by phil - September 4th, 2012 8:26 am
If it's Tuesday, we must be at the week's highs.
Obviously, we're still bearish and the news we've been discussing this morning in Member Chat certainly hasn't changed my opinion on that. Back on August 7th (first Tuesday of last month), I said we were about $700Bn in stimulus short of what we need to support S&P 1,400 and we knew we would have to wait a month to see how much we got from Draghi and Bernanke but, so far, and with Ben already out of the way, we have zero.
At $10Bn per S&P point that puts our fair value all the way down to 1,330 but keep in mind that the $500Bn we did get only lasts for 6 months so more like 1,310 at this point without a proper commitment by the ECB or Fed this week. Even 1,310 would be up 50 from the June lows and it would represent a neat 2/3 retracement of the rally since then. Our $25,000 Portfolio has, if anything, gotten more bearish as we dragged along the top but another thing we've done each Tuesday has been to take aggressive bullish positions to cover ourselves IN CASE someone actually does put up the cash needed to goose the markets over our breakout levels (see Friday's post for current positions in the virtual Portfolio and our levels).
On Tuesday, August 14th, our trade ideas were as follows:
by phil - August 21st, 2012 6:58 am
Here we go again (again)!
Yep, that's what I said last Tuesday and the Tuesday before that because Tuesday is a day they push the Futures higher and ditch the Dollar and tell you that this time it's different because of the same rumors they had the Tuesday before only this week – the data is getting worse and worse, as we know is better, right?
Last Tuesday we set levels to capitulate and go fully bullish at Dow 13,464, S&P 1,428, Nasdaq 3,060, NYSE 8,160 and Russell 816 and, as of yesterday's close we had the Nasdaq and the Russell over their marks needing just one confirmation to make it 3 of 5 and begin to flip our short-term portfolios (the $25KPs) bullish. We are soooo close but, so far – no cigar.
While we waited, we looked at some upside hedges that would do well if the market continued higher. Just as we get downside protection when we're bullish – we use upside protection when we're bearish and I suggested taking 5% or 10% positions in aggressive upside plays to help balance a bearish portfolio against – well against exactly what happened in the past 7 days. Our trade ideas were:
- 2 FAS Oct $105/115 bull call spread at $2, selling 1 BBY 2014 $18 puts for $3.25 for net .75, now $1.15 – up 53%
- 2014 SHLD $32.50 puts sold for $7.50, now $6.40 – up 15%
- 6 EWJ Jan $9 calls at .53, selling 1 BBY 2014 $18 put at $3.25 for a net .07 credit, still net .07 credit – even
- TNA Oct $55/61 bull call spread at $2.50, selling Oct $42 puts for $1.90 for net .60, now $1.80 – up 200%
The BBY puts jumped over 20% yesterday, from below $3 to $3.75 and that killed two of our trades (and worse today after earnings!), that were up significantly in Friday's update (which is why we take quick gains like that off the table). The good news is the EWJ play gives us a nice, new entry at the same net price so that one is still good and, of course, we are done with TNA after making 200% in a week and we'll find a fresh horse for that money.
by phil - August 17th, 2012 8:28 am
That's how much money yesterday's rally cost. Spain got the green-light on $123Bn from the ECB, most of which goes to just ONE bank (Bankia Group). This news sent Bankia shares up 15% and did wonders for their creditors' stocks as well because, as we know, the best way to get money from a Central Banks is to owe a lot of money to other banks so – borrow, borrow, borrow if you want to survive the Financial Crisis. Spain led Europe higher with a 4% gain on the day and hit another 1.75% early this morning before pulling back.
Also in the Free Money train yesterday was Brazil, who initiated a $65.6Bn stimulus package aimed at much-needed infrastructure ahead of the 2016 Olympics. This is a "just in time" thing for Brazil as 32 of 58 reporting companies in the Bovespa Index missed sales projections this quarter – the worst performance since Q1 2009.
The Olympics have also greatly aided the UK's economy and July Retail Sales were the stars of Europe at +0.3% and August should be good too – it's September, October and November we're worried about. The entire Euro Zone is clearly in a Recession, but it could be argued that it's the same one that started 4 years ago, which some would call a Depression – but not if they want the MSM to listen to them or to keep their Government positions.
Even China is seeing declining exports, with August projected to come in at less than 1% according to ForexLive, who says "China's Government has underestimated the impact of the European debt crisis on trade flows." As you can see from the chart on the right for California, China's export woes are hitting us on this side of the Pacific as well as total state revenues are 10% below projections with HUGE misses in Sales Tax – indicating an extremely beaten-down West Coast consumer.
The state has avoided default by temporarily borrowing from state trust funds, but those accounts will soon need their cash back to continue operating. Today California quickly began trying to sell $10 billion in municipal bonds to fund the record $28 billion they need to keep the lights on. With tax revenue plummeting and the state already the second
by phil - July 30th, 2012 7:58 am
So, where's our stimulus?
Like good little Pavlovian dogs, we ran back into the markets last week when Mario Draghi rang the stimulus bill – increasing the $60Tn global markets by 5% – that's $3Tn of valuation added in 48 hours on the say-so of a former GS executive that has been put in charge of the European Central bank. What could possibly go wrong with this scenario?
If we can't trust the Investment Bankers who are taking over our Government, who can we trust? So we'll assume that everything WILL be fixed this week and that the ECB, Fed, PBOC, BOE, BOJ and all the little Central Banksters will be pumping enough money into the system to justify a $3,000,000,000,000 increase in Global Equity prices – even though that means, at an average p/e of 15, that all this expected stimulus somehow drops an additional $200Bn to the bottom line of Big Business to justify the bump in valuation.
How many Dollars, Yen, Euros and Yuan do we have to give to Corporations to turn into $200Bn? Well, if it's AMZN – the answer is $15Tn because it takes $50Bn in sales for AMZN to make $600M so figure 75x in sales to make 1x in earnings. Why use AMZN? Well because AMZN is almost 5% of the Nasdaq and it was their amazing run last week, on what rational people would consider poor earnings, that reversed the downtrend initiates by AAPL's (who are 15% of the Nasdaq) miss.
I guess it's obvious why we're short AMZN (see Dave Fry's chart) but let's look at AAPL now, who are quite a bit more efficient at dropping Dollars to the bottom line. Last year, AAPL took in $108Bn and made a profit of $26Bn – now THAT'S a good company! So let's pretend that all companies are as good as AAPL and nowhere near as bad as AMZN at converting sales to profits.
Now to get that additional $200Bn in Corporate Profits we only need about $800Bn in stimulus – assuming, of course, that money actually went to people who would spend it and not to Banksters who are still trying to back-fill multi-Trillion Dollar holes in their mark-to-fantasy balance sheets. $800Bn is a doable number so let's pretend it is enough to justify a 5% bump in the market and now we know…
by phil - July 27th, 2012 8:02 am
You made me promises promises
You knew you'd never keep
Why do I believe
All of your promises
You knew you'd never keep – Naked Eyes
Wow – what a party!
The former Vice-Chairman of Goldman Sachs (Draghi) says everything is fixed and the global markets go flying – what's not to trust? Would anyone form GS ever lie to us? Would GS be involved in manipulating the Global Markets – of course not!
Now that I've fulfilled my obligation to get my mother back unharmed – let's get real. Draghi said the violent spike in bond yields in recent days was hampering "the functioning of the monetary policy transmission channels" – the EXACT expression used to justify each of the ECB's previous market interventions.
Yields on Spanish two-year debt plunged 72 basis points to 5.47% in barely an hour, with comparable moves on Italian debt – easing the pressure before a string of debt auctions in Rome over coming days. The MIB index of stocks in Milan surged by 5.6%. Madrid's IBEX rose 6%, the biggest jump in two years, led by an explosive rise in bank shares. Mr Draghi's comments came as Spain claimed backing from France and Germany for activation of the eurozone's rescue fund (EFSF) to buy Spanish bonds, though this would require calling the Bundestag's finance committee back from holiday for a vote. Action by the EFSF would provide "political cover" for the ECB to join the fray in a two-pronged attack. "We're firing on all cylinders: that is what has ignited the markets," said Hans Redeker, currency chief at Morgan Stanley.
Joint statements from Madrid, Paris and Berlin said market turbulence "does not reflect the fundamentals of the Spanish economy, or the sustainability of its public debt". According to Ambrose Pritchard, "the wording seems scripted to clear the way for intervention." Of course, now it's time to put up or shut up as the Fed meets next week and the ECB has their pre-holiday meeting next week as well…
by phil - June 29th, 2012 7:47 am
I love it when a plan comes together!
As you know, we took an aggressive, protective short on Wednesday afternoon so it was "wheeeeeee!" on the dip with our prediction of XLF hitting $14 coming in to the penny while our JPM bottom target of $34.75 missing by .10, as we bottomed out at $34.85 before popping back $1 (3%) but, in all fairness, I did say "around $34.75" in the morning – so we knew it wasn't an exact target.
While we bottom-fished all day, I officially called the turn at 2:48, saying to our Members in Chat:
If you want a thrill ride, you can now buy the QQQ next week $61/62 bull call spread for .55 and that should be able to stop out with a .20-25 loss if things go badly tomorrow but make a nice double if the Qs head back up (now $61.58). Note we got wiped out on our this week $63s so not at all a sure thing.
Also, UCO just seems silly at $23.50 with July 4th coming up – I like the July $23/24 bull call spread at .50.
TNA next weekly $47 calls at $2.15 are also fun but those can cost you if things go the wrong way but TNA was $50 2 days ago and $52.50 2 weeks ago so they could make a nice payoff quickly.
Damn, I guess I still think the EU comes through tomorrow….
We didn't have to wait until tomorrow, of course. Someone (who will never be investigated) jumped the gun with a $3.3Bn block purchase of 50,000 S&P E-Mini Futures and that reversed almost all of the day's drop into the close. Then we got word of the expected $120Bn whatever they are calling it from the EU after hours and we got even better news at night as they took various steps to do stuff that I really don't care about because it isn't enough cash and it's going to fail again unless they pump it up by about 3x today.
by phil - June 21st, 2012 8:18 am
And we're out!
It might be a little early because we did get another $267Bn from the Fed yesterday but that plus $125Bn given to Spain and $100Bn to the IMF this month is "just" $492Bn and that, according to our calculations, should be good for 1,350 on the S&P, tops. If they want to get to 1,400 – they'll need another $500Bn from Europe and, while it is widely expected to come – the Fed came up short and if the EU comes up short as well, we could be talking flash crash so we took advantage of the pre-Fed run-up (as planned in yesterday's post) to get back to cash.
My morning Alert to Members was short and sweet:
I don't know if you guys usually click on my little links but this one was the most important of the day – Don't be white people – GET OUT!!!!
This one was so important that I tweeted it (you can follow me here) and Facebooked it (you can follow us here) and I even put it out on Seeking Alpha's Stock Talks (you can follow me here) so don't say I didn't warn you. Sure the market may go up as funds dress windows into the end of the Quarter/Half next week but we caught the run off the bottom this month so why push it when the upside looks limited and the downside does not?
Other than 2014 spreads in our new Income Portfolio – all of our virtual portfolios went to cash rather than risking very nice first half gains. As of yesterday morning they were:
Much thanks to StJ for keeping these tracking portfolios – all back to cash now and hopefully we can match that performance in the second half of the year although I think we're going to ditch the very boring $5,000 Portfolio in favor of a $25,000 Portfolio…
by phil - April 27th, 2012 8:32 am
Will the GDP be bad enough to be good?
As I said yesterday, bad news is now good news as Bernanke promised to crank up the presses if the economy stumbles and yesterday we had terrible jobs numbers and an absolutely awful Kansas City Fed Manufacturing Survey and Eurozone Economic Confidence continued to decline and that was capped off with an S&P downgrade of Spain.
RALLY TIME – of course! The markets broke right over our 50% lines, forcing us to add a few bullish positions for purely technical reasons while we wait and see when or if the madness will end.
We've already had a few hours of extensive conversation about the economic situation in Member Chat so let's just focus on how we can play the next half of the retrace back to our highs at Dow 13,300, S&P 1,420, Nas 3,200, NYSE 8,300 and Russell 850. We'll still be watching those 50% lines (see yesterday's post for levels and chart) but it was easy money this morning grabbing Nikkei Futures (/NKD) off the 9,500 line in Member Chat and already (8:23) the index is back to 9,550 and, at $5 per point per contract – the Egg McMuffins are paid for.
The BOJ dropped 10,000,000,000,000 Yen on the economy this morning, expanding their asset purchase program to 40Tn Yen and it DISAPPOINTED the market and the Nikkei fell from 9,700 to 9,500 but we were up nice and early and, since the other Global Indexes seemed happy enough to ignore Spain's double downgrade (in fact, Spain is up 1% this morning on the bad news), we figured it would only be a matter of time before the Nikkei futures came off the floor to join them.
As you can see from David Fry's charts, the Nikkei has been tracking the S&P very closely and the divergence was a bit silly. What's actually silly is the way the S&P is going but we'll take the quick 50 points and run ahead of the GDP, where we HOPE the markets get a cold slap in the face from a GDP report that I predicted would be a miss from 2.9% expectations.
8:30 Update: 2.2%! That is TERRIBLE!!! Not just a little terrible but TERRIBLE!!! Business investment is crashing, structures are down 12%, Government spending down…
by phil - April 20th, 2012 8:17 am
Welcome back my friends to the show that never ends We're so glad you could attend
Come inside! Come inside!
There behind a glass is a real blade of grass
Be careful as you pass.
Move along! Move along!
Come inside, the show's about to start
Guaranteed to blow your head apart
Rest assured you'll get your money's worth
The greatest show in Heaven, Hell or Earth. – ELP
What a long, strange week it's been in the markets.
I know we've been having fun. See that turn in the S&P at 2:35? My 2:46 comment to Members in Chat was:
$25KP/StJ – Keep in mind it's an aggressive portfolio BUT, in the $5KP, we're going to take $1.80 and run for the DIA $127 puts on the whole thing and 1/2 out in the $25KP.
That's two days in a row we nailed the turn almost to the minute (Wednesday it was USO) and those $127 puts cashed out with a 50% profit in 2 days (we picked them up on the 17th). I put it to you – are we simply amazingly good at picking tops and bottoms or is the market, in fact, a total scam and we just happen to be good at identifying criminal patterns of behavior?
Since our premise for making these calls is that the market is a scam and since I said just yesterday morning "Every morning we have a pump job to short into and every afternoon there is a BS stick-save to re-establish our shorts" – you have to at least consider the possibility that the markets are, in fact, fixed.
So it should come as no surprise that our ultra low-volume Futures are back up this morning with oil once again giving us an entry at our $103.50 shorting spot (see yesterday's post). We caught a $1,300 per contract ride down to $102.20 yesterday and then all we have to do is wait and let them pump it back up to $103.50 and we short it again and already we're back to $103.25 (7:30) for a quick $250 per contract gain and now we wait for the next run-up and see if we can short them again – maybe at $104 this time. If people are going to manipulate the Futures – that's fine…
by phil - April 19th, 2012 8:28 am
We are just loving these crazy-assed market moves. Every morning we have a pump job to short into and every afternoon there is a BS stick-save to re-establish our shorts. It's merely a matter of time before those floors begin to crack. I mean, really – how much of this abuse can they take?
Notice, in Dave Fry's SPY chart, the high-volume selling followed by low-volume pumping – that's the very unhealthy pattern the "rally" was built on, which means there really aren't any buyers waiting to scoop up shares when they dip – just Trade Bots that tease the indexes higher so the IBanks can keep pulling in the bag-holders as the "smart money" stampedes for the exits.
Yesterday was great fun. As I noted in the morning post, we went short on the Oil Futures (/CL) at $104.50 in our morning Member Chat and even in the morning post there was still time to catch it at $104. Oil sold off all the way to $102.60 at 2:10 and my 2:14 comment to Members nailed the turn as I said:
Oil coming right to our goal at $102.50 ($38.50 USO) so let's not be greedy and look to take $1.20 off the table on those 1/2 USO positions in the $25KP and $5KP as it's better to get out while the gettin's good.
That's what we mean when we talk about taking non-greedy exits (I had set $38.50 as my USO target for our exit at 11:08 but it didn't look like we'd get it so we got out). We caught the bottom and got out clean and this morning we got a chance to re-load our shorts at $103.50 on that predictable morning pump. Sure, you can say the markets aren't fixed and maybe we just have amazingly good timing – either way we make the same money!
We did manage to find a few things we liked, one of which was CHK, as the stock plunged to $17.20 on much ado about not too much as people took issue with the CEO borrowing money to invest in their wells. We didn't think it was such a big deal and our trade idea at at 10:23 in Member Chat gave us a good opportunity to buy right into the day's low at…