by phil - May 24th, 2012 8:28 am
I've listened to preachers
I've listened to fools
I've watched all the dropouts
Who make their own rules
One person conditioned to rule and control
The media sells it and you live the role
Mental wounds still screaming
Driving me insane
I'm going off the rails on a crazy train – Ozzy
Wheeeee, that was fun!
We called for a "Whipsaw Wednesday" and it doesn't come much more whipsawed that that. Fortunately we stuck with the plan from my morning post to take the money and run on our short plays and we even pulled the hedges off our $25,000 Portfolio, leaving it 100% bullish at 11:11 in Member Chat.
That left us a little nervous for the next hour but, of course, we had a plan for that too and, at 12:27, I put up a chart of the our indexes over the last 5 days saying: "Note our lows of last Friday – Those are the lines we need to give up at if we fail them!"
That's a very important point about aggressively trading – it's OK to pick a bottom and flip bullish, but ONLY IF YOUR BOTTOM HOLDS! The biggest problem traders have is they guess a bottom (1,300 on the S&P was ours) but then, when their premise fails – they FAIL to give up on the position. This is much like saying in the morning that you don't think it's going to rain – then having breakfast and seeing it pouring with rain outside – and refusing to take an umbrella because you didn't think it was going to rain (see "The Microwave Oven Theory of Behavior" for more on this subject).
Here was the chart we looked at at 12:27 in chat:
Things were not looking good, were they? Remember, we had gone bullish on that first pause and failed to hold that line so the first thing we had to do was make a new plan — just in case. If you don't know EXACTLY what you are going to do "just in case," you…
by phil - May 15th, 2012 7:05 am
Here we go again!
It was only last Tuesday we were watching that 1,360 line on the S&P but, at the time, we were looking for it to hold as we finished last Monday at 1,370 – in a totally fake pump into the close. Even early Tuesday morning, the Futures were being pumped up to reel in the suckers but I warned in the morning post:
There is no particular reason for the move, other than this being Tuesday in a manipulated market. Neither oil ($97.38) or gold ($1,628) or copper ($3.71) or silver ($29.73) or even gasoline ($2.97) give any indication of consumer demand for commodities. "Fixing" the charts does not mean you have fixed the economy!
We all know what happened next – we failed to hold that 1,360 line on the S&P as the Euro failed to hold $1.30 and Greece was unable to form a coalition government (we also had disappointing Retail Sales numbers) and this morning (6:45) oil is $94.74, gold is $1,558, copper is $3.53, silver $28.23 and gasoline is STILL $2.97.
The last thing we should do is complain about gasoline prices – we still pay 1/2 of what Europe does and even China is paying $5.31 a gallon – 25% more than the US average $4.19. At this point, gas prices are the only commodity not falling down and that's because they are the easiest to manipulate – the last bastion of the speculator – if you will.
With that mythical summer driving season on the way, even we stopped shorting oil at $94 and gasoline is now a joke at $2.97 as that's $124.74 per barrel – a 33% per barrel mark-up at retail. At the pump, $4.19 a gallon means you are paying $175.98 at the pump – that's an 87% mark-up! Actually, we shouldn't look at it as 87%, that's misleading – when oil was $60 per barrel, gasoline was $1.85 at the pump and that was $77.70 and the refiners were making very good money. Why would it cost $81.98 to refine and retail a $94 barrel of oil when it only costs $17.70 to refine and retail a $60 barrel of oil? See – it's a rip-off! Somebody, somewhere is massively screwing you over – that much should be obvious to even a Republican Senator.
by phil - April 19th, 2012 8:28 am
We are just loving these crazy-assed market moves. Every morning we have a pump job to short into and every afternoon there is a BS stick-save to re-establish our shorts. It's merely a matter of time before those floors begin to crack. I mean, really – how much of this abuse can they take?
Notice, in Dave Fry's SPY chart, the high-volume selling followed by low-volume pumping – that's the very unhealthy pattern the "rally" was built on, which means there really aren't any buyers waiting to scoop up shares when they dip – just Trade Bots that tease the indexes higher so the IBanks can keep pulling in the bag-holders as the "smart money" stampedes for the exits.
Yesterday was great fun. As I noted in the morning post, we went short on the Oil Futures (/CL) at $104.50 in our morning Member Chat and even in the morning post there was still time to catch it at $104. Oil sold off all the way to $102.60 at 2:10 and my 2:14 comment to Members nailed the turn as I said:
Oil coming right to our goal at $102.50 ($38.50 USO) so let's not be greedy and look to take $1.20 off the table on those 1/2 USO positions in the $25KP and $5KP as it's better to get out while the gettin's good.
That's what we mean when we talk about taking non-greedy exits (I had set $38.50 as my USO target for our exit at 11:08 but it didn't look like we'd get it so we got out). We caught the bottom and got out clean and this morning we got a chance to re-load our shorts at $103.50 on that predictable morning pump. Sure, you can say the markets aren't fixed and maybe we just have amazingly good timing – either way we make the same money!
We did manage to find a few things we liked, one of which was CHK, as the stock plunged to $17.20 on much ado about not too much as people took issue with the CEO borrowing money to invest in their wells. We didn't think it was such a big deal and our trade idea at at 10:23 in Member Chat gave us a good opportunity to buy right into the day's…
by phil - 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 - 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.
by phil - 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.
by phil - 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 - 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 - 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.…