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Monday Market Movement – Do or Dive!

Big week ahead!  

$30Bn in POMO from the Fed runs headlong into earnings reports from 15 of the 30 Dow components along with MoMo darlings like VMW (tonight), BLK (tomorrow morning), POT (Thursday morning) and AMZN (Thursday night).  I already sent out an Alert to Members this morning outlining our strategy and Stock World Weekly did it's usual amazing job of wrapping up last week's action and laying out the week ahead so I won't be too redundant here.  The key driver for the markets continues to be the dollar, which is making more sense now as it saved the Dow and the S&P last week (50% of revenues come from overseas) but not the Russell (only 10% of revs from overseas) or the Nasdaq (30%).   

The Dollar was relentlessly driven down last week, bottoming out at 78 on Friday evening, back to November lows, where they ditched the Dollar all the way down to 75.63 in early November before it broke back up and ran to 81.44 on the last day of the month.  Now we're back down 4.2% from the Thanksgiving highs for the Dollar and the Dow and S&P are up 8%, which is our usual 2:1 correlation yet Uncle Rupert's Journal would have you believe that the Dollar no longer matters and that this rally is about (please sit down, PSW cannot be responsible for any beverages you are about to spit on your keyboad) – wait for it – Fundamentals!  

According to the Journal:  In recent weeks, for example, moves in stocks and the U.S. dollar have had little connection—a breakdown of the trend during much of 2010, when they were virtual mirror images of each other. Stocks were considered risky and would rise when investors were feeling confident, while the dollar was a haven, benefiting when investors were worried.  Commodities, too, have broken away from rising and falling with risk perceptions. Now more old-fashioned concerns, like the weather, are having an impact. Corn, soybean and wheat prices jumped this month after supply estimates were cut due to dry weather in South America and floods in Australia.

Really?  So the run in DBA from 22.85 in June of last year to 31.65 (38.5%) in early November was speculation but the run from 31.65 to 33.50 (6%) since then has been based on solid fundamentals.   ROFL!!!  That logic is so Cramerish that Rupert should be ashamed of himself!  "Sure, we know the first 40% was pure BS but the 6% on top of that – now THAT's fundamentals!"  Are you guy's friggin' insane???  Do you know what fundamentals are?  Fundamentals are CREE falling 25% off their run after posting earnings that in no way, shape or form support a 50% run-up.  The same goes for FCX, BHI, CMG and many other MoMo stocks we have been shooting down like fish in a barrel.  

We will be putting our virtual money where our mouth is this week as we begin our brand new $25,000 Virtual Portfolio.  Except for our DIA shorts, we have wrapped up the $10,000 Virtual Portfolio with over $30,000 virtual dollars (as noted last Friday) and this weekend Option Sage and I updated our primer series on "Smart Virtual Portfolio Management – The $25,000 Virtual Portfolio" with tip on managing a virtual portfolio of that size.  We will NOT be following "smart" virtual portfolio management in the $25KP – that's going to be an aggressive attempt to get us to $100,000 by the year's end but it will be a fun thing to do with a small portion of a larger virtual portfolio!  Since we started with $10K last year, getting to $100K in 18 months would be very nice…  

Meanwhile, we are still very cautious and mainly in cash as we navigate the busier weeks of earnings season and, of course, it's crunch time for the Alpha 2 pattern we've been tracking since January 3rd and, after two weeks, it is SCARY how on track we are.  Elliott over at Stock World Weekly fixed the alignment to match the expiration days and also to match our 11,850 projected top with last year's 10,700 top to give you a better idea of how we're lining up and it is, as I just said, SCARY:  

Do we open flat today and get some bad news mid-day and plunge 200 points?  If so – I don't think I'd be buying that dip!  Surely the Fed can break this patten as we have as much as $9Bn worth of POMO today, $8Bn tomorrow, $6Bn on Thursday and $9Bn on Friday (see SWW for chart) for a whopping $32Bn of fresh money created by the Fed in just 5 days.  As I said to Members this morning – that is like handing everyone in America $100 to spend – you would think that would boost the markets just a little, right?  

Of course, unfortunately, the Fed is not giving the taxpayers the $100 per person of debt they are creating, they are giving it to the their Bankster buddies, who can then lever it 10:1 ($320Bn!) and use that money to buy the things you buy BEFORE you can buy them – like oil and natural gas and copper and cotton and coal and corn.  What's great about this is, by doing this, the Fed still gets you to spend $100 per person but, rather than giving you $100 to spend on something you WANT, they raise the price of things you NEED through inflation and that forces you to pull that extra $100 a week out of your pocket anyway – BRILLIANT!  

As long as you are willing to mindlessly wallow in debt and continue to consume mass quantities without, as ordinary consumers used to do, complaining about prices or altering your spending habits – then this system can continue to extract your wealth at an ever-increasing rate and The Bernank has already strongly affirmed his commitment to keeping the pedal to the metal until either the economy improves or the entire Global economy is plunged into the Abyss – either way his place in history is secured.  

John Mauldin tells us we are reaching the end game as "the unsustainability of the federal government’s fiscal trajectory becomes increasingly clear" and clearly, The Bernank has become a one-trick pony, who can no longer lower rates (are you going to pay people to borrow money?) and is all gas and no brakes in increasing the money supply on a weekly basis.  We can expect the same old, same old this Wednesday, when the Fed issues their first policy statement of 2011 but before that we'll have Case-Shiller Housing Numbers, Consumer Confidence (or lack thereof), FHFA Housing Prices, MBA Mortgages, and December New Home Sales – along with earnings reports from roughly 100 US Corporations including MCD, AXP, TXN, VMW, JNJ, VZ, MMM, DDD, ERICK, BLK, GILD, COP, OXY, ABT and BA – all that before Wednesday afternoon – and you wonder why we have our cash on the sidelines!  

Keep in mind it is all about the dollar and the Euro is getting a boost this morning as Trichet says he expects the EU to agree on automatic enforcement of budget rules.  No one is expecting that kind of statement from our own Government as the states are facing a $150Bn budget hole in 2011 and a 25% rise in Wold Food Prices has a UN Meeting of Farm Ministers are warning that speculation and price swings are now threatening International Food Security.  

America may not care about food shortages but we sure do like to drive and gas prices rose another 1% over the weekend to $3.11 according to the latest Lundberg Survey.  This is truly amazing as gasoline storage is up 15% from last year and gasoline consumption is down 10% which, of course (as we all know from basic economics) leads to a 9.1% INCREASE in prices.  

If you were able to keep your breakfast down earlier as we looked at the BS being spouted by the WSJ – you may be strong enough to take a peek at the World Economic Forum's "Global Risk Report" but I don't recommend it as I had trouble sleeping after I read it.  Da Boyz will meet in Davos this week and they like to get that report out early so they can ignore it and concentrate on the more positive sound-bytes for the assembled Global Press because, after all – why would they want to tell you what they are worried about?  

Trichet is trying to keep a lid on EU inflation and that strengthens the Euro relative to the Dollar, which drives up the price of the commodities we buy and that is now evidenced by our record yield curve, which some bond analysts believe will force a downgrade of US Debt (has NEVER happened before) by the ratings agencies, who are now being held accountable for lying about the credit-worthiness of the bonds they rate.  

The S&P has already issued a downgrade warning on Muni Bonds and, last I heard, municipalities were and extension of the National Government so this is kind of like saying "oh YOU'RE fine, it's just your body that has cancer."  There are 25 nations identified by Business Insider and Nomura as already being in critical condition – generally net importers of food with high percentages of household consumption going towards food consumption like Venezuela (32.6% of the household budget is food),  Vietnam (50.7%), India (49.5%), Pakistan (47.6%), Philippines (45.6%), of course Nigeria (already screwed with 73%) and even China (39.8% and a net importer of food).  Have I mentioned what a nice hedge EDZ is?  Ireland couldn't wait and their Government, along with Tunisia and Algeria, fell apart over the weekend.  

Don't worry though, JP Morgan is fighting inflation by giving their top 15 executives a $72M bonus – that should just about cover my Super Bowl order from Whole Foods!  Morgan Stanley gave CEO Jim Gorman $7.4M to tide him over but the award for generosity for the month (so far) goes to Google, who gave outgoing CEO Eric Schmidt $100M in gas money AND he gets to keep his current salary even after giving up half his job!  Nice work if you can get it

Let's make sure we get ours this week and let's be careful out there!  


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  1. @Phil
    I allowed the TZA 17s to be put to me on Friday.  What would be your suggestion to do with the shares?  Sell the calls for a future month 3 mos to a year out, close the trade at 15.70 which is my cost or other?

  2. Latest dollar chart:
    Looks like we found footing around 78… But there are some headwinds to future progress! 

  3. Phil, trading opportunities – Oil seems to be bouncing back and forth between the $88 and $92 line… 

  4. The AP (1/24) reports, "General Motors Co. says it plans to export $900 million in vehicles and parts to China under a two-year agreement signed with its flagship joint venture, Shanghai GM. The agreement was among various trade and investment deals signed in connection with Chinese President Hu Jintao’s state visit to the United States." The AP notes, "Vehicle exports will be worth $500 million and components worth $400 million under the agreement. The amount of GM’s current exports, excluding the deal, was not immediately available."

    GM To Export $900 Million In Vehicles, Parts To China Under Two-Year Agreement.

  5. Good Morning Phil,
    I am bracing myself as I think I am the last one in the 1050p… you recommend a half cover while we determine if the dow is finally moving down? I have taken massive losses on the DIA’s the last 2 months (down $9,700)--The rollup to the 1275′s was atrocious as the volume was minuscule only me and 2 other suckers apparently bought the strike and the spread was ridiculous and kept moving against me after I exited the 119′s at the very bottom of the day! 1.80) 

  6.  Any plays on AAPL and NAK? AAPL looks to be right at support and NAK ready to fall off a cliff?

  7. Here is my new blog site….and many thanks to Ilene for helping with the migration….

  8. oil soft? where do you think the market goes today? POMO going to help?

  9.  Good morning.
    Thx for the congrats on the Pack.
    Tough loss for the Jets; dug too big a hole in 1st half; as NYer, was rooting for them to win.  Steelers are tough.
    Bombing in Moscow Airport today – possible suicide bomber.
    I like COF as my short of the week – unjustified options pump on earnings last Friday; had actually sold off the night before.  But beware; its a HAL 9000 toy; so they are trying to get momo guys to chase, as if they haven’t been burned enough lately on all the momo names.

  10. TOS is down? anyone else?

  11. i’m kinda down. but not too bad, thanks for asking.

  12. TOS is having issues, yes.

  13. Oil just fell off a cliff through the $88 line! Interesting! 

  14. Phil, 
    Now that I didn’t roll the long 190 NFLX puts out and I am naked the 165 Feb ones NFLX continues marching down as we have been expecting. Dont want to chase now, but don’t want to sit idle looking at the short puts gaining every day. Any recommendation?

  15.  Pharmboy/GXDX
    BRAVO and thanx for your advice

  16. GXDX – being bought by NVS.  Thanks for playing.  That is a another nicey nicey….

  17. @stjeanluc
    Re: Secrets
    My guess is the atomic weight of all the critical secrets in the world,— past, aborning, and future— created and effected by the top 400 people in the world is about 10000 X the weight of what is known by everyone else.  Maybe a zillion times.
    What is concealed from most of us is orders of magnitude above what is revealed. 

  18. Well, TOS is really having problems today….

  19. Damn, they keep pumping the DOW!!! The rest are going red…

  20. More Monopoly money…..I mean POMO… doesn’t seem to be having the same impact as it used to.

  21. Just a reminder everyone, the new weekly options are in force for companies such as AAPL! so watch out that you don’t fat finger the wrong option on your screens!!!

  22. Chaps, is there a place i could email you?  I have some rather long winded questions about your SS comment yesterday.  Thanks.
    ravalos/ss adjustment:
    Within the same month, but I don’t decrease the spread and I don’t take money out of my pocket. Let’s say I have AAPL March 270/390 and then AAPL heads down. My delta is becoming positive, abs value of gamma increasing, my margin hit becomes unbalanced towards the put side, and the 270 put is getting closer to the money.
    I can alleviate this by flipping some number of 270 puts to calls – 390 or even higher strike. I can sell a different number of calls than I buy of the 270 puts. I do it so that the trade is a credit (including commission.)

  23. NWBO FYI – Northwest Biotherapeutics (OTC Bulletin Board: NWBO) announced today that the Company is resuming enrollment of additional new patients into its ongoing 240-patient, double blind, randomized, placebo controlled Phase II clinical trial of DCVax® for Glioblastoma multiforme ("GBM") brain cancer.

  24. TZA/Flips – I wouldn’t take a loss.  You can sell the March $17s for $1.50 and that drops your basis to $14.20 with a 20% gain if called away and, if that doesn’t work, then you can sell the July $15s for $1.50 and drop to $12.70 with a 20% profit if called away so, unless you have given up on the idea of the market dipping or have no interest in making 20% and would rather take a 10% loss now – that’s the way I’d go.  

    Dollar/StJ – Thanks, good chart to keep our eye on (the 78.50 line) this week: 

    Your oil range is interesting too but I think the dollar bottoming can send us all the way back to your green line if there’s even a hint of trouble in Europe  this week.  Also note that red line is weakening and might death cross the blue, which could add a lot of downward pressure so I’d say any weakness in oil that bends the red down and you can begin your countdown to a negative outcome (and don’t forget how jammed with fake orders the front-month is at the moment):

    And muni funds are a total disaster but what’s really amazing is how this topic is barely being discussed.  You would think the failure of state and local governments would be news of some sort?  

    GM/QC – Very sneaky language.  They export $450M a year worth of car parts that China has trouble making at home but then China uses them to build $45Bn worth of cars that used to be built in America.  Pay no attention to those job losses behind the curtain!  GM is selling over 1M vehicles in China already, unless those cars are less than $450 each, this deal is not all that impressive…   Of course China, unlike the US, understands that you have to spend money to make money (and local jobs) so they are happy to cherry pick our exports while we kiss their asses for buying from our discount bin.

    Nice Pharm but Ilene will talk to you as Alpha Trends won’t be starting this month and that opens up a spot on the main site. 

    POMO/Jabob – I keep going back to the leaky pool example, it helps until the hole is as big as the hose you are filling with and then it just keeps you steady (about where we are now) but any cut-off of the flow from the Fed or any increase in the size of our hole (and an S&P downgrade of US debt is a whole new hole in our pool) and down we go again.  

    Moscow/Cap – Yes, thanks for noting that, 100 people injured it seems but we rally.   What’s up with that?  COF probably a good idea.  I’d like to hear AXP first but I think they disappoint too.  

    TOS/Bob – Slow but working.  

  25. DEPO – Feb $5/7.5 bull call spread.  Moving up.  Risky for FDA date at months end, but gabapentin is already approved and they are making an extended (CR) version…..

  26.  Is there a problem with comments today? I can’t see any..

  27.  same. I cannot see any comments.

  28. @Phil
    There is no shortage of reportage of local and states’ dire straits, pracitically something about it twice a day and as it should be.
    The problems created by the states are the province of the states.  Belgium can’t form a government  and with 6mm people now has 30,000 people rioting over local control of political districts, north and south. 
    That these may not be talked about as serious issues in the national media and MSM, our local media is dealing with it constantly right down to whether or not to remodel at $19mm our elem schools or build anew at twice that.  
    The battle rages on whether D.C sticks its pinocchio nose in it or not.
    BTW, Cover the WOR sold short at $19.80

  29. Hi Phil Dia mattress do you still leave it naked or half cover this week, is 11900 on off line, thx

  30.  ELAs./StJ – I don’t think they were so secret.  

    Oil down and dollar down (back to 78.2, down 0.4 since 7:15).  Gold not having fun either at $1,343, copper $4.33, silver $27.30, nat gas $4.72.

    NFLX/Amatta – If you are going to short naked puts or calls you MUST be willing to take a position at that strike or at least the strike you will roll to.   The Feb $165 puts are $5.25 and the June $125 puts are $4.40 and the 2012 $90 puts are $5.  If you don’t think NFLX can hold $90 through next Jan then why on earth would you even consider for a second having a short $165 put now as it’s $75 higher than the value you think it might fail???  You MUST have an opinion of your own and, beyond and opinion, you must have the conviction to ride that position out otherwise – DON’T MAKE THOSE BETS!  

    GXDX/Pharm – Great call on that one!  

    Secrets/Flips – You can’t handle the truth.

    AAPL/High – Up 1.4% already, that’s good for all of the Nasdaq’s 0.3% move this morning.  

    Steel/Dave – I’m pretty sure all prices will be rising and that means we can kiss Alpha 2 goodbye and move upwards and onwards in the markets. 

    Comments/Yshen, Obur – Well, if you are not seeing any then you won’t see this but it seems you can see each other.   We have very few Basic Members these days (almost all the old ones took the Premium upgrade) and you can only see your own comments and then my comments when they release and I didn’t do an Alert this morning as I did one at 6am so maybe that’s why it looks sparse.  

  31.  Oil is playable off that $87.50 line as an upside play in the futures.  Tight stops, of course.  

    Local media/Flips – Yeah but I’m talking about what is being spun for the investor class in the WSJ and national media.  I saw 100 debates about the Health Care crisis (ie. getting rid of reform) vs. maybe 2 reports on $150Bn in municipal debt this weekend.  Why is that, because they WANT to shove the burden down to the local level where taxes are flat and not progressive…

    DIA/Gucci – If we don’t get our sell-off this week then we have to flip our stance to much more bullish but I’m not going to do it based on a Monday morning with a weak dollar (78.13 now).  

  32.  Phil: scaling in
    If I decide to start a position by selling puts instead of buy write should my put to qty be the same 1/4 of full position or can I be a little more agressive with the # of puts sold?  TIA

  33. Good Morning Phil Like your comment on NFLX /amatta hold the same play I think just do nothing it will not drop that fast in 3 weeks.
    My question is on GE Hold the stk since Oct at 17.00 as the bottom fell out of GE I sold the Mar 16 call for 1.30 just to recup my 17.00 Now it came out of the woods to 19,96 and the caller is trading at 4.00 2.70 above my price. I do not think to much about GE and wonder if it will hold the 20$ mark Question is what would you do to possible better the situation?

  34. iBio Inc (IBIO)  vs PLX ??

  35.  Ty for update Phil but something definately changed. I cannot see any answer to my comments in the Incometrader tab, and Friday I was able to. Also comments that I was able to see on Friday on various other threads I can no longer see. I even went to posts older that 1 week and I still cannot sell all the comments in them. I remember being able to read everything after 7 days.

  36. Phil,
    What is your take on the new weekly options on stocks such as AAPL? Do we now have expiry craziness every Friday? Does volatility  go up or down with these new instruments?

  37. Phil, 
    Regarding NFLX, yes I did have conviction in NFLX going down, I asked about rolling to the Feb 190 calls (from the Jans) and selling March 160′s, but your recommendation was to simply stick with the short 165 Puts, that is all, so just asking if I needed to do anything at this point-- need to get a good handle of when I need to start making moves for rolls (I didn’t think now was a good moment being $15 OTM but I have messed up some other rolls so I just want to be cautious and make sure I don’t blow it. 

  38. Dollar right at the 78 mark. If we don’t hold, could get ugly! Big moves by the yen, euro and aussie. 

  39.  "..WANT to shove the burden down to the local level where taxes are flat and not progressive."
    This issue is for the local folks to decide, not the Dept of Indoctrination in D.C.  
    IF those who have to pay the progressive taxes and/0r don’t want to borrow it to pay the taxes later, don’t want to fork over the $37 million to build anew but fix ‘em up for half that, what right is it of someone in Taxachusetts (the late Kennedy) and New York (rodham-clinton) to tell them they must?  Then, if you can pass it, let’s just get rid of states’ rights once and for all.
    When you really get into the specifics at the street level, program by programm, the liberal aspirations of  ’free’ this or that disppear (or not). As it should be.

  40. robert/ss:
    I’m here, so you can ask here if you don’t think it will pollute the board :)

  41. IBIO/abel – I have been watching them for a while, but with no options to use as a hedge, it is hard to jump on something that could move 50% over night.  The technology is sound, but is it is really easier than PLX?  A bioreactor is easy to set up, and I do not know the efficiency of a plant vs a ‘reactor’, so until one can prove the costs are competitive, I will stick with PLX.  Further, PLX is awaiting approval…..IBIO is too far removed.  Good one to watch though….

  42. Morning Phil and all
    I saw the PSW wiki and I like it.  any chance you could get the 25kp in there as a way to see specific comments as I will not be able to stay on top of the comment boards all the time for the first half of the year.  I have a real estate project starting now and contruction will probably begin in a month or two. 

  43. Anyone doing the RUT trade with income trader?  How did it go last week with the fall?

  44. Wow, going for broke on the S&P and DOW.  12K here we come….

  45. Not sure if Phil has a specific EDZ trade on, but I’m entering March 22/25 bull call spread and short March $18 puts for $.05 credit. Since it’s 3X, an emerging market downturn should take EDZ above $22pretty quickly, and you don’t lose anything until EDZ (currently $21.21) falls below $18, and the puts are rollable.
    I think I’d keep this trade going month to month until there’s an emerging market sell-off.

  46.  Phil,
    I see you mentioning  a Premium Upgrade. Is there a page where I can read about that? Also is there a page where I can read and compare various level of membership? (E.g. I saw that there is a Voyeur membership)

  47.  Comments/Obulacu – That does sound wrong, I’ll have Matt check it out asap.  

    Put selling/Red – Well that depends on where you are willing to go next.  Let’s say I want to enter WFR and I sell July $12 puts for $1.55 for net $10.45 entry.  That is in lieu of buying it for $11.55 and selling the July $11 puts and calls for $2.65 net $8.90/9.95 and your max profit there is $2.10 on 1x vs $1.55 on 1x on the short puts.  Since your risk is higher and your payoff needs another $1 – there’s a case where I’d rather do the buy/write!  Now, would we want to sell the $11 puts?  Those are only $1.05 and now our put-to price is net $9.95  on 1x so, again, if I want to have a 1x entry instead of a 2x entry, then I may go with the short puts but, otherwise, there’s no advantage.  The real advantage is in making those 1x commitments, which keeps you with more cash and margin and more flexible and – if all the stocks you sell puts on are stocks you REALLY want to buy at the net – then you will end up putting more money into the ones that go on sale and the rest will cash you out ahead of your next fishing expedition.  For the most part, I’ll call a naked short put if I am worried about holding the strike (but happy to DD below it) vs. a buy/write, where I would be surprised if we hit out net put-to price on 2x.  

    NFLX/Yodi – I don’t like NFLX at all but I do think they’ll show good net additions this Q with the new lower prices plus the price increase on the current members (who probably didn’t even notice $1 per month).  I think the long-term model is a failure but that won’t stop them from calling a victory here unless they REALLY screwed up (maybe in how much they laid out for the rights to things but I’m sure they are calling it an asset).  

    GE/Yodi – Well, if you don’t like them you are trying your hands behind your back as the right thing to do is roll the March $16 calls ($4) to the Jan $17.50 calls and $20 puts at $5.50 as that drops you to net $12/16 and effectively pays you a 32% dividend today for 2011 plus whatever GE pays out generically.  If you don’t want that, then you don’t want to be in GE at all and you should just let them go.  

    AAPL/High – Didn’t they have weekly options before?  I don’t know, I lose track but we LOVE weeklies!  In theory, it should lower volatility as every Friday there is incentive to pin.  What happens in practice is anyone’s guess but huge interest already in strikes going both ways.  You can buy 3 March $345 (delta $1.20) calls for $8.80 ($2,640) and sell 4 weekly $335s (delta $1.32) for $2.85 ($1,140) and just get away with two sales like that and you have a free look into March.  If not, then you have to have cash to DD and roll etc but if you 3 spreads like this and play each one until it’s free and then add another spread and play it until it’s free – you can end up with a lot a free action!

    NFLX/Amatta – As I was saying, the idea of selling the naked Feb $165 puts is that we don’t think they will fail $90 by 2012 or, if they do, that we actually begin to like them at that price.  So, on a $1.49 dip today with 341 days to go in 2011 and the stock 100% above $90 – I’d have to say watching it for another day or two before getting all excited might be the way to go.  If you want a rule of thumb – start being concerned about a short caller or putter when they go 50% in the money (1/2 intrinsic, 1/2 extrinsic).  

    Wow, nothing like a terrorist attack at a major international airport to get the markets going on a Monday, eh?  

  48. Why is the market flying today?

  49. NKE  Any opinion on med to long term?.  I’ve had a spread for a while, but my callers have all expired and I’m wondering if I should just sell my longs (+2 Apr 80, + 1 Jan 12 80) and call it a day.  The Aprils especially are a bit near-term for my taste and I don’t really and a one contract position.   Suggestions?

  50. williex
    Closed out the call side for .05 for $600 gain in 5 days on the 15 contract condor. Put side in good shape .66 above the short put strike.

  51. Phil,
    Re a vehicle for an expected rise in int rates, would you still favor the Jan 35/40 TBT sprd (with an optional  sale of TBT 35 puts) with TBT stil in the 36-40 range? Would you wait for tBT to break 40 or conversely wait for a sell-off in TBT to put the position on at better prices? Timing remains the elusive issue.  
    Thanks as always

  52. Forgot to ask…do you think this rally continues or fades today?

  53. Phil
    Good morning!
    Thank you for the education in options and buying stocks at 20% discount.
    Regarding AAPL, I have a relatively large position to protect for the next 12 months.
    I cannot sell because of the short term capital gains tax
    I will be happy with a 15% return over 1 year.
    With that premise, what do you think of KEEPING THE STOCK,
    buy Jan 2012 $330 P at $39
    Sell Jan 2012 $280 P at $18
    Sell Jan 2012 $400 C at $19
    That gives me $50 in downside protection in case of loss of their CEO (whom I really love) and $70 of upside capped in one year.
    The strategy costs me $2.

  54.  DIA $117.75 puts should give good bang for the buck at $1.06. If I had the new $25KP up and running I’d go for 10 with a DD at .86 and a stop at .76 for a $400 risk on the first trade.  

    $25KP/Willie – It will be under the Portfolio tab, tracked like the 1050P was, with the collected comments from chat pasted into it once in a while.  I am going to be consistent in calling it the $25KP so you can CTRL-F it in a post whenever you want to see if we did something during the day.  

    EDZ/Chaps – That’s a good one.

    Upgrate/Obur – Check with Greg.  You can check membership types here but that will be updated maybe next weekend.   To include Voyeur and Stock World Weekly options.  

    NKE/Eph – I’d take it and run as they may end up having a hard time passing through input cost inflation in what is some very discretionary spending.  Even MCD wasn’t stellar today.  

    McDonald’s (MCD): Q4 EPS of $1.16 in-line. Revenue of $6.21B (+4% Y/Y) in-line. Shares +0.2% premarket. (PR)

  55. WOW 11,950  to the moon Alice,….to the moon.

  56. Phil, what do you think of the following logic.  Since X had such a big pull back you would expect NUE to have some kind of a pull back as well.  However NUE has just been flatlining.  So how about going short NUE with a little chip shot, the FEB 43 puts for $.58.  They were trading at 37 on December first then ran all the way up to 45 and have flat lined.

  57. Phil – You would think the Mosckva attack would be a bigger deal but they do have 3 or 4 airports out there. Also their airports are all the size of our podunk airports in Oklahoma City and Omaha or smaller…. What do you think of shorting FXE here? I was thinking of a put spread but not sure which one. I was just thinking that if we finally get a correction here and/or if another country in Europe has problems than the Euro would crash again…

  58. One can see where the bears are increasing their holdings (from Slope).

  59. Phil,
    What is your opinion about fslr puts after this GS upgrade ??

  60. Phil, 
    I had asked about NAK and AAPL, guess to late for AAPL but any play on NAK? Especially after your comment about COF?

  61.  FRO making 52-week lows in our "booming" economy.  BDI a disaster too – below 2009 crash lows and on the way to 2008!  

    TBT/8800 – Well, as you say, it’s all in the timing but Jan is far away and that’s a conservative target so I’d go for that and keep a reserve with the intention of buying 2013 $45s for $8 and rolling the callers to 2x the 2012 $50s (now $1.85) or whatever if things go well.  That would put your long call $15 in the money to the callers before being called away and still time to roll 1x of the caller to a 2013 vertical.  

    Rally/Jabob – I think the investor takeaway from the weekend is that inflation is the theme of 2011 so EVERYTHING is cheap because everything will be more expensive next year.  If companies maintain margins and we have 10% inflation then earnings go up 10% and the stock is "undervalued".  MCD says they are confident they can pass through inflation onto the consumers and that’s a plus for the markets, even though they are the low man on the pricing totem pole.  

    AAPL/Maya – That’s a very good way to protect yourself through the tax event, nice job!

    AAPL now up 2.4% on the day, good for 0.5% on the Nas, which is now up 0.9%.

    Oil still 87.82.  Dollar 78.06.

    NUE/Craig – I like that logic but don’t overdo it as they are comping to a loss last year so it won’t take much for them to beat.  

    FXE/Jrom – There’s a huge short squeeze on the Euro as EVERYBODY was betting them to go lower at $1.30.  I’d wait until you actually see them fail $1.35 or test $1.40 but $1.366 is iffy for a short.  Clearly, whatever it takes to break the buck is being done and if China and Japan have to buy another month’s worth of EU bond auctions for $!00Bn, they can sure afford to.  

    Shorts/Pharm – Looks like they think that discretionary spending is going to go bye-buy in 2011.  

    FSLR/Harip – I only like to short them when they are silly high.  Hopefully the GS upgrade punches them up to $175, where’d I’d really like them for a move back down.  

  62. Phil/POMO
    Has anyone noticed a pattern with the market as it relates to POMO.  It seems to me (I haven’t done a study) that we have been getting these positive FMD on the first day when there are two heavy POMO days in a row. 
    Has anyone done a study on this?

  63. Phil/EDZ – Looking at Cap’s EDZ trade – what would you think about MAR19/22 BC spread with April18 P’s. Margin goes up but its profitable if we stay where we are.

  64.  The Moscow attack, taken by itself, may not have market significance.  But the Tunisian overthrow, and the Algerian demonstrations, taken together, could mean that political tensions in the Middle East and Russia, two of principal oil producing regions in the Eastern Hemisphere, may continue to increase. This may put in a bottom on oil prices for now, inventory be damned.
     Sticking to the Western side of the globe, Suncor and Petrobras, which actually own reserves rather than drilling under contracts with foreign governments, would be my choice as a hedge; if oil breaks $100, already-strained economies may be stopped in their tracks.

  65. At the open: Dow +0.02% to 11875. S&P +0.02% to 1284. Nasdaq +0.17% to 2694.
    Treasurys: 30-year +0.36%. 10-yr +0.13%. 5-yr +0.03%.
    Commodities: Crude -1.43% to $87.84. Gold +0.1% to $1342.40.
    Currencies: Euro -0.3% vs. dollar. Yen -0.2%. Pound -0.38%.

    10:00 AM On the hour: Dow +0.26%. 10-yr +0.04%. Euro +0.12% vs. dollar. Crude -1.44% to $87.83. Gold +0.18% to $1343.40. 

    11:00 AM On the hour: Dow +0.47%. 10-yr +0.18%. Euro +0.38% vs. dollar. Crude -1.13% to $88.10. Gold +0.4% to $1346.40. 

    11:18 AM Quantitative easing is running apace, with the Fed buying another $8.869B in Treasurys of $22.356B offered by dealers. Bonds are holding slight gains: the 30-year yield -0.02 to 4.54%; 10-year -0.02 to 3.39%; 5-year -0.02 to 1.995%. 

    12:00 PM On the hour: Dow +0.68%. 10-yr +0.17%. Euro +0.24% vs. dollar. Crude -1.62% to $87.67. Gold +0.28% to $1344.70. 

    Good news everyone!  Hiring plans are outpacing planned layoffs by the most in twelve years, reports NABE, with 42% of surveyed firms planning to boost their workforce in the next six months and just 7% planning on cuts.

    Obama will call for a "responsible" effort to shrink the deficit but won’t offer detailed plans in his State of the Union address tomorrow.  He will seek to wall off education, infrastructure, science and energy from cuts, while possibly indicating a willingness to lower the corporate income tax rate as part of an overhaul of the corporate tax code. 

    Standard & Poor’s warns that downgrades of municipal bonds could increase this year, while noting that most state and local government borrowers will maintain medium to high investment grade ratings. The S&P report adds that unless bond yields soar, the sky isn’t likely to fall on munis as a whole. 

    U.K. bank stocks take a hit after benign reforms proposed by the head of the Banking Commission are outweighed by Deputy PM Nick Clegg saying there is a "very strong case" for breaking up the banks. Premarket: RBS -3.5%. LYG -3.9%.

    The Treasury’s toxic asset funds have gained 27%, or around $1.1B, since they were created, according to data to be released later today, and all eight toxic asset funds are profitable. 

    The Treasury begins two secondary offerings to sell 465M warrants to buy Citigroup (C) common shares. C -0.5%

    Crude’s slipped today as Saudi Arabia starts hinting at raised production from OPEC to arrest price increases: "I expect prices to remain at the same level as last year," around $80, says oil minister Ali al-Naimi. Demand for heating oil in the U.S. is expected 14.1% above normal due to cold weather, on the other hand. Crude futures -1.5% to $87.78.

    Uh oh!  Chinese companies have begun talks with Canadian National Railway (CNI) to bring some of Saskatchewan’s 1.2 billion barrels of crude oil to China. "It makes good business sense to have more than one customer," says energy and resources minister Bill Boyd. 

    Cocoa prices spike 7% in London after the man claiming Ivory Coast’s Presidency calls for a one month ban on exports. Ivory Coast accounts for about 40% of world cocoa production. Natural gas (GAZ) and cocoa (NIB) are about the only commodity ETFs showing red over the last year. 

    Philips (PHG) posts a Q4 net profit of €465M ($630M) vs. €532M consensus, and sales of €7.392B vs. €7.56B consensus. Sales were hurt by "negative consumer sentiment in developed markets" and continued destocking. Philips expects consumers in mature markets will remain reluctant to spend. Shares -6.8%.  Gosh, what planet are these guys on?  It can’t be ours – everything is so good here, isn’t it?  

    Also on the wrong planet:  RadioShack (RSH) chairman and CEO Julian Day will retire in May, current CFO Jim Gooch will replace him as chief executive, and the board will separate the chairman and CEO roles. The company issues Q4 EPS guidance of $0.50-0.54 vs. $0.67 consensus. Shares -10.1%. (PR)

    Shares of First Solar (FSLR +4.1%) pop after Goldman Sachs adds the company to its conviction buy list and says the stock could exceed its $165 target price by 15%. The solar sector will grow by 13% in 2011, Goldman says.’s Eric Rosenbaum is skeptical that the call will keep FSLR shares above their oft-repeated trading ceiling

    Amazon (AMZN +0.4%) is testing a free grocery delivery service with apparent plans to expand it through the U.S. Amazon hopes to become the retailer of choice for household purchases, becoming a "virtual" Wal-Mart (WMT). The real Wal-Mart is already trying to fend off such a challenge with its own online strategy.  What a great plan.  Only about a dozen dot com companies totally failed at this after spending billions of dollars – can’t wait to see how this turns out for them!  

    Three lunchtime reads:
    1) In case of tech bubble, do not break glass
    2) Inflation is coming – just not yet

    3) Cashing in on a gold boom (or bust) 

  66. Another huge momentum stock – NVDA
    They are up another 11% today which means that they have doubled in the last 3 months! They have just announced new mobile chips (Tegra 2 and Tegra 2 3D) meant to boost smartphones and tablets performances. It looks like they are cornering the market. Too late for an entry in any case, but I’ll keep on eye on that one. 

  67. Phil, 
    I am in the WFR 2012 Buy Write (bought at 9.45 and sold 7.50 puts and calls), so well on its way. Would like to increase exposure to Solar (I was called away on my STP play and sold CSUN even after holding for a few months without any success). I know you like only WFR in that space, what would be the smart thing to do to increase the position? 

  68. Latest euro chart:
    Target for this latest move would be $1.37, however, the dollar is at support around 78 so something has to give.  

  69. Pharm, 
    I bought BSDM Feb 5 Calls as per one of your posts… looking like they are not going to make it. Thanks for any input… Selling some puts to compensate or you think not worth the play

  70. The BOTS seem to be in neutral, maybe ordered to lighten up until the President speaks tomorrow? It would be hard to change the speach today about how great America is. How will the market react?

  71. Zero, Russia has had this problem for many years from from hostages in the theater, Bombs exploding on planes & subways, and now this. Not really an uptick, just a sporadic occurance.

  72. Jromeha – Some more info on the Moscow attack:
    Honestly, I have been in Russia once and was not impressed by the airport security!
    And let’s not talk about China – I was able to bypass a security girl going from the arrival hall to the departure gates by being a bit forceful and waving my US passportin Shanghai while looking for my lost suitcase. Good times! Of course, no terrorist threats there ;-)  

  73. BSDM – yeah, does not look promising.  I am currently in the stock @ 4.66, and sold those calls and Feb $5 Ps.  I am most likely going to roll to the Aug $5 Ps for about $2.  If it was a new entry, that is where I would start.  The FDA 510K rules are changing, so that is not helping the MedDevice sector today.  Just need to be VERY patient with this one.  They are a LT hold.

  74. Hi Phil:
    What do you think of VXX 28/30 weekly BCS @1.71 play??

  75. Re VXX / Phil – alternatively: VXX BEAR weekly call spreads 34/33 @.18 credit??

  76. stjeanluc
    My machine is in a coolmaster hightower case with a red led fan on the front, looks like fire inside be even though it is a coolmaster, blue is a cooler spectrum. Mine doesn’t eat desks either! Bummer!

  77.  FSLR/Harip – See above, too early.  

    NAK/Amatta – I like them so I wouldn’t want to short them but I wouldn’t buy them up here either.  AAPL I have a spread on the weeklies above. 

    POMO/Exec – I haven’t but it’s the kind of thing maybe you could ask Bespoke to look at. 

    EDZ/Brook – Well if we stay up here then I don’t think EDZ will work very well tomorrow so maybe wait on the puts but a good trade otherwise.  

    Oil/ZZ – I think I’d go PBR over SU as SU has Canada really pressing them on environmental issues.  I don’t buy the whole oil $100 thing as people simply can’t afford it.  It doesn’t matter how rich the top 10% think they are, the bottom 90% ultimately need to consume bulk commodities. 

    NVDA/StJ – I missed on them.  Did not think they would do well in this environment but INTC has gone nowhere displacing their chipsets.  

    WFR/Amatta – Well you can just sell some more puts to increase that one, maybe use that money to roll the callers up to the $10s.  Meanwhile, I do also like SPWRA, especially ahead of Obama’s address.  I like the 2012 $10 calls for $5.40, selling the March $15 calls for .95 and the 2012 $12.50 puts for $1.90 for net $2.55 on the $5 spread with 9 months to roll and worst case is you own 2x at $12.53.  

    Speech/Shadow – I think the market is buying on the rumor of the speech and may sell on the news.  The Fed will be interesting the next day.  

    VXX/Reza – I would think volatility would hold up for a week but who knows if we keep going up like this.  VXX was $30.49 at last week’s low so you would think below $30 is a stretch.  It’s the kind of play that pays 20% and if you do it 5 times, do you expect to get burned once by 100%?  If not, then certainly worth a try.  I would be curious to see how it goes over time.   I would NOT do the bear spread as I do think the VIX could easily fly up.  Down takes a little work. 

  78.  Oil futures just popped off our $87.50 target for those of you paying attention!  

  79. Shadow - my trading machine is an Alienware Aurora with all the shiny LEDs. Don’t care much for that, but the kids like it! The most important parts are inside! 

  80. NVDA / Phil – Actually, one of the catalyst was the cross-patent deal that they signed with Intel recently. Looks like Intel might leave them to develop the graphics chips and the mobile chips. Huge market! Of course, Intel could also buy them (like AMD did with ATI – they have enough cash) but the NVDA CEO is very independent. They might turn out to be more competition than AMD to Intel in the long run. Might have missed the boat there!

  81. Phil / Euro    My reading of Irish Times articles suggests that the opposition parties are going to support passage of the Finance Bill which subjucates the Irish peole to the ECB and IMF for the next decade, so it seems no likely Euro crisis coming from Ireland, which has really suprised me.  Mkts may party on for a while longer.

  82. Phil— Am I crazy for not buying the f’n dip at every opportunity (like this morning)? It seems like insanity but maybe it is more sane than fighting the fed? I still am not sure why the market is so strong today? And a terrorist in Moscow is meaningless?

  83.  Phil, 
    send my regards to your team. Looks like comments issues was resolved.

  84.  Phil,
    NFLX weekly Puts at $160 Strike are bringing more than $2.00 premium with 4 days to expiry.  The stock would have to drop by more than $23.00 before the Putter begins to lose money – what do you think?

  85.  Phil, 
    The Dow Comp is now at a 78.78 on the Wilder RSI 14 which is the highest overbought level over the last 52 weeks.  Do you think we see at least a short term sell off or is that meaningless in this market right now, too?

  86. it is all about Nvidia especially since world mobile conference is coming up in three weeks and they released just yesterday their intention to release a tegra2.5 at the meeting and also tegra 3 quad core is on schedule

  87. stjeanluc
    I will be setting mine up in the bedroom I will sleep in at my parents house. I have contemplated putting those leds out but waiting for my cats take on the issue, they sleep with/on me. Shadowfax,the cat, is ready to roll, over getting pills. My hands need to heal!

  88. Manipulating bio techs

    Anyone have any biotechs they like that seem to get knocked down right at options expiration?

    I keep writing the 7 front month calls on sqnm. It’s great – every month someone knocks it down to around 7 or under. The next week it is back up and I write the calls again.

  89. Phil Holding a IBM play which I think needs some adjustment as IBM today is up an other 3.90.
    Holding long 8x Jan 13 150c long for 13.22 now 21.32 . 5x Jan12 125p short sold for 10.46 now 3.17. 5x Apr 11 145 short sold for 6.4 now 15.07 and just rolled the other day the Jan 11 2x  150c short to Apr 11 155 short for 3.99 now already up to 7.05. Overall showing still 5,200.00 in the green but the delta on the Jan13 is .60 as the delta on the April 145 is at .87 and the 155 april on .67. So overall having 8 longs against 7 short callers and 5 short putters.
    What adjustment would you suggest.Thanks

  90. cslan/NFLX – Earnings on Wednesday. If they guide lower, stock cud drop $20.

  91. APP is 20% down…

  92. Phil
    Buying rummor selling news speach. You have an app on that?

  93.  Nicha – Thanks
    Even if the stock drops $20 the Putter would still earn the full premium!

  94. Phil
    SPEECH and today I took my trading account to 100% cash!

  95. HI Phil:
    In taxable account,bought GE at $15.18 and sold 2012 leaps at $1.52 for net $13.68 anticipating 12.7 % annualized, plus 3 % dividend . ( not looking to get rich,just a nice return with low risk).
    GE now at $20.04 and call is at $3.35 for net $16.69. I calculate only 4.2 % remain in time value. Not sure if it makes sense to roll to 2013 $17.50 C for $3.90 What’s your opinion?

  96.  NVDA/StJ – Yep but they should beware of their "partner."   The world is full of empty shell companies that used to partner with AAPL until they found a better supplier…

    Ireland/Tusca – I’m not sure it’s possible in this Corporate News World, for anyone to come to power who is really going to upset the status quo.  The last guys who did that were Saddam and Chavez and look what happened to them…

    Dips/Jabob – After this week, then yes.  This is it.  If we’re going over 12,000 instead of back to 11,000 it’s all over for the bears.  

    Comments/Obur – Wow, that was fast!  

    NFLX/Cslan – Depends what day earnings is.  If it’s inside of earnings, I’d go for it. 

    RSI/Rustle – I don’t think that stuff matters the way they are pushing the markets.  The Dow is up 250 since Thursday’s sell-off and every time one of the components gets tired, they pick a new leader and jack it up.  CAT is up 2% today, IBM up 2.5%, AA 4.5% – even MSFT is up 2% and they never do anything!  

    Let’s not all lose our heads over this move up.  The RUT is still lame at 779 and the S&P is off the highs.  In fact, everyone is off the highs but the Dow so let’s at least see 2 more guys TIE last Monday’s close before we throw the bears a pity party

    Europe closed with the FTSE up 0.8%, DAX was flat and CAC up 0.4%.  

  97.  Phil, how long will you wait this week to become short-term bullish? We were expecting to see the mkts behavior after Jan’s expiration and since most of our levels are above the lines (except RUT) and now we are not falling at all, I’m thinking if/when we are going bullish now.. the reason why is because I might need to make adjustments to my portfolio if we are going in! 

  98. Phil, 
    No letting up on this pump job… The DIA’s from the 1050 are killing me. You think anticipation or after tomorrow’s address and the insinuation of additinal govt spending (infrastructure etc) will continue to pump this rise or do the opposite? I know you mentioned  that continuing on this play was aggressive… But just trying to figure out if I should cover to avoid even more damage?  

  99. StJean – yeah, I lived in Russia in 2004-2005 and their ‘security’ is garbage. Im pretty sure at SOME point a dirty bomb will go off in one of our cities and it will be b/c of some poorly paid Russian Security Services guarding Russia’s nuclear/chemical stockpile will sell WMDs a terrorist or turn his back when they go into the facility and steal it.  Instead of spending 200-300 billion on new fighters we need to be increasing the Defense Threat Reduction Agency’s budget to help ensure that sort of attack doesnt happen….. Anyways, Im short oil at 88.25, I think we fall into close (just a hunch and Im no JRW that’s for sure!).

  100.  Phil, what are your thoughts on a nice bearish JNJ put spread.  Based on MRK and their consumer division, they could possibly sell off a bit – i realize a bit may be priced in – your thoughts are appreciated as always.

  101. Pharm
    Thanks I sold those BSDM Aug puts for $1.90 to offset the loss on the Feb calls. Trying to unnload them for a .20 loss…
    I also entered a few weeks ago the ARNA Jan 2012 1/5 spread. Would you sell some 2 puts against it now to offset the cost? 

  102. JRW sure pick one heck of day to sleep late! 

  103. And covered. Ill take my 30 cents and go fill up my car now…..

  104. jromeha
    I think, that you are mistaken a little. This flock of rats  well protects only himself and nuclear/chemical stockpiles(because it threatens them first of all)

  105. ARNA – no thanks.  Done with them for now.


    JNJ/Jo – their consumer division is in a mess, and Walton should be fired.  They have done nothing about it, but the stock is still doing well – and this has been going on a year.

  106.  WSJ is down.  If you are a subscriber, it’s all messed up.  They say they should have it up this afternoon.  Makes me less mad about when my site goes down….  

    Biotechs/Samz – Oh they are lots of fun to sell front-months agains, as long as they don’t pop on you.  

    IBM/Yodi – Good job keeping an eye on the relative deltas.  Keep in mind you have 24-month calls and your short callers are what?  The Apr $155s?  To some extent they are protecting you as you still have 50% premium in your leaps.  You can always buy, FOR EXAMPLE, 5 2012 $175 calls for $5 and roll the April $155 callers ($7) to 2x the July $165s ($4.40) and, if you can afford the margin now, the correct move is to first add the $175s, and do nothing until the Apr $155 to 2x July $165 roll goes to even, then execute that.  If however, prior to that, your 2013 $150s drop to $20, you take them off the table and leave yourself in a bearish spread for the correction.  IBM is up almost 10% in a week, that’s $19Bn in market cap gains on $6Bn worth of trades (40M shares) of which, probably 95% canceled each other out so a net inflow of about $1Bn popped IBM up $20Bn – that’s time to sell, not buy! 

    NFLX/Cslan, Nicha – Wednesday!  Oh forget that then.  They are a total short on earnings!  I still like selling the $205s but they are only $4 now so no fun.

    App/Shadow – It’s very hard to think of something that isn’t an app already.  Good move on cash – much better to sleep on. 

    GE/Dflam – I take it you sold $15 calls?  If you like GE, I’d split them to the 2013 $17.50 calls and $15 puts ($1.20) as it’s paying yourself a nice dividend on the off chance you end up doubling down on GE and you raise your call-away by $2.50.  Do that every year and it’s a nice stock. 

    Waiting/Rav – I want to see the above lines (Monday’s close) get crossed.  The first thing we need to do is pick 500% plays to cover the downside and THEN we can buy some bullish combos.  I’m thinking them over…

    DIA/Amatta – Well the exit on the DIAs was to sell $118.75 puts ($1.30) and roll back to March $120.75 ($3.80) puts or something like that so no real change unless we think the Dow will just go up forever and ever and will never stop or never pull back and the position is doomed – in which case we should kill it.  

    Good oil short Jrom!  

    JNJ/Jo – I’d sell the Feb $62.50s (.80) against the March $62.50s ($1), maybe buy 5 March $62.50s ($500) to 4 March $62.50s ($320) and all you need to do is be right and retain .36 and the Apr $35s are .40 so not too much of a stretch.  

  107.  I talked myself into liking the IBM WEEKLY $160 puts at $1.60. 

  108.  Phil
    how about shorting the Feb TZA 15 p @ .75?  Net entry of 14.25 now a 15.6 (52 wk low 14.13)
    How much higher can the Rus go before some kind of correction – even if small

  109. TOS error
    I am getting a new TOS error – I use(d) THREE computers to monitor my positions, now TOS says I can only use one.
    Your thinkorswim session was closed.
    Due to exchange regulations, thinkorswim can not allow simultaneous access under one login

    Anyone else have the same problem?

  110. stjeanluc
    JRW knows when not to trade and today has only spooked me to 100%cash. I share Phil’s view on NVDA and think they are going down. They did get 1.5 billion from intel and that has to help, I did put their EVGA motherboard in my system because of a $100 factory rebate, but makes me ask why? Gamers are going away from their graphics and the industry is up against a "heat" brick wall. The total nut job geeks are dumping liquid nitrogen on their rigs to get faster, my motherboard has a stability jumper to do that. Computers can’t get faster especially if smaller. Some rare earth metal will allow close to light speed but it will get very hot. I have a liquid coolre with car type radiator and 120mm fan on my main CPU and it runs cool, but total volume is bigger than a lap top, it allows about 16.8 gig on a quad core, THE WALL!

  111.  TZA/Ban – Well they were $14.13 last week so that low at least and, if the RUT breaks up 3%, then 10% lower than that.  You kind of have to ignore logic when looking at these things right now and just assume everything is in reach.  AAPL up 3% now, for example. 

    01:00 PM On the hour: Dow +0.69%. 10-yr +0.25%. Euro +0.15% vs. dollar. Crude -1.76% to $87.54. Gold +0.14% to $1342.90. 

    02:00 PM On the hour: Dow +0.81%. 10-yr +0.09%. Euro +0.1% vs. dollar. Crude -1.04% to $88.18. Gold +0.12% to $1342.60.

    Emerging-market countries should see nearly $1T in inflows this year, says banking trade group IIF. This can’t be good for the overheat in developing nations – where the real inflation crisis is likely to hit, Tim Duy says.

    TIPS may be headed for declines after a 17% gain over the past two years, traders are saying, because prices aren’t rising fast enough to back up those returns. The breakeven’s been as high as 2.42 percentage points this month; are the inflation-protected securities losing some of their predictive power? 

    Former Fed governor Laurence Meyer thinks economic momentum will build throughout the year, creating pressures for rate hikes by early 2012 as the Fed shifts focus from employment to slowing the economy’s speed in the months ahead. But Tim Duy believes inflationary growth is a far greater worry for developing markets than the U.S. 

    U.S. commercial property prices rose in November for the third consecutive month, up 0.6% from October and 2.8% Y/Y, Moody’s reports. The Moody’s/REAL index remains 42% below its October 2007 peak, reflecting the "overall uncertainty in the breadth and staying power of the macroeconomic recovery in the United States and Europe." 

    GM is adding a third shift (750 jobs) to a Flint, Mich., plant that produces heavy pickups, as demand continues to swell, especially for crew cabs. New workers aren’t being hired – but laid-off and reassigned employees will get the jobs. 

    Shares of World Wresting Entertainment (WWE -9.1%) are slammed ~10% on downward Q4 guidance ahead of the company’s Feb. 10 earnings report and failing to explain reasons for the shortfall. The firm has felt the pinch of consumers cutting back on discretionary spending, and it may finally need to cut the "outrageous dividend" that has blunted its growth potential.

  112. Pharm – what is your recommendation for position sizing on small pharma (CRIS, CERS, NWBO, ARRY, ONTY, CLDX) for a $10k acct? Thank you.

    Real Estate – do you think it is a good investment now?

  113.  edro-
    We had that problem initially when we switched to TOS.  We created a second login id and called customer service to link it with our account. This way we can access the same account from two computers simultaneously. Hope that is useful. 

  114. LMAO, we have yet to see Tegra 2 in volume and they are already humping our legs with Tegra 3?? Why would they make Tegra 2 a has been so quickly. This looks like a great pump job for the stock and INTC settlement has bought them some time. INTC Samsung TXN AMD QCOM….or just one word …IPAD…its going to be a hard fought battle and NVDA is already giving its Tegra’s away. Definition of Osbourne effect….anyone…anyone?

    I believe they are trying to sell the company, hence all the hoopla.

    Certainly the stock can go up on BS but you want to see these guys gain some traction before committing to what I think is a big maybe. Earnings Feb 18th, we’ll get a better look into whats going on.

    If anyone wants a Tegra tablet here you go..there are 2 to choose from which makes it easier to choose…an IPad ;-)

    Maybe im too logical or pessemistic, certainly has kept me from making money in some circumstances but its saved me from losing boat loads in others.

  115.  TOS/Edro – I use paper money for my lookups and run the accounts on another PC.  

    GOOG must be wishing they had said Schmidt was stepping down on medical leave instead of voluntarily!  

  116. Thanks Wilsons, Phil

  117. edro00
    TOS you were lucky I never could use more than one . I use the paper trade for sencond reference. As I mentioned I have always been shut down in the past.

  118. FYI
    IWM tops tape for selling on strength. See wsj

  119. edro
    I continue to use etrade because pro is bullet proof and great graphics. It is limited to 1 computer also but I can bring up the website on others and load marketcaster, markettrader, and more. My solution was 6 monitors on 1 computer x 4 screens = 24 screens and 1 I have 4 graphs on one that a click brings any to full screen. I doubt the legal excuse but understand the security issue. I have to call them to get on at my parents next week, different IP address. 1 keyboard, 1 mouse is a bonus and all runs better on 1. I use a laptop except trading hours to limit power and heat.

  120.  Tegra/Kustomz – They don’t do a very good job of telling my why it’s better than an IPad.  

    Volume at 3:15 just 110M on the Dow, not a very big day for such a huge run. 

    3:00 PM On the hour: Dow +0.74%. 10-yr +0.1%. Euro +0.11% vs. dollar. Crude -1.59% to $87.69. Gold -0.37% to $1336.10.

    Not much news either.  

    XLF selling off with BAC:

    Bank of America (BAC -2.1%) may book an $8.5B charge on costs related to putbacks of faulty mortgages, a figure at the upper end of the range it gave last week and one that could expand with lawyers “smelling blood in the water," according to an Oppenheimer research note.

    This time we do NOT buy oil at $87.50 – third time is often the charm for breaking down.  

  121. Why watch these 3 ETFS this week: ITA, BBH, EWG
    Taken w/the usual granular salt.

  122.  Phil, thoughts on BA here?  I have 2013 70 puts that are 20% ahead.  So i am just kind of debating how to play for thursday.  I am inclined to stay put as i think they will beat, and most of bad news is priced in?

  123. everyone
    Today a caught 1 market wide buy then a weaker sell. IWM had a second weaker sell program alone, I can’t watch everything but beware of still more selling than buying even though the market goes up. This late selloff is picking up volume.

  124.  COF – I covered ahead of AXP earnings fwiw

  125. Phil/GE :Sorry about the lack of info, I didn’t sell the $15 leaps,but the $17.50. Your advice still stands? 

  126. Phil / HCBK – looks like it may be bottoming here as you suggested.  if it breaks down below 11, how much further of a decline would you expect?  has not spent much time below $10 since 2004.  Are you betting more on mgt or underlying loan portfolio? Thx.

  127.  BA/Jo – I would say as long as you REALLY want to own BA for $70 then who cares what earnings are?  20% is nice but 80% to go is nicer and, eventually, BA will deliver planes. 

    Selling/Shadow – And then the selling ran into a buy spike.  

    GE/Dflam – Oh that’s even better as you pocket more cash.  

    HCBK/Terra – Scary bottom but about what we expected.  I can’t see them blowing $10.50 – the only time they failed that was when we thought the World was going to end in 2009.

  128. Nicha – for a 10K portfolio, I would go with NWBO, ARRY, CRIS and CERS.  Start with 100 shares of the latter 3, and 300 for NWBO.  Rest in cash.  That is about 12% in biotechs.

  129.  Brookings Institute: "The Economic State of the Nation is Not Good":

    Yes, the economy is recovering from the recent recession but at a pace that is far too slow to significantly reduce the unemployment rateany time soon. 

    Although deficits are likely to shrink somewhat as the economy recovers, the longer-term picture, driven primarily by rising health care costs, is frightening and could spark a serious economic crisis at any time and threaten continued economic growth over the coming decades.
    In addition, the nation’s longer-term competitiveness is hampered bydeteriorating infrastructure, an education system that leaves our students in the bottom ranks on international tests, and an energy sector that badly needs to be restructured in ways that slow global warming as efficiently as possible.
    State and local governments face enormous budget shortfalls, exacerbating the jobs problem and limiting the role that they can play in addressing these challenges to our competitiveness — whether in education, infrastructure, or energy.


  130. Phil/DIA 
    I followed your advice on the DIA’s I had sold the 118.75 (although I caught them late) but you said to buy them back the day after Then recommended a roll to the 122.75 which is the ones I am in now (the ones for the 1050 I am referring to). ARE YOU SAYING SELL NOW 118.75′S now? Are this the Feb? 

  131. Anybody else has problem with TD Ameritrade website?

  132. Hi Pharmboy MRK even on an up day like today they never seem to come out of the closet any take. thks ????

  133. Phil, in Jun 2010 I had sold 4x Jan 2012 $35 short puts on TBT @ $5.55.. now they are priced at $2.74 but the problem is that strangely they require lots of margin (almost $9,000)… TBT has been trading in a tight range $38 – $40 so who knows if it will break lower or higher, so instead I decided to replace those short puts (meaning I will sell short other stocks’ puts in order to cover the TBT short puts and reflect a slight net credit in my account to continue working that premium off until Jan 2012) with 3 different stocks (that I really want to own if they fall to those prices) that require 60% LESS margin.. 
    5x RRD Jan 12 $15 short puts 
    2x BWLD Jun $35 short puts
    3x DKS Jan 12 $25 short puts..
    I could even DD on all these positions if they fall significantly. Those entry prices were carefully considered based on long-term technicals.. was this smart?

  134. captn
    Been watching your EDZ spread all day, it is now down to about .10 debit. Maybe tomorrow or did volume kill it?

  135.  HCBK/Terra – Missed last part.  I think they have a conservative management team who gave conservative guidance and that they have a fairly strong book.  The flaw is they are being compared to a bunch of lying, thieving criminals who cook their books and make promises they can never keep and, since investors only care about what the squiggly lines are doing and not about the quality of the stocks they are investing in – short-term, HCBK takes a hit. 

    DIA/Amatta – No, that was an example.  We rolled up to the $122.75s and they are still $3.85 so we can sell the $119s (FOR EXAMPLE) for $1.90 and that pays for a roll (FOR EXAMPLE) to the Apri $124 puts at $6.10 so that’s a $5 spread with 2 months to roll the puts (or sell more).  If that is our fallback plan – is it not too early to worry?  

    Substitution/Rav – VERY smart!  It’s really all about raising cash in one place to pay for another.  Those are nice, conservative short sales in stocks (as you note) that would be great to own at those prices.  The only thing you give up is the direct correlation as it is possible that rates shoot up and tank the markets but still, when you REALLY want to own the underlying – who cares?  

    Has Ben Bernanke broken the PBOC the way George Soros broke the BoE? James Rickards makes the case that the FOMC chair’s money printing operation has forced China to either revalue its currency or face civil unrest over spiraling prices. 

    Total miles driven rose 1.1% Y/Y in November but remain 1.3% below the 2007 peak, the Department of Transportation reports. In the early 1980s, the travel indicator stayed below the previous peak for 39 months; now, it has remained below the previous peak for 36 months, another economic record that likely will be broken soon

  136. IWM closed below the 77.78 level and also over 2 million shares into close, not good but I am accually far sighted.

  137.  Substitution/Phil, well, I have long 5x Jan 2012 $35s on TBT :) I paid $8.90 for them in premium last year but I’ve been working off that premium by selling front-month calls.. just this January 4x $40 short calls expired worthless.. I’m waiting for another shot up in TBT to cover at a higher strike price for a bit more premium.. but as you say, interest rates can spike like crazy at any given time..  maybe I can consider an adjustment there as well (they are not that in the money hence my wait)..

  138.  Dollar drifting at 78.15 at the close, oil $87.85, gold $1,335, silver $26.95 (LOL!), copper $4.33, nat gas $4.58 in a huge fall from $4.80 this morning.   

    Pound right on the $1.60 line, Euro $1.365, Yen 82.46.   

    Dow really went for it at the close, finishing at 11,980.  S&P 1,290 on the nose, Nas 2,717, NYSE 8,157 and RUT very sad at 779.  CNBC already wearing their Dow 12,000 hats! 

    Dow volume finished at 183M – respectable in the end.  

    At the close: Dow +0.92% to 11981. S&P +0.58% to 1291. Nasdaq +1.04% to 2718.
    Treasurys: 30-year +0.18%. 10-yr +0.07%. 5-yr +0.03%.
    Commodities: Crude -1.4% to $87.86. Gold -0.45% to $1334.90.
    Currencies: Euro +0.17% vs. dollar. Yen +0.17%. Pound -0.01%.

    Dow 12,000 and rising share prices of household names such as 3M (MMM), IBM and United Technologies (UTX) could bring retail investors scared off by the market plunge back to the market, Jim Cramer says. "Those companies go up when things are better. They don’t lie.” Micron (MU +1.9%) jumps after Cramer calls it "the next Nvidia (NVDA +11%)." 

  139. Phil
    Micron is in Boise ID and I personally know people who think it is a was company nomatter what Cramer says. People loosing too many jobs.

  140. MRK/yodi – I like them for a pharma play.  They still have one of the most robust pipelines in the business.

  141. Phil / Kass   Dougie shares your skepticism.  quote today at 15.20: "The action looks manufactured, and I expect a selloff."

  142. Amex shrs. down 1% in AH.

  143. Micron/Shadow – I don’t know what Cramer said but I guess it was good as they are breaking over $10.

    Kass/Tusca – Yep but we may have to accept the new normal here.  Earnings were just so-so and the futures could care less:  

    Since the government took over Fannie Mae (FNMA.OB) and Freddie Mac (FMCC.OB), U.S. taxpayers have spent more than $160M defending the mortgage giants and their former top executives in fraud lawsuits.

    Market recap: Materials producers and tech companies helped lead stocks higher after Smurfit-Stone agreed to be purchased and Intel added $10B to its stock buyback plan. The Dow moved within reach of 12,000 for the first time since June 2008. The dollar turned lower, and crude oil dipped on talk of increased supplies. NYSE advancers led decliners two to one. 

    Amgen (AMGN): Q4 EPS of $1.17 beats by $0.06. Revenue of $3.8B (+1% Y/Y) beats by $35M. Shares +1.1% AH. (PR)

    American Express (AXP): Q4 EPS of $0.94 misses by $0.03. Revenue of $7.3B (+13% Y/Y) in-line. Shares -1.1% AH. (PR)

    CSX (CSX): Q4 EPS of $1.14 beats by $0.04. Revenue of $2.8B (+21% Y/Y) beats by $140M. (PR

    Sanmina-SCI (SANM): FQ1 EPS of $0.45 beats by $0.04. Revenue of $1.6B (+12% Y/Y) in-line. Shares -1.1% AH. (PR

    Texas Instruments (TXN): Q4 EPS of $0.78 beats by $0.15. Revenue of $3.5B (+17% Y/Y) in-line. Shares -2.2% AH. (PR)

    VMware (VMW): Q4 EPS of $0.46 beats by $0.02. Revenue of $836M (+37.5% Y/Y) beats by $32M. (PR)

    Zions Bancorp (ZION): Q4 EPS of -$0.62 misses by $0.25. Shares -0.5% AH. (PR)

  144. Phil:
    Looks like you were right on AXP.
    Do you expect a lower open or a dip in financials tomorrow?

  145. Phil- what is your stop/DD point for the 160$ IBM weekly puts?

  146. China / Phil – There is going to be an interesting balancing act playing out in China in the next 10 years! 

  147. Phil,
    Need a little remedial help with your TBT guidance (below):
    (1)if I start with the Jan 35/40 bull sprd and add the Jan 13 45 calls, I assume I am rolling the short 40 calls to the 50s if TBT advances, correct? I assume I would have to do that before tBT broke 40 (or else I would risk being called @40) and just holding the 2013 45s. Which caller would be rolled for a vertical?
    (2) any advantage to TLT vs TBT (selling TLT calls?)
    (3) Understanding that it is better to sell premium than buy it, would it still be preferably to do so with Vix this low, as in serial  sales of TBT puts or TLT calls?
    TBT/8800 – Well, as you say, it’s all in the timing but Jan is far away and that’s a conservative target so I’d go for that and keep a reserve with the intention of buying 2013 $45s for $8 and rolling the callers to 2x the 2012 $50s (now $1.85) or whatever if things go well.  That would put your long call $15 in the money to the callers before being called away and still time to roll 1x of the caller to a 2013 vertical.
    Thanks again

  148. Another phony!
    Texas Gov. Rick Perry likes to tell Washington to stop meddling in state affairs. He vocally opposed the Obama administration’s 2009 stimulus program to spur the economy and assist cash-strapped states. Perry also likes to trumpet that his state balanced its budget in 2009, while keeping billions in its rainy day fund. But he couldn’t have done that without a lot of help from … guess where? Washington. Turns out Texas was the state that depended the most on those very stimulus funds to plug nearly 97% of its shortfall for fiscal 2010, according to the National Conference of State Legislatures

  149.  Does anyone here trade FOREX.  I have a forex account with TOS but I am wondering what other people use.  Tos doesnt have a really good automated forex platform, which is what I am interested in.

  150. Amgen to Acquire BioVex for Up To $1B, to Obtain Cancer-Killing Virus Therapy
    Luke Timmerman 1/24/11
    Amgen is sticking its scientific neck out, and potentially $1 billion of its cash, to buy a company in Woburn, MA that hopes to deliver the first FDA-approved virus engineered to specifically kill cancer cells.
    Thousand Oaks, CA-based Amgen (NASDAQ: AMGN) said today it has agreed to pay $425 million upfront, plus another $575 million in additional development and sales milestones, to obtain privately-held BioVex. Amgen, which has significant research and development operations in South San Francisco, Seattle, and Cambridge, MA, said it expects to close this deal before the end of March.
    BioVex, which we last wrote about in November 2009, raised $70 million in venture capital that year to carry out the final steps of development with its oncolytic virus therapy. BioVex is seeking to harness decades of science, in which researchers have sought to genetically modify viruses to replicate inside tumors, while sparing healthy tissue. Once inside, the treatment (OncoVex GM-CSF) is supposed to cause tumor cells to burst. But it doesn’t stop there—it is also designed to provoke the immune system to mount an attack in the cancerous growth itself, and hunt down any cancer cells that have spread throughout the body.
    BioVex, as I noted in these pages just over a year ago, has attracted interest from scientists and investors based largely on one study of 50 patients with forms of melanoma, a deadly skin cancer, that have spread through the body. That study found that 13 of the 50 patients (26 percent) had their tumors shrink after they got the BioVex treatment.
    Even more interesting, eight of the 13 initial responders had their tumors completely disappear, and their responses were long-lasting. Although patients who entered the trial had terminal diagnoses, usually giving them six to nine months to live, according to BioVex CEO Philip Astley-Sparke, more than half of the patients were alive after one year (58 percent) and two years (52 percent), according to data presented at the American Society of Clinical Oncology in June 2009. Side effects were mostly mild-to-moderate flu-like symptoms, researchers said.
    The company is now in the midst of gathering more proof from a Phase III clinical trial which, if successful, could be the basis for it to win FDA approval of the first such oncolytic virus therapy. BioVex is running a trial expected to enroll as many as 430 patients, according to a posting on The goal will be to show the BioVex drug offers an advantage in tumor shrinkage that lasts six months or more, compared to an immune-boosting compound.
    “OncoVex has demonstrated encouraging anti-tumor activity in clinical studies for the treatment of melanoma and head and neck cancer, and BioVex is currently enrolling patients into pivotal Phase 3 trials in both indications,” said Roger Perlmutter, Amgen’s executive vice president of R&D, in a statement. “Amgen is particularly excited about joining with BioVex and its talented staff to focus on advancing this late-stage investigational therapy, with the hope of bringing it to market within the next few years.”
    No one has ever developed such an oncolytic virus treatment for cancer, although many, such as South San Francisco-based Cell Genesys, have tried before. While BioVex may have the candidate most advanced in clinical trials at the moment, it’s not the only company generating new interest in the field. San Francisco-based Jennerex Biotherapeutics, led by a veteran of the early days at Emeryville, CA-based Onyx Pharmaceuticals, is also hot on the trail. So is Calgary, Canada-based Oncolytics Biotech.
    Amgen has been pushing for years to become a bigger player in anti-tumor drug development, after making its fortune largely on treating some of the side effects of cancer chemotherapy. It won FDA approval in 2006 for panitumumab (Vectibix), and saw limited success. Last year, it followed that up with an FDA clearance of denosumab (Xgeva) as a treatment for bone-related tumors. We’ll find out soon enough whether this new bet on oncolytic viral therapy puts Amgen on the leading edge of a new field of science, or ends up being a costly debacle.

  151. Phil:
    "Dow really went for it at the close, finishing at 11,980.  S&P 1,290 on the nose, Nas 2,717, NYSE 8,157 and RUT very sad at 779.  CNBC already wearing their Dow 12,000 hats! "
    Is this like: "if it hits 11980 then it’s going to 12000, and if it hits 1290 it’s going to 1300,  and if it’s 2717…………well, what the heck it’s going to 3000!" ……………….and on and on and on we go!

  152. williex/wiki – I’ll see what I can do about that.

  153. Pharm:
    Informative post; have you any related AMGN plays?

  154. AMGN/reza – I am a bit leery of jumping on anything right now….but the April 55/57.5 BCS for 1.4 and selling the $55 Ps for a net 0 on the 2.50 spread is pretty good for a play that is all ITM….and cannot lose if AMGN stays above 55…..


    As for buying this company vs. NNVC…just gives everyone hope in this field that they will be next (not just NNVC)!  Their technology is a huge ??, but could be very interesting IF it works.  Look at NWBO today after the article was posted….that is >10%.  I also posted it in the weekly news letter.  Not chump change!

  155. Updated spreadsheet….fwiw

  156. dollar – one view for your scenario planning..  The Day After the Dollar Dies.

  157.  Good morning!  

    The dollar had run up all the way back to 78.5 on bad UK GDP but they’re beating it back since 6 to push the markets back up.  Oil all the way down to 86.7 on word that OPEC may increase production to target $80 oil (smart move by them) and gold is down to $1,325 (looking for $1,275 for a buy in) and copper is on the $4.25 line that it really needs to not fail.

    AXP/Reza – Wasn’t a bad miss and other metrics are good so just disappointment as they sit near the ATH – shouldn’t hurt the
    Financials too much.  

    IBM/Jrom – Just a regular put where you really don’t want to lose more than 20% but, if you are running in on a scale, that means you can DD with a 20% loss (say $1.20 for a $1.40 average) and then again at another 20% loss (say $1.10 for a $1.25 average) and you are in 4x down 12% after the position moved 30% against you to $1.10 BUT – as we’re taking this position at the $160 line – I’m a little more worried about breaking that and, as it’s a weekly, my inclination on this kind of trade is just to keep it a 1x allocation and be likely to take the loss over that line – whatever it is.  So, if you have a $100K portfolio and allocate $2,500K to a day-trade position, then your 1x entry is about $650 so, even if we set a stop at $1 (down .60) the loss on 4 contracts is $240 or 10% of your allocation and 0.25% of the portfolio.

    TBT/8800 – You have a very low risk of being called at a strike until about 3/4 of the premium is gone.  If someone does call you that early, then they are doing you a favor anyway – especially when you have it covered with a lower call as it can’t possibly hurt you.  The big advantage of TLT is that it doesn’t deteriorate like TBT does but TLT goes down when TBT goes up so be careful of the relationship there.  The fact that you are asking these questions means that it would likely be too confusing for you to try to manage this position with a combination on TLT.   It’s always better to wait for a better VIX but – it is possible that you never get it too.  If the VIX is low, it’s a good time for you to buy Premium and a bad time to sell it but that doesn’t mean you leave yourself uncovered and wait for a sell-off to raise the VIX, does it?  If you have an attractive combination that gives you a return you will be happy to ride out over time – then go for it and, if not, then wait.  There are lots of people now who are looking at 15-25% gains that are already looking locked in on 2012 spreads we took last Quarter and they "regret" being conservative but 15-25% gains on serious long-term positions is exactly what you do want as the bedrock of your portfolio.

    Perry/StJ – Well you can be against something and still take advantage of it.  I don’t suppose those who are against Obama’s health care will be calling their insurance carriers to make sure they are excluded because of their pre-existing conditions, either…

    FOREX/Craig – Not my thing.  Too distracting.

    Cancer/Pharm – I was just reading something similar in the WSJ – very cool. 

    Is it like/DC – Yep, very much like that!  8-)

    Thanks Kwan!  

    Dolllar/Scott – That’s fun.  

  158. @craigzooka
    Use the FXCM trading platform.  Very satisfied with it.  Scored very large in the past, but gambled it all the way to B/even.
    As opposed to some, I believe you MUST have an active, open, funded FOREX and Futures accounts to take advantage of opportunities that present themselves. 
    I remember scrambling a few years ago to get the accounts open AND FUNDED quickly and became very frustrated that I couldn’t take immediate advantage of the decline in the dollar. The leverage was greater then than it is now, but still….You will get an opportunity to make a very few strategic moves once you get a feel for it and practice accounts are offered.  You don’t necessarily want to trade these things frequently. But if you spot a trend though, a few times a year or even more sporadically, you will be very happy that you have opened and funded these accounts in a volatile market, you could do quite well. 

  159.  Copper failed 4.25