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Love Letters (Weekend Reading on Valentine’s Day)

Happy Valentine’s Day!

Last Valentine’s Day was as Saturday, following a frightening Friday the 13th, where we had fallen through the 8,000 line on the Dow.  I wrote a very interesting post that morning discussing how I came about my political views, which is good for new Members to check out.   We also flipped short that day on SKF, too early at $130 but that ended well as we kept after them and it was our biggest bet by March 6th, which eventually returned over 1,000%.  We also stopped shorting GOOG at $350 (it did keep going to $300 but the upside was nice too).  I closed the morning post with:

For us, it’s all about the levels as we try to remain unbiased as investors, no matter how voraciously we defend our political views.  Dow 7,800, S&P 820, Nas 1,460, NYSE 5,100, Russell 437 and SOX 203 all better continue to hold today but, even if they do, we’re nowhere near where we want to be and we’re going to take some bearish covers into the weekend – just in case.  So whether you are a witch celebrating the horrors of the 13th or waiting for a rose from your true love the next day, remember to be careful out there – we are certainly still deep, deep in the woods!

That Tuesday (Monday was President’s day) we fell 300 points and another 300 points by the end of the week!  That was a fitting way to mark the 80th anniversary of the St. Valentine’s Day Massacre when Al Capone’s "South Side" gang, dressed as cops, rousted a garage run by Bugs Moran’s "North Side" gang and had them stand against the wall and then executed all 7 men.  They shot them 70 times with machine guns and made their escape by using the Capone men dressed as cops to "arrest" the other Capone men and drive them away from the scene in broad daylight.  Now that’s what I call a good plan! 

Here’s a great chart that summarizes our year to date. Someone else found this, I wish I knew how to use StockCharts this well, they have tons of good things in there:

It’s a bit worrying that XLU is doing so poorly – so much for diversification keeping you safe…  It’s going to be worth rummaging through the utility companies looking for good dividend payers who are on sale.  SO…
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Brazilian ETF recoil has option traders on defensive

www.interactivebrokers.com

Today’s tickers: EWZ, VRSN, PFE, MSFT, Q, FXI & NSM

EWZ iShares MSCI Brazil Index ETF – Shares of the Brazil ETF have dipped by less than 1% to stand at $50.93 today. The ticker occupied prime real estate on our ‘most active by options volume’ market scanner after a large volume ratio put spread was established in the September contract. An investor looking for bearish movement on the stock purchased 15,000 puts at the September 40 strike price for a premium of 2.30 apiece spread against the sale of 30,000 puts at the September 30 strike for about 60 cents each. The net cost of the trade amounts to 1.10 and yields a maximum potential profit of 8.90 to the investor if shares were to fall all the way to $30.00 by expiration. Before the position comes good, Brazilian shares would need to decline by 23%. The trader begins to amass profits beginning at the breakeven point at $38.90.

VRSN VeriSign, Inc. – The provider of internet infrastructure services has experienced a share price rise of about 1% today to $24.48. VRSN appeared on our ‘hot by options volume’ market scanner after one investor established a large-volume ratio put spread in the September contract. Likely looking for downside protection on a long stock position, this trader purchased 25,000 puts at the September 25 strike price for 2.90 apiece and sold 50,000 puts at the lower September 20 strike for a premium of 95 cents per contract. The net cost of the transaction amounts to 1.00 to the investor and yields maximum potential gains to the downside of 4.00 should shares fall to $20.00 by expiration. The ratio spread represents some 80,000 contracts in play, trumping the existing open interest on the stock of just 64,919 lots.

PFE Pfizer, Inc. – The pharmaceuticals giant has slipped by more than 1.5% to $14.15 today, but attracted one bullish investor to populate the January 2011 contract. The January 15 strike price saw 50,000 calls picked up by one individual for a premium of 2.16 apiece. The long-call position requires that shares breach the breakeven point at $17.16 by expiration in order for the investor to begin to amass profits. The contracts have more than one and a half years until expiration and require that shares rally by at least 21% during that time period.

MSFT Microsoft Corp. – We know not why…
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Help One Of Our Own PSW Members

"Hello PSW Members –

This is a non-trading topic, but I wanted to post it during trading hours so as many eyes can see it as possible.  Feel free to contact me directly at jennifersurovy@yahoo.com with any questions.

Last fall there was some discussion on the PSW board regarding setting up a YouCaring donation page for a PSW member, Shadowfax. Since then, we have been looking into ways to help get him additional medical services and to pay down his medical debts.  After following those leads, we are ready to move ahead with the YouCaring site. (Link is posted below.)  Any help you can give will be greatly appreciated; not only to help aid in his medical bill debt, but to also show what a great community this group is.

http://www.youcaring.com/medical-fundraiser/help-get-shadowfax-out-from-the-darkness-of-medical-bills-/126743

Thank you for you time!

 
 

Zero Hedge

Europe & China Start Direct Trading In Euros & Yuan As De-Dollarization Expands

Courtesy of ZeroHedge. View original post here.

Submitted by Tyler Durden.

De-dollarization has been an ongoing theme hidden just below the surface of the mainstream media for more than a year as Russia and China slowly but surely attempt to "isolate" the US Dollar. Until very recently, direct trade agreements with China (in other words, bypassing the US Dollar exchange in bilateral trade) had been with smaller trade partners. On the heels of Western pressure, Russia and China were forced closer together and de-dollarization accelerated from Turkey to Argentina as an ...



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Phil's Favorites

Schoolgirls Aged 14-16 Leave France, UK, Germany for Syria to Join ISIS Jihad

Courtesy of Mish.

As many as 63 seriously misguided teenaged girls from France, 40 from Germany, and 50 in the UK have left their countries to join ISIS in Syria.

The Guardian has a fascinating report on Schoolgirl jihadis: the female Islamists leaving home to join Isis fighters. Hundreds of young women and girls are leaving their homes in western countries to join Islamic fighters in the Middle East, causing increasing concern among counter-terrorism investigators.

Girls as young as 14 or 15 are travelling mainly to Syria to marry jihadis, bear their children and join communities of fighters, with a small number taking up arms. Many are recruited via social media.

Women and girls appear to make up about...



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Chart School

Weekly Gasoline Price Update: Unchanged

Courtesy of Doug Short.

It's time again for my weekly gasoline update based on data from the Energy Information Administration (EIA). Rounded to the penny, Regular and Premium were both unchanged. Regular and Premium are both up 16 cents from their interim lows during the second week of last November.

According to GasBuddy.com, only one state (Hawaii) has Regular above $4.00 per gallon, unchanged from last week, and no states are averaging above $3.90. South Carolina has the cheapest Regular at $3.08.

How far are we from the interim high prices of 2011 and the all-time highs of 2008? Here's a visual answer.

...



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Option Review

VIX Call Spreads Trade

The CBOE Vix Index topped 17.0 and the highest level since early-August on Monday morning amid declines in U.S. equities to start the trading week. The volatility index is off its earlier highs to trade 5.0% higher on the session at 15.65 as of 11:30 am ET. Options volume on the VIX is hovering near 360,000 contracts, or just more than 50% of the average daily reading of around 660,000 contracts. Calls are far more active than put options, as evidenced by the call/put ratio up above 4.2 in morning trading, perhaps as some traders position for volatility to stick around.

Large call spreads traded on the VIX today caught our attention as one big optio...



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All About Trends

Mid-Day Update

Reminder: David is available to chat with Members, comments are found below each post.

Click here for the full report.




To learn more, sign up for David's free newsletter and receive the free report from All About Trends - "How To Outperform 90% Of Wall Street With Just $500 A Week." Tell David PSW sent you. - Ilene...

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Sabrient

Sector Detector: Stocks fight off predictable weakness, but expect more downside

Courtesy of Sabrient Systems and Gradient Analytics

Yes, the market showed significant weakness last week for the first time in quite a while. In fact, the Dow Jones Industrial Average moved triple digits each day. But it was all quite predictable, as I suggested in last week's article, and certainly nothing to worry about. Now the market appears to be poised for a modest technical rebound, and longer term, U.S. equities should be in good shape for a year-end rally. However, I still believe more downside is in order before any new highs are challenged. Moreover, market breadth is important for a sustained bull run, so the challenge for investors will be to put together broader bullish conviction, including the small caps.

In this weekly update, I give my view of the current market environment, offer a technical analysis of the S&P 500 chart, re...



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OpTrader

Swing trading portfolio - week of September 29th, 2014

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 ...



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Market Shadows

Ebola vs. Us

Ebola vs. Us

By Ilene 

Ebola is spreading too quickly for Ebola-vaccine makers to conduct typical studies of safety and efficacy on experimental vaccines. Instead, vaccines will be tested for basic safety, but then deployed with protocols devised now in order to test for efficacy essentially on the field. Testing has to be expedited because the situation in West Africa gets worse every day while there are no approved vaccines or other treatments.

The chart below is from a paper in the New England Journal of Medicine showing estimates of the virus's trajectory projecting out to November 1, 2014. If current trends continue...



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Stock World Weekly

Stock World Weekly

Newsletter writers are available to chat with Members regarding topics presented in SWW, comments are found below each post.

The latest issue of Stock World Weekly is now available. Please sign in with your PSW user name and password. Or simply take a free trial to try out our weekly newsletter. 

...

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Promotions

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When you register for the webinar, you’ll also get instant access to following trading videos:

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Digital Currencies

Making Sense of Bitcoin

Making Sense of Bitcoin

By James Black at International Man

Despite the various opinions on Bitcoin, there is no question as to its ultimate value: its ability to bypass government restrictions, including economic embargoes and capital controls, to transmit quasi-anonymous money to anyone anywhere.

Opinions differ as to what constitutes "money."

The English word "money" derives from the Latin word "moneta," which means to "mint." Historically, "money" was minted in the form of precious metals, most notably gold and silver. Minted metal was considered "money" because it possessed luster, was scarce, and had perceive...



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Pharmboy

Biotechs & Bubbles

Reminder: Pharmboy is available to chat with Members, comments are found below each post.

Well PSW Subscribers....I am still here, barely.  From my last post a few months ago to now, nothing has changed much, but there are a few bargins out there that as investors, should be put on the watch list (again) and if so desired....buy a small amount.

First, the media is on a tear against biotechs/pharma, ripping companies for their drug prices.  Gilead's HepC drug, Sovaldi, is priced at $84K for the 12-week treatment.  Pundits were screaming bloody murder that it was a total rip off, but when one investigates the other drugs out there, and the consequences of not taking Sovaldi vs. another drug combinations, then things become clearer.  For instance, Olysio (JNJ) is about $66,000 for a 12-week treatment, but is approved for fewer types of patients AND...



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Philip R. Davis is a founder Phil's Stock World, a stock and options trading site that teaches the art of options trading to newcomers and devises advanced strategies for expert traders...

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Ilene is editor and affiliate program coordinator for PSW. She manages the site market shadows, archives, more. Contact Ilene to learn about our affiliate and content sharing programs.

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