by phil - September 29th, 2014 8:27 am
Wheeee, what a ride!
We're up, we're down and over and out – but That's Life in the markets, right? Life is being good to our Short-Term Portfolio, now up 59.2% for the year as we caught the bearish move very nicely. Because our STP was up, we have, so far, been able to ride out our long-term positions but we're certainly concerned about a major breakdown possibly in the works.
As noted by Dave Fry in his SPY chart, that 50 dma is a big point of contention now and of course we're going to get a bounce off a line like that. In fact, the new lows we hit at the end of the week led us to recalculate our bounce lines for this week and now we are looking for:
We weren't too convinced by Friday's low-volume rally and we aren't going to be convinced by anything that happens on the last two days of the month (window dressing) but clearly any failure of those weak bounce lines is going to have us racing back to some bearish bets into the start of October (and earnings season).
by phil - September 23rd, 2014 8:07 am
So much for 2,000 holding.
Fortunately, our Big Chart kept us cautiously bearish into the weekend and the hedges in our Short-Term Portfolio functioned perfectly, gaining $13,000 on the day and completely offsetting the drop of $8,000 in our Long-Term Portfolio.
That's without our big hedge, DXD, kicking in yet, as the Dow is still over 17,000 but, should it fail, we'll see those STP gains multiply quickly.
For those of you who are not Members, and don't have access to our various Member Portfolios (and you can by subscribing here), we have done our best to prepare you for this drop as well. Last Thursday, right in the morning post, I shared our short stance with the general public, saying
It's going to be crazy into the weekend but, in our Live Chat Room this morning, I said to our Members:
Futures pumped back up to yesterday's highs at 17,125, 2,001.50, 4,080 and 1,156.5 so I like shorting below 17,100, 2,000, 4,075 and 1,155 – short the laggard, out of any of them cross back over – very simple!
That's our plan into the weekend. As I've mentioned before, we're also using DXD ($24 at the time), TZA ($14.68) and SQQQ ($35.26) to hedge our long portfolios – just in case things unravel over the weekend. We also discussed FXI ($40.30) puts earlier in the week as a play on China melting down so PLENTY of ways to profit from the downside.
This morning, the Futures are 17,050 on /YM (up $375 per contract), 1,979 on /ES (up $1,125 per contract), 4,035 on /NQ (up $900 per contract) and 1,116.50 on /TF (up $4,000 per contract) – so that strategy went pretty well.
In last Wednesday's post, we also shorted Oil Futures at $95 and oil fell to $91 yesterday – up $4,000 per contract in…
by phil - September 15th, 2014 8:32 am
More bad news today.
China's Industrial Output is at its lowest level since the 2008 crash and Hong Kong stocks dropped 1%, the 7th consecutive down day over there and the Royal Economists at the Bank of Scotland slashed their forecast for China as worries rise that the world's second-largest economy is headed for another slowdown. Too bad for them, they are just catching up to what we told you a month ago, on 8/18, when I said in the morning post:
Chinese Banks' Loan-Loss Reserves have fallen to the the lowest levels in 3 years — We shorted India last week (EPI) and now FXI has got my mouth watering as a potentially good short. I'd feel better about taking up a short on FXI at $45, not $42 but the Jan $42/38 bear put spread is just $1.80 on the $4 spread and that makes it very interesting as it pays 122% on a less than 10% decline in the Chinese markets – a nice way to hedge your bullish China bets!
As we expected, there was a little more gas in the tank but now we're right back on track as the magical China story begins to show its age. The benchmark index for the Asian region, the MSCI All Countries Asia Ex-Japan in U.S. dollar terms, is down 2.2% since reaching the year's high earlier this month. Saturday's weak economic data—including news that August electricity output fell 2.2%—suggest that earlier government stimulus measures lack staying power.
"The economy is losing steam very quickly in August," said Macquarie Group economist Larry Hu. "Previously when they stimulated the economy, private companies followed, leading to a restocking cycle. But this time, the private sector is so cautious." "The IP number is a surprise because Premier Li talked in Tianjin about a quite stable situation," said Mizuho economist Shen Jianguang. "I think, very soon, they're reaching a moment of truth. If they don't ease, the economic deceleration will come much faster."…
by phil - August 27th, 2014 8:09 am
2,000.02 – We did it!!!
Unfortunately, we can't afford to pop the champagne because the 0.03 we spend on it would put us back under – so we'll watch and we'll wait another day before celebrating a milestone we've been expecting since last week (see "Will Jackson Hole Give Us S&P 2,000?") and we went with that TNA trade we discussed in yesterday's post to cover the expected bull run.
We also picked up long plays on BAC and DBA in our Live Member Chat Room and BAC has already rocketed on the settlement news but DBA is only just making the turn and still makes an excellent play that we'll be adding to our Buy List (Members Only) along with 10 more picks we'll be making this week.
As you can see from Dave Fry's SPY chart, we have set a new record for this decade for low volume on a full market day. Last Christmas Eve was 43M on a half day, for example, but the Christmas Eve before that was 53M and those were the lowest two days I could find before I got bored looking (very scientific).
Anyway, the point is that 38.9M is VERY LOW VOLUME – so low that paying attention to a dot on a chart that is drawn in such a light touch is just silly. That makes yesterday's jaunt over 2,000 completely meaningless and more so with the additional evidence of the intraday action which, as Dave notes, could not have been more manipulated.
This is why we have been pressing our bear bets. Even though we have peace in Gaza and peace in Ukraine (for today) and even though we've forgotten about Europe's negative GDP and China's plunging property prices and Ebola – we still couldn't find more than 38.9M buyers for SPY – that's just sad!
Speaking of China, last Monday, for FREE, right in the morning post, we picked the following on FXI:
We shorted India last week (EPI) and now FXI has got my mouth
by phil - August 18th, 2014 8:11 am
From Ferguson to Fallujah, America has spent the weekend kicking ass and taking names with the National Guard rushing in to put down the 99% in Missouri while in Mosul, we're bombing the Middle East's 99% off the dams and picking off the stragglers with high-tech drones – F*ck Yeah!
That, combined with what we can politely call a non-escalation of tensions in the Ukraine has sent the price of oil tumbling by 0.75 this morning, good for $750 per contract from our Friday short (and now we're long at $94 on /CLV4 for October) - F*ck Yeah! Index futures were up slightly in Asia but gathered steam in Europe and markets there are coming out of lunch up over 1% – even as the cease-fire in Gaza is about to end.
Meanwhile, over in Hong Kong, we got a powerful lesson in numbers as the 1.3Bn population of China is able to overwhelm that Island's 7M people (0.5% of China's population) at will and that will was exercised this weekend as China staged "Pro-Beijing" rallies that protested the "Occupy Central" rallies the bottom 99% of Hong Kong had been staging. Can anti-democracy rallies be far behind?
The anti-Occupy Central campaign's focus on the impact of civil disobedience has appealed to the pragmatism of many Hong Kong people. While many support democracy, they also just want to live their lives and go to work unimpeded. "We can't be optimistic at all—the pro-Beijing camp will control the entire list of candidates," said Joseph Cheng, a political-science professor and convener of the Alliance for True Democracy, a coalition of democratic parties supporting Occupy Central.
In short, while China did promise to give Hong Kong the right to vote – they never said they wouldn't stuff the ballot boxes or put up candidates that were nothing more than two different flavors of the same puppets. "If we are buying fruit, don't give us three rotten oranges to choose from," one of the activists said. Oh wait, that might have been our own election coverage – it's so hard to keep these totalitarian regimes straight…
by phil - May 11th, 2012 7:55 am
1,488 more years!
That's right, who cares about JPM and their little $2Bn mistake when a new Mayan calendar has been discovered that goes all the way to the year 3,500? That kind of puts JPM's loss in perspective as it's only $1.34M per additional year to get back – hardly seems worth mentioning, does it?
I'm certainly not going to talk about it because it's as silly as planning the end of the World around a calendar that was carved into a rock (and now we know they simply ran out of rock or 2012 would not have been the end). JPM MAKES $18Bn a year – much of it from trading. That trading is not without risk – so of course they will have the occasional loss. There is nothing about JPMs loss that indicates an industry-wide problem – other than highlighting the generally insane levels of risk that our TBTF Banksters take on a daily basis.
What we SHOULD be concerned about is systemic problems in TBTF Nations such as China, where April Industrial Production rose at the slowest pace since 2009, Retail Sales are also slowing and, worst of all, Fiscal Revenue grew at just 6.9%, down sharply from 18.7% in March. India's Industrial Production fell 3.5% in March vs a 1.7% gain expected by "experts" like the idiots at JPM who bet on Global Markets making new highs in May and lost their assets. Meanwhile, the EC says the EU is in a "mild recession," with the Eurozone GDP forecast to contract 0.3% this year and, hopefully, expand 1% next year while running a 3.2% deficit in 2012.
Contracting 0.3% while spending 3.2% more than you have is not a "mild recession" folks – it's a catastrophe that is being paved over by tons of QE and other stimulus. Not like America, where our $1.4Tn deficit is close to 10% of our GDP and that's how we can expand by 2% – see Europe, you just don't know how to spend your way to prosperity!
Bernanke spoke to a group of senators yesterday about the potential harm to the economy from the expiration of several pro-growth policies, according to senators who attended the meeting. Bernanke discussed the scheduled end of programs including the Bush tax cuts, the payroll tax holiday and extended unemployment…
by phil - April 28th, 2012 6:57 am
Have you seen this?
Frontline did this very good documentary and I'd file it under "those who forget the past are CONDEMNED to repeat it" – let's all TRY not to repeat the mistakes of 2008… "Wall Street got bailed out and Main Street didn't" is the quote that neatly sums up the present situation. Wall Street and the top 10% of this country – of this World – are partying like it's 1999 while the bottom 90% continue to languish in the worst Recession since the Great Depression.
Despite a myriad of worrying data, the Corporate Media is in full-blown promotional mode – pushing stocks as if it were modern snake oil – the panacea that will cure all your ills. We often forget that essentially ALL of our news sources are publicly traded companies and have a vested interest in the stock market going higher. Hell, we have an interest in that too, as our longer-term virtual porfolios are entirely bullish - but that shouldn't preclude us from making a realistic assessment of the CURRENT situation, should it?
Caterpillar, 3M, United Technologies and ABB are among the manufacturers that have reported weak performances in China in the first quarter as economic growth has slowed nearly to a three-year low. Caterpillar’s sales in China fell between $250 million and $300 million in the first quarter, pushing the company, the world’s largest maker of earth-moving equipment, to export to other countries a large share of the equipment it made in China.
Concerns about China overshadowed better-than-expected earnings at the company, which is based in Peoria, Illinois, and led investors to push the stock down 5 percent Wednesday, which was great for us as CAT was on our Long Put List.
ABB, a maker of power equipment, reported profits in the past week that were below analysts’ expectations, caused by weak Chinese demand. “It was a very slow start to the year for China. China in January was extremely weak,” ABB’s chief financial officer, Michel Demaré, said Wednesday.
“Our business in China is off to a slow start,” said Gregory J. Hayes, the chief financial officer of United Technologies, whose Otis arm is the world’s biggest maker of elevators. The unit’s China sales dropped 9 percent in the first quarter. “The ongoing government…
by phil - April 17th, 2012 8:27 am
Wheeeee, what a ride!
As you can see from David Fry's chart of the SPY, we're all over the place but, notably, there's a method to the market's madness as high-volume selling is followed by low-volume buying – allowing the funds to dump out onto the retail bagholders at top dollar while the carnival barkers in the MSM tell the sheeple to buy those f'ing dips.
Cramer said, in last night's show, that the Dow is composed of big international companies that were finally able to break free from concerns over Europe’s debt crisis. For the entire month of April, these stocks were held hostage to the Europe’s debt troubles. Cramer said most of these companies have no real ties to Europe, though, so the fears are overblown.
We ended up with what amounted to a frontsie-backsie day where all of the last month's winners, stocks that were unaffected by the weak euro and the miserable European stock markets, got pummeled, while the losers that had become risk free shorts because of an expected European decline were actually able to rally.
What a moron! Seriously – "frontsie-backsie"??? I guess he needs to treat his audience like they are 2 because bigger kids might realize that telling investors to ignore Europe would be just as idiotic as an Asian or European carnival barker telling the rubes over there to ignore America when making investment decisions. Is it really possible, in this day and age, that people still believe America is immune to what is happening in the rest of the World?
Look at the downtrend in the Global Commodities Index – do you think you are immune from that? I guess, to some extent we are, because CNBC's sponsors continue to use any excuse to pump up the PRICE of commodities, no matter how much DEMAND falls off (see yesterday's chart on gasoline volume consumption).
As Fundamental investors, we can often be a bit ahead of the curve but we find the market usually catches up to reality at some point. Cramer and his ilk know they can fool all of the people some of the time and some of the people all of the time (known as their "core audience") but even the mighty Corporate Media can't fool all of the people all of the time.
by phil - April 11th, 2012 8:01 am
Are you buying the dips?
We're not yet. Notice that we've now blown 4 of our 5 Must Hold lines (the Dow never did make theirs, which kept us bearish in the first place) and, technically, the S&P failed to hold 1,360 as well but close enough to avoid panic so far.
Falling from 1,420 to 1,360 is 60 points so we'll be looking for a weak bounce (20% retracement) to 1,372 and a strong bounce (40%) past 1,384 would get us back in a buying mood but let's not count those chickens before they're hatched.
France and Germany are bouncing 1.5% this morning as the Euro stages a recovery back to that critical $1.31 line and the UK is up 0.77% (7:40) with the Pound back at $1.59. We noted in Member Chat that this seems like SNB buying to support that 1.20 line on EUR/CHF as we;re certainly not getting a move back up in copper ($3.65), Natural gas ($2.04) or gasoline ($3.24) that we'd expect if we had any additional stimulus or some sort of positive economic data. Even gold is down this morning ($1,659) so I do not have a lot of faith in this early-morning market movement so far.
Clearly we're not going to get excited about anything until our indexes can at least take back those 50 dma's (red lines) and the Dollar holding it's line at 79.60 is also bad news for the bulls. To keep that 1.5% gain in perspective, it's 88 points – back to 6,695 and we're down from 7,150 so "only" 5 more 1.5% up days to go and Germany is back on top.
This is always the tricky part about retracements – it's not so much what you get on the bounce (not even 20% on the DAX), but is the bounce going to be sustainable to get you to 6,850, which is the 20 dma (3% higher than we are now) and then to 7,000, which is the falling 50 dma – 5% over the current mark?
Keep in mind that the longer it takes to retake the 50 dma, the more it curves down and then you are running into a declining 50 dma, which has a much better chance of rejecting you – especially as you are running out of gas after having to climb 5% just to get there.…