"An awful May is replaced by the start of a frightening June" is CNBC's opening voice over and it gets dumber and dumber from there as "America's Financial News Network" bangs the fear drum right at Asia's open (9pm) and then uses the panic in Asia to prove their point to EU and US traders that there's something to worry about.
I could go on and on about how ridiculously evil this network is and how horrible it is that we allow these Financial propaganda networks to manipulate the markets to the benefit of the highest bidder but, in the long run – who cares? If you watch CNBC and take it seriously – just like people who watch Fox to find out what's going on in the World – you reap what crap you have sown.
We are not, in any way, gung-ho bullish but we're also not going to play bearish. On the whole, as we reviewed in this week's Stock World Weekly(available free this week!) - we are "wishy washy" in our positions, cashy and cautious and doing just a bit of bottom-fishing as we HOPE (not a valid investing strategy) that this is the bottom as we HOPE the G8 takes some rational action.
We were also very excited to see AAPL back at our buy point of $555 early this morning as AAPL is pure rocket fuel for the Nasdaq when it bounces and AAPL can move quickly back to $580 on any hint of good news and that's…
As the guy in Airplane kind of said – "Looks like I pricked the wrong week to get bullish!" Of course, as I often tell people I am neither bullish nor bearish – I’m rangeish – and our range is the 5% band between around Dow 10,200 and S&P 1,070, which takes us as low as Dow 9,690 and S&P 1,016 and as high as Dow 10,710 and S&P 1,123 before I really "flip flop" my positions. Despite the fact that this is the range we predicted last October and is the range we’ve been in (other than a brief trip to 11,200, which we shorted the hell out of) all year – people still seem to find it necessary to call me either bullish or bearish as we navigate the channel.
I suppose I have been HOPEFUL for the month (now heading into day 14) that we will finally make a little progress and establish a higher floor at our usual mid-points while, at the same time, the MSM have decided that we are all going to die. That does make me kind of bullish by comparison doesn’t it? We are mainly in cash and we are well hedged to the downside so, unless we are REALLY heading much, much lower, there is little profit in speculating to the downside, other than our quick trades. As PT Barnum once said:
"A man who is all caution, will never dare to take hold and be successful; and a man who is all boldness, is merely reckless, and must eventually fail. A man may go on "’change" and make fifty, or one hundred thousand dollars in speculating in stocks, at a single operation. But if he has simple boldness without caution, it is mere chance, and what he gains to-day he will lose to-morrow. You must have both the caution and the boldness, to insure success."
Balance is the key to long-term success and we’ve had many conversations about that in Member Chat. Our goal is to be neither bullish or bearish but rather to sell premium to both the bulls and the bears when conditions permit us. As Ravalos said Friday in Member Chat:
"Ever since I became member (actually before I became member I was already following your newsletter for quite some time) I find it hard for me to BUY PREMIUM. Over time, I’ve realized that buying the
“By a continuing process of inflation, government can confiscate, secretly and unobserved, an important part of the wealth of their citizens.”
-- John Maynard Keynes
SO, IS THIS FINALLY THE ‘REAL’ CORRECTION?
What a week it was. The Bears gave the Bulls some payback. Obama got a wake-up call. And the banks got a well-deserved scare (and we hope they will get a well-deserved hair cut).
The markets reacted, as one might expect, with selling. Actually, the selling began before the Massachusetts election and before Obama sent a shot across the Goldman Sach’s bow. Last week Intel announced surprisingly strong earnings; and the stock started up and then sank. For the past half-year investor behavior had been the reverse: a buying spree for any stock that did not lose as much as it might have — beating ‘Street expectations’ that had been dumbed down over and over again during a quarter so that the company could report ‘surprising’ strength. Suddenly, now, even good earnings are being greeted with selling. Then came Massachusetts — wasn’t that a Bee Gees’ song?
All the lights went out in Massachusetts
Anyway, readers want to know where the markets stand today, after the sell-off this week. My view of it — my ‘view’, not my gut-feeling — is that we are, so far, merely correcting from an over-extended rally. This rally has been bizarre, to say the least. This has been a ‘fear rally’ — usually the ‘fear’ side of the equation is when selling comes in, ‘greed’ driving the expansion. But fear of systemic failure has driven this rally; and Ben Bernannke has been the captain sailing the ‘Boat of Fear’, Ben’s logic — that more debt will solve the insolvency crisis — has a shadow side, the logic that a collapse in stock prices will result in systemic failure, international chaos, revolution, repression…made him believe that preservation of the status quo was requiired, at any price. A ‘make-believe’ recovery could be jump-started, perhaps, if the Fed could just stimulate (and simulate) another asset-bubble. After all – that is how his mentor and predecessor, Alan Greenspan, had become the darling of the coctail party crowd, leading member of Time Magazine’s ‘Committee to Save the World’; and that was how he, himself, had become Time’s ‘Peson of the Year’.
It is generally true that prices climb higher at a far slower rate than they drop. This rally, however, has been a remarkable exception. The push higher has been explosive, and it has pushed higher with just about the same timetable and force as the drop itself.
The question, of course, is: when (if ever) will it end?
There are as many opinions as there are traders, but a few general camps would be, using the example of the Russell 2000 above:
It has another 10% to go, and it will happen quickly. That would be painful for the bears, but I would hasten to point out that, at that level, the Russell would have completely retraced to the neckline of a head and shoulders pattern spanning three years whose beauty would make bears (if there are any left by then) weep tears of joy.
It’s done climbing and will start falling. This has been uttered so many times by so many parties (including, I admit, a few times by me) that it’s not even worth considering anymore. The entire, "OK, now………….errr………OK, NOW!………..oh, wait…………….errr, NOW!" gets really, really old.
We’re in a major new bull market and it’s simply going to keep pushing its way through to progressively higher prices.
For the bears out there who would like some encouraging news, the semiconductor index – which is a helpful bellweather – is looking like it is approaching a huge area of resistance. This is why I bought SSG yesterday.
We came right back to 1,000 on the S&P yesterday but it held like a champ and that gave us the confidence to take a bullish cover on our longer DIA protective puts, right at 3:04, ahead of the usual 50-point stick save but it was a move we initiated right at the bottom at 2:30, catching almost the dead bottom on our roll. Of course it’s total nonsense but it’s total nonsense we can count on with 8 stick saves of at least 50 points in the last 90 minutes coming in the last 10 market sessions accounting for 400 points of Dow gains or ALL of our gains since July 20th when we "broke out."
As illustrated in David Fry’s SPY chart, the only exceptions to the stick save were the last two Fridays and I said to members in yesterday’s chat, perhaps that is somehow significant that the collective we call "Mr. Stick", does not feel confident enough to make bullish plays into the weekend anymore. Today we should head right back to re-test 1,000 on the S&P but we are much more bearish overall, having taken profits yesterday and covered our unrealized gains in our $100KP - the plan we discussed in yesterday’s morning post.
We got a re-test and a re-failure of the Russell at exactly our 574 target right at 11:15 and the the Qs never even mounted a serious threat on our 40 line so it wasn’t a tough call for us in the morning. The other levels we are watching, Dow 9,297, S&P 1,000, Nasdq 2,017, NYSE 6,438, Russell 562 and SOX 308,are looking shaky and may not stand up to another test, especially if we get any bad news on our upcoming data with Wholesale Inventory and Productivity Reports on deck this morning. Our bearish additions were an ERY spread (3x Energy bear) and COF Sept $40 puts, which are already up 10% from our 12:17 pick. It wasn’t all negative, we liked a couple of buy/write plays and we took a very bullish spread on FRE, which should do very well this morning. At 12:57 we had noticed FRE moving up and, in Member Chat, we were discussing the merits and my take was this:
FRE/Ifl – The float of FRE is just 650M shares and they are capable of earning $5Bn a year in a
As we can see from AlphaTrends chart, that’s going to be a tough breakout and, even if we do make it, can we hold it? In yesterday’s post I said we were ready to switch off our brains and BUYBUYBUY the rally and our breakout levels did all hold yesterday but I decided, in Member Chat, that we needed to raise the bar slightly before we started shutting down our thought processes into the weekend. We simply used the 2.5% lines of Dow 9,297, S&P 1,000 (interesting!), Nas 2,017, NYSE 6,438, Rut 562 and SOX 308 in my 10:16 Alert as our official buying breakouts but those same levels gave us a great indicator to get out of our longs and press our shorts as they ALL failed by 11:09.
It is going to be very much up to the GDP report and we have a pretty low-bar expectation of -1.5% but that’s a heck of an improvement over last quarter’s -5.5% and this earnings season has been nothing if not a celebration of "getting worse more slowly." As we all know, personal consumption makes up 70% of the GDP while government is about 18% and business investment just 12%. Durable goods are only 8% of the GDP while consumables (which includes clothes and, obviously, food and fuel) are 20% and 40% is "services" but 1/4 of that number is Real Estate so that’s a little confusing.
As we know, not much is actually getting better but that’s not the issue with GDP as we are measuring "growth" compared to the prior 4 quarters and our prior year was a disaster! This is like when a raging fire causes a house to collapse and you stand there looking at the wreckage and say "at least most of the fire is out now."
The good news is the comps just keep getting easier and easier the worse things get so, at some point, you are bound to improve! As you can see from Briefing.com’s Real GDP chart on the left, there’s a pretty wide disparity between the Real and Nominal GDP and that’s because the Real GDP meansures the production of goods and services valued at constant prices. So we aren’t producing that much less, we’re just getting less for it…
We’ll get the scoop at 8:30 but our global partners weren’t waiting with…
A month ago, when we first observed the biggest monthly gold repatriation from the NY Fed since 2001, when 47 tons of foreign-owned gold were withdrawn from the vault below 33 Liberty street which lowered the gold inside to just 6,029 tons, and which brought the 2014 YTD total withdrawal to 166.5 tons, we noted a math anomaly when accounting for the previously reported 122 tons of gold withdrawn by the Netherlands:
Here is an advance preview of the monthly moving averages I track after the close of the last business day of the month. At this point, before the open on the last day of the month, three S&P 500 strategies are now signaling "invested" -- unchanged from last month. Two of the five of the Ivy Portfolio ETFs, Vanguard FTSE All-World ex-US ETF (VEU) and PowerShares DB Commodity Index Tracking (DBC), are signal "cash" -- also unchanged from last month.
If a position is less than 2% from a signal, it is highlighted in yellow.
Note: My inclusion of the S&P 500 index updates is intended to illustrate a popular moving moving-average timing strategy. The index signals also give...
(ETFTrends.com by Todd Shriber): "Betting on insider buying is again proving to be an efficacious strategy as the Direxion All Cap Insider Sentiment Shares (NYSEArca: KNOW) has been noticeably less bad than the S&P 500 to start 2015. Add to that, investors are warming to the merits of KNOW's insider sentiment strategy." [Editor's note: KNOW tracks the Sabrient Multi-cap Insider/Analyst Quant-Weighted Index (SBRQAM)]. Read article
Suppose you had the technical ability and raw materials to print up counterfeit dollars, euros or yen that were identical to the real things. Assume you could spend them as fast as you could create them with no fear of any repercussions.
Would you prudently print up only as much fresh currency as you needed for your current lifestyle? Would you create just a bit more than that to help relatives or those in need?
It is most likely you’d have your printing press running 24 hours a day, seven days a week. Becoming the richest person in the world would confer great power upon you.
You could rationalize this action because you plan to use the money for good purposes. Imagine the warm feeling you’d get by giving every person in America one million do...
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So as I was saying yesterday (Bitcoin: The Biggest Clown Show In History?), Bitcoin has several obstacles on the path to potential success as an alternative currency. But I forgot to mention hacking and theft at Bitcoin exchanges and other technical problems. This is related to the lack of government backing and the fact that the value of Bitcoins is based entirely on confidence.
Reminder: Pharmboy is available to chat with Members, comments are found below each post.
PSW Members - well, what a year for biotechs! The Biotech Index (IBB) is up a whopping 40%, beating the S&P hands down! The healthcare sector has had a number of high flying IPOs, and beat the Tech Sector in total nubmer of IPOs in the past 12 months. What could go wrong?
Phil has given his Secret Santa Inflation Hedges for 2015, and since I have been trying to keep my head above water between work, PSW, and baseball with my boys...it is time that something is put together for PSW on biotechs in 2015.
Cancer and fibrosis remain two of the hottest areas for VC backed biotechs to invest their monies. A number of companies have gone IPO which have drugs/technologies that fight cancer, includin...
Stocks got off to a rocky start on the first trading day in December, with the S&P 500 Index slipping just below 2050 on Monday. Based on one large bullish SPX options trade executed on Wednesday, however, such price action is not likely to break the trend of strong gains observed in the benchmark index since mid-October. It looks like one options market participant purchased 25,000 of the 31Dec’14 2105/2115 call spreads at a net premium of $2.70 each. The trade cost $6.75mm to put on, and represents the maximum potential loss on the position should the 2105 calls expire worthless at the end of December. The call spread could reap profits of as much as $7.30 per spread, or $18.25mm, in the event that the SPX ends the year above 2115. The index would need to rally 2.0% over the current level...
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 email@example.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.
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