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Friday, March 31, 2023


Will We Hold It Wednesday?

Yesterday was way too easy.

It's what Cap calls a "Free Money Day" in the markets, where you have some obvious good news and everything goes straight up all day, rewarding all participants with a shower of cash.  It was certainly just what we needed after a relentlessly bad month.  We flipped more bullish with full covers on our long puts in our 10:07 alert, using the very aggressive DIA $70 put as a cover at $3.23.  Hopefully, these will expire worthless and offset the majority of the loss on the June puts, which are down about $2 on yesterday's action.  While we stayed fully covered into close (60% bullish), we also took advantage of cheap rolls to improve our long puts – this lets us be a little braver letting our upside ride, since they are well protected.

Note that we say 40% bearish but, if we hit those covers right on our long puts, we actually lose very little on the bear side of the virtual portfolio.  You can construct a bearish virtual portfolio and do the opposite, cover with DIA calls and sell calls against those and achieve the same effect but ours it laid out (as we discussed over the weekend) to take full advantage of days like this.  I couldn't be more pleased as every single play I discussed on Friday's Livestock show already paid off.  In the case of the SKF puts, it paid off very handsomely as that ETF fell from just over our upside goal of $250 on Friday all the way down to $180 yesterday and should follow-through lower this morning.  I know I went on and on about SKF puts and FAS and FAS calls like a broken record last week but this is why – it was a fantastic opportunity to catch a massive move on the rebound.

We liked FAS so much that I was still picking it as my favorite play in our 12:38 Member Alert at $3.60 with a hedged entry that bought our net down to $1.45/1.97, FAS tacked on another 10% from there and finished the day at $4.  We used the 5% rule to stay bullish all day and we have learned to ignore the pullbacks at 11 am – what we now call the "Kudlow Crash" as the storm of negative energy that erupts from CNBC every morning on the hour when Kudlow appears has been very tradeable.  While most of CNBC seemed beside themselves with confusion yesterday, weather vane Cramer turned ultra-bull last night and I just give up on this guy as it now scares me that he has flipped to my side of the fence, perhaps he finally got around to reading my weekend post as he even echoes my Dick Shelby reference from that article.

Despite Cramer now being on the same side, I'm going to stick with yesterday's premise that we expect a follow-throgh to 7.5% on the major indexes today, from there we expect a pullback to the 5% line and holding that will keep us bullish (but a nasty drop while we wait) and, of course, moving over 7.5% without the pullback would be very bullish and have us looking forward to a possible 20% bear market bounce in the very least.  Off our rough bottoms the 5% (we are past them) and 7.5% levels (today's goals) are:  Dow 6,825/6,987, S&P 706/721, Nasdaq 1,344/1,376, NYSE 4,410/4,515 and Russell 362/370

The Hang Seng jumped 500 points at the open but lost 40% of it by the close, resting right back on the 12,000 mark.  The Nikkei (David Fry's chart right) put on a better show, having their own Free Money Day, pulling just off the 5% line to finish up 4.5%.  Australia gained 2% but the Shanghai actually lost a point and India fell 2% so all is not well in Asia (but the Baltic Dry Index rose yet another 1.5%).  We can attribute the Shanghai loss to a sharp drop in exports as well as the end of China's Parliament session comming without a firm commitment of fresh stimulus.  Don't forget the Shanghai is up 25% this year and up 50% since November so we can forgive them for having trouble breaking the 200 dma at 250.

Europe is mixed ahead of our open with the FTSE bouncing right off it's 7.5% line from 3,500 lows, now drifting along the 3,700 line, which is a still healthy 5.7%.  Keep in mind that 3,733 was the November low and it would be nice to see them hold that so we can pretend the first 9 days of March never happened.  The CAC took a hell of a bounce off the 60% off line at 2,500 but is running the exact same pattern as the FTSE today except holding 2,700 would be an 8% gain so nicely bullish there.  The DAX is in lockstep with the other EU indexes as well and they too flew off the 60% line on Monday with 3,870 being their 7.5% line so looking good if they can hold 3,900 through the close.  Keep in mind a 20% retrace off a 60% drop is 12% but, since the index is down to 40% of it's original value, you need a 30% gain just to make that bounce!

[Cities and States Take Stabs at Reviving Local Economies]While our own Federal government mulls over the possibility of additional stimulus programs, local governments are now getting into the act launching home-grown economic-stimulus plans aimed at spurring local spending and keeping small businesses afloat during the recession.  Some are taking the traditional route of cutting corporate taxes. Others are trying all sorts of ideas: Paying residents to shop in local stores; giving real-estate brokers bonuses for bringing tenants to empty strip malls; reducing fees on new development, etc.    More than 16 states are preparing their own stimulus packages, which are expected to total about $10 billion in spending, according to the National Conference of State Legislatures.

New York City has a $15 million plan — a fraction of its $43 billion budget — to help laid-off investment bankers start new careers as entrepreneurs. This month, the city began offering office space, complete with computers and kitchens, at the low rate of $200 a month per person.  San Francisco is tapping a pot of federal funds to offer small businesses $23 million in no-interest loans. The mayor also is pushing to waive local payroll taxes on new hires and to give tax rebates to companies that buy new equipment, such as commercial dishwashers, from local vendors.  "It's a million flowers blooming," says Neil Kleiman, policy director for Living Cities, a community-development nonprofit.    

[firepower]Meanwhile, with a Fed meeting coming up next week, we can expect even more money to be pumped into the economy through lending and securities-purchase programs.  It already has ramped up lending and asset purchases, but the Fed could decide to push harder by, for instance, purchasing long-term Treasury securities or increasing its purchases of debt issued or guaranteed by Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac.  In some respects, the Fed's existing efforts are having success. For instance, interest rates on high-rated commercial paper have come down since the Fed introduced a program to backstop that market last year. But with broader market strains unrelenting and the recession not showing signs of reversing, the next steps are on the agenda.

The Fed's total assets grew from about $900 billion to $1.9 trillion as of March 4, an indication of the huge amounts of cash it is pumping into the financial system.  That amount has shrunk by more than $300 billion in recent weeks as some of its programs are tapped less aggressively. But it is likely to grow substantially in the months ahead. The TALF program, for instance, could grow to as much as $1 trillion.  "We've grown our balance sheet by a factor of about two," said Governor Plosser. "It's going to get bigger before it gets smaller."

This is inflationary and that makes commodity plays a good way to go as either inflation, a dollar drop or an economic recovery can lead us to victory.  DBA is a way to play agriculture into harvest season.  The ETF is close to 50% off its highs and the Jan $22s are just $3.95 and we can be perfectly happy picking up .50 per month, which is the current price of the Apr $25s but I'd hold naked for a while, hopefully getting .75 or better.   DBC is a broader commodity basket that includes oil and metals and it's hard to imagine going wrong with the 2011 $15 calls at $6.10 ($2 in premium) when you can sell Apr $20 calls for .60 but hopefully $1 on a good run.  Since we could have a big commodity rally, it is very important to always use stops on your covers or be ready to add more longs, one of several strategies we practice regularly.

We'll be watching our levels closely today, wary of a pullback like Europe had this morning but hopefully we can hold up and put in 7.5% total gains – still not too impressive in the big picture but anything less will force us to be much more cautious as the weekend draws near.  We also have Retail Sales tomorrow along with the usual 650,000 job losses for the week and Business Inventories will be out at 10 and better show some contraction. 

Not likely to be another Free Money Day – we'll have to work for it!




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Good night everyone!

Mocha …. W bottom …. a chart pattern …. basically a double bottom.  You see this pattern often in different time frames … intraday, daily, and so on.  Something that can be traded on with decent odds at times if you recognize it ….
The chart basically looks like a W … pull up a 2 day chart of SKF and you can see how that is possibly set up now for tomorrow.

Edro, thanks! 

Thanks Cap. I bought a call at 165 to hold overnight, this seemed to work well for Matt last night, so far so good…

The Jan10 $50 Calls are selling for .90 (down .36 today). For a CHEAP speculative spread on summer oil. It got me thinking…
-Pick up 10X the 50s at .90 ($900)
-Sell the 5X the Apr 30s at .95 ($475)
Puts you in at $.43 ($430)

Cap – jeepers, talk about the letter W, look at today’s chart of SRS, did some major developer go BK at 3:40?

texas/USO  For almost the same amount ($450), you can buy + Jan 10 25/-Apr 28 spread.  You’ll make money on any increase in oil prices, and if oil goes to $50 you’ll make $2500 on the long +/- whatever you do on the rolls.  With the flyer you proposed your caller could give you trouble on a quick move up and your longs might never got ITM.   If you feel like gambling in the oil patch, I think there are better ways to do it.

phil,i pulled up a 10year chart on all the indexes and the dow and the s&p500 broke through the 2002 lows,but the nas.and the russel have yet got down to the 2002 lows. i wonder if we bottom out when those two index’s come down to the 2002 lows?

Thanks for that… just toying with some ideas. 

Phil: what is FMD ?

Oh no Mr. Bill!  I mean M.!
If you review my comments, my SKF hold over last night did NOT work out too well for me.  It was only at some point during today (12?) that it would have broken even (if I had held onto it).  But don’t worry too much.  I think tomorrow’s open will be much different then today’s.  On the other hand, everyone will be glued to the Congressional testimony tomorrow on Mart TM and the uptick rule.  So hope will probably be held out all day only for it to be dashed at the close.  Or at least that’s my hunch.  Sorry I couldn’t answer your question earlier but I’ve been tied up with work (!) all afternoon.  Good luck. 

The 500% plays were a list of 2010 and 2011 spreads that were very cheap with very good risk/rewards.
Such as UYG JAN 2011 6 CALL / JAN 2011 7 CALL for only 0.10.
Phil suggested them last weekend.  They take a long time to fill.

Phil: Yes I have more but I have rolled them:
LDK, jun7.5, DBC apr 19, USO apr25, CAT aug 25, VLO apr 16, AAV aug 5, RKH apr 35, SNDK jul 9,
any comment ?
in a comment on 2/27 you said: need to roll when 1/2 the putter’s premium is gone, that means 1/2 of the timevalue, capito amigo.

couldn’t resist and bought FAZ April 85 call for 8.30 to hedge this rally.  Now feeling remorseful.  Cover suggestions?

Phil: are you suggesting switching some of these stocks to CALLS 2011 like X, PFE, UNH ? what is better with this move ?
I actually would want to reduce positions and focuas on less as this is too much paying attention to too many,
kind of roll a few into something good or better

Ephmen, what are your thoughts on oil? 
My uneducated guess is we should be in $70 range by fall.
BTW, that is the formula for USO vs 1 barrel of oil?

Phil:you seem to say: switch to far out calls and wait, protect the downside with OTM puts, leave upside uncovered.
Is this how you see the future ?

Phil:  Thanks for  taking the time to respond to my post earlier today. 
I am embarrassed to say that for now I am having a hard time following you.  You wrote: "JPM is a bad loss but you can start working it off by taking the $20.35 stock and buying 2 Jan $12.50 calls for $10.30 and selling 1/2 the Apr $22s for $2.  Since those can roll to 2x the June $29s and that would put you 2x $16.50 in the money, we’re not too worried about the upside."   
So are you saying:  "sell the stock at $20.35. Then buy 2 Jan $12.5 calls for each hundred shares of stock sold, and then sell half as many April 22 calls for $2.  Then when those expire, sell 2 times as many June 29 calls for whatever they are worth at the time??"
This seems to mean that the above would give me a net $1.7 ($20.35 – $20.60= -.30 + $2 = $1.7) + whatever I get for selling the June 29 calls.
But I am not clear what the implications are if the market moves up or down sharply.  I believe that I have $1.7 to cushion my losses if the market moves down and the April 22 calls expire worthless, but I limit any gains on the upside to $22 plus the premium I received.
What you are suggesting for UNP sounds great but I don’t quite get it either. ("UNP is the same, at $36.39 you can switch to 2 Jan $25s at $13.85 and fully cover those with Apr $40s at 1.65 so that’s $13+ off the table and leaving you in a position that has a $30 spread (2 x $15) if UNH gets back to just $40 and presto – you’re even in 36 days!  (if all goes well)."
If you have the patience to explain what you are suggesting in greater detail, and what the implications are, I’d greatly appreciate it.  Sorry for being such a novice.  Thanks.

SRS … looked like a similar W bottom pattern that I saw w/ SKF…

Cap" what does this mean for SRS, hope it drops more as I have some shorts>

texas/USO  I go back and forth on what future oil prices will be, but I doubt we’ll see $70 this fall.  There was a good article today in the NY Times show that even experts are unsure.   http://www.nytimes.com/2009/03/10/business/10oil.html?_r=1&scp=1&sq=oil%20prices&st=cse
While the near term is unclear, I think that if prices stay down for a while and exploration slows there could be a big increase in a few years when the global economy recovers if people cut  back on exploration.
As for the relationship between USO and the price of a barrel of oil, it’s pretty close to 1.236*USO = price of oil

RMM, I have no idea.  I would think after the huge drop -40 points in a day and a half, it might retrace a bit to the upside; all depends on what the crooks want to do w/ it.

USO/Oil   I just looked and the relationship between USO and the price of oil seems to have changed again.  Probably due to the fees from the ETF.  Also the price relationship between Texas and Brent Sea has changed again.  I’m no oil expert so I’m sure there are others on this board who can give a better explanation. 

Phil / All
What do you think of this for a Memorial day trade, it seems to be a reasonable risk considering the options for adjustment.
Buy June VLO 16 calls and sell the Apr 19’s for $2.20.

More on HOV …. Steve & others, you should really listen to the conference calls and analyst/mgmt Q&A on companies that you are really interested in.
Hovnanian Enterprises: Post-Call Notes: Feb. Pickup Only Seasonal, as Demand Remains Depressed, in Our View

Following its 1Q (Jan-end) call, we provide the following key takeaways (pre-call bullets in body):

Seasonal improvement in February, but demand remains depressed; accordingly, we continue to see further home price declines and large impairment charges. Specifically, while February’s 2.2 orders per community was modestly above last year’s 1.8, we believe this level remains highly depressed; we also note that, on an absolute basis, orders fell 37% YOY for the month. As a result of this still-depressed level of demand, which we believe should be increasingly challenged this year due to rising unemployment and very soft consumer confidence, we believe home prices will continue to decline, particularly as builders (HOV in particular) remain focused on generating positive cash flow in 2009. As a result, we believe this will drive further material impairment charges for both HOV and the industry and continue to weigh on the stocks, in our view.

Some limited land opportunities seen, but not material, in our view. Similar to TOL’s comments last week, HOV noted it has begun to see land opportunities that “make sense,” as it recently bid on a few parcels from banks priced at roughly 15 cents on the dollar. While ultimately outbid, HOV was “optimistic” it was “going to see an increase in good opportunities.” While we believe some sporadic land opportunities may emerge over the next few quarters, we continue to believe they will likely be small in size and limited, given the banks’ reluctance to mark its assets to market, thereby incurring material losses. Overall, we believe the bid-ask spread on available properties will remain wide well into 2009.

Similar to last quarter, no cash flow guidance given; we continue to believe cash flow generation will remain challenging in 2009. Similar to other builders, HOV did not provide any guidance in terms of cash flow generation in FY09. While it noted it will continue to sacrifice margins for cash flow, we continue to believe cash flow generation will be difficult in 2009 for HOV and the industry and view 1Q09’s roughly $120 million cash burn (ex-tax refund), well above 1Q08’s $55 million, as a material concern regarding HOV’s potential for the overall year. While HOV’s land development spend should be less in FY09 as 47% of its 23K owned lots are 80%+ developed, we note that its backlog value at 1Q-end was down 61% YOY, and given the sharp YOY drop in 1Q, believe cash flow generation in FY09 will be materially less than FY08’s $368 million, and could be negative.

USO… Ephman … is that multiple to WTIC or Brent ?

Cap/USO  That used to be the multiple of USO to NYMEX crude price, is that WTIC? Probably.  Someone gave me that number on this board a while ago at the time it was good.  The relationship does not seem to be holding now.  Phil says that it used to be 1:1, but the churning of the futures in USO means that fees have eaten up the ETF so it is losing value in it’s relation to crude.  Now it seems to be closer to 1.5.  Maybe Phil or someone else can enlighten all of us.


 Thanks everyone for the bit of discussion about writing calls midday today.  Seems like everyone kind of has a slightly different flavor on how they approach it, it was good info.  Yeah, Phil’s analogy is better than mine, callers are more like breaks and consistent daily rips aren’t just sustainable.
eph – I agree with your double diagonal end goal.  I’d like to eventually work myself into something like that where I’m selling callers and putters against call/put leaps and basically fine no matter what happens for the most part.  I’ll look into starting an SPY spread.  ETFs like Phil says are attractive due to their 1 dollar increments on strikes which makes rolling a bit more convenient.

ephmen85 the price of USO is only partly related to the "price of oil". There is no fixed ratio.
USO purchases the "current" oil future, and rolls once per month. Its performance is driven by the price of the nearest oil future, the "roll yield", and the yield on US Treasuries.
The price of the nearest oil future is the price you "want". The yield on US treasuries is close to zero.
The roll yield is based on the oil futures Curve, as a snapshot:
April $42.97
May $44.5
June $45.60
What this means is that USO would lose about 3% in the next month, as it rolls from April to May, assuming the price of oil is unchanged. Looking carefully you will see over the last roughly 3 months, that as the price of oil has ranged from roughly 35 to 45, the price of USO has gone from roughly 30 to 27.
Buyer beware!

Phil, what to do with XOM Mar 75 puts covered with XOM Mar 70 and 80 putters? Should I close out the 75/80 spread and keep the naked XOM Mar 70 putter and then roll that next week? I know I’m a day late with these… thanks!

Good Morning Phil & All

Asia Markets :    Thursday, March 12, 2009
(The following is from WSJ; please cross check with other sources to confirm.)   

Nikkei Average*                      7198.25    -177.87    -2.41%
Hang Seng*                          12001.53       70.87      0.59%
China: DJ Shanghai*               244.40        -0.31     -0.13%
Seoul Composite*                 1128.39         0.88       0.08%
Bombay Sensex                     8318.02    157.62       1.93%
Baltic Dry Index                       2271.00     -27.00      -1.20%

*at Close

Asian Markets Turn Lower After Global Rally

Asian markets were on the defensive Thursday as investors viewed rare gains this week as overdone in light of a shaky global economy and financial system. Trading reflected a trend this year of steep declines followed by bursts of small gains that quickly fizzle as investors focus on the bleak global economy and uncertainty about how to cleanse the banking system of toxic debt.

Japan’s Nikkei fell 1.6 percent after a nearly 5 percent rally the previous day, with investors taking profits in banking shares, while insurers fell after a merger report that reminded investors of the sector’s severe business environment.The Nikkei gained 4.6 percent Wednesday, its biggest percentage rise in six weeks, a day after posting a 26-year closing low.

Seoul shares extended losses, down 1.3 percent after the South Korean central bank’s decision to keep the base rate unchanged.

Australian stocks were flat though National Australia Bank surged following a well-received strategy update, but energy stocks limiting gains as they followed oil prices lower.  NAB climbed 4.5 percent. The nation’s top lender announced a 25 percent dividend cut, but analysts said the market was happy the update did not contain any more bad news.

Hong Kong shares slipped into negative territory with Chinese stocks underperforming in the absence of fresh announcement on China’s stimulus spending. HSBC dropped over over 7 percent as its shares begin trading without rights.

Singapore’s Straits Times Index was down 1.3  percent with blue chips mostly lower.

China’s Shanghai Composite Index fell 1.85 percent and turnover shrank as mixed data, which kept alive hopes for an economic recovery but cast doubt on its strength and sustainability, continued to encourage profit-taking. Following very weak February export figures on Wednesday, the government announced Thursday that annual industrial output growth slowed to 3.8 percent in January and February from 5.7 percent in December, coming in well below analysts’ median forecast of 6.4 percent.

Bombay Stock Exchange’s Sensex was at 8367.12, up 206.72 points or 2.53 per cent. The index touched an intra-day high of 8439.71 and low of 8274.78. Benchmarks witnessed some profit booking at higher levels Thursday but continued to remain firm led by gains in oil & gas and banking.

Euro Shares Fall, Led by ArcelorMittal, Banks , Liechtenstein Eases Bank Secrecy

European shares extended their losses in morning trade on Thursday, led by steelmaker ArcelorMittal and banks. The FTSEurofirst 300 index of top European shares was down 1.4 percent at 683.32 points, having risen almost 5.5 percent over the past two sessions.

ArcelorMittal fell 5.8 percent. In financials, Banco Santander was down 4.5 percent, Royal Bank of Scotland fell 4.3 percent and BNP Paribas lost 3.8 percent.

World Bank President Robert Zoellick told the Daily Mail newspaper that the global economy is on track for its worst recession since the 1930s with output likely to shrink by 1-2 percent this year.

Britain’s Home Retail posted further falls in underlying sales and profit margins at its Argos high street catalogue and Homebase do-it-yourself chains but said it would meet full-year profit forecasts. But the group said on Thursday the trading environment in the year to end-February 2010 would be "extremely challenging".

Liechtenstein has agreed to ease its strict bank secrecy law by committing to OECD standards on tax transparency and data exchange, a fresh sign that a global crackdown on tax evasion is forcing offshore centers to open up. The tiny principality, a financial center wedged between Switzerland and Austria, is seeking to be removed from a black list of tax havens and will now offer bilateral tax deals for cooperating in cases of tax fraud and tax evasion.

Baugur Group HF, the high-flying Icelandic retail group that crashed along with its nation’s banks, said Wednesday it would file for bankruptcy after a court called time on its efforts to reorganize. The announcement followed a ruling earlier in the day by the District Court in Reykjavik against extending the moratorium process, which protected Baugur from its creditors. BG Holding EHF, Baugur’s vehicle for its British holdings, is already in administration.

The European Union has imposed antidumping and anti-subsidy duties on imports of biodiesel from the United States, the bloc said on Thursday. From Friday, U.S. firms exporting biodiesel into the EU will have to pay additional antidumping tariffs of up to 29 percent, and anti-subsidy duties of between 29 and 41 percent for an initial six months, the EU said in its Official Journal.

London’s FTSE 100 index, France’s CAC 40 index and Germany’s Xetra DAX index were all down between 0.9 and 1.7 percent.

Oil Rebounds Towards $43 After Bearish Oil Data

Oil prices rebounded towards $43 a barrel on Thursday after a 10 percent fall in the past two sessions on bearish data for the U.S. and China, the world’s two largest oil consumers, and ahead of OPEC’s meeting this weekend.

U.S. light crude [ 42.53    0.20  (+0.47%)] for April delivery rose 59 cents to $42.92 a barrel in the Asian session, having settled more than 7 percent lower on Wednesday at $42.33. London Brent crude [ 42.9    0.35  (+0.82%)] gained 43 cents to $41.83.

Weekly stocks data released by the U.S. Energy Information Administration (EIA) showed a larger-than-expected 700,000 barrel build in crude inventories together with a large 2.1 million barrel rise in distillates stocks.

China crude imports have dropped 13 percent in January-February, the biggest two-month decline in four years.

OPEC  meets on Sunday, with some members calling for another output cut and others insisting greater compliance with current agreements is needed. Saudi Arabia, the biggest and most influential of the 12-member producer group, is among those which believe it is too soon to agree new output targets, sources have said.

Yen Rallies, Rises 1.5% vs Dollar; SNB Eyed

The yen rallied broadly on Thursday, rising more than one percent against the dollar and euro, as Japanese investors repatriated funds and short-term speculators bought yen. Japanese investors typically bring home funds to window dress their books ahead of the end of the business year in March. Data on Thursday also showed Japan’s economy shrank 3.2 percent in the final three months of last year, revised from an initial drop of 3.3 percent but still the sharpest contraction since the oil crisis in 1974.

Swiss franc was pressured against the dollar as the market awaited whether the Swiss National Bank would announce any so-called quantitative easing measures along with a widely expected rate cut later on Thursday.

The dollar [ 96.17    -1.11  (-1.14%)    ] fell as low as 95.79 yen, its weakest in two weeks. It was last down against the Japanese currency. Others said short-term speculators saw the dollar had faced strong resistance in the 99.50-100 yen area and were now selling it short-term. The dollar’s rally from a 13-year low in January lost steam as it approached 100 yen last week.

The euro, sterling and the Australian dollar also weakened against the Japanese currency.

The euro [ 122.93    -1.93  (-1.55%)    ] fell versus the yen.
Elsewhere, the dollar recovered as a recent run in risk appetite lost steam, with the euro and sterling both down against the dollar.
The euro [ 1.2777    -0.0057  (-0.44%)   ] and sterling [ 1.3762    -0.0107  (-0.77%)   ] were down against the dollar.
The dollar [CHF-TN  1.1561    0.0031  (+0.27%)   ] was up against the Swiss franc.
The euro [0.6765    0.001  (+0.15%)   ] was down versus the Swiss franc.

The New Zealand dollar briefly touched a two-week high of $0.5145 after the central bank limited its interest rate cut to 50 basis points. It later fell back to $0.5076, down 0.7 percent on the day.

Gold resilient above $900, ETF hits record

Gold stood at $912.40 an ounce at 0542 GMT (1:42 a.m. EDT), up 0.6 percent from New York’s notional close. It earlier rose as high as $914.05. Traders called gold’s recovery a minor one, however, led by investors and traders who had sold it recently.

SPDR Gold Trust said holdings hit a record 1,038.17 tonnes by March 11, up 9.18 tonnes or nearly 0.9 percent from the previous day. The holdings had logged a fall of 0.3 tonne this month from the previous record of 1,029.29 tonnes first marked on February 26.

The global economic crisis continues to support demand for bullion, as investors flee other asset classes such as stocks and also because major governments’ measures to address it tend to increase inflationary pressure.

I have long 10 GE Mar 12.5’s puts and short 20 Mar 5 puts. I like them long term, but would like to adjust eventual basis down. Target ownership is 1k shares. Any suggestions?

Sorry that’s short the 12.5’s and long the 5’s – sorry.

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