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Q2 Tuesday – Ending With A Whimper, Not A Bang

What happened to our great rally?

We started the quarter off well enough, with the Dow at 7,522 and S&P at 787 on April 1st, we flew right up to 8,000 on the Dow and 840 on the S&P the next day but then it took us the rest of the month to gain 200 more points and the last day of May we finished at 8,500 Dow, S&P 920 - nothing to write home about on the whole.  June 1st was very exciting as we made all our gains for the month that day, flying up to Dow 8,800, S&P 944 but that's where we called a top and cashed out and it's been pretty dull ever since as we've bounced up and down between 8,800 and 8,300 on the Dow and 940 and 900 on the S&P, waiting for a breakout one way or the other.

It's dull to stay in cash, it's like going to the track and not betting on any races.  We really thought we'd get a proper indicator by now and we had fun betting the downturn from the middle of June but even that fizzled and left us back in cash as we head into the holiday weekend.  On the bright side, the VIX has come down substantially and we are now able to pick up long options again at reasonable prices.  This will be fantastic and give us some great leverage but we still need the market to pick an actual direction. 

At least now we have earnings coming so we can evaluate various sectors and place some bets for Q3 but index buying has ruled Q2 and the performance of individual stocks has been washed away as a factor as machine trading has yanked the broader market up and down on a daily basis.  It used to matter how IBM or INTC was doing as an individual company, now the entire Nasdaq can fly to the moon and take PALM, AAPL and RIMM with it, even though it's not very likely that all can do well in the same space for very long (remember MOT?).  We are no longer deluding ourselves that 2Bn people in Asia and Africa will be sporting the newest smart phones on the beach next summer yet the pie in the sky valuations persist, as if there is infinite room for all competitors to sell in the global marketplace.  In fact, emerging market valuations are are back over 40 on a p/e basis so who says we can't have another "dot com" boom?

Commodities are trading like .com stocks, where no business plan is required as long as you sell something that can be traded on the ICE or the CME, where EVERYTHING is valuable to somebody.  Not since YHOO was priced at $300 a share has the greater fool theory been more evident with more and more investors chasing fewer and fewer commodities as the reality of production shutdowns due to low demand meets the unreality of a speculative bubble that is fueled by wave after wave of new buyers, who can't find anything else to put their money into so they chase the only "performing" sector and that's commodities.

It doesn't matter that global demand is down or that supply is plentiful.  Arguing logic with a commodity bull is like trying to tell a investor that people aren't going to overpay for pet food on-line just because a sock puppet told them to – they just don't want to hear it.  That sock puppet is going to make them rich and there's nothing you can do or say to make them think otherwise until the bubble bursts and they realize none of the profits that were projected ever materialized and that the sock puppet was, in fact, a sock puppet and couldn't even be sold on EBay.  Just yesterday, despite the IEA telling investors there is no growth in the energy markets and won't be for 5 years, oil and gasoline had their best day in a month.  There is no point discussing fundamentals with these people, they just NEED to have their bubble burst – just like last year, they won't believe it can happen until after it happens and, even then, they'll be back less than a year later to do it again….

[U.K. household expenditure dropped 1.3% in the first quarter, the biggest decline since 1980.]The UK economy posted the largest decline in 50 years this morning with output down 4.9% vs down 4.4% expected by our "green shoot" spouting economists.  A sharper than expected decline in construction output as well as declining service output led the declines.  Overall GDP was off 2.4%, revised down from 1.9% (25% worse).  James Knightley, U.K. economist at ING, said the figures were "much worse than expected" but added that they "should only provide a temporary knock to sentiment."   This is, indeed, JUST like the .com days when a company would lose $100M in a quarter, drop 25% in value and call it "a temporary knock to sentiment."  Household expenditure dropped 1.3% in the first quarter on a quarterly basis, the biggest decline since 1980. Real household disposable income fell 2.4%, also the largest since 1980.  Oh yeah, 1980 – good times! 

Asian stocks were led higher by the Nikkei, who jumped 1.8% led by energy stocks as oil was pushed up to $73 in overnight trading (now back to $71.70 at 9 am).  Despite the party thrown by the commodity pushers, the Nikkei failed to hold 10,000 and finished at 9,958 after a 200+ point gap open failed to close the deal.  It was far worse on the Hang Seng, where a better than 300-point gap open on very excited pre-market trading turned into an all-day route where the market gave up 500 points and finished the day down 149 at 18,378.  "Investors expect that after the recent window-dressing activities, the market will enter a phase of correction," said Ben Kwong, chief operating officer at KGI Asia, referring to purchases made by institutional investors recently to shore up the value of their stock virtual portfolios.  Meanwhile, unemployment in Japan hit a 6-year high.

Europe is trading flat ahead of the US open and my big fear for the week is:  What if this IS the windown dressing?  Euro-zone CPI posted its first drop ever this morning with French PPI down 6.7% from last year and Italian Producer Prices down 6.1% from last year as the economies remain stuck in the mud.  Bloomberg published an article this morning warning that a crisis in the Pound is brewing.  “The probability of a real sterling crisis is around one in three, and the probability of major tax hikes and cuts in public spending is roughly one in one,” the Harvard's Niall Fergusun says.

The US economy got some relatively good news as Case-Shiller showed homes "only" declined 18.1% since last April.  This is up from down 18.7% in March and is the first month-over-month improvement since January 2006 so nothing to sneeze at although home prices were UP 16% year-over-year in 2006, as opposed to down 18% now.  In general, housing prices are now back to mid-2003 levels, wiping out 6 years of home wealth-building and we MUST hold it together here or the majority of US homes with mortgages could end up underwater, which will lead to another massive round of bank write-downs. 

So it's green shoots or bust in this economy and we'll do our best to ignore pesky little facts like New York City Business Activity contracting in June with a massive fall from 61.3 all the way back to 44.8, a disaster that is being swept under the rug by the MSM on this last day of the quarter celebration.  Also getting little attention today is Redbook's Retail Report, which is showing June sales down 4.4% from the first 4 weeks of May.  I wonder if that includes gasoline sales as gasoline is up 28% for the month….  Yes it's still a scary market out there and, annoying as it is not to play – we still love our cash at the moment.

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  1. Its good to see crap data can still move markets up !. House prices (case-shiller) -0.6% and RedBook -4% week on year

  2. Dollar Index is sorta blasting off in the last 10 minutes ??

  3. Not much to watch re. levels at the moment.  Today’s action should be meaningless no matter what they do. 

    It would be hard to imagine they came this far to let the markets slip but that is what happened in Hong Kong this morning as everything sold off into the opening pump. 

    SCHN earnings were a big miss and that should hurt X so we’ll keep an eye on them ($36.85 at the moment) to see how sentiment is looking.   UBS has already rode into the rescue and upped their target on steel pricing for the year. 

    Oil is back down to $71.34 and boy do they want to jam $75 to force a squeeze into the holiday, that should keep all commodities going unless they fail to break $72.  The dollar hasn’t really moved despite going up and down 1.5% since yesterday’s US close.  Still $1.407 for the Euro and $1.652 for the Pound and 96.35 Yen.  Gold still $935.

    OIH back at $100 and XLE over $48.50, both big lines to hold. 

    You can tell when the pump is on because they have Cramer doing special segments telling you to buy banks!  XLF right on that 12 line and GE really does need a boost (down 37% for the year).   Watch GS $150 too and, of course, C still stuck at $3.

  4. Considering the low VIX (still 25.44) the premiums on options are total BS.  I was looking at shorting GS but the $140 puts are $2.13, kind of high…  Still I like the strade with a stop at $150.

  5. Phil – If you were window dressing wouldn’t you buy on the last day but one to push the market up and sell on the last day to get a better price for what you sell.  ?? 

  6. Shhhh, RAD is moving – up.

  7. Penny stock EPEX.  Nice little bull flags.

  8. Dressing/DB – It’s all a matter of what you want to show in your portfolio.  A lot of funds like to stuff their books with winners to show how "smart" they were during the quarter so a lot of support for commodities by all the wise funds who want to make sure their investors know they caught that trend.  What really matters is what happens next week, once people have to get real and position into earnings. 

    Volume in first half hour 24M, it’s like the same exact program runs every day!

    Consumer confidence 49.3, down from 54.8 and CNBC trying to confuse people and making it sound good!  This is just stupid!  IT’S A 10% DROP YOU MORONS!

  9.  great info, esp things like the ny city business activity and redbook retail reports, neither of which i’ve heard anything of on cnbc (haven’t checked fox business yet)

  10. adanlerma – They haven’t reported redbook for the last 3 weeks (because they have shown a 4% drop in consumer each time (cynical)) However most internet newsfeeds show them. I use the etrade/briefing newsfeed but dow jones would do the same.

  11. XLF  I’ve got a call spread, currently naked.   Any suggestions about covering?

  12. Currently 10% drop in consumer confidence is LESS THAN 150 years for Madoff :-)

  13. Wow, it’s rough out there!  Played it both ways this morning for a slight gain.. but it’s like trying to sail in gail force winds!  Waiting for calmer seas.  If I was looking to unload, today would be the day to do it.  The ant-window dressing play.  I just can’t believe ‘they’ will allow it though. 
    I think GS reporting will be the top of the market for July.  If it doesn’t begin to fall before that..

  14. XLF blew $12, USO testing $38, GS moving down nicely.  OIH right back below $100, XLE below $48.80….

    Volume 35M and sell-off pretty broad-based at the moment. 

    Fox Business/Adanlerma – Let me know how that goes!  8-)

    XLF/Eph – What spread?

  15. DIA $86 puts finally paying off at $1.30, stop at $1.20 as today is the last day – .15 trailing once past $1.35, add .05 per .15 gained.

  16. This is exciting!  Could today be when bears attack?

  17. Or just a flush before they push it ridiculously higher..

  18. I think if it were a flush they would have opened lower.  Not higher.. So I’m inclined to believe it’s a real attack..

  19. hey phil – on your spec plays, like GS, is your general sell discipline 10-12 cents and then out for a day trade?

  20. Great, I knew yesterday when I missed the fill on those DIA 86 puts that I’d regret it. 

  21. LOL!  YOu shoulda known when I pick a day a month ago to go long you should run for cover!!

  22.  should bounce on the 8440 support line…
    Hey Phil whatchya think about a gamble on the Jun DIA 84 call?

  23. At about this time yesterday I was saying that SPY 91.6 is acting as support. That was about the time Madoffs sentences was announced and the market took off. We seem to be back there again. So -10% consumer confidence is now = to 1 Madoff (or 150 years)

  24. GS/BC – While I’m happy to take 10% and run, when there’s a month left like these is now, I’m also happy to let it ride when the market does what I think.  Like the DIA puts are now $1.65 so a stop at $1.50, it’s the same with GS – I’ll push the stops and even go to an even exit if I think the downturn is more than a one-day blip.  Looking at the Hang Seng and the data we’ve had today, it’s very possible we could have a relentlessly down day to close the Q.

    Calls/Matt – I see no reason at all to be bullish.  Maybe for a PM pump if we can hold 8,400 but I’m not sure we will.  Oil failed $70 and gold is at $925, bad for 2 sectors if they can’t hold it.  8,430 has been the hard line for the Dow to cross and that just fell pretty fast so look out below if we gather some speed here.

  25.  DIA Jun 84 for .52… small gamble just for fun ….fingers crossed and rolling the dice

  26. XLF  Adjusted spread:  + 4 Sep 11 Calls, + 2 Jan ’11 7 Calls / no callers

  27. Semis and tech stocks holding up pretty well. This doesn’t look like last Monday, when these were getting dumped. Not yet, anyway.

  28. PPT seem to have stopped the rot.

  29. hey phil – thanks for thoughts on GS….
    any thoughts on adding a tab to top pf the page on commodities…if no, are there any blogs.nesletter editors who you respect on the metals

  30. Just a rest I think before the next leg down.  Don’t forget your expected 20% retraces...

    XLF/Eph – With the Sept $11s at $1.44 it’s a shame not to take .35 for the July $12s isn’t it?  You still have the naked Jans and that’s a 20% montly return, not to mention the protection…

    Volume 57M coming into 11 am so a bit better than usual (recent usual, not to be confused with "normal" which is double this). 

    Perhaps that was the effect of one fund pulling out, we’ll see if they are the only one and we’ll certainly see how sincere the bargain hunters are as we just gave back all of yesterday’s gains so the same people who were SOOOO excited to buy yesterday morning should be lining up now that they’ve got another great opportunity to scoop things up cheap.  Unless, of course, yesterday’s buying was BS. 

    Dow is holding 8,430 and 8,400 must hold, S&P needs 918 to get out of danger and 915 must hold, Nas 1,825 is the problem line with a big drop below there and 5,870 needs to hold on NYSE and 507 on the RUT.  Blowing those lines leads to a 2.5% rule test today, about double the fall so far

    Commodities/BC – I don’t watch the metals too much, nothing but gold bugs and those people are looney!  Sadly, there are very few people who actually think fundamentals matter in commodity trading.  Perhaps they are right but I do prefer my macro calls to being a trend follower. 

  31. Not seeing much movement from JTX since the open (Oxen Trade), anyone in it have opinion?
    This may be my second hold it a while oxen position, not sure.

  32. On the commodity tidbit phil, I just came across this from naked cap ->
    China Signals End of Stockpiling.
    This plus quarter end a good point for a speculative short on iron ore stocks, etc?

  33.  Oh well… more than 20 mins since the dive and no bounce back over 8440… that probably smokes my lil DIA 84 gamble
    no free restaurant dinner tonight… chuckle

  34. what’s the matter Phil, you do not subscribe to the Ruff Times?   :)

  35. JTX/Steve – I find Dave’s trades are better if you don’t go after the ones that gap up.  Too much chasing puts you at a big disadvantage.  He’s targeting off yesterday’s price so if you open 5% higher, you’re already over his exit point.

    Iron/Smasher – I think that makes sense (I just mentioned the poor SCHN earnings this morning as a bad sign for the sector) but you’re chasing a big drop this morning so be careful. 

    Free gambles/Merk – I think wait for the stick if we drift along here through 2:30 but I’m still leaning towards a 2.5% move down first and then maybe a rescue to 1.25% (about here). 

  36. Ruff/BC – Oh that guy has correctly called 20 of the last 2 crashes!  8-)

    C broke below $3!  BAC down despite Cramer’s glowing pick this morning.  XLF $11.92. 

    At least all AIG directors were re-elected!  Good job boys….

  37. Phil,
     With the reverse split on FAZ on July 8th, what happens to the options? I have 900 shares and  9 July  $5 Putters/Callers so upon conversion i would only have 90 shares. Should I Buy/Write another 100 shares to make it even?

  38. Damn, $1.85 on the DIA puts without a stop trigger – THAT is WEAK!  Trailing stop should now be .20 but, if we bust through 8,400, then that can become a stop once we drop 25 more (25 point trail). 

  39. FAZ/Wes – I think we need to re-evaluate them as protection at that point.  If we get a good run, maybe we cash out and wait to see what happens.

    HOV still hanging tough.

    Oil holding $69, gold holding $925 so far. 

  40. Steven / JTX
    I’m in JTX. Placed a $6.15 buy order and filled about 10:37am 
    Stop at $5.95 , just lettle below yesterday close ($6.01). Lets see.
    I like the stock, so if it does ok I will be holding some days

  41. 20 of the last 2 crashes!! im stealing that one, phil

  42. Goldman cuts refiners, TSO to sell.   Guess who they are short going into quarter end ?

  43. why do you think srs is down today?

  44. Phil,
    What would suggest as as way to play VIX increasing by the end of the year? The Dec 30 calls @ $4.4 look Ok.

  45. SParker – you also holding RIMM? It’s creeping up today. might get the 2% after all.
    Thanks for that insight Phil. I’ll be watching closer.

  46. I hear ya Phil… you made a great hit on those 86 puts with 1.88 bid on those right now
    If they do a breakdown to the 8320 support level… I might do another small gamble … probably on a few DIA 83 calls just to see if i can get my money back and maybe still win a free dinner out of it   ;)

  47. SRS/Roamer – Good catch, that’s strange behavior.  VNO and BXP are both up nicely today too. 

    VIX/Wes – I’d been looking at those plays but I don’t like the premiums.  Historically, 30 is a very high VIX number.  Also, each month of the VIX is a different calculation so going up this month won’t always give you upside in longer months – it’s a real pain to play…

    GS hanging very tough at $147, look for that to break if we’re going to get another leg. 

  48. Phil/Merk – do you have a recommendation on the July DIA put or calls? I think you are still trading Jun, right?

  49. Matt Taibbi vs Goldman, round 2.

    I’m still pursuing that class-action lawsuite angle by the way.  I have a meeting with a big firm set up in July, the guys who sued tobacco companies…

    DIA/Morx – I still like the Sept $88 puts, back at $6.13 again (they go between $5.60 and $6.90) and SELLING front-month puts against those rather than paying for premium and gambling on the front-months.

  50. i just watched the new Parness commercial and I am speechless….Kaa- ching??!

  51.  Hey Phil… since it’s a boring slow trade day… 
    I’m looking at September DIA options comparing 79 puts against 89 calls. Puts are selling almost twice as expensive as calls for 500 points out of the money. That signals to me that the market expects the likely move is DOWN…
    and an upside move during the next quarter would be a big suprprise.
    I’m also getting e-mails from Prechter calling for a "3 of 3 recognition wave" down. What’s your opinion for next quarter being down? What is out there that could provide the excuse for a surprise upside move to make the next quarter positive?

  52.  Phil,
    Are they setting up for a stick save today?

  53. Upside/Merk – It would have to be earnings or inflation to keep the market going.  Of course we’ve had such a big run in commodities that there needs to be some serious rotatation before we get anything sustainable going.  Emerging market valuations are out of control and I don’t know what’s going to get them in-line so you really need a lot of things to go right for us to put up a good Q and only one thing (of many possible) to go wrong to turn us down.

    Stick/Bld – Volume is just 87M after 3 hours, anything less than 20M per half hour is stickable.  It depends on if any of the big boys are looking to cash in after lunch.  Right now, the general consensus is we can hold the 1.25% line, which marks a very minor pullback that can be quickly reversed. 

  54.  double bounced 8400… maybe, maybe, maybe… chuckle

  55. I am not able to see comments and the RSS feed is not working.  I am signed in and everything was working earlier

  56. Disappointing, bears cant make it stick again

  57. Phil: on the Sept DIA, do you enter & exit as it moves from $5.60 to $6.90 or are you holding it as insurance?

  58. Has anyone ever tried a sort of ‘po-folk dispersion trade’?
    In a typical dispersion trade, as I understand it, you go long the stocks on an index, like SPY, each in a ratio corresponding to their index weighting, and then sell offsetting calls on that same index for a delta-neutral trade to focus on the premium collection.
    The small-scale version I’m thinking of is: go long some basket of stocks like, say, the Dow 30 with diagonals using LEAP calls and selling front months a few strikes up for a conservative bull position, and then also go long an offsetting put position using LEAP puts on the corresponding index and, again, selling the front-month puts a few strikes below. (I sometimes think Phil’s mattress trades + 100K portfolio is not that different from this.)
    I’m asking in part because a couple of the IRAs that I manage for family members are almost in this position: they are long about 18 of the Dow 30 with LEAP diagonals, and then I’ve set them up with LEAP put spreads on the DIA. I didn’t try to balance the weighting really, but even so it seems to be working pretty well, frankly. In fact, they seem to make money every week.

  59. FAZ/FAS Contracts?
    Hey guys, what will happen to our option contracts when FAZ/FAS splits in TWO weeks.  I haven’t had the pleasure of going throught this yet.
    Do we just close out our contracts before hand?

  60. Phil/Right now, the general consensus is we can hold the 1.25% line - Who makes up the concensus ?

  61. I think on reverse stock splits you usually wind up with a special option that covers a small number of shares (like 25 in a 4:1 reverse split) at a higher strike. If it were me (which it isn’t) I wouldn’t really let it worry me or chase me out of the trade.

  62. DIA/Morx – Insurance but you can day trade the front-month puts in and out, using the longer months as a backstop so it’s safer than risking naked sales all the time. 

    Dispertion/Eric – That is very similar to the mattress strategy but much more index neutral.  With the mattress plays, we like to pick strong stocks for long bullish positions and short a weak sector (usually the Dow) to offset a downturn.  You can get much more delta neutral by pursuing mainly Dow components but it does kind of suck the fun out of it….

    FAZ/XLF’d – I’d lean towards getting out and reloading later, I don’t see any advantage to holding the off contracts which may end up thinly traded.  We’re only in FAZ right now and happy to get back to even. 

    Consensus/DB – That’s my skimming articles and blogs of people writing on the markets including comments I pick up along the way – not scientific but I can get a sense of what people are saying.  Of course, they are not articulating 1.25%, just that people were playing for a bottom and, kind of like counting cards, I assign a + or – value in my head to each comment I pick up weighted by authority, which is how I decide that we were more likely paused than stopped. 

  63. Yeah Phil I wasn’t recommending the dow components necessarily — those were chosen by the IRA’s owners. What’s cool is that despite the mediocre stock-picking these things still make consistent money.
    I tell my family it was their stock picking skills, of course.

  64. Whee, oil below $69 finally!

    8,400 hanging very tough on the Dow though and gold is not budging. 

    Volume 100M in hour 4, still low volume and still stickable but it seems like a big effort is being made to maintain these levles so let’s watch this hour’s volume closely as we may be using up our stick allocation early.

    JOSB up 5%, that’s interesting.  AAPL still good, ISRG hanging on, MCD steady, VLO up (with other refiners downgraded), YRCW up of course, RIMM up 2%.  BXP up 2.7%, VNO up .66%, FSLR up 1.6%, PALM keeps going up and up…

    LOL Eric! 

  65. Not sure why JOSB was up to star the day but CNBC brought someone in around 10:30 or so and I caught him commenting that he liked JOSB.  That could be the reason for the follow through from the morning.

  66. Phil/Consensus – Thnx . Any thoughts on staying short into the job figures tomorrow ?

  67. Phil are you shorting oil futures still…thanks

  68. Phil are we still bullish on C for the 100K portfolio? Enter here or give it till next week?

  69. Anyone know why SPRW is selling off?

  70. Jobs/DB – Traders would be pretty clueless if Jobs are going to be an upside and they are selling off today.  I don’t trust that ADP number at all but Thursday we get NFP and that’s a biggie and is expected to be down just 400K so I don’t think ADP is going to move the market unless they are much worse than -500K (negative surprise).  More important tomorrow is Construction Spending and ISM at 10 am and then oil inventories will be watched closely at 10:30 after today’s big sell-off.  We also get auto sales tomorrow so busy, busy all day long. 

    I’m thrilled to get the short plays off the table and get back to cash into the uncertainty.

    C/Morx – I still like them LONG-term but short-term they are a mess.

    SPWRA/Red – All the solars are taking a hit on lower oil prices. 

    Franken wins!  Finally….  That’s 60 Senate seats for the Dems – goodbye fillibuster…

  71.  Senator Franken… now we can watch SNL skits in C-Span

  72. I’ll be looking forward to speeches on C-Span expounding on  Lies (And The Lying Liars Who Tell Them).

  73. I’d happily give GS all of TARP, all the treasuries they want , double their salaries , give em back their bonus BUT stop these ********* stick saves !

  74. rah rah Mr. Stick…. 2 strikes with 2 outs…. can I get a 9th inning home run for the win and a free dinner??

  75. I hope Franken doesn’t sell out and turns the Senate into a total farce – it would be so entertaining!

    Heck of an oil stick save into the close, up almost $1.  Couldn’t quite get $70 though…  Still up 40% for the quarter and Sharon is still cheerleading $85….

    That’s my big issue with the market.  Oil goes up and the market goes up as if oil is the market.  It’s not and it shouldn’t be, we’ve just allowed our economy to be dominated by the commodity sector but that is part of the classic guns and butter equation and we are now a guns or nothing economy.  The manufacturing and service sectors do not positively impact the markets when they do well, only the commodity pushers and moneylenders do that so things that are bad for the people are good for the market and things that are good for the people (improve quality of life, create jobs) give us no maket impact.  The government MUST intervene to fix this relationship or we will be doomed by it.

  76. Phil!  You’re really going to pursue a class action against GS?  That’s awesome.
    I think we have an anti-stick today.  Still plenty of room to fall on the Naz and still have a green month.

  77. Stick/DB – Why be upset, it’s the 2:30 stick.  Surely by now you are playing for it?

    Oh look, FSLR got back over $160, now I feel better!  8-)

    PALM is making new highs over $16.50.

  78. Wow, CNBC doing a decent job of laying blame for the current crises at the feet of the gov’t response to 911.  Did those bastards (AlQaida) f this country up or what?  Greenspan has gone from guru to goat.

  79. Class action/Matt – I’ll do it if they are going to take it on contingency, that’s the key to the whole thing is convincing the firm it’s winnable and worth the effort.

    That’s actually a nice CNBC report! 

  80. I’ve never heard of a class action that wasn’t based on contingency.  Whether it’s winnable is the question.  Go for it!

  81. Iraq…That’s right.  Looking at a chart of SP, NAS, the market bottom right around the time when we went to war.  That entire 5 year rally was in response to the huge government spending for both Afghan and Iraq wars.  Now we have Obama stimulus to do what he hopes will be the same thing.

  82. Something was brought up in the Optrader page about using the RSS feeds versus setting a page to auto-reload.  I’ve been doing the latter and just now tried to set an RSS feed on the comments for this page and on Optrades page and neither of them are working for me.
    Is it on my end or server side?

  83. I couldn’t get it working either.  Got an IE error page.

  84. the RSS feeds are password protected so unless your feed reader understands authentication it’s not likely to work

  85. I thought I felt a small pulse my DIA 84 "stick save" call gamble but at 2:54 it stopped breathing and now needs CPR… LOL

  86. I closed out my ELN July calls and did an August buy/write that puts me in the stock at around $5.

  87. ELN and BIIB are taking a nice haircut today.  Another case of PML with their MS drug.  Doesn’t MSM get it?  The patients have no other choice.  I would take the risk, and if PML hits, then it is faster than MS…..

  88. phil – speaking of GS, I am still in this 140 put (from about $2.20)…I wanted to see if you are still in to see if follow through down tomorrow?

  89. PeterD…..any adjustments on Indexes yet?????  What are your positions??   GABBY

  90.  it’s alive…it’ s ahhh-liiiiive.. bwah-hahahahhaahaa

  91. Phil, looks like stick action… go short into the close today???

  92.  c’mon Mr. Stick… just 50 pts more is all I want

  93. Like Tyler said yesterday "What do you get when you cross Atlantic City with E-Bay?  The U.S. equity capital markets. And I’d add corrupt.

  94. OMEX – another $1 stock that flew across my radar (where do these come from??).  Ship company that profits from ship wrecks.  Fell on a lawsuit filed by Spain, but huge gap to fill.  Might be worth a flier for those who davel in the riskier territory.  ;)

  95. RSS/Smasher – You need an RSS feeder that works with password-protected content. Not sure what works….

    The oil scam continues:  Oil companies refuse to bid to produce Iraq oil, BP wins only contract awarded at $3.99 per barrel, XOM walked away from $4.80 per barrel.  This is over 2mbd of oil that can be up and running in 6 months, more oil than if we drill Alaska and all known off-shore reserves,  The companies must produce oil at the contract price and then there’s profit sharing that works out to about $16 a barrel on $50 but they are refusing to bid as 2Mbd coming on-line in Iraq would be more than Nigeria’s total production…

    ELN/Pharm – I find these are great opportunities to get in once the nonsense dies down.

    GS/BC – No, made 20%+ and that’s that.  They topped out at $2.65 off $2.13 entry, which made $2.55 the stop out. 

    Stick/Mirachael – Not enough stick to short into but I’d go with down for tomorrow if I were going to bet it.  Very in-between at the moment though.

    Corrupt/DB – Atlantic City is reknowned for their corruption already.

  96. OMEX/Pharm – The loss to Spain was a big deal because it calls into question the entire concept of salvage rights, which is the only way they make a profit long-term.   I was shocked Spain won that, it’s total BS and really sucks for OMEX…

    Wow, last minute stick power coming on strong…. 

    Volume 145M, still stickable with just 15 mins left so poor showing if they don’t on the whole.

    Oil back to $70.15 and gold still $928. 

  97. oh, I am so happy now – day late, dollar short as usual on an options day trade…of course I am still in it and instead of profit, now a loss.
    thats what i get

  98. Mr. Stick seems to be losing the battle into the final period…  Maybe tomorrow heads further down as volume drys up further and people go neutral into holiday weekend.

  99. oh, and thanks phil for feedback and trade idea on GS- did not mean to imply I was annoyed with you at all…i should stick to what I know, which is NOT the long or short options day trade

  100.   dang… stalling out just enough to get the ask back to where I bought in… then fast back down into the 8440 ditch…
    so cruel


  101. Annoyed/BC – ???  I didn’t get an annoyed vibe…  Those little day trades are great if you have conviction to turn them into longer trades when they burn you and take the very quick profits when they work.  Notice I’ve only been making a couple of calls a day lately but as long as we get a couple like GS and the DIA puts – why gamble on other nonsense?

    Cruel/Merk – That’s why I was advocating staying out.  No compelling reason to buy so why play a game that’s 50/50 at best? 

    Lots of data tomorrow and plenty of reactions to play – should be fun! 

  102. In a Monty Python voice – "Pah I laugh at your Stock Market"

  103. Naz red for the day, unchanged for the week and green for the month.  That’s 4 straight months.  A new record!  Kidding.  I have no idea.  But I know it’s unusual.  Just wait till they beat us over the head with that one.  I’m really unsure about tomorrow.  I think new money will be coming in the market and they may want to pop us through the holiday only to drop us like a prom dress on Monday.  But who knows… cept that time is ticking till its get shorty time.

  104. NYSE will no longer make it possible to keep tabs on Goldman shenanigans.
    With all this talk about greater transperancy from Obama and co and leveling the playing field etc etc, what are the odds this move has the blessing of the administration.  All this talk about manipulation and growing proof of it  is no good for Obama.

  105. I might add, in this sense he’s little improvement over Bush.  As long as it’s in the public’s best interest in his mind, it appears no level of cronyism and manipulation to inflate stock prices is too great. 

  106. This is great.  If only everyone would view.  And I don’t just mean everyone here.  I mean everyone.  Dylan Ratigan’s new show with Huffington and Spitzer.  Spitzer called for the reinstatement of Glass-Stiegal.  So did I about 3 months ago but hey, whose keeping track!  Woa, what just happend AH in QID/QLD?

  107. Spitzer and Huffington say Obama has been captured by Larry Sumners.  Sumners was instrumental in repealing the Glass-Stiegal Act during the Clinton Admin.  I knew I didn’t like this guy!  If he gets appointed the head of the Fed we’re in trouble.  I mean more trouble!

  108. Something is going on…for the first time in about 7 months I was able to short shares of the inverse ETFs SDS and and QID.  Most of 08  could short them until around end of Nov.  Then they became always too hard to borrow.  Now for the first time since then they are no longer THTB.  Last time it was general sign of a top as big players gobbled up short-biased inverse ETF short and sat on them.  Now perhaps they’ve sold them.  I wonder how many of those belonged to Goldman?

  109. GS/NYSE  Complete Garbage!!!  Lets hope Dylan Ratigan can do something with this one. What bullshit…..

  110. Phil / Crude: What are your thoughts on the API data after the close. Drawdown of 6.8mn bbl. It spiked crude futures another $0.50 after the $0.75 spike into the NYMEX close. All they need is the Nigerian Kalashnikov Brigade to hit another pipeline overnight, and maybe they get this pig back to $72. 

  111. Franken is a farce.  What a nut job.
    And a stolen election to boot (oh yeah, Dems don’t steal elections, ya sure).

  112. Summers, see what happened b/c the lefties hounded him out of Harvard ?

  113. GS / NYSE … how convenient …. just another trampling of the constitution by the regime.

  114. neverworkagain …. love the handle … hope its true for ya….

  115. Good Morning Everyone
    A new month and all consumer woes are forgotten. FTSE up about 1% just 10 minutes into the months trading. US futures being pushed up likewise. I thought the PPT did a grand job at the close yesterday. That was a big drop in Consumer Confidence. Wonder if the job figures will reflect that.

  116. RE: "NYSE will no longer make it possible to keep tabs on Goldman shenanigans.
    With all this talk about greater transperancy from Obama and co and leveling the playing field etc etc, what are the odds this move has the blessing of the administration.  All this talk about manipulation and growing proof of it  is no good for Obama."
    I think that this accusation was a misunderstanding by the reporting groups.  The NYSE will begin program trading reporting off of internal databases in an automated fashion rather than relying on the firms to submit reports.  Supposedly this will make the reports more accurate not more obscure.  It may however make comparisons to past reports dubious.

  117. S+P futures now $1.4 off yesterday’s lows. A bright 3Q ahead.

  118. Good morning!

    Shorting inverses/Bri – That’s a tough one to say whether positive or negative sign…

    API/Never – That’s very surprising, we’ll have to wait for this morning’s data to see how much of that was lack of imports or increased utilization.  Oil is skating along $71 this morning, up from $70 at the close.

    Nikkei has a freaky morning, opened below 9,900, huge jam-up in the afternoon to just under 10,100 and then finish at 9,039.  Hang Seng was closed   FTSE is a gap open and flatlining since (waiting to see if we bite too), CAC and DAX are similar but less crazy looking.

  119. Good Morning Phil – Any predictions for today’s data ?

  120. Good Morning, Like your take on STX calls.  Nikkei finish looks like a typo

  121. ADP Jobs -473000 against -400000 expected. Futures still up. We still dont care about jobs or consumer confidence.