by phil - August 18th, 2015 8:01 am
The Shanghai Composite fell 6.12% today (again).
If this is the first place you're hearing about it, that's very sad and very scary because it should be the screaming headlines as China is our largest trading parner and the second-largest economy on Earth and those of us who invest in the Global Marketplace (and yes, that includes America!) should care very much what happens in China.
Since the last time China fell 6% in a day (which is a neat trick since they halt stocks that fall 10% so most of the stocks were halted to get that average), which was only 3 weeks ago, China has taken extraordinary measures to prop up the market yet they are already failing and once again we are rapidly approaching another test of the 200-day moving average, below which there is no real support for another 20% drop and even that will be tenuous at best as the Shanghai is still 100% higher than it was last summer – for no particularly good reason.
In fact, looking at China's PMI Report, it's amazing that the markets are holding up so well as we spiral back to low levels of production not seen since 2008/9. It's not just China, of course. Globally, the average PMI reading in July was 51, just one point into expansion (or one point away from contraction, if you are a glass half-empty type) and, unfortunately, I have to remind you that the PMI is an OPINION report – in the US, it's a survey of just 400 Purchasing Managers and how they THINK the next 6 months are looking.
Like any 400 out of 40,000 people who actually agree to be surveyed (margin of error is +/- 4.88), their OPINIONS may not represent the broader population and may have no relation whatsoever to what's actually going on. After all, purchasing managers are members of the top 10% who have good jobs with good salaries and are bound to be more optimistic than the average person who has to work for a living and has no time to answer surveys.
by phil - August 17th, 2015 7:52 am
Currencies are melting down all over.
For a long time, Morgan Stanley (MS) has kept a list of emerging market currencies that were running the worst account deficits and faced the greatest risk of being devalued against the Dollar. Those currencies are:
- Brazil's Real
- India's Rupee
- Indonesia's Rupiah
- Turkey's Lira
- South Africa's Rand
It's been a good list and all of those economies have suffered considerably against the rising Dollar over the past few years but now China is giving some of these countries a double-whammy as they adjust their own currency and MS has added 10 names to their currency watch list (some overlap) and we should now also be concerned about:
- Thailand's Baht
- Singapore Dollar
- Taiwan Dollars
- South Korean Won
- South African Rand
- Brazil's Real
- Chili's Peso
- Peru's Sol
- Colombia's Peso
- Russian Rubles
China is the top export destination for most of the countries on the troubled 10 list. “It’s all about vulnerability,” said Hans Redeker, head of foreign-exchange strategy at Morgan Stanley. “Major victims of the policy change this time are currencies of countries with high export exposure and export competitiveness with China.”
Even with the yuan roiling markets, investors still see the Federal Reserve sticking to its plan to raise interest rates for the first time in nine years, threatening to lure capital away from emerging markets. Futures contracts show traders see a 75 percent chance the U.S. central bank will move by year-end. “The biggest concern is that we are not going to turn the corner and the economic performance in China will continue to disappoint,” Redeker said. “Investors will watch China data closely and trade the yuan accordingly.”
To summarize, 8 countries have been added to the list of countries that are in deep economic trouble and none have gotten better (2 have just gotten much worse) and, for some reason, Japan isn't on that list even though the Yen…
by phil - August 14th, 2015 8:22 am
2 Billion Dollars!
That sounds like a lot of money but this fine is nothing more than a slap on the wrist for the 8 (so far) banks that are settling lawsuits for BLATANTLY MANIPULATING (allegedly) the $5.3 TRILLION foreign-exchange market.
Sorry, that's $5,300,000,000,000 PER DAY of trading in FOREX, which means that manipulation of just 0.05% in a single day would have made $2.65Bn for the Banksters in question. Does that put the $2Bn fine into perspective? Do you think that's going to discourage them or perhaps encourage others to manipulate the markets, knowing that the fines – IF they get caught – barely amount to half a day's work while they are getting away with it. Not only that, but this lawsuit has been dragging on since 2013.
A class of investors sued, claiming banks rigged the foreign-exchange market by manipulating foreign-exchange benchmark rates, fixing prices by agreeing to widen bid-ask spreads on spot trades and exchanging confidential customer information to trigger stop-loss and limit orders. You know – Wall Street Banking 101.
Meanwhile, China is rigging the currency markets on a daily basis (oh, and you must see this video of yesterday's port explosion!) and so is our own Fed and the Bank of Japan and the ECB and the Bank of England and every other Central Bank on the planet. This is how the game is played people – no sense complaining about it – especially not when we can use it to our advantage!
As you can see from this chart, China's CSI Futures are now trading in greater volume than the S&P or Euro Stoxx, even though their market capitalization is just 1/3 of the Nikkei – that's an active market! No wonder our Banksters friends want to take their cuts when they can – just a nickel per transaction is over $1Bn, that's good business. Despite all the games being played to prop up the markets in China, sentiment is clearly turning lower still.
by phil - August 13th, 2015 8:30 am
This is Part II.
I tweeted out part one (as well as Emailed an Alert to our Members) earlier this morning, so I'll take a break while you read that and get caught up…
In case you are wondering, the image on the right is the explosion at China's Tianjin port last night that registered as a 2.9 earthquake and has killed dozens and injured hundreds. It may have been an LNG accident or it may have been a chemical explosion but, either way, all 17 Republican candidates have vowed that we will not rest until the kind of laws that prevent cool explosions like this in the US are repealed so American businesses can fairly compete with China in industrial accidents.
As to the markets, suffice to say you can read yesterday's post and be all caught up as we're right back where we started from yesterday morning. Fortunately, we cashed in the EWJ shorts that we picked for our 5% Monthly Portfolio (see Seeking Alpha's Premium Research to join) and the 10 Sept $14 puts we bought on Monday afternoon for 0.90 hit our $1.35 target yesterday for a very nice $450 gain, which was 50% in just 2 days!
That trade alone puts us 10% of the way to our +$5,000 goal for the month (5% of our $100,000 portfolio) and our other 3 trade ideas have contributed another $800 of their own so far (all this week) for a perfect start and $1,200 gained for the week (so far).
Now, getting back to the broader task at hand – in our previous post we discussed whether or not the markets were going to continue to pull back or if, possibly, we are consolidating for a move higher and I said that, to make that call, we should focus on the S&P 500's top 25 stocks, which make up 44% of the indexes weighting. Those stocks are:
by phil - August 12th, 2015 8:26 am
"Woah, we're half way there
Woah, livin' on a prayer
Take my hand, we'll make it I swear
Woah, livin' on a prayer" – Bon Jovi
That's right folks, we're halfway there!
Halfway to our predicted 5% pullback on the S&P to 2,035 (our 10% line) and hopefully NOT halfway to our 5% line at 1,942.50 as that would probably lead to 10% corrections for the NYSE, Dow, Russell and Nasdaq as well. I don't want to get too technical for fear of this article being rejected by SA editors so I'll just refer you to our Twitter feed, where we sent out bounce lines and Futures trade ideas earlier this morning from our Live Member Chat Room.
I guess I can tell you about how well our Japan ETF (EWJ) short is doing as it was featured as our 2nd trade idea for our 5% (Monthly) Portfolio, which is a Seeking Alpha Premium Research product that we just launched this week. We nailed the entry on 10 Sept $14 puts at 0.90 ($900) and already yesterday they popped to $1.10 for a $200 gain (22%) in two days – already paying two months of the $99 subscription fee on just one two-day trade!
Not only that but, as a bonus for our 5% Portfolio Subscribers (and, of course, our PSW Members), we laid out our trading strategy for conviction shorting the Nikkei (/NKD) Monday afternoon (3:05 pm, EST) as follows:
by phil - August 11th, 2015 8:22 am
Don't say we didn't warn you!
Last Tuesday we told you commodities were collasping (check) and that Chinese weakness would spread to the region (check) and cause other Asian and Emerging Markets to begin collapsing (check) and, more importantly, that there was nothing we could do to stop the NYSE and the Dow from forming "death crosses," which are a very bearish technical indicator.
As of Friday morning, the 50 dma on the Dow was 17,842 and the 200 dma was 17,800, so 42 points apart and today, DESPITE the 241-point pop (1.4%) we had yesterday, the 50 and 200 dmas are now just 10 points apart and WILL cross today unless the Dow manages a 200-point gain for the day. On the NYSE, Friday we were at 10,934 on the 50 dma and 10,916 on the 200 dma and this morning those averages are just 3 points apart but the NYSE can avoid a cross today by simply adding about 50 or more points.
Unfortunately, that's not likely to happen as yesterday's rally was fake, Fake, FAKE! as the morning's comically low-volume prop job was followed through by one of the weakest sessions of the year, topped off by a sad little pop into the close that was so fake my 13 year-old daughter laughed when she saw the chart.
Our Members responded by pressing our Dow shorts, which began at 17,500 in the morning and were pressed to a 17,550 average into the close and this morning we cashed them out at 17,450 for a $500 per contract gain but we'll short again if that line fails or if we re-test 17,500, of course.
That was nothing compared to the Nikkei shorts, which we grabbed at 20,900 in a post I published to Seeking Alpha's Research section for our 5% Monthly Gains Portfolio. The portfolio had an option trade we were taking advantage of but, in the post, as a bonus to Futures Traders, we had a call to short Nikkei Futures (/NKD) at 20,900 and already this morning we were able to exit at 20,600 for a $1,500 per contract gain!
by phil - August 10th, 2015 8:09 am
Berkshire Hathaway is buying Precision Castparts (PCP)!
That is kind of encouraging as it's a big ($37.2Bn) bet on manufacturing but PCP manufactures aerospace parts and that is one of our only working sectors and PCP, as you can see from this chart, is 70% aerospace. BUT $32Bn is only a 20% premium to Friday's close with the stock at $193.88 so we're looking at about $233 if this deal goes through as advertised. You will hear some irresponsible journalists (let's fact it, most of them) calling this a $37Bn deal because they are adding in the assumption of debt but they don't subtract the assumption of assets and profits so this is an idiotic way to look at a merger deal aimed only at creating more excitement than there actually should be and to fool you into thinking things are better than they actually are.
Warren Buffett is no fool with his money and has owned a bit of PCP for many years and is taking advantage of the recent weakness in the sector to buy the whole company for far less than last year's highs at $275.
PCP made $1.77Bn last year and $1.5Bn this year (they year ends in Q1) and is on track to do about the same ($1.5Bn) this year so $32Bn is a p/e of 21.3. This does NOT give other investors the green light to bid other companies up to P/Es of 33 or 103 – but they will because investors are idiots, so today will not be a day we chase any stocks.
We can, however, chase PCP with an arbitrage play, but we won't know which until we see the market open and get an idea of the prices. We will feature the trade idea live, over at Seeking Alpha's Premium Research Section, where our 5% Monthly Portfolio has just been launched.
The real story is that Berkshire managed to find a bargain needle in this market haystack and, since there aren't many other good deals these days – they figured they may as well buy the whole company and make it part of Berkshire Hathaway (BRK-A), which is a $350Bn company with an overall p/e of 17.41.…
by phil - August 8th, 2015 11:12 am
We're starting a new feature for Seeking Alpha's Premium Research Service.
Using basic options techniques in a $100,000 Portfolio, we're going to aim for making 5-10 trades per month that will make a $5,000 net profit each month. These will be, for the most part, short-term trade ideas that we will track in a virtual portfolio that will be replacing the $25,000 Portfolio at PSW.
Why $100,000? Because, in general, we'll be trading blocks of 10 contracts and that means the trades can be scaled down for smaller portfolios and also because there will be day trading and margin trading that is not appropriate for smaller portfolios. I will do my best to discuss the implications for smaller portfolios but, as a rule of thumb, If we are trading less than 10 contracts in the 5% Portfolio, then it is NOT APPROPRIATE for a smaller portfolio.
Also, there will be trades that are longer-term, though our focus will be to look for in and out opportunities, staying cashy and flexible as much as possible so we can take advantage of opportunities as they come along.
Keep in mind these are going to be aggressive, high-risk, high-reward trade ideas and should only be played with GAMBLING MONEY that you can afford to lose. For the bulk of our stock allocations, we prefer long-term, "BE THE HOUSE – Not the Gambler"-style trading, where we SELL premium to give ourselves a statistical advantage in our trades.
In our Long-Term Portfolio, our goal is to make steady 15-20% annual returns while our Short-Term Portfolio is more aggressive and opportunistic, with the mission of also protecting the bullish Long-Term Portfolio with bearish hedges. The 5% Portfolio will be self-contained and the key to making money with aggressive trades is sound risk-management. By means of example, let's look at the June trade ideas that were published on Seeking Alpha and how they would have played out for this portfolio:
On June 17th we picked up the Nikkei ETF (EWJ) July $14 puts for 0.90. For the purposes of this portfolio, we tray to make $1,000 on each trade so 20 puts for $1,800 would have been appropriate, hoping for a 50% gain and stopping out with a 50% loss.…
by phil - August 7th, 2015 8:15 am
All the right junk in all the right places
I see the magazines working that Photoshop
We know that sh*t ain't real
Come on now, make it stop – Meghan Trainor
Well I'd love to say I hate to say "I told you so" but we're actually LOVING IT!
You would be loving it to if you followed our FREE Futures Trade Ideas (using techniques from last week's Futures Trading Workshop) at the end of yesterday's post, where I said pre-market:
That's why we have to switch off our brains and go technical in this kind of market. While TA may be voodoo, it's a voodoo a lot of people believe in and that, in itself, gives it power. It also gives us power to make money as we can see though the tricks that the Banksters are using to manipulate the TA and our Futures lines from yesterday still stand although Russell Futures (/TF) are 1,230 now and we also like Nasdaq Futures (/NQ) short at 4,600.
Right after that FAKE! pumped up open, we fell right off a cliff and the Russell ended up dropping 26.5 points, all the way to 1,203.50, which pays off $2,650 per futures contract while the Nasdaq fell all the way to 4,502.75, which was good for $1,945 per short contract – not bad for a free pick, right?
We had Tweeted out a more detailed pick from our early morning Live Member Chat Room (6:55 am) in which we also had picked 17,500 on the Dow (/YM) which paid $995 per contract and a long on oil at $44.50, which paid $500 per contract, a long on gasoline that broke even and a long on Silver at $14.50 that paid $1,250 at $14.75. See, you can make money betting both ways if you understand how Futures trading works.
by phil - August 6th, 2015 8:33 am
Congratulations to Bill Ackman!
Desperately needing a win after getting crushed on his Herbalife (HLF) short battle with Carl (still the King) Ichan, Ackman had a $1Bn shortfall to cover (allegedly) in his Pershing Square Fund so he bet it all on black with a $5.5Bn bet on Mondelez (MDLZ), who used to be Kraft, but no one is going to value Kraft at 33 times earnings but MONDELEZ sounds foreign and webby – so why not?
Do me a favor and Google "Ackman Mondelez" and see how many stories there are on this "news." Now, as you know, I don't like talking about things everyone else is talking about because we teach our Members at PSW not to be one of the Beautiful Sheeple and dig a little deeper into these stories. As it turns out, Ackman already owned 6M shares of MDLZ as early as March of 2013, when the stock was $27 ($162M at the time).
So Ackman didn't suddenly buy $5.5Bn worth of MDLZ at the current, crazy price – he's been buying it since 2013 and NOW he is ready to tell you about it (because now he wants to start selling, most likely). Ackman and Nelson Peltz have been touting the story that PEP or (name any big, wealthy company) would be interested in buying MDLZ since 2013 and now that the stock is 60% higher, they are rolling it out again because it's time to cash out sheeple!
That's why this story is hitting the wires now, the Big Boys, who bought it at $30-40 are flooding the press with stories and calling in favors from their media puppets to stampede the sheeple into an already overpriced stock so they can dump their Billions of Dollars worth of shares on retail investors.
$48 is an $80Bn valuation on a company that made $2Bn last year with projections to make $2.04 per share next year, if all goes well – still a stiff PE of 24 compared to the average p/e for the Consumer Goods sector of 14.8 – even in today's crazy market and even with MDLZ bringing up the average considerably. You'll hear Peltz and Ackman…