Archive for 2009

Will Anyone Investigate Insider Trading In The Insurance Stocks?

By Joe Weisenthal at ClusterStock

Will Anyone Investigate Insider Trading In The Insurance Stocks? (PRU, HIG)

Excerpt:  Yesterday evening we mentioned the rally big insurers like Hartford (HIG) and Prudential (PRU).

Then just a few hours later, news reports confirmed that the insurance companies would be eligible for TARP. It was basically known that the Treasury would accept them, but the timing of the announcement was a mystery.

Given that our government’s been leaking like sieve lately (see: the stress-test runup), it’s impossible to believe that the news hadn’t been leaking during the day…

David Goldman offers the following insight:

First the Obama administration pulls the rug out from under the insurance industry by playing politics with credit seniority in the Chrysler bankruptcy, adding to the uncertainty of valuing trillions of dollars of corporate and commercial real estate debt. It then offers a bailout to the investors.

Full article here.


Jamie Dimon Is Government’s Golden Boy (JPM)

Courtesy of Dan Colarusso at ClusterStock

Jamie DimonJamie Dimon Is Government’s Golden Boy (JPM)

Jamie Dimon has some new best friends, and they live in Washington, D.C.

Sure his J.P. Morgan got a raw deal from the Feds on the Chrysler bailout and had to swallow big losses along with other debt holders.

But now, according to the New York Post, Washington is awarding J.P. Morgan the mandate to do the merger between the financing arms of Chrysler and GM. It has also been tapped as a major player in the restructuring of the car giants.

The fees on those deals aren’t huge, maybe a bit more than $50 million, but it could be the  beginning of something wonderful.

Sources told The Post “JPMorgan may be called upon to gobble up smaller regional and super regional banks teetering on the brink of failure — a move that plays right into Dimon’s push to expand JPMorgan into an even bigger national franchise.”

The whole story>

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The Perfect Antidote

Courtesy of Michael Panzner at Financial Armageddon

The Perfect Antidote

For all those policymakers, "economists," and TV pundits whose thinking has been clouded by the "green shoots" they’ve been smoking lately, I’ve got the perfect antidote: Howard Davidowitz.

In fact, if the reality described by this retail industry consultant in the following Yahoo! Finance Tech Ticker column (and accompanying video). "’The Worst Is Yet to Come’: If You’re Not Petrified, You’re Not Paying Attention," doesn’t sober these delusiabulls up quickly, I’m afraid nothing will.

The green shoots story took a bit of hit this week between data on April retail sales, weekly jobless claims and foreclosures. But the whole concept of the economy finding its footing was "preposterous" to begin with, says Howard Davidowitz, chairman of Davidowitz & Associates.

"We’re in a complete mess and the consumer is smart enough to know it," says Davidowitz, whose firm does consulting for the retail industry. "If the consumer isn’t petrified, he or she is a damn fool."

Davidowitz, who is nothing if not opinionated (and colorful), paints a very grim picture: "The worst is yet to come with consumers and banks," he says. "This country is going into a 10-year decline. Living standards will never be the same."

This outlook is based on the following main points:

  • With the unemployment rate rising into double digits – and that’s not counting the millions of "underemployed" Americans – consumers are hitting the breaks, which is having a huge impact, given consumer spending accounts for about 70% of economic activity.
  • Rising unemployment and the $8 trillion negative wealth effect of housing mean more Americans will default on not just mortgages but student loans and auto loans and credit card debt.
  • More consumer loan defaults will hit banks, which are also threatened by what Davidowitz calls a "depression" in commercial real estate, noting the recent bankruptcy of General Growth Properties and distressed sales by Developers Diversified and other REITs.

As for all the hullabaloo about the stress tests, he says they were a sham and part of a "con game to get private money to finance these institutions because [Treasury] can’t get more money from Congress. It’s the ‘greater fool’ theory."

"We’re now in Barack Obama’s world where money goes into

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The Exuberance Glut Or The Dollar-Euro Short Squeeze Race

Courtesy of Tyler at Zero Hedge

The Exuberance Glut Or The Dollar-Euro Short Squeeze Race

Much speculation lately focuses not so much on what the stock market will do (the answer to that should be self-evident, especially once shorting stocks again becomes a practical reality), but what the impact of recent economic policies will have not just on inflation (isolated or global), as well as on that most sacrosanct piece of paper, the U.S. dollar.

In order to approach this question from a different angle than the conventional theoretical wisdom of Quantitative Easing being the end all be all explanation for the mid- and long-term fate of the U.S. currency, an approach that has much more practical credence is that presented by David Roche of Independent Strategy, which demonstrates overall liquidity, defined as claims on goods, services and assets, as an inverted pyramid.

At the bottom of this pyramid is the power money of reserve cash – liquidity created on the balance sheet of central banks. As noted, it accounts for a mere 1% of global liquidity, and thus the impact that the Fed and other world central banks will have with existing policies that address merely this aspect of liquidity will be, at best, massively muted. Above this is the liquidity bank loans liquidity, created through the conventional credit multiplier mechanism of commercial banks. Above that still is the liquidity created by securitization of debt. This experiment, gone horribly wrong, allowed claims on illiquid assets to grow further relative to the reserve money in the system. This is precisely the layer that the Fed and Treasury are trying to revive with the various TALF iterations, so far unsuccessfully. And at the very top of the pyramid is the layer of interest rate and credit derivatives: a means whereby institutions were able to maximize claims on physical and financial assets, by insuring against losses, without increasing precautionary reserves either of capital or reserve money.

In order to fully understand currency and price movements, one has to realize that the securitization of debt, and creation of derivatives amounted to a huge virtual printing press, primarily fueled by a massive increase in risk appetite which allowed for a huge expansion in the value of claims on financial assets and goods and

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Death By A Thousand Redemptions

Courtesy of Tyler Durden

Death By A Thousand Redemptions

Troubled RenTec, which not only made WSJ last night, but also CNBC today, may not have to suffer much longer. Based on information Zero Hedge has received, the assets at Jim Simons’ investor-open, RIEF fund, have plummetted over the past 3 years. The fund which was started as one with up to $100 billion in potential capital, is a mere shadow of its once fabled self.

Below are the AUM for RIEF at various points in time. Continuing the trendline implies some very troubling lack of capital in the not too distant future.



Dave’s Daily

Best wishes to Dave Fry and family from all of us at Phil’s Stock World!


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Bilderberg Group Plans Economic Depression

This article by Paul Joseph Watson was published both at Global Research and at Prison Planet

Leaked Agenda: Bilderberg Group Plans Economic Depression

Elitists divided on whether to quickly sink economy and replace it with new world order, or set in motion long, agonizing depression

On the eve of the 2009 Bilderberg Group conference, which is due to be held May 14-17 at the 5 star Nafsika Astir Palace Hotel in Vouliagmeni, Greece, investigative reporter Daniel Estulin has uncovered shocking details of what the elitists plan to do with the economy over the course of the next year.

The Bilderberg Group meeting is an annual confab of around 150 of the world’s most influential powerbrokers in government, industry, banking, media, academia and the military-industrial complex. The secretive group operates under “Chatham House rules,” meaning that no details of what is discussed can ever be leaked to the media, despite editors of the world’s biggest newspapers, the Washington Post, the New York Times and the Financial Times, being present at the meeting.

According to Estulin’s sources, which have been proven highly accurate in the past, Bilderberg is divided on whether to put into motion, “Either a prolonged, agonizing depression that dooms the world to decades of stagnation, decline and poverty … or an intense-but-shorter depression that paves the way for a new sustainable economic world order, with less sovereignty but more efficiency.”

The information takes on added weight when one considers the fact that Estulin’s previous economic forecasts, which were based on leaks from the same sources, have proven deadly accurate. Estulin correctly predicted the housing crash and the 2008 financial meltdown as a result of what his sources inside Bilderberg told him the elite were planning based on what was said at their 2006 meeting in Canada and the 2007 conference in Turkey.

Details of the economic agenda were contained in a pre-meeting booklet being handed out to Bilderberg members. On a more specific note, Estulin warns that Bilderberg are fostering a false picture of economic recovery, suckering investors into ploughing their money back into the stock market again…
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Trade Rewind: Anatomy of Our Winning Ag Plays

A lot of mail we get from people interested in our service had the question: "Are option trades as easy to follow as stock trades?"

I think the quick answer to that is yes for straight options and no for spreads but like many things that are worth doing, they are worth learning.  I'm going to start a new teaching series here so we can analyze some trades after the fact as practice may make perfect but it also pays to go over our winners as well as our mistakes as finding out where we went right is as important as finding out where we went wrong.  Trading has, of late, become much less about the merits of the particular stock and more about the timing of your entries as good stocks and bad stocks can move up and down 5% on any given day.

One of the things we like to do is watch for overbought sectors to short.  We had been taking pot-shots at POT all week as it was really running away with itself and on Thursday I discussed with members how the whole sector was getting overbought and, in Friday morning's post I said: "I advocate more shorts into the open if they insist on this ridiculous pre-market pump (down just .25% at 9 am), especially in the over-hyped Agriculture industry, which could not be up for stupider reasons," which neatly summarized my outlook on the sector. 


We got exactly the pump action we wanted in the morning and I sent out a 10:34 Alert to Members, sensing that we were topping out on the run in the indexes and I recommended the following plays:

Big disconnect with DBA and AGU, MOS and POT now.  It’s a little crazy to do a day trade but the POT $115 puts have .20 in premium at $6.10 and you can sell the $110 puts for $2 if it turns against you.  I like the June $90 puts on them for $1.95, looking for $1 and rolling up if it goes the other way at .85 per $5.

AGU July $40 puts are $1.05.  MOS $50 puts are a fun day trade for .10 but you need to get 3/4 out at .15 and leave the 1/4 or 1/2 out at .20 and

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Bank of America Bet to $16 by August

Today’s tickers: BAC, FXI, JWN, WFC, XHB, CNQ, ANF & PEP

BAC– And finally today, one investor apparently sees a 60% improvement in the prospects for shares over at BAC having placed a 60,000-lot trade on the PHLX to lock-in to the bank’s shares at $16.00 apiece come August. The trader bought 60,000 call options at the strike while selling the same amount of 20 strike calls for a net premium of 46 cents. Ordinarily the speculation would have cost the investor 72 cents, but the use of the premium at the 20 strike eroded the cost significantly. Currently the premium associated with securing rights to buy BoA shares at twice the current cost is a staggering 28 cents! With shares trading around $10.73 and down more than 5% at the end of trading today, this investor is taking a very bullish perspective on the company and allowing only a pretty tight schedule. The same tried in November might have cost around 60 cents instead but would have provided three more months to come good. – Bank of America Corp.

FXI – Shares of the China ETF are down 1% to $33.44, but one covered put strategist sees further bearish movement in the stock through expiration in June. It appears that this individual sees Chinese stocks giving back some of the gains made in the rally that followed the release of the stimulus package by the Chinese government. He established the covered put by selling short the stock in conjunction with the simultaneous short sale of 33,955 put options at the June 32 strike price for a premium of 1.13 apiece. This strategy was transacted when shares were at $34.09, just three cents off of the high for the day. The investor is likely looking to have shares put to him at $32.00 when the underlying price falls low enough for the puts to wind up in-the-money. The premium received for writing the puts today effectively lowers the price he must pay, should shares be put to him by expiration, to $30.87. Should this scenario come to fruition, he will have gained 9% on the stock. – iShares FTSE/Xinhua China 25 Index Fund

JWN – The fashion specialty retailer attracted bearish option plays despite a significant bullish move in the price of the underlying stock which is currently up more than 7.5% to $22.56. The department store-chain reported
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The Thirst For Risk

Courtesy of Zero Hedge

The Thirst For Risk

The charts below demonstrate unmistakably just how phenomenally bipolar the market has become, and just how aggressively asset managers are chasing after risky assets in order to make up for 2008 losses. Alas, nobody has learned any lessons from the credit bubble where fast, slow, dumb and smart money was all chasing the riskiest assets, all of which ended in tears for far too many people. The result so far for 2009: exactly the same pattern is repeating itself.

The highest activity, both in number of transactions and in notional, is in the riskiest space: equities. This makes intuitive sense: as Obama himself said on March 7th "the market has bottomed", with everyone rushed to jump into risk, and the subsequent explosion in new equity issuance is the result.

Not surprisingly, following the biggest short squeeze in decades, Real Estate equity issuance for the first 5 months of 2009 has already surpassed all of 2008, both in proceeds and in deal #. Only one thing can be said here. Once the downgrades begin of all recently upgraded companies being, all that new money will be very, very unhappy.

The most active sector just below equities are bonds, where activity has picked up over the last couple of months in the HY space, after a ramp up early in the year in the IG and the TLGP space.

What is interesting, is that loan deals continue to suffer – a space traditionally delegated for the least risky 1st lien deals, and hedge-fund focused 2nd lien deals, has seen a massive drought in demand for both, as asset managers prefer to jump straight into the riskiest assets hoping for a continuing game of greater fool with the administration’s daily blessings.

Notable is also the collapse in M&A deal volume. The facts that companies are unwilling to spend either cash or stock currency in order to grow, should be very indicative to primary equity investors who, despite this graph demonstrating that no companies are even considering expanding in this environment, keep on purchasing follow on offerings in the crappiest of sectors for totally unfathomable reasons.

And lastly, more for comic value, than anything, I present the structured finance deals in the last year. Maybe the administration should have looked at this chart

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Phil's Favorites

Opposite of Conventional Wisdom


Opposite of Conventional Wisdom

Courtesy of 

There was an article in the New York Times that highlighted the reversal of previous findings in medicine.

Of more than 3,000 studies published from 2003 through 2017 in JAMA and the Lancet…more than one of 10 amounted to a “medical reversal”: ...

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Zero Hedge

WTI Extends Losses After Smaller Than Expected Crude Draw

Courtesy of ZeroHedge. View original post here.

Oil prices plunged today as Trump and Pompeo defused some tensions with Iran and geopolitical risk premiums were squeezed out suddenly.

“Bullish catalysts are in short supply,” analysts at London-based broker PVM Oil Associates Ltd. said in a note to clients.

“The Gulf Coast of Mexico hurricane premium is fading as offshore operations in the region resume. At the same time, the U.S. shale engine continues to give oil bulls a sleepless night.”


  • Crude -1.401mm...

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Kimble Charting Solutions

U.S. & Euro Financials Lagging Big Time! Should Stock Bulls Be Concerned?

Courtesy of Chris Kimble.

Historically its been positive to see Financials doing well at the same time the broad market is pushing higher! If financial stocks are lagging bit time, should stock bulls be concerned?

This chart compares banks and in the U.S. (XLF) & Europe (EUFN) to the S&P 500 over the past 18-months.

Currently, XLF is lagging the S&P by more than 11...

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Insider Scoop

Earnings Scheduled For July 16, 2019

Courtesy of Benzinga.

Companies Reporting Before The Bell
  • Goldman Sachs Group Inc (NYSE: GS) is projected to report quarterly earnings at $5.00 per share on revenue of $9.13 billion.
  • Domino's Pizza, Inc. (NYSE: DPZ) is expected to report quarterly earnings at $2.02 per share on revenue of $836.92 million.
  • JPMorgan Chase & Co. ... more from Insider

Digital Currencies

Bitcoin Breaks Back Below $10k, Crypto-Crash Accelerates As Asia Opens

Courtesy of ZeroHedge. View original post here.

Update 2010ET: Having briefly stabilized after this morning's weakness, cryptos are tumbling once again as Asian markets open.

Bitcoin has broken below $10,000 again...

*  *  *

While all eyes are on Bitcoin as it slides back towards $10,000, the real mover in the last 12 hours has been Ethereum after...

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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.

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