European leaders have two weeks to settle differences and flesh out a strategy to terminate their sovereign debt crisis as global finance chiefs warn failure to do so would endanger the world economy. “The risk of a recession would be increased dramatically were the Europeans to fail to accomplish goals that they’ve set for themselves,” Canadian Finance Minister Jim Flaherty said after the G-20 meeting on Saturday.
The Brussels meeting “has the potential to turn into a positive historic moment,” Joachim Fels, London-based chief economist at Morgan Stanley, wrote in a note to clients yesterday. “But it could also easily turn into a negative catalyst.”
Europe’s plan, which has still to be made public, includes writing down Greek bonds by as much as 50 percent, establishing a backstop for banks and magnifying the strength of the 440 billion-euro ($611 billion) temporary rescue fund known as the European Financial Stability Facility. “The plan has the right elements,” U.S. Treasury Secretary Timothy F. Geithner said in Paris. “They clearly have more work to do on the strategy and the details.”
The G-20 officials — who met to prepare for a Nov. 3-4 gathering of leaders in Cannes, France (and we’re fondly remembering London’s 2009 meeting with the graphic on the right) — said in a statement that the world economy faces “heightened tensions and significant downside risks.” European authorities must “decisively address the current challenges through a comprehensive plan.”
The policy makers held out the possibility of rewarding European action with more aid from the International Monetary Fund, while splitting over whether the Washington-based lender’s $390 billion war chest needs topping up. Europe’s latest strategy hinges on putting Greece, whose government forecasts its debt to reach 172 percent of gross domestic product in 2012, on a sustainable path. Austerity has plunged the country deeper into recession and provoked civil unrest that threatens political stability.
My reaction to this in Member Chat this Morning was to call for shorting the jacked up Dow Futures (/YM) at 11,600, saying:
Speaking of the illusion of power – yet another G20 meeting ends with yet another plan to have a plan but this time, for some insane reason, they only gave themselves a week to fix everything. I’ll be writing about this this morning but the gist of it is the Finance Ministers have essentially sent their own
ODP - Office Depot, Inc. – Call options are flying off the shelves at office supplies retailer Office Depot today, with shares in the Boca Raton, Florida-based company surging 9.5% to $2.53 just before 1:45 pm ET. It looks like investors have exchanged 18,677 options on Office Depot thus far today, where all but 716 of the contracts are calls. The now in-the-money September $2.5 strike call is by far the most active this afternoon. More than 14,000 calls have changed hands at that strike, and it appears the majority of the contracts were purchased for an average premium of $0.15 apiece. Demand for the Sept. $2.5 strike calls was evident straight out of the gate this morning, as some 3,000 contracts were picked up at a premium of $0.10 each within the first 10 minutes of the opening bell. Call volume jumped in afternoon trade, where it now appears that at least 12,500 contracts were purchased at the $2.5 strike price. September contract calls have a few days remaining before they expire at the end of the week. Perhaps buyers of the calls are expecting Office Depot’s shares to extend gains through Friday. Call buying spread to the October $2.5 strike where some 2,000 contracts were purchased for a premium of $0.30 a-pop. Another 1,000 calls appear to have been purchased up at the October $3.0 strike at a premium of $0.15 apiece. Investors holding the longer-dated October contract call options profit in the event that ODP’s shares exceed the effective breakeven prices of $2.80 and $3.15 at expiration, respectively. The options expire well in advance of Office Depot’s third-quarter earnings report ahead of the opening bell on October 26.
JPM - JPMorgan Chase & Co. – Shares in JPMorgan may be on…
It seems that the recent rise in interest rates, instead of the typical (pre-depression) behavioral tendency to make people nervous and rush to lock in low rates, has once again stalled any hope of an organic housing recovery occurring. While the reams of hard data show that the housing recovery remains a fast-money investment-driven enigma (here, here, and here) - as oppo...
Lawmakers questioned Apple's CEO Tim Cook on tax matters yesterday. Felix Salmon explains (below) the details of the complicated tax scheme involving subsidiaries in Ireland and various contractual relationships that are legal but devised to lower the corporations' taxes.
And, why not? Since when do corporations live to maximize taxes and minimize profits? What CEO would survive that sort of behavior?
Apple's method of avoiding US taxes is a good argument for eliminating corporate taxes altogether. What do you think?
One runs out of superlatives to describe the current market.
Every day or week a new record seems to be set. A few of the current – yesterday was the 19th Tuesday in a row that the DJIA was up; the DJIA is now guaranteed to go without a 3 day losing streak for 100 days, breaking the 95 day record in 1927, the NASDAQ has had 17 days in a row of a new higher high, the best since Nov 1999, etc etc. Meanwhile Japan is in the realm of 50% YTD gains as their currency is kicked in the teeth.
Definitely an era to keep in our memory banks as the action is abnormal.
Here is the latest look at the "Sweet Sixteen" Dow recoveries adjusted for inflation/deflation I've been illustrating from time to time over the past three years. The charts below compare the current Dow recovery since the March 2009 low with fifteen other major recoveries dating from the origin of this legendary index in 1896. (See the footnote for my selection criteria.)
At this point the Dow is 1058 market days beyond the 2009 low. The last time I checked, in early April, the index was in fourth place in our Sweet Sixteen competition and 11.5% below the recovery from the 1982 low over the equivalent time frame. Now, 30 sessions later, the current level has a nominal gain of 135.0% since the 2009 trough, and is currently at a new all-time high. However, since we're comparing such a diverse set of market eras with such a wide patterns of inflation/deflati...
SKS - Saks, Inc. – High-end retailer, Saks, Inc., popped up on our ‘hot by options volume’ market scanner this morning on heavier than usual trading traffic in upside calls. Shares in Saks are up 10% on Tuesday morning at a new 52-week high of $13.54 after the company posted first-quarter earnings in line with analyst expectations on higher-than-expected quarterly revenue. Shares in Saks are up more than 30% since this time last year. Bullish positions initiated in SKS options ahead of the earnings release yester...
So, what did the market want today? Nothing it appears. It traded on weak volume and had very little movement. This morning the market hated commodities especially silver, but by days end, the market liked silver, gold and even oil but not the dollar. Why?
Last week the economic reports were tough, with bad misses on more than one occasion. But the market tended to ignore the bad news, probably because money continues to pour into equities from money market funds, long term fixed income, and many struggling foreign economies. On Thursday, investors finally caved to even more bad news from Initial Jobless Claims and weak Housing Starts. Then on Friday, when Michigan Sentiment and Leading Indicators posted large positive surprises, the money came pouring back to generate qui...
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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.
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Reminder: Craigzooka is available to chat with Members regarding his virtual portfolio performance, comments are found below each post.
I am going to share with you how I manage my IRA and the power of reducing your cost basis. My goal each year is a 20% return in my IRA. Sometimes I make it and sometimes I don't, but I believe that all of my success is due to reducing my cost basis. To illustrate the power of reducing your cost basis here are some trades we did last year. These trades are taken from an educational portfolio we ran in a paper-trading account for a little more than a year.
We bought RIG on 5/15/2012 for $44.13, sold it on 1/18/2013 for $46 but booked a profit of $1,154.
We bought MT on 1/4/2012 for $19.24, sold it on 12/21/2012 for $15 but booked a profit of $454.
We bought CHK on 1/27/2012 for $21.93, sold it on 10/19/2012 for $18 b...
Stock market posts another record setting week, but the big news came after Friday’s close.
Courtesy of NASA
The stock market put on another record setting show with the Dow Jones Industrial Average (NYSEARCA:DIA) closing at a record high 15,118 and the S&P 500 (NYSEARCA:SPY) closing at 1633.70, another all time closing high.
For the week, the Dow Jones Industrial Average (NYSEARCA:DIA) gained 1%, the S&P 500 (NYSEARCA:SPY) climbed 1.2%, the Nasdaq Composite (NYSEARCA:...
Reminder: Pharmboy is available to chat with Members, comments are found below each post.
Well, well, well....it is good to know that there are others in the scientific arena who believed that YMI Bioscience's data (cough - Gilead) is a better drug than Incyte's Jakafi. Now, the definitive data are still unknown, but there was enough evidence from a Phase 2 trial to take a small risk for a huge reward. So, let's forget about Apple (AAPL), and do nothing but biotechs from now until Congress passes universal health care coverage for prescriptions....and drive the prices down so that research and development is no longer feasible to conduct in the US. Even Seattle Genetics (SGEN) has been on a tear as of late...
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