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PSW December Portfolio Reviews (Members Only)

RUT WEEKLYJust a quick post to summarize our four Member Portfolios.

As noted on Wendesday, we are well-balanced and very, very Cashy in our portfolios as we head into the end of the year.   We've made great profits and we're not sure which way the market will end up so, essentially, we're taking a defensive stance to lock in our virtual gains and, as you can see from Dave Fry's Russell Chart – we're certainly not missing anything as the broad-based indexes (NYSE as well) have been flatlining since October.

As noted on Thursday, our main portfolios, the Long-Term Portfolio, which is hedged with the Short-Term Portfolio began the year with a combined $600,000 ($500/100) and have been holding the $760,000-$785,000 range since November, when we parked our positions in neutral (balanced between bullish and bearish) into the holidays.  The two portfolios are up $179,000 for the year (29.8%) so of course we want to protect those gains!  

Short-Term Portfolio Review (STP):  Back to $165,000 (up 65%) after a scare on Tuesday as the SQQQs got priced really low, for no particular reason.  We'll have to consider if we are too bearish here, or perhaps simply not bullish enough in the LTP.  Remember, this portfolio isn't SUPPOSED to make money – it's here to protect the LTP – this is just a happy accident…

  • DXD – Why do we have so many of those?  We'll leave them this weekend but no point in rolling them since we have TZA for Jan protection. 
  • TZA – Speak of the devil.  Well, since we're killing the DXDs next week, TZA becomes our primary short-term hedge and I'm good with that with the RUT back at 1,180 and TZA is at $13 so the $13 calls at $1 start making money on an over 5% drop between now and Jan – that's what a hedge is supposed to do.  Yes, I know we bought them for $2 (and we lost $10K on the DXDs too) but that's just the cost of our insurance.  We need to forget about that and focus on the $5K we have in this one and whether or not that adequately protects us over XMas and New Year's.  I think we're good.  
  • USO – This was SUPPOSED to be a bullish offset but oil collapsed and the Dow did not – strange.  Still, like the $25KP, if we intend to stick bullish on oil, $29 Jan calls are a little too aggressive so we want to roll to those same July $25s ($2.75) and buy 20 more (40 total) and we'll give it the weekend to see if we need to sell Jan or April calls or not.  
  • BIDU – Coming down nicely and not too far until we're at the money so good for now.  

  • EWJ – We like those.  
  • GMCR - From Hell's heart I stab at thee!  At least these are the Jan $125 puts but these stubborn bastards never fall.  We'll try to take advantage of the next pullback and salvage $2.50 (now $1.75).  
  • FAS – Not worried about the short puts.
  • YHOO – Not worried about the short puts.  
  • KBH – I like that spread, we hit $18 last week but stayed greedy. 

  • XRT – Back on track after a short detour.  

  • FAS – The good news is we sold the Jan $105s for $14.65 so $123.75 not too terrible but certainly not improving.  And, of course, we doubled down on the short puts (above) for another $4, so not much to do but wait.  Also on the good news side – our 2017 bull call spread is all in the money for $15 but only shows net $4 in the portfolio, so there's $11,000 we have coming if FAS does hold up.  

  • SLW – Improving nicely now.  Kind of a long-term play for the STP – I'll have to consider moving it to the LTP.  

  • SQQQ – If we could actually buy more of those spreads for that price, I certainly would!  The prices are way out of whack and giving us crazy changes in the portfolio value from hour to hour since it's such a big position.  Nothing we can do about it though it does look like we can roll the $35 calls to the $30 calls for $1.30 and, if we can fill it – LET'S!  

  • TSLA – They are threading the needle for us – one more month to go and we pocket another $2,600.  
  • It's trades like this (and the YHOO spread we cashed) that have kept this portfolio in the green, despite our regular insurance payments.  

Long-Term Portfolio Review (LTP):  If we end up holding 20% for the year (our goal), anything in the STP over $100K is just a bonus.  At the moment, our LTP/STP combo is adding up to $779K, up $179K (29.8%) from our $600K start for the year.  That's more than double the S&P – no point in being greedier than that.  

  • USO – 2017, fuggedaboutit.  
  • ABX – At our entry price.
  • BBBY – So far over our target, there's no reason to take them off, despite 71% gain a year in advance.  If we needed margin, that would be another thing – but we're swimming in it.  
  • HOV – I love these as a new entry.  Again I will point out that, although our net entry is $4.05 and HOV is at $4 for a 0.05 loss ($200), we are showing a $2,200 loss (11x) in the portfolio.  If you are going to trade options – YOU have to UNDERSTAND the pricing BETTER than your broker or broker you will get very quickly!  
  • IBM — The options got more expensive but the stock hasn't changed.  This is another one as we show a 40% loss but we sold the 2016 $160 puts for $9.30 and IBM is at $164 at the moment so, if this were Jan 2016, we'd be up 100%, the down 40% is a temporary illusion on our balance sheet and nothing more.  Learn to trade what is real, not what your broker tells you.  
  • KBH – Around where we sold them. 
  • RIG – Here's one that actually went sour on us.  Our net entry on 2,000 shares is $19 and RIG is at $19 so no real loss but down $8K on paper.  RIG pays a $3 dividend and the CEO just told us the dividend is "safe" so let's capture it by buying 2,000 shares for $38,000 and selling 20 of the 2017 $18 calls for $5 ($10,000) for net $28,000.  That puts us in the buy/write at net ($19-$8-$5 =) $6 ($12,000) and, if assigned 2,000 more shares at $27 ($54,000) we will have spent $66,000 for 4,000 shares or $16.50 per share.  

Meanwhile, while we hold 2,000 shares, we will hopefully collect $6 of dividends over 2 years for $12,000 and that drops out net to $13.50 or, if called away over $27 (where the short puts expire worthless) we'll net $0 on our overall entry (with the $6 dividends) which means, if called away at $18, we profit $36,000 on the 2,000 shares we have.  

So, to summarize, we commit to owning up to 4,000 shares at $13.50 ($54,000), which is 1/2 the margin of a full allocation block ($100K) as our worst-case and, even if they drop the dividend to $1 per share, getting back $1 on $13.50 is 7.5% in dividends alone!  This is how we end up with a "full" position – the stock gets cheaper and we keep buying it and, if it drops another 50% to $10 – we can still sell 2019 $12.50 puts and calls for $3-5 and we'd STILL be in the game!

  • SGEN – On track
  • TWX – On track. 
  • WEN – On track
  • WFM – So far ahead it isn't worth taking off.  
  • AREX – Down with oil sector, we're in for the long haul with a small entry ($17,650 if assigned 2x).  July options are out but I'd rather wait for Sept than roll every 3 months.  Our net entry is ($11.50-$2.65-$1.20 =) $7.65/8.82 with the stock at $7.71 so hardly a reason to panic despite the 175% loss on the short puts! 
  • CIM – On track and great for a new entry.
  • NLY – On track and great for a new entry.  
  • AAPL (1) – 2016 $80/100 bull call spread is $15 and the short 2017 $80 puts are $5 for net $10 on the $20 spread – Hell, that's good for a new entry to make 100% at $100 – even if we weren't in it for net $1.95 already!  
  • AAPL (2) – 2016 $70/90 bull call spread is $17.20 and, not that I don't have faith but the money can make more elsewhere so let's kill that and buy back the short $85.71 puts ($3) and that drops $7,100 in our pockets and lets buy 20 of the 2017 $90/120 bull call spreads for $15.55 ($31,100) following the plan we laid out in yesterday's Top Trade Alert.  That's committing $24,000 more to make as much as $28,900 at $120 rather than waiting a year to make $1,400 tying up $7,100.  
  • ARO – Unfortunately, down 26% on the day is a falling knife, so not a great day to adjust BUT we do have 100 2016 $3 puts that we sold for 0.90 and they are now $1.10 and we can make a roll to the 2017 $3.50 puts at $1.80, which drops 0.70 more in our pocket in exchange for 0.50 in position – that's a good trade.  Our 2016 $3.50 calls are 0.35 and the 2017 $2 calls are $1.05 so net 0.70 to gain $1.50 in position is a good deal too.  At 0.20, the short 2016 $5 calls aren't worth buying back, so we'll leave them.
  • BHI – Surprising breakdown in the pricing on those contracts.  Notice we're losing on all 3, which is impossible in reality.  I'm not looking to press our luck here – it will be great if it works and it will suck if it doesn't but I think it's still good for a new entry.  
  • CCJ – Nothing to do but wait on these material plays.  
  • CLF – And another one.  
  • DBA – Commodities just as dead.  
  • GTAT – Incorrect pricing on these.  Maybe they recover… maybe.  
  • IRBT – On track.
  • LULU – On track
  • MAT – Will be interesting to see how Christmas goes but I still like this one.  
  • SLW – Another commodity. 
  • TASR – On track
  • TM – On track 
  • WFM – On track.

Turns out there isn't all that much to do after all.  I don't want to spend more on commodities and materials as we're too heavy there so I added to AAPL and ARO and RIG was simply too good to resist at this price.  The rest we can wait and see and we'll look at our Buy List again in Jan and see what goes on sale. 

$25,000 Portfolio Review ($25KP):  Chugging along but too bearish. 

  • DXD – I still believe in the trade but concerned about the time-frame.  The Dec $22s are 0.35 and we can roll the the Jan $22s (0.70) for another 0.35 and that would net us in there at $1.65 and we'd need DXD $23.65 by Jan expiration (16th) just to get even.  That's a 10% move on DXD so a 5% drop on the Dow to 17,000 (a 900-point drop) and we did fall to 16,200 in Oct, which was the same 7 weeks in the other direction.  So, it comes down to how likely we are to get that correction.  I think it's worth the 0.35 ($700) to find out, so let's make that the roll.  As you can see from Oct, if we get back to just $25, we'd pick up $3 for a 100%(ish) profit but more like a 10-bagger off the extra 0.35 vs the risk of losing 0.70 – worst case.    

  • USO – April $28s down to 0.95 but don't forget this started out as a $28/32 spread and we sold the $32s for $1.50 and bought them back for 0.70 so we did make 0.80 there.  That still leaves us down $2(ish) but better than $3(ish).  Anyway, so now we are in the calls for net ($3.80 – $1.50 + 0.70 =) $3 and USO needs to be at $31 for us to get paid and that's up $5.50 or 20%, which is $80.40 and we're not too sure about that so let's sell the April $28 calls to some other sucker for $1 and roll our calls out to July $25s at $2.75 for $1.75.  So we spend net 0.75 to move to the July $25 calls, which are in the money and our new net is $3.75 on our $3 spread with a time bonus.  That works…

  • EWJ – We should have taken the quick double off the table!  No change on these, they are fine for our premise.  

  • GMCR – Disaster!  Dead money unless a miracle happens.   It's not really 0.05, it's more like 0.25 – otherwise I'd DD for $40!  

  • BTU – Another one we should have taken off the table on a quick gain.  In this case, there's no sense in not buying back the short Dec $11 calls (0.13) so we are ready and able to pull the Dec $10s if they happen to have a good pop.  

By popular demand – the Butterfly Portfolio Review:  Overall, we are having a bad month so far, dropping about 5% overall but we don't really care what happens month to month, just year to year.  

  • BTU – I still think they are bottomed here so not inclined to sell calls but may as well take the opportunity to roll our 2016 $15 calls (0.60) to the 2017 $10 calls ($2.45) for $1.85.  Otherwise, we'll wait for March if we have to. 

  • DIS – Way over target but let's wait until Jan.  We sold the puts and calls for $5.30 so our break-even on the short Jan $85 calls is $90.30.

  • JPM – A little over target but we sold those Jan puts and calls for $7.95 so break-even on the short Jan $55 calls is $62.95.  

I think the problem people have with these spreads is that you don't mind being bullish in the bottom of the range but then you are scared to be bearish at the top of the range.  We aren't here to "root" for these stocks – we're playing a range and those ranges tend to true up over time – we just have to be patient.  

  • OIH – Fortunately, we did sell calls on these!  In this case, we sold Jan puts and calls for $10.70 so break-even on the short Jan $43 puts is $32.30 – not there yet…

  • TXN – Another big mover.  We sold the Jan puts and calls for $4.41 and that puts our break-even on the $46 calls at $50.41.  Assuming $55 holds into Jan, we'll owe $9 back on the short calls but the April $50 calls are $5.70 and the the $50 puts are $1.30 so net $7 means we'd take $2 cash out of pocket to adjust the options we already collected $4.41 on – this is not terrible, folks….

  • VLO – We only sold the calls as we thought this one would come down.  Didn't happen yet but we did sell the Dec $47.50 calls for $3.50 so that breaks even at $51 and we're at $51.98 so, again, where is the tragedy?  

Does it make sense that VLO should be flying up while gasoline prices are collapsing?  I don't think so.  

  • WMT – Here we sold the Jan puts and calls for $4.25 and that means our net on the short $80 calls is $84.25 and last week we spiked to $88 and I said it was silly and we should wait and yesterday it was $86 and I said we should wait and today it's $85 and I still can't get motivated to change it with 7 weeks left on the short calls.  The short Dec $80 puts, however, are toast at 0.08 so let's buy those back and just see if $85 holds before selling more puts.  

These do not, of course, reflect this week's adjustments yet (and I can't believe we got that SQQQ roll so cheaply!) - that's something I have to do on the weekends but some people asked where to find the portfolios as we reviewed them over a couple of days so I thought this would be easier and also a good place to consolidate comments on any positions we may have for discussion.  

 


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  1. Good morning! 

    Good article in Seeking Alpha:  "Why I hate Apple."   I'm still having trouble not making it my Stock of the Year again for 2015.  ABX is in the running along with RIG but, in both cases, I think they may not have enough time to shine.  I'm also loving that BHI play that's in the LTP – if that merger goes through it's BRILLIANT and, if not, still a nice way to own BHI.  


  2. From Bloomberg, Dec 6, 2014, 12:00:01 AM


    Job seekers wait in line to enter a job fair in Corpus Christi, Texas, U.S. Employers added 321,000 jobs in November, the most since January 2012, while the unemployment rate held at a six-year low of 5.8 percent and average hourly earnings gained the most since June 2013, government data showed. Photographer: Eddie Seal/Bloomberg

    U.S. stocks rose for a seventh week, sending the Dow Jones Industrial Average (INDU) within 10 points of 18,000, as a series of labor reports signaled employers are hiring fast enough to drive economic growth.

    To read the entire article, go to http://bloom.bg/12JLrXj

    Sent from the Bloomberg iPad application. Download the free application at http://itunes.apple.com/us/app/bloomberg-for-ipad/id364304764?mt=8


  3. From Bloomberg, Dec 6, 2014, 12:00:33 AM

     

    So much for secular stagnation.

    To read the entire article, go to http://bloom.bg/1G1VZza

    Sent from the Bloomberg iPad application. Download the free application at http://itunes.apple.com/us/app/bloomberg-for-ipad/id364304764?mt=8


  4. From Bloomberg, Dec 5, 2014, 12:09:34 PM

    Goldman Sachs Group Inc. (GS) has $7 billion invested in private equity that it might have to sell at a loss. For Morgan Stanley (MS), it’s $2.5 billion.

    To read the entire article, go to http://bloom.bg/12rpzio

    Sent from the Bloomberg iPad application. Download the free application at http://itunes.apple.com/us/app/bloomberg-for-ipad/id364304764?mt=8


  5. From Bloomberg, Dec 5, 2014, 3:11:59 PM


    Something’s missing.

    Rolling Stone’s story about an alleged gang rape at the University of Virginia appears to be falling apart. The fraternity released a statement today rebutting specific aspects of the story. Friends of Jackie’s on campus, including rape survivors, are now also questioning her story. Rolling Stone has issued a not-quite-retraction:

    To read the entire article, go to http://bv.ms/12J3uwV

    Sent from the Bloomberg iPad application. Download the free application at http://itunes.apple.com/us/app/bloomberg-for-ipad/id364304764?mt=8


  6. From Bloomberg, Dec 5, 2014, 8:44:32 PM


    Signage is displayed outside of the Sony Pictures Entertainment Inc. Studios building in Culver City, California, U.S. Photographer: Jonathan Alcorn/Bloomberg

    Sony Pictures (6758) employees have received an e-mail from the purported hackers who crashed the company’s computers last month, threatening their families and the studio.

    To read the entire article, go to http://bloom.bg/1vxwzq5

    Sent from the Bloomberg iPad application. Download the free application at http://itunes.apple.com/us/app/bloomberg-for-ipad/id364304764?mt=8


  7. From Bloomberg, Dec 5, 2014, 11:28:56 PM


    Warren Buffett, chief executive officer of Berkshire Hathaway Inc., Photographer: Jeff Kowalsky/Bloomberg

    Warren Buffett became the world’s second-richest person yesterday after shares of Berkshire Hathaway Inc. (BRK/B) reached a record high.

    To read the entire article, go to http://bloom.bg/1yyHe4J

    Sent from the Bloomberg iPad application. Download the free application at http://itunes.apple.com/us/app/bloomberg-for-ipad/id364304764?mt=8


  8. From Bloomberg, Dec 5, 2014, 7:25:13 PM

    A Delaware Chancery Court judge said he’ll rule soon on whether to hear a lawsuit accusing Caesars Entertainment Corp. (CZR) of fraud for moving assets away from creditors owed more than $3.6 billion.

    To read the entire article, go to http://bloom.bg/126UzVd

    Sent from the Bloomberg iPad application. Download the free application at http://itunes.apple.com/us/app/bloomberg-for-ipad/id364304764?mt=8


  9. From Bloomberg, Dec 5, 2014, 5:04:56 PM

    Treasuries fell, pushing two-year note yields to the highest level since 2011, after the U.S. added more jobs than estimated in November, boosting the speculation Federal Reserve policy makers are getting closer to raising interest rates.

    To read the entire article, go to http://bloom.bg/1vW6twF

    Sent from the Bloomberg iPad application. Download the free application at http://itunes.apple.com/us/app/bloomberg-for-ipad/id364304764?mt=8


  10. From Bloomberg, Dec 4, 2014, 2:07:56 PM


    Samsung, based in Suwon, South Korea, contends that Apple’s design patents covered little more than rounded corners or logical ways of making a phone. Photographer: Brent Lewin/Bloomberg

    Samsung Electronics Co. urged a U.S. appeals court to toss a $930 million verdict won by Apple Inc., saying the South Korean company didn’t copy the iPhone’s design and unique look and arguing that the damage award was too high.

    To read the entire article, go to http://bloom.bg/1yjPfGE

    Sent from the Bloomberg iPad application. Download the free application at http://itunes.apple.com/us/app/bloomberg-for-ipad/id364304764?mt=8


  11. From Bloomberg, Dec 6, 2014, 12:00:01 AM

      Metro buses, right, move along Avenue 23 de Marco in the Ibirapuera neighborhood of Sao, Paulo, Brazil. Photographer: Dado Galdieri/Bloomberg

    Brazil said it’s moving toward limiting fossil-fuel pollution as part of a global deal on climate change, making it the latest major developing nation to indicate it’s ready to set an emission goal.

    To read the entire article, go to http://bloom.bg/1vxDH5F

    Sent from the Bloomberg iPad application. Download the free application at http://itunes.apple.com/us/app/bloomberg-for-ipad/id364304764?mt=8


  12. From Bloomberg, Dec 5, 2014, 7:07:31 PM


    Saudi Arabia’s Oil Minister Ali Al-Naimi resisted calls from OPEC members to trim production at a Nov. 27 meeting in Vienna. Photographer: Vladimir Weiss/Bloomberg

    West Texas Intermediate and Brent crudes are poised to decline from the lowest closing levels in more than five years after shrugging off a sign that the market has dropped too fast.

    To read the entire article, go to http://bloom.bg/1zZYgXH

    Sent from the Bloomberg iPad application. Download the free application at http://itunes.apple.com/us/app/bloomberg-for-ipad/id364304764?mt=8


  13. From Bloomberg, Dec 5, 2014, 6:41:35 PM

      Russia’s President Vladimir Putin. Photographer: Ian Waldie/Bloomberg

    Russia’s currency and bond rout is spreading to former Soviet states.

    To read the entire article, go to http://bloom.bg/1277OFe

    Sent from the Bloomberg iPad application. Download the free application at http://itunes.apple.com/us/app/bloomberg-for-ipad/id364304764?mt=8


  14. From Bloomberg, Dec 5, 2014, 4:21:18 PM


    UNITED STATES – DECEMBER 04: From left, Lorella Praeli of United We Dream, House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif., and Rep. Sheila Jackson Lee, D-Texas, attend a news conference at the House Triangle to call on House Republicans to pass a comprehensive immigration reform bill, December 4, 2014. (Photo By Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call)

    Nancy Pelosi is a grandmother who loves chocolate ice cream and long power walks around Washington. But standing in front of news cameras outside the Capitol with pursed lips and eyes hidden behind a pair of big, round, dark sunglasses, she looked every bit the political assassin she must have felt like.

    To read the entire article, go to http://www.bloomberg.com/politics/articles/2014-12-05/nancy-pelosi-puts-the-screws-to-house-republicans

    Sent from the Bloomberg iPad application. Download the free application at http://itunes.apple.com/us/app/bloomberg-for-ipad/id364304764?mt=8


  15. From Bloomberg, Dec 5, 2014, 12:00:02 PM

     

    It is tempting to say that 2014 was a bad year for the NCAA, but, honestly, every year is a bad year for the NCAA. But this was a particularly eventful one. In March, former athletes brought an antitrust class-action suit against the organization, calling it an “unlawful cartel.” Football players at Northwestern voted to unionize. The NCAA lost the Ed O’Bannon case. O’Bannon, a UCLA power forward, accused the league of unlawfully profiting from his image, and a U.S. district judge ruled that the organization “unreasonably restrained trade” when it came to its players’ earning potential. The way it handled an autographs-for-pay “scandal” with star Georgia running back Todd Gurley—suspending him for attempting to profit off his own name and then including “community service” in its punishment, as if the NCAA were some sort of licensed judicial entity—made many wonder why in the world anyone would ever want to be a part of this corrupt system in the first place. 

    To read the entire article, go to http://www.bloomberg.com/politics/features/2014-12-05/the-end-of-college-football-as-we-know-it

    Sent from the Bloomberg iPad application. Download the free application at http://itunes.apple.com/us/app/bloomberg-for-ipad/id364304764?mt=8


  16. From Bloomberg, Dec 5, 2014, 4:03:47 PM

    Consumer borrowing rose less than forecast in October as Americans tempered their credit-card use ahead of the holiday-shopping season.

    To read the entire article, go to http://bloom.bg/12J0pgq

    Sent from the Bloomberg iPad application. Download the free application at http://itunes.apple.com/us/app/bloomberg-for-ipad/id364304764?mt=8


  17. From Bloomberg, Dec 5, 2014, 3:39:49 PM


    Depends on where you live.

    It was the most Republican of times, it was the most Democratic of times.

    To read the entire article, go to http://bv.ms/12JbnlQ

    Sent from the Bloomberg iPad application. Download the free application at http://itunes.apple.com/us/app/bloomberg-for-ipad/id364304764?mt=8


  18. From Bloomberg, Dec 5, 2014, 1:43:28 PM


    Step right up.

    Greg Sargent at the Plum Line has a terrific analysis of Ted Cruz’s shutdown strategy to combat President Barack Obama’s executive action on immigration.

    To read the entire article, go to http://bv.ms/1rX0Uyx

    Sent from the Bloomberg iPad application. Download the free application at http://itunes.apple.com/us/app/bloomberg-for-ipad/id364304764?mt=8


  19. From Bloomberg, Dec 5, 2014, 1:16:48 PM


    A good sign.

    Over the years, I have written at length about why the obsession with the monthly nonfarm payrolls report is misplaced (see e.g., this this and this). What matters isn’t any single data point, but the trend’s direction. And as we have seen since 2010, that trend has been positive. More recently, it has been picking up speed. 

    To read the entire article, go to http://bv.ms/1rWYakU

    Sent from the Bloomberg iPad application. Download the free application at http://itunes.apple.com/us/app/bloomberg-for-ipad/id364304764?mt=8


  20. No one seems to be worried as the VIX plunged below 12 yesterday. Usually on a meltup like this one, traders load up on protection and push the VIX up, but not happening now. Kind of strange. Good for VXX which is at 26 now, the lowest so far since the reset! Lost almost exactly 50% since then despite 3 big spikes. 


  21. The Sad State Of American Inequality In 12 Charts
    http://www.businessinsider.com/income-and-wealth-inequality-charts-2014-11




  22. Hope you closed your NKD position Phil because that Japan GDP could go either way on Sunday!


  23. iPhone 6 Plus dominated US phablet market in October, says Kantar
    http://www.androidauthority.com/iphone-6-plus-phablet-market-572160/


  24. Ukraine Goes Full Orwell, Unleashes “Ministry Of Truth”
    http://www.zerohedge.com/news/2014-12-04/ukraine-goes-full-orwell-unleashes-ministry-truth


  25. Calculated Risk: The Future’s so Bright …
    http://www.calculatedriskblog.com/2014/12/the-futures-so-bright.html




  26. For people not worried about climate change. The WMO has asked weather people around the world to prepare fake weather reports for 2050 based on the current predictions of global warming. Here is the one for Miami:

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=u5gBjabXETg

    And the Weather Channel:

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=65ScX7kNR_g

    Quite scary. And here is the one for Spain (with English subtitles):

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=G_JmdMINI_Q&list=PLNaX-uTWSWrHU3ADBXLCwSs13IqF2gTIm#t=77


  27. Now they’re trying to steal 2016: The demented GOP schemes to rewire the Electoral College and elect a Tea Party president
    http://www.salon.com/2014/12/06/now_theyre_trying_to_steal_2016_the_demented_gop_schemes_to_rewire_the_electoral_college_and_elect_a_tea_party_president/


  28. California’s ‘Hot Drought’ Ranks Worst in at Least 1,200 Years
    http://www.bloomberg.com/news/2014-12-05/california-s-drought-ranks-worst-in-at-least-1-200-years.html


  29. Downfall of the Revel Casino
    http://www.forbes.com/pictures/emeg45edgfl/revel-a-casino-like-no-other/?linkId926321&utm_channel=Business


  30. What To Do About The Coming Retirement Crisis
    http://www.forbes.com/sites/nextavenue/2014/12/05/what-to-do-about-the-coming-retirement-crisis/?linkId004817&utm_channel=Investing



  31. From Bloomberg, Dec 7, 2014, 12:00:01 PM

    Russian President Vladimir Putin pledged “harsh” measures for those speculators betting against the currency while promising to repel any effort to force Russia to back down over Ukraine. Photographer: Alain Jocard/AFP via Getty Images

    Russian President Vladimir Putin has tried everything from selling dollars to threatening speculators in his bid to stem this year’s plunge in the ruble.

    To read the entire article, go to http://bloom.bg/15XpeX7

    Sent from the Bloomberg iPad application. Download the free application at http://itunes.apple.com/us/app/bloomberg-for-ipad/id364304764?mt=8


  32. From Bloomberg, Dec 7, 2014, 7:40:38 PM


    Shinzo Abe, Japan’s prime minister and president of the Liberal Democratic Party, center, waves as he leaves an election campaign rally in Tokyo, Japan, on Dec. 7, 2014. Photographer: Tomohiro Ohsumi/Bloomberg

    Japan’s recession was deeper than initially estimated, a blow to Prime Minister Shinzo Abe as he campaigns for re-election on his economic credentials.

    To read the entire article, go to http://bloom.bg/1wkAw3l

    Sent from the Bloomberg iPad application. Download the free application at http://itunes.apple.com/us/app/bloomberg-for-ipad/id364304764?mt=8


  33. I'm pretty sure Abe is surrendering.  What, exactly, remains to be seen.


  34. From Bloomberg, Dec 8, 2014, 1:17:02 AM


    BP Plc will cut jobs and freeze certain projects amid oil’s slump into a bear market, the Sunday Times reported, citing an interview with Chief Financial Officer Brian Gilvary. Photographer: Chris Ratcliffe/Bloomberg

    China’s Shanghai Composite Index topped 3,000 for the first time in three years as the country reported a record trade surplus. Crude oil dropped toward a five-year low while emerging-market currencies were weaker against the dollar after a U.S. jobs report beat all estimates.

    To read the entire article, go to http://bloom.bg/12ffIMZ

    Sent from the Bloomberg iPad application. Download the free application at http://itunes.apple.com/us/app/bloomberg-for-ipad/id364304764?mt=8


  35. From Bloomberg, Dec 8, 2014, 12:21:37 AM

      Customers browse jewelry including gold bracelets on display in the window of a jewelry store in the Fatih district of Istanbul. Gold shipments to Turkey, the fifth-largest consumer in the third quarter, climbed last month to the highest in more than six years. Photographer: Kerem Uzel/Bloomberg

    Speculators boosted bullish gold bets to a three-month high on signs central banks will act to counter low inflation, reviving the allure of bullion as a hedge.

    To read the entire article, go to http://bloom.bg/1s9zcJB

    Sent from the Bloomberg iPad application. Download the free application at http://itunes.apple.com/us/app/bloomberg-for-ipad/id364304764?mt=8


  36. From Bloomberg, Dec 8, 2014, 12:33:43 AM


    A crane is moved through the Yangshan Deep Water Port, part of China (Shanghai) Pilot Free Trade Zone’s Yangshan free trade port area, in Shanghai, China. Overseas shipments rose 4.7 percent from a year earlier, missing the 8 percent median estimate in a Bloomberg News survey. Photographer: Tomohiro Ohsumi/Bloomberg

    China’s trade surplus climbed to a record in November after an unexpected decline in imports on lower crude oil and other commodity prices.

    To read the entire article, go to http://bloom.bg/1wlltqc

    Sent from the Bloomberg iPad application. Download the free application at http://itunes.apple.com/us/app/bloomberg-for-ipad/id364304764?mt=8


  37. From Bloomberg, Dec 8, 2014, 12:07:26 AM

      Dec. 8 (Bloomberg) — Viktor Shvets, head of Asian strategy at Macquarie Securities, talks about Japan’s economy, financial markets, central bank and government policies. He also discusses European Central Bank policy and China’s economy. He speaks with Yvonne Man on Bloomberg Television’s “First Up.” (Source: Bloomberg)

    Japan’s recession is deepening, though the bad economic news doesn’t seem to be damping Prime Minister Shinzo Abe’s chances of increasing his parliamentary majority in snap elections this month.

    To read the entire article, go to http://bloom.bg/1CXtvID

    Sent from the Bloomberg iPad application. Download the free application at http://itunes.apple.com/us/app/bloomberg-for-ipad/id364304764?mt=8


  38. From Bloomberg, Dec 8, 2014, 12:00:01 AM

    Global spending on digital advertising is forecast to increase 15 percent next year, buoyed by mobile and social media campaigns, and is projected to equal outlays for television by 2019.

    To read the entire article, go to http://bloom.bg/1A7u64O

    Sent from the Bloomberg iPad application. Download the free application at http://itunes.apple.com/us/app/bloomberg-for-ipad/id364304764?mt=8


  39. From Bloomberg, Dec 7, 2014, 11:50:53 PM


    Fuel tanks stand at the PT Pertamina fuel depot in Jakarta, Indonesia. OPEC, responsible for about 40 percent of the world’s oil supply, kept its collective output target at 30 million barrels a day. Photographer: Dimas Ardian/Bloomberg

    Hedge funds are betting that the oil-price crash is close to ending.

    To read the entire article, go to http://bloom.bg/12fvwix

    Sent from the Bloomberg iPad application. Download the free application at http://itunes.apple.com/us/app/bloomberg-for-ipad/id364304764?mt=8


  40. From Bloomberg, Dec 7, 2014, 6:01:00 PM

      Big global banks like UBS are turning to technology to mine data for insight on its customers that could help lenders stay competitive in the digital era. Photographer: Valentin Flauraud/Bloomberg

    UBS Group AG (UBSG), facing the threat of competition from Google Inc. (GOOGL) and Amazon.com Inc., has turned to a Singapore-based technology company that uses artificial intelligence for help delivering personalized advice to the bank’s wealthy clients.

    To read the entire article, go to http://bloom.bg/12fl1vV

    Sent from the Bloomberg iPad application. Download the free application at http://itunes.apple.com/us/app/bloomberg-for-ipad/id364304764?mt=8


  41. Good morning!

    Futures off a bit this morning, didn't like Japan economic news and /NKD is down to 17,955 already from opening at 18,190 last night which, unfortunately, I missed (though just as fortunately I didn't leave my 18,050 shorts on over the weekend or that move would have freaked me out).  

    Nikkei Slides Back Below 18,000 On Deeper-Than-Expected Recession, Record Bankruptcies

    Like us, Europe is down about 0.35% with oil failing $65 line.  Dollar is 89.50, still very strong, gold $1,196, silver $16.35, copper $2.89 (very weak), nat gas $3.74 and gasoline failed $1.75, now $1.74.  How can people believe we have a strong economy with collapsing commodities?  Oil, on the whole, is working it's way back to the low it spiked to on Thanksgiving (OPEC meeting):

    Energy Bond Crash Contagion Suggests Oil Will Stay Lower For Longer

    Japan's GDP was revised DOWN to NEGATIVE 1.9% for Q3:

    In recent days, though, many economists had predicted that the third-quarter contraction would actually turn out to be smaller than initially estimated—or perhaps be revised to flat or a slight expansion—after the Ministry of Finance reported late last month that according to its survey capital spending by businesses rose 3.1% during the quarter, compared with a previous estimate of a 0.2% decline. Business investment accounts for around 14% of GDP.

    But capital spending turned out to be weaker than the ministry’s estimate when taking into account smaller businesses, declining 0.4%, indicating that even as Japan Inc. reports record profits and the stock market hits multi-year highs, the benefits of Abenomics haven’t reached everyone.

    Financial-services firms, for example, haven’t followed through with investments in retail services after a tax-free investment account for individuals was launched in January. Many individual investors remain inactive as the Nikkei Stock Average has hit a series of seven-year highs.

    The economy will likely expand in the fourth quarter, helped by a sharp decline in oil prices, said Kenji Yumoto, an economist with the Japan Research Institute. Still, consumers’ wages aren’t keeping pace with inflation, he noted.

    “Declining real income amid a weaker yen suggests the recovery will likely lack strength,” he said.

    • The revised data confirms Japan slipping into recession less than a week prior to general elections that Prime Minister Shinzo Abe has framed as a referendum on his economic policies.
    • Previously: Surprise contraction in Japanese GDP (Nov. 16 2014)

    China A-Shares ETF Slumps as Regulator Urges CautionThe largest U.S. exchange-traded fund that tracks mainland stocks fell after China’s securities regulator urged caution as a rally in Shanghai shares pushed their premium over Hong Kong companies to a 30-month high.

    China Securities Journal: China Faces Rising Debt Ratio, Local Govt Debt. The Chinese economy faces a rising debt ratio, swelling local government debt and a possible property market correction, citing Li Yang, vice president of the government-backed Chinese Academy of Social Sciences.

     

    Citi(C) Faces $270 Million Loss; "In Panic" Over Chinese Port Commodity Fraud

    China Fixes Yuan At Strongest Since March As Trade Surplus Hits Record Highs

     

    Emerging Markets Masking Corporate Foreign-Debt Levels, BIS SaysForeign-debt levels of companies in emerging markets from China to India and Brazil are underestimated, threatening financial stability, the Bank for International Settlements said. Companies are raising more foreign funds through their offshore affiliates and accounting practices understate the currency risk in such transactions, the Basel, Switzerland-based institution said in its quarterly report. Almost half of the $554 billion that the firms raised in the five years through 2013 came from the affiliates, the BIS said. ?

    Meanwhile, German Industrial Output is weaker than expected too.

    ECB Loans Seen as Underwhelming Banks to Stoke Draghi’s ResolveMario Draghi is about to get an idea of how far reality falls short of his intentions. A round of long-term loans by the European Central Bank to lenders this week won’t even cover the repayments they owe from a previous program, according to a Bloomberg News survey of analysts. The operation could show that stimulus measures the ECB president says are “intended” to add as much as 1 trillion euros ($1.23 trillion) to the financial system won’t suffice without large-scale buying of assets such as government bonds. 

    Russia Contagion Spreads to Former Soviet States Amid Rout. Russia’s currency and bond rout is spreading to former Soviet states. Currencies are tumbling after holding steady since President Vladimir Putin annexed Crimea in March. Russia’s deepening crisis and the ruble’s 34 percent slump over the past six months hurt economies that rely on remittances and imports from the country. Georgia’s lari lost 10 percent against the dollar last week, surpassing the 6.5 percent decline in the ruble as the biggest loser among 169 currencies tracked by Bloomberg. The Armenian dram slumped 2.8 percent, the sixth weekly drop, the longest slump since March 2010. Kazakhstan’s dollar-denominated notes due in 2024 slid, sending yields up 57 basis points, or 0.57 percentage point, to 4.76 percent.

    5 Ways Russia's Demise Could Spread Around The World

    Exactly what I've been saying:  Something Stinks Inside The BLS Jobs Data

    Even The BIS Is Shocked At How Broken Markets Have Become

    There's A Troubling Level Of Fragility Hidden Beneath Market Bouyancy

    Citi(C): "The Limits Of Investors' Faith That Central Banks Can Push Up Asset Prices, Are Increasingly On Display"

    When Goldman(GS) Writes The New York Fed's Press Releases, Then All Is Lost

    Consumer Credit Growth Misses For 3rd Month, Credit Card Debt Trickles To A Halt

    IceCap Asset Management: The Third Law Of 'Stock Market' Motion

    Here's one I predicted last week (still playable):

    U.S. Sugar Soars Above World Prices

    Sugar is getting dearer in the U.S. even as it is getting cheaper in most other places, putting pressure on candy manufacturers to raise prices.

    Merck(MRK) in Talks to Buy Cubist(CBST) for $7 Billion, NYT Reports. Merck & Co. (MRK) is in talks to acquire Cubist Pharmaceuticals Inc. (CBST), a maker of antibiotics, in a deal valued at more than $7 billion, the New York Times reported, citing people briefed on the matter. Merck would pay about $100 a share, and an agreement could be announced as early as next week, the newspaper said. An offer in that range would represent a 34 percent premium over Cubist’s closing share price yesterday. ?

    Yay!  Apple(AAPL) May Be Reintroducing The 4-inch iPhone

    Wall Street Moves To Put Taxpayers On The Hook For Derivatives Trades

    Caught On Tape – State Department Spokesperson Admits Her Own Propaganda Is "Ridiculous"

     


  42. The filthy rich, writes Michael Lewis, are unhappy, unhelpful, and always wanting more.
    NEWREPUBLIC.COM

     


  43. Any good looking futures ideas?


  44. Almost never on a Monday.  

    I like oil (/CL) for a bounce at $64.50 (already hit $64.10) but not at all under that line.  The Futures are down but not much and they've gotten so many buys it's hard to bet against them.  /NQ is at 4,300 so, at the moment, worth a bullish play if you must choose one – tight stops below, of course. 


  45. Dow has to hold 17,900 (/YM) to confirm.  


  46. Phil,

    Have you recently posted a new/updated Buy List?