by phil - March 14th, 2013 8:34 am
Isn't oil trading fun?
Just this morning I was able to tweet out a trade idea from early morning Member Chat at 4:47 to remind our followers that oil Futures (/CL) were a nice short idea at the $93 mark. Less than two hours later, at 7:26, we decided to take the money and run at $92.15 – which was good for an $850 per contract gain – enough to buy about 300 Egg McMuffins!
We were long on oil Tuesday Morning at $92 and our target for shorting was $93 but, as I said in the morning post: "hopefully, they'll go a little higher than that and we can add short positions using SCO or USO in Member Chat as things can turn very ugly next week as the thieves try to wriggle out of the contracts they signed today." We got a $1,000 upside trade followed by the $1,000 per contract drop from $93.47 (right on schedule, after inventories) back to just below $92.50 and then we got a run back to $93 again on Wednesday ($500 per contract profit), where I again laid out our reasons for shorting them again at $93, which was good for another $1,000 per contract gain and then this morning's $850, which was good for $4,350 PER CONTRACT's worth of gains in just two days.
Now, I'm not telling you this to point out how great I am at calling Futures trades – I'm telling you this to point out what a MASSIVE SCAM energy trading is and how something should be done to stop this farce, which is ROBBING the World's citizens of over $850Bn a year!
I often say to our Members: "We don't care IF a market is fixed as long as we can understand HOW it is fixed and place our bets accordingly," but that's not really true with oil trading, as this criminal enterprise (which I have written about for years) is more harmful to our everyday life than every hurricane, earthquake or terrorist act that has ever been committed on this planet – and they do it to us EVERY DAY OF EVERY YEAR!
by phil - April 13th, 2011 7:57 am
Why are they bouncing? Why not? We went down and people love to buy those dips and that means they are just going to love this chart, courtesy of Barry Ritholtz’s team. We don’t get our next Case-Shiller data point until the 26th but we did get mortgage applications this week and they are down ANOTHER 6.7%. This is despite the fact that an average 30-year mortgage is still just 4.98%.
I know that we have been trained to ignore supply and demand in commodities as well as to pretend that all prices are inelastic and that American consumers will buy anything at any price because they are generally mindless sheep that you can lead into anything with the right jingle but, if they are not willing to buy a $250,000 home with a 5% mortgage – what’s going to happen when that mortgage is 6%?
At 5%, a $250,000 mortgage has a monthly payment of $1,342.05. At 6% that payment jumps up to $1,498.88 – 10.5% higher! At 7% it’s $1,663.26, 24% higher – that’s the "cost" of housing as rates tick higher but, of course, that will force housing prices even lower to compensate and the Fed will tell us that inflation is low because home prices will be falling faster than food prices are rising – so we have that to look forward to…
I mentioned yesterday that China tightened their rates and home prices in Beijing fell 26.7% in the month of March. I waited all day to read more about it in the WSJ or Bloomberg or to see them discussing this on CNBC but no – it’s not the kind of news they want you to hear so – for your own good, it is not mentioned. I had to find this news in Business China but it’s also in the China Daily and the People Daily but where it isn’t is in any US newspaper I’ve looked at and neither is there mention of the problem caused by giant-sized, irradiated Asians poking buildings with sticks! (just kidding).
We talk about Chinese censorship and control of information but what is this? If a Nigerian Rebel spits at a pipeline or if a Somali Pirate even glances in the direction of an oil tanker – it’s on the front page of the papers (sometimes before it…
by ilene - February 27th, 2011 8:22 am
Here’s the latest edition of Stock World Weekly: Irresistible Forces Meet Immovable Objects. - Ilene
On Saturday, February 27, the Security Council of the United Nations (UN) voted unanimously to institute sanctions on Libya, including travel bans and freezing the assets of Muammar al-Gaddafi and others associated with his regime. Protests have dragged into their twelfth day, and protestors refuse to yield in the face of utterly horrific retaliation by Gaddafi’s loyal forces. U.S. ambassador to the UN, Susan Rice said, “When atrocities are committed against innocents, the international community must act with one voice – and tonight it has.”
The Telegraph reported over the weekend that Gaddafi apparently made good on his threats to trigger a civil war, using irregular forces largely composed of hired mercenaries to launch a counterattack against protesters. “Anywhere we go there is danger,” said one woman, a 28-year-old mother of four who asked not to be named. “All we want is food and fresh water for our children but it is impossible to find. Security is the only concern of the authorities.”
An accurate report of the death toll is impossible to obtain at this time, but on Wednesday, Italy’s Foreign Minister, Franco Frattini said, “We believe that the estimates of about 1,000 are credible.” The situation in Libya has deteriorated since then. Multiple stories coming in from all over the country have cited dozens to hundreds of casualties in each city. It appears that Libya has slipped into the abyss of complete social breakdown and civil war.
This is just one example of the tide of popular unrest that has been unleashed in the wake of the Federal Reserve’s and other central banks’ inflationary policies. The chart below shows the U.S. Adjusted Monetary Base increasing from $1.75Tn in 2009, to $2.0Tn in 2010, and now nearing $2.3Tn, an increase of $300Bn in just two months! This represents an increase of 35% in less than 18 months. (The U.S. Monetary Base is the total amount of currency that is circulating in the hands of the public or in the commercial bank deposits held in reserves of member banks of the Federal Reserve System.)
by ilene - February 24th, 2011 10:16 pm
Courtesy of Michael Snyder at Economic Collapse
Are you ready for an economy that has high inflation and high unemployment at the same time? Well, welcome to "Stagflation 2011". Stagflation exists when inflation and unemployment are both at high levels at the same time. Of course we all know about the high unemployment situation already. Gallup’s daily tracking poll says that the U.S. unemployment rate has been hovering around 10 percent all year so far. But now thanks to rapidly rising food prices and the exploding price of oil, rampant inflation is being added to the equation.
Normally inflation is a sign of increased economic activity, but when the basic commodities that we depend on to run our economy (such as oil) go up in price it actually causes a slowdown in economy activity. When the price of oil goes up high enough, it fundamentally changes the behavior of individuals and businesses. Suddenly certain types of economic activities that were feasible when oil was very cheap are not profitable any longer. When the price of oil rises to a new level and it stays there, essentially what is happening is that more "blood" is being drained out of our economy. Our economy will continue to function when there are higher oil prices, it will just be a lot more sluggish.
In some way, shape or form the price of oil factors into the production of most of our goods and services and it also factors into the transportation of most of our goods and services. A significant rise in the price of oil changes the economic equation for almost every business in the United States.
Today, the price of WTI crude soared past 100 dollars a barrel before closing at $98.10. The price of Brent crude increased 5.3 percent to $111.25. The protests in Libya are certainly causing a lot of the price activity that we have seen over the past few days, but the truth is that oil has been going up for a number of months. Right now we are only seeing an acceleration of the long-term trend.
Things are likely to get far worse if the "day of rage" planned for Saudi Arabia next month turns into a full-blown revolution. Up to this point, the revolutions that have been sweeping the Middle East have been organized largely on Facebook, and now there are calls all over…
by phil - February 12th, 2011 12:57 pm
We have a new episode of The Wrap-Up Show.
This time, it’s a quick review of the week’s activity:
Also, as we have a ton of Government Data that will be driving the markets next week, let’s review "How the US Government Manipulates Inflation Data" – just so we remember not to take it all too seriously.
by ilene - January 30th, 2011 3:39 pm
Courtesy of Tyler Durden
The one country landlocked between Tunisia and Egypt has so far been oddly silent. Not so much any more. Al Jazeera reports that the Libyan government has imposed a state of emergency for "fear of demonstrations and rallies" comparable to those in Tunisia and Egypt. And ranked 17 in the world for oil production (and 9th in proven reserves), this is one that crude HFT algos may want to keep an eye on.
From Al Jazeera, google translated:
Libyan sources familiar with the island revealed that a state of alert security prevail in the east of the Libyan cities, confirmed that elements of the police and support central and distributed to all government buildings.
The sources said that the Libyan government imposed a state of emergency and security alert since the outbreak of the revolution, Tunisia, for fear of demonstrations and rallies similar in Libyan cities.
The sources of the existence of orders to stop any gathering, whether in government or outside.
Under these instructions – Sources confirm – The Libyan government later abolished the league matches of Libyan Football Association which was to be organized during the month.
In conjunction with the ongoing events in neighboring Egypt, the forces imposed from the central support and the police since yesterday evening checkpoints in several major regions in both the white and Benghazi and Derna and Tobruk.
These enhancements come at a time when Libya is following with interest the Libyan street events taking place in Egypt over the satellite news channels deployed in all the cafes and shops in cities of Libya.
He said the Libyans before the popular revolution that swept cities in Tunisia and has succeeded in toppling President Zine El Abidine Ben Ali, after 23 years of rule.
It is feared the Libyan regime of infection along the Tunisian and Egyptian into Libya, especially in light of similar conditions and problems such as poor living conditions and the absence of freedoms
by phil - January 12th, 2011 8:27 am
"Portugal will not request financial aid for the simple reason that it’s not necessary" – Socrates
Of course, that was Jose Socrates, Portugal’s Prime Minister, not Σωκρτης the great Philospoher, who was more famous for saying "False words are not only evil in themselves, but they infect the soul with evil" as well as "True knowledge exists in knowing that you know nothing." More apropos for this morning is the more famous Scocrates’ more famous observation that "True wisdom comes to each of us when we realize how little we understand about life, ourselves, and the world around us."
The investors jacking up the markets at 6am this morning understand very little about the relevance of Portugal’s sale of $1.62Bn in bonds. While the auction was a "success" with longer bonds going off at 6.7% that’s WITH intervention by China and Japan on an auction amount that either one of them could have tipped the cab driver on the ride over from the airport and not missed it. This is like going to your rich uncle for a used car loan because the bank wants 12% and your uncle says "sure I will help you out but you will owe me big time and I will make my brother’s life miserable because I have to give his kid money and I’ll never let him forget it" and then he hands you a contract to pay him back at 11.5%.
Actually, Portugal didn’t even get that much of a "family discount," The last bond auction of 2010 went off at 6.8% and the fear was that the rates would go over 7% but let’s not do cartwheels over 6.7%. Oh, sorry, too late, the markets are already doing cartwheels with a 0.5% gain in the futures and just look how excited the Hang Seng was after lunch, gaining 200 points in a virtual straight line and almost doubling the day’s optimistic opening. The Shanghai was just as exciting, falling from 2,828 down almost 1.5% to 2,788 but then flying back to 2,821 to book a 0.6% gain on the day and giving Mainland China’s Main Market this exciting profile:
by phil - December 30th, 2010 8:28 am
US Corporations are hiring – they are just not hiring you!
The Economic Policy Institute, a Washington think tank, says American companies have created 1.4 million jobs overseas this year, compared with less than 1 million in the U.S. The additional 1.4 million jobs would have lowered the U.S. unemployment rate to 8.9 percent, says Robert Scott, the institute’s senior international economist. "There’s a huge difference between what is good for American companies versus what is good for the American economy," says Scott.
American jobs have been moving overseas for more than two decades. In recent years, though, those jobs have become more sophisticated — think semiconductors and software, not toys and clothes. And now many of the products being made overseas aren’t coming back to the United States. Demand has grown dramatically this year in emerging markets like India, China and Brazil. Coca-Cola CEO Muhtar Kent often points out that a billion consumers will enter the middle class during the coming decade, mostly in Africa, China and India. He is aggressively targeting those markets. Of Coke’s 93,000 global employees, less than 13 percent were in the U.S. in 2009, down from 19 percent five years ago. (see my interview with Kent here).
We’re anticipating the usual 400,000 jobs lost for the week at 8:30 this morning and I sure didn’t see too many "Help Wanted" signs at the malls this year, or anywhere else now that I think about it. We also have the Chicago PMI at 9:45, Pending Home Sales at 10:00, Natural Gas Inventories at 10:30 followed by both Oil Inventories at 11 along with the Kansas City Fed’s Manufacturing Index. Later today (3pm) we get the very inflationary USDA Agriculture Prices where we can short FCOJ like this as the panic that drove prices up this week seems a bit overdone.
Of course, I’ve been saying the entire commodity rally is overdone as I don’t see how firing 1.4M Americans who made $35,000 and replacing them with 1.4M Chinese workers who make $2,500 means the price of oil should go up. Only the fact that the US Government is going deeper and deeper into debt to help those 1.4M laid off Americans buy their next tank of gas is keeping demand level – without that support, buses would be MUCH more popular in the US, as they already are in China…
by ilene - December 23rd, 2010 6:05 pm
A year after Charles Biderman’s provocative post first appeared on Zero Hedge, in which he asked just who is doing all the buying of stocks as the money was obviously not coming from retail investors (and came up with one very notable suggestion), today Maria Bartiromo invited the TrimTabs head once again (conveniently in CNBC’s lowest rated show, during Christmas Eve eve, at a time when perhaps 5 people would be watching) in an interview which disclosed that after more than a year of searching, Biderman still has no idea who actually buying. In response to Bartiromo’s question if the retail investor, who left after the flash crash (thank you SEC), Biderman responds what every Zero Hedger has known for 33 weeks: "Retail investors are not coming back to the US. Those investors that are investing are buying global equities and are buying commodities. We are seeing lots money going into commodity ETF funds: gold, silver…" and the even more unpleasant summation: "individuals have been selling, companies are net selling, insider selling and new offerings are swamping any buyback and any cash M&A activity since QE 2 was announced. Pension funds and hedge funds don’t really have that much cash to invest. So what nobody’s asking is what happens when QE 2 stops: if the only buyer is the Fed, and the Fed stops buying, I don’t know what is going to happen...When I was on your show a year ago I was saying the same thing: we can’t figure out who is doing the buying it has to be the government, and people said I was nuts. Now the government is admitting it is rigging the market." Cue Bartiromo jaw dropping.
As for the simple math of where the money is actually going:
"Money flows come out of income, take home pay of everybody plus money that came from real estate is down about $1 trillion a year. It peaked in the 3rd quarter of 2008, at $7 trillion, that’s take home pay for everybody who pays taxes plus the money that came from real estate. It has now bottomed at $5.9 trillion. We are still down $1.1 trillion in money that people have to spend each year, that 16%. And some of the money that is leaving equity markets we think is going to pay bills."
by phil - December 20th, 2010 8:28 am
I’m still worried about Europe.
Everyone else seems to have forgotten, including the Europeans. The Stoxx EU 600 Index hit its highest point since September 2008 this morning as commodities continued to climb (another chance to short oil futures below the $89 line). The Stoxx 600 is up 6.5% for the month and up 9.9% for the year. We had talked about gold, oil and the S&P in my Weekend Post; all are up about 10% in the second half of the year as the dollar fell 3.5%. This morning, the dollar is hugging that 80.75 line, still 10% off it’s June high. If Europe really is "fixed" then the dollar is free to drop back to it’s lows, which could provide tremendous rally fuel for stocks and commodities.
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.