by Phil Davis - September 24th, 2014 7:50 am
You call this a correction?
The Nasdaq is down 4%, Russell is down 5%, the Hang Seng is down 6% and the FTSE is down 3.6% but barely a pause from the rest of our Global Indexes. The problem is, it's been so long since we had a proper pullback that people think a tiny little correction is the end of the World. Even in the good old days, before high-frequency trading made a joke out of the market – investors didn't get too upset about a 5% pullback.
That may be the problem as well. The reason the market has marched off to record highs is BECAUSE investors have been led to believe that it's better than bonds, better than cash, even – to have your money in the stock market. We certainly seem to have convinced a lot of Boards of Directors that the best thing to do with their company's money is to buy back their own stock or the stock of their competitors – no matter how ridiculous the price.
$533Bn of hard-earned Corporate Profits were spent buying just the S&P 500, by the S&P 500, in the past 12 months alone. That's 20% more than all of 2013 ($420Bn) and 30% over the 5-year average and that DOESN'T include M&A activity – also at a record pace. While this has been going on, insiders have been SELLING their company stock at a record pace – Interesting…
So the company uses it's profits, not to invest in it's own future but to prop up it's own stock price – making earnings seem better because you are dividing the profits by a lower number of shares than there were last year. This inflates the stock price and the insiders get out and that's when you buy – is that about right?
What a friggin' scam - I can't believe you fell for that! Seriously, that is such an obvious fraud that you would think people would run screaming away from equities. The problem is, there's nowhere to run to, is there. Your cash is being devalued, bonds don't keep up with inflation, real estate is still very…
by Phil Davis - September 23rd, 2014 8:07 am
So much for 2,000 holding.
Fortunately, our Big Chart kept us cautiously bearish into the weekend and the hedges in our Short-Term Portfolio functioned perfectly, gaining $13,000 on the day and completely offsetting the drop of $8,000 in our Long-Term Portfolio.
That's without our big hedge, DXD, kicking in yet, as the Dow is still over 17,000 but, should it fail, we'll see those STP gains multiply quickly.
For those of you who are not Members, and don't have access to our various Member Portfolios (and you can by subscribing here), we have done our best to prepare you for this drop as well. Last Thursday, right in the morning post, I shared our short stance with the general public, saying
It's going to be crazy into the weekend but, in our Live Chat Room this morning, I said to our Members:
Futures pumped back up to yesterday's highs at 17,125, 2,001.50, 4,080 and 1,156.5 so I like shorting below 17,100, 2,000, 4,075 and 1,155 – short the laggard, out of any of them cross back over – very simple!
That's our plan into the weekend. As I've mentioned before, we're also using DXD ($24 at the time), TZA ($14.68) and SQQQ ($35.26) to hedge our long portfolios – just in case things unravel over the weekend. We also discussed FXI ($40.30) puts earlier in the week as a play on China melting down so PLENTY of ways to profit from the downside.
This morning, the Futures are 17,050 on /YM (up $375 per contract), 1,979 on /ES (up $1,125 per contract), 4,035 on /NQ (up $900 per contract) and 1,116.50 on /TF (up $4,000 per contract) – so that strategy went pretty well.
In last Wednesday's post, we also shorted Oil Futures at $95 and oil fell to $91 yesterday – up $4,000 per contract in…
by Phil Davis - September 17th, 2014 7:37 am
Wow, what a recovery!
And wow, what complete and utter BS it is. They NYSE is still below 11,000 (our Must Hold line) and the Russell is still below it's 50 dma and we up on less than 10% of the volume (total) that sold off for the last two weeks. But, who cares as long as it paints a pretty picture?
We can thank the Wall Street Journal's Fed Whisperer, John Hilsenrath with yesterday's rally as he wrote not one but TWO articles that whipped traders into a frenzy on his "insider view" that the Fed "may keep the words "considerable time" in its policy statement." Oh, be still my heart! More free money? Really? Will wonders never cease?
Needless to say we took the opportunity to re-short the Dow Futures (/YM) at 17,050 and the S&P Futures (/ES) at 1,993 and the Nasdaq Futures (/NQ) at 4,060 and the Nikkei Futures (/NKD) at 15,950 – all of which we discussed in yesterday's Live Trading Webinar that was, sadly, a Members only affair (but you can join us here).
We also got a chance to short oil at $95 again (a level I published in yesterday's post) and we're thrilled with that and already this morning, it's back at $94.50 for $500 per contract gains. For non-futures players we grabbed the SCO Sept $30s at .25 as a fun play that inventories at 10:30 won't support $95 oil in much the way Fed policies at 2pm won't support these market levels. In fact, here's CNBC's Art Cashin telling you yesterday at noon what I told you pre-market, yesterday morning – BRILLIANT!
Art's actually one of the very few Wall Street analysts I respect (and not just because he repeats what I say), I've followed him since I was a kid – he's a fantastic guy and a lot of what I share with you – I learned from him. As you can see on the Big Chart, the Russell is the laggard and, if the indexes break higher – it's the index we'll go long on but our short bets (TZA) have…
by Phil Davis - August 19th, 2014 8:06 am
You've gotta love those trend lines.
Chart people sure love them and we love chart peopel because they are SOOOOOOOO predictable and predictable behavior is behavior we can bet on and that makes us happy. Today we'll be seeing the 50-day moving averages on the Dow, the NYSE and the Russell all tested at the same time – what happens next will tell us a lot about this rally.
As I pointed out to our Members in our Live Chat Room this morning, though we may be past our bounce levels and though we are now challenging the 50 dmas, we still have 3 of 5 of our Must Hold levels red on the Big Chart – that's not too impressive. Consider what a 50-day moving average is. It means that, over the last 50 days, half the time the index has been above the line and half the time it's been below – so how impressive should it be to see the index back in the middle?
Nonetheless, Chart People believe it's some mystical symbol that gives them a rally signal and half the time they are right – so the religion of TA continues to prosper! As you can see from Dave Fry's SPY chart from yesterday, 75% of yesterday's gain came on no volume as we gapped up in the Futures and the rest of the day's trading was one of the lightest of the year.
The reason I like Dave is because he's one of the only TA people who actually pay attention to volume and this volume is total BS. Still, it's enough to stampede the retail suckers back in and God bless them because they throw money at us to sell them the things we liked when they were out of favor.
In May and June, for example, we compiled a Buy List for our Members, which had 29 trades we liked for the rest of 2014. Here's a few that we are done with already:
by Phil Davis - May 16th, 2014 8:08 am
Another crazy day ahead.
What else is new in this market? As you can see from Dave Fry's SPY chart, the pattern is holding up of high-volume (relatively) sell-offs following low-volume run-ups. This is how the Institutional Investors manipulate the markets to dump unwanted shares on retail investors. I've been telling you all week how it works and now we can see it in action.
Of course, it's nice to have this knowledge ahead of time – that's the edge we strive to give to our Members at Philstockworld. Even if you are just reading us for free and don't have access to our Live Member Chat Room, you would have done very well to follow our advice on Tuesday and go with the DIA puts at $166.80 and the DXD longs at $26.20 – it was right there on top of the morning post (which you can have mailed to you every day, pre-market by SUBSCRIBING HERE)! In our Member Chat, the previous day, our trade ideas were:
A 5% pullback on DIA is 8.3 points (830 Dow points), back to $158.40 from here. The June $161 puts are .95 so, if you have $100K to protect against a 10% drop, you can buy $5K worth of the June $161 puts and a 5% drop pays you back $8,000 and a 10% drop to $150 (15,000) would net you $11 per contract so a 10x return is $55,000 back – that's overhedged actually!
On DXD, the July $25/28 spread is $1.10 and is $1.25 in the money so you get all the upside on DXD up to a 140% profit on a very small move down in the Dow. We already have July $28 calls in the STP and it's a little too soon to roll but we will.
On a new trade – you can just get out if the S&P holds 1,900 for more than a day – that's not too far from here.
by Phil Davis - May 15th, 2014 8:42 am
Options expire on Friday and last expiration day (4/18), we were 2.5% higher on the Russell and Nasdaq , which is about how much higher the Dow, S&P and NYSE are from where they were at the time.
It's been an interesting month watching our indexes diverge but, as we discussed in our Tug Boat Example last week, this sort of behavoir simply doesn't last very long. The end of that discussion (last Thursday) was:
As you can see from Dave Fry's Russell Chart, the RUT resolved it's triangle sqeezy thingy to the downside – after the requisite head-fake and now we're back to the…
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 ilene - June 3rd, 2010 5:53 am
Courtesy of The Pragmatic Capitalist
Whitney Tilson’s T2 Partners continues to outperform the
“So if last month was analogous to late 2007, is the situation today like early 2008 (in which case, we should still be battening down the hatches)? We don’t know for sure, but probably not. We think the most likely scenario is more years of the choppy, range-bound market that we’ve been in for more than a decade – and that’s fine with us, as it rewards good bottoms-up stock picking, which is our forte.”
Tilson has been buying the weakness and using the opportunity to purchase more of some of his favorite positions:
“During the month, we did what we normally do when the market has violent swings: the precise opposite of the herd. On weakness, we initiated a few new long positions, added to some existing holdings like General Growth Properties, and trimmed certain shorts like Simon Properties Group, which we owned primarily as an industry hedge against GGP and felt was no longer necessary with GGP falling into the $12 range. “
Tilson’s fund isn’t positioned for sunny skies, however. He continues to maintain a substantial short book and feels extremely confident in the continued outlook for hedging strategies over the coming years:
“As you might expect, our long book dropped significantly (though not as much as the market), while our shorts offset much of these losses. Losers of note on the long side were Liberty Acquisition Corp. warrants (-52.2%), Resource America (-33.7%), Borders Group (which we have mostly exited) (-22.4%), American Express (-13.6%), General Growth Properties (-10.7%) and Berkshire Hathaway (-8.2%). In the plus column were Iridium, with the stock up 12.4% and the warrants up 21.9%, and EchoStar, up 9.5%.
On the short side, our largest position, InterOil, tumbled 26.5% (in addition, the puts we own jumped 70.2%), MBIA fell 22.2%, DineEquity dropped 17.9%, and the homebuilder ETF (ITB) declined 11.5%. “
Source: T2 Partners