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Finally Friday – Freaky Week Comes to a Close

Dip?  What dip?  I don't see no dip.

Look, I'm from Jersey – I can appreciate the idea that, if you pretend something never happened (and there's no evidence), then everyone can just "fuggedaboutit" and move on with their lives (except, of course, the "evidence").  

The Nasdaq is already heading back to record highs (fuggedding about 1999, of course!) led by our Stock of the Year pick, AAPL, as it climbs back to $550, fuggeding about their brief dip below $500 just two short weeks ago.  

Our spread on AAPL, which is in our Long-Term Portfolio and our Income Portfolio was selling the 2016 $450 put for $46.40 and buying the 2016 $450/650 bull call spread for net $44.60 for a net $2 credit ($200 per spread) and already that combo is worth $40.70 ($4,070 per contract) - up 1,935% from when we featured it on December 30th (and it was adjusted to be more aggressive on the dip, because we had CONVICTION and because we managed our portions to take advantage of the dip!).   In fact, on 1/28, when AAPL was falling below $500, I said in Member Chat at 4:15 am:

Amazingly, AAPL has pretty much announced they'll be moving into the mobile payment space with their 400M ITunes users (Visa has 50M users) and no one seems to be doing the math on that!   Of course, it's hard to get traction when CNBC runs headlines like this:

This is how bad it could get for Apple stock

In the article, they are talking about a 40% drop ($350) due to these "horrific" earnings, especially guidance, where AAPL "only" forecasts $43Bn in sales with the usual 37% margins.  This Q they made $13Bn per $550 share (now $505).  At $505, that's about $14.50 per share or a current p/e of 8.7 (assuming 3 more "terrible" quarters like that one) NOT INCLUDING, of course, their $160Bn pile of cash which at $420Bn, is 40% of their market cap.  

So AAPL $505 is RIDICULOUS.  It's a BUYBUYBUY and, if they drop to $400, then it's a BUYBUYBUY.  You will hear ever single moron who ever had an opinion lining up to dis AAPL today but keep in mind we EXPECTED this reaction – we took a very light bullish entry in our LTP, despite the fact that AAPL is my stock of the year because we were only worried it might go up and we'd miss our chance but mostly, we were waiting for this!  

That's what I call CONVICTION!  Of course, $4,070 per contract is merely "on track" as this trade, if successful, will return $20,000 per contract if AAPL is at $650 or above in Jan 2016.  Even if it flatlines at $550, we still net out $10,000 as the premium we sold expires over time.   This is why we are teaching our Members to "BE THE HOUSE – Not the Gambler" in 2014!  

AAPL was one of our 5 featured macro trade ideas for 2014 and you can see the others in our Holiday Webcast or Join our Members at Philstockworld, where we discuss trade ideas like this every day!  

Other trades of the year were bullish on Silver, Gold, DBA (agriculture ETF) and CLF.  ABX was our runner-up trade of the year and that idea was published back on Jan 2nd and you could have had this one by just reading our Morning Post for that day (Report Members or above):

Buy 100 ABX 2016 $13/20 bull call spreads for $3, sell 100 ABX 2016 $13 puts for $1.80 for net $1.20 ($12,000 net cash, about $13,350 in margin).  This trade will pay you back $70,000 (+483% on cash) if ABX closes over $20 in Jan 2016.  The very good news is it's currently $4.63 in the money, so this trade returns $46,300 (285% profit) if ABX just flat-lines at $17.63 and the worst case is ABX falls below $13 and you end up owning 10,000 shares of it for net $14.80, which is $148,000 or about $74,000 of ordinary margin.  

As you can see from the chart, ABX is now $20.09 and the 2016 $13/20 bull call spreads are now 100% in the money at $3.90 (out of $7 if ABX holds $20 to expiration) and the short 13 puts have dropped to $1.10 for net $2.80 or $28,000 off the original $12,000 entry, so up 133% already but, as with AAPL, only "on track" towards our 285% goal of $70,000 (up 483%).  

So you don't have to take risky, short-term plays to make nice short-term returns.  In a bullish market, our long, well-hedged trades make very nice returns as well and, unlike short-term plays, they are easy to adjust and have conservative fall-back positions and, in most cases, built-in downside protection.  

We're not going to miss anything by remaining a little cautious in this low-volume snap-back rally and, if we do miss a few opportunities – fuggedaboutit – we'll catch the next one!

Have a great weekend, 

- Phil


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  1. Everyone touting Samsung might want to watch out for the competition that is likely to take away Samsung's low end smartphone market share.

  2. ~~Phil I also vote for spending one hour of web seminar on /CL trading even if I have to weed through all the multiple of red lines on a BLACK background. I have not paid to much attention to this trading as I sometimes do have to go to the bathroom!!! Make this one for beginners and explain the material a bit more for simple people.
    I must agree with HUMMER’s  comments by setting up a calendar spread selling the front month and buying for instant now the May contract. Regretfully he did not explain How he set up the play so this morning just for fun I sold the Mar and bought the May both at the money ??? and after a while my paper account showed a profit on the March short caller with two contracts 1K so not knowing more I just bought the 2 contracts back with a 1K profit . Possible just beginners luck.
    Maybe HUMMER will explain his operation a bit more in details.
    I hope you guys get well through the storm up there.  Even that they are haven one storm after the other in South England and just about drowning, I can not complain in my part of the world  (Aachen) the weather is not to bad.

  3. I would love a dedicated Futures trading workshop.  I have been papertrading futures for about a year and a half now with some live trading when I feel complete comfort with the shorting line, but continuing to learn the nuances during a long block of training would really be welcomed.

    And of course as I'm typing I just missed that $.50 drop in /CL

  4. I am interested as well.

  5. Good Morning

    Hummer read your spread trade in /CL—as Yodi said if you can explain a bit more it will be greatly appreciated

  6. Good morning!  

    Nice wheeee! on oil and the Dow but already bouncing so take the profits and be happy!  

  7. Good Morning!

  8. Savi

    I bought the /CLK4 ( May) 99.5 c for 2.62 and sold the /CLH4 ( March) for 1.01 As /CL was going down I bought the same back for .52 . On hind sight should have waited longer and doubled my money ( don't be greedy Yodi) Now I guess you can wait till the future goes up again and repeat but as I understand March ends today I will wait for the April contracts.

  9. TSLA getting really good at hiding stories – Musk didn't tweet this:

  10. We can get back in when sensible lines are crossed but the Dollar is back under 80.20 and that's a signal and, if you ignore your signals, you end up asking me how to fix your disastrous Futures trades, right? 

    Here's what triggered the selling (and Consumer Sentiment is 9:55):

    • Jan. Industrial Production: -0.3% vs. +0.3% consensus, +0.3% prior (unrevised).
    • Capacity utilization 78.5% vs. 79.3% consensus; 78.9% prior (revised).
    • Jan. Import/Export Prices: Export prices +0.2% vs. consensus of +0.1% and +0.4% prior (unrevised).
    • Import prices were +0.1% vs. consensus of -0.01% and +0.2% prior (revised).
    • Other than trying to boost business in a slow mortgage market, key to Wells Fargo's (WFC) decision to begin courting subprime borrowers was its recent settlements with the GSEs.
    • Among the reasons banks have become so picky in making loans is worry they would be pressed to buy back those that went bad. Banks feel the government agencies are using trivial mistakes to pressure them to repurchase loans, but after the settlements, Wells feels it has a good handle on what the GSEs consider material and on what documentation is required to avoid costly battles in the future.
    • "As things become clearer and we are more comfortable with our own processes and controls, it gets easier" to make loans, says Franklin Codel, head of Wells' mortgage production in Des Moines, Iowa.
    • Cliffs Natural Resources (CLF) +10.9% premarket after reporting Q4 earnings that came in far above analyst expectations, helped by a drop in costs and higher iron ore prices.
    • Q4 revenues fell 1.3% Y/Y to $1.52B, but the result was higher than expected; the drop was driven primarily by lower market pricing and sales volumes for met coal products which was partially offset by a 10% increase in global seaborne iron ore pricing.
    • CLF expects accelerating economic growth in the U.S. and continued expansion in China to support steel production and demand for steelmaking raw materials.
    • CLF's selection of Hary Halverson as its new CEO is dismissed by the Casablanca hedge fund, which has targeted CLF after the company's prolonged weakness, as lacking the relevant experience to fundamentally reshape and refocus the company.
    • Cocoa prices continue to march higher as demand in emerging markets starts to strain global capacity.
    • A new forecast from the International Cocoa Organization on production suggest prices could be elevated for years.
    • Chocolate sellers will pass on some of their commodity costs to consumers, but face a tough pricing environment in many regions.
    • What to watch: Companies can use substitutes for cocoa butter, but in many cases will have to relabel products and face the risk of tarnishing their brands.
    • Chart: Cocoa futures
    • The airline industry has seen over 16K flights cancelled this week in its toughest weather impact since Hurricane Sandy.
    • Though the industry can sometimes squeeze out some efficiencies with weather cancellations, this winter has seen some business travel slack off which won't be recouped.
    • MasFlight puts a number to this year's travel disruptions, projecting $150M in added costs and lost revenue for January alone.

    Cramer's in a suit again , so don't expect a big sell-off today.  

  11. $99.50 on oil!  Very dangerous to short here as it's the weekend.  

    Nat gas was rejected hard off our $5.40 shorting line.  Gasoline $2.765 so oil may leg down – keep an eye on them and we need the Dollar (80.25) to get over 80.30 now.  

    Dow (/YM) just re-hit our short entry at 15,990 (DD at 16,000, out at 16,005).

  12. ~~$99.50 on oil!  Very dangerous to short here as it's the weekend.

    Phil let me get this right you mean here it is dangerous to buy a put right?

  13. Second season of Netflix's House of Cards is out in the wild • 9:17 AM

    There is some grumbling that Netflix (NFLX) missed an opportunity to boost its brand by not releasing the second season of House of Cards a day early in a nod to housebound subscribers suffering through a large snowstorm that hit the East Coast and South.

    Though the company is likely to put out a press release claiming stellar viewing of the political drama, numbers will be hard to come by. Part of the ratings rationale by Netflix might be that with high ratings – come even higher content costs. Just ask SA contributor J Mintzmyer.

    NFLX +0.3% premarket

  14. Phil- What would be the best way to play Euro long? Thanks.

  15. WTF is TSLA not down at least 5???

  16. because TSLA is on Fire….

  17. DBA slowly but surely coming out of the woods Phil your prophecy!!!

  18. yodi, Savi

    I've tracking this strategy for the past 18 months.

    It works, HOWEVER – sometimes it goes against you pretty dramatically. and if you really keep safe margin – which was about $2500 per spread (one front month contract sold – one next month bought) – and taking into account how it worked historically – it gives you on average about 5-6% yearly return on margin. 

    Bottom line – although it looks exciting when you have luck and win big – as investment strategy you are better use one of Phil's techniques with options – much better returns!

  19. Samsung/Rookie – That's what people continue to fail to understand about AAPL's model – low-end phones are a losing battle.  The only winner is the Telcos, who get the monthly fees.  Why even try to play in that muck?  The IPod has long proven people will pick the more expensive product over time, no matter how many competitors come after it with lower cost.  As long as you keep delivering superior performance (and not just specs, the user experience matters more) - people are happy.  

    Oil trading/Yodi – I'll do another Futures seminar soon but I need a bigger room to really show this stuff so we'll try to do a live one and maybe we can get it recorded and edited but that may be ambitious.  Maybe not if the people who want to see it remotely pay too and we put that money towards having someone professional put a DVD together.  Anyway, weren't you going to put together a seminar in Europe?  This can be your project!  

    TSLA apologizes for latest fire - turns out Musk, in a simple language snafu, told his engineers to make sure the car was "inflammable."  wink

    OK, since many people want futures trading workshop, I'll speak to Terrapin about what we can fit in AC and, if not, then maybe add another special seminar.

    And the Dow whips back to 16,000, good for 40 points a few times already today.  

    Consumer Sentiment is 81.2 – flat.  

    Oil/Yodi – I mean being short on oil Futures.  Same idea as a put but you are directly short at that strike.  

    Futures bucking like a bronco this morning!  Not for the feint of heart…

    House of Cards/Jabob – I watched a few but not as good as stuff on HBO.  

    Euro/Vedan – FXE is the Euro ETF, it tracks well.  I wouldn't be long on the Euro here though, not with a 1.1% GDP and the Dollar so low.  

    TSLA/Jabob – It's not much of a fire story and it's old.  

    DBA/Yodi – That was our 3rd of the top 3 for the year – I'm very pleased!  

  20. Phil- Do you have an AAPL long for those who missed it when it dropped recently. Thanks.

  21. Phil, there is a typo in the morning article &quot This Q they made $13Bn per $550 share (now $505).".

    Yodi, be very careful trading calendars in the futures options. Unlike options on stocks, The May futures contract and the March futures contract can be at very different prices, this eliminates the defined risk nature of a normal calendar. The most extreme example of this was during 2008 the front month contract was $26 different from the back month contract.

  22. craigzooka,

    what's your e-mail? I have some offline question

  23. PHIL…..anybody….know anything about CAMP  

  24. wow this market is unstoppable… I bet still quite a lot of enthusiastic retail investors are chasing it… oh well…

  25. AAPL/Vedan – You can still sell the 2016 $450 puts for $39 so I still like that and then I'd go for the $500/650 bull call spread at $54 and that's net $15 in the $150 spread that's $45 in the money and, if AAPL goes $50 lower, then you can spend another $25 to roll down to the $450 calls and then you'd be in the $450/650 bull call spread at net $40 – still not bad on a $200 spread with 400% upside potential.  

    LOL Craig – Yes, I missed a step.  $13Bn per $550 share would make them REALLY undervalued.  AAPL has 900M shares(ish) so $14.44 per $550 share is still nice for a Q.  

    CAMP/LOL – Sorry no clue but, if you remind me on the weekend, I'm happy to check them out.  A quick look says they are a bit deceptive as it looks like they sold stock last year and dropped it to income somehow.  Maybe it was an asset sale but, either way, hard to say if they keep growing at that pace. 

    Big spike in progress!  

    Unstoppable/Invest – Certainly into a holiday weekend it is.  Why does this give me deja vu?  

  26. LULU recovering nicely at $50.50 today.  March $$47.50/50 debit spread at $1.58 makes about 60% just for holding.  Sell one Jan 2015 $45 put at $4.60 per every three spreads.

  27. @lol730, I sent you an email at the address you registered for PSW with.

  28. craigzooka ,



  29. is may be the most bizarre action so far this move higher….gold, stocks, dollar trade like a new round of qe just started…ha…. even though i think the odds of fed continuing to taper are still high

  30. is may be the most bizarre action so far this move higher….gold, stocks, dollar trade like a new round of qe just started…ha…. even though i think the odds of fed continuing to taper are still high

  31. Savi/spreads,

    This spreading trading thing in commodities is actually incredibly easy.  Here's how you do it:  You buy 100 Natural Gas (/NG) contracts in March, against which you sell 100 contracts in April.

    Then after a while, you'll have a profit and you'll close the spread. Boom!

    Or, wait, was it the other way 'round?

  32. lol and all—thanks for the input on /CL spreads

  33. ~~craigzooka

    Thanks appreciate the warning I do not intend to risk any real money before I know what I am doing.

    I have plaid wheat and corn in the past but Strangler three month out with a delta below 10 Not to bad but there are safer plays than just futures.

  34. Phil / ABX: morning and thank for ABX. i took a large position way before that when it was $15 and $13. The question is why is it going up if the earning were "bad", or not as good as expected ?

    should we sell some now that we had a run up.

    thank you

  35. Taper/Angel – That's what Yellen said, tapering will continue unless drastic changes in data but, on the other hand, they will keep rates low forever. 

    ABX/Micro – Those earnings were fantastic compared to their peers (always my point for owning ABX above all others) and people finally see that this Q.  This goes back to my recurring theme that analysts have no clue how businesses actually work because they never actually ran any (or even worked in one for the most part).  Their knowledge is all texbook and outside observations and they have no actual understanding of how ABX (in this case)'s business actually functions or, even if they know that, they don't understand the dynamics of how they then interact with the commodity markets to maximize gains on what they sell.  It's a huge advantage for us – but only if we can ride out the idiocy until what we see months (sometimes years) in advance becomes "obvious" to analysts and the retails sheeple who follow them.  As Keynes said:

    Markets can remain irrational a lot longer than you and I can remain solvent. 

    Successful investing is anticipating the anticipations of others.

    When my information changes, I alter my conclusions. What do you do, sir?

  36. Phil

    What do you think of NUGT here?



  37. Phil conference in Europe. My first ambition is to get my knees replaced. Having my first Hospital appointment next Wednesday. I do not mind to work on setting up a meeting at ´my home place Aachen

    You five minutes from Holland Belgium or even Luxembourg. Travelling by train ICE for International City Express you can be at any European city much faster than by car. Took me from Frankfurt to Aachen 2 hours 250 KM by car it would be 2.5 to 3 hours.  But the fancy ideas to go to Madrid Paris or even Amsterdam to set up a meeting are out of my reach. Here we have some nice Hotels even a casino in Aachen need to bring a tie with and no tennis shoes or shorts as in AC. Great restaurants as well, but different than the American style. 

  38. Wappler I think you need the calendar spread the other way around could be dangerous to start if you on the wrong side of the fence I think. Like the blind man leading the blind

  39. massive buying on non-MtGox US exchanges. Check out the 15-min chart

  40. FU PCLN!!!!!!!!!

    FU TSLA!!!!!!!!!!

    FU NFLX!!!!!!!!

  41. FU Bitcoin….!!!!! LOL.  Just another scheme and will fall like Tulips.

  42. PLX – May $5 Calls for $.40.  Just a few.  Chart looks like it wants to bust up.  What I see:  On the daily, 200d MA is now support.  On the Weekly, 50d MA is OH resistance and is making higher lows.  Could this be the one???

  43.  surreal thing too is EVERY bull  on cnbc says its just the weather causing these poor datapoints…..yet market acts as if the weakness is real and taper off.

  44. SGEN – my 50/70 BCS filled yesterday.  I am going to slowly scale into these, and I will post when I do this, but if you get a good price, by all means, do it.  When I say slowly, usually 1-3 contracts.  I will scale into about 10-20.  Eventually, we will also sell puts against it so that we can help pay for the spread.

  45. pharm, are you still in IMGN?  there was a spike this am but looks like head fake.

  46. Oh, and YES, I am buying all premium here, so it goes against one of our rules of being the house….but in this case, as with many biotechs, I am playing for good data AND the potential of a buyout. 

    IMGN – I am still in them.  April 15 P STO and 17 Call.  I bought back the Apr 20 C STO.

  47. Phil / ABX: thank you. i know its a very very broad request, but can you give us a path on how to learn to look at companies the right way. start with books or valuing companies, or anything else you think we should start from. show us the path …

    i know you said we can get reports from diffirent investment houses, but is that enough ? how do you do through them.

  48. Phil- what do you think of WTW down here? 

  49. Was away the entire morning – did I miss anything? Looks like fundamentals are finally being taken into account by this market! Oh wait….

  50. pharm
    what was the date on your BCS

  51. PHARM… SGEN 2015 or 16's ?

  52. SGEN is Jan15.

  53. Source: FT Long Short

    Slides From the Federal Reserve Bank of Dallas

     Robots won’t make you rich (for long) (FT Alphaville)

    • After new loans fell short of internal forecasts, Bank of America (BAC) is cutting 450 jobs from West Coast offices, reports Bloomberg. A bit of a switch – last year's series of mortgage job cuts were about the big slowdown in refinance business, but these cuts supposedly affect those who process new home loans.
    • In the bank's most recent quarterly report it disclosed Q4 originations of $11.6B fell 49% from a year earlier.
    • Perspective: The bank employs about 242K.
    • After slipping nearly 3% overnight in wake of the news of the departures of its COO and co-CIO from the firm's external manager, Annaly (NLY -0.9%) is off modestly in early action.
    • A bull on the stock, Tsachy Mishal says the departures are understandable given Annaly's weak performance, and one could make the argument it's news to buy on as these poor-performing execs are gone.
    • David Schawel: "This news shouldn't be a surprise – their portfolio has sadly been a disaster since Farrell passed away."
    • Enbridge (ENB +0.2%) shares fluctuate in early trading after the largest transporter of Canadian crude to the U.S. posted lower than expected Q4 earnings, hurt by losses on hedging contracts.
    • ENB's unadjusted C$276M loss was mainly driven by a C$337M loss at its energy services business due to a decline in the fair value of its unrealized derivatives.
    • Sales climbed more than 18% to C$8.29B, beating expectations, as higher volumes were pumped through ENB's Canadian Mainline and other new pipeline systems.
    • Issues in-line guidance for FY 2014, seeing EPS of C$1.84-C$2.04 vs. C$1.95 analyst consensus estimate.
    • "We continue to expect further gains over the course of 2014, helped by strong demand from China and an eventual easing of the import ban in India," says Capital Economics' Julian Jessop. "In the meantime, safe-haven demand for gold has revived a little as a result of the turmoil in emerging markets.”
    • Up 1.2% to $1,315 per ounce, gold is ahead more than 4% on the week and over 9% YTD. The metal has also crossed its 200-day moving average, which could force technical buying, writes the team at Commerzbank.
    • The $1,200 level is one of strong support, says Jessop, noting it's where gold stabilized during its bear market last year and it's at that price where a significant number of gold mines become unprofitable. He continues to forecast a price of $1,450 for year-end.
    • Also having a big day is silver, up 3.4% to $21.08.
    • GLD +1.1%, SLV +2.9% premarket
    • Two companies facing a tough slog today are FTD Companies (FTD +0.4%) and (FLWS -0.9%) with snow and ice across the East and South in the U.S. disrupting one of their busiest days of the year.
    • The flower delivery firms say they are making Valentine's Day deliveries the best that they can, but they are getting lit up on Twitter for various mishaps.
    • The early read on the holiday is that flower demand is unaffected, but costs this year could be higher for FTD and
    • New regulations from China's Ministry of Transport issued this week could threaten Vale's (VALE) plans to use supersize ships to serve China, WSJ reports.
    • The rules limit the size of vessels that can call at Chinese ports to those carrying loads of 250K deadweight tons or less; that's a problem Vale, which has led a multibillion-dollar investment program to build a fleet of giant Valemax carriers capable of loading 400K dwt of cargo.
    • The huge cargo vessels were designed to allay the higher distribution costs and longer delivery times Vale faces compared with rival mining companies in Australia who are geographically closer to China.
    • Ford (F) says it increased sales in the top 20 European markets by 9.2% in January to 80,800 units.
    • The automaker's pace of sale is close to double that of the overall market.
    • Germany was a highlight for Ford in January with sales up 38% Y/Y.
    • F +0.4% premarket
    • JPMorgan analyst Thomas Lee thinks personal spending in the U.S. will hold up enough to give a boost to consumer stocks.
    • He has seven large cap consumer stocks lined up as recommended picks for investors to buy. The list runs the gamut from beaten-down retailers to media giants.
    • JPM's top consumer stocks: Best Buy (BBY), Coach (COH), Disney (DIS), Lowe's (LOW), Macy's (M), MGM Resorts (MGM), Viacom (VIAB).
    • J.C. Penney (JCP) is seeing more institutional investors throw in the towel with shares in a prolonged downward spiral. according to new SEC filings.
    • Hotckins & Wiley Capital Management, Dodge & Cox, and Hayman Capital have all exited their large JCP positions while Evercore Trust has lowered its stake in the retailer to 4.12% from 5.33%.
    • SEC 13G filings
    • Fitch Ratings reports online gaming accounts in New Jersey rose 57% in January to 197K. The accelerated growth is on target with estimates.
    • The ratings agency reaffirms its forecast for revenue in the $200M-$300M for the burgeoning online NJ gaming industry.
    • Borgata (BYDMGM) and Caesars (CZR) control 73% of the online market in the state.
    • "Given Weight Watchers’ (WTW -26.2%) strong brand name and attractive cash flow, offset by its high debt load and sluggish trends, we believe shares should trade at an EV/2014E EBITDA multiple of 11x, relatively in line to other mid-cap healthy lifestyle firms (GNC, HAIN, UNFI, VSI), generating our $19 PT," says Wedbush's Kurt Frederick (it was previously $26).
    • "We are sharply lowering 2014 estimates to reflect current trends and introducing 2015 estimates for revenue of $1.3 billion and EPS of $1.50, reflecting lower membership base entering the year, offset by a lower cost structure."
    • William Blair's Jason Drab, bearish for a long time on 3D Systems (DDD +1.2%) and Stratasys (SSYS +2.9%), has upgraded the latter to Market Perform. The call is leading 3D printing names to trade higher out of the gate. XONE +2.1%. VJET +1.9%.
    • Drab cites Stratasys' core business strength, success at integrating Objet, new product launches and partnerships, and potential MakerBot revenue upside. He notes management's outlook implies MakerBot will have 2014 revenue of $120M, up from an estimated $80M in 2013, and that the business has recently struck a series of big reseller deals.
    • At the same time, Drab admits Stratasys' valuation (54x 2014E EPS) is well above that of tech companies he considers to have similar "growth, margin, and return profiles."
    • Today's gains come nine days after 3D printing stocks plunged in response to 3D Systems' warning.
    • RBC has declared WebMD (WBMD +4.1%) a Top Pick, assigned the company a $71 PT, and declared the "future Google of health care."
    • The firm thinks WebMD's ability to profit from a $50B+ market for consumer healthcare IT services isn't reflected in its current valuation.
    • Shares sold off last week after WebMD pre-announced Q4 results and issued Q1/2014 guidance. They remain close to their 52-week high of $50.56.
    • Full Q4 results arrive on Feb. 20.

    Pandora Suit May Upend Century-Old Royalty Plan (NY Times)

     Apple Took 87 Percent of Mobile Phone Profits Last Quarter (IBD)

    And here's one for Putin!  

  54. Phil/CL


    Are you still taking pokes in the 99.95 to 99.99 range?

  55. sage
    been at it for hours +1,400 +++

  56. NUGT/Strether  -- Nightmare of an ETF.  See the "2/100" contracts for Jan 15?  That means they split 1:5 and 1:10.  Endless decay.  Better off with a sensible play on an equity, or maybe GDX.

  57. Thanks escohen5 !

  58. Got out of 1/2 my position on LQMT—thx Phil

  59. Oh yeah, PLX is the one for my V. Day lol

  60. what id move price between dollar and cl, if $ moves say 25 cents how much should oil move

  61. Phil:  I believe JMKeynes said "facts" on that occasion, "information" being a more anodyne, less frequently used term in the 19th Century.  Which doesn't detract from the truth of the statement, agreed.

  62. Alpha Natural Resources [ANR]  down 4.72% for the week.  Worth a buy?

  63. hummer125 

    Did you look at a trade on

    (KFN) KKR Financial Holdings  like the trade on KKR


  64. Phil must be out in the cold or snowed in one does not here from him hope he is OK

  65. qcmike have not seen Hammer125 al day still waiting for an answer from this morning

  66. IRBT running again today- this week..

  67. NUGT/Streth – I would have liked them before doubled since Dec.  I liked GDX back then too (seems like so long ago) but kind of chasey now.  

    Europe/Yodi – Sorry but if the best you can manage is to hold a conference in your backyard, I don't know how popular that will be!  surprise  And  no way do I dress up to go to a casino!  

    Bitcoin/BDC – I'm still waiting for $100. 

    Weather/Angel – Yeah, we never expected there to be weather and there certainly wasn't any weather last year.  Who could have possibly expected it? 

    ABX/Micro – Well, for one thing I highly recommend being a corporate consultant.  It lets you get your feet wet in lots of different businesses.  Also, it's very important to run your own company – preferably one you've built yourself, where you have done every single job in the company so you understand the dynamics of a growing business.  Make sure you ride it out through at least one major recession – as those dynamics are important too.  After that, THEN the books and the statements etc. begin to make a lot more sense.  I started out investing in Tech in the 90s, because it's what Iiked and understood.  

    My Grandfather had already drilled 20 years of value investing into me by then. Then I got into real estate because I had begun a real estate data company and was learning that business from top to bottom.  I was Director of Network Sales for Intelligent Electronics in the Northeast and that caused me to visit all sorts of businesses and then I began consulting with my Dad's company building programs for all sorts of businesses – that meant I got to see tons of businesses from the inside with full access from the CEO on down.  

    Then I took those skills and began M&A consulting where I got a great education about the financial workings of all sorts of industries, as well as a great understanding of how the IBanks operate.  So that's the "path" – to the extent your background is not so diverse, start off with what you DO know and become an expert in that sector..  

    Look at Reinhart and Pharm and ZMan (has his own site now) – they concentrate on what they know and they get great at it.  That's what any investor should do when they get started, CONCENTRATE on what you know.  Even Warren Buffett says he never invests in a business he doesn't understand and that's the whole logic behind the "elevator pitch" that VCs always want to hear – if you can't explain your business, how it makes money and how it will grow in 90 seconds or less – why should they waste their time trying to understand it?  

    Of course, having a good business education helps but THAT is why I say you (the average investor) should find a source of reliable reports and use them.  There are good analysts out there – but they don't usually write for Seeking Alpha or any other free site.  Those people have an agenda – mine was to get people to visit PSW, so I gave them articles but what, you should wonder, is the motivation of people who don't even have their own web-site or service to promote?  

    WTW/Jrom – Probably an over-reaction but I don't follow them closely so I don't know how bad their business is.  I assume the bad economy is not their friend as those meals aren't cheap and also because people who have a lot of stress don't tend eat well.  Even at $22.50, they only expect to earn $1.50 a share in 2014 so p/e is 15 – with no particular reason to buy them, it's not very exciting.    Speaking of good analysts, I think the Wedbush guy nailed it:

    Similarly, Wedbush Securities maintained a "neutral" rating but cut its price target to $19 from $26.

    "Given Weight Watchers' strong brand name and attractive cash flow, offset by its high debt load and sluggish trends, we believe shares should trade at an EV/2014E EBITDA multiple of 11x, relatively in line to other mid-cap healthy lifestyle firms (GNC, HAIN, UNFI, VSI)," wrote analysts in the report.

    "We are sharply lowering 2014 estimates to reflect current trends and introducing 2015 estimates for revenue of $1.3 billion and EPS of $1.50, reflecting lower membership base entering the year, offset by a lower cost structure."

    Now, you can, of course, just sell the 2016 $20 puts for $5+ and that's net $15 but I think there's little penalty for waiting as they may get closer to $7 if WTW dips to $20 or, if they hold $22.50 and look good, then you can always sell the $22.50 puts, now $6.50, instead.  

    Oil (/CL)/Sage – Of course, I don't have time to make these calls constantly but oil has been fantastic all day long hitting .25 lines and pulling back for $100 and $150 gains.  Mostly off $100 but now $100.25 was a nice win.  The Dow is good trading and so is the RUT but all nickels and dimes.  When there's a major call, I try to make it but this is the kind of trading I love the most.  Unfortunately, with entries and exits that are often 30 seconds apart (and in between my comments), there's no time to write about it!   This is why we need workshops!  

    NUGT/Esco – Good point.  A lot of those ultras are decay traps.  

    LQMT/Savi – Wow, .28!  Nice call.  That's up $400 in the $25KP and we'll take it – all out!  Thanks for the heads up.  

  68. ~~Europe/Yodi – Sorry but if the best you can manage is to hold a conference in your backyard, I don't know how popular that will be!  surprise  And  no way do I dress up to go to a casino! 

    This could only come from an American, well they even had to teach Regan how to move around in Europe!

  69. LQMT – Good one Phil !

    Sold some CLF.

    FLEX – Closed the gap and is still moving up.

    QUIK – Keeps peeking above $5 and then closing down.  Still like the potential of this one.

  70. Dollar/Purple – It's not a direct connection but oil is priced in Dollars so, if the Dollar gets 1% weaker (.80) then oil should get about 1% stronger ($1).  

    Facts/ZZ – I go by Wikiquote.  Anyway, your point sounds good but Oxford says you're off by about 300 years:

    Etymology:  < Anglo-Norman enformaciounenformationinformaciouninformacione, Anglo-Norman and Middle French enformacioninformacioninformation(French information ) investigation in a criminal matter made by legal officers (1274 in Old French; compare faire des enformations to proceed to a judicial investigation (1323)), instruction (c1275 in Anglo-Norman), (non-judicial) investigation (1334), piece of information, information, data, knowledge (14th cent. or earlier), (plural) information which one obtains about someone (c1360), action of forming something or of giving something a shape or form (c1377), (plural) collection of knowledge about a particular subject (c1500) and its etymon classical Latin inform?ti?n- , inform?ti? formation (of an idea), conception, in post-classical Latin also teaching, instruction (5th cent.), formation, creation, arrangement (from 12th cent. in British sources), (in philosophy) infusion with form (frequently from mid 13th cent. in British sources) < inform?t- , past participial stem of inform?re inform v. + -i? -ion suffix1, although in both French and English the sense development is greatly influenced by association with the verb (see senses at inform v.), and in each language the word may partly show a formation directly from the verb. Compare Catalaninformació (1377), Spanish información (14th cent.), enformación (14th cent.; now arch.), Portuguese informação (14th cent.), Italian informazione (c1430). Compareinforming n.(Show Less)

    ANR/ZZ – Never worth a buy.  BTU, BTU and, when in doubt, BTU. 

    Out in the cold/Yodi – Sometimes, I actually have lunch – especially when my kids are home!  

    IRBT/Randers – Very bittersweet when a stock I love finally goes flying up, up and away – takes all the fun out of trading it. 

    Europe/Yodi – Hey, I love Europe, there are stuffy, Conservative, rules and appearances-obsessed parts of America too – I just don't go there…

    Thanks Albo.  

    /YM over 16,100, /ES 1,834, /NQ 3,661 is the laggar today and /TF 1,146 is still off the day's high at 1,147.20.  Oil decided to hold $100.15.  Dollar 80.19, gold $1,318, VIX 13.51 means no one is worried.  TLT 106.46 and XLF 21.62.  Will take real balls on the part of these funds to not sell off into the close with China, Japan and Europe open on Monday while we're shut.  

  71. Phil /ABX : a lot to think about. thanks for explaining.

  72. Wow, from the Income Portfolio's perspective, everything is going just perfectly!  

  73. Phil / portsfs: can you post the long tern portfolio too. also where are we keeping them, i promise to book mark it this time :)

  74. Core Stocks/Phil – there are a handful of stocks that are your "of the year, decade" etc. Seems to be a good set to have at least some actual stock of this put into an account somewhere. My shortlist of these is:  AAPL, IRBT, TASR, ABX.  What would you add and any of these 'too late'?

  75. Long-Term/Micro – Here it is.  We're not "keeping them" except on PowerOptions, which I can't share.  Still, I can update them any time and I can always see where we stand so things don't get away from us, which is much better.  I try to update them all once a week but, if I haven't – just remind me and it takes this long to print them:

    I'm not sure what I'll do when it gets too long to fit on my screen as my capture program doesn't seem to work that way…

    Cores/Scott – Well my value list changes depending on what's cheap but, when they are low in the channel, I also like SHLD, RIG, VLO, F, GE, T, CHL, GLW, SPWR, IBM, BA, BRK.B, COST, DIS, INTC, MCD, PFE, X, CLF, HMY, DBA, XLF, FCX, CAT, BRCM, BTU, NLY, AGNC, FTR, RRD, BAC, JPM, ISRG…  I'm sure there's a few more, but that's a good start.  

    As to "too late", it's rare that none of them have sold off at any given time but, if they are all at highs – then take a vacation and come back when the market crashes.  We just went from Thanksgiving to New Year's with me saying cash, Cash, CASH!!! and then, on 1/29 – we jumped on a dozen stocks at great prices.  We were able to do that because we PATIENTLY waited for better prices and, as you can see from the Income Portfolio – our timing was excellent.  

    How often do we do anything in the Income Portfolio?  Yet using just $250,000 in buying power, with very conservative positions, it's up $18,000 in two months.  That's how you should be investing your long-term money.  We wait for each thing to become cheap – just because you have a list of things you WANT to buy – doesn't mean it's a good time to buy them!  

    LOL Rustle.  

  76. rustle123

    Fox News a smidge over 1 million viewers. .3% of population. Stupid and big money think they know all, but how many believe them? .3%

  77. The point isn't to get direct viewers, Shadow, it's about being an "authoritative source" as they are then quoted by the WSJ, Heritage et al who, of course, they in turn quote as well so the whole circle-jerk seems to be legitimate and they can spin any sort of crap they want and, since they've destroyed most of the independent press in America and what's left runs on a shoestring budget, you end up with talking points like this passing as "news":

  78. CL/ is going crazy…rodeo style

  79. tell me about it – jeez. gettin motion sickness

  80. Where's MrM today?  GOOG $1,200, TSLA $200 – perfect fly finishes shaping up.  

    Oil still a short if we can get back below $100.25 (/CL).  None of the Indexes are in good position at the moment. 

  81. AAPL – Trading slightly above the 50dMA.  Would like to see it close there.  Trees are looking good.

  82. oil is really pissin me off !!!!

  83. Hi Pharm, I am watching my flies in between meetings.  I usually hit one a week and that's how it's shaping up right now – AAPL 540 unlikely, TWTR 55 unlikely, TSLA 200 likely.  So another net gain for the week. 

  84. Almost to the highs…..

    AAPL…Unfortunately, I took my gain MrM….and my fly was 545 body…..

  85. SPY…if they want to hit the high, next weeks 184/185 BCS looks good for 50c.

  86. Holy Hairballs batman…they are gonna do it today…..

  87. I just saw that Leon Cooperman made two recent purchases :

    NCT – Bought @ $5.55 in the 4th quarter.  Now trading at $4.85 and yielding 8.2%.

    NRZ – Bought a big block @ $6.41 on 1/30.  Now trading at $6.42 and yielding 10.9%.

    What do they do ?  I don't know and I don't care.  Leon bought them ! ! !  Good enuff for me.

  88. Ha… My SPY Mar 190c almost restores to half of original price. Thinking to sell them all…

  89. /CL Calendar trades discussed this morning. Since I started this morning I am up over 2K by using this method. The interesting thing I am observing is what you lose on the swing you gain on the round about.

    Meaning by having a long May anchor you gain even if your short play runs temporary against you. You not highly pressurized to buy or sell at any time. Once you see you making a profit on the short call you take your decision to close and you can take your time to step in with an other short sale when you feel time is right.


  90. NCT/Albo – They are in a good spot at $4.85 because you can sell the Jan $5 calls for .90 and that nets you down to $3.95 with a call-away at $5 for 25% + the .40 dividend is another 10%.  No need to sell puts on that one.  

    When you look at trades like that, ones that are near a sellable option strike are very attractive.  

    Still riding the waves, looking for that end of day sell-off we keep not getting.  

    Calendar/Yodi – Very nice.  That's kind of what we did with the Dec 2019 longs and the front month shorts last year. It's much more relaxing when you have a buffer though I got bored because it's more fun to hit and run.  

  91. Phil – Thanks, good plan.  …did I mention Uncle Leon bought it ?

  92. Yep, we can assume he did some due diligence.  

  93. Phil

    The media says a lot and 99% don't believe it because they are too lazy to check. 90% don't care what the news is or pay attention and that is a very sad statistic at election time. The GOP agenda is un-educate 99% so they think they would be rich if they had that much money in India but never realize in India pay is way lower if the job existed.

  94. From  my experience, he's one of the best to tag along with. :-)

  95. NCT – on the Jan 15 options, in TOS what does NEWMw 7 mean after series date?  Looks like they have adjusted and non-adjusted options.  With the non-adjusted not trading.

  96. Gold ETF holdings surge

    • On the heels of more than a 4% rise in the price of gold this week, the SPDR Gold Trust (GLD +1.3%) saw a spike in gold holdings to 25.925M ounces as of Thursday, up 0.9% from the day before and the highest level since December 20.
    • In the last month, says Julian Phillips of, there have been so sales from the GLD and more than 500K ounces of purchases. “This is tremendously significant because sales of physical gold from these U.S. gold ETFs and from the leading U.S. banks totaled 1,300 metric tons in 2013 … This formed a key source of supply for gold. All of it went east to Asia never to return again.”
    • “The reduction in supply from the U.S., as these sales have now halted, is the prime reason the gold price is now rising,” he says, adding that it has nothing to do with U.S. economic factors.
    • Previous coverage: Gold's big week and year (so far)
    • The progress at Barrick Gold (ABX +1.6%) is akin to “turning the battleship on a measured pace," Sterne Agee analysts say, but at least it's progress, and shares have added nearly 8% since reporting Q4 results that missed on earnings but beat on revenue.
    • Sterne Agee likes ABX's free cash flow position after the miner's series of transactions in 2013 to improve its balance sheet extended debt maturities, improved financial flexibility; as a result, net debt dropped by nearly 20%, and ABX now has only $300M of debt repayments due in next two years.
    • The firm now expects ABX to be almost free cash neutral in 2014 with potential for almost $1B in free cash generation in 2015.
    • Some analysts see the beginnings of a turnaround: ABX's problems discussed yesterday were well telegraphed, gold production remains solid in many mines and the cut in the reserve price to $1,100/oz. from $1,500/oz. was conservative and so likely to see upside.
    • Cliffs Natural Resources (CLF +5.8%) is among the day's top gainers after delivering itsfourth straight adjusted EPS beat and providing better than expected operating guidance, especially in U.S. iron ore prices whose demise has been predicted for nearly a year.
    • In its earnings call, CLF said it expects healthy increases in U.S. motor vehicle production and construction activities to support demand for steelmaking raw materials, and increased pressure on emissions in China and an uptick in European steel production should raise demand for premium and value-in-use iron ore products.
    • The report may deter breakup threats for now; in a letter to shareholders, CLF says Casablanca Capital's call to divest certain infrastructure and non-core assets shows the activist firm's "lack of familiarity" with the mining sector.
    • No small factor in today's positive move: The stock is the most heavily shorted in the S&P 500, at 36% of float.
    • Liquidmetal (LQMT +40.1%) states it's launching a new alloy composition that allows its components to be made without beryllium, a rare element that can be toxic in some circumstances.
    • Alloy vendor/Liquidmetal partner Materion Brush will offer the product. Liquidmetal states the alloy potentially opens "new markets where non-beryllium-containing components are preferred," such as in-body surgical devices.
    • Previous: Liquidmetal higher after new Apple patent applications uncovered
    • Hasbro (HAS -0.2%) and 3D Systems (DDD +4.7%) plan to partner together to develop "play experiences" through 3D printing.
    • Details from the companies on the venture are light, but Hasbro's well-known brands will be part of the mix and 3D System's recent acquisition of Gentle Giant Studios could start paying off.

  97. NCT

    8:56 am Newcastle Investment confirmed completion of spin-off of New Media – will begin trading on the New York Stock Exchange under the symbol NEWM (NCT) : 

  98. NCT/JJ – Well, you'd have to check with the broker as they may obligate you to sell off some NEWM, which would leave you short.  

  99. Phil – do we still like FTR? I got called away a while back but am looking at it again. Thx

  100. FTR/Deano – Where were you at $4.40?  Back to $4.70 now but yep, we like them.   You can buy the stock and sell the Jan $4.50 calls for .37 and the $4 puts for .35 and that nets you in at $3.98/3.99, so 20% off and the .40 dividend is another 10% while you wait to see if you get called away with a 12.5% gain.

    Man, they do not want to give up these levels in the Futures and the volume is crap so they don't have to.  

  101. Well that was fun… 

    Have a great weekend everyone!  

  102. 144374 600 immigration reform cartoons

    144359 600 GMO Monster cartoons

    144325 600 The Persecuted Rich cartoons

    144289 600 Minimum Wage cartoons

  103. Phil:

    Great job this week!  Been a watcher lately as work and a goal to trade less is occupying my attention. Still looks like there is a lot of money sloshing around just trying to find a home. Parking it in US equities seems to be the cats meow until its not.  Have a great weekend!

  104. 144247 600 Healthy Population cartoons

    144243 600 CBO Report cartoons

    144230 600 Job Loss cartoons

    Thanks DC.  Yep, we're the least leaky boat – for what it's worth…

  105. Pharm – the trick with tulips is to sell them at the tippy top!  8)

  106. Sorry guys , big ice storm put me behind… Had to travel to get internet today … I'll post  tomorrow what I did on the cl spreads and my logic behind it … Valentines day, I'm already late… 

  107. Weekend thought: "“It´s not whether you´re right or wrong that´s important, but rather how much money you make when you´re right and how much you lose when you´re wrong”. George Soros

  108. Lest you guys think I'm turning

    into a Democrat.  Nothing new

    but true IMHO !


    >> Received this from a friend today…checked it out on Snopes…it's true!
    > >> Here's the link…scroll down to what I received.
    > >>
    > >>
    > >> EdMevinsky
    > >> He is Edward "Ed" Mezvinsky, born January 17, 1937.
    > >> Then you'll probably say, "Who is Ed Mezvinsky?"
    > >> Well, he is a former Democrat congressman who represented Iowa's 1st
    > >> congressional district in the United States House of Representatives
    > >> for two terms, from 1973 to 1977.
    > >> He sat on the House Judiciary Committee that decided the fate of
    > >> Richard Nixon.
    > >> He was outspoken saying that Nixon was a crook and a disgrace to
    > >> politics and the nation and should be impeached.
    > >> He and the Clintons were friends and very politically intertwined for
    > >> many years.
    > >> Ed Mezvinsky had an affair with NBC News reporter Marjorie Sue Margolies
    > >> and
    > >> later married her after his wife divorced him.
    > >> In 1993, Marjorie Margolies-Mezvinsky, then a freshman Democrat in
    > >> Congress, cast the deciding vote that got President Bill Clinton's controversial tax
    > >> package through the House of Representatives.
    > >> In March 2001, Mezvinsky was indicted and later pleaded guilty to 31 of 69
    > >> counts of bank fraud, mail fraud, and wire fraud.
    > >> Ed Mezvinsky embezzled more than $10 million dollars from people both thru a
    > >> Ponzi scheme and the notorious Nigerian e-mail scams.
    > >> He was found guilty and sentenced to 80 months in federal prison.
    > >> After serving less than five years in federal prison, he was released in
    > >> April 2008 and remains on federal probation.
    > >> To this day, he still owes $9.4 million in restitution to his victims.
    > >> About now you are saying, "So what!"
    > >> Well, this is Marc and Chelsea Mezvinsky.
    > >> Marc And Chelsea Mezvinsky
    > >> That's right; Ed Mezvinsky is Chelsea Clinton's father-in law.
    > >> Now Marc and Chelsea are in their early thirties and purchased a 10.5
    > >> million dollar NYC apartment. He must be very successful.  You think ?
    > >> Has anyone heard mention of any of this in any of the media?
    > >> If this guy was Jenna or Barbara Bush's, or better yet, Sarah Palin's
    > >> daughter's father-in- law, the news would be an everyday headline and
    > >> every detail would be reported over and over.
    > >> And yet liberals say there are no double standards in political reporting.
    > >> And people are already talking about Hillary as our next President!

           Remember, "What difference does it make ?"
    > >> And then there is possibly Chelsea for president in our future!
    > >> The cycle never ends!

    Bill Clinton is a liar and a sleazeball.  But he left the country in pretty good financial shape.   That's all that matters; right guys ?



















  109. albo

    Sounds OK. Both sides suck wind!

  110. albo

    Which is worse when one lies and the other capitulates? Who knows which is which?

    Answer is educate the voters to throw out the ??????   BOTH!

  111. Thanks, Shadow. A pox on both houses !   Have a good weekend.

  112. albo Some may think I am liberal and my views tend that way as seen today but todays liberal is 1980 conservative and what we have today is money buys anything. The ultra rich are not conservative but self centered extremist greedy all for me. Many call themselves democratic.They are control freaks that have no sense of self worth. Too bad thay have no clue they can't buy that and some are on this blog! Figure that out but best kept to yourself.

  113. $10.5 MM for an apartment- probably just a good day playing cattle futures.

  114. What a week! Now all the indices have cleared their 50 DMA and it looks more like a double-top than a head and shoulder now. But double-tops are not very reliable signal so we can't really make any predictions at this moment. There will be another chance for Yellen to boost the markets as soon as they can reschedule her appearance in Congress. Earnings season is winding down as well so we can't expect much in the way of signals there either. Momentum is up and that's what we have now.

  115. Not much going until Wednesday which looks like Fed Day and then Thursday with PMI from everywhere.

  116. I am Disney Orlando with the grand kids. Judging by what I spent today I need to get long this 'Moat' on their next pullback. They really do it well in all aspects of the business. 

  117. Pstas – 8-)

  118. my 1-week old bitcoin index (INDEX-ALL) is down 7.75% overall. I picked an interesting week to start an index. The (INDEX-10) is down 8%. Given some of the price movement in various single exchanges I would've expected more blood.


    A new addition to the top-10, counterparty, is interesting. Debuted on Jan 2 and now has a $17M market cap. It allows any user to create a digital asset by "burning" BTC: a provably fair contracting layer on bitcoin. Check it out.

  119. Phil: this asset attempts to maintain a $1 par value. Essentially if bitcoin/USD drops this asset increases in value. So it is effectively a short bitcoin instrument, if you want to go down that road.

  120. DNKN – I lead a sheltered life. In a DNKN in Tampa. As busy as any Starbucks   Coffee is great. I do buy DNKN coffee at Costco for daily use. Stock high and going higher. On the watch list. 

  121. the hype for tsla is unreal.


    if aapl was going to buy them wouldn't it have made more sense after their meeting last sping when tsla was tradinging less than a third of today's price?

  122. TSLA / Jabo – In the article it does say that Apple drives a hard bargain on valuation so maybe Elon could not convince them then. Of course, the market is doing his job now and whoever is buying them will be paying a premium!

  123. Speaking of TSLA – it's not just them getting on fire:

    Porsche has reportedly halted sales of the 2014 911 GT3 after a person driving one noticed an unusual noise, and then some smoke, and then some flame, and then his car completely destroying itself in Switzerland, according to the local cops. That's not what we in the business call a Good Thing.2P

    The German company has yet to confirm the stop-sale order, and no official recalls have yet been filed with the US government, but if this is indeed the situation you probably should not be pushing your GT3 to the limit right now, just in case. You might want to call a Porsche dealer or something first, before you, you know, depart this earth in a fiery blaze of glory. Maybe.

  124. MrM // PCLN
    Studying your butterfly for PCLN. So, I assume that you think any profit is already built into the current price give or take +$30. You're trying to pin them at $1300 ?
    Have you made any mods to this fly – it's also now trading for $1 credit.

  125. Hey guys!  

    Had a great time skiing, conditions were fantastic.  I hope everyone had a nice weekend.  

    Since tomorrow's a holiday, I'm going to go to the Money Show in NYC, but I'll probably do a post in the morning. 

    Futures flat so far with mixed news out of Asia:

    • Japan Stocks Choppy on Growth Data

      Asian markets rose, with Hong Kong leading the region higher, while Japanese stocks were weighed by the release of disappointing growth numbers. 51 min ago

    Japan's Economy May `Significantly Stall': Okubo

    BOJ Said to Mull Refraining From 2015 Monetary-Base Forecast

    Asian Stocks Advance After China’s New Lending Climbs to Record

    Chinese Bank Lending Jumps

    Beijing Air Pollution Eases After Two Days at Hazardous Levels

    Aussie-Driven Inflation Spurring Worst Bonds

    Thai Economic Growth Slows as Unrest Increases Rate-Cut Pressure

    Deflation Threat Unsettles G-20 Roiled by Emerging-Market Losses

    Why Emerging-Market Selloff May Have Further to Go

    Pot's Growing Problem: Where to Keep All the Cash?

    Pot Businesses Allowed to Open Accounts With U.S. Banks

    South Korea Credit-Card Issuers Suspended

    Bitcoin Exchange Restores Service


  126. OIl hit $101 at the Dollar hit 79.99, now back to 80.06 and $100.57.  Gold popped to $1,327.10, silver flew up to $21.80, copper even moving up at $3.28, Nat gas $5.42 and gasoline $2.80 will make a nice short below that line (/RB). 

  127. From Bloomberg, Feb 16, 2014, 10:11:02 PM

    The world’s biggest retirement fund
    should put half its $1.2 trillion of assets in stocks and
    increase its yearly return goal to 5 percent, said the head of a
    panel that advised lawmakers on overhauling public pensions.

    To read the entire article, go to
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  128. From Bloomberg, Feb 16, 2014, 10:11:45 PM

    Japan’s economy grew at less than half the forecast pace in the fourth quarter, underscoring risks to the nation’s recovery as a sales-tax increase looms in April.

    To read the entire article, go to
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  129. From Bloomberg, Feb 16, 2014, 9:03:30 PM

    Record new credit in China in January will help the economy maintain momentum while highlighting challenges for officials trying to limit the risk of financial turbulence from defaults and bad loans.

    To read the entire article, go to
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  130. From Bloomberg, Feb 16, 2014, 10:08:27 PM

    Hedge funds raised bullish gold wagers to a three-month high as signs of slowing U.S. economic growth spurred demand for haven assets. Billionaire John Paulson maintained his bullion holdings last quarter.

    To read the entire article, go to
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  131. From Bloomberg, Feb 16, 2014, 9:24:43 PM

    Asian stocks rose, with the regional
    benchmark index extending its first weekly advance this year,
    and Australia’s dollar climbed with copper after record lending
    boosted prospects for growth in China. Gold and silver gained,
    while the yen and Indonesia’s rupiah strengthened.

    To read the entire article, go to
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  132. From Bloomberg, Feb 16, 2014, 9:42:34 AM

    Soros Fund Management LLC, the
    family office of billionaire George Soros, boosted its stake in
    Teva Pharmaceutical Industries Ltd. (TEVA), making the Israeli
    drugmaker its largest holding in the fourth quarter.

    To read the entire article, go to
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  133. From Bloomberg, Feb 14, 2014, 12:00:01 AM

    It came from the sky.

    To read the entire article, go to
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  134. Sent from Bloomberg for iPad

    Watch this video at

    Japan’s Economy May `Significantly Stall’: Okubo
    Feb. 17 (Bloomberg) — Takuji Okubo, chief economist at Japan Macro Advisors in Tokyo, talks about the nation’s economy and central bank policy.
    Japan’s economy grew less than economists forecast in the final quarter of last year, underscoring risks to the nation’s recovery as a sales-tax increase looms in April. Okubo speaks with Angie Lau on Bloomberg Television’s “First Up.” (Source: Bloomberg)

    Download the free application at

  135. From Bloomberg, Feb 14, 2014, 12:00:01 AM

    Prices in the U.S. may increase more than many expect this year, says David Rosenberg. That’s a 180-degree turn for the economist who not long ago correctly predicted a declining inflation rate, a view now prevalent among his peers.

    To read the entire article, go to
    Sent from the Bloomberg iPad application. Download the free application at

  136. From Bloomberg, Feb 14, 2014, 10:00:10 AM

    A dark corner of European finance is about to be illuminated by European Central Bank inspectors who are sifting through loans that banks restructure for clients and don’t fully disclose.

    To read the entire article, go to
    Sent from the Bloomberg iPad application. Download the free application at

  137. From Bloomberg, Feb 14, 2014, 12:01:00 AM

    Employers are squeezing their workers’ retirement savings, holding back on both the amount and the timing of 401(k) matching funds and dragging out vesting schedules. Taken together, these measures are making it more difficult to save for old age.

    To read the entire article, go to
    Sent from the Bloomberg iPad application. Download the free application at

  138. From Bloomberg, Feb 16, 2014, 7:01:00 PM

    Scottish nationalists were forced to
    defend another key plank of their campaign for independence
    after the European Union’s executive raised the specter of the
    new state being left out of the bloc.

    To read the entire article, go to
    Sent from the Bloomberg iPad application. Download the free application at

  139. From Bloomberg, Feb 16, 2014, 7:00:01 PM

    Bank of England Governor Mark Carney
    said impediments to the economic recovery that are keeping U.K.
    interest rates at a record low will persist and borrowing costs
    won’t rise until the labor-market slack is reduced.

    To read the entire article, go to
    Sent from the Bloomberg iPad application. Download the free application at

  140. From Bloomberg, Feb 14, 2014, 5:52:26 PM

    Here’s some good news for anyone who ever gets ripped off by a securities broker. Wall Street’s self-policing body has decided to make its mandatory-arbitration system a little less rigged. The bad news? It still will be plenty rigged.

    To read the entire article, go to
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  141. Greek budget surplus tops €1.5B in 2013

    03:44 AM ET · GREK

    • Greece achieved a primary budget surplus – which excludes interest payments – of over €1.5B ($2.1B) in 2013, well above an initial forecast of €344M that was made in October, Prime Minister Antonis Samaras has said.
    • Greece also achieved the milestone one year ahead of the target set by the international community as a condition for additional debt relief.
    • ETF: GREK

  142. WSJ: Target staff warned of security risks prior to attack

    01:52 AM ET · TGT

    • Target’s (TGT) computer-security specialists expressed their concerns about weaknesses in the company’s payment-card network at least two months before cyber-thieves stole the data of up to 70M people, the WSJ reports.
    • At least one analyst asked for a more comprehensive security review of the network, although the request was dismissed, at least initially .

  143. American Capital’s Kain talks shop at conference

    Yesterday, 09:00 AM ET · AGNC

    • “Get used to it,” is what American Capital Agency (AGNC) CIO Gary Kain hears from many about the significant discount to book value his stock (and the entire agency mREIT sector) sell for. If things like banks and closed-end funds can trade at discounts, why not agency REITs? It’s all about collateral, responds Kain. The fixed agency MBS market is the world’s 2nd most liquid, totally transparent, and offers negligible bid/ask spreads. There is complete certainty with respect to book value, not always true with other sectors selling at discounts.
    • Presentation transcript here, presentation slides here
    • Off the purchase of a 7.5% stake (8.5% if MTGE is included) in Hatteras (HTS) – the only of AGNC’s mREIT purchases made public so far – Kain said he wanted to get exposure to hybrid ARMs, but they’re not easy to buy in size. A sizable American Capital buy could have moved the market by half a point or more. The better way to get a decent stake was by buying Hatteras at around a 20% discount to book.
    • Clearly feeling his oats after a tough 2013 (he notes book value fell just 5.5% while the stock declined 14.3%), a confident Kain says buyers of agency mREITs are not only purchasing a portfolio of MBS selling for significant discounts to where they trade in the open market, but those MBS – having already priced in a stronger economy and a Fed QE exit – have room for sizable upside.
    • Related ETFs: REM, MORL, MORT

  144. In a defeat for organized labor, Volkswagen workers reject union

    Yesterday, 12:05 AM ET · VLKAY

    • In one of the most closely watched union votes in the U.S. in decades, workers at the Volkswagen (VLKAY, VLKAF) plant in Chattanooga, Tenn., voted against joining the United Auto Workers union.
    • A win would have marked the first time the UAW had been able to organize a foreign-owned auto plant in the U.S., as well as a turnaround in sentiment in the traditionally anti-union South.
    • The UAW’s loss likely will hurt plans to organize other auto plants in the South; two other German-owned plants, Mercedes-Benz (DDAIF) in Alabama and BMW (BAMXY, BAMXF) in South Carolina, as well as a Nissan (NSANY, NSANF) plant in Mississippi, have been among its top targets.
    • The UAW enjoyed some unusual help – the cooperation of Volkswagen management and the aid of Germany’s IG Metall union – yet it still lost; “If the union can’t win [in Chattanooga], it can’t win anywhere.”

  145. Litecoin mining leads high-end AMD graphics card prices to soar

    Fri, Feb 14 · AMD

    • This isn’t how graphics card prices normally trend: Four months after cards based on AMD‘s top-of-the-line R9 290X GPU launched at an MSRP of $549, strong demand from cryptocurrency miners (Litecoin miners especially) has led prices to surge to ~$900. Likewise, prices for cards based on the slightly less powerful R9 290 have risen to ~$600, after initially debuting with a $399 MSRP.
    • The increases come even though GPU-based Litecoin mining has become more difficult as more miners join the fray. Bitcoin mining (also becoming more difficult) has increasingly shifted to ASIC-based hardware.
    • While its more powerful GPUs have become more costly, AMD is continuing its aggressive pricing (previous) in the mid-range, as it attempts to regain share lost to Nvidia.
    • The chipmaker recently announced the R7 265, a mid-range GPU that powers $149 graphics cards and delivers a 25% performance gain relative to the older R7 260X (about to see its price cut by $20 to $119).
    • Previous: Litecoin mining triggers AMD GPU shortages

  146. Buffett exits Dish and GlaxoSmithKline positions

    Fri, Feb 14 · DISH

    • Berkshire Hathaway exited its 547K-share position in Dish Network (DISH) in Q4, as well as its 346K-share position in GlaxoSmithKline (GSK).
    • Thanks to the exercising of warrants in October, Warren Buffett’s company owned 10.6M shares of GE at the end of 2013, up from just 589K at the end of Q3.
    • Previous: Berkshire discloses Liberty Global position
    • Berkshire’s Q4 13F

  147. Phil, wishing you have a good time of the Money Show. I'd go to the show too if I live near NYC. Anyways, please keep us updated just in case if you see anything exciting…

  148. And the bulls march on:    [FT] 3:39am Global Market Overview

    Asia bourses shrug off poor Japan data

    Hang Seng and Shanghai Composite rise

  149. Good morning!

    Oil made another run at $101 and failed, back to $100.50 now and a good short on /CL below that line.  Watching Dollar (80.15), of course to make sure it's heading up.   

    Dow over 16,150 (/YM) doesn't make for good shorting and RUT is 1,148.2 (/TF) so over 1,150 will be another bullish sign as would /ES 1,840 (now 1,838) and /NQ is 3,672.5 – not much of a read there.  Of the group, I'd say shorting the RUT below the 1,150 line would be my choice but the rest have to confirm and you want to see the Dollar moving from 80.15 to 80.20 and over that line or it will be time to leave.  

  150. Medvinsky/Albo – So, Chelsea Clinton shouldn't have married a guy she's know most of her life because his Dad did something wrong?  Or should Hillary have stopped them to insure her own political ambitions and conformed to your fantasy view of her caring more about her career than her family.  Meanwhile, the kid is a principal at a hedge fund AFTER a career at Goldman, so I think he can afford a nice apartment without his Dad's money (and your assumption that the court, who so properly convicted him, was then too inept to track down the stolen funds).  Not to mention, of course, that Chelsea's parents are somewhat successful and could afford to help their only child out and, of course, not to mention Chelsea Clinton herself had a job at NBC and the Clinton Foundation – a position I imagine pays pretty well.  

    Also, if you bothered to read, Mezvinsky was not running a Nigerian EMail Scam, he was the victim of one, but he did do other shady stuff that got him in jail.  I'm not sure in what fantasy World a freshman Congressperson cast the deciding vote on Clinton's "controversial" tax cut but that statement is so wrong on so many levels that I'll just assume you were in the midst of a feeding frenzy and would have lunged at anything at that point.  

    Clinton's 1993 tax increase raised the top bracket from 36% to 39.6% and raised Corporate taxes from 34% to 35% and put a 4.3 cent per gallon tax on gasoline, which Republicans said would bankrupt the country as it pushed gas over $1 per gallon.   That tax reform bill turned the Reagan/Bush1 deficit into a surplus and gave us 6 years of economic prosperity under Clinton and it was all undone by Bush so, in a way, I guess you are right – we should hold the sons accountable for the sins of their fathers – at least that would make sure we never have another Bush in office again!  Clinton is a liar and a sleazeball?  I guess you haven't read the 935 Lies of GW Bush – or paid any attention to anything in the past couple of decades or maybe it's just blind, fanatical devotion that causes you to look over the faults of your party and magnify the faults of the other?  

    Keep supporting these guys Albo, maybe they can take over and do it all again.  After all, we've had a 5-year rest from that BS – surely it's time for another war and another Recession by now and, of course, Global warming is only just getting started – one more big push and we can make it truly irreversible.  I'm sure you are very proud to have done what you could to promote Bush II, imagine the legacy you can leave for your children with the next one!  

  151. Both houses/Shadow – That's the goal of crap like that.  The GOP attempts to "muddy the waters", which is a political strategy often used by sleazebags to hurl accusations at the other side in an attempt to make the voters assume they are no worse than their opponents.  Better to have the voters sick of all of them than to actually identify who is actually  the cause of their problems.  

    Big Chart – You can't fight the Fed or those re-taken 50 dmas.  We're not going to make the mistake of speculating bearish – we'll just have to wait and see if we break to new highs or fail again.  

    Be very careful, they've flipped oil contracts already.  /CLJ4 (April) is now the default contract in TOS (the one at $100.48) while /CLH4 (March) is higher, at $100.73, this being their big chance to roll out of trouble, they are taking advantage of slow trading to jack up the front-month.

    Don't forget, we expect the housing data to get us off to a poor start tomorrow.  

    Disney/Jfaw – Yeah, it's a great place to vacation but WOW, does it cost a lot!  I love the Disney Cruise Ships too – fantastic vacation for little kids and doesn't suck for adults either.  

    Bitcoin/BDC – Still not trading?    As to shorting Bitcoins – they'd have to pop again but, even so, I don't have time to start paying attention to cryptos – I don't even trade FOREX.  

    DNKN/Jfaw – Nice little business selling ten-cent globs of dough for $1.  Not cheap now but always worth watching for a nice entry.  

    TSLA/Jabob – Wow, has it been so long that they are re-using that one already? 

    Cadillac just started advertising their electric/hybrid with a 340 mile range and 33 mpg overall (37 miles pure electric for around town).  Those start at $75,000.  

    Thanks Invest, looks like I'm on schedule to get there today.  

  152. Dollar failed 80.15 so game off for shorts, of course.  

  153. Dollar back over 80.15 so game on now!  

  154. or maybe it's just blind, fanatical devotion that causes you to look over the faults of your party and magnify the faults of the other


    Thanks – I needed a good chuckle this morning.

  155. Leaving aside the political hogwash- I much prefer to consider the above article on inflation / Rosenberg. 

    Many of us expected inflation to take off a couple of years ago and were flat wrong (remember TBT? paiful)

    As standard inflation metrics are lagging indicators the proverbial problem is to pick the right leading indicators. Velocity of money? Rents? Wages? Yield curve ? All of the above?

  156. Phil/albo                  ooouch…………seems is snowing up there.