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Toppy Tuesday – S&P 2,400 – Again

Here we are again:

It seems like every Tuesday I have to point out that Mondays are meaningless and, so far, we've made good money shorting the S&P Futures (/ES) at 2,400 as well as Dow (/YM) 21,000 and Russell (/TF) 1,400 but the Nasdaq (/NQ), now 5,708 keeps going up and up, which is no surprise with Apple (AAPL) at $156 – up 10% since April 25th and AAPL is 15% of the Nasdaq by itself.

That adds 1.5% to the Nasdaq and the rest of the Nasdaq's 3% move came from the Dollar falling from 100 on the 25th to 98.35 this morning (-1.65%) and that's the story of how we got here.  The fact that the S&P STILL can't get over 2,400 DESPITE the weaker Dollar and the stronger Apple does not give me the warm fuzzies about the strength of this weekly rally so, once again – we are going to be shorting the indexes at the levels we keep shorting them at and once again, later in the week, I will tell you how much money we made and you will say: "why can't I ever catch trades like that."  It's a vicious cycle…

Remember, I can only tell you what the market is going to do and how to make money trading it – that is the extent of my powers.

Yesterday morning, for example, in our PSW Report, we picked FEYE as a nice play since the news was all about cyber security and FEYE is a company we've had our eye on.  Despite the strong open (our Members get the report long before the market opens) on the stock, the 2019 $12 puts were barely affected and, as late as 2:10 pm, people were still filling the short puts at our $2 target price and they finished the day at $1.84, up 8% for a nice start (see yesterday's post for details on the trade idea).  

On Friday it was Cheniere Energy (LNG), based on news of more and more LNG exports opening up and our trade agreement with China (this is not complicated folks, we read the papers and we make a trade) and LNG popped from $47.14 to $49.35 (+4.7%) and the short 2019 $40 puts we sold for $4.50 can already be bought back for $4.20 for a gain of 6.6% in two trading days.  

As I explained over at the Nasdaq yesterday (and see the clip for our trade idea on Fiat/Chrysler (FCAU)), using short puts and option spreads can both leverage your cash and DECREASE your risk as a well-balanced spread gives you a hedge when the underlying stock moves against you.  Selling short puts to initiate a position is Options 101 over at Philstockworld, where we teach our Members to use options to their advantage.  

Our prior Nasdaq spread on Gilead (GILD), is up 8% in 3 weeks (we just began tracking our Nasdaq picks as they want us to teach people more about options trading) and GILD has gone nowhere during that time.  Why is that?  Because we are "Being the House - NOT the Gambler".  By selling premium instead of buying it, we are participating in what is the only sure bet offered by the market – the fact that, over time, premiums will always end up at zero!  

The stock doesn't have to go anywhere for us to make money, we bought 10 2019 $60 ($11.75)/70 ($7.30) bull call spread for net $4.45 ($4,450) back on 4/24, when GILD was trading at $66.25 and yesterday they closed at $65.95, down 0.30 (0.45%) but the 2019 $60 calls are $11 and the $70 calls are $6.20 so the spread is now $4.80 ($4,800) for a $350 gain (7.8%).  If GILD finishes at $66, the $60 calls will be worth $6 ($6,000) and the short $70 calls will be worth $0 and the gain would be $1,550 (34.8%) despite the stock not going anywhere at all.  If it does go up a bit – to $70 or better, our max gain is $5,550 (124.7%) over the next 600 days.  

Despite the never-ending market rally, we now have 25 stocks on our Watch List and I'm sure, in this week's portfolio reviews, we'll have plenty of stocks that are good for a new trade – so there's no lack of opportunity to participate in whatever is left of this rally – just please have the sense to hedge your bets – and keep plenty of CASH!!! on the side – just in case…

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  1. Good Morning.

  2. A trip in memory lane:

    Today, these same people are surprisingly silent! 

  3. looks like tsla and nflx are trying to replicate amzn's success…

  4. Amazing that we have a President giving away classifed info to our enemies which is unprecedented.  Most of our allied countries now will not want to share intelligence with us, isolating us even more and putting us in more danger.  Democrats and Republicans both know how bad this is and pretty much want Trump out now.  None of his tax agenda or other agendas will likely be passed which was a big reason why the market was soaring and the market just shrugs it off.  Remember in 2007 when it shrugged off all the negative news too and then oops.

  5. Rustle – Of course now he says that it was intentional and as a president he can declassify information as he sees fit. The only problem was that it was given to us by a foreign intelligence service who asked us not to share it so it was not within his rights to do that! But we won't hear any outrage from the same crowd who wanted to lock up Clinton for doing much less.

  6. Following Phil's short line with one /ES at 2403.75

  7. Stjean – Actually I think you will see outrage from both sides and like I said last week, he is quickly unraveling.  This was his last straw.  Think both sides now know for safety of our country, he has to go.

  8. Not so sure Rustle… I guess when they start seeing polls that shows them tied to a large sinking rock that might change. But getting rid of Trump now would also be bad for them because he holds a large portion of their electorate.

  9. Perfect for the long oil bets, from rent-a-rebel to rent-a-worker.  Go on strike and then we will give you a raise after we put in a large long position to finance your raise once we sell it on the oil pop.

    Nigerian oil workers extend Exxon strike to Chevron, Shell, Eni

    Nigerian oil workers extend a strike to Chevron (NYSE:CVX), Royal Dutch Shell (RDS.A, RDS.B) and Eni (NYSE:E) subsidiary Agip in protest over the dismissal of employees working for Exxon Mobil (NYSE:XOM), a union official says.

    Nigerian labor unions have held several strikes in recent months to protest the sacking of workers by oil companies, and began a strike against XOM last week.

    Similar strikes by XOM workers in Nigeria at the end of last year hurt production and caused weeks-long loading delays.

  10. But what's so funny is that all his aides last night went on TV saying that the story was not true, they had been there, the press was wrong and this morning Trump confirms the story. There is just no credibility left in this White House. They lie to cover up their own lies!

  11. Also short /es @ 2401. 

  12. CBI – looking for a hold at 20 or 22 – bouncing off of 23 pretty well this wk… wonder if this is the turning point.

  13. PHil//  Still a good time to initiate the UUP trade you had mentioned in yesterday's post?  Thanks.

  14. /kc now below 1.33

  15. Good morning!  

    My response to someone trying to tell me that even though tax brackets were higher in the past (when America was great), it doesn't count because "people avoided them anyway".  

    There was a bracket and there was avoidance. Now the brackets are lower and there is still avoidance. Bottom line is collections from the Top 1% and from Corporations as a percentage of GDP has never been lower – that's an absolute fact, not "fake news".… 

    Image result for top 1% share of taxes history

    The bottom line is, since Reagan, the Top 1% people and corporations have not paid their share of taxes, which has caused our Government debt to explode out of control, which leaves us with a debt burden that is not being pushed onto the bottom 99% with the ridiculous concept that the debt is EVERYONE's problem – even though the tens of Trillions of Dollars in tax breaks that caused them were only given to the Top 1%. 

    Sadly, the people in the bottom 99% are dumb enough to fall for this BS and have been conditioned to just bend over and take whatever nonsense they are spoon fed by the Top 1%, their Media and their Pet Politicians.

    AMZN/StJ – But any time he feels like it, he can make money.  He just hasn't felt like it for 20 years. 

    So I guess instead of having a few non-classified Emails on a private server, Hillary should have just given the classified information to her Russian handlers.  Too bad she didn't have any Russian handlers or the GOP would be defending her actions too!  

    Strike/Learner – Not helping.  Oil longs are in big trouble.  

    CBI/Batman – Not a word about infrastructure spending.  Could be a long summer waiting for them to pop.

    UUP/Rookie – Yes, we did add those in the OOP yesterday.  June $25s are now 0.48.

    /KC/Burr – I just added 2 more so now 8 long at $133.8.  Back to 4 when I can get even.

    Exports of cocoa and coffee resumed from Cameroon's main port of Douala on Monday following the end to a dock workers' strike that had blocked shipmen…

    Brazil – Safras raises 2017/18 coffee crop outlook to 51.1 mln bags

    Vietnam – Coffee exports fall in April 2017

    Brazil – Green coffee exports fall significantly in April 2017

    Leaf rust resistant variety in Honduras succumbs to pest

    World Coffee Research confirms that the widely used Lempira variety is, in fact, susceptible to rust.

  16. short /es 2400.50

  17. SLW changed there stock symbol to WPM   Had a panic attack this morning  LOL

  18. Imax had reported 1Q17  33% drop in rev (vs 1Q16) and disappointing 75K in income. Announced new expansions in China and Europe but, net effect = belated 15% drop. Verry low in channel. Seems overly severe even given that 1Q is usually light seasonally. May be something else as yet undisclosed

  19. The Innovator’s Dilemma Hits Higher Ed

    Purdue’s acquisition of Kaplan University is risky, unconventional, unexpected—and smart.

    Innovation & disruption sorely needed in education at ALL levels. This experiment will be interesting to see how it progresses.

  20. Futures shorts are starting to work.

    Oil failing $49.  

    IMAX/8800 – 33% drop compared to the quarter when the new Star Wars came out?  How silly!  For many years, we simply buy IMAX when it's low in the channel (around here):

    We used to have IMAX in the OOP, but we cashed it out.  In the LTP, we sold the Dec $29 puts for $2 (15), now $2.85, so it's probably a good time to add a bull call spread – we'll see when I do the review.

    Purdue/Pstas – Good for them, I pitched that idea to the Ivys many years ago (taping and distributing their classes) and was soundly rejected but I'd love to see proper colleges get more involved in educating the masses.   

  21. USO- for your July target are you looking at CL @ 53 'ish

  22. ETSY – Up huge !

    Stockbern, hope you're in it.

  23. willsons /Silver W – me to this morning.  

  24. USO/Pstas – Yes, $52.50ish by July 4th is the target but if we get a nice spike into this holiday – we'll take it and run.

    ETSY/Albo – Wow, nice turnaround.

    1,385 likely to bounce on /TF.  Lined up with 20,925, 2,397.50 and 5,705 and /NKD 19,900.  Dollar actually weaker at 98.15.  

  25. SLW, Wilsons – yea me to, thanks for the update

  26. Trump was campaigning that he never saw someone as careless as Hillary with classified info and how much danger she put our country in.  Lock her up.  Yet Hillary had only 2 low priority classified documents that could've been exposed but weren't.  There were no leaked documents.  Trump just blurted out classified intelligence of a code to a program that Russians can reverse engineer their way into.  Glad he's so careful and glad the market is starting to tank.

  27. Phil / IMAX -

    I'm in the stock and  was doing some research on it ( small put sale to watch it).  I was doing some research on it and that they have significant backlog in us in china 500 total with 70% in china – their most important growth region.  This is a very strong backlog.   However over 70% of the new installation are joint ventures meaning the revenue they receive is directly tied to the box office receipts.    This is a fairly significant shift in their business model.  This will add significantly to their volatility as well as their income / revenue 'lumpiness'. This drop may coincide with a shift of the type of investors they attract this will be following different revenue patterns gone forward.  

  28. Albo,   I hung on, nice winner per your theory.

    LL      remember them, anyone?

  29. IMAX also held an investor day on 5/11 

  30. Rustle – See, no outrage at all, let's get back to business:

    The cynicism is almost lapidary in its purity. ‘Yeah, sharing that classified intelligence was pretty bad. But let’s focus on the big picture which is tax reform.’ Or, ‘You sharing classified intelligence with Russia is only making Obamacare repeal that much harder.’

    People have been saying for months that establishment Republicans had decided that they’d let Trump do almost literally anything as long as he agreed to sign a big tax cut and help repeal Obamacare. And now McConnell, faced with the ultimate consequence of this moral desertion, is happy to say it out loud.

    Party over state….

  31. Albo

     Would you please explain your theory?

     Albo,   I hung on, nice winner per your theory


  32. Qcmike – I simply opined that ETSY would probably be acquired within 12-18 mos.  The most likely acquirer would  be EBAY. 

  33. WPM – hah. I look at that and just think "wampum"

  34. StJ – do you really have to post a big quoted political paragraph while the markets are open?

  35. PFE – noticeable hit on Citi downgrade to "sell."  Pretty bold to make a sell call, isn't it?

  36. /kc seems to have a trend that it's lows are at the close of trading. Waiting here for entry. 

  37. GDPNow raises Q2 growth outlook to 4.1%

    This morning's housing starts number may have been weaker than forecast, but that input has helped push the Atlanta Fed tracker's Q2 GDP guess to 4.1% from 3.6% a few days back.

    The Blue Chip consensus forecast is for roughly 3.1% growth.

    Now this is silly….



  38. Comment content omitted because it is too long.

  39. IMAX/Batman – It's a necessary accommodation in China, I doubt that will be their new model worldwide, though China is the bulk of their World-wide expansion.  Since we are not the kind of investors that mind riding out cyclical businesses, I think it's still great to buy low and sell high.  

    LL/Stock – Lost interest, once Jabob stops cursing – I know it's time to move on and find a new value stock.  cheeky

    PFE/Scott – Perpetually in the low $30s

    • Pfizer (NYSE:PFE) is under early pressure, down 2% premarket on average volume, on the heels of a downgrade to Sell by Citigroup. Price target lowered to $31 (6% downside risk) from $38.
    • Analyst Andrew Baum says the company needs a deal to hit consensus EPS numbers. Company already cut non-GAAP EPS estimates by 5 – 10% (2018 – 2022). He also cites rising risk from high-price oncology drugs like Xtandi, Xalkori and Ibrance.
    • Major transactions could involve Bristol-Myers Squibb (NYSE:BMY) and Allergan (NYSE:AGN).
    • Source: StreetInsider
    • This morning's housing starts number may have been weaker than forecast, but that input has helped push the Atlanta Fed tracker's Q2 GDP guess to 4.1% from 3.6% a few days back.
    • The Blue Chip consensus forecast is for roughly 3.1% growth
    • Reducing the vast holdings built up on the central bank balance sheet is a mistake in both concept and implementation, says former Minneapolis Fed President Narayana Kocherlakota, writing on Bloomberg.
    • Even if one assumes it's a good idea to cut the balance sheet (we'll get to that later), Kocherlakota reminds the bank's assets consist mostly of mortgage-backed securities, so letting them run off is a bad idea. Why? Maturation of MBS is heavily dependent on the rate at which homeowners pay off mortgages, so the Fed could lose control over a big policy tool. Should prepayments rise, holdings would be slashed, effectively tightening policy.
    • Now getting to why the Fed even wants to shrink its balance sheet, Kocherlakota suggests it would be a better idea to maintain assets and instead raise interest rates higher than otherwise – this gives the extra advantage of allowing more room to cut rates when the next recession hits.
    • The PBOC overnight pumped ¥170B ($24.7B) into the financial system via its daily money-market operation, the largest amount in four months.
    • The move comes as officials worry they may have leaned too far in the direction of trying to tamp down debt-fueled speculation – the result being more than a 5% decline in the stock market over the last month, and bond yields rising to more than a two-year high.
    • The result at least for a night was satisfying: The Shanghai Composite closed higher by 0.7% after earlier being down nearly 1%. The 10-year bond yield slipped two basis points to 3.62%.
    • WSJ's Heard on the Street column isn't too worried, noting the recent rise in bond yields hasn't been accompanied by widening spreads between government and lower-rated debt. Keep an eye on capital outflows – they've slowed for now – but another rate hike by the Fed could tip the balance and send money rushing out again.

    • A day that began with largely peaceful protests against Venezuela's socialist government took a violent turn Monday as fierce clashes between state security and demonstrators killed at least two people.
    • Demonstrators have been on the streets daily since early April to demand elections, freedom for jailed activists, foreign humanitarian aid and autonomy for the opposition-controlled legislature.

    • The delinquency rate for mortgages on 1-4 unit properties fell to 4.71% in Q1 from 4.80% in Q4, according to the MBA.
    • The foreclosure rate dipped to 1.39% from 1.53% – that's the lowest since Q1 of 2007.
    • The share of loans on which foreclosure was started edged up to 0.30% from 0.28%.
    • March Housing Starts: 1.1725M vs. 1.256M expected and 1.203M prior (revised).
    • Building permits 1.229M vs. 1.271M expected.

    • Apr. Industrial Production: +1.0% to 105.1 vs. +0.4% consensus, +0.4% (revised) prior.
    • Capacity utilization: 76.7% vs. 76.3% consensus, 76.1% prior.
    • Redbook Chain Store Sales+2.4% Y/Y on a stronger-than-anticipated sales trend.
    • Month-to-date sales are up 1.8% Y/Y through May 13.
    • Redbook expects May sales to increase 2.1% Y/Y.
    • The oil market has essentially reached a balance and will continue to accelerate in the near term, the IEA said in its monthly report, just nine days before OPEC's much-anticipated ministerial meeting.
    • The organization kept its global demand growth forecast unchanged at 1.3M bpd for 2017 due to slowdowns in previously robust consumer countries like the U.S., Germany and Turkey.
    • Crude futures +0.9% to $49.31/bbl

    • Glencore (OTCPK:GLCNFOTCPK:GLNCY) CEO Ivan Glasenberg says the rise of electric cars will significantly boost demand for minerals including copper and lithium in the coming decades.
    • Electric vehicles require more copper wiring than standard internal combustion engines; for example, the battery in an electric car contains ~38 kg of copper, 11 kg of cobalt and 11 kg of nickel, and Glasenberg says those materials, along with maganese, stand to benefit from more demand for electric cars.
    • European sales of alternative fuel vehicles, which include fully electric cars and hybrid vehicles, jumped 36% Y/Y during Q1 to more than 235K.

    CB&I gets technology award in Indonesia

    • Chicago Bridge (CBI -3.6%) has been awarded a contract by PT Petrokimia Butadiene Indonesia for the license and engineering design of three proprietary technologies in West Java, Indonesia.
    • "This multi-technology contract underlines the confidence PBI has in our technology portfolio and further establishes our presence and leadership in the region," said CEO Philip Asherman.

  40. E-Commerce Retail Sales

    • The S&P 500 retail REITs index is lower by another 1.2% today, and now off more than 5% in just the last three-plus sessions.
    • Sales misses from Macy's and Kohl's hit the names late last week, and today there's weak numbers from TJX - a discount retailer which has often bucked the troubles of the general sector, notes fast FT - and a sales miss/disappointing outlook from Dick's.
    • And don't forget a Chapter 11 filing from Rue21.
    • Simon Property (SPG -1.2%), Kimco (KIM -2.7%), Weingarten (WRI -2.3%), PREIT (PEI-4.4%), Retail Opportunity (ROIC -2.4%), Federal Realty (FRT -1.7%), CBL (CBL -3.1%), Regency Centers (REG -2.1%), Realty Income (O -2%), National Retail (NNN -2.5%), Vereit (VER -1.5%)
    • Broad equity REIT ETFs: IYR -0.6%VNQ -0.8%
    • via Esther Fung at the WSJ
    • Washington Prime Group (NYSE:WPG) last summer sent jingle mail to the creditors on its $87.3M loan backing Mesa Mall in Grand Junction, CO. Rather than operating the mall, the creditors turned around and sold it at a discount right back to Washington Prime (WPG later disclosed the payoff amount was cut to $63M).
    • The creditors took the write-down, and Washington Prime now has an asset that didn't work with $87.3M in debt, but has promise at that lower amount.
    • Mesa Mall is the first known instance of a mall operator getting a discounted payoff, but it may not be the last. "We expect that when landlords own productive, albeit overleveraged assets, the property owner and creditor will arrive at reasonable business terms,” says Fitch's Steven Marks.

    • Weak guidance from Dick's Sporting Goods (DKS -10.1%), along with some negative comments from analysts following the print, have the entire sporting good sector on edge. The Dick's numbers were alarming enough to push UBS to a rapid-fire downgrade to Hold from Buy.
    • The general overriding concerns on the category are that consumer spending trends remain unsteady and online competition (Amazon and more) continues to hammer away at pricing.
    • Notable decliners include Hibbett Sports (HIBB -2.9%), Big 5 Sporting Goods (BGFV -0.4%), Acushnet Holdings (GOLF -0.6%), Cabela's (CAB -0.3%), Sportsman's Warehouse (SPWH-3.1%), Johnson Outdoors (JOUT -0.9%), Vista Outdoor (VSTO -1.2%), Under Armour (UAA-3.2%), Nike (NKE -1.7%), Columbia Sportswear (COLM -0.8%), Finish Line (FINL -2.9%) and Foot Locker (FL -1.8%).
    • Previously: Dick's Sporting Goods EPS in-line, misses on revenue (May 16)
    • Previously: Dick's plummets after comparable sales fall short (May 16)
    • The market's move into the red notwithstanding, heath insurers are additional under pressure on the heels of a pending Justice Department whistleblower lawsuit. The action by the Feds was instigated by a former employee of UnitedHealth Group (UNH -1.5%) who claims big insurance companies have been sticking it to Medicare for years reaping billions by gaming Medicare Advantage, the form of Medicare insurance sold privately.
    • The whistleblower, former finance director Benjamin Poehling, says he, and others, monitored internal programs designed to make patients appear sicker that they actually were thereby increasing the amounts paid by Medicare and increasing executives' bonuses.
    • A spokesperson for UNH says that the company rejects Mr. Poehling's allegations and will "contest them vigorously."
    • Source: NYT
    • Related tickers: (AET -0.8%)(ANTM -0.9%)(CI -0.5%)(CVS -0.7%)

    Latest twist in Walgreens-Rite Aid merger quest

    • Regulators in D.C. are still asking for more information on the impact of Walgreen Boots Alliance's proposed merger with Rite Aid, sources tell New York Post.
    • The steady stream of civil information demands are seen as an indication that the FTC is still not appeased over the effect on drug prices of store consolidation under one umbrella.
    • Both Rite Aid (RAD -6.7%) and Fred's (FRED -3.3%) are lower on the day amid the latest merger twist, while Walgreen Boots Alliance (WBA -0.5%) trades nearly flat.

    Buy the dip in IBM – Morgan Stanley

    • via Arie Shapira at Bloomberg
    • IBM's down by more than 16% over the last three months with a weak Q1 and Berkshire's sale of one-third of its position weighing.
    • It all makes for an attractive entry point, says Morgan Stanley bull Katy Huberty. She's become more confident IBM can deliver a back-end loaded year after an analysis of historical mainframe contribution. As for Buffett's backpedal, it's a negative, but she figures his thesis for owning the stock was no longer in play as IBM slowed buybacks in favor of focus on a cloud-delivered cognitive platform.
    • Huberty's $212 price target is a Street high, and suggests 40% upside.
    • Toshiba (OTCPK:TOSYYplunged over 12% overnight after forecasting a return to profit over the next 12 months, notwithstanding the highly complicated sale of its flash memory business.
    • Unless it can sell the division, Toshiba's net equity will probably remain at around negative ¥540B ($4.8B) for two straight years through March 2018.
    • Its shares then run the risk of being dropped from the Tokyo Stock Exchange
    • Advanced Micro Devices (NASDAQ:AMD) has climbed to up 7% out of today's open after a report in tech site Fudzilla says it's confirming that Intel (INTC -0.3%) is licensing AMD's graphic chips after the expiration of Intel's deal with Nvidia (NVDA -0.1%).
    • The report's short on detail, but says with the Intel-Nvidia deal having ended on March 17, "It is more likely that Intel has a license from AMD but neither company has officially announced it."
    • "If you are in Intel’s shoes, there are two options, Nvidia or AMD," the report continues, and speculates that Radeon Technologies Group's Raja Koduri has worked closely with Intel and likely played a role in negotiations.
    • Manchester United (NYSE:MANU) reports commercial revenue increased 1.1% to £66.5M in FQ3, led by a 2.2% gain in sponsorship revenue.
    • Broadcasting revenue was up 12.9% to £31.4M as the new Premier League contract factored in.
    • Matchday revenue fell 1.7% to £29.3M.
    • Looking ahead, Manchester United expects FY17 revenue of £560M to £570M and adjusted EBITDA of £185M to £195M vs. £180M consensus.
    • Previously: Manchester United reports Q3 results (May 16)
    • Disney (DIS -0.5%) chief Bob Iger says that hackers are claiming to have hijacked an upcoming film from the company's slate and are demanding ransom to keep it under wraps.
    • The company's not paying, Iger says, but rather working with federal investigators on the issue. The hackers have threatened to release five minutes of the film at first and then 20-minute chunks until paid.
    • He says the hackers are asking for a huge sum in Bitcoin; Iger wouldn't reveal the name of the film, but speculation is centering on upcoming cash-cow sequels Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Men Tell No Tales and Cars 3.
    • The issue is reminiscent of Netflix's troubles with Orange is the New Black, which had 10 episodes of its new season released on the Internet by hackers after the company refused to pay a ransom.
    • Updated: It's Pirates of the Caribbean, Deadline Hollywood reports.

    • Berkshire Hathaway (BRK.ABRK.B) more than doubled its Apple (NASDAQ:AAPL) holdings during Q1 to 129M shares, worth $18.6B, as of March 31, confirming a move already announced by Warren Buffett in media appearances, and sold 21% of its stake in IBM, according to its latest 13F filing.
    • Berkshire also added to positions in American Airlines (NASDAQ:AAL) and Southwest Airlines (NYSE:LUV) while exiting its stake in Twenty-First Century Fox (NASDAQ:FOXA).
    • Berkshire boosted its stake in AAL by 8% during Q1 to 49.3M shares as of March 31, and in LUV by 10% to 47.7M shares, while trimming 8% of its holdings in Delta Air Lines (NYSE:DAL) by 8% to 55M shares.
    • Top exit: FOXA.
    • Raised stakes in AAPL, AAL, LUV, BKSIRI.
    • Cut stakes in DAL, IBM, WBC.
    • David Einhorn's Greenlight Capital trimmed its stake in Apple (NASDAQ:AAPL) while increasing its stake in General Motors (NYSE:GM), according to its latest 13F filing.
    • Greenlight reported holding 4.2M shares of AAPL at the end of Q1, down from ~6.1M shares at the end of Q4, and 55M GM shares, raised from ~13M in the prior quarter.
    • Top exits: AGRYELP.
    • Raised stakes in GM, CNXSYTMYLFREDDDS.

  41. SPWR – premium only buyer alert! (or pulling in suckers for his real position?)
    May 15, 2017 04:42 PM ET (BZ Newswire) — OptionsSpeaking on Bloomberg Markets, Alan Knuckman of Bulls Eye Option suggested a bullish options strategy in SunPower Corporation (NASDAQ:SPWR).
    He thinks that the stock is oversold and he expects to see a bounce back to $12. To make a bullish bet, Knuckman wants to buy the January 5 call for $2.75. The trade breaks even at $7.75 or 5.30 percent above the closing price on Monday. If the stock rallies to $12, Knuckman is going to make a profit of $4.25 on this trade.

  42. Phil,




    Is there enough contract pressure to short the current month oil contracts ?

  43. FEZ/Phil – now that France and Germany have rejected the populist wave (for now?) FEZX has pushed into new 52 week high and soon to test ATHs around 41.  You like them at all or is Europe DOOMED!?

  44. FEZX is a typo. just FEZ

  45. Dr Who likes FEZ, thinks they're cool…

  46. mkuc – lol! ;-)

  47. Phil – JASO

    I have a Jun16 spread expiring.  It was short the 5P, long the 4/6 Bull CS.  It will end at max value with JASO @ 7.24.  

    Would you re-initiate a position?

  48. Pharm – PETX

    Would you stick with them?  My position is finally even.

    I have the stock and sold the Aug 7.5 straddle against.  The short calls are what is making the position even.  They only have .05 of time value now, so I might look to close them.

  49. CTSH 'butterfly' – I bought back the short put as it's basically worthless. But, the stock continues to go up and the short call is going further ITM. Any adjustments to this? Would it make sense to sell another put further out in time? Roll the short call (it has about 0.03 of premium left)? thanks

  50. ~~ TWTR – Twitter founder Biz Stone will return to company, he says in a blog post .

    Don't know if this is relevant, but you gotta love a guy named Biz. 8-)

  51. SPWR/Scott – Well, in general, I like them but they have not gone anywhere for ages:

    I would:

    • Sell 5 2019 $7 puts for $2.30 ($1,150) 
    • Buy 10 2019 $5 calls for $3.10 ($3,100) 
    • Sell 10 Jan $8 calls for $1.00 ($1,000)

    That's net $950 on the $3,000 spread that's $2,000 in the money and, if things go well, the Jan $8 calls can be rolled to the 2019 $12 calls ($1.10) but this way you are more flexible and just 5 short puts means you will be happy to DD if they go lower. 

    Pressure/Japar – Well, they started today at 273,731 and yesterday we were at 320,540 so about 50,000 contracts went out and oil went up.  

    That does not sound like they are at all panicking.  Of course we had the OPEC announcement and then they sold so really I'd say it cost them about 0.75 to get rid of 50,000 barrels.  Now we have 5 trading days to move 320,000 contracts and we still need 60,000/day so there is a good chance this ends badly, which is why I only have one long but it's too close to the holiday (and the OPEC meeting) for me to want to take a short.   

    Europe/Scott – They haven't solved any of the underlying problems and, of course, the UK is still being counted in their economy and will leave a $3Tn hole when they do go.   That would be like us losing California – kind of painful.  On the whole, it's a very slow-motion train-wreck.

    Image result for dr who fez

    JASO/Burr – I still like them but not the bargain they were.

    I would just keep them on a watch list and hope for a sell-off because the Dec options are very thinly traded and not very rewarding at the moment.

    CTSH/Butterfly, Daveo – We sold the June $60s for $2 and the stock is at $64.75 so $4.75 would be a $2.75 loss (not counting short puts) if they hold it.  The July $62.50 calls are $3.30 and the $62.50 puts are $1, so we get $4.30 on the roll means it costs 0.45 of the $2 you collected to roll.  I can't see why that needs to be done early though because it will either pull back or go higher but, either way, you'd have more information than you have now.  

     Biz/Albo – TWTR stock seems happy about it.

  52. Phil/CTSH – Sounds reasonable. thanks

  53. Phil / Pharm  ZTS

    Any thoughts?  I know it's at the ATH.  It's a pet drug stock spinoff from Pfizer 

  54. NYT reported Israel provided the intelligence that Trump blurted out to the Russians.

  55. Phil

     When you have time

    Did we or should we roll the SKF?


  56. Scott/Muck/Phil –  The Fez –  Wow, now I am having flashbacks. I'm never gonna do it without the fez on… Oh No just a holy man… It's a royal scam and Out.

  57. ZTS/Burr – Not one I follow but animal health care is great because you make all the money without all the lawsuits.  PE is a bit high – in the 30s and a lot of chasing at $60 – looks like you are 2 months late on this one.  

    SKF/QC – Well I'm going over the portfolios now, will get to the STP shortly.

  58. Phil / IMAX – I'm looking through their investor press ( earning are as you said a cyclical / compare issue) .

    They have some pretty impressive ops no,  gm, and ni as well as roic.  need to spend more time with them..

  59. Phil – ZTS

    So here is something I don't understand.  You will look at the price and say that 60 is high, and we should have been two months early.  BUT, what price do you think ZTS could go to?  100?  If so, we aren't late, just missed the train a bit.

    Think about all those stocks that we said were too high, NFLX, SODA, AMZN, etc etc etc.  

    If it's a good stock in a good area, does it hurt to take a poke long with tight stops?  Just like futures?

  60. Fez on/Naybob – {shudder!}    I prefer these hats:

  61. /DX is now below 98.  with /NKD following.   Still no position, although I like it @ 98 with 34 days to go in contract.

  62. Sorry, mistyped.  They are over $10 with a $45 price target

  63. Options Opportunity Portfolio Review (OOP): Not sure where we really are at the moment as the SLW trade is out of the system.  There's no values to SLW and WPM is not yet recognized – same problem Willsons had, I suppose.  We just went over this one last week so shouldn't be any major changes.

    • USO – We just doubled down on these, almost even as it was good timing.  
    • AAXN – Used to be TASR, on track. 
    • CHL – Good for a new entry.
    • IMAX – Took a dive on us but too early to sell more.
    • NLY – On track, good for a new trade.
    • SONC – On track. We don't need the margin so there's no reason to pay $25 to close it so we'll just let it expire in June.
    • TLT – We're getting the bumpy ride we expected but on track.

    • WTW – On track.  This is what's left after we cashed out two winning trades.
    • SQQQ – We rolled to this new spread, still losing money!  $37,500 spread and currently net $8,000 so $29,500 upside potential for hedge #1.
    • TZA – This one is a spread and it barely budged, that's why they make such good insurance (but also the Russell hasn't gained the way the Nasdaq has). $120,000 worth of protection, currently $23,000 so $87,000(ish) upside potential.
    • FXP – On track, good for a new trade in our adjusted position.

    • AAPL – We sold more puts so we're better-balanced now but still have to eventually deal with our short $135 calls at some point.  If we stay over $130, we collect $90,000 for the $100/130 spread and that's up $19,000 and the short puts would add another $16,000 so + $35,000 over $130 is what we have to play with (and what we have to protect) on the short $135s – this is the edge of our comfort zone. 
    • ABX – Still on track and we're happy to add to this position if gold goes lower.
    • ATI – Good for a new trade after a pullback.

    • CDE – On track.
    • CHK – Good for a new trade.
    • CLF – On track.
    • CSIQ – On track.

    • DBA – Good for a new trade after calming down again.

    • DIS – Last week I said "I still like the short July $105 calls as protection and it's only a 1/2 sale – so we're good."  Now you can see exactly why I hate to get out of things early just because they go in the money:

    • FTR – Took a Hell of a power dive and lots more fun ahead as they are about to reverse-split.  Our target to buy back the short puts is $2.25.
    • GM – Good for a new trade.
    • GOGO – On track.
    • JO – Good for a new trade.
    • KATE – Getting bought so it's over on this one.  A bit under our target but over our short puts so we'll get a clean $3,500 back off our original $100 credit for a 36x return way ahead of schedule.  That looks like the net now, so we may as well take it off the table.

    • M – Took a hard dive on earnings.  Too early to adjust.  
    • SGYP – We doubled down on these and now we wait.

    • SLW/WPM - Temporarily missing in action!   
    • SPWR – On track. Good for a new trade.

    • SVXY – New and good for a new trade.  
    • TWTR – Blasted back to our goal.  

    • UNG – On track.
    • XOM – On track, good for a new spread.

    Our other long positions have the potential to make another $163,373 in a bull market, which is up another 160% of our original $100,000 and more than we need to make over the next two years (less the hedges expiring worthless).

    Meanwhile, we have $116,500 in downside protection – so we'd be absolutely fine if the market were to collapse as well (in fact, we'd love it, as we could go bargain hunting with our hedge profits). We're well-positioned for a downturn but also we have a lot of CASH!!! to go shopping with.

  64. Phil, please post the lower half of the OOP.  Thx

  65. SLW /Phil – Name and symbol change as of today, now Wheaton Precious Metals, NYSE: WPM

  66. Phil, sorry – do you mind posting the rest of the portfolio – got cut off after CSIQ

  67. IMAX/Batman – While they have a qtr/qtr revenue "risk" – they aren't the ones making the movies so it's not a risk of losing much money – just making less.  As they grow, it costs them a bit to get new theaters installed but then, when there is a blockbuster (and there's always a blockbuster), the potential is there to make more money than ever before.  Also, Beauty and the Beast was released 3/17, so barely made Q1 and it's the 7th highest-grossing IMAX of all time.  That plus Guardians in May should give them a great Q2. Coming up this year are Alien, Pirates, Wonder Woman, The Mummy, Transformers, Spider Man, Dunkirk, Kingsman, Blade Runner, Geostorm, Thor, Justice League and Star Wars.  Wow, I guess we should add that bull call spread!  

    ZTS/Burr – I never think anyone should be at 30x earnings.  I'm a value investor, not a momentum investor so I will miss out on momentum stocks unless they happen to become values at some point and, even then, when they go back to the top I get out and look for the next value play (unless I'm stuck in it, like AAPL).  My system tends to generate pretty steady returns and it also tends to miss out on the horrible collapses so I kind of like it for my own trading and for trades I recommend.  Unfortunately, I'll always be the wrong guy to ask for approval if you want to chase something.  

    Speaking of collapsing – /KC $131.35!  

    BBRY/Burr – Yes, baffling.  

    They lost $1.2Bn last year on $1.3Bn in sales and they are projected to make 0.08/share NEXT year.  I think they are up as their system is immune to cyber-attacks (so far) and that's one thing they have doggedly stuck to in their new phone designs.  I suppose people are thinking there will be a renewed interest in secure phones for corporations and their employees.  

    OOP/Options, Learner – Do a refresh, you should see it.  

    SLW/Airvine – I know about the change but PowerOptions, who track the portfolio, don't have it in their system yet so it just dropped off.  

  68. Warning – Technical discussion – No approval sought or needed

    Following on from a recent post about trading momentum I thought I would share some ideas on how to identify potential candidates as well as some thoughts on when to stop out of these positions. Rather than reinvent the wheel I point you in the direction of this article on the creating a trading strategy using Bollinger Bands – Colin Twiggs has done a nice write up here. Also worth noting is this important point “The problem with momentum strategies is eye-watering drawdowns. Do not use this strategy to trade stocks when there is not a strong trend. Also, don't trade against the overall market. That is, don't short stocks in a bull market or go long in a bear market.” A second article talks about Money flow and further aids to identifying breakouts and breakdowns.

    In the early 2000’s I was using a momentum strategy rather successfully, but realized that what was missing was a trailing stop system to get me out before the momentum turned. This turned out to be a rather expensive lesson, as greed took over before I had a chance to implement such a stop system. The dotcom bubble killed off my particular momentum strategy. The stop system was based on Welles Wilder’s Average True Range (ATR), and a couple of guys from the MSN SuperModels team (Paul Cushman and Mike Bloomfield) produced a nifty Excel spreadsheet which automated the process of calculating the ATR. 

    Anyhow, a combination of the above is one of many ways to select candidates based on momentum and to generate signals to know when to enter, and perhaps more importantly, when to exit. I am now sufficiently interested myself to start playing around with these ideas again to see whether anything useful can be developed.

    Technical discussion ends

  69. Phil – What was the reasoning behind the FXP trade again?  I can't find the original trade idea using search.

  70. Short-Term Portfolio Review (STP):  Another month another $24,000 in losses at $426,277 but the LTP has made a BOATLOAD of money.  I don't know how much exactly because SLW is screwed up but we were at $1,297,315 on April 9th and now, without SLW, which was a big winner, we're still at $1,345,something.  So, all in all, our paired portfolio are performing perfectly and the STP is costing us right about 1/3 of our gains – exactly as it should be doing.

    The key is whether or not the STP keeps us in neutral on the way down but, sadly, there's no way to tell BECAUSE THIS RIDICULOUS MARKET NEVER GOES DOWN!!!  Oh well, we just have to switch our brains off and go with the flow, right?  

    • JO – Getting killed along with /KC at the moment.  In no mood to throw good money after bad.
    • FAS – Big part of our losses as we were green last month.  There hasn't been any particularly bad news in banking earnings so we will look to get out of these if FAS gets back over $45 but, for now, let's hope they don't.  
    • AAPL – Those were just an offset to some hedge – on track. 
    • ABX – Another offset, also on track.
    • GOGO – Another offset – we're good at picking these!  
    • SBUX – Yep, really good!  

    • AMZN – Here's the rest of our losses.  It's not the hedges, it's the gambles that are killing us.  This one will be easy enough to fix, the Sept $1,000 (yes, $1,000!) calls are $40 so we could do a 2x roll there and we started the trade with a net credit ($6,500) so we just need AMZN to calm down a little bit at some point.  
    • JASO – Deeply on track.  
    • NFLX – Another loser – we have to stop playing these!  Not too bad overall and, if we have to roll AMZN, maybe we won't roll NFLX too.  We'll see how the month goes.  
    • SQQQ – Speaking of throwing good money after bad!  Since the Sept $35s are $2 and the Jan $40s are $2.70 and the Jan $55s are $1.50 we can roll our 50 ($10,000) to 100 of the Jan $40/55 spreads at $1.20 ($12,000) for just $2,000.  It won't be great short-term protection but, if the market goes down and stays down – we'll have $150,000 coming to us.  If not, then $2,000 is not much to spend for another 3 months of insurance for the LTP. 

    • TSLA – I'm almost confident now.  
    • TZA – These would give us immediate cash on a dip, which is good because they are in the money so, if the market falls 10% and TZA pops 30% to $22, our 100 longs would be $7 in the money so $70,000 vs their current value net (with the puts) $20,000 so $50,000 of hot-money protection on a dip and 20% would be 60% on TZA to $28, which is yet another $80,000.  In short, a 20% dip would pay $130,000 and that's 10% of the LTP and, if the dip sustains, then the SQQQ money kicks in for another $150,000 so we have 20% of the LTP protected against a 20% drop in the market.

    The LTP would lose a lot more than 20% if it happened suddenly, but our goal is to mitigate damages with our hedges – it's far too expensive to protect against any possible harm – you end up betting against yourself.  

  71. PETX….I really like them…and their pipeline.

    ZTS…we were in at 31…out in the 40s.  Good area to be in if you like animal health…and I still think it is a growth driver, esp with the baby boomers will spend $$ on their, pets.

  72. Century Link

    Back in November, I put on a position in CTL.  The stock yields 8.75% and the dividend coverage will be significantly increased as a result of the upcoming merger with LVLT. I plan to add to the already large position on any weakness.

    ~~CTL – CenturyLink: Corvex Management (Keith Meister) affirms 5.5% active stake (as expected — was discussed at  Sohn conference). 

    •On May 8, 2017, Keith Meister gave a presentation at the Sohn Conference in New York which discussed Corvex's view of the opportunities which Corvex believes can be created as a result of its proposed combination with Level 3 Communications (LVLT).

    Meister states that the dividend will be 130% covered and increasing.  He views CTL as a credit investment with equity upside.  His target for CTL is $34, up some 35%.

    IMHO – CTL represents aa attractive income and growth investment.  Anyone interested should view his presentation.

    BTW, he also points out why the CTL/LVLT is superior to FTR.  (No surprise there !)

  73. Albo – CTL

    How did you trade it?  ie, stock and straddles, or short puts/bull call's?

  74. "Don't short stocks in a bull market"/Winston – "But mamma, that's where the fun is!

    FXP/Burr – I was betting China would not be able to keep a lid on the debt into the summer.  So far, so wrong.  

    Boomers/Pharm – Well if we turn out like my Mom, the Pet Sector will be a huge winner.  My Mom's dog is getting old and she's spending thousands to keep it going.  Her friends do too.  

    CTL/Albo – Yeah but are they really 10x better?  ($13.6Bn vs $1.5Bn).  

  75. Dollar getting jacked up today.  Below 98!

  76. EBAY – egad. an accelerating march up, because SHIFTMobility?

  77. DDR and STOR still falling..

  78. Wow, Nas marches on to new highs no matter what the rest of the market does.  So very 1999.  Did it without AAPL today.  

  79. F has now made it onto my "Cheap Dividend Stocks" screen

  80. Burrben – I bought the stock and sold both Jan 2018 calls and puts.  The options I sold some 6 months ago are now both profitable and need to be rolled.  For new trades, Phil is  obviously on structuring trades than I am although I don't think he's near as positive on the name as I am.

    Phil, Comparing FTR with CTL/LVLT is ludicrous.  With the latter, you get a well secured dividend, while the dividend at FTR is tenuous at best.  How can you.  That's like saying is TGT 12X better than JCP ?  Yes, I would say it 10X better with much, much lower risk.  In fact, it might be even quite a bit more if FTR goes belly up.

  81. BTW, I wouldn't be that interested in CTL were it not for the merger.  Totally changes the outlook, IMHO.

  82. Pets / Phil – Old people and pets is where growth will be for a while I think. My youngest one is a vet tech and it's amazing how much money is spent on pets (I spend my share). If you can get a nursing degree and a vet tech certification, you would make a killing in a retirement community!

    Better yet, open an urgent care center for people and animals!

  83. Scotty – I love those hats.

    Winston - "Warning – Technical discussion – No approval sought or needed… Technical discussion ends"

    One is reminded of this… "WARNING: To avoid danger of suffocation, keep this plastic bag away from babies and children. Do not use this bag in cribs, beds, carriages or play pens. This bag is not a toy."

    I approve the disclaimer, it is not a toy and Out. 

  84. 867-5309/Stj – Love it! 

  85. Albo- CTL- looks very good. What am I missing?

    Buy/write- 2019  $25 put/call nets at 17.82/21.41. That a 40% return in a year and 1/2 plus the div. 

  86. Pstas – That could very well work.  The only fly in the ointment that I see is if the merger doesn't go through. However, it has been approved by the stockholders in both companies and, as I understand it, is only waiting for state approvals.  Looks pretty solid.  I think it's a keeper long term.  I agree with a play like that. Get the dividend and then write OTMs against the position.  The stock shouldn't be too volatile with that yield.


  87. /CL/Phil – down at 48.6 after API. Are you adding another here?

  88. IMAX / Phil – Got through the presentation.  The numbers look even with the lower margins going forward due to deployment, this looks like a fairly good stock.  My one big question is why they are going. into content, I sort of get the VR thing cause it plays to their technology base, and grows it.  But why do they think they can do content?


  89. 2. Original Content, Sample TV Economics

    Illustrative Economics Model for a Television Series over 6 Seasons

    Season 1 6 Seasons 10 Episodes 75 Episodes


    Domestic License fee

    Per Episode

    International License Fee

    Per Episode

    Global Syndication & SVOD

    Per Episode



    Marketing Expense Production Costs

    Per Episode

    Total Profit


    15.0 20.0 2.0 15.0 1.5




    $ 50.0


    $ (10.0)

    15.0 187.5 2.5 150.0 2.0 150.0 2.0 $ 502.5

    (10.0) (50.0) (5.0) $ (60.0)


    $ 80.0

    (10.0) (412.5) (5.5) $ (422.5)

    Key Value Drivers

    Growth in licensing revenue per episode, which more than offsets production cost growth

    Bundling of seasons to global syndication and SVOD

    3. Illustrative Economic Benefits – Virtual Reality


    Implied Weekly Revenue (10 Pods) Gross Annual Revenue
    Content Licensing Cost
    Total Admission Margin

    IMAX CoS

    Hardware Depreciation Expense (3 yr) Ongoing VR Centre Costs
    Upfront VR Centre Costs
    Total Costs of Sales



    One Time Upfront

    Est. Annual Recurring* $15,000 $780,000 (273,000) $507,000

    ($100,000) ($40,000)


    IMAX Split




    Total IMAX Gross Profit ($25,000)




    Avg. Weekly Revenue Per Pod: $1500 Average Hardware CAPEX Per Pod: $30,000

  90. IMAX – crap – tried to paste two slide from presentation and did not come through – apologies 

  91. Phil any thoughts about the dollar and recent drop? 

  92. LOL….Ooops….Comey Memo Says Trump Asked Him to End Flynn Investigation

    The "tapes" will be out soon!  Here we go!

  93. Winston – thanks for the Twiggy money flow and momentum links!

  94. Scott – I have had that song stuck in my head since that tweet now…

  95. Music/Stj.. Maybe this will help: From not too far from where the hatted ones came from; heard this for the first time just last week. Extraordinary.  Le Mystere des Voix Bulgares.
    I'm a fan of polyphonic choral. For more traditional, try Larry Nickel's Kyrie, and the masterful Eric Whitacre, with an e.e. cummings poem. If you like Whitacre, get this recording (featuring arrangements of various poems including Dickenson, cumming, and Paz.) And speaking of poets and polyphony, for some Neruda, Lauridsen arranged his Soneto de la noche (sonnet 89). Enjoy!

  96. Is anyone else seeing weird valuation issues due to the SLW > WPM name change?  SLW is showing a $16k loss for me today, and WPM is only showing a $7.3k gain for me.  Where did my $9k go?

  97. Let it settle palotay.  The options and values were all over the place.

  98. Gotcha, that's what I figured, but I appreciate the reassurance.

  99. Vets: I have a friend that started a non profit She has no trouble finding doctors. They do not like practicing corporate care. which gives some people the decision of pay us now or euthanize your pet.She says she is amazed by how many people don't have hundreds of dollars for their pets.

  100. Pets / randers – That's true as well. In some ways it's sad but pet care is usually quite expensive and a lot of people don't realize it until it's too late. And you are right, they are given few options at the corporate centers. Not much different than human care though it seems! We have an AWA hospital nearby who usually offers cheaper care for pets and also acts as an adoption center. But they do need money all the time and rely on subsidies to survive.

  101. Israel Provided Secrets Trump Told to Russia

    Allies Weigh Impact of Trump’s Disclosure of Intelligence

    Live Coverage: New Russia Questions

    Q&A: The Intelligence-Sharing Controversy

    How the Crisis at the White House Deepened

    Trump asked Comey to drop Flynn investigation: report

    And that's from the Trump-friendly WSJ!   ROFL!  

    These Republicans are starting to sound like the guys who defended Nixon as the Watergate scandal blew up. 

    Image result for nixon watergate doonesbury

    Image result for nixon watergate doonesbury

    So with Nixon, it took until July of the year he was elected for things to really blow up – it's only May 18th. 

    /CL/Ravi – API had a build in oil and gasoline and distillates cancelled each other out.  I think it's best to wait until tomorrow as they still have that big contract overhang.  If not for the holiday weekend – I'd be shorting.

    Crude +882K Gasoline -1.78M Distillates +1.79M Cushing -539K

    Content/Batman – AMZN, NFLX, HULU – all proved anyone can make content.  IMAX has always made content, all those science films – so it's not like they have no clue.  In fact, those science films laid the base for their adoption into film so I imagine they are thinking it will be a similar path with VR – they need to demonstrate the capabilities until other directors get interested in using it.  

    Dollar/Craigs – Pretty much all based on Euro strength so not likely to last. 

    Euro up 5, Dollar down 4 – pretty straightforward.  

    SLW/Palotay – I still can't get a number off the new stock.  As Pharm notes, give them a few days but make sure you know your numbers so you can call your broker if it seems wrong.  

    Rompers/Burr – I would do that!  

    Oops, indexes selling off a bit, straight down since they re-opened.  Maybe people are finally realizing having a dysfunctional Government does matter?

  102. Scottmi – Thanks! I was raised in a very Catholic family (one great uncle is a trappist monk, another a priest) and we used to listen to Gregorian chants from time to time. Of course some members probably think I was raised on the Red Army Choirs! In any case, one of the most beautiful piece of music ever in my opinion is Allegri's Miserei Mei which allegedly Mozart reproduced by memory after listening to it just once.

    And 2 thumbs up on Soneto de la noche, my favorite Neruda's poem!

  103. Trump / Phil – If the story that Trump asked Comey to drop the Flynn investigation is true, I just don't see how the GOP can stop the special prosecutor train anymore! I remember how they all got bent out of shape when Bill talked to the AG privately and everyone speculated that he wanted her to drop the email server investigation. We might have evidence in this case! And we have not reached 150 days yet! Tighten your seat belt now…

  104. Trump/ StJ 

    I don't see why the memo can mean much if it is only Comey's word that Trump actually said what is claimed.  Did I miss some corroboration somewhere?

  105.  Trump said they were tapes, didn't he? 

  106. randers1

    I don't understand how your vet friend is amazed by how many people DONT have money for pet care.  What do you think is happening to retail? Everybody thinks its Amazon, but its not. People just don't have enough money period, no extra disposable income. TGT reports tomorrow, tbd. 

  107. Even if there are tapes that can be obtained the conversation with Comey in the memo was during dinner I thought so not in the oval office.

  108. Comney vs Trump from the NYT article-

    "An F.B.I. agent’s contemporaneous notes are widely held up in court as credible evidence of conversations."

    Thinking Comney would win the credibility battle here

  109. Oh come on, you don't think Trump would lie, do you? I mean, he's the president and all…

    /sarc off

    God I hope there's a recording. Comey is more qualified to be president. Along with half the population at least. Tweet away, fool.

  110. Phil/Content Not to disagree and with great respect for your opinion, but "anyone can make content" is like saying "anyone can trade and make money". Facts are, this is a crowded trade with EVERYONE having that opinion. First, you need writers, and good writers are king and do not exist. Second, you need talent, and as the the comp gets bigger, the talent pool gets smaller. Third, and one of the most important, you need good, seasoned support and they don't exist.

    I can intro you to lotsa exec producers, producers, line producers, writers, talent scouts, location managers, etc… and thats before we get into editors, sound mixers, graphics and the likes. Ask them if anyone can do content.

    Content is a large swatch word meaning "everything that moves", including movies, tv, cable, shorts, documentaries, YouTube, digital signage, Instagram Ads, animation, retail and… Fact is, most content is not easy.

    If you choose to trade content, it is like trading stocks. Choose the best and hope for the best. There are many more losers than there are winners and writers are king-period, and so is the studio execs, and so are directors, and so are actors, and so are exec producers, and so are…

  111. Tangle – Well, your question was answered I think. And in addition to that, there is a huge credibility gap between Trump and Comey notwithstanding the legal value of the memo! Evidence of Trump lies are overwhelming now – just pick a topic. I will give him the benefit of the doubt though as in his mind they might not be lies – but then we would need to deal with a mental illness instead and I am not sure what is worse right now.

  112. The facts are, Trump is now a wounded animal and the GOP in Congress is showing fewer signs that it will help. If anything, they are running away scared. The biggest problem for them is that they are stuck between a rock and hard place – they are still very dependent on the Trump base for re-election and someone as vindictive as Trump will turn on anyone he sees as being disloyal. This could turn very ugly for them very quickly as independents will be hard to convince and the Trump base might stay home or worse vote for the Dems. There are few people in the GOP right now that can brandish the populist flag like Trump did in 2016. It's contrary to their ideology. I can't believe that we are barely 3 months in the presidency and we have more scandals than we had in the last 2 presidencies. 

  113. And here is a frank assessment:

    A senior official in the Trump administration, who previously worked on the president’s campaign, offered a candid and brief assessment of the fallout from that string of bad press: “I don’t see how Trump isn’t completely fucked.”

  114. /DX 97.84 with /ES down -14.50 and /TF down -15.30.  

    Any idea what's causing the selloff.  If /DX picks up, it's going to be really ugly.  

    Phil, any trades you like to capture profit before the normal morning?

  115. Burr, perhaps selling is related to all this political mumbo jumbo? 

  116. Much to do about nuthin – I am out /ES for $1k win.

  117. StJ….Well, it seems that  USA got a particular  american style Hugo Chavez.

  118. Pbrown – amen. It AIN'T easy, and even what gets produced and put into circulation is 80% crap.  (Or 95% by my particular tastes).

  119. Content – the challenge and salvation, of course, is that there is so damn much of it coming at us from everywhere like a firehouse 24/7/365. Books, music, movies. TV, "news" (LOL), analyst's opinions, social media.. holy moly! That's why finding guys like Phil, who are not only steeped it all, but also filter it, is so incredibly valuable. So glad this site exists! :-)

  120. CTL/Albo – Does this concern you at all?  Thanks in advance! 

    Over the next five years, the analysts that follow this company are expecting it to grow earnings at an average annual rate of -2.65%. This year, analysts are forecasting earnings decrease of -14.38% over last year. Analysts expect earnings growth next year of -3.66% over this year's forecasted earnings.

    Read more:

  121. Stj – well, a wrong link! The e.e.cummings link should have been this: (Though the other is good, too)

  122. Phil, Does 'good for a new trade' imply the same position as in the VP (Virtual Portfolio)?   

    Thank you kindly… 

  123. Stocky – "I don't understand how your vet friend is amazed by how many people DONT have money for pet care.  What do you think is happening to retail? Everybody thinks its Amazon, but its not. People just don't have enough money period, no extra disposable income."

    Bingo, and the best is yet to come.

  124. On the 20th anniversary of its IPO, Amazon’s market cap stands at $459 billion. Walmart’s? $228 billion.<p>It took Amazon 18 years as a public company to catch Walmart in market value. It took less than another two years for Amazon to be worth twice as much.<p>On the 20th anniversary of Amazon’s IPO, …

  125. Finding the next , which first sold shares to the public 20 years ago this week, is hard. In fact, finding the last Amazon was hard, too. From 1926 through 2015, only 30 stocks accounted for one-third of the cumulative wealth generated by the entire U.S. stock market; Amazon was …

  126. Japan’s obsessed with automation — not because it’s novel, but because there just aren’t enough people.<p>More small and medium-sized companies are buying robots to make up for a labour shortfall, reports Reuters, and robot manufacturers are seeing more orders coming in.<p>The shortfall is due to a huge …

  127. White House officials are racing to contain the damage from reports late yesterday that U.S. President Donald Trump shared classified intel with …

  128. Berkshire Hathaway’s 13F stock portfolio value increased from $148B to $162B this quarter.<p>Their largest three holdings are at ~46% of the entire …

  129. Tempers Flare and Confusion Swirls at Rattled White House

    WASHINGTON — The disclosure that President Trump divulged classified intelligence to two high-ranking Russian officials was a new blow to an already dispirited and besieged White House staff still recovering from the uproar and recriminations from the president’s firing of James B. Comey, the …

  130. The U.S. core Consumer Price Index (CPI) recorded another soft print in April, at 0.07% month-over-month, following very weak results in March (-0.122%). But unlike in March – when weakness was primarily attributable to the largest-ever monthly decline in wireless services – April’s weakness was …

  131. More<p>Goldman Sachs told investors to buy Intuitive Surgical <b>(NASDAQ: ISRG)</b> shares because robot-assisted procedures will double in the next two years. …

  132. U.S. regulators have given the New York Stock Exchange a green light to introduce a “speed bump” to one of its markets, a plan widely seen as an attempt to undermine upstart rival IEX Group Inc.<p>An order released Tuesday by the Securities and Exchange Commission allows NYSE to add a delay of 350 …

  133. 7 states where consumers pay the highest gas prices

    Residents of these states are paying on average $0.45 per gallon more than the rest of the country.<p>Gasoline prices vary tremendously by state. Fueling the difference is a combination of the incremental refining costs to meet higher standards, greater distribution, marketing, and transportation …

  134. S&P 500 earnings are the “straw that stirs the drink” as Reggie Jackson once said about himself during one of the late 1970s World Series runs by the …

  135. ExxonMobil has had a difficult time since the start of the oil crash. Even with the company’s recent stock price recovery, the company’s stock price …

  136. Stock Markets38 minutes ago (May 17, 2017 03:31AM ET)<p>Saved. See Saved Items.<p>This article has already been saved in your Saved Items<p>© Reuters. …

  137. I listened to a news story a few days ago in which a handful of <b>Snap Inc.</b> (NYSE: SNAP) investors talked about why they had bought shares of the company after its IPO. For a few of them, the investment thesis was, essentially, “I use the app and my friends to do, so I wanted to invest in it.” Fair …

  138. Stock Markets25 minutes ago (May 17, 2017 03:45AM ET)<p>Saved. See Saved Items.<p>This article has already been saved in your Saved Items<p>© Reuters. Amazon …

  139. BERLIN (Reuters) – The European Central Bank should begin unwinding its ultra-loose monetary policy soon if it wants to avoid damaging side-effects, …

  140. MILAN (Reuters) – Shares in Fiat Chrysler (MI:FCHA) fell 2.4 percent in early trade on Wednesday, a day after Reuters reported that the European …

  141. SEC reconsiders approval of quadruple leveraged ETF: sources

    | WASHINGTON/NEW YORK<p>The U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission is putting on hold a recent decision to approve an exchange-traded fund that promises four times the daily price moves of S&P 500 futures contracts, according to people familiar with the matter.<p>The full commission plans to review the …

  142. <i>By James Cook</i><p>While some consumers might think the rise of online shopping and a wave of department store closings in the retail property market …

  143. Broker <b>Daiwa</b> just published a report outlining its positive outlook for industrial robotics stocks in Taiwan.<p>It says that these names stand to benefit …

  144. <b>Ford’s</b> (F) plans to slash 10% of its staff not only deal a direct blow to President Donald Trump’s pledge to protect U.S. manufacturing jobs but also …

  145. LEA COUNTY, N.M. (Reuters) – As oilfield workers for Lilis Energy Inc (LLEX.O) threaded together drill pipes one recent morning in the Permian Basin, a bulldozer cleared sagebrush to make way for the company’s fifth well since January.<p>Lilis aims to expand production sevenfold this year in America’s …

  146. Our live blog is tracking market reactions as U.S. futures point to triple-digit decline for the Dow as risk aversion sweeps across Asia stocks and …

  147. TOKYO (Reuters) – Japan’s core machinery orders fell short of expectations in March from the previous month and companies forecast a decline in investment over April-June, underscoring the fragile nature of the country’s export-driven economic recovery.<p>But analysts say the data, considered as …

  148. First introduced in 2012, Apple’s iPad mini was a welcome alternative to the much larger, thicker, and heavier 9.7-inch iPad. There was no 5.5-inch …

  149. When machines control all the world’s finances and run factory floors, what will humans be left to do?<p>We’ll make art, says Kai-Fu Lee, a former Google and Microsoft executive who has since launched VC firm Sinovation Ventures.<p>“Art and beauty is very hard to replicate with AI. Given AI is more …

  150. Crude oil prices retreated on Wednesday, weighed by renewed concerns that U.S. production is undercutting the global oil cartel’s efforts to put the market back to balance.<p>U.S. crude stockpiles likely rose by 882,000 barrels in the week ended May 12, according to industry group American Petroleum …

  151. TOKYO (Reuters) – Yields are rising in Japan’s tiny corporate bond market as traders pre-emptively brace for the Bank of Japan to stop being buyer of last resort, making this market a microcosm of wider fears over the end of Japan’s four-year-long stimulus policy.<p>Five year corporate bond yields …

  152. Japan has taken a step closer to realising its dream of launching flying cars in time for the 2020 Tokyo Olympics, following investment from a major car company.<p>Toyota is funding a project which aims to bring the world’s smallest flying car to the skies using the latest drone technology.<p>Its …

  153. Joseph – Thanks for pointing out the discrepancy between the numbers you posted and those of Meister and others.  Those numbers on your link are pre-merger, but even so, don't agree with the 13 analysts on S & P who follow the company.  They are projecting only a 2 % decline this year in stand along CTL.

    Other analysts point out the potential difficulties of merging the two companies together. But both CTL and LVLT have a rich history of M & A, and success in that area.

    As I pointed out earlier, I would not be interested in CTL, if they weren't merging with LVLT.  There are synergies involved.  There is also a 9+ billion dollar NOL from LVLT which is very valuable.  And most of all a very sustainable 8.75% dividend.

  154. Good morning!

    Futures were down 0.5% but perking up now.  Game off on index shorts – that was as good a dip as it gets in this market.  

    Notice the Trump apologists aren't denying the President did ask the Director of the FBI to back off an investigation into his Russian ties – they are simply saying that there's no evidence that he said it.  Those are two very different things so I imagine they are terrified Comey has something or, as noted, the courts would not simply throw out his sworn testimony (and I'm sure Comey would be happy to take a polygraph).  

    Money/Scott – I agree, disposable income for the bottom 80% is close to zero.  In 1995 there were 7,487 public companies and now there are just over 4,000 so down over 40% and the companies that are left keep buying back their own stock and that's why stocks are at all-time highs – not because the companies, or the economy, are doing all that well.

    In 2007, the GDP was $15Tn and now it's $16.8Tn so up about 12% so why would the market be up more than that?  And, keep in mind, this is with the Fed still putting in $60Bn a month through QE and with the anticipation of tax breaks and infrastructure spending and with Obamacare – what happens when you take those things away?

    Content/PB – I wasn't disparaging the industry, my cousin is a screenwriter (one who actually works) so I'm well aware of the industry.  I was just saying that anyone can hire all those fine people and produce content – they are no longer tied down to specific content providers so, if IMAX wants to make movies, they can call up the Weinsteins just like anyone else.   Also, amazingly, you can spend $200M and buy all that stuff and still end up with King Arthur!  That, by the way, is a real shame because my cousin wrote "Excalibur, the Musical" and it's going to be very hard to shop anywhere after Arthur bombed world-wide.

    Trades/Burr – Yes, as I said yesterday:

    so, once again – we are going to be shorting the indexes at the levels we keep shorting them at and once again, later in the week, I will tell you how much money we made and you will say: "why can't I ever catch trades like that."  It's a vicious cycle…

    Remember, I can only tell you what the market is going to do and how to make money trading it – that is the extent of my powers.

    Now it would be chasing and I don't like chasing.  I still like the Dollar long, don't see how getting rid of Trump would be bad for the Dollar (97.85).  I still like /KC but it doesn't like me at $131.50.  

    Thanks Scott – I certainly do wade through a lot of crap to find a few nuggets.  

    Good for a new trade/Joseph – Yes, I'm looking at the position as it sits in the portfolio so I'm making the note for people who may not have it.  If I think a position is as good or better than our original entry or hasn't gone up too much, then I'll make the note.  

    CTL/Albo – I agree, with the merger it's a whole different ball game.  

  155. Phil/Content-By no means did I think your comment was disparaging. Apologies if thats how it read. Having been in and around for years, as Scott posted, "most is crap". Congrats and best to your cousin. Screenwriters are the key. BTW Excalibur the movie (John Boorman) rocks with a great cast. If the musical is anything like the movie, tons of success. Best of luck.