by phil - January 23rd, 2017 5:12 am
Trump has been President all weekend and the World is still here so I suppose we're going to have to formulate a trading strategy going forward. We reviewed our 4 Member Porfolios over the weekend and we are 75-90% in CASH!!! and, if the World continues not to end this week – we will be looking for more opportunities to deploy some of it.
Of course we're already dealing with the first crisis of the Trump Administration – How big was the crowd at the inauguration? You might think, "who cares" if you are a rational person but crowd size experts told the New York Times they estimated Trump's audience at fewer than 200,000 people, and widely distributed side-by-side photographs showed the stark contrast between the comparatively sparse crowd for Trump's inauguration and the record-setting crowd for Obama's first.
The President of the United States of America said the press was lying and under-reporting the crowd and White House Press Secretary Sean Spicer gathered the press to deliver a five-minute statement Saturday in which he issued multiple falsehoods, declaring erroneously the number of people who used the D.C. metro on Friday, that there was a change in security measures this year and that "this was the largest audience to ever witness an inauguration, period, both in person and around the globe." "These attempts to lessen the enthusiasm of the inauguration are shameful and wrong," Spicer said Saturday.
Then things get really freaky as Trump's counselor, Kellyanne Conway, went on Meet the press to confront the liberal media head on and ended up fighting with Chuck Todd and threatening NBC, saying "I think we're going to have to rethink our relationship here." You have to see it to believe it:
Nope, I still don't believe it! As noted by Todd, when the President's Press Secretary blatantly lies in his first Press Conference it undermines the credibility of the entire administration. Even more frightening is Conway's statement that: "You're saying it's a falsehood and Sean Spicer, our press secretary, gave alternative facts to…
by phil - January 22nd, 2017 6:38 pm
We're off to a great start!
Only 20 days into the new year and, since our last review, all 4 of our Member Portfolios have added substantial gains as our bets on a flatlining market are paying off:
- Our Options Opportunity Portfolio (OOP) is up $9,352 (9.3%), at $246,577, which is up 148.6% since its 8/8/15 inception – our newest portfolio.
- Our Butterfly Portfolio is up $7,816 (7.8%) at $331,408, which is up 231.4% since its 7/29/13 inception.
- Our Short-Terrm Portfolio (STP) is up $9,222 (9%) at $484,298 which is up 375.1% since its 11/26/13 inception.
- Our Long-Term Portfolio (LTP) has jumped 29,649 (6%) to $1,209,372, which is up 141.9% since its 11/26/13 inception.
In addition to our 4 virtual tracking portfolios, we also have our Top Trade Ideas, which do not go into a portfolio but I will do a review of those next week. For the first time ever, our last two Top Trade Ideas were hedges – that should tell you something about my mindset for the market going forward.
All of our Member portfolios are 75-90% CASH!!! at the moment and using 1/4-1/2 margin – leaving us plenty of room to adjust if the market does turn sour – something I feel is very likely to happen in the next two months and yes, I know I've said this before but, really, how much over our 2,100 top call on the S&P are we? It's at 2,262, so we're 162 points over what I called a value top and that's 7.7% but, in fairness, the Dollar is down 3% and that explains most of it.
The rest of the pop comes from runaway expections from the Trump Presidency and yes, he will lower the Corporate Tax Rate but Corporations only pay 12% on avergage now – how low can they really go? More pop came from the Banking Sector, where deregulation expections have added 20% to that index but we saw what deregulated Banks did to themselves under Bush – why is that a good thing? And, of course, rising oil prices have boosted the Energy…
by ilene - January 22nd, 2017 6:17 pm
Courtesy of John Mauldin, Thoughts from the Frontline
I have been in Washington DC for the last three days. The ostensible reason was to participate in a board meeting of a public company, Ashford Inc. (AINC). We manage hotel REITs that own three hotels here in DC, and the group decided to move our board meeting up a few weeks and hold it in DC during the inauguration. That gave me the opportunity to set up a few meetings to try to gain some insight into what the first 100 days, the first six months, and the first year of the Trump administration might look like.
This is going to be a short letter summarizing my impressions from the last few days. I think it might be easiest to present them in the form of a list.
- If you listen to the media you might have the impression that the Trump transition team is in complete disarray. Talking with leaders of the transition team certainly didn’t leave me with that impression. They have broken the transition process down into over 30 departments and have created a “landing document” for each department. The analogy they are using is that this process is like planning an invasion, and they are going to hand the landing document off to the “beachhead teams” who will then execute the plans.
I was briefly allowed to look at (without actually being able to read) the plan for one cabinet-level department. It appeared to be about 100 pages plus of serious detail as to exactly what executive orders would need to be removed and added, what personnel would have to be replaced (both appointees and regular staff), what policies would need to be changed, and so forth.
I was told that this level of planning was being done for every department. My impression is that there are a lot of people from various think tanks and others with experience in the presidential transition process who are involved in directing the plan for each department. That level of detailed planning doesn’t happen in less than two months. My guess is that some of that thinking has been going on for years, and now…
by ilene - January 22nd, 2017 12:11 am
Trump's inaugural speech: Is it morning or mourning in America?
President Donald Trump’s inaugural speech – a brief address, which, at 1,433 words, was the shortest since President Carter’s – combined his trademark combative populism with shades of Ronald Reagan.
Though sprinkled with calls for unity, it also relied upon creating a sharp divide between his self-declared “movement” and forces aligned with the “Washington establishment.” He also implicitly distinguished between those whom he dubbed “patriots” and everyone else.
In a sense, the speech mimicked today’s political climate. For his base, it will be received as a call for all Americans to unify around his agenda. For his opponents, it will be seen as not only negative, but divisive. Whether one believes that his speech echoed the high ideals of the Gipper or the acrimony of the campaign trail may depend on whether you are a person who believes it is once again morning in America or a person who is mourning America.
In the end, if it was a call for unity, it was a divisive one.
Still mired in campaign rhetoric
According to Karlyn Kohrs Campbell and Kathleen Hall Jamieson, two leading experts of presidential rhetoric, an inaugural address functions to: (1) bring together the country; (2) rehearse common values; (3) set forth guiding presidential principles; and (4) demonstrate the presidential persona can be competently performed. Typically, the primary purpose of unification is achieved by rehearsing common values. On that foundation the presidential principles and persona are advanced.
For this reason, inaugural speeches usually don’t name domestic enemies. Trump’s inaugural was remarkable because of his stark use of direct scapegoating.
For example, although Ronald Reagan decried the “Washington establishment” in his 1981 address, he was deliberately vague:
“From time to time we’ve been tempted to believe that society has become too complex to be managed by self-rule, that government by an elite group is superior to government for, by, and of the people.”
by ilene - January 20th, 2017 8:33 pm
Courtesy of Bill Moyers
This post first appeared on BillMoyers.com.
In this web exclusive, Bill Moyers and four historians dissect the big lie Trump rode to power: the Birther lie. Nell Painter, historian and Edwards Professor of American History, Emerita, at Princeton University; Khalil Gibran Muhammad, professor of history, race and public policy at Harvard Kennedy School; Christopher Lebron, assistant professor of African-American studies and philosophy at Yale University; and Philip Klinkner, James S. Sherman Professor of Government, Hamilton College discuss the fertile ground on which the birther lie was sown: our nation's history of white supremacy.
Credits: Gail Ablow, Producer; Sikay Tang, Editor
BILL MOYERS: I’m Bill Moyers. The most important thing to remember about Donald Trump is that he was the same man at 12:01 p.m. Friday after he took the oath of office as he was at 11:59 a.m. before his swearing in. His character: the same. His temperament and his values: the same.
What’s different is that in those two minutes Donald Trump was handed the most awesome power imaginable. He now controls the world’s most powerful nuclear arsenal. The Army, Navy, Air Force, Marines and Coast Guard are at his command. The FBI, the CIA, the NSA, the IRS, Homeland Security, the State Department, Justice Department, Treasury Department, the Department of Education, the Interior Department — all of the agencies of the executive branch — report, ultimately, to this one man. The world awaits his pronouncements, the markets and the media live by and for his tweets. So here’s the second most important thing to remember about Donald Trump: He rode to power on the wings of a dark lie — one of the most malignant and ugly lies in American history. We must never forget it.
LOU DOBBS (CNN 7/21/09): Up next, the issue that won’t go away: the matter of President Obama and that birth certificate.
DONALD TRUMP (The View, ABC 3/23/11): There’s something on that birth certificate that he doesn’t like.
by ilene - January 20th, 2017 8:05 pm
Courtesy of Joshua M Brown
This is how the game is played:
Either before or after the tweet is sent about your company, you make a trip to Trump Tower on Fifth Avenue or to Mar-a-Lago (which will be the new combination White House / Camp David, by the way) and you parade ostentatiously before the bank of TV cameras. “Look at me! I’m down with the President’s agenda!”
Then a half hour later, you come down the golden elevator with the man himself, who holds an impromptu Q&A with you, as part of his end of the deal. Announcements of new jobs are made. New factories. New initiatives that will be undertaken, ASAP. Then he goes back up in his golden elevator for the next meeting and you get another 10 minutes of face time with the news crews. You grin optimistically, knowing that you and your company are off the Twitter shit list for awhile.
It’s an old playbook, imported from the east. More on that in a moment.
One of the obvious things going on here, at least to the business world, is that much of this is just another reality show. There’s truth to these corporate pronouncements, but there’s plenty of artifice as well. It’s a pageant of sorts, designed for the consumption of the masses. To which I’d say, so what? If it gets the job done, let the man put on his show. Just don’t get overly excited about any sort of national transformation.
Here’s NBC News with some background on the fact that many of these corporate hiring and expansion plans were already in the works. It’s just that they don’t usually necessitate a press release and a meeting with the White House. The fifteen million jobs created by American businesses under President Obama were mostly not tweeted by @POTUS. Maybe they should have been.
Companies eager to avoid becoming the target of the next attack by President-elect Donald Trump are preemptively — or retroactively — announcing U.S. job creation plans.
But peel back a layer and the promises come with some caveats. A company’s plan to increase capital
by phil - January 20th, 2017 8:38 am
Did the Romans know it was over?
In 476 AD, the Germanic leader Odoacer, deposed Emperor Romulus Augustulus and that was the true and official end of the Roman Empire but Rome was first sacked in 410 by Visigoth King Alaric and had limped into it's final decades. But you have to go further back than that as the Goths killed Emporer Valens in 378 but he was only the "eastern Emperor" of Rome as the country had already split along party lines due to political in-fighting which caused Emporer Diocletian to divide the Empire into 2 halves. Those two halves could never agree on Government priorities and the Empire essentially dissolved into chaos.
Unlike today, January 20th, 2017, there was no particular day to point to and say: "Yes, that's when the Romans elected a guy who said he will change everything and he did – and then the Empire was destroyed." We will have the luxury of knowing exactly when we made the decision that pushed America over the edge – or maybe on to greatness (again) – who's to say?
On the bright side, as noted by Samantha Bee, Trump doesn't actually do what he says. Or, then again, maybe he does because, as he said in Michigan: "When you cast that ballot, just picture a Wall Street boardroom filled with the special interests who are bleeding your country and your city and everyplace else…" He is certainly delivering that already, with what the Washington Post calls "the worst Cabinet in American History" – a complete and utter sell-out to Wall Street and Special Interests.
by clarisezoleta - January 19th, 2017 2:01 pm
PhilStockWorld.com Weekly Trading Webinar – 01-18-17
For LIVE access on Wednesday afternoons, join us at Phil's Stock World – click here
00:01:46 Checking on the Markets
00:03:32 Trade Ideas and Tips
00:08:59 Natural Gas Charts
00:13:08 PG in the Butterfly Portfolio
00:15:15 PG Charts
00:17:45 PG Trade Ideas
00:26:50 September Portfolio Review
00:34:05 PSO Trade Ideas
00:36:04 RRD Chart
00:41:06 PSO Charts
00:49:30 Butterfly Portfolio
00:54:20 Target Earnings
00:56:36 TGT Charts
00:58:36 Checking on the Markets
00:59:22 Beige Book
01:16:05 Active Trader
01:17:23 5% Portfolio
01:33:20 5% Portfolio
01:35:34 Butterfly Portfolio
01:38:20 Long Term Portfolio
01:42:43 Checking on the Markets
01:51:40 More Trade Ideas
Phil's Weekly Trading Webinars provide a great opportunity to learn what we do at PSW. Subscribe to our YouTube channel and view past webinars, here. For LIVE access to PSW's Weekly Webinars – demonstrating trading strategies in real time – join us at PSW — click here!
by phil - January 19th, 2017 8:20 am
Has the Dollar bottomed?
After a 2.5% pullback to start 2017 the Dollar has popped 1% in the past two days after Janet Yellen made a 3pm speech saying U.S. economy is “close” to the Central Bank’s objectives of full employment and stable prices and she’s confident it will continue to improve.
“It is fair to say the economy is near maximum employment and inflation is moving toward our goal,” Yellen told the Commonwealth Club in San Francisco Wednesday. While “it makes sense to gradually reduce the level of monetary policy support,” the timing of the next interest-rate increase “will depend on how the economy actually evolves over coming months,” she said.
So the better the economy does, the faster the Fed will raise rates (duh!) and Yellen indicated a target for a 3% Fed funds rate by 2019, which would be 9 raises from here – a faster pace of increases than most economorons were expecting. Inflation is, of course, exactly what we're expecting in 2017 and 2018 and I discussed that strategy on Money Talk last night.
The last time unemployment was this low was back in 2006 and 2007 and that marked the end, not the beginning of the market rally. Full employment leads to higher wages and higher wages lead to inflation and that is so obvious I feel silly for saying it but, apparently, it's a surprise to "leading economists" who are consistently shocked by things they should have learned in Econ 101.
That's why I'm growing a beard – I've decided to become a leading economist so I need to start looking the part! As you can see from this chart, 4.9% unemployment is low but we've been down to 4% so we can go lower and our new President promises to create those jobs (1.6M jobs = 1%), which is no different than promising to create inflation and so, we have our "Secret Santa’s Inflation Hedges for 2017," including the Trade of the Year we discussed on TV last night.
by ilene - January 18th, 2017 10:42 pm
Courtesy of Joshua Brown, The Reformed Broker
The madness around trading the tweeting of Trump has jumped the tracks and landed itself among ordinary investors across the country. The new game seems to be trying to anticipate which industry he’ll target next and somehow make money from the volatility in the related stocks. Or, perhaps worse, to trade the reaction after a tweet hits home. The naïveté here is adorable.
In the first place, there are algos specifically set up to pick up on these tweets and errant remarks in seconds, with trades pre-sized and planned, ready to execute immediately. Is this the game you want to play from the Fidelity app while you’re at a stop light?
Realistically, you may nail a trade or two from this kind of thing, but I wouldn’t be planning to retire from it. It’ll go away. Remember the Carl Icahn tweets about Apple? That was fun for a few months.
I gave my two cents to the Los Angeles Times on the topic. I have a few quotes in here…
A better game to play might be to figure out how much you’ll need to spend over the coming decades, work out the math on what sorts of returns you’ll need, include things like vacations, taxes, charitable giving, catastrophic health care (knock on wood), any inheritance you’d like to leave behind, any insurance strategies you can employ to lessen the tax burden on your heirs, etc, etc. Then work out what sort of portfolio will give you the clearest, most optimized and least stressful route to arriving at these financial destinations.
This is a game you can actually win. And if you need help with the answers to these questions, tell us. We all only have so much time on this earth, and nothing is a given. How much of it do we want to spend speculating on the 3am tweets of a consummate showman?