Archive for 2008

Boeing

Here’s an update on Boeing, courtesy of Ockham Reseach, The Razor’s Edge.

Boeing Dragging Its Heels on Tanker Bid

(More articles at Company Research)

The USAF tanker contract bidding process has added yet another wrinkle today as Boeing (BA, chart below, left) has asked for an extended deadline before it submits a bid to the Department of Defense. As we have posted on previously, the contract was originally awarded to Northrop Grumman (NOC, chart below, right), but after an extensive lobbying effort that greatly politicized the deal the bidding was re-opened. Boeing has traditionally been the Air Forces supplier of previous tanker fleets, and many in Washington began to whine about a non- American country benefiting from the $35-$40 billion contract. Now, Boeing contends that because the government amended the way it plans to price the planes as well as the long-term expenditure of operating the tankers, that it is essentially an entirely new bid. If they were to submit the same modified 767-200, which is likely too small with too little capacity, the Boeing bid would again be defeated.BA

Boeing may have a point that they need to adjust their design and bid for the tanker in order to compete, but they also run the risk of pushing too hard on the Department of Defense. Boeing has made it clear that they will not submit a bid if the deadline is not extended beyond the original October 1, and they say they need six more months in order to properly bid. They are confident that the government after all of the mess this contract has created will not be in favor of letting this become a no contest bid. According to the Wall Street Journal, it is rumored that a compromise could be reached to extend the timeline by 15 days. This would be the second time that Boeing and its political clout have been able to bend the will of the Air Force and Department of Defense. At what point does the Secretary of Defense tell Boeing to buzz off? That remains to be see but it appears Boeing is itching to find out.NOC

Clearly, whoever wins the contract will benefit from a guaranteed stream of revenue for many years to come; remember that the current fleets is approaching 50 years
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Traders take wary positions in Lehman October contract

Today’s tickers: LEH, SCHW, AKAM, KG, APO, TGT, ORCL, KO

LEH - Shares in Lehman Brothers bounded sharply out of the gate with a 10% gain to $15.09 on speculation that the firm might be bought by Korea Development Bank. The move in Lehman comes a day after respected analyst Richard Bove floated the notion of Lehman’s vulnerability to a hostile takeover bid, and amid generally bullish action in financials today on back of interest rate-dovish and largely reactive, rather than proactive, rhetoric from Fed chairman Ben Bernanke speaking in Jackson Hole. Response from option traders has been interesting, not least in the October contract, where one fund a trader appears to have played against the “easy-fix” rumors by buying a long 8870-lot put spread between strikes 2.50 and 5.00. This trade was entered for a 25-cent debit, creating an initial break even of $4.75 – requiring an almost disastrous $10 drop. The trader stands to gain as much as $2.25 – 9 times the money at risk – if Lehman shares make a cataclysmic drop, but don’t break below the $2.50 level. In another October play, traders may have sold 27-strike calls at 22 cents apiece in order to fund a long collar between strikes 12.50 and 20 – a protective play on an underlying stock position that would otherwise cost 33 cents to put on.

SCHW - Rumors of a Deutsche Bank bid for Charles Schwab appear to be fueling speculative options activity in the brokerage this morning as shares read 2.5% higher at $23.59. The rumors have pumped implied volatility 19.3% higher to 47.8% as options trade at 7 times the normal volume. With calls outtrading puts by more than 8 to 1, traders are clearly buying calls into bullish momentum, particularly at the September 25 line, with interest spilling over into this strike price in the October contract. At least one trader opted to take the other side of the bet, buying a 1,500-lot long position in September 25 puts for $1.85 per contract.

AKAM - Takeover chatter, albeit of a more diffuse nature, is also coloring the volume in options of Internet content delivery company Akamai Technologies, whose shares are trading 5.5% higher at $23.85. Options volume has tripled against the daily average, with calls outmoving puts by more than 22 to 1. Buying interest has settled on front month calls at strikes 25…
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TGIF!

Great VideoCan we finally stop the madness?

This has been one of the most ridiculous weeks in the markets I can remember.  It's been very tough as we hung onto positions and spent a lot of money buying out our beaten down callers and then going into yesterday's close without new covers – very painful but, as I've been saying all week, it's like walking through Wonderland – everything is going crazy and it's easy to get sucked into the madness – the only logical thing to do is follow the rabbit (our trading plan).

We're waiting for Uncle Ben to tell us about "Financial Stability" at 10 am but our bets are already made as we jumped all over the financial meltdown and laughed off the "oil rally" for the farce that it is.  We are heavy long in GOOG and heavy short in SU in the Day Trading Portflio along with our UYG calls so that's the best indication of our stance for the day.  It's almost the exact opposite of Cramer's advice in yesterday's mid-day Mad Money segment but I think most of the members were with me, taking a stand against the madness that's been moving the markets this week. 

We have not been this invested AND this exposed in the LTP since last summer's melt-down so I really hope we got the timing right.  If not, we have a 100-point cushion before we get back to where we uncovered in the morning so a re-cover will not be so terrible and these are the kinds of chances you should take if you have conviction in your positions.  Right now (8 am) it does look like we're going to get a nice open but that changed since I went out for coffee from a flat open at 7:30 so who knows what will happen 90 whole minutes from now.  I'm still looking at 11,450 as a must hold on the Dow and 8,300 on the NYSE.  It would be nice if the Nas can get back over 2,400 but if it isn't led by the SOX moving up off the 360 line (50 dma), I don't want to know about it…

Asia didn't want to know about Financial Stability this morning as the Nikkei fell another 86 points to 12,666 and the Shanghai Composite closed down…
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Bullish on Financials

Here’s an an article by Tom Brown, at Bankstocks.com

What I Told Neil Cavuto This Week

Why I’m bullish on the financials

I went on Neil Cavuto’s show on the Fox Business Channel Tuesday night to discuss why I’m so bullish on the financials. Ironically, I found myself explaining that in the near term, my expectations for the group aren’t all that different from the bears’. Yes, there will be more loan losses, asset sales at depressed prices, and further negative asset marks. Credit is still deteriorating.

All of which comes more or less straight out of Nouriel Roubini’s screenplay. The main difference between the Roubinis of the world and me, from what I can tell, is that I believe once all the sales, marks, and losses are done, over 95% of the companies in the industry will have survived and will have surprisingly robust business outlooks. The survivors will have fully recovered in three years.

What’s more, I believe the stocks should be bought now; investors who wait for signs of major fundamental improvement will end up missing the boat. There is, first of all, the matter of the stocks’ valuations. In instance after instance, they are compelling. Earlier this week, for example,  I posted an article here that laid out how MBIA’s adjusted book value—that is, its book value adjusted to include items that will almost certainly find their way into the company’s equity account but haven’t yet—adds up to $39.63 per share. Yet MBIA’s price lately comes to $10.75 per share—which means that in its current, severely beaten-down state, the stock trades at 27% of adjusted book. I will grant you that in the near term, the company might take some actions that could modestly erode its book value. But you’ll have a hard time denying that at 27% of book, the stock is discounting a level of losses and impairments that are highly unlikely to occur.

MBIA’s valuation is just one of the more notable examples of the valuation extremes that have overtaken the financial sector. Most “controversial” financial services companies are trading at only 20% to 50% of their normalized valuations. I expect the companies to regain those valuations within three years. For investors, that means doubles, triples, and quadruples over that time period.
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Thursday Wrap-Up

That was a strange day

We ended up with a very bullish looking LTP as more and more of our callers fell below the critical 50% mark and were bought back.  As the market got stronger all day (especially the NYSE, which was our leading indicator for the week) we never had reason to re-cover, despite oil heading all the way up to $121.

It was a great chance to roll our long positions down and further out in time as the lower VIX gave us a lot of bargains.  I posted an extensive list of LTP plays I like in Wednesday’s post and, now that the 2010 calls are way down in price, it’s a good time to consider spending a little more to buy a year.  AAPL 2010 $160s, for example, dropped from $51 last week to $46 yesterday, almost right in line with the $7 drop in the stock.  It cost me $12.20 to roll my Jan $150s up $10 and out 12 months.  Since I’m still in the money and I think AAPL will go up more than $10 given an extra 12 months and since I KNOW that I can sell more than $22.20 in premium (the cost of my roll in premium and position) over 12 months, there is absolutely no reason not to do this.  My downside delta is reduced and I’m still in good position to the upside to sell callers (but I’m naked at the moment).

I love BA 2010 $60s at $11.40 (bear with me as I’m going over my LTP now), BAC Feb $22.50s were up 219% so I rolled them to the Feb $27.50s, taking about 1/2 off the table and moving to a safer spot with plenty of time left to head higher (and we already did).  This is a good move since I didn’t want to cover them so the higher calls lowered my downside and I took almost 1/2 off the table, letting the profits ride.  C 2010 $17.50s are $4.15 and I was happy to buy them at $5.33.  CCJ is still cheap at $7.50 but way up from Wed already.  GOOG March $510s came down again at $46.80 (was $59.50 on Monday).  IBM got the pullback we were looking for and we should watch them for a turn signal (HPQ needs to break $47 too). 

MCD may come down to our target but if they hold…
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Dave’s Daily

MARKET COMMENT

For Aug. 21.  Courtesy of Dave Fry, ETF Digest. 

 

FNM, FRE, LEH & Putin is not a new securities firm but just the elements in a cloud that continues to hang over markets. Let’s face it, we’re just moving back and forth here. One week bulls seize the tape with declining commodity prices and a strengthening dollar then the next bears emerge and reverse everything. This is either trading range action on lighter summer volume or the start of a new down-leg in a bear market. It’s too soon to make the case either way.

Volume remains light especially on the NASDAQ while breadth was unremarkable.


Commodities had sold off hard and were oversold. Firms like GS know this and are anxious to take advantage to catch investors leaning the wrong way. So they’ll take big long positions for their proprietary accounts and release the accompanying bullish report. Doing this in late summer with markets stretched and with light volume can make their month for their trading desks. Bully for them!

Equities look quite sick and seem as if nothing will happen trend-wise until some of the major negatives overhanging the markets are resolved. That means FRE/FNM/LEH coming to some final result.

Tensions with the Soviets remain high and no doubt the latter is willing to use energy as a weapon to crush dissent and threats of any kind from the West. So, gold prices rise along with everything else starting with a “C” while the emerging dollar rally may be snuffed-out.

One thing’s for sure, the week ends tomorrow. Enjoy your weekend.

Disclaimer: Among other issues the ETF Digest maintains long or short positions in: IWM, IVE, XLY, XLV, UGE, IEF, DBC, DEE, GLD, DZZ, UUP, EFA, EFU, EEM, EEV, and FXI.

 





Geothermal Power and Google

Here’s an informative Scientific American article, featuring Google and its investment in Geothermal Technology. – Ilene

Drilling for Hot Rocks: Google Sinks Cash into Advanced Geothermal Technology

More than 2,000 times the entire annual energy consumption of the U.S. is available deep underground

By David Biello

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"For $1 billion over the next 40 years, the U.S. could develop 100 gigawatts (a gigawatt equals one billion watts) of electricity generation that emits no air pollution and pumps out power to the grid even more reliably than coal-fired power plants, according to scientists at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. Now Google.org—the charitable wing of the search engine giant—has chipped in nearly $11 million for this renewable resource: so-called geothermal power, or tapping the Earth’s heat to make electricity.

That makes Google.org the largest funder of enhanced geothermal research in the country, outspending the U.S. government. The Australian government has pledged $43.5 million for such projects and already has several in the works, as do Europe and Japan.

But no such advanced geothermal plants are online in the U.S. at present, and may not be for many years to come. No one has successfully completed all the steps—or demonstrated all the technologies—needed to drill deep beneath the surface, fracture the rock, pump water or other fluids down into the ground to absorb the interior heat, and then bring it to the surface. Once topside, the hot water can be used to make steam to turn turbines and produce electricity.

"We think we can open up fractures, that’s not a problem. You can certainly drill wells and directionally. You can convert the hot water into steam," says chemical engineer Jefferson Tester of M.I.T., who co-authored a report detailing the promise of so-called enhanced geothermal systems (EGS). "It gets down to good well connectivity."

"The fireball that sits within the Earth is a resource," said geothermal evangelist Ólafur Ragnar Grímsson, president of Iceland, a country now largely heated and powered by the Earth’s heat, at the Geothermal Development and Finance Workshop on July 23…
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Unusual trades in XLF, USO, OIH today as oil rebounds…

Today’s tickers: OIH, XLF, USO, DNDN, RDC, FL, CRM, SKS

OIH - Shares in the Oil Service HOLDRs Trust were up 2% this afternoon to $191.25, as active volume of 25,000 lots qualified the ticker for our scan of top-25 most actively traded option families. While early volume showed heavy demand for September 195 calls at $5.40, we also noted traders positioning long of front-month put spreads at the 175 and 185 strikes – a strategy that carries with it a debit of $2.96, looking for a pullback in the value of the fund of more than $9 off current levels to break even.

XLF - Shares in the Financial Select Sector SPDR read 1.7% lower at $19.98 at present. With just shy of 200,000 lots trading over the noon hour, we’re observing traders take large-sized positions in the front month that don’t necessarily align seamlessly with the unmitigated downside we’re seeing in the underlying share price. One trader appears to have sold a September put spread between the 17 and 19 strikes for a 49-cent credit, wagering on shares remaining above that upper strike by September expiration. We also saw evidence of a trader selling the 18/23 strangle in a 5500-lot position that carries with it a credit of 66, setting clear foul lines for the share price over the coming month that this trader doesn’t believe the fund will violate.

USO - Shares in the United States Oil Fund rose 4.3% to $98.04 as crude oil rallied on “Cold War Redux” concerns and a pullback for the US dollar. Option traders responded with shrewd positioning in the fund, whose implied volatility at 44.4% is elevated against the 38.8% historic reading. One trader entered a 4,000 lot position in September 110 calls for $1.00 – the direction of this trade is not clear but the volume involved represented some two-thirds of the open interest at this strike. This contract was trading as high as $14 in mid-July and has plummeted mightily in value since that time. One contrarian opted for a long put spread in the October contract between strikes 85 and 96, paying a $4.45 debit for a position that first breaks even at $91.55, implying some return of recent gains, but yielding a maximum profit of about $6.55 per contract. Another trader opted to take premium, rather than pay it out, by selling a strangle between…
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Fannie, Freddie, Gary?

Adam Warner, at Daily Options Report, follow up on FMN strategy and discussion of the rules on Evil Naked Shorting. 

Fannie, Freddie and Gary


To clarify on the FNM before, I’m not necessarily saying a volatility sale is the way to go. Just noting that IF that’s your choice of play there, I’d go with a non-directional one like a straddle or strangle sale. Pretty easy to manufacture straddles/strangle sales where you take in enough premium to buy the stock under 0. Which kind of implies the risk is those periodic short squeezes that ALWAYS show up in spots like this.

Anyway, speaking of The Shorts, funny moment on TV yesterday as Paul Kedrosky "debated"  a principal in a company called LocateStock.com who oddly enough was in favor of stricter and stricter shorting rules. Paul was psuedo-defending shorts, although the way the debate on TV always gets framed, that position becomes equated with endorsing all the cheating that goes on (it’s not). Then it took a bizarro turn; I’ll let Paul himself explain.

 

I had a surreal moment on CNBC this morning. In talking about proposed changes to the SEC’s new-ish short-selling rules, I cited a recent IMD study showing that market quality deteriorated during the last month or so for the 19 stocks covered by the initial SEC ruling.

And what was the response to this from a fellow CNBC guest who was frothing in favor of more rules, especially ones banning the already banned practice of naked short-selling? "I think it’s interesting that a columnist for TheStreet.com is citing a European study."

Hello? I guess he lives by that old rule, When you cite a European study, the naked short-sellers win. Who knew market facts were so geographically contingent?

Not sure what Paul was thinking, it’s well known facts and data are indeed European constructs.

OK, seriously, what actually threw me in the debate was the 3rd guy, Robert Shapiro, former Undersecretary of Commerce. He kept throwing out the non-European generated fact that there were something like 1 billion failed short shares every day in the first 3 month’s this year, 70% of which were concentrated in just 100 stocks. And it was imperative to crack down on this.

Agreed, so stop saying we need


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FNM & FRE Price Prediction

Adam Warner, at Daily Options Report, got some email on FNM and FRE and discusses how he’d set up a bullish play – why?  Because he expects "a quick short-squeezing double on the way to zero."  The "on the way to zero" part isn’t reassuring, but a double would be good for now.

Viewer Mail

 

Got this in email yesterday:

 Looking at FNM this morning it was trading 4.85. The Sept 5.00 call was trading about 1.25. I realize this is just because the vol has blown out and selling this vol is probably the right thing to do. Were it a more normal situation I know a strangle, straddle, butterfly or condor would be the way to play this. (But not possible here because no reasonable strikes below atm.)

One of my friends suggested writing the 5 call and buying the stock… doing a covered call to sell the vol. this seems wrong to me intuitively but I can’t articulate why. If you were hell-bent on writing options here writing a call spread in sept (5/6 5/7 etc) would probably be the way to go, but I can’t explain to him in simple English why the covered call strategy is a poor choice here.

Giuseppe Franco

Wow, didn’t realize you owned the company (or anything about it). Or were an options trader.

OK, confession; that’s not the emailers real name. Here’s my response.

I guess it all depends on the direction you want to play for. If you want to play a direction at all.

A covered call write is almost exactly the same thing as a naked put sale, so it’s a bullish play. Selling a call spread is a conservative bearish play, you’ll max out if the stock closes under 5. You only risk (1-the spread premium) but can only make the spread premium.

If you want to simply sell the volatility, and don’t have a directional bias, the proper play is to sell either straddles or strangles on a delta neutral basis. By delta neutral I mean either sell calls and puts with the same delta, or tweak the quantities a little bit.

In a follow up email, Guiseppe admitted he knew a covered call was the same thing as a naked put, but


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Phil's Favorites

Why are Atlantic and Gulf coast property owners building back bigger after hurricanes?

 

Why are Atlantic and Gulf coast property owners building back bigger after hurricanes?

Surf threatens beach houses on Dauphin Island, Alabama, September 4, 2011 during Tropical Storm Lee. AP Photo/Dave Martin

Courtesy of Eli Lazarus, University of Southampton and Evan B. Goldstein, University of North Carolina – Greensboro

U.S. coastal counties are densely populated and extensivel...



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Zero Hedge

Russian And South Korean Fighter Jets Face Off In "Mid-Air Confrontation"

Courtesy of ZeroHedge. View original post here.

For the first time since the fall of the Soviet Union, Russian jets flying through South Korean airspace provoked the South Korean military into a "midair confrontation" that involved firing hundreds of warning shots. All told, South Korean jets fired 360 machine-gun rounds and at least 20 flares, Bloomberg reports.

Three Russian military planes (two Tu-95 bombers and one A-50 airborne early warning and control aircraf...



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Insider Scoop

The Daily Biotech Pulse: Acadia Schizophrenia Drug Fails, Viveve Plummets, Eisai Gets Breakthrough Therapy Designation

Courtesy of Benzinga.

Here's a roundup of top developments in the biotech space over the last 24 hours.

Scaling The Peaks

(Biotech stocks hitting 52-week highs on July 22)

  • Acasti Pharma Inc (NASDAQ: ACST)
  • Apellis Pharmaceuticals Inc (NASDAQ: APLS)
  • Arcturus...


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Kimble Charting Solutions

Is Crude Oil Sending a Bearish Message to the Stock Market?

Courtesy of Chris Kimble.

Crude Oil (NYSEARCA: USO) and the S&P 500 Index (INDEXSP: .INX) have peaked and bottomed together several times in the past 9 months. See points (1) and (2) on the chart above.

In summary, the correlation between Oil and the stock market has been quite interesting and demands investors attention.

Crude Oil has been creating lower highs of late and is breaking price support at (3).

If the correlation remains the same, Crude Oil may very well be sending a bearish message to stocks.

Tricky spot for active investors – careful here.

...

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Chart School

RTT Plus Chart Book (Sneak Peak)

Courtesy of Read the Ticker.

The magic of support and resistance channel lines and how they direct price. Here are some chart disclosed to members via the RTT Plus service. All charts are a few weeks old. 


XAU bound by parallel channel lines.


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Newmont Mining support from Gann Angles.



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US Dollar index (DXY) dominate cycle ...

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Digital Currencies

Cryptos Suddenly Panic-Bid, Bitcoin Back Above $10k

Courtesy of ZeroHedge. View original post here.

Following further selling pressure overnight, someone (or more than one) has decided to buy-the-dip in cryptos this morning, sending Bitcoin (and most of the altcoins) soaring...

A sea of green...

Source: Coin360

Bitcoin surged back above $10,000...

Ethereum bounced off suppo...



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Biotech

DNA testing companies offer telomere testing - but what does it tell you about aging and disease risk?

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

 

DNA testing companies offer telomere testing – but what does it tell you about aging and disease risk?

A telomere age test kit from Telomere Diagnostics Inc. and saliva. collection kit from 23andMe. Anna Hoychuk/Shutterstock.com

Courtesy of Patricia Opresko, University of Pittsburgh and Elise Fouquerel, ...



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ValueWalk

Professor Shubha Ghosh On The Current State Of Gene Editing

 

Professor Shubha Ghosh On The Current State Of Gene Editing

Courtesy of Jacob Wolinsky, ValueWalk

ValueWalk’s Q&A session with Professor Shubha Ghosh, a professor of law and the director of the Syracuse Intellectual Property Law Institute. In this interview, Professor Ghosh discusses his background, the Human Genome Project, the current state of gene editing, 3D printing for organ operations, and gene editing regulation.

...

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Members' Corner

Despacito - How to Make Money the Old-Fashioned Way - SLOWLY!

Are you ready to retire?  

For most people, the purpose of investing is to build up enough wealth to allow you to retire.  In general, that's usually enough money to reliably generate a year's worth of your average income, each year into your retirement so that that, plus you Social Security, should be enough to pay your bills without having to draw down on your principle.

Unfortunately, as the last decade has shown us, we can't count on bonds to pay us more than 3% and the average return from the stock market over the past 20 years has been erratic - to say the least - with 4 negative years (2000, 2001, 2002 and 2008) and 14 positives, though mostly in the 10% range on the positives.  A string of losses like we had from 2000-02 could easily wipe out a decades worth of gains.

Still, the stock market has been better over the last 10 (7%) an...



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Mapping The Market

It's Not Capitalism, it's Crony Capitalism

A good start from :

It's Not Capitalism, it's Crony Capitalism

Excerpt:

The threat to America is this: we have abandoned our core philosophy. Our first principle of this nation as a meritocracy, a free-market economy, where competition drives economic decision-making. In its place, we have allowed a malignancy to fester, a virulent pus-filled bastardized form of economics so corrosive in nature, so dangerously pestilent, that it presents an extinction-level threat to America – both the actual nation and the “idea” of America.

This all-encompassing mutant corruption saps men’s souls, crushes opportunities, and destroys economic mobility. Its a Smash & Grab system of ill-gotten re...



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OpTrader

Swing trading portfolio - week of September 11th, 2017

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

 

This post is for all our live virtual trade ideas and daily comments. Please click on "comments" below to follow our live discussion. All of our current  trades are listed in the spreadsheet below, with entry price (1/2 in and All in), and exit prices (1/3 out, 2/3 out, and All out).

We also indicate our stop, which is most of the time the "5 day moving average". All trades, unless indicated, are front-month ATM options. 

Please feel free to participate in the discussion and ask any questions you might have about this virtual portfolio, by clicking on the "comments" link right below.

To learn more about the swing trading virtual portfolio (strategy, performance, FAQ, etc.), please click here ...



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Promotions

Free eBook - "My Top Strategies for 2017"

 

 

Here's a free ebook for you to check out! 

Phil has a chapter in a newly-released eBook that we think you’ll enjoy.

In My Top Strategies for 2017, Phil's chapter is Secret Santa’s Inflation Hedges for 2017.

This chapter isn’t about risk or leverage. Phil present a few smart, practical ideas you can use as a hedge against inflation as well as hedging strategies designed to assist you in staying ahead of the markets.

Some other great content in this free eBook includes:

 

·       How 2017 Will Affect Oil, the US Dollar and the European Union

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About Phil:

Philip R. Davis is a founder Phil's Stock World, a stock and options trading site that teaches the art of options trading to newcomers and devises advanced strategies for expert traders...

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About Ilene:

Ilene is editor and affiliate program coordinator for PSW. She manages the site market shadows, archives, more. Contact Ilene to learn about our affiliate and content sharing programs.

Market Shadows >>