by Option Review - February 11th, 2013 2:00 pm
Today’s tickers: DMND, NVO & YHOO
by Option Review - December 10th, 2012 1:52 pm
Options brief will resume December 12, 2012.
by phil - July 27th, 2012 8:02 am
You made me promises promises
You knew you'd never keep
Why do I believe
All of your promises
You knew you'd never keep – Naked Eyes
Wow – what a party!
The former Vice-Chairman of Goldman Sachs (Draghi) says everything is fixed and the global markets go flying – what's not to trust? Would anyone form GS ever lie to us? Would GS be involved in manipulating the Global Markets – of course not!
Now that I've fulfilled my obligation to get my mother back unharmed – let's get real. Draghi said the violent spike in bond yields in recent days was hampering "the functioning of the monetary policy transmission channels" – the EXACT expression used to justify each of the ECB's previous market interventions.
Yields on Spanish two-year debt plunged 72 basis points to 5.47% in barely an hour, with comparable moves on Italian debt – easing the pressure before a string of debt auctions in Rome over coming days. The MIB index of stocks in Milan surged by 5.6%. Madrid's IBEX rose 6%, the biggest jump in two years, led by an explosive rise in bank shares. Mr Draghi's comments came as Spain claimed backing from France and Germany for activation of the eurozone's rescue fund (EFSF) to buy Spanish bonds, though this would require calling the Bundestag's finance committee back from holiday for a vote. Action by the EFSF would provide "political cover" for the ECB to join the fray in a two-pronged attack. "We're firing on all cylinders: that is what has ignited the markets," said Hans Redeker, currency chief at Morgan Stanley.
Joint statements from Madrid, Paris and Berlin said market turbulence "does not reflect the fundamentals of the Spanish economy, or the sustainability of its public debt". According to Ambrose Pritchard, "the wording seems scripted to clear the way for intervention." Of course, now it's time to put up or shut up as the Fed meets next week and the ECB has their pre-holiday meeting next week as well…
by phil - June 21st, 2012 8:18 am
And we're out!
It might be a little early because we did get another $267Bn from the Fed yesterday but that plus $125Bn given to Spain and $100Bn to the IMF this month is "just" $492Bn and that, according to our calculations, should be good for 1,350 on the S&P, tops. If they want to get to 1,400 – they'll need another $500Bn from Europe and, while it is widely expected to come – the Fed came up short and if the EU comes up short as well, we could be talking flash crash so we took advantage of the pre-Fed run-up (as planned in yesterday's post) to get back to cash.
My morning Alert to Members was short and sweet:
I don't know if you guys usually click on my little links but this one was the most important of the day – Don't be white people – GET OUT!!!!
This one was so important that I tweeted it (you can follow me here) and Facebooked it (you can follow us here) and I even put it out on Seeking Alpha's Stock Talks (you can follow me here) so don't say I didn't warn you. Sure the market may go up as funds dress windows into the end of the Quarter/Half next week but we caught the run off the bottom this month so why push it when the upside looks limited and the downside does not?
Other than 2014 spreads in our new Income Portfolio – all of our virtual portfolios went to cash rather than risking very nice first half gains. As of yesterday morning they were:
Much thanks to StJ for keeping these tracking portfolios – all back to cash now and hopefully we can match that performance in the second half of the year although I think we're going to ditch the very boring $5,000 Portfolio in favor of a $25,000 Portfolio…
by phil - June 19th, 2012 8:28 am
BIG day today!
As you can see from the Big Chart, we are testing the 50 day moving averages on the Dow (12,746), S&P (1,347), Nasdaq (2,920), NYSE (7,756) and the Russell (781) IF all goes well and we move up from here. The Dow is already over and the S&P and Russell are close so we'll be watching them closely this morning to see if we should stay bullish or cash out our winners while we wait for some actual bullish news – because the rumors that are driving us higher so far are running out of steam.
The G20 meeting drags on in day 2 and we await their announcement. China dropped $43Bn into the IMF last night and India, Russia, Brazil and Mexico will also commit $10Bn EACH for another $40Bn and that brings the IMF's war chest up to $456Bn. Even Turkey put up $5Bn – we're talking about an all-out Global effort here so we expect A LOT more from the big guns.
Let's not dwell on what it means that Turkey has to bail out Europe and instead focus on Christine Lagarde's statement that the commitments demonstrate "the broad commitment of the membership to ensure the IMF has access to adequate resources to carry out its mandate in the interests of global financial stability." So now it's up to the G20 and that means it's up to Merkel today and Bernanke tomorrow.
Merkel faces mounting pressure to make even greater concessions, by putting Germany's financial muscle behind an integrated banking and borrowing system to keep the euro intact. The question is whether, after two years of muddling through, Europe's pre- eminent power can act quickly and decisively. "I think she will remain an incrementalist: we have not yet reached the point where it is obvious that we are hanging over the precipice," said Paul de Grauwe, a professor at the London School of Economics. "It looks again that what is going to come out is going to temporarily pacify markets until it is clear that it is not going to be sufficient."
For those of you who don't speak Economics – "not going to be sufficient" = DOOM!!!
by phil - May 2nd, 2012 6:40 am
Yesterday did not count.
Until the end of day, the volume was low and, as you can see from Dave Fry's SPY chart, the morning pump was mostly erased by the end of the day. In fact, on the Russell and Nasdaq – it was entirely erased. What a friggin' joke, yet no one will investigate it and few will even question it.
As we often say at PSW – We don't care IF the game is rigged, as long as we know HOW the game is rigged and get to place our bets accordingly. In my Morning Alert to Members at 10:05, my comment on the move up was:
Not too many markets are open so super low-volume means we can pretty much ignore whatever's happening. Some wild gyrations at the open already with AAPL popping $10 to goose the Nas and they are spiking us up and down at will on this low volume.
At 12:02 we made our planned adjustments to our 4 active virtual portfolios, taking advantage of the big, bad spike to move to cheap June bear positions and cash out our long plays and just get generally more aggressively bearish at what we thought was going to be the top for the day. The most aggressive move was made in our most aggressive, $25,000 Portfolio (pictured here from its 10am status BEFORE many changes were made), where we flipped our protective TNA hedge from bullish to very bearish – shifting the balance of the portfolio much more bearish with a single move:
TNA – $60s are now $4 so let's take that and run on 5 (1/2), as that's more than we paid for the spread and we'll ride the $63s half-covered with a stop on 5 at $3 (now $2.25). Also, a stop on the 5 remaining $60s at $3, at which point we would reset the stop on the $63s, of course.
Needless to say, that trade worked out huge already as the $60s all stopped out at a $3.50 average ($3,500), which is $500 more than our max potential gain on the spread and the $63 calls already finished the day at $1.10 ($1,100) for a net of $2,400 (so far) off our $1,450 entry on 4/26 – so up 65% in less than a week on the trade we used to…
by phil - February 20th, 2012 6:37 am
Why do we scream at each other
This is what it sounds like
When doves cry – Prince
It's no coincidence that this week we will be hearing from Fed Governors Kocherllakota (1pm Tues), Hoenig (12:30 Weds), Plosser (1:30 Weds), and Bullard (9:15 Thurs) ahead of our 2-Year Note Auction (1pm Tues), 5-Year Note Auction (1pm Weds) and 7-Year Note Auction (1pm Thursday) as the Fed needs to bring out 4 of it's 5 most hawkish members to talk up the Dollar (by talking down QE3) to keep those rates paid as low as possible for Treasury.
Once the Hawks drive the rates down and the notes are sold, the Doves will once again be released to talk them back up by extolling the glories of QE3 – completely reversing whatever was said before just as the Hawks will once again be called upon to reverse what the Doves say at a later date – when they need rates to come back down. The joke of it all is that traders will react to each statement, every time, as if it's a "game changer" and adjust their positions to reflect the new reality of the moment. It reminds me of a quote from Orwell's 1984:
As soon as all the corrections which happened to be necessary in any particular number of The Times had been assembled and collated, that number would be reprinted, the original copy destroyed, and the corrected copy placed on the files in its stead. This process of continuous alteration was applied not only to newspapers, but to books, periodicals, pamphlets, posters, leaflets, films, sound-tracks, cartoons, photographs – to every kind of literature or documentation which might conceivably hold any political or ideological significance.
Day by day and almost minute by minute the past was brought up to date. In this way every prediction made by the Party could be shown by documentary evidence to have been correct, nor was any item of news, or any expression of opinion, which conflicted with the needs of the moment, ever allowed to remain on record. All history was a palimpsest, scraped clean and reinscribed exactly as often as was necessary. In no case would it have been possible, once the deed was done, to prove that any falsification had taken place.
by Option Review - February 9th, 2012 1:55 pm
Today’s tickers: DMND, MHS & TRIP
DMND - Diamond Foods, Inc. – Investors sent shares in the maker of Pop Secret and Emerald snack nuts sharply lower on Thursday after the Company said it will replace its top two executives and restate earnings for the past two years. The already hard-hit stock opened down more than 40.0% this morning to touch an intraday- and multi-year low of $21.44. Options on Diamond Foods attracted all kinds today, with some strategists nibbling at calls and selling puts, while others position for further downside in the name. Investors expecting shares to somewhat recover in the next six trading sessions picked up call options in the front month. Approximately 1,400 calls were purchased at the Feb. $25 strike for an average premium of $0.86 each. Call buyers may profit at expiration next Friday in the event that DMND’s shares rally 11.2% off the current price of $23.25 to top the average breakeven price of $25.86. Meanwhile, out-of-the-money put selling in the front month may mean some traders expect the stock is unlikely to tumble much further from here within the next week. Put sellers looked to the Feb. $20 strike, selling around 1,500 of the contracts to receive an average premium of $0.64 per contract. Traders keep the full amount of premium as long as shares in Diamond Foods exceed $20.00 through expiration. Options volume on the food products company today currently exceeds 95,000 contracts, an active day for the stock, which has 158,981 contracts comprising overall open interest.
MHS - Medco Health Solutions, Inc. – Shares in the pharmacy-benefits-manager (PBM) are off slightly this morning, down 0.20% at $60.70 as of 11:30 a.m. in New York, but options activity in the name suggests the stock…
by phil - February 9th, 2012 8:27 am
More free money!
That's the way we like to start the day as the BOE pumps another $75Bn into the mix and, best of all, their currency went UP on the news because "whisper numbers were for $100Bn." Now that we know the magic formula, we can start a rumor that the Fed will print $3Tn and then, when they ONLY print $2.5Tn – the Dollar will become much more valuable. See, I'm starting to think like a Central Banker!
Also in the "bad news must be good news" pile as Greek Finance Minister Evangelos Venizelos (wouldn't it suck to live in Greece with a name like Bob Smith?) heads to Brussels with NO DEAL. That's right there is still no deal on the Greek bailout that has boosted the markets by 22% since October. They do claim that the only remaining issue is pension cuts but all the Florida voters who picked Romney will soon find out how easy that is to accomplish.
Just last February, I was writing a Thursday post titled "Greece is the Word" where I warned that the 4.23% CDS rate hitting Greek bonds was unsustainable and that turned us bearish right at the top of the rally at S&P 1,344. Yesterday, the S&P was back to 1,349 and I wonder if Greece never happened – would I have continued to be bullish with the markets at this level?
On the whole, even WITH the snowballing Greek crisis, we "only" fell to 1,249 in March so, with Greece all fixed – maybe we can afford to be a bit more bullish. I'll be more comfortable with the upside once we see that Greece is not a "sell on the news" event but, as I noted yesterday, our last 10 bullish picks did quite well and a few of them are still playable and certainly there are still opportunities out there to pick up good stocks fairly cheaply.
Take DMND, for example. Last night, the stock fell from $37 to $20.50 as the beleaguered company will have to restate their last two years of earnings and that sent the CEO and two CFO's out the door and does, in fact, constitute a "material adverse change" that will allow PG to, at their discretion, terminate their deal to merge their Pringles division into DMND in exchange for a…
by phil - January 11th, 2012 8:21 am
Once again, we're done with our day before you get up.
In my 5am note to Members, I said: "I see nothing in the news to justify this pre-market "recovery" and I hate to sound like a broken record but I like shorting oil (/CL) if we get below that $102 line with tight stops and the Dow (/YM) is right at 12,400, which is a great spot to short. RUT (/TF) is at 762 and below 760 (same as yesterday) will confirm a downturn but 12,400 is a great line so why wait?" By 6:26, I was able to follow it up with:
And wheeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeee! There go the Futures!
It's 7:07 and we're still going down, with oil at $101.24 (up $760 per contract) and the Dow at 12,340 (up $300 per contract) and, as Dennis said: "Good enough for steak and eggs for me!" Roro got up late but still caught the Dow at 6:16 and that was right on the nose for the oil drop as well as we hit it right on the nose this morning and now we're done and waiting for the next good set-up.
Of course we scale in and scale out of positions as there's no need to get greedy in the Futures, where a single remaining contract catching a $1 move down in oil (now $101.25 again) pays $1,000. This week, we have even stationed our own Craigzooka in New Zealand, where it's tomorrow – which makes it much easier to bet on today's action as he can tell us what happened already! Not that today was all that hard to predict, right? My comment to Members LAST Wednesday was:
It’s been a pretty reliable bet that they tank the markets into the longer-term note auctions because it scares people into T-Bills and keeps the rates low. From this line-up, it seems to me they intend to jack us up on Friday and then zap us on Tuesday as Esther George releases something hawkish ahead of the 3-year and it’s no coincidence that Plosser, by far the biggest Hawk, is given the floor at 12:30 on Wednesday – just 30 minutes before the critical 10-year auction. Coincidence? Surely you cannot be that naive!