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Thursday, March 30, 2023


Monday Market Adjustments

We had a clear signal to stay cautiously bearish on Friday.

Despite the jobs rally, I had said in the morning post: "We’ll be paying special attention to the Russell, which tested the 33% line (off the top) at 574 on Tuesday.  We would consider a breakout over that level to be an extremely bullish sign for our indexes.  Our tip-off to get bearish at yesterday’s open was the failure of the QQQQs to break 40 so that will be our bull/bear signal for the day."  Despite the bullish-looking performance by the Dow and especially the Transports, who flew up 4% to lead the markets – the failure of the Russell to make a major breakout and the failure of the Qs to make a critical breakout at 40 (Nas 2,000) left us a bit less than bullish over the weekend

It will remain all about 574 and 40 this week (see David Fry chart) as our other levels (Dow 9,297, S&P 1,000, NYSE 6,438, Russell 562 and SOX 308) all seem to be well and truly broken.  2,017 is the proper mark on the Nasdaq so failing 2,000 is extra bad with a side of worry.  Still, as I also said Friday: "Not breaking our levels on this tremendously good jobs news would be a huge disappointment but it’s holding them that’s key."  The dollar is gathering strength this morning, also on the jobs news, and that's been very bullish for Asia (who export to us) this morning so keep that in mind as it does put some downward pressure on the US markets, which would make a breakout today even more impressive. 

In general, we took the advice of Yukio Takahashi of Mizuho securities who said: "The smart move is to take profits now."  Our $100K Virtual Portfolio was up $12,291 in cash and $6,690 in unrealized gains so our changes were protective, looking to cap big gains made on C and LYG by selling protective calls.  Having cash on the side is good as it lets us speculate a little.  Not all our speculation is to the downside, although we did take short plays with SRS Sept $10 calls, DIA Dec $95 puts and QID Sept $24 calls into Friday's rally, we also ran another Long Shot list for Members over the weekend as well as 5 very detailed Biotech long plays and a Pharma cover thanks to Pharmboy's Phavorite Phings, which is a must read for Members who missed it. 

I was just interviewed by AOL and they asked me what my favorite sector was for long-term investing and I said absolutely Health Care.  Despite the short-term noise over coverage, you simply can't fight the demographics that are coming down the line.  Even if the us passes "Health Care reform," the idea is to provide more coverage, not less.  Over the next 10 years, 50M Americans will move into the 65-75 year old bracket and if those people are ALL covered for their projected 20M heart operations, 10M diabetes treatments, 15M cancer therapies, 30M arthritis prescriptions, etc… then you can expect an uptick in the business of health care

My favorite ETF in that sector at the moment is IHI (equipment).  Although it has outpaced the overall XLV by 20% this year, if you look at the performance of a discovered company like ISRG (4.2% of the index and up 80% this year), who were a Fall favorite of ours – you can see  the potential of this ETF.  MDT (11.8%), TMO (7.5%), BSX (7.3%), STJ (7%) and SYK (6.1%) are all companies we play from time to time (and SYK is a great buy in it's own right at $40.21), so this ETF is perfect for a long-term tracker and still 25% below the 2008 highs.  You can give yourself a nice, discounted entry at $42.50 by selling the Feb $45 puts naked for $2.50.  If your margin is 50% it's a $2.50 return on net $20 (12.5%) over 6 months – not a bad way to initiate a position!  If we do break over our levels, the Feb $45s have just $2 in premium at $4.65.  If the ETF does make it over $47.50, then it will likely fill the gap at $53, which would make a nice 50% or better profit on the bull side. 

Aside from the dollar advance, Asia also got good news as Japanese machinery orders rose for the first time in four months in June, up 9.7% from May and way more than the 2.6% expected by clueless economists, who get paid to forecast these things.  Japan's account surplus also doubled from last year to 1.15 Trillion Yen, which sounds very impressive but is just $11.8Bn but it's very significant as it's the first gain since Feb 2008.  That lifted the NIkkei 1.1% to start the week but it was a sloppy close after a huge gap up.  “We shouldn’t be too optimistic about capital spending yet,” said Yoshiki Shinke, a senior economist at Dai-Ichi Life Research Institute in Tokyo. “Companies are still burdened with excess labor and capacity and the outlook for the economy is uncertain.”    

Machine orders, an indicator of capital investment in the next three to six months, will fall 8.6 percent in the current quarter, the government said. June’s gain was mostly due to a purchase of equipment used to generate nuclear power. Without that, orders would have risen about 2 percent or 3 percent, said Shigeru Sugihara, head of statistics at the Cabinet Office.  More than $2 trillion in spending by governments worldwide has stabilized global demand, helping Japanese manufacturers such as Kubota Corp., which is selling more farming equipment in China. Japan’s factory production rose 8.3 percent last quarter, rebounding from a record 22.1 percent plunge in the previous period

Not surprising to us (as I had picked the FXI calls in Friday morning's post) was a 554-point snap-back on the Hang Seng.  China played the stimulus card last Friday but we're very disappointed that they couldn't crack the 21,000 mark, despite the "great" jobs news in the US. Property stocks held the Shanghai back and this week we face a critical test along the 370 line, wifh a possible fall to the 50 dma at 350 ahead if the US turns down today.  So we won't be hanging on the the FXI calls unless we break our US levels – things are truly all connected!  Also worrying in Asia is the Baltic Dry Index, which is going to test 2,750, a level it hasn't seen since May and a 35% pullback off the June highs.   Before all the commodity madness, the BDI used to play between 4,000 and 5,000 back in '06-'07 so let's say 5,000 would be fair given 2 years of inflation and growth.  Below 2,750 is HALF!  This does not support a global market breakout above the 33% lines so let's watch this carefully. 

Europe is down about a point ahead of our open (9:15) and there is literally nothing going on over there this morning that I have read about other than RBS and LYG falling.  RBS fell because bad-debt charges were up significantly and management warned that they saw little sign of improvement before 2011.  LYG fell on almost good news that they want to withdraw from the government's asset-protection "scheme" but they will need to raise about $3Bn to do it so there are fears of a dilutive offering. 

We will watch and wait today to see what the markets will do.  There is no earth-shaking news in the US this morning.  MCD had a very nice 4.3% sales growth in July so they should help the Dow somewhat but oil can be a drag if they start selling off, especially if they fail $70 and gold is already back below $950 (where we sold calls) so it will be interesting to say the least this morning

Be careful out there!



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There are some big lots going through on that one…..wonder what’s up with it??

yep; another bogus stick ….

what is your opinion on MYGN?

Phil: DIA covers close for 1.15$ ???

Annoyed.  "Holy cow, how annoying it is to be bearish in this market. -PD"  Hey, Big Daddy, it’s my job (along with others here) to annoy you.   Your feelings re the market, bears, etc. should be altogether zen-like. 

Drum – I own them and have DD once.  I will do it again if necessary.  They have had some baggage, and managment needs to shape up.  They spun out the pharma group as well.  Wilkinson had a writeup in the beginning of July on them for bearish movement, but I still like them for a longer term adn you can sell the Sept 25s, knowin that you can roll to Nov 22.5 even.  The spreads are a bit wide for me on the options, so I just bought it outright and am considering selling the above mentioned.

Phil, my callers got called, should I stay short VLO for the next few days in view of some bad news above? Thanks! Still long Jan 15 calls.

PRXL.  Here come the extended hour bidders – finally.  Maybe we’re gonna see a beat here.   Let’s close that gap, baby! 

Annoyed.  I know what you meant.  You’re supposed to be the iceman.  Which means: (1) no feelings and (2) no feelings.  lol

Phil, if I ever buy a 55K lot of anything I’ll be sure to let you guys know, that’ll surely turn out to be your best short ever!

dstillwe – I think you meant he should have (1) no feelings and (2) no feelings about having no feelings!

Moles:  PD – You should be sure none of ur advertisers have inappropriate access.  Not sure how or why they would.    But OptionMonster pimps for CNBC/Cramer big time. 

"No one on the site has a .goldmansachs.com address nor do I know who the CNBC jerk is who feeds Cramer my stuff but what can you do?  The day’s of privacy are truly over…"

Phil: TXS, you gave me good answers today,
DIA putters did not close, so fully covered for tomorrow.

TOS order/EricL: Thanks for the tips.  I haven’t tried all the tricks on the TOS platform.  It’s kinda overwhelming.
Now the market is closed, I can try things out without worrying about sending an unintended order to the market.  I can just cancel the order.

I’m looking at KBH..RSI chart seems like a bearish divergence.
what do you think?

looks like MTXX had a pretty negative report.

lol, Mr.M – Tho the recent healthcare debate here gives me pause…

Morx – as I noted above…I was kinda expecting it based upon the lawsuits and the w’d of the oral treatments from the market….4.39 was the low from 6/23.

Sorry, that is the nasal products…for the loss of smell when one has a cold…I can’t smell when I have a cold either, ’cause  I have too much mucas blocking my smell receptors in my nose.  Sheash.  Again, total crap, but who knows.

RE: Krugman – cannot resist- here is an old Reagan quote that fits the current bill:
"The intellectual establishment [is] so busy demanding more power for government, more bureaucracy, regulation, spending and — oh, yes — more and more taxes, they forgot all about the secret of America’s success — opportunity for people, for all the people. … Will we heed the pessimists’ agenda of higher taxes, more bureaucracy, and a bigger welfare state leading us right back to runaway inflation and economic decay, or will we [take the] road toward a true opportunity society of economic growth, more jobs, lower tax rates, and rising take-home pay?" —Ronald Reagan

 Yes, the lawyer is a class-action superstar!

Hi all!  New member, really love the site!  I’m almost afraid to sound stupid and ask my question but here goes.
Regarding Phil’s "buy/write" strategy.  Why not just sell 2 puts instead of buying the stock and selling 1 put and 1 call?

I am a new member and want to know your strategy for playing a possible pull back. I am still trying to find my way around the site. I will appreciate any pointers on using DIA puts or anything else. I understand this may have been posted by you earlier but as I get my arms around the site, it would save some time as this market looks ready for a drop. I am looking to get into some action by the AM. Thanks.

You go pstas !  Great Reagan quote and so true today !
Phil … I am gonna go all Randy Newman on you :
When Karl Marx was a boy
he took a hard look around
He saw people were starving all over the place
while others were painting the town
The public spirited boy
became a public spirited man
So he worked very hard and he read everything
until he came up with a plan
There’ll be no exploitation
of the worker or his kin
No discrimination ‘cause of the color of your skin
No more private property
It would not be allowed
No one could rise too high
No one could sink too low
or go under completely like some we all know
If Marx were living today
he’d be rolling around in his grave
And if I had him here in my mansion on the hill
I’d tell him a story t’would give his old heart a chill
It’s something that happened to me
I’d say, Karl I recently stumbled
into a new family
with two little children in school
where all little children should be
I went to the orientation
All the young mommies were there
Karl, you never have seen such a glorious sight
as these beautiful women arrayed for the night
just like countesses, empresses, movie stars and queens
And they’d come there with men much like me
Froggish men, unpleasant to see
Were you to kiss one, Karl
Nary a prince would there be
Oh Karl the world isn’t fair
It isn’t and never will be
They tried out your plan
It brought misery instead
If you’d seen how they worked it
you’d be glad you were dead
just like I’m glad I’m living in the land of the free
where the rich just get richer
and the poor you don’t ever have to see
It would depress us, Karl
Because we care
that the world still isn’t fair


Phil thanks for the GREAT reply!  I wasn’t questioning the system, I just KNEW I was missing something but couldn’t quite figure out what it was.  I’m really happy someone didn’t post a link to where you had already answered this.  I  read a lot on the site over the weekend and didnt see the answer.
Also, I am not the GS secret agent you are looking for.

Question on the CMCSA artificial buy-write: How do you come up with the $11.57 put-to-you price? Here’s how I understand the trade: You’re out $1.05. If the stock finishes below 10, you get 1x put to you at $12.5+1.05 = $13.55. Between $10 and 12.50, you’re buying 2x at $(10+12.5+1.05)/2 = $11.78. Between $12.50 and 15, 1x at $10+1.05 = $11.05. Profit of $3.95 and no stock put to you above $15.

PRXL.  Christ.  Getting hammered after hours now.  Was it a fricking undiscoverable secret they were going to report accounting errors that diluted EPS for the qtr by 16 cents?  I guess the question (Phil or Dave or team) is whether this makes the stock cheap for a longer play.   I covered the buy with 1/2 August 15 calls (mainly to bring down my entry price to around $14.25 if they expire – which they apparently will – and can probably cover the other half to reduce cost further) – maybe overreacting to report and after hours bid/ask.  But if things run like they’re running now, I’m down prob $1 at open.   So … chill until morn?  And, then, worst case, ride stock thru August at least?  I think the analysis by David is right – and the sector looks good.  

PRXL :  dstillwe, I read the press release and is a mess. Can’t understand well and all times they are mixing the gaap and non-gaap results. Besides what numbers says, the seems to show in a disorganized way and I read between lines "please don’t hammer us, things will be better"   Conference is sheduled for tomorrow. As I see its more a $8 stock instead a $15 one…  but i will wait till tomorrow at least.

dstil – low is 6.11 in Nov, and bottom support is now about 11.2.  I would wait out the flush and maybe sell some 10P depending upon your position.  Just wait until tomorrow to let things settle.  MTXX is in the same boat.

Phil-  Is the current outlook on SRS the same as your earliers post (could go to 14-15 in the next two weeks)? 
Also, I’ve got 10 $90 and 10 $91 DIA puts that are currently worth about a third of what I paid for them.  Kept holding them expecting the correction last week and then today.  Thoughts on what to do with them?  If I get lucky tomorrow, they could go up 50% from where they are now….just as they did today….before the stick came in.  Would you suggest selling them at that type of opportunity or holding on in anticipation of a 2-5% correction this week?

Does not sound so bad.  Seems like a honest mistake from the acquistion in how start up cost and revenue streams get accounted for because different rules apply.   Does not appear to be book cooking.   Maybe a good time to buy in on the dip.

PRXL.  Thx for talking me in off the ledge.  Their press release is a disaster.  U cats are excellent.

What was the original strategy(Strategy, expiry etc) with the DIA 90 and 91 PUTS. I am a newbie trying to play catch up with some Index put strategies.Thanks.

PRXL : Yes, looks like they get trouble reporting earnings because recent acquisition.  Using non-gaap numbers seems earnings yoy are $0.82  ans using a 15x mult = $12.30  Well see tomorrow how this come out.  Sadly I loaded more than a speculative buy deserves.

The bid/ask was way to big for me. Volitility over 100%.  Any calls will get crushed tomorrow.  If a stock doesn’t have 5 to 10 cent spread on it’s options, I typically will not play it.   Look at AAPL , the spread is only a dime, the volitility is low, and the ATR is high enough to generate a nice return.

Phil — check this out …. http://tulpenwoede.tornflag.com/statemar.pdf

Will we heed the pessimists’ agenda of higher taxes, more bureaucracy, and a bigger welfare state leading us right back to runaway inflation and economic decay, or will we [take the] road toward a true opportunity society of economic growth, more jobs, lower tax rates, and rising take-home pay?" –Ronald Reagan
Pstas, The only problem with the Reagan quote is that it didn’t quite work out that way. Those policies resulted in one of the greatest transfers of wealth in this country’s history from the lower and middle classes to the very wealthy. The middle class experienced fewer jobs, ongoing wage pressure, and lower take-home pay – plus an enormous increase in economic insecurity (before the current crisis) that required the vast majority of households to have 2 wage earners to maintain the same standard of living. Add to this 50 million citizens without health insurance and untold additional millions under-insured – real people (our neighbors, friends, and relatives) who are literally dying all around us because they cannot get basic health care (an ongoing but hidden scandal of epic proportions) – or they go bankrupt as soon as serious illness strikes.
Reagan’s quote is part of an ideologically-driven propaganda campaign that obfuscates what has really happened to the American middle class – all in the name of opposing the supposedly evil big government to be replaced by a wonderful corporate culture that promises to deliver huge economic and social benefits. This has been a massive and ongoing PR campaign that is backed by huge amounts of money dedicated to reinforcing an ideology that benefits only a tiny few. It is a testament to the partnership of money and Madison Avenue that it continues to work so well even in today’s economic climate.

I own BAC at net 13.25, fully covered by Aug 13 calls – deeply buried now, any suggestion on how to roll? I can increase position here, but should I at this point? Thanks

PRXL.   I bitch.  But I take responsibility.   I withdraw my suggestion that these picks not be called gambles, I guess.  Since they apparently are – and it allows me to use poker "analysis."   This is not a "bad beat" – I hate table whiners.   This is me, head-up, thinking I’m going to get the other guy all-in cuz I know on the turn I have the best pair.  This is me losing the hand because I was careless – for lack of attention – to missing the cursed two-pair (little cards.)   Online, I’d eat that play a lot.  Live – not so much.   Off to AC for better odds, man.  lol  PS – Any PRXL puts worth grabbing?  DS

REAGAN- I stand corrected. I must have missed the memo about the grand utopia that has been created by the New Deal; Great Society; and now Obama Nation.

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