Everyone is making a big fuss over the fact that four U.S. banks went 61 days in a row without any losses. Well, the better question in this environment is how did any bank manage to not make a profit on all 61 days? These big banks are borrowing from the Fed for nothing and can effectively sell low risk bonds back to the government for a 3%+ annualized gain. This is a no-brainer when it comes to making money. If you’re a big bank you’re just laddering into a massive fixed income portfolio without almost no risk. The confusion or misrepresentations made by many regarding this “phenomenal performance” is that these firms are just sitting around “trading” the Nasdaq 100 like Joe Schmo does at home. That couldn’t be farther from the truth. These firms make most of their “trading” revenues by playing market maker or “trading” in these low risk fixed income markets. They’re essentially just pairing buyers and sellers and scraping a fee off inbeteween. Yes, there are other higher risk portions of their portfolios, but for the most part these firms are just vacuuming money up from off the NYSE floor at every twist and turn. It should shock no one that the big banks are making profits. A better question for the Morgan Stanley’s and Goldman Sachs’s of the world might be why they still have their bank holding company status? Allowing these firms to borrow from the Fed at 0% is a slap in the face to every other hard working financial firm.
“Dollar money-market rates to highest levels since August. The cost of inter-bank borrowing for three-month dollar funds increased to the highest level in almost nine months, as the IMF/EU’s $1 trillion financial plan for Europe failed to boost confidence sufficiently in commercial banks to step up their lending. The three-month London interbank offered rate, or LIBOR, for dollar funds increased to 0.43% this morning from 0.423% yesterday, the most since August 17, according to the British Bankers’ Association. Meanwhile, the three-month rate for euro, or EURIBOR, fell to 0.624% today from 0.628% yesterday, after soaring to 0.634% last week. Notably, EURIBOR established fresh lows each trading day over January 2010 to date. The
Monday, Tyler Durden ofZero Hedge noted that the ISE had instituted special rebates for specific option liquidity providers in an attempt to bolster volumes and capture market share ~ "Let The Churn in QQQQ, Citi and Bank of America Hit Infinity…." And the NYSE didn’t miss a beat; responding in kind with an extremely aggressive option pyramid pricing scheme.
NYSE Euronext’s U.S. Options Exchanges Announce New Pricing and Fee
New York, April 5, 2010 – NYSE Euronext’s U.S. options exchanges, NYSE Arca and NYSE Amex options, announced new rate changes for each market center that became effective April 1, 2010. NYSE Arca options is introducing higher posting credits in premium tier products, tiered customer rebates in non-premium penny pilot issues and a reduction in the LMM rights fees. NYSE Amex options is introducing a reduced electronic broker dealer rate, a reduced electronic firm rate, tiered pricing for firm proprietary manual trades and the implementation of the Professional Customer designation.
In an effort to dredge a moat around market share for Amex & Arca, the NYSE has implemented a new Penny Pilot "Premium Tier" pricing schedule for the options of 15 specific issues. Liquidity providers transacting serious size across these anointed sticker symbols … AAPL, BAC, C, DIA, EEM, FAZ, GDX, GE, GLD, IWM, QQQQ, SPY, UNG, USO & XLF … will (yet again) enjoy additional rebates as the NYSE attempts to  stave off competition from other options exchanges and  further buoy an anemic equity market, which continues to plow forward on phantom volume at 3 am on Sunday night (like the accelerator of a Toyota Camry beneath a sleep-driving Ambien junkie approaching a raised drawbridge with both eyes closed shut, one hand on the wheel and the other on his sixth bear claw).
OK, I got a new toy today so I’m going to put up some charts!
Rather than my usual spreadsheets, I thought a visual representation of what I think is going on would be appropriate. So far this week, we have failed to break my levels, which were predicted by our own 5% rule way back in July. I don’t have a drawing tool for the 5% rule but I’ll try to give you an idea of what I see when I look at a chart, now that I can capture them for you.
First of all, let’s look at the S&P, which the analysts are ga-ga over as they make a 50% retracement of the March dive:
Notice the 50% mark is right about our 1,127 watch zone but we didn’t get 1,127 from that spot, we calculated 1,127 as it was a 30% move off the real floor of 867, which is our 5% rule drop. The 5% rule sensibly tells us to throw out spikes and, while it’s hard to think of a 3-month, 200-point drop as a spike, in the grand scheme of things it still is. Here’s how the same Fibonacci series looks if we take 867 as a bottom, rather than 666:
Not quite as impressive a recovery is it? Do you see how the adjusted chart makes far more sense on the way down – with support at the 61.8% line, then at the 50% line and then clearly at 0. The big difference is, in my view of the action, it has been an easy slog to make the effectively dead-cat bounce back to 38.2%. This recent action proves nothing as we have yet to test 1,135, which should provide heavier resistance. It’s going to be a long time before we do a "life cross" (where the 50 wma moves above the 200 wma) so that 1,220 mark is going to weigh very heavily in the future as well, probably all the way into August before the S&P is ready to make a real move up (assuming we don’t fall down in between).
Running the same series on the Dow, we get this:
Of course the problem with the Dow is that the Dow we have now is NOT the same Dow that fell last year. We jettisoned GM and C for CSCO and TRV – a very good trade…
The NYSE hedged its bets earlier by invoking the rarely used Rule 48, which "provides the exchange with the ability to suspend the requirement to disseminate price indications and obtain floor-official approval prior to the opening when extremely high market-wide volatility could cause delay opening securities on the exchange." The full disclosure was made on the NYSE blog:
Rule 48 is intended to be invoked only in those situations where the potential for extreme market volatility would likely impair floor-wide operations at the exchange by impeding the fair and orderly opening of securities. Accordingly, the rule sets forth a number of factors to be considered before declaring such a condition, including:
Volatility during the previous day’s trading session;
Trading in foreign markets before the open;
Substantial activity in the futures market before the open;
The volume of pre-opening indications of interest;
Evidence of pre-opening significant order imbalances across the market;
News and corporate events; and,
Any such other market conditions that could impact floor-wide trading conditions.
And some other "do not panic, we have nothing under control" information dissemination by the NYSE:
The invocation of Rule 48 is in effect only for today. Previously, the NYSE invoked the rule on 11 March, 2008; 23 Jan., 2008; 22 Jan., 2008; and 12 Dec., 2007. The rule was approved by the Securities and Exchange Commission on 6 Dec., 2007.
Now add 17 March, 2008 to the list. I kind of had an uneasy feeling all weekend about Bear Stearns, and felt even worse upon seeing the announcement on Sunday night. To my train buddy at Bear Stearns and his colleagues, I’m sorry to see this happen.
Elements of Deflation, Part 3
Outrageous! – Artificial Deflation!
If You Are in a Hole, Stop Digging!
The Hole in the FDIC
How Can Just Four Stocks Be 40% of the NYSE Volume?
New Orleans and a Mauldin Migration to Europe
This week we continue to look at what powers the forces of deflation. As I continue to stress, getting the fundamental question answered correctly is the most important issue we face going forward. And the problem is that we cannot use the usual historical comparisons. This week we look at one more factor: bank lending. I give you a sneak preview of what will be an explosive report from Institutional Risk Analytics about the problems in the banking sector. Are you ready for the FDIC to be down as much as $400 billion? This should be an interesting, if sobering, letter.
Outrageous! – Artificial Deflation!
Speaking of deflation, let me mention something I find totally outrageous. Normally, I actually take up for the bureaucrats who are stuck with the task of trying to monitor inflation. It is a tough job, and like Monday-morning quarterbacks, everybody thinks you should have done it differently. I can understand the rationale for hedonic measurements, housing rent equivalents, etc., even if I don’t agree with them. You have to set some rules and live with them. But the latest imbroglio is disgraceful.
It seems the US Bureau of Labor Statistics, in the CPI next week, will treat the subsidy received by those 800,000 car buyers who bought a car in the "Cash for Clunkers" program as if the price of a car fell by $4,500. Really? My tax dollars account for nothing?
This does several things. It will decrease the inflation used to adjust the GDP for this quarter. Not the end of the world, but annoying But what really matters is that the CPI is used to calculate Social Security increases and interest paid on TIPS.
If I tried to defraud one of my clients using such accounting legerdemain,…
Duncan: can you please clarify who the current SLP actors are at this point, and why, if it is so economic, are more Broker/Dealers not funneling in? From this morning’s NYSE conference call.
"In addition to speed improvements we are also in the process of modernizing the floor to accommodate more floor based trading businesses and to expand the SLP program by adding new participants.
Please do not be confused about what SLPs do and what the type of programs are. The SLP program is open to anyone. And any SLP who wants to collect the rebate for providing liquidity is strictly performance based.
It must be they must execute at the inside market and then and only then if they performed they received a rebate, this is very different from some of these other programs that our competitors are using which have no obligations and in many cases not even a to attract the order this is all part of ongoing efforts to the extend liquidity on the NYSE classic platform is specifically on the floor."
But we appreciate the NYSE recoginizing just how critical clarity is on this major issue, which provides certain actors with half the NYSE PT order flow.
In yet another move to make a mockery of so-called market transparency, and again with mad props to Zerohedge, we have this:
The Exchange has filed with the SEC to implement the decommissioning of the DPTR requirement following the July 10, 2009 trade date. Accordingly, the last required submission of the DPTR will be on July 14, 2009, which is the second business day after the last trade date for which the DPTR is required.
Go read the entire Zerohedge article; what this means, in short, is that the ability of people (like you and I) to see the fact that a handful of banks, most specifically Goldman Sachs, constitute the majority of NYSE trading volume – and they’re trading for their own book, not for customers, will no longer be disclosed.
This "back and forth trade" between a handful of institutions is nothing more than the old "pump and dump" game that has been played in the OTC market forever – and almost always screws the individual investor.
This is no different than you and I selling a house back and forth between us repeatedly, each time at a higher price. We both appear to be geniuses as we’re both making a "profit", right?
Well, no. One of us is destined to take a horrifying loss if we do not find a sucker to make the final transaction with.
The embedded scam is that real gains require real parties at interest and not a closed system of a couple of guys passing an asset back and forth in a transparent attempt to "bait" someone else into becoming the sucker to offload that asset to.
The parallels to the housing bubble are not coincidence. There is no "value" being created nor is there any actual value appreciation taking place when people pass an asset back and forth at ever-higher prices. Only when there are lots of parties participating on their own, organically, does a market truly exist and does value align with price. Otherwise the so-called "price" is nothing other than a cheap parlor trick.
Zerohedge has been documenting this game now for months as Goldman in particular has come to represent an outrageously large percentage of the entire NYSE volume.
It wasn’t Ali who shocked the World knocking Joe Frazier down it was George Foreman.
In 1973 the undefeated Frazier had beat the unbeatable Muhammad Ali (everyone’s favorite Muslim) to take the title and had defended it twice in 1972 before being knocked out in just 2 rounds by Foreman (everyone’s favorite grill salesman). Frazier had 29 consecutive victories up to that point and seemed unstoppable but then, suddenly… unexpectedly… he was stopped. Giving Frazier huge credit he was knocked down 6 times before they stopped the fight but it was a beating nonetheless.
As recently as May 26th, we had looked to copper as a bullish sign as they broke out over $200 but oil was only $60 at the time. Since then, both copper and oil have rocketed 25% to the point at which I warned of hyperinflation in a special post last Thursday. Let’s take this move VERY seriously as it took days after I started worrying about copper for the commodity to finally drop and my observation on May 12th was that investors had finally realized that "China buying copper to stack it up in warehouses wasn’t a buying premise." That gave us a great week last options expirations as we took bearish stances on Agriculture, Oil and Metals right into Monday’s mega-pump as the Dow then gave up 600 points between that Monday’s post, where I called for a meltdown, and that expiration day Friday when I said: "We are already on vacation, having followed our plan to cash out at the bottom yesterday anticipating some short covering today that would take up the markets."
That gave us a very happy holiday weekend and we did get our rally on light volume during the next, short week…
A computer glitch at the New York Stock Exchange halted floor trading of more than 200 stocks around noon today. Electronic trading is continuing, apparently.
The NYSE says floor trading has halted while the exchange installs replacement computer equipment. The NYSE put up [an alert] on its Website saying the issue was related to a server problem.
The situation is reminiscent of the famous "glitch" of 2007 that made the print of the Dow Jones Industrial Average inaccurate. It’s not currently clear whether the current reported Dow levels are correct.
Let’s take a look at a few graphs of the dollar, from Feb 1, 2013 through Friday May 17, 2013. Yes, I said graphs of the dollar. I’ve priced the dollar in gold first (of course), then silver, the euro, and even the yen. The pattern is obvious. The dollar is going up.
I did not show copper, lumber, or wheat though they show the same trend. These commodities are not money, of course.
My point is simple. It’s not gold that is going anywhere. In past articles, I’ve used the analogy of measuring a steel ruler using rubber bands. Using the dollar to measure gold is like that. In this article I show that it’s not just gold, but silver, other currencies, and commodities. The dollar is r...
UK prime minister, David Cameron, promised to hold a referendum on whether Great Britain should remain in the EU, but only on two conditions. The first condition, that Cameron be re-elected as prime minister is iffy enough.
The second condition, that Cameron renegotiate the Lisbon Treaty, I said would never happen. And it won't.
German Chancellor Angela Merkel sealed the fate on that score as Berlin plans to streamline EU but avoid wholesale treaty change. Berlin is drawing up plans for treaty changes to streamline decision-making in the eurozone, while stopping short of any wholesale renegotiation that would allow the UK to repatriate powers from Brussels.
Although Angela Merkel, German chancellor, has expr...
U.S. equity futures traded lower in early pre-market trade following a weaker than expected GDP report from the eurozone for the first quarter. GDP growth rose to -0.2 percent on a quarterly basis from -0.6 percent but missed forecasts of a 0.1 percent contraction. Weakness was notably seen in Germany, France, and Italy in the report, with the annualized rate of growth for Germany dropping to -1.4 percent vs. 0.2 percent growth forecast.
In other news around the markets:
The U.K. had fewer people claim unemployment benefits in April than expected, a positive sign for the labor market as the ...
So, what did the market want today? Nothing it appears. It traded on weak volume and had very little movement. This morning the market hated commodities especially silver, but by days end, the market liked silver, gold and even oil but not the dollar. Why?
Last week the economic reports were tough, with bad misses on more than one occasion. But the market tended to ignore the bad news, probably because money continues to pour into equities from money market funds, long term fixed income, and many struggling foreign economies. On Thursday, investors finally caved to even more bad news from Initial Jobless Claims and weak Housing Starts. Then on Friday, when Michigan Sentiment and Leading Indicators posted large positive surprises, the money came pouring back to generate qui...
It's time again for my weekly gasoline update based on data from the Energy Information Administration (EIA). Rounded to the penny, the average for Regular increased seven cents and Premium four cents. This is the third week of price gains after nine weeks of declines, which followed eleven weeks of price rises. Since their interim high in late February, Regular is down 11 cents and Premium 16 cents.
According to GasBuddy.com, eight states are averaging above $4.00 per gallon, up from four last week. Six states are in the 3.90-4.00 range, up from two last week.
VOYA - ING US, Inc. – Shares in ING Group’s U.S. retirement, investment and insurance business are up as much as 8.0% today to $26.98, the highest level since the company’s May 2nd IPO. ING US was rated new ‘buy’ at BTIG LLC with a 12-month target share price of $31.00 today. The stock has rallied nearly 40% over the IPO price of $19.50, and some options traders are positioning for the price of the underlying to extend gains during the second half of the year. November expiry options are the most ac...
Again, not much to add to this market in terms of analysis – nothing matters other than central banks. Last Wednesday/Thursday there were some 9 economic reports, 7 of which were disappointing or could be considered as such and all it got was one rare day down, and then new highs Friday. Markets are up 10 of the past 12 sessions and 17 of 21. Friday's move to 1666 was an exact 1000 point rally from March 2009's 666 bottom. Since this most recent leg of the move has been medium fast rather than a huge spike ala 1999, things are not necessarily overbought on the daily chart but we are seeing extremely rare action on the ...
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: Craigzooka is available to chat with Members regarding his virtual portfolio performance, comments are found below each post.
I am going to share with you how I manage my IRA and the power of reducing your cost basis. My goal each year is a 20% return in my IRA. Sometimes I make it and sometimes I don't, but I believe that all of my success is due to reducing my cost basis. To illustrate the power of reducing your cost basis here are some trades we did last year. These trades are taken from an educational portfolio we ran in a paper-trading account for a little more than a year.
We bought RIG on 5/15/2012 for $44.13, sold it on 1/18/2013 for $46 but booked a profit of $1,154.
We bought MT on 1/4/2012 for $19.24, sold it on 12/21/2012 for $15 but booked a profit of $454.
We bought CHK on 1/27/2012 for $21.93, sold it on 10/19/2012 for $18 b...
Stock market posts another record setting week, but the big news came after Friday’s close.
Courtesy of NASA
The stock market put on another record setting show with the Dow Jones Industrial Average (NYSEARCA:DIA) closing at a record high 15,118 and the S&P 500 (NYSEARCA:SPY) closing at 1633.70, another all time closing high.
For the week, the Dow Jones Industrial Average (NYSEARCA:DIA) gained 1%, the S&P 500 (NYSEARCA:SPY) climbed 1.2%, the Nasdaq Composite (NYSEARCA:...
Reminder: Pharmboy is available to chat with Members, comments are found below each post.
Well, well, well....it is good to know that there are others in the scientific arena who believed that YMI Bioscience's data (cough - Gilead) is a better drug than Incyte's Jakafi. Now, the definitive data are still unknown, but there was enough evidence from a Phase 2 trial to take a small risk for a huge reward. So, let's forget about Apple (AAPL), and do nothing but biotechs from now until Congress passes universal health care coverage for prescriptions....and drive the prices down so that research and development is no longer feasible to conduct in the US. Even Seattle Genetics (SGEN) has been on a tear as of late...
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.