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Phil's Newsletter

Thrilling Thursday – And We’re Short Again!

SPY  5  MINUTEWheeee – what a ride!  

As we expected, the anticipation of the Fed doing something wonderful led to a big rally in the morning and the fact that the Fed didn't actually do anything at all wasn't enough to stop the party train once it left the station.  My comment in yesterday morning's post (which you can subscribe to HERE) was:

At the moment, we are expecting the Fed to keep things going and we're long on the indexes again at 17,100 (/YM), 1,975 (/ES), 4,100 (/NQ) and 1,135 (/TF) but with tight stops below and, if any two are below the line then none of them should be played. 

This morning, we are flipping SHORT at 17,500 on /YM (up $2,500 per contract from yesterday's call), 2,035 on /ES (up $3,000 per contract), 4,220 on /NQ (up $2,400 per contract) and 1,185 on /TF (up $5,000 per contract).  We think the run is officially overdone at this point and we also added some Jan TZA calls back to our Short-Term Portfolio to hopefully catch another nice move down into Christmas.  

Europe is up 2% and more on the Continent this morning as Putin gave a speech in which he assured his people that the country's economic troubles would pass in no more than two years.  How that's considered rally fuel is beyond me but it's Christmas – people want the markets to go up – so they do.  On the whole, it's all going according to plan.  As I said to our Members into yesterday's close in our Live Chat Room:

They want to spin Yellen's comments as bullish as possible to get Asia and Europe to buy so we may be higher at the open (from Futures) but then I expect a sell-off from there.  

So we're just following the plan and I drew up the lines from our 5% Rule™ on the Nasdaq to illustrate our expectations.  

We should see that 4,700 line tested and there we expect it to fail at which point the 140-pont run that got
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Will We Hold It Wednesday – Fed Edition

SPY  5  MINUTEWhat a wild ride yesterday was!

As we predicted, we opened down half a point and then raced all the way up to our strong bounce lines before tumbling back to give up all of those gains and more – a major technical failure for the markets but a huge profit for anyone who followed our trade ideas in the morning post.  

Using the bounce lines we published early in the morning for the Futures trades gave the following outcomes on that morning spike:

  • Dow (/YM) Futures 17,000 to 17,350 for a $1,750 per contract gain  
  • S&P (/ES) Futures 1,965 to 2,010 for a $2,250 per contract gain
  • Nasdaq (/NQ) Futures 4,120 to 4,180 for a $1,200 per contract gain
  • Russell (/TF) Futures 1,130 to 1,155 for a $2,500 per contract gain

I called the top in our Live Member Chat Room at 11:42 and, since we had made a public pick in the morning, I also tweeted out the note to take profits for our followers (and on our Facebook page, of course).  That's how we pick up a little spare change in the Futures while we wait for our bigger positions to play out.  

In fact, we also cashed in a couple of our bearish positions on DXD and SQQQ that were up significantly on yesterday's drop, leaving us a little bit less bearish ahead of the Fed – just in case they actually do something today that boosts the markets.  We don't really expect it, but not taking 100% gains off the table is just foolish – we can always find new hedges to cover our longs with.

As you can see, our Short-Term Portfolio finished the day up 96.5%, a gain of $22,310 from Monday's close so of course we wanted to take some off the table.  Our cash position has increased by $46,500, which was one of our primary goals (getting to mainly cash) into the holidays, which are just 7 days away now.  All in all – perfectly timed this year!  

We're still bearish but it's more of a long-term bearish with some…
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Tumbling Tuesday – Russian Rubles in Free Fall

This is getting very ugly

This picture was from Moscow on Friday, with the sign offering 54 Rubles for $1 and offering to sell Dollars for 59 Rubles (nasty spread).  Today, just 4 days later, you need 80 Rubles to buy a Dollar with that currency dropping 45% (so far) in less than a week.  This is happening DESPITE the Russian Central Bank raising it's overnight rates to 17% from 10.5% – up 62% overnight – AND IT DIDN'T HELP

This is bad, folks.  Russia isn't Greece, Russia is a $2Tn economy with 143M people and very close ties to satellite nations that surround them so the contagion is likely to be fast and direct and can very easily spread quickly to Eastern Europe, which hasn't been strong in the first place.  In our Live Member Chat Room this morning, we discussed the impact of the Russian Rate increase:

Raising the rates makes (in theory) your notes more attractive so people use their relatively stable foreign currencies to buy your Ruble notes so they can benefit from the high interest rates.  The problem for Russia is that their currency is down 50% this year and 10% this week so it's not that attractive to exchange $10,000 for 650,000 Rubles (at 65 to the Dollar) at 17% and get back 760,000 Rubles next year only to find out it's now 100 Rubles to the Dollar and now you only have $7,600.  This is the kind of spiral that leads to hyperinflation.  

Don't forget, you also have to believe that the country you are lending money to won't default.  Russia did default in 1998, which was only 16 years ago and now oil is simply crushing their economy so why on Earth would you give them $10,000 to hold for 2-5 years –


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Moribund Monday Market Movement – Russell Goes Red for the Year!

Uh-oh!  

The Russell 2000 (we're short) went negative for the year on Friday.  How long until the other indexes begin to follow?  Even with incredibly low oil prices ($56.25 overnight lows) the Transports just gave up the 20% line, less than two weeks after giving up the 25% line.  The Dow (we're short) itself is up just over 4% for the year now, S&P 8.5% and Nasdaq 11.5% (we're short them too). 

The question before us now is – "How low can we go?"  So far, we're not even close to the drop we just had in October.  For the Transports, that would be a tragic 15% drop from where they are now, as they led the rally off those lows.  

The other indexes are about 10% above those levels and we'll see if Santa has completely forsaken the markets over the next couple of weeks but the technical damage is done and fear has come back to the markets with the VIX rocketing up to 23 on Friday, settling into the close at 21.

That's going to make is a fantastic time for us to sell some long-term options and we'll be looking into our "Secret Santa's Inflation Hedges" next weekend in a post but during the week in our Live Member Chat Room.  We don't do them every year, the last time we called for inflation was back in 2011, when our 5 hedges averaged over 200% returns for the year – THAT's the way to hedge against inflation!  

As we were discussing in Member Chat this weekend (thanks ZZ), we may be approaching a Bondocalypse, the likes of which we haven't seen since the collapse of the bond market in 1994.  While the MSM is burying the news, the 2-year notes are now at a level not seen since 2011 (when we last became justifiably concerned about inflation) with expectations of Fed Funds climbing to 1.375% by the end of next year – up over a point and all the way to 2.875% at the end of 2016! 

S&P 500

Such a rapid (and necessary) rise would CRUSH the bond market, where people have sold 10-year notes for
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How to Get Rich Slowly

Do you want to be a Millionaire?  

Sure you do, why not.  $1,000,000 is a nice amount of money – even at 5% interest in retirement, it's enough to drop $50,000 into your bank account each year to supplement whatever else you may have coming in.  So let's agree that it's nice to have a Million Dollars.

Now I'll say something you may not agree with – if you are not on a path to have $1M in the bank by the time you retire – it's probably your own fault.  

Yes, I'm sorry but it's true.  It's really not as hard as you think to save $1M and I'm going to teach you how and, as long as you are under 50, I can show you how to get on the path to turning $50,000 into $1M in 25 years.  If you are under 40 – it's going to be a piece of cake to save $1M by the time you are 65 - as long as you can follow our plan.  

First I need to convince you of the value of SAVING YOUR MONEY – this is not something most people are good at – especially young people.  Unless you accept the VALUE of saving your money, you will not be able to make the wise choices you need to make to get on the path to saving $1M.

This is a compound rate table.  It's a mathematical fact.  If you start with just $10,000, even at 10%, you will have more than $450,000 in 40 years.  I'm 51 now and I can tell you that 30 years ago, I could have bought a cheaper car after college and saved $10,000.  I could have gone to 20 less concerts and saved $2,000 and 20 less fancy dinner dates for $2,000 and taken one less ski trip for $2,000 – you get the idea.  I was young and I was successful but I didn't know at the time that EACH $10,000 I spent in my 30s would cost me $450,000 in my 70s.

That was my excuse then, what's your excuse now?  Now I'm 51 and when I'm 91 I'm sure I'll
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Flip Floppin’ Friday – Endless Opportunities in a Wild Market

SPY  5  MINUTEWheeeeeee – what fun!  

I know, you thought I was going to be wrong, didn't you?  Yesterday morning we said: "we're expecting to see 0.5 to 1% bounce before we head lower again" and, in our Live Member Chat Room (because we ran out of free picks for the week) we set our official strong bounce targets at:

  • Dow – 17,659
  • S&P – 2,044
  • Nasdaq – 4,730
  • NYSE – 10,735
  • Russell – 1,174

It seemed like we were going to break higher as the Dow topped out at 17,758 heading into noon with the S&P 2,055, Nasdaq 4,759, NYSE 10,786 and Russell 1,180 but, fortunately, we were keeping our eye on the volume and, at 9:54, while the S&P was rocketing higher, I commented to our Members:

So, as usual, the RUT is in the lead with the Nas right behind and those are our manipulated indexes so we want to see volume to confirm the move.  Yesterday, we had strong down volume (152M on SPY) with decliners outpacing advancers by about 5:1.  Today, so far, just 12M on this "rally" – which is just nonsense that can be erased in minutes by a single fund hitting the sell button (average share is $50 so $600M selling would wipe this gain out).

We don't just make picks at PSW, we teach our Members HOW the markets work so they can better understand the intra-day as well as the long-term moves which then helps them to make much better trading decisions.  Fortunately, our trading decision, at 11:54, was to stick to our guns and short the Futures across the board:

At this moment, in the Futures, I'm watching 17,750, 2,055, 4,300 and 1,180 and playing short the laggard.  RUT bounced me out but up $370 was worth doing and I really like /NQ not to make 4,300 as a bet at the moment (4,293.50) and, of course /YM 17,750 as my key shorts (unless /TF tests 1,180 again).


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$1,500 Thursday – Who Else Makes You This Kind of Money?

I'm sorry but I will brag about this

What other newsletter gives you a trade idea Wednesday morning that makes you $1,500 by the end of the day?  It's not a rhetorical question – if there is one, I'd love to feature them here at Philstockworld, along with our other fantastic authors.  I'm not talking about some vague, Jim Cramer BUYBUYBUY, SELLSELLSELL kind of trade either – I'm talkiing about a specific trade idea that makes you bags of money instantly.  

In yesterday's morning post (7:40 am), my trade idea was:

If you need a fresh horse, /ES (S&P Futures) are testing 2,050 and it would not be good for them if they break and, of course, we still like /NKD (Nikkei) Futures short at 17,600 with a 17,300 goal (goes with the EWJ puts).  

The result of the /NKD (Nikkei Futures) trade is above and, actually, we overshot our goal and got past 17,200, which is actually a $2,000 gain on each contract.  By the way, for those of you who are not Members (and shame on you as you can join here) and don't attend our Live Futures Trading Workshops, a Futures contract is not much different than an option contract – it's just a bet on the direction of an index or commodity with a lower friction cost.

In fact, the margin requirement for each /NKD contract is $4,400 and similar for the other indexes – that's what's required to make these trades.  The S&P contracts (/ES) paid $50 for each point and that index fell to 2,025 for a lovely $1,250 per contract gain as well.  

Today, we're expecting a 0.5 to 1% bounce before we head lower again, but we're not making an official call because we're not sure.  As I often tell our Members during our futures trading seminars – they key to making money on the Futures is NOT playing them 90% of the time – tempting though it may be.  

We also discussed a portfolio hedge in yesterday's morning post, using the TZA Jan $12/14 bull call spread at 0.70 offset with the sale of the Jan $12 puts at 0.45 for a net of…
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Whipsaw Wednesday – Markets Flip Flop into Fed Meeting Next Week

Wheeeee, what a ride!  

As you can see from the chart, we got a nice round-trip on the Russell in the last two sessions but it smelled a little like BS to us so we shorted into the close and picked up a nice winner (back to 1,182 for a $300 per contract gain) already this morning (see our Live, Pre-Market Member Chat Room) – and the Egg McMuffins are paid for.  

We also got a near round-trip on the Shanghai, with the Chinese index popping back 3% this morning but, fortunately, we made the call to take 1/2 of our FXI puts off the table yesterday at $1.60 – up 80% from our Monday pick.  If you don't like making 80% in 24-hours, DO NOT SUBSCRIBE HERE!  How's that for reverse psychology? blush

If you are futures-challenged and looking for a good hedge, TZA is the ultra-short ETF that tracks the Russell and our logic on this trade idea would be that the Russell is unlikely to pop over 1,200 without pulling back and, if they do, it's an easy place to stop out with a small loss.  That means you can take a position with the Jan $12/14 bull call spread at 0.70 and sell the Jan $12 puts for 0.45 for net 0.25 on the $2 spread that's 0.85 in the money at $12.85 this morning.  

That trade gives you a 700% upside on cash if the Russell even flinches lower and your worst-case if the Russell goes higher is you end up owning TZA at net $12.25, still 0.60 lower than it is this morning.  That's how easy it is to take a hedged position.  And you don't have to sell TZA – that's aggressive.  You could instead sell puts on a stock you REALLY want to own if it gets cheaper, like FCX Jan $25 puts at $1.30, selling 5 of those for $650 lets you buy 10 of the spreads for $700 and gives you $4,900 of downside protection – not bad, right?  

FCX was a new Top Trade Alert Yesterday.  We reviewed our first few Top Trades
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Told You So Tuesday – China Drops 5.4% Overnight

Well that didn't take long, did it?

Our Nikkei and EWJ short positions continue to rake in the cash as that index drops another 122 points overnight but, more to the point, we nailed the switch to the fresh horse of China for our readers, as FXI topped out right at our $42 target, almost to the penny, before dropping back into the close and this morning the Shanghai Composite dropped 5.43% from above the 3,000 line – all the way back to 2,856.  

Now, I can only tell you what's going to happen and how to make money betting it – the rest is up to you.  For our Members (and you can get this kind of money-making information every day by joining us HERE), our trade idea for shorting FXI with options was the Jan $40 puts at 0.88, and we picked up 20 of them in our Short-Term Portfolio for $1,760 – and those should do very nicely for us this morning. 

SPY  5  MINUTEOur whole Short-Term Portfolio performed well yesterday, gaining $5,000 (5%) as the market dropped, which is what it's designed to do as a counter-balance to our bullish Long-Term Portfolio, both of which we reviewed extensively over the weekend (sorry, Members only).  

There are just 13 position in our STP and they are, of course, generally bearish.  Very bearish, actually as they gained 5% on a day the S&P only dropped 0.71% – today should be interesing indeed (and we have a Live Trading Webinar for our Members at 1pm).

We titled yesterday morning's post "Monday Melt-Down" and I sent out an Alert to our Members and for FREE to our FaceBook Followers regarding the dreaded "Hindenburg Omen" as well as actual news I found disturbing over the weekend.  As I mentioned, we already had a substantial short position in our Short-Term Portfolio and, frankly, we thought the drop would begin last week.  In our $25,000 Portfolio Review, we elected to pick up the DXD (ultra-short Dow ETF) Jan $22 calls at 0.70, and those should be doing well this morning as the Dow Futures are pointing to another 100-point drop today. 


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Monday Melt-Down – Japan’s GDP -1.9% in Recession

Now things will get interesting.

As you know, we've been making a very public call to short the Nikkei through EWJ (short at $12, using Jan $12 puts at 0.55 as well as /NKD Futures short at 18,100) and today you've officially missed your chance as the Nikkei plunged back to 17,900, down 200 points from the open on a downward-revised 2nd quarter GDP report that clearly puts the World's 3rd-largest economy in a rapidly deepening recession

Since Japan is an EXPORT economy, that means that other people are not buying their stuff – despite the fact that the Yen is down 36% in the past 24 months and down 15% since just the end of August.  That makes Japanese goods cheaper abroad and increases the amount of Yen taken in by the exporters when they sell goods in foreign currency and it's STILL not enough to pick up the sagging GDP of Japan.  

That should scare people yet, strangely, it doesn't.  In fact, investors have never been LESS scared – as measured by runaway Bull/Bear Ratios and a ridiculously low Volatility Index (VIX) that is somehow indicating that a Dow that has climbed 1,500 points in 60 days is NOT volatile.  

I suppose, if you take the very narrow definition of volatile to be "liable to change rapidly and unpredictably, especially for the worse" then no, the market is not very volatile as it only goes up.  HOWEVER, the primary definition of volatile is the one I'm worried about (probaly because my step-father was a chemist) and that one says "easily evaporated at normal temperatures."   THAT is my concern about this "rally" – it could easily all vanish in a puff of smoke.

Outside of the US, the rest of the World sucks and the Global markets (see chart above) are reflecting that with a fairly flat performance for the year.  Hell, the S&P would be in the same boat had not we magically been saved in October and we're still not quite sure what exactly happpend to turn our particular local markets so gung-ho bullish – outside of the generally conspiratorial theme of
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Zero Hedge

What Is The Gold-Oil Ratio Telling Us?

Courtesy of ZeroHedge. View original post here.

Submitted by Tyler Durden.

Submitted by Charles Hugh-Smith of OfTwoMinds blog,

Based on historical gold-oil ratios, oil appears extraordinarily cheap right now.

One way to establish if a commodity or asset is relatively expensive or inexpensive is to price it in something other than a fiat currency--for example, gold. Gold goes up and down in value relative to other commodities and fiat currencies, so it is itself a volatile yardstick. Nonetheless, it provides a useful measure of the relative value of gold and whatever is being measured in gold--in this case, oil.   The prices listed are approximate, i.e. rounded to averages in...

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Phil's Favorites

The Russian Enigma Unravels

Courtesy of Marc to Market

  Winston Churchill famously said of Russian foreign policy that it was "...a riddle, wrapped in a mystery, inside an enigma."  What people leave out is what followed.  Churchill offered an answer:  "... perhaps there is a key. That key is Russian national interest."   And so it is.   Like most crises, the crisis Russia is experiencing is over-determined, in the sense there ar...

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Chart School

Relief Bounce in Markets

Courtesy of Declan.

Those who took advantage of markets at Fib levels were rewarded.  However, this looked more a 'dead cat' style bounce than a genuine bottom forming low.  This can of course change, and one thing I will want to see is narrow action near today's high. Volume was a little light, but with Christmas fast approaching I would expect this trend to continue.

The S&P inched above 2,009, but I would like to see any subsequent weakness hold the 38.2% Fib level at 1,989.


The Nasdaq offered itself more as a support bounce, with a picture perfect play off its 38.2% Fib level. Unlike the S&P, volume did climb in confirmed accumulation. The next upside c...

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All About Trends

Mid-Day Update

Reminder: David is available to chat with Members, comments are found below each post.

Click here for the full report.




To learn more, sign up for David's free newsletter and receive the free report from All About Trends - "How To Outperform 90% Of Wall Street With Just $500 A Week." Tell David PSW sent you. - Ilene...

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Digital Currencies

Chart o' the Day: Don't "Invest" in Stupid Sh*t

Joshua commented on the QZ article I posted a couple days ago and perfectly summarized the take-home message into an Investing Lesson. 

Chart o’ the Day: Don’t “Invest” in Stupid Sh*t

Courtesy of 

The chart above comes from Matt Phillips at Quartz and is a good reminder of why you shouldn’t invest in s...



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Insider Scoop

Pivotal Research Upgrades Twitter & Google, Finds Both Are Undervalued By 20%

Courtesy of Benzinga.

Analysts at Pivotal Research Group on Wednesday upgraded shares of Google Inc (NASDAQ: GOOGL) and Twitter Inc (NYSE: TWTR) from Hold to Buy.

Analyst Brian Wieser finds both companies are currently undervalued by 20 percent.

Shares of Google were recently up 1.5 percent at around $503.

Shares of Twitter were up 1.6 percent at $35.63.

...

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OpTrader

Swing trading portfolio - week of December 15th, 2014

Reminder: OpTrader is available to chat with Members, comments are found below each post.

 

This post is for all our live virtual trade ideas and daily comments. Please click on "comments" below to follow our live discussion. All of our current  trades are listed in the spreadsheet below, with entry price (1/2 in and All in), and exit prices (1/3 out, 2/3 out, and All out).

We also indicate our stop, which is most of the time the "5 day moving average". All trades, unless indicated, are front-month ATM options. 

Please feel free to participate in the discussion and ask any questions you might have about this virtual portfolio, by clicking on the "comments" link right below.

To learn more about the swing trading virtual portfolio (strategy, performance, FAQ, etc.), please click here ...



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Sabrient

Sector Detector: Energy sector rains on bulls' parade, but skies may clear soon

Reminder: Sabrient is available to chat with Members, comments are found below each post.

Courtesy of Scott Martindale of Sabrient Systems and Gradient Analytics

Stocks have needed a reason to take a breather and pull back in this long-standing ultra-bullish climate, with strong economic data and seasonality providing impressive tailwinds -- and plummeting oil prices certainly have given it to them. But this minor pullback was fully expected and indeed desirable for market health. The future remains bright for the U.S. economy and corporate profits despite the collapse in oil, and now the overbought technical condition has been relieved. While most sectors are gathering fundamental support and our sector rotation model remains bullish, the Energy sector looks fundamentally weak and continues to ran...



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Stock World Weekly

Stock World Weekly

Newsletter writers are available to chat with Members regarding topics presented in SWW, comments are found below each post.

Here's this week's Stock World Weekly.

Click here and sign in with your user name and password. 

 

...

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Option Review

SPX Call Spread Eyes Fresh Record Highs By Year End

Stocks got off to a rocky start on the first trading day in December, with the S&P 500 Index slipping just below 2050 on Monday. Based on one large bullish SPX options trade executed on Wednesday, however, such price action is not likely to break the trend of strong gains observed in the benchmark index since mid-October. It looks like one options market participant purchased 25,000 of the 31Dec’14 2105/2115 call spreads at a net premium of $2.70 each. The trade cost $6.75mm to put on, and represents the maximum potential loss on the position should the 2105 calls expire worthless at the end of December. The call spread could reap profits of as much as $7.30 per spread, or $18.25mm, in the event that the SPX ends the year above 2115. The index would need to rally 2.0% over the current level...



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Market Shadows

Official Moves in the Market Shadows' Virtual Portfolio

By Ilene 

I officially bought 250 shares of EZCH at $18.76 and sold 300 shares of IGT at $17.09 in Market Shadows' Virtual Portfolio yesterday (Fri. 11-21).

Click here for Thursday's post where I was thinking about buying EZCH. After further reading, I decided to add it to the virtual portfolio and to sell IGT and several other stocks, which we'll be saying goodbye to next week.

Notes

1. th...



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Pharmboy

Biotechs & Bubbles

Reminder: Pharmboy is available to chat with Members, comments are found below each post.

Well PSW Subscribers....I am still here, barely.  From my last post a few months ago to now, nothing has changed much, but there are a few bargins out there that as investors, should be put on the watch list (again) and if so desired....buy a small amount.

First, the media is on a tear against biotechs/pharma, ripping companies for their drug prices.  Gilead's HepC drug, Sovaldi, is priced at $84K for the 12-week treatment.  Pundits were screaming bloody murder that it was a total rip off, but when one investigates the other drugs out there, and the consequences of not taking Sovaldi vs. another drug combinations, then things become clearer.  For instance, Olysio (JNJ) is about $66,000 for a 12-week treatment, but is approved for fewer types of patients AND...



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Help One Of Our Own PSW Members

"Hello PSW Members –

This is a non-trading topic, but I wanted to post it during trading hours so as many eyes can see it as possible.  Feel free to contact me directly at jennifersurovy@yahoo.com with any questions.

Last fall there was some discussion on the PSW board regarding setting up a YouCaring donation page for a PSW member, Shadowfax. Since then, we have been looking into ways to help get him additional medical services and to pay down his medical debts.  After following those leads, we are ready to move ahead with the YouCaring site. (Link is posted below.)  Any help you can give will be greatly appreciated; not only to help aid in his medical bill debt, but to also show what a great community this group is.

http://www.youcaring.com/medical-fundraiser/help-get-shadowfax-out-from-the-darkness-of-medical-bills-/126743

Thank you for you time!




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About Phil:

Philip R. Davis is a founder Phil's Stock World, a stock and options trading site that teaches the art of options trading to newcomers and devises advanced strategies for expert traders...

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About Ilene:

Ilene is editor and affiliate program coordinator for PSW. She manages the site market shadows, archives, more. Contact Ilene to learn about our affiliate and content sharing programs.

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