Long live the Debt! In case you are voting in the next election – here are 12 people to get rid of. Much as I may blame one party over another for this failure, they all deserve what’s coming to them for A) Pretending they were going to accomplish something and B) For not now getting up and making very strong statements denouncing the corruption in politics that make it impossible for Congress to do the Nation’s business anymore.
In case you happen to be a Fox News viewer, I will try to keep this VERY simple because, as it turns out, we now have definitive studies that prove Fox News MAKES YOU STUPID. Of course, it is possible that only stupid people watch Fox News but I know many people who think they are smart and watch Fox News so I have to blame Fox News here as do researchers at Farleigh Dickenson University who found "The results show us that there is something about watching Fox News that leads people to do worse on these questions than those who don’t watch any news at all." As I can tell you from raising my own children to be good citizens:
The biggest aid to answering correctly is The Daily Show with Jon Stewart, which leads to a 6-point decrease in identifying the protesters as Republicans, and a 12-point increase in the likelihood of giving the correct answer. "Jon Stewart has not spent a lot of time on some of these issues," said Cassino. "But the results show that when he does talk about something, his viewers pick up a lot more information than they would from other news sources."
Watching Fox News, by the way, led to an 18-point disadvantage (out of 53% of all respondents) in being able to answer questions like "Were Egyptians successful in overthrowing Hosni Mubarak" or "Has the Syrian uprising been successful" but that was a Fox viewer’s area of expertise compared to having a clue of what is going on in American politics other than "Obama sucks." Tied with Daily show viewers for best informed were NPR supporters but, sadly, only 21% of Americans get their news from NPR and only 18% from the Daily Show while 64% list Fox News as one of their frequent news sources.
In another study, World Public Opinion, a project managed by…
CRM – Salesforce.com, Inc. – A large-volume ratio call spread on the provider of customer relationship management services this afternoon implies one options investor expects CRM shares to rally significantly by August expiration. Salesforce.com’s shares increased as much as 1.83% today to reach a new 52-week high of $81.23 during the current session. According to a Reuters report this weekend, analysts at Deutsche Bank maintain their ‘buy’ rating on the stock and raised their share price target on CRM to $110 from $100. The optimistic options trader populating the stock this afternoon purchased 13,000 calls at the August $85 strike for a premium of $5.00 apiece, and sold 26,000 calls at the higher August $100 strike for $1.05 each. Net premium paid by the investor for the transaction amounts to $2.90 per contract. Maximum available profits of $12.10 per contract accumulate for the trader if shares of the underlying stock surge at least 23% from the new 52-week high of $81.23 to reach $100.00 by August expiration. The investor starts to make money as long as CRM’s shares trade above the effective breakeven point at $87.90 ahead of expiration day.
CPB – Campbell Soup Co. – Options traders anticipating a sharp increase in the price of Campbell Soup Co.’s shares by November expiration scooped up record numbers of call options on the global manufacturer and marketer of branded convenience food products today. CPB’s shares traded 0.25% higher in late afternoon trading to $35.45, which is just off their current 52-week high of $35.80 (attained back on December 2, 2009). Campbell-bulls purchased approximately 5,200 calls at the November $40 strike for an average premium of $0.55 per contract. Investors holding these contracts are prepared to profit should Campbell’s share price jump 14.4% from the current price to exceed the average breakeven point to the upside at $40.55. Investors exchanged roughly 5,925 option contracts on CPB during the trading session, which represents 56% of the total existing open interest on the stock of 10,567 lots.
VALE – Vale S.A. – Diverse bullish options strategies employed on Brazilian metals and mining company, Vale S.A., today indicates investors are expecting the price of the iron-ore maker’s shares to appreciate in the next few months. Vale’s shares rallied 1.20% at the start of the session to an intraday high – and new…
EEM – iShares MSCI Emerging Markets Index ETF – Shares of the emerging markets fund, which tracks the price and yield performance of the MSCI Emerging Markets Index, rallied 0.40% to touch a new 52-week high of $43.79 during the trading session. Options players have exchanged more than 315,000 option contracts on the fund with less than two hours remaining the trading day. A number of options players appear to be bracing for a potential pullback in the price per share of the emerging markets fund, while other investors may be positioning to benefit from greater options implied volatility on the fund during the next several months. One trader enacted a three-legged bearish options combination play in the May contract. The options investor sold 10,000 calls at the May $47 strike for a premium of $0.26 apiece in order to partially finance the purchase of a debit put spread. On the put side, the trader picked up 10,000 lots at the May $41 strike for a premium of $0.60 each, and sold the same number of puts at the lower May $37 strike for $0.16 apiece. The net cost of the bearish transaction amounts to $0.18 per contract. Therefore, the investor is prepared to accrue maximum potential profits of $3.82 per contract if shares of the EEM plummet 15.4% from the new high of $43.74 to reach the lower strike price of $37.00 by May expiration. Further along in the June contract, another options player appears to have invested in a long straddle on the fund. The trader responsible for the straddle purchased 10,000 calls at the June $44 strike for a premium of $1.75 apiece in combination with the purchase of 10,000 in-the-money puts at the same strike for a premium of $2.06 each. Net premium paid by the investor amounts to $3.81 per contract. The nature of the straddle strategy indicates the trader expects the price of the underlying fund to shift dramatically in either direction ahead of June expiration. The investor makes money if shares surge at least 9.3% to exceed the upper breakeven point at $47.81, or if shares decline at least 8.1% to breach the lower breakeven price of $40.19, by expiration day in June.
CNX – Consol Energy Inc. – Multi-fuel energy producer and energy services provider, Consol Energy, Inc., attracted…
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 firstname.lastname@example.org 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 Weekly Leading Index (WLI) of the Economic Cycle Research Institute (ECRI) is at 131.7, down from the previous week's 131.8. The WLI annualized growth indicator (WLIg) is at -1.2, down from -0.1 the previous week.
ECRI has been at the center of a prolonged controversy since publicizing its recession call on September 30, 2011. The company had made the announcement to its private clients on September 21st. ECRI's cofounder and spokesman, Lakshman Achuthan, subsequently forecast that the recession would begin in Q1 2012, or Q2 at the latest. He later identified mid-2012 as the start of the recession. Over the past two years he has been a frequent guest on the likes of CNBC and Bloomberg TV. In recent months he has ad...
Bulls showed renewed backbone last week and drew a line in the sand for the bears, buying with gusto into weakness as I suggested they would. After all, this was the buying opportunity they had been waiting for. As if on cue, the start of the World Series launched the rapid market reversal and recovery. However, there is little chance that the rally will go straight up. Volatility is back, and I would look for prices to consolidate at this level before making an attempt to go higher. I still question whether the S&P 500 will ultimately achieve a new high before year end.
In this weekly update, I give my view of the current market environment, offer a technical analysis of the S&P 500 chart, review our weekly fundamentals-based SectorCast rankings of the ten U.S. business sectors, and then o...
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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...
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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