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…
by phil - October 6th, 2014 8:03 am
Get ready for a wild week.
FOMC minutes are released on Wednesday at 2pm and there are a record 12 Fed speeches in the days that surround them. Expect the market to gyrate wildly with each tweetable quote and it all kicks off this afternoon with Treasury Secretary Jack Lew, followed by KC's Hawkish Esther George at 8:30.
Tuesday we have Kocherlakota (hawk) and Dudley (dove), Wednesday is Evans (dove) and the minutes. Thursday we have Bullard (hawk), Tarullo (dove), Lacker (uber hawk) and Williams (dove) ahead of the realease of the Fed's shocking balance sheet and a look at the ever-expanding US Money Supply.
Friday ends with a bang as we hear from Plosser (uber hawk), George again, Fisher (uber hawk) and then Lacker again – so the hawks very much have the last word into the weekend. It's not much of a data week (next week is a doozy, though) and, to summarize it's hawk, hawk, dove, dove, hawk, dove, HAWK, dove, HAWK, hawk, HAWK, HAWK - do you think, perhaps, the Fed is trying to tell us something?
The next Fed meeting is October 28th and we'll hear their decision on the 29th. If they don't begin to tighten at this meeting, there is no way they'll do it right before Christmas at their last meeting on the 16th. It seems to me, they are going to be setting expectations for some hawkish action this week and the reaction will give them time to contemplate it going into the next meeting.
What's keeping us from getting too hawkish (bearish) is this chart from Macrobond, which points out that, the last 3 times 10-year rates have been this low, the Fed has begun major rounds of EASING, not tightening policies. QE increases the money supply and that forces note rates up to compensate and Jack Lew is the guy who has to borrow the money at those rates – so you can see how this week will all tie together once the dust settles.
As a hedge, for our Member Portfolios, we're favoring SQQQ (now $36.55) and DXD (now…
by phil - October 3rd, 2014 8:07 am
Ouch, that really stings!
They say you can't keep a good market down but it remains to be seen whether or not we have a good market with almost all of August and September's BS gains (see any of my posts for warnings and hedge ideas) erased just 3 days into October.
As you can see from our Big Chart, the Russell, in particular, completed it's 10% drop yesterday and, as I said to our Members in yesterday's live Chat Room as we neared the bottom:
/TF/Jasu – Just a bit oversold and, as noted yesterday (and above) it's completing a 10% drop from 1,200 at 1,080, so that's a very firm line for a bounce and that's 20% of a 120-point drop, so we're looking for 25-point bounces to 1,105 (weak) and 1,130 (strong) now. Anything less than 1,105 today is a failure and, if not tomorrow, then expect more downside next week.
/TF is the Futures on the Russell 2000 index and already this morning we're back to 1,097, which is up $1,700 per contract (see how easy this is?) from our 1,080 entry and just a little shy of our expected weak bounce.
We do expect resistance at 1,100 so this is a good time to take profits off the table and we can go long again over that line or flip to the S&P Futures (/ES) over 1,950 or Nasdaq (/NQ) over 4,000 or the Dow (/YM) over 16,800. As long as they are all performing, we can be confident on the long side.
As we discussed with our Members earlier this morning, there's no particular reason to get bullish – this is just a technical bounce we expect off our 5% lines per our 5% Rule™ and, if they trun out to be weak bounces, then we can expect another 2.5-5% of downside next week. That means we can use those same index lines to go short if they fail as we would to go long if they succeed this morning – that will be all up to the Non-Farm Payroll Report at…
by phil - October 2nd, 2014 8:14 am
Wheeeeeee - What a ride!
As with skiing, a nice drop can be lots of fun – if you are ready for it. If not, things can get broken… Supports were broken yesterday as we lost the 200-Day Moving Average on the NYSE (10,600) and the 50 dma on the Dow (16,930), Nasdaq (4,500) and the S&P (1,975).
We lost the Russell ages ago, when we made our Death Cross so "told you so" on that one. As I said at the time (9/16):
Of course, we've been telling you for weeks now that the markets were toppy but at least now it's getting obvious. The Fed may still pull a rabbit out of its ass and goose the markets once again but I very much doubt anything is going to stop the eventual correction now. Delay, maybe – stop, no.
Our trade idea that day in our morning post that day was:
If, however, you buy just $2,500 worth of the of the TZA Oct $13/16 bull call spread at $1 (25 contracts), they will pay you back $7,500 if TZA goes up about 15% (just a 5% move up in the RUT) AND they don't lose all their money until TZA is down 10% (a 3% move up in the RUT).
That trade is already 110% in the money and on it's way for a $5,000 per unit gain (200%) – a very nice way to hedge what is, so far, less than a 10% pullback in our indexes. What we do, once these hedges go in the money (if we're still bearish) is add another layer of hedges at higher strikes and we put a stop on our original hedges to lock in those gains. That's where we are now as we begain playing for a bounce yesterday in our Live Member Chat Room (you can join us HERE).
by phil - October 1st, 2014 8:25 am
This is not pretty.
As you can see on our Big Chart, we've failed the 50 dma on the S&P, Nasdaq, NYSE and Russell and the Russell failed its 200 dma long ago. We're still waiting for the Dow to cross below 16,940 and confirm the carnage but we made those bets long ago with our DXD Oct $24 calls, which are now 0.70 (up 55%) from our 0.45 entry back on 9/18.
In fact, we already took 1/2 of those calls off the table at 0.85 last week so, essentially, the remainder is a free put option on the Dow for the next three weeks – with DXD at $24.45, so we gain every penny from here on up as the Dow falls.
That's what hedges are supposed to do, of course. We discussed that in yesterday's Live Trading Webinar, where we also demonstrated a live Futures trade on the Russell (/TF Futures) that made $500 on the 2:30 bounce. That bounce was very easy to predict because THE MARKET IS MANIPULATED and all we had to do was wait for the same fake spike that we get at the end of every quarter, courtesy of the Fed and their fellow Banksters:
What's scary about yesterday's flood of money ($230Bn in two days) wasn't just the size of the pump job, but the ineffectiveness of it. The volume was still anemic and declining shares outpaced advancing shares by almost 2:1 in yesterday's "mixed" trading.
In reality, it wasn't mixed at all as big traders took advantage of every penny that moved into the market as they told their brokers to sell, SELL!!!
Still, it's not the end of the World just yet – only close to it, and we can still turn this puppy around by holding the line on the Dow as well as Russell 1,100 and Nasdaq 4,500. This market has been amazingly resiliant in 2014 so we're not going to be complacently bearish the same way we (thank goodness) did not let ourselves get complacently bullish this summer.
by phil - September 30th, 2014 8:09 am
First, the big news:
EBAY has finally agreed to spin off PayPal and that's going to give us a nice boost in our Income Portfolio (which we fortunately just adjusted more aggressive yesterday) and EBAY has been on our Buy List (Members Only) since 5/20, when they were testing $50 and, as I said to our Members when I predicted an earnings beat in July:
Paypal, Paypal and Paypal. They should beat the .68 expectations (.63 last year) and all of last year they traded in the $50s, so why should they be below it now when they are making $3 a year (p/e 16.7)? Compared to the rest of the market, this thing is a real bargain!
They beat by a penny and, as you can see from the chart, that was enough to kick them up 10% and we recently got a nice re-entry at $50, when we took advantage of the spike down to sell more 2016 $50 puts for $5.50 which were up 15% at $4.80 at yesterday's close – not bad for a month's work and they should be up 30% by the end of today!
Today we will see an all-out effort to keep the markets afloat so the books on Q3 can be spun positive by the Banksters, who have Trillions of Dollars riding on the outcome.
Of course, we KNOW that no Bankster would ever attempt to manipulate the Market, or LIBOR, or Currencies, or Ratings… Well, not if they knew for a fact they would get caught AND the punishment was more than a slap on the wrist, anyway. Thank goodness, that never happens.
As you can see from our Big Chart, the S&P came to a rest right on the 50 dma at 1,977 so that's the do or die line for the day while it's 4,495 on the Nasdaq. On the Dow we want to see 17,100 taken back and the NYSE needs to hold 10,750 while the poor, beleagured Russell just needs to hold that 1,110 line. Officially, our bounce lines remain: