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…
Today's end-of-day losses were disguised by the relatively light declines at the close. Markets opened strong, but were unable to maintain premarket strength. The consolidations in place since the 'Santa Rally' are holding on, but markets can ill afford additional losses from here.
The S&P finished on the 38.2% Fib retracement of the 'Santa Rally'. Aggressive longs may view this as a head-and-shoulder reversal; if this pr-oves to be the case then markets have to rally from the cash open. The S&P is a case in point.
The Nasdaq experienced a very wide day; opening above its 20-day and 50-day MA, but finishing well below these moving averages, and on...
The administration earlier this month cut the premium that borrowers with a Federal Housing Administration loan must pay for mortgage insurance to 0.85% from 1.35%. The half a percentage point reduction will reduce the cost of the average FHA loan by about $1,000 per year.
Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac last month dropped the minimum down payment to 3% from 5% on some of its mortgages. FHA requires a 3.5% down payment.
Grant programs, such as CHFA in Colorado, allow home buyers to purchase...
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Last week, the S&P 500 put an end to its streak of weekly losses, despite giving back some gains on Friday. Thursday provided the big catalyst, with the ECB’s announcement of its bold new monetary stimulus plan. Investors were cheered and soothed for the moment. And U.S. fundamentals still look strong. But with Greece trying to turn back time, with volatility elevated (and likely to continue as such), and with the technical situation still dicey, the near term outlook is still worrisome.
In this weekly update, I give my view of the current market environment, offer a technical analysis of the S&P 500 chart...
So as I was saying yesterday (Bitcoin: The Biggest Clown Show In History?), Bitcoin has several obstacles on the path to potential success as an alternative currency. But I forgot to mention hacking and theft at Bitcoin exchanges and other technical problems. This is related to the lack of government backing and the fact that the value of Bitcoins is based entirely on confidence.
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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 boys...it 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...
Stocks got off to a rocky start on the first trading day in December, with the S&P 500 Index slipping just below 2050 on Monday. Based on one large bullish SPX options trade executed on Wednesday, however, such price action is not likely to break the trend of strong gains observed in the benchmark index since mid-October. It looks like one options market participant purchased 25,000 of the 31Dec’14 2105/2115 call spreads at a net premium of $2.70 each. The trade cost $6.75mm to put on, and represents the maximum potential loss on the position should the 2105 calls expire worthless at the end of December. The call spread could reap profits of as much as $7.30 per spread, or $18.25mm, in the event that the SPX ends the year above 2115. The index would need to rally 2.0% over the current level...
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.
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