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Just Another Maniac Monday – Trump for Life!

XiPresident Trump for life!  

That's the word this weekend as Trump said to a group of Republican supporters regarding China's President Xi abolishing term limits:

"He's now president for life.  President for life (boos).  No, he's great.  And look, he was able to do that. I think it's great. Maybe we'll have to give that a shot some day.

Well there's nothing more exciting to stock markets than Fascist Dictators on the march, just ask 1929!  More dictators means more guns and more bombs and, in fact, China raised their military budget by 8% for next year to 1 Trillion Yuan and that is now being circulated by the Conservative Media to demonstrate why we need to raise our $1Tn Military Budget and it works because they can count on the fact that their viewers are too stupid to remember that we started this by raising our own Military Budget by 8% and, of course, they know their audience hasn't got a clue that there are 6.34 Yuan to a Dollar so 1Tn Yuan is actually only $157Bn which means China's TOTAL military budget is less than Trump has raised ours in the past two years! 

Russia's military budget is $70Bn, in case you are wondering about that "threat" and notice how Putin demonstrate his new missile just in time for Trump to press to raise our Military Budget this year by the entirety of Russia's Military Budget – what a lucky coincidence for Trump's agenda!  And having an "enemy" like Trump to point to solidifies Putin's position as the unquestionalbe leader of Russia – doing anything he wants "for the sake of security" – much like the Government in Orwell's 1984 or the current Trump Administration.  

Related imageAngela Merkel is not a dictator but she just spent the last 6 months since the election forging an alliance that lets her extend here 12-year reign for another term at the head of Germany and de-facto head of Europe.  Putin has been in office 5 years longer than her and Xi came to power in 2012 – so he has a long way to go if he wants to match his other Democratically elected peers as the longest-serving dictator in modern times. 

It was only 1982 when China ratified a constitution and Brezhnev had been ruling Russia my whole life (since 1964) and Helmut Kohl was replacing Helmut Schmidt so almost the same thing since 1974 (and 16 year of Schmidt to follow) while Thatcher led the UK for all of the 80s along with Reagan/Bush 1 in the US.

So it's only been a very, very brief flirtation we've had with actual Democracy and elected leadership and now the Dictator Class is flexing it's muscle again and looking to impose some new order on the World and they are using the same old playbook of keeping a constant threat of war to justify their actions as they deprive the people "for their own safety."  That's because the Top 1% do much, much better when the Oligarchs are in charge.  So anyone who matters is firmly behind this plan.  

Maybe it's because I was born in the 60's and saw the old guard toppled by idealism that I'm sensitive to seeing these Dictatorships gaining ground again.  I talk to people all the time who have no problem with what's going on and act as if it's perfectly OK to round up people and deport them – even pregnant mothers with US Citizens in their bellies (because doesn't citizenship begin at conception?).

This post I'm writing won't be published on Seeking Alpha because they don't allow political conversation and, this weekend, US Representative Devin Nunes said that Stephen Colbert's jokes are "a danger to this country" and there has been no public outcry against Nunes.  WTF is happening here?  WAKE UP PEOPLE – Democracy is something you have to fight for or "THEY" take it away from you! 

“The left controls not only the universities in this country, but they also control Hollywood in this country, and the mainstream media, so conservatives in this country are under attack … they attack people who are trying to get to the truth,” the head of the House Intelligence Committee added.

Well, everyone has an opinion, I guess and, as long as I control the media – I will speak out against the ressurection of the Old World Order – the one that led us into decades of wars that left tens of millions dead on battlefields and hundreds of millions dead from starvation and disease.  Someone needs to do something before those "good old days" are back again.



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  1. Dead cat bounce?

  2. Dictator / Phil – I am currently listening to "How Democracies Die"  and the common factor in many cases is the role of existing parties in legitimizing potential authoritarian figures (looking at you Ryan and McConnell) thinking that they will be able to control them. It rarely works and often they also pay a price! History will not be kind to the current GOP unless of course President for life Trump scrubs the history books like Putin is doing in Russia and talk about his large victory in 2016 where he rescued the country from economic disaster brought in by an illegetimate Obama! Interestingly enough, German and Italian politicians thought that Hitler and Mussolini were clowns and had no chances of winning or lasting in power. Thankfully our institutions are stronger but being weakened by the day it seems.

  3. You could almost think that these guys are paid by the oil companies:

    Last week the Interior Department's Royalty Policy Committee issued a recommendation suggesting that Interior Secretary Ryan Zinke lower royalty rates for offshore oil and gas drilling on seabed owned by the US government. If Zinke approves the recommendation, royalties from offshore drilling would drop from 18.75 percent to 12.5 percent, the lowest royalty rate permitted by the federal government.

    It's our land and our money that they are giving away to their friends!

  4. They can't make up their mind on the value of $100:

    Whether the $175 price increase on a car is “no big deal” may vary by your income and perspective, but many pundits are pointing out the argument falls a little flat coming from this Republican administration. The GOP has spent months touting a tax break that for many could amount to about $100 as possibly life-changing for the working and middle class. (Never forget House Speaker Paul Ryan’s now-deleted tweet celebrating a public high school employee’s salary increasing by $1.50 weekly because of the GOP tax law.)

  5. Good Morning.

  6. Good Morning… go VRX!

  7. Phil/  NFLX Puts

    What is your target on NFLX?  Thanks.

  8. ALB/Phil- for the LTP, any adjustments now it's trading $94 or it's not worth much adjustments?

  9. Seriously Phil, Who the hell listens to devin nunes?  November 6 Baby…..

  10. quiet board today? Monday blues?

  11. Good morning!  

    A few quick dips in the futures but no good trends so far.

    Big Chart – We have "death crossed" on the 20 dma on the Nas, so watch for developments (thanks SoldGood):

    Dictators/StJ – I think it's amazing how fast we forget how horrible these people used to be and here we are allowing the rise of another set of dictators. 

    Paid by oil/StJ – Don't get me started, Zinke is the biggest crook of them all.  Used to be very vocal about climate change being a problem, now has decided "the science isn't conclusive".  He owns a pipeline company that benefits from all the drilling and is under several corruption investigations already.  Meanwhile, him and Trump are signing over millions of previously protected acres to oil companies for exploration. 

    $1.50/StJ – Well, at least that will buy them a can of soup (on sale). 

    Coffee/Jabob – It all depends which article you read last:

    It was 80 degrees last Wednesday and Friday we had an ice storm – sometimes climate change is kind and sometimes it's cruel.  Long-Term, we're betting on issues that disrupt supply outweighing the occasional benefits. 

    VRX/Learner – Well that was a good floor.

    Submitted on 2018/03/02 at 11:51 am

    It's a strange day to get bullish but VRX is down on the shelf offering and because they guided to "only" have $8.5Bn in sales this year.  The stock is down to $5Bn at $15 and, even if we assume they get eaten up by generics and have no pipeline (neither of which is likely) – they still have more than $5Bn in sales and MRK has $39Bn in sales and makes 10% and PFE has has $53Bn in sales and makes 15% so $5Bn is the very low end for VRX, which means we should at least take a poke here. 

    That's what value investing is all about – knowing the value of something despite what the sheeple think at the moment.

    NFLX/Lala – My "target" is that they certainly aren't worth $300, so we sold the calls.  I couldn't say how much they'd actually go down.  With $500M in earnings and a $130Bn market cap, it will take them 260 years to make your money back so I'd say that's excessive.  I don't see what they can possibly report in April that will justify that.  As of last Q, they were guiding $2.70 for the year so, unless they beat that considerably, 100x would be $270 and that's about where they should be – even if optmisticly traded.  

    ALB/Dave – The whole sector is down and we have to decide if we want to stick with a lithium play long-term.  The company had good earnings, so it's not them in particular.  $857M in Q4 was up 23% from 2016, led by advanced materials (Lithium) and they are looking for $3.3Bn (consistent to high Q) in 2018 and the reason I liked ALB is because advanced materials is "only" 42% of the business – so there's a whole company behind the trendy play.  Our LTP trade is:

    Long Call 2020 17-JAN 110.00 CALL [ALB @ $93.84 $-1.18] 15 2/9/2018 (683) $29,250 $19.50 $-6.15 n/a     $13.35 $0.08 $-9,225 -31.5% $20,025
    Short Call 2020 17-JAN 130.00 CALL [ALB @ $93.84 $-1.18] -10 2/5/2018 (683) $-13,500 $13.50 $-4.70     $8.80 - $4,700 34.8% $-8,800
    Short Put 2020 17-JAN 100.00 PUT [ALB @ $93.84 $-1.18] -5 2/6/2018 (683) $-7,750 $15.50 $5.15     $20.65 $1.15 $-2,575 -33.2% $-10,325

    In theory, they should make $5/share this year and $6 in 2019 and pay 20x for trendy lithium is $120 and pay 15x for a boring chemical company and that's $90.  I wanted ALB to go lower to make the roll cheaper so we could play them for $90.

    In the LTP, we can roll our 15 ALB 2020 $110 calls at $13.25 ($19,875) to 20 2020 $75 calls at $29.85 ($59,700) and sell 10 2020 $95 calls for $19.50 ($19,500).  That's net $20,325 and we can always pick up another $10,000 + by rolling the short $130s ($8.80) down to the $95s but $8.80 is a ridiculous price to pay so I'd rather leave them for now.

    Overall then, we're in the spread for our original $10,000 credit plus the $20,325 we're spending is net $10,325 for 10 of the 2020 $75/95 bull call spreads that will pay $20,000 at $95 and the 10 $75/130 bull call spreads will also pay $20,000 plus, possibly, another $35,000 at $130.  Not bad for an adjustment and, with all that head-room, we're free to sell some short calls along the way if they recover a bit.  10 April $105s, even now, can be sold for $1,500 and that's just 46 out of 683 days we have to sell – 10 sales like that and we get $15,000 back!  

    Nunes/1020 – Who listens to the head of the House Intelligence Committee?  Hopefully no one but, officially, he's one of the most important people in America.

    Rep. Devin Nunes (R-Calif.) said Saturday that Stephen Colbert’s jokes about him are a “danger” in this country.

    Colbert traveled to the Capitol on Friday’s episode of “The Late Show” in a spoof mission to tease information out of congressmen about possible collusion between President Donald Trump’s campaign and Russia. Colbert was armed with his own memo stating: “Devon Nunes is a [redacted].”

    Colbert managed to crack a smile from stone-faced Sen. Mark Warner (D-Va.) when he asked him if he was “jealous” that Rep. Adam Schiff (D-Calif.) gets to work with Nunes. 


    “This is the danger that we have in this country,” Nunes said when Fox News’ Neil Cavuto asked how he felt about the jokes.

    “The left controls not only the universities in this country, but they also control Hollywood in this country, and the mainstream media, so conservatives in this country are under attack … they attack people who are trying to get to the truth,” the head of the House Intelligence Committee added.

  12. This was 3am (note 10 conviction shorts I cashed out):

    This is 7 hours later:

    This is why I prefer conviction trading – 12 trades later and I made half as much money as I did in my sleep!  

  13. nunes/Phil  There are much bigger fish to fry – certainly not the soon to be unemployed shmuck from Fresno….

  14. And, of course, back to shorting a couple of /TF at 1,530.  As long as /NQ is below 6,800 and /TF is below 24,500 and /ES is below 2,687.50 I'm happy

  15. LB/Phil- I have the 20 40/50 call spread with 10 short 40 puts trade. I can roll the 40 to 35 calls for 2.9, should I roll it but it seems LB holding low 40s well.

  16. Well, so much for those shorts.  24,600, 2,700, 6,825 and 1,540 now and can't short on the way up, have to wait for lines to break on the way down.

    Jabob's article got /KC back to $120 – have to add one there!  

    • "I am confident we can resolve our remaining differences in the days ahead," says U.K. Prime Minister Theresa May, addressing Parliament a short while ago.
    • The "differences" she's referring to are with the European Union over Brexit. "We are close to an agreement," says May.
    • Speaking later, Labour's Jeremy Corbyn says the government is "nowhere near" a deal.
    • The pound (NYSEARCA:FXB) is nevertheless on the move, up 0.4% vs. the dollar at $1.3852. The FTSE 100 (NYSEARCA:EWU) has slipped from earlier levels, now up just 0.25%.

    Trade Wars Are Bad and Hard to Win, U.K. Tells TrumpThe U.K. has “deep concern” about the U.S. plan to slap tariffs on steel and aluminum imports, and negotiated accords are better, Prime Minister Theresa May told President Donald Trump. The two leaders spoke Sunday by telephone, with May saying “multilateral action was the only way to resolve the problem of global overcapacity in all parties’ interests,” according to a spokesman for the prime minister. Trump’s vow that trade wars are good and are easy to win also drew a rebuke from one of May’s most senior ministers, who said the conflicts are bad and hard to win.

    • The trucking sector is showing some weakness today, presumably due to investor concerns over how changes with trade, tariffs and NAFTA could impact the sector.
    • Notable decliners include USA Truck (USAK -12.9%), Convenant Transportation (CVTI -3.7%), Echo Global Logistics (ECHO -2.8%), YRC Worldwide (YRCW -1.8%), ArcBest (ARCB -2.1%), J.B. Hunt Transport Services (JBHT -2.4%), Werner Enterprises (WERN -1.7%), Heartland Express (HTLD -1.9%) and Old Dominion Freight Line (ODFL -1.4%).

    Trump Trade Adviser Says Tariff `Exemptions' PossibleThe Trump administration shows scant sign of watering down its plan to impose stiff tariffs on steel and aluminum imports with carve-outs for specific countries, despite opposition from U.S. allies and Republican lawmakers. The president’s trade advisers fanned out across television news shows on Sunday to defend the move, saying it was necessary to ensure the survival of the domestic steel and aluminum industries and would be put into effect soon. In spite of pleas from Canada, Great Britain and other U.S. partners, shipments from U.S. allies will not be excluded from the action, they said. Some exemptions though may be granted to specific products deemed necessary to U.S. businesses.

    EU Plans to Tax 2%-6% of Tech Giants' Sales, Le Maire Tells JDDThe European Union will unveil a directive within weeks on taxing between 2 percent and 6 percent of big technology companies’ revenue, French economy minister Bruno Le Maire said in an interview with the weekly newspaper Journal du Dimanche. "It will be closer to 2 percent than 6 percent," Le Maire told the paper, saying the EU directive is a starting point that will be refined. "I prefer an applicable text very quickly rather than endless negotiations," he said. The European Commission is considering the tax on revenue as it’s easier than focusing on earnings, given the different rules between countries. EU countries have been looking into methods to tax companies like Inc., Facebook Inc. and Alphabet Inc.’s Google in a way that captures the true value created in the region.


    Biggest Libya Oil Field Is Said to Stop Pumping on Pipeline HaltLibya’s Sharara oil field stopped pumping crude oil several days after output plunged at another of the OPEC member’s biggest deposits. The halt resulted from the closing of a pipeline from Sharara to the Zawiya refinery, according to a person with knowledge of the matter. The North African country’s largest field halted production on Sunday, a second person with knowledge said. Libya had been pumping 1.1 million barrels a day as of March 1, with Sharara contributing 300,000 of that. The field is run by a joint venture between the National Oil Corp. and Repsol SA, Total SA, OMV AG and Statoil ASA.

    World's Best Performing Macro Hedge Fund Lost 16% Last Month

    Credit-Card Losses Surge at Small BanksCharge-offs linger near eight-year high, which some say is a sign of the financial fragility of middle-and-lower-income consumers

    Italy looks like it's headed to a hung parliament — here’s what happens next

    Ben Garrison: "The War Against The Free Speech Of The Right Will End Badly"

    Zuesse: America's News Media Foment Hate

    • Shares of General Electric (GE +2.8%should begin to stabilize following last week's announcement of three "highly capable" new directors, and the company's year-end financials did not include any new material disclosures likely to adversely affect its future fundamental performance, says William Blair analyst Nicholas Heymann, rating the stock at Outperform.
    • The analyst lists five reasons why GE shares are likely to offer upside potential over the near and intermediate term: oil prices nearing three-year highs, the CEO's belief that shareholder and bondholder lawsuits could be resolved without material adverse financial impact, the performance of GE's aviation and healthcare businesses, improving cash generation, and the company being well positioned to "materially reduce" its underfunded pension plan in 2018.
    • GE's focus on better than expected free cash flow and accelerated pace of asset sales likely will enable the shares to return to a "normalized" valuation of 20x trough 2018 adjusted EPS of $1.00-$1.07, or a valuation in the $20-$22 range, Heymann says.
    • At least two Chinese companies, MLS and Foshan, are preparing bids for General Electric's (GE+0.8%) remaining lighting assets in a potentially $1B deal, Reuters reports.
    • GE sent out teasers today to interested parties about the sale process, to be followed by information memos in a couple of weeks and a first round of bidding thereafter.

    • The Oscars telecast provided a now-to-be-expected ratings decline for ABC (DIS +0.1%), with overnight ratings suggesting the show may have hit an all-time low in viewership.
    • Early numbers suggest an 18.9 overnight rating from 8-11 p.m. ET, down 16% Y/Y. Last year's Oscars earned a 22.4 and drew 32.9M viewers, second-lowest total ever (though today's overnights don't yet reflect the end of the show with the biggest awards).
    • On the advertiser side, ABC had marked its earliest sellout of spots ever and was looking for up to $2.6M for a 30-second spot on the broadcast.
    • The 2008 show's 31.8M viewers drew the lowest viewership. Full numbers come from Nielsen later on.
    • While the Oscar is more of a prestige win, success at the industry's top awards show can mean some boost for winning studios' top lines. The top-winning studio was Fox Searchlight (FOX+0.1%FOXA +0.3%) with six wins, followed by Warner Bros. (TWX +0.7%) with five. Focus Features (CMCSA -0.1%) took three Oscars, while Disney (NYSE:DIS) had two, and Sony (SNE+0.8%) had two while its Sony Pictures Classics label took two more.
    • Meanwhile, after making some prestige inroads in the past, Netflix (NFLX +2.3%) ended up with just one award.
    • Previously: 'Shape of Water' wins Best Picture Oscar (Mar. 05 2018)
    • Bank of America Merrill Lynch lowers estimate on McDonald's (MCD +1.1%) after factoring in sales trends and expectations on franchise margins.
    • The investment firm expects U.S. same-store sales to be up 2.8% in 2018 and global growth to be 4%, both marks a downward revision. BAML's 2018 EPS estimate is dropped to $7.70 from $7.95. The new price target on McDonald's is $180 (16.5X the EV/EBITDA multiple).
    • Shares of McDonald's took a sharp turn lower on Friday due to some pessimism from RBC Capital.
    • Sources: CNBC, Bloomberg
    • French business activity slowed to 57.3 in February from 59.6 in January,
    • Companies added staff to keep up with rising demand, output eased and corporate confidence rose to its highest point since September.
    • PMI service fell to 57.4 from 59.2 in January.
    • A survey closely monitored by the ECB indicated that the eurozone economy hit a slight "speed bump" in February as the central bank looks to end its ultra-easy monetary policy.
    • The bloc' final composite PMI fell to 57.1 from January's 58.8, but remained way above the 50 level that indicates expansion.
    • It's "too early to read too much" into the monthly decline, said Chris Williamson, chief economist at IHS Markit.

    • Needham reiterates its Strong Buy rating on Lumentum (NASDAQ:LITE) after a visit to the company.
    • Analyst Alex Henderson says Lumentum has more visibility in the optical component market than its peers.  
    • Henderson says ROADM demand looks solid in 2018 for both the US and China, Pump Laser demand is outstripping supply slightly, and Industrial Lasers is strong with good visibility well into 2H. 
    • Firm sets an $80 price target, a 26% upside to Friday’s close. 
    • Lumentum shares are up 0.5% to $63.60. 
    • Fertilizer stocks Intrepid Potash (NYSE:IPI), Mosaic (NYSE:MOS), CVR Partners (NYSE:UAN) and CF industries (NYSE:CF) are upgraded at Cowen, which says meetings with South American agricultural players have yielded "game changing" agriculture data.
    • Cowen's Charles Neivert says there seems to be a major crop shortfall in South America, which has not yet showed up in major published sources and will serve as a catalyst to trigger a "long awaited" pricing recovery.
    • Neivert says his recent trip to South America showed an increasingly dire crop situation in Argentina for corn and soybeans, where each crop looks like it will see shortfalls of 10M-15M metric tons of product Y/Y.
    • The firm raises CF, MOS and UAN to Outperform from Market Perform with respective price targets of $50, $32 and 4.25, and upgrades IPI to Market Perform from Underperform with a $3.75 price target; Nutrien (NYSE:NTR) is maintained at Outperform with a $60 price target.
    • IPI +6.4%, MOS +1.6% premarket.
    • Source: Bloomberg First Word
    • The U.S. box office has brought in $2.123B this year through March 4 to outpace last year's level by 11.9%.
    • Perhaps a surprise, but the domestic tally is 36% higher than where the industry stood five years ago through the same date.
    • Black Panther has brought in over $500M through March 4, while Jumanji: Welcome to the Jungle ($224M), The Greatest Showman ($115M) and Star Wars: The Last Jedi ($101M) have also been heavy hitters in 2018.
    • There was some questions during movie theater company conference calls about how big of an impact MoviePass had on traffic during the holiday period and into 2018, but most execs skipped over details. An exception was AMC CEO Adam Aron.
    • AMC's Aron: "Our records indicate that several hundred thousand of their subscribers showed up at AMC theaters. They did so an average of 2.7 times each. They paid us approximately $11.90 per ticket, which means that MoviePass paid us in excess of $32 per subscriber." (transcript)
    • That MoviePass math may need to change down the road as the monetization model matures.
    • Among the discussions taking place in bank boardrooms of late: When will Amazon (NASDAQ:AMZN) show up to claim our margins? Maybe not too much longer, according to the WSJ, which reports Amazon as in early-stage talks to create a checking-account-like product.
    • The product, says the story, would be focused on those not yet swept up in the traditional financial services industry, but wouldn't include Amazon actually becoming a bank. Walmart attempted the bank route 20 years ago, but the industry got then-Fed chief Alan Greenspan to shoot that down.
    • Amazon, of course, has millions of customers, access to cheap capital, and tons of data, making it a potentially fearsome competitor to the banking industry. The good news for lenders: The company for now appears to be trying to get its foot in the door as partner, rather than competitor.
    • Amazon a few months ago asked a number of banks for proposals about a hybrid-checking account. Among pitches currently being mulled are ones from Capital One (NYSE:COF) and JPMorgan (NYSE:JPM).
    • Other names of interest: Bank of America (NYSE:BAC), Citigroup (NYSE:C), Wells Fargo (NYSE:WFC), U.S. Bancorp (NYSE:USB), PNC Financial (NYSE:PNC), KeyCorp (NYSE:KEY), Regions Financial (NYSE:RF).
    • Results from a preclinical proof-of-concept study evaluating the combination of Gilead Sciences' (NASDAQ:GILD) GS-9620, an oral toll-like receptor 7 (TLR7) agonist and PGT121, a proprietary investigational broadly neutralizing antibody, showed a positive effect in eradicating simian-human immunodeficiency virus (SHIV) in non-human primates on suppressive antiretroviral therapy (ART). The data were presented at the Conference on Retroviruses and Opportunistic Infection in Boston.
    • The study involved 44 SHIV-infected rhesus monkeys who started ART on day 7 post-infection. After 96 weeks of continuous ART, they were divided into four equal groups who received either five doses of PCT121 every two weeks for 10 weeks, 10 doses of GS-9620 every two weeks for 20 weeks, placebo or both PCT121 + GS-9620.
    • After ART discontinuation, five of the 11 animals receiving the combination showed no viral rebound for at least 168 days. The other six rebounded but then began re-suppressing the virus without ART.
    • Almost all of the primates in the other three groups experienced viral rebound.
    • The research, conducted with researchers at Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center, was supported by the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation.
    • Walmart (NYSE:WMT) will start offering prepared meals at its stores for the first time, a move that could boost the nation's biggest grocer following Amazon's (NASDAQ:AMZN) $13.7B purchase of Whole Foods.
    • Ten different meals are now available in 250 stores, and the program will expand to 2,000 locations by year's end. Prices of the prepared meals will range from $8 to $10.

  17. Bill Gates will be paying off $76 million of Nigeria's debt after the country met polio vaccination targets. via

    LOL!  Great burn by Duke!  

    Would you hire this guy?  Atari did not…

    Bonds falling again:

  18. CNX 

    On Feb 5, I put on a position in CNX, following the lead of Southeastern Asset Management who increased their stake to 24% of the outstanding shares.  Stock has been very strong.

  19. Phil

    Do we have any TWX Time Warner put?


  20. Interesting article on the negative effects of Trump's tariffs.

  21. Anyone see any news on Marriott? (MAR) for the 3% drop?

  22. Atari hired Steve Jobs actually

  23. Dow up almost 300 again – must be Monday.

    Date Open High Low Close* Adj Close** Volume
    Mar 05, 2018 267.73 272.15 267.61 271.95 271.95 45,630,387
    Mar 02, 2018 265.80 269.72 264.82 269.08 269.08 135,113,000
    Mar 01, 2018 271.41 273.17 266.00 267.70 267.70 176,855,100
    Feb 28, 2018 275.68 276.19 271.29 271.65 271.65 121,907,800
    Feb 27, 2018 278.11 278.92 274.36 274.43 274.43 99,099,200
    Feb 26, 2018 275.93 278.01 275.26 277.90 277.90 86,491,400
    Feb 23, 2018 271.79 274.71 271.25 274.71 274.71 92,766,400
    Feb 22, 2018 271.10 273.05 269.64 270.40 270.40 110,511,300

    LB/Dave – The point is that the $40s are $10.60 and the $35s are $13.20 so it is worth $2.60 to buy $5 in position – of course it is.  Keep in mind it's not an emergency and you can try to fill 5 at a good price, then another 5,  then another 5.  I'd offer to sell the $40s for $11 and offer to buy the $35s for $13 and see which one fills first and then see about the other side.  Sometimes you get lucky and fill both.

    Once that's done, if you can roll the $50s down to the $45s for $2.60 or better – you've repositioned lower at no cost – what could be better than that?

    CNX/Albo – Seems like a good space so far this year but be careful if prices crash. 

    TWX/QC – No, I didn't like the arb on them.

    MAR/Maya – Guidance was a bit disappointing but it's a good stock overall, not for this price though!  

    We liked them 2 years ago in the $50s, no chance I'd pay over $100 for them.

    Atari/BDC – Off that resume?  Wow! 

  24. Hmmm.., opening the door for corruption. I guess the new White House MO:

    Peter Navarro, an adviser and the architect of many of Mr. Trump’s campaign trade promises, confirmed on Sunday that the president would not exclude any country from the tariffs but said individual companies could apply for exemptions for certain products.

    So, you are one of the affected companies, you send your CEO to go kiss the ring and leave a small check behind and poof, no more tariff for you. USA, the new banana republic!

  25. Steven Jobs

    1976- I failed to get aboard with NCR (makers of cash registers)- I think I could not put the machine together in allottted time..some colllege took me, I guess. Turned out ok

  26. Phil/MAR

    Funny you pick $100…that’s my basis in it and I sold some in the money calls at 145.

    But I am a fan of theirs and use the properties, and they mostly get paid for Managment and not so much ownership of the hotels

  27. FNSR – Nice move following a downgrade.

    ~~Finisar downgraded to Outperform from Strong Buy at Raymond James.

  28. albo.. are you playing FNSR or AAOI ?  I started nibbling at AAOI at these prices.

  29. Learner – I'm in FNSR and slightly underwater at the moment.

    Have not followed AAOI for awhile, after doing well with it, but then giving back most of the gains.  Will take another look.  Thanks.

  30. Bananas/StJ – That's actually very smart, they created a huge new category they can accept bribes for.  

    MAR/Maya – I like them too and was banging the table on them in Vegas when they were cheaper (along with STWD) but I totally lost interest as they ran so far up.  I have a property at the Grand in Lake Tahoe that I always trade for Marriott Points – they are a great deal.  

    FNSR/Albo – I'll take strong buy!  We just added them to the Hedge Fund last week and, of course, they were on the Watch list and in both the LTP and the OOP.

      /KC making quick money already.  

    Never got a fill below $120 so just the one contract.

    /CL stuck at $62.50 – that's a tempting short!  /RB $1.93 also tempting.

  31. BAC – did some partial covers of stock. sold Jan2019 35 calls at $1.98 and $2.00.

  32. No news at all but markets pressing higher.  

    As usual, too scary to short overnight but hopefully tomorrow we can short a bit more.  

    Apparently ToS won't use /TF anymore and is switching to /RTY, which is the same $50 per point contract with a lower $3,850 margin (vs $4,620) so no big deal other than remembering to use /RTY.  I would not leave /TFs open!  

  33. UBNT – nice recovery… is it time to pull the rug out again?

  34. HSBC/Phil – first and foremost I think of these guys as criminal money launderers, but down 12%, tested(ing) 200dma, at previous consolidation level, rich dividend…   value here?

  35. UBNT/Scott – Crazy stock:

    CNBC reporting "Trump may have done something" – LOL.  Seems like they heard this from someone who was questioned re. election campaign.

    HSBC/Scott – How much are you thinking of investing?  I have a crack dealer down the street who'll give you 2% of his business for $50K – probably less of a criminal than HSBC…

    Even at $50 it's 20x earnings and those earnings are erratic to say the least and let's say they don't get fined and sanctioned - they still may have to stick to more legitimate revenue streams that may be less profitable going forward. 

    INVESTOR ALERT: Levi & Korsinsky, LLP Reminds Investors of an Investigation Involving Possible Securities Fraud Violations by the Board of Directors of HSBC Holdings plc

    That's one of dozens.

    Year End 31st Dec 2012 2013 2014 2015 2016 2017 2018E 2019E CAGR / Avg
    Revenue $m 73,505 71,737 80,713 76,959 70,028 69,193 54,512 57,169 -1.2%
    Operating Profit $m 20,649 22,565 18,680 18,867 7,112 17,167     -3.6%
    Net Profit $m 14,027 16,204 13,688 13,522 2,479 10,798 14,743 15,650 -5.1%
    EPS Reported $ 3.68 4.19 3.44 3.22 0.33 2.73     -5.8%
    EPS Normalised $ 2.31 4.05 3.81 3.61 1.52 3.43 3.64 3.81 +8.2%
    EPS Growth % -50.3 +75.6 -5.9 -5.3 -57.8 +125.4 +6.28 +4.60  
    PE Ratio x           14.4 13.6 13.0  
    PEG x           2.30 2.95 1.94

  36. Nas flirting with 6,900.  /TF 1,549 so 1,550 will be watched, 2,725 on /ES and 24,900 on /YM – lots of good levels to key off if they start failing.  

  37. Mondays matter!!!!

  38. CHL/Phil – including DRIP plan (but not including previous short call sales that expired), back to just under my feb 2013 entry.  how is four year dead money your favorite Chinese stock?

    • Crude oil prices rallied to their largest single-session dollar and percentage gains in nearly three weeks on news of a decline in stockpiles at the Cushing, Okla., storage hub; WTI +2.2% to settle at $62.57/bbl and Brent +1.8% to $65.54/bbl, their best showing since Feb. 14.
    • Bloomberg reports data from Genscape show a 600K-barrel decline in last week’s crude inventories at Cushing, where supplies already are at their lowest level since 2014.
    • “The trend in global inventories shows that the market is fundamentally under-supplied and that emphatically remains the case,” says Raymond James energy analyst Pavel Molchanov, adding that the drawdown in inventories should continue through to near the end of this year.
    • Insurers are having a big session after XL Group's sale announced earlier today.
    • Rising interest rates and a favorable underwriting environment have improved the outlook for property & casualty insurance companies, and their stock prices are finally pricing in the optimism.
    • Insurance stocks are up broadly with RenaissanceRe (RNR +8.2%), MBIA (MBI +5.9%), Axis Capital (AXS +6.8%), Everest Re (RE +6.7%), Aspen Insurance (AHL +6.3%), and Argo Group (AGII +5.1%) all soaring more than 5% today.

    Monday's/Jabob – Come back tomorrow and let me know if it mattered. 

    Dorms/Jeff – Good idea really.  I'd love a place to crash in NYC for $2,000/month!  

  39. ;-)

  40. CHL/Scott – I like them because we always buy them around $45-50 and sell puts and calls and and then get called away so what do I care if they are still $47?  They are one of the only Chinese stocks I don't think is a massive potential scam – that's why I like them the best of the scary bunch.

    You say "not including short call sales" but that's the whole point to owning a steady utility stock, isn't it?  

    At the moment, the stock is $45.75 and you can sell Sept $45 puts for $2.70 and the Sept $45 calls for $2.80 for net $40.25 for 6 months and, if you had the stock for 4 years and sold $5 worth of puts and calls every 6 months, that's $120 (240%) plus 6% dividends is 24% more.  Maybe they weren't all winners but I bet most of them were! 

    Would I rather play that stock or BABA, which I can't sell calls against?

  41. Interesting you are just being told no more /TF, I haven't been able to use that in almost a year through TOS, but I've been using /RTY and following along with your moves without issue.

  42. Interesting on a day I just made a ton of money on /TF too.  Still, seems like the same thing with less margin – will just take me a while to get used to saying /RTY.

  43. The VIX spent almost the entire 2017 below 15 and has now been over 15 for over one month. Some people are still worried.

  44. No collusion?

    According to an article by the Washington Post, that month the C.I.A. sent what the paper described as “an intelligence bombshell” to President Obama, warning him that Putin was directly involved in a Russian cyber campaign aimed at disrupting the Presidential election—and helping Trump win. Robert Hannigan, then the head of the U.K.’s intelligence service the G.C.H.Q., had recently flown to Washington and briefed the C.I.A.’s director, John Brennan, on a stream of illicit communications between Trump’s team and Moscow that had been intercepted. (The content of these intercepts has not become public.)

    My guess is that Mueller is aware of what is in these documents!

  45. Mueller’s Focus on Adviser to Emirates Suggests Broader Investigation

  46. Panama Hotel Owner, Declaring Victory, Has Trump’s Name Removed

  47. 30% of the web now runs on WordPress

  48. Good morning!  

    Markets up a bit more – nothing seems to stop them.  

    Dollar down to 89.87, oil still $62.75, /RB $1.925, /NGV8 is $2.82.

    DAX popped 1% and rest of Europe is close so we have catching up to do but they are catching up to us from yesterday (chickens and eggs).  Trump's trade war has now put the Global Economy in jeopardy and that means the Central Banks will give us MORE FREE MONEY – that's the insane narrative driving the markets!

    Draghi’s Three Reasons to Justify No Change in ECB GuidanceMario Draghi has just received a triple whammy of evidence to justify playing it safe when he meets with fellow European Central Bank policy makers this week. U.S. President Donald Trump’s plan to impose tariffs on foreign steel and aluminum has raised the specter of a global trade war, and the anti-establishment surge in Italy puts a question mark over the political outlook for one of the euro area’s biggest and most-indebted economies. Meanwhile, the upswing in the 19-nation bloc may be hitting a speed bump.

    Equity Gains Spread to Asia as Trade Worries Ease. Japan’s Topix index surged almost 2 percent and shares in Australia and South Korea also gained. The S&P 500 Index advanced for a second day after hedge fund billionaire Ray Dalio called the threat of a trade war “political show” and House Speaker Paul Ryan urged the president to reconsider tariffs on steel and aluminum. Ten-year Treasury yields advanced toward 2.90 percent. Japan’s Topix was up 1.8 percent and the Nikkei 225 Stock Average climbed 2.1 percent as of 9:23 a.m. in Tokyo. Australia’s S&P/ASX 200 Index added 1.3 percent. South Korea’s Kospi index advanced 1.1 percent. Futures on Hong Kong’s Hang Seng Index rose 1.2 percent. Contracts on the S&P 500 Index gained less than 0.05 percent. The underlying measure rose 1.1 percent.


    • Australia's central bank left interest rates at record lows of 1.5% on Tuesday, as expected, and sounded less confident that the economy would grow at 3% or more this year, directing that rates will likely remain on hold for months to come.
    • The Reserve Bank of Australia changed its stance by entirely removing reference of above 3% growth to "grow faster in 2018 than it did in 2017" as analysts downgrade forecasts for 4Q18 GDP to 0.5% quarterly and 2.4%.

    Goldman's Moe Says Tariffs Won't Have Meaningful Impact on China

    Tariff Tantrum Turns To Buying-Panic As Stocks Shrug Off Global Trade War Threat


    • The European Union intends to target €2.8B of U.S. goods ranging from jeans and bourbon to motorcycles and boats should President Trump go ahead with his plan to impose a 25% tariff on foreign steel.
    • That's according to a list drawn up by the European Commission and obtained by Bloomberg News.
    • It's also weighing filing a WTO complaint and introducing "safeguard" measures to prevent steel shipments from being diverted and flooding the European market.
    • "To complete NAFTA 2.0, we will need agreement on roughly 30 chapters. After seven months, we have completed just six," U.S. Trade Representative Robert Lighthizer said as the seventh round of NAFTA talks wrapped up in Mexico City.
    • "I fear that the longer we proceed, the more political headwinds we will feel," such as the upcoming presidential elections in Mexico, U.S. mid-term elections, and provincial elections in Ontario and Quebec.
    • White House economic adviser Gary Cohn is reportedly summoning U.S. executives that depend on metal imports to meet this week with President Trump in attempt to halt his proposed tariffs.
    • The decision is viewed inside the White House as a possible breaking point for Cohn.
    • House Speaker Paul Ryan also urged Trump to reconsider his decision yesterday, but the president insisted that "we're not backing down."

    • Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell has filed a motion to have a procedural vote today on a bill, sponsored by Senate Banking Committee Chairman Mike Crapo, that would roll back key regulations of Dodd-Frank.
    • The measure spikes the asset level at which a bank becomes "systemically important" from $50B to $250B, freeing dozens of regional banks from stringent rules like additional capital buffers and stress tests.
    • South Dakota is asking the U.S. Supreme Court to overturn a 1992 ruling that companies with no physical presence in a state are not required to collect an online state sales tax – and the Trump administration is backing the effort.
    • A lower court decision favored Internet retailers Wayfair (NYSE:W), (NASDAQ:OSTK) and Newegg in the dispute.
    • Supreme Court justices are scheduled to hear arguments on April 17 and a ruling is expected by late June.


    Oh Canada! The Looming Economic Meltdown

    BOJ Kuroda: Dialogue needed for easy policy exit

    • It will be "necessary to exchange views with overseas central banks in the event the BOJ exits ultra-loose monetary policy," according to Governor Haruhiko Kuroda.
    • "We need to avoid triggering a spike in long-term interest rates that deviates from economic and price fundamentals. If the BOJ were to debate an exit, we need to move cautiously so as not to hurt the economy and prices."


    The East Coast Is Bracing For Another Monster Winter Storm


    • Cheniere Energy (NYSEMKT:LNG) marks the start of its 20-year contract to supply U.S.-sourced liquefied natural gas to India from its Sabine Pass liquefaction facility in Louisiana, as it makes its first shipments to the country from the facility.
    • Under the terms of the agreement, Cheniere will sell and make available for delivery to India's GAIL ~3.5M metric tons/year of LNG.
    • "Today's shipment is significant because it means security for the world's third-largest energy consumer," says U.S. Energy Association executive director Barry Worthington.


    From Euphoria To Panic: Retail Investors Fled Stocks In February

    • Meeting with South Korean government officials for the first time, North Korean leader Kim Jong-un said it was his "firm will to vigorously advance" and "write a new history of national reunification" with Seoul.
    • Kim Jong-un has met very few foreign officials since he became leader in 2011 and the last time envoys from the South visited Pyongyang was in 2007.
    • TheStreet (NASDAQ:TST) swung to a profit in Q4 earnings that wrapped the company's first full-year net income since before the global financial crisis.
    • Revenues ticked up fractionally but the company trimmed cost of services along with sales & marketing costs, and benefited on the comp from a year-ago $11.6M goodwill impairment.
    • Operating income was $830,859 vs. a year-ago loss of $12.3M. Net income attributable to common shareholders, meanwhile, swung to a $25.6M gain from a year-ago loss of $11.6M.
    • Adjusted EBITDA was $2.8M, beating consensus for $1.88M.
    • Revenue breakout: Business to business, $8.34M (up 12%); Business to consumer, $7.64M (down 9.9%).
    • Liquidity sat at $13.9M, down $9.6M Y/Y.
    • Conference call to come tomorrow at 8:30 a.m. ET.
    • Press release

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