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World War Wednesday – “One Does Not Give 24 Hours Notice to a Nuclear Power!”

"Climbing up on Salisbury Hill

I could see the city light

Wind was blowing, time stood still

Standing, stretching every nerve

Had to listen, had no choice

I did not believe the information

Just had to trust my imagination" – Peter Gabriel

While you were sleeping…

You know that funny story about the former Russian spy and his daughter who were poisoined in the UK (Salisbury) on March 4th and how the British investigated it and, Monday, Theresa May told Parliament that it was "highly likely" the Russians were responsible?  Well the British demanded an immediate response from the Kremlin or Britain would immediately place sanctions on them and now it gets REALLY amusing as the Kremlin called May's speech to Parliament "a circus" and, when they say "circus" they mean the boring Russian kind with no animals!  

Then (and here's where it gets REALLY funny), Russian Foreign Ministry Spokeswoman Maria Zakharova replied (or threatened – it's hard to tell the difference with Russians):

"One does not give 24 hours notice to a nuclear poweradding that the "Skripal poisoning was not an incident but a colossal international provocation."

THEN things got really crazy (not Trump crazy, but crazy for normal people) as a Twitter war erupted between the UK and the Russian Embassy:

  • “Moscow will not respond to London’s ultimatum until it receives samples of the chemical substance to which the UK investigators are referring.

    “Britain must comply with the Chemical Weapons Convention which stipulates joint investigation into the incident, for which Moscow is ready.

    “Without that, there can be no sense in any statements from London. The incident appears to be yet another crooked attempt by the UK authorities to discredit Russia.

    “Any threat to take ‘punitive’ measures against Russia will meet with a response. The British side should be aware of that.

Notice that Russia employs the "Fake News" meme to deflect any facts they don't like – something they train all their operatives to do these days.  According to Russia "Crooked UK" is up to their old tricks and we should ignore the poisoning and focus on the investigation – which can't possibly be unbiased if it finds Russia colluded with operatives to kill people on British soil.

Is anyone else having deja vu?

This morning, with the 24-hour clock expiring, May stuck to her word and expelled Russia's diplomatic corps from the UK.  Usually, in these situations, the US would have the UK's back and would be backing May's actions with a show of support and a warning for the Russians as well but, of course, none of that is happening and Theresa May is forced to stand alone against Putin's spy and propaganda network.  

All this drama is not even rating a mention on CNBC or Bloomberg and it doesn't even make the front page of today's Wall Street Journal and this is how the market is "shocked" by sudden 1,000-point drops when things they should have been paying attention to for weeks or months suddenly boil over and become impossible to ignore.  

The time to cash in your winnings is when the market is high – not when it begins to correct.  The time to place hedges to lock in your winnings is when the market is high – not after it begins to correct and you've already lost some of your gains and the hedges become more expensive.  We've gotten very aggressive with our Portfolio Hedges and we're still very much in CASH!!! and we are STILL not willing to ignore hostilities between two of the World's biggest super-powers!

Image result for us companies manufacturing in chinaSpeaking of superpowers going to war, now Trump is "considering" $60Bn in tariffs against China who, by the way, buy $130Bn worth of our goods while we buy $500Bn worth of their goods but most of the "trade imbalance" is from IPhones, Nike sneakers, Clothing (35%) etc. that is made and assembled in China – so how is that their fault?  From China's perspective, the US CHOOSES to use China as their factory floor and now the US wants to punish them for doing a good job?  

In fact, the Fed's own analysis found that "Goods and services from China accounted for only 2.7% of U.S. personal consumption expenditures."  And that's very true as we consume Trillions of Dollars worth of merchandise each year in our $20Tn economy and China itself doesn't benefit from the transportation, wholesale and retail mark-ups that account for 40% of the "trade deficit" total.  

Asking China to "fix" the deficit is from a World view that existed in the 1950s, when Trump last looked at an economic textbook – it has no place in modern global trade and this lingering trade war, as I told CNBC in Japan on Monday night, is our number one concern out of all the potential rally-killers the market seems to be ignoring.  

Though, of course, World War III would probably move up the charts quickly so – PAY ATTENTION!!!  


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  1. The Nerve Agent Too Deadly to Use, Until Someone Did

  2. Deja vu, yes, "(CNN)Hillary Clinton, speaking in public Thursday for one of the first times since losing the presidential election a month ago, called the proliferation of fake news an epidemic."

  3. Good morning, All!

    Join us for the weekly webinar, at 1pm today!

  4. phil – sorry on STP sheet says "Long 20 TZA Jan 15 Puts".  But you meant sell the puts, right?

  5. Any news on Ford?  Seems like a big jump of nowhere.

  6. Ford/Jeff, "Ford (NYSE:F) revs higher in early trading after catching a two-notch upgrade from Morgan Stanley to Overweight on a call tied to valuation."

  7. Good Morning.

  8. Good morning!

    Happy 3.1415926535897932384626433832795028841971693993751058209749445923078164062862089986280348253421170679821480865132823066470938446095505822317253594081284811174502841027019385211055596446229489549303819644288109756659334461284756482337867831652712019091456485669234603 day!

    It’s only been a few hours and Stephen Hawking already mathematically proved, to My face, that I don’t exist.

    BMO Capital Markets invites you to join a call with PRC Macro Advisors, experts in Chinese Policy, to discuss takeaways from China’s NPC and China’s response to trade friction Please join the discussion on: Thursday 15th March, 2018 10:00 AM ET / 2:00 PM GMT / 10:00 PM CST Chaired By: Colin Hamilton, Global Commodities Research, BMO Capital Markets Conference Call Info: *Slides will be available on the morning of the call Dial-in:

    United Kingdom 0800 358 6377

    France 0805 101 219

    Switzerland 0800 200 831

    Australia 1 800 573 793

    Hong Kong 800 961 105

    Singapore 800 186 5107

    United States/Canada 800-239-9838

    ***No passcode required***

    Not sure how rising inventories are a good thing:

    • Stocks edge higher following yesterday sharp losses, as this morning's government data on retail sales and producer prices show no significant pick-up in inflation; S&P and Dow +0.1%, Nasdaq flat.
    • Despite concerns over the potential for a trade war, "the stock market is being supported by the economy and earnings being in double digits this year," says Bruce Bittles, chief investment strategist at Baird. "The one problem area is the technical situation and that the rally is getting more narrow, [which] would suggest we may have another retest of the February lows before this is all over."
    • European bourses are higher, with Germany's DAX +0.8%, France's CAC +0.5% and U.K.'s FTSE +0.4%; in Asia, Japan's Nikkei closed -0.9% and China's Shanghai Composite finished -0.6%.
    • In corporate news, Ford +4.1% after shares were upgraded to Overweight at Morgan Stanley, while Signet Jewelers -13.3% after issuing below consensus earnings and revenue guidance for FY 2019.
    • Nine of the 11 S&P sectors are higher, with utilities (+1.1%) the top performer while no other group is up more than 0.4%.
    • In the bond market, the 10-year yield remains flat at 2.85% while the two-year yield trades higher by 2 bps at 2.28%.
    • U.S. WTI crude oil +0.1% at $60.77/bbl.
    • Still ahead: business inventories, EIA petroleum inventories
    • China's industrial output rose 7.2% y/y, fixed asset investment rose 7.0% in January-February month beating estimates, despite recent regulatory crackdowns that aimed to reduce risks in the financial system.
    • However, the data should be treated with caution, as they may be subject to distortions caused by the timing of the week-long Lunar New Year holidays, which started in late January in 2017 but in mid-February this year.
    • “Strong industrial output and investment reflect a more powerful economy than expected, backed up by credit growth in January and robust demand,” said Shen Jianguang, chief Asia economist at Mizuho Securities Asia Ltd. in Hong Kong.

    • Japan's core machinery orders rebounded in January to 8.2% compared to consensus of 5.6%, following a 9.3% decline in December signaling that capital spending will continue contributing to economic growth.
    • Japan's capital expenditure growth is likely to continue as firms are likely to add to constraint capacity and strengthening of global demand.
    • However, tariffs on imported steel and aluminum by President Trump and ongoing allegations against Finance Minister Taro Aso and Prime minister Shinzo Abe can act an impediment to the growth in capital expenditure

    • Wells Fargo Securities rate strategist Mike Schumacher breaks from the pack, telling Bloomberg he expects the Fed to hike four times this year. Markets have currently priced in three moves.
    • He sees the yield on the 10-year Treasury climbing to 3.20% from the current 2.85%.
    • "We currently see inflation converging toward our aim over the medium term, and we are more confident than in the past this convergence will come to pass," Goldman Sachs puppet, Mario Draghi, told the the annual ECB and Its Watchers conference.
    • "But we still need to see further evidence that inflation dynamics are moving in the right direction. So monetary policy will remain patient, persistent and prudent."

    • Leading indicators show no sign of a recession coming in the next year, says Jeff Gundlach. Among gauges he watches are high-yield spreads, and they're not wide enough to indicate any trouble.
    • Still, the 10-year Treasury yield looks poised to jump through 3%, and that won't be good for stocks. He's got an "extraordinarily strong conviction" the S&P 500 ends the year in the red should the 10-year top 3%.
    • Feb. Producer Price Index: +0.2% M/M in-line with consensus, +0.4% previous. +2.8% Y/Y.
    • Core PPI +0.2% M/M in-line with consensus, +0.4% prior.


    • February Retail Sales-0.1% M/M vs. +0.3% expected.
    • Ex-autos: +0.2% M/M vs. +0.4% expected.
    • Control group +0.1% M/M vs. +0.5% expected.
    • Retail sales stayed in negative territory for the third straight month with a 0.1% M/M in February. On a year-over-year basis, retail sales were up 4.0%. Backing out auto dealers and gas stations, retail sales were up 0.3%.
    • The department store sector was weak again, with a 0.9% M/M drop during the month. Other categories in negative territory were health & personal care stores, furnitures & home furnishing stores and electronics & appliance stores.
    • Nonstore retailers (Amazon and gang) showed a 0.2% M/M and 10.1% Y/Y increase for the month. Clothing stores also outperformed, up 0.4% M/M and 4.9% Y/Y.
    • Previously: Retail sales stay soft (March 14)
    • January Eurozone industrial production was lower 1.0% M/M, +2.7% Y/Y missing estimates of -0.4% M/M, +4.7% Y/Y mainly due to a sharp drop in the output of energy.
    • Energy had the biggest downward pull on the aggregate number because its production fell 6.6% M/M, and 10.4% Y/Y.

    • Sunoco LP (NYSE:SUN) -2.2% premarket after Goldman Sachs downgrades shares to Sell from Neutral with a Street-low $28 price target, reduced from $33, saying the shares warrant a valuation discount.
    • The firm sees further downside risk to consensus expectations which it says reflect the high end of management guidance for gross profit margin per gallon.
    • From 2018-20, Goldman estimates SUN to have a weaker-than-average balance sheet of 5x net debt/EBITDA vs. the MLP average at 3.8x.
    • Ford (NYSE:F) revs higher in early trading after catching a two-notch upgrade from Morgan Stanley to Overweight on a call tied to valuation.
    • Analyst Adam Jonas calculates that the F-150 franchise may be worth more than 150% of Ford's enterprise value and calls out the potential for the automaker to see benefits from strength in U.S. vehicle sales and restructuring savings.
    • The price target on Ford is hiked by MS to $15 from $10. The PT reps 39% upside potential from last night's closing price.
    • Ford is up 3.90% premarket to $11.20 vs. a 52-week trading range of $10.14 to $13.33
    • Walmart (NYSE:WMT) is expanding its online grocery delivery service to a total of 100 metropolitan areas by the end of the year, up from six currently, a push that will help the retailer reach 40% of American households.
    • Orders will be packed by Walmart employees before they are handed off to a delivery company or startup, a costly model it previously resisted as Amazon (NASDAQ:AMZN), Kroger (NYSE:KR) and Target (NYSE:TGT) invest in similar services.

    Broadcom officially withdraws Qualcomm offer

    Image result for it's over johnny
    • Broadcom (NASDAQ:AVGOofficially withdraws and terminates its offer to acquire Qualcomm (NASDAQ:QCOM).
    • The company also withdraws its slate of director nominees for Qualcomm’s board. 
    • The U.S. government blocked the deal on national security concerns. 
    • Broadcom notes that it “appreciates” a comment from U.S. Treasury Secretary and CFIUS chair Steven Mnuchin: “This decision is based on the facts and national security sensitivities related to this particular transaction only and is not intended to make any other statement about Broadcom or its employees, including its thousands of hard-working and highly skilled U.S. employees." 
    • Broadcom shares are down 0.1% premarket to $260.94.
    • Qualcomm shares are up 0.9% to $60.25.     
    • Previously: Trump issues order to block Broadcom takeover of Qualcomm (March 12)
    • Previously: Cut off from Qualcomm, Broadcom may eye other chip buyouts (March 13)
    • Previously: Broadcom keeps plan to move to U.S. (March 14)
    • Following a similar hard-line approach taken by Facebook, Google (GOOGGOOGL) will bancrypto-related advertising starting in June, including ICOs, wallets, and trading advice across any of its platforms.
    • "We don't have a crystal ball to know where the future is going to go with cryptocurrencies, but we've seen enough consumer harm or potential for consumer harm," said Scott Spencer, Google's director of sustainable ads.
    • Looking to halt the spread of misinformation, YouTube (GOOGGOOGL) is introducing a new tool to combat online conspiracy theories and divisive content.
    • Videos about "widely accepted events" will include "information cues" – a text box that links to third-party sources including Wikipedia.
    • "These features will be rolling out in the coming months," according to a YouTube spokeswoman.

    • Democrat Conor Lamb is the apparent winner of a House seat in Pennsylvania's 18th congressional district, a region President Trump won by 20 percentage points in 2016.
    • Lamb was said to have only won by a few hundred votes, so it's possible that there may be a recount ordered.
    • The election was watched nationwide as a sign of political tides eight months ahead of congressional elections.

  9. I think John Kasich would make a pretty good Democrat…..

  10. That election loss is devastating for the GOP, not only did they get rejected in a district that Trump just won by 20% and Romney won by 17% but Trump personally went there to campaign and they threw TONS of money into the campaign.  Maybe there is hope for this country…

    Dow failing yesterday's lows as those bounce lines failed (see morning notes).

    TZA/Rexx – Thanks Rexx, fixed.  

    F/Jeff – Upgrade (though also a nasty recall).  People finally noticing how ridiculously cheap they got.  

    I love those God tweets:

    Lucifer, Chief Demon of Hell, will become My new heavenly gatekeeper. He will do a fantastic job! Thank you to St. Peter for his service! Pol Pot will become the new Chief Demon of Hell, the first Cambodian so chosen. Congratulations to all!




     Mar 12

    Could all my Indian followers retweet this? I told Brahma I was really popular there and he didn’t believe Me and it really hurt.




     Mar 12

    The universe used to be really funny until it got all political.




     Mar 7

    What doesn’t kill you makes Me try harder.




     Feb 6

    The reason evangelicals don’t believe in evolution is that it hasn’t happened to them yet.

  11. 1020 – Kasich has been horrible on schools (but to be fair so have many dems). And he when he was in Congress he was always trying to replace Social Security with catfood coupons. To save it. Of course he seems …like a nice guy.  And someone was saying Conor Lamb sounded like an R.  To me the Trumpsters and Kochsters sound like n*zis or morons or both.  So maybe you are right. 

  12. Mixed messages on oil but no positive reaction on the headline (not a good sign for /CL):

    • EIA Petroleum Inventories: Crude +5.0M barrels vs. +2.0M consensus, +2.4M last week.
    • Gasoline -6.3M barrels vs. -1.2M consensus, -0.8M last week.
    • Distillates -4.4M barrels vs. -1.5M consensus, -0.6M last week.
    • Futures +0.40% to $60.95

    If +5Mb can't pop them from $60.50, then $60 is going down!  

    Speaking of going down – honey badger got bit by a snake!  

    I'd love to get to $2.60 but hard to turn down $2.85 on /NGV8 as we stopped out at $2.92 on Monday.  I guess we'll let the knife fall for now but I did get one long – just in case.  

    LB/Jabob – That's my target too.

  13. Didn't you think LB was worth much more than 45 before? 

  14. Did you guys catch that Peter Gabriel video jumps around to show him over 4 decades singing the song – I loved that!  That's why I'm not cut out for performing though – I realized in HS I couldn't stand doing the same thing over and over – it would drive me nuts…

    LB/Jabob – $45 this year, $50 next year is our plan.  Could go much higher but we sold the $45 puts against the $35/50 spread for 2020 in the LTP and the OOP has short $35 puts with the $35/45 spread  and the original trade is still in the Money Talk Portfolio:

    Long Call 2019 18-JAN 32.50 CALL [LB @ $42.02 $0.12] 40 9/6/2017 (310) $30,000 $7.50 $3.65 n/a     $11.15 - $14,600 48.7% $44,600
    Short Call 2019 18-JAN 40.00 CALL [LB @ $42.02 $0.12] -40 9/6/2017 (310) $-17,200 $4.30 $2.35     $6.65 $0.11 $-9,400 -54.7% $-26,600
    Short Put 2019 18-JAN 32.50 PUT [LB @ $42.02 $0.12] -20 9/6/2017 (310) $-9,400 $4.70 $-2.20     $2.50 $0.00 $4,400 46.8% $-5,000

    In fact, that's why we waited PATIENTLY until 3/1 to add LB back into the OOP and LTP, despite how much I love them – it's that whole patience and discipline thing I keep trying to tell you about:

    OK, I have 2 hours to review the LTP before the Webinar – wish me luck!  

  15. Oh wait, /RB is on drugs at $1.914 – gotta short that with a stop over $1.915.


  16. With a 6.3M barrel draw on /RB…….isn't it more likely to be flat or even go up? 

  17. /RB/Ult – 0.02 is a way overreaction when there was a huge build in oil that offset the gasoline and $1.92 has been failing all month so just another opportunity to go short on the enthusiasm..  

    Below $1.905 now so that's the stop for a quick $400+ per contract locked in (tight stops all the way down).

  18. go VRX! … looks like the recent debt refinancing is liked by somebody.

  19. /BZ lost $65, /CL likely to blow through $60.

  20. Everyone blowing yesterday's lows so that other leg down we expected is happening.  

    1,590 on /RTY is the best shorting line if it breaks.  Lined up with 24,900, 2,762.50 and 7,060.

  21. that's one of the great accomplishments of the GOP over the last 30 years. The whole landscape has moved so far to the hard right that a reagan republican like Connor Lamb is the Dem candidate and barely squeaks out a victory over "I was trump before trump" saccone. And Kasich is basically the modern day centrist dem.

  22. If Collins (ME) switched to indy and caucused with the Dems, along with Murkowski (AK), the Senate would flip to 51-49 Dems and be able to stop trump. He'd be left with the tax cut for the 0.01% as his signature achievement, which is good for him and certainly all he care about is himself. Then when the house inevitably flips in Nov, the trump agenda effectively grinds to a halt, assuming russians aren't actively poisoning us too.

  23. Kasich/Rexx  I agree. He has issues, but like my favorite Dem (who supports a dum train project) Jerry Brown,  he speaks truth to power – mostly – that pisses off both sides of any argument.

    'Most' Humans evolve and hopefully make better decisions as they grow in experience and wisdom, so when considering the times we live in, it would not be unusual to see major changes in how some in power see themselves and the world around them….

  24. Long-Term Portfolio Review (LTP):  Despite my overall caution – there have been just so many good things to buy this year that we already have 40 positions but 12 are short puts and we don't really count those – they are more like pre-positions.  Still, those short puts have dropped $50,000 into the portfolio already and, if they expire worthless, there's 10% gained for the year already.  

    As I noted yesterday, we are up a ridiculous 16.9% ($84,673) already and the reason we're doing so much better than the OOP is due to size and risk appetite, which is higher in the LTP than the OOP – since we don't become immobile if we were to lose $50K in the LTP.  

    That's why I like our paired portfolio strategy the best.  The STP is 20% the size of the LTP and there we are very, VERY aggressive in both our hedging and our short-term plays while the LTP is almost exclusively "set and forget" type of trades – especially at these early stages where we're not inclined to sell short-term calls against our positions yet (since we think they are all bargains at our recent entries).

    After doing the OOP review, I see that we like all of our positions so I don't think the LTP will be different.  In both portfolios, if we do get a 20% pullback in the market, yes, we will take a hit of maybe 10% but we'll also get a ton of cash from our hedges to us to improve our existing positions through rolling and doubling down.  

    All the short puts look good – There, that saved some time!  Remember, these are our pre-positions.  We REALLY would like to own these stocks (or do bull call spreads) at those net entries like $160 on BRK.B or $42.40 on CAKE or $122.50 on IBM.  Most likely we will never get those prices and we'll have to settle for the $50,000 cash – c'est la vie!  

    • CHL – Brandy new, still has that new spread smell.  $4.85 was the high for the $47.50 puts but I missed that as we were waiting for $5 but next time I'll take $4.75.  Meanwhile there's never urgency to sell puts since the bull call spread was only $4.25 on a $7.50 spread and makes $3.25 (76%) by itself so why get underpaid for puts that are only gravy on the trade?  
    • FTR – So funny to see them profitable.  Hopefully they stay that way. 
    • NRZ – Newish and still good for a new trade. 
    • ABX – Amazingly undervalued.
    • ALB – They turned back up now after we got more aggressive.  Not sure I want to be greedy but I'm hoping to see at least $110 before selling 10 more short calls.

    • ALK – Already 50% of goal.
    • ARR – Testing $3 and I'll cover at $24 most likely.
    • BBBY – Well on track.
    • C – Fell down to the bottom of it's channel so we'll watch closely but we're in for net $3,000 ($73 if assigned) so no worries and we bought 15 so we could sell 5 short calls (hopefully at the top of the channel).

    • CBI – Should benefit from tariffs and infrastructure and they were too cheap anyway.  Still good for a new entry as it's a $30,000 spread now net $600.
    • CDE – Unlike ABX, this miner is doing well.

    • CHK – We had a good entry on this one so we're profitable even though they've been pretty disappointing overall.
    • CMG – In pretty good shape and, of course, we'll roll the April short calls along.  Still good for a new trade, though I'd sell April $320s now as it's net $2,010 on the $50,000 spread that's $20,000 in the money and, if we can collect $4,000 every couple of months on short calls, that's another $40,000 to work with over 2 years! 

    • F – Just got a nice upgrade.
    • FNSR – We got aggressive on these but it's likely to be a slow recovery. 
    • GE – We got aggressive on these but it's likely to be a slow recovery.  
    • HMNY - We got aggressive on these but it's likely to be a slow recovery.  This one is very speculative but look at that spike to $35 – that would be $162,500 on the $2.50 calls so, on the whole, I don't mind being down $3K while we wait.  

    • HRB – Still good for a new trade.
    • IMAX – I got bored banging the table on this one.
    • LB – Still good for a new entry.
    • MT – On track.
    • NLY – Waiting to sell short calls at a better price.  Hopefully we can get $1 for the $12s.  

    • SKT – Still good for a new trade and paying an 0.34 dividend in a month (4/30).
    • THC – These guys flew up on us.  It's a $24,000 spread we paid about $0 for and net $11,800 so far so still good for more than a double as new – even though it's 20% in the money.  Options are crazy!  

    • UCTT – We got the short puts and the short calls so we can't mess around too much filling the long calls but I think it's pulling back and we'll get the 2020 $15 calls for $9.50 or less (last sale was $10) yesterday.  
    • VRX – Moving up fast, we nailed the entry on that one!  
    • WPM – Love them and still good for a new trade (aggressive half-cover).

    Well, that's great – a whole month and nothing at all to change.  That's a happy portfolio!  

  25. Playing Dow for the bounce after the 400-point drop at 24,750.   Obviously cashing in the other short positions for now. 

  26. so now United is killing dogs on top of bloodying passengers. When do they just close the loop and start killing passengers?

  27. Flipping/BDC – Easier said than done.  Of course they don't HAVE to vote with Trump, do they?  As to the Russians, remember Paul Wellstone?  He took a solid GOP seat and was heavily pushing for Campaign Finance Reform and was, of course, against the war but died in a plane crash right before the election.

    Train/1020 – I think an LA/SF train is a good investment for CA but an LA/Vegas train is silly as it only sucks money out of LA (what comes back from Vegas?).   Overall, I'm not a big fan of trains as an investment for Governments as they don't create many jobs once the construction is done and they have to be maintained forever.  Better to invest in things that create long-term employment. 

    Still, we are pathetic in this country that we have yet to match high-speed projects that France first  built in the 70s!  

    Wow, 2,750 on /ES and 24,700 on /YM – that's down 500 so I'm still playing long for the 100-point bounce!   /NQ 7,045 and /RTY 1,587.50.


  28. ROFL BDC!  Have you not flown United – they are already trying…

  29. dead dog – What's the shame is some people (the smart ones) did NOTHING even though they knew it was a very DUMB idea….. :(

  30. Image result for worst airline united

  31. Image result for worst airline united

    Oh no,  almost webinar time…

    So not ready…

  32. Train/Phil   I don't know, but 77B could go along way to improving the freeways and airports (add more?)


    The problem for us is those countries with a kick ass train system already had a modern, well maintained infrastructure…

  33. Phil – trump / I think the wild card here is trump might be the one who "flips" next January and starts working with the dems. I could see him tweeting "useless GOP Congress couldn't get it done and so they got voted out. Losers! Dems are the real winners. I'll be working with them to MAGA!"

    Tha kind of thing. 

    (calling trump a "wild card" is sure has the feel of being an understatement)

  34. I've traveled on HSR in japan. It is truly great. But Japan built that decades ago and they don't spend 6% of their GDP on defense, so that helps a lot. And the tickets are really quite expensive. It works well with short distances; the entire nation of 125M people is about the size of CA. But in the US, HSR never really penciled and the money is better spent elsewhere IMO.

  35. Yes and Paul Wellstone was a hero to most progressives and was killed when his puddle jumper went down in No Mn WITH his daughter! Another progressive from Ark was also gone within the month. Many thought it was the conservatives orchestrating the "culling." 85 degrees here in TCI!

  36. The situation in Britain is very troublesome. I wonder if they pulled it as a warning to dumpf.

  37. Phil,

    OK we got lying Kudlow now whispering sweet stupid to the O Great One! Are we screwed!

  38. Kudlow!!!!  I predict, right now, that that guy will find a reason to be on camera pretty much every day.  

    Meanwhile, it's Webinar Time 

  39. Barrick Gold Chairman Thornton boosts stake with 306K-share buy

    Barrick Gold (ABX +0.9%) Chairman John Thornton yesterday bought 306K additional shares in the company, bringing his total ownership position to ~2.721M common shares, according to

    Two other directors also raised their stakes, including Rob Prichard, who bought 10K shares, and Graham Clow, who acquired 7.5K.

    The move occurred a day after RBC upgraded ABX to Outperform, saying cost guidance and declining production profile already were priced into the shares.

  40. That went well, we made almost $1,000 on the Futures during the Webinar!  

    Indexes struggling to hold the lows, we'll see what kind of bounce we get now.

    This is where candles come in handy.  If the next hour candle finishes below the bottom of the previous green candle (1-2pm), then the indexes are in BIG TROUBLE!  

    I still have 1 short /RB at $1.92 which I'm not inclined to part with if /BZ is under $65 and /CL is under $61.   

    Did I mention /KC should have a stop at $121 now?

    ABX/Pstas – I'm with them, load up the truck!  

    We talked about CVS in the Webinar and there seems to be no good reason not to accept $5.35 ($5,350) for promising to buy 1,000 shares at $60 for a net $54.65 entry, which is a 20% discount so let's sell 10 of the 2020 $60 puts for $5.35 in the LTP. 

    The $55 ($16)/$70 ($7.50) bull call spread at $8.50 is also very attractive but, in case the knife falls – I think we can wait before getting more aggressive. 

  41. TSLA down nicely:

  42. Phil

    What was your  latest trade on AAPL

    Thank  you

  43. Tesla's Top Financial Execs Suddenly Quit Amid Reports Of "High Volume Of Flawed Vehicles"

    Trump is mad that his cabinet of grifters and idiots isn't working out

  44. AAPL/QC – Hasn't been cheap for a while, we don't even have them in the LTP and, in the OOP, we just have 5 short 2020 $145 puts we sold for $10.20 on 1/5 – now $9.05.

    Was asleep at the wheel in Feb for the LTP – we should have jumped in on the dip.

    Indexes looking weak into the close, drifting along the lows.

  45. Not looking pretty for tomorrow. 

    I think because Kudlow is immediately buckling on trade to align with Trump.  

  46. Phil – Just noticed today that there are now IMAX Leaps, knowing you, you'll like a longer term play ;)

  47. Of course but only need if we get off track.  HOV leaps would be very nice! 

  48. the gold standard was effectively abandoned in 1933

  49. I have 130 puts naked for friday on DDM. Just slam it down already. 

    I'm ready!

    It's nice to see crypto out of the news so people can focus on getting work done again. It's been a bad quarter price rice, $829B peak now $330B. For what it's worth I see more downside and then sideways for a long time. Then more up again, but it's a ways out.

  50. Toys R Us demise to have impact from toy makers to landlords

  51. Who’s Running NASA?

  52. Home sales dip gives renovators, appliance sellers a boost

  53. Sorry, no line yesterday, was on my way to Boston for a conference. Had a party at the club in Fenway last night. First visit to the park. 

  54. Good morning!

    That's a great excuse, StJ – love that place!  

    We were all the way back to 24,900 but now back to 24,800 from the lows of 24,700 and still closely following the 5% Rule as the fall from 25,200 was 500 points so 100 point weak bounce and 200 point strong bounce at 24,900 just failed.  Losing the weak bounce is a bearish sign but no strong sign until we're over the strong bounce line.

    Not much news to drive us so far.  24,800 is lined up with 2,750, 7,050 and 1,585 so good lines to watch and likely we head up into the open barring news but watch these to fail later.  

    /RB bottomed at $1.91 but now back to $1.922 and I have 2 shorts there and I'm going to ride it out as the IEA caused a pop with their report, which seems like it could be bullish but isn't:

    • Global oil demand is expected to pick up more quickly this year, but supply is still growing at a faster pace leading to a rise in inventories in Q1 of 2018, according to the IEA's latest monthly report.
    • Crisis-hit Venezuela could soon tip the crude market "decisively into deficit," added the Paris-based organization, while warning that a trade war would have "strong consequences" for oil demand.

    Oil Halts Losses as Stronger Demand Overshadows Supply Surge

    I have my usual /NGV8 long and waiting for /KC to come back to $120 but, otherwise, watching and waiting. 

    Philly Fed and Empire could move us if they are both bad or both good.  

    Goldilocks Gone: Yields, Stocks, Dollar Down… Russia, China Tensions Up

    BofA: "This Was One Of The Largest Weekly Buybacks In Our Data History

    Preparing for the next crisis:  Senate passes bill easing Dodd-Frank

    • The U.S. Senate has voted 67 to 31 to ease bank rules, bringing Congress a step closer to passing the first rewrite of the Dodd-Frank reform law enacted after the financial crisis.
    • The bill spikes the asset level at which a bank becomes "systemically important" from $50B to $250B and exempts banks with less than $10B in assets from rules banning proprietary trading.
    Yes, what they need is LESS regulation:  Auto insurance abuses at Wells Fargo
    • U.S. regulators are preparing to sanction Wells Fargo (NYSE:WFC) for receiving commissions on auto insurance policies it helped force on more than half a million drivers.
    • That will form the backbone of fresh penalties against the bank, sources told Reuters.
    • Wells is investigating the auto insurance abuses back to 2005 and estimates it will need to refund $145M to borrowers, and adjust account balances by another $37M.

    Sound Familiar? Home Flipping In The US Hits 11-Year High

    Larry Kudlow, new chief economic advisor to Trump, says China 'has earned a tough response'

    The Trump administration may be considering a trade move far bigger than the steel and aluminum tariffs

    The Bitcoin Fad Is FadingSuddenly, Bitcoin seems a bit boring. It might be hard to believe. But after the 1,400 percent rally of 2017, with wild swings along the way, the great crypto craze has cooled, at least for now. For the past month, Bitcoin’s price has stalled between $8,500 and $11,300 — a minuscule range by its standards. And internet searches for “Bitcoin” have plunged, suggesting public interest has, too. “The general public is now realizing that this is not a risk-free, get-rich-quick, investment opportunity and general interest has since diminished,” said Lucas Nuzzi, a senior analyst at Digital Asset Research.

    Bloodbath for cryptocurrencies as Bitcoin sheds 10%, now down 40% year-to-date

    Congressional hearing on cryptocurrencies devolves into bitcoin bash fest

    Making America Depend on Fossil Fuels Again:  Slowdown in the U.S. solar industry

    • The U.S. solar industry installed 10.6 gigawatts of new photovoltaic capacity in 2017, according to the U.S. Solar Market Insight Report, put together by GTM Research and the SEIA.
    • The number, while still considerable, represents a 30% fall year-on-year from 2016.
    • The study also predicts installations between 2018 and 2022 to be 13% lower than originally forecast due to U.S. tariffs on panel imports and new federal tax laws.
    • "Gas demand is set to rise again from the end of the week across north-western Europe," according to a report from S&P Platts.
    • "Russian gas supplies are considered the only swing source of gas under current conditions. Domestic production and other import sources are effectively maxed out."
    • Worries for the U.K.? Russia has already called the expulsion of 23 diplomats "shortsighted" and said "response measures will not be long in coming."
    • Previously: May to set Russian reprisals in parliament (Mar. 14 2018)

    Flight trials for world's largest jet engine

    • Following delays caused by technical problems, General Electric (NYSE:GE) has begun flight trials of the world's largest jet engine.
    • The GE9X will power the Boeing (NYSE:BA) 777-9 and 777-8, which are scheduled to enter service in 2020 and 2022, respectively.
    • Despite the delay, GE feels "very confident" it will meet a 2019 target date for safety certification.

    iHeartMedia files for bankruptcy

    • Amid competition from on-demand streaming services and stagnating advertising revenue, the biggest radio broadcaster in the U.S. – with almost 850 stations – has filed for bankruptcy protection.
    • The agreement with holders of more than $10B of its outstanding debt and financial sponsors will see iHeartMedia (OTCPK:IHRT) continue daily operations during its restructuring process.

    Amazon Japan raided on antitrust suspicions

    Image result for bezos amazon monopoly
    • Amazon Japan (NASDAQ:AMZN) has been raided by the country's antitrust regulator on allegations of asking vendors for a percentage of their sales revenue, or "cooperation payments," from around 2017.
    • The online retailer is also being investigated for asking suppliers to shoulder part of the cost incurred from selling their products at a discount on Amazon Japan.

    Trump Plans To Fire Jeff Sessions: Report

  55. Meanwhile, I can't believe this was 40 years ago!  I was 15 at the time and remember where I was when I saw it (at a bar in the restaurant I worked at).  So funny then but more so in context of what a big deal the Tut Tour was and how it was the hottest ticket in NYC at the time and everyone was talking about it and then Steve Martin rips it apart:

    "Blue Lou" Marini on sax too!