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Up 1,000 Points Weekly Wrap-Up

3-nov-v1.jpgWell, this was certainly better than last week!

In last weekend's wrap-up we noted the market could go either way and, after a poor start on Monday, we really pulled it together and ended up tacking on (officially) 947 Dow points (11.2%) – most of them (890) coming on Tuesday!  The "good" week did not quite save us from a terrible month where the MSCI World Index fell 19.1%, Emerging Markets Fell 27%, the S&P dropped 17% and the CRB fell 22%.  Even gold dropped 18.5%, the biggest monthly loss since 1983 so we need to keep this week's run in perspective until we see some real follow-through as we enter the traditional Santa Clause Rally season.

Yes the markets were oversold but the question now is – how oversold as there is very clear evidence of declining global growth which has popped the commodity bubble but also popped the Chicago PMI all the way down to 37.8 for October (down from 56.7 in September) and our GDP turned negative (-0.3%) for the first time since poppa Bush held office in 1991 so congrats to GW for getting this one in just under the wire!  Sadly, we are not alone in our suffering as the global picture is falling apart along with Japan (who has led the downturn) and the US (see chart below):

Even worse than the GDP data, is the Real Per Capita Personal Income which fell an amazing 9.6% in Q3, the largest decline since 1949.  This led to a decline in the PCE of 0.3%, news which the markets shook off on Friday and my concern is that the markets were poised to paint a gain on Friday and nothing was going to stop them but what will a weekend of reflection bring?

Last weekend, we didn't get any major government action to prop up the markets and the futures were limit down in the US on Monday morning.  We recovered nicely from that and finished the day down "just" 200 points and we spend the rest of the week trying to get back to the highs of October 21st but still less than halfway back to where we opened the month on most indexes.  I pointed out in Monday morning's post that the Nikkei was clearly oversold, trading at just 0.89 times book value and the Nikkei led us higher for the week with a 1,400-point gain (20%) off the bottom. 

My sole stock selection for Monday morning was WMT and the 2010 $50s came in right at $10 in the morning and finished the week at $12.97 – that one seemed kind of obvious with the stock under $50 but I continued to bang the table on bottom fishing during member chat and I had said in the main post on Monday morning: "Already (9am) I see the futures improving.  Let’s hope that follows through and we are not the only bargain hunters out there.  The technical traders would love to see us make a bottom test but they were denied on Friday and they may be denied again today so it’s going to be very interesting this morning but there is nothing bullish about it until we get back over that 8,800 mark on the Dow."  We took out that 8,800 line the following afternoon.

By Tuesday morning we were ready for a turnaround.  You can read my Tuesday morning post, where I reprinted my impassioned case for buying at 8,200, which turned out to be excellent advice and, of course, almost all of the nearly 100 bullish trade ideas I put up in the past two weeks are doing very well on this bounce but we remain skeptical until we make better progress on our levels – especially the 40% off the top marks we've been watching closely for weeks

We loved the early sell-off Tuesday morning and it gave us a great bottom test to key off of at 11 am, where we got almost all of the 1,000-point gain we were expecting off the Fed cut a day early.   Our much loved UYG calls jumped over 35% from that great bottom call and the SKFs, which we loved on the way up, were just as much fun on the way down as they fell from 190 to 125 by the week's end.  Even if you weren't a premium member and didn't see my FXI call at 11:04 when it was $20.35 and read about it in the evening post, it "only" opened at $22 the next morning but finished the week at $25.16.   My group of slowpoke stocks on Tuesday evening did a pretty good job of outperforming the S&P for the rest of the week, especially WYNN, who jumped an additional 60% Wednesday-Friday!  LVS did even better but we'd been on that one for over a week and WYNN was good variety.

Wednesday morning, I said we needed a half-point cut to make the markets happy and Bernanke did not disappoint as our Federal pony once again trotted out his one trick, which reminds my of the Paul Simon lyrics: "Hes a one trick pony - He either fails or he succeeds - He gives his testimony - Then he relaxes in the weeds - Hes got one trick to last a lifetime - But thats all a pony needs."  Hey, they didn't hire "Helicopter Ben" to run a tight Federal ship did they?  Of course the phrase "putting screen doors in a submarine" doesn't begin to describe the inadequacy of Bernanke's policy but it's always good for a quick boost when we need it. 

On Wednesday morning I said: "For now, we NEED to take back last Tuesday’s levels as a minimum goal for the day and we really want to see those 40% lines taken back and held, not just right after the Fed, but through Friday – after the excitement dies down."  We had a really strong finish to the week but the FXP March $100s we were hoping to get for $40 over the weekend as disaster protection came all the way down to $30.50 so it will be interesting to see how much follow-through we do get out of China next week.  Thursday morning I think I was too bearish as I worried over the still-tight money supply but. aside from our own Fed, global CB's were dumping cash on the market yet we still weren't getting back to the 10/21 levels we had been watching.  My only pick that morning post was the IWM May $52s, which did make a nice pop from $5 to $7.27 as the Russell had a very nice 2-day run.

Friday Morning I discussed trading strategies for LVS, GE and GS, which are all doing quite well so far, especially LVS, which popped another 36% on Friday – the gift that keeps on giving.  Still, I remain very concerned about the global picture and we made our levels on what seemed like a suspiciously false rally but we caught it during member chat and I even put out a trade on USO CALLS of all things, which did tremendously well from the 12:47 pick.  At 12:53, GS gave us the go signal on the rally and the Qs finally broke 33, which was our primary signal to get a little more bullsh.  Thankfully, they held it into the close but we're still nervous and will remain so until we see some progress next week.

We have the election to distract us on Tuesday and that is also keeping a lid on the financial news as most papers are concentrating on the election so it may go unnoticed on Monday that no additional funding is pouring into the markets.  We have a lot of data hitting the wire including ISM and Construction Spending at 10 am on Monday followed by Auto Sales and Factory Orders on Tuesday.  Wednesday we see ADP Employment and ISM Services, Thursday is Unemployment and Q3 Productivity and Friday will give us October Unemployment Rates (7% possible), Pending Home Sales, Wholesale Inventories and Consumer Credit so a big, big week of data!

Earnings have not mattered very much so far as the broader market has tugged companies up and down regardless of their actual reports.  There are hundreds of companies reporting next week and Monday we'll be very interested to hear from DRYS, OSK and SPG pre-market and  APC, ADP, CROX, EOG, MA, and VIA.B after.  Tuesday we get ADM, DF, MVL, JOE, THC and VNO with SAM reporting during the day and NILE and HLS taking us through the election eve, after which the markets mood may change quite a bit.  So it's a little more fence-sitting for now but that's better than the 70% bearish stance we ended last week with so let's call it progress!


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  1. Phil: a lot of nonsense has appeared in my comment,do not know what happened,
    I assume you can see my text though at beginning and at the end.

  2. RMM
    A couple of ways to day trade. First you need to keep it to a day trade because if you pick something with high IV, it could crush you if you held it.  Now you can eiter go DITM or DOTM.  Confusing huh!  DITM will give you a high delta so you can catch the move $ for $ or maybe 75-85% but you also catch a down move to in the same percent. Also less extrinsic to burn off.    DOTM the delta will be low but you can buy more to make up so you can effectively double your call by moving one strike difference.  Also DOTM has more downside protection, if it crashes 10 bucks you might only loose a dollar.  If you were DITM 10 bucks would generate a 8 dollar loss even if you have some stops in place I have seen drops that blow right through them.    Phil I know has some thoughts as to front months or the next month, probably depends how close to OE day you are.  I cannot remember what is best.
    example   You buy $5000 wrth of C nov 20 at a .07.  The stock goes up $2.5 and your calls go up to .19.  A 270% increase.  So now you buy the $5000 worht of C nov7.5 at $6.40. If the stock goes up 2.5 then those will be worth about  $8.65 only a 35% increase.

  3. Phil
    On reposition higher, I had  APOL jan60/nov65. 3/4 covers.   I moved the nov 65 up to nov 70 for about 3.10 ( I put the price in and waited for about an hour, they wanted 3.40).   My reasoning is that 70 seems to be a resistance point on the weekly and hourly charts. So as we approach OE the cost of that roll would increase so rather do it now when it is cheaper (  am bullish).  And if the stock pops out of resistance to 75, I have a lower delta  and being only 3/4 covers I still walk away with a good profit.  If the stock stays at 70, I picked up more premium to help cover that roll up.     This fits into what rmm what asking.  Other than not as good downside is this reasonable thinking?

  4. SingSteve: long name,
    just you and me hanging around,
    played golf, new grass after overseed, nice, 86 degrees, better than the stockmarket,
    just had a Kilian Red, now I am getting sleepy.

    I have learned to buy options ITM, dleta between .7 and .85, but in these downmarkets, that can hurt badly,
    never understood why buy OTM/deep is ok, only when it goes down, but you don’t buy a call expecting it to go down,
    My pool is now cooling down a lot during the night and despite great sunshine, cannot recapture enough during the day, that is like the market.

  5. RMM
    50 deg here and raining, wil golf tomorrow. Have not broken out the beer yet. The seasonal micros are out on draft, some with 7-8%.
    DOTM options for calls on day trade, if the trade goes against you, get out quick.  On that C example with DOTM you need about 70 contracts vs 8 for ITM, so your commision cost will be higher but your rewards are too.

  6. I posted this at the end of Friday’s blog. It’s funny. Link works fine in Firefox and Chrome but you have to refresh the screen in IE.

  7. Retail reports from members – - last year I thought these were insighful and I hope we do it again this year, at least when we get closer to the holiday season.
    This weekend I stopped by the factory outlets in San Macro, TX.  The parking lots were half-empty (or half-full) depending on your perspective. Shoppers seemed to be selective about purchases and looking for deals – - I didn’t stop in too many stores, but where I did, markdowns were abundant.
    The one bright spot was COH; on my last visit 2 months ago, even the Coach store traffic was weak and conversions were very low with many customers leaving empty-handed. This time was different – - the Coach store was packed and there were lines to buy stuff, majority of customers making purchases.  I think COH is very well managed and their factory stores broaden sales to additional customers without too much cannibalization of the flagship retail stores.

    phil, during Friday’s rally I took the opportunity to unload the rest of my Jan ’10 COH Jan’10 27.50s.  These were left over after I rolled have the original postion down, but never followed through on the 2nd half.
    So now I’ve got COH JAN’10 20s fully covered by Nov 20s.  I have doubts the current rally has legs, but if it does I’m prepared to roll the covers to Dec and double up on the Jan’10 20s, bringing myself to 1/2 cover again.  Assuming this is the correct strategy if I thought COH is going higher, the question is when or under what conditions is it best to double-up the leaps?
    On the other hand if the rally doesn’t last, I want to be prepared to roll down, probably to the Jan’10 15s.  If that makes sense, then my question is about how to decide what position to sell to pay for the next roll down.  Would it be better to sell Nov 15s leaving myself in the same bracket or Dec 17.50s giving myself one bracket advantage oer my caller?

  8. Phil--what, no political post this weekend??

  9. Seattle area SHLD – completely dead and EVERYTHING is on sale. Kind of nice thoughing put option premiums (thanks mostly to XOM) at some new crap I don’t need. But it’s cheap … too cheap …

  10. RMMs question I had to delete due to formatting problem:  (I’ll try to get to this today but it’s a liitle late…
    1) selection of a CALL or PUT position, what strike, how far out in time  For daytrade: current month,

    For non-daytrade: at least far enough so covers can be sold.
    2) repositioning (to different strike) of the CALL in case of price decline or reposition of PUT in case of price increase,

    Is it not STAYING with the position, that is stay close to ATM ( ITM or OTM ??), which requires a roll down for the CALL and a roll UP for the PUT, rule: 40 cents.  if one does not stay close, one will never move back ITM again as one is too far away, if no roll desirable, better to close position.
    Please be patient and tell me in simple words,

    sometimes you say I should not react to a change in market, sometimes you say, I should have done it.
    Thanks a lot.

  11. RMM – Steve is very right about day trading, I prefer to go in the money as I’m simply using the options as leverage vs. buying the actual stock.  Since you are leveraging though, the trick is not to overplay as you are also leveraging your downside as well.  With any trade, it very much depends on the move you expect, the timeframe you expect the move to take place in and the risk/reward of the trade.  You often see me make a day-trade selection at an inflection point where it’s essentially a 10% gamble, ie.  we take a stop around 10% down because if it goes down at all (from the support we think we’re going to bounce off) then we’re wrong and that’s that.

    Whenever you are selecting a strike, look at the strikes above and below the one you are getting into.  That is the gain/loss you can expect on a move in the underlying.  That is your risk/reward more or less and you need to be comfortable with that and set your own stops within that framework.  It’s not very different for repositioning – there is a point at which you have diminishing returns – in otherf words a stock drops so far that a one or two bracket rebound won’t even catch you up.  It’s always a good idea to roll when you don’t think the caller you are selling will go in the money during the time he has and the money he gives you is enough to improve your longer position.

    The .40 rule is for index puts or calls that you are taking as long-term positions but the same applies to any leap you intend to stick with.  If you like AAPL 2011 $90s at $45, then you need to be, not just willing but PLANNING, to roll them down at a rate of $5 per $10 on dips.  Effectively, that will put you in the $10s for $80 so before you even enter the position you need to decide that you are willing to folow it down and keep playing.  That decision then rests on whether or not you feel you can collect $80 in premiums over the next 25 months. 

    That’s the case with any long position, can you sell enough premium against it to reduce your risk to a level that makes it an attractive risk/reward.  It doesn’t have to be zero, I would have a very high degree of confidence that I can sell $50 worth of AAPL calls over 24 months so my willingness to spend up to $85 total on the purchase of the 2011 leaps puts me in the 2011 $10s for net $35 – a position I’m willing to take no matter what.  Since that is my plan, I could care less which way AAPL trades between now and mid 2010 as long as I am on track to sell $2 a month in premium and to roll down $10 for $5 whenever AAPL dips.  The two events do not need to be connected, my monthly goal is to sell $2 in premium and my anytime goal is to roll down my leap when the opportunity presents itself.   This is what I keep telling you about having a plan and having conviction.

  12. APOL/.Steve – If you are bullish for the current period, then yes, it makes great sense to roll your caller up while the higher strike still has a lot of premium.  Obviously $70 is huge resistance and that would have kept me in the $65s as you have a clear roll up to the Dec $70s for just $1.10 and the current $65s still have $2.70 in premium (not to mention they are protecting $7 of your $14 Jan position in a very volatile market.  If you are bullish and itching to spend $3 more, you could have rolled your Jans down $5 for $3.50, that’s buying yourself $5 in position at a 30% discount, cutting you premium fro $5 to $3 and improving your upside delta vs your caller.  Since you have a realistic expectation of an even roll to the Dec $70s and then the Jan $75s, you would be spending $3.50 to roll to what could be a $20 vertical spread which would wipe out your debt to the caller – not a bad upside outcome if it goes up fast!   Of course, the same $3.50 could also roll the Jan $60s to the May $60s and, if you don’t think they are going through $80, buying time is even better as you’ll certainly make it up in premiums sold…

    Good cartoon Stu, I wish it were a cleaner picture so I could use it…

    Thanks for reminiding me on Retail Reports 3Way!  I’ll make a post for that. 

    COH/3Way – Keep in mind Texas had a relatively good quarter (see XOMs earnings) so your mall may not be typical.  I agree $20 will be a tough line and, like I was saying to Steve about APOL, you need to balance your risk/reward with the caller.  Since you are long-term bullish, I’d say play the way you are playing – keep close covers and, when COH breaks out and your callers go well in the money, THEN it’s a good time to add 1X 2011 $25s and roll your callers to 2x the whatever month $25s as you will have 2010s that are well in the money and a longer new position that will not suffer much from a pullback with plenty of protection. 

    Political post/Scobe – Gosh I’m bored with it at this point, the election is over I think but I will put something up.

    SHLD/BDC – I saw an appliance sale where it’s 12 months, no payment, no interest and I said to Tina – How can they even book that as a sale?  Imagine a builder letting people live in all their empty homes for a year and trying to claim they turned their inventory?  Things like that are keeping me bearish on the economy.

  13. Good Morning Phil and all

  14. Asia Markets :    Monday, November 03, 2008
    (The following is from WSJ; please cross check with other sources to confirm.)   

    Nikkei Average*                      8576.98    -452.78    -5.01%
    Hang Seng*                          14344.37     375.70     2.69%
    China: DJ Shanghai*              174.84         -1.10    -0.63%
    Seoul Composite*                1129.08         16.02    1.44%
    Bombay Sensex*                10337.68       549.62    5.62%
    baltic Dry Index                         851.00        -34.00    -4.16%

    *at Close

  15. Asian Stocks Gain as Policy Changes Take Root

    (Japanese markets are closed today for the Culture day holiday. Markets will reopen Tuesday.)

    Asian stocks rose for a fifth straight day Monday on hopes policy efforts so far to dampen the impact of the financial crisis would ultimately take hold, though data still painted an ugly picture of the global economy.

    Investors were also cautiously shopping for bargains after shares and commodity prices globally in October posted their biggest decline ever on fears of a deep recession in the world economy. Expectations of more interest rate cuts this week from Australia, Britain and the euro zone following last week’s reductions from China, India, Japan and the United States among others has at the least slowed the panicked selling of risky assets that dominated most of October.

    Seoul shares ended 1.44 percent higher after volatile trade that saw them swing in and out of positive territory, with banks bouncing back from extended losses but some exporters trimming earlier gains to end lower. Banks staged a rebound, helped by South Korea’s economic stimulus plan, which is aimed helping the troubled real estate and construction sectors.

    Australian shares finished up 5.1 percent, boosted by gains in banks ahead of an expected rate cut in Australia on Tuesday, the Reserve Bank of Australia is widely expected to cut its key rate by at least 50 basis points, following up last month’s shock 1 percentage point cut, to help cushion the domestic economy in the face of a global downturn. Australia’s top five bank shares rose between 3.8 percent and 6.6 percent.

    Hong Kong shares rose 2.7 percent, with Chinese banks leading the charge after a central bank official indicated Beijing had abandoned its strict caps on lending to try to shore up growth amid a global slowdown. State media also quoted a central bank spokesman as saying the People’s Bank of China must flexibly adjust its economic policies, including monetary policy.China has cut interest rates three times in six weeks after a series of tightening measures earlier to rein in runaway inflation.

    Singapore’s Straits Times Index was nearly 5 percent led by gains in financials, boosted by gains in regional markets.

    China’s Shanghai Composite Index rose only slightly, despite measures taken by the government to further ease banking restrictions.

    Bombay Stock Exchange’s Sensex closed at 10,358.75, up 5.83 per cent or 570.69 points. The index touched an intra-day high of 10,363.31 and a low of 10,112.66. Fresh buying in the last one hour of trade saw indices close towards day’s high on Monday. Rate cut by the Reserve Bank of India provided much needed momentum to capital goods, power, realty and banking stocks. All the sectoral indices ended in the green.

  16. Euro Shares Gain as Investors Bet on Rate Cuts

    European stocks rose early on Monday, heading for a fifth straight day of gains as oil shares climbed and investors cheered the prospect of likely rate cuts in Europe this week.

    The pan-European FTSEurofirst 300 index was up 0.3 percent at 931.19 points, tracking gains in Asia overnight and on Wall Street on Friday. But the index is down 38 percent this year, rattled by the ongoing financial crisis.

    Commodities shares led the advance, in spite of a fresh dip in the oil price.

    Shares in BP, Royal Dutch Shell and Total added between 0.9 and 1.6 percent. Among miners, Kazakhmys, Xstrata and Vedanta Resources added between 7.7 and 12.4 percent as a weaker dollar helped to lift gold prices.

    The European Central Bank and the Bank of England are expected to lower interest rates this week, following recent rate cuts by China, India, Japan and the United States.

    Major U.S. stock indexes rose by 1.3-1.6 percent on Friday, while Europe’s FTSEurofirst 300 registered a 2.8 percent gain in the previous session. A choppy banks sector also rose.

    Societe Generale gained 2.3 percent after reporting third-quarter net profit was down 83.7 percent but saying it is financially strong enough to withstand the difficult market environment. Standard Chartered added 4.4 percent and Commerzbank rose 9.3 percent after saying it will take an 8.2 billion euro ($10.5 billion) capital injection from the German state and a further 15 billion in guaranteed funding to secure refinancing.

    Germany’s second-biggest bank also said it swung to a net loss of 285 million euros in the third quarter after a profit of 339 million in same period last year. Deutsche Bank rose 7.2 percent. Germany’s largest bank will not tap into a rescue fund launched by the German government to help banks hit by the global financial crisis, its chief executive said on Sunday.

    Barclays sagged 6.4 percent on concern that raising capital privately is too expensive and dilutive. Barclays is raising 7 billion pounds, mostly from investors in Abu Dhabi and Qatar.

  17. Oil Falls Below $68 on Demand Concerns

    Oil fell below $68 a barrel on Monday as traders shifted their focus back to slowing global energy demand amid the financial crisis.

    Analysts said traders would now be looking for signs that Saudi Arabia was cutting back its crude production in line with OPEC’s agreement last month to reduce output by 1.5 million barrels per day (bpd).

    U.S. crude [US@CL.1  66.82    -0.99  (-1.46%)] was down, after falling as low as $66.54.
    London Brent crude [GB@IB.1  64.6    -0.72  (-1.1%)] fell.

    "Demand concerns haven’t gone away so that’s a factor that is weighing on the oil price this morning," said David Moore, a commodities strategist at the Commonwealth Bank of Australia.

    OPEC members have no choice but to implement agreed output cuts and inform customers of the reductions if they want a stable oil price between $70-$90 a barrel, OPEC President Chakib Khelil said on Sunday. Khelil said Saudi Arabia was the key to the success of the reductions, and if the world’s biggest oil exporter took its time over the operation the oil price could be affected.

    US Dollar Steadies, European Rate Decisions Eyed

    The euro and other high-yielding currencies such as sterling gained against the dollar on Monday, while the yen retreated broadly as rising Asian and European equities helped to dampen extreme risk aversion.

    But as investors dipped their toes back into riskier assets, gains were tempered by concerns about a possible prolonged global recession, which kept overall support for the low-yielding dollar and yen intact.

    The pan-European FTSEurofirst 300 index was up 0.7 percent in early trade.

    The euro was up against the dollar [ 1.2862    0.0145  (+1.14%)    ] and the yen [$$EURJPY  127.72    2.45  (+1.96%)    ] .

    Traders said activity had been tame before major events this week, including the U.S. presidential election on Tuesday. A win by Democrat Barack Obama was generally seen as more favorable for financial markets.

    This week’s data was seen underscoring economic weakness, starting with euro zone manufacturing activity, which sank in October below record low levels initially estimated.

    The Markit Eurozone Purchasing Managers Index for the manufacturing sector fell to 41.1 — the lowest in the survey’s 11-year history — from September’s 45.0, below the flash estimate and economists’ forecasts of 41.3. The release marks the fifth consecutive month the PMI index has been below the 50 mark that divides growth from contraction.

    Gold rises 1 pct as dollar weakens, equities firm

    Gold rose more than 1 percent in Europe on Monday as the dollar softened against the euro, boosting interest in bullion as a currency hedge, with firmer equity markets also cheering investors.

    Gold climbed to $733.45/735.45 an ounce at 1005 GMT from $723.05 late in New York on Friday. The yellow metal posted its biggest monthly decline in 25 years in October as the firmer dollar pressured prices.

    The equity markets’ firmer tone is also boosting interest in precious metals.

    The platinum group metals were firmer as the market awaited U.S. auto sales figures later in the session. Both platinum and palladium have shed more than half their value in the last three months as investors fretted about the outlook for demand from carmakers, the main consumers of the precious metals.

    Platinum  edged up to $821.50/851.50 an ounce from $813 an ounce late in New York on Friday, while spot palladium firmed to $197/202 from $193.50. Among other precious metals, spot silver  was at $10.05/10.15 against $9.81 an ounce.

  18. Good morning!

  19. COH, thanks Phil!  I like the idea of adding with  the 2011′s 25′s instead of doubling down on 2010s when COH evenutally breaks out, meanwhile close covers…