Archive for 2015

Swing trading portfolio – week of May 11th, 2015

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

 

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

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

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

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

Optrader 

Swing trading virtual portfolio

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‘Resilience’ Is The New Black

Courtesy of ZeroHedge. View original post here.

Submitted by Tyler Durden.

Via Raul Ilargi Meijer's The Automatic Earth blog,

This is another essay from our friend Dr. Nelson Lebo III in New Zealand. Nelson is a certified expert in everything to do with resilience, especially how to build a home and a community designed to withstand disasters, be they natural or man-made, an earthquake or Baltimore. Aware that he may rub quite a few people the wrong way, he explains here why he has shifted from seeing what he does in the context of sustainability, to that of resilience. There’s something profoundly dark in that shift, but it’s not all bad.

Nelson Lebo III: Sustainability is so 2007. Those were the heady days before the Global Financial Crisis, before $2-plus/litre petrol here in New Zealand, before the failed Copenhagen Climate Summit, before the Christchurch earthquakes, before the Trans Pacific Partnership Agreement (TPP)…the list continues.

Since 2008, informed conversations on the economy, the environment, and energy have shifted from ‘sustainability’ to ‘resilience’. There are undoubtedly many reasons for this shift, but I’ll focus on just two: undeniable trends and a loss of faith. Let me explain.

Since 2008, most of the pre-existing trends in income inequality, extreme weather events and energy price volatility have ramped up. Sustainability is about halting and reversing these trends, but there is essentially no evidence of that type of progress, and in fact the data shows the opposite.

Plenty of quantitative data exists for the last seven years to document these accelerated trends, the most obvious is the continually widening gap between rich and poor everyone else. The second wave of commentary on the Baltimore riots (after the superficiality of the mainstream media) has been about the lack of economic activity and opportunity in many of the largely African-American neighbourhoods.

Tensions have been simmering for years (decades) and overzealous police activity appears to have been just been the spark. This should come as no surprise to anyone who has read The Spirit Level, or any similar research on the correlation between wealth inequality and social problems.

You can only push people so far before they crack. For residents of Baltimore’s disadvantaged neighbourhoods the inequities are obvious. People are not dumb. We can see the writing on the wall, and know for the most part that government on every…
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When Hyperinflation Hits In Japan, Robot Suits Will Help You Move Your Yen

Courtesy of ZeroHedge. View original post here.

Submitted by Tyler Durden.

It’s no secret that Japan is in the midst of what is perhaps the greatest (or most terrible, depending on whether you have a penchant for Keynesian madness or not) monetary experiment the world has ever known. With the blessing of PM Shinzo Abe and under the heavy hand of Governor Haruhiko Kuroda, the BoJ is printing enough money to monetize not only the entirety of JGB gross issuance, but also the entire Japanese ETF market, with the latter effort serving to underwrite record highs on the Nikkei. 

In sum, the printing presses are working around the clock in Japan and as WSJ reports, when the government finally gets what it wants and the country’s descent into the Keynesian Twilight Zone finally ends in the worst example of hyperinflation the world has ever seen, no one will be forced to use a wheelbarrow to cart their yen around because in the new paranormal, you use exoskeletons to move your worthless fiat currency:

Sumitomo Mitsui Banking Corp., the core banking unit of Sumitomo Mitsui Financial Group Inc., said Thursday it has rented eight robotic suits developed by Japanese robotic maker Cyberdyne Inc. to ease the burden on the employees delivering cash. The bank says that would be a first among Japanese financial institutions.

“There have been many cases when a physical burden was placed on senior employees carrying heavy parcels of bank notes and coins. By adopting Cyberdyne’s robotic suits, we can help reduce that burden,” said Tomoyuki Narita, a spokesman at SMBC, Japan’s second-largest bank by assets after Bank of Tokyo-Mitsubishi UFJ.

SMBC Delivery Service Co., which mainly collects and delivers cash between bank outlets, has approximately 1,600 workers and about 16% of them are over age 65.  “We are currently placing the robotic suits at four outposts” of the delivery service, “but we’ll consider adding them in more places including the bank’s branches after assessing the effects,” Mr. Narita said.

He said the Hybrid Assistive Limb or HAL suit could reduce the burden of carrying a heavy object by about 40%, so that carrying a 10-kilogram container of bank notes and coins would feel like six kilograms…

The robotics company shares a name with the fictional defense firm behind Skynet, the artificial intelligence system that turned Earth into an apocalyptic wasteland


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Who Won The War?

Courtesy of ZeroHedge. View original post here.

Submitted by Tyler Durden.

Something went wrong…

Source: Knuckledraggin’





Goldilocks Unemployment: A Disgusting Bowl Of Porridge

Courtesy of ZeroHedge. View original post here.

Submitted by Tyler Durden.

Submitted by Mark St. Cyr

Goldilocks Unemployment: A Disgusting Bowl Of Porridge

It’s no wonder we find ourselves in this collective business environment of malaise and atrophy when people who are supposed to be informed, or anything else relating to business, use terms to describe the most recent jobs report as a “Goldilocks” print: i.e., “Not too bad – Not too good.”

This term was the moniker de jure of Friday’s cadre of financial media economists, analysts, and next in rotation fund manager. Nothing more than cheerleaders to stagflation is what they’ve all proven themselves to be in my opinion than anything else.

The actual print was that the economy created 223K new jobs vs expectations of 228K. Where the overall jobless rate now stands at 5.4 vs 5.5. The kicker? Not in the labor force: 93,194,000 up from 93,175,000. Let that last number sink in a moment.

We currently have over 93 Million able-bodied people without jobs – and growing. This is why it’s near incomprehensible, as well as outright disgusting to me that such a dismal showing in both the headline number as well as the onerous implications of such a downward revision to the month prior, coupled with the outright fallacy of suggesting the rate of unemployment has moved closer still to statistical “full employment” came with near giddiness and if not outright back slapping. i.e., “This is a Goldilocks print. Not too hot – not too cold. With a report like this – The Federal Reserve won’t dare raise rates and might actually have to contemplate instituting another round of QE if not outright QE4ever!” And yes; that was the reaction paraphrased across the financial media outlets. Again, personally – I found it all repulsive.

We now have the lowest participation rate since 1977 when Jimmy Carter was president. Although I was young during that period, I was around and working. (and when I wasn’t working, I was out looking daily) I will tell you this: one of the words never bandied about during that period when it came to describe any jobs or employment report was “Goldilocks.”

As a matter of fact it was during that period of time the term “stagflation” came into prominence. The difference? It was used to describe an abysmal economy while hoping at some point…
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Paul Craig Roberts: Economic Disinformation Keeps Financial Markets Up

Courtesy of ZeroHedge. View original post here.

Submitted by Tyler Durden.

Submitted by Paul Craig Roberts,

Friday’s payroll jobs report is more of the same. The Bureau of Labor Statistics claims that 223,000 new jobs were created in April. Let’s accept the claim and see where the jobs are.

  • Specialty trade contractors are credited with 41,000 jobs equally split between residential and nonresidential. I believe these are home and building repairs and remodeling.
  • The rest of the jobs, 182,000, are in domestic services.
  • Despite store closings and weak retail sales, 12,000 people were hired in retail trade.
  • Despite negative first quarter GDP growth, 62,000 people were hired in professional and business services, 67% of which are in administrative and waste services.
  • Health care and social assistance accounted for 55,600 jobs of which ambulatory health care services, hospitals, and social assistance accounted for 85% of the jobs.
  • Waitresses and bartenders account for 26,000 jobs, and government employed 10,000 new workers.
  • There are no jobs in manufacturing.
  • Mining, timber, oil and gas extraction lost jobs.
  • Temporary help services (16,100 jobs) offered 3.7 times more jobs than law, accounting architecture, and engineering combined (4,500 jobs).

As I have pointed out for a number of years, according to the payroll jobs reports, the complexion of the US labor force is that of a Third World country. Most of the jobs created are lowly paid domestic services.

The well paying high productivity, high value-added jobs have been offshored and given to foreigners who work for less. This fact, more than the reduction in marginal income tax rates, is the reason for the rising inequality in the distribution of income and wealth.

Offshoring middle class jobs raises corporate profits and, thereby, the incomes of corporate owners (shareholders) and executives. But it reduces the incomes of the majority of the population who are forced into either lowly paid and part time jobs or unemployment.

The extraordinary decline in the labor force participation rate indicates shrinking opportunities for the American labor force. No economist should ever have accepted the claim that the economy was in recovery while participation in the labor force was declining.

The officially documented decline in the labor force participation rate casts additional doubt on the claimed increases in payroll jobs. If jobs are growing, the labor force participation rate should not be declining.

Having looked at the actual…
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IMF Preparing Greek Default Contingency Plan

Courtesy of ZeroHedge. View original post here.

Submitted by Tyler Durden.

The biggest slow motion trainwreck in history, one that everyone knows how it ends just not when (especially since the “when” is about 5 years overdue), that of the Greek sovereign default may just got a bit more exciting earlier today when the WSJ reported that the IMF can no longer lie – like Mario Draghi did to Zero Hedge in 2013 - that there are preparation for a Plan B. To wit: “the International Monetary Fund is working with national authorities in southeastern Europe on contingency plans for a Greek default, a senior fund official said—a rare public admission that regulators are preparing for the potential failure to agree on continued aid for Athens.”

According to the WSJ, the IMF is focusing on nations neighboring Greece, asking their national banking supervisors to “ensure that subsidiaries of Greek banks have enough assets that they can exchange for emergency financing at their own central banksin case financing from their parent institutions is suddenly cut off—and that deposit-insurance funds are at sufficient levels, Mr. Decressin said.”

In other words, have a Greek default Plan B ready, preferably right now.

“We are in a dialogue with all of these countries,” said Jörg Decressin, deputy director of the IMF’s Europe department. “We are talking with them about the contingency plans they have, what measures they can take.”

Greek banks are big players in some of its neighbors’ financial systems. In Bulgaria, subsidiaries of National Bank of Greece SA, Alpha Bank SA, Piraeus Bank SA and Eurobank Ergasias SA own around 22% of banking assets, roughly the same as Greek banks own in Macedonia. Greek banks are also active in Romania, Albania and Serbia.

Should anyone be worried that a day before the critical Eurozone meeting which was supposed to conclude the Greek bailout negotiations, not only is there not a deal but Greece is once again on the edge of collapse?

“It would be foolish for anyone in the policy world not to be worried at this stage,” Mr. Decressin said.

Thanks for the warning.

And while we have covered the background story in detail, here it is again: “European officials expect no breakthroughs at a meeting of the currency union’s finance ministers on Monday. That means Greek lenders will remain under…
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China To Build Military Base In Africa Next To Critical Oil Transit Choke Point

Courtesy of ZeroHedge. View original post here.

Submitted by Tyler Durden.

One year ago, we reported that while the west was scrambling to assure the world that it wasn’t collapsing courtesy of record central bank debt monetization even as number of people not in the US labor force steadily approaches 100 million, while peripheral Europe is saddled with 25% unemployment and 50%+ youth unemployment (but… but.. the stock markets are at all time highs), China was busy colonizing a new continent not only infrastructurally…..

… but militarily, in this case in the southern African nation which recently had achieved the pinnacle of Keynesian economic dogma: hyperinflation through currency debasement. Recall what the Zimbabwean wrote in March of 2014:

China is planning to set up a modern high-tech military base in the diamond-rich Marange fields, says a German-based website, Telescope News.

The news of the agreement to set up the first Chinese military airbase in Africa comes amid increasing bilateral cooperation between Zimbabwe and China – notably in mining, agriculture and preferential trade. China is the only country exempted from the indigenisation laws which force all foreign investors to cede 51% of their shareholding to carefully selected indigenous Zimbabweans.

The Marange story quoted unnamed military officials and a diplomat admitting knowledge of the plan to set up the base. Efforts to get a comment from the Zimbabwe Defence Forces were fruitless, as spokesperson Lt Col Alphios Makotore was consistently unavailable and did not respond to emails by the time of going to press.

The website speculated that China could be positioning itself for future “gunboat diplomacy” where its military presence would give it bargaining power against superpowers like the US. It would also be safeguarding its significant economic interests in Zimbabwe and the rest of Africa.

And while this is not a story about Zimbabwe, we should remind readers that Zimbabwe’s despotic ruler, a person widely loathed by the west (after being an object of “democratic” admiration in the 1980s and 1990s), Robert Mugabe has recently become a pawn of none other than China:

Confidential Central Intelligence Organisation documents leaked last year suggested that China had played a central role in retaining President Robert Mugabe in the July 31 elections, indicating that high level military officers had worked closely with the local army in poll strategies while Beijing bankrolled


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Capitalism for Me, Socialism for Thee; Progressive Capitalism?

Courtesy of Mish.

A self-proclaimed "progressive capitalist" (hypocrite) store owner in San Francisco complains about Proposition J which voters passed with a 77% approval rate hiking the minimum wage to $15.

Capitalism for Me Socialism for Thee

The National Review details the plight of Brian Hibbs, owner and operator of Comix Experience, an iconic comic-book and graphic-novel shop on San Francisco’s Divisadero Street, of the city’s new minimum-wage law.

Hibbs says that the $15-an-hour minimum wage will require a staggering $80,000 in extra revenue annually. “I was appalled!” he says. “My jaw dropped. Eighty-thousand a year! I didn’t know that. I thought we were talking a small amount of money, something I could absorb.”

He runs a tight operation already, he says. Comix Experience is open ten hours a day, seven days a week, with usually just one employee at each store at a time. It’s not viable to cut hours, he says, because his slowest hours are in the middle of the day. And he can’t raise prices, because comic books and graphic novels have their retail prices printed on the cover.

Hibbs is not the first person to encounter this problem. On February 1, San Francisco’s renowned science-fiction bookstore Borderlands Books published the following on its website:

Although all of us at Borderlands support the concept of a living wage in principle and we believe that it’s possible that the new law will be good for San Francisco — Borderlands Books as it exists is not a financially viable business if subject to that minimum wage.  Consequently we will be closing our doors no later than March 31st.

Its plight eventually drew the attention of The New Yorker, and a crowdfunding campaign thought up by concerned customers found some 300 sponsors, all of whom agreed to pay $100 to help keep the store afloat until at least March 31, 2016.

Hibbs has considered doing the same but notes two problems: “By saying, ‘Give me money,’ you’re sort of saying you’re not viable.” Furthermore, “There’s a limitation on how much crowdfunding can be done. When you’re the tenth one, I don’t know if it’s going to be easy for you.”

“Despite being a progressive living in San Francisco, I do believe in capitalism.


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The ‘Lumbering’ US Economy

Courtesy of ZeroHedge. View original post here.

Submitted by Tyler Durden.

While Crude and Copper get all the glory, the fact is, as we have detailed previously, Lumber prices are the most correlated with economic activity (ISM and GDP) of all industrial commodities. That is quickly becoming a major problem for the "Q1 was weather and now we get the epic bounceback" narrative writers.

Now where have seen this before?

Or this…

And for good measure, builder remain oblivious to their key raw material's diminished demand (or mal-invested supply)…

It's just a matter of time, as we detailed previously.

But consensus sell-side economist dreams remain oblivious…

But perhaps it's time to start paying attention to Lumber and The Atlanta Fed model…

Charts: @Not_Jim_Cramer





 
 
 

Zero Hedge

Enemy Of The People?

Courtesy of ZeroHedge. View original post here.

Via The Zman blog,

There has never been a time when normal people did not know the media was biased and biased in a predictable direction. For every non-liberal in the media, there were at least ten liberals. The ratio was probably higher, but then, as now, some lefties liked to pretend they were independents or some third option.

The media used to invest a lot of time denying they had a bias and an agenda, but the only people who believed them were on the Left, which had the odd effect of confirming they had a bias and an agenda.

...



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Phil's Favorites

A 2019 Earnings Recession?

 

A 2019 Earnings Recession?

Courtesy of 

Shout to Leigh!

On the new Talk Your Book – Josh Brown is joined by Leigh Drogen of Estimize, one of the leading providers of crowdsourced financial and economic data to talk about the trend in corporate profits that could potentially lead to an earnings recession later this year.

What is the thing that Leigh is seeing in the data that Wall Street isn’t yet picking up on? What segment of the stock market is most at risk? Why is the crowd smarter than the narrow consensus of Wall Street analysts?

Check out Estimize ...



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ValueWalk

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

By ActivistInsight. Originally published at ValueWalk.

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



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Kimble Charting Solutions

Gold & Silver Testing Important Breakout Levels!

Courtesy of Chris Kimble.

Gold and Silver from a long-term perspective have created a series of lower highs over the past 8-years. Will 2019 bring a change to this trend? A big test is in play!

Gold since the lows in 2016 has created a series of higher lows, while Silver may have created a double bottom.

Gold & Silver are currently facing break attempts a (1) and (2). These falling resistance lines have disappointed metals bulls for the past few years.

The direction of Gold and Silver weeks and months from now should be highly influenced by what each does as they are attempting to break above important resistance levels.

To become a member of Kimbl...



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Insider Scoop

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

Courtesy of Benzinga.

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

http://www.insidercow.com/ more from Insider

Digital Currencies

Russia Prepares To Buy Up To $10 Billion In Bitcoin To Evade US Sanctions

Courtesy of Zero Hedge

While the market has been increasingly focused on the rising headwinds in the global economy in general, and China's economic slowdown in particular, while the media is obsessing over daily revelations that Trump may or may not have colluded with Russia to get elected, a far more critical, if underreported, shift has been taking place over the past year.

As we reported in June, whether due to concerns over draconian western sanctions and asset confiscations following the poisoning of former Russian military officer Sergei Skripal, or simply because it wanted to diversify away from the dollar, Russia liquidated virtually all of its Treasury holdings in the late spri...



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Chart School

Weekly Market Recap Jan 13, 2019

Courtesy of Blain.

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

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

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



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Members' Corner

Why Trump Can't Learn

 

Bill Eddy (lawyer, therapist, author) predicted Trump's failure based on his personality, which was evident years ago. This article, written in 2017, references a prescient article Bill wrote before Trump became president, in July, 2016, 5 Reasons Trump Can’t Learn. ~ Ilene 

Why Trump Can’t Learn

Donald Trump by Gage Skidmore (...



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Biotech

Opening Pandora's Box: Gene editing and its consequences

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

 

Opening Pandora's Box: Gene editing and its consequences

Bacteriophage viruses infecting bacterial cells , Bacterial viruses. from www.shutterstock.com

Courtesy of John Bergeron, McGill University

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

...

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Mapping The Market

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

By Jean-Luc

Maybe we should simply try him for treason right now:

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

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

By Asawin Suebsaeng and Lachlan Markay, Daily Beast

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



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OpTrader

Swing trading portfolio - week of September 11th, 2017

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

 

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

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

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

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



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

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About Phil:

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

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

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