"American madness: a teenager is allowed to receive a rifle as a birthday gift," NYU professor Nouriel Roubini tweeted. "Sick sick country."
Roubini's words come hours after a gunman killed one person and injured several others at Marysville-Pilchuck High School near Seattle, Washington.
The gunman was later identified as Jaylen Fryberg, a freshman at the school. Fryberg, who shot and killed himself, reportedly had access to firearms, and an Instagram photo suggested that he had recently received a rifle as a birthday gift from his parents.
Much of the media attention has shifted to the mental state of Fryberg, who reportedly had been demonstrating emotional distress.
Here is a quick follow-up to the discussion on the looming rental crisis in the US. The gap in growth rates of rental costs vs. wages continues to widen. This divergence is creating a drag on the GDP growth by suppressing household formation, consumer spending, and labor mobility. Over time this trend will also increase homelessness.
Now we have the highs, we'll see what happens here. Draghi's weekly stimulus talk still does its trick.
Oil shot back to $81.25 again, what a joke!
MCD/Scott – They spend Billions (forced franchisees to spend) to change the look but it never occurred to them to change the friggin' food! They added coffee to be like SBUX an DNKN and smoothies to be be like SONC and JMBA but they did nothing original.
BKW/Tri – My thoughts on them? Same really, our only play was to take advantage of the pop to sell into the excitement back in Aug:
August 25th, 2014 at 12:34 pm | (Unlocked) | Permalink
BKW/Pfeh – $10Bn for THI? They were $5Bn last year, what have the done to earn another $5Bn in value? I guess it's all about the tax inversion for BKW but they will get such backlash for this that I doubt it will go through so I'd lean towards shorting THI initially but BKW popped 20% today as well so, couple that with the overpaying and the fact the deal is likely to fail and that means we can sell 5 BKW Jan $30 calls for $3.25 ($1,625) and buy 4 April $30/34 bull call spreads for $2 ($800) for an $800 credit per set. BKW is at $32.50 now, up from $27 yesterday so it would take another $5 pop before you get in real trouble on the trade.
It's a drawn out process, whether it goes through or not and, at the moment, the 5 short Jan $30s are $2 ($1,000) and the 4 long Apr $30/34 bull spreads are $1.60 ($640) for net -$320 off the $800 original credit so up $480 so far (60%). Other than seeing that opportunity at the time, I could care less about BKW/THI. I do like WEN on the Buy List, however:
Steak and Shake/Tri – I didn't think the Burgers were that good. We have Zinburger around here – people love that. My kids and their friends (12-15) don't go for MCD or Taco Bell
Based on Ebola and the upcoming stress tests, I'd have to guess a sell-off is coming today. Shorting /ES at 1,940 (tight stops, of course) and the Dow (/YM) at 16,600 are a lot safer than shorting /TF at 1,100 but all good lines to use and watch. /NQ already failed 4,000.
It's 7:54 and already the Egg McMuffins are paid for on nice drops off those levels and we'll take quick profits and run and hopefully get a chance to re-enter as I don't see this day going well.
We're back to short in our Short-Term Porfolio but less aggressively so than last weekend as we can't ignore the underlying 3.5% gains our indexes have put up this week.
As usual, the Dollar is being knocked down to support the Futures but it's not helping oil much ($81.24) so far. Gold, however, bounced back to $1,233 and silver (/SI) went over our long line at $17.25 (very tight stops below). Gasoline (/RB) was rejected at $2.20 – another sign that the underlying economy is much weaker than these indexes would have you believe.
In fact, GS reports today that China has shut 20% of it's Iron Ore production in the face of an inventory glus and prices dropping 40% this year. The market is in the midst of a transition without precedent in recent commodity history as supply jumps and higher-cost mines shut, according to Macquarie Group Ltd. HSBC Holdings Plc, which cut its price forecasts this week, sees a 30 percent slump in Chinese output next year.
“The market currently looks like a game of chicken where no player has blinked,” HSBC said. “The major producers are likely to compete heavily on production and costs, with little regard for
Futures down just a bit this morning, mostly flat overnight. 16,594, 1,941, 3,992 & 1,111.60 with the Dollar at 85.95, oil $81.21 and gold $1,232.50. Silver is $17.22, nat gas $3.59 and gasoline failed $2.20, now $2.185.
I have CNBC on in my office and Bloomberg on in the living room and, as I go from room to room it's "Ebola, ebola, ebola, ebola…." People are simply nuts over this thing.
New York Doctor Tests Positive for Ebola. Craig Spencer Recently Returned to New York After Treating Ebola Patients in West Africa. A physician who had returned to New York City 10 days ago after treating Ebola patients in West Africa has tested positive for the disease, according to an official familiar with the findings. Craig Spencer, a 33-year-old physician who worked with Doctors Without Borders and lives in Upper Manhattan, is the fourth person to be diagnosed with the deadly disease in the U.S.
Mali has confirmed its first case of Ebola, becoming the sixth West African country to report a case of the virus.
The patient, a 2-year-old girl who had come from neighboring Guinea, was brought to a hospital in the Malian town of Kayes.
Mali is Africa’s third-largest gold producer.
Asia was down a bit except Nikkie, up 1% – all finished at day's lows.
China local debt fix hangs on Beijing's wishful thinking. China is asserting control over once-chaotic local government financing by banning the use of opaque funding vehicles, but filling the gap with a huge expansion of the fledgling municipal bond market will raise a whole new set of problems.
My title above is only half-kidding. Because everytime Wall Street pronounces “The Death Of” anything, that’s pretty much when it starts working again. But there is an important point being made in a new article at the Wall Street Journal about the current state of some of our biggest stalwart stocks and their underlying businesses, a point I made two days ago here…
Here’s the Journal:
A third of the companies in the Dow Jones Industrial Average have posted shrinking or flat revenue over the past 12 months, according to data from S&P Capital IQ. Revenue growth for nearly half the industrials didn’t outpace the U.S. inflation rate of 1.7%.
Each company has its own idiosyncratic problems—changing consumer tastes at Coke, for example, or technology-industry shifts at IBM—and each is taking steps to address them.
But underlying it all is a sense of malaise for companies whose once powerful formulas for success left them too big to switch tack quickly when market conditions changed.
In my relatively short time on The Street, I’ve seen several former blue chip stocks disappear or become disgraced to the point of no return. Companies like Woolworth’s and Sears and Eastman Kodak and Xerox and Lucent and MCI – all of which, for a long time, were considered automatics for investors seeking reasonable, reliable returns in evergreen businesses.
Unfortunately, it doesn’t actually work that way. Change is the only constant.
IBM went down hard on its quarterly earnings report this week. This made a splash in the news because, well, it’s IBM, and also Warren Buffett owns it, so it was a rare moment of human fallibility for him. But there is a lot more to the story than that. Very sophisticated people have been keeping an eye on IBM for some time.
In particular, Stanley Druckenmiller—former chairman and president of Duquesne Capital, former portfolio manager of Soros’s Quantum Fund, and, honestly, one of the greatest investors in modern times—went public about a year ago saying that IBM was his favorite short (which says a lot) and that it was the poster child for, well, the type of stock market we have nowadays.
What was Druckenmiller referring to?
Some Quick History
Ten years ago, during the housing boom, the consumer was the most leveraged entity, taking out negative amortization mortgages, cashing out home equity, things like that. The consumer got a margin call, which was ugly—you know the story—and has spent the last six years deleveraging.
While the consumer was taking down leverage, the US government was adding leverage, taking the deficit to over 10% of GDP at one point. But even the government is deleveraging (for the moment), and now it is America’s corporations that have been adding leverage, at a furious pace. We’ve had trillions of dollars in corporate bond issuance in the last few years.
So when corporations sell bonds, what do they typically use the proceeds for?
In theory, the proper use for debt is to finance capital expenditures. Growth. But in this last cycle, that’s not what the money has been used for. It’s primarily been used for stock buybacks and dividends.
Robbing Peter to Pay Paul
Now, there are good corporate finance reasons to lever up a balance sheet and conduct stockholder-friendly actions, like buying back stock or paying dividends. You can read about it in the corporate finance textbooks. For any company, there is an optimal amount of leverage. It’s even possible to be underleveraged.
But you see (and this is the important thing), when you
I featured the thinking of Dr. Lacy Hunt on the velocity of money and its relationship to developed-world overindebtedness and the potential for deflation in this week’s Thoughts from the Frontline, and I thought you’d like to peruse Lacy’s entire recent piece on the subject.
Lacy takes the US, Europe, and Japan one by one, examining the velocity of money (V) in each economy and bolstering the principle, first proposed by Irving Fisher in 1933, that V is critically influenced by the productivity of debt. Then, turning to the equation of exchange (M*V=Nominal GDP, where M is money supply), he demonstrates that we shouldn’t be the least bit surprised by sluggish global growth and had better be on the lookout for global deflation.
Hoisington Investment Management Company (www.Hoisingtonmgt.com) is a registered investment advisor specializing in fixed-income portfolios for large institutional clients. Located in Austin, Texas, the firm has over $5 billion under management and is the sub-adviser of the Wasatch-Hoisington US Treasury Fund (WHOSX).
I am writing this note in a car going to Athens, Texas, where I’ll join Kyle Bass and friends at his Barefoot Ranch for a huge macro fest. October is one of my favorite times of the year to be in Texas, and the ranch is a beautiful venue. I am sure I will have some challenging conversations.
Last night in Chicago I was picked up by Austyn Crites, who drove me downtown in rush-hour traffic, which gave us a lot of time to talk about his current passion, high balloons. I have been fascinated with them for some time, but there hasn’t been a lot of reliable information.
Basically, Google and Facebook are both planning to launch very large helium balloons full of radios and cameras and float them up to 60,000+ feet. The concept is working in several remote locations now. It’s a way to get full wireless internet coverage. With about 40,000 balloons you can blanket the earth. Literally. Full connectivity. Everywhere. Austyn wants to design a new type of balloon and be the manufacturer. It’s tricky as you need a VERY thin balloon envelope (that does not leak)…
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 email@example.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.
The S&P 500 oscillated a bit during its opening hour, hitting its -0.23% intraday low in the first 30 minutes of trading. The index then rose in a couple of waves to its 0.71% closing gain, fractionally off its 0.74% intraday high. This was a big week for the 500, surging 4.12% and nearly erasing its October loss, which now stands at -0.39%. It is now only 2.33% from its record close on September 18th.
The yield on the 10-year Note closed at 2.29%, unchanged from yesterday's close and up 7 bps from last Friday's close.
Here is a 15-minute chart of the week.
On the daily chart below we see that volume was relatively light -- the first daily gain with volume below its 50-day moving average since September 26th. Today's closing price is just a hair below its 50-day day moving average.
If you're following Valeant's proposed takeover (or merger) of Allergan and the lawsuit by Allergan against Valeant and notorious hedge fund manager William Ackman, for insider trading this is a must-read article.
Linette Lopez describes the roles played by key Wall Street hedge fund owners--Jim Chanos, John Paulson, and Mason Morfit, a major shareholder in Valeant. Linette goes through the con...
There is lots of action in Southwest Airlines Co. November expiry call options today ahead of the air carrier’s third-quarter earnings report prior to the opening bell on Thursday. Among the large block trades initiated throughout the trading session, there appears to be at least one options market participant establishing a call spread in far out of the money options. It looks like the trader purchased a 4,000-lot Nov 37/39 call spread at a net premium of $0.40 apiece. The trade makes money if shares in Southwest rally 9.0% over the current price of $34.32 to exceed the effective breakeven point at $37.40, with maximum potential profits of $1.60 per contract available in the event that shares jump more than 13% to $39.00 by expiration. In September, the stock tou...
Last week brought even more stock market weakness and volatility as the selloff became self-perpetuating, with nobody mid-day on Wednesday wanting to be the last guy left holding equities. Hedge funds and other weak holders exacerbated the situation. But the extreme volatility and panic selling finally led some bulls (along with many corporate insiders) to summon a little backbone and buy into weakness, and the market finished the week on a high note, with continued momentum likely into the first part of this week.
Despite concerns about global economic growth and a persistent lack of inflation, especially given all the global quantitative easing, fundamentals for U.S. stocks still look good, and I believe this overdue correction ultimately will shape up to be a great buying opportunity -- i.e., th...
Now that bitcoin has subsided from speculative bubble to functioning currency (see the price chart below), it’s safe for non-speculators to explore the whole “cryptocurrency” thing. So…is bitcoin or one of its growing list of competitors a useful addition to the average person’s array of bank accounts and credit cards — or is it a replacement for most of those things? And how does one make this transition?
With his usual excellent timing, London-based financial writer/actor/stand-up comic Dominic Frisby has just released Bitcoin: The Future of Money? in which he explains all this in terms most readers will have no tr...
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Well PSW Subscribers....I am still here, barely. From my last post a few months ago to now, nothing has changed much, but there are a few bargins out there that as investors, should be put on the watch list (again) and if so desired....buy a small amount.
First, the media is on a tear against biotechs/pharma, ripping companies for their drug prices. Gilead's HepC drug, Sovaldi, is priced at $84K for the 12-week treatment. Pundits were screaming bloody murder that it was a total rip off, but when one investigates the other drugs out there, and the consequences of not taking Sovaldi vs. another drug combinations, then things become clearer. For instance, Olysio (JNJ) is about $66,000 for a 12-week treatment, but is approved for fewer types of patients AND...
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