by Phil Davis - April 25th, 2014 8:27 am
Did you see the frightened ones?
Did you hear the falling bombs?
Did you ever wonder
Why we had to run for shelter
When the promise of a brave new world
Unfurled beneath a clear blue sky? - Pink Floyd
What were we excited about?
With 204 of the S&P 500 now reporting 68% (139) have beat earnings estimates BUT only 44% (90) have beaten on revenues. It's yet another year of cost-cutting and share buy-backs to boost earnings per share with no actual growth in real earnings yet the market, overall, is up 35% from where it was last year on a 2.9% overall growth in EPS. - THAT'S FRIGGIN' CRAZY!
If we back out BAC, who had the crap fined out of them this Q, then the S&P earnigs are up a more respectable 4.9% but, on the other hand, that includes superstars like AAPL, who dropped $13Bn on the S&P by themselves, and it's very unlikely the rest of the S&P will bring up the curve. In fact, Zacks is now estimating that overall earnings will be DOWN 0.9% for the quarter compared to last year and DOWN 4.6% from last quarter.
No wonder we are seeing the continued exodus of "smart money," who sell in volume into every rally we have. What's getting scary (and keeping us bearish) is that now we aren't even making gains on weak volume. Yesterday's move up was 100% due to AAPL, which gained over 8% on the day.
Since AAPL is 15%+ of the Nasdaq, that 8% gain should have popped the Nasdaq 1.2% and the rally in AAPL suppliers should have lifted the index even more. But it didn't. The Nasdaq was only up 0.8%, so it would have been down 0.5% without AAPL's contribution and even further without the rally in suppliers and the sectors that support them.
As I said to our Members yesterday ahead of the bell, Apple's gains are Samsung and others' lossses, NOT…
by Phil Davis - 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 Davis - June 25th, 2011 7:55 am
Option Sage Submits:
When driving a car and some object appears on the road ahead do you usually run right over it or do your best to avoid it?
Don’t we all take action in real-life based on the new information we receive that changes the old paradigm? Take the first two guys in this video: Who would you rather be, the first or the second guy? While the second gentleman reacts and looks ridiculous in so doing, he’s the guy that is more likely to survive when real disaster hits because he’s reacting to new information. In fact he doesn’t even know what’s making everyone else react, he just knows that when 99% are moving one way in panic, it’s best not to fight the crowd or he will be trampled. It’s no different in the market. Pride, ego and old theses have no place when new information directly contradicts an existing trade.
This week, we used DIA and QQQ puts and calls to "react" to quick changes in the market while we waited for better information before making more permanent changes in our positions. This gave us the benefit of the
by markettamer - March 27th, 2010 10:33 pm
Courtesy of MarketTamer.com
- Stocks will typically channel 65-70% of the time.
- There are essentially three types of channels; Ascending, Descending and Sideways.
- The channel is comprised of two parallel trend lines which define support and resistance.
- The trading opportunity is as a result of buying the bounce off the lower trend line and selling the resistance.
- Channeling stocks as a continuation pattern occur as the stock trends and then consolidates for a period of time, only to eventually break out to resume the prior trend.
- Ascending Channels are usually embedded in a broader downtrend and act as a respite to the primary downtrend.
- Accordingly, Descending Channels are a respite in a broader uptrend and will more often than not resume the initial bullish trend after channeling.
- Sideways Channels are considered consolidations before resuming the original trend.
- The investment community recognizes that stocks neither go directly up nor down without pause.
- A majority of trading activity resides in channels as supply and demand play “tug of war”.
- Eventually traders will push the stock out of the range.
- The quality of the breakout/breakdown move should be measured by the investor participation as evidenced by increased volume.
- The opportunity to make money with channeling stocks are as a result of two approaches: 1) buy on the bounce off of the lower trend line and sell at the top of the channel at resistance and 2) Play the breakout/breakdown out of the channel.
by markettamer - March 14th, 2010 10:44 am
Courtesy of Market Tamer
Hanging Man on the NASDAQ
- The Symmetrical Triangle is a continuation pattern that is comprised of two symmetrically converging trend lines. The continuation will normally be in the direction of the prior trend, although at times the pattern can reverse the trend.
- The breakout usually occurs prior to the triangle reaching its apex and is strongest if that is the case.
- The target is the trend line breakout/breakdown plus the length of the widest part of the triangle.
- After the stock has moved either up or down relatively quickly and with increased volume, the stock then begins a period of pause as the stock moves sideways or with a slight retrace against the trend.
- The initial trading in the period of pause consists of a wider amplitude and narrows as the upper and lower trend lines converge symmetrically.
- The investment community is telling us that it is indecisive as to the continuing direction of the stock as the trading range narrows and finally breaks out to resume the trend
by markettamer - February 13th, 2010 6:15 pm
- The buyers at the top of the first peak were victims of buying from the “smart money” as they sold to the “not so smart money” at the top of the trading range.
- These unfortunate buyers will usually hold, refusing to take a loss and waiting for the opportunity to unload the stock at a break even.
- When that opportunity presents itself, at the second top, selling pressure increases and drives the stock lower.
- Other knowledgeable traders who know that the “Double Top” will present an opportunity to short, will do so thereby increasing the velocity downward move.
by markettamer - February 7th, 2010 9:10 pm
Courtesy of Market Tamer
The Reverse Cup & Handle Chart Pattern
- The inverse of a Cup & Handle Chart Pattern.
-The stock bounces off of a support level and moves higher on unremarkable volume.
- A “Rounded Top” forms and then subsequently moves lower on increasing volume producing “The Cup”.
- The pattern is completed when a Bear Flag forms producing the handle.
- The breakdown occurs when the stock breaks the low of the handle on increasing volume.
by Phil Davis - February 7th, 2010 8:26 am
Option Sage submits:
I saw an infomercial from Fisher Investments where Ken Fisher mentioned 3 attributes that he believes are keys to successful investing which can be crudely summarized as follows:
 Focus on long-term investing
 Expect surprises
 Stay ahead of the crowd by knowing what others don’t
The first point is certainly critical and weeds out the greedy ‘get-rich-quick’ traders from the patient traders. Our policy here is that of ‘play-to-win’. We like to be aggressive in seeking profits with short-term plays but we also recognize that if those trades don’t work out that we can still rely on longer term plays to end up profitable in the end.
The second point regarding expecting surprises asks the trader the question “Are you managing risk well and do you have contingency plans in mind each time you enter a trade?” While the second part of the sentence is important, the first is paramount! No matter what you do, never violate risk management rules which we have discussed here in the past.
The third point is a luxury in my view. Of course, it would be nice to know what others don’t but it’s not critical. By definition only a small number can have information that the rest of the crowd does not have so if you are not trading full-time you have to find another way of making money without relying on staying ahead of the crowd.
As I was scanning for trades over the weekend, I came across one trade which might in fact fall into the category of offering relatively attractive profits by relying on options rather than additional information. In fact, I know many of our members find it hard to focus on the daily trades and would like to construct virtual portfolios with the longer-term in mind. As Phil mentioned in his classic "James Bond Investing" article, playing short-term positions requires constant vigilance and you need to ready to turn on a dime with small windows of opportunity and this kind of trading is not for everyone. Even Phil has a rule of thumb that 75% of a virtual…
by Phil Davis - February 3rd, 2010 4:49 am
Peter D has a long-running and very successful system of selling premiums on a regular basis that’s well worth learning.
Investors selling a short strangle are expecting the underlying stock to not move much in either direction. The strategy is accomplished by selling a call option at a higher price than the current stock or ETF price and by selling a put option at a lower price than the current stock or ETF price. Both of the options will have the same expiration month. The investor in a short strangle benefits from the underlying moving within the spread between the call strike and the put strike.
There are two reasons we like this strategy a lot at PSW:
1) It’s boring! Unless the market is MUCH more volatile than normal, taking sensible, NON-GREEDY, out-of-the-money short option positions is a fairly market-neutral way to place our bets. While the risk/reward ratio may seem inverted, statistically it’s a winning play over time.
2) It’s perfect for our "be the house, not the sucker" philosophy of trading. We are always looking to SELL volatility. The idea behind this trade is that front-month volatility is relatively expensive compared to historical long-term volatility and we take advantage of selling a very high cumulative volatility over the course of the year.
We recently ran a collection of comments following through on some trades over time and quite a while ago Sage wrote an article relating about using short strangles on longer-term stock plays, which provides some additional ideas on how to apply this strategy. Peter has been kind enough to provide us with a definitive guide to help set you on the road to a successful career as a strangler. The following is a collection of posts (make sure you use the links) on Short Strangles and the Crazy plays on the indices (SPX, RUT, NDX, etc.):
1- The Crazy play consists of a Short Strangle and a protective long put vertical. These plays are mainly for Virtual Portfolio Margin accounts, with balance greater than $125,000, preferably over $200k as the margin can swing wildly.
2- Very rough comparison among Short Strangle, Iron Condor, Buy/Write and straight stock purchase. Note the rolling tips in the second to last paragraph.
3- VIX, the effects of.
4- Possible adjustments of the Crazy Play.
Additional discussion on doubling down.
by markettamer - January 31st, 2010 8:33 pm
Courtesy of Market Tamer
MONDAY 2/1 Personal Income, Personal Spending, Construction Spending, ISM Index
TUESDAY 2/2 Pending Home Sales, Auto Sales, Truck Sales
WEDNESDAY 2/3 Challenger Job Cuts, ADP Employment Change, ISM Services, Crude Inventories
THURSDAY 2/4 Initial Claims, Continuing Claims, Productivity-Prel, Unit Labor Costs-Preliminary, Factory orders
FRIDAY 2/5 Nonfarm Payrolls, Unemployment Rate, Average Workweek, Hourly Earnings, Consumer Credit
EARNINGS OF NOTE
MONDAY 2/1 ACV, APC, GCI, HUM, MNKD, PCL, SOHU, TUP
TUESDAY 2/2 AFL, ADM, CTRP, CMI, DHI, FISV, JDSU, MTW, MAN, MRO, MEE, MET, MYGN, NETL, PBG, SU, DOW, HSY, UPS, UNM, GRA, WHR
WEDNESDAY 2/3 AKAM, AMP, BDK, BRCM, CBG, CSCO, CMCSA, EFX, HMC, INSP, IP, MWW, NOV, NVLS, PFE, RL, BCO, TWX, V, WLT, YUM
THURSDAY 2/4 BEBE, BKC, CME, CI, DB, DO, GSK, HIT, K, MA, MCO, NOC, PENN, PBI, SLE, SNE, HOT, SUN, TM, UIS
FRIDAY 2/5 AET, AON, BZH, PC, TSN, WY
Stock Market Insights: The Cash Flow Statement
Cash is king! Liquidity in the form of cash tells us that the company can meet its obligations. The Cash Flow Statement is the third and last statement that we will touch upon. The statement is filed quarterly and year over year in concert with the Profit and Loss and Balance Sheet. The Cash Flow Statement is a measure of incoming and outgoing cash from its business operations for a specific point in time. The statement further defines the cash flow of the company that is indicated on the Balance Sheet. There are two methods of accounting that are used 1) accrual and 2) cash. Most companies use the accrual method which accounts for goods delivered as sales regardless of whether they have been paid for or not. The outstanding balance is shown on the Profit and Loss Statement under accounts receivable.