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Tempting Tuesday – As Usual

If it's Tuesday we must be bouncing!

Clearly, from the recent sell-off, we have a whole lot of bouncing to do.  Yesterday we failed our Must Hold lines on the Nasdaq, the NYSE and the Russell (the Dow never got there) and the S&P was briefly below 1,360 and recovered to end the day at 1,366 – still below our weak bounce level of 1,372.

That leaves us in the same place as we were on the 11th, when I titled the morning post – "Weak Bounces and Beige Books."  As we expected at the time, we made it to our 1,384 level on the S&P and then failed to hold it and now we come in for our 2nd tests of our 3 significant levels – 1,360, 1,372 and 1,384 – that's our range until it breaks and THEN we can make some directional bets.  

In this market chop, our best strategy has been to bet both ways and our virtual $25,000 Portfolio is now up about $16,000 for the year but that's nothing compared to our completely neutral FAS Money Portfolio, which has turned a $2,000 spread into almost $8,000 in profits in the same 4 months – just using our very simple strategy of selling premium on a regular basis:  

Last year's FAS Money Portfolio was also a great performer and it's a great time to get started following as the current position is down $706 so you sure didn't miss anything but a loss by taking up the current position.  It's a great exercise to set up a virtual portfolio and follow these trades along as we are constantly managing these positions to maximize the amount of premium we sell so it's a great practice portfolio for rolling and adjusting short positions, teaching you the value of BEING THE HOUSE!  

Woodstock for Capitalists: A Film About Warren Buffett, Charlie Munger, and Berkshire Hathaway Shareholders RallySpeaking of investing value – don't miss our contest to win 2 passes to Berkshire Hathaway's Annual Shareholder Meeting!  Hopefully we'll get a nice report from whoever wins – it's always good to get a little insight into what the Oracle of Omaha is thinking.  

My thinking is that – while our Virtual Portfolios are all performing very well this year – I still can't shake my overall feeling that the markets are very weak internally.  Today we are hoping that AAPL will save us (earnings this evening) and tomorrow we hope Bernanke will save us (Fed at 12:30, Bernanke speaks at 2pm) and then we'll be hoping our Q1 GDP comes in better than expected – although by then, we will have not gotten QE3 and maybe the bulls will hope the GDP is a disaster and brings the Fed back to the table. 

I don't see it though – until and unless Europe actually collapses, there is no sense in the Fed using up their own firepower simply to keep the stock market overpriced.  The situation remains that we would be gung-ho bearish if NOT for the constant fear of Central Bank manipulation – whether from our own Federal Banksters or those in foreign lands like the BOJ, who indicated they are "likely" to ease monetary policy on Friday – which will be a neat trick as their rate is already 0.1%.  

With interest rates virtually at zero, the BOJ has adopted as its main policy tool a program under which it buys assets ranging from government bonds to corporate debt and trust funds investing in property and shares. Any expansion in the program would come mainly in the form of government bonds, although there is a slim chance the BOJ may also pledge to buy more exchange-traded funds (ETFs) depending on the size of increase, now rumored to be 10 TRILLION Yen ($123Bn). 

Clearly it is time to practice saying Quadrillion – as the BOJ is clearly on the way to doing a Quadrillion something and you don't want to look like an economic dork by tripping over the word so just practice saying Quadrillion a few times every day so, when the situation comes up, you'll be able so say it like a pro when you discuss how totally F'd up the Global economy is.  

Our futures were up this morning (we shorted them) and already, at 8:52 they are beginning to falter.  Oil (/CL) is back at our magical $103.50 line and we love that short as we felt the Dollar was artificially held down all day yesterday and it's going to be very difficult to keep the Dollar down today with Japan's total QE package now moving past the 0.1 Quadrillion Yen level (see – it came up already!).  

AAPL is already worth a 65 Trillion Yen and there are plenty of estimates on the street that put them over a tenth of a Quadrillion within a year.  OK, so it's still a stretch to use it but Zimbabwe was there in 2008 and the way our Central Banksters are printing paper – the rest of us are bound to follow suit if we keep moving down this path.

Speaking of things that are inflating – oil went the wrong way on us this morning as we failed to get a break below the $103.50 line and now it's rocketing back up to $104, where we'll be happy to not only short a rejection on that line (/CL) but to re-position for some USO puts ahead of tomorrow's inventory report.  

It's not so much oil being a glut (though it's a huge glut against low demand) as it is about the Dollar very likely to go back over 80 tomorrow on a failure by the Fed to dump more QE on the market.  A stronger Dollar should put a hit on both oil ($104) and gold ($1,645), both of which we will be betting on into the Fed meeting.  Of course, if the madness persists and we do get QE3 tomorrow – then it will be time, once again, to go gung-ho bullish on those Financials.

In yesterday's chat, we played both sides of the fence, with trade ideas for an EDZ spread as well as a TNA spread early in the morning.  As they both have potential for over 500% pay-offs – the only thing we fear is NOT moving one way or the other.  We already went bullish on FAS with short puts to offset our bearish bets and we cashed out half of our DIA puts at 11:07 - taking the money and running on those aggressively bearish bets.  Later in the day we added a TZA spread but then went with TQQQ to go the other way and then we had another EDZ idea as we REALLY think the emerging markets are due for an "event".  

We put a complex bet on AAPL on the premise they stay under $590 through May expirations, my long trade idea on AAPL was to simply pick up a bull call spread on the Qs since we only call it the AAPLdaq anyway these days.  We did a complex spread on NFLX that will be interesting this morning and our last two trades, at 3:40 were small bearish adjustments to our FAS Money and IWM Money Portfolios – selling a bit more bullish premium into the afternoon pop.  

We'll mostly be watching and waiting now into tomorrow's Fed Meeting and Bernanke's 2pm comments 1,360 really MUST hold on the S&P but there's nothing real about a rally that can't get that index back over 1,384 and hold it.  

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  1. Ford making a big move in pre-market without any news.
    I sold F Jan 2013 12.50 calls several months ago.  Now up 57%.  Would you take the money or hold until expiration?

  2. Now we're getting a move back up in the Dollar (79.45) so we can use those shorting lines at Dow 12,900 (/YM), RUT 790 (/TF) and oil $103.50 (/CL) and give it another crack. 

  3. MrM & deano – thanks – that's what makes this place a good one for all to ask, and I hope the new members take advantage of the people on the board.  We don't have to invest in only Phil's recommendations (although it does not hurt!).  I will pass on AUGT and look at selling some GWRE puts for starting a position. 


    PP for today:

  4. Oil Lines

    R3 – 105.93
    R2 – 104.88
    R1 – 103.91
    PP – 102.86
    S1 – 101.89
    S2 – 100.84
    S3 – 99.87

  5. The big number is Consumer Confidence at 10:00 AM EST as it can move the market one way or the other!

  6. Phil or company,  whats  your take on BWLD? 

  7. Hi Phil
    I am newbie here – subscribed to your site about 10 days back with the purpose of learning to trade options by exercising them through a paper portfolio. But I am finding it very difficult to follow the trade ideas posted here. I was hoping that there will be a link to the virtual portfolios with real-time positions. But the virtual portfolio tab only shows archives. Also, there is no help on how I should be reading these trades. So, for example, in the "FAS Money Virtual Portofolio" that has been posted above, what does -10 (# of contracts) mean? Also, how do I know when a new trade in the portfolio is entered so that I can mimic it in my paper portfolio.
    Thanks for the help!

  8. Maybe we can take some more shots at earnings tonight. On deck are the following companies. I am listing the ticker followed by the average post earning move:

    AAPL – 3.38%
    JNPR – 7.33%
    AMGN – 1.99%
    AFL – 3.77%
    PNRA – 7.88%
    QCOR – 14.69%

    I'll check during the day to see what the options predict as a move. This is what tells us what makes an interesting play or not. 

  9. Portfolio / Gandhjo – This is a link to the portfolio spreadsheet:

    You might need to copy and paste into your browser as clicking sometimes doesn't work.

    As far as explanations are concerned, the "-10" means that we are short 10 contracts for that strike. Let me know if you have other questions as I manage the spreadsheets. I post an update every morning and Phil posts the trades on a daily basis. We use the portfolio names in the post to make it easier to track. For example, a post that starts with "FAS Money" will contain trade information. 

  10. Good Morning!
    Two of my favorite Governors – past and present – on CNBS this morning.
    Brian Schweitzer – D Montana and John Huntsman – R Utah
    A whole lot of common sense in Fort Lee this morning…….

  11. Exec, Ford credit upgraded to investment grade

  12. thanks stjeanluc
    that helps :-)

  13. Gmarts/Ford
    Funny how the stock moved before the news.

  14. AAPL crashing pre-hours, wonder who "knows something" about earnings tonite?

  15. shorted /cl at 103.45. set stop at 104 got stopped out.  Reload?

  16. AAPL/Jerconn — Supposedly, it has to do with weak ATT iPhone activation numbers.

  17. dollar going stright down the crapper

  18. Don't forget, Consumer Confidence in about 10 minutes!

  19. wow I have picked and chosen parts of most of the 25k p and I am down 40%…when your luck is bad it is baaaaad. Next trade:)

  20. I think my problem is that I have my 25kp isolated so I cannot make the sales of premium for some of the 3x etf's like FAS. especially after we got down early.
    Phil is it your intention that if you held a specific isolated 25k in a portfolio that you would be able to make all the trades or would you need more for deeper margin requirements?

  21. DOW outperforming…all lies I tell ya.

  22. Dollar
    my dumb question of the day:
    is there a "ticker" symbol that I can use to watch the "dollar"?

  23. Good morning! 

    79.25 on the Dollar – Imagine how crappy this open would be if we had gone up .25 instead of down.  As it is, not much exciting going on but clearly people are supporting commodities this morning – or maybe it's just a reflection of a weak Dollar.  

    Euro is popping $1.32 again, Pound $1.6147, 81.06 Yen to the Dollar (too strong) and $1.2015 EUR/CHF (also too strong) so the BOJ and the SNB are likely to pump up the Euro today and that may keep the Dollar down since we have no proper information to counter it until Ben speaks tomorrow.  

    Still, it's an opportunity to roll our USO May $38 puts (now .45) to the May $39 puts (now .79) for .34 in the $5KP and, if they drop to .60 or less – we'll want to DD.  

    In the $25KP, let's just go ahead and grab 10 of the USO May $39 puts for .79

    Also, we are out of DIA puts in the $5KP so let's go back in with 5 of the May $126 puts at .96

    In the $25KP, let's DD on our existing $127 puts at $1.19 for 10 at $1.20.  

    At the open: Dow +0.34% to 12972. S&P +0.22% to 1370. Nasdaq +0.1% to 2971.

    Treasurys: 30-year -0.13%. 10-yr -0.06%. 5-yr -0.02%.

    Commodities: Crude +0.85% to $103.98. Gold +0.76% to $1644.95.

    Currencies: Euro +0.28% vs. dollar. Yen -0.08%. Pound -0.07%.

    Market preview: Stock futures pare earlier gains and even fall into the red, with Apple (-2.4%) dragging down shares after AT&T (+1.5%results indicated that Apple may have sold fewer iPhones than expected. We'll know for sure tonight, when the latter releases FQ2 earnings. S&P Benchmark flat-to-lower. Later: Data dump at 10 am, FOMC meeting starts

    Redbook Chain Store Sales: +2.7% Y/Y vs. +3.0% last week.

    ICSC Retail Store Sales: +0.8% W/W, vs. -1.0% last week.+3.6% Y/Y, vs. +3.2% last week. The rise in sales is attributed to warm weather, receding gas prices, and improving confidence among high-income households.

    Feb. S&P Case-Shiller Home Price Index: 0.2%M/M vs.0.0% prior. -3.5% Y/Y vs. -3.3% expected, -3.8% prior. 

    Canada's February retail sales unexpectedly decline 0.2%, the first fall since July. In volume terms, sales declined 0.6%. The fall comes amidst recent hawkish talk from the BoC and analyst expectations of rate hikes this year. The loonie quickly slides 20 pips to $1.0087. 

    An uptrend line in the S&P 500 that starts at the October low and extends to a point at just below 1360 is under serious pressure. Yesterday, the index fell to 1358 but held; the line also was tested earlier in April and held (1357 on April 10). But where Dennis Gartmansees trouble ahead, Michael Harris believes the market may have found its support level for a move higher. 

    The slim increase in the Case-Shiller index marks the first time in 10 months U.S. home prices have risen. Of interest is hard-hit Phoenix posting its 5th consecutive monthly price increase, and now up on a Y/Y level for 2 consecutive months.

    Even as the vast majority of banks report better-than-expected Q1 earnings, bank stock indexes are underperforming the broader market since earnings season began. A big run-up in bank stocks prior to earnings is the likely culprit, but slimming net interest margins, and loan books barely growing are also worth noting.

    The U.K. budget deficit widens in March to £18.2B from £12.B in February and £18B a year ago. In the fiscal year through March, the deficit narrowed to £126B from £136.8 the previous year, with tax revenues rising 3.9% and spending gaining 2% under the government's celebrated austerity program.

    Greek GDP will contract 5% this year, says the country's central bank chief, greater than a forecast made just last month of 4.5%. The "internal devaluation" is at least helping the current account deficit, now estimated at 7.5% of GDP from 9.8% in 2011 as steep wage cuts improve competitiveness.

    The stage is set for the RBA to cut rates after Australia's CPI rises just 0.1% in Q1 against expectations for 0.6%. Annual inflation comes in at 1.6% vs. 2.1% expected. The central bank has made clear only this CPI report stood between the current 4.25% benchmark and something lower. It meets on May 1. Aussie -0.4% to $1.0280.

    AT&T's (TQ1 report isn't good news for Apple, and is nearly as bad for rivals and smartphone chipmakers. Total smartphone sales fell 41% Q/Q to 5.5M. Thus, the 43% Q/Q drop in iPhone sales (worse than Verizon's 24% drop) only led to a modest share decline. PerhapsWalter Piecyk had a point about the impact of AT&T's upgrade policy changes. The big question for Apple now is whether international sales made up for U.S. softness. AAPL -2.1%.

    More on AT&T's (T +2.2%Q1: A 41% Q/Q smartphone sales drop contributed to AT&T's wireless operating margin rising to 27.2%, up 140 bps Y/Y and 1200 bps Q/Q. Also, Ma Bell delivered 726K wireless net adds (includes 460K tablet/PC data plans) and churn of 1.1% (1.21% in Q4), and a 1.7% Q/Q increase in ARPU to $64.46. 200K U-Verse TV subs were added and wireline data revenue rose 8.7% Y/Y, but wireline voice fell 10%. (PR)

  24. WTF..
    Traders note strong EUR/USD buying from a US custody bank taking the pair above 1.3200 at the moment. Typically, their customers are pension fund and mutual fund managers… Not sure why those guys have a sudden appetite for large amounts of EUR/USD, but they sure caught the market napping…
    Once they stop buying EUR/USD may dip but interbank traders are now likely short and will be buyers on dips, which could keep dips shallow for the next few hours…

  25. stjeanluc… in the list of earnings, you forgot BWLD.  They tend to move a lot in either direction after earnings.  And they report tonight. 

  26. newbie 
    April 24th, 2012 at 9:56 am | Permalink
    $DYK on think or swim
    my dumb question of the day:
    is there a "ticker" symbol that I can use to watch the "dollar"?

  27. qcmike  /dx

  28. BWLD / Lolo – Indeed, they do move a lot on earnings – about 8%. I was not sure if anyone would be interested though… The option volume is relatively thin.

  29. sagemm1 
    April 24th, 2012 at 10:04 am | 

    qcmike  /dx

  30. Heavy hand moving this market..bots having Bear meat for BF.

  31. sagemm1 

    What is the difference, ?


  32. Chipotle Mexican Grill(CMG_) was downgraded at Credit Suisse from Outperform to Neutral. Valuation call, based on a $450 price target, Credit Suisse said

  33. These AT&T numbers do underline the fact that we must be reaching saturation in the smartphone business. How many does one need? The Western European market look pretty saturated to me as well when I visit. Everybody has an iPhone or similar handset. The issue in developing countries is prices as there are fewer (if any) incentives. That's headwind for manufacturers. That was always my concern about people predicting sales going up 30% every year forever… Look what happened to flat screen TVs. Sales are flat or down because of saturation. And they don't come with enough new stuff (3D looks like a bust) to justify upgrading. 

    On the other hand, good news for T and VZ as they will spend less money on subsidies….

  34. 9:32 (Dow Jones) Credit Suisse says upside for Chipotle's (CMG) stock price is limited these days, as "slowing 2-year comp momentum limits room for multiple expansion, if not raises the risk for some multiple compression." Firm cuts CMG to neutral from outperform, though it believes "CMG remains one of the best growth stories" in consumer sector. CMG posted another strong quarter last week, with same-store sales up 13% and earnings up 35%. Shares off 0.9% at $413.37, but still up 22% so far this year. (

  35. qcmike not sure what the question is for difference between what?

  36. Earning strangles – That NFLX 80/130 strangle sold yesterday for $1.51 can be bough back for $0.33 this morning! Not bad money for an evening's work…

  37. wow we are really going to have a 100 point up day, where is my white flag or headstone??

  38. sage and qcmike
    Thanks, I found it, with your help.
    I don't have TOS, but I found the quote on Bloomberg (with your DYX info), and then finally, after some messing around, I found in on Scottrade (my trading platform).
    THANKS  I learned something today!

  39. F/Exec – 57% is a lot with so much time to go.  Unless you are 90% certain there is no way F is going to $12.50 and you are willing to be long-term short on them if you are wrong, then you are hoping to gain .72 against a limitless potential loss – not quite as safe a bet as your original $1.50 or whatever it was…

    Welcome Gandhjo!  I hope they still send out that Email to new Members that tells you to read the New Members Guide, where there are all sorts of links and resources regarding basic terms – even if you don't want to read a month's worth of posts and comments to get up to speed and would rather just ask about whatever pops into your head without looking for yourself.  As it mentions in the guide, all trade ideas are initiated in chat or in the new posts – the Portfolio Tab is, of course, an archive as it TRACKS trades we already made.  If we initiated trades in 10 different places – THAT would be chaos.  We also have that handy EBook that gives you the options basics and, as you can see – lots of people are happy to help with basic questions but it would be nice if you waited until after trading hours to ask them.  

    How is our messy NFLX play doing?  We had the following:  

    • Weekly $100 puts and calls sold for $16.30.  The $100 calls are now .25 (kill them, of course) and the $100 puts are $11.10 so $11.35 is up $5.25
    • June $110/125 bull call spread was $4.10, now $1 – down $3.10
    • June $90/75 bear put spread was $3.60, now $5.25 – up $1.65

    So that's net $3.80 gained off the original $8.60 credit – a very nice 44% gain on the day and that was WITH NFLX pushing the outside of our expectations.  Why does it work?  Because we took a neutral long stance and sold a crap-load of premium that was due to expire quickly.  Adjustment-wise, I'd take the $10.60 and run on the June $90 puts and leave the $75 puts naked as the earnings weren't THAT bad and I'd buy back the June $125 caller for .40 as well as the May $100s I mentioned above and then we hope Bernanke calls for QE3 and NFLX goes back to $120.  

    Or, of course cashing 44% today and moving on to the next earnings target is also fun as we can do this every day!  

    Oil/Newt – That's a HUGE stop on Futures.  We generally try not to lose more than .05.  At $104 we reloaded short but that's after giving up no more than a dime off the $103.50 line and, now that we're at $103.75 again – we are quick to take a profit to make up the losses on the original entry and then we wait PATIENTLY for the next good entry at a .50 line.  

    None of the 10am data was very impressive but, so far, no one seems to care (or maybe they think it will lead to more easing):  

    Apr. Richmond Fed Mfg. Survey: +7, to 14 (above 0 = growth). Shipments +16 to 18, new orders +2 to 13, jobs +4 to 10 .

    March New Home Sales: -7.1% to 328K vs. 318K expected, 353K (revised) prior. Months' supply 5.3 vs. 5.8 last month. Median price $234,500.

    Feb. FHFA Housing Price Index: +0.3% month-on-month, vs. +0.0% (revised) in January.

    April Consumer Confidence: 69.2 vs. 69.5 expected, 69.5 in March (revised). Expectations 81.1 vs. 82.5 (revised). Present situation 51.4 vs. 49.9 (revised). 

    April State Street Investor Confidence Index: 87.7,down from March's 91.6. Regional breakdown: North America -0.7 to 88.8, Europe -0.1 to 100.5, Asia-Pacific -7.5 to 87.0.

    Gallup's Economic Confidence Index holds steady at -19 for the week ended April 22, just slightly beneath a 4-year high. The economic outlook rating rises to -11, with 42% believing the economy is getting better vs. 53% seeing worse. As election season nears, respondents view of the economy appears even more tainted by party affiliation.

  40. oh I see not sure what diff is between /dx and DYX

  41. Part/Sage – We were down a lot at one point.  The real trick is to try to make balanced picks and make sure you are always selling more premium than you are buying.  We were more aggressive before, now we're a little more balanced.   The $25KP is ONLY intended to be a small, aggressive carve-out of a larger portfolio, like our conservative Income Portfolio, that has tons of spare margin.  If you want to play without margin, the $5KP picks are more suited.  

    Dollar/Newbie – UUP gives you some idea but if you open up a paper money account in TOS, you can use the /DX futures to track the Dollar live. 

    Euro/Kustomz – That's interesting.  They are getting stopped dead at $1.32 so I guess that's where the bears are taking a stand.  Dollar fell all the way to 79.20 but back over 79.25 now (not that that's very impressive but better than going lower).  

    BWLD/Lolo – I like them short.   They may pop but then I'd like them short even more so how about selling 5 May $85 calls for $3.60 ($1,800) and buying 3 Sept $90 calls for $5.80 ($1,740) which is a $60 credit on the spread and if BWLD fails, then you get $60 plus whatever is left on the long calls.  If BWLD jumps up for BS reasons, we cash the long calls and wait for gravity to strike the naked short calls.  If BWLD goes up for good reasons, we add 2 more longs and roll the short calls up.  

    CMG/Jabob – About time analysts caught up to us!  Next stop – PCLN!!! 

  42. Phil – you think we get a spike in the dollar into the fed? Seems to be going the other way… I really want to go long DX…

  43. Phil Looking at that WMT play of 4/11 Buy Jun12 3x 55p sell 3x Sep12 55p  and selling the Jan 55p x2 Having WMT down on the for me stupid Mexican bribery business (you can not do business in Mexico with out it, the same as paying a tip in the restaurant) the same play even lools better today to be repeated What you think

  44. Phil, the only reason i was bullish on BWLD is because of Super Bowl and March Madness and such.  Hate them but looking for a earnings pop if it happens.  What's your take on Panera Bread?

  45. The lower AAPL heads the more they push the markets higher.

    Headline from CNBC ATT profits beat, IPhone sales drop helps margins..LOL. Wonder if telcoms are pushing cheaper phones to help boost profits


    FAS Money – Funny how you can be losing money on the puts AND the calls at the same time.  I'm nervous enough about QE3 to want to drop our 2014 $15 calls ($2) to the $13 calls ($3.20) for $1.20.  It's a good investment as we're spending $1.20 for a potential .80 additional gain and all XLF has to do is hold $15 and, if not, the $1,200 we spend on the roll is just 3 $4 FAS call sales so it's a good investment in our future.  

    IWM Money – Let's buy back the March $90 calls ($2.80) because there are 4 of those and wouldn't we be better off selling 2 TNA May $54s for $4 to make the same $800(ish) only much, much sooner.  Let's not be that aggressive but let's sell one more May $54 and put another $400 in our pockets.  

    $5KP – DMND up 4% this morning.  Nothing very exciting otherwise and you always take a little hit when you add positions so we just have to wait to be right now. 

    $25KP – Now we're in a groove!  Up $800 from yesterday even when the market isn't doing what we hoped is very nice indeed.  Make that every day and it's another $160,000 for the year so let's not even be that ambitious, right?  It's very easy to forget just how fantastic $800 is but it's a lot – always keep that in mind…  

    • DMND – $21.45, looking better.  
    • XRT – $59.79 and I will be PISSED if it goes over $60 again.  
    • BBY – In rehab at $21.53.  June is still far away. 
    • SCO – New and on target
    • SQQQ – Another one that will piss me off if we head up.  Now $12 on the button. 
    • FAS – Too bullish – let's sell 4 May $100s for $5.30 as that's a nice $2,120 for doing nothing but watching.  
    • GLL – Tempting to DD
    • DIA – We did DD
    • CHK – Looking good at $17.90
    • PCLN – Looking great at $691.  $11.70 was where we cashed out last time so we're being a bit greedy and should set a stop at $10.50.  
    • EDZ – New and nowhere yet.  


  47. ATT & AAPL / Kustomz
    I went into an AT&T store a few weeks ago to upgrade my iPhone.  Could not even find them on display in the store!  
    Clerk had to get one from the back after I asked.  
    As he was ringing it up, I asked him jokingly if they were hiding the AAPL products on purposes (new iPad just out, yet not on display either – although the only other customer in the store was purchasing one).  
    He said, actually, yes we are pushing other products because AAPL keeps too much for themselves and we don't make anything… 

  48. This is what they are calling "better"?  

  49. I sure wish IFLAN would give us his 2 cents on a good re-entry point for Apple.  $550 – 560 looks interesting to open a bull call spread.   $550 would be better as that is where they gapped up from….
    My guess on AAPL is "they" are going to see how high they can get without AAPL and then have AAPL recover and market shoots higher… 

  50. Aus, I bought the Samsung Note and love love love it! I also have the IPhone and use it to listen to music when jogging. I have a few friends that did the switch as well. The Telcoms could be trying to play hardball with AAPL and the competition is catching up quickly.

  51. AAPL / Robert – Worth waiting after tonight's earnings to do anything…. You might get an entry point at $500 if they miss!

  52. Was that a buy program kicking in on TNA?

  53. Telcom / Kustomz & Aussie – I had a post a while back that outlined how much money the telcoms were losing on the iPhone subsidies – it was billions. I am quite certain that they are handset agnostic and would rather sell anything else where they don't have to shell out tons for each user. And like I said earlier, we are probably reaching saturation on the smartphones anyway. Until iPhone 5 which will bring out the Apple fans back. 

  54. Dollar/Jrom – I think after the Fed and after Bernanke and no QE3 we get a big move up in the Dollar but it would be insane to play the futures as we could, possibly, get QE3 and the Dollar drops to 78 very fast.  I don't mind risking max $170 playing UUP in the $5KP to maybe make $350 but the Futures?  CRAZY!  

    WMT/Yodi –  What were we trying to do there?  Buying 3 June $55 puts to cover the short sale of 3 Sept $55 puts and 2 Jan $55 puts was a bullish play on WMT holding $55 long-term with the 3 June calls covering the possibility of a dip.  This would be that dip that we wanted to cover, of course, but we're still not at .55 and I do still like the play but I'd DD on the June puts if WMT can't hold $58.50.  

    BWLD/Lolo – Yes but that stuff's over.  I think we talked about it at the time and after March Madness is when I do like to short them as baseball season is very dull and football season it too far away and I doubt anyone is going to BWLD to watch the olympics.   PNRA I like as a business but not at a 33 current p/e.  They are not nosebleed enough to short but certainly not a bargain either. 

    Cheaper phones/Kustomz – I saw that last weekend at the mall to the point where I commented on it in chat.  They do everything they can NOT to sell you an IPhone or an IPad.  

    And what Aussie said.  

    Russell making a run at 800 – NYSE 7,995 – let's see if those lines are now acting as resistance. 

  55. Phil – BHI – nice pop today!  You recommended selling puts a month ago and very nice profits now.

  56. BWLD – but wouldn't their earnings tonight reflect the business during those times (superbowl and madness)? 

  57. BWLD / Lolo – More important in the post-earning move is not what they did last quarter but how they guide for next quarter. Earnings are backward looking, guidance looks forward and is a better indicator of performance. You can see it every day when company beat but guide lower and the stock gets beaten up or the opposite if the miss but guide higher. Tricky in any case.

  58. Stj:  Marine Le Pen is railing about banks and financiers, she won an astonishing 18% of the recent vote, it makes you wonder how long Germany's "beggar the rest of Europe" policies will hold up.  Which policy?  A common currency, which destroys the ability of Peripheral Europe to balance income and consumption, but makes them a sterling export market for Germany.

  59. 6 min to EUs close, lets see how the EUR trades after..$ should bounce..then again they always do the unexpected..Im so confused

  60. Phil…Bot NFLX June 75 puts some time ago .Didn't get a huge pop after last nite,how come?

  61. Sjl/BWLD – got it!

  62. Europe / Zero – There was an article in Le Monde yesterday outlining the fact that Merkel will soon be torn between 2 sides. If Hollande wins, he will most likely side with Spain, Greece and Portugal against the "German" austerity program (remember last week's Bundesbank quote – Don't worry about growth). Most of Le Pen's voters are Euro sceptic which is why I think that only 50% of them rally to Sarkozy and he is toast. In any case, Merkel will face a stronger front with the addition of France in Europe but will be held in check by her own party in Germany. Now, I have argued that Hollande's current rethoric will be muffled after the election by market forces but the overall picture will be changed. And that makes it hard to predict which way we will go. Interesting times we live in…

  63. Fits and starts today, $ cant fight its way out of a wet paper bag. I think they take the DOW to 13,350+ and they pull the rest of the markets higher.

  64. HAHAHA 13,350, eh you guys know what I meant

    Go bucky go

  65. well… At least Scarlet does have a great last name ;-)

  66. Stj:  I can't get away from the fact that "austerity" makes no sense for the Peripherals, will cause endless bailouts and recapitalizations until Germany gets tired of giving back all the money they've made from said countries in the last decade, at which point reality — the reality that Peripheral Europe will never recover with a strong Euro in place — is accepted as economic fact.  This will require a few more crises, but there has been no shortage of those over the last few years, and it wouldn't surprise me to see the "European Street" start to mobilize in a serious way.  It beats sitting at home with mom and dad while unemployed.  

  67. Stj:  The photo caption says the protesters are in Madrid, but since the sign is written in Catalan, which Madrilenos don't understand, bankers or otherwise, I would guess it was taken in Barcelona.
    "With a rising portion of Spain’s 663 billion euros, or $876 billion, in home mortgages at risk of default, many economists say it is only a matter of time before some of Spain’s biggest banks will need a bailout. And the Spanish government, staggering under its own debt and budget deficit burdens, may not have the money to come to the rescue."

  68. EUR/Kustomz – yeah i'm watching that too. stopped me out of my shorts this morning with the dollar's plunge. really want to get back in, but .. just watching.

  69. This shouldn't come as a surprise but:

    No wonder the market is up, makes total sense now.

  70. AAPL - looking back at the charts, you could have made money shorting at noon and closing at EOD on each of the last ten days.  So I just bought some puts, I'm curious if the trend is my friend or if my streak of bad day trades will continue and I get stuck by the stick….

  71. Has anyone been following the Liquid Metal/Apple story/rumor?  I'd love some feedback to see if I've got this right… This is from the SEC filing:
    On August 5, 2010, Liquidmetal Technologies, Inc., entered into a Master Transaction Agreement with Apple Inc., pursuant to which (i) Liquidmetal contributed substantially all of its intellectual property assets to a newly organized special-purpose, wholly-owned subsidiary (the “IP Company”), (ii) the IP Company granted to Apple a perpetual, worldwide, fully-paid, exclusive license to commercialize such intellectual property in the field of consumer electronic products in exchange for a license fee, and (iii) the IP Company granted back to Liquidmetal a perpetual, worldwide, fully-paid, exclusive license to commercialize such intellectual property in all other fields of use (together with all ancillary agreements, the “Master Transaction Agreement”).
    I read that to mean that the $20 million is it from Apple.  And what's left for LQMT is any other application, hopefully inspired by Apples use of the alloy.  Is that quantifiable?  Consumer electronics is obviously HUGE.  so what's left?  Though they wouldn't need too much to grow exponentially, as they only sold about $500 k of the stuff last year.

  72. Austerity / Zero – We agree on that and I have been saying that from day one. Austerity will not solve Europe's problem. The peripherals are currently in a debt death spiral from which there is no exit short of default. And even then… look at Greece where they just said that they will miss on growth (well, contraction) forecast for 2012. 

    Spain is a special case as their real estate bubble cannot be compared to even what we saw in the US. They were throwing gasoline on top of a gasoline fire for years… And now as Phil like to say, prices are dropping like stone attached to a bigger stone! My sister's appartment in Terrassa (I am sure you now where that is) was once worth over 400,000 euros and she says that they can't find anyone to bite at 250,000 euros. Thankfully she owes very little on it, but I can guess that many, many people are underwater with their mortgages, with no jobs and rising interest rates which is rarely a good combination! It cannot and will not end well. Your guess that people will take to the street will come to realization sooner than later.

  73. AAPL / MrM – The picture is not as clear I think… Yesterday we closed up from the noon price it looks. If you had held overnight, then you would have done well. Thursday and Friday were good for the strategy, but Tuesday and Wednesday were up days. Tough to predict I think. 

    They might ride it down all day ahead of the earnings though to make it more interesting AH!

  74. Phil / What about a DD on BBY?

  75. Phil, not balanced now or this year …yet. I again am very short yesterday I was nearly BE and confident when all hell broke loose I would be cashing in ahead of the FED as I never trust those imbeciles or when they will or won't ease; but then we get a manipulated POS day up like today with my conviction down I hate to take losers on all these shorts only to hear what I beleive should be the case for NO QE3, and the market drops like a stone, after hours, of course.
    Wash rinse repeat this years woes…perhaps worst start to a year in my life of trading…would you stand put? or long puts:)

  76. IRA Portfolio update!

    Our CHK APR 22 CALL's expired worthless.  Buying 200 more shares at $18.00 or better and selling the $20 JUN Calls at 0.61. 

  77. Phil – yesterday when i asked abt adjusting the TNA 56/61 BCS you recommended rolling the 56 up to the june 57. This is confusing me. (surprise!) My brain wants to roll lower instead of higher in this choppy market. Please help me understand what i am missing, thank you.

  78. scott, we have Bernanke the next 2 days = more flow into the EUR which is already in short supply.

    Im heading out, looks like the markets will equalize a bit then most likely rise this afternoon as bulls place bets on AAPL.

  79. stjeanluc: 25k
    what is rationale for short 10 SQQQ?  is the intent to actually own it, just an income play or was it an offset to something earlier?  TIA

  80. This kind of reminds me of October when we were waiting for the Fed and they annouced no QE but were saying they would employ it if needed the market then went straight up, does anyone think that is where we are today or am I now just a paraniod bear?

  81. BHI/Rev – Congrats.  It's a good company long-term, you just have to wait for other people to realize it.  

    Le Pen/ZZ – You would think the Germans would know exactly how things play out when outsiders force you into austerity to pay down debts – it's almost like they are purposely repeating the post-WWI playbook by inflicting the damage on others.  

    NFLX/490 – Because a big move was built into the price and they are still way out of the money and now you have no earnings in between to make a downside catalyst.  Those are very tricky puts to buy.   

    Hollande/StJ – I was very impressed with him last night as he refuses to pander to Le Pen's supporters while Sarkozy is running around kissing their asses.  Not sure if it's politically smart but it's good principles and I'd rather have those any time. 

    Protests/ZZ – I agree, many more to come.  

    Greece/Rustle – Doesn't matter if more free money is on the way.  

    AAPL/Mr M – Yes, but now you are shorting right into earnings – slightly different dynamic so I'd be careful.

    LQMT/Peedle – We discussed that last week, they have many potential industrial uses but they've been going at this since 1987 and it still isn't practical yet.  There's only 14 guys in the whole company and AAPL gave them enough money to keep them alive while they locked up the potential use of the stuff – just in case they ever do get it right and it becomes the next cool thing.  I'm sure if LQMT goes under, AAPL gets the patents.  We liked them at .25 for a gamble but if you didn't get 1/2 out at .50 to leave a free ride – then you are just being silly as it's a long-shot at best. 

    BBY/2Can – In the $25KP, we don't love them that much.  If they stay low, we'll roll them or maybe do a DD and roll them but, on the whole, it was a short call to offset our losses on XRT which did not work out like we planned.  Doesn't do any good now if we forget what the bet was for in the first place and delude ourselves into being big BBY fans, which we're not. 

    Stance/Sage – First of all, what's your time-frame.  If you are the sucker paying the premium and you keep making short-term bets, then you will be battered by market moves on a regular basis.  What do we do in the $25KP?  We take a stand and, if we get a move against us, we take a bigger stand – then we buy some time, perhaps sell some other sucker some premium now that we're long and strong on the positions and we let them pay for our next roll.  We don't just keep spending more money on premium because that's a fool's game.  If you are worried about the Fed – sell some partial covers and you'll have the money to improve yourself when and if something moves against you.  If it goes your way – you make a bit less but don't let past losses force you to take dumb gambles on current positions as you try to catch up.  When we got badly burned in the $25KP in early March we got MORE CONSERVATIVE, not less, because we just wanted to scratch our way back to even.  Could we have made more – sure, but we could have lost more if it went against us and, once you are down 40% – the option to gamble is no longer with you, is it?  

    TNA/Morx – You are giving yourself another month to be right.  We still think the RUT may go lower and you have the short caller to expire.  If the RUT sinks and TNA goes lower – THEN it will be CHEAPER for you to roll from the $57 calls down to the $55s or $53s and you will be able to pay for that with your next call sale to some other sucker.  Meanwhile, if TNA goes straight up and you net $4 instead of $5 – you are a lucky bastard that didn't have to put any more money in so why let greed for a potential win that is in no means certain lead you to overspend on a roll now that you don't even need to make.  Clear?

    SQQQ/Lincoln – They were paying a nice premium and we figured $12 would be the floor long-term. 

  82. Stj:  Spain really is a special case.  The Catalan banks were extending 100% financing to 32 year olds with three years of work experience — and throwing in EUR 20,000 for furniture & fixtures!!  The market hasn't plunged because the banks have warehoused the inventory with the collaboration of the government.  But there are no private bids.

  83. Paranoid/Sage – Now you are making me paranoid!    LOL – haven't we already had the big QEMaybe rally?  We're up about 20% since October – I think it's put up or shut down time for the Fed and I really don't think they are ready to put up when Twist isn't even done yet.  

    What's the logic here – are they going to ride in and spend a Trillion more Dollars because the market (which went up 20% on no money actually spent) is now pulling back 60 S&P points after a 350-point rally?  Is this the Fed's new job – to insure 20% gains every 6 months no matter what it costs?  Not likely – they know they can't afford it.  I believe it was Joe Kennedy who said to John Kennedy when he was ahead in the polls:  "Don't buy another vote, I'll be damned if I pay for a landslide."

    Despite appearances, the Fed does not have infinite firepower because their ability to be effective rests on their credibility and they would stretch it past the breaking point if they shout fire and pour more QE on the markets when they've been jawboning an improving economy for the past 6 months.  They gave us guidelines for QE back in October and we're nowehere near low enough on inflation or high enough on unemployment to merit more interference.  If they do, they will lose their mojo and they certainly can't afford that!  

  84. Oh, and with everyone short US Treasuries…..we know which market is bigger, right?

  85. Mojo loss very serious for Central Banks, very funny, very true.  Europe has split its mojo among the ECB, the Bundesbank, the IMF, and the WWF, and it's not going to work out as they play "pass the mojo" amongst them.  You may read "WWF: as either the World Wildlife Fund or World Wrestling Federation, both are correct.

  86. Spending part of the day reading posts regarding AAPL.  I was put to bed yesterday afternoon and evening with a nasty virus I got on my Florida vacation.  My daughter had it 2 days before and I did not escape.   Anyway, better now and reading AAPL opinions with gusto.  I can't quite figure what they are going to do this time, unlike the last quarter when they were on the rise and we knew they were going to blow out earnings.  This time is a bit more different.   I think they will blow out earnings again, though not so much.  The unknowns are…….forward guidance, and the market reaction to the report.  Just because a stock has stellar earnings, and may even have  favorable guidance, doesn't mean they are going to ramp up, especially since we've gone so far so fast already.   If I had to BET on it, I'd say they report good earnings, decent quidance, then get hammered.  Statistically, it's the other way around.  When AAPL goes down like this before earnings then they usually rise some post-earnings.  But I don't know what is going to happen this time, so no bet.  I made some bullish plays on the last earnings report, but this time I'm in cash.  Even the Jan 13 600s I talked about earlier are off the table.  I think I'll just wait, and if AAPL starts back up post earnings, then get back on the train.  If they pull back, then also we can buy back at a lower price.  So that's my AAPL earnings play……..CASH!  

  87. strength or fake?
    I don't track the DOW but the others and especially NASDQ are not looking good. There has not been a breakout from the downward trend. With Europe's problems increasing the 2nd half of wave to safety, money is going into oil without demand, is sell the EURO, buy the Dollar. That will send the markets down. My trend osccillator points down next 2 days. Holding TZA.

  88. Feelings: I know IFLAN talks of developing a feel for a stock, like he does AAPL, and the market is "feeling" different to me with my favs all starting to tilt their  5 dma charts back towards terra firma.  I don't expect an uninterrupted trip down but am glad to see the trajectory change for now.  I know Phil doesn't consider LULU a momo but I see big downside over the next 12 months, if not sooner. $.02

  89. Which would you think is more important to the markets, Apple earnings or the Fed?

  90. AAPL / lflan – My gut tells me also that we will see a beat tonight (both top and bottom) but as usual AAPL will give conservative guidance. That might not be enough to push the stock higher in the immediate as they are priced for continued rapid growth and I doubt that it's in the cards tonight. But very tricky to call as they have already retreated nicely from the highs.

    We were talking about guidance earlier as one of the most important factor in the report but I find that AAPL's guidance is generally the most useless as it seems that they always try to be too "clever" with it, generating buzz for a beat later. But it has become way too transparent now and I wish they would be more open with the information.

    In any case, there maybe room for a small fun strangle later today…

  91. $103.24 oil with the Dollar still at 79.27 – they are very lucky the Dollar isn't stronger yet.  

    AAPL/Iflan – As I said yesterday, the only bullish play on AAPL I would take is a long on the Qs as they would somewhat mitigate a loss on the way down and should fully benefit from an AAPL recovery.  The QQQ June $60/63 bull call spread is $2.35 and makes 27% if the Qs hold $63 (now $64.64) and the $60s are $5.30 so they can be rolled to a longer-lower strike long before they fail $2.35 if the Nas heads lower.  27% in 52 days is a pretty good return so no real need to hedge it but very easy to hedge and cover with short puts if the market tanks so I see it as a salvageable position that you can bet more heavily than you would a risky AAPL play. 

    Keep in mind that AAPL can send the whole market sharply lower – this is just a way to play the upside in case they do hit it – more like a bullish offset than something I'd bet big on as we have a lot of uncertainty this week. 

    More important/Rustle – The Fed.  AAPL can move the market up or down 5% at most but the Fed can do much more damage over a much longer period – or perhaps give us another 10% pop for another Trillion.  

  92. Oil / Phil-

  93. Jabobeast- How is your day going?:)

  94. jthoma—will you please close the market NOW!!!
    please keep "you know who" away!!

  95. @Pharmboy

    I looked into NG and have some reservations for inclusion in the IRA portfolio.  The negative earnings and no dividend have me a little spooked.  The options spread is also a little wider that I would like on such a cheap stock.  Do you know anything else about them?

  96. ULTA / Phil – What do you think for ULTA? does it qualify as a MoMo stock? Today its collapsing on heavy volume (broke 10 and 50MA).  Would you buy some puts here?

  97. Oil/Phil-
    I recovered some of the hit from this morning.  Thanks.  Why do we wait for .50 lines?

  98. he has work to do today with the NASDAQ- first day it appears to be the MOM's across the board- even CRM finally!

  99. Been a long time since I have seen the QQQ's look like this- long overdue and as the Carpenter's use to sing- hopefully- " It's only just begun"!!!!!

  100. NG/craig – Paulson has been accumulating, and if there is more QE, I see them rocketing out of the gate.  I was focused on the ITM sale of calls, which protects down to 6, otherwise a nice little gain and out at 7.  just a thought for a smaller portfolio.  I don't expect them to collapse, and they could be bought up by a midmajor or major miner!

  101. Here you go Jabo…

  102. Hi Phil Aapl what about buying OTM this week 480put and 650call fir 1.18 — on TOS analyze tab look like you close to double money on either up or down 5% — I am not sure this is a good trade-- please advise

  103. Jabo- I expect a beverage of my choice when PCLN hits 500 and CMG hits 300- perhaps Vegas in the fall?

  104. Phil,
    Well this is a tad annoying, the delta on the  CMG weekly $400 put I sold against my June 380 put has now surpassed the June put.  For $7 I can roll the june $380 up to the June $400 put and then just wait it out.  Is that okay?  I'm smelling a little sea change in CMG so the June put could really work out.

  105. So much for Ford's buy the news rally…….how do you say…..EVAPORATED!!!

  106. Also LULU has broken 50MA support but on average vol.  Anyone know of any news? Tempted to load up some puts, CMG and PCLN opened my appetite

  107. Oh sweet child o' mine……I see for miles and miles…..that gap back down, in the ground….to get out of the rain.

  108. Anybody know anything about Jim Jubak a friend forwarded to me a dire looking forecast of the future of the dollar as the world reserve currency aquiesence to the rembini as evidenced by things like the pact between Japan and China bilateral trade agreement, The scheduled 2014 plan to allow countries to settle payment for Chinese goods in Yuan, MCD seling yuan denominated bonds in HK etc…
    My thoughts have always been that China needs a better accountability system to insure numbers are fairly real when reported, China would have to let the Yuan (rembini) float, not just in a preset range etc and this is why I have not thought much about this potential issue.
    Phil or gang any thoughts on these developments that would surely affect the value of the dollar and rates; real concern or not?

  109. $25KP Update – XRT puts are now up close to 40% – it seems that XRT has a lot of AAPL, PCLN and CMG! Speaking of PCLN, we are also up close to 40% on the July puts.

    Oil is helping our SCO and USO puts. These last ones are close to the 20% first target. The SCO puts are showing a 41% profits.

  110. Phil- would this qualify as a divergance of the NASDAQ from the DOW?- LOL!

  111. pharmboy
    What's up with the weed? Do you grow it for medical purposes? I'm having my lower back worked on tomorrow and I need a boat load to try. I really have no idea if it works, what do you think? This is a serious question because I know they want to take the Fentynal away. My neck is way worse but docs are afraid to touch that.

  112. Fibonacci Retracements / Anyone? – Just to ask, when you draw fibonacci retracement how far back do you go to establish the low? is there a rule of thumb?

  113. Trying to buy the SGEN 22.5 May Calls for 15c or better (NO MORE THAN 15c).  RDEA (AZN purchase) – someone bought a bunch of calls last friday for 10c…..they finished at 8.90.  Need to start watching these little companies a bit closer.


    PLX, SGEN, IMGN, CRIS, EXEL, etc. late in the day.  This is getting ridiculous that people are making a fortune on these nickle and dime buys.

  114. ULTA/Dpast – I think for something to be a Momo stock, it has to be something people actually pay attention to.  They sure do seem pricey but I don't follow them at all.  At the core, seems like a nice, boring business – I'm surprised they are so big actually. 

    50 lines/Newt – Because, in the current market – they have been consistently offering strong support and resistance.   That means you can take moves above and below the lines seriously and, more importantly, if you pick up a short oil play at $103.48, you can be reasonably sure it's not going to jam up past $103.55 very quickly so your loss is limited and the ENTIRE key to playing the Futures is to limit your losses.  

    Screw oil, PCLN is $678 and CMG is $403 – that's MONEY!  

    AAPL/Gucci – That doesn't account for the premium draining out tomorrow.  If you want to play like that, go to July or later and get behind earnings but, of course, that's a lot more expensive.  

    CMG/Rdn – The weekly is still all premium and it's weekly and you have 8 weeks to roll – don't be the sucker that pays a premium just because you get nervous.  I think spending $7 to gain $20 in position is worthwhile regardless.  

    Yuan/Sage – There are around $400Tn worth of Dollar-denominated assets in the World and MAYBE $20Tn in Yuan.   In order for China to replace the Dollar they would have to print 20x more currency, at least, without causing any inflation.  You believe they can do that in 2 years?  20 would be a stretch and that would assume the US just bends over and takes it.   In 1995 the US dollar was 59% of the World currency and the German Mark was 15.8% and French Francs were 2.4% and Swiss Francs were 0.3% and Pounds were 2.1% so 20.6% between them before they formed the Euro.  17 years AFTER they set out with the intention of replacing the Dollar as a reserve currency, the US Dollar is 62.1% of World currency and the Euro is 25%.  To this day, China doesn't even make 1% and Japan, who used to be 6.8%, are down to 3.7% – which is why the Yen is so strong.  You can't force people to want a currency any more than you can suddenly say that we're going to replace gold with Bismuth – which is just as rare but not as pretty.  

    $25KP/StJ – I gotta let those ride and see how the Fed plays out.   I'm still looking for my 775 on the RUT.  

    Oil flying back up into the NYMEX close – we get to play again tomorrow. 

    Divergance/Jthom – It's just the AAPLdaq moving down with AAPL on the whole.  An amazing proof of the axiom that what goes up must, at some point, come down.  

    Fibs/Dpast – I'm no TA guy but I go from consolidation to consolidation, same as I do with 5% lines.  

  115. Weed, works for pain.  Not as good as fentynyl, but also give the munchies big time, esp. the good stuff.

  116. Phil, Build a Berkshire question. Have we established a process for viewing ideas for the portfolio? Will we be interested in Private Co's with the option of sale, merger, or IPO? I have something that may be of interest but may be ahead of the game here.

  117. Fib lines/dpast – I would go back to the furthest point on a lower low, or higher low, depending upon the timeline.  Since we are in a daily, the last one would be 3/6 in my lines…then 1/31.

    Now the joke is on me.  Look at that push.

  118. Fibs/dpast – i usually look for swing high/sing low points to anchor to.. then i look at the prices and if they display any correlation to the fibs.. usually see some. if not, of if all are a bit off, then i look a bit further back to see if there is another swing point to use. sometimes it is very clear to see that prices are working off the fib lines.. that gives support to that particular fib set. Will also look at multiple timeframes (hour, day, week) and see how they support each other.  

  119. ShadowFax-
    It does work. I raced bicycles for a decade and had a ton of overuse issues w/ regard to muscles etc… a little at night took the pain away, allowed the nerves to calm down (tight mucsles/ injury compress the nerves and keeps them sending firing signals which leads to tighter and tighter muscles) and allowed the body to heal.  A lot better than NSAIDs.  Also go to the co-op and buy Wobenzyme.

  120. Pharm/Good Stuff

    Define good stuff?

  121. Does anyone have a prediction on whether or not we hold 13000?

  122. Just saw the headline that the SEC formally filed a lawsuit against Egan-Jones.  What a joke! 

  123. Thanks Pharmboy
    The munchies would be a good thing. I have lost 30 lbs. since January because I am nausus most of the time, Pain actually makes me barf when I try to eat. Today I have not even tried to eat. I could move to Montana but I heard most docs won't write the prescription.

  124. Hairy……and dark green….. :)   Um um good.


  125. Pharm – you dint mention CLDX. Are they potential candidates?

  126. Pharmboy -

    Have any opinion on ALXN?

  127. Pharm's picture could probably explain the ascent of CMG these past few years…

  128. I'm looking for a good play on PCLN- a little late coming to the party… Suggestions?

  129. Shadow here in Portland OR outside the dispenseries they have people who hand out Dr's card who will write the script on the spot for your immediate return to the shop I suppose…I wouldn't want my name on the card holder list, maybe too fearful of the ramifications for insurance or if I ever need to become an employee again as I work for myself

  130. newt
    Thanks glad to hear it works from you and pharmboy. What is wobenzyme, we have no coop except farm supplies?

  131. I knew this guy did not feel comfortable in a republican suit and I do think he would make one helluva President….

  132. sagemm1
    Thanks! Whyoming locks you up, Montana is a distance but I lived there 17 years ago and liked everything except extreme cold without snow. Portland or California cost to much when you can't sell your house.

  133. I just figured out the market for the past month- Fox News just reported a breakout of mad cow disease!

  134. Phil, in the main post today you had the FAS money portfolio with 1 sold May 105, where StJean has the May 100 sold, which should I use?

  135. CLDX – I just didn't want to write them all down.  YMI is another.

    ALXN – well, they have a great product, and the pipeline is ok, but they are a bit too much for my tastes.  I compare them to BIIB….and using the forward looking statements and potential….I think they are way over priced.  I need to look more into the final pipeline, but to me, they are priced to perfection and any entry by others could make them fall back to earth….

  136. Shadowfax- its a German enzymatic formula that reduces inflammation.

  137. Looks like the last breath for the market, up on nothing but air. My theory is AAPL will diappoint even if they don't miss expectations. If oil collapses at the same time watch the crash.

  138. Shocks me- they said it was in California- LOL!

  139. BBBW/RPme – No process yet, hopefully everyone filled out the database and we can update this weekend.  Yes, I am interested in private co's but the trick is still to get a format where all this can work. 

    13,000/Exec – I hope we fail.  Volume on Dow just 75M coming up on 3 is very stickable and there could be a late round of AAPL buying as they hit my $550 target and I'm not the only person who knows how to value a company so maybe some people taking a poke into the close.  

    ROFL Jabob!  

    PCLN/Newt – They have earnings coming up, I'd hope they get a pop and then look to short that.  Chasing them is a very bad idea ahead of the Fed.  

    Huntsman/1020 – Always seemed like a nice guy to me.  

    FAS Money/Rpme – The one I had was from yesterday, StJ's has the new moves. 

    BWLD taking a dive. 

  140. Shadow/AAPL
    I wouldn't be surprised if Apple clobbers again.  They're so damn strong and this weakness is probably just more games.

  141. BWLD???

  142. AAPL / Phil – 550$ perfectly coincides with a very nice Fibonacci retracement I've drawn between Jan bottom of 400$ and all time high 640$ ! So this thing kinda works..interesting..

  143. Jthoma – I guess happy cows don't come from California afterall.

  144. BWLD earnings out early…say what!!

  145. Jabob/CMG – I think you'll be saying FU again when the folks at CMG wise up and start opening new locations next to all the marijuana clinics here in CA.

  146. Pharm – you forgot, cough! a local fave. cough! cough!  :)

  147. exec
    Well the drama is coming to an end. AAPL should be trade off all exchanges.

  148. Cool 99% taking over WFC shareholder meeting by buying a share each and demanding to be let in!  

    BWLD does seem to have released early.  No one like premature reporters – perhaps some of that medical marijuana would help….

    Is Apple just a plaything of the currency boys? Frustrated by governments and central banks that have taken the action out of fx trading, pros are headed to the sidelines, with at least one former punter moving to Apple: "It is what trading the Deutsche Mark was like years ago. Fx, I won't touch it. Too much risk and too little reward."

    Facebook's (FB) IPO could be delayed until early or mid-June due to "acquisitions and other business distractions," sources tell CNBC. Prior reports claimed the company is shooting for a May 17 launch. Per CNBC, Facebook's roadshow now might not start until May 14 or perhaps even the end of May. If accurate, the story will likely add to banker frustration with Mark Zuckerberg. 

  149. My Christmas (oh, sorry), Holiday Tree……thx for reminding me 1020, gotta get it out for that Memorial Day Party!

  150. shadow – you could move to Colorado. Nice place to live, not too expensive depending on where you go, and at least in certain places (Denver) you can get all the meds you need. $25 an 1/8th for high grade stuff, at least from all the signs I drive by every day. I've heard it's an excellent remedy for nausea!

  151. Shadow:  Don't know much about drugs, but I know something about back pain, having had a shattered L1 disc removed almost two decades ago — but not fused, which the surgeon said would simply cause adjacent discs to blow out.  I bought a pool heater and have exercised in a pool almost daily ever since.  It took a few years of work, but I ended up pain free until the present day, although I get the occasional twinge to remind me not to ever stop strengthening abs, lats or whatever muscles support what ails you.  I use a wetsuit to keep the muscles warm and to encourage me to get in the water wherever I am, since I travel a lot. Good luck with it.

  152. Phil – BWLD – that's 30% in about three hours, I know what the plan was, but do we pull it early?

  153. great call on BWLD Phil!!!

  154. BWLD/Deano – I'm not sure earnings actually came out but you are right, taking the money and running is a nice plan as the trade wasn't designed to make 100% anyway.  50% is thrilling on that kind of trade and here's 30% without the fuss.  

  155. Here's the only article I've read today regarding AAPL earnings that makes any sense:

  156. kurtww
    CO  is a place I lived 1974-5. Looks expensive to me but since I can't sell my house yet got a hint on rents? Do they still do strick inspections? My suby is a list of violations to go very fast.
    I am unable to exersize unless repairs work. For me it is do I have a good disc left? I broke about 14 levels C3 to L5.

  157. As to AAPL – I turned sour on them when they had their last conference (March 7th) and introduced the new IPad and named it "the new IPad" – at that point I first realized Steve Jobs was dead and did not leave instructions (or none that were followed). At the time, they were around $550 and consolidating around there but then they went nuts and zoomed up to $644 a month later and now they are back at $550, which is a reasonable place to be pending earnings.  

    The questions we want answered on earnings are:  Is AAPL able to maintain their margins with the new IPhone and IPad?  Is ITV a bust?  Are they constrained by screen or other parts availability?  How are they doing in China now that they've tapped the early adopters (who are not price sensitive) and have to actually find people who are willing to pay $800 for a phone?  

    For them to have a winning answer to every one of these questions would be amazing – and also unlikely.  I'd love to see them fumble the ball here, sell off to $450 and then I'll be happy (unless something drastic is wrong) to go long and strong again.  If they head up on earnings – we'll just have to see how realistic the pricing is but it's not like they are an overpriced stock now by any means – it's just hard to love a $500Bn company when the Global economy that needs to support it (with 1% of Global GDP) isn't as strong as we hoped.  

  158. This is a scary stick, IWM had some big blocks all sell! FWIW

  159. Phil/FAS Money – do I understand correctly that you are rolling the Jan14 $15 long calls to the Jan14 $13s?  No other changes?

  160. Phil
    Some will argue but Apple TV is a bust, a big one!

  161. Earning strangles – Just for fun…

    AAPL – 510/620 strangle sold for 3.99
    PNRA – 125/170 strangle sold for 1.30

    Really small bets on this is the recommendation as the can blow up on you! Probably good for PM players only.


    Buffalo Wild Wings, Inc. Announces
    Quarterly Net Earnings Growth of Over 22%
    Minneapolis, Minnesota, April 24, 2012 – Buffalo Wild Wings, Inc.   (NASDAQ: BWLD ), announced today financial results for the first quarter ended March 25, 2012. Highlights for the first quarter versus the same period a year ago were:
    Total revenue increased 37.9% to $251.1 million
    Company-owned restaurant sales grew 40.3% to $232.3 million
    Same-store sales increased 9.2% at company-owned restaurants and 7.3% at franchised restaurants
    Net earnings increased 22.8% to $18.2 million from $14.9 million, and earnings per diluted share increased 21.0% to $0.98 from $0.81

  163. FAS Money / Bolt – That is correct, only adjusting the long position.

  164. Thanks all with info! Maybe tomorrow I get something for my money but I do want to get off the narcodic drugs. I am the talk around town, the cops follow me from the drug store. Seems everyone thinks I should not be allowed to drive, but there is no bus etc. I have to leave, maybe Denver is good for docs also, a brave surgeon for my neck.

  165. Very medicinal discussions today- you really get an education here at Phil's Stock World- in more ways than one- LOL!

  166. Earnings tomorrow morning – there are some good ones:

    CAT, AN, BA, GLW, LLY, HOG, HES, NDAQ, S and too many other to name!

    Could be a busy morning on top of the AAPL reaction.

  167. JNPR – cray one day chart – leak?

  168. What the heck, JNPR releases early as well… Did we go through a time warp?

  169. FAS Money/Bolt – Yes, we're just rolling the 2014 $15 calls $2 lower but we should be selling one more May $100 call ($5.10) so we have 2 short calls.  

  170. they must have tried a little of Pharm's assortment of goods and forgot it was Central time?

  171. Tough to read JNPR right now – looks like they beat the estimate but are guiding lower for next quarter:


    Juniper Networks (JNPR) reports preliminary Q1 revenue of $1.032.5 bln, better than the analyst consensus of $977 mln on Thomson Reuters. EPS was $0.16, vs. expectations of $0.13 per share.

    For Q2, the company expects revenue in the range of $1.030 to $1.060 bln, straddling the Street view of $1.052 bln. EPS are seen in a range of $0.15 to $0.17 per share, vs. expectations of $0.20 per share.     

  172. Buying a BDC put…..that would for our Seattle friend, Biodesiel….CAT 105 Weekly put for 95c.  Just 1.

  173. 3:00 PM On the hour: Dow +0.57%. 10-yr -0.12%. Euro +0.27% vs. dollar. Crude +0.39% to $103.52. Gold +0.57% to $1641.85.

    The put-call ratio on the QQQ jumps to 6.4-1, the highest level of bearish bets being placed in nearly 6 years, as a rarity – fear – creeps into Apple ahead of earnings. Apple accounts for 20% of the index's weight, and the market is pricing in a 7% post-earnings swing for the stock. (earlier on Apple) 

    Live cattle futures -2.75% on news of a dairy cow in California infected with mad cow disease. "USDA remains confident in the health of the national herd and the safety of beef and dairy products." Tyson Foods (TSN +1.3%) bounces back after initially diving on the news. Chicken producer Sanderson Farms (SAFM)+3.6%MCD -0.9%.

    The USDA confirms a case of mad cow disease in California, but says the meat from the animal did not enter the food chain. Chicken producer Pilgrim's Pride (PPC+6%.

    Jim Rogers is still bullish on agriculture, dismissing talk of a bubble in farmland investment; the idea is probably just "in its third inning," he says. Investors don't need to become farmers; they can benefit from buying a commodity index product, investing in currencies of agricultural nations or picking individual commodities off the most from their highs. (earlier

    Shipping stocks perk up as rates and bookings show some weekly improvement off of increased demand from China as it continues to import more oil from Africa as an alternative to Iran. The Baltic Dry Index +2.2% to $1,090, as the sector falls stocks back in favor for the day. Advancers: FRO +5.1%OSG +5.1%EXM +3.6%,GNK +1.5%NM +1.6%PRGN +1.8%EGLE +8.1%SBLK +2.2%,SB +2.8%

    Shares of Kansas Southern (KSU +4.4%) ride a Q1 earnings beat higher, as the company reports carload volume improved 7% Y/Y. The company plans to start paying quarterly dividends in Q2, while also paring down debt in an effort to achieve investment-grade status to match rivals.

    Credit Suisse downgrades Chipotle (CMG -4.4%) to Neutral from Outperform on a valuation call tied to its $450 price target. A rosy report from Brinker International on sales trends at Maggiano's and Chili's has a number of restaurant stocks up for the week on speculation that Chipotle's market share-stealing days could be running short. 

  174. Jabo- We are close enough to the end of the day to say- an FU good day for you buddy!

  175. FAS: Sell May 100 Puts?

  176. aside from teh wholesale slaughter of MOMOs (which i did not participate in) has been a rather weak and sickly day.

  177. DUh!

  178. Must have taken a team all day to program that last 5 minutes. When does Apple report?

  179. Baidu shares fall 6.2% after Q1 results
    F&&*K YEAH!! Bring em on!! Cheers Phil, it was part of the put list,

  180. Well, that was fun!  

    Finished around 127M on the Dow so same old nonsense but the volume isn't down into the close 2 days in a row.  

    FAS/Newt – No, when I say "selling one more May $100 call" it is not a secret code that means sell puts.  

    BIDU with a big sell-off.  I was too wishy washy on shorting them.

  181. shadow or Phil
    you guys both seem to know if all selling or buying at eod is this just by looking at the ticker or are you looking and seeing large, say sell orders coming in. If so, where do you see that other than say just watching DIA or SP, QQQ etc

  182. FAS / Phil:
    FAS – Too bullish – let's sell 4 May $100s for $5.30 as that's a nice $2,120 for doing nothing but watching. 
    I was saw this….

  183. BIDU / Phil – I am quite excited as i get a lucky break after a long time.  i see that the 100$ Jun Put contract has the following greeks and it was 0.55$ at EOD 
    Delta -4.5
    Vega 4.9
    Theta -2.41
    Is there a way to simulate the new cost? BIDU is dropping 10% AH. Can you please show me ? Thanks

  184. sageman1
    I watch the tic and the order desk IWM and sometimes the QQQ. Spreads on orders that don't fill tell as much as those that do, when NSDQ gets to the top of the order large, not often, it makes a big difference. They seem to be supreme controllers.

  185. The Fed's looking to Apple to provide QE3.  The future of the world depends on it.

  186. Notice S&P finished at 1,371.97 – gotta love that 5% Rule! 

    Selling/Sage – Read up on On Balance Volume, we discussed it over the weekend.  I don't know about shadow but that's pretty much what I do in my head from observation so I keep a sort of running score (like counting cards) of whether we're getting positive of negative inflows based on the direction I see and the volume I see at any given time. 

    FAS/Newt – That was the $25KP and those were calls too.  

    Simulate new cost/Dpast – What does that means?  We were in the $125 puts at net $2.65, those should be looking good tomorrow but the $100s are going to be way out of the money still.  This is one of the things I am trying to teach with the long put list – the value of repositioning as time goes by.  You can't be that far out of the money and expect a great return.  

    After a slight flurry of lesser earnings, everything comes to a halt as the indexes hold their breath waiting for AAPL.  One stock should not be this important…

  187. FAS- Thx.

  188. ill get on it tomorrow..

  189. Apple beat…

  190. Apple prelim $12.30 vs $10.04 Capital IQ Consensus Estimate; revs $39.2 bln vs $36.76 bln Capital IQ Consensus Estimate

  191. AAPL $590…yay!! :)

  192. Should I add:  "muahhahahahahahaha!!!!"

  193. Big money for AAPL – $12.30 a share is huge, about 20% over expectations but guidance for Q3 is $8.68 – way conservative.  

    $39.2Bn in revs in a single quarter – Wow!  Guiding $34Bn next Q but that should be good to take them back to $600.  

    Nas should be doing better – Futures now 2,660 and I'd play that bullish (/NQ) as long as AAPL holds $588.  

  194. AAPL does it again…..!

  195. Aapl about to hit $600.

  196. That's pretty conservative guidance but WSJ says:
    "Apple Earnings: That’s a Blowout"

  197. Apple (AAPL): FQ2 EPS of $12.30 beats by $2.24. Revenue of $39.2B (+59% Y/Y) beats by $2.4B. 35.1M iPhones sold, 11.8M iPads. Shares +4.4% AH.

    More on Apple's FQ2: The company is guiding for FQ3 revenue of $34B and EPS of $8.68, below a consensus of $37.4B and $9.93, though guidance is typically conservative. 35.1M iPhone sales beat whisper number of 32M, though 11.8M iPad sales fall short of a whisper of 13M. 4M Macs sold, in-line with lowered expectations. 7.7M iPods sold, down 15% Y/Y. AAPL +6.6% AH. (PR)

  198. AAPL / StJ – I got into your proposed short stradle.  Do you think i'm safe?

  199. Based on P/Es of late 12.30 is beat but not by enough. It supports a price of $550. I would take my money and run tonight or in the morning excitment. Why we got close to $550 today tells a story to those that listen. Ask why it failed $600? You can always get back in, they needed to get closer to $15 to get back to $640 and up.

  200. 2,669 already – that's really nice!  Who needs AAPL when we have futures.   Don't be greedy – that's a huge win!  Can always go back and play over 2,670 if AAPL pops $600.  

  201. Keep in mind that AAPL opened at $575 so $600 is not really going to look very impressive to an Asian investor who went to bed with AAPL at $575.  

  202. AAPL, I'm neutral with just 2 short puts and 1 short call, I just hope the talking heads don't start that $1,000 share nonsense again.  It's a great company but for the first time today I heard people reasonably point out that there are some real hurdles that will prevent unlimited profit growth. fwiw 

  203. shadow – I don't know about rents, but in general the prices in the suburbs have dropped. Home prices in Denver proper have held up quite well, but if you don't mind living further out I'm sure you could find something relatively affordable. Of course I don't know what you're comparing it to. We moved back here from south Florida where our old house had doubled in 5 years. Denver seemed like a good deal at the time. Not sure about inspection issues. We didn't have any. 

  204. Now beat me to death as a negative Apple man. Less than a month ago I said this was what I expected, then they were saying $15, my guess was $11.50 then and warned the $640 was a good price to sell. Take the money and run if the market falls the bigest can fall the hardest.

  205. Nice win on Nasdaq futures, thanks Phil!  

  206. I am actually short AAPL puts but I was hoping it was a bad trade because AAPL and PCLN are so highly correlated now.
    FU AAPL!!!

  207. kurtww
    In 1975 I had to replace a windshield with a very small chip, but That car was modified also. My car has a big turbo, injectors and some missing exhaust ellements. Reinsatalling would take about 100 horsepower away, no more 0 to 60 in the 3 second group. Fast car for a problem walking type. Maybe a miricle tomorrow. Out of town is the only place for me, north is better but south is OK. Any hints on were to consider? My requirement is high speed internet and good food store.

  208. jabo — may be aapl will sell off tomorrow — i hope — same boat as you

  209. Careful, Jabo, the chatter is that AAPL heads back to $642 in a hurry.  It's chatter, admittedly.  But with $110B in cash on it's books --more than the market cap of all but a few dozen S&P companies — heading for $150B by year's end, it would pay to be careful on the short side.

  210. I'm leaving a couple of AAPL comments because I probably won't be online much tomorrow.  AAPL has moved to 600+ with the good report.  This probably won't hold as it typically moves back somewhat after the initial excitement.  So there likely will be no AAPL trades tomorrow either in the AAPL portfolio.   But I'll post if so.  I would like to see an under 575 move then go  long again.  See ya!

  211. Great we will be up 200 pts tomorrow…insert knife here

  212. with thousands of stocks to choose from, why would anyone want to take the chance in shorting Apple.  It's not trading at a high p/e and continues to crush estimates and give very conservative guidance so they can crush it again.   Apple is not just a product for many people, it's a needed lifestyle.  I'd rather short BBY than apple.

  213. jabo—if you sold(short) appl puts why is it a bad trade—it is good no?

  214. jabo—me a little dense—you were correlating it with pcln!

  215. rustle
    It is that conservative Apple P/E that I feel people should take note around 11. Very bad to short but $12.30 X 11 = $541 not $642.

  216. sorry 12.3 X 4 X11 = $541.

  217. But yeah I would not want to short it, thank goodness bought some QQQ calls today otherwise no soup for me today!

  218. Aren't any Apple players here worried about the decine in sales in the US, EU and Japan?  I know that China Mobile has hundreds of millions of customers but realistically, how many can afford an iphone?  Not hundreds of millions I would think.  Congrats to all of you longs. 

  219. I think this was the first time I ever shorted a put of a company and wanted them to miss earnings (only because of PCLN, of course)…
    I never trust these after hours moves anymore.
    But I hate seeing PCLN green on my screen (red now).
    I need to turn off the computer and go play with my wife and kids ;-)
    It was a great day and thanks again Phil (great BWLD call)!!

  220. Are we finally at a point in the market where every participant understands that QE will stay on the table forevermore?   

  221. Phil,
    Thoughts on the US $$ for tomorrow?  Any plays?

  222. /NQ/ Phil:
    Did you buy at 2660 and sold at a higher $?

  223. Inkaarri: Perhaps not millions, because they plain don't have the money, but I live, and have lived, in EM countries for half of my life and assure you that you would be very surprised at the extent to which their residents will forego food, clothing and better housing to have what really matters — an iPhone or iPad.  Irrational?  Not at all.  Consider reproduction — a fairly large influence within the context of evolution.  Animals spend all kinds of energy putting on courting displays

  224. that risk death through malnutrition because reproduction, not survival, is the primary drive.  That's another way of saying that having an iPhone is a powerful symbol of [reproductive] fitness in an EM context. In case you thought young men would prefer to eat or stay dry than jabo.

  225. gandhjo – Welcome!  I am a 'newbie' also, about 6 weeks.  I found it helpful, after reading the new member information, education section, etc., is to cut/paste members questions and the boards (Phil, Pharm, etc) responses into a document so you can digest/study.  The entire PSW community are great teachers.  This takes time so be Patient.

  226. shadow/aapl
    It should be trading more at 14 or 15x p/e looking at their growth rate, not 11 which makes the pricing of their stock much different where you had it, also go by next year's earnings of where they should be in a year.

  227. I agreed with zeroxzero, asian people had and will spend 2 months of their salary to buy an iPhone or iPad.  The place I came from(Taiwan), a lot of workers from Tailand and Vietnam, they are making $3 to $400 a month but a lot of them have iPhone(unlock one for $7 to $800 dollors) and more want to buy one without the carrier subsidies(they are not local people to get contract). Asia will be a great market for Apple at least for 2 years IMHO. 

  228. AAPL / Dpas – I doubt that we get to $620 tomorrow as that would be over 10% in one day. Even for AAPL it's a lot… I mean $60 B in market cap added in one day! But we'll see. I hope you kept a very small position (as I always advise on these plays) to leave room for rolls if needed. And keep in mind, even we open over $600, the premium on the $620 will evaporate quickly. This morning the NFLX 80 puts lost 75% of their value even though the stock moved over 10% in that direction. Volatility is so high to begin with…

  229. Zero and BobHu – Thank you.  Are phone and data plans so heap out there that people can afford them?  I do have an iphone and I would say I spend about $100-$120/month to keep that bad boy fully operational. 

  230. AAPL – Can someone explain this to me: I had $580 calls bought at $23.50. I don't remember exactly what the delta was at close. AH, the delta has turned to 1 which would value the calls at $20. Am I correct?
    Even though AAPL is up I lose when I sell tomorrow because of no premium?

  231. nicha – should be a bit higher than your cost at the open 'if' it holds 600.  If not, the  volatility will eat at that and it will be closer to what you note……

  232. Good luck tomorrow shadow, hope you get all fixed up..

  233. I have a different definition for success:


    Mitt Romney sees things differently: He is offering success to a society that seems to actually prefer failure. “If people think there’s something wrong with being successful in America, then they’d better vote for the other guy,” he says. “Because I’ve been extraordinarily successful, and I want to use that success and that know-how to help the American people.”

    Among the secrets of success that Romney might wish to share is how you arrange to be born to a rich family. Or, to be less vulgar, an intact and loving family that valued education. Or, for that matter, to be born smart. The neoconcontroversialist Charles Murray writes books arguing that the second and third factors (family and innate intelligence) are more important than the first (money). You can argue about this all day, but in Romney’s case it doesn’t matter because he had all three factors hard at work, paving his way to success.

    Is he even aware of it? Maybe Romney’s not so smart, because he goes on and on about how successful he is in a way that strikes people as obnoxious. “I stand ready to lead us down a different path, where we are lifted up by our desire to succeed, not dragged down by a resentment of success.”

    Is there a “resentment of success” in this country? I don’t sense it. Certainly you do not need to resent success in order to believe that successful people are, for the most part, adequately rewarded for their success. [...]


    Maybe your success is due to something you got from your parents. This could be money, or good manners. It could even be a quality like determination. Evolutionary psychology is teaching us that huge chunks of personal characteristics, good and bad, derive from our genes. The full implications of this have not sunk in, but one of them surely is that “rewarding success” is more futile and more difficult than previously thought.

    Maybe your success is due to something you got from the government, like a broadcast license, or a new freeway through your property, or a special tax break. Maybe it’s due to an education you received at a public university, or financed through federal student loans. Maybe it’s just because you’re an American. The average baker in the U.S. earns more than twice what a baker earns in Poland and five times what a baker earns in China (and I imagine the bread and the working conditions are better, too). What’s true for bakers is true for bankers: operating in a rich country is more lucrative than operating in a poor one. This is for reasons having nothing to do with admirable personal characteristics.

    And let’s not forget simple luck. All the factors discussed above boil down to good luck — whom you’re born to, and where, and so on. But the residual, unexplained differences in how people succeed or don’t are also mostly luck.

  234. Phil / QQQ's and SDS – A few questions for my continuing education. I have 2 QQQ's May 67 Puts — up 89%, time to take profits?  I have 200 SDS bought long ago and I am down 12%.  To get even, or near, I am considering selling 2 Jun 17 calls, net 1.00 (.50 each).  If they get called away, I am near even.  If not, sell more premium.  To get to 17, SPX will need to fall 4% or so.  Am I thinking this through correctly?  A better trade?  BTW – I work during market hours so limited time to make real-time trades.

  235. Finally done with meetings and all I can say is "Wow AAPL!"  I guess lightening really does strike twice. Happily I had a market on close order for my puts, that's one handy invention for day traders…

  236. gandhjo
    Welcome!   I think you'll find a lot of value here, maybe more than you expected. As a fellow new Member, I can say it can be a bit of "sensory overload".
    My advice is similar to the others. Sit back and watch, listen to the discussion. The group has it's own dynamic, and it takes a while to get used to it.
    Do visit the education section and take as much advantage of it as you can.
    You can "follow" (on paper) the trading ideas mentioned in Chat for at least a few weeks to a couple months. Get a feeling for how they tend to be constructed. DON'T rely on simply entering a suggested trade and then waiting for somebdoy to tell you to sell it. It doesn't work that way.
    Try to generally study the basics of option trading from books and on the Net, and then use the Chat to ask the things that you find most specifically tricky. Somebody above mentioned we help each other, which is part of the value.
    If you want to do a particular trade or two, go ahead and ask. For more "general" or "major" issues, try to keep them 'til afterhours, as has been mentioned.  I learned that the hard way. Although it is not really apparent, a lot of the people here are very busy during the day, "making a living".  Generally, the quieter it is in the Chat, the more that Members are "doing their work".
    Sit, back, relax, and enjoy.

  237. Phil or anyone,
    Hoping I might get some help winning an argument.  Does anyone have a specific example of manipulation in the oil market?  Either a specific rent-a-mob incident that I could look up, or anything else…

  238. nicha… Couple of comments on your post.  You didn't say what month the calls were in.   If you bought weekly 580 calls at 23.50  then the stock has to get to 603.50 before you make any money.  That's why buying premium into earnings is not a great idea.  You not only lose if the stock goes the other way, but you can lose even if it goes your way.   And yes, the change in volatility will erode the value of this option tomorrow.  As to delta, as the stock price rises the delta will increase but it won't get to 1.0 until the last few minutes before expiration.   So…..say AAPL is 605 tomorrow……you should still have value in your option.  It could go up further than 605 but I would take any profit you can get tomorrow.

  239. stjeanluc…..You have hit the nail on the head with your Romney post.   He should not be president because he is not smart enough to understand why he is successful.     It is just plain luck that  any of us get what we get in our DNA.  I can't be a world class golfer.  (I've tried)  I don't have the DNA for it.   And I'll wager that none of the best golfers in the world can do what Phil does.  He got the correct genome sequence for what he does.  They did not.  The DNA sequence determines everything……I.Q., drive, judgement, emotional intelligence, general health, emotional stability……everything.  Not to mention that we sometimes get other things from our parents, like a healthy childhood environment, teaching, even money!  I have used the example before on this site of myself and my brother.  I got the DNA for what I do, and he got the DNA for what he does.  You know what I do.  My brother is a carpenter ( a very good one).      Yes, you are correct.   Romney is not so smart.   He is certainly not smart enough to be president.   He doesn't even understand himself; how could he hope to understand the problems of a country.  

  240. Romney / lflan – The best remark I heard on Romney is that he was born on 3rd base and he thought he hit a triple. That sums it up. 

    By the way, Romney is the topic of the article, but it does apply to many people. We have had the discussion many times on this board that many "successful" people don't understand how luck played such a great part in their success. Not understanding that basic principle will not allow you to understand the plight of those who have not been so lucky. I was born with very little, but was gifted a loving and nurturing family and some skills. I have made good use of that but I consider myself first and foremost lucky. That helps me appreciate what I have. All of us on this board are in the top 0.01% of the world – lets all think about that for luck!

  241. lFlan – I have the May $580's.

  242. "I find that the harder I work, the more luck I seem to have."
    - Thomas Jefferson

    "Opportunities multiply as they are seized."
    - Sun Tzu

  243. Speaking of luck… Google finance showing Apple finished after hours session up 7.77%, is that an anti-Loyd sign?!?! heh…

  244. nicha/AAPL May. $580 Calls, if AAPL are $603 tomorrow(last after hours price), your May $580 calls will be over $30.00.

  245. Thomas Jefferson never had to work on an oil rig, in a coal mine or as a school teacher…..
    The key, is being ready when "luck" comes your way.  :)

  246. third base -
    they used to say the same thing about George Bush Junior ("shrub")
    I think they are probably both in the same league of stupidity, and "lack of self understanding". One the son of a Republican Governor, one the son of a Republican Vice-President.  Hmmmmmmm……….

  247. DNA
    Many, many robust sociological study's that have been done over many decades have shown that what happens during the first 5 years of a person's life determines the vast majority of who they become. I'm not sure if that necessarily addresses intelligence or inate makeup directly, but the "environment" of those first 5 years are more determinant than nearly anything that comes after. At least that's my understanding of it.

  248. Good morning!  

    Not much of a move in the Futures considering all the AAPL excitement.  A little caution ahead of the Fed, perhaps.  

    I'm sure there are plenty of people who have the lowdown on how the first day's meetings went already.  

    Hang Seng was flat on a violent day, Shanghai opened down but went up all day and finished up 0.86%, Nikkei opened up 1% and held it while the BSE opened flat but fell 1% hard on an S&P downgrade:

    S&P revises India's outlook to negative from stable, affirms its BBB- rating. BSE Sensex -0.9%

    Europe is just opening up but only a little bit up, about 0.25% at the bell.  AAPL looks like $603 at the moment.   Big warning from SI, which is Europe's GE, keeping a lid on enthusiasm: 

    Siemens (SI) confirms it won't meet its full-year targetsfollowing a series of write-downs on a major offshore wind project and its JV with Nokia, and can't rule out further writedowns at the wind power ops. FQ2 profit of €981M is below consensus. FY profit guidance lowered to €5.2B-5.4B from €6B.

     "The pain that's being imposed by these austerity programs … is so extreme that at some point there's going to be a break in the political compact," says Steve Keen, making his case why the euro must fail. "We're replaying the 1930's once more … it's amazing to see us repeating the same mistakes." In a lot of ways, he and Krugman don't sound so far apart.

    Euro way up at $1.321 and Pound $1.614 with 81.42 Yen to the Dollar and EUR/CHF still testing their limit down at $1.2016.  This is keeping the Dollar down at 79.22, which is strange since AAPL itself sold $40Bn worth of stuff in the quarter, which is as good as selling 384M barrels of oil!  

    Now (3:18) our Futures up about half a point.  Oil jacked up to $103.83 so we'll see if they look shortable at $104 again.  Here's a nice article on the Peak Oil Myth.  

    Wednesday's economic calendar:

    7:00 MBA Mortgage Applications

    8:30 Durable Goods

    10:30 EIA Petroleum Inventories

    1:00 PM Results of $35B, 5-Year Note Auction

    Notable earnings before Wednesday's openABBAN,ATIBACATCNHCSCVEDALDANDPSECAERICGD,GLW





    China's forex reserve dropped in March by $4.69B to $3.305T. It's the first monthly contraction since December and may signal that officials are planning to step up their efforts to suppress the yuan's value. 

    China’s Biggest Banks Are Squeezed for Capital (DealBook)

    With five major banks facing potential downgrades from Moody's – and $22B in extra costs - CEOs are pushing back against the ratings agency with an aggressiveness not seen since before the financial crisis. Sources say Brian Moynihan (BAC) and Vikram Pandit (C) have even argued against the downgrades in person. (see also)

    Housing Sector – Why the Fed Depicts it as “Depressed” (Northern Trust)

    Finra has proposed a fee hike for brokerages as a "broader economic downturn" has hurt the securities industry's trading volumes revenues, led to "a decrease in Finra's revenues and resulted in a significant loss for fiscal year 2011." 

    Cost of Spain’s Housing Bust Could Force a Bailout (NYT)

    Euro crisis is not over. Just how surprised should you be? (Also Sprach Analyst)

    Kicking the can down the road: No End in Sight (New Yorker)

    South Korea will halt customs clearance of U.S. beef imports after the first U.S. case of mad cow disease in six years. South Korea was once the third-largest buyer of U.S. beef but began restricting shipments in 2003. Live cattle futures rebound after yesterday's beating; +0.3% as of 12:15p.m. Tokyo time. 

    Natural gas prices will remain low for the rest of the year, as so much of the fuel is still being produced, Pioneer Natural Resources (PXD) CEO Scott Sheffield says. “I’m pretty confident based on the current rig count, the oil rig count climbing, that there’ll be plenty of gas coming out of the liquids-rich plays over the next five years,” he says.


    Bloomberg: “Money, Power & Wall Street” “Takes No Prisoners” - Great videos available on-line here.  

    Good Twitter stream on "Money, Power and Wall Street" – this is one thing Twitter does very well.  


  249. Wow, Dollar being smacked down and Futures are flying – 79.17 with oil at $104.14.  There was a huge spike up in the Pound but it reversed fast and we're back to $1.6145.  Gold not moving up with oil ($1,643) is a good sign that an oil short might work on a cross below $104 but it's dangerous this morning – especially with inventories at 10:30.  They are expecting a big net draw today, about 6M barrels and GS put out a note that demand is rising (as if it would shoot up 5% in a week).  

    Based on what the Pound just did – I think 79.12 is the support for the Dollar.  Below that is going to be very bullish for the indexes (and oil) and we need to get back over 79.40 for the bears to get back in control now.  Of course, if we take as step back from AAPL fever – we still have this reality to deal with:

    Nightmare Week for Angela Merkel as Austerity Bloc CrumblesEurope's political centre is starting to crumble, replicating the pattern of the early 1930s as the crisis ground into its third year under a similar mix of fiscal and monetary contraction.

    German Chancellor Angela Merkel defends austerity in face of open rebellion in EuropeAngela Merkel launched a staunch defence of Europe's fiscal pact as politicians from the Netherlands, Spain and Greece scrambled to keep their own austerity measures on track.

    Hamish McRae: 'Austerity fatigue' is spreading from Europe's fringes to its very coreCan the centre hold? We are used to worrying about the fringe of Europe, but now "austerity fatigue" seems to be striking the core. The Netherlands retains its AAA credit rating, but its government has just fallen because it could not agree on its budget programme. And France, recently downgraded by Standard & Poor's, has had an election with a massive protest vote and the prospect of a new president who has promised to fight the financial markets. What I find interesting about both countries is that they are seeing a push-back against austerity before it has really been imposed, or at least while it is still in the early stages. So re-establishing fiscal discipline is no longer just a political problem for the fringe; it has moved closer to the core. Only Germany remains committed to reaching fiscal balance and also has the political support to achieve it.

    Head of Bundesbank: No ApologiesGermany's central-bank chief rejected calls for the European Central Bank to back off from its push for fiscal austerity, batting down mounting concern that the strategy is causing deep economic pain and escalating political upheaval across Europe. In an interview with The Wall Street Journal, Bundesbank President Jens Weidmann also made no apologies for his repeated warnings that some ECB anticrisis policies, including government-bond buying and looser collateral rules, threaten financial stability and may generate inflation. "The crisis can only be solved by embarking on often-painful structural reforms and following up on fiscal consolidation," Mr. Weidmann said.

    Spain Lowers Central Budget Deficit as Montoro Threatens RegionsSpain’s central-government budget deficit narrowed in the first quarter, Budget Minister Cristobal Montoro said, as he threatened to intervene in regional governments that fail to cut spending. In comparable terms, the central government budget shortfall was 0.83 percent of gross domestic product, compared with 0.93 percent last year, the Budget Ministry said yesterday. Including the impact of transfers to regions that were paid early this year, the deficit was 1.85 percent, compared with 1.06 percent a year earlier.

    Rising Italy-to-Spain Yields Keep Banks on Life Support. European lenders, more reliant than ever on emergency aid after borrowing $1.3 trillion from their central bank, may need additional cash infusions until policy makers stem the crisis engulfing Spain and Italy. After more than 30 bond sales in the first quarter, no bank has sold unsecured debt this month, and the cost of insuring against default has soared to levels last seen in January. Financial stocks, which rallied 20 percent following the European Central Bank’s December decision to provide unlimited three-year loans, are now 2 percent lower since then.Investors are balking after some lenders used the ECB cash to boost holdings of sovereign debt and governments struggled to rein in deficits. Because banks post collateral in exchange for the ECB loans, the amount unsecured bondholders would get back in a default has shrunk. That has raised funding costs for what Morgan Stanley estimates is about 700 billion euros ($924 billion) of debt lenders must refinance by the end of 2013.

    German Shipping Funds Die as Investors See Losses Rise: Freight. When Germany’s Container Flotten- Fonds filed for insolvency last year, more than 1,000 investors who had been promised annual returns of as much as 15 percent instead lost 37.5 million euros ($49 million). The collapse of the fund, which was raised in 2005 and used a mix of private capital and bank loans to finance four vessels, is just one of at least 10 shipping funds that have become insolvent in Germany in the past two years, according to the Association of Non-Tradable Closed-End Funds, as the maritime industry was beset by rising fuel prices, excess capacity and falling freight rates.

    Europe's Phony Growth Debate. Growth or austerity? That's the choice facing Europe these days—or so the Keynesian consensus keeps saying. According to this view, which has dominated world economic councils since the 2008 crisis began, "growth" is mainly a function of government spending. Spend more and you're for growth, even if a country raises taxes to pay for the spending. But dare to cut spending as the Germans suggest, and you're for austerity and thus opposed to growth. This is a nonsense debate that misconstrues the real sources of economic prosperity and helps explain Europe's current mess. The real debate ought to be over which policies best produce growth.

    The European Banking Authority is asking individual euro-zone banks to show how they plan to refinance themselves without access to additional funds from central banks, citing a person familiar with the process.

    Bank Stocks to Have 'Long, Hot Summer': Bove. Though he has been telling investors to buy bank stocks with all their might, analyst Dick Bove says this summer could require a strong stomach for those who followed the advice.

    Ignore and soar is the theme for the day though…

  250. I find it  amusing how some people assume that intelligence is the main requirement for the job of president of the US – as if even the most intelligent person can possibly detect, prioritize and choose a "correct" path for a country of 300 million people as diverse as the US population, in a world of billions of other people…obviously even the most intelligent person is not going to be able to navigate through such a situation. As a matter of fact, I would suggest that "good instincts" are a better qualifier for the job than Intelligence.  Noone would claim that Ronald Reagan had a surplus of intelligence but he knew when to stand up for American interests, and that was the downfall of the Soviet Union, for example.  And when it came to the blockade of Cuba, Kennedy as intelligent as he was knew that there were good arguments either way, and in the end he used his instincts to impose the blockade.  Same thing, Lflan trading AAPL uses his instincts (or so he says) rather than some superior intelligence…as smart as we might be, there are plenty of situations that are just plain beyond us, and that's where "good instincts" come in.  They can serve the un-intelligent just as well or better as the intelligence of the so called "smart" person…just my two cents…

  251. Rents/Kurt, Shadow et al – It's funny to hear you guys talk about rents when Tina promised my daughter tickets to see One Direction and each ticket is going for a month's rent if you want good seats.  Some people just have way too much money – people are paying $3,000 for VIP tickets to see the newest flash in the pan band.   I remember when the Stones did a small club tour in NYC in the 90s and tickets were going for $500 and I wouldn't pay that for myself as it was silly.  My father would have laughed his ass off if I told him I needed $100 to go see a concert.   

    Keep in mind, when we used to pay $20 for a concert ticket, an album was $8 so 2.5x.  Now CDs are $20 (tops) and concerts are $100 – that's way ahead of inflation – even if you could buy a ticket ahead of the scalpers (One Direction sold out their entire North American tour in 12 minutes).  

    AAPL Sales/Ink – Actually my takeaway from them is how amazingly powerful China can really be.  Their China sales offset the entire pullback of the rest of the World and then some.  I think people are wrong to extrapolate that growth continuing as we are just selling to the top 1% in China and it's not like 1.2Bn people are going to empty their bank accounts for an IPhone but an IPad, on the other hand, is a cheap computer and I can see farmers saving up to get one for their kids so who knows how far this will go?  

    Apple states on its FQ2 earnings call (webcastlive blog) its conservative FQ3 guidance was partly due to a 2.6M Q/Q increase in iPhone channel inventory. Its strong FQ2 gross margin is attributed to lower commodity costs (i.e. cheaper flash memory) and product mix (more iPhones). Tim Cook adds Apple won't follow Microsoft's (MSFTlead in offering "converged" PC/tablet devices. iTunes revenue was $1.9B, +35% Y/Y. China revenue rose over 3x to $7.9B.

    This should really worry MSFT as well as all laptop makers (even AAPL cannibalized their own IMac Laptops, which were down in sales) and people who sell software as it's very hard to spend more than $5 for an App for the IPad and, as the Apps get more popular, there will be more and more of them that replace programs that used to cost $50+.  Just yesterday I was at a meeting and I Emailed myself an Excel file to my IPad and it only occurred to me right when I clicked on it that I might not have a reader for new Excel on my IPad but, of course, it opened just fine, was fully usable and allowed me to make and save changes.  Farmers can do the math – you buy an IPad for $600-800 but you don't spend $500 on software – that's key.  Then there's the fact that it's also an HDTV and a home stereo if you just add speakers, with programs like Pandora saving you another $500 or more on CDs.  

    IPad ($800), speakers ($100 – and my kids are happy with headphones), NFLX ($10/month), Pandora (free) and maybe another $10 per month for games and my kids have a hell of a lot less entertainment and computer expenses than I had in college.  Oh yeah, and my daughters Skype all day long with their friends – also free.  We're creating a new generation of consumers who don't need much – they can take their entire home entertainment/office/communications system wherever they go.  

    Congrats Jabob – Don't be too greedy, very nice to get a chance to lighten up around even so you're ready for the next round without all the stress.  

    QEvermore/Peedle – The Banksters sure don't want to let go of it.  It's such a great excuse to run the markets up and down if nothing else.  

    Dolllar/Peedle – Funny you should ask – back to 79.21 now, good chance to get into UUP I still think. 

    Nasdaq/Newt – AAPL is unique.  Since it has such a major effect on the Nas, we were able to play it by going long on the Nas, which lagged AAPL's action slightly.  2,682 now so the 2nd leg (over 2,670) was as good as the first.  You can also do that with big Dow earnings – you just need to learn the relationships between stocks and their indexes well enough to be confident to pull the trigger when the opportunity comes up.  

    Courting displays/ZZ – LOL, that's an interesting view on the IPhone.  I guess it is part of who you are.  What we need to do is tap into that with some sort of social media speed-dating type of App that uses people's locations for quick hook-ups.  Let's say you are going to lunch and would like some company – you click "available" and the phone puts your data up and looks for a compatible person near you who is also available – then, if you approve each other, it exchanges locations and you find each other.  I think that would be a good App.  Would even work with business people at hotels (doesn't have to be dates – just people sharing interests) but would also be the next generation in finding hookers for Johns – I think it's a winner!    Maybe should be our first BBBW project – we certainly have enough programmers and it shouldn't take much cash to get it going.

  252. AAPL / StJ – Thanks for your reply.  My position is minimum just 1 short straddle, but i think it will hurt. Already at 612$ and the Algos are still offline.  Only Ben can save me now

  253. Newness/Jfaw, Gandhjo – And don't forget to use and improve the Wiki – a lot of good stuff is in there and, if it's not – you should add it yourself!  

    AAPL $612 now, nas up almost 2%.

    Calls/Nicha – That's why we SELL premium instead of buying it.   Still, you should do well if you are not greedy.  

    Resentment of success/StJ – That's how it's warped in those people's eyes.  It's actually a resentment of greed, pure and simple but greedy people call themselves successful and use that to justify everything they do.  Scrooge was very successful – no one argued that fact.  Hitler was successful as was Stalin – they could all be running mates for Romney because they can show us all how to get ahead – even from humble beginnings.  Romney may actually understand how people "resent" Stalin or Hitler for depriving them of a chance to live because they actually killed people but what Romney and his ilk kill is much more subtle – they kill opportunity.  

    The best example is one I use that goes right over right-wingers heads.  If there are 1,000 people and 10,000 oranges and each person needs 5 oranges to live, the current distribution of income in the US is that one person (top 0.01%) has 500 oranges, 9 other people have (the rest of the top 0.1%) have another 530, 40 people (top 0.5%) have 650, 50 more (the rest of the top 1%) have 410, the next 400 (top 5%) have 1,560 and the next 500 (the rest of the top 10%) have 1,170 and that's 4,820 oranges for the top 100 people (48 oranges each) while the next 900 have to split the remaining 5,180, leaving them with 5.75 oranges each – just enough to live on IF they were evenly distributed below 10% but it's not and half the people starve while the the rest enjoy their extra-orange lifestyle. 

    So the fact that "people think there's something wrong with success" is just a marketing gimmick to distract us from the FACT that there is something wrong with ANY ONE PERSON having 500 oranges or 100 oranges while another person is starving.  It's MORALLY WRONG and you would think a good Mormon like Romney would understand that.  

    Any system that allows one person to have 500 while another has 5 (or less) is broken.  That should be very clear to anyone because it's not a game of monopoly – people who have the least actually suffer and their children are born into lives of suffering and you can blame whoever you want and you can call those people lazy or stupid or whatever but, if we choose to live in a society that claims to place value on human life, then we can't pick and choose which lives we decide have the most value.  If some of us are doing better than others in the game of life, it is a moral imperative that we do what we can to help those who are less fortunate.  

    When I see Romney and Company spouting that BS – it makes me sick.  These people need to be stopped – this moral cancer has spread far enough in our society and it's now rotting from within.  

  254. Nas/Phil
    Nas "lagged AAPL's action slightly"?  In the spirit of accuracy
    AAPL is up ~9% premarket, Nas up ~2%

  255. Just read an article yesterday about a website that allows women to find someone to eat dinner with when traveling solo. The idea is good, but the site is very cumbersome and requires too much work from the user.  Could easily be improved upon with some good programming to make the connection easier. (or its just a good example of how antiquated a website can be compared to a well designed app!) 

  256. Isn't it amazing how a lie on Fox in the above video gets reported as a fact in the Rupert's NY Post and the Washing Post and then gets reported all over the web as a "fact" with citations….

    QQQ/Jfaw – Well you're not up 89% anymore so next time you have almost a double I'm sure you'll know better.  200 SDS also will be much worse today.  When you are the sucker who paid the premium (and owning an ultra is still paying a premium as they have awful fee structures and decay over time), you need to be quicker on the trigger.  StJ was right yesterday afternoon as well – we should have taken that money and ran on our $25KP shorts too.  In both the portfolio's case and yours, I wouldn't bail into the pumped-up open.  I still believe the Fed will ruin everyone's day with no QE. 

    Specific manipulation/Peedle – I don't have time now but people have been fined for manipulating the oil market – isn't that specific?  

    Jefferson/Pstas – ROFL!  You are so funny – quoting the son of a wealthy plantation owner who inherited 5,000 acres and a mansion at Montecello and 40 slaves to work them when he was 14 as an example of someone who can make a counterpoint – your grasp of the absurdly ironic is so good I would swear you were obtuse if I didn't know how brilliant you were!  

    Lagging/CCs – Yes but AAPL was up 6% when the Nas was up less than 1%.  That's what lagging means – it does not mean "will never catch up" – in fact, the whole point of the long play on the Nas futures was the assumption that it would catch up.  

    Thanks MB22 – I'd really like to explore that one further.  

  257. Heard on NPR that Brittian is in a recession now! May have something to do with their market lagging today. CNBC won't be telling anyone.

  258. One Direction!?  Must be a east coast thing.
    Thankfully, due to our efforts, the twins are enjoying not only their music, they're enjoying Mom and Dad's as well as some of their grandparents music  (50's)  :)

  259. ….oh, I see. Simon Cowell signed One Direction to his record label.
    Thankfully, the kids do not watch any of the "talent shows" like X-Factor……