by phil - November 14th, 2012 8:31 am
What was that mess yesterday?
As you can see from David Fry's SPY chart, we went up and finished down but the volume was a bit lower to the upside than the sell-off into the close. MSFT and INTC led us to the downside – no surprise really as we discussed both this weekend as Dow components to avoid in the current cycle.
There was no significant economic data, just the usual nonsense about Greece and, of course, the drumbeat of fear regarding the US fiscal cliff that the MSM is banging 24/7. "What's up with that fiscal cliff" is now how 90% of my conversations begin with anyone who knows what I do for a living.
I now find that it's easier to say "Oh, we're all totally doomed" than to explain why we're not because when, for example, I say this to one of my Mother's friends – they nod wisely and agree with me while, if I try to explain why they shouldn't worry so much – they get all confused and then say to my Mom – "I thought he was supposed to understand the stock market."
I guess I should have tried this with my children. Rather than sitting up for 15 minutes or so explaining why there are not monsters under their bed – I could have just agreed with them and said "Yep, big hungry ones!" Maybe they'd never sleep again but at least I'd sound knowledgeable about monsters and the imminent dangers they posed to sleeping children.
Stocks are now at 3-month lows and it's been a month since we strung together 2 up days in a row (Oct 15-17) with the S&P falling from 1,470 on Oct 5th to yesterday's low of 1,371 fir a 99-point drop in 25 trading sessions (6.8%) – losing an average of 4 S&P points a day with 1,360 being our Must Hold line on the Big Chart. The S&P and the NYSE are both, so far, holding their lines (NYSE is 8,000) and they are our broadest indexes but we're pretty close to having to layer our disaster hedges as we cross those -7.5% lines.
The S&P was at 1,440 when we put up our latest round of disaster hedges on the 20th of October. Before that, we had just been using TZA as our primary hedge –…
by phil - July 11th, 2012 8:13 am
Saved by the 50 DMA's!
Who said investing is hard? 4 of our 5 major indexes fall in synch and stop dead at the 50 day moving average that we've been watching on our Big Chart for over two months now as bullish support. Yawn…
Of course, if you think this can possibly be result of individual decisions made by millions of global investors than it's you that need to wake up. This is a completely machine-driven market and that's a GOOD thing if you follow our charts, as they give you very clear indications of all the major inflection points.
I'm not at all a TA guy – I merely accept the fact that the markets are fixed and the moves are coordinated and we set our points accordingly according to our 5% Rule, which works best in Bot-driven markets. Since we only adjust our Big Chart once a year or less – it lets us dispense with all that TA BS in less than two minutes a day and move on to more important things like – FUNDAMENTALS!
What we can do, however, is combine our view of the Big Chart with some fundamentals to figure out what the market will do at serious inflection points. Note on Dave Fry's SPY chart, we get a good view of the weak 50 dma.
Before we despair, however, look at that upwardly jammin' 200 dma – that sucker is going to pop the index like it was hit with a tennis racket at right about 1,320 in about 2 weeks so we have a jittery sell-off in a choppy early earnings season to look forward to and then something good happening at the end of the month to spark a rally.
Oh sorry, I planned to conclude with that but it's so freakin' obvious – why waste time with exposition?
Going back to the Big Chart, you can see on the S&P (and the others) that we still have a constructively bullish "M" pattern where the lows are lining up in an up-trend that mirrors the rising 200 dma. Obviously, if we fail to hold these 50 dmas – the next stop is that 200 DMA, which is generally intersecting the 2.5% lines on each index but forget those – it's all about the NYSE, which is our broadest index and is already testing its 200 dma AND…
by phil - July 5th, 2012 8:16 am
Before we begin – let's catch up on the Libor scandal:
"The Global Banking Industry relies on London having virtually no regulatory oversight. The bulk of the Global financial crimes occur in London. David Cameron, of course, is keen to protect the franchise of the city of London – it's the big profit center for his country and his Government – essentially peddling in fraud."
That is the key point made by Max Keiser (7:20) in the above video. As Keiser points out, fraud and manipulation are rampant in the Global Financial Markets and have been for years. I've been saying so and we have great systems to profit from the manipulation of fraudulent markets but they wouldn't work so well if the markets were not a sham, would they?
While I'd love to go back to picking value stocks in clean market environment – I'm certainly not holding my breath. Fining BCS $450M for making Billions of Dollars in a conspiracy to defraud Trillions of Dollars of Global investors over periods of years means you shouldn't hold yours either. I'm pretty sure we can expect more of the same for a long, long time.
This morning the Euro and the Dollar have been flying up and down along with our index futures on rumors that China will or won't be easing (100-point swings in the Dow pre-market) or that the ECB will or won't ease and that other countries will or won't kick in stimulus. You know, the same old crap we've been hearing since early June – giving us roughly 10% gains across the International board – even as the Global Economic Data continues to decay:
We are still "constructively bullish" which is what led us to stay cashy and cautious short-term, while holding bullish on our long-term bets. We haven't got any strong downside bets as we have clear lines at those 50 dmas (red) with the 20 dmas (blue) curving up sharply to give us support before we feel compelled to go bearish again. Of course, this "rally" has been a lot of low-volume BS – hence the "cashy and cautious" stance. We have had no reason yet to actually go bearish and, since we added most of our long-term longs in early June – we have quite a while before we do become…
by phil - June 26th, 2012 8:45 am
OK, now we are pushing it.
Our danger zone is the bottom of the top of those "V" patterns that we formed in the early June dip. Those lines must hold and they are roughly Dow 12,400, S&P 1,310, Nas 2,800, NYSE 7,450 and Russell 750 – all are holding so far but we really can't afford another red day here if we want to stay bullish.
Although we reminded Members to watch our primary hedges (TZA and EDZ spreads) in the Morning Alert - both of them have bullish offsets (short BTU and USO puts) that will zero out the trade if the market recovers – so we do remain generally bullish as long as our levels hold (and we can stop out our short puts and go more bearish if our levels fail).
Our other trades for the day were still bullish pokes from our very cashy positions – still hoping for the EU to lead us to the promised land – or at least give us a fix that gets us high for another day or two. That's all we need man, just a fix, come on Angela – do us a solid!
We added more CHK longs as they tested $17 again – that is one fun stock to trade if you have good range discipline! TLT got high again so we went short on them in both of our $25,000 Portfolios and we reiterated Friday's AAPL play (see Stock World Weekly) and we went long on oil Futures at $78.50 for a lunch-time trade and got a quick .75 gain ($750 per contract) along with the Dow at 12,400, which gave us a quick 50 points but "just" $5 per penny per contract ($250) for that one.
For the Futures-challenged, we added 20 USO July $29/30 bull call spreads at .52 to both our Aggressive and Regular $25,000 Portfolios and USO promptly shot up to $29.80, which is just lovely as we seek to turn $1,040 into $2,000 in 24 days with no margin required on the straight bull call spread. FAS was also too tempting to turn down and we went with a more aggressive spread there and that's using margin to get a 500% return in 24 days if all goes well.
by phil - June 20th, 2012 8:07 am
Dude, where's my bailout?
The tentative deal at the G20 summit to mobilize the EU's rescue machinery to douse the raging fire in Spain and Italy comes in the nick of time, but is fraught with fresh dangers. According to Ambrose Pritchard:
Monday's explosive rise in Spanish two-year bond yields was a warning that Spain's crisis would spiral out of control within days, taking Italy with it. Yet the deal explored over ceviche and mango at Los Cabos in Mexico remains murky. Any plan will backfire horribly unless conducted in the right way, and with overwhelming force.
From what we know, the eurozone's leaders aim to deploy the European Stability Mechanism (ESM) to cap borrowing costs for Spain and Italy by purchasing sovereign bonds on the open market. Unfortunately, the ESM fund does not yet exist. It has not been ratified by Germany and Italy. When it does come into being, it won't have much money. It has a theoretical limit of €500bn — a nice wish — but its paid up capital will start at just €22bn.
Britain's George Osborne cautioned against exuberance. "One thing we have learnt is: don't expect a single summit to solve the eurozone's problems, otherwise you are going to be disappointed. The eurozone is inching towards solutions."
David Owen from Jefferies Fixed Income said the Franco-German plan will fail unless EU leaders give the ESM a banking licence to borrow from the European Central Bank. "This is not going work unless they let the fund gear up and draw on the full firepower of the ECB," said. Such a move that has been blocked until now by Germany.
The ECB's chief Mario Draghi has in the past scoffed at the idea, saying it would be a back-door bailout of sovereign states and would violate the spirit — if not the letter — of the Lisbon Treaty. Mr Owen said the ECB is the "only institution with the credibility and balance sheet to reassure markets. It would be much simpler if the ECB carried out quantitative easing but that does not seem to be an option".
Lack of direct action by the G20 (in the G20 Communique, they essentially promise to do something, but no specifics) puts the ball back in Bernanke's court today (conference at 2:15, after Fed Statement) and then we have an EU meeting…
by phil - June 1st, 2012 8:26 am
Oh you people are such suckers!
You panic out of positions at rock bottom prices and you'll sit there like a deer in the headlights when we bounce back until we're already too high again and then you'll chase the top – only becoming fully invested after we've already exited. Don't blame me – I try to warn you, but no one listens to me.
This morning the markets are in full panic more and that's fine with us as not only are we still "Cashy and Cautious" but what did we tell you Wednesday morning? "TZA July $19/25 bull call spread at $1.50, selling $18 puts for $1.05 for net .45" along with EDZ at $17.23 and SQQQ at $51.80. SQQQ is at $53.79 (up 3.8%) and EDZ is $17.90 (up 3.9% and the TZA hedge is already at net .80, which is up 77% in just two days (so far) – now that's a hedge! When you have your hedges in place, THEN you can bottom fish with impunity and boy is the fishing good out there!
Today we get our Non-Farm Payroll numbers and there's a rumor out there that it's a big miss at 120,000 or lower. CNBC has been pretty much reporting it as a fact all morning and Europe is freaking out for that and many other reasons so I had occasion to look back at last month's NFP report, where we predicted it would be a miss with the the title: "The Blow Jobs Deal to the Market Could be Huge." That was 10% ago on our indexes are back to testing last week's lows, where we began to get bullish with our Twice in a Lifetime List of stocks that are back at their 2009 panic lows which we still like enough to sell puts in (giving us an additional 15-20% discount on initial entry).
That post capped off a week of bearish picks as we followed through with our plan to cash out into the April rally – it's those bearish profits we're now GAMBLING with as we bottom fish but, as noted above – we're hedging our bullish bets because there's no limit to how badly investors can freak out in the stock market – CASH remains KING!
by phil - May 30th, 2012 7:57 am
If it wasn't for bad news, Europe would have no news at all.
The funniest thing about watching Europe implode in a sea of incompetence is that we're actually no different over here – it's just not our time yet. That doesn't stop the punditocracy from pontificating on all the ills of the European Union, as if America will be immune to California as their economy ($361Bn in debt) slips into the ocean.
Actually Greece is not the disaster du jour in Europe this morning – it's Spain (who were downgraded yesterday), whose junk-rated 10-year notes are now costing them 6.65% – back to pre-LTRO levels already, after just 90 days of being "cured." Italy is right behind them, only able to sell 90% of the bonds they auctioned off and even those went for 5.66% on the 5-year notes and 6.03% on the 10-years.
Meanwhile, German yields hit record lows at 1.318% so how, exactly, does it benefit Germany to "fix" this situation when the fix would be for Germany to go back to paying 3% while Spain and Italy go back to paying 4%? It's not like Spain or Italy will ever be able to pay back the money anyway so all we're really doing is costing Germany money to PRETEND things are fixed – again. When will this madness end?
Extending and pretending is exactly what is being planned as the European Commission is prepared to as European Union finance ministers to give Spain an additional year to meet the budget deficit target of 3%, according to a report in the online edition of El Pais this morning. The newspaper said it had obtained a rough draft of the copy of the economic strategy for the euro zone set to be delivered by the Commission on Wednesday. Media reports said it will issue specific recommendations for each of the 27 countries. El Pais said the EC wants to give Spain until 2014 to reach the budget deficit target of 3%, in light of its economic problems, but will also include draft recommendations on pensions, the financial system, taxes and labor reforms.
Thank goodness – that will fix everything, I'm sure!
Meanwhile, on the US side, we're getting worry fatigue and we're ready to rally – as was made clear by yesterday's bullish action which took us over our…
by phil - May 25th, 2012 8:30 am
Resistance is, unfortunately, not futile for our indices.
On Monday we discussed our expectations for a 2% weak bounce for the week, which would be a 20% retrace of the 10% drop I had predicted we'd have way back (and a bit early) in March. That constitutes a WEAK bounce and not a rally and they almost fooled us on Monday by taking back most of that 2% on day one but, since then – it's been pathetic and we've essentially done nothing the rest of the week.
The levels we were looking for were laid out in Monday's Member Chat and in Tuesday morning's post and were:
by phil - May 17th, 2012 8:04 am
What a week to do an IPO!
Will Facebook save the markets tomorrow with a successful roll-out of the largest IPO of all time or will it be the straw that breaks the camel's back, with a disappointing open that sends the Nasdaq off a cliff along with their entire over-priced sector? Either way – this is going to be fun.
We can argue the merits of Facebook's value (or lack thereof) all day long but, scam or not, it's very likely FB will set off a buying frenzy in the space and we finish the week off with a bang. If that doesn't happen – I will be very, very bearish but from what I'm hearing and the way they are extending the offer and raising the price – it's way oversubscribed. Also, we have to consider that people are cashing out 1-5% of their holdings to raise cash for FB on Friday – sure it's moronic, but that's what people do so you have to put yourself in a position of someone who wants to put 5% of your portfolio in to Facebook (the way you wish you had put 5% into Google at $80 when they IPO'd) tomorrow – what would you be doing with the rest of your portfolio today?
Meanwhile, the rest of the World is falling apart with Europe turning sharply lower as Spain sells bonds at record high yields (5.106% for 4-year notes) this morning after announcing that their Q1 GDP was -0.4% at the same time as Moody's indicates they will be cutting the credit ratings of 21 Spanish Banks this evening AND, to top it all off – there is a run on Bankia, which Spain nationalized last week – with $1.3Bn pulled from accounts this past week! This sent Spain's markets down 1.6% and Italy (who is next) fell 2%, sending the Euro down 1% to $1.2668 and the Pound followed it down to $1.5832 (while EUR/CHF holds steady at 1.2009 in the most blatant currency manipulation ever witnessed).
Wow – that's a lot of bad stuff! Maybe too many bad things – as in a bit suspicious that all this bad stuff happens at once – as if maybe someone WANTS to force a panic bottom? If so, I applaud them – we certainly needed to shake things up a little…
by phil - April 24th, 2012 8:29 am
If it's Tuesday we must be bouncing!
Clearly, from the recent sell-off, we have a whole lot of bouncing to do. Yesterday we failed our Must Hold lines on the Nasdaq, the NYSE and the Russell (the Dow never got there) and the S&P was briefly below 1,360 and recovered to end the day at 1,366 – still below our weak bounce level of 1,372.
That leaves us in the same place as we were on the 11th, when I titled the morning post – "Weak Bounces and Beige Books." As we expected at the time, we made it to our 1,384 level on the S&P and then failed to hold it and now we come in for our 2nd tests of our 3 significant levels – 1,360, 1,372 and 1,384 – that's our range until it breaks and THEN we can make some directional bets.
In this market chop, our best strategy has been to bet both ways and our virtual $25,000 Portfolio is now up about $16,000 for the year but that's nothing compared to our completely neutral FAS Money Portfolio, which has turned a $2,000 spread into almost $8,000 in profits in the same 4 months – just using our very simple strategy of selling premium on a regular basis:
Last year's FAS Money Portfolio was also a great performer and it's a great time to get started following as the current position is down $706 so you sure didn't miss anything but a loss by taking up the current position. It's a great exercise to set up a virtual portfolio and follow these trades along as we are constantly managing these positions to maximize the amount of premium we sell so it's a great practice portfolio for rolling and adjusting short positions, teaching you the value of BEING THE HOUSE!
Speaking of investing value – don't miss our contest to win 2 passes to Berkshire Hathaway's Annual Shareholder Meeting! Hopefully we'll get a nice report from whoever wins – it's always good to get a little insight into what the Oracle of Omaha is thinking.
My thinking is that – while our Virtual Portfolios are all performing very well this year – I still can't shake my overall feeling that the markets are very weak internally. Today we are hoping that AAPL will save us (earnings…