKE!!!

    People who click through are presented with an article that reports on a real protest from members of the Texas Young Democrats. They held signs and protested President Trump when he arrived in Austin, Texas to show support for those affected by Hurricane Harvey.As of this writing, the stories had racked up more than 120,000 shares, reactions, and comments on Facebook after being shared by more than 10 pages that collectively have more than 12 million fans.At some point after a tweet from a BuzzFeed News reporter about the fake story went viral, Mr. Conservative website removed all of its content. But that didn't stop Conservative Post form publishing a copycat article the same day.


  27. It's the weekend and I am not enjoying my 3 TF shorts at 1404.5  it feels like this…. :)   http://www.whiskyneat.com/wp-content/uploads/2016/04/2-500×332.jpg


  28. Except for Whats APP and Instat .. us GenX er have those apps…. at least I do.


  29. Phil!- need a theme song for the weekend — non disease related please.


  30. Phil – Trade exch — is it down now? Is that why you are not using it?


  31. Police officer to nervous woman: "Relax, we only kill black people" 

     

    This was amazing from the Daily Show – $750 pills in the US recreated by Australian science class for $2.  

    The Trump administration is dramatically cutting funding dedicated to advertising and promoting enrollment in Obamacare. The cuts are further evidence that the Trump administration will undermine its least favorite health care law at all costs, despite having no legislation to replace it if it fails.

    Concussion expert says extent of brain damage in youth football players "took my breath away"

    Great video of Bernie Sanders telling CNN reporter to focus on the issues for a change.  Why is he not our President?  cryingcryingcrying

    Keep buying up those equities – what could possibly go wrong? Putin warns North Korea situation on verge of ’large-scale conflict’ – Reuters

    "And then they told me they wouldn't honor my groupon…." AI writes Yelp reviews that pass for the real thing

    During an appearance on Sean Hannity’s show last, Lahren justified the network’s continuous coverage of a scandal — one that has had no newsworthy developments and pertains to a political figure who has been out of the spotlight for almost a year — by depicting it as retribution for covering President Donald Trump’s potential collusion with Russia during the 2016 election.  “How about we make a deal?” Lahren suggests. “How about when the mainstream media stops covering Russia day in and day out, maybe we can drop the Hillary email scandal. But until then, I think I’m going to stay on it.”

     


  32. Phil – Money Left To Spend For Working Class –  "Well it goes back to what I keep saying about bubble growth.  If there's no underlying actual growth in the economy, then you get to the point where we don't need any more people to work and we go right back to a tightening cycle and while all this stock market growth looks impressive – it does nothing for the actual economy.  Nor does Corporate Profits when they are based on buybacks and cost-cutting, rather than actual increases in sales."

    Indeed. Something is amiss in the Fed’s world of low employment? That's what used to be called under employment and stagnant wages.  Rule, an excess of savings vs real investment causes economic contraction.

    As for that spending money? Due to "imputed income" calculations by the BEA, GDP and DPI are both overstated by a non trivial amount. The latter is the basis for household budgets and outlays.  In other words, it's not as good as advertised.

    See my latest Of Economic Reality, Upward Mobility And Ritholtz? which StJL inspired with the Ritholtz article which claimed that growing DPI can support record debt.  Not drinking the Kool Aid here and Out.


  33. /TF/Latch – I'm up to 18 /YM shorts, down $5K at 21,965.

    Weekend/Latch – Here you go:

    I just fucked two bitches 'fore I saw you

    And you gon' have to do it at my tempo

    Always tryna send me off to rehab

    Drugs started feelin' like it's decaf

    I'm just tryna live life for the moment

    And all these motherfuckers want a relapse  

    Sadly, that's from Jackie's favorites list!  

    TradeExchange/Latch – Was a beta test, big upgrade being worked on now that we have a bug list. 

    Incomes/Naybob – Very true.  

    Rig count unchanged.  


  34. Phil – OMG.. while we appreciate the quick reply, and x2 Public Service Announcement video. #1 Today's youngsters music choices  #2 To avoid this video …. how about something more for your clients demographic?  


  35. IMAX..please no tease..

    when will i be able to say that about TEVA? ;-)


  36. Bought a couple UNG October 5 calls for 1.83. Very little premium in them


  37. phil, what an awfully annoying song!  i'm more or less your age and i don't ever remember listening to anything but upbeat music--stuff that made you wanna get up and dance.  but this crap is depressing!


  38. phil, i have some naked $45 TGT 2019 calls, that i picked up when TGT was closer to 50.  i feel TGT will pop sometime before the end of the year and close the gap up to 65.  what do you think?


  39. Added some more armchair trades to my port.

    Buy stock 63.53 and sell Mar18 65/62.5 stangle @ 6.23 combined return 1.79% per month


  40. Latch – Lunar – Without further specifics, a song for the weekend? Do you want deliverance? or just to hang on? and Out.


  41. Well, this is interesting:

    Great top 10 ways the honey badger kicks ass list.

    #9 – For reasons that evolutionary biologists can’t adequately explain, honey badgers seem to have a particular tendency to go for the balls when attacking animals larger than themselves, most notably lions and humans.

    Hunters, trackers, and others who make their living exploring the African bush fear the animal above all others and there are many, many anecdotal stories from those who’ve had run-ins with the animal reporting very matter of factly that it seems to instinctively “go for the balls.”

    And a good note: Although not technically an animal considered to be at risk of extinction, the honey badger is so unconcerned with its own safety they often die when less badass animals, like humans, use cheap methods like poison and bear traps to kill them. For this reason we actually don’t know what the average lifespan of a honey badger is because none in the wild live past about 10 years of age, as is wont to happen when you’re an animal that thinks nothing of punching lions in the balls.

    Giving every American $12,000 in basic income could grow the economy by $2.5 trillion

    Demograpics/Latch – Well gosh, when and if I post a video, it's usually because I am naturally inspired to do so – you can't force these things but I have 2 hours so let's see what comes up.

    TEVA/Jabob – It's up today.  Gosh, there's just no pleasing some people…

    See, that's the problem, we don't know WHEN something will turn, we only know when it's too cheap so we buy it and wait PATIENTLY for others to realize its a bargain.  

    IMAX drifted down for 6 months, TEVA has been on sale for one month – your expectations are completely unrealistic.  

    Depressing/Lunar – Yeah, I don't understand half the crap my kids are listening too.  I swore I wouldn't become my parents but the crap my kids listen to is nothing but noise with filthy, dirty lyrics that good kids shouldn't be listening to!   Where's Tipper Gore when you need her?  

    Image result for tipper gore music censorship

    Image result for tipper gore music censorship

    Image result for tipper gore music censorship

    I think it's because we went through this idiocy that we are way too permissive about what our kids listen to.  

    Related image

    From Frank Zappa, of course…

    Image result for tipper gore music censorship

    As to upbeat though, this is what Jackie said is the most depressing song she ever heard – said it reads like a suicide note:

    TGT/Lunar – Sure, we're bullish on TGT but, as noted in the Butterfly review:

    TGT – I still like them long but we shouldn't be greedy.  Let's sell 15 of the 2019 $60 calls for $4 ($6,000) to lock in our profits on the $50 calls but leave some room to run (1/4) and let's sell 7 Jan $57.50 calls for $2.60 ($1,820).  I'd rather sell none but it's our job to collect premium, so we're selling 1/3.

    IN the OOP, however, we simply have the 2019 $40/52.50 bull call spread with the short $45 puts we picked up on 6/15 – an example of one of those times we make a small entry and it pops right away so we never get a chance to DD.  Anyway, the difference is the Butterfly Portfolio is more conservative than the OOP, so we part-covered.  

    Mystery stock/Yodi – Sounds great???


  42. Phil,

    I assume you're still short /YM and will hold all of the thru the weekend?


  43. /YM/Japar – Unless I get even, then back to maybe 4 short.  Even at -$2K I'd cut back to 10 short rather than risk the unknown.  I'd need another 40-point drop to get even then.  I guess about 21,990 would be -$2K for me.


  44. Nat – thanks alot! Will the dueling banjos is most excellent, it pales in comparison to Raquel — never seen her like that — vavoom!    I always thought it was Snoopy ! :)


  45. Phil/GILD

    You have 5 long 2019 $60 calls uncovered in the LTP.  At what point would you cover those 5?  Thank you.


  46. Phil sorry the mistery stock is MO


  47. As I said before you are the only one who reads it!!!!!!


  48. Phil – "Where's Tipper Gore when you need her?"

    Thanks for my LMAO of the day.  I can't believe that tame video and lyrics, that Prince produced while he was building a "gingerbread house" with Sheena, was on the list.

    As for those kids today, a hoverboard and some yoga might give them a sense of accomplishment and Out. 


  49. Latch – Snoopy, and I thought it was just plain… Stupid ! :-)  Thanks for another LMAO.


  50. Those fanatical anti-lyricists now have to go vote in Michigan for Kid Rock to be the GOP Senator, proving, once again, GOP "moral values" to be a total sham.


  51. Tobacco – interesting to see PM (but not MO) at all time highs, while this is the chart for smoking trend:

    http://humanprogress.org/sharable/8616


  52. Today's Music -  Not all of it is vile.. "Oh my Gosh" is as explicit as this one gets… epic video:

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hTGJfRPLe08


  53. Latch    music for Houstonians

    We Gotta Get Out Of This Place


  54. Phil I thought that article by John Petersen that Advill posted was quite compelling.

    ~~"As of June, Tesla's book value was $5.1 billion and its market cap was $60.2 billion. That gave Tesla an eye-watering BS to book ratio of 10.8. With a ratio that high, the upside potential of an investment in Tesla’s stock is insignificant while the downside risk is huge. It's easy to imagine events that could result in a halving of the stock price but difficult to imagine events that could result in a doubling."

    Phil, I am very tempted to sell far OTM calls on TSLA.  For example, sell 10 Jan 2019 550 calls and take in $13,000.  Would use a stop, of course.  And the margin's no problem.

    Please talk me out of it ! 

    What do you think Rustle ?


  55. Stocky – Apropos, but that could go for just about any of us in the States. LOL.

    Latch – Raquel, right next to Jane Russell in my book. These daze, built like this, and Out.


  56. Phil – I know that trade carries substantial "theoretical" risk, but does it really ? 

    Can you think of any event, including a possible acquisition that would cause substantial overnight risk ?

    I can't.


  57. scott, 3M views? Seriously?

    Here's a radio-play heavy song out right now. (GOP Trumpflake warning: mixed race couple alert).

    Psy has the most watched video of all time with nary a swear word (unless he's swearing in Korean).


  58. Phil. Thought we see a. Little sell off into the three day weekend.  Make appears a little giddy at the moment.


  59. Must have apps / Phil – Looking good for AMZN, GOOG and FB with 9 of the top 10 there! And AAPL makes the phones where they run… 


  60. ~~Cohn Says Top Earners May See Higher Effective Rate in Tax Plan.

    That's a start if it's true.


  61. GILD/DC – I think what we'll do, if GILD ever stops going up (F them!) is cash our 5 naked longs, rather than cover them.  It's always nice to convert part of a position to cash, especially when it's $7,500 and we only spent about $3,000 for the spread in the first place (the open positions).  You guys may not notice but we whittle things away and back to cash all the time like that – its how we scale back out after scaling into a losing position once they turn around.  

    MO/Yodi – Ah, stealing my trade from yesterday?  wink

    List/Naybob – And what could be more innocent than She Bop?  I remember this one was banned from clubs in my town – we were so innocent!  

     


  62. Smoking/Scott – Thank God!  

    LOL Stock – that's a winner!  Or maybe:

    Lord, here comes the flood
    We'll say goodbye to flesh and blood
    If again the seas are silent
    In any still alive
    It'll be those who gave their island to survive
    Drink up, dreamers, you're running dry.

    When the flood calls
    You have no home, you have no walls
    In the thunder crash
    You're a thousand minds, within a flash
    Don't be afraid to cry at what you see

    TSLA/Albo – I was just talking to Rustle yesterday about it.  He's nosing around but he likes quick in and out trades, I prefer to make a conviction trade so I'm hoping to see $380 when they announce their truck in a couple of weeks.  At $400 I'd be very happy to DD on a short. 

    As to the risk of selling the $550s – to me, there isn't much but it's not about whether they hit $550.  Let's say TSLA announces a production run of 20,000 Model 3s in March for 240,000/yr at $9.6Bn on top of the $10Bn they'll sell this year and analysts will give them an unrealistic $3Bn profit projection (when they "feel like it") and the stock pop $100 and the $550 are what the $450s are ($31) and you are down $18,000 – the question is how much conviction will you have then?  

    It will take you 16 months of being right without a hitch not to go $6,000 in the hole – AT LEAST – at some point.  To think any stock you play can't move 20% against you for no reason is not smart.  So, putting that into consideration, what matters here is how you will react to a massive move against you.  If you are saying you will not take profits when you are 20% up but will stop out when you are 20% down – then just give me $2,600 now and be done with it!  

    Just look at the chart, you could have shorted the $450s when TSLA was at $250 in March and, though it's nowhere near $450 it sure would have scared the crap out of you at $385 – $135 higher than where you started, right?  

    PSY/BDC – I think Despacito topped it. Check out the counter on this one:  3,516,638,618 – and that's not even the only video!  

    Giddy/Den – Well, as I said yesterday, "THEY" want to make sure the barbecue conversation is about how great the market is to make sure Uncle Joe and Grandma Pearl cash in their bonds and call their brokers on Monday.

    Apps/StJ – Another thing AAPL invented that they don't get enough credit for.  Totally game-changing.  

    Cohn/Albo – "MAY"

     


  63. AAPL $165, by the way.  


  64. Phil – Thanks on TSLA.  If I do something like that, I'll wait until the chart turns down and not try to call the top. 

    Have a nice, long Labor Day weekend, Phil and everyone.


  65. TEVA/Jabo – had a couple hundred shares put to me via a spread, so net at $20.02 share. Just covered with an October 15/20 strangle for .90


  66. The correlation between corporate tax rate and growth is tenuous at best and probably non-existent but some will insist that it will take us to 4% growth and pay for itself…

    http://www.motherjones.com/kevin-drum/2017/09/gary-cohn-really-really-wants-to-cut-corporate-taxes/


  67. I was shares put to me too.

    Phil thinks i am hard to please.

    but seeing it drop 50+% in a month and having it go up barely maybe a few days this month sucks.

    but maybe it will recover soon..

    i hope it will not be 6 months of 15-16 before it does, if it does.


  68. BDC – 2.2 BILLION views! wow!! and not even my kind of music.     what brought me to the "Gosh" video was phil's "Gosh" statement, but I like it for the Chinese Eiffel Tower.. and a Subaru. ;-)


  69. Meanwhile, you can see why Republicans hate Puerto Rico – black, white and Spanish people all living together as if race doesn't matter – what a nightmare!   I was just in San Juan on the boat:

    Image result for san juan club crowd

    GOP to Puerto Rico: 'Drop dead'

    GOP Pulls A Merkel Turning Puerto Rico Into A Greek Tragedy

    Puerto Rico votes on statehood on Sunday — for the fifth time. Here's …

    You too Albo.  

    Have a great holiday weekend everyone,

    - Phil

    I've gotta say, this Bieber kid knows how to spot a winner:

    He's gotten really smart with his career, keeps a low profile and guest sings on other people's albums a lot – keeps him on people's minds without the pressure of putting out an album.

    So that's my official weekend video!


  70. Black smoke coming from the Russian embassy in San Francisco that is getting closed:

    Either we have a new pope or they are burning Trump's tax returns!


  71. i'll go with Daddy Yankee over Bieber, EVERY time.


  72. Holy crap, hit my goal on /YM!  

    Here's a good one – one of my all-time favorite songs (Tia version):


  73. StJL – Russian Embassy – here's one for the Ruskies.


  74. Phil, Scotty – Daddy Yankee – lacking a bit in stature, but she's still got what it takes and Out.


  75. I'll listen to this a few times…video is unique…serious bass player.  https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=aYDfwUJzYQg


  76. that Despacito song is catchy – beiber has got it all figured out and mane, that guy has just got to be up to his eyeballs in tail

    OK, on flooding and Houston – I've got another future prediction, even bigger than "buy bitcoin at $10": houses, even in non-traditional flood-plains, are going to start being built more and more on stilts.

    But how do we invest?


  77. bitcoin $5500

    crypto total $179B

    music stops … oh boy












  78. Bitcoin Price Tops $5,000 For First Time


  79. AP Exclusive: Fewer Americans buy insurance in coastal areas





  80. Trump seeks $7.85 billion for Harvey relief


  81. GILD – For what its worth, a friend of mine regrets not being long recently and had this comment on the bounce…

    "the sell-side was pressuring GILD to do an acquisition, the cash was there, it was only a question of time and the frog would jump. So now they did finally buy something and part of their cash suddenly is worth more than "nothing". And the stock goes up. I had speculated on this, but deemed the conjecture to be just too silly. The market is smarter than that, I figured. I must ignore something really bad. Yet I was wrong.


  82. Latch – here's my song for the weekend, every weekend and Out.


  83. Hope everyone is having a nice weekend. The news out of NoKo is definitely alarming and sure seems to be setting up a drop in our markets, but whenever I think it's obvious it usually isn't. I know Phil is watching for that shoe to drop and has been for a long time.


  84. Just saw an update from Colonial Pipeline that their estimated restart for gasoline  has been pushed back from today (Sunday) to Tuesday, which will have them offline for about 6 days. Curious if anyone expects gasoline prices to rise again before returning to "normal " or will we see prices move back down now that they seem to be getting things under control again. While I agree with Phil that trading RB after last week's gains is not necessarily a good trade, I am still always curious about trying to estimate the direction of prices and see if I can figure it out. 


  85. Really interesting book (at least to my inner geek)

    "Scale"  by Geoffrey West.  Looks at how scaling laws of physics control and limit growth, size, death, etc. of organisms, cities, networks, companies, etc.   About 80% really interesting which is pretty good for such books in my experience.


  86. AMC – good discussion of movie business, and AMC in particular in podcast ep.5, interviewing Jordan Moelis. Scroll down to find link: https://www.jcapitalresearch.com/


  87. Nice 100-point drop to start the session.  Upgrading to an H-bomb was a nice touch.  




  88. Trump Strongly Considering Ending DACA, With 6-Month Delay




  89. I am befuddled by these market reactions to events in Korea.  A hundred point drop because they now have an H-bomb?  Seems like badness out of NK is all or nothing.  There are not any kind of bad things that can happen.  The market should either ignore them or crater.


  90. Should have said "There are not any kind of sort of bad things that can happen.

    (these posts really need to be editable by the author)


  91. Tangle,

    I watched last night the debate between to top candidates for the position of Bundeskanzler in Germany.

    Sadly to say that both Candidates, in a mild and diplomatic form, expressed the opinion that Trump is not a reliable Leader for the US. He was put on the same level as Putin and Erdogan, as well as the nut man in N. Korea.

    It is positive necessary to come to a round table conference with the N Korean Clown and find out what actually he wants and what makes him tick. Surely to drop some bombs on N Korea will in no way solve this problem. The main players are Russia and China and in no manner empty twitters and verbal threats from Trump, a laughing stock in the world's eyes, will resolve this problem.

    The man (Trump) gives to the world more the impression to be a spoiled and deranged child then a leader of the US. Not one of the world leader takes this man for serious. I find it very sad that this man is still around, wasting people’s hard earn money, instead of using wasted funds on him, than using them on projects like the flood disaster in Taxes and surroundings.

    Maybe his Mexican wall will help to keep, the help convoys from Mexico to Texas, out of the US.


  92. Phil – Bitcoin IRS Agent – that image above looks suspiciously like Charles Martin Smith (Terry The Toad – American Graffiti) in The Untouchables.  Perhaps an audit of the CoinTelegraph is in order and Out.


  93. I didn't expect /RB to collapse like it has only b/c I would think inventories will show a massive draw since they are shut down. If not for Harvey, it would be an obvious short after the usual holiday weekend run up.


  94. Japar – I expected the same. I thought it would get in 1.80s due to the gap between last month and this month. but I am glad I listened to Phil and grabbed the money. There might be opportunities to go long after the energy report.


  95. Major headline pstas – Except the article is based on opinion, not fact…..


  96. The article also makes easy comparisons:

    Jobs are more plentiful. A Gallup poll in August found that 59 percent of respondents thought it was a “good time to find a quality job.” In 2009 and 2010, this rating hovered around a meager 10 percent.

    These are easy comps following the 2008 recession and Trump had nothing to do with that! I am guessing that this number was close to 59% last November.

    In any case, I am all for people feeling better. And maybe we won't start a war this week and feel even better.




  97. Russia probes kick into high gear



  98. In Defense of the Truth





  99. The Daily News, a Distinctive Voice in New York, Is Sold



  100. Fiat Chrysler Beats Tesla




  101. Good morning! 

    /TF is lagging to the downside and still way up at 1,412.50, I'd use that line for a bear play with tight stops. 

    I'm still in 5 of my 10 short /YMs but tight stops there at 21,914 (25).


  102. Interesting rejection of DAX at 12,200 – over that line is a good off signal for index shorts.  3,450 on EuroStoxx too:

    $18!

    Oil & Gas/Craigs – Too tricky to call thought /RB did over-correct to the downside but missed the chance to catch a long at $1.67 but maybe another shot later.  Oil $48.50 would be a good short though – not even sure why we're back to $48 as Wednesday's build should be big and next week's should be bigger.

    Barron's/Pstas – Wow, when they put it on the cover you would think we'd get more of a reaction but, as I said, "THEY" did their job steering the weekend conversation to entice a fresh round of bagholders off the sidelines.

    MOVES THAT VERY RECENTLY might have been written off as a run-of-the mill market pause now raise questions about this bull’s durability. After all, the S&P 500 is up 265% since bottoming on March 9, 2009. Stock valuations have surged to extremes rarely seen except at market peaks. And expectations for market-friendly legislation seem to be as up in the air as ever.

    Two conditions now exist that could increase the chances of a sharp selloff. The first is valuation. The S&P 500 is trading at 17.7 times 12-month forward estimated earnings, near the highest price/earnings ratio since the dot-com boom. As a short-term measure, such high valuations have almost no predictive value. But bear markets almost never begin when stocks are cheap.

    At the same time, the Federal Reserve is normalizing interest rates. That, on its own, won’t precipitate a bear market, but it could be a catalyst for one if the central bank hikes too much, too fast. The interest-rate backdrop, combined with high valuations, suggests the risk to the bull market is higher now than at any time in the past eight years. “The two most important pieces are there,” says Antti Ilmanen, manager of the portfolio-solutions group at AQR Capital Management. He stresses, though, that neither means a bear market is imminent.

    Scale/Tangled – Great read.  It's what I talk about a lot in regards to physical limits on market growth given available supplies of cash (and suckers). 

    Trump/Yodi – I am amazed at how quickly Trump has destroyed America's standing on the Global stage – Putin could not have picked a better puppet to ruin this country with…  I would be concerned that his success in the US will lead to them sticking you with a similarly dangerous leader.  

    BitCoin/Naybob – As I have been saying for a long time, as soon as BitCoin gets big enough to annoy the Governments, they will crack down on it.  

    /RB/Japar, Bulls - As noted in the post above:

    Oil and gasoline should be calming down a bit as things have stopped getting worse.  We finished our longs with massive profits yesterday (Wednesday's $1.63 gasoline bet (/RB) finished at $1.75 for a gain of $5,040 per contract).  I told our Members in our Live Chat Room that I didn't think it was worth the risk holding into today (plus, very greedy after having such amazing gains).  

    nd now the holiday weekend is upon us and it's hard to imagine there's a lot of enthusiasm for holding stocks at record highs when there's a madman threatening to use nuclear missiles in power – and I'm a little worried about Kim Jong Il as well!  

    We double topped at $1.7750 and that was up 15% from $1.55, which is a huge move for taking off capacity for a week or two out of a year.  Also, you have to consider that demand is also shut in for about 5% (in GDP) of the country and that, once the contract rolled over, the contracts traded as of the 29th (Oct) don't even get delivered for 45 days and, by then, the window of the crisis has closed and traders have to focus on what the actual demand for barrels in October will be.  The real bet is whether or not another storm hits us, so watch the forecasts carefully.

    Middle Class/Pstas – Do you go out of your way to read the most right-wing possible publications or does this just get circulated around by your peers, which gives you the impression all is well in Trumpmerica?  Have you been seeing a lot of articles about how the Hillary investigation is heating up this weekend?  Those were placed to drown out the reality that the Trump investigation is actually heating up.  

    Anyway, as noted by StJ, it has been a bit over 7 months since Trump took office and, though he has made very few actual appointments and passes essentially no legislation at all, I guess you might think he's responsible for the turnaround in the economy since Bush destroyed it in 2008 (or was it Obama in March of 2009, two months after he took office?).  Not to mention these are polls that are based on feelings and yes, Trump made his base feel good this year so there was certainly an upbeat shift in sentiment but that has little to do with the reality of the situation.   

    The temptation is to dismiss the Gallup results as an outlier. Don’t. Karlyn Bowman, the polling expert at the American Enterprise Institute, spends her time searching for opinion trends

    Ah, confirmed by the right-wing think tank?  Now I feel better…

    Trump promised to put American workers first. He lied

    So when he proclaims that “lower taxes on American business means higher wages for American workers”, the fact that this statement is demonstrably false is beside the point: as a new report from the Institute for Policy Studies shows, the job growth rate for corporations that paid the least amount in taxes over the past eight years was negative 1%, compared to 6% for the private sector as a whole; businesses for the most part spent tax breaks not on job creation but on stock buybacks and executive pay.

    It’s also beside the point whether Trump actually believes corporate tax cuts benefit workers. They benefit him, and the people he goes golfing with, and that’s all that matters. This is a president who embodies rent-seeking at its purest.

    Consider the Department of Labor, an otherwise low-profile department targeted in Trump’s budget proposal for a 21% funding cut, the largest of any federal agency after the Environmental Protection Agency and State Department. 

    The Department of Labor is known mostly for enforcing overtime and minimum wage rules under the Fair Labor Standards Act, and probably wouldn’t be on Trump’s radar were it not for the fact that it has hit his businesses with 24 violations for failing to pay workers.

    Trump’s original pick to run the department, Carl’s Jr CEO Andy Puzder, shared with Trump a long list of FLSA violations; his fast food business is one of the worst offenders in an industry well known for ripping off workers. 

    Under Puzder’s replacement, Alex Acosta, the Department of Labor has taken measures to ensure deadbeat employers will go unpunished. These include ending a policy holding businesses responsible for violations committed by subcontractors, rescinding disclosure requirements for law firms engaging in union busting, overturning rules to prevent companies from misclassifying employees as independent contractors (making them ineligible for overtime, unemployment insurance and workers compensation), and excluding many workers from overtime by lowering the disqualifying income threshold former president Barack Obama had raised from just over $23,000 to $47,000.

    The Trump Department of Labor has also taken steps to hobble the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA), an agency established by Richard Nixon whose workplace safety mission isn’t normally an area of partisan contestation. 

    It’s hard to imagine a more anti-worker agenda from any president, much less one claiming the mantle of champion of the American worker. Yet despite this record, Trump continues to show up at factories wearing a hardhat and taking credit for saving jobs that have already been shipped overseas.