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…
by phil - October 17th, 2014 8:26 am
Nothing came of yesterday's Ebola hearings.
Here's a picture of President Obama hugging it out with one of the nurses that treated one of the Ebola patients – a strong image for the people as calmer voices begin to prevail – on that front at least.
Markets were also boosted by dovish talk from the usually hawkish Jimmy Bullard, of the St. Louis Fed, who said the Fed should consider delaying plans to end its bond-buying program at the end of this month to halt a decline in expected inflation. This is what it sounds like when Doves cry at the Fed and, like Prince's mother, the markets are never satisfied but, for this morning at least – we're taking back those weak bounce levels that we told you we'd take back by Friday.
“The recovery from the lows after Bullard spoke yesterday is another reminder how addicted markets still are to liquidity,” said Deutsche Bank strategist Jim Reid. “The Fed can certainly help markets but perhaps we really need the ECB to step up a gear for a true recovery,” he added.
Still, manipulated or not, this gives us two nice reversal days on strong volume and we couldn't be happier as we flipped very bullish in our Short-Term Portfolio and should be able to take full advantage of this rapid recovery.
Whether or not we maintain that bullish stance into the weekend depends on how our bounce levels hold up today (see Tuesday morning's post for our amazingly accurate predictions of the week's action).
Keep that in mind when I tell you there is nothing particularly bullish about hitting the weak bounce on the Friday of a drop week – it's merely better than the alternative of FAILING to make those weak bounce lines. That would have been BAD!!! Meanwhile, those of you who took our FREE Trade Idea from yesterday's morning post to go long the Russell at 1,050 (the same line we were watching on Tuesday) are now sitting on $4,000 PER CONTRACT gains and I do so hope you are not greedy and set your stops at the 1,090 line.
by phil - October 16th, 2014 7:32 am
It's going to be another wild one!
As you can see from Dave Fry's S&P chart, we dropped all the way to 1,820 on the S&P yesterday, before recovering just after 1pm on an report from Bloomberg that indicated:
Federal Reserve Chair Janet Yellen voiced confidence in the durability of the U.S. economic expansion in the face of slowing global growth and turbulent financial markets at a closed-door meeting in Washington last weekend, according to two people familiar with her comments.
That's TWO people who were familiar with her comments from LAST WEEKEND – that's certainly worth 40 points (2%) on the S&P isn't it? The people, who asked not to be named because the meeting was private, said Yellen told the Group of 30 that the economy looked to be on track to achieve growth of around 3 percent going forward. She also saw inflation eventually rising back up to the Fed’s 2 percent target as unemployment falls further, according to the people.
Well, as long as the people say so, that's good enough for us, right? It seemed good enough that we began to cash out out short positions in our aggressively bearish Short-Term Portfolio but this morning it seems we may have gotten a bit ahead of ourselves as the Futures are right back to yesterday's lows, dragged down by another massive sell-off in Europe.
As we caught a great bounce from 1,040 on /TF (Russell Futures) back to 1,070 (+$3,000 per contract) on yesterday's rally we've been going back to that well at 1,050 this morning but, so far, only picking up $200-400 as /TF bounces between 1,050 and 1,054. Still, as long as that line holds – I like it for bounces and, if that fails, we tightly stop out and go back to 1,040 BUT, if that fails – RUN AWAY!!!
by phil - October 15th, 2014 8:00 am
If what goes up, must come down – oil has a LONG way to fall:
As you can see, during the glorious Clinton era, oil prices generally stayed down in the $20s despite OPEC cutbacks (because Clinton counteracted them by releasing oil from the SPR), hurricanes, tornadoes, wars in the Middle East (we used to win them, you know), etc. Then, a real disaster struck and oil man GWB was elected to office.
Bush and his Enron buddies destablized the commodities markets (under looser regulations) and Bush started wars in Iraq and Afghanistan to catch Osama Bin Laden, who was in Pakistan and, while he had the US military destroying Iraq's 3Mbd production and burning up another 1 Million barrels of oil a day looking for Osama in all the wrong places, he was also BUYING an average of 500,000 barrels a day to stick in the ground – doubling the size and filling to the brim our strategic petroleum reserve.
That led to a "reserve oil gap" and, of course, other countries began building and filling their own SPRs as well so more oil was bought by more countries, only to be shoved into the ground and never used. This created a very false sense of demand for oil and, when the price of oil rose to the point where consumers could no longer afford to drive – President Bush gave every family $3,000 to spend on oil – and they did – and oil hit $140 a barrel. "Cha-ching" indeed!
But then the $3,000 was gone and so was the ridiculous spike in oil and it fell and fell and fell and fell and fell – all the way down to $35 before stabilizing for a few months around $40 and then heading back to $80 as the market doubled and then, since 2010, US production has jumped 50% and generally kept oil under $100, despite MASSIVE manipulation by the Banksters (see "Goldman's Global Oil Scam Passes the 50 Madoff Mark").
by phil - October 14th, 2014 8:13 am
How low can we go?
So far, the Russell is the only index that's gone through a full 10% correction – falling from 1,180 in early September to 1,050 yesterday – actually 11% – so far. According to our 5% Rule™, if the 10% line is going to hold over the long term, we should hold -12.5% on any additional move down – that would be 1,050 from the 1,200 line. Let's call that our line in the sand for now.
Meanwhile, as I noted in our Live Member Chat room – we're comfortable going long on the Russell Futures (/TF) over the 1,150 line, looking for a nice run back to 1,080 but THRILLED with 1,060 – as that's already +$1,000 per contract! Failing to get back over 1,060, however, will be a sign that there's likely more downside to come.
Of course, thanks to the 5% Rule™ and our Big Chart, we knew to get bearish as soon as 1,200 failed on the Russell, way back in July. In fact, on June 30th, I titled our morning post: "Monday Misgivings – CASH!!! Is King as we Begin Q3" saying:
I'm NOT going to depress you.
If you want to be depressed about the market, check out my Twitter Account, where I posted our Morning Alert to Philstockworld Members (and you can become one of those HERE) in which I aired my concerns with the Global Macros.
by phil - October 13th, 2014 8:15 am
That's the classic line from Apocalypse now that I'm often reminded of during Member Chat, when people start to get nervous about a market sell-off. Rober Duval says "It smells like victory" and laments that "Some day this war's going to end." and THAT is how a prepared trader should feel about a market pullback.
Rather than victory, it smells like OPPORTUNITY – even if you are not on the right side of the trade. It's an opportunity to stress-test your positions and check your portfolio balance because, if you can survive this – you can probably survive anything.
At PSW, we keep 5 virtual portfolios for our Members. A $25,000 Portfolio (for small trades), a Butterfly Portfolio (for well-hedged trades) and a usually bearish Short-Term Portfolio (aggressive trades) which acts as a hedge for our 2 larger, portfolios, the Long Term Portfolio (aggressive and low touch) and the Income Portfolio (conservative and low-touch).
From a balance perspective, we're primarily concerned with the sum of our Long-Term and Short-Term Portfolios and, currently, that's $175,178 (up 75.2% for the year) and $561,856 (up 12.4% for the year) for a combined $737,034 – up 22.8% from where we began the year ($600,000) despite the sharp pullback in the market. That's BALANCED!
Another key to our success is that we are using just $438,750 of our $1,200,000 in ordinary (non-portfolio margin) buying power (36.5%) between the two – THAT leaves us in fantastic shaped to pounce when the market throws a sale like this one. In the Income Portfolio, we're using just 1/10th of our buying power – we've been waiting for an opportunity like this all year!
We just had an extensive conversation in our Live Member Chat Room about portfolio allocations and scaling into positions, so I won't re-hash the strategy here but I will say that, if you are not weathering the market storm well enough to be in a buying mood – you're doing it wrong!
by phil - October 10th, 2014 8:35 am
Wheeeeeee – isn't this fun?
We're certainly having a good time and, if you've been following our posts and getting our trade ideas – you probably are too as yesterday's DXD trade idea, for example, made 100% in a day for the 2nd time this week!
Now let's say you put just 2% of your portfolio into a hedge like that against a worry that we'd have a 5% drop. Well, on Tuesday we collected 100% of that 2% on a 2.5% drop and yesterday we collected another 100% of 2% on another 2.5% drop – there's 4% back and we never even fell 5%. This is how you hedge and hedging is what we teach you to do at PSW (sorry, Memberships now full, try the wait list for next month).
Of course, if you find yourself on the wrong side of the market, the Futures also make excellent hedges and it just so happens that we teach that as well! We did a Futures Webinar just this Wednesday and you can watch us make money live on the replay.
Those are the hedging strategies that led us to call for shorts yesterday (right in the morning post) at 1,100 on /TF (Russell Futures), 4,040 on /NQ (Nasdaq Futures), 1,965 on /ES (S&P Futures) and 16,900 on /YM (Dow Futures). Aside from the Alert we sent to our Members, we also Tweeted out and Facebooked? the trade ideas – THAT'S HOW SURE WE WERE! If you followed those, we closed the day at:
- Dow (/YM) 16,550: down 350 points at $5 per point – Gain of $1,750 per contract
- S&P (/ES) 1,918: down 47 ponts at $50 per point – Gain of $2,350 per contract
- Nasdaq (/NQ) 3,950: down 90 points at $20 per point – Gain of $1,800 per contract
- Russell (/TF) 1,060: down 40 points at $100 per point – Gain of $4,000 per contract
by phil - October 9th, 2014 8:30 am
Flip, flop & fly
I don't care if I die
Flip, flop & fly
I don't care if I die
Don't ever leave me, don't ever say goodbye – Joe Turner
It's deja vu all over again!
Please see Tuesday's "1,975 or BUST!" post and you will be all caught up on our battle plan for Thursday. Remember – I can only tell you what is going to happen and how to make money trading it – the rest it up to you…
Those DXD calls we disussed in Tuesday's post were cashed out ahead of the Fed with 100% gains in just two days. Today, we're right back to the extact $24.52 DXD was at Tuesday morning, and the calls are back to our 0.60 entry after topping out at $1.27 yesterday (up 111%).
We made the call to get out right at the beginning of our 1pm Live Trading Webinar (sorry, Members Only) but, FOR FREE – in yesterday's morning post – we also called a very wise exit to our TZA spread (up 190%) and flipped long on the /TF futures at 1,070 and those finished the day well past our 1,080 goal – all the way back to 1,100 for a $3,000 per contract gain. That's in a single day folks!
This morning, in our Live Member Chat Room (and you can join us here before the prices go up next week), we took short positions on the indexes with me saying to our Members in a 6:41 Alert that was sent out via Email as well and, for good measure, it was tweeted out (follow us here) and posted on our Facebook page (follow here):
Clearly we can short /TF at 1,100 with a stop above or /NQ 4,040 or /ES 1,965 or /YM 16,900 simply stopping out if any two of those go higher. On the other side, Oil can be played long at $87.25 (again) and gasoline at $2.30 since it's Thursday.
by phil - October 8th, 2014 8:26 am
Wheeeee – what a ride!
It's been so long since we had even a minor correction that people are acting like this little pullback is the end of the World. If you'll notice, on our Multi-Chart, only the Russell has crossed their -5% line and, globally, only the Hang Seng has even tested it's 10% line – and they've already weak bounced 2%. When did we forget that markets do not go straight up forever? Has the constant Fed meddling left us with nothing but skittish investors, who cut and run at the first inkling of pain?
Warren Buffet has owned KO for 40 years – including the crash of 2009, when it went down $7Bn, for him along with the rest of the market. When the stocks got lower – he bought more – because he KNOWS what the stocks are worth, even when the Retail and even "Professional" investors did not.
WFC is 22% of Berkshire's stock holdings but it was only 14% when the stock dropped from $35 in 2008 to $9 in 2009, wiping out $9.1Bn on Berkshire's balance sheet on 350M shares. What did Buffett do? He bought 175M more shares for $10 and those 525M shares are now worth $26Bn at $51. Buffett didn't panic because he KNEW what WFC was worth and he also knows that investors are, for the most part, fairly irrational people.
I have been complaining all year about how irrational prices were and we essentially sat out the top of the rally and stayed mainly in CASH!!! in our Member Portfolio HOPING for a correction (a bigger on than this, frankly) that would give us some nice entry set-ups for 2015. We don't think the market will collapse, but it would be nice to come back down to our 200 dmas to test the bottoms on some real volume.
As we're down about 5% (average) in our indexes and as we have the Fed Minutes this afternoon, I'm looking for a weak bounce, acccording to our 5% Rule™, of 1% – anything less than that today will be a very bearish sign! We're very interested in the -5%…
by phil - October 7th, 2014 8:28 am
Not that you can draw any conclusions from yesterday's low-volume action. The Fed doves have their say for the next two days and then we go into a hawkish nosedive on Thursday and Friday, so this little drama is just getting started. All went according to plan yesterday – per our set-up in the morning post:
As a hedge, for our Member Portfolios, we're favoring SQQQ (now $36.55) and DXD (now $24.52) to protect us from another slide but the real tilt to hawkish doesn't start until Thursday, after the Fed minutes, so we can assume they will be spun bearish from there into the weekend and we'll look to take nice, short positions against any run-up that comes from doveish Fed statements early in the week.
As you can see from yesterday's action, that was the perfect way to play it and our short positions on the Futures gave us several quick victories as it was all downhill from the open until 1pm. Even our oil short gave us a nice $600 win – the one that was right there in the morning post at $89.60 and oil was below $89 by 10:45, less than 3 hours for that trade idea to play out!
That's good because we REALLY needed the money because GTAT, one of our good-sized positions in two of our portfolios, declared a surprise bankruptcy yesterday. Bankruptcies are not supposed to be surprising but this one was and GTAT dropped 90%, essentially wiping out a $25,000 position and costing us 1/4 of our year's profits in the Long-Term Portfolio.
There's an excellent article in Bloomberg and another one from Seeking Alpha outlining what happened and where it stands so I'll spare you the gory details other than to say that this is why we stress diversification and portion control in investing. Even so, GTAT happened to be a stock that got weak and, because management promised a turn-around, we added to our losing position on the initial dip and maxed our allocation and…