Archive for the ‘Appears on main page’ Category

Thrilling Thursday – Back to our Bounce Lines (Again)

I don't know what people are so excited about?

During our Live Trading Webinar yesterday, we called a long on the Russell Futures (/TF) and nailed the bottom at 1,200 with a target of 1,203, paying $300 per contract.  We quickly made that money but then there was another chance at 8pm and another at 4am and another at 5am and now the Russell is up at 1,206 with $1,500 worth of gains just from making the same trade over and over and over again.  

 I you are going to be a day trader – learning to identify channels is the most important thing you can do.  We had similar success with our S&P longs (/ES) off the 2,125 line and we just passed our strong bounce line at 2,140 this morning – which is a good place to cash out with a $750 per contract gain on those (see yesterday's post for bounce lines).  

As we're flashing more green this morning, we're not looking to go short unless we get signals to do so.  You can see what the Labor Market Conditions Index looks like (yuch!) and we have Durable goods at 8:30, Consumer Comfort at 9:45, Pending Home Sales at 10 and the Kansas City Fed Report at 11 – so plenty of data to chew on along with about 200 earnings reports.  I see a lot of reds in those reports but the markets are in the mood to rally – so get out of their way for now.  

How fragile is this recovery?  Well, here's one of those WikiLeak Emails from the new head of the DNC to John Podesta about the mood of the American people:

Here's some quick charts from Harvard via ZeroHedge that illustrate the state of our economy:

You get the picture, but it's a picture that doesn't match the markets, which are still skating along at their all-time highs.  Why is it that Apple (AAPL) can have great earnings and great revenues and
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Now it’s an avalanche


Picture via Pixabay

Courtesy of Joshua Brown, The Reformed Broker

Reuters on the last week’s fund flows:

Mutual fund investors flooded stockpickers with redemption orders during the latest week, cashing out the most money in five years, Investment Company Institute data showed on Wednesday.

The investors pulled $16.9 billion from stock mutual funds in the seven days through Oct. 19, more than in any other week since August 2011, the trade group’s data showed.

By contrast, stock exchange-traded funds took in $2.4 billion. ETFs mostly “passively” track market indexes, while the mutual funds largely employ “active” managers who pick stocks.


Which Way Wednesday – Helter Skelter – Again

Image result for helter skelter

"When I get to the bottom I go back to the top of the slide

Where I stop and I turn and I go for a ride

Till I get to the bottom and I see you again" 

If you think you have deja vu, you are right.  The title of our Wednesday post two weeks ago was "Wednesday Weakness: Controlled Descent or Helter Skelter?" and we predicted the recent movement, saying:

Just as the path of the Helter Skelter is predictable, so is the eventual unwinding of a market rally and, no matter how much QE you pump into it, things do come down eventually.  Only when you build on the base are you able to raise the bottom of the slide.  Otherwise, no matter how high you climb – you will see that bottom again.  

And so, exactly two weeks later, we are back to the bottom of the slide and just as likely to go back to the top where we'll stop and we'll turn and we'll go for another ride until we get to the bottom and we do it again – yeah, yeah, yeah!  

There's nothing wrong with a repetitive market pattern, we're doing fantastically well getting in and out of futures plays and, as I noted that Wednesday, there are plenty of stocks we do like and we're doing plenty of bottom-fishing along the way because, while we're looking for a market correction in the short-term, in the long run we're pretty bullish.  Meanwhile, we're simply looking for the same Futures bounce lines we outlined at the time to confirm a real recovery:

  • Dow (/YM) 18,075 (weak) and 18,150 (strong)

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Tuesday Trauma – Credit Card Delinquencies Hit Post-Crisis Highs

Good news for Visa!  

You know how you get that "teaser" rate on your credit cards or no interest for 12 months when you start?  Well, that all goes away when you have a delinquency and then they get to hit you with 22% interest FOR LIFE AND penalties and then you are DOOMED!!!!  Well, 2.2% of credit card holders are now in that category, the most since the market collapsed in the sub-prime loan crisis.  

Of course, we'd never make that mistake again, right?  So what have our beloved credit card companies been doing about it?  Well, they issued over 20M new credit cards to subprime borrowers in 2015 and that's up 56% from 2013.  And the borrowers paying those crazy penalty rates are, of course, the ones who can least afford them:

Missed payments in states with large oil or energy sectors continue to worsen. The share of card balances that were at least 90 days past due increased 12% in Oklahoma, 10% in Texas and 20% in Wyoming in the third quarter from a year prior, according to TransUnion. The Wall Street Journal reported in April that rising unemployment in the energy sector was pushing up delinquencies on credit cards and auto loans, raising the risk of new losses for banks.

Wells Fargo account scandal impactDon't worry about bank losses – we'll bail them out – where's the risk in that?  Speaking of criminal banking institutions, 14% of Wells Fargo (WFC) customers have decided to leave the bank, the other 86% seem oblivious to the news.  Of course the other banks are eager to meet the former WFC customers, so they can cross-sell the crap out of them!  This is how the free market is supposed to work, where the customers punish wrongdoers by withdrawing their support.  Unfortunately, you wouldn't know there we wrongdoers without regulatory oversight and, even then, it apparently takes years and years to uncover.

Bank app download rates after scandalRather than put our money into WFC and expecting a recovery (and they are only down about 20% despite the fact
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The Biggest Risk of a Clinton Presidency


The Biggest Risk of a Clinton Presidency

Courtesy of Cullen Roche, Pragmatic Capitalism

Hillary Clinton will be a one term President. The reason I say this is because I suspect that her economic plan will not be very stimulative and I think that four more years of weak economic growth will be intolerable. And the main driver of my thinking here is deeply rooted in Bill Clinton’s presidency.

Back in the late 90’s the US government ran a brief budget surplus. It was heralded as an act of “fiscal responsibility” at the time. Of course, when the economy tanked immediately following the surplus the government was driven back in the red as tax receipts cratered and automatic spending jumped.


So, was the surplus, followed so closely by a sharp recession, just a coincidence?  I suspect not. As Wynne Godley outlined back in the late 1990s, the fiscal position was never all that sustainable because, as a current account deficit country the flows were unsustainable. As I outlined in my popular paper, Understanding the Modern Monetary System, some sector of the economy has to be expanding its balance sheet in order for the economy to grow. If the private sector isn’t expanding its balance sheet (usually through borrowing) then the economy needs to make up for this drag via a government expansion in the deficit OR an expansion from the foreign sector. Since the foreign sector was a negative drag in the 90’s the US economy relied heavily on private borrowing for expansion. The federal budget surplus made this borrowing even more important as the surplus acted as another spending drag on the aggregate economy. And when the tech bubble burst the corporate borrowing binge collapsed and the economy and financial markets collapsed with it. It didn’t stabilize again until the government position moved back into deficit and private borrowing stabilized.

The current environment is worrisome because we’re still climbing out of a very deep economic hole. The foreign sector is still acting as a drag on growth and the deficit has declined sharply as the private sector has recovered. But the private sector is still weak. In fact, household debt growth is still at levels consistent with past recessionary periods:

fredgraph (9)

With private balance sheets still…
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Waiting for the Fat Pitch


Waiting for the Fat Pitch

Courtesy of Wade of Investing Caffeine


Fall is here and the leaves are beginning to change, which means it’s baseball playoffs time and the World Series is quickly approaching. Investing in some respects is similar to baseball because they both require discipline and patience. One investing legend who embodies those characteristics is Warren Buffett, and he has repeatedly spoken about Ted Williams and waiting for the “fat pitch.”

John Huber, over at BHI, did a great job summarizing Ted Williams’ hitting philosophy here:

“Ted Williams was famous for “waiting for the fat pitch”. He would only look to swing at pitches in the part of the strike zone where he knew he had a higher probability of getting a hit. There were parts of his strike zone where he batted .230 and there were other parts of the strike zone where he batted .400. He knew that if he waited for a pitch over the heart of the plate and didn’t swing at pitches in the .230 part of the strike zone—even though they were strikes—he would improve his odds of getting a hit and increase his overall batting average.”


This lesson of patience and discipline is critical for your investment portfolio. Too many people speculate by chasing a hot tip or good stock story, or on the flip side, panic by selling based upon transitory negative news headlines. Today, we see risk aversion happening on steroids. Consider there is over $8 trillion sitting in savings accounts earning effectively nothing – the equivalent of stuffing money under the mattress (see also Invest or Die). In other words, investors are paying extremely high prices (chasing) for safer (less volatile) securities – bonds and cash, while equities are yielding a much higher rate as measured by the earnings yield of the S&P 500 (S&P operating profits / index value). Scott Grannis at Calafia Beach Punditcalls this dynamic the equity risk premium (chart below).

Source: Scott Grannis

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Manic Monday Markets – Propped Up Futures Give Us Another Opportunity

Just another manic Monday.  

Europe gapped higher at their open (3am) and took our indexes up with it as no volume, of course, so we'll have to see what sticks but I already put up shorting lines for our Members in this morning's Live Member Chat Room.  Essentially, we're just shorting at the same bounce lines I laid out last Tuesday so nothing has changed – except it's Monday, not Tuesday.  Today though, we added the Nikkei (/NKD) short at 17,350, as strong data from Europe should strengthen the Euro and weaken the Dollar a bit (98.60).

This has, of course, been going on all year in a generally flat market, though that hasn't stopped us from ranging between 1,800 and 2,200 on the S&P – more than a 20% variance from highs to lows.  Logically, 2,000 is then, the middle of the range yet, despite 65% of the S&P 500 trading below their 50-Day Moving Average, we're still much closer to the high end of our trading range.  

Clearly the so-called smart money has been fleeing the markets all year, as evidenced by JackDamn's cash flow chart, which illustrates the massive outflow of money from the 500 in 2016.  Think of each block of outflows like Jenga pegs that are being removed – even as the tower is built higher and higher.  You KNOW what will eventually happen – you just don't know exactly when the whole thing will collapse.  Given that the outflows are increasing at the moment – we should keep a careful eye on this indicator. 

Oil (/CL) Futures tested $51 again early this morning but is already back to $50.34 so too late to short it if you weren't paying any attention to the last 3 week's worth of posts, where we shorted at $51 over and over again.  Speaking of last week's picks – you can still pick up Natural Gas (/NG) long as it crosses over the $3 line and use that line as a stop so very little to lose and much to gain on those futures.  

Meanwhile, the markets have gone
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Philstockworld Top Trade Review

Who says we're not bullish?  

While we are, certainly, cautious on the market and well-hedged (just in case), we certainly do seem to find a lot of bullish positions to take.  That's because we're VALUE INVESTORS and there is almost always something of value to buy in any kind of market and our Top Trades are, of course, our top value picks – the ones we feel most confident in.  

In our first year, our Top Trade Ideas had an astounding 81.1% winning percentage with 86 out of 106 trades making money within a few months.  That's without even adjusting them.  We do not have a portfolio for Top Trades, we just do these reviews but many of our Top Trade Ideas do end up in one of our 4 Member Portfolios.  

Our August review took us through July 12th and July 12th was the last Top Trade Idea we had until August because I REALLY didn't trust the market in mid-July so this month, we'll just be reviewing our August trades as we like to give Sept time to cook before reviewing those.  We had a surprising amount of trade ideas in August though.  Our 15 May, June and July picks had 11 winners but, unfortunately, that actually bought down our percentage!  

Of course, when you are reading our reviews, those losing trades are often still opportunities.  CMG, CBI, PSO and SDS are all plays we still like from the last review – they are simply late bloomers!   SDS, in fact, is a hedge – it's not supposed to win if the others are doing well but we still count it as a loss. 

Top Trade Alerts come from our Live Member Chat Room at Philstockworld and represent a very small portion of our trade ideas but they are a fair representation of applying our "Be the House – NOT the Gambler" strategy and you can learn a lot by reviewing the performance of these trades through up and down markets over the course of a year.  All PSW Basic and Premium Members have Top Trade Access (just make sure your smart phone number is in the box here if you want text alerts in addition to our EMail alerts). 

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Fund Managers’ Current Asset Allocation – October


Fund Managers' Current Asset Allocation – October

Courtesy of , The Fat Pitch

Summary: Throughout 2013, 2014 and early 2015, fund managers were heavily overweight equities and underweight cash and bonds. Those allocations have entirely flipped in 2016, with investors persistently shunning equities in exchange for holding cash.

Global equities are more than 15% higher than in February. A tailwind for this rally has been the bearish positioning of investors, with fund managers' cash in October rising to the highest level since 2001. Similarly, their equity allocations are now like those in February, mid-2010 and mid-2012, periods which were notable lows for equity prices during this bull market. Overall, fund managers' defensive positioning supports higher equity prices in the month(s) ahead.

Allocations to US equities had been near 8-year lows over the past year and half, during which the US outperformed most of the world. After rising for two months during the summer, allocations fell again to underweight in both September and October. Bearish sentiment remains a tailwind for US equities.

European equity markets, which had been the consensus overweight and also the world's worst performing region, are now underweighted relative to their long term mean.  Investors are chasing the world's best performing region – emerging markets – which now have their highest overweight in 3 1/2 years. Emerging markets may rise further but note that the contrarian long trade is now over.

* * *

Among the various ways of measuring investor sentiment, the BAML survey of global fund managers is one of the better ones as the results reflect how managers are allocated in various asset classes. These managers oversee a combined $600b in assets.

The data should be viewed mostly from a contrarian perspective; that is, when equities fall in price, allocations to cash go higher and allocations to equities go lower as investors become bearish, setting up a buy signal. When prices rise, the opposite occurs, setting up a sell signal. We did a recap of this pattern in December 2014 (post).

Let's review the highlights from the past month.

Cash: Fund managers' cash levels at the equity low in February were

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Weekend Reading: Time To Be A Contrarian?

Courtesy of Lance Roberts of

In yesterday’s post, I discussed Howard Mark’s view on being a contrarian:

“Resisting – and thereby achieving success as a contrarian – isn’t easy. Things combine to make it difficult; including natural herd tendencies and the pain imposed by being out of step, particularly when momentum invariably makes pro-cyclical actions look correct for a while. (That’s why it’s essential to remember that ‘being too far ahead of your time is indistinguishable from being wrong.’)

Given the uncertain nature of the future, and thus the difficulty of being confident your position is the right one – especially as price moves against you – it’s challenging to be a lonely contrarian.”

The important point of his comment is that being too far ahead of a turning point (either bullish or bearish), even though ultimately being proved right, is still “indistinguishable from being wrong.”

However, there is a huge difference between being making the right call early, particularly when the trend is changing from bullish to bearish, and making no call at all. 

The “buy and hold” mantra is essentially based on the premise that stocks rise much more often than they fall, and since you are either too stupid or lazy to actually understand how investing actually works, you are just better off making investments and forgetting about them. Hopefully, you will win.

This is the equivalent of saying: “Since 8 out of 10 people who play ‘Russian Roulette’ survive the first pull of the trigger, the odds are in your favor of winning.”

While that is entirely true, it is the 20% of the time you lose that matters most.

The chart below shows the long-term view of the market, going back to 1920, as compared to GAAP valuations. This is a QUARTERLY price chart which also shows the points in history where valuations have collided with extreme overbought conditions. 


While hindsight is pretty clear about what happens given the current environment of weak economic and profit growth combined with high valuations and deteriorating technical underpinnings, the ultimate outcome took months to develop. Just as with the “boy who cried wolf,” warnings eventually fell on “deaf ears” at the point those warnings actually mattered. 

It is here that being…
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Reich Takes On Alan Simpson - And We Do The Fact Checking

By Advisor Perspectives. Originally published at ValueWalk.

Robert Reich, a prominent Democrat, and Alan Simpson, a distinguished Republican, engaged in a friendly debate to discuss issues that they said were not addressed during this campaign season. But on crucial subjects, both relied on out-of-date and inaccurate reasoning.

Image source: Wikimedia CommonsAlan Simpson

The debate, which took place yesterday, was a keynote presentation at the Schwab IMPACT conference, held in San Diego. It is the largest conference in the industry, attracting approximately 2,000 advisor attendees.

Reich is a political commentator, economist, professor and author. He served in the administrations of Presidents Gerald Ford and Jimmy Carter, and was Secretary of Labor under President Bill Clinton fro...

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Kimble Charting Solutions

London- 4th attempt to breakout in 16-years, results different this time?

Courtesy of Chris Kimble.

Four months ago the world seemed scared that the Brexit vote would be negative for Europe and potentially around the world. Four months later, almost the polar opposite deserves discussion.

Below updates the FTSE -100 Index on a monthly basis over the past few decades.


FTSE Index is now testing a resistance zone for the 4th time in the past 16-years at (1), as well as testing the underside of line (3) at the same time.

Monthly MACD has created a series of ...

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Zero Hedge

Bonds Are Signaling BIG Trouble is Ahead

Courtesy of ZeroHedge. View original post here.

For anyone who wants to make money in the markets, you need to understand one thing.

Bonds are the “smart money.”

This doesn’t mean that stock investors are dumb. It means that the bond markets are much larger and much more liquid than the stock markets.

Because of this, bond markets are the FIRST to adjust to new realities.

Consider the recent market bottom.

Bonds (TLT) bottomed in November 2015. Stocks (SPY) bottomed in February 2016.

Well, right now, bonds are selling off… HARD.

Stocks are on borrowed time. Smart investors are al...

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Market News

News You Can Use From Phil's Stock World


Financial Markets and Economy

Oil Companies Shift Exploration Tactics, Curb Spending (The Wall Street Journal)

In June, oil giant BP PLC announced what it deemed an “important” new discovery in Egypt.

It turned out to be a modest natural-gas find that didn’t even rank in the top 50 discoveries since 2012.

Gundlach Says ‘Look Out’ for...

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Phil's Favorites

Now it's an avalanche


Picture via Pixabay

Courtesy of Joshua Brown, The Reformed Broker

Reuters on the last week’s fund flows:

Mutual fund investors flooded stockpickers with redemption orders during the latest week, cashing out the most money in five years, Investment Company Institute data showed on Wednesday.

The investors pulled $16.9 billion from stock mutual funds in the seven days through Oct. 19, more than in any other week since August 2011, the trade group’s data showed.

By contrast, stock exchange-traded funds took in $2.4 billion. ETFs most...

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Digital Currencies

Bitcoin Soars As China Launches Crackdown On Wealth-Management Products

Courtesy of ZeroHedge. View original post here.

After trading in a tight range for much of the summer, coiled within a $100 range around the mid-$500s, over the past several weeks bitcoin has once again started to push higher, closely tracking the decline in the Chinese Yuan as shown below.

However, the most recent burst in bitcoin activity, which sent it surging by over $20 overnight, has little to do with any moves in the official Chinese currency, which recently...

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Members' Corner


Courtesy of Nattering Naybob.


Discussion of the potential impacts on equity, bond, commodity, capital and asset markets regarding the following:

  • Rising Libor and Bond Yields
  • Negative Swap Spreads, Eurodollar Curve, Repo Effects
  • Compliance, Expectations, Liquidity, Fed Action

Last Time Out

"25-54 yr old prime earners peaking at 101083 in Nov 2007; today at 97628, for a net decline of 3.5M prime earning jobs during this "recovery". No real jobs, just McJobs for McPay."

"Above note, 55yrs+ in Nov 2007 at 26376, now at 34353, for a net increase of 8 million employed. Not for sheer enjoyment and mostly out of economic necessity. The above attests to no real jobs, just McJobs for McPay and work till you die?" - 08...

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Chart School

Tech Hold Breakout,.but S&P Wedge Bound

Courtesy of Declan.

It was a mixed day for indices. Large Caps remain bound by wedge support/resistance, but Tech broke upside yesterday from similar wedges and held those breakout today.

There was little change for the S&P over the last couple of days. The one technical change was the MACD trigger 'buy' as other technicals stayed on the bearish side.

Meanwhile, the Nasdaq cleared wedge resistance yesterday, and was able to hang on to the breakout despite today's loss. It too enjoyed a MACD trigger 'buy', but had an On-Bal...

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Swing trading portfolio - week of October 24th,2016

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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Mapping The Market

The Most Overlooked Trait of Investing Success

Via Jean-Luc

Good article on investing success:

The Most Overlooked Trait of Investing Success

By Morgan Housel

There is a reason no Berkshire Hathaway investor chides Buffett when the company has a bad quarter. It’s because Buffett has so thoroughly convinced his investors that it’s pointless to try to navigate around 90-day intervals. He’s done that by writing incredibly lucid letters to investors for the last 50 years, communicating in easy-to-understand language at annual meetings, and speaking on TV in ways that someone with no investing experience can grasp.

Yes, Buffett runs an amazing investment company. But he also runs an amazing investor company. One of the most underappreciated part of his s...

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Epizyme - A Waiting Game

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

Epizyme was founded in 2007, and trying to create drugs to treat patient's cancer by focusing on genetically-linked differences between normal and cancer cells. Cancer areas of focus include leukemia, Non-Hodgkin's lymphoma and breast cancer.  One of the Epizme cofounders, H. Robert Horvitz, won the Nobel Prize in Medicine in 2002 for "discoveries concerning genetic regulation of organ development and programmed cell death."

Before discussing the drug targets of Epizyme, understanding epigenetics is crucial to comprehend the company's goals.  

Genetic components are the DNA sequences that are 'inherited.'  Some of these genes are stronger than others in their expression (e.g., eye color).  Yet, some genes turn on or off due to external factors (environmental), and it is und...

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All About Trends

Mid-Day Update

Reminder: Harlan 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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PSW is more than just stock talk!


We know you love coming here for our Stocks & Options education, strategy and trade ideas, and for Phil's daily commentary which you can't live without, but there's more! features the most important and most interesting news items from around the web, all day, every day!

News: If you missed it, you can probably find it in our Market News section. We sift through piles of news so you don't have to.   

If you are looking for non-mainstream, provocatively-narrated news and opinion pieces which promise to make you think -- we feature Zero Hedge, ...

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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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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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