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Thursday, March 30, 2023


Thursday Follies – Europe “Fixed” Again

EZU WEEKLYSpain is up 2.3% this morning (7:30).

They are bouncing Europe with them despite a pretty poor round of trading in Asia (flat).  Why?  Because Spain's 3 & 5-year note sales "only" went for 100 more basis points than last time with the 3-years coming in at 4.04%, up 54% from last year's auction at 2.62% and the 5-year notes fetched 4.75%, up only 28% from the last 5-year note sale so YAY – Spain is fixed!!!

A whole $3.3Bn worth of bonds were sold or about 1/3 of 1% of what has been allocated through bailout programs to buy this junk but this autction is moving $80Tn worth of global equities up 1% ($800B) – talk about getting bang for your bailout buck!

I'm not going to get into how silly this is getting – we went through this all in '07 and '08 and the markets can be amazingly silly when they are in denial so we'll just go with the flow and pick up some nice upside momentum plays – as long as we can stay over 3 of 5 of our Big Chart's 2.5% lines and, if the pre-market move up holds – they should have no problem taking back 3,075 on the Nasdaq, 820 on the Russell and 8,200 on the NYSE.  We're already over 1,400 on the S&P on yesterday's stick-save close and the poor Dow has 800 whole points to go before they catch up at 14,000 so it looks like the Dow will be the logical bullish bet if the other 3 indexes join the S&P over the line.

So IF the Dow is over 13,300 AND the other indexes are over our mark – how much money can we make playing for the Dow to catch up and make it to 14,000.  700 points is a lot, so there should be many ways to play this to our advantage.  DIA $133 calls are $1 and have a delta of .44 so you capture 44% of a move up, which means a 100-point rise in the Dow will get you a 44% gain – it's a good trade to enter with tight stops below 13,300 as the Dow has 2 weeks and two days left to make those 800 points and that should be a cake-walk as they're already up 400 points in the last 7 sessions and, as we know from our friends at CNBC – what goes up, must go up forever

DIA WEEKLYWe can also use spreads to lever our Dow plays – here's a couple of ideas but keep in mind that no battle strategy survives engagement with the enemy so we'll have to make adjustments in Member Chat depending on how we actually open but that 13,300 line is a great on/off, along with our other 2.5% lines to confirm the move: 

DDM is an ultra-long on the Dow, moving at twice the percent of the Dow's moves.  Currently at $71.12, the 5% move the Dow needs to catch up should take DDM to about $78.50 and we can take the May $73 calls all by themselves for .60  and those could be worth $5 of more if we hit our target – not a bad return for a hedge!

If we offset that with a stock we REALLY want to own at a lower price (or GMCR should be fun to sell puts against this morning – we'll have to see in Chat), like BA for $65.  Wouldn't you like to buy BA (now $77.26) for $65?  If so, you can sell the Jan $65 puts for $2.50 and that will pay for almost 4 different attempts at catching a Dow rally.  Other puts we like to sell were noted in yesterday's post – some were still available. 

Of course, if you are REALLY bullish on the Dow, then you can just sell the DDM June $61 puts for .65 and you have a nickel credit and don't have to deal with owning DDM unless the Dow goes 5% the other way (12,635).  Another way we can be bullish on DDM is a bull call spread, like the June $67/71 bull call spread at $2.60 and that's already 100% in the money for a near double if the Dow simply holds that 13,300 line through expiration.  Using an offset like selling FCX June $37 puts for $1.30 drops the net cash entry to $1.30 with a 207% upside in just 43 days and all the Dow has to do is hold 13,300 (assuming FCX, now $38.12, holds $37 as well). 

We'll look for more of these in Member Chat this morning – IF WE NEED TO – to initally cover our bearish bets and, if we're forced to stop out the bear side (by the same 3 of 5 rule), then these hedges become our new bullish plays.   Overall, I'm still waiting for the other shoe to drop, probably a French shoe this weekend as France flips Socialist, followed closely by the German boot as they refuse to start paying for France to be kind to their citizens when Greece and Italy and Spain and Portugal still aren't making their citizens suffer enough in German eyes.

Mario Draghi said the ECB will NOT be lowering rates or providing more QE or doing anything for the moment and that is already knocking the EU markets back to Earth.  Meanwhle, 365,000 Americans lost their jobs last week and the prior week was revised up from 388,000 to 392,000 job losses.  Same-store sales numbers in the US are also weak, with expectations now down to 1.4% growth, WAY down from March's 3.9% number that was caused, as we warned at the time, by pulling Easter forward this year.   Now we pay on the other side.

As the data was mixed so far, I guess the ISM Service number at 10:00 wiill be a big deal but Plosser speaks at 11 and I doubt he'll say anything to inspire the bulls as he hangs a bit hawkish overall.  Tomorrow is the Big Kahuna – the Non-Farm Payroll report and we will have to wait and see if the level of job creation in this country is bad enough to be good news because – let's face it – no one on Wall Street gives a damn if anyone on Main Street has a job – they just want MORE FREE MONEY from Uncle Ben – more free money that is ultimately billed to Main Street – the victims of the biggest, longest. most expensive con ever played. 

Have fun with that!


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Stops / lflan – I am now up to setting alerts in TOS and my charting software rather than stops. Dangerous, but less visible I guess… It's coming down to being limited on how many open positions you can actively manage anymore! 

The next big bubble – Australia:


Our own more Minskyan interpretation of events is that the lack of volatility in the Australian economic cycle and the absence of any recession since 1991 has led Australians to have an excessive appetite for debt in the belief the future will reflect the past. But for us, suppressed volatility is merely storing up an even bigger crash further down the road.

Power generation
With coal and gas prices rather low, rail traffic down, and electricity generators reporting low demand because of a mild winter, I wonder if the real n****** in the woodpile (is there are more polite phrase with the same meaning?) is not the advent of the curly light bulb that uses so much less power?

The reason I say this is that I just got my second monthly electricity bill for my spacious 2-bedroom apartment in the Dominican Republic. The lighting is electric, there is a very large fridge, hot water tank on 24/7, washing machine,  (no dryer as drying clothes uses both solar and wind technology), TV and cable box running all day, fans running most of the time and occasional use of air conditioners at night in the bedrooms.

The monthly electricity bill was a bit less than $9. Since there are several lights on most of the time and I have a three-year-old who is very skilled at switching on, but never at switching off, I would think they would use a lot of power, but with most of the bulbs now only using about 7 watts, that is a huge savings, and now with LED bulbs, I even have one that runs all night in the hallway on 1.7 watts. The cumulative effects of this saving worldwide must be VAST  and cause a considerable reduction in energy consumption. I have an account that is metered to me, so it must be right and I have seen other people's bills which are similar or just a bit more.

The generator at the power company runs on oil, about half of which comes from Venezuela.
The Dominican Republic has no native oil other than coconut.

Hi Phil
 I bought 1200 shares of ACI at $13.21 and sold 2013 $10 P& C at $ 4.92 for net $$8.48/$9.24. Stock now at $8.22. It looks like ACI will take a few years to come back. Any suggestions? 

Oil/2Can: Thanks.  It gets crazy- fast.  Regarding the charts you referenced by Phil- how do you pull up Only his posts and charts?

Hello All – I was looking around and noticed that there are 62,112 contracts outstanding for the January 2013 $75 DIA puts at a cost of $0.35-$0.40.  The average number of contracts for any given strink that month can't be more than 1.000 so I imagine someone is making a very big bet that the Dow drops drastically.  Just thought it was interesting to see that. 

DIA Puts – Or I suppose someone is making a hefty bet the other way and thinking it won't drop that far. 

Does anyone know if there is a way to tell if people are short or long on option positions? 

Jmm:  What Phil said.  Your writing is thoughtful and interesting, your comment a disappointment. I am no prig, but I have a stake in the subject.

Phil: thanks.
DIA from this morning- I didn't get stops in at .90- it went through them so figuring I'd ride it —but now I am feeling like an escape route is good.
"In the $25KP, let's add 20 DIA $133 calls at $1.04 with a stop at .90 as we'd rather lose $280 than dump out puts on a spike up, right?"

JMM  Disapointed as well. I have been disapointed with Phil for attacking people personally instead of directing his arguement at their positions, the same goes for your prior post. If you can't make a comment about a technology that saves electricity without making a racial slur, perhaps you should not comment at all,

sparky/ zero: You are pompous twits to take that as " a racial slur".  

I took it as a racial slur.  There is no reason to use metaphorical phrases that had a certain meaning at a different point in time, especially when one is capable of many other useful metaphors or allegories.   If we aren't in a post-racial era now, it is exactly these "oversights" that keep us locked in the past.   Kongen:  pompous twits…..really?!!!  Kind of the same slur in response….see what these type of comments create?

$96 Billion for the equity of Facebook?   So that means $1 Trillion in sales revenue would generate the 9.6% ROS.  And FB will monetize the great unwashed masses to spend money they don't have?   Maybe in the far, distant future which in that case, a reasonable discount rate would reduce to the future cash flow to something in present value that doesn't justify a PV of $96B.   Not to mention the unknown unknowns which present risks that can't be quantified.   And what is the real switching hurdle here…even 30 year olds should be able to remember MySpace.    I just don't get how people buy into these valuations.   With that all being said,  FB should just acquire Yahoo and broaden their content base…a no-brainer!

FB/Phil –  My thought was the content and advertising value of Yahoo, not the expansion of user base would bring more value/user to FB.  They seem so complimentary.  
I think Yahoo should have been the Facebook play, if they had good management in their earlier years.   I consulted to them when I was at Accenture, and their management was incredibly unfocused with completely dysfunctional decision-making processes.  Everyone basically did whatever they wanted, with no accountablity or guidance from above – until it was too late and then they would purge leadership and teams/projects.  Kind of the opposite of the Facebook culture, at least what I say of it from the outside.  

Wow.  I figured after seeing the new laptops and phones they release maybe I should look at buying in.  They were 450 in Jan11 and are now 1250 and rising.  I'm looking at SSNLF (I think that's their ticker).  Anyway, probably doesn't make any sense to go long now, eh?

PHil, oil still going WEEEE so those greedy bastards like me who held on to their USO puts yesterday have something to cheer this morn, but do you see a bottom to this?  I want to sell and go long, what would you recommend?  Thanks!

Oil—- OHHHHHHHHHH- ha ha ha haaaa

PHil, thanks on the USO advice!  Get Jabo to "cheer" your laptop maybe that will help…

And they missed… welcome back mrs volatility

So guys here is the dilemma: i have a May 31/39 SCO bought for 4.23$ currently at 5.90$… What do i do? Do i cash it in? or wait two more weeks? i am inclined to sell it, they will push oil up later this month, any opinions?

CHK / Phil – Just a question on the new BCS. I see CHK is coming back up and we short a 18 May Call.  Should we close it while still green? 

Oh LORD!  Won't you BUY ME—– THE M FNG DiPPPP!!!
Down 160 last night to 47 now.

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