by Phil Davis - August 29th, 2014 8:24 am
Saved by the bad news!
August has been a spectacular month in which we ignored the most bad news ever ignored by a species that is still not extinct. With any luck, an asteriod will head straight for us next month and we can rally the markets another 5% in anticipation of more Fed easing on impact. The asteriod struck the other side of the Earth this morning as Russia Invaded Ukraine and Euro Zone Inflation plunged to 0.3%, miles below the 2.0% target considered "healthy".
This is, of course, GREAT NEWS, because it means Super Mario is free to go ahead and do something – like he always says he will do but never does. That doesn't stop people from believing it because they WANT TO BELIEVE – they want to think someone is going to save them and make all their hardships go away. 11.5% of the people in Europe are still out of work, double the rate in the US. Over 25% of the people under 25 are out of work, about the same as the US. These are horrific figures – of course people are eager to hear the words of a potential savior.
Since it's Friday, we're not going to debate the merits or discuss what a farce it all is – we've done that this week. Today we'll talk about making money.
On Tuesday, in the morning post, I suggested the TNA Sept $72.50/76.50 bull call spread at $2, selling the Sept $68 puts for $2. 10 of those would not have cost you a penny (since it netted out to $0), though about $7,500 in margin on the short puts. Today the spread is $2.50 and the short puts are $1.15 for net $1.35 or +$1,350 in 3 days, which is an 18% gain on the committed margin despite the fact that TNA has essentially gone nowhere.
I don't point this out to brag, we have plenty of trade ideas that have done much better – I point this out because it was a free trade idea, right in the morning post which anyone could have done and it…
by Phil Davis - August 28th, 2014 8:12 am
The Futures are off a bit today and that's no surprise to those of us who have been paying attention to the volume, or lack thereof, as we made our final approach at the 2,000 line on the S&P 500. Jim Cramer was literally foaming at the mouth this week as he and his CNBC co-conspirators herded the sheeple into the markets to participate in the tail end of the rally, where the suckers could hold the bags for their Corporate Masters.
Why am I angry at Cramer today? Because yesterday he committed the same crime he commtted in 2008 that cost so many people their life's savings – he told people not to sell their stocks on a pullback. "Don't take profits" is the message for the viewing public. But, I would ask, if people don't take profits – when will they ever get profits? What kind of stupid message is that? Well, it's the message that leaves you holding the bag while his hedge fund buddies head for the exits. It's not much different than telling one group of people not to leave a burning building while you make sure all your friends are getting out safely.
"This is not just my opinion. I can prove it to you empirically. See, as I was preparing to write my book "Get Rich Carefully," I went over the previous five years of trades made by my charitable trust. And as I reviewed those trades I noticed that far too often, my good judgment would be overcome by excessive skepticism."
If the "proof" Jim is talking about is his Action Alerts Plus, then I'd say you really should think long and hard about following his advice here (via Kirk Lindstrom – who does compete with Cramer):
I guess, sure, Jim legitimately should regret that he wasn't more bullish from 2008 to 2013, when the market popped 200% and his trust gained about 100% but don't you think the lesson Cramer should be taking from that experience is to CUT YOUR LOSSES, not…
by Phil Davis - August 27th, 2014 8:09 am
2,000.02 – We did it!!!
Unfortunately, we can't afford to pop the champagne because the 0.03 we spend on it would put us back under – so we'll watch and we'll wait another day before celebrating a milestone we've been expecting since last week (see "Will Jackson Hole Give Us S&P 2,000?") and we went with that TNA trade we discussed in yesterday's post to cover the expected bull run.
We also picked up long plays on BAC and DBA in our Live Member Chat Room and BAC has already rocketed on the settlement news but DBA is only just making the turn and still makes an excellent play that we'll be adding to our Buy List (Members Only) along with 10 more picks we'll be making this week.
As you can see from Dave Fry's SPY chart, we have set a new record for this decade for low volume on a full market day. Last Christmas Eve was 43M on a half day, for example, but the Christmas Eve before that was 53M and those were the lowest two days I could find before I got bored looking (very scientific).
Anyway, the point is that 38.9M is VERY LOW VOLUME – so low that paying attention to a dot on a chart that is drawn in such a light touch is just silly. That makes yesterday's jaunt over 2,000 completely meaningless and more so with the additional evidence of the intraday action which, as Dave notes, could not have been more manipulated.
This is why we have been pressing our bear bets. Even though we have peace in Gaza and peace in Ukraine (for today) and even though we've forgotten about Europe's negative GDP and China's plunging property prices and Ebola – we still couldn't find more than 38.9M buyers for SPY – that's just sad!
Speaking of China, last Monday, for FREE, right in the morning post, we picked the following on FXI:
We shorted India last week (EPI) and now FXI has got my mouth
by Phil Davis - August 21st, 2014 6:01 am
I could take today off.
Why? Because I already wrote this article last month, on a Thursday, when the S&P was at 1,988 and topped out at 1,991, which was $199.06 on SPY and, as you can see from Dave Fry's chart, SPY topped out at $199.16 yesterday (before plunging back to $198.90 on strong volume into the close).
Will this time be different? I certainly hope so because last time, we plunged about 5%, back to 1,904 over the next 10 sessions and it's taken us another 10 to claw our way back for another attempt at an all-time high.
In our Live Member Chat this morning, we shorted the run-up in the Futures at Dow 16,990 (/YM), S&P 1,985 (/ES), Nasdaq 4,045 (/NQ) and Russell 1,155 (/TF) because, as I said to our Members:
I'm sorry but I simply can't reconcile this news with what's going on in the markets so I'm going to continue to lose money hedging to make sure we keep what we have. The alternative is going to cash but there is simply no way I can endorse getting more bullish on this market at this point.
One major difference this time is we DON'T have money flowing out of SPY (as much), as we did last month and we DO have the Fed's Jackson Hole conference tomorrow, which looks to Global Investors like a Santa Claus convention with Yellen, Draghi, Carney and Kuroda sitting under the spruce trees with gigantic bags of FREE MONEY – and that's why traders are as giddy as kids before Christmas this week.
But, Virginia, is there really a Santa Claus, or are the bulls hopes and dreams about to be crushed by cruel economic realities they have, so far, been avoiding like the plague (or Ebola)? Realities like China's horrific PMI this morning, that dropped from 51.7 to 50.3 (barely positive) and France's PMI, which is back in heavy contraction at 46.5 this morning. Retail Sales in the UK were up just 0.1% vs.…
by Phil Davis - August 19th, 2014 8:06 am
You've gotta love those trend lines.
Chart people sure love them and we love chart peopel because they are SOOOOOOOO predictable and predictable behavior is behavior we can bet on and that makes us happy. Today we'll be seeing the 50-day moving averages on the Dow, the NYSE and the Russell all tested at the same time – what happens next will tell us a lot about this rally.
As I pointed out to our Members in our Live Chat Room this morning, though we may be past our bounce levels and though we are now challenging the 50 dmas, we still have 3 of 5 of our Must Hold levels red on the Big Chart – that's not too impressive. Consider what a 50-day moving average is. It means that, over the last 50 days, half the time the index has been above the line and half the time it's been below – so how impressive should it be to see the index back in the middle?
Nonetheless, Chart People believe it's some mystical symbol that gives them a rally signal and half the time they are right – so the religion of TA continues to prosper! As you can see from Dave Fry's SPY chart from yesterday, 75% of yesterday's gain came on no volume as we gapped up in the Futures and the rest of the day's trading was one of the lightest of the year.
The reason I like Dave is because he's one of the only TA people who actually pay attention to volume and this volume is total BS. Still, it's enough to stampede the retail suckers back in and God bless them because they throw money at us to sell them the things we liked when they were out of favor.
In May and June, for example, we compiled a Buy List for our Members, which had 29 trades we liked for the rest of 2014. Here's a few that we are done with already:
by Phil Davis - August 6th, 2014 7:23 am
Well, same old, same old really. As the US and Europe ratchet up the sanctions, Putin has ordered "retaliatory measures" of an unspecified nature and has massed more troops along the Ukraine boarder:
"Political tools of economic pressure are unacceptable, they contradict all norms and rules," he said. "In that connection, the government of Russia has already proposed a series of retaliatory measures against the so-called sanctions of certain countries. I think that in current conditions, with the goal of protecting the interests of domestic producers, we could certainly think about that." he added.
In recent days, Russian regulators have banned shipments of some European fruits and vegetables and raised questions about the safety of products from MCD in Russia, threatening to ban their sale. Officials deny any political motivation for those moves.
Russia's Vedomosti newspaper reported Tuesday that the government was considering a partial or total ban on overflights of Siberia by European airlines, which use the route to shorten trips from Europe to Asia.
European markets are already suffering with Italy dropping 2.9% this morning on news that it has officially slipped back into a Recession with GDP falling 0.2% in Q2 – a far cry from the +0.2% predicted by leading economorons. The IMF has cut their optimistic growth estimate for Italy to 0.3% in 2014 and dropped Spain to 1.3%. Spanish markets are down 2% today as well.
We decided this was a good time to buy this morning and, at 6:58 this morning, I put up this chart for Members in our Live Chat Room, saying:
Check this out – all hitting the S1 lines so far:
It's certainly worth playing for a small bounce at
by Phil Davis - August 5th, 2014 7:40 am
Actually it's a rule of thumb at PSW that dip buyers need to get burned 3 times before they wise up to a proper correction, so they still have at least another try in them before they finally walk away from this crazy market. As you can see from Oppenheimer's S&P chart, 56% of the S&P has plunged back below their 50 dma in the past 30 days.
This is EXACTLY what I've been warning you about. At the same time the indexes LOOKED like they were rallying, MOST stocks were actually being dumped while a few (AAPL, for expample) were kept aloft to maintain the ILLUSION that the market was still strong. That's how they keep the retail buyers moving in while the institutional investors head for the hills. Yesterday's action was nothing but another low-volume bounce – the kind we teach our Members to ignore:
Short-term, we're certainly oversold but we'll be very critical of a low-volume recovery until we see those 50 dmas retaken on the indexes. Those are way up at 16,877 on the Dow, 1,954 on the S&P, 4,368 on the Nasdaq, 10,912 on the NYSE and 1,160 on the Russell. Anything less than that and there's nothing to be particularly bullish about.
That doesn't stop us, of course, from picking individual short-term longs. On Wednesday, for example, I was on TV on Money Talk and we featured this play on GTAT as my "Options Play of the Month." Last night, GTAT knocked it out of the park on earnings and the stock shot up over 10% to $15+ already in pre-market trading. That will put us well on track to the full $14,000 return on this spread and a 1,650% gain on cash ($13,200 profit on the $800 we invested)! Not bad for a few day's work, right?
By the way, if you never want to miss trade ideas like GTAT again – sign up right here for Membership and you will be among the first to hear about our new trade ideas every day!
by Phil Davis - July 29th, 2014 8:28 am
Some of the people all of the time.
That's the basis for this rally – or what's left of it – as we see this pattern almost daily: A big(comparatively) volume sell-off followed by a "rally" on 1/3 to 1/4 of the volume that sold and then, once we hit a pre-programmed peak (about where we got to in the no-volume Futures), we have a bit of volume selling into the close.
This is how you can see those charts that show all the "smart money" running out of the market, even as the market goes higher. Why would they leave? Why would anyone leave this exciting market? The answer is, because those fund managers are well aware that, at some point, the music will stop and there will be no buyers to save them then. Best to get out now and avoid the rush.
That time was also "different," wasn't it? We had invented the Internet (well, Al Gore did) and easy monetary policy led to bank mergers and NAFTA ushered in an era of free trade that send tens of millions of jobs overseas, causing profits for US Corporations to soar and those good times were never going to end – until they did.
It's very hard to say when a rally like this will finally run out of gas but, when we stop making new highs and we have these BS daily, manipulative run-ups to cover the selling – that's probably a good time to get more cautious.
As noted on Dave Fry's S&P chart, it's ALL about the Fed and how much FREE MONEY the Fed will pump in and how long they will keep pumping it in, etc. You would think we'd be tired of the same old song and dance but why should we, when we GET PAID to join in?
Yesterday, for example, in our Live Member Chat Room, I called for a bottom on the Russell Futures (/TF), saying:
/TF below 1,130! One would hope that's it. Playable for a bounce over that line
by Phil Davis - July 25th, 2014 7:55 am
If you read yesterday's post and took action on our trade idea to short Oil Futures (/CL) at the $103 line, then you were able to pocket $1,000 PER CONTRACT in just 3 hours. In the Morning post (delivered to our Members via Email at 8:35 am), the trade idea was:
"We're still shorting Oil (/CL) Futures at that $103 line and we hit it again this morning and, hopefully, we'll get a nice pullback around 10:30 – after the natural gas report shows a nice build."
That's about on par for our Futures trading as we demonstrated LIVE in Tuesday's Live Trading Webinar $300 of Futures profits in less than an hour (replay available here). We'll be doing more Futures Webinars for our Members aside from our usual Tuesday Live Trading Webcasts (sign up for your Membership here so you don't miss our trade ideas).
How to trade the Futures is one of the many things we learn at Philstockworld – another thing is PATIENCE! Patience has kept us from chasing this rally as we once again top out the market. On Tuesday we took a nice, speculative bullish trade (but did not officially add it to our Portfolios) - just in case we do have a breakout – but, otherwise, we've been working on our downside protection.
We are FUNDAMENTAL traders who just so happen to use Options and Futures for leverage and hedging – simply because they are convenient and profitable instruments when used correctly. What we teach is not all that complicated – but it isn't easy either. That's why not many people trade Options and Futures – it requires discipline and takes time and practice to master – not really the kind of thing our education system prepares our students for these days….
YOU, however, should not be intimidated away from making money. Our basic concepts are VERY SIMPLE and the concepts are explained in quick videos like "How To Buy a Stock for a 15-20% Discount" and "The Secret to Consistent 20-40% Annual Returns" – something we are demonstrating this year in the 5 Virtual Portfolios we track for our Members.
by Phil Davis - July 23rd, 2014 8:09 am
As I pointed out in our Member Chat Room this morning, there is a Bloomberg article this morning on the CPI report that says:
The cost of living in the U.S. rose at a slower pace in June and home sales climbed to an eight-month high, showing the economy is generating little price pressure as growth accelerates.
But growth is NOT accelerating, is it? We JUST had a GDP report that showed exactly the opposite, yet here we have a noted MSM publication simply ignoring that FACT:
How do people read these things and just accept them? How do authors write them? How do editors OK them? Not even the commenters seem to catch it – it's like the whole World just accepts the BS of the moment.
This is what Orwell predicted it would be like in a future where the media became electronic and the past was instantly forgotten by a population that was unable to think for itself.
It took them 30 more years than planned, but here we are!
"And if all others accepted the lie which the Party imposed -if all records told the same tale — then the lie passed into history and became truth. 'Who controls the past,' ran the Party slogan, 'controls the future: who controls the present controls the past.' And yet the past, though of its nature alterable, never had been altered. Whatever was true now was true from everlasting to everlasting. It was quite simple. All that was needed was an unending series of victories over your own memory. 'Reality control', they called it: in Newspeak, 'doublethink'.
"The past, he reflected, had not merely been altered, it had been actually destroyed. For how could you establish even