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Chart Art and Market Manipulation, CNBC Style!

We have a new section at Phil’s Stock World, it’s called Chart School.

We will be featuring Technical Charters and Analysis from some of the top people on the web.  If you are interested in contributing or know someone you think would be a good contributor, contact Ilene@ our .com address (I don’t want her getting spam by putting her email in a post!) and let her know who you think would make a good addition to our roster.  We’re looking not just for nice charts, but also for people who are skilled in explaining them.  A good chart person needs to be a little bit of an artist, which is why I’m not one – my drawing skills make my daughters laugh, and not in a good way!

Like all good art, charts are subject to interpretation and different people will see different things, and come to different conclusions - from looking at exactly the same thing.  That’s why I like to look at lots of different charts and try to check my bias at the door and let art speak for itself.  Here’s a few that caught my eye this morning, starting with this interesting S&P chart by Ichimoku, who uses the SPX Price/TRIX daily divergence to catch a possible correction brewing just ahead of us (something I agree with for fundamental and technical reasons):

Interetsing stuff!  Of course, I will caution members (as I had to when everyone was getting "Head and Shoulders" fever) that these are unprecedented market moves and "normal" charting techniques will often fail you here.  We have record amounts of cash on the sidelines in proportion to the size of the market, which itself is trading on low volumes, which means it doesn’t take very much to override a bearish chart.  It also would not take much of a panic to wash out the relatively small number of people who buy into the market every day. 

As I mentioned in yesterday’s comments, just 20M out of 1.3Bn of IBM’s shares were exchanged yesterday at prices that averaged $112.50 per share yet that $2.25Bn worth of rangey trading upped IBM’s total market cap by $6.5Bn.  Should the other 98.5% of the shareholders decide they’d like to get the $115 closing price for their shares, they may find the "value" isn’t quite what the chart says at the moment.  This is nothing against IBM, they are worth about $115 – as long as not too many people want to sell it at once or then, like the entire market in November and March, when IBM was trading at $82 and hit our Bargain-Basement Buy List, a stock is just worth whatever you can get for it at the moment.

For example, what does this IBM chart tell you?  Certainly it’s not telling you that IBM will be making a new high in 10 days…  We did pretty much bottom out at $99.50 the next day but the move from $100 was 100% this week and IBM hit $110 (up 10%) before the earnings were announced.  Market sentiment can turn charts on a dime and market manipulators tend to time their "news," like Meredith Whitney’s much publicized bullish call on financials, that was timed perfectly for Monday’s open or Nouriel Roubini’s "bullish" comments that were also used to goose the markets on Thursday.  I’m not saying that Whitney was herself manipulating the markets but think how easy it is for GE/CNBC to SCHEDULE her for the date and time they wanted in order for her announcement to have the desired effect.  While Whitney is thrilled to be taken seriously and credited for moving the market, Nouriel Roubini cried foul, citing CNBC as using him for their own agenda as they took his words entirely out of context.

Why would the fine broadcasters at CNBC do such a thing?  Well perhaps because parent company GE knew they were going to have a stinker of a quarterly report and wanted to garner some favorable market conditions to drop their bomb in to cushion the impact.  Beleaguered CEO Jeff Immelt faced down a lot of angry shareholders in March as the stock dropped to less than 20% of the 2-year average.  Still hovering around $12, what do you think the impact would have been if GE had announced mediocre results in an unfavorable market?  As it was, the company dropped 8% on Friday but that was only giving up 1/2 of the Whitney/Roubini rally that was led by 5 days of pom-pom waving on GE’s financial network

Now Immelt himself only owns 1.7M shares of GE stock but I’m sure he has just tons of options that are underwater.  If that’s not motive enough, he has $123Bn worth of shareholders who will certainly want to know what happened to their other $300Bn and are losing their patience, so there’s some serious motive.  The means is CNBC and the opportunity is the ability to filter the news in order to create an environment that allows you to add $20Bn in market cap over 4 days ahead of an earnings report that shows you should have gone $20Bn the other way.  Case closed, book ‘em Danno!

Does that sound too conspiratorial?  Maybe I am being a little unfair.  After all CNBC did report that Barclays Capital analyst Jason Goldberg lowered his estimates on a number of banks (not GE) Monday but he also projected the second quarter will show a continuation of several positive trends seen in the first quarter, including a strong capital-markets environment and a solid mortgage-refinance backdrop. Goldberg also expected an improvement in service charges and for market-related write-downs to continue declining so, generally, a positive report.  On Tuesday afternoon, when the markets were flagging, CNBC reported that Barclays had raised their 2009 target for the S&P 500 to 930 from 875 saying: "Looking ahead, we think the market will break through the midpoint (850) of its recent range (1000-700) this summer before enjoying the second leg of the ‘recovery rally."

It is interesting to note that Barclays is the single largest shareholder of GE, something I must fail to overhear in the disclosure statements when the guests come on CNBC, and that their 424M shares jumped over $400M in value this week.  I’m sure things are on the up and up at Barclays as they just appointed Bush’s Under-Secretary of State for Economic Affairs, Reuben Jeffery III, to the Board of Directors.  Mr Jeffrey was a managing partner at Goldman Sachs and was also the chairman of the Commodity Futures Trading Commission under Bush during the biggest commodity rally in history before being promoted to Under-Secretary for all his good work there.   

Yes charts can be very useful in giving you a picture of developing trends but what’s been killing traders lately, and especially the poor bears last week, is the way those technicals have been snapped for seemingly no reason at all.  When Disney owns ABC and GE owns NBC and CBS is owned by the World’s 86th richest man ($9Bn) and Fox is owned by 132nd richest man ($4Bn), who also now owns the Wall Street Journal - WHAT DID YOU THINK WAS GOING TO HAPPEN? 

Ned Beatty explained this all to us in Network, way back in 1976, when he told us:

There is no America. There is no democracy. There is only IBM and ITT and AT&T and DuPont, Dow, Union Carbide, and Exxon. Those are the nations of the world today…  One vast and ecumenical holding company, for whom all men will work to serve a common profit. 

What do you think the Russians talk about in their councils of state — Karl Marx? They get out their linear programming charts, statistical decision theories, minimax solutions, and compute the price-cost probabilities of their transactions and investments, just like we do.  The world is a business. It has been since man crawled out of the slime.

chinainc.jpg image by siggy_06Well it seems to me we are still stuck in that slime.  It’s a new age of market manipulation where all of your news comes from the same corporations and every wave of consolidations drives the wealth of this nation into the hands of fewer and fewer people.  As pointed out on Boston Legal recently, not only are we losing our choices in news sources, banks, car companies etc. but now our nation is once again getting bought up by foreigners.  In the ’80s it was Japan, now it’s China.  Japan ended up getting hosed because they bought at the top but China is sitting pretty, having stockpiled over $2Tn in dollar reserves right when our few remaining corporations are desperate for cash

I wonder which network will be sold to China first?  Rupert Murdoch (who is already very tight with China) already opened the doors to foreigners taking over US media interests.  Our stock markets have already started trading like those crazy Asian markets.  Why?  Manipulation is why.  Control of the media by government and business allows focused messages to go out to the people so investors can be stampeded in and out of the markets at the will of the people who control the message.  Heck, maybe it is time to give China a turn after the way we’ve messed things up over here.

Now that China has Africa on track, I’m sure they can come over here and straighten things out!


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  1. Cool.  Ok, Phil.  I’m boning up this weekend – and want to follow up on a couple things.  With regard to the $100K portfolio hedge strategy, I’d like to share my core positions in my main IRA portfolio and share what I’m thinking.  Then perhaps you can comment on same.  Shall I do that here or in the comment section of the last $100K post?

  2. Collars.   Having a good time digging into your ebook.  I get the collar ideas.  But before "collaring up" this weekend or moving on, a couple basic questions:  if I use LEAPs to take advantage of comfort (and pre-defined primary and secondary exit points – which I love), am I missing out on monthly income opps (ie by selling calls each month)?  [Understanding I will adjust the collars as stock moves require or call for]  Most of my core stocks are income producers – and fairly stable over time – collars still smart?  [Also want to build my positions in most of the stocks - many the same as the ones I'll list re $100K review]  Let me know best way to pursue this discussion/chat.

  3. Tech Issue.   I love the look and structure of ur site when I’m online.   While you can’t tweak ur tech site to suit my needs, access and viewability suck on my Blackberry Bold tho.  I now realize it led to some miscommunications on my part in chat last week.  The site loads very slowly (even on wifi) on my Blackberry (tho I hear I-Phone usability is good) and the need to constantly reload/refresh as I move around makes it a weak platform for me.  I like your twitter-like ideas on the $5000 plays – but theyre avail to all anyway.  Any thoughts on making the site more mobile friendly?  For whatever its worth – and I’m down with you and not with their Pro program – Motley Fool’s stuff is all-around mobile friendly – maybe some tech/design stuff to cop from them!  Sorry for the long wind.  Viva la weekend!

  4. Per ur preference, I will continue this thread in $100K land if u want.  But before I jump in car, here are my underlying long stocks (liking them for dividend yield and stability – I have other ports for playing with diff kinds of stocks for cap growth etc.) – most if not all are buy-writes when I enter or bulk up – and I try to sell calls every month – tho its tricky on those where my price still lags from previous price drops and before I knew what a collar was.  OTM calls in volume generate cash and I wont get called – more valuable near money calls are risky (of course) unless I’m in the green on the stock anyway. So:
    EPD (up 10% overall), WMI (up 8% overall), CAT (-2%), DEO (up 1%), HMY (-10%), PGH (up 1.8%), SO (up 1%), WMT (- 8%), INTC (-17%) – adding KO or PEP and JNJ for sure.   Again, all long plays for me (maybe not HMY) where I dollar-cost in as much as possible (using buy writes).  I allocate by $ %, but for the sake of discussion, lets assume I hold or will hold at least 1000 of each now or inside the next 60 days.

  5. Here is fine dstill.  I’m heading out but will get back to it when I can. 

  6. No rush. Thx.

  7. Phil,
    On Thursday you asked me to remind you to post a writeup about the 5% rule on the website under the education section. I remember reading something you wrote about it last month but I cannot find it now. Thanks.

  8. 5% Rule/Allen – Oh and I forgot to tell you I did post it in the comment section of the scaling in article (from the strategy section), where I’m collecting some FAQ comments.

  9. Phil,
    Reviewing the DIA call/erosion play- I am stil in it- I rolled the July 86 short calls to the Aug 89′s while retaining the long Aug 90′s. So I am down approx. .40 on the spread. (down .75 on the shorts; up .22 on the longs)
    Some questions. Are you still in this and what, if so what did you do?
    Second, if you got out, How and why?
    Third, how can I imporve my position?
    Assuming a bearish bias (logic/ fundamentals say we need to correct after the run-up); then one choice would be to close the long; take my profit against the short; go naked on the short and 100 pts down gets me even there abouts. Very risky and not my preference.
    Another choice- it seem I need to move the long both out and up to improve my delta. Say , roll to the Sept 90′s ? This raises my cost basis on the longs so again , not my preference.
    Looking for some help here.

  10. PD – These are all fairly new positions (as u can prob tell by gains/losses) – less than year for all I think. 

  11. Leaps/Dstill – I’m not quite sure what your goal is.  I’m not generally a big fan of a collar other than something like the KMP play in the $100KP, where we are simply locking down a stock to reap the dividends risk-free.  Of course you are minimizing risk, but you are also minimizing reward and I’m not into substituting a leap for stock doing that. 

    Blackberry/Dstill – Get an IPhone!  Even Blackberry is improving their web access and the Pearl picks us up fine.  It is very unlikely that we are going to start staffing up programmers in order to make sure we optimize our feeds for all mobile platforms – just not realistic…   There is an IPhone view that flips the comments so the phone reads the last comment first to save on scrolling and we will be doing something on the App store for people who want our stuff that way - we just haven’t gotten around to it yet.  I will check out TMF – I haven’t been there in a while.

    On your list, I’m not really sure what the question is…  What do I feel about next month as to coverage or about the stocks?  It really comes down to, how secure are you long-term in your stock and what’s your long-term goal with it.  Take EPD, for example.  You are up 10%, which is fine if you just bought it this week but otherwise you must have had a hell of a ride!    If the 7.8% dividend is sound (and I don’t follow them), then who cares what the price is and that’s a good collar candidate.  Trading at their ATH again makes me very nervous – is everything really all better?   They missed sales by a mile for the last 3 Qs so you are playing the Nat gas market up on this one but they seem to have done a great job of managing costs. 

    This is the kind of stock I wouldn’t want to have put to me since it’s up 100% from the lows and back at the highs so I would lean towards selling a DITM call but the DITM calls have no premium so I probably won’t get my dividend because they’ll just call me away and grab the .50.  I actually find it shocking how little premium is in the options of a stock that went down 50% and then up 100% in less than 12 months.  So, despite the 7.8% premium, I don’t like this stock from a coverage point of view – there’s simply nothing there worth doing and it’s rare that I can’t find anything.  From a non-ownership standpoint, however, I think the Dec $25 puts for $1.10 and the Dec $30 calls for .53 make a nice pair to buy as it seems more than a little possible this stock will move $3 or more one way or the other by then. 

    WMI (4.1%) looks cheap down here but a big test of the 200 dma right now.  If you are mainly in it for the 4% then you can just sell the 2011 $25s for $4.95 ($1.85 premium), and leave it at that because they are a good, solid (get it!) company that you can probably own for a decade.  Meanwhile, selling a $4.95 call takes your profit off the table and then some, droping your capital at risk to $23.14 (less than you paid), making the $1.16 dividend 5% and a bonus 8% if you get called away at $25.  The way you manage a trade like this is, if it drops back to the lows at $22 and you still like them – then take out the callers and wait for it to come back. 

    CAT is already in the $100KP isn’t it?  Hopefully they don’t blow earnings next week.  We originally sold the 2011 $22.50s for $14.20 and they are now $13.15 with the stock down .40 from where we bought it so that’s why we like that cover!   That pick was from an article on highly protected dividend plays.

    DEO pays a crap premium and I don’t think the sector is that great this Q so be careful, especially as they really haven’t done much in the last few days of the rally.  "Sin" taxes are in and that may hit this whole industry.  You can do the same as CAT and sell the long puts but what are you hoping to get tying up $58 on this one?  The dividend is 2.7%, you can get that in a bank and for the stock to gain 10% it has to go to $63 so why not just dump 1,000 shares of the stock for $58,000 and buy 10 Jan $60 calls for $2.92 ($2,920) and sell the 2011 $40 puts for $2.48 ($2,480).  The WORST thing that can happen to you is you end up owning the stock again for net $40.44 – 30% less than it is now.  On the upside, if the stock hits $63, you make a net profit of about $3,000 on the calls since you are laying out just .44 ($440) for the trade (plus $20K in margin).  The rest of the money you can put in a CD and get 3% interest or find a better stock to play with. 

    I’ll get back to more later! 

    DIA/Pstas – Wasn’t that buying the Aug $90s for .75 and selling the July $86s for .70?  If so, I don’t see how you went down so far as the Aug $90s are now $1.02 and the July $86s finished at $1.46 while the Aug $89s fiinished at $1.39 so even if you only did that roll and not the even one, it’s only .07 more out of pocket.  You say up .22 on the longs, are you saying you bought them for .80?  Let me know the exact prices of each transaction as I’m trying to figure out what happened, then we can figure out which adjustment is best. 

  12. Good discussion on black swan unemployment numbers and how the current seasonality adjustment may not apply correctly this tine around (based on auto layoffs). Also, the "factoring" and commercial real estate is discussed.
    Next week the first outside funding for my company is expected to hit. Finally!!!  (knock on wood, throw salt, pet a black cat, etc etc). It only took 2 years ….
    I’ll post next week if/when it does hit.  I’ll have some time to get back to some more morning trading if it does.

  13. Thanks.  Lemme review and holler back.  Re CAT – yes, got that from you and played it the way it was laid out.  Love the analysis here, PD.  Re collars tho:  ur not a big fan generally?  The ebook calls it "a relatively conservative strategy … that should be the foundation of your trading approach.  It ensures that your principal is always quite safe … Correct application … will allow you [to] profit consistently in any market…"
    Whether my SEO IRA stocks are these or others with good return prospects, what I want from them and any hedges is to NOT have to watch them much.  Collars seem to fit the bill at first glance.

  14. Roth IRA:  I’m asking my CPA and atty this week too, but want to toss out a question.  Since 2010 allows me to rollover a big regular IRA into a Roth (which probably makes sense on its face – rather pay tax now than when Obama and Goldman get done with us), if I have a useless paper loss in my regular IRA (can’t use it for tax break), can I/we roll the loss over too?  Meaning the loss upon rollover to Roth gets used to offset the entry tax hit. 

  15. Again, just reread, I love your tight and sharp analysis on the stocks you looked at for me.  Really sweet, man.  Thx!

  16. Re I-Phone versus Blackberry.  Just remember the real players are on the Berry!   The marketing stylistas are all about the I-Phone.  In fact, while I was taking my daughter to Harry Potter Wednesday nite, I saw a lot of them in line diddling about on their beloved I-Phones.  While I, the lone Berry dude, was dutifully trying to read at your site and set up trades thru the ETrade app.   I’m sure they were too tho.  (You can borrow my programmer to design an app for the Blackberry store if want.)  lol

  17. Ur DEO take is brilliant!

  18. Phil,
    Thanks for posting the 5% writeup under the scaling in article. I posted some basic question on 5% rule there but have copied them here. I don’t know where you would prefer to answer them. Thanks a lot.
    - Does the 5% rule apply to stocks as well as index ETFs?
    - In the daily chart that you publish, why are the 2.5% increments based on the close of 2 days back and not on the close from the previous afternoon?
    - As you described the 20% retracement that you might expect from the various levels reached, does that mean that you recalculate each time that an index reaches a new high or low for the day, week or month?

  19. RE Dstillewe : I work with retirement plans, 401ks and IRAs regularly and you cannot roll a loss from a rollover/traditional IRA.  Most companies will let you roll in kind so you take 1000 shares of XYZ stock and convert them to an IRA. They are probably worth less now than you paid for them, you have to pay taxes based on value at time of conversion not your basis.  The only way to take a loss on an IRA is by selling and cashing it out *IF* you have after tax money in the account meaning you make a contribution and didn’t get the tax write off.  Obviously you also have to have an after tax basis which is higher than the value of your IRA.  In 2010 you will be able to do a roth conversion and split that taxable event over 2010 and 2011.  If you plan on doing the conversion you’ll want to make sure you have other money set aside to cover the taxes, if you pay any of them out of the IRA itself that portion going to taxes will also get the 10% penalty.  Obviously if you are going to do the conversion the longer you plan to leave it the better, but you’d want to make sure it was at least 5 years.
    This may help if you are considering it.

  20. EP. Thx. I run my own business, so, right now at least, my SEP IRA is under my control. I’m at a ballgame right now, but would like to chat further. Let me try later or morn? I will check out the link too. DS

  21. Dstillwe,
    I think you mean selling a strangle every month as opposed to a collar. I find sellng strangles every month to be incredibly profitable and quite reliable. Also, they are pretty easy to manage. Remember, we want to be selling premium every month not buying it.

    As far as iPhone v blackberry, I use both etrade and TOS. Many times I do all my trading and PSW viewing in the car on my iPhone and I find it to be quite spectacular. The TOS app is incredibble and I find it better than the computer version for doing some things. The etrade app is not as good for doing anything with options.

    Also, I made this post from a hot tub using my iPhone :)

  22. Phil
    Bought Aug 90 @ .78
    Sold July 86 @ .77
    Bought July 86 @ 1.259
    Sold Aug 89 @ 1.309
    I recalculated the numbers including commissions/vigorish  and using  the closing prices ($1.01/$1.39(  I am up .23 on the longs and down .58 on the shorts-net down .35 .

  23. Congrats BDC, that is great news! 

    Collars/Dstill – I don’t like spending premium to limit the range.  As Craig says, you can sell a strangle every month and make a steady income.  The idea of the Buy List strategy is to select stocks that you will be happy to double down on if they drop 50% and then 50% agan.  Generally, we like to take companies that are lower in price because, mathematically, if you start with DEO at $60 and DD at $30 ($45 avg) and again at $15 ($30 Avg), you are down 50% and, since you don’t want to get called away at $17.50, you are forced to sell $20-$25 calls and you are not likely to get more than .25 per month for a 10% return on your $30 while you wait for the value to return to your stock (and we assume that they would stop paying a dividend in such a crisis).  If, on the other hand, we select GE at $12 and they fall to $6 and we DD ($9) and then to $3 and we DD again ($6), we can sell the $5 calls for .10, collecting a 20% return while we wait. 

    That’s one factor in our selection, looking for stocks we would be happy to own 4x of if they drop 75%.  If you are not willing to turn into Warren Buffett and buy a lot of stock at the bottom and then wait 5 years for the depression to end, then don’t even start with this strategy.  Of course if the world doesn’t end and you retain most of your valure and you sell 10% worth of puts and calls a month – then you can end up making a pretty nice return over time – a hell of a lot better than you can ever do with long collars.  If you take this strategy and combine it with a mattress play to ward off an unforeseen disaster, then you can have a long-term strategy you can sleep on.  Of course, patience is key and you MUST scale into positions, if you do not have the firepower to "buy low" then the strategy has the  potential to stop you out for large losses in a major market downturn. 

    You are welcome on analysis – it’s actually fun for me to run through stocks I’m not following closely when I have time.  You never know when a gem might turn up!  As to the Blackberry thing – If you want to task a programmer, we’d be happy to work with them – we can split profits (if any) from whatever application gets developed. 

    5% Allen – I’ll answer there for continuity. 

    Cool Craig – I still haven’t tried the TOS app (because I’m always at my desk) but I like to hear that things are working.

    DIA/Pstas – OK so you started off in for net 0.01 and then got a .05 credit on the roll so you are in for net -0.04 right?  I see where you are getting the loss but that wasn’t the logic of the trade.  The idea was for you to be in a bear call spread on the Dow which had a 300-point margin for error (the planned roll), and that’s where we are.  Now, the next step is a matter of your risk comfort at this point. 

    • You can do nothing and hope the Dow finishes Aug expiration lower than 8,900. 
    •     Your risk is, of course, the $1 spread and your reward is 0.04, which sucks. 
    • You can roll yourself back to the Oct $93 calls at $1.37, that ups your net entry to .33 and you are back in the same spread you were in last month (the $4 spread, both out of the money) but you have Sept to roll to as well and the Sept $91 calls are $1.42 and the Sept 30th $92 calls are $1.36.  
    •     Your risk here is the same as any diagonal, you could get burned to the upside or the Dow may drop so fast that you lose your .33.

    The hardest thing to do is the right thing to do and that’s wait.  If the market goes down, you make .04 and you are happy to get out with no loss (as the trade simply didn’t work).  If the market goes UP, however, it gets exciting.  The current roll from the $89 caller to the $87 caller is $1.02 but the roll from the $87 caller to the $85 caller is $1.31.  That is what we could expect if the Dow goes up 200 points. 

    So, if the Dow goes up 200 points to test 9,000 and we still think it will pullback, the move would be to roll the caller down to a lower strike and take more money.  That will ramp up his delta and any pullback will be well in your favor for a possibly buyback.  If the Dow goes up 200 points and breaks through 9,000 and looks to keep going.  Then (if it happens next week) we can assume your $90s will be worth what the $87s are ($2.41)  and the $89 caller will be worth what the $86s are ($3.04).  That would put you a bit worse off than you are now but you can still roll out to a longer month or you can roll the callers up to 2x the $92 calls at about $1.50 and you can either not cover (ratio backspread that starts to lose money over 9,300) or you can roll yourelf out to 2x the Oct $96s at about even and you are kind of back where you started with a DD. 

    Anyway, lots of possibilities once you look that far out but we’re talking about another uninterrupted 5% move up in the Dow where we have to break all year highs, all our 40% lines and get back to the best levels seen since last September.  It could happen and if you think it will then take the .35 loss because, obviously, when a bear call spread goes 1,000 Dow points against you – you WILL lose money!   8-)

  24. Thx PD and Craig. But please please please don’t make me get an I-Phone – what will RIMM do without me? My programmer will be on alert tomorrow! (Sent on my Blackberry from an undisclosed and somewhat gross location.)

  25. Phil,
    Thanks for the reply.
    Your response pretty much confirmed what my intuition was telling me (great minds tend to think alike after all): i.e., move the long up and out to improve the delta in my favor. However, my "great mind" is not quite up to your par on options. So, let’s say on Monday and / or Tuesday indications are for a correction. then would it not makes sense to roll the caller down to say, the the Aug 87′s to improve my delta now? I am trying to work through the scenarios in my head to have a plan either way. Any problem with the logic on this?
    BTW, are you still in this trade? Did you get out and if so, how? If not, what is your plan? Picking your brain.

  26. Blackberry-
    I switched to Verizon Blackberry Storm about a month ago and it is great. I am on the move alot during the day and following the comments, etc is  a pain. So, count me in for a Blackberry App for PSW!
    For what its worth, I find the WSJ and Bloomberg Apps for Blackberry work well. Less so for my local paper, Chicago Tribune. The Weather Channel has a neat app providing an hour by hour local forecast which I find useful making last minute decisions on outside work scheduling.

  27. Own a calendar spread of three each Sept RIMM 75 calls at 4.5 and Sept  65 puts at 5.5. Have sold Aug 70 calls at 3 and 70 puts at 3.7. Made $2 each from my July 70s. Starting to get worried about my Sept 65 puts, which are down about 3 dollars. Agonizing over next step. Obviously too tight a spread for volatile stock over 3 month span. What is recommended or should I sit tight. Thanks

  28. Phil- general question re: DIA insurance positions:
    I am just getting onto these positions and learning how to manage them . What are your thoughts on taking profits on the shorts/longs and if/when?

  29. IPhone/Dstill – Yes, I hear CrackBerry additction is tough to beat!

    DIA/Pstas – Too many possibilities to worry about at the moment.  It does make sense to roll but you get more money if it moves against you and if you roll him early and then the market moves up, he ends up with a MUCH higher delta than you.  As I said, if it goes up, you get a good roll and if it goes down, then be happy to get out without paying him $1 but we’ll see.  I’m not in it as it was supposed to be a fun trade and stopped being fun.  Also, don’t forget, if the Dow starts going up, you can add 1/2 x on the upside as a very well-covered momentum play.

    RIMM/Drum – Why do I have deja vu on this one?  I’m behind schedule this morning but please look back to where you first asked.  The gist of it was I would take out the putter and roll the long put up and wait for a dip but that’s a bit of a gamble.  Now that I think about it, I gave an extremely detailed response to this one..

    DIA/Pstas – In general, we just follow the normal rules on profits with a front-month call and that’s stop out 1/4 when you get 25% behind and another 1/4 on the next 25% behind at which point you will roll to 2x something else.  If they lose 50% of their value or more with more than 2 weeks to expiration, you should look to take them out (tight stops) and if they lose 70% in the 2nd week before expiration or 85% during expiration week we take them out.  At all times though, with the mattress play, your main adjustment is full, half or zero cover based on our "fear factor" for the next day.  Over the weekend, we were worried about a drop so we sold 1/2 $85 puts for $1.80, which looks like it will be too bearish.  That means today we cover with another 1/2 the $86 puts and keep tight stops on the 1/2 $85 puts. 

  30. Practicing….  ;) :) > :( ) :O

  31. :0

  32. :o

  33. :]

  34. :-)

  35. :-o

  36. 8)

  37. B)

  38. :D

  39. :P

  40. :#

  41. :J

  42. :-( =)

  43. <:-)

  44. :^)

  45. OK done…