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Flip Floppin’ Friday – Markets Pull Back from the Abyss

Wheeeeeee – that was fun!  

As the groundhog (who's name is Phil) predicted, we had 6 long weeks of selling to start off 2016 and, as of yesterday's close, we were teetering on the brink of a Global Bear Market after a 20% correction – as you can see from the Bloomberg chart on the right.  

Things are so desperate out there that we find ourselves BEGGING for OPEC to cut production and raise oil prices – how crazy is that?  It's crazy because it's idiotic an it's idiotic because we have become a nation… a planet of impatient idiots who can't bear to endure even a bit of discomfort – even if it's for our own good – if that good is delayed and the discomfort is immediate.  

Sectors rotate, that's a fact.  You can't have every part of an economy winning all of the time.  It's OK for the banks to have a period of low earnings when the rates are low and they can't get a good spread lending to consumers.  It's OK for oil companies to break-even selling $30 oil because the money the consumers would have spent on oil instead goes to the movies or the toy manufacturer or the hotel they can afford on their vacation.  

Avoiding economic pain leads to economic stagnation and THAT is the lesson we should be taking away from Japan's 20-year failed experiment in economic tinkering.  They propped up their economy by making their currency worthless and that may help the Zaibatsu (the Corporate Conglomerate the runs the country) but it's been a complete disaster for the people, who have seen the buying power of their life savings drop by 35% in the last 3 years!  

This week, worries about China and other Asian economies sent investors flying back to the relative stability of the Yen, which seems to have bottomed at 120 to the Dollar or 80 on $XJY.  The problem is (and this is likely to surprise you) that the Yen, though a reserve currency, is less than 4% of the money in the World while Dollars are 63% and Euros are 22%.   That means that when investors diversify more than 4% of their cash into Yen, they disproportionately strengthen the currency.  

That's been a long-standing problem for Japan as they try to weaken their currency as a wealthy US investor or one of our fine Corporate Citizens may choose to keep 60 or 70% of their money in Dollars but they'll often split the rest between Euros and Yen.  That portion works out correctly for the Euro, but not for the Yen.  European investors do the same, splitting between Dollars and too many Yen and Asian investors tend to keep half their money in Yen – even the ones that are not Japanese.  

That creates a constant demand for Yen no matter how hard the Bank of Japan tries to destroy it's value.  That's why Japan has been able to get away with 0% interest for so long and that's why Japan is able to sustain a Debt to GDP Ratio that is now over 250%.  Unfortunately, other countries are beginning to think it's a good idea to follow that path and that is going to lead to BIG TROUBLE – as Japan's monetary madness is only sustained by this quirk of monetary misallocations.  

Japan's debt is over one Quadrillion Yen, which is one Thousand Trillion or a Million Billion Yen and it begins to sound like numbers a little kid is just making up but this is a dead serious problem and, if people were able to wrap their heads around a number like that, they probably wouldn't be buying any Yen at all and certainly not lending Japan money at 0.1%!  Even at the current low rates, Japan's debt service is over 24% of their National Budget at $230Bn this year and that's at 1.9% average interest on over $11Tn in debt.  Japan's whole Government Budget is about $1Tn so interest rates rising just 1% could cause a major crisis in that country. 

The gap between government expenditureand revenue is largeNote: Central government general account as per cent of GDP.S...Unlike most countries, there's actually no realistic way to "fix" Japan's problem.  While 24% of the budget for interest payments may not sound so awful (the US is about 10%), you have to also consider the fact that Japan runs a near 100% annual deficit, spending twice as much as it generates in revenues.  This is what happens when you let Corporations (Zaibatsu) control government policy folks!  

The fact of the matter is that almost 40% of all taxes collected in Japan go just towards paying the Government's current debt but this year they will borrow another $400Bn just to keep the lights on and their debt will top $11.4Tn in a $4.5Tn economy.  For perspective, US debt is $19Tn in an $18Tn economy and we're borrowing $300Bn this year.  This is why Japan, as well as the US and Europe and most debtor nations are DESPERATE to have inflation.   Inflation helps grow your GDP and, if your GDP gets bigger and your debt is stable – it becomes easier to pay off.  

However, they are ALL going about it the wrong way because the way to get HEALTHY inflation is to give money to the people, who will spend it on goods and services and create demand strains that pushes prices higher while creating more jobs and driving more corporate investment and even using commodities again.   If all goes well, those prosperous people can afford housing and, before you know it, you have to raise rates just to stop them from spending too much (sound familiar?).

I wrote "Inflation Nation" back in 2008 warning that policy was on the wrong path in attempting to fight the inflation we should be embracing.  The Banksters did such a good job of fighting inflation that they destroyed the economy and now they can't get it going again, no matter how much money they give to rich people (about $26Tn Globally, so far).  These wrong-headed polices led me to write "Screwflation Nation" in 2010 and, sadly, nothing has changed since.  

Things have been great for our Zaibatsu Masters, of course, they have been able to buy back their own stock at record levels and refinance their debts to LOOK more profitable but the people, the ones that are turning to Bernie Sanders and Donald Trump for answers, are NOT yet feeling the economic gains.

Sanders’s young fans combine admiration for his progressive conviction with a slightly condescending fondness for cranky old people.For one thing, very little of these low rates have "trickled" down to the working man.  In January of 2007, the Fed Funds Rate was 5.25% and Mortgage Rates were 6%, a 0.75% spread for the Banksters.  Until the last Fed meeting and since early 2011, the Fed Funds rate has been effectively 0.1%, yet Mortgage rates are 4%.  This is fantastic for the Banksters but terrible for the 99.9999% of the citizens in this country who do not happen to be Banksters.  

Likewise, you have not been able to refinance your credit cards at 0.1% or, keeping the Bankster's spread steady at 0.75%, at 0.85%.  No, instead you still pay as much as 22% on past due balances or 220 TIMES what the bank pays for the money they are lending you.  

No wonder the economy can't get moving.  Don't worry though, the cost of artificially reducing rates for the Top 0.00001% Banksters which they don't pass on to you is borne by our Treasury and ultimately by you and your children in the form of increasing National Debt and Taxes.

America's Corporate Kleptocracy is no different than Japan's Zaibatsu culture and 20 years of these policies have put Japan's Corporate Return on Equity down around 7%, less than half of what it is in the US and Europe yet THAT is the model we are following down the deep, dark spiral of endless low interest rates and austerity spending that ONLY benefits the Corporations and their owners:  

Japanese corporations average 25% of their market cap in CASH!!! – why would they spend it?  US firms average less than 10% while European firms are moving towards Japan at 15%, up 50% since the crisis. Charging negative rates for deposits is an attempt to get our Top 1% Corporate Citizens, as well as their human counterparts, to do SOMETHING with their money but 20 years of this policy in Japan has already proven it simply DOES NOT WORK.  

What does work is good old Keynesian stimulus but there has been a smear campaign against Keynes run by those very same corporations and their pet media, who have muddied the waters by calling QE Keynesian.  That's not Keynesian at all!  Keynes wants money to be spent BUILDING THINGS, EMPLOYING PEOPLE – not handed out to rich folks who use it to buy back their own stock and take over other companies so they can cut half the staff and boost profits – where is the economic benefit in that?  

Have a great weekend! 

- Phil


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  1. Morning

    Phil I'm short 10 148 YANG calls expiring today. They are leftovers from a BCS I was hoping to expire worthless. YANG is a 3x China Bear. I'm concerned about China opening badly on Monday after their Holiday. Can you spare the time for a suggestion? Thanks

  2. At a game of Go, the greens would be losing now!

  3. Phil-- how many contracts were worked off yesterday?

  4. Good morning!  

    Friggin' ridiculous stuff:

    Of course, no less ridiculous than this:

    Image result for daily show climate

    This country is going completely off the rails…

  5. Fantastic post this morning, Phil!  (Though you're going to get yourself temporarily banned from Seeking Alpha again…)

  6. Happy Friday!

  7. Off the rails / Phil – And all these guys complain about Obama's lack of leadership but when he takes steps that could possibly save the world, they just cut him off at the knees. It's just amazing that we got anything done with these nihilist in Congress. And if you listen to the guys still running now, it's really, really scary!

  8. Phil / BA – i'm going to sit tight  a bit on this one but will keep you short put in mind… i think in the next day  it will be lower…  but this accounting thing will pass.

  9. Speaking of nihilists:

    The chart on the left shows who benefits the most from each tax plan. Unsurprisingly, they're all about the same: middle income taxpayers would see their take-home pay go up 3 or 4 percent, while the rich would see it go up a whopping 10-17 percent. On the deficit side of things, everyone's a budget buster. Rubio and Bush would pile up the red ink by $7 trillion or so (over ten years) while Trump would clock in at about $9 trillion. That compares to a current national debt of $14 trillion.

    No one will care, of course, and no one will even bother questioning any of them about this. After all, we already know they'll just declare that their tax cuts will supercharge the economy and pay for themselves. They can say it in their sleep. Then Trump will say something stupid, or Rubio will break his tooth on a Twix bar, and we'll move on.

  10. YANG/Enfil – Ouch!  That's a dangerous bet but I suppose you know that now.  Are you sure they expire today?  TOS says 7 days.  Nonetheless, the $148s are $26 in the money and the March $175s are $26 and I think, as long as we don't turn around and collapse today (and Nikkei holds 15,100), that it's enough cushion to risk the weekend.  

    Despite the above article, the reason I'm bullish on Japan (and not doom and gloomish on China) is because their government(s) have to do SOMETHING to boost the economy.  Now, that something will probably not be enough and, ultimately, I'll probably end up being much more gung-ho short on the Global markets (ours too) than I was last year once we retest the highs on another round of stimulus UNLESS it's infrastructure stimulus – which is what I've been asking for all along.  Either way though, I think we have one more good run in us before it all falls apart.  

    Happy Friday!  

    Big Chart – Fugly! 

    Oil Contracts/Jabob – Looks like they ditched a healthy 66,000 yesterday.  At that pace they'll get it done no problem but they'll need a new OPEC rumor every day and, eventually, it won't work well enough to get buyers to step in.  Still, there's record shorts on the NYMEX (and energy stocks) so pretty easy to squeeze them, my bias is still to bet long off support lines (0.50s).  

    Click for
    Current Session Prior Day Opt's
    Open High Low Last Time Set Chg Vol Set Op Int
    Mar'16 27.30 28.14 26.95 27.87 09:04
    Feb 12


    1.66 147652 26.21 258587 Call Put
    Apr'16 30.05 30.64 29.78 30.53 09:04
    Feb 12


    1.70 70333 28.83 449501 Call Put
    May'16 31.97 32.48 31.71 32.40 09:04
    Feb 12


    1.64 27808 30.76 230648 Call Put
    Jun'16 33.35 33.91 33.14 33.75 09:04
    Feb 12


    1.54 17077 32.21 172574 Call Put
    Jul'16 34.46 34.95 34.18 34.58 09:04
    Feb 12


    1.30 6202 33.28 79221 Call Put
    Aug'16 35.12 35.80 35.07 35.49 09:04
    Feb 12


    1.38 3422 34.11 54097 Call Put

    And no, I use this one.  

    Thanks Rperi!   Even worse, I just got featured in Forbes and those poor bastards will be shocked if they come here and read this stuff.  angel

    Speaking of oil – on the way to $28!  

    No reason for us not to rally on "good" retail sales.  That popped the Dollar (need them to buy stuff) and saved /NKD.  Keep in mind that INCLUDES declining gasoline sales – the economy does fix itself if you are PATIENT!

    • January Retail Sales:+0.2% M/M vs. +0.2% expected, +0.2% prior (revised).
    • Core Retail Sales +0.1% M/M vs. +0.1% expected, +0.1% prior (revised).
    • Retail Sales less autos and gas +0.4% vs. +0.3% expected, +0.1% prior.

    Oh look, compared to Jan 2014 or 2015 this is AMAZING but the MSM is still on the doom and gloom narrative and is glossing over this number.


    • Total retail sales increased 0.2% in January ( consensus +0.2%) while sales, excluding autos, increased 0.1% ( consensus 0.0%).
    • The January gains were logged on top of an upwardly revised 0.2% increase (from -0.1%) for total sales in December and a 0.1% increase for sales, excluding autos, which were previously reported to be down 0.1%. - And not a F'ing word in the MSM, conspiracy much?

    Key Factors

    • As expected, gasoline station sales were a notable drag, declining 3.1% after a 0.5% decline in December.
    • The weakness in gasoline stations sales was offset, however, by a 0.6% jump in motor vehicle sales and gains in many other areas like building materials (+0.6%), general merchandise stores (+0.8%), nonstore retailers (+1.6%), and electronics and appliance stores (+0.1%).
    • The only other retail areas experiencing sales declines in January were furniture and home furnishing stores (-0.5%), sporting goods, hobby, book, and music stores (-2.1%), department stores (-0.8%), and food services and drinking places (-0.5%). Those declines, it should be noted, followed on the heels of decent-sized sales gains in December.
    • Core retail sales, which exclude auto, gasoline station, and building material sales, were up 0.4% in January after being flat in December. This will factor favorably in the goods component for personal consumption expenditures in the first quarter GDP report.

    Needless to say, we'll be making some bullish portfolio adjustments!  

    • Retail sales came in stronger than expected in January and were revised higher for the key month of December.
    • A few standpoint categories for January included food services (+6% Y/Y), building material/garden equipment stores (+5%), and nonstore retailers (+9% Y/Y).
    • A notable laggard in the retail sales print was the department stores category (KSSJWN,MJCPSHLD). Sales were down 0.8% M/M and 3.8% Y/Y during January.
    • Full Retail Sales report (.pdf)
    • Jan Import/Export Prices: Import prices -1.1% M/M vs. -1.4% consensus and -1.2% prior.
    • Export prices -0.8% M/M vs. -0.6% consensus, -1.1% prior.
    • Deutsche Bank (NYSE:DB) +9% premarket after announcing an offer to buy back ~$5.4B of bonds in euros and dollars, confirming media reports from earlier this week.
    • DB says it is tendering for the purchase of up to 3B of euro-denominated bonds from five separate series, and up to $2B of dollar-denominated bonds from eight series.
    • DB says its strong liquidity position allows it to repurchase the securities without any corresponding change to its 2016 funding plan.
    • The eurozone economy grew at a quarterly rate of 0.3% in the final three months of 2015, as resilience in Germany helped offset weaker-than-expected growth in countries including France and Italy.
    • GDP growth was in line with expectations and matched the 0.3% expansion during the prior quarter, though divergences across the region highlight ongoing struggles.
    • The latest health check comes ahead of the ECB's meeting in March, when it will decide whether a new round of economic stimulus is needed to safeguard the region.



    • Oil is rebounding from the lowest level in more than 12 years as speculation swirls over whether producers will act to bolster the market.
    • "Prices are not appropriate, I won't say for the majority only, but for all producers," UAE Energy Minister Al Mazrouei declared, highlighting that suppliers won’t make cuts unless there is complete cooperation.
    • Despite the move higher, crude is still poised for a second weekly drop due to brimming inventories and forecasts that prices will remain low until the second half of the year.
    • Oil futures +4.8% to $27.46/bbl.
    • Previously: Oil spikes on report of OPEC agreement (Feb. 11 2016)
    • According to Deutsche Bank analyst Jim Reid, gold just broke through its previous record price relative to oil, set back in 1892.
    • An ounce of gold will now set you back more than 40 barrels of oil.
    • The cost of gold relative to oil prices is used by some investors as a signal of financial jitters; concerns about global growth typically drive oil prices lower and the gold price higher.
    • Currently, gold futures are -0.7% to $1,239, while crude futures are +4.5% to $27.41.

    Ford records 10% sales growth in Europe, led by SUVs

    • Ford of Europe (NYSE:F) reports sales rose 10% to 96,900 units in January.
    • SUV sales were strong during the month, led by the Kuga EcoSport, and Edge models. The automaker expects to grow SUV sales by 30% on the continent in 2016.
    • Ford's market share in Europe improved 20 bps to 7.9%.

    We're miles behind Europe so I still like longs using Dow 15,700, S&P 1,840, Nasdaq 3,990, Russell 960 and Nikkei 15,200 as our watch lines – just go long the laggard if 3 of 5 are over and stop out if 3 of 5 are under – very simple

  11. That sucking sound is the money escaping from China:

    Private citizens are now allowed to take up to $50,000 per year out of the country. If just one of every 20 Chinese citizens exercised this option, China’s foreign-exchange reserves would be wiped out. At the same time, China’s cash-rich companies have been employing all sorts of devices to get money out. A perfectly legal approach is to lend in renminbi and be repaid in foreign currency.

    A not-so-legal approach is to issue false or inflated trade invoices – essentially a form of money laundering. For example, a Chinese exporter might report a lower sale price to an American importer than it actually receives, with the difference secretly deposited in dollars into a US bank account (which might in turn be used to purchase a Picasso).

    Now that Chinese firms have bought up so many US and European companies, money laundering can even be done in-house. The Chinese hardly invented this idea. After World War II, when a ruined Europe was smothered in foreign-exchange controls, illegal capital flows out of the continent often averaged 10% of the value of trade or more. As one of the world’s largest trading countries, it is virtually impossible for China to keep a tight lid on capital outflows when the incentives to leave become large enough.

    Indeed, despite the giant trade surplus, the People’s Bank of China has been forced to intervene heavily to prop up the exchange rate – so much so that foreign-currency reserves actually fell by $500 billion in 2015. With such leaky capital controls, China’s war chest of $3 trillion won’t be enough to hold down the fort indefinitely. In fact, the more people worry that the exchange rate is going down, the more they want to get their money out of the country immediately. That fear, in turn, has been an important factor driving down the Chinese stock market.

  12. Well that "rally" didn't last long.  Of course Consumer Sentiment sucks in a crashing market with all this doom and gloom in the media – this would be a silly reason for us to go down:

    • December business inventories: +0.1% at $1,813.1B vs. +0.1% consensus; -0.1% (revised) in November.
    • Sales -0.6% to $1,302.3B.
    • Inventory/Sales ratio of 1.39.
    • Macau casino stocks are showing strong gains after results of Wynn Resorts (WYNN+10.5%) came in better than expected.
    • Popping out of the report was a solid win rate and stabilizing mass market trend in Macau. During the earnings call, Steve Wynn confirmed reports that the Chinese New Year period is off to a solid start.
    • Previously: Wynn Resorts revenue read: Macau -27%, Vegas +4% (Feb. 11 2016)
    • Wynn Resorts earnings call webcast
    • Macau movers include Melco Crown (MPEL +5.2%), Las Vegas Sands (LVS +5.6%), and MGM Resorts (MGM +5%).

  13. F – i don't understand why this is not moving any higher today

  14. The Ted Cruz campaign pulled an attack ad after finding out that one of the actresses is an adult film star.


    Great line from that article:

    The Campaign pulled out immediately (a well-known strategy employed by highly religious people) and cancelled the ad.

    And this:

    Matthews got the topic of Cruz started by commenting:

    “There’s a troll-like quality to Cruz. He operates below the level of human life.”

    Joe Scarborough, who has never met a Republican he didn’t automatically want to embrace and vote for, tried to tell Matthews he had gone too far:

    “That’s a little tough! You have not gotten sleep. We’re going to try that again.”

    But Matthews shot Scarborough down, asking:

    “Can I not have an opinion?”

    Again, Scarborough tried to play Mr. GOP:

    “Not that opinion.”

    Then Matthews got to his real point, and what he said was truer than perhaps even he realized:

    “I think he appeals to people’s negativity rather than their joy. I don’t think people feel good about voting for Cruz.

    “What is he? A theocrat? Maybe he is. There’s something about that guy who has always reminded me of Joe McCarthy, and there’s something about him that’s negative and menacing.”

    I know, you should never compare people to Hitler but that's pretty interesting…


    Image result for ted cruz scary

    F/Batman – Sentiment is terrible.  It's tempting to go on a buying spree but sentiment this bad can cause a Recession on its own.  

    Keep in mind you have 8 (or whatever is left) GOP candidates going around the country backed up by 24/7 agreement on Fox news, telling people what a complete and utter economic disaster we have on our hands.  50% of the country believes this stuff and then, when they see Bernie Sanders getting popular – they get even more worried about the Future.  

    I love that Fox is so blatant, they actually label their segment "Talking Points Commentary".  

  15. Phil/BID

    I hold the Jan 2017 $23 calls they are down a little more than half, but I am really struggling to find a comfortable spot to move them. I had an equal amount of sold 2017 $35 calls, but I purchased a portion of them back when the stock hit $23. The stock is now down over 50% from 2015 high (~$47).  Barring a full blown recession don't you think the risk of further erosion of the stock price is limited?  

  16. hope this rally does not fade today…

  17. Please don't post anymore pictures of Ted Cruz Phil – the guy creeps me out! And I promise not to post pictures of Chris Christy in a Speedo in exchange.

  18. BID/DC – This is one of those stocks that has a p/e around 10 that I simply can't find any reason not to want to own.  That means, if you spent $5.50 on the Jan $23 calls and they are now $2.70, you can just roll them along to the 2018 $15 ($6.50)/25 ($3.50) bull call spread at $3 and then you're $5 in the money with 2 years to hit goal.  I'd also sell the 2018 $15 puts for $3.40 and sell 1/2x the March $22s for $1.05 because, if you have the discipline to collect net 0.50 per share every couple of months, that's $6 in your pocket while you wait for other people to realize that a company that has a market cap of $1.3Bn that netted $240M in the last 4 quarters might be something they want to own.

    It should be noted that, in the grand scheme of things in September, in the LTP, we sold 10 BID 2018 $35 puts for $7.40 and they are now $16.30 with BID at $20.  If we wanted to adjust them, we could roll them to 2x the $23 puts at $7 and we still would have collected net $5.10 or $2.55 per new share so we'd now be committing to buy 2,000 shares of BID at net $20.45, which is where it is now(ish).  

    If we were assigned we could then sell 2018 $20 calls for $5.50, that would knock our basis down to $14.95 and, if we didn't mind owning 4,000, we could sell 20 more $15 puts for $3.80 and now our basis is $11.15 on 4,000 (if assigned) and that's $44,600 which is exactly one allocation block in the LTP.

    This is why I struggle to worry about things like this.  On the whole – I'd rather end up owning 4,000 shares of BID for net $11.15 than "only" make $5,100 if BID is over $23 in 2018 and the short puts expire worthless.  Most likely, we'll never get another opportunity to own it so cheaply.

    If you have a properly allocated LONG-TERM plan for your positions, you will get excited about downturns like this because it gives you a chance to aggressively build up long-term bargains like BID or F or AAPL or IBM or the rest of our Watch List.  BUT, in order to do this, you have to get away from short-term thinking and stop letting your decisions be dictated by the interim P&L of positions you intend to hold for decades (if you get a good entry).  

    Oil $28.68 – Looks like we're seeing another show this weekend!  $28.50 is a stop now, of course.  

    Cruz/StJ – No promises but your threat made me throw up in my mouth already…

  19. FCX – Catching some bids today.

    WYNN – Up nicely.

    AAPL – Showing weakness.

  20. c'mon oil DONT FADE ON ME!

  21. AAPL/Albo – They often hold it back and then release it like a coiled spring to pop the markets into a big finish.  I think today is going to be one of those days.  

    Think about it, AAPL is 15% of the Nasdaq and 3% of the S&P so, if they drop positive press on them over the weekend and someone upgrades them and they run up 10% to $102.50, that's 1.5% on the Nasdaq and 0.3% on the S&P just off that one stock.  

    FCX/Albo – How's this for a bottom call?

    Submitted on 2016/01/22 at 10:25 am

    Copper/Burr – I don't usually play it – it's just that $2 was such a good line with the catalyst of the Global markets bouncing.  I'd play FCX if you want to be long copper.  

    They are about 60% levered to copper (20% oil/gas and 15% gold) so a good general materials play and priced for BK at $5.2Bn ($4.40) with $16Bn in sales (at these prices!) and -0.14/share this year but probably back in the black next year and this is a company that has dropped $2-3Bn to the bottom line in past years.  

    You can sell the FCX 2018 $4 puts for $2.10 and leave it at that (100% upside at $4 – even in an IRA!) or you can pair it with the 2018 $1 ($4)/5.50 ($2.15) bull call spread at $1.85 and that's net 0.15 credit with $4.65 of potential upside (31x cash) at $5.50+.  Very margin-efficient trade – Good enough for 20 in the LTP and we either make $9,300 or we own $8,000 worth of FCX!  

    WYNN/Albo – Timing wasn't as good but I still LOVE this trade:

    Submitted on 2015/12/02 at 10:29 am

    WYNN/Albo – Getting reasonable down here for sure.  

    Income is off by a mile this year, they will be lucky to clear $250M for their $7Bn market cap (p/e 28) BUT, in prior years, they were dropping $700M to the bottom line, clearing better than 15% of revenues so you have really good operators just navigating a rough time.  The $9Bn in debt is a bit scary but they have $2Bn in cash and solid real estate assets so, even if they wrote of Macau as a massive loss ($7Bn in 3 casinos), they could probably survive it.  

    If they hadn't JUST spent $4Bn on the latest Macau project at the worst possible time, I'd like them a lot more but fun for a toss since you can sell the 2018 $45 puts for $8.50, which puts you in at net $36.50, which is still almost 50% off the current price so let's sell 5 of those in the LTP. 

    Oil/BDC – What more can you want?  Up from $26.50 yesterday to $29 is 10% on OPEC rumor that's almost certainly BS – be thrilled and GET OUT!

  22. Phil/EWJ

    Japan bottomed? What is our bullish play on this? 

  23. Phil – looks like bad news for MCD and Ronald MacDonald - actually quite incredible you just might wanna have a look as this really falls in the "Friday Follies" category.  Out.

  24. Phil – Nice call on FCX !   I'm in this one with you.

    For once my timing was good on SCO.  Currently ahead 16 points on the short calls I sold yesterday.

  25. Oh Nat please, I live near "Balmore" (aka Baltimore) and people like her are all over the place. Love the hair tho…

  26. And here comes AAPL to spice up the EU close!  

    EWJ/Rookie – I prefer to play /NKD myself but you can assume Abe/Kuroda do SOMETHING over the long weekend and March is still a whole month away so I'd just go for the March $10 calls at 0.55 and see what happens.

    In fact, we haven't done much gambling in the STP lately so let's see if we can turn $2,200 into $3,300 bucks real fast buy buying 40 EWJ March $10 calls for 0.55.  

    MCD/Naybob – My rule of thumb is if a person wastes my time during a trading day with misleading click links twice, I simply ignore them from then on.  You have one more.  

    SCO/Albo – They are rough rides but what fun on the way down!  

  27. Hi Phil, Do you have a new NKD trade on yet? Got my ass handed to me on the NKD trade Wednesday. I usually wait until you double down or get stopped out, but of course not this time. Better luck next time, eh!

  28. Naybob seems to be bright but I've clicked him off sometime ago.  Sorry, but the truly bright know how to communicate to the ignorant (me).

  29. NKD/Phil – I am still holding the position from Wednesday conf call. Not sure if I should walk with loses at this point or double down before weekend.

  30. Phil/oil – I want bottom in, price up, USO @ 10. Sometimes BDC gets what he wants hahaha BABABABABABA – BOOYAH.

    (ps – how many click through mulligans do I have left?)

  31. jabo – we are at par again!

  32. ICPT—-well the spreads you can drive a truck through, so, I moved tot he Apr 100/110 BCS for 3.70 or better.  My small lot (3 contracts) filled at 3.75.  

  33. Pharmboy/MYL

    I have Jan 60 puts and got my ass handed to me in the couple of days drop.  Any chance of it bottoming out here? 

  34. /NG (/NGK6) – I have these at the 2.17 line and didn't get rid of them when they went down from there (was asleep) so have been waiting for the bottom to double down. Would today be a good day for that or should I be waiting until after the long weekend? 

  35. MYL     rookie  today one trader looks for upside by selling 2000 July $35 puts and buying the July $47.50 calls for even money- 2000 contracts

  36. Rookie – Jan 60 (2017 or 2018??)…you could roll down to the 42.50s in 2018 for a DD on the  Puts.

  37. Bio--not 4pm yet but I do feel like dancing ;-)

  38. Pharm/MYL

    2017 Jan 60 puts.  


  39. AAPL…dipping toes in on Apr 100 calls for 2.16.  OPEX next week, we should rally a bit, then reverse course.

  40. ?Welcome back Pharmboy, What are your thought re GILD.  I like their fundamentals although also realize there is going to be a strong political pressure against them and the other pharmaceuticals/bio techs.  Good price now? Mahalo

  41. The oil VIX is still over 78--wow

  42. A Tesla Innovation Investors Can Do Without

    Getting a bit more creative, er-desperate.

  43. OOP Review:  This is yesterday's sheet, I haven't done the updates yet but it's worse now but probably will be better again by the close (we also don't have yesterday's SDS hedge in here). Still, won't change the need to adjust positions and I'll pull all the fresh prices as I look them up:

    • SQQQ – The short calls are now $5 because the VIX is calming down with SQQQ at $26.41.  If they flatline here (Nas 4,000), we get $20,000 back – that's ALL of our losses and everything else will be gravy!  
    • TLT – Missed our big chance yesterday but we'll leave these and add 5 June $135 ($8)/$128 ($4) bear put spreads (buy the $135 puts, sell the $128 puts) for $4.  We'll see how much of our $1.40 loss we recoup but even if we net $5.50 (including the initial loss), all we need is TLT to be below $129.50 and we're back in profits overall.  
    • BBY – That one's on track.
    • BID – I'm good with the target.  We just discussed them in chat – they are stupidly low.  Sotheby's was founded in 1744 and, since then, there have been a few ups and downs but they seem to muddle through.  With a p/e below 10, I WANT them to be 10% of our portfolio down the road.  The Jan $28 puts are $9.50 and the 2018 $23 puts are $7 so let's roll down to 15 of those ($10,500) and put an extra $1,000 in our pockets on the put side.  We also have 40 Jan $23 calls, now $2.70 along with the 20 short Jan $35 calls, now 0.65.  Let's buy back the short calls and roll the Jan $23s to 40 2018 $15 ($8)/$23 ($4.20) bull call spreads at $3.80 so it will cost us net $1.10 to roll down $8 in strike and now we're in a position to sell short calls and we'll start by selling 15 March $22 calls for $1.10 ($1,650).  That's $2,650 more added to our cash pile on this trade and all this spread has to do is not lose money and we keep all the cash and any gains in the position are nice bonus!  
    • NFLX – LOL, how did we end up being long on NFLX?  They're at $89 and I think I can live with that target but it's good to know we can do an even roll to 5 2018 $80 puts or 10 2018 $60 puts if we have to. 
    • USO – We were testing the water with these and they are back on track (for the moment).   Remember these were sold to pay for the UCO spread.
    • WSM – We just added to these and, despite the sell-off, they are still $51.79 so I'm very pleased with our target.
    • SQQQ – It's a shame we only have $2 of value if we cash in now because we hit our target.  We still need the protection because of the naked short June $27s but I really don't think we'll need it and we can dismantle this for a small loss if we get more confident (AAPL over $100 would help). 
    • UCO – Our bullish play on oil is back on track with UCO at $7 on $29 oil.  $35 by July should be good for the full $10,000 (now $1,500).  
    • ABX – All of a sudden we're looking way too conservative on this one.  
    • BHI – Still on track for $50+ on the merger (assuming it goes through).  I think this is one of those trades (it was our runner up for Trade of the Year last year) that will make you say "Why didn't I put everything into it – it was SO obvious".   As it stands, we can roll the Jan $45 calls ($5.40) down to the $40 calls ($7.90) for $2.50 and that's buying $5,000 for $2,500 so let's do that.  These are the kind of things we do like to use our cash for!  
    • CCJ – We are hoping the outlook for nuclear gets better but the Supreme Court just delayed the Paris climate accord and that was bad news for CCJ but back at $11.50 is on track for our play (we need $13 to cash in at least $3,000 vs the current value of -$1,200, so a $4,200 swing if all goes well.  
    • DIS – Wow, I can't believe the relentless attack on these guys.  We'll probably have to roll the short puts but, other than that, I'm not worried.  
    • HOV – I expect housing to come back in the 2nd half and I'm not worried about the target.
    • IMAX – China fear is killing them.  Earnings are going to be great next week and we'll see how guidance goes but we may as well take advantage and buy back the short Jan $35 calls ($1.60) and roll the Jan $28s ($3.50) to the Jan $25s ($4.80) for $1.30 as we're buying $3 in position for $1.30 and hopefully there will be a pop and we can sell more calls for $2.90 or better to make this adjustment a free transaction.  
    • IRBT – I can't believe how hard they fell.  Well, actually I can because I was furious when they sold their military division for peanuts.  We'll have to roll the short March $35 puts ($6.50) to the Jan $30 puts ($5.50) and we'll take the $1,000 hit as I'm in no mood to DD.  We'll also just cash our Jan $23 calls ($8.20) and be done with it.  Our net entry cost was $3,130 and we're spending $1,000 on the roll so $4,130 and we're taking $8,200 off the table so, if the short puts expire worthless, we still double our money – not terrible. 
    • LL – Another one you will eventually regret not putting everything into (we need more everythings).  I'm fully confident in the $18 target.  
    • MRVL – On track.
    • TASR – We paid net $9,900 for 2,000 Jan $15 call options (20 contracts) and they've dropped to $3.55 but we can roll them out to the 2018 $13 ($6.20)/$20 ($3.60) bull call spreads at $2.60, which puts $1,900 back in our pockets and then we have a $7 upside at $20 ($14,000) of our net $8,000 entry.
    • UNG – Our Trade of the Year is off to a slow start but all the better to adjust.  The Jan $8s are 0.90 and we can roll them out to the 2018 $5 ($3.10)/$10 ($1.10) bull call spread at $2 and we'll look to sell some short calls on a move up but we stand to recoup $10,000 if all goes well off our net $0ish investment if all goes well.  

    I keep doing these reviews thinking I'll find something to cut but it keeps turning out they are all still good-looking trades (except IRBT, which we're stuck with).  Once the market calms down, we can do a bit more short-term trading.  

    Our goal for this year is to keep and add to our $132,000 in cash while working on our open positions so they expire at least even or better and then we'll have all that cash clean and free – not a bad plan!  

  44. ICPT/Pharm     I guess the rumor was true!

  45. Rats, I was out this morning and didnt get yesterdays trade on re. ICPT

  46. Is there an adjustment to be made to the STP IMAX positions also?

  47. Stockbern/Enfilade – Since I usually do not assume, as I thought it was pertinent in relation to your past questions, did you read the monetary flow lag information I provided?

    Millcreek - you had questions yesterday, in short: King Dollar is still on his perch over at the Empire State Bldg, but is getting beaten about the head by buzzing air planes and plunging from 100 to 96 on the DXY, global asset rotation, fx reserve drawdowns, unwinding of dollar carry trade and increasing CASH positions are the culprit (blame Phil). Banks and dealers involved are liquidating some dollar denominated positions to meet depositor/client demands, flooding the market with USD, driving the KING nuts and causing fits for markets.  Fear not for our simian friend or his family, ED, CASH and FLOW.  Its a race to the bottom for all CB's and far too many forward dollar swaps are maturing the rest of this year…. and concomitant low commodities/shipping have created an unhealthy "stimulus" which will "mysteriously" deepen the oncoming recession and may plague any economic recovery for the rest of this year. Out.

  48. King$/Naybob

    Yes, thanks, however I can't remember the contents now. 

  49. rig count?

  50. Enfilade/Stockbern – I can't either, but here is the link.

  51. So Deustche Bank comes out in the last few days with two points: 1) A note to shareholders, creditors and commercial patrons that everything is just fine, and 2) An announcement to buy back $5.4 Billion in outstanding debt securities.

    These don't look like moves of confidence. If anything, it looks like the kind of behavior that members of the animal kingdom display when they sense the presence of a predator: raising themselves to full height, displaying plumage, inflating frills – all the tricks used to make themselves larger and more of a threat to be reckoned with than they actually are.

  52. down 28 rigs

  53. Phil, Naybob and all, Thanks. Its my quitting time now. Have a great long weekend

  54. AAPL~~Apple planning on producing first original TV show, according to Hollywood Reporter. 

  55. IRBT – In the OOP, what about the short Jan 2017 37 calls? Are you leaving those on the table or buying them back?

  56. ICPT….whoa…!  

    GILD – HCV space is VERY crowded, and I have been saying it for over a year.  I they own the space for now, but ABBV, BMY and MRK are right there, chipping away.  Sell puts down and OTM.  Just small lots and take the money when you can.  I think Biotech and Pharma are down for a little while until this election year shakes out.  Behind banks, this is a very powerful, yet fragile lobby.

  57. /NKD/TradeD – Sure from this morning but 1/2 out at 15,300 with a stop at 15,200 now.  

    Oil/Jabob – Isn't that what I've been saying?  

    Ignorance/Newt – My father was the smartest guy I ever met but, at his funeral, there were hundred of ordinary people from all walks of life who remembered him as a great teacher (he was a programmer/analyst but he would train people on the systems he designed).  That's what inspired me to teach people (and my stepmother was a teacher and my uncle and aunt too) – so much better to pass on knowledge and improve the lives of others than strutting your brain around like a peacock in an attempt to prove your superiority.  

    /NKD/Ravis – Ouch!  You never stopped out?  We've been in and out a bunch since then.  Let's see, we entered at about 15,700, right?  If you just have one contract, not tragic at 15,300 (-$2,000) but why would you hold one below 15,600 or at least 15,500 if you didn't intend to scale in?  


    Let's say, logically, that you decide to ride to a $1,000 loss at 15,500.  You should, in the very least, be willing to DD at 15,300.  Not that that would have helped in this case but then you'd have 2x at 15,500 with /NKD at 15,300 and you can make your next move at 15,200 or lower to drop your basis another 100 points (or again, you should have stopped out below 15,300 on 2x or at least stop out the 2nd and wait for a better entry).  As it turned out, once we hit 15,100, we had several runs to 15,300 and back so that's where we made up our money and this morning we got back in at 15,000 and now 1/2 out at 15,300 (though we're over it now) with a stop at 15,250 (trailing 50).  

    So, would I hold one contract over the weekend?  Well, if you were willing to hold it last night, down to 14,800 – I doubt it will do more damage than that on Sunday Night/Monday (don't forget, they are open and we are not) – especially if we have a good finish.  There's also the 40% possibility that Abe/Kuroda does something to either weaken the Yen or stimulate the market (more pension fund money) and then you could be looking at 16,000 again.  

    LOL BDC – You have a lot of credits lined up.  Also, I don't mind a link that says Booyah as I don't expect to be finding an important article on MCD that may affect a lot of my Members' portfolios, which obligates me to click on it.  

    /NGK6/Cordoor – Well it's $2.09 now and if you DD, then avg is $2.13 and you can put a sell in at that and a stop at $2.0825 on the new one so all you risk is 0.0075 on one contract or you lower your basis by 0.4.  That's the correct way to play it.  NO SLEEPING ON THE JOB!  

    Oil VIX/Jabob – That makes sense because a violent move up is still volatile.  It's the regular VIX that is ridiculous as a 500-point up day on the Dow makes it go lower.  

    Wow, /RB through da roof!  

    TSLA/Pstas – As I've long maintained, Musk is a con man.

    The pro-forma measure Tesla came up with measured cash from operations, which was negative $30 million, plus cash received from vehicle sales to leasing partners, or positive $209 million.

    That measure wouldn’t be found in a cash flow statement compiled under generally accepted accounting principles. In fact, this is combining figures from two separate sections of the cash flow statement.

    Under GAAP, it appears that Tesla’s operating cash flow was negative. Subtract $411 million in capital expenditures, and free cash flow was negative $441 million.

    SCTY runs their books the same way – like a shell game!  Not a coincidence.  One day we may see Musk doing a perp walk….

    BHI says another 28 rigs bit the dust.  Just 349 left, down from 617 last year.  

    ICPT/Pharm – You da man, er boy!  



    OK folks…..biotech play for upside and buyout rumour dejour…ICPT….

    Now, I am not a huge fan of the company, nor the drug, but the FDA is reviewing it in April, and their Phase 3 studies in PBC (primary biliary cirrhosis) are positive according to the company.  So, let's take a look at some options.

    April $95/110 BCS, selling some Feb 91 Ps for offset brings in a net $2.85 debit (margin is $25K in normal accounts).  Or, the April $95/110 BCS, selling some Feb 91 Ps for offset brings in a net 45c credit…. for a no risk trade after Feb OPEX.

    See what we can get tomorrow on these lines.

    IMAX/Tangled – I'm getting to the STP next.  

    CASH!!!/Naybob – Don't blame me, I create a demand for the stuff by keeping it on the sidelines.  It's a race to the bottom that we have been active participants in – others are only playing catch up.  Goes back to the differentials in reserve currencies.  We doubled the amount of Dollars in the World and Europe was miles behind us and Japan had already been working their asses off just to keep up but their entire Quadrillion Yen debt is only 1/2 the size of ours – it will take them 20 years to catch us – even if we stop adding to our pile.  The biggest change is China, who were pegging the Yuan to the Dollar and finally gave that up because what they really liked was pegging to a weak Dollar, not a strong one.  

    With oil trading at $30, not $85 (2014 avg), and all the oil in the World traded in Dollars, what happens to the 90Mbd x 365 days x $85 = just under $3Tn that won't be used in oil trading this year?  Isn't that liquidity that flows elsewhere and increases the supply of idle Dollars in the World?  Same goes for other commodities trading at 50% less than they were a couple of years ago.  I don't have the numbers but people spend more on food than they do on oil so Trillions more Dollars undemanded there as well.  Slow housing market not helping either and consumers have been paying down debt, putting more Dollars back on the open market.  Oh yes, and thanks to Obama, our annual deficit is 1/3 of what it was, freeing up another half a Billion Dollars of demand.  

    DB/Yo – I totally disagree.  People are freaking out about nothing and DB is taking advantage and giving their bondholders a 30% haircut.  Maybe DB started the rumors – saved them $2Bn!  

    DB/Malsg – I very much doubt they will even let DB go much lower without taking action.  No one wants to repeat 2008.

    Submitted on 2016/02/10 at 6:05 am

    Banks/Bulls – I think it's all media-induced panic and the ECB has PLENTY of firepower to stave off bank failures.  Frankly, I'm considering long on DB and XLF, not shorting banks at this point.  

    AAPL/Albo – Why does everyone want to be a production company?  Well, I guess there's no need for the middleman production company these days but what a low-margin hassle to get into.  

    IRBT/Cordoor – Oh, those should expire worthless.   Not worth buying back yet.  

  58. NKD/Phil – Thanks Phil. It is my fault that I didn't notice the stop at 17500. Just to confirm, Abe doing anything to weaken Yen or propping up the EQ markets will be good for /NKD, correct?

  59. Naybob

    "and concomitant low commodities/shipping have created an unhealthy "stimulus" which will "mysteriously" deepen the oncoming recession and may plague any economic recovery for the rest of this year."

    I hate when you're right therefore I will take joy if you are wrong sir

  60. Propping/Raviis – Yes, that's what I was counting on at 16,000.

    As to stops – don't wait for me to say it.  YOU have got to have a plan for your trade on every possible move it can make.  If you don't have a lot of money, your plan should include money like "What will I do if I go down $500, $1,000, $2,000"?  If money matters to you then levels don't matter but, of course, if you can't afford to laugh off a loss in the Futures – you shouldn't be playing at all.  

    In the ones we tracked last year (under portfolio reviews) we were usually around 60-70% accurate in our Futures calls but that  30-40% wrong can wipe you out if you don't manage your cash correctly!  If you DO manage your cash correctly, however, you can be right 33% of the time and wrong 66% of the time and still make money!  


    Meanwhile, 15,400 – VERY NICE!!!  Stops raised to 15,375 as I'm in no mood to give this up but I will keep 5 into the weekend (down from 20).  

  61. NKD/Phil – Thank you!

  62. Phil,

    I'd like some help with CLF position that I've let go for far too long with hope as my strategy.  Yes, I see on the chart the many, many opportunities to get out and yes I know you warned us many, many times…

    So I have:
    +20 JAN17 5 CALL  at $2.95 now $0.17
    -20 JAN17  8 PUT   at $3.85 now $6.75 

    Is this really just 'take the hit' or is there something to salvage here?


  63. 15,500 on /NKD!   Wow, now you see why I was so gung-ho on them.  Stop raises to 15,475 of course – I doubt we pop 15,600 but let the stop trail along and congrats to all the players on that one!  

    CLF/Gbase – First of all, you OWN 2000 CLF at net $4, that's just a fact.  Once you accept that, you are able to make better decisions.  I still like them but for 2018, not this year.  I would roll the short Jan $8 puts ($6.60 if you offer) to 3x the 2018 $3 puts ($2.25) as an even roll and, if you think about it, you get 6,000 shares for $3 ($18,000) vs 2,000 shares for $8 ($16,000) less the $8,000 you collected up front is net $8,000 for 6,000 shares vs net $6,000 for 2,000 shares – which would you rather end up with?  By the way – if your answer is 2,000 shares for $6,000 then you don't REALLY want to own CLF and you should take your loss now and walk away.  

    The Jan $5 calls are worthless, of course, but you can buy the 2018 $1s for $1.25 and sell the $3s for 0.55 for net 0.70 if you want to have a bull spread that can make back 1/2 of your other loss but, in your position, I'd be THRILLED if the short puts expire worthless and you live to fight another day.  

  64. Phil – "I create a demand for the stuff by keeping it on the sidelines." That you do and the contractionary nature of the paradox of cash balances then applies.

    Phil – Just under $3Tn that won't be used in oil trading this year?  Isn't that liquidity that flows elsewhere and increases the supply of idle Dollars in the World?  

    Lower priced oil = a decline in petrodollars = less eurodollars = higher demand for dollars = higher dollar, but it does not necessarily equal more idle dollars.  The existence of those dollars, and their disposition (invested, saved or spent) is all assumed and cannot be implied.

    As for more liquidity? by not spending (that is an assumption) those dollars, there are less dollars, therefore less liquidity.  The economic behavior that is encouraged by going to cash and not spending is contractionary, not expansionary.  This is supported or reinforced by the cash balances paradox, simply stated: In regard to peoples economic motives, the more money they want, the less they get.  Out.

  65. Phil/Long term BCS,

    with any long term BCS for e.g. 2017 or 2018 ones what are the advantages if you are not going to do monthly puts/calls sells? One big advantage is the time you have for your position to be right but you are mostly locked in the BCS till its maturity to get the entire payout. Unless the BCS moves deep in the money. Your thoughts.


  66. Phil, AMEN !

  67. Stockbern – Wonka – ROFLMAO – You SIR, trust me, sometimes I really do like being wrong, and it does happen, quite often.

  68. SCO – Closed out one of my short calls for +21 points.  Keeping one and will look to add if we get more weakness in crude.

  69. Not going to do a Butterfly Review as we can't pick March targets if we have no idea what's going to happen between now and Wednesday so we'll wait for next week because it's a TREMENDOUS amount of work and I'm not doing it twice!  

    Short-Term Portfolio Review – I didn't add yesterday's SDS trade but it was 100 March $24 calls at $2.03 and they are now $1.75 and the 100 March $27s we sold were $1.08, now 0.65 so we made money so let's close half (50) of them down as I'm half as worried as I was yesterday.  

    Otherwise, our STP is doing just what it should be doing, back to $430,000 and almost all CASH!!!

    • FAS – Useless leftover calls from an old play BUT it's time to play FAS Money again and we'll start by selling 20 2018 $15 puts for $4.10 ($8,200) and buying 40 2018 $18 ($5)/$25 ($2) bull call spreads for $3 ($12,000) so we've got a net $3,800 investment and we can sell (not now) something like 10 March $20 calls for $1.15 ($1,150), which would be almost 1/3 of our money back in 30 days.  The nice thing about our 60 $35s is that they act as an ultimate backstop if we end up having to roll short callers but I don't really want to start selling until FAS is back around $22.  

    • SQQQ – As with the OOP, we got in trouble on this one and we haven't rolled it yet and we might not have to if we have a good week next week.
    • TZA – I don't, frankly, even know why those are there.  I'd say let's kill them but I think the Russell will go higher and we'll get a better price.  
    • AAPL – That paid for the SDS spread.  Obviously I'm not at all worried.  
    • CMG – PROFIT!!!  Now we'll see if they can make us the full $74,500.  Trade #2 is, sadly, dead so subtract that $15,000 and our upside is only $69,500 on the main trade.  frown
    • SDS – We'll see how next week goes, maybe we'll dismantle and go extra bullish.  
    • XON – Lost their luster a bit but it's timed for the Olympics and Zika isn't going away.  
    • IMAX – Big disappointment.  We'll close it here and make an LTP trade.  
    • SLW – Back in business!  

    Wow, that was so easy – I love having so few positions!  

  70. Good deal on SCO Albo… I am not as brave as you are!

  71. When you say close the IMAX trade you really only mean the short put position?  I ask because seems like the short calls should just be left to die and the long calls have nothing of consequence left to lose so might as well hope for a Hail Mary there?

  72. We'll do the LTP next week – that one takes a whole day!  At the moment, it's at $636,893 so, despite my worries, we're still making new highs on the pair.  

    Dollar/Naybob – Well, when you are going to toss around assumptions like that you obviously can "prove" anything.  We'll sum it up by saying my simplistic look at the Dollar has me call a top at 100 while you were guaranteeing it was going to the moon and, so far, down 4% so forgive me if I don't get on the King Dollar bandwagon just yet.

    Dollar/Naybob – If I were getting all my information from ZeroHedge I'd be writing this from my bomb shelter!  The rest of the media isn't much better and the Dollar is a VERY complex instrument and I honestly do not have an interest in debating the merits of it's strengths and weaknesses in the Global marketplace.  There's a reason I stay away from currencies – for me, there's a limit to how many things I can pay attention to and understand well enough to make good decisions.  It's the same reason I don't bother with Biotech – there's just no room in my limited and aging databanks.  You, on the other hand, seem to be an expert on everything BUT I still reserve the right to make fun of you and poke holes in your "natterings" lest you lead hundreds of people astray with your absolute certainty – especially when I believe you are completely wrong.  

    I do agree that things COULD collapse but that doesn't mean they WILL collapse and I don't believe these move coming after Davos (which I predicted would come after Davos) are coincidental.  You are seeing a Worldwide coordination of Central Bank activity on a scale that has not been attempted since Bretton Woods which, I will remind you – worked!  Now, if they were able to work that out in 1944 without the aid of cell phones or computers to coordinate their activity – I'm pretty sure they can muddle through using today's technology.  

    Hey, maybe you'll be right and the World will end – I certainly have my gold hedges in place, just in case.  But, if not, I look forward to hearing about the next thing you are sure will happen…  cheeky

    Spreads/Pat – The advantage is how little cash you have to deploy.  If I think AAPL will be over $120 in Jan 2018, I can buy AAPL for $95 or I can buy the $90 ($18)/120 ($7.50) bull call spread for $10.50 and I can make $19.50 on my $10.50 (185%) vs on $95 (20%) so I can make the same amount of money using 1/6 the cash (rough numbers, of course).  In exchange for that huge advantage, I sacrifice flexibility but I also have a far lower cost of protection over time and I can still sell calls for income (assuming a margin account).  And yes, if it goes deep in the money, you get paid too so you only don't get paid if AAPL goes to, say $120 quickly but not $140 and you're forced to wait for your 185% (but you'd sure be up more than 20%).  

    SCO/Albo – Well done sir!   

    IMAX/Tangled – I said "close it here" meaning in the STP and we'll reposition it to an LTP trade.  I did not highlight any specific action as we'll deal with it next week but the spread will expire worthless and we'll close the short puts in the STP (taking the loss there) and open a short put trade in the LTP – effectively transferring some money from the STP to the LTP.  

    And yes, earnings are on the 24th and you never know (but obviously super-doubtful) so we'll just leave the spread as is.  

  73. STJ – I think the SCO trade is very similar to your UVXY trade tho the options are much less liquid.

  74. Don't forget, we're off Monday!  

    Have a great weekend everyone, 

    - Phil

  75. LOL, NKD right at our stop 15,475 but holding.  I'm sticking with my 5 long plan into the weekend.  

  76. Phil/BHI

    Do we still have Jan 50 Short puts on BHI 

  77. Yes, as long as HAL is over $27.50, that kills the BHI short $50s (assuming the deal goes through).  It's amazing how mispriced those things are.  Not sure if people don't understand risk or just math…

  78. Albo – You are right, in many ways it is with the exception that we know in general where the VIX will eventually normalize. Although painful now… Oil could still go down some more although I suspect that at $25 or so, the downside risk is now limited as opposed to when it traded at $100! Going to $20 would be another 40% on SCO so your strikes would still be OK. It looks like a good trade.

    I guess all these leverage ETF have some use after all…

  79. Albo for those of us playing along at home can you give us the details again of your SCO trade? What price did you sell the calls for and what did you close them at please? I would like to try this too if oil shows weakness next week. Also curious what price oil was at when you began if you recall. Thanks.

  80. Phil/Spreads,

    That wait for the 185% is what happens in most of the cases for long term BCS. I understand the cash layout and it is true for all option strategies. I was thinking about the advantage of a long term BCS over a short term BCS where you cannot sell naked calls or puts. One definite thing is the time you get to be right or adjust the spread. But you have to wait for the max payout in case of long term BCS.


  81. How the angry white tornado formed, and where it goes next

    The racial fears and economic frustration surrounding Trump’s political momentum does not form in a vacuum. Here’s how the angry white tornado formed, and where it goes next.

    When the 2016 election is over—when the months of debates, …

  82. Remember the vicious cycle that threatened the entire European banking sector in 2012?

    It went something like this: over indebted sovereigns depended …

  83. Let’s say you were persuaded by my argument in last week’s Retiring column — contrary to the advice offered by most financial experts — that you should not reduce your exposure to the stock market as you grow older. Or you’re at least willing to listen to this contrarian advice.

    But now what? …

  84. The current woes of Deutsche Bank over its continuing viability show the great truth about fractional reserve banking: it’s a con trick. Not in the sense that it’s a fraud of course, but in the sense that it’s a trick about confidence. This is hardly a new revelation either; it’s a major plot point …

  85. New York (CNN) — Actor James Woods will be allowed to bring a $10 million defamation lawsuit against an anonymous Twitter user who called him a “cocaine addict.”

    A Los Angeles Superior Court judge ruled that Woods had sufficiently established that he could win his case.

    The battle between Woods and …

  86. Despite seemingly strong fundamentals and a chorus of economists saying “relax”, the chances of a US recession may be larger than you think.

    According to Michael Feroli and the economists at JP Morgan, based on their multi-variate model the chances of a recession before the end of 2017 now sit at …

  87. Roadkills…

    021216 3y Highs

    There might be some worth picking there but I am not very enthusiastic…

  88. Thought Thursday’s selloff in the dollar against the yen was bad? It was nothing compared with the latest forecast for the pair from Barclays.

    The U.K. bank predicts the dollar has another 15% to drop against the Japanese currency before the end of the year. By the end of the first quarter, Barclays …

  89. David Berneman isn’t developing an app. His company isn’t venture backed. In fact, his business is about as low-tech as it gets: He buys houses, fixes them up and flips them.

    But he too is funded by the crowd.

    Berneman’s family business, Golden Bee Properties, borrowed $1 million to buy a West Los …

  90. Some oil companies are on their deathbeds, and banks can’t escape the disease.

    Banks’ exposure to troubled oil companies is increasing at the same time those companies trudge closer to bankruptcy. Under the crush of oil-maggedon some weak operators have given up hope. With balance sheet …

  91. NY Fed/Equifax

    A new report from the New York Federal Reserve shows older Americans have been ramping up their debt while younger Americans have not.

    In real terms, debt in the hands of Americans between 50 and 80 years of age has increased by 59% since 2003. At the same time, the aggregate debt of …

  92. ‘Rogue scientists’ could exploit gene editing technology, experts warn

    A senior geneticist and abioethicist warned on Friday that they fear “rogue scientists” operating outside the bounds of law, and agreed with a US intelligence chief’s assertion this week that gene editing technology could have huge, and potentially dangerous, consequences.

    “I’m very, very concerned …

  93. Apple is now said to put its iPhone 5se and iPad Air 3 up for sale on March 18, just three days after the company is expected to hold an event to announce the new hardware.

    Sources also claim there will be no pre-order period for the devices.

    The iPhone 5se is expected to be a hybrid iPhone 5s and 6, …

  94. RUBIO TAX PLAN WOULD ADD TO THE DEFICIT. A new analysis of presidential candidate Sen Marco Rubio’s tax found that the Florida Republican’s proposals would cost the federal government at least $6.8 trillion and would help the rich far more than low- or middle-income earners. Power Post has …

  95. The stock market took another hammering Thursday morning as the weak close on Wednesday reversed the market’s early strength which was a sign of weakness. The very strong market internals early Wednesday had deteriorated throughout the day. To signal a sustainable market rally it would be a better …

  96. Amid this week’s market tumult, investors have dumped shares of media companies, another sign that the stocks which helped power the broader market over the last seven years are falling out of favor.

    Some of the stocks rebounded on Thursday, but most are down sharply this week amid a 2.7% drop in …

  97. Reuters

    Has the Fed painted itself into a corner?

    A growing chorus of economists and analysts are suggesting that policymakers, who really want to get on with the process of bringing interest rates back to a normal level, just won’t be able to do the deed.

    On Thursday, economists at BNP Paribas wrote …

  98. NEW YORK (Reuters) – The Bank of Japan designed its new negative interest rates to avoid hurting bank profits, and the recent drop in bank stocks is “overdone,” the BOJ’s deputy governor said on Friday in what amounted to a defense of last month’s shock policy decision.

    Hiroshi Nakaso, seeking to …

  99. It was another nutty day in the markets with the price of oil rising by the most since February 2009 and stocks rocketing higher to finish what a hugely volatile week in the stock market.

    First, the scoreboard:

    Dow: 15,967, +307, (+2%)
    • S&P 500: 1,864, +35, (+1.9%)
    • Nasdaq: 4,337, +70, (+1.7%)
    • WTI crude …

  100. This week was quite a tumultuous one for banks, and especially Europe’s champion of the ‘best in class’ TBTF institutions, Deutsche Bank. Here’s what …

  101. A recent tightening of credit for U.S. companies is threatening to undermine economic growth, making it less likely the Federal Reserve will raise interest rates anytime soon.

    Fed Chair Janet Yellen said this week it was still too soon for the central bank to change its view that rate hikes are …

  102. When you lend somebody money, they usually have to pay you for the privilege.

    That has been a bedrock assumption across centuries of financial history. But it is an assumption that is increasingly being tossed aside by some of the world’s central banks and bond markets.

    A decade ago, negative …

  103. Tomi Lahren, host of Glenn Beck’s The Blaze network, argued this week that Beyonce tribute to Black Lives Matter and the Black Panthers at the Super …

  104. Any one else having a problem watching the replay of live seminar from Wednesday in Thursday's link? The charts don't go along with the enlightening dialogue.

  105. A new economic crisis would trigger a political backlash in Britain, Europe and the United States which could drag us all down into poverty

    They bounce back after terrorist attacks, pick themselves up after earthquakes and cope with pandemics such as Zika. They can even handle years of economic …

  106. More than 70,000 US middle school and high school teachers are teaching their students that climate change is not a result of humans, a survey found.

    The first US nationwide investigation into how children are taught about climate change, found that 54% of teachers tell their students that climate …

  107. Last fall, the signs were clear that air was coming out of the current tech bubble. And things have gotten worse since then.

    Will 2016?s tech bubble burst more loudly than the Dot-Com’s? Not even close.

    Before getting into the reasons for that, let’s look at what both bubble share — wide swings …

  108. TOKYO—Bank of Japan Gov. Haruhiko Kuroda once awed the markets. Now he looks like just another central banker running out of options.

    Mr. Kuroda took the helm of the BOJ in March 2013, vowing to do whatever it takes to vault Japan out of more than a decade of deflation. He fired one “monetary …

  109. Household debt in the US increased slightly to $12.12 trillion for the fourth quarter of 2015, up $51 billion (0.4%) from the third quarter.

    “Mortgage balances, the largest component of household debt, were roughly flat in the fourth quarter. Mortgage balances shown on consumer credit reports stood …

  110. The next decade will be lousy for investors.

    Jonathan Wilmot, head of macroeconomic research at Credit Suisse Asset Management, compared today’s environment to the aftermath of the Latin America debt crisis, the 1930s Great Depression, and the 2008 Great Recession.

    Here’s the upshot: After an initial …

  111. Earlier this week, MSNBC political commentator Christopher Hayes made a meme-worthy slip during coverage of the New Hampshire primary, calling the democratic candidate Bernie “Sandwiches.”

    Most outlets served up empty calories in response to the meme. But here are some “Bernie Sandwiches” you can …

  112. A vacant church isn’t just a church anymore.

    Thanks to Splacer, a new startup that promises to do for events what Airbnb did for overnight stays, an otherwise unusable place of worship — like the one Splacer user Kaitlyn C. rents for $575 an hour — can (and does) transform into a music video shoot, …

  113. It’s been a rough go of it for the Nasdaq 100 over the last few quarters. While the index is “off the lows”, it’s still down 14% from its recent …

  114. Add Bank of America to the list.

    The firm’s research team is the latest on Wall Street to lower expectations for the U.S. stock market in 2016, after …

  115. Money may not buy love, but it appears to buy years.

    Economist Barry Bosworth at the Brookings Institution crunched the numbers and found that the richer you are, the longer you’ll live. And it’s a gap that is widening, particularly among women.

    Mr. Bosworth parsed this data from the University of …

  116. In news that should give both tomato-throwing protesters and his debate opponents pause, Donald Trump revealed to a French magazine that he always …

  117. Oil prices surged to their biggest one-day gain since the financial crisis, rebounding from a 13-year low on speculation that the world’s biggest exporters may cut output.

    Light, sweet crude for March delivery gained $3.23, or 12.3%, to $29.44 a barrel Friday on the New York Mercantile Exchange, …

  118. One truism of investing is to follow the lead of those who are building wealth.This chart reveals the foundation of the wealth of the top 1% and the …

  119. For those who follow the monthly consumer credit report released by the Fed there was nothing surprising in today’s release of the latest Household …

  120. John Oliver, as a Brit, has some interesting opinions on the Super Bowl, football in general, and, in this clip, the halftime show. They are not …

  121. One measure of American inequality is the percentage of the nation’s overall wealth owned by different parts of the population. The graphic above …

  122. Syracuse University political scientist Chris Faricy is the author of the newly published book “Welfare for the Wealthy.” The book has been called “critically important” and “eye-opening.” He kindly answered some questions via email. A lightly edited transcript is below.

    Q: The conventional wisdom

  123. Hey guys, I've started a fun project:  I started a White House petition to put me in charge of the Strategic Petroleum Reserve so we can hedge oil prices and lock in sub-$30 oil for the next decade.  This would generate 7x more money than Obama's proposed barrel tax and would instead keep priced locked in at the lows WHILE making money for the treasury.   If we get 100,000 signatures in 30 days – the White Hose has to at least respond to the proposal!   

    Please sign this petition to help use our Strategic Petroleum Reserve to lock in low oil prices for America:  

    Please sign the petition and please get as many people as possible to sign it as well.  THANKS!  - Phil

  124. Pretty good website where you can generate chart about democracy indicators:

  125. Looks like older people have done much better than the average population over the last 40 years:

  126. Mkucstars – HotL Balmore – After 5 weeks in Aug/Sept and since Dec 20 – another 8 weeks of getting "long" positions punted in the arse, especially the last two weeks, I assumed some levity (which required a bit of subterfuge to keep from spoiling any laugh) might be in order.  You are correct, as W.Zevon might have said, and her hair was perfect, thanks for "understanding" my attempt at a sense of humor.

    Phil – SPR – that makes sense and perhaps the petition and Bernie can make it happen. Please check your PSW email.

  127. Wow, looks like Scalia died… 

  128. It's just so insane:

    Right out of the gate, conservatives were insisting that Republicans not allow President Obama to nominate another Justice to the High Court. And just moments ago, Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) announced that he would not allows such a vote to be held. So, in essence, this debate over whether to keep this seat vacant for likely as long as a year and a half lasted about an hour.

    Obama is still president for another year! What's the limit on replacing judges on SCOTUS – 1 year before you are out of office, 2 years, 4 years. If it was a GOP president, they would be rushing to replace Scalia right now and insist that the Supreme Court can't wait a year for a replacement. These guys just will use any trick they can to keep their power. This could of course backfire on them during the elections!

  129. Marco Rubio is truly an idiot. To say that "The Constitution is not a living breathing document and should be interpreted as written" must mean he is not aware that the Founding Fathers created a mechanism for amending the document. They knew that it must be a living breathing document that would need to be amended (changed) over time. This statement alone is such an egregious misstatement and misunderstanding of our laws and ideals that he should not be allowed to hold office at any level. I wish they had a way for someone to correct each of these morons and explain to them whenever they make a statement that is undeniably wrong!

    The fact that they will be able to keep our president from replacing a dead Supreme Court justice is abhorrent! This should not be legal or tolerated, yet it will happen. Lord help us if we elect one of these Republican morons. Will Rubio only nominate someone who promises never to amend the Constitution?

  130. Apple Must Remember To Fail With Style

    Apple’s iPhone team has had a rough week in the spotlight. Error 53 may be rooted in Tim Cook’s approach to security, but it was pitched as a software error that ‘bricked’ devices when the secure elements of an iOS-powered device were disrupted. The recently promoted issue of a date crashing and …

  131. Do the Saudis have an oil market strategy beyond pumping crude to defend their market share? Are they indifferent to which countries’ oil industries survive?

    Or, alternatively, are they targeting specific global competitors and specific national markets?

    Did they start with a particular strategy in …

  132. We might be in for ‘permanent easing’

    If you hoped that monetary policy would ever return to normal, you’re in for some disappointment. It appears as though central banks are hell-bent on doubling down on their mistakes. The past century has demonstrated time and again (Germany, Yugoslavia, Zimbabwe) the destructiveness of creating …

  133. On Friday, some 800 angry Greek farmers marched on the Agriculture Ministry in Athens and beat police with Shepherd’s crooks.

    No, really:

    The farmers …

  134. EAST PORTERVILLE, Calif. — Living day-to-day in a community without running water finally wore the Serrato family down.

    Their shallow well went dry more than a year ago, along with the wells of nearly a thousand nearby homes. The family of fiveturned to a government-provided emergency tank, …

  135. New York (CNN) — Don’t blink — you might miss a ridiculous swing in oil prices.

    The latest move was to the upside. Big time.

    Crude oil prices spiked 12.3% on Friday to $29.44 a barrel. It was the biggest one-day percentage gain since February 2009.

    The surge comes just a day after oil plummeted to …

  136. 100 Best Websites For Entrepreneurs

  137. 3 reasons why the gold rally is the real deal

    Gold prices peaked at $1,900 per ounce in September 2011. It was the end of a spectacular, decade-long bull market, during which the precious metal’s value increased a phenomenal 645 percent.

    Since then, gold has struggled to regain momentum as an ever-climbing stock market has drawn more and more …

  138. 5 Charts From the Week in Markets – WSJ

    1 Market Woes Deepen Growth Fears (Or Is It the Other Way Around?)

    The market mayhem of 2016 took on a new dimension this week, with growing concerns that global central banks, in resorting to negative interest rates to boost growth, were worsening an already tough environment for lenders, and in …

  139. Is Theranos Too Good To Be True?

    This is a guest post by the daughter of Steve Denning, Stephanie Denning, who writes about leadership issues from a Millennial perspective. The views expressed here are her own.

    Elizabeth Holmes, founder of Theranos, the company valued at approximately $9 billion, with celebrities like Henry …

  140. After three years of Abenomics and record monetary stimulus from the central bank, Japan’s economy still can’t escape a roller-coaster cycle of …

  141. Calling Cruz a “nasty guy,” Trump says “now I know why he doesn’t have one endorsement from his colleagues”

    After Ted Cruz attempted to jump into round 3 of Trump v. Bush during Saturday’s GOP debate, piling-on The Donald over his ideological flip-flops during a debate on eminent domain, Trump …

  142. An inconclusive Thursday night debate and trouble in the next contest state have led Hillary Clinton to a sharp change in her once dominant presidential campaign. Her media image of inevitability has rapidly diminished, turning her campaign into a war of attrition.

    Democrats have chortled for months …

  143. Tell me where dwell the thoughts, forgotten till thou call them forth? Tell me where dwell the joys of old, and where the ancient loves, And when will they renew again, and the night of oblivion past, That I might traverse times and spaces far remote, and bring Comforts into a present sorrow and a …

  144. Stock markets in turmoil. Nervous investors seeking out safe havens for their money. Rumours swirling about the vulnerability of some of the world’s biggest banks. February 2016 is starting to smell suspiciously like early September 2008 and the days before the collapse of Lehman Brothers.

    To be …

  145. “It’s the most technologically advanced cruise ship in the world,” the Royal Caribbean sales agent told me over the phone when I booked a trip aboard the Anthem of the Seas, the cruise line’s flashy new megaship, reported to be the third-largest cruise vessel ever built. “It’s what we call a …

  146. BEIJING (Reuters) – Speculators should not be allowed to dominate market sentiment regarding China’s foreign exchange reserves and it was quite normal for reserves to fall as well as rise, central bank governor Zhou Xiaochuan was quoted as saying on Saturday.

    China’s foreign reserves fell for a …

  147. Justice Antonin Scalia, whose transformative legal theories, vivid writing and outsize personality made him a leader of a conservative intellectual renaissance in his three decades on the Supreme Court, was found dead on Saturday at a resort in West Texas, according to a statement from Chief …

  148. RANCHO MIRAGE, Calif. — President Obama said Saturday that he planned to submit a nominee to replace Justice Antonin Scalia on the Supreme Court, rebuffing Republicans who have called for him to leave the choice to the next president.

    Speaking to reporters from Rancho Mirage, where he is golfing …

  149. Reality tempers optimism in coal country after court ruling

    MADISON, W.Va. (AP) — The U.S. Supreme Court has delivered a commodity that is hard to come by in coal country: hope.

    Hope that by blocking a new federal rule cutting power-plant emissions, the court has turned the tide after years of regulations and declining production. Hope that the jobs that …

  150. Good morning!  



    Meanwhile, what a ridiculous argument for Bush to make – that Clinton did not kill Bin Laden when the first WTC attack was not directly tied to Bin Laden:

    None of the U.S. government's indictments against former al-Qaeda leader Osama bin Laden suggested that he had any connection with this bombing.[27]

    Meanwhile, Jeb seems to forget that his brother had 8 years to arrest Bin Laden even AFTER he was directly responsible for 9/11 yet failed to do so.  If he tries to make a BS argument like that in a real debate – it will be the end of his candidacy.  

    News of the poisoned water crisis in Flint has reached a wide audience around the world. The basics are now known: the Republican governor, Rick Snyder,…


    Wow, on #6 – Nestle strikes again (they are the ones selling CA water during a drought):

    The Wife of the Governor’s Chief of Staff Is a Spokeswoman for Nestle, Michigan’s Largest Owner of Private Water Reserves. As Deep Throat told Woodward and Bernstein: “Follow the money.” Snyder’s chief of staff throughout the two years of Flint’s poisoning, Dennis Muchmore, was intimately involved in all the decisions regarding Flint. His wife is Deb Muchmore, who just happens to be the spokesperson in Michigan for the Nestle Company – the largest owner of private water sources in the State of Michigan. Nestle has been repeatedly sued in northern Michigan for the 200 gallons of fresh water per minute it sucks from out of the ground and bottles for sale as their Ice Mountain brand of bottled spring water. The Muchmores have a personal interest in seeing to it that Nestles grabs as much of Michigan’s clean water was possible – especially when cities like Flint in the future are going to need that Ice Mountain.


  151. scalia – ding dong, the witch is dead……

  152. By Julia Payne

    ABUJA (Reuters) – The mood inside the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC) is shifting from mistrust to a growing consensus that a decision must be reached on how to end the global oil price rout, Nigeria’s oil minister told Reuters.

    Oil prices have slumped by more …

  153. 9to5Mac published a another article that reports Apple will hold an event on Tuesday, March 15, to announce the iPhone 5se, an updated 4” smartphone, an iPad Air 3 and new Watch options. While there have been reports since December about a new iPhone appearing in the March/April timeframe it …

  154. This week marked the so-called end-of-earnings season.

    And another quarter of information from America’s public companies makes one thing clear: We’re still in a profit recession.

    US businesses have actually been in this recession for some time, but the final quarter of 2015 made clear that this …

  155. It’s nice to know your employer has your back … even if they’ll only give you backhanded compliments.

    In a note on Tuesday, Societe Generale’s global research team led by Andrew Lapthorne decided to look at their colleague Albert Edwards’ startling prediction that global stock markets would crash …

  156. In a quiet update to its policies, Tesla has raised prices on its after-sales service options, and — more significantly — now prevents new Tesla buyers from transferring their extended warranty and prepaid service plans when reselling the car.

    By far the biggest change, at least as far as the impact …

  157. Originally posted at The Daily Bell,Stock markets suspect Federal Reserve has interest rate jitters … Hints that the Fed won’t raise interest rates

  158. The presidential candidates are wrestling with the issue of political money, which emerged as a bigger issue this cycle than in any presidential race since the 1970s.

    Bernie Sanders started last week’s Democratic debate with this point: “We have today a campaign finance system which is corrupt, …

  159. Now here's a Valentine, a love letter straight from my heart.  We love Michael Moore and unfortunately, his petition just scratches the surface.  Flint was predictable easy pickins after Motown which was the first target in Michigan for this aggressive form of public asset seizure or hostile corporate takeover.  But we are glad Mr. Moore has the mojo to help get the message out, that being…

    Wake up STUPID, feeding on the carcasses of foreign and 3rd world victims wasn't enough for these vampires.  The Shock Doctrine has brought "disaster capitalism" or "corporate cannibalism" back home to our shores and open war has been declared on the US citizenry…. get a clue, here's your sign… Jefferson County, Alabama; New Orleans, Birmingham, Detroit, Flint, Illinois, etc, etc, next Chicago, then Philly, then New York, then fill in the blank with your city, county, state.

    Its not just about the seizure of public assets, Detroit's water infrastructure which supplies 40% of Michigan, and processes Flint's water supply and Lake Huron which supplies those municipalities and constitutes 21% of the surface fresh water supply of the WORLD.  That was an aperitif.

    It's not just about the seizure of private property, or housing gentrification which are antipasto…with over 90,000 municipal pension funds, and $16.5 TRILLION (perspective: the US banking system has $18T, Eurodollar $19T) in defined benefit & contribution pension funds, to sink their fangs into, THIS IS the new market opportunity and main course for these bloodsucking corporate carpetbaggers. So forget the walking dead, facebook and the game, unless we get in front of this thing, they be a comin to your town to drain it dry, soon enough. Happy Valentines Day. Out.

  160. oil already down in the futures?

  161. Well, nothing concrete out of OPEC to support that silly rally.  

    Very true, Naybob – I warned people years ago that "THEY" were coming after our water and, generally, I was branded a conspiracy theorist for my efforts.  Now it's kind of obvious but it still sounds like we're just whiny liberal complaining about smart Capitalists who are simply taking economic advantage as is their God-given right.  

    /NKD up a bit at 15,600 so my stop is 15,550 and I'll keep it trailing in case anyone is playing the home game.  Mostly I want to cash /NKD because /NG is back at $1.94 and /NGK6 is $2.08.

  162. Bad news for Japan MIGHT be good news but, then again, it could be bad news…

    Japan’s Economy Contracts Again in Fourth Quarter

    The world’s third-largest economy contracts for the second time in three quarters, the latest blow to Tokyo’s pro-growth program and a possible motive for further investor jitters. 14 minutes ago

    How Australia Is Weathering the Commodities Rout

    As Australia’s economy has slowed alongside the commodities rout, one surprising consensus is emerging: It isn’t nearly as bad as it should be

  163. Phil—just cashed out of /NKD for $400 +  ——   so u would go into /NGK6 at 2.08?

  164. Good job Savi – I'm down to 5 long now at 15,700 – didn't want to blow that.  Yes to /NGK6 at $2.08 but could test $2 – keep that in mind.  

  165. thanks Phil

  166. Took the money and ran on /NKD – too much gain to blow while I sleep and /NG doing well already – no need to be greedy.  I figure 16,000 would get rejected anyway.  

    If our Futures were up more or if Shanghai wasn't red, I'd be more willing to stick it out but it's a bird in the hand kind of thing (especially after starting off badly).  

  167. TOKYO (Reuters) – Japanese telecoms conglomerate SoftBank Group (9984.T) said on Monday it will purchase up to 500 billion yen ($4.4 billion) worth or as much as 14.2 percent of its own shares, in its biggest buyback to date.

    The shares have fallen around 28 percent since the start of the year.

    The …

  168. China’s currency hit its strongest level this year after the central bank guided it sharply up Monday against a tide of stumbling global financial markets.

    After opening stronger against the U.S. dollar, the yuan traded as much as 1.2% higher than the previous close, the largest such move since …

  169. Japan Shares Surge on Bargain Hunting

    Shares in Japan surged Monday to post their biggest gain since September, as investors bought up recently battered financial stocks and the Japanese yen continued to ease from its strongest levels against the U.S. dollar in more than a year.

    The Nikkei Stock Average closed up 7.2% at 16022.58, …

  170. Germany’s top judges this week will once again ask whether Mario Draghi’s 2012 promise to do “whatever it takes” to save the euro can exist alongside …

  171. `Brexit’ Pain for Europe Gives Cameron Leverage in Crucial Week

    Prime Minister David Cameron enters the final week of negotiations over Britain’s future in the European Union with a message for his continental …

  172. Banks’ Relaxing Stress Tests

    European bank shares are getting dragged down to levels not seen in decades, with Friday’s rebound barely moving the needle. A big part of the reason …

  173. Japan’s economy shrank in the final three months of 2015, the government said on Monday, undergoing a more severe contraction than experts had expected amid signs that global growth was stalling.

    The Cabinet Office said output in Asia’s second-largest economy declined by 1.4 percent in annualized, …

  174. European bank stocks have started this week as they ended the last- with a much needed bounce.

    Once again banks are rebounding across the board. The …

  175. India’s stock markets jumped more than 2 percent on Monday, heading for their biggest daily gain in more than a year as rallies in global markets …

  176. Even the Most Bearish Calls on European Stocks Are Still Bullish

    Investors may be yanking out money from European stocks at the fastest pace in months, but strategists are standing by their optimistic calls.

    After a …

  177. China posted a worse-than-expected January trade data Monday, pointing to a shaky start for the year and more downward pressure on the economy. Both imports and exports weakened last month in the world’s second-largest economy, while China’s trade surplus widened.

    Figures from China’s General …

  178. Stomach-churning moves in Japanese stocks have sent a gauge of volatility to the highest level since the March 2011 earthquake. The Topix index …

  179. Tom got the title of ‘Mr Serenity’ in Jack Schwager’s book ‘The New Market Wizards’.

    Tom went from trading his own money, to forming TrendStat and …

  180. Asia Stocks Rebound as U.S., Europe Futures Gain; Yen, Gold Fall

    Asian shares rebounded from a three-year low, led by a surge in Japanese shares, amid speculation losses that pushed global equities into a bear …

  181. The Guardian has revealed that the bank HSBC has stopped advertising with the title following its coverage of the bank’s involvement in a …

  182. Japanese shares have chalked up one of their biggest one-day gains on record, surging more than 7 per cent.

    But … maybe that’s expected given last …

  183. China’s bad-loan problems are “not as serious as” Hayman Capital Management’s Kyle Bass claimed earlier this month, according to China International …

  184. Is there a way to reduce the “filter” of information to the brain? originally appeared on Quora – the knowledge sharing network where compelling questions are answered by people with unique insights.

    Answer by Joyce Schenkein, PhD in Neuropsychology, on Quora:

    We are actually incapable of appreciating …

  185. Stocks soared in Tokyo, with the Topix posting its biggest gain in more than seven years, as investors judged shares had been oversold and a report …

  186. While presidential candidate Marco Rubio’s tax proposals would put more money in taxpayers’ wallets and in business coffers, their benefits would be …

  187. The Hollywood Presbyterian Medical Center, a 430+ beds hospital in the middle of Los Angeles, has been hit by a cyber-attack and its systems are now






    The Upshot

    Eric Thayer for The New York Times


    The New York Times

  189. Asia markets in recovery mode

    Monday 03.50 GMT. Asian markets were in recovery mode as Japanese shares rebounded more than 5 per cent and investors mulled over weak Chinese trade …

  190. An Australian mining company has just announced the discovery of an enormous 400-carat diamond, and its shares are going wild.

    The find – the biggest diamond ever unearthed in Angola – was announced by the Perth-based Lucapa Diamond Company. A short time ago, the company’s shares were up 32% to …

  191. 1 Another Contraction

    This is the fifth contraction in the 12 quarters Prime Minister Shinzo Abe has been in office. The repeated falls underscore the continued fragility of Japan’s economy even after Mr. Abe introduced his ‘Abenomics’ growth plan three years ago.

    2 Consumers Are a Drag on the Economy

  192. In his inimitable manner, Abraham Gulowitz unleashes 18 new pages of “all the charts you can eat” to expose the ugly reality of what is going on …

  193. Washington might be broken. But that doesn’t mean someone from the world of Wall Street knows how to fix it

    One of the most ignorant and inescapable clichés of American political discourse is the pervasive idea that what the country most needs is a businessman in the White House. A popular pitch of …

  194. As fear mongering about the Zika epidemic runs rampant, separate organizations of doctors from Brazil and Argentina are directly challenging the …

  195. How Far Left Has America Moved?

    FROM the earliest days of Barack Obama’s presidency, a comforting assumption developed among much of the center-right political world. The thinking went like this: President Obama was far more liberal than the majority of the country. But given his extraordinary political talents, the fatigue of …

  196. Here’s Why ECB and BOJ Can’t Copy Danish Negative Rate Success

    The country with the longest history of negative interest rates may offer a few lessons on how the policy works.

    According to Scandinavia’s biggest …

  197. A nuclear reactor in China has created plasma at a temperature of 50 million Kelvins (49.999 million degrees Celsius or 90 million Fahrenheit) for …

  198. Good morning!  

    What a day already.  The Nikkei is, officially, up 7% and /NKD hit 16,125 while I slept but back to 15,830 now, which is where I got out.  Not sure I want to rush back in below 16,000 but that should be a good bull line with tight stops below now.  15,500 would be a nice re-entry if we test it.  

    Shanghai was stubbornly negative but actually was up all session after a poor open (making up for all the down action they missed last week and then shaking it off to hold our 2,700 line) and Hang Seng said fuggedaboutit and just went up 3.27%.  Europe is up 2.5-3% at the open as EVERYTHING IS AWESOME once again! 

    News out of Asia is not particularly good (see above) with Japan's GDP down 1.4% and China's Jan exports down 6.6% from last year and imports were down 14.4% but that RAISES expectation that the BOJ and PBOC will stimulate again but, interestingly, the PBOC held the Yuan UP today, saying they did not see a need for more devaluation.  

    With China, I'm not sure imports and exports are down at all but possibly these are just the real numbers now that they are cracking down on fake invoices, etc. It's the same premise I have with China's "slowdown" – it's not so much a slowdown as a (finally) realistic assessment of the actual Chinese economy without all the puffed up numbers but that's a GOOD thing because it means China's slowdown is a bookeeping entry and not a harbinger of a Global Recession that will affect other countries as much as thought.  

    Don't Blame China For Market Insanity… Says China

    Certainly other countries are confirming slowing trade with China but a lot of that is because they aren't playing inventory games internally (as much) and ordering things they don't need to boost consumption numbers.  Also, there's been no measurable spillover affect where trade between other Asian countries has slowed considerably – another indication that China's issues are somewhat contained (for now).  

    The Dollar is back over 96, which is keeping Japan happy and knocking commodities back a bit but oil $29.24 is a victory after last week's scare and gold $1,211 is nothing to complain about!  

    Gasoline is done screwing people for holiday driving so we're done too at $1.04.  

    /NGK6 is the fresh horse ($2.074 with /NG at $1.934, so an 0.14 spread).  

    Copper longs stopped out too but a great run on those! 

    Oil Speculators Shrug Off Huge Stockpiles to Bet on Price ClimbOil stockpiles at an 86-year high and warnings of a persistent glut weren’t enough to keep money managers from betting that prices are ready for a rebound. Speculators’ long positions in West Texas Intermediate crude climbed to the highest since June as oil sank toward a 12-year low, according to U.S. Commodity Futures Trading Commission data. Despite a 12 percent rally Friday, prices finished last week down 4.7 percent at $29.44 a barrelSpeculators’ long position in WTI rose by 1,152 contracts to 302,384 futures and options in the week ended Feb. 9, CFTC data show. Shorts, or bets that prices will decline, slipped 2.1 percent. Net-longs increased 5 percent to a three-month high.

    Saudi Arabia might not be ready to fold just yet"Possible ongoing talks on coordinated OPEC and non-OPEC crude oil production cuts are unlikely to be successful in the near-term, in our view," argued BAML's MENA economist, Jean-Michel Saliba, in a recent note to clients. "Saudi Arabia appears to be continuing in the meantime to position its energy and fiscal policies for a lower for longer oil price environment, if need be, as suggested by the possible flotation of Saudi Aramco or parts thereof."

    Just a fraction of the world's oil supply isn't profitable at $35 a barrel

    IEA: Don't buy oil

    Iran to ship 4 mln barrels of crude to Europe in coming 24 hours


    What Energy Bankers Are Really Saying: "We Are Looking To Save Ourselves Now"

    Market turmoil causes sharp losses at US hedge fundsSome of the largest and well known US hedge funds have suffered further sharp losses from this year’s rout in equities and commodities, raising the prospect that investors pull more money from the industry. Popular bets in equities, currencies and commodities have backfired on a number of hedge funds this year, confounding some of the industry’s highest profile investors such as Bill Ackman’s Pershing Square, Glenview Capital run by Larry Robbins, while Carl Icahn has been hit hard by the slumping energy sector. ?

    The 4 Key Themes From Q4 Conference Calls

    Hillary Clinton: Obama on the Supreme Court would be a ‘great idea’

  199. Senator Warren said in a statement, “Senator McConnell is right that the American people should have a voice in the selection of the next Supreme Court justice. In fact, they did – when President Obama won the 2012 election by five million votes.”

    Then Warren proceeded to remind McConnell about that thing Republicans are always claiming to worship – the Constitution, specifically Article II, “Article II Section 2 of the Constitution says the President of the United States nominates justices to the Supreme Court, with the advice and consent of the Senate.”

    Wait for it… “I can’t find a clause that says ‘…except when there’s a year left in the term of a Democratic President.'”

    Warren reminded McConnell that Republicans took an oath just like Democrats did and if they fail to do their duty, their talk about loving the Constitution is empty, “Senate Republicans took an oath just like Senate Democrats did. Abandoning the duties they swore to uphold would threaten both the Constitution and our democracy itself. It would also prove that all the Republican talk about loving the Constitution is just that – empty talk.”

    Senator Warren is absolutely correct. The idea that Republicans get to obstruct the power of the presidency invested in Obama by the people in not one but two elections is outrageous.

    Republicans think that obstructing President Obama’s nominee is good politics and will help them in the 2016 election. However, 2016 was already set to be a tough year for Republicans in the Senate. Mitch McConnell must be suffering from Fox induced epistemic closure if he doesn’t see that these tactics will not sell in blue or moderate states.

    Judging from political TV this weekend, the GOP has decided to make a supreme court nominee a huge issue with Cruz going full-court press on Roe v. Wade which, he seems to forget was decided in 1973 and has not had a successful challenge (despite hundreds of attempts) in 43 years.  In 1976, the GOP ran hard on overturning Roe v Wade and Jimmy Carter was chosen over sitting President Ford 297 to 240 electoral votes and by 2M popular votes.  

    I just don't see this as a winning strategy for them and, in fact, it could cost them the Senate because it gives the Dems a polarizing issue to attack GOP Senators on that can help get out the vote.  

    Only 10 Democratic Senate seats are up in 2016 but the Republicans have to defend 24 and THIS is going to be their strategy?  Really???


    Michael Bennet (Colorado)
    Richard Blumenthal (Connecticut)
    Barbara Boxer (California) retiring in 2016
    Patrick Leahy (Vermont)
    Barbara Mikulski (Maryland) retiring in 2016
    Patty Murray (Washington)
    Harry Reid (Nevada) retiring in 2016
    Brian Schatz (Hawaii)
    Charles Schumer (New York)
    Ron Wyden (Oregon)



    Kelly Ayotte (New Hampshire)
    Roy Blunt (Missouri)
    John Boozman (Arkansas)
    Richard Burr (North Carolina)
    Dan Coats (Indiana) retiring in 2016
    Mike Crapo (Idaho)
    Chuck Grassley (Iowa)
    John Hoeven (North Dakota)
    Johnny Isakson (Georgia)
    Ron Johnson (Wisconsin)
    Mark Kirk (Illinois)
    James Lankford (Oklahoma)
    Mike Lee (Utah)
    John McCain (Arizona)
    Jerry Moran (Kansas)
    Lisa Murkowski (Alaska)
    Rand Paul (Kentucky)
    Rob Portman (Ohio)
    Marco Rubio (Florida) retiring in 2016
    Tim Scott (South Carolina)
    Richard Shelby (Alabama)
    John Thune (South Dakota)
    Pat Toomey (Pennsylvania)
    David Vitter (Louisiana)

    The dems need to go 6 to 3 in contested states (NV, CO, WI, IL, OH, PA, NC, FL and NH – who just landslided Bernie) – assuming the 17 "solid" GOP states stay that way.  Very doable.

    If you love the GOP (and who doesn't) and you want to save your party – I'd tell your reps to cut the crap and approve a judge so they at least SEEM reasonable to the American people is it may be another 60 years in the desert (1935-1995) for your party 

  200. Good Morning

    FYI—Draghi speaks at 9 am—--

  201. Phil just out of curiosity, what has dropped NG so far down this morning? Can't be the current weather, but I haven't been looking at the forecasts, so is that it? Or is there some new problem with LNG exporting? Is there any reason at all? I am just curious to know if you have any theories?

  202. Phil – NG – Are you scaling in or stopping out? What it the plan?

  203. Draghi/Savi – Speaking now, going to be lots of quotes out of this one. 

    /NG/Craigs – Warm next week but cold again the week after but then that's it for winter.  

    Now, after years of permits and construction we are about to see what Cheniere Energy looks like as an investment with working operations. It's not getting off to a good start. The company announced back on Jan. 14 that the first cargoes from the Sabine Pass facility will be delayed by two months because of instrumentation and wiring issues at the facility. 

    Management says that it is working with the construction firm to get the issue resolved, and the complete ramp up of the facility remains on schedule. However, as the company has seen its shares declined more than 66% over the past year, investors are probably on the edge about whether to hang onto this stock in the first place. So any news that operations aren't going swimmingly is going to make people nervous.

    Now what: Investing in Cheniere Energy before now has been a bet that LNG exports from the U.S. will be a profitable venture, but to be profitable the company will need to be a proficient operator. Any major construction project is going to run into speed bumps like this, so investors probably shouldn't freak out too much now. However, it operational hiccups become the norm, then the idea investment Cheniere once was won't turn out to be as lucrative as we once thought.

    We're not investing in LNG, we are investing in /NG/UNG – as long as they export it – we don't care how profitable it is.  

    /NG/Traderd – It's only 4 contracts and I'm averaging $2.10, now $2.05 and I'll DD around $2.04 (prior low) if we get there and then out of 4 when even and then in to at least $2.20 – where we keep getting rejected.  

    Europe still chugging along – up 3%ish.  Our futures up 1.3%ish but that's impressive with the Dollar flying back to 97 on Draghi's doveish same old, same old.  


  204. Pharmboy – AGEN
    Are you still bullish?  Would you sell a spread at this price?


  205. Amazing call on those EWJ calls Phil!  That should be good for a quick double tomorrow.

  206. Presidents Day Mad Natterings – Zika - ironic how the birth defects are now being linked to a Monsanto subsidiary…  Hackers caused the Russian Ruble to swing 15 per cent in minutes by hacking a bank… DB's (Deutsche Bank) cost for capital, short end of the curve 6M tenor +120bps in one week???  Ouch or Out.

  207. I just hope the index futures hold up tomorrow. 3x long the S&P since Thursday lows, wheeee!

  208. Not good for oil:

    In an oil sector first, the oil-rich United Arab Emirates (UAE) has offered free oil to India in return for a storage deal at India’s planned underground facility as the supply glut worsens and some analysts predict that ‘’peak storage” could sending prices crashing further.

    The UAE’s Abu Dhabi National Oil Company (ADNOC) has agreed to store crude oil in India's maiden strategic storage facility, sweetening the deal by saying India could take two-thirds of the oil for free.

    It’s a great deal for India, which is almost fully reliant on imports to meet its crude oil needs.

    India has lured Abu Dhabi in with the building of a massive underground storage facility system that will be able to take on 5.33 million tons of crude as a bulwark against global price shocks and supply disruptions.

    Thanks Palotay. 

    MON/Naybob – Essentially it seems they have been blaming the poor mosquitoes for the damage they caused, which then got people to use more of their product that was causing the damage in the first place.  Yet no one goes to jail…

    Nice job Mkucstars.

    Our futures seem to be holding 1.5% gains so far.  Oil $29.76, gold $1,210.  /NG climbing back to $2.06 and /RB backing down to $1.03.

  209. Oil ministers from Saudi Arabia and Russia are heading to Quatar to discuss production. How high will this headline send oil? Surprisingly subdued at the open though.

  210. Nice $1 pop as the Futures opened back up in oil.  We'll see how high it goes.  $32.50 should be the top of the short-term range and then $35 but over $35 is a clean shot to $40, $45 and $50 but way too soon to justify that so I figure meetings can get them to $35 but only an actual cutback announcement will get them back to the low $40s (which is where we expect them in July anyway).  

    Of course, keep in mind that down from $50 to $25 is $25 so weak bounce to $30 and strong is $35 – let's see if $30 holds first once real trading begins tomorrow.  

  211. Phil if oil does pop, do you think it will carry NG for a bit, or is that trade going to be screwed short term (please note I am asking about short term, not long term bets) by the weather forecast for unseasonable warmth after next week? April and May are looking like they could be unusually warm (maybe not so unusual if we agree on global warming). Does the weather have an affect on NG at this time of year or is it just a minor component now?

  212. Phil, I am not sure I understand your premise on NG. I think you mentioned that this week is warmer than normal, next week is colder than normal, then winter is over. How would this be bullish on NG, especially in your trade of the year UNG. I am sure I am missing something in the translation. Thanks

  213. I think Phil's premise all along has been based on exports… which were delayed from Jan to March. I'd be interested in an update too on your thinking, any news?

  214. Looking forward to this upcoming trade week for some reason. Something is in the air, I can feel it…

  215. Moar free money dropped from helicopters? Sorry, been reading Zerohedge…

  216. I am enjoying the show Billions on Showtime..

  217. Good morning!  

    Brent just crossed $35, so /CL likely to catch up a bit, now crossing $32 but usually it's within 15% so I'd say still playable long here as long as /BZ over $35.

    Oil Prices Surge as Saudis, Russia Talk Production

    Crude-oil prices rose as the Saudi Arabian and Russian energy ministers met in Qatar to discuss production, stoking speculation of a production cut or freeze. 9 minutes ago

  218. /NG/Craigs – Nat gas tends to drop in March/April and comes back a bit in May as people heating their pools causes drawdowns and then down again until November, when (and if) it gets cold.  There's a huge glut at the moment and we're not exporting yet, so we're at the top of the range for our winter draw-down and warm weather will not help.  If this blue line goes above the gray area – that's going to send a very negative signal to traders so, short-term, you have to be very careful with the /NG trade.

    Working Gas in Underground Storage Compared with Five-Year Range

    /NG/Jomp – It's all about LNG exports (does nobody read my posts?).

    Something/BDC – We shall see. WSJ still warning on China:

    China Loses Control of the Economic Plot

    The gloom around the Chinese economy is different this time. With reforms to cure economic ills stalled, Beijing has ceded the narrative to the speculators.

    Hong Kong Looks for Answers as HSBC Decides to Stay in London

    HSBC’s decision to keep its headquarters in the U.K. rather than move to Hong Kong is prompting soul-searching in this former British colony about its perception on the world stage.

    MORE FREE MONEY/Mkucs – That's the new plan, apparently. 

    Billions/Randers – I like that show so far.   Just watched Vinyl, that was a fun trip back to the 70s.

    Europe opening up – all is well so far.  Our futures are up to, 1,888 on /ES after testing 1,892 but don't forget it's 1,900 (strong bounce) or bust this week – accept no imitations!  

    Impressive, but much less so if you zoom out:

  219. Woops – After a nice spike to $31.50, we just blew $31 on /CL as there must be bad news on a possible deal so game off for now on oil longs!  

  220. $30.50 failing and down to $30 – that's going to knock down the Futures a bit.

  221. Draghi saying Banks need to get real and adjust expectations for lower-growth environment.

  222. Ah, they have agreed to FREEZE oil production – that's nowhere near good enough to fix oil prices!  SELLSELLSELL!!!!

  223. Sorry, not short, of course – still too dangerous.  Waiting for ministers' comments.

  224. Crazy action:

  225. Many Wall Street strategists started out the year forecasting that stock-market returns would be modest, if not unspectacular.

    But in the first few weeks of 2016, stocks have turned more sour than expected.

    The market had its shakiest start to a year ever, the S&P 500 is down 9% year-to-date, and …

  226. To belt, to dance, to rap or to mourn? The 58th annual Grammy Awards cycled through those modes on Monday night in its live broadcast from the Staples Center.

    It’s an awards show that has all but eliminated giving awards. Only eight competitive Grammys were announced on the three-and-half hour show; …

  227. The sundry scenes and dreamy narration mimic Ronald Reagan’s legendary ad “Morning Again in America.” But where the incumbent trumpeted the strides that the country had made since his election, Republican presidential hopeful Sen. Marco Rubio digs into America’s supposed decline under President …

  228. Yes, you read that right. Amidst a tumbling stock market, plunging trade data, weakening Yuan, and soaring volatility, China’s aggregate debt

  229. “People come here,” stammered a worker at a Starbucks in Jiangsu province, “because it is expensive and lux . .. lux . . .”

    “Luxurious?” I helped out.

    “Yes, luxurious.”

    She had just summarized a fundamental part of Starbucks’ recipe for success in China. Starbucks’ appearance in China in 1999 …

  230. The Economist recently published an article that said robots will eventually cause the disappearance of call centers. I agree with this article though I believe humans are still a critical part of a good customer experience, in the future they might not be. We are already programming our technology …

  231. Today IBM Corp. officially announced its z13s mainframe with speedy encryption, cyber analytics, and other security innovations which are baked into the new machine. Call it a cyberframe and watch the CIOs come running.

    Big Blue spent 5 years and one billion dollars developing the z13 mainframe. …

  232. SINGAPORE (Reuters) – Investors should short gold, one of the best performing assets this year, Goldman Sachs said, as it believes a recent rally triggered by concerns over the health of the global economy has been overdone.

    Bullion has gained about 13 percent in 2016 as worries over negative …

  233. Pay-to-play. It’s probably the biggest open secret in the beer business. Want to guarantee that a bar owner keeps your brewery’s beer flowing while giving your competitors the frosty shoulder? Buy them a new draft system, offer them lavish gifts, or in the case of particularly valuable publicans, …

  234. Old school mainframes are one of IBM’s gems.

    IBM’s last 15 consecutive quarters may have investors grumbling as the company’s sales continue to decline. However, the company’s business of selling mainframes, the old-school powerful computing systems that banks typically use to handle their …

  235. Yen’s recent appreciation is abnormal from statistical perspectives

    TOKYO--An adviser to Prime Minister Shinzo Abe said that Japan’s finance ministry should intervene in the currency market to curb volatility in the yen, saying the currency’s rebound since last week is unusually sharp.

    “The yen’s …

  236. TOKYO (Reuters) – Japan’s ruling Liberal Democratic Party has decided not to let the country’s trillion-dollar public pension fund directly invest in stocks due to concern on the fund’s influence on corporate management, sources in the party and government said on Tuesday.

    The government has been …

  237. TOKYO — Asian shares extended gains on Tuesday as a combination of stabilizing Chinese markets, rebounding oil prices and solid U.S. consumption data prompted investors to look for bargains after last week’s rout.

    European shares were also expected to build on Monday’s strong start, with …

  238. Closely watched Tesla Motors says it expects to be profitable on an adjusted basis in 2016, as sales of its Model S and Model X pick up steam, and says increased cash flow will enable it to invest $1.5 billion in new growth initiatives without borrowing outside capital.

    In a quarterly letter to …

  239. Even after a weaker than expected Q4 GDP report showing the Japanese economy shrank more than expected, stocks in Japan ripped higher in Monday’s …

  240. As I explained in my last post, banks can’t “lend out reserves” under any circumstances, which undermines a major rationale that Central Bank economists gave for undertaking Quantitative Easing in the first place. Consequently, the hope that Bernanke expressed in 2009 is “To Dream The Impossible …

  241. Move depends on other major producers following suit, people familiar with matter said

    Saudi Arabia, Russia, Qatar and Venezuela said Tuesday they wouldn’t increase crude-oil output above January’s levels as long as other major oil producers followed suit, people familiar with the matter said.

    The …

  242. Saudi and Russia ministers agree oil production freeze

    Saudi Arabia has provisionally agreed with Russia to freeze oil output at January levels, in a co-ordinated move to reduce a supply glut and shore up …

  243. A glut in crude isn’t affecting new demand for wind-energy. Even as falling prices made oil more affordable last year, investors directed a record …

  244. Space tourism projects at a glance

    Virgin Galactic later this month in Mojave, California, is preparing to roll out its new SpaceShipTwo, a vehicle the company hopes will one day take tourists to the edge of space. It comes roughly 15½ months since an earlier incarnation was destroyed in a test flight, killing one of the pilots. …

  245. John Oliver’s Last Week Tonight is back — with an incredible takedown of controversial voter ID laws from around the country.”In recent years, some …

  246. Having flooded China’s financial system with cash before last week’s Lunar New Year holiday, the central bank has begun the task of mopping up excess …

  247. HOUSTON (Reuters) – Roughly a third of oil producers are at high risk of slipping into bankruptcy this year as low commodity prices crimp their access to cash and ability to cut debt, according to a study by Deloitte, the auditing and consulting firm.

    The report, based on a review of more than 500 …

  248. • More people will have mobile phones (5.4B) than electricity (5.3B), running water (3.5B) and cars (2.8B) by 2020.
    • By 2020, over 75% of the world’s mobile data traffic will be video, making this category the highest growth rate of any mobile application.
    • By 2020, 4G connections will account for 72% of …

  249. Yesterday, National Journal‘s Jim Tankersley introduced us to Nick Hanauer, a venture capitalist from Seattle, whose speech at the TED University conference was deemed “too politically controversial to post on their web site.” Last night, NJ produced the full slideshow to accompany the full text of …

  250. Lady Gaga was great last night:

  251. /CL- Well whoever holds the 214Mb of open interest still in the March contracts must be kicking themselves today for not rolling yet. Unless of course they find a way to announce on Wednesday tht Iran and Iraq will agree to "freeze" production. I expect they will say it and prices will shoot up again for the weekend, but no one will actually do what they say and we will then move on to the next rumor to prop up prices after production is found to be thawed..