by phil - May 25th, 2012 8:30 am
Resistance is, unfortunately, not futile for our indices.
On Monday we discussed our expectations for a 2% weak bounce for the week, which would be a 20% retrace of the 10% drop I had predicted we'd have way back (and a bit early) in March. That constitutes a WEAK bounce and not a rally and they almost fooled us on Monday by taking back most of that 2% on day one but, since then – it's been pathetic and we've essentially done nothing the rest of the week.
The levels we were looking for were laid out in Monday's Member Chat and in Tuesday morning's post and were:
by phil - April 28th, 2012 6:57 am
Have you seen this?
Frontline did this very good documentary and I'd file it under "those who forget the past are CONDEMNED to repeat it" – let's all TRY not to repeat the mistakes of 2008… "Wall Street got bailed out and Main Street didn't" is the quote that neatly sums up the present situation. Wall Street and the top 10% of this country – of this World – are partying like it's 1999 while the bottom 90% continue to languish in the worst Recession since the Great Depression.
Despite a myriad of worrying data, the Corporate Media is in full-blown promotional mode – pushing stocks as if it were modern snake oil – the panacea that will cure all your ills. We often forget that essentially ALL of our news sources are publicly traded companies and have a vested interest in the stock market going higher. Hell, we have an interest in that too, as our longer-term virtual porfolios are entirely bullish - but that shouldn't preclude us from making a realistic assessment of the CURRENT situation, should it?
Caterpillar, 3M, United Technologies and ABB are among the manufacturers that have reported weak performances in China in the first quarter as economic growth has slowed nearly to a three-year low. Caterpillar’s sales in China fell between $250 million and $300 million in the first quarter, pushing the company, the world’s largest maker of earth-moving equipment, to export to other countries a large share of the equipment it made in China.
Concerns about China overshadowed better-than-expected earnings at the company, which is based in Peoria, Illinois, and led investors to push the stock down 5 percent Wednesday, which was great for us as CAT was on our Long Put List.
ABB, a maker of power equipment, reported profits in the past week that were below analysts’ expectations, caused by weak Chinese demand. “It was a very slow start to the year for China. China in January was extremely weak,” ABB’s chief financial officer, Michel Demaré, said Wednesday.
“Our business in China is off to a slow start,” said Gregory J. Hayes, the chief financial officer of United Technologies, whose Otis arm is the world’s biggest maker of elevators. The unit’s China sales dropped 9 percent in the first quarter. “The ongoing government…
by phil - March 7th, 2012 7:52 am
Was that it?
On February 24th I wrote "TGIF – Sell in March and Go Away?" and I laid out my case for why I thought we were going to fall off the table in March and we have, indeed, fallen right off the table right on schedule since then. I said that Friday, that the post was intended as a bookend to my September 30th bottom call as I felt that we had captured all of the upside we were likely to see off the "good news" that Greece was "fixed" and the economy was "improving."
I'm not going to say anything bad about the economy here, I'll let Michael Snyder do that with his "15 Potentially MASSIVE Threats to the US Economy over the next 12 Months" – I think he pretty much covers it! 8 trading days ago (2/24), we had two short trade ideas in our Morning Alert to Members, they were:
- SQQQ April $13/17 bull call spread at .70, still .70 (even)
- DXD April $13/15 bull call spread at net .55, now .70 – up 27%
In Member Chat that day, Exec asked if I was getting bearish and my response was:
Bearish/Exec – Are you kidding, this is me painting a sunny picture! Give me a few drinks and I'll tell you how off the rails the Global Economy is right now… Do you know how much Kool Aid I have to consume not to scream short on every single stock I see. CAT $116, CMG $386, DIA $130, GMCR we already did at $70, IBM $200, KO $70, MA $415, MCD $100, MMM $88, MO $30, MON $80, MOS $59, OIH $45, PCLN $593 (did them too), QQQ $64, SPY $137, TM $85, USO $41.50 (got 'em), UTX $84, V $117, WYNN $119, XOM $87, XRT $59 (got 'em) – and that's just off my watch list of stock I like to buy when they're cheap! We are not just priced for perfection, we are priced for perfection plus a return to full employment a forgiveness of all debts without write-downs and inflation without rising interest – we are priced for Nirvana!
by Option Review - February 27th, 2012 2:08 pm
Today’s tickers: UTX, FSLR & CCL
UTX - United Technologies Corp. – A burst of call activity on United Technologies may mean traders are expecting shares in the operator of Otis, Pratt & Whitney, Sikorsky and others to rise substantially ahead of March expiration. The stock is roughly flat on the session, down 0.10% at $83.89 as of 1:10 p.m. on the East Coast. Roughly one hour into the trading session, traffic in out-of-the-money call options with three weeks remaining to expiration spiked – this following Friday’s bullish action in the $85 weekly options. One or more traders appear to have purchased some 1,700 calls at the Mar. $85 strike at a premium of $0.76 each and at least 2,500 calls at the Mar. $87.5 strike for an average premium of $0.22 apiece. Call volume is heaviest up at the Mar. $90 strike, where more than 9,100 contracts changed hands against open interest of just 201 contracts. A block of 6,415 of the $90 strike calls, the largest single trade in UTX options today, was purchased by one investor for $0.09 each. The sizable block of call options appears to be a low-cost, low probability bet that shares in UTX may be rally sharply ahead of March expiration. Profits may be available on the position in the event that shares in UTX jump 7.4% to top the effective breakeven price of $90.09 by expiration next month. Shares in UTX last traded above $90.09 back in July 2011. The stock has rallied nearly 13.0% since the start of the New Year.
FSLR - First Solar, Inc. – Big prints in First Solar put options appear to be the work of an investor taking profits on one sizable put spread and simultaneously initiating a fresh bearish stance on the stock.…
by phil - January 24th, 2012 8:26 am
Tough call today.
The Dollar bounced off 79.75 this morning, nothing to crow about for Dollar bulls as the Euro remains just over the critical $1.30 mark and the Pound is solidly over $1.55 for the moment.
You could say it's a bearish sign that the Dow and the NYSE stopped dead at our breakout levels but that's to be expected on a first attempt at breaking out – even if they have already attempted the same move back in late October, when the Dow was 5% lower in it's test and the NYSE was testing the same line (7,866).
Our broadest market index is the one that's holding everyone back as what little volume there has been in this rally has been fairly narrowly focused on certain leaders. Now a pessimist might say that this is a reflection of the blatant manipulation of the indexes in which certain Banksters place buys on stocks that have disproportionate positive effects on the junior indexes in order to fool retail traders into believing there is a rally while the Banksters drive the VIX down to multi-year lows, dump all their stocks on the bagholders and prepare to cash in by crashing the markets on a major event like tomorrow's FOMC Rate Decision which is, in fact, very unlikely to have any language specific to the QE3 that has been promised by the MSM since Thanksgiving.
An optimist would say – well, you can read almost any MSM site for that. It's lonely at the top of the range when you are bearish, one by one the other bears capitulate and soon you are there all by yourself with your shorts – your lovely, lovely, cheap shorts! The Dow shot up yesterday to just over the 12,749 breakout line we have as the tippy top of the range on our Big Chart so of course I called for DIA puts in Member Chat. The DIA Feb $123 puts, which came in around .75 and finished the day not much higher at .78 after topping out at .95. Ranges usually hold – if you're not going to have conviction at the very top of a range to short – when will you? For one thing – you have a very good stop line to watch!
by phil - June 8th, 2011 7:54 am
S&P 1,260. That’s the line we need to hold.
That’s where we started the Year on January 3rd and we finished that day at 1,271, beginning a fine tradition of making almost all of our gains on the first day of the month, continuing a very disturbing (and very fake) year-long trend that I am calling "sell the next day (of the month) and go away." (chart by Bespoke).
Notice that this trend became very disturbing at the same time Uncle Ben announced his fabulous QE2 plan that showered money on his fellow Banksters according to a nice, predictable schedule that allowed them to lever up their investments to inflate stocks and commodities, trapping index fund investors (especially the working poor who make monthly contributions to IRA and 401K accounts in a nice, predictable and controllable fashion). It’s a simple plan, index fund managers get your pension money at the end of the month, they are required to buy baskets of stocks to balance their funds and that action can be manipulated by clever bankers who jack up the prices and then sell into the fake demand they created – effectively stealing tens of Billions each month out of the paychecks of working Americans. Just another one of those great crimes they commit where they steal a little bit of money from everyone, every day.
Speaking of robbing from the rich to give to the poor (see "The Dooh Nibor Economy"), it’s time we said happy 10th anniversary to the Bush/Obama tax cuts that have, as Barry Ritholtz put it: "driven the balanced budget he inherited from President Clinton deep into the red." So deep in the red, in fact, that even now Congress is still debating about extending the $14.5Tn deficit that the Congressional Budget Office says will double over the next 10 years if these cuts remain in place.
That’s right, those same tax cuts that are "off the table" in negotiations in Congress are, other than war spending, the sole cause of our nation’s deficit. This country does not have a spending problem, it has a collecting problem! As Mike Konczal, a research fellow at the Roosevelt Institute, noted: "It’s not like this has unleashed a wave of productivity, or better incentives, or increased work output. It’s mostly just rich people got a lot more money."
by phil - January 6th, 2011 7:29 am
Russell 8-0-0, Russell 8-0-0! Wherefore art thou Russell8-0-0? Deny thy dollar and refuse to fall, or, if thou spike not, be but consolidating at resistance and I’ll happily Capitulate….
If it’s good enough for fair Juliet, it’s going to have to be good enough for us as the Russell finally makes it over our 800 target – the last barrier that was keeping us on the bearish side. Above these lines – it’s time to stop worrying and love the rally as we romanticize the deadly combination of QE2 the Obama tax cuts as: "A pair of star-crossed lovers take their life, whose misadventured piteous overthrows doth with their death bury their parents’ strife."
Of course Willie Shakespeare has nothing on Jimmy Cramer, who’s pearls of wisdom are also sure to be repeated centuries from now. Last night the Bard of Wall Street sang a veritable sonnet in praise of the stock market and foretold a tale of woe for anyone dumb enough to take profits into this rally:
We got the correction this morning, Dow fell 35 points… Today’s action was proof positive that you need to stop worrying and learn to love corrections… What scares me, and what should scare you, is that if you sell your stocks here, you won’t be able to get back in. You should be worried about stocks getting away from you, because I think we can be on the verge of something big – something very positive. FORGET the fact that stocks have run up a lot in the last 6 months. For more than 10 years, this market has done nothing, THAT is the most important frame of reference…
What’s changed? We are finally starting to see big breakouts from a slew of breakouts from several large cap companies including: CAT, UTX, FCX, SWK, CBE, ETN, CSX, UNP and so many other big industrials. Ladies and gentlemen, we have waited over a decade for this move and what do people want to do now that it has arrived? They want to sell! That’s right, they want to sell. That’s right. They want to dump the stocks (sell button sound effect) because they are up way too much short-term or because they think the moves are illusory or driven by short squeezes that will
by phil - June 6th, 2010 8:27 am
That is the per capita average GDP for the 6Bn ape-like creatures on this planet who have pockets and purses. Of the still hairy and pocketless apes, there are only about 1M left and they are mainly prisoners so we won’t be worrying about them but it would be nice to consider the plight of our ancestors once in a while… Anyway, so 6Bn of us fill in those last 3 images in the planetary labor pool with the vast majority of us STILL FARMING and, of course, a select group of us are still hunting and gathering and contributing very little to the GDP.
None of our problems are new – as noted in this 2005 cartoon:
The United States of America with it’s highly evolved population of shopoholics has a per capita GDP of $46,381 – VERY IMPRESSIVE but we rank 6th! Brunei does a little better than we do and Singapore is up at $50,523 (so let’s hear it for corporal punishment) and Norway (one of my top choices of countries to flee to when it all hits the fan) is at $52,561 but Luxembourgh ($78,395 – banking) and Qatar ($83,841 – oil) simply trounce us in earnings power per person. For those of you who like to think Capitalism is all about keeping score – they must be better than you because they make more money, right?
Below the US, per capita GDP drops off fairly quickly. Rounding out the top 10 are Switzerland ($43,007 – watches and more bankers), Hong Kong ($42,748 – don’t tell China!), Netherlands ($39,938 – legal drugs!), Ireland ($39,468 – free beer when on wellfare!) and Australia ($38,911 – beer comes in oil cans plus gigantic bouncing rats). 20th on the list is Germany at $34,212, Greece is 25th at $29,882 (but not for long), 30th is South Korea at $27,978, 40th is Slovakia at $21,245. Lithuania comes in at 50 with $16,542 (1 ahead of Russia) and it steadies out there with emerging market star Brazil in 75th place with $10,514 and, keep in mind – that is where you FINALLY get to the average leverl of economic activity for the world.
Another BRIC in the global wall is mighty China, with a per capita GDP of $6,567 for each of their 1.2Bn persons and India’s Billion people average out at less than half of that, at $2,941, ranking 128th and still ahead of 53…
by Option Review - April 19th, 2010 4:07 pm
Today’s tickers: FXI, CDNS, UTX, GS, DGX, GDP & MRK
FXI – iShares FTSE/Xinhua China 25 Index Fund – Shares of the FXI, an exchange-traded fund that seeks investment results that correspond to the price and yield performance of the FTSE/Xinhua China 25 Index, which is an index consisting of 25 of the largest and most liquid Chinese companies, fell 1% during the trading day to stand at $41.88. The slight decline in the price of the underlying shares did not, however, deter one options investor from initiating a large bullish transaction in the August contract. It looks like the trader enacted a plain-vanilla debit call spread to position for a sharp rally in the fund’s share price by expiration. The investor purchased 10,000 calls at the August $45 strike for a premium of $1.38 each, and sold the same number of calls at the higher August $50 strike for $0.40 apiece. Net premium paid for the spread amounts to $0.98 per contract. Therefore, the bullish player stands ready to accrue maximum potential profits of $4.02 per contract in the event that shares of the FXI rally more than 19.3% to exceed $50.00 by expiration day in August. The trader starts making money if the China fund’s shares surpass the effective breakeven share price of $45.98 in the next several months to expiration.
CDNS – Cadence Design Systems, Inc. – Cadence Design Systems, a firm which licenses software, sells or leases hardware technology and provides engineering and education services, experienced a 1% rally in the value of its shares to $7.18 during the trading day. The increase in the price of the underlying shares enticed bullish investors to populate November contract options on the stock. It looks like one investor initiated a bullish stance on Cadence Design Systems by selling short 7,000 in-the-money put contracts at the November $7.5 strike for an average premium of $0.975 apiece. The put seller keeps the full amount of premium pocketed on the transaction if CDNS shares rally above $7.50 by expiration day in November. The trader is apparently happy to have shares of the underlying stock put to him at an effective price of $6.525 each should the put contracts remain in-the-money at expiration. Options implied volatility is down 10.1% to 36.15% as of 3:20 pm (ET). Cadence is slated to report its first-quarter results next week after the closing bell on April…
by Option Review - March 4th, 2010 4:15 pm
Today’s tickers: JPM, TIVO, RHT, UTX, CSCO, CI, BA, XRX, DIS, AKS & M
JPM – JPMorgan Chase & Co. – A long strangle enacted on JPMorgan today indicates one investor is expecting the firm to experience a significant shift in the price of its shares by June expiration. The investment banking and financial services giant realized a 1% rally in share price during the current session to $41.94. The investor initiated the strangle strategy by purchasing 9,000 calls at the June $46 strike for a premium of $1.06 apiece and by picking up 9,000 puts at the June $36 strike for $0.96 each. The net cost of the transaction amounts to $2.02 per contract. Strangle-players benefit from drastic moves in share price, but lose out if the value of the stock stagnates. In this specific trade, the investor profits if JPM’s shares rally above the upper breakeven price of $48.02 by expiration, or if shares trade below the lower breakeven point at $33.98, by June expiration. The trader is looking for increased volatility in the price of the underlying shares, but also may benefit from higher options implied volatility. Moves higher in options implied volatility corresponds with greater option premium on both calls and puts. Thus, the investor could potentially sell the strangle at a profit ahead of expiration day if combined premium on the trade exceeds the $2.02 per contract paid today. We note that JPM’s shares have not exceeded $47.47 in the past year, but did trade as low as $14.96 back on March 6, 2009.
TIVO – TiVo, Inc. – Shares of the innovator of digital-video recording services surged as much as 61.30% to an intraday high of $16.42, the highest price recorded for TiVo’s shares in at least five years. TiVo was named the victor today after a U.S. appeals court ruled that Dish Network Corp. and EchoStar Corp. are “still infringing its patent and should stop providing digital-video recording services.” Options traders had a field day with the news and exchanged upwards of 275,300 contracts on the stock by 3:10 pm (ET). Today’s options trading volume on TiVo represents just under 80% of the total existing open interest on the stock of 348,203 contracts. Investors populated the stock with a plethora of trading strategies. Some traders banked profits on the rally, while others employed the use of strangles. Plain-vanilla call buying and put selling…