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Weakening Wednesday – Oil Leads Markets Lower

We're short oil at $51 (/CL).

The API report last night showed a 1.5Mb build in Oil, a 1.7Mb build in Gasoline and a 5.5Mb build in Distillates and, if that's matched on the EIA report at 10:30 this morning – you can say goodbye to $50, which would be a $1,000 per contract gain in the Futures.  

It's all starting to fall apart and that includes Trump's plan to be President.  I'm not going to get into it but it's best to read the UK's Guardian's article for an outsider's perspective on this mess (and this follow up timeline) and, if you dare, to read the actual intelligence briefing on Trump's ties to the Kremlin, with it's horrifying details.  As noted by Trump spokeswoman Kellyanne Conway last night, these are "unverified" claims and that's true because, if they were verified, a lot of people would be going to jail for espionage!  

Now we know why Hillary said she is going to the inauguration next week – she still might end up being the one who's sworn in!  While it's doubtful that still-President Obama will declare martial law and delay the transition until a full investigation is completed – it's not impossible at this point and markets really don't like political uncertainty – especially in a leading World power. 

That's all I'll say about it for fear of being censored for political commentary and then you would miss out on our oil call and other hedging ideas as well as a repeat of our main idea to make sure you have plenty of CASH!!! to ride out what could be a major black swan crisis.  

We're back to shorting the Russell Futures (/TF) below the 1,370 line (tight stops above) and we expect a rising Dollar (already 102.50) to put downward pressure on the indexes as well as commodities but it's going to be wild and we probably won't be playing those.  If you want an option play to hedge with the Russell, I suggest the following using the Ultra-Short ETF (TZA):

  • Buy 20 TZA March $18 calls for $2.25 ($4,500) 
  • Sell 20 TZA March $22 calls for $1 ($2,000) 
  • Sell 5 TASR 2019 $20 puts for $3.20 ($1,600)

The net of the spread is $900 on the $8,000 spread that's $2,500 in the money at $19.25 so TZA has to fall 6.4% for you to lose money on the March spread.  We offset the cost by promising to buy 500 shares of Taser (TASR) (our Stock of the Decade) for $20, which is $4.63 (19%) off the current price but you can substitute any stock you REALLY want to own if it gets cheaper.  

If TZA hits $22, you collect $8,000 and that's a $7,100 net profit (788% return on cash, assuming the puts expire worthless), which makes it an ideal hedge for a $100,000 portfolio and we will add it to our Options Opportunity Portfolio today.   

It's much easier to add a hedge than to liquidate positions every time you are nervous that the President-Elect will be indicted for something or other (will probably happen a lot in the coming years) and our Options Opportunity Portfolio, which we keep for our friends at Seeking Alpha, is up $7,065 (7%) since our Jan 1st Review – no wonder we don't want to let go of these positions if we don't have to.

Think of a hedge as an insurance policy that you HOPE you lose money on.  When we buy life insurance – we don't hope we get hit by a truck to collect $1M, do we?  No, we make our payments and hope to keep making our payments as we keep on living – it's just insurance, in case we don't.

Portfolio insurance serves the same purpose and we like to hedge our hedges by offsetting the cost of our protection by selling puts against a stock we REALLY would like to own if it gets cheaper.  It's actually the cornerstone to our strategy of "How to Buy a Stock for a 15-20% Discount."  Unless we're really wrong about TASR, it's not likely it goes down when the markets are going up so the puts expire worthless and our net cost for $8,000 worth of insurance is, at worst, $900.  

The really cool thing is that, sometimes we get that short-term correction, make our $8,000 on the hedge but then our long-term puts still expire worthless and we collect on both ends.  In this case, the worst thing that can happen is we end up owning $10,000 worth of TASR – a stock we love for the long-term, especially at $20!  

The same logic applies when we are bullish on a stock, as we were with TASR early last year with the following trade in the OOP:

In that case, we promised to buy 1,000 shares of TASR this Jan (next Friday, in fact) at $15 but, since it's well over $15, the puts simply expire worthless.  Our net cash outlay was $2,800 and, currently, the spread has a net value of $10,025 for a profit (so far) of $7,225 (258%).   Now you can see how a portfolio full of trades like this can be up 147% in 18 months!

Image result for options profitsWe simply apply the same logic we use on our bullish spreads to the hedges and, if we're not SURE the market will sell off – we simply find a stock we want to own and use that for our offset.  The timing in this case is convenient because our existing short TASR puts are expiring next week, so these will replace them and put another $1,600 in our pockets.  

This stuff isn't hard folks, these are basic options strategies we use and the reason it's simple is because we're not Options Strategists playing the percentages.  We are FUNDAMENTAL Investors who use options to leverage our returns and to hedge against the possibility that we are wrong.  It's a tool every trader should have in their tool box.  

We'll talk more about this in today's Live Trading Webinar at 1pm (EST). 


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  1. Good morning all!

    Webinar today! 1pm Eastern!

  2. Burr. CL. Phil has 47.5 as a likely stop and even $45  he mentioned it yesterday 

  3. Phil/coffee: And so it begins, From Reuters:

    "J. M. Smucker Co (SJM.N) said on Wednesday that it had raised prices of its packaged coffee products such as Folgers and Dunkin' Donuts by an average of 6 percent in the United States.

    The biggest U.S coffee roaster said it had hiked prices in response to a sustained increases in green coffee costs.

    Arabica coffee futures KCc1 rose to the highest level in almost six weeks on Tuesday, boosted by index fund buying, after a major Brazilian coffee exporter forecast smaller arabica and robusta crops for 2017-18."

  4. Quite a little spike up here on /CL.  I wonder if shorts are plowing in?

  5. Burr,  ditto..  CL almost touched   $51.50.  

  6. Burr. I am 3 short CL at 51.4

  7. From Rainmaker.   

    Everyone knows that the Russians helped Donald Trump beat Hillary Clinton.

    My question is how the Russians helped the Don beat the other 16 Republican candidates?

    Because they must have been helping from day one if they really wanted him in there. I do not recall any stories about Russians when Jeb Bush was around.

    Start to piece together the timeline. The story about the Russians is only good if the Don is the President.

    Now there is a “report” that has a 2 page synopsis of all the bad stuff Don did?

    Shit is fake! Show me the same document in Russian. Maybe fool me a little.

    If you believe the Russians helped the Don beat Hillary, then you must have a reason why and how the Don beat all the other Republicans. All 16 of them.

    More likely is that the Don was selected back home by a group of voters no larger than 10.

    But wouldn’t it be damaging to see the Don giving/getting Gold/en showers on Twitter one day?

    Guy is going to drop an ICMB on Moscow! That is not funny.

    This two page “supplement” seems to outline almost all the damaging things that could have hurt Trump before he was elected. Now that he is the boss, to think they are going to spill is ridiculous. If it was going to spill, it would have done so by now.

    Hillary Clinton is the Secretary of state. If there was some gun with smoke in it, she knows where it is.

    No gun, no smoke. Fake smoke. 

  8. Good Morning.

  9. Latch.

    Why does anyone care what "rainmaker" has to say?  Save it for your alternate universe…..

  10. If they had found 1/2 the stuff they found on Trump about Hillary, there would have been 20 special committees created in Congress to investigate it (and Latch would call it treason)! They would have impeached Obama for that same stuff… As I said before, Putin doesn't care who wins – GOP or Dems, he just wants someone that will work for him and that he can manipulate. The fact that he chose Trump is proof enough that there is more to this story… 

  11. And BTW Mr. Rainmaker – Kerry is Secretary of State, not Hillary Clinton! If you can't get basic facts like that….

  12. Trump just said that he has no business dealings with Russia. None!  

  13. No matter what side of the political  spectrum you fall on, we all must agree that Russians/china/fat man sitting in NJ bed – has accomplished their mission. They have made our politics, our government and its leaders on both sides  look like idiots. And by the end of the day every teen and preteen will know what a golden shower is. Sad day for our country.

  14. Good morning! 

    More GOP politicians have been arrested for sexual misconduct in bathrooms than trans people

    “Obviously we need laws against senators using bathrooms, not trans people!” Avery writes.

    McCain demanding bi-partisan committee to investigate Trump/Russia.  If he gets it – huuuge mess!  

    Oil – Wrong way so far.  Whenever you see a sharp move up, you have to check news to see if something happened or someone said something.  

    /SI down hard, harder than gold. 


    BIOC resumes it's move up – $3.20 now!  

    Coffee/Tom – Funny after all that dumping based on previous reports.  That's why you have to ignore the short-term BS and focus on the hard to break macros.

    Russians/Latch – Really, you are that desperate already that you now have to reach back to muddy the waters?  Maybe they just waited to see who was nominated and would have helped anyone or maybe Trump was doing so well in the primaries that they didn't have to help him UNTIL he had to run against the person who ultimately got 5% more of the popular vote than he did.  You do understand that the Russians didn't compile that report – we did, so there's not likely to be a Russian version to verify it.  Don't you see how you are stretching the fabric of reality to maintain your delusion that Trump is a good person who didn't work with Russia to unseat the legitimate candidate?  

    I don't know what "supplement" you are talking about, I posted the full many page report earlier.  You are right about "spilling" – the whole point of blackmail is you control the blackmailed party by agreeing NOT to spill the damaging information.  Russia's leverage over Trump would be lost if they revealed it (and their puppet would likely be impeached and thus, less useful to them).  

    Image result for trump russia cartoon

    Meanwhile, Trump team is running around saying "Why aren't you confirming our nominees?  Other Presidents had their nominees confirmed."  This is what I was talking about at the Nasdaq last week – they are not normal "vetted" nominees who've already been checked out in Washington circles for other positions and they are not forthcoming with their information and they have $35 Billion between them so of course they all have business ties that may be unpalatable to a normal ethics panel:

    Image result for trump cabinet wealth

    LOL Tom, give us something harder to prove totally false:  

    Donald Trump's Many, Many, Many, Many Ties to Russia – Time

    Trump's Russian connections span 30 years from Gorbachev to Putin …

    Here's what we know about Donald Trump and his ties to Russia – The …

    Yes, there is evidence Trump does business with Russians – POLITICO

    How about this irrefutable statement:  Donald Trump is a blatant liar who will say things that are completely contrary to proven facts because he believes his followers are dumb enough to believe anything he says, no matter how ridiculous or unfounded. 

    And he's right – he's certainly tested the limits of what these people will swallow and, so far, he hasn't found a limit yet!  I think at this point he just says things for fun to see if people actually believe it.

    Sad/Den – Absolutely.  

    Poor Tillerson has been sitting in a chair for 15 mins waiting for this hearing to begin.  This is not a guy who's used to waiting for other people…

  15. I think Trump's own son has talked about their business dealings with Russia.

  16. LOL – Woman already interrupted Tillerson's opening statement shouting out that XOM destroyed her home with fracking or something – they dragged her out. 

  17. The Manchurian Candidate is alive and well.  Can't believe from just the potential of this news the market is up today and Seth Myers killed Kelly Ann Conway as she tried to spill lies about it last night.  He stopped her in her tracks.  Buying DIA puts now.

  18. FU M!!!

    FU F!!!

    FU GILD!!!

  19. /SI – I don't track SI directly but SLV hit its 50 day moving average for the 4th time in the downtrend and headed south again.  Based on past moves when it did this I wouldn't be surprised to see SI move down as much as $1.50 in the next couple of weeks if history repeats before taking another run.  I have an outsized position in AG on a Jan 19 5/20 BCS, currently $3.30 with the stock at $8.72 and you can sell the Jan 19 $8 put for $2.75.  This is a very volatile stock but I like the options.  I looked at SLW but have concerns on the tax issue with the Canadian government that remains unresolved.  I also like AG since the Mexican peso has taken a beating and all their mines are in Mexico.  

  20. Love the way everything written about Trump is FAKE, but everything written about Hillary was absolutely TRUE! Trump gets caught on tape and video lying almost daily, and Hillary was never actually proven to have lied about anything, just innuendo for the most part. It's laughable how just because they kept saying Hillary lied, it became fact, but Trumps lies are not about what he says, but what he means, which is a direct quote from Kellyanne Conway. If it wasn't going to change my life , it would be funny. Unfortunately I am very worried about my autistic son under even four years of a Trump administration. Can't wait to see him mock autism, since he does such a good Cerebral Palsy. Of course he wasn't mocking him, which as we know is a blatant lie.

  21. I'm set up very nicely now if this market tanks and have very little losses if it doesn't.  I need to have a Big Short moment.

  22. Tillerson – I suspect he would be a pretty good POTUS…. No fake news from this hombre….

  23. /TF back at 1,370 for another chance to short.  

    Wednesday's economic calendar

    Mortgage applications higher as interest rate fall

    • MBA Mortgage Applications
    • Composite Index: +5.8% vs. -12.0% last week.
    • Purchase Index: +6.0% vs. -2.0%.
    • Refinance Index: +4.0% vs. -22.0%.
    • 30 year mortgage rate decreased to 4.32% vs. 4.39% last week.

    World Bank forecasts the Trump era economy

    • The world economy is expected to expand 2.7% this year, recovering from a post-crisis low in 2016, thanks to rising commodity prices and Donald Trump's stimulus plans, the World Bank said in its latest Global Economics Prospects report.
    • However, this growth could be hit by a significant slowdown in investment in emerging markets and political uncertainty in major economies, including the U.S.

    Trump Tax Cuts Could Jump-Start Global Economy, World Bank Says. President-elect Donald Trump’s tax cuts and spending plans could deliver a shot in the arm to the U.S. economy, lifting growth around the world, although uncertainty about his trade policies adds to the risks, according to the World Bank. The Trump administration could squander the economic gains of fiscal stimulus if it imposes new trade barriers that provoke retaliation by other countries, the Washington-based development lender said Tuesday in the latest update to its global economic outlook. Overall, it’s too early to assess what the net impact will be of Trump’s economic policies, the World Bank said. Accordingly, it left its forecast for U.S. growth this year and next unchanged, at 2.2 percent and 2.1 percent, respectively. The outlook doesn’t incorporate the expected effect of Trump’s policy proposals, according to the report.

    Here Is The Full 35-Page Report Alleging Trump Was "Cultivated, Supported And Assisted" By Russia

    Italy will not need support from the ESM

    • Italy "will not need" the support of the European Stability Mechanism, Economy Minister Pier Carlo Padoan told La Repubblica, when asked about the possibility that Rome tapped the eurozone bailout fund.
    • He also confirmed that Italy will inject €6.6B of public money into Monte dei Paschi (OTCPK:BMDPY) after the bank's failure to complete a capital boosting plan.

    Jeffrey Gundlach says he expects markets to reverse post-election movesThere will be "trouble for equity markets" if the yield on the benchmark 10-year U.S. Treasury note moves beyond 3 percent, Jeffrey Gundlach, chief executive of DoubleLine Capital, warned on Tuesday.

    Goldman "Concerned" As Risk Appetite Index Hits Record High

    America’s Fastest-Growing Loan Category Has Eerie Echoes of Subprime CrisisLenders offering energy-conscious loans care little about borrowers’ creditworthiness, contractors function as loan brokers—and investors can’t get enough.

    Bitcoin tumbles as China plans investigations

    • The price of Bitcoin (OTCQB:BTCSCOINfell by around 10% after the People's Bank of China announced plans to inspect Bitcoin enterprises.
    • The checks will include evaluations of correct licenses, implementing anti-money laundering systems and whether there is market manipulation.
    • Following the announcement, the crypto-currency fell from around $915 to as low as $784.56.

    Brookdale Senior sale story has legs; shares up another 2% premarket

    • Brookdale Senior Living (NYSE:BKDgained 15.2% to close at $14.80 yesterday on word it was engaged in sale discussions.
    • Stifel's Chad Vanacore says it could be worth $23 in a sale, and upgrades to Buy.
    • RBC says $21.
    • Activist Land & Buildings – which has pushed for Brookdale to sell or spin off its real estate – says the company's property holdings alone could be worth $7B, or well more than double the current market cap.
    • Brookdale was about a $40 stock two years ago.
    • Shares +2.2% premarket to $15.13.

    Broken property sale agreements soar

    • According to Trulia, 3.9% of homes that moved from "for sale" to "pending," moved back to "for sale" again in 2016 – nearly double the rate from a year earlier.
    • These so-called "failed sales" increased in 96 out of the 100 largest metro areas and took place across the price spectrum.
    • The issue is more acute for cheaper, older homes – 6.3% of sales of starter homes fell through last year vs. just 3.6% of "premium" home sales.
    • The easy explanation is that nobody can get a mortgage, but recent evidence suggests that's been getting easier.
    • Another possibility would be appraisals not coming in high enough. Prior to the financial crisis, this was an issue approximately zero percent of the time, but appraisers today are no doubt at least a little more cautious.
    • Source: Bloomberg's Patrick Clark

    Petrobras to invest $19B in 2017 after meeting 2016 production goal

    • Petrobras (NYSE:PBR) says it expects to increase spending this year to $19B on exploration, production and refining projects, indicating that efforts to cut debt and preserve cash are helping the company regain investment capacity.
    • PBR's ~$22B in current cash holdings should be enough to allow the company to undertake activities for two and half years, CEO Pedro Parente says.
    • PBR also says it reached its oil production target for the second consecutive year at 2.144M bbl/day for 2016, 0.8% higher Y/Y and in-line with its 2.145M target.
    • Shares -0.9% premarket.

    ADM -5.6% premarket as China hikes duties on U.S. ethanol by-product

    • Archer Daniels Midland (NYSE:ADM-5.6% premarket as China sharply increases punitive tariffs on imports of distillers dried grains, a by-product of corn ethanol that is used as animal feed, from levels first proposed last year.
    • China's Commerce Ministry, responding to complaints from the country's fledgling ethanol industry, ruled that anti-dumping duties will range from 42.2% to 53.7%, up from 33.8% in its preliminary decision in September.
    • The decision is considered a blow to the larger U.S. ethanol industry, particularly ethanol trader ADM, producer Valero Energy (NYSE:VLO) and grains handler Andersons (NASDAQ:ANDE).
    • The decision could escalate a trade dispute between the U.S. and China, and Pres.-elect Trump has threatened to impose punitive tariffs on certain Chinese goods coming into the U.S..

    Uranium producers surge as top supplier plans production cut

    • Shares of uranium producers shoot higher for a second straight day after spot prices for the commodity surge 10% after Kazakhstan's state nuclear-fuel company said the country would not produce as much uranium as planned this year.
    • Analysts say the announcement from Kazakhstan, the world’s biggest producer, may mark an inflection point for the market and could lead to higher prices.
    • In today's trade: URRE +32.4%UEC +14.8%DNN +8.7%URG +6.8%UUUU +5.5%CCJ +4.1%, after big gains yesterday.
    • Uranium prices have largely been in free fall since the 2011 disaster at Japan's Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plant, sliding to a 12-year low of $18/lb. in December, but prices yesterday jumped above $24 for the first time since September.
    • ETF: URA

    BorgWarner lower after guidance update

    • Borg Warner (NYSE:BWAupdates guidance ahead of it appearance at the Deutsche Bank Global Auto Conference.
    • The company sees FQ1 organic sales growth of 2.5% to 6.5%. F/X is expected to cut into total sales by $60M. FQ1 EPS of $0.81-$0.85 is seen vs. $0.86 consensus.
    • For the full year, BorgWarner expects sales of $8.81B-$9.04B vs. $9.28B consensus and EPS of $3.35-$3.45 vs. $3.52 consensus. $100M in share repurchases is also anticipated.
    • BWA -1.89% premarket to $40.00 on light volume.

    Margins disappoint at Supervalu

    • Supervalu (NYSE:SVU) is lower following a disappointing report on margin rates with its Q4 report.
    • SUPERVALU (NYSE:SVU): FQ3 EPS of $0.05 misses by $0.08.
    • Revenue of $3B (-1.6% Y/Y) misses by $790M.
    • RBC analyst William Kirk notes that retail adjusted EBIT came in at $2M vs. the firm's estimate of $5M.
    • Supervalu has a conference call scheduled for 9:00 AM Eastern during which a guidance update is expected.
    • Supervalu (NYSE:SVU) reports Wholesale net sales grew 0.2% to $1.91B primarily due to sales to new customers and increased sales to new stores operated by existing customers.
    • Retail net sales decreased 3.4% to $1.06B and identical store sales down 5.7%.
    • Gross margin rate declined 70 bps at 13.6% due to lower TSA fees and higher employee costs.
    • Adjusted SG&A expense rate improved 30 bps to 11.6% primarily due to lower pension expense.
    • Operating margin rate dropped 210 bps to 0.1%.
    • Press release
    • Previously: SUPERVALU misses by $0.08, misses on revenue (Jan. 11)
    • Previously: More on Supervalu's FQ3 (Jan. 11)
    • SVU -3.55% premarket to $4.62.

    BTIG weighs in on Chipotle

    • BTIG sticks with a Neutral rating on Chipotle (NYSE:CMG) after taking in the company's ICR presentation and factoring in the pre-announced Q4 results.
    • "We believe management’s 2017 EPS guidance of $10.00, which they consider a stretch goal, leaves no room for error on the sales and margin recovery," reads the note from investment firm.
    • BTIG thinks the launch of TV ads could help drive new guests to the brand, but wants to see more consistent earnings trends before becoming more constructive on the name.
    • CMG +0.13% premarket to $415.00.
    • Previously: Chipotle takes center stage at ICR (Jan. 10)

    Signet Jewelers updates on holiday season sales

    • Signet Jewelers  (NYSE:SIG) reports same store sales decreased 4.6% for the nine-week holiday period.
    • Total sales fell 5.1% or -3.3% on a constant curreny basis
    • The company says it's maintaining the low-end of its earnings guidance based off the performance.
    • Q4 guidance: Same-store sales -4.8% to -4.3%, EPS $4.00-$4.05.
    • FY guidance: Same-store sales -2.5% to -2.0%, EPS $7.38-$7.43.
    • SIG -4.49% premarket to $83.53.
    • Source: Press Release

    NY Post: Rite Aid-Walgreens FTC approval expected any day

    • Rite Aid (NYSE:RAD) shoots higher in premarket trading after New York Post reports that FTC approval on the merger with Walgreens Boots Alliance (NASDAQ:WBA) is only days away.
    • Sources indicate FTC Commissioner Maureen Ohlausen isn't going to block the deal.
    • RAD +3.85% premarket to $8.64. WBA +0.77% to $83.31.

    Walgreens to add FedEx services at stores

    • Walgreens (NASDAQ:WBA) and FedEx (NYSE:FDX) announce a long-term partnership to add access to FedEx dropoff and pickup services at thousands of Walgreens locations across the U.S. 
    • The company expect to have the program available later this calendar year after an initial small rollout this spring.
    • “The addition of Walgreens locations to the existing network of FedEx retail offerings will substantially increase customer access to staffed pickup and dropoff locations and enhance convenient access to FedEx Ground and FedEx Express package shipment and dropoff options," says a top FedEx marketing exec.
    • Source: Press Release

    Tepid new product sales in 2016 behind Teva's $1B cut in 2017 sales guidance

    • Last week, Teva Pharmaceutical Industries (NASDAQ:TEVA) cut its 2017 sales guidance by $1B. The new range is $23.8B – 24.5B compared to $25.2B – 26.2B that was released in July 2016. The downward revision was due to much lower new product sales in 2016 ($140M) than expected ($600M) that will carry over into this year.
    • At JPM17, CEO Erez Vigodman explained the situation and promised "to do everything in our power to make sure that something like that does not happen again."
    • There has been some fallout with analyts. Wells Fargo and Maxim Group recently downgraded the stock to Neutral, but four other shops that recently updated coverage rate it a Buy. Price targets range from $36 – 80.
    • Source: FiercePharma

    Netflix added to JPMorgan's U.S. focus list

    • The firm called Netflix (NASDAQ:NFLX) its #2 large cap stock pick behind Facebook, saying the video stream service should benefit from stronger content, increased revenue, more subscribers and recent price increases.
    • JPMorgan has an Outperform rating on the stock with a $140 price target.
    • NFLX +0.4% premarket

  24. Phil,

    great call on CL… just cratered

  25. Crude +4.1M barrels vs. +1.2M consensus, -7.1M last week.

    Gasoline +5M barrels vs. +1.7M consensus, +8.3M last week.

    Distillates +8.4M barrels vs. +0.9M consensus, +10M last week.

    I'm holding onto this short!

  26. BIOC, took the money and ran with a one day 100% gain. I may get back in though ifit drops some more. As I was writing this I took a chance and am legging back in at 2.30 Probably too soon, but will go easy.

    Nice money this morning shorting NG when it ran up to 3.50, since the forecast for today is 60 on the east coast it seemed like a good bet.

    TF also was a good short this morning and seems to be good again after going back in at 1371.50 a little while ago.

    Completely out of SI and gold for nowas I wait to see what the dollar is going to do. Coffee is once again a fun trade too, and I am in and out as it drops and pops. So, to sum, I am trading CL, NG (out right now with a big gain from 3.50 to 2.80) TF and KC. Thanks Phil for giving us the means to do this and the daily guidance to help us look for news and information and your thoughts about these trades as well. I believe my portfolio is strong as well, with a nice hefty cash pile waiting for the possible correction/crash. Feel good about owning AAPL, ABX, LL, DIS, PETX, JO, TWTR and TASR. Hedges of TZA and SQQQ are ready to get back the losses I have so far if the market tanks.

  27. Trumps plan to increase Oil prices:

  28. Rubio doing a good job grilling Tillerson who is essentially saying there is no crime Russia could commit that would automatically get him to break ties with them.  

    SLW/Stu – Even if you just have the options? 

    Fake/Hanj – Yes, the CIA/FBI/NSA is so incompetent that they put any crap someone tweets into an intelligence briefing.  Is that more likely or is it more likely that this guy is lying?  Of course, that's the whole goal of Russia, to discredit our intelligence so we can't rely on our own information, which frees them up to do what they want.  Look how well it's working already as you are willing to negate an actual sourced document that sites multiple witnesses because you'd rather believe what some anonymous (and it says anonymous right on his post!) person comments in Reddit.  We've already lost!  

    Oil build even worse than API indicated – nice drop!  

    Crude futures give up gains post inventory data

    • EIA Petroleum Inventories:
    • Crude +4.1M barrels vs. +1.2M consensus, -7.1M last week.
    • Gasoline +5M barrels vs. +1.7M consensus, +8.3M last week.
    • Distillates +8.4M barrels vs. +0.9M consensus, +10M last week.
    • Futures +0.18% to $50.92.

  29. WTF CL?

  30. Wow, that's an entire day's worth of oil too much this week!  

    But holy crap – oil just reversed and flipped higher again – $51.60!   Thanks for the short entry (I think).  

    BIOC/Craigs – Good job, and it just pulled back below $2.50 too.  

  31. Wow..CL ..volatile

  32. Wow, Trump supporters were willing to believe that the Clintons ran some sort of child prostitution rings from pizzerias based on a couple of tweets and refuse to believe stuff that comes from 20 different law enforcement and intelligence agencies! What kind of world do we live in – time to start over!

  33. Wish the report jived with the spike in /CL.

  34. I find myself in the strange position of helping out the board Trump supporters with a link to Glenn Greenwald that is getting no play anywhere. Strange times.

  35. Fake News  I think it was McCain who got fooled and then he presented to the FBI.  

  36. SCO splits 2:1 after the market closes today. I suspect it won't have much effect on our short term calls.

  37. um, stjean, the Clintons did and still do run child prostitution rings in pizza parlors.  Everyone knows that's where the money is nowadays.  How do you think they amassed their fortune?  Speaking fees? Ha, that was a coverup.

  38. CL- Great shorting opportunity I hope as I loaded up at 51.80! It amazes me the way they do this. They always seem to spike it in the opposite direction of where it should go and then it slowly comes back to reality. I got out of my initial shorts at 50.80 and then reloaded when it spiked up, so hoping this is one of those fake spikes and not a real one. The TF should follow oil down if all goes well too, so I loaded up there to at 1374-5

  39. Russia  I think what would be great is if Russia came out and said, yeah, we got stuff on Trump but we aren't going to release it.  Now THAT would be a shitstorm.  Even better if they dont have anything.  Imagine the destruction Russia could do.  IT's what I would do if I were an opponent of the US.

  40. Amazing that oil and the indices are marching higher against a strong dollar too! This has to be a manipulated move to scare us out. Hopefully.

  41. I'm so pissed.  Lost all of those morning profits in a second and now down $500.  Gotta take my daughter to school now and buy some spackle, cause I punched a hole in the wall.  Literally.

  42. So if the reports are true about Trump liking Golden Showers, begs the question, do you think that is why his hair is that color?

  43. CL moves are crazy today… now upto $52.    Hopefully this is manipulation about to unwind.

  44. SLW / Phil – Well the Canadian government is seeking $200 million from 2005 – 2010 and $310 million from 2011 – 2013 and assume another $300 million for 2014 – 2016.  This may be factored into the price, or the Cdn government may settle for much less or lose, but there is still an event risk. A loss has got to impact future streaming business with that cash disappearing.  Having said that, I like SLW generally but prefer the risk reward with AG Jan 19 5/20 BCS paired with some Jan 19 $8 puts, especially since they are looking to double production in Mexico over the next 5 years. If Trump continues to beat up on Mexico and the peso goes down further, it is 1 stock that will benefit.  Note the range last year of $2.41 – $19.15 when it got way ahead of itself so you need to be able to tolerate the volatility with this trade.  

  45. Burr I used to get pissed and now I just sit back and relax and wait. The price may even pop up to 52.50 before they are done, but I do believe that it will and has to find reality if there is now news story that is causing this, which may be the case. Usually it does unwind but it can take a few agonizing hours and it almost always spikes way up before coming back. So, spackle away and watch for the move down later today or tonight.

  46. LOL – Another protester is dragged out of the Tillerson hearing. 

    And another one!  They have "Reject Rex" signs. 

    This just came out, maybe that explains it?

    India’s 2016 Oil Demand Jumps 11% To Record Highs

    Maybe it's just the Trump press conference.  Everything  he does seems to be bullish for the markets so we'll see if he can deliver 20,000 (11am start).

    Unverified/Snow – And how can you verify the claims if you are denied permission to investigate by GOP committee people?  Also, imagine the work that would have to go into verifying all that stuff.  Will they be able to get the prostitutes who serviced Trump to come testify?  The Russians know who they are – some of them may be KGB agents.  You can't flip a switch and get definite answers on intelligence but you can find enough items to confirm your suspicions that you have to act to protect this country.  

    SCO/Jel – No, it shouldn't change anything.  I think they are doing it to get UCO away from $10 (it's reverse-splitting 1:2).

    LOL Rustle.  Works our great because most kids are happy to be paid in pizza.  

    Yeah, it's gotta be Trump – markets up and up into the conference.  


    Spackle/Burr – Yeah I watched $2,000 disappear in a puff of smoke – literally faster than I could reach for my keyboard to stop out!  

    Hair/Rustle – They already have proof! 

    I mean, seriously, this is not a normal guy.  

    $52.20 – damn!  

    SLW/Stu – Oh I thought you meant personal tax issues.  I think they'll settle for less and it's a well-known thing that's baked in at this point.  

  47. Well at least this time I stopped out and I'm waiting for a "flat" to occur.  I'm just extra pissed as I was watching it from 2.30am PST and cleaning up some winners I have from another site.  I made $500 with a few trades and was happy, and then PUFF gone.  So really I'm even, just angry.  

  48. Kudlow now spinning "What's the difference if he does business in Russia?  It's no crime to do business overseas"  Sounds like the Trump camp is backpeddling off Donald's "I do no business with Russia" statement.  

    Russia has never tried to use leverage over me. I HAVE NOTHING TO DO WITH RUSSIA – NO DEALS, NO LOANS, NO NOTHING!

    Russia just said the unverified report paid for by political opponents is "A COMPLETE AND TOTAL FABRICATION, UTTER NONSENSE." Very unfair!

    'BuzzFeed Runs Unverifiable Trump-Russia Claims'

    Image result for i am not a crook


    Marco Rubio grills Rex Tillerson: Why won’t you call Putin a "war criminal"?

    CNN cut away from Rex Tillerson's disastrous hearings for lead-in to Trump presser – demonstrating EXACTLY why Trump scheduled it.

    is arguably lying under oath here. This hearing is a trainwreck.

    "I think you called me at the time," says, basically contradicting claim he's never personally lobbied vs sanctinos

    Tillerson Tillerson, do u think Putin is BAD 4 killing k's of innocent ppl, purposely? Tillerson: Not sure, I've only seen the public info

    When asked during hearing if Vladimir Putin is a "war criminal," Rex Tillerson says, “I would not use that term.”

    Trump team leading off the press conference with deny, Deny, DENY.

  49. Trump is looking especially racoonish today.  

  50. WoW – ?Bark Bark Bark!!!  (spicer) then a 'meow' (pence)  now a whine…..

  51. Get some sleep Don!

  52. Biggest winners of the past 10 years:

    Trump dismisses news as fake and moves right on to jobs.  I hate the way he says industry and he says it a lot!  

    The Trump Administration's Conflicts of Interest: A Crib Sheet

    Sleep/1020 – He was up all night talking to Putie. 

  53. Trump says nothing of substance so markets turn down again – so silly!  

  54. and here goes market, yes

  55. BOBE  Going to be buying it after it tests 48.44.  The sum of the parts is worth more than the stock price.  I've got 57-66 this year as a target.  Spin off of food production business is key.  JPM is acting as an advisor to build shareholder value.

  56. Substance / Phil – And that different from the campaign speeches how?

  57. I think that NFLX has killed a lot of shorts these last 10 years!

  58. The Trump/Russian thing is a 4chan trolling hoax. It's actually pretty funny because Rick Wilson runs a golden shower porn site.

  59. And more on 4chan:

    Won't stop people from believing it though…

  60. TEVA and M getting spanked again…dangit!

  61. Trump says Russians tried to hack GOP but were unable to break in due to their superior preparedness.  Where does he get this information?  From the "fake" intelligence report, of course!  

    Won't stop people/StJ – Sadly, it won't.  It really scares me to see how easily people are fooled.

    Trump, theatrically has a table full of documents that give "total and complete control of my holdings to my children".  Wow, that really resolves his conflicts – especially when his son-in-law is his top adviser – real wall between Trump and his holdings.  Now his spokesperson is saying "Conflict of interest laws do not apply to the President" and is citing the legal passages to prove it.  AMAZING!

  62. I'd like to look at those ?clean sheets, errr…' Documents'? when we have a moment…… :)

  63. took some profits on my puts.

  64. Sigh – I remember when character mattered.

  65. Phil,

    Are you still holding /CL shorts? I would think it should start going down 

  66. Conflict of interest / Phil – It's true, but the emolument clause does apply so no matter what there has to be a separation of his business interests…

  67. Character/StJ – I remember when it died:

    Still no significant news on oil but it's at $52.15.  Brent over $55 – that's not good for the bears.

    /CL/Japar – Yes, I'm up to 7 now at $51.63 avg.  I'll cut back to 4 if I can.

    Oops, Trump is back – it ain't over till it's over. 

    Meanwhile, Arnold is ruining The Apprentice – Trump really is way better at that. 

  68. I have straight A twins, but it's their Character? that I'm most proud…..

  69. What is wrong with TEVA and GILD today? knives?

  70. ?damn ? mark….. :(

  71. See what I mean? – Time for a new laptop… I've typed the word t-r-u-m-p too many times, I'd guess….

  72. jabo     

    Drug makers and biotechs in retreat on Trump's negative comments

    The rally in pharma and biotech stocks has fizzled on the heels of President-elect Trump's comments this morning saying the drug industry is "getting away with murder" (regarding pricing) and that "we need new bidding procedures" for the drug industry.

  73. DIS/Phil   I have a short 2018 80 put, without much premium left, and a long 2018 80 call and short 2018 95 and 110 calls.  I'd like to stay with the 2018 options for now but the only one that has much premium left is the short 110 call. Would you recommend rolling the long 80 call up to a higher strike and rolling the short 95 calls up to the 110 or something higher?

  74. Trump has never and will never speak specifics. He's a dealmaker and manager so he paints the broad picture and lets his team handle the details.  Right or wrong, thats how he is going to be.  I wonder how long the public and wallstreet will put up with this.  He will not allow himself to be boxed into a corner by naming specifics.  Its actually pretty smart.  

  75. GILD    2600 Jan18 $80/$65 bull risk reversals  ( sells the puts to buy the calls )

  76. He comes off dishonest…..

  77. Trump  Amazing to me that the market is not down 500 – Trump is a protectionist.

    1020/dishonest  Interesting.  To me he comes off as purposely vague.

  78. hanjongin – It may have something to do with whether you like him or not….  :)

  79. Trump didn't answer if his camp had contact with Russia during election.

  80. Ok, last bit**y post.  I decided to go long /RB @ 1.55 in my paper acct just to play around in the middle of the night.  Now up about 1600 or so.  AGGGGRGRGRGRGRGRGHHHH.

  81. Phil/Apprentice

    It's horrible this season, partially because Arnold is very dry and partially because these contestants are barely celebrities.  I haven't heard of half of them.

  82. Phil--should we be building our TEVA and GILD positions today? Are you pounding the table on them? What about M and RH? 

  83. I wonder if we'll hit $53 to $53.50 on /CL? I'd say it looks like we touched  $52.50 just a little while ago. Are we really sure this is some speculative move or a algorithmic spike-gone wrong? Could it be that we failed to appreciate expected consumer demand right? This @#$% is just giving up no ground. I probably should have abandoned ship when we couldn't break below $52.05 for 15 minutes before we started or ridiculous ascent upwards, but I guess that's life, though.

    And to think that I used to believe that /NG was the widow-maker  

    Is 9:30am too early for scotch?

  84. SCO    the highest strike that I can find for the 2019 calls is $145.  I thought I would sell one of $225's or was that a joke?

  85. I've been scraping pennies off the floor shorting /TF around 1369.50 and buying @ 1367.50.  

    I feel dirty doing it though.

  86. SCO – the trade was selling the Jan 18 225 calls. It is only a joke if you actually get filled :)

  87. Phil, looking at the daily chart, I wonder if its time for another bear put spread on TSLA. Might be safer than another hedge if a sell off doesn't come soon.

  88. " China hikes duties on U.S. ethanol by-product."

    Uh oh, this will give Trump ammunition to retaliate.  Trade wars never end well.

  89. Nice timing for our short $70 SCO calls that were beginning to be challenged yesterday.  

  90. Markets are all over the place.  Oil back to $52.50 – ouch!  

    DIS/Jel – You realize I have no idea whether you are full covered, half covered or over-covered, right?  Also, What is it you want to do – you want to spend money to roll the short calls higher?  Why are you doing this?  If you don't believe DIS can possibly go below $95, then man up and sell the 2019 $95 puts for $7.25.  If that scares you – then why the hell would you take money out of your pocket to reduce your protection?  If you want to spend money, the 2019 $100 ($19)/$125 ($7) bull call spread is $12 for a $25 spread and if you buy those in combo with the short puts, you net $4.75 on and have $20.25 more upside while you wait for your other positions to pay off.  Actually I'd close the $80/95 spread for $12 or better as you can buy 2x the longer spreads with that money and they would make $50 over 24 months ($2/month if on track) vs your $3 for 12 months (0.25/month).  Even going to 1x makes $1/month, which is 4x better than sitting on the $80/95 spread.

    Trump/Hanj – True, he's very clever.  He's a good hustler and he is very good at getting people to give him money which he gambles on projects and when they work he gets a big cut for himself and when they don't work he BKs the company and the investors lose all their money.  That's how he built his fortune, he's the ultimate OPM guy.

    /RB/Burr – Great trade regardless.

    Dollar dove back to 102, masking the stock sell-off and keeping oil up.  Patience should play off or at least I hope it does as I have 10 short at $51.87 now.  

    Contestants/Rustle – Yes, a terrible group.  I think the real celebrities are too smart to go and get degraded.  All but one gets fired and it's fairly arbitrary who it is (in the early rounds) so the chance of coming off bad is very high.  I must say though that Piers Morgan really impressed me the year he won – really sharp all-round guy. 

    TEVA/Jabob – Trump just trashed the sector.  Let's see what happens before putting in more cash but I do want to.

    $53/Yo – We'd better not or my trip to Hawaii will be cancelled!  All futures are "widow-makers" when they whipsaw.  That's why I don't really bother with short-term trades – I pick a direction I want to stick with and build up my position if it goes against me.  At the moment, I'm down $6,500 at $52.50 – not happy at all.  I do think, however, that it's a blow-off spike to flush out the shorts after that terrible report but maybe we're missing something that happened in the World. 

    SCO/Stock – It was a joke and 2018s go higher and expire faster.  The margin requirement makes it an inefficient play.  

    Pennies/Burr – I'd take those at the moment to pay for my oil shorts.

    TSLA/JMD – I'd want to see their earnings first.  If Elon pulls off the GigaFactory (and TSLA and SCTY are built-in customers) they could get a big boost.  If he moves up the Model 3 release – big boost.  

  91. Oops, Webinar Time!  

  92. OK, here's the explanation finally:

    Crude oil +3% as data shows refiners processed record volumes

    • U.S. crude oil climbs 3.2% to $52.45/bbl after EIA data showed that refiners processed a record amount of crude and that supplies fell at the Cushing, Okla., storage hub.
    • U.S. refiners churned 17.1M bbl/day of crude into fuel last week, the highest weekly figure going back to 1982, while Cushing stockpiles, which have been rising in recent weeks, fell by 579K barrels.
    • Prices recovered after initially falling in reaction to a higher than expected rise in total crude oil inventories to 4.1M barrels, and U.S. production jumped to more than 8.9M bbl/day during the week, the highest read since April.
    • But analysts say the stockpile gains largely were driven by an increase in oil imports, which rose to their highest level since 2012 as shipments of crude that were delayed at the end of last year for tax purposes are starting to appear.

  93. My Twitter contacts are saying that the build was "priced in" which is why we are higher now.  

    And there's this guy.  Who knows if it's real.

  94. Wow, just the one comment?  Was everyone on the Webinar?

    Priced in/Burr – Well I'm glad I stuck to my guns.  We went over the Fundies extensively and I simply couldn't find a reason not to have faith it would pull back (added /RB short at $1.60 too).  

  95. Made back this mornings loss vacumming up nickles and dimes on /CL /RB and /TF short.

    Last year I would have went away and watched a season of GOT.  

    Stuck it out today and walking away with a $600 profit.  

    Thanks Phil 

  96. For small money sold:

    SOLD 2 TEVA Feb10'17 31.5 PUT @ 0.52

    this is before their earnings date.

  97. Friggin indexes flying up into the close again.

    Good job Burr!  

    TEVA/Burr – That sounds like EZ money.  

  98. Great morning everyone!!! Good to see the Trump bashing is in full force!!!

  99. Trump bashing/01 – We kid with love!  cheeky

    Related image

  100. have ?? How is it the same Technical analysis applies to commodities / FX / Equities, given the fundamentals are entirely different.  Is it because TA is simply based off price movements/

  101. Phil do you think CL will come back down further? I missed the webinar due to an appointment and am curious if you have changed your call and thing 52 is a price that will stick.

  102. o1crazy/technicals  Yes – and they also include wizadry and magic.

  103. NQ ripping into the close along with AAPL boost… this craziness has to stop sometime.

  104. Just closed out my EWW positions, I'll admit I waited a little to long, and I didn't lock in my gains back in Nov/Dec

  105. TA/01 – Because TA is voodoo and, like any magical spell, you can make it apply to anything any time because it's actually meaningless.  TA doesn't take volume into account, doesn't take currency fluctuations into account, doesn't take news into account, doesn't take broad-market issues into account and certainly doesn't take the underlying fundamentals into account.  This is all TA is:

    Image result for extrapolating

    What TA does tell you (well not TA really but moving averages) is where there is support or resistance between buyers and sellers over reasonable periods of time and, if you assume that the buyers and sellers are generally well-informed and serious postion-takers – that can give you a hint as to the trending PRICE (but not VALUE) of a stock.

    And what Hanj said (and he's a TA guy!). 

    /CL/Craigs – I hope so, I was greedy and didn't cut back yet.  I was near even and now down $3,750 again (10 at $51.87).

    Craziness/Learner – No, it doesn't.  Well, not in the short run.  If we get through earnings and Trump's first month in office without the World blowing up – we could be in a 1999-type rally where everyone is piling into the market to get rich and price is no object because there's always a greater fool willing to pay more – until there isn't.

  106. I can see oil $150-200 during Trump's term

  107. Loved it when Drumph called CNN fake news and refused to take their question

  108. "Trump's first month in office without the World blowing up – we could be in a 1999-type rally where everyone is piling into the market to get rich and price is no object because there's always a greater fool willing to pay more – until there isn't"

    This is exactly what I'm afraid of, I have been shorting the market for over the past few months, and still short, while I have closed out most I still have a few contracts left, expiring in MAR and JUN… 

  109. Phil, 

    as you said, looks like the CL and other commodity moves appear to be in sync with the USD price moves.  As soon as the USD strengthens, hopefully we will see oil revert back to below $51.

  110. Craig If you don't mind what levels are you looking at in /ng long and short?  You seem to have it by the ear lately. 

    For me, I'm a seller at 3.35 and a buyer at 3.20 with a DD at 3.10 and 3. 

  111. Phil – RBg7In 1 short at 1.5966 What is your limit, profit target? 

  112. Burr- Ng. Good questions but does that not depend on the season,cycle or are these long term? Phil Some weeks back explains a good long term strategy for the V7 contracts  does anyone on this board hold futures for months? 

  113. From MishTalks.

    Reasons Why Israel May Have Preferred Trump Over Hillary 

    Hillary was Obama’s Secretary of State in a period of strained diplomatic relations with Israel. As Obama’s Secretary of State, Hillary called for a settlement freeze in 2009.

    Hillary supported an Iran nuclear deal hugely unpopular with pro-Israel advocates and more importantly, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu.

    CNN Transcripts from 2014 provide this interesting Hillary Quote: “The continuing settlements which have been denounced by successive American administrations on both sides of the aisle are clearly a terrible signal to send if at the same time you claim you’re looking for a two-state solution. Now when I was negotiating and I had been able to put together three face-to-face meetings between Netanyahu and Abbas, it was clear that if we were working off the 67 borders which was our stated position that President Obama had outlined, some of the settlements would be within any reasonable drawing of borders for Israel. But a number of them would not. And those that would not would have to be either dismantled or live under Palestinian rule.”

    August 5, 2016, Breitbart disclosed Hillary Clinton’s damaging Private Emails About Israel.

    On May 17, 2016: The Intercept reported Hillary Clinton Wasn’t Always This One-Sided on Israel

    It is plausible 

  114. Latch I use ung for long term NG plays. Short 2019 7p long 8/12 bull call for me. 

    I only trade futures short term since I get nervous overnight

  115. ~~Trump, the Presidency and Policymaking

    IMHO, An objective view of the Presidency and Trump's version.

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  117. Jeff Gundlach, the so-called “bond king” and CEO of DoubleLine Capital, held his latest “Just Markets” webcast on Tuesday night highlighting his recent thoughts about the US economy and global markets.<p>Gundlach said that it is possible that the recent rise in bonds could continue, with the US …

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  119. Oil prices rose for the first time in three days on Wednesday, following news of Saudi supply cuts to Asia, but persistent doubt over output reductions and signs of rising shipments from other producers kept gains in check.<p>Brent crude futures were up 52 cents at $54.16 a barrel by 0950 GMT, while …

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  121. Not content with its dominance over online shopping, Alibaba has made a big play for traditional retail.<p>China’s ecommerce giant has put forward a bid to privatise Chinese departmental store chain Intime Retail Group for $2.6 billion.<p>Alibaba, which runs the popular Taobao B2C marketplace, already …

  122. • Market attempting to make sense of a flurry of supply news<br>• On the plus side, Opec has delivered the cuts it promised<br>• Price-negative developments seen …

  123. (Lto R) President Elect Donald Trump and Russian President Vladimir Putin. Images via Wikimedia Commons<p><b>Early Tuesday evening</b>, spurred by a CNN story, …

  124. The US Senate is about to undertake a long evening session of votes in the first step towards a repeal of the Affordable Care Act (ACA), better known as Obamacare.<p>The Senate will vote on well over 100 amendments to a budgetary resolution in what is called a “vote-a-rama.”<p>The budget resolution and …

  125. <i>This is a syndicated repost courtesy of Confounded Interest. To view original, click here.</i> Reposted with permission.<p>Share!<p>The Federal Reservc Open …

  126. <b>New York (CNN) —</b> Fast food workers are banding together Thursday to protest their boss’s appointment as labor secretary.<p>President-elect Donald Trump’s pick for labor secretary — Andy Puzder — is the CEO of CKE Restaurants, the parent company of burger joints Carl’s Jr. and Hardee’s. On Thursday, …

  127. Only one GOP member of the Senate Judiciary Committee was present for the testimony of John Lewis and Cory Booker<p>Prominent African-American members of Congress provided historic testimony against Sen. Jeff Sessions’ nomination for attorney general on Wednesday, citing the Alabama Republican’s …

  128. WASHINGTON — Ethics watchdogs Wednesday denounced President-elect Donald Trump’s plans to give up management of his company, saying his decision to retain a financial interest in his global empire does little to resolve the tangled conflicts of interest he will face when he enters the White …

  129. The S&P 500 ramped higher by 13.4 per cent in the past six months driven primarily by economic optimism. U.S. equities are, however, now expensive by virtually every measure, which means that this optimism will be verified during the upcoming earnings season or investors will pay the price through …

  130. With this week’s most important economic data point – this Friday’s retail sales – fast approaching, economists are keen for clues if this key …

  131. Like so many fund titans these days, Laurence D. Fink is betting on machines to turn around BlackRock Inc.’s beleaguered stock-picking …

  132. <b>A KFC in Beijing is using facial recognition software to predict what customers will order.</b><p>Software in the Chinese fast food outlet is designed to …

  133. Oil prices have risen over 20% since the OPEC production cut agreement at the end of November. <b>While concerns abound on quota cheating</b> and increased …

  134. <i>By</i> <b>Jeremy Deaton</b><p>New York governor Andrew Cuomo announced plans this week to close the Indian Point nuclear power plant, which supplies electricity to …

  135. Citing a “well-wired source,” Axios co-founder Mike Allen reported Ivanka will focus on “women’s entrepreneurship”<p>If you haven’t heard much from Ivanka Trump this year, then her plan is working perfectly, according to Mike Allen, co-founder of Bank of America-backed media venture Axios.<p>In his daily …

  136. Fitbit Inc. isn’t starting off 2017 on a high note, according to a report by Cleveland Research.<p>The maker of wearable fitness trackers halted …

  137. How much of a victory is still uncertain.<p>North Carolina has one of the most aggressive gerrymanders in the country. In 2016, President-elect Trump …

  138. If you happened to watch CNN on Friday morning, you saw a brutal exchange about Russian hacking between a righteous anchor with steam coming out of his ears and a right-wing operative with ice in her veins.<p>“Chris Cuomo bulldozes Kellyanne Conway,” said a headline in one of the many publications so …

  139. It’s safe to say the Trump administration is already a shambles. And it hasn’t even started yet<p>Donald Trump is not what he seems. The supposed master of media manipulation stumbled so often at his first press conference it is hard to recall why anyone thought the TV star was good at this stuff in …

  140. He is still on track to violate the Constitution on his first day in office.<p>Today, after months of delay, Donald Trump finally described what his …

  141. The wireless headphone market is starting to look a lot like the early smartphone market.<p>Between Apple’s AirPods wireless headphones, and its subsidiary Beats Audio, the company has accumulated 41% of the wireless-headphones market, based on revenue, according to a report released today by market …

  142. Two hearings scheduled for Wednesday before the Senate Health, Education, Labor and Pensions Committee (HELP) have been pushed back after Democrats …

  143. Online messaging service like WhatsApp, iMessage, and Gmail are facing tougher rules on how they can track users — a move that could hurt the bottom lines of the companies affected.<p>Under a proposal presented by the European Union executive on Tuesday, the web companies would have to guarantee the …

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  145. US commodities trading and agribusiness software provider The Seam, which has cleared or processed over $7 billion through its cloud-based platforms, is forming a blockchain consortium in conjunction with IBM for the billion dollar global cotton industry deployed on the Hyperledger Fabric, with the …

  146. The device saw a huge spike in online sales over Cyber Weekend, particularly on Black Friday.<p>Apple CEO Tim Cook promised big Apple Watch Sales during the holiday season, and new data from Slice Intelligence suggests that the company delivered.<p>Slice, which draws its data from online receipts, …

  147. Though we’ve always assumed certain crafts will forever remain immune to automation, it seems nowadays nobody is safe from the looming artificial intelligence invasion.<p>While a few years back the prospect of robots snatching jobs from humans might have seemed like a hackneyed plot twist from a cheap …

  148. You might even whip up cocktails on demand.<p>Just because Keurig didn’t succeed with its Kold soda machine doesn’t mean it’s giving up on the prospect of making cold beverages at home. It’s partnering with Anheuser-Busch InBev on developing an “in-home alcohol drink system” — in other words, a …

  149. With dozens of smart home products on the CES show floor, who would have guessed a trash can would be what everyone was talking about?<p>What is it?<p>GeniCan is a stick-on attachment for your trash can that uses a barcode scanner and voice recognition to help you compile grocery lists based on what …

  150. It’s ten times stronger than steel but is only 5% as dense, and it could revolutionize architecture on Earth, too.<p>The space elevator—a theoretical mode of transportation where transport modules move up and down a long cable that connects Earth to space—has long been the stuff of futuristic fantasy. …

  151. They were tested in mice with bone cancer<p>Scientists have created a tiny biobot that can be implanted under the skin and deliver doses of drugs. The 3D-printed micromachine has no batteries or wires, but is activated through an external magnet. It’s only been tested in mice for now, but it could one …

  152. IBM researchers revealed their five big predictions for innovations that will change our lives in the next five years. Dubbed IBM 5 in 5, the predictions were culled from more than 3,000 researchers across 12 labs on six continents.<p>These predictions focus on the future of artificial intelligence …

  153. In-home assistants like Amazon Echo and Google Home are handy, but their functions are limited: They can tell you where to find a can of soda, but they can’t actually bring one to you. Enter Moro.<p>Gallery: MoRo by Ewaybot | 7 Photos<p>7<p>Robotics company Ewaybot created Moro as a rolling, humanoid …

  154. Amazon significantly expanded its army of warehouse robots in 2016, according to a report by The Seattle Times.<p>The newspaper — based in the same city as Amazon’s global headquarters — wrote last week that the e-commerce giant now has 45,000 robots across 20 fulfillment centres.<p>That would be a 50% …

  155. It’s 2016 and you can now, in some American cities, legally have someone deliver you a bag of weed. With 24 states and the District of Columbia legalizing the use of marijuana in some form, marijuana dispensaries seek alternate ways to get their product to customers.<p>GreenRush is one of several …

  156. People love the Amazon Echo, but more and more people are buying the smaller $50 Echo Dot, which can do all the same things as the Echo voice-controlled smarthome device but also be plugged into other speaker systems to take advantage of the (presumably) better audio quality. In fact, the Echo Dot …

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  158. Apple has won yet again the informal battle for Christmas. Apple products, and the iPhone in particular, are highly coveted Christmas gifts, and …

  159. Well before the family came in to the Batson Children’s Specialty Clinic in Jackson, Mississippi, they knew something was wrong. Their child was born with multiple birth defects, and didn’t look like any of its kin. A couple of tests for genetic syndromes came back negative, but Omar Abdul-Rahman, …

  160. Phil,

    How is our old NRF play going to shake out – It looks like I lost over 3K overnight, can not be right with the small position I had owning 200 shares, selling 2 17 calls and 2 15 puts – both Jan 2017. Was sure I was going to get another 200 shares at a big discount and was still up on the 200 I had. May take awhile to shake out but ??? thanks

  161. Jomp, NRF changed to CLNS due to the merger with Colony. You should have 109 shares of CLNS for every share you had of NRF with the corresponding special 109/100 options. CLNS was down a bit today. Still looking good to me!

  162. 3.35 on /ng

  163. Thanks Jet, looks lie a dividend was paid Tuesday – do we know what the yield would be?

  164. Should have said CLNS dividend was paid Wed not Tues, would be nice if it was the same yield as NRF but I think the dividend stock was transferred to the other seperate company or something like that and bought like crazy by the insiders before before the merger.

  165. Sounds like a keeper Jet, thanks again

  166. Burr sorry I didn't see your question until now. I was selling NG above 3.310 last night and then DD at I see weather warming up and I think NG will fall as it does. These traders seem to respond to whatever weather pattern is right in front of them. Your range looks pretty good to me right now. I am stuck right now shorting oil with Phil when it just seems to want to stay well above 52, but probably because of us. 

  167. Comment content omitted because it is too long.

  168. Good morning! 

    Oil still misbehaving at $52.50 as the Dollar gets weak again.  Today's "bullish" oil news is China using 4.1% more oil this November than last but fewer refineries were shut for maintenance but, if you read the report, you get to this:

    Overall apparent oil demand over January to November averaged 11.07 million b/d, a 0.9% contraction year on year, although the pace of decline slowed from January to October, which recorded a 1.4% contraction.

    Calculations of apparent oil demand using official data sources however, may not be fully accurate given that some refinery output is not captured by the NBS. Platts China Oil Analytics, an S&P Global Platts on-line platform for supply/demand and trade data, estimates that China's refinery runs in November were 11.54 million b/d, which means apparent demand for the month likely averaged 11.83 million b/d, representing a 7.8% increase year on year.

    So they go through all these gymnastics to come up with a bullish figure and, of course, no one reports anything but the most bullish figure and when was the last time anyone cared about a Chinese demand report?  This is just desperate nonsense being pushed out by oil bulls who are trying to maintain high oil prices despite the incredible glut.

    Then there's this:

    But, the rising refinery runs will maintain the domestic supply glut that has forced refiners to export into a saturated Asian market in recent years. CNPC predicted that net exports of diesel will surge by 55 percent this year to 22.4 million tonnes, or about 450,000 bpd.

    In addition, slowing growth in the world's second-largest economy and the shift to renewable energy will hamper the consumption growth for oil products, the report said.

    "Energy giants will die like dinosaurs if they don't diversify into other energy products and into clean energy," said Liu Zhaoquan, vice president at the CNPC institute, at a briefing.

    Hopefully we bounce off 101 and start going higher.

    Of course, demand projections are always robust:

    Oh, this just in to boost oil again, damn!  

    OPEC will consider more oil cuts in May

    • Global macroeconomic numbers have responded "positively" to the agreement between OPEC and non-OPEC producers to pare output, according to OPEC Secretary General Mohammad Barkindo.
    • Crude-producing countries will decide in May whether to extend their collective output cuts beyond the first half of the year, he added, stating OPEC isn't targeting a specific price for crude.
    • Crude futures +0.2% to $52.34/bbl.

    LOL, well played by them, they can jawbone it for another 6 months now and keep the bulls buying whether or not they actually make the cuts.  

    Nonetheless, I'm still in my 5 short oils at net $51.50 (adjusted for yesterday's loss) as there's still short-term nothing to be this bullish about.  I'm hoping things calm down after the Nat Gas report at 10:30

    Also still short 1 /RB at $1.60

    I still like shorting the Russell (/TF) at 1,370 but tight stops above as these markets be crazy!  

    Poor Nikkei very unhappy with the weak Dollar:

    Europe is down half a point and our Futures are down about 0.25% so far.  Euro Stoxx and DAX have been pretty flat this past week:

    German GDP grew 1.9% in 2016

    • German economic growth accelerated more than analysts forecast last year to its fastest pace since 2011, as falling unemployment and record-low interest rates boosted spending.
    • According to the Federal Statistics Office, GDP growth rose 1.9%, after a gain of 1.7% the previous year.
    • Germany is the first of the world's biggest developed economies to provide preliminary GDP data for 2016.

    Oops, everyone is perking up now (5:45).  Big Data Day today with lots of Fed speak thrown in and Yellen gets the final word at 7:30 to spin us higher now that they are done selling bonds to panicky investors:

    Thursday's economic calendar

    Stocks close higher despite big drop in health care

    • Stocks withstood Pres.-elect Trump's tumultuous news conference to finish higher, with the Nasdaq notching its fifth straight record closing high and the Dow finishing fewer than 50 points from 20K.
    • Health care was by far the biggest laggard (-1%), punctuated by a 3% plunge in the top biotech ETF, after Trump said the drug industry was “getting away with murder” and called for “new bidding procedures.”
    • Energy stocks led all S&P groups (+1.2) as U.S. crude oil climbed 2.8% to settle at $52.25/bbl despite sharp weekly increases in crude and petroleum product stockpiles; tech (+0.7%) also finished near the top of the leaderboard, and financials (+0.5%) erased their week-to-date loss.
    • U.S. Treasury prices ended modestly higher after a $20B 10-year reopening auction drew a high yield of 2.342% on a bid-to-cover of 2.58x; the 10-year yield closed a basis point lower at 2.37%.

    Dollar Dumped, Stocks Trump'd, Gold Jumped

    Perils of the Icarus Trade as the world runs short of dollars

    Senate takes first step to repeal Obamacare

    • After debating seven hours through the night, the Senate narrowly passed a budget resolution early Thursday, clearing the first major hurdle in the GOP effort to repeal Obamacare.
    • House leaders plan to take it up tomorrow amid pressure from President-elect Donald Trump; he said on Wednesday that the repeal and replacement should happen "essentially simultaneously."

    Why OPEC Should Fear The Trump Administration

    Iraq is the biggest threat to the OPEC deal

    China’s Great Ball of Money Has More Bubbles in Sight for 2017. Call it China’s Great Ball of Money, Whac-a-Mole Finance, or simply a whole lot of liquidity. Whatever term you use for the excess credit trapped in China’s financial system, few would deny that predicting its sometimes erratic movements can be a money-maker for analysts, traders and investors. After a string of market bubbles in recent years, China will again see assets threatened in 2017 by prices detaching from fundamentals. That’s the opinion of all but one of 14 economists surveyed by Bloomberg late last month. Half penciled in the risk of a real-estate bubble inflating, despite efforts by policy makers in recent months to avoid exactly that outcome. An additional four saw the corporate bond market as most vulnerable to becoming a bubble, again even as officials take steps to raise costs and reduce a build-up in debt.

    To "Prevent Public Panic", Beijing Orders Banks To Keep Capital Controls Secret

    In Surprise Rate Cut, Brazil Signals New Pace of Easing Ahead

    India's Economy Faces a Bumpy Road to Recovery

    Carney strikes a different tone on Brexit

    • Brexit is no longer the biggest single risk to Britain's financial stability, according to Bank of England governor Mark Carney.
    • "In the run up to the referendum, we felt it was the largest risk because there were things that could have happened which had financial stability implications… Actions were taken to mitigate that, but having got through the day after, the scale of the immediate risks has gone down."

    Deutsche takes contrary view on Fed – will lean more dovish

    • Hawkishness is the word these days, but the economic team at Deutsche says the FOMC makeup this year will be "moderately more dovish," meaning less tightening than expected.
    • "There are no notably strong hawkish voters on FOMC this year," says the team, putting Janet Yellen at a 2 on a scale of 1-5 (5 being most hawkish). Meanwhile Lael Brainard, Daniel Tarullo, and Charles Evans are 1s.
    • Bill Dudley is seen as a 2, though some think he's closer to a 1.
    • Jerome Powell and Stanley Fischer are seen as 3s, as is the Dallas Fed's Robert Kaplan.
    • Hawks will be fans of the Philadelphia Fed's Patrick Harker, who rates a 4.
    • Most talking heads expect three rate hikes this year as do the Fed's "dots," but Goldman's Jan Hatzius today suggested four moves as a possibility.
    • Where they do this sort of prognosticating for money - futures markets - participants have priced in two tightening moves in 2017.

    WTF Chart Of The Day: VIX At Pre-Crisis Lows, Uncertainty At All-Time Highs

    BofA Finds Consumer Spending Tumbled In December, Warns Of Disappointing Retail Sales

    Why intellectual property theft is one of the biggest crimes threatening the US economy

    Pay no attention to the bank failure behind the curtain!  UniCredit hit by €8.1B bad-loan charge

    Image result for pay no attention to the man behind the curtain animated gif

    • After Banca Monte dei Paschi failed to raise funds on the market, attention now turns to Italy's biggest bank.
    • UniCredit (OTC:UNCFY) is seeking investor backing for a €13B rights offer - almost as much as its market value - to carry out a turnaround plan.
    • The bank also said today it will book €8.1B in additional provisions for bad loans, as part of a balance-sheet cleanup it unveiled in December.

  169. KB Home +2.75% after hours on earnings beat

    • Deliveries of 3,060 homes up 19% Y/Y; ASP of $387.4K up 2%.
    • Adjusted housing gross profit margin of 21.6% down 60 basis points from a year ago.
    • Net orders of 2,254 up 20% in units; up 27% in value to $856M.
    • Backlog value of $1.5B up 19%, and is the highest since 2006.
    • For the full year, deliveries of 9,829 homes was up 20%; ASP gained 3% to $363.8K.
    • Earnings call at 5 ET
    • Previously: KB Home beats by $0.01, beats on revenue (Jan. 11)
    • KBH +2.75% after hours

    Massachusetts judge says Exxon must hand over climate documents

    • A Massachusetts judge today denied a request by Exxon Mobil (NYSE:XOM) to exempt it from a request by the state's attorney general to hand over decades worth of documents on the company's views on climate change.
    • State AG Maura Healey, one of two state prosecutors investigating XOM's climate policies, says the ruling "affirms our longstanding authority to investigate fraud," adding that the company "must come clean" about whether it misled its shareholders and the public in what it knew about climate change.

    Former Exxon CEO Tillerson tells senators that climate change poses risks

    • In today's Senate confirmation hearing, former Exxon Mobil (NYSE:XOM) CEO and Secretary of State nominee Rex Tillerson appeared to distance himself slightly from the views of his probable future boss, saying "the risk of climate change does exist, and that the consequences of it could be serious enough that actions should be taken."
    • Pres.-elect Trump once suggested that climate change was a hoax created by the Chinese to help make U.S. manufacturing less competitive.
    • Tillerson also appeared to differ from Trump’s promise to tear up the Paris Agreement on reducing global emissions, but noted Trump's "America first" policy and said participation in global climate agreements may be subject to considerations about their impact on U.S. business.
    • The former CEO declined to address XOM’s past positions on climate change; the company potentially could face legal or investor sanctions given some ongoing state investigations.

    Northern Dynasty Minerals -9% on $25M bought deal

    • Northern Dynasty Minerals (NYSEMKT:NAK-9% AH after announcing a $25M bought deal purchase of 13.5M common shares at US$1.85 each, with an underwriters option to purchase up to an additional ~2M shares.
    • NAK says it plans to use the proceeds to address the EPA's regulatory action against the Pebble Project; prepare the project for the initiation of federal and state permitting; environmental monitoring, engineering and environmental studies related to the project; among other corporate purposes.

    Rally in Cliffs Natural Resources, up 15% in two days, not over, analyst says

    • Cliff Natural Resources (CLF +4.2%) has soared 15% in two days, following base metals prices higher, is more 75% higher in the past three months, but AlphaShark's Andrew Keene says the rally in the shares is not over.
    • CLF has been helped by an improving outlook and the expectation that U.S. infrastructure spending will increase, and more recently China's top steelmaking province announced plans earlier this week to cut steel and iron production.
    • Alhough CLF still is below its early December highs, it recently passed its 20- and 50-day moving averages, and the stock now is likely to ride its momentum higher, with its recent $11 resistance level soon becoming support, Keene says.

    U.S. to launch WTO complaint against China over aluminum

    • Century Aluminum (NASDAQ:CENX+1.8% AH following reports that the U.S. will launch a formal complaint with the WTO claiming that Chinese subsidies to domestic aluminum producers are suppressing global prices of the metal.
    • The complaint accuses China of funneling artificially cheap loans from state-run banks to Chinese aluminum producers, helping the companies upgrade their facilities and expand production, and says China subsidizes aluminum production by providing producers with cut-rate coal and electricity.
    • The complaint reportedly may be officially unveiled as soon as tomorrow.
    • Other potentially relevant tickers: AABLLKALUCSTM

    World's largest solar rooftop installation

    • Tesla (NASDAQ:TSLA) announced last week that battery production had started at its Nevada Gigafactory, but it didn't mention one exciting detail.
    • According to an investor handout, the Gigafactory will be powered by a 70-megawatt solar array, which is "~7x larger than the largest rooftop solar system installed today."
    • Any generated excess power will be stored by Tesla Powerpack batteries for use at other times.

    SpiceJet to seal $10B deal with Boeing

    • Indian budget airline SpiceJet is set to seal an order for at least 90 new 737 jets from Boeing (NYSE:BA), Reuters reports.
    • At current list prices, the order could be valued at about $10B.
    • The announcement is expected as early as Friday when SpiceJet's chairman holds a press event in New Delhi

    Idiots:  Boeing rated new Underperform at RBC, which says market position inferior

    • Boeing’s (NYSE:BAmarket position is inferior as it is shut out of next generation fighter and bomber platforms, RBC analyst Matthew McConnell says as he initiates coverage on U.S. aerospace and defense.
    • Lockheed Martin (NYSE:LMT) and Northrop Grumman (NYSE:NOC) are relatively better positioned based on their marquee programs, McConnell says.
    • RBC rates BA at Underperform with a $136 price target; NOC, GDRTNTDGCSRA and TGI are rated Outperform, while LMT, UTXCOL and LLL are Sector Perform.

    Cigna plays hardball with Mylan over EpiPen, drops coverage in favor of Impax generic

    • Mylan's (NASDAQ:MYL) efforts to preserve its EpiPen (epinephrine injection, USP) business with Cigna (NYSE:CI) has apparently fallen flat. The insurer just released its 2017 formulary and Mylan's branded offering will not be covered this year, Impax Laboratories' (NASDAQ:IPXL) generic version, priced at $200/two-pack, will get the nod.
    • The intense criticism the company endured over the EpiPen price prompted it to release its own generic version priced at $300/two-pack, but coming in second does not count with Cigna, unless Impax cannot meet demand, a not-unlikely scenario since it assembles the autoinjectors manually. Impax chief Mark Donohue says his firm has invested in more manufacturing lines and is "staying up with demand."
    • Mylan CEO Heather Bresch still blames others for EpiPen's high price. In a presentation at JPM17, she stated that "healthcare's pricing model and the interaction between the entire supply chain needs to be revisited." Adding that "EpiPen started an important discussion and dialogue." Indeed.
    • Source: TheStreet

    Gartner, IDC model respective 3.7%, 1.5% Q4 global PC shipment decreases 2016/2015

    • Gartner – Worldwide, 72.6M units shipped in Q4 2016, 269.7M for the full year. Preliminary ranking of worldwide PC shipment vendors in Q4 – Lenovo (OTCPK:LNVGY), HP (NYSE:HPQ), Dell Technologies (NYSE:DVMT), Asus, Apple (NASDAQ:AAPL), Acer Group, others.
    • IDC – Worldwide, 70.2M units shipped in Q4 2016, 260M for the full year. Preliminary ranking of worldwide PC shipment vendors in Q4 – Lenovo, HP, Dell Technologies, Apple, Asus, others.

    PC Market Declines For Fifth Straight Year

    Broadcom prices $13.5B debt offering

    • Broadcom (NASDAQ:AVGO) has priced a private offering of more than $13B in debt, in several tranches.
    • The company priced $2.75B in 2.375% senior notes due 2020; $3.5B in 3% senior notes due 2022; 2.5B in 3.625% senior notes due 2024; and $4.8B in 3.875% senior notes due 2027.
    • The issuers are two subsidiaries (Broadcom Corp. and Broadcom Cayman Finance Ltd.) that will use proceeds to repay outstanding indebtedness.
    • The offer is expected to close Jan. 19.

    FCC finds sponsored data at AT&T, Verizon can hurt competition

    • AT&T (T -0.5%) and Verizon (VZ -0.6%) are in the crosshairs at the FCC again, as the agency's investigation into sponsored data programs -- including "zero rating," where carriers exempt their own content from using customers' data caps — shows they could hurt consumers and competition.
    • Ultimately, the move may not mean much, with Chairman Tom Wheeler set to leave the agency Jan. 20. The FCC isn't taking any enforcement action (which would be lengthy in scope) against either carrier.
    • Sponsored data programs at those companies can cause harm "by unreasonably discriminating in favor of select downstream providers, especially their own affiliates."
    • Senior Republican Commissioner Ajit Pai — expected by many to serve as interim chairman with a GOP majority as soon as next week — says the new staff report "does not reflect the views of the majority of commissioners," suggesting a possible reversal of course after the inauguration.

  170. /RB/Latch – It's hard to play /RB without conviction because, after hours, the spreads get ridiculously wide.  If we don't get a dip into the weekend, then we hope for the best next week but the weak Dollar and OPEC noise is not going to help today.  As to a profit target – ANY is good.

    NRF/Jomp – NRF is at $16 and we bought the stock for $15.50 and sold the 2018 $15 calls for $2.70 and the 2018 $13 puts for $4 and the stock is at $16.13 so, if this continues, we get called away at $15 for a nice gain.  What happened is they merged with 2 other companies (CLNY and NSAM) and I THINK, as Jel notes, we now have 109% shares of CLNS and those strange 109/100 options at the same strike, which are not priced yet.

    /NG/Craigs, Burr – The next 10 days are super-warm across the country and then a big cold front hits the West in two weeks and most of the country will be cold again in Feb.  

    Dollar 100.99 first time below 101 since early Dec:

    CAD going nuts:

    Higher oil good for them, of course.  

  171. Well made small change shorting /nq and /ng last night for a 500 gain. Probably wasn't worth the risk. I'm flat gas and oil as I believe cl is being manipulated higher this week.