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Technically Troubling Tuesday

We finally blew our levels!

Sadly, it’s time to flip bearish until we can retake our watch levels at Dow 10,200, S&P 1,070, Nas 2,200, NYSE 6,800, and Russell 635.  If we can’t retake at least 2 of them today, we may be seeing 2.5% drops back to Dow 9,945, S&P 1,043, Nas 2,145, NYSE 6,630 and Russell 619.  Since the Russell already blew 619 we have to consider the possiblitlity of even a test of our 5% lines at Dow 9,690, S&P 1,016, Nas 2,090, NYSE 6,460, and Russell 603.

Fundamentals are great but once panic sets in the market is all about technicals and we just need to strap in and go along for the ride.  We have been playing for a bounce off our 10,200, 1,070 lines but, now that we lost it – it’s time to flip bearish – I was wrong and that’s that, time to move on and make some downside money.  Of course it will take more than a single day to give us a trend but the same way we don’t get very bearish until we loser 3 of 5 of our center levels, we don’t get bullish again until we break back over.  Yesterday I sent out an Alert to Members as we broke down, saying:  "We could very easily drop 250 from here on the Dow (2.5%)."

We added a fresh DXD hedge but we already had a proper hedge from Friday when the morning trade idea was:

A better way to hedge at the moment is the DXD Sept $27s for $1.70.  They have a delta of .62 but can be transferred into a vertical if the Dow goes up by selling the $25 puts (now .20) for .50 and covering with the $29s (now $1) for at least .70, leaving you in a $2 spread for .50.   That would be the ESCAPE, at the moment I like the plain DXD $27s at $1.70 until we get a real move back up.

That was an addition to the Morning Alert Trade, which was the DIA Sept $99 puts at $1.50.  Neither the DXD or the DIA plays have been paying off so far but they did provide cover for our speculative bullish plays as we tried to play the line.  Of course we take our major disaster hedges when the market is high (it’s cheaper then), like on August 9th, when I wrote "Monday Market Momentum (or Lack Thereof)" and our longer-term protection was:

SDS – Sure, now you can do the Jan $31/35 bull call spread for $1.50 and sell 1/2 March $27 puts for $2.60 which is net .20 on the $5 spreads that are .20 in the money to start.  You can sell 5 of the March $27 puts for $1,300 and about $5.5K in margin and buy 10 of the spreads that pay $5,000 if the S&P drops about 5% (to below 1,070).  The $27 puts are almost 15% below so about a 7.5% gain in the S&P to over 1,200 by March for this to be put to you.  Anything less than that is VERY cheap insurance.

We’ll see how that logic pans out but that’s what we call a "disaster hedge" and this market drop is exactly the kind of disaster we are guarding against.  That same day we had a shorter-term hedge on QID (which I even posted for free readers on that Tuesday) which was:

QID Aug $16/17 bull call spread is .42 and is .42 in the money and you can sell $16 puts for .29 to drop the net to .13, which is a nice way to play the Nas down and we can kill the trade if we get green on the Russell (666) and the Dow (10,700) for a small loss vs. a potential .87 gain (669% upside)  

QID expired on Friday at $18.15 so a full 669% payoff on that one too!  So forgive us if we are simply amused by this drop but it’s all part of the trading range we’ve been tracking all year.  I had been hoping we would turn the middle of our range into a new floor after earnings but we didn’t get the stimulus we need and it looks like we aren’t going to get any help at all from our grid-locked government.  In fact, this morning, House Minority leader, John Boehner demands that Obama "fire Timothy Geithner and Larry Summers" (and, of course, extend the Bush tax cuts for the wealthy), so I’m not really expecting the boys in DC to be sitting at a table and fixing anything any time soon! 


The 8 a.m. speech is being billed by some as the beginning of a major rollout of the Republican party’s economic agenda — and also a preview of how Boehner would run the House if he becomes Speaker. Although the speech contains some fresh ideas — Boehner calls for a 20 percent tax cut for small businesses — he also uses some familiar rhetoric, using the phrase "job killing" 13 times to describe Obama economic policies, according to the prepared text of his speech.

Money is flying out of Europe as Joe Stigliz warned that the EU is "stupidly creating a double-dip recession" by doing what John Boehner wants to do to America:

Stiglitz said the European economy is at risk of sliding back into a recession as governments cut spending to reduce their budget deficits. “Cutting back willy-nilly on high-return investments just to make the picture of the deficit look better is really foolish,” Stiglitz told Dublin-based RTE Radio in an interview broadcast today. Euro-area governments stepped up efforts to cut their deficits to below the European Union limit of 3 percent of gross domestic product after the Greek crisis earlier this year eroded investor confidence in the 16-member currency union. He went on to point out the absurdity and arbitrariness of the 3% number, and the obsession with the debt side of the balance sheet only.

Our own Fed turns out to have been much more divided than originally reported on their decision to provide more quantitative easing and THAT, more than anything else, is spooking the markets as a possible end to EZ Money from the Fed is not what the Banksters want to hear.  According to the WSJ, at least 7 of the 17 Fed officials at the Aug 10th meeting were against the decision to keep the Fed’s $2.05 trillion stock of mortgage debt and U.S. Treasury holdings from shrinking – apparently so much so that they went to the press with their objections.

I urge you to read the whole article as it’s a complex issue and, on the whole, the headlines are blowing it out of proportion as really the main objection of the seven dissenters is that the economy is strong enough to stand on it’s own and the Fed is sending the wrong signal by buying back Treasuries but, as I menitoned regarding last week’s visit to Treasury, it seemst that our government couldn’t be more pleased to see rates kept artificially low for as long as possible, despite the malinvestment it’s causing.  

I also urge you to spend 10 minutes watching this Daily Show video, which does a very nice job of pointing out that it’s Rupert Murdoch’s business partner at Fox News, Alwaleed bin Talal, who is the "money man" funding the installation of the mosque at ground zero – the same one that Fox News has been using as the focal point for their attacks on, well everything, for the past month (actually a pretty cheap price to pay for all those hours of programming). 

The Daily Show With Jon Stewart Mon – Thurs 11p / 10c
The Parent Company Trap
Daily Show Full Episodes Political Humor Tea Party

So is Fox News evil or ar they just "staggeringly, achingly, almost inspiringly stupid"?  We report, you decide

This is the kind of nonsense that is driving US sentiment as Murdoch & bin Talal’s Journal and Murdoch & bin Talal’s News Network donate $1M (see yesterday’s post) to Boehner’s Republican party in exchange for sound bytes and chaos and, of course, huge tax breaks – what a country! 

I am still not fundamentally bearish.  Things just don’t seem that bad but we will continue to hold a more bearish stance until we take back our levels.  If we have a low-volume sell-off, we may even get a bounce back today, in which case, it’s a lot of worry over nothing but it’s nice to be hedged – just in case

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  1.  Good morning, everyone, I will be monitoring this chat while Phil is in Florida.

    Please fee free to ask me any questions. Either here, on on my side here if you need a very quick answer ;-)

  2. Opt, dude, how are you ?

  3. Wiow and we are approaching 9800 fast, a level Phil never believed would be breached.  I wonder if JRW is with Phil?  LOL.

  4.  I am very good, thank you…Trading has been a little bit boring this summer, but should get interesting now.

    How have you been doing?

  5. Opt – welcome to the Dark Side of the Moon!

  6. After being here for a few months, I find it hard to be sad turning bearish, since there’s fortunes, or at least pin money, or Porsche money, or charitable contribution money to be made on the way up and the way down, static, or dynamic, IF I’ve been reading it right.
    Why ‘sadly’?

  7. Looks like TBT broke 31 overnight. I might be mistaken, but  I seem to remember Phil saying a while ago that if it broke under 30, we should probably be stocking up on guns and ammo.  

  8.  kinki—TOS shows a low of 30.85 for TBT at around 7:30 am.

  9. Kinki – as I have been posting for months, TBT is not the right investment, and bonds are going to continue to outpace equities over the next few years.  There will be blips here and there, just as there are in the equity market, but overall, low yield will continue to rule the day.  As for guns and ammo….not a bad idea.

  10. ARNA getting smacked around with the market.  If they hit 6.60 again, I will be buying shares and a few call verticals.

  11.  Thanks, Pharmboy. Looks interesting over here..

    Breaking 1060 will be significant.


  12. Boy has Phil been wrong about this market.  I wonder how his picks are doing, since there is no way to follow them or list or his suggestions which I’ve always found a bit odd on a site you pay for advice. 

  13. Phil or anybody / downside plays – looking for additional downside protection. any suggestions?

  14.  terrapin, what do you have in your portfolio that you need protection for?

  15. Support being provided… let’s see how long it lasts-

  16.  APOL flying. This chart did not lie to us yesterday :-)

  17. Terr – 1050-1060 range (Opts chart) and the one below from allabouttrends show that 1050 may be a bottom, then a wave up (if you like Elliot Wave). I use them all (Opts 5d MA, allabout, and my own) for making decisions.  If you have the DIA and disaster hedges, U should be fine.  Otherwise I would get out now and sit on the sidelines, things are going to get ugly, but I hate to capitulate this early. I think we have another bounce and then a downward move in September.

  18. POMO’s hard at work- lets see what they can do!

  19. Good morning! 

    I’m getting ready to go but this does not look like a real sell-off to me, mainly EU panic selling so be very careful of a big reverse.  Watch the Russell to see what’s real.  Our lines are:

    • Middle Range (we hope): Dow 10,200, S&P 1,070, Nas 2,200, NYSE 6,800, and Russell 635.
    • Down 2.5%: Dow 9,945, S&P 1,043, Nas 2,145, NYSE 6,630 and Russell 619
    • Down 5% Dow 9,690, S&P 1,016, Nas 2,090, NYSE 6,460, and Russell 603.

    Use the 3 of 5 rule but also keep in mind that the RUT has done a very good job of leading us around and Nasdaq has been the confirmation so the lack of holding the 5% line is VERY serious.

    I favor taking the DIA $99 puts off the table here at $1.75 as we’re lucky to make .25 back since we took it on the last drop.  The DXD hedges are still good of course and if you need another hedge, I think it’s good to take advantage of the Jan $24 puts at $1.25 like this:

    DXD – Selling 1/2x Jan $24 puts for $1.25, buying 1x Oct $27/30 bull call spread for 1, which is net .38 on the $3 spread that’s $1.50 in the money.

    Expectations are for a very poor housing report at 10 and very bad oil inventories tomorrow morning and eveyone is betting the GDP on Friday morning is going to be revised down to 1.4% so those are the major possible turning points if they go the other way but there’s no sense in gambling when all 5 of our indicators are red but if the RUT can get back over 5% or the Nas can get back over 2,145, then it may be fund to take an upside gamble or two.  Otherwise, best to batten down the hatches and ride this one out. 

  20.  oooppps, wrong thread again. Sorry, that might happen a lot as I am trying to monitor both sides. So you might have to live with some Swing trading trades this week…

  21. short gold, short market- short euro- oh what a beautiful morning!

  22. I think we may go up from here with a turn back down around 11.  When is that home sale data out this am?

  23. I’m about 35% long in equities, bull call spreads and short puts in my trading account and have one long term hedge (2012 TZA bull call spread).  Just looking for one short term hedge.   Maybe I will try to use Phil’s ideas from yesterday and Friday if those still are best.  

  24. matt:  Home sales at  in about 10 min.  at 10:00 AM.  But expectations are terrible.  So anything less than terrible could provide a bounce.

  25. Yip – The key word is "Advice"  It does include what is in his investment portfolio and only the Mrs. knows that….. :)

  26. That should be "it does NOT"  :)

  27. Optrader – Thx.  I will use Phil’s October DXD idea. 

  28. Yea 1020…been part of a lot of ‘advice’ sites and I’ve never seen one not list a running total of closed an open plays ever.  When o when will the people wake up and realize we never had a recovery and were going back down.  As wrong as it is to say, I can’t believe so many people PHIL included can’t see it. 

  29. yip: I dunno. I get the feeling Phil’s been bearish ever since he had his meeting with Treasury and they basically crushed his QE+Stimulus expectations and rolled their eyes at his suggestions for turning the economy around.

  30. A record drop.

  31. Oops, there we go. Housing numbers WORSE than terrible at -27%…

  32. Kink maybe be he was delusional if he thought they were going to get another QE2 before the elections that is a laugh.  Not unless we hit 6500 then maybe.  Plus how can anyone say we are in a recovery if we need QE?? How do you explain that?

  33. Yip – used to be a portfolio tab with a running total of many of the picks.  The site morphed into what it is now, as the picks were flying all over the place, and there were too many things to keep track of.  Usually in the weekly wrap there were picks, but the past few weeks other things have been concentrated on. 

  34. Pharm…but really there should be no reason whatsoever or excuse as to why they can’t be listed.  Furthermore if their flying about and they can’t be followed, that’s a problem I think. 
    Interesting again…JRW still a ghost eh?  I’m scratching my head.on that.  I wonder if any of you are thinking the same.

  35. yip:  Hey.  You can’t argue with the power of stimulus.  2009 showed us that.   But I would say going from SP 666 to 1200 is a "recovery" of sorts…  even if its not a true economic recovery.

  36. The sale of existing U.S. homes sank 27.2% in July – the biggest one-month drop ever – largely because of the phase-out of a federal tax credit, according to an industry trade group. The National Association of Realtors said existing-home sales fell to a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 3.83 million in July from a revised 5.26 million the month before. Sales of single-family homes fell to the lowest rate in 15 years. Inventories of unsold homes rose 2.5% to 3.98 million in July, representing a 12.5-month supply, the highest level since at least 1999. The median sales price edged up 0.7% in the past year to $182,600 in July, the NAR said.

  37. Yip – I will talk with Phil about a spreadsheet in egrid that I can post somewhere if it is feasible.

  38. When you add trillions of dollars the market goes up how is that a recovery?  It’s a stimulus not a sustained recovery which is what has been preached at nauseum.  It confuses people and breeds false hope not to mention adds trillions of dollars to the deficit.  Sounds like a GREAT PLAN.  the market may have recovered by artificial IOU’S but if it goes back down what have we done?  We spent 2 trillion dollar for nothing. 
    Sounds about right for the United States monetary choices throughout history because the government is so good at managing, especially money.

  39. Yip – Take a deep breath, and DON’T look under the bed….. ;)

  40. Pharm I don’t know why EVERYONE isn’t opting for that.  I think its a very important aspect of what’s happening here, I mean Phil is a great writer but I know I’m not paying 250 because he’s a good writer. 

  41.  Yip / Recovery : I agree with you, and have been net short for the past month or so. But, at some point, these international companies represent good value. You looking into adding any longs, or are you purely taking off and adding short positions. I’m short PCLN, NFLX, RIMM, and DIA. Have longs in GS, GOOG, HPQ, PKE, ARNA, and GLW….

  42. A good day to drive some twisties in the M, have a good day all!

  43. Sadly/Flips – Well because the downturn in the market with a fragile economy could be an economic event that America may not recover from for many years and I’m very sad that our "leaders" have let things spin so far out of control.

    Guns and Ammo/Kinki – Yep, it may be about that time!  We are back to the kind of panic levels we had in March of last year.  It’s amazing. 

    Oh no – Existing home sales down 27.2% – TOTAL DISASTER!

    Richmond Fed is 11 (a beat), not -2.7 as Santelli first said!  

    Wrongness/Yip – Wow you are an ass!  You were saying you would bet me the Dow would fall to 6,800 but when I offered to turn it into a real bet you turned into a real wuss and now we are "approaching 9,800" and you want to use that to declare some kind of victory?  My picks are all still there, feel free to go back for the last two weeks or two months or two years and conduct a review.  Perhaps by the time we’re done the Dow will be below 9,800 and you won’t sound like such an idiot. 

    Hedge/Terra – Don’t go crazy.  We’ll have to see what the EU close brings.  There is not a lot of volume to this sell-off so you can’t take it too seriously, they are just getting suckers like Yip to over-commit themselves.  The Fed is having their Jackson Hole meeting this weekend and that may provide a better take on the economy but it is likely GDP gets revised lower and then we’ll see how the market takes it. 

    Bearish/Kinki – You are right, that did turn me more bearish but only in that I no longer have confidence that we’ll set a range bottom at our midpoint – I  do still think the low end of our range (10% below 10,200 and 1,070) will hold and, hopefully, we don’t dip below our 5% levels.

    Dollar getting crammed back down – someone is stepping in. 

    Meanwile copper is STILL over $3.20 and oil is testing back to $72 with gold at $1,225 so this is hardly the kind of collapse we had in early July.

  44.  Yip, you know there are plenty of trades posted on this site that are very easy to follow right?

    Just on my side I am now running 2 portfolios live, one for swing trades, and one with only one trade at a time.

    All trades are posted live as they happen, recorded in the portfolio, and I post a P&L of closed trades every month.

  45.  Yip
    JMHO – but why not make the suggestion when Phil’s around, not while he’s getting on a plane?

  46. All /  Richmond Fed #’s    were surprisingly good, supporting  Phil’s thesis of the economy muddling through slowly.  Strange that mkt had little reaction to this positive news.?    The housing # is understandable as people don’t want to sell their houses at huge losses and buyers are holding back expecting further price declines.  Without QE2 GNP will not rebound and the Goldman 1.5% growth # is about a good as it gets thru 2011.  So what does that mean to stock prices.  I’m still dabbling buying stocks on dips like SKX trading at 7x this years p/e (and based on order backlogs the year seems in the bag).  Maybe I’m dumb, but it’s hard to find other places to put money.  I’m finding it hard to place sht bets today after a spike down on no new news.

  47. Not trying to defend anyone but I remember Phil saying he was Range-ish.  The Richmond fed btw wasn’t close to as bad as the Philly fed data (we would have been down 250 + otherwise).  I do think the points are well taken however. 
    What have I learned after 20+ years in the markets?  Do your own research, map out technicals, fundamentals and have a strategy everyday with a variety of timeframes/asset classes/sectors.  Do your homework before the market opens/after the market closes with a proper routine of analysis…and never ever trust whitey.

  48. Morning Phil is Joe Stigliz related to Hugo Stigliz ? ;)

  49. ‘They’ stepped in and saved their little market.  With the huge move overnight and the brief spike down at 10, they wanted to make sure few others could profit on the ‘engineered’ retracement to support.  It could be that by the end of the day.. all will be in place for another move up off ‘supposed solid’ support.

  50. I’m an ass maybe you should look in the mirror pal.  The market is going much lower and you’re the one with the 500 members guy.  However you keep predicting a turn around you are going to need a lot of sticky JRW’s.
    You said the world would end if the market dropped below 9800 like 2 weeks ago I’m sure you can find it if you look.  The market will fall to 6500.  I can’t understand how anyone thinks the economy is better  than it was 2 years ago, nothing has changed.  We are entering a worldwide depression. 
    No Hanna I’m not buying a thing.  This is the 4th inning.  The ‘recovery’ now needs to unwind so reality can kick in. 
    And you Phil calling me an ass?  LOL.  You don’t even have a list of your forecasts and you get paid $250 a month for advice, have been hoping for a pipe dream(QE2), and have been forecasting a rising market.
    AND you ‘supposedly’ have this guy JRW who ‘supposedly’ makes 100k a day and you act like that no big deal.  Something is fishy about that whole thing to be honest.  I’d like to see JRW and Phil in the same room.  If you can make that happen I’ll pay to see it.   

  51. Deano oh what you think Phil’s not going to see my posts on HIS website?  Damn I must be surrounded by a bunch of babies. give it up deano.

  52. Good morning,


    As I posted yesterday, Russell 590 is key, if it breaks go all in TZA; PPT target is probably IWM 60.46 and I think it will take most of the day to get there. I’m still on vacation, but under the circumstances, I’ll follow from time to time to answer questions. Just remember, I’m in a different time zone !!

  53. And now in defense of Phil (not that he needs it), the amount of real time original work produced by Phil still amazes me. 

  54. Plus in regard to JRW I challenge any of you to use level 3 and try to find any of his trades.  Me and another previous member examined 20 supposed trades and never once found a big block trade.  Sure they can break them up but 20x in a row?  I’m not even sure JRW exists. 

  55. Loopy…I’ll give him that and he’s a good writer with good pics but I’m not sure of much else.

  56. JRW are you in Florida? LOL

  57. Phil, I’m holding shorts for a blow out sell off this week but I think market will rebound in anticipation of Fed annual meeting. Christ maybe I missed the opportunity. Existing home sales were brutal. Do you see any great buys at these levels. BAC must be trading at tangible book. What about USO at $32. That’s proven to be a good entry in my experience.

  58. Yip your on tilt, not necessary dude.

  59. Phil,
    UNG – how low can it get?

  60.  Yip
    I like the idea of a more organized way to track trades, but given the illness in Phil’s family, I don’t like your timing. I’d suggest another day.

  61. yip, if you don’t like the site, leave. No need to slam people.

  62. VLO as low as it’s been since December. IMO, good time to do something that involves selling puts: straight put sales, buy-writes, artificial buy-writes, etc.

  63. Yip / mouthpiece:  Yip, seriously. How long have you been trading?  There are bold traders and there are old traders, but there aren’t many old bold traders. You ever hear that one? But I have to say, reading your daily predictions has provided humour for me for weeks. I’m usually too busy making money on both bullish and bearish bets to actually challenge you or others on anything. But I will go out quite clearly and say you are making one of the most junior trading mistakes: you are trying to be right rather than make money. I am bearish on the world too. I’ve taken leveraged bearish bets on that outcome. But I’m certainly not an arrogant enough ass to not have leveraged bullish bets in case I’m wrong. And I sell premium every day with short strangles in case the world muddles through. I don’t mean to start a war here, as you probably won’t get a further response from me. But just don’t look at things so black and white. While you’re making money on the downside, get bullish bets on order for the short bounces as well as what happens if the world doesn’t end.

  64. Phil/Plane — I wish you the best Phil.
    yip/JRW — is still on vacation
    yip/bear — wow, bask in your elation! I’m happy for you. As for me, I don’t care which way this market goes. I know you certainly are bearish now but you might consider at some point that you should be more balanced so you don’t go throught the bipolar swings in emotion. I think that’s rubbed members wrong in both directions!
    OptTrader — what software are you posting the graphs from?

  65. I was called the ass by Phil and I’ll I’m doing is speaking the truth.  Call it tilt, call it whatever you want.  I question a lot of things that happen here and I’m not alone.  I’ve been in contact with about 5 other members and previous members about the validity or even existence of JRW, the political rantings, lack of transparency regarding trade suggestions etc.  Lastly I don’t need a guy who keeps preaching ranges when I believe we are a declining range all the way down. 

  66. Wow! I check in after a long time, and everything is crazy. Feels just like a family reunion!!

  67. JRW / RUT  already hit 588 already today but recovered.  Did you already go all in with TZA?

  68. Jeez yip, If that’s what you really believe, why are you hanging around ?
    Being bearish is fine but all the negativity is a drag…..

  69.  Yip,   Don’t really want to add to the fire and distraction, but I was here a few years ago when Phil posted his trades in an excel sheet with entries, exits and P/L, etc.    What happened was that positions were rolled, DD’d, naked to spread (in other words VERY actively managed) and a great deal of his time went from real-time trade ideas and management, to dealing with back-end accounting slog that added little-value other than tutorials for newbies.  The result, at least for this subscriber, was a dilution of the value of PSW to me.  PSW is a very dynamic organism that has morphed greatly over the years (to be higher-value).   The more time Phil spends dealing with real-time assessment and trade ideas, the better for me.  If I’m in a trade idea that went south, I ask and receive the updated recommendation and decide whether to take it.  That’s just the way I like it and I won’t be headed for the PSW exit anytime soon.

  70.  Yip — Good lord, man, do you pay the money just to bitch? Frankly, if someone I was paying called me an ass for pretty much any reason I’d be gone. Just a suggestion…

  71. Opt; reasonably well market wise; family wise; all good.  Yeah, summer trading has been weird.  Just trying to scalp ‘em.
    Pharm … 1050ish; yeah, a lot of folks think we can bounce into Labor Day and down big into the elections.  Sounds feasible; what do I know ?  The robots rule anyway … retail is O U T.
    Yip … what did you eat for breakfast dude ?   I can assure you from personal experience that JRW is not Phil.  Moreover, there are some fantastic traders here with very different styles.  Phil is more of a strategist than a trader, and very smart, and gives folks a great tool kit to succeed.  Remember, he teaches you to fish, doesn’t fish and cook for you.
    Optrader is fantastic; JRW lights out; Pharm, Peter and others also.
    People offer views, trade ideas, actionable information; explanations; thought process; risk control; rules; etc.
    What more do you want ?    At the end of the day, only you can be responsible for your trading or investing.
    As for market outlook, you could be right … I don’t know…. I lean bearish … but its a continual process to monitor information and events.

  72. Phil – You use to post trades like Opt described at 10:18.  If I recall you stopped for regulatory or legal reasons.  Any chance you can bring back the portfolio if Opt is doing it?  Or do you have it and I’m not looking for it? 
    What is with all the vitriol by so many lately?  Politics and everything else seems to be at quite a pitch.  I assume it is because we are all ragged out and at the end of our respective ropes. 

  73. I  do still think the low end of our range (10% below 10,200 and 1,070) will hold and, hopefully, we don’t dip below our 5% levels.
    so is that  9200 on the dwo ? and  970 s@p ? is that what you are saying will hold up ? phil – you really are a  perma bull . im sorry , im ean no disrespect , you are excellent at what you do . but it is really hard catching these down moves with all the bullish talk . just feedback .

  74. Phil, I have a big exposure to AAPL (have a 270/280 bull spread that’s killing me!, I know Iam the fool carrying the bag!), which would be the best hedge to cover further losses? your advice will be greatly appreciated

  75. Phil – our prayers are with you and your step Dad. I hope all works out. I know how difficult these times are and how important time with your little ones will be for you and your wife.
    Yip- man, time to relax a little. Take a deep breath and slow down a little. No one is responsible for my trades but me and I take full responsibility for my decisions. If I don’t think I’m getting value from the site I leave. That simple. In the past your posts have been worth the read and entertaining but today is somewhat over the top. I hope all is well with you as well.

  76. Yip you’re beyond an ass. You’re like the dude off of Good Will Hunting regurgitating stuff you read off of Seeking Alpha/yahoo finance, ect and passing it off as your OWN, ORIGINAL ideas. I don’t know how many times I’ve read your statements "like Ive been saying all along" if you are so good then start your own site. You could stick to your Modus Operandi and copy ideas from other places and pass them off as your own. Plenty of respectable people (Nenner, ect) were calling for a collapse and arguing the deflation point. Also, I’ve been a member for about a year and been through 3-4 of Phil’s buy/watch lists posts and most of the plays in each list usually make 20%+ within 2-3 months. Also, not sure what you got against JRW it’s like you try to call him out ever since I pointed out your mancrush but he is on VACATION doing more important things like spending time with his family.

  77. Oh I see Yip, you are a bigger coward than I thought, waiting for the day I have a family emergency and I go away to begin making accusations.  Well, you are not productive to the site and I do not enjoy your company – goodbye! 

    As to the rest, both bulls and bears need to step back and take the emotion out of the market.  It is not about some religious conviction that the markets go up or down.  The world could actually be ending and the markets could still go up and everything could be great while they go down – there is NOT a direct relationship. 

    It’s great that everyone has a point of view and yes, mine gets a little more attention obviously but I try to listen to everyone – even Gel, Cap and Flips make some valid points that make me think and even make me change my mind sometimes but the idea of this site is to help each other do better with our investments and name calling and grandstanding do none of that. 

    I believe FUNDAMENTALLY, that US corporations are earning and will continue enough to justify a range within 10% of 10,200 and 1,070 and I will be surprised if we fall shy of 5% to the downside.  The last time we did significant buying was on the last dip to 9,700 and, if we should be so LUCKY as to get there again – then I still favor being 35% invested in long-term buy/write style positions there, as that gives us a built-in 20% additional hedge, just in case Yip has (had) a point.  – That’s about as clear as I can make my position.

    If we test our lines to the downside, I like to take upside gambles at those lines but we follow our strategy and scale in and take 20% losses off the table and then we wait for the next set of levles to try again. 

    Also, do not let loud people who disagree with you shake you from a balanced trading premise.  Moving 1.5% below the middle of our range does not prove a bear case, although it can go a long way to disproving a bull case IF IT HOLDS.  I must go now, I doubt I’ll have time to check in until I land this afternoon but I still like the idea of taking some upside gambles like this set (that did not work out) for Aug

    • SSO Aug $36/37 bull call spread at .30, selling $35 put for .26 is net .04 on $1 spread with SSO currently at $35.78.

    • QLD Aug $55/56 bull call spread at .70, selling $55 puts for .45 is net .25 on $1 spread with QLD at $56.10 so they have to take your $1 away from you!

    • DDM Aug $43/44 bull call spread at .40, selling $43 puts for .50 is .10 credit on $1 spread with DDM at $43.25.

    Hopefully someone can adjust these for the current situation for September spreads.  Generally they are 5:1 and 10:1 payers so a small gamble there can do very well if we turn back up.

    Have a good day!

  78. Rain…what benefit do i get here?  I listen to 99% of everyone believe a recovery exists, that JRW is successful as he says or that he exists at all.  I call him a sticky tool.  I hear political rantings which make me sick and then a bunch of suggestions from Phil that have no home and trying to find them is like pulling teeth.  What am I getting out of this?  Not much. What are you guys getting from me?  Advice that’s been 100% correct and never work again laughing at me.LOL..  Since I got on this site my account is up 30%. in 3 months.  Don’t believe it?  send me your email and I’ll send you a copy of my statements, I’ve got nothing to hide.
    Thanks for the advice never work again, you screen name says it all. I’ve been trading for 15 years and my bearishness has served me well over the last few months.  I was a month early bearish in March which I felt was lucky.  
    This is exactly the ‘benefit’ I get.  I get told by this neverworkagain guy who doesn’t know me from Adam and is laughing at my posts as he makes money on ‘both sides’.  Yea sounds like you should read your ‘saying’.  Keep laughing I’ll also laugh as my account grows.

  79. All / Plunge protection team.   While I’m gloomy about the prospects for the three mature economic blocks, remember Phil’s dialogue on PPT.  Ben and Timmy just can’t afford another March 09 now, it would turn a Recession into a global depression.  Maybe it’s dangerous to bet against a guy with the deepest pockets of all?  I think we may see PPT this week?

  80.  Rainman, I use Power Etrade Pro for charting.

  81. tuscadog,

    Not in TZA, I would be playing TNA if I were playing; I’m on vacation and am doing other things than focusing on IWM !!

  82.  Looks like we got a flush out this morning

  83. Just announced on CNBC- POMO operation in effect until 11:00 am eastern

  84.  Do we have a "Hide" button, like Facebook?

  85. It is so interesting getting a glimpse of people’s personalities…. without ever meeting them !!! When it comes to trading people like to justify, sometimes rationalize there methods or sense of the market’s direction.  For myself, there are many different ways to trade the markets….. bottom line is do they make you money, consistently over time.  We all make our own decisions and NO ONE is 100% correct in all the decisions. 
    For me, Phil’s approach appears to work with the short term rythums of the market…. but, once in a while market will break beyond the outer ranges (as it appears to be doing now). My own approach without option trading has treated me well, but I am here to learn option strategies. Greater knowledge and methods can only help you.  Phil… thanks for the opportunity, the fees for the education are minimal………  

  86. Hey all,
    We are looking to get a new position in a shoe company called Brown Shoe Co. (BWS). The company looks like it could have a solid afternoon and move into a great Overnight Trade if it doesn’t hit the 2-3% we are looking for today.
    I am involved at 12.50.
    Good Investing,
    David Ristau

  87. jthoma / POMO op.  Missed that,.  What does that mean for the mkt?

  88.  YIP, i have to agree with CAP.  I have actually been here since day one – I have started becoming less engaged in the site as the political stuff has increased in velocity – but that is the perrogative of the purveyor.  Regardless, it is a great site to get a nice macro picture, pick up ideas and learn some hedging strategies.  
    I think you have officially marked the bottom of the market.  Same thing happened last time there was a little mini revolt filled with similiiar accusations.  Good luck to you.

  89. Phi;
    In your defense, it appears that some members do not want to assimilate your buy sell ideas, but rather you make the decision for them of when to buy or sell. That way they have some one to blame when an idea fails.To all subscribers please use your own instincts and brain power to invest, Phil and company supply the information and reasoning.
    Phils stock world is one of the best informative and up to date on a investment environment to big for the average investor to follow.

  90. David / Brown   My friend who is the retired CEO of one of the biggest footwear retailers is big on Bown and SKX and pushed me into both stocks, for what it’s worth.  My other contacts are confirming strong ongoing performance at these companies.

  91. I like UNG Jan $6 short puts for $.41.

  92.  prakash – that is funny!

  93. Just sold some AAPL 240 weekly puts at 2.50.  Dipping my toe into the long side.

  94. 43laurel/PSW — +1 on your comments.

  95.  Kink/Aapl  -  Nice grab on those puts.  I was in at 1.80 last week on them, and when I saw the dip earlier decided to hedge with selling 250 calls.  2 1/2 days to pin…most likely 240 or 250.  Hard to see it falling outside of the range, but I’m still learning these weeklies!

  96. Thoughts and prayers with you and your family Phil. Good luck.

  97. lvmoda:  these weeklies move fast, but they hold their premium until like a day or two before then it just loses ALL value on weekly op-ex, EVEN IF THEY GO ITM!!!

  98. Doug Kass (who Phil respects) is expanding his long book today.  I’ve found his directional calls pretty good.  On Fast Money at noon.  Maybe a good news CNBC session to pump the mkt?

  99. I’m looking at these 3 stocks that have popped up on my screens, anyone have any comments?

  100. We are testing the bottom of the Bollinger band…

  101. I just read a tweet that purports that the Investor Intelligence Sentiment Survey is at 56% Bearish and 22% Bullish.  Its a subscriber service, so I don’t know if its valid or not (does anyone subscribe to a service that provides this info?)  But if its true, we could be at max pessimism here…

  102.  On a real sell off markets would test the bottom with either a pass or fail….

    Yip your contempt towards Phil and JRW have been obvious from day one and I suspect you’ve exposed your once hidden agenda. Very low..considering Phil has personal issues to contend with its clear you have not one iota of respect for the man that’s called market direction month after month, week after week, day after day.

  103. USO Sep 34 Calls hurting.  DD by selling Oct 31/28 Puts.

  104. We’ve recovered half the Dow losses and the Rut is at the high of the day. Based on Dow volume, it looks like there is an extra bot working today. My guess, is we drift up to that Dow 10,100 by 12 and spend 2 hours removing the resistance there and at 2pm move higher when the the bots start squeezing the carbon based bears. +15 on the Dow would be the 200 pt swing and puts us up against 10,200 so I doubt we’d do better than that. Sure doesn’t look like it wants to go lower from here though.

  105. Slightly political, no need to answer now, but curious – when I look at the graph of who makes the money I see that the bottom 90% of the top 1/10 th of 1% are 130,000 people with incomes of $2.3 million a year.  Good for them.
    Is there any indication of what they do for such a fine living (breakdown by occupation)?

  106. SPY trade – Aug weekly 106s (sell $1.06) paired with the Sept 106s (2.78).  Delta neutral, theta is huge for the Augs.  if things turn south on the Augs,they can be rolled down and out to 101s, but I am following the chart above and saying we move into the ‘c’ wave up……JMO, and I am currently in the trade, although using the Dec 102s FWIW (margin).

  107. ARNA – taking 1/2 those bought this morning off the table….4% in a few hours…….

  108. JRW has given good advice this morning, TNA is up $2 from the low when he said he if not on vacation would be in. I have investigated his trades and they are not only possable, at times his posts of in and out of trades proves this. I only wonder how to do it and post. Today I’m in TNA and this sure feels like a bottom to me.

  109. Whoops… Looks like there was less resistance at 10,100 thatn I thought.  Looks more likely for going flat with an anti stick in the end.

  110. SPY/Pharm – A stick would make the trade very less fun, no? it is delta neutral now, but on a stick the delta would go against you very quickly. I have found greater success with a ratio spread with the weeklies.

  111. tuscadog- it means the fed through GS and guys are propping the market up

  112. rn – ratios would work as well, but I am looking at decay… each would lose on the way up, and then ON the weeklys should lose more….

  113. SPY/Pharm – Ah, you are looking at puts – then I meant on the way down (ie, the delta triumphs over theta for ITMs). I think I am going to sell one the weeklys in a 4:5 ratio (4 weeklys for every 5 monthly puts)

  114. Pharmboy--I took the OPEN trade. Any rumors about what’s pushing stock around?

  115. FWIW all short term market timing oscillators show a severe oversold condition that usually results in meaningful bounces.  Doesn’t mean today; but could be next few days or so.
    There are no guarantees that markets don’t head lower, particualrly as events / news flow can override cycles.
    But I would place good odds on a tradeable bounce from here.  JMHO

  116. Geez, look at SRS.  Imagine you are super-confident that housing numbers will be terrible, so you take a huge position in SRS at yesterday’s close.  You check the finance news at lunchtime and lo behold, housing numbers are worse than terrible. But then you take a look at your stocks and you notice SRS is… down. 
    SRS is evil.

  117. Tusca -

    It worked out well for us for a 3% gain.

  118.  Hi all, this is Allan from AllAllan, my charts appear frequently in the chart school.  Today’s decline broke Friday’s lows and promptly turned around an into a 38% retracement (basis SPX).  I’m expecting much more on the downside, but first, an ABC correction of last leg down, which could go as high as 50%, or even 62%.  The higher this ABC goes, the less risk in adding to SHORTS.  

  119. Current situation for Sept / QLD seemed good. I got in the following bull call spread:
    Sept 52/53 at .62, selling Sept 47 put for .78
    $1 in the money spread at a credit, with only the risk of buying QLD at 47, which it hasn’t seen since Sept of 09, seems like a good deal. QLD was at 53.45 when I got in, and it’s at 53.12 now.

  120. OPEN/lpj – you should be up or about even….when one gets up 50-100% on those, get out.  My apologies, I did not post to get out last Friday……

  121. Pharm what do you think of DCTH at this level? Are you still accumulating?

  122. Hi Members,
    What a day today. I see many of you need to buy your underpence one or two numbers bigger. I agree with Cap’s comments. Please leave your frustration at home or fight with your wife this is a trading site and not for politics or doning your dirty washing. Like last night on tax paying.
    If some one is not happy with Phil’s site find some other site. So lets get on with good ideas and start trading not bitching!!!
    Good luck with your father Phil.

  123. David, one question.. while I admire the discipline to set stop losses, I wonder how could we have avoided today’s situation with TSL. Yesterday the bottom of your range recommendation was 22.5, and a stop loss at 3% from bottom ($21.83). Trina Solar per your analisis was right on the dot in the earnings annoucement today, however due to the massive early weakness on the general markets the stock opened significantly lower than $22.5 (with a bottom at $21.34), inherently flushing anybody who invested there out of it.. just to see that later today the stock is trending UPWARDS significantly (it just reached $23.99). I did not enter the trade yesterday because I’ve been tracking them first to see if I feel comfortable following these types of recommendations where you do earnings plays (quite risky even if the fundamental analysis is very accurate) on a very short term basis.
    So the question is, would it be opportunistic to hold even if it reaches (or exceeds) the stop loss limit ONCE WE KNEW that the earnings were very very good and AT ONE POINT the stock could trend higher, or DESPITE ALL THIS you would still follow the stop loss threshold??

  124. anyone know what is going on with RIG today? It is up over 5%.

  125. Ravalos -

    If you look at the article, you will notice I don’t have a stop loss on it. So, perhaps, the question is mute. I never put stop losses on overnight trades because it is very volatile and risky. I put 3% on my day trades. I usually put 5% on weekly plays.

  126. DCTH/mar – I have the stock and been selling Ps.  Looks like they want to take it down to the lows (5.20s), so let’s just sit back here and let things shake out.

  127. Yip/
    I dont understand why you are so angry about the range trading premises.
    Have a look at an S&P chart and you will see that we have been testing this level in Feb, twice in MAy, once in June (and a test below at 1010), almost once in July (1050) and now once in August.
    The range seems to be 1050-1100 or 1010-1130 for the broader boundaries.
    If you erase March/April/May bullish madness we have been in this range almost since the beginning of the year.
    Now Phil and some of the PSW members explain this range trading on fair valuation, I personnaly believe that without this ranging, trading volume will be close to zero since no one is putting money in this markets. So like a windsurfer without wind THEY are pumping the markets up and down to suck money out of any remaining stock investors until the love story between Americans and stocks ends on a sour note.
    Yip, you are bearish AT THE MOMENT and it is your privilege. Just respect that not everyone at PSW follows Phil blindly. We all have the right to dissent :)
    Personnaly having Phil portfolio posted on this site will not benefit me much as I tend to pick what I like and do my own  things.

  128. I had closely monitored ISRG’s support level at $305 since 5/21. It tested this level 3 times before until it finally gave in in the 4th attempt on 8/19, and as you can clearly confirm the technicals on these things, the stock is on a FREE FALL every since with a large bearish water cascade. I had entered a short strangle with a +/- 37.5% range from $290 a few days ago.. the short call is Jan $400 while the short put is $180.. very good ranges and all for a premium of $8.2 in 5 months. Does anybody has any comment on ISRG or on this trade? Any advice or different oppinion? I don’t think I’m the only one who follows this overvalued stock, even though the growth rates are amazing.

  129.  There is a lot of motivation from many parties (gov/ppt, gang of 12, japan, china) to keep the US markets range-bound.  To do so will create stability in the longer-term structure of the market, which serves the profit interests of the banks and other intermediaries as well as the political interests of both parties(fear at the lower bounds for the republicans and hope at the upper end for the dems).   Moving outside of the range is pareto-suboptimal to the big players and banksters, so I expect this range to continue to hold.   However, to HOLD the range, fear and uncertainty must still be driven at the margins to generate the churn and "play".   Once everyone conforms to the new playbook (which will eventually happen but I don’t see it right now), then the range fails and on to the next trick.    That’s my pretzel logic to this market.   I always remind myself that these players realize the stakes involved in creating stability and the last thing they want to do is to kill the "golden goose" since in many respects they are already "all-in" to this game!   Sorry for all the mixed metaphors!

  130. David / TSL – Ah! That’s a very little but important piece of juicy information. So your stop losses on these plays are only intra-day on the same day you enter the trade? Still a weekly 5% was reached from $22.5, but would you recommend we hold on to these plays for a bit longer once we read the earnings are that good?

  131. Rav -

    TSL was an Overnight Trade, so it had no stop loss. I don’t put stop losses because the gain is made on an upward or downwards gain. 5% downside would be for weekly play. If earnings are as solid as TSL (where basically every single point on the earnings report was better than expected and guiding higher than consensus), we definitely are going to hold if it opens down. It opened down because of market not because of the stock. Usually, though, I get out right away because the gains are there because the earnings were good or the losses are there because the earnings were bad. When the market is driving the stock down, and it has these good of earnings…I am willing to take the risk and let it ride.

  132. Volume is average and most of it was at the start of the day. I cant see any sign of panick on this down day…

  133. ivmoda
    Your post was great, I like the metaphors. Your best point was the market is mostly the big boys swapping this and that while trying to take money from the few. We can work with that.

  134. Phil,
      For such comfoft as it may provide, I found a good prayer for the sick, which with my personal favorite 23rd Psalm, I will continue to offer nightly for your Dad until your return. Godspeed.

  135. Allan,   thanks for your comments, can you give us your expected actual bounce levels for SPX? tks

  136. mgr1
    Those retrace levels are around 63 65 on IWM. Hope Alan gives more accurat #s for SPX.

  137. SPX retracement levels (from most recent leg down, starting Monday afternoon):  
    38% = 1060;  50% = 1064;  62% = 1068
    A correction of the entire decline from August 9 highs could be more substantial, although not expected, here are those levels:
    38% = 1078;  50% = 1088;  62% = 1097
    My shorter-term trend models will flip LONG well before any of those August 9th retracement levels are reached, but as long as they are in SHORT mode, my expectation is for a test of the early July’s lows @ SPX 1010

  138. Allan, tks please post if your model changes to long.

  139. Doubled down on my SYMC and VMW long plays with January Buy/Writes. The world is not coming to an end, and the summer doldrums are nearing an end.

  140. JRW has mastered the "art of timing" – not only in trading, but vacation scheduling as well!  When he returns, that will be my signal to get bullish once again.

  141.  gel, i like C here as well as IWM for a bounce.  Looking for 90$ for ICE, then i am gonna get greedy!

  142. Jo… I dumped out of C a few weeks ago – Just got bored with that one, and rolled the cash into more exciting plays. I am ultra bullish on ICE long term, as I see nothing in the future that will derail their growth and earnings. General market malaise can have an effect on their stock price, but the malaise in the economy has no influence whatsoever on their wellbeing.  Good idea to buy this one on dips when the market is weak. You are most likely right on IWM, and I will make a play on it

  143. gel1,
    I’m glad there is one positive voice among dins and groaning masses today…Thanks

  144. PharmboyVIAP went ‘boom’ today, I’ve been accumulating it on the way down, do I buy more here, sit it out, or cash out? Thx.

  145. OUCH – Out MrM…I am going out as well….10c

  146. Pharm, GILD seem to be moving in a channel ($32 – $35.50) since its fall from grace in late April. Do you like them long term with a P/E of 9.8 ?  Is it tome to start a position by selling $31 puts now that they have reached the bottom of the channel?

  147. That sucks, as their drug (target and therapeutic area) is one I know well, and could have an impact on coronary heart disease and vessel inflammation.  Very expensive trials….

  148. This is from a noted technical research guy (this am):
    Two competing technical patterns have developed over the past year. A bearish 10-month head/shoulders top pattern suggests further intermediate term technical weakness ahead and a bullish four-month head and shoulders bottom suggests a constructive near-term bottom is possible. However, neither of these two technical formations has been resolved as of yet. Aconvincing move above neckline resistance at 1,129-1,131 is necessary to confirm a technical breakout rendering upside targets to 1,150.45 or Jan 2010 high, near-term and then to 1,220-1,252, intermediate-term or a retest of Apr2010 peak as well as the technical projection based on a confirmed four monthneckline breakout (120.32-point technical base). On the downside, repeated failed attempts to break out above 1,129-1,132 coupled with aviolation below crucial support at 1,040-1,045 negates recent basing effortsand opens the door for a retest of the pivotal Jul 1st low at 1,010.91. To confirm a 10-month head/shoulders top pattern SPX still needs to decline below neckline support at 1,010-1,040. This breakdown then renders downside targets to 943-956 and then to 869-878. Under extreme panic-type scenario SPX can fall 208.89 points from 1,010.91 to a projected extreme low of 802. To negate an intermediate-term top, it is mandatory that SPX clear above key supply at 1,120-1,150 within the next 1-2 months.
    So from what I get, we either get going now or risk moving 10% down in short order.

  149.  gel1, i remember a few years ago, before the August crash/bear stearns/pre -lehman – phil, went to europe and made a mint from his DIA puts.
    Gel, i like C because it has a very nice range between 3.7 and 4.1.  Next month  4$ calls are .10.  I just keep selling them vs 3$ March Calls.  
    Another long term play that has worked are XLE 55 long term leaps that i keep selling 55 Calls for 1$.  The xle leaps seems to hold their value quite well.  I will probably sell OCT 55′s for a 1$ before the jobs number on thursday, if there isn’t a pop in the next two days.

  150. bps… I think it was Warren Buffett that said " When the market is greedy, then get fearful  ( tech bust ) , and when the market is fearful ( now ), GET GREEDY " I believe the fear factor is in the market big time -not much good news to be found anywhere. As a contrarian… it is a good day to buy!

  151. Hello all,

    My second post about alternative fuels is up for your reading. In today’s story I take a look at water and solar power as an alternative fuel.

    Check out the article here!

    Good Investing!

  152. and FWIW…
    Currency Market
    A 20+ year head and shoulders top pattern remains intact. This suggests the US Dollar Index remains vulnerable for further longer-term technical weakness in the years ahead. However, the breakout above neckline support last year at 78.43-80.5 or 1991, 1992, 1995, and 2004 lows generated another strong technical rally that led to a retest of the mid-point of its long-term regression band near the high-80s to low-90s. However, as was the case in prior rallies, the US Dollar once again faded and reverted back to its primary downtrend.
    The lack of a follow-through on this recent strong surge reaffirms a third right shoulder at 88.80 or June 2010 high. A subsequent pullback over the past two months seems to have found key support at 79-80. The ability to maintain this support may set in motion a trading range scenario into the end of the year as the US Dollar Index is likely to be confined to a wide range between high-70s on the downside and the high-80s on the upside.

    Fixed Income Market

    A three-year head and shoulders bottom pattern on 10-year Treasury yields has recently been negated on a decline below 3.1%. This technical breakdown signals a crucial retest of next key support at 2.45%-2.5% corresponding to the March 2009 bottom and the extension of the 2007 downtrend and the 76.4% retracement of 2008-2010 rally. We believe an important battle may be developing and the outcome may decide the future directional trend of rates. A convincing break of support at 2.45% will likely trigger a decline towards the December 2008 bottom at 2.04%. However, a successful test of key support coupled with an oversold condition may trigger a technical oversold rally to its prior breakdown at 2.9%-3.1%. Our longer-term monthly regression study on 10-year Treasuries yields suggests the long-term secular downtrend still remains intact (i.e., disinflation and lower yields). However, yields have once again successfully bounced off the bottom of its regression band (1.81%) during late 2008 or during the height of the credit crisis. It has also moved above the mid-point of its band (3.12%) during the 1st quarter of 2010. Although rates tend to progress to the upper end of its regression range once it clears above the midpoint. However, this time around, it has suddenly reversed direction quickly falling back below its midpoint. In two previous occurrences (i.e., the Emerging Markets crisis of 1997-1998 and Tech/Telecom bubble of 2002-2003) rates also failed to follow through to the upside and soon fell towards the bottom of its range.

    Commodities Market

    It is interesting to note that some of the laggards from the prior year, such as Wheat, Live Cattle, and Lean Hogs, are now showing strong gains for the year. Is this a temporary condition or could this suggests the emergence of new leadership commodities. The strong YTD gains in precious metals including Gold, Silver and Platinum continue to suggest the longer-term structural bull trends are sustainable. On the downside, the speculative bubbles in Sugar and Corn are now transitioning into successful and constructive basing/recovery efforts. Natural Gas and Lumber continues to underperform peers.

    International Market

    Our longer-term technical studies suggest that sustainable growth is possible in the Emerging Markets over the next several years (5-10 years). This structural bull call is supported by our monthly relative strength study that compares Emerging Markets against SPX Index. A recent monthly breakout in the relative strength chart signals the re-emergence of market leadership. The Indian equities market as represented by Bombay Sensitive 30 Index has also resumed its market leadership role within BRIC as evident by the recent ascending triangle pattern breakout. The Brazilian equities market or Bovespa Index also retains a leadership role within Emerging Markets as evident by a monthly golden cross buy signal last year and a potential three-year head/shoulders bottom accumulation type pattern.

  153. GILD/Marg – Forward looking they should be OK.  I did a write up here on them.  This market is moving things like ping pong balls.  A few 31 P to start would be fine, but be prepared to roll down.  Fair value to start scaling in my mind (now that the landscape is getting clearer in the HIV market) and a much better takeout candidate is in the 27 range.

  154. Jo… your strategy looks good, and C is a "channel swimmer". I was playing it differently in the past, but I like your plan.
    I just sold some January 90 naked puts on ICE, adding to my other positions. If it drops further I will add again. Following your sentiment on IWM, which I like as well, I sold the October 62 puts naked for 4.26. Tomorrow I believe I will do a bull spread on IWM – the chart is compelling.

  155. I just found on SS-Pro that you can place limit orders invisible.  Is that a new feature?  Pretty cool…..keep them pesky BOTs from messing with me!!!

  156. My SYMC buy/write was filled for a 35% discount off the stock price – Sold January 15 straddle. I like this one very much. A few weeks ago the company announced their second quarter earnings had doubled. Cyber security is going to grow like a weed, IMO. Today’s valuation and strong growth expectations make this stock one of the best I have acquired this yucky summer.

  157.  Marg – GILD, has been a widowmaker for me along with TBT (yes, me too!).  They have really fell out of favor with the hedgies and are now in the wheelhouse for the shorties along with RIMM so watch out – they will really need a positive catalyst to get out of the shoot.  JMHO as a GILD shareowner in multiple accounts :(

  158.  GEL, another catalyst  for C will be when the government gets done selling!

  159. KWK – another nat gas play along with HK and CHK.  I think I noted a few weeks ago and the options vol is high in Dec.  I have sold the Dec 11 P and bought the 14 calls for a net credit of 5c, but one can do better now.  Worst case is owning them at 10….

  160. gel- do u have an bull call spread with a put sale for SYMC now?

  161. Pharm- can u help with the below please. Thanks.

    1) JNJ Oct $60 calls: bought for $1.28.

    2) CELG Jan $60 calls: bought for $6.64. Sold Sep $55calls for $2.46 now .41 cents. You had asked me to roll to Jan 12 from the Jan 11. I still haven’t done that.

  162. David, what is your outlook for SPWRA? I am in already (b/e around $8) but it has been taking a beating. Time to add some more? Thanks. 

  163. Silly question, any updates on USO . . . . .  Sept 34 calls recommended at $1.00, then DD at 0.60, maybe a DDD at 0.30 ?
    Phil ?

  164. C / jomama – jo, you said " Next month  4$ calls are .10.  I just keep selling them vs 3$ March Calls.  " Could you give a new guy just a bit more detail on that maneuver?

  165. Pharm,
    I sold 4, 5 and 7 puts on ARNA + sold 7 calls – all Sept. I am up on all but only slightly on the 7 puts. Should I get more protection here if so what would you suggest? Maybe sell the Sept 8 calls? I plan to be out before Sept 15. Better question probably is: What would you do here? Thanks

  166. nicha / SYMC
    I did the buy/write, buying the stock (1500 ) shares, and selling simultaneously the January 15 P & C for a net credit of $7124. on the short sale. I chose this strategy as I like the stock and want to own it "long term" as I am also looking at the possibility of them being acquired.  The bull call spread would also be an excellent play on this one, adding in the typical short sale of some puts ( even a ratio spread ) Some of the guys might be able to suggest a good choice for the strikes on this bullish play.

  167.  HI Snow, for Citigroup or C – March 3 Calls are .90 today.  October 4 calls are .09.  So the March Calls have about .19 in premium which can be worked off by selling the 4$ Calls each month.  There are also weekly calls that you can sell against.  In addiiton, if C runs away from you, it can always be rolled or closed probably closed to even at these strikes.  Hope this helps.  

  168. invective, name calling, politics, and "It is so interesting getting a glimpse of people’s personalities"/ I have to concur: if I can’t find something useful in the dialog I either look harder or toss it out, learn the art of skimming. In the market we vote with our wallets, but here people vote with our mouths, and I think there’s some relationship between what’s going on in these respective worlds, so it’s worth listening to, even when odd or ugly. Just wipe the spittle off the other side of your monitor and figure out where it’s coming from. The "freak out" index applies to us too, you know so, as one of us noted, this chaos may be a useful indicator. As Mark Twain said: "A man who carries a cat by the tail learns something he can learn in no other way. " Personally, I don’t think it’s worth taking personal offense at any of these remarks, though I understand how some might feel offended. Consider revenge a temptation and resist it.

  169. Jo / C
    I think the government is keeping this one in the channel.  Might see a nice breakout when they are done with the selling.

  170.  Jomptein / ARNA : Risky positions because the IV will likely not contract much before you have to get out, as the decision is basically on OpEx.

  171. JNJ/nich – not sure if you were playing my spread, but that was a roll forward through the Aug/Sept/Oct OPEX.  Did you do the Aug portion?


    CELG – well, looks like they are going to test the 48 low in June.  I would use your $2 and sell the Sept 52.50s (3/4 cover now JIC they bounce back up) take the $$ and roll yours down to the  Jan 47.5.  If you have the stomach for it, selling the Sept 47.5 P would further reduce some of the pain.

  172. C / Jo – thanks, that helps. Hmmmmm. Got some C in my pocket, actually…..

  173. funny how the BOTs run away just shy of my limits orders

  174. OMG jompt….U R very brave!  If you are up, then I am sorry, but I would get out.  It is all gambling now…..I do expect them to retrace up to $9, so IF you want to leave on the P, those would be OK, but as stated above, the Volatility is gonna take most of this through the roof.   I Only hold the stock now and a few of the call spreads.  I will most likely buy a few Ps (1/4 of my call spreads) to reduce the pain from the spread, although I do not know which strikes yet.

  175. Very interesting that gold stocks are moving in opposite direction as gold.

  176. Stjean - 

    I personally am not reloading, but the stock just dipped below its lower bollinger band. Therefore, it does look like a great place to reload and buy.

  177. Buying some ARRY here. Big bullish candle today…

  178. Any news on ARRY Pharm?

  179. LOL!  Look at the indices!  This market is in extra lockdown! 
    Folks, it’s really naive to either be bull or bear in this market.  Just as it is to say you are either a Democrat or Republican.  They systems are rigged!  Neither one is out for your best interest.  It’s best to try and hold your nose and drink some of that koolaid JRW managed to get a hold of.  I mean really.. can anyone say that the market moves in a way that reflects value?  No.  It moves in a way to get the most amount of money out of your pocket.  What gets me is the blatant manipulation involved.  But that manipulation can be both to the upside or the downside.  Peace out.

  180. None that I C hanna.

  181. exec / invisible:  quite to the contrary.  those go straight to the market makers desks!

  182. Pharm- I followed you in the JNJ trade. Did sell the august $60 calls which expired. Do you want me to sell Sept calls?

  183. Pharm-’DCTH. Followed you on selling the Sept $7.5 puts. Continue holding them?

  184. Matt,
    How’s that?

  185. nicha – I noted last Thursday that I rolled out…..Wait for a bounce here, or sell 1/2. I sold for 54c, so that should help gauge where we are headed.  I still think we leg up as Cap noted.

  186. DCTH/nich – holding.

  187. JR was right this morning when he said he’d be playing TNA

  188. Pharm- CELG: I don’t have enuff money to roll down to $47.50 evenly. I have 5 $60 calls that wud let me buy only 1 $47.50 call. Should I continue holding them and sell calls along the way to lower my avg price? Sorry to bother you.

  189. XHB is even today – even after that horrible report.  Interesting.

  190. I just jumped on a new Forex trade – buying the EUR/GBP at .82100, Stop Loss @ .8170, and limit target at .8275/80

  191. Buying AAPL calls. 

  192. exec, I’m kidding.  I don’t know.  But doesn’t it seem like the perfect opportunity exploit someone’s secret trades? 

  193. nich – no bother.  So, you are down $3 or so on CELG (6.64 now 1.60 = $5, but sold 55 sept for a $2 gain -assuming you sold 5), so the goal is to get it back to even.  How about rolling the Septs down to 52.5 (sell 1/2 or 3/4).  You must monitor this as IF CELG moves up, those can then be rolled to the Oct 55s almost even.  If you have the margin, sell the 47.5 Sept Ps as they will help the rolls and offset any of the losses.  I would get out of the 55s now, as the stock and market may start its stick.

  194. matt/invisible:
    Sounds like you would enjoy a good conspiracy theory…. Are you familiar with Richard Ney’s writings regarding the Specialist system (Market Makers) and the SEC’s "Special Study of Securities Markets".convened in 1963 ???

  195. Re:  EUR/GBP – It appears to me the very long correction in this pair is complete, having recently hitting its low. This could be a VERY long play and has the potential to make large moves over time. I will watch how this progresses and will advise so that you can DD. At this monent I’m in a 1/2 position, waiting for further conviction.

  196. just in from Red Option:   Iron Condor Advisory in SPY, selling the September Quarterly 111 calls and 100 puts and buying the September Quarterly 114 calls and 97 puts for a credit of $1.10.  Short term trade.

  197. Pharm – Red Option?

  198. Matt,
    Ya… tried using it a couple of times.  It’s only when you trade NSDQ and very slow execution……I think market order is the way to go.
    This market is F-d up.  I guess the news wasn’t as bad as expected.

  199. TOS arm that initiates trades if one wishes…I use it for alternative $$$, and they seem to do quite well, esp on the butterflies and iron condors.  The double double is a bit of a hit/miss.

  200. iflantheman- AAPL- what are you buying? What is your play?

  201. Gel – you mean you are long the EURO against the GBP or vice versa? Im thinking you mean long EUR against the GBP but I am a huge novice in forex so I just wanted to verify. Thx.

  202. Yesssssss

  203.  Interesting:  VIX up 4.7% today, but VXX up only 1.7%.  Suggests to me that the change in velocity to the downside may be expected to decrease.  Also, looks like S&P going to close on .617 fib retracement which appears to be resistance.   My read on this is to expect further downside, but in a ‘bottoming’ manner rather a steep drop.  Kinda plays into the range-bound scenario.

  204. lvmoda, I think VXX move more like VIX future, not VIX

  205. Just took a starter position AA at around 10.09.  Near 52 week lows so gonna use it as a buy write generator.

  206. phil,
    i have BAC Sept 13 calls at .60. Too early to roll?-missed chance to sell 14s yesterday morn

  207. And what is going on with BAC?

  208. jromeha… Yes I am Long the Euro and Short the Pound on this play.  When entering a Forex play you are LONG when you BUY a pair and the inverse if you SELL a pair, as then you would be SHORT the pairing, On the platform I use ( GFT ), I can enter the trade I described by opening the ‘New Order" window, and then selecting the desired pairing.  I then click on the the of trade I’m executing – this one I did a "parent and contingency" trade wherin I did my entry at a limit price and simultaneously set my stops and profit limits ( also pip size).  One click to comfirm and you are done, and the trading platform does the rest for you. Watch the progress on the charts they provide. You can also do all the trading off the charts the same way. Also adjust the stops as you deem apropriate. At the moment I am in three trades (mostly long term ) and time requirement are minimal, relative to the profit potential.

  209. jromeha… one further thought.. When trading these pairs, your directional, bet is ALWAYS on the first symbol against the second symbol.

  210.  Pahurik,  Yes, I’m comparing the change of the futures to the spot and it indicates that futures expectations are growing less than the spot movement today.

  211. Gel-Thx. Sorry for the dumb question – I assumed that but wanted to verify.

  212. jromeha… no dumb questions here – only dumb investments!  I assumed you knew, but went into further detail for those that are contemplating these trades on GFT

  213. Phil – a difficult time , no doubt. My prayers are with you and your family.

  214. BA – This does not sound promising for the Dreamliner:’s-albatross

  215. Chaps/Peter/strangles- as we all know, a rising VIX is a stranglers best friend. Given today’s action- how do you guys evaluate when to pull the trigger on new sales? Just trying to hone some skills here so if there are any signals you watch for and care to share it would be appreciated.

  216. pstas….sorry , I was away for the last hour.  Oct 220 calls on AAPL, to sell weeklies against. 

  217. iflan- AAPL- what weekly strike(s) are your selling?

  218. Hi Phil : Been thinking about you & your Dad.  My prayers are with you both. God bless.

  219. Phil,
    Likewise our prayers go out to you Dad and the rest of your family!!

  220. Any ideas please? I’m pretty new around here.
    I have 2 unhedged positions- one in WMT got in at 54.37 and ERF in at about 22.34> They have both been pretty lackluster but do pay dividends. Selling SEPT ATM calls against either  yields .34 and . 50 respectively which seems rather poor. Got into these prior to PSW and I’m learning fast but was wondering if anybody had other ideas. I like both stocks long term. Thanks for any help.  
    God bless Phil and hope for a speedy recovery for your dad.

  221.  Phew, just getting around to reading the comments and yipcarl, not the market,  has got me reaching for the xanax, seemed pretty agitated for a guy when the market is going his way.

  222. exec – SSPro – i use the platform – can you tell me how you place an invisible order ?

  223.  Blue Chips to dump immediately per Louis Navallier – funny, about half are in my portfolio!

  224.  Phil – best of luck with your dad – I hope your family is holding up alright.

  225. great to hear there are so many praying people on board. an important part of keeping it civil. IMHO.

  226. exec/ invisible orders – yes, you can do that on some exchanges.
    IB allows you to place "Iceberg" and "Hidden" orders.  See here

  227. Phil:  how all goes well with your dad--these are the times that friends and family count the most. 

  228. pstas/VIX/strangles: Just my opinion: No sense trying to predict the VIX; at least I can’t do it. I’ve concluded I’ll enter strangles with a VIX above 20, but will let my positions close out below 20.
    To control risk when the VIX ix above 20, I’m constantly looking at what happens to me if we have an overnight 10% increase in implied volatility and 5% drop in SPX. I look to see where I can roll to by cashing out my put verticals and using the money to roll. In other words, where can I roll to and how far out of the money will I be? This helps me determine if I’m relatively safe or not.
    I think you’ll generally find that the weighted average implied volatility of front-month SPX options shown in TOS is usually pretty close to the VIX. For instance, TOS currently shows the implied volatility to be 26.77%, whereas the VIX is 27.46. That’s probably because the VIX is a weighted blend of SPX options over the next 30 days.
    So I think of a 10% increase in implied volatility on my short strangles to be roughly equivalent to the VIX going up by 10. Beyond these "safety measures", I don’t try to "time" the VIX.

  229. Prayers / morxlntway we atheists express our concern (and behave courteously) as well. (don’t worry, revtodd, I’m an atheist but active quaker and confucianist – so several bases are covered. And my wife knew the dalai lama many years ago for a little while).

  230. Best regards Phil!

  231. Iflan:
    What strike weeklies on AAPL are you selling against your Oct 220 calls? Following you closely. Thanks!

  232. thanks chaps – that answer is very useful and deep!
    My answer was that I added some more short strangles today as VIX went up.  This drop with 3.5 weeks to go to September expiration for SPX/RUT/NDX is very nice timing for selling shorts.  There is no perfect timing, but VIX at 28 was good enough.  In order to increase confidence in the entries, I did the home work on the position sizing.  With 4 SPX contracts starting at 10% OTM, the positions can survive an approximately 15% drop in the S&P500, plus I have room to double down (or rolling 2X away from the money) and still have margin left (on portfolio margin).  So I entered orders last night, increased the asking price before the market open when the futures was down and the orders were executed within 15 seconds after the market open.  That meant I didn’t get the best price for those, so I enter another round of short strangles with higher price and they got executed 30 minutes into the session when VIX spiked higher.
    I also open a few October short strangles as I can’t resist to get $8+ for the SPX Oct short puts.  They were $5 a couple of weeks ago and the last time they were $9+ was over a month ago. 
    In short, when entering or adding positions, I look at how many contracts I already have, how much cushion I need, the VIX reading, how much time to expiration, and whether I feel that there is less of an opportunity to enter in the next 2-3 weeks for the front months.

  233. Oopsie, that was SPX Oct 900 short puts.

  234. Pstas: I understand that my approach differs, but all the short strangle plans seem to  work. My goal is to set 3 call positions and 2 puts for each month, target premium $6. When the market establishes a trend over a week, I will write a very very small position just against the trend, and I keep rolling double until that cashes. Today, I wrote 955 puts for $6 and that finishes the put side for Sep. Against the trend, I wrote a 1/5th position of 1060 calls for $21 I still have one call yet to write for Sep. I suppose I will wait for a bounce on that. If the market goes down, I still have a position of October puts to write, and I will set up a 1/5th position of 1050 calls if we go down to 1040.
    There is no grand scheme, and in a range-bound market this works great. The option month of Oct 08 produced a drop from Set to Set of 332 points on the SPX. Somehow, I was able to survive those losses. I tell everyone who will listen that this approach is like being given the keys to a casino. Now and then, the marks win. But not often.
    I am completely oblivious to the technical stuff, and as we know, anything can happen to drive us higher or lower.

  235. @jocar
    Hope this doesn’t jinx it, but a buy/write on BMY has been consistently protifable for me and several others I manage money for. It dropped below 26 today, a reasonable entry price.
    Alternatively, you can do a 20/25,  2011 and/or a 2012 bull put spread as well for BMY.
    Nice 5% dividend on the stock. Selling the 25, 26, 27 calls (depends on where it’s selling about a month from Dividend declaration date) adds a few more percent over the year, close to the dividend pay date.  I’ve been doing it for nearly 3 years, and even at the worst of times in Feburary 2009 it still held up well in the carnage.
    I’ve been called out three times but jumped on it as it moved back down below 25, 24, 23  and repeated the above.
    Good luck if you decide the trade is for you.

  236. gel1
    I am truely sorry if I accused you of being a criminal. The problem is people who move their accounts offshore are evading taxes and you seem to fit that profile. I have a big problem with that as it puts the burden on others who can’t avoid taxes, to me it is simple pay your fair share or move to where you feel it is more fair to you!

  237. Peter; Chaps; Barfinger- thanks- very helpful.

  238.  AAPL weeklies.  Sold only a few 240s today.  I generally pick the ones with the most time value.

  239. MDT- Medtronic- anyone/Pharm? follow this? Opinion?
    Jan 12 buy write looks attractive (30 p/c = $9.85 =/ 30% off) plus 2.8% div.

  240. Shadowfax: I dont blame the people who move money offshore, since they are simply trying to escape UNfair taxation. It is all about the government’s defnition of "fair share" – where people who have "excess" money get to pay extra.
    Nobody would screw around if the tax system were perceived as fair.

  241. Barfinger – No, that’s bull…. Nobody wants to pay taxes and people the world over try to get out of paying them b/c NO ONE percieves their country’s taxes as ‘fair.’ Im with Phil and want a VAT so people/corporations can stop gaming the system.

  242. barfinger
    The system is not fair, some people want it to continue that way, I only want fair and that means those who can afford it should pay more not less. Individual or corporate same story, if you make money, give part of it to the country that allowed your profits.

  243. Iflan: Thanks! Also, thanks for APPL idea last month to sell Aug 220 puts. Made some nice pocket money on that!

  244. PHIL,
    My prayers are with you and your family.

  245. snow – i expect we will be able to learn much from your input. it is good that we can communicate without throwing "things" :)

  246. gel 1
    how long have u been in your euo/gbp trade? Is this trade one of those that u spoke about several weeks ago that u would be in for awhile?

  247. Thanks for kind words all! We’re certainly getting my Dad the best of care and he is holding on, coming back from very near death yesterday. In fact, he woke up for a minute and saw all the kids siting in the room and half his grandchildren and he couldn’t speak but I saw the look in his eyes so I rushed over and took his hand and said – no, you’ re not about to die! That made him feel better and hopefully he can still recover but he’s going to have to fight…

    My poor Mom is exhausted, this is the bad thing about parents living far from the kids.

    Looks like we need the market to fight back as well.

  248.  Phil
    Prayers with you and your family. My Mom passed a few years back, and they were living a good distance away, once things started to go in that direction, there was never enough time. Take your time coming back, we’ll be here when you get here.

  249. z401 / EUR/GBP
    This play developd earlier today, so I have been in it only hours. The correction in this pairing was played out over a long period of time, so I am assuming climb back up will be over a prolonged period..

  250. shadowfax… I am frankly very tired of your irresponsible posts regarding my credibility as an honest citizen. I have had offshore accounts for most of my adult life, and have owned property and businesses throughout the world.  How you can equate this with criminal activity or tax evasion is very bizzare, and frankly points to the fact you have issues. I believe you are full of it and you can start your treatment here – . Good luck, and I hope you get well.

  251.  Phil, wishing the best for your father. I lost mine when I was 14, but not before I told him how much I loved him. Hopefully you have had a chance to do the same.

  252. Adjusting stop on my long FX position-EUR/GBP to .8185…. the movements are not as strong at the moment as anticipated.

  253. Phil, I hope your father recovers. Keep being positive around him and that will help him. I’m sure he appreciates having family around to help him and your mom out.

  254. No slow down in chip demand but margins may be affected….
    "Polysilicon is a key component for integrated circuit and central processing unit manufacturers such as AMD and Intel. At the component level, polysilicon has long been used as the conducting gate material in MOSFET and CMOS processing technologies."

    China-based polycrystalline silicon (poly-Si) suppliers, especially those with downstream operations in wafer, cell and module production, are procuring poly-Si from the spot market to satisfy client demand, which has served to prop up spot prices, according to industry sources.
    Several poly-Si producers are even considering signing agreements with major poly-Si suppliers overseas to ensure sufficient materials for their own downstream operations and outside clients, the sources said, adding that the top-five poly-Si suppliers in China are seeing orders in excess of supplies by more than 30% at the moment.
    Some poly-Si spot transactions in China were struck at close to US$70/kg versus an average of US$55-60/kg overseas, the sources indicated.
    Months of mixed signals coming out of Asia
    Chip suppliers are reporting rising inventory, but the swelling stockpiles do not represent a cause for concern in the industry at present with demand expected to increase during the coming months, according to iSuppli.
    Midway through the second-quarter reporting period, total chip inventory among the approximately 35 semiconductor component manufacturers tracked by iSuppli climbed to US$9.6 billion, up 9% from US$8.9 billion in the first quarter – faster than the seasonal average of 3.2%. Likewise, average DOI grew by about four days during the period to 73.2 days, up 6% from 69.3 days – a rate slower than the historical DOI seasonal increase of 9.6%, or six days.

    The numbers underline a common theme for the semiconductor industry in the second quarter of record revenues, profits and gross margins, iSuppli said. Such indicators, along with positive revenue guidance for the third quarter, are providing managers with the confidence needed to increase inventories for the second half of the year.
    "Across the semiconductor market, management comments in earnings announcements have been extremely positive, citing strong results in various end applications and geographies," said Sharon Stiefel, semiconductor manufacturing researcher for iSuppli. "The solid second-quarter results – based on higher-than-usual seasonal revenues, favorable ASP and innovative new products – are allowing companies to finally relax their vice grip on inventories."
    Given the quick rise in demand, however, semiconductor suppliers are finding it difficult to restock to pre-recessionary levels, iSuppli indicated. Products being shipped are intended to meet current orders, and not meant for placement into inventory, iSuppli determined.

  255. Gel:  I’m with you my friend.  Since Shadowfax became a member, he has posted a lot of vulgar and irresponsible items, some of which I objected to.  Reading, from time to time, some of his "issues", he apparently suffered an accident, an automobile, I believe, which has left him with cervical neck pain and disabilities.  Certain people, when faced with a disability, use that experience as a positive effector; unfortunately, others become depressed, angry and frustrated.  I suspect that he may be on large doses of analgesics and antidepressants which may cloud his thoughts and judgment at times; I believe he is more prone to bursts of anger later in the day.  
    Personally, if this were my site, I would ban all cursings and invectives, but that is Phil’s domain.  We’ve posted recently about "what’s wrong with America", and I would add to the list, the lack of civility which unfortunately we have to bear here. 

  256. Phil, Jeromeha, Shadow and all other that think a VAT will solve your problems, think again.   You will get a Vat with no other tax relief as governments love to receive and spend money, no matter what promises are made initially to get your support for the Vat.   Name one country that has a Vat and that has reduced or eliminated any other income tax, corporate tax or any other kind of tax.   There are none.
    A Vat is a consumption tax, there is no effect on corporations as they claim all Vat paid on purchases which is offset against the Vat collected on sales.   This is passed on down the line to the last one in the line which is the consumer.   They cannot claim the Vat paid against Vat collected on sales, as they have no Vat colleted.   The logic of this tax is that it collects tax on consumption from all who consume, even those that currently pay no income tax due to low income.    The low income people end up paying more tax than they currently do, and this is amplified as they spend most or all of their income on consumption plus Vat, compared to the wealthy who only spend a portion of their income on consumption.
    I respectfully suggest that you do a lot more research on the VAT tax system before proclaining its benefits for all.   You may be surprised by the unintended consequenses, and once you have a VAT system it is impossible to get rid of it.   Remember income tax was introduced less than 100 years ago to pay for World War One, 1914 to 1918.   We still have it today and at a very much higher rate that when it was introduced.

  257. @Mgr1
    You’re wasting your time trying to convince anyone in favor of more taxes.  I know. I’ve made the same case, which is indisputable, that if the taxing authorities don’t also freeze prices, the effort to levy a VAT is useless. Ultimately the consumer pays ALL expenses which anyone with any experience running a business knows. 
    The idealists who think that they can ‘level the playing field’ have created so many thousands of distortions particularly in the tax code through manipulation, lobbying, and outright bribery of politicians that we now have an entire industry built employing a million people or more just to comply with it.
    But they will soldier on attempting to create ever more ways to skirt the basic laws of economics in their quest for some form of financial justice refusing to do the one thing that they have total control over which would never fail: Personally send in to the government as much money as they want to. Gates, Buffet, Soros all the gazillionaires could send in 90% of their accumulated fortunes and incomes instead of moaning about how ‘the rich’ should pay more taxes. But do they do it? They’d rather give it to Charitable causes because they know the government is worst place they can think of to encourage a better playing field for the less well off.
    Some think the middle class aren’t supporting both the so-called ‘poor’ and the wealthy already.  But the middle class is getting squeezed from both ends and if the tax proposals now being considered go into effect that crush will only get worse and more of the middle class will end up among the poorer and become ever more dependent on the shrinking middle class that remains. 
    As several here have pointed out, if all the wealth in the world were divided evenly among the 6.7 billion people on earth, after a euphoric period of a few months, the wealth would gradually and with increasing rapidity wind up in the hands of the top 1% once again.
    You’re right about the results of the VAT but you are preaching to a blind chorus.

  258. Wow, this Iphone view is cool, I never tried it before…

    Good morning!

    I find it very interesting that when I go away and make no.comments, you guys still talk about taxes and politics -don’t blame me next time…

    As to the VAT, are you saying that corporations don’t pass through their current taxes? I know if I put together a pro-forma and don’t include taxes that I would never consult for that firm again and I’m pretty sure I’ve heard taxes mentioned by CEO’s on occasion…

    The issue with corporate taxes is the don’t pay them. What the do pay is PR firms and lobbyists to place as many stories as possible that tells you how unfair a VAT would be because currently the US collects just $138Bn from corporations and a VAT, even if it exempted groceries and basic clothing (by price), woul collect $2Tn.

    Add a VAT and prices will be the most the market will bear, just like they are now. The VAT is the only solution that will stop corporations from hiding profits and using write-offs and loopholes to avoid payments.

    Since the MSM is controlled by wealtrhy corporations that pay no taxes, you won’t here this anywhere else, of course.

    Why do I have to defend the VAT? What is the defense for corporations paying just $138Bn in taxes to do business in a country that spends $3.5Tn providing their infrastructure and protecting thir interests?

  259.  Phil,
    My thoughts and prayers are with you and your family.  I was glad to read your 10 PM post where you saw your father.  I’m sure it means a lot to your Mom to have you there.  Peace to you all.

  260. Wealth division / Flips – dunno how much you’re into old history, Flips, but as an epidemiologist the effects of disease on societies fascinates me. For instance, you remarked, " if all the wealth in the world were divided evenly among the 6.7 billion people on earth, after a euphoric period of a few months, the wealth would gradually and with increasing rapidity wind up in the hands of the top 1% once again."
    In fact, in Europe this very thing happened as a result of the Black Death, the second wave. Europe was beginning to be overpopulated, there was stratification of wealth (ie land) – then the plague hit and a large part of the population was gone. The remaining people suddenly had a surplus of food, that which was in storage, and a surplus of land to feed themselves. The situation lasted quite a few years, and it took some time for stratification and crowding to develop again. Likely a component of that was fear, and the sense of having done something wrong to deserve this, as witness the Passion Plays that are still around.
    Anyway, that’s a bit off your point, but that’s the thought that drifted up, so there you are. I find it interesting stuff.

  261.  Flip,
    thanks for your ideas on the BMY and taking the time to respond. I will check it out and see if it makes sense to me.