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Manic Monday – Waiting for the BOJ, Fed

2:30 AM.

That's what time tomorrow the Bank of Japan will have their press conference to announce their rate decision as well as, potentially, any new stimulus measures.  Our own Fed will go 12 hours later (2pm) with Yellen speaking at 2:30 and, in case the markets are going completely off the rails by Friday, we have Dudley speaking at 9am, Rosengren speaking at 11am and Bullard speaking at 3pm because we'd hate to have a bad options expiration day, right?  

Over the weekend, we already had a dramatic drop-off in Chinese Industrial Ouput at 5.4%, down 0.7% (11.4%) from last month and Retail Sales were down from 10.7% to 10.2%, also missing expectations of 11% (according to leading Economorons) by a wide margin.  China is having a National People's Congress meeting this weekend but no major stimulus announcements are expected. 

Over in Japan, there's a question as to the scale and timing of a very good report on Machinery Orders (+15%), with accusations the data is not even possible and is simply being used to manipulate the BOJ meeting.  Things are, indeed, getting stranger and stranger.  You might think that's unlikely but Australia JUST got caught falsifying their employment data to make the economy look better.  As I said last week re. Japan, Abe is heading for a no-confidence vote so anything is possible when politicos try to hold onto their power. 

If you want to know what's REALLY going on in China, you have to leave the planet, literally, and get a view from space.  Fortunately, there's an app for that as SpaceKnow has a China Satellite Manufacturing Index based on analysis of thousands of photos taken from commercial satellites with an algorithm that compares photos of more than 6,000 industrial sites across China and assigns values for visual changes over time that indicate activity, such as visible inventory or new construction. The index comes from 2.2 billion individual satellite observations over 500,000 square kilometers spanning 14 years – now that's BIG DATA!  

As you can see from the chart, the results are double-plus ungood with REAL activity down about 3% in the past 24 months – that's no growth at all vs the 14% GDP growth claimed by the Chinese Government, which makes it very hard to reconcile the differences.  

Back on Earth, we did not get good sell signals on Friday and that is why we play our Futures lines with very tight stops.  Our main shorting lines were S&P (/ES) 2,000, Dow (/YM) 17,100, Nasdaq (/NQ) 4,325, Russell (/TF) 1,070 and Nikkei (/NKD) 17,000.  The US indexes are still in range but the Nikkei popped to 17,200 so they are still our favorite short this morning (8:30) and the Dow failing 17,100 already is a bearish sign.  Still VERY TIGHT STOPS on moves over the lines as it's a rough market to call.  

Overall, we'd have to say the markets are TECHNICALLY rallying but the 3-day up move had a pretty low volume so it's certainly not conclusive and really, we're just waiting and seeing what the reaction to the Fed and BOJ statements will be tomorrow and Wednesday so today, Monday, is even more meaningless than usual – so let's not pretend we will have any insights when it's clearly a watch and wait kind of day.

The Dow and S&P have cleared their 200dma but that came on Friday's crazy run-up into the close.  If they give it back easily, then probably that move was nothing but BS to reel in the suckers and it will be made even worse if those declining 200 dmas firm up as some sort of declining overhead resistance – the true mark of a bear market!  

We're not bearish yet, however.  More like neutral in our 4 Member Portfolios as we lock in our excellent Q1 gains and get ready for Q2 earnings, which will give us a much clearer picture on the "recovery".  Meanwhile, with over $1Tn thrown onto the fire in Europe, we have that worry off the table and now we can just worry about China and Japan again – so things are looking up (kind of).  

Have a good week,

- Phil

 


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  1. I have to say that I am surprised by the size of this rally – I would have thought we would have already made a turn down by now. But there is no substitute for free money!


  2. Lowering health costs:

    http://www.dailykos.com/story/2016/03/12/1498741/-Obamacare-s-latest-failure-1-trillion-saved-for-Medicare

    That horribly failed program, Obamacare, has done it again. In the next five years or so, it's going to save the federal government more than $1 trillion on Medicare over what the Congressional Budget Office projected when the law was enacted. The Commonwealth Fund highlights those savings, along with some other significant achievements of the law in one of its series of reports on Medicare at 50. 

    Chart showing projected savings in Medicare since Obamacare


  3. Not helping the economy:

    http://www.pewsocialtrends.org/2015/12/09/the-american-middle-class-is-losing-ground/

    Growth in income for middle-income households is less than the growth for upper-income households since 1970

    But hey, more tax cuts to the upper income levels will fix that in no time!


  4. This guy is making a case for higher NatGas prices:

    http://seekingalpha.com/article/3958069-natural-gas-case-price-recovery

    The price of natural gas traded down to the lowest price since 1998 last week, and then moved over 20 cents, or almost 13%, higher by Friday. The shorts seem to be standing firm, as open interest has continued to climb. One interesting thing to note is that the last time open interest was this high, two years ago, daily historical volatility rose to over 95%. As of last Friday, that metric stood at 58.5%. We could be in for some wild action in natural gas over the coming weeks. If the shorts start running for cover, look out – the move may be just as violent as the one we saw in late December and early January, when the futures exploded 49% in under one month.

    It's SA so a grain of salt is needed and some comments are pushing back already so who knows…

    Nat gas at $1.80+/- nets the producer 30-35% less after royalties, transportation, production taxes, normal operating expenses and non allocable company expenses.
    Things are even worse in the Marcellus and Utica shale prices averaging posting prices of about $1.03.
    I see no rational reason for any material price recovery for at least 5 maybe 10 years.
    There is a huge producible reserve base in this country which can be expanded and exploited at any sign of recovery.


  5. Good Morning!


  6. Phil/ BID

    Just a reminder:  in the OOP you have 15 March 18 $22 sold calls that will expire this week.  The Butterfly portfolio has some March 18 issues as well, notably, the PG sold $75 puts and sold $77.5 calls.


  7. Phil,

    I have some hedges that are coming into expiration and I need to set up some new ones this week.  What do you like best now for say May expiration?

    Thanks


  8. FU IRAN!!!!!!!!!!!!!!


  9. Good morning! 

    Oil going down and down, -3.5% already is -$1.26 so about $36.50 should be bouncy (-5% line).  Iran said they are not playing ball on production freeze and, frankly, the Saudis have never said they'd cooperate – all BS and, to the extent that the rally was predicated on an oil recovery – that can unwind too!   

    /NG crazy as ever:


    Obamacare/StJ – Well, if the GOP comes in they will put a stop to all that money-saving ASAP because, after all, they are all about smaller Government, even if it costs much more.  

    Middle class is very sad. 

    /NG/StJ – Well it's that huge base that's the premise for us exporting what is currently 1/3 of our production overseas.  We need about 25% more production just to stay even and, so far, it's not in the pipeline.  I've always said that LNG exports will cause a spike but then, once the excitement kicks in, /NG quickly becomes a good short as the production comes on-line and floods us again and this time it will be worse because we'll be flooding the whole World with /NG and any downturn in demand will back up up miles over capacity.  

    BID/DC – Well we're certainly going to adjust everything this week but I'd like to see the reaction to the Fed first.  

    Hedges/Button – It's kind of expensive hedging for just a month at a time.  Right now, I'd go SDS, as it's outperforming for the year and it isn't as heavy with AAPL because shorting the Nas can turn painful if AAPL's roll out goes well.  

    There are no May SDSs so June $18s are $1.84 in the money at $2.25, not too much premium and you can sell the $21s for $1.06 for net $1.19 and you can sell AAPL June $92.50 for $2.08 so let's say you bought 20 spreads ($2,308) against 10 short AAPLs ($2,080) – that's net $228 on $6,000 worth of protection that's already $3,680 in the money.  The only way this trade doesn't pay you is if the S&P goes up nicely and, if that's happening, there's little chance that AAPL would be giving you trouble.  

    Of course, any stock(s) you REALLY want to buy can be substituted for AAPL as the short put.  

    LOL Jabob – it was bound to be something.  

    There's always an Arquillian Battle Cruiser, or a Corillian Death Ray, or an intergalactic plague that is about to wipe out all life on this miserable little planet, and the only way these people can get on with their happy lives is that they DO NOT KNOW ABOUT IT! - Men in Black


  10. HSBC: The Bank of Japan will continue to stimulate

    Just six weeks ago the Bank of Japan (BOJ) stunned financial markets, announcing that it would apply a negative interest rate to a proportion of funds deposited at the bank by financial institutions.<p>Now, after a less-than-impressive reception from financial markets to the announcement, the BoJ will …


  11. China is crushing hedge funds that bet against it

    Ever since China shocked markets with a surprise devaluation of its currency in August 2015 speculation has built that the move was a precursor to a much larger state-sponsored weakening of the Yuan.<p>That was because the weakness in the Yuan came at a time when the Chinese economy was clearly …


  12. Some of the largest antigovernment demonstrations Brazil has seen took place Sunday, after long-standing accusations of corruption against former President Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva crystallized into formal charges against him last week.<p>Lula was charged with money laundering and criminal …


  13. The oil-price rally that began in mid-February will almost certainly collapse.<p>It is similar to the false March-June 2015 rally. In both cases, prices increased largely because of sentiment. As in the earlier rally, current storage volumes are too large and demand is too weak to sustain higher …


  14. One morning this month, Silvia Cota, a nurse supervisor in the emergency room at Lenox Hill Hospital in Manhattan, gathered her nurses together in a huddle to prepare them for the future.<p>“It really is not a complicated thing,” Ms. Cota told them, speaking loudly over the bustle of patients and …


  15. WASHINGTON — The Justice Department on Monday called on state judges across the country to root out unconstitutional policies that have locked poor people in a cycle of fines, debt and jail. It was the Obama administration’s latest effort to take its civil rights agenda to the states, which have …


  16. WASHINGTON — As Democrats cobbled together a sweeping overhaul of the nation’s immigration law three years ago, Senator Chuck Schumer of New York was clear about one thing: His party could not suffer a single defection.<p>But one naysayer remained — Senator Bernie Sanders of Vermont, who had opposed a …


  17. CAIRO (AP) — Egypt’s state news agency says the central bank has devalued the pound to 8.85 pounds per U.S. dollar from a previous 7.73, a move taken amid a crippling dollar shortage.<p>Economists have said that Monday’s devaluation was necessary to spare the treasury from spending desperately needed …


  18. Try this thought experiment. You’re in the business of lending euros to European companies. But you owe your own creditors $2.3 trillion — yes, $2.3 trillion — in loans that all come due by the end of next year. Rolling those loans over is becoming tricky. Out of the blue, your regulator offers …


  19. India’s central bank chief Raghuram Rajan says the IMF’s approach has diminishing returns.<p>Unconventional monetary policies of central banks in Europe and Japan received an endorsement from the International Monetary Fund on Sunday, even as policymakers from emerging markets warned that such …


  20. “Astronomical” conviction rate comes after Beijing vows to stamp out wrongful convictions and impose ‘rule of law’<p>Chinese courts found guilty all but a tiny minority of defendants last year, despite claims by Beijing to be confronting wrongful convictions and upholding the rule of law.<p>Only 1,039 of …


  21. Outweighed ten thousand times, the 0.5-ounce robots rely on teamwork (and sticky feet).<p>Stanford university’s uBots have pulled off a feat that makes ants look like slackers. Working in concert, six of the robots managed to tow a 3,900 pound car, despite weighing just a half-ounce each — much less …


  22. Starwood Hotels & Resorts Worldwide Inc. has received a takeover offer from a group led by China’s Anbang Insurance Group Co., threatening to upend Starwood’s $12.2 billion tie-up with Marriott International Inc.<p>The new proposal, under which the consortium would pay $76 a share in cash for all …


  23. When Steve Jobs was trying to lure John Sculley from his lofty position as CEO at Pepsi to Apple, he asked him, “Do you want to sell sugar water for the rest of your life, or do you want to come with me and change the world?” The ploy worked and Sculley became the first major CEO of a conventional …


  24. From WallSt 24/7 :

    ~~Tesla Motors Inc. (NASDAQ: TSLA) was raised to Outperform from Neutral with a $300 price target (versus a $207.50 close) at R.W. Baird. The consensus target price is $232.00 and the 52-week range is $141.05 to $286.65.


  25. That hot-shot mutual fund manager you’re betting on to make you rich might be generating returns that fall far short of the benchmark stock index the fund tracks.<p>Last year, for example, when the Standard & Poor’s 500-stock index posted a paltry total return of 1.4% with dividends included, 66% of …


  26. There’s a growing belief that economic crisis has been averted for now.<p>The panic over China’s economy so far this year might be waning.<p>Taken together with the Friday news of the renminbi hitting a year-high against the U.S. dollar and capital outflows slowing way down in February, the host of …


  27. Adam Norris is an inventor and an investor. He has put big money behind everything from blow-dry bars to horse feed to cherry juice. And now the British millionaire is looking to solve one of the thorniest problems in the world of renewable energy.<p>His quest began almost three years ago, when he …


  28. There is a lot to worry about the global economy right now.<p>And according to the Barclays Global Macro Survey of 585 global investors, there are some distinct issues that are weighing on sentiment.<p>Here is the killer chart from the survey that highlights investors’ biggest concerns and how some have …


  29. These analysts are unreal.  They are looking for ~50% appreciation but only rate it outperform. 


  30. As much as we’d like to think we’re always in control of our own actions, a lot of human behavior, mood, and habit can be traced to involuntary …


  31. On March 11, the National Archives announced its first opening of Financial Crisis Inquiry Commission (FCIC) records, along with a detailed …


  32. ?Yeah, we’ll have one Coors Light, please.<p>Psychologists at Austria’s University of Innsbruck are reporting that people who prefer more bitter tastes are likelier to exhibit antisocial personality traits.<p>The findings, which were based on two studies of Americans subjects, suggest that “bitter taste …


  33. Getty Images<p>Edward Snowden<p>Edward Snowden slammed the FBI on Friday for its claim that only Apple AAPL, +1.08% can unlock the San Bernardino shooter’s iPhone that the agency is battling over in a federal court.<p>The former National Security Agency subcontractor who leaked information about U.S. mass …


  34. A while back, we noted a report showing that the “sneak-and-peek” provision of the Patriot Act that was alleged to be used only in national security and terrorism investigations has overwhelmingly been used in narcotics cases. Now the New York Times reports that National Security Agency data will …


  35. Google has created an offline speech recognition system that is faster and more accurate than a comparable system connected to the Internet. While research papers are usually very theoretical, this new system is already running and has been tested on a Nexus 5.<p>Currently, the Android Google app has …


  36. TSLA/Albo – I wouldn't bet against them at the moment as the new car will be announced shortly. 

    $36.70 was the low on /CL.  
     

    /NG came back hard and fast – strong sign:


  37. Good advice on TSLA.  I've got to think that the halo wears off for Musk eventually, but maybe not yet.


  38. Ayn Rand, famous for her unreadable novels <i>Fountainhead</i> and <i>Atlas Shrugged,</i> which author Max Barry described like this:<p>I felt like Ayn Rand cornered me …


  39. Brazil is in free fall.<p>Data released on Monday showed that economic activity in the world’s 7th largest economy fell 8% this January from a year before. That makes it the 11th month in a row that activity has fallen.<p>This is going to be a difficult problem to solve, since Brazil’s government is a …


  40. 60 coins worth $1M market cap and another 35 worth >$500k.
    http://coinmarketcap.com/
    And of course, Ethereum passed over the $1B mark, hitting $14+ per coin.


  41. An experimental drug derived from marijuana has succeeded in reducing epileptic seizures in its first major clinical trial, the product’s developer announced Monday, a finding that could lend credence to the medical marijuana movement.<p>The developer, GW Pharmaceuticals, said the drug, Epidiolex, …


  42. If you have a chalet for the odd ski trip or a seaside villa to summer in, 3rd Home might be for you.<p>Unlike Airbnb and its peers, 3rd home requires that you have a high end property in order to stay at other member properties.<p>”3rd Home is a private club for luxury second homeowners,” explains 3rd …


  43. Despite growing questions about GOP presidential front-runner Donald Trump’s incendiary behavior, including his comments encouraging and defending …


  44. Looks like game off for shorts again, unless 11.30 when europe closes brings anything.


  45. In its 2016 Guide to Retirement, J.P. Morgan Asset Management included a powerful illustration of how compounding returns lead to huge differences between investors who start out young and those who wait until later in their careers before seriously saving.<p>JPMorgan shows outcomes for four …


  46. The FDA is one step closer to allowing the release of genetically engineered mosquitoes in the U.S. , after granting tentative approval for a genetic technique that could help reduce the relentless spread of the Zika virus.<p>The genetically engineered mosquitoes harbor a specially inserted gene which …



  47. On-Demand Valet Parking Seemed Like Such a Great Idea. It Wasn’t

    Venture capital firms bet tens of millions of dollars that startups offering affordable valet parking to harried urbanites would flourish in the …


  48. Remember last week when oil prices spiked despite a rise in crude production, inventory builds, continuing storage concerns at Cushing, and the …


  49. Do you see any reason for the 1% (beneficial for LTP) drop in PG?


  50. Trump surrogates defend his increasingly violent rallies, while Bill O’Reilly argues that this is all Obama’s fault<p>Various Trump loyalists, sycophants and nutjobs have surfaced this week to echo their master’s sentiment that people who oppose his message and protest at his rallies are very bad …



  51. <p dir=”ltr”><span><p></span></p><p dir=”ltr”><span>AS THE candidates in America’s presidential race pontificate on the growing divide between the haves …


  52. The philosopher and linguist lays waste to the Republican field and sounds the alarm about Hillary’s foreign policy<p><b>Professor Chomsky was interviewed in Boston by the writer and activist Simone Chun for the Hankyoreh newspaper. Here is the English translation of the interview, courtesy of Ms. Chun.</b> …


  53. <b>Market Overview:</b><p>Frustration is a common feeling to experience in trading. Shorter term traders can experience it on an intraday basis and for …


  54. On Sunday evening we brought you the latest from Goldman’s chief equity strategist David Kostin who explained that sharp swings in crude prices have …


  55. UWTI and UGAZ with reverse splits.  It was just a matter of time.

     

    ~~Credit Suisse announced this week that VelocityShares 3x Long Crude Oil ETN (UWTI) will see a 1-for-10 reverse split, meaning that holders will get one share for every ten that they own.

    At the same time, the VelocityShares 3x Long Natural Gas ETN (UGAZ) will see an astounding 1-for-25 reverse split, meaning that holders will get one share for each 25 that they own. Both are effective on March 14.


  56. Noting exciting at EUs close:

    PG/Tangled – I'd just say it ran up too far, too fast.   No particular news.  This is why we don't rush to make adjustments to short premium sales on long-term plays.  

    Buybacks are fueling this rally

    • ETFs and mutual funds have pulled $40B out of S&P 500 companies since January. On the flip side, the companies themselves are poised to buy back an astonishing $165B of their own shares.
    • If the divergence continues through end of month, outflows would hit $60B, implying a gap of $225B – the largest on record.
    • "While past deviations haven’t spelled doom for equities, the impact has rarely been as stark as in the last two months, when American shares lurched to the worst start to a year on record as companies stepped away from the market while reporting earnings."
    • “Anytime when you’re relying solely on one thing to happen to keep the market going is a dangerous situation,” one portfolio manager says. “Over time, you come to the realization, ‘Look, these companies can’t grow. Borrowing money to buy back stocks is going to come to an end.”’
    • Source: Bloomberg

    The Fed Caused 93% Of The Entire Stock Market's Move Since 2008

    Goldman brushes off idea of Chinese currency crisis

    • Though China could see more than $700B in outflows this year, currency reserves are at a "comfortable level" on virtually all measures, says Goldman Sachs. Among them:
    • Import cover – or the number of months imports could be sustained if all inflows cease. The IMF benchmark is three months; China's at 22 months.
    • Reserves should cover 100% of short-term debt; in China the ratio is over 300%.
    • Goldman's view is contrary to that of shops like Barclays, which argues the country has entered a "zugzwang," and could have as little as six months before reserves fall below comfortable levels.

    No Good Reason Why Oil Should Continue Its Rally

    Shades of subprime flash warning for auto sales

    • The Skopos Auto Receivables Trust 2015-2 built from subprime auto loans was sold just last November. Already through February, 12% of the underlying loans were delinquent, and in another 2.6% of the loans, borrowers either filed for bankruptcy or the vehicles had been repossessed.
    • Source: WSJ's Serena Ng
    • The Skopos issue may be a particularly fringy area of auto lending, but the comparison with housing's subprime bubble is inescapable. According to Fitch, the 60-plus day delinquency rate among subprime auto loans packaged into securities over the last five years rose to 5.16% last month, the highest level in almost 20 years.
    • The currently on-a-tear U.S. auto industry may want to take notice. “What’s driving record auto sales is not the economy, but record auto lending,” says one hedge funder who has shorted some auto lenders.
    • Auto lenders include Santander Consumer (NYSE:SC) and Ally Financial (NYSE:ALLY).
    • Also of interest: GMFTMHMC

    Shipping rate index plunges to 11-year low

    • Shipping rates are at an 11-year low, according to a reading of the World Container Index.
    • The WCI Index is down 62% over the last 52 weeks.
    • Oversupply continues to plague the sector. Last year, demand grew 1% to fall well-short of the 8% increase in capacity.

    3D Systems is soaring on a big Q4 beat, and also taking peers higher

    • 3D Systems (NYSE:DDD) is up 15.3% premarket to $13.32 after (belatedly) posting a large Q4 beat. The numbers come 11 days after rival Stratasys delivered a Q4 beatand issued strong guidance, and are stoking hopes the 3D printing industry, hit hard last year as clients worked through excess capacity, is finally bottoming.
    • 3D didn't provide any formal guidance in its earnings release. Interim CEO Andrew Johnson: "While market conditions remain challenging and uncertain, timing of healthcare and industrial customer orders as well as contributions from acquisitions supported revenue during the quarter … We are continuing an extensive and comprehensive review of our business and strategy and taking steps to better prioritize our resources and focus our investments."
    • Q4 details: Product revenue fell 10% Y/Y to $116M. Services revenue rose 16% to $67.4M. Gross margin was 47.7%, +80 bps Q/Q and -20 bps Y/Y. GAAP operating expenses rose a modest 4% Y/Y to $88.9M – $66.5M was spent on SG&A, and $22.4M on R&D.

      A $537.2M impairment charge was recorded. 3D ended 2015 with $155.6M in cash and almost no debt.
    • Stratasys (NASDAQ:SSYS) is up 6.5% premarket. ExOne (NASDAQ:XONE) is up 1.1%. Voxeljet (NYSE:VJET) is up 3.9%.
    • 3D Systems' Q4 resultsearnings release

    Speaking of things we've been waiting for:  Liquidmetal raising up to $63M as part of alliance with Chinese firm; shares jump

    • Liquidmetal (OTCPK:LQMT +29%), which had just a $38M market cap as of Friday's close, is raising $8.4M through the sale of equity to Prof. Lugee Li, chairman and majority shareholder of EONTEC, a materials manufacturer based out of Hong Kong and with plants in China.
    • The deal features "a commitment for an additional investment in the amount of $55.0 million subject to an increase in authorized shares to be approved by shareholders," as well as a cross-licensing agreement with EONTEC. EONTEC's products include bulk metallic glasses, zirconium-based amorphous alloys, and medical-grade magnesium.
    • Liquidmetal: "This financing transaction and cross-licensing agreement provides us with the platform and resources necessary to establish a global market in Liquidmetal® alloy solutions and to fast-track the market development of our core offerings. With this partnership, we will extend our capabilities to significantly larger parts, as well as offering substantially lower price points for some consumer markets."
    • EONTEC: "EONTEC’s capabilities complement LQMT’s focus on production of high-performance parts, allowing LQMT to address a broad range of market opportunities from automotive, medical, and industrial customers. This partnership positions LQMT well to support design and production globally at a vastly increased pace."

  57. Phil do you know when the next black out period on buy backs begin?  Based on one of the headlines above, corporations are the largest buyers of stock…would it make sense to have a short term short strategy for that time period?  Thx


  58. Blackouts/RS – The "blackout period" is 3 weeks prior to an individual stock's earnings and two days after but that, of course is different for every stock, depending on their earnings date.  Also, it only affects discretionary buybacks, like Berkshire, which are rare.  On the whole, I'd say the week before AA earnings (first major to report) should be the best to catch those kind of lulls so maybe 3/28.  Clearly it would have worked on 12/28 but maybe just a coincidence but also we get window-dressing into the 31st and then, predictably, there's a pullback after, so kind of a double whammy. 


  59. Wow, Nikkei totally flat into the announcement:


  60. UGAZ / Albo – It's up 2400% today :-)

    Kidding aside, these guys must be looking for a lot more decay to reset it that much at once! i don't recall a 25x reverse split anywhere. Of they just waited too long and saw that NatGas was not recovering fast enough.


  61. It pays to have friends set your salary:

    http://www.motherjones.com/kevin-drum/2016/03/heres-secret-being-highly-paid-ceo-have-friend-set-your-salary

    Did anything else matter? Revenue did: bigger companies pay their CEOs more. But that was it. Shareholder return was insignificant, as were several other variables. Bottom line: if you want a big payday, run a big company and make sure an insider is setting your pay.


  62. STJ – I guess they're just giving it a lot of room to begin the depreciation again.  You gotta love the leveraged ETFs !


  63. CLF nice, I like it!


  64. UGAZ/StJ, Albo – That's just crazy.  

    Best bet is to just short them both – you know they'll both get back to zero eventually.  It's amazing how shameless they are with these clearly defective products.  They just reset them and wait for the next round of suckers to pile in.  

    CEO pay/StJ – Sickening. 

    LQMT now up 40%

    CLF coming back a bit too.  


  65. Phil/ Any futures idea from this level. Looks like staying away might b bet option now. Thoughts?


  66. Correction

    Phil/ Any futures idea from this level. Looks like staying away might be best option now. Thoughts?


  67. UGAZ / Phil – I think that they are mostly for use by day-traders. The volume are quite large so I guess they don't care about the poor suckers that go long for a buy-and-hold strategy…


  68. Futures/Raviis – No ideas at all.  Just a watch and wait day with BOJ coming in 12 hours and the Fed 36 hours after that.  

    UGAZ/StJ – I hope not, what a disaster those things are long-term.  


  69. Phil, DGAZ and UGAZ both at 23.  if one were to short both of them wouldn't the decay make both a profitable trade eventually?


  70. DGAZ/RS – Eventually but a lot can happen in between now and then with a 3x ETF (and we expect UNG to rise 50% so + 150% against you on one of the shorts if that pans out).   After that, when and if it calms down, THEN it should decay again – but you may have a long wait.  

    Cliffs Natural to restart production at key Minnesota mine

    • Cliffs Natural Resources (CLF +10.2%) says it will restart production of iron ore pellets at its Northshore Mining operation in Minnesota by May 15, a positive sign for the battered U.S. steel industry.
    • CLF says it has been receiving more orders for taconite pellets, which steelmakers use in traditional blast furnace mills, and that it will produce higher-grade iron pellets for more modern electric arc furnace steel mills.
    • CLF says it expects to produce 16M tons of iron ore in the U.S. this year, at a cash cost of $50-$55/ton.

    Caution raised on the trucking sector by Avondale Partners

    • Avondale Partners sees a tough road to higher earnings for the trucking sector due largely to deteriorating macro factors.
    • New capacity coming online just as demand weakens doesn't bode well for pricing, according to the boutique investment firm.
    • Cautions is raised on Swift Transportation (SWFT -3.7%), Celadon Group (CGI -5.4%), Covenant Transportation Group (CVTI -8.3%), J.B. Hunt Transport Services (JBHT+0.2%), Knight Transportation (KNX -3%), Marten Transport (MRTN -0.1%), USA Truck (USAK -0.6%), and Werner Enterprises (WERN -3.2%).

    Chipotle sales fall under the microscope this week

    • Chipotle (CMG +2.4%) is expected to disclose an estimate of February sales when it presents at an analyst meeting later this week and some commentary on current traffic trends.
    • Comp sales for the restaurant chain were down 22% in February and 36% in January, according to a rundown of estimates tabulate by Consensus Matrix.
    • On Seeking Alpha, Collective Investment thinks patient Chipotle investors will berewarded. It's noted that even after the sales tail-off, Chipotle's sales per store rank near the top of the sector.
    • Previously: Slicing up those free burritos at Chipotle (Mar. 08 2016)

    Oil still hanging down at $37.25.  On the whole though, we're drifting along into the CB moves.


  71. Would be great if the 3xETF for NatGas had options though… Rolling through until they start decaying! 


  72. Phil / AAPL – any thoughts on AAPL in the next 3 months.  I was looking at selling some 115 to 120 puts on some shares i own…  maybe looking at April or May.  Thinking the hype on the new product will be over, and i'm not convinced the quarter will be anything special.

     

    would like your thoughts

     


  73. Getting a little move up into the close.  

    AAPL/Batman – We'll have to see how the product roll-out is taken first.  Not sure what you mean by selling such high puts – that's kind of dangerous, hopefully you mean calls?  Too much depends on the Fed for now, which sets the market move but, judging from the last couple of weeks – someone thinks AAPL is coming back in favor.

    In our portfolios, you'll notice we're just sitting back and watching.  As much fun as it is to guess what the stock will do – if you don't KNOW, don't bet.  That's how you keep your money!  cheeky


  74. STJ – UWTI & DWTI 3X ETFs don't have options but SCO 2X does.  I've had some success selling the 2017 $360 calls.  Last month they were selling for $85 ! !  They are now $10-11 and likely to have a reverse split soon.  All I did was copy your action in short UVXY calls.  Thanks for the idea.


  75. PACB/Pharm – familiar with their tech? recently had >25% bought up by several funds.


  76. Albo – I have been tracking these SCO moves you post. The principle is the same for all these leveraged ETF. The main difference is the margin though… I wish I had time to study all of them because there are many opportunities I am sure!


  77. Oil – A summary of the latest rig count for your consideration.  

    http://www.ogj.com/articles/2016/03/bhi-us-rig-count-hits-all-time-low-in-recorded-data.html


  78. Ted Cruz might be the only thing standing between Donald Trump and the Republican presidential nomination, but he only has a single endorsement from a fellow senator — and few colleagues who will even say a nice thing about him in the hallway.


  79. Wall Street analysts have been touring Tesla’s massive factory in Fremont, Calif., and they’re returning with the same conclusion: Elon Musk’s electric-vehicle company is getting ready for something big. In a sign of this enthusiasm, Robert W. Baird & Co. upgraded its Tesla rating on Monday morning following a factory tour. 


  80. Tyrrell County sits just inland from North Carolina’s Outer Banks barrier islands. With 3,600 people living and farming along 400 square miles, it’s an ecologically rich enclave. It also ranks No. 1 among 319 U.S. coastal counties facing long-term risk from rising seas. By 2100, according to a new study, 94 percent of Tyrrell’s future population may be at risk from encroaching seawater.


  81. Campaigners who back getting Britain out of the European Union told Barack Obama to mind his own business after a report he planned to urge the country to stay within the bloc.


  82. As central banks in Japan and Europe adopt negative interest rate regimes or cut rates further below zero, it seems as though Hungary is the only monetary authority that left to deploy.


  83. Phil. I am only now able to trade the UNG recommendation you made.  Is it too late?

    Also, see Raymond James's recent survey below;

    Energy Stat: RJ Conference – How and When Does Oil Recover and What Does It Mean for Stocks? J. Marshall Adkins, Pavel Molchanov, Marnie Georges (Associate)

    …………….#5. There is still overwhelming bearishness on U.S. natural gas. Sentiment on Henry Hub remains unrelentingly negative, with the warm winter further dampening price expectations. Close to 80% of respondents forecasted a 2016 average below $2.50/Mcf, with 30% below $2.00. Our $2.00 forecast is right in-line with consensus in this case. With new pipelines coming online, storage remains materially oversupplied, and there is slim visibility as to when meaningful demand improvement (industrial, LNG, etc.) will materialize.


  84. How much will the ECB’s new negative interest rate policy cost the euro area banks? That’s the question Bank of America Merrill Lynch’s European Banks Strategy research team set out to answer in a note issued to clients last week.<p>And while the report was published a week before the ECB’s decision, …


  85. Focus turns to Federal Reserve, Bank of England and Bank of Japan meetings later this week<p>U.S. stock-trading volumes hit their lowest level of the year Monday as investors awaited fresh clues about the course of monetary policy around the world.<p>The Dow Jones Industrial Average rose 15.82 points, or …


  86. Europe may still be stuck in a liquidity trap.<p>During the financial crisis, this economic idea came into play as economists worried the Federal Reserve’s move to buy assets couldn’t avoid this scenario, in which additional injections of money into the banking system failed to reduce interest rates …


  87. At the end of the dinosaur age, Tyrannosaurus rex was a behemoth killer animal, up to 40 feet long and weighing several tons — the top carnivore in the food chain.<p>The very first tyrannosaurs, which arose about 100 million years earlier, were small, about the size of a person.<p>The evolutionary jump …


  88. In an American election season that’s turned into a bonfire of the orthodoxies, one taboo survives pretty much intact: Budget deficits are …


  89. Democratic presidential candidate Bernie Sanders staged a late-night rally in the Loop Monday, making a final pitch to voters ahead of Tuesday’s Illinois primary and declaring Chicago and Illinois “ready for a political revolution.”<p>A hoarse Sanders took the stage at the Auditorium Theatre shortly …


  90. The markets have fallen out of love with China

    Only a few years ago it was strange to meet someone who wasn’t bullish about the Chinese economy.<p>Monotonously the economy produced eye-watering growth rates each and every year, drawing investors in far and wide to marvel at the success story. It was only going to get stronger, and larger, …


  91. It is Super Tuesday again but this time five US states will be holding nomination contests,and it is Florida which is the biggest prize. The Republican candidate who wins will take all 99 delegates.<p>But it is a state which has an entrenched Latino community built on immigrants of Cuban …


  92. The guy that warned George Bush about an imminent al-Qaida attack before 9/11 is taking Apple’s side in the company’s fight against the FBI over whether it can be compelled to break into the San Bernardino terrorist’s iPhone.<p>Richard Clarke, who served as the senior counterterrorism official in the …


  93. LOS ANGELES (AP) — Michael Jackson’s estate has sold its interest in a massive music catalog to Sony for $750 million.<p>Sony and Jackson’s estate announced the sale of the Sony/ATV catalog in a joint press release Monday. Jackson’s estate owned a half share of the catalog, which includes the works of …


  94. <b>USDJPY was in full chaos mode ahead of tonight’s BOJ statement</b>. With only 5 of 40 economists expecting further actions by Kuroda (and close Abe …


  95. A report claims Dalton said “it feels like it is coming from the phone”<p>(DETROIT) — A man charged with killing six people in a series of shootings in southwestern Michigan told investigators he was being controlled by an Uber app through his cellphone, police said Monday.<p>Authorities have said he …


  96. Read about the US through the lens of politics and everything is horrible.<p>Look only at the US economy and things aren’t so bad. And if you ask the most important US consumers, things are about to get better.<p>On Monday, the New York Federal Reserve released its latest survey of households, and two …


  97. Central bank leaves negative rate, asset-buying program unchanged but downgrades view of economy<p>TOKYO—The Bank of Japan left its major monetary policies unchanged Tuesday but downgraded its view of the economy, opening the door to further action in the months ahead.<p>The decision followed the …


  98. Oil prices fell around 2 percent on Tuesday, extending losses from the previous session as concerns took hold that a six-week recovery may have petered out due to ongoing oversupply.<p>The drops came after the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC) said that global demand for its …


  99. A drop in the shares of major mining companies and a gloomy economic outlook from the Bank of Japan (BOJ) pulled FTSE lower on Tuesday.<p>The blue-chip FTSE 100 index was down 0.7 percent at 6,131.19 points in early session trading.<p>The FTSE is down by around 2 percent since the start of 2016 and 14 …


  100. The dollar was lower against the yen in Asia trade, following the Bank of Japan’s widely expected decision to stand pat after its two-day policy meeting ended earlier Tuesday.<p>The U.S. currency USDJPY, -0.64% fell to ¥113.05, weaker than ¥113.79 late Monday in New York.<p>The BOJ left its monetary …


  101. TOKYO—The Bank of Japan left its monetary policy unchanged Tuesday but downgraded its view of the economy, opening the door to further action in months ahead.<p>The BOJ’s decision followed the European Central Bank’s moves last week to cut negative rates further and expand its asset-buying program, …


  102. A first glance at aluminum prices on the London Metal Exchange yields few surprises, yet a closer look often reveals anomalies caused by one market participant holding large amounts of metal.<p>Sources at commodity trading houses, warehouses, producers, brokers and banks say recently one such company …


  103. It can be used to remotely monitor and administer drugs to the organ.<p>One of the latest inventions out of Tel Aviv University can patch up broken hearts. We’re talking about the real organs here, especially those damaged by myocardial infarction or heart attack. A team from the Israeli university …


  104. Mass capital outflows continue despite stymied Beijing’s efforts to boost the economy. Expect the yuan to tumble.<p>After initial declines in the Chinese market to start the year, the past few weeks have seen signs of what some would call a rebound. Lending in China rose by 67% in January, iron-ore …


  105. It’s a question of supply and demand.<p>On a seven-block stretch of 57th Street and nearby, there are at least 300 apartments in seven buildings priced at a billionaire-friendly $5,000 a square foot either for sale or scheduled to go on the market in the next 24 months.<p>But despite a record $100 …


  106. <b>Sainsbury</b> is showing really rather skinny signs of improvement as its £1.3bn deal to acquire <b>Home Retail Group</b> looms. There are less springlike …


  107. Were investors conned into buying rare manuscripts?

    <b>About 18,000 people in France are believed to have been defrauded in one of the biggest ever arts-market scams. They bought shares in rare manuscripts and letters to a value of nearly 1bn euros, before the company behind it was shut down by regulators. Now the victims of Aristophil want to know</b> …


  108. Got a alert that /ES broke 2000 and /NKD 17000.  I'm flying today so I didn't catch it.  


  109. <b>Burbank (CNN) —</b> Matt Fairchild, 46, is in near constant pain. Advanced melanoma has spread to his brain and bones. He takes 26 medications a day and rarely leaves his house except to go to doctors’ appointments.<p>Fairchild, a retired army sergeant, refuses to say he is fighting a battle against …


  110. Microsoft has stopped accepting Bitcoin payments for apps and content in its Windows 10 store for desktop and mobile, reveals an updated support page spotted by Softpedia.<p>That’s a bummer for fans of the cryptocurrency hoping for it to gain more mainstream traction. The company announced support for …


  111. Image source: Pixabay.<p>It may not rank up there next to Social Security or Medicare, but marijuana is getting itself a lot of coverage this election season — and for good reason.<p>According to the latest national poll from Gallup, 58% of respondents would like to see marijuana legalized. This tied …


  112. The oil-price rally that began in mid-February will almost certainly collapse.<p>It is similar to the false March-June 2015 rally. In both cases, prices increased largely because of sentiment. As in the earlier rally, current storage volumes are too large and demand is too weak to sustain higher …


  113. Europe and other parts of the world are in for big risks.<p>Desperate times call for desperate and somewhat speculative measures. The European Central Bank (ECB) cut its deposit rate last Thursday, pushing it deeper into negative territory. The move is not unprecedented. In 2009, Sweden’s Riksbank was …


  114. (Adds final prices in Brazil and Mexico)<p>By Flavia Bohone<p>Brazil’s currency and stock market fell on Monday following weekend demonstrations calling for the ouster of President Dilma Rousseff, with traders taking profits as the focus turned to questions about the strength of the political …


  115. U.S. President Barack Obama, in an interview that aired on Monday, voiced concern about the struggling Venezuelan economy and said he did not want to see the country fail despite the tense relations between Washington and Caracas.<p>”It’s not in America’s interest to see Venezuela fail, because if …


  116. (Reuters) – Of the European Central Bank stimulus measures announced last week, the new set of cheap loans will have the most effect on the economy, according to a majority of euro money market traders in a Reuters poll on Monday.<p>After being under pressure to kick-start growth and stave off the …


  117. Newspapers used to drive stock prices up and down—today, computer news can do the same.<p>There was a time when traders relied on reporters to tell them about market news. Today, computers can do a better job: Algorithms are able to detect everything from earnings data to social media sentiment, and …


  118. , Contributor<p><i>Disclosure: I have no positions in Apple, American Express, Boeing, Goldman Sachs or United Technologies.</i><p>The Dow Jones Industrial Average closed Friday at 17,213.31, down just 1.2% and 6.2% below its all-time high of 18,351.36 set on May 19. The Dow 30 is now 11.4% above its Jan. 20 …


  119. Morgan Stanley strategists are growing increasingly concerned about the risk of a global recession, slashing forecasts for all major equity markets and advising investors to sell stocks that have recently rallied.<p>In a report out on Monday, the bank’s global strategy team cut its 12-month target for …


  120. A few short years ago, Brazil was soaring. Its economy was on the upswing and the country was preparing for the international spotlight with the 2014 World Cup.<p>But now, as it gets ready to host the Summer Olympics this August, Brazil is mired in political crisis and economic turmoil, and is plagued …


  121. Good morning! 

    The ides are upon us….

    All pulling back a bit as BOJ disappoints by doing nothing though, on the whole, I'm glad as things are getting crazy and they can't just keep throwing money at the problem.  Kuroda has been pushing for higher wages and that, of course, is the key.

    Our Futures are down with Europe but nothing shocking on either side of the pond.  


  122. UNG/Latch – We're waiting to see how the Fed plays out before jumping back into things.  You can spin that story any way you want but I see low investment in new production AND an increase in exports leading to a net drawdown (more than usual) over the next six months and I expect to see $2.50 by June and $3 by the year's end.