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Which Way Wednesday? S&P 3,000 in 2018?


That's where the S&P 500 topped out in both 1999 and in 2007 – in both cases right before crashing and giving up 50% of that level.  That didn't stop analysts from calling for higher highs or assuring us that the markets were still a buy – even as they were collapsing.  That's because the analysts and the TV stations don't work for you – they work for their sponsors and their sponsors are the investment banks and brokers that make their money off your transactions – they will never tell you to go to CASH!!! – they want you to BUYBUYBUY all the time.

Only one of 12 "equity strategists" polled by Marketwatch can imagine the market goes lower in 2018 and, frankly, I'm not one of them either as I think we do end up around 3,000 by the end of the year.  I'm simply expecting a correction first.  IF the market keeps going into August, it will become the longest bull rally in history at 9 years – 8 of them under Obama and 1 of them under the guy who claims all the credit for it.  Bush Jr took credit for the Clinton rally too – that didn't turn out well for him or America.

We went to CASH!!! two weeks ago because we think the market is currently being held up simply because no one wants to sell and take a profit in 2017, when the taxes paid on those gains will be substantially higher than they will be next year.  In fact, you can see from Morgan Stanley's chart that tracks Intra-Year Declines in the market, that this year has been a real outlier and there may be a lot of pent-up demand for selling that will be unleashed in 2018.

Or maybe not.  That's why we're in CASH!!! – the market is too scary to stay in but also way too scary to bet against – so we're sitting it out and waiting for the dust to settle.  There are still plenty of things to buy.  We reviewed our Top Trades yesterday and found several stocks we'd love to add to our new portfolios in 2018 already.  Still, it's slim pickings in the US markets, where the average price/earnings ratio is 23 times earnings, which is 28% higher than stocks in Europe and 53% higher than the Japanese markets trade.  

I know you are probably thinking, "Yay, tax reform" and that's been the excuse but we did the math on Nov 29th and it just doesn't add up.  Of course, the premise of that article was that, if the market does keep going up at this pace, we will ALL be Billionaires in 10 years, so there's no fear of missing out if you believe in the rally.  We looked at BitCoin, which was $11,000 that day and now $17,850 (up 62%) in less than a month and Greencoin (GRE) at 0.00022, which is now 0.000695 (up 215%) as examples of ways we can go with the flow and get rich quick.

See how easy that is – why aren't you a Millionaire?  That's why the Trump Tax plan is fair – we'll all be in the Top 1% by next year, right?  And you don't need to play cryptocurrencies to get rich quick in this market.  We also showed you our Money Talk Portfolio, which consists of the trade ideas we bring to that show and announce live on TV and on 11/29, that porfolio was up 70.7% for the year yet, here we are just 3 weeks later and it's now up 85.6% – going from $85,362 ($50,000 was our starting point) to $92,787 which is a gain of $7,425 (8.6%) in 3 weeks.  

Notice we have $37,250 in cash on the sidelines, we only used $12,750 of our original cash to make these trades using our "Be the House – NOT the Gambler" trading system.  So all you had to do, even as late as 11/29, was copy those exact trades and deploy what was then $48,112.50 to make $7,425 (15.4%) into Christmas – you're welcome!   I'll be on Money Talk again on Jan 17th (7pm) and we'll be going over these trades and adding some new ones for 2018.  If they are going to keep giving away money like this – who are we not to accept it?

Our 2018 Trade of the Year was going to be Limited Brands (LB) and, because we were on Money Talk on Sept 6th, we added the trade then to their portfolio but, by the time the official trade selection time came (Thankgiving), LB had already popped so we switched to HBI for the official trade of 2018.  The LB trade was:

  • Buy 40 LB 2019 $32.50 calls for $7.50 ($30,000) 
  • Sell 40 LB 2019 $40 calls for $4.30 (17,200) 
  • Sell 20 LB 2019 $32.50 puts for $4.70 ($9,400)

That trade was net $3,400 and has a potential to pay back $30,000 for a $26,600 (782%) return on cash and that, of course, would be better than a 50% profit on a $50,000 porfolio by itself.  The margin requirement on the short puts is just $2,912.90 so it's a very margin-efficient trade as well and the reason we pick value stocks like LB is that we really don't believe it's likely the stock will go any lower – and we nailed it on that one!  

Already the net of the trade is $22,750 but that means we still have $7,250 (32%) left to gain from here – so it's still not bad as a new trade but I wouldn't chase it – that's why we switched to our Haines (HBI) trade – it has a lot more room to run with similar positive factors.  The Apple (AAPL) trade in the MTP above is only net $13,650 and that one pays $30,000 if AAPL holds $165, which is up $16,350 (119%) in 12 months.  Even if you are too cheap to pay $3/day for a Membership, where our Members came in at net $6,100 and are already up 123% in 3 months - you can still do pretty well picking up the scraps our Members leave behind!  

That's what we were talking about in yesterday's Top Trade Review – there's a lot of money to be made from our leftover trade ideas – and a lot to be learned as well.  One of the reasons I began keeping a trading blog in the first place was to be better able to track the development of trade ideas over time.  Now it's a business – go figure!  


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  1. Good Morning.

  2. Good Morning All!

    Join us for our weekly webinar, today at 1pm, here:

  3. Winners and losers from the tax cuts:

  4. Good morning! 

    Now BitCoinCash is going parabolic.  

    There's another $65Bn of brand new money.  It's like a giant stimulus package – no wonder the Government isn't trying to stop it.   We dumped our last BitCoin yesterday, now I guess we'll sell half our BTCC's too.

    Wheee on the indexes – don't know why but I had a bunch of shorts!   Taking $1,600 and running on /YM (4) as I have no idea why we're falling and finally out of /ES too! 

    Tax cuts/StJ – Do you really think the top 1% will give back half their cuts?  No, they will pass more rules to lock them in and screw the poor even further.  

  5. Taxes / Phil – The GOP said they would also extend the tax cuts for the middle class before that. I have no reasons to doubt their sincerity!

  6. The bots are not happy. I've noticed the financials last few weeks get an opening bump and spend all day selling back off. Can't take profits because there are few buyers. I'm sure they expected volume to sell into this morning… ain't happening.

  7. well, it is the tax cut and JOBS act… I guess the lawyers and accountants will have jobs adjusting corporate status to take advantage of the new loopholes.

  8. CBI – taking another hit today.  I did not like the structure of the deal and with the price / splits, but can't find any negative press… still falling today

  9. Temp hit 58 here in Baltimore yesterday… brrr, nobody wants nat gas.

  10. Looking at the positive side FDX up 6.71 or 2.66%

  11. Buyers/Mkucs – Well volume has picked up a bit this month but still nowhere near enough to accommodate any serious attempts to sell stocks.  

    CBI/Batman – Very interesting but I think this is technical selling as they fail their uptrend:

    I'm not sure why the market sold off but home sales seem to have saved it.  

    • MBA Mortgage Applications
    • Composite Index: -4.9% vs. -2.3% last week.
    • Purchase Index: -6.0% vs. -1.0%.
    • Refinance Index: -3.0% vs. -3.0%
    • 30 year mortgage rate at 4.16% vs. 4.20%.

    That's why we cash out when easy money is thrown at us.  It's as likely to go away as it is to give you more profits.

    • "Stay the course," on the large-cap banks, says Wells Fargo's Mike Mayo, as lower taxes, higher interest rates, and lower cost of capital add up to a bullish outlook.
    • He lifts price targets on 18 lenders.
    • Bank of America (NYSE:BAC) to $35 from $30, JPMorgan (NYSE:JPM) to $120 from $115, Citigroup (NYSE:C) to $95 from $90, Goldman Sachs (NYSE:GS) to $295 from $265, Morgan Stanley (NYSE:MS) to $55 from $48, Keycorp (NYSE:KEY) to $20 from $19, Fifth Third (NASDAQ:FITB) to $31 from $27, U.S. Bancorp (NYSE:USB) to $58 from $56, Regions Financial (NYSE:RF) to $18 from $16, PNC Financial (NYSE:PNC) to $149 from $135, M&T Bank (NYSE:MTB) to $180 from $170, BNY Mellon (NYSE:BK) to $57 from $55, BB&T (NYSE:BBT) to $51 from $44, Northern Trust (NASDAQ:NTRS) to $105 from $95, Comerica (NYSE:CMA) to $88 from $73, SunTrust (NYSE:STI) to $72 from $70, Zions (NASDAQ:ZION) to $60 from $56.
    • Previously: House passes bill aimed at SIFI reform (Dec. 20)
    • Under current crisis-era law, those financial companies with more than $50B in assets are subject to a heightened standard of regulation and capital requirements.
    • The House bill passed last night (vote was 288-130) would entirely scrap any threshold in favor of a formula the central bank already uses to determine how much extra capital a lender needs to hold.
    • A bill working its way through the Senate – which also has bipartisan support and is expected to be voted on early next year – would instead raise the threshold to $250B from $50B. It's not yet clear how the approaches will be reconciled in conference.
    • No matter what, regulatory relief appears to be on the way for mid-size regional lenders above $50B who are getting penalized with extra costs, and for those just under $50B who are worried about growing their way above that level.

    • The introduction of Bitcoin Cash to the Coinbase (Private:COINB) platform last night touched off one of the wilder sessions of trading in an already wild space.
    • BCH had already climbed about 50% in the session or two prior to the announcement, and then took off anew right after, necessitating Coinbase to halt trading after just a few minutes.
    • At issue, though, is the big run higher just prior to Coinbase's announcement, suggesting someone may have been front-running. Coinbase CEO Brian Armstrong says there's "no indication of any wrongdoing at this time," but the company will be doing a full investigation.
    • That BCH was to be added to the Coinbase platform was no secret – only the timing was in question, as many expected it to be a January 2018 event.
    • "For the first time in 6+ years, I no longer own a single LTC," says Charlie Lee, the creator of what's often called the "silver" to Bitcoin's "gold."
    • The exit is about eliminating the appearance of conflicts, he says, noting he often gets excoriated for pumping the price, and sometimes even gets accused of shorting Litecoin.
    • Lee still plans to spend all of his time working on Litecoin, and when it succeeds, he'll still be rewarded, he says, just not from ownership of the coins.
    • The rally in Litecoin this year puts the move in Bitcoin to shame – Charlie Lee's baby is higher by nearly 9,000% Y/Y, including about a 5x move in just the last month.

    • Net Element (NASDAQ:NETE) launches a blockchain-focused unit to house a decentralized crypto-based ecosystem. 
    • The ecosystem will help create value-added services to connect merchants and consumers efficiently through blockchain tech. 
    • Net Element partnered with Bunker Capital to develop and deploy the blockchain solutions.  
    • Net Element shares are up 310%

    • The electric vehicle tax credit tax is still alive in the version of tax reform being voted on today by the House of Representatives.
    • Some analysts like Morgan Stanley's Adam Jonas see the survival of the EV tax credit as indicative that DC is taking a long-term positive view on new automotive technologies.
    • Tesla (NASDAQ:TSLA), General Motors (NYSE:GM) and Nissan (OTCPK:NSANY) are the automakers that are the closest to hitting the 200K-unit level at which the $7.5K tax credit is phased out.
    • Looking further down the road, an even more critical variable for the EV industry could be the degree to which infrastructure development is supported by policy.

    Steel names on the move as Longbow upgrades to Buy

    • Steel names are higher after Longbow analyst Chris Olin issues several upgrades to Buy, citing positive survey results.
    • "These mills have more room to run," Olin says, noting Q4 data points suggest domestic producers are positioned to realize "impressive earnings growth" over the next 12-18 months given much higher flat rolled pricing, favorable automotive/annual contract rollovers and pending tax adjustments from U.S. tax reform.
    • In premarket trading, X +2.7%AKS +3.8%NUE +1.7%STLD also was upgraded to Buy.

    Confidence in Kroger picks up

    • Kroger (KR +1.2%) shakes off another bear call as the grocery store chain continues to outperform in the face of some beaten-down expectations.
    • Wolfe Research lifts Kroger to Peer Perform from Underperform.
    • While Amazon's purchase of Whole Foods has dominated the conversation in the grocery store sector for six months, Kroger has been steadily increasing its digital and delivery business.

    Korea Herald: Samsung will quadruple iPhone OLED output in 2018

    • Samsung (OTC:SSNNFOTC:SSNLF) will quadruple its OLED panel supply for Apple’s (NASDAQ:AAPL) iPhones next year, according to The Korea Herald sources.
    • Samsung will supply 180M to 200M panels, which equals $19.8B to $22B in revenue using IHS Markit’s $110 supply price estimate. 
    • The reported 50M panels supplied this year and Apple’s reliance on Samsung led to production delays with the iPhone X and the device’s higher price. LG (NYSE:LPL) has ramped up OLED panel production to join the supply line as early as next year. 
    • Samsung can increase its production due to improved yield rates at the A3 panel lines. Rates jumped from 60% in 1H17 to over 80% in 2H17.  
    • Previously: LG Display could supply OLED panels for iPhone X (Dec. 7)
    • BlackBerry (NYSE:BB) shares are up 7.6% premarket after Q3 results that beat EPS and revenue estimates.
    • FY18 guidance was reaffirmed with revenue from $920M to $950M (consensus: $927.19M) and a positive EPS (consensus: $0.06). Non-GAAP software and services revenue growth expected between 10% and 15% and FCF expected to be positive.
    • Key metrics: Software and services revenue, $199M (new record); recurring software and services revenue, 75%; non-GAAP gross margin, 77%; adjusted EBITDA, $35M; operating income, $16M; cash and equivalents, $2.5B. 
    • Customers: Approximately 3K enterprise customer orders in Q3. Customer wins included NATO, Deutsche Bank, and the U.S. Department of Defense. 
    • Press release     
    • Previously: BlackBerry beats by $0.03, beats on revenue (Dec. 20)

  12. Temp/Mkucs – Crazy warm but that's the new normal.  Make up for it in air conditioning over the summer. 

    FDX/Yodi – Those were some really good numbers.  

    Dollar took a dive again, hitting 92.85 and we like it long above the 93 line with tight stops below.

    Waiting on oil, now $57.50, /RB $1.7087, /NGV8 $2.656 (buyable again but might test $2.60 on /NG so down about 0.04 more).

  13. 6.5Mb draw in Oil, that's a plus.  /RB up 1.2Mb, Distillates up 800,000 so a good net draw should get a little bounce higher at least but net demand of /RB and Distillates is weak and, as we know – if we weren't exporting 3Mbd, we'd have a massive build.

    Click for
    Current Session Prior Day Opt's
    Open High Low Last Time Set Chg Vol Set Op Int
    Feb'18 57.66 57.93 57.59 57.67 10:21
    Dec 20


    0.11 139611 57.56 511064 Call Put
    Mar'18 57.68 57.95 57.63 57.69 10:21
    Dec 20


    0.11 23035 57.58 357292 Call Put
    Apr'18 57.65 57.92 57.63 57.68 10:21
    Dec 20


    0.12 10626 57.56 163829 Call Put
    May'18 57.59 57.82 57.50 57.61 10:21
    Dec 20


    0.12 6435 57.49 131135 Call Put
    Jun'18 57.43 57.68 57.40 57.45 10:21
    Dec 20


    0.10 11921 57.35 251740 Call Put

    This rollover was a non-event and they've done a great job cutting back contracts in the front months – so not the easy short it used to be.  

  14. Not to say they low in price but PM and MO have taken a dip today after their div. Possible something to look at. I sold some Sept 18 97.5 Puts.

  15. 09:49


    Philip Morris International shares down 2.8%; Reuters reporting on potential issues with PM e cigarette experiments ahead of key FDA approval  (104.06 -2.97)

  16. Philip Morris International shares down 2.8%; Reuters reporting on potential issues with PM e cigarette experiments ahead of key FDA approval  (104.06 -2.97)

    12/20/2017, 9:49:18 AM ET

    Reuters Article

  17. BBBY  earnings after close.  Any thoughts?

  18. Batman – The market seems to view the merger as negative for both companies.  Sold some CBI Jul 15 puts for 2.05.

  19. Now… with government giveaways out of control, do the Dem's shut it down? Seems to be their only option to have a voice. Merry Christmas!

  20. The Culture Factor

  21. America’s Wealthiest Celebrities 2017: The Top 10 By Net Worth

  22. ~~ GE – General Electric slumps to a fresh multi-year low below 17.46, extending its year-to-date loss to -44% from its Jan high of 31.83.  

  23. PM/Yodi – My attitude is that I will wait PATIENTLY for companies that pull back 20%+ before jumping in.  GE is down 40% this year – I'm happy to buy more of them.  PM is 20% off the high(ish) at $120 but started the year at $90, so I'd be a bit greedier.  No surprise they are faking studies on ECigs – why should this time be different?

    BBBY/Barron – I like them but I hope they get crushed so we can buy them cheaply in Jan.  

    This was our LTP spread on them:

    Long Call 2020 17-JAN 20.00 CALL [BBBY @ $20.23 $0.74] 20 10/24/2017 (799) $9,900 $4.95 $-0.83 n/a     $4.13 - $-1,650 -16.7% $8,250
    Short Call 2020 17-JAN 27.50 CALL [BBBY @ $20.23 $0.74] -20 10/20/2017 (799) $-5,400 $2.70 $-0.72     $1.99 - $1,430 26.5% $-3,970
    Short Put 2020 17-JAN 25.00 PUT [BBBY @ $20.23 $0.74] -15 10/20/2017 (799) $-10,500 $7.00 $0.83     $7.83 - $-1,238 -11.8% $-11,738

    Shut down/Mkucs – I think, at this point, they don't want to be seen as a reason/excuse for the economy tanking next year so they let Trump have his victory and run against it next year. 

    GE/Albo – As I said above, there's always a great bargain to be found.  

    They make $1 per share so p/e around 17 here.  Last Q profits were $1.8Bn on $33Bn in revenues on track for making $8Bn against a $150Bn valuation AND they have about $30Bn overseas.

  24. I'm poking short on oil here at $58 but no conviction.  Would have rather seen $58.50. 

  25. BBBY 

    Does anyone have a price for the 2020 $20 calls?  Thanks

  26. Indexes seem to be weak bouncing – that's interesting.

    Dow 24,890 to 24,740 is 150 so 30-point weak is 24,770 and strong is 24,800

    2,695 to 2,680 is 15 points (exactly 1/10th the Dow so bots are in control here) so 3-point weak is 2,683 and 6-point strong is 2,686

    Nas 6,525 to 6,475 (because we know the Nas loves the 25s) is 50 and that makes for neat 10-point bounces to 6,485 and 6,495

    RUT, of course, is bounciest.  1,548 to 1,538 is 10 so 1,540 and 1,542 but, since we know the RUT pops 5 and 10 easily, the whole thing isn't going to be a reliable measure.  Still, we can watch 1,542 (strong bounce line) for an indicator things are breaking back down.  

    Don't forget, the Dollar is down today so this is how the indexes are doing with weak Dollar support

    BBBY/Baron – Wide spread at $6.85/9.10 with last at $6.90 but last on $22.50s is $6.50 and delta is 0.64 so I'd go at least $1.50 more for $8.40 on the $20s.

  27. Oops, that's assuming you are asking for $8.40.  I wouldn't buy them for that price and pay 100% premium at $24.  

  28. Thanks Phil

  29. Trump saying market not appreciating the tax cuts and that repeal of Obamacare mandate is just as good as killing it and now he's proud of himself for "sneaking it in" (his words) with this tax bill and now Obamacare is dead, so that's two accomplishments he's claiming.  

    What a psychopath!  

  30. Now he's doing that thing where he calls on all his cabinet members so they can kiss his ass.  It's comical, in that Greek tragedy sort of way.  

  31. The senators are coming for a visit, remember what happened to Caesar… 

    LOL, dark thoughts.

  32. Ironically, Pence is going to need Obamacare to fix his strained lips from all the ass he is kissing.  You would think Trump was the greatest President in history from all the glory that is being heaped upon him.  

    Now he's ranting against the UN, threatening to defund them for voting against us.  

    Uh on, someone asked him how the tax plan was "going to cost him a fortune" as he claims and he abruptly shut down the conference.  

    In the dead of night gave a $414 billion real estate windfall to and more than a dozen lawmakers, while healthcare expired for millions of children, at a cost of only $14 billion

    I would like to congratulate on having done a fantastic job both strategically & politically on the passing in the Senate of the MASSIVE TAX CUT & Reform Bill. I could have not asked for a better or more talented partner. Our team will go onto many more VICTORIES!

    No automatic alt text available.

    Image may contain: 4 people, meme and text

    Dark thoughts/Mkucs – Oh you missed the show in NYC this summer?

    Image result for caesar stabbed trump

  33. Man arrested for selling $1M in Chuck E Cheese tokens?

    Muck – Now why didn't I think of that? Oh yeah, I'd never do such a thing… but really. People bought it? A million bucks worth? Wow.

    BDC – someone made a million dollars selling chuckecheese coins and this guy couldn't sell a Canadian maple leaf for $25. there is no limit to human stupidity

    Muck – Actually I would turn down the maple leaf for fear it was stolen or fake. When a deal sounds way too good to be true, just say no and walk away from the nut case.

    Nattering… He deserves a medal. Bitcoin miners and 7629 exchanges have sold investments in 1370 "currencies" to the tune of $611B to the public.  What's the difference? Absolutely none.  There are idiots, look around.

  34. Phil – Good article on Trump winery

    Did you not see POTUS Tweets during the Napa Valley wild fire disaster?

  35. Muck – At this level, how does a broker look someone in the eye and say it's a great time to invest? (without smiling).

    Broker or CFA's deadpan response: Your investment is a good bye. (not misspelled) 

  36. StJL – These evil GOP people found ways to make the bill even worse during reconciliation. There is a special place in hell for people like them!

    They know better, therefore act without fear of consequence.

  37. Winston -  “Companies have a record amount of cash, and access to capital is cheap,” he said. “If a company was really able to invest in a new plant and make more money, why hasn’t it already done it?”

    Grass Hopper – "maybe a silly question, but would it make more sense for them to perform a buyback after a market correction when their stock drops in value? "

    Phil – "look at the 30-year, still hovering along in the same range, so no one is buying Trump's growth numbers and, without those, this tax program will blow a hole in the economy so big we may look like Greece by 2027. Companies are generally idiotic about their buy-backs and often do them at the worst possible time.  They are wasting the company's money but the reason the CEOs do it is to support the prices while they cash in their own options or stocks along with the board so, basically, they rip off the ordinary shareholders and wreck the company's future just so they can cash in at a good price. 

    In Platform Value: The Fall? we Nattered about forced fund buying at all time highs, and idiots like Ackman who would not know value, if it hit them in the face.   We also made this comment…

    One of the points I make is about debt, it doesnt have to be leveraged, thats just a bonus that backfires on platform value acolytes. All one has to do is look at the volume of buybacks (record highs) and the percentage gain in the indices due to those buybacks (record highs).

    Buybacks are bonds sold (debt) to finance financial engineering (propping up the stock price), rather than future economic development. The buyback monster feeds the fund monster who feeds the public investor monster and that leads to another point I make… its a positive feedback loop, self reinforcing with little regard for actual underlying value. Leveraged and junk debt is gravy that gets piled onto that.

    In Deutsche Bank: The Nutcracker Suite? we Nattered about the convergence on debt which occurs when things go Southbound, viz. economic expectations are false.  As in their corporate nuts ARE going to be in a vice and this will not end well for many. Out.

  38. Funny on wine Naybob, but not true – I just checked (and boy, does that guy tweet a lot!).

    Webinar time!

  39. Phil – "Funny on wine Naybob, but not true – I just checked (and boy, does that guy tweet a lot!)."

    I know, but it's still funny, especially the part at the bottom about the Trump Winery.  You should have heard the howling while those tweets were being generated.

  40. Muck, Phil – Dark Thoughts.

    Et tu, Brute? You never kill the golden goose and Out.

  41. Trump / Phil – Looking at his behavior, I am trying to understand the mindset needed to still support that guy! There is visibly some mental issues there. I mean, the top 0.1% will take their tax cuts and don't care about him anyway because he doesn't affect their lives. But people in the top 20% – most won't get much in the way of benefits. Mind boggling!

  42. We are short 2 /RB ($1.736), 2 /CL ($57.96) and long 2 /NGV8 ($2.653) from the Webinar.   Made a few hundred on the indexes too so a good session.

    Trump with a big celebration speech.  Taking credit for T giving out bonuses.  

  43. missed the webinar today dangit!

  44. Trump has some guy making claims that people will see 60-70% tax cuts.  It's completely irresponsible and not supported by any facts but they are all standing behind him and applauding like it's a revival meeting.  The Dems are going to have a field day next year running these quotes against the reality when it hits people. 

  45. Baron – South Park – I remember that one, epic and truthful.  The reason Parker and Stone have been allowed their "voice" for 21 years: Comedy Central owned by Bell Media (CTV), subsidiary of BCE (formerly Bell Canada Enterprises), majority stockholder Royal Bank of Canada, majority stockholder RBC, Bank of Montreal, TD Asset Mgmt. The Great White North, take off hoser and Out.

  46. Sad and pathetic, but true… during the holiday season many delivered packages are stolen from front porches. We have a solution, don't touch my package and don't touch my box, and Out.

  47. Package/Naybob – When's the last time someone has offered to touch your package?  surprise

  48. Phil/RB- is that the December or Jan contract @1.76?

  49. /RB/Ravi – It's the Jans at $1.736, not $1.76.  

  50. CMG  just cant get their act together.

  51. Ok thx

  52. Phhhhilllll – "Package/Naybob – When's the last time someone has offered to touch your package?"

    Thanks for my howling ROFLMAO of the day.  As the MRS says when she walks by the bathroom and I am in the buff, post shower, toweling off…  close the door, nobody wants to see that anymore.  My standard rejoinder, keep talkin cheeky monkey, I love it when your lips are movin, and Out.

  53. WTF?

    • Attached to just-passed tax reform is a provision opening up the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge to oil and gas drilling, a dream of the energy industry since before many reading this news item were born.
    • The area contains an estimated 10.4B barrels of oil, says Alaska Senator Lisa Murkowski.

    What does that have to do with taxes?

    • Marketwatch's Philip van Doorn screens for S&P Small-Cap 600 names with majority Buy ratings (with at least three sell-siders covering), and price targets 50% or more above the current price.
    • In order of potential move: Progenics Pharma (NASDAQ:PGNX), R.R. Donnelley (NASDAQ:RRD), Xperi (NASDAQ:XPER), Contango Oil & Gas (NYSEMKT:MCF), Medicines Co. (NASDAQ:MDCO), Cytokinetics (NASDAQ:CYTK), MiMedx (NASDAQ:MDXG), TiVo (NASDAQ:TIVO), Consol  Energy (NYSE:CEIX), LivePerson (NASDAQ:LPSN), BioTelemetry (NASDAQ:BEAT), Superior Industries (NYSE:SUP), Green Plains (NASDAQ:GPRE), Spectrum Pharma (NASDAQ:SPPI), Lumentum Holdings (NASDAQ:LITE), Brooks Automation (NASDAQ:BRKS), Blucora (NASDAQ:BCOR), Veeco Instruments (NASDAQ:VECO).
    • Seoul-based crypto exchange Youbit collapsed yesterday after cyberattackers made off with a chunk of its assets.
    • North Korea's fingerprints are on the attack, investigators tell the WSJ. That state was also behind a hack of this same exchange (then operating under a different name) in April.
    • "Much of the cryptocurrency system is highly vulnerable," says a cybersecurity expert. "Because this world is moving so fast and now it’s so lucrative, it’s really exactly what a cybercriminal like North Korea is looking for.”
    • Previously: South Korean crypto exchange collapses; BTC slides under $18K (Dec. 19)
    • ProShares in September filed for approval of its ProShares Bitcoin ETF and ProShares Short Bitcoin ETF, both set to track either CME and CBOE Bitcoin futures.
    • Those funds get closer to reality after the NYSE (NYSE:ICE) today filed with the SEC to list them.
    • The company is a "King Zero," says Muddy Waters. "Just another worthless China fraud … We believe zero to almost none of CIFS’s purported business is real."
    • All of the supposed borrowers to which CIFS has said it made loans to appear to be a "sham counterparty," says MW.
    • Claiming to turn a commoditized business model into an "overnight juggernaut" with gross margins of 97% and net margins topping 70% is "too good to be true."
    • Shares – which peaked at about $60 a few weeks back (from $12 earlier in the year) – continue to slide, down 4.25% to $36.70.
    • Tellurian (TELL +3.2%) takes off following a WSJ report that Saudi Aramco has held initial talks about either taking a stake in the company or agreeing to buy some of its gas in the future.
    • The talks have not reached an advanced stage, and the Saudis have talked to other, undisclosed U.S. companies about natural gas export deals, and has inquired about acquiring assets in the Permian and Eagle Ford basins, according to the report.
    • Aramco owns refineries around the world, including the U.S., but does not produce any oil and gas outside Saudi Arabia’s borders, so any deal to acquire U.S. oil and gas production assets would mark a watershed moment for Saudi Arabia.

    • General Electric (GE -0.8%) slides to a fresh six-year low, capping a 45% plunge since the start of this year and a 27% slide since September.
    • Although Wolfe Research technical analyst Rob Ginsberg calls GE "dramatically oversold," he also says its chart is "one of the uglier long-term formations in the market today" and sees $15 as the place where the stock will try to make a stand.
    • GE bear John Inch at Deutsche Bank sees the potential loss of board member Ed Garden of Trian Partners, which owns just 0.8% and might exit its GE position if the stock continues to struggle: "We also presume that Garden would likely be forced to step down from the GE board… Were there not other equally qualified candidates with more prospective longevity for the position vs. a hedge fund executive whose firm owns just 80 bps of GE’s shares?"
    • Goldman's Joe Ritchie recently advised staying away from GE without more evidence of a recovery in cash flows and end markets.
    • Boeing (BA +0.5%) praises the tax bill passed by Congress and commits to an additional $300M in investments that will move forward as a result of the law.
    • The bill will help "unleash economic energy" in the U.S. and will "enable us to better compete on the world stage," CEO Dennis Muilenburg says. "It's the single-most important thing we can do to drive innovation, support quality jobs and accelerate capital investment in our country."
    • The company says it will earmark $100M for "workplace of the future" facilities and infrastructure enhancements for employees, $100M for workforce development in the form of training and education, and $100M for corporate giving such as employee gift-match programs.
    • The National Retail Federation supports the passage of the tax reform bill by Congress.
    • "Passage of tax reform is a major victory for retailers who currently pay the highest tax rate of any business sector, and for the millions of consumers they serve every single day," reads a NRF statement.
    • The NRF expects consumer spending to pick up due to the tax reform.
    • Chipotle (CMG -2.9%) swings lower with a food illness report circulating around.
    • Business Insider's Hayley Peterson breaks news of a public health investigation in the Los Angeles area over sickness reports from a single Chipotle restaurant.
    • Chipotle response: "We are aware of three reports (two of which appear to be the same) on a user generated reporting site but there is no clinical validation associated with those reports, and we have not been contacted by customers directly to substantiate these claims."
    • Shares of Chipotle have been volatile in the past to food illness reports, even in cases when only a few customers were impacted.
    • There's something pretty dramatic going on with movie theater attendance that's becoming harder to ignore. Today, MoviePass announced that it passed 1M paying subscribers. The business that is majority-owned by Helios and Matheson Analytics (HMNY +4%) hit the 1M subs mark faster than Hulu (NYSE:DIS), Netflix (NFLX -0.1%) or Spotify.
    • While plenty of investors are debating the HMNY numbers and model on Seeking Alpha, there's also the question of what kind of tailwind AMC Entertainment (AMC -1.3%), Regal Entertainment (RGC +0.1%), Marcus Corporation (MCS +0.9%), Reading International (RDI +0.2%) and Cinemark Holdings (CNK +1.3%) will catch from the 1M-member MoviePass army. One negative is that MoviePass limits subscribers to standard screenings, a potential drag on 3D and premium dine-in traffic.
    • Source: Press Release

    • Samsung (OTC:SSNNFOTC:SSNLFenters mass production on its second-gen 10nm DRAM chips.
    • The company says the new chips offer a 30% improvement in production efficiency and raises data transmission speeds by at least 10%. Energy efficiency increases by at least 15% for the chips. 
    • Samsung will market the chips primarily to data center servers with additional pushes towards smartphones and other mobile devices.
    • Samsung holds about 50% of the DRAM market with SK Hynix and Micron standing as the only other major players. In its earnings report yesterday, Micron forecasted DRAM industry supply bit growth to hit around 20% in CY18 with Micron expecting to come in slightly below that number. 

    AT&T sets $1B additional capital spend, $1K employee bonus thanks to tax bill

    • Following Congressional approval of the GOP tax reform plan, AT&T (T +1.4%) announces its intention to boost capital spending in the U.S. by $1B in 2018, and pay a $1K special bonus to more than 200K domestic employees.
    • If the bill gets signed prior to Christmas, employees will get their checks during the holiday season.
    • Source: Press Release


    • Bloomberg sources say Apple (NASDAQ:AAPL) will soon allow developers to design an app that works for both iOS and macOS.
    • Mac users have complained that macOS apps get neglected while developers complain about having to create two different versions of the app for the operating systems. 
    • The change comes as part of Apple’s next iOS and macOS updates, which are codenamed “Marzipan.” Rollouts could start in early 2018 with an official announcement coming at the summer developers conference.
    • In other news, Apple responds to claims that it purposefully slows down older iPhone models to promote sales.
    • The company says that the slowdown is actually due to worn batteries, which are more likely to exist in older phones.
    • Full statement (via Apple Insider): “Our goal is to deliver the best experience for customers, which includes overall performance and prolonging the life of their devices. Lithium-ion batteries become less capable of supplying peak current demands when in cold conditions, have a low battery charge or as they age over time, which can result in the device unexpectedly shutting down to protect its electronic components.”
    • ”Last year we released a feature for iPhone 6, iPhone 6s and iPhone SE to smooth out the instantaneous peaks only when needed to prevent the device from unexpectedly shutting down during these conditions. We've now extended that feature to iPhone 7 with iOS 11.2, and plan to add support for other products in the future.” 
    • Previously: Nomura downgrades Apple, lowers price target (Dec. 19)

  54. With the Twilight Zone, if it got too scary or weird you could always turn off the TV! With Trump, we are stuck inside the TV with no possible escape. Impeachment can't come soon enough but then we'll have Pence who reminded us again today what an empty suit he is.

  55. A weak close but not new lows.

    CMG/Stock – What a great way to make money, short CMG and then start a rumor.  

    LOL Naybob, not images I want in my head…

    This just in:

    • In a win for Boeing (BA +0.2%), the U.S. Commerce Department finalizes duties of nearly 300%on passenger jets made by Bombardier (OTCQX:BDRAFOTCQX:BDRBF).
    • The decision follows the DoC's preliminary recommendation of duties on Bombardier's C Series jets earlier this fall.
    • Boeing, which launched the petition over the sale of 75 CSeries aircraft to Delta Air Lines, says the decision validates its complaint.
    • The decision is not necessarily final; it could be overturned if the U.S. International Trade Commission finds that Boeing did not suffer material injury as a result of the Delta sale; the ITC’s final decision is expected on Feb. 1.

  56. ANWR / Phil – Many, may surprises left to be found in that bill. Remember, these senators and congresspeople voted for it without having read it. I was written in large part by lobbyist who pay these pols to close their eyes and sign on the dotted line.

  57. John McAfee is "talking" about this

  58. I'm not much on Stefan Molyneux but this nails it…

    The Handbook of Human Ownership – A Manual for New Tax Farmers

  59. Stolen packages – sheesh.  I saw this guy walking down Manhattan street, holding his kid's hand and saying "Sorry, I don't know why someone would steal our wreath…"

  60. No tax cuts for Christmas? Trump might delay bill signing

  61. After net neutrality: Brace for internet ‘fast lanes’

  62. Profitable Ways to Tackle Poverty and Inequality

  63. If Cash Is King

  64. Having some time on hand at this slow time of the season, besides my tree, armchair und cherry call plays, I have been doing some side line trading with limited risk.

    Obviously I do not wish to compete with the daily future trading you guys indulge in, as the gains are conservative, but at the same time your risk is limited.

    I just closed the option play on the stock HOME on the 15th Dec. using a put vertical with a nice profit.

    Here are another two stocks I am looking at, which are very opposite on the graph scale.

    WAGE on the bottom of the scale and VRSK on the top. Even that I do not like to enter put plays if the stock is on the high side of the scale, in the VRSK case I like to risk a small gamble.

    Both stocks have a potential to go up in Price during 2018 with positive review. However as usual do your own investigation. My examples are based on a one option play, and you need to decide yourself how many sets you want to sell. My recommendation as usual scale in small with the risk you are willing to lose!

    WAGE, you sell one May 18 60/55 vertical for a credit of 1.65. Your max. Profit is 165.00 with a maximum loss of 335.00, no matter how low the stock could fall. PM margin is 333.00 and the breakeven is at 58.35.

    The stock is trading at 60.65. If you would purchase the stock and the stock would drop by May to 58.35 you would have a paper loss (if not sold) of 230.00 against your max. loss in the option trade of 335.00 – 165 = 170.00.

    Even if the stock would be 60.65 in May you still have a gain of 165.00.

    Based on the margin requirement of 333.00 you have a potential return of 49.5 % over 148 days or 10% per month.

    Now looking at VRSK you sell one March 18 95/90 vertical put for a credit of 1.35. Your max. profit is 135.00 with a max. loss of 365.00, no matter how low the stock could fall. PM margin 312.00 and the breakeven is 93.65.

    The stock is trading at 96.33. If you would purchase the stock and the same would drop to 93.65 by March 18 you would have a paper loss (if not sold) of 268.00 against your max loss in the option trade of 365.00 – 135.00 = 230.00.

    Even if the stock would be 96.33 in March 18 you still have a gain of 135.00.

    Based on the margin requirement of 312.00 you have a potential return of 43 % over 85 days or 15% per month.

    I know I do not hear or get much feedback from members, but please let me know if any of you are interested to hear more about these type of plays, which I do enter frequently.

    Finally I like to say still a thank you to Phil, who recommended an option Play, before the div. due date of FTR, Buy the Jan 18 10/8 put, as it was only too obviously for me the stock would drop after the 14th of Dec. Sometimes it pays to read the small print!

  65. Yodi; love your trade ideas and have incorporated the "cherry" selling in my own portfolio.  I like to sell Put ratios in the leaps to generate low risk returns, particularly in my IRA.  Prefer to sell Iron Condors  for shorter term trades.  Yesterday I sold the TSLA Jan 285/295/365/375 IC for $2.09 and will look to get out for $1 profit.  With regard to your trade I did not follow this part of your logic:  The stock is trading at 60.65. If you would purchase the stock and the stock would drop by May to 58.35 you would have a paper loss (if not sold) of 230.00 against your max. loss in the option trade of 335.00 – 165 = 170.00.  Isn't the comparison, no gain or loss on the option position and a $230 loss if you had bought the stock?  Not sure how to look at the $170?

  66. Good morning!

    FTR/Yodi – Well that was a given, a stock doesn't give away 10% of it's market cap in a quarter and not drop off.  No changes so far, still looking to give away $2.40 per $7.34 share in 2018 yet nobody seems to want to own them. 

    Not much of a pop to the indexes this morning – things are just drifting along.  

    Asian Equities Dip as Cheer Ebbs Over U.S. Tax Cut. (video) Benchmark gauges in Sydney, Tokyo and Hong Kong dipped after the S&P 500 Index gave back a rally of as much as 0.4 percent to close down for the session in New York. Treasuries continued to slide Wednesday, led by the long-end, with 10-year yields breaching 2.5 percent for the first time since March. The euro is within a cent of its high for the month. Japan’s Topix Index fell 0.2 percent as of 10:35 a.m. in Tokyo. The Nikkei 225 Stock Average declined 0.4 percent. Hong Kong’s Hang Seng Index fell 0.2 percent, and the Shanghai Composite Index lost 0.4 percent. Futures on the S&P 500 Index were little changed after the underlying gauge slid 0.1 percent to 2,679.25 Wednesday. Australia’s S&P/ASX 200 Index was down 0.2 percent.

    Bank Of Japan Leaves Policy Unchanged As Expected – Admits "Inflation Weakening"

    Five Things You Need to Know to Start Your Day


    House Republican Leaders Push Bare-Bones Temporary FundingRepublican leaders in the House are pushing lawmakers to pass a bare-bones stopgap funding plan that would avert a government shutdown on Saturday and force the Senate to abandon attempts to add provisions on health care and other issues.

    This dominatrix makes men mine cryptocurrency for her — and she now has over $1 million

    Ex-FBI Assistant Director: Patriots Within The FBI Will Soon Step Forward And Expose The "Cabal"

    The amazing changes intermittent fasting does to your body and brain


  67. options alpha

    The max. you could lose on the option play is 335.00. But you still did receive 165.00 when you initiated the play so the difference is 170.00