Archive for 2013

Swing trading portfolio – week of May 20th, 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.





When Hedge Funds Go Short, Gold Goes Up

Courtesy of John Rubino.

Bloomberg is reporting on the rising number of hedge funds shorting gold:

Gold Bear Bets Reach Record as Soros Cuts Holdings
Hedge-fund managers are making the biggest ever bet against gold as billionaire George Soros sold holdings last quarter and Goldman Sachs Group Inc. predicted more declines after the longest slump in four years.

The funds and other large speculators held 74,432 so-called short contracts on May 14, U.S. Commodity Futures Trading Commission data show. That’s the highest since the data begins in June 2006 and compares with 67,374 a week earlier. The net-long position dropped 20 percent to 39,216 futures and options, the lowest since July 2007.

Gold prices that surged sixfold in the past 12 years fell 19 percent in 2013, including a seven-session slump through May 17 that was the longest since March 2009. Soros joined funds managed by Northern Trust Corp. and BlackRock Inc. in cutting holdings of exchange-traded products in the first quarter. ETP assets are now at the lowest since July 2011 after some investors lost faith in gold as a store of value amid improving economic growth, low inflation and a rally in equities.

“Gold has faced disappointment after disappointment,” said John Stephenson, a senior vice president and fund manager who helps oversee about C$2.7 billion ($2.65 billion) at First Asset Investment Management Inc. in Toronto. “It’s had a 12-year run, but the whole fear-mongering that the world is going to end is just not working. So, I think that any last vestige of an investment thesis for gold has been stripped.”

Soros Fund Management LLC lowered its investment in the SPDR Gold Trust, the biggest bullion ETP, by 12 percent to 530,900 shares as of March 31, compared with three months earlier, a Securities and Exchange Commission filing showed May 15. The reduction followed a 55 percent cut in the fourth quarter last year. Paulson & Co., the top investor in the SPDR fund, maintained a stake of 21.8 million shares, now valued at $2.86 billion. Global ETP holdings slid 16 percent to 2,207.1 metric tons this year, valued at $96.5 billion.

Goldman Outlook
Gold’s slump “has been faster than we expected,” Goldman analysts led by Jeffrey Currie wrote in a May 14 report. A further drop in ETP holdings would “continue to precipitate this decline,” said the analysts, who forecast prices at $1,390 in 12


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Hedge Funds Go Short, Gold Goes Up

Courtesy of John Rubino.

Bloomberg is reporting on the rising number of hedge funds shorting gold:

Gold Bear Bets Reach Record as Soros Cuts Holdings
Hedge-fund managers are making the biggest ever bet against gold as billionaire George Soros sold holdings last quarter and Goldman Sachs Group Inc. predicted more declines after the longest slump in four years.

The funds and other large speculators held 74,432 so-called short contracts on May 14, U.S. Commodity Futures Trading Commission data show. That’s the highest since the data begins in June 2006 and compares with 67,374 a week earlier. The net-long position dropped 20 percent to 39,216 futures and options, the lowest since July 2007.

Gold prices that surged sixfold in the past 12 years fell 19 percent in 2013, including a seven-session slump through May 17 that was the longest since March 2009. Soros joined funds managed by Northern Trust Corp. and BlackRock Inc. in cutting holdings of exchange-traded products in the first quarter. ETP assets are now at the lowest since July 2011 after some investors lost faith in gold as a store of value amid improving economic growth, low inflation and a rally in equities.

“Gold has faced disappointment after disappointment,” said John Stephenson, a senior vice president and fund manager who helps oversee about C$2.7 billion ($2.65 billion) at First Asset Investment Management Inc. in Toronto. “It’s had a 12-year run, but the whole fear-mongering that the world is going to end is just not working. So, I think that any last vestige of an investment thesis for gold has been stripped.”

Soros Fund Management LLC lowered its investment in the SPDR Gold Trust, the biggest bullion ETP, by 12 percent to 530,900 shares as of March 31, compared with three months earlier, a Securities and Exchange Commission filing showed May 15. The reduction followed a 55 percent cut in the fourth quarter last year. Paulson & Co., the top investor in the SPDR fund, maintained a stake of 21.8 million shares, now valued at $2.86 billion. Global ETP holdings slid 16 percent to 2,207.1 metric tons this year, valued at $96.5 billion.

Goldman Outlook
Gold’s slump “has been faster than we expected,” Goldman analysts led by Jeffrey Currie wrote in a May 14 report. A further drop in ETP holdings would “continue to precipitate this decline,” said the analysts, who forecast prices at $1,390 in 12


continue reading





White House Damage Control Script Jeopardized by New Disclosures

Courtesy of ZeroHedge. View original post here.

Submitted by Tyler Durden.

It has been a tough weekend for the President. First, the CEO of the Associated Press states the government's seizure of AP phone records was "so broad and so secret," among other factors, "that it was an unconstitutional act," adding that it had already had a chilling effect on newsgathering and press freedom…

 

Add to that James Goodale's comments (the leading force behind the release of the Pentagon Papers and first amendment lawyer), that President Obama is "worse for press freedom than Nixon" and things are not going well…

But, the problems did not stop there as the Wall Street Journal reports that while President Obama claims not to have been made aware of the IRS indiscretions until May 10th it seems the White House's chief lawyer learned weeks ago that an audit of the IRS likely would show that agency employees inappropriately targeted conservative groups.

Via The Wall Street Journal,

… In the week of April 22, the Office of the White House Counsel and its head, Kathryn Ruemmler, were told by Treasury Department attorneys that an inspector general's report was nearing completion, the White House official said. In that conversation, Ms. Ruemmler learned that "a small number of line IRS employees had improperly scrutinized certain…organizations by using words like 'tea party' and 'patriot,' " the official said.

The White House, which declined to make Ms. Ruemmler available for comment Sunday, wouldn't say whether she shared the information with anyone else in the senior administration staff.

When findings are so potentially damaging, the president should immediately be informed, said Lanny Davis, who served as a special counsel to President Bill Clinton.

Of the controversies dogging Mr. Obama, including the terrorist assault in Benghazi, Libya, and the Justice Department's seizure of phone records of Associated Press journalists, the IRS case "is the most nuclear issue of all," Mr. Davis said. It involves the "misuse of the IRS" and "anyone who knew about this a few weeks ago and didn't tell the president shouldn't be in the White House,"

Republican lawmakers on House oversight committees are pressing the investigation, with more hearings set for this week.

"Exactly who in the administration knew what about the IRS targeting is one of the key outstanding questions," said


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The ‘Other’ Way To Exit The Euro…

Courtesy of ZeroHedge. View original post here.

Submitted by Tyler Durden.

With unemployment rates running at all-time record highs across the peripheral European nations and the rise of nationalist (some might say extremist) parties, it remains somewhat surprising that there has not been greater social unrest (yet). The people of Europe are caught in a hinterland of knowing what is best in the long-run but fearing the short-term band-aid ripping pain of exiting the political farce known as the European Union. But some have found a way… There is another way to ‘exit’ on personal terms from the austerity and pain induced by a centrally planned overlord. Immigration to Germany from Italy, Spain, Greece, and Portugal has ‘never’ been higher… leaving us wondering – at what point does the free and open exchange of everything in the union gets its share of ‘protectionism’ from an over-stuffed Germany freezing the import of labor? So it seems that not only is the money (deposits) finding a new home but the people too are moving to where the money is..

 





Central Banks to Dominate the Forces of Movement in the Week Ahead

Courtesy of ZeroHedge. View original post here.

Submitted by Marc To Market.

The most important force that has lifted the US dollar across the board is the sense, encouraged by official comments, of the potential divergence in the trajectory of monetary policy between the US and most of the other major high income countries. 

In particular, the pendulum of market psychology has swung back toward speculation of tapering off of QE-related asset purchases by the Federal Reserve.  At the same time, ECB officials continue to indicate they are carefully considering a negative deposit rate. Many still expect the Bank of England to resume its gilt purchases program and new initiatives on its forward guidance in Q3 after Carney takes the helm. 

Meanwhile, Carney and the Bank of Canada continue to push further out when they anticipate full capacity will be reached and when it will remove some accommodation by increasing interest rates. The recent string of economic data, including prices, has been generally softer than expected and the forward guidance the central bank has offered is becoming less credible. Additional easing by the Reserve Bank of Australia, though the recent sharp drop in the Australian dollar appears to tempering expectations of a rate cut as early as next month.

Japan’s quantitative and qualitative easing is not even two months old. It is far too early to suggest a reassessment, though Q4 12 GDP was revised up and Q1 13 GDP came in stronger than expected and may be revised after Japan releases the latest capex figures in early June. Capital investment was an unexpected drag on Q1 GDP and may be adjusted higher.

Although there are several important pieces of economic data in the days ahead, including UK inflation and retail sales reports, euro area flash PMI readings, German IFO, Japan’s latest trade figures, US durable goods orders, the focus is on the central banks.

The Fed’s Dudley and Bollard speak on Tuesday, but the real interest is on Bernanke’s testimony on the economic outlook on Wednesday. Comments by regional Fed presidents who do not vote this year on the FOMC has helped fan speculation of tapering off of Fed purchases in Q3.   Bernanke is likely to reiterate that the Fed is vigilantly watching the impact of QE on the financial markets and risk-taking generally.  However suspect it is too early for Bernanke to
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Is EVERY Market Rigged?

Courtesy of ZeroHedge. View original post here.

Submitted by George Washington.

CNN reports:

The European Commission raided the offices of Shell, BP and Norway’s Statoil this week as part of an investigation into suspected attempts to manipulate global oil prices spanning more than a decade.

 

None of the companies have been accused of wrongdoing, but the controversy has brought back memories of the Libor rate-rigging scandal that rocked the financial world last year.

 

***

 

A review ordered by the British government last year in the wake of the Libor revelations cited “clear” parallels between the work of the oil-price-reporting agencies and Libor.

 

“[T]hey are both widely used benchmarks that are compiled by private organizations and that are subject to minimal regulation and oversight by regulatory authorities,” the review, led by former financial regulator Martin Wheatley, said in August . “To that extent they are also likely to be vulnerable to similar issues with regards to the motivation and opportunity for manipulation and distortion.”

 

***

 

In a report issued in October, the International Organization of Securities Commissions — an association of regulators — said the ability “to selectively report data on a voluntary basis creates an opportunity for manipulating the commodity market data” submitted to Platts and its competitors.

 

Responding to questions from IOSCO last year, French oil giant Total said the price-reporting agencies, or PRAs, sometimes “do not assure an accurate representation of the market and consequently deform the real price levels paid at every level of the price chain, including by the consumer.” But Total called Platts and its competitors “generally… conscientious and professional.”

 

***

 

“Even small distortions of assessed prices may have a huge impact on the prices of crude oil, refined oil products and biofuels purchases and sales, potentially harming final consumers,” the European Commission said this week.

USA Today notes:

The Commission … said, however, that its probe covers a wide range of oil products — crude oil, biofuels, and refined oil products, which include gasoline, heating oil, petrochemicals and others.

 

***

 

The EU said it has concerns that some companies may have tried to manipulate the pricing process


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A Dollar-Yen Tale Told By An Idiot, Full Of Sound And Fury, Signifying Nothing

Courtesy of ZeroHedge. View original post here.

Submitted by Tyler Durden.

We are so deep inside the centrally-planned, Keynesio-monetarist Twilight zone, that the best we can advise is just laughing at the utterly ridiculous amounts of daily idiocy hitting the tape now on an hourly basis.

h/t @andrewyorks





19 Tornadoes Strike Kansas And Oklahoma In Three Hours

Courtesy of ZeroHedge. View original post here.

Submitted by Tyler Durden.

Bullish for GDP, foodstamps and BLS scapegoating of the weather as the reason for a weak May jobs report.

Full list of all reported tornaodes between 8PM and 11PM UTC:

Source: NOAA





Crushed By Soaring Energy Costs, Japan Prepares To Reactivate Its Nuclear Power Plants

Courtesy of ZeroHedge. View original post here.

Submitted by Tyler Durden.

In what was painfully obvious to everyone with half a brain months ago (see here) Japan's desperate gambit at reflating would backfire massively by sending energy prices soaring in a world in which Japan no longer has access to internally producer, nuclear power plants and is forced to import all of its energy from abroad. For a glimpse of the horrors awaiting Japan's utilities and those consumers lucky enough to have electricity in their homes, here is a chart of Japanese LNG costs expressed in Yen: hardly the stuff sustainable, discretionary income-led recoveries are made of. And this was three months ago: now it's much, much worse.

Because as we also showed using the chart below, unless Japan actually restarts its nuclear power plants, it is doomed to a future in which all the import-led price inflation goes to such trivial, non-core items as energy and, of course, food. But who cares about those…

Well, apparently after six months of dithering, Japan does.

First it was Japan's economy minister chiming in with his views on the fair value of the USDJPY (apparently, now it is too high), who also made it clear that Japan has no choice but to restart the same nuclear power plants that two years resulted in the biggest nuclear catastrophe since Chernobyl.

And now, proving that Japan has learned absolutely nothing from its recent past, it is now preparing to risk yet another Fukushima, just to make sure that Goldman's partners have a fresh year of record bonuses, driven by the BOJ's monetary insanity. Yomiuri Shumbun reports, that just two years after a wholesale shutdown of Japan's nuclear power plants demanded by the people, Japan is once again going to reactivate its nuclear power plants, much to the chagrin of the already massively irradiated local population.

Tokyo Electric Power Co. has decided to apply to the nuclear regulating body to restart two reactors at its nuclear power plant in Niigata Prefecture by the end of July, after revised safety standards are implemented earlier that month, it has been learned.

Reactivation of the two reactors at the Kashiwazaki-Kariwa nuclear power plant could help stabilize the power supply situation for eastern Japan, including the Kanto region, which is part of TEPCO’s service areas;


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Zero Hedge

Johns Hopkins, Bristol-Myers Face $1 Billion Suit For Infecting Guatemalan Hookers With Syphilis 

Courtesy of ZeroHedge. View original post here.

A federal judge in Maryland said Johns Hopkins University, pharmaceutical company Bristol-Myers Squibb and the Rockefeller Foundation must face a $1 billion lawsuit over their roles in a top-secret program in the 1940s ran by the US government that injected hundreds of Guatemalans with syphilis, reported Reuters.

Several doctors from Hopkins an...



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Phil's Favorites

This Is The One Chart Every Trader Should Have "Taped To Their Screen"

Courtesy of Zero Hedge

After a year of tapering, the Fed’s balance sheet finally captured the market’s attention during the last three months of 2018.

By the start of the fourth quarter, the Fed had finished raising the caps on monthly roll-off of its balance sheet to the full $50bn per month (peaking at $30bn USTs, $20bn MBS, although on many months the (balance sheet) B/S does not actually shrink by this full amount which depends on the redemption schedule) and by end-Q4 markets also experienced some of the largest volatility and drawdowns in nearly a decade.

As Nomura&...



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ValueWalk

The Competition For Capital Has Made Stocks Cheap

By Michelle Jones. Originally published at ValueWalk.

The new year is upon us, and now is the time many investors look at what 2018 was and prepare for what 2019 might be. Recession jitters are starting to pick back up again, especially now that the full picture of 2018 is in the books. But what if you could pick only one theme for 2018? Jefferies strategist Sean Darby and team have a suggestion which is especially timely given that it appears to mark the end of an era.

StockSnap / PixabayVolatility carries into the new year

This past year was one of extremes, and the markets ended i...



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Kimble Charting Solutions

Stock declines did not break 9-year support, says Joe Friday

Courtesy of Chris Kimble.

We often hear “Stocks take an escalator up and an elevator down!” No doubt stocks did experience a swift decline from the September highs to the Christmas eve lows. Looks like the “elevator” part of the phrase came true as 2018 was coming to an end.

The first part of the “stocks take an escalator up” seems to still be in play as well despite the swift decline of late.

Joe Friday Just The Facts Ma’am- All of these indices hit long-term rising support on Christmas Eve at each (1), where support held and rallies have followed.

If you find long-term perspectives helpf...



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Digital Currencies

Transparency and privacy: Empowering people through blockchain

 

Transparency and privacy: Empowering people through blockchain

Blockchain technologies can empower people by allowing them more control over their user data. Shutterstock

Courtesy of Ajay Kumar Shrestha, University of Saskatchewan

Blockchain has already proven its huge influence on the financial world with its first application in the form of cryptocurrencies such as Bitcoin. It might not be long before its impact is felt everywhere.

Blockchain is a secure chain of digital records that exist on multiple computers simultaneously so no record can be erased or falsified. The...



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Insider Scoop

Cars.com Explores Strategic Alternatives, Analyst Sees Possible Sale Price Around $30 Per Share

Courtesy of Benzinga.

Related 44 Biggest Movers From Yesterday 38 Stocks Moving In Wednesday's Mid-Day Session ...

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.

This chapter isn’t about risk or leverage. Phil present a few smart, practical ideas you can use as a hedge against inflation as well as hedging strategies designed to assist you in staying ahead of the markets.

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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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