Archive for 2007

The Dooh Nibor Economy (that’s “Robin Hood” backwards!)


As I'm doing some research, I come across some interesting things.

There's a great WSJ blog called  "The Wealth Report" by Robert Frank, who wrote an excellent book called "Richistan" in which he makes a case that the world's wealthy have essentially formed a shadow (let's call it virtual as it sounds nicer) nation "where the top 1% control $17T in wealth, have their own health care system (concierge doctors), travel system (private jets, destination clubs) and language. (”Who’s your household manager?”)."

As this chart shows, the US is cranking out multimillionaires at a record pace with super-rich (more than $10M) households doubling in the past decade.  What's scary is that doubling the amount of people who have more than $10M per household (from 300K to 600K) means there's $3,000,000,000,000 less available for the other 98% of the of the households as MONEY IS A COMMODITY and can only be possessed by one person OR another.

Another 5M households gathered up $1M of wealth for another $5T and our nation's 1,000 Billionaires added another Trillion desperately needed dollars to their household budgets to pay for, according to travel and liesure; Yacht Rentals, Villa Rentals, "Experimental Excursions", Luxury Cruises, Vacation Home Rentals, Spa Services.. (and have you seen the price of Cristal these days?).  The cost of the AVERAGE high net worth individual's summer spending on these luxury items was $1.2M.


Summer Activity Average Planned Spending
Yacht rentals $384,000
Redecorating $129,000
Villa rentals $106,000
Experiential excursions $103,000
Jewelry/watches $94,000
Luxury cruises $92,000
Charitable giving $82,000
Vacation-home rentals $82,000
Out-of-home spa services $61,000
Summer entertaining $56,000


While you hear a lot of talk of wealth creation for all, our M1 money supply (before the Fed stopped measuring it's out-of-control growth) was adding "just" $1Trillion a year to the global economy.  If the wealthy households gained $9T in value over the past 10 years,
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Another Wild Weekly Wrap-Up

It's Father's Day this weekend and, being one myself, I have a full agenda so I'll be keeping this week's note brief:

It's been a crazy week but I LOVE expiration day as it seemed to come just in time to save us from a bunch of runaway callers we had sold.  As I said in the morning: "Rising 200 points, dropping 500 points and then rising 300 points hardly feels like consolidation when you are experiencing it, but that’s all it really is in the grand scheme of things."

We added another 85 points to the Dow for good measure as the predicted onslaught of money came flowing into the markets as the BOJ and the Fed gave us the word to "Party On" in the morning.  No one was at all suspicious that the CPI report  (which is rounded to the nearest tenth of a percentage point) came in at .149%, allowing it to be reported, without fail as being just .1% so we decided to drink the Kool Aide, spiked though it may be.  After all, what's the difference between .1% and .15% anyway?  Well, since you asked, it's a monthly increase so over 12 months the difference is .6% of a $13 Trillion economy or $78Bn of additional costs borne by US consumers that are being swept under the rug.

Of course that's being VERY kind since we are pretending the "core" CPI is based in some reality as costs for non-core items like gasoline (for example) were up 10.5%.  If we lived in some fictional planet where people used gas and oil or ate food the CPI would be a whopping .7% or 8.4% a year or $1,092,000,000,000 of costs in order for American consumers to buy the same goods they bought last year for "just" $13 Trillion.  Thank goodness we got that $300 tax cut or we'd probably be falling behind!

Throwing money at the problem has been the Fed policy since 9/11 when money was spent everywhere on everything (except NY where the actual attack took place and promised relief never fully  materialized).   As Barry Rhitholz points out in his article "There's No Inflation — Except for Necessities" it's the height of irony that the WSJ would print and discuss the .1% "core" CPI number without comment when they've just announced that next month the…
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Friday Virtual Portfolio Moves

Posted June 15, 2007 at 9:28 am | Permalink (Edit)

TIE – I have the naked July $35s, which I think I’ll be very pleased with, will probably roll them to a leap if we get a good run.

Market trick- bid a buck for the DIA $135s at the open, you may get lucky from open sell orders! XXX

Posted June 15, 2007 at 9:41 am | Permalink (Edit)

TRMP exploding on Penn Gaming deal.

Gas Airlines – short the airlines, fuel is 1/3 of their cost and they aren’t raising prices – bad mix.

GOOG – selling $500 calls for $7.10 buying 3X $510 calls for .30 so I’m in pretty good shape if it pops through XXX

Posted June 15, 2007 at 9:45 am | Permalink (Edit)

AMZN $72.50s for .12 as a craps roll XXX

Posted June 15, 2007 at 9:56 am | Permalink (Edit)

CCJ – nice break for me as I didn’t take out my June caller yet! That may have been the biggest pin I’ve ever seen…

Posted June 15, 2007 at 10:02 am | Permalink (Edit)

TSO – now’s a good time! (To DD)

Posted June 15, 2007 at 10:03 am | Permalink (Edit)

DIA $136 puts for .12 are a very cheap cover! XXX

Posted June 15, 2007 at 10:06 am | Permalink (Edit)

If you did the GOOG trade you should buy back 1/2 of your puts so you have your calls for free, or, in the very least, put a tight stop on them because it’s very doubtful you’ll get your $510 money back. XXX

Posted June 15, 2007 at 10:08 am | Permalink (Edit)

CCJ will not be denied, looks ready to pop so I’m grabbing some $55s for .25 just for fun. XX

Posted June 15, 2007 at 10:13 am | Permalink (Edit)

UNP – first of all, very…
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Federally Funded Friday

What a crazy week!

It's "Quadruple Witching Day" today, when the contracts for stock index futures, stock index options, stock options and single stock futures all expire on the same day.  This hapens at the options expiration day near the end of each quarter (that's right Q2 ends in just 15 days.

With so many options finishing in the money this week it's possible that the markets are simply being pinned around 13,500 for this expiration and they will reveal their true nature next week.  Of course by next week we are into the "window dressing" period for fund managers so this could continue through July 1st! 

Our virtual portfolios held up great this week and made a little progress because we played for this starting way back on May 25th, when the Dow was around 13,500 and I said at the time: "If we do get a couple of week’s of consolidation around 13,500 then we will have played this perfectly as that’s about where we hedged out our positions, especially the calls we sold against our longer-term positions but let’s keep alert and be ready to go with the flow as we are still in danger of a big break in either direction." Now I know that rising 200 points, dropping 500 points and then rising 300 points hardly feels like consolidation when you are experiencing it, but that's all it really is in the grand scheme of things.

Just like any roller coaster, you go up and down and spin and turn but then you get right off at the same place you got on!  Last options expiration day (5/18) we closed at 13,556, yesterday we closed at 13,553 and yesterday was the day we took out our remaining June callers (other than those expiring OTM) as their premium was about done.

The BOJ should get us off to a good start by leaving rates unchanged, giving us a whole summer of carry trading to look forward to.  As long as you (well not you per se, but rich and powerful people) can go to Japan and borrow at 0.5% and put it into – well, pretty much ANYTHING – then the global economy can continue to expand.

Unfortunately, in Japan, printing up all that money…
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Thursday Wrap-Up

Another great day!

Well, not so much for me as my neutral stance is now annoying but lots of people seemed to be happy and I had dinner on Wall Street and those guys seemed pleased with themselves (apparently I'm the only one who was ever worried as we dropped 500 points last week).

What scared me about my conversation with some fund managers was the reason they weren't worried – "Bernanke is speaking tomorrow (Atlanta Fed Conference – 8:30) and Yellen is speaking at lunch (Brandeis – 12:30)."  This strikes me very much as a "fix is in" sort of mentality which certainly can't be healthy in the long run.  Is it the job of the Fed to "spin" the economic data to prop up the markets?  Actually, it just might be!

Under the Federal Reserve Act of 1913 and amendments over the years, the Federal Reserve System:

  • Conducts America’s monetary policy.
  • Supervises and regulates banks and protects consumers’ credit rights.
  • Maintains the stability of America’s financial system
  • Provides financial services to the U.S. Government, the public, financial institutions, and foreign financial institutions.

The Federal Reserve makes loans to commercial banks and is authorized to issue the Federal Reserve notes that make up America’s entire supply of paper money so one could say that IT IS the Fed's job to prop up our phoney-baloney monetary system AT ALL COSTS!  So whatever the CPI is tomorrow, Uncle Ben will be there to tell us every little thing's gonna be all right.

  "It is well that the people of the nation do not understand our banking and monetary system, for if they did, I believe there would be a revolution before tomorrow morning." — Henry Ford

I've been looking for some good news to latch on to – something that would make me feel good about getting back on the buy side and tonight I see that Chinese Factory Output rose 18.1% in May, even faster than April's 17.4% gain.  That's not a bad thing, that's our factory over there making stuff we use, often enough making them for American companies.  In the grand global economy a productive China is almost as good for us as a productive Detroit used to be.  This production growth
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Thursday Virtual Portfolio Moves

Posted June 14, 2007 at 9:54 am | Permalink (Edit)

LOL – if MO goes to $70.50 that pain will be a very nice gain! Make absolutely sure you speak to your broker, most likely they will need you to clear the trade today which means you should NOT be greedy and be happy to make .20.

Posted June 14, 2007 at 10:46 am | Permalink (Edit)

MO – turning back down on market strength. Be very careful if you are holding the longs and do not forget you have the right to put the stock at $75 by executing your July puts (but it will cost you the value of those puts).

Posted June 14, 2007 at 10:57 am | Permalink (Edit)

MO – you need to check with your broker to make sure you don’t have margin issues. I also just have the July puts now so I’m hoping to get about $5 and be done with this annoying trade. XXX

Whatever program kicked off that buying frenzy has stopped but it looks like people are just afraid to sell anything!

Posted June 14, 2007 at 12:41 pm | Permalink (Edit)

XOM, that’s totally different. Well this is the idiotic run in energy stocks I was hoping for but $67.50 oil is very scary to short against. I have the XOM July $80 puts too and since I have a $1.27 basis, if I spend $1.40 to roll to the $85 puts I will be in for $2.67 on a $1.92 contract that’s in the money by a few. Seems worth playing that way. XXX

MRO July $115 puts – I rolled those up to the $120s puts, which are down considerably too so I will spend another $1.50 to roll to the $125 puts at $3(ish), giving me a $4.15 basis and not too badly off. XXX

Posted June 14, 2007 at 12:50 pm | Permalink (Edit)

TXN, WFR – until there is a hard reversal, I’m willing to play them out a bit but $2 bucks for the WFR $60s is good money and we can always…
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Thrill a Minute Thursday

Markets Markets Rah Rah Rah – Gooooooo Markets!

OK, that's all the cheerleading you'll get out of me, you can go to every major media network or read 400,000 other financial writers if you need to feel good about buying but I am still VERY concerned!

I detailed some of my skepticism in yesterday's wrap-up so we'll just go with the fresh stuff this morning:

Other than China, Asia is had a good morning.  Even the Hang Seng put up a 288-point gain, pretty much ignoring the action on the mainland exchanges.  Exporters are having a field day on…
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Expiration Day Game Plan

This is my current thinking.

I’m assuming no great up or down move (ha!) between now and Friday but more prepared for a sell-off than retaking 13,700.   Of course I did say we’d flatline around 13,500, but this is a pretty strange way to go about it – but it’s been great for the STP and LTP as we crushed the positions we sold:


  • DIS (8/1) Jul $37.50s - .26, now .05

I have no plan, very bad!  There was an elaborate save in the STP for the same position and if they $10KP is not all your money it’s a good save but otherwise, I have no choice but to ride this out.  Everyone is wrong about this stock and I will buy them again into earnings!

  • TWX (8/1) Jul $22.50s - .23, now .05

OK, entertainment may not have been thr right space…

  • DNDN (?) Jul $10s - $1.07, now .20
    • Sold Jun $10s for .87, now 0

Spread held so we are just hoping for a pop, will roll to Aug at some point.  Just hoping to get lucky

  • FIZZ (?) Oct $12.50s – $1.45, now $1.40
    • Sold Jun $12.50s for $1.45, now .50
      • If it doesn’t expire worthless will just roll, every sale is profit now.

Happy with these, even though the stock crashed it’s at my target price (which is why we sold the Junes).

  • FWLT (?) Jan $95 puts $8.20, now $7.50
    • Sold Jul $95 puts $4.20, now $1.90
      • Will roll to $100 puts, now $9.70.  Then roll $95 caller to July $100 puts at $3.25
      • Costs $1 to gain $5 in position, very good trade.

Shocked at how well the stock keeps doing.

  • GSK (7/25) Nov $52.50 – $2.75, now $3.20
    • Sold Jul $50s for $2.65, now $3.30

Just have to wait this one out and hope they don’t discover something.

  • JOSB (?) Oct $45s - $4, now $4.90
    • Sold Jul $40s for $4.80, now $6

Not worth worrying about, long time to go, Aug and Sept to roll to.

  • MO (7/18) Jul $75 puts – $4.40, now $4.80
    • Sold Jun $75 puts $4.30, now $4.80

Hopefully this will correct…
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Wild Wednesday Wrap-Up

Woo-Eee, what a day!

I got back around 1pm and the markets looked normal enough and we were skeptical of the markets movement but at 2pm the Beige Book came out and I said: "Beige Book – good growth, low inflation. Very bullish! Manufacturing up, corporate spending going up – if this is true we should be up 100…

Well, it turned out to be true enough for the markets to run with it but I remain skeptical – what really changed since yesterday?  Trader Mike said it best:  "As I said this morning to a friend over IM after the Dow had been up over 100 points and then gave back 50 points: “This market is insane!” Today was almost the mirror image of yesterday only the morning reversal didn’t carry the market back to the flatline. While *everything* was down yesterday, *everything* was up today. It was the release of the Beige Book at 2 PM that really got things cooking. Here’s an intraday shot of the S&P over the last week showing a lot of back & forth (aka confusion) between 1495 to 1515:"


Not to quote Mike's whole column but he also pulled an excellent article from Worden that said:"What is the market guessing right now?  That is the right question. The market has stopped guessing and instead is letting itself get yanked around by a superabundance of self-contradictory news releasesIs that supposed to be something new?  No, it isn’t. This is an extreme case. But there is no doubt that the market has lost its feel for where the economy is heading. Yesterday was an extremely weak day. Today was an extremely strong day. Was the market right yesterday? Or was it right today?"

Stuck in a neutral stance as we were there was really nothing to do other than pick up some Google $510s again, roll up our DIA puts and wait to see how high they're willing to take this thing





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Wary Wednesday Morning


I'm going to miss the fun until the afternoon and it's 6am so here's my quickest take.

It's all about rates, if the 30-year breaks for 5.5% there's not much you can do to stop a sell-off.  Hopefully you have mattress plays in place and are not too worried about a nice, healthy correction.

I've been saying all year that rates and inflation would bit us in the ass and now you know exactly what that feels like and the real correction going on here is that the Treasury Market is finally recognizing some of the risk involved in holding US currency, which is not the best backed paper in the World.

If we accept that fact and move on, we can make much better investment decision and there are a lot of good companies we will be lining up as buys when this thing calms down but for now, let's focus on protecting ourselves.

First of all, this is a good time to be half in cash.  For one thing, they are now paying you almost 10% more for cash than they were last month when rates were under 5%.  The US dollar is on a tear and reflects that fact but there is a certain fallacy there if the dollar isn't keeping up with inflation so we have to watch the Beige Book numbers today very closely as well as Import Prices.  We also get Retail Sales, Business Inventories and the always exciting Crude Inventory Report and if they don't have the decency to let oil drop a couple of bucks at this point I think the energy roaches may be surprised at how fast this economy will shut down and trap them in some very expensive commodity producers at the front end of a recession.

It's important not to panic but to be ready to panicPreparing to panic means looking over your positions, thinking about your risk tolerance levels and what you are going to do when they are exceeded.  It would be great to tell you not to panic at all but, since most of us aren't professional firefighters or secret agents, we don't often face panic-inducing situations and when the Dow is falling over 100 points we have other things to worry about than whether our vodka martini is…
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Zero Hedge

Visualizing How Much Oil Is In An Electric Vehicle?

Courtesy of ZeroHedge. View original post here.

When most people think about oil and natural gas, the first thing that comes to mind is the gas in the tank of their car. But, as Visual Capitalist's Nicholas LePan notes, there is actually much more to oil’s role, than meets the eye...

Oil, along with natural gas, has hundreds of different uses in a modern vehicle through petrochemicals.

Today’s infographic comes to us from American Fuel & Petrochemicals Manufacturers, and covers why oil is a critical mate...

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Phil's Favorites

Assange's new indictment: Espionage and the First Amendment


Embed from Getty Images


Assange’s new indictment: Espionage and the First Amendment

Courtesy of Ofer Raban, University of Oregon

Julian Assange, the co-founder of WikiLeaks, has been charged by the U.S. Department of Justice with a slew of Espionage Act violations that could keep him in prison for the rest of his life.

The new indictment expands an earlier one charging Assange with conspiring w...

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Insider Scoop

Jefferies Sees 60-Percent Upside In Aphria Shares, Says Buy The Dip

Courtesy of Benzinga.

After a red-hot start to 2019, Canadian cannabis producer Aphria Inc (NYSE: APHA) has run out of steam, tumbling more than 31 percent in the past three months.

Despite the recent weakness, one Wall Street analyst said Friday that the stock has 30-percent upside potential. 

The Analyst

Jefferies analyst ... more from Insider

Kimble Charting Solutions

DAX (Germany) About To Send A Bearish Message To The S&P 500?

Courtesy of Chris Kimble.

Is the DAX index from Germany about to send a bearish message to stocks in Europe and the States? Sure could!

This chart looks at the DAX over the past 9-years. It’s spent the majority of the past 8-years inside of rising channel (1), creating a series of higher lows and higher highs.

It looks to have created a “Double Top” as it was kissing the underside of the rising channel last year at (2).

After creating the potential double top, the DAX index has continued to create a series of lower highs, while experiencing a bearish divergence with the S...

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Chart School

Brexit Joke - Cant be serious all the time

Courtesy of Read the Ticker.

Alistair Williams comedian nails it, thank god for good humour! Prime Minister May the negotiator. Not!

Alistair Williams Comedian youtube

This is a classic! ha!

Fundamentals are important, and so is market timing, here at we believe a combination of Gann Angles, ...

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Digital Currencies

Cryptocurrencies are finally going mainstream - the battle is on to bring them under global control


Cryptocurrencies are finally going mainstream – the battle is on to bring them under global control

The high seas are getting lower. dianemeise

Courtesy of Iwa Salami, University of East London

The 21st-century revolutionaries who have dominated cryptocurrencies are having to move over. Mainstream financial institutions are adopting these assets and the blockchain technology that enables them, in what ...

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DNA as you've never seen it before, thanks to a new nanotechnology imaging method

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


DNA as you've never seen it before, thanks to a new nanotechnology imaging method

A map of DNA with the double helix colored blue, the landmarks in green, and the start points for copying the molecule in red. David Gilbert/Kyle Klein, CC BY-ND

Courtesy of David M. Gilbert, Florida State University


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More Examples Of "Typical Tesla "wise-guy scamminess"

By Jacob Wolinsky. Originally published at ValueWalk.

Stanphyl Capital’s letter to investors for the month of March 2019.

rawpixel / Pixabay

Friends and Fellow Investors:

For March 2019 the fund was up approximately 5.5% net of all fees and expenses. By way of comparison, the S&P 500 was up approximately 1.9% while the Russell 2000 was down approximately 2.1%. Year-to-date 2019 the fund is up approximately 12.8% while the S&P 500 is up approximately 13.6% and the ...

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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...

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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.

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