Archive for 2013

Swing trading portfolio – week of May 6th, 2013

Reminder: OpTrader is available to chat with Members, comments are found below each post.

This post is for all our live virtual trade ideas and daily comments. Please click on "comments" below to follow our live discussion. All of our current  trades are listed in the spreadsheet below, with entry price (1/2 in and All in), and exit prices (1/3 out, 2/3 out, and All out).

We also indicate our stop, which is most of the time the "5 day moving average". All trades, unless indicated, are front-month ATM options. 

Please feel free to participate in the discussion and ask any questions you might have about this virtual portfolio, by clicking on the "comments" link right below.

To learn more about the swing trading virtual portfolio (strategy, performance, FAQ, etc.), please click here

Optrader 

Swing trading virtual portfolio

 

One trade virtual portfolio

 

Reminder: OpTrader is available to chat with Members, comments are found below each post.





Visualizing The Triumph Of Hope Over Reality

Courtesy of ZeroHedge. View original post here.

Submitted by Tyler Durden.

The Federal Reserve’s extreme monetary policy has done nothing but repress ‘safe’ assets to the point of making ‘risky’ assets relatively cheap. This is of course not the case were you to isolate each risky or safe asset and consider its value standalone. Choosing stocks over bonds because “well, what is the alternative?” is akin to the red-pill/blue-pill choice from The Matrix and the reflationary ‘normal’ that we are supposed to believe in is what ‘apparently’ justifies a 1.7x rise (12%!) in multiples since QE4EVA was announced. During that same period, consensus earnings expectations have plunged (merely pushed out one more year for the renaissance) and global trade and growth has collapsed. However, while we have shown many divergences from reality in the past, it is the manic/depressive difference between inflation expectations and stock valuations (implicitly supported by reflation) that is the clearest example of the short-term triumph of hope over reality.

 

The plunge in consensus 2013 earnings since August is stunning (as is the resplendent rise in 2014 expectations)… just one more year….

 

but that didn’t matter as P/E ratios surged… on the back of QE4EVA – though ‘cyclically’ we appear to be nearing the Central Banker limit for short-term impacts…

 

But this time, the inflationary pull of rising P/E ratios simply does not fit with the deflationary ‘pricing’ the market assigns to forward inflation expectations…

 

In fact, inflation expectations have now faded all the way back to QE3 levels – which can mean only one thing (for fear of the dreaded deflation)… moar QE…

 

Charts: Barclays, Bloomberg





German Finance Minister Who Launched Euro, Calls For Euro’s Breakup

Courtesy of ZeroHedge. View original post here.

Submitted by Tyler Durden.

Back in December we pointed out the patently obvious: in the absence of an external rebalancing mechanism, i.e., a free-floating currency, the only option for the bulk of the periphery to regain competitiveness was through ongoing wage collapse and persistent localized depression. Five months later, just as predicted, Europe is in a worse shape than ever before, not only in those non-core countries where wage deflation is accelerating, but the weakness has fully spilled over to the core. Of course, none of this is rocket science, and has been quite obvious to anyone who thought for more than 15 seconds about the “future” of the Eurozone. What is surprising, however, is that with every passing day even the most staunchest supporters of the euro, in this case Oskar Lafontaine, German finance minister in 1998-1999, under whose supervision the euro was launched, are becoming the most vocal Euro-skeptics an unsound, political (capital) currency can no longer buy. Here is the Telegraph’s Ambrose Evans-Prithard dissecting the conversion of the latest europhile turned euroskeptic.

From The Telegraph

Oskar Lafontaine, the German finance minister who launched the euro, has called for a break-up of the single currency to let southern Europe recover, warning that the current course is “leading to disaster”. 

 

“The economic situation is worsening from month to month, and unemployment has reached a level that puts democratic structures ever more in doubt,” he said.

 

The Germans have not yet realised that southern Europe, including France, will be forced by their current misery to fight back against German hegemony sooner or later,” he said, blaming much of the crisis on Germany’s wage squeeze to gain export share.

 

Mr Lafontaine said on the parliamentary website of Germany’s Left Party that Chancellor Angela Merkel will “awake from her self-righteous slumber” once the countries in trouble unite to force a change in crisis policy at Germany’s expense.

 

His prediction appeared confirmed as French finance minister Pierre Moscovici yesterday proclaimed the end of austerity and a triumph of French policy, risking further damage to the tattered relations between Paris and Berlin.

 

“Austerity is finished. This is a decisive turn in the history of the EU project since the euro,” he told French TV. “We’re


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Turning A Donkey Into A Butterfly

Courtesy of ZeroHedge. View original post here.

Submitted by Tyler Durden.

The clear message from the doctors this week is that they plan to keep administering the pills, in larger quantities if necessary, until the donkey turns into a butterfly. Citi’s Matt King reminds us though that they failed to mention the associated risk that the donkey dies of the side effects first (apart, that is, from Dr Osborne, who urged the other doctors to ignore any such possibility entirely). For investors, King notes the immediate implication is that the central banks would like the party in any and all risk assets to carry on. This raises the spectre of a rally back to 2007 valuations, made all the more dizzying this time by the lack of any accompanying justification in the state of the economy…

Via Citi’s Matt King,

Party Like It’s 2006

…[ interest rates] are the one asset class which is at least following fundamentals. Both extra central bank liquidity and poor economic data contrive to send yields lower.

 

It feels a lot like the environment last year. In theory, lower yields and the threat of negative deposit rates are supposed to spur lending. In practice, they aggravate the hole in pensions, and exacerbate an already self-reinforcing cycle in which the premium on ‘safe’ assets merely serves to highlight the riskiness of the overall macro picture.

 

The only difference between now and then is the way in which the ECB has succeeded in getting peripheral govies reclassified from ‘risky’ to ‘safe’, regardless of their fundamentals. The effect has been strongest among peripheral banks, who have clearly decided that the best way to make use of abundant liquidity is through large increases in their government bond holdings. Other investors have consequently been forced to follow suit.

 

Credit, sadly, is just a passenger in this story. One reason the rally has proved so painful for many investors is that it has been so exclusively concentrated [in the most obviously risky instruments and entities]. And yet if those [positions] continue to rally, it remains easier even now to squeeze the remaining shorts than it is to force any reduction in the real risk positions out there.

 

Had all this been accompanied by any substantive improvement in economic prospects and underlying sovereign and corporate


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Ron Paul: “This Is A House Of Cards”

Courtesy of ZeroHedge. View original post here.

Submitted by Tyler Durden.

Authored by Ron Paul, via The Free Foundation,

Federal Reserve Blows More Bubbles

Last week at its regular policy-setting meeting, the Federal Reserve announced it would double down on the policies that have failed to produce anything but a stagnant economy. It was a disappointing, but not surprising, move.

The Fed affirmed that it is prepared to increase its monthly purchases of Treasuries and mortgage-backed securities if things don’t start looking up. But actually the Fed has already been buying more than the announced $85 billion per month. Between February and March, the Fed’s securities holdings increased $95 billion. From March to April, they increased $100 billion. In all, the Fed has pumped more than a half trillion dollars into the economy since announcing its latest round of “quantitative easing” (QE3) in September 2012.

Although many were up in arms when the Fed said it would buy $600 billion in government debt outright for the previous round, QE2, all seems quiet about the magnitude of QE3 because it doesn’t come with huge up-front total price tag. But by year’s end the Fed’s balance sheet could hit $4 trillion.

With no recovery in sight, where’s all this money going? It is creating bubbles. Bubbles in the housing sector, the stock market, and government debt. The national debt is fast approaching $17 trillion, with the Fed monetizing most of the newly issued debt. The stock market has been hitting record highs for the past two months as investors seek to capitalize on the Fed’s easy money. After all, as long as the Fed keeps the spigot open, nominal profits are there for the taking. But this is a house of cards. Eventually, just like in 2008-2009, the market will discipline the bad actions of the Fed and seek to find the real normal.

In the meantime, real families are suffering. While Wall Street and the government take advantage of access to the Fed’s new “free” money, the Fed claims there is no inflation. But who hasn’t paid higher prices at the grocery store, the gas pump, for tuition, for insurance? It’s bad enough that household incomes have stagnated, but real purchasing power has declined so much that one in seven Americans, 47.3 million people, are on food stamps. Five million are collecting unemployment insurance with 21.5…
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Guest Post: What Is Obvious About This Market?

Courtesy of ZeroHedge. View original post here.

Submitted by Tyler Durden.

Submitted by Charles Hugh-Smith of OfTwoMinds blog,

What is "obvious" to those embedded in the conventional, MSM/state-manufactured worldview is not the same as what is obvious to those outside the asylum.

 
Longtime readers know my analytic perspective is based on what psychiatrist/author R.D. Laing called the Politics of Experience.
 
 
In his prescient 1972 lecture, The Obvious, Laing explained the inherent difficulty of understanding "the obvious" when a systemic madness is taken as "normal":

To a considerable extent what follows is an essay in stating what I take to be obvious. It is obvious that the social world situation is endangering the future of all life on this planet. To state the obvious is to share with you what (in your view) my misconceptions might be. The obvious can be dangerous. The deluded man frequently finds his delusions so obvious that he can hardly credit the good faith of those who do not share them.

We can summarize one aspect of this analysis by asking: what is "obvious" to those inside a system and what is "obvious" to those outside the system? Our experience of what is "obvious" says a lot about our cultural context and assumptions: the manufacture of our "news" and consensus, the mystification of our experience via propaganda and simulacra, what we perceive as "normal" relationships, work, goals, etc.
 
What is "obvious" to most participants is that the stock rally is fueled by central bank liquidity and quantitative easing, and since there is no limit in sight to these policies, there is also no limit to the stock market running higher.
 


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Weekly Market Commentary: Rally Expands

Courtesy of Declan Fallon

Market Breadth accelerated higher, firming up the swing low and supporting the current leg of the rally. The swing low emerged from relative strength – not from an oversold state – as is typical at major lows. So while the Percentage of Nasdaq Stocks above the 50-day MA has room to run before it becomes overbought, the Nasdaq Bullish Percents and Nasdaq Summation Index will be soon be in overbought territory once more.


The number of New Highs – New Lows continues to map a top, although for the parent index this is more likely to be associated with a sideways market, rather than a hard sell off as occurred in 2008.

The daily chart for the Russell 2000 displays vulnerabilities, although the weekly chart remains bullish, with a few opportunities for buyers to step in on future price declines.

Although the Nasdaq offers the better opportunity on the daily time interval, with the weekly chart offering good support for a rally too.

Until there is a significant break of support, or all market breadth indicators become overbought, the rally should continue for a little while longer.  However, for those tracking my investment strategy, Friday qualified as a day to take profit / sell covered call day: the S&P has extended itself by more than 10% from its 200-day MA.  The last time this signal was given was March-April of last year; two months later the S&P was down nearly 9%.

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Dr. Declan Fallon is the Senior Market Technician and Community Director for Zignals.com. You can read what others are saying about Zignals on Investimonials.com.

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Chinese Growth – Real Or Imagined?

Courtesy of ZeroHedge. View original post here.

Submitted by Tyler Durden.

We toyed with titling this post “Lies, Damned Lies, And Chinese Statistics” but perhaps that is a little harsh, though one glance at the chart below and one instantly comprehends the efforts that are being undertaken to ‘show’ the world that China’s transition is on target (and crumbling into collapse). As we recently noted, it is actually unlikely that China can complete this transition to organic (as opposed to investment-led) growth (with moderate growth the exception not the rule), and China’s recent trade data does not pass the smell test. As GREED & Fear’s Chris Wood notes, with the Hong Kong trade data being released last week, it is worth noting a growing discrepancy between the data on China’s exports to Hong Kong reported by mainland’s customs department and the corresponding data on Hong Kong’s imports from China reported by Hong Kong’s Census and Statistics Department in March. Such inconsistency in China’s export numbers relative to the imports data from its trading partners has generated growing speculation about the credibility of China’s trade figures. Various explanations have been put forward (below) but the divergence would seem far too large to be simply explained by “different statistical methods” as the Chinese government’s official line notes.

Via GREED & Fear,

Hong Kong’s reported imports from China rose by “only” 13.8%YoY to US$20.6bn in March and were up 10%YoY to US$56bn in 1Q13. By contrast, China reported that exports to Hong Kong surged by 93%YoY to US$48.4bn in March and were up 74%YoY to US$106bn in 1Q13. As a result, the ratio between China’s reported exports to Hong Kong and Hong Kong’s reported imports from China has surged to 2.35 times in March, up from 1.36x in 2012 and an average of 1.11x during the previous five years between 2007 and 2011.

 

 

Such inconsistency in China’s export numbers relative to the imports data from its trading partners has generated growing speculation about the credibility of China’s trade figures.

 

One suggestion, as noted by CLSA’s head of economic research Eric Fishwick, is that Chinese companies have been inflating their shipment data to take advantage of the government’s export tax rebates.

 

Another explanation GREED & fear has heard recently is that Chinese companies are over-invoicing their exports


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An Unqualified Apology

Niall Ferguson apologizes for his deeply insensitive and politically incorrect comments about John Maynard Keynes. For those, read this: Harvard's Niall Ferguson Blamed Keynes' Economic Philosophy On His Being Childless And Gay.

An Unqualified Apology

During a recent question-and-answer session at a conference in California, I made comments about John Maynard Keynes that were as stupid as they were insensitive.

I had been asked to comment on Keynes’s famous observation “In the long run we are all dead.” The point I had made in my presentation was that in the long run our children, grandchildren and great-grandchildren are alive, and will have to deal with the consequences of our economic actions.

But I should not have suggested – in an off-the-cuff response that was not part of my presentation – that Keynes was indifferent to the long run because he had no children, nor that he had no children because he was gay. This was doubly stupid. First, it is obvious that people who do not have children also care about future generations. Second, I had forgotten that Keynes’s wife Lydia miscarried.

My disagreements with Keynes’s economic philosophy have never had anything to do with his sexual orientation. It is simply false to suggest, as I did, that his approach to economic policy was inspired by any aspect of his personal life. As those who know me and my work are well aware, I detest all prejudice, sexual or otherwise.

My colleagues, students, and friends – straight and gay – have every right to be disappointed in me, as I am in myself. To them, and to everyone who heard my remarks at the conference or has read them since, I deeply and unreservedly apologize.

Niall Ferguson.





Guest Post: A Short History Of Currency Swaps (And Why Asset Confiscation Is Inevitable)

Courtesy of ZeroHedge. View original post here.

Submitted by Tyler Durden.

Submitted by Martin Sibileau of A View From The Trenches blog,

I want to offer today an historical perspective on the favorite liquidity injection tool: Currency swaps. These coordinated interventions are not a solution to the crashes, but their cause, within a game of chicken and egg. But I’ve just given you the conclusion. I need to back it now…

To read this article in pdf format, click here: May 5 2013

With equity valuations no longer levitating but in a different, 4th dimension altogether, and credit spreads compressing… Which fiduciary portfolio manager can still afford to hedge? Any price to hedge seems expensive and with no demand, the price of protection falls almost daily. The CDX NA IG20 index (i.e. the investment grade credit default swap index series 20, tracking the credit risk of 125 North American investment grade companies in the credit default swap market) closed the week at 70-71bps. The index was at this level back in the spring of 2005. By the summer of 2007, any credit portfolio manager that would have wanted to cautiously hedge with this index would have seen a further compression of 75% in spreads, completely wiping him/her out.

It is in situations like these, when the crash comes, that the proverbial run for liquidity forces central banks to coordinate liquidity injections. However, something tells me that this time, the trick won’t work. In anticipation to the next and perhaps final attempt, I want to offer today an historical perspective on the favorite liquidity injection tool:  Currency swaps. These coordinated interventions are not a solution to the crashes, but their cause, within a game of chicken and egg. But I’ve just given you the conclusion. I need to back it now…

How it all began

Let me clarify: By currency swaps, I refer to a transaction carried out between two central banks. This means that currency swaps cannot be older than the central banks that extend them. On the other hand, foreign exchange swaps between corporations may date back to the late Middle Ages, when trade began to resurface in the Italian cities and the Hansastädte. Having said this, I believe that currency swaps were…
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Zero Hedge

Americans' Economic Hope Has Collapsed

Courtesy of ZeroHedge. View original post here.

Which came first, the confidence or the stock market rally?

One thing is for sure, the crash in stocks in December has crushed the hope of Americans that their economic future is going to be better under President Trump.

Overall confidence dipped to 58.1 - a 4-month low, but, U.S. consumers this month were the most downbeat on the economy since November 2016, a third straight drop after expectations reached a 16-year high just three months earlier, as the partial government shutdown wears on toward a fourth week.

...



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Kimble Charting Solutions

Triple Breakout Test In Play For S&P 500!

Courtesy of Chris Kimble.

Is the rally of late about to run out of steam or is a major breakout about to take place in the S&P 500? What happens at current prices should go a long way in determining this question.

This chart looks at the equal weight S&P 500 ETF (RSP) on a daily basis over the past 15-months.

The rally from the lows on Christmas Eve has RSP testing the top of a newly formed falling channel while testing the underneath side of the 2018 trading range and its falling 50-day moving average at (1).

At this time RPS is facing a triple resistance test. Wil...



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Phil's Favorites

Brexit deal flops, Theresa May survives -- so what happens now?

 

Brexit deal flops, Theresa May survives -- so what happens now?

Courtesy of Victoria Honeyman, University of Leeds

As the clock ticks down to March 29 2019, all of the political manoeuvring, negotiating, arguing and fighting is coming to a peak. In the two and a half years since the 2016 EU referendum, views on both sides have hardened and agreement still seems as far away as it was the day after the referendum.

With Theresa May’s withdrawal agreement disliked by all sides, and voted down by an unprecedented majority in the House of Commons, everyone is wondering what can and should be done next?

...



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Digital Currencies

Crypto-Bubble: Will Bitcoin Bottom In February Or Has It Already?

Courtesy of Michelle Jones via ValueWalk.com

The new year has been relatively good for the price of bitcoin after a spectacular collapse of the cryptocurrency bubble in 2018. It’s up notably since the middle of December and traded around the psychological level of $4,000... so is this a sign that the crypto market is about to recover?

Of course, it depends on who you ask, but one analyst discovered a pattern which might point to a bottom next month.

A year after the cryptocurrency bubble popped

CCN...



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ValueWalk

D.E. Shaw Investment Calls For Leadership Change At EQT

By ActivistInsight. Originally published at ValueWalk.

Elliott Management has offered to acquire QEP Resources for approximately $2.1 billion, contending the oil and gas explorer’s turnaround efforts have done little to lift the company’s share price. The company responded and said that a thorough review of the proposition is imperative in order to properly act in the best interests of shareholders, “taking into account the company’s other alternatives and current market conditions.” The news came only a month after Travelport Worldwide agreed to sell itself to Siris Capital Group and Elliott’s private equity arm Evergreen Coast Capital for $4.4 billion in cash and two months after Athenahealth was bought by Veritas and Evergreen for $5.7 bi...



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Insider Scoop

UBS Says Disney's Streaming Ambition Gives It A 'New Hope'

Courtesy of Benzinga.

Related DIS Despite Some Risks, Analysts Still Expecting Double Digit Growth From Communications Services In Q4 ...

http://www.insidercow.com/ more from Insider

Chart School

Weekly Market Recap Jan 13, 2019

Courtesy of Blain.

In last week’s recap we asked:  “Has the Fed solved all the market’s problems in 1 speech?”

Thus far the market says yes!  As Guns n Roses preached – all we need is a little “patience”.  Four up days followed by a nominal down day Friday had the market following it’s normal pattern the past nearly 30 years – jumping whenever the Federal Reserve hints (or essentially says outright) it is here for the markets.   And in case you missed it the prior Friday, Chairman Powell came back out Thursday to reiterate the news – so…so… so… patient!

Fed Chairman Jerome Powell reinforced that message Thursday during a discussion at the Economic Club of Washington where he said that the central bank will be “fle...



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Members' Corner

Why Trump Can't Learn

 

Bill Eddy (lawyer, therapist, author) predicted Trump's chaotic presidency based on his high-conflict personality, which was evident years ago. This post, written in 2017, references a prescient article Bill wrote before Trump even became president, 5 Reasons Trump Can’t Learn. ~ Ilene 

Why Trump Can’t Learn

Donald Trump by Gage Skidmore (...



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Biotech

Opening Pandora's Box: Gene editing and its consequences

Reminder: We are available to chat with Members, comments are found below each post.

 

Opening Pandora's Box: Gene editing and its consequences

Bacteriophage viruses infecting bacterial cells , Bacterial viruses. from www.shutterstock.com

Courtesy of John Bergeron, McGill University

Today, the scientific community is aghast at the prospect of gene editing to create “designer” humans. Gene editing may be of greater consequence than climate change, or even the consequences of unleashing the energy of the atom.

...

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Mapping The Market

Trump: "I Won't Be Here" When It Blows Up

By Jean-Luc

Maybe we should simply try him for treason right now:

Trump on Coming Debt Crisis: ‘I Won’t Be Here’ When It Blows Up

The president thinks the balancing of the nation’s books is going to, ultimately, be a future president’s problem.

By Asawin Suebsaeng and Lachlan Markay, Daily Beast

The friction came to a head in early 2017 when senior officials offered Trump charts and graphics laying out the numbers and showing a “hockey stick” spike in the nationa...



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OpTrader

Swing trading portfolio - week of September 11th, 2017

Reminder: OpTrader is available to chat with Members, comments are found below each post.

 

This post is for all our live virtual trade ideas and daily comments. Please click on "comments" below to follow our live discussion. All of our current  trades are listed in the spreadsheet below, with entry price (1/2 in and All in), and exit prices (1/3 out, 2/3 out, and All out).

We also indicate our stop, which is most of the time the "5 day moving average". All trades, unless indicated, are front-month ATM options. 

Please feel free to participate in the discussion and ask any questions you might have about this virtual portfolio, by clicking on the "comments" link right below.

To learn more about the swing trading virtual portfolio (strategy, performance, FAQ, etc.), please click here ...



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Promotions

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In My Top Strategies for 2017, Phil's chapter is Secret Santa’s Inflation Hedges for 2017.

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About Phil:

Philip R. Davis is a founder Phil's Stock World, a stock and options trading site that teaches the art of options trading to newcomers and devises advanced strategies for expert traders...

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