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 14th, 2014 8:05 am
Europe is not growing.
Italy, Romania and Cyprus are in Recession (2 consecutive negative quarters) and Belgium dropped 75%, Czech 100% (to zero), Germany down 130%, Latvia down 85%, Hungary down 30%, Poland down 45%… These are NOT GOOD numbers!
Yesterday we got a -1.7% reading on Japan, down over 200% from last quarter's +1.5%. Our own GDP grew at just 1% from last Q, which itself was down 0.5% from the quarter before it but, fortunately, last year's Q2 was so terrible that, by comparison to that – we improved by 2.4% – and that somehow made people happy.
The euro zone's three largest economies, which account for two-thirds of the region's €9.6T ($12.8T) GDP, all did not post any growth. German GDP shrank 0.2% from the first quarter and Italy's output fell at a similar pace. The French economy, the bloc's second largest behind Germany, stagnated for a second straight quarter. How, exactly, does this translate into a bullish signal for the markets?
The answer is: It doesn't. The bullishness is nothing more than anticipation of MORE FREE MONEY over longer periods of time and that is, indeed good for our Corporate Citizens and the top 1% Human Citizens lucky enough to own them (we own lots in our Long-Term Portfolios!) as they are able to refinance debt at record lows and buy back their own stock with free money and buy whole other companies with free money – all supplied their friendly Central Banksters as well as the suckers who put their hard-earned cash into banks and bonds at 1% interest.
That's right, the yeild on the German 10-Year Bund has dropped to 1% today. Auntie Angela will hold $1M of your money for 10 years and give you back $1,100,000 when she's done – isn't that FANTASTIC! It sure is for those of us who get to borrow that money – not so much for people trying to save.
by phil - July 31st, 2014 8:05 am
I warned you about Argentina!
We discussed them way back in December as they faked their own GDP data, that it was nothing more than window-dressing to keep them from LOOKING like they were in default – even though they were clearly heading that way.
So it should come as no surprise that, as the deadline finally comes, there is no surprising rescue for the World's 26th largest economy ($477Bn vs $499Bn for Norway, $394Bn for Austria, $385Bn for Thailand and $248Bn for Greece). Since it's not a surprise, we took the opportunity this morning to go long in the Futures, as the 1% dip around 4am seemed overdone. I sent out a special Alert to all of our Members, saying:
Still, I like /TF for a bullish over the 1,130 line (testing now) and /YM at 16,700 and /ES 1,950 for bounces but VERY TIGHT STOPS if any of them fail.
Fortunately, they did not fail and already (8am) we have /TF 1,135 (up $500 per contract), /YM 16,732 (up $160 per contract) and /ES 1,955 (up $250 per contract) and our Egg McMuffins are paid for and those trades are now off the table (tight stops at least), as we expect more selling at the open!
It's nice to play the Futures to offset bearish bets, like the SQQQ (ultra-short Nasdaq) trade we discussed in yesterday's morning post and the QQQ weekly $96 puts we added for .22 in yesterday's live Member Chat ahead of the Fed – as we expected the statement would disappoint. Those should come out well this morning and going long on the Futures locks in those potential gains for us.
Now, getting back to Argentina, ARGT is UP 32% this year and that is just silly so ARGT makes a nice short at $23.20 and you can, in fact, buy the Oct $23 puts for $1.45 and, if they give back that 32%, they'll be back to $19 and you'll have $4+ for a $2.55 gain (175%) – that's a fun way to play it.
by phil - June 27th, 2014 8:14 am
I forgot to talk about something important yesterday.
Turkey was caught FAKING their trade data, with Prime Minister Erdogan, working with Economic Minister Caglayan LAST YEAR to manipulate their $800Bn economy by sending gold overseas to boost their export numbers. How a team that included Turkey’s economy minister sought to manage the current account deficit, as the gap is called, by juicing exports to Iran is laid out in a 300-page document prepared by Turkish investigators in 2013. Caglayan and his collaborators also came away with tens of millions of dollars in bribes, according to the document, which has been cited in parliament by opposition lawmakers.
That's how things are being done in the World's 18th-largest economy and, notice CHINA (3rd) is one of the countries participating in this scam, as is Iran (21st) and Dubai in the UAE (30th). We already know China is involved in all sorts of economic manipulation, including building entire empty cities just to boost their GDP numbers. China, in fact, is in the midst of another set of scandals, with tens of Billions (GS estimates $160Bn) in bank loans backed by silver and copper collarteral that does not, in fact, exist (maybe they "got it" from Turkey?).
by phil - June 25th, 2014 8:30 am
Does this look healthy to you?
We did manage to pull out of a tailspin back in 2011 – the last time our GDP went negative but, funny story – in July of 2011, the S&P fell from 1,350 to 1,100 by August 9th and it gyrated between 1,100 and 1,200 until October when the Fed's "Operation Twist" (because "Operation Screw the Poor" got bad test scores) gave us a boost.
Notice how this post picks up right where yesterday's post left off – I'm clever that way! Yesterday we had the chart that showed us that 10% of our GDP ($1.5Tn) is the result of Fed fiddling and, without it, the GDP would be right back at those 2009 lows. Whether or not you THINK QE will ever end, you sure as hell better have a plan for what you will do in case it does!
Russell Investments put out their Economic Indicators Dashboard yesterday and it's a nice snapshot of the where the economy is.
The lines over the boxes are the 3-month trends and, thanks to the Fed, 10-year yeilds are just 2.48% and that's keeping home prices high (because you don't buy a home, you buy a mortgage).
Inflation is creeping up and expansion (today's topic) is negative and getting lower. Meanwhile, consumers remain oblivious as the Corporate Media fills them with happy talk. Meanwhile, this BLS chart (via Barry Ritholtz) says it all as manufacturing (good) jobs continue to leave our country at alarming rates:
Almost all of the growth spots are from fracking with a little auto production picking up as well. Overall, 1.6M net manufacturing jobs have been lost since 2007 and, much more alarming, the median household income for those lucky enough to still have jobs is down almost 10% over the same period of time.
In other words, if it wasn't for Fed Money, we'd have no money at all! In yesterday's Webinar (replay available here) we talked about how the Fed is like a…
by Option Review - October 3rd, 2012 1:29 pm
Today’s tickers: AEO, HON & GDP
AEO - American Eagle Outfitters, Inc. – A large long-term bullish options play on teen retailer, American Eagle Outfitters, Inc., near the open looks for shares in the name to potentially reach levels not seen since 2007 by January 2014. Shares in American Eagle soared in 2012, rising approximately 90% since the first week of the year to touch a four-year high of $23.94 back on September 19th. Though off their highest level of the year, shares in AEO increased 2.6% this morning to $21.56 after the stock was rated new ‘Market Outperform’ with a 12-month target share price of $27.00 at Avondale Partners LLC. A three-legged options combination spread initiated on AEO at the start of the session prepares one options player to profit should the price of the underlying continue to push higher during the next calendar year. The strategist responsible for the single-largest transaction in American Eagle options today appears to have sold 5,000 puts at the Jan. 2014 $18.5 strike in order to substantially reduce the cost of buying a 5,000-lot Jan. 2014 $22/$30 call spread. Net premium paid to establish the position amounts to $0.20 per contract and prepares the trader to make money above an effective breakeven price of $22.20. Maximum potential profits of $7.80 per contract are available on the spread should American Eagle’s shares gain 40% to top $30.00 by expiration in January 2014. The trader could wind up having 500,000 shares of the underlying stock put to him or her at expiration in the event of a sharp pullback in shares of the high-flyer to the $18.50-level and below.
HON - Honeywell International, Inc.– Shares in diversified industrials company, Honeywell International, Inc., are up 0.15% as of 11:50 a.m. in New York to stand at $61.53, adding to gains realized earlier in the week after the company agreed to take a 70% stake in Tulsa, Oklahoma-based Thomas Russell Co. for…
by phil - March 29th, 2012 8:14 am
My, my – things are getting ugly.
Not too much technical damage on the Big Chart so far but we have critical crosses of our 2.5% lines at S&P 1,400 and Nas 3,075 to watch. I think we'll hold the Nas unless AAPL takes a dive so, despite the 1% drop in Europe this morning (7:30) – I don't think today's the day the music dies.
We have our 3rd estimate of Q4 GDP this morning at 8:30 and I'm not expecting it to be better than the last 3% estimate – probably a bit worse as the data has been downhill since then. Clearly sentiment has turned a bit sour and, as I mentioned in yesterday's post – if this is all we can get out of the markets after our Central Banksters all held a QE revival meeting on Monday with promises of Trillions more free money – then we are pretty screwed.
Speaking of people who are soon to be screwed, oil speculators are about to get their gas handed to them as there are over 570M barrels worth of open contracts at the NYMEX scheduled for delivery in the next 3 months alone and we're already way over any prior level of storage capacity (Bespoke chart).
If Iran doesn't nuke the Strait of Hormuz very soon, this is going to turn ugly for those stuck with oil contracts as October 2013 barrels are still trading under $100 and 2015 contracts are under $90 – indicating no long-term support for all these speculative barrels. Yesterday, another 7M unwanted barrels piled up in inventories as consumers continue to cut back on gasoline they can no longer afford.
When I was on BNN earlier this month, oil was at $107 and my trade idea was to pick up the SCO April $29/33 bull call spread for $2.10, selling the April $30 puts for $1.35 to pay for it on the premise that oil wouldn't go over $110, where we begin to lose more than the net .75 cash and our max gain of $3.25 (433%) came around $105. We're at the halfway mark to April expiration and, with oil at $105, SCO is at $33.63 (our goal)…
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,
by phil - October 27th, 2011 8:24 am
You ask, What is our aim? I can answer with one word: Victory—victory at all costs, victory in spite of all terror, victory however long and hard the road may be; for without victory there is no survival. – Winston Churchill
I do HAVE to say "I told you so!"
When I was interviewed on Monday and they asked why I’m bullish, I replied that "stimulus trumps everything" and that’s what we’ve been playing for, especially in our new White Christmas Portfolio, which will be off to a rockin’ start with the aggressive upside trades that I not only mentioned in yesterday’s post - which made easy fills yesterday morning, as the markets shook out the last of the weak hands on yet another rumor-driven dip.
We got our daily double on the AGQ calls, as expected and SSO fell all the way to $44.20 (150% profit on that trade if they finish Friday above $45) while FAS dropped $13.35 and that spread will be good for a 2,100% gain if FAS can get back to and hold $14 – which should be a snap thanks to our friends at the EU.
In the morning Alert to Members, I put up this cute little Gif to illustrate the day’s action and it was a real roller-coaster day but we stayed generally bullish, taking quick profits off our morning bear plays on DIA and USO. We added a bullish trade ideas for AMZN (complex spread), TNA (short Nov $40 puts at $3.60) but that was it for the day because my comment to Members at 11:01 was: "Dollar rejected at 76.80 – still hope for the bulls!"
Well, those bulls were us and we already had our bets in place from last week, when things were cheaper so there was nothing to do but watch as the markets took off like a rocket from that point forward. Heck, we were so bullish we even sold NFLX puts (Nov $67.50 puts for $3) as a bullish offset to a DXD hedge (which we’ll pull the bottom of today). On Monday we had picked up bullish trades on AAPL and GLW and I mentioned EWG in Friday’s post (those should be looking good this morning!) as well as our plays to go long in the Russell Futures at…
by phil - August 10th, 2011 8:29 am
Kudos to Dylan Ratigan for losing his temper and telling the TRUTH:
Ratigan is everything a reporter used to be in the days when integrity mattered. He told CNBC to shove it rather than toe the line and push their snake oil and his show is a breath of fresh air in an otherwise stale media landscape. I love the way he sits there listening to the same political BS as we all do from his panel for 3 minutes and 45 seconds and then literally explodes in RIGHTEOUS anger. I often feel the same way and, as my Members know, I sometimes explode the same way but to see a host do it on TV (other than Jon Stewart) is just fantastic – it’s what this country needs if we are ever going to save ourselves – complete change in the system.
As Dylan says: "I have been coming on TV for 3 years doing this and the fact of the matter is that there is a refusal on both the Republican and Democratic side of the aisle to acknowledge the mathematical problem, which is that the United States of America is being EXTRACTED – it’s being extracted through banking, it’s being extracted through trade, and it’s being extracted through taxation and there’s not a single politician that is willing to step forward and deal with this."
Yesterday was a ridiculous day in the markets, with the Dow rising 250 points, then falling 500 points and then rising 800 points into the close for a net gain of 429 points on the day. We had a lot of fun trading it but it’s sad to see our markets trading like a 3rd World country. I have warned Members for years that: "If our government pursues Asian-style Central Banking policies they will subject our markets to Asian-style market swings" (see "Stock Market Crash – Year One in Review – The Gathering Storm"). In July of 2009 I warned:
Our stock markets have already started trading like those crazy Asian markets. Why? Manipulation is why. Control of the media by government and business allows focused messages to go out to the people so investors can be stampeded in and out of the markets at the will of the people who control the message.