by Phil Davis - July 29th, 2014 8:28 am
Some of the people all of the time.
That's the basis for this rally – or what's left of it – as we see this pattern almost daily: A big(comparatively) volume sell-off followed by a "rally" on 1/3 to 1/4 of the volume that sold and then, once we hit a pre-programmed peak (about where we got to in the no-volume Futures), we have a bit of volume selling into the close.
This is how you can see those charts that show all the "smart money" running out of the market, even as the market goes higher. Why would they leave? Why would anyone leave this exciting market? The answer is, because those fund managers are well aware that, at some point, the music will stop and there will be no buyers to save them then. Best to get out now and avoid the rush.
That time was also "different," wasn't it? We had invented the Internet (well, Al Gore did) and easy monetary policy led to bank mergers and NAFTA ushered in an era of free trade that send tens of millions of jobs overseas, causing profits for US Corporations to soar and those good times were never going to end – until they did.
It's very hard to say when a rally like this will finally run out of gas but, when we stop making new highs and we have these BS daily, manipulative run-ups to cover the selling – that's probably a good time to get more cautious.
As noted on Dave Fry's S&P chart, it's ALL about the Fed and how much FREE MONEY the Fed will pump in and how long they will keep pumping it in, etc. You would think we'd be tired of the same old song and dance but why should we, when we GET PAID to join in?
Yesterday, for example, in our Live Member Chat Room, I called for a bottom on the Russell Futures (/TF), saying:
/TF below 1,130! One would hope that's it. Playable for a bounce over that line
by Phil Davis - July 28th, 2014 7:30 am
Shanghai popped 2.5% this morning.
The index flew back to it's highest level since Dec 16th as official Chinese data (ie questionable, at best) showed profits at China's largest Industrial Firms rose 17.9% in June from "just" 8.9% in May.
Despite the "stellar performance" of large-cap companies, the main reason the market is flying is because of a general consensus that Beijing may soon allow the banks to bring in more private of foreign strategic investors. Industrial and Commmercial Bank kicked the ball off by announcing a plan to raise $12.9Bn through the sale of preferred shares.
It's hard to reconcile this "good" news with the fact of the Baltic Dry Index (bulk shipping of raw materials) dropping back to 3-year lows in early July. Who then, is China selling to? Even the WSJ notes that major steel foundries like Tianjin have turned off their smelters – indicating a tremendous pullback in construction activity.
How is China achieving 7.5% growth if it is powering down steel plants and letting copper stockpiles build up? With debt. Despite official instructions to banks to curtail lending to overstretched developers and municipalities, loans are still increasing at rates twice as fast as the economy—and those numbers exclude a so-called shadow-banking lending system estimated at more than $5 trillion, or 80% of gross domestic product.
A big question is what happens to bad debts when the treadmill comes to a halt? Despite rhetoric about opening up the financial system to market pressures, there is clearly reluctance in Beijing to let lenders suffer losses. On Wednesday, for example, construction company Huatong Road & Bridge Co. somehow found the funds to make a bond payment that it had earlier warned it would miss.
Perhaps this is why the global reaction to the blazing Shanghai market is subdued at best. As you can see from the above chart, the Chinese market has been flying on this sort of "enthusiasm" since the start of Q2 but, as was made obvious last week, the other Global Markets are running out of steam.
by Phil Davis - July 27th, 2014 8:42 am
What a month May was!
Through May 23rd, we had 158 winning trade ideas against 29 that did not work out (as of the review) for an 84% winning percentage. As usual, we begin our reviews with the last week of the previous month – even though the last week of May didn't overlap into June – as last weeks often do into the new month (which is why we do it).
Still, 4 parts is plenty for one month, so it's time to move on! Our Trade Reviews not only let us know if we're on or off track but, by putting the trades in context, hopefully we remind ourselves what works and what doesn't work in vartious situations so that, when we see a similar situation, we are ready, willing AND able to pull the trigger.
As usual, we should never be at 100% because we WANT to have trades on both sides of the table (as hedges) and the profit or loss of the trades are as of today, so we look very closely at the LOSING trades – to see if we now have better entries than we had originally (assuming we still like our premise).
Monday, May 26th was a holiday, so we start this month off on a Tuesday:
Selling risk to others in our Member Portfolios has given us 10%+ gains for year (so far). In fact, the only strategy we agreed with from the above chart was gold, which we bet heavily(along with DBA) at the beginning of the year.
Remember, this isn't about making good picks, per se – it's about having a good strategy that gives you a high probability of success – even when you are wrong about a trade. BEING THE HOUSE and selling risk (through options) to others is the closest thing we get to
by Phil Davis - July 25th, 2014 7:55 am
If you read yesterday's post and took action on our trade idea to short Oil Futures (/CL) at the $103 line, then you were able to pocket $1,000 PER CONTRACT in just 3 hours. In the Morning post (delivered to our Members via Email at 8:35 am), the trade idea was:
"We're still shorting Oil (/CL) Futures at that $103 line and we hit it again this morning and, hopefully, we'll get a nice pullback around 10:30 – after the natural gas report shows a nice build."
That's about on par for our Futures trading as we demonstrated LIVE in Tuesday's Live Trading Webinar $300 of Futures profits in less than an hour (replay available here). We'll be doing more Futures Webinars for our Members aside from our usual Tuesday Live Trading Webcasts (sign up for your Membership here so you don't miss our trade ideas).
How to trade the Futures is one of the many things we learn at Philstockworld – another thing is PATIENCE! Patience has kept us from chasing this rally as we once again top out the market. On Tuesday we took a nice, speculative bullish trade (but did not officially add it to our Portfolios) - just in case we do have a breakout – but, otherwise, we've been working on our downside protection.
We are FUNDAMENTAL traders who just so happen to use Options and Futures for leverage and hedging – simply because they are convenient and profitable instruments when used correctly. What we teach is not all that complicated – but it isn't easy either. That's why not many people trade Options and Futures – it requires discipline and takes time and practice to master – not really the kind of thing our education system prepares our students for these days….
YOU, however, should not be intimidated away from making money. Our basic concepts are VERY SIMPLE and the concepts are explained in quick videos like "How To Buy a Stock for a 15-20% Discount" and "The Secret to Consistent 20-40% Annual Returns" – something we are demonstrating this year in the 5 Virtual Portfolios we track for our Members.
by Phil Davis - July 24th, 2014 8:07 am
Up, up and away!
Don't worry about the fact that the volume is so low we had to check if the market was actually open. Don't worry about the fact that net $852M flowed OUT of SPY yesterday - even as the index gained another half a point. Just keep your eye on the prize at 2,000 on the S&P and all will be well.
China is giving us a boost this morning with positive PMI data but, as I noted to Members this morning, the PMI is just a survey of the OPINIONS of Purchase Managers for what they expect over the next 6 months and it's mainly just a feedback loop of market sentiment. As Dave Fry observed:
Overseas China stocks rallied on mere speculation the government will promote stimulus measures to boost growth. The government may engage in “monetary easing and support the housing market,” said Benjamin Tam, a fund manager who helps oversee about $1.5 billion at IG Investment Management (Hong Kong) Ltd. “People are still optimistic that the government policies will support growth in China. All of that is positive and that’s why the market is moving higher.” This is the speculative chatter driving up shares.
Last summer, for example, China's September PMI came in surprisingly positive last year and then had 9 out of 10 negative reports afterwards. Yet, somehow, this kind of history lesson does not stop traders from rushing back into Chinese stocks as if they've just gotten the "all clear" signal they've been waiting for.
Of course MORE FREE MONEY is always good for the markets and we're not fighting the Global Fed (in fact, Tuesday's $10,000, 1,000% trade idea is right on track with only 22 days to completion) – just trying to temper the enthusiasm – just a little…
by Phil Davis - July 23rd, 2014 8:09 am
As I pointed out in our Member Chat Room this morning, there is a Bloomberg article this morning on the CPI report that says:
The cost of living in the U.S. rose at a slower pace in June and home sales climbed to an eight-month high, showing the economy is generating little price pressure as growth accelerates.
But growth is NOT accelerating, is it? We JUST had a GDP report that showed exactly the opposite, yet here we have a noted MSM publication simply ignoring that FACT:
How do people read these things and just accept them? How do authors write them? How do editors OK them? Not even the commenters seem to catch it – it's like the whole World just accepts the BS of the moment.
This is what Orwell predicted it would be like in a future where the media became electronic and the past was instantly forgotten by a population that was unable to think for itself.
It took them 30 more years than planned, but here we are!
"And if all others accepted the lie which the Party imposed -if all records told the same tale — then the lie passed into history and became truth. 'Who controls the past,' ran the Party slogan, 'controls the future: who controls the present controls the past.' And yet the past, though of its nature alterable, never had been altered. Whatever was true now was true from everlasting to everlasting. It was quite simple. All that was needed was an unending series of victories over your own memory. 'Reality control', they called it: in Newspeak, 'doublethink'.
"The past, he reflected, had not merely been altered, it had been actually destroyed. For how could you establish even
by Phil Davis - July 22nd, 2014 8:13 am
How would you like to make $10,000?
If the Russell can finish this option period (24 days) 2.5% higher, at 1,178 or higher, we can turn net $1,000 or less cash into $10,000 for you. After all, if the Fed is going to give away money – why shouldn't we get our share?
I'll preface this by saying that our Members are already long on Russell Futures at the 1,150 line, as we made that call in our live Member Chat Room (become a Member here) earlier this morning.
If the market is going to remain bullet-proof (and missile-proof too, it seems) then the RUT is now the lagging index and we can construct a play to take advantage of it breaking back up by making a play on TNA, the 3x Ultra-Long Russell ETF.
Very simply, if we buy the August $72.50 calls for $3.45 and we sell the Aug $76.50 calls for $1.70, we have a net cost of $1.75 on the $4 spread that's $4.64 out of the money (at goal) and that's 6.4% out of the money so, to be safe, we'll need a 2.5% gain on the Russell, from 1,150 to 1,178.75 to make the full $4. 25 contracts at $4 = $10,000 so we can work with that.
But what about the cost of the 25 contracts (at $1.70 x 2,500, that's $4,250)? Well, there's a couple of ways to offset that. One way is to sell 25 TNA Aug $65 puts for $1.70 to offset the cost. The danger there is, if the Russell goes down 2.5% (to 1,121) or lower, we'll be assigned 2,500 shares of TNA for $65 ($162,500) – that could be unpleasant.
Instead, we can commit to being long TNA at $45 in 2016 by selling just 5 2016 $45 puts for $8, and that raises $4,000 and commits us to owning "just" 500 shares of TNA at $45 per share ($22,500).
Now, if you don't want to be bullish on the Russell when TNA is down 37% (Russell 1,006), then why are you long on it at 1,150?
by Phil Davis - July 21st, 2014 8:31 am
We all go down for a piece of the moment
Watch another burn to the death to the core
And the roadshow thrills pack the freaks and the phonies
Sing: now is now, yeah! – Rob Zombie
There is just no way to win betting against this market!
Well, actually, there is one way and that's betting that each pop is nonsense and tends to have a subsequent pullback intra-day but, long-term, the cumulative effect of all that low-volume pumping has been a rousing success, to say the least.
As you can see from Andy Thrasher's S&P chart, there has been some amazing underlying deterioration since the July 4th weekend with the Advance/Decline line falling back to trend and stocks above their 200-Day Moving Average dropping 15% in 3 weeks. Stocks above the 200 DMA is a fantastic leading indicator for downside move – ignore it at your own risk.
People are panicking into bonds, dropping the 10-Year Yield 20%, from 3.1% to 2.45% this year but it doesn't matter because Central Banksters are pumping SO MUCH MONEY into the Global Markets that there's enough to buy all asset classes simultaneously – something that is unprecedented in Financial History – what could go wrong?
Well, one thing that could go wrong is you putting your money into Mutual Funds. As it turns out, in an S&P study of actively managed Mutual Funds, only 2 (two) out of 2,862 actually beat the S&P over ANY of the fund's lifetimes (limited to 12 months or longer).
That's even worse than the average performace of hedge funds, which only averaged a 0.59% annual loss when compared to just putting your money directly into the S&P.
This dovetails with a conversation we were having this weekend in our Member Chat Room, where I identified 4 trade ideas for a $50,000 Portfolio that only used 1/4 of the buying power to generate $365,512 in projected profits over the next 15 years using CONSERVATIVE options strategies designed to MATCH the S&P, not beat it.…
by Phil Davis - July 21st, 2014 7:28 am
I meant to put this up last week but forgot.
John Olivers sums up most of what I've been saying about Income Inequality for the past 8 years in just 15 minutes! Thanks to Barry Ritholtz for reminding me we discussed this exellent clip last week in our Member Chat Room.
Kudos also to Howard Stern for an amazing interview with John Oliver last week. Howard talked to him for a full hour and fourteen minutes – something that's simply not possible on TV anymore but it was fantastic radio and it's worth the time to get to know John Oliver, who is the best thing to come to topical comedy since his mentor, Jon Stewart.
by Phil Davis - July 18th, 2014 8:15 am
Can we possibly be this jaded?
Even on Wall Street, where ruining the lives of the middle class is a sporting event, you would think that the tragic death of 298 people being shot down in an airplane would AT LEAST cause the markets to pause for more than a few hours. That's not what the Futures would have you believe – they are moving up this morning (7:30) as if shooting planes out of the sky isn't a reason not to trade stocks at their all-time highs.
While our long trade ideas from yesterday's morning post worked out fantastically, we were very fortunately NOT GREEDY at 10:03, when I said to our Members:
Philly Fed up huge (like NY), 23.9 vs 10 expected though 17.8 last month means they were just being too pessimistic. That should give us a nice pop but I'd take those Futures profits off this run!
As you can see from Dave Fry's SPY chart, our timing was near perfect as things turned sour very quickly. That then worked out well for our oil shorts, which went from the $103 conviction target I laid out in the morning post (subscribe here to get them pre-market every day) back below $102, where I said to our Members at 11:34:
There goes $102 on oil! Congrats to the players! That's the new stop line, of course.
That was a very quick $1,000 PER CONTRACT profit on /CL and, right after that, we got the plane crash news so we increased our hedges in our Short-Term Portfolio and we added BA July $128 puts at $1.25 (because it was a BA plane involved in the incident) and they finished the day at $2.18 (up 74%) as well as DAL Aug $37 puts at $1.50, which were already $1.92 by the day's end (up 28%). I don't like to take advantage of tragedies like that – but it was the fastest way to add good protection to our portfolios.