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Tempting Tuesday – Weak Dollar Props Up the Markets

UUP WEEKLYWhenever the manipulators need to boost the markets, they just crash the Dollar.  

And what a dive we've had!  As you can see from Dave Fry's Chart, the Dollar is down 7% since last summer and down 2.5% this year and that keeps stocks and commodities 2.5% higher – because we buy them with Dollars.  

Keep in mind, at the same time you are buying IBM shares for $200, someone is buying the same shares for 20,400 Yen and another guy is buying them for 340 British Pounds and yet another guy is buying them for 280 Euros.  

It's obvious that, if the value of the Pound or the Yen or the Euro changes, the price of IBM in those currencies will change to reflect the currrency valuation but Americans tend not to realize the same thing happens when the Dollar gets stronger or weaker too.  Once you do realize this – you have a huge advantage in trading the Futures (and we have a Live Futures Workshop this afternoon at 1pm).

SPX WEEKLYThe Fed's easy-money policies keep the Dollar weak (because we're printing another Trillion of them each year and, in this economy, no one is using them – ie. no demand) and that has goosed the market by 7% since last summer, when the S&P was about 1,650 – about 10% lower than it is now.  

That means that 75% of the gains in the S&P since last summer have been the result of a weak currency and have noting to do with a "strong" economy.  Now THAT makes sense, doesn't it?

"THEY" had to tank the Dollar to get us over the 1,600 level, which was a very key technical off our consolidated bottom at 800 during the crash.  It's no coincidence that we were hitting resistance there in May and pulling back to 1,560 and looking weak in July when, suddenly, the Fed went into a new round of crazy, which led to 6 months of fairly steady value erosion for every single Dollar you have worked for and saved your entire life.  

It's kind of a tax on you – the Government has reduced the value (in International Terms) of EVERYTHING you have by 7% in order to transfer market wealth to the top 1%, who own 85% of all equities and, of course, who control pretty much 100% of all corporations, who are able to use their inflated stock prices as collateral to sell or borrow against (or acquire other companies).  It's a fantastic game – if you're the one on the top of it!  

It's also a great way for the Government to reduce their debt, which is mainly owed to foreign Governments like Japan and China.  A weaker Dollar means our debt, which is priced in fixed Dollars can be paid back with less Yuan, Yen, Pounds and Euros.  It's not that simple of course – Japan is racing us to the bottom as they try to devalue the Yen to reduce their own 200% debt to GDP ratio.  

It is, however, a fantastic way for our Multinational Corporate Masters to cut our pay by 3.5%, since half of the S&P 500's revenues come from overseas, which means paying us in US dollars that have dropped 7% saves them half of that reduction on their balance sheets and that makes their earnings seem 3.5% higher (depending on how many US employees, of course) than they would be otherwise.  

It's amazing how we villify Putin for essentially doing the exact same thing in Russia as the top 0.01% are doing to America – the only difference is, we haven't invaded Canada yet for their resources – but don't worry, there will be hostile takeovers down the road – look how quickly Blackberry was destroyed.  Now we are messing with their oil and gas revenues with our "drill baby, drill" and pipeline policy – just like Putin did with the Ukraine before he invaded (allegedly).  Maybe we'll just get the French Canadians to declare themselves a state and then we'll run in to support their right to choose…

As I said above, being aware of currency fluctuations makes us much better Futures Traders.  This morining, for example, in our early morning Member Chat, we did a chart review and we had a good discussion about the 5% Rule™ and I pointed out to our Members that the Dollar was down 0.5% this morning and breaking below support, saying:

Dollar down to 79.19 is down 0.5% so I guess that's the big, BS news that's propping up the market.  Nikkei hasn't reacted much to it yet, still 14,350 so shortable on that line (/NKD) but out if the Dollar bounces.

Overall, I'd say yesterday was low volume BS and we should see more downside today.  S&P 1,880 (/ES) is still a good shorting line as is /NQ 3,600 and Dow 16,450 confirmed by /TF below 1,120.  If we can't move up on a 0.5% Dollar drop – thats' not a good sign! 

Already, as I'm writing this at 8:30, the Dollar is down to 79.10 but that's not stopping the slide in the Futures with the Nikkei at 14,275 (up $375 per contract), S&P Futures (/ES) 1,873 (up $350 per contract), Nasdaq 3,586 (up $280 per contract) and Dow 16,425 (up $125 per contract).  That, as we like to say, pays for the Egg McMuffins this morning and that is what I will be teaching you how to do in our Live Futures Trading Workshop at 1pm today.

If you already made $1,130 trading 4 contracts in less than two hours this morning – by all means don't bother – I'm sure you have some shopping to do! 

SPY 5 MINUTEWe're expecting more downside because, as noted on Dave Fry's SPY chart, yesterday's volume was ridiculously low and Monday's are always to be taken with a grain of salt, so we're throwing out the chart and focusing on the data and the data (earnings, etc) is not any better than it was on Friday, when we decided to move back to more cash – in anticipation of a bigger drop than the 1.25% we hit at yesterday's brief low.  

We're not betting heavily to the downside – we've been burned too often to gamble on that.  What we have done is cash out our non-hedged, directional longs at what we're pretty sure was an interim top and we'll see how things go from here.  Meanwhile, playing the Futures is one of the many fun things we can do with CASH!!!

Futures allow us to make quick in and out trades with low friction and often we can make a few hundred Dollars very quickly.  Occasionally, we get big winners, like last Thursday's call to short the Nikkei (/NKD) Futures at 14,500 and this morning, just 3 sessions later, we're already testing 14,250.  At $5 per point, per contract, that's $1,250 for each contract in just 3 days.  The call was there, for free, right in the morning post – don't say I never gave you nothin'….

We were also shorting oil at $100 that day and we have had a couple of rides down to $99 and, this morning, we're testing $100 again (/CL).  Needless to say we're shorting it again as well.  You can play along – it's a free trade idea – maybe you can buy a Membership with the winnings!  

We're still looking for follow-through to the downside.  Watch the Russell closely for a breakdown below the 200 dma (1,114) or the S&P below 1,865, which would be $450 per contract on our Futures play!  


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  1. Phil- You posted several of the portfolio's yesterday, but I didn't see the Long Term Portfolio and I was wondering if I missed it or if you were waiting for some reason? If you did post it, can you tell me when so I can figure out the glitch on my end, and if not will you be posting it today? Thanks.

  2. Phil –  The cushing info in that post probably came from here

    but that was from Mar.  The most recent I could find of new data does show a increase

  3. good morning everyone

    phil thank you for the link regarding the 5% rule.  much appreciated!

    jph thank you for your help in explaining what the various levels represent

  4. Craigsa

    May 5th, 2014 at 3:49 pm    

    OK, that took a long time – we'll do the LTP tomorrow.  

  5. Phil,

    So, with the USD getting shred this morning, why are the futures down…..or am i in left field?

  6. Oil Lines

    R3 – 101.83
    R2 – 101.13
    R1 – 100.30
    PP – 99.60
    S1 – 98.77
    S2 – 98.07
    S3 – 97.24

  7. Phil,

    Thanks for the answer on BTU butterfly and market analysis from late yesterday.  Very useful information that saves me a lot of time not having to chase down.

  8. .
    •Twitter shares tumble 6% as lock-up period expires.

  9. Good Morning!

  10. /cl getting ready to cross 100..  hopefully it goes over and down for a chance to short

  11. Sold jan 2016 28 put for 2.95, just below 200 sma

  12. Good morning!

    Getting the drop we expected and the support we expected at S&P 1,865 and RUT 1,114 so won't be exciting until we fail those levels.  

    Oil giving us a quick dip but be careful as we've got inventories tomorrow and, of course, Putin. 

    We did the bounce levels in detail yesterday, quickly they are 16,440/16,480, 1,860/1,875, 4,150/4,200, 10,600/10,650 and 1,120/1,140

    The only news I care about this morning is Office Depot closing 1/3 of its stores.  What recovery?  Maybe it reflects a move to on-line selling but I just don't like the feel of it…  But their investors do – what could be better than cutting 20,000 jobs? 

    • Office Depot (ODP) plans to close at least 400 stores in the U.S. by the end of 2016
    • The closures are expected to add $75M in annual run-rate synergies when completed.
    • Previous: Q1 earnings
    • ODP +10.3% premarket

    At the open

    • Dow -0.34% to 16475. S&P -0.28% to 1879. Nasdaq -0.27% to 4126.
    • Treasurys: 30-year +0.07%. 10-yr 0%. 5-yr -0.02%.
    • Commodities: Crude +0.36% to $99.84. Gold -0.13% to $1307.6.
    • Currencies: Euro +0.42% vs. dollar. Yen -0.51%. Pound -0.7%.

     - Gallup's Economic Confidence Index remained at -16 for April, virtually the same as the monthly averages for January through March.

  13. Phil Office Depot

    Those places are mostly serving very small business and home office. The cost of shipping stops on line buying of supplies, UPS and Fed Ex costs are up for all but the largest shippers that guarentee a minimum of a truck or trailer per day.

  14. TWTR getting hammered down to $35 as lock-up expires.  We'll see how low they can go but just an opportunity to buy if you ask me.  Keep in mind, a lot of these locked up people are in at $2 – $35 is a lot to them!  Even for big funds, it's a way to goose their quarterly performance by cashing in a huge winner.

    LTP/Craigs – So you saw them but didn't read them?  I'm insulted!  At the end of the STP I said I was out of time and would get to the LTP today.  

    And what DC said!  (thanks for paying attention DC, nice to know someone is reading this stuff)

    Cushing/Burr – Yes, as I said, we're right in the normal range, not low at all.  That chart you picked up was from a week in which we had that mysterious 13Mb draw.  Speaking of oil charts – here's the only reason we're not swimming in oil in this country:

    graph of average annual petroleum product exports, as explained in the article text

    As to levels:  Gulf Coast crude oil inventories reach record level

    graph of gulf coast commercial crude inventories, as explained in the article text

    Cushing is just a terminal – they pump oil out of cushing to goose prices and hide it everywhere else.  Fortunately, for them, you can fool some of the people all of the time.  

    graph of U.S. net energy imports, as explained in the article text

    You're welcome Toe.  

    Dollar/Jasu – The Dollar down only reprice the futures and commodities higher – it doesn't stop them from being weaker.  If not for the Dollar, we're look 0.5% worse than we do now.   That was my point this morning, when the Futures were flat – the weak Dollar signalled to me that the short side was likely to pay off, as they weren't moving up on the weaker Dollar, as they should when the market is bullish (you can see the Nikkei do that all the time).  

    Speaking of /NKD – now 14,240 so 14,250 is the stop.  I expect the Dollar to bounce off 79.10 and the Nikkei will like that – our own indexes might not.  

    You're welcome Sibe.  

    Good paying attention on oil, Burr.  Hope you took the non-greedy exit. 

    That was TWTR, I assume, Jomp.  Good call. 

    Office Depot/Shadow – Good point, I never have things shipped from there – I just go.  In fact, I'm going today because I need a new chair – hard to pick one of those without a showroom.  

  15. Phil – I never entered /CL today as it didn't cross a line, it's been hovering between 99.50 and 99.95, so I didn't see a clean cut entry.

  16. AMZN taking a dive.  

    F GMCR!  I'm channelling my inner Jabob – they're pumping up into earnings tomorrow:

    Speaking of coffee, SBUX came down to $67.68 and now back at $70, down from $81 in the fall.  Even though coffee prices have doubled, SBUX hedges the cost and, like coke syrup in restaurants or liquor in bars, coffee is not a very big part of the cost of their drinks.  

    They are on track for 20% growth and they are earning $2.50 per $70 share for a p/e of 28, which isn't cheap BUT, because of the drop, you can sell the 2016 $65 puts for $6.35 and that nets you in at $58.65, which is another 16% off the current price and back where they were in 2012, when they were making less than $2 per share.  I still see lines at SBUX whenever I go so let's sell 5 of those puts for the Income Portfolio as well as the LTP.  

  17. Re: TWTR the Jan15 25P are trading at 2.10 with 2.6K traded.  Not bad.

    The Dec19 21P's are trading at a dollar…

  18. DClark and Phil- Yep, just plain missed that note. Thanks for pointing me to it. 

  19. Phil, forgot the symbol – not TWTR but PFE

  20. Phil -I'm not very good at this, but am looking at a Jan 16 spread on TWTR.  Perhaps, sell the Jan 16 $30 put for 6.5.  Buy the Jan 16 $35 call for $9.73 and sell the Jan 16 $45 call for $6.30.  For a net $3 or so.  I'm sure there are better spreads.  What would you suggest ?

  21. Albo The play you want to set up is called a strangle. Where you play the caller against the putter.

    However in case of TWTR you would not sell a caller at this stage in to the negative excitement only a put even covering your put sale by buying a even lower put in case the bottom falls out! 

  22. 100.10.  Maybe a good spot

  23. PFE/Phil … any views on PFE for a 2016 buy stock and sell $30 calls and lower strike puts .. 3.5% dividend .. I know the AZN acquisition talk is not good but that has knocked the share down from $32 to under $30… likely still a little early to do this play but just wondering is it on your Income Portfolio radar? Thanks

  24. Getting some movement on XRT. I'm up about 10% now on the puts. 

  25. TWTR/Burr – I like to give things more than a couple of hours before I jump in.  We sold TWTR $30 puts in the Income Portfolio and LTP along with a $23/40 spread because we expected this dip.  So far, it's not even worth a roll.

    PFE/Jomp – Depends how crazy they go with the M&A.

    TWTR/Albo – I would suggest waiting and seeing what holds.  As I just mentioned, we sold the 2016 $30 puts for $5.70 back on 4/30 and now they are $6.50 – not a big change considering TWTR is down $5 since then.  That probably means a lot of people are calling it a floor but it also means that it's not a particularly great price for the puts, since they have a .30 delta and should be $1.50 more, not .80.  So there's no reason whatsoever to jump in on that trade.  The $23 calls, on the other hand, we paid $18.35 for and now they are $15.50, that's a fair price and a net $38 entry.  Those can be covered with $38 calls, now $8, for a net $7.50 entry on the $15 spread that's $11 in the money – that's the way I like to be in a spread to start!  Your net $3 makes you $10 at $45, my net $7.50 makes $7.50 at $36 and, with an eventual put sale, the difference in upside is even less – I make $14.80 at $36 while you have a $3 credit plus $1 at $36 and a max of $14 if it goes up another $9 (30%).    

    Very good advice, Yodi.  

    Oil/Burr – Not behaving now so a no-play.  Who knows, something may be blowing up somewhere.  When you see a move like that, wait until you find out WHY it happened and THEN decide whether or not the move was warranted.  

    PFE/DM – As I said above, I'm not a big fan of big M&A spenders until the deals are done and we have a chance to evaluate the new combo.  PFE is certainly a stock we love to buy when they are cheap but blowing below $30 is not a great sign.  Either they take back the soon to be meaningless (because of the major acquisition) 200dma at $30.25 or we can certainly wait PATIENTLY to see what happens.  $25 I would consider a great price, $29 is just OK.  

    If AAPL bought AZN for $100Bn, I'd be thrilled because their cash gets no respect anyway and AZN's $3Bn a year would drop to their bottom line and add $30Bn in market cap (6%) to AAPL's value.  PFE, on the other hand, does not have $100Bn laying around and they are draining their cash and floating more stock in order to add just over 10% to their bottom line.  The AZN deal isn't about the revenue stream – it's about shoring up PFE's weak pipeline and, should the deal fall apart, then you just have PFE with a weak pipeline trading less than 10% off it's all-time highs.  So — I prefer to wait.  

    XRT/Palotay – I am just dumbfounded trying to figure out what people think is so good in that sector. 

  26. Thanks, Yodi.

  27. Phil- You have discussed this before, but I have now sold puts on a few stocks I would like to own and the margin maintenance requirement is eating up my buying power quickly. How do others deal with this while remaining nimble and able to still trade when there is an attractive opportunity. For example the 5 EBAY 2016 $50 puts I sold use up $25000 of margin. Did I once again miss something about how this is done? 

  28. craigsa620 -  Do you have Portfolio Margin or RegT margin?  If Reg-T, you can buy the farthest OTM put in the same month you sold a put to lower the margin req.  It lessens you're profit, but frees capital.  Many use this in a IRA

  29. Mother & child resting peacefully, thanks to all for your kind wishes — no, not my first, rather my fourth, 2 adopted, now 2 of mine, quite a party!!! Zero

  30. Congrats Zero on the new addition

  31. Analysis: That's BMW coming on in Tesla's rear-view mirror • 11:35 AM

    Barclay analyst Kristina Church thinks BMW (BAMXY) could pose a competitive threat to Tesla Motors (TSLA -2.8%) with the i3 EV and i8 plug-in hybrid offering different propositions to green consumers.

    The two models sandwich the Model S in terms of target audience and could disrupt the thesis that the Gen III launch is guaranteed to meet expectations, notes Church.

    Early reviews of BMW's electric launch have been favorable.

  32. PFE … thanks for the insight Phil. As usual it makes perfect sense!

  33. XRT/phil – not just Macy's and mall shops.. allocation is 22% consumer defensive and looks like ABG, BIG and SUSS are helping to hold XRT up.

  34. XRT/Phil – (not just… as I am sure you know!) ;-)

  35. congrats zero!

  36. AIG – Ouch! Testing its 50ma today following earnings last night, cc this morning.

  37. Zero- You are already there, but I found that when we had our third child and had to switch from one on one to zone, it was all downhill from there! 

  38. Zero,

    Congratulations on your new embodiment of joy – at least until she turns 13.

  39. OK, here we go:  Long-Term Portfolio Update (LTP):  

    We're happy with our short puts in general.  EGLE not doing well but neither are any shippers.  HAV is net $4.05 and the stock is at $4.50, RRD down just a bit and TASR is off but happy to buy more if we get a better price.  

    • DBA – That one is in the money so now we just have to keep deciding whether we want to wait (unless something changes to make us think it's heading lower, of course).  The spread maxes at $4 in Jan and that's 8 months away and we can get $2.75 to cash it now so we're risking $2.75 to make $1.25 (45%) in 8 months.  As long as we're 90% confident that will work, then it's 40% in 8 months and that's 5% a month, which is pretty good money (and that's what you can get as a fresh entry too!).  So now, we'll see if we're on or off track with the expectation of making about .15 more each month along with our 90% confidence holding up – if either changes – then we need to re-think the position.  
    • GLL – Like DBA, it's very in the money and we're very confident it will stay that way so it's a question of waiting.  Since this spread is only July, it seems silly not to wait with a max of $9 and a current value of just $6.  But, as I noted last week, those are unrealistic prices due to GLL's wide spread, so we ask for $8 and see if it fills (no luck so far).   The closer we get to July, however, the less willing we are to give up even $1 of our potential profits if gold is over our $1,250 target. 
    • HK – We sold the $5 calls and it's over $5.  Yawn…
    • AAPL – Over $600!  Our goal is $650 but we still have more than 18 months.  In this particular case, we have a max value of $100,000 and, so far, we're at about $45,000, which is ahead of schedule but, even if AAPL closed at $600, we'd get $75,000 so not much to do with this one although I am tempted to cash in the short puts and see if we have a pullback.  
    • ABX – 2/3 to our goal with 8 months to go is just fine. 
    • BRCM – On track.  Very glad we sold those May $30 calls, nice bonus $1,050 for us.  
    • BTU – At our lower expectation but 2016 play.  
    • CLF – Back in business – what a ride!  Good for a new entry. 
    • EBAY – Also good for a new entry.  
    • IRBT – Good for a new entry. 
    • LGF – Cheaper than where we bought it but I still like it here.  Keep in mind, we sold $25 puts for $3.80 against a $4.80 spread so our net on this stock is $26 and the stock is now $26.43 so it's all upside for here BUT, in the portfolio, the spread is showing a current $1,700 loss – which is down $1,200 (240%) from our $500 cash entry.  With options trading – you have to understand the mechanics of the trade, or it will freak you out when you look at your account balances.  Our premise here was that LGF would be over $26 and up to $35 in Jan 2016.  Other than tying up net $500 cash and $2,000 in margin on the short puts – it's all upside for us over that line.  So who cares what the balance is at any given moment?  If our premise remains strong, we pretty much just ignore it unless we get new information that makes us question our targets.  
    • MSFT – I wish we bought more of those.  
    • RIG – We got more aggressive and bought back the short caller.  We have gotten a move back to $43, but it's stuck there at the moment BUT they are holding up well in a weak market so let's give them a chance to break higher.  I think if they do, we'll see $45 easily and THEN we should probably re-cover.  
    • SHLD – The stock that will not die!  My bad for not having faith when they fell to $32 last month, we could have adjusted but the Land's End spin-off made it too iffy, even though I did like the deal.  
    • SLW – Not performing as well as our gold bet, but we'll get there. 
    • SPY – I keep forgetting we bet the S&P would hold 1,800 for the year.  I guess I still believe it. 
    • T – Why don't we have CHL?   I love CHL.  T is nice too and right on track.  
    • TWTR – Getting killed today – down 12% as shares come off lock-up.  We only did 5 contracts and now we have to consider at what price do we REALLY want to own 1,000 shares of TWTR (if we double down).  Since I can't answer that – we wait.  

    All in all, it's a very nice group – very diversified and very conservative and using only about 1/3 of our buying power so far, yet we're up 11.4% for the year.  As these positions mature (once we get through the summer) and they are still in good shape (should be up 20% by then), then we can commit another $100-$200K of our buying power to some new ones.  

    Our paired Short-Term Portfolio (used for hedging these positions and some fun gambling on shorter-term plays) is about even so this $57,000 gain is pretty much all profit already.  We want to protect those gains so we will spend another $10,000 this quarter on protections in the STP but, if we're lucky as we were last Q, perhaps we'll find some other trade ideas that make it up along the way.  

  40. Burr- It's a standard margin account, which is probably the issue. Before 2014 and my discovery of PSW, I never thought about this and didn't even know there were different types of margin accounts. I probably should have taken another look once I started to make trades, but another step in the learning process that I missed. I have now applied for tier 3 account with TDAmeritrade which allows for writing uncovered options. So far I have been lucky not to get hurt by these missed pieces. Knock wood as my mother would say, and since her holy day is this week, why not.

  41. craigsa620 - Simple way to test on TOS is to open the TOS papermoney app, reset the paper account to reflect you're real acct value and margin type.  Then sell the same put in paper, check the margin req.  Buy the far otm put, check the margin req.  Use papermoney as a testbed for all you're ideas.

    Hell I'm made millions and lost millions in paper money!

  42. EBAY/Craigs – That's so ridiculous.  You can only end up buying 500 shares of EBAY for $50, which is $25,000 so it's 100% margin.  If you own a stock, I assume you get no margin credit either?  You do have to subtract the cash you collected and, since I don't know what that was – it's hard to talk about it but the 2016 $50 puts are $6 and EBAY is at $51.62 and you COULD buy the $35 puts for $1.40 and that drops your net to $4.60 but saves you 500 x $35 ($17,500) in margin.  As I've said before – IRA's are ridiculous because you have to trade with your hands tied behind your back.  On the whole, you may as well just buy the $40/50 bull call spread for $6 and those make the same $4 at $50 as your net spread does but without any margin at all.

    TOS margin on the short EBAY 2016 $50 puts is net $9 (so $15 margin less the $6 cash) so you can borrow 20% of your IRA and put it in a real account and have the same buying power as your entire IRA does.  Think about that…  If you make the same trades and the same money as your IRA, even if you get taxed 40% of your gains, you'll still be 60% better off than keeping 100% of your money in the IRA.

    IRAs and 401Ks are scams that were invented by the Banks and their corrupt Government cronies to get you to put your money into index funds and ETFs, where they collect massive fees.  You don't see any hedge funds investing in tax-free instruments – it's a complete waste of money over time – even after you take the "tax benefits" into account.  

    Not only that but, if you work with long-term PATIENT plays like the LTP, you're only paying long-term capital gains anyway. 

    4 kids/ZZ – Fun!  

    You're welcome, DM. 

    XRT/Scott – Good point but, overall, there's no defending the earnings I'm seeing.   And so much for that AIG buying premise they were touting yesterday.  

    LOL Craigs.  That's why we stopped at 2.  As soon as we took our first trip with both of them I realized what a pain in the ass it would be to travel with a 3rd kid.  We'd always need an extra cot, tables for 4 wouldn't fit us in restaurants so we'd have to plan more in advance, someone would always sit alone on 2-seat rides, no more rental convertibles… Yikes!  

  43. Don't forget, Webinar at 1pm

  44. Having run a company staffwd with talented prima donnas ffrom 4 nations helped hone my management chiops.  But not being able to fire anyone is a major disadvantage!!

  45. I have a 401K that I fully contribute to up to the amount my company will match.  Mine is an excellent plan though.  1) I can convert my account to options eligible (through Fidelity) which I'm going to do eventually.  2) For my first 4% of salary I contribute, I have a 100% employer match.  The next 2% are matched at 50% and my employer contributes 2.5% of my salary twice a year to my account.  Works out to a total(my cash+employer) of 16% of my salary contributed for my 6% of pre-tax dollars.

    Anyway, not far off from $109.5 on IWM for a long on TNA.  Hopefully we pull back there again and I can make the same move I failed to make last time (where I extended my short instead--should have known better!)

    BTW, my arbitrary comment from yesterday I think was appropriate but possibly misleading.  TA IS arbitrary but it works because people believe it works. 

  46. The bond market is giving the stock market angst. The yield on the 10-year note has become a barometer for stocks as it hovers near the bottom of this year's range. At the same time, the yield curve has been flattening, meaning yields on shorter-duration securities are getting closer to longer-term rates; this is usually a bad sign for stocks.

    The Eight Characteristics Of Stock Market Manias

    • ICSC Retail Store Sales: -2% W/W, vs. +1.6% last week.
    • +2% Y/Y vs. +3.1% last week.
    • "Heavy weather and flooding in the East together with dry conditions in the West pulled down retail sales".

    Paul Tudor Jones Presentation – Ira Sohn 2014 Investment Conference

    • Now making the rounds is Bill Ackman's 111-page slide presentation laying out the bull case on Fannie Mae (FNMA +2.9%) and Freddie Mac (FMCC -0.7%)
    • Yesterday: Ackman pitches Fannie and Freddie at Ira Sohn
    • Ackman notes much of the GSEs losses during the financial crisis – which pushed their capital levels far below minimum requirements and precipitated the bailout – were due to credit provisions. What actually happened, though, were losses of "just" $102B, or $142B less than the cumulative provisions taken from 2007-2011.
    • Further, much of those losses were the result of an ill-fated move to guarantee Alt-A and subprime loans. Losses from just the core portfolio of prime mortgages would have been only barely enough to push the GSEs below their minimum capital levels.

    France a buy, Germany a sell at Credit Suisse

    • Germany's growth premium in comparison to Europe is shrinking, impacting 25% of Germany’s equity market revenues, says global equity strategist Andrew Garthwaite, moving to a benchmark weighting in German stocks from overweight.
    • He also notes the country's competitiveness and funding-cost advantages are on decline, and it has three times more export exposure to China than Europe as a whole.
    • German's DAX 30 Index closed -0.7% today.
    • France, on the other hand, is moved to overweight as a play on ECB launching QE. "Bond spreads are consistent with outperformance, and France stands to benefit more than Germany from any ECB easing," says Garthwaite.
    • P/E valuations are 5% below average, and 75% of the companies in CAC 40 have restructuring potential, he says.
    • Particularly cheap are the French banks: CRARYSCGLYBNPZY. Also looking good: Renault (RNSDF), AXA (AXAHY -1.6%), and Total (TOT -0.4%).
    • The CAC 40 closed -0.8% today.

    France to break eurozone spending cuts promise, shows EU forecastPresident Hollande's failure to cut spending puts France on collision course with the eurozone.

    • The British pound continues a major bull run with today's excuse to buy being the Markit Services PMI rising to 58.7 in April from 57.6 previously. Up 0.75% vs. the greenback this session, cable now buys $1.6994 – about a 5--year high.
    • Has it already been ten months since Mark Carney took over at the Bank of England with near-universal expectations for further monetary ease and cable trading at less than $1.50? Instead, markets saw a hawkish lean from Carney and improved economic numbers.
    • The FTSE 100 – at least for today – looks like it prefers a weaker currency, -0.3%
    • FXB +0.7%

    Ruble Plunge Hitting Russians Speeds Slide to Recession

    Nickel Gains With Wheat on Ukraine Violence; Aussie Pares

    • Pressed by investors for greater capital returns, but muzzled by the Fed on regular quarterly payouts, a number of large banks are considering asking their D.C. bosses to approve special one-time dividends.
    • PNC CEO Bill Demchak – in the bank's recent earnings call (transcript) – said he's discussed the idea informally with regulators, and BB&T (BBT -0.9%) chief Kelly King raised the possibility of a special payout during his call (transcript). U.S. Bancorp (USB -0.6%) hinted at it as well.
    • “At some point the regulators will have to say to the banks, ‘You’ve done good, you’ve fixed your internal system, you’ve raised enough capital, now we don’t have any restrictions on your excess capital,’” says RBC's Gerard Cassidy.
    • Farr, Miller's Keith Davis isn't too excited by the prospect. “The lack of certainty would not play well … You want stability, you want visibility, you want to know what your returns are going to be.”
    • Previously: UBS higher after beat and special dividend

    Earnings call questions on AIG buyback; Nomura raises estimates; shares -2.3%

    • Nomura's Cliff Gallant boosts his targets on AIG post-earnings as buybacks and debt reduction offset a bit of operating weakness. He sees FY14 EPS of $4.72 vs. $4.60 previously and FY15 to $5.24 from $5.10. He also lifts his price target to $53 from $50, but remains Neutral on the stock amid "nagging quarterly reserve additions, heightened competition in its core commercial business and single digit ROEs, but also acknowledge that the company has been making steady material operating improvements."
    • On the conference call, there's some frustration with the pace of buybacks. The company used up $867M of its $1.4B authorization in Q1. Presumably, the rest will be accounted for this quarter. Will a faster pace ensure after that, especially once the sale of ILFC closes? Management – with federal regulators looking over its shoulder – plays it coy.
    • CC presentation slides
    • Previously: AIG lower after revenue and profit slips
    • Previously: American International Group beats by $0.15, misses on revenue
    • Shares -2.3% premarket

    The Cruelest Month: April Was A Bloodbath For Most Hedge Funds

    • Climate change is having a present-day, negative impact on Americans' everyday lives and is damaging the U.S. economy, and calls on governments to find ways to lower emissions, particularly from energy production, according to a new National Climate Assessment report.
    • But you can't expect people to willingly reduce their standard of living, so even as the U.S. turns away from coal, there are ready markets for America’s coal across the globe.
    • Coal is so cheap that it is likely for many years to be the cornerstone for many nations’ energy policies: U.S. coal offers much of Europe a less expensive alternative than coal from nearby mines even including transportation costs, Japan looks to spend billions of dollars on new coal-fired plants, while coal is likely to be the fuel of China into the foreseeable future.

    Pandora -0.9% after releasing April metrics

    • Pandora's (PApril listener hours totaled 1.7B, down fractionally from March's 1.71B (the impact of one less day) but up 30% Y/Y.
    • Active listeners rose to 76M from 75.3M in March and 70.1M a year ago. The company's U.S. radio listening share (affected some by seasonality) rose to 9.28% from 9.11% in March and 7.33% a year ago.
    • Pandora has said it'll stop providing monthly metrics (quarterly numbers will still be shared) following its May numbers (to be provided next month). Shares are off sharply from a 52-week high of $40.44 after the company provided disappointing guidance in its Q1 report.

  47. SLW Jan16 $20 puts for $3.00 would be returning 56% on $530 regular margin.

  48. scottmi
    are you talking about the short puts ? and how are you covering ? i want to put them in an IRA if possible

  49. Phil- This is not an IRA account! It is a standard TDAmeritrade/TOS margin account. So, is this not normally what should be happening? I guess I need to give my account rep a call. As for my IRA, it is an inherited IRA which is a very long story, but saved it from being seized by Feds when they went after my wife's (innocent mostly)family years ago. I agree with you it's all a scam  where fees are collected everywhere you look, but does offer protection from seizure, civil actions, etc.. 

  50. SLW/wombat – yes the short puts of course! not in ira, not covered. but if like Burrben you have a penchant for zero cost (or better) spreads, try this one:  Sell Jan16 $20 put, buy Jan 16 22/30 BCS for net credit $68.  To cover in an IRA (I play this way too) I sell verticals, but I don't see a spread with the SLW Jan16 puts I like at the moment. I like to find a minimum of 25% annualized return on the LEAP spreads, and can often find closer to 40%. In any case, the SLW $20 puts are the fat strike in 2016.

  51. phil/FSLR, an earnings play?

  52. Lunar – when the webinar is going, the rest of us might as well be on the Moon.. ;-)

  53. scott

    I don't do no stinkin futures and the RUT is falling nicely and I don't see the bottom yet!

  54. shadowfax / RUT I'm watchign it too.  Looking for $109.5 on IWM and then I'm going to sell my TZA calls and open a TNA position.

  55. FSLR/lunar – JKS reported today and after a 5% pop has come back down to even with last few days. SPWR was a beat 10 days ago but no great pop for the shares. SUNE and FSLR both seem to be waiting with anticipation, and only ones showing any substance. rest of names in sector I glanced at all seem a bit weak, trending down.

  56. Jhp

    I have that same line but will unload 1/2 at 109.8 because that was a couple recent bottoms.

  57. I kinda love the idea of Soldiers as Tax collectors.  Very medieval but would do the trick if a load of Jarheads arrived on the 48th floor demanding payment or they would start taking the art.  Plus the Air force could fly the Jets to the pound!

  58. Hmm…just got an IWM bounce at 109.99

  59. But it stayed below the 50 SMA and only 2 minutes over the 20SMA, 110 could be LOD.

  60. Earnings Today:

    Consensus Estimate – 0.11
    Whisper Number – 0.12
    Average Move – 6.7%
    Priced into Options – 6.36%

    Consensus Estimate – (0.07)
    Whisper Number – N/A
    Average Move – 17.3%
    Priced into Options – 12.55%

    Consensus Estimate – 0.55
    Whisper Number – 0.57
    Average Move – 12.3%
    Priced into Options – 7.92%

    Consensus Estimate – 0.97
    Whisper Number – 1.01
    Average Move – 4.4%
    Priced into Options – 3.19%

    Consensus Estimate – 0.41
    Whisper Number – 0.41
    Average Move – 6.9%
    Priced into Options – 6.4%

    Consensus Estimate – 0.5
    Whisper Number – N/A
    Average Move – 13.4%
    Priced into Options – 7.7%

    Based on Whisper's stats, TRIP and DIS have a strong upward bias, GRPN a downward bias and the other ones are neutral or so.

  61. Come on 99.50!

  62. OK, I'm back!  

    So we left off looking for a lower finish into the close.  Watch /ES – under 1,865 is very bad.  /TF over 1,107.50 is a signal to stop shorting too.  Oil ($99.65 on /CL) I'm shorting with conviction into API tonight – I don't see how their situation would be improving from last week.  

    /YM is a short below the 16,350 line, I'm assuming the Dollar holds 79.10.  

  63. JPH

    I amm going to 1/2 next dip, then decide to hold or bail out.

  64. LGF/Phil:

  65. Phil – What is the API tonight?  The EIA is tomorrow of course.  American Petro Inst?

    Also, what is "with conviction"?  Will you be short with wide stops?  More contracts?  I'm short from 100.04 down to 99.63, and I just set a .10 trailing stop since I can't be in front of the computer all the time.  Best I can do at the hospital.  But I'd love to hear in detail you're plan.  

  66. Phil when you state that you are shorting with conviction tonight,can you be more specific for us newer members so we can follow along and watch it? What time will you take a position and what will you be looking for to exit? Thanks.

  67. LGH/Phil: So I know LGF is in the LTP (above). I have still not entered and we can enter now for about a $1.00 credit.  (Jan16 25 put for 4.40, and Jan16 25/35 Bull call for 3.35) Has anything changed in your view about the company. I spent about 30 minutes trying to find your comments at trade open but had no luck.

  68. Ignore the API question.  Google saves the day again.

  69. TASR – how low will it go?

  70. TOS/Craigs – No, not at all.  That makes no sense in a regular account.  I guess civil protection is a good thing if you are often involved in that kind of thing.  Also, if people match funds – of course that makes it a no-brainer. 

    FSLR/Lunar – YES!  My brother just called and mentioned IRF as a good buy because there's a shortage of MOSFETs (metal oxide semiconductor field effect transistors) that are clogging up solar deliveries.  IRF had to shut down a plant (environmental issues) and there aren't many other suppliers.  We're investigating alternates in Asia as it could be a great opportunity to get behind a small manufacturer.  As far as FSLR goes – They had a big move up in March, so expectations are high and revenues are not likely to be over last year, when they were in the $40-50 range.  Best case is they are on track to earn about $2.50 for the year so p/e near 30 means they need to show great growth and good margins to hold $70.  

    I think it's worth a try at selling 5 July $75 calls for $3 ($1,500) and buying, to cover, 4 Jan $77.50/85 bull call spreads at $2 ($800) for a net credit of $700 – let's do a set of those in the STP.  

  71. Buy BOTS are trying but the seller is winning, TLT rising again!

  72. WOHA! 10 year buyer got a Yellen to start sellin.

  73. Power Rectifiers/Phil – anecdotal: last one I ordered from Mouser (to replace a blown one in an old generator) was a Vishay (VSH). As I recall, their catalog for power rectifiers was all IRF or VSH.

  74. scottmi

    That is a afirmative at Mouser! Vishay is over priced! I avoid them.

  75. How many investors are gonna retire from Twtr?

  76. Unfair comment Vishay resistors are worth it.

  77. Moon/Scott – Why aren't you on the Webinar?  

    Collections/Malsg – So many ways we could improve things if they put us in charge.  

    Indexes looking weak into the close still.  

    Earnings/StJ – FSLR is my favorite of the group.  TRIP should do well and DIS. WFM probably has margin pressure but already down quite a bit on that assumption.  

    API/Burr – You can't take the API seriously but it does give you moves in the Futures – a .50 dip and I'd be very happy.  I think the big deal is tomorrow at 10:30 where a net build over 2M should probably send us to $98.50 or lower (unless Putin marches into Kiev). 

    Conviction/Craigs – I took an entry on oil short at $99.62 as a demo and I said I'd leave it with conviction, which means I'd DD at $100 and average $99.81 on 2x and I'd stop those out at $100.06 (down $500) and then get back in at $100.20 (for 2 at average $99.95 average) and DD at $100.90 for 4x at $100.43 with a stop at $101.06 and a possible loss of $2,520.  Of course, if one of our DD gets us even on a pullback, we get right back to one contract to reduce the exposure and reset the cycle. 

    LGF/Jbur – Divergent did not live up to the Hunger Games expectations and people acted like it was a failure but it was a small budget movie and did just fine.  People who buy studio stocks are real idiots for the most part and have no concept of how the business works.  You have to ride out this stuff to play and yes, I still like them as a new entry.  LGF flatlined for 4 weeks after Hunger Games came out because that didn't get great reviews – then it popped 50% into the end of the year.   They are on track to earn $1 per share this year but next year, $1.60 is expected and that would make the p/e 16 – very low for a movie company.  

    TASR/Scott – Hopefully a lot lower so we can buy some more cheaply.  

    Those short Dow futures just went green again!  

    VSH/Scott – Worth looking at, thanks.  

    TWTR/Invest – Bound to be a huge amount of selling for a week at least.  

  78. 10 Surefire Trading rules from Josh – tongue in cheek obviously!

    Rule #1: Start by trading the stocks you hear about on TV or see people talking about on Twitter. Obviously those are the best stocks with the most opportunity, why else would everyone be discussing them? You don’t want to embarrass yourself by being involved with out-of-style, unpopular names.

    Rule #5: When you find yourself stuck in a losing position, that’s when it’s time to do the real research. You’re going to need to find enough evidence to convince yourself to stay in, otherwise you’ll end up booking a loss and being wrong. If you can avoid or put off booking losses, your track record will look much better. Never surrender, only amateurs book losses.

  79. That was a nice little dip into the close.  Our Webinar contracts ended up $360 – not too shabby for 90 minutes work…

  80. Invest in infrastructure companies:

    According to the World Economic Forum, global spending on basic infrastructure—transport, power, water and communications—currently amounts to $2.7 trillion a year when it ought to be $3.7 trillion. The gap is almost as big as South Korea’s GDP. And it is likely to grow fast.

    Much of the money to plug the gap needs to come from the public purse: even in an age of austerity many governments should be spending more. With the economy weak and borrowing cheap, it is daft that America’s public infrastructure spending is at a 20-year low, even as the country’s roads, bridges and dams are rated D+ by the American Society of Civil Engineers. The most cash-strapped emerging economies have room to cut inefficient subsidies (such as for fuel) and switch the money into building better roads and sewers.

  81. TLT at $112.48 – they have lots of notes to sell this week so market down and TLT up is just what the Fed wants to see.  

  82. Too bad I didn't go all in up about 75% on the position and out. Now please drop the DOW tomorrow so thos DXD calls don't suck so much.

  83. Webinar/Phil – I can better watch the replay.

  84. Sadly, StJ, those repairs have been needed for the last 10 years – it's just getting worse and worse as no one does anything about it.  Maybe we should just invest in survival gear…

    Replay/Scott – Apparently about 10x more people watch the replay than participate live.  I guess a lot of people work but I would think it's better to watch it live.  

  85. WFM drops a quick 10%.  FSLR $69+, GRPN up about 3%.   EA did well.  TRIP down 5%.  

  86. Phil or anyone:  What is the link for the replay of the Webinar?  Thanks.

  87. STJ- Great stuff.  Unfortunately, a couple of them sound familiar, esp the one about doing the research to prove you're right when you are in a losing position. 8-)

  88. Do you have losing positions Albo? Amateur…

  89. Infrastructure / Phil – The chart shows about $55T needed by 2030. Out of these, I am guessing the $10T or so in telecom infrastructure have a better chance of getting done because they are mostly done by private businesses. The question is then – where will that happen? Emerging markets, China, India, Africa? What are the big players in the world for that – Siemens, Nokia, Ericsson, Alcatel Lucent, all the big router companies – CSCO, JNPR and many others. That's a big chunk of change for any of them.

  90. The U.S. energy boom has been bought on credit

    07:25 PM ET · EOG

    • The U.S. energy boom is undeniable – just today, the government said the U.S. next year will import only 23% of the crude oil it needs, the lowest since 1970 – but it’s worth noting that the boom has been bought on credit.
    • Many oil companies that lead the way in the fracking revolution spend more cash leasing land and drilling than they make selling oil and gas; Standard & Poor’s says 75 of the 97 E&P companies it covers have junk bond ratings.
    • Little wonder that EOG – which generated $2.27B from its operations and spent $1.9B in Q1, its fourth straight cash flow-positive quarter – has one of the highest credit ratings (A-) of any oil and gas driller.
    • Heard On The Street’s Liam Denning thinks E&P investors now may be just chasing momentum, leaving them vulnerable to sharp corrections.

  91. Kinder Morgan clarifies comments implying benefits from oil spills

    06:48 PM ET · KMI

    • Kinder Morgan (KMI, KMP) is faced with a public relations problem thanks to a portion of its proposal to expand its Trans Mountain pipeline where it said an oil spill can have positive economic effects such as business and employment opportunities for spill response and clean-up.
    • The company says it is required to analyze both positive and negative effects of a spill in its project application, but Kinder Morgan Canada president Ian Anderson says “no spill is acceptable to me anywhere, any time, for any reason… Spills are not part of our economic benefits analysis, nor do we in any way say that money spent on spill response would be justification for our project.”
    • A spokesman for Enbridge (ENB), a supporter of the pipeline to B.C., says he does not believe Canadian government guidelines require such an analysis.
    • Rachel Maddow was among the outraged critics.

  92. Marathon Oil +1.8% as Q1 earnings triple, North American output rises

    05:59 PM ET · MRO

    • Marathon Oil (MRO) +1.8% AH after Q1 earnings more than tripled despite a drop in revenue, as domestic production continues to grow and exploration costs fell 84%.
    • North American shale production jumped 10% Y/Y, but overseas production fell 14% due to a strike in Libya and aging fields in Norway and the U.K.; says the sale of its North Sea assets is on schedule and that bids are due this quarter.
    • Q1 revenue fell 12% to $3.53B, sales volume slipped 11% to $463M, while net production available for sales dropped 13% to $448M.
    • Operating margin narrowed to 33.5% from 35.8%, while provisions for income taxes fell 40% to $590M.

  93. FireEye -9.5% AH; EPS guidance below consensus, acquisition announced

    05:58 PM ET · FEYE

    • FireEye (FEYE) expects Q2 revenue of $89M-$91M and EPS of -$0.58 to -$0.63 vs. a consensus of $87.9M and -$0.51. Full-year guidance is for revenue of $405M-$415M and EPS of -$2.10 to -$2.30 vs. a consensus of $407.1M and -$2.04.
    • FireEye’s breakneck spending pace is responsible for its EPS outlook: Sales/marketing spend is expected to equal 82%-85% of 2014 revenue, and R&D spend 40%-43%; the latter range is up from a prior 36%-39%.
    • A bright spot: Q1 billings totaled $99.2M, well above guidance of $84M-$88M. That, in turn, contributed to a $25.2M Q/Q increase in FireEye’s deferred revenue balance to $212.7M. Full-year billings guidance has been hiked by $10M to $550M-$570M.
    • Separately, FireEye has announced it’s buying nPulse Technologies, a network forsenics hardware/software provider, for $60M in cash + $10M in stock. FireEye asserts the integration of nPulse’s products with recently-acquired Mandiant’s endpoint security offerings will yield the first enterprise forsenics solution offering a unified view of network and endpoint activity.
    • Shares are now down 65% from a March high of $97.35.
    • Q1 results, PR

  94. Diablo III, Asia-Pac growth fuel Activision’s Q1 beat

    05:38 PM ET · ATVI

    • Activision (ATVI) has hiked its 2014 revenue guidance by $75M to $4.675B (consensus is at $4.65B), and its EPS guidance by a penny to $1.27 (consensus is already at $1.29).
    • Digital channel revenue (68% of total) rose 23% Y/Y in Q1 to $527M; retail channel revenue fell 47% to $172M; distribution revenue rose 43% to $73M.
    • Console revenue fell 40% Y/Y to $150M, but PC revenue rose 98% to $239M (strong Diablo III sales). Online revenue (inc. World of Warcraft and Call of Duty Elite) was flat at $227M, and mobile/other revenue fell 47% to $83M (lower Skylanders toy sales?).
    • Asia-Pac sales soared 67% Y/Y to $105M, and helped drive the EPS beat. North America -22% to $330M, Europe +6% to $337M.
    • The company lost 200K World of Warcraft subs; the base now stands at 7.6K. Diablo III was the top-selling PC title on a dollar basis in North America and Europe. R&D spend +14% to $143M, sales/marketing spend -3% to $104M.
    • Shares have pared their gains: ATVI +1.5% AH. Q1 results, PR.

  95. Siemens unveils overhaul, confirms $1.3B deal for Rolls-Royce energy business

    05:28 PM ET · SI

    • Siemens (SI) announces a corporate overhaul which will reorganize the company into nine divisions, see its healthcare business managed separately, and its audiology activities publicly listed; SI also confirms it is buying Rolls-Royce’s (RYCEY) energy business.
    • The £785M ($1.32B) purchase, plus £200M as part of a 25-year development services agreement, aims to strengthen SI’s power generation and transmission business.
    • Nine divisions will replace SI’s four sectors, with healthcare being added an additional unit; the company expects the moves to help boost productivity by ~$1.5B, fully effective by the end of FY 2016.

  96. Frontier maintains full-year guidance; payout ratio at 43%

    05:13 PM ET · FTR

    • In spite of its Q1 miss, Frontier (FTR) is maintaining guidance for 2014 free cash flow (excluding the AT&T deal) of $725M-$775M. Capex guidance of $575M-$625M is also reiterated.
    • Thanks to a $54M decline in capex, Q1 free cash flow rose 14% Y/Y to $235.2M, leading Frontier’s dividend payout ratio to fall to 43% from 48%. But op. cash flow margin fell 140 bps to 45.2%
    • Residential customers fell by 10K Q/Q to 2.793M, and business customers by 4.4K to 266.4K; those declines compare with 18.7K and 3.9K in Q4.
    • Broadband net adds totaled 37.2K, an improvement from Q4′s 27.8K. But video adds fell to 5K from 7.8K. Frontier now has 1.903M broadband subs, and 390.3K video subs.
    • Voice revenue fell another 8% Y/Y to $482.3M (local loop disconnections). Data revenue rose 1% to $461.5M, and switched access/subsidy revenue fell 6% to $133.1M.
    • Q1 results, PR

  97. Alibaba releases IPO filing, shows off big numbers

    05:00 PM ET · ABABA

    • Alibaba (ABABA) has released its long-anticipated F-1. No trading symbol has been proposed yet, and the company nominally says it’s looking to raise up to $1B (it’ll almost certainly raise more). The IPO underwriters: Credit Suisse, Deutsche, Goldman, JPMorgan, Morgan Stanley, and Citi.
    • Alibaba had 2013 revenue of $5.55B (+73% Y/Y), and net income of $1.35B. Gross margin was 71.9%. R&D spend totaled $604M, sales/marketing spend $581M, and G&A spend $465M.
    • The company claims an annual gross merchandise volume (GMV) of $248B on the back of 11.3B orders and 231M active buyers and 8M active sellers.Q4 GMV rose 53% Y/Y to RMB529B, with mobile accounting for 19.7% of the total. Mobile MAUs amount to 136M.
    • Chinese commerce accounted for $4.69B of the company’s 2013 revenue. International commerce accounted for $669M, cloud services $105M, and everything else $87M.
    • Founder Jack Ma owns 8.9% of shares going into the IPO. SoftBank (SFTBF) owns 34.4%, and Yahoo (YHOO) 22.6%.
    • Yahoo investors are taking the F-1 release in stride. Shares -0.3% AH.

  98. Groupon’s billings growth improves, but spending pressures EPS

    04:39 PM ET · GRPN

    • Groupon (GRPN) expects Q2 revenue of $725M-$775M and EPS of $0.00-$0.02 vs. a consensus of $754.4M and $0.03. Adjusted EBITDA is expected to rise to $45M-$65M from a Q1 level of $40.3M (down from $71.9M a year ago).
    • Gross billings rose 29% Y/Y in Q1 to $1.82B, an improvement from Q4′s 5% clip. North American revenue rose 26.9% to $431M, EMEA 25.6% to $230.9M, and rest of world +22.6% to $95.7M.
    • Gross margin, pressured lately by a mix shift towards Goods/e-commerce sales, came in at 50.9%, +170 bps Q/Q but -1210 bps Y/Y. SG&A spend rose 5% Y/Y to $325M, and marketing spend a hefty 59% to $78.9M (affected EPS and EBITDA). $29.5M was spent on buybacks.
    • Local revenue (daily deals-dominated) rose fractionally Y/Y to $330.2M. Goods revenue (e-commerce-dominated) rose 68% to $386.2M. Travel revenue fell 3% to $41.3M.
    • Active customers (a customer in the last 12 months) rose 15% Q/Q and 24% Y/Y to 51.8M. Units sold rose 50% Q/Q and 85% Y/Y to 84M. Active deals totaled 200K+, up from 140K+ at the end of Q4. Mobile accounted for 54% of transactions, and search generated 9% of North American transactions. GRPN -4% AH. Q1 results, PR

  99. Hit movies power Disney in FQ2

    04:31 PM ET · DIS

    • Disney (DIS) puts in another powerhouse quarter with double-digit revenue growth and a healthy beat on the bottom line.
    • Disney segment revenue: Parks and Resorts +8% to $3.30B; Studio Entertainment 35% to $1.80B; Media Networks +4% to $5.13B; Consumer Products +16% to $885M; Interactive +38% to $268M.
    • Frozen and Thor: The Dark World both excelled at the global box office and gave a lift to consumer products in the quarter.
    • ESPN advertising revenue was lower due to a decrease in ad units delivered, although ad rates were higher.
    • Higher construction costs at Shanghai Disney drove capex spending to $1.359B.
    • DIS +0.5% AH to $81.35.

  100. Stocks slide as momentum names resume weakness, Twitter -18%

    04:20 PM ET

    • Stocks posted broad losses, a day after the DJIA and S&P 500 closed near record highs, as AIG reported a 27% drop in quarterly profit and Twitter braced for nearly 500M shares to hit the market as a lock-up period expires.
    • Declines were most pronounced in smaller high-growth and consumer internet stocks, as the Russell 2000 tumbled 1.5%, settling below its 200-day MA for the first time since Nov. 2012. – weakness that is weighing down a thinly traded market, says Instinet trader Frank Cappelleri.
    • Twiiter’s 18% thrashing on its heaviest-ever volume led internet names lower; Facebook, LinkedIn and Yelp all fell between 4.4% and 13.4%.
    • The financial sector also underperformed, as AIG fell 4%, and BofA, Citigroup and JPM all fell between 1.6% and 2.3%.
    • The 10-year Treasury yield fell 2 bps to 2.59%.

  101. First Solar ups 2014 guidance

    04:17 PM ET · FSLR

    • First Solar (FSLR) has hiked its 2014 EPS guidance range by $0.20 to $2.40-$2.80; the consensus is at $2.49. Gross margin is now expected to be in a range of 17%-18% vs. a prior 16%-18%, and operating cash flow in a range of $300M-$500M vs. a prior $250M-$400M.
    • Gross margin rose 250 bps Y/Y in Q1 to 24.9%, contributing to First Solar’s big EPS beat. A 10% drop in opex to $97.4M (compares with 26% rev. growth) also helped.
    • Due to project construction work, First Solar ended Q1 with $1.4B in cash/marketable securities, down $385M from the end of Q4.
    • Shares +4.5% AH.
    • Q1 results, PR

  102. Api reporting drop in crude supplies. I can’t find the actual report, looks to be for pay.

  103. Electronic Arts +12.3% AH on FQ4 beat, guidance, buyback

    04:10 PM ET · EA

    • Electronic Arts (EA) expects FY15 (ends March ’15) revenue of $4.1B and EPS of $1.85; the former is slightly below a $4.11B consensus, but the latter is well above a $1.52 consensus.
    • In addition, FQ1 guidance is for revenue of $700M and EPS of -$0.05, well above a consensus of $632.7M and -$0.23.
    • EA has also announced a $750M buyback; it’s good for buying nearly 8% of shares at elevated AH levels.
    • FQ4 results, PR

  104. Whole Foods Market misses by $0.03, misses on revenue

    04:07 PM ET · WFM

    • Whole Foods Market (WFM): FQ2 EPS of $0.38 misses by $0.03.
    • Revenue of $3.3B (+8.9% Y/Y) misses by $40M.
    • Shares -9.2%.
    • Press Release

  105. TripAdvisor misses by $0.01, misses on revenue

    04:06 PM ET · TRIP

    • TripAdvisor (TRIP): Q1 EPS of $0.54 misses by $0.01.
    • Revenue of $281M (+22.2% Y/Y) misses by $1.94M.
    • Shares -1.67%.
    • Press Release

  106. Not moving the needle much Burrben!

  107. Samsung reportedly puts in soft component orders

    03:52 PM ET · SSNLF

    • Digitimes reports Samsung (SSNLF) “putting in weaker-than-expected handset component orders to the supply chain” amid toughening competition, particularly in China. The site adds Samsung, which last month launched its latest flagship (the Galaxy S5), is mostly expected to cut orders for cheaper smartphones.
    • The report comes a few days after InvenSense (INVN -2.8%) offered a soft June quarter outlook, while estimating Samsung will return to accounting for a mid-30s % of revenue after making up 47% of March quarter sales.
    • Strategy Analytics estimates Samsung saw its smartphone share fall 120 bps Y/Y to 31.2% in Q1 (89M shipments out of 285M), following many quarters of steady share gains. Strategy also estimates Lenovo (LNVGY) grew its share to 4.7% from 3.9%, and that Huawei’s share was steady at 3.9%.
    • Other Chinese OEMs, including Xiaomi, ZTE, and Coolpad, have also been seeing healthy shipment growth amid an industry mix shift towards cheaper phones aimed at emerging markets. Xiaomi (also a major InvenSense client) is looking to roughly double its shipments in 2014 to 40M.
    • Other suppliers with heavy Samsung exposure: OLED, MXIM, SYNA, ANAD.

  108. Twitter nears $32; Yelp, Pandora, YY also down big

    03:27 PM ET · TWTR

    • Twitter (TWTR -16.9%) opened below $36 on lockup expiration day and has steadily moved lower since; today’s volume (110M shares) is already over 8x the company’s daily average.
    • A lack of a secondary offering to alleviate selling pressure might be contributing to Twitter’s woes: On the Q1 CC, CFO Mike Gupta argued commitments from major holders not to sell (for the time being) eliminated the need for a secondary.
    • After factoring options/RSUs, shares still go for ~10x 2015E sales exc. cash.
    • The microblogging leader is headlining a fresh selloff in tech momentum plays. Yelp (YELP -12.7%) is also a noteworthy decliner – shares are now down 10% from where they traded prior to Yelp’s April 30 Q1 beat.
    • Pandora (P -8.4%) is down sharply after posting April metrics that included a slight M/M drop in listener hours, and YY (YY -7.9%) is selling off in spite of a Q1 beat and strong Q2 guidance.
    • Morgan Stanley is defending YY: The firm highlights YY’s mobile music growth – revenue +180% Q/Q and now 8% of total music revenue – and considers worries about a government crackdown on illicit content overblown. Deutsche, meanwhile, recently called YY’s online education platform ““a potentially disruptive force in standardized test-prep market.”
    • Earlier: Twitter -4.9% premarket as lockup expires

  109. Positive trends at J.C. Penney

    03:24 PM ET · JCP

    • Fresh channel checks from BlueFin Research Partners indicate continual improvement at J.C. Penney (JCP -4.1%).
    • Store traffic around the Easter holiday looked solid and the private Disney and Worthington lines are performing well, according to BlueFin.

  110. SouFun, E-House join selloff as Nomura warns of real estate bust

    02:53 PM ET · SFUN

    • “To us, it is no longer a question of ‘if’ but rather ‘how severe’ the property market correction will be,” writes Nomura about a Chinese real estate market the firm thinks is already beginning to go south.
    • Nomura observes property investment growth turned negative in 4 of China’s 26 provinces in Q1, with two northeastern provinces recording 25%+ drops. With the firm estimating housing and related industries account for 16% of China’s GDP (others put the number as high as 25%), it expects a downturn will have a major macro impact.
    • China Real Estate Index System estimates property sales (by volume) fell 9% M/M and 19% Y/Y in 44 tracked cities. Average home prices still rose 9.1% Y/Y, but only 0.1% M/M.
    • Chinese online real estate plays SouFun (SFUN -5.6%), E-House (EJ -4.9%), and (E-House subsidiary) Leju (LEJU -4.3%) are all joining a broader selloff in momentum stocks. Leju is now just 2% above its $10 April IPO price.

  111. Capstone Turbine -13% as article foretells worse than expected quarter

    02:35 PM ET · CPST

    • Capstone Turbine (CPST -13.2%) is sharply lower due to a negative article from Seeking Alpha contributor Adam Gefvert, who says the company pre-reported a 16% revenue miss for the current quarter, its second-worst miss in 13 quarters.
    • The article also says Russian sanctions on the energy sector would affect CPST’s Russian distributor, which represents more than 10% of sales, and that CPST failed its financial compliance with its credit facility with Wells Fargo.
    • Gefvert also notes CPST’s recent equity raise because of its overvalued share price, which reminds him of Plug Power’s similar offering that may be soon followed by a PLUG-like 25% drop.

  112. Quantum Fuel -42% after key competitor, largest customer team up

    02:19 PM ET · QTWW

    • Quantum Fuel Systems (QTWW -41.6%) plunges after Hexagon Composites (HXGCF) establishes a joint venture with Agility Fuel Systems to supply compressed natural gas high-pressure cylinders for fuel systems to support the heavy duty natural gas truck market in North America.
    • In its annual report, QTWW identified Hexagon as one of its key competitors in the gaseous fuel storage market, and Agility accounted for 45% of QTWW’s revenue last year and 26% of revenue in 2012; QTWW also identified Agility as one of its key competitors in compressed natural gas and hydrogen packaged fuel systems.

  113. Trend-spotting in the restaurant industry

    01:34 PM ET · CAKE

    • Restaurant chains saw sales increase at a slightly higher rate last year than sales at independent chains and concepts, according to data from GE Capital.
    • The 100 largest chains saw sales grow at a rate of 3.5% vs. the industry average of 3.1%.
    • Consumers spent more money per restaurant visit in 2013, but industry-wide same-store sales fell off 0.1% with traffic numbers down.
    • For the 6th year in a row, sales at quick-service restaurants rose faster than sales at full-service establishments.

  114. Game of Thrones delivers for HBO

    01:18 PM ET · TWX

    • HBO’s Game of Thrones delivered smashing ratings for the first show of the season at its regular time slot.
    • Nielsen estimates Sunday night’s tally at 7.155M viewers. Season-to-date viewership is up 24% Y/Y.
    • The success of the show has also given a lift to other HBO shows such as Silicon Valley and Last Week Tonight With John Oliver.
    • What to watch: During Time Warner’s (TWX) earnings Q4 earnings call, execs tipped off that they are looking at potential new distribution channels for hit shows. Every home run such as Game of Thrones pushes the revenue potential of new ventures higher.
    • Earnings call transcript

  115. Dimon talks e-payments; new commodity chiefs named

    01:17 PM ET · JPM

    • “We move $10T a day,” says Jamie Dimon (JPM -1.1%), speaking at a conference in Saudi Arabia. “We’re one of the largest payments systems in the world. We’re going to have competition from Google and Facebook and somebody else.” At issue for regulators, says Dimon, is whether they will apply the same scrutiny to the Google’s of the financial services world as they do to the banks. “There’s no way that Google wants to be a regulated bank.”
    • Global electronic payments are worth as much as $1.8T per year, according to one report. “We are devoted to making it easier to move money and authenticate who you are, reduce fraud,” says Dimon.
    • In other JPMorgan news, the bank has promoted two as co-heads of its commodities business to replace the outgoing boss Blythe Masters, reports the WSJ. Houston-based John Anderson and London-based Michael Camacho will take over the about-to-be downsized business. The bank has inked a deal to sell its physical commodities operations to Mercuria Energy for $3.5B.

  116. Gulf researchers spot deep-sea creatures living near Gulf spill site

    12:59 PM ET · BP

    • Aquatic life appears to be flourishing again at the bottom of the Gulf of Mexico near the site of the 2010 BP (BP +0.5%) oil spill, according to a team of scientists that concluded a month-long excursion to the area.
    • A ride in a submersible 5K ft. feet below sea level revealed that eels, shrimp, various fish species, sea anemones and other deep-sea creatures are making a comeback in the region where the group had seen only one crab in a similar seven-hour journey four years ago after the Macando well blowout.
    • The scientists say they have found no evidence that the chemistry and microbiology under layers of deepwater sediment had changed.

  117. Good read ahead of the Eia. Good to know is that Cushing might be low but totals are up. Similar to manipulating the y axis.

  118. Google buys ad measurement tech provider

    12:49 PM ET · GOOG

    • Google (GOOG -1.2%) has bought Adometry, developer of an online ad measurement platform (known as Attribute) that takes in data from over a dozen different sources (inc. online, offline, and mobile channels) to figure out whether an ad was viewed, and whether it led to a sale.
    • Adometry runs algorithms over massive datasets to determine which online/offline channels (if any) deserve credit for producing a conversion. The startup claims the ability of its algorithms to “work at the most granular level” yields unmatched accuracy.
    • Google has been stepping up its efforts lately to improve ad measurement, with the goals of improving ad prices and compelling marketers to direct more of their budgets to online channels. The company is already running a pilot program to figure out the extent to which search ad sales drive offline purchases, and has partnered with Nielsen to develop TV-like ratings tools for YouTube.
    • The Adometry deal shortly follows the purchase of Rangespan, a provider of analytics software that helps online retailers gauge product demand and make inventory decisions. Google is expected to use Rangespan to help product listing ad (PLA) clients get more bang for their buck.

  119. Russell not looking very healthy, closing below its 200 DMA for the first time since November 2012! It had been below a couple of times before, but bounced back in the afternoon. Not so lucky this time, closing on the LOD.

  120. /CL not cooperating.  I got stopped out around 100.12, but re-entered this morning on the cross below 100.50, now 100.37.

  121. Overseas

    06:00 AM ET

    • Japan -2.93%.
    • Hong Kong -1.05%.
    • China -0.89%.
    • India -0.87%.
    • London -0.38%.
    • Paris -0.03%.
    • Frankfurt -0.11%.

  122. Wednesday’s economic calendar

    12:00 AM ET

  123. From Bloomberg, May 7, 2014, 5:50:13 AM

    May 6 (Bloomberg) — U.K. Energy Minister Michael Fallon talks about the need for Europe to develop local energy resources, including natural gas from shale, the impact of the region’s reliance on Russia for energy and the outlook for hydraulic fracturing to tap shale reserves.
    Fallon speaks with Trish Regan on Bloomberg Television’s “Street Smart.” (Source: Bloomberg)

    European stocks fell for a fourth day
    as companies from Fiat SpA to Societe Generale SA posted profit
    that missed estimates, and the U.S. said Ukraine should ignore
    Russia’s calls to postpone a presidential election this month.
    U.S. futures were little changed, while Asian shares slid.

    To read the entire article, go to
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  124. From Bloomberg, May 7, 2014, 5:33:55 AM

    A man rides an escalator at the HSBC Holdings Plc headquarters in Hong Kong. The lender which derives the bulk of its profit from Asia, is focusing on the most profitable markets amid increasing regulation and compliance costs for financial services firms. Photographer: Brent Lewin/Bloomberg

    HSBC Holdings Plc (HSBA), Europe’s largest
    bank, said first-quarter profit fell 20 percent, meeting analyst
    estimates, as gains from asset sales dwindled and investment-banking revenue slipped.

    To read the entire article, go to
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  125. From Bloomberg, May 7, 2014, 12:00:01 AM

    Cancer doctors are in the process of creating a way to measure the value of the drugs they prescribe, the first step in a drive to give patients affordable options. Photographer: Tomohiro Ohsumi/Bloomberg

    The backlash over surging drug prices is starting to take hold.

    To read the entire article, go to
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  126. From Bloomberg, May 7, 2014, 2:00:00 AM

    An employee works on the assembly line at Volkswagen AG’s Audi AG automobile plant in Ingolstadt, Germany. Volkswagen AG, Europe’s largest automaker, reported a 22 percent gain in first-quarter operating profit on April 29, helped by record sales at its luxury Porsche and Audi brands. Source: Audi AG via Bloomberg

    German factory orders (GRIORTMM) unexpectedly fell in March, signaling that growth in Europe’s largest economy remains uneven.

    To read the entire article, go to
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  127. From Bloomberg, May 7, 2014, 4:05:24 AM

    Investors tempted to Ukraine by the
    prospect of a foreign bailout are sounding the retreat as deadly
    clashes between government forces and separatists threaten to
    overwhelm efforts to prop up the nation’s finances.

    To read the entire article, go to
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  128. From Bloomberg, May 7, 2014, 3:10:36 AM

    The company logo stands on a sign outside the headquarters of Societe Generale SA in Paris. Photographer: Balint Porneczi/Bloomberg

    Societe Generale SA (GLE), the second-largest French bank by market value, reported a 13 percent decline in first-quarter profit after writing down goodwill at its Russian unit.

    To read the entire article, go to
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  129. From Bloomberg, May 7, 2014, 1:49:16 AM

    China’s top security official said a
    special anti-terrorism operation will begin after a third
    violent attack this year at a railway station occurred in
    Guangzhou, near the border with Hong Kong.

    To read the entire article, go to
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  130. From Bloomberg, May 7, 2014, 1:59:49 AM

    When apartheid ended in 1994, Diesploot was a meadow. Now, the roughly 200,000 people living in its sprawl of shacks and low-cost houses, are worse off than before the dawn of democracy. Photographer: Mujahid Safodien/AFP via Getty Images

    Mpho Mpshane can’t wait to escape the whiff of kerosene and the tupperware-munching rats in her car-sized shack in South Africa’s Diepsloot shantytown.

    To read the entire article, go to
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  131. From Bloomberg, May 6, 2014, 9:04:30 PM

    Yahoo CEO Marissa Mayer speaks during her keynote address at the 2014 International CES in Las Vegas, Nevada, on Jan. 7, 2014. Photographer: Robyn Beck/AFP via Getty Images

    Marissa Mayer is finally set to get a cash infusion from Yahoo! Inc. (YHOO)’s nine-year investment in Alibaba Group Holding Ltd. — along with the pressure of putting the money to work.

    To read the entire article, go to
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  132. From Bloomberg, May 7, 2014, 2:50:35 AM

    Visitors at the Alibaba Group headquarters on March 29, 2014 in Hangzhou, China. Photographer: Hong Wu/Getty Images

    Alibaba Group Holding Ltd., which rode China’s emergence as an economic superpower over the last 15 years to become a massive online marketplace for everything from forks to forklifts, filed yesterday for what could become the largest U.S. initial public offering ever.

    To read the entire article, go to
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  133. From Bloomberg, May 7, 2014, 4:36:38 AM

    ECB President Mario Draghi stepped up his war of words against the euro’s gains in recent months, culminating in an April 24 pledge to start asset purchases if a stronger currency keeps inflation depressed. While the appreciation may be seen asPhotographer: Simon Dawson/Bloomberg

    The case for European Central Bank action to curb the euro’s gains is getting stronger after the 18-nation currency jumped to within a half-cent of $1.40.

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  134. From Bloomberg, May 6, 2014, 5:00:01 PM

    The view across the Bosporus and into Asia from the village of Garipce. Turkey’s third bridge over the strait will have its European footing here. (Photograph: George Georgiou/Bloomberg Markets)

    From the window of his construction trailer, Murat Sarayli has a prime vantage point on the promise and perils of the Turkish economy. Outside, sparks cascade from welding torches as workers labor to complete the steel skeleton of a $350 million hotel and conference center. Jets pass overhead, approaching and leaving Istanbul Ataturk Airport, less than a mile away.

    To read the entire article, go to
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  135. From Bloomberg, May 7, 2014, 12:01:00 AM

    Though counterfeit bills make up only a tiny fraction of the $1.27 trillion in circulation, law enforcement officials and federal prosecutors say they aggressively target money forgers to protect consumers and business owners and the larger U.S. economy. Photographer: Andrew Harrer/Bloomberg

    Tarshema Brice hardly ranks among the world’s elite counterfeiters. But with the help of modern consumer technology, she developed an exacting system for crafting fake U.S. greenbacks.

    To read the entire article, go to
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  136. From Bloomberg, May 6, 2014, 5:00:00 PM

    While China’s communist party was founded to benefit the country’s “workers and peasants,” Chinese leaders aren’t known for their patience with protest. Photographer: Qilai Shen/Bloomberg

    The Chinese government is gaining an unlikely ally in its effort to overhaul the economy: striking Chinese workers.

    To read the entire article, go to
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  137. From Bloomberg, May 6, 2014, 9:18:55 PM

    A road traffic sign is seen beside the offices of Credit Suisse Group AG in Basel, Switzerland. The bank last year created a separate legal entity called CS International Advisors AG to house the U.S. cross-border business that has drawn the legal scrutiny. Photographer: Gianluca Colla/Bloomberg

    The U.S. is pressing for guilty pleas from the parent companies of banks under investigation, including Credit Suisse Group AG (CSGN), in a marked departure from the past, according to a person familiar with the negotiations.

    To read the entire article, go to
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  138. From Bloomberg, May 7, 2014, 5:53:36 AM

    Look who’s calling for a rebound in
    Russian stocks.

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  139. From Bloomberg, May 7, 2014, 12:28:02 AM

    Billionaire Jack Ma, chairman of Alibaba Group Holding Ltd. Photographer: David Paul Morris/Bloomberg

    The fortunes of Alibaba Group Holding Ltd.’s billionaire co-founders have more than tripled this year as the company prepares for an initial public offering.

    To read the entire article, go to
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  140. From Bloomberg, May 7, 2014, 12:31:04 AM

    Residential buildings stand at the Sea Shore of China development in the Sanya Bay district of Sanya, Hainan Province, China. Photographer: Brent Lewin/Bloomberg

    China’s weakening property market
    poses an increasing danger to local governments, threatening to
    strain their finances and intensify an economic slowdown.

    To read the entire article, go to
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  141. From Bloomberg, May 6, 2014, 5:00:01 PM

    The Shenzhen Stock Exchange’s title as
    China’s dominant bourse may prove short-lived as policy changes
    boost its counterpart in Shanghai.

    To read the entire article, go to
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  142. From Bloomberg, May 6, 2014, 9:47:51 AM

    Steven Cohen, chairman and chief executive officer of SAC Captial Advisors LP. Photographer: Scott Eells/Bloomberg

    Goldman Sachs Group Inc. (GS), which stood
    by Steven A. Cohen last year as his SAC Capital Advisors LP bore
    the brunt of a massive insider trading probe, has come to the
    billionaire’s aid again.

    To read the entire article, go to
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  143. From Bloomberg, May 6, 2014, 7:25:24 AM

    Nickel is poised to rally a further 20
    percent this year as Indonesia’s ban on exports of ore push the
    market toward a global shortage and unrest increases in Ukraine,
    a survey of analysts and traders shows.

    To read the entire article, go to
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  144. From Bloomberg, May 7, 2014, 5:01:03 AM

    Spending on major household appliances — which include refrigerators, washers and dryers — fell 1.7 percent in March from a year ago to a seasonally adjusted annual rate of $38.7 billion, Commerce Department data show. Photographer: Victor J. Blue/Bloomberg

    Sales of appliances made by manufacturers such as Whirlpool Corp. (WHR) and Electrolux AB (ELUXB) are poised to rise this year as Americans replace aging machines.

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  145. From Bloomberg, May 7, 2014, 12:00:00 AM

    Jeremy Stein, in one of his last
    speeches as a Federal Reserve governor, warned that the central
    bank still may face more bouts of market volatility as it winds
    down the most aggressive easing in its history.

    To read the entire article, go to
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  146. From Bloomberg, May 6, 2014, 7:06:05 PM

    New Zealand employers hired workers at
    a faster pace than economists forecast in the three months
    through March and more people entered the workforce, adding to
    the case for the central bank to raise interest rates again.

    To read the entire article, go to
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  147. From Bloomberg, May 6, 2014, 10:27:13 PM

    Reserve Bank of New Zealand Governor Graeme Wheeler. Photographer: Mark Coote/Bloomberg

    New Zealand’s central bank gave notice
    that continued currency strength in the face of weakening prices
    for the country’s exports would raise the chances of
    intervention, prompting a decline in the kiwi.

    To read the entire article, go to
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  148. From Bloomberg, May 6, 2014, 1:42:17 PM

    David Einhorn, president of Greenlight Capital Inc., in Atlantic City, New Jersey. Photographer: Scott Eells/Bloomberg

    David Einhorn, manager of the $10 billion Greenlight Capital Inc., said he found a recent dinner conversation with former Federal Reserve Chairman Ben S. Bernanke scary.

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  149. From Bloomberg, May 6, 2014, 5:23:52 PM

    That Twitter bird looks good on the NYSE, but the company isn’t profitable. Photographer: Scott Eells/Bloomberg

    Does anybody really know why Twitter Inc.’s stock price fell 18 percent today? I, for one, do not.

    To read the entire article, go to
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  150. From Bloomberg, May 7, 2014, 6:05:22 AM

    Good morning. Here’s my take on some of the stories driving the debate in politics, finance and social issues across Asia today:

    To read the entire article, go to
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  151. From Bloomberg, May 6, 2014, 3:37:35 PM

    Mike Huckabee is polling better than Rick Santorum. Photographer: Scott Eells/Bloomberg

    The Fix’s Aaron Blake is correct that the 2016 Republican nomination battle is the party’s “most wide-open primary in recent history.” He bases that conclusion on the polling, but it’s probably true of the invisible primary, too.

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  152. From Bloomberg, May 6, 2014, 2:51:39 PM

    David Tepper, blue-collar guy. Photographer: by George Gojkovich/Getty Images

    So Institutional Investor’s Alpha put out its 2013 hedge fund compensation ranking today, and I guess we should talk about it because rich people got paid money and that is fun to gawp at. The obvious thing to say about this is that these managers’ pay doesn’t reflect performance, so everyone said it. DealBook:

    To read the entire article, go to
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  153. From Bloomberg, May 6, 2014, 1:09:15 PM

    Thanks, Mitt Romney! Photographer: Neal Hamberg/Bloomberg

    Last May, researchers studying a randomized controlled trial of Oregon’s Medicaid expansion released a bombshell report that found no significant improvements in mortality rates or key health markers for blood pressure, hypertension and diabetes control. I did three major posts on it (one of which was a guest post from Jim Manzi, the world’s leading popular author on the virtues — and limitations — of RCTs). At the end of my first post, I wrote:

    To read the entire article, go to
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  154. From Bloomberg, May 6, 2014, 12:35:01 PM

    A viral cure to a real problem? Source: “Look Up” on YouTube

    Lots of people are addicted to their smartphones and hate themselves for it. Otherwise the video called “Look Up” by Gary Turk, a self-described writer and director, wouldn’t have garnered so much attention.

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

    Watch this video at

    Disney Profit Rises as ‘Frozen’ DVD Leads Charts
    May 6: “Frozen” continues to sizzle for Walt Disney Co., where quarterly profit rose 27 percent as kids snapped up DVDs and merchandise tied to the animated mega-hit. Jon Erlichman reports on Bloomberg Television’s “Street Smart.”

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  156. Sent from Bloomberg for iPad

    Watch this video at

    Einhorn: There Are Opportunities to Fix Markets
    May 6: David Einhorn, co-founder & president at Greeenlight Capital, discusses high-frequency trading on Bloomberg Television’s “Market Makers.”

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  157. Fracking appears to continue at pace.

    DJ US Silica: Frack Sand Flying Off the Shelves — Market Talk

    US Silica (SLCA) is selling every grain of sand it can get its hands on. The industrial-sand company says it sold 1.3M tons of sand to the oil-and-gas industry for hydraulic fracturing in 1Q, up 45% on-year. That helped SLCA blow past analysts' overall revenue forecast, though EPS was a penny light. "We are currently sold out of all grades of frac sand," says CEO Bryan Shinn. Even with a new mine and processing plant set to open this year, the company says oil-and-gas demand is on track to outpace expected new sand supplies. SLCA jumps 8% to $44.75 in hitting a fresh high. The stock has jumped 17% this month and 31% for 2014. (

  158. Good morning!  

    Nikkei took a big dive last night – all the way to 14,045 and settled at 14,100.  Officially it was down 3% for the day (424 points) and that makes it our biggest winner, once again.  Bigger news though, is the Shanghai diving into the close, finishing down 0.9% at 2,010 – just over that life and death 2,000 line.  Hang Seng dropped 1% and below 22,000, India fell 0.8% and Singapore was the star, down just 0.25%.

    Europe majors are down a little but Italy is down 1% and Spain is down 0.6%.  Our Futures are down just a bit but don't forget Yellen speaks at 10 – so hope springs eternal.  Her speech covers "economic outlook" at the Senate's Joint Economic Committee. 

    Check out what the WSJ is treating as headline news:

    Didn't we get bored of talking about this a month ago?  

    Meanwhile, the Dollar is still at 79.19 but, now that it's stabilized, it no longer has an effect on the indexes until it moves again.  Oil is $100.26 after topping out at $100.59 and, for those following the conviction play, we hit $99.81 just after the close and then stopped out at $100.06 for a $500 loss and then hit a re-entry on 2x at $100.20 so that's where we are – effectively with 2x short at net $99.95 (putting in the first loss) with a DD target at $100.90.  

    I can't find the API report for some reason but Brent is down to $107.34 and those two have been running neck and neck.  

    My theory is that any build today or low demand for gas is going to freak out the longs, who are holding 292,000 contracts (not too many) with 10 days to rollover (21st).  The thing is, these are June delivery contracts – AFTER the holiday weekend.  That makes these a very big gamble because, if holiday driving is a bust – these guys are stuck with a very hot potato.  

    Click for
    Current Session Prior Day Opt's
    Open High Low Last Time Set Chg Vol Set Op Int
    Jun'14 99.83 100.59 99.78 100.30 07:07
    May 07


    0.80 24218 99.50 292072 Call Put
    Jul'14 98.96 99.68 98.91 99.41 07:07
    May 07


    0.76 5227 98.65 198852 Call Put
    Aug'14 98.04 98.68 97.92 98.41 07:07
    May 07


    0.71 2293 97.70 116241 Call Put
    Sep'14 96.98 97.67 96.98 97.36 07:07
    May 07


    0.60 1383 96.76 111436 Call Put

    Notice July is already stuffed with 200,000 barrels and Aug and Sept have over 100K as well.  That's the magic over 650,000 in the front 3 months (post rollover) that usually gets them in trouble.  During that time, traders risk peace breaking out in the Ukraine – which would be a complete disaster for them – as would the success of the electric BMW or more hybrid/electric announcements as people are starting to realize gasoline demand is on a long-term downtrend.

    Gold is still $1,310 but copper dove off a cliff below the cliff it already dove off – now $3.035 as it turn out no one is building anything anywhere.  Nat gas stays up at $4.80 on Ukraine fears and it's swimming pool heating month – big money raising the temperature of 20M pools x 20,000 gallons = 400Bn gallons by about 15 degrees.  I don't know the math but it's a big number (I know it is at my house!).  

    Silver topped out at $19.77 and gasoline is a dead fish at $2.88 – a better indicator of true demand.  

    Now the markets are heading up on a 5.3% rise in Mortgage Applications.  That's silly as it's a weekly report and it's been down all year:

    MBA said purchase applications rose an unadjusted 10% over the week, but was 16% lower than the year-ago period. The refinance share of mortgage activity decreased to 49% of total applications from 50% the prior week.

    Of course, nobody reads past the headlines – just keep this FACT in mind as you hear over and over and over today how this is a good sign.  

    Productivity for Q1 is at 8:30 – that's way more important and I can't see how they can squeeze any more out of the workers – especially the Unit Labor Costs (wages), which are so low they are becoming an issue:

    Notice it's not a good thing for the market when they drive Unit Labor Costs negative – that happened in our last two crashes.  

  159. Webinar Replay Link

    Infrastructure/StJ – That was my premise for ALU when they crashed in 2012.  They were $1 then, now $4 as that's a macro picture that can't be ignored.  Also why I liked CSCO.  Those two are my favorites still, though not as cheap as they were before other people began to catch on.  Of course, now I like CLF and IRBT and TASR – but no one will believe me on those either until they triple and THEN people will begin to ask me for good ways to play them.  No one ever wants to buy low…

    Nice actionable call on oil, Burr! 

    Big Chart – Good timing by Yellen, right when we're testing those 50 dmas on the Dow and S&P.  It's all about the RUT and the 200 dma at 1,115 though – if it can't get over that, the rest are likely to head lower.  

    Still, like yesterday, the smart bull hedge is /TF over 1,105.   Lots of room to run before they hit resistance at 1,115 now. 

    SLCA/Sibe – Too bad they already had a big run.  

  160. 10% Dividend Payer Linn Energy’s Plan For A Big 1031 Exchange Could Lift The Stock Considerably
    May 7 2014, 5:25 | by David White | about:LINE
    includes:BRY, LNCO

    LINE/LNCO’s acquisition of Berry Petroleum has improved its financials significantly.
    LINE has approximately 55,000 net development acres in the Midland Basin that it plans to spend $275 million in CapEx on in 2014.
    LINE management is indicating that it would like to do a 1031 like kind exchange for more mature assets.
    If LINE manages a like kind exchange, that should have a highly positive impact on its cash available for distribution.
    LINE’s apparent net loss in Q1 2014 appears to be a mirage created non-realized derivatives losses that seem likely to be regained over time.