Thanks for the free disaster hedge ideas. I implemented variations of two of them on SDS bull call spreads and EEM bear put spreads (haven't done the TZA yet) and they really hedged my short term longs nicely today. Makes it seem a lot less like gambling.
You are the man (of the people)!
I don't post much, but I guess this morning has brought me out. This site has made me tens of thousands, every year since I have become a member. It took me nearly two years devoting 3 hours per day to get on the ball, and actually understand portion sizing, and which trades fit my personal trading style. Before that I spent at least two years working on Buffet style fundamental investing. (Intellegent Investor, Security Analysis, ect.). This site really will teach you amazing things if you just pay attention. Literally it has changed my day to day life, has allowed my family and I to move back to the U.S. from overseas with confidence even with a paycut at my day job, and literally put me in a different league financially. Seriously my life and my children's is better because of this site.
Phil, you are the man. My positions in ABX and CLF are up massively this year, and doing very nicely with USO and UNG. TSR is another winner. Just waiting for the TSLA short now!
Rookie IRA Investor
Just closed out my V put for 50% in 24 hours thanks Phil!
Took profit on QQQ 57 Puts, bot 40 at $0.07, sold 20 for $0.15 and 20 for $0.32. Thank, Phil
Market manipulation…. One of the things I've gained from this site is the concept of market manipulation. I never thought it was so prevalent, but now I know it is. I actually consider its effect when I make trades. Several days ago, when AAPL was moving toward 220 I sold 210 calls. My reasoning was that they will probably pin this month at 210. They came in big time as the stock moved ever closer to 210. I agree with Phil's comment that one of the things we need to do is find out what they are manipulating, and how, and hitch a ride. They are doing this with several equities. I've actually seen one article describing several equities that were being manipulated to pin at expiration each month, and describing how it was done, and of course Phil has described it well. In some ways it's easier to figure this out than it is a ‘normal' market behavior, and thus easier to make money in certain equities.
You called all the trends and market movements with perfection this week. I enjoyed it! Thanks for keeping us sane!
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.
Phil - I followed your great pick re F and sold short the 1011 2.50 puts (200 contracts) and paid for the next 10 years of membership fees…. Thanks!
Phil, those OIH $80 p that you recommended last week for ~$1 are now worth $5.50!
I have followed along with your commentary and alerts and have been flabbergasted at your quick analytical skills and your journalistic skills to explain it clearly. In a little over three weeks I have cleared almost 1000.00 dollars and got an intensive education at the same time. I would like to immediately upgrade my membership.
Your board has been fantastic helping the less experienced (includes me) navigate through all the turmoil. The contributions from your members has been well rounded, objective, and extremely helpful. Sans the politics you have built a fantastic community and that is a tribute to you. I thank you and all fellow members for there contributions over the past few days. Fantastic group!
I picked up one of your recommended Gold plays, the July ABX 30s and sold the Feb 35s, which are now mostly intrinsic value. Is it time to roll these to the March 37.50s, or should I wait this spike out?
Great call on expe Phil! Went long 50 shares and sold for a nice profit! And Great call on the nkd shorts as well. I didn't use a stop that tight and was able to cover for a $400 gain. Works been keeping me pretty busy and I'm jealous of all the members who are able to check in here more often! It's almost always quite profitable! Looking forward to Vegas!
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.
Have been a member for about 6 months or there abouts. Signed up for a quarter at first and then for a year. To me, and it's only my opinion, it's an investment and I have made the membership fees back many times over on the strategy advice. Since joining and implementing the strategy of buy/writes and hedges I have cut my portfolio losses for the year and have a really good chance of going positive this year. If I would have continued down the road I was on, I would still have been fumbling around without a strategy and completely inept in what I was doing. I feel now the strategy is working and I am far more comfortable with the risks I am taking. I still have a lot to learn but I feel the fees have been one of the best investments I have made. The returns have been fantastic. Still have problems with the politics but hey nobody is perfect
Phil I have been applying your arsenal (matresses, Edz plays, Ugl verticals etc.) to my gold holdings . So a big thank you for "teaching me how to fish" rather than just giving me the fish...
Phil, did you by chance publish the weekly webinar on Youtube yet? I have been watching these and they are awesome. Unfortunately, I can't cut out of work to attend live webinars. Again, they are just awesome content – thank you.
Thanks to your teaching and guidance, I was able to make a killing on my /TF shorts. I averaged into 12 shorts at 1252 and got out of 6 at 1242 and 6 more at 1235. Last week I did the same with /CL, though I got out too early and left $2 on the table. Thank you!
I love volatile days like this when you can make a bunch of money on these big swings. As long as you have Phil on your side calling the bottoms and the tops of course.
Phil, Passed a milestone today since joining 2 months ago. 25% of my account is in buy/writes, bull call spreads and disaster hedges. A majority of the trades were taken directly from your ideas or someone else`s contributions. Some were daytrades that became spreads.
That part of my account is up 30% as of today. I don`t worry about it, or mess with it much, did a few rolls etc.
Rest of the account is there to day trade, cover the writes and take advantage of opportunities.
Thanks to everyone who contributes here, what a sweet way to trade, so many opportunities.
Once again, many muchos for the SODA trade of last week. Finally out of all three legs. I didn't want to wait for expiration tomorrow and the possible peg at $70.00, following your dictum to not get greedy.
Phil – just wanted to say a sincere thank you for teaching me how to offset, hedge, roll, and not panic. My account is up 10% in the last two weeks, and far from panic, this is becoming great fun. Thanks again,
WOW, look at DRYS go. Nice call on the entry the other week Phil. I got 200 at $6.66 and sold a 7.5 call for $.50, then on the tear today sold another 7.5 call for $1. This should puts me in at an average of $5.91 and called away at $7.5 for a profit of $300+ after commisions. Once again another Phil trade pays for this months membership.
Thanks Phil, for banging the table on getting short and getting to cash. Usually when this happens in the market I am freaking out but I actually made money this week thanks to you. That HOV trade was a great way to re-deploy some of my cash.
Looking over your main themes last week, the "China may fall first" and "if you missed it previously, Thurs am gives you a second chance to short" were absolutely on target. I had to rely on stop-losses because of my schedule but just those two calls could have been worth a small fortune. Keep it up and I look forward to your new portfolio.
Phil – I think I finally figured out your "crystal ball" time frame. You're about 5-14 days AHEAD of what the market is going to do. It's taken me a long time to realize this, but boy it's been profitable. I go in when you recommend something at about 25% allocation, and then add to it each day it "goes the wrong way" Then BOOM, one day it's all good…. The long put list was literally exact in it's timing.
Thanks Phil, I have adjusted my position by getting rid of the IYF puts, and selling the FAZ puts. You have so many of these awesome little tricks in your playbook that it really amazes me. I toally love your analogy by the way: Do you want insurance that you have to pay for, or do you want insurance that pays you?
Phil, Thanks for the long calls@ $ 85 on AAPL. A quick $4900. Paid for my subscription!!
Kudos on the POT puts! I studied the charts last night and you couldn't have hit the inflection points more perfectly. Since there are often many head fakes in the charts, that was very well done. I know they can't all work this well, but that was an extra unexpected bonus yesterday.
The Consumer Price Index for All Urban Consumers (CPI-U) declined 0.1 percent in June on a seasonally adjusted basis, the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics reported today. Over the last 12 months, the index increased 1.1 percent before seasonal adjustment.
Similarly to April and May, a decline in the energy index caused the seasonally adjusted all items decrease in June. The index for energy decreased 2.9 percent in June, the same decline as in May, with a decline in the gasoline index accounting for most of the decrease. This more than offset an increase in the index for all items less food and energy, while the food index was unchanged for the second month in a row.
The index for all items less food and energy rose 0.2 percent in June after increasing 0.1 percent in May. A broad array of indexes posted increases, including shelter, apparel, used cars, medical care, tobacco, and recreation. These increases more than offset declines in the indexes for household furnishings and operations and for airline fares. The 12-month change in the index for all items less food and energy remained at 0.9 percent for the third month in a row.
One Month Change in CPI-U
12-Month CPI-U Change vs. Year Ago
Oil and the CPI
For, now the CPI (less food and energy) has been hovering near +1% for about a year. However, it is not really valid to exclude food or energy but the Fed does it to justify their inflationary policies (policies that clearly are not working now).
The jump in "all items" in the second chart reflects the rebound in oil prices in Spring-Summer of 2009 when crude soared from $35 a barrel to close to $80 a barrel.
Of course hyperinflationists were screaming every step of the way, conveniently ignoring the plunge from $140 to $35.
When it comes to prices, people have selective memories. They remember every penny uptick in gasoline prices, but forget the times they drop. The same applies to most everything else, but energy is very noticeable because people are constantly filling up their tanks.
May CPI and Core CPI were out this morning. As we all know, nothing is worth anything anymore. Until further notice and some change in trend, the discussion simply cannot be about inflation.
Sorry, Inflationistas. Nothing to see here just yet. Now if only the drop in cost of living expenditures could become a favorable topic of conversation to counterbalance all the moroseness and hand-wringing…
On a seasonally adjusted basis, the Consumer Price Index for All Urban Consumers (CPI-U) rose 0.4 percent in November, the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics reported today. Over the last 12 months the index increased 1.8 percent before seasonal adjustment, the first positive 12-month change since February 2009.
Most of the change was due to energy; gasoline was up sharply (as we saw yesterday in the PPI.)
Core was a literal zero.
Food was up a bit, but I continued to be puzzled by the difference between gasoline and "fuel oil."
Why? Because "fuel oil" (that is, heating oil) is exactly the same thing as #2 diesel – that is, road diesel fuel. The only difference is the tax (and the presence of dye in the heating oil to denote that the tax has not been paid.) But for the legal (tax) issues you can run "heating oil" in your diesel car or truck, and vice-versa – they are identical products.
Used vehicles were also up materially – a reflection of the distortion from "cash for clunkers" still present in the data (it hit its maximum in October at +3.4%) Prices for new vehicles were also up (again, the maximum was in October) – again denoting the "back-door" bailout of the automakers from cash-for-clunkers. Unlike the new vehicle deal however, which you got a tax credit for, the buyer of a used car just got plain old-fashioned screwed through price-jacking caused by constraints in supply. (Just wait though – in the new year when people can’t make the payments on those CFC deals, you’ll see what happens to used car prices…. supply and demand you know.. )
Medical care was up as usual (gee, how come it keeps rising faster than overall inflation?) and shelter costs were down (remember, this is not "housing", as that would expose reality – it is "owners equivalent rent")
All in all a blah report – but given the PPI that’s expected – the fun and games in the CPI report resulting from yesterday’s PPI should show up in a month or two.
Here is an excerpt from today’s Bureau of Labor Statistics Non-farm Payrolls report.
"The unemployment rate rose from 9.8 to 10.2 percent in October, and nonfarm payroll employment continued to decline (-190,000), the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics reported today. The largest job losses over the month were in construction, manufacturing, and retail trade.
Household Survey Data
In October, the number of unemployed persons increased by 558,000 to 15.7 million. The unemployment rate rose by 0.4 percentage point to 10.2 percent, the highest rate since April 1983. Since the start of the recession in December 2007, the number of unemployed persons has risen by 8.2 million, and the unemployment rate has grown by 5.3 percentage points…
The civilian labor force participation rate was little changed over the month at 65.1 percent. The employment-population ratio continued to decline in October, falling to 58.5 percent."
An astute reader noticed that the BLS press release says that 190,000 jobs were lost from payroll employment, but the number of unemployed persons increased by 558,000. What’s up with that?
The BLS report consists of two independent data samples. BLS has two monthly surveys that measure employment levels and trends: the Current Population Survey (CPS), also known as the household survey, and the Current Employment Statistics (CES) survey, also known as the payroll or establishment survey.
There is the "Establishment Survey" which is based on responses from a sample of about 400,000 business establishments, about one-third of total nonfarm payroll employment. The headline payroll number, the job loss of 190,000, is based on this data.
Then there is the "Household Survey" which is a statistical survey of more than 50,000 households with regard to the employment circumstances of their members, which is then applied to the estimates of the US population to obtain the unemployment number. This survey was started in the 1950′s and is conducted by the Census Bureau with the data being provided to BLS. It is from the household survey that more detailed information is obtained about employment statistics within population groups like gender and age, wages, and hours worked. It is this study that is responsible for the unemployment rate of 10.2%.
So which survey is correct? Neither. The truth is somewhere
Fantastic dish served up at Jesse’s Cafe. Highly recommended – especially if you’re a normally intelligent person who can’t understand economics. It has nothing to do with you! Imagine being an inquisitive medical student at the time when blood-letting was used to treat all ills… I loved this:
"The ugly truth is that economics is a science in the way that medicine was a profession while it still used leeches to balance a person’s vapours. Yes, some are always better than others, and certainly more entertaining, but they all tended to kill their patients."
Why the Austrian, Keynesian, Marxist, Monetarist, and Neo-Liberal Economists Are All Wrong
US Personal Income has taken its worst annual decline since 1950.
This is why it is an improbable fantasy to think that the consumer will be able to pull this economy out of recession using the normal ‘print and trickle down’ approach. In the 1950′s the solution was huge public works projects like the Interstate Highway System and of course the Korean War.
Until the median wage improves relative to the cost of living, there will be no recovery. And by cost of living we do not mean the chimerical US Consumer Price Index.
The classic Austrian prescription is to allow prices to decline until the median wage becomes adequate. Given the risk of a deflationary wage-price spiral, which is desired by no one except for the cash rich, the political risks of such an approach are enormous.
On paper it is obvious that a market can ‘clear’ at a variety of levels, if wages and prices are allowed to move freely. After all, if profits are diminished, income can obviously be diminished by a proportional amount, and nothing has really changed in terms of viable consumption.
The Supply side idealists (cash rich bosses, Austrians, Marxist, monetarist, and deflationist theorists) would like to see this happen at a lower level through a deflationary spiral. The Keynesians and neo-liberals wish to see it driven through the Demand side, with higher wages rising to meet the demands of profit in an inflationary expansion. Both believe that market forces alone can achieve this equilibrium. Across both groups runs a sub-category of statism vs. individualism.
Unfortunately both groups are wrong.
Both approaches require an ideal, almost frictionless, objectively rational, and honest economy in…
Another mixed bag of data this morning. Most alarming is the continuing trend in negative consumer data. As we all know by now, yesterday’s retail sales data was weak at best – something we’ve been reporting on here at TPC weekly thru our ICSC and Redbook data reports.
Consumer sentiment readings continue to trend in-line with broader spending habits. This morning’s reading came in at 63.2 – almost 5 points below consensus. This continues to represent the broader economic themes we are seeing; deflation in the things we own and inflation in the things we need.
CPI came in flat which is reflective of the sluggish economy. This morning’s data was in-line with estimates at 0%. The lack of pricing power across the broad economy is in-line with the lack of expansion in corporate revenues. There is little demand for goods and even less pricing power. I’d love to spin this into a positive, but it simply displays the death grip that deflation continues to maintain on the broad economy.
On the bright side, capacity utilization and industrial production posted slight improvements. This is a clear sign that the recession is likely to end in the upcoming quarter. Unfortunately, the rebound in both indicators show clear signs of the sluggish and below trend recovery we are likely to see. It won’t be a technical recession, but it will probably continue to feel like one.
All in all, this morning’s data nicely summarizes the themes we continue to focus on here at TPC. The consumer is weak, deflation remains the bigger concern and the recovery (if we can call it that) is likely to be far from v-shaped. As for the markets, complacency remains the name of the game. Own equities at your own risk – which I believe are highly elevated currently….
So, I got lucky and somehow predicted Q2 GDP the night before the release (as a friend of mine told me, "even the blind chicken gets the kernel of corn"), BUT I’ll try again. Economists (smarter than me) are predicting a month over month CPI print of 0.0%. I’ll go on record here that it will come in lower. To understand my reasoning, lets take a look at details from today’s July import price levels release. Marketwatch reported:
Prices of imported goods fell 0.7% in July, the first decrease since January as petroleum prices declined, the Labor Department estimated Thursday.
Analysts polled by MarketWatch had expected the import price index to fall 0.1%.
Import prices were down 19.3% in the past year, the largest annual decline since the data were first published in 1982. In June, the import price index rose a revised 2.6%, compared with a prior estimate of a 3.2% gain.
In July, imported petroleum prices fell 2.8%, the first decrease since January. The petroleum imports price index is down 49.9% over 12 months. Non-petroleum import prices fell 0.2% in July, and are down 7.3% for the year, the largest 12-month decline since the data began publication in 1985.
We can see below that the change in the import price level was largely driven by the change in fuel (i.e. petroleum) prices.
Now the significance. There has been a very strong relationship between the price level of imports and broad CPI, as changes in the price of petroleum has been the main driver of CPI. Thus, the fact that July’s import prices declined makes me think we may be in for a surprise regarding July’s CPI print. The below chart shows the longer term relationship.
Regardless of the month over month figure, expect a sizable drop in the year over year number. As we can see below, prices spiked last July as the bubble in oil was in full gear. Thus, if prices are flat month over month (as expected), the year over year CPI will move down to -1.9%.
The important question… how do you position for this? I personally own TLT (a long positon in the long bond). My view is if CPI comes in lower than…
Inquiring minds are asking "What is the Real CPI?" It’s a good question, too. However, you can find many widely differing opinions. For example, you will get one answer from the government, a different answer from sites like Shadowstats, and a third opinion from me.
That’s an interesting chart, especially given the hyperinflationary bent of John Williams. He pegs the CPI at 2% as of May 2009 and had it at 9% mid-2008 and right around 5% in 2007. In contrast, the official CPI was 5.5% in mid-2008 and 2+% in 2007.
The problem with all of those numbers is they fail to properly take housing into consideration. And housing has been falling like a rock.
Should housing be in the CPI? How?
Bear in mind the government considers housing a capital good not a consumption item. Based on the idea that one would be renting a house if one did not own it, the government uses Owners Equivalent Rent (OER) and not housing prices in the CPI. OER is the largest component in the CPI.
By the same measure one might argue that lawn mowers and automobiles are capital goods. Lawn mowers are durable, not immediately consumed, and if one owns buildings and uses lawn mowers to maintain their properties (or if one hired someone to cut their lawns for them), the mowers would indeed be depreciated over time as a capital expense. The same logic also applies to auto leases.
Let’s explore this from a practical standpoint starting with theory.
Page 47: The treatment of owner occupied housing is difficult and somewhat controversial. There may be no consensus on what is the best practice. The distinctive feature is that it requires the use of an extremely large fixed asset in the form of the dwelling itself.
Page 147: The treatment of owner-occupied housing is arguably the most difficult issue faced by CPI-compilers. Equally important it may be difficult to identify a single principal purpose for the CPI.
In particular, the dual use of CPIs as both macroeconomic indicators and also for indexation purposes can lead to
“Move to Italy. They know about living in debt: They don’t care.”
– John Lydon
“Italians were eating with a knife and fork when the French were still eating each other.”
– Mario Batali
Italians are headed to the polls this Sunday (and thus this letter is reaching you a little earlier than usual) – but no one is quite sure what is on the ballot. On the surface, the voters are considering whether to approve constitutional reforms that should make the government operate more effectively (or not, depending on your point of view). But many people think t...
On November 16, at a State Department press briefing, department spokesperson John Kirby was having one of his frequent adversarial dialogues with Gayane Chichakyan, a reporter for RT (Russia Today); this time concerning U.S. charges of Russia bombing hospitals in Syria and blocking the U.N. from delivering aid to the trapped population.
When Chichakyan asked for some detail about these charges, Kirby replied: “Why don’t...
The talk over the past couple of months has been, interest rates are rising and the Fed will raise rates very soon. Joe Friday feels a big test is in play, before one can say the “rate trend has changed!”
Below looks at the yield on the 10-year note, over the past 20-years.
CLICK HERE TO ENLARGE
The yield on the 10-year note has remained inside of falling channel (1), creating lower highs and lower lows, for the majority of the past 20-years. The top of the channel is bein...
Internet troubles have limited me tonight, but the one chart I want to show is the near 5% loss in the Semiconductor Index. Having escaped relatively unscathed from recent day's selling it was a whirlwind of action for the index today.
This had obvious consequences on the Nasdaq. The Nasdaq did relatively well to suffer just over a 1% loss. However, there were 'sell' triggers for On-Balance-Volume and Directional Index. There was also an acceleration in the relative underperformance of the index to the S&P.
Reminder: OpTrader is available to chat with Members, comments are found below each post.
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.
To learn more about the swing trading virtual portfolio (strategy, performance, FAQ, etc.), please click here
Last Thursday we reported that in a startling development seeking to breach the privacy veil of users of America's largest bitcoin exchange, the IRS filed court papers seeking a judicial order to serve a so-called “John Doe” summons on the San Francisco-based Bitcoin platform Coinbase.
The government’s request is part of a bitcoin tax-evasion probe, and se...
There is a reason no Berkshire Hathaway investor chides Buffett when the company has a bad quarter. It’s because Buffett has so thoroughly convinced his investors that it’s pointless to try to navigate around 90-day intervals. He’s done that by writing incredibly lucid letters to investors for the last 50 years, communicating in easy-to-understand language at annual meetings, and speaking on TV in ways that someone with no investing experience can grasp.
Yes, Buffett runs an amazing investment company. But he also runs an amazing investor company. One of the most underappreciated part of his s...
Reminder: Pharmboy is available to chat with Members, comments are found below each post.
Epizyme was founded in 2007, and trying to create drugs to treat patient's cancer by focusing on genetically-linked differences between normal and cancer cells. Cancer areas of focus include leukemia, Non-Hodgkin's lymphoma and breast cancer. One of the Epizme cofounders, H. Robert Horvitz, won the Nobel Prize in Medicine in 2002 for "discoveries concerning genetic regulation of organ development and programmed cell death."
Before discussing the drug targets of Epizyme, understanding epigenetics is crucial to comprehend the company's goals.
Genetic components are the DNA sequences that are 'inherited.' Some of these genes are stronger than others in their expression (e.g., eye color). Yet, some genes turn on or off due to external factors (environmental), and it is und...
Note: The material presented in this commentary is provided for
informational purposes only and is based upon information that is
considered to be reliable. However, neither PSW Investments, LLC d/b/a PhilStockWorld (PSW)
nor its affiliates
warrant its completeness, accuracy or adequacy and it should not be relied upon as such. Neither PSW nor its affiliates are responsible for any errors or omissions or for results obtained from the use of this information. Past performance, including the tracking of virtual trades and portfolios for educational purposes, is not necessarily indicative of future results. Neither Phil, Optrader, or anyone related to PSW is a registered financial adviser and they may hold positions in the stocks mentioned, which may change at any time without notice. Do not buy or sell based on anything that is written here, the risk of loss in trading is great.
This material is not intended as an offer or solicitation for the purchase or sale of any security or other financial instrument. Securities or other financial instruments mentioned in this material are not suitable for all investors. Any opinions expressed herein are given in good faith, are subject to change without notice, and are only intended at the moment of their issue as conditions quickly change. The information contained herein does not constitute advice on the tax consequences of making any particular investment decision. This material does not take into account your particular investment objectives, financial situations or needs and is not intended as a recommendation to you of any particular securities, financial instruments or strategies. Before investing, you should consider whether it is suitable for your particular circumstances and, as necessary, seek professional advice.
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