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How crappy is our economy?

We find out this morning as we get our Q4 GDP Revision but don't worry, I already have the results (preliminary) and I thought it would be fun to post these up ahead of the actual so don't look if you want to be surprised later:

Contribution to Percent Change In Real GDP

Contribution to Percent Change In Real GDP








Gross domestic product 0.60 4.90 3.80 0.60 2.10 2.20
Personal Consumption Expenditures 1.37 2.01 1.00 2.56 2.68 2.01
  Durable Goods 0.32 0.35 0.14 0.67 0.30 0.37
  Nondurable Goods 0.38 0.46 -0.10 0.61 0.86 0.49
  Services 0.67 1.20 0.96 1.28 1.52 1.15
Domestic Investment -1.64 0.77 0.71 -1.36 -2.50 -0.77
  Fixed Investment -0.39 -0.11 0.49 -0.70 -1.19 -0.47
    Nonresidential 0.79 0.96 1.12 0.22 -0.15 0.50
Exports 0.46 2.10 0.85 0.13 1.51 0.89
Imports -0.06 -0.72 0.47 -0.63 -0.26 -0.33
Government Consumption Expenditures 0.50 0.74 0.79 -0.09 0.66 0.40
  Federal 0.02 0.50 0.41 -0.46 0.50 0.12
    National defense -0.03 0.47 0.39 -0.54 0.74 0.13
    Nondefense 0.05 0.03 0.02 0.08 -0.24 -0.01
  State and local 0.49 0.24 0.37 0.36 0.16 0.28


So we're going to blame personal consumption for the decline, even though personal consumption was, in fact lower in Q2-07 by 30%.  In fact, our total GDP was just 0.6% in Q1-07 and, surprisingly, we're still alive.  In fact, the rest of '07 gave us quite a rally!   Unless we get a downside surprise that's really out of whack, we can consider a sell-off to be a possible overreaction but, like Q1, it's a trough in defense spending that knocks down the GDP.  Notice also the predicted low export number, that has our best chance of being an upside surprise.

Another surprise that has been ruined for us is the result of the 2008 election.  According to The Onion, which has a lot of good videos, Diebold accidentally leaked the planned results of the November election and it turns out McCain will win with 48% of the vote…  Don't laugh, that one may be true!  I love the guy they interview who says "I don't even know if I can enjoy the sham election now that I know who's going to win."  According the their apologetic Diebold Spokesman:  "This country is based on the fantasy that the government is the voice of the people and going through the motions of voting and keeping the kingmaker's dealings secret is central to our culture." 

In other shenanigan news, Cramer is on the attack regarding the SIRI/XMSR merger and devoted an entire segment of Mad Money to it the other day.

We had a conversation in member chat the other day about how shockingly cheap it was to bribe a Congressman and Cramer is claiming that the National Association of Broadcasters bought the votes of Gener Green (D-TX) for $16,000, Louise Slaugher (D-NY) who apparently can be had for just $1,000, John Spratt (D-SC) for $8,000, Roy Blunt (R-MO and minority whip) for $5,000 and Tom Cole (R-AZ) for $3,500.  Cramer has vowed to keep digging into these and other representatives until they explain why they are blocking this deal, which has had 4 days of Congressional hearings in over a year – we invade people with far less discussion than this!

Speaking of countries we invade – Congratulations to Iraq, who's Dinar has gained 40% against the dollar in the past 3 years.  That's right, our economy is rapidly losing ground to a war zone!  I especially love the line in the article that says: "Inflation has been brought under control, thanks to the tightening of monetary policy and the appreciation of the dinar-along with the maintenance of fiscal discipline and measures to reduce fuel shortages."  Kind of makes you want to cry doesn't it?

We talked about China's measures to reign in growth last night and the Hang Seng still managed to gain 107 points this morning, which is fairly subdued for that index.  Japan gave back 105 points and fell back below 14,000 as the rising Yen spooked people out of exporters but it's a minor pullback off 7-week highs.  Industrial output was down 2% in Japan, 1.4% lower than expected.  We will probably be lucky to get another shot at TM for $110 and I'm going to start an entry today on the Jan $110s, hopefully for $12.50, which was yesterday's low.  The March $115s were selling for as much as $3 yesterday so if we time this right we can give ourselves a very nice spread.

Europe is trading down about a point despite a 22% increase in net profit from RBS (no wonder they can afford all those ads) and a $4Bn merger involving BTI, who posted a 12% rise in profits for Q4.  Miners sold off on profit taking and AA is being taken to court by a rival in Bahrain who is accusing the company of: "A 15-year conspiracy involving overcharging, fraud and bribery."  A suit in federal court in Pittsburgh by Aluminum Bahrain BSC alleged that Alcoa steered payments for an aluminum precursor ingredient to a group of tiny companies abroad, in order to pay kickbacks to a Bahraini "senior government official."

Oil stalled again at $100 on yet another inventory build with gasoline supplies at the highest level in 14 years so the phones at Rent-A-Rebel must have been ringing off the hook and they are indeed getting good at this as they timed this morning's attack on an oil terminal right for the NYMEX open at 8:30, saving oil from slipping below $98 in morning trading.  Unlike previous attacks, this one only took out a very small 50,000 barrels a day because, at $100 a barrel, nobody would agree to take a bigger cut at last Friday's poker game.

8:30 Update:  The actual GDP numbers are in and, surprise, they are the same.  The market turned sharply down on the news as I suppose they were rooting for the Government to have no clue as to how to measure the Jan 30th readings I posted above as if somehow and upward revision would have been better than accuracy.  As is now becoming my theme for the month – IT'S ALREADY PRICED IN!

What's not priced in is Super Banker, Hank Paulson's (pictured here in his office) who is spearheading the White House line as: "The Bush administration is hardening its opposition to the chorus of Democrats, bankers, economists and consumer advocates calling for a big-money government rescue program for struggling homeowners."  Mr. Paulson, citing estimates that as many as two million Americans could lose their homes to foreclosure this year, predicted that the administration's market-based approach will be enough to keep the situation under control.

In other words, his friends haven't scooped up all the good properties at auction yet so any meaningful relief will have to wait until all 2M families are homeless at which time the governement will come in and bail out the banks, who will have already taken the write-offs on the homes and will be able to book them as 2009 profits so they can tell everyone what sharp businesspeople they are again.

Jobless claims were up this morning, rising 19,000 to 373,000 with 400,000 considered recessionary and the prior week was revised up 5,000 as well.  FRE had awful earnings and we'll be lucky to get out of that half covered position alive as they don't seem to expect a real turn around this year or next.  Sears is having a half-price sale and it's their stock!  Earnings were also down 47% on falling margins and this is another one I want to bottom fish in the low $90s as $12.5Bn is a very fair price for 5,000 retail locations that many towns in this country are built around.

Today is attack the market day as the bears do their best to wriggle out of their shorts after the last 5 days of gains caught them by surprise.  Aside from PIM(P)CO getting a prime slot on CNBC this morning, the guest list is filled with attack bears so once again I will be thrilled to simply hold Tuesday's (and last Thursday's) open at 12,500 – anything better than that is progress.

Important note:  With CVX added to the Dow, the index is now very succeptible to sell-offs in the energy sector, this is something to be aware of as it is more likely than ever that an oil sell-off will irrationally hurt the industrials and give us false panics.


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  1. boom… AAPL will be happy today..

  2. Opt:

    I’m looking at ATI for downside protection. 5MA turned down and it closed below yesterday. Looking at a stop at close above about 85.27. Looks pretty good risk/reward. What do you think?

  3. Some doofus was on CNBC this am trying to take down GOOG.

    Where is AIG earnings ?

  4. XMSR

    Speaking of…nice beat when you remove the .25 writeoff that wasn’t included in estimates. Hopefully this deal will go through and they’ll have over 17 million subscribers.

  5. ATI-Yes, it could be interesting for puts, but it is right now in a bullish penant, which is a consolidation pattern. Maybe I’d wait for it to breakdown or at least show a bearish candle.
    What about fundamentals?

  6. Guys,

    I had trouble w/ Amex last month, I told you all about how they froze my account to verify my income w/ IRS. They verified and opened up my account and gave me credit on yearly fee, and dinner money.

    Well its been a month since and my balance just closed for the month and my payment is due on Mar 12. They froze my account right after the month closed again.

    I call customer service, and the lady tells me because of financial stress and slowdown in the economy, they have new rules to follow and they want my payment now if I want to use the account.

    That is so messed up, Amex must be having major issues w/ delinquincy or raising money. Something is just so not right there.

    I am like fine, you guys paid me fee return, dinner money just to get me back as a customer and now a month later you are at square one doing same thing to me. So I tell her take my payment over the phone and I am leaving for good now.

  7. WOW! I did not realize that Sprint’s earnings were today and kept my puts. VERY lucky. I really need to find a solution for this as it has happened a couple times now. They have added “news” in the trade grid in TOS but I don’t think there is a way to see all upcoming events for your positions. Anyone knows?
    Maybe I’ll ask them to add this feature.

  8. BTW, was reading thru last night and SAGE advice from Optrader. Best way to look at trading IMHO:

    Discussing AAPL…

    “Honestly I have no idea where it will be in a month, neither do you, and I don’t even want to spend my energy trying to guess. If I want to bet/gamble I can go to the casino. Being right about where it will be in a month won’t make me money in the long run.
    Do I want to be right or do I want to make money?
    I have a new goal in 2008: not have a losing week. I’d rather bet and focus on this. And I don’t think I need to catch bottoms and guess targets to achieve this. In fact I am really bad at it.”

  9. Opt:

    ATI – They just set a dividend recently. I don’t know how strongly their earnings are tied to commodity prices.

    I’ll look further into it. Phil, any advice?

  10. Phil – what is your outlook on the CROX position?

  11. I see that Power Etrade Pro is now offering exporting of data to excel spreadsheet with streaming data. I know this is something a lot of us were looking for, for managing stops and position size.
    Unfortunately it only works with windows for now. If someone has the opportunity to try it, please let me know how it works. I would especially like to know if it works well with options’ data (delta etc.).
    Blake, you should definitely check it out as it is what you were looking for.

  12. opt
    although i hate etrade and don’t recommend them for any purpose, i believe i remember you saying that you use their site. when a company nears earnings, they post the date of the release on the snapshot page for that company.
    i’m surprised that TOS doesn’t do this, so it would be a valuable recommendation to make.
    ps – you are not only very smart, you are also very lucky!

  13. Windy,

    Thanks for he suggestion, I’ll check it out. I only use Power Etrade Pro, not the website, but I’ll check it out. Ideally I would like an alert for all positions in the portfolio, instead of going through the pages of each company (which you can do as well in the Yahoo earnings page). I created a portfolio in Google especially for that, where I enter all my positions as they have “upcoming events” for all positions. But I sometimes forget to update it, or am too lazy/busy to check it out. I sent an email to TOS suggesting it.
    Yes, I have been VERY lucky lately. Luck is part of trading of course, but you should always keep your risk defined so that bad luck does not kill you. This is why I don’t like to play earnings, unless it is a non directional bet with defined risk, or with a very small position where I can lose 100%.

  14. Opt: you can do live data with ToS as well.

  15. Here is the answer from TOS:

    “Thanks for the follow up. You may absolutely look up upcoming earnings on our platform via the Watch tab. However, you cannot specify the companies that appear on the list – in other words, you cannot filter your earnings search to show you only the upcoming earnings for your current positions. Also, you cannot set an earnings alert to trigger a day before the report is released. However, these sounds like some great ideas and I will gladly pass this message over to our developers as suggestions. If any of the suggestions make it to production, we will certainly let everyone know.”

  16. A quick play with the new Excel manager in Etrade Pro – It seems to download historical stock data well/quickly but I cant make it download option data. Will keep playing.

  17. On your quote tab, bring up the list you want. Then click on the print button and then click on “Export to excel.” it will copy onto the clipboard, then open excel and hit ctrl-v.

    ToS has DDE capabilities for excel.

  18. Steveplace,

    You can do live data by exporting your screen to an excel spreadsheet, but then your spreadsheet does not update with streaming data, does it?

  19. Optrader
    If you go to the watch tab on the tos platform there are several list that you can open. Dividend earnings conf calls… just click the arrow and hit refresh and it populates the results. I haven’t used it much but i have opened it and looked at it.

  20. Thanks Opt-

    What I ultimately want is something that will export the real time value of the option and it’s delta…that would make things really easy. Even if it had a 15 minute delay it would still be fine. You can use a plug in to get data on stocks into excel right now and it has a 15 minute delay, but I haven’t found anything free for options. There are some companies online that sell Excel plug ins for options, but it is unclear what their capabilities and limitations are.

  21. yet another high-probability gap fade in the futures…

  22. FRE – any new play on this based on the earnings & call? Dead?

  23. Whoo-hoo, another day of Tradestation folly for me. Because I held my AAPL position overnight and have only 20k in cash, if I sell my position today, I can’t buy anything. And I can’t sell covers, so I am really riding this one bareback.

    Guess I will hope for a close at the high of the day, cash out, and look to reinitiate the position Friday morning and hopefully move to a higher strike to maintain the same upside potential while getting me back to a level of cash that allows me to trade until my ToS account is up and running.

    And I guess I can do a day trade of some puts in etrade if we run up too high to fast. My accounts are always such a mess. Someday this will end. But then, what would we talk about.

  24. Because I am not Optrader, here is my guess for today’s range. High 130, low 125.

  25. AIG after the bell.

    AXP/Ci69fc – that is getting scary!

    CROX – I still like them.

    Watch GOOG and APPL and GS – if they can’t get positive then there’s not too much hope.

  26. S puts-1/2 out. Better lucky than good :)

  27. Opt. yes. It does on mine.

  28. Steveplace,

    DDE capabilities?

  29. the values show up like this:


  30. DDE = dynamic data exchange

  31. EOG….yuck!!!

  32. Steveplace, do you trade the ES?

  33. OIL- Phil’s friends in Nigeria are causing trouble again. Watching RIG closely to take profits

  34. That’s great for Excell, will try it later, thanks!

  35. For the 10kp’ers that are freaking out about NDAQ. Don’t. You’ve got about a buck in premium left and the opportunity to roll will be there for at least another week.

  36. EOG – Wow does that hurt or what?

  37. Phil,
    Looks like we can probably get .10 for the 4th (or is it 5th) DD on EK Mar 20′s sometime today. Heck, maybe even .05…

    Is it still a go for the old 25KP players?

  38. ATI,

    I follow TIE most closely and both ATI and TIE have been on a nice run. Short term they may pull back but longer term I like both companies due to the aerospace demand. TIE is more leveraged directly to titanium than ATI but specialty metals got lambasted in the sell-off. TIE never tells you when their earnings are but they should be any day now so you may want to wait to see if they have a miss. Usually all these guys will move down on a miss, i.e. HAYN & RTI.

  39. TOS – their service is really nice.

  40. BIDU still moving.

    Oppenheimer cut GOOG from $715 to $600.

    OIH group is moving up as are oil names. Don’t forget that XOM and CVX really goose the Dow now.

    FRE and FNM showing signs of life despite the poor earnings.

    GOOG held $470 well.

    Just waiting for GS to confirm but I’d say we can grab the DIA $127s for $1.99 as a nice mo play. XXX

  41. steveplace

    Also, a bunch of insiders just bought ATI, most likely option grants.

  42. ERTS – Phil should we cover this now?

  43. steveplace-

    Does the TOS list only export the mark, or can it do option deltas as well?


  44. Opt: No, I don’t trade that. But it’s on my list. I’ve *technically* only been trading for 3 months now, but I’ve been learning for about 3 years.

  45. BBD – Lol :-)

  46. steveplace
    Thank for the reassurance on NDAQ i hate looking at that one

  47. Blake:

    If you go to your “Trade tab” and open up the ones that you want, and take your information layout to delta and gamma, you can do a live export.

  48. Watch dow at 12567 and spx at 1367 for support. This is a nice, orderly little pullback. Nothing to see here people, move along.

  49. FRED- I am in ATI also, but watching. Nice win and pick up last night

  50. Another way to do it live is to manually input it into your excel.

    So if I want to look at the delta for my BA apr contract, I add in this:


    This is not stuff I already know, this is stuff I’m learning right now that your asking me.

  51. steveplace-

    That is awesome! I wish I had known that before. I am going to play with it this weekend and see if I can get something working the way i want it to. Thanks

  52. Anybody see the circus act last night with Hillary and Cramer? You know she had those questions in advance, sounded like canned answers.

  53. film
    i’ve had obscene problems with etrade too, though i stopped posting them. anyway, i sympathize. it’s so hard to switch because of freezing the accounts for 1-2 weekds. started to do it a couple of times, and then rescinded. good luck!

    i invite anyone who wants to open an account with etrade to contact me first (or film probably). and if you’re trading with them already, and haven’t encountered difficulties, don’t plan on increasing your level of trading. seriously.

  54. steveplace,
    Thanks for that, this is awesome and something I’ve been wanting for a while!!

    I owe you a beer!

  55. NEM – sold cover over them @ 52.2 until I see if they hold 52.

  56. I don’t know if anyone can see yesterday’s IV on the Mar contracts. But, I thought they were mostly around 41. Today 39. Would have thought there would be IV expansion…

  57. FRE – we may get another spike like yesterday and I’m out as soon as I’m even.

    EOG blasted off! That put was a disaster! Nice Citigroup downgrade yesterday to chase everyone out of the stock before analyst conference today where they announced upgraded targets. Huge short squeeze going on.

    Whole market dropping now, we lost 12,600 and if we don’t turn around today it’s going to be a tough weekend to hold.

  58. EOG – this is impressive!!! What a call!

  59. Jake:

    I’ve always wanted to try it.

  60. Arrogant Bastard is excellent!

  61. GOOG sneaking up – nice breakout if they hit $480.

  62. AAPL, the King, the Don, the Shaker and Mover.

  63. steveplace,
    I’ve got a friend that was a brewer for a while at a place in Leavenworth, KS (not the prison) that loves Arrogant Bastard. Haven’t tried it myself yet.

    And after having some of the beer he used to brew (massive back problems keep him from doing it anymore), if he likes Arrogant Bastard, I know its good.

  64. BA is tanking because their virtual fence sucks at life.

    Phil, would it be a good idea to take out the front month BA callers for 50% while we wait for the news?

  65. Blake, steveplace, et al – if your system has API functions for excel USE THEM! Great way to create custom watchlists, use them for everything with bloomberg ex: =blp(“aapl equity”,”px last”) or =blpsh(“aapl equity”,”px last”,”02/01/1999″)

    I think some systems allow you to trade thru them too? If so you can calculate your pivot points, S/R, etc and have specific entry / exits for techincal trading… or you can just do them on the charts themselves too… if you’re a day trader of course.

  66. Can’t beat that moonshine.

  67. Windy, it is a shame as I think Etrade’s website is second to none although I was never impressed with the “Pro” platforms. So far, so good on this pullback. We have had a pullback to start the day almost every day except monday when it came 90 minutes in. Will be interesting to see if we rally off here. Would be crazy strong but not expecting it.

    Anyone planning to short GOOG when it closes that gap?

  68. GRMN puts-All out for now, don’t like the relative strength.

  69. Beer

    That beer is awesome, there is also one called Fat Bastard Ale. I brew beer with a group of nine guys and we replicated “Arrogant” and it was pretty close.

  70. GOOG – Out of the 510′s that Phil suggested I buy to get out of the hole I got myself into with the 520′s. Small loss, didnt have patience to stick it out the last .30 cents I needed to break even, but I cant take the risk. Lesson to me. Thanks!!!

  71. EOG- I guess nobody listened to the CC earlier this month. SWEET

  72. Mark:

    IBKR will let you trade through excel/c++/vb/matlab.

    There are ways to black-box on ToS, but their documentation really sucks right now.

  73. BBD – EOG wish I woulda listened to you yesterday. Live and learn – Glad it was a small position, cause it’s worthless now!

  74. EOG – pop’d nicely.

  75. EOG- remember when I said yesterday that Smithbarney guy is not good

  76. Citi: LatAm Equity Sell-off To Continue

    Citi is forecasting another sell-off in LatAm equity near term, but it does not expect to break below the region’s January lows. “Global valuations are attractive, but earnings risk is high,” says Citi. “The opposite is true in Latin America, with high valuations but lower earnings risk. Brazil reflects the regional picture; Mexico looks more global with lower valuations, while 2008 EPS forecasts are down,” says the shop. Its high conviction call is to be overweight Mexico, which it says is more attractively valued and has already absorbed earnings downgrades. “Brazil, which is largely ignoring risks of any sort (earnings, domestic rates), looks overbought and expensive near term,” says Citi. It adds that history shows equities, on average, bottom out halfway through a typical U.S. recession, which average 9.3 months on average length. This implies a global market bottom in April-May.

  77. Phil,

    DD on EK for a dime?


  78. Phil
    In your Wednesday wrap up, you referred to a video of where Bernanke got his BS from (Nixon)
    I think Harold Wilson was there first

    1967: Wilson defends ‘pound in your pocket’
    “From now the pound abroad is worth 14% or so less in terms of other currencies. It does not mean, of course, that the pound here in Britain, in your pocket or purse or in your bank, has been devalued.

    “What it does mean is that we shall now be able to sell more goods abroad on a competitive basis.

  79. I think my urine has more alcohol content than most American beer…. You boys should come up to Canada and have some American owned, Canadian Beer.

  80. AMZN and SFLY puts-1/2 out.

  81. Do we still have the SNDK Apr 25s in 25KP?

  82. FRE – shoulda gotten those 30′s at $1 this morning.

  83. BillBigD

    Lakers are on fire! Celts returning to normal after nasty road trip. Did you catch Jerry Remy being sworn in as President of Red Sox Nation by Supreme Court Justice Steven Bryer..too funny.


    Catching a wave.

  84. Phil,

    what do you think of CMED – Earnings are out today after mkt

  85. I don’t know, but I think it’s a bad sign when someone looking to run the largest (and perhaps most troubled) economy in the world interviews with on a show called “Mad Money” — couldn’t she have enough respect to ask for Maria or Erin at least?

  86. DM – Beer

    Big talk from the Canuck, most of us don’t drink bud light.

  87. Steve, that’s really cool stuff. Wonder if it works with Google spreadsheets as well. Will give it a try later today.

  88. EK – I’m shell shocked on those, can’t bring myself to buy more but I must as I still see nothing to justify this dip.

    X is having a funny sell-off as that China story makes it the most obvious play in the world.

    No takers on EK at .10.

    ERTS – no cover, they are holding up well in a bad market sell-off. These are June calls, we can afford to be a little wrong.

    Oh no, it’s Bush the Market Killer! Seems like he’s talking about aids, hopefully no economy stuff but the market is diving anyway…

  89. BIDU pulled back, going negative, watch your GOOGs! XXX

  90. steveplace, do you have a link with any kind of documentation for TOS DDE?

    Although I’m a Mac user, I’m willing to use VMWare Fusion to periodically run the Win version in order to auto pull certain data into Excel (much more convenient way to pull the mid-prices in AH and flag all the callers that may need attention the next day).

  91. Fred – LOL.

  92. Ljupco Taseski – How do you like VMWARE? I use Parallels, but thinking to switch.

  93. DM, use VMWare, parallels is very slow in comparison.

  94. optrader

    check out with their position screens and greeks
    all free and it takes the feed right from etrade and has trading built in
    very cool
    I used to do it in EXCEL but this is way easier and it’s easy to setup positons

  95. Fred, seriously though what do drink? I’m a german beer drinker, so Holsten my pick as a daily drinker.

  96. Oh, Bush is on TV. Now I understand why we are down.

  97. Beer is too expensive in Canada. We have some great strong beers on the West Coast. Lots of big hops, high alcohol --Lagunitas and Stone for example.
    I brew beer as well, mostly IPAs with a red or Scottish Ale here or there.

    In more pertinent news, money is heading back into tech over these last two days, which is interesting. I’m not sure where it’s coming from, but it’s definitely there. CSCO, IBM, DELL, AAPL -someone even forgot to hold SBUX down.

  98. JR / Hillary – It’s just a numbers game for her right now, and when you consider all of the college kids that watch the show, good targeting.

    … and I hope that our economy isn’t the *most* troubled !

  99. Oh, so the TOS DDE does not work on Mac?

  100. Never drink beer from a green bottle!

  101. GOOG and AAPL have been trading inversely to the market direction for most of the month. when the market had it’s best 3 days, these positions had 3 of their worse days ever. they used to be market leaders, lately they’ve been contrarians.

  102. rockain’tdeadyet – lol what isn’t expensive in Canada? A 30k car in the states is quoted 50k here.

  103. Phil- I have AAPL 4x Jan 09 120s against 2x Mar 115s (cb: 6.5 and it was around 5.5 in premium at the time I sold them). The 115s are now 13.6 and only have $1 in premium. Ideally apple wouldnt fly to something like 140 this month and I would be able to roll the mar to ATM 3/4 cover and not really have too much money come out of my pocket. With only $1 in premium left however, should I be looking to roll sooner? Im inclined to just wait it out as its only a 1/2 cover and it does provide some nice (although probably too much at this point) downside protection.

  104. windywheel – exactly my thoughts windy.

  105. DM- I sent you an email

  106. Ljupco:

    That’s the only thing they’ve got. Like I said, their platform is great, but their documentation is very lacking. I’m thinking of starting a user wiki just to get something going.

    Today is not a happy day for the 10kp. Just remember, the RUT butterfly is your hedge.

    Those EK DD’s are killing me on my per contract commissions.

    SNDK being stupid, but not below any technical support. Just it’s regular volatility. Would be dumb to cover right now.

    NDAQ is the thing that doesn’t need to be taking off right now… I’ve got a trendline resistance at about 43. Can always roll the covers down if need be.

  107. Read a great article in Wired this month:

    It is all about the economics of giving something for “free” as your business model. Lots of stuff I had never thought of before and made me think of two things.

    First, as the web creates new business online, often they are destroying jobs in the process. Heard this on NPR the other day. Article had some numbers to back it up. For example, Craigslist and its 40 or 60 employees run a site that serves tens of millions of people. They had a measly $40 million in revenue in 2006. At the same time, newspapers had a decline of $326 million in classifieds revenue. So, while there is efficiency and value for consumers, the economy is losing. I am starting to have this view of what our depression will look like and it all keeps coming back to everyone playing games online and having crazy free time if we even have a job at all. Which brings me to the second thing.

    All the free things you are going to be getting still have to be delivered to you. Even if you are able to get all the ad-supported programming on demand for free, you still have to pay for the equipment to watch it. So, if you are AAPL, you soon become the one thing people spend money on. GOOG who gives you everything for free (and maybe even a phone) will probably never give you a computer (picture an ad-supported iPhone, yuck). So, you pay to have the premium device on which to receive all the free content you want so long as you play the ads.

  108. DM, oh no! :)

  109. Hah par, what beer do you drink?

  110. FRE still moving; closed 1/2 position on this spike.

  111. BBD – Didn’t get it, what account did you send it to?

  112. DM, maybe they just haven’t updated the exchange rate. I still see books on the shelf that say $8 USD, $12 CAD. Makes me wonder what someone in Canada thinks when they see that same book on the shelf up there. Duh, it wouldn’t be the same book. They would have the Canadian translation. Pretty much the same just 600 more “Eh?”s.

  113. EK – entered the 17.5′s at .85 for a fun gamble.
    Trying to DD on TTWO 22.5 puts at .10, no takers.

  114. s&p500 pretty choppy.

  115. DM- yahoo

  116. so today we get to choose between listening to bush and listening to bernake. i just shut off the tv before i shoot myself.

  117. BBD – I don’t have a yahoo account lol… is my personal email.

  118. SWIM-Bought some for long-term. Goes with AAPL and CELG in my long-term holdings.

  119. Good old George…I haven’t heard anyone use proliferation twice in the same sentence since the Cuban Missle Crisis…I shall assume CNBC will be talking up proliferation stocks later today..I have some naked CCJ calls..go

  120. Dan W – I think EK has already been to much of a gamble -

  121. FRE – wow, totally missed that run.

  122. Anyone knows any free cloning software [I don't want to pay for ghost]. I want to make copies of linux & windows OS & be able to copy to a similar PC.

    Is there a vmware-like software that is free?

    Why doesn’t goog get into all these kinda stuff & supply it free with ADs? I am sure it will jump to 1000 soon [Hopefully they will do it when I buy CALLS]

    BTW if none replies I am gonna repost this eve3ry once in a while until someone notices

    CMED – ?

  123. First thing I do when I get my account consolidated is get back into the T spread. The Jan’10s are still cheap and the front month has been relatively easy to trade. Another one that could be paid for in 5 months.

  124. BA big move… did something get released?

  125. Phil.

    In a similar situation as joosj –

    I own Apple Jan 2010 $110 Calls which require me to sell $2.20 of premium/month and my goal was $5.

    I sold Apple March 2008 $115 Calls for $7.05 which had $2 of intrinsic value and $5 in premium.

    I now find myself in a potential need to roll or change the trade as the march $115 are going for $13. I know you say to roll when 75% of the premium is gone. Time might be on my side with the market dipping this morning. Though I’d like to here your thoughts on how to reposition and when.


  126. Anything not in a green bottle…

  127. CROX-5MA is at $25.17!

  128. AMZN puts-Another 1/4 out.

  129. DM

    We usually drink our own brews IPAs, Porters and an occasional Hefeweizen. In the summer we make a “Curse of the Bambino Summer Ale”. One of my favorite commercial beers is Newport Storm, microbrewed in Rhode Island. Cheers!

  130. Par – So how about a little green fairy?

  131. NEM holding 52.

  132. CROX-Added to calls. Looking good.

  133. FCX-Still strong.

  134. Natgas

    -151 BCF, not sure what expectation was but we are dropping down in the range and are 8% below last year levels. Unlike oil, the fundies support what’s been going on with natgas.

  135. Anyone see the Nat GAS info

  136. Anyone have nat gas numbers? I never saw them…

  137. AAPL-Let’s go!

  138. Thanks FRED

  139. DM – Vmware Fusion is faster and less resource hungry compared to Parallels. However, it has some stupid annoying bug in how the CMD behaves; until recently I was keeping around a Parallels VM just to be able to occasionally run some batch files, but thankfully that project is now obsoleted. Other than that I like it better than Parallels.

    steveplace – thanks; I’m a happy TOS user, though, I have the main account at IB (EU stocks, EUR as main account currency (lately I’m mostly in cash, so having the money in USD is painful), etc.)

    about beer – I don’t know about Canada, but the only place I got a decent beer in US was in a German beer-house in Las Vegas :) (can’t remember the name, right now)

    EU has so much better beer than US, especially Ireland :-)

  140. And I thank you!

    At least nat gas companies are starting to turn to run with the fundamentals, unlike the last 3 months.

  141. Optrader, when I buy calls for shorter term, like CROX now, I usually by 1 or 2 strikes out, front month. Do you think this is OK?

  142. BA move

    I think they just caught someone coming over the Rio Grande so it’s a BUY,BUY,BUY!

  143. Anti-trading – there’s probably way too many people here who make a living creating software that are wondering why you wouldn’t pay hundred bucks to have a well-crafted/reasonably-tested product?

    Maybe you can put a value on piece of mind.

  144. Phil, did you pull the trigger on the TM’s? Thanks

  145. Optrader, DDE is windows specific.

  146. Al G, I personally don’t like it. I like at least a month out and I prefer ATM. But this is very personal and depends on your money management. Front month OTM seems pretty risky to me though.

  147. Optrader – Thanks

  148. Ljupco Taseski – Thanks, that’s what I was hoping for cause parallels eats my computer.

  149. Optrader,

    Which call option did you buy on CROX? Is it possible to post the details of your trade? I’d like to follow your trade.


  150. DDE-Oh well…I need to find something for MAC though. Google spreadsheets has quotes in it (part of the formula), but no options data. I am sure they will add them soon. Would be the perfect solution with everything web-based. I already asked them but got no answer. No the same customer service as TOS ;-)

  151. FCX calls-1/3 out.

  152. BA:

    If anything the move looks technical. I’ve got a trendline drawn from 1/22 and 2/12 and it bounced right off of it.

    And that was an overreaction to some retarded news.

  153. CROX-Malai, I bought the Apr $25′s. Got some at $2.35 and some at $2.40.

  154. BA – Not take them out but it’s a good idea to put stops on them if they gain 20% from the bottom.

    Good going DanW.

    Bush “It seems like no matter how things are going in Iraq our opponents have one answer – retreat.” Yes Mr. President, if we are winning we want to leave and if we are losing we want to leave – that would be your one answer, we’re not going to change our minds if you give us a better body count…

    I do have to agree with the logic regarding wiretap lawsuits revealing critical intelligence data but can’t they just exclude that?

    Citi Latin America – They just don’t get tired of being wrong do they?

    Weak dollar – the export theory would be great if we didn’t make all our stuff in China. Everyone who knows someone who actually works in a factory raise their hands… yeah, I thought so!

    Canadian Beer – I get a regular shipment of Bradors, other than real Guinness, that’s my favorite.

    FRE – thank goodness on those! At least we got a nice dip to take the callers out and now we should be OK. It breaks my heart to sell them as this was a $60 stock just last Q but I’m just glad to get my money back, I’ll leave a few just for fun if we pass my break-even at $2.05.

    CMED – I like them but way too scary on earnings. They are at about ATH but you can do a double diagonal of the Apr/Mar $50 calls and the Apr/Mar $55 puts for about $1 each which would be great if they flatline and probably not bad either way.

    EK – got a few .10 fills, basis down to .22, hoping to get the hell out of half at that price.

    Dollar 74.08!

  155. MCD – is this a buy opp.? I’m all cashed out of them.

  156. Anti-trading .. learn about dd unix command it clones “binary level” devices or images,

    VMware.. virtualize software .. google about .. you have xen and some others

  157. Phil Or Anybody

    SNDK Apr 25
    BA March 85
    still part of new 25K portfolio?

    Also Is there any cover on CROX? or call is still naked?

  158. CROX-My stop is yesterday’s low. If it goes up, then I’ll move the stop to 5MA.

  159. AAPL-Film, we are getting there :-)

  160. Sold 1/2 of April NEM calls. Nice move!

  161. Any comments on the questions about rolling AAPL callers earlier would be appreciated. I’m in a similar situation, but I sold the 125′s not the 115′s.

  162. AAPL-Very interesting if this gap does not get filled. Runaway gaps are very powerful.

  163. Phil – EK buying for 0.10 – is this XXX for the old 25KP?

  164. Dmitry: the EK DD is applicable to all

  165. Haven’t been around in a bit and this might already be known but Google looking to buy 20% of Yahoo stock??

  166. Phil is this a XXX in the 10K to a DD on the EK at 0.10 ?

  167. NEM, Albo – I’m going to cover again at 53 and watch; they usually stall long enough at each round numbuer, that I can get out even or small profit before getting a clear signal.

  168. Lots of selling coming in – Is your President still speaking or has he done his bit for the shorts ?

  169. Phil:

    It would make sense if the FISA renewal was decoupled with Telecom immunity. If it’s so important to national security to have it intact, then you could get the non-critical parts out of the way.

    The other problem is that they won’t tell us exactly what they did wrong…

    That’s an AH discussion, but you brought it up ;)

  170. Opt, I do think we get a pullback, but don’t think it will close. I am sticking with my high of $130 for today if it stalls there as strike prices have been good resistance lately. I figured out that if I close half my position in my problem account, I will be fine for tomorrow. So, going to do that at some point. I don’t like the way the indexes are hanging down so low, should eventually cause a drag on AAPL.

  171. TRA starting small pos. here crossed 10day ma- chart looks good. Any thoughts.

  172. Here’s a fun rumor to start: $125Bn HPQ to buy EK for $7.5Bn (+ 50%) which equals about 3 weeks of HPs revenues. If HPQ can run EK’s revenues at the same operating margin, the deal would generate over $1Bn a year in net profits.

    AAPL – I added Jul $130s as a pre roll to my July $115s (have $120 and $125 callers).

    AAPL/Joosj – You are kind of in the same boat, you can add two higher ’09 calls and put tight stops on two of your lower calls (as the higher calls will lose less on a pullback so effectively you take money off the table) or you can roll 2 (or all 4) to 2x the July $130s and roll your callers up to 2x the $125s (even) which gives you 2 to 4 open calls for a continued run and the 4x $7 in protection is enough to roll 8 calls to the July $120s on a pullback if you need to.

    Oh damn, EK just filled on a spike down. Market not liking Bens talk one bit!

  173. We’re diving now…

  174. Bernanke not talking nice apparently…

  175. MrN – Hope you get your 53. I bought the 50′s on Monday and sold
    1/2 for a 50%+ profit. Have pretty close stop on the balance.

  176. GS-DD on the calls. Stop at $171.

  177. Phil:

    That EK rumor is old news.

  178. NEM, Albo, your timing may have been perfect? Missed 53 by a dime.

  179. If we stabilize here, I think we finish positive today. We slightly overshot support, but now sitting right at it. Almost capitulated and closed/covered, but then I remembered that I am a crappy trader and figured my instinct to sell was a signal to buy. We’ll see if that holds true.

    But, I would love nothing better than a runaway gap, Opt. It is just too much to hope for out loud.

  180. Read a note from a european bank … soaring US exports shifts translantic balance. Supposedly, US exporters are enjoying bumper sales to Europe but are having to compete for space on ships that are mostly full on eastbound sailings. But freigh rates westbound are still stronger and the massive export surge has broadly left trades in balance…

  181. EOG – At what point does this become officially ridiculous?

  182. Well, we have resistance coming up at ~131 on AAPL, which is where it topped off two weeks ago. We’re above the 5, 10, & 20 ma’s, but we’re pretty far above the 5 dy ma (121.57). So, I don’t necessarily think that we’ll fill the gap, but if it doesn’t break 131 today, the 5dy ma will need to catch up a bit, perhaps trade down to this morning’s openning. Isn’t this what usually happens, on a technical level? (phew down a dollar since I began this!)

  183. Phil,

    What do you think of an Oct/Mar 60 play on LFC? Probably get the Oct 60s for 8.90 and sell the Mar 60s for 3.10, about 2.85 in premium. Next earnings aren’t till April

  184. No fills yet on EK @.10

  185. Sakiko LOL it is the era of open source – in any case ghost is not just abt 100$ it costs a lot

    Thx rankxerox

  186. Anyone,

    QID hasn’t moved much. Even though NASDAQ is down 19 points. Any thoughts on trading QIDs?


  187. CMan,

    at me also no fills on EK, but being patient

  188. EK fills for .1 in tiny lots, retailers giving up on everything and salvaging what’s left of their pride (tho this market doesn’t leave a lot of that)!

  189. Film – Over the last 3 days it looks like a rounded top on the S&P… I wouldn’t say it’s an indicator of a positive close.

  190. CMA puts-1/2 out.

  191. Malai – don’t understand your question… QID’s moved twice as much up as QQQQ’s have moved down…?

  192. OPTRADER: What calls are you buying on GS? Thanks for your help.

  193. Oil up $2 at $101.69 and still no response from XOM or CVX (except of course SU who have somehow become immune to nat gas prices). Maybe the Dow is dragging THEM down and pulling the sector down with them? Either way this rebalance is a mess!

    Seems determined to test my 12,500 line.

    CCJ is zooming on Bush’s call for the world to arm themselves.

    AAPL/WT – same as Joosj, just roll to 2x of a month you can afford and roll the caller up to 2x. It would be nice if you can leave some open but no big deal as you have lots of time.

    Natgas – -151 is about in-line and this is one of the last good weeks they get. I would be taking ECA $75 puts here but EOG burned me so badly I don’t want to touch it. The problem with EOGs analyst conference is it’s based on the assumption that they will have buyers of that volume at this price ($8.50) but if demand drops (or stays flat) and prices go back to $6 then these guys are WAY overpriced but, as I often say, you can’t explain that to energy traders when they are in rally mode.

    TM – no, I’ve got an offer in for $12.50, being patient. When you enter a long leg with the expectation of selling closer calls, it’s fine to pay up a little once you are sure of momentum as you’ll get a better price for the caller.

    RIMM coming through like a champ on those puts.

    $25KP – still has 10/5 Apr/Mar $85s and SNDK Apr $25s are still naked and even. CROX is still naked and I’m considering selling some $25s at $1.75 but they are doing very well on a bad day so not yet. Rutterfly is just nuts, I never thought it would be this volatile.

    CROX – let’s sell 1/2 the $25s at $1.75 XXX

  194. Covered my AAPL

  195. GS-I have the March $185 calls on this one. RIsky in this market though, so make sure you have some puts somewhere.

  196. Interesting action, ton of put volume in Q’s should’ve tipped us off this was coming.

  197. AMZN puts-More out. WOW! Keeping small position.

  198. SU- stock split(meant to mention before market open) and back over $105

  199. should we roll now our long leg on NDAQ and sell more calls short?

  200. OPTTRADER: Thanks for the info on GS.

  201. 1/4 out of AAPL

  202. tempted to buy amzn calls but that thing literally has no support as it was vertical for more or less the entire 2007

  203. phil,

    Did you buy or sell RIMM puts? Thanks.

  204. EK – sure for .10 we’re dead anyway so may as well be more so. Unlike EOG, that one has a chance of coming back.

    VIX is not very upset by today’s move so far, that’s not good.

    VLO down 5% today, TSO down 6.5% yet the integrated majors are holding flat, this could snap down in a very ugly way. Nat gas stockpiles are 8% below last year’s level but 5% above the 5-year average. Futures contracts hit $9, about 50% over last year’s levels but does that justify a 50% increase in EOG? Maybe it does, I’m walking away from them, tempting as they are to short but SU is getting exciting again at $106.

    XOM Apr $85 puts at $1.80 XXX

  205. DM, well, that was predicated on holding that support, which we did not. I am not surprised by the rounded top. We need to consolidate this breakout before heading higher apparently.

  206. The dollar is since the 1.50 mark against the euro in a Free Fall Mode !!!
    I hope USA get recovered on this sh.. the Fed has done.
    PSW is the best site in the World but it trades at the US Markets with the Dollar.

  207. Feels like another push coming on AAPL. I say that, because I REALLY want to cancel my limit orders and dump at market.

  208. FIlm, is there something you are seeing in AAPL that you don’t like or just taking some profit? I am staying in for now.

  209. EOG-Have alot hedged at $8.61 FYI

  210. If the markets turns up at any point I think BIDU will break out. Its been down on all the selling dips but keeps fighting back to just below the flatline each time the selling stops. $255 seems to be support.

  211. senator- propose a bill to abolish human nature itself.

  212. Sold Rutterfly for 40cents credit

  213. RIMM puts were a play from yesterday and gave us a very cheap entry at $4.60 (now $5).

    EOG just about at $130!

    RUT back to testing $700, aren’t you glad we didn’t roll yesterday at $723?

    2,325 has been supportive on the Nas as has 44 on the Qs, if they fail, we could get a nasty leg down. The good news is that 12,500 is the magical 250-point move off yesterday’s top so I’m reentering DIA with $125 calls on the test, just for fun. XXX

  214. EOG-Bought some puts as it is getting close to $130. Daytrade.

  215. Opt, I need to sell half my poistion today to be able to trade in tomorrow. Stupid moves that I am forced to make. That is all. If it wasn’t for that I wouldn’t sell/cover anything until I see what happens at 130/131. I am HOPING that we close up high and I can sell another 1/4 of my position right at close and buy back first thing in the morning. But, if we sold off from here and I chose to sell enough to get my account unrestricted, I wanted it to be less painful.

  216. Alex-What do you mean? We trade primarily U.S. stocks? And yes, dollar is in a free fall and I hate to think that the Fed doesn’t know what the dollar decline is doing to our economy more so than the slowing economy. I think their hope is cutting rates will jumpstart housing, unfreezing credit and then sharply raising rates to combat inflation. I just don’t see their rosey scenario working like they planned, assuming that is their plan.

  217. Film, this is ridiculous, sorry about that. You need a new broker fast.

  218. Opt Film – I don’t see why you think that AAPL will continue to go up tomorrow. We’ve had a 10+ pt rise, and I would think tomorrow people are going to continue to get out, especially if we bounce off 131. Also, technically the RSI on a 60 min chart is over 70, which is a pretty reliable indicator of temporarily overbought. But why do you think that the AAPL rally will continue tomorrow?

  219. Opt- probably smart on puts! Also some of Film issues are cause by size of accounts

  220. I know. Going to take care of that now to distract myself. See, this is an important lesson for everyone, pay strict attention to my price targets and take the opposite side of any trade I post that doesn’t make sense given my price targets. You will do very well.

  221. DM, ToS in canada now.

  222. raffy- why sell Rutterfly now? Am I missing something? I thought it was right where Phil wanted it – 683-716.

    WordPress just told me to quit posting so much. 1st post of the day. Maybe that’s an editorial comment?

  223. EOG-Sold puts. Bought at $2.55, sold at $3.25 :-)

  224. Anyone,

    I have FNM 2010 leaps and sold the Mar 31 strike this morning against it. The caller is already down by 50% from when I sold it 2 hours ago. Should I take it out? Seems like 50% profit is pretty good but I am worried about IV crush and not being able to sell something again for good value.

  225. check out CRM today… haven’t been on board don’t know if anyone’s talked about it.

  226. JR, I never said that AAPL will keep going up tomorrow. I have no idea. In fact I don’t care too much about tomorrow as I have July, Jan 2009 and Jan 2010 calls.

  227. BBD, totally true. Too many accounts spreading the capital thin. Fixing that too. But, wasn’t smart enough to know that Tradestation would have capital requirement rules that were so restrictive. Seriously, why should I not be able to turn a long call into a spread AT ANY TIME. It reduces risk.

    JR, I don’t think it will go up again tomorrow IF we get to 130/131 today. But, I want to be able to buy back in at the open tomorrow if the pullback all comes pre-market. IF we finish at 131 today and open at 131 tomorrow, I will not be anxious to buy calls.

    Again, none of this should bother any of your positions. Sorry I mentioned that I was selling any, that was probably more confusing than it was helpful. Holding out for this final push/uptrend and see where it lands. Making money is so annoying sometimes. LOL

  228. Nice move on EOG! Very nimble.

  229. EOG-You have to love options. 28% profit in 15 min.

  230. Albo, I’d be nimble every single day for almost 30% profit LOL.

  231. I love that Apple could care less what the other stocks are doing.

    EK – that wasn’t a rumor, I was making it up! See how things happen, I start a rumor and some guy on Seeking Alpha retroactively writes it up! Note that buyout rumor was when EK was at $27.62 – as Savitz says, the stock looks cheap on a price/revnue basis of 0.8x, now about 0.5x. I notice that the activity in options is still low as we all hold out for .10 (I’ve got 42/160 filled).

    If possible, you can sell the $22.50s for .05 to recoup 1/2 your money as you’re certainly not going to complain if your gain gets capped at $2.50 on the upside.

    Hey if anyone here is a shipbuilder. I have an idea to make an oil tanker that has a removable hull which can be dumped off and cleaned out so that the tankers can head back across the Atlantic full of dry goods. That would be a hell of a boon for US exporters of all kinds of things as it could drastically increase capacity and knock down prices. I’m thinking some kind of design where the center of the ship detaches and is immediately replaced with whatever has already been filled up (like that pod moving company) for quick turnarounds. Then a company on this side can clean out the oily box for the return trip (bonus of maximizing oil recovery from the hull).

    AAPL – Resistance is futile!

    LFC – China stuff is really scary right now. The money is right but it’s going to be a volatile trade.

    QID – I noticed the lack of movement. Qs still holding 44 is probably why so sentiment is that we bounce back from this.

    For those of you who are very brave, the GOOG $490s are at $8.80 and yesterdays low was just under $8 and they started the day at $11. XXX looking for $11, lots of rolling otherwise!

  232. Phil, I can ask some people in the shipping industry if you’d like me to.

  233. Thanks Film, I know it’s hard to transfer money from Etrade because they lock up your accounts for two weeks.. So I’m just accumulating and then hopefully i’ll have more than 10 bucks of profits to transfer with…

    I already opened a TOS account, but they need a few more things from me…

    11:41 EDT DTV DirecTV-DTV says a little short of prior expectations on ’08 subscribers-Reuters

  235. Zouk, FNM is sitting on SERIOUS support for the last week. I would close that caller and be ready to sell that March 25 as long as it stays under 27, because you might need that the protection as much as the premium.

  236. DTV-Bought some puts. Small position
    COF-Bought some puts. Small position

    Just need protection here as value of calls has increased.

  237. Optrader- Is very nimble for sure. Congrats
    Film- Fidelity was like that, in IRA accounts you couldn’t do spread until last year.

  238. NDAQ – you can set stops on 1/2 the callers, and look for a roll up later if you are dying to get rid of the caller. In the old $25KP I’ll take out the Mar $42.50s for a profit and leave the $40s to protect my position and I will look to roll them if we get another good run (currently the 2x roll is even). XXX

  239. AMZN-Slowly buying back puts.

  240. Film,
    I am assuming you made sure TOS does not have similar restrictions – please let me know for as I mentioned y’day I need to move out of TradeStation as well.

  241. PHIL.

    Clarification on that Apple Trade.

    I’m investing through an IRA. I have $6,718 of cash remaining. Own 3 of the Jan 2010 $110 Calls.

    So you suggestion is to “2x of a month you can afford and roll the caller up to 2x”

    Does that mean to buy the July $140′s at $10 and roll the caller to the March $125 costing $7.50.

    Buy doing so I’d be down to $3,000 in cash which makes me nervous for the limiting my trading flexibility. You in put is much appreciated!

  242. And JR, I secretly think it will make a higher high 4 days out of 5 every week for a month.

  243. Why do you have multiple accounts Film?

  244. I use TradeStation and IB. The other day my TS account got shut down for a day because the value of my equity minus the net value of all options fell below 25k. I had almost no equity trades in that account…lots of free cash.

    Does that sound right? I don’t remember ever having issues like this with IB, but I’m going to call around to see if this is s.o.p.

    3 months ago I was trading a lot more equity than options so maybe this is just something I need to learn??

  245. Cman, yes, I did. They are much less concerned about you losing your money. That is one thing I very much respect about Tradestation. They make it harder for you to compound bad trading. I even had a $60,000 IRA account that would not let me initiate any more trades because I had reached my “maximum daily loss” after getting stopped out of some leaps and was only down about $3k. Funny that they didn’t have the same qualms about me being down $5k in a $40K cash account.

    Either way, Tradestation has many good things about them, but for options intensive trading, they are crazy restrictive. And there platform has seriously sucked ass the last few weeks. Hang ups, a few crashes, and there are still some option strikes that are zeroed out. For example, there is no data on March 145 AAPL calls. NOT THAT I WANT TO BUY THOSE, but they have the data for all the other strikes.

  246. Some guy retroactively writes it up.
    How did he know you were going to start that rumor?


  247. Mark: CRM is a good company. Challenge is they jump around a bit. Easily could see them going a bit lower and going higher. Hard stock to trade.

  248. DM, because I keep moving from brokerage to brokerage piecemeal so that I can trade poorly during a correction. Why else? LOL

  249. Film why are you so bearish on AAPL now lol…

  250. With requirements to keep an account above 25k + net value of options, it would be necessary to have 35k and 50k for the 10k and 25k portfolios respectively + a cushion for expected drawdown. Is this correct?

  251. Film-Do you know how pissed I would be if I made a bad trade and needed to DD and I couldn’t?

    Phil-Bill Gross’s right hand man at Pimco finally said that we needed a stimulus aimed directly at housing to fix the problem. Word’s finally getting around that we have to address the problem and not throw money in the air.

  252. CCJ on a real tear.

    AAPL – Film, correct me if I’m wrong but didn’t they just reiterate that they were a $180 stock at least?

    EOG – I’d hedge too at $8.61! They are over 20% for the day with no real pullback, just bounced off the 20% line at $127, really amazing. I had to buy some $120 puts out of principle but I wouldn’t reccommend it.

    Selling Rutterfly – it is a good idea if you didn’t like the last few days of stress or felt trapped in the play. It’s been much harder than I thought with all this movement but, so far – my price target remains $700 at expiration based on the data we’ve gotten this week. It may take quite a while for the old bull/bear tug of war to have a winner and it would be nice to wash out the VIX before the EOQ (especially for the Stock Club’s LTP!).

    Parchesia/Shipping – I’d just be curious to know if it’s possible. It’s nothing I would have time to work on (way too dull but maybe profitable). It seems to me that you could absorb a lot of costs if it avoided sending ships back on 2-3 week trips empty.

    FRE Apr $30s back at .85 XXX

  253. surfah, yes, since options are not marginable. I didn’t check but I assume you could put $25K in stock and that would be okay too.

  254. Opt – sorry to imply you made a prediction about AAPL price action, just trying to figure out when to sell some callers, as I’m naked now.

    Important AAPL Event Notice: Annual Shareholders meeting is March 4, 2008; last Annual shareholders meeting was May 10, 2007

  255. Well if that were true Surfah, then a 30% gain on a 10k account, would only be less than 10% gain on a 35k account. Might as well buy bonds lol.

  256. AAPL-two up days and everything is now solved. LOL

  257. Leave me alone guys, I am trying to guy all I can and I own more on a percentage of total assets basis than any of you all. I just suck at so many things that I need a stock like AAPL to make my trades profitable. Is that so hard to understand? 8)

    Yes, Parchesia, but I was smart enough to figure it out before I wanted to make that move. Blah, blah, blah, $.16 from my predicted high of 129.95 yesterday when it was at 121.

  258. Phil,
    RUTterfly question… Why didn’t we use IWM?

  259. JR-I don’t know what your plan is, what your strategy etc. I can only tell you what mine is if it can help you: right now AAPL is above 5MA and 5MA is pointing up, trend is up so I am staying long until the trend changes. Could be tomorrow, next week, next month, I don’t know. This is why I am saying that I have no idea where it will be tomorrow and it does not really matter to me.
    Now, about selling callers, it depends on your money management strategy and the risk you are willing to take. If your stop is manageable when you are naked, why sell calls against it? If not, then you can either sells calls against it or reduce your position.

  260. AAPL-BBD, it is not that everything is solved, it is that nothing was broken in the first place.

  261. FRED-congrats on DVN. NEW ATH

  262. Film, $0.04 to $130, is that good enough?

  263. OPT- well something is wrong when a stock drops 30%. Either it was overvalued or growth is slowing or both. Did you see anyone in France with the phone? Was in London in Feb no one had one.

  264. CRM — They may be an ok company but they don’t deserve a 600+ P/E.

  265. SPX getting close to 200 min sma again… watching for test / possible break.

  266. BBD, yep. That’s it. All better. Thanks for asking.

    As for my exit strategy, I will worry when Opt is selling. Got in at the same time with different methodology (he had one, I didn’t) so if he is selling some, I will be sure to sell/cover some too.

  267. Raffy/CBTC,

    The Rutterfly is a good exercise in patience and keeping the risk/reward ratio in mind.

    First – patience. We got into this on the principle that RUT would settle in somewhere between 682 and 717 on 3/22. While RUT has spiked up beyond 717 to test the low 720s, it’s been slapped down both times. RUT hasn’t pushed outside it’s daily pivots yet. Not a guarantee that it won’t break through one of these days (maybe before 3/22) but there nothing in the chart to say now’s the time to roll up or roll out. Also, there’s nothing new in the overall economic news that says the fundamentals are changing in a way that warrant rolling. When the chart or the fundamentals say change, that’s the right time.

    Second – risk/reward perspective. We got into this because it cost about $250/contract (risk) to potentially gain about $1,650/contract(reward) with a pretty good breakeven range. Even at 705, there’s about $1,300/contract left in the position.

    Right now, I’m up about $60/contract (about 25%) which feels pretty good in the absolute until you remember there’s potential for another $1,600/contract over the next 16 sessions because this kind of position is primarily about premium decay. I didn’t risk $250 for $60, I risked it for $1,650.

    I’m still in learning mode on these kinds of positions but here’s my take (others – please jump in a correct if appropriate). Looking at profits daily on these will make you crazy and is unproductive because most of the profit occurs in the last 3-5 trading sessions before opex when the premium decay is most abusive to our callers. So sit back, watch for a change in the fundamentals, and let time beat the heck out of our callers later in the month.

  268. AAPL/WT – You have 3 Jan ’10 $110s at $44.33 which you hope to generate $4 a month from and they have $25 in premium . I’m saying you roll those to 2x the July $115s at $23, which have $9 in premium (so $18 total) and roll the $115 caller that you owe $15.50 to and has no premium to 2x the $125 callers at $7.70 who have $3.30 in premium each.

    This puts you in a nicely superior position to your caller and you have collected an additional $6 in premium per original position and you can see that the Apr $130s are $7.90 so you know you can roll your callers up another $5 if Apple keeps going up (into pure premium) and you still have May and June to sell.

    If you don’t want to risk the DD and want to minimize your cost, bear in mind you can just roll your guy up to the Apr $120s for $13.95 so it would cost you (once the premium drops a bit) just about a buck to improve your position by $5 against the 2010s. You can also roll yourself to 4 ’09 $120s and put a few bucks in your pocket and give yourself a 3/4 cover so you don’t get burned as badly if they take off again.

    Albo – it’s one of the daily issues I have when I write from outside the timestream.

    Requirements – that’s why we don’t daytrade the $25KP (tempting though it may be).

    IWM – much less fun.

    X with a nice recovery

    FRE marching, that was a good bottom.

    Even EK moving, this may be a rally folks (at least for our stuff).

    DIA $127s barely budged all morning at $1.86, what a rip off!

  269. I saw a lot of people in France with the Iphone. Stocks go down 30% all the time for no particular reason. just the laws of the market. What I mean is that there was nothing wrong with the company.
    Let’s remember that stock went from $86 to $50 in 2006 for no particular reason either. Then tripled from there in a year.

  270. I did sell 3 Mar 125′s in one account to test out some activation rule trades, we’ll see how that turns out. Figured, I might as well start trading on my price targets and taking my emotions/brain out of it. Will cover those over 131 or under 127.50.

    Indexes right at support again.

  271. out of AAPL, will be back in after 130 break maybe.

  272. Phil,
    Oil transport:
    All you need is for the existing containers (currently used for solid goods / cargo) to have extendable connector that can be used to connect all containers in series for ease of filling or emptying.

  273. Okay, so I have sold enough to get out of my predicament. Down to 60% of opening day position. Crossing my fingers that I can buy back at lower level tomorrow. IF not, I still have a ridiculous exposure, so don’t worry about me. Unless it crashes of course, you can worry about me then.

  274. 3G iPhone to launch mid-year with Infineon chip

  275. anybody trading FLR?

  276. Basically, it is sort of like, when a bell rings an angel gets its wings, only with me it is, whenever BBD laughs, I get mine clipped.

    Cooling with the posting for a while. I will leave the play by play to others.

  277. Jake,
    What is IWM?

  278. Opt- In 2006 it went down with lower guidance. That was the first time I bought it at $55. Anyway good luck to both of us.

  279. BBD, we all know what lower guidance means for AAPL. And this is exactly what happened this time. I think I missed something but are you short?

  280. CMan,
    IWM is the iShares Russell 2000 ETF.

  281. Phil,

    What do you think about oil. The direction in which you think it will move?

  282. Apple-AAPL: News at March 6 event likely to be corporate email@AMTR
    Am Tech’s sources indicate that AAPL will announce improvements to the iPone’s ability to work with Exchange server and IBM’s Lotus Notes, the top two corporate email platforms. Am Tech believes such improvements will prove key in having more enterprises and SMB adopt iPhone as their mobile platform. Shares remain Buy rated.

  283. AAPL in ’06 – was working for Merrill at the time on PM side, we had tons and the analysts said to sell. I was one of the only regional PM’s (there were 40) that spoke out against it, but I was 26 at the time and didn’t have the requirements (Wharton MBA, CFA, and older than 40 ;) ). Analysts greatly underestimated ipod potential etc… I left 2 months later for my prior job before coming to the sell side.

    Basically, as far as AAPL goes, I’ll put it like this. If I were a boring long only manager managing 500 billion in equities, and I was “smart” and bought AAPL last year at 80 in January and it rode up to 200… that’s a 150% return in a market that 1) “averages 11% / year for 300 years” and, 2) everyone sees a recession / move to “safer” assets b/c of commodity bubble, RE bubble, etc. If the general market feels scared to invest b/c of these macro themes that are going to assault the economy soon!!!!… do you think that long only manager who likes to beat the 11% average by 3% / year extra “alpha” (that’s pre fee’s / taxes of course) would want to lock in as much of that gain as possible?

    Got to think like the way those who OWN the stock think.

  284. Anti-trading re vmware – take a look at innotek virtualbox. I don’t
    have too much personal experience with it, but a friend loves it
    for running linux from windows.

  285. let me piggyback that – “Got to think like the way those who OWN the stock IN A BIG WAY think”.

    Which is why joined the pinning cult for X week…

  286. Mark, great point of view, thanks. I agree it is important to try and think like the big guys who make things move.

  287. the only thing keeping this market from breaking up today is the “Thursday Thump” rule

  288. Film,
    The market knows you walked away and started pushing the AAPLs up!! LOL!!!

  289. BTW, Mark… I’ve decided that you’re a derivatives geek. ;-)

    Nice to hear your POV.

  290. Phil- KeyserSoze- thanks for the Rutterfly info. That’s how I understood it but seeing others get out of the trade made me wonder. It does some serious fluctuation. I’m sticking with it. I think we are in a range, and that should make it work. Like Phil says, this isn’t for daytrading.

  291. Just cause I am quiet (for once) doesn’t mean I left. But, feeling like 130 may hold after all. But, I am fine with a run to 140, just so you know. And I was looking at AAPL’s chart. No resistance between 150 and 165. Back to stealth mode.

  292. APPL- No i am long with 09 140′s and 2010 130′s. Totally uncovered as I bought back below $120. Plan is probably to cover it for the weekend. $14 in two days is alot IMO

  293. Phil- thanks for the advice on AAPL. Im trying to think through both options (the preroll with Jan 09 130s and the 2xJul roll). I just played around with the numbers and the 2x roll is definitely better on both the upside and downside +/- $10 range. Im still trying to wrap my head around the pre-roll strategy though. So I know I would buy 2x Jan 09 130s and put a tight stop on the Jan 09 120s, but 1. how large would the stop be? Knowing my luck, I would probably stop out at the bottom haha. 2. Is the pre-roll a day trade and do we have to stop out of the lower 2 calls by EOD? Else, it seems I would just be adding more exposure overnight which I’m not comfortable with. Thus, would the preroll only be useful IF I believe apple is headed above 130 within today?


  294. Here’s the channel I’m seeing on the market, I marked the areas of confirmation in this short term trend if anyone cares.

  295. oh I meant, the 2x roll is better then what I have now so I’m looking to execute it but would lik to understand the preroll to see if I would prefer that first.

  296. Film-

    I can picture you as the guy that can’t shut up during a movie lol! I can just picture you talking your way through a mystery and telling everyone what will happen next. Don’t get me wrong, I love your commentary on AAPL, as I highly respect your knowledge of the stock and want to know what your moves are..but the commentary cracks me up!

  297. MT, whoa.

  298. Note on SBUX: As many of you may already know, they closed their stores Tuesday so Mr. Schultz could re-emphasize the ability and importance of striving to make the perfect shot and keeping customers happy. My brother and I actually went into one Wednesday morning and the staff was much perkier and the coffee better. I still think they have trouble with the Milk prices rising but they are a good long term hold. I’m going to hold out and try and pick that perfect bottom when those milk prices top out and margins aren’t being compressed any longer. But Mr. Schultz is beginning to bring the company back to what it was when he started it…

  299. Phil- Sorry another question. If I did do the pre-roll, I am curious as to what my strategy be on the up and down side. I assume if apple just goes up from now, I would just leave both sets of calls open and leave my callers at 115 so essentially I am just getting upside exposure by adding naked calls. On the downside, it looks like I would stop out of my 2x120s, because the 130s would lose around $1 less on a drop to 120 and then maybe take out or roll up my 115 callers if the stock were to fall (as the would lose value much more quickly than my LEAPs and thus my downside is somewhat protected I think)? Is this thinking right?

  300. Very nice Rutterfly summary Keyser, thanks! I don’t know if you caught my comments on possible outs (building a new and higher one) yesterday but I decided (at $123) it wasn’t worth worrying about yet. On the next big dip I will consider taking out 1 caller but so far I’m not ready to go gung-ho bullish based on this week.

    This is not a terrible day on the whole considering MCO downgraded regional and small banks (based on what I said last year, that they still have a lot of homes on the books) and Bernanke actually said that some small banks may fail – there’s a bear headline for you!

    So the BKX is off 3% and the Dow is off just 1%, this is not too bad guys. Also the CRB may be topping so that will be interesting if they roll over here. They should as the dollar really can’t (shouldn’t) go any lower.

    No matter what the Fed says our money is worth, we have to buy $750Bn worth of oil a year and those dollars have to come from somewhere. If oil goes up to $150 then we HAVE to come up with another $375Bn – it’s an entitlement we can never get away from. This puts constant downward pressure on the dollar as we literally spend almost $1Tn a year on something we burn!

    No other country in the world has 1/2 of our consumption. China is 2nd with 6.3Mbd to our 20Mbd! Japan is 3rd at 5.5Bn and anyone who’s been to Japan can tell you they have everything we have with 1/2 as many people so they consume 1/2 the amount of oil per person as us which means, aside from the massive currency advantage, that energy prices effect them 1/2 as much as it does us.

    Germany has 82M people, call it 1/4 of us, and they use just 2.6Mbd – AND THOSE GUYS LOVE TO DRIVE! There is a criminal failure on the part of this government in refusing to address the demand equation and it is crippling our country. All policies “flow” from this failure and everything they are talking about patching up wouldn’t even be an issue if ANYTHING had been done to curb consumption over the past 7 years.

    What do I think about oil. I think I’m very disappointed Al Gore has been absent this year. Just the threat of his influence could knock down long-term demand predictions. There is no rationale for $100 oil. There are no lines, we aren’t short of it, this is a ridiculous game but it’s a game that is played with the full cooperation of the US governemnt who, even if you think it’s an innocent thing, obviously think what’s good for big oil is good for America.

    You can’t treat every single corporation like they have the right to make as much money as possible. All that brand of capitalism leads to is a bunch of companies carving up the consumer until there is nothing left to take. Oh wait, that’s what happened already…

    Oil transport – Cool Cman, just send me a royalty check when it goes into production! I really think it solves a problem and I can’t imagine the money and need isn’t there.

    IFX not very excited about the IPhone news, came out this morning. Being Apple’s supplier isn’t always happy news as they really squeeze their guys.

    AAPL/Mark – I’m pretty sure with a 30% fall, profits are already off the table. 600M of 1Bn shares of Apple traded since 2/7, that doesn’t leave a lot for the “buy and hold” crowd. GOOG turned over 1/2 of their shares during the same period so I’m thinking we’re pretty much at a fresh start – maybe one more blow-off bottom and then we should see some cash pouring in, not because the markets are so great but because it’s got nowhere else to go…

    DD’d on new FRE play at .65 XXX Just on the off chance something happens in 2 months…

  301. BBD, cool, so we can really cheer. Go AAPL !

  302. SBUX just needs hotter girls. Should turn it around into the hooters of coffeee…. yeeeaaahhhh

  303. DM,
    Nice job on that chart.

  304. DM-Now that’s a plan! I’d be there everyday paying whatever with a jackass grin…

  305. Thanks Cman, just showing my perspective for what it’s worth.

  306. FRE ..conference call not going over well

  307. DM- they have coffee shops like that in Chile. The rough translation is coffee with legs Plus the coffe is better than starbucks. LOL

  308. sakiko – ha, very much a dork my friend. no doubt. All my prior training was truly long only equities… actively researched the other side and found out how much fun it is. I have TONS to learn still, and not near as much personal money as most of you I’m sure (married into student loans / debt so paying that off first – being smart!). But the little I do play I usually spend a long time researching / charting before entering.

    ES futures is a hobby but quickly becoming a love affair. The potential if you’re smart with your stops / risk management / good with technicals is phenominal, and the liquidity is huge with .25 spread no matter what. Whether you’re playing 1 contract or 200, you won’t even move the market unless you’re playing 2000 + contracts (which equals $2.7mm one side). Even then you might not move the bid / ask… but not sure what the margin requirements on that are LOL!

  309. DM — Idiocracy shows us that SBUX will have more than that in the future:

  310. parchesia

    I wouldn’t bet against Howard if he still has the same level of energy. He is one smart guy and a very good operator.

  311. Blake, actually, that is how I picture DM. So, I know what you mean. I am actually pretty quiet most of the time. I really like a good joke and I love talking about the market. I don’t get nearly as many opportunities in real life as I do here. And while I am funny in person, I am SO MUCH FUNNIER in writing. When I have the extra time to word things properly, I come up with some great stuff. For example, my baby has been “writing” letters to people since his birth about the terrible conditions and draconian practices of the B&B he has been staying at. People always tell me to write more episodes. They never do that with my market updates. LOL

  312. AAPL/Joosj – Well I have Apple Jul $115s that are $23.30, up from $14.86 avg entry. I buy the Jul $130s for $14.35 and the best price on the $115s was $23.30 so I stop out at $22 at which point I would look to buy more $130s or $125s as they would, of course, be getting cheaper on the way down but I preserved the max cash gain on my calls. It’s almost an automated way of getting a good price on the roll.

    The pre-roll $130s also cap your losses on the callers you have so it’s always a good idea if you are still long-term bullish as you are covering all your bases.

    SBUX – that perky stuff usually lasts 72 hours after a “company meeting” the question is have they done anything sustainable?

  313. Germany and driving – Boy do they love to drive, and they have that law, “If you are not driving a Black BMW, get out of the fast lane--NOW!!”

  314. Doing a little stock buying today.
    PTR..I like the dividend and selling calls against. Seems better risk/ reward than some bank stocks. Will also look at a Jan. 099/March option spread.

    BID…scaling in. Still seems like a growth industry with new money from Middle East/China/Russia starting to acquire major art pieces coupled with the weak dollar.

  315. CL just won’t quit. 102.5 Nice wrap-up on oil, Phil.

  316. I just can’t shut up. Mark, I have to disagree that paying off student loans is smart. I am betting that I will continue to get a better rate of return than the interest on my loans, AND they are in dollars. If the currency ever really crashed AND I had my money in GLD or another currency, I would instantly make out great. Unfortunately, the dollar decide to nose-dive before I had enough to put aside to hedge it. But, I firmly believe that inflation will erode the value of my loans and the longer I wait to pay them back, the better off I will be.

  317. RIMM-Buying back some calls.

  318. CROX…did anyone get filled on the half covers @ 1.75 ?

  319. Hell no, i’m not short SBUX, just waiting until inflation is under control since their margins are very sensitive to them. Nice point Phil!

  320. Phil – AAPL / GOOG agreed man. Not saying it’s going to keep going down, just trying to show you perspective of the buy siders who made money and where they locked it in b/c they new everyone else would. Like I’ve been saying for weeks, if I was a big buy sider and every other big boy I knew was waiting to invest money until something gives them the “A-ok”… why would I try to pick up my 50 million shares here? If I did I’d get killed on pricing and push the price even lower.

    So wait, hold on the side, invest in the new macro themse (aggs / commodities)… hold off until the “bottom” comes like all the major guys are predicting in March – May some time… then slowly reload.

  321. Film-

    I know what you mean, I love talking about the markets, but my friends are more interested in drinking beer at the new bar, so PSW gives me my fix

  322. Phil/AAPL – ” I stop out at $22 at which point I would look to buy more $130s or $125s as they would, of course, be getting cheaper on the way down but I preserved the max cash gain on my calls. It’s almost an automated way of getting a good price on the roll.”

    I understand the stop part, as that is around 15% of your profits but once you bought the 130, and then stopped out the 115s, you would then add more (probably 125s)? I see how the 2nd set of 130s would be an “automated way of getting a good price on the roll” but then you are replacing 1x 115 with 1×130 and then 1x 125 or however many extra calls you buy on the way down…What if I’m not looking to add to my number of open calls?

    Also would the pre-roll end at the end of the day if I am unfomrtable with less than a 1/2 cover overnight?

  323. Karl – lol that’s hilarious, and necessary.

  324. FILM – ha! Nice perspective.

    Not paying off all student loans… was able to consolidate $40k at 3% a few years ago! but have some personal student loans with variable rate I really need to get rid of…

    But it’s also a consumption thing. My wife’s done with her Masters in April, so that adds $30K + more to our coffers / year depending on what she gets. let’s say an extra $2k / month after taxes. Then if my cars are paid off, some old cc’s we had when we made nothing, a couple of the student loans… we’re adding back an extra 500-1k on top of that extra 2k! I know people would like to supplement their income in something boring to get an extra $36k a year after tax, but you’d have to have $1mm in munis to get that rate.

    Extra $3k means more to invest / month. ;)

  325. Film, it’s also a mental thing for a lot of people… to be debt free is a great feeling for a lot of people… It’s like climbing out of a hole

  326. Check this out. However “risky” trading this market might seem, it could be much worse. You could be in real estate.

    Then (2006):


  327. DM – SBUX++ (windywheel, don’t look ;0) )

  328. FRE – of course the CC is bad, everything is terrible! But, like MBI and ABK and the builders, is it really 66% off the top terrible? One of the hardest thing to get used to in valuing a company’s value is letting go of past performance and focusing on the future. At $15Bn with $7Bn in sales, can these guys make money next year? Homes are a commodity and they would be in dire shape if the Fed hadn’t driven commodity prices through the roof (oil at $102, gold at $970 by the way) so everything about this prolonged slump is artificial as we should have had a much sharper and shorter correction had they left it alone.

    Ron Paul was dead on yesterday, the stupidest thing you can do is throw money at a commodity crisis, it’s like opening a vein to distract a shark…

    EOG finally paying me!

    CROX – no fill, I forgot about them, looking better now.

    MA making a sharp move – no idea why but the $195s are a good mo play.

  329. Anyone have any thoughts on this sell off in SIGM? Thanks

  330. EOG big test at $124, not pretty if they fail, my Mar $120 puts are up just 15% since I picked them up (now $3.90) but it looks like $120 if they fail. ECA is making new highs though and CHK is holding so I’m watching those. IF EOG falls then ECA $75 puts, now $1.25 are an XXX


    Ok so maybe he has no chance of winning the presidency, but I proudly donated to his congressional campaign (as an out of stater!) because we NEED him in congress to help balance out the insanity of everyone else.

  332. feminists must love chile lol

  333. Phil -

    Rutterfly – thanks for the reminder on starting a new one at a higher strike. I was considering it as a backup if RUT popped it’s head up around 730, yesterday’s upper pivot, but 723 (almost exactly Tuesday’s top) was the best it could do so I decided to stand pat with the 700. Looking at this in the context of the pivot range has been helpful for me to keep it all in perspective.

  334. I promised my wife that if AAPL gets to $130 today she can reserve 10 days vacation in Ixtapa for Labor Day Weekend, so we have an additional supporter :)

  335. AAPL/Joosj – it depends on your goal. For me, I’m adding but you can run that play with the goal of getting yourself back to just the same number at the higher strike, taking some money off the table as the stock moves higher.

    Rutterfly – 5% of 700 is $35 so really even 675 to 730 is a pretty tight range for a month in this wacky market. What matters is that we don’t see the arc swinging wider on us, hopefully it will narrow down over the next 2 weeks as everyone homes in on their expiration day targets.

    Go Apple GO!!

  336. Phil – Do you still like CME down hear? It appears that they are getting bashed similar to what happened with GOOG. PEG is now close to 1.

  337. Opt you must have a lot of money on AAPL.

  338. Yes, I have a big position on AAPL, it is my biggest holding by far. But it is mostly long-term.

  339. CNBC- b gross

  340. 129.99 must be killing your wife, better make sure she doesn’t have access to a brokerage and some money.

  341. The wall they’ve put at $130 on level 2 is pretty impressive.

  342. LOL Op / AAPL / Ixtapa – That is one way to get her interested in the market. Might have to try that.

  343. AAPL- lets all go foment a rally on the YHOO/GOOG boards w/ rumors to get iot to hit 130.00- that’ld b cool. right, opt?

  344. IRBT going for $19 again, they’ve been trying to break back over on a positive dma cross for about a week.

    Bill Gross on CNBC – surprisingly mellow re. bank failures. Seems to think they are very limited.

    Ron Paul for President – be careful, he’s got a lot of nutty views on other things but I really respect the guy’s knowledge of finance. I’m getting one of those T-shirts!

    CME – I picked up some yesterday, the June $540s, which are even at $32.50 despite the drop (but probably wouldn’t be if I tried to sell them). I’m putting in for a roll, of course but no takers on the $530s just yet at $3.50.

  345. or is 129.99 close enough for you.

    Definitely understand the debt-free desire. I twice did not pay off my CC’s last year when I had HUGE gains from AAPL as my wife talked me out of it, only to watch those gains fade away. She felt bad, so she started paying off my debt faster than hers. Everything is joint with us.

    Come on, Opt, give her Ixtapa!!! Makes you look considerate. Would hate to be at dinner if you say, “Sorry honey, only 129.99. Ten days at Magic Mountain instead.”

  346. MEXICO!!!

  347. Phil – Just curious – seems now that RIMM moves up, my March caller seems to move more than my June call, and when it moves down, my March caller seems to move less than my June call? Of course, I’ve only held the position for a week or so, and I realize it could just be a short-term thing. Just though I’d ask though.

  348. BooYa Op! Margaritas!!!

  349. EOG – got stopped out up .20 8-(

  350. rick santelli is the man- he needs to b fed chair!

  351. FIlm, I would have given it to her at $129.99 LOL. Come on, I like margaritas too.

  352. Opt-

    Can you please explain “level 2″ to me or where I view it? Or just point me in the direction of a useful link? Thanks

  353. Congrats Mrs. Optrader.

    Mark, come on, a month of front-running and you could be debt free and livin’ large while on the run.

  354. Can we break the “Bad Thursday” cycle today?

  355. Ok film,

    where does it go from here? What is the new target for EOD, and I want it within 30 cents!!

  356. Blake, I don’t know your platform. Sometimes it’s called “market depth”.

  357. opt, I use TOS, but I don’t see anything on the info layout for market depth.

  358. phil/b gross- he spoke on PIMCOs AUS v US strategy recently and was a US bank bull (by his standards)

    i think this link works- this is what made me even more happy on C- he didn’t mention names but they have the debt rating he mentioned and it s huge bank.

  359. lol Opt, enjoy your vacation.

  360. On TOS, left click on the bullet point by your stock, “market depth” is in the list.

  361. FCX-FLying again. That’s been some run.

  362. ok, thanks opt, I found it.

  363. Bank Failures-Wall Street Journal:
    The Federal Deposit Insurance Corp. is taking steps to brace for an increase in failed financial institutions as the nation’s housing and credit markets continue to worsen. The FDIC is looking to bring back 25 retirees from its division of resolutions and receiverships. Many of these agency veterans likely worked for the FDIC during the late 1980s and early 1990s, when more than 1,000 financial institutions failed amid the savings-and-loan crisis

    Mexico bet-I like the Gulf much better, but let’s hope it is $180 by Labor Day. LOL

  364. Coolnes! Selling 130Cs. Vayan Con Dios.

  365. Oil closing $101.95

    Apple – Did I mention that resistance is futile?

    EK finally busting out of range.

    This is great, we can just play the 250 point swings in each direction pretty much every other day!

    Russian oil ministry says there may be 586Bn barrels of oil in their part of the Arctic. Guy from Shell says he’s sitting on 15Bn barrels in Arctic Alaska but he says there’s plenty in the Gulf if we let him drill there right now.

    RIMM/Everything stopping me out, very nice dip today if we can shake it off!

  366. FCX-1/4 out.
    RIMM-1/4 out.

  367. FILM – ha! gotta ask compliance for ANY cash trade I make… literally impossible to front run b/c they get my statments. :(

    but we don’t trade futures / fx… so me play all day :D

  368. RIMM/Troy – what strike do you have? Maybe you are in too deep but the general answer is to ignore it and just worry about did you collect your goal for the month.

    If I have an Apple July $130 for $15, the only thing I EVER care about is can I collect $5 in premium by selling calls in March, April and May. If I do that, I have a free July $130 with 2 months to go. Until then, I could really care less about anything that happens AS LONG AS IT DOESN’T ENDANGER MY ABILITY TO COLLECT $5 NEXT MONTH.

  369. AAPL-Ok, I sold a little bit of $130′s to protect the profits, but keeping a strong positive delta.

  370. we’ve had 7 weeks of builds and are at 14 yr gasoline inventory highs. We don’t need more oil…

  371. GS-Sold the calls bought earlier. Keeping initial position.

  372. Phil,

    At this point, I can’t complain too much, except that I lost so much when I was holding the 85′s and have been trying to get some of my money back. Now I’ve got March/June 100′s. Actually looking a little better now, the two are almost equal today in terms of gain/loss. Just was a peculiarity I noticed.

  373. Sorry, Blake. I didn’t mean to let everyone down. I am sure that if everyone believed it was going to 130.70 instead of 129.95 when it was at 121, they would have hopped on board.

    Crystal ball a little cloudy. Seems like a low of 128 to a high of 133 over the next 25.5 hours, although a bigger pullback is fine, too. We are currently at exactly the ATR band for today 5.02. That may put a lid on it for today.

  374. Phil, did you fill on the GFI trade from yesterday? Bought the Leaps today. wondering whether to cover with April 15′s for .9 or the 12.5′s for 2.35? Thanks

  375. Phil- do you see any MTL July’s you like? I am slowly getting rid of my Marches.

  376. Phil, It’s 2:45.. Any thoughts on protection into the 3:00 daily drop? -Peter

  377. Phil,
    AAPL leaps:
    Now that AAPL is showing some signs of life – how do you suggest to use the leaps you have in small accts?
    1. Keep at current strike and keep selling current ATM calls
    2. Keep rolling leaps, pocket the profit and roll in part of profit to buy more ATM leaps.

    BA Mar85 callers in 25 KP:
    Are you currently naked – I have notbought out my callers yet and wondering about possible choices. – was hoping to buy them out @1.95 and it has run away from me.

  378. Parchesia, I can’t even see April DIG puts that are ITM (ends at 104).

    It may not be up to us to save the markets, but if we don’t punish the oil speculators, who will?

    I’m shorting oil again. But it’s not for me. It’s for America.

  379. OOPs, posted in the middle of writing…

    Anyway, remind me on the weekend but it’s all about having a plan and sticking to the plan. Notice my Apple plan leaves me June as a bonus month so, if I spend $5 adjusting my position, I still have no reason to worry.

    FRE – WooHoo! No way do I not take some off the table here but this stock is getting to be lots of fun!

    We don’t want to breat the “bad thursday” cycle. If we can come to depend on the range that we’re in, with 250 point swings that top out on Wendesdays – we can set up plays that make uberbucks on the swings. It just takes more than 5 weeks to establish a proper pattern.

    Hey my Go Apple GO chant worked like a charm! 8-)

    Financials still in the toilet. What a surprise, Bill Gross says great opportunity in Muni Bonds! I do like those 15% ones you can jump on now when they lose their insurance…

    GFI – filled and covered for .50 yesterday. In my stock portfolio, my only gain is to get 5% a month on each position. If I don’t see my way clear to 5%, I cash it (usually by selling a deep call).

  380. PAL is doing well again today. Anyone following it?

  381. If it keeps going maybe I’ll retire to Ixtapa.

  382. NEM back to testing 53

  383. BA flying.

    GOOG is another one you don’t take chances with. Some days we win, some days we lose – today is a win and it comes off the table. XXX

  384. Eric-I agree it’s a great strategy but I just got an email from Trader Monthly how T Bone Pickens is hurting from his oil short. He’ll be right and I think soon but wait for any kind of hint the Fed is done cutting to put your short on and that will pop oil fast shortly therafter. Until then, it’s a dollar/inflation hedge

  385. Phil,

    What’s your position on NDAQ and BA (25kp)? Seems like people are taking out the callers.


  386. Mark – Brazil has an expanding economy. No extradition for foreign nationals. Good Coffee. Of course, conjugation of verbs in that language takes some study. But you’ll have plenty of time.

  387. Oil almost broke 103… I think March contracts will close 104.

  388. Apple-AAPL: Jim Cramer says shares are going higher
    Cramer thinks the iPhone will win when Sprint (S) “implodes.”

  389. Parchesia, yeah, you’re probably right. It wouldn’t be the first time I’m early.

  390. GOOG was good today, held it since Tuesday and got 60% for the trouble…

  391. It is after a year of days like this that makes it impossible for me to trade AAPL to the downside.

  392. Par / Oil – Tell that to the guy that just bought the April contract for 102.92! Your fogetting about the tin pot dictators, the Nigerian rebels, the phony maintainance outages.

    Not to mention the 2.5 billion XOM might have to pay out for allowing a known rummy drunkard after having “two or three vodkas” behind the wheel of a oil tanker before he ran aground. That money won’t come from the shareholders, XOM, shrewd as they are, will ‘pass the savings on to the consumer’.

  393. did you just say uberbucks? :D

  394. Phil,

    We were 1/2 covered on BA. Do you suggest that we take out the caller? Any thoughts on QIDs? It is back to 49.xx.


  395. Brazil- you forgot cute girls

  396. Primus-I said wait until the Fed stops cutting to short, until then it’s a freight train out of control and needs more than a fundamental catalyst to stop it…

  397. LoL, when did the tanker run aground? I can’t blame the dude for drinking…do you know how slow those things move? And you’re on water, what can really go wrong, right?

  398. FCX-More out. Only 1/8 left. Amazing chart.

  399. PHIL,

    What do you think on AIG earnings today?

  400. Optrader,

    Any suggestion for CROX calls? Thanks.

  401. Phil:

    a fundamental question on Spreads:

    2 cases:
    case 1: spread LO AAPL jul 130
    SO AAPL mar 130

    case 2 spread LO AAPL jan2009 130
    SO AAPL mar 130

    in either case collect premium of course.

    Now : stockprice exceeds 130.

    buy back the SO in either case ???
    roll to 135 ??

    Txs for help


  402. Malai, what do you mean?

  403. Trader Tax Status

    Green & company – Just participated via webinar. Can’t remember who provided the link but thanks. I think it would be worth posting the powerpoint on the site somewhere. I asked them to send a hard copy. For those of us that do this full time there are a lot of tax advantages. Also, a general question, do any of you currently have this designation? Would love to talk off line to get your feedback.

  404. AAPL- undecided on covering. Wouldn’t even think about it but i do not trust Dell as that company is a mess.

  405. sold AAPL March 135′s @ 4 against LEAP

  406. AAPL-Covered a little bit more. Added some COF puts and AMZN puts. Bought back S puts.

  407. Phil,
    NDAQ/Old $25KP – I have Jun 42.5, half covered with Mar 42.5. Should I adjust this position in anyway?

  408. Optrader,

    I saw your earlier comment CROX trade and would like to follow your trade on CROX. Any thoughts on AAPL? Do you still like it or time to cover it?


  409. UPL-Doubled down on puts but will close everything by EOD. Did not go the right way.

  410. CROX-I posted my stop.

  411. Sakiko – Brazil? never been. But I don’t think my wifey would be happy with me hanging with goils down there LOL.

    SPX / ES looking to test the 200 or the 70 here? Can’t tell yet but if it tests 200 trend is still up until it breaks below that.

  412. RMM,
    You need to know cost details before evaluating choices. Are you thinking AAPL goes to 135 or 150 or someplace else? Further details on the trade will help.

  413. Malai, not advisable to buyback a caller on a run like this one. First off, you’re buying high (instead of low.. ). Secondly, because of the run, the IV has increased, further increasing the price you’ll have to pay..

    Runs typically bounce back a bit (see the 5% rule in K1) and settle down after a few days unless there are secondary factors (earnings, other new news, …)

    Yes, I realize it’s hard to see the caller eating away at the long profits, but keep in mind the caller is much more reactive to short term movements than your long leg. -Peter

  414. The quality of women is the indicator of the economy… Brazil booming, Europe’s dollar is sexy…. Ahhh gorgeous!

  415. BBD – Do you mean MT or MTL? Either way, I like X better as a trading vehicle as you can make $1 or two pretty much every day on the callers. I also think X has more room to run as they have more spare capacity than MT and MTL and the premiums are really good. X Jul $110s are $17 and you can sell the current $115s for $5.65 and leave a few open for good measure. I just got out of the puts earlier and now I’m thinking I should have left them and strangled.

    On MTL – you can do a similar play with the July $130s at $24.80, selling the $140s for $8.

    Opt – have you lost interest in the Qs? They have been so well behaved lately…

    For drop protection you have to love the QID $50s right here at $2.20, along with the next layer up DIAs ($128s).


    AAPL/CMan – let me know what you have, I have so many I couldn’t tell you otherwise.

    BA callers – Oh come on, at 10:51 with the calls at $2 I reminded you to set stops and they dropped back to $1.70, even if you didn’t set them at $1.40 on the morning dip. Even $1.70 + 20% is $2.10! We sold them for $2.20 so the best we could do in 30 days is $2.20 and we made .70 in 2 days – you HAVE to learn to protect annualized profits of 5,475%, it really does tend to bring up your overall average! At this point, there is no point to buying them out for a profit, just leave them in as protection and suffer the consequences if it goes higher. $85 has been very tough for BA and I will re-cover tomorrow if they can’t break it (and where I can day trade I’m doing it now).

    That goes for all. Still lots of scary things out there so mainly half covered into the close – it’s still tough to imagine a big rally into the weekend with oil at $102. XXX

  416. Any info on AIG why it is going down?

  417. I am beuarllish on AAPL

  418. ATW-not missing it again. 1/2 out

  419. Ok, I sold some more. Down to 30% exposure (DT Apr 120′s only) from this morning. Will be glad to get in even or better tomorrow with Apr 130′s perhaps.

  420. Par – Pretty much agree, oil will keep jumping on BS headlines.

    They should make a new 150 proof vodka dedicated to Exxon and call it ‘Absolut Disaster’ – What could go wrong?’.

  421. Phil, apropos of X, still in my $110 puts. What do you think of a straddle with July 110, selling March 105/115?

    Or is the July 115 better for the call (selling 120)?


  422. AAPL:
    I have:

    VAAAU bCALLjan09,130 (24.60)
    APVCF sCALLmar130 1.91

    stock is now 131.5,
    I – if exercised – have obligation to sell at 130.

    if stock dives again: no problem,


  423. Qs-Phil, you are right, they must have been easy to trade. I have just chosen to focus on individual stocks lately. Also, it does not make sense, but I don’t like for example to be long AAPL and short the Qs. Makes me a little bit confused as I don’t know what to wish for. So I’d rather be short another stock (like AMZN lately).

  424. Phil,
    AAPL leaps: ’10 Jan 120s (cost $44 and 09 Jan 140s @ 14.50).

  425. market going wrong way

  426. MTL- I guess you don’t read what I say. First mentioned it to your blog at $55, mention also every other week. LOL On these MAR I did VERY VERY WELL as I bought in Jan. Thanks for the help

  427. BBD, looks like you are read to graduate to BBD’s Stock world, LOL.

  428. RMM – No one in their right mind would exercise an AAPL call early, so don’t worry about that. And you have a positive delta of 4, so you don’t actually want the stock to dive.. ;)


  429. BBD’s very good, he keeps low key, but you should pay attention to his picks.

  430. RedMountainMan – steveplace and I just went through this “issue” with you last week; has something actually changed?

  431. holy smokes
    i finally left to meet with someone i’ve been postponing forever, and it’s like a whole new world. film!

  432. I hate these end of day sell offs. :-(

  433. AAPL – out of APR 115s for 70%. Keeping AAPL APR 140s

  434. I definitely need to start adding a BBD pick or two to my portfolio.

  435. DIG does seem irrationally exuberant at $105! The $104 puts are $3, that seems like a great deal but you have to want to roll to the $110s, just in case XXX

    NDAQ – as stated above, still 1/2 covered with $40s. It must be just me who sees the Dow down 100 and the Nas down 14 today because everyone else seems to think we broke 12,750…

    AIG – random number depending on where they put their cash. As with any diversified portfolio, there are bound to be losses, the question is how bad is it?

    CROX – I’m accidentally naked and good with that, they held up well on a rough day so unless they perform poorly on a good day I’ll still love them.

    AAPL/RMM – it depends on 100 things like time of month, how much they break, how the market is doing… Right now I am 2/3 covered with a mix of $125s and $130s because they can’t fight the Nas and GOOG. GOOG may look positive but it’s lower than this morning and gives me no reason to trust it yet. Of course the way GOOG regains you trust is by gaining 50 points so fast all you can do is watch!

  436. WINDY! :D

  437. RMM,
    Here is my $.02.
    You sold these forr insurance while you bought the leaps for growth. Given that AAPL gave a great presentation y’day, I suspect it will be hard for it to go to the low levels we have seen in the recent past. Having said that, as Phil suggested earlier, you may want to buy Apr 135s to cap the caller and in the mean time if AAPL does go down and you get an opportunity to buy out your caller grab it. If AAPL does go down substantially, you could apply profits from your caller to roll your Apr calls down. BTW, if and when AAPL is on a down trend I would put a trailing order instead of just buying out the caller.

  438. AMZN puts-1/2 out

  439. Phil

    “X Jul $110s are $17 and you can sell the current $115s for $5.65 and leave a few open for good measure. I just got out of the puts earlier and now I’m thinking I should have left them and strangled.”

    I still have the X puts from earlier (long 105 puts) which I was thinking of exiting but what strangle would you have considered?

  440. If we finish tomorrow at 135 to 140, we are going to print a nice big hammer on the monthly that will close right at the LT (log) trendline.

  441. BBD-I agree, he’s good. That’s why I picked some SLW.

  442. AAPL-Slowly buying back covers.

  443. Optrader-remember I said yesterday I know nothing about this stock my friend told me to buy it.
    Copper- Now for a few weeks I have mentioned PCU. When it started jumping 2% to 3% per day. Some are in FCX but PCU is tied more closely to the price of base metal.

  444. I swear SNDK is so gay sometimes

  445. CMan:

    txs for help,

    a buyer of the SO who is bullish on AAPL: why would he not want to pick up the stock at the lower strike of the SO ?
    I guess the answer is: he would not buy a Jan09 caal but a closer one ???


  446. well chalk up another 44.50 rejection on the Q’s

  447. BBD, Is that a good friend? Looking pretty strong today.

  448. 1% of american population is incarcerated

  449. General Question – Phil

    I keep seeing references to the 5% rule. This is all I can find in K1:

    “Fibonacci – I’m a great believer in Fibonacci rules. My 5% rule is a simple modification of that basic concept where I look for a +20% retracement after a 2.5% or 5% move to confirm a shift.”

    Is there any other references to the 5% rule. If so, could someone direct me to the quote?


  450. Optrader- He is very smart, older goat that has been around so has seen this stuff in the 70′s before.

  451. And if you can’t take looking at your portfolio any longer, there’s this.

  452. RMM, “SO” = Short Option? they wouldn’t want to because they’d be giving away the premium..

    AAPL Mar 120′s right now are 11.90.. AAPL is at 130.15. They could exercise and get the stock for 120, or they could sell their option for 11.9 and buy the stock for 120. In the latter case, they’re ahead by 75 cents/share.

    125′s are 8.3.. so they’d be giving away 3.15/share..

    It can never happen for calls that the premium is negative. Puts are another matter for the text books where it can happen, especially with dividend paying stocks. But you’d have to be+ 20% in the money before the risk becomes noteworthy. -Peter

  453. Qs-Bought some puts as protection, just in case DELL has a very bad report, which is highly possible.

  454. I think many stocks don´t find the right way back to his last direction in the middle of this little Market correction. Like EK SNDK …

    But what´s up with NDAQ?? Markets are down but this

  455. Opt / Dell – Interesting reminder. Forgot about that.

  456. NDAQ/Davin – you’re fine.

    COST flying down.

    X/Eric – I’d do a straight sell of the $115 puts and roll yourself up, they are probably going higher due to China’s shutdown creating steel shortage. On the upside you can set up the same with calls but you have to want to do a lot of daytrading on the March contracts as they move up and down $5 a day.

    Check out chart of QIDs (10/15/30/ mins) – notice consistant lows and lower highs, could be a bullish pattern formming for a breakout (it’s kind of like a magnifying glass view of the Nas).

    AAPL/CMan – if you have the same number of each then by all means sell the $130s against the 2010s and the ’09s will serve as a cap. If Apple goes down you can always sell $125s and roll the $140s down to the $130s.

    MTL/BBD – Next time use a bolder font! I wish I had followed you on those…

  457. Great day everyone! Let’s see what Dell does now.

  458. RD2.0 I have been saying that ever since they released their iMac copy that was higher priced and had the EXACT same components.

    Happy days are here again. 33% jump in my portfolio today. I needed that. And closed at a very respectable $129.90.

    Congrats everyone. Very glad to hear that the biggest problems out there were how to roll this thing, not that people were short and panicking. Check in with you all later.

    Hope dell can pull us down to another terrible opening. Daddy needs a better entry.

    Viva Ixtapa!

  459. REMINDER: You really should read this article:

  460. A 33% JUMP IN YOUR PORTFOLIO TODAY?! Film you’re either doing something very right, or very wrong.

  461. not in it, but probably good news for someone on the board:
    Deckers Outdoor-DECK reports Q4 EPS $2.69 vs. consensus of $2.41
    Reports Q4 revenue $194.2M vs. consensus of $184M. Sees Q1 revenue increasing 25% over 2007, sees 2008 revenue increasing 25% over 2007.

  462. QID will break through 49.75 when QQQQ breaks through 44.50

  463. hey phil….i left for vacations a week ago and i got burned with aapl on its move up…
    i’m in the 2010 120′s for 34.20 (now 40.12) covered with the march 120′s at 4.2 (now 11.65…)….any ideas? i got a negative delta now, so i am a little concerned that the move up will continue…

  464. Somebody just bought 100,000 shares of the Qs @44.17. Probably was a short.

  465. 33% Jump???? And I was happy with my gains LOL. Film, you need to book that Ixtapa trip as well.

  466. Phil, a post 4pm question for post.. I have: CCJ

    +20 Jun 35s (@2.6) currently at 7.2 (CCJ @ 32)
    -10 Mar 35s (@2.67) currently at 5.7 (ccj @ 36)

    I sold the calls to protect profits at the time on the longs.. The caller was never ahead by 20%, so I’ve left it as protection and didn’t otherwise have a stop.

    My orig/existing plan is to wait till closer to expiry and roll. If rolling today, it’d be to 100% Apr 40s, roughly net 0.. But considering that my caller’s premium went from ~1.6 to 0.3, I’ve passed the 75% guideline.

    I’m wondering if I should have (or you would have) already done something? -Peter

  467. RMM,
    Lower strike would cost him more and he accomplished his goal by buying the call at your strike price.

  468. DM, by all accounts, Film is doing many things right, but completely ignoring Phil’s position size limits. If I were a betting man (and we ALL are @PSW), Film’s probably ~75% invested, and at least 2/3 of that is in AAPL. With at least 1/2 of that being July’s or sooner.

    Either way, he can probably go to Mexico with Opt if he wants! -Peter

  469. Dell dropping

  470. Great, Dell missed (how surprising!). Q puts should do good tomorrow and give a nice opportunity to add some AAPL.

  471. not so good, down day tomorrow, grabbing qid’s Dell Inc-DELL reports Q4 EPS 31c vs. consensus of 36c
    Reports Q4 revenue $15.99B vs. consensus of $16.27B. :theflyonthewall

  472. X/Raffy – I like the July $115 puts and calls vs. the same March.

    SNDK – don’t ask don’t tell!

    AAPL option exercising – why would I exercise a $120 call that’s worth $11.62 to buy Apple at $120 when the stock is selling at $129.91? I’m effectively paying $131.62 when all I have to do is pick up the phone and call my broker to buy Apple for $2 less per share. People who buy long calls don’t do it to buy stocks, they do it to have the OPTION to buy a stock but usually, as is the case with pretty much everyone here, we have NO intention of owning the stock.

    1% incarcerated – That’s 2 points of unemployment!

    5% rule – I would think there’s more but that’s the gist of it. If K1 doesn’t have it I’ll try to write something up.

    AAPL/David – I did this earlier for someone else. You can either bite the bullet and just roll them to the Apr $125s later in the month or you can sacrifice some time to double up your position and roll the caller higher. $40 buys you 2x the Oct $125s at $22.20 and your $120 caller at $11.62 can go to 2x the Apr $135s, now $6.15 so no worries right now.

    DELL misses by a nickel at .31 with lower than expected revenues! APPL doesn’t like it but that makes no sense as they are losing market share to AAPL. HPQ also kicked ass so this is more of a market share thing.

    They are flying down below $20 after hours, that will break my QIDs over that descending triangle unfortunately!

  473. DM, I think it is both.

    Opt, it is a smaller portfolio, but, yeah, a few more days like that and I will be booking a trip somewhere. Wife was starting to think that we wouldn’t be traveling ever again after the last 2 months. Funny how she never feels the highs only the lows. Whereas all I can see now is what a great 2 years we are about to have.


  474. too late, didn’t get a qqqq put order in.

  475. DELL- told you it would suck!!!

  476. Opt – Qs, thanks for the post.

  477. Film: my wife is the same way. Luckily she’s my counterbalance when I filter out all the bad days.

  478. Peter, like I said it is not a huge account, but it overcame all of Feb’s losses in one day.

    As for your breakdown, that account only 50% in AAPL today, 50% cash. Across all accounts, I am probably only 30% in AAPL, 50% cash, 10% GOOG.

  479. film/AAPL- excellent game, player. no pressure, but what do u think about the movement for this month (ie MAR expiry)?

  480. Film don’t let AAPL be your destruction. I love the company, but options is another game.

  481. It might have been worse (and therefore better) if I had my accounts consolidated and in order.

  482. Andy, FYI, options the major indexes trade “regular session” till 4:15.. Not sure if you were trying past 4.. -Peter

  483. not at screen- what’s AAPL/QQQQ doing in response to DELL? also, DELL. thanks a ton

  484. CCJ – They are prone to major pullbacks as they climb but you are in very nice shape. As with the above Apple, your roll opportunity comes in the Apr calls and you can roll yourself back to 2x the Sept $40s at $5.20 (+ $2.80) and roll your caller back to 2x the April $40s about even. That’s better than paying him and buys you time. You can also do that roll 1X which costs you $1.20 but beats paying your caller $5.50 and buys you 3 more months.

    Per the pre-roll coversation, you have so much coverage that you can afford to chance the Sept $40s next time it has a good dip and you can either sell to cover or initiate your roll on loss of momentum.

  485. Hey folks- in “the cave” today, but checking in briefly and saw the questions about 5% rule. Haven’t written it up formally (waiting for the wiki for the remaining stuff) but here are some links to check:
    Link 1
    Link 2
    Link 3
    Link 4

  486. Fotoaddict, yeah I know, I was funnily enough working on a shot in Lightroom paying light attention to the market so I missed the 4:15 cut-off, anyway no biggie, there is always another day. The shot turned out nice enough though… Just uploaded it to the site, it was from a recent trip to Brazil, took a shot of the new front-lead singer of a local band in Salvador, Bahia..

  487. I hear ya’ DM. I am working on it. I really have been much less exposed at at my most bullish lately than I used to be when I was neutral.

    Steveplace, yes, she is much calmer when I have a terrible day than I am, it is the monthly numbers that get her down. Rightly so.

    Xian, I don’t know, I would just stay out of its way. I am not selling covers until middle of next week. I said the iPhone thing would put a floor in, but DANG! I feel like a run to 150 in the next week would be no big deal. The ATR for weekly on AAPL is $16.50. We finish tomorrow above 134, and have a big green candle and we are there by Friday. I am not running out and buying Mar 145′s but I am going to be very slow to cover and try to make it stop me out.

  488. Film, I have something similar.. though I only managed a 10% increase in that account today. 25% aapl, 20% cash, rest divvied across 9 positions.. I thought today about the leaps I bought late last week. Part of me wanted to buy Julys, but my stomach couldn’t take it at the time, and went with the Jan9s instead. -Peter

  489. Film congrats, you know I just want the best.

  490. XIAN- AAPL $129.60

  491. Does anyone have a feel for when it might happen if the government reduces capital requirements for Fannie?

  492. Incarceration- Good thing they don’t count imprisoned persons as being in the labor force!

  493. I thought my account was dangerously overweight AAPL, but you guys are just crazy.

  494. Phil:
    your comment ” No other country in the world has 1/2 of our consumption. China is 2nd with 6.3Mbd to our 20Mbd! Japan is 3rd at 5.5Bn and anyone who’s been to Japan can tell you they have everything we have with 1/2 as many people so they consume 1/2 the amount of oil per person as us which means, aside from the massive currency advantage, that energy prices effect them 1/2 as much as it does us.
    Germany has 82M people, call it 1/4 of us, and they use just 2.6Mbd – AND THOSE GUYS LOVE TO DRIVE! There is a criminal failure on the part of this government in refusing to address the demand equation and it is crippling our country. All policies “flow” from this failure and everything they are talking about patching up wouldn’t even be an issue if ANYTHING had been done to curb consumption over the past 7 years. UNQUOTE.

    Not quite so:

    its not 7 years but 40 years or so,
    when I came to the USA, gasoline was 30 cents and I said, they are nuts.
    I worked all my career in oil refing technology, gave testimony and papers and pleaded: put on a tax on gasoline.
    The taxmoney stays inj the USA and we could have used it for infrastructure etc.
    Low gasoline prices also gives the car industry the wrong signals: USA built always cars to heavy and big engines, Europe made smaller engines with higher rpm. Europe was always used to manage with resources mor efficiently than the USA. If there is abundance, there will be abuse/neglect.

    We have the mess for 40 years and no politician exoist so far in the USA to speak to the citizens that this has to stop: no more heavy/big cars and no more cheap gasoline.
    Sorry am : that was coming for 30 to 40 years.

    I am outraged.


    PS: Germany and Europe has it easier in one way: distances are shorter, they do not have to drive so far (cheap gas also encouraged the lousy widespread living in the USA), andf of course they always created public transport.

  495. BBD- thanx

    alright folks! congrats to all AAPL fan people who took off cover during yesterday’s trading.

    film- superb, just superlative. thanks for sharing so generously.

    peace up!

    im ouT!

  496. Opt, yep on the crazy. Though most of that position’s size is due to doubling down at 130 and 120.. AAPL’s the only stock I follow close enough to put that much $ into, and I even went longer term when doubling down @120.. (at my own lack of profit on this run..)

    I’ve been testing out tying the expiry with my confidence in a trade. 2-3 months for AAPL when it’s at 120, 9+ months when AAPL’s at 150+ for example. Taking more practice to get that right though. -Peter

  497. What with DELL and the following data tomorrow it could be “Fed up Friday”

    8:30 AM Core PCE Inflation
    9:45 AM Chicago PMI Feb
    10:00 AM Mich Sentiment-Rev. Feb

    Would have been ok today but BIDU let me down – not enough covers :-(

  498. Last thought, then I have to go buy some appliances. To remind you, the account in question is one that I intentionally take massive risks in. I really could blow up this account and while it would be sad, I wouldn’t lose anything except the love of my dog who likes it that I am up at 6am. I admit that my IRA’s are very overweight AAPL Jan-10 leaps, but that is a calculated risk that I am willing to take way down here.

    I absolutely understand the theory of portfolio weighting and risk management, but my skill is not in those disciplines. I am actually trying to hire my bro-in-law who rights algorithms for the defense industry and came up with a data-mining analysis technique to buy things on earnings dates. Funny that his view is that buying something 5 minutes before close on earnings is the safest trades for him.

    I am an infinite risk, defined loss trader. I don’t know if I am making this up or if there is anyone else out there, but I will continue to pull out my gains so that I will never be in a position to lose more than I have gained to date. So, when you ask what my exposure is, you have to understand that. I believe that Phil routinely gets 20-30% of the $25KP’s into a single position. I will only do that with AAPL which I live, breathe, understand, and have a great history of being right on the big turns.

    I just don’t want you to think that I am stupid and lucky. You can think I am stupid, but I do have a system that I am comfortable with. The biggest risk, just like all of you, is if I don’t follow my system and let my risk become more than I would take in calm reflection.

    But, hey, TODAY ROCKED and I am mostly in a lot of cash again for right or wrong.

  499. Well Phil, here’s more fodder for you.

    President Bush, saying he was unaware of predictions of $4-a-gallon gasoline in the coming months, told reporters Thursday that the best way to help Americans fend off high prices is for Congress to make his first-term tax cuts permanent.

    Bush also criticized Congress, which is considering an $18 billion tax increase for large oil companies.

    “All that’s going to do is make the price even higher,” he said. “We ought to be encouraging investment in oil and gas close to home if we’re trying to mitigate the problems we face.”

  500. Film, glad you had a great day today..

  501. rights/writes. Bah! I hate making that mistake. Especially when I am trying to prove I am not stupid.

  502. Even funnier. My wife won’t give a shit how much I made today if I can’t tell her in 3 hours what model dishwasher we are getting.

  503. steveplace, so bush-logic (wow a contradiction in terms, love it when that happens) says, ok with higher gasoline prices, just cut taxes, give you more money to pay the gas and my eternal bonus from Haliburton and the old boys network is guaranteed?

  504. Andy, nice photos.. Mine tend to be a a bit more crazy than my AAPL position these days..

    All: Mechanical Bull Riding every Monday night in NYC. Models, good food, booze, and a hydraulic bull make for good times.. -Peter

  505. Awesome shots Peter. My favorite photo-blogger is chromasia:

    He actually gave up his job after 2 years of posting to his blog as he started making more money off his photography than his professorship in psychology, he is a great photographer.

    Film, wonder how the wife-unit would feel if she had to do the dishes by hand :-)

  506. Film, I’d check Consumer’s Reports (online, ~25 a year) if I were you.. but I’m pretty sure this is the latest iteration of the one I got, and it’s pretty awesome (quiet, cleans anything, …)


  507. FIlm, nobody would ever think you are stupid, just a little bit crazy ;-)
    I have to be honest, I played like this too in the past. But since I have been trading full-time I just can’t afford to do this anymore. And thankfully I don’t need to as I can live nicely with gains on 20% of my account.

  508. Filmflam

    GE Hotpoint at Home Depot

  509. Foto, Andy

    Great stuff. For someone who would like to start getting into photography, where would you recommend to start? What kind of material should I buy? Books? Lessons?


  510. Op, send me an e-mail (top on my website) and I’ll give you a better answer.. but I’d buy a good camera/lenses and start taking photos. From there you’ll have the platform to figure out what your style/preferences is and where your strengths/weaknesses are. From there books/lessons can fill in gaps in skill/desire. Tell me a camera budget and I can guide that if you want.. Assuming SLR.. -Peter

  511. RMM – Good point but, as to nothing done in 40 years: Kennedy (who one might have imagined would consider energy independence “progress” had he lived), Johnson (great society program was heavy on conservation), Carter (was laughed out of office for telling people to wear a sweater to conserve fuel), Clinton (used the SPR to control prices, Gore’s energy bills routinely knocked down in Congress).

    It takes real leadership to change this country, not the crap that’s offered up to us. Somehow the concept of a free society has warped into some kind of right to lead a wasteful and destructive lifestyle that pretty much tells people we don’t really give a damn about anything that isn’t going to directly affect us between now and the next commercial break.

  512. Does anybody here use Firefox and the Reload Every add on to refresh the page ?.

    For some reason it works fine with every other site except this one (I can’t figure out why).

  513. Optrader,
    First thing about photography is a good camera, I would recommend that you get an SLR, you will so quickly get used to it and you will get so much more out of it than any of the non-SLR cameras and here it is important to note that the lens is everything, the body behind the lens is almost irrelevant (well not quite) as you will tend to change the body over the years but the glass will most likely stay, so don’t skimp on the lens. You of course risk finding yourself get absorbed by a ton of magazines and arguing fiercly about Canon, Nikon, Leica etc. My advice, select one maker and move on, you can waste so many $$ on equipment/magazines and other rubbish and the most important thing about photography is to take some shots. Digital or not is a no-brainer, of course you go digital, you have an instant feedback loop in the result viewer on the camera and you will find your progress improves so fast with this feedback loop.

    Lessons/books – I did a course with NYIP (in the old film days), it taught me a load of basics, which where really useful and kind of removed the 1000 mistakes most photographers do, so I would recommend that.

    Go to, this is the best place to get information on cameras and lenses and compare and get best prices (only US) etc. I would recommend a Canon 40D and a 24 – 70mm lens and a 70 – 200mm lens, you will not need anything else for most situations.

    feel free to email me on for any other questions, I love to help new photographers.

  514. Photography – My 2 cents is spent on the lens, but I’m a film boy.. Not so much on this digital gibber babber.

  515. ? that sounds like what Film’s email would be… ;)

  516. The make is important too Andy…

    IMHO Canon makes the best cameras so far, but they are the most expensive. Nikon’s doing very well with their recent models. And Lecia’s you can’t break.

    I’m not too serious in the industry, but go in this website to know what’s going on.

  517. sorry leica, typo. But whatever.

  518. RD2.0… nice one lol..

    Phil, I found this shot won one of the picture of the year stories, must be useful in one of your posts one day..

  519. lol I didn’t finish read your post Andy, euh I need break away from the computer.

  520. Just for your info – For people who think the callers do not generally exercise their calls:
    I had sold JULY (yes Jul) calls on PGH that got exercised and my stock got called away – that is the 3rd time that has happened to me since Oct (DIA in Oct, INFY in Dec/Jan and PGH this morning). Yes there was plenty of time – 5 months before exp and yet it got exercised. So guys, don’t kid yourselves that calls do not get exercised – generally it may be true but you never know – you have sold that right to someone you have no control on and he can do anything he wants. Do not take selling calls/puts lightly – be prepared for the possible consequences.

  521. Cman – I had the same thing happen with EXACTLY the same stock PGH – on my Schwab account.

  522. Well, yeah. But PGH went x-div today.

  523. CMan what PGH July calls did you have ?. If it was the 15′s then there was no premium to speak of in them and so might be attractive to someone wanting the dividend.

  524. CMan, wow that makes no sense at all! I suppose I could exercise my Jun CY calls now, but I would be paying the guy $19 (my strike) plus the $4 I already paid him for right to buy CY at $19 in June. So I’d pay him $23 for a $22 stock. If I were him, I’d be happy. So the same goes with you. There can’t possibly be negative premium on the call you sold. (And what’d the deal with selling a call 5 months out anyway?) So unless the call was exercised in the morning, and PGH spiked up before you could buy it again, unless I’m missing something, you’re probably better off having it get called away early.

  525. Has anyone tried spreads with LVS? How are the premiums on the front months?

  526. Beth, I may be wrong about this but I think it does make sense if it was the 15′s. They had 0.07 of premium and the distribution is 0.22 so isn’t that an immediate profit ?.

  527. CMan/Nav – If it’s deep enough in the money that the dividend beats the premium left, then yes, you risk being called.. otherwise the other person is throwing money away, and not many are willing to do that.

    PGH had a 22 cent dividend today. July 15′s closed at about 4 today, intrinsic of 4, so that would do it.

    DIA has a pretty good dividend every month.

    INFY’s a bit different.. It’s an ADR that may have had some wackiness due to having such a small float. Or maybe some overnight arb opportunities with the parent stock.


  528. LVS – Haven’t played in a while; monthly looks like 2.30 or so.

  529. That’s wierd. For PGH the bid / ask for the Mar, Apr and Jul 15′s are exactly the same.

    TOS quote glitch I guess

  530. SBUX/uber-simple observation- looking at 10yr weekly non-log chert and it looks like it could b approaching LT trend support. it’s a rough #, but support looks like 17-15ish (its a band formed by 2 trends lines that diverge)

    on log chert, same trend line was pierced to the downside on the week of 11/12/07 on 2.5x avg weekly volume (had a 6x avg daily volume day that week).

    anyway, not trying to read too much into this except that LT support is either just under SBUX or a good run above it (25-28ish).

  531. Ah — dividend date. Didn’t think about that.

  532. RMM,
    Remember Carter had incentives for solar energy and had installed solar panels on the White House roof to make a point to the American public. One of the first acts of Reagan presidency was to remove the solar panels and ridiculing the need for alternate energy.
    Looks like you came to this country about the same time as I did. In the last 40 years you have had Nixon, Ford, Carter, Bush, Reagan, Clinton, and the Dubya. Other than Carter no president showed active interest in alternate energy or fuel eficiency (Clinton an exception for this effort). Most of the presidents have shown total disregard for these issues and Republicans in Congress (and possibly democrats from TX & OK) have thwarted any effort to legislate fuel efficiency.
    Well, it is very difficult to say NO to the grown up bad boys especially when they have the BIG money clout. Make lobbyists illegal, modify election laws to have equal budgets for each candidate – that will show who the better manager of $ is ( Yes, I recognize other changes will also have to go in to make sure MSM & the Rush Limbaughs of the world are not the only voices you hear and become even more powerful King makers) and the things will be different.

  533. I had bought the stock when it was around 18 and I had sold the March 17.50 calls at 1.40 and that was EXACTLY what I was trying to cash on – basically the dips when they distribute the dividend. I ended up making 7% on the trade – which isn’t bad – just that it was surprising to see getting called away so quickly. It makes sense – those guys are probably trying to get the dividend themselves. Oh well … :)

  534. maleko – Must be TOS. On both OXPS and Yahoo Fi, you can see that it’s +25 cents a month. Not what I’d choose for income…

    Nav – Tax rate is 15% on dividends, vs. 28% on income.

  535. maleko – I use Firefox and the Reload Every add on and it works just fine for me – except when you make a comment – in which case the URL gets changed.

  536. Thanks for that info sakiko – I wasn’t expected to get called away – just trying to outsmart the smart ones – only to get outsmarted! I was just hoping that I would continue to hold the stock, get the dividend as well as some option premium – can’t eat the cake and have it too! It was definitely worth a shot!

  537. “only to get outsmarted!” – Hey, they outsmart me all the time… But I’m in damn good company, it looks like.

  538. Beth/Cman

    Regarding exercise….. A while back I asked a question here about “out of the money options” and who would buy them and why ? Well I did some research and paraphrasing from the book “The Options Clearing Corporation acts as a buyer to every seller and a seller to every buyer. A disparate number of buy and sell options are likely to be open at any one time so assignment is meted out at random to options in the money.” Also it goes onto say that at times , because of the inherent imbalance the OCC may force assignment in order to balance up its books.

    So it might not be a crazy call buyer !!!

  539. Dishwasher is going to be a Whirlpool Gold. Definitely went off of Consumer Reports. Fridge is still in limbo but must decide tonight. Bottom freezer, French doors, in white. Should be easy, don’t have that many to choose from.

    Optrader, I still need 2 more years of 400% returns on my accounts before 20% returns will pay the bills. I am starting this wealth building thing much later you.

  540. AAPL/cherts- i c resistance kicking in around 140ish,

  541. Nav and others on big div stocks- there’s a whole section in McMillan on Options talking about how/when the big market players take advantage of call pricing on dividend stocks. If you’re going to try those plays, you need to be aware of the circumstances in which a big player with low/no commission costs can make a penny or two by exercising before x-dates.

    PGH was at 17 a couple weeks ago, the March 17.50s were 30c then. An early exercise today put their cost at 17.80 to collect 23c, and then sell at open tomorrow for 18 or more? That’s a good deal for little risk, if you have the capital and low transaction costs to swing it.

  542. Film – Stay away from a Samsung fridge. My wife and I have had to call out a service tech 3-4x since we purchased ours ~2 years ago.

  543. For all you EK sufferers out there, if the stock can go up $2 by next Friday, we can all get out at .50 on the 20′s. In theory (using ToS’s theo price function, changing date and stock price but leaving volatility alone).

  544. Just catching up on posts now; had a busy day in the market; on the phone and a guitar lesson in the afternoon.

    That was some move in AAPL. it was interesting watching them (programs, whatever, drive that stock relentlessly until 3 pm on the button). Just before 2 pm, i think, I was watching it hold between 129.80 and 129.99 … I knew then they were gonna blast it past 130; they just needed to buy up all the shares first.

    Someday we will learn more about how these stocks seem so managed at times. Maybe Mark can weigh in.

    Anyway, I didn’t chase AAPL today, although I bought a small amount at the close.

    I hope some of you guys made some good dough on this; lemme guess Phil and Opt did.

    I did have some good success with GOOG, X, MCO (finally moving, Opt pls give me your view of chart for me). The best thing about today was generating cash from various trading positions and ending up basically flat to slightly positive on accounts that are still too biased to the long side. Slowly but surely bringing more balance into it on the short side.

  545. anecdote- email exchange i had w/ a friend today. he manages $$ in miami (he’s jr):

    my boy: In meetings the last couple days. All I know is the econ numbers keep coming in short and the slow fall off is weakness we can ignore or weakness we need to be weary of

    me: govt econ #s or in-house, on the ground stuff?

    my boy: Cmon, both. Ceos bearish. Cutting expansion plans and capital spending

  546. BTW these whipsaws must be driving our friend Tom2oc nuts on his GOAX system.

    GOOG up; GOOG down; AAPL up; down; BTK same.

    AAPL strong today; GOOG mixed; BTK killed.
    Just the opposite of what’s been going on recently; and still no clarity.

    Overall, I thought market held up ok today given the weak financials and Ben.

    This Bernanke guy needs to stay away from microphones “banks will fail”.
    Maybe they will. He was talking small CA banks w/ home loan exposure; but you know how the headlines, media and Congress amplify things.

    I had a business guy telling me today that Wachovia was a candidate for failure.


    Tomorrow; remember, End of Month. Window dressing.


    Oil … nuts.
    Nat gas … nuts.
    Dollar …. sucks.

    EOG …. yikes.

  547. FRE … a couple of brokerage houses are claiming its worthless or nearly so.

  548. GS — rumor that Global Alpha getting shut down … dont know if you guys discussed that yet.

  549. AAPL- the best would b to open down 128ish and close green- real mark-up style.

  550. Film … nice guesses today on AAPL and DOW/S&P this morning. Almost spot on.

    Hope you were able to sell AAPL and reset.

  551. BA virtual fence.

    A buddy of mine is in the tech biz w/ a small company that is involved in that stuff. Steveplace is correct that their technology sucks and doesn’t work.

  552. film
    if you’re looking for the BEST dishwasher, it’s a Bosch. it’s not the cheapest, but it is the best made, most good-looking, and quietest. second to none. so not the cheapest.

    best refrigerator is a Sub-zero. expensive. best feature is that it is only 25″ deep, same as the depth of the countertop, so it doesn’t stick out like a giant box in the room. many alternatives, but this is the best one.

    feel free to ask me if you have questions.

  553. TED presentation begins at 8:15 EST

  554. JR / Hillary interview.

    I didn’t watch; but Cramer is an active Dem fundraiser /supporter.
    I bet he didn’t disclose that.

    You are right, Hillary should know that first of all, Cramer’s audience is daytraders and college kids mostly; and second, about 50,000 people watch.

    Why on earth would she choose Cramer for an interview ? Maybe he was behind her commodity pork belly trade years ago (just kidding).

    Can you see Buffett agreeing to be interviewed by Cramer ?

  555. kudlow/USD/commodities- i can’t believe they r trying to dump this all on ben- this is a travesty.

    considering how intelligent u must b to have real power, i’d offer that ben was selected to take the fall on the whole bush spending like a drunken frat boy w/ an 8bag of yayo.

  556. PHIL:

    Politics in the USA, Oil, $$$$, etc.

    It can be said in the most simplistic way ( also: compare to the highly developped countries in the world: Europe, Australia, Japan and a few others):

    Size and therefore weight also is the problem:
    What is too big in the USA (remember bigger is not better):
    Houses, cars, machines around the house, hotels,and even people, their butts and breasts and on and on.
    Excessive size means trouble, higher rsource use and higher consumption, greater rate of illness etc.
    When I was young I was told: if you don’t want to get fat, FDH (which in German means eat only half), in the USA we look for geneic explanantions why people are obese.

    By the way: car manufacturers and the industry in general prefer to build big (see GM, Ford and Chrysler) because its easier and it use more materials.
    When I went to the Busine4ss school in Chicago, we studied the US car industry and predicted that their marketshare would decline unless they build better cars. There were of course hardcore US-born students who rejected this. Look where Detroit is now and what cars are selling well in the USA. Sad, I am outraged.

    The USA is too big and powerful (yet) that it is totally reluctant to learn what others have figured out to be better. That is so my friend.
    In our US company in Chicago, we made a great efforts to teach our 3000 emplyees that you will set back our company if you spent $$ and time to invent what others have already invented and figured out. The smart enterprise Including countries) follows this.
    The whole issue of terrorists has never been approached by asking (of course, we are too proud for this): how can we change our ways that they do not hate us that much ? Such a discusssion haS NOT TAKEN PLACE SINCE 9/11.

    The course is to go on in this nightmarish way> UNTIL what ? I believe it will have to get even worse.


  557. hill/cramer- totally. he’s too eradict to b taken very seriously and that makes him a desperate choice.

    sad, really. he’s probably very smart and should b taken seriously when he’s actually being serious and not deluded by his audience.

  558. DB – on the OCC bit above, that’s not true. there is always a buyer for a seller in the options market. Yes, the OCC does the matching internally, and exercises are dolled out by them. But NO day goes by with any breaks that aren’t fixed. The OCC is strictly a middleman, with 0 capital committed to the exercise. It’s their job to make sure everything clears out every night (that’s why the options world is T+1)..

    They also manage the counterparty risk, indemnifying you if any faults on the other side of your trade.. Thus margin limits and the like are how they help ensure that everyone can meet their debts. -Peter

  559. Andy, foto and DM,

    Thanks so much for the info about photography. I’ll do some research and get back to you if I have any questions.

  560. OK, one stupid question: what’s SLR? What is the difference between SLR and compact? Told you I was a beginner…

  561. Economy comment … everything was going along swimmingly until the Dems took control of Congress in Jan. 2007. Discuss.

    Flames expected.


    Feel free to keep blaming Bush if it makes you feel good.

  562. SLR … single lens reflex. Camera w/ a shutter vs. point and shoot. Can do more manual focusing / artistic stuff w/ SLR.

  563. Cap-Buffett has been sellling him myself to Becky for about 6 months now.
    Monday is taking questions via email for 3 hours. What a joke, he gave her a “special interview” 3 weeks ago.

  564. Cap and Optrader:

    as I am a photographer, I can help you:

    the single most important difference is:

    SKLR-you actually look thru the lens, therfore there is no paralax effect. Now what is this: if the lens and the viewer are on different heights, and if you take a close picture, you will not get what you see, the lens sees at a different height, the modern digital cameras have solved this problem as you can view what you want to shoot by looking at the LCD. So: snapshot cameras are now the digital cameras with a viewer and a LCD.

    Higher priced SLRs: you pay a lot for lenses, you look thru the lens and it is typoically for better photographers.


  565. fast money
    the options guy just said to buy AAPL and sell the march 130 calls around $5. wonder where he came up with that plan?

  566. Optrader…thanks for the heads up on TSO a while back…got out 2 days ago for a nice gain…sold my March FCX and think I may have left the building too soon on that…a question here as we seem to trade the same “usual suspects”..I reentered Rim calls midafternoon …are you still maintaining a bullish position there??…it spiked a bit shortly after i bought but i was asleep at the switch or would have sold half…appreciate your opinion…thanks…I still have half a position in POT calls…it seems to be in a bit of a no mans land zone..I see you dabble in that as well…God I love that stock, although I am finding AGU may be a little easier to trade..thanks again

  567. cap- seriously, do u think i say stuff like that to feel better? besides, i wasn’t saying the whole thing was bushes fault. although i took a nice jab at him b/c he has indeed spent a lot and has had a reputation for being a bit wild.

    remember the “born again” push to combat that image? that’s a confession and an apology.

    anyways, back to what i meant to communicate: it looks like ben is the perfect fall guy for this. greenspan did the major monetary damage and bush indeed cut taxes and then proceeded to spend a lot (justified? unjustified? is a seperate issue).

    lets not forget the massive “PEIX trade” he’s created while not doing a thing about the energy problem- just making energy traders compete w/ ag traders.

    anyway. i just felt bad for ben b/c he was given the helm of a sputtering ship and it’s easy to blame him and only him b/c american people have a distorted love affair w/ each president.

  568. RIMM-Yes, I bought some too when it dropped and then sold 1/2 on the spike. Keeping my position for now. I think it was down because of the Iphone going to enterprise. Price is still above 5MA, so I am OK with it for now.
    POT-I sold everything yesterday so I did not catch the run today. I love it too but it’s been really difficult to predict lately.

  569. Oil; Phil, when you blame “this” administration, it would be more fair to blame government generally, as in all administrations and Congress. And the hard left environmentalists.

    Yes, we need to conserve.

    But yes, we also need more refineries, more drilling in various areas like the Gulf of Mexico and Alaska / ANWR, and more nuke power.

    What exactly did Clinton/Gore do on any of these fronts during 8 years in power ?

    What are Hillary or Obama gonna do. All I hear from them is “green collar jobs” nonsense. What a farce. They want to eliminate hamburger flippers and replace them with solar panel installers. Talk about upward mobility.

    And please refrain from simply spouting the price of oil, as the whole global demand issue wasn’t in play then, nor was the speculation like it is now.

    Wind farms off of Nantucket … that’s what we need…. tell Ted and Joe Kennedy to stop obstructing it !


  570. RMM, thanks for the info. Apparently SLR should be the way to go if I want to do some nice photos (artistic stuff), but my issue is that I would like something practical, that I can easily carry around.

  571. BBD; I know about Buffett… Becky Quick is his favorite girl.

    Good for her.

  572. Thanks RMM. I took one photography course my senior year in college. That was fun; but no expert am I.

  573. MCD- macke just said MCD coffee tastes like gas station coffee- anyone tried it?

  574. Optrader:

    there are light digital cameras which are very good.

    Unless you want to be a wildlife/landscape/closeups/portrait/action photographer you do not want to buy the heavier and much mor expensive SLRs.


  575. Optrader et al:

    as the market is closed, mabe you experts are willing to clarify for me some of the jargon which is used here a lot:

    LO means Long option also here Caller ??
    SO means Short option also here Cover ??

    2X means ? buy/sell more, twice as many ??

    leave open ? means, have 2x LO and 1x SO ??

    XXX means ???

    Cover means SO
    Caller means LO

    MO play ???

    take off cover means buy back SO


  576. Xian -

    Actually, I have not seen your comment yet, and wasn’t responding to you.

    It was probably to Phil; I like to tease him and spar with him from time to time b/c he is so relentless in blaming Bush for everything and politics is the one area where he and I have some different views.

    Relax, it wasn’t directed at you; sometimes I do this to be provocative; other times I get so fed up w/ the Bush hatred. But there is truth in there too. Democrats control Congress. What have they done and what are they doing ? Nothing. Other than playing politics on everything.

    Maybe its a coincidence that things went bad after they took over. Maybe its not. Or maybe it is all Bush’s fault. But if people want to blame Bush for everything, I can just as easily blame the Democratic Congress because things WERE better before they took control.

    You really have to blame both Bush and Congress on the spending. After 9/11 was necessary; beyond that Bush has acted like a Democrat and has not fought Congress on spending. This is one of the areas that Repubs and Conservatives (and I am not counting myself as either particularly) have had issues w/ Bush over, and will also have w/ McCain (although McCain claims to be fiscally responsible).

    I agree; Greenspan did seem to do the major damage. But so did all the banks, I-banks, mortgage lenders and home builders. Nobody told them to go hog wild either.

    As for other stuff; I haven’t seen or heard any serious efforts from Congress, both sides, to do anything responsible about spending or energy. I blame all of them, which in the end, is basically the point I am trying to get across.

    Just listen to Obama and Hillary. We need programs for this and programs for that and 5 Billion here and 20 Billion there. It was all over the debate the other night. More entitlements, more programs, more government …yada yada yada.

    How to pay ? Raise taxes and retreat in Iraq. Just like more money for gas is bad for the economy; how about more tax payments to the government (to waste).

    Hillary was even complaining about the stimulus as she wanted even more of that nonsense money to spread around for various groups that might support her.

    I was shocked yesterday to see Jon Corzine, gov of NJ, suddenly get religion and is actually going to try to CUT the NJ state budget by about 5-10%. Someone in government actually waking up to the government spending fest that nobody can afford. Major kudos. (his plan to jack tolls 50% every 4 years, that is another matter entirely !)

    That’s the problem w/ politics. Professional panderers beholden to special interests with no accountability beyond reelection and no experience (most of them) in actually doing or running anything like a business.

  577. LO means Long option also here Caller ?? YES
    SO means Short option also here Cover ?? YES

    2X means ? buy/sell more, twice as many ?? YES, double down

    leave open ? means, have 2x LO and 1x SO ?? I don’t know

    XXX means ??? Highly recommended

    Cover means SO YES
    Caller means LO YES

    MO play ??? Momentum play

    take off cover means buy back SO YES

  578. Opt – if you have the money go with the Leica. Fast, functional, and durable. Plus in the camera world, you’re known as “the professional” with this.

    In the Camera industry you can’t have your cake and eat it too. So it’s two of the three: Performance, Size, Great Photos.

    Canon is also a brand you should try. They’re usually very functional when you’re in a jam for time.

  579. Opt:

    Demetrius has ancient views on this matter, he might be young though: Leica has long been outclassed by NIKON and CANON.
    in fact they make the best SLRs and also snapshot light digital cameras.

    Stay with the best.

    I have German connections but I do not recommend German Leica.


  580. OPt amd DMM:

    its just the name yoy pay for, like Mercedes car.


  581. OPT:

    LEXUS is a better car, NIKON is the best camera (just look whar pros use )


  582. AIG … earnings not good.

    Hooray for Mrs. Optrader !! Mejico it is !
    Opt you are amazing … that EOG play was excellent and so obvious; I froze for some reason b/c I was just watching the power of that blast off. dumb of me.

    Phil why was X up ? What was your comment about China & X all about.
    Need to know b/c I shorted at 115.

  583. I have always heard that Nikon’s were the best also.

  584. Oh, and I like Santelli a lot.

    And its hilarious watching him and Leisman fight.

    It also seems that most of the CNBC talking heads can’t stand Gasparino.

  585. we have a leica microscope to look at things about 5+ microns across. they’re great scopes, but temperature (4 deg C) can screw with the optics and fine/coarse gears. also, customer service was not too great for such a pricey instrument.

    but all in all, it’s a good scope and problems were fixed.

  586. Cap, I was able to get myself into a good cash position, just hoping I don’t have to decide to chase a gap in the morning.

    Windy, Bosch is great until it breaks, then you are screwed as their customer service blows. (My dad owns an appliance store).

    And no offense if that was a trade brought up here, but selling the March 130′s is A VERY BAD IDEA unless you are daytrading them. Holding those will be toxic to your cash levels. I will probably buy those everyday for the next week as a day-trade until we get to 140, then I will switch.

    Cap and xian, please make sure that if you have stock stuff to talk about that it is in a different post than your nightly political debates because I just skip right over those. LOL

    Optrader, buy a good point and shoot for your vacations and such. If you want to get into Photography (and lug a case), buy an SLR, and buy good lenses off craigslist and such. Lenses are what makes photos look like photographs. It isn’t as much the CCD, it is how well that piece of glass can focus photons on the pixels. Great lenses make normal photos into art. Don’t know if anything has changed in the last few years, but last time I checked Canon had the best CCD’s in the business. Peter would know better.

    I wish someone would do a Rick Santelli rundown. Just his clips from the day. And Art Cashin when he gets on. Plus, the old FDIC guy that looks like Archie Bunker.

  587. santelli- CNBC ran a clip of him yelling something like “…dropping rates and the wealthy refinance their high quality debt while the middle class pays more when they buy a loaf of bread or a tortilla…”

  588. Leica has good glass, but avoid the cameras. Too obscure. Nikon or Canon are your only choices, really. And they are both great so you aren’t losing anything.

  589. AAPL- if mark-up stuff happens, then they’re a great candidate to stir up some mo.

  590. DECK… that sounded like a good report, except I think they guided lower 1st Q. Deck getting a bit CROXed after hours.

    But, they guide to 25% YOY revenue growth.

    CROX guided to 35% YOY.

    CROX is at 9X forward P/E. 12.5 X trailing PE

    DECK is still very richly valued compared to CROX. 35X trailing PE

    I think only b/c its float is much smaller has it avoided getting pummelled by the shorts (too easy to squeeze).

  591. CROX- short ratio 4.9

  592. Last political comment tonite, I promise:

    Bono likes Bush and praises him publicly
    Bob Geldof … same.

    Why ? Something that the press is loathe to cover, lest any credit be given to Bush for anything:

    Geldoff: “It is some story. And I have always wondered why it was never told properly to the American people, who were paying for it. It was, for example, Bush who initiated the President’s Emergency Plan for AIDS Relief (PEPFAR) with cross-party support led by Senators John Kerry and Bill Frist. In 2003, only 50,000 Africans were on HIV antiretroviral drugs — and they had to pay for their own medicine. Today, 1.3 million are receiving medicines free of charge. The U.S. also contributes one-third of the money for the Global Fund to Fight AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria — which treats another 1.5 million. It contributes 50% of all food aid (though some critics find the mechanism of contribution controversial). On a seven-day trip through Africa, Bush announced a fantastic new $350 million fund for other neglected tropical diseases that can be easily eradicated; a program to distribute 5.2 million mosquito nets to Tanzanian kids; and contracts worth around $1.2 billion in Tanzania and Ghana from the Millennium Challenge Account, another initiative of the Bush Administration. ”

    more here:,8599,1717934,00.html

  593. Sorry I haven’t been around gents. Crazy times on the forex markets – crazy “good” though! Just so you all know, and in the interest of my bear-blood, the USD/JPY is hitting some bad lows – 104.65 right now. Bad sign for the markets to see the carry getting slammed this hard, so keep your wits about you.
    Also, hearing that Wachovia are in deeeeeeep trouble, just a rumour, so you know – take it or leave it. Could be a nice Put play in it though, and even discounting the rumour their chart looks U G L Y.

    Might be knocking around a bit tomorrow. See y’all then.

  594. No time to read any other comments, being that it’s 3AM here – just saw Cap’s post about GWB’s AIDS initiative and it is the shining light of his Presidency. Americans should be hugely proud of what it has achieved. AIDS in Africa is the single biggest disaster on Earth, close-run with child poverty but waaaaaay waaaaaay waaaaaaaaaaaaaay ahead of Global Warming (or is it cooling again these days..?)

  595. oh; just one more ….

    Abbas Proud of Past Terrorism, Won’t Rule Out Future Terrorism
    Thu, Feb 28, 2008
    Here’s Israel’s “partner in peace,” so-called “moderate” Fatah president Mahmoud Abbas, in some amazingly unguarded—meaning truthful—statements to a Jordanian daily: Abbas: ‘Armed resistance not ruled out’.

    PA President Mahmoud Abbas on Thursday said that he does not rule out returning to the path of armed “resistance” against Israel and took pride in the fact that he had been the first to fire on Israel and that his organization had trained Hizbullah.

    In an interview with the Jordanian daily al-Dustur, Abbas said that he was opposed to an armed struggle against Israel – for the time being.

    “At this present juncture, I am opposed to armed struggle because we cannot succeed in it, but maybe in the future things will be different,” he said.

    The PA president also expressed pride both in himself and in his organization, Fatah, for trailblazing the path of resistance.

    “I had the honor of firing the first shot in 1965 and of being the one who taught resistance to many in the region and around the world; what it’s like; when it is effective and when it isn’t effective; its uses, and what serious, authentic and influential resistance is,” Abbas said.

    “It is common knowledge when and how resistance is detrimental and when it is well timed,” he added. “We (Fatah) had the honor of leading the resistance and we taught resistance to everyone, including Hizbullah, who trained in our military camps.”


    now keep in mind, for those that look for justifications for terrorism; in 1965 when Abbas is so proud of kicking off Palestinian terrorism, there were no so called occupied territories. Egypt controlled Gaza; Jordan the West Bank; Israel did not control those territories until 1967 after the 6-day war.

  596. Anton; welcome back; thought you ran away during 4-day rally.

    Wachovia … I posted something about that a little earlier as well.

  597. Anton – crazy good is Good!

  598. Cap, that is one of two things Bush did that were worthwhile. The other was the immigration stance, not that that led to anything since he did it so late that he had no pull to get it done, but at least I agreed with his position.

  599. opt
    i agree, get a nikon. excellent choices in the nikon D series, lots to choose from. i also have a nikon coolpix p60, which is so small and light and fits in a pocket. not a serious camera, but i love it for it’s portability. i always have it on me. i only take the more serious camera out occassionally.

    TED presentations were very interesting.

  600. FRE –

    UBS sez fair market value is 50 cents.

    CSFB says fair book value is 46 cents. reported book value is 19.38.

    I imagine they are short FRE.

    just passing this on …

  601. RRM / Benz – That’s a very debatable comparison. I believe the germans are unbelievably brilliant in their engineering.

    Mercedes was the first with seat belts, Air bags, ABS, and the list goes on. I think there’s very little premium in their vehicles given the technology and development.

    Realistically, you should just try all the cameras. Whatever you’re happy with, keep it.

    I’ll summarize in another way that I’ve found, based on experience.

    Leica > Canon > Nikon

    Leica > Nikon > Canon

    Image Quality
    Canon > Leica Nikon

    Build Quality
    Leica > *insert gap here* > Canon Nikon.

    Bang for Buck
    Nikon (Cheapest) > Canon > Leica (Most Expensive)

    Canon > Leica > Nikon

    The wheel on canon’s SLRs come in very handy.

  602. Personally I think Canon’s have really nice saturation in their photos, and Nikons come out a bit blue for my taste… just my two cents.

  603. I just found this somewhere else … I thought it was pretty funny; hope you do too. And I don’t necessarily agree w/ all of them, but some were spot on, like #17. And please don’t flame me; just having fun !

    Requirements of a good Democrat:

    1. You have to be against capital punishment, but support abortion
    on demand.

    2. You have to believe that businesses create oppression and
    governments create prosperity.

    3. You have to believe that guns in the hands of law-abiding
    Americans are more of a threat than U.S. Nuclear weapons technology
    in the hands of Chinese and North Korean communists.

    4. You have to believe that there was no art before Federal funding.

    5. You have to believe that global temperatures are less affected
    by cyclical documented changes in the earth’s climate and more
    affected by soccer moms driving SUV’s.

    6. You have to believe that gender roles are artificial but being
    homosexual is natural.

    7. You ha ve to believe that the AIDS virus is spread by a lack of
    federal funding.

    8. You have to believe that the same teacher who can’t teach
    fourth graders how to read is somehow qualified to teach those same
    kids about sex.

    9. You have to believe that hunters don’t care about nature, but
    loony activists who have never been outside of San Francisco do.

    10. You have to believe that self-esteem is more important than
    actually doing something to earn it.

    11. You have to believe that Mel Gibson spent $25 million of his
    own money to make “The Passion of the Christ” for financial gain only.

    12. You have to believe the NRA is bad because it supports certain
    parts of the Constitution, while the ACLU is good because it supports
    certain parts of the Constitution.

    13. You have to believe that taxes are too low, but ATM fees are
    too high.

    14. You have to believe that Margaret Sanger and Gloria Steinem
    are more important t o American history than Thomas Jefferson, Thomas
    Edison, and A.G. Bell.

    15. You have to believe that standardized tests are racist, but
    racial quotas and set-asides are not.

    16. You have to believe that Hillary Clinton is normal and is a
    very nice person.

    17. You have to believe that the only reason socialism hasn’t
    worked anywhere it’s been tried is because the right people haven’t
    been in charge.

    18. You have to believe conservatives telling the truth belong in
    jail, but a liar and a sex offender belonged in the White House.

    19. You have to believe that homosexual parades displaying drag,
    transvestites, and bestiality should be constitutionally protected,
    and manger scenes at Christmas should be illegal.

    20. You have to believe that illegal Democrat Party funding by the
    Chinese Government is somehow in the best interest to the United

    21. You have to believe that this message is a part of a vast,
    right wing conspiracy.

    22. You have to believe that it’s okay to give Federal workers the
    day off on Christmas Day but it’s not okay to say “Merry Christmas.

  604. 23. You have to believe that there is a serious lack of Right Wing comedic writers.

  605. foto, Beth,
    Yes – dividend & Deep in the money were the problem + mismanagement of the calls.

  606. lol that was pretty good cap.

  607. i do good cut & paste DM !

    g’nite all.

  608. Good Morning everyone.

    UK flat an hour into trading. $ a little stronger against the £

    US futures based on Frankfurt also flat.

    Dells results seem to have puzzled the after hours traders. (Down, Up, Down, Flat)

  609. Asia Markets : Friday, February 29, 2008

    (The following is from WSJ; please cross check with other sources to confirm.)



    Hong Kong*


    DJ Shanghai*






    Baltic Dry Index (BDI)
    +33 7332

    * at close
    Sources: Dow Jones, Reuters

  610. Morning DB

  611. Good Morning Ramana.

    Mixed bag in Asia I see. Should be an interesting day in the US. Not many Feb 29th to compare with :-)

  612. Oil surpasses $103 for first time
    Oil prices surpassed $103 a barrel for the first time Friday as persistent weakness in the U.S. dollar and the prospect of lower interest rates attracted fresh money to the oil market.

    Investors chose to see the comments as confirmation of their beliefs that the Fed will continue cutting interest rates to try to shore up the economy.
    Lower U.S. interest rates tends to weaken the dollar, and crude futures offer a hedge against a falling dollar. “Due to the weakening dollar and the rising fear of inflation, investors have put money into commodities, oil included,” said Victor Shum, an energy analyst with Purvin & Gertz in Singapore. “Commodities, as tangible assets, do not face as much inflationary threat as opposed to holding a currency,” Shum said. “Even though the value of money is changing, the asset continues to have an intrinsic value.”

    Light, sweet crude for April delivery jumped to a new trading record of $103.05 a barrel in Asian electronic trading on the New York Mercantile Exchange before slipping back to $102.79 a barrel, up 20 cents, midafternoon in Singapore.

    On Thursday, the contract jumped $2.95 to settle at a record $102.59 a barrel.

    Shum warned that a price bubble was emerging in the crude futures market as investors ignored market fundamentals that have shown continuous increases in U.S. crude supply while several recent forecasters have lowered oil demand growth predictions for this year due to the slowing economy.

    The Japanese government on Friday urged the oil cartel OPEC to increase output to help ease record prices.

    “The high crude prices are gradually damaging the global economy. This will damage the economies of oil-producing countries,” Minister of Economy, Trade and Industry Akira Amari said. The Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries holds its next policy meeting on March 5. It is likely to decide to keep current production levels unchanged, or even cut production, according to reported comments by OPEC President Chakib Khelil. Khelil noted that oil inventories were growing, and that the recent rally in oil prices has been driven by the U.S. dollar’s weakness and speculative trades amid geopolitical risks.

    In other Nymex trading, heating oil rose 0.82 cent to $2.8538 a gallon while natural gas futures added 0.1 cent to $9.444 per 1,000 cubic feet.

    In London, Brent crude futures rose 9 cents to $100.99 a barrel on the ICE Futures exchange.

    Gold hits record near 980 usd/oz as dollar slumps; platinum jumps
    Gold hit a record near 980 usd on a weak dollar, inflation fears, keen investor interest for commodities and the perception that bullion acts as a hedge against weak equity markets.

    Analysts reckon the key psychological 1,000 usd per ounce could be breached as soon as today as such factors are set to remain. Elsewhere across the whole commodities sector, raw materials were strong. Oil, for instance, was close to a record near 103 usd per barrel.

    At 8.59 am, the precious metal was trading at 971.95 usd per ounce against 965.20 usd in late New York trade yesterday. This morning, gold rose to a record of 976.13 usd per ounce.

    A weak dollar, which today remained close to record lows seen yesterday, encourages US investors to turn to gold because the metal is known for holding its value. It also prompts foreign investors to buy the dollar-denominated metal, because the cost is not as high for those with stronger currencies.

    Higher oil prices, meanwhile, spur investment into the metal as an inflation hedge.

    Meanwhile, platinum bounced back impressively and was at 2,155 against 2,140 usd an ounce in late New York trades yesterday, The metal, used extensively in catalysts and jewellery manufacturing, had dropped to 2,085 yesterday on profit taking.

    Platinum has risen sharply since the end of January, when state power utility Eskom caused a five-day closedown of mines after warning it could not guarantee electricity supply unless usage was cut. Eskom later told miners that electricity supply would be kept at only 90 pct of usual requirements until 2012.

    Meanwhile, platinum’s sister metal palladium rose to 575 usd this morning against 574 usd in late New York trades yesterday. Silver was up at 19.73 usd from 19.62 usd per ounce yesterday.
    Euro keeps climbing against dollar, hits US$1.5238
    The euro continued its rapid climb to new highs against the dollar on Friday, hitting US$1.5238 in early European trading.

    The dollar has been plagued by uncertainty about the course of the U.S. economy even after U.S. Federal Reserve Bank chief Ben Bernanke said Thursday that the American economy was not “anywhere near” the dangerous situation of the 1970s.

    The euro’s peak Friday was above the previous all-time high of US$1.5229 that it reached on Thursday.
    In midmorning trading, the euro subsided slightly to US$1.5203 from the US$1.5215 it bought in late New York trading Thursday.
    “The dollar looks set to finish the month with yet more downside pressure being heaped upon it,” said Gary Thomson of CMC Markets in London.
    The British pound fell to US$1.9871 from US$1.9926. The dollar dipped to 104.39 Japanese yen from 105.36 yen in New York the night before.

    Lower interest rates can jump-start a nation’s economy, but can weigh on its currency as traders transfer funds to countries where they can earn higher returns.

  613. Look at Gold and dollar and Oil!

  614. A interesting story this morning . Advertisers not all doom and gloom…

    … they would see a slowdown before most surely ? And Dells results really did confuse, yet most pieces this morning are negative. There was an interesting take on CNBCs website , Mr Goldman seems well confused ….

  615. dude!!!

    Financial Firms Face $600 Billion of Losses, UBS Says (Update1)

    By Abigail Moses

    Feb. 29 (Bloomberg) — Financial firms are likely to face at least $600 billion of losses as the crisis triggered by the collapse of subprime mortgages batters banks, brokers and insurers, UBS AG analysts said in a report today.

    Financial institutions have disclosed more than $160 billion of writedowns and credit losses. Banks and brokers stand to lose $350 billion, according to estimates from UBS’s global banking team.

    “We have to recognize the risk that the economy will suffer more damage than what consensus suggests,” wrote Geraud Charpin, head of European credit strategy at UBS in London. “All the investment schemes that have been built on the basis of a strong and resilient economic backdrop have to be unwound/ scaled down.”

  616. Phil,
    EK in 25 KP:
    DD @ .1 still OK?