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."
The Department of Transportation's Federal Highway Commission has released the latest report on Traffic Volume Trends, data through February.
"Travel on all roads and streets changed by 2.8% (6.1 billion vehicle miles) for February 2015 as compared with February 2014." The less volatile 12-month moving average is up 0.20% month-over-month and 2.36% year-over-year. If we factor in population growth, the 12-month MA of the civilian population-adjusted data (age 16-and-over) is a smaller change, up 0.13% month-over-month and up only 1.23% year-over-year.
Here is a chart that illustrates this data series from its inception in 1971. It illustrates the "Moving 12-Month Total on ALL Roads," as the DOT terms it. The ...
A reader asked me if I ever hired someone for the minimum wage. He also believes the minimum wage is really a maximum wage.
From Drew ... Mish, I’m curious if you have ever had to actually pay someone minimum wage to work for you week in, week out, year after year?
I’ve signed plenty of paychecks myself, and honestly, I could never employ someone and pay the minimum wage knowing it was not enough for that person to live on, regardless of whether or not the “market” says I could hire them for that price. I have willingly paid more, and they always very much appreciated it, and I also felt like I got more effort since they knew I was paying them more. But I know that’s not how large corporations work.
I believe you would argue whether or not the minimum is enough on which to live is irrelevant a...
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).
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The leniency shown former CIA Director (and retired General) David Petraeus by the Justice Department in sparing him prison time for the serious crimes that he has committed puts him in the same preferential, immune-from-incarceration category as those running the financial institutions of Wall Street, where, incidentally, Petraeus now makes millions. By contrast, “lesser” folks – and particularly the brave men and women who disclose government crimes – get to serve time, even decades, in jail.
King Dollar has been on a role since last summer, up over 20% in less than a year. When looking back on the US$, the rally has been rare and nearly historic. Majority of the rally took place inside the steep rising channel above. Over the past month the US$ might have put in a double top. Over the past few days, the US$ has slipped a little below rising support at red arrow above.
Here's an interesting argument by Felix Salmon, although I think he is taking two correct observations and mistakenly attributing a cause-and-effect relationship to them: Bitcoin is going nowhere because women are not involved.
More likely, in my opinion, women are not involved in bitcoin because bitcoin is going nowhere (and they know it). Or maybe, simply, bitcoin is going nowhere and women are not involved.
Nathaniel Popper’s new book, Digital Gold, is as close as you can get to being the definitive account of the history of Bitcoin. As its subtitle proclaims, the book tells the story of the “misfits” (the first generation of hacker-l...
As we get into the heart of earnings season and anticipate the GDP report for Q1, the investor spotlight has been taken off the Federal Reserve and timing of its first interest rate hike, at least temporarily. Even though Q1 economic growth will undoubtedly look weak, the future remains bright for the U.S economy – even though many multinationals will struggle with top-line growth due to the strong dollar – and any near-term selloff resulting from weak economic or earnings news should be bought yet again in expectation of better results for the balance of the year. High sector correlations remain a concern, reflectin...
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...
In my last post (Part 1 of this article), I looked at alternative ETFs that could be used as hedges against the corrections that we have seen during that long 2 year bull run. Looking at the results, it seems that for short (less than a month) corrections, a VIX ETF like VXX could actually be a viable candidate to hedge or speculate on the way down. Another alternative ETF was TMF, a long Treasuries ETF which banks on the fact that when markets go down, money tends to pack into treasuries viewed as safe instruments. In some cases, TMF even outperformed the usual hedging instruments like leveraged ETFs. There could of course be other factors at play since some of 2014 corrections were related to geopolitical events which are certain...
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...
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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This material is not intended as an offer or solicitation for the purchase or sale of any security or other financial instrument. Securities or other financial instruments mentioned in this material are not suitable for all investors. Any opinions expressed herein are given in good faith, are subject to change without notice, and are only intended at the moment of their issue as conditions quickly change. The information contained herein does not constitute advice on the tax consequences of making any particular investment decision. This material does not take into account your particular investment objectives, financial situations or needs and is not intended as a recommendation to you of any particular securities, financial instruments or strategies. Before investing, you should consider whether it is suitable for your particular circumstances and, as necessary, seek professional advice.
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