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Triple Top Tuesday – 3rd Times a Charm?

Here we go again.  

This is our 3rd visit this year to 1,880 on the S&P and maybe this time will be different and, if so, we'll simply have to deploy some of our cash on some bullish plays.  Materials are still down, gold and silver are still low, Solars fell out of favor, Biotechs had a nice sell-off, China and Russia are low – plenty of things to buy if we're really breaking back up. 

In fact, with the Nasdaq below 4,200, down from 4,400, that's 5% off and TQQQ is the ultra-long 3x Nasdaq ETF and it's at $61.45, down from $70 last month and you can buy the April $65/68 bull call spread for just 0.55, selling the $51 puts for 0.45, risking just $10 of cash to make up to $300 per contract if TQQQ recovers in the next 2 weeks.  $51 happens to be the 200 dma on TQQQ, so it seems like reasonable support, especially if the Fed keeps pumping in cash at the extreme levels they hit at the end of this quarter (and the last):

3-31-2014 6-43-31 PM Reverse REPO

SPX WEEKLYWe were 3 full weeks into January before the market started collapsing so figure that's the ebb and flow of all this FREE MONEY that's being funnelled through the Banksters to keep up appearances.  We have a similar double top patten now and we'll see if this time is different and we break on through to new highs with this extra 25% injection of liquidity to top off the quarter.  

Of course, we're not really bullish until we see those highs broken so I'd rather sell an AAPL Jan $400 put for $5.90 ($590) and that's enough to buy 10 of the spreads for $450 and we make $3,000 if all goes well with a $140 credit still in our pockets and our worst-case scenario is owning AAPL for net $401.40 (25% off the current price).  That's a fun way to hedge to the upside, which is why we're in no hurry to pull our cash off the sidelines – we have lots of cool ways to make money. 

In fact, I reviewed our 5 Member Portfolios in chat yesterday and they are all performing quite well and are full of great Trade Ideas we can begin adding back to our recently cashed out Income Portfolio.  As an experiment, we left our Long-Term Portfolio invested during the pullback but cashed in the Income Portfolio to see which one ends up performing better (they follow similar strategies).  It also gives our new Members a fresh chance to follow along, though we had hoped for more of a pullback before moving our cash from the sidelines.  

That's our Income Portfolio, as you can see, it's mainly cash now but up a solid 7.1% for the year so far and it's meant to be Conservative – so it would have been silly not to take that money and run when we made that much in just the first two months.  Now we are watching and waiting and doing a little bargain-hunting, adding the sort of stocks that should be doing well if the indexes aren't lying to us and we really are recovering.  

We'll probably add HOV ($4.73) today, as we're always happy to get a cheap entry on that stock.  The 2016 $5 puts are $1.35 and we can sell 10 of those for $1,350 and commit to owning HOV at net $3.65 ($3,650), which is 23% off the current price – what's not to love?  We'll determine the amount later in our Live Webcast, which will focus on Futures Trading today (1pm, EST).  

Otherwise, I'm still very skeptical of a rally that requires $200Bn MORE liquidity than the usual $50Bn they pump into the markets on a regular basis.  Obviously the idea is to fool people like us, with cash on the sides, into chasing and essentially replacing the Fed's borrowed $200Bn and the faster we run in, the faster the Fed can pull back out – like they did in January, as the usual beggining of the year fund allocations replaced their $150Bn boost at the time.  

The S&P topped out at 1,850 back then and we're still true to our formula that $1Bn per month by the Fed = 1 extra S&P points – that's a formula that's been holding up since 2012!  The FBI is finally launching an official investigation into the market manipulation engaged in by High-Speed Traders, maybe they can then investigate the biggest market manipulator of them all – THE FED!

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  1. Oil Lines

    R3 – 103.04
    R2 – 102.50
    R1 – 101.95
    PP – 101.41
    S1 – 100.86
    S2 – 100.32
    S3 – 99.77

    PP or 101.50 have been solid resistance so far this morning!

  2. TSLA / Phil (from yesterday) – You can actually fit 5 kids safely in a Model S:

    File:Tesla Model S rear child seats (2).jpg

    They have these 2 seats in the trunk. Small children only though it seems!

  3. Bitcoin not the best investment this year:


    In Argentina, sometimes it does also feel like the Argentine Peso is a virtual currency. 

  4. Unemployment slightly better than expected in Germany and Europe in general but PMI slightly worse… 

  5. Notice:

    "Effective Sunday, April 13th for trade date Monday, April 14th, and pending all relevant regulatory review periods, please be advised that NYMEX will launch Crude Oil Weekly Options."  --

  6. Good morning!  

  7. Good Morning!

  8. Christie is trying too hard….maybe it's because he's lying…..

  9. Next time I find myself in legal trouble I want to a trial with a jury of my friends!

  10. 5 seats/StJ – Are all 5 of Musk's kids that small?  Then there would be a question of luggage…

    Weekly options/Diamond – Oh boy, that's going to add another layer of crazy.


    Redbook Chain Store Sales: +2.3%Y/Y vs. +3.1% last week.

    ICSC Retail Store Sales: +3.6% W/W, vs. -1.5% last week.

    +0.6% Y/Y vs. +1.7% last week.

    Speculative Net Short Position In Ten Year Futures Largest Since 2005

    Manhattan U.S. Attorney's Office Warns 'A Significant Financial Institution' May Get Charge With A Serious Crime

    Japanese Outlook Data Collapses As China's PMI Misses And Beats (And Economy Contracts & Expands). (graph)

    Nigel Farage: Europe Has "Blood On Its Hands" Over Ukraine

    High Frequency Talking: Santelli Vs Pisani

    • The government's received over 4.8M visitors yesterday while the telephone center took 2M calls as people rushed to sign up for Obamacare health coverage ahead of last night's deadline.
    • However, the enrollment process was again mired in chaos, as the Web site went down at least twice and was out for several hours.
    • Those who started the enrollment process but didn't complete it will be allowed to do so, providing more uncertainty for health insurers.
    • With 6M people having bought coverage by last week, the government could reach its target of signing up 7M people by around this point in the process.
    • However, an estimated 45M Americans still remain uncovered.
    • More on Obamacare
    • Health insurers: AETHNTHUMUNHWLPMOH
    • Gazprom (OGZPYraises gas prices for Ukraine by 44% after a discount deal expired, stepping up financial pressure on the country's government in its crisis in relations with Russia.
    • Gazprom says the increase complies with its supply contract and is necessary because Ukraine owes more than $1.7B for gas bought since early 2013.
    • The move raises fears that state-run Gazprom may threaten to cut supplies to Ukraine, which buys about half its gas from Russia, something that’s happened at least twice since 2006 because of payment disputes.

    Caterpillar(CAT) dodged paying $2.4 billion in taxes: Senate reportHeavy equipment giant Caterpillar shifted $8 billion in profits to an offshore Swiss affiliate over the last decade, and avoided paying $2.4 billion in U.S. taxes, according to a new report from the Senate Permanent Subcommittee on Investigations.

    • Casino revenue in Macau grew 13.1% Y/Y to $4.4B in March, according to official figures released by the Gaming Inspection and Coordination Bureau.
    • Analysts had set their forecasts just a bit higher for the month.
    • YTD gaming revenue is up 19.8% in the region.
    • Macau-related stocks: MPELMGMWYNNLVSGXYEFSJMHF.

    Ebola’s Death Toll Reaches 80 in ‘Unprecedented’ OutbreakThe Ebola outbreak in Guinea, where the death toll climbed to 80, is “unprecedented,” international aid organization Doctors Without Borders said. In neighboring Liberia, one of two confirmed cases has died, while a second person who died with a suspected Ebola infection tested negative for the virus, the World Health Organization said in a statement.

  11. Ebola/Phil – man, that's scary! Be grateful the disease doesn't transmit easily. I wonder what's behind this outbreak. Are people eating a lot more bats and monkeys, or did the virus recently arrive in the area and people are eating the same amount of bats and monkeys? Not good either way.

  12. Good bye MNKD…..I hope one was out of them….they are toast.  Good morning!

  13. Christie/StJ – It's important that, every once in while, we're reminded of how corrupt the NJ Government is…

    Laptop/1020 – That's just what I've always wanted, too bad it's not real…

    S&P wasting no time testing 1,880 on the index.   /ES Futures just 1,872.  We actually topped out at 1,883.97 on March expiration day (21st), then down to 1,842 last week and it only took two up days to jam us back into position.  Keep in mind it was no volume and the entire move came pre-market – and that's how we got here:


    Ebola/Snow – I don't know but it's very scary that it's already spreading to Liberia.  A more contagious strain would be double plus ungood. 

    On the Futures we've got 16,433, 1,871.50, 3,613 and 1,174.50 so nothing good to play at the moment.  

    /NKD at 14,860 with the Dollar at 80.18 but the Yen remains weak at 103.44 as the Euro gets back to $1.38, so that's why the Nikkei isn't reacting to the Dollar.  I guess they think Germany will buy a lot of Toyotas this year.  

    Oil testing $101, gold $1,285, silver $19.81, copper $3.03, nat gas just bounced off $4.30, which is our long line and gasoline is testing $2.90 and that can also be played for a bounce (/RB) if oil holds $101. 

  14. Pharm/Spy~ Good morning! I got some SPY 192 calls. What would you do if SPY is testing 189?

  15. Phil/not real…. Buzzkill!  


    I guess some of us don't do 'Fools Day'……. ;)

  16. Invest….hold them.    Not sure what your cost basis is…mine are still under water, but my 190s are way up and my 191s are almost back to even.

  17. Pharm, mine is up 40%. I sold some and bought some when it was in the range. What would you do?

  18. ~~Obamacare numbers coming in huge: Here's a guide to GOP excuse-making….,0,4488747.story#ixzz2xdvGsFgw

  19. Well, take 1/2 then and let the other 1/2 run with a stop below 1870.

  20. Thanks, Pharm. Gotta act fast this time.

  21. GALT….zoom zoom….sputter, sputter…splatt, flush. 

  22. "Manhattan U.S. Attorney's Office Warns 'A Significant Financial Institution' May Get Charge With A Serious Crime" – HAHAHA!  April Fool!  

  23. Hi Phil, Would you DD on TSLA 195 puts with the run up this morning? Does the pricxe target of 200 still stand. If not, how can you tell? Thxs

  24. Whee…. Bull market!

  25. Bull or Bull S Market?

  26. GM is up almost 2% despite all negative news….. lol

  27. Dagnab it! Why is TNA going up on the day after EOQ? FU TNA!

  28. Phil 

    Thank you. Thank you. Thank you.

  29. Drug prices ….going up and up and up…..

  30. FU PCLN!!!!

    FU TSLA!!!!

    FU NFLX!!!!

  31. Maybe construction is coming back:

  32. ARIA Nice!

  33. Fools/1020 – Don't forget what they say about fools and money…  Love the guide!  

    TSLA/Pfehl – No, doubling down is something you should only do when you KNOW that the move you are seeing is a false reaction.  Hard to say with TSLA, which had several false spikes up yesterday and is now making a real move.  Better off just seeing how it goes.   No, it does not look good for $200 this week unless we fail $217 and head back lower fairly quickly. 

    RUT tapped 1,180 – gotta play that one for a short (/TF).  Almost 16,500 on /YM, also a good line to short and 1,875 on /ES and 3,650 on /NQ with stops if any 2 are over those lines.  

    GM/Invest – Confounding the bears but I wouldn't want to be in them at the moment.   Should be good for F, though.

    EOQ/Snow – We did not expect an immediate pullback.  Just like Tuesday's are often blow-off bottoms into around 11am, maybe it's a blow-off top today as well. 

    You're welcome Wombat.  Back on that /NKD shorting tain at 14,880?  

    Drugs/Pharm – Some of those prices are just insane.  

    Construction/StJ – Good connection!   Small home builders especially could be big customers there.  

  34. Fascinating -Stand On Zanzibar by John Brunner (in 1969) and apparently not an april fool..

    Obomi – Obama…when original name is Sotero, makes you wonder how much of everything really is just theater…!

  35. Phil/GM~I agree with you. I'm just patiently waiting when it shows me the real sell off.

  36. Earlier you mentioned selling AAPL Jan 400 puts and buying 10 spreads with the income, but didn't state which spread to open.

  37. I shorted nkd 14900 to 14800 good for $100.00

  38. Phil/fools/money   I know of others, that know it all too well…… ;)

  39. stjeanluc – The ESA reported construction spending was $945.7 billion in February, the seasonally adj. annual rate up 0.1% from the revised Jan estimate and up 8.7% from Feb 2013.  So all those unemployed construction workers must be busy.

  40. Phil – solarcoin up from 0.59 cents to 0.85 cents. You have some kind of  magic touch —- +44% in less than 24 hours…. !

  41. Drug prices

    Last Wednesday a doctor recommended a drug that cost $1,025.75 per month. The country is broken, insurance won't pay why is it allowed or why is he allowed to prescribe it? There are very low cost alternatives!

    My representative Lummis wants to restart a dirty coal generator the EPA shut down. She would repeal the EPA Barasso says the white house is rigging the numbers on Obama care. Scary part is how many think these are correct or good ideas. I remember 70s LA.

  42. PCLN/Jabob – If you didn't take money and run at $1,200 on this one – you need some serious counseling:

    The PCLN May $1,205/1,245 bull call spread is $20 and you can sell the $1,100 puts for $18 so net $2 for a $40 spread that's $39 in the money to start.  ALL PCLN has to do is go up $6 to make $38 but it has to drop $138 (10%+) before you lose more than $2 on the short puts.  If you are already short, this is an excellent way to offset a recovery.

    TSLA, on the other hand, is only weak bouncing off a $60 drop.  Not impressive until it hits $224:

    NFLX fell $100 to $360 and hasn't even come back to that yet!  Call $380 a weak bounce and $400 strong and THEN you can curse at them:

    My trade idea from 3/20 was:

    Submitted on 2014/03/20 at 1:31 pm

    NFLX is just silly now at $430.  April $400 puts are $6.75 and earnings should keep them warm.

    Those puts are now $42.50 – THAT's how you short a MOMO!  

    Zanzibar/Scott – That book is a SciFi classic!  A major part of the plot is that Corporations control the World – he got that one on the nose too!  He also invented the term "worm" for computer viruses.

    Spread/Ztennis – The TQQQ spread I mentioned in the main post.  I said I like offsetting it with a sale of the AAPL short puts more than using TQQQ, as it's a bit aggressive for me, since I still don't really believe in this rally.  

    Nice on /NKD, Bert!  

    Construction/Sibe – Independent contractors tend to pick up first and are hard to track.  Those guys then turn around and hire crews and it can become the beginning of some very good news – if it's a real trend.  Could also be just the result of a lot of Spring cleaning that needs to be done.  I have to open my pool and frost heaves means I have to have my driveway done and my stairs fixed as well – that's 3 guys with trucks that need to come to my house this month.  

    Solarcoin/BDC – Wow, my first foray into crypto-currency has a huge pay-off.  Thanks!  

    LA/Shadow – Yep, that was about as bad as Beijing for a while.  Some drug companies have programs for uncovered use of their drugs – you should ask or just demand the generic.  

  43. Oil just hit $100.50, how low can it go, Phil?

  44. yep – out of SCO +12%

  45. Like I said before—your call on the Momos the other week was unreal. You said the were breaking down and it was 100% on the money.

  46. Phil,

    These strong construction data were for February in the midst of the winter everyone was using as an excuse.  It will be interesting to see the numbers for say, April.  If there is a pickup underway it should be strengthening as the construction season gets underway.

  47. Phil

    No generic of that drug. Many drugs do the same thing, drug companies own the docs. Only help I can get is that 13K from caring voice and that is Prealt only.

  48. Mar. Global Manufacturing PMI 52.4 vs 53.2 in Feb.

    US Mar. PMI Manufacturing 55.5 vs consensus of 56.8, 57.1 in Feb.

    Feb. Construction Spending: +0.1%, in-line with expectation, +0.1% prior.

    • Mar. ISM Manufacturing Index: 53.7 vs. 54.0 consensus and 53.2 prior.
    • March's gain to 53.7 from 53.2 prior is led by a 7.7 point jump in Production to 55.9. New Orders edged up to 55.1 from 54.5. Supplier Deliveries fell to 54.0 from 58.5 (means times are getting faster). Employment slipped to its lowest level since June, 51.1. Prices 59.0 vs. 60.0. Backlogs 57.5 vs. 52.0.
    • "Business beginning to heat up along with the weather," is one respondent comment.
    • Full report
    • Treasury prices slip a bit further on the print, TLT -0.7%, and the 10-year yield higher by 3 basis points to 2.76%.
    • Extrapolating Q1 dealmaking to the full year, global M&A activity in 2014 could put in its best performance since 2007, according to Bloomberg. Hedgeye's Jonathan Casteleyn notes European activity is up 60% from last year and those investment banks poised to benefit the most from that are Lazard (LAZ +0.1%) and Greenhill (GHL).
    • Predictably, the U.S. Senate approves legislation that gives doctors a one-year reprieve from the proposed 24% Medicare pay cut specified under the Affordable Care Act. The House passed the measure last week. President Obama is expected to quickly sign the bill.
    • The $21B measure is supposedly paid for by cuts to health care providers, but 50% of the reductions won't happen for 10 years.
    • Congress will have to pass "doc fix" legislation again next year.
    • The FDA has approved Intuitive Surgical's (ISRG) da Vinci Xi Surgical System, which the company says "has broader capabilities than prior generations" of the device.
    • "It can be used across a wide spectrum of minimally invasive surgical procedures and has been optimized for complex, multi-quadrant surgeries," Intuitive says.
    • The FDA's authorization comes amid reports of adverse events involving previous versions of the da Vanci and scores of lawsuits.
    • Shares are +9.8%. (PR)
    • J.P. Morgan cuts its 2014 iron ore price forecast by 6% to $118/metric ton, expecting demand from China will grow more slowly to 3.5% from 5% previously, while the likes of Rio Tinto (RIO), BHP and Fortescue (FSUMF) are expected to add ~100M metric tons of supply this year, adding pressure on pricing.
    • Iron ore climbed 4% in Shanghai to $116.8/ton yesterday, trimming the quarterly decline to 13%, meaning JPM basically is expecting iron ore prices to be at the current spot level this year.
    • The firm still likes Brazilian iron ore producer Vale (VALE), saying it will generate positive cash flow even at the lower iron ore price.
    • Automobile industry stocks are on the rise as the early batch of reports on U.S. sales beat expectations on broad strength.
    • Advancers: Lithia Motors (LAD) +2.1%, Asbury Automotive (ABG) +2.3%, Sonic Automotive (SAH) +2.2%, America's Car-Mart (CRMT) +1.4%, CarMax (KMX) +1.5%, AutoNation (AN)+1.5%, Pep Boys (PBY) +2.2%, O'Reilly Automotive (ORLY) +1.7%, Advance Auto Parts (AAP) +0.9%.
    • The NDP Group reports basketball footwear sales rose 19% to $3.3B last year.
    • This year has also started off strong for the category despite slow traffic across retail outlets.
    • Sales are up 21% Y/Y for January and February combined, led by explosive growth in the kids segment.
    • Basketball shoes players: Adidas (ADDYY), Nike (NKE), Foot Locker (FL), Finish Line (FL), Under Armour (UA), AND1 (private), Dick's Sporting Goods (DKS)
    • GrubHub's (GRUB) price range has been raised to $23-$25 from a prior $20-$22. The online food delivery/take-out service is now aiming for a market cap of $1.8B-$1.96B.
    • GrubHub is looking to raise $92M-$100M by selling 4M new shares, and is selling another 3M on behalf of existing holders. Underwriters have an 800K-share overallotment option.
    • Prospectus
    • Previous: GrubHub's IPO filing/2013 results

  49. Oil/Bruce – It has to be bouncy by now.  We topped out at $102.24 on Friday but throw out the spike and it was $102 so $100.50 is a 1.5% drop, which is a big move and, of course, we have inventories tomorrow so I'd be tempted to flip bullish at $100.50 for a bounce – but super-tight stops below that line because next stop would be $100 (but then that should be bouncy too). 

    SCO/Wombat – Good timing.  

    Momos/Jabob – And look how much money we can make on Momos just taking a few put pokes AFTER we see them breaking down.  There's no need to chase them up…

    Construction/Sibe – That's the sign we're waiting for to make some truly bullish bets.  

    Drugs/Shadow – What a messed up system! 

  50. LOL, $100.50 didn't hold at all!  $100.19 on oil so it did drop like a rock below that line, with no support at $100.25.  

  51. As to the other Futures – we got nice little pullbacks on all our indices:  /YM 16,447, /ES 1,873.50, /NQ 3,635 and /TF 1,177 – all stopped out off lower lows now.  

    We'll look for new entries in the Webcast at 1pm.

  52. SCO – I decided to sell a $31 May call cover at .75 because I expect $100 to be bouncy.  

  53. Ironic that Paul Ryan's new budget gets released on April 1st… 

    Unfortunately, a fool's errands again – reduce tax brackets to only 2 of them – a 10 and 25%. Because it's fair I am sure and would greatly benefit the middle class. Reduce corporate tax to 25% when the average is already below that. Blaah, blaaah, blaaah… 

  54. Digging through the ISM manufacturing numbers:

    The table below shows the breakdown of each of the ISM Manufacturing Index's 10 main components.  As shown, Customer Inventories is the only component that is currently below 50, and is one of only four components that declined relative to February.  On the positive side, five components saw increases this month led by Production which increased from 48.2 up to 55.9.  That was the largest monthly increase for that component since June 2009!  Compared to a year ago, this month's report was a little more encouraging with seven out of ten components showing improvement.

    These numbers are frustrating and are painting a mixed picture right now – good ones one day, bad ones another. Maybe it's the weather after all and we get a better picture soon.

  55. Phil/cl


    do you dare go long at 100

  56. VIX – what a meek and mild day…

  57. sage

    Are you a contrarian? This guy is long, headline $150 oil but he actually thinks maybe $200.

  58. Hey Phil, thoughts on SUNE – lots of calls being bought?  Jump on it for a couple buck move up?

  59. Shadow generally yes, but did you watch that guy, he was a joke. reminded me of the days in the pits where idiots like him would spout whatever came to their small brained heads and of course benefited their position. $200 oil can you say RECESSION, please.

  60. sage

    Recession is about on us at $100. Yes a joke, I couldn't believe they top spot suck an idiot before oil drops under $100.

  61. Ryan/StJ – April Fool's is perfect for a Ryan budget.  

    Oil/Sage – We go long at $100 just as a statistical play for the bounce (more likely than not) but, if it's a weak bounce that doesn't clear $100.25, we're right back out.  Doesn't change the longer-term SCO, USO short plays, just the Futures as the switching costs are low enough to bother playing both sides.    

    VIX/Scott – I'd like them long if the options weren't so crazy expensive.  

    $200 oil/Shadow – There's not enough money in the World for $200 oil to be viable.  

    SUNE/Ging – Old favorite but not at $20.  

    Webcast in 15 mins!  

  62. Phil $200 oil

    The .01per cent can swing $500 oil. Then the world could wake up and realize if we take all wealth and divide it equally maybe $150 could work. The moneyed don't have a clue how many less miles most people drive and without them consumption will continue down.

  63. Top 1% vs everyone else….

  64. Unsurprising Pharm… I like the opposition to college access for everyone. Education is the enemy of plutocracy!

  65. oil may go to 97.5

  66. A name change for Priceline • 1:22 PM has changed its name to The Priceline Group (PCLN +3.6%), effective today.

    Priceline's likely reasoning: The lion's share of the company's bookings now comes from sites other than – in particular, European travel giant and the Asia-focused Kayak and are also meaningful contributors.

    Shares are joining a slew of other Web momentum names in rallying.

  67. I might chase Vinod's investment in KIOR for a few hundred bucks

  68. ISRG – Anyone with thoughts on the big move today? Is the move part of a massive short covering (I saw a Barrons article at the beginning of March noting it was one of the 5 heaviest shorted stocks in the Nasdaq) due to a "just in case" mentality regarding the FDAs approval of the da Vinci system? Or is this move more about excitement for the company's growth opportunities + some short covering?

  69. Phil,

    I have TSLA April 195 puts at $4 trading now at 2.55. Should I hold or take my loss and fold?


  70. TSLA/rookie – why did you buy them? was your premise wrong? if didn't work the way you planned, then sell. when in doubt, sell half. if you still like your premise but need more time (they will erode FAST now) do you like your premise enough to buy more time? If it can hurt you to keep rolling/chasing, then just get out.

  71. Krugman:

    The result is that we now have overwhelming evidence for the Keynesian proposition, and very strong evidence that when monetary policy can’t lean against fiscal policy – when you either have a fixed exchange rate or are in a liquidity trap – the multiplier is greater than one. The efficacy of fiscal policy in the short run is now as well-established a concept, as grounded in empirical evidence, as the efficacy of monetary policy. (Of course, some people still haven’t gotten that memo either.)

    But again, the course of policy – and the relationship of policy to research – was something else. It’s still amazing to look at the eagerness with which policymakers abandoned 60 years’ worth of textbook economics in favor of a radical anti-Keynesian claim that was subjected to intense criticism from the very beginning. As I said, the nakedness of it is just astonishing. People who had no idea what the data or the history looked like, who had no idea of what was involved in attempts to tease out the effect of fiscal policy from the noise, jumped on Alesina/Ardagna as refuting everything anyone else had said on the subject. Were they really unaware that they were committing the sin of letting wishful thinking drive their choices? Did they just not care?

    Oh, and of course, nobody except the IMF – which was much closer to being right than other key players – has admitted having been wrong about anything.

  72. Pharm / CLDX – BTFD after that walloping or stay away?

  73. you dont see 2016 options trade in big lots very often ( unless its us , haha) but there was a 1194 lot of K

    2016 62.50 calls bought today vs open interest of 29

  74. definition of a krugman := facts based on opinions

  75. are the funds who have to buy at beginning of month pushing oil down to keep indexes lower or what is causing

  76. thatway/krugman – I'm sure you meant to say  opinions based on facts, right?…


    …fact-less opinions don't fly too well around here….

  77. Ouch!  Got killed demoing RUT Futures as they're now over 1,180!   Not sure why we're popping into the close but it is what it is.  Seems strange with oil at $99.60, finishing at low of the day.

  78. /es still having a hard time with 1875

  79. purpleheart

    IMO oil is coming back after no reason to jump up for 3 days. Funds mostly balance at the end of month. Could be a large build after 2 weeks of contracts ending, shipping shut down, and fake books during both. Eventually they have to admit that storage is over full and overflowing.

  80. For those that follow support trend line became resistance at 12:00. Only 20 minutes of volume at the open.

  81. Phil,

    Master Class was a classic today……Reinforced my decision to sell Puts only on stocks that I want to own or Not be put to and roll lower. Much more relaxing way to produce income….Any one on this board have other thoughts on a relaxing way to produce income? My 2Cents

  82. Phil,

      Are you leaving the SCO Apr $28 calls in the 25K open for now?

  83. Phil this time last year we were selling CZR $10 and $7.50 puts.  Sep $12.50 puts are $.80 and Jan $10.00 are $.90.  Might be able to get an even better fill than that as the spreads are $.25-.30.  You had mentioned CZR was low enough to get into again.  Would you suggest either one of these to open a position?  The Jan $10 puts seem an easy roll if you are in the Sep $12.50s.


  84. Oil/Shadow – They don't care if they sell 30% less oil at $150 than they do at $100 but that's not what would happen, they would collapse the economy and they'd be selling 50% less oil at $50 (if they can get it).  Essentially, they think $100 is what we can bear so that's the price they try to maintain.  

    Top 1%/Pharm – Interesting that 78% of the people support increasing minimum wage yet, to listen to the GOP or Fox News, you would think the entire country was opposed.  The problem is no one disputes them.  Mainly because all the Media is controlled by the top 1%.  I love the violent opposition to funding schools and colleges – this is how wealth disparity eventually destroys the nation – it takes generations but they eventually make our population non-competitive.  

    ISRG/Brill – Their new robot is approved and should also move them towards new operations it can perform, which means more business.  As I've said for ages, the fear-mongering over the lawsuits has unjustly held down the stock for ages – this puts a nail in the bear's coffin.  

    • The FDA has approved Intuitive Surgical's (ISRG) da Vinci Xi Surgical System, which the company says "has broader capabilities than prior generations" of the device.
    • "It can be used across a wide spectrum of minimally invasive surgical procedures and has been optimized for complex, multi-quadrant surgeries," Intuitive says.
    • The FDA's authorization comes amid reports of adverse events involving previous versions of the da Vanci and scores of lawsuits.
    • Shares are +9.8%. (PR)

    Our last play on ISRG was as an offset to our SSO play on 1/23:

    Submitted on 2014/01/10 at 4:01 pm

    • ISRG/MrM – That's why I always pick them when they are down.  I wonder if Seeking Alpha will call as much attention to this article as they do to the ones that people get right?
    • Our other new trade idea from the weekend post (so far, still not finished, but still playable) was 10 SSO March $92/97 bull call spreads at $3.20 ($3,200) offset by the sale of 5 ISRG April $300 puts, now $5, for a $2,500 credit for a net of $700 and an upside potential of $3,300 (471% on cash).  

    My daughter is very excited about this!  

  85. Relaxing/Jasu – have I got a sweet deal for you! Deposit minimum $1MM with me and I'll return an annualized 12% to you. Who wouldn't like an extra ten grand a month, eh!? And hey, I won't even bother you with statements. If you ever want to close this sweet deal, I'll return whatever is left of your principle (minus fees) any time, no questions asked.

  86. TSLA/Rookie – I'd give it another day.  TSLA was $216 Friday and Yesterday and $215 today – just next time they drop to $210, you might want to put tight stops.  

    K/Stock – Doesn't look cheap to me.  Would have liked them on that move down to $55 in Jan but not $63.

    Oil/Purple – I think the sell-off is a reflection of de-escalating hostilities in the Ukraine.  There's no fundamental reason oil should be trading over $100, it's the Ukraine nonsense that's been keeping it up. 

    Relaxing/Jasu – I agree 100%, short-term trading is fun, but it shouldn't be confused with investing.  

    SCO/Kevin – Based on the way oil finished today, I'm not inclined to pull the SCO puts, even though they are up 32% already.  With luck, we hit $98.50 or even $97.50 on a build tomorrow.  

    CZR/Rperi – We just added a CZR to the Butterfly Portfolio and we sold the May $20 puts for $1.90.  They are still that price and I like those for a short sale by themselves as well. 

    Good thing we gave up on those RUT shorts, all the way up to 1,183.40 now with /ES 1,875.75.  Nas really flying today and now AAPL is back over $540. 

  87. CSCO – what popped them today?

  88. Scottmi,

    I remember a certain hedge fund that promised me a similar deal…..suffice it to say, the entire principal amount now resides in my tax loss column on my tax returns….lesson learned! 

  89. Please be advised TOS pulling PM margin on CCUR and CRUS and your Acc will be charged with normal margin just for you, holding any play with PM margin

  90. CSCO/Scott – That whole sector is up.  ALU, JNPR…  

    Good time to contemplate our value list and look for who's still on sale:


  91. Jasu – ah you spotted the April 1 special deal..! ;-) Really, what a concept to expect to receive any _principal_ back.

  92. CLDX/MrM….I still like them.  How about the May 20 Calls.  Just a few.  I don't want to sell puts yet.

  93. Hi Scot pls send me you acc number so I can receive the 12% or is it even more? 8)

  94. Another rip your face off day by the momos after they lull us into buying puts and closing call; Jabo must be wetting himself today…

  95.  CSCO/Scott – Whole sector is up, ALU, JNPR…

    S&P 1,884+ is new all-time high.  It's 1,877 on /ES, lining up with 16,450 on /YM, 3,650 on /NQ and 1,185 on /TF.

    Even GM is green, despite the testimony that's not going well for them.

    Momos/MrM – Our PCLN play from earlier this morning is doing very well, actually…

  96. everything still going up AH.

  97. I guess buying the dips still works until it won't… 5 years running now though! We are going to end up with many trained lemmings when we go down for real. But that's a long training period though where some good money could have been made.

  98. Phil,

    I would appreciate your thgts on ED, which, counter-intuitively to my thinking, reported lower revenues but higher  earnings (this, during a colder winter) and was denied a rate increase in NY (election year). These changes in the fundamentals are in addition to the recent Harlem gas explosion which will surely create more negative publicity in addition to the lawsuit costs.  Current position is short Aug 55 (@2.03, now 3.70) and 52.5 (@1.13, now 2.12). My initial inclination is to roll to the Aug 55s to Nov 50s (1.90) and perhaps let the 52.50s ride. Also considering closing out and accepting the loss given above developments since I'm not as comfortable with the position as I was.


  99. Krugman go home, James Grant has the podium!
    Grant's tribute to Hazlitt, March 21, 2014

  100. Phil- so am I to assume by your comments today that your repeated messages about moving to cash and the fake rallies being EOM window dressing are now a thing of the past? I am really confused now. 

  101. Holy Crap…MNKD received a yes vote for T1…..

  102. Before getting too bullish, might want to give it one more percent to see how this plays out.

  103. API numbers

    W/W  -5800k vs previous week of +6280k

  104. Why would MNKD be toast if they got approved?

  105. and received yes vote for T2…  That is one hell of'a deal.  They are gonna rocket.

    Why would they be toast, Burrben??….the opening of the FDA panel was not going well, and the data are less than stellar.  I guess the third time is the charm, though (this is their third time at the alter).

  106. Butterfly Portfolio / Phil – Where can we review the Butterfly Portfolio? I don´t seem to find it in any of the links (virtual portfolios, strategy, wiki nor education). Thanks.

  107. Phil-any thoughts on the fate of the Euro. Looks bullish amidst talks of it going back to 1.45. Thanks

  108. Dips/StJ – With that massive amount of Repo, there's no way for the bulls to lose.  Yellen is, if anything, looser than Bernanke – who knows where we'll end up at this point?

    ED/8800 – I like ED, nice 4.7% dividend.  I don't like that the state is likely to mandate they replace aging gas pipelines – that's going to hurt, but does need to be done.  I take it those are short puts?  Nothing wrong with owning them long-term and, if so, then the Jan $52.50 puts are $3.30 and, as long as you can roll to those about even and ED is over $52.50, there's not much to worry about.  Still, you have to REALLY want to own them at net $50 as they are likely to guide down and test the lows – otherwise you'll just get stopped out at a worse price.  

    Hazlitt/Scott – Wow, worshipping the guy who worshipped Mises, that's an interesting take.  

    Confused/Craigs – We went to cash because we weren't sure what was going to happen.  We're still not sure but, since we're over the levels we were worried about failing, we're adding a few more longs every day.  We don't need to be 100% bullish or 100% bearish, do we?  Our premise was the rising Japanese sales tax would damage the economy and send a wave of damage around the World.  The sales tax increased last night at 9pm – so we haven't even given it 24 hours.  Is the premise blown or is it unrealistic to expect it to play out in less than a day?

    Good charts RJ:

    API/Bert – That got oil Futures off the floor.  Now $99.69.  This is one of those cases where you can use a long Futures contract to lock in the gains on SCO! 

    Butterfly Portfolio/Akademia – We just went over it on Monday.  You should have gotten them Emailed to you as an Alert around 10:46 am.

    Euro/Vedan – $1.38 is a far cry from $1.45.  They haven't been over $1.40 since 2011.  The basis of currency valuations these days is who is the least crazy with the printing presses.  At the moment, it's hard to beat Yellen, who is promising AT LEAST another year of massive QE.  Of course Abe and the BOJ have her beat – that goes without saying but not Draghi, who talks about easing a lot but doesn't do much of it.  So the Euro gets stronger vs the Yen and the Dollar but 5% strong would be a lot – and not good for German exports (making German goods 5% more expensive to German and Japanese customers) – especially since the rest of Europe can't afford the stuff they produce.   I wouldn't play currencies either way the way they are manipulated by the CBs as well as the traders – all this "talk" of $1.45 is more likely just a move to chase a lot of people into the trade right before it reverses (which is what just happened recently in China too).  

  109. Butterfly Portfolio/Phil – Sorry! I was looking for links on the site. Thank you.

  110. Held onto 500 shares of MNKD about $4-5ish, tomorrow will be a double, my guess

  111. Sage, congrats.  You are more courageous than I.  Now, they have to get FDA approval, insurance reimbursement, and then sell it!

  112. So much fun if you haven't seen it: William O'Brian (CEO, B.A.T.S.) vs. Brad Katsuyama & Michael Lewis (authors of "Flash Boys").

  113. That is just so insanely stupid… What's wrong with these people – no jobs is better for you state than good paying union jobs. Do they miss slave labor that much? Just unreal…

    As the vote on Feb. 15th neared, Tennessee Governor Bill Haslam was strongly against the first major bastion of automotive union representation in the American South. The vote ultimately failed. That much is already public knowledge.

    What wasn't public knowledge was that he offered VW $300,000,000 in economic incentives in the months before, along with veiled threats to pull them if the car company didn't go Haslam's way, according to confidential documents obtained by local Tennessee TV station NewsChannel 5.[...]

    But the real big news here is that a sitting governor turned down the chance to offer a major manufacturer huge economic incentives to add jobs in his state, out of fear that those jobs would be, terrifyingly, unionized. The calculation was that something over 1,000 unionized jobs are worse that zero non-unionized jobs.

    And since VW's own labor head still won't support expansion of its US plant without a union, it looks like Haslam traded the future of organized labor in the South in exchange for more jobs.

  114. Hmmm… selective objections to religious exceptions I guess:

    The company's 401(k) plan for employees had $73 million invested companies that make the emergency contraception pills, intrauterine devices and drugs used for abortions, according to documents filed with the Department of Labor in 2012 reviewed by Mother Jones.

  115. STJ--It's not just about "slave-labor". Many Republicans instead have their eyes on the BIG prize, which is suppression of Democratic votes. Breaking unions is one of the most effective ways of achieving that goal. It benefits them if everyone is poor, under-educated, demoralized and, most importantly, unorganized. In many states it's already happening right before our eyes.

  116. Phil,

    Thx for the perspective on ED.

  117. New highs on the Dow, S&P and NYSE! Nasdaq and Russell lagging but working hard to catch up… Still plenty of numbers this week starting with ADP and Factory Orders tomorrow. And the big one Friday with the job situation. 

  118. /NKD
    really protecting 950 line – very small channel. Interesting – perhaps investors aren't aware their chawanmushi is now 2 MM yen

  119. Anybody trying to buy in the morning for the pop?  


    FDA panel recommends approving MannKind's Afrezza • 6:02 PM

    The FDA's advisory committee voted 13-1 to recommend Affrezza be given marketing approval for treating type 1 diabetes, and 14-0 for treating type 2 diabetes. The PDUFA date for the FDA to complete its review of Afrezza is set for April 15.

    MannKind (MNKD) shares were halted all day, and remain halted AH. The company notes Afrezza, if approved, would be "the first ultra rapid-acting mealtime insulin therapy available in the United States."

  120. Hi Phil,
    Any recommendations for a Canadian long term play such as your RIG or LGF play? I would like to start a solid retirement nest egg but live to the north of you and would like to keep the currency in CAD. Greatly appreciate it!

  121. pf
    BCE / RSI

  122. anyone have any thoughts
    on why all the apocalyptic news on Japan has sent the Nikkei through the roof ?

  123. wombat / thanks!

  124. Wombat-CNBC headlines say "upbeat US data" is to blame. What a load of crock.

  125. pf
    np // between the two of them you pretty much own Canadian sports. They've an unusual downdraft, so I would wait a bit and then sell some short puts against either.

  126. cturb
    " update US data ?" on what ? I haven't seen anything except perhaps a strong dollar that would be driving this. /NKD is literally flirting with 15100 as I type. Insane. Tempted to let these run ; I'm out of margin but I'm sitting 7 contracts deep at 1500.
    No sleep tonight.

  127. hi phil — i realy enjoyed the replay of todays webinar — thanks for that.

    question – which service are you using to generate those 20 futures charts you had displayed simultaneously on one page? 

    thnaks for a great site :)

  128. Toepull, those charts are from TDAmeritrade's Thinkorswim platform.

    Wombat, I'm trying to relax with a glass of wine.  You're making me nervous with your 7 contracts and no margin.  Good luck!

  129. Wombat-I agree. I think a lot of us got caught on the wrong side of the trade today. The powers that be may not let up at least until taxes are due!  I shorted some more TSLA after hours even though I'm already way too short. I'm riding the crazy train also. All aboard!

  130. rdn
    no worries mate. I'm sitting here with a glass of Pinot as well. Just watching the fireworks – hoping all the janitors are going to clean up when its over. : > I can't believe that /NKD would close over 15000

    i don't know who your broker is but be careful. TSLA has this habit of 'flipping arrays' which turns your 15% margin into 30% ( assuming you have PM ), so watch your delta.

  131. Time to remember that…

    The Market Can Remain Irrational Longer Than You Can Remain Solvent

  132. Good morning!  

    Speaking of irrational – how about the Nikkei?  /NKD went all the way up to 15,130 and now back to 15,000 – so silly.  Still a good short if it crosses below 15,000 but more scary now that it's been over it.  Now we'll press our EWJ shorts.  

    Our Futures are otherwise pretty flat and oil's still $99.69 so something is off about that API report.  

    There was an 8.2 earthquake in Chili, just off the coast, not too much damage but right by a lot of copper mines so copper is an interesting play over the $3.05 line with very tight stops below as we're likely to get news of a mine or two going off-line for inspections. 

  133. Officially, the Nikkei was up 1% during the session but it was all the gap open from yesterday's rally while we were open.  Hang Seng finished up 0.34% and Shanghai was up 0.55% with India up 0.35% and Singapore down 0.27% – fairly tame responses to our new all-time highs.  

    Asian Stocks Rise Sixth Day as U.S. Manufacturing Expands. Asian stocks rose, with the regional benchmark index extending its winning streak to a sixth day, after an increase in U.S. manufacturing boosted optimism about growth in the world’s biggest economy. Nissan Motor Co., a Japanese carmaker that gets 34 percent of its revenue in North America, added 2.3 percent. Consumer discretionary shares and telecommunication services companies gained the most among the 10 industry groups on the regional index. Goodman Fielder Ltd., a food supplier, slumped 18 percent in Sydney after it cut its fourth-quarter earnings forecast. The MSCI Asia Pacific Index gained 0.3 percent to 138.72 as of 9:26 a.m. in Tokyo as two shares rose for each that fell.

    Japan Pension Fund Buying Could Boost Tokyo Stocks by 5%

    A report that Japan's giant public pension fund will target high-yielding stocks as it overhauls its investment strategy could give Tokyo stocks a much-needed shot in the arm.  With nearly ¥130 trillion ($1.25 trillion) in assets, the Government Pension Investment Fund will tap Goldman Sachs Asset Management and other companies to handle the investments, the report in the Wednesday edition of the Nikkei said. The brokerages are each expected to invest between ¥200 billion and ¥400 billion, concentrating on companies with high return on equity, the Nikkei said.

    China’s Overnight Rate in Longest Rising Streak Since October. China’s overnight money-market rate climbed for a seventh day, the longest stretch in five months, after the central bank drained more cash from financial system. The overnight repurchase rate, a gauge of funding availability among banks, climbed eight basis points, or 0.08 percentage point, to 2.94 percent as of 10:35 a.m. in Shanghai, according to a weighted average from the National Interbank Funding Center. That’s the highest since March 20.

    China Yuan Weakening May Trigger Foreign Debt Risk. Yuan exchange rate depreciation and outflows of capital may trigger an "outbreak" of foreign debt risk, Zhang Monan, a researcher at the China Center for International Economic Exchanges, writes in a commentary. Chinese real estate developers sold large volumes of bonds overseas last year and in the first months of this year, Zhang writes in the newspaper.

    Steel Defaults Seen by S&P as Yuan Ruins Ore Loans: China CreditThe Chinese steel industry’s ability to survive 1 billion yuan ($161 million) of losses per month without more defaults is under threat as a slump in iron ore and the yuan undermines a key source of financing. The currency has weakened 2.5 percent this year and a measure of exchange-rate swings reached a record, prompting Goldman Sachs Group Inc. to predict funding that uses the steelmaking ingredient as collateral will drop over the next two years due to foreign-exchange hedging costs. Iron ore prices fell 11 percent in the past five months as cash shortages at closely held mills prompted what Morgan Stanley says is panic selling.

    Manufacturers Flee Australia

    Just two months after Toyota Motor Corp.--the last major carmaker in Australia--announced plans to pack up, oil giant BP PLC and cigarette-maker Philip Morris International Inc. said they were also scaling back their Australian operations.


    India's Top Court Orders Samsung Chairman to Surrender

    India's Supreme Court ordered Lee Kun-hee, chairman of Samsung Electronics, to come to India to face criminal charges.

    Massive 8.0 quake off Chile coast sparks tsunami. A major earthquake of magnitude 8.0 struck off the coast of Chile on Tuesday, triggering a tsunami that hit the northern part of the country and a tsunami warning for all of South and Central America's Pacific coast.


    • While hundreds of thousands of people have been evacuated from the affected areas, mining operations in the region appear to be relatively unaffected.
    • Companies with interests in the area include Anglo American (AAUKF) and Glencore Xstrata (GLNCY), which operate the huge Collahuasi mine near the border with Bolivia. Workers were evacuated, but the mine doesn't seem to have been damaged. Teck Resources (TCK) and Codelco, the world's biggest copper producer, also own interests in the region.

    Europe is also having a very subdued response to our rally with mixed moves into lunch, up and down between -0.25% and +0.25%.

    • Eurozone Q4 GDP growth has been revised down to 0.2% from a previous estimate of 0.3% and vs 0.1% in Q3. On year GDP +0.5%, as in prior estimate, vs -0.3% in Q3. (PR)
    • PPI -0.2% on month in February vs -0.3% in January and forecasts of -0.1%. On year, PPI -1.7% vs -1.4% and -1.6%. (PR)
    • Markets are also looking forward to an ECB meeting tomorrow, when the bank could ease policy further to combat deflationary risks, and to a U.S. jobs report on Friday.
    • The euro is -0.05% at $1.3786.

    Spain enjoys biggest March unemployment drop in eight years

    • The number of unemployed people in Spain fell 16,620 in March, the largest drop for the month since 2006. The decline was much greater than February's fall of 1,900 and consensus of -5,300.
    • However, the number of unemployed remains high at 4.8M. Still, the falling trend adds to other data indicating that Spain's economy may be slowly recovering.

    SPY 5 MINUTEOur Futures are up a bit less than 0.25% at 5:30.  Dollar is 80.245.

    This Is Where Yesterday's Buying Deluge Came From:  While QE may have tapered to a "measly" 55 billion per month, on just the first day of April risk assets experienced the additional benefit of over two full months of QE injected into the stock market in one single day!  And now you know where today's buying deluge came from.  The flipside, the easy money for the month of April, which as we also noted previously has historically been the best performing month of the year, has now been used up.

    • The House has passed a bill authorizing fairly limited sanctions against Russian and Ukrainian officials involved in corruption and violence, extending $1B in loan guarantees to Ukraine, and providing $150M in direct assistance to the country.
    • With the Senate having passed similar legislation last week, the measure will go to President Obama for his signature.
    • More Ukraine
    • U.S. Gambit on Mideast Peace Talks Falters

      The Obama administration's campaign to forge a Middle East peace deal was near collapse, despite a U.S. move to negotiate the release of a convicted American spy in an effort to win more concessions from Israel.

    • The government has met its goal for signing up 7M people for Obamacare by the end of March, with at least 7.1M people enrolling despite the technical chaos that accompanied the launch of the policy last year and then on Monday.
    • The number could rise further, as people finish the process even though the latest deadline has passed, and it doesn't include complete final-day figures from state exchanges.
    • Critics of the Affordable Car Act say key information is missing, such as how many people have paid premiums, how many already had insurance, and which plans have been bought.
    • Health insurers fear that they will have to sharply raise premiums for 2015 and beyond, as they haven't signed up enough young and healthy people who are less likely to need care.
    • More on Obamacare
    • Health insurers: AETHNTHUMUNHWLPMOH

    If HFT Algos Were People They'd Be Perp Walked

    SEC Has Opened Several HFT Probes


    • PG&E (PCG) has been hit with criminal charges over the 2010 natural-gas explosion in San Bruno in California that killed eight people and destroyed over 100 homes.
    • The utility has been accused of knowingly and willfully violating the Natural Gas Pipeline Safety Act and faces 12 separate charges, including failing to test unstable pipelines, and keeping inadequate records about the pipeline that blew up.


    • The fire following yesterday's blast at a Williams Cos. (WMBWPZ) liquefied natural gas plant in southeast Washington state has burned itself out, and some of the hundreds of people who were evacuated from the area are returning home.
    • The company says initial reports incorrectly stated that the explosion was triggered by a natural gas pipeline rupture.; the blast's cause remains unclear, but it appears to have started within the LNG storage facility at the plant.
    • The plant has been inspected 10 times since 2002 and has enjoyed a relatively clean record.
    • Ocean Power Technologies (OPTT) jumped nearly 9% today after receiving A$5M in initial grant funding from the Australian Renewable Energy Agency.
    • The money is earmarked for Victorian Wave Partners, OPTT's 88%-owned subsidiary, and will help finance construction of a planned wave-power station project off the coast of Australia; the grant also requires OPTT to raise outside funding as well as meeting certain performance milestones.
    • Also, OPTT and the U.S. Energy Department terminate an agreement to deploy one of its PowerBuoys off the coast of Oregon because it was unable to obtain financing to cover “a considerable increase in costs."

    Does Tesla Need a $5 Billion Battery?

    • MannKind (MNKD) investors are quite happy an FDA panel has recommended approving the use of Afrezza to treat both type 1 and type 2 diabetes.
    • The FDA's advisory committee voted 13-1 to recommend Afrezza be given marketing approval for treating type 1 diabetes, and 14-0 for treating type 2 diabetes. The PDUFA date for the FDA to complete its review of Afrezza is set for April 15.
    • MannKind (MNKD) shares were halted all day, and remain halted AH. The company notes Afrezza, if approved, would be "the first ultra rapid-acting mealtime insulin therapy available in the United States."
    • Shares have made new 52-week highs.
    • With demand pressured by PC weakness and SSD cannibalization, Gartner forecasts global hard drive shipments will post a 2.9% CAGR from 2013-2018, growing from 552M units to 635.1M.
    • High-capacity business-critical drives, beloved Web/cloud service providers, are expected to fuel much of the industry's growth by delivering a 25.1% CAGR. Western Digital's (WDC) new Helium drives are aimed in large part at this segment.
    • The market for high-margin performance-optimized drives, where Seagate (STX) has a leading position, is expected to see a -4.9% CAGR. In addition, the segment's ASP is expected to fall 17.1% annually.
    • PC drives are a mixed bag: Sales of 3.5" desktop drives are expected to see a -7% CAGR, but 2.5" mobile/notebook drives are seen growing at a 4.2% annual clip. CAGR forecasts for 2.5" and 3.5" consumer electronics drives are respectively at 4.4% and 2.4%.
    • Though both Seagate and Western have both launched SSDs, Western has been more aggressive at increasing its flash exposure, as evidenced by the sTecVeloBit, and Viridentdeals. Seagate is looking to strengthen its hard drive position through the just-closed Xyratex acquisition. Both firms are pitching 5mm-thin ultra-slim hard drives as an alternative to notebook SSDs.
    • Other companies with strong industry exposure: MRVLLSIHTCHTOSBF
    • Google's (GOOG) services account for 18% of time spent by U.S. consumers on iOS/Android devices, and Facebook's (FB) services 17%, according to analytics firm Flurry's latest stats. Google's figure includes a 4% share for YouTube. Facebook's doesn't yet account for WhatsApp.
    • Pressuring Google's usage share: Web browsing activity, to which search activity is tightly linked, accounts for only 14% of all time spent, down from 20% a year earlier. In addition, half that time is claimed by Apple's Safari, which carries steep search traffic acquisition costs for Google.
    • Google is trying to address the browsing/app issue in part by making its search engine more useful for finding/discovering content within apps. But progress has been gradual.
    • Nonetheless, as noted by Flurry, eMarketer estimates Google accounted for 49% of 2013 global mobile ad spend, well above Facebook's 17.5%. Contributing factors: Google's mobile search (and search ad) hegemony, a solid mobile display ad position, and Android'sdominant position in most international markets.
    • Flurry thinks Twitter (TWTR) has just a 1.5% usage share. It's worth noting comScore estimates Twitter's app was only used by 22.8% of U.S. smartphone users in January. 77.6% used Facebook's core app, and 27.5% Instagram. Five different Google apps were used by over 40% of users.

    Apple in Talks to Buy Chip Designer

    Apple is in talks with Japan's Renesas Electronics about buying a unit that designs power-efficient chips for controlling smartphone and tablet displays.

  134. It can cost over $289,000 for a one-year hot dog stand permit in Central Park.

  135. Up until 1957, there was a pneumatic mail tube system that was used to connect 23 post offices across 27 miles. At one point, it moved 97,000 letters a day.

  136. Oill broke down to 98.90.  Mentally I was short from 101.50….   but that doesn't put $$ in my wallet!