Archive for July, 2006

Monday Mop-Up

Ah this will be easy to summarize…

As expected it was a crummy day where not much happened of note. Oil was up a dollar for not very good reasons and everything else just sort of sumpbled around looking for direction. The end.

I was pleased that our indices held up but it was a shame the Dow could not hold 11,200 but interesting that the NYSE finished within 12 cents of my morning mark but unfortunately only the Nasdaq even threatened to go positive today and that was only for about a half hour early on. If we don’t get some positive movemet tomorrow we may be in for a nasty second half of the week.

Oil climbed for all the reasons I mentioned this morning but the Russian pipeline will be a non-event (you don’t keep pumping oil into a broken pipe). We missed the UN resolution putting an 8/31 deadline on Iraq to suspend uranium enrichment, that’s good for 50 cents right there, Israel cancelled the cease fire, and this heat wave accounted for a big spike in coal and natural gas that drove oil back over $74 again.

My bad for not repicking BTU today for the same reasons we picked them last week. We were disappointed with our 50% return last week as natural gas broke $7 but today it flew through $8 and BTU picked up 8.5% on the day. The $50s are now well in the money at $2.50 (up 150%). Not only that but, much like my Apple non-play, I was too cheap to stick to my guns and by the $45s on the dip!

The tail end of earnings reports is not exactly lighting a fire under the markets and I’m still not ready to commit but let’s see how the geopolitics plays out tomorrow.


There were no buys today as we got no signals to do so but let’s keep our eye on the picks in case we can get some real bargains later in the week!

It was a good day to pick up the XOM Sept $70s as that half of our split jumped to $1 (up 25%) while the $65 puts (I know I said $70 but I meant $65 – sorry) exactly hit my mark at $1.

WFMI was exactly as bad as I thought and they are still blaming Katrina! The stock dropped 7.5%…
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Is the NYMEX Being Manipulated?

The question is not is the NYMEX being manipulated… The question is how much is the price of oil being manipulated?

We discussed the other day that the Commodities Futures Modernization Act took regulatory oversite of the oil markets away from every exchange but the NYMEX:

On that basis, it is the NYMEX that is quoted on CNBC and pretty much everywhere else the price of oil is being discussed.

What you usually see quoted is the October Light Sweet Crude contract which peaked at $79.86 on 7/14, fell to $68.65 yesterday and made a spectacular recovery to $70.36 today. We rolled into October on the 25th where oil was held up to $72.50 and quickly fell off the table the next day.$WTIC&p=D&yr=0&mn=1&dy=0&id=0

What you don’t see is the November contract which peaked at $79.25 on 8/6 and dropped to $71.23 with no magic bounce. Or the December contract which peaked at $79.75 on 8/6 and finished the day at $72 with no bounce or the January contract which peaked at $80.35 on 8/6 and finished the day at $73.02 with no bounce or the February contract which peaked at $80.20 and finished the day at $73.61 with no bounce or the March contracts which finished at $74.08.

So, it doesn’t apparently doesn’t pay to manipulate the contracts the public can’t see! In fact, as you can see from this graph (sorry it’s not a good one) , it didn’t pay to pump up the October contract until the afternoon of the 25th, just as the contracts were rolling over.

Aren’t you happy this huge show is being put on just for you? There is also an alarming lack of interest in the February and March contracts. Open interest in October is 220K, Nov-Jan about 100K, which is normal but Feb interest falls off its own cliff to 22K, even less than March’s 29K interest. This is less than 2 day’s worth of oil that is being ordered in Feb and March at $74 per barrel!

By the way, do you know how much you can buy oil for in Dec 2012? $67.38 for guaranteed delivery of as much oil as you want. Where is T. Boone Pickens? This is 5 years past his peak oil $200 prediction, he should have a Billion contracts at this price…
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Monday Morning

War wages on but the markets don’t seem to mind too much.

I was reading the times this weekend and there was an article on the war in Afghanistan followed by a page on Iraq followed by a page on the war in Africa (which we usually ignore but millions are dead) and then a few pages on the “I don’t know how it isn’t called a war” in Lebanon. It really is a wonder there is any consumer confidence but even Europe is recovering.

Remind me to invest in whoever makes bullets though…

Israel suspended bombing for 48 hours while waiting for Condi to work her magic but that message apparently didn’t get to their Air Force which just dropped some bombs this morning. Oil was heading right down but a pipeline ruptured in Russia and Nigerian rebels forced an oil platform to be abandoned and there are heat warnings for the US (nat gas should shoot up) so it headed right back up again.

Asian stocks are still playing catch-up from last week and are up across the board while Europe is down despite very good retail numbers in Germany and an apparent housing recovery in England.

I still have my concerns about our markets as inflation continues to grow and the economy has slowed drastically since the last quarter.

If we assume a lag of 6 months, or 6 hikes the way the fed has been ratcheting up for 17 consecutive brutal sessions since mid 2004 then it it possible that the numbers we got last week are an indication that the Fed did indeed start to overdo it somewhere around the September rate hike and may have overshot the mark by 6/17ths, let’s call it 35%.

The Fed dropped rates from Jan ’01 through June ’03 but took long pauses between moves from 1.75% in Jan ’02 to 1.25% in late ’02 and then waited and hoped that would do the trick all the way to June ’03 when they dropped the final 1/4 point. The economy was already getting in gear around April of ’03 where the ridiculously low rates (Fed was too loose) sparked the famous “housing bubble” which drove, for example, TOL up from $10 in April ’03 to $58 in July ’05.

So the Fed dropped rates from 6% in Jan 2001 all the way down to…
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Weekly Wrap-Up

Soft landing!?!

Holy cow they do love to label things don’t they? The indices ended the week up 3-4% across the board, a huge move! I especially liked the way they did it in stealth mode so the rally sort of caught most people by surprise.

I’m still waiting for the other shoe to drop next week but let’s just sit back and enjoy the week that was while we can.

The Dow punched through 11,200 with authority today but has a lot to prove at 11,260 (July top). If you check the chart you will see that we have now had 3 month end rallies in a row and the other two did not end very well.

The S&P finally broke out of my range today and took a light rejection off 1,280 but that’s nothing to get picky about on a 1.2% up day. NYSE ran right past its July high of 8,241 and will be a good indicator next week of how real this rally can get. With the Nasdaq, I’m going to follow the rule that if you can’t say something nice, don’t say anything at all…

Oil finished the week flat but down over $5 from last week’s highs but that didn’t stop oil companies from making mega bucks.

Gold continues to track the dollar pretty much tick for tick but once again got slammed back from $640 today. Looks to me like it’s consolidating for a breakout, especially if the international market starts thinking the Fed is going to stop tightening.

On the whole it was a great week to play the markets but let’s keep our eyes open next week and not give too much back if we can avoid it! I called for a cash out today so all of these trades (other than, of course, leaps, spreads and income producers) are closed as of Monday and we’re going to make a fresh start.


Now there was a lot more money to be made on some of these if you had followed the rules and stopped out but, except for extreme cases, I’m just going to go with today’s closing prices.

Congrats to Prof wherever he went for exiting the housing market at the exact right second!

AMGN should have been taken off the table at a triple but the $67.50s are still $2.40 (up 100%).

AXP made…
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Friday Morning

Wow, Friday already? See what happens when you miss a day…

I’m glad I missed yesterday, what a disappointment!

The Dow held 11,100 but it’s a BS indicator, the S&P couldn’t break 1,270 which I hope everybody realized was a strong don’t buy/sell signal. Now we will see if it can hold the still falling 50 dma of 1,257. The NYSE remains strongish above 8,100 but the Nasdaq is just sad even with a very mild SOX recovery:

We need to watch the S&P again today but I can’t see wanting to hold anything into the weekend. We did so well on the first 3 day’s of the week there is really no reason to push our luck until we get much clearer signals than we are seeing now.

Asian trading was mixed with the Nikkei pulling up the rest with a 1% gain on very good Sony and Cannon Earnings which you would think bodes well for retailers but no reaction here. Europe is trending down this morning as $75 oil rears its ugly head again.

Further dollar weakness will keep oil above $72 for a little while but I think we are due for a little pullback. I was pleasantly surprised to see my XOM $62.50 puts are still .30, I thought I was toasted when they announced their numbers!

Cramer is right about VLO, they should be much higher but I’m more inclined to question why they aren’t than jump in and buy. If VLO, XOM, COP and CVX can’t all take $70 on these numbers then the only logical conclusion you can draw is that there is something very wrong with the price of oil! We have started the first month of Q3 with oil $7 higher than the average of Q2, that’s another $10M a day for XOM alone! Demand is strong and so far there have been no disruptions… What gives?

Watch gold very closely as it has been having a lot of trouble at $640 despite continued dollar weakness. I think the novelty of the war is wearing off and without any additional pressure some of the fear premium is wearing down but that can all change over the weekend.

I’m moving to pretty much all cash as I think the initial excitement over the GDP numbers causing the Fed to pause will give way to worry that the economy…
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What Happened Wednesday?

Darn, I really thought we were going to get a nice rally but it fizzled out at the end.

The S&P was a major disappointment, going above 1,270 but then giving it up in the last half hour. Still, as I said this morning, just holding on was going to be good after 2 positive days but I would be a lot more comfortable if there had been just a little more meat to these moves.

We’ll see what the evening and morning’s earnings bring but I have an early meeting so you are on your own tomorrow! Keep an eye on the same technicals we were watching today but don’t forget the huge impact XOM will have on the markets tomorrow.

Oil took advantage of fairly strong demand numbers to run back over $75 after the inventories but gave it all back just before the close. I don’t know what to make of this as it has not happened in a couple of years!

One piece of gossip running around the oil patch is what happens if there are no hurricanes to disrupt supply? Oil we import so we can just say no to that but natural gas is produced locally and we are pretty much topped out in storage and this is the maximum possible demand (unless we have a historically cold winter). Someone did the math and, should we have normal demand and no supply disruptions through the fall, we will be physically unable to store more gas by October 1st.

That means we may be just 3 months away from gas providers having to start capping wells…

Oil is just as well supplied but, like I said, we don’t have to keep buying that but it is nice to know we’ve got a lot of it in storage in case another dozen wars break out. Crude could not hold $74 against a weak dollar today and that is giving oil bulls serious pause and we may be witnessing a power pump on the sector into earnings, possibly followed by some very heavy selling.

I took the XOM $62.50 puts for .35 in comments just for fun as a contrarian play to the now 60,000 call holders who disagree with me, see my reasons in comments.

Gold moved up against the dollar drop but again you can see that there is no additional fear…
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Watchful Wednesday

This may be a better test of market resolve than yesterday was.

Amazon had disastrous earnings, GLW was a huge disappointment in outlook, HP decided to go shopping, XLNX guided down…

We will see today just how forgiving the market can be today. We will hear from BA, BUD, BIDU, BIIB, BEAV, BDK, BXP, BOBJ, BVN and many other letters of the alphabet today but that gives you an idea of how significant today’s earnings will be.

Asia was mixed with the Nikkei giving up 125 points at the close despite Honda’s net rising 30% and Matsushita (Panasonic) posting a 7% gain on strong TV sales while Sharp also sees a strong consumer market. Europe is flat, waiting to see what the American markets do before committing.

Oil is holding back from the brink on concerns about Nigerian production levels (I think they need to learn a new song at this point) but inventory will tell the story today. The last two weeks were the most expensive oil weeks ever with and average of $76.50 per barrel so we will see if there are immediate demand fluctuations.

If an oil move is real, it should be followed by gold but gold is flat, even coming into the Asian wedding season where consumer demand is strongest. This is not a change in my belief that gold will go past $800 but an indication that the fear premium in oil is way overdone.

This is the weakest earnings day we’ve had so far and will be a real test of the markets. We held our marks yesterday and doing so again today may get some bears out of the market. Let’s make sure the Dow holds 11,100, the S&P still needs to break above 1,270 (yes I added a point) and the NYSE needs to hold 8,100.

As I said yesterday, the Nasdaq could gain 100 points and still look worrying so let’s just watch the 2,100 mark for a psychological positive but really watching the SOX which haven’t even made what you could call a bounce yet.


I’m watching and waiting today but, on a positive move I will be looking to grab some picks that went the wrong way from yesterday. We need to see if UPS is forgiven as well as Dell and BNI to get a measure of market confidence in the second half…
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Tuesday Wrap-Up

What a silly market!

I suppose the huge run-up had something to do with the drop in oil as the gains started once the NYMEX closed in the red (usually they manage to pump something at the end) but, oddly, the oil stocks pulled a big recovery as well.

I got stopped out of my XOM puts at .75 for a mere .15 gain as I was away and couldn’t catch it in time. The Dow made it to 11,100 – very nice but the S&P just couldn’t give us the one point we needed to confirm a real rally. The NYSE looks strong at 8,149 while the Nasdaq is still over 50 points away from challenging the 50 dma and another hundred off the 200 after that.

The SOX did not come through today even though TXN added another 4% and SNDK was up 15% so forgive me if I don’t have my rally cap on but overall the end result was very good today.

Oil dropped all the way to $73.75 ahead of tomorrow’s inventory while gold held essentially flat against a strengthening dollar.


There was nothing to buy today as the S&P never made it over our 1,269 target (other than a brief spike on the closing madness) so please take gains and losses with a grain of salt.

HPQ had a great day but then blew it by overpaying for Mercury Interactive by $1.5Bn ($4.5Bn total). In case you forgot, MERQ was an early victim of the options scandal, losing the CEO and several managers and getting delisted from the Nasdaq. I don’t mind this deal but $52 is more than this company was worth before they got in trouble! I don’t even want to look at the HPQ $32.50s, which closed up 30% at .90 but may be worthless tomorrow! A stop will not help us on this one….

TM had a rockin’ day and the $105s shot up to $2.15 (up 70%).

GM is going to be a hoot tomorrow morning! The stock shot up 3% to $30.66 ahead of earnings.

XLNX had good earnings but lowered guidance and will not be a pretty picture tomorrow but I’m still a believer as they have already been sold off over the option scandal which has now been booked as a $1.5M charge and should be the end of it. If we assume a 20%…
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Testy Tuesday Morning Redux

It was one month ago, on a Tuesday, when we became concerned about the Nasdaq making a “death cross” where the 50 dma crossed below the 200 dma. At the time I said “this is a very powerful signal from which few stocks recover.” On the same day we had the Global Banker’s Conference in Basel where I called for an end to the senseless war on inflation but no one listened to me (to be fair, I was over in the kitchen and they were in — Switzerland).

Since then we have been paying the price with one of the worst 30 day periods in many years. Uncle Ben came home last week and finally took my advice and said inflation is under control – this is a lie but he can’t come out and say he no longer cares about inflation, it would make him look like he changed his mind and, as John Kerry learned, that is just not allowed in today’s politics. Instead the Chairman says that inflation is moderating, this is a prelude to a statement that we can expect in the near future that “some inflation is acceptable” which will signal a real change in policy.

Remember, it’s the bankers who hate inflation as they are lending you dollars today and they don’t want to get paid back in crummy deflated dollars tomorrow. What good does it do them if you get a raise and your house doubles in value and you can easily pay them back when it costs them double to hire a clerk? Most people live paycheck to paycheck and it’s generally a good thing when those paychecks get bigger. The whole concept of credit was initiated under the premise that you will earn more in the future. Giving you credit and charging you interest that is above the rate of inflation when your wages are stagnant is one of the great cons of the 21st Century.

Who else hates inflation? Rich people! Not people with a million dollars or even people with a few million dollars… I mean RICH people – George Bush and Dick Cheney level rich people. Rich people don’t play the markets, they have a diversified virtual portfolio of investments that yields 8-14% over a long period of time. Inflation is their mortal enemy! It erodes their returns and, ultimately, their wealth. What’s the point of wiping…
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Monday Mania!


That’s all I have to say about today because my Yahoo’s are looking pretty damn good right now. I chickened out of my calls this afternoon when the market looked toppy but I put the cash to good use buying AXP as it sold off a little bit later. AXP’s report was so good it ignited a secondary rally in practically every stock but AXP (see article below).

The Dow flew through 11,000 with a 182 point gain, coming to rest right under the 50 dma of 11,053 where it got a light rebuke at 3:30. The Nasdaq jumped 40 points but hasn’t even made it back to last week’s high yet while the S&P matched last week’s high but got a light rejection off the 200 dma at 1,265. The S&P will tell the whole story tomorrow as it is sqeezed right between the 2 dmas with just 6 points between them!

The NYSE was the indicator of the day, punching through the 200 dma with ease and running right past the 50 dma with a good, strong finish:

Volume was very good for a Summer Monday and if your stock didn’t advance today it probably sucks. PD was one of the few decliners as copper went limit down this morning but it’s more a reflection of their massive acquisition than about sector concerns.

Kraft beat on earnings which should help fuel the Dow further tomorrow and SOX puppet SNDK looks like it knocked the cover off the ball as well.

Oil rallied on: The loss of a major Venezualan refinery, A pipeline leak in Nigeria, 2 refinery outages in the states and a major Hurricane forecast – not on the war in the Mid East (pick one) or the record hot summer and surging global demand. Nonetheless, I shorted SLB in comments as it looked like a top to me.

Gold dropped to $613 but held $600 in intraday trading which rallied the gold stocks as it seems there is a limit to how far the US traders can drive the price down.

On the whole it was a great day but we still have some work to do to get back in a rally mode. It will be up to TXN (hopefully all those Amex users were buying cell phones and flat panel TVs), MMM, MO, AMZN, T, BNI, GLW, DD, MCD et al…
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Zero Hedge

Explosion Hits Russia's Largest Virus Lab Which Houses Plague, Smallpox, Ebola And Other Deadly Viruses

Courtesy of ZeroHedge View original post here.

A sudden explosion at a Siberian virus research center on Monday reportedly left the facility engulfed in flames, according to several Russian news outlets. 

Firefighters and other emergency personnel were dispatched to the "Vector Institute" located several miles from Novosibirsk - an emergency which was upgraded "from an ordinary emergency to a major incident," a...

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Phil's Favorites

The future of work will still include plenty of jobs


The future of work will still include plenty of jobs

Even though the future is unknown, Canada’s employment rate has risen steadily from 53 per cent in 1946 to more than 61 per cent today. (Shutterstock)

Courtesy of Wayne Simpson, University of Manitoba

There is now widespread anxiety over the future of work, often accompanied by calls for a basic income to protect those displaced by automation and other technological changes.

As a labour economis...

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Lee's Free Thinking

Is The Drone Strike a Black Swan?

Courtesy of Lee Adler

Pundits are calling yesterday’s drone strke a “black swan.” Can a drone strike on a Saudi oil facility, be a “black swan.”

According to Investopedia:

A black swan is an unpredictable event that is beyond what is normally expected of a situation and has potentially severe consequences. Black swan events are characterized by their extreme rarity, their severe impact, and the practice of explaining widespread failure to predict them as simple folly in hindsight.

I seriously doubt that no one expected or could have predicted a drone strike on a Saudi oil facility.

Call Me A B...

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Insider Scoop

New Relic Cuts 2020 Sales Guidance, Announces Changes In Management

Courtesy of Benzinga

New Relic (NYSE: NEWR) has reaffirmed its second-quarter guidance and cut its sales guidance for fiscal year 2020 from $600 million-$607 million to $586 million-$593 million.

The company’s chief technology officer, Jim Gochee, and chief revenue officer, Erica Schultz, have resigned. New Relic also named board member Michael Christenson as its chief operating officer. Christenson joins from his ... more from Insider

The Technical Traders

Metals are following downside sell off prediction before the next rally

Courtesy of Technical Traders

It is absolutely amazing how the precious metals markets have followed our October 2018 predictions almost like clockwork.  Our call for an April 21~24 momentum base below $1300 followed by an extensive rally to levels above $1550 has been playing out almost like we scripted these future price moves.

Now that the $1550 level has been reached, we are expecting a rotation to levels that may reach just below the $1490~1500 level before attempting to set up another momentum base/bottom formation.  And just like clockwork, Gold has followed our predictions and price is falling as we expected. Just look at our October 2018 chart where we forecasted the price of gold...

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Chart School

Crude Oil Cycle Bottom aligns with Saudi Oil Attack

Courtesy of Read the Ticker

Do the cycles know? Funny how cycle lows attract the need for higher prices, no matter what the news is!

These are the questions before markets on on Monday 16th Aug 2019:

1) A much higher oil price in quick time can not be tolerated by the consumer, as it gives birth to much higher inflation and a tax on the average Joe disposable income. This is recessionary pressure.

2) With (1) above the real issue will be the higher interest rate and US dollar effect on the SP500 near all time highs.

3) A moderately higher oil price is likely to be absorbed and be bullish as it creates income for struggling energy companies and the inflation shock may be muted. 

We shall see. 


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Kimble Charting Solutions

Bond Yields Due For Rally After Declining More Than 1987 Stock Crash

Courtesy of Chris Kimble

U.S. Treasury Bond Yields – 2, 5, 10, 30 Year Durations

The past year has seen treasury bond yields decline sharply, yet in an orderly fashion.

This has spurred recession concerns for much of 2019. Needless to say, it’s a confusing time for investors.

In today’s chart of the day, we look at a longer-term view of the 2, 5, 10, and 30-year treasury bond yields.

Short to long term bond yields are all testing 7 to 10-year support levels as momentum is at the lowest levels in a decade.

A yield rally is likely due across the board after a recent decline that was bigger than the stock crash in 1987!

If yields fail to ral...

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Digital Currencies

China Crypto Miners Wiped Out By Flood; Bitcoin Hash Rate Hits ATHs

Courtesy of ZeroHedge View original post here.

Last week, a devastating rainstorm in China's Sichuan province triggered mudslides, forcing local hydropower plants and cryptocurrency miners to halt operations, reported CoinDesk.

Torrential rains flooded some parts of Sichuan's mountainous Aba prefecture last Monday, with mudslides seen across 17 counties in the area, according to local government posts on Weibo. 

One of the worst-hit areas was Wenchuan county, ...

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The Big Pharma Takeover of Medical Cannabis

Reminder: We are available to chat with Members, comments are found below each post.


The Big Pharma Takeover of Medical Cannabis

Courtesy of  , Visual Capitalist

The Big Pharma Takeover of Medical Cannabis

As evidence of cannabis’ many benefits mounts, so does the interest from the global pharmaceutical industry, known as Big Pharma. The entrance of such behemoths will radically transform the cannabis industry—once heavily stigmatized, it is now a potentially game-changing source of growth for countless co...

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Mapping The Market

How IPOs Are Priced

Via Jean Luc 

Funny but probably true:


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Members' Corner

Despacito - How to Make Money the Old-Fashioned Way - SLOWLY!

Are you ready to retire?  

For most people, the purpose of investing is to build up enough wealth to allow you to retire.  In general, that's usually enough money to reliably generate a year's worth of your average income, each year into your retirement so that that, plus you Social Security, should be enough to pay your bills without having to draw down on your principle.

Unfortunately, as the last decade has shown us, we can't count on bonds to pay us more than 3% and the average return from the stock market over the past 20 years has been erratic - to say the least - with 4 negative years (2000, 2001, 2002 and 2008) and 14 positives, though mostly in the 10% range on the positives.  A string of losses like we had from 2000-02 could easily wipe out a decades worth of gains.

Still, the stock market has been better over the last 10 (7%) an...

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Free eBook - "My Top Strategies for 2017"



Here's a free ebook for you to check out! 

Phil has a chapter in a newly-released eBook that we think you’ll enjoy.

In My Top Strategies for 2017, Phil's chapter is Secret Santa’s Inflation Hedges for 2017.

This chapter isn’t about risk or leverage. Phil present a few smart, practical ideas you can use as a hedge against inflation as well as hedging strategies designed to assist you in staying ahead of the markets.

Some other great content in this free eBook includes:


·       How 2017 Will Affect Oil, the US Dollar and the European Union


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About Phil:

Philip R. Davis is a founder Phil's Stock World, a stock and options trading site that teaches the art of options trading to newcomers and devises advanced strategies for expert traders...

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Ilene is editor and affiliate program coordinator for PSW. She manages the site market shadows, archives, more. Contact Ilene to learn about our affiliate and content sharing programs.

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