Archive for 2014

Swing trading portfolio – week of June 30th, 2014

Reminder: OpTrader is available to chat with Members, comments are found below each post.

This post is for all our live virtual trade ideas and daily comments. Please click on "comments" below to follow our live discussion. All of our current  trades are listed in the spreadsheet below, with entry price (1/2 in and All in), and exit prices (1/3 out, 2/3 out, and All out).

We also indicate our stop, which is most of the time the "5 day moving average". All trades, unless indicated, are front-month ATM options. 

Please feel free to participate in the discussion and ask any questions you might have about this virtual portfolio, by clicking on the "comments" link right below.

To learn more about the swing trading virtual portfolio (strategy, performance, FAQ, etc.), please click here


Swing trading virtual portfolio

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Where Should Gold Be Priced Relative to the Fed’s Balance Sheet?

Courtesy of ZeroHedge. View original post here.

Submitted by Phoenix Capital Research.

Since 2007, the world’s Central Banks have collectively put more than $10 trillion into the financial system since 2008. To put that number into perspective, it’s equal to roughly 15% of global GDP.


This kind of money printing is literally unheard of in modern history. And it has set the stage for a roaring wave of inflation to hit the financial system. Indeed, the first signs are already showing up… not in the “official” Government data (which is bogus) but in how those who run businesses around the globe are acting.


Most people believe that when inflation hits, prices have to go higher. This is true, but higher prices can be manifested in multiple ways. Firms usually do not simply raise prices in nominal terms because it would hurt sales.


Instead, companies resort to a number of strategies to maintain profit margins without hurting their sales. One of them is to simply leave part of a package EMPTY, thereby selling LESS product for the SAME price (a hidden price hike).


Food manufacturers, like the politicians currently debating health reform, may have a solution to the obesity crisis: Feed Americans a lot of hot air. But this heated air is not just a figure of speech for packaged goods companies including Ralcorp Holdings' (RAH) Post Foods and PepsiCo (PEP) subsidiaries Frito-Lay and Quaker.


In many packaged products, as much as 50% of the contents is just empty space, an investigation by Consumer Reports reveals. And we consumers are buying that nothingness every day.


Another tactic corporation use is to simply sell smaller packages for the SAME price (another means of selling less for MORE= a price hike).


U.S. Companies Shrink Packages as Food Prices Rise


Large food companies have recently announced that they will raise the prices they charge grocery retailers for commodities-based products. For example, a chocolate bar will cost more soon: Hershey last week announced a 10% increase for most of its confectionery goods.


Of course, straightforward price hikes could cause consumers to buy less of those products or to choose less costly store brands. So in many cases, food companies are trying a different tactic: Keeping the price of an item the same while
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What Would be the Effect of a Substantial Hike in the Minimum Wage?

Courtesy of Mish.

In response to 100% of U.S. Employment Growth Since 2000 Went to Immigrants, reader Mike wonders what effect a rise in minimum wage would have.

Mike Writes …

Hi Mish.

Thanks for a very interesting post. I hope the mainstream media will pick up on this.

Here’s a question for you: Do you think a rise in the minimum wage would bring more citizens into the workforce and and reduce the welfare rolls?

By the way, I am against laws that restrict the free will of consenting adults, employers and employees alike. But I am curious about the results of a substantial hike in the minimum wage.


Predicting the Results

It is not easy to predict the precise results. People on both sides of the debate cite studies that purportedly support their point of view.

Nonetheless we can say certain things, even if we do not know the final result.

A hike in the minimum wage would:

  1. Encourage more people to seek work whether there is work or not. Thus, the participation rate would rise putting upward pressure on the unemployment rate.
  2. Encourage businesses to outsource or seek other means of reducing head count such as employing software or hardware robots.
  3. Encourage more immigration if businesses cannot find ways to reduce headcount.
  4. Ultimately, businesses would have to hike prices, accept lower profit margins, or find other ways to reduce costs.
  5. If businesses chose to hike prices it would put upward pressure on price inflation. In turn, unions would demand still more wage hikes.
  6. If businesses chose to eat the costs, it would put negative pressures on the stock market.

With so many possibilities, some of them conflicting, it is impossible to predict the precise results. Regardless, interference in the free market is not a good thing. Thus, the overall result of a hike in minimum wage must be negative, regardless of what minimum wage advocates suggest….

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USDJPY Nears 2014 Lows As Goldman Warns Economic “Downside Risks Are High”

Courtesy of ZeroHedge. View original post here.

Submitted by Tyler Durden.

Hot on the heels of last week's dismal Japanese data, tonight's Industrial Production data missed rather dramatically as once again the hockey-stick'ers of hope rebound from last month's post-tax-hike plunge did not appear. USDJPY is still fading (4th day in a row), as Goldman concludes rather ominously (having folded like a lawn-chair on their J-Curve exuberance), the post-tax-hike correction is larger than the government and the market anticipated, and in view of our outlook for a slump in real wages and a resultant delayed recovery in domestic demand, we look to external demand to drive economic growth in FY2014. However, we highlight risk factors in the form of protracted weakness in China and other Asian economies and a decline in corporate Japan’s structural export capacity. Sadly for the hopers, hard data continues to miss both the production survey forecast and consensus.


As Goldman notes,

May production turns up, but short of consensus: Industrial production increased 0.5% mom in May (April: -2.8%), in line with our forecast but short of consensus (+0.9%) and well below the production outlook (+1.7%) announced together with last month’s data release. The upturn in production was widely anticipated given the sharp decline in April on the dropout of rush demand ahead of the consumption tax hike. However, the output trend is weak mainly because of sluggish export production, and the headline figure continues to miss both the production survey forecast and consensus. The government maintained its assessment of industrial production as “appears to be flat.”

Among the demand components, production of consumer durables picked up to some extent with 1.7% mom growth in May, having fallen 4.0% in April. Production of capital goods fell again in May, by 2.3%, while production of construction goods shrank 4.6% in May, versus 1.5% growth in April. By industry, output rose in the transport equipment sector (May: +1.9% mom) and the machinery sector (+1.9%), but decreased in chemicals (-4.5%) and information/communications equipment (-9.3%).

Output growth projected for Jun-Jul, but we still see high downside risk: The production outlook for Jun-Jul, announced together with the May data, calls for a small increase in output over the two months, with a 0.7% mom decline in June and 1.5% growth in July. However, we continue to see high downside risk due to (1) continued…
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The Cost/Benefit Analysis Of A College Degree In One Chart

Courtesy of ZeroHedge. View original post here.

Submitted by Tyler Durden.

For all the debate about a college education, its opportunity cost, the trade off of only having a high-school diploma, the impact of a record amount of debt on an entire generation’s spending habits, and, of course, the alleged lack of inflation everywhere expect in those critical things that 99% of Americans must spend on daily, perhaps the simplest chart is the following, courtesy of the WSJ: it shows the average annual tuition – call it the “upfront investment”, whether funded by debt or equity or both – for both a Bachelor’s and an Associate’s degrees from 1970 until 2013, as well as the average wages of those with each type of degree, once again expressed in real dollars.

In a nutshell:

  • The change in tuition costs expressed in real dollars from 1970 to 2013, amounts to a roughly 275% increase
  • The change in real wages for a graduate with a bachelor’s degree over the same period amounts to a roughly 10% increase (and an outright decline for Associate’s degree wages despite a doubling for Associate’s degree tuition costs).

Is there any wonder then why the US middle class, and certainly both Generations X and Y, are hopelessly drowning in debt and why the economy can barely survive from one QE episode to the next?

Read more at the NY Fed which clearly tries to put a pleasant spin on the above chart.

Goldman Warns Political Risks Are Set To Surge

Courtesy of ZeroHedge. View original post here.

Submitted by Tyler Durden.

Yesterday we hinted at the one 'uncertainty' that was anything but at record-lows; and it seems Goldman Sachs (who recently opined on what's at stake in the Midterms) agrees that after a period of relative calm, the US political environment looks likely to become more uncertain again. Recent developments have raised the prospect of renewed political tensions this fall. While they suggest the chance of another government shutdown is not high, the political environment has changed enough that the deadlines are likely to create real uncertainty, and an agreement may be reached only at the last minute. Crucially, if Republicans succeed in capturing the majority in the Senate following the November midterm elections, the routine around fiscal deadlines that markets have become accustomed to over the last few years may become more unpredictable (and may spill over into another debt limit debacle).


Polarization is worst than ever… among polticians…


and the people…


Prediction Markets suggest election outcome is a toss-up.


Today, online prediction markets show a roughly equal probability of a Republican controlled House and Senate (implied probability: 45%) as a maintaining of the status quo (implied probability: 40%), although these measures have shown significant volatility YTD. At the start of the year the implied probability of status quo was approximately 55% (Rep. House & Senate 37%), while less than two months ago the markets saw a higher likelihood of Republicans taking the Senate and maintaining control of the House (~55%).


Via Goldman Sachs,

Political Risks Are Likely to Rise Somewhat This Fall…

Following the government shutdown and debt limit debate in October 2013, the US domestic political environment has not been an important factor for markets so far this year. Policy uncertainty, as measured for example by the Economic Policy Uncertainty Index, is reasonably low, the debt limit was increased earlier this year with little fanfare, and the absence of any meaningful deadlines since then has diverted attention from Washington. However, domestic political tensions seem likely to come back into focus a bit over the next several months.

Some of this has to do with the recent defeat of House Majority Leader Eric Cantor in the Republican primary election held in Virginia on June 10. This was notable because primary losses among…
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BofA Fears The End Of ‘The Japan Trade’

Courtesy of ZeroHedge. View original post here.

Submitted by Tyler Durden.

“The Japan Trade is in trouble,” warns BofA’s Macneil Curry (and rightly so after this week’s utter collapse in Japanese data and Abe’s soaring disapproval rating). Over the course of the past week both USDJPY and the Nikkei have broken key technical levels which point to further substantial downside in the weeks ahead.


BofAML’s Macneil Curry explains…

Specifically, $/¥ has closed below its 200d average (now 101.71) for the first time since Nov’12, while the Nikkei has closed below 5wk trendline support (now 15,276). In both cases these breaks of support point to new 2014 lows before greater signs of stabilization. However, we must make clear that, despite our negative medium term outlooks, both of these markets remain in long term bull trends. We will look for these long term bull trends to re-emerge around the beginning of Q4, but for now we are BEARISH.

Chart of the week: $/¥ is breaking down

Since early Feb, $/¥ has been caught in a well-defined contracting range. NOW, the closing break of the 200d (101.71) says that the range trade is giving way for a bear trend. The downside is seen to at least 99.21, potentially 97.40

The Nikkei is rolling over

Similar to $/¥, the Nikkei outlook is turning negative. The break of 5wk trendline support (now 15,276) says that further weakness is coming. Minimum downside targets are seen to the multi-month range lows at 13,995, but weakness is more likely to extend to the confluence of support between 13,194/13,107.

*  *  *

And if JPY goes, we all know what happens to risk assets around the world (especially now the PBOC has removed the ‘easy’ carry trade in CNY; and Treasury “fails’ threaten to ‘tighten’ repo markets)

Picturing Public Confidence In Government

Courtesy of ZeroHedge. View original post here.

Submitted by Tyler Durden.

“Tipping Point?”


4 Ways that Mass Surveillance Destroys the Economy

Courtesy of ZeroHedge. View original post here.

Submitted by George Washington.

Prosperity Requires Privacy

Privacy is a prerequisite for a prosperous economy.    Even the White House admits:

People must have confidence that data will travel to its destination without disruption. Assuring the free flow of information, the security and privacy of data, and the integrity of the interconnected networks themselves are all essential to American and global economic prosperity, security, and the promotion of universal rights.

Here are four ways mass surveillance hurts our economy …

1. Creativity – A Prime Driver of Prosperity – Requires Privacy

The Information and Privacy Commissioner of Ontario, Canada – Ann Cavoukian, Ph.D. – noted last month:

Privacy is Essential to … Prosperity and Well-Being


Innovation, creativity and the resultant prosperity of a society requires freedom;


Privacy is the essence of freedom: Without privacy, individual human rights, property rights and civil liberties – the conceptual engines of innovation and creativity, could not exist in a meaningful manner;


Surveillance is the antithesis of privacy: A negative consequence of surveillance is the usurpation of a person’s limited cognitive bandwidth, away from innovation and creativity.

The Financial Post reported in February: “Big Brother culture will have adverse effect on creativity, productivity“.

Christopher Lingle – visiting professor of economics at ESEADE, Universidad Francisco Marroquín – agrees that creativity is a key to economic prosperity.

Edward Snowden said last year:

The success of economies in developed nations relies increasingly on their creative output, and if that success is to continue we must remember that creativity is the product of curiosity, which in turn is the product of privacy.

Silicon Valley is currently one of the largest drivers of the U.S. economy.  Do you think Bill Gates and Steve Jobs could have tinkered so creatively in their garages if the government had been watching everything they do?

Everyone who has every done anything creative knows that you need a little privacy to try different things before you’re ready to go public with it.  If your bench model, rough sketch or initial melody is being dissected in real…
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IcaCap: Is Earth Round Or Flat?

Courtesy of ZeroHedge. View original post here.

Submitted by Tyler Durden.

oFrom IceCap Asset Management

Is Earth Round or Flat

The Global Hunt for Taxes

Back in his day, Christopher Columbus was known as a swashbuckling adventurer willing to risk his life and limb for a boat ride. His thirst for adventure discovered many things, including the fact that the earth is round, and not flat.

Then in 2005, American journalist Robert Friedman declared the opposite in that the world isn’t actually round, but flat as a pancake. His best selling book explored how technology was changing the way people, businesses and countries do business.

Yet today, a mere 9 years later, legions of financial analysts, economists, elected and unelected officials are declaring the world is neither flat nor round, but a bunch of individually, wrapped islands completely separate, independent and unaffected by anything outside of their respective borders.

Call us old-fashioned, but we lie squarely on the side of Christopher Columbus. Yes, the world is indeed round and what goes around, comes around so to speak. Financially speaking, it’s our view that it is impossible today for any major country to function independently from anyone else. Economically, if most countries are doing well then it is highly likely any laggards will be dragged along for the ride too.

Of course, the opposite is also true. If the majority of the big economic countries are not doing well, then it is highly likely the rest will follow them down the garden path

Today, most major countries are struggling. In Europe for example, recent GDP data shows the old world growing at +0.8%. Hardly the acceleration needed to declare victory over the debt crisis. Italy in particular, is really struggling with what now looks like another return to recession, while everyone’s favourite socialist country – France, also disappointed with no growth to speak of at all.

Meanwhile, emerging market countries – the darlings of the pre-2008 crisis continue to grow, but at half the rate of what they regularly achieved previously during their boom years.

There is some good news. The United Kingdom has now officially returned to the same level it was prior to the 2008 crisis. And then there is America – the self proclaimed economic engine of the world.

At first glance, America seems to be firing on…
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Zero Hedge

Americans' Economic Hope Has Collapsed

Courtesy of ZeroHedge. View original post here.

Which came first, the confidence or the stock market rally?

One thing is for sure, the crash in stocks in December has crushed the hope of Americans that their economic future is going to be better under President Trump.

Overall confidence dipped to 58.1 - a 4-month low, but, U.S. consumers this month were the most downbeat on the economy since November 2016, a third straight drop after expectations reached a 16-year high just three months earlier, as the partial government shutdown wears on toward a fourth week.


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Kimble Charting Solutions

Triple Breakout Test In Play For S&P 500!

Courtesy of Chris Kimble.

Is the rally of late about to run out of steam or is a major breakout about to take place in the S&P 500? What happens at current prices should go a long way in determining this question.

This chart looks at the equal weight S&P 500 ETF (RSP) on a daily basis over the past 15-months.

The rally from the lows on Christmas Eve has RSP testing the top of a newly formed falling channel while testing the underneath side of the 2018 trading range and its falling 50-day moving average at (1).

At this time RPS is facing a triple resistance test. Wil...

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Phil's Favorites

Brexit deal flops, Theresa May survives -- so what happens now?


Brexit deal flops, Theresa May survives -- so what happens now?

Courtesy of Victoria Honeyman, University of Leeds

As the clock ticks down to March 29 2019, all of the political manoeuvring, negotiating, arguing and fighting is coming to a peak. In the two and a half years since the 2016 EU referendum, views on both sides have hardened and agreement still seems as far away as it was the day after the referendum.

With Theresa May’s withdrawal agreement disliked by all sides, and voted down by an unprecedented majority in the House of Commons, everyone is wondering what can and should be done next?


more from Ilene

Digital Currencies

Crypto-Bubble: Will Bitcoin Bottom In February Or Has It Already?

Courtesy of Michelle Jones via

The new year has been relatively good for the price of bitcoin after a spectacular collapse of the cryptocurrency bubble in 2018. It’s up notably since the middle of December and traded around the psychological level of $4,000... so is this a sign that the crypto market is about to recover?

Of course, it depends on who you ask, but one analyst discovered a pattern which might point to a bottom next month.

A year after the cryptocurrency bubble popped


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D.E. Shaw Investment Calls For Leadership Change At EQT

By ActivistInsight. Originally published at ValueWalk.

Elliott Management has offered to acquire QEP Resources for approximately $2.1 billion, contending the oil and gas explorer’s turnaround efforts have done little to lift the company’s share price. The company responded and said that a thorough review of the proposition is imperative in order to properly act in the best interests of shareholders, “taking into account the company’s other alternatives and current market conditions.” The news came only a month after Travelport Worldwide agreed to sell itself to Siris Capital Group and Elliott’s private equity arm Evergreen Coast Capital for $4.4 billion in cash and two months after Athenahealth was bought by Veritas and Evergreen for $5.7 bi...

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Insider Scoop

UBS Says Disney's Streaming Ambition Gives It A 'New Hope'

Courtesy of Benzinga.

Related DIS Despite Some Risks, Analysts Still Expecting Double Digit Growth From Communications Services In Q4 ... more from Insider

Chart School

Weekly Market Recap Jan 13, 2019

Courtesy of Blain.

In last week’s recap we asked:  “Has the Fed solved all the market’s problems in 1 speech?”

Thus far the market says yes!  As Guns n Roses preached – all we need is a little “patience”.  Four up days followed by a nominal down day Friday had the market following it’s normal pattern the past nearly 30 years – jumping whenever the Federal Reserve hints (or essentially says outright) it is here for the markets.   And in case you missed it the prior Friday, Chairman Powell came back out Thursday to reiterate the news – so…so… so… patient!

Fed Chairman Jerome Powell reinforced that message Thursday during a discussion at the Economic Club of Washington where he said that the central bank will be “fle...

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Members' Corner

Why Trump Can't Learn


Bill Eddy (lawyer, therapist, author) predicted Trump's chaotic presidency based on his high-conflict personality, which was evident years ago. This post, written in 2017, references a prescient article Bill wrote before Trump even became president, 5 Reasons Trump Can’t Learn. ~ Ilene 

Why Trump Can’t Learn

Donald Trump by Gage Skidmore (...

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Opening Pandora's Box: Gene editing and its consequences

Reminder: We are available to chat with Members, comments are found below each post.


Opening Pandora's Box: Gene editing and its consequences

Bacteriophage viruses infecting bacterial cells , Bacterial viruses. from

Courtesy of John Bergeron, McGill University

Today, the scientific community is aghast at the prospect of gene editing to create “designer” humans. Gene editing may be of greater consequence than climate change, or even the consequences of unleashing the energy of the atom.


more from Biotech

Mapping The Market

Trump: "I Won't Be Here" When It Blows Up

By Jean-Luc

Maybe we should simply try him for treason right now:

Trump on Coming Debt Crisis: ‘I Won’t Be Here’ When It Blows Up

The president thinks the balancing of the nation’s books is going to, ultimately, be a future president’s problem.

By Asawin Suebsaeng and Lachlan Markay, Daily Beast

The friction came to a head in early 2017 when senior officials offered Trump charts and graphics laying out the numbers and showing a “hockey stick” spike in the nationa...

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Swing trading portfolio - week of September 11th, 2017

Reminder: OpTrader is available to chat with Members, comments are found below each post.


This post is for all our live virtual trade ideas and daily comments. Please click on "comments" below to follow our live discussion. All of our current  trades are listed in the spreadsheet below, with entry price (1/2 in and All in), and exit prices (1/3 out, 2/3 out, and All out).

We also indicate our stop, which is most of the time the "5 day moving average". All trades, unless indicated, are front-month ATM options. 

Please feel free to participate in the discussion and ask any questions you might have about this virtual portfolio, by clicking on the "comments" link right below.

To learn more about the swing trading virtual portfolio (strategy, performance, FAQ, etc.), please click here ...

more from OpTrader


Free eBook - "My Top Strategies for 2017"



Here's a free ebook for you to check out! 

Phil has a chapter in a newly-released eBook that we think you’ll enjoy.

In My Top Strategies for 2017, Phil's chapter is Secret Santa’s Inflation Hedges for 2017.

This chapter isn’t about risk or leverage. Phil present a few smart, practical ideas you can use as a hedge against inflation as well as hedging strategies designed to assist you in staying ahead of the markets.

Some other great content in this free eBook includes:


·       How 2017 Will Affect Oil, the US Dollar and the European Union


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About Phil:

Philip R. Davis is a founder Phil's Stock World, a stock and options trading site that teaches the art of options trading to newcomers and devises advanced strategies for expert traders...

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About Ilene:

Ilene is editor and affiliate program coordinator for PSW. She manages the site market shadows, archives, more. Contact Ilene to learn about our affiliate and content sharing programs.

Market Shadows >>