That, of course, means MORE FREE MONEY and the markets are giddy with anticipation ahead of the meeting – especially since we had more poor housing data yesterday and that's exactly the kind of bad news that is good news as it keeps the Fed in easy-money mode a little longer.
As you may have guessed, we shorted oil this morning. The July contract (/CLN4) expires on Friday and, as you can see from the chart, we continue to find great profits in the sell-off that we predicted would come last week. We went over some Futures Trading Tips in yesterday's live Webinar as well as the new, bullish positions we've added to our Long-Term Portfolio. Much as we rail against what we firmly believe will ultimately be a disastrous policy – you simply can't fight the Fed and we're not trying to – it's much more profitable to go with the flow.
Going with the flow is exactly what we're doing with our oil trades as they STILL have 103M barrels worth of FAKE orders open for July delivery (actually, about 20M will actually be delivered so "only" 80M are fake at the moment) and that is down from the 172M FAKE orders that were open on Friday morning (see chart on Friday's post).
In the April post, it was our 3rd try at 1,880 on the S&P and we had just cashed out our Income Portfolio and I we lost $10 betting the Nasdaq would be above 4,200 at April expirations on a TQQQ spread (now 4,350 – so bad timing) but our support held and kept the damage to a minimum. We also (in the morning post) called for selling the AAPL Jan $450 puts for $5.90 to pay for those spreads and AAPL just split 7:1 so those are now the $64.29 puts at .25. 7 x .25 = $1.75 so up $4.15 (70%) already on that play.
We also had bullish trade ideas for HOV, CHL, FCX, ABX and RIG – right in the morning post! Our best play, however, was shorting the Russell Futures (/TF) at 1,180 in Member Chat at 10:53 – as that was the beginning of an $9,000 per contract pullback on that index – all the way back to 1,090 (where we went long).
As you can see from Dave's Russell chart, we're just playing a channel with our trades – it's really not that complicated. Yesterday the Russell hit 1,180 and – guess what – we shorted it again! Now you are catching on to our "secret" strategy!
Already this morning the Russell Futures are down to 1,170, which is +$1,000 per contract from 1,180 but our big bet…
It's almost enough to make us regret cashing out our Long-Term Portfolio last week. We didn't expect to call a perfect top, when you have a large portfolio it can take days to unwind your positions and, despite the very low volume – we'd like to thank all the retail bagholders who bought our shares at top dollar in the last few days.
Thanks Dave and Bill and Jack and Joe and – well, that's about it as volume is so low, there can't be more then 3 or 4 guys trading in this market!
Last June started off with low volume too – as well as record highs – and then we dropped 5% into July. We're simply taking our 119% cash and waiting for the dip – is that so bad?
Yesterday was only the 3rd lowest volume day of the year and the action was wonderfully fake around a PMI report that was released, revised and then revised again – all in the same morning!
In the end, they decided on 56.4, which was in-line with consensus but not before giving us a glimpse on how quickly this market can fail on bad news.
In our Live Member Chat Room, we took full advantage of the over-reaction on the bad news to go against the panicking sheeple and buy TNA (3x bullish ETF on the Russell) in a 9:57 Alert I sent out to our Members.
Those calls came in cheaper (because our timing was perfect) at $1.50-$1.40 and they topped out at $1.70 and finished the day at $1.61 but should be cheap again this morning, which is why I'm mentioning them now as they make an excellent upside hedge – in case the market does better than we think.
Since we sidelined $598,000 last week ($98,000 in profits in less than 6 months), we decided to spend $3,000 on 20 of the above contracts – that way…
I know it sounds like a broken record (kids don't even know what that means) to say "record highs" over and over again, but that's what the Federally fueled rally has given us – over and over again.
Certainly the Fed remains EXTREMELY accomodative but they also stand to lose hundreds of Billions of Dollars on their current bond-holdings if rates ever do rise (because they hold Trillions of low-rate bonds, which lose value if higher-rate bonds become available) – so how long can this game last?
It's not just the Fed, of course – other people do buy our bonds (and hold our bonds) and, right now, the people holding high-interest bonds (5%+) are sitting on a gold mine as they are far more valuable than 2-3% bonds. What happens when that begins to unwind? Suddenly there will be a flood of bonds hitting the street at 5%+ that the Government, who still borrow $50Bn per month, will have to compete with to raise capital. Doing this at the same time as the Fed is withdrawing their stimulus can be a disaster.
Revolution is a slow process, especially in democracies – where the population has the illusion of choice. We are always enticed by the chance to "throw the bums out" in a few years but then, inevitably, the new bums are just as bad and then we want to throw them out too.
That's because you can't fix a broken system when everyone is playing just a slight variation on the same news. The way our own Government measures inflation is a joke, because 57% of the measured inflation rate is Owner's Equivalent Rent, which means, even if you are not buying a house, when your house gets more affordable (lower price, cheaper mortgage), that's considered to detract from the total rate of inflation of everything else with…
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…
This is a non-trading topic, but I wanted to post it during trading hours so as many eyes can see it as possible. Feel free to contact me directly at email@example.com with any questions.
Last fall there was some discussion on the PSW board regarding setting up a YouCaring donation page for a PSW member, Shadowfax. Since then, we have been looking into ways to help get him additional medical services and to pay down his medical debts. After following those leads, we are ready to move ahead with the YouCaring site. (Link is posted below.) Any help you can give will be greatly appreciated; not only to help aid in his medical bill debt, but to also show what a great community this group is.
Up until late last week, no US official had ever publicly mentioned the terrorist group known as the Khorasan. On Monday night, the US carried out unilateral airstrikes against the previously unknown group in northwest Syria.
And on Tuesday, US officials were describing the group as an imminent t...
The Department of Energy's Energy Information Administration (EIA) data on volume sales is over two months old when it released. The latest numbers, through mid-July, are now available. However, despite the lag, this report offers an interesting perspective on fascinating aspects of the US economy. Gasoline prices and increases in fuel efficiency are important factors, but there are also some significant demographic and cultural dynamics in this data series.
Because the sales data are highly volatile with some obvious seasonality, I've added a 12-month moving average (MA) to give a clearer indication of the long-term trends. The latest 12-month MA is 8.8% below the all-time high set in August 2005, a new interim low.
Stocks were able to leverage some optimistic news and dovish words from the Fed to take another stab at an upside breakout attempt last week. Although readers have sometimes accused me of being a permabull, I am really a realist, and the reality is that the slogans like “The trend is your friend” and “Don’t fight the Fed” are truisms. And they have worked. Nevertheless, I am still not convinced that we have seen the ultimate lows for this pullback, especially given the weak technical condition of small caps.
In this weekly update, I give my view of the current market environment, offer a technical analysis of the S&P 500 chart, review our weekly fundamentals-based SectorCast rankings of the ten U.S. business sectors, and then offer up some actionable trading ideas, including a sector ...
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.
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Investors are dumping shares in Yahoo, sending the stock down 5.0% to $40.08 after shares in Alibaba made their debut on the floor of the NYSE just before midday. Shares in BABA for their part initially traded up to a high of $99.70, a near 47% increase over the IPO price of $68.00. Typically, one would expect put options that are 5% out of the money with roughly 4-hours left to trade to see waning implied volatility. But, at the start of the trading session and ahead of the first trade for BABA, the Sep 19 ’14 40.0 strike put options were trading with 271% volatility or $0.30 per contract amid uncertainty as to how the start of trading for Alibaba would take shape.
Administradora de Fondos de Pensiones Provida S.A. (PVD) shares will not be trading on the NY Stock Exchange after today. Tomorrow, shares will be harder to sell. Strangely, I wasn't able to find information on the internet, but Paul just sent me a copy of the email he received from Interactive Brokers.
We're selling PVD out of the Virtual Portfolio today at $87.18.
From: Interactive Brokers dated July 18, 2014
Holders of AFP Provida S.A. American Depository Receipts (ADR) are advised that the Company has elected to terminate the Deposit Agreement effective 2014-09-18.
Despite the various opinions on Bitcoin, there is no question as to its ultimate value: its ability to bypass government restrictions, including economic embargoes and capital controls, to transmit quasi-anonymous money to anyone anywhere.
Opinions differ as to what constitutes "money."
The English word "money" derives from the Latin word "moneta," which means to "mint." Historically, "money" was minted in the form of precious metals, most notably gold and silver. Minted metal was considered "money" because it possessed luster, was scarce, and had perceive...
Reminder: Pharmboy is available to chat with Members, comments are found below each post.
Well PSW Subscribers....I am still here, barely. From my last post a few months ago to now, nothing has changed much, but there are a few bargins out there that as investors, should be put on the watch list (again) and if so desired....buy a small amount.
First, the media is on a tear against biotechs/pharma, ripping companies for their drug prices. Gilead's HepC drug, Sovaldi, is priced at $84K for the 12-week treatment. Pundits were screaming bloody murder that it was a total rip off, but when one investigates the other drugs out there, and the consequences of not taking Sovaldi vs. another drug combinations, then things become clearer. For instance, Olysio (JNJ) is about $66,000 for a 12-week treatment, but is approved for fewer types of patients AND...
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