by stjeanluc - May 3rd, 2015 5:11 pm
Courtesy of Jean-Luc Saillard
Back in December, I wrote a post on my blog where I compared the performances of various ETFs related to the oil industry. I was looking for the best possible proxy to match the moves of oil prices if you didn't want to play with futures. At the time, I concluded that for medium term trades, USO and the leveraged ETFs UCO and SCO were the most promising. Longer term, broader ETFs like OIH and XLE might make better investment if oil prices do recover to more profitable prices since ETF linked to futures like USO, UCO and SCO do suffer from decay. It also seemed that DIG and DUG could be promising if OIH could recover as it should with the price of oil, but that they don't make a good proxy for the price of oil itself.
Since then, oil has hit a multi-year low at around $42.50 and is now approaching $60, still well below its highs of 2014 but probably closer to a breakeven price for American shale producers. In this post I want to see what ETF would have profited best from that rebound and also which one would have fared worse. Let's look at a couple of performance charts. First, the standard oil proxies based on the futures:
Oil (red) is up 40% since March 17 but what is interesting is how the pure oil ETFs are tracking that move. USO (blue) which is not leveraged is not tracking very well. In fact, it's up only about 27% or about 2/3 of the oil move. As expected, SCO (pink) is down, but clearly, the leveraging is not the 2x that you would expect as it's only down a bit less than 40%. And UCO (green), while the clear winner here, is only up 57% which is lower than the advertised 2x leverage factor. Once again, these future based ETF are victims of some decay.
Let's look at some ETFs not based on oil futures but who should benefit from an oil price rebound. In the next performance chart, we'll look at OIH and XLE.
by phil - October 15th, 2014 8:00 am
If what goes up, must come down – oil has a LONG way to fall:
As you can see, during the glorious Clinton era, oil prices generally stayed down in the $20s despite OPEC cutbacks (because Clinton counteracted them by releasing oil from the SPR), hurricanes, tornadoes, wars in the Middle East (we used to win them, you know), etc. Then, a real disaster struck and oil man GWB was elected to office.
Bush and his Enron buddies destablized the commodities markets (under looser regulations) and Bush started wars in Iraq and Afghanistan to catch Osama Bin Laden, who was in Pakistan and, while he had the US military destroying Iraq's 3Mbd production and burning up another 1 Million barrels of oil a day looking for Osama in all the wrong places, he was also BUYING an average of 500,000 barrels a day to stick in the ground – doubling the size and filling to the brim our strategic petroleum reserve.
That led to a "reserve oil gap" and, of course, other countries began building and filling their own SPRs as well so more oil was bought by more countries, only to be shoved into the ground and never used. This created a very false sense of demand for oil and, when the price of oil rose to the point where consumers could no longer afford to drive – President Bush gave every family $3,000 to spend on oil – and they did – and oil hit $140 a barrel. "Cha-ching" indeed!
But then the $3,000 was gone and so was the ridiculous spike in oil and it fell and fell and fell and fell and fell – all the way down to $35 before stabilizing for a few months around $40 and then heading back to $80 as the market doubled and then, since 2010, US production has jumped 50% and generally kept oil under $100, despite MASSIVE manipulation by the Banksters (see "Goldman's Global Oil Scam Passes the 50 Madoff Mark").
by phil - July 18th, 2014 8:15 am
Can we possibly be this jaded?
Even on Wall Street, where ruining the lives of the middle class is a sporting event, you would think that the tragic death of 298 people being shot down in an airplane would AT LEAST cause the markets to pause for more than a few hours. That's not what the Futures would have you believe – they are moving up this morning (7:30) as if shooting planes out of the sky isn't a reason not to trade stocks at their all-time highs.
While our long trade ideas from yesterday's morning post worked out fantastically, we were very fortunately NOT GREEDY at 10:03, when I said to our Members:
Philly Fed up huge (like NY), 23.9 vs 10 expected though 17.8 last month means they were just being too pessimistic. That should give us a nice pop but I'd take those Futures profits off this run!
As you can see from Dave Fry's SPY chart, our timing was near perfect as things turned sour very quickly. That then worked out well for our oil shorts, which went from the $103 conviction target I laid out in the morning post (subscribe here to get them pre-market every day) back below $102, where I said to our Members at 11:34:
There goes $102 on oil! Congrats to the players! That's the new stop line, of course.
That was a very quick $1,000 PER CONTRACT profit on /CL and, right after that, we got the plane crash news so we increased our hedges in our Short-Term Portfolio and we added BA July $128 puts at $1.25 (because it was a BA plane involved in the incident) and they finished the day at $2.18 (up 74%) as well as DAL Aug $37 puts at $1.50, which were already $1.92 by the day's end (up 28%). I don't like to take advantage of tragedies like that – but it was the fastest way to add good protection to our portfolios.
by phil - July 9th, 2014 8:29 am
Fed day (again).
Yesterday was TERRIBLE, with volume finally coming back – and it was all downhill, with 3x more declining volume than advancing. Still, as you can see from Dave Fry's SPY chart, the fix was in and the failure to hold $196.50 during trading hours was corrected at the bell by the powers that be, forcing the Market-on-Close suckers (401K, IRA, ETFs) to pay an extra 0.2% for their fills.
There's something strangely comforting about playing a rigged game like this. I yesterday's live webcast, we were able to make a quick $150 per contract playing a very predictable bounce in the Russell Futures (you can see the Webinar Replay HERE).
Of course that was small potoatoes compared to the trade ideas we gave you in yesterday's morning post (which you can have delivered to you every day by subscribing here) as the TZA Aug $14 calls shot up from 0.91 to $1.20 - up 32% for the day.
The QQQ calls I mentioned were the July $97 puts and we closed those out at $2.30, up 47% in less than a full day.
With returns like that, we could compound $1,000 into $1M in no time at all!
Though they were, in fact, small positions, our entire Short-Term Portfolio jumped up 2% on the day – as it's positioned bearish to protect our much larger and still bullish ($500K) Long-Term Portfolio, which is weathering this little storm quite nicely as we wisely moved it to mainly cash when we thought the market was toppy.
Now we anxiously anticipate earnings and the potential to bargain-hunt some more.
As you can see from our Big Chart, the Nasdaq and Russell were saved by their 5% lines (2.5% on the RUT) but the NYSE failed their critical 11,000 line and now we are 3 of 5 bearish and that means we lean bearish until one of our 3 lagging indices gets back over their line.
by phil - July 7th, 2014 8:23 am
Operation "Penny Pincher" nabbed 22 penny stock pumpers.
As I often point out to our Members, a stock doesn't have to be a penny to be a penny stock – any stock with a market cap under $100M is generally what we're talking about – regardless of the share price.
That's because the stock can be easily influenced by exactly the kind of action the FBI proved is RAMPANT in this industry – a single trader can, for a fee, move money into the stock and send the prices skyrocketing – then press releases are put out to whip retail investors into a frenzy and they follow with their money and, usually, get burned.
Of course, the same thing happens with mid-cap stocks as well and even large-caps – it's just that the people manipulating those stocks are generally better at covering their tracks! 22 is the number of people the FBI caught in the short period of time an operation like this can run before word gets out that their cover people are conducting a sting. Imagine how many other must be out there!
Obviously the markets are manipulated. We know CEOs and their Boards worry about the stock price – the minute they begin to worry about the stock price, manipulation is sure to follow. That's the way the system is designed. We have a Fed who worries about the price of the market and they manipulate it too! It's our job simply to be aware of the manipulation and take it into account in our trading and investing decisions.
Back on June 12th, I began a series of articles pointing out that oil and gasoline prices were being manipulated into the holiday weekend. Oil shot up to $107.68 that day and stayed between $105 and $107.50 through June but the EXTREME lack of actual demand we warned you about. This morning, oil is below $104 and up $3,500 per contract from a short at $107.50 – a trade idea we highlighted for our readers Friday morning, June 13th.
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by phil - June 18th, 2014 8:36 am
It's a Fed day today!
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).
|Current Session||Prior Day||Opt's|
by phil - June 16th, 2014 8:28 am
“A well-regulated militia, being necessary to the security of a free state, the right of the people to keep and bear arms shall not be infringed.”
Iraqi citizens are taking it to the streets to stop the Sunni Militant advance that has now moved on to
Saadiya, a "city" of 20,000 people which leads the US media morons to conclude that they are just about to take Baghdad, a city of 5,672,513. The MSM plays on American's complete lack of geographical knowledge and poor math skills to excuse the profiteering by their sponsors (Banksters and Energy Companies) that has driven the price of oil in America up 7% this month – even though oil wasn't this high during most of the actual war in Iraq.
Anyone who actually knows anything about war knows that the ISIL doesn't have the men, equipment or supply lines to hold what they have now, let alone march on Baghdad, let alone move another 200 miles south towards the nation's oil fields – but that doesn't fit the story the media is spinning, so it doesn't get any play.
As noted by the New York Times (and pretty much no other paper) the goal of the ISIL is to provoke a civil war in Iraq and many of their clams of captured cities and Shi'ite executions are nothing but propaganda meant to incite riots. As I said last week, if you follow the money, it trickles down from the $2Bn monthly windfall this unrest is giving NYMEX traders, not to mention the 90M barrels of Global oil sold each day for +$7 ($19Bn per month), 2M of which (+$420M per month) comes from Iraq itself.
Despite all the unrest, our $107.50 oil short from Friday's post is still going strong at $107 this morning (up $500 per contract) and we're still shorting at the $107 line (those of us not so crazy as to leave shorts on over the weekend) as we're hoping to see some capitulation on the 154,000 contract that remain open (1,000 barrels per contract) on the NYMEX between now and Friday's…
by phil - June 12th, 2014 8:31 am
The boyz are back in town!
By boyz, I mean al-Qeada and by town, I mean Tikrit, which is about 40 miles from Baghdad which has "dad" in it and Father's day is Sunday so now you are all caught up on the Middle East.
Oh, and that's not picture of the rebel attackers – that's a picture of the Iraqi "army" mounting a response to "dozens" of rebels who came into town "a hootin' and a hollerin'" and shooting up the place. As I pointed out to our Members, with 200,000,000 fake orders for July oil deliveries that have to be canceled by next Friday – all it costs is $10M to pay al-Qeada to cause a ruckus and oil pops $2 overnight and the contract holders make an extra $400,000,000 – a very nice return on their investment. CNN had footage of the attack:
As you can see, the situation is dire – until they get a new sheriff. Meanwhile, oil is over $106 (7:45) and it was over $106 earlier and we shorted the cross below the line in our Live Member Chat room at 6:37 and picked up a quick $250 per contract at $105.75 and we'll short any cross below any .50 line with tight stops above on the way down – as, eventually, there will be a new sheriff – or at least a shareef…
At the moment, oil is back over $106 and we're ready to re-load (at $106.50 with very tight stops). As we did yesterday, we're happy to make $250-$500 per move as it wriggles around in the channel. You can't beat these guys – may as well join them!
We'll likely add USO puts or SCO (ultra-short oil) longs to our Short-Term Portfolio with an eye towards oil going no higher than $110 into the July 4th weekend (as we discussed in Tuesday's Webinar) but failing to hold that, or even $105, for an extended period. Meanwhile, we'll keep an eye on the advancing al-Qeada forces as our Corporate Media makes the biggest possible mountain out of this mole-hill to justify their sponsors jacking up the price of oil – AS USUAL – into the biggest driving…
by phil - June 2nd, 2014 8:32 am
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.
We were talking about inflationay pressure in Member Chat this morning and anyone who has a stomach has some idea of what the real inflation rate is in this World. This chart is from India, where inflation has "slowed" to 8.64% but last year's 15% average led to the ousting of the old government in the recent election.
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…
by phil - April 30th, 2014 7:35 am
Wheeeeeeee! Down goes oil!
That's $5,000 per contract in your pocket if you followed our lead on Wednesday, the 16th, when my comment right in the morning post (which you can have delivered to you pre-market, every day by clicking here) was:
In yesterday's post, I reminded you we were shorting oil at $104 and we caught a $500 per contract move back to $103.50 but then (also live in the Webcast), we decided to wait for $105ish to re-short today (/CL Futures). This morning, I posted early (6:22) to our Members that we had our shorting opportunity at $104.95 and already (8:06) we're back to $104.65 and that's good for $300 per contract after a hard morning's work – plenty of money for breakfast!
We're still expecting a much bigger drop, probably not until after the weekend though, as Ukraine tensions are keeping oil high. Rather than play the volatile Futures over the weekend, we have SCO and USO plays set up for our Members to take advantage of the potential correction. Today though, we can still have fun with the Futures (stop at $104.75 at the moment) into inventories at 10:30.
As you can see from the Futures chart above, we hit it right on the nose and caught a fantastic drop right away but, of course, we've stuck to our guns on those short positions and, just yesterday, in our Live Weekly Webinar, we discussed the merits of leaving our SCO position on the table to take advantage of a further fall in crude.
If not for the continuing nonsense in the Ukraine, oil would be much lower at the moment as we print record US inventory storage today (10:30 is the official report) without near-record supply and nowhere near record demand.
In fact, if the crooks at the US energy cartel weren't EXPORTING 1.7 MILLION BARRELS PER DAY out of the country to create an artificial shortage, we'd be piling on an additional 12M barrels a week or 618M barrels this year alone. In other words, the criminal organizations (allegedly) that control the energy trading in America are sending the equivalent of the entire Strategic Petroleum Reserve out of the country each year…