Archive for September, 2009

Pharmboy’s Review

Courtesy of Pharmboy

Good day to all! The corn is ready for harvest, and the fall season is upon our Pharm.  It is time for a quick review to see how we have done, and add a few more goodies to our Plots.

From our 15-Aug-09 list:

Novartis – Buying the $40 Jan10 C @ 6.40 ($1 premium), selling $45 Sept09 for 1.35 (also $1 premium).  The $40s Jan10 are now 9.10, and rolled 2X to the $50 Oct, now at $0.45 (small loss on the roll).  Net ~$2.1 up for the trade.

Bristol-Myers – Buy outright for the dividend, or buying the $20 Jan10 C @ 2.80 ($0.5 premium), selling $22.5 Sept09 C @ $0.55 and $22.5 P@ $0.7.  I think this company has room to run.  Bought outright and the stock closed on OPEX at 22.47…..can’t get better than that……Only stock on this position, but looking to sell the Nov09 24/22 P/C for 0.44/0.75.

SNY – Not as confident on the SNY story as of yet.  I would sell the $32.5 Sept09 P, being prepared to roll down to the $30 Dec09s.  These expired worthless….nice gain.

JNJ Buying the $55 Jan10 C @ 6.50 ($0.5 premium), selling $60s Sept09 C/P for 2.20.  $55 Jan10s currently $6.10, and the Sept P expired worthless.  Sept09 C rolled to the $60 Oct09 C for a 0.50 credit.  Puts not sold as of yet.

Genzyme – Buying the $50 Oct09C @ 4.2 ($1.5 premium), letting it run for the next few days, and then selling $55 Sept09 for 1.25 or better (all premium).  $50 Oct09 are currently $6.80 and the $55 Sept09s were rolled up to the $57.5s almost even.  These will need cashed out for a $2.5 gain, or to be adjusted to the 50 Apr10 C for 9.8.  To help offset the costs, I would sell the $55 Oct09 P for $1 or better.  For a net $1 out of pocket
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Fed Appeals Decision To Disclose Recipients Of Bailout Loans, Threatens With "Run By Depositors"

Courtesy of Tyler Durden

It has been about a month since the Fed last threatened with mass extinction events if it were forced to disclose whose crony interests it had been propping with taxpayer money, as it was ordered to do in the Bloomberg (Mark Pittman) v Federal Reserve case (08-cv-9595) on August 24. Today, the Chairman is out, guns blazing, and is appealing the decision.

From Bloomberg:

The Federal Reserve is appealing a judge’s order requiring the central bank to identify the financial institutions that benefited from its emergency loans, according to a lawyer representing Bloomberg LP.

The central bank refused to divulge details about the companies participating in its 10 remaining lending programs, saying that doing so might set off a run by depositors. The Fed had until today to seek a reversal of the Aug. 24 decision by Manhattan Chief U.S. District Judge Loretta Preska, who ruled the Fed must release the identities, as well as disclose loan amounts and the assets put up as collateral.

And as the second circuit already showed its true colors in the Chrysler fiasco some months ago, it is likely that this case will once again reach the Supreme Court, probably about a month from now. October will thus likely be a very critical month for the Chairman, who will be besieged on two front – the legislative and the judicial, as Congress will be pushing for passage of HR 1207 at about the same time that the Supreme Court does it best to pretend that it is the last bastion of non-corrupted, Wall Street uninfiltrated interests, yet, as is always the case, only to show its true colors at the end of the day, once again confirming just which firms run the United States of America.

Another Defense Of HFT, Promptly Refuted By New York Fed

Courtesy of Tyler Durden

An article today in Time magazine with the unassuming title “The Truth About High Frequency Trading” is the latest in the spin campaign defending High Frequency Trading. The story is well known- liquidity, and innocent market makers who only care about their spread without positional exposure or underlying bias.

Marketmaking explains why high-frequency trading accounts for over half of all U.S. stock volume: Every transaction begins with a trader offering to buy or sell. These days, more often than not, that trader is a high-frequency marketmaker.

Yes, high-frequency marketmakers profit from the bid-ask spread, and yes, other traders will benefit from being able to get in and out of the market more easily, but what about those who are not actively trading? Most of us aren’t concerned with having a tight bid-ask spread at every moment, since we are longer-term investors interested in holding a portfolio — not continually trading.

While some assumptions in the article are naively assumed to be facts, the key flaw is that market makers simply provide liquidity with no regard for the underlying direction of the stock they make a market in. And, as author Ari Officer explains, these very market makers are almost exclusively computers who have taken over ultra fast liquidity provisioning.

Ironically, Exhibit A refuting Ari’s argument comes not from a place like Zero Hedge, but from a much more “objective” and traditional venue: the New York Fed itself:

Exhibit A

A staff report paper released a week prior to the Time article titled “Are market makers uninformed and passive? Signing trades in the absence of quotes” comes to a conclusion which debunks Mr. Officer’s Utopic conclusions about naive and uninterested market makers. And we quote:

When we look at the cross-section of market makers and relate the extent to which their initiated trades are inventory increasing to their profits from trading, we find a significant and positive relation. Our results provide evidence against the market maker being just an uninformed liquidity supplier. On the contrary, he seems to actively speculate on private information signals.

Not only that but the following:

We therefore conclude that for locals and duals on announcements days there indeed is

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Equities Back To Tracking The Zombie Dollar Tick For Tick

Courtesy of Tyler Durden

A day after several failed attempts at killing the dollar did not work, what is a Fed chairman to do but try, try again. The market now tracking the JPY-EUR carry trade tick for tick.

Mad Hedge Fund Trader’s Global Market Comments

Here’s MadHedge’s diary entry from yesterday – everything you want from technology, to cars, to baseball. But I’m not quite sure if MadHedge is shorting BofA or Cubs supporters. – Ilene

Mad Hedge Fund Trader’s Global Market Comments

September 29, 2009

Courtesy of the Mad Hedge Fund Trader

Featured Trades: (RADA), (BAC), (SCHW), (V), (CVX)
1) When a retired Israeli Air Force general calls me up in the middle of the night and tells me there’s a company I should look into, I sit up and take notice. Privately owned Spider Technologies Security Ltd (click here for their website) has achieved a quantum leap forward in seismic based detection technology. It has pioneered a set of algorithms, code named “Tarantula,” that can analyze ground vibrations to create virtual fences along national borders, or around military bases and high value targets, like energy infrastructure. A portable version can be used by a squad of soldiers on the move to detect approaching enemies at night, on or under the ground, in all weather, and can tell the difference between a car, a man, or a mouse. Now this is where the story get’s interesting.  Spidertech has just inked a joint marketing and production deal with NASDAQ listed RADA Electronic Industries (RADA), an established supplier of hardware and software for unmanned aerial vehicles  (click here for their website at This gives Spidertech access to Rada’s rolodex of a who’s who in the international arms bazaar, and catapult the technology into the global limelight. Experts in the field tell me the potential market is in the billions. Of course the big fish is the US military, and the technology is already being field tested by the US Navy for Homeland Security. If you want to check out the details of this fascinating technology, go to the international arms publication Defense News by clicking here at  . In the meantime, check out RADA’s stock, which has drifted up from 60 cents to $3 since March. A few key orders and it could be off to the races. Israel has long blended advanced American technologies with its own to create better and cheaper weapons, which are then sold to emerging markets. The difficulty has always been to find a tradable instrument…
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BusinessWeek Cover: “Why The Market Will Keep Going Up”

BusinessWeek Cover: "Why The Market Will Keep Going Up"

bwcoverup2.gifCourtesy of Vincent Fernando at Clusterstock




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More Pain For Humiliated SEC After Disclosure It Ignored Moody's Whistleblower Warnings

Courtesy of Tyler Durden

As if the SEC could be humiliated any more, another piece of disclosure now highlights that Mary Schapiro’s useless organization was unresponsive to whistleblower overtures by former Moody’s employees attempting to warn the regulator “about Moody’s weak compliance department and ratings process.”

From Reuters:

A congressional panel will expand its examination of credit rating agencies to look at why U.S. securities regulators ignored warnings from former Moody’s Corp executives about the company’s weak compliance department and ratings process.

“We want to look at the fact that the Securities and Exchange Commission did not respond” to concerns from Moody’s former head of compliance, Rep. Edolphus Towns, chairman of the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee, told CNBC television on Wednesday.

Towns’ panel held a hearing on Wednesday to probe allegations from two Moody’s whistleblowers that company managers favored revenues over ratings quality.

And here is how the SEC’s worthelessness from the Madoff affair has ported over into comparable situations, with the regulator apparently having learned absolutely nothing from the its humiliating episode yet.

Scott McCleskey, a former Moody’s senior vice president of compliance, sent the SEC a letter in March 2009 alleging that he was routinely ignored when he warned that the firm was not properly monitoring municipal bond ratings.

Eric Kolchinsky, a recently suspended managing director at Moody’s, will tell Congress that analysts are “bullied” by managers who override their decisions to generate revenue.

Kolchinsky tried to tell the SEC about his concerns but his calls were not returned,” according to a memo prepared by Republican members of the committee and obtained by Reuters.

Judging by the SEC’s extremely time consuming attempt to cover up for Ken Lewis all throughout the year, we are confident that all parties involved fully understand and sympathize with Mary Schapiro on this one.

And yet the question of whether the SEC, or Moody’s for that matter, is needed in any formal capacity going forward remains unanswered:

An SEC spokesman has said the agency has established an examination program for credit rating agencies that includes reviews of disclosures, policies, and procedures regarding municipal securities ratings.

“We are focusing carefully on the tips

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Latest DTCC CDS Update (Week Of September 30)

Courtesy of Tyler Durden

A week after the roll into new indices (HY13 and IG13) there was quite notable action in CDS land. Net notional change across all sectors was substantially negative to the tune of $282 billion, which however consisted primarily of matured transactions accounting for $330 billion of this number, implying the adjusted number was around positive $50 billion and a notable derisking. There likely has been a corresponding netting out on the New Transaction side over the past month as accounts were rolling existing positions.

Total gross outstanding have been relatively flat over the past month at $26.7 trillion, with $15.3 trillion in Single Names, $8.5 trillion in Indices and $2.8 trillion in Tranches, a material unwind from the beginning of the month when there was about $3.4 trillion in this category. This likely means a major index fund was unwinding tranches over the past month, likely leading to reverberations across all asset classes.

In single name action, the leader in the derisking category was Danone with $933 million in net change leaving last week (on $14.7 billion gross notional). Another notable name was Goldman Sachs at #4, with $175 million in net long CDS positions purchased. Some other notable deriskers were British American Tobacco, Ford Motor, Eastman Kodak, Safeway, FDC, Time Warner, VNU and Autozone.

In the rerisking category, the dominant names were as expected, financials, with DB, BNP GECC and AIG comprising the top 4. How long this optimism for financials will persist, especially if there is a major drop in equities, is as always the main question.

Endgame Near For CIT

Endgame Near For CIT

Courtesy of Yael Bizouati at Clusterstock


And don’t miss this, courtesy of Tyler Durden at ZH

Jim Cramer’s Recommendation On CIT From Yesterday: "Primed For Upside. I Would Buy"

Jim CramerOne can only hope that at some point irresponsible, speculative and highly destructive stock calls like this would see some regulatory intervention.

Citi and CIT Are Primed for Upside, by Jim Cramer, 9/29/2009, 1:54 PM EDT

Citigroup’s on the move, so is CIT . I think that Citigroup will be the biggest beneficiary of the new plan to buy toxic assets, because it is basically running its SIV as discontinued operations and it could benefit from the new program. CIT is about the possible IndyMac link-up courtesy of John Paulson, a real smart guy who was negative about mortgages before it paid to be negative. Dan Freed on CIT CIT Surges on Report of IndyMac Deal I put both of these up there as examples of companies that won’t die, and because they won’t die, they live. I know that seems a little circular in reasoning, but because Citigroup never suffered a run like Wachovia and Washington Mutual did, it made it and as our flagship site mentioned, it is safe. If it is safe, it can go higher. Because no one forced CIT into bankruptcy, it can live to play again, and when I read in the New York Post that Paulson owns CIT debt, I realized that he’s powerful enough to save this company, particularly because he is one of the investors in IndyMac and knows his way around the bottom of the debt barrel. These two stocks represent lottery tickets that are no longer rip-ups because they have made it out of the "critical care" stage and are recovering. I would buy them both.


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Chicago PMI Subscribers Drive Market Down After "Flash Look" At Bad Number

Courtesy of Tyler Durden

The market tanked after the Chicago PMI index took a big bath on the second derivative double somersault. After hitting a better than expected 50 in August, the September number was 46.1, much weaker than the expected “expansionary” 52. the PMI is a useful advance indicator on the overall ISM, which is out tomorrow, and has been responsible for much of the presumed economic pick up in the past 6 months. As John Bougearel pointed out yesterday, ISM fans may be set for a major disappointment.

As a reminder the Chicago PMI is:

An index released monthly on the last business day of the month to which it refers that indicates how vibrant regional manufacturing activity is. An index value of 50 or higher indicates increasing busi-ness activity; below that indicates decreasing activity. The index breaks out readings for production, new orders, order backlog, inventories, prices paid, employment, and supplier deliveries. The PMI is a timely look at the strength of manufacturing industry in the Chicago Federal Reserve regions, which comprise Illinois, Iowa, Indiana, Michigan, and Wisconsin. The new orders and orders backlog indices are useful in predicting future production activity.

And in case you were wondering why the market started tanking 3 minutes before the official release, it is because Chicago PMI subscribers get a 3 minute advance look on the number ahead of the general media. In other news, Flash Orders, Actionable IOIs and advance looks improve liquidity (and front running).


Phil's Favorites

The dysfunctional debt ceiling and why we should kill it: 5 questions answered


The dysfunctional debt ceiling and why we should kill it: 5 questions answered

Treasury Secretary Mnuchin is taking ‘extraordinary measures’ to avoid busting the debt ceiling. AP Photo/Jose Luis Magana

Courtesy of Steven Pressman, Colorado State University

Editor’s note: The U.S. government maxed out its national credit card in March and has been moving money around ever since to avoid running out of cash. Very soon the Treasury Department ...

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Zero Hedge

This Is Where The Next Recession Will Start: An Epidemiological Study

By Nicholas Colas of DataTrek

(Published at ZeroHedge)

US recessions are like epidemics: they all begin somewhere, and the “tell” is state-level unemployment data. For example, the end of the 2000 dot com bubble hit Connecticut and Massachusetts first – two hubs for the financials services industry with lots of affluent investors to boot. The end of the 2000s housing boom predictably impacted Florida and Nevada before the rest of the country. This time around, the data shows the manufacturing-heavy states of Michigan, Ohio and Indiana are most at risk. No wonder “Dr. Fed” wants to inoculate the region with lower interest rates.

When medical professionals study epidemics, they look for the source of the ou...

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Digital Currencies

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

Courtesy of ZeroHedge. View original post here.

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

A sea of green...

Source: Coin360

Bitcoin surged back above $10,000...

Ethereum bounced off suppo...

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Kimble Charting Solutions

Silver ETF (SLV) Testing Dual Breakout Resistance

Courtesy of Chris Kimble.

Silver (NYSEARCA: SLV) has been in a bit of a slumber when compared to the price action for Gold (NYSEARCA: GLD).

Precious metals bulls hope that this about to change, as bullish action from Silver is necessary to confirm any bull market / move in metals.

Today’s chart takes a closer look at the Silver ETF (SLV) on a weekly basis. As you can see, Silver is up 5 percent this week alone.

This is good news for metals bulls. But this rally isn’t confirming a breakout just yet.

As you can see in the chart below, SLV has been trading between support (1) ...

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Insider Scoop

Analysts Weigh In On Netflix's Rocky Quarter

Courtesy of Benzinga.

Netflix, Inc. (NASDAQ: NFLX) reported second-quarter results highlighted by an uncharacteristic decline in U.S. subscribers while international subscriber adds missed expectations. Here is a summary of how some of the Street's top analysts reacted to the print.

The Analysts

Mor... more from Insider


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

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


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

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

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

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Professor Shubha Ghosh On The Current State Of Gene Editing


Professor Shubha Ghosh On The Current State Of Gene Editing

Courtesy of Jacob Wolinsky, ValueWalk

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


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Chart School

Gold Gann Angle Update

Courtesy of Read the Ticker.

Charts show us the golden brick road to high prices.

GLD Gann Angle has been working since 2016. Higher prices are expected. Who would say anything different, and why and how?

Click for popup. Clear your browser cache if image is not showing.

The GLD very wide channel shows us the way.
- Conservative: Tag the 10 year rally starting in 2001 to 2019 and it forecasts $750 GLD (or $7500 USD Gold Futures) in 10 years.
- Aggressive: Tag the 5 year rally starting in 1976 to 2019  and it forecasts $750 GLD (or $7500 USD Gold Futures) in 5 years.

Click for popup. Clear your browser cache if ima...

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Members' Corner

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

Are you ready to retire?  

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

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

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

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Mapping The Market

It's Not Capitalism, it's Crony Capitalism

A good start from :

It's Not Capitalism, it's Crony Capitalism


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

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

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Swing trading portfolio - week of September 11th, 2017

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


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

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

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

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

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Free eBook - "My Top Strategies for 2017"



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

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

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

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

Some other great content in this free eBook includes:


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


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About Phil:

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

Learn more About Phil >>

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About Ilene:

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

Market Shadows >>