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Whipsaw Wednesday – Beige Book Edition

Wheeeee – that was fun!  

Our trade idea in yesterday morning's PSW Report was, very simply: 

Our favorite short at the moment is oil (/CL) below the $48.50 line with very tight stops above.  We also like the Russell (/TF) below the 1,415 line – tight stops too. 

Oil went the other way and we never got a proper entry but the Russell was perfect and gave us a long chance to go short at the open and then promptly began falling straight down to the 1,400 line for very quick gains of $750 per contract.  This morning we flipped long at the 1,400 line, expecting at least a strong bounce which, after a 15-point drop, per our 5% Rule™ would be 6 points – to 1,406.  Anything less than a strong bounce that holds into the close will be a bearish sign for tomorrow.

The market sold off for very good reasons but the selling volume was still pretty low (89M on SPY) though declining volume on the Nasdaq (1.36Bn) was 272% of the advancing volume (50M) so it's very unlikely that everyone who wanted to raise more cash got their wish on just yesterday's action.  

Still, if we do make our strong bounce lines we'll have to stay long as this market has been indeftigable all summer long and it's not the kind of tide we want to be fighting.  I did just send out a Top Trade Alert this morning with long trade ideas on Apple (AAPL), Wheaton Precious Metals (WPM), Limited Brands (LB) and IMAX (IMAX) which I will also be speaking about with Kim Parlee over at Money Talk this evening.  

We're going to start a Money Talk Portfolio as we are retiring our Nasdaq Portfolio due to a change of policy over at the Nasdaq Live Show, where they don't want specific trade ideas discussed (they don't want to seem like they are favoring one stock over another) so, officially, we're done with that portfolio as it stands:

Though the portfolio is up 19.6%, we never deployed much of our $25,000, using less than $10,000 in cash to make $4,890 (49%) in less than 5 months.  The SQQQ spread is losing, at the moment and is currently net $3,565 on the $11,000 bear spread and still has an upside potential of $7,435 (208%), which means it can still be used as a hedge in the new portfolio, which is starting with $50,000.  

Meanwhile, we're back on hurricane watch already as Irma heads into the Caribbean and looks likely to go right between Florida and Cuba in what would be called a category 6 storm – if there were such a thing.  Global warming may force us to add more categories to hurricanes and, sadly, these winds are higher than many homes are able to stand so we pray it passes without too much damage but it's not seeming likely the way it's heading.

This is what they mean when they say ignoring climate change is expensive because we're getting more frequent and more violent storms already (caused by warming waters) and Harvey was the most expensive storm ever at $50Bn and Irma could double that amount if it slams into Miami and Jose is right behind it and it was Rita and Sandy that held the previous records and that's K, L, M, N, O and P storms before we even get to R and S – so we have a lot of hurricane season to look forward to.

Generac (GNRC) should have legs and they've already popped 20% in the past two weeks and they can make $200M in a good year, which makes their $2.6Bn market cap a good deal on the anticipated revenue boost.  Still, at PSW, we teach our Members never to pay retail for a stock and we can still sell the Feb $40 puts for $2.60, which gives us a nice net $37.40 entry (18% off) and that's nice for a poke by itself or, you can get more aggressive with the following spread:

  • Sell 5 GNRC Feb $40 puts for $2.60 ($1,300)
  • Buy 10 GNRC Feb $40 calls for $5 ($5,000) 
  • Sell 10 GNRC Feb $45 calls for $2.60 ($2,600)

That's net $1,100 on the $5,000 spread that's $2,000 in the money to start.  The upside potential is $3,900 (354%) if GNRC is over $45 in 163 days and your worst case is owning 500 shares of a very nice company at $40 ($20,000).  The ordinary margin requirement is $3,294 so a great return on margin in such a short time and you could avoid the margin by just buying the bull spread for $2,400 and that makes $2,600 (108%) with no margin at all at $45. 

I also still like Lowes (LOW) who barely budged off last week's storm (when we picked them long) but this should widen the affected customer base and really boost their quarter so there's always a pot of gold at the end of those rainbows – if you know where to look.  Home Depot (HD) is a good one too, of course but a LOW play does have 2019 options so we could go as follows:

  • Sell 5 LOW 2019 $70 puts for $5.75 ($2,875) 
  • Buy 10 LOW 2019 $70 calls for $10.75 ($10,750) 
  • Sell 10 LOW 2019 $80 calls for $5.75 ($5,750)

I like LOW because it's hard for Amazon (AMZN) to substitute for their goods, since it's ladders and doors and wood and stuff.  This spread pays $10,000 at $80 and it's more than halfway there to start but a long time-frame.  The profit would be $7,875 (370%) from the $2,125 cash outlay and you're obligated to own 500 shares of LOW at $70 ($35,000), which I think is quite a good price for them as a long-term position.

Generally, I expect strong bounces today but failing those will put us back in bearish mode and /TF is sill my favorite short, as is oil (/CL), at $49.50 if we hit it or below the $49 line with tight stops if we don't because tomrorrow's inventory report is likely to show a build in crude with all the refineries shut down (though there are a lot of stranded deliveries too) and next week will be worse and, if Irma misses the Gulf – then no way will enough oil production go off-line to even things out.  

We also called a long on Natural Gas (/NGZ7) at $3.185 this morning in our Live Member Chat Room and THAT is a great hurricane play if the storm does threaten the Gulf. 

Be careful out there!  


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  1. Good Morning All! It's Wednesday but unfortunately we're not quite back to our usual schedule yet. The weekly webinar will be TOMORROW  at 1pm (Eastern) here:

  2. Greg, I thought Phil is out after 10 AM today?

  3. Phil your AAPL trade is somewhat wrong you need to sell the Jan19 140 put and not the call!!!!

  4. Be safe Albo and if you make it all the way to Jersey, I'll leave the light on for you! We've got space in the house…

  5. Some investments truths:

    12. Size is the enemy of outperformance.
    25. Compound interest is amazing but it takes a really long time to work.
    28. Reasonable investment advice doesn’t really change all that much but most of the time people don’t want to hear reasonable investment advice.

    And many more at the link. Most are common sense but worth repeating!

  6. This guys is really down on crypto:

    The same idea applies to cryptocurrencies; a good argument could be made that they all should be made illegal.  (Give China a little credit for starting to limit them.)  It’s almost like we let any promoter set up his own Madoff-like scheme, and sell them to speculators.  Remember, Madoff never raked off that much… but it was a negative-sum game.  Those that exited early did well at the expense of those that bought in later.

    Ultimately, most of the cryptocurrencies will go out at zero.  Don’t say I didn’t warn you.

    It's tough to have a definite opinion on this – there are many good arguments on both sides.

  7. How to actually double-down to win:

    A martingale is a betting strategy where the size of the bet increases dramatically after every loss. The ideas is that the first win will then recover all previous losses plus a profit. “Double or nothing” is a form of martingale betting strategy.

    In this case a falling stock price counts as a loss. The idea is to increase the position size as the stock falls in the hope that when the price rebounds you will have lowered your cost base enough to make a profit.

    This sounds risky and breaks rule 12 above as size increases quickly. But it does seem to work as long as you have a huge portfolio and start with small allocations of less than 1%. Good example in the post.

  8. bulls4444 – You're correct. I've updated the webinar post and the webinar link… and will repost tomorrow too.

  9. Good Morning.

  10. It's 2017 for crying out loud:

    But FCC Chairman Ajit Pai's proposal suggests that cellular Internet could be counted as a full substitute for home Internet access rather than a complement to it. Moreover, his proposal suggests that mobile wouldn't even have to meet the 25/3Mbps speed standard—instead, a 10Mbps/1Mbps mobile connection could suffice.

    These are not broadband numbers – we have gigabit connections now. Don't they know that this is detrimental to the economy?

  11. Good morning!  

    I sent out a Top Trade Alert for our BNN plays tonight but I have to run to the funeral now and I doubt you'll hear from me other than maybe off the IPad later.  

    Yes, Webinar is tomorrow at 1pm.

    Just watch for strong bounce failings on the indexes and don't be greedy!  

    Allocations/StJ – That's why it's essential that people scale into positions before doing anything like doubling down.  With 2 planned DDs on each full entry, something has to go extremely badly for you to lose and, of course, if you limit that loss to a 5% allocation – no single loss is likely to kill you.  And, of course, you can't mindless DD, you have to pick your spots.  

    FCC/StJ – Imagine if we didn't have the Democrats to at least mitigate some of the damage.  We'd be back in the dark ages by now!  

    Oops, strong bounces failing like my Uncle Marty's liver (what, too soon?) - good luck folks!  





  12. Thanks, STJ and Phil.   BTW, QUIK with a nice 3 day move so far.

  13. stjean – It would appear pai has some friends at Verizon…. :(

  14. Phil/Uncle Marty   Never too soon – That's where the healing begins.  :)

  15. Yodi/aapl

    It seems a little counter intuitive and I also thought the sale of $140 calls was wrong.

    But if Phil is expecting a short term sell off, then it makes sense… Maybe he has a mental stop for it?

    Before I speak for Phil,  we'll see what he says

  16. Yes, it was supposed to be the $140 puts, not calls on AAPL! 

  17. StJ – #35. The market doesn’t owe you high returns just because you need them.

  18. ABX     somebody sells 5000 April $17 puts for $1.16

  19. Maya1 Your idea would be conterproductive. The play is a standard Treeplanting idea on AAPL

  20. Phew! It looks like Irma could skim Florida to the east and only be a Cat 3 at the time. We're not out of the woods by any stretch but looking more positive….

  21. for some pocket money you can sell the AAPL Oct vertical put 140/145 for .40 cent your max loss is 460 per option

  22. BDC – Let's hope you're right.  Thanks.

  23. Pstas – there's really no where to run from it. Even in Seattle we've had a summer more comparable to Southern California. Our average high is mid 70's and it's been 80-90's all summer, no rain, breaking every record in the books. Yesterday we woke up to thick smoke and air quality warnings from forest fires in the east and, this is kind of unbelievable really, an ash layer on our cars. A first since 1980 (due to Mt St Helens).

    There's beginning to be a palpable creep of desperation. If global warming simply added 3F to the temperature maybe that wouldn't be so bad in itself, so it's a little warmer, we can handle it (other species aside, but they're all kind of in for a rough ride while humans are here anyways), but that's not the simple case. Instead what we are seeing is variance changing in unpredictable ways, more rain here, less there, more intensified energy: rain bombs, droughts, bigger, more persistent storms. There's really nowhere to hide, hence the "global" in global warming.

  24. I wonder why it is so important to tRump's base to deport children.

  25. BDC — you are getting fallout from the fires in Missoula!!!??

  26. Fake news BDC :-)

  27. Deporting children / BDC – It's what Jesus would do I am sure!

  28. Latch – no, we have our own fires right here in WA. We are transitioning from the Evergreen state to the Burnt Crisp state ATM.

    StJ – totally, so sick of libruls blaming forest fires on uncharacteristically long hot, dry, multi-month rainless stretches. Obviously, forest mismanagement is to blame! That's what we need big government pruning a billion square miles of trees. Big Trees!

    seriously I hadn't heard that one before. It's like OMGLOLZWTF?

  29. damn  – the entire northwest is on fire!

  30. so the right 'drowns' and the left 'burns'?   Let's call it even and stop for all our sakes.

  31. no. we all do both. so let's do something about it. If you are not on board with that, it never stops.

  32. Irony reigns supreme in the scott and abbott households….. :(

  33. Watson might not be as good as expected for cancer treatment help:

    IBM began selling Watson to recommend the best cancer treatments to doctors around the world three years ago. But is it really doing its job? Not so much. An investigation by Stat found that the supercomputer isn't living up to the lofty expectations IBM created for it. It is still struggling with the basic step of learning about different forms of cancer. Only a few dozen hospitals have adopted the system, which is a long way from IBM's goal of establishing dominance in a multibillion-dollar market.

    Still a lot of work to do.

  34. Read that Rush Limbaugh said the hurricanes are a liberal conspiracy forcing the climate change agenda and now also a conspiracy to sell water and batteries.  He has a house in FL, kind of hoping it only targets him.

  35. StJ – NoKo. Fascinating read, I've been interested in NoKo because of their deep cult state mentality. Cults always fascinate me, like the LDSF mormons in Utah (there's a TV show about the teen girls escaping rape and servitude, it's absolutely fascinating). All cults exhibit share several key characteristics, such as strong central leader, complete lack of or access to education, an abstract but common enemy, among others. "Every path is a catastrophe. This is why even defectors, when they flee, usually turn into devout fundamentalist Christians." That makes so much sense. They give up a Major League cult for the Minor League "christian" one. They can escape the cult, but not the mentality – the psychological damage is too much.

    I think the solution to North Korea is the same as to infiltrating any cult.  If I were running the country the crack team of NoKo specialists would be mostly psychiatrists.

    1982 (fake news) NYTimes article. Interesting!

  36. TEVA hitting another 52 week low… dangit!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  37. FFS jabo dump that POS already

  38. glutton for punishment 

  39. Related Quotes









    DJ Teva Pharmaceuticals Price Target Raised to $14.00/Share From $13.00 by JMP Securities 

    Related Quotes









    DJ Teva Pharmaceuticals Price Target Raised to $14.00/Share From $13.00 by JMP Securities 


  40. TEVA in a stock replacement trade someone sold 3000 March $15 puts for $1.77

  41. If I was on the Federal Reserve Board, I'd step down now too before the poop hits the fan in the unwinding of that balance sheet.

  42. LIT, SQM great plays recently

  43. Fischer’s departure will leave four of the seven seats on the Fed Board vacant. Trump has nominated Randal Quarles, a senior Treasury official under President George W. Bush, to be a governor and head up the Fed’s regulatory efforts. Quarles’ nomination is still pending before the Senate.

    In addition, Janet Yellen’s term as chair expires in February. Trump has said that a renomination of Yellen is under consideration, though the White House is also looking at other candidates. Economists polled by Bloomberg expect him to pick someone else.

    "may not be the same ole fed"    TBD

  44. Climate change can, and at this point should probably only be, discussed in terms of economics.

    Round numbers here but the world pumps out about 40 Gt CO2 (40 trillion kg) annually to produce $80T in GDP, or about 0.5 kg per $1 in GDP created. The consequences of climate change creates a drag. Even as a round number this one is hard to calculate/estimate. But it can be. For example, in houston with 1 trillion gallons of rain (that's a cubic mile folks), all of the GDP lost while an entire city essentially stops working for the better part of a week or longer. No estimate that across the whole world, every fire fire, storm, multiplied by some coefficient for how much worse it was in a 400 ppm CO2 environment versus 280. We're not at 10% of GDP yet ($8T in climate change losses). But we are at least 1%. Current studies on this are surprisingly lacking with marginal impacts and sensitivity analysis all over the place. This means we have to do it ourselves (inside the PSW cult – see above).

    The ultimate goal is for the Carbon per GDP figure to become zero. That's a siginificant amount of decarbonization infrastructure that needs to come online in a relatively short amount of time, and it cannot be located in any one or a few forward looking countries. A coal plant in China is still a coal plant. So it has to be global in scope. As forward looking, sophisticated investors we seek high information early, before it becomes mainstream, to generate higher alpha. As prognosticators we aren't always right, but we try to be right more often than the market, which produces the a big win over the long run. We've been able to apply theory to such examples as to why TSLA isn't priced like a car company and why investments in lithium could do (and have done) well. But we need to up-armor our game. The decade of the 2020's will very likely deal with climate, from the perspective of economics and markets, unlike anything we've seen over the past two decades. The momentum is there, and it is accelerating.

  45. lotto ticket of the day:

    TWTR    12K Jan'19 $37 calls     max time and max strike, but look, now 100K in open interest

  46. Trump agrees to raise debt ceiling, keep government funded through mid-December

    An offer from Chuck Schumer and Nancy Pelosi threatens to set up a brutal year-end fiscal cliff.

    Merry Christmas

  47. I like the Jan19 TWTR 35's at 0.57 lottery ticket. You get an extra $2 of upside for 7 cents.

  48. go M!!!

    please no tease

  49. Stock-BDC/TWTR — you are selling these calls?

  50. no not me yet, but somebody is buying them….i.e buying lottery tickets

  51. Imagine there's no heaven
    It's easy if you try
    No hell below us
    Above us only sky
    Imagine all the people living for today

    Imagine there's no countries
    It isn't hard to do
    Nothing to kill or die for
    And no religion too
    Imagine all the people living life in peace, you

    You may say I'm a dreamer
    But I'm not the only one
    I hope some day you'll join us
    And the world will be as one

    Imagine no possessions
    I wonder if you can
    No need for greed or hunger
    A brotherhood of man
    Imagine all the people sharing all the world, you

    You may say I'm a dreamer
    But I'm not the only one
    I hope some day you'll join us
    And the world will be as one

    Songwriters: John Winston Lennon

  52. In the GOP Civil War, which side is Captain America and which side is Iron Man?

  53. BDC, Rustle, etc

    Since we are in a bit of a lull, a few thoughts from yesterday's State of the Union theme: 

    Regarding the damage that someone like Trump can do, the real concern is what happens when another demagogue who is just as harmful to our way of life -or more so – but who is 'more presentable", better spoken and behaved and of a higher calibre, runs for office, will the same or larger cohort of the electorate who were so easily duped by Trump's transparently empty, grandiose promises (without specifics) vote that person in? 


    Recalling the admonition of Socrates (previously cited on this board) that democracy, per se, doesn’t bestow the right to vote on everyone but only on those who can demonstrate a grasp of the issues. Admittedly such a requirement is easier postulated than put in practice, but the idea remains a valid one. We would benefit from a competency test to determine access to the ballot box. That’s why there is a minimum voting age; the rationale being that those over that age have better judgement than those below.

    The real worry going forward is that someone like Trump even got close to being elected let alone made it in; who is waiting in the wings?

    Jefferson was unusually prescient when, after reflecting on the nature of man, opined "I fear for the Republic"

  54. TWTR: I buy lottery tickets. I love being the sucker! I bought FB leaps when it was ~18. So that's the play really.

    electric cars. Batteries the usually limiting reagent.

  55. 8800 – trumps with his laughable -3M "win" margin, and thin electoral advantage in the 3 mid-west states that gave him the office, doesn't phase me much looking forward. I doubt he'd get 55M votes in 2020, if he even runs. Certainly another, much more competent and deliberate, sociopath is a scary thought, but I personally feel we are fine as long as we can bitch about it on the internet and maintain a relatively free press.

  56. Betting against bitcoin

  57. I'm a big fan of zinc air batteries (Zn-air). It also just happens to be my professional specialty :)

    But seriously, there's so much good stuff here:

    renewable energy, like excess solar production, can be used to process spent Zn, effectively making it a type of "storage" paradigm

    The US has nearly 2/5ths the world's Zn reserves – talk about making america great again!

    Lithium has ZERO chance of powering a significant number of electric vehicles worldwide to help solve climate change just based on the amount of minable reserves. This is before we even get into a discussion about what happens to the marginal costs of lithium as more cars (finally) start to be manufactured.

    Also, Zn-air has twice the energy density of Li-ion, so we can make that Uber-air-taxi business above work!

    Sorry Elon, but I need to amend your "fuel cells is such bullshit" comment with my own.

    "Lithium ion is such Bullshit!" – BDC …. and QED on that, and as nattering says OUT!

  58. Toys R Us might be filing for bankruptcy.  Yet another Bain backed company in or almost in bankruptcy.

  59. Zn-Air / BDC – Isn't also safer?

  60. StJ – yes, no fire risk. Not such a big deal for cars but huge for aircraft (and boats – though electric boats don't get much press).

    More CNN fake news – skydiving cats!

  61. However you like to twist it Hydrogen is the future for cars. Good distance fast fill up. Same as gasoline.

  62. H2 – nope.

  63. Stocky – Lennon – Nice, The Fallout of Bad Choices: Imagine

  64. Bio Just nope is not good enough

  65. BDC/yodi Hydrogen is WAY too explosive.  Li-x cells are dangerous enough but hydrogen is even worse.  It also has pretty substantial costs to generate when not made with fossil fuels.

  66. All seems pretty calm today.

    Dow way under strong bounce, /ES over 2,462, /NQ over 5,940 and /TF at the weak bounce (1,403) – kind of inconclusive.  

    Oil hanging tough at $49.13, /NG had a nice pop but calming down.  

    HAS and MAT taking a hit off ToysRUs news.  

    Now they are forecasting a sharp right turn that will hit the whole east coast of Florida.  Won't damage any energy production though…

    Climate change didn’t cause Hurricane Irma, but did make it much stronger, scientists in Germany say

    Why it's harder than usual to predict Irma’s path

    Hurricane Irma is so strong it's starting to show up on seismometers in the Caribbean — equipment designed to measure earthquakes.

    Deporting children/BDC – I think it's mostly a bargaining chip they can use to make the Dems fold on other issues that are more important to the Reps.  You know, when you want someone to do something they don't want to do you threaten innocent children – classic!  cheeky

    Watson/StJ – Well, to some extent these things take time and I certainly fault IBM for rolling it out prematurely for such a complex purpose.  Actually, I'm not happy with their whole plan because, rather than letting Watson learn from EVERYTHING it does, they are licensing individual instances to allow their customers to keep the knowledge proprietary.  This is a terrible case of the salespeople overriding the data scientists and they are delivering lobotomized versions of the product which then, not surprisingly, isn't very impressive.  That's why I lost my rah-rah interest in IBM. 

    TEVA/Jabob – Back in the black. 

    Fisher/Rustle – I think he quit because they are not going to tighten and it's a last straw for him.

    LOW and HD made moves today – Half of Florida will need to be rebuilt.  

    Dollar finally making a good move up. 

    Climate cost/BDC – What does a class M planet go for these days?  I was proud of Bezos yesterday, they were interviewing him about space projects and they asked if he thought it was important for us to find an alternative planet in case we mess this one up and he said "No, that would be ridiculous, we MUST fix this planet before it's too late."  

    Wow, M with a big 5% move.

    Testing/8800 – Yes but whose "facts" will be on the test?  

    Lithium/BDC – I thought you can get lithium out of salt water?  Throwing cats out of planes is a great idea! 

  67. big option trade of the day:

    BABA    2750 June19 $180 calls, looks like buy to open, for about $27.35 or $7,500,000

  68. Beige Book word cloud:

    Beige Book Synopsis in Two Words: Modest, Moderate (In One Word – Useless)

    FT summary pretty good.  

    Beige Book: Hurricane Harvey Created Broad Disruptions To Econ. Activity In Gulf Region; Too Soon To Gauge Full Impact

    Beige book: "Employment growth slowed some on balance, ranging from a slight to a modest rate in most Districts."

    Fed : Input, material costs rose modestly, ‘but pass-through to downstream prices was limited’

  69. Weak action into the close.

  70. USG -Added more Sept calls on this strong move up trough the 200dMA as I mentioned a couple of days ago.  Think it still goes higher.

  71. Phil,

    Voting test: no one's facts, just a test to measure gullibility, common sense.  Surely if George Carlin were still with us he could help.

  72. through

  73. Albo/English: trough thorough through threw though thought

    tough stuff

  74. Thanks, BDC.  I think I've got it now. 8-)

  75. TEVA FTR IMAX M LB — all green--wow!!!

  76. Phil first my condolences for your uncle. I have lost a lot of family the last few years and it is just another of the terrible things about aging. So on to my relentless questions, are you holding your oil shorts still into inventories and if so what is your position? I saw you said that you might start a conviction short at 49 but didn't see anything else if you did post more. 

  77. Irma / Phil – On a path to damage Mar-a-Lago it seems! Divine intervention? It seems to be the excuse from evangelists all the time.

  78. Here is the European model prediction for Irma. This has been the best model so far:

  79. Voting/8800 – Well we have a citizenship test and I would think if it's something we give to foreigners to see if they should be allowed to vote, we should make our own citizens pass it if they want to participate in the process, right?

    Oil/Craigs – I would have cashed 2 out but I had to leave so I have 4 short at $48.94 that I'm happy enough with that I left for NYC with them open.  

    Mar-a-Lago/StJ – It would be such a great proof of the existence of God if only Trumps home were whisked away by the storm.  Oh, and Rick Scott!  OK, Rubio too…  

    Prediction/StJ – So Miami is just F'd?  So is my Mom, most likely…

  80. Crude oil – less build than expected. how is that possible? did they leak it during the hurricane.

  81. Oil/Bulls – It goes through Sat night 

    inventory: Crude +2.791m .Gasoline -2.544m .Distillate -603K. Cushing +669K

    Won't see the real impact until next week's report.  Harvey hit Houston on the 24th (Thurs) but I imagine refineries were pushing out all they could ahead of a known shut-down coming.  There's never any way to get the whole story without seeing 2-3 reports.  

  82. not news: wild fires

    news: wild fires in Greenland

    (albeit, fake news for 50% of americans)

  83. RH flew up 37% ($68)!  

    Restoration Hardware explodes more than 30% after crushing earnings and raising guidance

    That's too bad, I was hoping to get back into them. 

  84. I went into the big city, Daegu, yesterday to extend my visa with my new contract. The immigration office is an hour or so travel from my college campus. My wife came along, and we were anticipating a boring bureaucratic morning, but at the office a group of a dozen or so international grad students from my school, most of whom we're friends with, were there also doing visa stuff. So we had a pleasant time chatting with them. They were joking about where to go for jobs and post-docs, and were unanimous about not going to the US. A guy from south India said, "I'm far too brown, in the US I'd be dead." He looked at his friend from Pakistan and said, "But you might be okay". The guy from Egypt countered, "No he wouldn't – part of his name is Mohammed. They won't even let him on the plane."

    We all were laughing and joking, but these friends, not all men, by the way, are PhD students and researchers in things like medical robotics (my school's department is one of the top in the world), drug delivery systems, plant senescence, and they're unanimous that they'll not even consider going to the US, mentioning Canada instead if they go to the West at all.

  85. Miami / Phil – There is always a degree of uncertainty in these models, they play with billions of data points. But it does look like Calle Ocho will not be as busy on Sunday morning in Miami! Although not that quiet…

  86. Mar-a-Lago / Phil – But does it get rebuild on our dime being the winter White House? Maybe they will use it as FEMA HQ next week and Trump will collect rent from them.

  87. And hopefully your mother gets in a shelter early enough and be safe!

  88. Phil – "we should make our own citizens pass it if they want to participate in the process, right?"

    Thank you for my LMAO of the dAY. 95% would fail the test.  I guarantee it. Jay-Walk All Stars comes to mind.

    Snow – Brain and capital drain are already well under way.  New Ellis Island sign: Welcome to The Road to Hell and Out.

  89. That citizenship test was a joke and they didn't make me take the classes either… I think that some of the questions where:
    * who plays 3rd base for the Phillies
    * how many points for a touchdown
    * what color is the White House

    I might not recall these questions exactly! And Mike Schmidt was in the hot corner at the time FYI!

  90. snow – unsurprised, racism has consequences.

  91. Citizenship/StJean – that was my wife's experience as well – except they wanted to put her in her place the first time around (uppity Asian woman), so they asked questions like "Name this state's congressional delegation". The next time around it was more like "Who's the US president". It's a farce.

  92. Phil – I know you've got a lot on your plate with your uncle dying and your Mom possibly being in harms way.  Thinking about you and everyone else during this potentially dangerous time.

    BTW, we have a next door neighbor who is 94 years old.  She has no car and no internet.  We tried to get her to come with us, but she wasn't going to budge.  We've got people reaching out to her in our absence, but she said " they're going to have to carry me out feet first ! "   Great lady.

  93. What got into the DAX today?

  94. big storm – flying to hang with mom in the morning (west coast of FL) we'll if we have to scurry

  95. World shares mixed, investors await ECB on stimulus plans

  96. Facebook says it sold political ads to Russian company during 2016 election

  97. Saudi Aramco is looking to China ahead of its IPO

  98. CHARTS: Venezuela’s economic tragedy

  99. Retail industry group revises down its 2017 U.S. sales forecast

  100. AP Exclusive: Most Florida flood zone property not insured

  101. Good morning!

    Europe is up 1% in anticipation of MORE FREE MONEY from Draghi in 20 mins (or at least not taking away the free money they have).  I think we'd be down otherwise but, as it is, we're flat.

    US/Snow – I'm seeing signs of it everywhere, people do not see us as welcoming or friendly anymore.  The long-term repercussions could be huge.  

    Mom/StJ – There's a lot of interesting dynamics to it.  My mom could leave but she feels like she would be abandoning her friends who can't so she's stocking up and planning to ride out the storm.  I wouldn't let her but my brother lives close so he can help in a pinch.  The house has hurricane shutters and is a good design so I'm not too worried but I am going to get a Generac installed for her as she doesn't know how to work her gasoline generator.  That's the big issue, power and water.  

    Neighbor/Albo – Yep, that's what I'm talking about.  So many false alarms over the years too – hard to get people to realize the danger of a real storm.

    Mom/Rexx – You're a good son!  

    Hurricane Irma damaged 95% of Barbuda's buildings, leaving the island "barely habitable"

    Hurricane Irma has caused devastation on some Caribbean islands. The latest:

    Do not listen to when he says is not a dangerous and is hype. He is putting people's lives at risk

    That's 3 days of flight cancellations in 1/4 of the country – very bad for Buffett's airline investment this year.

  102. ECB left rates unchanged.  Now Draghi will speak in 30 mins. 

  103. Oil…  Still watching the brent/wti spread… how much bigger do you expect it to get?