DNDN - Dendreon Corp. – Investors stormed Dendreon Corp. options this morning with shares hemorrhaging uncontrollably during the first 90 minutes of trade. The stock dropped as much as 68.0% to land an intraday low of $11.34. Shares in the maker of prostate-cancer drug Provenge currently trade at $11.97, a 66.6% discount to Wednesday’s closing value of $35.84, as of 11:40 am ET. Traders purged their portfolios of Dendreon after the Seattle, WA-based company withdrew its 2011 sales estimate and said revenues for Provenge failed to meet forecasts. The nosedive in the price of the underlying drove options implied volatility on the stock up 128.2% to 122.01% during the first half of the session. Strategists populating DNDN options are taking varied stances on the company, and have exchange more than 63,000 contracts so far today. It looks like some players are raking in hefty profits on previously established bearish bets, while others are snapping up calls in the hopes that selling is overdone. Traders eyeing a near-term rebound in the price of the underlying purchased more than 600 calls at the August $17.5 strike for an average premium of $0.25 apiece. Longer-term optimists initiated the Jan. 2012 $15/$22.5 bull call spread roughly 1,000-times at an average net cost of $1.21 each. Call-spreaders may profit if Dendreon’s shares surge 56.3% over the current price of $11.97 to surpass the average breakeven point at $18.71 by January expiration. Plain vanilla call-buying at the November $18 and $19 strikes indicates like-minded strategists are hoping a comeback story is in the works for the stock. Meanwhile, open interest in the August $36 strike put suggests traders purchased around 1,350 contracts at that strike for an average premium of $1.62 each this week. Buyers of these puts now hold options trading at a premium of $23.75 a-pop. Finally, outright bears expecting shares to slide lower ahead of August expiration paid an average premium of $0.27 per contract for around 600 of the…
A number of sites are commenting on a Bloomberg video in which El-Erian, PIMCO Co-CEO says "Dollar could lose its reserve currency status".
Bloomberg: "Mohammad what does a weak dollar signal to you, a dollar that can’t jump up here on a day like we’ve seen today?"
El-Erian: "It is a warning shot to America that we cannot simply assume flight to quality, flight to safety. That people are starting to worry about the fiscal situation in the U.S. They are starting to worry about the level of debt. They are starting to worry about what they hear about states and municipalities. So, I would take this as a warning shot that we cannot assume that we will maintain the standing of the reserve currency as we have in the past."
Reserve Currency Definition
Before we can debate whether or not the US will lose reserve currency standing, we must first define what it means.
"A foreign currency held by central banks and other major financial institutions as a means to pay off international debt obligations, or to influence their domestic exchange rate."
I accept that definition. Unfortunately Investopedia rambles on with nonsense about the implications: "A large percentage of commodities, such as gold and oil, are usually priced in the reserve currency,causing other countries to hold this currency to pay for these goods."
That sentence is a widely believed fallacy. The reality is no country is obligated to hold dollars to buy goods denominated in dollars.
Currencies are Fungible
Currencies other that illiquid currencies with low or no trading volume (think of Yap Island stones or the Cuban Peso) are fungible. It is a trivial process to switch from one currency to another.
You can buy gold or silver in any country, and I assure you those transactions do not all take place in dollars. Thus, just because a commodity is widely priced in dollars does not mean it only trades in dollars.
That holds true for oil as well.
I keep pointing this out, unfortunately to no avail, that oil trades in Euros right now. There is no selling of Euros to buy dollars on the front causing the oil producers to trade dollars for euros on the back end. The oil states simply sell oil for a price in Euros and then hold Euros in their…
In the future they might coin this the “Bernanke Effect” or maybe the great commodity bubble of 2011. The truth is that commodity prices are rising…dramatically. You might have started to notice this disconnect in your grocery store shopping or in gasoline prices, but if you were to ask our government they would tell you that a basket of goods consumed (CPI) is rising modestly. How modest do these numbers appear to you?
Sugar and Corn? Those are luxury goods.
If the basic ingredients to food are skyrocketing, then prices of food will eventually have to keep pace which will directly hurt consumers.
Of the 853 ETF’s that I looked at, which unleveraged funds do you think had the greatest return over that same time period? It is not a trick question:
Are you noticing a theme?
My conclusion is simple: this time is NOT different. Commodity prices cannot go up forever and China will not continue to support the market regardless of prices. What is this “Bernanke Effect” doing to farmland prices? Well, according to a survey by Farmer’s National Company:
“non-irrigated crop land in central Kansas averaged $3,000 an acre, up 50 percent since June…
Crop prices have seen an extraordinary run since early July. A bushel of wheat priced about $4 a bushel on July 4 is now more than $8.50. Other crops have experienced similar increases.
As the land generates more income, it puts more cash in the pockets of the most likely buyers, nearby farmers. It also provides an attractive return for investors who then rent it out to farmers.
The result: Auctions are drawing twice the number of bidders as before, said area agents.”
As with all hot speculation, the commodity run will surely come to an end and will probably have repercussions for all financial markets. We should have learned by now that large financial dislocations tend to not occur in isolation.
As most sophisticated investors and traders are aware, the U.S. Federal government has run up significant deficits and the long term debt burden is becoming a drain on Gross Domestic Product. That being said, most economists are discussing the possibility of a major decline in the value of the U.S. Dollar going forward as inflationary monetary policy begins to strangle growth. While that view point may prove right over the long haul, in the short run most traders are not likely expecting the U.S. Dollar to rally.
The U.S. Dollar is expected to reach a multi-year cycle low in the near future. From the cyclical low, I expect the U.S. Dollar to regain a strong footing and work higher against the crowd. This is not to say that the U.S. Dollar will not eventually decline, but financial markets do not work that easily. Shorting the U.S. Dollar is a crowded trade and Mr. Market punishes crowded trades quite often by pushing prices the opposite of what the heard is expecting. Should the U.S. Dollar find a strong underlying bid, precious metals and domestic equities would feel the brunt force of such a move. While it remains to be seen if the U.S. Dollar rallies, if it does it will catch many traders and economists by surprise and the unwinding of the short dollar trade could unleash a wave of buying that we have not seen for quite some time.
Let’s take a look inside the market…
Major Index Price Action Over The Past 12 Trading Sessions – Bearish
Below is a table showing the main indexes used for tracking the market. The interesting thing about this data is that the indexes which typically lead the market have been deteriorating for the past 12 days and no one has noticed.
In short, the Nasdaq, Russell and Dow Transport indexes typically lead the market
Every radio station and business channel covers the Dow and SP500 indexes therefor the general public hears the market performance based on the those indexes. The problem here is that the Dow only consists of 30 stocks and the SP500 only holds the top 500
Moody’s warned it may lower Spain’s rating, citing "substantial funding requirements" and France is on Credit Watch and Belgium faces a rate cut at Moody’s as well while Standard and Poor’s is reviewing its assessments of Ireland, Portugal and Greece. The credit default swaps tied to the French bonds imply a rating of Baa1, seven steps below its actual top ranking of Aaa at Moody’s but, if it doesn’t bother the Europeans – why should it bother us?
There is no (ZERO) logic to global markets racing back to all-time highs with the VIX running back to it’s lows as if there is not a care in the World and I don’t say that because I’m a bitter short – we had 16 bullish trade ideas last week and just 8 bearish ones as we simply threw up our hands and played the technicals in Member Chat as the Dow tested that magical 11,500 line. Europe reads the same news we do and markets over there are up 1% this morning despite a pretty poor performance turned in by China, where the Shanghai fell 1.4% (and that was AFTER a 50% recovery into the close) and the Hang Seng fell 0.3% (also big recovery into the close) and the Nikkei fell 0.85% (small afternoon recovery) and the BSE, our global leader into November, weakly flat-lined 5% off its highs.
We’re watching 11,500 on the Dow as well as the 1,225 line on the S&P, which is its "must hold" line that we’ve been tracking on the breakout. Will the Dow break higher or the S&P…
Can you visualize a possible scenario that could put a sudden end to the secular rise now underway in gold and silver?
In a recent conference call with the research team of The Casey Report, we once again collectively tried to imagine what situation… what scheme… what government manipulation… might finally put a stake through the heart of gold.
Setting the stage, I think it’s safe to assume that in order for the gold bull to decisively reverse direction, the following general conditions would have to be precedent in the economy:
The financial crisis will have to have ended. Which is to say that…
Unemployment would have to begin falling by significant numbers – with 300,000 jobs or more being added month after month, instead of being lost.
The housing markets will be stabilizing. Foreclosure rates would have to fall to more normal levels (and not because banks are forced
While America is entertained by a rather realistic cartoon of what happens when the Fed (semantics aside) prints money with which to buy up whatever assets it so chooses, and launders the cash for the Primary Dealers (a topic discussed ad nauseam on Zero Hedge), we present a rather more somber and serious look at the modern financial system, courtesy of Bill Still, creator of the movie: "The Secret of Oz" which explains in a far more nuanced manner the interconnectedness in the vicious square of power, politics, money creation and debt formation, and Wall Street, the Fed, and the Political forces in DC are intertwined to a degree that essentially makes the whole concept of democracy moot (a topic touched upon earlier by Bill Buckler). As Still says: "The world economy is doomed to spiral downwards until we do 2 things: outlaw government borrowing; 2. outlaw fractional reserve lending. Banks should only be allowed to lend out money they actually have and nations do not have to run up a "National Debt". Remember: It’s not what backs the money, it’s who controls its quantity." As more and more Americans are finally expressing an interest in what is really happening behind the scenes, but seem to not have the patience for simple algebra, we hope the following movie answers most of the pent up questions.
Still’s movie is well worth the two hours it takes to watch.
The Dollar fell from 77.515 at 3:15 yesterday to 76.835 at 7:30 this morning.
That, my friends, is the story of the markets. A 0.9% drop in the Dollar overnight is a huge move, something that once upon a time would have made headlines as America’s $100Tn worth of household wealth has $1,000,000,000,000 shaved off of it in some overnight catastrophe. But there was no overnight catastrophe, just the horribly normal, shockingly ordinary destruction of the US Dollar, which has now become the plaything of International Market manipulators who boost it to pump the Asian markets up overnight and then crash it to goose the US markets in the morning. It’s MADNESS but we are loving it because, at least it’s predictable madness.
In yesterday’s post I reminded you about our $87.50 short on oil futures and we hit it again this morning and that’s exactly what I said would happen in my 2:21 comment to Members when I predicted they would run oil back up into inventories. We LOVE ranges – they are so much fun to play. Gold is now 20% above our $1,150 line and at the top of that range ($920-$1,380) we’ve been watching since March of 2009 so I updated our "Spinning Straw Trades Into Gold" post with a whole new set of trade ideas to help protect our cash if the dollar keeps getting weaker and gold keeps heading higher.
As I said to Members in yesterday’s Morning Alert, it’s all a huge sham but it’s the only game in town so we just need to learn the silly rules and figure out how to win if we want to keep playing (although I am currently advocating mainly cash and playing just for fun as we test our upside). We did go for an ABX trade in Member Chat on Friday, a play that was also made available to Stock World Weekly readers over the weekend (last chance to subscribe before we’re out of Beta and the rates double!) and ABX is, of course, flying as gold broke through the $1,400 mark yesterday. So we like gold as a small hedge against inflation eating into our sidelined cash but, on the whole, I’d rather short it – I just want to be clear about that.
We can’t short gold with Benny and Timmy running the…
Foster Wheeler AG (Nasdaq: FWLT) today announced that it has entered into a definitive agreement with AMEC plc (OTC: AMCBF) pursuant to which AMEC will make an offer to acquire all the issued and to be issued share capital of the Company. Under the terms of the offer, AMEC will offer to exchange for each outstanding share of Foster Wheeler common stock transaction consideration consisting of 0.8998 shares of AMEC stock and $16.00 in cash.
Separately, Foster Wheeler expects to pay a one-time dividend of $0.40 per share prior to, and not conditional on, the closing of the offer. The Company expects that there will be no Swiss withholding taxes on the...
On the five-year anniversary of the market’s bottom, you’re hearing quite a bit of revisionist history – mostly from people who’ve worked against your well-being, even if it wasn’t intentional. What they’re saying now is that “It’s been easy money” over the last five years, and that “anyone could’ve made profits.”
Forgive me, but this is complete and total bullshit.
It’s been one of the hardest environments in market history. Never before have investors’ wounds been so raw. Never before have there been...
A curious story, and one which should be taken with a mine of salt, has surfaced out of the pro-Russian newspaper Iskra, which reports - so far on an entirely unsubstantiated basis - that last Friday, in a mysterious operation under the cover of night, Ukraine's gold reserves were promptly loaded onboard an unmarked plane, which subsequently took the gold to the US.
Today was the beginning of “spring break” for the market. At least it seemed that way with a very low trading volume of only 600M shares on the NYSE. Either the college crowd does more trading than we imagined or parents are taking the week off as well.
The market barely woke up for the session with the S&P 500 down 0.05% and the NASDAQ down 0.03%. However, the DJI must have gotten extra sleep this weekend as it was up 0.21%. Small caps took a bigger hit with the Russell 2000 dropping nearly 0.50% percent. There was nothing major in the news other than a disappointing trading figure from China. Indeed, the whole week will only include a meager four major economic reports with Wholesale Inventories tomorrow, Retail Sales and Jobless Claims on Thursday, and Producer Price In...
Advisor Perspectives welcomes guest contributions. The views presented here do not necessarily represent those of Advisor Perspectives.
Imagine that you are speeding down one of those long and lonesome stretches of highway that seems to fall off the edge of the horizon. As the painted white lines become a blur, you notice a sign that says "Warning." You look ahead for what seems to be miles of endless highway, but see nothing. You assume the sign must be old therefore you disregard it, slipping back into complacency.
A few miles down the road you see another sign that reads "Warning: Danger Ahead." Yet, you see nothing in distance. Again, a few miles later you see another sign that reads "No, Really, There IS Danger Ahead." Still, it is clear for miles ahead as the road disappears over the next hill.
The dramatic moves in fuel cell related stocks continues this week, with shares in Plug Power (Ticker: PLUG), FuelCell Energy (Ticker: FCEL) and Ballard Power Systems (Ticker: BLDP) beginning the trading week with explosive gains ahead of FuelCell Energy’s first-quarter earnings report after the closing bell, and following on the heels of a large order from Walmart for Plug Power, which the company confirmed in a press release on February 26th.
Shares in PLUG rose as much as 38% to touch $11.41 this afternoon, marking a near 150% move to the upside in the price of the underlying since Monday morning of last week when the stock opened at $4.60....
Reminder: OpTrader is available to chat with Members, comments are found below each post.
This post is for all our live virtual trade ideas and daily comments. Please click on "comments" below to follow our live discussion. All of our current trades are listed in the spreadsheet below, with entry price (1/2 in and All in), and exit prices (1/3 out, 2/3 out, and All out).
We also indicate our stop, which is most of the time the "5 day moving average". All trades, unless indicated, are front-month ATM options.
Please feel free to participate in the discussion and ask any questions you might have about this virtual portfolio, by clicking on the "comments" link right below.
To learn more about the swing trading virtual portfolio (strategy, performance, FAQ, etc.), please click here...
Reminder: Pharmboy is available to chat with Members, comments are found below each post.
Ladies and Gentlemen, hobos and tramps,
Cross-eyed mosquitoes, and Bow-legged ants,
I come before you, To stand behind you,
To tell you something, I know nothing about.
And so the circus begins in Union Square, San Francisco for this weeks JP Morgan Healthcare Conference. Will the momentum from 2013, which carried the S&P Spider Biotech ETF to all time highs, carry on in 2014? The Biotech ETF beat the S&P by better than 3 points.
As I noted in my previous post, Biotechs Galore - IPOs and More, biotechs were rushing to IPOs so that venture capitalists could unwind their holdings (funds are usually 5-7 years), as well as take advantage of the opportune moment...
Welcome to the fouth update of the IRA Virtual Portfolio. First I am going to summarize the current state of the Portfolio then I will get into all the activity we had during September expiration.
Profit and Loss – Net of closed positions the portfolio is up a total of $769
Market Commentary – Last expiration I said, "I would like to put a total of $20,000 to work by the end of SEP expiration. If the VIX pops up to around 20 I plan to put about $50,000 total to work." The market didn't quite reach the goal but I did manage to deploy $15,000 of buying power. I still feel the market is too high and expect a correction during October. If the vix pops up to around 20 I still plan to put about $50,000 to work. If a correction doesn't happen I still plan to have a total of $25,000 in buying power put to work by October expiration. Now on to the act...
Note: The material presented in this commentary is provided for
informational purposes only and is based upon information that is
considered to be reliable. However, neither MaddJack Enterprises, LLC
d/b/a PhilStockWorld (PSW) nor its affiliates
warrant its completeness, accuracy or adequacy and it should not be relied upon as such. Neither PSW nor its affiliates are responsible for any errors or omissions or for results obtained from the use of this information. Past performance, including the tracking of virtual trades and portfolios for educational purposes, is not necessarily indicative of future results. Neither Phil, Optrader, or anyone related to PSW is a registered financial adviser and they may hold positions in the stocks mentioned, which may change at any time without notice. Do not buy or sell based on anything that is written here, the risk of loss in trading is great.
This material is not intended as an offer or solicitation for the purchase or sale of any security or other financial instrument. Securities or other financial instruments mentioned in this material are not suitable for all investors. Any opinions expressed herein are given in good faith, are subject to change without notice, and are only intended at the moment of their issue as conditions quickly change. The information contained herein does not constitute advice on the tax consequences of making any particular investment decision. This material does not take into account your particular investment objectives, financial situations or needs and is not intended as a recommendation to you of any particular securities, financial instruments or strategies. Before investing, you should consider whether it is suitable for your particular circumstances and, as necessary, seek professional advice.