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 13th, 2014 8:21 am
MORE FREE MONEY!!!
That's all this chart says to traders this morning, who are taking the European Markets up over half a point this morning and are goosing our Futures by half a point as well as bad news is good news and TERRIBLE news is even better in this Central Bank-sponsored market.
Private Consumption in Japan fell 5% in April, May and June and wages dropped 1.8% while sales taxes rose 3% and – PRESTO – there's your 5% decline in Private Consumption.
Obviously, giving the workers more money is out of the question in a Conservative Capitalist Economy like Japan and we're certainly not going to tax Corporations when we can raise sales taxes that disproportionately target the poor instead so the only solution is: MORE FREE MONEY!!!
Japan has increased their monetary base by 50% since last year and this year they are on track to add another 25% to pump it up to 270,000,000,000,000 Yen. In March of 2000, there were just 50Tn Yen in circulation so a 5x increase in the money supply and NONE of it ended up in the hands of the bottom 80% who, just like in America, saw their standard of living DECREASE over the past decade and a half.
It's a great race to the bottom in annual GDP growth overall as essentially all of the economic gains in Japan and the US accrue to the top 10% (people and corporations) while the bottom 90% circle the drain on the "Road to Serfdom" that Hayek warned us about 70 years ago:
“It is one of the saddest spectacles of our time to see a great democratic movement support a policy which must lead to the destruction of democracy and which meanwhile can benefit only a minority of the masses who support it. Yet it is this support of the tendencies toward monopoly which make them so irresistible and the prospects of the future so dark.
"If we face a monopolist we are at his absolute mercy. And an authority directing the
by Phil Davis - July 11th, 2014 8:31 am
Wow, that was a close one!
We ALMOST had a correction but, fortunately, dip buyers prevailed and we pulled a sharp reversal right after the bell yesterday and finished the day only down about 0.4% and about 2.5% down for the week (so far).
I do hate to be nit-picky about these things but – can we REALLY call it a reversal when, in fact, declining volume on the NYSE was 2,275,176,430 while advancing was only 834,544?
That's 3:1 declining! In fact, of the 3,241 shares on the NYSE, only 964 were positive yesterday – also 3:1 against. The same on the broader Nasdaq too.
In fact, yesterday was a complete catastrophe other than the low-volume "rally" from 10am to 2pm, with the other 75% of the day's volume being all downhill from 9:30 to 10:00 and again from 2pm to close (4pm EST).
Still, as the great President Bush once said: "fool me once, shame on — shame on you. Fool me — you can't get fooled again."
Of course, an even greater President, Lincoln (who had himself shot when he found out he was a Republican) actually said that you can, indeed fool some of the people all of the time and the stock market is certainly evidence of that, as dip buyers rush in on anything that even looks like it might be a rally – no matter how much of a charade it actually is.
You can see our predicted 1,150 line come into play on Dave Fry's Russell Chart but it doesn't show that the Russell Futures made it all the way down to 1,140 before being jammed back to 1,165 and, finally, settling the day at 1,160.
As Dave points out, we're still down 4% for the weak week and all yesterday's action really was was a WEAK bounce off a 5% dip (1,200 to 1,140), which is EXACTLY what our 5% Rule™ predicted would happen.
by Option Review - January 14th, 2013 1:47 pm
by Phil Davis - November 16th, 2012 8:32 am
Falling, falling, falling.
That's all the markets have been doing lately. As you can see from our Big Chart – it's been a pretty orderly sell-off according to our 5% rule with roughly a 4-5% drop during October with some consolidation, followed by a much steeper 4-5% drop after the election.
We're back to the point where we expect resistance at an 8% total drop as well as some bounce action where once again we'll be measuring for strong or weak bounces to determine whether or not we can get a turn again (our indicators kept us bearish last time). Regarding the current action, I said to our Members yesterday in Chat:
I think there is a lot of selling as people take capital gains while they can. I think that it's very possible that it's going to be very difficult to get a proper rally into the end of the year because there are plenty of people waiting for a rally to take their gains, whether through timing or position. The problem with this state of not knowing is it becomes prudent for people to hedge for the worst and, if someone had a 20% gain for the year and now it's 15% and they can take it off now and keep 12.75% (after 15% tax) vs possibly hitting another 5% drop and running down to 8.5% this year or possibly 7% (at 30%) if they wait until next year and there's no recovery (and the more the cliff looms the less likely recovery seems) then it almost doesn't make sense not to take the 12.75% and run. So that's very possibly the selling pressure we see and it may continue to be relentless into the end of the year unless there is some sort of resolution or delay to the cliff.
While we don't think the Fiscal Cliff will end up being a big deal – that doesn't stop others from panicking. This week we've been scooping up positions they have been running away from but, if we're going to have another leg down – we'll be needing those disaster hedges (see Wednesday's post) to keep us out of trouble. It doesn't take much to profit from a downturn, fortunately, when we use good hedges. On Wednesday I suggested the TZA April $17/24 bull call spread for $1.40, selling the $14…
by Phil Davis - 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 Davis - July 24th, 2012 8:49 am
Tut, tut, it does not look like rain.
You would think the worst drought in 80 years would merit more than the occasional mention in the Financial media – I've seen CNBC do one-hour specials on the marijuana crops so you'd think actual FOOD would maybe make it a little higher on the list of concerns for the MSM – especially when we are experiencing the worst drought of the past 80 years and the last one that was this bad led to a Global Depression (along with, of course, National Debt Crises and Financial Failures but mission accomplished there already).
You would think the drought has somehow fallen into a Somebody Else's Problem Field, where individuals/populations of individuals choose to decentralize themselves from an issue that may be in critical need of recognition. Such issues may be of large concern to the population as a whole but can easily be a choice of ignorance at an individualistic level. As Douglas Adams explains in The Hitchiker's Guide to the Galaxy:
An SEP is something we can't see, or don't see, or our brain doesn't let us see, because we think that it's somebody else's problem…. The brain just edits it out, it's like a blind spot. If you look at it directly you won't see it unless you know precisely what it is. Your only hope is to catch it by surprise out of the corner of your eye.The technology involved in making something properly invisible is so mind-bogglingly complex that 999,999,999 times out of a billion it's simpler just to take the thing away and do without it……. The "Somebody Else's Problem field" is much simpler, more effective, and "can be run for over a hundred years on a single torch battery.This is because it relies on people's natural predisposition not to see anything they don't want to, weren't expecting, or can't explain.
by Phil Davis - July 23rd, 2012 8:25 am
How great is this? We flipped bearish on Wednesday's poor Beige Book outlook (not to mention drought concerns and Hugh Hendry's warning that "Bad things are going to happen") and Thursday we noted it was looking a little too much like last July, where we fell off a cliff right after options expiration and my very appropriate comment at the end of Thursday morning's post was:
Clack, clack, clack – like a roller coaster going up in the dark, we don't know when we'll get that big "wheeee" but we do know it's coming!
Fortunately, we did not wait with our Long Put List going out in the Thursday Morning Alert to Members at 10:18, with all bearish trade ideas that included these gems:
- AMZN Oct $180 puts at $2.75, still $2.75 – even (all as of Friday's close)
- CMG Sept $350 puts at $5, now $35 – up 600%
- DIA Dec $117 puts at $2.50, now $2.80 – up 12%
- ISRG Jan $350 puts at $1.70, now $5 – up 194%
- MA Jan $290 puts at $2.85, now $3.40 – up 19%
- SPY Oct $120 puts at $1, now $1.15 – up 15%
- V Jan $100 puts at $2, now $2.30 – up 15%
- XRT Jan $53 puts at $2, now $2.20 – up 10%
So a couple of big winners already and, of course, we're done with those (see Stock World Weekly for more trade ideas) and the way we work our Long Put List is to take those winners off the table and utilize our "fresh horses" for the next leg down. Don't worry, we won't run out, there are 13 more picks on deck for our Members with AMZN (above) our top choice for this week (also featured with a slightly different trade in SWW).
Even our aggressive oil puts should be doing well in our small portfolios as well as our bullish VXX trade and, of course, our EDZ and TZA hedges as China dropped 600 points this morning and the Russell is testing our 775 target already. Things may be worse than we thought they were going to be as 775 may not hold on the RUT and that breakdown can lead us to test our -5% lines on the Russell (760), Nasdaq (2,850) and the…
by Phil Davis - May 17th, 2012 8:04 am
What a week to do an IPO!
Will Facebook save the markets tomorrow with a successful roll-out of the largest IPO of all time or will it be the straw that breaks the camel's back, with a disappointing open that sends the Nasdaq off a cliff along with their entire over-priced sector? Either way – this is going to be fun.
We can argue the merits of Facebook's value (or lack thereof) all day long but, scam or not, it's very likely FB will set off a buying frenzy in the space and we finish the week off with a bang. If that doesn't happen – I will be very, very bearish but from what I'm hearing and the way they are extending the offer and raising the price – it's way oversubscribed. Also, we have to consider that people are cashing out 1-5% of their holdings to raise cash for FB on Friday – sure it's moronic, but that's what people do so you have to put yourself in a position of someone who wants to put 5% of your portfolio in to Facebook (the way you wish you had put 5% into Google at $80 when they IPO'd) tomorrow – what would you be doing with the rest of your portfolio today?
Meanwhile, the rest of the World is falling apart with Europe turning sharply lower as Spain sells bonds at record high yields (5.106% for 4-year notes) this morning after announcing that their Q1 GDP was -0.4% at the same time as Moody's indicates they will be cutting the credit ratings of 21 Spanish Banks this evening AND, to top it all off – there is a run on Bankia, which Spain nationalized last week – with $1.3Bn pulled from accounts this past week! This sent Spain's markets down 1.6% and Italy (who is next) fell 2%, sending the Euro down 1% to $1.2668 and the Pound followed it down to $1.5832 (while EUR/CHF holds steady at 1.2009 in the most blatant currency manipulation ever witnessed).
Wow – that's a lot of bad stuff! Maybe too many bad things – as in a bit suspicious that all this bad stuff happens at once – as if maybe someone WANTS to force a panic bottom? If so, I applaud them – we certainly needed to shake things up a little…