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Thursday Failure – BOJ and Fed Disappoint the Bulls

I told you so!  

Yes, I say that a lot these days and that's because I regret not being more emphatic with my cash calls in 2007 and 2008 when I was a less-experienced writer and felt "silly" being the only analyst who was worried about the irrational exuberance of the time.  A good example is our November Wrap-Up from 2007 and, specifically, November 6th, when I said:  

I don't like to play the role of Chicken Little but I feel like the casting is forced on me because almost everyone else I talk to is a bull.  I said my piece about the housing disaster on Monday and that's only ONE of the things I think are really terrible in the economy!

This is the problem with the markets, we are rallying on leaders and, in the case of oil companies, the worst kind of leaders, while the rest of the market; retail, regional manufacturing, services, dining, discretionary… is in the doldrums.  Rallying the market based on the energy sector is like a group of hemophiliacs electing a vampire as their leader, it's a recipe for disaster.  And who are our other "leaders"?  Commodities stoking inflation!  Holy cow people, does anyone actually live on the planet we're investing in? 

Sound familiar?  On October 29th, 2007, I had pointed out that the MSM was "yadda yadding" over the bad news saying:

Back in August I told readers about the dirty little secret of the financial press, they are ratings whores just like every other aspect of the media, and that means they will tell you whatever you want to hear!  Newsletters (like this one) are no different because we rely on subscribers to pay the bills and subscribers don't like to hear bad news any more than the average person who chooses to watch Entertainment Tonight over the Evening News does.

I've pledged not to do that and I've lost a few readers in the process but we've made a little money along the way and had some fun so I'm pretty happy overall.  I love the markets and I love the economy and I love this country but – come on people – let's be realistic about our prospects!  We've got some serious problems yadda, yadda, yadda and I get bored talking about them myself but a good army drills and drills and drills to be prepared for a battle that may only last a few hours after which we separate the quick from the dead.  I need you guys to be quick, and to do that we need to keep vigilant, even as we party on with the markets.

9 years later, the more things change, the more they stay the same.  We began bottom fishing at 1,100 on the S&P in July of 2008 and yes, that was a bit early but we were buying cautiously.  At the time (Aug 13th), I said:

As dire as this may seem the key, from an investing standpoint, is that there is nothing new here.   We know there is a mortgage crisis, we know retail sales were awful in July, we know we are slaving under the worst Administration that have ever been give free reign to plunder a nation for the benefit of their contributors – this is not news, and this is now what we look at in our investing decisions.  We need to look forward and, as you can see from my April housing solution that can be triggered at any time and oil has already come down and the dollar is getting stronger – despite the tremendous fiscal irresponsibility of this administration because that too, can be reversed rather quickly.

So our investing premise remains unchanged.  We like Technology, we like the beaten-down financials (the ones we think will survive), and we like our long-term blue chips as spreads to sell calls against because we view the economy as down but not out.  We are expecting oil to bounce from $110 to $130we are expecting the dollar to pull back to 74 – these things will not bother us and we will consider it very bullish if they don't go that far.  Let the media panic the sheep in and out of stocks but nothing has changed for us since we started bottom fishing back in July at 11,200.  We'll keep an eye on the Big Chart, which I will update tomorrow and we will make our short-term profits while adding to our long-term positions.  As I said last night, even if we are right, this is not an easy path – but we choose the one that feels right and we can walk without fear.

The rest of that exciting year can be reviewed in our 2009 3-part retrospective:

I sincerely hope that, a year from now, I'm not writing a review about the great crash of 2016 and no, I'm not expecting one this year but I do think the Fed(s) are getting low on ammunition and I do think the Global Economy is still in a precarious position and I do think the Global Governments are heading in the wrong direction, policy-wise (we need infrastructure spending, not low rates) so we're not shorting the markets just yet but we are hedging (see Tuesday's timely SQQQ hedge) and we are leaning towards large CASH!!! balances in all of our Members' Tracking Portfolios.  

So I'm sorry to keep pointing out that I told you so but it's important that you realize I might actually know what I'm talking about when I tell you to be cautious or when I say no to our Members' inquiries about buying this or that stock when it's already near the all-time highs and, of course, I'm a little bit like an insurance salesman when I tell you to hedge because you have to take perfectly good money and "waste" it on insurance.  

As with our bullish turn in July of 2008, we can be early (it took the S&P a full year to get back to 1,100) but, in retrospect, it can't be argued that 1,100 was not a fundamental support level for the S&P – once the panic subsided.  Also, our key strategy of Buying Stocks for a 15-20% Discount means our buys at 1,100 were really calling a floor at 880, which is right about where the S&P did bottom out (other than a panic low, which we took full advantage of on live TV).  

Speaking of panic lows, I sent out an Alert to our Members early this morning (also tweeted) after the BOJ failed to add more QE to their already insane $732Bn/yr (would be $3Tn in the US economy) calling for BULLISH Futures trades off the lows on our indexes but shorting Oil (/CL) Futures as it tested $45.50 – just in case we were wrong.  Oil already gave us a quick $250 per contract gain back below $45.25 and, now that we've seen GDP at 0.5% (in-line with weak expectations) we're completing the bounce move but we're taking those quick gains and running as well as this GDP report is nothing to crow about.  

Speaking of Futures, we made a lovely $1,500 in 30 minutes during yesterday's Live Trading Webinar – the replay should be available later today on our main site for those of you who don't find it worth it to subscribe to the live feeds.  Speaking of subscribing – our Options Opportunity Portfolio, which we share over at Seeking Alpha is now up 48.6% in it's 3rd quarter – well on track for our 60% annual goal.  You can subscribe to that portfolio RIGHT HERE.  

Over at PSW, the Options Opportunity Portfolio is just one of our 4 Member Tracking Portfolios and we have moved to a slightly bearish stance into earnings season, having just added additional hedges to lock in our very nice gains across the board.  I urge you to do the same with your portfolio.  Once the S&P is over 2,100 for a week or two and the NYSE is back over 11,000 (5% away) and the Russell is over 1,200 – I will be THRILLED to get more bullish but we already have TONS of bullish positions (and we even added one yesterday) already and we're being very selective about adding more with the market so toppy. 

Please – don't make me say I told you so after it's too late!  


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  1. CL rejected at yesterdays high. Good short!

    And out of long NKD for 75 points

  2. Already giving back yesterday's gains!

  3. Good "I told you so" Morning!  :)

  4. Damn I left the party way too early… Ndq may even open on a green note!

  5. CLF with a huge beat!  They actually turned a profit!  Such a long time coming. Thank you Phil for keeping us in this thing. 

  6. INFN -Down sharply on 2nd quarter forecast.  Think the market is over reacting.  Sold some Jan 17 $13 puts.

  7. Phil/CLF

    What can I do with CLF?  I covered my $2 2018 calls with July $3 calls after it ran up 100% from the lows in January.  Unfortunately, the stock has kept ascending and I still hold the position:  (18) 2018 $2 calls ($1.23) buy/(18) July $3 calls sold($.39), (10) sold 2018 $3 puts ($1.94).  I did not expect CLF to go to $5 without a pull back to the $3's.  Can I do anything to salvage the BCS?  Thanks.

  8. Phil AAPL – i know you want things to settle down — but one of my positions in AAPL is ready for a roll.

    Currently have the following Jan '18  BCS

    20X 95 (18.8) / 120 (9.4),

    so the short call is about 50% in the money…. but I'm struggling in with covering this with either a Aug 105 Call at 4, or selling and staying naked for a bit and selling the 120 later July if this moves up prior to earning….  thanks for your help on this.

  9. PHIL/SOX/SMH  Looking at the SOX, many of the components are in a downtrend or trendless.  IF the SOX closes below 660, I will enter a SMH Bear Call Spread 60/62 for a net credit of at least .50 per. Thoughts? I have no desire to add a short put leg b/c I do not want to own the SMH -I just beleive a break of the SOX 660 will cause acceleration to the downside. TIA.

  10. CLF – Still can't believe you can get .20 cents for a 2018 .5 Put (that's a 50 cent strike)

  11. DIS- Phil I did a 2018 DIS 80/100 bcs back in December that I am up 50% ($6000) with as of today having bought back the short calls when it dipped back in early April. I recovered these selling June 105's as you advised me.  So, my question is what to do from here? Do you think DIS will pull back again before moving much higher or is there room to run for a while? I would hate to give up these gains in a broad sell off. Is this a time to take half off the table or am I being short sighted and over trading and overthinking? 

  12. I came in short dow futures.  My plan was to hold into the close today.

    Not looking so good now.  Are they just squeezing the shorts and will run back for the bottom?

  13. CLF I sold 2018 $1 puts for .56 a few weeks ago. Amazing move recently! And you can still buy the 2018 3/5 BCS for $.83.

  14. Good  morning! 

    Nice runs on the longs side all around AND we didn't get burned on /CL (back to $45.50).

    CLF/Palotay – Long time indeed.  That's the cool thing about playing cyclicals – they come roaring back.  

    INFN/Albo – Victims of cutbacks in CapEx all around.  

    CLF/DC – This is why you don't see me messing around with calendar spreads very often.  Still, you netted in for 0.84 on the $18 $1 spreads and you have an extra $1,940 coming from the short puts so you have a profit – just not as much as you wish you had.  The 2018 $2s are $3.30 and you can cash those ($5,940) and buy 40 of the 2018 $4 ($2)/7 ($1) spreads for $1 ($4,000) and then roll the 18 short July $3s ($2.15 = $3,870) to 20 short Oct $5 calls ($2,000) so you would net $70 off the table and be half-covered on 40 $4/7 spreads.  Or, you can just be happy with the profits you have?  

    AAPL/Batman – You could roll down to the $85 calls at $19.05 for $5.35 so that's what I'd keep an eye on but, other than that or maybe selling puts – I think the spread is fine. 

  15. STX, buy/write 27.55 sell 2018 p+c = $6.80

  16. STX over 9% dividend

  17. Phil/CLF

    I hear you on the calendars.  I got burned on X holdings too (I took the profit on those).  Just did't think materials had many reasons to go up 2-3 x as opposed to 1x when I covered.

  18. CLF- What is moving this higher? Is there suddenly a bigger demand for iron? We have seen this go from $2.40 last July to $4.60 in September only to fall to $1.20 in Jan. So, I am just asking if this is a sustainable move higher based on fundamentals or a temporary spike on a nice beat this quarter? Is there really a global demand for iron? Phil, do you think CLF is ready to finally move back up with a rise in demand for materials ? Seems contradictory to the possibility of doom and gloom you spoke of in todays post. Or will the world be saved by rebuilding infrastructure leading to a spike in materials stocks? The bottom line question is, what will sustain the rise in materials over the next few years?

  19. jomptien/STX – why so far out on the buy write?  Also, looking at the monthly – thats an ugly chart.  If using daily, looks better but then shorter term strikes better. IMO

  20. Phil/DIV,

    you asked me to remind you this AM for good high dividend stocks that can be entered at this point.

    thanks as always.


  21. DIS/Craigs – I think $110 is fair and $120 is stretched on them so, if you are naked at $105 and protecting your $2,000 spreads, I'd do a 1/3 sell of the July $100s ($6.70) as they are easy to roll if earnings are too good (5/10) and plenty of room to sell more if they aren't.  Of course, you might want to wait for Civil War to be released as that should open huge (5/6) so, considering that, I'd sell 1/3 the $105s (3.40) and then sell the $100s if $105 fails along the way (buying back the $105s when you do).  

    Dow/Michael – We went long this morning.  Hopefully you got an EMail Alert.  If not, go to your settings (your account link, top right of this screen) and make sure we have the right address and that you have checked off to get alerts.  GDP wasn't so bad and the Dollar is low (94) and the Fed is easy so they are able to float the markets back up again while the Institutions bail and leave all the retailers holding the bag.

    CLF/Jet – People don't think it will last.  

    CLF/DC – There's no way to know but at least you have a profit either way.  

    STX/Jomp – We sold 10 of the 2018 $25 puts in the LTP for $5 back in Jan, now $6.35 but I still like them.  

    CLF/Craigs – We slapped import duties on Chinese iron and steel a while ago and that's when things turned around for all of that sector.  CLF is going up for all the reasons we expected them to – they are local to North America and have a huge advantage under normal shipping rates and tariffs (which we haven't had for ages).  Also, going forward, it's an infrastructure play but $4 was our goal so I'm content already.

    Long-term, we need infrastructure spending to get much over $5 but there's a reason the LTP is jam-packed with materials plays for 2018 – we do expect it at some point.

    Dividends/Pat – Yep, time to do my homework!  

  22. CLF  I remember sitting in a hotel room on a business trip back in March 2009 when I heard that Citi had just announced a profit for the quarter.  The world was collapsing around our ears and C had turned a profit!?  That was right around the turnaround point for the market in general.  This earnings announcement by CLF turning a profit strikes me as a much smaller, but similar sign of a change in the wind for materials. Am I crazy?

  23. Morning everyone! The webinar replay is now available!

  24. Shorting 2 /CL at 45.5.  Still holding 2 shorts at 44.  Oh damn! moment last night, I saw the /NK drop in real time while wondering if I should short.  LOL

  25. Hang/STX, I just looked at the 2018's, gives me more time to collect the div. Chart is turning around and last 2 years lows were 25.

  26. Phil/STX, I missed that trade you did, glad I did but love the div.

  27. For those who following the 24% income play over 52 weeks, I did roll NKE today, as it was 100% ITM closed the Apr29 58.5 call for 1.17 and sold the May 6 call for 1.47 stock was trading at the time @ 59.67.

    The rest we will roll tomorrow.

  28. Yodi -

    How do you choose which strike to sell when you roll?

  29. STX What about buy 5000(27.5), sell 50 2018 25 puts (6.10)  and 50 2018 28 calls (4.15) with 3.5% div? or 2018 25 calls (5.6)

  30. /NG holding up nicely after taking a dip to $2.23 on inventories.  Could be a sign of strength"

    Natural gas futures deepen losses on inventory build


    LL keeps sneaking higher – still waiting for my apology from Tilson…

    Here's my rant on them from 3/9:

    Speaking of blatant market manipulation, Whitney Tilson was on CNBC bashing Lumber Liquidators (LL) again, using the same BS arguments he used last month, only acting like it was new information to spook investors (debunked by me on 2/22 here).  We saw it as a huge buying opportunity for those who missed our original call as the stock fell from $14 back to $11.77 so, if you want to give Whitney's shorts a tight squeeze (and who doesn't, he's such a cutie!), you can offer to buy all the LL stock he wants to short with the following trade:

    • Sell 5 LL 2018 $13 puts for $5.20 ($2,600) 
    • Buy 10 LL 2018 $13 calls for $5.20 ($5,200) 
    • Sell 10 LL 2018 $20 calls for $2.30 ($2,300) 

    That nets you into the $7,000 spread for just $300 in cash and your worst case is you end up owning 500 share of LL at net $13.60.  If LL recovers and gets back over $20 by Jan 2018 expiration (19th), you make $6,700 in profits, which is a return of 2,233% of your cash invested and the ordinary margin on the short puts should be about $2,400 – so it's a very margin-efficient trade as well (248% gain on cash + margin).  

    We're already long in our portfolios but might add more if we get a good entry.  If LL bounces back quickly, Tilson, who claims to have shorted 4% of the company on this "news" will be forced to quickly become a buyer of 4% of the company's stock to cover his failed attempt to manipulate the price and that would be about 1M shares, which would be half of an ordinary day's trading.  So watch that $14 line because, if we go back over it, Whitney is in the red and we could have quite a squeeze to drive us higher as he scrambles to cover!

    CLF/Jomp – Well $176M of the $108M in profits was from a beneficial write-down and restructuring of debt to avoid bankruptcy.  The rest of the -32% revenues came from protectionist tarrifs that saved their asses.  Not sure I'd go crazy drawing any broad global economic conclusions from all that.  blush

    Consumer comfort index gains during the last week

    Mortgage rates move higher in new Freddie Mac survey

    • U.S. fixed mortgage rates move higher but remain well under 4% as the heart of the spring homebuying season begins, Freddie Mac says in its latest weekly survey.
    • The 30-year fixed-rate mortgage averaged 3.66% in the latest week, up from 3.59% a week ago, while the 15-year fixed-rate mortgage averaged 2.89%, up from last week's 2.85%.
    • A year ago, the respective 30-year and 15-year fixed rates averaged 3.68% and 2.94%.

    Cnooc's Q1 revenue drops 31% but output up 5%

    PetroChina posts first-ever quarterly loss

    • PetroChina (NYSE:PTR-1.6% premarket after reporting a 13.8B yuan ($2.1B) Q1 loss- the group's first quarterly loss since the company started its Hong Kong listing in 2000 – from a 6.15B yuan profit a year ago.
    • PTR’s Q1 refining and chemicals division swung to an operating profit of 11.5B yuan, but the gains were "not enough to offset weaker oil prices, which dragged exploration and production into losses,” Bloomberg's Lu Wang says. “Ample gas supply this year may encourage a gas price cut in the second half of the year, which is likely to be the biggest headwind" for PTR.
    • PTR says Q1 oil and gas production rose 2.6% to 391.3M boe, with crude output adding 1.4% to 242.7M barrels and marketable natural gas production rising 4.8% to 891.4B cf.
    • Now read China National Petroleum's 2015 profit fell 52%

    Sinopec net profit soars thanks to improved refining margins

    • Sinopec (NYSE:SNP) says its Q1 net income jumped threefold to 6.66B yuan ($1.03B) from 2.17B yuan a year ago as lower oil prices were outweighed by the benefit of improved refining margins.
    • China said in January that fuel prices would not be adjusted when oil falls below $40/bbl in an attempt to support the domestic energy industry and reduce pollution; the policy helped lift Q1 domestic refining margins to $16/bbl, up 45% Y/Y.
    • SNP says Q1 sales fell 13% to 413.8B yuan, while oil and gas production fell 2.7% to 114.7M boe and total refining output fell 2.4% to 57.2M tons.
    • Now read Sinopec's full-year profit slides 30% but beats estimates

    The list of concerns about Boeing remains very long – Goldman

    • Goldman, maintains its Sell rating on Boeing (NYSE:BA) following yesterday's earnings beat.
    • Price target is $101. Implied downside 26%.
    • "Boeing beat 1Q16 via its Defense business. Its Defense business grew 19% in the quarter. That is very likely an anomaly and unsustainable. The commercial aircraft segment missed on both revenue and margins. We think this quarter’s BCA results + normalized BDS results will prove more indicative of future performance.
    • "Boeing didn’t lower guidance despite taking a tanker charge. But it took a tanker charge. And another 747 charge. And its guidance was boosted by lower share count as it buys back stock in size in the vicinity of a cycle high share price and at a cycle high in units produced.
    • "The pace of 787 deferred production increase slowed in the quarter. But so many other drivers of cash flow continue to weaken. The BCA margin was concerning, and implies potential volume and/or price pressures. BCA book-to-bill in the quarter was weak at 0.42X and the metric on a trailing-12-month basis is now squarely below 1.0X.
    • "We think orders keep slowing while supply is at an all time high, Airbus (OTCPK:EADSF) keeps taking share, new aircraft potentially have to be invented as a result, the 777 rate gets cut at least once more, the 737 loses at least price if not volume, 787 accounting assumptions prove aggressive, and medium-term EPS and cash flow miss consensus by wide margins. We remain Sell rated."
    • Now read Boeing: The Good, The Bad And The Ugly »

    ROFL – What a friggin' con artist Musk is!  A sharper focus on the Gigafactory timetable

    • A Seeking Alpha article on Tesla Motors (NASDAQ:TSLA) posted by Paulo Santos earlier this week is still generating some buzz.
    • Santos believes that some investors have been advised that the Nevada Gigafactory won't be fully constructed by the target date of October 2017. In fact, sources tell Santos the finalization date for the Gigafactory could be as late as 2020, although some operations could commence well before then.
    • One of the best sources for Gigafactory sleuths is the local Reno Gazette-Journal which has eyes on the site and ears on the street. Last month, the newspaper gave a video peek at the progress on the battery manufacturing plant.

    Profit soars at Ford led by results in North America

    • Ford (NYSE:F) reports it took in a record Q1 pre-tax profit of $3.88B.
    • The automaker's automotive operating margin almost doubled to 9.8% during the quarter. Automotive operating-related cash flow was $2.7B.
    • North America: $23.9B in revenue, operating margin 12.9%, pre-tax profit $3.1B.
    • South America: $800M in revenue, operating margin -30.4% (weak results in Brazil), pre-tax profit -$256M.
    • Europe: $6.9B in revenue, operating margin 6.3%, pre-tax profit $434M.
    • Middle East & Africa: $900M in revenue, operating margin -1.5%, pre-tax profit -$14M.
    • Asia Pacific: $2.7B in revenue, operating margin 8.2%, pre-tax profit $220M.
    • Previously: Ford Motor beats by $0.22, beats on revenue (April 28)
    • Shares of Ford are up 2.82% premarket to $14.05.

    Nevada gaming revenue growth turns negative in March

    • Gaming revenue in Nevada fell 3.04% to $951M in March. The mark was a disappointment after revenue rose briskly in February (aided by leap day).
    • Las Vegas Strip revenue was 3.95% lower at $487M. Reno was one of the only regions with a year-over-year gain in gaming win.
    • The state generated a modest 1% gain in revenue to $8.4B for the fiscal year ending on March 31.
    • Gaming Control Board report
    • Related stocks: LVSMGMWYNNFLLCZRBYD
    • Related ETF: BJK

    Sirius XM +1.6% as Q1 revenues beat, subscribers top 30M

    • Sirius XM (NASDAQ:SIRI) is up 1.6% after edging revenue estimates in its Q1 earnings report and grew free cash flow/share by 31%.
    • The company added 465,000 net new subscribers to hit 30.1M (up 8% Y/Y). Self-pay net adds were 348,000, bringing that total to 24.6M (also up 8%).
    • Revenues grew 11% to a Q1-record $1.2B. Average revenue per user was up 3% to $12.66.
    • Free cash flow rose 19% to $328M; share buybacks, however, brought free cash flow per share to $0.064, a 31% boost.
    • It's boosting subscriber guidance for 2016, expecting 1.6M net new subs, above earlier forecasts for 1.4M adds. Of those, 1.4M should be net adds of self-pay subs. It's maintaining guidance for revenue of $4.9B, EBITDA of $1.78B, and free cash flow of $1.4B.
    • Conference call link
    • Press Release
    • Now read Sirius XM: If Liberty Media Makes A Move, Who Gets The Premium? »

    DreamWorks Animation up 24.2% after $3.8B deal with Comcast

    • DreamWorks Animation (NASDAQ:DWA) has resumed trading up 24.2% -- hitting its highest level since 2010 — after a halt tied to its $3.8B acquisition deal with NBCUniversal.
    • NBCU parent Comcast (NASDAQ:CMCSA) is off 0.4% after making the very Disney-like move. Speculation yesterday had turned to Comcast's interest in DWA focusing on what it could do for theme parks and consumer products rather than the film slate itself.
    • DreamWorks Animation will join Universal Pictures, Fandango, and NBCU Brand Development in Comcast's Universal Filmed Entertainment Group.
    • Comcast notes it gets a broader reach toward a "host of new audiences in the highly competitive kids and family entertainment space," with properties including Shrek, Madagascar, Kung Fu Panda and How to Train Your Dragon, as well as a family-oriented TV operation and a library of classic characters including Where's Waldo and Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer.
    • Previously: DreamWorks Animation jumps 18% on $3B Comcast M&A reports (Apr. 27 2016)
    • Previously: WSJ: Comcast in talks for $3B-plus acquisition of DreamWorks Animation(Apr. 26 2016)

    Lions Gate +6.9%; next target up after DreamWorks Animation sale?

    • Lions Gate Entertainment (NYSE:LGF) is up 6.9% to its highest point in five weeks on no catalysts other than some peer M&A today, in DreamWorks Animation's $3.8B deal to be acquired by Comcast.
    • Lions Gate has been linked in the past year to heavy merger rumors with John Malone's companies, after Malone's Liberty Global (NASDAQ:LBTYA) and Discovery Communications (NASDAQ:DISCA) made a strategic deal with the studio — and then Malone floated public comments regarding a potential tie-up/merger with Starz (NASDAQ:STRZA), in which he also holds an interest.
    • Bloomberg analyst Paul Sweeney figures Comcast's deal price means a multiple of at least 19.5 times DreamWorks Animation's 2016-2017 EBITDA — which multiple is a 28% premium to Lions Gate, which runs similar TV and movie interests.
    • And Lions Gate may be more attractively valued than during the fall rumors, after a weak fiscal Q3 tanked shares in early February and the studio's recent films, like The Divergent Series: Allegiant, are underperforming.
    • Now read My Top Media And Publishing Stocks For 2016

  31. jmd/STX, I like the protection of the 25 calls and will take $30.60 to be called away and collect another 6.20, so called away at 36.80 + all the divs. Phil, why not make this a conservative dividend play someone was asking about this morning?

  32. Phil / NAK

    My basis is $1.09, they are $0.40.. are they worth a DD or some percentage of?  I see the following from Feb:

    ("Northern Dynasty" or the "Company") announces that that it has filed a preliminary short form base shelf prospectus (the "Shelf Prospectus")

    which going forward allows them to sell more common stock for up to 24mo to raise cash and lowering the stock price??


  33. Nkd back down to 16470 for a second dip?

  34. Dividend stocks:   So Pat asked me what I think are good dividend stocks but first we need to define what a good dividend stock is.  There are lots of stocks that pay high dividends but they also often carry a high risk of ownership.  We can turn any stock into a dividend stock through options sales and, per example, the other day I mentioned PFE as my favorite because they pay a $1.20 dividend 3% AND I can construct a very conservative play around them:

    PFE, for example, at $32.61, pays a $1.20 dividend so he can just buy 500 shares for $16,305 and sell 5 2018 $30 calls for $4.20 ($2,100) and sell 5 2018 $28 puts for $2.20 ($1,100) and that's net $26.21/27.105 (worst case if assigned 500 more, which is 17% off) = $13,105 and, if called away at $30 (10% lower than it is now), he'll collect $15,000, which is + $1,895 (14.4%) PLUS $1.80 in dividends ($900) for another 7% so 29% that way.  Since you are only shooting for 9% - he can do that with 1/3 of what he wants to make the money on and keep the rest on the side – in case the market collapses and other opportunities come up.  

    So, to me, If I'm trying to make 5% in a $100,000 portfolio, 1,000 shares of PFE in this spread is $26,210 and you get called away (presumably) at $30,000 (+3,790) plus $1,800 in dividends over 18 months is $4,590 and you're only committing 1/3 of your buying power even in an IRA.  

    A trade like that is as low-risk as you get.  I also love T, which pays 5%, MO at 3.7%, WM at 3%, WMT at 3%, RRD at 6%, FTR at 7.5%, WIN at 7%, TOT at 5.5%, F at 4.25%, CAT at 4%, CSCO at 3.6%, INTC at 3.25%, KO at 3%, WFC at 3%, GE at 3%  and, of course, our LTP REITs:  ARR (15.2%), CIM (13.4%), CM (4.5%), NRF (12.3%) and STWD (10%).

    So any of those, when they are low in the channel and you can construct a nice, conservative spread around them, will do the trick towards building a dividend portfolio but use the REITs sparingly because they are a lot of risk for those 10% dividends – in the LTP they represent about a 10% allocation because it's nice money when it works – until it doesn't.  Also in the LTP, we almost never enter the REITs unless they have dropped about 40% and we think they have bottomed – because they often do (and will again).

    STX/JMD – We WOULD like to own them at net $20 as an entry position and, in a $900,000 portfolio we have obligated ourselves to buy 1,000 shares at that price ($20,000).  You are asking about committing to own $10,000 shares at net $21.12 as your initial entry so I'd say not too bad – as long as it's a $10M portfolio that's mainly in cash and low on tech.  Otherwise, I think it's too risky with phone and pc sales off a cliff like they are.  

    Good old 1,150 on /TF is crossing under for another short (very tight stops over the line).  17,900, 2,090 and 4,425 should confirm.  /NKD back to 16,450 already.  

    NAK/Jeddah – Yes, they are a penny stock and they keep diluting you to raise cash so maybe wait until after the next round – in case they drop in half again.  

  35. LOL….market back to yesterdays close.  Impressive.  

  36. Even more impressive is SRPT, which was just rejected by the FDA panel, is back to where it was pre panel.  Now AF writes the FDA 'could' conditionally approve, and the stock moves 40%.  Let me be the first to say…..I would be very surprised if that happened.  And if it does, my company will do a trial in 12 patients and pay for the travels of hundreds of people affected to petition for approval.  This is a circus, and the FDA knows it created a monster.  They must not approve this drug.

  37. FB….#6 on most valuable companies.  I don't use FB.

  38. Latch are you short oil? Is anyone still shorting now at $45.70? It seems like we should be going down, but of course we aren't, so I can't decide if I should short here or not? 

  39. SRPT/ Pharm are you still in May 10 puts?

  40. Lion…yes.  Going to need to roll, but waiting to see where this thing settles.  

  41. Pharmboy 

    FB….#6 on most valuable companies.  I don't use FB

    I don't use FB

  42. phil,  NRF buy at 13, sell 2018 $13 straddle for $6.30.  and 12% div.  looks pretty good.  what's wrong with the picture?  TIA

  43. pstas – I preach and live personal responsibility, it would seem to be a natural emotion to have, though many do not have that sense of self. The greatest success that we seek in our kids is not measured by their grades in school or any achievements, but for the content of their Character. This does not mean that they can't have a lapse of judgement when excited about their first new home. They, like everyone else, do not think they could lose a job or have to deal with the curveball's of life. but they DO know that they can have a loan with 3 percent down and what appears to be a payment they can handle…. We need both tough rules and regulations for all, in order to help save some folks from themselves…..  :)

  44. Yes Craig – I am short

  45. I'm short also at 45.30…..will add in the 46.00 to 46.25 area…hopefully doesn't get there….

  46. Thanks Pharm please keep us updated.

    NKD back to the pre-opening lows or a 300 points turnaround. US markets are flattish with USD down half a point. We should close lower…

  47. Edro, Sorry I set up the whole calculation for you but since I loaded down Window 10 many things have been screwed up. So if someone has an idea how to copy to the reply here It would be of great help.

  48. Latch I am in with you at $45.80, so let's hope we are right! So far it isn't going well.

    1020- Here, here about personal responsibility! We have tried very hard to instill that personal responsibility in our children. My oldest are 25 year old twins (boy/girl) and while they come at it very differently I am so proud of how they have developed in that regard. My son has no head for business and never has. He got taken to the cleaners as a child trading Pokemon cards while my daughter made some serious coin. Now as an adult he knows that he can't handle having a credit card even though he gets offered 10 a day! He tries to live within his means and hates ever having to ask for help. This is just a small example, but it shows some responsible behavior. My daughter is building a large savings account and hates wasting a dime of her hard earned money. them,  I worried that we had spoiled them but I guess they were listening to my incessant lectures. There is so much more that makes me proud but I will leave it at that so as not to waste time during business hours. 

  49. Phil   Need advice on AAPL. Have 2018 naked calls,30x 85c,35x 90c,35x 105c. They were all spreads and bot back all short calls for 30cents on dollar. I'm bullish on AAPL long term.Would like to sell some short term calls against above but don't want to get called away.Was thinking of July 105s at $1.20.Pls help on strike and timing.Am I on the right path? THANKS much

  50. Yodi-

    If you can copy it to your clipboard you can use cntlV (control v) to paste it into the reply window

  51. Edro, I can place it on the clipboard and it shows on the clip board but when you press OK it will not copy, it is all screwed with window 10 it freezes and you can not past it in the reply box here. It copies in to my email so if you give me your email I can do it.?

  52. SRPT…I will try to roll to the June 10 P for 2.30 or less.  

  53. Latch I gave up when we crossed $46. I am out of shorting oil now.

  54. Yodi

    Thanks, I'll post it for you -

    flighthopper  at cs dot com

  55. Phil/sox. Any thoughts? Tia

  56. Better citizens/Pstas – I was in the real estate industry in the 90s and do you know what they were plowing their profits into?  They spent 10s of Millions of Dollars promoting a campaign that tied home ownership with "The American Dream" aimed at pushing as many people as possible into owning homes.   The realtors and the mortgage brokers are professionals, who used every psychological trick in the book to get prospective homebuyers to sign on the bottom line.  When the Top 1% run "educational" programs to push the Bottom 99% into making poor financial choices (and see The Century of the Self to see how we've trained a whole nation of over-consumers since the 40s in pursuit of taking as much of their money as possible) then, no, I do not say "there's plenty of blame to go around." The blame is on the brain-washers, not the brain-washed.  

    Every ponzi scheme needs a victim who wants to make money and, if you want to blame the victims for wanting to make money or simply to have all the things that TV tells them you MUST have in order to have a happy life - perhaps we should first teach them about the evils of Capitalism in school so they look at these schemes for what they are and learn that only and open, sharing, evenly distributed economy is moral and just in a human society and they should be wary of anyone who takes more than their fair share or offers it.  THEN, if they get out of line and start the next financial crisis simply because they wanted the lifestyle you sold them, we can blame them for their poor choices.  

    Cruz/Rustle – LOL.  

    "Lucifer in the flesh," Boehner, 66, said of the Texas senator (according to the Stanford Daily). "I have Democrat friends and Republican friends. I get along with almost everyone, but I have never worked with a more miserable son of a bitch in my life."

    SRPT/Pharm – What a ride! 

    FB/Pharm – Imagine what you are missing!  

    Oil/Craigs – The plan was tight stops at $45.50 and try again at $46 but we're just playing for the technical rejections along the way, not really bearish.  

    NRF/Lunar – Nothing at all, we like them but I'd be a touch more conservative:

    • Buy 1,000 NRF for $13.05 ($13,050)
    • Sell 10 2018 $13 calls for $2.20 ($2,200) 
    • Sell 10 2018 $10 puts for $2.20 ($2,200) 

    That's net $8.65 ($8,650) on 1,000 shares and you get called away, if all is well, at $13,000 for a $4,350 gain (50%) plus NRF pays 0.40/qtr ($400) but just paid on 3/3 so 6/3, 9, 12,3, 6, 9 and 12 are coming for $2,800, which is another 32% makes this a spectacular dividend play with an 82% total expected return in 20 months – even if the stock flatlines at $13.  Keep in mind though, rates WILL go up and the REITs may be heavily affected so these are not safe plays.  

    AAPL/490 – What a mess!  100 calls completely uncovered?  For shame! angry  Well, the $85s are $19.40  and the $105s are $9.70 so I'd spend the money to consolidate at the $85s on all of them and sell the $115s for $6.55 and that should be about net even overall (since the $90s cost just $2.70 to roll) and you can just sell some puts to cover any out of pocket.  THEN, with 100 2018 $85/115 bull call spreads you can sell 20 of the July $95s for $5 ($10,000) and your goal would then to be to collect $5,000 to $10,000 per month selling 20 (1/5th) calls that are 2-3 months out so that, each month, 20 are close to expiring, 20 expire in a month and, as the nearest 20 expire, you sell the next 20.  That way, if any block gets in trouble, you can easily do a 2x roll (the Aug $105s are $2.15, the Oct $110s are $2.15…) without much hassle while you wait for your $300,000 worth of longs to mature.  $10,000 a month is $200,000 into Jan 2018 – that should double your returns while protecting your position.  

    And I like that as a new trade for the OOP:

    • Buy 10 AAPL 2018 $85 calls for $19.20 ($19,200) 
    • Sell 10 AAPL 2018 $115 calls for $9.70 ($9,700)
    • Sell 3 AAPL 2018 $90 puts for $11 ($3,300) (and we already have 2 short) 
    • Sell 2 AAPL July $95 calls for $5 ($1,000) 

    The net cash outlay is $5,200 and, if all goes well, we will sell $1,000 worth of premium each month and collect $20,000 over the course of the trade while waiting to see if we collect $30,000 from the bull call spread if AAPL is over $115 in Jan of 2018.  Each month, we will sell 2 on the money 60-90 day calls for about $1,000 unless AAPL went higher, in which case we will roll the current calls and possibly split them to 4 of a higher strike but at no time should we have more than 6 short calls (better to take a small loss if we have to).  

    When we cover with a lower strike than our open short calls, then we would put a stop on the lower calls so we cash in with a profit on a move up and free a space up to sell some more and remember:  When in doubt, SELL HALF! 

    This will be a very good trading exercise to follow throughout the year!  

    SOX/Hanj – Mixed signals with Samsung doing well and AAPL doing poorly means I wouldn't make any index bets – just go long on good ones and short on bad ones. 

  57. Phil/DIV,

    awesome! thank you for the details explanation. in addition to PFE we will look at couple more set up and ask more specific question if required.

    in the meantime the AAPL trade for the OOP looks very good. Can I just do the bull call spread from that set up? this is for me and not for him as there is risk involved of AAPL going down for long period of time (rare but possible).


  58. Samsung/Phil – not absolutely sure, but I think Samsung is a fair bit more diverse than AAPL. Especially in the Korean, and probably the Chinese, markets. Same deal with Hyundai; it's a lot more than a car company. The Korean Crown Prince used to be a middle manager in Hyundai Home Shopping – still is, for all I know. Crown Prince is one of those gigs where you should keep your day job.

    By the way, Hanjongin, your handle sounds Korean, but as you're posting all day I assume you're either not in Korea or you're an insomniac…..

  59. AAPL – Icahn sold his entire position in Apple. Short term doesn't bode very well for our favorite stock.

  60. Latch hope you held out! I got back in shorting at $46.03, so hoping this will carry down. Wow, bottom dropping out of the Dow now. I guess this is what Phil meant by retailers left holding thebag!

  61. AAPL- Although now I kinda wish I had waited on trading the AAPL bcs from yesterday 2018 90/120 for the new one today 85/115, although Phil did say we might want to let it fall further.

  62. AAPL/Pat – Sure, you can do it with just the bull call spread but I'd just put a pretty tight stop (40% loss) in 1/2 the short calls as you have less balance the other way.  

    Samsung/Snow – Way more diverse but I think their phone sales were surprisingly good (haven't read the report yet).  

    Icahn/Tshroy – Yep and that's sent everything down led by AAPL – amazing.  

    Oil still over $45.50 is the laggard now but nice for those who caught the $46 short.  

    AAPL/Craigs – Never pays to rush into trades.  If you miss one – something else will go on sale.  

  63. AAPL- Phil what do you make of Carl Icahn announcing he was dumping his Apple shares because he thinks they are losing ground in China? Any concern or is this just to drive the price down so they can all get in when it has been dropped sufficently?

  64. Icahn/Craigs – He needs an excuse to raise capital to cover his other bad trades.  Also, his entry was at about $100 so shame on him if he hasn't been taking it off the table all along.  

    Gold rockin' – $1,268.  Silver $17.60:

    Panic is in the air and a weak Dollar is not helping:

    1,140 has been a good line to go long on /TF.

    We have 17,700 on /YM, 2,065 on /ES, 4,360 on /NQ and 16,200 on /NKD to watch with it.

  65. Phil/AAPL,

    can you explain in detail the 40% stop?


  66. 40%/Pat – Well, if you sell 2 of them for $5 ($10 in pocket), you put a stop on one at $7 so still have $3 for the 1 remaining short contract and then, with the one that's left, even if it goes to $10, you can simply roll it to 2x of a higher strike at $5 and they would then be short at net $1.50 each.  Meanwhile, the only way that could be happening is if 5x that amount of contracts is going deeper into the money for 2018.  It's one of those things that gets obvious with practice – hard to think about in advance.  

    That dip made for really easy filling on the short AAPL puts and and long $85 calls!  

  67. Why are people surprised that Icahn is bailing out now! The guy is not in for the long run – only for as long as his tweets are pushing the stock up and down! If he were in for the long run, he would add to his position now, not close it. For him, that was a bet and he put his finger on the scale with tweets and all and he didn't get the results he wanted.

  68. All in favor of educating folks on the evils of capitalism as long as the evils of socialism is included (i.e., Venezuela; Cuba; N. Korea; the former Soviet Union; And just who is the authority adjudicating who gets what and when under this grand "moral" scheme?

    Peel away the onion layers of political propaganda and one will find the inescapable truth that if there were no liars to sign there would have been no liar loans to bundle.  Furthermore, if an individual is properly schooled in the basic truism that there is no free lunch renders him/her less susceptible to shenanigans. As to those up the food chain, shame on them for being swindlers and con artists. If each had looked him or herself in the mirror and asked "would my mother be proud of what I am doing" outcomes would be a lot different without the need for a profusion of  statist hall monitors.

    Bottom line-weather your poison is socialism or capitalism, an abundance of  personal responsibility is sorely needed. 

  69. SQQQ testing $20 already – maybe we should have taken a more aggressive spread!  

    Thanks to our hedges, OOP now up 49.7%, so we gained $1,100 (1.1%) on the day!  

    The STP is at $489,517 (up 389%) and the LTP is $963,679 (up 92.7%) for $1,453,196 (up 142% combined!) and that's up $2,806 since the weekend review so BALANCED!!!  

    The Butterfly Portfolio is at $259,276 (up 159%) and that's down $3,776 since the weekend because we sell a lot of premium there and the VIX is up so the implied value of the short calls and puts is higher but nothing to worry about.

    On the whole, I'm very pleased with how our overall positions are performing in this messy week.  

    Authority/Pstas – Very simple, "from each according to their ability to each according to their needs."  And PLEASE with the BS "liar loans' label.  That is just more PR shoved down our throats by the spin doctors who work for the banks to blame the victims for their crimes.   The buyers in a mortgage transaction, thanks to the lack of financial education in our schools, are not knowlegeable and they rely on the expertise and advice of the mortgage broker and the realtor who advise them to buy the biggest house they can and put down the least deposit they can etc.  These are not sophisticated investors – if this were a fund – they wouldn't be allowed to invest in it but, because of all the lobbying to push home ownership and second mortgages, they are guided through a process that purposely ignores their actual ability to repay the loan.  

    Every good con man blames the victims for being suckers and justifies it by saying, if they don't rip these people off, someone else will eventually.   Would each victim that is stuffed into a an overpriced home with a mortgage they can't afford look in the mirror and think their mother would be proud of what they are doing?  Absolutely YES when they sign that paper and own a home and join the ranks of "successful" people – as they have been told they should do their whole lives.   The same goes for getting a new car or fancy clothes or nice shoes or going out to nice restaurants – it's a deep, cultural brain-washing that begins the day they get their first Barbie doll and have to accessorize it.  You want to blame them for growing up the way you trained them – go ahead – I'm just not going to join you.

  70. EXPE with a big beat.  Up almost 10% AH.

  71. Phil/NRF  I will pass-they have been negative free cash flow for the the last 3 years: $3 bil each year.  Also they appear to have a sister company that has shared B of D that NRF pays a LOT of fees too.  Add to it the interest rate risk that Phil stated, the ongoing  proxy battle with an "activist investor". the breakup of NSAM and NRF and the possible recombo that further enriches the Executive Suite – and well, thats a bit too much for me.  And this is from a guy who is willing to be short calls on a stock for a time.  I USED to hold a lot of REITs but with the headwinds of stagnant econ growth, interest rate stagflation, falling NAVs, its a little to risky for me.  Just my $.02 which is what this is all worth probably.

  72. Snow/  I am both, but have emigrated here shortly after I was born.  That was a bout the same time I stopped sleeping also. ha

  73. PHIL/SOX  Thanks for the comment!  I'm a technician mostly although I do follow fundamentals in case I have to marry the stock instead of date it.  That's why I have to get used to going out so long on expirys on your trade ideas. ha.  I will say I like BCS in general because 2 days of every week I know that theta decay will be on my side. Long only option buys are for suckers as far as I am concerned as I'd rather sell premium any day of the week. Thank you! I like the AAPL trade (not that you care) and have the TWTR trade so slowly but surely, adding some longer term stuff to my mostly cash, VMBS and select oils (only ones I have done the private placement in to get even better pricing!)

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  107. Verizon better act fast if it wants to buy Yahoo.<p>Some joker published a Craigslist ad putting Yahoo up for sale. It’s listed for $8 billion or best offer under the “antiques” section, and the condition is “salvage.”<p>Looks like some pretty good stuff comes with the purchase:<p>* 1 billion users, more or …

  108. It happens hundreds of times a day: We press snooze on the alarm clock, we pick a shirt out of the closet, we reach for a beer in the fridge.<p>In each case, we conceive of ourselves as free agents, consciously guiding our bodies in purposeful ways.<p>But what does science have to say about the true …

  109. Google has a penchant for far-out tech that never reaches the market. The latest is a method of injecting an device into an eyeball, mostly as a means to correct poor vision. Described in a patent dated April 28, 2016, the device is injected in fluid that then solidifies to couple the device with …

  110. There are simply some things one does not do in the state of Indiana — and Cruz did one of them<p>At a post-primary reassurance party for Indiana supporters after his resounding losses Tuesday, Texas Senator Ted Cruz attempted to bond with his Hoosier State supporters by speaking to them in a …

  111. <b>Dear Prudence – A Warning In Today’s GDP Growth Data by 720 Global</b><p>While there is no doubt that patience is a virtue for investors, exercising …

  112. I’m not going to sugarcoat it, sell you rainbows and unicorns, or tell you that becoming an entrepreneur will make you instantly rich.<p>And I’m definitely not going to tell you that it’s easy. Starting your own business is HARD. The biggest component to success is a high risk tolerance.<p>I have …

  113. Earnings Are Beating Estimates Like Crazy<p>In a not so surprising outcome, the number of companies beating earnings estimates currently is above the …

  114. somebody watch my /CL please, I am going to eat a pizza with my family.

  115. Well I guess AMZN is doing OK now… It's only up 13% AH. It seems that all the profits come from AWS. Now the retail side is like a loss leader. 

  116. Had a small position in PRGN.  Stock up 500+% today.  Closed at $1.75.  Unfortunately, I bailed at .90.

  117. I see no reason to upgrade to Win10. I'm never leaving Win7. 

    Windows 8 was such a disaster. 

  118. Win 10 / Burrben – I love Windows 7 but Windows 10 has been pretty good so far. I agree, Windows 8 was just too different for most people, but migration to Windows 10 is pretty smooth. And it seems very stable. With an SSD drive, my laptop boots in no time as compare to Win7.

  119. Nikkei getting spanked again

  120. Phil/PFE  I like the Jan 2017s, same strikes, nets a 15% profit if called at $30.  Even better, my B/E is 23.50ish, a price we havent seen since 2012.  

  121. Good morning! 

    There's a really good Brexit debate on Bloomberg.  To me, it's a no-brainer to leave – the only reason for staying seems to be fear of uncertainty but boy are they banging that drum as loud as they can.  

    Europe is down 1% but just following us, Nikkei closed today for a holiday but 16,666 says it all.

    Going to be a watch and wait day as they attempt to end the month on a positive note. 

    Oil blasted up to $46.41 as the Dollar fell to 93.21 and that's keeping the indexes from falling further this morning.  /NKD is down at 16,175 though – they don't like the Dollar weakness.

    Gold and silver, of course, marching on and now copper has joined them but that may be because it's the last day before China clamps down on commodities:

    Chinese Commodity Speculators Drop Out After $261 Billion BingeThe speculators that traded $261 billion in Chinese commodities in a single day last week are retreating as regulators prepare to step up control of the market. The value of futures traded across China’s three biggest commodity exchanges has shrunk 42 percent since investors spent 1.7 trillion yuan last Thursday on everything from steel bars to eggs. The amount that changed hands was on a par with the entire U.S. equities market on the same day. Markets in the world’s biggest consumer of raw materials have been gripped by a trading frenzy that’s drawn comparisons with the credit-driven stock market rally last year that preceded a $5 trillion rout. Exchanges have responded by raising margins and transaction fees to curb speculation while the securities regulator is said to have prepared measures to limit price fluctuations.


    China's Stocks Head for Monthly Decline on Earnings ConcernChina’s stocks headed for their steepest monthly decline since the start of the year as energy and financial companies slumped after PetroChina Co. reported its first quarterly loss since listing and the nation’s biggest bank barely eked out a profit. The Shanghai Composite Index has dropped 1.84 percent in April and was little changed on Friday as turnover slumped. PetroChina, the most heavily weighted stock, slid to its lowest level in two months. Industrial & Commercial Bank of China Ltd. lost the most in a week after it posted a 0.6 percent gain in net income by breaching a regulatory requirement for bad-loan provision coverage. The Hang Seng China Enterprises Index retreated for the first time in four days.


    Asian Stocks Extend Weekly Decline as Investors Weigh EarningsAsian stocks fell, extending their weekly decline, after the Bank of Japan quashed expectations for further stimulus and investors scrutinized earnings from PetroChina Co. to China Petroleum & Chemical Corp. The MSCI Asia Pacific Excluding Japan Index retreated 0.3 percent to 416.93 as of 9:34 a.m. in Hong Kong, heading for a weekly loss of 1.5 percent and a 0.1 percent monthly decline. Stocks retreated this week as Japan’s central bank refrained from boosting monetary stimulus and earnings at companies from Canon Inc. to Oversea-Chinese Banking Corp. disappointed investors. Focus now turns to profit reports due from Citic Securities Co., China’s biggest brokerage, and Chinese manufacturing data due at the weekend. Japan’s market is closed Friday for a holiday. “Central banks look like they have run out of bullets to a degree,” Mark Lister, head of private wealth research at Craigs Investment Partners in Wellington, which manages about $7.2 billion, said by phone. “We’re getting to that point where there are limits to the results they can get from anything more they do. This points to a fragile outlook with still a lot of risks out there.


    ICBC Breach of Bad-Loan Buffer Shows China Banking Stresses. Industrial & Commercial Bank of China Ltd.’s breach of a regulatory requirement for bad-loan provision coverage added to signs of growing stress in the nation’s banking industry. ICBC avoided reporting a quarterly drop in profit on Thursday by letting provisions fall to 141 percent of existing nonperforming credit, below the 150 percent level required by the China Banking Regulatory Commission. The move let it eke out a 0.6 percent gain in net income for the first three months from a year earlier.

    Certainly there's nothing I would bet on at the moment though I assume we'll close green today.

  122. AMZN + 12% in pre-market!  

    Amazon(AMZN) plans to 'significantly' increase investment in video as it goes to war with Netflix

    Here's who CLF traders can thank but, will it last? 

    LOL – here's a reason to buy the AAPL watch – 5 min FX binary trades!  

    Wow, there has to be a fortune to be made there – selling those trades to others – look at the spread! 

    And let's not forget that watches are how we communicate with our self-driving, talking cars:

    I can't wait for this conversation:

    • Driver:  "Take me to Oak Ridge."
    • Car:  "OK, I will drive you off the next Bridge."

    This chart makes me doubly sad because I have a wife and two teenage daughters doing the spending!  angry

    GDP – Yuch

    At least I can have hope for the future:

    Junk Economics: Michael Hudson Rages "Wall Street Has Taken Over The Economy.. & Is Draining It"

    Why Is JPM's "Quant Guru" Suddenly Worried About The "Endgame"

    Why The US Output Gap Means The 10 Year Is Going Below 1%

    Automating Ourselves To Unemployment

    Earnings "Beats" & The Warning In Today's GDP Data

    SEC Begins Crack Down On Non-GAAP Accounting Gimmicks

    Valeant(VRX) might throw the entire pharmaceutical industry under the bus

    China and Russia are boosting their military cooperation to try to contain the US


    Macau March Tour Group Visitors Fall 36.2% y/y. March tour group traveler arrivals fall to 564,000, lowest since March 2011, citing govt data.

    This is a great study showing the cost of NOT investing in infrastructure projects (not to mention public transit).  Like most Conservative policies – the wealthy get huge tax cuts by not investing in the public projects while the poor get a stealth tax (congestion costs) that transfers their wealth to the Top 1% – again.  

    Brexit is still very close – closer than people think.  Note that the scare tactics didn't really sway the Leave voters, it scared undecided into the Remain camp but, by their nature, those people can be swayed back between now and June.

    6 leading business figures just took part in Bloomberg's debate. Here's a recap

    Good chart to keep in mind when Trump is telling your terrorism is the greatest threat our country faces:

    It's not new, it's been going on since we screwed up Iran in the 70s.

    ICICI Bank Q4 profits hit by rising bad loans

    Silver in perspective:

    Former Sanders Staffers start Super-Pac to Unseat GOP Congress

    This is what the revolution looks like: Former Sanders staffers are launching a new PAC aimed at midterm Congressional elections


  123. Amy Schumer sums it up nicely for women:

  124. ‘Normal America’ Is Not A Small Town Of White People

    Do you live in a bubble?  Take this 25-question quiz, based on a similar one published in Murray’s 2012 book, “Coming Apart: The State of White America 1960-2010,” to find out just how thick your bubble is.

    The most out-of-touch places in America

    Here's a good one for the climate deniers to mull over – Beijing banned cars for 2 weeks ahead of a parade and their sky turned blue on schedule.  Then, the next day – back to "normal":

    I need one of these

    Mad Scientist Builds Fully Functional Hoverbike