Oil shot up to $110.55 yesterday.
The news was that a pipeline in Saudi Arabia had been attacked and oil had been running up all day into this "news," which, funnily enough, turned out to be fake. We caught the news at 3:05 in Member Chat (thanks Kustomz) and we had been waiting for oil to stop going up so we could short it. The turn came at the $110.50 in the Futures (/CL) and we caught a nice run down to $109 and I reiterated, at 3:36, with oil still at $109.88 my love for the USO April $40 puts, which were $1.08 at the time and finished the day at $1.15.
As Malsg pointed out in Member Chat: "The pictures of the fire are taken in daylight … but Saudi sunset was several hours ago … the oil market only stared going nuts after the close." A very good observation that gave us the resolve to stay short on oil – which is working out fantastically this morning as well.
We also grabbed an aggressive short spread on BNO, as it seemed the whole day's run had been BS, with traders in the know stocking up ahead of the fake news so they could unload barrels into the retail suckers who bought into the spike. Don't worry though – no one who bought oil up from $105 on Thursday to $109 ahead of the news will be arrested or even questioned – we'll just keep pretending the total farce of oil trading is a legitimate pricing mechanism, even though it costs people around the world hundreds of Billions of Dollars each year in excess charges (see "Goldman's Global Oil Scam Passes the 50 Madoff Mark").
Now, this is the part where I would usually point out how the economy is weaker than we think etc. but I'm not going to do that this morning because the S&P still over 1,360 and, if a stronger Dollar isn't going to stop this rally – nothing will. Even yesterday, I joked to Members that I wasn't going to highlight negative news items in red anymore as there was no such thing as bad news in this market.
As you can see from David Fry's SPY chart, we''re back testing the bottom of that channel today and, if we don't break down here, then we can go another week at least on the bull run. Just last Friday I was pretty sure we'd break under and we didn't and, as Dave says – it's just like 1999 – but 1999 was a great year to be in the markets, it was 2000 that sucked.
Last Wednesday we poked over 1,360 and I laid out 10 trade ideas with the goal of adding "one more bullish trade each day that we're over the line" as 1,360 and our other Big Chart lines made for excellent signals to take profits off the table. Before we buy, we hedge, of course and our two hedge plays were:
- SQQQ April $13/17 bull call spread at .70, now .50 – down 28%
- DXD April $13/15 bull call spread at .55, now .50 – down 10%
As I pointed out in the post, both of these hedges have strong upsides on their own and don't NEED bullish offsets but I did suggest the AAPL 2014 $300 puts (selling to raise cash), which are still $15, despite the fact that there are now 2,300 open contracts ($3.45M) – that funds a lot of bearish spreads! Another offset for DXD was the FDX April $80 puts at $1.10, those are down to .75 already (up 32%) and would have completely offset the loss of either hedge so far. T was another 2014 offset with the $25 puts sold for $2.15 and those are still $2.15 as we don't get much movement out of 2-year options. Our last offset was SKX, with the Oct $12 puts selling for $1.55 – the same price they are now.
So you can get better prices for the spreads and 3 of our 4 bullish offsets are the same price as last week – that's pretty good for a start. Now let's see how our 10 bullish trade ideas are looking after 7 trading days (see original post for logic on each trade):
- SKX Oct $10/14 bull call spread at $2.20, selling $12 puts for $1.55 for net .65 – still .65
- SU 2014 $25/37 bull call spread at $6, selling XOM 2014 $65 puts for $5 for net $1, now $1.86 – up 86%
- USO June $40/46 bull call spread at $2, selling SCO Oct $26 puts for $3 for net $1 credit, now .82 credit – up 18%. I like this one because you are long and short oil at the same time.
- AA 2014 $10 puts sold for $2, still $2 – even
- X Jan $25/2014 $20 buy write at $17.04/18.52, now $17.57 – up 3%
- PEG Sept $30 buy/write at $27.07/28.53, now $27.20 – up 1%
- HOV 2014 $2 puts sold for .90, now .85 – up 5%
- BAC 2014 $3/7 bull call spread at $2.75, selling $10 puts for $3.30 for net .55 credit, not .35 credit – up 36%. 36% seems like a lot but it's just .20 out of $5.10 (927%) of potential gains so still very playable.
- HCBK Jan $7 buy/write at $5.14/6.07, now $5.23 – up 2%
- FTR 2014 $5 buy/write at $2.43/3.71, now $2.50 – up 3%
Not much was missed so far if you didn't participate. "Unfortunately" nothing got cheaper, other than our hedges and, as expected, only our energy plays did much in the past week as we're still at the same top we were iffy about at the time. Still – we're over our mark on the S&P and especially if the Dow is over 13,000 and for sure if the Nas breaks over 3,000, we'd BETTER have bullish plays in our portfolio and these are my 10 favorites for a breakout.
Of course, during chat in the past week, we put up another 20 bullish trade ideas and we'll continue to do so whenever there is a good opportunity – these just make a good benchmark list we can keep an eye on but clearly, so far, there has been nothing wrong with remaining cashy and cautious as we test these major range-tops.
I am most worried about the Russell, as they have shown weakness this week and we've had some horrific dips that sure don't make it look like there's a whole lot of support above that 775 line. Also, on Dave's chart, you can see RSI and MACD curving over – that's not usually a good sign either but I'm not much of a Technical guy, just an old-fashioned Fundamentalist who thinks things are horribly overvalued at the moment but clearly, like 1999, the Fundamentals are out the window for now so we'll run with the herd and play the technicals until they fail us and THEN we'll party like it's January 2000 – or October 2008…
If you want reasons to be cautious, I'm not going to give them to you (been working hard to get myself more bullish) but there's a great presentation by Jason Leach of Cravens Brothers called "Sleepwalking Toward a Precipice" that gives a great overview of where we are and how we got here.
Even now, oil just spiked back to our shorting spot at $108.50 (as noted most recently in yesterday's post) on another ridiculous spike up from $107.60 and that's one bearish bet we will keep making. Our other bearish note going into the weekend is that, once again, our Treasury has another $140Bn worth of debt to pawn off next week in 4 days worth of auctions and we already got another nice entry on TLT, as they tested $115.50 yesterday – as that has probably been the easiest money of the year so far – betting TLT to go up when we're selling our notes.
Next week, now that Greece is fixed, we should be hearing more about Spain, who are missing their 2012 budget goals by a mile, with a 5.8% deficit now forecast this year and -1.7% GDP projected to go with their now 23% unemployment. Phil Coggan is not worried about Spain – well, not when "the entire European Ponzi scheme is running out of suckers" and if you need to get gloomy this weekend – try his new book "Paper Promises."
“The massive debts accumulated over the last 40 years can’t be paid in full, and they won’t be paid,” Coggan says. “The debt crises of Greece, Ireland and Portugal are just the start.”
Coggan, the Economist’s Buttonwood columnist, is too levelheaded to predict a financial Armageddon. He does foresee a tipping point as wrenching as the collapse of Lehman Brothers Holdings Inc. (LEHMQ), complete with plunging markets, plummeting industrial output and corporate bankruptcies. No wonder it has taken $1 trillion in cheap money from the European Central Bank to get lenders to buy Italian and Spanish debt.
Have a great weekend,
The weekly FAS 93 calls still have 0.30 of premium with 1 minute to go….
Thanks everyone, have a great weekend. Thanks for the trades on AAPL, WMT, etc etc, and all the advice. Sorry I was "the annoying guy" today.
I'm off to the beach (no surf)
Actually, a 93 straddle had $0.45 of premium still with 2 minutes to go. Unreal… I have to remember that!
Portfolio spreadsheet changes coming this weekend!
Have a good weekend everybody!
HA, TNA closed close to where I sold it. Feeling savvy.
Great weekend to all!
Very good article from Dave Fry on ECH (Chile) and copper.
Volume is great idea StJ.
Today's Dow volume finishing at SUPER LAME 93M. We have opening 15 minutes bigger than that!
Enjoying investment/Burr – Kustomz has a good point. If it's a restaurant and you lend them $5K and you eat $50 meals there every week for free – then a good deal for you even if you don't get paid back. Be careful though, I know a lot of restaurants in NJ who went that way and half their tables end up being free some nights as various people they owe money to come in with their friends trying to get "paid back". It becomes like a Ponzi scheme after a while where they have to borrow more money to keep feeding the first guys they borrowed from.
Explosion/Ink – Now it's like the boy who cried wolf – if there's a real explosion, people won't believe it right away. Although now that they've seen how much money can be made, we could have an explosion a day until we get to $200.
Have a good weekend everyone!
Food stamps these days are not actually stamps,. but are debit cards with a patriotic red/white/blue picture on them and pre-programed to disallow purchases of delicatessen, cooked foods, alcoholic beverages, and pet food.
I'm not sure whose payment technology food stamps use for the cards, but the increase in usage could explain why MA stock has been on a roll recently. Food stamps is clearly a growth industry and ripe for privatization. We may soon see gold food stamps cards for status conscious paupers and auctions of food stamps, as they seem to good to just give away. One potentially useful loophole is that they may be used for the purchase of seeds, so I can see agribusiness getting into food stamps in a big way.
Attempts have been made to ban the purchase of soda drinks with food stamps, but happily lobbyists for the soft drink industry have persuaded Congress of the benefits of carbonated sugar drinks, a wise and humane decision as otherwise many food stampers would be giving their children unhealthy tap water to drink.
Meanwhile, who benefits from food stamps? I believe Walmart is a prime beneficiary of the billions of dollars of food stamps issued annually, though I am not sure whether their employees are allowed to double dip by using their employee discounts together with food stamps. Other beneficiaries are gas stations. Although many food stamp recipients don't have cars, trailer parks are often conveniently located within walking or cycling distance of gas station grocery stores where they can purchase a variety of nutritious foods such as Frito-Lay potato chips, Snicker bars, and diet Coca-Cola. In a food stamps economy, the wise investor will consider WMT, BP, and Coke.
[Excerpt from upcoming Seeking Alpha article.]
In Germany during World War II and today on a large scale in South Africa, gasoline was/is made from coal by a chemical process. If current trends continue, it may be that refineries will be converting cheap coal into gasoline for cars, while expensive oil is converted into fertilizers to grow corn that can be converted into ethanol and mixed with the gasoline coal to produce a clean, efficient, cost effective alternative to the bicycle.
Sold some APR BTU 32 puts for $1.49 to finance BTU Sept 29/33 BCS. Net .8 on the $4 spread, BTU 52 week low is 30.6
Hello All – Asking for a little help…going to NYC next month for three days and wondering if anyone can please give me any tips on places to see, eat, etc. Thank you and have a nice weekend all!
Gasoline prices have climbed every day for the last 35 straight!
I filled up on the cheap stuff yesterday at $4.29/gallon near downtown LA. It is at least 20 cents more per gallon in other areas of LA.
FYI – Volume on IWM at 61 M was above three month average of 49 M
Ah, JRW, a little late for your question, but I would say it's different in that it's a lot less likely to be productive in the end,
Burrben, you've already gotten some solid advice on your potential investment. I'd take kustomz "trivial pursuit" approach and wouldn't put up the money if you expect to get it back. I would make it a perpetual loan with interest payable in good dining and leave it at that. I've heard worse stories than the above — people getting capped to avoid repayment — and I have spent the last seven years in a country where that has happened [that I know of] more than once. Be friendly and supportive, but leave biz to the locals, or the crazy gringos who think, usually wrongly, that they can compete with them. MXF and EWZ are for guys like us.
CMG – ouch, Bespoke says they are going to just keep going up and up!
I was just there two weeks ago. I had a bit of a pizza blog on here as I was searching for the best slice in NYC as it was my first trip there. Amazing museums (Museum of Modern Art, Museum of Natural History, Guggenheim), Peasant was a great restaurant in Little Italy, Lombardi's pizza was good but I am sure there is better, Boathouse in Central Park is a nice setting, but I did not try the food. Bring walking shoes as to get a good feel for the neighborhoods it is good to walk around them. Several others members here suggested restaurants that I did not get a chance to try – Saluggis, Jean Claude Cafe/bar ( 137 Sullivan St), Di Fara's pizza,
A lot of this will depend on what neighborhood you are staying in and how much you want to travel. I am sure if you post where you are staying you might get some better results from members… my two cents worth.
PHIL, THANK YOU, the picture is getting much clearer. So taking a step farther, I would then close out that trade while their was still a little premium, and roll to another, month, and this would be a perputual thing, what a nice paycheck!. So how much money would I need to have in my account at TOS to margin in order to have a trade like this with 25 contracts, along the 25/25 contracts on the BCS you originally mentioned. Doing the math, if I was called away at that number even though the caller would be paying me, my inital outlay is a good size number (to me). So I am trying to zero in on my expenses (margin expense, and cash tied up for margin), as I may have to reduce the number down from 25, again (for me) the goal is to obtain some income so any income for me is huge. I wish I had found this site a long time ago, this education is PRICELESS! Thanks. EM
I must be a dummy, but I don't get this one at all. Why would you get a $15,000 bonus if WMT finished over $60? You would get it at $55 as far as I can see.
Why not a) just buy the January $45 as a stock substitute and then sell the monthly calendar bull calls spreads for income? This requires no margin and basically your profit comes from declining option premium plus any upside from the stock.
As Phils says, WMT is ideal, because it isn't going anywhere.
OK, I am just a newbie and maybe the math makes more sense and gets greater leverage Phil's way.
All / Loan Advice
Thanks to all the advice and experience. For me it's just a *fun* little investment where I do think it had large % upside, but on a small amount $ (3K/mo sales out of a friends house). But it's just a small food stand that's selling out every night and does about a 65% profit on the food (wraps and rice bowls). I'm going to offer him an investment for a piece of the business. It's a great time to do this since he had a very successful bar/rest up and running, and then the landlord wanted to triple his rent, so he said f*ck it and moved on (but took a bath doing so). So in a way it's a *ground* floor opportunity. Maybe we could expand, open a small place, who knows. I've lost WAY more betting on OIL and FAS, so what the hell. Get's me out of the house!
PS: Funny thing in Nicaragua, is that no one profits from booze. It's sold almost at cost, so you need to profit on food. Plus it's still a "backpacker/surfer" town, so there isn't big money here except maybe the holidays.
Interesting look at this Market Meridian Theory. It get's interesting at 0:45. Looks like some of JRW's charts, and also supports the view that we are running up against resistance.
…"Meridian Market Theory" which basically posits that the market over the last 40 years has traversed one central trendline, with stocks alternating which side of the meridian they sit upon.
Burrben, I find it interesting that algos, bots, HFT programs are responsible for trading today and unless they figured out how to mimic human behavior they are merely tracing moves from past history. I would note though they do screen headlines.
Thanks for the link!
I have to admit that I was surprised by the comparison:
So Reagan spent almost as much as Obama but taxed much more! What gives. So much for the GOP wanting to go back to the Reagan times. They'll have to tell us what taxes they want raised! I would be willing to look for 1% of GDP in spending cuts if they give us 3% of GDP in tax increase. And so much for their plan to limit spending to 20% of GDP – they have never done it when they were in power.
This view does not look very encouraging – especially if that Dollar breaks over the 200 dma:
How to cut healthcare costs:
Food stamps/JMM – That's a JPM racket.
Interesting title because that was true in the 1900s as well! My favorite picture of old JP is his chauffeur holding him back from beating a poor man (maybe a reporter) with a stick for some offense:
Morgan is a fantastic example of a Conservative asshole who becomes wealthy and decides poor people don't try hard enough so they don't deserve anything when the fact of the matter is he was crippled by rheumatic fever when he was 15 so his wealthy parents sent him to a clinic in the Azores where he was rehabilitated and then it was off to schools in Switzerland and Germany and he gets his first job at 20 working in his father's bank where he went on to become a Civil War profiteer and made his initial fortune screwing the Government that he came to despise. Oh yeah, and he paid $300 have someone serve in his place as a soldier in the war. So the same version of this guy with poor parents would have been a 15 year-old cripple, maybe his life would have turned out differently?
Phil- $ over 200 DMA- I think you meant the 50.
Question- is that your observation or premise? i.e., rising $? if so, what is the catalyst? Technical vs. EUR or something else?
Phil, can you put on another hat and answer me this? I am buying a house with cash (at least for now). Why would I need title insurance? The property has only been owned by the original developer, and the title search revealed no defects. I suppose the bank would require title insurance if I borrowed some of the purchase price, but I can't see why I would need to have it on the equity portion.
Thanks in advance.
Ah, title insurance. I recall wasting several hours of my life which I will never get back, actually reading one of these policies. I arrived at the conclusion that the policy will cover anything which goes wrong unless anything goes wrong which the title company deems is not their fault which is anything that goes wrong.
LOL@pstas: I quit after reading the "executive summary", and I simply couldn't imagine there was much risk in pretty clearcut residential properties. One of the covered risks is "forgery and impersonation". I wonder if somehow, you could get into it if there was robosigning of a previous mortgage? Now there's irony for you 🙂
ROFL on that cartoon StJ!
Ethanol/JMM – Not actually an efficient fuel. Our global energy policy is madness. Very simply we need to push battery technology, electric cars and solar power. The sun hits the earth, on land, with 5,000 times more energy than we use in a year (400 quads of Btu). We currently can do a 50% conversion so 2,500 times so we need to put solar panels on 1/2,500th of our land to get all the energy we need. Don't think of it globally, just think of how that applies to your town and how much of your town would need to be set aside (and I favor just using the roofs of all homes and buildings and designing future construction to always take best advantage of solar) and you'll realize it's not a big deal at all (although figure US uses 5x global average so 1/500th – still not much). The only issues we have are storage and those can be resolved for a lot less than $3.5Tn we spend on oil alone each year globally. It's completely insane that we don't just tax oil 10% and put $350Bn a year into alternate energy research. Had anyone listened to Al Gore, we'd be 20 years into that program already and Kennedy got us from the Earth to the moon in just 10 years. We have the way, but not the will…
Oh wait, I remember now – Al Gore WAS elected to solve this problem but the Republican-packed Supreme Court appointed Bush President instead and then suddenly we were attacked by people from the middle east and America went into a state of emergency and terrorism replaced the energy crisis and fixing SS and Medicare as our top national priorities.
NYC/Ink – Would be good to know what you WANT to do. Also, with family or without, where you're staying etc.
Gas/Rpme – Fell from $3.38 Thursday back to $3.28 yesterday but, in general, that's up from $2.70 on Jan 1st (21%). We did top out at $3.42 last May (holiday weekend, of course) on a run from $2.40 last Jan 2010 so 42% has been accomplished once and we only had a small collapse in the S&P from 1,370 to 1,258 last summer – before we recovered to 1,356 and THEN fell to 1,074 in October but hey, ancient history, right. Now we're up 30% from October so 5% a month on average is pretty good!
Bespoke/Mr. M – Shame on those guys. How does this happen every time – we have a rally, then the pundits start with that crap that "if it's going higher then it must be going even higher" and, before you know it, we have a new bubble and then it pops and ends in disaster – again..
Margin/EM – Well in Burr's example, he had $200K and was only using $68,000 of it so PLENTY of cash for margin. TOS would treat the short calls in that set-up like naked shorts and my non-PM system says selling 25 WMT April $57 puts costs $29K of margin but it all depends on how they treat your own account. Also, a very important safeguard in only using 1/2 of your cash or less on the bull call spread (before you sell calls to offset) because, if the stock goes up sharply and the calls get away from you, you are able to add another bull spread or just some long calls and roll the callers to a 2x position if necessary. I cannot emphasize enough the value of paper-trading or trading very small amount for a few months to get used to these strategies and how they perform under various market conditions before making a big commitment. Like all spreads, you may have to endure wild fluctuations is PRICE (not VALUE) as the VIX goes up and down or the stock goes up and down.
WMT/JMM – See above. Yes, you make $15K on the long spread on anything over $55 to but my point was that if the caller is in the money at $60, you have $15,000 of coverage. The Jan $45s are $14.15 with a delta of .94, so you propose spending $141,500 instead of $86,000 and covering just $17,500 (12% vs 20%) of it for a downside in order to save $29,000 of margin? Not only that but now you DON'T make $15K on the long position unless WMT ends up at $74 (up 25%). Boy, you must really HATE margin but, no thanks…
Investment/Burr – I certainly believe in backing good people. Building a relationship with top-notch entrepreneur has value on it's own. Maybe down the road, you two need to look at a deal where you buy some commercial property with a slot available for a good restaurant and your primary investment is the deposit on the property and starting the restaurant and you use the cash flow from the new restaurant your friend runs plus the other tenants to pay the mortgage and then you have a 50/50 partnership in a restaurant and you're building equity in a property and your friend has a restaurant where he knows the landlord won't screw him over. That will get you out of the house!
Dollar/Pstas – You're right, that's just the 50. Forgot they had shorter indicators on that chart. I think Europe is simply printing more money than we are. Without offsetting $1Tn money prints by the BOJ and the Fed, how can the Euro maintain it's value against them? Figure the Dollar is 60% of all currency and the Euro about 22% and the Yen 7%, Pound 4% and all the rest an inconsequential amount so what happens to the Euro when they dilute by $1Tn and we do nothing? In reality, we'd have print $3Tn to offset. Ignoring currency in use though and looking at GDP, I'd say an equal amount of stimulus/money printing on our part would do the trick.
Title Insurance/Barf – I bought a condo with cash to avoid title insurance on the same logic. The insurance covers a proper transfer, paid up taxes, lack of liens, judgements or assessments against the property than may not have been disclosed. In reality, there is less than a 0.3% claim ratio nationally on title insurance and that includes low-income properties, foreclosures etc. It's probably one of the biggest scams in real estate and, in fact, 80% of the insurance you pay goes to the agent, not the actual underwriter – that's upside down from the model of most insurance and an indication of how badly they overcharge for it. HOWEVER I will say that my own house, which had been subdivided 40 years ago from a larger plot that had been owned by the same family for 100 years before that had a MASSIVE title defect, which we uncovered before we closed only because I used the best people in the business. As it turned out, in the last subdivision, the people who built our home did not take into account the 10-foot easement the town had to build sewers way down the street at the beginning of the adjacent property (we don't have a street-front, just a long driveway) so our house is built touching what should be the end of our neighbors property – which is illegal. That made the house unsellable in the very least and our neighbor actually could demand that our home be removed. Tina was miserable as we really wanted the house and the only way to resolve it was to have our neighbor sign over 10×100 feet of his property to us. FORTUNATELY, our neighbor was the same old Italian guy who had originally owned the larger lot and saw the whole thing as a mistake and he took the hit and gave up 10% of his own property to us. Had his house been left to someone else or even his children, I very much doubt it could have been resolved without a lot of money changing hands. There were 3 prior title policies issues since that subdivision and none of them caught it, nor did the town surveyors catch it when they approved the plans for our house. So there is a legitimate reason for title insurance but, like many insurances, if you can afford the consequences of losing then the odds are in your favor. Also, you can't only insure what you borrow, even if just 10%, the whole home must be insured – it's quite the racket.
Title/Pstas – Actually, they are not too bad about paying out on things that were clearly missed. Judges have little pity on title insurers and they don't want to piss off the regulators on their ridiculously profitable little scam. Payout ratios are so low that if they don't hand out some checks, they may get investigated by Congress to find out what the Hell they actually do (which is pretty much nothing but extract capital from home-buyers). It's not so much that you need insurance – yes there should be insurance of some sort, the real scam is that they insure the same property over and over and over again for the same rates and that is ridiculous – especially in a new condo, like the one I got, where the title covering the builder had no possibility of being clouded by the time I bought my new unit. On a home, I would always get the insurance as the 1/30,000 chance that I take a $100,000+ hit is worth paying $1,500 (as part of the mortgage) to avoid.
Robosigning/Barf – The US just gave the Banksters a free ride on that one with their BS settlement.
Phil, thank you again. I feel like I am being a pain but every question gets answered and then I have another question. I am mostly liquid at this point, and I was able to calculate the margin ( after reading your answer lol), and I am doing many PAPER trades also.I do have some trades that my previous FIN Advisors put me in that I need to figure out how to work out of or just cut them now. So, I am thinking this type of trade maybe good for me. But just like you mentioned I need to have extra powder, for other BCS and also do some of the other trades in the virturals. Hope you enjoy the weekend. Trying to keep my questions to the min. THANKS EM
Don't worry, weekends are the best time to annoy me.
All – now that Elliot is no longer working at PSW Weekly, I am going to try and help Ilene as much as possible. Here are this weeks picks for those that may not read it:
Seattle Genetics (SGEN) – a stock ($18.08 current price) that we have played on many occasions here, and all with a profit, I like going back and paying them again. The company is involved in monoclonal antibodies tagged with a chemotherapeutic drug. This aids in reducing the side effects of the chemotherapeutic, and helping increasing its potency for the 'target' cancer. I like buying the stock in here and selling the September $17.5 calls and puts for at total of $6. The bid/ask on the calls and puts are wide, but this should get filled. This would give you a basis of $12.08 if called away in September (a 33% gain), or if it is put to you the cost basis would be reduced to $14.79.
Protalix (PLX) – FDA review is in May, and I like the prospects of them getting a thumbs up. I have owned shares in PLX for a very long time, and their technology is sound. Pfizer will help PLX sell their main enzyme replacement therapy, Taliglucerase alfa (this enzyme is part of the reason Sanofi bought Genzyme). PLX has a proprietary manufacturing technology which will give them an edge on pricing and thus garnering market share. With Pfizer's sales force behind them, I like PLX's chances. The technology is also transferable to many other disease treatments, so this is a long term holding in my portfolio. To play the FDA, I like the May $5/7.5 bull call spread for 80c (buy the $5 calls, sell the $7.5 calls), and sell the April $5 puts for 40c. IF the April $5 puts expire worthless, the bull call spread price cost basis is reduced to 40c. That means the maximum loss of 40c, or a maximum payout of $2.10.
Guided Therapeutics (GTHP) – The company was a stock trade about six months ago knowning that an FDA decision was looming. PSW members rode it up to 1.20 and some sold all, others sold 1/2 of their position -then the FDA sent the company a non-approvable letter. I like them again for a new entry or re-buying the original position back as as the EU and Asian communities will give them the green light, and they can start selling the machines (Canada already gave the company the OK). The company has a non-invasive device for the detection of endometrial cancer. The company is a long term speculative buy and hold. Sell at least 1/2 if it gets back to the highs of $1.40.
For the dividend plays, I like BMY and MRK. Each company has very good pipelines, pays a nice dividend, and should be part of any dividend paying portfolio. For these types of plays, we use the buy write methodology as noted for SGEN above. For BMY, I like buying the stock and selling the January 2014 $32 calls and puts for $8. For MRK, I like buying the stock and selling the January 2014 $35 calls and puts for $9.10. (MRKs options are priced in $5 increments, where BMYs are in $1 increments).
Also, the generic prescription market is only going to grow in the coming years. There are many companies in this space, and consolidation of the industry is going to happen. TEVA is a major player, but I think focusing on smaller players that serve a niche in the space are the way to go. HSP and WCRX are two companies we have in our biotech portfolio. For HSP, I like selling the August 2013 $30 puts for $1.35. HSP had some manufacturing problems, but those should be solved in the coming months, hence to lower put sale just in case the have a set back. This would give a good position for us to get into the stock. I would get more aggressive if the announce things are solved, and that is something to consider as as speculative investment (e.g., buying the January 2013 $35/40 bull call spread for $1.95. This is ALL premium, as the current stock price is $34.96, but it makes a nice upside play for HSP ans selling the puts reduces the cost to 60c). WCRX is a smaller company that focuses on women's health. Once flying high, the company has had a few setbacks on revenue due to Actonel's and the other Bisphosphonates (e.g., Fosamax) potential links to bone fractures. The company's overall cash flows remain in good shape, and I like them for a small play buy buying the stock and selling the October $17 calls and $16 puts for $4 or better.
Some others that I will start an initial entry on this week:
GHDX – remember GXDX? How about Roche trying to buy ILMN? Well, this company is'a molecular diagnostics company, focuses on the development and global commercialization of genomic-based clinical laboratory services that analyze the underlying biology of cancer allowing physicians and patients to make individualized treatment decisions. The company offers Oncotype DX breast cancer test, which is used for early stage breast cancer patients to predict the likelihood of breast cancer recurrence and the likelihood of chemotherapy benefit. It also provides Oncotype DX colon cancer test, which is used to predict the likelihood of colon cancer recurrence in patients with stage II disease.' Selling the Sept $25 Puts for $1.50, buying the $25/30 BCS for $2.40 or better. I like the put sale more than the BCS, but thought I would put it out there as a more speculative purchase. If they pull back, then I would start the DD on the puts and buy the full BCS.
Life Tech – well, they have a new device that is supposedly better than ILMN. I am disappointed that I missed the dip, b'c I would have bought in droves, but here we are. I like buying the $40/45 BCS, selling the $40 puts for a $1.45 net on the $5 spread. BCS is ITM.
Good weekend all.
Mike Luckovich: Gas prices 🙂
I suggest you go back in member chat to Canuck's February 14th, 2012 at 4:05 pm post asking about the best pizza in NYC. Going forward in chat for a few days, you'll find all sorts of recommendations (including Phil's) regarding what to see and do (and eat…not just pizza) in NYC. Makes my mouth water to reread them…have fun!
PHIL, LOL thanks. Ok one more dumb question thank god for the weekends, getting my best education on a Saturday (LMAO). On the part of the stock movingly sharply up and the calls get away and adding another BCS or just some long calls ( i understand those comments), Can you please explain rolling the callers to a 2X postion. I get rolling, that would be closing out a postion and opening an new one with moving later in time, but is 2X a couple of expirations date out into the future? Thanks. EM.
Phil, this can only be the thinking of a gringo. I must say you need to paper trade first. I have only my experience from Mexico and indirect from Costa Rico, My conclusion is Nicaragua can only be worse. Business in Mexico, I could write a book about it, actually I did start one until my laptop was stolen out of my car. The title was My life between pigs. Regret it was from a German type of view. Published they might have exported me from Mexico. If I read some of you guys dreams, I can only say the grass always looks greener on the other side of the fence. Even in South Africa, 15 years experience yes I did make money but it is and was like balancing on a high wire.
Your idea was some what like setting up a corporation dealing in stocks and property as I understand it correctly. We have many bright and capable guys possible girls on this site, every one has some experience in a specific field. The main starter is to put some money together to get the ball rolling. But it would be better to operate in countries where you know the turf, not like chasing butterflies in latin America. My strong advice for anyone looking to live south of the border. RENT REPEAT RENT A PLACE. possible buy some motorized undercarriage to do the shopping and get an internet connection and participate in what we are doing.
But do not and I repeat DO NOT involve yourself in any type of venture. Believe me I am speaking from experience.
It might look difficult to do business in the US but boy try it here. I can only smile about Burr 200K idea where he is so worried he would lose it in the market. I was not joking when I said play black and red in LV because if you do not follow the money trial to the south 100% you do have a good chance of losing it all.
That is enough from my soap box today see you on Monday God will.
Moving money around.
Experience is what counts. Preparing myself for an extended trip to Europe I decided to wire transfer some funds from my US trading acc to My bank in Europe. One question in the questionnaire was very amusing. WHAT DO YOU WANT THE MONEY FOR? Interesting you can not even decide what to do with your own money anymore. I entered, going to buy two new wives. And here one for you Phil. putting lots of bills in your suitcase coming from Latin America, makes you look like a drug dealer, but having a KG or two of gold chains on you neck and arm is normal, you get some good cash for it in Europe no questions asked.
Ahmadijedad was crushed in the Iranian elections by Khamenei and the clerics. More social control, more religious radicalism, but probably not much change in nuclear or oil policies. But Ahmadi-nejad is president until 2013, with little support — even his sister, Parvin, couldn't win a parliamentary seat this weekend. I would guess that the rhetoric will, if anything, escalate, but that power is too diffused between the president and parliament to follow it up with a concrete plan of action. Israel would be way stupid to attack Iran at this point, since it would not eliminate the nuclear program and would be about the only thing that could unite the Iranian leadership — and Israel would know that. On the other hand, Iran might actually increase its threatening noises, so oil could go anywhere from here, or nowhere, on this news. It's awfully expensive, I must say.
On reflection, perhaps I could go long head scarves.
Greek default looms as voluntary debt deal looks set to fail
George Friedman [Stratfor] on Europe — quite good, (and free) — http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vSyB2ESpQiQ&elq=cfbada99c73c4e2281402aaa2ad05fbb
Phil, thanks so much for your comments on title insurance. It always smelled bad to me, but I never had the option of paying cash so it was never meaningful.
I must say that since I have been a member of PSW (3 years, more or less exactly) I have come to be suspicious of many things I never thought much about previously. Education never stops, no matter how old one gets.
Week Ending 25February2012: Rail Volumes Continue to Contract
The Association of American Railroads (AAR) today reported a decline in weekly rail traffic for the week ending February 25, 2012, with U.S. railroads originating 281,644 carloads, down 5 percent compared with the same week last year. Intermodal volume for the week totaled 214,402 trailers and containers, down 2.8 percent compared with the same week last year.
Pharm- when will you nibble on ARNA again? I’m debating on whether to sdouble down or not. Seems like they should at least go up to 2.50ish by the time their review happens….
See, if I make a big enough deal about something, after a while other people begin to catch on: