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."
Whitney Tilson’s T2 Partners continues to outperform the market despite the recent volatility. T2 was down just 2.8% in May while the S&P 500 declined 8%. Tilson has been particularly prescient over this market cycle and was a notable real estate bear heading into the credit crisis. Despite the recent market disruption Tilson is not concerned that we are repeating 2008. In his May letter to clients Tilson detailed his market outlook:
“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%. “
Global nutrition company Herbalife (NYSE: HLF), welcomes the judgment by a Belgian Appeal Court that states the company's sales model is in full compliance with Belgian law. This judgment overturns a previous ruling by the lower court, in response to claims brought by Belgian consumer organization Test-Aankoop, that Herbalife was operating a pyramid scheme.
Herbalife always believed that the first judgment contained factual errors and was based on misinterpretations of its direct-selling sales method, and was confident that the original judgment would be overturned on appeal.
Herbalife continues to focus on supporting its independent distributors and their customers in Belgium, and the company remains committed to an op...
The absurd “War on Gold” that India has launched this year has been covered many times on this site. From the moment I read about it, it was obvious that if Indians want their gold, the Indians will have their gold. You can’t break thousands of years of tradition and culture because of the ignorant whims of a few bureaucrats.
Earlier today, Reuters published an article detailing the exten...
One of my favorite long-term economic indicators has been the historical pattern of vehicle miles driven. I post a monthly update on the topic shortly after the Department of Transportation's Office of Highway Information publishes its latest data on Traffic Volume Trends.
My preferred way to analyze the data is on a per-capita basis, so I was particularly interested in a study release earlier today by U.S. PRIG on the decline of driving in major cities.
Here is an excerpt from the press release:
The report, "Transportation in Transition: A Look at Changing Travel Patterns in America's Biggest Cities," is ba...
GES – Guess? Inc. – Shares in apparel and accessories retailer Guess are trading lower on Wednesday ahead of the company’s third-quarter earnings report after the closing bell. Options changing hands on the stock during morning trading indicates some traders are bracing for shares to potentially drop to the lowest level since early-October by December expiration. The stock currently trades down 2.0% on the day at $33.24 just before 11:30 a.m. EST.
Around 1,700 of the Dec $29 strike put options have changed hands on GES so far today, more than two time...
Repeating Friday’s market performance, today, the S&P 500 sold off in the last 30 to 40 minutes, giving up its entire daily gain for a loss of 0.27%. Nevertheless, it did gain 0.1% last week for its eighth consecutive weekly gain.
The Small-cap Growth style/cap was the leader last week, gaining 1.58% and raising its leading one-year gains to 43.67%. The growth style continued to dominate value in all three major market cap ranges. Value delivered a negative performance for the week in both large- and mid-caps. (See market stats.)
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...
These rallies are becoming familiar. In early July we saw a streak of 12 of 13 sessions in a row up, early September 11 of 12, and mid October 11 of 13 (current streak). It is a bit uncanny the similarities and how the escalator goes straight up in vertical ascent as we see indexes come out of mini corrections during QE. So we are about at the same stage where the last two began to tire, so it will be interesting if this is similar or if the current consensus of the market that there is nothing to worry about until next year as the Fed and D.C. are both off the table and this 3% annual growth rate in earnings we are now seeing in the S...
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...
Reminder: Pharmboy is available to chat with Members, comments are found below each post.
Come and get it! Read all about it! Biotechs, biotechs and more biotechs to buy buy buy for your portfolio! To date, almost 30 biotech companies have hit the market. Most of the time, there are fewer than 10-12!
For the last five years, biotechs have had issues obtaining offer prices above expectations. In 2013, that trend looks to be broken. According to BiotechNow, the offer prices are 4% above expectations! In addition, biotechs are going public with little more than a wing and a prayer (pre-clinical or Phase 1 data only). Really? What this means is that the drug or technology looks good in mice, rats, or dogs, etc, but there is no smidgen of evidence that it will work in humans. That's what is called an appitite for RISK!
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 Philstockworld, LLC (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.