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Phil's Newsletter

Fixin’ It Friday – Greece Talks Yet Again

Wheeeee, what a ride!  

As you can see from the chart, Greece has been up and down 10% 4 times in 5 days and last week we gave you a Trade Idea for Greece long using the GREK Feb (expires today) $11/12 bull call spread at 0.50 to make 100% in 5 days (today) if GREK finishes over $12.  

Unfortunately, GREK had a strong open on Thursday and, by the time people could buy it, the spread was 0.60 so, at $12, the gain will only be 66% but those who played the momentum game during the week had several opportunities to engineer a 0.50 spread as the ETF ran up and down the ladder with each new statement by pretty much anyone in Europe with an opinion.  

Our other trade idea from that day, that IYT would fall and the Feb $159 puts at $1.20 would double, however, was off by a mile and IYT tested $165 yesterday before calming down to $163.08 despite the now week-long port strike on the West Coast.  I can't explain that one, other than maybe we were too far ahead of the curve.  If you want to go for it next month, the premise is still valid (our timing was off) and the March $161 puts are now $2 and a trip back to support at $155 would make them $6 – up 200% would take the edge of this week's loss.  

Our CSCO spread we discussed that day is up the 4,000% we expected and our UNG March $13/14 bull call spread is on track for a 100% gain so all is not lost.  These are your last free trade ideas for the quarter – so try to enjoy them!  If you want more trade ideas, you can join us here like our new Member, Verreaul recently did (and thanks for the kind words!):

I have been reading the "free" PSW for about a year and have always liked Phil's style as it closely resembled the way I like to trade (mostly naked put options). I have been a paid subscriber for about 5 weeks and I have been learning a lot from Phil

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Falling Thursday – Greece Unfixed and SURPRISE – The Economy Sucks

What a great morning we're having!

We were having a discussion in our Live Member Chat Room this morning about why we were staying short-term bearish despite the low-volume rally of the last few days when the market began to spike higher, so I immediately put out a note to our Members saying:

Wow, Futures flying straight up now, about 0.3% the other way now – nice morning swing.  /NQ testing 4,400 for a fun short with tight stops and /ES 2,099.50 and /YM 18,030 (no short above 18,000) and /TF 1,230.  As long as /TF and either /ES or /NQ are below their lines – I'm for shorting any of those 3.  

The Russell hit 1,222 (up $700 per contract) and the S&P hit 2,091 (up $425 per contract) and the Dow paid $250 at 17,950 – so the Egg McMuffins are paid for and we can start our trading day.  

Of course that's nothing compared to the Trade Idea we gave you yesterday morning (and these newsletters come to you pre-market, every day by SUBSCRIBING HERE) to short Oil Futures (/CLJ5) at $53.50, which are up $3,000 PER CONTRACT this morning at $50.50.  That's not bad for a day's work and it keeps our hourly profit rate well over $500 for the day (we had a good start yesterday morning too). 

What gave us a quick round-trip this morning was, of coruse, yet another Greece fire.  This time it was Germany saying "Nein!" to giving Greece a 6-month loan extension saying Greece's proposal was "not substantial" – meaning it didn't guarantee the Banksters who really run the Government would get paid.  "In its rejection, Germany argued that the Greek request doesn't meet the bailout requirements and said the proposal only aims at getting bridging financing without fulfilling its commitments."  

I know this may come as a shock to the EU Banksters but, when you lend money to someone at 10-20% interest rates, which they have to pay because you have rated them a terrible credit risk – THE RISK IS THAT THEY CAN'T PAY YOU BACK!  What's going on
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Which Way Wednesday – 2,100 and Bust?

SPY  5  MINUTEYay, S&P 2,100!  Now what?

As we predicted yesterday morning, nothing was going to stop the S&P from banging up to that 2,100 line.  Not for lack of trying, either as we had a 22% decline in the Empire State Manufacturing Index and a 2% decline in the Housing Market Index but none of that matters because Greece is going to be fixed again so the markets flew higher – albeit only at the last minute on no volume.  Still – it's a pretty picture, isn't it?.

We demonstrated the idiocy of the markets yesterday for our Members in our Live Webinar by scaling into a short position on March Oil Futures (/CLH5), which ran up while we were doing a demonstration on scaling in.  We decided to stay short overnight and, this morning, we were rewarded with a $4,000 gain.  Now we've flipped to the April Futures (/CLJ5) in our Live Member Chat Room, which we're shorting at $53.50 in anticipation of another nice dip today.  

Of course we told you, right in yesterday's morning post (which you can have delivered to you pre-market daily by clicking here) that we were shorting oil at $53.50 and they fell all the way to $51 at 10 am, for a lovely $2,500 per contract gain.  By all means though – SAVE your money and DON'T subscribe to the newsletter – I'm sure everyone you read gives you trade ideas that make $2,500 per contract in 95 minutes, so there's no need to read our little ideas.  

Of course, $2,500 per contract is nothing compared to Premium Articles, like our "Secret Santa's Inflation Hedges for 2015," which had 4 great trade ideas, two of which are still playable but XHB (Home Builder ETF) isn't, as the 20 2016 $28 puts we sold for $2.25 ($4,500) on 12/21 are already down to 0.70 ($1,400), for a very nice 68.8% gain in just 2 months ($3,100) good thing you didn't waste money on a subscription in December, right?  

We were more aggressive than that though, as we suggested pairing it with 20 of the 2016 $28/33 bull call spreads at $3.30 ($6,600) for a net $2,100 outlay on the spread.
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2,100 Tuesday – S&P Tests Along with Nasdaq 5,000

Holy cow, look at those indexes go!  

With the NYSE finally above our Must Hold line at 11,000 – it may be time to give up on our bearish positions and just "go with the flow" BUT we still have S&P 1,100 and Nasdaq 5,000 to punch through and THEN we can use them as stop lines for more bullish betting.  

Not that we haven't made plenty of bullish bets.  Our Long-Term Portfolio closed Friday up a whopping 31.4% with $156,886 in gains over the past 14 months.  Of course our Long-Term Portfolio is ALL bullish – it's our Short-Term Portfolio that holds our hedges but, fortunately, we also make some nice short-term bullish bets in there as well and that portfolio is up 103.1% since 11/26/13 – a gain of $103,065 off our original $100,000 virtual investment.  

We made some aggressive bearish adjustments to the STP on Friday as we anticipated a sell-off after the holidays but, so far – despite Greece being broken again this morning – we're still holding up in the Futures.  We did, however, manage to scratch out some Egg McMuffin money this morning in our Live Member Chat Room, picking up oil shorts (/CL) early at $53.50.  We just (7:35) exited a round at $52.75 for a $750 per contract gain to start our day.  

SPX WEEKLYNot that it's easy money, by the way:  We initiated that trade at 4:57 am and it took two and a half hours to make that $750 (and we took entries and exits in between) so certainly this kind of labor isn't for everyone at $250/hr.  We also laid out some nice index shorts for our Members, so hopefully we can give ourselves a raise over the course of the day.  

Of course, Futures trading is just what we do for fun while we're waiting to see if our Long-Term trades work out.  After all, it's taken 14 months to make 31.4% in our LTP – we have to find a hobby to keep us from over-trading our Long-Term positions, right?  

As GMO noted in their White Paper this weekend, skill (as in investing skill) may be
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Fearless Friday Markets – Nasdaq 5,000 in Sight!

We are partying like it's 1999!

The Nasdaq is up over 20% from it's October low, addine $1.5 TRILLION in "value" in less than 4 months.  Of course, AAPL contributed 10% of that $181Bn with it's own 32% run from $95 to $126 but we're not here to be skeptical today – we're going to let Dave Fry do it for us:

INDU WEEKLY$6.9 Trillion In Stock Buybacks Dwarf QE

I noted the other day the Atlantic article asserting the above number is the amount corporations spent buying back stocks since 2004.

It makes QE look like a sideshow. This represents the ongoing bid under the market thanks to ZIRP which makes being anything other than long stocks and bonds wrong.

There’s no question this didn’t have much effect on commodity, currency and some single country markets. But for U.S. investors the message is clear: buy, buy, buy.

Thursday markets belonged to “bad news bulls” since key economic data both sucked and blowed. Jobless Claims jumped to 304K vs 288K expected & prior 279K as finally lost jobs in the energy sector are starting to show up. And, Retail Sales dropped for the second month in a row to -0.8% vs -0.4% expected and prior -0.9%.

Greece seems to be coming to grips with a deal that changes some conditions around

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Thursday Fixes: Greece and Ukraine Looking Good!

Want to make 100% in 5 days?  

The GREK Feb $11/12 bull call spread is 0.50 and, if GREK finishes over $12 next Friday, you get $1 back.  Each 100 option contract is $50 so, if you need to make $500, you buy 10 of them and come back next Friday for your $1,000.  

Can something go wrong?  Sure, the deal with the EU can still derail and GREK may fall further so you are risking your $500, make no mistake about that but you can always close the spread and, since you are buying the $11 calls for $1.20 and selling the $12 calls for 0.70 and since the $12 calls are all premium and will decay over the next 7 days at 0.10 per day – you should remain in pretty good shape as long as there isn't a drastic drop.  

IYT  WEEKLYHow else can you make 100% in a week?  Well, in this morning's news, in our Live Member Chat Room, we noticed the ports on the West Coast are shutting down for 4 of the next 5 days to teach those pesky workers a lesson (they dared to ask for money!!!).  The West Coast handles 40% of US Trade so this is not at all insignificant.  And who is affected?  The Transports, of course!

IYT is pretty high at $160 and just came off $155 so let's say this strike drops them back to $155.  Well the Feb $159 puts are only $1.20 and, at $155, they would be worth $4, that's up $2.80 or 250% if our premise wins out.  I'd certainly take 1/2 off the table up 100% ($2.40) and put stops on the rest at $2 to lock in an 90% win and, if we hit our $4 goal, that will be $2.40 + $4 back, which is $3.20 average for a very nice 166% gain for the week.  Nice work if you can get it…

Again, our premise could be wrong so we don't bet the farm on these trades but, if our farm has 20 pigs and we bet one pig on a bet that doubles – then we have 21 pigs and we're going to have a

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Wednesday Hedging Lessons – Russell 1,200 Edition

SPY  5  MINUTEIt's been an impressive rally.

But, as you can see from Dave Fry's SPY chart, the volume is total BS so here we are, back where we have been 5 times since December, at the top of a range that we never quite punch our way out of

It's been a series of low-volume rallies followed by high-volume sell-offs with bouts of stimulus and Fed-speak talking us off the bottom of our range (S&P 2,000) while it takes nothing but gravity to pull us back from S&P 2,060-85ish.  

On our Big Chart, the NYSE usually gives the game away by never quite getting over the Must Hold line at 11,000, with the broadest market index dragging far behind the others.  Usually, it's the very volatile Russell 2000 that shows us the way near the tops and the bottoms, either bouncing back at 1,160 or failing at 1,200 – which is what we're looking for today:

If the rally is real, we should quickly get over 1,210 on the Russell (/TF Futures) but, if not, then 1,200 will not hold and it makes a great short line as 1,160 is $4,000 per contract away.  It may be a bit early, but TZA (ultra-short on the Russell) is often a fun trade at these levels.  Now at $11.68, it's low enough where we don't mind owning it as a long-term hedge so the March $11/13 bull call spread at 0.70, selling the $11 puts for 0.50 is net 0.20 on a $2 spread.  You make 10x your money back if TZA is over $13 in 37 days.

RUT WEEKLYWhen you have a 900% upside on a hedge, you don't have to commit a lot of cash to protect your portfolio – that's what we teach you at Philstockworld.  

As noted yesterday, our paired portfolios (LTP and STP) were at $840,000 yesterday morning (up 40%) and they finished the day at $845,000 – up $5,000 (0.5%) on a day when the S&P went up 0.6%.  That means, very simply, that we are balanced just a bit less bullish than the S&P

That means that, if the S&P were to drop…
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Stimulating Tuesday – China’s at it Again

Customers select goods at a supermarket in Lianyungang, Jiangsu province. China's consumer price inflation slowed to a five-year low in January. Thank you China, may I have another?

Another $7.2Bn that is as those Godless Communists inject another round of stimulus into their Financial System to boost the markets and stave off deflation.  That's right, as you can see from the prices in this Lianyungang supermarket, everything is on sale in China as inflation falls to a 5-year low (0.8%), which is the worst since 2009 and, much more worrying to the Capitalists, Producer Prices FELL 4.3%.

Have I mentioned that we're short FXI?  I'm sure I have and, if not – we are.  That short is based on the pretty obvious fact that if Producers are collected 4.3% less for the goods they sell – they are screwed.  FXI fell from $70 in 2007 to $24 in 2009 and, since then, has clawed back to $42, so it makes an interesting hedge on China imploding.

This is China's 7th consecutive week of cash injections (over $50Bn) and they are STILL losing ground on prices so we're not terribly impressed – especially since just last week they also did a drastic rate cut that essentially pumped ANOTHER $80Bn into the economy by lowering reserve requirements and that didn't help either.  

“Basically, domestic demand is still pretty weak,” said HSBC economist Ma Xiaoping. “We still don’t see any positive effects of the stimulus measures put through at the end of last year. Obviously, policy makers need to do more.”

Of course, like our own Fed, bad news can be good news as all those Chinese Capitalists expect to be bailed out by more QE from their Central Bank – don't these "planned economies" make you sick?  When will their Governement ever learn that interferring with the Free Markets does more harm than good?  

Just because their devious, greedy Banksters hold out their hands to be absolved of all their mistakes doesn't mean their Government should bow to their wishes and rob their own people to enrich the few in power

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Monday Market Mayhem – Greece Lightening

Greece is a problem again.  

Not that it ever stopped being a problem.  I wrote about Greece in 2011 ("Greece is the Word") and recently I wrote "Greece is the Word, Again" and "The Greek Tragedy Continues" just last week because this is one of those macro market-moving events you do HAVE TO PAY ATTENTION TO.  

I know it's far away and I know it's complicated and I know Fox likes you to think it's simple  and the Greek people cheat on their taxes and retire at 40 after living on permanent vacations.  If that were true, rather than condemning the Greeks, we should all be adopting their system!  

The reality is quite a bit more complex (read my posts for an overview) and, like any Greek Tragedy – the story is replete with heroes and villains and, of course, a sacrifice.  In this case it's the Greek people themselves who are being sacrificed on the Altar of Austerity to secure the terrible power of the EU over other subjugate nations.  

Of course the US and EU Corporate Media are rooting for the Troika to triumph over the Greeks.

The Troika is a proxy for all of the top 0.01% and the Greeks are the downtrodden masses in the bottom 90%, who have been bled dry by interest on debts they never should have incurred.  Debts which have been made unpayable by the very contracts they agreed to – in order to avoid default on the original, MUCH SMALLER, debt.  

Look what the Troika is doing to Greece:  

  • They rolled some but not all of their debt into notes but the notes still have to be rolled over by Greece at market rates. The Greek debt is $360Bn for a nation with 11M people, so $33,000 per person.  
  • The Troika mandated austerity measures that cut Government Spending by 20% and the Government, in turn, cut services to meet harsh mandates for annual debt to GDP ratios.  
  • That caused the economy to contract and 26% of the population are unemployed without benefits.  
  • The Troika puts

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Non-Farm Friday – Is America Working?

What a recovery! 

It's even better than the last two recoveries last month but not quite as good as the recovery we had in December.  From a Big Chart perspective, using our 5% Rule™, we're still waiting for the NYSE to finally confirm a real rally by going over 11,000 – now just 104 points away!  

Still, the rally was good enough that we gave up on our March TZA hedges in the Short-Term Portfolio, which has fallen back to up just 99.7% ($199,725) – down 4.8% since Tuesday's open in our smaller portfolio.  Fortunately, however, our much larger and much more bullish Long-Term Portfolio gained $19,585 over the same period, netting us a $14,785 (2%) gain for the week on our primary paired portfolios.  

Those of you who followed our call last Friday to go long on the oil Futures at $44.50 (/CL) should be happy to wake up this morning at $52.50 for an $8,000 per contract gain for the week (you're welcome).  We took our money and ran on those trades and now we'll see if $50 holds next week and, if it does, we may want to take some more longs.

The long Natural Gas Trade Idea from the same post is still playable with Nat Gas Futures (/NG) at $2.59 this morning.  Our target for that trade is $2.70 for $11,000 per 10 contracts in gains but the trade idea we put up Friday was for UNG, the ETF that tracks Natural Gas, for those of you who haven't graduated from our Futures Trading Webinars yet.  

And, of course, for the options challenged (boy do you need our help!), there's nothing wrong with just going long on UNG ($13.25 this morning).  For example:  One of our Members, Rustle123, played the stock on IRBT yesterday morning, when I called for a long on the earnings sell-off in our Live Member Chat Room and, just 3 hours later, he had this to say:

Bought IRBT from 28.22 – 28.55 after your call Phil, sold at 29.45 for quick trade and hoping to buy back lower tomorrow.  Almost paid for membership for

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Phil's Favorites

A Statistical Model of Inequality

Ricardo T. Fernholz writes a very interesting article examining wealth and income inequality at Econbrowser. His article summarizes his comprehensive research which you can read in A Statistical Model of Inequality (pdf file).  Phil commented on Fernholtz's findings in his daily article Thursday Thrust – Draghi Fires the QE Boosters Again, which lead me to find the work. Below is the summary article as posted by .


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Zero Hedge

John Kerry: "Military Pressure May Be Needed To Oust Syria's President "

Courtesy of ZeroHedge. View original post here.

Submitted by Tyler Durden.

Last week, after reading a Time article titled "Why Bashar Assad Won’t Fight ISIS" written by a journalist whose recent work includes "The YouTube War", and who sourced two unnamed, anonymous sources to reach the conclusion that Syria's president Assad is in cahoots with ISIS, we made a simple conclusion: "The Stage Is Set For The Syrian Invasion." Barely a week has gone by and the wheels for the Syrian invasion are indeed turning: earlier today, US Secretary of State John K...

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Chart School

S&P Maintains Breakout on Successful 20-day MA Test

Courtesy of Declan.

Another day, another successful defense of breakout support. The S&P held on to its 20-day MA and is well placed to bounce of this moving average tomorrow. Volume was down, which for a higher close was maybe a little disappointing.

The Nasdaq closed with a small doji in a very nondescript day for the index. Volume was lighter too.

The Russell 2000 continued to hold its breakout. Like the S&P, the 20-day MA is available to lend support too.


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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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Market Shadows

Kimble Charts: Utilities

Kimble Charts: Utilities

By Ilene

Chris Kimble shared his chart of the Utilities Select Sector SPDR ETF, XLU, with us.

The one month performance inset shows XLU’s uninspiring performance compared to every other ETF on the list. However, the rather steep bullish falling wedge pattern says that it may be time for a bounce.

[Click on chart to enlarge]

Chris likes XLU for a short-term bounce off the 200 day moving average at $44. One way to play this setup is to buy the XLU outright. Chris suggests a 3% stop loss on the shares.

Another bullish play is to use options in a strategy designed by Phil:

1. Buy the XL...

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Insider Scoop

Analysts On Dicks Sporting Goods: 'Pain Mostly Behind Us'

Courtesy of Benzinga.

Related DKS Benzinga's Top Downgrades Needham Downgrades Dick's Sporting Goods To Hold DICK's Sporting Q4 Earnings Beat on Growth Strategies - Analyst Blog (Zacks)

Dicks Sporting Goods Inc (NYSE: DKS) faces pressure from winter weather and a West Coast port slowdown, but troubles from its golf... more from Insider


Sector Detector: Stocks break out again but may be running on fumes

Courtesy of Sabrient Systems and Gradient Analytics

Despite low trading volume, a strong dollar, mixed economic and earnings reports, paralyzing weather conditions throughout much of the U.S., and ominous global news events, stocks continue to march ever higher. The world remains on edge about potential Black Swan events from the likes of Russia, Greece, or ISIS (or lone wolf extremists). Moreover, the economic recovery of the U.S. may be feeling the pull of the proverbial ball-and-chain from the rest of the world’s economies. Nevertheless, awash in investable cash, global investors see few choices better than U.S. equities.

In this weekly update, I give my view of the current market environment, offer a technical analysis of the S&P 500 chart, review our weekly fundamentals-based SectorCast rankings of the ten U.S. business sectors, and then ...

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Swing trading portfolio - week of March 2nd, 2015

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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Digital Currencies

MyCoin Exchange Disappears with Up To $387 Million, Reports Claim

Follow up from yesterday's Just the latest Bitcoin scam.

Hong Kong's MyCoin Disappears With Up To $387 Million, Reports Claim By  

Reports are emerging from Hong Kong that local bitcoin exchange MyCoin has shut its doors, taking with it possibly as much as HK$3bn ($386.9m) in investor funds.

If true, the supposed losses are a staggering amount, although this estimate is based on the company's own earlier claims that it served 3,000 clients who had invested HK$1m ($129,000) each.


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2015 - Biotech Fever

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

PSW Members - well, what a year for biotechs!   The Biotech Index (IBB) is up a whopping 40%, beating the S&P hands down!  The healthcare sector has had a number of high flying IPOs, and beat the Tech Sector in total nubmer of IPOs in the past 12 months.  What could go wrong?

Phil has given his Secret Santa Inflation Hedges for 2015, and since I have been trying to keep my head above water between work, PSW, and baseball with my is time that something is put together for PSW on biotechs in 2015.

Cancer and fibrosis remain two of the hottest areas for VC backed biotechs to invest their monies.  A number of companies have gone IPO which have drugs/technologies that fight cancer, includin...

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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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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 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.

Thank you for you time!

FeedTheBull - Top Stock market and Finance Sites

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.

Market Shadows >>