by phil - October 30th, 2014 7:54 am
It doesn't matter what the Fed did yesterday.
Let's make that clear at the start. The Fed has been tapering all year but what they have been tapering is their INCREASE in bond buying and thank God they have because the Fed balance sheet is now over $4,000,000,000,000.00 – that's a lot of money!
As noted in the chart above, $4Tn is the entire GDP of Germany or Japan, the level of stimulus has added up to 22% of our GDP since 2009 or about 4% a year. Our GDP is only 2.5% WITH the 4% added stimulus – what will it be without it? Fortunately, we don't actually have to worry about that because the Fed will be rolling that $4Tn over, at a rate of roughly $800Bn a year to keep the party going forevermore.
This is what is misunderstood by – well pretty much everybody. The Fed is not cutting us off, they are just not adding to the already biblical levels of stimulus we've grown accustomed to.
As each Fed bond or other asset is redeemed, the Fed will still buy a new one to replace it. And, since our Nation's NEED for money has decreased by 2/3 – it means they are now buying a SURPLUS $300Bn or more of assets each year. Hmmmm, now who will that be bailing out I wonder?
That's right, the Fed will continue to pump $300Bn or more each year into the coiffers of our beloved Banksters for many years to come. The more Obama reduces the deficit, the more money (our money) the Fed can funnel to their Bankster buddies – what a fantastic system – don't forget to vote for more of the same on Tuesday! .
On the whole, we don't really give a crap. We pretty much cashed out our Member Portfolios with huge profits for the year and that leaves us free to have fun day-trading and playing the futures while we get ready to enjoy our holidays.
by phil - October 29th, 2014 7:24 am
Check out this chart:
That's the NYSE McClellen Oscillator, which hasn't been this high (overbought) since July of 2011, when the S&P plunged from 1,345 to 1,123 (16.5%) in 4 terrifying weeks. Yesteday's rally was a very low-volume affair 101.3M on SPY (about 60% of normal) and we were goosed by Peter Schiff on CNBC at 1:10 pm, claiming QE4 was right around the corner:
Ahead of tomorrow's decision by the FOMC, Peter Schiff ventured on to CNBC to discuss the economy, the fed, and gold… among other things. Schiff rightly fears that while the Fed may well stop QE3 tomorrow, QE4 will not be too long behind it as he notes, rather eloquently, that "an economy that lives by QE, will die by QE" as the Fed's total lack of willingness to allow stocks to fall (see Bullard 2 weeks ago) or a 'cleansing' recession leaves the nation's economy in far worse shape than it was before the Fed's intervention. Schiff calmly replies to the anchor's questions (as she proclaims "I am not on the side of the Fed but…"), gently explains his view on gold when challenged about his 'wrongness', but when a guest starts hounding him for being dangerous to CNBC viewers wealth… Schiff (rightly) loses it – must watch!
It seems bulls are confident the Fed will end QE on schedule and at the same time give bulls dovish comments about conditions (“don’t mess with us”!) going forward. Many pundits are discussing interest rates remaining unchanged for several years and longer.
That means companies like IBM can continue (another $5 billion share buyback announced today) their financial engineering to lessen float making it easy to report better earnings at the price of future innovation and company growth. But bulls don’t care about future growth, only what takes place now. Besides, this is the
by phil - October 28th, 2014 8:03 am
More free money today as Japan backs off their tax hike and Sweden cut rates to ZERO.
Don't worry, Japan isn't going to take that lying down and their 3-month bills are now -0.037% and, you may wonder who the Hell would buy those but the BOJ is buying those securities from the banks for -0.15%, so the banks that buy the 3-month bills are able to flip them for a 4x profit a day or two later – isn't that special?
Are we reaching peak insanity on Central Bankster Manipulation? Maybe… Japan's 10-year bonds are now 0.46% and 20-years are 1.3%. 2-years are still positive, at 0.005%.
“Financial companies know that the BOJ will always buy government debt from them, and that’s part of the reason why bill yields became negative at an auction,” said Kazuhiko Ogata, chief economist at Credit Agricole SA in Tokyo. “The BOJ needs to buy treasury bills as well as JGBs in order to meet its monetary-base target.”
Meanwhile, the cost of credit-default swaps on JGBs rose 51 basis points yesterday, back to the year's highs and only Greece is worse to insure than Japan this year as Japan's total debt went up to 1.039 QUADRILLION YEN (that's 1,000 Trillion!). Even Zimbabwe is saying "WOW!" to that number!
BOJ policy makers have denied that they are financing government deficits, saying that government bond purchases are aimed at achieving their price target.
“It’s becoming obvious that the BOJ’s easing in its current form is not sustainable,” Akito Fukunaga, director and chief rates strategist for Japan research at Barclays, another primary dealer, wrote in a report on Oct. 24. “The BOJ may make technical adjustments to allow unlimited buying of notes maturing in five years or less.”
by phil - October 27th, 2014 7:35 am
Strap yourselves in – it's going to be a wild one!
After closing out the best week in the market since 2012 (right after the worst week since 2011) it looks like we're in for more craziness as Draghi's happy talk fades into a distant memory (it was Friday afternoon) to be replaced by fear of the Fed on Wednesday (2pm) as well as an almost certain drop in our GDP from Q2s shocking 4.6% to probably 2.5% in Q3's first guesstimate.
Speaking of guesstimates – did you catch that downward revision to New Home Sales on Friday? On September 24th, the WSJ ran a headline proclaiming: "U.S. New-Home Sales Surge 18% in August - Highest Level Since 2008; Signals Higher Consumer Demand That Could Boost Housing Market" and the S&P popped 18 points (1%) and IYR began a 6% rally that day everyone was happy.
Only it was a lie. As it turns out, new home sales were actually only 466,000 and this month (Sept data) they are 467,000 yet, at the time, no one (except us) thought to question the validity of a sudden 18% jump in home sales when mortgages were still in decline.
Even after the fact, people don't seem to think it's a big deal when major market-moving data has a fudge-factor of +/- 10%. It's bad enough that "THEY" control the markets – do they HAVE to fake the data as well? As Dave Fry notes regarding Friday's low-volume action:
So why did stocks rally?
In the midst of all this crummy data, CNBC rolled-out some commentary from one of the chief QE talking head proponents, the ECB’s Mario Draghi. His comments lit a fire under bulls and algos where terms like “more
by phil - October 25th, 2014 7:34 am
It seems we weathered that storm very well!
As noted in our the last review of our virtual portfolios, BALANCE is the key to riding the market waves and we not only survived recent the 10% drop and 7% pop but we have thrived – with our Short-Term Porfolio holding onto a $94.2% gain (as of yesterday's close) and the Long-Term Portfolio back to 19.2% for the year, for a combined $790,353 off our $600,000 start – a combined 31.7% gain for the year!
I would say it's time to cash out but we've already cashed out with the Short-Term Portfolio now sitting on $179,243 in cash (92%) and the LTP has $637,800 in cash, which is 107% of the portfolio's value. That's because we've sold so much premium to others (our "Be the House" strategy) that it dwarfs the net value of our positions.
Nonetheless, we're only using 34% of our $1M margin as these are, generally, conservative long-term positions. We went into the weekend leaning very bearish in the STP, protecting our long gains in the LTP and Income Portfolios.
- CAKE – Was a disappointment as they lowered guidance on earnings on 6.3% more revenues and they lowered guidance to $2.07 from $2.25 – flat to last year. Our mistake here was looking at the costs of food products like corn, wheat, etc for basic foodmaking but it was the cost of cream cheese that killed them on the food side. Last year they topped out in the high $40s and now we are in the low $40s and I'm willing to go long on them but not appropriate for the STP – we'll look to cut this one loose next week.
- TNA (not shown) – We bought 25 Nov $63/67 bull call spread on 10/23 (morning post) and already sold the calls back on Friday – making us more bearish over the weekend. If the market is up, we'll have to adjust these quickly.
- GMCR – Getting to be a white whale for us, the damned thing never goes down. Earnings are 11/19 – I certainly want to see those.
- FAS – Part of the other
by phil - October 24th, 2014 7:58 am
Already the monsters are coming out with two of NY's three papers already maxing out their headline fonts to scream EBOLA!!! to people on their way to work. As I noted to our Member in this morning's Alert (tweeted out too!) that made for easy shorts on the Futures:
Based on Ebola and the upcoming stress tests, I'd have to guess a sell-off is coming today. Shorting /ES at 1,940 (tight stops, of course) and the Dow (/YM) at 16,600 are a lot safer than shorting /TF at 1,100 but all good lines to use and watch. /NQ already failed 4,000.
It's 7:54 and already the Egg McMuffins are paid for on nice drops off those levels and we'll take quick profits and run and hopefully get a chance to re-enter as I don't see this day going well.
We're back to short in our Short-Term Porfolio but less aggressively so than last weekend as we can't ignore the underlying 3.5% gains our indexes have put up this week.
As usual, the Dollar is being knocked down to support the Futures but it's not helping oil much ($81.24) so far. Gold, however, bounced back to $1,233 and silver (/SI) went over our long line at $17.25 (very tight stops below). Gasoline (/RB) was rejected at $2.20 – another sign that the underlying economy is much weaker than these indexes would have you believe.
In fact, GS reports today that China has shut 20% of it's Iron Ore production in the face of an inventory glus and prices dropping 40% this year. The market is in the midst of a transition without precedent in recent commodity history as supply jumps and higher-cost mines shut, according to Macquarie Group Ltd. HSBC Holdings Plc, which cut its price forecasts this week, sees a 30 percent slump in Chinese output next year.
“The market currently looks like a game of chicken where no player has blinked,” HSBC said. “The major producers are likely to compete heavily on production and costs, with little regard for
by phil - October 23rd, 2014 7:56 am
We decided to give yesterday a pass.
Though the indexes failed to hold our strong bounce lines (well, 3 of 5 did), we can blame Canada for that one as a gunman shot up Parliament yesterday afternoon and the "terrorist attack" news sent our markets lower. Other than that (and these things are unavoidable when you sell 500M guns to 400M people in North America), it wasn't a bad day for the markets, so we're going to wait and see what actually sticks. Our watch levels remain:
So the Dow fell almost exactly from it's strong bounce to it's weak bounce yesterday. Aside from confirming the 5% Rule™ is firmly in charge, holding the weak bounce line is bullish – IF it holds. The S&P and Nasdaq held their strong bounce lines (thanks to AAPL) while the NYSE stayed in it's range but the Russell was a big disappointment and failed the weak bounce – a very bad sign if they can't take it back today.
by phil - October 22nd, 2014 8:07 am
What an amazing recovery!
Just one week ago the World was coming to and end and now everyone has their rally caps back on. Investors really are sheep – except I think sheep have better memories… We're still right on plan of dropping 10% and then bouncing 4% (strong bounces) by Wednesday (today) that was initiated on October 6th by our friends at the Fed (see yesterday's post for the summary). For those of you keeping score, our strong bounce predictions for today were:
The Dow is just 17 points away from our goal and we'll just need the NYSE and the Russell to confirm their bounce lines and THEN we can get bullish again. Meanwhile, we actually got a bit more bearish in our Short-Term Portfolio (also in yesterday's post) as our Long-Term Portfolio popped right back to up 18.1% for the year so we wanted to lock those gains in with the STP, which finished the day up 81.8%, down from 92% in the morning as the markets rocketed.
by phil - October 21st, 2014 8:23 am
It LOOKS impressive, doesn't it?
As I said to our Members this morning in our Live Chat Room, all is going according to plan, as we expected to see strong bounces in our indexes by Wednesday – no matter what news or earnings turned out to be. If the powers that be want the market to bounce – it bounces.
Our general rule of thumb is that dip buyers only learn their lesson after they have been burned 3 times and, so far, only the August dip buyers are being relly burned but a failure to retake that line and a move lower – that might get them to think twice about mounting another rescue effort next time we test 1,050 on the Russell.
On this next chart, you can see how the various Fed speakers were used at key inflection points to guide the markets exactly where they wanted them to go.
As you can see from this S&P chart with Fed notes attached, the manipulation we told you about on 10/6 (see: "Market Mayhem – 12 Fed Speeches in 5 Days Causes Chaos") is merely playing out according to plan and this is why we were able to take full advantage of both the dip (see: "Money-Making Monday: How to Profit from a Market Correction") and the bounce (see: "Wednesday Market Weakness – Oil Collapses to $80, Good or Bad?").
In fact, the TNA Oct $58/60.50 bull call spread that we pointed out last Wednesday at $1.12 closed on Friday morning at $2.40 – up a very nice 114% in 48 hours for those of you who get our morning newsletter (which you can subscribe to here). Our suggested roll to the Nov $56/63 bull call spread at $3 still has to play out but, so far, we're at $4, so up 33% in 4 trading days is "on track" towards our planned 133% gain in 30 more days.
by phil - October 20th, 2014 8:03 am
IBM spooked the markets this morning.
The Dow component missed on earnings and revenues by wide margins, reporting the worst quarter since Q1 of 2009, when the stock was under $100 so no surprise they dropped $14 (7.5%) from $182 to below $170. That gave us a great opportunity to short the Dow at 16,250 in our Live Member Chat Room and we caught a quick 50-point drop already (7:48) for a $250 per contract gain to start our week off right.
Fortunately, we followed through with our plan on Friday (see morning post) and flipped bearish again into Friday's close – the Futures trade was simply a way to take advantage of an obvious and immediate catalyst pre-market. We'll hear from two Fed doves this morning – Powell speaks at 10 but not much expected from him and Tarullo goes at noon and is bound to say something doveish if the market is read into lunch.
As to IBM – it's not as bad as it seems as IBM took a $4.7Bn one-time charge as they PAID GlobalFoundries $1.5Bn to take their money-losing semiconductor unit off their hands. I wish IBM had called me, I would have been happy to take their semiconductor unit for just $1.3Bn…
Still, we had IBM on our Buy List and were hoping they would come down so we could add them to one of our Porfolios but I don't like their "idea" of repositioning to more cloud computing, as I think that's really a commodity play with lower margins though I still believe in Watson and if you consider that IBM wrote off nearly $5 per share – the earnings weren't so terrible. So it's going to be watch and wait on IBM at $170 – hopefully they go lower and get irresistable but we're not going to run in and catch a falling knife on this one.
We'll also be keeping a very close eye on our levels this week and, as you can see from the Big Chart, we've found a bit of support (finally) but only at the weak bounce lines we were watching…