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Friday: Draghi Fever has Traders Ignoring more Terrorism

170 hostages were taken at the Radisson Hotel in Mali

I know – where's Mali?  Who cares?  Apparently, not too many of you do because the Futures have gained 0.5% since this happened early this morning, so let's just keep going and invest as if nothing bad is ever going to happen.  

Today's market cheerleader was former Goldman Sachs Director, Mario Draghi, who said the ECB is prepared to deploy its full range of stimulus measures to fight low inflation, indicating that the Central Bank will apply additional easy money policies at its next meeting in December.   

That sent the Euro down half a point and, so far, the Dollar is up 0.5% to match, which is pushing oil back down to $40 (the Dec contract, on it's last day) and giving us a nice buying opportunity into the weekend on both /CLF6 (the Jan contract, now $41.50) and /RBF6 (Jan Gasoline, now $1.275) into next week's holiday.  For the Futures impaired – the Gasoline ETF (UGA) should be at $28.75 and that should put the Dec $29 calls under $1 – a fun way to pay for a tank of gas for next week's visit to Grandma's.

Keep in mind that Draghi is a guy who thinks Bankers should run the World, the quote in this picture comes from his actual interview in Der Spiegel in 2012 and, since then, he's simply moving his agenda forward, in a subtle(ish), diplomatic fashion:

 "It is not that we want to replace the national supervisory authorities; on the contrary, we want to work closely with them. However, they need to be independent of their governments in their assessment of the problems. In the past, problems in the banking sector have been hushed up time and again.

"I am not going to mention any names. However, I am certain that we will be able to act more independently and quickly if Frankfurt is at the heart of the decision-making."

On our side of the pond, the NY Fed's Bill Dudley (former Goldman Chief Economist) was heard saying, in his opening remarks at a regulation conference: "If we begin to raise interest rates, that’s a good thing. That’s not a bad thing."  Indeed GS has all their minions flying around the World saying anything and doing anything they can to get the S&P over 2,058.90, which is where we were at the market close on Dec 31st of 2014.  Since then, the markets have gone nowhere and it's hard to get prospective clients to give you Trillions of Dollars to collect fees on if they don't think the markets are going to make them rich.  

SPY  5  MINUTEThe volume yesterday was a joke and the markets went nowhere and the day before, on the rally, the volume was a joke as well.  We still worry that the joke will be on you if you load up on stocks into the holidays and we're staying Cashy and Cautious though, of course, we are doing a bit of bargain-hunting when we can.  

It's not that we don't have faith in a long-term recovery – how could we not with all these Trillions of Dollars being thrown around by the same Central Banksters who tell the Governments they are borrowing too much money?  We just see a period of instability ahead as the Fed begins to tighten while the ECB continues to loosen and the super-strong Dollar is NOT likely to improve our rapidly declining export numbers, which look much worse when you take into account actual end use exports, rather than just the traditional payment balance model.

This is the Fed's own chart illustrating how dire End Use Exports have become.  They are ALWAYS a leading indicator for the broader Export numbers.  Now, when is the last time we've seen numbers this low?

The hardest thing to do as a trader is to stay on the sidelines while the market is rallying.  Other people are making quick money and yours is just sitting there and, if you are nimble – you can make some really good money at the top of a bubble but, if you get caught in the fall – the consequences can be dire.  

We just reviewed our Butterfly Portfolio yesterday afternoon and it's up $10,510 (10.5%) in the past month despite being mainly in cash and despite being very well-hedged.  When I say we're "Cashy and Cautious" – it doesn't mean we're afraid to trade – it's just that we are trading in such a way that we won't be caught by surprise when the market finally begins to pull back and, if it never pulls back – we have lots and lots of long-term plays that will do very well.  

SPX WEEKLYOur Long-Term Portfolio, in fact, is up almost 5% ($23,000) since our October 4th Portfolio Review despite the S&P having gone up just 1% while our Short-Term Portfolio has lost $24,000, because that's where all of our bearish positions are (we use the STP to hedge the much-larger LTP).  That's what I mean by staying on the sidelines – it's not that we don't have money in the market – it's just that we're very well-hedged and leaning bearish but, if they want to rally us further – our long-term positions don't mind at all!  

If we do break out to new highs, we'll be happy to cut back on our hedges and let our long-term plays run but, for now, we prefer to keep our main portfolios in neutral until we are sure this isn't yet another low-volume head-fake, designed to pull the retail suckers in off the sidelines while the professional traders cash in for the holidays.  

Have a great weekend, 

- Phil


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  1. There is some ugly talk right now coming from one side of the political establishment. As someone with Jewish family members, it does bring back horrible memories when someone starts talking about special IDs or symbols for a specific race or religious group!

    In the meantime, we want to single out Muslim extremists but we don't want background check for guns…

  2. Phil, could you please explain how short puts are handled in a merger? I am short WMB Jan 17 P's and their merger with ETE is to close in Feb.16. Any ideas on what the disposition of the P's will be? Thanks

  3. Good Morning.

  4. StJLuc – its vile.  A Database?  WTF!  These people are crazy.  Perhaps we should ask the Rep Candidates … "Would you support Gun Control for Muslims" – see if we can use their own words against them.

  5. I reminded of a point that Phil often makes … Everything Hitler did was legal. 

  6. WTF! – What's disturbing is 47 Dems voted with those "crazy" folks….. :(

  7. Good morning!  

    I think Reuters has it right for a change:

    U.S. indexes were set to open little changed on Friday, with no catalysts driving the market firmly in either direction, and were poised for their best weekly performance since October.

    Investors are expecting the U.S. Federal Reserve to raise interest rates next month, after minutes from the Fed's October meeting revealed policymakers were confident that the economy was strong enough to withstand higher rates.

    "Considering the major indices are back near their 2015 highs and next week is a shortened holiday week with low volume, people who want to take money off the table will likely take this opportunity to do so," said Phil Davis, chief executive of trading advisory website

    Davis noted that Friday was an options expiration day, which tends to make the market more volatile.

    St. Louis Fed President James Bullard and New York Fed President William Dudley are slated to speak at separate events.

    I'd love to get a crack at shorting /NKD 2,000.  We've got 17,800 on /YM, 2,088 on /ES, 4,678 on /NQ and 1,170 on /TF with the Dollar back at 99.23.

    /RB popping back already at $1.293 but the dip was fun while it lasted.  /CLF6 is $41.66 and /NGZ5 is $2.22 with J6 at $2.39 (and of course I like that long).

    We'd like to see the NYSE break 10,500 for a stronger bullish sign and, of course, 2,100 on the S&P is always a nice touch and Nas is testing 5,100 in a few points – all worth watching closely.


  8. /CL- Is it normal for the spread between the expiring contract and the new one to widen as it gets closer to expiration? I thought the gap usually closes, but this month it is getting bigger and bigger, now over $1.58 where it was around $1.20 yesterday at times, although it went to $1.30 and higher at times too. Is this strange or is it normal?

  9. Nat gas sinking again…dangit!

  10. How can GPS be up 5% after that report?  MADNESS!  

    Gap Q3 Earnings in Line; Lowers View on Soft Sales Trends

    Guns/StJ – There was a good article in the Daily News on that.  The right is really going off the rails here – very scary, especially when you hear the kind of applause Trump gets for his hate-speech.  

    WMB/Silver – There's no one way they handle stuff, you need to find a specialist with your broker who can help you.  If your company is being dissolved for cash, they usually assign a value to the merger and, if your puts are below that value – they simply expire worthless. However, if not all-cash and especially in a stock-swap, they may be re-assigned as new puts against the merged entity or you may be stuck with the old options which will trade very thinly until they finally expire at whatever net the brokers come up with. 

    Dems/1020 – That's because Dems in Republican-leaning districts can't afford to piss off the crazys as jingoism is a slam-dunk in elections.  That's why it's not suspicious at all when we get these fall terror attacks leading into critical election years.  Not at all…  Just ask Ike:

    /CL/Craigs – They did that yesterday, today they are done with their rolling with just 20Mb left at yesterday's close (and now there are 545Mb of fake Jan contracts instead):

    Click for
    Current Session Prior Day Opt's
    Open High Low Last Time Set Chg Vol Set Op Int
    Dec'15 40.54 40.67 39.88 40.39 09:51
    Nov 20


    -0.15 8569 40.54 20501 Call Put
    Jan'16 41.89 42.06 41.37 41.92 09:51
    Nov 20


    0.20 121959 41.72 545943 Call Put
    Feb'16 43.00 43.22 42.60 43.15 09:51
    Nov 20


    0.26 26491 42.89 132956 Call Put
    Mar'16 44.10 44.24 43.61 44.17 09:51
    Nov 20


    0.29 15426 43.88 176595 Call Put
    Apr'16 44.92 45.00 44.44 45.00 09:51
    Nov 20


    0.32 6546 44.68 59558 Call Put
    May'16 45.48 45.54 45.06 45.34 09:51
    Nov 20


    0.04 4998 45.30 51174 Call Put
    Jun'16 45.91 46.06 45.52 45.91 09:51
    Nov 20


    0.12 5533 45.79 107982 Call Put
    Jul'16 46.19 46.39 45.98 46.20 09:51
    Nov 20


    -0.01 2302 46.21 31025 Call Put

    Nat gas/Jabob – Amazing!  

  11. Phil// I tried to get the WSM trade mentioned the other day as part of the OOP.  Since I didn't get a good price, didn't execute that trade.  Is today a good time to execute the trade?  Thanks.

  12. NFLX / Phil,  

    It might be a much too early to act with more hedge but at what point would you consider doubling down or increasing the put hedge position in any way?   

    TA curves suggest it may be topping out near term for another possible wave down.  It has certainly run back up to above its highs around previous earnings announcement…  

  13. NFLX / Phil,   I"m referring to the remaining OOP 120 Jan put position. 

  14. Phil/UNG,

    looks like a good opportunity to double down on the UNG position that we have in OOP?


  15. SDRL is trading not far off its 10 year low from 2009 despite the bounce this AM.  A case can be made that this may be a buying opportunity. 

  16. WSM/Rookie – The key was selling the Jans for $3 – not even close to possible now.  The 2017 $70s are about $5.10 though, so not a bad price and the short $60 puts are $7.50, so net $2.40 credit but that's not how I'd play them now.  I'd go for the $62.50 ($8)/$70 ($5.10) bull call spread at $2.90 and sell the $50 puts for $3.70 for a 0.80 credit on the $7.50 spread that's at the money.  Then you don't need to be greedy and just sell 1/2 the Jan $65s at $2.15 and you're collecting 13% in 60 days – not bad. 

    NFLX/GClay – It's too early to do anything with a 3-day week ahead of us (Thursday is all closed and Friday we're open until 1pm but no one actually shows up).  After that, there's less than 30 days until Christmas and suddenly this year is over…

    You know, they say Halloween is too early to start having Christmas sales but this year it seems like there's not enough time to get everything done if we're just starting after Thanksgiving.  Black Friday is going to be a much bigger deal than usual because, if not Nov 27th, the next Friday is already Dec 4th and then 11, 18, Christmas!  

    UNG/Pat – I'm going to consider it.  

    SDRL/Sibe – We used to like them but they went relentlessly down and we finally gave up in the LTP.  

    Dollar sneaking back to 99.50.

  17. Phil/FXI,

    Coming back up for shorting? The margin issue in next week would probably force this down I guess. 



  18. Pat my understanding is that the margin will be changed as of monday next week (so all the selling to meet requirements would have to be done this week)? So far it hasnt shown to have a significant effect. Ive got some FXI 43 puts im holding on to though. 

  19. Phil//  Thanks.  With the expected rate hike in dec how do you expect ARR to trade going into that outlook?  Is this a good time to trade arr or better to wait till the rate hike is done with?  Thanks.

  20. Markets up over 0.50%, dollar up close to 0.50%… Pretty strong showing considering!

  21. FXI/Pat, CRS – Well that was the premise but it doesn't seem to be having any effect.  I still like the puts but have to give up if they get back over $39.  It's POSSIBLE that the massive influx of retail traders in the past year means a lot of people don't understand what's happening.  We'll have to see.  

    ARR/Rookie – I think that was already baked into the 20% drop since May and I doubt gradual hikes are going to blow up their business plans.  Of course, at this moment, I'd be careful until we see what actually happens around the Fed meeting – but that means pretty much waiting until next year.

    I still expect selling into the close, StJ, but probably back to even.  

  22. We Nattered here Wend 18th: WSW reports tomorrow after market, I suspect due to west coast port disruptions and other excuses, perhaps even the terrorists, they might be lucky to hit the low end of their number. However, their forward looking estimates will not be as expected and if that occurs the stock should get pummeled. 

    Revenue fell, they missed. Stock -7.7% but already bouncing back on the good news.

    Phil – SA – Oh yeah, Taylor is the backup and even more clueless than Yellen, here is their latest to me: "First, general grammar errors, throughout. Second, over the top: "Astronaut theorists (if you want to get laid just call one, because they always say YES) ". As for tickers, I think the key here is to focus on the FICC players."

    Grammar errors throughout? And the article isn't about FICC, its mentioned in one paragraph.  The ticker list provided is broad based macro in nature with some FICC.  Their ham fisted editors are much like the Fed braintrust, they wouldn't know money from mud, much less their ass from a hole in the ground.  I need to find other venues and get away from these brain dead f…s.  In fact, Mouth McGarry back in Hoboken where the Zephyrs used to play, he might say, f… you, you f…ing f… 

    I don't want to be over the top twice in a day… Out.

  23. Adding to the discussion about investing with good dividends equities:

    Also includes a table showing free cash flow and dividends for some of these high payers. Some might be at risk right now.

  24. patience on UNG USO UGA a must. Supply just now adjusting to demand/price movements of the last 18 months and these things take time. Interest rates start to climb in December, commodities bottom is near (if not now) or maybe out until April or even then summer and then it turns around and they run for 5-10 years.

  25. Options Opportunity Portfolio (OOP):  We took a big hit this week as we added a bunch of new positions and several of our positions reversed on us.  I still think this rally is BS so I'm more inclined to press positions than get out but, if we're wrong – that can get painful and this is not a high-risk portfolio like the STP.  So, we'll have to evaluate the positions carefully keeping in mind these are UNREALIZED losses – the positions we closed are up $22,596, which is right on track – it's the open ones we need to fix if we're going to get the net back to where it belongs.  

    The idea of this portfolio is to practice managing and saving option positions while building a productive portfolio that throws off a consistent $5,000 monthly return.  We're working on building long-term, income-producing positions but that's an expensive process that has sucked up half of our gains so far so next month we need to concentrate on making some short-term profits again.  

    GLD – We just rolled to these and I love having the longs on gold down this low but the upcoming Fed tightening in mid-December means we'll probably have to wait until the dust settles.   Very good as a fresh position.  

    FXI – I'm getting a little worried about our Jan time-frame but the options are even at the moment so we'll give them until after the holiday before deciding whether or not to adjust.  As you can see, they are facing a critical test around the $38.50 line.  

    GLL – This is another bet on gold going up by shorting the ultra-short ETF.  Unfortunately, shorting an ultra-short is a dangerous game but the fact that the Dollar is not getting over 100 (so far) is encouraging.   Good as a fresh position.

    NFLX – A very frustrating short as we were in great shape just last week and now looking sad.  If we adjust it, we'll have to buy some time but, with 60 days to expiration and the holiday weekend ahead of us – we can wait until after Thanksgiving to decide.  As a new position, however, I love it!  

    BBY – These are on track after a brief scare yesterday.  Our net is $28 and anything over that is profit.  We were thinking about adding a bull call spread but their guidance was weak so we'll just be happy to make a little cash when this expires.

    LL – Gone flat at $14ish but that's fine for us as our net is $10.40!  I like this one enough to add 5 of the 2017 $10 ($6.30)/18 ($3.40) bull call spreads for $3.  That's net $1,450 and we should make $1,300 on the short puts so we'll be left with the $4,000 spread at net $150.   Obviously I like this as a new position.

    MU – Leftover from an old spread, waiting for it to expire.  


    BID – We pushed this one way back as it hasn't gone well so far.  I love this as a new play as it's still net $2.35 on the $7 spread and I think $35 is a very reasonable target for next year.  Also good for a new position.

    ABX – More gold!  Perhaps too much gold but ABX is at $7.41 and we only need $7 to turn our net $1,560 trade (current prices) into net $4,000 so fantastic as a new position if you can get those prices but, as is often the case, the broker gives you the worst possible prices on your combos and that makes your portfolio balances look a lot worse than they actually are.  In this case, our 100% in the money $4,000 position is barely showing a profit after 2 months.  

    BHI – Another position that's a trick of the light as we have the $45/60 spread with the short $60 calls that is $2,500 in the money at $50 but we're showing a $2,053 loss.  Clearly good for a new trade because, if the HAL merger closes as planned next Q, this position will swing from what is now a $2,000 net credit to a more than $2,500 net gain.  

    CCJ – Back at the bottom of the channel  and this one is good for a new trade with a year to go.  

    CRM – Brand new spread that's even cheaper now than what we paid and I still like it now that we've seen the earnings.  

    HOV – The Fed is really spooking the housing sector but TOL had great earnings and HOV reports in early December, so we'll see how this one goes.  I'm happy with the 2017 target on this one but we have enough of a commitment that I don't want to push it pre-earnings. 

    IRBT – Our Stock of the Century is already over our target but we're fine with that and I still love the short puts as a new trade if you can get that ridiculous price.  

    SQQQ – With the Nasdaq at 5,100 it's surprising we're not losing more on our March calls – shows you where the sentiment is heading…  This is a major hedge for our longs and it cost us most of the $3,825 we invested in November hedges as those will expire worthless but we did sell a few short puts against them (already closed).  

    TASR is our stock of the Decade and has fallen on hard times, which means WE WANT TO BUY MORE!!!  $18 is ridiculously cheap for them and we are value investors who don't let PRICE scare us away from a perfectly good stock.  We're already aggressively long with our 2017 $15 calls, however so I'll just say I LOVE this one as a new trade.  

    UNG – Another one I'm very fond of.  Our premise is that LNG exports begin in Jan and people will recalculate the value of nat gas closer to global norms ($6) than the current US price ($2.40).  This is a fantastic chance to enter this trade with better prices than we got and I'm still very confident in our targets.  

    WSM – Also brand new and a bit cheaper than where we just entered but I would like to spend another $2.40 or less to roll the 2017 $67.50 calls down to the 2017 $62.50 calls to widen our spread.

    So, on the whole, we still love all our positions but it certainly costs money to make money with options as every time we add new contracts, our portfolio shows us the worst case on the bid/ask spread.  So, if we add $20,000 worth of new positions, we take a paper loss of $2,000 or more just to get started.  That's something you need to get used to in options trading – it doesn't matter what a position looks like on any given day as long as it's on track with your long-term goal. 

    I really though I'd want to make more adjustments but I'm pretty happy with where we are and it's a good mix of bullish and bearish positions – the trick now is going to be taking advantage of market moves up or down that will let us take more profits off the table to add to our cash pile!  

  26. LOL – TSLA has to recall 90,000 cars (all of them) for a seatbelt defect!  

    Tesla recalling all Model S sedans for seat belt issue

    I've said that for years – people think they are a tech company but this is what happens to car companies and this is why they have thin margins and this is why AAPL won't sell cars. 

  27. Can you send the table out in email?  For some reason they are way more readable in email than on the site.

  28. Last few years, the short week of Thanksgiving has been a good one in the market.  Low volume, easy manipulation.

  29. Dividends/StJ – I'd stay away from the energy patch for now but, in general, it's a great long-term strategy. 

    UNG/BDC – Well I hope so as Nat gas seems only to know how to go lower for now.  

    Email/Tangled – I don't know, can I?   Try right-clicking on the image and opening in new tab – that should make it full sized.  Also, you can right-click on it and just save the image.  

  30. New tab no better in IE but helps in Chrome.   Saving the image is best.  THX

  31. I've been traveling, eye operation, half blind and 700 miles from anyone I know.  I'm about to take a ship — no flying allowed, nor can I go home to 6,600 ft. altitude – so I'll let you know what happens when you take a Carnival Cruise and jump ship on a remote island.

    Meanwhile, I've been coining money with Phil's picks [takes awhile -- a long while in my case -- to develop the discipline needed to utilize them] – and even my jaded financial advisors are impressed. Thanks a million [well, not quite] Phil, nothing better than having fun while making money!! 

  32. By the way, IBM has been a star since you called it.  I have 2017s, so I'm strapped in for a long, happy ride!

  33. Phil, thinking about initiating a position in UNG, do you still like the APR 2016 options as new position or would you go out longer in time? 

  34. Phil/ I missed your call to roll GLD down and out for $1.70.  I have been trying for couple of days and not able to get the fill.  What should I do now?  Thanks.

  35. Dividends / Phil – True, the ones in trouble are the likes of CVX for example although I am quite sure that they have the cash to cover dividends for the next couple of years (or until oil and gas prices recover as they will) and if not, they can borrow it cheap although not the best idea.

  36. Phil – I got stopped out of UGAZ this morning.  Are you still staying with your /NG trade ?

  37. ugaz…wow

  38. albo--i thought 3.05was low…

    FU UGAZ!!!

  39. PHIL – TASR   ok, time to send me the  Ali "Rope a Dope" vid again.  I want to buy some more TASR, but, I don't know what to do with the last batch…pardon me.. last nvestment.

    I have -10 Jan 17 15 PUT  +20 Jan 17 20 CALL    -20 Jan 17 25 CALL   (down $2,600  +-)

    "  We're already aggressively long with our 2017 $15 calls, however so I'll just say I LOVE this one as a new trade."    What is the new trade?  I'll catch up the old one later.

    (I do not have a the $15 calls as I could not keep up with the "Great Ones" that can.)

    …and, am I ashamed  to write this…..yeah, pretty much.  (happy face goes here… I don't have those)

    P.S. I admire jaboeast…a man of few words…I can't seem to pull that off.

  40. I want to sell some weekly premium for next Friday.  Anybody have any ideas?  You get a free day of decay and usually nothing exciting happens. 

  41. Jabobeast – There must be some margin calls in /NL.  That's quite a flush.

  42. I meant to say huge margin calls.

    VRX – Strong again today.  Ackman recouping a little.

  43. IE/Tangled – Never use that POS…

    You're very welcome ZZ (if you can see this).  Hope the trip goes well.

    We did finally get a bounce out of IBM:

    UNG/CRS – I think April gives them enough time to come back while 2017 may be too much time (time enough to go down again).  Still, I'd sell the 2017 $10 puts ($2.20) and buy 2x April $8/10 bull call spread for 0.90 for a net 0.40 credit and hopefully you pocket $4 in April and end up with $4.40 for the short 2017 $10 puts.

    GLD/Rookie – Well, if you are putting in a order to roll for the net, those hardly ever fill.  I assume you have the Jan $106 calls ($1.25) and the March $104 calls are now $3.20/3.30 as GLD has been up and down $1 in the past week.  The way I'd play it is ask for $1.40 for the Jans and offer $3.10 for the March calls and if you end up cashing out for 10% higher than you are now – no biggie and if you end up filling the March first and you end up 2x long at what we think is a bottom for GLD – no biggie either.  

    /NG/Albo – Well now I have the /NGJ6s, which is April, so I'm not too concerned about this dip into rollovers (but I am still annoyed).  That UGAZ is getting interesting now.  

    /RB and /CL flying at least – takes some of the sting out of /NG.  

    TASR/Coke – Well, TASR is at $17 so the only "problem" with the short $15 puts is if you lied when you said you'd like to own TASR for $15.  That leaves us with the 2017 $20/25 bull call spread which you invested $2,600 into but the 2017 $20s are still $2.85 and that's $5,700 which is more than $2,600 so that's good, right?  Since $20 may not be the best target, now you can take that $5,700 (selling the 2017 $20s) and buy yourself some 2018 $15 calls ($7.30) and sell the $22 calls for $4.50, which is about an even roll for your $5,700.    Then, you have the short 2017 $25s ($2.05) and you can leave them with a stop on 1/2 at $3 or you can roll 1/2 of them to the Jan $19s ($1.15) and put a stop on those at $1.50 in the hopes TASR doesn't pop so fast and you can keep picking up $1,000 every couple of months selling short calls.  

    Usually/Stock – I'd sell it against longs you already have – can be very dangerous if something major happens.  

    VRX/Albo – I think he's got a way to go before he's happy. 

  44. Miles to go.

  45. Thanks Phil,  I'll get right on that, over the weekend…it will take me that long to work it out.  No joke.  

  46. UNG – just wow. Either this is a blow-off bottom (contracts rolling today or something?) or we are heading to a new world order where energy is free for some reason.

    I doubt it is the latter. But I guess you never know…

  47. Look at CMG.  That's why I was staying away from it for now.

  48. Look at NMBL. Down 50% on a miss and lower guidance. Infrastructure companies have no chance.

  49. LOL Coke – think of it as brain exercises to avoid senility.  wink

    UNG/BDC – I think we should immediately draw up a business plan based on being able to buy nat gas for $2 long-term.  Think of all the other fuels we could replace!  What could go wrong?

    CMG/Rustle – Crazy stock. Reflexive dip buying but apparently they are adding more stores to shutdown list for cleaning to be safe (as in better than sorry). 

    NMBL/Harip – Wow, PSTG too.  

    Well, on the bright side, all 3 of our energy plays worked from the morning post:

    Not bad for taking into the weekend…

  50. UGAZ / Albo – This has to be viewed only as short term trading instrument as I mentioned before. Since July it's down over 70% while NatGas is down 22% or so. Or you have to look at a longer term chart and wait for the trend to reverse. The best way to trade these 3x ETF is around TA. I know that Phil is not a fan, but these are more technical instruments than fundamentals to begin with. For example, going long when Money Flow is oversold seems to yield some good results. We are not there now so worrisome with today's move!

  51. KBIO – biotech mania. This thing was at 90 cents a few days ago. I wish my penny stocks would do this more often!

  52. Not funding R&D at the universities is not the recipe for science leadership… But hey, tax cuts and deficits are more important:

    Of course, private funding helps but it's not always without strings attached!

  53. Conspiracy theory:  large short holder of CMG driving state to state to sprinkle e-coli into food bins.

  54. BioDiesel: "UNG – just wow. Either this is a blow-off bottom (contracts rolling today or something?) or we are heading to a new world order where energy is free for some reason.

    I doubt it is the latter. But I guess you never know…"

    Worry not, the latter. As for the former, again, mid Dec contraction, with a lag going out 30-60 days, bottom March 2016 – maybe. 

    Phil – Draghi Fever – thanks alot I prefer Enter The Draghi, that way I don't have that stupid song bouncing around in my empty head. Gotta love Burt Sugarman, The Midnight Special. Did you know he produced the film: Children of A Lesser God? And his wife is none other than Mary Hart? That's our useless trivia for the day, designed to feed you head. 

    Tangledweb – CMG ecoli – no conspiracy, just the revenge of the Bagwan Rashneesh – perp of the first bioterror attack on US soil, post indigenous Indians.

    ScottMi – Mediterranean Sundance – Here is a clip from the reunion 32 years later circa 2012 in Germany.  I would have given my left, well you know, to see it again.  Dont want to be over the top you know, right Phil? Out.

  55. Conspiracy would be, who pushed it up almost 40 points in the last 3 days to then probably dump stock at a higher price.

  56. At least 22 people were killed in Mali’s capital as gunmen claiming loyalty to al-Qaeda took over a luxury hotel, the latest in a wave of jihadist attacks on three continents.

  57. Tesla Motors Inc. said it’s conducting its largest-ever recall of all 90,000 Model S cars because of a single report of a front seat belt not being properly connected. The shares fell.

  58. One week a refugee family is fleeing the brutality of civil war and living in a shipping container near the Syrian border, and the next they might be moving into a furnished apartment in Cleveland. Completing this trek from war-torn villages to safety in the U.S. can take years and involves a complex apparatus of donors, volunteers, nonprofit organizations, and U.S. State Department personnel. But the resettlement process ends just like every American apartment rental story: with a signature on a lease.

  59. When Antonio Peña Arguelles opened an account in 2005 at Citigroup’s Banamex USA, the know-your-customer documents said he had a small business breeding cattle and white-tailed deer, ranch-raised for their stately antlers. About $50 a month would come into the account, according to the documents.

  60. Bill Gross turned to derivatives to make a big bet on emerging-market debt after taking the helm of a Janus Capital Group Inc. fund more than a year ago. One thing he didn’t let stop him: regulatory guidelines that lay out how much fund managers should use them.

  61. Volkswagen AG’s diesel-emission scandal just got a little bigger.

  62. Citigroup Inc. promoted an executive who Tom Hayes, a former colleague who is now a convicted felon, has repeatedly said was aware of Libor manipulation, according to two people with knowledge of the situation.

  63. Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis President James Bullard said investors should prepare for uncertainty on whether the Federal Open Market Committee will raise its target interest rate at each meeting next year, as the era of signaling moves is over.

  64. has solidified her lead nationally in the Democratic presidential nominating contest, amassing a 25-point advantage over Vermont Senator  and earning higher scores than her closest competitor on a range of traits important to potential voters, including the ability to combat terrorism.

  65. Glencore Plc, the commodity trader and miner that’s lost two-thirds of its value this year, may be on the cusp of a rebound if analyst recommendations to investors are any guide.

  66. An E. coli outbreak linked to Chipotle Mexican Grill Inc. has spread to a total of six states, including California and New York, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

  67. Copper’s worst rout in seven years will be prolonged by the industry’s reluctance to shut major mines, some of which are already unprofitable, according to the world’s top miner.

  68. “Empire,” Fox’s highest-rated TV show, drew an audience of 25 million to its season premiere this fall. Yet only about 20 million of those viewers officially counted.

  69. Even small toy drones can pose a significant hazard to traditional planes and helicopters in a collision, according to a study.

  70. When Brazil’s Dilma Rousseff was sworn in for her second presidential term in January, she proclaimed that maintaining jobs and raising salaries were her “greatest priority.” Months later, real wages are falling and — even with people leaving the workforce — unemployment has spiked to its highest in more than six years. How does all this look on the ground?

  71. President Mario Draghi’s speech today and European Central Bank accounts yesterday show the euro-area’s central bank is open to doing more to stimulate the region’s economy given it sees downside risks to inflation.

  72. The outlook for U.S. natural gas’s recovery got worse this week and you can blame the usual suspects: weather and record inventories.

  73. U.S. sugar producers and makers of high-fructose corn syrup resolved a over dueling accusations they misled consumers about the risks and benefits of their sweeteners.

  74. The Netherlands is back in the top league of best-rated countries in the euro area after Standard and Poor’s re-awarded an AAA rating two years after taking it away.

  75. All sides in the contentious debate over how much ethanol to blend into the nation’s gasoline are making their final pitches as the Obama administration nears a Nov. 30 deadline to set three years’ worth of renewable fuel quotas.

  76. STJ- All valid points on UGAZ .  Have been day trading around a position.  Overall still profitable at this point, but it's just like any other 3X ETF.  Made for trading, not owning, except on a very short term basis.

  77. A little selling pressure into the close but not so bad. 

    Strings/StJ – You mean like killing studies that show global warming is man-made or pushing your radical agendas?  

    In 2007, when the Charles Koch Foundation considered giving millions of dollars to Florida State University’s economics department, the offer came with strings attached.

    First, the curriculum it funded must align with the libertarian, deregulatory economic philosophy of Charles Koch, the billionaire industrialist and Republican political bankroller.

    Second, the Charles Koch Foundation would at least partially control which faculty members Florida State University hired.

    And third, Bruce Benson, a prominent libertarian economic theorist and Florida State University economics department chairman, must stay on another three years as department chairman — even though he told his wife he’d step down in 2009 after one three-year term.

    The Charles Koch Foundation expressed a willingness to give Florida State an extra $105,000 to keep Benson — a self-described “libertarian anarchist” who asserts that every government function he’s studied “can be, has been, or is being produced better by the private sector” — in place.

    Political success, Kevin Gentry told a crowd of elite supporters attending the annual Koch confab in Dana Point, Calif., begins with reaching young minds in college lecture halls, thereby preparing bright, libertarian-leaning students to one day occupy the halls of political power.

    “The [Koch] network is fully integrated, so it’s not just work at the universities with the students, but it’s also building state-based capabilities and election capabilities and integrating this talent pipeline,” he said.

    “So you can see how this is useful to each other over time,” he continued. “No one else has this infrastructure. We’re very excited about doing it.”

    When, in March, 2014, economist Art Hall testified before the Kansas state senate urging repeal of the state’s renewable energy standard, he identified himself—accurately—as the executive director of the Center for Applied Economics at the University of Kansas School of Business. As preferred by the university, Hall also noted that he did not speak for the school or the Kansas Board of Regents, claiming the views he expressed were “his alone.”

    But, as the documents recently released by the university show, Hall left out some pertinent information: The funding for the research on which his testimony was based came from a grant from a foundation controlled by Charles and David Koch; his academic center was founded and endowed by the Kochs; the foundation paid a portion of his salary; and Hall took the position as the Center’s first executive director directly after having spent seven years working for a Koch subsidiary as an economist and lobbyist.

    Of course, considering that Koch Industries, the second largest privately-held company in the United States, has significant holdings in oil refining, pipelines, gas production, and coal, Hall’s testimony disparaging renewable energy standards would likely have been perceived differently had he disclosed his close ties to the Kochs rather than portraying himself as an independent, unaffiliated researcher at a state university.

    That’s why the case is so noteworthy. The secret funding of Hall’s academic work raises questions about the political strings attached to the many millions of dollars the Koch brothers are known to have spent in the past decade at colleges and universities around the country. Even more broadly, cases such as this one—with its stark appearance of a conflict of interest—point to the urgent need for greater transparency about academic funding to ensure that independent scientific and economic analysis is actually independent.

    This is really sick stuff but listen to the GOP and they'll tell you how the liberals are controlling the media, etc….  

    CMG/Tangled – Sadly, that would be pretty easy to accomplish.  

    Trivia/Naybob – My, that is trivial.  Actually, my Draghi Fever song has a different tune.  

    Oil and gas with a very funny collapse into the NYMEX close.  

    Gotta stay on your toes in this market!  

  78. Phil – Stay on your toes – BKLN and JNK, toit.

  79. Meanwhile, these guys aren't terrorists, they're our allies!  

    Saudis to execute poet for apostasy. Riyadh is often part of the Sunni extremist problem,not the solution


    A Saudi court on Tuesday ordered the execution of Ashraf Fayadh, who has curated art shows in Jeddah and at the Venice Biennale. The poet, who said he did not have legal representation, was given 30 days to appeal against the ruling.

    Fayadh, 35, a key member of the British-Saudi art organisation Edge of Arabia, was originally sentenced to four years in prison and 800 lashes by the general court in Abha, a city in the south-west of the ultraconservative kingdom, in May 2014.

    But after his appeal was dismissed he was retried last month and a new panel of judges ruled that his repentance did not prevent his execution.

    “I was really shocked but it was expected, though I didn’t do anything that deserves death,” Fayadh told the Guardian.

    The world is a very messed up place!  

    Sen. Marco Rubio (R-FL) seems to be trying to Trump Trump in bigotry against U.S. Muslims. Rubio said last night…

    CNN, a mouthpiece for the surveillance-industrial complex, suspends reporter who shows empathy for refugees. Sick

    Sweden Says It Can No Longer House All Refugees Arriving

    Can you believe the worst Mayor in the U.S., & probably the worst Mayor in the history of , , just called me a blow hard!

  80. Yes, Phil, these strings… Which is why R&D can't be left only in the hands of private enterprises! It's bad enough that we have the Inquisition in charge of Congress right now cutting funding for science that shows that the earth revolves around the sun and is more than 6000 years old! 

    And then we have this:

    Conservative members of the Texas Board of Education don’t want to create a group of state university professors to fact-check students’ textbooks for potential errors, despite recent controversies over factually inaccurate information about slavery in schools’ educational materials.

  81. Facts/StJ – Well, you can't spell F*ck Texas without facts!  

  82. I'm not sure if I can't believe I bought 3 more /NGJ6s or if I ONLY bought 3 more /NGJ6s???

  83. CMG breaks right through $550 and there's still 44 states they haven't closed yet…

  84. We might still end the day green… Erasing the losses from last week it seems.

  85. Phil/StJL – "Facts/StJ – Well, you can't spell F*ck Texas without facts!  "

    Plenty of strings StJ and they would not support your "radical" agenda, nor mine… and Phil could extend that list of states substantially. An educated populace is a dangerous populace. Stupid people are easier to lead to slaughter. Silence of the lambs Baby!… Just sayin. Out.

  86. gotta love these blackrock muni funds. Check out MUE, yields 6.4% tax free, trades for a dollar under NAV, relatively stable chart history. Sure muni's can go down, but so can JNK, and they only yield 6.16% before taxes!

    You think all of these bonds could possibly default? (start at page 15). Seems like a no-brainer. I think it's under priced because "investors" are just gamblers out to chase alpha at their own expense.

  87. Green it is!  what a crazy week.

    Have a great weekend everyone!

    - Phil

  88. Very interesting Bio.  I'm going to definitely take a look at that.

  89. MUE/BDC – Nothing wrong with that one – it's a great tax-free fund.  Doesn't tend to go up much and no options but throws off those dividends so, if you want $64,000 a year and you have $1M to invest – it's the way to go!  

    Since it's tax free – it's like getting 10% annually and that's very hard to match with safe options plays.  Dividends dipped from 0.87 to 0.60 during the crash and are still only 0.82 but still, if you have $10M to sock away and want to draw $640,000 tax free – it's not terrible.

  90. Did you call me radical Naybob… Was that a compliment?

    Maybe it's the influence of my early environment – I was born in the hometown of these 2 radicals:

    Charles Fourier
    Pierre-Joseph Proudhon

    But also Victor Hugo….

  91. Since it debuted in 2008, Google Chrome has quickly risen to be the most popular web browser in the world, beating out Firefox and Internet Explorer.  But that doesn’t mean you can’t make it better. There are many extensions and programs…

  92. In a note released earlier today, following its first Top 6 trades for the coming year, Goldman released what it believes will be the Top 10 Market Themes for 2016, at the very top of which the bold claim that…

  93. Submitted by Michael Snyder via The Economic Collapse blog, If the U.S. economy really is in “great shape”, then why do all of the numbers keep telling us that we are in a recession?  The manufacturing numbers say that we…

  94. I wonder of our Oort Cloud touches Alpha Centauri's Oort Cloud? That would be kinda cool.

  95. Phil any ideas about what brought oil down at the end of the day? I thought we would see it pop even higher with rig count news and upcoming holiday. I guess lots of traders did too and this move was to shake us out into next week. I hate "them".

  96. StJL – radical – no I did not call you a radical – that's what the quote marks are for – just kidding about Phil's quip earlier – Phil: "Strings/StJ – You mean like killing studies that show global warming is man-made or pushing your radical agendas?  "

    You spawn from Fourier transforms, original anarchists and Quasimodo, there is an order to this insane plane of existence, and only you really know if its a compliment.  A taste of my "radical" background, near where I am from every year we celebrate the Mugnaia. When the Marquis Raineri di Biandrate tried to exert his Droit du seigneur or jus primae noctis, Mugnaia became the first publicized Lorena Bobbitt. But the Millers daughter didn't stop there, while he was groveling in pain on his knees, she made it a double header. Then hung his other head out a window of the castle embattlements and sparked a revolution which drove that wretched hive of scum and villainy out.  We reenact this every year in the Battle of The Oranges. Throwing tomatoes in summer? We throw frozen blood oranges in the dead of winter, it's like a rain of citrus baseballs while proudly wearing our Phrygian caps, much like those French revolutionaries or "radicals". You haven't lived till you have seen and experienced the insanity of this Carnevale.  8AM -The breakfast of champions, polenta washed down with mulled wine and grappa back, a little energy and anesthetic for the pain to come. Next time you visit, perhaps Lyon, Chamonix, or Carnevale?  à bientôt.

  97. Naybob – Sorry, I guess I should have also used quote marks as well as it was meant to be humorous!

    I guess I'll have to add to my long list of places to visit now! Just the breakfast alone would work for me although grappa early in the morning would probably induce sleep quite rapidly for me! 

    BTW, different Fourrier! Mine is the socialist philosopher! Maybe related…

  98. Pretty good advice:

    If you are looking for mean reversion trades, then yes when prices get a little ahead of themselves away from a flat 200 day moving average, expect a reversion to the mean, not a new trend. The bigger point I’m trying to make here, however, is that when prices are anywhere near a flat 200 day, that’s one we want to stay clear from – long or short. This is when the biggest headaches are created. I learned this lesson the hard way after many years of ignoring something this simple.

  99. On a personal basis, it was a good week for the family as my oldest daughter got engaged. The lucky fellow is nice kid from Argentina and they now plan on moving to Barcelona to live! I am sorry they will be far away, but I Ieft my entire family to come to the US when I was 21 so I can't really complain much. 

  100. Congratulations.  And I could think of worse places than Barcelona to live.  You will very much enjoy your family visits.  Spent 5 years there before moving to the Carib/FL/CO, miss it quite a bit.  A most civilized city with mountains, ocean, beautiful buildings, parks and museums, and wonderful food.  Never could understand "Catala" though — they speak Castilian at work, and switch to Catalan the moment they hit the streets.  Was on the phone to my ex-partner in Barcelona a few days ago while standing on a Florida highway in the middle of nowhere trying to find a taxi. Sigh.  "Those whom the g-ds would punish they first send to Florida." 

  101. 0×0 – FLA – " "Those whom the g-ds would punish they first send to Florida." "

    Florida, God's waiting room.

    StJL – Transforms – Yes, not Joseph Fourier – Re: Charles - The transformation of labor into pleasure is the central idea in Fourier's giant socialist utopia.

  102. The final turn/ time to review how the year has gone, lessons to be learnt and positioning myself for stellar returns in 2016 and beyond. First up, how have things been going – the historical perspective on the S&P500,T-bills and T-bonds is here (data up to Jan 2015). 10 year returns on the S&P 500 running @ 7.6%; T-bills @ 1.4%, T-bonds @4.9%. YTD the major indices are DJIA 1.7%; NAZ 7.1%; Russell 2000 -2.0%; S&P500 3% (morningstar)

    I always like to check in on how the 'Lazy Portfolios' are doing over on Paul Farrell's page at MarketWatch. So far underperforming the US indices. Looking back at the historical performance of these 'set and forget' portfolios, over the last 10 year period one would have been better off parking cash in the S&P500.

    The thread on MUE was a wake up call on checking how my portfolios have done this year and what I could have done better. What a stunner of a passive return of 6% for MUE. I suppose the only couple of words that come to mind are 'Orange County'. But maybe things have changed since then in the municipal bonds space. But I digress. As for my real money portfolio where cash is king but the responsibility to use it when things are cheap weighs heavy. Cash in a business is great, better than unsold inventory, but when business is good and the customers are buying we need to make sure our machines are at full capacity, our CAPEX is ramped up and distribution at retail is loaded. With paper money you don't need to worry about those things – it comes into the equation as often it does for my mother's monthly pension check. The only market she's invested in is the one at the town square. But for real money, hard cash, there is the opportunity cost of not making it work for you. If you are running your own business and you have the skills and tools able to make more than the carrying cost of cash (and if you have been on this board long enough then it applies to everyone in that category) then you really should be looking at how you can find opportunities that beat your pre-defined hurdle rate – all the time every time. That means the long and the short ones. My long game is good, my defensive short strategies suck. And I am a long way away from having a credible strategy for when the market crashes. Note to self; Key point to work on for 2016.

  103. Barcelona / Zero – My sister lived there for 15 years and I had an office there for 5 years so I am quite familiar with the area and I love it. It's my first choice for retirement right now although that could change…

  104. Good morning! 

    Oort clouds/BDC – Gosh, you make it sound so dirty….  surprise

    Radicals/Naybob – I think the problem, apart from the lack of a smiley face, is that by "your" I meant the the radical RIGHT agenda of the Koch Brothers, not StJ's radical anything, which I thought was clear when preceding the article below it but certainly not when you take a snippet out of context.  Therefore your follow-up re. StJ's "radical" agenda made no sense, though your own radical bona fides are quite evident to anyone who takes the trouble to work out the Gordian knot of sentences you tend to drop during the day.  cheeky  Your description of life on Tatooine sounds hard – it explains a lot knowing your background.  As an elder in my own village, I have very mixed feelings about your celebration of a woman who defied the time-honored tradition of Prima Nocta – those were the days, my friend.

    Good point on the 200-dma, StJ – it does only tell you the middle of the range and is not, itself, support or resistance (much like the "no conviction" zone I draw on oil charts).  Still, it's a good long-term trend change indicator when crossed above or below.  

    11-19-15 tsla

    Congratulations on the engagement, StJ!  While it sucks to be far from the kids, I think having our parents in Florida, at a respectful distance, ended up being great for family harmony!  Also, I had one set of Grandparents who lived in my town and another set in the UK and I spent more time with my English grandparents as my brother and I used to get shipped off for weeks at a time – so you have that to look forward to!  Nothing better than getting to be the cool Grandpa in a foreign land!  

    Fourier/Naybob – Gee, I always thought the central idea of his was setting up millions of orgy camps – that's what I got out of it, anyway….  wink  I'm always suspicious of letting entitled people who never had to work for a living design "ideal" social structures for the rest of us.  

    S&P/Winston – Not many investors can beat the S&P over the long haul and there's nothing wrong with hitting the mark on a 7.6% return which turns $100,000 into $900,000 over 30 years.  This is what people fail to understand about compound returns – while 7.6% seems dull, compounding it over 30 years leaves you with an 800% gain which averages 26.6% per year.  Unfortunately, it takes several years before people realize that slow and steady does indeed win the race.  That's why I'm keeping the LTP running for a few years this time – I want to hammer home the value of those long-term investments.  

    Of course, part of that strategy is foregoing returns during rough times.  This is a year in which the S&P went nowhere and we've played it cautious – especially since the August drop because, had it not been for massive coordinated action from China, Japan, Europe and the US at the time – things could easily have been much worse.  

    Protecting capital is a valid strategy but, unfortunately, it's the hardest one to get people to understand because there's always going to be something they wish they had bought.  If you think about it though – all of your life there are all these opportunities you "missed" out on and those stick in your mind, but it's a trick as you never register all the losses you avoided at the same time.  

    As you note, the long game is working but the short game is very tricky with all this Government interference and so we've chosen to be mainly in cash, rather than trying to hedge a heavily invested portfolio.  Because of that, in the past month, our STP/LTP combo has lost about $20,000 but I have no regrets as we avoided a lot of drama – which I imagine you've already forgotten happened just 2 weeks ago:


    So, on the whole, I have to stand by my decision to pretty much not play in Nov – I thought we were toppy at 2,100 when the month began and I think we're toppy at 2,100 as the month is ending.  We did add AAPL and IBM and a few other great stocks on the dip but, on the whole, I'd rather stay flexible through the end of the year.  

  105. Actually, looking at the LTP, we did trades on BHI, BRCM and RIG in Nov – so not nothing.  In Oct we did ABX, ARO, COH, IRBT, UNG and YHOO – that's actually a fair amount of activity for two months (and very nice diversification)!  I guess I say "Cashy and Cautious" so often that people forget we are making trades – we're simply making careful ones since we're unsure of the environment.  Is that really so terrible?

  106. Good points Phil. Reflecting on the amount of time and effort it takes to manage an options portfolio on an active basis, one really does see the 'appeal' of a simplified approach to managing a large (monetary value) portfolio. I always liked your initiative on focussing on SPY for a large value portfolio – managing it in the way you do with the Butterfly portfolio. I really would like to see a discussion on that topic with varied perspectives.

    I agree that hedging a large portfolio is problematic. I looked at it and rejected it, based on that fact I did not think I could manage it from a psychological perspective. Cash is easier, and you are right to make careful and cautious plays in an uncertain environment. Having said that, based on the fluctuation of my portfolio month to month in 2015 there are a few red lines worth mentioning.

    I could have gone away at the end of May and woken up this weekend to find out the portfolio value is the same today as it was end May. I thought about it, (I had the same prediliction in May 2014), but did not have the nerve to do it.

    For my portfolio, cashing out in August or September and therefore missing the month of October would have been catastrophic.

    Cashing out at the end of October would have been a genius move. However I remained in my positions and fortunately I weathered the pullback in early November and enjoyed the snapback during the last two weeks. Missing that snapback would have been equally disastrous.

    For me this tends to confirm conventional wisdom that it is very difficult to time the market. I am not yet at your level of experience to move in and out of the market with such foresight. Hopefully that will come before the afterlife beckons :)

  107. Phil – What do you think about STWD as a REIT. These guys will certainly suffer with rate hikes but I really don't see the Fed raising very quickly no matter what. STWD pays close to 10% in dividend and their financials looks OK to me on a quick analysis. Not expensive, good margins and still growing. They don't have long term options, but you can sell the 2016 Jun 20 for about $1.00 and collect $0.96 in dividend so your cost basis by then is about $18.35. Repeat that between June and December and you are close to $16.00 as cost. Or you are called away for an annual return of about 20%. Not fancy, but pretty decent. Even if everything doesn't go all right, you should be able to get your cost basis close to zero in 5 years or so! Of add to your position much cheaper!

  108. Talking about compound interest:

    And that little nugget for expecting parents:

    Make your child a millionaire: If you’re expecting kids any time soon, you could make your child a millionaire by age 65 by unleashing the power of compound interest. Start investing for your kids from day one and if you earn an average annual interest rate of 8%, then tucking away just £1.48 a day will do the trick. Not a bad present in these days of pension insecurity. Just make sure they can’t get their mitts on the moolah a day earlier!

  109. This idea could be expanded:

    Having a hard time motivating yourself to exercise? What if somebody offered to pay you work out? That's the idea behind Bitwalking — an app, digital currency and marketplace that pays its users 1BW$ (Bitwalking dollar) for every 10,000 steps they take.

    The idea behind the app is about more than simply bribing people into getting up and moving more — its founders actually hope that it will be able to give people in developing countires another source of income. The company has set up "Bitwalking hubs" in Malawi, for instance, designed to help users learn to manage, trade and spend the digital currency they earn bitwalking.

    Maybe health insurance company should get in the action and rebate customers $1 for each day they walk 10,000 steps! We have the trackers for that now. Getting paid for something that is good for you seems like a a win-win idea. And walking that much reduces your risk of heart disease dramatically so good for the insurance company anyway.

  110. StJ/ REITs – the only issue I have is to address the question – aren't they (the dividends) too good to be true? If I can get 7% a year on a relatively risk free basis it would certainly be worth a certain part of my portfolio. So where is the risk, otherwise everyone and their dog would be buying into them, wouldn't they?

  111. Winston – Not without risk for sure. But they have been around for a while so some might be worth a shot.

  112. Steven Devisscher’s bar in downtown Brussels normally teems with more than 200 customers quaffing specialty Belgian beers on a Saturday night. Not last night.

  113. There’s a “strong case” for a Federal Reserve interest rate increase in December assuming U.S. economic data continues to be encouraging, San Francisco Fed President John Williams said, adding that the slope of increases after an initial move is “most important.”

  114. The number of jobs gutted from oil and gas companies around the world has now passed the 250,000 mark, with still more to come, according to industry consultant Graves & Co.

  115. Argentines are voting in the nation’s first ever runoff election Sunday as opposition candidate Mauricio Macri leads polls and vows broad economic reforms from lifting currency controls to resolving lingering disputes with bondholders that have choked off investment.

  116. The U.S. proposed new Obamacare rules Friday that it says will make it easier for people to shop for health insurance, protect them from some out-of-pocket costs, and help states run the marketplaces where plans are sold.

  117. U.S. stock investors stopped worrying about higher interest rates, at least for this week.

  118. The winter doldrums that have beleaguered the U.S. economy over the past two years may come to an end in 2016.

  119. It’s going to get worse before it gets better for Chipotle. 

  120. Chancellor of the Exchequer George Osborne will make the fight against Islamic State a focus of his Spending Review on Wednesday amid plans to boost the U.K.’s counter-terrorism budget by almost a third.

  121. Saudi Arabian stocks rose to the highest level in four weeks, tracking gains across the U.S. and Europe last week, after the country’s oil minister said OPEC and other crude producers are working to stabilize the market.

  122. A year ago, plunging oil prices sent the ruble spiraling to record lows and bank depositors scrambling to get their cash. Sberbank, Russia’s biggest lender, ran through tremendous amounts of cash to survive a run it dubbed Black December—300 tons of it, 1.3 trillion rubles ($20.8 billion), in a single week. “All we could do was relax and pray,” Sberbank Chief Executive Officer Herman Gref says, recalling the worst moment in his eight years of running the state-controlled lender.

  123. Pour yourself a tall mug of dark brew, and settle in for our longer form weekend reads:

  124. It’s possible the biggest cause of gentrification in formerly depressed urban areas is that today’s skilled workers can’t spare the time to commute. If true, this has implications for businesses ranging from real estate development to tech — and raises the question of why companies still insist that white-collar employees come in to work.

  125. Matt Waxman and Maxx Yellin careen into New York’s Madison Square Park one gray weekday afternoon riding two-wheeled scooters that look like Roombas for your feet. Before they can even roll to a stop, Hugo Melo, a 21-year-old freelance developer and “aspiring founder,” as he describes himself, points at their feet and asks, “What is that?”

  126. Fox, the broadcast network owned by 21st Century Fox Inc., will stop issuing ratings based on how many people watch its shows live or soon after they air, saying the measure is no longer relevant because so many viewers catch up later.

  127. People want to believe they have good instincts, but when it comes to hiring, they can’t best a computer. Hiring managers select worse job candidates than the ones recommended by an algorithm, new research from the National Bureau of Economic Research finds.

  128. Reports of emerging markets’ death-by-debt have been greatly exaggerated.

  129. French President Francois Hollande’s approval rating jumped to its highest since January, the first public poll since the Paris terrorist attacks showed.

  130. Euro-area member states agreed to disburse the funds necessary for the recapitalization of Greece’s battered banks, as Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras sought consensus from opposition parties, following defections that whittled down his slim parliamentary majority.

  131. OPEC should make room for increased Iranian crude production within its ceiling of 30 million barrels a day, the nation’s oil minister said, adding the group will probably leave that limit unchanged when it meets next month.

  132. A ban on street rallies and protests in the Paris region will be extended until the end of November, Agence France-Presse reported citing a police statement.

  133. Pakistan kept its benchmark interest rate unchanged to support the rupee, which is among Asia’s worst performing currencies this quarter.

  134. The euro-area stability pact has enough flexibility to accommodate extra deficit spending planned by France, and the European economic recovery isn’t threatened by the attacks on Paris, European Commissioner Pierre Moscovici said.

  135. A Japanese government-backed fund intends to spend about $40 million to support a high-speed rail project being advocated in Texas, adding to support from Japan Central Railway Co.

  136. Type to Search Design InspirationDesign InspirationHouse ToursHome MakeoversCelebrity StyleReal Estate Room IdeasRoom IdeasKitchensKitchen of the MonthBathroomsLiving + Family RoomsBedroomsDining RoomsEntrywaysOutdoorsLibraries + OfficesColor Inspiration How to RenovateHow to RenovateExpert Renovation TipsDesigner TipsDIY Projects LifestyleLifestyleRecipes + CookbooksKitchen TipsGardeningCleaningOrganizingKids + PetsSites We LoveFun…

  137. Since it debuted in 2008, Google Chrome has quickly risen to be the most popular web browser in the world, beating out Firefox and Internet Explorer.  But that doesn’t mean you can’t make it better. There are many extensions and programs…

  138. Paris changed American politics, though no one can say how much, or for how long. Republicans hope to turn the 2016 election into a referendum on “national security.” House Republicans got the ball rolling with a bill to effectively bar all…

  139. New York (AFP) – Lackluster earnings reports from retailers have raised questions about whether the 2015 holiday shopping season will bring as much of a boost to the US economy as hoped.  Apparel giant Gap and kitchen and home furnishings…

  140. With the US economy growing at a meager 1.6% pace, tighter financial conditions may be the last thing we need. One area of the market that does a nice job of offering a leading indication of financial conditions is the…

  141. __________________________________________________________________ / ______________________________________________________________ | / | | | | | | | | | | | | | | | | | | | | | | | ____ _ ___ ___ ___ ___ ____ ___ ____ ____…

  142. By EconMatters Copper Long Dollar Trade One of the common trades in financial markets these days is going long the US Dollar and shorting Commodities, especially the precious and industrial metals. This has been a bad year for commodities, and…

  143. We’re sorry, the content for this article is unavailable. The content owner has asked for it to be omitted from Readability. You can view the original article by visiting

  144. Seven years after the Fed unleashed ZIRP and QE to “fix the economy”, it has finally admitted that ZIRP and QE failed to do that (although they certainly succeeded in blowing the biggest asset bubble ever), and for the past…

  145. The US dollar has appreciated markedly over the past 18 months and is now moderately above fair-value when viewed from a long-term perspective. If, as seems probable, the Federal Reserve hikes rates in December, the US will be embarking on…

  146. Copyright © 2015 Gallup, Inc. All rights reserved. Copyright © 2015 Gallup, Inc. All rights reserved. Gallup, Inc. maintains several registered and unregistered trademarks that include but may not be limited to: A8, Accountability Index, Business Impact Analysis, BE10, CE11,…

  147. Peak season usually is the most wonderful time of the year for shipping companies thanks to a surge in holiday orders. But this year, it is highlighting the growing gap between the transportation industry’s haves and have nots. Peak season…

  148. All great monetary fiascos are forged upon a foundation of misperceptions and flawed premises. There’s always an underlying disturbance in money and Credit masked by supposed new understandings, technologies, capabilities and superior financial apparatus. During the nineties “New Paradigm” period,…

  149. With every bounce in the price of oil, US producers used enhanced techniques to get more and more oil out of existing wells. So even as rig counts collapsed, production is barely off the highs, at a price that isn’t…

  150. Phil- I think it may be time to pull the bets on Nat Gas for the time being. The forecasts have been adjusted again to extend the warm weather into mid December and based on the growing El Nino this could become the winter that never gets cold. I was in a weather sensitive business for most of my life and became a student of winter weather. The El Nino effect this year is almost unprecedented as it grows to a huge size not seen in modern times. There was a winter in the nineties when we saw 70 degree temps at Christmas and that was the last large El Nino, This one looks to be bigger and it could be that long with global warming we are seeing a year when temperatures don't get really cold for a long while. We may see Nat Gas prices of historically low levels for a while too. We may want to consider pulling our UNG and /NG bets for the time being until we see this reverse in long range forecasts. Just a thought for your consideration. While temperatures are not the only factor in the price it sure does seem that it is a big factor right now.

  151. Fully armed police ready to go in Times Square

  152. Wow, this weekend got even weirder on the GOP primary. It seems that Trump is really working hard to have every single minority hate him… and riding high in the primary polls! Apparently hatemongering plays very well with the base. Really, really scary! What the difference between that base and the ayatollahs?

  153. Now a broad based move last week – even though the indices are climbing, still more stock making new lows than new highs:

  154. I have seen the Man in the High Castle on Amazon but read the book 30 years ago and I love Philip K. Dick:

    But they seem to make a good point in the show and it's actually quite current:

    It might be reading a little too deeply into this, but this is a story that needs to be taken in, and The Man in the High Castle really drives home some important points. Given all that’s happening in the world now, from rising immigrant and anti-Islamic rhetoric, people as a whole are willing to do terrible things when their country’s political leaders point the finger. Amazon’s show isn’t a reaction to this, but it’s timing is impeccable.

    Ultimately, The Man In The High Castle is about the limits that people will endure in the name of peace and security, but also makes a point that it’s human nature to go along with what everyone else is doing. 

    Germany in the 30's showed that and there are plenty more examples of that in history!

  155. Phil--what do you think needs to happen for nat gas to turn? It seems like capitulation every day but then it drops another 5%. Crazy.

  156. Are we shorting /NKD at 20k? Or stay away because the dollar is so strong? 

  157. David Tepper says a yuan devaluation may be coming in China. John Burbank warns that a hard landing there could spark a global recession.

  158. Sunday’s election of opposition candidate Mauricio Macri marks a moment investors have been waiting for in Argentina for a long time.

  159. Global stocks fell for the first time in six days as the sell-off in commodities continued. Last week the MSCI All Country World Index posted its biggest weekly gain in six weeks. The S&P 500 Index had its best week of 2015. The countdown to the Dec.15-16 Federal Reserve meeting continues. Over the weekend San Francisco Fed President John Williams said there is a “” for a U.S. rate increase in December, assuming economic data continue to be encouraging. The odds of a move have risen to 70 percent from 36 percent a month ago, according to Bloomberg data.

  160. The search for a key suspect in the Paris terror attacks kept the Belgian capital in an unprecedented lockdown that brought business to a standstill as European leaders vowed to tackle the crisis at its roots in Syria.

  161. The Federal Reserve may already have made a monetary-policy mistake and paved the way for the next U.S. recession.

  162. The world’s biggest mining companies face a combined $10 billion risk to their earnings if carbon pricing tightens in the wake of crucial global climate talks in Paris starting next week, according to a report from U.K. non-profit organization CDP.

  163. The longer oil languishes, the more pressure builds on Saudi Arabia to abandon its currency peg.

  164. Alibaba Group Holding Ltd.’s founder Jack Ma is in talks to buy a stake in the publisher of Hong Kong’s South China Morning Post, according to people familiar with the matter, in what could make him the latest Internet-industry tycoon to pursue the revival of a traditional newspaper.

  165. Hedge funds are betting gold’s decline is far from over, as the metal’s month-long slide deepened on expectations for higher U.S. interest rates.

  166. A slump in commodities deepened, with industrial metals and oil leading losses as the dollar extended gains. European equities retreated after the region’s equities posted their biggest weekly advance in four weeks.

  167. Economic activity in the euro area hit a 4 1/2-year high this month, according to a new report that also pointed to weak price pressures.

  168. Treasuries were little changed, following a two-week advance, as economists said a government report Tuesday will show U.S. gross domestic product grew more quickly in the third quarter than earlier estimated.

  169. Growth in France’s services sector slowed this month, with hotels and restaurants reporting that the Nov. 13 terrorist attacks in Paris had a negative impact on business.

  170. Investor expectations of further monetary easing from European Central Bank President Mario Draghi have pushed yields on more than $2 trillion of euro-area government securities below zero.

  171. Germany’s economic output picked up this month and companies reported that new business rose at the fastest pace in two years.

  172. Zinc producers keep on cutting back and yet prices keep on falling.

  173. Oil fell amid a broader commodity rout while Venezuela predicted prices may tumble to the mid-$20s a barrel unless OPEC tackles the global surplus.

  174. Wal-Mart Stores Inc., playing catch-up with Inc., is making a bigger bet on Cyber Monday.

  175. Chinese stocks fell as Guotai Junan International Holdings Ltd. plunged in Hong Kong after the brokerage said it can’t contact its chairman, while technology companies slumped in Shanghai as the securities regulator gave the green light to initial public offerings following a five-month freeze.

  176. Copper fell below $4,500 for the first time since May 2009 as investors fear China’s shift to a consumer-driven economy from investment-led expansion will slow demand in the world’s biggest user. Nickel lost more than 5 percent to the lowest since 2003 and Shanghai futures fell the daily limit. Glencore Plc shares slid 3 percent and BHP Billiton Ltd. dropped 2.1 percent.

  177. Last week scientists they’d discovered a gene spreading among bacteria in China that renders them resistant to some of the world’s most powerful, “last resort” antibiotics. If such invulnerable bugs spread, doctors may soon needed to combat infections, whether contracted through chemotherapy, surgery or even simple cuts. Indeed, the post-antibiotic “apocalypse,” as this scenario has been known for , may already be upon us: There’s that the resistant genes have made their way to Laos and Malaysia.

  178. With the first votes of the 2016 presidential race a little more than two months away, Donald Trump is showing renewed support among likely Republican voters after the Islamic State attacks in Paris gave him a chance to showcase a “tough on terror ” message. 

  179. In its ongoing quest for glory and global influence, China appears to have won a notable victory. The International Monetary Fund is set to anoint the renminbi — the “people’s currency,” also known by the name of its biggest unit, the yuan — as one of the world’s reserve currencies along with the dollar, pound, euro and yen. For those who fear (or hope) that China will eventually transform the postwar economic order, this appears to be the first step toward dethroning the dollar.

  180. Facebook Inc. Chief Executive Officer Mark Zuckerberg said he is planning to take two months of paternity leave when his daughter is born, citing studies that show children and families are better off when working parents can take time away from their jobs to spend it with their newborns.

  181. Saudi Arabia reclaimed its position from Russia as the largest crude supplier to China as OPEC members extended their global fight for market share.

  182. StJ;  Congrats!!, as you know I live in Barcelona, if your daughter needs something we can be helpful, please let me know.

  183. Thanks Advill… I'll let her know and keep you posted.

  184. Seems that the louder the MSM is about declaring bottoms or further to fall, the more likely we should bet opposite. Last night calls for $20 oil grew very loud and of course after falling to a blow out bottom of $40.40 we are now heading to $42.50 for the moment. Metals are supposedly going lower and lower, yet also off a low of $13.85 this morning now approaching $14. Phil says it often that these guys are shills but here we can see it very clearly.

  185. Going away in May/Winston – It's all part of the same lesson, really.  If we set a goal to make 20% a year and lose no more than 10% then all you have to do is win as often as you lose and you average +10% a year, which beats most systems quite nicely.  That means, if you are up 20% or more by May – you SHOULD go away or, in the very least, play extremely cautiously into the end of the year (and begin optimizing your gains for taxes where possible).  Believe it or not – there are other ways to make money besides trading and, if you have made enough money trading by May – you have 6 months free to explore another project (something we do at PSW Investments) that will generate long-term cash-flow outside of the market gyrations.  

    You could travel to get ideas, you can go house-hunting, you can network, go to conferences, consult….  So many things you can do when you are ahead of plan but the first thing to do is have a plan and then get used to sticking with it.  We've been "on vacation" in the LTP since May, buying very few new positions but selling at least $4,000 worth of puts each month so that IF stocks go on sale – THEN we can begin building new positions and, if not, then we keep $4,000/month while we wait.  

    As you say, it's very difficult to time the market so we don't really try.  What we do is we make sure we sell as much premium as we can as often as we are comfortable with because the ONLY sure thing in the market is that premium expires over time so selling premium is ALWAYS going to give you an edge in your investing.  

    STWD/StJ – This has been a good, steady grower and I like the diversification Internationally and by loan types (about 1/2 loan origination and the rest CMBS, Servicing and Mortgages).  They are run by Starwood Capital, who are about a $50Bn fund and that's why they outperform – because they have hundreds of people at Starwood Capital funneling deals to them at no cost.  If it's run right, it's almost a can't lose since STWD is only 10% of Starwood Capital who provide funding for businesses that need commercial space which they arrange through STWD and, since SC is funding it, the business have a pretty good chance of fulfilling their lease obligations.  Likewise, when a business is failing and selling off prime RE assets – guess who gets the first phone call and swoops in?  

    They do have options and low in the channel due to rate fears makes them more attractive.  Unfortunately, options only go out to June but you can sell the June $20 puts for $1.40 and net a 10% discount to get started or buy the stock with that ($20.29) and sell the $17.50 calls for $3 to net in for $15.89/16.70, which makes the $1.92 dividend 12% while you wait to see how many shares you end up with in June (possibly none if you are called away and the puts expire worthless but that's more than the dividends would be between now and then anyway!).

    Fitness/StJ – That's great but African people are not the ones who need the exercise, are they?  Jackie (13) has become obsesses with her fitness app and it is helping her get in shape so I'm not complaining.  She goes for 10,000 steps a day and it tracks all her food too so she gets her net calories each day.  I must say, having calories on the menus in restaurants is very helpful – I hope that goes national.  I was going to order onion rings yesterday and saw they were 1,000 calories and decided better not to.

    By the way, in NYC yesterday, I tried to sent the picture but it didn't work but here's one from the Web – this is what's in the middle of Times Square now:

    And boy was it easy to get discount theater tickets yesterday!  We saw Finding Neverland with half-priced Orchestra seats…  The funny thing about the police is they are like a tourist attraction – people were going up to them and taking selfies and such – they were very nice about it but at least 2 guys were always at full alert.  Also, a lot of soldiers in uniform walking around – I think our armed forces are encouraging soldiers on shore leave to wear their uniforms in major cities.  

    REITs/Winston – There are REITs and Trusts that have paid those kinds of dividends for decades, with only minor breaks during major disruptions.  I think and other sites have ratings for quality and history of dividends.  Bonds aren't "safe" either – nothing is really safe.  Cash isn't safe as it devalues (ask anyone in Europe or Japan this year) and gold obviously doesn't help either.  On the whole, it's all relative and all you can do is keep your eye on the big picture and try to stay ahead of the game.  

    Also, companies like KO, GE, MCD, PG, IBM – they've been playing this game for 100 years and are very good at it – so you don't have to be.  They don't hold up in a market collapse either, which is why I always like to have enough cash to double down on things when they fall 50% – just in case.   

    There are two kinds of investors in down cycles – the kind that were fully invested and have to "ride it out" and net zero for many years or the kind that, like Buffett, double down on good stocks when their PRICE (not value) falls and then make a fortune on the recovery (and then get back to half cash – don't forget that part!).  

    Nat Gas/Craigs – Speaking of people who get out at the bottom!  wink  By all meas get out of /NG.  I bought 5 more at $2.05 but please, if you think weather is the only factor affecting /NG and you believe the forecast you heard – of course you should get out, don't let me stop you.  You don't like losing a few thousand on /NG but your logic is that major /NG companies are thrilled to lose BILLIONS and they will keep selling /NG at a loss and keep drilling more wells and supply will build and build until all the storage facilities explode from all the built-up inventory – is that the scenario we're imagining?  In the 90s, /NG never went below $2 and, so far, it hasn't in the 2000s either but if you think $2.05 is the right place to take losses – I am not going to try to convince you otherwise but I'm also not changing my bottom call because it's based on macro fundamentals ONE OF WHICH is that it gets cold in the winter.  

     Of course, this time may be different:

    Nat gas/Jabob – Well it would help if the front-month contract would expire (tomorrow) or if it gets cold, or if production would step down a bit or if LNG exports would begin.  This is why we're in April Futures and 2017 options – nothing is going to change tomorrow.

    /NKD/Jeff – Well, with tight stops above, I love /NKD shorts at 20,000!  

    If the Dollar is over 100 – be nervous but if the Dollar is rejected – that's a great sign to short /NKD

  186. /NG – Phil when I wrote my note about Nat Gas it was not at 2.05 it was at 2.20, first of all and second I was saying that it may go lower for a while before recovering, not that it would never recover. I think we are in for a longer time before winter really arrives than we have seen in a long time, so investing in Nat gas may require some caution. I do believe we may see historic lows before it is done. I was letting my fellow investors know that the weather factor is going to be a problem in this particular investment and that there may be an opportunity even lower than where we were when I was writing that note. Would have been noce if you could sell at 2.20 and re enter at 2.05 or even lower in the next couple of weeks which we may very well see. 

  187. Yes Craigs and I am trying to stop you from scaring our fellow investors out of a perfectly good position at the worst possible time.  Most people are not day-trading /NG and, if you were, your comments certainly didn't reflect that you were shorting to $2.05 and going long again (and then out where) but, if so, you are totally brilliant and we all should follow your every twitch.  I am talking about long-term macro issues unless I specifically make a futures pick – at which times I try to be clear about it.  Most people need to learn how to buy low and sell high and most people aren't up all night day-trading so they're not going to jump out at $2.20 and jump back in at $2.05.  

    Meanwhile, for those playing along at home – I did add 5 at $2.055 and now out at $2.12 and back to 15 long /NGJ6 with an average of $2.437 (now $2.335) so, over the course of a week, while /NGZ5 has dropped all the way from $2.35 to $2.05, the /NGJ6s have lost 0.10 – hardly the kind of thing to panic over so please do not confuse hyperactive day-trading of front-month contracts with INVESTING in long-term positions – it's not the same thing at all!  

  188. OKPhil, I am not even in Nat Gas myself, so I probably should keep quiet, but like I said at the start if weather is a major factor in NG price we could be in for a very unusual warm weather pattern for a prolonged period this year due to a very unusually large El Nino effect which was really my only concern for all of you investing in NG. Seeing it bounce this morning I don't have a clue how prices move here, just saw that it seemed to be moving lower based on last weeks weather forecasts and how we are in for more of that warmer than normal weather. 

  189. About that time for 30-day rule stock swaps for losses.. such as ABX, SLW, CLF, etc. double down this week, sell half (specifiying higher cost lots) on last trading day of year.. which is going to be Dec 31.. or make it Dec 28th if you want to be sure settles, too.