by Phil Davis - March 13th, 2012 7:52 am
For once I have to agree with Fox (and thanks to D Virginia for the link):
With gas at $3.87 and over $4 in California, New York and Illinois, Fox news says other journalists don't check "the substance of the accusations against the President," the media needs to "look at certain claims and promises to see what the facts are behind them." And what are the facts that Fox News presents us with?
- Cal Thomas: "No President has the power to increase or to lower gas prices – Those are market forces."
- Neil Cavuto: "China and India are slopping up oil faster than we can these days and THAT is the not so sinister response to what's going on."
- Cheryl Casone: "At this point, it really is tough for this President, I have to be honest with you, because he really does not have any control over what's going to happen with the markets and with the economy and with oil prices and with supply and demand and gasoline – it really is out of this President's hands."
- Bill O'Reilly: "Yesterday oil hit a record high and politicians can't do anything about it."
- Joe D'Agostino (VP of NYMEX on O'Reilly): "The only thing we can do is start to use less energy."
- Bill O'Reilly: "If every American who owns an automobile or an air conditioner says "I'm going to use 10% less" – the prices then would fall… Politicians can't do this."
- News team: "Get rid of gas guzzlers, buy decent insulation for your house and tell your local, elected officials to get on the stick and do some more mass transit/infrastructure spending because those kinds of fixes that can really help Americans."
- News team: "Drilling an ANWR would reduce the price of oil by about 40 cents a barrel (1 penny per gallon) or maybe as much at $1.40 per barrel (3.3 cents per gallon)." "If we drilled in ANWR we would get 4% of our daily consumption in oil." "It would take 20 years for saving from ANWR drilling to be realized."
- O'Reilly: "So the next time you hear a politician say he or she will bring down oil prices, UNDERSTANT IT'S COMPLETE BS! If Americans want lower gas prices, cut back – that's what the candidates SHOULD be saying. Sell those SUV's, ride a bike when
by Phil Davis - March 12th, 2012 8:24 am
$35Bn worth of 3-year notes to sell today.
That will be followed by $21Bn worth of 10-year notes tomorrow and $13Bn worth of 30-year notes on Wednesday. The 3-years are expected to fetch about 1.5%, 2% for the 10-year and 3.12% for the 30-years despite the fact that that represent negative returns to inflation. So, either it's just a scam where the Fed, through its member banks, purchase whatever Treasury wants to sell to keep up the illusion that the US is able to borrow cheap OR the rest of the World is so horrifically scary that Global investors are willing to take a loss on $69Bn long-term, rather than risk leaving it in a bank or putting it into a stock or commodities or in the notes that are handed out by other countries.
Like Greece, for example, who were just "fixed" yet today the NEW BONDS are trading as 18.1% for 11-year notes. Hmm, 18.1% for Greece, which has just been declared "safe" by the EU or 2% for US notes? Something is clearly wrong with this picture… You KNOW something is wrong but, if you are buying equities, then you are choosing to pretend that, although there is a very obvious scam going on in the bond markets, that it somehow doesn't affect the equity markets. Come on – admit that you are lying to yourself – you'll feel better!
Buying equities in a Federally funded, Bot-propped rally is no different than participating in an obvious Ponzi scheme. You KNOW it's fishy but EVERYONE is doing it so you just want a little taste and you tell yourself you're just going to help yourself to some of that free money and then you will get out (dumping your shares on some other sucker who will be closer to the eventual burning than you were). That's called the greater fool theory and it works great as the World is bursting at the seams with fools but, eventually, the fools and their money are parted and SOMEONE is left holding the bag.
Will it be you? Of course not, you are no fool! Someone else will buy your GMCR shares for $63, right? Well, that was right on Thursday, but on Friday they dropped to $52.50 and that was after drifting gently down from $69 earlier in the month. It was "just" a…
by Phil Davis - March 8th, 2012 8:12 am
The Dollar is down 1%.
That makes the markets go up 1%. Mostly, the Dollar is down based on a FABRICATION in Uncle Rupert's Wall Street Journal – the most widely read financial publication in the World (next to Philstockworld, of course!). Although Jon Hilsenrath, the WSJ chief economist who started this nonsense made it VERY CLEAR that the story was predicated on IF they decide to do more "capital I, capital F," Jon says – THEN this is the kind of bond buying that might happen.
That's all it took yesterday to send the S&P up 1% but, if there were a volume measure, you'd see that, on the Dow, 25M shares were traded before 11, and just 35M shares between 11 and 3:30 and then 50M shares were traded between 3:30 and 4pm, almost 100% down volume. The only people that are fooled by these word games are the beautiful sheeple who are so well-trained to buy the F'ing dips that even a misstatement like this sends them into a buying frenzy.
Ah, fresh meat – we love it! Oil (/CL) was back at $107 this morning and we already caught a nice dip off our favorite sell spot in Member Chat and gold is giving us a good short entry at $1,700 (/YG) as well. All we have to do is watch the Dollar and see if it can hold 79.40 once real trading begins. The Euro is up at $1.324, off the $1.31 line yesterday so up 1% and the Pound is up from $1.57 yesterday to $1.58 this morning and the Yen is loving it at 81.71 (weaker) as they've been solidly backing the Euro over at the BOJ this month and the Nikkei futures (/NKD) shot up from 9,500 yesterday to 9,835 this morning (3.5%) on a 1% drop in their currency so this would be a great spot (below 9.850) to short the Nikkei.
For the Futures impaired, the EWJ April $10 puts at .20 should be a fun way to play the Nikkei reversing, assuming reality sets in at some point. It's 8:25 now and oil just hit $106.50 and that's our take the money and run spot in the futures as we pick up $500 per contract off my 4:56 comment in Member Chat this morning:
by Phil Davis - February 27th, 2012 8:02 am
This is frustrating isn't it?
The S&P fell to 1,355 in the Futures, breaking our rule to get bullish as they must hold 1,360 for 2 consecutive days so we're back to watching and waiting now as it's been two full weeks of teasing this line as the index creeps back into the bottom of David Fry's SPY channel.
We thought we were going to fail back at 1,300 but we caught a nice bounce off the bottom at the beginning of the month and flew up another 5.5% since then but now we're almost 10% over the 200 dma on less and less volume and that's one hell of an air pocket below us on the S&P so of course the lack of more free money from the G20 is going to hurt today – the question is – how much?
We discussed the G20 over the weekend, so no need to re-hash it here. Let's take a little time today to delve into the logic of S&P 1,360 and see if we can find some good reasons for it to stick. In his letter to shareholders this weekend, Warren Buffett very plainly says that his entire bullish premise is based on his believe that housing will make a comeback. Jim Bianco had an article on that this weekend noting Homebuilder Optimism has risen for 5 straight months, back to the highest level since May of 2007, at the early stages of the slowdown BUT – let's keep in mind that the sentiment level is 29 and anything below 50 is still NEGATIVE – so we have a long way to go!
We have been playing XRT short, expecting it to have been rejected at $56, like it was last summer prior to a 20% drop. Now XRT is at $58, up 31% from it's October lows and we have to wonder if the situation for Retail has REALLY gotten 31% better than high-volume investors were pricing it AFTER seeing last July's earnings reports or is this another major air bubble that's about to burst?
The January Retail Sales Report showed $361Bn in sales and that was up 5.6% from last year's $342Bn. This month we'll see an automatic 3.5% bump as February has an extra day (people fall for that one every 4 years) and we have strong…
by Phil Davis - January 17th, 2012 7:54 am
Isn't this exciting!
The pre-markets are up 1% after a long weekend. That hasn't happened since – two weeks ago! Of course last Tuesday, we were jammed up as well and the Tuesday after Christmas, we were jammed up as well but THIS TIME – we're REALLY feeling it, right?
The funniest thing is the way they have dozens of idiots saying all sorts of ridiculous things on CNBC and not one of them mentions even the vaguest hint of deja vu in what has been the most consistent pattern of late 2011, early 2012.
On this Dollar chart from Scott Pluschau, you can see the dives that are occasionally taken to goose the markets and we have another one this morning with the Dollar down 1%, making the 1% pop in the futures slightly less impressive when taken in context.
This time may be different because, according to Friday's Legacy Commitments of Traders Report released by the CTFC, Commercial Traders are now net short on the Dollar to the tune of 59,023 to just 6,061 longs – about a 10:1 ratio that is EXTREME to say the least. Non-Reportable, Non-Commercial Traders (ie. Speculators), on the other hand, are almost 10:1 the other way with 9,765 long contracts and just 1,390 shorts. Reportable Non-Commercial Traders (Hedge Funds) fill out the rest of the longs with 52,644 long contracts against just 8,057 shorts.
To some extent, hedge funds are also speculators and usually you would assume their bets are covered but that's kind of hard to see with a 7:1 long/short ratio. Keep in mind that Commercial Traders are institutions with business reasons to hedge – they are not going to be flip-flopping their positions so they will NOT be buying Dollars just because they get cheaper. So, if it all hits the fan and the Funds shift to short – we could get quite a tidal-wave of Dollar selling.
That's an odd sort of positions for the speculating class to be taking (super-long on the Dollar) considering the possibility of a highly dilutive quantitative event (QE3) in the very near future. This is why we can't be gung-ho bearish – tempting though it may be and this is why every little rumor of Europe being "fixed" sends the Dollar flying down – there are no buyers – only nervous long Dollar holders.
by Phil Davis - December 16th, 2011 8:25 am
It’s party time!
A lot of investors have been saying "Phuket" lately and they can only be referring to the annual Patong Carnival in Thailand, where the tourist bureau wants you to know the tuberculosis outbreak is "under control." Actually, it’s an amazingly beautiful place with great people – must be why so many people keep mentioning it when starting at the markets this week…
As I mentioned yesterday, we had to flip bullish because our bearish bets were no fun and we felt that A) the bottom was a little forced in order for Timmy to peddle his T-Bills and B) that Santa Clause is coming to town. Actually, we had plenty of bearish bets from when the market was high so we needed the bullish bets to get BALANCE!
Balance was the theme of our virtual White Christmas Portfolio and we added another $3,615 in gains over the past two weeks to bring us very close to a triple at $42,925 off our $15,000 start back on November 21st. This is a very aggressive virtual portfolio where we are practicing the art of hit and run trading. The positions we closed in the last 9 sessions were bullish bets with FAS, XLF, FAS, DIA, GLD, XLF, FAS and XLF and bearish bets with GLL, TZA, FAS (spread), USO, DIA, TZA, DIA, DIA, DIA, DXD. See – BALANCE!
We thought the market would go up and down (I know, such a stretch!) and the markets did, in fact go up AND down with an AVERAGE swing of 1.5% PER DAY but, in the end, we’re still consolidating around our Must Hold lines and right back where we were at the last options expiration day of November 18th – causing almost all puts and calls sold to sucker a month ago to expire worthless. Isn’t it a funny coincidence how all that seems to work out for the Banksters?
As I reminded our Members, our cynical motto at PSW is "We don’t care IF the game is fixed, as long as we can figure out HOW the game is fixed and place our bets accordingly."
by Option Review - December 14th, 2011 2:35 pm
Today’s tickers: AVP, FSLR & GLD
AVP - Avon Products, Inc. – Investors cheered news that the beauty products seller will seek a replacement for its current CEO next year, sending shares in Avon Products up as much as 11.1% to $17.93 at the start of the trading session. The purchase of 10,000 calls at the July 2012 $20 strike on a 33 delta may at first glance appear to be the work of a bullish investor gearing up for shares in the cosmetics seller to extend gains. However, the long calls were tied to short stock, indicating the trader responsible is bearish on Avon and hoping to profit from a pullback in the price of the underlying. The investor sold 330,000 shares of AVP stock at $17.40 this morning and bought the calls, thereby synthetically buying long puts to benefit from share price erosion.
FSLR - First Solar, Inc. – Options activity suggests the end of this week may be even uglier for First Solar shareholders who saw the price of the stock tank today after the company again cut its earnings and revenue forecasts for 2011. Shares in the largest U.S. solar company are currently trading at their lowest since 2007, down 20.0% on the day at $33.98 as of 12:15 PM in New York. The stock has dropped more than 80.0% off the February 18, 2011, two-year high of $175.45. December expiry call and put trading on First Solar indicates investors are expecting the sell-off to continue through the end of the trading week and expiration. Bears purchased in- and out-of-the-money puts to prepare for further share price erosion in the next few days. Strategists positioning for the stock to sink to fresh lows picked up 1,600 puts at the Dec. $33 strike this morning for an average premium of $0.78 each.…
by Phil Davis - November 21st, 2011 6:41 am
Mariano Rajoy won the biggest majority in a Spanish election in almost 30 years, and told Spaniards to brace for hard times as the nation fights to avoid being overwhelmed by the debt crisis. Bonds continued to drop. Rajoy’s People’s Party swept the ruling Socialists from power after eight years, winning 186 of the 350 seats in Parliament, compared with 110 for the Socialists’ candidate Alfredo Perez Rubalcaba.
“Hard times lie ahead,” Rajoy, 56, told supporters outside the PP’s headquarters in Madrid, giving no new details of his plans. “We are going to govern in the most delicate situation Spain has faced in 30 years.”
Spanish borrowing costs continued rising toward euro-era records (6.6% this morning) even as the PP won a mandate to slash the budget deficit, overhaul the stagnant economy and reduce the 23 percent jobless rate. Rajoy, who hasn’t given details of his proposals, won’t take over for a month, prompting him to say on Nov 18th he hoped Spain wouldn’t need a bailout before he’s sworn in. Miguel Arias Canete, head of the PP’s electoral committee and a former minister, said today markets need to give the party time, as ministers won’t be appointed until Dec. 21 and Spanish law doesn’t allow Parliament to resume any sooner than Dec. 13.
So NO QUICK FIX IN SPAIN IS POSSIBLE – let’s face that fact now so we’re not endlessly surprised by it as the rumor-mongers can now have a field day attacking the lame-duck outgoing Government ahead of the transition. Meanwhile, our own do-nothing Congress looks to be heading towards certain disaster as we have what appears to be a TOTAL FAILURE of the US Deficit Reduction Committee to do anything to actually reduce our deficit.
Now I don’t want to point fingers (cough, Republicans, cough, cough) ahead of our National Holiday that celebrates unity and goodwill and crap like that. Let’s just say "they" couldn’t agree, so now it’s going to be Hard Times for America as we, in theory, will kick in $1.2Tn of automatic cuts including (gasp!) over 5% of our nation’s Trillion-Dollar annual Defense budget. Oh, not until 2013, of course because our Government doesn’t really have the balls to cut anything under any circumstances.
by Phil Davis - November 17th, 2011 8:40 am
Wheeeee – isn’t this fun?
To paraphrase Lloyd Bridges in "Airplane" – looks like I picked the wrong week to short oil. We attempted to short oil at $100 and that did not work. Then we attempted to short it at $102 and that did not work but $103 finally worked like a charm this morning as Oil Futures (/CL) plunged back to $100 between 4am and 7:30.
The trick with playing the futures is to play them like a series of momentum trades with tight stops (see our Strategy Section) above a certain resistance point. As long as you manage your losses, you can simply re-enter at the next resistance and try again. For example, if you picked the $100 line yesterday to short with a stop at $100.10, loss of $100. Then the $102 line seemed like it would work but another $100 lost but $103 (we play the crosses back under, of course) became a huge winner, without a serious pullback until the bounce off $100 for a gain of $2,500-$3,000 – depending on how tightly you set your stops.
So far, the $100 line held up (only because the Dollar was slapped back down from 78.65 to 78.35) but there are still 86M barrels of oil open on the NYMEX and scheduled for December delivery. That’s right, as I predicted yesterday, 60M barrels worth of oil contracts scheduled for December delivery were cancelled yesterday in a blatant attempt to create an artificial supply shortage for oil in the US.
|Current Session||Prior Day||Opt’s|
by Phil Davis - October 13th, 2011 8:24 am
Wheeeee, what a ride!
I hate to say I told you so but I did tell you so in yesterday’s morning post when I said: "Not to be cynical but, if you are going to have some Slovakian Government officials torpedo a vote that will tank the markets – isn’t it a good idea to run them up first and bring in a bunch of suckers to sell to? We remain a bit skeptical until we get back over our "Must Hold" levels and hold them for more than a day." As you can see from David Fry’s chart, a little cynicism is a good thing in these markets as the Slovakian vote was delayed again and the FT rumor popped the day’s bubble.
We discussed shorting oil at $86 (now $84) and gold at $1,695 (now $1,670) as good plays off the morning pump and, as usual, shorting TLT was a winner but now we’re near their theoretical support by the Fed so we’d rather see a run-up to $120 before we play them again. At 1pm, we have a 30-year note auction of just $13Bn but, as I pointed out to Members in Chat, this makes $52.5Bn of 30-year borrowing since August 15th – that’s not even two months!
Who can keep funding this kind of debt load? And it’s not just the US that’s borrowing at an ever-increasing pace – the EU is borrowing as much as we are and Japan is borrowing and Russia is borrowing and Brazil and India are borrowing – Africa would borrow if anyone would lend it to them and our NAFTA buddies, Canada and Mexico, who also borrow about $50Bn a year to fund their own deficits.
How is it possible, a logical person may ask, for almost every single country in the World to run a deficit at the same time? Either A) China has so much of a surplus that they are funding everyone else or B) Everyone is printing money 24/7 to pay bills they don’t have the income for and, if B is the case – where’s the inflation? Is it really possible that, on a planet with a $60Tn GDP and a $4Tn annual deficit (and yes, half of it is ours!) that prices go up less than the 6.66% (why does that number come up so often) printing of…