by phil - July 27th, 2014 8:42 am
What a month May was!
Through May 23rd, we had 158 winning trade ideas against 29 that did not work out (as of the review) for an 84% winning percentage. As usual, we begin our reviews with the last week of the previous month – even though the last week of May didn't overlap into June – as last weeks often do into the new month (which is why we do it).
Still, 4 parts is plenty for one month, so it's time to move on! Our Trade Reviews not only let us know if we're on or off track but, by putting the trades in context, hopefully we remind ourselves what works and what doesn't work in vartious situations so that, when we see a similar situation, we are ready, willing AND able to pull the trigger.
As usual, we should never be at 100% because we WANT to have trades on both sides of the table (as hedges) and the profit or loss of the trades are as of today, so we look very closely at the LOSING trades – to see if we now have better entries than we had originally (assuming we still like our premise).
Monday, May 26th was a holiday, so we start this month off on a Tuesday:
Selling risk to others in our Member Portfolios has given us 10%+ gains for year (so far). In fact, the only strategy we agreed with from the above chart was gold, which we bet heavily(along with DBA) at the beginning of the year.
Remember, this isn't about making good picks, per se – it's about having a good strategy that gives you a high probability of success – even when you are wrong about a trade. BEING THE HOUSE and selling risk (through options) to others is the closest thing we get to
by phil - July 25th, 2014 7:55 am
If you read yesterday's post and took action on our trade idea to short Oil Futures (/CL) at the $103 line, then you were able to pocket $1,000 PER CONTRACT in just 3 hours. In the Morning post (delivered to our Members via Email at 8:35 am), the trade idea was:
"We're still shorting Oil (/CL) Futures at that $103 line and we hit it again this morning and, hopefully, we'll get a nice pullback around 10:30 – after the natural gas report shows a nice build."
That's about on par for our Futures trading as we demonstrated LIVE in Tuesday's Live Trading Webinar $300 of Futures profits in less than an hour (replay available here). We'll be doing more Futures Webinars for our Members aside from our usual Tuesday Live Trading Webcasts (sign up for your Membership here so you don't miss our trade ideas).
How to trade the Futures is one of the many things we learn at Philstockworld – another thing is PATIENCE! Patience has kept us from chasing this rally as we once again top out the market. On Tuesday we took a nice, speculative bullish trade (but did not officially add it to our Portfolios) - just in case we do have a breakout – but, otherwise, we've been working on our downside protection.
We are FUNDAMENTAL traders who just so happen to use Options and Futures for leverage and hedging – simply because they are convenient and profitable instruments when used correctly. What we teach is not all that complicated – but it isn't easy either. That's why not many people trade Options and Futures – it requires discipline and takes time and practice to master – not really the kind of thing our education system prepares our students for these days….
YOU, however, should not be intimidated away from making money. Our basic concepts are VERY SIMPLE and the concepts are explained in quick videos like "How To Buy a Stock for a 15-20% Discount" and "The Secret to Consistent 20-40% Annual Returns" – something we are demonstrating this year in the 5 Virtual Portfolios we track for our Members.
by phil - July 24th, 2014 8:07 am
Up, up and away!
Don't worry about the fact that the volume is so low we had to check if the market was actually open. Don't worry about the fact that net $852M flowed OUT of SPY yesterday - even as the index gained another half a point. Just keep your eye on the prize at 2,000 on the S&P and all will be well.
China is giving us a boost this morning with positive PMI data but, as I noted to Members this morning, the PMI is just a survey of the OPINIONS of Purchase Managers for what they expect over the next 6 months and it's mainly just a feedback loop of market sentiment. As Dave Fry observed:
Overseas China stocks rallied on mere speculation the government will promote stimulus measures to boost growth. The government may engage in “monetary easing and support the housing market,” said Benjamin Tam, a fund manager who helps oversee about $1.5 billion at IG Investment Management (Hong Kong) Ltd. “People are still optimistic that the government policies will support growth in China. All of that is positive and that’s why the market is moving higher.” This is the speculative chatter driving up shares.
Last summer, for example, China's September PMI came in surprisingly positive last year and then had 9 out of 10 negative reports afterwards. Yet, somehow, this kind of history lesson does not stop traders from rushing back into Chinese stocks as if they've just gotten the "all clear" signal they've been waiting for.
Of course MORE FREE MONEY is always good for the markets and we're not fighting the Global Fed (in fact, Tuesday's $10,000, 1,000% trade idea is right on track with only 22 days to completion) – just trying to temper the enthusiasm – just a little…
We're still shorting Oil (/CL) Futures at that $103 line and we hit it again this morning and hopefully we'll get a nice pullback around 10:30 – after the natural gas report shows a nice build. Natural Gas…
by phil - July 23rd, 2014 8:09 am
As I pointed out in our Member Chat Room this morning, there is a Bloomberg article this morning on the CPI report that says:
The cost of living in the U.S. rose at a slower pace in June and home sales climbed to an eight-month high, showing the economy is generating little price pressure as growth accelerates.
But growth is NOT accelerating, is it? We JUST had a GDP report that showed exactly the opposite, yet here we have a noted MSM publication simply ignoring that FACT:
How do people read these things and just accept them? How do authors write them? How do editors OK them? Not even the commenters seem to catch it – it's like the whole World just accepts the BS of the moment.
This is what Orwell predicted it would be like in a future where the media became electronic and the past was instantly forgotten by a population that was unable to think for itself.
It took them 30 more years than planned, but here we are!
"And if all others accepted the lie which the Party imposed -if all records told the same tale — then the lie passed into history and became truth. 'Who controls the past,' ran the Party slogan, 'controls the future: who controls the present controls the past.' And yet the past, though of its nature alterable, never had been altered. Whatever was true now was true from everlasting to everlasting. It was quite simple. All that was needed was an unending series of victories over your own memory. 'Reality control', they called it: in Newspeak, 'doublethink'.
"The past, he reflected, had not merely been altered, it had been actually destroyed. For how could you establish even
by phil - July 22nd, 2014 8:13 am
How would you like to make $10,000?
If the Russell can finish this option period (24 days) 2.5% higher, at 1,178 or higher, we can turn net $1,000 or less cash into $10,000 for you. After all, if the Fed is going to give away money – why shouldn't we get our share?
I'll preface this by saying that our Members are already long on Russell Futures at the 1,150 line, as we made that call in our live Member Chat Room (become a Member here) earlier this morning.
If the market is going to remain bullet-proof (and missile-proof too, it seems) then the RUT is now the lagging index and we can construct a play to take advantage of it breaking back up by making a play on TNA, the 3x Ultra-Long Russell ETF.
Very simply, if we buy the August $72.50 calls for $3.45 and we sell the Aug $76.50 calls for $1.70, we have a net cost of $1.75 on the $4 spread that's $4.64 out of the money (at goal) and that's 6.4% out of the money so, to be safe, we'll need a 2.5% gain on the Russell, from 1,150 to 1,178.75 to make the full $4. 25 contracts at $4 = $10,000 so we can work with that.
But what about the cost of the 25 contracts (at $1.70 x 2,500, that's $4,250)? Well, there's a couple of ways to offset that. One way is to sell 25 TNA Aug $65 puts for $1.70 to offset the cost. The danger there is, if the Russell goes down 2.5% (to 1,121) or lower, we'll be assigned 2,500 shares of TNA for $65 ($162,500) – that could be unpleasant.
Instead, we can commit to being long TNA at $45 in 2016 by selling just 5 2016 $45 puts for $8, and that raises $4,000 and commits us to owning "just" 500 shares of TNA at $45 per share ($22,500).
Now, if you don't want to be bullish on the Russell when TNA is down 37% (Russell 1,006), then why are you long on it at 1,150?
by phil - July 21st, 2014 8:31 am
We all go down for a piece of the moment
Watch another burn to the death to the core
And the roadshow thrills pack the freaks and the phonies
Sing: now is now, yeah! – Rob Zombie
There is just no way to win betting against this market!
Well, actually, there is one way and that's betting that each pop is nonsense and tends to have a subsequent pullback intra-day but, long-term, the cumulative effect of all that low-volume pumping has been a rousing success, to say the least.
As you can see from Andy Thrasher's S&P chart, there has been some amazing underlying deterioration since the July 4th weekend with the Advance/Decline line falling back to trend and stocks above their 200-Day Moving Average dropping 15% in 3 weeks. Stocks above the 200 DMA is a fantastic leading indicator for downside move – ignore it at your own risk.
People are panicking into bonds, dropping the 10-Year Yield 20%, from 3.1% to 2.45% this year but it doesn't matter because Central Banksters are pumping SO MUCH MONEY into the Global Markets that there's enough to buy all asset classes simultaneously – something that is unprecedented in Financial History – what could go wrong?
Well, one thing that could go wrong is you putting your money into Mutual Funds. As it turns out, in an S&P study of actively managed Mutual Funds, only 2 (two) out of 2,862 actually beat the S&P over ANY of the fund's lifetimes (limited to 12 months or longer).
That's even worse than the average performace of hedge funds, which only averaged a 0.59% annual loss when compared to just putting your money directly into the S&P.
This dovetails with a conversation we were having this weekend in our Member Chat Room, where I identified 4 trade ideas for a $50,000 Portfolio that only used 1/4 of the buying power to generate $365,512 in projected profits over the next 15 years using CONSERVATIVE options strategies designed to MATCH the S&P, not beat it.…
by phil - July 21st, 2014 7:28 am
I meant to put this up last week but forgot.
John Olivers sums up most of what I've been saying about Income Inequality for the past 8 years in just 15 minutes! Thanks to Barry Ritholtz for reminding me we discussed this exellent clip last week in our Member Chat Room.
Kudos also to Howard Stern for an amazing interview with John Oliver last week. Howard talked to him for a full hour and fourteen minutes – something that's simply not possible on TV anymore but it was fantastic radio and it's worth the time to get to know John Oliver, who is the best thing to come to topical comedy since his mentor, Jon Stewart.
by phil - July 18th, 2014 8:15 am
Can we possibly be this jaded?
Even on Wall Street, where ruining the lives of the middle class is a sporting event, you would think that the tragic death of 298 people being shot down in an airplane would AT LEAST cause the markets to pause for more than a few hours. That's not what the Futures would have you believe – they are moving up this morning (7:30) as if shooting planes out of the sky isn't a reason not to trade stocks at their all-time highs.
While our long trade ideas from yesterday's morning post worked out fantastically, we were very fortunately NOT GREEDY at 10:03, when I said to our Members:
Philly Fed up huge (like NY), 23.9 vs 10 expected though 17.8 last month means they were just being too pessimistic. That should give us a nice pop but I'd take those Futures profits off this run!
As you can see from Dave Fry's SPY chart, our timing was near perfect as things turned sour very quickly. That then worked out well for our oil shorts, which went from the $103 conviction target I laid out in the morning post (subscribe here to get them pre-market every day) back below $102, where I said to our Members at 11:34:
There goes $102 on oil! Congrats to the players! That's the new stop line, of course.
That was a very quick $1,000 PER CONTRACT profit on /CL and, right after that, we got the plane crash news so we increased our hedges in our Short-Term Portfolio and we added BA July $128 puts at $1.25 (because it was a BA plane involved in the incident) and they finished the day at $2.18 (up 74%) as well as DAL Aug $37 puts at $1.50, which were already $1.92 by the day's end (up 28%). I don't like to take advantage of tragedies like that – but it was the fastest way to add good protection to our portfolios.
by phil - July 17th, 2014 8:29 am
You never know what you are going to wake up to in this market.
This morning, the market is depressed, giving up all of yesterday's gains in the Futures. So much so that we took a long poke on the Russell (/TF) Futures that we had been shorting from 1,160 – at the 1,135 line. That's down 3% since we began shorting them at 1,170 on Monday.
We're also taking a long poke on the Dow (/YM) off the 17,000 line and /NQ off the 3,900 line simply because they are good supports and offer good lines to stop out at with limited losses – certainly not because we think the equity indexes are cheap!
We're simply taking advantage of the wild gyrations in the market to make some short-term money, while we wait for our long-term premises to pay off.
Even if you missed my call in our Live Member Chat Room (which you can join by subscribing here) and waited until you can read this post for free later in the day, you can still join in the fun by picking up the Russell Futures (/TF) when they cross over 1,140 or 1,145 and you'll only miss $500 or $1,000 of the gains but you still might pick up $300-500 over 1,145 before it turns back around (and we'll likely short it again when it does).
Speaking of shorting – we haven't been playing oil lately as we lost interest in shorting it below $100 but this morning it's back to $102.50, so we're going to take a poke at shorting /CL again at what should be about $37.75 on USO.
Very simply, per our 5% Rule™, we have a drop from $107.50 (which we predicted) to $99 (8%) in the last 3 weeks but $100 was our support line ($37 on USO) so call it a $7.50 drop and we expect a 20% (of the drop) weak bounce of $1.50 to $101.50 and a 40% strong bounce of $3 to $103.
by phil - July 16th, 2014 7:21 am
Did you make your $1,000 yesterday?
You would have if you read yesterday's morning post (subscribe here), where we picked the Russell Futures (/TF) short at 1,160 saying: "If the Russell FAILS 1,160, we'll be happy to flip short for another ride down to 1,150." As you can see, we had plenty of time to get our planned entry at 1,160 and, as we expected, Yellen's speech disappointed and the markets sold off a bit – easy money!
We even flipped back to bullish in the afternoon and, at the beginning of our Live Webinar (1pm), we were able to demionstrate a very quick $250 profit taking the Russell Futures long off that same 1,150 line. In fact, you can see the big volume spike that came with our live call right on the chart!
This morning, news of a deal between AAPL and IBM has both companies showing 2% gains pre-market. For IBM, that's $5 and that's adding 40 points to the Dow Futures (/YM) pre-market and for AAPL, that's $2 and AAPL is 20% of the Nasdaq so 20% of 2% is 0.4% added to the Nasdaq from AAPL alone pre-market plus a nice effect on the S&P from both of those heavyweight stocks.
Under the agreement, IBM's employees will provide on-site support and service of Apple products inside companies, similar to the AppleCare service that Apple sells to consumers. IBM said it planned to make more than 100,000 employees available to the Apple initiative. It is a rare partnership for Apple, which historically has avoided such alliances.
"This is just the beginning," said Ms. Rometty, citing a statistic that most smartphones inside companies are used only for email and calendar. She said the companies hope to create new, serious business applications.
The companies said Apple and IBM engineers are together developing more than 100 new apps for various industries. The first batch of apps is expected to be available in the fall when Apple releases the next version of its mobile software, iOS 8. "Apple is not an enterprise company, but that's…