The Dow is at 16,580 so all must be well, right? The fact that we're up here on low volume and even lower earnings is just one of those nit-picky things that won't matter a year from now, when TA people use the movement to draw new, bullish trend lines.
That's what the Fed is controlling, they are painting charts in broad strokes to keep things moving along – even when they aren't.
Sure the US economy is only growing at a 0.1% annual pace and sure that's down shockingly from 2.6% last quarter but, hey, we EXPECTED to only grow at 1% – so it's ONLY a 90% miss – what, us worry?
The Fed says it's just bad weather slowing us down and, whether or not you believe that, they also promise to continue to stimulate the economy long after it is necessary. The Fed is like Santa Claus, only they don't have to put in any effort to make their toys, so Christmas comes 365 days a year for the top 0.01%. For the bottom 99.99% – well, it's 0.1% growth on the "trickle down" effect.
In fact, if you take out the Banksters, who are piling up the Fed's free money in their vaults and using it to manipulate the stock and commodity markets (and higher costs for Energy, Food and Health Care were the only reason our GDP wasn't -1% instead of +0.1%), then you can see that those companies not protected by the Fed are in big trouble.
Not since 1999 has there been less cash relative to debt in Corporate America. Yes, money is cheap, so why not borrow some but that money isn't being used to invest in plants, equipment or, God forbid, hiring and training more people – it's being used to buy back stock and pay out dividends to give the ILLUSION that earnings are improving, when it's actually only the share count that's being reduced.
As you can see from this chart of the S&P, earnings are up just 25% from where they were in 2009, when the market…
Do you find yourself on a performance roller coaster? This is a situation in which you make money for a while, begin to think you have it all figured out, only to fall back, lose money, and feel like a rookie all over again.
A while back, I wrote about the performance roller coaster and some of the emotional factors that sustain it. The gist of that important post was that how we process wins and losses affects our subsequent trading--and sometimes contributes to winning and losing streaks.
I just finished an enjoyable interview with Mark Wolfinger of the Options for Rookies site. One topic that came up was the way in which traders identify with their P/L. Once a trader’s sense of identity and esteem becomes caught up in profits and losses, the trader begins an emotional roller coaster simply due to the natural ups and downs of markets.
The following is a collection of podcasts and videos from the Options Clearing Corporation and selected others.
The cover a lot of ground and new ones are occasionally added to their site. They are not as good as the coursework from MarketTamer, who are Option Sage’s excellent group but these are free (as opposed to $99 a month with Sage’s PSW special) so take a peek at the subjects that interest you:
Joe Harwood from the OIC Help Desk reviews some basic options concepts and terminology. Without getting into complicated jargon and abstract concepts, he covers options’ place in the financial markets, explains how they can be used in broad terms, and then slowly works into some of the first fundamental lessons.
Created from the Options Basics webcast utilizing new technology and interactive elements, this podcast covers options basics and is presented by Bill Ryan, a member of our OIC Help Desk (1-888-OPTIONS). From the history of options to the basics of puts and calls, Bill Ryan engages you in a webcast unlike anything we’ve offered before.
Editor’s Note: For those interested in both winners and losers, the 8 beliefs of unsuccessful traders can be found here.
One bright day in the middle of night, 2 dead boys rose to fight. Back to back they faced each other, drew their swords and shot one another. A deaf policeman heard the noise, and saved the lives of the 2 dead boys. If you don’t believe this lie is true, ask the blind man, he saw it too. -Author Unknown
We’re hard-wired to believe — and to hold on to our convictions — often in the face of contradictory evidence. In life outside the markets, this may actually be a source of strength. However, it doesn’t usually serve a trader well. One of the most important questions for the trader to ask every day is: What do I believe that’s not true?
So how do we know the truth? The markets tell us. It really is that simple — and yet, it’s so difficult for most to accept and practice on a daily basis.
It’s important for traders to be able to assess their beliefs regularly, because — at any given market moment — they’re a composite of those principles. Fortunately (for some) and frustratingly (for others), beliefs about the markets are fungible and fluid; they can change from minute to minute.
The successful trader is in the flexible flow with this — and changes accordingly.
Beliefs of Successful Traders
1. The markets provide a constant stream of opportunities.
2. If I miss an opportunity, another will come along.
3. If my position is stopped out, the hypothesis that got me into the trade was incorrect.
4. I take one trade at a time, and stay in the moment with it.
5. I strive for excellence, not perfection.
6. I maximize profits by losing small.
7. I am not my trade.
8. I take complete responsibility for my thoughts, feelings, and actions in the markets.
2. If I lose on a trade, I feel angry, frustrated, sad, or sick. If I win on a trade, I’m a happy camper.
3. If I don’t get on board with the hot tip of the day, I’ll miss out.
4. The markets are out to get me.
5. I’m unwilling to take the stop-out, so I’m turning this trade into an investment.
6. If I just keep studying, looking, and reading, I’ll find the magical formula/indicator/guru to lead me to riches.
7. Everything has to be perfect for me to get into a trade
8. If I win, I was skillful. If I lose, I was unlucky.
It’s only through daily assessment of convictions — and with radical honesty -- that a trader grows, develops, and thrives. Diligent examination of beliefs and the courage to change them is an ongoing challenge that must be conquered if the trader is to move to higher levels of success.
"Believe nothing just because a so-called wise person said it. Believe nothing just because a belief is generally held. Believe nothing just because it’s said in ancient books. Believe nothing just because it’s said to be of divine origin. Believe nothing just because someone else believes it."
Lost In The Crowd? Identifying And Measuring Crowding Strategies And Trades by MSCI
Mehmet K. Bayraktar, Stuart Doole, Altaf Kassam, Stan Radchenko
The “quant meltdown” of August 2007 and the subsequent unfolding of the global financial crisis highlighted the risks of crowded investment strategies. The rapid growth of “smart beta” indexes and their use in ETFs has added to the need for scrutiny. Accounting for crowding risk is necessary for any investment strategy because it may explain a substantial portion of strategy risk and performance during certain periods, especially during times of excessive market volatility.
Yesterday it was US and Italian energy giants Chevron and Saipem which announced a total of over 10,000 new job cuts in the aftermath of oil sliding back under $50 and resuming its downward trend. This is how we framed it: "in Q2, after the price of oil staged a substantial rebound of about 50% from the year to date lows in the $40's, energy-related layoffs trickled to a halt as corporations hoped the worst is behind them, and as a result would merely bide their time before redeploying their workforce toward exploration and production. Alas, this was n...
On July 1, the Spanish Government went to "Full Police State", with enactment of law forbidding dissent and unauthorized photos of law enforcement. Spain's officially a police state now. On July 1st, its much-protested "gag" law went into effect, instantly making criminals of those protesting the new law. Among the many new repressive stipulations is a €30,000-€600,000 fine for "unauthorized protests," which can be combined for maximum effect with a €600-€300,000 fine for "disrupting public events."
This horrible set of statutes has arisen from Spain's position as a flashpoint for anti-austerity protests, the European precursor to the Occupy Wal...
No one knows to what still crazier level this stock market is headed, or what kind of decline – if any ever, the bulls say – it will experience. But we all have our signs and signals that we keep our eyes on, hoping to get the drift in time.
No one wants to go through another crash like the last three (1987, 2000, and 2008 which all occurred during my investing years) with any significant amount money tied up in stocks (not to speak of bonds).
Another round of buying swept through Large Cap indices, but other indices didn't enjoy the same level of interest.
The S&P had the best of it. Since the middle of July it has enjoyed a strong advance relative to Small Caps and Technology indices, but it may be time for it to revert to mean. Technicals are a little scrappy, but are holding to the bearish side, but one more day of gains could swing it back in bulls favour.
The Nasdaq banked a small gain, but it's up against the big red candlestick from last week. The 'bull trap' is still in play. Technicals are mixed here too.
In this weekly update, I give my view of the current market environment, offer a technical analysis of the S&P 500 chart, review our weekly fundamentals-based SectorCast rankings of the ten U.S. business sectors, and then offer up some actionable trading ideas, including a sector rotation strategy using ETFs and an enhanced version using top-ranked stocks from the top-ranked sectors.
Corporate earnings reports have been mixed at best, interspersed with the occasional spectacular report -- primarily from mega-caps like Google (GOOGL), Facebook (FB), or Amazon (AMZN). Some of the bul...
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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.
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Reminder: Pharmboy and Ilene are available to chat with Members, comments are found below each post.
Baxter Int. (BAX) is splitting off its BioSciences division into a new company called Baxalta. Shares of Baxalta will be given as a tax-free dividend, in the ratio of one to one, to BAX holders on record on June 17, 2015. That means, if you want to receive the Baxalta dividend, you need to buy the stock this week (on or before June 12).
Back in December, I wrote a post on my blog where I compared the performances of various ETFs related to the oil industry. I was looking for the best possible proxy to match the moves of oil prices if you didn't want to play with futures. At the time, I concluded that for medium term trades, USO and the leveraged ETFs UCO and SCO were the most promising. Longer term, broader ETFs like OIH and XLE might make better investment if oil prices do recover to more profitable prices since ETF linked to futures like USO, UCO and SCO do suffer from decay. It also seemed that DIG and DUG could be promising if OIH could recover as it should with the price of oil, but that they don't make a good proxy for the price of oil itself.
Kim Parlee interviews Phil on Money Talk. Be sure to watch the replays if you missed the show live on Wednesday night (it was recorded on Monday). As usual, Phil provides an excellent program packed with macro analysis, important lessons and trading ideas. ~ Ilene
The replay is now available on BNN's website. For the three part series, click on the links below.
Part 1 is here (discussing the macro outlook for the markets)
Part 2 is here. (discussing our main trading strategies)
Part 3 is here. (reviewing our pick of th...
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 firstname.lastname@example.org 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.
Note: The material presented in this commentary is provided for
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