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Thrilling Thursday – Will Jackson Hole Give us S&P 2,000?

SPY 5 MINUTEI could take today off.  

Why?  Because I already wrote this article last month, on a Thursday, when the S&P was at 1,988 and topped out at 1,991, which was $199.06 on SPY and, as you can see from Dave Fry's chart, SPY topped out at $199.16 yesterday (before plunging back to $198.90 on strong volume into the close).  

Will this time be different?  I certainly hope so because last time, we plunged about 5%, back to 1,904 over the next 10 sessions and it's taken us another 10 to claw our way back for another attempt at an all-time high.

In our Live Member Chat this morning, we shorted the run-up in the Futures at Dow 16,990 (/YM), S&P 1,985 (/ES), Nasdaq 4,045 (/NQ) and Russell 1,155 (/TF) because, as I said to our Members:

I'm sorry but I simply can't reconcile this news with what's going on in the markets so I'm going to continue to lose money hedging to make sure we keep what we have.  The alternative is going to cash but there is simply no way I can endorse getting more bullish on this market at this point.  

NDX WEEKLYOne major difference this time is we DON'T have money flowing out of SPY (as much), as we did last month and we DO have the Fed's Jackson Hole conference tomorrow, which looks to Global Investors like a Santa Claus convention with Yellen, Draghi, Carney and Kuroda sitting under the spruce trees with gigantic bags of FREE MONEY – and that's why traders are as giddy as kids before Christmas this week.

But, Virginia, is there really a Santa Claus, or are the bulls hopes and dreams about to be crushed by cruel economic realities they have, so far, been avoiding like the plague (or Ebola)?  Realities like China's horrific PMI this morning, that dropped from 51.7 to 50.3 (barely positive) and France's PMI, which is back in heavy contraction at 46.5 this morning.  Retail Sales in the UK were up just 0.1% vs. 0.4% expected and year/year has plunged from 3.4% to 2.6% in just one month.  

Despite having a very nice net 4.5Mb draw, oil dropped to $93 this morning, down $10 or $10,000 PER CONTRACT from where we were pounding on the table to short it last month (same 7/24 post!).   We're still not getting long on oil – it may be heading for an epic collapse ($85 or less).  

Had the President listened to me and given me the keys to the SPR, we could have shorted 350M barrels for a $3.5Bn gain in just 30 days – enough money to buy a few GOP Senators and get some laws passed!  

On the very likely assumtion that nothing is going to change politically, it is all up to the Fed to decide which way this country will go into the end of 2014.  Isn't it interesting that a woman who wasn't elected and worked her way to the top of a powerful banking cartel (because that's what the Fed is, it's not part of the Government) is essentially running the country while our elected "leaders" accomplish essentially nothing at all?  

While we are all very excited to hear what Yellen and her counterparts have to say tomorrow, the question is: "What can they possibly say that would be more accomodative than what they are already doing?"  

Interest rates are already at just about zero for the Banksters in the US, Japan and Europe – are we going to go negative – will we begin PAYING the top 1% to borrow money?  Will that, then, finally begin to trickle down and grow some jobs (Answer:  No, see yesterday's post)?

So, as noted above, we will be pressing our hedges into this rally but, as I noted during Tuesday's Webinar, we are hedging to PROTECT our gains – sacrificing a portion of what we gain to insure we don't lose it in a market reversal.  Using that strategy, we were able to hold on to our long-term postions during that little 5% correction and, in fact, back on July 24th, our Long-Term Portfolio was up 19.6% ($598,000) and our Short-Term Portfolio was up 11.5% ($115,000).  

As of yesterday's close, DESPITE our aggressive hedging, our LTP finished the day up 21.2% for the year ($606,000) while the STP closed up 38.6% ($138,000) for a gain of $31,000 (5%) during a month where we went down then back up 5%.  If that's what we can make playing defense – what are we missing by being cautious?

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  1. Good morning!  

    Nice video summing up our theme for the week:

  2. By the way, Advill posted the video with the Japanese Sushi robots the other day and it looks to me like the technology has finally advanced to the point where I can pursue an old college idea I had – let's make a sports bar with one of these belts and send out constant supplies of small appetizer plates and shots – kind of like a tappas bar but more fun!  We could also do it with flights of wine and cheese and stuff but that's not as much fun (or as high-margin) as wings and beer and nachos and kamikazes.  

    Also, I want to use the touch screen to let people watch what they want at their table AND vote on what goes up on the big screens and we could put a speaker on the table so people can actually hear the damn game they want to watch.  The screen can also be used for ordering and, when there's no games, invite the kids for movie nights.  So, if anyone is a restaurant person – I'd love to discuss that one…

  3. Oil Lines

    R3 – 94.73
    R2 – 94.21
    R1 – 93.77
    PP – 93.25
    S1 – 92.81
    S2 – 92.29
    S3 – 91.85

  4. Funniest thing I read today:

    Matthew Berry, chief of staff to Republican Commissioner Ajit Pai, argued today that the FCC has no authority to invalidate state laws governing local broadband networks. In a speech in front of the National Conference of State Legislatures, Berry endorsed states' rights when it comes to either banning municipal broadband networks or preventing their growth. He also argued that the current commission, with its Democratic majority, should not do something that future Republican-led commissions might disagree with.

    Basically, if you are a Democrat and win your election, don't do anything that a Republican might disagree with because he might win the next election. I wonder if that also works the other way!

  5. Germany and Japan doing OK, but China and the rest of Europe losing steam! We have our own PMI, leading indicators and Philly Fed later this morning.

  6. More about Europe – it doesn't look good. Great job by the ECB and Germany's austerity push it seems:

    Eurozone GDP still hasn't gotten back to its 2007 level, and doesn't look like it will anytime soon. Indeed, it already wasn't clear if its last recession was even over before we found out the eurozone had stopped growing again in the second quarter. And not even Germany has been immune: its GDP just fell 0.2 percent from the previous quarter.

    It's a policy-induced disaster. Too much fiscal austerity and too little monetary stimulus have crippled growth like almost never before. Europe is doing worse than Japan during its "lost decade," worse than the sterling bloc during the Great Depression, and barely better than the gold bloc then—though even that silver lining isn't much of one. That's because, at this rate, it'll only be another year until the eurozone is well behind the gold bloc, too.

    So how is Europe making the Great Depression look like the good old days of growth? Easy: by ignoring everything we learned from it.

    Europe vs Great Depression

  7. From Bloomberg, Aug 20, 2014, 6:56:56 AM

    Bonuses for hedge-fund employees in
    London have dropped by 94 percent since 2012 as returns in the
    industry declined, according to a salary-data provider.

    To read the entire article, go to

    Sent from the Bloomberg iPad application. Download the free application at

  8. From Bloomberg, Aug 21, 2014, 4:16:56 AM

    Aug. 21 (Bloomberg) — Brenda Kelly, a market strategist at IG Group, discusses the euro-area Purchasing Managers Index, the outlook for stocks and dissenters on the Bank of England Monetary Policy Committee.
    She speaks with Mark Barton and Manus Cranny on Bloomberg Television’s “Countdown.” (Source: Bloomberg)

    Euro-area manufacturing and services activity slowed in August, signaling that the economy of the 18-nation region remains vulnerable to weak inflation and rising tensions with Russia.

    To read the entire article, go to

    Sent from the Bloomberg iPad application. Download the free application at

  9. From Bloomberg, Aug 21, 2014, 4:57:48 AM

    The restaurant closings include the first McDonald’s location to be opened in Russia, near Pushkin Square, which is the largest in the country, as well as one near the Kremlin. Photographer: Alexander Zemlianichenko Jr/Bloomberg

    McDonald’s Corp. (MCD)’s Russian business
    shut four Moscow restaurants yesterday at the order of a
    consumer-safety regulator, which said it found multiple
    violations of sanitary rules.

    To read the entire article, go to

    Sent from the Bloomberg iPad application. Download the free application at

  10. From Bloomberg, Aug 20, 2014, 9:11:02 PM

    A member of Iraqi anti-terrorism forces waves a battered Islamic State flag after securing a checkpoint from militants in the village of Badriyah, west of Mosul, on August 19, 2014. Photographer: Ahmad al-Rubaye/AFP via Getty Images

    U.S. special operations forces made a failed attempt to rescue James Foley and other Americans held hostage by Islamic extremists in Syria earlier this summer, the White House said in a statement.

    To read the entire article, go to

    Sent from the Bloomberg iPad application. Download the free application at

  11. From Bloomberg, Aug 21, 2014, 3:13:50 AM

    A man leaves a building after shelling in Donetsk on August 20, 2014. Photographer: Dimitar Dilkoff/AFP/Getty Images

    The death toll mounted in the conflict between Ukraine’s armed forces and pro-Russian separatists in the east as the military said it continues to push back the rebels.

    To read the entire article, go to

    Sent from the Bloomberg iPad application. Download the free application at

  12. From Bloomberg, Aug 21, 2014, 8:06:59 AM

    Aug. 21 (Bloomberg) — Virginie Maisonneuve, a deputy chief investment officer at Pacific Investment Management Co., discusses Federal Reserve policy, euro-area growth, implications of Russian sanctions on business sentiment, the Chinese economy and the turmoil in Iraq.
    She speaks with Anna Edwards on Bloomberg Television’s “The Pulse.” (Source: Bloomberg)

    Sovereign bonds and gold fell after
    Federal Reserve officials signaled that they may raise interest
    sooner than some economists had forecast. European stocks
    climbed, while the Norwegian krone strengthened following
    better-than-forecast economic growth.

    To read the entire article, go to

    Sent from the Bloomberg iPad application. Download the free application at

  13. From Bloomberg, Aug 21, 2014, 6:36:57 AM

    Aug. 21 (Bloomberg) — Brenda Kelly, a market strategist at IG Group, discusses the euro-area Purchasing Managers Index, the outlook for stocks and dissenters on the Bank of England Monetary Policy Committee.
    She speaks with Mark Barton and Manus Cranny on Bloomberg Television’s “Countdown.” (Source: Bloomberg)

    Manufacturing activity slowed in the
    euro area and China as rising political tensions threaten to
    weaken trade and damp the outlook for the global economy.

    To read the entire article, go to

    Sent from the Bloomberg iPad application. Download the free application at

  14. From Bloomberg, Aug 21, 2014, 8:14:59 AM

    Family Dollar Stores Inc. (FDO) spurned a $9 billion offer from Dollar General Corp. in favor of a lower bid from Dollar Tree Inc. (DLTR), saying it was concerned the Dollar General deal wouldn’t be able to pass antitrust hurdles.

    To read the entire article, go to

    Sent from the Bloomberg iPad application. Download the free application at

  15. From Bloomberg, Aug 21, 2014, 6:13:54 AM

    Liberia has banned public gatherings and told non-essential government workers to stay home. Photographer: John Moore/Getty Images

    Sandi Sesay’s boss promised him three months of pay when he told the driver to stop coming to work. The goal was to prevent any possible spread of Ebola at the Sierra Leone mine that employs him.

    To read the entire article, go to

    Sent from the Bloomberg iPad application. Download the free application at

  16. From Bloomberg, Aug 21, 2014, 3:30:00 AM

    German services and manufacturing
    slowed less than analysts forecast in August, signaling
    that Europe’s largest economy can withstand risks from tensions
    with Russia to stagnation in the euro area.

    To read the entire article, go to

    Sent from the Bloomberg iPad application. Download the free application at

  17. From Bloomberg, Aug 21, 2014, 6:26:40 AM

    When investors are willing to lend money to Germany for two years for free, at a zero interest rate, you know the euro project is in trouble again.

    To read the entire article, go to

    Sent from the Bloomberg iPad application. Download the free application at

  18. Phil- Since futures haven't moved much since your post early this morning, just wondering if you are still liking shorts on all indices?

  19. From Bloomberg, Aug 20, 2014, 1:03:50 PM

    The hunt for work.

    VoxEU, the indispensable economic-policy website of the Center for Economic Policy Research, has outdone itself with a new e-book on secular stagnation. This is the most important conversation in applied macroeconomics — but it’s complicated and confusing, too. Editors Richard Baldwin and Coen Teulings and a team of eminent contributors have produced the first comprehensive and reasonably accessible survey of the issue. It’s essential reading.

    To read the entire article, go to

    Sent from the Bloomberg iPad application. Download the free application at

  20. Yes, I'm in the mode of accepting small losses on the way up (though yesterday was very profitable) in hope of catching a huge move down at some point.  

  21. Hi guys could anyone suggest stop and limit points on the index shorts ??? Tanx 

  22. PMIs/StJ – I'm not sure if I would consider beating forecasts that are lower than last month to be worthy of "green" on the chart.  Down is down, not "well, we thought it would be red, but it wasn't as red as we thought so we'll call it green."  

    We're at 15,600 on /NKD, worth taking a poke on the short side there (tight stops).  

    Oil flew up to $93.50 from $92.50 low – interesting.   Made a good short yesterday but momentum to the upside stronger today – still worth a poke on /CL but not a penny over the line!  

    • After a year-long blockade, Libya has restarted oil exports from its largest port, resolving some mistrust between rebel leaders and the government.
    • Despite the ongoing clashes and violence still raging in main cities, the OPEC member's oil production has risen in the past few weeks to around 560K barrels a day.
    • The new production is well above the 100K bpd seen earlier this year, but still short of the 1.4M bpd a year ago.

    152582 600 Ferguson Erupts Again cartoons

    152562 600 Cops For Plutocracy cartoons

    152571 600 College tuition costs cartoons
    • Japan +0.85%.
    • Hong Kong -0.66%.
    • China -0.44%.
    • India +0.17%
    • London +0.33%.
    • Paris +0.46%.
    • Frankfurt +0.28%.
    • S&P +0.17%.
    • 10-yr -0.03%.
    • Euro +0.02% vs. dollar.
    • Crude -0.49% to $93.00.
    • Gold -1.49% to $1,275.90.
    • Initial Jobless Claims-14K to 298K vs. 300K consensus, 312K prior (revised from 311K).
    • Continuing Claims -49K to 2.5M
    • The economy is ready for a rate hike, Kansas City Fed chief Esther George tells CNBC, a remark which shouldn't be a surprise given her hawkish record. The country isn't far from full employment, she says, and some benchmark indicators are signaling rates need to be above zero.
    • George spoke from Jackson Hole, where tomorrow Fed boss Janet Yellen will make the consortium's keynote address.

    Democracy in action:  Thailand's military junta nominated to be PM

    • Thailand's military junta General Prayuth Chan-ocha has been nominated prime minister by a legislature he hand-picked, nearly three months after he seized power in a coup d'état.
    • Political analysts say the army is now likely to create a much more limited form of democracy before allowing elections, which Prayuth has planned for the end of 2015.
    • ETFs: THD

    Ukraine looks to prevent revolt on domestic currency

    • In yet another decision to tighten foreign currency sales, Ukraine's central bank has announced that it is now mandatory for companies to sell all of their foreign currency income on the domestic market.
    • The new move is aimed at offsetting the pressure of a pro-Russian separatist revolt on the Ukrainian currency and requires banks to sell their foreign currency earnings the day after receiving the funds from companies.
    • The rule will apply until Nov. 21, but the central bank has extended similar regulations in the past.

    Chinese Bitcoin exchanges warn NY over regulation

    • In response to the NY Department of Financial Services' proposed "BitLicense", three of the biggest Bitcoin (COINOTCQB:BTCS) exchanges in China (BTCChina, Huobi and OKCoin) have released a joint letter addressed to NY regulators which warns of far-reaching consequences due to their pending legislation.
    • On July 17, the Department of Financial Services proposed issuing a BitLicense which would protect consumers, prevent money laundering and enforce cyber security, but the exchanges see too many restrictions in the proposed license.
    • At issue are enhanced customer checks and that restrictions in NY could lead to limitations in other jurisdictions.
    • Previously tipped off as being about $17B, the $16.65B comprehensive mortgage-related settlement with the DOJ and six states' Attorneys General includes a $9.65B cash payment and about $7B of consumer relief.
    • The deal is expected to reduce Q3 pretax earnings by $5.3B and EPS (after tax) by about $0.43 per share.
    • Source: Press Release
    • BAC +1.1% premarket
    • Previously: BofA reportedly settles mortgage claims for $17B
    • "It's definitely politics," Dick Kovacevich says of Bank of America's $16.65B mortgage settlement. "It has nothing to with justice or restitution to the innocent victims. In fact, more of the money is going to the coffers of the states and various departments than the victims."
    • Wells Fargo (NYSE:WFC) shareholders who remember the legal onslaught brought upon JPMorgan when Jamie Dimon dared to question U.S. regulators, can be thankful Kovacevich is a former chairman and CEO of their bank.
    • Kovacevich: "[Neither] JPMorgan or its employees [nor] Bank of America or its employees did anything wrong here. They just bought companies that did wrong … Why are we charging the stock holders instead of going after the people who did wrong? Corporations don't engage in criminal behavior. They don't take advantage of innocent people. People do."
    • Galaxy Entertainment (OTCPK:GXYEF) took significant market share in the VIP segment in Macau gaming last quarter, according to Union Gaming Research.
    • The casino operator saw VIP revenue rise 27% Y/Y in Q2, compared to the industry-wide decline of 6% for the period.
    • Galaxy's strategic investments in VIP should continue to pay off, says Union.

    Starbucks rolls into college campuses

    • Starbucks (NASDAQ:SBUX) will test a new concept at three colleges as it eyes how to increase sales to the younger demographic.
    • The company will use mobile trucks at Arizona State, James Madison University, and Coastal Carolina University to sell where students congregate at different times of the day.
    • Currently, Starbucks has outlets at only 300 of the 4.7K college campuses in the U.S.

    Yikes!  Sears Holdings EPS of -$5.39

    • Sears Holdings (NASDAQ:SHLD): Q2 EPS of -$5.39 may not be comparable to consensus of -$2.63.
    • Revenue of $8B (-9.8% Y/Y) misses by $130M.
    • Sears Holdings (NASDAQ:SHLDreports comparable-store sales growth of 0.1% in Q2. If the electronics category is backed out, the comp would have been 1.6%.
    • Online and multi-channel sales +18% during the period.
    • Gross margin -390 bps to 21.7%.
    • SG&A expense ratio +60 bps to 26.4%.
    • SHLD -1.2% premarket
    • Press Release
    • Piper Jaffray lifts its price target on Target (NYSE:TGT) to $68 following the retailer's Q2 print.
    • The investment firm latches on to the positive Q3 comp that Target mentioned during itsconference call and thinks the company could pull back from Canada in the future.
    • Piper has Target rated at Overweight.
    • ABB (NYSE:ABB) has successfully developed a 525 kilovolt high-voltage direct current cable, which will make renewable energy installations more efficient and cost-effective.
    • The new cable is now the world's most powerful underground and underwater cable, and will more than double power capacity to about 2,600 MW from 1,000 MW. In addition, the cable will be able to reach distances of 1,500 kilometers, up from less than 1,000 kilometers, while keeping transmission losses under 5%.

    Capstone Turbine receives 75 microturbine follow-on order

    • Capstone Turbine (NASDAQ:CPST) has received a follow-on order for seventy five C65 microturbines from Horizon Power Systems for several U.S. oil and gas customers.
    • The order expands Horizon's fleet to approximately 700 Capstone microturbines.
    • CPST +4.1% premarket
    • Chinese antitrust officials have reached out to South Korea's regulatory commission in order totalk over Qualcomm's (NASDAQ:QCOM) violations of a 2008 anti-monopoly law.
    • South Korea previously fined Qualcomm more than $200M in 2009 for abusing its dominant market position and China is looking for ways to handle the violations back home.
    • China's anti-trust regulator can issue a fine of as much as a tenth of a company's annual revenue, which was $25B for Qualcomm this past year.
    • Norwegian software maker Opera (OTCPK:OPESY) has signed a deal with Microsoft (NASDAQ:MSFT) to take over browser building at its Nokia mobile phone unit.
    • "We have signed a strategic licensing deal with Microsoft…taking over the browser building department in Nokia," says Opera CEO Lars Boilsesen. "This means that Opera Mini will become the default browser for Microsoft's feature phone product lines and the Asha phones product lines."

    152547 600 Corporate Taxes cartoons

  23. Phil

    Your thoughts on ABB?

  24. Cramer in a suit trying to get those last few S&P points.  

    Spikes on oil and indexes at the open make me want to short them move – this is desperation stuff.  First order of the day is rolling our big shorts in the STP – it's do or die here – if we go over the tops, we stop out (until we're back under) so no harm in pressing bets now.  

    Limits/Triboy – The reason we pick those lines is because they are the stop lines.  In other words, the nice thing about taking a Dow short (/YM) at 16,990 is because I expect 17,000 to be very tough to get over and, if we pop that line ($50 loss) I'm going to get right out.  As it turned out, we're down 30 points already – so things are going well.  Same goes for 1,985 on /ES, 4,045 on /NQ and 1,155 on /TF – all were lines we could short below BECAUSE they are firm support/resistance and BECAUSE we know that we get the F out if we cross over them – because it means our premise was wrong.  

    Also, we watch for at least 2 of 4 to confirm direction or we get out too.  Same goes for taking profits – if two of the indexes we're watching reverses on us – then there's no sense in waiting for ours to confirm – we take the profits and wait for the next good entry.  

    ABB/DC – As I said above, BUYBUYBUY – those new cables are revolutionary and I'm not aware of anyone else doing the same in the next couple of quarters.  ABB is a good grower and reasonably priced AND it pays a 3.3% dividend so let's give some lovin' to the Income Portfolio and buy 1,000 shares for $22.86 and sell 10 March $23 calls for $1.10 and 10 $22 puts for $1 for net $20.76/21.38, which is only a 10% discount but it's also only for the first 6 months – so that's fair.

  25. Speaking of last month, in about this same position, we took a very aggressive trade on TNA on 7/22:

    If the market is going to remain bullet-proof (and missile-proof too, it seems) then the RUT is now the lagging index and we can construct a play to take advantage of it breaking back up by making a play on TNA, the 3x Ultra-Long Russell ETF.  

    Very simply, if we buy the August $72.50 calls for $3.45 and we sell the Aug $76.50 calls for $1.70, we have a net cost of $1.75 on the $4 spread that's $4.64 out of the money (at goal) and that's 6.4% out of the money so, to be safe, we'll need a 2.5% gain on the Russell, from 1,150 to 1,178.75 to make the full $4.  25 contracts at $4 = $10,000 so we can work with that.

    But what about the cost of the 25 contracts (at $1.70 x 2,500, that's $4,250)?  Well, there's a couple of ways to offset that.  One way is to sell 25 TNA Aug $65 puts for $1.70 to offset the cost.  The danger there is, if the Russell goes down 2.5% (to 1,121) or lower, we'll be assigned 2,500 shares of TNA for $65 ($162,500) – that could be unpleasant. 

    Instead, we can commit to being long TNA at $45 in 2016 by selling just 5 2016 $45 puts for $8, and that raises $4,000 and commits us to owning "just" 500 shares of TNA at $45 per share ($22,500).  

    TNA was $73.13 that morning topped out at $75.38 on the 24th but was back to $72.68 on Friday's expiration.  The most aggressive play, selling the Aug puts worked out flat and the 2016 $45 puts are now $7.60, so a long grind to get the money back but, on the other hand, you can do it 5 times and only end up assigned the same 2,500 shares, but at a much lower strike!  

    So, with TNA at $73.30 today, the same logic applies and the Sept $72.50/76.50 bull call spread is $2 and the Sept $68 puts can be sold for $2 to offset or maybe the ABB March $24 puts at $2 instead.  As with last month, this isn't a portfolio play for us as we're already very bullish in the portfolios – this is to cover yourself if you think you are too bearish and a pop over the highs will kill you.   

  26. Reloading /YM shorts at 17,000, of course.  

    /ES 1,987.50, /NQ 4,045 and /TF going the other way at 1,151.

    Dollar 82.25, VIX 11.75, TLT 116.32, XLF $23

  27. Phil/XRT/GLD

    Any put plays on these 2?

    Thanks as always

  28. Philly Fed and Leading Indicators coming in strong and existing home sales up 2.4% – all good news but will good news be bad news now?  

  29. I guess this one can be written in green Phil:

    Financial data firm Markit said its preliminary or "flash" U.S. Manufacturing Purchasing Managers Index rose to 58 in August, which was its highest since April 2010, from 55.8 in July. Economists polled by Reuters expected a reading of 55.7.

    • July Leading Indicators: Leading Index +0.9% to 103.3 vs. +0.6% expected, +0.6% in June (revised).
    • Coincident Index +0.2% vs. +0.3% prior.
    • Lagging Index +0.2% vs. +0.5% prior

  31. PMI/StJ – I have no doubt the US in recovery.  The question is, how much is our recovery based on artificial stimulus and how much can it offset the lagging rest of the World, where 60% of the S&P revenues now comes from?  

  32. RUT plunging!  1,147.50!  Others likely to follow, Dow is the laggard t 16,997 at the moment.  

  33. Phil/GLD,

    sorry – call play on GLD.


  34. STP Adjustments (before it's too late!):

    DXD Oct $25 calls now .75 with DXD at $24.69 is fine.  

    SQQQ Dec $40s at $2.45 can be rolled to Jan $35s for $2 – that's worth doing with SQQQ at $36.66 and we have AAPL to protect (40 contracts).  The short Dec $50s we'll leave.

    Let's sell 5 more FAS Sept $100 calls for $5.50

  35. Recovery / Phil – Based on the my earlier post, recovery could probably be more self-sustaining by now if others (cough, Europe, cough) had also pursued stimulus based policies rather than imposing austerity. As it is, we are left again having to do the heavy lifting for the world economy! 

  36. Russell / Phil – It's interesting that the Russell seems to be lagging the other indices. It's basically a small-cap index with only 9% of the total market cap but made up mostly of non multinational companies. You would think that they would do better than companies more exposed to outside markets and on top, being hampered by a stronger dollar! 

  37. XRT/Pat – We already have the Sept $93/88 bear put spread in the STP at net $3.20.  As of this morning, it was about the same.  I love that play.  

    GLD/Pat – Actually, I kind of like shorting GLL (ultra-short gold), which is at $88.44 but you have to have balls.   The April $94/84 bear put spread is $6 and you can sell the $93 calls for $5.90 for net 0.10 on the $10 spread (9,900% upside potential on cash).   TOS says $1,273 in margin on the short calls and that jumps to about $2,200 if GLD rises $10 (using the margin of the $83 calls) but that puts gold back at the June low of $1,240 which I consider a BUYBUYBUY, so it's a long-term conviction play to me.  

  38. Long /TF at 1,145!  Still short /YM at 16,998 – one of them has to go right..

  39. Phil or any one FAS have not been following the play my question with what do we or did we cover the Sept 100 caller TIA

  40. CMG vs NFLX/Phil

    I think you'll have to concede soon that CMG will see 700 before NFLX sees 400.  Almost there today.  Everything is popping wildly on no major news.  Makes you very confident in the market.  This doesn't feel like bubble territory at all.

  41. “Even if you are a minority of one, the truth is the truth.”

    — Mahatma Gandhi

  42. Phil/XRT,

    Is there a long put play that you recommend instead of a bear put spread?

    GLL/DXD – do these ultra have the decay issue same as the 3X

    Thanks as always.

  43. From Springheel Jack: “SPX and most other US indices are very short term overbought and I'm expecting to see a significant retracement starting soon. The obvious place for that to start would be at the retest of 1991 or at the daily upper band, currently at 2000. The obvious target would be rising support from the 1904 low, currently at 1967 and rising at about six points per day. I would note that I have possible rising channel resistance in the 1995 area now, and that could be a target that will need to be hit before that retracement.”

  44. Holy cow, was that fast money on /TF - I love that index!  Putting the profits into more /YM shorts.  

    Europe/StJ – But they didn't and they made a huge mess.  Not the kind of mess that can be fixed in the last 4 months of the year either.  

    Great article Diamond – that's a keeper!  

    Russell/StJ – Ah but they don't have access to all the free money and that's what this "rally" is all about.  In fact, it's not good for RUT companies when their big brothers are loaded up with cheap capital and have to focus their marketing/expansion activities back into the US because the foreign markets aren't paying off.  Obviously, there are 100 other factors at play but a bit less enthusiasm for the RUT up 200% from the 2009 lows below 400.  S&P triple is 1,998 (off 666), Dow 19,500 is the real laggard (off 6,500), NYSE is miles below 13,500 (off 4,500) and Nas has blown past 3,900 (off 1,300) already – so that's our leader.  

    FAS/Yodi – In the STP it was (before selling 5 more calls):

    (30) $-3,600 $12.00 $-4.35     $7.65 $-0.39
    Long Call 2016 15-JAN 85.00 CALL [FAS @ $102.39 $0.96] 10 1/13/2014 (512) $24,300 $24.30 $1.05 4.3% $25,350   n/a n/a
    Short Call 2016 15-JAN 105.00 CALL [FAS @ $102.39 $0.96] -10 1/13/2014 (512) $-16,200 $16.20 $1.65 -10.2% $-17,850
    Short Put 2016 15-JAN 62.00 PUT [FAS @ $102.39 $0.96] -10 1/13/2014 (512) $-9,300 $9.30 $-3.25 34.9% $-6,050
    Short Call 2014 20-SEP 100.00 CALL [FAS @ $102.39 $0.96] -5 8/14/2014 (30) $-1,550 $3.10 $1.75 -56.5% $-2,425
    Long Call 2015 17-JAN 80.00 CALL [SCT

    CMG/Rustle – Technically, it spiked there this morning.  Doesn't make me confident in the market that things are priced idiotically – only makes me want to stay out of the way!  

    Ghandi/Diamond – Yes but, from a trader's perspective, you can see why the guy had to wear a sheet and never had any food….

    XRT/Pat – So you are asking if, rather than intelligently taking a position in which you are deep in the money and selling premium to give you a tremendous advantage that pays off even if XRT goes higher – there is a position in which you can be the sucker that pays a premium to take risk that will lose money even if XRT does drop, but not enough to save your foolish bet?  Sure, there are tons of those trades – we make a fortune selling to suckers who buy them every day!  cheeky

    If I were going to go for an XRT put, I'd want it to be out past Sept earnings in hopes that there would be warnings and downgrades.  So that puts us in October and the $84 puts are $1 with a .27 delta, so not too terrible and the $81 puts are .55 so I'd figure if XRT went up $3, I'd spend .45 more to roll to the $87 puts (now $1.80) and then cross my fingers.  

    GLL/Pat – Yes, they have the same decay, more so GLL than DXD, which is only a 2x ETF and it follows an index, which isn't as volatile as gold.  

    Oil up to $93.79, nothing exciting in Nat gas report so this might be it for the "rally":

    Gasoline (/RB) $2.715 – not very exciting either after failing at $2.72. 

    EBAY starting to pay off for us (Buy List, Income Portfolio):

    • Though it has rejected Carl Icahn's call for a PayPal spinoff, eBay (EBAY +3%) has been "telling potential recruits for the position of PayPal CEO that it’s considering spinning off the payments business as soon as next year," The Information reports.
    • eBay and Icahn engaged in a war of words earlier this year, with the former insisting it needed to hold onto PayPal due to various synergies with Marketplaces, and the latter arguing eBay's board was compromised by conflicts of interest.
    • eBay has spiked in response to the report. PayPal, which saw respected division chief David Marcus leave in June for Facebook, almost certainly accounts for over half the company's $68B market cap. 

    Submitted on 2013/09/26 at 11:49 am

    EBAY/Albo – Paypal is the reason I love them.  Our last play on them was way back in July, when we sold 10 2015 $45 puts for $5.20 for a net $39.80 entry in the Income Portfolio.  Those are already down to $2.88 but the 2016 $45 puts are now $4.85 – not too bad.

    Submitted on 2014/06/09 at 9:52 am

    EBAY/Maya – From the Buy List:

    At the moment, I like selling the 2016 $45 puts for $4.10 as an initial net $40.90 entry (18% off the current price) – but I like waiting PATIENTLY even more.  If they cross back over $50 and hold it, that's a good signal to get in, but never underestimate the ability of idiot analysts to extrapolate a short trend into a long one and scare people out of a perfectly good stock!   

    Submitted on 2014/06/09 at 10:44 am

    EBAY/DM – Yes but just because AMZN launches something doesn't mean it will ultimately work.  It's not like AMZN takes PayPal now…  While AMZN has a huge leg up getting something adopted, they still have many years to gain acceptance and build an audience.  Paypay was sold to Ebay in 2002 ($1.5Bn), so it's been 12 year pushing on that platform to get where it is.  Square was going to kill PayPal last year. 

    Submitted on 2014/07/16 at 1:57 pm

    EBAY Jan $50 puts are $3 and the 2016 $45 puts are $3.50 so figure, if you have to roll, net $42ish on EBAY entry.  That makes those short puts a nice earnings play. 

    Submitted on 2014/07/16 at 2:20 pm

    EBAY/Shadow – Paypal, Paypal and Paypal.  The way they rape you is how they make their money!  They should beat the .68 expectations (.63 last year) and all of last year they traded in the $50s, so why should they be below it now when they are making $3 a year (p/e 16.7)?  Compared to the rest of the market, this thing is a real bargain!  

    Another good example of knowing the VALUE of a stock because, when it went on sale, we were able to take advantage of other people panicking out of a perfectly good position.  Also, in the Income Portfolio, we went on on 4/30 and, because we knew the VALUE of our stock, we didn't panic out when it dropped 10% on us either.  

  45. Pharm – had this question yesterday. Very curious how much SNY's new drug hurts PLX.

    "Pharm- just read that SNY got approval of its Gaucher drug. I guess this is the reason for the slide the past month or so. Do you know if this treatment is better, More cost effective, etc than PLX's treatment? If it is indeed better what else does PLX have? Is the plant technology used to produce the drugs a compelling enough argument for a higher valuation?"

  46. Phil unfortunately I think I am behind on my adjustment to EGLE.  I most likely missed a post earlier on.  I sold 10 Jan 16 $2.50 puts for $1.00, now $1.72.  I can roll down to 15 of the $2 puts for almost even ($.08), but at net $1.50 and EGLE at $1.18 am I just better off waiting for the 2017 options? Thanks for your opinion.

  47. jro – different mechanism, same indication.  Not much will it hurt though. (Yoda says). 

  48. Jack/Diamond – I like his stuff:

    Of course I don't agree that the RUT is breaking down and the NAS is toppy but the S&P will keep going higher – this is the problem with TA people – they don't take other factors into account and miss the big picture. 

    EGLE/Rperi – I don't think we've touched it in a while.  In the LTP, we simply have 50 short 2016 $2.50 puts at $1.30 and they are now $1.90 but EGLE is at $1.17, so we don't really care as our net entry is $1.20.  I wouldn't touch the $2.50 puts – just wait and see what happens.  They MIGHT go BK and then you won't want more shares, right?  

  49. Phil – TA is simply telling me to be cautious right now by balancing my portfolio a little more and/or taking some profits off.

  50. Phil / GLL / Decay

    I don’t think GLL has as much decay as DXD. Both are -2X ETFs, but GLL does NOT suffer contango.$GOLD&compare=GLL,DXD&id=t92914675683&r=1408634663404

  51. Sorry but I don’t know how to post a chart (*.png) and the stockcharts link does not resolve to the chart I created. Is there a way to upload a picture to the forum?

  52. LOL Akad – I love all these geniuses who have all the great "proofs" of why this or that is a better tracking stock.  Me, I'm an old-fashioned scientist – I believe in using observations against the ACTUAL behavior of the thing I'm studying:

    So, for a 2x ETF over 2 years, The Dow is up about 27% and DXD is down about 50% so 4% loss over 2 years.  I think I can deal with that.  

    Comparing GLL to GLD, on the other hand, shows a crap correlation as GLD has fallen 20% but GLL, which is supposed to be a 3x ETF, is up just 30%, not 60%, so a 30% less over the same two years.  

    That's why, as I said above, in my very humble opinion, DXD is less subject to decay than GLL.  

    And, no, you can't upload, but I can!  wink

    Banks/Angel – Plus ca change… 

  53. Phil/Overhedged

    So, I have the following

    SQQQ Jan 35c/short Dec 50's as of today's adjustment

    SQQQ Sept 35/40 call spread

    TQQQ Sept 86/80 put spread

    I think I'm overhedged, particularly in the near term against my longs .  My porfolio overall is basically even (and its a young portfolio – 6 months old or so since I joined here with a bunch of put sales to offset some of the hedges and long call spreads off the buy list as you've outlined them in previous posts).  The Sept SQQQ are due for a roll, but I'm not sure where I should roll to.  Dec SQQQ? or something else?

    I guess I'm asking for your input about what to do with the Sept SQQQ's knowing that I have other similar hedges…I definitely have some semblance of "balance" but not quite right I think.  Thanks for your help.

  54. RGLD – someone posted about them a week or two ago. got a slapdown today (more than just gold dipping it looks). can't find any news.  Might be good entry with a $75 stop.

  55. akademia – Directly under the chart you created is a small link: “Linkable Version.” Click on that and paste that URL into this forum.

  56. Taking a beating on oil today. Hopefully it won't hold these levels over $94 which have no obvious catalyst. So far in August I have bet wrong much more than right. Really did not see the spike up this morning coming.

  57. Digging through the Philly Fed numbers – internal not that strong:

  58. Commodities trading range:

    As you can tell by the charts, commodities have had a rough go of it lately.  Nearly all of them are currently at the bottom of their trading ranges or worse.  Oil has really broken down here after a brief attempt to break out above $105 in June.  Right now it is in a steep downtrend and has yet to find support.  If oil can't hold the $90 level on a test in the near term, it will be entering price levels that it hasn't seen in quite some time.  Like oil, the precious metals have also been trending lower.  Gold, silver and platinum have all moved to the bottom of their trading ranges recently, so we'll have to see if they can bounce off of these oversold levels.  

  59. What a pump job on CMG today, up 18 to almost flat with no news

  60. SQQQ/Jeff – Well, if you just put money into the Jan $35 puts, why would you do anything with the Sept $35s?  You  can just take that $2.10 off the table and leave the short $40s covered with the Jan $35/Dec $50 spread as you have $15 of upside protection (assuming same numbers) and you can put a stop on the short Sept $40s (.55) at .75 for 1/2 and $1 for the next half because, if those trigger, your long spread will be in great shape.  

    As a rule of thumb, by the way, you want a hedge to pay you 50% of what you expect to lose in a 10% market correction.  The assumption is that, if the correction is more than 10%, you will have time to layer on more protection.  If you think the market is going to correct more than 10% so quickly that you can't react to it – then why the Hell do you have so much money invested in longs???  See the logic?  

    CNBC is pushing TA today because they want to make sure as many sheeple as possible are falling for the fake signals before the rug gets pulled out from under them.  What nice guys!  

    RGLD/Scott – After looking closely at the company, it's Income Statement, Balance Sheet, Cash Flow, etc. I have come to the conclusion that it's not ABX. 

    30-year mortgage rate declines to 4.10%, lowest this year

    • The average rate for a 30-year fixed-rate mortgage dropped to 4.10%, the lowest rate since last October and down slightly from 4.12% in the prior week, according to the latest report from Freddie Mac.
    • The average rate for the 15-year fixed-rate mortgage fell to 3.23% in the latest week from 3.24% in the prior week.
    • A year ago, the respective rates for 30-year and 15-year fixed mortgages were 4.58% and 3.60%.

    Pfizer may make another run at AstraZeneca by year end

    • Some observers believe Pfizer (PFE -0.4%) will rekindle its bid for AstraZeneca (AZN +3%) by late 2014. The British firm rejected its ?71B offer in May. Pfizer walked away despite being within 7% of the price AstraZeneca wanted.
    • Under British takeover rules, the negotiations could restart as early as August 26 if AstraZeneca invites Pfizer back to the table. Pfizer cannot initiate discussions until November 26. The rules also allow Pfizer to make a single offer via private phone call to AstraZeneca but this option is rarely used because the process stops if the target says no.
    • It all depends on Ian Read's enthusiasm for a higher bid. This may be unlikely considering what happened in May.

    Sanctions hit Rosneft as $2B Vitol deal scrapped

    • A planned $2B deal between Rosneft (OTC:RNFTF) and oil trader Vitol has been scrappedFTreports, in the clearest sign yet that tougher western sanctions are hurting the Russian state oil group’s ambitions.
    • Vitol, the world’s largest independent oil trader, had been in talks to raise the money from international banks to make an advance payment to Rosneft in exchange for future oil supplies, but sources say the deal has been shelved in the wake of the latest round of sanctions.
    • Bankers and traders say the latest round of sanctions likely will discourage western banks from financing new such prepayment deals, even if existing deals are unaffected.

    Profit narrows at Popeyes Louisiana Kitchen

    • Popeyes Louisiana Kitchen (PLKI -2.3%) reports a system-wide gain of 3.6% in comp sales during Q2.
    • Growth was stronger at  the company's domestic units than international stores.
    • Profit was down 2% from a year ago due to costs tied to executive transitions.

    Yoga pants to the C-suite?

    • Yoga apparel sales grew 45% last year while participation in yoga the sport was only up 4.5%, according to industry tracking.
    • The disparity indicates the impressive momentum built up by the athleisure category is beyond just a fad.
    • Barclays forecasts that the broader retail athletic apparel market will grow by around 50% to exceed $100B by 2020.
    • The trend is positive for early adopters Lululemon (NASDAQ:LULU), Under Armour (NYSE:UA), Gap (NYSE:GPS), Nike (NYSE:NKE) – while a host of other retailers (LBDKSTJXTGT) and department store chains (KSBONTDDSMJCP) say they will try to carve out space in the athleisure market for themselves.
    • On tap: Designers have their eyes on creating more men's lines and hybrid yoga-business outfits that will fly in the C-suite.

    Gogo +6.7% on Verizon rumor

    • Aviation site RGN states "Wall Street is now buzzing that Verizon might be studying a potential joint venture, acquisition or partnership" with GOGO.
    • Verizon archrival AT&T announced plans in April to offer U.S. in-flight Wi-Fi services "as soon as late 2015;" Gogo tumbled on the news. Meanwhile, RGN has previously stated Gogo rival Row 44 is rumored to be on the block. Verizon exited the in-flight telecom services market after Gogo purchased spectrum in '06.
    • Analyst Tim Farrar: "I think that an interest in Gogo would certainly make sense because life is getting increasingly difficult for standalone connectivity providers … When you have the big boys coming in from the equipment side, the Panasonic and Honeywell-types of the world, and also the terrestrial connectivity side in terms of AT&T, you’ve got to pick your partners."
    • 30% of Gogo's float was shorted as of July 31.

    Old Favorite:  H-P +4.5%; sell-side praises cash flow, top-line performance

    • Though its FQ3 EPS was only in-line, the $2.6B in free cash flow H-P (NYSE:HPQ) producedbeat BofA/Merrill's forecast of $2.1B, and its guidance for $9B in FY14 FCF was also better than expected.
    • Moreover, BofA is hiking its FY15 and FY16 EPS estimates on expectations of rising services margins. BMO observes H-P expects services margin to grow in FY15 even though signings are set to drop 6%-8% in FY14.
    • Morgan Stanley is focusing on H-P's improving top-line: It points out annual revenue growth was positive for the first time in 2.5 years, and views recent PC, x86 server, and networking strength as "sustainable medium-term."
    • Goldman, which finally upgraded H-P to Neutral in June, says it's still cautious due to long-term concerns. "Non-PC revenue and gross margin expansion will become increasingly important as we transition into 2015."
    • Shares have made fresh multi-year highs.
    • Prior H-P earnings coverage

    Disney integrates Star Wars across segments

    • Disney (DIS +0.3%) announces it released a free Star Wars game for mobile devices through Disney Interactive as it continues its Star Wars content blitz.
    • The company is also starting to integrate Star Wars into its theme parks with construction starting on new "lands" devoted to the franchise and will sell more Stars Wars-related toys at retail outlets.
    • What to watch: Analysts are divided on how much of a Star Wars impact is already baked into Disney's $90 share price. Some think Star Wars spending by consumers will just crowd out other Disney franchises, while other see huge untapped potential.

  61. Phil/XRT,

    I completely understand and do not want to be that sucker…but I remember last time you had come up with a straight put on XRT and I know your picks have the best best to work in the right direction and protect us from being a complete sucker.

    thanks as always.

  62. Phil / GLL

    OK. My mistake. I thought GLL was a -2X ETF since it says so in ProShares fact sheet:

    Diamond / stockcharts

    Thank you:$GOLD&compare=DXD,GLL&id=p92914675683

  63. I like a put or call for a quick move or in the $25KP, where we don't really have a choice due to lack of margin (because we can't deconstruct a spread on a pop) but, for the most part, I'm no fan of naked puts and calls other than as a flyer for a trade where I want to limit my losses if I'm wrong.  

    Speaking of limiting losses – oil (/CL) $94.45 has me 2x in averaging $94.26 on the shorts.  I have a lot of conviction here but I'm watching the Dollar, which is now weak at the 82.20 line.  I'm still loving /YM short at 17,000 but they are doing their best to shake us out.  

    Time to DD on DXD in the STP now, the Oct $25s are down to .70 so 50 more is $3,500 and we have a lot of profits to protect!  

    GLL/Akad – Well, if proshares says so, then maybe they are just a 2x.  Still -20% to 30% is not 2x, it's 1.5x so 0.5x decay over 2 years is still crappy.  Not sure how that explains the huge spike last July though – I guess that's where I got the impression they were 3x.  Also, I'm not sure what you are doing putting DXD in with Gold and GLL – how are those supposed to correlate?   Not even apples and oranges, more like apples and bananas…  

  64. HOV

    Thinking about the dollar situation, shouldn't HOV be a long term short due to what I imagine is high interest rate sensitivity?  It seems to me that the whole housing developer market is dependent upon low interest rates for both financing operations and maintaining artificially high home prices.  If interest rates creep up and dollars get more valuable, shouldn't HOV be crashing?

  65. Phil;  Can you explain the reasoning behind shorting /CL.  The September contracts finished above $96, why would you expect October to be so much lower.  Also doesn't the spread between Brent and CL seem high?

  66. DXD – Options very thinly traded.  I account for all the volume in Oct. 24's.

  67. Earlier, I added a little SLW to my long term position.

  68. Ugh, my Aunt just died.  Been very sick for a long, long time but still sucks.  Mom's coming up, kids need funeral clothes…

    HOV/JPH – Housing activity and housing prices are what matters to HOV, not interest rates.  If I buy land for $200,000 and borrow $350,000 at 4% and take 6 months to build a home and sell it for $500,000, how much less will I make at 6% or 8%?  Rates went up from 2001 to 2008 and look how HOV (and all builders) did then.  It's A metric to look at, certainly not THE metric.  

    Oil/Options – Because Sept contracts were pumped up to $96 from $94 on Tuesday just to set a price to screw consumers out of an extra $2 per barrel for September.  Now that that nonsense is over, it's possible we'll resume the downtrend and a move from $92.50 this morning to $94.45 this afternoon seems a bit overdone in light of there being absolutely no news to justify it.   As to Brent, the spread is usually about 7%, currently Brent is $102.50 v $94.30 but Brent contracts just rolled over and popped back off $101 this morning.  Both Brent and WTIC are in danger of a serious breakdown which can net me $5,000 per contract ($89) vs the risk of testing $95 and costing me $1,000 – I like the odds…

    DXD/Albo – Very easy fill on Sept $25s at .40.  

    SLW/Diamond – I do like the way Silver is hanging tough.

  69. Anyone like PSEC?  Own it?

  70. Phil, agree with your market call.  Once the easy money policies end, so will the easy market gains.  Cautioning my clients to rebalance, lock in gains and be prepared for the risks ahead….

    However, if we have a bubble in anything, it's not in stocks or bonds… it may be in government debt and government promises….

    Speaking of government, wise business associates advise me to NOT bring politics into my business… "the country is split 50/50 and do you want to lose half of your clients?"… this is sage counsel for your consideration…. coming from a Republican in California…

    Keep up the great work…. from a LONG-TIME original member!

    You and your associates provide insights not found elsewhere.  Kudos.

  71. Phil// SHLD I have the Jan 2015 30/45 bcs.  I think it was part of the Income or LTP (not sure). What is your take on SHLD dropping?  Should I hang on to it till its expiry or wait to see what the stock does in the next few months?  Thanks.

  72. DXD easy fill for the Oct 25c @ .65 as well

  73. Phil / Bananas

    Yes, I know. I just wanted to see how much contango affected both ultras. Once I saw the VERY different pattern I decided to add $GOLD to the mix and I saw the -2X correlation between GLL and $GOLD, but NO contango… so I went looking and I found

    where it says that GLL does not suffer contango, so I assumed less decay in GLL relative to DXD.

    That was it. My mental process is too convoluted, I know.

    Sorry for the time and thank you for the explanation.

  74. Oil stopped out (/CL) over $94.15 and now reload at $94.25 (short) or higher or when it crosses under $94. 

  75. howdy PSW. Been awhile!

    I'm watching PCLN for any downside again, finally, after all of these years.

  76. Phil

    My condolences on your aunt’s passing.

  77. very sorry to hear about your aunt, Phil. 

    thanks for the thoughts on EGLE.  what I was hoping to be able to do

  78. 70 people in congo just died from strange hemorrhagic illness…other sick…cause unkown..not ebola

    522 ILL

  79. Sorry about your Aunt

  80. Prof/Phil- Do we really want one of those die hard Republican sheeple on this site? I have had running Facebook and locker room arguments with a few of these people over the last year or two and all they do is quote Fox news which is apparently the only news source most of these guys trust and believe. They also will shout, and I do mean shout, the same tired arguments and repeat the same "facts" over and over even if you make a solid argument to repudiate. They will tell you that your facts are not correct because they don't trust sources like the NY Times or any of the "liberal" media. Mostly if you say anything against their heroes, they shout "Benghazi" or will rehash the website issues at the startup of the Affordable Care Act. I truly don't mind a well reasoned debate, but most of the conservatives you talk to in the real world are just impossible, because they don't debate, they shout just like their heroes, Boehner, Limbaugh, Hannity, Cruz, etc.

  81. Oh and condolences to you and your family on the passing of your Aunt, Phil. 

  82. Good article on Brad DeLong web site:

    To help me (and you) keep your thoughts from being buffeted by the noise and drifting off into various forms of macroeconomic idiocy, here is an updated version of a graph I have found useful since 2009 in keeping my thoughts clear, coherent, and (I hope) correct.

    It plots four major components of real aggregate demand: exports, business investment in equipment and software, Government purchases, and residential construction. All are measured as shares of potential GDP. And all are measured as percentage-point-of-potential deviations from the values they attained at the last business cycle peak.

    FRED Graph FRED St Louis Fed

    The author makes 9 points that are really worth a look on the macro level!

  83. phil, looking for a hedged short play on FAS--i have no position in FAS currently.  what do you think of a short 105 sept call hedged with a 2016 105/110 BCS ?  TIA

  84. Charlie Sheen — Ice Bucket Challenge with a BIG Twist

  85. Damn, took me this long to get reservations for less than $1,000 from Fort Lauderdale to Newark!  Still $600 (Jet Blue).  They don't do special fares for funerals anymore – these prices are insane, even for last minute.  Makes no sense, the seats will likely go empty otherwise.

    PSEC/Burr – Now those guys might get whacked by rising rates.  I don't know much about them and not too transparent on the books.  Companies like this are very tricky to value and most of their "news" comes from PR services, though it seems to get a lot of push from Motley Fool.  Can't say I don't like their model, it's similar to what we're doing with PSW Investments except they do loans with equity kickers – it just depends on how much you trust the management team to invest the money. 

    Thanks Prof.  Since we can only handle about 500 Live Members, I don't have to please all of the people all of the time.  In fact, Membership fees are doubling next month as we're near capacity again.  Also, would you seriously rather do business with the type of people who lie about their political leanings in order to get your business?  From my perspective, I LIVE here, so I'm not going to live my life, day in day out, kissing Conservative asses so I can get their business – there are thousands of other analysts who are very happy to lie to you for your money – I sleep better not being one of them!  angel

    Someone recently approached me about buying the company and their "great" idea was to run one liberal and one conservative site – to attract both kinds.  They told me they had several authors pulling it off using pseudonyms and couldn't understand why I thought that was wrong.  Of course, as a California Republican – I'm sure you have to make compromises all the time…

    Anyway, there will be Hell to pay when all this stimulus ends, let alone if it begins to be withdrawn.  Just keep one hand firmly on the exit door at all times.  

    Hey, there goes oil again after giving us a re-entry at $94.25 – very nice!  

    SHLD/Rookie – We took the money and ran quite a while ago.  Their failure to hold $40 triggered our exit.  If you have the old contracts, you have some extra cushion but their numbers have gotten much worse the last couple of quarters.  This quarter they burned $5 on a $35 share – I don't like giving a company $3.5Bn so they can lose $500M in 3 months – that's very uncool!  On the other hand, I have long postulated that Eddie needs to let Sears die before he can chop it up and sell the pieces because it's an iconic American brand and he needs to be able to say he did his best to save it before going the vulture route and selling off the land and brands.  This may be his end game, but I'd like to see how low they go before jumping back in.  

    Keep in mind though, that Land's End alone was a $1Bn spin-off for them.  So, aside from the real estate, they still have DieHard, Craftsman, Kenmore, Sears Automotive, Joe Boxer, Sears Paints – all $1Bn easy and then about 10 other minor store brands of value.  That plus over 2,000 stores that have been around since 1899 on some really primo real estate makes them a nice break-up play – eventually.  

    Wow, $93.75 again – take the money and run on /CL of course – tomorrow is another day.  

    No problem Akad – great discussions on slow days.  

  86. PSEC/burr –  started A position last week. Rolled some FTR Over to it. 

  87. SHLD / Phil – Keep in mind that Eddie let it drop to $31 or so back in April, then granted himself a boat load of stock and miraculously the stock recovers to $50. Him and Icahn are one and the same…

  88. Prof

    I miss the conservatives. I don't agree with them on taxes or war machines but think they have a place in discussion of economics. Other than you it seems they are already gone.


  90. Hola BDC!  

    Thanks Akad, Rperi, Rustle and all re. my Aunt.  If my Uncle wasn't so rich, she would have died a long time ago.  He had a hospital bed, supplies, machines and a full-time nurse in the house – he just didn't want to let her go, which I understand, she was a really great woman but, last time I saw her (a few months ago) I figured it was about the last time.  

    EGLE/Rperi – I wouldn't get into them new but with the BDI on the rise (up 50% this month), I do believe the bankruptcy winds up more favorable than people think so I'm willing to stick with them.  That's in the context of 5,000 shares at net $1.20 ($7,200) in a $500,000 Portfolio that's up $106,000 for the year, of course!  

    Congo/Angel – Oh great, something is mutating?

    Conservatives/Craigs – We have plenty of hard-core Conservatives on the site and I have many Conservative friends who don't fit that stereotype.  If you troll the chat rooms, you run into some that are not too pleasant but I like a good, rational discussion from both sides of the table.  And, keep in mind, this is a site for investing, not politics and the kind of people we "want" here are the kind of people who can contribute to our knowledge of investing – I don't care what someone's political leanings are as long as they respect mine.  In fact, someone sent me this picture the other day and I laughed my ass off:

    That is friggin' funny, no matter what your political views are!  

    DeLong/StJ – Very good read, thanks!  

    FAS/Lunar – We have the running FAS Money play in the STP (detailed above), that's how we like to play it.  Essentially, it's long-term bullish on FAS/XLF but we sell those front-month calls (and sometimes puts) to create a revenue stream over time.  Your hedge, by the way, is nowhere near wide enough to allow for how fast FAS can burn you to the upside – our spread is $20 and, with the short puts, our basis is $0 and we're still nervous about the short front-month calls!  

    Sheen/QC – This guy is very good at keeping himself in the news.  Maybe we can get him to do our Taser Challenge?!? 

    SHLD/StJ – Well, then Eddie buying makes a good buy signal.  Don't hate the player, hate the game!  

    Dow 17,040!  /YM hurting me now but I hope to be able to stick it out through tomorrow.  

  91. Crikey!!!  Dips in AAPL are like mirages!



  93. angelcur – Tell your friend Janet to “keep it real” tomorrow. ;-)

  94. DBA finding a floor.  

    AAPL/Diamond – A lot of stops are triggered on AAPL over $100 – longs taking profits, shorts capitulating.  I think they need the 200 dma to come up from $82.50 to $87.50 before they can get going again so that's +$5 and AAPL is at $100 so call it $20, which means it will take 50 days to bend the 200 dma that high but that will push the 50 dma (now $95) up to $97.50 in 25 days so AAPL may drift up around $105, then come back to $97.50 by Sept expirations and THEN it can bounce off there and have clear sailing to $120+.  How's that for a vague TA prediction?  

    Real/Diamond – Real is the last thing we want!  

  95. Politics… some of my best friends and clients are liberals.  It is important to understand both sides, and to work together.  America's greatness comes from shared values and common causes.  If we refuse to work together, we will ultimately fail as the world's best democracy.  "We must hang together, or surely we will hang separately."  It is possible for a sensible fiscal conservative to lead a largely socially liberal voter base; just witness Mayor Kevin Faulconer in America's Finest City.  Hopefully his example will be followed by national GOP candidates in the upcoming elections.  We CAN have financial responsibilty coincide with social freedoms.

    All of that being said, this website is Phil's baby, he puts extraordinary efforts into running it, and I respect his First Amendment rights to say whatever he wants, politically or otherwise.  I DON'T respect people – from any party – that hurl personal insults like "sheeple" around.  If we can't work together without attacking each other, the terrorists like ISIL have already won…

  96. angelcur

    I do know a few members who refuse to engage in politics so they seldom post, I don't know for sure how they would vote. Seems the only conservatives that talk politics make an ass of themselves. My local community is so outspoken I don't talk to them, I voted at the republican primary Tuesday and if looks could kill, last time I tried to explain that my only choice was which one except the president, and this time I my only words were, I'm OK."

  97. Sheeple/Prof – Come on, that's a term of endearment.  What can be cuter than sheep?  cool

    By the way, I claim first use of that term many years ago!  

    Voting Republican/Shadow – Just be sure not to drink the Kool-Aid when you're down there…

  98. Phil, how do you feel about a short on /TF at 1159 going into the close?

  99. /TF/Ricbah – It's a runaway market, so any short is very dangerous but sure, I like that line.  I'm very short the Dow at average 17,025 now and I'm sticking with it but expecting to have to add more at a higher strike tomorrow as Asia and Europe celebrate out new highs (again).  So, if you expect not to be stopped out over 1,160, I'd say don't bother as it's EXTREMELY likely we move higher before we move down.  I'm just hoping for a dip back to 17,025 so I can lighten up and reset my shorts from the higher level.  If not, I'm likely to be long on /TF to protect myself (worked great earlier).  

  100. Wheee on /RB, by the way, huge pop to $2.75 after the slow start.  That's one I'd take and run on.  

  101. Phil

    How red is my community? Democratic primary didn't have a poling location, when served lemons, drum roll—————— Tequila shots! 

  102. Prof

    It's a liberal site. Oh well. Who gets too bothered listening to the other side (or better yet, logic that you don't always agree with).  Makes me think twice about what I say when it comes to politics. Personally, I have no idea what I have become since I joined this site almost four years ago!  What I do know is that I made a sh*tload of money this year and that's what I joined for.  Thanks Phil!  

  103. Yes, I know it’s not ABX (which I am a “white knight” proxy), but I sold 5 RGLD Jan16 P70 @ $8.85 … weekly chart shows good S/R zone @ 70 and delta indicates today I have a 35% chance of being right. At this point it looks as if the pin would be around 72.5 so I informed the MM that I do plan on keeping the money! :-)

  104. Phil,

      Do you think DBA possibly bottoming here makes it a good candidate for an IRA covered call, say selling the Jan 2015 $26 for $.85?

  105. kevin

    I only talk oil, electrical and farming. IMHO commodities have not bottomed yet!

  106. Must add that I see next year as continue the same as this, pacific warming, and wet central grow land.

  107. Phil – Are you changing rates for current members?  If so I guess we should get an annual.

  108. LOL Shadow.  

    You're welcome DC.  We can all agree that making money is nice, no matter whose fault it is.  

    BAC loving the settlement.  Maybe we should all get fined $17Bn?   

    BAC 2016 $15 puts still $1.47 and those can be sold to pay for the $15/20 bull call spread at $1.82 for net .35 on the $5 spread.  

    LOL – Kudlow saying you can't treat corporations like people and indicting them.  But a week ago he was saying that we had to respect the religious beliefs of Hobby Lobby – what a moron!  Sorry, that wasn't because he's a Republican, just because he is a moron…  angel

    RGLD/Diamond – I'm just saying that, when there is one operator that is head and shoulders above the rest that's being sold at a discount – why buy "one of the others"?  

    DBA/Kevin – Yes, I like DBA as a 20-year play here.  The problem with selling the Jan $26s for .85 is you hnet in at $25 and make just $1 at $26 (4%), which is not terrible at 1% a month but not so exciting either.  How about instead of spending, say net $2,500 on 100 shares, you spend $480 on 3 2016 $24/27 bull call spreads at $1.60 as those make $120 at $26 (same $100 you make on the covered calls) and another $300 at $27 so you get back up to 87.5% on $480 in 16 months instead of 4% on $2,500 in 4 months.    If DBA falls below $24, even if you are wiped out on the spread, you get to buy the stock for $1 less and save $300 on your next covered combo!   

    Almost there on /YM already!  Love these closing sell-offs.  

    Rates/Burr – As with last increase, current Members will be mostly protected (ie, maybe 10% net increase).  Yes, annuals lock in rates for a year.  

  109. Oh, it's an end of Sept thing (the rate increase), we'll have more details in a few weeks – no hurry.  

  110. DBA / Phil – Still very cautious with that one. There was another story this morning on the fact that we are swimming in corn. That's not bullish yet…

    Also, the premium on DBA really suck for an index that ramped up 20% in 2 months back in spring! Although it seems to go up fast and go down slowly.

  111. Market direction is a classic either way from here but if you go back to 2011, TLT shot up from here and markets went down.

  112. Phil – Re: “… why buy ‘one of the others’?”

    Well, when you acquire too much of one equity, filling out the SEC forms can be a pain! ;-)

  113. LOL Diamond – high-class problem.  Let me know if you need help with that – you can have your jet pick me up at Teterboro.  

    Oh come on, /YM teasing at 17,030 but, then again, I'm being greedy as I should be thrilled to half back out here with a small loss.   I'm still hoping we have an ugly close like yesterday.

  114. In the Income Port, I can't recall why a buy write was done on OPTT.  Normally that's done on a Div payer, but they don't pay a div.  Just wondering.

  115. Prof/Phil- I was having a bit of fun and was trying to be a bit tongue in cheek, but I guess I was a bit too serious in what I wrote. Was using Phil's term Sheeple, which I enjoy and I do think many of the conservatives have taken to shouting down any opposition and ignoring facts that don't support their views, but I have great respect for the idea of informed debate and would love to see us get back to moving forward through compromise and respecting the opinion of others, which is what our nation and political system is built on. I think my seriousness and not being more playful as I intended, comes from what I see as the unwillingness of Republicans and those with conservative views to engage in that give and take which will result in compromise and eventually getting things done. I truly believe they are so invested in removing the current President from office that they refuse to allow any of that and thus have brought us to a virtual standstill at the expense of the citizenry. So, yes I guess I am tired of that strident, dig in your heels, response, which in turn makes us do the same in response and I miss intelligent debate where each side respects the other side's right to have an opinion. I also am quite dome with the conservative attack on the poor and disabled, where they constantly are trying to take away the meager resources these folks depend on to stay alive. They make it seem like a developmentally challenged person is stealing by requiring help, without which many would quite literally die, as they did in the early 80's when so many were unceremoniously evicted from the institutions and hospitals that had been home for all of their lives. I saw this firsthand and it was appalling how so many people were suddenly homeless to save a few dollars, so the rich could pay less in taxes. The cruelty of some conservative views and policies that I have had to fight firsthand as a brother of someone with Down Syndrome and a father of an autistic child, has left me with a deep mistrust of the Republican agenda when it comes to budget balancing and taxation. We will ultimately be judged by how we care for those least able to care for themselves, and Republican policy on this subject is in my opinion misguided. You don't hurt thousands to punish a single cheat, which seems to be there method. Sorry again for the diatribe, but I have had to go to court many times to first keep these guys from taking my brothers benefits with the argument that he could support himself, when he was quite incapable of that and now my son has faced the same crap! 

  116. Diamond

    You can put some of that under my SS#, maybe pay a little in tax, and my cut is surgery expenses, likely enough to deduct from tax.

  117. ~~craigsa620

    You are right and correct. All system in the US could use reform to cut out the cheats but eliminating the program is as you say cruel. I have been fighting for many years and the point I won on was no one would insure me. That is everything medical to workman's compensation that is required to get a job. Hope this helps you in the next battle.

  118. OPTT/Burr – It just worked out more premium-friendly than us buying a long call.  

    Fun/Craigs – Don't mind me, I'm not sensitive about those things but be mindful some people are.  

    Nice, got out of 1/2 my /YMs below target!  Now I can sleep well…  Amazing how fast things can change.  

  119. Phil Davis – The Most Influential Man On Twitter


    from Financial Survival Network

    Phil Davis of says he’s the most influential person on Twitter. His site has been around since 2006. His investment philosophy centers around minimizing risk by putting your money in situations where you’re the house not the player. It’s an options based strategy that can yield high returns. When it comes to economy, Phil is no Austrian Economist. He believes that the free market and capitalism can no longer deliver the goods. While we don’t agree on everything, we do agree that government is not going to come to your rescue, so you better start developing your Plan B.

    Click Here to Listen to the Audio


  120. Phil

    Craig has spoken up twice now and to me it is right and I understand how much assumptions hurt. Actual facts are so different from spotlighting. I know several on disability and none could get a job, but some lawyer in West Virginia gets some poor people help in an area with no jobs and the system is all corruption. Before these jerks say anything they have to go after the big crime. That won't happen because they go to jail with the biggest ones.

  121. Phil

    Your were interviewed by a religious brick wall. The union debate reminds me of corruption is always top down. Directors granting outrageous pensions is no reason to outlaw unions. This is the same argument that craig and I bring up. Until the big criminals are sent to jail the system will continue to fail and the faint light at the end of the tunnel is eventually the rich bust and start jumping out windows on Wall Street.

  122. RE: Accusation that Republicans are only "focused" on removing the president…

    Is it too much too ask, for our slacker-in-chief to focus on "protecting our people", as he said in his own words?

    Instead, Obama is only focused on vacations, golfing, fundraising, and hob-nobbing with rich celebrities:!/entry/10-pictures-that-show-obama-is-totally-focused-on-isis,53f5f2d9025312186c405f94

    Did you NYC liberals learn nothing from the 9/11 tragedy. Oh, sorry, that was all a " vast right wing conspiracy" to send the "sheeple" to war for oil…

    So what if yet another American civilian was brutally murdered by terrorists?  As another one of your heros said, "What difference, at this point, does it make?!"

    Nothing to see hear, move along, making money to buy the next expensive car is more important anyway… but make sure to buy it from Government Motors.  Your local UAW paid for this president, I mean bailout…

  123. From what I hear Obama is secret Muslim working overtime to undermine the Constitution, install Shariah Law, completely regulate every aspect of our life to take away our freedoms and turn our nation into a Socialist police state. 

    Hearing that he's actually just goofing off and paling around with celebrities kind of puts my mind at ease… :D

  124. Phil BAC play you suggested BCS 15/20 and sell the Jan16 15p I have been playing BAC for quite a while now and feel the putter is to close to the present price of BAC it could drop easily again below 15. I am specially thinking of a drop in market.

  125. Of course, in the US we think that it's better to give away our oil for the big companies to extract it. This way we have the biggest oil companies in the world and also the biggest debt – #1 baby… Norway doesn't seem to care about being # 1 except for its citizen:

    Only 5 million people live in Norway, but thanks to the country’s careful management of its oil wealth, the country runs the largest sovereign wealth fund in the world. Everything about the fund is big. Very big.

    Reported assets, for example, totaled $890 billion at the end of June—that’s $178,000 for every Norwegian. And the fund holds around 1% of all the stocks and bonds in the world. (This nifty map lets you see just how much of every listed company it owns.)

    I guess they try in Alaska, but not as successful as the pinkies in Norway!

  126. For illustration:

  127. Really Prof – did we somehow give you the green light to go from zero to hate-mongering?  YOU are what gives Conservatives a bad name!  We all respectfully listen to your views, agree it's not right to blast people just because they are conservative or characterize them as mindless demophobes and then you put up this BS?  In 6 years of serving (2,190 days) did you really find 10 pictures of Obama relaxing?  Wow, what a point you have scored sir!  And to say "Did you NYC liberals learn nothing from the 9/11 tragedy." is not only tragically insensitive, but poorly punctuated.  

    Yes, I think I might have learned something as, aside from having friends who died in the WTC, my business partners son, Jeremy Glick, was one of the people who rushed the cockpit on flight 93 and stopped that plane from killing thousands of other people.  And you know what?  He was an f'ing Liberal!  Not only is that statement completely insulting but it shows your total ignorance of the situation.  I hate to burden you with FACTS but:

    Tweets by Knoller himself back that up. On the eve of Obama’s departure for Martha’s Vineyard, Knoller tweeted that "since taking office, Pres Obama has taken 14 vacation trips spanning all or part of 92 days." Knoller also tweeted that "at the same point in office, Pres. GWBush had made 50 visits to this Texas Ranch totaling all or part of 323 days."

    Did you complain when Bush was on vacation for over 1/4 of the days of his Presidency?  How about the day in August when he was in Crawford and handed this briefing

    That was August 6th, 2001.  Do you know what Bush did between then and 9/11?  He finished his Aug 3rd to Sept 3rd vacation – a full month in the same year he was sworn in.  And, on September 4th, when Bush and company finally re-opened the White House for business:

    After requesting an immediate meeting months earlier, Richard Clarke finally meets with National Security Advisor Condoleeza Rice and other administration officials to discuss the al Qaeda threat against the United States. That same day, Clarke issues a memo urging officials to imagine hundreds dying because of the government's reluctance to pursue al Qaeda.

    Clark was blown off, of course.  After all, he was a holdover from the Clinton Administration and obviously deserved no respect from the Conservatives who had finally taken control back from the "failed" Clinton Administration.   And that's how zealots like you are not at all harmless – you ARE the people who destroy this country with your narrow-minded idiocy!  

  128. Mobile is Facebook and Google…

    Top 25 mobile apps chart

    Pandora much bigger than I thought! 

  129. LOL Kinki!  Always look on the bright side…

    BAC/Yodi – It might go lower, but then I'd want more.  

    Norway/StJ – If it wasn't so damned cold, I'd consider it for retirement.  

    Mobile/StJ – Wow, GOOG is 5 of the top 7 so #1 by a mile.  

  130. Norway / Phil – Might not be so cold in 20 years thanks to people like Prof!

  131. GOOG / Phil – That's 300M unique visitors for Google between all sites… There has to be some money to be made somewhere I guess. Can't help but be bullish on Google long term, but maybe not at these prices! They weren't kidding when they said that their criteria for buying a company is first something that is used everyday…

  132. Phil - More on Norway - look at these numbers:

    U.S. oil output will surge to 13.1 million barrels a day in 2019 and plateau thereafter, according to the IEA, a Paris-based adviser to 29 nations. The country will lose its top-producer ranking at the start of the 2030s, the agency said in its World Energy Outlook in November.

    If we collected a modest $5 per barrel royalty on oil from the oil companies in the US, we would have another $20B a year to invest in useless things like education and infrastructure. But I guess it's better to let Exxon distribute it to their shareholders. I am sure it trickles down to the economy eventually! And Norway is a lot greedier:

    Norway's income tax on oil and gas profits has two components: A 28 percent tax on profits (the same income tax charged on all businesses in Norway), and a special 50 percent tax on profits from offshore oil and gas production, for a total tax of 78 percent.

    And yet oil companies seem to stay there anyway. I guess 22% of billions is better than 100% of nothing.

  133. SHLD / Phil – Maybe Eddie won't load up on stocks anymore. Looking pretty dire:

    But in recent years, under the stewardship of CEO Eddie Lampert, it’s turned into a money pit. Today, it announced a quarterly loss of  more than $500 million. Last quarter, it lost more than $400 million. And the long-running decline is accelerating.

    Even Bezos would have trouble spinning these numbers! They lost $3.5B in 2 years!

  134. Phil / Prof – Well said Phil, but you're too polite. Alberta, Canada has a Heritage Fund from oil royalties. After 40 years it should be roughly the size of Norway's. But it only has something less than $6B…run by fiscally responsible Conservatives!

  135. Annnnnnd that's how things get out of control. There are no cordial discussions about politics anymore because both sides have sooooo many examples of the other side either completely screwing over the citizenry or just being an all around chitty human being.  

    Unfortunately, if you don't believe in the all-out onslaught of the non-stop propaganda for global warming / climate change, allowing all illegal immigrants to stay no questions asked and love abortions, you are a "teabagger" right-wing nut; and if you don't believe that lowering taxes for corporations & people are the road to prosperity, everyone should have a gun that is loaded and ready to kill at all times and the belief that abortion is a human right, you're a left-wing socialist baby killer.

    If none of the middle-of-the-road people ever find common ground and we can't keep the rhetoric to a cordial minimum, this country is straight screwed.  I've already seen this play out on a very small scale in Detroit where the racial and political divide has stunted any type of recovery or growth for about 4 decades.  Pretty damn depressing man…….

  136. Good article on Macau – might want to get short the casinos again:

  137. Quote of the day:

    David Merkel, “Like any other thing in investing, no one is out to do you a favor. New stock tends to be offered at a time when valuations are high, and companies tend to be taken private when valuations are low.”  (Aleph Blog)

  138. Best quote on politics comes from Barry:

    I am not a Democrat, because I have no idea what their economic policies are; And I am not a Republican, because I know precisely what their economic policies are.

  139. Phil

    I not only voted for Reagan I promoted him, and ever since I have apologized and tried to reverse what he did. At the library today I was asked, "What are you doing here?" My answer was picking up books I requested.

    She was there because of story time. Reading books is so threatening. I as sure she was shocked I can read, My neighbor Beverly!

  140. Prof

    I love hearing from people like you but think about these facts;

    In 2008 all 3 parts were democratic after Bush's brilliant policies.

    2010 congress went red to make sure of ?????????

    2012 Obama devastated Romney

    America is fed up with what has not worked for them and they have a lot more votes!

  141. Prof – Phil made a mistake counting only Bush's 50 visits to the Texas ranch in the 323 vacation days. The actual number is 367 because he missed the Kennebunkport and miscellaneous trips. Over a year of vacation in his first 5.5 years in office. Obama has had a hell of a time cleaning up the mess made by cutting taxes, then starting two wars without raising taxes to cover the costs and running our economy into the ground. The Benghazi debacle in which 4 people died was not due to ignoring countless warnings before nearly 4000 people were killed . then we went to war against two countries that had nothing to do with those bombings while Bush hugged the Saudi leaders who did shelter the killers while they were training. First he spent 7 minutes reading above his usual picture book level while he was frozen and confused about what to do. Just proves these guys hate the idea of a black man in the White House and will say and do anything to remove him. He has worked harder and taken less vacations than any of the Republican presidents in my lifetime. Ronald Reagan for all the hero status now given him was a disaster with all the deregulation and budget cuts that resulted in many of our economic disasters and wealth inequality of recent times.

  142. One last comment, they love calling Obama a slacker, but the reality is that all of his legislation has been blocked by an unprecedented effort to block everything he proposes , because they will do anything to keep him from having any success at the great expense of the people of this country. The Republican controlled congress should be indicted for this, but instead they initiate lawsuits.

  143. PhilStockWorld without politics? That would be no fun! ;)

  144. craigsa BDC

    The problem with politics is some of us get fucked! Some people realize that but most are too lazy to prevent brainwashing. I spend half my time with a devoted girlfriend explaining why she can't believe a word said on TV.

  145. Phil/Politics – yes, really.  Don't forget, this discussion began with a gemtle suggestion that we not mix business with politics.  See what happens?  Besides, is Bush the current president?  What do his past actions have to do with solving today's problems… talk about just speaking from a political playbook… the Democrats'' three D's of defense are Dodge issues, Deflect criticism and Defer blame.

    Our nation's founders signed a Declaration of Indeoendence – the notion that all our citizens have a God-given right to life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness.

    Today's liberals seem to believe that everyone is entitled to houses, food, income, employment… and now free health care and free education.  The mind control continues with Common Core curriculum for the next generation of brainwashing… now that we passed "affordable" health care making it more expensive, and taxpayer "relief" by raising taxes.

    Those who aim to destroy America realize they can not do it physically by beating its military.  They strive to do it mentally by dividing us.  Look what the Instigator General is doing in Ferguson, and how he has shaken down the megabanks for "protection" money.  The cops use to do that in Obama's hometown of Chicago, they did it to my dad in his restaurant until he got fed up and pointed his gun at those crooked cops.  (My father in law was a good Chicago cop for 31years, a Democrat, and I respect him completely.)

    Like my late father, someday the good, responsible, hard-working citizens of this country will have to stand up to the power-hungry elite that apparently have no problem dividing this country by racial and financial classes.  I shudder to think what that day might look like…

    I guess we should get back to business now.  Your website, you can have the last word.

  146. prof

    After hours is open to anything and you are engaging. All is fair at this point but many of us are being nice while we do have facts instead of FOX News behind us.

  147. Both parties suck.

    Why not trade solutions rather than just stuff you heard from somewhere else (Phil excluded)? I love the after hours political banter, but hate the "clash of the parties" it always turns into. The way the current system is rigged I am not sure either party has your or my best interests in mind. I only know a few people that are all conservative or all liberal and they are idiots!

  148. Thanks dclark41. I agree that neither party really works for the betterment of the general population. I personally agree with the stated goals of the Democratic Party but am very disappointed with what President Obama has been able to deliver. I had such high hopes after his election victory six years ago.

  149. I think that both parties will have to work together better and soon. Foreign policy will be a priority. This ISIS is going to get bigger and we can not underestimate them.

  150. Prof- I mention Bush because you criticized Obama for vacation time, and I bet you did not criticize Bush for his vacation days. By the way, we have always had a system of free education, which is the cornerstone of any great society! I do not believe everyone should be housed and fed, but the members of our community who are unable to care for themselves or are in such a deep hole of despair deserve help. I worked 6 days a week for 25 years and paid a great deal of money for social security insurance for myself and my family. This is not an entitlement, it is insurance I paid for. We actually agree in the end because I believe the widening divide between racial and financial classes is going to be the end of us. The rich need to contribute more and take less. They need to create wealth instead of hoarding it. Build physically, not financially. Build infrastructure creating jobs like we did in the 30's. Republican war over immigration, abortion and taxes, is not helping this country, it is destroying it. My opinion, I could be wrong, but tell me in a well thought out argument why. Figuratively, not literally.

  151. ARO didn't have a good report.  Down 7ish% AH.

  152. Phil – You really should start a Phil's Political World so all the people who care about politics (or bull*sheet as I call it) can argue, and you can argue back, but you'll get paid for it!  It's way better than the food truck idea.  

    Just write some of those famous posts that anger people who care and you'll make a mint.  I'll even be an investor!  

  153. Burr- The two go hand in hand, which is why I think Phil includes it so prominently. It is not all that often we get into longer conversations about it, but there are a few times a year and the political debate often helps to define the economics of the moment. We have been talking a lot about the widening economic divide which is partially caused by political policy and which is going to play a part in the next meltdown I believe. I do not think the country will stand by and watch another round of huge market losses with corporate executives raping shareholders with golden parachutes and lavish pay packages while stockholders and bondholders lose their life savings. I am pretty sure that is a storm that is coming at some point and that is one of the things we are talking about. The other is the social contract with our government, which is what I think the Republicans are slowly trying to dismantle by poisoning the national debate using scare tactics and fear mongering over racial and religious issues. That is what this whole immigration business really is. Does anyone really believe Mexicans are stealing American jobs? They come here and do the jobs no American wants to do. That is the history of our land, taking in the poor, tired, huddled masses to do the crappy jobs. Republicans are trying to scare everyone into controlling immigration because they are scared to death of becoming the minority! In my opinion, I could be wrong.

  154. Chaos is coming, I know for a fact more than 50% of the country is sick of lies and it will soon unravel. The latest issue going into the second week, especially the police response should not be written off because it shows they are scared.

  155. Craig/Shadow et. al. –  I wish you were right.  But I suspect you are not.  There is no storm coming.  The U.S. population is less educated than it was 25-50 years ago, not more.  The increase in information media has not changed that, because that media is, obviously, dominated by those for whom a storm would not be convenient.  They are trapped in a video game / Netflix / hundred-channel cable TV-fed stupor.  They believe what they are told, and they are told what to believe.  A critical faculty must be developed and maintained with rigor, and that takes training, there is nothing "natural" about it.  Just look at the "natural" constituency of the Republicans — they are the most ignorant and poorest segment of the U.S. population — and the largest.  They vote against their own interests, because they are easily manipulated by "emotional" issues, like race -- although the word "race" is seldom mentioned, but there are lots of code phrases to convey that "non-white people are taking over America, seeking "welfare" and "hand-outs" and "we need to fight back."  


    Their elected representatives, who should be protecting them, are bought and paid for by essentially unlimited campaign contributions, and we all understand that the most essential principle for which a politician stands is getting elected, since the system is quite purposely set up to make politicians rich — who could possibly swim against that tide?  Not enough, obviously.    Nothing I am saying is new to American politics.  What is new is that 1/ the power of media is much greater than it was, given the proliferation of media outlets, and because 2/ fewer and fewer read, hence the general level of education has dropped. Video in all it's forms is the opiate of the masses.


    "Freedom is never more than one generation away from extinction. We didn’t pass it on to our children in the bloodstream. It must be fought for, protected, and handed on for them to do the same, or one day we will spend our sunset years telling our children and our children's children what it was once like in the United States where men were free."  Ronald Reagan, address to the Phoenix Chamber of Commerce, March, 1961.  Pretty ironic, no??  I don't envision many voters hoisting themselves out of their "Barcalounger Briarwood ll Stetson Bordeaux Leather Recliner" to take up arms against the state any time soon.

  156. zeroxzero

    You bring another interesting concept. There are about the same amount of things that turn the other way. First the terrorists are not an educated people but rebel with the most dedication. Second much of America is not watching video, they no longer have the link or equipment. I agree they are ignorant but they are also directing their anger towards who they feel have all advantage. The ones watching media are angered by what they see is not within their reach and the blaming them doesn't convince them it is all their own fault. It doesn't take higher education to understand there is no opportunity after decades of seeing no one advance.

  157. Shadow:  The "terrorists" I assume you refer to are educated — narrowly, in a religion, Islam, and their Imams tell them that their religion requires their sacrifice, for which they will be rewarded.  You are right in saying that it doesn't take a higher education to understand that there is no opportunity.  But it does take an education to penetrate the propaganda and understand that it is not "liberals, welfare and handouts" that are causing it.  Which is why the Republicans will take over the Senate.

  158. No storm coming as long as people allow themselves to be manipulated by fear and prejudice:

    Texas Gov. Rick Perry says ISIS terrorists could be using the southern border to get into the United States.

    “Individuals from ISIS or other terrorist states could be, and I think it’s a very real possibility that they have already used that,” Perry said during a speech at the Heritage Foundation Thursday.

    Perry said he didn’t have any “clear evidence” of that but said “common sense” tells you it could occur, citing crimes from undocumented immigrants.

    Here’s the video of his remarks.

    “ISIS Here” Banner Raised During CNN Live Show In Ferguson

    True GOP believers insist their small government beliefs have nothing to do with race. They're deluding themselves - 

    “It’s like we’re reliving the 1960s with Barack Obama,” said Wayne Allyn Root during a radio appearance Wednesday. “He didn’t come in to help us end the specter of racism, he brought it back, folks.”  Root, a Fox News contributor and the 2008 Libertarian Party vice-presidential nominee, told religious right broadcaster Steve Deace that police had been cowed into submission by Obama,reported Right Wing Watch.  Root has said he plans to run as a Republican in 2016 against Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid(D-NV).


    Anti-Transgender Wikipedia Edits Appear To Originate On Capitol Hill

    The Rush to Cut Ties to ALEC

    • Corporations that have publicly cut ties to ALEC since CMD launched in July 2011 and highlighted Coca Cola's role in the group include Coca Cola, Wells Fargo, General Electric, Western Union, Sprint, General Motors, Walgreens, Best Buy, Hewlett-Packard, MillerCoors, John Deere, Dell, Johnson & Johnson, Wal-Mart,, Procter & Gamble, Mars, Wendy's, McDonald's, Kraft Foods, and PepsiCo. The addition of these eight companies brings the total to at least 80 corporations. These and 19 non-profits that have cut ties brings the total number of private-sector ALEC members who have cut ties to at least 99.
    • At least 78 state legislators have also cut ties with ALEC.
    • Public interest groups including Sierra Club, Forecast the Facts, Sum of Us, CMD and others have been actively urging Google to uphold its motto "don't be evil" by cutting ties to ALEC, which spent years peddling Stand Your Ground gun laws and bills to make it harder for Americans to vote before trying to distance itself from that legacy. It has also worked to repeal renewable energy laws and the ability of the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) to regulate greenhouse gases. Despite Google's stated commitment to efforts to address global climate change, ALEC has routinely worked to indoctrinate legislators against the near consensus (97 percent) in the scientific community that global climate changes are underway and has sought to undermine the power of the EPA and other agencies to address climate change.


  159. More damned facts:

    Today the Philadelphia Fed released coincident indices (measures of aggregate economic activity) for the states and the US. Wisconsin outperforms Kansas — a very low bar — and yet has lagged all her neighbors.

    It is interesting to observe that — despite the ample scorn heaped upon Illinois by conservative commentators (including in the comments section of this weblog) — Illinois has outperformed Wisconsin for essentially all of the past three and a half years. And, as I mentioned, Wisconsin lags the (regional) pack.



  160. zeroxzero

    I hope you are wrong about a GOP senate. I think there is as good a chance the GOP takes a big hit in the house, the statistics show 85% of people dislike government and the controlled media is not changing that no matter what they say.

  161. Yes, ZZ but 90% of the incumbents still get re-elected.  Maybe it will drop to 80% but pot luck if it's the right (Right) 80%.

    Stirring the pot:

    Wash. Times Columnist: President Obama And Eric Holder Are "Wall Street Version[s] Of The Race Pimps." In an August 20 post on, Fox News contributor and Washington Times columnist Charles Hurt attributed the unrest in Ferguson to government anti-poverty programs, blaming them for making the poor "slaves of the Dependency State." Hurt called civil rights leaders in Ferguson, Missouri "race pimps," adding that President Obama and Attorney General Eric Holder are "a more Wall Street version of the race pimps" claiming they stir up bitterness in the black community:

    This black-clad brute force stings all the more deeply coming from the hand that delivers food stamps, free cell phones and health care for everyone. It is the moment that slaves of the Dependency State learn that government bestows only a false dignity upon them. Indeed, they are despised now more than ever.


    Just look at the race pimps like Jesse Jackson and Al Sharpton. After a career of stirring people up and engendering deep bitterness toward the boundless opportunities America offers, they are rolling in the bucks. How is that working out for you?

    President Obama and Attorney General Eric H. Holder Jr. — a more Wall Street version of the race pimps — are doing even better, jet-setting around on private planes paid for by you and me. All the while, stirring up the bitterness and convincing every next generation that here in America their lot in life is hopeless. [, 8/20/14]

    Limbaugh: "The Democratic Party, I Think, Profits From Racial Strife," As In Ferguson. On the August 18 edition of his radio show, Rush Limbaugh injected politics into the Michael Brown tragedy, claiming it showed Democrats need "a permanent underclass of subservient, poor, low-skilled dependents on government" to vote for them. Limbaugh added that "the Democrat party, I think, profits from racial strife." [Premiere Radio Networks, The Rush Limbaugh Show8/18/14]

    O'Reilly: "Race Hustlers" Have Already Convicted Officer Who Killed Michael Brown And Want "Lynch-Mob Justice." On the August 20 edition of his Fox News show, host Bill O'Reilly claimed that to the "race hustlers," the officer who shot Michael Brown is already guilty, adding that "their slogan is: no justice, no peace. I guess that's lynch-mob justice." [Fox News, The O'Reilly Factor8/20/14]

  162. Phil. I say we open down tomorrow and could get a nice decline if Yellan disappoints. Chinese and European news ignored by market today. Economic news from USA is only deemed good vs. the comparison to depressing foreign reports. Big picture can't be bright with down trends occurring in Germany, France and China.

  163. Not likely to open too much down, Jackson Hole out west, won't start until later in day.  I agree though, I can't get off the short side – long just seems so wrong to me at the moment.  

    A Compilation Of People Fucking Up The Ice Bucket Challenge

    And just remember guys, there's always a bigger fish:

    The Tea Party of Louisiana does not like Common Core, not one darn bit! And on Monday, it issued a deeply disappointed and angry denunciation of Sen. David Vitter for supporting the standards, since the tea partiers had “always thought of Senator Vitter as a friend of Liberty,” but his support for Common Core gives them a sad. All pretty standard Tea Party stuff, until you get to their list of links at the end, so you could educate yourself on just how terrible this Common Core stuff is. The first item on the list is now gone from the Tea Party website, but happily, RightWingWatch grabbed a screenshot:

    So. Very. Gay.There's nothing about Common Core here, but it's still a great picture
    And of course, the link to “Common Core Turns First Wave of Students Gay” goes straight to a fake-news website, though not, for a change, to the desperately unfunny National Report. This time it’s from a modest little Onion Wannabe called Broken World News, which did a story back in June playing off the very real concerns of Florida state Rep. Charles Van Zant, who really had warned that Common Core would “attract every one of your children to become as homosexual as they possibly can” (his evidence, as Yr Wonkette noted at the time, was that a company that contracted to score tests also had published some articles about gay youth).

    And so the Louisiana Tea Party listed that article as proof that Common Core is pushing homosexuality, despite Broken World News’s disclaimer warning that “If you believe any of the shit you read here you are a freaking moron” and lines like “as many as 60% of students who participated in Common Core have gone gay, many overnight” or a “source” saying that it’s “common knowledge that the smartest kids in school are usually the gay kids.” (Wait, that isn’t true?)

  164. I can't believe I missed the whole political back-and-forth! I live for days like this – ugh! Oh well, the real fun will begin when I can play against you guys in some Hold 'Em / Omaha in Las Vegas and squawk about my Green Party politcal platform (i.e., democratic socialism for those not in the loop) directly to all of you conservatives and centrists. Political analysis, it's the greatest sport of them all and really done best on a face-to-face basis..

  165. Well, I for one am going to bed.  Need at least 3 hours sleep or I might get cranky and say something mean to someone…  blush

  166. Karen Supertrader's 4th interview on Tastytrade is here (22 mins). If you can manage to tune out Tom Sosnoff' & partner's incessant interruptions, it is not a bad use of 22 mins. The first question is how to manage downside risk in a low volatility market? Answer: wait for the pullback, sell puts 20% out of the money, keep 50% of assets in cash, be ready to adjust. Kindred spirits with many of the philosophies on this board.

  167. I am very impressed with all of the intelligent members here, regardless of political opinions.

    Count me in for that poker tournament!  Please send me the info.. 

    Jim Cramer had an interesting show today, talking about the 12 stocks that have performed better than Google, over Google's first 10 years 2004-2014.  Innovative companies like AAPL, PCLN,  NFLX and REGN and GILD.

    Who will be the leading companies the next ten years 2015-2025?

    Phil- maybe you can start a series or a contest around this?



    Jim Cramer had a nice show tonight about 12 st

  168. Chances are I will not make it to Vegas, as I don't get to sneak away from obligations I have mentioned previously. Too bad because I feel like this group is full of kindred spirits with whom I would have a lot of fun. Despite my occasional rants here, I am generally easy going , fun loving, Vegas kind of guy and would have liked to party with you wild men and perhaps women. This debate has been enlightening, and I hope zero is wrong a little because what he says is a scary prospect (but I suspect he is more right than wrong. Perhaps on this site we should say correct instead of right). Good luck trading today to all. Let's make some damn money!

  169. Good morning! 

    Missed a little fun in the Futures, Dow dipped to 16,975 but now back to 17,000 – obviously a fun short to keep playing below 17,000 but a stop out above for a nice profit of that big short.  That's lining up with /ES 1,986.50, /NQ 4,045 and /TF 1,155 so let's make sure all are below those levels to stay comfortable shorting.  

    It's going to be wild day with many important people gathered at Jackson Hole and any stray comment can be posted at any time and move the markets up and down!  

    Gold drifting back to our $1,285 line ($1,281), Silver $19.50 (of course), Copper $3.20, Nat Gas $3.87 and Gasoline still $2.75.  Dollar 82.25, Euro $1.33, Pound $1.66 and 103.68 Yen to the Dollar.  

    Karen/Winston – Yes, solid strategies and apparently fantastic timing.  I wonder how she'll do in a down market.  

    Cramer/Prof – Follow at your own risk!  Not that he never has a good idea but the way he stampedes people in and out of stocks – I'd stay far away from thinly traded ones that he has his radar on! 

    Vegas/Craigs – Hey, it's only 3 days!

  170. Politics / forum :


    Living part time in TX ( anti-Obama country actually) and rest of my time in Europe in a "social democracy", have the opportunity to share 2 different models  of how deal with reality of people,  having both a lot in favor have also a lot of inconvenience, abuse etc. are opposite sides of the same coin.

    Obama is by far one of the most international, educated Presidents in US history many of the critics are racial based, using other arguments but I´m sure the same mentality in a WASP could be more edible to many.