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Friday Already?

What an exciting week this has been.

I'm very bullish today after hearing Obama's speech last night (and here's a cool view of it) as it's very exciting to have the prospect of a leader who can actually inspire people.  Whether you agree with the guy or not, he's a great orator and we could really use a President who can rally people to a cause and make this country great again.  I've said for a long time that what we mainly have wrong with this economy is a crisis of leadership as it would not take much action to fix housing and energy issues – just the conviction to do something about it.

Without leadership, fear drives the markets and the hyenas use fear to manipulate stocks because it's easy to stampede a populace that is treated like sheep by their leaders.  Yesterday the sheep were herded out of AAPL as Bloomberg "accidentally" published Steve Jobs' obituary.  You would think this sort of nonsense would prompt a very serious SEC investigation but apparently Bloomberg get's to say "oops" and no one even asks who published the story, who edited the story, who OK'd the story (or do things in Bloomberg just randomly get published all the time?) and who those people are getting checks or gifts from.  Despite being obviously false, this allows the hyenas to churn rumors through their usual outlets regarding Steve Jobs' health, which is now an issue again because he isn't dead.

Speaking of hyenas, we're still on hurricane watch as Tropical Storm Gustav is keeping hope alive in the oil patch.  I will again remind people that 2 consecutive hurricanes – Katrina and Rita, just one month apart, only spiked oil to $80 and then it fell back to the $50s and that was when the US consumed 5% more oil per day (1Mb).  This concept of hurricanes affecting the price of oil is another example of the crisis of leadership in this country.  Price gouging is clearly illegal during disasters yet not one investigation was conducted by this administration into the behavior of the US oil cartel during the storms that set this country on a path to $100 oil, which has cost US consumers alone and additional $1.4Tn (how much we've paid over $60 a barrel) over the past 3 years in addition to another $1Tn in ancillary inflation DESPITE THE FACT THAT WE USE LESS OIL NOW THAN IN 2005!

Since 1980 we've had major Gulf hurricanes: Allan, Elana, Gilbert, Roxanne, Allison, Isidore, Lili, Ivan (Labor Day 2004) – all of which had virtually no effect on the price of oil.  Speculators were able to turn storms into market moving events in 2005 and, ever since then, have played the annual "hurricane card" whenever they need a boost in the fall.  The US consumes 140M barrels of oil per week, the entire Gulf produces less than 2Mb per day of crude, we have 1,700 Million barrels of petroleum in storage as of last week – this is completely ridiculous and, beyond ridiculous, it's criminal and only under this administration have speculators been allowed to get away with the single largest gouging of the American consumer in history.

Asia ignored the nonsense in the oil patch this morning as the Hang Send rose 289 points and the Nikkei added 304, pushing above the critical 13,000 line on a very strong day.  Housing Starts (up 19% in July) and Industrial Production numbers in Japan were better than expected, sending steel and real estate shares climbing as the government unveiled a stimulus package.   "A series of domestic positive cues helped the Nikkei today, but the next Wall Street session will determine the path for the Nikkei next week," said Kenichi Hirano, operating officer at Tachibana Securities.  The Shanghai Composite held flat but still under the critical 250 mark.  The Chinese market is anticipating government action to support the markets – it will be very bad if this doesn't happen soon. 

[Moving in map]China did get some good news as they reached a $3Bn deal to develop oil fields in Iraq so, once again, mission accomplished boneheads!  This is a revival of a deal that was struck between Beijing and Saddam Hussein as deals with western companies, that were originally supposed to be completed in June, have fallen apart over political bickering and infighting with contractors that has sent Iraq's oil into the arms of the Chinese right under the nose of the Bush administration. China is also being courted by Russia's Medvedev for support for their political position in Georgia.   This will indeed be a great accomplishment for Bush's foreign policy if he can get Russia and China, historic enemies, to unite against us.

Europe is up about 1.5% ahead of our open, having liked what they saw in our markets yesterday.  Rising oil prices are keeping a lid on a big move but generally, things look well over there.  Russian Lukoil had a 64% rise in Q2 income as rising prices met with expanded output – a recipie that eludes the US oil cartel, who have cut production in order to cause those rising price and are being played for suckers as Russia and China continue to ramp up production at record paces. 

All these companies have access to the same global reserves, the big difference is that XOM, for example, spends 4 times more money on stock buybacks and dividends than they do on exploration and production versus NO money spent by Lukoil, CEO, PTR and others on stock buybacks or dividends.  There is global demand for oil so they follow the sensible business practice of producing more oil.  The only logical reason not to produce more oil is to create an artificial shortage and increase prices, the kind of criminal activity that can only be gotten away with in 21st centrury America.

We're off in the pre-markets as personal consumption dropped by 0.2% in July, much worse than the +0.2% expected.  Personal income dropped 0.7%, also worse than expected and this was the biggest drop since August 2005, a year we plunged in October (but then had a 2-year rally).  Of course we're coming off a 0.6% rise in consumption boosted by the stimulus checks so I don't think you can read too much into the consumption number but income is a big concern – but that's exactly what Obama was talking about last night, it's been going on for 8 years!  The PCE was also unpleasant at 4.5%, up from 4% in June (annualized).  Even excluding energy, the PCE is up 0.3%. 

I'm not too worried about that data unless we get confirmation next week, it's still all about the price of oil and any kind of positive day today would be a very good thing.



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  1. GM folks

  2. GD BBaller

  3. Good morning!

  4. Anyone looking at Google under $470? I am looking to pick some $470 calls for a swing play.

  5. Phil, any energy plays or are you covered ahead of the weekend?

  6. bballer22 – You can have mine :-(      They’ve given back all yesterday’s gains already !

  7. Sarah Palin? Not sure I like this pick.

  8. DB  – just watching it take a hit at the open but haven’t made up my mind yet. Apple looks tempting as well as FRE.

  9. bballer22 – GM not for me, if I were to place money into the auto sector it would go to Porsche or Ford.  Porsche because of their position with VW and Ford because of their ability to bring small cars to market faster then GM.  My .02.

    USO – Picked off another 20% on it overnite.(sometimes its better to be lucky then good) and now will wait for the monster short to develop.  Please MSM, send the pigs to slaughter…

  10. Things starting to turn green..

  11. GOOG/Bballer – If you are going to play it from scratch, maybe go to October as this push down has been relentless.

    Energy/Harvey – Well I took those USOs yesterday and I’m out today, that was a nice chunk of change already.  The hurricane will be over by the time the market reopens so I doubt it will have much effect unless it turns into some kind of crazy killer storm that wipes out a city. 

    They are floating Sarah Palin as VP, probably a good choice as it solidifys the drill, drill, drill promise to the oil lobby and also makes an appeal to disenfranchised Hillary voters.  Listen to CNBC pump her up!

    Markets holding up very well so far other than SOX, which are taking a beating.

    MDT making a move, a few airlines going up, Goldman flying, telcos moving, HOV recovering quickly.

    No real strenght in oil patch to back up BS rise in crude, this could be fun next week.

  12. Wow, an oil bull on CNBC pushing E&P companies, what a refreshing change on a Friday morning…

  13. HOV

  14. BA and TASR surprisingly green.

  15. This guy reminds me of Dana Carvey on Saturday Night Live when he played the spokesman for the tobacco company that lied all the time…

  16. Analyst cut estimates on GOOG due to "Currency Headwinds"  !!!!!

  17. LVS and other casinos still going strong, NYX off the floor, UNH is getting interesting, AAPL considering turning green.  Solars making a comeback.

    Oil majors turning red, miners still falling although gold is holding on.

    Wow, Consumer Sentiment at 63, just over expectations but Chicago PMI was a blowout at 57 (50 expected) .  I now declare any selling to be silly!

  18. Phil – check this out:
    Looks like she may be it?

  19. I think Pahlin is a good choice. Aside from the fact that she will bring some disenfranchised Hillary folks into the camp, she is also a very principled conservative. She has a very strong record on Abortion (she was give the option to abort her Down’s Syndrome child and refused), which should excite the conservative base (McCain has failed to do so). She’s young (goes good with McCains age), conservative, and as a former Miss Alaska contestant, she’s not that bad to look at either!
    I think she is a good pick. No politics in this post, just commenting on his pick.

  20. Phil- what do you think of FNM here as a daytrade?

  21. CNBC – Trying hard to get the pigs in the pen…  Where’s T-Boone and the GS spokespeople, they can do better then this plastic talking toy!

  22. JB – Purple Please!

  23. Phil – I think they’re being silly !

  24. Phil, do you still like PCX short?

  25. GOOG – Anyone a good GOOG trader?  I’ve been hoping to get in around these levels and was wondering what plays look attractive?  I don’t trade it enough to be good at it. I was thinking about buying the Jan 09 470 leaps and waiting for the rebound to sell front-month?  Thanks.

  26. HOV is UP

  27. I think Apple has a big issue w/ 3G.  I dont know whose fault it is AT&T or Apple.  I have 2 Iphones one for the wife and one for myself.  I tested it a few times.  Side by Side the Edge network loads a website like in 30 seconds and on 3G it takes good 2 minutes.  I had my buddy do the same test on his iphones and he was shocked to see on the Edge its a lot faster.

  28. ci69f – I have Apple 3G in the UK on O2 and its fantastic. Really fast – no drop outs and nearly seemless when switching between 3G and Wi-Fi. So my take would be its AT&T

  29. I heard before from someone else 3G in UK is super fast.

  30. AAPL / ci69fc – Here is a great article that goes into great technical depth on APPL / T ‘s 3G problems.  I’ve posted here about my negative sentiment about the iPhone here and the problems I have had with reception, but this article leads me to believe they are getting it worked out:  Report: AT&T Source Explains Exact Technical Details of iPhone 3G Problems

  31. the pig (GOOG that is) keeps falling!! At this rate it could be pinned to 420 or so for sep options exp.

  32. Who should I direct questions regarding subscription to the site to? Thx…

  33. Phil- What do you think about a USO strangle? Or is there a better vehicle? It would seem like there will be a big move one way or the other by Tuesday.

  34. MJ – FWIW, Greatest Pain for GOOG Sept is way up at 490.  I do not play GOOG often but this is getting darn tempting…

  35. David, we have 3 more weeks to go. So max pain number can easily get lower if someone buys a ton a calls at 460 or below strike

  36. Horsemen just came under huge attack, Qs fell below 47 – someone is dead determined to keep this market down but they can’t keep it up for 3 weeks so what is the game plan? – it is amazing how fast they can get something like that up isn’t it?

    FNM/FRE/Cbtc – No thanks!  They could still be attacked over the weekend with some new nonsense.  The people who are trying to take them over aren’t going to roll over and give up just because they had a bad week.  If they really tank, then I’d say yes to a day trade but they could go either way at this level.

    Damn, this is annoying, lots of selling going on but I think we can look at oil back at $118 as the culprit, up $3 from yesterday usually costs us 100 Dow points.  I got out of my USO calls already, I didn’w want to see if they could hit $120 and my longs are covered with those DIA puts so I’m glad I didn’t buy them for nothing.  I will want to cover into a rally if we get one but I think trading will be all over after lunch today.  Volume at the moment is VERY low.  Total lack of buyers as buyers have no reason to hang around, they know they can buy on Tuesday but sellers are worried this is their last chance…

    PCX – Yes, I’m still short on them.  They are one of those stocks you have to roll up and follow until they collapse. 

    GOOG/Jefree – that’s a good plan but well worth the extra $10 to go to March.

    IPhone/Ci69 – I know they did a software update but apparently the network was nowhere near prepared for the load being put on it by the IPhones.  I’m wondering if AAPL is doing this to T on purpose to push them into a contract default that will let AAPL move to other providers sooner than contracted because there is no possible way T can keep up with what looks like 6M 3G Iphones on the market in just 2 months.  Personally, I’m happy with my original IPhone, I looked at the new one and didn’t like the new case and I hate to buy the first release of anything (I waited a few months to get the IPhone).

    Subscriptions/Joseph – admin@philstockworld,com

    USO strangle/Cbtc – not a bad idea.

  37. Good ‘ol Jim Rogers:
    Doesn’t like either candidate at all and says the government should let FRE and FNM and all banks fail.

  38. MJ – you make a good point and I think 3 weeks is a lot of time for the stock to make a move. Google can very well be over $500 or under $400 in that time span. But given the recent improvement in economic indicators, what are the chances of google to break down. Now unless google comes out and tells everyone that they are having issues. Don’t forget, we might get a good ramp into the Google Andriod launch. Does anyone have a date, I recall reading early september as the possible launch?

  39. Jim Rogers, why does he care about USA? I thought by now he was a Chinese citizen :-)

  40. GOOG – We’re testing Wednesday’s low at $465, holding it would be good, failing would be bad…

  41. GOOG, I think the currency issue does make sense on these big techs such as GOOG, HP, AMZN, etc. Not all big techs are alike, there are some who didn’t benefit AT ALL with the dollar being down, so they will continue to roll.

  42. Jim Rogers cares because if FRE and FNM don’t fail or if Obama gets elected and chooses to reign in government spending and revalue the dollar then his massive bet on China and commodities (which is really a bet on the downfall of the US) will be destroyed and he’s too old to be broke in China.

  43. Glad I covered on some stuff yesterday. But my DIA puts didnt fill yesterday. Bought this morning at a bad price, and sold out of them a few mins ago. Will re-enter on a surge.

    Very happy I got out of FRE yesterday at a slight profit. Not very happy with MRVL, and DD’d down to .40 on the Sep 15′s.

  44. Phil,
    Here are the record creation dates for that domain.

    Record created on 2008-01-29 19:08:47.Record expires on 2009-01-29 19:08:47.

  45. GOOG – Android rumored out in either September or October. Nobody’s really sure. I’m actually starting to look at the SDK, looking for a killer-app to write. Maybe an interface to with trade alerts?

  46. Another one that could be affected with the rising dollar is PCP. Need to check the number, but I think they get close to 90% of the revenues from rest of the world.

  47. GOOG’s low was 461.71 on 8/4, 465.67 on 8/27
    this has got to be at or near a low i think/hope

    also, article this morning about GOOG and a YHOO deal

  48. Jim Rogers – supposedly he has had very large short positions on FRE/FNM for at least a year. You would think that having already seen them decimated, he would have declared victory and at least significantly reduced his exposure

  49. What did you say yesterday PHil ? Double down on GOOG when you’ve lost half untill you feel sick – then it’ll go up 50 pts ? I feel ill – is that worth 20pts ?

  50. DB, it doesn’t work like that. You have it sell it only then it will zoom up! Experienced it several times myself :-)

  51. IWM – buy NOV 75/sell SEP QTR 75 @ 1.55 debit. This calendar has a slight upside bias that balances some other IWM stuff already in place.

  52. I know we aren’t talking politics but I think that seals McCain’s fate…just goes to show that he has poor judgement.  I thought the media was being unfair to McCain and I like him personally but to spend the next several weeks explaining who she is with the election only months away was a foolish choice. 

    At the very least he should have chosen someone like Kay Bailey Hutchinson who at least has some name recognition.

  53. I have a hard time believing GOOG will go much lower, but I’m not that good at charts

  54. Phil i am in the GOOG Sept 490′s. Had a bit of an emegency this week adn forgat about the position. Obviously stupid in my part.  Picked the option up when stock was at 483.  CUt the loss? DD? Roll??

  55. So, Phil, please yell at me for selling the DIA puts. They are COVERS, and are expected to lose money if the market is stable or moving up.

    But to be fair I got in at what I thought was a not-so-great price. Didnt get my fill yesterday at 2.10 for the Sep 117′s, but filled today at 2.32. Does someone have a pointer to how to choose the right put strike & price?

  56. I’m back to full covers. Not going to lose the gains from yesterday. I may give some up tomorrow by doing that, but oh well. Seems like everyone is selling the rallies.

  57. I wonder if the markets will get a bump when McCain makes his pick official…

  58. Phil – Same observations on IPhone, I have heard a lot of complaints from my Canadian Friends regarding battery issue as well as call dropping. I am not sure if this is their IPhone telco Rogers issue or Apple but certianly makes you wonder. I am still using the original Iphone (bought last December after the launch) and am very satisfied with the device.

  59. LOL Fred! I guess he lost your vote huh!

  60. Pailin – other than being female what does she bring to the ticket? Seriously asking – I never heard of her before. Biden is generally recognized as being one of the better foreign affairs senators so there seems to be a little logic behind his choice. On the other hand, if being female is the logic for McCain then that seems like pandering and I wonder if a lot of women voters will find that insulting.

  61. CNBC and Fox share similar opinions. Rupert Murdoch should buy CNBC which will be a good consolidation. They will get Larry Kudlow and the moron Cramer for free :-)
    We can even get Eric Boling on Fast Money again :-)

  62. AAPL had held 171.60 line three times… now broken.

  63. DanW – From Phil in July..

    Rule number one in selecting an index put is have at least 45 days.  We could take September but, at this point I’d rather see October.  Since it’s 11 weeks away, rahter than look for rolls at .40, I’m going to look to roll up $1 for .50 so, logically, the position I choose is the first position that can NOT be rolled up for .50 or less, that would be the Oct $117 puts at $6.38 as the $116 puts are $5.85 (-.53) and the $118 puts are $6.97 (+.59).  More importantly the $119 puts are $7.60 (+$1.22), the $120 puts are $8.23 (+$1.85) and the $121 puts are $8.93 (+$2.55) so a 400 point drop will net me $2.55 profit and a 300 point drop will net me $1.85 off the Oct $117s.
    So assuming roughly a $2 gain, if I want to cover 1/2 of my projected $30,000 loss of a 300-point drop then I need 75 contracts but let’s say 100 for for $63,800.  On the downside, a 300-point gain will drop me to the level of the Oct $114 puts and they are $4.88 (down $1.50) so I will lose $11,500 on a run up.  Since I lost $30,000 on the way down I can assume I’ll make $30,000 on the way back up so getting my portfolio back to even on a 300-point run up will cost me $11,500. 
    Now I can look to offset that $11,500 loss by covering with current puts.  Question 1:  How low do I think the Dow can go?  Let’s say I’m pretty sure 11,800 will hold (500 points down).  My main goal of protection is 11,000 even and the Aug $111 puts just so happen to be $1.44, which is almost exactly what I would lose on my longs if we head up 300 points!  Also, since my Oct $117 puts have $3 in premium with 3 months left (about) this $1.44 will more than cover my premium loss so also perfect! 
    If the Dow goes up 300, I get my $30,000 back on my main positions and remain neutral with my puts.  If the Dow goes down 300, my puts gain $20,000, offsetting 2/3 of my probably losses AND it’s still not enough to put my caller in the money (and he can be rolled down to the Sept $106 puts even anyway, which is why it’s nice to have an extra month between you).

  64. been day trading DIA calls/puts. Bought some puts yesterday, but DIA not down much. Will sell them by EOD.

  65. GGOG about to start another leg down. No buyers anywhere.

  66. Thanks PharmBoy!

    Saved to my Phil’s clips file I keep on my desktop…

  67. Joseph

    Not to mention that many women will resent the "former Miss Alaska contestant beauty queen" tag.  On  the other hand that will be appealing to middle-aged men. 

    Did you watch the Democratic convention? It seemed that everytime they zoomed in on the crowd it was some…how do I say it??? not very attractive, extremely overweight woman.

  68. Palin

    And one more point….what happens if McCain dies and she needs to deal with the North Koreans or Iran.  Here’s my bet….they’ll come up with some nude photos of her when she was younger and danced at the Great Alaskan Bush Company, which is probably where she met her husband who she calls "the dude"….good god what the hell was McCain thinking?  The guy really is senile. 

    Checking out for a while.

  69. Interesting that UNP is making 52-week highs.

    Oil is now destroying the market along with AAPL, GOOG etch getting taken down.  Funny how easy it is to move this market 100 points, just a few years ago a 100-point move made headlines, now it’s a day trade… 

    We’re holding 12,600 and 1,285 and 2,350 and 8,400 on the NYSE so I’m having a hard time getting all worked up about this.  Mostly naked LTP took a 7% hit so I’m not too worried yet.  I’m not thinking it’s likely that we’ll come in Tuesday to a massive disaster that takes us back down but feel free to give me scenarios if that’s what you see, good thing to discuss I think…

    1/29/JB – Thas is VERY interesting.  Does it say who registered?

    PCP/MJ – Good thought but oddly they are miles up the past 2 days.  This currency thing is nonsense, the dollar has floated at this level since Aug 15th and GOOG is down $50 since then but they are also down over $250 since last Fall, when the dollar was higher than this.

    LOL DB – I did say at the beginning of this play that the trading range was $460 to $540, we’re just waiting to see that top half!

    Stupid options trick of the day:  If you are really worried about a position like GOOG dying on you, you can set up a ratio spread to cover up your problem area.  For example, I can cover GOOG from $450 to $470 by setting up this put spread that has a big downside below $440 but pays off well where we are now and has very little penalty if GOOG does go back up like I truly believe it will.  The downside is this is expensive to set up but a great tool in portfolio margin accounts:

    Buy 10 GOOG SEP 2008 490 Put (.GOPUK) $30.60 $30,600.00
    Sell -30 GOOG SEP 2008 460 Put (.GOPUL) $12.20 ($36,600.00)
    Buy 20 GOOG SEP 2008 430 Put (.GOPUF) $3.50 $7,000.00

    $390.00 ($31,000)
    $410.00 ($31,000)
    $430.00 ($31,000)
    $445.50 $0
    $450.00 $9,000
    $470.00 $19,000
    $489.00 $0
    $490.00 ($1,000)
    $510.00 ($1,000)

  70. DAN W thats a great idea to have a phil folder on your desktop

  71. Stupid Options Tricks of the day – Excellent lessons – Thnks

  72. Looks like Agri plays are getting dumped as well or atleast POT. Is it just me or you folks are also getting the feel that someone wants to keep markets within certain range for big players to join the game next week.

  73. Phil,
    Additional info…the "Data As Of" date is interesting too. It is entirely possible that someone registered that domain name in January and then sold it to McCain when he needed it. That person may have registered all "mcaain%current-governor% names and then simply waited to see if one paid off (like a Butterfly in options…low risk big reward).

    Current Registrar:

    IP Address: (ARIN & RIPE IP search)

    IP Location:

    Record Type:
    Domain Name

    Server Type:
    Apache 2

    Lock Status:

    Web Site Status:

    no listings

    Y! Directory:
    see listings

    Web Site Title:
    McCain-Palin 2008: John McCain – Sarah Palin 2008



    Traffic Ranking:
    Not available

    Data as of:

  74. HPQ has been kicking butt in selling PC’s.  How could anyone think that Dell’s numbers would be good.  Now I read that their results were part of the sell off.  Everyone keeps changing to the other side of the boat on any news.

  75. And some more info showing a more recent change in July of this year:

    Domain Name: MCCAINPALIN.COM Registrar: NEW DREAM NETWORK, LLC Whois Server: Referral URL: Name Server: NS1.DREAMHOST.COM Name Server: NS2.DREAMHOST.COM Name Server: NS3.DREAMHOST.COM Status: clientTransferProhibited Updated Date: 01-jul-2008 Creation Date: 29-jan-2008 Expiration Date: 29-jan-2009>>> Last update of whois database: Fri, 29 Aug 2008 09:21:33 UTC <<<

  76. UK just closed up 0.65%. The FTSE managed to stay above 5600 at the end of the months trading. Which , despite the state of our economy, has to be very good indeed.

  77. Since when is DELL a leader of tech stocks. I would put DELL in the same category of perenial losers as MOT, YHOO and JAVA.
    Does anyone still use a DELL computer? HP is much better.

  78. MRVL taking it in the wazoo today.

  79. It is kinda X-Files like though that that particular domain name was registered way back in January (queue X-Files Music). :)

  80. phil
    i’m looking at GOOG charts and wondering about a big downtick in after hours trading yesterday from 4:50 to 5:00 pm, which was rather quickly reversed.
    what does something like that represent?

  81. Phil,
    Re: the buying of the domain and then sellig it back to McCain, we also have this one:

    Registrant: local Business Services 1321 s. western skies dr. gilbert, Arizona 85296 United States Registered through:, Inc. ( Domain Name: MCCAINROMNEY.COM Created on: 23-Dec-07 Expires on: 23-Dec-08 Last Updated on: 23-Dec-07 Administrative Contact: graham, Terry local Business Services 1321 s. western skies dr. gilbert, Arizona 85296 United States (480) 247-6539 Technical Contact: graham, Terry local Business Services 1321 s. western skies dr. gilbert, Arizona 85296 United States (480) 247-6539 Domain servers in listed order: NS19.DOMAINCONTROL.COM NS20.DOMAINCONTROL.COM

  82. Registrant:
    local Business Services
    1321 s. western skies dr.
    gilbert, Arizona 85296
    United States

    Registered through:, Inc. (
    Created on: 23-Dec-07
    Expires on: 23-Dec-08
    Last Updated on: 23-Dec-07

    Administrative Contact:
    graham, Terry
    local Business Services
    1321 s. western skies dr.
    gilbert, Arizona 85296
    United States
    (480) 247-6539

    Technical Contact:
    graham, Terry
    local Business Services
    1321 s. western skies dr.
    gilbert, Arizona 85296
    United States
    (480) 247-6539

    Domain servers in listed order:

  83. anyone have RIMM news ?
    doug kass on realmoney silver was shorting it yest over some accounting irregularities – the way they book revenue.

  84. Phil – Is your political site active?

  85. There’s also a,,,….you get the point.  I suspect folks just go out and blanket the possibilities.  Interestingly, the only one that I couldn’t find was  I would have thought for sure that someone would have bet that Phil would take the #2 job.  :-)

  86. Joseph – You are doing a great job managing those IWMs, thanks very much for posting the sequence!

    GOOG $490s/Shahir – I’d spend the $7 to roll and DD, this whole dip today is probably a huge buying opportunity.  If you are worried over the weekend you can cover with some long puts (that won’t get too burned on the way up) or you can even sell the $480s for $9+ as long as that plus the $10 spread is enough to get you even if the position gets away from you to the upside (and, of course, there are always partial covers).  Currently, 75% of the DTP is committed to the $470s naked, so that tells you how I feel about it…

    DIA/Dan – Sold covers?  We need to talk about this over the weekend.  The idea is to take Oct/Nov covers and NOT sell them – you just roll and roll and roll.  What you sell is the front-month puts against them when there’s a good dip (like now I’m selling 2/3 the $116 puts XXX) as you will absolutely get the premium and, if you time it right, you will collect enought profits to roll yourself to higher puts, which give you MORE COVER FOR FREE allowing you to let your other calls run naked.

    Listen to Maria say 11 BILLION barrels of oil in Alaska like it’s the holy grail of energy solutions.  That is 137 days of global consumption.  Over a 20-year drill cycle that works out to 6 days a year or  1.6% of global production (assuming that doesn’t go up).  Meanwhile, the same idiots who say drill, drill, drill is vital say that releasing 5Mb a week from the SPR, which would be 3.5% of US consumption, would have no measurable effect on the price of crude.  Oil is fungable, it doesn’t matter whether or not it is taken out of the ground in Alaska or Iran, it only serves to benefit the companies who get to sell it for whatever amount of time they have at it.  As usual, the media plays off the massive ignorance of the American public in dealing with any number over 1,000 – and that is thanks to that same media lobbying to remove requirements that a certain portion of each day’s content have educational value like it had to when those damn liberals were in charge…

    Meanwhile, oil pulled back $1 to $117.

    Cool, thanks PharmBoy – that saves me a lot of work!

    ROFL Fred!  I feel your pain, I’m getting elated text and emails from my political buddies, they are ecstatic with Palin, it doubles the chance of people vetoing the ticket over a critical gaffe and, obviously, she will get shredded on foreign policy, which brings McCain’s age and health very much in focus, something he could have avoided with a more substanative pick.  Also, she’s bringing no electoral votes to the table.  Anyway, will be happy to discuss over the weekend but just want to let you guys know that I’ve never seen these guys so happy…

    JB – That’s brilliant.  Even if that’s not what happened that is certainly something we can do for the next election.  It’s like $10 per domain right so we can cover 50 governors and 50 senators for $1,000 plus maybe 50 likely reps for $500.  Totally great plan…  I guess we can start by picking up all the likely XXX2012 domains right now.

    HPQ/Steve – Good point, it’s like Coke reporting a 5% bump in sales and everyone being shocked that PEP is in decline.  DELL’s sales were actually not bad but they had to discount deeply to get them which just goes to show you how solid HPQ is right now.  Fact of the matter is DELL has let their high-end server line fall apart and HPQ is just a better choice for business.  They’ve already recovered but INTC is right where we want it for a BUYBUYBUY down here so that’s going to be 10 $22s in the $10KX and $25KP.  XXX

  87. Interesting action on the MRVL Sep 15 calls. They were being ‘released’ one at a time in 20-40 second intervals for a while, right on the 20′s,30′s and 40 second marks.

  88. Another thought on why Palin. Is it possible McCain was turned down by the likes of Romney, etc., because guys like that intend on running again some day, don’t believe McCain can win, and do not want their chances tainted?

  89. Phil – Yeah great plan, we need to make sure and use just republicans though as they are the only ones rich enough to make us a profit buying their domain name from us right!! I couldn’t resist!! :)

  90. Dells laptops are the best on the market.
    There are plenty of horror stories of the old Compaqs and Hp laptops.

  91. Dell is supposed to come out with an affordable 250-300 dollar laptop. Extrememly small. Basic use will be for internet and email. I think next year some time

  92. Oh I love it – story on CNBC that 4 (FOUR) wind turbines provide more than enough energy for a town of 1,300 and they are selling the excess.  Per our conversation yesterday, don’t you think we can find a spot for 1 windmill per 400 people in most of this country?

    GOOG/Windy – It was on 3,351 shares, not much to rely on but they do look smart now don’t they.  Often when you see a spike like that, after hours or duing a session, it’s because someone is testing the stops so they can set up a plan for running a sell program (if I sell 5,000 shares at market to find the next set of buyers, then I can decide how to dispose of my 95,000 other shares).  A lot of times trades to that to try to trigger sell stops before they start buying because, if I’m going to add 100,000 shares of GOOG at $465 then I might dump 5,000 first to hopefully trigger a sell-off so I can buy my 95,000 shares much cheaper.  Since I know I’m the one that casued the sell-off, I have no problem buying into the dip…

    XLF quietly sneaking back up, that could be very scary for the financial bears…

    McCain/Romney/JB – that’s interesting as it pre-dates the registration of the other one so perhaps those other guys just picked up whatever wasn’t taken.  I wonder what Terry Graham is willing to sell his site for today – might be worth buying as Palin may get rolled out over the weekend on some kind of backlash/scandal (I don’t think the press in Alaska really does a lot of digging).

    RIMM/Mark – LOL, that’s one of the most irregular companies on the market, has been for years so that’s not news, just an excuse.  When they were flying at the end of last year I was BS’ing over their fake numbers but no one seemed to care so I gave up on it.  They have been fantastic at bouncing off their 200 DMA since ’06 and that’s at $115 and I’ll be rolling my RIMMs down if they hold that line.

    Political/Bronek – We settled on just a "Political Post of the Week" which I put up on Monday and has actually been very quiet overall so not enough demand for a seperate section but it’s fantastic to keep the politics out of the daily post.   I have so much more time to answer questions and concentrate on the actual market…

    McCain/Davis – Like Palin, I would first want to know what the heck it is a Vice President is supposed to do.  I guess I could go immediately into hiding and hold secret meetings and plot wars but I’d be real embarrassed to tell kids what I do on "bring your daddy to school day."  8-)

    Wow, worse and worse, just reversing all of yesterdays gains now.

    That’s an interesting thought Joseph, perhaps they turned him down?

    Dell laptops aren’t the profit drivers though, it’s the corporate server market that has all the high-markup stuff.

  93. Phil, drilling and researching viable alternative energy resources are not mutually exclusive ,nor should they be.Are you intimating that we don’t have the ability to do both?Providing more  product on an interim basis while solving our long term requirements with alternative energy  sources.

  94. Dell doesn’t have the best laptops anymore either.  Dell used to have the best laptops.  HP used to suck, no longer.  I used to hate HP laptops, but have been recommending them to friends and family as of late as dell’s quality control took a massive dump in the last few years.  I personally use apple’s, but I can tell you I think hp has superior engineering to the current crop of dells

  95. rebelatl, you are one of the few persons who thinks Dell laptops are the best. I have always used the IBM and HP and they rock. Few friends had Dell, they had to give up on the Dell finally and end up buying a new HP or IBM. I think Dell laptops SUCK!!

  96. AMZN – Phil what do you think about rolling the 90 call down now in the 25KP?

  97. A big spike in GOOG volume.

  98. MJ – Dell Lattitude D8xx was chosen by IT as a model to be able to handle corp security. I also have bought this  laptop 2yrs ago w/Vista Ult. I have no problems.

  99. MJ – Google has been pinned down for a while, next move for Google will be explosive irrespective of the direction. Of course we woulod like it to be UP and charts especially P&F is not painting a very healthy picture. I see Google as forming a base for the next leg higher but market sentiments need to support that logic. Funny how GS is up when Oil is higher but commodities are getting sold into this market. POT just couldn’t clear the 180 level during the intial ramp and that has been a problem for it for a while.

  100. I own an apple and for one reason only. technical support. if my laptop doesnt work i walk into a store and they fix it. Apple should introduce something where if you bring your laptop in for service they give you another one in the mean time. Kind of like taking your car in for service

  101. Now I’m sick of GOOG. Waiting for the spike.

  102. Labor Day Rally Caps, anyone?

  103. VIX is only up .90, needs to be angrier about this drop…  Started at 20.65 yesterday, now 20.33. 

    Drilling/Potter – I’m in no way against drilling, the issue isn’t about drilling but the way the US is leasing out it’s land, effectively a huge giveaway to oil companies with no requirements that they either practice sound environmental controls or even that they actually drill.  80% of the potential oil reserves of this country are already leased out but, in the past 30 years, the cartel that controls it has only EXPLORED 18% of those land and sea leases and have drilled less than 6% of it.  This isn’t about drilling, this is about taking full control of all US oil assets so the cartel can make sure no one does drill and that’s where the fight is in Congress.  If you say you want to give Alaska to PTR or CEO or Lukoil, I’d be all for it because I know they will drill for and sell oil as quickly as possible, but XOM, BP, SHELL and CVX have done no such thing for 30 years and this mad rush to give them rights now is mainly over fear that a new administration (welll Obama, not McCain) would start requiring actual production goals be met.

    Laptops – Hmm, I just noticed that my new laptop is an HPQ and I always used to have a DELL (we have a master account there and get big discounts too) and Tina just bought a Sony.  I’m out of touch but Tina used to run Compu-Serve’s Houston office and her family calls her High Tech Tina and she keeps up on all this stuff so the fact that she dumped Dell this year does say a lot.

    AMZN/$25KP – I don’t love them enough to roll them down.  They are Jan calls and they have already been paid for by callers we sold so I’d say they either come back or they don’t.  We have a 1-month time advantage over our putters so this trade is green no matter what happens and the only way we can ruin that is to throw more money into it.

    GOOG – funny, I’m not really seeing a major volume spike, looks very much like yesterday’s pattern, up to 2M so far and this is right about where we turned on Wednesday.

  104. Good god and her husband’s name is Todd, this is like a soap opera.  I was right she did meet him in the strip club, that’s where all the fishermen in Alaska hang out.

  105. JB – Reference you made to X-files

    Did you see that David Duchovny checked him self into rehab for sex addiction.  Never seen the show but he stars as a sex addict on Californication.  Perhaps it’s a publicity stunt to kick off the new season.

  106. Market is down because they hate McCain’s selection and know that he will now lose.

  107. GS is holding up quite well with this sell off.  If we have a rally it could break out big.

  108. CompuServe…havent heard that name in a while.

    For what its worth, I still like Dells, and I still recommend their laptops to novice users. My company did switch all desktops and laptops from Dells to HP’s about a year and a half ago, but they’re the type that’ll switch to whoever gives them the best deal. Havent had a problem with the HP’s either, but I dont think they’ve achieved the "appropriate for home use" image yet.

  109. On the minutes chart I see a spike in the GOOG volume at 12:24 EDT ~440k shares traded. I think AAPL also had this spike at the same time.

  110. Phil – Ref SNDK. You said that you will not buy more SNDK, but .. I have 1/3 pos. w/.93 base would you recommend to avg down @ ~$.56?

  111. kind of strange crude not spiking on the VP pick. :-)

  112. Oil just up a dollar now at 116.60

  113. Does trading in the US continue to 4.0pm ?

  114. AAPL was 1.2 million at 12:19 EDT

  115. Airlines happy about the oil drop.

  116. At this point, it would be VERY surprising to put a rally together, why chance buying ahead of the weekend?

    Oil still weak, that’s our bright spot.  I’m staying uncovered (other than the DIA puts) as no hurricane over the weekend can still punch us up 300 points on Tues and we’ve been holding these lows pretty well.  It’s a gamble though…

    GOOG 12:24 spike - I’m not seeing it on Esignal but I do see it on ETrade, which I consider highly suspect.  I do see a nice base forming though…

    SNDK/Bro – I’d wait for the weekend, there’s no compelling reason to DD on SNDK, it’s been very disappointing as it rose so far.

    Crude – Well, theoretically, drill, drill, drill is bad for long-term crude prices right?  It’s funny because they try to have it both ways so it’s hard to even get the story straight when something actually happens.  I suppose it would be good for oil companies who are likely to benefit if anyone thought there was a chance in hell McCain would win.  Also, the Dems are not – contrary to the spin – opposed to drilling, they are opposed to signing leases that do not have strict drilling requirements so drilling is priced in on both sides.

    Oh hey, here come some buyers!

  117. AAPL, did you guys get wind of the story where Bloomberg "accidentally" released an obit on Steve Jobs yesterday ?…. yikes.

  118. Ah, I see its in Phil’s opening comments … sorry for the redundancy, just logging in.

  119. recommend to avg down @ ~$.56?
    Phil – Ref SNE.  I have SNE leaps naked. I would like to get ½ cover, but Sep 40 is only ~$.5 with $.1/.15 residual it is not worth. The Sep35 has ~.3 premium. Would you recommend Oct40 w/$1.1 premium? Thx.

  120. Sarah Palin ?  who ?  what ?
    Gotta get the gun toting Eskimo women’s vote, I suppose.
    At least, this, compared to Biden, represents change and boldness (and perhaps stupidity as well).

  121. Phil, "Obama gets elected and chooses to reign in spending". 
    ROTFLMAO !!!!!!
    Made my day w/ that one ….
    And to Jimmy Rodgers …… a big $@&%@ you !

  122. Matt Nesto is a putz.  Who cares that Walmart and Safeway are big employers in Alaska.  Did they force him to suggest that the selection of Palin could move their stocks.  THAT’S THE STUPIDEST THING I’VE EVER HEARD….WELL FOR TODAY AT LEAST.

  123. JB; any domains for McCain Romney, Rudy, etc ? w/ same backing ?

  124. DIA- i just want another 11600 on the weekly

    kudlow would tell us that the market is down b/c of obama…he looks more viable now- at least for the moment- and that scares traders and investors (like  cap…just kidding, cap)

  125. Microsoft to buy European Web-comparison shopping sites for $486 million cash:
    I know some (Bigs) might disagree that Microsoft shouldn’t try follow Oracle on its spending spree, but I think it makes sense for them to buy small companies with a web presence.  I don’t see any reason for them to either swallow too big a fish (YHOO) or try to reinvent the wheel on their own

  126. Phil – "I suppose it would be good for oil companies who are likely to benefit if anyone thought there was a chance in hell McCain would win"

    That seems awfully confident. I would have thought that at this point in the race Obama would have been up 10-15 points over McCain. He is a GREAT speaker and really energizes the crowd. McCain is running a very smart campaign right now to be less than 2-3 points down (he should be getting crushed). I would imagine they spent plenty of time polling folks to find out what a Conservative, anti-abortion, Female VP pick would bring to the table.

    In any case, it’s either a brilliant move or a complete bust. Won;t know until November.

  127. CY has been on a great run…

  128. Wow, GS is just loving this.  OK, today we REALLY have to sell those calls in Butterfly (I keep forgetting).

    SNE/Bro – My attitude is if it’s not worth covering and I’m bullish I’d rather wait.

    XLF in danger of going green now.

    Check out SHLD, that is really amazing after those earnings…

    MSFT – they have too much money sitting around not doing anything, I think it’s good that they buy some stuff.  Maybe they’ll find a CEO while they’re at it…

    JB – Maybe its the crowd I hang out with but they haven’t been this sure of a victory since Gore… Oops, maybe that’s not so good!

  129. Oh no, oil heading to red!   Poor oil traders…

  130. saw south park re-run last night of the "bear-man-pig" episode where al gore runs around south park warning everyone of the dangers posed by bear-man-pig.

    hilarious- im totally cereal.

  131. Actually I like Palins economic platform, just have energy companies do what they do in Alaska for the whole country – pay every man, woman and child $3,000 a year.  I guess it’s not called a windfall profits tax up there so it’s OK…

  132. JB, people are figuring out there is no there, there w/ Obama.  That trend will likely continue.  At the end of the day, its McCain vs Nobama, not Biden vs Palin (and Biden’s a blowhard anyway).
    How did his chop up Iraq into 3 or more ethnic nations work out ?  Can’t wait to hear him extrapolate on that some more.
    Back to purple guys; and to the beach.  Or the pool.  Or both.  Have a good one.

  133. Phil, it is definitely the crowd you hang out w/ !  :LOL:

  134. That’s a ManBearPig Xian – really how can you be so ignorant about the environment?  8-)

  135. :grin:

  136. Re: HP/Dell laptops.  About 8 months ago, I bought an HP laptop at Costco that looked nice in the store and seemed fine, but turned out to be a complete piece of crap.  Maybe it was just a bad machine, but it ran really slowly and seemed incapable of running Office.
    I think that all together I’ve owned maybe 7 laptops in my life.  I’m now on my 3rd Dell laptop and though they’ve all had some issues, the one thing about Dell is that they have fantastic service.  I would never buy a laptop at one of the big box stores again.  I’ve dealt with Best Buy’s electronics department before and it didn’t leave me a very satisified customer. 
    I have no experience with Sony but I’ve heard their service isn’t that great.  I used to like Gateway, but their service and their hardware seemed to go downhill 4 or 5 years ago.
    I really think that unless you’re going to be willing to spend almost double for an Apple (which is probably worth it though I’ve never owned one, maybe next time), you need to go with the company that will fix your problem when something goes inevitably wrong with your PC.

  137. Phil – Ref TIE. I have Mar10C. Unfortunately I am 1/2 cvrd with Sep12.5 w/ low premium & dividend payment in 10days. I am thinking of roll cvrs to Oct15. Thx for SNE & SNDK.

  138. XLF at its highs, same with CAL and AMR

  139. troy
    best buy has the worst customer repair service.  had to have a laptop repaired there a couple of years ago and they destroyed it so badly that they had to give me a new one, but it dragged out and was a very unpleasant experience.

  140. OK, this is one of the funniest lines ever in Wikipedia.   You have to read the whole paragraph but the last line is just way too funny of a plot summary (and keep in mind this is a show about 9-year olds):

    The "actual" ManBearPig appears in the Season 11 episode "Imaginationland Episode II‘. In the episode, ManBearPig is portrayed as one of the many monsters from the dark realm of Imaginationland, and is much larger-looking, muscular and menacing than Al Gore’s illustration. ManBearPig escapes through Project Imagination Doorway and tears apart two scientists as they debate over his Man/Bear/Pig proportions. He then strangles Kyle to the point of unconsciousness and possible death before an injured scientist reverses the portal, sucking ManBearPig back to Imaginationland. Stan gets sucked into the portal as well, and Cartman, shocked and angered at the thought of Kyle dying without sucking his balls, manages to revive him via CPR.

    Laptop service – Ah, that’s a good point.  Tina doesn’t care about service, she just fixes everything herself (other than my Mac, which she hates because "it’s a black box.").  My experience with Sony is all their stuff just works and works and works and, if anything does go wrong, I just go to the product center in NY and they fix anything for a flat fee.  I pretty much got a whole new video camera for $150 when my old one got trashed and they just replaced my Tivo for $100 – they asked me if I minded getting a new one as the drive wasn’t worth fixing….

    TIE/Bro – Don’t be in too much hurry to roll.  Keep your eye on the roll to 2x the Oct $15s for no money as the roll up to the $15s gives up a lot of protection.  Maybe a 1/2 roll up to 2x the current $15s and keep your options open on the other half? 

    I am having so much fun watching oil!  They are going to need some pump to get this thing going intot he close, there’s pretty good volume on this sell-off.  I think the risk of $110 oil on Tuesday outweighs the reward of $120, especially with the possibility that the SPR will be used.  1:50 is the usual time we get a pop in crude.

  141. manbearpig  was a  good episode :-)

    As long as USO above 90 is bullish. Crude should crack that 110 mark, to test the 100 and then 80 and then 50 :-)

  142. Possibility of Gustav heading north and not impacting the gulf states (or not as much).

  143. After Lunch sellers are back.

  144. DanW were are you seeing the info about Gustav?

  145. Remember those rumors that "a large fund" was taking a position for $150 oil.  Well, since it worked last time they are trying it again on CNBC, talking about huge nat gas bets being placed.  This is exactly the kind of bet that destroyed Amaranth so I find it hard to believe that anyone would allow that kind of play to be made on a hurricane.

    Gustav – Well there are 3,500 oil platforms in the gulf stretching from around New Orleans to Houston so it’s going to be hard for it to miss all of them.  One would hope they are designed to handle a Cat 3 hurricane (it’s still a 65 mph tropical storm moving at 8mph) and there won’t be too much damage but it’s all such an absolute crock anyway…

  146. FRE
    Phil – what do you think of this spread??
    BTO 2010 Jan20C @ .36
    STO 2010 Jan 22.5C @ .56  for a ND of 0.20 and a reward of 2.30 if FRE is above 22.50


  147. Phil – re: laptops/service.  Sounds fine unless there’s a hardware problem.  They recently sent me a new hard drive when I demanded it even though I couldn’t consistently repeat an issue that was coming up.  It occurred intermittently.
    I suspect that Sony wouldn’t do this but I don’t know.

  148. Phil – on one account I’m half covered on GOOG (2 Jan 460 calls), the other I’ve got one Jan 460 call and that’s it.  I’m only down a little since I just bought back the callers today.  Kind of thinking maybe I should have waited until Monday to close out my callers but then again, seems like GOOG is due for a bounce.   I know you’ve been thinking it should do so, but what are your thoughts about being uncovered over the weekend?

  149. GS/Steve,
    Is this Oct 160/Sep 165 for $6.6 spread that pays from 158 to 182 a good entry?

  150. Phil,
    what b.s. market goes up and aapl holds back. mkt goes down and aapl leads the way

  151. contingent/Gustav – it was on CNBC. Seems the NYMEX traders are looking at a model that shows the storm moving slightly east on its way up. The meterologist explained that the American model of tracking storms is different than the European model, which still shows it heading towards the gulf states. Also mentioned that since the projections come out every 6 hours its tough to really tell wtf they’re looking at.

  152. Thanks Dan.

  153. The more I think about this, the more I can’t fully understand how McCain landed on Palin.  This is pretty ruthless stuff from the dems already:

  154. …LOL- i knew it didnt sound right- whoever heard of a BearManPig anyway?- that makes no sense….but ManBearPig, now that’s a different story

  155. Peter
    Your buying the oct160 and selling the sept 165.  personally i don’t do spreads like that.  I want at least 2 strike differences plus I prefer my calls to be further out in time for more room to roll.  And I also don’t like to 100% cover.  If GS jumps 10 then your delta on your caller will start increasing really fast as we get towards expiration and GS can be volitile and move fast plus earnings are coming up.  I am waiting for a good 2-3 day rally before I try to cover my GS. If your only 1/3 covered you can roll up your caller for about even for 2/3 cover as a way out if it moves up.   And there is always some good premium in them with a week to go.  Plus I would think that volitility would be increasing in Sept but it seems to be flat so far. I spent a couple of months getting out of my last GS mess so now I am naked waiting for a move up.

  156. Anyone know if Film is still around or coming back?  No one has picked up his AAPL rally cries.

  157. Well, its well known that Begala is a complete d-head.

  158. Peter
    the Jan 160 are about $20.  For 7 more dollars you get a few extra months to sell against .  Time is always your friend.

  159. crude pump under way!!

  160. GS/Steve,
    Thank you.  I’ll pick up some Jan 160 then.  VIX jumped today, so the Jan09 may be inflated, should I wait until Tuesday to get the long call?

  161. Can the blue states either 1) fall in the ocean or 2) secede to Canada and take Obama with them?  Then the red states will take McCain.  True harmony!!

  162. pump failure!

  163. Peter – just my two cents.  I’ve done well holding recently holding GS long calls fully covered.  I’ve got Jan 155′s covered with Oct 160′s.  Lots of premium there.  With this runup today, doesn’t seem like a bad time to sell callers.

  164. rebelatl, good idea. Where will the NYMEX and ICE crooks go? I want to move into the place which does not have the NYMEX crooks in it :-)

  165. FLI is not a bad play down here.  They run helicopters to oil platforms in the Gulf.  They had  a crap year last year with no hurricanes and expectations were for very little improvement this year (and they are fiscal so this is Q1 for them).    They don’t have options so I don’t play them but they are resting right on the 50 dma at  $28 so it’s an easy stop to set against a nice pop if someone runs a story on them.  They earned just $31M last year on $1.03Bn in sales vs $116Bn in ’06 (included ’05 hurricane season) as they upped their infrastructure to handle demand for the next storm season (they went limit up on the business they could handle in ’05). 

    My other favorite is BRS, who are much smaller and did not really grow their capacity like FLI did so they maintain a good p/e at the moment.  Oddly enough, these guys do have options and I think the Dec $45s are worth a toss at $2.25 because they shouldn’t lose too much value before we get to named storm P and we’re only up to H so it’s a cheap look for a few weeks at least.  XXX

    FRE/Edro – I don’t see that spread unless you have sel and buy mixed up.  Why wait though, you can spread the Jan $5 and $6s for .35, we just did the $3s and $4s for .20, that looks like a 5x return in a month if we can hold $4.   I’ve been looking at buying the $3 puts at .25 and selling the $5 puts for $1.05 as my worst case is I’m in for $4.20 with a stop-loss at $3 (-$1.20) but then you can roll out to October for another .80 spread and Nov…  as long as this thing doesn’t crash, you either get your $1 profit or you just keep rolling.

    Nice, oil closed at the day’s low!

  166. another 115k contracts XLF 22 calls traded today. Something is fishy here. I think most likely this thing is going to explode next week.

  167. Troy/Peter
    I too was fully covered and managed to get out on this recent dip so that is why I am naked now.  It has had a nice run up on a down day.  So I am going to wait for a broader market rally before I try to cover.    Plus the April 165 for 3 dollars more can get you an extra 3 months to sell premium at only a buck a month.  Seems like a good deal too.

  168. XLF 21/22 bull call spread for 0.5 debit seems interesting here!

  169. GOOG/Troy – I have 75% of the DTP invested in naked good $470s.  After looking over my options I have decided to hang with them over the weekend.

    Look at CNBC finding an excuse to say Katrina again!  Now they have a list showing that before Katrina it was the 281st most popular name and now it has slipped to 583rd – what will happen to the name Hannah!  Can these people be more blatant????

    Palin/Troy – I think you have to allow for the possibility that the Republicans are trying to throw this election and they were worried that McCain might actually win so they rushed Palin in (she had no clue and was in Alaska last night) to seal his fate.  I said from day one, this is like Bob Dole – throw the old guy a bone and don’t waste too much effort on his doomed campaign and get ready for 2012….

    XLF/MJ – just be wary of weekend attack.  Fine if you intend to DD and take out the caller…

  170. Remember the 2010 will reallocate the electoral college and all the rust belt blue states will be losing some and the red states will be gaining.  2012 will be interesting if Obama wins I figure he will be another Carter.

  171. GOOG looks like its going to go much lower into the close. It cant get over $466. MA has looked relatively strong all day but is starting to fade.

  172. Phil – are you looking at mattress plays for the weekend? Had we continue to rally this week, I would have been fairly confident of a downturn early next week (Tuesday or Wednesday) just to get prices down for the big dogs. As it is, I really have no feel other than to think we will get some kind of significant re-positioning sooner than later.

  173. GS up 10 in days, GOOG dow 30 in 4 days….

  174. I’m in on the INTC Oct 22′s and grabbed some AAPL Jan 170s while I was at it…

  175. Oh look, there’s already talk of AAPL moving phones over to VZ!

    Damn, a very Blah close, moving to 1/2 cover on the DIA puts just in case (from 2/3).  XXX

    Mattress/Joseph – I always have them, I just don’t put them on every portfolio individually as that would be way too much tracking.  There are rules in PharmBoys 10:59 comment and they apply to any portfolio.  In the LTP, which is where all the big money is, I’m currently covered with 200 DIA Oct $117 puts and 200 DIA Nov $118 puts against which I’ve sold 200 DIA Sept $116 puts.   The main idea is not to save myself but this is a $200K "piggy bank" on which I break glass in case of emergency (a 300-point+ drop) that will give me $400K in cash to reposition my $2.6M in positions. 

    That’s what it’s there for -  as we discussed, my goal is not to "make" money on the insurance plays, just to have a backup.  However, when it turns into a prolonged downtrend, then we accidentally are in good position to begin running the mattress strategy on the way down and that can make huge amounts of money, especially when my longs are mainly 2010 (they are now) and I’m not too worried about just waiting for a rebound if I have to.

  176. This is horrible and expensive :-(

  177. I wonder if we can retake our levels for the close (11,600, 1,285 – still holding, 8,400 on NYSE and 2,375 on the Nas).  Maybe not as VIX is still not very angry.   We lost the XLF and it’s a long weekend for the negative articles to come out but my suspicion is that THEY want a bad finishe on the market to keep the weekend conversation off the markets and that’s a good sign that THEY are buying – if THEY were selling, it would be much smarter to pump the markets today and sell to suckers all next week who think they are getting in on something.  That does not mean we are not still heading into a blow-off bottom but this is the end of Q3 (September) and Q2 was a total disaster so how many funds do you think want to see a bad Q3 as well – they are having enough trouble keeping their investors as it is…

  178. Phil – do you think that THEY are in the market today ? Rather than started the long week end early ?

  179. great – thanks Phil

  180. THEY are always in the market but, just like your own business at a holiday, not much gets done before the weekend so you usually just let things coast.  This is the kind of things that small funds take advantage of and that’s what’s happening here.  It’s kind of like those fish that stick to the bottom of sharks looking for scraps, the small funds just wait for moments like this, when the big boys take a break, and they hit the easy targets (like manipulating the horsemen in order to tank the Nasdaq).  When you tell me that in the same day there is a story about RIMM’s accounting issues, GOOGs currency issues and someone accidentally releases an obituary for Steve Jobs AND it all comes on one of the lowest volume days of the year, then I have to put my money on the fact that it’s manipulation, rather than coincidence…

  181. Lots of work being put into keeping INTC under $23.  MSFT relentlessly hammered under $27.50 but its breaking up I think.

  182. shark tending fish: remoras…i think

  183. Wow, guy totally lying on CNBC saying we have lower inventory levels than we did before Katrina and Rita and, rather than challenge the guy with facts (that take 5 seconds to look up) they just ask him the next leading quesiton.  I hope they have this clip on the weekend as I am pointing this one out!

  184. EDU making an interesting pattern today.  They are one of my favorite China plays so I’m back in with the Apr $65s at $21, now $21.25, in the LTP.  XXX

  185. Boeing Machinists Union Leaders Recommend Strike -Report >BA

    Dour close.

  186. There goes GOOG through LOD

  187. If I were a reporter, I’d ask McCain if he had ever met Palin before.  Seems kind of strange to pick a running mate based on a tear-sheet… 

    Everything broke down now, huge selling wave hitting.  GOOG making new lows but the volume is very good now and it’s not much of a move down (considering it’s Google).  AAPL also being pushed to LOD on big volume but they are not getting that one.  Financials well off their lows… going to be a tough one over the weekend but I have to go with my gut…

  188. yucko
    what a day, week, month.
    really looking forward to september!

    have a great weekend phil and everyone.

  189. Somebody switched maria’s equal with sugar.  Have a good weekend, everyone!

  190. alright peoples….its happy hours and ill b going long some aventinus and c where that goes

    stay cool…iM oUT

  191. Crap Day, Week, Month , Year.

    Have a good holiday you guys.

  192. BA -

    The leaders of Boeing Co.’s (BA) machinists union will recommend a strike, the Seattle Times reported Friday. "It’s official," said Mark Blondin, the national aerospace coordinator of the International Association of Machinists. "We are recommending to reject the contract and to vote to strike." Boeing had called the offer its best and final offer, but Blondin said the contract didn’t commit enough to job security, featured hikes in health care costs and lacked adequate wage increases. IAM members will vote on whether to strike Wednesday and the walkout could start later that day at midnight.

  193. BA – see, now I’m glad I have those covers again!

    Well that was a sucky close but the month ended up about 200 so now we have to really hope Gustav is a bust over the weekend…

    Interesting article on Palin’s $500M grant to company to build redundant pipeline.

    Man XOM getting crushed into the bell (that’s where I picked up the pipeline story).

    Have a good weekend all, I’ll be around if anyone’s bored!

  194. hey phil
    just got an email from a friend referring to McSame, seems like your label is making some rounds.

    "McSame probably thought he was getting Michael Palin and is still amazed how much better he looks in drag than he remembered.  My parents are older than McSame, but swear he’s 20-30 years older than they are."

  195. Actually it’s interesting as you can see the Dems moving the words McCain and same closer together in their rhetoric.  The purpose of that is to start making the connection for people without turning to the label and wearing it out too far ahead of the election – it’s very good psychology but that’s a conversation for the political post, and I’m probably going to write a big one this weekend as there is so much stuff going on.

  196. "going to be a tough one over the weekend but I have to go with my gut…"

    Hi Phil – Why you should go with your gut feeling (, and backup site – they mention the findings in relation to the blackjack table but it applies to patterns in the markets too).  – Ilene

  197. Crazy market action, but frankly happy to see it selloff today. I agree with Phil’s earlier sentiment that intentions of a fall selloff would be preceded by a pump this week. I’m bullish on Sept, knock on wood.
    Looking forward to your post convention thoughts this weekend, Phil.
    Have a great Labor day weekend everyone!

  198. Hey, here’s a really great example of a hyena attack:  Check out all these articles in India with the same headline on different dates:  IPhone May Raise Your Bill by 25%   It’s the same premise as political attack ads, notice how this week they were scattered all over the web virtually every day.  The first 3 articles have the same route (India Economic times) and the Silicon India article acts like they came up with it themselves but have some of the exact same text which is also shared by Infotech India on the same day in the exact same format at the Economic Times without a credit.  The Mubai Mirror goes to great pains to make it look original (published just today) and RupeesMatter just seems to have a link.  Then, on the 28th, Comcast (T competitor) picks it up for their finance page  and then it get’s onto all the crawlers and now it’s "officially" news…

    Wait a minute – Maria "just so happened" to fly to Alaska this week to interview Sarah Palin???  Now that is just pure BS – it’s not like she bopped off to Boston or something!  Is it really possible that they can make up crap like this and no one questions how such an amazing coincidence could have happened???

    Guts – yes, instincts are not something to be scoffed at but you do have to know your limitations.

  199. Holy cow, the guy who was lying his ass off about oil earlier has been given a spot on Fast Money – I guess they really need a cheerleader!

  200. All that pumping and they can not get oil up above 120?   I missed my end of day order on USO 93 calls ;-(   No profit for me if it jumps up Tuesday on storm hype.  I continue to think that there will be a Gustav induced rally.  In fact i am counting on it for the opportunity toI build my longer term put position on USO.  I may have out guessed myself on timing my entry, we’ll see.  I’ll have the weekend with no skin in the game on oil…  

    I was able to sell some AAPL 165 puts at 3.90 and GOOG 460 puts at 12.8 for a planned addition to the long term LTP, I love buying stocks like this.  Such juicy premiums. 

    Also picked up a few QID puts as I think they will rally the markets next week, (political manipulation) if you will.

    Have a great weekend!

  201. Phil – I just went into the garage to drive the thunder machine to the beach and there on the passenger seat sits the package with the books that I was going to send to you.  OOPS!  They will be on their way tomorrow…  Apologies extended!

    Thanks for putting up a political post for the weekend, some of my macro economic strategy musings merit discussion, but can easily provoke emotional backlash before reasoned thought.  I have been wanting to get your opinion on them.

    Off to the beach, NOW!!!

  202. Steve/Troy,
    Sorry, I was out to lunch and missed the exciting sell off at the finish.  I didn’t get the GS Jan09 today, and will look for it on Tuesday.  I did make out good on GS in May/June when it was reaching 200, down to 160s, and back to 180s (that saved me), being fully covered then, and have been staying away from it until now.  This time when GS went below 160, I remembered Steve’s old post when he said GS was irresistable at 155.  So I’m trying to leg in with the long this time, going against my old habbit of buying the spread all the time as I’m terrible at market timing.  Luckily I was madly covering my other LTP yesterday, so there is no issue with today’s sell off.  Whew!

  203. David, have fun at the beach!  I am starting to like the put selling game myself.  Just dabbled in it this month – but it’s a good way to play the financials.  Sell 17.5 C puts when C is in the 17′s and sell calls when C approachs 20.  I do that with the XLF and BAC, and XHB as well.  Jealous, that you are at the beach – I will be stuck in the O.R. tomorrow.  :(

  204. Phil, you said it correctly when you called Addison Armstrong (the fast money oil guy)  "a tool"  a few weeks ago.  He seems so smug and ready to take your money.  Have you seen the movie "21"  yet, I think you’ll like it.  Have a good weekend.

  205. The more I am reading about Sarah Palin, about whom I knew nothing this morning, the more I am liking the pick.  go to the political post for a bit more on this. 
    Have a good weekend.

  206. Cap – she may be a good person, but I can’t see what she really brings to McCain’s campaign.   She’s not going to get Hillary supporters in droves, she’s pro-life.  She has a LOT less experience than Obama, so it’s going to be tough for the neocons to attack Obama on the "young and inexperienced" front anymore without the dems coming right back and talking about how tremendously inexperienced this woman is.  As far as I know, she has ZERO economic credentials where McCain is weakest.  Joe Biden complements Obama in the area where he appeared to be weakest compared to McCain.  McCain himself admitted to essentially knowing nothing about economics not all that long ago.  Why wouldn’t he at least bring someone to the table who knows something about economics like say, Mitt Romney??  It almost looks like he found someone who happens to be female and is pro-life who’s in political office and won’t cause a scandal, although that may not work either since Palin is in the middle of an albeit minor, but nonetheless ongoing issue about abuse of her power.  I just can’t see this woman as VP.  Say what you want about Obama, but the guy is smart, accomplished for what time he has spent in political office and has shown himself to be an incredibly shrewd politician by snatching the nomination right out from under the nose of a very formidable political family.  And by the way, he gives fantastic speeches.  Whether or not the neocons like to admit it, giving speeches is part of the job of POTUS, and Obama does it very well.  I can’t really see what Palin brings to the table.  I think McCain made an unwise pick, plain and simple (politically speaking) but I guess we’ll see.

  207. What a shocker – Cap likes the Republican VP pick!  Soon we’ll be hearing how it’s really the "dream ticket" for America in his famously unbiased opinion…  8-)

  208. Yes, we’ll have to see. 
    And Troy, since Obama has no experience at anything it is difficult to make the claim that Palin has less.
    Shrewd politician (Obama) – yes of course.  Accomplished ?  Not.  Speechmaker In Chief ?  C’mon ….
    Plus Nobama is running for Prez on his flimsy resume, not VP.
    For the record, I predicted Biden for Nobama on these pages; and I would have liked to see Romney or Giuliani for McCain.
    It will be interesting, but don’t worry, the (largely) in the tank for Obama press will be all over Palin for warts just like they ignore all the dirt on Obama.  See, even Troy, who likely never heard of her before today, is already an expert about her "ongoing issue about abuse of power".

  209. With Republicans …. its focusing on candidates issues and scandals.
    With the Dems … its Swiftboating (as in don’t bring up any facts about us that we don’t want the public to know) or the Republican attack machine.

  210. oops; back to the PPOW (political post of the week).

  211. Phil
    I have C in an IRA what would be a good LTS; sell covered calls each on current month. Or go longer term selling covered calls like the PWE trade you recommended?

  212. Troy,
    She has more experience then Obama…he’s been a senator for just 200 days and she’s been in politics since ’88.

  213. C/Qc – As a rule of thumb, you want to sell 1/2 of the next higher strike when you can get $1 of premium for them, that way it’s easy to roll to 2x a higher strike in the next month if it takes off before you get called away (assuming you don’t want to get called away).  So, for this month, your goal would be to get $1 for the $20s on a 1/2 cover and your plan is to let that premium run out and then roll those to a full cover of the Oct $22.50s.  Since we’re starting at $19, hitting the $22.50s would represent a 15% gain in 2 months and you have to be happy enough with that to not mind being called away.  Of course you can usually keep rolling too but adding just .50 a month in net option sales = $6 a year on your $19 stock, sure beats just staring at the damn thing!

  214. JB and Cap, please move it to the political post.  If anyone gives a damn they can read about it there along with the sleazy crap I’m already finding on Palin and the already brewing Republican whitewashing of the scandal she’s involved in up in Alaska.

  215. Phil
    Thanks, looks like a good plan

  216. Phil can reprimand me for responding here, but I can’t let it go:
    Cap – why would I have heard about her except the scandal, which I heard about a few weeks ago.  I seem to remember you heard about her first time from the McCain campaign. 
    JB: What are you smokin?  In politics since ’88?   Time served in the PTA doesn’t quite count as far as I’m concerned.  She served two terms on the Wasila city council in the 1990s and was elected mayor in 1999.  What is that, a town of 10 people?  Since this, she’s been governor of a state with three elected delegates for all of two years.  Sorry, this is the next best thing to zero experience in terms of preparing someone to be VP of the US.
    Obama’s was heavily involved in Ilinois state politics for 7 years before beginning his time in the US Senate at the beginning of 2005.  Let me add this up…seems like a few more days than 200. This was all before he also got degrees from Columbia and Harvard Law.   Yeah, I think he’s just slightly more qualified to be pres. than her.  Granted, she’s not running for POTUS, but she’d be only an elderly man’s heartbeat away from the office.   Talk about irresponsible.  She was a horrendous pick.

  217. obviously, I meant to say "after" he got his degrees

  218. Russia’s Collective Farms: Hot Capitalist Property

    ……..Today, roughly 7 percent of the planet’s arable land is either owned by the Russian state or by collective farms, but about a sixth of all that agricultural land — some 35 million hectares — lies fallow. By comparison, all of Britain has 6 million hectares of cultivatable land……..

    ……..Yields in Russia, however, are tiny. The average Russian grain yield is 1.85 tons a hectare — compared with 6.36 tons a hectare in the United States and 3.04 in Canada. (A hectare is about two and a half acres.)

    If Russia could regain its old title of leading grain exporter, it would significantly relieve strained world markets and reduce prices, Mr. Suleymanov said. It could also reduce malnutrition and starvation…………

  219. NYMEX crude electronic trading will begin at 14:30 EDT sunday. This should give the crooks more time to pump it up to the moon!!

  220. Does anyone know of any legislation pending that may close the Enron loophole?

  221. Thanks Phil, got it from the other post…

  222. As long as GS exists, they will never close the Enron loophole. That is how the system works, some people get a free pass and don’t need to abide by any rules. The most screwed part of all is this is not happening in China, rather it is happening in the great US of A.

  223. Do I get the first post of September ?

    Uk not happy today , FTSE down 0.77% at 5592. Would like to see 5600 hold which might be difficult with the US market closed.

    The dollar is having an almightly good day against the British pound with the Pound falling to 1.803. Good for my US accounts.

  224. Good morning DB and all

  225. Asia Markets : Monday, September 01, 2008
    (The following is from WSJ; please cross check with other sources to confirm.)   

    Japan*                    12834.18     -238.69    -1.83%
    Hong Kong*           20906.31     -355.58    -1.67%
    DJ Shanghai*            246.95          -7.89    -3.10%
    S.Korea*                   1414.43        -59.81    -4.06%
    India*                      14534.90        -29.63    -0.20%
    Baltic Dry Index       6809.00      -120.00    -1.79%

  226. Reuters Asia Market Summary
    Techs Sink Asian Markets, South Korea Sheds 4%

    Asian markets finished sharply lower Monday, stung by the technology sector, which is anticipating slower global demand. South Korea was the worst hit, sinking 4 percent.

    Japan’s Nikkei shed 1.8 percent, its biggest one-day percentage loss in nearly two weeks, as exporters fell on worries about the economy and a slightly stronger yen. High-tech shares fell on concerns that an economic chill will prompt manufacturers around the world to cut back on technology spending, while losses in other Asian stock markets helped drag the overall market lower.

    South Korea’s KOSPI plunged 4 percent led by techs on an increasingly grim outlook, while a falling won currency stoked worries about costs of foreign denominated debts and raw materials, sending airlines tumbling. LG Electronics and Hynix Semiconductor both nosedived. Korean Air Line tanked nearly 15 percent and Asiana Airlines lost almost 11 percent.

    Australian shares finished 0.3 percent lower, tracking losses on Wall Street last week, with top miners lower on weaker base metals prices.

    Hong Kong shares started the new month on a weak note, down 1.7 percent, as lingering worries over slowing corporate profitability sparked  further selling of blue-chip stocks. Shares in Chinese PC maker Lenovo Group tumbled over 7 percent after Dell warned that companies worldwide were cutting technology

    Singapore’s Straits Times Index fell more than 1 percent. Shipping stocks fell on investor concerns over a possible rise in the cost of ship fuel as oil prices climbed because a hurricane shut down oil production in the U.S. Gulf Coast, traders said.

    China’s Shanghai Composite Index sank 3 percent after corporate earnings for the first half of this year confirmed a trend of slowing earnings growth.

    Bombay Stock Exchange’s Sensex closed at 14,538.94, down 25.59 points or 0.18 per cent. Smart recovery towards close of trading session mostly led by short-covering in banking stocks helped benchmarks close on a flat note.

  227. Reuters Europe Market Summary
    Commerzbank Leads Euro Stocks Lower

    European share prices fell sharply in early trade on Monday, led by banks as Commerzbank tumbled more than 7 percent after agreeing a deal to buy Allianz’s Dresdner Bank for $14.5 billion.

    The FTSEurofirst 300 index of top European shares was down 0.8 percent at 1,185.49 points, starting the month off on a weak note after notching up a gain of 1.2 percent in August, only its second positive month in 10.

    Banks took most points off the index as investors gave the thumbs down to Commerzbank’s long-awaited buy of Dresdner, saying that it was too costly.

    Commerzbank was down 6 percent and Allianz was down 0.2 percent. UBS lost 1 percent, Credit Suisse fell 0.4 percent and Deutsche Bank lost 0.7 percent. Analysts said that at least the deal showed that it was possible to push through large transactions after a year-long credit crisis.

    Across Europe, Britain’s FTSE was down 0.9 percent, Germany’s DAX down 1 percent and France’s CAC down 0.8 percent.

    London Stock Exchange fell 3 percent after the Financial Times said the exchange operator would introduce deep fee cuts and incentives for traders.

    Miners fell, tracking a sharp fall in copper futures.

    French tiremaker Michelin was a standout gainer, rising 3.9 percent, with traders citing a Merrill Lynch upgrade.

    The FTSEurofirst 300 has fallen 21 percent so far this year, hit by big losses at banks due to the credit crisis and by a slowing in the economy

  228. Oil Falls Below $115 despite Gustav Fears

    Oil prices eased below $115 a barrel Monday as the dollar made broad-based gains, but fears of the impact of Hurricane Gustav remained as energy companies in the U.S. Gulf shut down nearly all offshore oil output.

    U.S. light, sweet crude for October delivery [ 114.69    -0.77  (-0.67%)] fell, having briefly surged above $118 a barrel when the New York Mercantile Exchange (NYMEX) opened for electronic trading several hours earlier than usual.

    London Brent crude [ 113.45    -0.60  (-0.53%)] traded lower.

    The shutdown of key infrastructure, including the Henry Hub delivery point and the Louisiana Offshore Oil Port, prompted NYMEX on Sunday to declare force majeure on all delivery obligations under its August and September natural gas futures.

    Forecasters predicted Gustav will make landfall west of New Orleans around Monday morning, with top winds expected to be around 200 kph (125 mph), making it a Category 3 storm on the five-step intensity scale.

    Geopolitical tensions between Russia and the West also lent support to oil prices.

    Russia does not want a confrontation with the West but will hit back if attacked, Kremlin leader Dmitry Medvedev said on Sunday, a day before EU leaders meet to draft a response to Moscow’s actions in Georgia.

    Russia, the world’s largest exporter of natural gas and the second-largest oil exporter, supplies more than a quarter of Europe’s gas needs.

    Iran’s oil minister said on Sunday $100 a barrel was the lowest acceptable price for crude oil.

    Iran, the second-largest producer in the Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries, has said the oil market was oversupplied in recent weeks as oil prices have plunged more than $30 a barrel from their peak.OPEC meets in Vienna on Sept. 9 to discuss output policy but other member nations have not come out and publicly backed Iran.

    Venezuela and Ecuador said on Friday that they expect the oil exporters group to maintain current output levels

  229. Battered Sterling Helps Feed Dollar Revival

    Sterling dropped to its lowest level against the dollar in more than two years on Monday after the UK’s finance minister issued a pessimistic view of the economy, helping the dollar to extend broader gains.

    The dollar index crept towards an eight-month high, but broad falls on global stock markets capped gains, allowing the Japanese currency to rise on cooling demand for risky carry trades that involve selling the low-yielding yen.

    Sterling dropped to its lowest level against the dollar since late April 2006 and hit a record low against the euro on comments from UK Chancellor of the Exchequer Alistair Darling that the economy was facing its worst downturn in 60 years.

    Sterling [1.8027    -0.0186  (-1.02%)    ] tumbled close to $1.80. .

    Gains against the UK currency helped to push the dollar index up 0.3 percent to 77.428, approaching 77.619 touched last week for the first time since late December.

    Traders offered little initial reaction to a slight upward revision to euro zone manufacturing PMI figures, which came in at 47.6 in August from an initial reading of 47.5.

    But the U.S. currency fell 0.8 percent to 107.86 yen, as a slide in European shares, which followed their Asian counterparts lowers, spurred an unwinding in risky carry trades, which involve selling the yen for assets in higher-yielding currencies.

    The yen had gained roughly 0.8 percent against high-yielding currencies like the Australian and New Zealand dollars as well as sterling, boosted after a fall in European stock markets, which were following their Asian counterparts lower on Monday.

  230. Gold ekes out gains, strong dollar weighs

    Gold eked out gains on Monday, supported by rising oil prices ahead of hurricane Gustav, but a strong dollar capped bullion’s rise,

    Platinum tumbled almost 4 percent as poor car sales and a slowing U.S. economy weighed on the metal, which has tumbled nearly 40 percent since hitting a lifetime high of $2,290 an ounce, in March.  Sister metal palladium also dropped, while silver tracked gold higher.

    Gold rose to $832.00/834.70 an ounce by 0938 GMT from $830.35/832.35 an ounce late in New York on Friday, when it slipped more than $1 on profit taking.

    India’s festival season begins next week and should provide strong support to the price of gold  throughout the fall, a Meridian Fund note said.

    Platinum fell as low as $1,418.50 an ounce, down from $1,474.50/1,494.50 in New York, with technical selling. The metal was last at $1,441/1,461.

    A sudden slowdown in car sales in China and India is threatening to shrink the global auto market this year, spelling tougher times for an industry leaning on the two most populous countries to pick up the slack in the West.

    Palladium eased to $300/308 an ounce from $303.00/341.00 an ounce.

    Silver firmed to $13.67/13.72 an ounce from $13.58/13.68 an ounce late in New York.

  231. Good Morning Ramana

  232. Wow, look at all you guys up on a holiday!  Guess I should put a post up…

  233. OK – new post is up but I have a house full of guests so I won’t be around much today.