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Trillion Dollar Tuesday – More Free Money!!!

Thank you Republicans!  

The party of fiscal responsibility has strong-armed the President and what little is left on the Democrats in Congress to extend the Bush Tax cuts for another two years at a cost of "just" $830Bn to the little people who still have to pay taxes.  They accomplished this by allowing the Democrats to extend $56Bn of additional unemployment relief to the 2M families who were cut off on Friday and were about to go their first week without checks with just 17 shopping days left until Christmas.  Of course, the Democrats don't just bend, they BREAK and the Republicans also got a 30% reduction in the estate taxes that are projected to cost an additional $66Bn to the people who don't have $5M estates.  Merry Christmas, rich folks – Lloyd bless us, everyone!  

"But Phil," you may ask "who actually does pay taxes?"  When your deficit is about as high as your net collections – the answer is: No one really – or no anyone who matters, anyway.  As I've often told you, our Corporate Overlords actually pay just 2.4% of our GDP in taxes, just $138Bn last year which was less than the $6Tn in bailouts they collected by a factor of 43 – no wonder they are doing so well!  As you can see from the chart, Estate and Excise taxes are barely a point on the graph and Individual income taxes are barely 6% while Employment Taxes have jumped from 1.5% of GDP in 1950 to 7.5% today – that's a 400% increase but don't worry, it only affects your first $106,800 in income – after that, ZERO!  That way, if you earn $1M, the jump in payroll taxes from $1,250 to $6,250 is just 0.5% of your income vs the 5% increase borne by a person earning $100,000 or less.  

Imagine if all 140M US workers were given an even $6,000 break ($840Bn divided by 140M) on their take-home pay by just eliminating those SS deductions (it's not like they'll ever get that money back anyway)?  Why everyone would immediately be taking home $500 more per month.  Of course we know that the poor people would only "waste" it on food, shelter and clothing so our wise government has guided the bailout to the places it will do the most good, with $670Bn going to the top 5% and $160Bn trickling down to the rest of the tired, poor, huddled masses yearning to be able to pay their bills.  

Sorry poor people, sorry middle class, sorry anyone who doesn't make over $106,800 a year.  As Dr. Seuss said:  "They're finding out now that no Christmas is coming! They're just waking up, I know just what they'll do. Their mouths will hang open a minute or two, then the Whos down in Whoville will all cry, "Boo Hoo." 

And for the top 5%?  Well, to quote the film: "The avarice never ends! "I want golf clubs. I want diamonds. I want a pony so I can ride it twice, get bored and sell it to make glue."  Welcome to America, 2010 – land of the free ride for the wealthy and home of the downtrodden masses who will be paying $3 a gallon for gas to drive to the mall this weekend where they can look at $1,430 an ounce gold jewelry that they can't afford so they will pay $30 an ounce for the silver that was only $19 in September before Uncle Ben set sail on the QE2.  

Well, there's nothing we can do to save the poor – they are just screwed so let's just get ours while we can!  Obviously we can expect Friday's FAS and DBC plays to do very well as they were plays assuming there would be MORE FREE MONEY and we sure have that today!  All we need if for FAS to hit $25 to put us 100% in the money on a 3,233% play and DBC was "just" a 1,200% net upside with a $27 target but nothing gets those commodities going like free money, does it?  Those are perfect insurance against our bearish bets and our $10K to $25K Virtual Portfolio was up a very nice $1,825 in our first week back but we'll likely be giving up half of our gains as we gambled bearish into today on the expectations that either the EU, Congress or Ireland's Government would finally put their foot down and say no to debasing their currencies and plunging the working class people into a lifetime of debt.  Silly me – what the hell was I thinking?  

We'll be looking for upside trade ideas on lagging financials if we're going finally to break through the top of our range (Dow 11,500 is the big one) and C ($4.56) is one we're already in but would like more of.  BAC is still cheap at $11.79 and should be thrilled that the British have arrested WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange.  Secrets are once again safe and bloggers like me have been served notice that it's OK to mess around with the US Government (well Democratic ones) as Big Business likes them to look weak and ineffective but mess around with the Financial sector and you'll find yourself bound and shackled toot suite!  

While I still think this will all end in tears, we've been patiently waiting for our range tops to be broken at Dow 11,500, S&P 1,220, Nasdaq 2,600, NYSE 7,750 and Russell 725.  We should open this morning with all but the Dow over the line and, as we did in early November, we will sit PATIENTLY waiting for the Dow to confirm the move up, at which point we can safely go with the flow, using those numbers as our new breakdown watch levels.  

That's not too much to ask for is it?  Certainly not after the government drops another $1Tn on us just a month after The Bernank announce his $1Tn gift basked for bankers – that's $2Tn in two months – as much money as our Government collects in taxes in an entire year…  What could possibly go wrong?  So we're very excited to see what $2Tn buys us these days as it helps us plan our own holiday shopping.    The Fed spent $2.5Tn in 2009 and bought us a run from about 850 on the S&P to 1,150 so just about $100Bn per point is the going rate.  When the stimulus ran down, we dropped from 1,220 back to 1,110 in 90 days so we know what it costs NOT to pump up the markets, don't we?  Now we're basing off 1,050 and the Fed and Congress have decided to buy 200 more S&P points for $2,000,000,000,000 but we already anticipated all this and we're already up 175 points so we'd better watch that 1,250 line closely as I'm not sure we paid the price of admission to 1,300 yet (QE3 anyone?).  

Chris Kimble over at our Chart School points to our key Fibonacci levels on the major indexes and we'll be watching those very closely as we wait for Dow 11,500 (was kind of like waiting for Godot last time – he never came!).  Once we break 11,500 on the Dow, fundamentals are out the window (not that they've mattered much in the past month) and it's all about the technicals once we move above these lines:




Nobody wants to miss out on the big rally as all the rubes are being herded under the big top to pay for the freak show that is the Global Marketplace.  Ironically, Germany's refusal to fund additional bailouts in the EU led to a strengthening of the Euro against the Dollar last night and the Euro tapped $1.34 this morning, up 5% from last week's lows while the Dollar fell back to 79.65, a 0.5% drop from the open, which is usually good for a 1% boost to the markets.  What we're going to want to see as a proper show of strength in the markets is for the markets to begin ignoring the dollar and moving up on their own – something that hasn't happened in over a month.  

This whole house of cards could still come tumbling down if Ireland votes no today.  According to Rupert’s Journal, Ireland is expected to pass and the markets are reacting accordingly. The Irish are not raising corporate taxes off their EU-low 12.5% level and are instead taxing people who make up to $25,000 20%, where before they were exempt. It’s a brave, new World…  Ireland’s unemployment is (officially) 13.5% and the government is cutting back services severely too. We’ll see if this thing blows up down the road regardless: 

Ireland’s main political parties agree on the urgent need to fix the country’s fiscal and banking problems. Yet even after Tuesday’s budget vote, it is unclear whether some of Mr. Cowen’s austerity measures will reach fruition given his feeble hold on power.

Facing calls to resign and a revolt from his own political allies, Mr. Cowen recently agreed to hold new elections next year after the government’s budget effort finishes. His ruling center-right Fianna Fail party is widely expected to suffer in next year’s elections, thanks to popularity ratings that are lower even than those of Sinn Fein, a party with only four seats in Ireland’s 166-seat Parliament.

If Ireland’s two main opposition parties, Fine Gael and Labour, take the reins as expected, they could push for changes in the country’s austerity drive. Fine Gael has vowed to overturn the government’s move to lower the minimum wage, while Labour politicians have sought higher taxes for the wealthy.

One last stab at making some bearish profits for us (see Morning Alert) but, Overall, it looks like we’re going to have another up move in the markets unless Ireland surprises people with a rejection so let’s crank up the tunes and PARTY like it’s 1999!


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  1. tchayipov / weeklies: I like your idea from yesterday’s chat. NFLX should work too with higher vol, higher implied vol, and $5 strike increments. When you were saying the margin requirements were high, were you using Portfolio Margin?

  2. @Phil
    The poor people I see are doing just fine for their circumstances. 
    My niece is living better than she ever has with one child, 6, another on the way, a husband who feels he doesn’t have to work because he has diabetes (and applied for and gets Disability (from the Social Security fund he hasn’t paid a cent into to) for the rest of his life (he’s 31))).  She gets disability as well, depression, obesity, and other assorted self-inflicted ‘health’ issues, along with WIC, Medicaid and food stamps and heaven knows what else--I figure it’s worth about $50,000 a year gross.
    These two people are typical of a percentage of those who have found a way, if they want to live modestly, on the Welfare system.
    Do you have any thing to say about that?
    I need not tell you that I have no sympathy, none, for them.
    Does anyone? Do you?

  3. NET $  = +.06%,  dx/y = (.27)%
    hogh on the NET +.54%,  low was (.77)%

  4. F = 1234.50
    overnight:  high =1234.75, low = 1219.00
    Just a reminder, Thursday will be contract rollover day on the eminis, I beleive the new month is March = H

  5.  why dont they just increase our accounts 15% and close the markets for holidays now already.

  6. Im afraid this is the death of all bearish plays for the rest of the year. I think its time to capitulate.

  7. flip, disability for diabetes?  Never heard of that one-  Not a good thing when they predict 40% of adults will have it by 2040 or something ridiculous like that.
    Assange in the slammer.  Boy, would I like to be a fly on the wall in that interrogation room.  Can you imagine the deals they will try to make with him?  But, I think they have their work cut out for them.  He seems like a sharp cookie who has thought through his options and planned accordingly.  At least I hope so..
    I figured they’d take out the S&P resistance after hours.  That’s usually how the pop the big ones.  But, I’m looking for a fade.  We’ll probably play around with 1226 for a few days before going higher.  But these days.. one never knows.

  8. Flip – It does not speak well for the family tree, especially when you as an uncle, choose to air out your feelings toward them in a public forum. Who knows, they might be subscribers to PSW and that would make for an uncomfortable holiday get -together…… :)

  9. NET $  = +.34, dx/y = (.39)%
    oil +1.16, gold = +13.50
    10yr = +3.40%,  30yr = +2.19%

  10. Oh no, all shorts are going to hell…

  11. @1020
    Due to the stress they have put on my sister, I no longer have anything to do with them, holidays or otherwise. As for the tree, the rest work their butts off, and have little but disdain for the sister who, by the way, is pretty damned smart, clever, and creative. She just chooses to use those faculties for scamming the system.

  12. @1020
    I learned thru them that Social Security fund have been tapped for all sorts of welfare programs.  Don’t know under which one he qualified, think it was SSI.

  13. Flip – Welcome to America, HOME of the scam…..
    Have a good day

  14. Flip, I am not sure that your niece is representative of the majority of the lower middle class in this country. I guess there is also some irony in the fact that not only "rich" people can scam the system ;-)  

  15. Lets start this over…..

  16. @ stjeanluc
    Not yet 1020, still 3 minutes to open bell:
    Don’t know that % are, but I can assure you in her small town she learned the roped from her friends, neighbors, and otrher assorted hangers on.
    It’s a lot greater than you think.

  17. Good morning!  

    Save the political ramblings for after hours, it’s going to be a crazy day today.  

    Levels should all be popped except for the dreaded Dow, which is what undid us last time.  

    • Breakout LevelsDow 11,500, S&P 1,220, Nasdaq 2,600, NYSE 7,750 and Russell 725
    • Watch Levels: Dow 11,220, S&P 1,185, Nas 2,500, NYSE 7,550 and Rusell 715 
    • Up 10% (must hold)Dow 11,220S&P 1,177, Nas 2,420, NYSE 7,500 and Russell 700
    • Up 7.5%Dow 10,965, S&P 1,146, Nas 2,365, NYSE 7,280 and Russell 672
    • Up 5%: Dow 10,710, S&P 1,123, Nas 2,310, NYSE 7,140 and Russell 666 

    I posted up the changes to the 1050P this morning under that post (and as an Alert) and the summary is we press our bets for the moment.  I know that is counter-intuitive and painful but this is the whole point of scaling into positions – so you can make these adjustments as the market moves against you.  

    Looking in my magic mirror (I’m probably the only guy that remembers Romper Room) I see NFLX driving back to $200 and I see PCLN way up at $424 where the weekly $400 puts have dropped to .60 so we want to spend $1 to roll up to the $410 puts and double down at $1.60 so we’ll have 4 at an average of $1.73, which is fine and also a great new play at that price.  

    Oil is a great short in the futures under the $90 line, using it as a tight stop, of course.  

    That’s it for now but it’s going to be crazy and all depending on what Ireland does later.  

  18. Flip – your not alone. I have several as you descrided in my family tree as well. It’s very frustrating in that they are rewarded very well for "working" the system.

  19.  neverwork / Lambada
    NFLX doesn’t  have weeklies unfortunately

  20. For the past 6 months or so, every discussion about the market on CNBC and others has revolved about uncertainty! Uncertainty over taxes being the overwhelming issue. This has now been resolved (at least temporarily) so I am wondering what the next excuse will be! Uncertainty over healthcare comes to mind… It’s true that in the last 10 years of running my business, there has been more certainty over healthcare. I was certain that my premium would go up 25% a year no matter what I did! Now, I don’t know – could be 5% or 25% again! But for crying out loud, I don’t run my business worrying about uncertainties. When you have a small business, many uncertainties await – losing a major customer, quality issues, liquidity, vendor problems. My goal is to try to produce the best possible product and increase revenues. Listening to CNBC now makes me feel like our corporate overlords are now behaving more like operators than entrepreneurs. Hearing them gush over China sometimes makes me wonder if they don’t wish this country was run the same way, with the state providing a customer ready to buy anything they make and keep a pliant and cheap workforce at the ready. Of course, the cost of failure in China is a bit higher, but I am sure we could keep the best of both worlds… Just my rant for today! 

  21. Phil / Gold   They’ve voted for debasement of the $, no structural solutions, so the US is scr’d.  We will now be adding $2T a year to the deficit indefinately.  Time to buy ABX and TBT in volume today.  Or, maybe we wait until tomorrow on TBT in case Ireland blows the Euro up?

  22. Phil,
    She never saw me in the mirror, did she see you? :)

  23. NET $  = +.38%,  DX/Y = (.32_%
    C =1233.95, F =1233.25
    10yr = +3.74%,  30yr = +2.09%
    oil +.35,
    VIX (3.83)%

  24. I remember romper room :)

  25. tchayipov / NFLX:  I have weeklies for NFLX on IB and have traded them before. They have great liquidity as well. What broker you using?  I am currently monitoring a long 195 straddle (Dec 10th) and short 190/200 strangle (Dec 17th) as a 4-leg trade and may get in shortly.

  26. Wow, selling off already and just 19M Dow volume – that can’t be good!  

    I really hate to call more shorts as I take it most people are too short already so keep in mind this is more along the lines of "If you’re not already short" kind of plays.  

    FCX Jan $95 puts at $1.30 are a nice way to play copper and gold topping off.  

    DECK March $85/80 bear put spread at $2.40 can be paid for by the sale of the March $105 calls at $2.60 so a .20 credit to take a $5 spread on the premise that DECK’s earnings won’t justify $85, let alone $105!  

    BIDU March $95 puts at $4.30 can be offset by selling 1/2 the Jan $105 puts for $3.70 and, of course, that allows you room to roll the Jan puts to 2x whatever in March if you have to and then you have a vertical.

    GLL Apr $26/32 bull call spread is $2.20 and you can sell GLD March $152 calls for $2.25 so a .05 credit on a bet that gold doesn’t move 10% higher (past $1,550) by March.  If gold breaks $1,500 you can slap a cover on and use that as a stop line.  

  27.  NFLX does have weeklies.    I held a 210/185  strangle last week that tested all of my patience and ended up a breakeven trade.   Bought the 210C/185P  the week prior when NFLX traded at 190 for a few days.  Then it zoomed up to touch 210 on Wednesday, so I sold some 190P and 195P, mainly to reduce margin requirements.  Then it collapsed to close on Friday at 185.   That 3 day action kept my knuckles white, and fortunately I was able to unload the puts before losing money on Friday.  So, watch out on these high volatility weeklies, they are very unpredicable, even intra-day!

  28. Gosh, so many juicy shorts to pick from but that’s the thing – I don’t have time to call them all out and that’s why scaling in is so great – if you have small positions already and now they get much cheaper – it’s much easier to just bulk up an existing short into a morning spike than make new commitments.  

    I can’t find anything on the upside I like for cover other than our existing FAS and DBC plays.  As I said on Friday, a little cover there goes a long, long way so, until we are done being bearish – that’s the way I like to play the upside.  

    Woo-hoo on oil already with a quick .50 drop.  DO NOT BE GREEDY!   Stop line is now $89.65 (.20 trailing) as that’s big money for a day, especially when we need the wins to fund our rolls. 

  29.  neverwork
    I use TOS, and they don’t have them yet, if you have its great, it is very good candidate, I guess should be better to start the position when 2-3 days left, keep us informed please how you are doing, see my post yesterday night

  30. VXX WEEKLY $38 puts are .60!  Those can be sold to pay for the Dec $43s at .75, which were $2.30 on Friday.  

  31.  Good Morning Phil, 
    Are we taking off the AIB play before any announcement? I am up 20%…

  32. Phil, RomprRoom?  I remember!  Did you grow up in Jersey or vicinity.. we had it in DC but do you remember Wonderama?  That was a Sunday morning favorite.  Of course.. there wasn’t much else on.  The grand prize every week was a gleaming new, usually white, Ross bicycle.  Oh how I wanted one..  

  33. Thanks, Phil. Now I have the DK’s in my head--better watch out, keep up this revolutionary tone and they’ll be at your door after they’re done with Assange.
    Lloyd uber alles! Perhaps whoever did the DK’s video will do a video with LLoyd as the star. "Banksters Uber Alles".

  34. NIce romper room reference, what’s next "electric company"

  35. That 11,500 line is just about 10% for the year, that’s why it’s such a tough line for the Dow.  11,450 is 10% in 90 days too as well as the flatline from 11/4-8 – lots of coincident levels there and ripe for a play on the $113 puts at .60 if you don’t already have something.  

    Woo-hoo on PCLN!  We’ll have to watch that one as we’re lucky to have profits now.  

  36. flip    
    I know for a fact that the only thing the sister gets disability for as listed is being crazy and depressed. The husband has to be SSI or wellfare because diabeties doesn’t get SS. Knowing a person that is manic depressive and watching what happened over 30 years little things like your airing closes the door to ever getting out again. You and most likely many don’t want anything to do with her and that includes employers. The system is out of control and what you don’t understand is in the eyes of corporations these people are disposable. Hireing the disabled doesn’t exist except at checkout lines for corporate image and they are always retarted so easily controled.

  37. NET $ +.69% , dx/y  = (.36)%
    near highs of the overnight on the NET
    C =1231.62, F =1231.00

  38. The retail gold stocks (NG, NGD, HMY, etc) are really lagging the big boys (ABX, FCS, GG).  Gold has pulled back hard as well.  I think they are loving the retail moving in on gold, and with China starting all the gold ETFs, this weaving of gold is gonna fall apart….

  39. tchayipov
    I am seeing NFLX weeklys on TOS – "DEC2 10"

  40. That word is retarded and a similar issue is how do you get a job after jail? Who hires criminals?

  41. Rollover/Mike – Very good point! 

    LOL Russian, great idea – save us all a lot of bother.  

    As I often say Barfinger: I love the smell of capitulation in the morning – It smells like… opportunity!  

    Good call on the chat reboot 1020.  

    Good rant StJ – everyone is firing on all cylinders today, must be the smell of free money….

    TBT/Tusca – I think it’s too dangerous with the Fed focusing POMO on the 10-year. We have to wait for their next schedule, I think.  I also think gold is topping but then again I always think that.  I’m just seeing everyone rush to get ETFs going and that flashes huge danger signs to me.  

    This could be it for PCLN in the 1050P ($414) very nice $3.70 on the $410 puts so don’t let $3 get away (.70 trailing stop).

  42.  Romper Room:  I’ve been in Charlotte for 30 years but love the nostalgic feeling that Romper Room reference brings back.  Was that just a NY metro show? How about Soupy Sales?  I grew up in Bergen then Monmouth counties back in the days before streaming Netflix.

  43.  Phil     Thanks for the PCLN play.   That was fun.  :)

  44. red, before streaming Netflix?  Geeze you ARE and old timer!  We had RomprRoom in DC.
    FAS pretty much closed it’s gap.  Had 3 quick short plays now long until it looks like a free money day to the downside.. which it very well could be-

  45. Out of my long for now..

  46. Romper Room, electric company -- HR Puffin’ Stuff? Mr Green Jeans?

  47. Phil Which Mar call are we talking about?
    GLL Apr $26/32 bull call spread is $2.20 and you can sell GLD March $152 calls for $2.25 so a .05 credit on a bet that gold doesn’t move 10% higher (past $1,550) by March.  If gold breaks $1,500 you can slap a cover on and use that as a stop line.

  48.  sorry guys,
    I have on TOS NFLX, just bot 195 strangle and sold 8 days 200/190 straddle ( just for 1 options to check), good luck to everyone
    by the way, TOS shows only $230 margin per 1 set, I guess will be more if price start move to short strikes

  49. Phil,
    Did you dump the DIA 110P?  Is it worth holding them or will they erode to quickly with only 2 weeks left?

  50. REDLOG
    we had romper room in Texas

  51. Phil:
    Don’t you think that the "powers that be" know that they will have to keep oil under control to keep their "plans" in place. If so isn’t short the USO still a good play at these levels. What would be the risk? Do you really think that $3 plus gas is anyone’s best interest? Or do they not have that kind of power yet? I am so tired of trying to figure out what the next diabolical move is going to be in this rigged market. It is rigged…..isn’t it?

  52.  MoMos are losing momentum.. they are reversing and even turning red.

  53. tchayipov
    I’m showing about $4,700 margin required for one (1) NFLX short strangle

  54.  Oil below $89.50 so that’s the stop line now and each .25 line it crosses from now on becomes the trailing stop line.  We can always get back in later but this is huge money in the futures!  

    Mirror/Z4 – I think I was on that show once.  My mom used to take us to lots of shows – I won a hoppity-hop race on Wonderama and to this day my most embarrassing public speaking moment was when Bozo asked me my favorite bird and I told him it was an eagle and he said "What kind of sound does an eagle make" and I said "tweet, tweet."  In my defense, he had come out before the show with half his makeup off and I was mortified that he wasn’t a real clown and when he was standing next to me with the mike, I was transfixed by the seams that were holding his hair and bald head to his real forehead but I learned never to trust anything on TV ever again.  That’s kind of why I put my own kids in movies – I like that they understand it’s all fake from experience…

    AIB/Amatta – I’d take 1/2 off  with a $1.15 stop on the rest.  Could be a huge run if they accept but you can always buy back in.  

    Wonderama/Matt – I was just mentioning that one!  I didn’t get the bike, just some books and a stamp pad.  Funny the kind of crap we were perfectly happy with back then.  My kids showed me a hover scooter from Hammacher Schlemmer and asked if that was "too much" for XMas!   Truthfully, if the max weight were 50 pounds more, it might not have been.  8-)

    Videos/Okno – I wish I had the skills and time to do that.  I would really enjoy making videos.   Did you ever see my "Won’t Get Fooled Again" photo essay?  

    Wheee!  Oil below $89 so that’s now the stop.  This kicks ass!  

  55. Woo hoo!  3 shorts in FAS, 1 long and now another short.  All winners-  Playing the fiddle today boyz!

  56. exec
    I dumped the 110p DIA yesterday and sold the 112p Dec for .61 hoping the bottom will not fall out of the market to crazy to predict.

  57. Tchayipov / NFLX:  Nice. That’s the same one I’m looking at. Looks like you can get around $0.5 credit for the combination of the 4 legs. The important thing I think with this trade is to enter around the pivot point (the straddle strike, in this case $195), and then have a strategy immediately on when / how to sell. With the pure weeklies (your idea of buying on Thursday and selling on Friday) the strategy is clear, but with the longer trade in the week before the monthly exploration, you need to formulate an exit strategy. If you leg out of each side, you introduce risk and increased margin requirements. What I like about this idea is the expectancy looks good. The odds are on your side. That’s what we like.

  58. long again-

  59. Phil
    Loved your rant this morning but I bet most disagree with you. It continues to confound me how the powerful got the power. The voodoo economics will take everyone down sooner than the powerful fools think. When the shit hits the fan I say no antidepressants for those that lost the most, just give them directions to the highest bridge!

  60. NET $ +.36%, dx/y = (.20)%
    C =1229.54, F =1229.25

  61. when is the Irish vote? time?

  62.  Phil, can you explain why USO hasn’t moved much? Just trying to understand the relationship between USO and oil futures.
    > Woo-hoo on oil already with a quick .50 drop.  DO NOT BE GREEDY!  … as that’s big money for a day

  63. Phil,  I have the Jan11 TBT   34/40 bull call spread that is almost even, what if any adjustments should be made.  I think your answer to tuscadog above says wait it out ?

  64. Pharmboy:
    I did not understand your comment on gold at 10:07am. Could you please explain further? Thank you.

  65. Phil any thoughts on that Copper position and JPM, what are the limit rules?  do they matter any more  :)

  66. Funny stuff
    The US treasury has an office in charge of the sanction on Iran, of course CNBC was the source, so who knows
    but that is funny, if not so sad

  67. The FAS gap is now officially closed.  All systems go to continue the madness.  Unless of course ‘they’ want to dump into retail and POMO today which could very well be-  long with a 24.49 stop.
    Phil / hovercraft:  TOO friggin cool.  Insanely expensive!  You were on Wonderama?  Wow.  Did you get to open one of those cans to see if there was a prize or just a spring in it?  My aunt lived in Jersey and dated Bob McCallister, the host, for a while.  She never did me a solid though to get me on!

  68.  Neverwork
    I don’t have yet any exit strategy for couple of days or longer, I guess we can use average day range and play from there,
    for example: ADR for NFLX around 10 points: probably if it moves 8 I will close half (not now because just open one set) and after that will set mental stop and try to ride
    for longer play, probably same thing but first half will close at 1.5 of range – 15 point and ride after that

  69. Matt – Yeah, Aunts are usually a disappointment….. ;)

  70. Phil /  Deficit & inflation.   Why do you (and Pharm) think gold is due for a correction when Obama just went Uncle Tom and between he and Ben we’re condemmed to $2T p.a. deficits and money printing as far as the eye can see.  How do we now play debasement of our $?  I realize Europe may have similar problems and may have to print more also, since austerity will be politically unacceptable.  So, surely gold will take on an ever  more attractive aura?  So far I’ve followed your lead and assumed gold is a bubble, so I’m twitching a bit!

  71. What if Ireland votes for the bailout?  The markets will probably explode upward as they voluntarily consign themselves to economic slavery. 
    Nice world we live in… it passes.

  72.  neverwork
    or I have another idea: what about firm profit target. I think max loss which we can get is $150 per set in couple of days, so I think it will be good profit target

  73. Electric company/Jo – Somehow, that show never did it for me.  Zoom too, it annoyed me.  Sesame Street, on the other hand, I still like to watch!  8-)

    DECK the halls with short profits!!!!  

    Soupy/Red – Sorry I’m not that old!  

    NFLX just failed to hold support at $193.50 – watch that line.  

    Captain Kangaroo and HR Puff N Stuff/Rain – Good ones!   How about the Banana Splits?   I blame them for my early interest in Reggae music as well as my early curiosity about drugs – it was either them or the Monkeys anyway..

    GLD/Yodi – The regular March $152 calls, now $2.10. 

    DIA/Exec – The move from the Alert this morning was to sell the $113 puts for .70 and then roll up to the $114 puts and just hope for a finish below 10,300.  It worked out at .65 for the $113 puts and the $114 puts were down at .85 for an even swap.  That spread is now .35 so better than sitting on the $110 puts and we’ll have to see how the Dow holds up now.  

    USO/DC – Sure, that’s why we did the futures play and in the 1050P we sat tight on the Jan $36 puts (as we already spent money to roll up yesterday).  $3 gas is not affordable with 10% unemployment.  You can get away with it in other parts of the World because poor people don’t drive – here there really isn’t any such thing as people outside of cities who don’t need to drive.  The only way oil made it to $140 in 2008 was because Bush sent cash to everyone to pay for it and people were able to mortgage their home to buy gasoline.  That’s not there anymore and consumer credit is down $1Tn since then and not likely to be coming back soon.  That just makes it very hard to get traction for $100 oil, or $80 oil for that matter.  

    CAT STILL going up!  DE too.  

    Good job Matt! 

    Good luck Shadow.  As long as the cable stays on and the Web stays connected and the Big Gulps are $1.49, no one is going to be taking anyone down unless it can be done during a commercial break.  They learned their lesson in the 60s and have been reprogramming 40 years worth of students ever since…

    Ireland/Mike – Don’t know, in session I guess.  

    Assange was denied bail!  That guy is guilty until proven innocent at this point.  

  74. tchayipov,
    I am in on your NFLX trades too(bot 195 strangle and sold 8 days 200/190 straddle) 1 option too. Let’s see tomorrow.  Thanks.

  75. I swear it looks like the dollar responds more to IWM than the other way around.

  76. BTW, I got $0.82 credit for the NFLX trade.

  77. Phil/DIA,
    I’m still waiting for my account to go level 3 so I can’t sell the puts.  Given that scenario, would you hold or dump?

  78. NET $ = flat here, 0, with the dx/y = (.05)%
    C = 12229.88, F =1229.50

  79. anyone remember the Banana Splits cartoons?

  80. never mind, reading the posy now, thanks for links

  81. posy  :)     post

  82. So are they going to torture Assange as a threat to national security until they get the BofA hard drive back?

  83. small but things are going to get nuts next few years

  84.  The EOG chart today is odd. Looks like someone is trying to force it down.

  85. Phil,
    Took the short profits on DECK- Thanks.
    Bought TM Dec 80 puts- TM bouncing all over the place. Sell out the position today or roll to next month?

  86. Do as I say….not as I do:
    Only Shadowfax and Phil, 1020, and mike5885,  can talk about stuff unrelated to market. 
    You have been duly warned.

  87. NET $ back negative, = (.11)%,  dx/y = (.04)%
    C = 1230.98, F =1230.00
    Europe will be closing

  88. How is a person making $25,000 going to afford a 20% tax in Ireland?  Phil, is that really what they are proposing?  There will be blood on the streets.  The Irish have a long history of rebellion.

  89. Flip – I think the members you mentioned are talking about random stuff and not getting into the more politically heated stuff…

  90. Phil/Video’s/Won’t Get Fooled Again
    Yes I remember that, I am a huge Banksy fan--funny how old revolution songs are so relevant today, decades later--same s*$%, different day. 
    New feudalism is alive and well.

  91. Does anyone know why the RUT is outperforming today?

  92.  Guys/ lambada
    just had conversation with my brother (he already has experience with lambada for 4 WEEKS) he said that better open position on Thu morning, this way long options much cheaper and reduce max loss, and he usually don’t buy same strike straddle but closest strikes strangles (when price right between them) and sell options one strike lower/higher) it is making longs even cheaper and reduce potential loss.
    according ANALYSES from TOS our position in NFLX has 1:1 max win/loss, but his position (GOOG) 9:1 win/loss

  93.  Live Broadcast of the Irish Budget Debate,  fun theater:

  94. NET $  = (.12)%,  dx/y = +.01%
    C =1230.01, F =1229.00
    10yr = +5.00%,  30yr = +2.14% huge moves
    OIL (.35), gold +.90
    VIX (2.11)%

  95. Im really shocked at Assange releasing documents that discuss our undersea comm cables, food companies, etc that the US considers vital to our security, nobody needs to know that… I was rooting for him up until that point. I mean, if he wanted to help his case then he would’ve released the BAC documents showing what dirtballs the big banks have been.. That is something the common person needs to know! Have they mentioned why he is being denied bail? You’d think he wouldnt be at risk of flight considering he turned himself in….

  96.  RUT has been outperforming for a couple of weeks – specifically its because I am short – more generally people are probably placing bets on economic recovery where they think smalls will outperform or its seasonal or take your pick

  97.  Samz/ RUT
    I think it is just because you and me have short position :)

  98. samz, i feel your pain since my biggest short is the RUT as well. TNA is up more than 100% since September. Unreal!

  99. flipspiceland
    Tight underpence just buy them a number bigger

  100. exec
    RUT outperform for max pain so far, it will retreat when revolution starts in Ireland!

  101. Irish vote is slated for 2 PM EST (7 local tm)

  102. flip
    Sorry, I only wanted you to look at the other side of the issue, there always is one, I personally have issues with SSI and supporting children. Like only have one if you can afford one.

  103. GLD/dc – the junior minors are more ‘retail’ stocks as they are cheaper plays and pushed by portfolio managers. With the big boys (FCS, ABX, etc) moving one way and the juniors moving another (on a % basis from the stock), retail again is left holding the bag.  GG was, and continues to be the exception, where they are following the juniors but they are really a major and have a great sheet (with ABX).  FCX has copper, the rest are all gold plays.  But if there is any indication, FCX should fall, and hard.

  104. Pharm – are you reading the blog for the OREX meeting? If so, how is it going?

  105. Tchayipov: Thanks for the update. Your brother must be making some serious money on these. That makes a lot of sense on buying a close-to-ATM strangle, rather than a straddle. And no point being impatient if Thursday works better anyways. I haven’t been filled yet so will monitor how the NFLX position progresses but will wait until Thursday to put it on. And, I’ll check out GOOG for a position on Thursday too.

  106. reza99
    Thanks for the update!

  107. USO puts looking better, we all need the RUT to drop even JRW.

  108. Pharm/NUVA- shall I roll the Dec $25?

  109. USO/Jvest – They don’t make the adjustment constantly so during the day it’s based on sentiment more so than what the futures are doing.  It looks about right at $38 though.   Don’t forget USO is only 45% of the price of oil so a $1 drop in oil will only give you .45 on USO even if it’s correlating perfectly.  That’s why I picked the futures for a new play and not USO this morning – I wasn’t expecting such a big move and USO may not have twitched on a .50 drop in the futures.  

    TBT/Stock – We’re likely to hold $36, maybe break $37.50 but I wouldn’t count on more than that so it depends what you’re looking to risk.  We all rolled to 2012 ages ago and gave up on hitting goal ($40) by Jan as the Fed is totally against us – that hasn’t changed but TBT is indicating our bond auctions are still looking weak.  

    Copper/Mike – Lots of moving targets there.  JPM may be rolling out a copper ETF that’s fully subscribed already and that means they will shove that copper in storage and create a lasting shortage.  It’s the same as the silver rumor – anyone who is betting that JPM has no clue what they are doing and is blundering into traps is very likely to find themselves trapped while Jaimie Dimon gives himself another $250M bonus with their money. 

    Wonderama/Matt – No cans that I remember, I must have been about 6.  That’s terrible of your Aunt not to get you in but, on the other hand, my cousin is the head writer for the Jonas Brothers Show and still hasn’t seen fit to get my girls to meet them.  He says Disney is psycho about not bothering their people but I’m going to LA in the spring to guilt him into it.  He also wrote the new Bonnie and Clyde musical (he’s the guy talking on left) which is in Sarasota now and heading to Broadway.  

    Gold/Tusca – Because it’s all baked in and what we have is global stability and that’s not god for gold usually.  On the whole, even $6 Tn dumped into the global GDP is just a 10% boost, gold is up over 100% from it’s lows in ’08 while the dollar is down "just" 10% at 80.  Without futher, massive debasement of the dollar – gold will have a hard time finding real buyers to unload the thousands of speculative tons of gold that have been gobbled up by China and the ETFs.  Also, any short-term panic will send people back to the dollar and tank gold too so two ways to win shorting gold.  You never know when a bubble will pop but if you scale and roll to stay on the crest of the wave, you can get a really good ride on the way down.  

    Ireland/Hoss – I think the bailout is priced in but we could relief pop back to the open very easily.  

    IWM/Exec – Or Lloyd and Co place their bets on IWM before moving the peg on the Dollar.  

    .82/Bob – Nicely entered!  

    DIA/Exec – I’d hold for Ireland but dead money after that.  

    Banana Splits Cartoon/Mike – Not their best work.  

    Torture/Rdn – Please, we don’t torture, we use "advanced interrogation techniques".  

    Banks/Mike – Funny.  

    EOG/Oak – Nat gas hovering around $4.50, not too shabby. 

    TM/DJank – Was a play on the dollar weakening that didn’t pan out as well as poor TM sales that don’t seem to be bothering anyone so not worth keeping but, as with all short plays – I’d wait to confirm Ireland is bending over for the EU.  

    Thanks for keeping track Flips!  

    20%/Matt – I’m sure it’s somehow progressive, they can’t just grab 20% of people’s income all of a sudden.  Still, when you make that little, even taking $500 is a big deal.  

    RUT/Exec – That seems to be their job (outperforming)

    Cool LV, thanks!  Good quote:  "This is the budget of a puppet government which is doing the bidding of the IMF, EU and ECB.  A fitting tribute to a broken administration."  I think I’ll put that guy down as a "no" vote.  8-)

    Assange/Jrom – Well technically he’s being held on rape charges and is considered a flight risk as they’ve been looking for him since last week.  Whether those charges are real or not (he says total BS) remains to be seen.  So easy to have him trade for his freedom now and I’m pretty sure we’ll never get the real story.  I agree that releasing infrastructure items is bad but if this guy can get them then don’t you think anyone who’s motivated can and then doesn’t that expose serious flaws in our security that need to be addressed. 

  110. Good morning,


    Forget the levels; just drink the Kool-Aid !!

    IWM 77.28, 76.92, 76.31, 75.94, 75.59, 75.42, 74.87, 73.70 blah, blah, blah


    Good Hunting !!

  111.  Phil
    Having read your post of this morning, I have to assume from the dismay you are experiencing relative to the tax policy we follow, that you assume the additional dispersement of tax dollars to the poor will have an effect on poverty. Just to put your mind at ease…. this will make no difference whatsoever. The more that is dispersed, the more reliant on the system the poor become.
    As a senior consultant many years ago to the Office of Economic Opportunity, I saw first hand the results of a $1 Trillion program targeted to the poor. I visited most of the ghettos throughout the country and it was difficult to observe. After the massive amount of federal money was dispersed, the conditions worsened, and today the ghettos are larger and reflect conditions that have moved in the wrong direction. My expertise was in the area of medical – dental support programs. My conclusion is: it is not about money…. it is about cultural beliefs. I hope this helps you feel better.

  112. Maya,

    A summary of my system is available here   !!  8-)

  113.  LAMBADA
    just open position for GOOG :
    bot 600/580 and sell 570/610 two sets, win/ loss ratio 9/1

  114. Phil….I sold the nflx Dec 185 calls for 4.05 3 weeks ago.Is my roll to the Jan 210 to get even?

  115. Hi Phil — could RUT act as short squeezed instead, fundamental not make sense small biz is hard to get loan and cut back employee-- what give.  is it time to throw in the towel on my short position  or wait till tomorrow…thx

  116. Paranoia — Phil@12:02 — "Nat gas hovering around $4.50, not too shabby." …Until someone heard you and dropped it 2%!

  117. gel1 / how is it about cultural beliefs ? loss of family values ? drugs ? no social fabric or morals to speak of ? what ?

  118. Hi Phil, what do you think about MOS? , i’m in Jan 57.5 PUT and i have DD …. thx

  119. Micro – I just chose to let that one go. I wanted to go off on my good internet friend Mr. Gel but I figured I’d bite my tongue and not escalate things…. That being said, if I didn’t agree with Phil’s politics I would have a hard time not responding to his morning pieces which do seem to have a bit of politics in them…. Fortunately, I agree so it’s not an issue for me :)

  120.  microflux
    Good question… I can conclude from my experience, that money alone will not make the change desired . I am not a  one who knows a lot about how cultures evolve or sustain themselves, so I can not answer your question – maybe all of the above ???

  121. Hello Phil, HRB has earning announcement today. I am inclined to buy them as a short term earnings play. Rationale: A lot of insider buying and no insider selling in September-October. Your thoughts?

  122. 490union/NFLX-Dec 185 Calls,
    I think it’s better to roll 2X Dec 200 Calls(short term I don’t think NFLX can pass $200) to get even if you can take the risk.  It’s just 10 days away and who knows what would happened over a month for NFLX(Motley Fool is bullish in NFLX and said GOOG, APPL, AMZN and MSFT all SHOULD buy NFLX).  My 2 cents

  123.  jromeha
    Phil sets the table for the food we eat… so I thought I would inject my direct experiences as a matter of clarification to the question so many have… is it about money?… or something else???? Maybe it is about guilt, or reliance – who knows?

  124. JRW
    Thanks a lot for that.
    Do you manage OPM?(other peoples money)

  125. NET % (.20)%,  dx/y = +.11%
    C =1229.40, F =1228.75

  126. Maya,

    No, thank you  8-)

  127. mike
    nice artical

  128. From Springheel Jack……………………………..

    I’m expecting a big move today, and so far at least it looks likely to be a move up. ES and NQ have found some resistance at the 1234.25 and 2211.75 levels respectively and I have some upside targets if those levels are exceeded. If they aren’t exceeded then I’m leaning slightly towards seeing a significant drop today as we are still overdue for a retracement, and numerous charts are testing major resistance levels. If we see that drop today then it might be a few days before we see the current highs exceeded. Bull flags are currently forming on the ES & NQ 5min charts and the direction of the breakout from those flags should define the day today.

    On ES and NQ I have possible rising channels, though we’ve not yet seen a retracement to establish a lower trendline on those. The upper trendlines are established however and I’m seeing resistance for ES in the 1245 area today if we get that far:

    As I often have said, we either go UP or DOWN from here !!

    But it does seem that the BEARS that are not already DEAD, are capitulating currently  8-)

  129. Irish vote/Reza – On the video feed they are not looking like there’s much agreement so far.  Girl making a great point that Irish deal sucks compared to deals already given out to other countries and Greece is already asking for an extension so it’s still very possible that they can be swayed by the very logical assumption that, if they reject the deal, they will be offered much better terms by a panicked EU.  Man I live Irish and British Parliament – such a pleasure to hear people who are actually good orators arguing policy…

    Kool-Aid/JRW – Still looks like a double top to me. 

    Aid/Gel – Better as a weekend conversation but I favor EDUCATION and Jobs Training, not handouts.  I like building infrastructure and making sure it’s possible for people to go to work by taking care of their children in day care and after school as well as, of course, making sure they have a health care system that keeps them well and free from financial burden.  I know, it’s radical stuff trying to create an actual land of opportunity in the country that calls itself the land of opportunity.  

    NFLX/490 – When you get behind on sold calls, your strategy (unless you have plenty of room to DD) is to just make back the loss, not the whole thing.  You are only down net $5.80 and the Dec $200 calls are $4.30 so I’d sell 1.5x of those, which expire next week and the roll from there is to the Jan $220s or maybe the $230s.  

    Guy speaking now in Ireland is ripping this thing to shreds and the woman trying to get this thing passed is trying to shout him down to no avail.  Good stuff! 

    RUT/Gucci – Well I’d hold on to all shorts hoping for an Irish rejection but, if they accept, then it’s over – whether logical or not.  

  130. Phil:  as downside insurance I got into the previously recommended QID trade  April 10/14 bull call and selling April 12 puts.  It has served its functions, as the bull trades have more than offset its loses.  Now that QID has pierced 12 to the  downside, what adjustments (if any ) do you recommend.

  131. Gel – Ill stick to the required subject matter – do you think when Ireland excepts the bailout it will strengthen or weaken the Euro? Im not sure if it was Mike or someone else that mentioned last week discussing in theory the bailout should weaken the Euro but since it will calm every everyone down about widespread debt contagion it could strengthen it…. I know you’re longer term bearish on the Euro but how do you feel it will play out in the short/mid term? Or do you not have a feel for the direction and that is why you closed many of your USD/Eur positions?

  132.  I wonder if any pols in Washington are taking note of the Irish debate.  Seems like it will all be hitting the floor of our congress sometime in our near future.   There are some really, really pissed off people there.    The heat of this rolling crisis seems to be increasing, not cooling.   

  133.  Phil -
    Is that drop in crude just technical or is there something else going on – does back to 88 seem like a reasonable target?
    Thank god something tanked today!

  134. Just downloaded CNBC Real Time for Ipad, it looks good.  Fast video and even has real time quote.  You should have it if you have an Ipad.

  135. Where would the Euro would be trading today if it weren’t for the Bernank, watching the Irish argue the IMF/EU bailout..dont turn bank debt into sovereign debt is the main argument along with the top earners not paying a dime to help get out of the problem….what a mess

    AMD gets another guy from NVDA

  136. Phil / Aid, Job training

    Oddly enough, Newt Gingrich was on one of the Sunday morning shows espousing that very plan !!

  137. I keep a chart comparing the spy with how it is trading against the /dx. All day they have been trading inverse. Since 12:30 the spy and the /dx are rising together.
    Uvol-dvol and uvol/q-dvol/q have both been trending upward all day despite market pulling all morning.

  138. that was pulling back all morning

  139. Stability/Mike – It’s a good point, you just can’t control everything and you shouldn’t try.  

    Nat gas/Rain – LOL!  I’ve gotta channel my inner Greenspan and try to say much less!  

    Dollar at 80.20 by the way!  Now over the midnight open.  

    That guy is still talking.  I want him to be our next President! 

    MOS/Smala – I gave up trying to short that sector.  It’s totally out of control with no logic at all.  Breaking $70 is bad news for the bears.  

    HRB/Alik – We were liking them down around $11, tough call at $13.50 into earnings.  I’d hope for a miss and then get in but I do think they are good to $14.50 on a reasonable report.  

    Yay, NFLX finally taking that next leg down…

    QID/Humvee – On the Aprils I would certainly stand pat for Ireland as well as a proper Dow test of 11,500.  Plenty of time to roll.  

    PNRA still rockin and rollin’ 

    Crude/Samz  - As I wrote on the weekend, this is all speculative BS with no basis whatsoever in fundamental supply and demand.  As such, the driving cycle for oil prices is how much the NYMEX traders can screw around with the front-month contracts, which expire roughly on the 20th.  There are currently 300M open barrels worth of contracts (300,000) for January delivery while Cushing, OK can only handle 45Mb.  This happens all the time and the very obvious point is that 90% of the contract holders have no intention whatsover of accepting delivery.  This is nothing but a massive scam.  You can buy March 2016 contracts right now for $86.70 a barrel – that’s not $200 oil, is it?  Look at the chart – it’s in Backwardation – that means there is 100% expectations that prices will go lower over time.  Is this a healthy economy?  Is this realistic commodity pricing?  Sickening is what it is – just don’t get caught up in the hype.  

  140. Sorry, the Irish guy (still talking) is getting me all worked up and caring again.  I am trying so hard to not give a damn…. 

  141. even though market just made a red 5 minute candle, the spy-dx is still trending upward.

  142. i’m guessing that the longer the irish guy withteh pink tie talks, the greater chance the bailout will pass…

  143. NET $ keeps falling as lunch ends
    NET $ (.56)%,  dx/y = +.24%
    C = 1231.06, F = 1230.50

  144. TXN gives MQ update after the close today

  145.  now we wait…

  146. Phil, just try and imagine the Irish guy making the impassioned speech is just wearing underwear..

  147.  jromeha
    I am staying away from any short term plays on the EURO, as well as the currencies that follow the EUR.  Portugal and Spain will soon "meet their maker" as their debt will have to be resolved. Spain has a 20% unemployment rate, so any austerity program will be difficult, and the day of recconing is coming rather soon. To me, trying to determine the outcome in Ireland is not worth the gamble, as it relates to the EUR.
    Yes, I am long term bearish on the Euro, and will play it that way. I also believe the USD is going to take a dive, after this current run-up. Today, I am taking a position in the etf bearish dollar ( UDN). It is a matter of tie before this will play out nicely. 
    The Yen has started its decent to the basement penalty box, and today reflects this movement. An associate I have in Europe who is very close to a lot of the bankers there, confirmed the local banks are liquidating their Yen holdings – confirmation of all the gibberish I have spouted over the last few days. ( play of the decade? ) I think a better way to phrase it is ( ultimate play of 2011 )
    Thanks for your restraint in not piling on to my response to Phil.. one of you guys is enough! (ha )

  148. OREX/jr – no.  No point as they will be denied.


    NUVA – I like my spread to roll to.  Here.

  149. NET %  =(.53)%, dx/y =+.23%
    C =1230.53, F =1229.50

  150. CNBC IPad/Bob – Yes, I must admit it’s very nice.  I love my FT on the IPad though.  The WSJ, on the other hand, made a mess of their App – not even nice to read anymore.  

    Newt/JRW – Hmm, maybe I have to rethink my position…. 8-)

    Oh no, they are cutting my boy off in 2 minutes!  Now they are on a 30-min break.  I think that may have been the last (minority) party leader to speak before the vote.  

    At the open: Dow +0.59% to 11429. S&P +0.87% to 1234. Nasdaq +1.03% to 2622.
    Treasurys: 30-year -1.12%. 10-yr -0.71%. 5-yr -0.33%.
    Commodities: Crude +0.82% to $90.11. Gold +0.89% to $1428.70.
    Currencies: Euro +0.63% vs. dollar. Yen -0.31%. Pound +0.62%.

    10:00 AM On the hour: Dow +0.7%. 10-yr -0.7%. Euro +0.48% vs. dollar. Crude +0.32% to $89.67. Gold +0.39% to $1421.60. 

    11:00 AM On the hour: Dow +0.58%. 10-yr -0.95%. Euro +0.28% vs. dollar. Crude -0.32% to $89.09. Gold -0.13% to $1414.30.

    11:22 AM Markets are holding moderate gains after the New York Fed buys $6.81B in POMO Treasurys of $16.424B offered by dealers: S&P 500 +0.6% to 1,231. Bonds overall are sharply off; the 30-year Tsy yield +0.11 to 4.35%; 10-year +0.17 to 3.09%; 5-year +0.14 to 1.65%. 

    12:00 PM On the hour: Dow +0.43%. 10-yr -0.89%. Euro +0.13% vs. dollar. Crude -0.75% to $88.71. Gold -0.16% to $1413.80. 

    01:00 PM On the hour: Dow +0.53%. 10-yr -1.17%. Euro +0.05% vs. dollar. Crude -0.85% to $88.62. Gold -0.4% to $1410.50.

    ICSC Retail Store Sales: -2.1% W/W, vs. +0.5% last week. +2.6% Y/Y, vs. +3.5% last week. Consumers took a break from shopping last week, but pent-up demand should lead to accelerated sales throughout the month for a full-month Y/Y growth rate of at 3-3.5%.

    Redbook Chain Store Sales: +3.8% Y/Y vs. +4.9% last week. Heavy storms in the Midwest and Northeast kept shoppers at home and made for a boost in online sales. Sales expected to rise as Christmas nears. 

    The ISM’s semiannual forecast predicts manufacturing revenue will grow 5.6% in 2011, with service revenues going up 3.4%. Manufacturing is generally more positive on the recovery: Sixteen of 18 industries expect increased revenue and capex should grow 14.5%, vs. 3.7% in nonmanufacturing

    Mortgage delinquencies should drop a steep 20% in 2011, to 5% of mortgages from 6.2%, TransUnion says – though that number would still be historically high: "We think that the mortgage industry isn’t out of the woods yet, but it’s starting to move in a better direction." The agency says credit-card delinquencies will keep falling, but not as sharply. 

    World oil demand growth should slip by 10K barrels per day in 2011, to 1.43M bpd, the EIA says in its latest global forecast. Crude prices that have been bumping around a $90 barrier are off 0.9%, to $88.55. 

    The Treasury sells $32B in three-year notes at 0.862% (.pdf). Bid-to-cover ratio of 2.91, vs. a recent 3.18; indirect bidders take 36.7%. Direct bidders take 18% vs. a recent 13.3%. Treasurys continue to slip: 30-year yield +0.13 to 4.36%; 10-year +0.18 to 3.1%; 5-year +0.17 to 1.69%. 

    The tax cut extension so far is only a "framework," and judging from these heated remarks, Obama still has some selling to do – to Democrats. James Kwak’s reaction sums up the disenchantment in the liberal blogosphere: Obama could have killed the tax cuts and "done more good for our nation’s fiscal situation than anyone will be in a position to do for many years to come." 

    Progress in city-by-city unemployment as jobless rates are falling in two-thirds of metro areas, but it’s not an aggressive rebound. Nonfarm payrolls rose in 182 regions and fell in 178, compared to a year ago.

    With job openings ticking up to a two-year high in October, why weren’t more workers hired on? Could be a lag, in which case December’s unemployment numbers will look a lot better. Or the jobless aren’t trying that hard to find jobs, or are a very bad fit for the jobs that are available – but it’s probably all of the above

    At least they’re realistic: Nearly six in 10 Americans think that housing recovery is at least two years away, according to a RealtyTrac/Trulia survey. More than a third say flawed foreclosures are partly at fault. Nearly half say they’d think about halting payments if their home went underwater, up from 41% in May.

    Rebutting the optimism of EU finance ministers, Jim Rogers argues that bankrupt countries – namely Ireland and Greece – ought to be allowed to restructure their debts. Rogers believes the insolvency problem extends to Belgium, Italy, and even the U.K.

    An article in China Securities Journal says that interest rates willl be increased this weekend. China, while looking to cool its economy, has been trying to avoid the "blunt policy" of higher rates. Stocks initially dove more than 1% on the news, but rebounded to close +0.65%.

    Assuming it passes the next Fed stress test, Bank of America (BAC) is eager to raise its dividend, with a target of 30% of earnings, CEO Brian Moynihan says. BofA’s dividend was slashed to $0.01 in the first quarter of 2009 from $0.32 (down from $0.64 in 2007); if the bank has sufficient capital, dividends are a new focus, Moynihan says.

    At more than $30/oz. silver’s at its highest level since 1980. ETFs that track the metal, either physically or via a basket of mining stocks, are rising in kind: (SLV +0.75%), (SIVR +0.46%), (SIL +1.60%

    Jim Cramer’s top five plays for a diversified momentum portfolio: Jabil Circuit (JBL +5.1%), Weyerhauser (WY +1.7%), Noble Energy (NBL +0.7%), Goodrich (GR +0.3%), Wellpoint (WLP +0.6%).

    Three lunchtime reads:
    1) ETFs for strategic and tactical portfolios
    2) Revisiting Bernanke’s "helicopter speech"
    3) Farrell: Ten reasons to shun stocks till banks crash

  151.  Good article on Phil’s topic du jour…. taxes.

    caution:  Phil’s head may explode

  152. Underwear/Matt – Well, whatever your preference is (not that there’s anything wrong with that!) 8-)

    Well, I suppose it’s time for some TZA.  We’ll see if we can drop another nickel on them…  The $17s are nice loking at .58 as a downside gamble

  153. More blasts from the past:  Roger Ramjet, Atom Ant and my personal favorite cartoon, Squiddly Diddly!

  154. PHIL JRW
    I thought I was hearing things Sunday when Newt said that. Makes me wonder what next?

  155. spy back to trading inverse to /dx, just now at a little bit higher level.

  156.  tchay … NFLX most definitely does have weekly options.  Been selling ‘em every week.

  157. Phil, 
    Is the exit on NFLX puts the usual 20% or are we holding further? It has been close to hitting that mark but gone back up every time…

  158.  Newt is only saying what every fiscal conservative has said forever.  Help people by putting them to work, not by giving handouts!

  159. Euro/Gel – If you are bearish on the Euro and the Dollar then shouldn’t you be buying Yen?  They can’t all go down at once, can they?  I guess you think all currencies will fail and we’ll all be carrying gold coins in 2012 but, on the whole, I’d still rather own stocks than gold.  If money get’s worthless, then VLO (for example) will make large amounts of it.  

    Taxes/Cap – Yes because our country is on such a solid footing after the first $3.7Tn round of cuts that another $3Tn is certainly called for.   You actually read this drivel as if good points are being made?  This is the death of America – it’s a nation that is selling the soul of it’s people in exchange for campaign contributions from the very rich.  The bottom 95% of this country have no voice at all in what’s going on and you want to dance?  When we’re $20Tn in debt in 2012, you can tell me how proud you are of this moment.  

    Atom Ant/Matt – That was one of my favorites but let’s not forget Gigantor!  See, we were into anime before anyone knew it was cool…

    Interesting, Ireland reconvening with few people and it seems that they intend to delay the passage!  

  160. NFLX/Amatta – If you rolled or doubled down, then 1/2 back out at 20% and the rest can ride.  

    Out of AIB!!!!

    GET SHORT!!! 

  161. Phil,
    Talking about TZA plays,  still holding DEC 18c long bought for 2.76 now down to .30, 5 DEC 20c short 1.80 now .13 and DEC 18p short sold for .94 now 1.67 What do we change in this position thks. ???

  162. @Phil
    "….I agree……. this guy can get them then don’t you think anyone who’s motivated can and then doesn’t that expose serious flaws in our security that need to be addressed".
    Right on the money.  It’s the typical Government Fear-mongering ploy  to stifle dissent. 
    Any serious radical, (or patriot)  is way ahead of what they would need to do to accomplish their obejctive.

  163. 34 Resolutions to be voted on and the ruling party is trying to bundle them as a group to be voted by midnight.   Other parties are arguing that there is no point on voting on things that don’t take effect until after Dec 31st.

    They are trying to throw in procedural arguments as well.   

    Seems like they are determined to go all night anyway, which will be after our close.  They are voting on whether to proceed I think now.

  164. Obama speaking at 2pm – this was supposed to be coordinated with Irish "yes" vote.  Looks like that’s blown.  

  165.  I am offering $100 cash to anyone who can locate the Phil Wonderama video and post it on You Tube !!

  166.  TBT flying!!

  167.  What?  Nobody watched my fave, Speed Racer? I bet JRW did….

  168. How to Spark a Bank Panic: Bank of Ireland ATM networks, online-banking systems fail. Cash withdrawals may be …

  169.  Cap, how do you put those faces? :D

  170. Back in session!  They seem to be voting their time to one of two candidates but, if so, this can go on forever as it looks like about 90 mins each.  Not really sure what it means though.  

  171.  Most transparent ethical Congress ever (Ha !) is drawing to a close.
    Noted ethicist Dem Rep Maxine Waters (under investigation) calls for investigation of …. the Ethics Committee.

  172.  ravalos, there is a website that has the codes to type in … I can’t remember the website but I remember a few of the codes.

  173. Speed racer/1020 – Did you know he was secretly Kimba the White Lion?  Same facial expressions!  

  174. 6.1B, treasuries falling off a cliff, and this is all they can muster?


  175. Gold is down from a $15 up b’f the bell.  That is a big swing.

  176. They approved something but I can’t tell what.  Would be nice if someone explained this.  Now half the people are leaving again.  I’m guessing they voted to extend time to debate and vote.  

    Talking about fuel taxes now, very small increases that seem like a no-brainer.  

    Air travel tax added in as well.   Also smallish.  

    Wow, TBT hit $38!

    TZA/Yodi – Well the calls are toast so it’s all about savaging the put side.  It’s just a roll back to the Apr $16 puts around even and hope for the best.  As an insurance play – I hope the call side offset it.

    Protesters are gathering outside of Parliament as people get out of work.  Damn, and I lost my feed – that sucks!  

    Obama time!  

  177.  Obama is so ungracious and obnoxious … he diminishes the office w/ his partisan nonsense.
    For this, he is taking up TV time.

  178. " This isn’t politics of the moment … this is "what can we get done right now" ?
    Huh ?

  179.  Harry Reid on the tape:  Tax deal is "only a framework"  … needs "some more work".

  180. 1020 / i was a speed racer addict

  181. Gaelic cspan feed and just about as exciting as you might imagine  –
    Now in a wonky debate phase about the fuel tax.  Someone mentioned an alcohol tax… now that will make the irish riot. 

  182. What he is not saying is that come January the Republicans will be able to pass whatever they want in January with Democratic Senate support and I would be left weither having to eat it or veto tax cuts for the middle class. So I am taking what I can get now before it is too late.

  183.  Phil / TBT
    I have 30 x long Jan12 27/34 call spread and short 20 x Jan11 35 caller
    do you recommend to roll callers now? 

  184. Micro – I still pretend, but never in mom’s car…. ;)

  185.  Phil / Currencies
    It is a matter of ratios and timing. I play the etf opportunities, and the FX markets. On a comparative basis I believe the YEN is the most over valued when compared to the other major currencies. The Euro is stronger than the Yen, but that currency will experience weakness as their de-leveraging efforts play out. The US dollar will be the last to fall, and this will be clear later, as the debt problems of the States become more of a concern. and the possible launch of more QE. So one must ask… how do you play this, and I say – go back to the basics and trade the strong currencies against the weakest. Good choices are the CAD and the AUD for starters. Relativity is the guideline.

  186.  CNBC says most Dems saying they will vote against tax deal

  187. Obama’s logic is so lame.   This is nothing short of a total defeat for him and he’s let it be known he can be held hostage by threatening the working class.  What does he think – if he gives in now it will get better next year?  

    Oops, even though they are still debating, Finance Minister is giving a press conference saying they have an "absolute" majority of the votes to pass the budget.  

    I think this was done to help Obama out as he was meant to time his "great" news on tax cut extensions with Ireland to give us a pop.  

    Sorry about that – shorting is looking hopeless here.  

  188. Tcha, Never, and All,
    I am reading Tcha’s lambada trades with great interest.
    Do you folks think that we can play the same strategy on SPX weeklies?

  189.  Obama now calling Republicans "hostage takers".
    Mr. Bipartisan ….

  190.  Phil, as Obama told the Republicans very early on … "I won".
    Now the shoe is on the other foot, Obama and Dems "You lost".
    And no, the public is not on the sides of the party of taxation and class warfare.

  191.  Cap
    The Pres says it is about people getting jobs. Many do not want jobs, as they make more on unemployment, and getting a job is time consuming. Additionally, the government keeps raising the minimum wage, thus shutting out the many that want to enter the work force at the beginning level….. Seems to me the government does not understand the word "incentive", or general labor market forces.

  192. No confidence here.  Maybe Apple can develop a time machine to get us to Nov. 2012……

  193.  Obama worked in the Chicago ghettos and should, with his experiences, be the one to turn this whole poverty thing around…. he changed nothing in the 15 years he worked there, and conditions worsened. Why then could he be the one to handle this problem on a nationwide basis?

  194. Gel – that is why I think the Republicans actually folded. They had an opportunity to end the welfare program for the long term unemployed and they gave in !!!!! If they would have waited til January things would have been very very different. They need to stand tall for what they have been saying and stop giving in to Obama !!!!

  195. Gel, when you say many, is that 10,25,50% ?  I say many more than you think want a job, they’re just not ready or are unaware about the new normal – less money for the same job.

  196. Thanks Otto, much better feed!   

    Taking what he can get/DK – Pathetic!   

    OK, they are now voting on motions 1-4 – if anything fails, this whole thing is in question but no one was even in the room for the debate so I doubt anyone was going to be changing their minds based on what they hear.   

  197. Cap, thats what I don’t get. It’s not "we won" when the vast majority lose. I loath the sports analogy about winning and losing when it affects peoples lives…..

  198. Phil are you giving up on the shorts?

  199.  cwan
    I think that SPX is not very sexy lambada, we need something very volatile and with smallest distance between strikes (by persentage)
    you can always check your position in TOS analyze tab, so far GOOG is the best 10:1 max win to max lose ratio

  200. That’s it for me today, out of TNA at $68.90 for $1.20…………………..thrilling !!

    Have a good day all, and viva la revolutione !! (In Ireland)  8-)

  201. I just want to point out to those on the right, that Phil and others on this board have no problem calling out our own when they do a crappy job. When the coach fails the team, time to let ‘em go and hire a replacement….. NEXT!

  202. Speed racer was awesome

  203.  Please get Obama off my TV … please …. who elected this guy ?

  204. Purist position?  NEXT!!!
    End of rant…..:(

  205. Tcha and Never,
    More questions on lambada:
    (1) When you enter/exit, do you do with one 4-leg order?  I’d imagine that a 4-leg order is harder to fill.  Especially when you want to exit, you want to get out quickly.  I wonder how hard it is to get out.
    (2) What would be max profit point?  The underlying stays near the mid point?  Or it moves to one extreme?  I’d like to get a feel of this trade.  I’m asking this because I cannot spend much time in TOS to analyze or thinkBack right now, as I have a day job.

  206. Quick, someone call the PPT.  Somebody is selling!  They’re not supposed to do that!!

  207.  TBT/Tcha – That’s an odd combo.  Too bad you didn’t sell the puts.  You can just roll them along to March $36 or $37 calls to push them into a bit more Premium but the calls still have $1 premium to give you so why give them time for free?  

    Currencies/Gel – That makes sense as long as the commodities hold up. 

    Most Dems/Cap – Well they need pretty much all of them to knock it down.  Would be a damn shame if Congress has to show more backbone than the President. 

    SPX/Cwan – I don’t think the relative premiums make it worth it.  

    Hostage Takers/Cap – Very Bipartisan.  I would have had much choicer words or, better yet, I would have let Biden go to town on them – that’ guy’s got a mouth.  

    Obama now weak and defeated and going down in flames…. 

    Yes, Gel – All those unemployed people are simply avoiding work.  Those cunning bastards!  

    Oops, now the voting is being challenged in Ireland.  I’m pretty sure this will go on a LONG time.  Those shorts might work out after all!  

  208. He is looking weaker than ever. Can’t watch this anymore. Have a great evening everyone.

  209.  My point, 1020, is that I agree with you.  Unfortunately, that’s Obama’s view.
    His claims to be bipartisan have proven to be empty.
    He is arrogant and views "I won" as a broad mandate for an agenda that the voters have now rejected.
    This little TV tantrum is evidence of how the next 2 years will transpire w/ him.

  210. A budget to reduce the deficit (it’s a quick read):
    Discuss – (perhaps after the close, don’t want to get anyone in trouble) 

  211. Phil, sorry for the politics…..

  212. Cap – we be cool…

  213. Whuck?

  214. wow bonds
    10year = +7.82%,  30yr  = +4.31%

  215.  1020
    We are creating a permanent welfare state, by extending unemployment benefits indefinitely. The payments are greater than what some jobs pay… and you have your day free…. how many have taken the opportunity to go back to school and learn a new skill? This country is at the crossroads, and it appears to me our efforts are focused in the wrong direction. I agree with Phil – education is needed – but the ones who need it most do not have the incentive to learn, and won’t as long as they are not incentivised…. which could be a re-tracement of their benefits.

  216.  gel, exactly, show us the results of his community organizing in Chicago … no results but lots of money spent; wasted; diverted; etc.
    As for jobs, no doubt that there is some percentage of unemployed that become disincentivized to find work w/ extended benefits.  They become inclined to not have a sense of urgency or turn down jobs that they otherwise would take if the marginal benefit isn’t good enough.
    No doubt some people need the safety net; but on balance my view is that extending and extending unemployment benefits is harmful to the economy and the labor force.

  217. Shorts/Jabob – No, I can’t give up.  They make too much sense!  I would say if you haven’t got the stomach for it, better off sitting out and that’s not to say tough guys should stick it out – it’s just not worth it if this action is stressful to you as we could still go up or down 200.  I still think down is the easier path overall.  

  218. Hey, Cap,
    Does your TV have an on/off switch?  I am guessing that the switch is put in there for the sole purpose when you want to get Obama off your TV.

  219. They passed 1-4!  84-79, that’s a pretty big margin overall.  Seems like they do have the votes to push this through.  Only 29 provisions left to go and now they are discussing 5-9.  

  220.  1020 … no worries.
    Looks like O has managed to do the near impossible; piss off everyone on the Left and the Right !

  221. Yen really falling against the dollar

  222.  Sure…. have Biden handle the problem… "He’s got the mouth" He does have the mouth, but nothing behind it !  No guessing what he will say.

  223.  cwan, I thought my TV had an Obama blocker, but I guess that doesn’t work.
    I’ll have to check into that on/off switch thingy.

  224. NET $ (.57)%, dx/y = +.27%
    C =1226.44, F =1226.25

  225. PHIL,
    I wrote 2 covered calls on VLO.  They expire this month VLO is in the money by about 400.00 i am expecting that VLO will be called away.  When that happens will I be e-mailed by my broker with a request to sell the 200 shares or will I sign on one day and my broker wil have automatically transfered the stock? What do you think the chances are that I won’t get an assignment?  Thank you.

  226.  swan/ lambada
    I don’t know much about this strategy, I just testing it (with real money but small position)
    what I found so far:
    when you open position, and if market is quite, better first open short strangle, because couple of days long strangle is melting quite fast, so put it latter bellow market price and wait till it come to you.
    I guess when you close, do opposite order: first sell you longs ( same reason: it is melting even faster) and after that close your shorts

  227.  Phil / Anyone -
    Ideas on gold dropping? Sorry if you already posted – having a hard time keeping up today.
    Look at eem 

  228. Gel – I agree, education and accountability are needed, not more unemployment checks. It appears that horse left the barn, so how and when do we start?…..

  229.  eem going red – at least for a moment

  230. yesterday cash close = 1223.12, low today =1226.31, open was 1227.25
    current = 1227.68

  231.  Budget/Otto – What’s the point.  If it doesn’t have MORE FREE MONEY it will never fly.  This is like when you see your friends raising spoiled little brats but you decide it’s not worth risking your friendship to tell them what you think as the kids are already too old and too badly damaged and you can only sit and watch over the years as they grow into truly repulsive human beings.  That’s pretty much what it’s like watching our Congress dealing with the American people – it’s hopeless, we can only hope the American people find some rich guy to marry and aren’t too much of a burden on us when they get older….

    Jobs/Cap – Then why did the spineless Republican leadership just vote to allow an indefinite extension of benefits.  What a pathetic bunch of hypocrites they must be, right?  

    Obama/Cap – You’re right, I could not be more pissed at him!  

    VLO/Z4 – Check with your broker but if you have the stock and sold the calls then the stock will disappear and the price (at the call strike) will be deposited in your account (and your obligation to the caller disappears as well).  There’s no such thing as not getting called away by an in the money caller. 

    Gold/Samz – It’s bubbly so, every once in a while, little bubbles pop.  Will the big, central bubble pop?  That is the million dollar question (for Gel, anyway!).  

    This is really bad because Ireland isn’t even rejecting their votes and the rich people got their tax breaks and the Fed is buying $6Bn worth of paper – STILL NOT ENOUGH?????

  232. so, uhh, what’s going on?? sell programs kicking in??

  233. low yesterday was 1220.67, and Friday low was 1216.82, might head to that range if we can break the close from yesterday on a quick woosh lower
    not sure, just talking out loud

  234. Tcha,
    Thanks for all the info.  Please do report back your experience.

  235. Gel – Seriously, All I want is inspiration, not perspiration. Where have all the Leaders gone?…… :(

  236.  swan / lambada again
    max lose point: one day before exp it will be right at the middle between strikes, but after exp it will be at strikes of long position, but for volatile stocks is very low probability that it will stay there:
    for example: it is very common for GOOG to move 10 points per day and if it does you will be with good profit
    and you don’t need to wait till exp. as soon as you see good move, get your money and run

  237. 02:00 PM On the hour: Dow +0.55%. 10-yr -1.29%. Euro +0.03% vs. dollar. Crude -0.7% to $88.75. Gold -0.42% to $1410.10.

    03:00 PM On the hour: Dow +0.28%. 10-yr -1.52%. Euro -0.15% vs. dollar. Crude -0.91% to $88.57. Gold -0.71% to $1406.00.

    Oct. Consumer Credit: +$3.4B (+1.7% annual) to $2.4T, vs. consensus -$2.5B. Prior revised to +$1.2B from +$2.1B. Non-revolving credit +$9B (+6.8%), revolving credit -$5.6B (-8.4%).  Wow, numbers are all over the place!   

    The flow of goods rose 0.4% in November, breaking three straight months of declines, according to the Ceridian-UCLA Pulse of Commerce Index. But the growth is not enough to offset October’s 0.6% decline or the overall 2.1% drop since July. "The flatness we’re seeing… reflects inventories in motion which seem to be signaling a weak fourth quarter.” 

    New figures show that many car loans are going to people with questionable credit. The percentage of loans going to subprime buyers rose 8% in Q3, first Y/Y increase since 2007, Experian says. The majority of loans still goes to buyers with prime credit scores, but if banks are welcoming more subprime borrowers, it feels like deja vu all over again.

    Democrats shouldn’t feel too unhappy about the tax cut deal, David Leonhardt writes, because it "looks an awful lot like a second stimulus." Extensions of tax cuts and jobless benefits, plus other tax credits, will pump $900B into the economy; less the cost of the tax cuts leaves $300B in net stimulus over two years – "not be enough to fix the economy all by itself, [but] serious money."


  238.  I have gone back to an old girlfriend….. Sold some TBT puts today (naked) Sold the June 40′s … still young enough, and attractive I believe. ($5.35)

  239. Budget / Phil – I know but  I just just curious as to what parts gel and cap disagree with. 

  240.  Phil/ TBT
    thanx for advice, I have short Jan12 35s puts, but only 10 ( 1/3 of long spread position and 1/2 of additional callers)

  241. Gold falling fast and furious.

  242.  1020
    Incentives, I believe are important in life and in the development of people, in order to move things in the direction desired. Throwing money at a cause is about as beneficial as throwing money at the wall, while investing. We should have finite objectives and benchmarks that need to be incrementally achieved, with proof of success.

  243. gel1 — naked girlfriends are good 8)

  244. Tempting though it may be, TZAs are up 20% at .70 and it’s silly to leave Dec naked plays open.  

    That goes for all the Dec plays!  

  245. SRZ picking up nicely over the past few months.  With the debt problem over for them (maybe?), could be a good one going forward.  Big pop today.

  246. gel1 anyone!
    I for one would like to get off disability. All I ask is a decent wage considering; education, experience, local cost of living, medical insurance to replace medicare, and I will do anything I can do. Building, electronics, management, and personal security, I am as good as they get with a gun that some people may need soon. I am open to any idea and will consider moving anywhere. I don’t even have to sell my house yet. I am totally sick of the attitude towards me by people with no solutions, only playing the blame game. This situation is caused by total corporate control, the only solution is clip their claws like my cats.

  247. Cap – "His claims to be bipartisan have proven to be empty. He is arrogant and views "I won" as a broad mandate for an agenda that the voters have now rejected. This little TV tantrum is evidence of how the next 2 years will transpire w/ him."
    WTF you talkin’ bout Willis!!?!?! This is about as bipartisan as it gets! He passed NONE of this so called socialist agenda besides a watered down health care bill. Now he is basically passing a REPUBLICAN BILL!!!! How is that not bipartisan? The dems lack of stones is sickening… I’ve posted this comment before but they should’ve played hardball with the repubs. If the dems forced them to publically reject lower taxes for everyone but millionaires and force them to be the ones rejecting unemployment benes extension then who loses at the polls? This little mini republican revolution (devolution?) would be OVER! I never have liked Pelosi but I will donate to her reelection campaign if she can somehow get this nonsense shot down…. Sorry, I know we are supposed to keep political comments for after hours but Ive read about 5 of Cap’s now and felt compelled to respond…

  248. Voting on 5-9 now.  Politicians on both sides of the Atlantic are spineless fools it seems….

    Dollar climbing, up to 80.35 now.  Euro back down to $1.327 but Yen is weak too (83.52) so it’s a legit dollar rally for some reason.  

  249. Phil:  YEN,  I am looking for a collapse of yen, time frame uncertain.  Looked at FXY bear put verticals on 2012 and 2013 LEAPS but the spreads are so high.  What suggestion to you have, perhaps shorter time frames with sales of calls.  Your suggestions, as always, appreciated.

  250.  Calling the other side "Hostage Takers" is as bipartisan as it gets, Jrohema ?
    Shirley you jest …

  251.  Jobs / Phil …. yes, in my view, the Repubs should have not agreed to that unless tied to specific offsetting cuts in spending.
    Both sides playing a game of chicken.
    I hate politics and politicians.

  252. Here’s a sign of the top in Silver – Seeking Alpha’s main page:

    Why Silver May Be the Next Gold

    Silver’s meteoric ascent continues with the metal now above $30/oz. – its highest level in three decades.
    More on: Silver

  253.  Ow, that came out ugly.  

    Oh well.  Voting on resolutions 5-9 still being challenged in Ireland….

  254. Gel – I agree. Washington needs to be proactive and not reactive. Most of us knows why. It’s the how and when that I have little faith our politicians can figure out.

  255.  And stop parroting the BS Dem talking points jrohema  -- people earning 200k (single) and 250k (married) per year … before tax … are not "millionaires and billionaires".  (some may be net worth millionaires; but hardly the evil rich that you rail against).
    The rhetoric does not match the reality.

  256. Today demonstrates why I have such low prospects for the US moving forward.  No one can handle the pain.  The Repugnicans feign fiscal responsibility when they say we would be happy to extend unemployment as long as it’s paid for.  They are now allowing it by not only not paying for it but getting a handout for themselves.  And Obama can’t stand the thought of his poor down trodden masses having to fend for themselves.  No one is man enough to make the tuff choices in this country.  I admire the Irish for their effort.  The only way we will find our religion is when our bondholders point the gun to our head and say or else.  I think the dollar has a long way to fall.  Gold is still shiny to me and will be until deflation gets here.

  257. Woops!

  258. Sorry Phil, but I think you got chocolate on my peanut butter.  :)

  259. Anyone What corses the violent swing in the DOW ?

  260. Would love to see a repeat of 6/22 tomorrow!

  261. Phil / Spinless fools — No, I don’t think so. They just know who signs their checks. The political system is composed of elites so the laws then favor the elites. You need to watch that Monty Python clip again "I’m your King", "Well I didn’t vote for ya…".

  262. Matt – deflation is here….just not in the daily grind of life (food and oil).  Houses, electronics, and all are all down…..down….down.  Even AAPL is getting into the discount game.  Cisco warned of the tides ahead (who listened the last two times Chambers shouted out?), and not as many people employed full time, part time, etc.    Deflation has too few people chasing too many goods.  Production runs are at 84%, so there is a ton of bandwidth there for ramping up without adding to the jobgrowth.

  263. BTW, I’ve been able to short FAS all day today.  There seem to be plenty of shares available.  Plenty of bulls left get the ‘ol in out yet.

  264. You guys talk about politicians like they have everyone’s best interest at heart, the ruling elite are controlled by the extremely wealthy…kind of like obedient dobermans doing the bidding of their masters.

    TD CEO laughed his ass off when MB mentioned TD buying Chrysler credit…

    Nothing can be priced correctly if there is no risk of losing your investment, these are strange days indeed

  265. FXY/Gel – Option prices are ridiculous and betting is all over the place.  I’d go with the commitment and buy the 2012 $125 puts for $11 and  work it off by selling Jan $115 puts for .55.  You sell 6 months and pay for half the positions and it’s only $4.50 in premium to start with.  If FXY ticks over say 120, you can use that line to go long in the futures, looking for another $1 to pay off the long puts.  

    No 1020, clearly you have gotten peanut butter on my chocolate.  

    Well I guess Ireland passed 4-9 because now they are on 10-14.  

    The bond market looks to be the story today with the yield on the 10 year treasury soaring 23 basis points to 3.16%. It’s the highest yield since July and about 65 basis points higher than when the Fed began its program designed to lower long term rates.

    Another possible reason for the market’s late-day dip: Fitch Ratings says the tax cut extension underscores the U.S. need of a "credible plan" to reduce spending in the medium term and show commitment to its AAA rating status.   The party’s over….


  266.  yodi, rumor is the drop in the DOW was caused by the reuters headline that the Gov is widening its investigation into the banks/hedge funds, etc for insider trading stuffs….

  267. Cap – one, do you have a problem with how I spell my handle? its JROMEHA, not jrohema, got it CPA!?l Now that we’ve got that out of the way – if you are single and make over 200k or married and make over 250k you should pay more in taxes. It’s not ‘undue hardship’ or ‘punishing the producers’ like you ‘independents’ say (who are parroting republican talking points). It’s about what is FAIR, and obviously there is a huge difference of what many people think is fair in this country. I know if I made over 200k I wouldn’t have a problem paying an extra 3%….

  268. Pharm, I mean with commodities, too.  Homes have been, are, will be in the dump for years.  Electronics always come down in the price.  I think we are still being propped up by the Fed.  But their cheerleading is beginning to ring hollow.  When they’re rendered impotent, we will then have our true deflation.  But they can still bluff a majority of the folks.  I think we still have until QE3 for gold to ascend.

  269. The tax talk should be about income earned greater than 250K.  A person earning $300,000 gets taxed 3% more on $50,000 ~ $1500.  Brutal yes but perhaps survivable.  Earn $500,000 and your taxes would go up $7500.  No rolex for the wife this xmas!    A move to Albania is advisable – 10% flat tax! 

  270. After Hours, political post:
    Jromeha:  You are living is a delusional reality, the political realities and that pesky constitution have prevented obama from doing what he wanted to do.  The fact that he has failed to get his agenda through doesn’t make him bipartisan; he failed.  Turns out he’s just a fantastic orator, not so good a political mind. Clinton was probably best politician of our lifetime; his ability to triangulate his opponents was second to none, Obama just can’t do it….sorry

  271. Gotcha!  I think gold dives, and then I will be in it for the very long term.  The long bond is still a good buy as well.  TLT is getting attractive again.

  272. Obama sold out to the insurance companies, pharma, and hired people like Geithner and Sommers.  Why is anyone surprised about this guy.

  273. King/Rain – I wish we had a King.  Unfortunately, the nobles have taken control of the country and that leaves no one at all to care for the peasants.  

    Wow, saved by the bell back to even on the indexes – except the RUT, which is magically still up half a point.  

    It was so tempting to stay short but, like the cartoon bear says "Just buy the F’ing dips!"  Have to keep in that mode until it finally breaks.  

    Good summary Otto!  Such a load of BS while our country’s credit is about to be cut due to the ridiculous irresponsible actions of our "leaders."  

    Dollar finished the day back at 80.35 and the markets went back to flat – that’s the simple story of the day but you won’t hear a word about it from the MSM, who like to pretend you need to watch their news to figure out what’s going on (and they pretty much ignored Ireland all day). 

  274. Oh they are good!  They closed FAS a penny, yes a penny, below yesterday’s open.  The bulls just got decimated today in FAS.  Kind of like how I got decimated on Thursday and Friday last week!  I should have gone much larger today.  But don’t worry folks.  Everything is going according to their plan of maximum shock.  The sky is definately NOT falling.

  275. Does the insider trade probe change the underlying value of stocks or is it Wall Streets saying this is what we can do if you don’t get off our backs?

  276. I don’t know why i’m feeling pensive, but it’s like I just got out of a really bad trade I made. November 4, 2008.
    Have a great evening everyone. Time for a walk on the beach…..

  277. Pharm, I’m not making a near term prediction.  You could very well be right and in fact I hope you are as I STILL don’t have a position in Au yet.  So by all means, lemme know when the coast is clear!

  278. 1020, the beach?  Where the hell are you?  Another world??  It’s friggin freezing ’round here!

  279. Good Forbes article:  


    The sovereign debt crisis now threatening Europe, as well as major American states and cities, discloses the sheer incompetence of a political class that has over-promised, under-delivered and squandered vast amounts of their citizens’ wealth.
    Greece, Ireland, Spain, Portugal, California, Illinois, Los Angeles and Chicago are simply the poster children for what happens when elected officials engage in reckless and irresponsible management of their economies, their banking system or their respective government’s public finances.
    California’s budget deficit has soared to $25 billion, or more than 25% of total spending. And, according to a recent study, the City of Chicago’s unfunded pension liabilities total $45 billion, or more than $40,000 per household.
    Instead, what we now can see is that elected officials, following a power motive, can be as greedy and irresponsible as anyone in the private sector. In many cases, officials from both parties have been captured by powerful interests, including public sector unions and recipients of transfer payments. As a consequence, they have willfully committed current and future taxpayer money to benefit those with political power at the expense of the community as a whole.


  280. Humvee – "that pesky constitution have prevented obama from doing what he wanted to do" WTF!?!!?!? Ok, Im to the point now where Im waving the white flag…. I dont even know what your statement means (or did you just hear that comment from a reporter off Fox News?) How exactly did the constitution prevent Obama from doing what he wanted to do?
    The sad part is Phil posts actual STATISTICS/CHARTS/FACTS showing stuff like federal spending under Obama and how if you remove Global War On Terror costs (which Obama brought onto the books) then there hasn’t been a huge increase in spending….You all spout your angry talking points that have NO BASIS IN REALITY and somehow the masses fall for your spin (recent elections are a nice example). It’s pretty hard to be hard not to have a dim view of our planet’s future….

  281. Matt – 65 and a sunny day in Pharm’s hood on the left coast…..

  282. Johnson Rice Starts Hercules Offshore (HERO) at Overweight  Johnson Rice initiates coverage on Hercules Offshore (NASDAQ: HERO) with a Overweight.

    The stock is up 2.8% to $2.77 today

  283. Phil:
    Let me know your thoughts on HHC.

  284.  Phil -
    What’s the investment play on sovereign default? 
    I think that we should start a list of investment ideas based on this. 
    Hedging for when the sh*t finally hits the fan.
    Has anyone gone through "This Time is Different" and pulled out good investment ideas – I read a good part of it but had a hard time drawing any investment ideas from it. Don’t buy sovereign debt – anyone else? 

  285. Thanks 1020~~~~~~~~~~~~~
    There was an article in the WashingtonPost a couple days ago, sorry no link, on how the new class of freshmen Congressmen are following right in the footsteps of the ones they will replace.  They are allowing fundraising events to be thrown in their honor to repay the debts their campaigns have occurred getting them to Washington.  Problem is, the fundraisers are organized and attended by lobbyists.  All they do is show up, glad hand and accept the checks.  Until the lobbyists need something down the road.  They are being bought and paid for before they are even seated in Congress.
    This is the fundamental flaw in our political system.  Money and the election process.  What we need is a new constitutional ammendment completely gutting our election process and campaign finance rules.  We need a do over in the Constitution to protect us from human nature’s wrath of greed.  Our system has been completely corrupted.  The Supreme Court made that very clear.  I think there could be a good chance of a well written ammendment passing.  It is our only hope.  Who will make this their cause?

  286. incurred

  287. Holy SH!T, unless Im reading it wrong OREX GOT APPROVED!?

  288. NFLX dropping like a rock after hours.

  289. Netflix announced the appointment of company finance veteran

    David Wells as its CFO to succeed outgoing CFO

    Barry McCarthy, who has expressed a desire to pursue broader executive opportunities outside the company. ?The change is effective December 10.

  290. Jromeha:  read your posts and read mine, then tell you who is the angry one; you’re points are laughable.  I support a huge decrease in military spending, but you’re too busy projecting your anger that you don’t really want to consider what other people think. 

  291. Is there more to the NFLX story.  Why would the stock drop if CFO departure was expected?

  292. hi Phil : Back in July ,you suggested buy GE Jan .$14 C and sell Jan. $16 C paired with sale of Jan. $15 puts for net $.06 on $2 spread. GE now at $17.03 and  position is now net $1.71 Hold till expiration or do you have a suggested roll ? Thank you

  293. OMG…the FDA is Congress wrapped into one…….that is not approval, that is just a panel saying ok.  FDA does not always follow the panel.  Look at DNDN, ITMN.  I will change my name to Farmboy if it does get approved (.  This is a total train wreck.  Their data was not as good as ARNA on the weight loss front….OMG, omg…oh my!

  294. Matt:  you’re right on; the constitution needs an amendment to get special interest and their money out of washington; the framers desired a weak federal government and strong states, that concept went out the window after the civil war and even more so after the depressoin.

  295. VVUS up

  296. Hum – you didnt answer my question, Im not the one who stated " the constitution got in the way of the PResident’s goals." Maybe you should stop writing stuff that comes from your rectal databank…. Im not debating the fact that Im angry, but my point was Republicants/tea baggers feed off anger and are good at making broad statements like "reduce big Gov’t" etc to appeal to voters but those statements have no substance. Just like our debate, Im asking you to provide me SUBSTANCE ie PROOF of how the constitution has foiled Obama’s plans and you respond with "you’re the angry one"… 

  297. NFLX CFO steps down!

  298. Dollar with a huge move today on very little volume.  Wiped out two days of hard fought losses for the buckie.  This on a day that we agree to drive this country even deeper in debt to maintain the status quo and throw in some convoluted payroll tax breaks.  It boggles my mind.   They are saying this is stimulative.  A 2% social security payroll tax break?  I don’t even know how that works-    As long as you’re willing to accept that down is up and up is down in this market you’ll do just fine~

  299. hanna5
    Thank you I appreciate your respose to the drop of the DOW thanks

  300. Jromeha:  we’ll lets start with the illegal war in Afghanistan; continue with a health care bill weakly relying on the commerce clause, obama’s own words stating that the constitution is flawed preventing social justice and redistribution of wealth
    and continuing with arbitrary immigration opinions

  301. Great but depressing article tracking the BDI (what’s really happening) to various other indicators and a good summary on the global economy and creeping hyperinflation.  


    This interview was Emailed to me:  


    Michael Campbell: What are the implications of solving a huge debt problem by taking on more debt?
    Greg Weldon: Its more than Ireland or Greece when you think that 25 out of 27 EU nations are in violation of rules on either debts or deficit relative to their GDP. We’ve been saying for a long time that for Europe to to bail out Europe is ridiculous. To think that the US is going to commit a trillion dollars to any foreign bail outs is even more ludicrous. Really the spark in the stock markets around the world was that comment from an unnamed US official that the United States promised to buoy up the International Monetary Fund, with another trillion dollars.
    The European Central Bank has been in a program to buy debt, but they sterilized that money they put in the system by withdrawing it at the back end. So they are not even really playing ball to begin with to the degree that the Fed has in the US. Having said that, the European Central Bank is expanding their balance sheet again. The Bank of Japan balance sheet just hit a new interim high. The US bought a lot of bonds and unfortunately they’ve had mortgage roll ups so they haven’t yet in net expanded their balance sheet to new heights, but they’re in the process of doing it. So when you have the three major central banks in the world expanding their balance sheets, that does provide some underpinning in terms of liquidity. To think that that’s a solution to these long term problems is absolutely ludicrous. 
    Michael: In your view then Greg, it’s not a matter of if we have a day of reckoning, it’s just when?
    Greg: There is no way out. This is the cycle that you’re caught in and you can never underestimate the ability of monetary officials around the world to get creative. This is a bubble that goes back to the US removing the dollar from the gold standard. What we’ve entered into is an absolute the day of reckoning. But it’s not here yet because we’re going to keep going through these vacillations where they pump it up and dump until they can’t do it anymore. The second you pull the rag out from under the market in terms of support either fiscally or monetarily, it’s a nightmare waiting to happen. 
    So they have boxed themselves into a corner where pump it up is the only way out, yet inevitably it is doomed to fail. Timing that failure is what is just so difficult and it becomes  increasingly difficult as these vacillations become more and more extreme. You might liken it to an EKG where you have a nice little pattern of up and down, up and down, up and down then in the ’97, ’98 crisis that pattern became a little more wild, in 2000, 2001 more wild, and 2007, we were into the heart attack stage. 


  302. NFLX taking a nice dive after hours.  CFO departs suddenly – that’s never good!  I guess maybe those numbers are closer to my estimates than theirs (and other idiot analysts).  

    TXN guided down too!  

  303. Phil, 
    Interesting, and ominous interview… but who are these guys?

  304.  Interesting and ominous -
    Does hyper-inflation mean we should be buying stocks? It’s not necessarily bad for stocks, but coupled with no demand.
    I cannot figure out what to do except buy gold which I also think is a giant ponzi scheme – so it seems like pick your ponzi of choice.

  305. Pulled the trigger too soon on those NFLX puts for a 20% profit… (I had only the 5 initial bought at 1.75) they will surely be in the $4-5 range tommorrow! Oh well…

  306. Ahhhhhhhhhhhhhhhh – Run away!!!!!

    chart of the day, jobs, dec 2010

  307. Who are they/Amatta – I don’t know.  People send me all kinds of stuff and this one had a broken link but the conversation was intelligent.  

    On NFLX, I mentioned the other day how we have to scale out of positions in the 1050P as well as in because the market is so thinly traded that our entries and exits are attracting Bot attention.     Sometimes that’s to our advantage and sometimes it’s not but we seem to be holding stocks up when we go short on them.  They break eventually but they seem to try real hard to shake us out first.  

    Anyway, don’t worry about it as 20% is GOOD!  These are week trades.  Make 20% 52 times a year and you’ll be getting somewhere, even if you’re just trading small amounts, right?  

    Meanwhile, I would go to Las Vegas just to watch a steel cage match between Humvee and Jromeha!  Good stuff guys, you boys have fun with the politics – I’m busy studying this week!   8-)

  308. Irish guys are now quoting poetry at each other – I love it!  

  309. I’m holding on to 9 Dec NFLX 165 puts like my life depends on it. This could be 125 by expiration.

  310.  Las Vegas – from the HRH – IMHO not the best rates:

    Day of week












    paradise tower rate




    HRH tower rate





    Rates do not include 12% room tax and a daily resort fee of $15.00 per room. (resort fee includes Shuttle Bus ride to Fashion Show Mall. Leaves daily from the main Casino doors every hour on the hour from 10am till 6pm, local and long distance calls in the 48 contiguous states, daily use of the Rock Spa GYM ( registered guests only) ** Reliquary is not included**).

    2011 Catering Minimums starting @:                  Per Person
    Continental Breakfast:                                              $19.00++
    Full Buffet Breakfast:                                                $32.00++
    Plated Lunch:                                                             $30.00++
    Buffet Lunch:                                                             $36.00++
    Plated Dinner:                                                            $48.00++
    Buffet Dinner:                                                             $60.00++
    Reception (2hr Food Only)                                      $65.00++ (approx)
    Reception (2hr Food w/ Bar)                                    $85.00++ (approx)


  311.  Sorry – so ugly on that post

  312.  was the CEO leaving NFLX expected?

  313. I believe it was unexpected – decided within last few weeks is what msm says. Also, he sold 100000 shares between $200 and $201. Nice timing!

  314. I added to my JAN NFLX puts when the stock popped on the upgrade by JP Morgan.  I’m guessing they were to sell most of their position in NFLX prior to this announcement.

  315. @Gel1
    "….We are creating a permanent welfare state, by extending unemployment benefits indefinitely…"
    As much as I deplore, particularly the spoiled young, not working for a living, I have maintained for years that Kurt Vonnegut nailed it in, "Player Piano". 
    There are not enough jobs in the World being created to occupy the time of the 6 billion growing to 7 billion people on the planet and among those, the 75% that are able to.
    The ruling elite have likely donoe their homework, have known this for many years, and have been creating jobs that aren’t really required--Tax accountants, lawyers, construction of all types that is repetitive, never-ending like paving highways with inferior tarmac,  union featherbeds-- you name it.   The day has arrived that unemployment compensation is merely another word for charity and if the riots of the ’60s, where real people died in the streets , is not to be repeated, a new paradigm is being invented as we sit here and moan about this or that welfare program. But the government really has no other choice but to create more "make-work" jobs.
    So, without a major pandemic that wipes out a billion or more people, or a Mao who recognized the fact that too many people were his biggest problem, getting money into the hands of the billion people who are no longer required in the work force is going to be the dynamic moving forward. Look for it. No point in getting upset about it. There is really is other way.
    But the governors just can’t come right out and say it: "Too many people, folks".  They would be hounded to death.

  316.  Going long gold against the euro -
    I once heard Dennis Gartman say that he wanted to be long gold against the Euro -
    Gel or other currency traders – how would you put this trade on?

  317. Samz /Gartman --
    He says that a lot.  Long gold against this or that currency.  He is vague about the details.
    After reading a lot of what he’s written, I believe he simply goes long a gold contract (say, 100 oz) and used the Forex market on the other side (short EUR/USD the approximate amount of the futures contract), and that’s about it.  I don’t think he’s using the currency futures contract , because of the inflexible size (100K).

  318. jromeha:  feel your pain
    As someone who thought Obama had the courage to talk to U.S like grownups I am disappointed, to put it mildly.  What I don’t get is when people who didn’t vote for him hate him even when he caves and gives them what they want.  I’m mad because he is not standing up for what he thinks is right.  Many treat politics like football or baseball, they root for their team and against the other regardless of which team is the more skilled.  Unfortunately the consequences in politics affect even those of us who don’t want to pick a team, we just want decent government.  cheers

  319. flip – too bad birth control gets such a bad rap. Too bad conservatives are such (expletive deleted) about sex and birth control in general.
    Too bad.

  320. escohen5/all

    Did you get any rates from hotels? You can see what I got from the HRH – and awaiting info from mandalay. Are the HRH rates in everyone’s budget?

  321. China is gonna tighten, be careful on gold.

  322. Hartman/gold short euro -
    Esochen –
    Thanks. I just realized that if you have a large hedge fund you probably just get the current spot price of gold / or futures contract vs whatever currency you want -
    You could either do it through your broker or on the European exchanges

    I guess the question the is really can you replicate this by shorting euro vs dollar and going long gold. I guess so.

  323.  tchayipov: Am I understanding that the strategy is buying the near term weekly strangle or a straddle and selling the following weeks strangle one strike further out?  TIA

  324. jel1
    Once again I agree with you, too many people sums it up. That is why I said to corps people are disposable. I still get a disconnect with your choices. You are in favor of a party that wants to populate, the religious right, ban abortion, birth control, and what then do we do with all the unneeded people. Neither my 2 sisters or I had any children, we did our part. I will build you a soapboax to spread the word out of your choice of exotic wood.

  325.  deano – LVS/HRH rates are good with me. The only question I have is regarding the catering. Is the food going to be part of the package or are we free to eat where we like. I don’t want to be difficult but I am particular about my food (vegan). I am ok with however it works out. I will just manage the food part on my own.
    Thank you and escohen5 for doing this.

  326. Great discussion on Charlie Rose tonight

  327.  C (Citicorp) traded  3.267 BILLION shares today.  1/2 of all volume today.
    My, those robots were busy.  Good thing they are there to provide liquidity.

  328.  Jroomeehahaha ….  thanks for pointing that out; completely unintentional.

  329.  rainman
    Away most of the day… day job requirement.  Your comment re TBT (ha) – "naked girlfriends are good"… maybe, but this one has broken many hearts, so I am approaching with care. This one cost me a lot of money in the past… now I am more careful, and plan to beat the bitch! ( many of think the same way ).

  330.  Phil
    Nice plan for FXY…. this one needs plenty of rope to hang itself – 2012 is a good date, and in the meantime selling calls is a nifty plan, that as you say, will pay for the rope!

  331.  Cap
    After reading your posts, I have to say " You are surely grounded in common sense" and thank goodness I have a mentor I respect.

  332. Hum – let’s start with the person who got us involved in Afghanistan BUSH!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Im not AS mad about that one b/c our country got kicked in the face and we needed to kick some butt after 9/11.  However, facts are facts and it was still Bush who got us involved so what exactly are you mad about Afghanistan? That we are still involved? Unless Im mistaken I do recall you saying that you are a Dr so Im not going to debate you on the Health Care issue, Im sure you know more than me. As far as the youtube clip, lots of politicians say lots of things, cant take everything at face value…. You’re article from "human events’ is crap. Besides the fact that it isnt a legit source, there is a problem with Arizona’s law. Being able to stop someone and demanding to see documents b/c they’re hispanic is not something I would agree with…. Also, in general every president for the past 30+ years has been bad on immigration so that point is weak.
    Phil – hahahaha I DO have studying but what can I say, Im addicted to this site! As for the cage match, I think it should be more like a "king of the ring" throw Cap into the mix as well :) ….
    Pharm – I know you said you’re through with ARNA but I bought a position when it was at 1.40 with the intention of selling calls against it….Would you sell tomorrow or would you hold further? I think they have some important information from another study coming at the end of Jan (?) Either way, at 1.58 now just buying the stock and selling monthly calls against it seems like it can make 6%+ a month…
    Red – good point, I dont understand that either.

  333.  NFLX – JP Morgan …. its a good thing that Spitzer cleaned up Wall Street, isn’t it ?
    FWIW, I don’t think NFLX will be taken out and shot over this … I see 170 as an extended near term downside; not even sure it will break 180 tomorrow (sad to say).
    But Phil is correct, CFO leaving is usually not a good sign.   In NFLX case, the guy just stepped in like $20 M or so and maybe wasn’t even up to the job; so its see ya later boyz !

  334. Gel/Cap – how old are you guys? From your posts I and vast work experience I was picturing someone in their 40s-50s. From Cap’s immature antics I was picturing an angry 30-something…. So shouldnt Cap be YOUR protege Gel ?

  335. Nicha

    Rates do not include food, however we get the meeting room for free with a commitment to spend 2500 on f&b. I have asked them to waive the AV charge of $750. the economy out there can’t be too bad if they won’t negotiate!

  336.  J-ROME-HA … I am going to let you and Humvee duke it out in a steel cage match.  What fun !
    As for me, Phil and I are going to engage in cartoon debates w/ those bears (just buy the f-in dip !)

  337.  Pharm … based on your comments re: OREX / VVUS, let us know if we should be shorting either one into the excitement tomorrow.

  338.  J-ROME-HA …  I just play angry on TV.

  339. I’m not going into the steel cage unless I get to wear my black latex suit ….lol

  340. Cap

    Not a scientist but did more reading on VVUS & ARNA than I should have – enough to convince me that the Process is far too influenced by who has the coin. ARNA only had the backing of a Japanese Pharma, I think (but don’t know – Pharm if you can help?) that VVUS likely has some bigger backers with more influence.

  341. Just a blast from the past lurking in.  You guys are nuts to expose some of these debates to alcohol in Vegas.  However, it would be funny to see some youtube videos of the cage matches.  Some things/people just don’t mix.    Good luck with that and I hope you can keep it civil.

  342. SSdirk, where have you been?  You and Judahbenhur were the #2 and # 3 top TZA/TNA   JRW students from this spring

  343. ssdirk      What have you been up to?  Miss reading your posts. 

  344. Jromeha- I don’t recall any president ever stating that the constitution is fundamentally flawed--that would normally be a non starter for a run at the presidency, and now he has sworn to defend it--ironic
    Foreign Policy:  I think we spend way too much money/blood on projecting our power; we probably only need 1/3 of our current expenditures for defense, the rest is for offense.   We can’t afford it and it ultimately will fail.  My role model for foreign policy mastery is the Byzantine Empire, the longest lasting empire in world history.  They were the eastern part of the Roman empire and survived until over run by the Ottoman Republic.   They had a strong military but it was used as a last resort; their main strategy was to create unrest and turmoil for their competitors and enemies through clandestine maneuvering, diplomacy and subterfuge. 

  345.  Deano/Vegas --
    The HRH is fine with me.  I didn’t get any rates, other than from the Wynn, which appears to be out of the running. Caesar’s said they have no meeting space, so that’s out (yeah, I asked them if that meant no meeting space ever, or just no meeting space available for that weekend, but no response at all).
    I’ve never stayed at the HRH, but I’ve been there for shows.  Seems like a fun place.

  346. Judah and I broke away from the daily PSW board when the JRW daytrading got way out of hand.  We formed a great team together and have written our own IWM indicators and TOS scripts to trade TZA/TNA.  We have been at it now for about 6 or 7 months.  In fact, we purchased 10 years worth of IWM data and wrote code to backtest our system.  The results are insanely good.  I only have 7 days left on my subscription and I am considering giving it up.  I really appreciate all of the fine folks who I have learned from.  Thanks Phil for providing a great service and unbelievable options insight.  And thanks JRW for turning Judah and I on to IWM.

  347. Hum – I’d rather them say it in town hall meetings than act as though the constitution is fundamentally flawed and do whatever they want (Bush). I agree that we have too large of a military but the military industrial complex ranks right up there with big oil corporations in terms of influence. Cutting the military is hard and no president wants to be seen as weak when it comes to defense.
    Working in DoD Acquisition I’m painfully aware of all the Gov’t waste, it’s a broken system… THe worst part is our contracts. In the past we used Cost-plus contracts, which encouraged contractors to run up their supposed "costs" and rape the Gov’t that way….Now we have moved to an emphasis on Firm Fixed price contracts. Although that sounds good, it actually is much worse. Inevitably, on these billion $ contracts the DoD needs something changed after the contracts have been agreed upon and the contractor has started working… By changing one item in the contract it opens all items in the contract up for rebidding. Naturally, EVERY ITEM/PROCESS in the contract now suddenly costs more/takes longer to complete and they jack their rates up bigtime. And with the consolidation of the defense industry to a handful of companies (from dozens in the 80s) the Gov’t doesnt have many options….
    PS I know the Byzantine Empire’s history…Heck, even got mugged not far from Hagia Sophia in Constantinople!  

  348. A cage match (with PPV for the rest of the members) might get a Vegas discount!

  349. To anybody interested in copper:
    It seems like I missed one of the best chat room day here at Phil’s in a long time.   340+ posts.  well I had lunch with an "official" at Encore Wire….WIRE is the symbol.  Copper is 75% of their raw material and they are scared to death that copper could be headed to $6.00/lb and are making contingency plans for it as they firmly believe it could happen. I think that it will follow gold up.    Encore’s competition for copper is China, but the Chinese are slowing their purchases at todays price of $4.00 , not because of lack of demand , but because of the upcoming Chinese new year,since they don’t want a lot of material to arrive right before or during the new year holiday.  It takes about 6-8 weeks for ship to get there ,unload ,and transfer by truck to the manufacturer.  Look for Chinese demand to go up right after Jan 1, combined with the JP Morgan inventory accumulation , production problems in South America, inflation and the weakening dollar . and you have copper continuing to  make new highs first quarter of next year.  The "official" sees copper easily heading to $5 bucks maybe $6 by late 2012

  350. hahaha doro – Im sorry, I think I might have to forfeit…. Black latex scares me….All I can picture in my mind is ‘the gimp’ from Pulp Fiction! lol

  351.  @stockbern,
    You say ‘not because of lack of demand’ for copper. Where do you see this demand? New construction has slowed to a crawl here. China is trying to slow down its real estate. Besides construction and infrastructure, where else is copper used? How much growth does Encore see in its business in the coming year? Appreciate your insight. Thanks.

  352. Stock – Im interested – thanks for the post…

  353. Chinese importers that  I know (ie US exporters of scrap) have told me shipments  to China  have indeed slowed as the price of copper went from $3.00 toward $4.00 and that there has been a draw down of copper stocks of raw material, and they will eventually have to go back in the market to replace the depleted inventory. Yes ,praizada, real estate construction is slow , but the government is still investing in infrastructure and copper is used in the growing domestic Chinese  consumer market  for  automobiles , machinery, aircraft and a multitude of other things that use copper.  Encore wouldn’t disclose growth estimates, but they do actually make more money with higher copper because of expanded margins but they are worried that higher finished goods prices would would eventually kill demand or encourage movement to some other type competing material.  Dont get me wrong , its also  about growing wouldwide demand coupled with a slower growing production controlled by even fewer big coroprations, plus the JP Morgan. thing.   Also any prudent corporation has to make plans for the unknown.  Phil talkes about commodity inflation a lot and had a very good essay about it a few weeks ago.

  354. VVUS/ARNA/OREX – well, we were in all of them in some shape and form.  We made bunches, we lost bunches.  I am fuming (does the FDA care? No!).  ARNA’s drug causes cancer in rats, VVUS causes increased heart rate, and Orex’s efficacy is the same as ARNA and has an increased heart rate JUST LIKE VVUS.  OMG, this is unreal….here is the FDA briefing documents:

    Contrave raises the heart rate by a statistically significant amount at week 56. The FDA notes on page 74/258 that the heart rate at week 56 was “statistically significant difference from placebo was +1.4 bpm.”

    I really don’t get it.  OREX does not have 2 yrs safety data, although both drugs (naltrexone and buspirone have been around for years.  I think ARNA has a huge way forward now, and may have to get back in the stock.  VVUS does as well now, as they can argue against this panel.  I am going to short OREX when it stops going up for the FDA date of Jan 31, so that is my plan.  I would hold ARNA and sell calls and puts against.  There is no other data coming out from ARNA, as their DM study is done and it was no better than previous.

    Any docs out there work in the pulmonary/allergy/GI?  Looking at Allergic Bronchopulmonary Aspergillosis and wanted to get some numbers, etc. 

    I am also interested in Eosinophilic gastroenteritis as well form any allergists/GI specialists.

    email me at pharmboy123 at gmail and I can explain.



  355. Flip/pandemic – Have you been taking your meds?
    Cap/life’s lessons #127 – Taunting is never cool, don’t be a d*ck……
    Good Night.

  356. Obama is not a leftist according to Colbert!

  357. redlog/ lambada
    yes you got it

  358. "Beware Gushing Crude Forecasts" – WSJ/Heard on the Street
    "For one thing, there is more of the black stuff lying around. U.S. commercial crude-oil inventories covered 25.4 days of demand as of Nov. 26, compared with 19.5 days in December 2007. Stocks for the industrialized world as a whole are higher, too.
    There is also more spare capacity available. U.S. refinery utilization is running at about 84%, compared with almost 89% three years ago.
    Meanwhile, the Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries’ spare crude-output capacity is 6.1 million barrels a day, or 7% of global demand, according to the latest International Energy Agency report. The buffer was just 2.8 million barrels, or 3.2%, in December 2007. And U.S. energy officials aren’t adding further pressure by putting sought-after light, sweet crude into the Strategic Petroleum Reserve, as they were in the first half of 2008."

  359. Cramer told his viewers last night to sell half of their NFLX stock.  That should be good for a nice dump.