by Phil Davis - July 25th, 2014 7:55 am
If you read yesterday's post and took action on our trade idea to short Oil Futures (/CL) at the $103 line, then you were able to pocket $1,000 PER CONTRACT in just 3 hours. In the Morning post (delivered to our Members via Email at 8:35 am), the trade idea was:
"We're still shorting Oil (/CL) Futures at that $103 line and we hit it again this morning and, hopefully, we'll get a nice pullback around 10:30 – after the natural gas report shows a nice build."
That's about on par for our Futures trading as we demonstrated LIVE in Tuesday's Live Trading Webinar $300 of Futures profits in less than an hour (replay available here). We'll be doing more Futures Webinars for our Members aside from our usual Tuesday Live Trading Webcasts (sign up for your Membership here so you don't miss our trade ideas).
How to trade the Futures is one of the many things we learn at Philstockworld – another thing is PATIENCE! Patience has kept us from chasing this rally as we once again top out the market. On Tuesday we took a nice, speculative bullish trade (but did not officially add it to our Portfolios) - just in case we do have a breakout – but, otherwise, we've been working on our downside protection.
We are FUNDAMENTAL traders who just so happen to use Options and Futures for leverage and hedging – simply because they are convenient and profitable instruments when used correctly. What we teach is not all that complicated – but it isn't easy either. That's why not many people trade Options and Futures – it requires discipline and takes time and practice to master – not really the kind of thing our education system prepares our students for these days….
YOU, however, should not be intimidated away from making money. Our basic concepts are VERY SIMPLE and the concepts are explained in quick videos like "How To Buy a Stock for a 15-20% Discount" and "The Secret to Consistent 20-40% Annual Returns" – something we are demonstrating this year in the 5 Virtual Portfolios we track for our Members.
by Phil Davis - July 21st, 2014 8:31 am
We all go down for a piece of the moment
Watch another burn to the death to the core
And the roadshow thrills pack the freaks and the phonies
Sing: now is now, yeah! – Rob Zombie
There is just no way to win betting against this market!
Well, actually, there is one way and that's betting that each pop is nonsense and tends to have a subsequent pullback intra-day but, long-term, the cumulative effect of all that low-volume pumping has been a rousing success, to say the least.
As you can see from Andy Thrasher's S&P chart, there has been some amazing underlying deterioration since the July 4th weekend with the Advance/Decline line falling back to trend and stocks above their 200-Day Moving Average dropping 15% in 3 weeks. Stocks above the 200 DMA is a fantastic leading indicator for downside move – ignore it at your own risk.
People are panicking into bonds, dropping the 10-Year Yield 20%, from 3.1% to 2.45% this year but it doesn't matter because Central Banksters are pumping SO MUCH MONEY into the Global Markets that there's enough to buy all asset classes simultaneously – something that is unprecedented in Financial History – what could go wrong?
Well, one thing that could go wrong is you putting your money into Mutual Funds. As it turns out, in an S&P study of actively managed Mutual Funds, only 2 (two) out of 2,862 actually beat the S&P over ANY of the fund's lifetimes (limited to 12 months or longer).
That's even worse than the average performace of hedge funds, which only averaged a 0.59% annual loss when compared to just putting your money directly into the S&P.
This dovetails with a conversation we were having this weekend in our Member Chat Room, where I identified 4 trade ideas for a $50,000 Portfolio that only used 1/4 of the buying power to generate $365,512 in projected profits over the next 15 years using CONSERVATIVE options strategies designed to MATCH the S&P, not beat it.…
by Phil Davis - May 13th, 2014 9:27 am
This is ridiculous.
As noted on Dave Fry's chart, the S&P made a new record high with narrow participation and essentially all of the gains were one big move in the Futures to reprice the index. I said yesterday we have been getting 50% of the day's volumes in the close and yesterday was no different and that closing volume is all dumping into the ETF, IRA and 401K suckers that are forced to buy.
We took a couple of big bats against the Dow's move up yesterday, adding a DIA put at $166.80 (see yesterday's Member Chat for details) as well as going long on DXD at $26.20 – both with leveraged options plays, of course.
We still have plenty of bullish trades to protect but, when we bein to cash out our winners and start buying short plays on the index – you can tell the winds are changing. Our 500% trade on DDM from Thanksgiving was scheduled to top out in April anyway – and we sold in May to go away.
That trade was one of our "10 Trade Ideas That Can Make (and some have already made) 500% in a Rising Market" and I had just as much trouble convincing people to go long in November as I'm having convincing people it's time to cash out in May.
Not all the trades are done, but a quick summary of those positions is:
by Phil Davis - May 3rd, 2012 7:52 am
Spain is up 2.3% this morning (7:30).
They are bouncing Europe with them despite a pretty poor round of trading in Asia (flat). Why? Because Spain's 3 & 5-year note sales "only" went for 100 more basis points than last time with the 3-years coming in at 4.04%, up 54% from last year's auction at 2.62% and the 5-year notes fetched 4.75%, up only 28% from the last 5-year note sale so YAY – Spain is fixed!!!
A whole $3.3Bn worth of bonds were sold or about 1/3 of 1% of what has been allocated through bailout programs to buy this junk but this autction is moving $80Tn worth of global equities up 1% ($800B) – talk about getting bang for your bailout buck!
I'm not going to get into how silly this is getting – we went through this all in '07 and '08 and the markets can be amazingly silly when they are in denial so we'll just go with the flow and pick up some nice upside momentum plays – as long as we can stay over 3 of 5 of our Big Chart's 2.5% lines and, if the pre-market move up holds – they should have no problem taking back 3,075 on the Nasdaq, 820 on the Russell and 8,200 on the NYSE. We're already over 1,400 on the S&P on yesterday's stick-save close and the poor Dow has 800 whole points to go before they catch up at 14,000 so it looks like the Dow will be the logical bullish bet if the other 3 indexes join the S&P over the line.
So IF the Dow is over 13,300 AND the other indexes are over our mark – how much money can we make playing for the Dow to catch up and make it to 14,000. 700 points is a lot, so there should be many ways to play this to our advantage. DIA $133 calls are $1 and have a delta of .44 so you capture 44% of a move up, which means a 100-point rise in the Dow will get you a 44% gain – it's a good trade to enter with tight stops below 13,300 as the Dow has 2 weeks and two days left to make those 800 points and that should be a cake-walk as they're already up 400 points in the last 7 sessions and, as we know from our friends at CNBC –…
by Phil Davis - April 16th, 2012 7:53 am
Despite Asia continuing their downhill slide, despite the Bank of Korea lowering their Economic Outlook, despite Swiss PPI showing DEflation, despite Spain's 10-year bonds rising to 6.07%, despite India's inflation at 6.89%, despite the 5-year CDS spread on Spanish debt hitting new records, despite James Galbraith warning that the EU periphery will collapse, despite the Saudi TASI Index dropping 4% in the last two days, despite the biggest weekly drop in Copper Futures of the year, despite Credit Suisse cutting 5,000 jobs and Best Buy closing 42 stores and even BMW sales off 30% in Brazil….
Despite ALL these weekend news items and DESPITE our very Depressing Weekend Reading – the bears, as Steve Martin says in the above clip, still have DOUBT in their heart and are allowing the Futures to rise this morning (7:30) as Europe bounces up 1% from their 30-day lows in this traveling revival show known as the stock market.
Faith is a wonderful thing and we all like to believe in miracles but a good investor demands PROOF – much the way many of our biblical heroes required signs from the Lord before making their own commitments. We don't need a burning bush but we do need more than vague promises of EU action before we believe their 5 loaves and 2 fish will be enough to bail out the entire continent, right?
On the chart above, I drew a blue line across the 50% levels between the tops of the last 6 days and the bottom. Not reflected on these charts is the fact that the Nikkei FELL another 1.74% this morning or that the Hang Seng dropped 0.44% – pushing them further from their goals.
As I mentioned above, the EU markets are off to the races on rumors that US Retail Sales will save the World at 8:30 with an upside surprise off very low expectations. Even if we do get a bump – so what? Retail sales were anemic last month except Gasoline, which was up 3.3% while General Merchandise was DOWN 0.1%. Gasoline was up 10% in March so YAY!, I guess – but is that really what we're going to base a rally on?
by Phil Davis - April 6th, 2012 8:45 am
NOW things are getting interesting!
Who wants a market that goes up and up and up – where's the sport? Even the Nasdaq finally blew it's 15-week winning streak and that helped us decide to stay pretty bearish going into yesterday's close. This morning we went over the news and the week's data to position ourselves for the Futures and my conclusion to Members in our special 4:03 am Alert was:
Next week we get the BBook, PPI and CPI but the focus will be on earnings and AA is not likely to get us off to a good start so I simply don't see anything in particular to be bullish about at the moment.
The point I had been making (with many charts and graphs) was that it didn't matter if we added even 250,000 jobs – it still isn't enough to begin to fill in the hole in any meaningful way and, even more important, the QUALITY of jobs we have been adding is TERRIBLE!
It doesn't matter if you give everyone a job if they are only minimum wage jobs. We need our consumers to have an income to spend and aside from inflation (real inflation, not the Fed's BS numbers) eating into their buying power, when someone loses a $50,000 job and replaces it with a $35,000 job – that's NOT an improving economy – not for the long run, anyway.
Of course the stock market will like it, at first – as lower wages paid for the same job = greater Corporate Profits but that only works as long as there are people outside your country who have money to buy your goods.
As we noted just yesterday with the Retail Reports, the high-end stores are doing very well as the top 10% is doing well but those serving the bottom 90% are struggling because, clearly, these people are running out of money. While the market has been content to "ignore and soar" during this gathering storm, now we begin to see the size of the wave that's coming in and it's starting to look scary indeed…
8:30 Update: An anemic 120,000 Jobs added in March! That's about 1/2 of what was expected by Economorons, who can't even get a handle on a major, critical number like Payrolls – how scary is that? So many of…
by Phil Davis - April 3rd, 2012 8:42 am
When will I see you again?
When will our hearts beat together?
Are we in love or just friends?
Is this my beginning or is this the end? – The Three Degrees
Will the S&P see 1,420, will the Russell see 860 again?
We need to see 13,600 on the Dow to flip our bull switch and we're happy to play that index bullish with something like the DDM (now $71.03 with the Dow at 13,264) $68/70 bull call spread at $1.15, which pays $2 (up 74%) if the Dow simply doesn't fail 13,200.
The potential loss of $1.15 on the trade can be offset with the sale of the May $127 puts at $1.10, which is a bet the Dow holds 12,700 (down 4.25%) or you can pick a stock you would REALLY like to own if it gets cheaper like AAPL, and sell the May $460 puts (down 25%) for $1 or a stock I would love to buy cheap(er) like BTU May $28 puts (down 5%) for $1.25 or CHK July $21 puts (down 14%) for .90. Assuming you offset $1 of the $1.15, then you are in for net .15 on the $2 spread with the potential for a 1,333% return on cash if the Dow simply doesn't go down from here. If you are not willing to make that bet, then you are simply not bullish.
We still favor cash in this very uncertain market but we've been more enthusiastic about adding bearish trade ideas, on the whole. Our very bearish, very aggressive, short-term $25,000 Portfolio gained a virtual $20,000 in the past two weeks DESPITE the fact that we're re-testing the tippy top of the market.
That's because we are essentially doing the opposite of "buying the dips", which is "selling the rips" – taking advantage of the excitement of the bulls, who are whipped into an almost daily frenzy by these low-volume rallies.
I'm happy to be bullish, really I am, but SHOW ME THE EARINGS! We are now up 10% since January earnings and 25% since October's report so I am looking forward to some SPECTACULAR numbers to back up these new and vastly improved valuations for all these companies. Heck PCLN (on our Long Put List and now in our $25KP) is up $250 (55%) since January alone…
by Phil Davis - March 27th, 2012 7:34 am
Wheeeeeee – isn't this economy FANTASTIC?
It sure is for those of us in the top 1% (1.4M) - people earning over $352,000 in annual income. We made $105,637 more Dollars in 2010 than we did in 2009 – thanks in large part to the Fed's fantastic policy of printing more and more money, which lets us borrow cheaply or invest with leverage in inflating equity as the Dollar collapses. Sure the Dollar collapsing hurts everyone – but an extra $105,637 keeps us ahead of inflation, right?
I'm stil jealous of course (good Capitalists are always jealous), as the top .01% (14,000 of us) – who earn an average of $23.8M, were able to add another $4.2M to their annual incomes in 2010. That's 52,500 TIMES the average $80 increase earned by the bottom 99% (thank goodness we're not one of THEM!). That's right, somehow, the riff-raff in the bottom 99% managed to grab 7% of the Nation's total increase in income – clearly Congress needs to make immediate changes to prevent this travesty from happening again!
Steve Rattner has a different opinion, saying: "The only way to redress the income imbalance is by implementing policies that are oriented toward reversing the forces that caused it. That means letting the Bush tax cuts expire for the wealthy and adding money to some of the programs that House Republicans seek to cut. Allowing this disparity to continue is both bad economic policy and bad social policy. We owe those at the bottom a fairer shot at moving up."
That's Commie talk! If we allow the bottom 99% to make a fair share of the money, they would make 5% more and you know they would only SPEND it on stuff they need TO LIVE. Then our companies would have to provide more goods and services to the bottom 99% and jobs would be created and we, at the top, would have to WAIT for the money to trickle UP from the bottom as only companies that do a good job servicing the bottom 99% would increase in value. Even worse, we may have to WORK (a four-letter word) to provide goods and services for the people who have money in order to EARN (another four-letter word) our Incomes. That's no fun for us at all!
by Phil Davis - March 23rd, 2012 8:28 am
No one told us markets could go down? This is an outrage, I demand an investigation – TURN THOSE MACHINES BACK ON!!!
Has it already been a week since I said "Stop the Rally, We Want to Get Off"? As I noted in that post, we began our list of 12 Long Put Plays for Members on Thursday of last week (near the end of what I called "A Weak Week of Denial") and some have already doubled while others, like PCLN, have gotten even cheaper, which only makes us love them more…
I concluded that this rally was fake, Fake, FAKE and gave my reasons on Friday so no point in going over them again – now we're just watching and waiting to see what sticks as we haven't actually done a lot of technical damage (see Dave Fry's chart) – Yet!
Although we were TRYING to get bullish on Monday, we did so only after setting more aggressive targets in our Weekend Review of the 5% Rule (see post for details and levels) and by 10:09 on Monday, our first trade idea in chat was the very bearish TZA spread that I featured again in Tuesday's post, which was the April $17/18 bull call spread at .42, selling the April $17 puts for $1 for a .58 credit. TZA finished at $18.39 yesterday and the spread is now .54 but the short puts are down to .65 for a net gain of .47, which is 81% in 3 days and a good way to offset the 2.3% drop in the Russell – isn't leverage fun?
What was not fun is what happened to people who trusted Credit Suisse to run an honest game with their TVIX instrument. As noted by ETF Digest's David Gillie, an ETN is an unsecured, unsubordinated debt security with significant basis on the credit rating of the issuer. Although ETNs may be named to indicate tracking certain futures markets or indices, due to the fact that their holdings are credit notes rather than tangible assets, such as ETFs, their price becomes largely supply and demand based rather than based on underlying holdings. As Kid Dynamite points out – it does say right in the TVIX prospectus:
“The long term expected value of your ETNs is
by Phil Davis - March 22nd, 2012 8:34 am
Do you REALLY think this will go on forever?
On the right is the AAPL quarterly chart but it could also be the quarterly chart of SHLD, NFLX, FOSL, STX or PCLN (Bespoke Chart), all of whom are up more than AAPL (which is up 50%) in 2012. We've discussed PCLN as one of my favorite shorts and we had a good discussion in Member chat last night comparing PCLN to EXPE, who drop the same amount of cash to the bottom line (before buybacks and dividends) but have just 1/8th of the market cap of PCLN.
Sure you can say that PCLN is twice as good as EXPE (it isn't, but you can say it) but can you say it's 4 times as good? How about 8 times? EXPE nets $500M a year – 8 times that is $4Bn – more money than the entire travel sector makes! How, exactly, will PCLN grow into that valuation? Eliminate all competition and then grow the sector by 50%? Well, that's pretty much what AAPL did but how many AAPLs can you have in one market?
THAT is the problem my friends. Aside from the macro concerns we discussed in yesterday's post, we have a sort of value mania that is driven by the very real success of one company, much the way we had a dot com boom in the late 90s driven by the very real success of just a few companies. Back then, everyone was the next QCOM, YHOO, MSFT, CSCO – whichever category you were supposed to be the best. Qualcomm, in fact, was the best performing tech stock of 1999, gaining 2,619% that year and finishing right about $100. By the end of July, 2002, they were trading at $10 but hey, what a ride!
In fact, here's the CNet story from Dec 29th, 1999 titled "Qualcomm Jumps on $1,000 Price Target" and coming on the heels of "Qualcomm to offer Net2Phone services in Eudora" it's no wonder people were super-excited! AMZN was "only" up 25% that year to $100 but Jeff Bezos was Time's Man of the Year and yes, their business has been growing at an amazing rate for the past 12 years and they have crushed their competition and dominated the sector – and gained less than 6% a year for their troubles.