by phil - December 7th, 2009 7:57 am
I wish I knew. As I said in the Weekly Wrap-Up, we’ve been stuck in a range – which has been fine for us as 60 of 80 trade ideas from the last 2 weeks were winners and will be more so if we flatline or head south from here, as that’s how we’ve been playing the market. It’s not that we WANT the market to fall, just like your doctor doesn’t WANT you to have the flu. But, when you show up at the office with a sore throat, headache, fever and congestion – he’s going to tell you you have the flu and write you a prescription to help you get better. That’s what we do! We analyze the market symptoms and determine a course of treatment. We don’t need to be bullish or bearish on any given day as it’s far, far more satisfying to be right.
In Member chat this morning, we were discussing leap strategies regarding entries on (in this example) KO and we looked at the benefits and pitfalls of trying to establish positions at the top of a big run. I mentioned that KO is not something I’d be looking at now as they are too near the highs and don’t have any particular near-term growth catalyst (and the strong dollar may hurt their earnings, which are more than 50% international).
In the Wrap-Up you’ll see that the kind of long plays we went for were more beaten-down stocks that we still like long-term like SPWRA, VLO, RMBS. WFR, PARD… Even in a great bull market like this one that may or may not be topping, there are still plenty of bargains to be had and, if we don’t see any good ones today, it’s still better to wait until earnings and bargain-hunt there rather than buy stocks just because your cash is burning a hole in your pocket (we went to mainly cash the last 2 weeks and many members are getting antsy already).
Actually, having cash in US Dollars may be an excellent investment at the moment as those dollars could gain 10% as the dollar bounces back. Commodities have certainly continued to fall over the weekend with gold at $1,141, oil at $74.71, siver back to $18 and copper $3.18 (our watch level was $3.20). Futures are pretty lame overall, down about 0.3% at 7:30 but we’re still above our levels so don’t get too excited if…
by phil - December 6th, 2009 7:58 am
Your "crystal ball" was dead-on with the insights into the report on jobs as well as the initial rise and then correction. Truly impressive. – Champstar2
We didn’t have a weekly wrap-up last week because of the holiday.
In our Nov 21st Wrap-Up, I had said next week we’ll be watching to see if we can get more bullish above our 25% lines at: Dow 10,250, S&P 1,100, Nasdaq 2,187, NYSE 7,000 and Russell 600 and that became the bottom of our new range while I sent out a 9:41 Alert to our Members on Nov 23rd sticking with our upside targets of Dow 10,471, S&P 1,113, Nas 2,205, NYSE 7,266 and Russell 605. That has been a very reliable range to play for the past two weeks and we’ve been having a good time playing both ends of it.
Rather than just wrapping up this week’s moves, I thought we’d add the prior week as the pattern is very much the same (and it was the same the week before) so it certainly bears (oops, don’t say bears!) studying. Of course, when I talk about patterns, I don’t just mean the chart pattern where we have all of our gains for the week on Monday and Tuesday on low volume and then larger volume selling for the rest of the week as the funds who pump the futures up dump their ill-gotten gains on retail investors. I’m talking about the global new patterns, as reported by the MSM, that make this sort of manipulation so effective. It’s not that I’m so good at predicting things – it’s really just that I’m good at spotting the BS…
I was pointing out that morning that 90% of the market gains since October had been coming on a single day each week and how a lot of that was happening in the very thinly-traded Futures market, where a few thousand shares traded overnight are able to lever the entire US market up by Trillions of Dollars. It’s a very sick and broken system that has been seized by manipulators to yank investors around, making sure retail investors have little ability to participate in these wild market moves as the game is already over by the time trading starts the next day.
by phil - November 21st, 2009 8:26 am
This chart says it all (thanks Jesse).
In last week’s wrap-up I said: "Since early September our upside targets for the indexes have been: Dow 10,087, S&P 1,096, Nasdaq 2,173, NYSE 7,204 and Russell 623 and nothing has happened to change our fundamental outlook for the better so the closer we get to those levels, the LESS comfortable we are taking bullish positions." I mentioned how tempting it had been to cash out all our longs and go 100% bearish when we hit 10,300. Our downside levels told us to wait until the 16th, when Monday’s move up was finally the last straw and we are out of the bull game (our last major Buy List was July 11th and most picks are up over 100%), probably for the rest of the year.
This chart shows you that the S&P is primed for a 5% correction back to 1,050. I don’t know why Jesse didn’t extend out the lower support line, which would take us right about to my pullback target of S&P 1,000/Dow 9,650. I stuck my neck out on TV two weeks ago, calling for a 10% correction to those levels but we’ve been playing both sides of the fence until this week, when I finally had to put my foot down on Monday, after having discussed cashing out for the holidays in Member Chat over the weekend. Our general plan this week was to cash out the winners and leave only longer-term, hedged bullish plays while adding more speculative downside plays for the short-term correction.
Why the change of heart? Well, something you don’t see on this chart but is pretty clear on the Yahoo monthly view, is that virtually all of the gains (ALL of them if you include the spikes) in the Dow for the ENTIRE month of November have come on single days each week. This week it was Monday (139 points), last week Monday (206 points) and Nov 5th was Wednesday (198 points). Take those days out of the run from our Oct 30th close at 9,712 and we’re up just 63 points to 9,975 despite there being only 1 losing day in the first week (11/3, down 16 points) of the month and one losing day in the second (Nov 12th, down 92 points). That is one super-flimsy way to build a "rally" don’t you think?
by phil - October 23rd, 2009 8:26 am
What a wild week we are having!
We dumped our shorts as planned yesterday morning, getting a very nice dip at the open and my 9:36 Alert to Members was even titled "Take Those Short Profits!" and our upside targets were set (as they were in the morning post) at: Dow 10,087, S&P 1,096, Nasdaq 2,173, NYSE 7,204 and Russell 623. Where did we finish? Dow 1,081, S&P 1,092, Nasdaq 2,165, NYSE 7,182 and Russell 613 – so a bit short of all of our targets but not bad considering we were opening 167 points below that on the Dow so perhaps I can be forgiven for a 6-point miss…
If knowing about massive market moves in advance would be helpful to you – please consider subscribing to our service. If you are already a member and know someone who might like to try our newsletter, you can send them a free trial subscription using this link and you can earn yourselves discounts on membership renewals for each friend who opts into the free trial. We have over 19,000 people on our Newsletter list now and I want to see if we can break 30,000 by the end of the year now that our new mail server is up and running (we’ve been on hold for a month as we filled up our old server!). Your help in this matter would be greatly appreciated. PSW Report Members can extend their subscriptions at no cost simply by referring others to a free trial report – my little experiment in viral marketing…
Even our free PSW Report readers would have done great just following the trades we had in last week’s Wrap-Up (Report subscribers get to read our articles without the 48-hour delay). We had GS Nov $210s shorted at .87, now .35 (up 60%), CERN short $85 calls at $4.15, now $3.10 (up 25%), ISRG Apr puts and calls sold for $39.20, now $36 (up 8%), PARD at $6.87, now $7.35 (up 7%), NTRI at $18.60, now $19.15 (up 3%)…
We had other trades that are still in progress. ICE notably burned us so far, but we rolled them up and shorted them some more yesterday (now $106.56). We’ve had a wild mix of short and long trades this week as we TRY to get more bullish on the markets but yesterday’s run-up had us reloading Thursday’s successful short plays as that set made…
by phil - October 17th, 2009 8:27 am
The bar for corporate earnings is still set at very easy to beat levels yet, like this limbo-playing child, when they announce their beats of very low expectations we’re going to get all excited and tell them how great they are doing. The problem is, these are not kids who we hope may grow up one day to be President or CEOs of major companies. these ARE CEOs of major companies and they are being paid top salaries for top performance and we, the stock purchasing public, are paying top dollar for what should be SPECTACULAR performance, not beating 75% off last year’s earnings by a penny!
In that post, I rattled off a list of stocks that seemed overpriced to me: AMZN, BIDU, AM, PALM, NFLX, PCLN, URBN, UHS, CERN, CREE, GMCR, CY, SWM, TRLG, BKE and you would have had a fabulous week just shorting those stocks as only NFLX, URBN and CREE stayed positive. Now most newsletter writers would quit right there and make a giant ad saying they were 12 for 15 on the week but, as our members know, THAT’S NO BIG DEAL AT PSW! I’m just going to remind members that they can refer friends to FREE advice like that in our trial newsletter and earn 20% or more off their subscriptions for doing it.
Picking stocks is easy but a few percent here and a few percent there isn’t much fun is it? On that list, the two we attacked were AMZN and BIDU, both of which ran (in our opinion) way too high AND had very liquid and very overpriced call options that we could sell to collect premiums. AMZN is a staple short in our $100K Virtual Portfolio and we had set up BIDU the week before, selling Oct $420 calls for $8.30 and the Oct $430 calls for $7,20. While both went higher on Monday, the fact that we had a plan for managing the trade kept us from panicking and, thankfully, Monday was the only day those positions gave us trouble and both finished the week worthless (100% profit for us).
Adjusting our positions kept us busy this week as we STILL have a slightly bearish bias and I apologize for that but, as I said in Friday’s post: Every time I try to get a little more bullish, they pull me…
by phil - September 19th, 2009 8:28 am
I am trying to get bullish, really I am.
As I said to Members on Thursday morning in chat, like Sam Jackson in Pulp Fiction: "I’m trying hard to be the (bullish) shepherd" but the data makes it hard – so very hard! Anyway, I’m not here to complain about the market forces moving against us but to review the carnage of our picks going all the way back to Sept 10th, when we decided the prior day’s beige book was not going to be enough to break out over 9,600 on the Dow. Now, with the Dow at 9,820 after testing 9,900 it’s a good idea to look back and see what we missed in this last 2.5% leg up.
On Thursday the 10th, we talked about patterns. One pattern I recommended following right in the morning post was the famous "stick save" investment. Simply buying high-delta DIA calls at about 2:30 each afternoon and selling into the pumped-up close. That was a winning play on the 10th, 11th (Fri), 14th and 16th but not the last two days, when we turned a lot more bearish – but we’ll get to that further down this review. 4 out of 5 days is pretty good for a patten and seeing it broken 3 of the past 5 days is also significant. I did promise that Thursday that we will look for more bullish opportunities once we have a clear break over our last two levels (NYSE 6,959 and S&P 1,056) and we did make those this week. If we hold it through Tuesday, it will be time and we’re going to line up some trades this weekend. True to my word on that Thursday, we chose a variety of bullish and bearish plays in Member Chat. I’m posting the plays along with suggested adjustments if needed as it’s a nice way to review our various strategies in progress – especially under "adverse" conditions.
Trade ideas of the day for Members were:
- DIA $95 puts that ended up being rolled and doubled down for a net 20% gain (too much bother to detail).
- SUN at $23.36, now $28.45 (up $5.09), short Oct $25 calls at $2.20, now 3.70 (down $1.50) and short the Jan $22.50 puts at $1.15, now .70 (up .45).
- Another buy/write at net $23.01/22.76, already up 17.5% so can be closed early here.
- FDO short Apr $25 puts at $2.10, now
by phil - September 11th, 2009 7:55 am
We are finally over our watch levels, now let’s see if they hold!
Our watch levels for our next set of bullish market plays have been Dow 9,600, S&P 1,030, Nasdaq 2,038, NYSE 6,700 and Russell 577 and now they form a floor we will be able to watch so we’ll know when to be worried that the rally is running out of steam. Only 2 33% (off the top) levels remain and that’s 1,056 on the S&P and 6,959 on the NYSE and we will be officially raising our mid-point from Dow 8,650 to 9,500, which will make 9,000 our new expected floor on the Dow and that means we should be buying here! There’s no point in having watch levels if we don’t act on them and the best was to work our way into new bullish positions is with our famous Buy/Write Strategy – simply the best way to initiate new stock positions for the average investor.
Given that it is now much less likely that the market drops more than 10% from here, picking up stocks for 20% below their current price is a sensible way to begin building some new positions. By picking value names and concentrating on plays that give us much better prices than the ones paid by the average retail investor using very basic option strategies we can stay ahead of the game and buy with some comfort. This strategy, which we call a "buy/write", as we buy the stock and write options against it, is one of our most effective tools for dealing with a uncertain markets.
Not only does the Buy/Write Strategy give you an initial discount on your ownership of a stock, but you can use variations on this strategy to give yourself another 10-20% three to four times a year! If you have a retirement account that allows you to write covered calls and sell puts in it (check with your broker, of course, some do, some don’t) why wouldn’t you want to generate an additional discount off the stocks you plan to hold long-term? If you plan on accumulating a stock over time, why on earth would you even consider paying "retail" when we can teach you a simple method that can put money in your pocket?
by phil - August 29th, 2009 8:28 am
It has been a crazy few weeks!
I went back over our Long Shots list from August 9th, thinking all our picks must be doing great but really only C, with a 67% gain, is really outperforming. Long spreads on UYG and BHI are on target for nice gains but haven’t moved much. Looking at our original picks in Pharmboys Phavorites from the same week, GSK is on track and up nicely already, our AZN cover is up 45% and MRK flew up 19% already. On the riskier Biotech side, ARIA’s stock is up 16% and our spreads are all performing well, ONTY has been flat, OGXI is up 33% and the Jan $17.50s are up a rockin’ 63% with that "cautious" spread up a surprising 75% already.
SPPI had a wild ride (as we predicted with TSCM’s failed assassination attempt) and the buy/write is already up 24%, the Feb vertical is up 50% and the naked Jan put sale is up 27% and our Feb hedge play is right on track so all good there and a fine example of how following Cramer and his lackeys and and doing the opposite of what they say can be very profitable! Congrats to Pharmboy for a very fine set of picks, proving once again that there is room for research and fundamentals - not a single loser in the bunch in a choppy market! It was very timely as I had mentioned just that week in my interview with AOL Finance that XLV was my favorite sector and our IHI pick of 8/10 is up 28% on the naked Feb $45 put sale while the Feb $45 calls have already jumped 16%. It was a great call as IHI outperformed XLV and all our major indexes.
So our energy service pick (BHI) and overall financial pick (UYG) have not done much in 3 weeks and those were our leading sectors into my call to cash out our exposed long calls on Aug 13th, ahead of expirations. The Dow was at 9,400 on that day and now, a bit more than 2 weeks later, we’ve gained another 144 points but to listen to the MSM, you would think you are missing the rally of the century the past couple of weeks. This is one of the reasons I’ve gotten a bit more cynical about the rally – there is so much hype and so…