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Morning News, 4-19-15

From Bloomberg:

Bank of China Governor Zhou XiaochuanZhou Says China Has Room for Monetary Easing; May Not Use It

China’s central bank Governor Zhou Xiaochuan said the world’s second-largest economy has scope compared with other nations to ease its monetary policies though won’t necessarily take advantage of it. (Read more)

ECB’s Vasiliauskas Says Summer is Limit for Greek Emergency Cash

The European Central Bank shouldn’t extend Emergency Liquidity Assistance for Greece beyond summer, Governing Council member Vitas Vasiliauskas said.

“The situation in Greece means that we should have a limit until summer for ELA,” Vasiliauskas said in an interview in Washington on Saturday. “Everyone understands what ELA means, it’s a temporary measure to give the banks liquidity. We will have to have discussions about the issue liquidity provision versus monetary financing. We will certainly have these discussions before summer.” (Read here)

California's Record DroughtCalifornia’s New Drought Rules Would Require Cuts of Up to 36%

California has proposed rules calling for mandatory reductions in water use by municipal agencies as a historic drought drags into a fourth year.

The state’s 411 urban water suppliers would have to cut use by as much as 36 percent, with those that conserved less facing tougher restrictions, the California State Water Resources Control Board said in the proposed rules released Saturday. The board will meet May 5 and 6 to finalize the rules, which would take effect by June 1. (More)

American Realty Investors Allege Fee-Driven Scheme by Schorsch

Behind the accounting errors that knocked $4 billion off American Realty Capital Properties Inc.’s market value was a hidden scheme that generated more than $900 million in managers’ fees and bonuses, investors said in a lawsuit against the company.

Ex-Chairman Nicholas Schorsch turned a small real estate investment trust into a massive engine of payments for himself and cronies, adding $20 billion of assets in two years and charging for services rendered by 47 entities he controlled, according to court documents filed this week. (Continue)

ECB President Mario DraghiDraghi Says Urgent Need for Greece
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PSW April Portfolio Review – Market Pullback Boosts our Gains!


That's how much our bearish Short-Term Portfolio is now up as of Friday's close.  In just three weeks of trading since our last Portfolio Review on March, 30th, where we very wisely cashed out the majority of our long positions ahead of the coming correction, we've added $19,055 in virtual gains.  

Even better, in our Long-Term Portfolio, we left our "losing" positions in the materials space in the energy and material space and, without any changes since other than adding a couple of new positions (we had a lot of cash, so why not), our larger Long-Term Portfolio has jumped $43,237 (6.1%) during the same period.  We could not have picked a more perfect combination of long and short positions to ride out the last 3 weeks of the market!  

That has driven the Primary Trading Strategy that we teach our Members at PSW (of keeping a Long-Term Bullish Portfolio with a Short-Term Bearish Portfolio) to a new record of $968,512, up $368,512 (61.4%) from our $600,000 start right after Thanksgiving in 2013 (17 months).  We have these gains, at the moment, because our timing was PERFECT.  But, our timing wasn't perfect by accident – it's the design of the Long/Short strategy that we are able to hold onto our positions when our timing is NOT perfect UNTIL it is.  It makes us look a lot smarter than we actually are!  

We were off track into the end of the year because we flipped bearish a bit too early but being off track wasn't so painful in the Short-Term Portfolio because we still had our long positions in the very bullish and much bigger Long-Term Portfolio.  More importantly, because we had a goal of making 20% a year, when the Long-Term Portfolio hit the 40% mark on March 30th, we decided it was ahead of schedule and cashed out our winners, letting the losers we still had faith in ride.

That left us very bullish on cyclical stocks while we dumped all the high-performing positions – even our beloved AAPL, as it had gotten too big, too fast for our liking.   There was also a bit
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China moves to counteract stock market bubble


China moves to counteract stock market bubble

Courtesy of Joshua Brown, The Reformed Broker

The Chinese stock market has effectively doubled over the past year and a full-scale mania has gotten underway with mainland individual investors opening millions of brokerage accounts a month. This is a good thing, not a bad thing, as the remaining phase of China’s economic rebalancing must include a consumer component to offset the declining growth from infrastructure and state-sponsored real estate development.

But even good things can go too far.

As of last month, Chinese stock market investors (traders?) had built up $375 billion in margin loans, a massive increase over the levels just six months ago. The Chinese securities regulators aren’t sitting back and watching, they’re acting. They’re cutting out some of the more extreme forms of margin lending and leverage and making it easier for short-sellers to come into the markets.

Here’s Bloomberg:

Allowing funds to lend their stock holdings will expand the pool of equities available to short sellers, who have relied primarily on brokerages to supply them with the stock needed to execute the bearish bets.

While short selling on the Shanghai bourse climbed more than threefold in the past nine months and reached a record 7.46 billion yuan last week, the amount still pales in comparison to China’s $7.3 trillion market capitalization. The CSRC said Friday it also expanded the number of stocks available for short selling to 1,100.

China should cool off a bit but this does not mean investor enthusiasm needs to be completely crushed. Instead, we’re simply watching a market mature and become sophisticated enough to keep expanding. This is in-line with similar moves to rein in wild behavior by the new Chinese president Xi Jinping, such as the corruption crackdown and the cooling off of the Macau casino boom. It’s smart.


China Futures Tumble on Trust Curbs, Expansion of Short Selling (Bloomberg)

Morning News, 4-18-15

From Around the Web:

Not All Macro Models Failed to Predict Crisis (MultiplierEffect)

Noah Smith has a post on the failure of macro theory to predict the crisis. He concedes that DSGE models did very badly on this score, but, he continues, “There are no other models out there that did forecast the crisis” and there is nobetter alternative. (More)

LIQUOR BANNED6 Illegal Cocktails Banned in the U.S. and the United Kingdom (HuffingtonPost)

It's human nature to want to raise the bar. If your car has 300 horsepower, you want 400. If you have a 2,000-square-foot house, you want 3,000. So why should it be any different when it comes to booze? These six cocktails upped the alcoholic ante--then ended up getting slapped by the long arm of the law. (Continue reading)

Thompson Aero Cozy Suite.The Economy Seat Concept That Will Have Passengers Booking the Middle Seat (Skift)

The Cozy Suite by independent seating manufacturer Thompson Aero Seating of Northern Ireland is a brilliant idea that rethinks economy seating without sacrificing the passenger experience for anyone — including the person stuck in the middle seat. (Read more)

Outsmart Your Own Biases (HBR)

Suppose you’re evaluating a job candidate to lead a new office in a different country. On paper this is by far the most qualified person you’ve seen. Her responses to your interview questions are flawless. She has impeccable social skills. Still, something doesn’t feel right. You can’t put your finger on what—you just have a sense. How do you decide whether to hire her? (Full article)

dogs oxytocin eyes loveThose puppy-dog eyes trigger chemical connection with humans (LAtimes)

The long, loving gazes. The ritualized, often high-pitched, expressions of affection. The heroic self-sacrifice one would readily endure for the other.

What is it about the bond between human and dog that is not like the relationship between parent and child?

Now science offers a new explanation for the similarity. When our dogs gaze into our eyes with that “you are everything to me” look, our

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Evening News, 4-17-15

From Bloomberg:

Greece's Main Creditors Said to Be Unwilling to Allow Euro Exit

Greece’s major creditors are not ready to let the country drop out of the euro as long as Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras shows willingness to meet at least some key demands, according to two people familiar with the discussions.

Chancellor Angela Merkel will go a long way to prevent a Greek exit from the single currency, though only so far, one of the people said. Every possibility is being considered in Berlin to pull Greece back from the brink and keep it in the 19-nation euro, the person said. (Read more)

Global Temperature Records Just Got Crushed Again

It just keeps getting hotter. 

March was the hottest month on record, and the past three months were the warmest start to a year on record, according to new data released by the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration. It's a continuation of trends that made 2014 the most blistering year for the surface of the planet, in to records going back to 1880.  (More)

Mayweather-Pacquiao Fight Tickets May Never Go on Sale to Public

Those who want to buy tickets for next month’s fight between Floyd Mayweather and Manny Pacquiao may soon need to confront the possibility that there will be no public sale.

While promoters from both sides have said fewer than 1,000 tickets would be sold to the public for face value, multiple dates have passed and no official announcement has been made. With about two weeks remaining until the May 2 bout, and a secondary market that has been quiet in anticipation of the public sale, it’s possible that resale will be the only option, according to Chris Matcovich, a spokesman for aggregator TiqIQ. (Read here)

Dry Wells Plague California as Drought Has Water Tables Plunging

Near California’s Success Lake, more than 1,000 water wells have failed. Farmers are spending $750,000 to drill 1,800 feet down to keep fields from going fallow. Makeshift showers have sprouted near the church parking lot.

“The conditions are like a third-world country,” said Andrew

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Apple Options Volume

Courtesy of Caitlin Duffy of IB

Traders exchanged more than one million option contracts on Apple (Ticker: AAPL) today amid a 1.2% dip in the price its shares. The 1.04 million contracts traded so far in the session compares to an average daily options volume for Apple over the past 10 days of roughly 750,000 contracts. The below snapshot displays the day’s option volume split out into call and put options across active strike prices. The chart includes monthly expiration options, while excluding weeklys. The 125.0 strike April 17 ’15 expiry calls and puts are most active today, but cease trading as markets close out another week this afternoon.


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Volatility Sellers Step In As SPX Slips

Courtesy of Caitlin Duffy of IB

Implied volatility on the S&P 500 Index (Ticker: SPX) popped Friday morning amid a more than 1.0% decline in the index to the lowest level since April 9. The roughly 12% move higher in the reading of IV on SPX is perhaps the motivation for sellers of iron condors in the April 24 expiry options contracts. The trades were of different sizes and at different striking prices. One of the trades was constructed through the sale of the Apr 24 ’15 1875/1975 put spread against the sale of the Apr 24 ’15 2140/2210 call spread at a net premium of $0.55 per contract. The 1,500-lot trade makes maximum potential gains of approximately $82,500 as long as the SPX trades above 1975 and below 2140 at expiration next week. The smaller of the two condors yields a net credit of $0.50 per contract and involved the sale of the 1885/1985 put spread against the sale of the 2150/2210 call spread. The seller of the 500-lot iron condor stands ready to bank maximum possible profits of around $25,000 in the event that the index trades above 1985 and below 2150 at expiration. The chart below displays a one-week chart of the VIX, which rallied roughly 14% this morning to 14.44.

Chart – One-week performance of the VIX


Comment by stjeanluc

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  1. stjeanluc

    Rubio / Phil – Still ironic. And BTW, imagine if we actually collected 19% of GDP in taxes like in 1999 instead of 17.5% because of these idiotic tax cuts implemented while the country was at war! That would mean another $255B more taxes and would pretty much close down the deficit. Surprise, surprise, tax cuts don't generate more revenues.

    Instead, we repeal the estate tax which is going to cost another $270B over 10 years! Money that the GOP still included in their so-called balance budget even though they knew they were going to cut that. I wonder how they will make up that loss of revenues – I guess since we can't raise taxes ever, we'll have to cut food stamps or Medicaid to help the 0.2% who have to struggle paying the estate tax! And worse of all, the new law wants to make any capital gain that you inherit tax free. So money that was never taxed comes to you via inheritance and you don't have to pay taxes on that. I would like someone here to explain to me how that's fair!

Fickle Market Friday – Free Money Headlines Aren’t Enough?

[image]Oh no

They are pulling out all the guns this morning and firing blanks.  As you can see from the front page of the WSJ, our friendbuddypal Jon Hilsenrath (aka "The Fed Whisperer") has poked his head out like a groundhog and, scared of the economic shadows he sees – has proclaimed 6 more weeks of FREE MONEY for all!  

That gave us a nice little pop early this morning BUT, over in Europe, they are FLEEING into bonds, sending Germany's 10-year notes down to 0.07% – a new all-time low.  This is coming on the heels of Greece's Finance Minister accusing Europe's creditor powers of trying to force his country to its knees by "liquidity asphyxiation".

"Toying with Grexit, or amputating Greece, is profoundly anti-European. Anybody who says they know what will happen if Greece is pushed out of the euro is deluded," he said.  The warnings were echoed by Eric Rosengren, head of the Boston Federal Reserve, who said Europe risks sitting off uncontrollable contagion if it mishandles the Greek crisis, even though Greece may look too small to matter.

"I would say to some European analysts who assume that a Greek exit would not be a problem, people thought that Lehman wouldn't be a problem. If you measured the size of Lehman relative to the size of the US economy it was quite small," he told a group at Chatham House.

Greek bonds, of course, went flying higher.  Up to about 13% this morning.  Watch that 15% line, which is where Europe begin to melt down back in 2011.  The 4-year bonds already jumped 4.5% this morning and are now hovering around 27% and the 2:1 inverted yield curve indicates investors are once again seeing a very high possibility of default.

Even worse, the last time Greek yields were flying there were two rounds of bailouts to help stem the tide.  This time, the ECB and the IMF are demanding PAYMENT instead of offering a hand.  Greece simply cannot afford to pay out money and be forced to borrow more short-term money at 27% – even an economoron understands that much, don't they?

Overall the
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Evening News, 4-16-15

From Around the Web:

CEOs Don’t Care Enough About Capital Allocation (HBR)

In his 1987 letter to investors, Warren Buffet made the following observation: “the heads of many companies are not skilled in capital allocation, and … it is not surprising because most bosses rise to the top because they have excelled in an area such as marketing, production, engineering, administration or, sometimes, institutional politics.” (More here)

NASA's Messenger and MercuryMessenger spacecraft will soon crash on Mercury's surface, NASA says (LATimes)

After more than four years of orbiting Mercury, NASA’s Messenger spacecraft is about to end its mission with a bang. After more than 4,100 orbits around the closest planet to the sun, the satellite will crash into Mercury’s crater-pocked surface April 30.

NASA officials gave tribute in a briefing Thursday to the Messenger spacecraft, which was the first to orbit Mercury and which they say has fundamentally altered our understanding of this scorched little world.   (Read here)

How many iPhones did Apple sell last quarter? (Fortune)

The watch may be the talk of the town, but it’s the phone brings in the big bucks.

The earnings report forApple’s second fiscal quarter is less than two weeks away, and much as we like to obsesses about the new Watch, it hasn’t earned Apple a penny yet. (Continue reading)

web1_WSOP-FINAL-TABLE_111114DB_020_6Citigroup's Gold "Expert" Demands A Cash Ban (ZH, Tyler Durden)

Late last year, Grexit "expert" Willem Buiter decided that he was a greater expert on the topic of monetary metals than on geopolitics by stating that "Gold Is A 6,000 Year Old Bubble." Now, he has decided that after gold, it is best to just do away with any physical currency altogether and the time to ban cash has arrived. (Full article)

We’re All Terrible at Understanding Each Other (HBR)

Whatever you may have heard to the contrary, Chip Wilson is not an idiot.  The founder and former CEO and Chairman of Lululemon Atheltica is, in point of fact, a highly successful entrepreneur, philanthropist, innovator, and self-made billionaire.  Idiots

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Chart School

Bulls Lose Their Wiggle Room

Courtesy of Declan.

Sellers hit indices hard on Friday, leaving markets vulnerable to breaks of nearby support. The S&P managed to find some traction at trendline support and 50-day MA, but it won't be able to handle any further loss on Monday. To add insult to injury, volume climbed to register as distribution, and there were 'sell' triggers between +DI / -DI and On-Balance-Volume. The Nasdaq also dug in at trendline support and 50-day MA. However, the +DI / -DI bearish cross, and On-Balance-Volume 'sell' add to the sell side. ...

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Zero Hedge

Draghi Tells Euro Shorts To "Make His Day", Again

Courtesy of ZeroHedge. View original post here.

Submitted by Tyler Durden.

With a “defiant” Syriza determined to hold onto any shred of dignity and legitimacy that may remain in the wake of months of painful negotiations with its creditors and with a €5 billion advance from Russia (a large chunk of which will promptly be paid to the IMF which use it to bailout Ukraine which will hand it right back to Russia) shaping up to be the last lifeline for Greece before Athens is reduced to issuing IOUs to pay ...

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Phil's Favorites

Morning News, 4-19-15

From Bloomberg:

Zhou Says China Has Room for Monetary Easing; May Not Use It

China’s central bank Governor Zhou Xiaochuan said the world’s second-largest economy has scope compared with other nations to ease its monetary policies though won’t necessarily take advantage of it. (Read more)

ECB’s Vasiliauskas Says Summer is Limit for Greek Emergency Cash

The European Central Bank shouldn’t extend Emergency Li...

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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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Kimble Charting Solutions

S&P 500 vulnerable to a decline says Joe Friday!

Courtesy of Chris Kimble.


When it comes to investing in the stock market, do you feel leadership can be important. If so, you might want to pay attention to price action from a key global stock index. China has been in the news for hot stock market performance that past couple of months. When it comes to the past couple of years, Germany has been stronger than China and the S&P 500. In the past two years the DAX index has gained 18% more than the S&P 500, which is a 60% greater return.

The chart below looks at conditions in the DAX at this time and what message is coming from this index.


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Sector Detector: Earnings and GDP temporarily take investor spotlight off the Fed

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

Courtesy of Sabrient Systems and Gradient Analytics

As we get into the heart of earnings season and anticipate the GDP report for Q1, the investor spotlight has been taken off the Federal Reserve and timing of its first interest rate hike, at least temporarily. Even though Q1 economic growth will undoubtedly look weak, the future remains bright for the U.S economy – even though many multinationals will struggle with top-line growth due to the strong dollar – and any near-term selloff resulting from weak economic or earnings news should be bought yet again in expectation of better results for the balance of the year. High sector correlations remain a concern, reflectin...

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Swing trading portfolio - week of April 13th, 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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Digital Currencies

SkyNet Is Almost Sentient: HFTs To Start Trading Bitcoin

SkyNet Is Almost Sentient: HFTs To Start Trading Bitcoin

Courtesy of ZeroHedge. View original post here.

As noted earlier, with equities now a barren wasteland of volume (and liquidity), the last remaining HFT master (of whale order frontrunning) has been forced to go to those asset classes where organic flow is still abundant such as FX, courtesy of central banks engaged in global currency wars. However, HFTs rea...

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Watch the Phil Davis Special on Money Talk on BNN TV!

Kim Parlee interviews Phil on Money Talk. Be sure to watch the replays if you missed the show live on Wednesday night (it was recorded on Monday). As usual, Phil provides an excellent program packed with macro analysis, important lessons and trading ideas. ~ Ilene


The replay is now available on BNN's website. For the three part series, click on the links below. 

Part 1 is here (discussing the macro outlook for the markets) Part 2 is here. (discussing our main trading strategies) Part 3 is here. (reviewing our pick of th...

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Market Shadows

Kimble Charts: South Korea's EWY

Kimble Charts: South Korea's EWY

By Ilene 

Chris Kimble likes the iShares MSCI South Korea Capped (EWY), but only if it breaks out of a pennant pattern. This South Korean equities ETF has underperformed the S&P 500 by 60% since 2011.

You're probably familiar with its largest holding, Samsung Electronics Co Ltd, and at least several other represented companies such as Hyundai Motor Co and Kia Motors Corp.


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Mapping The Market

S&P 500 Leverage and Hedges Options - Part 2

Courtesy of Jean-Luc Saillard.

In my last post (Part 1 of this article), I looked at alternative ETFs that could be used as hedges against the corrections that we have seen during that long 2 year bull run. Looking at the results, it seems that for short (less than a month) corrections, a VIX ETF like VXX could actually be a viable candidate to hedge or speculate on the way down. Another alternative ETF was TMF, a long Treasuries ETF which banks on the fact that when markets go down, money tends to pack into treasuries viewed as safe instruments. In some cases, TMF even outperformed the usual hedging instruments like leveraged ETFs. There could of course be other factors at play since some of 2014 corrections were related to geopolitical events which are certain...

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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 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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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 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.

Thank you for you time!

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...

Learn more About Phil >>

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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.

Market Shadows >>