by Phil Davis - October 24th, 2012 8:32 am
AAPL is a total disaster.
There's no denying it now, they had their IPad Mini event yesterday and investors charged out of the stock, dropping it from a high of $633 (which is already 10% off the Sept highs) to close at $613 and that was finally weak enough to get us to capitulate and roll back our AAPL positions to longer-term trades that have less upside but, more importantly, less downside as we are no longer confident they'll be able to turn it around on Friday.
Notice how silly it seems to talk about how poorly AAPL is performing when the chart on the right pretty clearly indicates it's the greatest stock on Earth but that would be the logical conclusion for a company that's on track to earnings $43Bn this year, which is $81,811 a minute – more even than what they were tracking to make last month, when I set out bottom target at $600 (and that spread is an even better buy now) AND, only 68% of what they are projected to make next year!
We didn't really think it would hit $600 – that was our worst-case but here we are – at the worst case and, since we are no longer able to say with conviction that it can't get any worse, we had to back our short-term plays to something that buys us more time. In that same post we liked HPQ at $14.30 and at least they are holding that line and we also had a nice spread on that stock in the same post, which is still holding up as a new spread.
In that post I mentioned (as usual) our primary hedge being TZA and the straight-up April $15 calls mentioned there have gone up another .40, from $2.50 to $2.90 off our $2.10 entry (up 38%) – not bad against just a 15-point drop in the Russell (down 2%).
Yesterday, with our hedges already in place (see last Wednesday's TZA hedge and this Monday's DIA hedge) we had the luxury of doing some bottom-fishing yesterday with long trade ideas on TIVO at $9.78, USO at $31.75, AAPL at $623, CMG at $238 and our last trade idea for the day was SQQQ at $41.20 (that one, of course, is another hedge – always look for BALANCE!) – just…
by Phil Davis - June 2nd, 2011 7:42 am
$1,129,860,000! That’s how much money was made shorting 376,620 NYMEX contracts at $103 yesterday, as we planned! Congratulations to those of you who got your share playing along with us and, to the manipulators who got stuck with the bill – screw you bastards, we have your number and we’re going to ring it now! I called a cash-out at the $100 line in Member Chat as 2.9% was more of a drop than we expected in one day and we will re-load on the bounce as we cross back below the $100.50 line – as discussed in this morning’s Member Chat - assuming the Dollar has bottomed out at 74.35.
This isn’t complicated people – what’s the 2.5% line off of $103? $100.425. That’s where we’ll look for oil to consolidate but below that line we’ll be comfortable with our shorts again, looking for those next legs down to $98.88 (down 4%) and then $97.85, where we will once again look for a 20% retrace to $98.88 and then a nice short there when it fails. So come on – you can play along at home – don’t miss out on making the next $1.129Bn!
Meanwhile, what’s a 20% bounce off a $3 drop? 60 cents, right? Where did oil bounce to in the futures? $100.60? This is not rocket science folks… We teach these little tips to our Members every day at Philstockworld. Sure you may find it disturbing that the chart we drew up (above) in early April is hit almost to the penny on the NYSE yesterday (2 months later) as it halted right on our red line – but that just shows us that Bots are running this market (as we keep telling you) and it also means that we can rely on our ranges and that makes it EASY to make good trading decisions.
Also in Member Chat last night, I reviewed 8 short put ideas (bullish) that can net us over $3,000 in 15 days if we get a bounce and hold our "Must Hold" levels. This is the nice thing about hedging – we make money on the way up OR on the way down and, when we are trading in a range – like we hopefully will this summer – then we make money both ways on a regular basis! Let the market manipulators play their…
by Phil Davis - October 7th, 2010 8:16 am
GRANDPA JOE: But this roof is made of glass. It’ll shatter into a thousand pieces. We’ll be cut to ribbons!
WILLY WONKA: Probably.
Is today going to be the day? After pressing against our breakout levels all week, today do we should finally have the gas to get over the top or will our 7.5% levels keep acting like a solid barrier? Oddly enough, I was asking the same question (with the same title post) on August 5th, when we were trying to break out over our 5% lines of Dow 10,710, S&P 1,123, Nas 2,310, NYSE 7,140 and Russell 666. At the time I concluded that the only way we were going to do that was if the Fed gave us more Quantitative Easing.
We were, at the time, at the top of a very bogus-looking, low-volume rally that had taken us up 10% from 9,700 in early July to 10,680 on August 4th. The Dow and the Nasdaq were our leaders but the Russell kept flashing warning signs as it failed to hold it’s satanic 666 target and, on Aug 2nd, just like on October 5th, we had a big, silly jump up to what we were pretty sure was a blow-off top. Despite being dead right to call a top at the time – it took the market another week to drop but we fell off a cliff on Wednesday, August 10th and we were back at 10,200 on the 11th so better a week early than a week late with these calls.
Willy Wonka understood stock market physics, there had to be enough power to getthrough that overhead resistance or it was going to be a very painful test of the top (like the one we had in August). Since our last dip, we’ve come back for another try but the volume has been substantially lower than it was in Aug, leading us to believe it is only TradeBots, and not Oompa Loompas, who are buying this market. Can TradeBots alone give us enough "thrust" to break through this time? It shouldn’t be THAT hard, in April we had highs of Dow 11,258 (5.6% higher than 10,680), S&P 1,219 (7.5% higher), Nas 2,535 (9.2%), NYSE 7,743 (7.2%) and Russell 745 (11.1%) so it’s not like we’re asking for a lot with our little breakouts, are we?
by Phil Davis - October 5th, 2010 8:24 am
Go go BOJ!!!
Acting under pressure from the Government to DO SOMETHING, the Bank of Japan announce a 35,000,000,000,000 Yen ($418Bn) monetary easing program this morning, finally taking that last step and cutting rates to ZERO. That’s right, the BOJ will literally give you money for nothing (no word yet on whether the chicks will also be free). Ironically enough, though, the logic of giving out free money now is the same as it was in the early 80′s – the BOJ is well aware that:
"We got to install microwave ovens
Custom kitchen deliveries
We got to move these refrigerators
We got to move these colour T.V.’s"
Of course, even with an economy one quarter the size of the US ($4.1Tn), $418Bn doesn’t buy what it used to so the BOJ is coming up with ANOTHER 5 TRILLION YEN in a program to buy private and public assets – let the shopping spree begin! You might think such incredibly reckless spending by the BOJ would devalue their currency somewhat BUT Noooooooooooo – the Yen ROSE back to 83.2 to the dollar (and we caught that move last night in Member Chat!) as currency traders realized that $500Bn of QE from the BOJ was only a drop in the bucket of the ocean of irresponsibility that is our own Federal Reserve.
As I had said to Members last Wednesday (and we had lots of cool currency charts): "I am seeing A LOT of money lining up on the short side of the Dollar trade. I’m very concerned that BOJ will do something to squeeze the bears and THEN I think it’s a better entry." Of course, currency manipulation was the theme of the week last week and you can get a quick review by downloading a FREE SAMPLE of our new Weekly Newsletter HERE.
"The surprise invited some yen selling, but I don’t think the BOJ’s move will be enough to produce any sustained yen weakening," said Masanobu Ishikawa, general manager of spot foreign exchange trading at Tokyo Forex & Ueda Harlow. Hirokata Kusaba, senior economist at Mizuho Research Institute echoed this view, saying "there will be no substantive effect from going from the already ultra-low 0.1% to this range. The only effect on markets will be from the surprise…
by Phil Davis - September 27th, 2010 7:18 am
Hope springs eternal at Goldman Sachs.
This morning our favorite Banksters goosed the EU markets by upping targets on international mining operators Kazakhmys, Lonmin and BHP and that got the European markets off to a flying start out of the gate, despite the fact that UBS had just DOWNgraded the same sector on Friday. UBS said on Friday that the sector is facing difficult times concerning potential growth with government rulings on mineral leases and the proposed supertax on mining profits in Australia set to hinder metal-based stocks.
We also have a lot of M&A activity, also courtesy of GS, who are leading the resurgence this year with 225 deals to date worth $401.6Bn, accounting for about 20% of all activity going through Goldman’s sticky fingers. In a sign of the times, however, GS only generated $961M in revenues as an M&A advisor as they cut a lot of discounts in order to land the top spot in dealmaking. Although outdealt by GS, MS, Rothchild, JPM and DB all made more in fees than the Uncle Lloyd show.
In a sign of the end of times, GS’s London Headquarters has been taken over by lenders after the owner fell into receivership. GS’s landlord, Antedon, is an offshore real estate firm that bought the building for $500M at the top of the market in 2007 and GS has locked up the building through 2026 at what seems to be not enough money to keep Antedon liquid – it would be very interesting to trace the web of deals that led to this massive default.
Meanwhile, the consortium of Irish investors that own GS’s other London building are also bailing out, this action is coinciding with what Ireland’s Independent says is a campaign by Wall Street Hedge Funds to short sell Irish Government Bonds. US hedge funds Groveland Capital and Corrientes Advisors are thought to have taken major positions against Irish debt. Giant €60bn asset-manager Pictet also revealed that it had earlier bet against Irish government bonds. JP Morgan is also thought to have taken a bearish position on Irish debt. The International Monetary Fund estimated that up to €3bn of Ireland’s debt was being targeted by speculators through the uses of derivatives.
by Phil Davis - September 2nd, 2010 8:25 am
Wheee, that was fun!
We’re already back in our range after all that hand-wringing last week. I like to do these perspective charts once in a while even though I’m not much of a chart guy. It’s funny how people lose their minds over what was clearly a minor dip so far – never even coming close to threatening our 5% rule, which is the only way we’re likely to give up hope.
Our next big challenge is getting over the 1,088 Fibonacci line but after that we should have a clear shot to retaking 1,100. Nobody expects good jobs numbers today but more than 460,000 lay-offs in this morning’s report will probably keep us on hold through tomorrow’s NFP report at least. Notice how yesterday’s fat-body candle was as big as any of our recent big drops – that means the bears are as freaked out about yesterday’s action as the bulls were about the flash-crash and there’s a lot of bears out there – crossing that 1,100 line this week could lead to a pretty good short-squeeze into the weekend.
As I had mentioned way back on May 5th, our expected downtrend along the 5% rule was 1,155, 1,114, 1,100, 1,073 and 1,045. Now we just have to work our way back up that ladder! Since earnings were not as exciting as we had hoped, our expected mid-point on the S&P has since dropped from 1,100 to 1,070, which alters (lowers) our expectations slightly but not too much from a long-term standpoint and there hasn’t been a need to adjust our long-term positions as we hit our buy point on the nose at 1,045 and, of course, we have our hedges.
Speaking of hedges, on August 25th, with the S&P down at 1,045, we looked at Disaster Hedges that could make 500% if the market falls. The idea is to take 2% of your virtual portfolio value in a play that makes 10% if the market falls 5% or more as insurance. We do this so we DON’T have to panic out of positions at an inflection point.
Some people take them right off if we hold our levels and some people use our 1,070 and 10,200 lines (both passed yesterday, of course) as a signal to take them off and some don’t mind the carrying cost of insurance but let’s look at the damages if we had done nothing while the Dow jumped over 250 points…
by Option Review - March 3rd, 2010 4:13 pm
Today’s tickers: VIX, JPM, PEP, MDVN, TEX, EWZ, COST, RSH, AMAG & TIVO
VIX – CBOE Volatility index – The fear-gauge spent the better portion of the session in the red, but edged higher in late-afternoon trading to stand up 1.20% to 19.29. Options players busily populated the VIX with a number of interesting trades during the session. One transaction in particular, however, focused our attention on activity in the May contract. A hefty ratio call spread involving a total of 30,000 call options at deeply out-of-the-money strike prices was established on the VIX today. The investor purchased 10,000 calls at the May 27.5 strike for a premium of $1.50 apiece, and sold 20,000 calls at the higher May 35 strike for $0.70 each. The net cost of the transaction is reduced to just $0.10 per contract. It is possible the investor was motivated to put on the spread because of the low cost of the trade and because of the allure of potential profits going forward. The trader appears to believe the VIX will likely breach the breakeven point on the spread at 27.60 in the next three months to expiration, but doubts the fear-gauge will explode up to the mid-30’s. Evidence to support such a scenario is abundant. First, the investor can almost taste victory because the VIX traded as high as 29.22 on February 5, 2010, which is well above the point at which he garners profits. Second, losses above and beyond the premium paid to initiate the trade seem unlikely because the Index failed to rise above 30 since early November of last year. The resistance of the volatility index at the 30-level persisted despite the drop in global markets after China waved the fear-flag by announcing plans to rein in its country’s economic growth at the end of January. Additionally, angst regarding Europe’s debt crisis and threats to the strength of the Euro were also unable to boost the VIX up above 30. The ratio call spread described above looks to be a relatively cheap way to profit from another bout of market turmoil or jump in investor uncertainty ahead of May expiration. We note that the index must rally at least 43% from its current level before the investor breaks even on the transaction at 27.60.
JPM – JPMorgan Chase & Co. – The banking institution’s shares surrendered intraday gains of about 1% over…
by Option Review - January 27th, 2010 4:39 pm
Today’s tickers: INTC, FXI, UFS, TM, BRK.B, X, QCOM, MCO, APC, COST, HNZ & DLTR
INTC – Intel Corp. – Shares of chip-making giant, Intel Corp., dipped lower in early trading, but rebounded this afternoon to stand 0.75% higher on the day at $20.15. Long-term protective positioning in the January 2011 contract on the stock suggests cautious optimism by Intel-option traders. One investor purchased a put spread by picking up 5,000 in-the-money puts at the January 2011 $22.5 strike for a premium of $4.05 each, marked against the sale of 5,000 puts at the lower January 2011 $12.5 strike for $0.35 apiece. The net cost of the transaction amounts to $3.70 per contract. The trader responsible for the spread is likely long shares of the underlying stock. The spread, in this scenario, serves as an insurance policy on the value of the underlying position should Intel’s shares slip beneath the effective breakeven price of $18.80 in the next year to expiration. The investor is protected even if shares of the semiconductor chip producer collapse down to $12.50 by January of 2011.
FXI – iShares FTSE/Xinhua China 25 Index Fund – Shares of the exchange-traded fund, which invests in twenty-five of the largest and most liquid Chinese companies, are down 0.75% to $38.27 with just under one hour remaining in the trading session. FXI’s share price has declined nearly 15% in the past few weeks, from a 2010 high of $44.53 on January 6, 2010, down to an intraday low today of $37.89. One option trader’s actions in the March contract today suggest he has had enough of the downturn, and is looking for a sharp rebound by expiration in two months. The investor initiated a three-legged combination play using both calls and puts on the fund. It appears the main portion of the trade is a ratio-bullish risk reversal involving the sale of 5,000 deep in-the-money put options at the March $41 strike for a premium of $3.66 each, spread against the purchase of 10,000 calls at the same strike for $0.70 apiece. The purchase of 10,000 puts at the March $35 strike for $0.85 each rounded out the third leg of the transaction. The investor pockets a net credit of $0.56 per contract on the trade, which he keeps if shares rally up to $41.00 by expiration. Additional profits accrue to the upside if shares bounce 7.15% higher to…
by Phil Davis - January 7th, 2010 7:50 am
Beware the data!
The first thing you will hear this morning is that COST had a 9% rise in sales, with International sales up a whopping 25%. What you are less likely to hear is that COST sells a lot of gasoline, which has doubled in price since last December and, excluding inflation in gas prices, same-store sales are up just 2%, a tremendous miss of the 7.9% expected. Out of the 25% increase in International sales, 15% is attributable to currency exchange so up 10% is the real number.
This is nothing against Costco, I like that company, but it’s a caution sign to look carefully at the retail numbers we’re going to be seeing today as there are several outside factors that are skewing the results drastically – to the point where the numbers, whether good or bad, are almost meaningless. It’s also good to keep in mind that we are comping sales to the WORST CHRISTMAS EVER so anything less than double digit gains over last year is still pretty sad.
Mish did a good job yesterday of pointing out the statistical nonsense known as the Non-Farm Payroll Report, where "Birth/Death" model revisions that were as much as 356,000 a month last year (January) make the data beyond useless for any kind of serious analysis. Nonetheless, analyze it they will and if we manage to avoid posting our 24th CONSECUTIVE month of losses, surely they will be pouring champagne on CNBC and acting like Capitalism has once again triumphed over evil (evil being people without money who still want to live with dignity).
Speaking of dignity – if you know 100 people in Nevada then, statistically, 3 of them went bankrupt this year, up 61% from last year as our economy "recovers". In Tennessee, Georgia and Alabama, just 2 of your 100 friends filed while California, surprisingly "only" had one in 66 households file for bankruptcy so you can go almost a whole day and not run into someone who lost everything in California – too bad the same can’t be said for the State overall! California needs $21Bn over the next 18 months to keep the lights on. This doesn’t seem so bad, GMAC is losing $13Bn this quarter and we’re bailing them out but if we bail out CA then NY, NJ and 47 other states will come knocking to the tune…
by Option Review - October 13th, 2009 4:03 pm
Today’s tickers: EWZ, XLF, RVSN, MHK, COST, AKAM, & LLTC
EWZ – iShares MSCI Brazil Index ETF – Shares of the Brazil exchange-traded fund edged 0.5% lower to $72.55, perhaps inspiring the put spread we observed in the November contract. It appears one investor purchased 3,000 puts at the November 71 strike for 2.70 apiece, and simultaneously sold 3,000 puts at the lower November 65 strike for 1.00 each. The net cost of the put spread amounts to 1.70 per contract, thus yielding downside protection beneath the breakeven point at $69.30 through expiration next month. Longer-term activity seen in the December contract looks to be a covered call. It seems 25,000 calls were sold at the December 90 strike for an average premium of 13 pennies each. The investor responsible for the trade probably purchased an equivalent number of shares of the underlying stock at the time the calls were sold today. If this is the case, the investor reduced the cost of buying the shares to approximately $72.18 apiece by selling the call options. The short call position serves as an effective exit strategy for the investor if the fund trades above $90.00 by expiration. Shares of the ETF must rally 24% from the current price for the investor to have the underlying shares called away. If this occurs by expiration, the trader will enjoy the 24% gains on the rally in the stock, and walk away with no outstanding position in the fund.
XLF – Financial Select Sector SPDR – Fresh options activity in the March 2010 contract on the financials exchange-traded fund looks like a bearish risk reversal using deep in-the-money put options. Shares of the XLF have slipped 1.5% during the trading session to $15.13. It appears 5,500 calls were sold short at the March 19 strike for a premium of 30 pennies apiece to partially offset the cost of buying 5,500 puts at the same strike for 4.30 each. The net cost of the reversal amounts to 4.00 per contract. The breakeven point on the trade resides at $15.00. Thus, if the investor holds a long position in the underlying fund, downside protection is provided by the puts if shares slip more than 13 cents from the current price to breach the breakeven price of $15.00 by expiration next year.
RVSN – RADVision Ltd. – Telecommunications equipment designer and developer, RadVision, experienced a 1.75%…