Archive for April, 2007

Monday Mop-Up

What was that?

We had a sudden, very broad-based drop-off at 2:17 and there was no clear indication as to what caused it.  Luckily, I didn't like the market at 9:47 when I said: "I think we have a buy opportunity on semis if the broader market holds up but meanwhile – 20% of profit stops as we need to lighten up anyway."  I added: "AMZN doesn’t care, JDSU doesn’t care, HPQ and Dell don’t care, GOOG doesn’t care – could be time for tech if the SOX can shake it off. If the companies I just mentioned start tanking, then we run away!"

Well it turned out to be an excellent time to run away as we had a nice run-up in the morning that let us stop out of a lot of our positions ahead of where we were at Friday's close.  We got stopped out of 17 positions in the end including a lot of big winners that we just couldn't leave on the table:











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Just Another Manic Monday

This week we'll get a chance to see what happens to your leaps when a stock comes out of bankruptcy.

We've been buying an selling DALRQ (soon to be DAL) Jan $2.50s since 12/22 and have done quite well as they bounced from our nickel buys to as much as .30 but have flatlined at .05 since early February when we lost interest.  There's still 62 left in the LTP, worth a whopping $310 and people often ask me about buying bankrupt stocks so this will be an intereresting exercise for the week!  This leaves NWACQ as the last airline operating in bankruptcy.

We have a busy busy data week ahead of us so it's time for the famous chart:

Date ET Release For Actual Consensus Prior My Guess
Apr 30 08:30 Personal Income Mar   0.5% 0.5% 0.6% .6+
Apr 30 08:30 Personal Spending Mar   0.6% 0.5% 0.6% .5
Apr 30 08:30 Core PCE Inflation Mar   0.1% 0.1% 0.3% .2 (rounded)
Apr 30 09:45 Chicago PMI Apr   53.0 55.0 61.7 57
Apr 30 10:00 Construction Spending Mar   0.1% 0.3% 0.3% .2
May 01 10:00 ISM Index Apr   51.5 51.0 50.9 51
May 01 10:00 Pending Home Sales Mar    

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Smart Portfolio Management – Part III – $1,000,000

Options Sage submits:

Before we kick-off on part III of our Smart Virtual Portfolio Management trilogy, let’s see why it is even more important than ever to employ intelligent virtual portfolio management:

Bizarro World

Bizarro World has arrived!  Phil summed up Bizarro World with these words “a drop in Asian markets doesn’t bother us and a collapsing US economy doesn’t bother Asia”. 

Is the collapsing US Dollar worrying anybody?!?!  Should we really care that the dollar is so low?

  • 1 Euro buys almost $1.36
  • 1 Pound Sterling buys $2.00
  • 1 Aussie Dollar buys almost $0.84
  • 1 Swiss Franc buys almost $0.83


Perhaps not…at least the Europeans seem happy for the moment…  I knew the dollar was really weak when my European friends decided it was cheaper to fly from Heathrow to JFK, stay for a weekend, shop each day and return home rather than simply get the bus into the city center and buy holiday presents in Euros!

At what point does this become a real concern?  Perhaps when 1 Euro is worth $1.50!  While it might seem from the European perspective that this would mean even cheaper vacations to the US and even cheaper presents to bring back home, European exporters may experience a drawback as they run into a rising wall of resistance as the unattractive currency conversion tightens the belt on demand for their goods. 

Maybe we shouldn’t care at all when we can put our money in Google…I am sure everybody read Phil’s excellent article but for emphasis let’s just highlight the quarter's earnings one more time:  1 BILLION Dollars!  How the stock closed Friday at only $482.48 I just don’t know but any creative hedge fund managers out there who do know are encouraged to drop me a line!

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Weekly Wrap-Up

Well that was a pretty good week!

Thanks to BIDU and Google our $10,000 Virtual Portfolio is now worth $17,051 just 34 days after we opened it.  While you could say this was, to some extent, just fortunate timing – we did make a lot of really good adjustments to get to where we are today!

The 95 remaining open positions in our Short-Term Porfolo have an average open gain of 115% but the more important gain on cash is 29% and we closed 53 positions this week with an average gain of 121%, our best of the year so far.  Because we sold a lot of positions the gain on cash was over 100% as well, which means we deployed no additional capital to make our 121% return - this is why you MUST use a broker that lets you do spreads, it is a night and day difference in your risk management.

Ironically we didn't sell positions (for the most part) against our Long-Term Virtual Portfolio as we saw this rally coming a mile away and our average open gain in that virtual portfolio is now 160% on 46 open positions but my trigger finger is very itchy on that side as 28 positions remain uncovered.

Even our pokey 18 position Stock Virtual Portfolio has gained an average of 19% on 60 average days open so I would have to say that we were just very lucky to happen to be very bullish this month – but I'll take being lucky over being good, we can always work on being good later!

Our special (and temporary) Google Virtual Portfolio had 22 positions that were open an average of 11 days and have returned 96% so far with just 8 plays remaining open.  That spreadsheet will be available along with the others on the members site today and anyone who doubts the rule "ALWAYS sell into the initial excitement," should compare the value of what we got out of on the 20th vs. what some of the open contracts are worth now.

I'm not going to bore you nice people reviewing how right I was about the markets – obviously you don't generate these kinds of returns being wrong – and I'm a lot more concerned with protecting the positions we
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Friday Virtual Portfolio Moves

Posted April 27, 2007 at 9:42 am | Permalink (Edit)

BIDU – what a Jackpot – $23 for the June $105s and just $22 for the May $105s – I was worried we’d get 0 on the spread. If you are still in the $105s, rather than sell the ones you have you can sell the $115s, which carry a pretty good premium and should give you a good cushion but I’m happy to take the cash.

Posted April 27, 2007 at 9:45 am | Permalink (Edit)

MSFT – I’m pretty disappointed with the double but we’ll take it! Selling the $30s for no less than .80 (hoping for a bounce here) is a good idea over the weekend and I’ll buy them back for $1 on mo. XXX

Posted April 27, 2007 at 9:52 am | Permalink (Edit)

Rally on expected Fed easing – economy is down but not out and housing was 85% of the problem with the other big hit coming from less governement spending, not really a bad thing!

SNDK moving up on the loss. I’m holding off on buying out my caller for now.

Posted April 27, 2007 at 10:08 am | Permalink (Edit)

QCOM is an accumulate here, sell-off for them seems unwarranted. I’m willing to go with the current $45s at .95, the May $95s are $1.70 so you’re getting you money’s worth with 3 weeks to go.

CME suddenly woke up! $530s as a dangerous momentum play for $12

Posted April 27, 2007 at 10:26 am | Permalink (Edit)

CME – will be selling the $540s for $8 if it crosses down below $526 against $530s, that will put time on my side for the weekend.

BRCM is on the 5% rule, until they break $33.50 this is not a bounce. If they can’t crack that they are likely to head to a new LOD

CMI – what is up with this market? We knew days ago they were going to beat and look at the gain today! That’s just too much, I’m going with the $100 puts as a mo play XXX…
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GDP Friday!

Microsoft who?

It’s all about the GDP today and the whisper number is a miss of what now seems to be a 1.9% average estimate (down from 2.5% last Q).  I’m not quite sure how we get a GDP miss with 68% of the S&P 500 beating estimates but it sure is spooking foreign investors this morning.

[8:30 update:  It's a big miss!  1.3% and inflation is up - Stagflation Rules!]

Asia dropped 1% today, finishing down a point for the week after 2 really nice days.  They were down 2% on Wednesday so it’s not awful but there was a lot of nervous profit taking ahead of China’s week-long market holiday.  The BOJ held rates steady but warned of future increases, sending chills up the spines of carry traders.  Japan’s 2.1% GDP growth is up from zero, so that’s pretty impressive and the Japanese are worried about the lack of inflation after their decade-long deflationary cycle.  "The economy is likely to continue its sustained expansion with a virtuous circle of production, income, and spending in place," the central bank said in the report.

Mazda earnings jumped 24%, led by strong North American sales in SUV and compact cars and I mentioned Matsushita’s 41% gain yesterdayPC sales are booming at Acer, the world’s #3 computer company, which bodes well for our HPQ calls.  The dark spot on Asian earnings was NTT DoCoMo as Japan’s biggest cell phone carrier posted a 25% drop in income as they fight to keep market share.

European markets were weak ahead of our GDP and the numbers I’m seeing are unlikely to help but watch what happens next week when there is nowhere else for money to go.  Japan is closed Monday, Thursday and Friday and China is only open on Monday and there are fears that Chinese officials may take advantage of the holiday to announce Central Bank tightening while the markets have time to digest it.

Commodity prices are coming under pressure in Europe as regulators there are beginning to fine de facto commodity cartels for price fixing.  This is coming at the same time as Democrats here are calling for excess profit taxes, well timed in the face of another round of record oil company earnings.

We will be THRILLED to hold 13,000 today – as I said, next week there really won’t be
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Thursday Wrap-Up

There are so many mergers and acquisitions they can't even wait until Monday anymore.

Now KKR and GS are buying stereo maker HAR in what I consider a real vote of confidence in the US consumer as they pay a 20% premium for the company,  which also makes JBL and Infinity speakers.

I find the timing interesting as Matsushita (Panasonic) just announced a 41% jump in profits as cost cutting enabled them to expand the bottom line despite stiff pricing competition and the declining US dollar (which hasn't declined as much against the Yen as other currencies).  Cutting costs and currency exchange has been a theme this earnings season and that's a good thing as it undercuts inflation concerns.

Microsoft pulled a gotcha on the analysts in the after hours.  They didn't get us, we've been onto the scam they've been running since 3/27 when I noticed the well-timed inconsistencies in Microsoft's various press statements where I said:

  • "So I guess the question is:  Was Steve Ballmer lying on Jan 30th, or on Feb 16th, or was the company lying yesterday or is Steve just so out of touch with something as basic as shipping and sales of the company’s core product that he honestly can do a 180 on the numbers every couple of weeks?
  • "Let’s give MSFT the benefit of the doubt and just say they are despicable market manipulators who callously move the Nasdaq on a whim, causing great economic upheaval and billions of dollars of investor losses simply to push forward their own agenda.  It’s not stupid at all to tank your stock while engaging in a massive buyback program, no sense in paying retail is there?  UPOD is one thing but it’s totally irresponsible to "play" the expectations game when your stock is the fulcrum that moves the broader markets."

It was our realization that Microsoft had been dogging their estimates that led us to making a lot of tech investments and we were in and out of a nice April MSFT play already and we just picked up those July calls yesterday, which should do quite well too!  MSFT announced a 65% increase in Q3 (for them) earnings and raised guidance and earnings included a large chunk of deferred revenue…
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Thursday Virtual Portfolio Moves

Posted April 26, 2007 at 9:31 am | Permalink (Edit)


Rule number 1: ALLWAYS sell into the initial excitement
Rule number 2: When in doubt sell half.

Breaking one commandment is forgivable but breking two often brings down the wrath of the markets!

Posted April 26, 2007 at 9:47 am | Permalink (Edit)

AAPL – May $100s opened at $4.40 and you really should have taken $4 as any profit on a spread needs to be taken off the table ahead of earnings unless you have huge mo. If you’re still holding at $3.40 (puts are .25) then you may as well watch the $100 line and get out even if we lose it or you could DD on the puts and ride the month out but with a spread you need to be thrilled to make 25% – you are lowering your risk by immediately sacrificing what would be a double so a 25% gain on the spread is a 125% gain on one side – expecting better is going to lead to disappointment.

For those of you looking to get out of AAPL on either side, try playing the spikes, we’re probably going to have them in both directions today and I will be looking into working my way into a strangle, starting with an offer of $1.50 on the $100 puts and either getting the $100 calls for the same or grabbing the $105s as a mo play.

Posted April 26, 2007 at 9:51 am | Permalink (Edit)

TM (5/9) – We took the loss on the $130s on Monday at $1 but now is the time to go for the $125s at $1.50 XXX.

MU – Very greedy to not take at least half at the critical $12 mark – that’s a huge move since our pick. Oops, I stopped out now anyway.

Posted April 26, 2007 at 10:04 am | Permalink (Edit)

MCD/all other stop questions – Don’t think, set 20% of the profit stops. That means that you take the highest price paid for your contract and, if the price paid goes 20% below that you should sell at least half. 20%…
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Thank You Bidu!

BIDU just made our day in the $10,000 Virtual Portfolio (now over $15,000).  How appropriate that BIDU was the first trade we made when we initiated the virtual portfolio on 3/22!

What a difference a week makes!  I was just whining about that ill-timed IBM trade and our hopeless oil puts over the weekend and I'll admit I've been trigger shy this weekend as I didn't want to risk an earnings play in the $10KP until I saw where we stood.

We've been in and out of Bidu a lot this year and we made 2 spectacular trades on it last year so it's a stock we know well, which is why we committed 2 spreads to it in our $10KP.

Kudos to HappyTrading, King of WangsWorld, who, along with BillBigD, made a great timing trade on this stock back in January.  On 1/9, Happy said: "BIDU – Similar to GOOG, but, more momemtum! In with Jan 125 calls @ $2.9 (thought about it at $2.7, but, didn’t act fast enough).Two days later he hit it on the mark with:  "I’m out of BIDU. 130 is high, although it might go higher; but, I watch it for other entry points."

On 1/11 I warned: "BIDU will get dragged down by China if it collapses. If the Dow was at 20,000 and Google was at $950 would you be jumping on the $1,000s? Just be careful! If you own the Feb and Mar $130s – sell them! Especially the Febs."  Louis Lee called it DOA at 12:04 that day: "Divorced Bidu call at doubie, left a few as a scout… " to which Juliet made the call of the day, saying: "Should have bought BIDU puts since Cramer said last night “buy buy buy”.

That was it, we lost interest in BIDU just in time, although some people insisted on playing them again around 2/14 earnings when I said:  "You’re all mad gamblers on BIDU though! Good luck…" and Prof concurred saying "BIDU – Staying out of this craps roll! Impossible to predict direction here."  Those earnings were a disaster and on 2/15 I made a prediction for expiration and set a buy target: "I’ll be surprised to see BIDU finish below $100 – too many putters going
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Thrilling Thursday Morning – In Progress

Good morning Global Markets!

It's a fine day to be a bull with Asia staging a brisk recovery and Europe getting quickly back in gear.  MMM and AAPL gave mighty fine reports and are lifting the Dow and the Nasdaq in the pre-markets.  Apple's profits jumped 88% – take that Google!   $56Bn MMM made an extra $500M and, although it was mostly from the sale of one of their divisions, that's one of the ways global corps routinely make money so we don't really discount those gains.

The WSJ is finally catching up to what we were talking about for the past 3 months – the disconnect between the market and the economy so it must be time for me to move on before they realize 50% of this "rally" is due to the dollar's decline.  Remember, 40% of the S&P 500's revenues come from overseas and we pay our service sector in declining US dollars and collect rising foreign currencies, it's a great scam while it lasts.  We buy cheap goods from manufacturers who have to pay their own laborers the good stuff while we run the printing presses day and night in exchange for their hard goods – what can possibly go wrong?

I post charts like the one above to remind my readers that we need to take this rally with a huge grain of salt, even as we pursue my weekend plan to "go with the flow."  A lot of the worst is already priced in but if we can move through the trough in construction and home sales without too much damage (as Europe did last year), then we may be able to keep at least a junior membership in the World Market Rally.

Asia was the life of the party today with the Nikkei (we picked up the EWJ May $14s for .60 on Monday) adding another 200 points and the Hang Seng chipping in for 130.  India took a pause today but held positive at 11 after a week of leadership.  The key to investing in Asia is just pick the stocks with the obvious names:  China Molybdenum gained 68% in their IPO and the Industrial and Commercial Bank of China continues to fly.  Gee, who'd have thought those guys would catch on.  I'm waiting for the IPO of All the Tea in China,…
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Phil's Favorites

Why are Atlantic and Gulf coast property owners building back bigger after hurricanes?


Why are Atlantic and Gulf coast property owners building back bigger after hurricanes?

Surf threatens beach houses on Dauphin Island, Alabama, September 4, 2011 during Tropical Storm Lee. AP Photo/Dave Martin

Courtesy of Eli Lazarus, University of Southampton and Evan B. Goldstein, University of North Carolina – Greensboro

U.S. coastal counties are densely populated and extensivel...

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Zero Hedge

Russian And South Korean Fighter Jets Face Off In "Mid-Air Confrontation"

Courtesy of ZeroHedge. View original post here.

For the first time since the fall of the Soviet Union, Russian jets flying through South Korean airspace provoked the South Korean military into a "midair confrontation" that involved firing hundreds of warning shots. All told, South Korean jets fired 360 machine-gun rounds and at least 20 flares, Bloomberg reports.

Three Russian military planes (two Tu-95 bombers and one A-50 airborne early warning and control aircraf...

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Insider Scoop

The Daily Biotech Pulse: Acadia Schizophrenia Drug Fails, Viveve Plummets, Eisai Gets Breakthrough Therapy Designation

Courtesy of Benzinga.

Here's a roundup of top developments in the biotech space over the last 24 hours.

Scaling The Peaks

(Biotech stocks hitting 52-week highs on July 22)

  • Acasti Pharma Inc (NASDAQ: ACST)
  • Apellis Pharmaceuticals Inc (NASDAQ: APLS)
  • Arcturus... more from Insider

Kimble Charting Solutions

Is Crude Oil Sending a Bearish Message to the Stock Market?

Courtesy of Chris Kimble.

Crude Oil (NYSEARCA: USO) and the S&P 500 Index (INDEXSP: .INX) have peaked and bottomed together several times in the past 9 months. See points (1) and (2) on the chart above.

In summary, the correlation between Oil and the stock market has been quite interesting and demands investors attention.

Crude Oil has been creating lower highs of late and is breaking price support at (3).

If the correlation remains the same, Crude Oil may very well be sending a bearish message to stocks.

Tricky spot for active investors – careful here.


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Chart School

RTT Plus Chart Book (Sneak Peak)

Courtesy of Read the Ticker.

The magic of support and resistance channel lines and how they direct price. Here are some chart disclosed to members via the RTT Plus service. All charts are a few weeks old. 

XAU bound by parallel channel lines.

Click for popup. Clear your browser cache if image is not showing.

Newmont Mining support from Gann Angles.

Click for popup. Clear your browser cache if image is not showing.

US Dollar index (DXY) dominate cycle ...

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Digital Currencies

Cryptos Suddenly Panic-Bid, Bitcoin Back Above $10k

Courtesy of ZeroHedge. View original post here.

Following further selling pressure overnight, someone (or more than one) has decided to buy-the-dip in cryptos this morning, sending Bitcoin (and most of the altcoins) soaring...

A sea of green...

Source: Coin360

Bitcoin surged back above $10,000...

Ethereum bounced off suppo...

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DNA testing companies offer telomere testing - but what does it tell you about aging and disease risk?

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


DNA testing companies offer telomere testing – but what does it tell you about aging and disease risk?

A telomere age test kit from Telomere Diagnostics Inc. and saliva. collection kit from 23andMe. Anna Hoychuk/

Courtesy of Patricia Opresko, University of Pittsburgh and Elise Fouquerel, ...

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Professor Shubha Ghosh On The Current State Of Gene Editing


Professor Shubha Ghosh On The Current State Of Gene Editing

Courtesy of Jacob Wolinsky, ValueWalk

ValueWalk’s Q&A session with Professor Shubha Ghosh, a professor of law and the director of the Syracuse Intellectual Property Law Institute. In this interview, Professor Ghosh discusses his background, the Human Genome Project, the current state of gene editing, 3D printing for organ operations, and gene editing regulation.


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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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Mapping The Market

It's Not Capitalism, it's Crony Capitalism

A good start from :

It's Not Capitalism, it's Crony Capitalism


The threat to America is this: we have abandoned our core philosophy. Our first principle of this nation as a meritocracy, a free-market economy, where competition drives economic decision-making. In its place, we have allowed a malignancy to fester, a virulent pus-filled bastardized form of economics so corrosive in nature, so dangerously pestilent, that it presents an extinction-level threat to America – both the actual nation and the “idea” of America.

This all-encompassing mutant corruption saps men’s souls, crushes opportunities, and destroys economic mobility. Its a Smash & Grab system of ill-gotten re...

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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...

Learn more About Phil >>

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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 >>