Phil – great calls this past week, esp. friday and monday. in the old days I would have let Prechter et al scare me into trimming my longs and going short at just the wrong time. your feel for the markets is Tiger-esque. CHK, HOV, BX, TLT and XLF are big winners for me today. My biggest up day in a long time. Thanks!
/NKD- Kownichiwa Cowboy!! One week of patience and scaling in and out pays off. This is a testament to Phil's fundamental analysis with the PSW technique. Thanks Phil.
Thanks for you guidance – Your "student" will be passing on the McMuffins and having Lobster dinners tonight!
I have been with this site since the beginning and i have learned more the past 3 years than the previous 10. Information and great commentary are abound. The traders on the site are second to none and my portfolio has benefited greatly.
Phil - DIA 107 Calls. As suggested I am taking the money and running to home depot for some shelter supplies! This is the grand finale of several successful trades from you through this roller-coster and as you have further suggested it is time for me to sit back and relax in cash. May even be able to talk my wife into the premium membership after these intelligent trades in a stupid market.
Hey I just did a nice options trade on LL for $800 (50%) gain thanks to this site, so… not bad for my first day! An hour of reading you guys and I already paid for two months subscription! Thank you!
Thanks for the heads up on the comming sell off on friday, and the bs job yesterday. your our guiding light!
I want to thank you for the FREE LL trade. I This was the first spread trade for me and promised to join your service if I made money. I closed the spread last week and will be joining next week when we return home.
GOOG, NFLX and AAPL all bought last hour Friday. Sold into the excitement the first hour today for an average of 15% on the options. And lots of them. Thanks again Phil for teaching me so well.
Hey Phil – I ignored your call to sell those AAPL $580s for $1 so not sure whether to thank you or not (just kidding) for my $5 winner. Actually I want to thank you from the bottom of my heart, that was an uncanny call.
Thanks, I managed to make 2k today so I am happy…and feel like I am finally getting it. New equipment and a quiet place to work helps a lot. I am happy for all the members that took your /NKD advice….that was fun I am sure! coke Take your vitamins…I don't know how you do all this! but, keep it up!
Thanks, after years of blood and blunders, I have reached a significant milestone – I don't lose money. Net net, I rarely have a losing week, market up, market down. And that I owe to you. Balanced positions. More premium sold than bought. Fundamental criteria applied to good companies, not momentum/ news headlines/ stock du jour/ triangle squeezies. But rather earnings, P/E, dividends, competitive position — the boring stuff that takes study, thought,….and patience. You have been a great teacher, and I have embarassed myself repeatedly day with how slowly I learn.
And it's a funny thing – if you don't lose, the gains start to pile up. The arithmetic is cruel to the downside, and becomes a gift in the other direction. And I'm in this for the long run, having made myself unemployable through a need for diversification. Moreover, what I've learned here has also elided into other areas, including real estate and ex-U.S. investment. Pretty cool. Have a great weekend.
You may wonder if anyone gets anything out of you seminars (or may not wonder). Anyway, I almost never day trade because of my job. Today, I was home due to the snow and since I was behind by 2 weeks on watching your recorded seminars I though I would watch one of them. I set up my pivot point charts in TOS to match the ones in your seminar and made the QQQ trade from this morning. I only bought 5 puts. While I watched the seminar, I would pause then switch back and forth and watch the live QQQ chart. I ended up stopping out for a $170 gain, but it was pretty cool to have the dip and recovery at the same time I was learning the art of stopping out when a pivot line was taken out.
Phil – BTW, the new STP/LTP coupled with the income portfolio is Perfect! I do not trade all of them, very few actually since I work during market hours. However, following the trades real-time is very educational.
I did enter the ABX call if you recall, I rolled to July on that nonsense news that sent it tumbling. Out today for 110% gain (2.00 stop) not counting covering the loss from the earlier roll. Nonetheless, a good trade.
Keep it up…. Thanks
Tesla et. al. – I've spent many months getting hammered shorting overvalued Momos, until, finally, I internalized Phil's message. Play small; give yourself plenty of room to double/move up the [lack of value] chain in terms of price. Play short; take [Musk's, eg.] latest bleep and sell the spike for a short time frame, because his tweets always come to naught. I've been coining money doing it, I just watch that premium melt away with scarcely veiled amusement. Swinging for the fences is for suckers [me, for a long time]. Those little gains really add up — $2k per week of evaporated premium and you could actually buy a Tesla by the end of the year!!
Wow, Phil, we pretty much made your levels.
Dow 7,404, S&P 775, Nas 1,466, NYSE 4,839 and RUT 402
My sceen is showing:
Dow 7,404, S&P 777, Nas 1,462, NYSE 4,868 and RUT 404
Hey Phil - writing to thank you!
First of all, and I know you have heard this a few times form some others - the portfolio updates you have done - with entries and targets and even margin reqs are invaluable!
I find myself understanding what is done here IN THEORY most of the time..however, there is a much bigger difference in placing and setting up the hedges properly than just understanding…This has been eye opening for me and Ifeel like I just took a major step in trading during the last week.
Phil, i wanted to thank you again for helping me protect future stock allocations at work - finally, i feel like i am owning my own destiny with stocks vs. letting the market dictate what you get – thanks again.
I can't believe it. After 2 Months of reading every post of every section on this site, the light bulb finaly went on. I was begining to think this was beyond me capacity to understand. Thanks Guys. Specifically Phil, Pharm, Cap, Matt. Im still Green as a leprechaun but I pulled the trigger on that SRS Vertical you laid down yesterday Phil. Very Clever. Now if I can just figure how to roll I migh make some money. Thanks for sharing, This community you have here is quite remarkable.
Every time I read Mr. Davis' market analyses and reports about his super profitable trades I feel admiration mixed with envy for the overall brilliance of this man, intellectual and verbal, his extraordinary savvy in the exotic art of options and, last not least, his moral passion with which he writes, even if in passing, about the darker aspects of capitalism.
Phil, I have to hand it to you. It seemed that you were the only person on the planet that thought stocks falling was still possible. I am glad I listened. About the end of the year I was really beginning to second guess though. Thanks for suggesting taking some profits last Nov. It no longer looks like I missed much.
This is my first month here. Today was a money train with futures. I gained 7500 USD with KC, RB, CL, NG.
I took RB almost every direction up and down. And I only used 1 contract or maximum 2.
Thank you. I think it was a good investment to subscribe…
Thanks Phil for helping make this a much, much better year this year than last. Your tutelage has been so very helpful. Don't think I can say Thanks enough. And I thanks all the members here who were work hard in helping us all to become better traders, and I would say better people as well. The support many of you offered when we evacuated during the fire this past year helped me immeasurably.
Happy New Years to you all!
Phil- I am a former portfolio manager and now retired. I have been following you for about six months and I now know why you have so many followers you are very insightful and knowledgeable.
SPY/Phil, I took a big swing on January 26th following your advice to another member and bought 1615 contracts of Mar 185/190 BCS on SPY that will expire ITM today paying $290,700 on the $500k bet. I thought it might be fun to see what a winning trade looks like. Great call on your part and looking back it seems pretty obvious.
I am an Economist at Harvard and some of my colleagues and I would like to let you know that we follow your posts on SA, and find your analysis refreshing, rigorous, and acute. Great work! Though many of us (including myself) have our work covered in the Wall St Journal, in many ways your macro commentary is more fearless and accurate than what is generally found in that venerable publication.
Blessings, ALL: So we have completed two months of 2015. So far it has been a good ride with my PSW all short put portfolio showing a 15.73% gain with $83K in profits harvested in 2015.
Phil… My portfolio, in the past few months, has acheived a high degree of stabilization. I've noticed that on up days, down days, even days, it doesn't matter, my portfolio rarely varies more than 2%. And over the long haul it just slowly increases in value. I attribute this not to investment choices, but to style. Thanks to you and others on this site I'm paying close attention to position size, delta neutrality, downside protection, and concentrating on selling premium rather than buying it. I've developed increasing patience, not having to trade daily, or even weekly. I'm concentrating on the finer points of trading, letting the profits come to me, rather than the other way around. I appreciate the help everyone here has given in getting me focused on this principle. I'm pumped!…in a calm sort of way.
Phil, Thanks for the long calls@ $ 85 on AAPL. A quick $4900. Paid for my subscription!!
Phil: That NFLX call was awesome. The speed at which NFLX options decayed was precipitous. The blow out spike that allowed me to double and roll my callers to 190(!) and the ridiculous 170 weeklies @3.50 a day away from Op-Ex. The gains I realized in that trade floored me when I took a long at my portfolio value on Friday. What a great way to start the 3rd Quarter.
Consumer credit contracted $3.6B in July. In short, the year over year rate is improving, but the bottom line is that consumer credit continues to contract as the de-leveraging continues at the household level (via Econoday):
“Consumer credit outstanding in June contracted $1.3 billion-but at least it was at a slower pace than in recent months. Credit in May fell $5.3 billion while April dropped a particularly severe $14.9 billion. Simply, the consumer sector is showing weak demand for loans combined with tight bank lending and heavy charge offs by banks.”
The economy has gone from bad to worse. On Friday the Commerce Department reported that GDP had slipped from 3.7% to 2.4% in one quarter. Now that depleted stockpiles have been rebuilt and fiscal stimulus is running out, activity will continue to sputter increasing the likelihood of a double dip recession. Consumer credit and spending have taken a sharp downturn and data released on Tuesday show that the personal savings rate has soared to 6.4%. Mushrooming savings indicate that household deleveraging is ongoing which will reduce spending and further exacerbate the second-half slowdown. The jobs situation is equally grim; 8 million jobs have been lost since the beginning of the recession, but policymakers on Capital Hill and at the Fed refuse to initiate government programs or provide funding that will put the country back to work. Long-term "structural" unemployment is here to stay.
The stock market has continued its highwire act due to corporate earnings reports that surprised to the upside. 75% of S&P companies beat analysts estimates which helped send shares higher on low volume. Corporate profits increased but revenues fell; companies laid off workers and trimmed expenses to fatten the bottom line. Profitability has been maintained even though the overall size of the pie has shrunk. Stocks rallied on what is essentially bad news.
This is from ABC News:
"Consumer confidence matched its low for the year this week, with the ABC News Consumer Comfort Index extending a steep 9-point, six-week drop from what had been its 2010 high….The weekly index, based on Americans’ views of the national economy, the buying climate and their personal finances, stands at -50 on its scale of +100 to -100, just 4 points from its lowest on record in nearly 25 years of weekly polls…It’s in effect the death zone for consumer sentiment."
Consumer confidence has plunged due to persistent high unemployment, flat-lining personal incomes, and falling home prices. Ordinary working people do not care about the budget deficits; that’s a myth propagated by the right wing think tanks. They care about jobs, wages, and providing for their families. Congress’s unwillingness to address the problems that face the middle class has led to an erosion of confidence in government. This is from the Wall Street Journal:
"The lackluster job market continued to weigh on confidence. The share of
Consumer credit increased at an annual rate of 1/2 percent in April 2010. Revolving credit decreased at an annual rate of 12 percent, and nonrevolving credit increased at an annual rate of 7 percent.
In dollars, non-revolving loans went from $1.5925 trillion to $1.602 trillion, an increase of $10 billion. But revolving (credit card) debt decreased $8 billion from $846.5 to $838.
The previous values were revised (negatively) as well.
To put this in chart terms in percentages:
Yeah, ok, the rate of change has leveled out in the credit card space and turned up a tiny bit in the non-revolving. But in dollars it looks like this:
Nice little hook there eh?
The consumer continues to say "screw that!" on more spending - especially spending that goes on plastic.
Believe whatever you want about the magic market pumpers, the numbers do not lie, and it appears the stock market is figuring it out too, with RTH (Retail Holders) down to just under 93 from $108 just a couple of months ago, a loss of 14%.
I haven’t thought the 75%+ rally was particularly irrational over the course of the last 12 months. Surprised by the strength? Absolutely. But irrational, no. As of late, we’ve begun to see signs that the consumer is back, but the equity action implies that the consumer is not only back, but ready to break records. In late 2006 I wrote a letter that said:
“So here we sit with a relatively healthy economy, signs of inflation and record housing prices. Sounds pretty good, right? Not so fast. The markets could certainly move higher if housing doesn’t collapse, but we see very few scenarios in which that can happen. When the housing market slows consumers will spend less and businesses will begin to suffer. The US economy will then fall into a recession and European and Asian countries will quickly follow suit as the world’s greatest consumers wilt under the environment of low liquidity and higher debt….The credit driven housing bubble remains the greatest risk to the equity markets at this time.”
The day before the market bottom in March 2009 I said government intervention would likely generate an equity rally. But I did not come close to predicting that we were on the precipice of a 75% 12 month move. Not even close. On the other hand, I have never thought the move was particularly irrational and didn’t fight the tape through 2009.
I was very constructive on the market heading into 2010 and maintained that stimulus, strong earnings and an accommodative Fed would result in higher stock prices in H1. I point this out not because I am trying to toot my own horn or gloss over my many imperfections (many can be emphasized), but overall I have been able to not only foresee the macro mechanics driving the market, but have also done a fine job translating that into…
See the green part of the graph? That’s home mortgage debt up until 2008.
See the blue part? That’s consumer credit.
Call me mathematical, but what’s wrong with this picture? More importantly, what propaganda machine continues to succeed in preventing the breathing portion of humanity from recognizing that the government sponsored and encouraged lending in the home mortgage industry for decades, and this is what happened.
Stated another way: The government not only caused this, it encouraged it. This has nothing to do with market action. This is pure, politically-motivated manipulation. For those of you still so mind-numb that you remain skeptical, ask yourself this: why is the commercial mortgage market still solvent? Answer? Because it doesn’t have government sponsorship.
The Commerce Department reported higher retail sales in January, the third increase in the last four months, as American consumers continue to open their wallets after one of the sharpest contractions in spending since the Great Depression.
Following an upwardly revised decline of 0.1 percent in December, overall sales adjusted for seasonal variations rose 0.5 percent in January and the gains were broad-based with a full nine of 13 categories posting increases.
After rising 0.1 percent in December, auto sales were unchanged last month and, excluding autos, overall sales were up 0.6 percent following a decline of 0.2 percent. Excluding both automobile sales and sales at gasoline stations, January saw an increase of 0.6 percent after a decline of 0.3 percent in December.
On a year-over-year basis, overall retail sales were up 4.7 percent and, excluding autos, sales rose 4.6 percent. As these figures are not adjusted for inflation and when considering the level of sales one year ago (see chart above), the recent data loses some of its luster, particularly when considering which components contributed most to the increase in sales over that time.
Sales of food and clothing, aided by government assistance to a degree never seen before, continued to rise at about the rate of inflation, but, with unemployment still quite high, incomes flat or falling, and consumer credit collapsing as it has over the last year, it’s hard to see how spending in the U.S. will rebound to anywhere near the levels seen during the middle of the last decade absent the hefty contributions from discretionary spending.
Moreover, as we move further into 2010, the year-over-year comparisons will become increasingly difficult since the worst of the spending slowdown occurred in late-2008 and early-2009.
For example, from last January, gasoline station sales rose 29 percent and this was due exclusively to higher prices since the average price at the pump was about 50 percent higher than a year ago. Other categories posting the biggest gains were sales at nonstore retailers that rose 12.4 percent and auto sales that were 6.7 percent higher than immediately after the virtual shutdown…
Consumer credit decreased at an annual rate of 6 percent in the third quarter of 2009. Revolving credit decreased at an annual rate of 10 percent, and nonrevolving credit decreased at an annual rate of 3-3/4 percent. In September, consumer credit decreased at an annual rate of 7-1/4 percent.
Here’s the graphical representation.
Nothing good in here. The non-revolving flattened out some in September (gee, you think "cash for clunkers" might have influenced August and September?) but revolving credit – that is, credit cards – continues its base jump without any appreciable change in slope.
Here’s the longer-term view:
We are a credit-based system, as are all modern monetary systems. No meaningful economic recovery can or will occur until the consumer has purged his balance sheet of the inappropriate debt he has and is once again able to earn and borrow.
If we supposedly exited the recession on or before September, it sure isn’t apparent in this report. You can put a fork in that line of garbage – it’s done.
PS: The next update of the Z1, due out in a couple of months, should be interesting….. especially the "Ponzi Finance" indicator….
Ask an economist about their biggest concern about the U.S. economy and you’re likely to get one of two starkly different answers: America is either about to be swamped by a major bout of inflation or decimated by deflation.
Count Mike "Mish" Shedlock of Sitka Pacific Capital among the deflationistas.
While some consumer prices are rising and the Fed is printing money like crazy, Shedlock says deflation is "definitely" a greater threat than inflation.
People looking at prices are completely missing the mark," says Shedlock. "Consumer credit is falling, banks aren’t lending, and we’ve got bank failures at a massive rate. These are the same kind of conditions as in the Great Depression."
Indeed, bank lending has tumbled and the Fed reports consumer credit has shrunk for seven consecutive months and was down 5.8% on an annualized basis in August, the most recent month available.
The Dow Jones Industrial Average closed above 10,000 today for the first time in a year, and more than a decade after first breaking the mark. Since hitting lows in March, the Dow is up an astounding 50%, while the S&P 500 has gained 60%.
Before you get your broker on the phone or start trading that dormant online brokerage account, take heed of this warning from Mike “Mish” Shedlock, the blogger behind MISH’S Global Economic Trend Analysis: "Five years from now, I think its quite likely the Dow is not going to be much more than 10,000," he says.
Why so negative?
"We’ve still not solved any of those structural problems" in the housing, banking and debt markets, that caused last year’s crisis, he claims.
Shedlock’s advice: ignore the euphoria, and "take some chips off the table. Now’s just not a good time to be invested."
Shedlock, also an investment advisor representative for SitkaPacific Capital Management, thinks investors are better positioned in gold and cash.
Consumer credit fell 13% year over year in a sure sign that the deleveraging cycle is alive and well. Consumers are paring back on credit in an unprecedented fashion.
Those who are curious as to why this recession is different from past recessions need look no further than the following chart. You’ll notice that consumer credit is falling at a rate that has never been seen before. In fact, consumer credit declined marginally during the 1991 recession and actually climbed throughout the 2001 recession. Why is this important? An economy that is based on a fractional reserve banking system has trouble expanding if the debt in the system does not continually expand. Consumers are still deleveraging and that means a robust and sustainable recovery is unlikely to occur.
The biggest risk in such an environment is not whether the consumer recovers – the consumer needs to deleverage and clean up their balance sheet – but whether the government continues to pummel the currency and rack up massive debts as they try to dig our way out of the debt hole. These are the same mistakes Japan made in the 90’s. Let’s hope we wise up and stop the printing presses before they cause an even larger boom/bust cycle….
The Federal Reserve’s latest (through July) G19 update is out, showing consumer credit.
To say that these figures are ugly would be an understatement. In fact, there is simply no way you can spin this – while this contraction in credit has to happen it has horrifying implications if our Washington policymakers don’t get on the stick and deal with the underlying issues here and now instead of pretending that everything is ok or worse, try to "borrow our way to prosperity."
Let’s start with the "Full Monte"; this is the "de-noised" version of The Fed’s "annualized" rate of change chart (click for a larger version of any of these):
The important point is that we have never been here before in the post-Depression era. Any and all claims that "The Consumer has reached a bottom", or "The Recession is over" (based on July data) or any such is pure nonsense. There is not only no sign of a bottom there is no change in the second derivative – that is, the rate of change continues to be essentially straight down!
(By the way the method I use to "de-noise" the figures is simple – I have Excel computing a percentage change .vs. 12 month prior numbers rather than annualizing monthly changes as The Fed does in its headline release. Their method is extremely noisy and difficult to draw conclusions from without waiting for a number of months in sequence to indicate a trend shift, where going y/o/y very effectively highlights true trend shifts almost immediately and yet is not subject to this problem.)
Looking at the same de-noised figures for revolving and non-revolving debt is even worse:
I had taken a (small) amount of comfort in the fact that non-revolving credit looked to be well behind its cousin the credit card. Well, not so much any more. Yes, its behind, but its catching up fast and in fact the slope has matched its brother now. With "Cash for Clunkers" partially in July that we saw non-revolving credit (car loans) continue to decline is an extremely ominous sign.
Here’s the close-up of the last couple of years, corrected per The Fed’s latest release. Note that credit card debt went negative on a rate-of-change basis at the end of
Lat week I provided and excerpt from Buffett’s ‘Owner’s Manual’ – In June 1996, Berkshire’s Chairman, Warren E. Buffett, issued a booklet entitled “An Owner’s Manual” to Berkshire’s Class A and Class B shareholders. The purpose of the manual was to explain Berkshire’s broad economic principles of operation.
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I will teach novices and experts alike how to fit Bitcoin into an investment portfolio safely and with the optimum risk-adjusted potential - along with step-by-step guides, instructions and tutorials.
This first part of the series starts with the basics, obtaining and managing your bitcoin.
What is Bitcoin?
First off, we need to know what Bitcoin is since most media pundits and even experienced financial types truly do not know. Bitcoin (capital "B") is a protocol driven network (very similar to that other popular protocol-based network, the Internet). This network is a blank tapestry upon which smart and creative actors can paint a cornucopia of applications (just like applicat...
These GOP guys were so worried about Hillary's email server and now we find out that we had something close to a Russian mole in the White House. In the meantime, Trump keeps on using his unsecured phone, had high level conversation in his resort in front of dinner guests! It's getting so bad that rumors are now circulating that the NSA is not sharing information with the WH:
….Our spies have had enough of these shady Russian connections—and they are starting to push back….In light of this, and out of worries about the White House’s ability to keep secrets, some of our spy agencies have begun withholding intelligence fro...
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The quite long in the tooth rally continues as we had 3 days of minor loses to begin the week; ending with 2 days of moderate gains. We are in a bit of a quiet zone as most S&P 500 companies have now reported earnings, the Federal Reserve is not a “worry” for about a month and a half, and the major economic news of the month hit the prior week. So the gnashing of teeth (or not) about government policy seems to be the main driver right now- late in the week it was announced some major new tax initiatives would be coming down the pike soon which the market liked.
President Donald Trump said Thursday that an announcement concerning taxes is on tap for the coming weeks, which his press secretary later said would involve an outline of a comprehensive tax plan. “...
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