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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 offer up some actionable trading ideas, including a sector rotation strategy using ETFs and an enhanced version using top-ranked stocks from the top-ranked sectors.

Market overview:

Happy days are here again, or so the U.S. stock market would have us believe, as all major indices are hitting or challenging new highs. The S&P 500 long ago eclipsed the 2000 mark and is now holding above 2100. The Dow Jones Industrials is solidly above 18,000. Even small caps and mid caps have joined the new-high party. The NASDAQ, which hasn’t challenged its Internet-bubble high of 5,048 in 15 years, managed to close Monday above 5,000 and seems determined to make its own new high — perhaps this week. As a reminder, next Monday, the bull market will reach its 6-year anniversary.

Stock buybacks and M&A continue at a robust pace, even though these aren’t the most popular uses of cash reserves among activist investors, who tend to prefer capital expenditures, hiring, and increased dividends. Nevertheless, the market has applauded some recent M&A that involved some of our top stock picks. Last week, Valeant Pharmaceuticals (VRX), which is in Sabrient’s annual Baker’s Dozen top picks list this year, spiked +14% after announcing it would acquire former Sabrient favorite Salix Pharmaceuticals (SLXP), which 16 months ago bought another of our former favorites Santarus. Then today, NXP Semiconductor (NXPI), which has been in three consecutive Baker’s Dozen top picks lists, announced it will acquire Freescale Semiconductor (FSL), which is also highly ranked in our system. NXPI was up over +17% for the day.


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Sector Detector: Sector rankings stay neutral with few bullish catalysts on horizon

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

Courtesy of Sabrient Systems and Gradient Analytics

Stocks are hitting new highs across the board, even though earnings reports have been somewhat disappointing. Actually, to be more precise, Q4 results have been pretty good, but it is forward guidance that has been cautious and/or cloudy as sales into overseas markets are expected to suffer due to strength in the US dollar. Healthcare and Telecom have put in the best results overall, while of course Energy has been the weakling. Still, overall year-over-year earnings growth for the S&P 500 during 2015 is expected to be about +8%.

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 offer up some actionable trading ideas, including a sector rotation strategy using ETFs and an enhanced version using top-ranked stocks from the top-ranked sectors.

Market overview:

Despite cautious earnings guidance and a steady stream of doom-and-gloom in the news from all corners of the globe, the Dow Jones Industrials closed last week above 18,000, while the S&P 500 is pushing for a close above 2100 and the NASDAQ is gunning for 4900. For the week, the Dow gained +1.1%, the S&P 500 +2.0%, and the NASDAQ +3.2%. Furthermore, the S&P 400 Mid caps, the Russell 2000 small caps, and the broad Wilshire 5000 have all achieved new highs, as well. Evidently, U.S. equities remain a relative safe haven for cautious but hungry global investors who have cheap money in their clutches, thanks to global liquidity and currency wars.

Craig Lazzara of S&P Dow Jones Indices penned an article earlier in the month in which he observed that while the S&P 500 total return was -3% in January, the strengthening dollar-versus-euro exchange rate allowed European investors to earn +4% by holding dollar-denominated U.S. equities, as the euro fell -7% against the dollar. So, assuming the dollar continues to generally strengthen against other currencies, the U.S. stands to benefit from global capital flows, even as earnings among multinational U.S. firms encounter headwinds from the same…
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Sector Detector: Neutral indicators and mixed reports, but sector rotation model bullish

Courtesy of Sabrient Systems and Gradient Analytics

Volatility continues as the parade of mixed earnings and economic reports marches along amidst a backdrop of global unrest and economic uncertainties. This has led to a neutral near-term outlook for both the technical picture and fundamentals-based sector rankings. Nevertheless, the longer-term trends appear to favor further flattening of the yield curve and continued strength in the dollar, gold, volatility, and 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 offer up some actionable trading ideas, including a sector rotation strategy using ETFs and an enhanced version using top-ranked stocks from the top-ranked sectors.

Market overview:

Last week, stocks finally got it together to register a +3% gain, even though it gave some back on Friday on the heels of a robust employment report that made investors worry that the Fed now has more reason to declare victory in its dual mandate (of unemployment and inflation targets) and raise the fed funds rate. With the big fall in oil prices, consumers are taking their savings from the pump directly into the stores, and retailers reported strong January sales while the ISM Services report clocked in at a robust 56.7.

There was some consternation among investors about the weaker GDP, which registered only 2.6% in Q4 versus the 5% annualized growth in Q3. However, Scott Minerd, CIO at Guggenheim, wrote that all the surprise and fuss completely misses the underlying strength hidden behind the headline number. In particular, although it was falling net exports that subtracted a full percentage point from GDP growth, net exports appeared weak only because imports were so strong, growing at an annualized rate of +8.9%. Moreover, household consumption has been the biggest driver of GDP growth, which is a big positive.

So, consumers are spending, and there are signs that wages are starting to grow, which would further support consumer spending, as would continued strengthening in the housing market. Also, federal, state, and local government spending is on the rise. In addition, global M&A totaled over $230 billion in January, which is 28% more than last January. I also find it fascinating that global semiconductor sales hit a record $336 billion during 2014,…
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Sector Detector: Volatility continues as earnings reports create excitement and despair

Courtesy of Sabrient Systems and Gradient Analytics

Volatility reigned in January on elevated volume as stock investors shifted their focus from global events to U.S. earnings reports, which have ranged from amazing (e.g., Apple) to crushing (e.g., Microsoft). Although the earnings reports have brought plenty of surprises, the volatility is no surprise, as I and many other market commentators predicted for the New Year. Still, although the road may be bumpier than the past couple of years, the path of least resistance appears to be up, and the main question is whether small caps and emerging markets will make an attempt to regain past glories or if U.S. large caps must continue to carry the load.

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 offer up some actionable trading ideas, including a sector rotation strategy using ETFs and an enhanced version using top-ranked stocks from the top-ranked sectors.

Market overview:

The Wall Street Journal reported that the S&P 500 experienced average daily swings of 1.5% during January. If it continues, it would make 2015 the most volatile year since 2011 when the Eurozone crisis hit. Last year, the S&P dropped more than -3.5% in January. This year, the S&P 500 closed the month down -3.1% while German equities closed up +7.2% and the iShares MSCI EAFE Index Fund (EFA) was up +2.2%. It’s pretty evident that this will not be a risk-on, all-boats-lifted kind of year.

After a streak of eight consecutive quarters of earnings growth, the estimates are indicating that the streak may be ending soon. According to FactSet, Wall Street was expecting +4% earnings growth in the S&P 500, but after a rash of downward revisions, overall growth (or lack thereof) is estimated at -2%, with the most optimistic earnings estimates for 2015 have fallen from around $133 average per share to nearly $125, which of course is driven mostly by the pratfall of the Energy sector, falling from a Q1 2015 estimate of +3.3% from several months ago to a current estimate of -53.8%. Harsh.

Already, earnings season has shown major stumbles in names like Caterpillar (CAT), Ford (F), Procter & Gamble (PG), and Microsoft (MSFT). But on the other…
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In the News: An ETF Rush to Bet on Insiders

Courtesy of Sabrient Systems and Gradient Analytics

(ETFTrends.com by Todd Shriber): “Betting on insider buying is again proving to be an efficacious strategy as the Direxion All Cap Insider Sentiment Shares (NYSEArca: KNOW) has been noticeably less bad than the S&P 500 to start 2015. Add to that, investors are warming to the merits of KNOW’s insider sentiment strategy.” [Editor's note: KNOW tracks the Sabrient Multi-cap Insider/Analyst Quant-Weighted Index (SBRQAM)]. Read article





An ETF Rush to Bet on Insiders

Courtesy of Sabrient Systems and Gradient Analytics

From  ETFTrends.com: “Betting on insider buying is again proving to be an efficacious strategy as the Direxion All Cap Insider Sentiment Shares (NYSEArca: KNOW) has been noticeably less bad than the S&P 500 to start 2015. Add to that, investors are warming to the merits of KNOW’s insider sentiment strategy.” [Editor's note: KNOW tracks the Sabrient Multi-cap Insider/Analyst Quant-Weighted Index (SBRQAM)]. Read article





Sector Detector: With the Fed fading into shadows, investors look overseas for new catalysts

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

Courtesy of Sabrient Systems and Gradient Analytics

By Scott Martindale

Last week, the S&P 500 put an end to its streak of weekly losses, despite giving back some gains on Friday. Thursday provided the big catalyst, with the ECB’s announcement of its bold new monetary stimulus plan. Investors were cheered and soothed for the moment. And U.S. fundamentals still look strong. But with Greece trying to turn back time, with volatility elevated (and likely to continue as such), and with the technical situation still dicey, the near term outlook is still worrisome.

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 offer up some actionable trading ideas, including a sector rotation strategy using ETFs and an enhanced version using top-ranked stocks from the top-ranked sectors.

Market overview:

Despite the positive turn in the markets last week, this week has already brought a whole new set of issues to weigh on investors’ minds, starting with Sunday’s snap vote in Greece, which apparently has enough of the pain of austerity. Voters want to return to the past by rolling back austerity measures and thumbing their collective nose at the Eurozone and the broader international community of lenders. In reaction, the euro fell even further than it did in the face of the ECB’s stimulus announcement last week.

The ECB seeks to inflate asset prices and encourage hiring through an open-ended sovereign quantitative easing program that will inject 60 billion euros into European debt securities each month from March 2015 until at least September 2016. Heck, if it helped the U.S. recover, then why not try it everywhere? ECB President Mario Draghi, insisted that stimulus must be accompanied by reforms, because monetary policy alone will not be enough. But Europe still pines for the good old days that, unfortunately, are nothing more than nostalgia.

There is a very real danger that their QE won’t work like it did here, since the U.S. is considered the heart of the global…
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Sector Detector: New Year kicks off with new fears to keep investors on edge

Courtesy of Sabrient Systems and Gradient Analytics

As widely expected, the New Year has begun with plenty of volatility on high trading volume, as investors fear more than just a mild correction to start out the year. Despite the strong fundamentals here in the U.S., there are plenty of dangers around the rest of the world, and many fear that our cozy comfort at home simply cannot remain insulated for much longer.

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 offer up some actionable trading ideas, including a sector rotation strategy using ETFs and an enhanced version using top-ranked stocks from the top-ranked sectors.

Market overview:

I would like to start by saying that I have been traveling a lot lately, speaking with and presenting to financial advisors to promote our annual Baker’s Dozen portfolio, which is packaged as a unit investment trust by our strategic partner First Trust Portfolios. Many of these advisors are readers of this weekly article, and I want to take this opportunity to say that I have been humbled and gratified by your tremendous interest, enthusiastic reception, and warm hospitality. We are doing our best to sustain your loyalty and respect, and of course, to continue our record of outstanding performance.

Anyway, just when we all had grown accustomed to the old Wall of Worry and the scary bogeymen under the bed, there are new bogeymen peeking out from the bedroom closet. The new sources of worry are really bigger and scarier versions of existing ones, including the continued slide in oil prices (far further than hardly anyone believed possible), worsening recession and deflation in the Eurozone (leading to drastic actions), and the global metastasis of radical Islam (despite our successes in foiling their plots and destroying their infrastructure). News headlines seem to getting worse for both issues.

First, radical Islam has been with us for a long time, and of course it jumped to the forefront with 9/11. Today, splintered organizational infrastructures and terrorist training facilities have suffered highly-publicized defeats by the skilled efforts of the civilized world, but each of these successes consumes an incredible amount of time and resources, while the hateful ideology continues to spread…
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Sector Detector: Bulls close out another solid year with expectation of further gains but higher volatility in 2015

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

Courtesy of Sabrient Systems and Gradient Analytics

By Scott Martindale

Scott MartindaleAnother solid year for U.S. equities came to a close. But it’s not like everyone is jumping up and down with enthusiasm, which is a good thing. With plenty of bogeymen in the closet and under the bed, there is little in the way of irrational exuberance. Although some commentators noted that 2014 finished up much the same as 2013, there was really quite a bit of difference between the past two years, primarily in the way of lower correlations in 2014 as opposed to the all-boats-lifted environment of 2013. Looking ahead, 2015 looks promising for further gains, but not without bouts of volatility. In fact, it might look a lot like 2014.

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 offer up some actionable trading ideas, including a sector rotation strategy using ETFs and an enhanced version using top-ranked stocks from the top-ranked sectors.

Market overview:

As we see the close to yet another successful year for the U.S. stock market, we can look back on 2014 and recall the many bogeymen that caused investor consternation. There was the end of the Fed’s tapering of QE3 (although maturing securities are still being reinvested rather than retired). There was the huge collapse in oil prices (and still falling today), causing major disruptions in global markets. Then of course we had the slowdowns in China, Japan, and Europe — and Greece is again in crisis mode. There was major turmoil in Russia and the Ukraine. We witnessed the sudden emergence of ISIS as a terrorist organization with its own army (and social media savvy). There was the fear of Ebola spreading into a global epidemic. And here at home, we had the uncertainty surrounding implementation of Obamacare, as well as the mid-term elections putting the GOP in control of both houses of congress. Did I miss anything?

The Dow Jones Industrials blue chips, the S&P 500 large cap index,…
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Sector Detector: Fed’s patience puts bulls in a hurry

Courtesy of Sabrient Systems and Gradient Analytics

U.S. stocks found support once again last week and rallied on strong volume. Of course, the main catalyst was the FOMC policy statement on Wednesday that maintained its dovish language with a pledge of considerable time before raising the fed funds rate and adding that it would be patient as it begins the process of normalizing monetary policy. The result was yet another classic V-bottom. Ho, ho, ho. Say hello to Santa Claus.

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 offer up some actionable trading ideas, including a sector rotation strategy using ETFs and an enhanced version using top-ranked stocks from the top-ranked sectors.

Market overview:

For the week, the S&P 500 had a total return of +3.4%, led by a huge +9.7% bounce in beleaguered Energy sector. Basic Materials also looked strong with a +5.0% rally. For the year, the S&P 500 is up nearly +12% through Friday. And then on Monday of this week, the S&P 500 logged a new closing high, although the intraday high from December 5 still stands. Last Thursday’s big move resulted in a 421-point gain for the Dow Jones Industrials, which was its best one-day performance in three years, and the 709 points totaled on Wednesday and Thursday was its best two-day performance since 2008.

With Santa lurking on the horizon, bears have run for cover from the charging bulls. Moreover, Fundstrat reported that 71% of active fund managers are trailing their respective benchmarks, which would be the worst such percentage since 1998. So, they needed to do some catch up in accumulating U.S. equities. Notably, 1998 closed with a similar end-of-year rally. Also, this is the time of year in which many companies announce increases to their dividend payments. And don’t forget, this year’s IPO market has been the busiest since the crazy days of 2000, with 273 new IPOs (compared with 406 in 2000) and $85 billion raised (vs. $97 billion in 2000).

Crude oil has fallen -48% below the June highs, so it’s not surprising that the Energy sector led last week’s big rally. At current levels, there is more upside potential than further downside and…
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Chart School

Light Vehicle Sales Per Capita: A Better Look at the Long-Term Trend

Courtesy of Doug Short.

Note from dshort: Following up on yesterday's preliminary report on U.S. Light Vehicle sales, I've update the charts below.

For the past few years I've been following a couple of transportation metrics: Vehicle Miles Traveled and Gasoline Volume Sales. For both series I focus on the population adjusted data. Let's now do something similar with the Light Vehicle Sales report from the Bureau of Economic Analysis. This data series stretches back to January 1976. Since that first data point, the Civilian Noninstitutional Population Age 16 and Over (i.e., driving age not in the military or an inmate) has risen 61.7%.

Here is a chart, court...



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Zero Hedge

India Central Bank Cuts Interest Rate "Pre-Emptively" For Second Time In 2 Months

Courtesy of ZeroHedge. View original post here.

Submitted by Tyler Durden.

In a surprise move, the RBI just cut its main interest rates for the second time in two months, taking it from 6.75% to 6.50%, in what the central bank calls a “pre-emptive” policy move, but what is in reality merely a confirmation that so far in 2015 at least 20 central banks have lowered their interest rate. 

From the statement: 

The RBI notes that the rupee has remained strong relative to peer countries. While an excessively strong rupee is undesirable, it too creates disinflationary impulses… 


...softer readings on inflation are expected to come in through the first half of 2015-16 before firming up to below 6 per cent in the second half. The fiscal consol...



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Phil's Favorites

Business Activity Contracts in Japan, Modest Expansion in China; PBOC Rate Cut Seen

Courtesy of Mish.

Markit has new reports out today on service activity in China and Japan.

The former shows a bit of growth, the latter contraction. Because the reports are diffusion indices that give no weighting to the size of the companies reporting, one must look at these reports with a broad brush.

Japan Business Activity Contracts

The Markit Japan Services PMI shows service sector business activity contracts in February. Key points

  • Service sector activity falls, while new business remains just inside growth territory
  • Input price inflation eased at Japanese services firms
  • Business sentiment strengthens

Japan Composite PMI

...



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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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Sabrient

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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OpTrader

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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Market Shadows

Kimble Charts: Coal

Kimble Charts: Coal

By Ilene 

Chris Kimble's chart for KOL shows a recently beaten down ETF struggling to pull itself up from the ashes. As the chart shows, KOL has recently drifted down to levels not seen since the financial crisis of 2008-9.

Bouncing or recovering with energy in general, coal prices appear to have stabilized in the short-term. Reflecting coal prices, KOL has traded between $13.45 and $19.75 during the past year. Bouncing from lows, KOL traded around 2% higher yesterday from $14.26 to $14.48 on high volume. It traded another 3.6% higher in after hours to $15, possibly related to ...



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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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Pharmboy

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 boys...it 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 jennifersurovy@yahoo.com 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.

http://www.youcaring.com/medical-fundraiser/help-get-shadowfax-out-from-the-darkness-of-medical-bills-/126743

Thank you for you time!




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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.

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