by phil - May 15th, 2014 8:42 am
Options expire on Friday and last expiration day (4/18), we were 2.5% higher on the Russell and Nasdaq , which is about how much higher the Dow, S&P and NYSE are from where they were at the time.
It's been an interesting month watching our indexes diverge but, as we discussed in our Tug Boat Example last week, this sort of behavoir simply doesn't last very long. The end of that discussion (last Thursday) was:
As you can see from Dave Fry's Russell Chart, the RUT resolved it's triangle sqeezy thingy to the downside – after the requisite head-fake and now we're back to the…
by phil - May 14th, 2014 1:33 pm
$25,000 Portfolio Review ($25KP):
Not much to report here, GMCR burned us but now we can turn that into a nice winner if it comes back down. Since we made $5 on the short puts, our break-even is $14.50 and we're almost there already. USO not going to well but not worth adjusting either. I'd like to roll up to the $39 puts, now $1.99 for .50 or less if oil goes higher (now $102.45). NFLX we just added today.
Butterfly Catching Portfolio:
I cannot stress enough how great this portfolio is for the conservative investor. We're using just 1/6 of our buying power and generating 20% profits on the whole portfolio. That means that 1/6th that's working is up 120% so far! You never want to go more than 50% invested – just in case one of your positions blows out and you have to adjust but we have plenty of room to add more – when we identify another stock with options that are priced more volatile than we expect the stock to be. It's a rough criteria but we seem to find them often enough. The low VIX makes it rough at the moment. Still, up 5% since last month – not too shabby!
- BTU – That one has been a wild ride and we'll need to roll the May $16 caller ($3.15) to the Sept $17 calls ($2.70) for net .45. We're getting more confident in the long story here, so we'll spend $450 to move up $1,000 in strike on our 10 contracts. Don't forget, these trades don't terminate in 2016 – we'll simply roll our long positions out to 2017 or 2018 when the time is right and keep on rolling the short positions - RAWHIDE!
- CZR – This one is like a little cash machine. Looks like we're on the nose this month and that means we're profiting almost all of the $3,200 worth of puts and calls that we sold on 3/31 (45 days) against our $6,600 long position, so that's 48%
by phil - May 14th, 2014 8:50 am
Three out of five indexes look very good!
The same can be said about a dog with three legs and no tail, I suppose. So, the question is, is the market a dog in a nice sweater or whatever the metaphor would be for something where 3 healthy guys drag two dead guys around and win the race.
Hmmm, I guess there is no metaphor for that – BECAUSE IT'S RIDICULOUS, isn't it? A healthy market looks like a healthy market and this does NOT look like a healthy market.
You can ignore Russia invading Ukraine, you can ignore China's exploding debt bubble, you can ignore collapsing German Investor Confidence, you can ignore Japanese Inflation, you can ignore all the stuff we already talked about in this morning's news alert – but that's not going to make it go away!
Yes, we made new highs yesterday but look at the crap volume. The volume on the Friday after Thanksgiving (half a day) was 55M on SPY, the volume on Dec 26th was 63M and New Year's Eve was 86M – that's how ridiculous yesterday's volume was.
We're still in the pattern of the market rising on low volumes and selling off on high volume, which is simply the way the Banksters pump up their holdings into the opens and then dump them on what few retail suckers are participating into the closes.
You can hear their media puppets ramping up the rhetoric at the same time, wagging their fingers at the retail investors and telling them they are "missing" the rally. Why weren't they saying that when the markets were 50% cheaper? Why not when they were 25% cheaper? No, only at a market top does the Corporate Media tell you to BUYBUYBUY because their masters already bought their fill and now they need someone to hold the bag. Same as it ever was.
by phil - May 13th, 2014 9:27 am
This is ridiculous.
As noted on Dave Fry's chart, the S&P made a new record high with narrow participation and essentially all of the gains were one big move in the Futures to reprice the index. I said yesterday we have been getting 50% of the day's volumes in the close and yesterday was no different and that closing volume is all dumping into the ETF, IRA and 401K suckers that are forced to buy.
We took a couple of big bats against the Dow's move up yesterday, adding a DIA put at $166.80 (see yesterday's Member Chat for details) as well as going long on DXD at $26.20 – both with leveraged options plays, of course.
We still have plenty of bullish trades to protect but, when we bein to cash out our winners and start buying short plays on the index – you can tell the winds are changing. Our 500% trade on DDM from Thanksgiving was scheduled to top out in April anyway – and we sold in May to go away.
That trade was one of our "10 Trade Ideas That Can Make (and some have already made) 500% in a Rising Market" and I had just as much trouble convincing people to go long in November as I'm having convincing people it's time to cash out in May.
Not all the trades are done, but a quick summary of those positions is:
by phil - May 12th, 2014 8:29 am
All-time highs on the Dow.
That's all that really seem to matter in the Global markets as we shake off terrible Japanese trade numbers, which was somewhat counterbalanced by China's plan to open up its capital markets – by 2020.
It's never too early to start celebrating, I suppose but should we be celebrating at all when the Nasdaq and the Russell are DOWN more than 5% for the year?
There are 2,000 stocks in the Russell and 3,000 stocks in the Nasdaq Compositie index vs. 30 stocks in the Dow and 500 in the S&P. As pointed out by Business Insider, even on the Dow, the AVERAGE stock is down 5% and within the S&P, 8% the average stock id DOWN 8% while the Nasdaq and Russell (10 times more stocks!) are clearly in bear market territory – down over 20% from their highs.
While investors may not have learned anything from the last crash, the Banksters have learned that you can manipulate just a few key, heavily-weighted stocks in order to make an entire index seem to be performing better than the sum of its parts. This allows the IBanks to dump their shares into ETF suckers, who are forced to buy the crap they are selling (at the day's closing price) as long as they can game the overall index to LOOK like it is doing well.
That's why we see thise constant "stick saves" into almost every close. Half the day's volume is done after the bell at what they call "market on close" orders that are automatically generated by ETFs and IRA drips, which forces the retail suckers with IRAs and 401Ks to buy at Top Dollar – no matter how relentless the selling volume was during the actual trading session.
Don't be shocked, that's why the Banksters designed IRAs and 401Ks and ETFs in the first place! Really, did you think they were doing it for your benefit? On the whole, the stock market is nothing more than a Three Card Monte Game, where pretty much everyone…
by phil - May 9th, 2014 8:29 am
Look at the Russell!
Look at the Nasdaq! Are you seriously still holding onto your Dow, S&P and NYSE stocks? That's exactly what people did in 2008, when they were so used to the markets being saved whenever they dipped, that they ignored all the warning signs – until it was too late.
I know that I've been sounding like a broken record and you can call me Chicken Little but cut me a little slack as we are protecting profits here.
We have 5 virtual porfolios we track for our Members and the $100,000 Butterfly Portfolio is up 19.4% ($19,000), the $500,000 Long-Term Portfolio is up 9.6% ($48,000), the $100,000 Portfolio is down 5.8% ($5,800), the $500,000 Income Portfolio is up 6.4% ($32,000) and our $25,000 Portfolio is up 15.4% ($3,850). Overall, that's a gain of 8.8% on $1.225M deployed in 4 months.
The Short-Term Portfolio is a hedge to the Long-Term Portfolio, so we haven't cashed those in but the Income Portfolio doesn't have an external hedge, so we moved to cash on that one last month (BEFORE the Nas and Rut started crashing off decade highs) and the Butterfly Portfolio is self-hedging while the $25KP has just one position left.
Perhaps I'm wrong and the Nasdaq and the Russell will recover and the other indexes will all move up to new highs. Even if they do, our worst case is we miss a bit of a rally. If we're breaking out to new all-time highs from here – there will be plenty of money to be made. BUT – if I'm right and the market drops 5-10%, then our taking 110% off the table at the top means that when we buy stocks again at 90%, we are buying 120% of what we could have bought had we not wisely cashed out in the rally.
The REWARD for being cautious is owning 20% more shares if we're right, owning maybe 2.5% less shares if we're wrong or owning the same amount if the market stays flat. It doesn't take a degree in statistical analysis to see why I…
by phil - May 8th, 2014 8:32 am
Thank you Madam Chairwoman!
Not that Yellen said anything of substance but that won't stop her from saying it again this morning (9:30) so let the rally continue – for another day, at least.
Yellen made an congressional appearance yesterday, where she argued the economy “needed more help”. She didn’t articulate how the Fed might help given the ongoing taper, although ZIRP would continue for a considerable time which bulls took to mean “indefinitely”.
Oddly she also suggested small cap stocks were near bubble conditions but then said she couldn’t see any bubbles. All in all, it was the kind of obfuscating testimony that would have made Alan Greenspan proud.
As Dave Fry notes on his Dow chart, that index is just window dressing for the tourists, with 7 stocks (AXP, CVX, JNJ, MCD, MMM, UTX and V) accounting for ALL of the Dow's gains yesterday in this stupidly price-weighted index.
The Russell is clearly in trouble and tested that bottom bar at 1,080 again (1,088 was the low) early in the morning and we caught the turn on the nose in our Live Member Chat room, when my 10:25 comment to our Members was:
Wow, what a ride! Gotta take some profits off the table on the Futures shorts – people don't like Janet's testimony but she can still pull it out with the Q&A. /NQ at 3,500 – that shouldn't go down easy. Actually it's a good bullish bounce play, as is 1,090 on /TF (with very tight stops). /YM 16,300 is also a good line – go long on the laggard.
As you can see from the intra-day SPY chart – the timing of that call could not have been better! The Dow finished the day back at 16,500 and, at $5 per point per Futures contract, that made a $1,000 per contract on that call. We took $1,000 and ran when the Russell hit 1,100 but then got a chance to reload for a ride to 1,110 later that day (+$2,000 per contract).
by phil - May 7th, 2014 8:31 am
All of last week, I kept saying the market was only hitting highs because it was being manipulated that way and, by Friday we'd had enough and took our ill-gotten gains off the table once again. This week, it's obvious we're in trouble – but it's a lot harder to sell your stocks when they're already in trouble, isn't it?
It's a very hard discipline to take winners off the table but you should scale out of posiitons on the way up the same way you should scale into them on the way down (and the Strategy Section at Philstockworld has a great article about scaling – also lots of additional commentary in chat below the article).
There's nothing wrong with being in cash. Yesterday, from 1pm until 2:30, we had on of our Live Futures Trading Workshops (replay available here) and our 4 trades made $360 by the close (4pm) for a very nice $100+ per hour salary for just trading a few contracts. Our trade idea from yesterday's morning post (which you can get delivered to you pre-market, every day by SUBSCRIBING HERE) was to short the Nikkei (/NKD) at 14,350 and this morning we hit 14,050 – good for a $1,500 PER CONTRACT profit!
That's one of the things you can do with cash. We also have fun making earnings plays, like the FSLR trade we added to our Short-Term Portfolio yesterday. That trade idea was:
I think it's worth a try at selling 5 July $75 calls for $3 ($1,500) and buying, to cover, 4 Jan $77.50/85 bull call spreads at $2 ($800) for a net credit of $700 – let's do a set of those in the STP.
If FSLR is under $75 (it's about $69 after earnings), we pocket $700 PLUS whatever value remains on the January bull call spread (probably about half). That's against zero cash outlay ($700 credit, in fact) and possibly we'll just take quick money off the table and reload…
by phil - May 6th, 2014 8:14 am
Whenever the manipulators need to boost the markets, they just crash the Dollar.
And what a dive we've had! As you can see from Dave Fry's Chart, the Dollar is down 7% since last summer and down 2.5% this year and that keeps stocks and commodities 2.5% higher – because we buy them with Dollars.
Keep in mind, at the same time you are buying IBM shares for $200, someone is buying the same shares for 20,400 Yen and another guy is buying them for 340 British Pounds and yet another guy is buying them for 280 Euros.
It's obvious that, if the value of the Pound or the Yen or the Euro changes, the price of IBM in those currencies will change to reflect the currrency valuation but Americans tend not to realize the same thing happens when the Dollar gets stronger or weaker too. Once you do realize this – you have a huge advantage in trading the Futures (and we have a Live Futures Workshop this afternoon at 1pm).
The Fed's easy-money policies keep the Dollar weak (because we're printing another Trillion of them each year and, in this economy, no one is using them – ie. no demand) and that has goosed the market by 7% since last summer, when the S&P was about 1,650 – about 10% lower than it is now.
That means that 75% of the gains in the S&P since last summer have been the result of a weak currency and have noting to do with a "strong" economy. Now THAT makes sense, doesn't it?
"THEY" had to tank the Dollar to get us over the 1,600 level, which was a very key technical off our consolidated bottom at 800 during the crash. It's no coincidence that we were hitting resistance there in May and pulling back to 1,560 and looking weak in July when, suddenly, the Fed went into a new round of crazy, which led to 6 months of fairly steady value erosion for every single Dollar you have worked for and saved your entire life.
by phil - May 5th, 2014 8:31 am
Think about how many companies pin their hopes and dreams on the infinite possibilities of selling stuff in China. If TSLA's stock can pop 10% because Musk announces he's going to put superchargers in China (he announced he'd put them in America 3 years ago – where are they exactly?), why does the stock then ignore declining auto sales in China or the slowdown of the whole economy over there?
The slide in Chinese manufacturing has been accelerating since the fall and we're in danger of breaking through a floor we haven't seen breached since we ignored it in early 2008 – the last time the MSM shrugged off a China slowdown as "no big deal."
How can China be the biggest deal in the World when you make a bull case but no big deal when it turns the other way? This is why investors are so confused about the markets – the information they are being fed is spun to CAUSE them to make poor investing decisions. Remember when the Senate investigated Goldman Sachs because, internally, they called $600M worth of Timberwolf Securities they were ACTIVELY selling to their investors a "shitty deal" while bonusing their "financial advisors" for pushing it on their clients.
The only thing unique about Timberwolf is that they got caught. China has been a "shitty deal" for years – I've been telling you for years but not the MSM, not the Fund Managers, not the Investment Professionals that get fees for whatever crap they get you to put your hard-earned money into – China is far away, hard to understand and even harder to verify - that makes it a perfect story for con men who want to get their hands on your money.
Like the US, China's growth story is a stimulus story. China's money supply grows faster than their economy and, in the past 5 years, as you can see on the chart, it's gone into hyper-drive with loans up almost 100%, which is ANOTHER 150% of the country's GDP in debt. China began their stimulus program in 2008, while our Congress was still arguing over TARP.