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TGIF – Fed Week Ends, G20 Begins

So far the markets are staying "strong".  

That's good for our longs, bad for our hedges but that's why we have both – along with plenty of CASH!!! on the sidelines – just in case.  Unfortunately, the Fed action, along with the out-of-control Trump budget, took the Dollar down 1.5% and that made the markets seem stronger than they actually are (because the currency they are priced in got weaker).  This also boosted commodites, which kept the materials and energy sectors from dropping and now we'll see if they can hold up as the Dollar comes off the floor at 100 (and yes, long USD at 100 is a good FX play with tight stops below).

Our target range for the Dollar is 100 to 103 so we expect to be back at 101.50 soon and THEN we will have a better idea of what the real reaction to the Fed was.  So far, as we predicted (and you are welcome if you took yesterday's index shorts for huge wins), the post-Fed rally has pulled back a bit but the Russell (/TF) still makes a good short at 1,385, especially if the Dow (/YM) is below 20,900 and the S&P (/ES) is below 2,380 and the Nasdaq (/NQ) is below 5,420 AND the Dollar is over 100.  

Today is option expiration day and quarterly expirations can be very tricky so a good day to take off and come back Tuesday (Mondays are pointless) to see what's up.  By the way, if you don't feel comfortable walking away from the markets for a few days – you REALLY need our help because a good portfolio should run itself – not run you!  

The weak Dollar has also pushed oil back to $49.50 into the weekend and, hopefully, they either test $50 today or hold $49.50 into Monday so we can short them again (/CL).  Again, since we don't think the Dollar is going any lower then, other than the US manipulation into the weekend – we don't see any reason for oil to be stronger.

Tesla (TSLA) is another short we are licking our chops over as it heads back up.  We had a good time shorting them last month with the following spread (2/9):


TSLA – On schedule?  What kind of on schedule is that after 3 years of delays?  I doubt they will delay further, Bolt and others are already out there and they have to show something.  Getting to be a good short again.  

In the STP, let's sell 3 TSLA March $270 calls for $13 ($3,900) and buy 5 TSLA March $295 ($30)/270 ($14.40) bear put spreads at $15.60 ($7,800) which is net $3,900 on $12,500 worth of shorts that are $12,500 in the money at the moment. 

Despite the bounce, the spread will expire in the money and pay the full $12,500 for a nice $8,600 profit but we took $7,000+ (180%) and ran two weeks ago and we've been waiting for another run-up to short them again.  It won't be today but tune in next week and we'll hope for some positive press over the weekend to get them back to the $270s so we can sell more premium to the dreamers.

Amazon (AMZN) is another fun short at $850 which is over a $400Bn market cap on $150Bn in sales and $3Bn in profits, MAYBE $7 per share, which would still be a p/e ratio well over $100.  Wal-Mart (WMT), meanwhile, returns $4.50 per $70 share for a p/e of 15.5 and they have $500Bn in sales and $15bn in profits yet their market cap is just $216Bn – about half of Amazon!  This is completely ridiculous so either WMT is way underpriced or AMZN is way over-priced and, with a 120 p/e – I like the AMZN short!  

We like Target (TGT) better than WMT as it flirts with $55, which is a market cap of just $30Bn on $70bn in revenues and $2.7Bn in profits so TGT makes as much money as AMZN on half the sales and you can buy the company for less than 1/10th of AMZN's market cap or stock price.  Target's p/e works out to about 11 – much better than WMT and AMZN isn't even showing up at this competition. 

Amazon makes all it's money from their cloud services – retail loses money and if it wasn't for retail, then they wouldn't have all that cloud capacity to sell so chickens and eggs but the cloud space is crowded and will eventually be commoditized and, though it's been a widow-making, we're ready to take a stab at an Amazon short – so tune in next week for that as well! 

We are aleady long on WMT and TGT in our Member Portfolios and we'll be looking to add AMZN and TSLA shorts next week.  There's a G20 Finance meeting this weekend ahead of the big meeting in Hamburg on July 7th when Donald Trump gets to hang with the other World Leaders for the first time – I want to be there for that fun!  

 Meanwhile, we're done with our Futures shorts but we will short the Russell if we can (see rules above) and we're waiting on a few reports at 10 but, for the most part – it's a watch and wait day but next week we have some trading to do, for sure!  

Have a great weekend, 

- Phil


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  1. Despite what we hear, federal spending is not out of control:

    And the figure is a bit distorted by the stimulus package we had to pass to save the economy from the disaster created by people who complain about the budget being out of control!

  2. Good Morning.

  3. scottmi/FF  wheeeeeeee

  4. Good morning!  

    VIX is not worried so why should we be?

    Not much going on, which is good since I'm out of here at 12

    Won't be good on the Big Chart if we start forming those "M" tops.

    Industrial Production

    Leading indicators beats estimates for Feb.

    The University of Michigan's Consumer Sentiment Index hit 97.6 in March, up from 96.3 in the previous month, the University of Michigan said.

    Merkel heads to the White House

    • Angela Merkel will meet with President Trump today with a delegation bolstered by some high profile German business figures.
    • Those include CEOs of BMW (OTCPK:BAMXF) and Siemens (OTCPK:SIEGY), as well as representatives of other German companies with American operations.
    • It's the first meeting for the two leaders, who have been on the opposite sides of many issues – from trade to immigration, and Russia to NATO.

    U.S. military action against Pyongyang 'on the table'

    • In his search of for a "new approach" on North Korea, Secretary of State Rex Tillerson said "all options are on the table."
    • "Certainly we do not want for things to get to a military conflict," he announced in Seoul, but "if they elevate the threat of their weapons program to a level that we believe requires action… then that would be met with an appropriate response."

    Goldman turns cautious on retail REITs

    • Slowing rent growth that's yet to be factored into consensus estimates, combined with a number of names near historically high valuations, makes for a bad combination, says analyst Andrew Rosivach.
    • He downgrades Simon Property Group (NYSE:SPG) to Neutral from Buy, and Macerich (NYSE:MAC) to Sell from Neutral.
    • He now has no Buy ratings in the retail REIT group. His two sells are Macerich in Class A malls, and Kimco (NYSE:KIM) in power centers.

    Another sign that gas demand is in permanent decline and Trump changing US fuel requirements isn't going to change that Globally:  Reuters: Exxon seeks sale of half of Italy gas stations

    • Exxon Mobil (XOM -0.2%) is seeking to sell half of its 2,500 gasoline stations in Italy for up to €500M ($537M), Reuters reports.
    • XOM, through its Esso local subsidiary, is the latest oil company trying to cut its exposure to Italy's oversupplied gasoline retail sector; Italy has ~21K service stations across the country, nearly 2x the number in France and almost 3x that of Britain.
    • P-E firm Apollo is considering acquiring both the Esso and Total/Erg's 2,600 stations, and other P-E groups including Carlyle have shown interest in buying only the Esso branded stations, according to the report, which cites banking sources.

    Labor costs nip at Dollar General

    Solid results from Tiffany

    • Tiffany (NYSE:TIF) reports better comparables sales in Europe, Asia Pacific and the Americas than expected for Q4. Total revenue was up 2% on a constant-currency basis.
    • Gross margin improved 110 bps to 64.1% of sales during the quarter as favorable product input costs factored in.
    • SG&A expenses were 6% higher in Q4 and were 41.5% of sales vs. 38.5% last year.
    • The company paid in effective tax rate of 36.0% vs. 34.4% a year ago.
    • Tiffaney ended the quarter with a merchandise inventory position down 3% Y/Y.
    • Looking ahead, Tiffany sees sales increasing at a low single-digit rate and EPS increasing by a high-single-digit pace vs. +3% consensus. Net cash of $700M and free cash flow of $450M are also expected.
    • Previously: Tiffany beats by $0.07, beats on revenue (March 17)
    • TIF +2.52% premarket to $92.25.

    SeaWorld Entertainment slides off of Citi gloom

    • Citi cuts SeaWorld Entertainment (SEAS -4%) to a Sell rating on concerns that Street EBITDA estimates may be too high.
    • The firm expects 2017 EBITDA of $339M for the theme park operator vs. $357M consensus.
    • The price target from Citi on SEAS goes to $15 from $19.
    • SeaWorld has flirted with the $20 level several times, but hasn't closed over the threshold since last April.

    A government that protects it's citizens?  MADNESS!!!  EU gives tech giants service term ultimatum

    • European consumer protection authorities have given Facebook (NASDAQ:FB), Twitter (NYSE:TWTR) and Google (GOOGGOOGL) a one-month ultimatum to amend their terms of service or face fines, Reuters reports.
    • Letters were sent to the firms in December telling them they broke EU consumer protection laws and needed to do more to tackle fraud and scams on their websites.

    My other favorite short:  Netflix shys away from all-time high, what next?

    • Netflix (NASDAQ:NFLX) is down 1.03% in premarket action as shares back away from the all-time of $146.50 printed yesterday.
    • M Science is out with a cautious take on Q1 subscriber data, according to Bloomberg. The firm holds some weight with Netflix sentiment due to its data-heavy analysis of consumer trends.
    • Shares of Netflix are up 17% YTD and have jumped 48% over the last 52 weeks.
    • More: There's a pretty good debate on the upside potential for Netflix from here in the comment stream of an article posted last week from SA contributor Celeritas Investments.

    Pacific Crest trims Amazon AWS expectations

    • Pacific Crest reels in expectations on Amazon (NASDAQ:AMZN) in the face of several wins from Google with it Cloud platform.
    • "AWS boasts a multiyear lead over Microsoft Azure and Google Cloud. However, heavy investments could increase the viability of these alternatives. After three years of outsized gains and a tripling of profits, AWS' growth could moderate this year and next," writes analyst Brent Bracelin.
    • The firm lowers its price target on AMZN to $895 from $905. The e-commerce giant is still rated at Overweight by Pac Crest.
    • AMZN -0.39% premarket to $850.11 vs. a 52-week trading range of $538.58 to $860.86.

    Apple modeled at $175 target in repatriation scenario at Pacific Crest Securities

    • Suggesting prospective offshore cash repatriation would enable Apple (AAPL +0.1%) to "comfortably double or triple" its dividend, while also allowing for significant M&A, analyst Andy Hargreaves notes that even in the case growth beyond the upcoming iPhone cycle ends up projected less than impressive, the event, in bull-case observation, could still likely support $175.
    • Reiterates Overweight, target $140 (current price $140.74).

  5. FF/Hanj – hot damn! recovered from that special dividend. hope to see more follow-though..!

  6. Wow, did everyone take a vacation day? 

  7. Tiffany & Co (TIF.N) reported better-than-expected fourth-quarter profit, helped by strong demand for its jewelry in Japan and China as well as price hikes and lower costs.<p>Shares of the New York-based jeweler rose 2.5 percent to $92.25 in premarket trading on Friday.<p>The company has been struggling …

  8. Exclusive: Former PM returns to political fray by creating Institute for Global Change, arguing centre ground needs re-energising<p>Tony Blair is launching a “new policy platform to refill the wide open space in the middle of politics” aimed at combating a “frightening authoritarian populism” that he …

  9. WASHINGTON — The White House tried to soothe an angry Britain after suggesting that President Barack Obama used London’s spy agency to conduct secret surveillance on President Trump while he was a candidate last year.<p>Sean Spicer, the White House press secretary, and Lt. Gen. H.R. McMaster, the …

  10. It’s no secret that German Chancellor Angela Merkel and President Donald Trump have a tense history. The two leaders have clashed publicly — with Trump harshly criticizing Merkel’s handling of the Syrian refugee crisis — and they have divergent views on the roles their nations should play on the …

  11. JERUSALEM (AP) — Syria fired missiles at Israeli warplanes early Friday after a series of Israeli airstrikes inside Syria — a rare military exchange between the two hostile neighbors that was confirmed by both sides.<p>The Israeli military said its aircraft struck several targets in Syria and were …

  12. (Reuters) – Minneapolis Federal Reserve Bank President Neel Kashkari, the lone dissenter against the U.S. central bank’s decision this week to raise interest rates, said on Friday the U.S. economy is still falling short on employment and inflation.<p>Even after the data support tightening, Kashkari …

  13. by The_Real_Fly – Mar 17, 2017 12:41 AM<p>Happy St. Paddy’s Day, lads.<p>The Fed has completely backed itself into a corner.<p>There’s gold in them hills.<p>Mar …

  14. Your Friday Briefing

    <i>Good morning.</i><p><i>Here’s what you need to know:</i><p><b>• Trump’s budget would cut services that aid his base.</b><p>President Trump’s budget proposal on Thursday was billed as a tough-minded and necessary corrective to the growth of the government.<p>But the spending plan, which reduces some agencies’ funding to the …

  15. by The_Real_Fly – Mar 17, 2017 12:41 AM<p>Happy St. Paddy’s Day, lads.<p>The Fed has completely backed itself into a corner.<p>There’s gold in them hills.<p>Mar …

  16. President Donald Trump’s boldest effort at political misdirection is threatening to become a foreign policy mishap.<p>Struggling to justify Trump’s …

  17. Complacency among equity investors is rising after Dutch voters inflicted a blow to political populism and JPMorgan Chase & Co. says its a good time …

  18. Phil.  Yes. Saint Patrick declared it a vacation day! Strether

  19. “The average dividend spread in our coverage is 1.9% currently,” noted an analyst team led by Nik Modi, “compared to 2.1% in the past 5 and 10 years.”<p>Narrower spreads were caused by fluctuations in the 10-year Treasury rate and changes in dividend policies, the team said.<p>”Although average dividend …

  20. Best of Late Night

    <i>Welcome to Best of Late Night, a</i> <i>rundown that lets you sleep — and lets us get</i> <i>paid to watch comedy.</i> <i>What do you think of it? What</i> <i>else</i> <i>are you interested in? Let us know:</i> <i></i>.<p><b>Could Trump Learn From ‘Schoolhouse Rock’?</b><p>The late-show hosts took President Trump to task for the budget he …

  21. Most chat bots are dumb. No one wants to message a soulless stack of if-then statements just to order a pizza when a half-decent app or website interface can do the same job in half the time.<p>Chat <i>assistants</i> are a different matter. Rather than actively bugging you for information in a back-and-forth …

  22. The House has approved legislation allowing veterans who are “mentally incapacitated, deemed mentally incompetent” or prone to blackouts to buy guns. Critics of the bill say it could raise the suicide rate among veterans — a rate that has risen in the past decade.<p>At least a dozen Democrats joined …

  23. President Donald Trump has said no one cares about his tax returns, but tens of thousands of people want to prove him wrong next month with massive protests in Washington, D.C. and around the country that organizers hope will be the biggest anti-Trump demonstrations since January’s Women’s …

  24. Your brain contains almost 100 billion neurons, each of which, on average, is connected to about 10,000 other neurons. The 1.5 kg marvel we inherited from our ancestors has unparalleled computational power and analytic skills. These have been shaped over hundreds of millions of years by the forces …

  25. Phil, didn't you say wait and watch and come back Tuesday? Just following directions. 

    Well, sort of. I shorted /TF at 1385 and took a couple bucks. 

  26. Hi Phil,

    Can you please advise a good play to short Netflix ?

    Thanks as always


  27. The winning bidder of a Grand Rapids, Michigan, house has been offered almost $20,000 to hand his purchase contract to another buyer. An agent in …

  28. NFLX/Phil – what's next? trick in all the salivating shorts and then WHAMMO Squeeze City!

  29. A federal judge in Hawaii halted President Trump’s travel ban targeting six majority-Muslim countries. A previous version of this video omitted Yemen as one of the countries affected by the executive order. USA TODAY<p>DETROIT — Specialized Canadian nurses have been stopped from entering the U.S. to …

  30. A future in which cancers are cured, heart disease prevented and devastating brain disorders reversed may just have gotten a bit more distant, leaders of the nation’s leading biomedical research organizations said Thursday.<p>In a budget blueprint that promises to “make America great again,” the Trump …

  31. In the flurry of news on his tax returns, his troubled healthcare plan and his suspicion that his phones were bugged, it was easy to miss one of President Trump’s most startling comments Wednesday night on Fox News.<p>Trump was griping about the coverage he gets on every major television network …

  32. Phil – how about some discussion on macro move topics.. here's a few to get started:

    Long Mexican Peso,
    Long British Pound,
    Long XLF

  33. Phil

    Any interest in

    National Oilwell Varco, Inc. NOV


  34. Donald Trump ran for president on a platform of creating good jobs for American workers, but his inaugural budget would siphon resources away from many of the people and programs that do just that.<p>The proposal features sharp cuts in discretionary spending, many of which would hit job creation and …

  35. Yesterday’s decision by the Federal Reserve to raise its benchmark interest rate by a quarter-point — likely the first of three this year — served as a reminder that when it comes to financing America’s long-term debt, the U.S. is doing it all wrong. Even worse, the time to correct these errors …

  36. Glencore PLC Chief Executive Ivan Glasenberg says his company is reaping the rewards of a bold and risky strategy: Using its dominance of the zinc market to orchestrate a supply shortfall and send prices vaulting.<p>Zinc prices jumped 7% on the day in October 2015 when the Switzerland-based miner and …

  37. <b>(CNN) —</b> Dubai has announced yet another pioneering initiative, but this time it’s not the world’s first rotating skyscraper or 3D printed office. It’s a fleet of flying taxis.<p>Small enough to fit into a car parking space when folded up, the one-seater passenger drones made by Chinese company Ehang …

  38. Saudi's playing super nicey nice with Trump and Japan, China etc with their Aramco IPO in front of them. 2 Trillion they want!

  39. We like ABX better but today a trader bought

    GG  9800 Jan19 $25/30 call spreads for .50

    Looking back at ABX, notice the 43,800 open 2019 $35 calls

  40. Phil  Happy St Patrick's Day.  Enjoy the family.

  41. Phil

    AAPL for a new trade

    2019 130/150 for 9.53

    Or wait?


  42. SVXY is a Spy-Vix -1x instrument. Since 12/6, the VIX is down -5.2% (11.79 to 11.17), and SVXY is up 60% (89 to 142). 

    I'm really watching this one with really itchy trigger fingers. Not only is the Vix historically low and underpriced (as the sheep bray at the wonderfulness of Herr Mango Mussolini, I'm thinking there's going to be a coming-to-Jesus moment here pretty soon), but the instrument itself is over-valued from the index it tracks by a significant amount. 

  43. Chanos presentation and discusses a variety of things including VRX, political risk, fracking, autos, and of course, China…

  44. Scottmi – Good post and great account of the VRX story.  Really speaks to Ackman and other hedgie's lack of thorough due diligence.

    And BDC is out also. 

    I'm stubbornly still in some puts with an average exercise price of ~$10.  Underwater, but still holding on.  Nice to see the 3 million share purchase the other day.  Also, the CFO purchased 24,000 shares.  Hope he knows the company better than Ackman !

  45. But worth more than $45 BDC :-)

  46. St Patrick/Streth – That's right, I should really be a McSorely's right now! 

    Tuesay/Jeff – I did but usually people don't listen.  I think I'll be doing a great public service if I can get people to realize you don't have to trade every day if you are balanced and selling premium.  This is my last year of Monday's anyway!  

    NFLX/Pat – Well, first of all, you have to be willing to short them LONG-term because it could keep going up long before it goes down.  That being the case, earnings are expiration week in April so selling April calls is silly (too violent) but June is ahead of July earnings so I'd start with selling 3 April $150 calls for $7.10 ($2,130) and buy 5 June $150 puts for $12 ($6,000) and sell 5 April $140 puts for $5 ($2,500) so you net $1,370 on the $5,000 spread and if the short puts expire worthless you can then sell more June puts for another couple of thousand and make it a free spread.  If NFLX goes higher, the short puts go worthless and you can use that money to roll the long puts and the short calls and try again.

    NFLX/Scott – Every move they make is to become more and more like a production studio and network and, eventually, they will be priced like on.  The question is how long will it take?

    Macros/Scott – XLF I think has already had it's run (we're short FAS calls).   Going long Peso obviously has NAFTA and Wall issues, I think it's a coin flip while the Pound is also massively uncertain with Brexit about to be argued in the EU while Scotland may break away and start their own currency (or go with the Euro).  So no easy answers there.

    NOV/QC – Have to ask me next week, not sure what they've been up to recently and that's a lot of research.

    Was just on the phone with India press explaining how the mortgage insurance business works in the states.

  47. Good article from Chanos Scott – I like the guy and he does seem a bit less arrogant than some other hedgies. And has been right more often as well. Not one of these permabears that are right once every 10 years. And good comments about the political risks:

    We are at one of those great turning points. Are we at a point where the pendulum between capital and labour has swung so far over to capital or globalism or whatever you want to call it, that populism, nationalism, and labour are beginning to swing back? If so, then lots of things will change. Who knows but we’ll see. But there’s certainly a growing amount of evidence that nationalism is rising, protectionism is rising, authoritarianism is rising. We see it in Russia, we see it in China, we see it in Turkey, we see it in lots of places now and arguably the US of A. And where strong leaders who want to make the country great again becomes the ethos and the mantra, that’s right out the 1930’s.

    The 30's didn't end well for many people!

  48. I must be everyone's ignore list

  49. And funny that Chanos says most of his money is made with GOP presidents as there are better shorting opportunities:

    I tell my republican friends, only half tongue in cheek, that although it’s a well-known that I’m a democrat, I guess my clients should be happy that a Republican came in because all the big money we’ve ever made has been under Republican presidencies.
    So, the toughest eight years I had on the short side were under Bill Clinton and Barack Obama. So, basically, both of them had unrelenting, long bull markets. Whereas under Reagan, Herbert, Bush and his son, the markets were quite volatile. So, I’ll leave it at that.

  50. Good Job!  ;)

  51. Phil – Enjoy your family weekend!

  52. Saudis/Scott – King saying nice things about Trump jeopardizes his position, I think.  Could get a lot of backlash on that over time.  If Trump pushes his ban and our army starts bombing more Muslims, then "Trump Lover" could have the same impact as "Nazi Lover" did in WWII in that part of the World.

    AAPL/QC – Well if we never get a pullback then nothing to wait for.  I like the spread anyway, seems like a reasonable target and, if we do sell off, then you can sell puts and use that money to roll the $130s lower and who doesn't want a $110/150 bull call spread with short $110 puts (now $6.70) for net nothing?

    Chanos – Yep, lots of good points from a smart guy who's survived it all and thrived. 

    SVXY/BDC – We tried them, didn't work, gave up.

    Well guys, I've gotta go be a good family member.

    Have a great weekend, 

    - Phil

  53. BDC – SVXY -Also tried shorting them & lost.  Agree with you that they shouldn't be as high as they are, but they aren't tracking inverse to the VIX as I expected.  Could be a lot of air underneath, but hard to play at present.

  54. FNSR – On Tuesday I added some stock at $25.75. It's now trading back above the 200dMA and seems to have reversed.  Time will tell. 

    STJ – Did you pick up any ?

  55. YTD nat gas has just edged out VIX as worst performer in the futures…

    Can't remember, was this a candiate for play of the year?

  56. So, I'm really hungover and lazy right now.  With this spread, can someone tell me the max downside risk?  It seems to my limited brain right now that if TSLA spiked up hard, the short calls could go way underwater compared to the profit on the put spread.  Right?  


    In the STP, let's sell 3 TSLA March $270 calls for $13 ($3,900) and buy 5 TSLA March $295 ($30)/270 ($14.40) bear put spreads at $15.60 ($7,800) which is net $3,900 on $12,500 worth of shorts that are $12,500 in the money at the moment. 

  57. Insider trading… PLNT insiders dumped some major shares this week as reported on this fun page:

  58. Burr – as the calls are naked, the max risk is theoretically infinite 

  59. Burr TSLA Mar 17 is trading for 0.03 cents today ????

  60. BLDR another company with directors exercising and dumping options/shares at this breakout high. Guess they're not convinced is justified price, eh? They would know.

  61. That was the trade phil posted in the writeup that we put on a while ago.  I was just checking on the RR

  62. TDG – strong earnings growth last few years. A private equity fund just bot a $15 million worth at $233.15

  63. Phil

    Should we close our FTR puts?

    Before the reverse split


  64. FNSR / Albo – Trying but not getting the prices I want for my short puts! Need a higher VIX I think…

  65. qc……..i closed mine…as st j or phil said,.,…once they split it gets hairy……….

  66. qcm I think Phil is gone for the weekend. I am closing my Jan18 4 puts

  67. It’s said that timing is key to launching a successful exchange-traded fund. If so, Goldman Sachs Group Inc. picked an odd moment to reveal its …

  68. When is the split supposed to happen?  Do we know?

  69. I guess we could buy the puts back, and just buy the stock for the positive delta, while we wait for the split to execute.  Otherwise, we expose ourselves to missing out on any short term upswing.

  70. <b>Whatever is free is squandered.</b> When water is free, it’s freely wasted. When electricity is free, there’s no motivation to use it wisely.<p><b>The same</b> …

  71. An environmental law passed this month in Lagos is a “death sentence,” activists warn.<p>It’s a bitter irony not lost on its residents: Lagos, Nigeria, is surrounded by an abundance of water, but millions of inhabitants in Africa’s most populous city can’t drink it.<p>The coastal city that’s bordered by …

  72. Meet the most insufferable frat boy in human history.CREDIT: AP Photo/J. Scott ApplewhiteOh, college! It’s a time when young adults discover their …

  73. millcreek / yodi 

    FTR  thanks

  74. Public Broadcasters Fear ‘Collapse’ if U.S. Drops Support

    Public radio and television broadcasters are girding for battle after the Trump administration proposed a drastic cutback that they have long dreaded: the defunding of the Corporation for Public Broadcasting.<p>The potential elimination of about $445 million in annual funding, which helps local TV and …

  75. The article concluded, “RAW POWER! HARD RAW POWER GRRRRRR HISSS POW!”<p>This week, the White House began sending out an official email newsletter, “Your …

  76. President Dumbass oops Trump just said to Merkel "At least we have something in common, perhaps" referring to wiretapping.  He'll hold onto his lies no matter how badly he's proven wrong.

  77. Where Has All the Water Gone?

    We live on a parched planet, where farmers till arid pastureland and policymakers fret over empty reservoirs, dry rivers, and thirsty cities. But …

  78. Having rebounded rapidly from the ETF-decision disappointment, Bitcoin suffered another major setback overnight as Chinese regulators are circulating …

  79. As the minutes ticked by on the afternoon of April 28, 2015, Harold Vilches watched stoically while customs officers at Santiago’s international …

  80. Two Florida subsidiaries of Walt Disney Co have agreed to provide $3.8 million in back wages to comply with federal law, the U.S. Labor Department said in a statement on Friday.<p>The wages will be paid to 16,339 employees at the two units — the Disney Vacation Club Management Corp and the Walt …

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  83. STJ – I think we'd all like to see the VIX higher.  I know I would.

    Do you have any insight into SVXY ?   It certainly doesn't act like it's inverse to the VIX.  It just seems to go up all on it's own, no matter what the VIX does.

  84. On Wednesday in Detroit, beneath a vast American flag, President Trump answered 17 automakers’ call to reopen the Mid-Term Review of the 2022-25 “CAFE” automotive efficiency standards.<p>On his fourth day in office, he’d expedited approvals for two oil pipelines, skipping further assessments (if the …

  85. Recently released official 2016 data from China place private investment growth at 3.2 percent compared to 18.7 percent for state investment growth. …

  86. TDG – went with a diagonal.. bot Jan18 240 calls, sold Aug 250 calls for net 13.10 entry. Out if closes below recent swing low of 228.53. To the upside, first exit would be if it rushed to 280 where would exit with a minimum of 15% gain (if happened today). Anything between current price and 280 is all good. Safe to 310 (but again, would exit on a run getting to 280). Max earn at 250 in august of up to 93%. Target is out with 45% gain by expiration. Evaporation:ON.

  87. SJL/Albo,

    FWIW in the  FNSR neigjborhood, no joy with selling puts either but have gotten some action in AAOI which has not pulled back as much as FNSR but does have more positive buzz … and a few willing put buyers

  88. The one U.S. reporter in South Korea, from IJR, hasn’t filed a report; that site retracted its Obama story Thursday<p>South Korean media reported on Friday that U.S. Secretary of State Rex Tillerson skipped out on gathering with his Korean counterparts due to “fatigue.” But the only American news …

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  91. A coal-mine that powered German industry for almost half a century will get a new lease on life when it’s turned into a giant battery that stores …

  92. 8800 – Am also holding some AAOI short puts.  Still like the space despite some recent signs of a slowdown.

  93. The US oil-rig count rose this week by 14 to a total of 631, oilfield-services giant Baker Hughes said.<p>The gas-rig count rose by six to 157. One miscellaneous rig was brought online, and so the total rig count rose by 21 to 789.<p>The oil-rig count is a key proxy for US production levels and …

  94. Sean Spicer, White House Press Secretary and occasional Easter Bunny, went on national TV yesterday and said that President Obama used British …

  95. Am i missing something here – JNUG currently @ 6.54 – B/C - buy $4 call sell $5 call net 0.65 – expires 5/19/17 for profit of 0.35 over 50% in 63 days???  

  96. Albo – AAOI, definitely a tech spec. Very positive article on S.A. 

    Plus, the latest info I have:

    SUGAR LAND, Texas, March 16, 2017 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) — Applied Optoelectronics, Inc.(AAOI) , a leading provider of fiber-optic access network products for the internet data center, cable broadband, fiber-to-the-home and telecom markets, will be showcasing several 200G and 100G products at the Optical Fiber Communication Conference and Exhibition (OFC) taking place on March 21-23, in Los Angeles, California at booth #1801.

    “As hyperscale data center operators expand and upgrade their infrastructure to handle higher bandwidth needs, they continue to rely on next-generation optical technology with higher data speeds,” said Joshua Yeh, Applied Optoelectronics, Inc.(AAOI) general manager for network equipment and modules. “AOI is proud to introduce a new 200 Gbps product family that enables data rates up to 200 Gbps for intra-data center applications. These products leverage AOI’s unique in-house laser design and manufacturing processes that can be optimized to produce 400 Gbps solutions, and solutions with even higher data rates, in the future.”

    AOI will be showcasing its product portfolio, as well as providing live demonstrations of several new next-generation products for intra-data center applications, including:

    200G SR8 Active Optical Cables

    200G On-Board Optics

    200G CWDM Optics (2x100G CWDM4)

    100G µQSFP Active Optical Cables

    In addition to the booth demonstrations, AOI’s senior R&D engineer for high speed laser design, Prashant Baveja, will present a paper titled “56 Gbps PAM-4 Directly Modulated Laser for 200G/400G Data-Center Optical Links”. Baveja is scheduled to present the paper in a booth session on Thursday, March 23 at 3:30 PM.

  97. 8800 – Thanks for the information.  BTW, I'm aware of the bullish SA article.  It's by the same analyst who is recommending QUIK, with a $4 target.  He may be a little ambitious on his targets for this year, but  hopefully, he's right on the direction.

  98. Thanks indeed 8800! A lot of these guys will do well with the streaming craze going on now!

  99. nantucket1   There is supposed to be a revers stock split on JNUG

    Fund Name




    New CUSIP

    Reverse Split

    decrease in total
    number of
    outstanding shares

    Direxion Daily S&P 500® Bear
    1X Shares




    1 for 2


    Direxion Daily Gold Miners
    Index Bull 3X Shares




    1 for 4


    Direxion Daily Junior Gold
    Miners Index Bull 3X Shares




    1 for 4


    Direxion Daily Junior Gold
    Miners Index Bear 3X Shares




    1 for 4


    Direxion Daily Semiconductor
    Bear 3X Shares




    1 for 5


    Direxion Daily Regional Banks
    Bear 3X Shares




    1 for 5


    Direxion Daily Russia Bear 3X




    1 for 5


    Direxion Daily S&P 500® Bear
    3X Shares




    1 for 5



    As a result of this reverse split, every two, four or five shares of a Fund will be exchanged for one share as indicated in the table above.  Accordingly, the total number of the issued and outstanding shares for the Funds will decrease by the approximate percentage indicated above.  In addition, the per share net asset value ("NAV") and next day's opening market price will be approximately two-, four- or five-times higher for the Funds.  Shares of the Funds will begin trading on the NYSE Arca, Inc. (the "NYSE Arca") on a split-adjusted basis on May 1, 2017.

  100. I sold one 2019 $700 Put for $69.35 on AMZN in early February when they dipped after earnings, with conviction that AMZN would bounce back like it always does.  I think the story of AMZN destroying traditional retail still has legs, and I wanted to profit from it for a change.  It is also a decent hedge for my retail positions (M, TGT, WMT, LB, RH, and the list goes on).  Wait, maybe I'm too heavy in Retail?  Shit!  Anyways,  that position is up nicely now, and I decided to sell a 2018 $950 call, for $42.25 just now, to lock in some gains, and hedge (especially now that Phil is talking about shorting AMZN next week).  I'm keeping the position sizing tiny at one contract each leg, but stand to make $11,000 if AMZN is between $700 and $950 at expiration.  The rolls should be relatively easy if needed.  Realistically, I will probably close both legs out at the end of the year, hopefully with AMZN under $950, and a healthy profit in hand.  I don't want to be long term bullish on AMZN, but am open to it in the short term for a trade.  

  101. Thanks stockbern didnt keep up with the news

  102. Strong close in QUIK today.  Almost looked like a short seller meeting a margin call.

    Time for some green beer, and perhaps even a green martini with some Irish buddies. If they're still standing.  They've been there for awhile. 8-)

    Have a great weekend, everybody.

  103. QUIK/Albo – good finish indeed..!  Green Martini is a GREAT idea.  Got to go fetch some vermouth. I do not like them tooo dry…

  104. You got a chance to be the last one standing Albo!

  105. I thought Irish lads pass out standing up? If they ever do. I know better… lol

  106. Anyone had any success shorting ITM calls before the ex-div date?  I own STWD in an IRA and looking at the April $20 calls for about $2.50. They pay a $.48 dividend on March 29th, so the stock should drop and that call should too. Maybe not worth the trouble?

  107. Divs / Jelutuck – I believe we had that discussion in the past and option prices will reflect the ex-div drop between now and then. I could be wrong on that but it seems that it would be a bit to easy to arbitrage that price discrepancy for large players! If not, you could simply sell a block of naked calls the day before…

  108. Stj, thanks.  Yes, being short an ITM call  would mean it gets called on the ex-div day and I would have nothing to show for it. I've never understood that dividend play when people exercise their calls on ex-div day. It seems like they end up owning the stock and getting the dividend, but the stock drops by the amount of the dividend, so I'm not sure what they get out of doing it.

  109. Reverse Splits – ok, finally got around to looking for some.. There is hope for FTR.
    Top of mind winners are CIM and PCLN. Another recent reverse split holding up so far is CUR.

    CIM 1:5 in 2015 
    PCLN 1:6 in 2003 
    CUR 1:13 in 2017

    About PCLN's split: 

    Do Reverse Splits Ever Work?

  110. Did anyone notice what a great call Phil made about going long the dollar at 1 today? Phil what made 1pm the time to go long?

  111. jelutuck & stj / ex-div

    If you think of it from a tax perspective, it could possible be a way to offset short term capital gains.  By accepting the dividend, you're effectively receiving long term capital gains while the capital loss on the stock is short-term.  I think that would be the case anyway.

  112. Wow! 

    They all said the meat was safe!

    Or was it??

    Shares in Brazil’s major meatpackers dived on Friday as police launched a corruption probe into the industry, alleging that industry members had bribed officials to turn a blind eye to shipments of contaminated meat.

  113. Finally got to finish this interview up too.. Louis-Vincent Gave of Gavekal, interviewed last month:





  114. Now it's time for that green martini !

  115. craig – I can't find where phil said 1pm to go long the dollar?

  116. Burr- that's because I am an idiot. He said go long at 100, which I saw as 1:00 and when I looked at the chart it happened to bottom at around 1 before taking off to 100.47 or so at 2:30. So, just coincidence that I misread it and it turned out to be right. 

  117. Ok cool.  I thought I was blind.  I did go long /DX @ 100 becuase I like that trade, but when I read the initial writeup.   

  118. Have one short DX at 100.105 and 2 short NGV7 at 3.165. Still looking for it to break 3 as inventory news is bearish. Same for oil but OPEC can't play with NG fundamentals 

  119. Latch be careful with NG, it often makes crazy moves and is highly manipulated. It often goes against logic and can spike down or up with no rhyme or reason. tough short when it's under $3. Good luck. 

  120. NG- I was talking about the price of the April contract under $3, NGJ7.

  121. I know this will never happen, but wouldn't it be great if they would let  us paid to mortgage or credit card debt using IRA or 401(k) money with no penalty as a one time get out of debt free card. I know the banksters would never let this happen, but it would be great.

  122. Here another nice car for Phils daughter.  2015 rx350.  AWD.  17Kmi.  $27K price.


    If you could get it for 25K I'd say it's a good deal.  Obviously have a independant inspection and call lexus with vin to ensure it's legit.  

  123. Latch, why short /DX?  I would think that /DX won't go below 99ish, but has a high chance of going up.  

    Just wondering?  The range seems to be 99ish to 103ish

  124. Latch nice opening gap down on ng! 

  125. Burr – thanks and sorry for the confusion, as usual. I was long DX and just stopped out.99.85. I am going to stick with oil and NG.  

    craigs – NGV7 has been a very consistent winner for me in both directions.  Been playing it short after the run up to 3.3. Hoping to catch a downdraft below 3 one more time. I think inventory/draws have been bearish.  Maybe the heat wave comes and forces the use of AC in the summer?  I am dreaming of catching the wave up that Phil describes, Best to stay focused on a couple, as I can't handle more. Hell, I can barely type/spell correctly.  

    Night all.

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  183. Good morning All

    Shorting CL 48.95; TF 1386.7.  Looking to jump back short on NGV7 if it gets to 3.16 ish 

  184. Good morning! 

    Europe's down a bit and we're down a bit but it's Monday so it doesn't matter anyway.  

    What does matter is that there are 5 Fed speakers today and tomorrow (2/3) and 3 on Thursday and 3 on Friday so we're back to that nonsense.  

    Oil contracts rollover Weds and that's selling off today ($48.74) and the Dollar is still right at the 100 line. 

    I'm surprised there's not more of a push down from DB's 35% discount share offering but I guess people are just glad they are raising cash at any price. 

    Deutsche Bank to Raise $8.6 Billion After Pricing Share SaleDeutsche Bank AG said it will raise 8 billion euros ($8.6 billion) from a capital increase starting this week as the lender seeks to shore up its finances and boost growth. The Frankfurt-based company will issue 687.5 million new shares at 11.65 euros apiece, it said in a statement on Sunday, in-line with the bank’s March 5 announcement on the planned sale. The shares are priced at a discount of about 35 percent from Friday’s close and almost 41 percent since Bloomberg first reported that the bank was weighing a capital raising. Existing investors will be able to acquire one new share for each two shares they now hold.


    Details of Deutsche Bank capital hike

    • Announcing details of its capital hike, Deutsche Bank (NYSE:DB) has revealed 687.5M shares will be sold for €11.65, raising over €8B.
    • The share price, 35% below their trading level on Friday, is expected to attract strong demand and gives current shareholders the right to acquire one share for every two they own.
    • Its the fourth capital infusion for the German lender since 2010.
    • DB -1% premarket

    Monday's economic calendar

    G20 finance ministers release communique

    • World financial leaders found common ground on foreign exchange at a G20 meeting on Saturday, reiterating their long-standing warnings against competitive devaluations, but dropped tougher language from last year that vowed to "resist all forms of protectionism."
    • The communique also removed a pledge to finance the fight against climate change, in the face of resistance from countries including the U.S., China, India and Saudi Arabia.

    Futures dip on G20 protectionism shift

    • U.S. stock index futures are down about 0.1% as the G20's decision to drop a pledge to avoid trade protectionism soured risk sentiment.
    • Investors are also gearing up for a week in which no less than nine Fed officials are set to speak, including Fed Chair Janet Yellen on Thursday.
    • Oil is down 1.3% at $48.69/bbl, gold is 0.2% higher at $1233/ounce and the 10-year Treasury yield is flat at 2.5%.

    Fed is still in focus

    • While this may well have been the week that the Fed started to take a back seat to Congress and the President when it comes to setting the economic tone, that doesn't mean the central bank suddenly becomes unimportant.
    • The effect of the second interest rate increase in the past three months will be watched closely, as well as numerous Fed speeches across the country that will help investors get a firmer hand on what happens next.

    Greece edges toward another crisis

    • Greece is set to miss yet another deadline for unlocking bailout funds today, edging closer to a repeat of the 2015 drama that pushed Europe's most indebted nation to the edge of economic collapse.
    • Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras had promised the latest bailout's long delayed review would be completed by March 20, but many see that reaching an agreement even in April is now considered a long shot.
    • ETFs: GREK

    New Vegas casino stirs the pot

    • The new Lucky Dragon Casino is creating a stir on the Las Vegas Strip by using the rolling chip program to award comps and discounts to table game players.
    • The rolling chip program is based off of tracking non-negotiable chips for player losses, instead of relying on pit bosses to estimate how much money players are gambling. The efficient system is popular with casino operators in Macau due to the analytics and customer retention it help provides.
    • The Asian-themed Lucky Dragon reported solid traffic for its first three months of operation on the northern end of the Strip.

    Albertsons considers merger with Sprouts

    • Insider trading? Albertsons (NYSE:ABS) has held preliminary takeover talks with Sprouts Farmers Market (NASDAQ:SFM), Bloomberg reports, after the latter surged over 23% last week, recording the best weekly gain since its IPO in 2013.
    • The talks involve a plan to take organic grocer Sprouts private and add it to Albertsons' portfolio, which includes eponymous grocery stores and the Safeway brand.

    Wal-Mart adds another e-commerce property

    • Wal-Mart (NYSE:WMT) continues its busy year of e-commerce M&A activity with the purchase of trendy online clothing seller ModCloth.
    • The company didn't disclose the amount it paid for ModCloth, although the Business of Fashion reports the price fell somewhere between $51M and $70M.
    • The retail giant has picked up, and Moosejaw over the last year.
    • Wall Street leans bullish on Wal-Mart (10 Buys, 18 Holds, 4 Sells) amid the company's margin-pinching battle with Amazon and ongoing pressure in the broad retail sector. The analyst team at Bank of America added Wal-Mart to its US-1 List earlier this week on a positive view (Buy, $88 PT) of the e-commerce push out of Bentonville. The firm reasons that's WMT's price-earnings multiple will expand toward 19-20X as the e-commerce mix increases and price investments stoke store traffic.
    • Shares of Wal-Mart closed at $69.89 on Friday vs. a 52-week trading range of $62.72 to $75.19.
    • Previously: Highlights from Wal-Mart's retail conference presentation (March 14)

    Twitter bot accounts weigh on Dorsey

    • Pressure is growing on Twitter (NYSE:TWTR) CEO Jack Dorsey to step down, according to the Sunday Times, after a report from the University of Southern California and University of Indiana alleged that up to 48M of its accounts – equal to 15% of its users – were robots not people (that's nearly twice the company’s own estimate).
    • The news is a fresh blow to Twitter in its attempt to lure more advertisers to the platform

    Beastly opening weekend for 'Beauty'

    • Disney's (NYSE:DIS) live-action Beauty had a fairy tale opening weekend – breaking numerous records and bringing in a beastly $170M in North American ticket sales.
    • Its so far the biggest box-office opener of the year and the seventh-best debut of all time.
    • Beauty and the Beast marks the latest effort by Disney to re-create one of its animated classics, following remakes of CinderellaSleeping Beauty and The Jungle Book.