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Weak Bounce Wednesday

Wheeeeee – this is fun!  

There's nothing like a healthy market correction – when you are prepared for it.  Our Members at Philstockworld were certainly ready for this one and now we have our checkbooks ready, looking for bargains to pick up while the prices are falling.  As I said yesterday, not every stock is overbought – just enough of them that we weren't happy about buying at these all-time highs.  

While things were selling off yesterday morning, we added a brand new Top Trade Alert on Encana (ECA) as it tested the $12 level.  During our Live Trading Webinar, we restated our long position on Gold Futures (/YG) at $1,177 and this morning we got out at just under $1,190 for a very nice $400 per contract overnight gain.  That's nothing compared to the $200 per contract we made on oil futures LIVE, during the Webinar, in just 30 minutes. 

Futures trading is a fun way to amuse ourselves while we're waiting for stocks to go on sale.  Being a smart investor is like being a smart shopper as we hunt for bargains and walk around the mall every day in search of discounts.  A lot of times we come up empty-handed but, when we finally go home with something – we feel very good about our purchases.  

As we expected, our bearish Short-Term Portfolio jumped up to +141.6% as the markets dipped.  That's up $20,000 (20%) since our 5/29 Review and all we did last week was cash in winning Silver Wheaton (SLW) calls, add the Gold Trust (GLD) spread we featured for you in the main post on Thursday and pulled our short position on oil (one of 3 legs of the ultra-short (SCO) spread, leaving us net long).  

That's the beauty of following our Balanced Portfolio Strategy – it just takes a few minor adjustments to steer ourselves more or less bullish and to take advantage of the changing conditions.  All that while our Long-Term Portfolio positions continue to work for us by collecting the premiums we sold to others (mostly bulls who have no concept of gravity).  

Speaking of gravity, we're looking for some weak bounces today, especially in Germany, where the DAX is completing a 10% correction (12,250 to 11,000) which is still above the 200-day moving average at 10,469, which would be another 5% drop from here.  This is all perfectly normal after a 30% run from 9,500 in January, which is kind of a lot for a major market to move in 6 months.

As you can see from how well it obeys the lines Fibonacci Lines (see our primer here), the bots are firmly in control of the trading in Europe so this 50% retracement will be a huge test of sentiment over there.  Of course we're going to have a "bullish" bounce off the 11,000 line – it's major support – the question is whether the bounce will be strong (40% retrace of the drop) or weak (20% retrace) and the drop was from 12,250 so 1,250 points means we're looking for a 250-point weak bounce to 11,250 this Friday and 11,500 by early next or the momentum will still be down.

In our Live Member Chat Room this morning, we discussed the World's 3rd most important index, the Nikkei, and how this morning's bounce affects our Japan ETF (EWJ) short positions.  In this case, the move down in the Nikkei is entirely attributable to Dollar weakness/Yen strength as we have further evidence of Abenomics (Japan QE) coming apart at the seams.  My comment to our Members at yesterday's market open was:

/NKD/Craigs – This is a bounce, the question is, how high.  From 20,600 to 20,000 is 600 points so 120-points is a weak bounce (where we are now) and 240-points is a strong bounce but making a weak bounce on Day one is a good signal if they hold it.  From the EWJ chart, you can see that it's not at all a bounce until we're back over that $13 line:

So, in addition to keeping an eye on Dax 11,000, it would be a good idea to watch Nikkei 20,000 as well as Shanghai 5,000, Nasdaq 5,000 and NYSE 11,000 – all of which are major support lines which will not bode well for the global markets if they fail.  Of course, when we hit major supports like this, the Corporate Media and the Puppet Governments pull out all the stops to save the investment portfolios of their Top 1% masters – so expect something bold between now and Monday.  

INDU WEEKLYPer our fabulous 5% Rule™, we are going to be watching the following bounce patterns:

  • Dow 18,200 to 17,600 (not there yet) is 600 points and that makes 17,720 a weak bounce – and that's about where we finished yesterday.  That means if we don't see the strong bounce line at 17,850 (rounding to 50) taken back today, we're not going to be impressed at all and I very much doubt we'll pop 100 on the day – especially considering the Dollar is already testing the 95 line and not likely to fall further.  
  • S&P 2,080 is 12.5% over the Must Hold line (1,850) so it's the 10% line at 2,035 that needs to hold or else this market is in BIG TROUBLE.  Meanwhile, 2,080 is only 50 points below the 2,130 high, so it's a 2.5% drop so far and that means 0.5% is a weak bounce (2,190) and 1% would be a strong bounce, back at 2,100.  Once again, it's 2,100 or bust on the S&P.  
  • NDX WEEKLYNasdaq 5,000 (4,400 on the 100) is our magical level from the dot com days.  This time is a bit different as there's not as many pure BS companies out there but that just means we're only 25% overvalued rather than 200% overvalued like we were in 1999.  

If you were buying a car you knew was worth $50,000 and the sticker said $62,500 would you buy it just because the dealer tells you some idiot paid $62,500 for a similar car in 1999, right before the prices crashed back to $25,000?  If the answer is yes, you are the perfect Nasdaq customer!  

The Nasdaq topped out at 5,120 and the 120-point drop back to 5,000 is nothing (2.5% again) so forget the expected 25 and 50-point bounces – the key to the bull rally being sustained is that psychological 5,000 line not failing.  

  • NYSE 11,000 is our Must Hold line and that line MUST HOLD in order for us to even consider bullish bets.   So far, we haven't really taken up short positions, other than our index hedges but NFLX $650 is at the top of my list.  Anyway, 11,250 was a nice 2.5%(ish) move up and now back down and below at 10,900 is BIG TROUBLE if we don't get back over 11,000.  Fortunately, a 350-point drop means a 70-point weak bounce to 10,970 and then a strong bounce at 12,050 (rounding to 50) would make us all feel better.  Probably not going to happen, though. 
  • Finally, Russell has been very exciting over their Must Hold line at 1,200, topping out at 1,278 back in April (+6.5%) but now half of those gains have faded at the 1,240 line, which we hit yesterday (and a nice $1,000 win on the Futures too!) and we are calling 1,250 and 1,260 our weak and strong bounce lines as the RUT is always very hyper, so we expect more from it. 

Embedded image permalinkWe'll be watching our bounce lines very closely today.  Step one in manipulating the indexes higher would be to take the Dollar down below 95.  That will not make the Nikkei happy though nor the Dax, which is why we have turned bearish – at this point, the Central Banksters are running out of room to maneuver and are not all on the same page anymore.  That leads to instability and it's very easy to panic investors in these conditions – look at what's already happening in the bond market.  

A fresh wave of selling gripped global markets on Wednesday, with yield on the 10-year German government bond yield hitting 1 percent level for the first time since September after the European Central Bank's preferred inflation expectations gauge peaked to a 3-week high. The yield has soared from a record low close of 0.073 percent in April.

Let's be careful out there!  


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  1. Good Morning

  2. Phil, thanks for the response on SI. I thought that would get you going. Looking at the trend did get me to be more cautious though. Like I said I usually wait for a big move before I play. Don't want to be in it when there is one of those .50 moves in one or two minutes. 

  3. Good Morning!

  4. good morning

  5. Phil – Here's your $650 target on NFLX, and then some !

  6. Albo,

    NFLX 662 !!!!

  7. NFLX looks to me like flood water in the Alps !!! rising with the minute!

  8. Unreal, Yodi.

  9. What if everyone on PSW piled in on NFLX.

    We could perhaps send it to $750????????????????

  10. /RB ? 212

  11. Good morning!  

    Here's an ugly trend of unrealistic expectations:

    I guess we can always go full-blown 3rd World and have a lot of children in hopes they will support us in our old age…

    Here's that drop-off in shale production in perspective:

    Embedded image permalink

    Embedded image permalink

    German labor costs are skyrocketing.  Good news though, the 2011 correction was only 25% – so maybe this will be like that and not like the 2008 50% correction!  cheeky

    Embedded image permalink

    20M guys with knives can cause a lot of damage:

    China is exporting repression beyond its borders—via

    The Economist explains the fuss about graphene



    Saudi Oil Production – picture speaks louder than OPEC BS statements:

    Embedded image permalink

  12. NFLX just rolled the sucker from 700 to 760 Sept received for the 700 19$ and paid 19$ for the roll let us see how long this holds???????????????

  13. Dollar 94.92 is -0.66% and indexes are up 0.66% – mystery solved.  

    You're welcome Traderd. 

    NFLX/Albo – Wow!  I guess we'd better wait for $700?  That would be a nice, even 200 p/e.  

    Marriott to offer Netflix access at hotels

    That's the kind of good news that means you need to rethink your shorting target.  A) MAR pays NFLX a lot of money and B – it encourages millions of more people to get NFLX.  I consider that an amazing plus if I can watch NFLX at a hotel.  I imagine this will spread to other hotels quickly.  

    $750/Maya – I'd say just leave it alone and it will get there without our help.  

    /RB/Rexx – Very tempting to short at this level.  

    Oil just below my $61.50 shorting line but a rough ride so far with a pop to $61.82 before calming down.   Now we'll see if they can jam it back up into inventories but expectations are high and anything less than a 6Mb draw is likely to disappoint.  

  14. If the Dollar punches back over 95 (likely) I like /RB short at $2.12 and /TF short below 1,260 with tight stops above.

  15. Was the oil draw 6.7 MIllion?

  16. Wonder if Icahn still has his 1.4 million shares ?   Also, Mark Cuban (love him or hate him) looks pretty smart with his purchase last October at ~$350.  We've obviously been on the wrong side of this one. I thought it was a short 200 points ago.

  17. Oil/Batman – Report is 10:30.  API last night showed -6.7M and -3M gasoline.  

    Wheee on oil already.  It's silly to not take the profit off the table ahead of inventory – bird in the hand action at $61.15!  

    NFLX/Albo – It was a short $200 ago.  You just have to wait patiently to see $450 again.  

    New S&P lows today:

    If DIS can't hold – I'd worry about the rest of the market:

    That's one we'd love to buy on a dip.  

  18. Pharm

    What do you think of this company

    (CSII) Cardiovascular Systems Inc.



  19. Phil – I've been trading options for 3 years now, and want to prepare myself for the futures market.  Can you recommend some good primer books for Futures trading?  The mechanics as well as strategies and or analysis behind the trading?  Thank you.

  20. From Bloomberg, Jun 10, 2015, 2:54:23 AM

    June 10 — Greece retreated from budget concessions to its creditors, setting the stage for another attempt by German Chancellor Angela Merkel and French President Francois Hollande to break the country’s financing deadlock. Greece’s financial safety net expires on June 30, so any remaining bailout funds are off limits unless Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras reaches an accord with creditors.

    Greece is looking to German Chancellor Angela Merkel to bring round the country’s other creditors after its latest budget proposals snarled efforts to break the standoff over financial aid.

  21. From Bloomberg, Jun 10, 2015, 4:59:00 AM

    The U.S. economy may finally be heating up – - but not in a good way.

  22. From Bloomberg, Jun 10, 2015, 5:48:20 AM

    U.S. stocks rose from near a two-month low, as energy companies gained with oil while banks climbed for a second day amid higher bond yields.

  23. From Bloomberg, Jun 10, 2015, 12:00:01 AM

    A deer in headlights is stuck in place and too overwhelmed to act. So too are stock investors as they await action from the Federal Reserve.

  24. From Bloomberg, Jun 10, 2015, 8:59:50 AM

    A strain of Salmonella bacteria traced to pork and beef sold at live animal markets is showing an alarming rise in antibiotic resistance, which the World Health Organization has warned is a growing global threat.

  25. From Bloomberg, Jun 9, 2015, 10:13:47 PM

    It was a familiar story, a regular part of his stump speech, but Rand Paul paused before he told it.

  26. From Bloomberg, Jun 10, 2015, 8:00:00 AM

    Outstanding federal student loans, as of June 30, in trillions

    Chris Winiarz, a 31-year-old money manager with a Northwestern MBA, jumped at a student-loan deal of a lifetime.

  27. Phil and batman….yes, yes……Hey there Yodi.  Sounds like you are doin' good d d d d!!!!! 

  28. EIA was dead match for API – first time in ages that's happened (so probably fake):

    • EIA Petroleum Inventories:
    • Crude -6.8M barrels vs. -1.7M consensus, -1.9M last week.
    • Gasoline -2.9M barrels vs. +0.3M consensus, -0.3M last week.
    • Distillates +0.9M barrels vs. +1.3M consensus, +3.8M last week.
    • Futures +1.85% to $61.25.

    Poking back up to $61.50 but I still think this is the top as those numbers were baked in (so still short on /CL below this line).  

  29. FU NFLX!!!!!

  30. Phil, you've talked about the folly of many corporate share repurchases.  WTW has to be the poster child for disastrous buy-backs and for insider collusion.  In April 2012 the company bought back 1.5 billion dollars worth of stock at $82 per share, including 50% of those shares held by Artal, their largest shareholder.

    Stock is now trading at the $5 level.  Tempted to sell some 2017 $5 puts for $2+.  Please talk me out of it. 8-)

  31. /RB popped to $2.14 but already at $2.133, we'll see how that plays out but don't forget we had pre-holiday and post-holiday disappointments in /RB and, at some point the gas stations do need more gas.  It makes sense that they took advantage of last week's dip to step up their orders for delivery to top off their tanks lower prices:

    One week does not a trend make!  

    Markets up almost 1% now but Dollar over 95 so we'll see what happens.  /TF failed to fail 1,260 and now 1,265 and I'll try again here and again at 1,270.  /ES 2,100 is key and Dow (/YM) testing 17,950 from below and /NQ 4,475 is a watch line (4,450 was strong).

    Wheee on oil already – $60.90.  Stop at $61.02 now.

    Gasoline dropped too $2.118 – what a  joke! 

  32. WTW/Albo – It's practically a penny stock at $292M and yes, Artel essentially ran a pump and dump scheme on them, running the stock up to $75 in 2011 and then cashing out for way more than the $735M they paid for it.  To some extent, like Lambert with SHLD, I think Artal is purposely tanking the stock to buy back shares on the cheap so I just stay away as I'm not interest enough to want to follow them and predict the movement (I lost interest in SHLD after they spun out LE too).  

    The company has more cash than they are valued at ($300M) and plenty of debt that's being very adequately serviced through cash-flow.  They were already at $8.50 pre earnings (5/5) so you are chasing a 40% drop shorting them at $5 so I wouldn't short them here but I think long is risky too so I won't talk you out of it – I'd just say make sure it's not money you'll be missing if they go to $2 or less.

  33. Thanks, Phil.

  34. U.S. crude oil imports averaged over 6.6 million barrels per day last week, down by 750,000 barrels per day from the previous week.

    Well, that accounts for 5.25Mb of our draw in oil!  

    At 470.6 million barrels, U.S. crude oil inventories remain near levels not seen for this time of year in at least the last 80 years. 

    Embedded image permalink

    Embedded image permalink

    US clean energy use hits 80 year high, says EIA via

    You're welcome Albo.  

  35. Looks like your 1270 is going to happen Phil. Are you scaling in on the short or stopping out?

  36. Had to roll my NFLX strangle out in time and up in strike to get out of the way of this freight train.  Was short the June $690 calls, rolled out to August $770 calls, and rolled my $540 July puts to August to pay for it.  Currently short 540/770 August Strangle with 2 contracts.  This is the first momo strangle that has given me trouble, but so far, keeping very small has kept things manageable.  TOS says probability of ending in the money on my current strangle is about 30%

  37. From Bloomberg, Jun 10, 2015, 10:39:16 AM

    Canada Pension Plan Investment Board’s $12 billion purchase of General Electric Co.’s leveraged-loan business is negative for the credit rating of the country’s largest pension manager, according to Moody’s Investors Service.

  38. From Bloomberg, Jun 10, 2015, 10:37:35 AM

    India’s current-account deficit missed estimates as falling oil prices failed to offset a decline in exports.

  39. From Bloomberg, Jun 10, 2015, 10:09:38 AM

    Residential homes stand in the Sea Cliff area of San Francisco, California, U.S., on Friday, May 8, 2015. San Francisco Mayor Ed Lee will seek voter approval for the first housing bond since 1996 as his city becomes the least affordable U.S. housing market and uproar grows about gentrification fueled by the technology boom. Photographer: David Paul Morris/Bloomberg

    The nexus of U.S. growth shifted farther west in 2014,  a report released by the Bureau of Economic Analysis Wednesday showed.

  40. From Bloomberg, Jun 10, 2015, 9:42:56 AM

    The yen advanced the most in almost three months after Bank of Japan Governor Haruhiko Kuroda said further declines are “unlikely.”

  41. From Bloomberg, Jun 10, 2015, 9:31:39 AM

    Brazil’s real rose to a three-week high amid optimism that the government’s plan to attract private capital will help restore growth to Latin America’s largest economy.

  42. From Bloomberg, Jun 9, 2015, 8:28:04 PM

    For all the concern that Wall Street’s shrinking balance sheets will fuel a liquidity crisis when investors flee credit markets, Citigroup Inc. strategist Stephen Antczak says investors may be overlooking an even bigger catalyst.

  43. From Bloomberg, Jun 9, 2015, 7:00:01 PM

    Europe’s rout is sparing few companies, making stock picking a challenge.

  44. From Bloomberg, Jun 10, 2015, 2:15:49 AM

    European stocks snapped a six-day losing streak as Greek Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras prepared to meet the leaders of the euro area’s biggest economies.

  45. From Bloomberg, Jun 10, 2015, 11:00:38 AM

    The European Central Bank raised the level of emergency cash available to Greek banks by 2.3 billion euros ($2.6 billion), people familiar with the decision said.

  46. From Bloomberg, Jun 9, 2015, 11:41:33 AM

    Suddenly, junk bonds have lost their luster.

  47. From Bloomberg, Jun 8, 2015, 8:26:48 AM
      Supporters of the Peoples’ Democratic Party, also known as HDP, gather for a pre election rally with a speech by party leader Selahattin Demirta, not pictured, in Istanbul, Turkey, on Saturday, May 30, 2015. Opinion polls show the pro-Kurdish Peoples’ Democratic Party on a knife-edge, skirting with the threshold needed to gain representation in the legislature. Photographer: Kerem Uzel/Bloomberg

    While the size of the U.S. corporate bond market has jumped from $5.9 trillion in 2009 to $7.8 trillion at the end of last year, the debt sold by companies in emerging markets has been selling at an even faster clip.

  48. From Bloomberg, Jun 9, 2015, 12:01:00 PM

    China Datang Corp. and Baoding Tianwei Yingli New Energy Resources Co. are among Chinese companies showing signs of financial stress that face $12 billion of bond payments this year.

  49. From Bloomberg, Jun 7, 2015, 12:00:01 PM

    Li Feixiang, who has bet all his money on Chinese stocks that returned more than 150 percent in the past year, scoffs at the 4 percent yields on AAA corporate bonds.

  50. Phil…..with all the QE going on overseas, will bank stocks like SAN benefit?

  51. Financials up strong.  XLF finally cracks 25.

  52. So, what do you think about Prechter Phil?

  53. CAT June Back ratio 82.5/87.5 closed for a profit of 570$

  54. CNP – another utility that I can't help but notice for a buy/write play with a 5% divvy while under $20.

  55. /TF/Traderd – Sticking with the plan.  That's why I was just doing my reading – wanted to make sure I'm not missing something.  5 at 1,267.50 at the moment and back to 2 short if I can get 3 out even. 

    NFLX/Palotay – The split is being treated as a done deal and look what AAPL did post-split.  For some reason, NFLX traders don't see the difference.  

    SAN/Willsons – You would think they would but the QE is propping up a pretty weak economy and Spain is one of the scary ones.  I wouldn't play any of those guys except maybe DB, who are down for being criminal market manipulators and not because they aren't able to make money…

    S&P Downgrades European Banks over Unsure Government Aid – Analyst Blog

    S&P lowers ratings of Barclays, Deutsche and RBS

    Prosecutors' Raid On Deutsche Bank Sends Shares Down

    If Greece does fall apart again (it's "fixed" today) the whole EU financial system can unravel. 

    Elliott Wave/Traderd – Jeeze, let's get trading advice from Carnac next.  

    CAT/Yodi – Hit our buy point of $85 again but shot right back up from there.  We'll see how the 200 dma at $90 works out on the bounce.  

    So it looks like Germany has said to Greece, "We'll give you $1.5Bn if you do ONE austerity measure to cover it down the road."  That's what the markets are so excited about.  $1.5Bn is what Greece needs not to default at the end of the month.  Then they'll need more next month, of course.

    $60.50 on oil!  /RB still $2.112.  

  56. Big finish in Europe:



    Europe Dow 1879.31 41.62 2.26%
    Stoxx Europe 600 390.78 6.91 1.80%
    France: CAC 40 4934.91 84.69 1.75%
    Germany: DAX 11265.39 264.10 2.40%
    Italy: FTSE MIB 23091.49 564.03 2.50%
    Spain: IBEX 35 11097.50 159.40 1.46%
    UK: FTSE 100 6830.27 76.47 1.13%

    As you can see from how well it obeys the lines Fibonacci Lines (see our primer here), the bots are firmly in control of the trading in Europe so this 50% retracement will be a huge test of sentiment over there.  Of course we're going to have a "bullish" bounce off the 11,000 line – it's major support – the question is whether the bounce will be strong (40% retrace of the drop) or weak (20% retrace) and the drop was from 12,250 so 1,250 points means we're looking for a 250-point weak bounce to 11,250 this Friday and 11,500 by early next or the momentum will still be down.

    So it looks impressive, up 2.5%, but it's only the weak bounce line we expected!  

  57. HCP/stj – might have found it's bottom.. but today's across-the-board pump does not look very sincere…

  58. Graphene/Phil – maybe DIS can do a remake of The Graduate.  "just one word"

  59. Scottmi – IBM's chart that you pointed out yesterday was a great short term signal.

  60. albo – thanks, maybe I can be on CNBC. ;-)   I'm most impressed with BDC's call on ECA though!

  61. NFLX/Yodi et al; when you guys going to learn from Phil to stay away from these MOMO widowmaker stocks. There's 4,999 other stocks with options to trade, as you know. As for me, I'll just stick to trading strangles on my super boring PCLN :)

  62. DBA/Phil – signaling inflation false alarm? flame-out.

  63. YODI/CAT

    I was just wondering if you were staying in till the bitter end on the JUN play.  I have a closing order… not filled yet.  That was a good one. 

  64. MAS – announced spin-off on Monday, effective 6/30. looks like took a couple days for people to digest and decide they like it…if you can judge that by price.  exited my option play (call diagonal) for small profit as don't want to deal with whatever complication might occur to the contracts.

  65. Personally, today has an aura of 'thank your lucky stars' about it. I popped down to the local church today to give thanks to the Lord for bestowing upon me the wisdom to dump my sizeable position in SHLD short puts around the beginning of April 2015 (see chart here). SHLD had been a fave of this board for a long time, although Phil pulled out a few moons ago. I wonder how Eddie Lampert sleeps at night? As a side note, the best thing I ever did was do a portfolio review and clean out the positions where I had limited conviction, and even less interest to follow. Saved me a ton of money and a whole load of focus for positions that really matter in the wealth generation stakes.

  66. OK, last 3 Vickery picks to go through, we need to find a winner!  

    RCII is a very good business in this environment.  People can't afford stuff so they rent.  RCII is not on sale anymore but it's not their fault we missed the bargain at $26.  

    Their market cap is $1.7Bn at $31.85 and, even on $100M in earnings, that's a reasonable p/e of 17.  Earnings were a 0.02 beat last Q (0.38 vs 0.36 expected) and that's why they popped but the real story with RCII is that in 2013, they made $180M on the same $3Bn in sales but in 2014 they only made $128M and last year it was $96M.  SG&A went up $150M in two years and POOF! went the profits.   In this business, they have $1.2Bn in inventory and $1Bn in debt and if they don't have that inventory out and earning money – they can't make their nut.  Essentially, they are furniture pimps…

    There's an overhang here as RCII is trying to buy AAN but has been turned down and that indicates that, if they do the deal, they'll be overpaying.  AAN is also bigger than RCII ($2.5Bn vs $1.7Bn) so that's a problem.  At this point I'd say they simply don't make the cut based on the uncertainty but, back at $26 – I wouldn't mind selling a put to get a net $20ish entry (Dec $20 puts last sold for 0.70, at $1.50 I'd take a chance).  

    IPG, then, is our best chance for slot number 4 because I already know I don't like TFM.  Fortunately, IPG is a good choice as they are an adverting company, which is a completely different sector (undefinable) from what we already have so it's perfect for diversifying our portfolio as they straddle the space between GOOG and TWX and general economic growth.  IPG is huge with 50,000 employees and $7.5Bn in billings which drops a most excellent $500M to the bottom line making their $8Bn market cap a 16x multiple of earnings – right in our sweet spot.  

    The stock tanked this year on the forecast of slower revenue growth but any growth if fine with us in a slow economy and, because we know how to BE THE HOUSE – we don't need the stock to go up to make money – just not down too much.  

    We can blow off the 0.48 (2.3%) dividend and sell the 2017 $20 puts for $2 and pick up the $17/22 bull call spread for $2.20 and that's net 0.20 on the $5 spread that's $3 in the money to start.  This is not a popular stock and the options are thinly traded so you need to be patient with your fills.  

    That brings us to TFM, another Whole Foods competitor with 168 stores in half the country (27 states) vs WFM's 417 stores, now in other countries.  As with any grocery store, it takes TFM $1.7Bn in sales to squeeze $63M to the bottom line (3.7%) vs 4.3% for WFM.  For TFM you pay $1.5Bn for that $63M (p/e 24) vs 25 for WFM.  My preference here is for WFM because they expanded to Europe at the totally wrong time and that's really banged up their earnings but, on the whole, they have such a huge advantage over TFM, that I wouldn't want to play anyone else in that space.  

    That being said, WFM isn't actually cheap enough for us to buy them either but, at $35, I will be interested again.  

    So there we are, the final 6 for Vickery Brown's top 50 screen are  TUMI, CMI,    CTCTWYNDECK and now IPG.  This is going to be a tough call, cutting two, but I'm thrilled we have such a diverse group (though I guess TUMI and WYN are sort of the same space) – especially as none of these sectors are overbought in our Long-Term Portfolio.  

    I'm going to give it a bit more thought and then we'll lock it down.  

  67. Scottmi – Yeah, BDC's call was very timely.  If I hadn't just put on the CHK spread, I would have added that one.  Good find, BDC.

  68. Winston NFLX you right but once you caught in the current it is hard to get out. All my other MOMO played out.

  69. RIG/Phil – any last call/late entry for RIG are these oil servicers (NBL, DO, SDRL) ahead of themselves (again)? 

  70. Yodi; true words – the current swirling around the MOMO's are nearly as bad as the currents of the Marinas Trench where ABX, BTU, CLF and HOV hang out. I really would have loved to say I sold tons of premium on those puppies to some other sucker, but in this case I should not have asked 'for whom the bell tolls?'

  71. Winston Yes in deed I have to take the goods with the bade once. The once you mentioned above are mostly all losers. 

  72. Graphene/Scott – I am interested in Graphine plays, that stuff is no joke.  

    LOL Winston. 

    DBA/Scott – certainly indicates participle dangling!  clearly does 

    Actually, congratulations as I do love Haiku and that was a good one:

    DBA/Phil - 

    Signaling inflation false

    alarm? flame out.

    Great job catching the On in "Phil" and "alarm" - most people think of it as just the one syllable.  Minus points for not mentioning a season but it can be argued that flame is indicative of summer so 9.5 overall!  cheeky

    SHLD/Winston – No regrets on that decision:

    That's a great point about cleaning out the portfolio.  That's why I like cashing out once in a while – if we really miss something (TASR, IRBT, IBM, AAPL) we simply wait for the right time to get back in but having a fresh look at everything once in a while is always a good exercise.  

    OK, at this point I have to find a way to sell the NFLX July $700 calls for $27.  I WANT to just sell them naked but that's a bit dangerous.  The Sept $740s are $32 and the Jan $850s are $27 so those are the rolls.  

    We can buy the NFLX 2017 $760s for $100 and sell the $840s for $76 and that's net $24 so this would be a net $3 credit if we do 3 but I feel good enough to sell 3 short July $700s ($8,100) and buy just 2 of the 2017 $760/840 bull call spreads to cover ($4,800) to pick up a net $3,300 credit in the STP as that gives us $16,000 of upside protection (assuming we get our rolls off, of course) against the 3 short calls.  

  73. Afternoon All!

    Sorry the recording took so long. (Had to edit out all our technical difficulties from the beginning.) BUT, so far, this new service seems much better. The video quality is great! When I downloaded the recording, it was full 1080p HD… I actually had to drop it to 720p so it wouldn't be so big. (As it is it's over 600Mb! It was initially over 1Gb!) Because it's still much larger than the webex recording… it's much more legible. 

    We'll get it all smoothed out before the next webinar! Thanks for your patience!

    Here's the link on Youtube:

    (FYI… no direct download link at the moment… only the youtube link.)

  74. Oh… FYI… Youtube says it's still processing… so it might not be full quality just yet. But it is available.

  75. I know it's trading hours but just back from surgeon and my wife will be having part of her pancreas and her spleen removed next Thursday. For those medically inclined a distal pancreatectomy and spleenectomy. He said that she might be lucky if it is cancer it is very very early and most people don't catch it until too late. So theirs my lemonade. Keep thinking of us folks. 

    Now to business so I can pay for a private room! Oil is back at 61. Is this a short based on the EIA report Phil or are we worried about a spike today? Also since RB is way up 2.5% and CL is not as high 1.3% is RB a good short here in your opinion? Thanks.


  76. Haiku/Phil – lol! one of my old diversions.. I very much enjoy the Harold Stewart translations to verse (not trying to mimic a 5/7/5 syllable form in English) in "A Net of Fireflies."

    His brush abruptly leaps and flicks and swishes:
    Swiftly across the paper swim three fishes.  -HÔ-Ô (The Artist)

  77. Craigs,

    That's very good news! It's much easier to do a distal pancreatectomy and splenectomy than it is to take something out of the head of the pancreas (whipple procedure). So, the recovery is much easier. 

    All the best. 

  78. Batman/Futures training; I was thinking along the same lines as you. Obviously the starting point should be hanging out with Phil and all that he is doing on futures trading. I have yet to come across a book on futures that was compelling enough to buy, most of them seem as 'dry' as hell. I checked out many a website, and often one is required to have a decent level of knowledge. One service that caught my attention was Carl Futia (here). I have no idea who he is, but looks like a low cost way of 'looking over someone's shoulder' trading e-minis. If anyone on the board has experience with CF then I would be interested to know their views.

  79. Thanks Jeffdoc. Dr. Drebin was really great and very reassuring as was his entire staff. I am feeling much better having met him. 

    Went short on oil at 60.98 when I got home a little while ago and a nice wheee already but going back upo as I write this. Gotta keep an eye on it.

  80. Phil noticing that Brent is up .67 % right now but BNO is up 1.26%. Is this unusual?

  81. Winston. Futures trading books.  Thanks for the info 

  82. Batman, I apologize, I had accidentally ignored your comments.  Winstons' discussion with you made me look for what question I missed.  Sorry about that.  As a rule, I answer all in sequence so, if I skip you and answer later questions – it's because I missed it.  Of course, if I accidentally hit ignore – it won't help if you re-ask either.  That's only like the 2nd time it happened since we added that feature. 

    So, getting back to 10:26 – I'm self-taught in Futures, which is to say I tried learning from others and they are all idiots.  In general, it goes back to my main premise that there is no "system" or short-cut.  What you need is your 10,000 hours of practice and the best way to get that is to paper-trade your ass off on Think or Swim and participate in our Webinars.  A lot of people found Vegas very helpful as we do a whole Futures session when the market opens on Sunday night (3pm out there).   If we do Vegas this year, it will be in November.  

    RIG/Scott – I like our LTP position but we doubled down on the puts when RIG hit $13.  Now it's $19 and you're late to the party but I still like the 2017 $18 calls ($4.60) and the short $15 puts ($3.70) for net 0.90 and, after RIG gets closer to $25, then we will find a suitable cover.  

    You also missed out on our 50 SDRL 2017 $15/25 bull call spreads at $1.35 ($6,750), now $2.10 ($10,500) though still with another $39,500 potential gains.  We picked that trade up on 3/27 because we don't wait for things to take off before we decide to chase after them.  Imagine how much better you'd be doing if you spent more time playing fundamental value trades and less time chasing performance screens…

    Same for OIH, which we picked up on 3/19 at $32:

    Buy high sell higher is not the best way to play the markets.  I prefer buy low, buy more lower, wait patiently and sell higher.  Certainly it's a lot more relaxing… 

    Thanks Greg.  I'll be thrilled if the quality gets better than this.  It's already miles better than the old one.  Worth the hassle of switching to a new system. 

    Good news(ish), Craigs!  Of course the only better news would be that it isn't cancer and you guys went through all this Hell for nothing…  Don't you just love modern medicine?  

    As to oil.  Not the best time to short.  They have 10 days to rollover (22nd) and only 228,000 contracts to roll.  That's a walk in the park for the NYMEX crooks.  

    Click for
    Current Session Prior Day Opt's
    Open High Low Last Time Set Chg Vol Set Op Int
    Jul'15 60.58 61.82 60.45 60.81 13:49
    Jun 10


    0.67 311874 60.14 228108 Call Put
    Aug'15 61.00 62.22 60.88 61.25 13:49
    Jun 10


    0.64 101847 60.61 241756 Call Put
    Sep'15 61.30 62.51 61.17 61.60 13:49
    Jun 10


    0.62 65655 60.98 211222 Call Put
    Oct'15 61.37 62.65 61.35 61.80 13:49
    Jun 10


    0.60 18924 61.20 96999 Call Put
    Nov'15 61.59 62.87 61.59 61.95 13:49
    Jun 10


    0.46 12794 61.49 62679 Call Put
    Dec'15 61.87 63.12 61.83 62.32 13:49
    Jun 10


    0.53 38738 61.79 222091 Call Put
    Jan'16 62.08 63.32 62.08 62.58 13:49
    Jun 10


    0.52 6206 62.06 65269 Call Put
    Feb'16 62.33 63.43 62.33 62.83 13:49
    Jun 10


    0.53 2388 62.30 31860 Call Put

    Coming into July 4th, it will be very easy to spike oil much higher so it's a very dangerous trade.  Best to wait for an overdone move (like today) and short that if you are so inclined but we caught $61.50 for the ride back to $60.50 and I have no interest in reloading in between.  

    Stewart/Scott – Ah, that explains the influence.  wink

    BNO/Craigs – It's a bit unusual but it's also 8pm over there and Brent is moving and BNO is closed (in Europe)so I suppose there's a lag between the two when there are big swings post-market.  

  83. Futures book – not just limited to futures, I book I do like is "How to Win at Spread Betting" by Alpesh B. Patel. It is one of my "keepers."

  84. Phil// Questions on IBM and AAPL – AAPL it has crossed the strong bounce lines you had mentioned within the past couple of days.  Should we initiate a position as AAPL has crossed the strong bounce lines and also in the past couple of months, it hasn't shown indications of going any lower than $125 (+/- couple of dollars) or wait for the market to correct to establish a positiion?

    About IBM, it came close and it is ticking higher.  Do you still expect IBM to hit around $160 for us to establish a position?


  85. Just got back from NYC and looking at the charts for the first time today as I was quite busy. That's some bounce. I guess we did find support yesterday as I was mentioning when I posted the big chart! WTF!

  86. Bill Clinton just shredded the GOP attack on Hillary re. conflicts of interest for contribution to the Clinton foundation while she was Sec of State.  He pointed out that the money sent by Algeria (which coincided with a time we had State Debt business with them) was the day after the Haitian quake when people wanted to help but Haiti was completely down with no infrastructure standing and Clinton had people on the ground and he told World leaders – "if you want to contribute, send the money to my foundation and we'll make sure it's put to use in the most effective possible way".  

    Algeria was one of many who put in the funds and, as promised, they went straight into Haiti with not one penny kept by Clinton Global Initiative.  Asked if he would do it again knowing what trouble it caused Hillary, Bill said – I really can't think of a better way we could have helped those people in a time of desperate need so no.  

    Standing ovation from the audience and now 100 Republican attackers look like idiots.   This election is going to be fun!  

    There's $61.50 on /CL again – NOW I like the short!  

    IBM/Rookie – We had them at $150 and cashed out at $165 about 60 days later and now $169 and you think you are missing the boat?  On the whole, I like IBM long-term and I would have re-bought if I thought the overall market wasn't going to correct but if we don't get them, we don't get them.  Same with AAPL (though that one I'd be more upset about).  

    The idea is to buy things that are cheap.  That is cheap relative to their current earnings and outlook, not the fantasy outlook that you HOPE they will get to in a few years.  IBM was $200ish from March, 2012 to June of 2013 (we had taken a double off the table from $75 in 2009) and they hit our buy point of $150 in Feb but they ran up 10% in March at the same time we were cashing out the LTP so we took the quick gains and ran.  If they do come back down (and maybe we'll raise our bottom over time), then I'm thrilled to buy.  Same with AAPL at $120 or less but, until then – there's 8,998 other stocks to look for in the bargain bin.  

    Blue chip stocks like AAPL, IBM, F, BAC, T… are best bought when the whole market is collapsing and you don't know what to do with your cash.  They are generally safe(ish) in that, even if the market drops 50%, eventually, they will be able to recover – even without government support.  That's why we bought the Hell out of them in 2008 and 2009 (even XOM) but why chase them in a good market when you can buy RIG for $19 or CLF for $5 or HOV for $3, etc.  

    If I buy IBM for $169 I can sell the 2017 $160 puts and calls for $35.50 for net $133.50/146.75 for a nice 13% discount if put to us and a gain of $26.50 if called away at $160 (19.8%).  If I buy RIG, on the other hand, at $19.05 and sell the 2017 $18 puts and calls for $9.40, I'm in for $9.65/13.82, which is a 27% discount if put to us and a $8.35 profit at $18, which is an 86.5% profit – more than 4x what IBM pays.  

    So, I can allocate $40,050 of cash for 300 shares of IBM and promise to pay another $48,000 for 300 more (if IBM below $160) in order to make $7,950 if IBM is over $160 (flat to up) in 2017 OR I can allocate $9,650 for 1,000 shares of RIG with the promise to buy $18,000 more (below $18) in order to make $8,350 if RIG is flat or up from here.  

    The RIG trade leaves you with $61,000 unused allocation, even in an IRA or 75%+ no matter what kind of account.  That lets you diversify more or gives you the flexibility to adjust down the road, etc. AND YOU STILL HAVE THE SAME $8,000 RETURN IF ALL GOES WELL.  So, unless you think IBM is a 4x better bet than HOV, RIG, CLF or 1,000 other stocks you can find that pay you much better returns – why on Earth would you buy IBM, APPL or whatever and tie up all that money unless they were having a spectacular sale?  

    Bounce/StJ – It's very impressive but only if it sticks.  

  87. Eventually the glue that makes it stick will dry out Phil!


    Excellent advice!  This is why you are so good- at least in my book.  Isn't it funny how quickly it's forgotten the last time we jumped on the AAPL wagon a bit early.  My memory is that the stock fell some 30% more after falling 30% from its high when decided it was the right time to buy. We were eventually right, but not without a ton of heartache and pain while we kept building as it kept going down.  

  89. AAPL/DC – True, I had to keep talking people off the ledge on that one.

    OK, after due consideration, the Vickery Brown plays will be:  TUMI, CTCT, IPG and WYN.  My alternate is CMI and I decided DECK was too bottom 80% consumer dependent for comfort.  

    I'll do a whole write-up tonight.  

  90. /ES a fun short below 2,105 (just crossing now).  /YM 18,000 too.  

  91. Damn, should have just gone with the naked short calls on NLFX, down to $673 already. 

    Indexes popped up.  Dollar 94.98 but only responsible for 1/2 the day's gains.  

  92. Phil- On my way home from hospital I stopped at supermarket and saw one of those tabloids with the headline "Hillary and the drinking problem that will ruin her presidential hopes" Of course they show a picture of her holding a drink looking tipsy but you can see she was merely laughing and leaning on something if you look closely. Must be a Murdoch owned rag, but it seemed slanderous to me. They imply she has been through treatment and covered it up, etc. All this on the cover. I am guessing the average American sees that and thinks it could be true. 

    I am trying to catch up and loved the advice you gave me on oil. I waited and shorted at 61.49 for $250 so far. Always prudent advice. I have been way too impatient the last few weeks costing me some big money (still way up since I began, but now not nearly as much. May was my first losing month since November and June is still not a sure thing at this point) I blame my wife's issues, but I really just was impatient trying to get back losses. So, we have a strong bounce today which seems to be holding with 10 minutes to go til close. Is this a positive signal for tomorrow and beyond, or do we need more confirmation for another couple of days? If you said it already I apologize. My focus is a bit off today.

  93. IPG/Phil    I dont know if this makes any difference for our Vickery picks but the 2017's are very thinly traded.  The 2016's not quite as bad

  94. Focus/Craigs – Yeah, I generally just don't trade if I'm going to be distracted.  The market is going to be open tomorrow and all that.  Anyway, one day is always meaningless, bounce lines need to be held for 48 hours without breaking to be considered passed.  The only downside to that is we don't  get to rush in and out of trades like maniacs…

    Easy come, easy go on the STP, down to 125% so off about $15K on the day but the LTP gained 1.5% (with the market, essentially) so there's about $10K of it back.  So we're $5K too bearish on a 1.25% up day – I don't mind that…

    IPG/Stock – It won't be thinly traded by the time we're done with it.  As I said above, you have to be patient to get the fills.  

  95. Phil/Vickery picks – will your write up that you are planning on doing tonight will that be posted to members prior to going out to Sabrient?  

  96. Phil, I added to my July SDS $20/$21 BCS hedge today at somewhere around the top for $0.32, so I am now 2X.  Looking at the graph for this ETF I was wondering if it might have been better to go with $19/$20 spread at this point.  Would you mind explaining how you decide what spread to take on something like this for a short-term hedge or bet on a correction.  I am not sure of the best way to evaluate this with the continuous decay. Thanks.

  97. Phil// Your thoughts on Fed's expected upcoming rate hike in Sept.  By raising the interest rate, won't the interest payment on the debt will be higher and that might shave some points off the GDP?  So in the best interest, won't the Fed move slowly and gently towards a normalized interest environment?  Trying to understand how this will all unravel.  I'd like to hear your thoughts on this …  and also on the precious metals under an increased interest rate environment. Thanks.

  98. This guy summarizes nicely what I was thinking while looking at AAPL's new releases. They are now mostly followers and not leaders – look at all the latest releases: big screen phones, small tablets, maps, streaming services. Many things that they said they would not do but are being pushed to by users and the competition. Doesn't mean that they can't make money doing that:

    Instead, the company played some catch-up, packing in feature after feature of things we’ve already seen from Apple’s rivals, and in some cases, have been around for years in other operating systems. It’s a known Apple-ism. Take a piece of technology that exists, perfect it, and sell it with massive marketing muscle. Until now, Apple’s done well with that model with many even thinking they created the smartphone and mp3 player—only because it made them mainstream. But this year, nothing seemed like significant upgrades to existing apps and services, just replicas. [...]

    But Apple “innovation” has a tendency to induce amnesia. Will we forget the days when Apple had a Google Now competitor because Proactive gets so good that the alternative isn’t worth remembering? Who knows, but early reaction from WWDC suggests that the fog is clearing and maybe Apple is no longer able to convince us that they are the world’s greatest innovator.

    Most likely, 2016 will see big changes across mobile and desktop operating systems for Apple, and more original ideas that made Apple the near trillion-dollar company that it is. But this year, Apple is taking some time to mime.

  99. It's 2015 right?

    Yesterday, we described how legislation in Louisiana may be encouraging teachers to introduce religious material in science classes. But Louisiana is clearly not alone in recommending that its educators engage in constitutionally forbidden activities. Later that day, we were directed to a document suggesting that problems could be brewing in Idaho.

    The document is a set of proposed resolutions crafted by the state Republican Party's Central Committee. Among those is Resolution 2015-P20, "A Resolution Supporting Bible Use in Idaho Public Schools." While the Bible could add value to a number of curricula (social studies, literature, and comparative religion, for example, all of which are named in the resolution), it's not widely recognized for being much help with plate tectonics. Yet the resolution also suggests that the Bible should be used in classes on astronomy, biology, geology, world geography, archaeology, music, and sociology. Somehow, chemistry and physics escaped the committee's notice.

    Paging Urban VIII…


    Before I start this post let me admit that invading Iraq was a big mistake, and that George Bush bears a lot of responsibility for it.  However, even you guys should admit that Obama is handling this ISIS crisis like someone who is afraid of making a decision, and only wants to hand it off to the next President.  Obama said a few days ago at the G7 that we haven't yet formulated a plan to combat ISIS  and when he and the Pentagon reach a decision he'll let us know.  Meanwhile, generals in the Pentagon has responded that they have sent him several plans, but he has not made a decision.  One Pentagon source even responded, "Mr .Obama it is your responsibility to formulate a plan based on our input."

    And, it was announced today that we're sending 450 more troops to train the Iraqis.  Meanwhile, such websites as Mother Jones have for months blamed the Obama administration for aiding ISIS' cause in Syria. 

    According to the New York Times, Obama accepts no responsibility for the failures.  Too bad that it's far too late to blame Bush for this one.

  101. Phil- I was just looking at the prices of oil and gasoline futures side by side and the last time gasoline was at 2.14 was early November when oil was nearly $80. With oil now just above $61 does it make sense that gasoline has popped so high? Does this mean that oil will pop higher or that gasoline may drop back down to where it was a few days ago? Is there something to be deduced from this side by side comparison or is it another manipulation where no correlation can be made. 

  102. Craigs – dec 15 RB futures are trading at 1.79.    dec 15 CL futures at 62.41

    I always have a few months of each futures and the december futures contracts on my watch screen

     My assumption would be that it will drop by year end. Higher prices probably just here for the summer driving season.

  103. Phil / Futures reference – totally understand the approach – "Outliers".  When i started options i read all i could find books, web, on line classes etc then paper traded / read more for a few months then traded.  I tried to find a community / coach for months before i stumbled on to you ( from your writings on seeking alpha) I'm still learning.  I measure my performance and learn as much as i can.  This site is great for coaching feedback and staying out of trouble.  Scottmi had a recommendation i'll review, if you think of any i'd love to hear about them.  Hopefully by November i'll be ready to make that a productive discussion if you think of any books or reference sites i'd love to get them… thanks.

  104. Phil, I saw your trade idea in NFLX from yesterday and hadn't seen you make a trade like it before.  Can you explain the strategy and what you would do under a few pricing scenarios (e.g. 600, 650, 700, or 750 at July expiration).  You put it in the STP so I assume your goal is to close entire trade by July expiration.  You could actually close today with an excellent ROC.  In any case, I am more interested in the strategy to use the LEAP to limit your upside risk.  Thx

  105. Wheeee on oil, down close to $1 since 4:00 AM. We seem to be in a channel between $57.50 and $61.50 since early May.

  106. Good morning!  

    Just got done with our Top Trades Special Report

    SDS/Sibe – It's a good target IF we ever get a pullback but now New Zealand is lowering rates so the QE madness continues.  In general, I would always rather roll to a better strike/more time than DD.  A bull call spread is not about decay (less than a penny a day on yours) but about targeting.  Do you or do you not believe SDS will be over $21.30 in July (up 5% so S&P down 2.5%)?  If your goal was to hedge the 0.69 profit against a 5% correction in the S&P then fine – that's what it does but, if it's a bet – you have to evaluate the likelihood of that correction and decide whether the risk is worth the potential reward.  

    Fed/Rookie – Your premise is that the Fed simply decides not to raise rates and rates stay low but the Fed doesn't move in a vacuum.  They have already taken on $5Tn worth of risk and that risk also becomes a debt and affects our GDP if they can't unwind it for the same price they paid.  The more they fight the natural tendency of the bond market to drift higher, the more their losses will be in the correction.  Then there's the credibility issue – there comes a certain point where the Fed simply can't keep rates low because the demand for money increases (stronger economy) or because of some crisis like Greece, Italy, Spain, Cyprus, China, Japan, Australia… melting down and, if the Fed loses credibility, then people like you might realize they can't control long-term rates and that might make you demand more return for your dollars long-term, lest inflation eat them up.   So a crisis of faith is the Fed's biggest concern because BSing the markets is their biggest tool (hence all the Fed speak).  

    AAPL/StJ – Are they supposed to come out with an Earth-shaking invention every year?  In 34 years, they had the Mac (the other Apple computers were just improvements on PCs), the Newton (fail), the IPod, ITunes and the IPhone.  That's 5 products in 34 years so once every 7 years and the IPhone came out in 2007.  I don't think it's fair to say the IWatch is 2nd because AAPL really did have the IDEA first – others just rushed to market with crap ahead of their release.  Now they are working on car control systems – is that a "copy"?  

    As with many things, the average investor/gadget junkie has the attention span of a fruit fly so the eat articles like this up, written by authors who re-hash the same nonsense year after year because they haven't had an original thought since they stopped taking acid. 

    Oddly enough, Urban 8 was the quintessential Conservative Republican, who massively expanded the influence of the Church by taking on massive debt in the 1600s which ultimately led to their collapse of influence as the debts he incurred cause the Church to go from a lender to a beggar in International matters.  Scott Walker would be proud…

    Big Chart – Quite the bounce.  A week of drops reversed in a day.  Obviously, the net volume up is about 1/5th of the down volume but who cares?  

    ISIS/Albo – So we need to go to a full-scale war in Iraq against ISIS?  And it's all Obama's fault?  

    The group originated as Jama'at al-Tawhid wal-Jihad in 1999, which pledged allegiance to al-Qaeda in 2004. The group participated in the Iraqi insurgency, which had followed the March 2003 invasion of Iraq. In January 2006, it joined other Sunni insurgent groups to form the Mujahideen Shura Council, which in October 2006 proclaimed the formation of the Islamic State of Iraq (ISI).

    Who was President while ISIS was forming?  Just because it only hit your radar in the last couple of years doesn't mean it wasn't there – it just means your buddies were completely ignoring them – even as they made Iraq the complete focus of their military operations.  Bush never mentioned ISIS once – it's as if he didn't even know the faction existed.  And they were LOOKING for reasons to justify our occupation! 

    Thank you for alerting us to the complete ignorance that Conservatives have to the actual facts of the matter – that helps explain how they can take a very complex geopolitical situation that is being carefully examined by a RESPONSIBLE President who doesn't like to go off half-cocked and possible make things worse instead of better and turn it around to be "Obama's fault."  It's the kind of thought process a lot of us can't really relate to, so a very interesting insight into what makes a Conservative's mouth foam…

    For The Record, Yes, George W. Bush Did Help Create ISIS

    Oil/Criags – We're heading into the very heavy manipulation period into the July 4th weekend when about 2Bn gallons of gasoline will be used in the US so every penny they can push prices up is a $20M bonus for suppliers.  Don't try to apply fundamentals to it and don't delude yourself that you can read the tea leaves based on supply, demand, OPEC, drilling, etc – it's complete and utter BS and the only safe bet is that they'll defend $60 oil and $2.10 gasoline like their lives depend on it.  They may be a little dip into contract rollovers but that's the end of bearish oil betting until after the holidays (and after we see the actual demand data a week later!).  

    NFLX/Options – We've done those before, it's a ratio backspread.  Remind me in chat later if you want details.  Essentially, the long spread is just there to stop us from getting too badly burned if we end up wrong in July and have to roll the short calls along.  The reason we use the Leap is limited decay even if NFLX does go down and, of course, we start with a credit so whatever is left on the long spread is a bonus.  

  107. Hats off to US Men's National Soccer Team for a very solid win vs. Germany.  Exciting time for US Soccer.

    This European swing before Gold Cup has resulted in wins v. Dutch and Germans.  

  108. What's soccer? 

  109. Sorry--grew up Pats fan


    football is football

  110. Phil,

    TEE HEE! indeed and you want to go live in Europe? Come on….6.5 Billion people on the planet, 350 MM in the US…..Futbol… Football….is Soccer…..GET IT… please give me some futures levels so I can think about retiring….where else…..IN …..we are as British as Britain is!!