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Non-Farm Friday – Our Economy Is Not Working

When is a job not a job?  

When the job sucks!  We've all had crappy jobs in our lives – something we stay in to pay the bills but has no chance of being a career.  As you can see from the chart on the right, a lot of career Government jobs have disappeared over the past 4 years – the kind of jobs that held advancement and retirement and health benefits.

They have been replaced by Retail, Food Service and "Adminstrative and Waste Services" – ie., minimum wage jobs.  That's why, when the GOP puts up charts with minimum wage data, they tend to have old data.  The newer the data is, the worse the picture looks and the harder it is to spin into the "job creator" mythology.  

Look at what America, your country, is turning into.  Don't you care?  If not for yourself, what about your children and grandchildren who are growing up in the "service economy" we feared we would become in the 80s, when we first began to export all of our manufacturing overseas?  

Don't be fooled by the employment numbers today, the vast majority of the growth (if any) is concentated in the worst possible jobs.  One lost Government or Manufacturing job paying $30 an hour has to be replaced by 3 to 4 minimum wage jobs just to keep consumer purchasing power even.

But it's not even, is it?  Even then, disposable income drops off a cliff as more and more of a person's minimum wage goes to simply trying to stay alive long enough to show up for work the next day.  That's why the ultra-capitalists are taking over Health Care, Energy, Waste Management, Water Systems – the things you can't live without and have no choice but to pay up for – no matter how poor you are.  They have you by the throat and they can squeeze and squeeze until they have every last dime that you do manage to scrape together – that's the game of American Capitalism.  

And who do they attack?  The powerless, the disenfranchised, the people in society politicians don't care about – women!  That's right, women make up 64.5% of all minimum wage workers and most of them (33%) are women 25 and older – not the teenagers the GOP would have you believe they are.   

These are women who are trying to support themselves, trying to support their families – and are simply more accepting than men of degrading jobs and less apt than men to assert themselves and demand higher wages or promotions as well as being less likely to be promoted or have their salaries raised in a clearly sexist system where any woman makes and average of 25% less than a man in the same profession.  

Thank goodness for the MINIMUM wage or they'd have women working for $5 an hour or less doing the same jobs at the same Retail, Food, Admistrative and Waste jobs that we are replacing real jobs with these days.  So, it is with bated breath that we await the Non-Farm Payroll number at 8:30 but it won't matter whether we create 150,000 crappy jobs or 300,000 crappy jobs – we're still 14M jobs in the hole and it would take 3 years at 300,000 just to get back to where Bill Clinton left us (4%).

At 6.5%(ish), Obama has now improved our unemployment picture by 3.5% from where it topped out during the recession – that's actually better than Clinton at this point.  But the QUALITY of the jobs isn't the same and so we have 0.1% GDP growth despite the "improving" jobs picture.  Not only that but the main reason unemployment is dropping is that our workforce is shrinking – as 6 years of slow growth in the real economy have simply led many people to dial-down their lifestyle and give up on the Amercican Dream – and there will be Hell to pay when it comes time for people to retire, as 40% of US families have NOTHING saved up at all:

8:30 Update:  288,000 jobs!  Unemployment down to 6.3%!  Sounds good, right?  It's at the top of our expectred range and 50% higher than what was expected by leading economorons, who are paid to follow this stuff.  I already told our Members in this morning's Alert that below 350,000 would spike us higher but then will present a shorting opportunity.  In the Futures, it's at Nasdaq 3,600 (/NQ), Dow 16,550 (/YM), S&P 1,885 (/ES) and Russell 1,130 (/TF).  Oil, as you know from yesterday's post, we're shorting at $100 (/CL) – that already paid off very nicely yesterday.  

Underneath the fluff of the headline number, we have 806,000 people giving up on the labor force – that's why the Unemployment Rate is down to 6.3%, 806,000 people out of 155.4M is half a percent right there!  You won't here that from the MSM though, because their sponsors want you to think everything is great so you can whip out your credit card and BUYBUYBUY!  

Average hourly earnings fell off a cliff since last month, from 2.3% to 1.9% year/year.  Do you really think 1.9% is keeping people up with inflation?  If people are only making 1.9% more money – even if they spent every penny of it, then how much more revenues could our Corporate Masters make?  That's right, less than 2% – and that's being reflected in Q1 revenue reports.  Earnings are a bit better, though.  And why?  Because they are paying their workers less!  See how great Capitalism can be when you "work it"?  

That's why, yesterday, Personal Spending was up 0.9% in March, while Personal Income was only up 0.5%.  That means consumers are digging themselves 0.4% further in a hole in order to keep up appearances and, of course, keep in mind that 90% of that 0.5% rise in income went to the top 20% (and most of that to the top 5%).  

The bottom 80% still have miles to go before their Real Household Incomes even get back to where they were when Bill Clinton left office.  Raising the minimum wage would go a long way towards fixing that but, since those excess profits would drain away from the outsized income gains captured by our Corporate Masters and since our Corporate Masters already control one branch of Congress and the Supreme Court – don't count on it.  

That's why, I remind our Members to make sure they work hard to get into the top 1% – because it really, really sucks to be excluded from that club in this country!  

Have a great weekend, 

- Phil


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  1. Oil Lines

    R3 – 101.13
    R2 – 100.51
    R1 – 99.98
    PP – 99.36
    S1 – 98.83
    S2 – 98.21
    S3 – 97.68

  2. The truck construction indicator:

    Sales of pickup trucks are often a sign of strength or weakness in the small business and construction sector as these types of businesses are the most common users of these vehicles.  With that in mind, today's numbers from Ford (F) for the month of April continue to suggest strength in that sector.  For the month of April, Ford sold 63,387 F-series trucks, which represents the best April since 2006.  It is also slightly above the April average of 61K dating back to 1996.

  3. Wow, 6.3% and 288K….More tapering on the way!

  4. hi phil dam you are good 288 spike and fade

    now what bullish at ym 16500?


  5. As expected, spike up is a shorting opportunity (see post for levels).  Tight stops if over but shorting the laggard on the way down is the plan.  Also, /NKD 14,600!  

    Watch the Dollar, popped to almost 80 but the reality is the Civilian Labor Force declined by 806,000 with the Labor Force Participation Rate hitting a new all-time low at 62.8%.  In fact (table A-9) there's 2M more households in America since last year and only 62,000 new jobs in the civilian labor force!  

  6. Good Morning!

  7. re: /TF, I kinda want to short here, but it seems /TF has been behaving very differently from the others recently, I've been burned on it a few times when it goes up 1% while /ES and /YM flat.  I wonder what's driving that.  But it does look soft, maybe back down to 1120

  8. Good morning!

    Putting Cramer in a suit not helping much this morning – futures shorts all very, very nice!  

    Still, lock in small profits and we can re-short the laggard on the next breakdown (16,450, 1,875, 3,575 and 1,120 and 14,500 on /NKD).  The volume is going to be super-low today, so easy to manipulate the indexes up and down violently for those inclined to do so. 

    Oil testing $99.50 – I lose my enthusiasm for shorting here.  It's like gravity, $99.50 is the base-line so below it we tend long and above it short but, at the line – it could go either way – so why risk it?  

    Silver topped out at $19.25 (/SI) but back to $19.15 now.  Copper $3.035 says the World Economy is SLOW, gold $1,285 is the new normal, nat gas just popped off $4.70 to $4.75 and way too unpredictable at $1,000 per penny.  Gasoline (/RB) hit our goaaaaaaaaaaaaaaalllll at $2.95 with a spike to $2.955 and now back to $2.938 and, like oil, it's the gravity point and I only like the long at $2.92.

    Best signal we're likely to have today is the Dollar getting weaker letting you know it's a good time to short /NKD – already failing 14,550.  

  9. Pharm, I'm in the SGYP short May 5 puts and 5 – 7.5 BCS you called awhile ago, it's been fairly flat but position is doing quite OK because of the premium burn; has there been any news from them recently?  Any adjustments, or just keep riding the premium forward on the short puts?


  10. I should say the July 5 – 7.5 BCS on SGYP

  11. SGEN-beat on eps by .07, beat on revs so naturally stock is down 11% WTF?

  12. SGEN taking it on the chin….someone wants in….so sock it to the retail holders.

    SGYP – a read out just came out….and that was the one we were playing.  I did not thing for the stock, so we will wait and see how this one goes. 

  13. ECYT…..BOOM!

  14. I'm wondering if the market has decided to be less forgiving about high multiples.  Companies like TASR, IRBT, SGEN, these seem like great companies with great fundamentals and great prospects, it's just the multiple is too high.  Almost seems like it doesn't matter what they say in the earnings reports.

  15. Biotechs in general are getting hit again……PCYC is down almost 10% as well.

  16. Any advice for those who sold SGEN Jun $35 puts? Just hang in and wait for the dust to settle and manipulators to make their plays, or do we add, or bail? I have loved this stock for a while, so I would be happy to own it, unless there is some news out there we are missing. 

  17. Trucks/StJ – That's being thrown off by Ford's new F-150, which gets 20mpg vs about 14 for old models.  Saving about 500 gallons a year at $3.50 is $1,750 or about $150 a month, which justifies buying a new truck so F is selling 7.5% more trucks this year and other manufacturers are also improving mileage (because they have to as part of the Government mandates) and then you have the lagging replacement factor where trucks simply get old.  If you assume that a "normal" year has 70,000 trucks sold, then having 5 years below 50,000 means there's 100,000 very old trucks on the road.  Even if those people drag their feet for 5 more years, it's still going to add 20,000 trucks a year to the "normal" cycle.  So I don't think that indicator means anything for the economy – not at 63,000 anyway.

    Like a lot of economic indicators – they work great when all other factors are equal – but they rarely are.  It's like Buffett's cardboard box index – it used to tell us when US business was picking up but now it just tells us AMZN delivers a lot of cardboard boxes.  

    Bullish/Tommy – No thanks, more of a watch and wait day.  If we get back to the spikes and fail, I'll like the shorts again but, as I said above – the volume is too low and the indexes too easy to manipulate today.  

    Very true, Pharm.  Oddly though, that's why I still have all AAPL stuff – I pick up a phone or a tablet in the mall or from my friends and go right to PSW and other web sites, where I'm familiar with the loading speeds and, if there were something better – I'd buy it – because that's all I really give a damn about.  There isn't.  

    I still think the major manufacturers are missing a niche as I'd be perfectly happy with a nice black and white display like the old Macs used to have.  It would use a lot less power and probably perform better and, I imagine, allow for a lighter tablet too.  Kindle's got the Paperwhite, which is nice (and under $200) but it's not fast and has no storage (2gb) – the battery lasts 8 weeks!  Something with more power and memory like that would be cool.  

    Multiples/Pwright – I've been expecting that to drain out for a while.  Still, it's an overreaction for the companies who can back up the multiples with actual growth.  You just have to be more selective in your picks and more patient in your holdings as things will not go straight up anymore.  

    SGEN/Craigs – I thought earnings were fine.  They burned $16.3M and they have $350M in cash and indications are that their drugs are on track.  Not sure what people thought they would say but they are just getting interesting to me.  The 2016 $25 puts are $4 so, even if the stock finishes at $31, that's your roll and, if you don't REALLY want to own the stock at net $25 – why the F were you selling June $35 puts?  

  18. SGEN/Phil- I did say in my post that I would like to own the stock but was asking if anyone here had advice or knowledge that would indicate otherwise. So, would you advise me to sit back and wait or roll to the 25's and if so when is the best time to do that? I am still unsure of timing and when to pull the trigger on rolls. Also since it seems that it is rare that the shares get assigned, if we do fall below the strike and we want to own the shares, do they get assigned at expiration? From all I have read about this company, there is tremendous potential for a home run here if we are patient and wait for them to develop their pipeline.

  19. SGEN/Phil- I did say in my post that I would like to own the stock but was asking if anyone here had advice or knowledge that would indicate otherwise. So, would you advise me to sit back and wait or roll to the 25's and if so when is the best time to do that? I am still unsure of timing and when to pull the trigger on rolls. Also since it seems that it is rare that the shares get assigned, if we do fall below the strike and we want to own the shares, do they get assigned at expiration? From all I have read about this company, there is tremendous potential for a home run here if we are patient and wait for them to develop their pipeline.

  20. craigsa620/ re:  SGEN  I sold the June 35p's and my net is $33.20 so why worry?  Yup it could go down to $31 like Phil says.  I'll worry about that later when the dust settles.

  21. craigsa620 and Phil re: SGEN, I was thinking that one thing you could do, would be to just let the June 35s sit and, if still below 35 at expiration, it'll be put to you, then you sell, say, the Sept 35 covered calls (now $4.50 or $5.00), if by Sept you're over 35 and called away, you'll be out and up all the premium you sold on both the short puts and calls.  But I guess if the stock really tanked from here, that would be more risky than a roll to farther out and lower down.  Phil, what do you think about the relative benefits of those?  Is my thinking screwy on this one?  Or I guess it's just a question of how aggressive you want to be..

    Many thanks

  22. SGEN/craig – we have been playing them since 12.70 in 2011.  They remain one of my favorite plays in biotech with their breadth of treatments in cancer.  They are a biotech, and will remain volatile.

    Let June $35s sit.  I am not worried at this point.

  23. Pharm, what spread do you like for SGEN at this time.  It looks like a good time to establish a position.

  24. Hi Phil Time to short WYNN up to 220 today possible top for the suckers to buy stock!

  25. I have to apologize, as I have  been slacking on my posts.  Things are very crazy at the start up (not really as start up anymore), but I am trying to keep abreast of what is happening in the industry as a whole.  Many of the companies that went public over the past year are crap, and that does not bode well from an industry standpoint.  So, it is time to be nimble and prepare for the 'correction' that Phil and others have been warning of.  When, IDK, but it will happen.

    That being said, Pharma is in a world of hurt.  All big companies need to fill their pipelines (hence the PFE AZN mega merger proposal), and they are turning to smaller companies and funding companies (like mine) to do just that.  SGEN is right now, on sale IMHO.  PLX is a great buy at these levels.  CRIS cheap…..EPZM needs one more fall and I will buy the stock.  BMRN is a screaming buy.  GILD is best in class. BMY is also stellar for income, but expensive now.  There is a huge rotation in the industry, and we need to let the dust start to settle. 

  26. Pharm, what was that stock that you Loved that made something revolutionary.  It was the next big thing.  I think you posted it, or someone posted it as a Q to you.  

    Also, do you like the spreads on GILD that I'm doing for 0.50credit.  Like the short 62.5's, long 65/80 bull call?  

  27. Spreads now, I would buy the Jan15 30s and sell June or July 40 or 45s for premium.  Or buy the stock and sell the noted June or July's.

  28. Speaking of earnings – let's see how yesterday's ideas are doing:

    • LNKD June $180 calls fell from $4.60 to $2.50 – losing exactly the $2 we thought they would on a miss.  It's the guidance that's hurting them.  Jefferies (one of the only firms I respect) just upped their expectations from .71 to $1.29 and put a $280 target on them this morning so I like accepting the $2 loss and selling the 2016 $100 puts for $9 ($10 margin) and using that to pick up the 2016 $150/175 bull call spread for $10, which is net $1 or net $3 with the loss on the $25 spread that's $3.90 in the money.  

    That's how you win either way on earnings – find a stock you REALLY WANT to make a long-term bullish play on and make a short-term bullish play that you can adjust on a miss to a better long-term discount than you would have had if you fully committed ahead of earnings.  

    • AKAM is an instant winner on the Jan $55/65 bull call spread at $3.40 (now $3.70) with the short 2016 $45 puts at $5.40 (now $4.95) for a net $1.25 credit from the original $2 credit (up 37% but on track). 

    SGEN/Craigs – It's not a stock I follow closely, too many vectors in Biotech for me to keep track of.   When I play biotechs, I treat them all like a coin flip, so all I care about is whether the risk outweighs the reward.  SGEN had very steady interest from $20 to $50 but now back to $35 is a 50% retrace of a great run.  To me, you have a bunch of scientists with a lot of cash and less debt – that's worth something right there.   They already have $300M in sales and that's up from $100M in 2011 but no profits yet.  Pushing things through trials is expensive but, as we know, the rewards can be great though this is where I raise the flag because I just don't follow the pros and cons of each drug in development.  What I'm saying is, if you have reason to believe in their pipeline, then the company is in solid shape and, unless something catastrophic has happened (like a rejection or bad study or adverse effect or cheaper competitor getting approved), then you should just roll along until you hit rock bottom and then sell more puts (assuming no changes) and lower your base until it finally pops on either an approval or a rumor of an approval or a buyout (or rumor of one).  All of which can happen easily in this sector.  

    The assignment is a non-issue – no one is going to blow off 10% premium to assign you shares -they can just sell the shares without giving up the puts.  

    SGEN/Pwright – I think the stock is at $34.86 AFTER disappointing earnings, so this conversation about worrying about June $35 puts is about as silly a conversation as I've had in a long time.  cheeky

    See, and Pharm likes them and HE know what he's talking about so again – it's an OPPORTUNITY to buy if you are a value investor – rather than one of those people who panics just because other people are.  

    Since you can sell the 2016 $25 puts for $4.20 and buy the $30/40 bull call spread for $4.50, I'd go with net 0.30 on the $10 spread that's $4.85 (1,516%) in the money to start and your worst case is you own them for 30% lower than they're trading at now.  

    WYNN/Yodi – I need to read the report.  

  29. Oh, sorry – and the other way you win on earnings is DON'T PLAY AHEAD OF EARNINGS and WAIT for an opportunity to buy good deals like LNKD or SGEN when they sell off more than you think they should have!  

  30. GILD/burr – fine by me.

    PLX most likely.  They have the ability to make all the things BMRN, Genzyme, and other protein companies do at a fraction of the cost……what's not to like a bout that.  They are picking the low hanging fruit right now.  I see them as a biosimilar company that can do things for pennies on the dollar.

  31. Dollar nose-dived to 79.60, which helped the indexes back up but still failing at our shorting lines except the RUT (1,135 now and I still like taking short pokes here on /TF). 

    Gold blasted to $1,295 and silver $19.50 but oil just laying there – it knows it's whipped.  

    Check out the Euro – $1.386 to $1.381 and back to $1.386 in two hours – SHAMEFUL!  

  32. Pharm – Is this the dog medicine company that uses meds that the FDA didn't approve?

  33. phil/es 1885 — you're friggin incredible! big thank you!

  34. Burr – PETX is the vet CO.  They are a good buy in here as well. Fallen back to earth.

  35. craigsa620   I see you are new here, so I'll be the teacher.  First of all, shares get assigned all the time. Never sell a put, if you are not ultimately prepared to own the stock. If SGEN is $34.99 on June opex day the shares will be put to you, but you still have the premium you sold the options for. You keep that no matter what.  So, why did you sell the put?  Because Pharm said it was a good company and you did your research and found out they have a great pipeline. If you believe in that, eventually you will want to be long some way in order to capture the upside, either buy owning the stock or as suggested the long calls or a bull call spread. 

    Oh, and what Phil said.  (haha)

  36. Expedia lower on conservative outlook; Priceline near breakeven • 10:45 AM

    Though Expedia (EXPE -2.7%) beat Q1 estimates on the back of solid bookings growth, the company reiterated guidance for 13-16% full-year adjusted EBITDA growth on its CC (transcript), while adding "the vast majority" of the growth will happen in 2H14.

    Moreover, when asked by Deutsche's Ross Sandler whether hotel room night growth (24% Y/Y in Q1 and 25% in Q4) could accelerate to 30%+ in Q2 given an "easy comp" for Hotwire (the business struggled in Q2 last year) and a shift in Easter's timing from Q1 to Q2, CFO Mark Okerstrom chose to punt. "Well, I would say that Hotwire is actually a headwind for us until Q3 … we don't expect that Q2 is a particularly easy comp for us on the bottom line."

    Priceline (PCLN -0.1%), which is near breakeven in spite of Expedia's decline, has been providing tough competition for Hotwire in the opaque travel bookings space. Its Q1 report arrives on May 8.

    Expedia's gross bookings rose 29% Y/Y in Q1 to $12.6B, an improvement from Q4's 21% clip and Q3's 15%. U.S. bookings rose 35% to $7.43B, and international bookings 21% to $5.2B. Room nights +24% with a 10% drop in revenue/night, air tickets sold +30% with a 1% increase in airfare.

    Heavy online ad spend led sales/marketing expenses to grow 26% to $624.7M (52% of revenue). The Travelocity deal boosted room night growth by 3%, and air ticket growth by 18%.

  37. Equities  sell program pushed ES down 10 points in 2 mins

  38. that was a nice ride down on the futures.  From 16550 to 16460 on /YM.  Really liking trading that futures index.

  39. The SGEN -25P +30/40 bcs filled at 0.00 for me.  I'm also layering orders in that are -.25, -.50, -1.00, -1.50 in case they go lower to lower my cost basis.  just fyi.

  40. Dollar turning back up.  /TF seems like the laggard here, up .5% while the other indexes are flat.  Ridiculous volume.

  41. Thanks to all for the teaching ! I made a bunch of money last year in biotech by accident. I am here to learn what to do when that can't be done. 

  42. Also got the SGEN 25 short puts, going to try the BCS as a calendar, long 2016 30s and short Sept 35s, see how it goes.

    Burrben, at risk of yet another story, our daughter was also early, about 5 weeks, pretty stressed out at the time.  But all's great now, she's 6 and I can hardly keep up !

    Hey Phil, who you callin silly :)

  43. Phil to be clear I am not worrying about the company or the stock, I am trying to learn how to play options and was asking if there was a need to adjust. Also earnings were a beat by .07, I believe, so I did question why the drop. 

  44. Blurr / selloff:   What are you ( and rest of the group) thinking, after a night…sell of a good portion of the portfolio and wait?

  45. Oil 100.10.  NKD dropped off a 140pt cliff.  

  46. craigsa620   email me at and I will be happy to answer any questions offline.

  47. ~~advill

    Your comments sell off Your are addressing the group. Am I the only one thinking you are talking in riddles? What do you want to close or sell??

  48. …and who is Blurr…..

  49. Wow, someone just moved a 5K lot of the SGEN June 50/40 P combo.  Not sure if it was sold or bought.


    Any Update  


    May 1st, 2014 at 10:23 pm |

    It appears that the cockpit tapes of Malaysian Air Flight 370 were doctored by the Malaysian government before being released to the media.  They appear to have cut out pieces of pilot speech.  China will not be pleased if this turns out to be true.

  51. SDS / Phil .. would you consider adding some June SDS call spreads now we are coming off the highs again ..and SDS is under $28? Thanks

  52. Sorry is Burr not Blurr,  Yesterday Yodi, was a comment saying that he was in the idea of selling positions instead of having them hedged, for my surprise Phil said it could be a good idea ( and somebody asked about uprooting our trees..etc).

    I was thinking that in my night and well, asking the others who shared the idea what they think today.

  53. SGEN/Pharm  June 50/40 puts appear to be closing a profitable trade

  54. advill

    I commentented yesterday on this and I still feel that taking profits and holding cash is a smart move. With transaction cost very low why take a chance. Today looks worse than yesterday and I expect a sellof by Wednesday that could turn into a significant correction. Reasons are oil keeps building, can't be sold, and there is no GNP!

  55. The few stocks I have were covered by ITM puts from the outset.  This limits my loss to around 5% max if left to expiry but also allows me to sell puts and calls against them in the meantime to make up the difference while collecting the dividends and all in a pension account.

  56. TASR  becoming a better deal

  57. Gritted my teeth and added some QUIK.

    "Frequently wrong, rarely in doubt."

    Scottmi – Sorry I didn't see your question yesterday.  If you give me your email, I'll send you some information.  Too lengthy to post here.

  58. Sorry Shadow i read yesterday very late and missed it was you. actually I think  like you at something has to fail somewhere in this net  but taking the fear into action is still a point specially when I have positions where if I cash out will take losses…but a calculated one.

  59. twitter feed attn: Jabo

    AT&T and NFLX


  60. You're welcome Toe.  

    And what Stockbern said I said.  surprise

    Worry/Craigs – That's good, I'm just saying not to.  

    TLT head-faked down but now $112.50. 

    /NKD/Burr – That's why we don't like to wait for the move down, by the time it's obvious, you missed it!  As I said before, Dollar drop leads to Nikkei pop – one of the easiest to call pairs on the board.  

    SDS/DM – Sure, they still make a good hedge.  Our last SDS hedge (Monday) was the June $28/32 bull call spread at $1, selling F 2016 $13 puts for $1.05 for a net 0.05 credit.  The spread is now 0.65 and the F puts are .98 so still a good combo.  

    TASR/Stock – We'll see if they can hang on to $15 next week. 

    Now, back to WYNN – It was a good Q with $2.32 in earnings, 14.3% better than last year.  Estimates were for $2.11, so a 10% beat.  I don't like the fact that they are "adjusted" earnings, which exclude the opening costs of their new Macau hotel.  Why wouldn't they also exclude the opening revenues, since more people come to big openings so, that too should be tossed out….  Las Vegas revenues declined so it's all Macau for Wynn and heavily relying on the fact (as I keep saying) that they have a new hotel there and people like new things.  

    Table games win in the mass market category was $300.7 million, up 23.7% year over year. Moreover, the mass market table games win rate was 43.4%, higher year over year as well as sequentially.

    That's the kind of thing that can turn around as luck is not consistent.

    Table games turnover in the VIP segment went up 26.7% from the prior-year period to $36.0 billion due to an improvement in the market. Though VIP table games win rate (based on turnover) of 2.79% was below the year-ago level of 3.14%, it was within the expected range of 2.7% to 3.0%.

    So they were LUCKY in the mass-market segment.  

    Wynn Resorts’ revenues from Las Vegas operations declined 1.5% year over year to $380.9 million due to weak casino revenues. Net casino revenues declined 11.9% from the prior-year period to $155.3 million. Table games win percentage was 20.7%, lower than 26.7% in the prior-year quarter as well the expected range of 21.0% to 24.0%.

    However, room revenues were up 12.6% to $103.1 million, thanks to improved average daily rate and occupancy rate. During the quarter, RevPAR was up 12.6%, benefiting from a 500 bps increase in occupancy rate and a 6.2% rise in ADR. In the first quarter, EBITDA margin declined 210 bps to 29.0%.

    I think there's no doubt that WYNN is a solid casino operator with great strength and they have another $4Bn casino coming on line in 2016 but, at the moment, they have a current p/e of 26, which means they need to earn $8.30 per share this year and they are on-track for that per this Q (excluding items), but that's only up 15% from $7.24 last year and 10% from $6.60 the year before.  

    This is where the law of large numbers kicks in because adding one casino to 3 makes for easy 30% growth but adding one casino to 4 only leads to 25% growth, etc.  So it will be very hard for WYNN, long-term, to keep people happy with a 20+ p/e, – especially since casinos do have bad luck and miss once in a while (WYNN missed by 4% in the June Q last year and fell about 20%.  They topped out at $250 in March so I'm not anxious to short them at $220 but I would love to get short on them again between $220 and $250.  

    Best to wait until next week, though.  

  61. Advill,

    Closing a forest of trees is always a difficult decision. There are many ways to plant a new tree and you find we started various port with tree ideas. In principal what happens today or even in the next six month should not effect your forest very much. Stj mention the other day he is looking for leap calls with a delta of a range of .80, being closer to the stock value. I like the leap call spread to have a ratio more or less 2/1 meaning say your long call cost you 10$ I am looking for a caller of 5$ possible still selling a putter for 3$ so you do have the opportunity to make up the shortfall by selling monthly callers. In a drop you will always win on the monthly caller and the tree combo is still one to two years in the future. Obviously you would not enter a spread if the stock is on top of the ladder.

    By closing the tree you will in one or the other way give back a lot of premium you received.

    In principal I inclined to hang on to the trees and swing with them. For an example I held the stock of V when they started at about 71$ have a look where they now. Regret I sold the stock when it was 100$

    A stock like visa will not disappear from the face of the earth just now. Obviously an option expires, against a stock having lost value at a drop, you will only have a loss if you sell.

    I give you an other example I hold DB bought the stock quite some time back for a bout 55$ during the holding time I have seen that stock go down to some 32$ and up again to about 50$ but never reached 55$ so far, but I have made a packet with them trading the options during the years. The div. was just a cherry on the top. So sitting on cash can be good but you tie your hands to make more money. So it's for every one a different decision.

  62. Take YELP for example Yesterday every one was thinking they will reach the shy. This morning before everyone woke up I sold the Jun14 65caller for 5.50 for some it will be a healthy profit for a day as all the suckers have sobered up but I give them a chance and see how the option will expire. Obviously my trade is not naked and a gain covered by long spreads. Could as well have bought a put. But I wanted to see the cash in my hand here. So again every one deals a different hand. Look at Phil's analyzes of WYNN I called to short at 220 Phil is more conservative. Here again by buying a put you only can lose what you paid for. Again an individual decision.  

  63. QUIK/albo – please.  scottmi @ gmail dot com

  64. Phil, On the SGEN spread you discussed, you can also sell the June 40 call for $1.10, resulting in a $.85 credit. ( I took this position. Thank you)

  65. I agree with Yodi on closings but with this caveat.  We expect the market to go up, at most, 20% in a good year.  Last year the market went up 35%, which is 1 year ahead of even the best curve.  This year, we have all of our bullish portfolios with 10-15% gains in a single quarter.  If these gains are the "new normal", then we miss very little by cutting down our whole 120% forest and going back to cash.  We can "re-plant" any time and go back to making 20% a year on our money and, in fact, since we know how to make 40% in a 20% up market, we can certainly be more aggressive with our new trades.  

    IF however, this is a top and the market pulls back 20% from here, then our 120% cash can buy 120% back of the SAME STOCKS we just sold and, then, if the market recovers a normal 10%, we will have 132% vs 100% because we decided it was "too risky" to cash out.   That's game theory.  

    If the market goes up from 120% to 140%, our cash will be 120% and we will miss 20% of the gains.  If the market goes down from 120% to 100%, we are 32% better off.  Since our cash won't prevent us from getting back in far ahead of a 20% gain – it's smarter to take the profits now – ESPECIALLY if we don't have 80% or better faith that the market is about to break over it's all-time highs and ramble on for another 20% gain this year.  

    So CASH!!!! is still the best move – in my opinion.   And, of course, when in doubt – sell half!  

  66. PS – it's very disturbing to see TLT fly up to $113.  Someone is panicking into cash and it sure isn't me buying TBills!  

  67. Yodi!  Thanks for your time, yes, uprooting is difficult, my problem is that I have a erosion in value of some hedge positions TZA, EDZ, FAZ which now have in some cases -30% ….and they are comparative important to rest of the portfolio, so my dilemma now is selling stock that has minuses and they seem no way to recover  as MVO, ARR, LQMT ( a big loss here) etc.

    But my problem is that my hedges losses are now superior than my possible risk.

    Phil answered already..

  68. T – Anyone have any info on what T is doing today?  Reminiscent of the flash crash…I wish I had caught that move 

  69. Good adjustment ZTen.  

    Dow down 100 now in the Futures, 16,450 is a good place to take the money and run off our morning shorts.  Now we revert to our secondary set, which was (at 9:24) 16,450, 1,875, 3,575 and 1,120 and 14,500 on /NKD - but /NKD already gave up another 100 to 14,400, so be careful there too.  Nas is over at 3,586 and RUT at 1,126 – so let's watch those.  

    Dollar 79.58.  Gold over $1,300 on sanctions talk. 

    Putin taking my advice and calling for a meeting of the UN Security Council – very clever!  I would have fun being an evil dictator…

    Hedges/Advill – Never set out to cover more than 1/2 your losses.  Also, try to allow yourself to lose 5% before your hedges kick in (in other words, don't cover so close to the money).  Watch what we do with the STP/LTP – for one thing, the STP is 1/5th the size of the LTP, our DXDs, for example, are only going to make $12K on a drop – that's nothing against a $500K portfolio with $50K in gains to protect but we're confident we can adjust further if the markets fall more than 5%.   So that's another thing, you don't have to cover for more than a 10% drop in one day – there are market breaks and the chance of having an event like that are low enough that you can self-insure the highly unlikely additional 10% drop.  

    T/Cdel – Why, what do you think they are doing?   I don't see anything unusual. 

    XRT, on the other hand, tried to spike us out at the open but is now back to $84.  

  70. Hedges / Phil   So your opinion is that having an oversize hedge ( as I have) with TZA, EDZ and FAZ is smarter to take the loss (big) and seek something else?

  71. Burrr / NKD
    Bought 2 tickets last night and went to sleep – hows that for cojones ; >

    Phil / CZR
    Your favorite topic – the fly. So, the $$ generator ( the Mays ) are 14 days away and well in the money. Actually at the magic 75%, where you had mentioned to roll b/c you get the best rolls.
    So, I know you said to just leave these, but does that mean let them expire ( both puts and calls ) or is the intention to roll them along ?

    Albo / QUIK
    Don't feel too bad – you have company

    Not getting ANYTHING filled today. Goin for a walk.

  72. same here very little fills,    plus its 79 here in Texas, We dont too many of those. Gotta get out for a bit.

  73. Wombat, my two cents on CZR you need to really wait on this until the last day Look how they have changed in the last weeks. This play is to be repeated on the May exp. for an other set against the leap play.

  74. Hedge/Advill – I don't know what the hedge is but no, at this point (the point of maximum pain), it would be tragic to take a loss on your hedges just before the market tanks.  A loss is a loss but now you have a base to work from and you need to get smarter about your hedges.  

    Consider if you have a $500K portfolio, like our LTP, and it's up $55K and your hedges (the LTP) are down $10,000 (STP) and were designed to give you $20,000 in downside protection.  

    Here's the part that people have trouble getting their heads around – the $55,000 you made on the LTP is a hedge now!   You started with $500K and your goal was to make 10-20% for the year.  Here we are in April and it's up $55,000 – best bet is to just go on vacation and start with $550,000 next year.  

    Since you now have $555,000 AND some bad hedges in the STP, you can roll the hedges in the STP a lot more cheaply than you originally bought them for and hedge the hedges since you also have $55,000 of cushion on the longs.  

    Buying time is cheaper than buying position, so it depends on the mix but we spent .45 x 60 ($2,700) to roll the DXD May $27s to the July $28s.  We gave up ground to buy time and we don't care about that 5% difference because it's only 1.5% on the Dow and our LTP is up 11.5% now and we don't need protection above 10%.  

    You have to accept the fact that the market WILL go up and down and sometimes you'll be ahead and sometimes behind.  If you only cash in when you're ahead and adjust when you are behind – you will do well.   If you stop out when you  are behind and refuse to cash out when you are ahead – you will only be able to stop when you have nothing left.  Get it?  

    Ouch – markets tipping lower again.  Dollar 79.50 not helping.  

  75. Hedges/advill – I've struggled (and cursed) with TZA on many occasions trying to use it as a hedge that just kept failing to perform much when needed. Of late, managing it better now I (hope) always rolling the longs out to be no less than 60 days out and nearer covers on it most always. latest addition to my TZA hedge and what I have been happy with so far is: on 4/23 bot Oct $15 call, sold Jun $22 call for net 2.42.  Basically looked for a 45~60 day out cover to sell that would neutralize theta loss (get slightly positive) while I hold the long "insurance." When the June expires (without a crash) will roll long out another couple months, and sell another 45~60 day out cover…so right now, this insurance is 'paying me" while I wait.

  76. Yodi / CZR
    Understood. Thats what I was asking b/c usually we roll at the 75% / 30 day rule to get the best prices. So, I'm hearing that flys are different in that respect.
    How are you feeling ?

  77. Wombat / NKD – excellent!  I did the same with only one contract around 14550 with a stop out of 14610.  Very wide since I believe in the trade, but I'm still trading from the hospital.  

    I caught the move off /CL around 100.05 down to 99.80.  I was waiting for 99.50 (where my profit taker was set) but it didn't hit, so I just bailed.  

  78. STP only down 6.6% now.  33% improvement on this little dip means we must be doing something right.  

    CZR/Wombat – It's different in a butterfly because we sold both sides, so we're not too concerned with rolling.  We sold the May $20 puts and calls for $3.20 and CZR is at $18.50 so we're up $1.70 if we leave them alone (but it costs us $2.55 to move them now!) and CZR finishes at $18.50 and better if closer to $20.  In either case, we will roll the losing side (currently the short puts) to a longer spread, probably the June $20 puts and calls, now $3.20, and drop another $1.70 in our pockets.  If we pick up $1.70 a month in premium for the next 20 months on 10 contracts, that's $34,000 we can make by NOT touching the contracts until they run out of premium against our $8,400 long position for a return of 300% plus whatever is left on the longs.  

    You don't need to overthink and overtrade when you are presented with such a steady, simple way to make money.  The point of these trades is to teach people to LEAVE THINGS ALONE and let the inexorable march of time do it's work on the premium you sell.

    It's like buying a condo in Lake Tahoe for $150,000 and paying $2,000 a month for mortgage, maint, taxes, etc all in and you rent it for $900 a week during ski season and $900 in the summer and $400 in the off seasons and you fill it 30 weeks and collect about $26,000 back.  So you're making $2,000 a year and MAYBE you can do this or maybe you can do that to improve your profits and MAYBE you can time the real estate market to sell high and buy low over the years OR you could just collect you $2K a year, pay off the mortgage (your long position) and, when it matures, you have $150,000 + whatever additional appreciation.  

    There are millions of very smart people who have been buying and selling properties and renting them out over hundreds of years.   How many of them do anything other than steadily renting out their property whenever they can for as much as they can while they ride out the ups and downs in the value of their long-term holdings?  The majority of the Forbes 400 still made their money on real estate – it's patient, long-term money.  It's what you have to learn how to do to make money in stocks as well.  There are no flippers in the Forbes 400 – and no day-traders either!  

    And what Yodi said!  

  79. Wombat,

    Thanks for asking. I now have only 5 weeks after the OP and last night the first night home in Germany.

    I did enjoy a night sleep which I could not manage in the rehab. In deed I made my own food and for the first time I returned home being hungry as in the clinic you get fed 3x a day and you do not enter the dining room hungry I found the food more like mass feeding not bad but not tasty.

    The knee is recouping slowly could be better but I do not have the patience. Drove my car for the first time as it is an automatic the operated leg had to do all the work. So I do have a start.

  80. Phil // CZR
    Cool – thats exactly what I was asking for. I'm not touching anything, I really want to understand 3 steps ahead what we're doing. Teach a monk to fish.

    Yodi // Microwave
    Very cool – and no sign of infection or tears ? Thats great. ( My father-in-law had the same surgery and acquired a staff infection. Vancomyicin IV every 8 hours for 4 weeks ) 

  81. No day traders in the Forbes 400- You would think that by now we'd have seen at least one bona fide day trading prodigy by now if it were possible.


    StJ- Thanks for posting the earningswhisper data from yesterday. I'm sitting on a today LNKD 155/150 put spread that is so tantalizingly close to full value!

  82. Wombat No problem in the hospital, was there for 13 days before rehab, and they watch you like a hark.

  83. You are welcome drcraig! It's a new feature so not much history behind it. It didn't do that great yesterday although if you were neutral AKAM, you did well too… LNKD is overvalued IMHO so it seems the easiest bet I guess.

    I was hoping AKAM would miss to be able to enter them again… Oh well.

  84. STJ – AKAM weak today despite good earnings.

  85. $50 might be a good line to go long Albo and it's their 200 DMA… But still not that cheap! I was in them last February when the missed and then recovered with the next earnings. I closed my position then because I though they were expensive again and I had 100% in hand. 

  86. Kudlow?  I thought they got rid of that annoyance?  

    Day trading/DrC – To me, it's just something we do for fun while we wait for our long-term plays to mature.  

    13 days/Yodi – They kicked my mom out after one day!  That's another thing people don't get about US Healthcare, we get the bare minimum here. 

    Even with no volume, they can't get a rally going.  Only 30 mins left and finishing red would not be a good way to end the week.  

  87. Barry's already done with his week:

    Succinct Summations week ending May 2, 2014


    1. April Nonfarm Payrolls came in at 288k, well ahead of the 210k expected.
    2. Unemployment rate fell to 6.3%, down from 6.7% last month — lowest number in five years.
    3. Dow Jones Industrials made a new all-time closing high.
    4. FOMC is still on pace to end the stimulus by the close of 2014, says “growth has picked up.”
    5. Consumer spending on services saw the biggest gain since 2000.
    6. Pending home sales were up 3.4% m/o/m versus expectations of a 1% rise — first increase in nine months.
    7. Japan household spending rose 7.2% y/o/y, much higher than the 1% expected.
    8. Dallas Fed manufacturing survey came in at 11, well ahead of the 6 estimated.
    9. Case-Shiller home prices were up 0.76% m/o/m and 12.86% y/o/y, in line with expectations.
    10. Chicago ISM came in at 63, well ahead of 57 expected and up from 55.9 previously.


    1. GDP grew at a 0.1% in Q1, the slowest pace of growth since 2012.
    2. Weekly mortgage applications fell 5.9% last week to a four-year low.
    3. U.S consumer confidence fell in April to 82.3 v 83 expected.
    4. The labor force participation rate fell to 62.8%, the lowest level since 1978.
    5. Initial jobless claims came rose 14k last week to 344k v 320k expected.

  88. CHINA!!!:

  89. Hi Phil: I sold TASR Jan 2016 $15 Puts for $2.80 just before earnings and since then TASR has dropped ~15%. The question I often have in these situations is when/how to adjust. My thought at this point is to see if TASR drops < $14 (~20% decline from when I sold my Puts), and then sell the Jan 2016 $10 Puts at that time. Does that make sense, or is there a better adjustment to be made?

  90. Stephen Hawking with a warning this weekend:

    Artificial-intelligence (AI) research is now progressing rapidly. Recent landmarks such as self-driving cars, a computer winning at Jeopardy! and the digital personal assistants Siri, Google Now and Cortana are merely symptoms of an IT arms race fuelled by unprecedented investments and building on an increasingly mature theoretical foundation. Such achievements will probably pale against what the coming decades will bring.

    The potential benefits are huge; everything that civilisation has to offer is a product of human intelligence; we cannot predict what we might achieve when this intelligence is magnified by the tools that AI may provide, but the eradication of war, disease, and poverty would be high on anyone's list. Success in creating AI would be the biggest event in human history.

    Unfortunately, it might also be the last, unless we learn how to avoid the risks. In the near term, world militaries are considering autonomous-weapon systems that can choose and eliminate targets; the UN and Human Rights Watch have advocated a treaty banning such weapons. In the medium term, as emphasised by Erik Brynjolfsson and Andrew McAfee in The Second Machine Age, AI may transform our economy to bring both great wealth and great dislocation.

    One can imagine such technology outsmarting financial markets, out-inventing human researchers, out-manipulating human leaders, and developing weapons we cannot even understand. Whereas the short-term impact of AI depends on who controls it, the long-term impact depends on whether it can be controlled at all.

    So, facing possible futures of incalculable benefits and risks, the experts are surely doing everything possible to ensure the best outcome, right? Wrong. If a superior alien civilisation sent us a message saying, "We'll arrive in a few decades," would we just reply, "OK, call us when you get here – we'll leave the lights on"? Probably not – but this is more or less what is happening with AI. Although we are facing potentially the best or worst thing to happen to humanity in history, little serious research is devoted to these issues outside non-profit institutes such as the Cambridge Centre for the Study of Existential Risk, the Future of Humanity Institute, the Machine Intelligence Research Institute, and the Future Life Institute. All of us should ask ourselves what we can do now to improve the chances of reaping the benefits and avoiding the risks.

  91. Artificial Intelligence – read the book "Avogadro Corp." for a taste of just how accidentally emergence could occur… and with obvious parallels to Google.. 

  92. C:>Open Skynet.exe


  93. TASR – good grief. are they spontaneously killing babies?

  94. TASR/Japar – They are in good shape, just gave low guidance.  It's a LONG-TERM play and you are in for net $12.20 with the stock at $14.  When you sell 2016 puts, you can either sell more to raise your basis (thought he $15 puts are only $3.50, not too terrible) or you can roll them down to lower puts (the $13 puts are $2.45, so a 1.5x roll keeps you about even and would drop your net to about $11, which is 10% lower on 50% more shares.  Or you could decide you will be happy to have TASR assigned to you between now and 2016 at net $12.20 and, even if it drops 50% more to $7, THEN you can DD and have 2x at average of $9.60.  If you don't want to own 2x TASR at net $9.60 – by all means take the .80 loss now because you don't REALLY want to own TASR at net $12.20.  Of course, if TASR stays above $12.20 through 2016, you'll be able to do an even roll to 2018 $10s or something and then your net would be $7.20ish and you'd make 40% at $10, which still isn't a bad 4-year return.  Of course, that's 1,400 days from now and you've had this position what, 7 days?  

    AI/Scott – Just think of something like that being developed under Steve Ballmer's watch.  Who would you trust with something like that?  Sergey?  Larry (or Larry E)?  Bezos?  If AI is developed, it will belong to a Billionaire – maybe Lloyd or Jamie when one of their TradeBots starts thinking for itself.  So many ways this can go wrong…

    Have a great weekend folks!  

    - Phil

  95. Hawking comments nice philosophical way to end the week.

  96. I know I am not considered as smart but AI is not that close, computers still work with fixed varriables and a data base, that is miles from ideas, inventing. The difference may never be posable with circuits, circuits can do math and math can equate to stored data, even speed has very little to go. The BOTS can out trade us but they lack the unpredictability of living things.

  97. Kind of scary to think the Terminator movies could be viewed as non-fiction someday (minus the time travel piece I would guess).

    phil-I'm beginning to really understand the patience piece of your philosophy and why when selling puts we don' t worry about the early movement too much if we like the stock and believe in it long term, but is there ever a scenario when you sell a put and the stock does so well early on that you bank the profit instead of waiting for expiration to collect your premium? In trying to answer my own question, I thought you might if the put price got so low vs. the time left that it didn't make sense to wait. Could this happen when you have a big run up in the price of a stock?

  98. I wanted to join the SGEN party but didn't feel comfortable writing puts yet.  I was able to get the Jan'15 30/35 bull call spread filled for 2.45.  Not nearly as profitable as Phil's combination, but there's nothing wrong with a ~100% profit in 8 months if the stock just holds 35, right?  I don't have any biotech/pharma stocks and wanted a position I could feel comfortable with for starters.  I'm just putting this out there for those who might be trading in an IRA or for whatever reason don't want to write puts in this sector.  For me, this is part of the process of learning to a) be patient, b) not be greedy, and c) take positions that won't cause me great stress if they go the wrong way.

    I'm just starting my second year as a member, and I'd like to thank all of you for sharing your trading ideas and insight, and especially Phil of course for great all-around investing advice as well as trades!  In addition to learning patience and profit-taking, I think one of the most important things I'm learning here is to stick to stocks and trades that suit my temperament.  I found out the hard way that NFLX, TSLA, AMZN, etc are not for me.  Hopefully SGEN won't end up on that list!

    And wow, I had NO idea how hard it was to learn patience.  I should say "practice" instead of "learn", because it seems to be a constant struggle.  Phil, please keep reminding us how nice CASH is!

    Have a great weekend, all!

  99. Boys (and ladies),  I am trying to keep a stiff upper lip here regarding the discussion of maintaining/defending positions vs. cutting and running with the gains, but I just received word that an industrial client of mine has filed Chapter 11. This is a large multi-national business I am talking about.  Given zero domestic growth, a collapse in exports, very poor labor statistics, weakness in Europe, Japan and China, political turmoil, falling oil and basic metals, I now think taking the chips off for the winners makes a lot more sense.  This may not be a garden variety pull back coming out way.  Anyway its May, right?

  100. craigsa620 – I have had good success with selling naked puts 6 months to a year out (Jan 2015's).  I do so only if I intend on buying the stock.  If I make 50% plus in a short time (few weeks, a month), I take the money and get out.  Why wait all the way until Jan for the remaining 50% and risk having it go against you.  There will be many other quick 50% opportunities between now and January.  I also do NOT hold positions during earnings announcements.  Too risky for me. 

  101. Grant, I like yr sensible move. Why risk 50% gains in this uncertain market in long term?

  102. Phil/T – my candlestick graph showed a huge spike down on big volume…I didn't see it until mid-day

  103. I just had to   travel  and  just reading the  comments about,thank you all, will re-read it tomorrow calmly but what I'm  doing is selling my winners, and perhaps will take losses in positions, keeping alive the hedges as Phil says, it's the moment of maximum pain.

    Good night to all.

  104. Don't know if many people use Excel to track their trades, but TOS now supports RTD:

    thinkorswim supports the RealTimeData (RTD) functions in Excel in order to allow you to do your own custom bookkeeping in real time. RTD is a function of Excel that enables you to call our Component Object Model (COM) Automation server to retrieve data from thinkorswim in real time.

    To use RTD, bring up a watchlist on the Quotes sub-tab under the MarketWatch tab, click on the Printer icon in the top right, and choose “Export to Excel”.
    Because RTD is a function in Excel, you can take full advantage of the power of Excel with functionality such as cell referencing.
    To see all of the functions supported in exported data, click on the “Data Export Help” option on the Printer menu.

    It works in the Analyze tab where you can export all the option information from any stock. Just tried it and it works like a charm… You can then select what you want to keep. I guess you can write your own formulas using the syntax shown when you export the data. 

  105. stjeanluc ,

    Thank you for that info. , very useful.

  106. I wish it would also work with Excel online, but apparently not! Of Google Docs! 

    You can also export to OpenOffice as well but I don't know what functionality there is there as I didn't test it.

  107. Indices diverging again…

  108. Fairly busy weeks – PMI, rate decisions!

  109. stj / TOS rtd – If I may, what version of Office are you running? My excel link to TOS has not worked for many months and TOS tech cannot figure it out.

  110. Office 2013 CaFords…

    Have you tried the new RTD command though?

    For example, to get the Last price on SGEN:

    =RTD("tos.rtd", , "LAST", "SGEN")

    Or Mark price for an ABX July 18 Call:

    =RTD("tos.rtd", , "MARK", ".ABX140719C18")

    Works like a charm in Excel 2013. Apparently you can also export technical indicators but I have not tried that yet.

  111. I'm using 2010 and I have been using my spreadsheet for years up until the January TOS update.

    Since you like to keep track of Dividend dates try this:


  112. Thanks CaFords…

  113. Holy cow, you two are giving me a headache. I am going to have to read up on how the RTD command works.

  114. Just for those interested in LQMT  I just found this, perhaps is not new in the chat…just in case….

  115. The Many Ways to Tap the Water Boom

    Barrons runs this story listing some companies to benefit from this theme- RXN; HDS; AWK; FLS CFWAX;

    All currently " fully valued" . 

    For a shopping list any other candidates?

  116. Futures/Phil – I've been a member here for only a month, but I've been following your Morning Post for years starting at Seeking Alpha.  At your last Futures Webinar, you essentially said that trading them is gambling and something you do for amusement while waiting for the real action in option trades.  To me, gambling suggests that there is an equal chance of "guessing" that you are right vs wrong and that skill/experience/instincts have no influence.  If your "guesses" for the past month are any indication of how often you are correct over the long term (having read your Morning Post for years, I don't think April was all that unusual), this is not just a case of being on a lucky streak (with the inevitable giving back of all your profits eventually). You are also doing far better than the $200/day goal you mentioned in the webinar.  I've been trading futures almost exclusively for over 3 years and have learned the hard way which markets I "understand" and which ones I don't, so I know firsthand the risks involved.  I live a simple lifestyle with no debt or dependents, so $200 – $300/day is enough for me, but you suggest that it is folly to try and trade futures for a living.  If you are able to consistently pick more winners than losers, and have the discipline to limit risk by a combination of admitting when you are wrong and sticking to one contract only, why couldn't someone make a living doing this? 

    BTW, The Atlantic recently had an article about the elite group of poker players who are actually able to consistently make a living gambling.  There are the upper echelon "rock stars" vs. "the grinders" who are content to put in the long hours and essentially "day trade" by making it on volume.  I thought you'd find it interesting if you haven't read it already:

  117. Anyone ready for some Sunday night futures?  My data on /CL is inconsistent though.

    IB says that /CL Jun Last Close is 99.76, but it looks like 99.99

    TOS says that /CL June Last 99.99 but the bid/ask is 99.85

    The CME says the /CL last is 99.86

    Holy conflicting data.  Regardless, still playing 100 short?

  118. Caught a small drop from 99.90 to 99.75.  Paid for dinner at least!

  119. From Bloomberg, May 4, 2014, 12:00:01 AM

    A customer looks at an Apple Inc. iPhone 5c device during the launch at the company’s store in Palo Alto. Photographer: David Paul Morris/Bloomberg

    Apple Inc. (AAPL)’s $120 million verdict against Samsung Electronics Co. (005930) in a trial over smartphone technology, after seeking $2 billion, may not give the mobile-device giants any more incentive to end their four-year global legal battle.

    To read the entire article, go to
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  120. From Bloomberg, May 4, 2014, 1:01:01 PM

    While the 2012 trial was a clear victory for Cupertino, California-based Apple Inc., ending with an award of $930 million in damages against Samsung Electronics Co., jurors this time around delivered more of a split verdict, siding with Apple on two out of four patents they considered and with Samsung on one out of two. Photographer: Angel Navarette/Bloomberg

    Apple Inc. and Samsung Electronics Co. both trusted a retired IBM executive with patent litigation experience to give them a fair trial.

    To read the entire article, go to
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  121. From Bloomberg, May 2, 2014, 1:41:29 PM

    Google Inc. (GOOG) was sued over claims it
    abused its market power by forcing hand-held device makers that
    use its Android operating system to also provide the search
    engine company’s applications.

    To read the entire article, go to
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  122. From Bloomberg, May 4, 2014, 12:50:32 AM

    U.S. President Barack Obama attends at the annual White House Correspondent’s Association Gala at the Washington Hilton hotel May 3, 2014 in Washington, D.C. Photograph: Olivier Douliery-Pool via Getty Images

    It was a Ctrl-Alt-Delete 2013 for the
    White House, President Barack Obama joked last night at a gala
    in Washington, one of several cracks he took at the flawed
    rollout of the health-care law that stands as his proudest
    domestic accomplishment.

    To read the entire article, go to
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  123. From Bloomberg, May 4, 2014, 2:18:37 PM

    Pro-Russian supporters storm the Luhansk Region administration building in eastern Ukraine on April 29, 2014. The activists oppose the pro-Europe government in Kiev that took power in February. Photographer: Valery Matytsin/ITAR-TASS/Zuma Press

    Ukraine pursued an offensive to dislodge rebels from its eastern industrial heartland as violence that’s also spread to the Black Sea gateway of Odessa threatens to loosen Kiev’s control of the regions.

    To read the entire article, go to
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  124. From Bloomberg, May 3, 2014, 11:48:53 AM

    Warren Buffett doesn’t owe
    shareholders an apology for falling short of a performance goal
    at his Berkshire Hathaway Inc. (BRK/A), Vice Chairman Charles Munger
    said at the company’s annual meeting.

    To read the entire article, go to
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  125. From Bloomberg, May 4, 2014, 11:31:10 AM

    Richard Fisher, president of the Federal Reserve Bank of Dallas, opposes Fed action that would increase inflation. Photographer: Scott Eells/Bloomberg

    The U.S. economy is “moving in the
    right direction” and “getting stronger” as private-sector
    payrolls increase, said Richard Fisher, president of the Federal
    Reserve Bank of Dallas.

    To read the entire article, go to
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  126. From Bloomberg, May 2, 2014, 10:25:19 AM

    Bill Gross, co-chief investment officer of Pacific Investment Management Co.(PIMCO). His fund has declined 1.7 percent in the past year, trailing 90 percent of similar funds. This year, the fund has advanced 2.1 percent, lagging behind 71 percent of rivals in 2014, according to data compiled by Bloomberg. Photographer: Andrew Harrer/Bloomberg

    Pacific Investment Management Co.’s
    Bill Gross said the Federal Reserve is unlikely to raise
    interest rates, even with U.S. payrolls rising the most since
    2012, until inflation reaches the target set by policy makers.

    To read the entire article, go to
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  127. From Bloomberg, May 2, 2014, 12:00:01 AM

    Andrew Garfield stars as Peter Parker and Spider-Man. Photographer: Jaimie Trueblood/Columbia Pictures Industries via Bloomberg

    Move over Andrew Garfield. New York is co-star of Sony’s latest “Spider-Man” film opening this weekend, and it’s also one of the movie’s backers.

    To read the entire article, go to
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  128. From Bloomberg, May 3, 2014, 12:01:03 AM

    Miami’s Gini coefficient, a measure of income inequality, is the third-highest among U.S. cities after Atlanta and New Orleans. Photographer: Joe Raedle/Getty Images

    As the luxury bus ferried a dozen of his clients past building sites, Miami property consultant Peter Zalewski rattled off names of 50 area high-rises being financed by money from Venezuela, Hong Kong and Argentina.

    To read the entire article, go to
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  129. From Bloomberg, May 2, 2014, 9:24:39 AM

    April 16 (Bloomberg) — Federal Reserve Chair Janet Yellen speaks about the U.S. economy and employment, the central bank’s objectives, and its commitment to support the recovery. She speaks at the Economic Club of New York. (Source: Bloomberg)

    Federal Reserve Chair Janet Yellen and her colleagues have lowered their sights on how fast the economy needs to expand to meet their goal of cutting unemployment.

    To read the entire article, go to
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  130. From Bloomberg, May 2, 2014, 6:57:40 AM

    DeMark Analytics LLC founder Tom DeMark said, “If these price objectives are fulfilled, then I’m very confident we’ll make a significant high.” Photographer: Andrew Harrer/Bloomberg

    U.S. stocks will fall 11 percent
    starting as soon as next week should some price patterns come
    true, according to Tom DeMark, the creator of indicators to show
    turning points in securities.

    To read the entire article, go to
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  131. From Bloomberg, May 2, 2014, 12:00:01 AM

    Personal use of corporate jets is making a comeback after some corporations took the perk away five years ago following the financial crisis. Photographer: Nelson Ching/Bloomberg

    While U.S. boards have curtailed company-paid perks like hunting lodges and golf club memberships, CEOs are cranking up personal use of corporate jets.

    To read the entire article, go to
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  132. From Bloomberg, May 2, 2014, 7:51:49 AM

    AstraZeneca offices near Cambridge, U.K. Photographer: Jason Alden/Bloomberg

    Pfizer Inc. (PFE)’s plan to buy AstraZeneca Plc (AZN) probably will lead to billions of dollars in research cuts, the closure of laboratories and thousands of scientists being fired if history repeats itself.

    To read the entire article, go to
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  133. From Bloomberg, May 2, 2014, 7:06:03 AM

    April 29 (Bloomberg) — James Ashley, chief European economist at RBC Capital Markets, discusses U.K. economic growth and Bank of England inflation projections.
    He speaks from London with Francine Lacqua and Guy Johnson on Bloomberg Television’s “The Pulse.” (Source: Bloomberg)

    Mark Carney’s grip on the Monetary
    Policy Committee is about to be tested as officials discuss new
    forecasts, freed from their low interest-rate pledge.

    To read the entire article, go to
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  134. From Bloomberg, May 1, 2014, 7:01:00 PM

    European Central Bank President Mario Draghi may have more room for comfort if a working paper released this week is correct. Photographer: Andrew Harrer/Bloomberg

    Mario Draghi has more reason than
    Janet Yellen to be confident investors won’t question the
    ability of central banks to keep inflation on target.

    To read the entire article, go to
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  135. From Bloomberg, May 2, 2014, 10:34:37 AM

    Italian companies remain financially
    vulnerable as risks ranging from low inflation to shifts in
    foreign investment could threaten economic growth, the Bank of

    To read the entire article, go to
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  136. From Bloomberg, May 3, 2014, 12:00:11 PM

    May 1 (Bloomberg) — Athanasios Vamvakidis, head of Group-of-10 currency strategy at Bank of America Corp., talks about the outlook for the euro and European Central Bank policy ahead of next week’s policy decision.
    He speaks with Bloomberg’s Niki O’Callaghan in London. (Source: Bloomberg)

    Policy makers at the European Central
    convening this week will probably hold off taking
    additional steps to stave off the risk of deflation amid
    inconsistent signals on the direction of prices.

    To read the entire article, go to
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  137. From Bloomberg, May 3, 2014, 12:01:09 AM

    Even the strongest job growth in two
    years isn’t enough to entice more people into the labor force,
    one of the biggest conundrums of the U.S. economic expansion.

    To read the entire article, go to
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  138. CenturyLink counting on data centers, network to take on Amazon

    12:46 PM ET · CTL

    • “We believe we have the scale to compete,” declares CenturyLink (CTL) cloud SVP Andrew Higginbotham as his company unveils major cloud infrastructure (IaaS) price cuts and new support/service features in response to big price cuts from Amazon, Microsoft, and Google.
    • Higginbotham argues CenturyLink’s 56 global data centers and massive U.S. and international fiber networks will help it gain enterprise clients – the company claims its network allows it to provide outbound bandwidth pricing that’s 50% cheaper than Amazon’s (AMZN).
    • CenturyLink has 1K+ enterprise customers and is the second-largest U.S. provider of data center colocation services, behind Equinix (EQIX). Its latest moves were enabled in part by recent acquisition Tier 3, an IaaS provider that tries to differentiate by simplifying service management and automation.
    • Nonetheless, CenturyLink still has to contend with Amazon’s umatched mindshare, feature set, and developer support – Synergy Research estimates Amazon’s Q4 cloud IaaS/cloud app platform (PaaS) share was north of 30%, and bigger than that of its top 4 rivals (Microsoft, Google, IBM, and Salesforce) combined. It also competes against other IT and telecom giants (Verizon, H-P, VMware), and independent players such as Rackspace.
    • Synergy’s John Dinsdale: “The public IaaS market is essentially becoming commoditized … Companies like CenturyLink have little option but to respond to pricing initiatives from [Amazon] (and Google and Microsoft) if they want to aggressively grow their IaaS revenues.”

  139. Warning shots fired from movie heavyweights on future of industry

    10:05 AM ET · DWA

    • DreamWorks Animation (DWA) CEO Jeffery Katzenberg fired out a warning to the movie industry during his talk at the Milliken Global Conference in Beverly Hills last week.
    • “Movies are not a growth business,” exclaimed the exec who cut his teeth on the medium.
    • Katzenberg sees a future where movies play for a short period of three weeks at theaters for $15.00 – followed by a run on TV at $4.99 and smartphones at $1.99. The forecast doesn’t bode well for theater operators and associated businesses.
    • DreamWorks plans increasing its focus on shortform (digital and TV) in response.
    • Liberty Media (LMCA) CEO Greg Maffei also cautioned at the conference of a seismic change in the media industry as “clutter” from video games and social media crowds out traditional entertainment channels.
    • Movie studio stocks: (DIS, LGF, SNE, VIAB, TWX, FOXA, VIA, CMCSA)
    • Movie exhibitor/equipment stocks: CKEC, CNK, RGC, MCS, RDI, AMC, IMAX, DCIN
    • Related ETF: PBS

  140. Three Sunday reads

    08:00 AM ET

  141. Gates no longer largest individual Microsoft shareholder

    04:11 AM ET · MSFT

    • Steve Ballmer has become Microsoft’s (MSFT) largest individual shareholder after Bill Gates sold another lot of shares, taking his holding to just over 330M vs more than 333M for Ballmer. Both men own around 4%.
    • Institutional investors Vanguard, State Street and BlackRock have slightly larger holdings.
    • Bill Gates will cease to own any Microsoft shares by mid-2018 if he continues to sell 20M shares a quarter, as he has been doing for most of the last dozen years

  142. Caterpillar faces tax adjustment on profits from spare-parts business

    01:24 AM ET · CAT

    • Caterpillar (CAT) has received a notice that the Internal Revenue Service is proposing to adjust the amount of tax that the company should pay on profits earned by its Swiss subsidiary for transactions involving its spare-parts business.
    • The notice comes after a Senate report found that Caterpillar avoided paying $2.4B in taxes from 2000 to 2012 by shifting $8B in profit from its parts-manufacturing division in the U.S. to Switzerland, although the IRS’s notice covers tax returns for 2007-2009 only.
    • Caterpillar intends to appeal any changes to the tax it must pay. (10-K)

  143. Buffett/Munger take questions at “Capitalist Woodstock”

    Yesterday, 07:51 PM ET · BRK.A

    • He didn’t want to “go to war” with management, says Warren Buffett, responding to the first question asked of him at the Berkshire Hathaway (BRK.A, BRK.B) annual meeting: Why did he abstain from voting on the controversial equity compensation plan for Coca-Cola (KO) executives?
    • “You keep belching at the dinner table, you’ll be eating in the kitchen,” says Buffett, describing the clubby culture of corporate boards where being agreeable keeps you on the inside and being confrontational gets you blackballed. “I’ve voted for compensation plans in various places that are far from what I would have designed myself … That is the way boards work.”
    • A shareholder proposal requesting Berkshire board consideration of a dividend received less than 2% of the vote, pleasing to Buffett who believes he and Charlie Munger can do a better job of allocating company capital than returning it to shareholders. Still, with $40B and rising in Berkshire’s coffers, even Buffett concedes the day is coming when the company has “more cash than we can intelligently invest.”
    • “That error that they made doesn’t bother me,” says Buffett of Bank of America (BAC), which had to suspend its capital return plan after miscalculating capital levels. “It doesn’t change my feeling about Bank of America’s risk management one iota.”
    • Mungerisms: Comparing Berkshire book value to the S&P 500 is “insane” and makes it harder for Buffett to look good. “Warren sets a ridiculously high standard. The last couple of years added $60B in value … If that’s failure, then I want more of it.”

  144. Cyclical or secular? JPMorgan warns again on trading business

    Yesterday, 08:21 AM ET · JPM

    • With Q1 results for the global banks just in the books, JPMorgan (JPM) becomes the first to warn on trading revenues in Q2, expecting markets revenue to slip 20% after declining 17% in Q1.
    • SEC Form 10-Q
    • As in the past, the biggest driver of the slide is weakness in fixed income, currencies and commodities (FICC) as investors continue to shy from exotic fixed-income vehicles contrived by bankers, and instead favor less profitable (for the bond desks) government and high-grade corporate bonds. There’s also new regulations which have forced banks away from lucrative businesses like energy trading.
    • “I don’t look at the $5 billion in markets revenue and cry in my soup,” said CEO Jamie Dimon on Q1′s earnings call (the bank did $5.37B in trading business in Q1), stressing his belief that the current tough time for trading is cyclical not secular.
    • JPMorgan fell 1.5% in after hours trading following the news last night. Morgan Stanley (MS) -0.5%, Goldman Sachs (GS) -0.1%, Bank of America (BAC) -0.7%, Citigroup (C) -0.4%: “Certainly J.P. Morgan’s forecast does not bode well for the other big banks,” says RBC’s Gerard Cassidy.

  145. Berkshire Hathaway reports Q1 results, book value +2.6%

    Fri, May 2 · BRK.A

    • Berkshire Hathaway (BRK.A): Q1 operating earnings per Class A share equivalent of $2,149, misses by $22.
    • Revenues: $45.45B (+3.6%).
    • Book value per share: $138,426 (+2.6%).
    • Press release; 10-K

  146. From Bloomberg, May 5, 2014, 5:00:00 AM

    Pedestrians walk past the European Union (EU) parliament building and the national flags of the member states in Brussels, Belgium. Photographer: Jasper Juinen/Bloomberg

    The European Commission trimmed its
    economic growth forecast for the euro area and predicted low
    inflation to remain a threat to expansion for at least the next
    two years.

    To read the entire article, go to
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  147. From Bloomberg, May 5, 2014, 5:00:00 AM

    Germany’s economy is set for
    “dynamic, broad-based” growth, the European Commission
    forecast today.

    To read the entire article, go to
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  148. From Bloomberg, May 5, 2014, 5:01:29 AM

    May 5 (Bloomberg) — Ukraine sought to dislodge rebels from its eastern industrial heartland as violence in the Black Sea gateway of Odessa threatens to loosen Kiev’s control of the regions.
    Henry Meyer reports from Moscow on Bloomberg Television’s “On the Move” with Guy Johnson. (Source: Bloomberg)

    Ukraine continued military operations
    to dislodge rebels from its eastern industrial heartland as
    violence that’s spread to the Black Sea gateway of Odessa
    threatens to loosen Kiev’s control of the regions.

    To read the entire article, go to
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  149. From Bloomberg, May 4, 2014, 8:01:49 PM

    Recent selloffs in the Nasdaq 100 have turned out to be buying opportunities. Photographer: Scott Eells/Bloomberg

    How much has been erased from U.S. technology shares since they peaked at the start of March? An amount almost equal to the estimated value of a company that is getting ready to enter the market: Alibaba Group Holding Inc.

    To read the entire article, go to
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  150. From Bloomberg, May 4, 2014, 5:01:00 PM

    Jack Ma, chairman and founder of Alibaba Group Holding Ltd. On the New York Stock Exchange, 62 companies have dual-class structures — about 2.6 percent of the total — while the Nasdaq Stock Market counts 4.5 percent as having multiple classes, according to data provided by the exchanges.Photographer: David Paul Morris/Bloomberg

    If one-share-one-vote is the best
    ownership structure an investor can ask for, and having two
    classes of shares is worse, Alibaba Group Holding Ltd. will fall
    somewhere in between.

    To read the entire article, go to
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  151. From Bloomberg, Apr 29, 2014, 8:04:25 AM

    Today, I hope to explain how the crash of the speculative tech names is a positive.

    To read the entire article, go to
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  152. From Bloomberg, May 5, 2014, 5:12:55 AM

    A man holds flowers as he stands inside the burned trade union building in the southern Ukranian city of Odessa on May 4, 2014. Tussles spread to the Ukrainian city of Odessa, where more than 40 people died in a building fire. Photographer: Anatolii Stepanov/AFP/Getty Images

    Stocks fell while gold climbed and
    wheat rose to a 13-month high after violence spread in Ukraine
    and a gauge of Chinese manufacturing contracted for a fourth
    month. The yen rose against 15 of its 16 major counterparts.

    To read the entire article, go to
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  153. From Bloomberg, May 5, 2014, 4:24:55 AM

    May 5 (Bloomberg) — Angel Gurria, secretary general at the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development, talks about U.S. and European economic growth, Japanese fiscal policy and the crisis in Ukraine.
    He speaks from Paris with Mark Barton on Bloomberg Television’s “Countdown.” (Source: Bloomberg)

    China’s manufacturing contracted for a fourth month in April, according to a private survey that missed estimates and sent stocks in the region lower on concern the economy’s slowdown is deepening.

    To read the entire article, go to
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  154. From Bloomberg, May 5, 2014, 12:00:07 AM

    Charles Munger, vice chairman of Berkshire Hathaway Inc. Photographer: Jonathan Alcorn/Bloomberg

    Warren Buffett’s longtime business
    partner Charles Munger said activist investing is bad for the
    U.S. Two of the biggest practitioners, Bill Ackman and Carl Icahn, said not when they’re doing it.

    To read the entire article, go to
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  155. From Bloomberg, May 5, 2014, 12:01:00 AM

    Some of Twitter’s biggest stock owners who in total have at least 205 million shares have declared they’re not letting go of their equity. Photographer: Andrew Harrer/Bloomberg

    Some of Twitter Inc. (TWTR)’s biggest
    investors are hanging on to their stock, even as restrictions on
    selling the shares are set to lift today.

    To read the entire article, go to
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  156. From Bloomberg, May 4, 2014, 7:00:07 PM

    Berkshire Hathaway Inc. Chairman Warren Buffett’s paper profit on the Bank of America Corp. warrants stands at about $5.7 billion. Photographer: Daniel Acker/Bloomberg

    Warren Buffett, who invested $5
    billion in Bank of America Corp., said he’s confident the lender
    will overcome an accounting mistake that forced the firm to
    suspend an increased payout to shareholders.

    To read the entire article, go to
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  157. From Bloomberg, May 5, 2014, 1:06:18 AM

    Crew members watch the launching the Phoenix Autonomous Underwater Vehicle Artemis, on April 17, 2014. The hunt for flight 370 is the longest for a missing passenger jet in modern aviation history. Photographer: LSIS Bradley Darvill/Australia Department of Defence via Getty Images

    Investigators hunting for Flight 370 (MAS)
    are seeking more sophisticated submarines to dive deeper into
    the Indian Ocean as private companies take a greater role in the
    search for the missing Malaysian plane.

    To read the entire article, go to
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  158. From Bloomberg, May 5, 2014, 12:01:03 AM

    Warren Buffett, chairman of Berkshire Hathaway Inc., looks over his shoulder as he exits the exhibition floor prior to the Berkshire Hathaway shareholders meeting in Omaha, Nebraska. Photographer: Daniel Acker/Bloomberg

    Warren Buffett pressed the case at
    Berkshire Hathaway Inc. (BRK/A)’s annual meeting for why takeovers make
    more sense for the company than the stock picks that propelled
    growth for decades.

    To read the entire article, go to
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  159. From Bloomberg, May 2, 2014, 11:12:41 AM

    Latvian Prime Minister Laimdota Straujuma. Photographer: Andrew Harrer/Bloomberg

    NATO’s newer eastern members are pushing to have alliance forces stationed permanently in their nations, a move at odds with a 1997 understanding with Russia that limits NATO bases on Russia’s periphery.

    To read the entire article, go to
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  160. From Bloomberg, May 3, 2014, 7:00:00 PM

    Workers load goods onto a ship at the PT Pelabuhan Indonesia II-operated Sunda Kelapa port in Jakarta, Indonesia. Photographer: Dimas Ardian/Bloomberg

    China’s economic slowdown is weighing
    on the outlook for Indonesia’s exports even as the Southeast
    Asian nation’s trade balance improves, Finance Minister Chatib Basri said.

    To read the entire article, go to
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  161. From Bloomberg, May 5, 2014, 5:00:00 AM

    May 5 (Bloomberg) — Italy’s economy will expand this year
    less than the government estimates as the recovery will be
    mainly driven by external demand, according to the EU’s
    forecasts published today.

    To read the entire article, go to
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  162. From Bloomberg, May 5, 2014, 5:13:44 AM

    Croatia, the European Union’s newest
    member, will be the bloc’s only post communist nation to post a
    recession this year, the European Commission said in its spring
    economic forecast.

    To read the entire article, go to
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  163. From Bloomberg, May 5, 2014, 1:50:18 AM

    A food vendor pushes his cart across the road near the Hotel Indonesia Roundabout in Jakarta. The government last month said it plans to cut its budget forecast for GDP growth in 2014 to 5.8 percent from an earlier assumption of 6 percent. Photographer: Dimas Ardian/Bloomberg

    Indonesia’s economic growth missed
    analysts’ estimates in the first quarter after interest-rate
    increases last year curbed investment and a mineral-ore ban hurt
    the mining industry.

    To read the entire article, go to
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  164. From Bloomberg, May 3, 2014, 8:27:50 AM

    Source: EPI

    It’s the weekend and you know what means: Our longer-form, extended-play versions of your favorite hits! Settle in for the best curated reads of the week:

    To read the entire article, go to
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  165. From Bloomberg, May 2, 2014, 4:43:32 PM

    Have a hankering for some stock? Don’t try Papa Murphy’s. Source: Courtesy of Papa Murphy’s Pizza

    Just when it seemed like investors might have lost some of their appetite for initial public offerings of companies that lose money . . . yeah, right.

    To read the entire article, go to
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  166. Tesco Corporation misses by $0.04, misses on revenue

    05:51 AM ET · TESO

    • Tesco Corporation (TESO): Q1 EPS of $0.21 misses by $0.04.
    • Revenue of $121.4M (-4.5% Y/Y) misses by $16.12M.
    • Press Release

  167. European stocks slump

    05:35 AM ET

    • European shares are sharply lower following the another weak Chinese manufacturing PMI print and a small cut in eurozone growth forecasts, and amid the ever increasing tensions in Ukraine.
    • “The escalation in Ukraine is spooking investors again, and people are quick to pull the trigger to book recent profits,” says David Thebault of Paris-based Global Equities.
    • Volumes thin as U.K. and Irish markets are closed.
    • Euro Stoxx 50 -1.1%, Paris -1.1%, Frankfurt -1.4%, Milan -1.1%, Madrid -1%.
    • U.S. stock futures: Dow -0.45%. S&P -0.4%. Nasdaq -0.5%

  168. European Commission forecasts moderate recovery in eurozone

    05:26 AM ET · FXE

    • The European Commission expects eurozone GDP to grow 1.2% this year and 1.7% in 2015 following two consecutive years of contraction. However, the 2015 prediction is down from a prior forecast of 1.8%.
    • On the other hand, the EC upgraded its outlook for Spain to growth of 2.1% next year from a previous estimate of 1.7%.
    • “Overall, the outlook has improved, but it remains conditional on continued credible action on several fronts at national and EU levels,” says the EC’s Marco Buti.
    • The modest growth in the eurozone will help unemployment fall to 11.8% in 2014 and 11.4% in 2015 from 12% in 2013, the EC said.
    • The commission cut its inflation forecast to 0.8% this year and 1.2% next year – the ECB’s target is just under 2% – but it believes that the probability of deflation is low.
    • The euro is +0.05% at $1.3876.

  169. Asian shares head higher, although Hong Kong falls sharply

    04:25 AM ET

    • Asian shares are mostly flat-to-higher following the strong U.S. jobs report on Friday and a manufacturing PMI survey out of China that pretty much tells us what we already know – that the country’s economy is slowing. Still, Hong Kong stocks have suffered badly, with the Hang Seng dropping 1.6%.
    • Volumes are low due to market holidays in Japan and the U.K.
    • Gold and oil are +0.6% as investors keep an eye on the escalating tensions in Ukraine.
    • China +0.05%, India +0.7%.

  170. Greece to seek debt relief at eurozone meeting

    04:07 AM ET · GREK

    • Greece plans to ask the eurozone to ease the country’s debt burden at a meeting today of the bloc’s finance ministers in Brussels.
    • Greece’s Yannis Stournaras is expected ask for loan repayments to be extended to 50 years from 30 years and for lower interest rates on some of the nation’s debt.
    • The requests would come after Greece achieved a primary debt surplus in 2013 for the first time in a decade, and after it auctioned €3B of five-year bonds in April. However, Greece’s debt and economic forecasts are rosier than those of its creditors.
    • ETF: GREK

  171. B/E Aerospace mulls sale, break-up

    02:44 AM ET · BEAV

    • B/E Aerospace (BEAV) is considering selling itself, splitting itself up or divesting parts of its businesses.
    • The company has postponed an investor meeting that was due to take place today.
    • B/E Aerospace is one of the world’s biggest makers of aircraft interiors and has a market cap of $9.4B. The firm has benefited from record production at Boeing and Airbus, and in 2013, profit jumped 56% to $365.6M as revenue climbed 13% to $3.48B. (PR)

  172. Monday’s economic calendar

    12:00 AM ET

  173. Good morning! 

    Had a very busy family weekend, very nice.  

    Things going about how we expect this morning, follow-through to the downside and now the question is – how much?  

    I'm very pleased that Buffett agrees with the logic behind our PSW Investments (Build A Berkshire Project):

    “What really we want to do at our present size and scope, and with the objectives we’ve got for our shareholders, is we want to buy big businesses with good managements at reasonable prices and then try to build them over time,'' said Buffett, Berkshire’s chairman and chief executive officer. “It’s a different sort of build-up of value” than investing in stocks, he added. “We’ve moved into phase two.”

    Berkshire’s stock portfolio was valued at $118.5 billion at the end of March, and more than half of it was in just four companies: Wells Fargo & Co., Coca-Cola Co., International Business Machines Corp. and American Express Co. (AXP).

    Less than 20 percent of Berkshire’s earnings came from investment income at insurance businesses in 2013. That compares with about half in 1988, according to the company’s annual reports.

    Meanwhile, no major mergers announced this weekend (CNBC is trying to act like PFE/AZN is still news) is giving us the first Monday in a long time without that kind of stimulus.    The Wall Street Journal is finally catching on to what I've been saying all month:

    Our Futures are down about half a point.  UK still closed but the rest of Europe is open and down 1-1.5% across the board into their afternoon.  

    Contrary to the news item above, Asia was not good with the Nikkei down 0.2%, Hang Seng down 1.28%, Shanghai flat, Inda up 0.2% and Singapore down 0.3% 

  174. LQMT/Advill – Thanks.  This is why I love them, AAPL has their best people working on perfecting the manufacturing process so it can be used for phones – it's lighter and stronger and, if they can make enough of it, it might even be cheaper.  There's no question that this stuff is superior, it's just that they haven't perfected the process to make it yet.  That's totally normal when people discover new materials (ie plastics) – it could take many years to get the manufacturing right and then many more years for the adoption to spread.  

    This is, of course, what AAPL really wants – something Samsung, et al can't steal from them. 

    Water/Pstas – Remind me, good theme.  

    Futures/'Kech – To some extent, it's not too different from me telling you that it's unrealistic to expect to make money as a pitcher.  Some people do well and make a career out of it (about 200 in the United States) but thousands of others struggle to make a living at it and millions of others wash out – despite years of trying.  

    The secret to my success in futures trading is NOT trading most of the time.  That's the hardest thing to teach people because it always LOOKS tempting but you have to think of the short-term macro environment as well as the long-term and the daily news and how they are, at that moment, affect the minimum of 3 charts you are watching to confirm your entry.  On top of that, it's about choosing good backstops and money management etc and it take YEARS of practice to get really good at it and, even so, you are still very lucky to average 60% correct.  

    If you've been doing it and surviving for 3 years – you are well on your way and you certainly seem to have a handle on the basic rules to success.  You may be one of the few that can make a living at it, hopefully I can show you some new tricks that will help up your game!  

    I agree about poker too, I'm working on my 10,000 hours there as well, my "other" retirement income stream…  Poker and investing are very similar games – you look at a hand and decide whether or not you want to "buy it" and then, when you see more cards (get more information), you decide whether to stay in or take your losses and get out.  I guess that's why I like it, the constant re-evaluation of your position as the information changes along with the pressure to act very quickly and getting that direct "win" almost instantly makes it fun – like day-trading.  But a tournament is more like investing – you have to be in for the long-haul to win.  

    Oil just failing $100 but Ukraine keeping it up there.  

    Time to work!