Archive for 2006

Weekly Wrap-Up

On the whole, today was not a bad day for the markets.

They held up rather well considering the PPI was a very inflationary 3%+, indicating more Fed tightening ahead.

Oil did not break over $60, that’s important, but we now have a clear indication that Opec, Venezuela and Nigeria are willing to do whatever it takes to support $60 oil. Again though, without actual production cuts or consumption increases (maybe a “Got Oil” campaign) there will be no denying the fundamental glut on the market.

Gold seemed to just be reacting to the heightened activity in and around the oil producers, whether engineered or not gold traders like to hoard at any sign of trouble.

I am very glad I cashed out early as the action on most stocks was miserable but let’s review and see how we did…


ACI was indeed a great day trade! I picked up the $75s for .20 at the open and sold an hour later for .60 for a nice triple. As expected, they did indeed make a better move than BTU.

AMAT is going well so far, the $20 puts went out for .55 (50% profit) and the March $20s are only down .45 with a month to go. If it goes to $19.25 and bounces, I’m going to double up my calls.

AMZN held up well against weak tech.

ATYT weirdly sold off at 3pm, so I bought it.

BA had a great day against a weak market, up another .5%. 5 more days like that and we are in the money on our puts!

Wednesday TOTD BIIB Apr $45s are now $4.50, up 33%. We lost .50 on the put so really a 25% gain so far (but I slept better having the put). If I remember I think I will say buy more next week.

BUD needs the market to agree with it, it is just not going to go up by itself.

CCE just never did what we wanted it to but the Mar $20 calls are still .35 (down 30%). I’m tempted to double down but not until I really go over my initial assumptions.

CBH is back to where we wanted to enter the June $30s ($3), just a little further, come to poppa… Patience is a major virtue when buying options!

Last Friday I said “CSCO still can’t break $20, no buying until
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Friday Morning

Cash out today! I don’t care how good the market looks, cash out today, at least 75%. It’s a long weekend and the oil barrons are getting desperate so anything can happen. If we are in full rally mode there will be hundreds of things to buy with our cash. If not, there will be hundreds of excellent shorts. It looks like we are in full blown global rotation as Asia is down and Europe is flat, this could lead to another great day today, especially as Euro dollars come in at the end of day. The Japanese market plunged today because their economy is growing at 5.5%. Why? The same silly reason we react badly to good news – fear of Fed tightening!!! Dell is going to cause some pain for the Nasdaq but no index is close to any technical worries. Oil, on the other hand, is flying up over $59 as Venezuela takes a turn in the spotlight, calling for production cuts at the next OPEC meeting. The French are even playing the game now, trying to bail out TOT by rattling their plumes at Iran. I really hope everyone listened to me and dumped the oil puts yesterday morning! Of course the Friday rule is in effect today (never short oil on Friday) so we watch and wait. The reality is that there is still a huge glut and these countries will not stick to production cuts as long as they can get more than $50 a barrel but, in the short term, threats work. ===================================== SIRI had better earnings and bigger losses than expected but I think they’ll be forgiven as they added over 1.1M subscribers in the quarter while keeping churn (lost subscribers) down to 1.5% vs. XM’s 1.8%. Subscriber acquisition costs are down 17% vs. XMs up 36%. In short, Sirius is winning! BA has gone flat into options but my favorite suppliers AIR, TIE, BEAV and ATI have all had a great week so I am very confident that it is consolidating for a power move up. The Mar $75s are a double at .75 but I’m buying more. If BA breaks $75 next week, all the suppliers are a buy as well. JNJ Mar $60s are a bargain at .60. If the stock can’t hold $59, get out but if it breaks above the 50 dma of $60, it should be…
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Thursday Wrap-Up

WooEee! What a day.

Can’t believe I missed it – days like this make me want to do this full time!

Oil was as good on the upside today as it was on the downside all week, so glad we got out of those things….

The markets are now in great position for a huge run, especially with that huge finish that just shattered resistance. Hopefully Dell’s so so outlook won’t turn people off tomorrow but I don’t care – because I did a Google spread!!!

Yesterday I mentioned the spread of the $350 calls and the $340 puts vs. the fact that “they” couldn’t hold the stock right at $345 for 2 more days. Looks like I hit that with a fat $24 gain on the day. My $2.50 $350 calls finished the day at $16.90 (unfortunately I lost $3.50 on the puts as I was away and didn’t have a sell stop) for a nice $400% day gain!!!

So imagine how happy I was to come home to that…

Anyway, very psyched about tomorrow, hopefully oil will pull back again but if it goes up – we’ll do that. Bernanke made it as clear as a Fed chief can make something that more rate hikes lie ahead so we have to throw continued dollar strength into the mix.


MER was a perfect call for the morning, the Mar $75s gained .80 (40%) today.

AAPL tacked on another $1.35 and we are lovin’ those Jan $65s!

GM did gain 1.3% but I still think its a bad company so I’m ignoring the technicals and staying on the side until it tests $21.50 again.

EDS had a volitile week and the Jan ’08 $30s are still a good deal at $2.40 but wait for a possible option related pullback today. I would take the March $25s if they go below $1.40.

MCD looks ready to pull back but will be a strong buy if it holds the 50 dma of $35.

DOW has really been en fuego since our 2/8 pick. Look to take your massive profits and run if it has trouble at the 200 dma of $44.25. We can always reenter with $45s if it breaks up but this is a 250% gain on the March $40s so no reason to leave it out there!

I’m waiting on LVS as the puts are way…
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Wednesday Wrap-Up

Another fun day to short oil!

I may have to add an Amex rule to the Valero rule… Actually, it’s just because, at this exact moment in time, the Amex is resting on critical resistance which makes it the best indicator.

Notice how the Amex shot up at the open and was followed by the other indices 40 minutes later. By then it was heading down, not liking what Bernanke was saying and the other indices followed. When Bernanke finished speaking around 12:45, the other indices shot right up but Amex didn’t make a move until closer to 2pm. By following this you missed little and got a very solid confirmation with plenty of time to act.

Metals were down again today on dollar strength but that only went about 1/3 of the way to explaining the $2 drop in oil today, all the way down below $58!

HPQ had good earnings today so tech should do well tomorrow. A nice tech rally tomorrow could be just what we need to get over those nasty technicals.


Our Tuesday oil puts proved you can go back to the well again with spectacular drops (and they were nice enough to open positive too!). This is why I like to cash out, sometimes they run back up and you can go in again… Also, with options near expiration, they are repriced every day so you can’t count on holding value overnight. SLB is a great example as it gapped up this morning before falling another $5.

XOM was a huge disappointment but HAL made us a nice triple during the day. XOM is tops on my list to short tomorrow with the $60 puts at just .65. It even makes a nice spread for $1.05.

Using the Valero Rule, I entered a lot of oil puts around 12 and mentioned it in this morning’s comments – that was really better than entering in the morning!


ANF never got that low, perhaps their shareholders are smarter than I gave them credit for. It did drop $2 but recovered nicely so we’ll give it a few days.

CBH shot up today and the June $30s rocketed to $4.30 (I missed it, too busy with oil).

AMAT’s earnings were good, not great so we have to wait for guidance. With luck we can get some money back on the puts in tomorrow’s…
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Thursday Morning

Today will be a great example of why you shouldn’t hold current oil options overnight! BHI had very good earnings and if that doesn’t lift the service sector nothing will! This is one of those typical engineered reverses where analysts start coming out bullish on oil in order to stop a slide. The inventory numbers were so atrocious for oil bulls that I very much doubt they can keep it over $58. If we are lucky, we will get a morning like yesterday where suckers come in and buy so we can move in for the kill when Valero gives us the signal. Watch SLB and HAL for confirmation in addition to the usual Rule indices. Hopefully we will have a Nasdaq led rally today, that would be ideal. HP’s earnings were great and, if that doesn’t lift tech, nothing will. Backing that up with a nice Dell report tonight and we could have a heck of a close to the week. Dell’s Mar $32.50 for .80 are a nice play. Today is a great day to get into our tech positions in general but don’t overcommit into the weekend, there are lots of quick 20%+ trades on our list, it will be nice to wake up Tuesday (no market Monday) with cash after the long weekend so we can assess the situation! ====================================== I have to leave this morning so not much to say but a few quickies: MER is lagging the other financial and has a great deal with Black Rock so I really like the Mar $75s for $2. XMSR is looking like a disaster. Will break the 5% rule today. Below $23, there will be little support to $20 and the Mar $22.50 puts are just $1 but not unless the stock moves strongly below $23. SIRI Mar $6s are way too cheap at .40 but a huge gamble. XMSR’s troubles were caused by all the money they had to spend to fend off Sirius’s market gains. AMZN may be coming out of its depressive phase so the Jan $35s are nice for $8 if you sell the Mar $40s for $1 (13%). You can just buy the Mar $40s but this is a dangerous stock. DCX’s sound good but were actually bad. This would be a great opportunity but I think the Europeans will be all over this before our markets open. GM should get…
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What Happens in Vegas…

Mike asked in the comments about LVS and we’ve talked about it often enough that I thought I’d deal with it here.

The owners (90% Shelly) have announced they are going to sell 55M shares through GS. Although the company had a .04 earnings beat, so did all of Las Vegas so nobody here is doing any particular bang-up job. Granted the Macao revenues were through the roof, but they won’t go up 68% every quarter.

Also, much of the company’s value hinges on prospects of casino building, notably in Macao but, in the conference call, Bill Weidner said they “completed a strategic refinancing and entered the market to secure a $2.5 billion credit facility to support our development plans in Macao as we lead the historic effort to create Asia’s Las Vegas.” That sounds great until you found out that they lost their Singapore development partner and are one of 4 casino builders that are bidding on the project (and the only one without a building partner and one of 2 that haven’t got a Chinese partner).

This was obvious to after hour traders on Tuesday night who dropped the stock to $48 (5%) in after hours trading where it opened on Wednesday morning. Then, a miracle happened, the stock flew up to $52 yesterday on huge (for this stock) volume (5M shares).

Now I’m not saying this stock is being manipulated (’cause that would be wrong) but yesterday’s run netted the shareholder’s 220M in potential profits on the 55M shares that are going to be sold, that’s exactly the total value of all shares transacted yesterday! What a coincidence!!!

Why would anyone bother (theoretically because, of course, no one would do this) buying $220M worth of stock to make $220M? Well because the $220M in profit is based on a very tenuous value of 55M shares of paper that is only worth what it is printed on unless someone else wants to buy it.

Of course you don’t actually have to buy all $220M worth of stock to get the affect. Between 9:30 and 10am 2M shares were transacted for $100M, driving the stock from $48 to $50. The stock then trended down until 1pm when an amazing sudden interest developed and another 750,000 shares were purchased with abandon, driving the stock up another $2.

55M shares represents 45 days of average volume that these guys are…
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Wobbly Wednesday

At a ski resort in Killington Vermont there is a very popular nightspot called the Wobbly Barn. It always strikes me as amusing that so many people would pack a place that proclaims itself to be structurally unsound.

The same thing happened yesterday in the markets! Amid doom and gloom and a widening deficit and Fed uncertainty and all these various crises, investors packed back into the markets yesterday determined to party like it’s 1999.

Before I jump in and start dancing and throwing my money around, I just want to take a little bit of time to check the foundation. Let’s not overcommit, there is nothing wrong with taking profits prior to the weekend and giving ourselves a clean start next week. If this is a real rally, it will be huge and we will not miss much but until the Dow is above 11,100, the S&P at 1,300 and the Nasdaq is above 2,350, then we still are in danger of simply being back at the top of a trading range.

Europe and Asia are weak today and our markets are likely waiting on Bernanke’s testimony which begins at 10am (and will distract from the oil numbers). Even more distracting will be Google’s (and Yahoo, Cisco and MSFT) testimony before Congress today.

Cooperation with tyranny should not be embraced for the sake of profits,” said Smith, R-N.J., chairman of the House International Relations subcommittee on global human rights. So you have an idea of which way this might be going! Expect lots of good soundbites but not much else. As you know from our homework assignment last week, it looks like Google isn’t beyond censoring our results either but at least we do have other reference sources in this country – not that we use them, but at least we have them!

The hugely successful businesses that come before Congress … will have to account for their complicity in China’s culture of repression, and to begin to make amends,” Rep. Tom Lantos, D-Calif., said Tuesday.

I think this might be a sell on the rumor, buy on the news situation with Google and the stock may get a bounce as long as they don’t come off too slimy trying to explain how it helps Chinese citizens to view censored results. Hopefully they won’t make the mistake of letting Sergey and Eric speak directly to Congress, they just don’t…
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Tuesday Wrap-Up

Could this finally be the rally we have been looking for?

After an early drop that kept us out of the market, we got a great buy signal from the AMEX as it turned sharply upward at 11am. I would have felt better if the index had broken its 50 dma of 1,795 but any move up tomorrow puts it above with the others.

Everyone will talk about Dow 11,000 tomorrow but let’s hold it for more than a day this time before we break out the champagne. My weekend notes to myself include: Dow > 11K = massive bull market – let’s hope I was right…

Pretty much everything worked today. The oils had a bit of a recovery mid-day but settled in near their lows. The Valero rule should have kept you out of the puts as it went up against the price of oil pretty much all day.

I made a call in the comments to go for the oil puts at 3:12 as I thought the sector rally looked very artificial. I am only liking the March puts as these stocks can be held up through expiration on Friday. Inventory reports will be key tomorrow and a positive open could provide additional buying opportunities early on. Oil closing near the day’s low at $59.52 has caught many traders far on the wrong side of the contracts.

Gold also bounced off resistance and finished just under $550. These stocks are too crazy to play today.


TGT ended up doing well today, despite their warning and the SHLD trade worked out very well so far.

URBN made a nice move and a far better one after hours (not sure why).

JAKK did just what we thought and gave us a very cheap entry on the Mar $22.50s (again, discussed in comments).

LVS came through with very good earnings but, like Google, not good enough to justify the valuation. To add insult to shareholder injury, the company announced it will file a 55M share ($3Bn) secondary offering, I believe for the sole purpose of cashing out the owners. “All the shares will be sold by selling stockholders and, accordingly, Las Vegas Sands Corp. will not receive any proceeds from the offering,” the company said in a news release. Nice…

AAPL finally showed signs of life today, a good sign if it keeps up.

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Tricky Tuesday

It wil be tricky today but retail sales are coming in high (as I predicted) and that should give the markets a huge boost. Whether or not they hold it will be the question of the day.

Remember, we are watching the AMEX today for direction, all the other indices are below resistance where any up move is good. The markets need to show us something if they want to have our cash though….

Bernanke makes his first statement tomorrow so no one is very inclined to commit until they can figure out which way he may be going. Oddly, after 20 years of Greenspan, no one could figure him out so I don’t really see the point but traders like to think they know what they are doing.

Asia is rebounding, I was going to say that I don’t know how those investors can take it but then I realized the Dow is actually no better!$NIKK

I was making some notes over the weekend (if you want the stream of consciousness, check my 2/11 6:48 am post comments) while reading oil reports and blogging about (I know, I need to get a life) and I noticed the following:

  • NY cash markets for gas are at the lowest level since 11/15
  • Heating oil is being held on trucks in Houston as there is no storage left in the NE
  • Oil is being sent back to Europe from NY
  • Japan gasoline has dropped 26% because US cancelled huge orders

I concluded that oil was on it’s way to $60.65 on Monday if there was no storm (there was) but since the storm turned out to be a brief event, we are heading right to that level today. That is the 200 dma kids, below that we are in uncharted territory that may just lead all the way down to $54-$55 range before the month ends.

Chief investment strategist at Raymond James just told CNBC “I have no idea how to value Google.” Wow! That is a real sign of market confusion because they are one of the few analysts I actually respect…

The only thing that looks scarier than Google’s daily chart is it’s weekly chart but the max pain theory of options expiration says it will settle at $385, that would be a heck of a trick between now and Friday!

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Monday Mop-Up

Good golly what a mess! The Dow took a nice bounce off 10,850 to finish at just under 10,900. Nasdaq, on the other hand, just seems to be giving up, now treating 2,250 like a level it can’t reach. S&P has moved down below 1,270 and seems happy down there. Worst of all, the AMEX is now all the way down to 50 dma support at 1,789. It’s the AMEX that will make or break the market tomorrow – whichever way that goes, we go (looks down though). If the market can’t rally on $61 oil I’m not sure what it will take… HPQ and DELL need to knock the cover off the ball to get the Nasdaq back on track. Today really knocked a lot of optimism out of me, luckily I got a chance to cash out those Google puts and oil puts so I have cash ready to go whichever way the market takes us. ===================================== LVS was irresistible today with a mystery gain of 5%. With the p/e back at 200 I took the March $50 puts for $2.40. XOM $60 puts were a great intraday comment trade as they flew from .60 at 12:30 to $1.15 when VLO made me nervous at 3:20. When you make 100% on a day trade, you really should take it!!! CHK was great today, the $27.50 puts finished at .30 (up 50%) but were a clean double this afternoon (again, never be greedy!). GOOG was stopped by the 5% rule but never tested the 200 dma at $335 so I think it still needs to get there but this is an option expiration week and I hate to take any chances in the overnights so we will have to wait for tomorrow. Note that BTU was stopped by the 5% rule for the last 5 consecutive sessions! The $90 puts we picked on Friday for $2.50 are already up to $4.90 so I took that money and ran. AAPL is determined to follow Google to the grave but CME actually broke away today. This could be a good signal for the markets but I’m not acting on it just yet. DOW held up well, as expected and should continue strong as long as oil trends down. PCU continues to plummet. The Sept $85 puts from Friday at $11.50 are all the way up to $15.20 (30%). If you haven’t…
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Zero Hedge

Bloomberg System Goes Down Ahead Of US Open

Courtesy of ZeroHedge. View original post here.

For the second time in a few months, the Bloomberg Terminal system appears to be down and is causing panic across Wall Street ahead of the US market open...

Traders are not happy...

When Bloomberg panels go down 8 minutes before the open......

— NOD (@NOD008) January 17, 2019 ...

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Kimble Charting Solutions

Triple Breakout Test In Play For S&P 500!

Courtesy of Chris Kimble.

Is the rally of late about to run out of steam or is a major breakout about to take place in the S&P 500? What happens at current prices should go a long way in determining this question.

This chart looks at the equal weight S&P 500 ETF (RSP) on a daily basis over the past 15-months.

The rally from the lows on Christmas Eve has RSP testing the top of a newly formed falling channel while testing the underneath side of the 2018 trading range and its falling 50-day moving average at (1).

At this time RPS is facing a triple resistance test. Wil...

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Phil's Favorites

Brexit deal flops, Theresa May survives -- so what happens now?


Brexit deal flops, Theresa May survives -- so what happens now?

Courtesy of Victoria Honeyman, University of Leeds

As the clock ticks down to March 29 2019, all of the political manoeuvring, negotiating, arguing and fighting is coming to a peak. In the two and a half years since the 2016 EU referendum, views on both sides have hardened and agreement still seems as far away as it was the day after the referendum.

With Theresa May’s withdrawal agreement disliked by all sides, and voted down by an unprecedented majority in the House of Commons, everyone is wondering what can and should be done next?


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Digital Currencies

Crypto-Bubble: Will Bitcoin Bottom In February Or Has It Already?

Courtesy of Michelle Jones via

The new year has been relatively good for the price of bitcoin after a spectacular collapse of the cryptocurrency bubble in 2018. It’s up notably since the middle of December and traded around the psychological level of $4,000... so is this a sign that the crypto market is about to recover?

Of course, it depends on who you ask, but one analyst discovered a pattern which might point to a bottom next month.

A year after the cryptocurrency bubble popped


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D.E. Shaw Investment Calls For Leadership Change At EQT

By ActivistInsight. Originally published at ValueWalk.

Elliott Management has offered to acquire QEP Resources for approximately $2.1 billion, contending the oil and gas explorer’s turnaround efforts have done little to lift the company’s share price. The company responded and said that a thorough review of the proposition is imperative in order to properly act in the best interests of shareholders, “taking into account the company’s other alternatives and current market conditions.” The news came only a month after Travelport Worldwide agreed to sell itself to Siris Capital Group and Elliott’s private equity arm Evergreen Coast Capital for $4.4 billion in cash and two months after Athenahealth was bought by Veritas and Evergreen for $5.7 bi...

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Insider Scoop

UBS Says Disney's Streaming Ambition Gives It A 'New Hope'

Courtesy of Benzinga.

Related DIS Despite Some Risks, Analysts Still Expecting Double Digit Growth From Communications Services In Q4 ... more from Insider

Chart School

Weekly Market Recap Jan 13, 2019

Courtesy of Blain.

In last week’s recap we asked:  “Has the Fed solved all the market’s problems in 1 speech?”

Thus far the market says yes!  As Guns n Roses preached – all we need is a little “patience”.  Four up days followed by a nominal down day Friday had the market following it’s normal pattern the past nearly 30 years – jumping whenever the Federal Reserve hints (or essentially says outright) it is here for the markets.   And in case you missed it the prior Friday, Chairman Powell came back out Thursday to reiterate the news – so…so… so… patient!

Fed Chairman Jerome Powell reinforced that message Thursday during a discussion at the Economic Club of Washington where he said that the central bank will be “fle...

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Members' Corner

Why Trump Can't Learn


Bill Eddy (lawyer, therapist, author) predicted Trump's chaotic presidency based on his high-conflict personality, which was evident years ago. This post, written in 2017, references a prescient article Bill wrote before Trump even became president, 5 Reasons Trump Can’t Learn. ~ Ilene 

Why Trump Can’t Learn

Donald Trump by Gage Skidmore (...

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Opening Pandora's Box: Gene editing and its consequences

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


Opening Pandora's Box: Gene editing and its consequences

Bacteriophage viruses infecting bacterial cells , Bacterial viruses. from

Courtesy of John Bergeron, McGill University

Today, the scientific community is aghast at the prospect of gene editing to create “designer” humans. Gene editing may be of greater consequence than climate change, or even the consequences of unleashing the energy of the atom.


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Mapping The Market

Trump: "I Won't Be Here" When It Blows Up

By Jean-Luc

Maybe we should simply try him for treason right now:

Trump on Coming Debt Crisis: ‘I Won’t Be Here’ When It Blows Up

The president thinks the balancing of the nation’s books is going to, ultimately, be a future president’s problem.

By Asawin Suebsaeng and Lachlan Markay, Daily Beast

The friction came to a head in early 2017 when senior officials offered Trump charts and graphics laying out the numbers and showing a “hockey stick” spike in the nationa...

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Swing trading portfolio - week of September 11th, 2017

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).

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.

To learn more about the swing trading virtual portfolio (strategy, performance, FAQ, etc.), please click here ...

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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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About Ilene:

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.

Market Shadows >>