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Valentines Day (Hopefully No Massacre)

Happy Valentine's Day everybody!

This is the 79th anniversary of the St. Valentine's Day Massacre when Al Capone's "South Side" gang, dressed as cops, rousted a garage run by Bugs Moran's "North Side" gang and had them stand against the wall and then executed all 7 men.  They shot them 70 times with machine guns and made their escape by using the Capone men dressed as cops to "arrest" the other Capone men and drive them away from the scene in broad daylight.

Today, the Bush gang (known as "The Gang That Couldn't Talk Straight") faces off against the Senate Banking Committee (known as "The Gang That Allowed This Whole Mess To Happen And Are Looking To Blame Someone Else") this morning on Capitol Hill.  If we get a gunfight at high noon, we can expect blood on the Street but if we get an uncharacteristic love-fest, with everyone congratulating everyone else on what fine Americans they are and how hard they are all working to steer this country through this difficult period (which they caused), then I imagine we could get a strong relief rally into the weekend.

RetailsalesgasolineIt will be much better for us if the Senate does ask the tough questions and airs out the issues as the market needs to make a "trial by fire" so we can make sure we have real buyers out there who are aware of the issues but remain bullish, rather than our typical bunch of manic-depressive trend jumpers.  Barry Ritholtz made the depressing point this morning that, if you strip out inflation, retail sales are clearly down and, even with inflation boost, the majority of our gains are coming from the sale of gasoline.  Spending more money on the same gas you used to make the same trip you made for 70% less money 3 years ago is NOT a sign of a healthy economy.  This isn't the case of the devil being in the details, the devil is right there in the big picture!

Energy costs are my big picture concern for the global economy but the rest of the world seems to be taking it in stride and a slowdown in the US that cuts our piggish demand (we are 5% of the world's population using 25% of the world's fuel) and keeps prices down is a total boom for the rest of the world.  This will effectively force the US to get their energy conservation efforts in gear or we will find ourselves unable to compete as the average person in Europe, where they have a fleet average of 35 mpg, can go 75% further than the average American (fleet average 20 mpg) on the same tank of gas.  You can be the most productive worker in the world but if you and a European both have to drive 100 miles to work and you each have $10 – you're not even going to make it to the door!

Gas lines in China make having a high-mileage vehicle a convenience (less annoying fuel stops) and other countries tax fuel to keep and maintain high mileage standards to keep consumers motivated to conserve.  The same US companies that lobby to defeat measures to raise fuel efficiency here so they can keep dumping profitable gas guzzlers on our market have no trouble complying with 35 mpg new car standards that have been in place in the rest of the civilized world for years.

Asian markets, where they know how to build fuel-efficient cars, had a great day today with Japan jumping 4.3% as their economy grew at a very surprising 3.7% annualized pace in Q4, way up from 1.3% in Q3.  Exports are up 2.9% and household consumption is finally turning up, a very big deal with spendthrift Japanese consumers.  Love was in the air in Hong Kong, who gained 852 points this morning, finishing nicely just over the 24,000 mark.

Europe is loving it too as the markets there are up half a point ahead of our open EVEN THOUGH UBS reported $13.7Bn in subprime losses and warned that it wasn't expecting things to get better anytime soon.  "That's what you get for doing business with Americans" is the new European attitude as they are beginning to shrug off these losses and treating it like a big mistake that they are putting behind them.

Like we have here, there were plenty of good earnings reports in Europe outside the financial industry so it seems the whole world may escape this mess with the only lasting damage being and even lower degree of confidence in bankers than we had before (if possible after the first S&L crisis).

We'll have wait and see how the market spins today's Senate Testimony but we had a nice rally after Clemens was there yesterday so we'll see if Bernanke and Paulson can put on a Cy Young performance today!  Our deficit was down a bit and that's always nice but I'm not expecting much movement until we get past the testimony so stay tuned for the fun.  The bond insurers are also testifying today so that's two tracks we need to keep tabs on.

Let's be careful out there.


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  1. That’s pretty big news this time! Does not guarantee approval as they will still ask for interim but put more evidence in front of FDA that Provenge works:

    Dendreon Presents Data Correlating the Cumulative Potency of PROVENGE(R) to Overall Survival – New Data Presented at American Society of Clinical Oncology’s Genitourinary Symposium

  2. Windy,

    That was a cool video!

  3. DNDN-Added at $6.06. Will keep long term.

  4. any news on INTC ??.. it opened down the hill.. great I’ve got sold 2 feb calls .. Phil dou you think I munst buy back now ??

  5. EDU 57+

  6. DNDN – such a painful stock to play!

  7. 666

    Bad news, that was the number of new emails I have so no risky behavior today.

  8. DNDN & I refused to dd that sell off!

  9. INTC – Feb whats? They’re not going to make $22.50 but if you sold the $20s then this dip is a gift probably.

  10. Ok .. Bought back the FEB 21 @9 got .10 for each.. if it goes up I will re-sell any way.. if goes down I will sell March

  11. Watch the Qs at 44.50, if they can’t hold that the Nas is in trouble.

    FSLR pulling back finally, those damn puts went down to $1 but I’m seeing lots’ of selling and the QID $50s are .60 and make for a fun double or nothing play.

    INTC off the GS conviction buy list. Those guys haven’t hit a call right all quarter!

  12. Phil

    Did a 120 DIA Feb/Mar put spread a while back. THe Feb is going to expire worthless, leaving me with a Mar 120 put with a small gain. I’m inclined to hold it as insurance, but i am not sure if i should stick with it or roll out to Apr. Any suggestions?

  13. ebay is being nice

  14. RBC Capital Mkts Upgrades Cameco Corp. (CCJ) from Sector Perform to Outperform

  15. Phil,

    I have following positions in $25KP.

    +8 SNDK Jul $25 @4.93 (now 4.70)
    -6 SNDK Feb $25 @1.43 (now 1.90)
    Should I roll the caller to March $27.5?

    +10 CCJ Jun $30 @5.9 (now 8.0)
    -5 CCJ Mar $30 @3.5 (now 7.0)
    Should I adjust this in any way?


  16. phil/parch/MCD- i dig it now, thanks for the explanations and feedback on this high quality problem.


  17. I thank you guys for all the help, I an new and not so firm with decisionmaking, I have read and studied a lot the info in the website and the comments.

    I am looking for good LEAPs stocks for my IRA.

    Who can and wants to help me ?


  18. Not a good start ladies.

  19. Xian-No problem

    O’Doyle, I got feeling your whole family is going down. But for now, I gotta study!

  20. RMM
    phil just did a LTP review this morning, i suggest you go there for the best picks.

  21. Anyone tell me why we sold off out of the gate? I don’t have my usual resources today, so i’m kind of trading 1/4 blind.

    XTO-XTO target raised to $67 from $54, maintain Buy@STFG on production growth
    -CHK upgraded to Outperform from Market Perform@WCHV-numbers next week
    ECA reports Q4 EPS $1.43 vs. consensus of $1.31
    Reports Q4 revenue $5.8B vs. consensus of $4B.

  23. RedMountainMan,
    You are lucky.
    Please see Phil’s review this morning of his LTP. He likes CY and a couple others.

  24. DIA puts – the advantage of rolling to April is you can sell the Marchs (2 in fact because there are end of quarter calls too) and, obviously, you would have been a hurting puppy if you hadn’t done the right thing and sold the Febs when it turned against you so why not keep your options open (so to speak).

    BIDU Condor – I’m taking out the $260 puts for $2.50 as it doesn’t pay to be greedy. That spread is up $7,000 (I had 10) and most of it is the gain on those $260 puts. On the call side, I will wait and see, with luck they will pull back but I am most likely to roll them to Mar $280s at $23 and roll my own Mar $270s to June $280s at $43 and then I will put a $1 stop on the puts.

  25. QID’s: Phil, whats your stop on these?

  26. FSLR-Slowly buying back some puts.

  27. OPT--you looking at any calls?

  28. EBay struggling w/ Tues high?

  29. parch- LOL, one of sandler’s finest- part of what i think is a trifecta of sorts: happy gilmore, the waterboy & billy madison- the order is a close call

  30. Phil- what do you suggest for the Feb55 EDU’s we have for cover that are $3 ITM today? Thanks

  31. Calls-I added some CRXO earlier and some ILMN. No new positions though, I feel like I have enough as I have left them run.

  32. Hi Phil,

    I’m thinking of LMC, any suggestion? :)


  33. MOS-1/2 gone from yesterday.
    PBR-starting to work

  34. EDU – rolled the FEB 55s to MAR 60 for $1 credit

  35. Solars getting bought up again, leading tech back up. Someone is making a big bet on that story.

    SNDK – sure you should roll, no point in paying him and we’re not so safe as to not cover. CCJ – you don’t want to buy out your caller on the morning of an upgrade. I’d sit tight and check out the possibility of rolling up to 2x the $35s on both sides or 1.5X on the longs and 2x on the calls you sold.

    Bernanke opening statement not very bullish but the Nas doesn’t seem to care.

  36. BA,

    Air tanker deal meeting postponed to 2/25.



  37. BIDU: Phil, why are you buying back the $260 Puts when it will expire Saturday.

  38. BA- from my gut, i think “of course they’ll get that deal, i think the only surprise can b the value”

  39. Phil:

    I have NDAQ still covered
    March 42.5′s did well on the cover ; a bit down on the March’s

    Ek for March up

    I have a hard time with these next month calendars?

  40. ATI- keeps acting strong.
    DRYS- probably taking off before numbers

  41. Xian-I never pieced this together before but he has one for all the seasons. Right now, BM is my favorite but i’m sure when the Masters rolls around and we’re doing the bull dance, feeling the flow, working it…working it…i’ll have a new favorite, until football season and then well, you know.

  42. Tech is holding up better than the SPX and Dow. Must be the solars “Dr. Phil Good” brought up earlier.

  43. For any who want to jump on the DNDN train, the ’09 5/2.5 put spread can still be sold for $2.08 — max risk .42 for a possible 2.08 payday.

  44. NYX- this is a labor of love

  45. Phil, what are your thoughts on TASR’s earnings? Thanks

  46. BillBigD

    Really need the All Star Break….Celts were down to 3 men on the bench last night, Davis & Scalabrine both injured to add to Garnett, Perkins, Pollard. It’s going to be one ugly road trip if we don’t get some guys back. Only one big man left Leon Powe.

  47. Phil,
    There is no february Portfolio download file. The latest one shows data that’s over 3 weeks old. Can you have Jared upload last weekend’s file. He updated the individual portfolio on the page but looks like he forgot to add the file link. Thanks.

  48. Red – good leaps are the LTP plays I’m adding to and the ones I’m leaving naked.

    Sold out the gate on profit taking we should have closed with yesterday, these ttraders have more nerve than I do buying into the close ahead of the Senate.

    Oil is up $1.50 heading back to $95, you would think that would bother people, energy is boosting the market along with continued solar excitement which is also energy so I guess we are betting $100 oil again but I don’t see how that’s suddenly good for the economy when it killed us last month.

    QID’s are plunge protection but if they don’t break 50 on this run (40 mins) then I’m done for now.

    FSLR – I’m loving the March puts, they simply do not hold up to serious analysis but they can go miles up on hype/manipulation so I’m ready to roll to a June/Mar put spread if they break $250.

    EDU/$25KP – No big deal, just going to roll to Mar $60s, we even get paid $1 (nice move Joseph) to do it, this play is going perfectly…

    LMC – They are restating their books or something, be careful with them. Check out PAL as palladium prices are rocketing and these guys have been ramping up production nicely.

    BIDU – Buying back puts because I made $7,000 on a $0 investment and why should I risk a penny at this point? Of course they will probably expire worthless but I’m done with the trade and I have a better chance of BIDU going down and giving me a much bigger win than I do of hitting my $260-$270 target perfectly. Also, it is easier for me to clear it out now and concentrate on protecting the upside if I have to.

  49. xian – NYX — hear you on that — I’m debating rolling down Jan09 80′s or taking a bit of a risk and just selling half Mar 70′s w/o the roll on the LEAPS. Any ideas?

  50. xian – what you doing w/ NYX?

  51. Phil,
    In $25KP/AIG, have you rolled to Aug $45? I have Aug 50 and fully covered with Mar 50. Should I roll down to Aug 45 for $2.4?


  52. Home price report is out and 1/2 the markets have gains and 1/2 have drops but overall prices are off 5.7%.

    GOOG – Selling $550 puts and calls for $10, buying 2x $560 calls at $1 and 1x $530 put for $2.25. Will buy another round of $530 puts if I can for $1. XXX but very tricky.

  53. FSLR puts-1/2 out. I should not be revenge trading, but that feels damn good :)

  54. fred/BBD- i’m already getting psyched for march madness- other than EUFA or premiere league football (soccer), i think it’s the coolest annual tournament.

    although, the NBA post season gets very nice also

    ok enough fun talk from me, i’ll b only posting about market relevant things

  55. Phil,
    25 KP EDU:
    Is Feb 55 roll to Mar 60 XXX?

  56. TASR – I’m adding on the CC. Trying to buy Jan $12.50s for $2.50. XXX

    Feb portfolio – I have a note in to Greg.

    Paulson gives such good spin!

  57. EDU good play to get $1 credit. Looks like a 0.70c debit at the mo

  58. Davin,
    Yes – I had asked this Q y’day.

  59. Natural Gas

    -120 BCF, smaller than expected?

  60. NAT GAS- didn’t see the report but it is up 3% so I guess bigger than expected draw

  61. Davin,
    He had his roll for $2 – My order had not filled and then It slipped my mind. Now with AIG going up that roll becomes more & more pricey. I am thinking his next roll of the caller will be to the higher bracket and I will adjust at that time i necessary. ( I have $2 roll to 45 on order – but don’t think it will get filled.)

  62. CMan, Thanx

  63. Thanks Fred- They don’t care about inventories over here. Well off for some cocktails.

  64. Phil,

    For ERTS, I have the follwing in my 25KP. What are your plans for this play, thanks.
    10 Feb 45@ 1.2
    10 March 45@2.8

  65. out of XOM calls

  66. Plan to scale into NVDA Jan 10--125′s on today’s post-earnings sell-off.

  67. Anonymous- $1 credit for EDU is correct. I got that too. Sure you put in for Mar60?

  68. Fotoaddict, please send me an email at if you want to join for drink with Cap. Nothing is for sure yet but we are trying to do it around 5:30.
    Also, what do you guys recommend for shopping for wife around Times Square for Valentines? Should I just go to Barney’s? (She has expensive taste :( )

  69. You would think that Paulson would be used to public speaking by now (without all of the stuttering).

  70. Optrader – jewelery is always a winner with wives, especially if it comes in a little blue box.

  71. Anyone explain to me why my MAR Calls on BIDU are down for the day? this does not make any sense to me…

  72. Opt-I wish I could help you buddy but i’m still single and today to me is still known as the universal “V-Day or Vagina Day”. I got 5 text messages already wishing me a “Happy Vagina Day”. A nice dinner is usually all i’m entitled to do to be defined as doing something “special”.

  73. I like what Paulson is saying, that all this risk needs to get repriced, that the institutions need to write off the huge losses and raise new capital. In other words we are not going to bail out Wall Street from their losses, we just don’t want to let them fail.

  74. FSLR breaking post earnings uptrend decisively

  75. Parchesia,

    As an ex-waiter, I would never go near a restaurant on this day. It’s a joke of a day. Fortunately, my wife’s on board with my bad attitude towards V-day. YOu just need to brainwash her.

  76. Greg. Opt. Blue Boxes always work well for the ladies. You don’t have to spend that much in there, (Tiffany’s) but they love the blue boxes…

  77. Oil tankers looking strong again. Due to the better than expected manufacturing data from Japan.

  78. Opt – how about perfume at Victoria Secret? :)

  79. I think Fast Money has a solar pump fest scheduled for tonite, which may be keeping this afloat. Also, YGE reports tonite.

  80. Matt-Whole heartedly agree!

    Simon-Are you kidding? Blue boxes? I’ve never heard of Tiffany’s used in that context. That’s good to know.

    Just sold my Q short position. I’ll look for re-entry later but at LOD, I don’t want to risk it.

  81. Hello! just floating around, working on implementing new trading system on the desk… good times

    I think 1353/1354 are important areas to bounce off of, and so is 1350 again of course if we keep falling that is

  82. EDU – yes XXX that roll for $1 credit. Not an emergency but great for that price.

    AIG – yes Aug $45s is the long now.

    Sorry got emergency call, missing all the congressional fun!

  83. Thanks for the recommendations everyone. This board is great. She likes the blue box, but she is really into designer clothes and shoes (prada etc..). I just did not see any stores around here so was wondering where to go. Times Square is definitely not the best part of New York (hotel is great though).
    Also, I love L.A. but I have to admit that the restaurant scene is great here. Went to Jean Georges yesterday, amazing dinner.

  84. FSLR-Die! Go to $220 and wife gets a VERY nice gift.

  85. Mark-What’s the new trading system?

  86. Revenge trading – I love it!

    EDU/CMan – yes, roll the caller if you can get a buck but you can see why I was in no hurry to roll now right?

    Sitting right on my 12,450 mark…

  87. Opt – head over to Madison Ave starting in the 50′s – 65′s for the shoes – plenty of places. Don’t forget the handbags over there as well.

  88. Way to go Ben !

    Headline: “Bernanke Warns Economy Worsening”

  89. Opt – hop in a cab up to 59th and Central Park South, head a couple blocks east…take her for a walk up Madison Ave. – could cost you … but also could be worth it!

  90. Anyone feel like buying back some AAPL covers yet here at LOD?

  91. parchesia – fidessa. Kinda worried actually, they’re really well known for their OMS but still implementing their system… we’ll see how it works out. I think it has a lot of potential, just not as “tried and true” as Flextrade or Portware, etc.

  92. Well, I got out to soon! I guess Bernanke can join Greenspan in strangling some puppies…

  93. now i’m back!!!

    EUFA- i meant UEFA.

    NYX- after some tooling around, i’ve settled into JAN10 70s. the low 70s/high 60s have proven to b real support for this dog ever since the blow-off double-top it had in DEC06/JAN07 at 110ish- market hell brought it to those low levels.

    although looking at the weekly chart, there is a nice (un-nice?) downtrend channel that started at that 110ish top. the support of the channel is now at 60ish. i think this is good b/c 60ish is major support/pivot point for the stock and i expect a successful (hopefully high volume) bounce there should begin an uptrend.

    it’s possible that 70ish proves to be support again and we never c 60ish b/c the market may have to deteriorate for NYX to really c the low 60s.

    if NYX cracks through 60ish, then something is very wrong and i wouldn’t know what to expect- but then the fundies get “ludicris” (as they r already crazy undervalued).

    i’m staying covered (2/3 w/ MAR 70s) and ready to visit 60ish or bounce from here.

    this is what i think about the stock and doing/done in my position. i wouldn’t feel too comfortable offering advice on moves when phil and others r available.

  94. opt
    stroll down 5th ave, around the 50′s. also soho/tribeca is great, but it’s not as close. have fun!


  95. A lid on spending

    “That’s going to be very demanding on the Congress”

    Yeah, Congress will keep that lid on ….oh sure.

  96. Ben’s middle name is QID

  97. FSLR-another 1/4 out. Bought between $11 and $11.8 and sold between $13.20 and $14.3. Almost makes-up for the losses yesterday. Letting last 1/4 run now.

  98. Xian-I covered my MCD with Mar. 52.50 at $4.10. I’ll let them run until this weakness subsides and then i’ll have upside stops on them. But I will let them run through the weekend.

  99. Bernanke and Paulson – Sure is a lot of “uh ing” going on.

  100. Opt – do you really want to try to pick out clothing or shoes for your wife? That is a recipe for disaster. Men are always wrong when they try to do that, even French men, I think it is genetic. ;-)

  101. Windy-LOL!

  102. Windy, thanks!!!

  103. Phil,
    Thanks! I understand and appreciate the plan – pretty nifty to have a great plan like this for it going up or down. It looked too good to miss especially when statistically we expect the mkt to go down and I had my order in which got filled earlier.
    Thanks again.

  104. Xian-
    just wonder what do you think about getting in a MCD leap now ?

    ($6.35)Jan 2010 60 and sell 57.5 against it ?


  105. Greg, I am pretty good at that. And I am not gay ;-) She never returned a pair of shoes I got her. Maybe she is just being nice…

  106. EDU – Can’t possibly be a debit! I’m showing $3.65 for the Feb $55s and $4.80 for the Mar $60s.

    Nat gas – I don’t know what they were expecting but that’s low, this is supposed to be peak use.

    Those Senators are making Bernanke cry!

    BIDU Mar calls – earnings premium is gone, perfectly normal. This is why we SELL earnings calls, not buy them.

    Opt, go to Madison Avenue between 50 and 70th street, lots of designer places there including a big Bloomingdales and Sachs (if you don’t see something in a specialty store), where you just walk up to hot salesgirls and ask them what they would want for V day.

    Hemorrhaging – what a great word! As Paulson points out, not very uplifting…

  107. Cap,

    “Bernanke Warns Economy Worsening”

    …”Because I Keep Opening My Mouth”

    In other news, the economy by many indicators seems to be getting better, but then Bernanke said something stupid without thinking first, and we’re all screwed again.

    Someone REALLY needs to clue him in on some of that Greenspan doublespeak shit.

  108. You’re French! I would be disappointed if you had no sense of fashion…

  109. Opt…
    Time Sq. doesn’t have much for better stores. Walk a couple of blocks to 5th avenue--starting at Saks on 51st and walk up toward 59th, Central Park. H&M is a couple blocks up from Saks, great store and shopping experience; Prada is near, Henri Bendel is a unique store, especially 1st floor; and the fabulous Apple store is at 59th.

  110. Opt -

    Barneys (60th and Madison) is great for designer stuff. If you really want to spend money, try Bergdorf Goodman (57th and 5th). They’re fairly close to each other and there are a lot of designer boutiques around that area. You can check out the Apple store (58th and 5th) and its glass elevator.

  111. Mark-What are the specs on Fidessa? I’m not familair with them.

  112. Options Express Quotes keep crashing, anyone else having problem?

  113. on valentines- i saw a young guy (maybe 22) buying up all the bouquets at the local supermarket. he was in front of me- it was unreal, it took up an entire cart filled to the brim.

    i had to tell him that he was setting a very high standard and anything less than this will b noticed in the future.

    although, it’s a warm fuzzy to c that kind of infatuation acted out.


  114. If I remember, isn’t 1 800 flowers a public company. I took advantage of V-Day last year from a capitalistic trading standpoint. I’ll have to look into that again.

  115. buying SHLD June 110/130/150 butterfly for 2.50

  116. David- My optionsXpress quotes are working fine.

  117. paulson- i like that he’s pushing/mentioning infrastructure build as part of stimulus- that’s better ROI than a $600 handout

  118. LOL – look at all the rich NY shoppers on this board!

    Paulson is the spinmaster general. He helps 10,000 people out of 300,000 who called and acts like they are making progress!

    US AAA Bond ratings in jeopardy! D’oh, you’re not supposed to say that on TV!

    NYX – if Europe and US can keep it together they should do well but all exchanges suffer in a downturn.

    OpEX – I’m getting quotes but they are not my primary quote screen.

    Wow, this is some very unsettling stuff, it will be great if we can recover from this because they are airing a lot of dirty laundry.

  119. Phil- What do you use as your primary quote source?

  120. Hourly chart on QID and QQQQ points to possible disaster, let’s watch 44 line on Qs for a major failure. XXX

  121. Well Phil, it is Thursday and that means we drop after a Wednesday pop. I ws going to say it is getting predictable, but if that were true I would be making money, not losing money. LOL

  122. Protectionism against Sov Wealth Funds is very bad for Wall Street, they are counting on that money.

    NYSE 9,000 would suck to break. We lost 12,450, now 12,400 needs to hold and we lost 2,350, now 2,325 needs to hold. S&P 1,350 of course and Russell 700 or SOX 350 would be tragic losses.

  123. Thanks everyone, I think it is going to be Barneys. Bergdorf Goodman if market is good to me ;-)

  124. Phil, got some uncovered QQQQ JUN42 would you recommend to cover – a bit hampered from seeing anything right now…

  125. FSLR $223.30 is breakdown, could hit $213 before stopping!

  126. OpEX Running smooth again. Thanks.

  127. parchesia – as far as specs I’m stupid and odn’t know the jargon, but here’s the website detailing the workstation to some degree. We’re sell side, so not as much bells / whistles as buy sid (not managing money / no principal trades)

    It kind of looks like this only with 10 more windows or so:

  128. Let’s see who the real NYC shoppers are here. Who here knows the doorman’s name at Barneys?

  129. Phil,
    I’ve got 5 uncovered AIG Aug 50′s right now, the original intent was that they would bounce back after that sell-off earlier, so I bought out the callers when they were at .10.

    I still think that’s what will happen, but should the position be adjusted? Don’t really want to pay to roll down to the 45′s, what’s the advantage/disadvantage of sticking with the 50′s? Are AIG’s prospects good enough to keep them uncovered, or should I sell against & maybe use that to roll to the 45′s?

  130. Phil

    Just curious which system is your main quote provider?

  131. Oh my goodness… That senator just called Bernake out!

  132. Phil,
    Adendum to the above, the roll to the Jan 09 50′s would cost less than rolling Aug down to th3 45′s (1.90 vs. 2.40). Would that be a better play? I know you like them long term, and I could sell the Mar 50′s for 1.30, or wait for a move up to sell fo rmroe, easily recovering almost all of the roll and also collecting the premuims from now till next Jan…

  133. Can’t see anything from my desk, is Bernanke crying yet?

  134. RETAIL – The Redmond WA Mall is in a VERY AFFLUENT area, but can’t seem to keep its tenants. I just walked by yesterday and noticed that 2 stores recently closed shop – Abercrombie and Fitch, and The Limited. Not a good sign for retail, especially in this neighborhood.

  135. bee/MCD- phil offered that advice in the context of taking gains off the table and keeping and LTP position.

    as a new position, i would start off ITM (JAN10 50s, but that’s me and i could b wrong about the best position) and just have faith that i can sell at least 0.60/month.

    i will say, that today is a down day for MCD, so it’s a nice time to start into a long position.

    i would rather phil/others advise on moves, but i’m happy to share my thoughts and actions.

    right now, i’m in JAN09 52.5s b/c i didn’t understand the ins/outs of being in the JAN10 60s while selling MAR 57.5s yesterday.

    phil has an LTP review up today and he’s staying in JAN09 50s w/ a basis of 8.85 while selling MAR 57.5s, so getting in JAN10 today at 11.80 while selling MAR 57.5s doesn’t seem to put u in too bad a position relative to phil.

    AHHHH!!!!!- who does that congressman think he is, chiding the good FOMC chairman bernanke for not acting too quickly? ALL IN PUBLIC!!!


  136. *Not Senator, Congressman

  137. My main quotes are InvesTools, I like the layout and they have history graphs for the options.

    QQQQ June – A little late but if we break below 44 you’d better cover! Really no reason not to sell the current $44s for .51 if you intend to sell next month as it’s a quick .30 in premium and you can roll up to the Mar $47s even by tomorrow.

    Doorman at Barneys – I don’t know that, I only go to the “By invitation only” events… Greg I think you’ll we’ll have to deduct 2 snob points from you for noticing a doorman!

    AIG – holding $45 today is a very good sign. There is no logic to not selling 1/2 the Mar $45s for $3.60 and spending $2.40 to roll your entire set down to the Aug $45s as your uncovered 1/2 will gain more than the March callers if it goes up and you will be able to sell without margin on the way down. As the roll from the March $40s to the Mar $45s would cost just $2.15, which is less than you would get paid to roll back to the Aug $50s, you are really better off in each direction.

  138. TASR – Phil it’s coming to you; still looking at Jan’s? Is this catching the knife or is the bottom rounding?

  139. Thanks alot xian!

  140. doormen- they r starting to show up in buildings in miami

  141. Greg – I go in the side door!!

  142. The only “doorman” around here is the WalMart greeter.

  143. Spitzer – Re bond insurers: “We might be forced to peel off the municipal part of this business..time is short”.

  144. JPL/size123- that’s hilarious!!! ROFL!!!

    spitzer- was on colbert report on tuesday, return appearance- seemed very cool guy, he went along with the hilarity that is stephen colbert in good humor

  145. The essence of PSW…

    Scenario #1

    As you pass by a neighborhood drug store you see a sign in the window advertising a box of Kleenex for $2, reminding you that you just threw away an empty box that needs to be replaced. Just as you are about to enter the store to purchase it, you notice that the drug store across the street has the identical box of Kleenex advertised for just $1, resulting in $1 savings to you.
    Would you walk across the street to save $1?
    If you answer is No, that’s OK for now.
    If your answer is Yes, then consider this:

    Scenario #2

    As you pass by a neighborhood store you see a sign in the window advertising a Suny TV set for $200, reminding you that your TV needs to be replaced. Just as you are about to enter the store to purchase it, you notice that the store across the street has the identical TV set advertised for just $199, resulting in savings to you of $1.
    Would you walk across the street to save $1?

    My guess is that 90% of the public would say “No” to the second scenario, rationalizing that just $1 out of $200 is less than a 1% saving and isn’t worth crossing the street. But my belief is exactly the opposite:

    If it is worth crossing the street to save $1 in the first scenario, then it is worth crossing the street in the second scenario, because:

    “A dollar is a dollar.”

    So keep selling those covers…

  146. Greg,

    Just like George on Seinfeld for noticing the security guard who didn’t have a chair to sit down and then he got fired when George brought him the chair.

  147. Phil, dont underestimate the value of befriending a good doorman.

  148. paulson- sounds very sincere

  149. paulson- somebody promote this guy!!!!

  150. bernanke- they need to get him a voice/speaking coach b/c he comes across as sheepish and scared.

  151. Roose, I assume you have read Michael “Mind of the Market” Shermer?

  152. Now Spitzer comes on to rip the lenders apart! That is just mean…

    AIG rolling to Jan – I don’t think this situation will take that long to play out and once you hit Aug you start hurricane season, where you probably want to get out of them anyway.

    Bernanke may not be crying but I am if this is the best they can do to answer these MAJOR economic questions. Paulson literally sounds like a snake oil salesman, he has a solution for every problem but none of them actually do anything.

    What a fickle bunch of investors! Everything they loved yesterday they hate today. Watch FSLR and BIDU for real signs of a reversal, if they crack then there’s a lot of remorse over yesterday’s buying.

    Oil also would be a sign of people giving up.

    MCD – very good deal down here.

    OH NO – Bill Ackman is testifying!!! This is just not going to end today!

    Do you know what’s totally asinine about this? Shouldn’t the people at each of these concurrent hearings ALL be interested in what’s being said at the other hearing? Why the hell would they schedule them on the same day at the same time?

    TASR – I am very long on these guys so I will buy and buy and buy. They are like TIVO to me, a better company than their own management realizes.

    Paulson getting defensive “I didn’t create this problem, I’m just trying to do something about it.” We need Ron Paul to deliver the killing blow to end this thing.

    A dollar is a dollar – Goog point Roose but if it takes you 120 seconds to walk across the street and save that dollar then we still have work to do as you should be able to do better than that if you get back home faster and do some trading! As a consultant, I am acutely aware of the value of my time and it took me a long time to convince Tina, who comes from a “do it yourself” family that there are many things you are better off paying for. My pet peeve with companies is when they allow their workers to have slow computers as it’s amazing how their total disregard of the value of other people’s time ends up costing them a fortune in lost productivity. Many things are penny-wise and pound-foolish.

    If I were President (I know, a conservative nightmare!) I’d get all these guys speech and presentation training and set them up with a powerpoint team – they talk and talk and talk but they could hammer home any talking points they want with a well prepared presentation and you know the public (which certainly includes most Congresspeople) believe anything you say if you have a chart. 8-)

  153. SPWR-back in calls.

  154. AAPL- recovering?

  155. Phil – America can produce cars with great efficiency and will--it’s coming next year and it’s a 10x fuel-savings replacement (~200 to 300 mpg)

  156. i’ve been looking for snake oil sellers everywhere and all i’ve found r some people selling bridges!

  157. So far so good on holding our levels but it’s very tentative. Could be a nice relief rally back up when this ends if we can hold levels through that point.

    Don’t forget these things are timed so all market moves can be planned well in advance.

    FSLR got brave after testing lows again, we’ll see if they can take $230. Goog needs $540 and AAPL needs $130. BKX is way down, they are not liking the Spitzer show at all. Oil is creeping down.

    Gold is relatively calm at the moment, there is really no “news” here so no reason to really go down. If we continue to see buying at my marks it means the big boys are picking up whatever the retail shareholders are dumping out of fear. It’s very rough though as it only takes one fund to hit the sell button on a few Billion and we’re right back to yesterday’s open.

    Interesting that CNBC decides to cut off the guy who is questioning the damage of naked short selling and the way it encourages hyenas to mount attacks on companies that destabilize the markets…

  158. Phil – I was traveling yesterday and haven’t read anything in here today about RIMM.

    Now a good time to roll? I have Feb/June 85′s. Thinking of rolling to the March 86′s.

  159. RIMM – I’m in the June $85/Feb $90s at the moment and I’m just rolling up to the $96s in March about even. With the $85s you should still roll to the $96s for -$5 but even if you roll to the $90s at $10.80, that’s still another $4 in premium and you’ve moved him $5 off the money from you.

  160. steve/rick- duking it out!!!

  161. LEAPs:

    in selling frontmonth calls against calls 1 year out (MCD, AAPL, AIG,MDT, PEP etc),
    selecting the same strike or 2.50 or 5 or 10 $ higher: do you guys use a rule HOW MUCH RENT YOU WANT TO COLLECT MONTH AFTER MONTH ?


  162. Optrader – FWIW
    SPWR right at both 30 and 200d MAs.

  163. Phil,

    Any plans on rolling the ERTS’s callers or waiting on for tomorrow? Thanks!!!

  164. CNBC/short selling- i saw that too and thought to myself “that would have been interesting for the average person to think about”

    that could’ve been real news: an important topic that is hardly addressed, unknown or, indeed, new info

    was very disappointed, but whatever- they r all tools and i knew that b4.

  165. Albo-I like SPWR here. I hope it drops more so I can add. News was good on it this morning and stock was much higher. Also, I trust Phil’s analysis and YGE’s earnings tonight could be a catalyst. And I have FSLR puts for protection. Would love a drop in solars now, so I would sell my FSLR puts and add to SPWR. If not, that’s fine as I feel balanced.

  166. RMM- i just think about at least taking in enough to cover the entire cost of the LEAP by it’s expiry- that’s my goal and how i measure my progress or position performance- assuming the thing is not totally tanking.

    on top of that, i try to look for good sales into rallies which is all cream.

    w/ all the volatility, it’s tempting to scalp in and out of covers- but that’s another story.

  167. Rent – we had a whole big discussion about that a few days ago but the key is to make sure you are selling enough to cover your own roll down to the next level. That is safe. As I said then, if you can pay for 10 10% rolls down, then the stock has to go bankrupt before you lose – that’s a good goal to shoot for.

    ERTS – holding up well but if we finish back at yesterday’s open or lower we could have a global meltdown so I’m hanging on to my in-the-money callers at the moment.

    Interesting what Paulson touts as our special protections against foreign capital abuses on US corporations is exactly what Chavez is freaking out about with XOM. I linked to this article last night which is a little outrageously leftist but is certainly a viewpoint that will be embraced by many of the people who’s capital we are trying to attract:

  168. Optrader – Good. Just thought I’d point that out.
    There might also be a pump on Fast Money tonight?

  169. Tonight I’m going to test the correlation between the
    # min Ben testifies before Congress to the % drop in the Dow that day..

  170. Phil:

    Can you comment on FEB Mar NDAQ 42.5′s

    and EK Mar 20′s


  171. uhhhh…what phil said.

  172. This is a BS last question, if people are going to be buying on the conclusion, they will start now, otherwise I think we’re going to get a post meeting sell-off.

  173. Difficult to follow all the broadcast stuff from the uk – only the effect it’s having on the markets. When does the testifying end so I can pick the bounce :-)

  174. Oil is hanging on just under $95, gold is tame at $910. 5-year 2.75%, 10-year 3.75%, it means you don’t have to pay much if you offer safety.

    FSLR sneaking back to $223 test levels!

  175. NDAQ – right on target and we’re rolling so why pay more.

    EK – naked and happy. Sorry I didn’t sell the Febs now.

    Testifying over for Bernanke/Paulson but other meetings all day so we could get a nasty quote at any time. As I said, lack of buying during that last puffball question was a bad sign so we are at least goignto test lows again.

  176. Opt, I’m shocked ! that you have not made a pilgramage to the AAPL store on 59th/5th yet.

    Surely wifey needs a new Ipod or something for V-day. LOL.

  177. Well, today is almost quite the opposite of yesterday’s FMD. So far today is just negative; not a -(FMD) … yet.

  178. Wow, got an instant fill on 200 QID $50s at .80 (I dumped out, too close to expiration and I have safer puts). We really are creating a more liquid market for those things slowly but surely!

  179. Lost the NYSE, lost GOOG, losing XOM and COP (LOL on that one as I bought the puts). If we lose FSLR I get my revenge trade of the week…

    DB – I once came across a free service that carried CNBC on the web but I don’t remember the name. Bloomberg is available live on their own web site.

    12,400 – Oh nooooooooooooooooooooooo!

  180. That was one of the web sites that carry free tv channels…

  181. Ndaq

    rolling to what I have the FEB MAR 42.5′s?

  182. Andy – does CNBC work for you on tvthug? it is listed but doesn’t work for me, only bloomberg. thanks

  183. It works at home for me. I think there is another site as well.. Do note that you need the Microsoft empire of software, so no Mac… (use VMWare Fusion or Parallels – VMWare is best imo)

  184. CNBC streaming- the TOS platform has streaming CNBC and the best thing about it is they cut out the commercials!!!

  185. Nat gas – due to mild expectations they had very low expectations but that’s no reason to rally! It’s so stupid, you have 10 expected big draw weeks before 3/15 and one of them comes up way shorter than normal (120 vs. 180) but because you anticipated having a terrible week (105) and it turns out to be 120 then you celebrate? It’s still a huge shortfall on one of 10 weeks and it’s not like you are likely to make it up in April…

    We might get another shot at PTR longs if we get a big Asia sell-off next week. I regretted not picking them up at $130 as they are a good oil long and having a few longs lets me be a little more reckless with the puts.

    LOL – Alabama Congressman vs. Elliot Spitzer, I’ll take Spitzer and spot him whatever he thinks he needs!

  186. Xian, very good point… I forgot about that.

  187. “it’s tempting to scalp in and out of covers- but that’s another story”… but so much fun! I get .25 to .45 “extra” in the Roth IRA a couple of times a month. Things are just on the watchlist, so it feels like I’m double-dipping.

    I did like that MCD trade you guys have been tuning, so I took the long side; will wait for a rally to sell against.

    My AAPL 130C guy thought he could throw me off this morning (they blew my normal mental stop just 25 minutes in yesterday), but I think he’s fading away for real now.

  188. Albo-Why do you think there will be a pump on fast money? Thanks for pointing at the MAs.
    Cap-I have already been to the Apple’s store :)

  189. Phil

    TASR 2010 $10 are $5 and MAR 12.5 sell for $.75 – seems like a good deal, there are about 20 rolls in that, I didn’t look at the LTP, but are these the sort of plays you do on TASR?

  190. TvThug – Bloomberg works for me but not CNBC.

    I can get CNBC on UK sat but at this time of day it handsover to CNBC Europe for details on our markets.

  191. If BAC shuts down investment banking division do they sell it to someone else or close the accounts and sell assets? Those guys are significant shareholders in many, many companies, that could get real ugly!

  192. Sold 1/2 QID’s at .90 in am and 1/2 at .95.

    Had to take the double, will look to reload for March.

    Phil, do we start to load average in on FRE at this level?

  193. Opt,
    I re-read the K1 on your thoughts on using charts and I had collected so many indicators that I realized I couldn’t see the actual price anymore, so thanks for sharing that and thanks to K1 for making it available for everyone in such an accessible way, has uncluttered my charts. KISS is the name of the game.

  194. Hey all, not really here today, but just bought some Feb 125 calls with a tight stop as we tested that intraday bottom a third time and held. That is a MAX PAIN play for a rally to 135. Would prefer to be able to wait for a failure and to buy at the end of day, but may not be around any more today, so crossing my fingers and taking the calculated bet.

    Hope everyone is on the right side of their trades. Later.

  195. I’ll bring this up one more time for this quarter and then probably lay off except for my position updates. For an LTP stock position, this is the time to buy oil tankers. The last quarter was dreadful, as we noted beforehand, and I expect the next quarter to also be bad but they had to put ships in dry dock. You can miss expectations now in the seasonally slow period or you can miss them when rates and demand pick up (which would you choose?). I would buy them now and plan to hold them until peak of summer 10′ or 11′. If you buy NAT around $30, I would expect the stock to double by 10′ or 11′ and you receive 10% dividend yield/yr on top of it and cover your stock position as neccessary with calls/puts. I expect similar stock action with other tanker co’s. I’m just more familair with NAT and speak with the CEO generally once a quarter.

  196. Andy – I’d wait on selling the March 12.50s. they were 1.20 earlier in the week. TASR is a heart-wrenching stock. It will drop and drop and drop so you cover it tightly. Then, out of nowhere it’ll jump $5 and kill your callers.

  197. sakiko/scalping- totally, especially with all the volatility. i’ve been trying to be more systematic w/ the scalps by looking at 5MAs- need more disciplne.

    MCD LTP- it’s been my best performer, but that b/c i bought a good amount after the earnings. i remember buying JAN09 50s for 5.70-5.80 and this helped bring down my basis a lot.

  198. film- y not the FEB 130s using less capital?

  199. TGE took a pretty healthy dip

  200. Fed Evans headline “Market Liquidity Pressures have Receded”.

    How stupid is the market to trade off of every comment ?

  201. SKS going up because I sent Opt there!

    Fast Money – they said something about a solar special and Najerian is up to his eyeballs in solar so it’s not going to be negative.

    TASR – too crazy for LTP but it’s in my retirement account and they are reliable to sell against after getting a 20% run up but, since earnings, I haven’t been covering, looking for a test at $14 first. From the 2010 perspective, I frankly would rather see you in 2x the ’09 $12.50s and selling 1/2 the $12.50s as you get the same monthly collection against just $2 more premium but you have no limit to your upside. You can wipe out the $2 additional premium by collecting just .15 per month more (1/4 of your open set) still leaving you with the full benefit of 3/4 of the amount of ’10 $10s you inTENded to fully cover.

    FRE – I think I said I like the DD here.

    Markets held the double bottom test but there’s lots of testimony left nad it’s already 1:30 – tough call.

  202. also: “Econ growth near potential in late 2008″ and “at potential” in 2009.

  203. “at or above potential”

  204. Opt – They promoted a segment coming up on solar. I believe it is
    tonight. Didn’t know about Najerian. Good point Phil.

  205. AAPL/tech people- r u guys seeing a triangle on the intraday?

  206. Was that article ; discussed Yesterday from
    Someone who doubled her account using PSW

    Was it written somewhere?


  207. Andy-Well done. Get rid of everything!
    SKS-They know I am coming! LOL
    Solars-I thought Najerian said FSLR was overvalued yesterday.

  208. phil,
    i have a request for your morning posts if it’s not too much trouble. at the end of the post, can you list your important levels of the day for whatever indices you’re focusing on that day? i know these levels are somewhat arbitrary, but i know it would be helpful to us. doesn’t need to be as complete as your list on Sheet5 of the portfolio downloads, but just a simple “must hold” and “feeling better” would be nice. thx

  209. Keep an eye on MBI and ABK to see how those hearings are going. I don’t think CNBC is going to carry it.

    NAT – good call Parchesia! They are too low and if you scale in with the expectation of buying 1x now, 1x at $26 and 2x at $24, you are very unlikely to be unhappy as long as they don’t cut the dividends. You can also sell Apr $30s for $2.33 that can roll to $35s if we go higher or protect us to $29 if not. XXX

    TASR – Good point Daveo. I buy Taser with the intent of taking a board seat one day so when it dips I just buy more, happily. They have production problems, they get sued, people pass laws against them, they get safety issues, the police unions protest (with gun lobby money), municipalities go broke because they can’t float any bonds to buy guns and have to cancel orders (not yet but next)… So you have to love the long-term outlook on this one and you have to have a goal of buying more at $10 and $8 similar to what I just laid out for NAT and, if it never goes down – great, that’s a nice profit on your first entry…

    Hey Cap – how do I get a PR person to take every dumbass thing I say and turn it into news? That would be fun!

  210. FSLR – I had to sell the $220s for $7.15, I’ll buy June $230s if I have to and flip them to March but this guy is a loon! XXX for big margin guys.

  211. Phil, what do you thhink of Comcast as a LTP play?

  212. Phil … we’ll have to work on that !

  213. health costs- u heard that? 80c of each $1 is spent to care for “chronically” ill people.

    this is largely the scam in the medical industry of being big on treatments, but not too big on cures or prevention.

    a good friend of mine has gained weight since high scool- not like crazy, he’s very active spearfisherman and freediver, but eats like a heartache.

    his dr told him he had high cholesterol and instead of just telling a 28yr old man w/ good family history to stop eating like a freak and start running or something, the dr said “take these pills every day” and only timidly made the point of eating/exercise as being the real solution for his case.

    as if the pills were more effective than lifestyle!!!

    how sad- very, very sad.

  214. Roose,
    Article discussed/requested : Beth has not published it yet. I am sure she will when she gets time – I would imagine it may be the weekend before we see it.

  215. 6Finger – I will be happy to post levels every time I feel like it. I usually do if they change but I don’t change my mind much and forcing it every day will turn it into something I loathe and do carelessly because “I have to.” I get in different moods on different days and you would be surprised at how long I spend coming up with these silly numbers. Generally I do a Big Chart every Monday or Tuesday and that is my principal guide for the week but otherwise, I call them WHEN I see them, that’s why they’re right!

    I know a girl who is very pre-cognative (and there’s a whole science to this I’d be happy to talk about on the weekend) but only when she is very relaxed and NOT trying. This is a problem many traders have when they try to “force” a trade – you convince yourself you see a signal because you want to see a signal (or you FEAR seeing a signal so you see it everywhere), as Yoda teaches us, you must unlearn before you can learn and clear your mind so that you may see.

    Chronically ill people – Absolutely, way more cost effective to kill them! 8-)

  216. Phil-I’m expecting them, as I think I said yesterday, to make a run at $34-$35 after they pay the next dividend and then most likely be sold off after next earnings (which again, should be bad based on U.S. demand but won’t kill us due to global demand.). I’m taking into terms projected growth, tankers coming online/offline, etc. etc. etc and covering yourself with selling calls is a great strategy (which I use) but be careful doing it from May-August (let your stock run naked or be prepared to roll up significantly) unless the overall markets are in bad shape.

  217. OK, covered most of the FSLR left with March $190′s and added to SPWR

  218. I have ERTS in the soon to be restarted 25KP:
    +10 Jun 45s (at 6.5, bought at 4.12)
    -5 Feb 45s (at 3.5, sold at 1.10)

    Are we looking at rolling the Feb 45s to Mar 45s as the trade moves to the STP…or maybe 2x the Mar 50s?

  219. nice bounce off 12400

  220. Phil,
    What would you think about DGX (Quest Diagnostics) as a possible LTP style play?

    Pretty stable between 50-60 for the past couple of years, so it would be a good income producer with few if any price swings….

  221. xian,
    Some of us have that problem – even with plenty of exercise our cholketerol is still high – my first hand experience (had to go thru a quad bypass – was eating very healthy and had good metabolism (I thought) – never fat (5′-8″ tall & 158 was max wt when I had the heart attack). Liestyle is Very important – cannot be ignored but I wish my Doc had told me watch my cholesterol.

  222. Thinking we can hold these levels through tomorrow; sold Feb. 124 puts against my April puts.

  223. Phil – Just to clarify, you haven’t rolled NDAQ, ERTS, or AXP yet correct?

  224. chronic ill- i’m not saying dont give treatment to people with real chronic disease or condition.

    i’m just saying, sometimes, if a person’s shoulder hurts when they twist arm r behind back back, then they should stop doing that b4 getting painkillers or something.

  225. that last part came out way too fast.

    “behind back back” LOL

    “…when they twist their arm behind their back,…”

  226. Parchesia – which tanker stocks do you like? Thanks

  227. ERTS – rolling to 2x the Mar $50s, that’s the whole point to selling 1/2. By the time we would have to pay the $50 caller $1.50, we’re $6.50 in the money and could care less.

    It’s not a NICE bounce until you bounce more than 20% off the drop and hold it. That would be 12,430 so skirting along this line is NOT good.

    DGX – I’m mad at them because they moved out of my building and left me with a very big space to fill. Other than that, they are a good company with a very reliable revenue stream.

  228. Phil,
    OK – How long are you going to keep us all 25KP players on a bed of pins??? We all are getting ansy and behaving like kids on a trip – “Are we there yet?”

  229. Phil,
    Re: DGX & them moving out – one of my good friends works for them, a hell of a good guy, that’s why they stuck in my head for a while. Have no other info on them other than what’s on the Internet/public, just want to make that clear.

  230. phil/precog girl- that’s wild

  231. I guess we were on the same subject at the same time – I see the roll but have a problem. I had full covers. What is my alternative?

  232. Phil,
    Above post was for on ERTS.

  233. Phil,
    Must have missed the half cover call on ERTS somehow… I’m fully covered with the Febs right now, is it worth it to roll the caller up to the 50 and take a 1.75 debit? Or roll to the 45 for a 1.10 credit?

  234. Phil:

    Sndk Mar covers
    should we wait ???

  235. Phil – ERTS – I also missed the half cover call. I’m fully covered and wondering whether I need to 2x myself and my covers or what your thoughts are there?



  236. AAPL- r people noticing buyers in LEAP, esp JAN09 130?

  237. FRO and NAT are my two favorite ones to play. FRO because it’s the biggest with the largest liquidity and NAT because they have the best balance sheet and financial position. You can buy NAT here and get this quarters dividend but expect a little short term pain (you could sell Mar or Apr 30′s against) but only for short term corrections. FRO, I would wait until they dip. They’ve had a very nice run since they bottomed and are probably overbought given the current tanker conditions. They do report earnings on the 25th and this run could be in conjunction with that but either way they were oversold before, they are not now. NAT is the most boring (but volatile) 20%/yr you could make.

  238. Rolls – not yet, still want my overnight protection.

    I know that Xian but it is true, we could easily cover everybody and make CHRONIC care something you have to choose to insure for yourself or through your job but then you have to get into what age and what disease you’re willing to fix, which is very morally nasty but it’s a trade-off I’d be willing to make in order to get universal health for the entire population.

    The other part is simple to fix. Reinstate health education and physical fitness programs in schools. When I was a kid, we used to have to do “The President’s Physical Fitness Program” and that was serious stuff and being out of shape wasn’t really an option in my school. Public schools now have no equipement and no after school sports and even during school half of them can only do very dull things because of “insurance concerns.” Truly insane stuff that my kid has a class where she sits in front of a computer every day but only has gym once a week.

    $25KP FINAL MOVES will be out tonight for tomorrow but there’s no harm in rolling today if you want to as we’ve already had our big dip (I hope!).

  239. I think everyone should uncover AAPL and GOOG right now for a few weeks. Put stops on your longer positions but leave them uncovered. The further OTM will still consolidate, but the front month could explode on a rally back to 150 or 170. That will shake off the non-believers.

  240. JPL-That’s a long term stock position for me to capture safe dividends, not speculative. I’m not looking to sell my stock until I see the tanker market oversaturated with tankers and slowing demand probably not before 2011. You can get some BA dividends and in the meantime and sell some calls into the weak seasons.

  241. Buying back my callers at a whopping .10

  242. Parch – thanks!!

  243. DM-I started looking at refrigerators for my milk after the open.

  244. ERTS/Jake – they are weak into the close so wait for tomorrow but roll to the amound you need to cover dollar-wise, that will leave a few open for a bounce next week and, if not, it’s easy enough to cover the rest with little opportunity cost.

    SNDK – same deal. They are super volatile and weak into the close so why roll now?

    AAPL $130s – that was me. ;) I have a couple of clients in it already and I said buy on the dips. Hopefully I’m not wrong! Those are 1/2 covered with Mar $125s.

    Money coming out of bonds, testimony must not be going well! WTF with CNBC not covering it!

  245. presidential fitness- we had that when i was in elementary (80s)- the chairman of the presidential fitness council (or whatever) was ARNOLD. LOL

  246. I never could get the top physical fitness award because of the damn v-sit and reach… no wonder I have back problems now

  247. film/AAPL- spidey sense? or something technical?

  248. Can some help me with what phil wants us to do with the ERTS,

    I have 10 Feb 45@ 1.2
    10 March 45@2.8

  249. ERTS, thanks Phil! I think I might be getting the hang of this.

  250. This market has absolutely no direction right now. It’s been up 150 points one day, down 150 the day after. Still mainly playing sup/res as we are still range-bound in a lot of charts.

  251. ERTS – I have JUNE $45s and Feb $45s in the $25KP (fully covered) and 5 in the $10KP fully covered. With the March $45s you have trouble but you can roll yourself back to the June $50s at $3.85 (.55 credit to you) and roll the caller to the Mar $50s for $1.55 ($1.75 from you) or just kill the trade for a .50 loss.

  252. Could be a positive closing?

  253. Phil thanks for clarifying that helps.

  254. How ridiculous is it for Cramer to come on TV with the market down 140 points and spend his segment talking about boxer shorts? What a disservice to his fans…

    Henk – what are you smoking?

  255. cramer- loves being a fool. sometimes i think he must b super duper smart to b capable of that kind of behavior, yet made all that $$$.

    or he’s degenerated into this,

  256. Someone just punched a big sell button!

  257. Just started the first true wellness program I know of. It includes annual blood screens, annual cardiac sonograms, annual cardiac stress tests, annual full body MRI, vitamins and supplements based upon test results, weekly food menus, regular massage, regular chiropractic adjustments (believe it or not, MD’s and chiropractors working together), and personal trainer. The cost is less than 9K/year which I would guess is about 1/5 the cost of a coronary bypass surgery.

    Imagine – fully monitored preventative care. My insurance company pays for almost none of it.

  258. 1348.86 is 2 day close and 1350 broken already. If it don’t bounce soon look out for 1340 and 1337

  259. Phil,

    Is Comcast a good LTP play? Thanks

  260. valentines- looks like my valentines gift to my account was a box of MAR QID 50s at the close yesterday.

  261. Ackman reports a stake in ABK and MBI??? What the hell game is he playing? Maybe it was because he was forced to cover so many shorts he ended up being a 5% shareholder…

  262. ABK- not crashing on CEO being front and center

  263. Phil,
    ERTS 25KP & 10KP
    Are you planning to roll your callers tomorrow?

  264. All,

    I have the following position:

    QQQQ Sold Feb 45 Calls @ .20
    QQQQ Bought March 45 Calls @ 1.01

    Currently the Feb 45 calls are approx. .04 and I need to know if I should buy them to close or just let them expire and hope that they don’t close over 45 (QQQQ)? I just don’t want to get exercised.

    Thanks for any input. Love learning this new stuff..

  265. VIX is very, very unmoved by this drop, that’s bad!

    Oh CNBC now changes breaking news to say Ackman bought puts, not stock prior to his testimony. That makes more sense but please, please, please let me get a deal like that with FSLR! I’d love to buy puts and then get to have the CEO of a lot of companies answer my questions under oath – this is one screwed up system we have…

    CMCSA – haven’t looked in a while and they are very complex so ask me on the weekend and I’ll check them out.

    ERTS – yes, rolling.

    QQQQ – let them expire, why give them .04, that would be a hell of a bounce.

  266. Phil

    What is the status of the email alerts?


  267. Health Care:

    You want to get indignant read this: They justified this by saying they want to keep health care costs low for the healthy people (what a bunch of assholes).

  268. FP-There is an extraordinarily small chance of your position closing in the money. In this market nothing is for certain but the odds are in your favor but for .04, I would think about cashing out and look for a different cover or rolling both of your positions. The question I have to ask you is what are you looking for the Q’s to do? That’s the only real way for me to answer a question about a position. I don’t know what the Mar or Apr’s are looking like as I only use Q’s to daytrade.

  269. ORCL at an unbelievable $19 from $23 after stella earnings end of December. I hope Larry’s buying them back !!!

  270. CNBC- forget his name- just drawing blank- but the guy w/ silver hair on w/ dylan looks like an anime character from “speedgrapher”

  271. Ackman

    He’s like the guy who stole the crop report in Trading Places and traded Frozen Concentrated Orange Juice futures although this is worse as it’s presented as fact not opinion.

  272. AMBAC CEO calls Buffet’s proposal “Laughable”.

    MGIC cut by rating agencies.


    Editorial comment; I think Ackman may have jumped the shark on his play; the tide may turn against him.

    Phil … did he really go long ? Where do you see that ?

  273. ABK- is loving this- just short covering?

  274. parchesia – Get some extra postage stamps for the milk too… I’m running low lol.

    Opt – The market is not random!!!!!

    Joseph – That looks like a sweet deal… 9k?.. That’s probably about how much of people’s taxes in Canada goes towards our healthcare system. We get most of that too, minus the trainer though.

    I don’t want to get into an argument, I understand the choice of not having government ran facilities is worth a lot too.

  275. parchesia,

    Ideally I would like for them to stay below 45 and expire worthless. This saves me the commission for the trade and I make out with the full amount. Then I would want the QQQQ’s to continue to around 47 or so for my March positions.

    Thanks for your thoughts Phil.

  276. Beeks!

  277. FIGC cut; not MBI / ABK.

    some short covering; more important, financials going up not down; market recovering; sky is not falling.

  278. Did anyone see the Che Guevara flag in one of Obama’s offices in Houston? Ridiculous…

  279. This is from Adam Fuerstein who got from someplace else:

    “I know, this isn’t investable, but so what. Continuing the baseball talk today, this is making the e-rounds today. Funny stuff…

    Clemens: You want answers?

    Congressman: I think I’m entitled to them.

    Clemens: You want answers?

    Congressman: I want the truth!

    Clemens: You can’t handle the truth! Son, we live in a world that has baseballs. And those balls have to be hit by men with bats. Who’s gonna do it? You? You,Congressman? I have a greater responsibility than you can possibly fathom. You weep for steroids and you curse HGH. You have that luxury. You have the luxury of not knowing what I know: that HGH, while illegal, probably sells tickets. And my existence, while grotesque and incomprehensible to you, sells tickets…You don’t want the truth. Because deep down, in places you don’t talk about at parties, you want me on that mound. You need me on that mound. We use words like fastall, slider, splitfinger…we use these words as the backbone to a life spent playing a sport. You use ‘em as a punchline. I have neither the time nor the inclination to explain myself to a man who rises and falls asleep to the Sportscenter clips I provide,! then questions the manner in which I provide it! I’d rather you just said thank you and went on your way. Otherwise, I suggest you pick up a bat and dig in. Either way, I don’t give a damn what you think you’re entitled to!

    Congressman: Did you order the HGH?

    Clemens: (quietly) I did the job you sent me to do.

    Congressman: Did you order the HGH?

    Clemens: You’re gddamn right I did!!

  280. Email alerts – I don’t know, we were supposed to do a whole site launch this weekend but it doesn’t look like it’s going off.

    ABK and MBI doing well and we held our levels, this is not so bad on the whole…

  281. che was alright- crazy, ruthless and inflexible but alright.

    supposedly, a friend of mine’s dad had a hand in killing that guy- i sort of believe him.

  282. Good… I can’t believe that he would allow that in an office when he is trying to get elected. But, I am guessing that most of the population doesn’t know who che was.

  283. Any insight into the fall in the EK calls today? Taking a big hit but haven’t seen any influencing news.

  284. It will be interesting to see how Obama wants to pay for universal health care.

  285. XIAN--Do you like MCDs ’10 Leaps at these prices?

  286. LOL Joseph, but I believe Clemens, I think this guy lied, gave them a big name because he thought it would take the heat off him and then had to dig deeper and deeper to keep himself from going to jail. Clemens didn’t have to testify, he wants to clear his name. You would think there would be some kind of bone marrow test or something they could do to see if you ever did it but it’s very sad at this point we’ll never know the truth and Clemens will always have a tainted record because of it.

    Baseball either has to totally ban and enforce or totally allow steriods, they are ruining the record keeping part of the sport and when I was a kid, that’s what it was all about.

    Oil not backing down, BIDU not backing down, the VIX is scary inactive, the SOX are way down with the Financials and I smell another sell program as someone wants to push the market below my technicals at the close.

  287. Che was alright????

    Well, we have our AH discussion for today. LOL

  288. jason/MCD- if i wanted to start a position, then i would feel pretty good about buying today.

    i would want it to fall lower so i can add to today’s purchase.

  289. I think that xian was being facetious… at least I hope!

  290. This is fun watching Jim Rogers hack on Helicopter.

  291. the governator’s universal healthcare initiative recently went down in flames here in California.

  292. XIAN--Thanks

  293. EK – nothing in particular but they’ve been trading down with the market since we entered.

    Pay for universal health care with a sin tax on Cigs, alchohol, fatty and sugary foods – let the people who are killing themselves foot the bill! It’s a self correcting system, if people cut back on the crap that’s killing them, then health costs will go down. Make gym memberships tax deductable and they can open new gyms and use up all that empty commercial real estate and employ lots of people as trainers etc.

  294. S-Bought some puts.

  295. fun day! SPX traded between yesterday’s close and 2 day ago close… VERY easy to day trade.

  296. Phil

    You are knocking the ball out of the park with your LTP, last year, and this year – 100s of percent annualized. Yet you say your expected return for this portfolio is only 20% per year. Why the huge discrepancy between actuals and expectations?


  297. jason/MCD- if i wanted to start a position, then i would feel pretty good about buying today.

    i would want it to fall lower so i can add to today’s purchase.

    che- i disagree w/ and reject his brutality, inflexibility and overall arrogance and greed for power- yet i can understand that it may have been born out of severe oppression around him- nothing can b held in isolation.

    south & cental america, the caribean r not mining colonies or agricultural xanadus for europeans to bank on.

    making $$ there is very important and necessary, but the wealth- just massive, massive wealth- that is in south america must b reinvested in the population to some degree.

    this is how development takes place.

    it’s probably now and always has been the part of the world w/ the worst distribution of resources- for no particular reason other than greed- and all this in the midst of obscene wealth and opportunity.

  298. Universal Healthcare:

    yes we need a safetynet for all.


    how to pay for it:

    1) everyone has to pay some $$
    2) the abusers – the abusers have to pay more: like Phil says: a tax on all the items which makes them sick.


  299. PHIL—
    FSLR question—
    Just checking back wanted to know your feedback on FSLR holding this 123 level—-seems like its teetering here—just wanted your take on this thing into tomorrow



  300. FSLR 220 Puts vol/open-int is 5885/1713
    FSLR 230 Calls vol/open-int is 6419/6413

    Based on this would FSLR open UP or down? Calls or Put?

  301. POT-Sold all puts. Out of it for now with very small profit.

  302. Opt – share your reasoning & strike on S puts?

  303. You know the dumbacrats aren’t that smart because a sin tax hurts the poor the worse and you know thats their main voter base. But it is correct.

  304. Ryan – I saw that the other day … Che Obama… nice. Lots of other stuff will come out. Empty suit that guy … speaks well / says nothing. No record. Nada. Keep Hope Alive ! Yes We Can ! Who is he, Bob the Builder ?

    Joseph – HYSTERICAL !!!

    XIAN — Che was NOT alright. Far from it. I’ll stop there.

  305. Phil – I come down on the other side. I believe Clemens is guilty.
    Strongest argument is that Mcnamee was right about Pettit and Knoblock(sp.
    Pettit testified that Clemens used steroids and told his wife that. Why
    would he do that? Everyone believes he is a truthful guy. I can see
    how McNamee would start off trying to protect Clemens and then change
    his story (to the truth, I believe) once the grilling heated up. It looked
    to me like Tom Davis and Dan Burton were in Clemens’ pocket.

  306. QQQQ took a quick dive

  307. Fio, what was the proposal?

  308. Cap- Nice Bob the Builder comment… I agree… Not to mention that his brother is possibly a terrorist…

  309. LTP expectations – I’ve done this for many years and usually I make 50% but I never set out to make more than 20% as it’s meant to be traded conservatively but I guess I’ve just gotten better at picking them in addition to the crazy volatility but still, when I’m ahead, like now, I don’t mind taking some risks and that, if I’m lucky, ends up making me more money. So really it’s just luck, like with the $10KP, I was very conservative until we got ahead, then I took more risks and those worked out. With the $25KP, we were lucky in the first week, then I took more risks and they worked out. I think realizing that there is a tremendous degree of luck involved keeps me from doing stupid things by thinking I’m smart so all my goals are very conservative.

    FSLR – I was just considering the $220 puts but too much premium for me but I think the market drops in the morning at this point and they will go with it, I’ll pick them up as a mo play if all goes well (using my poor caller’s money!).

  310. HGH – I used it legally for awhile and had to inject it daily in order to be effective. I was told this was necessary because HGH is 100% metabolized daily. It cannot be taken orally because it will be digested and destroyed in the process. Ergo, Clemans, et al., had to be injecting it daily. He never actually wondered why there was a needle in his thigh every day??

  311. Sorry Phil, I agree with Albo. Clemens wife acknowledged taking HGH for her photo shoot but hubby didn’t. Nahhh I’m not buying, hubby was the pharmacist on that one. I read Game of Shadows and have no doubt about Bonds. It is a shame that these drugs have done to destroy legit records. ****

  312. Well Happy V-Day folks, gotta go do the romance thing!

  313. Cap – did you see the pollster with the group of Obama supporters, he asked the group if anyone could name just one single accomplishment of Sen Obama. Nobody could think of one LOL!!!!

    Nobody knows anything about this guy. Sen. Smoke ‘em if you got em – I’ll bet most of his supporters don’t even know he is a smoker (not that there is anything wrong with that).

  314. Cap – Obama will make Carter look good.

  315. guys “alright” is a very ambivalent term.

    i do not like his actions- just what i think were his some of his motivations/concerns-

    so, i fully reject his approach- but i can not think he was anymore evil or violent than the oppression around him.

    so we all agree- che was a very violent and power hungry man.

    yet, i don’t hate him or think he was anything close to the most evil persons in the 20 century- i actually think he made it better, not through his actions directly, but through the issues he brought front and center.

    these issues (whether sincere in his convictions or not) still go woefully unattended.

  316. Phil


  317. alright peoples!!

    i’m out!

    i hope i didn’t offend anyone on this day of valentine!!!

  318. Ryan – classic! I like this line: “Too many Americans already suspect that Democrats secretly sympathize with al-Qaida and think America had 9/11 coming.”

    - now that WeeklyWorldNews is out of business, IBD’s capturing the abandoned market!

  319. Ok, so yesterday’s close was 1367.21 which we double popped off this morning almost perfectly… and we close at 1348.87… with 2 day close at 1348.86. Could you have made it easier for the index day traders? LOL

  320. Ineresting timing on FSLR, 2 execs exercised and sold on Tues at $185, ahead of earnings…

    Not damning but interesting…

  321. FSLR must be a bummer to have inside info and still lose big time!

  322. rebelatl – Health Care special session

    AB 1x passed out of the Assembly along party lines (of course) then it died in Senate Health Committee after the LAO put a dagger through its costly little heart. It was a VERY bad bill…the governator could have done better.

  323. Mark – not so easy for me. I think I am starting to sound totally pathetic, better shut up.

  324. Clemens – famous people who are slandered usually take their accusers to court, not to the Senate. When he sues, then I’ll believe…

  325. Greg that sucks man I’m sorry. What indexes are you trading? I only trade spx eminis so can’t halp much if it’s naz or industrials….

  326. Mark – I took a week off of trading, thought it would help. Apparently it didn’t, I’m still stupid.

  327. Greg – I’m absolutely positive you’re not stupid. One thing to understand, ESPECIALLY if you’re daytrading any instruments, is that experience is everything. I consider myself decently good at what I do, but it’s b/c it’s ALL I DO. Nothing else. My job is to watch charts / news / stocks all day long. If you can stare at multiple screens for 6.5 hours a day for 4+ years… eventually it’ll start to sink in. That’s why the top traders aren’t Harvard / Wharton MBA’s… they’re city college kids. Takes time man… I wish you better luck in the future. Best thing about this board is that everyone else started at one point or another (obviously), and can help you if you ever need encouragement / advice. Stay true, keep emotion in place, READ Murphy /, and practice practice practice.

  328. DM, gotta respond, good mouth fitness is important as well

  329. OK out for Vday. CU kids.

  330. Phil,

    Just wanted to thank you on explaining me few things about BIDU condor. I actually made $500 bucks with pretty much 0 investment.

    I rolled caller and my calls to march/june combination as you suggested in morning post.

    This is new play right? Or was is related to BIDU Condor?

  331. Healthcare. Having been in the healthcare industry for the past 14 years, I feel qualfied to shed some light as to where we can save money as a nation by implementing universal care.

    First, it is important to quantify how the present dollars are spent. Only .43 cents of each dollar paid in Insurance and Medicare premiums are actually spent on healthcare. The other .57cents are taken up in Insurance Company profits and insurance/medicare infrastructure costs.

    As an example: A typical group of 10 physicians will have 80-100 people staffing their office. Of that staff 15-20 are working full time to collect money from Insurance Companies and Medicare. The Insurance Industry employs a far greater number of people dedicated to reducing payments and slowing the payment process to Paitents, Physicians and Hospitals. It is an inherently inefficent system.

    As regards resources that are spent I’ll use the example of a total joint replacement. A total knee replacement costs 15 to 20K here in the U.S.. In Australia it costs 4-5k. Why?

    In Australia they allocate the resources far more efficiently. If you are obese and/or a smoker you do not qualify for the replacement because of the documented high failure rate associated with the risk factors. Here in the U.S. you can weigh 400 lbs smoke 2 packs a day and get a new knee that “will fail” 50% of the time within 5 years. When it fails, the revision surgery runs 50 – 80k and is also associated with a high failure rate.

    These are brief examples; food for thought as to how we can have universal care at a higher standard and lower cost. If I don’t stop typing and get to valentine activities I’ll need healthcare.

  332. David, thanks for your insights. There are lots of ways to make health care more efficient. But without consumers bearing the cost or responsibility for unhealthy lifestyle choices we will not improve. Consumers also need to have a stake in managing the costs of health care. Currently it doesn’t matter what a proceedure or perscription costs because we don’t pay the bill, insurance does. Finally there are no people who do not receive health care in America, those who don’t have insurance receive the most expensive health care of all in emergency rooms. Very inefficient.

  333. Greg – I agree. Consumers should be conscious. You could either improve the education system, which would cost more (spun as “anti-conservative”), or you could ban the crap foods we’re exposed to (spun as “socialism”).

    Infact, I think the root of all problems is our word choice. Any step forward, and it can be label as a bad thing. Pick one.

    Help the environment? You’re a hippie. Go do drugs.
    Universal health care? You’re a socialist. Go back to cuba.
    Increase the education budget? You liberal son of a bitch, give back my tax dollars.
    I’m sure you can think of more.

    Think of what we have become. All these “good things” can be re-written as a removal of your freedom.

    But to me, being a healthy, educated, individual enjoying my planet is real freedom. Paying middlemen left, right, and center until I wake up dead, is a manipulation of it.

  334. Josesph

    If you are still around thanks for the Clemens stuff. I am an avid Yankee fan, baseball fan, and suffering.
    Jack Nicholson is numero uno in my book and do love A few good men and that speech is the best.

  335. Sorry

    Was for Joseph

  336. DM – We are not truely a free people unless we have economic freedom. We cannot expect people to behave as CITIZENS when we tax them like SERFS.

    Food for thought…………..

  337. Greg – True, but what if taxes work out to be less, than say paying out the for-profits?

    Take privatized schooling vs public. Which is cheaper: 10,000 desks purchased by 100 different schools? or 1 Million desks purchased by one?

    I’m not saying everything should be taxed and made “free”, as everything is not necessary to life. So what is necessary?

    Well it’s debatable, but I would start by defining an ideal American. To me it’s someone who’s healthy, smart, and living / working in a clean environment of hir choice. That is the basic formula for a tomorrow’s leader, and a good way to give it is to make it readily available to everyone.

  338. Just a question that I couldn’t find on previous posts – I was just wondering whether CCU can be profited from – it is $8+ away from the buy-out price and Bain and Co seems to want to carry the deal through. It seems that the March calls may be the way to go since the deal is supposed to close the first quarter of ’08. Thanks in advance!

  339. DM,
    Acutally 10K desks purchased by 100 different schools will end up being cheaper if the schools are held accountable for their spending. The problem with public school spending is that administrative expenses are often overlooked. I do some construction consulting and public school projects average around 5-8 times the going commercial construction rate here in NY. The deals tend to be union ‘hook-ups’ with mainly insiders getting the bids. There’s very little oversight and almost no concern for cost containment – the schools feel they ‘have’ to spend their budgets.
    The public school system worked okay during the 20th century, but we need to replace it with some type of hybrid public/private system that’s more accountable to achieving specific education outcomes while adhering to strict budget controls.

  340. Greg; welcome back my friend.

    I did see that Obama focus group … scary.

    I’m enjoying watching him destroy Hillary, but I hope this country doesn’t go drink the kool aid in the end. Not that McCain is so wonderful … but c’mon.

    Ah politics … its just sucks.

  341. JPL: Yikes. Making Carter look good is truly frightening.

  342. Phil: How can they sell FSLR right before earnings ? That’s not legal. Unless it is not subject to US Securities regs.

  343. Mark … ever read “Pit Bull” ?

    Great stuff.

    I should open up an emini account again.

  344. Healthcare, etc.

    Entitlements simply break the bank; everyone complains about deficits and national debt, etc.

    Well, the biggest problem is entitlements and the growth of them.

    Adding more entitlements is not the answer.

    Didn’t anyone listen to Ben and Hank today ?

  345. orion – That’s actually really interesting, I never knew that.

  346. Phil,
    Using DGX to see if I grasp the concept of the LTP and how to formulate a play.

    The LEAP should have a delta near .80 if possible, so that would be the Jan 09 40. On the short side I need to look for one either just slightly ITM or OTM, whatever has the highest premium. That would be the Mar 08 50.

    The Jan 09 40 is 11.90, the Mar 08 50 is 1.95 with 1.58 in premium.

    Is all of that right? Or should the LEAP be at the same strike as the caller, meaning a Jan 09 50 going for 5.00?

  347. once McCain finishes reading Greenspan the economy will be fine :-)

  348. I don’t get involved in politics and I stand by that but really truly absolutely don’t care who’s president as long as we can convince them that they don’t get a blank check for all their desires. I just read something this afternoon a friend of mine wrote, who I haven’t influenced, who was pissed about Bush giving $150B to Mexico to “help” with controlling the border. This blank check stuff has got to stop! Where does Bush think the money for all his wars and vendetas and plans is coming from? Yeah, we’ll just have the treasury print more and not worry that it causes inflation and eventually brings Max pain on the American people.

  349. Greenspan Says U.S. Economy Is `On the Edge’ of a Recession

    By Vivien Lou Chen

    Feb. 14 (Bloomberg) — Former Federal Reserve Chairman Alan Greenspan said the U.S. is “on the edge” of a recession and reiterated his view that the odds are “50 percent or better.”

    Greenspan made the comment today at the Cambridge Energy Research Associates’ 27th annual CERAWeek conference in Houston.

    To contact the reporter on this story: Vivien Lou Chen in San Francisco at .

  350. Par – I agree.

    Andy – That mouth link, whoa.

  351. isn’t that thing on greenspan a lot like gossip?

    there’s no real news there. they could at least mention some other things about the conference or give the comment some context- like in what capacity was he there?

    who else was there? did they say something? was this part of a discussion, question/answer, written address- antyhing, just make it news worthy.

    i’m fine with having bearish news- but this gossip. in fact, it’s old b/c he’s been saying that for a while and maybe he’ll b right, but let’s get serious.

  352. And i’ll say one more thing and be done with it. I know what the president would argue to what I just said, “But I made America a safer place and protected them”. True, we have destroyed more terrorists in recent weeks and I will agree that it is safer. However, how many people are now homeless and can barely scrape by enough to eat in America because of your incessant spending and “blank check” policies. It’s easy for you and your half wits (Paulson) to use half measures and talk telling us everything is okay because they don’t have to look the people who lost their homes in the face because if they did, the president would be slapped by them. Why doesn’t the President leave a real legacy behind by enacting a plan to fix the problem he created due to his “blank check” policies. If he says he doesn’t know what to do, there’s Phil and the rest of us here on the blog who could come up with a better plan than any of his advisors. So, whoever actually reads this blog, why don’t we do something with the power we have and if you don’t know, ask us! If you still think we’re the greatest place on earth, you need to take a look in the mirror and take a step down from your pedastal. I can’t believe how we Americans are perceived by the rest of the world and I can’t blame them. The dog eat dog psychology of Americans is disgusting. I was watching an episode of Top Gear and the guys went on a cross country trip and ended up New Orleans after Katrina. They were giving their cars away because they literally just wanted to help and were contacted by a lawyer who they had told were coming and she said it’s technically illegal that you give this car away because you said it was an 86′ but it’s in fact an 87′ but for 20k in cash, i’ll forget about it! What is wrong here? You need some help! Together, we can bring this country back to greatness but give up your stupid policies and change!

  353. Greg, you do not understand our healthcare system and how unaffordable and enslaving it is becoming to average Americans. If you have a job and your employer buys insurance you as part of your compensation package you are likely going to have to pay a large portion of the insurance yourself. Often the insurance does not cover many of the costs of illness and the insurance is more illusion then coverage. If you have a claim and it creates a situation where you can be marked as having a pre-existing condition you are in danger of becoming uninsurable in the future if you start your own business or have your insurance lapse for any reason. You can literally become a slave to your job to maintain insurance for a family member or yourself. That is not freedom my friend.

    Insurance is the real problem with our healthcare system. There is no reason to take the funds we have available for healthcare and waste 57% of them by supporting greedy corporations. We can easily afford universal healthcare and spend far less then we do now. Canada does it, Australia does it, New Zealand does it and they also provide equal or better care at 20 to 25% of the cost.

    If we were a civilized country, and not a corporate dictatorship we would be healthier, respectful of freedom and a more compassionate society.

  354. Cap, Bush makes Carter look like a great president.

  355. SBUX-

    Starbucks Tests $2.50 Premium Coffee to Boost Sales (Update3)

    By Peter Robison

    Feb. 14 (Bloomberg) — Starbucks Corp. is experimenting with a $2.50 cup of coffee that would add a new, premium product to help fight the first drop in U.S. customer visits in its 37- year history.

    In its hometown Seattle, Starbucks is testing a 12-ounce (360-milliliter) cup of “fresh-pressed” coffee at $2.50 each. The price is $2.25 in a Boston trial. Starbucks charges $1.55 for a regular brew. McDonald’s Corp. has been stealing customers with $1.39 coffee and is challenging Starbucks by adding espresso counters.

    The new drink, made in a machine that brews each cup individually, may become part of Chief Executive Officer Howard Schultz’s plan to increase traffic in the 15,000 stores of the world’s largest coffee chain. Starbucks is also experimenting with a $1 refillable cup of coffee and slowing its expansion.

  356. C- i guess lampert was worried about his investment- uh oh…

    Lampert slashes stake in Citigroup as shares fall

    By Jonathan Stempel

    NEW YORK (Reuters) – Billionaire investor Edward Lampert has slashed by nearly one-third his stake in Citigroup Inc (C.N: Quote, Profile, Research), the largest U.S. bank, a regulatory filing shows.

    RBS Partners LP, an affiliate of Lampert’s hedge fund ESL Investments Inc, reduced its stake 31 percent to 19.08 million shares as of December 31 from 27.79 million shares as of September 30, according to a Thursday filing with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission. The value of RBS’ stake fell to $561.8 million from $1.3 billion.

  357. it worked in chile- after “the chicago boys” had their way-

    Depression risk might force U.S. to buy assets

    By John Parry

    NEW YORK (Reuters) – Fear that a hobbled banking sector may set off another Great Depression could force the U.S. government and Federal Reserve to take the unprecedented step of buying a broad range of assets, including stocks, according to one of the most bearish market analysts.

    That extreme scenario, which would aim to stave off deflation and stabilize the economy, is evolving as the base case for Bernard Connolly, global strategist at Banque AIG in London.

    In the late 1980s and early 1990′s Connolly worked for the European Commission analyzing the European monetary system in the run up to the introduction of the euro currency.

    “Avoiding a depression is, unfortunately, going to have to involve either a large, quasi-permanent increase in the budget deficit — preferably tax cuts — or restoring overvaluation of equity prices,” Connolly said on Monday.

  358. David – I totally second your post – my wife won t leave her job for that same exact reason – she would like to freelance. Trouble is that she was denied a private plan before b/c she had a tendinidis in the past (not been treated for it in the last 2 years …) – so I agree the health insurrance issue limits people’s freedom.
    It is kind of a shame as this is by far the country with the most opportunities to succeed.

  359. Will the market be closed next Mon or Tue?

  360. market closed on Monday

  361. Cap – haven’t read Pit Bull, but will put it on my LONG list of to do’s. re-reading The Sun Also Rises… it’s funny. I love reading “investing story” books, but find I become a better trader by reading well known novels / fiction more. I learn / understand myself better thru that kind of odyssey… keeps me grounded.

    eminis are perfect trading vehicles for this current market. Very predictable s/r each day… bouncing off whole numbers, 135 lines, etc.

  362. Phil,

    You will love to see this!

    Cramer is a Donkey is here! I’m waiting for your photo to make the superman! :)
    If someone lover cramer here, please do not click the link.