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Just Another Manic Monday

Palestinian protesters run for cover from tear gas during clashes with Israeli forces near the border between the Gaza strip and Israel.28 protesters were killed in Israel and 1,000 wounded this morning (so far).

Jared and Ivanka were on-hand for the opening of the new US Embassy in Jerusalem and, to no rational person's surprise, things did not go well and now tensions are escalating and Hamas claims they will have 100,000 people ready to storm the fence between those two countries – this is, of course, the kind of tension Trump wants to bring to this country along our Mexican border.

In more anti-American news, Iraqis voted for populist cleric Maqtada al-Sadr, who openly fought against US forces and has allied himself with the Communist Party but he ran on the Trumpian platform of "draining the swamp", which plays just as well with ignorant Iraquis as it does with ignorant Americans.  This election puts al-Sadr on track to possibly become the next Prime Minister, which would be a tremendous blow that undoes all the progress the US has made in Iraq since the Bush years – yet another Obama policy Trump is completely reversing!

This has sent the price of oil (/CL) and gasoline (/RB) spiking higher this morning but not before we got a nice dip in /RB back to $2.17, an $840 per contract gain from our short at $2.19 on Friday.  

Speaking of reversing:  Trump announced this morning that he will be lifting the ban on China's ZTE Corp, which had been accused of "egregious behavior" in evading sanctions the US has placed on other countries as well as having phones that were a Trojan Horse for Chinese spyware.  Trump said in a Sunday morning tweet that he and Chinese leader Xi Jinping are working together to give ZTE “a way to get back into business, fast.’’  The U.S. blockade has choked off the revenue of the No. 2 Chinese telecom company, which regards the next two weeks as crucial as it faces potential collapse. 

Trump’s comments about the company and concern about Chinese jobs come as the U.S. and China are locked in high-stakes negotiations over trade and intellectual property.  Both countries are threatening to slap tariffs on tens of billions of dollars of the other’s products.  Rep. Adam Schiff of California, the top Democrat on the House Intelligence Committee, responded on Twitter to the president’s remarks: “Our intelligence agencies have warned that ZTE technology and phones pose a major cybersecurity threat.” He chided Mr. Trump: “You should care more about our national security than Chinese jobs.”

Any sign of cooperation between the US and China – even if it is Trump letting China spy on US citizens – is good news to the market and that picked the Futures up overnight.  Trump also indicated that the US is ready to allow investments with his now-pal Kim Jong Un in North Korea with John Bolton saying on ABC’s “This Week” that the U.S. was prepared to open trade and investment with North Korea as soon as it can.  I know – CRAZY! 

Meanwhile, the Arctic is melting away, down to nearly half of where it was 30 years ago and possibly on the way to being ice-free by 2030 – which will open up all sorts of possibly trade routs as well as become a military nightmare on water we share with Russia and China but thank goodness we have an Administration that values diplomacy above all else, right? 

Meanwhile, in warmer climates, two new fissures in Hawaii began spewing lava over the weekend, forcing more residents to evacuate and scientists are warning an "explosive eruption" may be forthcoming.  Team Trump's response to all this has been to shut down NASA's Cimate Research Project this weekend which not only makes it impossible for the US to study and measure the effects of Climate Change (fake news!) but the entire World was sharing that date, so Trump has stopped other countries from doing research as well.  

Last year, Trump withdrew the US from the Paris Climate Agreement, making it, currently, the only nation on Earth that isn’t participating. Shuttering the CMS, though, is a massive doubling down, as it will effectively bar all other countries from the data they need to assess their emissions and understand how to effectively combat them.  Thankfully, not all is lost. Europe has one carbon-monitoring satellite now, and more are coming. Still, it’s a serious dent in humanity’s collective ability to share and understand basic information about our planet.

It's kind fun to be part of a rogue state, isn't it?

Earnings continue to trickle in this week but it's all about the Strong Bounce Lines we talked about last week with the S&P closing Friday at exactly 2,728 – the line we predicted back in February!  Earnings continue to trickle in, with a lot of Retailers reporting this week:

Jim Bullard did such a great job boosting the market on Friday with his doveish Fed Speak that they are bringing him out again this morning so we're not looking to short until and unless our bounce lines begin to fail.  Bullard speaks yet again on Wednesday evening and that will be 7 Fed speakers for the week and Retail Sales comes in at 8:30 tomorrow along with the Empire State Manufacturing Report and the Philly Fed is Thursday but not a very exciting data week so the focus should shift to earnings – Retail Earnings…


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  1. Crazy / Phil – How about this one from Bolton:

    Tapper tried again: “Is the U.S. going to impose sanctions on European companies that continue to do business with Iran?”

    “It’s possible, it depends on the conduct of other governments,” Bolton said.

    What is going on now is insane on so many levels – we have a president who is making enemies of the biggest democracies and openly courting dictators around the world. He is counting on the ignorance of his base but how can GOP senators and congresspeople not see the danger there? 

  2. It's amazing how much of a difference a healthy lifestyle makes:

    For study participants who didn’t adopt any of the low-risk lifestyle factors, the researchers estimated that life expectancy at age 50 was 29 years for women and 25.5 years for men. But for those who adopted all five low-risk factors, life expectancy at age 50 was projected to be 43.1 years for women and 37.6 years for men. In other words, women who maintained all five healthy habits gained, on average, 14 years of life, and men who did so gained 12 years, compared with those who didn’t maintain healthy habits.

    Over 12 years!

  3. Transcript of an interview between Barry and Chanos – always entertaining:

    He doesn't think much of Tesla and still think that China is in trouble.

    I think the stock may not be worth anything on a pure financial analysis basis, it us, to us it is one of the bellwethers of this market, it is a hopes and dreams stock that the investors have pinned really whatever their expectations are on a future — a green future globally they have put it on this stock and on this CEO who has done a really good job in promoting that very vision.

    The problem of course is that it’s an automobile company and it is increasingly having problems making automobiles and soon is going to be facing much more competition from people who do know how to make automobiles.


    The FXI which is the eight share ETF was trading around $41, so it is $46 now, so it’s up about, it’s up a little bit more than 10 percent in eight years.

    The rest of the markets that we were looking at you know, have doubled and tripled so China has been one of the better places to be short for the past eight years if you are a short seller.

    I think that what’s really China is how little has changed in the eight years. Xi Jinping is basically now the Emperor, but the whole concept of, all the stuff you for the last eight years, oh, they’re going to become a consumer driven economy, that hasn’t happened, they are going to reduce investment as a percent of GDP, that hasn’t happened, you know, the currency is going to either go up a lot or down a lot, that hasn’t happened. What is really interesting about China is there is pretty much status quo and the model, the economic model that is China is still the same, it relies heavily on debt.

    And so debt is still growing, it is not growing as fast as was eight years ago when it was growing 20 to 30 percent a year, it is now growing 10 percent to 15 percent a year but it is still growing at twice GDP growth, and they can’t get off the stimulus or the steroids if you will of just constant debt injections to build new airports, roads, high-rises, it is still what’s driving the economy.

  4. From Briefing :

    ~~" If the Commerce Department follows through on the relaxation of ZTE sanctions, it will be positive for ACIA, IPHI, LITE, IIVI, OCLR, FNSR, FN, NPTN, MTSI, AAOI. These are all optical component manufactures that sell products to ZTE. As a side note, China has resumed review of Qualcomm (QCOM) deal to purchase NXP Semi (NXPI)."

    Also this morning :

    L Brands updated to buy from neutral at Citigroup.




  5. A repeat from early morning

    May 14th, 2018 at 1:16 am | Permalink | Tweet thisIgnore this user

    Good Morning folks, for me it is 6.30 AM already. So for the early risers here some thoughts for the day.

    PETS we tinkered with this one before, pretty much on the lower end of the scale, but there are a lot of dog lovers around.

    So here my thoughts for the shorter armchair trade.

    Sell Jun 35/35 straddle for 3.25 and buy the stock, before opening it stands at 34.79. Ex div 5/17. So you might get it one way or the other!

    My crystal ball says combined interest 8.95% for the 32 days. As I said you might be called, as the caller is ITM. But even if called you still will land with over 7% due to the small capital gain.

    LAZ a different type of fish, more in a middle of a range, sell the 55/55 June straddle for 3.02 and buy the stock, again before market 55.44. Ex div has passed. Your combined interest is 5.3% for the 32 days.

    As usual don’t bet the farm and do your own studies.

    May 14th, 2018 at 1:22 am | Permalink | Tweet thisIgnore this user

    JNJ are there any comments. Over a two year period it looks like the stock is pushing higher, but at the shorter finviz chart it looks like it is on the uper ceiling of a down ward trent.

  6. L Brands Raised to Buy From Neutral by Citigroup 

  7. Image may contain: 1 person, textGood morning!  

    Another rat left spaceship Musk today and Musk, of course, is deflecting by talking about his "boring" tunnel and he's going to give free rides to people but, unless I am mistaken – I don't think it goes more than 1,000 feet, so it's all BS meant to distract people from this:

    If TSLA blows up the market will go into a power dive – so let's keep an eye on that one.  

    Big Chart looks all clear and the Futures are up so not much to do but watch and wait today.  7,000 is the 30% line on the Nasdaq and if that isn't resistance, then we're probably breaking up to retest the highs.  Dow 25,000 also very significant, of course. 

    Bolton/StJ – Well, there was no way that guy wasn't going to make things much worse.  As to the GOP Congress – this is the big cash-out.  That's why so many are "retiring" so they can get their payoffs for passing the tax cuts and gutting the environment.  As you can see from the millions Cohen got paid – they can also all become lobbyists now and get millions more.  

    12 years is good but it reminds me of the joke that, if you jog 2 hours a day you're whole life you'll live 10 years longer – but you'll spend those 10 years jogging!  

    Chanos/StJ – Good points.  China really concerns me too.

    LB/Albo – I give a bit more weight to C's buy than MKM's hold.  

    HMNY up 10% this morning after CEO finally fights back a bit:

    In an interview at the Cannes Film FestivalTed Farnsworth, head of MoviePass’ parent company Helios & Matheson Analytics, said the subscription service has roughly $300 million available to it from an equity line of credit. The Helios chief is in the South of France to premiere “Gotti,” the John Travolta crime movie that MoviePass is releasing in conjunction with Vertical Entertainment.

    “There’s been a feeding frenzy of negativity, but it’s not going to slow us down,” said Farnsworth. “I’m not worried at all. You’re going to see. We’re doing more acquisitions of movies and companies.”

    MoviePass faces its share of skeptics. In a public filing last week, MoviePass disclosed it had $15.5 million in available cash — less than it traditionally spends to finance ticket buying on a monthly basis. Shares of parent Helios & Matheson Analytics slid 17¢ on Thursday to 61¢, a 22% decline and the second-lowest close for the stock since the company went public in 1997. Wall Street may have cooled on the service, but Farnsworth hit back, saying, “We’ve got 17 months’ worth of cash without further raises of capital.”

    Farnsworth was particularly annoyed with comments made by AMC Theaters chief Adam Aron, who told analysts that he had calculated that MoviePass users were attending the theater multiple times a month and expressed skepticism that the company had been able reduce attendance to the levels it needs to remain profitable. When MoviePass slashed it prices last summer to $9.95 and saw its subscriber levels rise, Aron dismissed the service and said its model was unsustainable.

    “They’re trying to put us out of business,” said Farnsworth. “We’ve become a serious threat.”

    Thanks Yodi! 

  8. Good Morning.

  9. /RB, do we short? Up b/c of Middle East tensions again. 

  10. Joke / Phil – True although 2 hours of jogging is probably 4 times more than you need to stay healthy. I usually walk around 45 minutes a day and listen to audio book so no wasted time at all… So I'll walk 3 years to get 12 more years. That's a 400% ROI and I know you like these numbers!

  11. I guess QCOM is happy because Trump gave in to China on ZTE and their NXPI merger is back on… I wonder how much Cohen got from them!

  12. And TEVA over $20 again! They were lagging behind the other pharma on Friday so maybe just catching up.

  13. ~~Sports betting coming to N.J. after U.S. Supreme Court kills federal ban.

  14. Phil – Any thoughts on LITE. It doesn't looks too expensive and it seems that growth could be good for a while with all these new VR/AR features being added to phones. 

  15. Short 1x /RB at 2.20…had to do it. 

  16. with you on that jeffdoc…..though with crossed fingers……:)

  17. /RB/1020 – As noted above, trouble in the Middle East on top of Iran sanctions AND the holiday next week – just not worth the risk.  You could play below $2.20 with tight stops if you feel the need to gamble but I'm just staying away.  

    ROI/StJ – Good point. 

    Sports Betting – Wow, as if people don't already act like their lives are on the line around here!  

    LITE/StJ – Can't keep track of all these optical companies.  They are growing around 10% with random profits.  These kind of companies also make the kinds of sensors robots need to get around so it's a good bet on the robot uprising.  I don't think they are cheap but interesting if they get cheaper. 

    /RB – You guys are crazy – try sports betting!  cheeky

  18. Gabelli has initiated coverage on General Electric (GE +0.6%) with a Buy rating and a price target of $22.50, suggesting upside of +50%.

    The firm sees safety in high quality divisions Aviation and Healthcare, as well as a way to deleverage which does not require a fire sale of assets.


  19. thanks pstas!

  20. FWIW

    ~~QUIK – My stock pick for 2018 is catching some bids.  They reported another nothing quarter last week.  The big ramp in revenues that I keep saying is coming hasn't arrived yet.  But it is coming.

    We now know that their funnel consists of 21 known production wins, design wins or engagements with 15 different customers. Also, there exist numerous other engagements and product opportunities at these 15 customers.

    The CEO reiterated that their revenues would grow in excess of 50% this year.

    I've been over weighted in this speculative microcap for too long and I'm weary.  But I still believe that it has the potential to be a multi-bagger over the couple of years..  Well see.

  21. Barron's Bary: The buyback put

    • A tidal wave of share repurchases means investors need to be in stocks, writes Andrew Bary in Barron's.
    • S&P 500 names, he writes, are on track to announce $650B in repurchases this year, according to Goldman Sachs. That would top the record $589B set in 2007 (on its face, that little factoid should have investors running for the exits;  not mentioned in the article, but shown in this chart - buybacks nearly vanished in 2009, maybe one of the half-dozen greatest buying opportunities ever).
    • Bary goes on to say that $650B expected this year might just be the tip of the iceberg. What if Berkshire Hathaway and Google – both sitting on mountains of cash (about $200B combined) – decide to shed their historic reluctance to repurchase shares?

    US Treasury Shorts Hit Record High As Foreign Banks Dump Bonds.

    Italy, A Parallel Currency, And Immigration – Merkel's Worst Nightmare. 

    U.S. Businesses to Make Their Case Against China Tariffs.

    New deadline for NAFTA could make for an interesting week in markets.                    


    Bitcoin conferences flood New York, and bring millions in ticket sales with them.                    

    • The global oil glut has been nearly eliminated, OPEC says, as oil inventories in developed nations in March fell to 9M barrels above the five-year average from 340M barrels above the average in January 2017.
    • In its latest monthly report, OPEC says its production rose by 12K bbl/day to 31.9M bbl/day and raises its global oil demand forecast for 2018 by 25K bbl/day, to increase by 1.65M bbl/day Y/Y and average 98.85M bbl/day, according to the cartel's latest monthly report.
    • The cartel sees non-OPEC supply in 2018 growing by 1.7M barrels Y/Y, nearly 90% coming from the U.S.
    • The data adds to a healthy picture of global oil production, following last week’s increase in U.S. oil rigs to 844, the highest number in three years.
    • Also, hedge funds cut their combined net positioning on Brent crude and WTI crude to the most bearish position in eight weeks, according to Saxo Bank head of commodity strategy Ole Hansen.
    • Even so, crude oil prices are inching higher, adding to multi-year highs; WTI currently +0.1% at $70.79/bbl, Brent +0.4% at $77.42/bbl.
    • "The bulls aren't just in charge, they've got a hammerlock" on the oil market, oil expert Tom Kloza tells CNBC, adding that "anything that's between $70 and $100 [per barrel] right now doesn't represent hyperbole."
    • Kloza, head of energy analysis at the Oil Price Information Service, says the scenario means higher prices at the pump for U.S. consumers, forecasting a 50-50 chance that the nationwide average price for unleaded gasoline will exceed $3/gallon this summer.
    • "We are seeing a quiet crisis that is leading to very expensive diesel and jet fuel prices," Kloza says. "Refiners and producers are doing wonderfully… retailers of gasoline or restaurants and end-users BEWARE."

    Abu Dhabi oil boss sees a 'huge growth opportunity' in the refining sector.

    Bullish investors have a lock on the oil market, putting $100 a barrel in play, market veteran says.

    Tencent self-driving cars heading for Shenzhen streets

    • Tencent (OTCPK:TCEHYOTCPK:TCTZFreceives permission to test its self-driving cars on some public roads in Shenzhen in southern China.
    • Tencent’s license plate came from the Shenzhen Transport Bureau and followed Beijing issuing national guidelines for self-driving cars in April. 
    • China is pushing its autonomous driving programs to remain competitive with US initiatives from the likes of Uber and Alphabet’s Waymo. 
    • Baidu (BIDU +3.1%) is testing its self-driving vehicles in Beijing and SAIC Motor Corp and startup NIO are testing in Shanghai.  

    Piper raves on about Chipotle

    • Chipotle (NYSE:CMG) is getting some special attention from Piper Jaffer this morning, with a price target boost to a Street-high $530 (+24% upside potential) on an improved outlook.
    • "Our positive bias is based on culture change, strong unit-level economics and solid balance sheet. Catalysts include operational excellence, brand remodeling, and capital deployment," writes analyst Nicole Regan.
    • Piper keeps an Overweight rating on the restaurant stock.
    • CMG +0.52% premarket to $427.11.
    • Chinese regulators have restarted their review of Qualcomm's (NASDAQ:QCOM) application to acquire NXP Semiconductors (NASDAQ:NXPI) after shelving the work in reaction to growing trade tensions with the U.S., Bloomberg reports.
    • Chinese companies have previously expressed concern that the combined entity would extend Qualcomm's patent licensing business into areas like mobile payments and autonomous driving.

    Needham raises Nvidia target to 28% upside

    Supreme Court rules against federal sports betting ban

    • The Supreme Court has ruled that New Jersey can legalize sports betting in what could be a landmark case in the gaming industry.
    • Height Capital Markets predicts that at least five states will "move quickly" to approve sports betting as the ruling removes the federal ban.
    • Full SCOTUS decision (.pdf)
    • Shares of Churchill Downs (NASDAQ:CHDN) are up 3.80%, Caesars Entertainment (NASDAQ:CZRgains 5.4% and William Hill (OTCPK:WIMHF) is 8.8% higher in London trading.
    • MGm Resorts (MGM +1.4%) and Boyd Gaming (BYD +2%) have also headed higher since the SCOTUS decision that opens the doors for states to approve sports betting legislation.
    • Investors are scrambling to find sports betting plays after the Supreme Court ruled in the favor of New Jersey in a case that challenged the federal sports betting ban.
    • The Stars Group (NASDAQ:TSG) is 9.42% higher, International Game Technology (NYSE:IGT) is up 4.11% and Scientific Games (NASDAQ:SGMS) is sporting a 9.84% gain.
    • Across the pond, Paddy Power Betfair (OTC:PDYPFOTCPK:PDYPY) jumped 7.0% off the Supreme Court news.

    CBS sues Redstone firm over dilutive dividend, endangering Viacom deal

    • CBS is suing its parent company in a move that could kill a merger with Viacom (VIAVIAB).
    • CBS has filed a suit against National Amusements alleging breach of fiduciary duty and seeking to prevent it from interfering in a special meeting where CBS directors will consider a dividend of class A common shares to be distributed to all stockholders.
    • That dividend would dilute National Amusements' (and Shari Redstone's) voting interest to about 17% from a current 79%. It wouldn't dilute economic interests of any shareholder.
    • CBS is up 0.5%; Viacom is sliding (VIAB -4.8%).

    Big opening for 'Infinity War' in China

    • Three weeks after setting records with its opening in the U.S., Avengers: Infinity War opened to blockbuster returns in China.
    • It recorded the second biggest weekend opening ever in the country, taking in an estimated $200M when measured in local currency.
    • That brings the Disney (NYSE:DIS) film's global haul to $1.61B, making it the fifth-highest-grossing movie of all time.

  22. GE/Pstas – About time we got some love there!  

    Short Put 2020 17-JAN 18.00 PUT [GE @ $14.66 $0.06] -20 1/8/2018 (613) $-4,800 $2.40 $1.60 n/a     $4.00 $-0.08 $-3,200 -66.7% $-8,000
    Long Call 2020 17-JAN 13.00 CALL [GE @ $14.66 $0.06] 50 2/9/2018 (613) $19,000 $3.80 $-0.58     $3.23 $0.02 $-2,875 -15.1% $16,125

    Our own target is still $18+

    QUIK/Albo – Looking good again:

    Nice little pullback in /RB for a moment but looks bouncy so be careful.

  23. /RB, you’re no fun Phil! I stopped out with a gain but only because you started calling us crazy. 

  24. And are you now glad you stopped out?

  25. Did LB change their ER date from 5/15 to 5/23?

    Q1 earnings are expected to be announced after market hours on 5/23/18Estimates: 0.210 | 0.158 | 0.150 (High | Mean | Low)

  26. Nvda/Phil- do you see a play on Nvda? I thinking to enter but not sure how should I set a trade

  27. Lol, yes, of course. 

  28. /KC/ Looking good to purchase down here. 

  29. KC/Phil/tsh- got the Sep contracts @ 122.2, should buy more at 120?

  30. LB/Jabob – Apparently they did though I'm not sure 5/15 was firm before they officially announced 5/23.

    NVDA/Dave – They said they expect a slowdown and $257 is $156Bn for a company with $10Bn in sales and $3Bn in profits so 50x earning is too much for me to swallow.  I'd stay away but you can sell the 2020 $170 puts for $11 if you have faith and that's net $159 so 40% off before you are in trouble.  If you consider that free money, then you can put it towards a spread like the 2020 $230 ($67.50)/$275 ($46) bull call spread at $21.50 so net $10.50 on the $45 spread but, I think it's way to high to play that aggressively. 

    /KC/Tshroy – I just auto-buy them down here, I have 4 of the /KCU8s at $121.03 avg.

    /KC/Dave – I added 2 this morning, my /NGs more than paid for those!  Might go lower first but then I'll buy more.

  31. KCU8/Phil- target to sell those contracts, $125?

  32. /KC/Dave – I don't think $150 is too much to ask for but I've been in and out of those contracts for a penny or two gain a dozen times while I'm waiting.  My "target" is to make money.

    • U.S. consumers see inflation rising to 3.0% for both the one-year and three-year timelines, reaching the highest level since a temporary uptick in inflation expectations early last year, according to  to the Federal Reserve of New York's April 2018 survey of consumer expectations.
    • Expectations for the one-year measure rose 0.2% from the March survey and 0.1% for the three-year horizon.
    • Gasoline and food prices are both seen up over the next year, with gasoline expected to increase 4.8%, up from the 4.6% rise predicted in March, while food prices are expected to increase 4.7% vs. 4.5% M/M.
    • The outlook for median home price change increased to 3.7% last month from 3.5% M/M, its highest reading since November 2014.
    • Median expected household income growth remained flat at 2.9%.
    • Lyft (LYFT) says it now holds 35% of the U.S. ride-share market and stands in the lead in “multiple” markets.
    • Lyft’s market share was 20% about 18 months ago, a 75% growth.
    • The market share is over 40% in 16 markets, according to the company.

    • Google (GOOG +0.5%GOOGL +0.7%) is shifting its consumer storage pricing, slashing the price of a high-volume plan and adding a new lower-end tier.
    • In a plan it calls "Google One," the company will add a 200 GB storage tier for $2.99/month, and cut the price of its 2 TB plan in half, from $19.99/month to $9.99/month.
    • That $9.99/month was the price of its 1 TB plan, which is being eliminated.
    • It still offers a 100 GB plan for $1.99/month, as well as higher-end offerings (10 TB for $99/99/month, 20 TB for $199.99/month, and 30 TB for $299.99/month).
    • With the plans it's also offering access to live Google Experts for help with any of the company's consumer products or services, a feature previously targeted at paying business users with a G Suite account.
    • Dropbox (NASDAQ:DBX) is seeking new session lows after the news, now down 3.7%.
    • Supreme Court Justice Samuel Alito: "The legalization of sports gambling requires an important policy choice, but the choice is not ours to make. Congress can regulate sports gambling directly, but if it elects not to do so, each state is free to act on its own."
    • NBA Commissioner Adam Silver: "Today's decision by the Supreme Court opens the door for states to pass laws legalizing sports betting. We remain in favor of a federal framework that would provide a uniform approach to sports gambling in states that choose to permit it."
    • FanDuel (DUEL) investor Bradley Tusk: "We think it doubles the value of our equity. And once states start legalizing sports betting and it becomes common practice, it could be more like 5 times."
    • MGM Resorts statement: "We look forward to working with legislators and policy makers to achieve a regulatory outcome that benefits states and consumers alike while ensuring the integrity of sports. Having spent decades building trust with regulators, successfully operating sports books in Nevada, and hosting the world's leading sporting events, MGM Resorts International is extremely well positioned for a post-PASPA environment."
    • Analysts are busy making their sports betting stock picks. Companies mentioned by the Wall Street crowd as benefiting include Scientific Games (SGMS +14.4%), Penn National Gaming (PENN +4.1%), Eldorado Resorts (ERI +2.1%), Full House Resorts (FLL +1.4%), Boyd Gaming (BYD +4.1%), William Hill (OTCPK:WIMHYOTCPK:WIMHF), GVC Holdings (OTCPK:GMVHF) and MGM Resorts (MGM +1.4%). Sports owners are also seen raking it in from sports betting, with Mark Cuban going so far as to say franchise value could double. Publicly-traded companies with sports team stakes include Madison Square Garden (MSG +3.5%) and Liberty Braves Series A (BATRA +3%)
    • Sources: Bloomberg, CNBC, Reuters
    • Previously: Sports betting rally after Supreme Court ruling (May 14)
    • Previously: DraftKings acts quick on sports betting (May 14)
    • There are more regional casino stocks joining the sports betting rally today.
    • Dover Downs Gaming & Entertainment (DDE +5.4%) and Empire Resorts (NYNY +8.7%) were slightly slow out of the gate, but are showing off big gains now after the Supreme Court ruled that a federal sports ban is unconstitutional.
    • Penn National Gaming (PENN +4.5%), Golden Entertainment (GDEN +2%) and Pinnacle Entertainment (PNK +1.9%) are also on the move.
    • Macau-focused casino stocks Wynn Resorts (WYNN -1.9%) and Las Vegas Sands (LVS -1.1%) are sitting out the rally, due to the lower mix of revenue tied to U.S.-based sportsbooks.

    • Three senators have sent a letter to AT&T (T -0.2%looking for more answers about the company's "unusual" payments to President Trump's personal lawyer as it had "significant business" pending before the administration.
    • In more than a dozen questions, Democratic Sens. Elizabeth Warren, Richard Blumenthal and Ron Wyden ask for details on the contract, the nature of the payments and details about meetings between the company and Cohen, among other issues.
    • Warren and Blumenthal have also written Novartis (NVS +0.9%) seeking answers about that company's Cohen payments.
    • Looks like CBS and parent National Amusements are headed to court to resolve a CBS lawsuit, as NAI launches a salvo in reply.
    • "National Amusements is outraged by the action taken by CBS and strongly refutes its characterization of recent events," the firm says in a statement responding to a charge of breach of fiduciary duty connected to an alleged attempt to interfere with CBS directors.
    • "NAI had absolutely no intention of replacing the CBS board or forcing a deal that was not supported by both companies," the statement continues. "NAI's conduct throughout supports this, and reflects its commitment to a well-governed process."
    • "NAI believes CBS's action today was precipitated following NAI raising specific concerns about incidents of bullying and intimidation in relation to one CBS director, dating back to 2016 … Unfortunately, CBS's action today continues to enable and empower such conduct."
    • The statement concludes with fighting words: "We intend to defend our position vigorously and look forward to presenting our arguments in court."
    • Currently: CBS +4%VIA -3.1%VIAB -6%.
    • Previously: CBS sues Redstone firm over dilutive dividend, endangering Viacom deal (May. 14 2018)
    • Apple (NASDAQ:AAPL) and French cable television company Canal+ will soon offer an Apple TV 4K instead of a traditional cable box to Canal’s 5.2M subscribers.
    • The deal goes live May 17 and will cost customers a $7 rental fee.
    • Canal hopes the partnership will help it reach younger customers and give existing customers an easier way to add another box.
    • Apple gets its TVs in the homes of more consumers who might otherwise choose a rival like Amazon’s Fire TV. Apple has similar partnerships with DirecTV Now in the US and Salt Mobile, the Swiss spin-off of Orange.
    • In other news related to Apple, supplier Foxconn/Hon Hai (OTCPK:HNHAFOTCPK:HNHAYreports a 14.5% fall in its Q1 net profit to $809M. 
    • Apple shares are up 0.2% to $189.03.

  33. There goes 2,728!  

    All red but the Dow already – another silly Monday rally up in smoke though we could have another closing rally, of course.   

  34. Not Hawaii – it's a Tesla!  

    Speaking of things going down in flames:

    Trump caved in on China, and politicians are upset. Rotting fruit and car inspections explain why Trump caved in.

    WASHINGTON—After spending the better part of Monday afternoon watching live television coverage of the demonstrations in the hotly contested Gaza Strip, Donald Trump declared himself “absolutely fascinated” by the Israeli cultural tradition of slaughtering protestors. “It’s very beautiful, such a beautiful custom,” said Trump of the cherished Israeli pastime of mowing down unarmed Palestinians with rifle fire. “They’ve been doing this for years, but this is the first time I got a chance to watch the whole ritual. It’s really something, very powerful. Other countries use just tear gas, but here, they outright murder people for throwing glass bottles. I can really see something like this catching on in the United States.” Trump added he was “particularly moved” by the portion of the festivities that celebrated a 13-year-old Palestinian boy becoming a dead man.

    Bitcoin conferences: Where the protests are staged and the Lamborghinis are rented

    Computerized trading is triggering dramatic shifts in prices for coffee, cocoa and sugar, sparking concern that these commodities are being divorced from their fundamentals of supply and demand

  35. Sold more Dec 7.5 puts on EXTR after reading the DA Davidson report.

    "Investment thesis. Extreme has a solid networking business, with competitive Ethernet switching
    solutions, particularly in the wireless sector. We also believe it has a strong software base on
    which to build cutting edge products. With the addition of the Zebra, Avaya, and Brocade assets,
    we believe the company can create a strong, profitable competitor in the networking market. We
    continue to anticipate revenue of over $1B when all the pieces are put together, with 60% gross
    margin and at least 10% operating margin."

    They are projecting earnings of $1.17 next year.

  36. never heard of realclearpolitics

  37. Sounds encouraging but not getting a great reaction.

    Real/Jabob – Is it true that Trump said it?  Yes.  Was it complete BS, easily disproven by those clips?  Yes….

    “Today we finally acknowledge the obvious: that Jerusalem is Israel’s capital,” Mr. Trump said from the Diplomatic Reception Room of the White House. “This is nothing more or less than a recognition of reality. It is also the right thing to do. It’s something that has to be done.”

    The president cast his decision as a break with decades of failed policy on Jerusalem, which the United States, along with virtually every other nation in the world, has declined to recognize as the capital since Israel’s founding in 1948. That policy, he said, brought us “no closer to a lasting peace agreement between Israel and the Palestinians.”

    RealClearPolitics is a serious site, Trump is not a serious President.  When in doubt, I'd go with an unknown site over the word of Trump.  The challenge is to find things he said that weren't lies.

    Oh no, down we go again!  

  38. Can't expect much from the TrumpKim meeting it seems:

    But at different points, he also appeared to suggest that a deal might come up shy of making North Korea get rid of all of its current nukes. He said on both shows that the objective was to prevent North Korea from having the capability to strike the United States with a nuclear weapon. And he explicitly called for its getting rid of missiles, without saying the same about existing warheads.

    Lil'Kim is not dumb, he saw what happen in Lybia… Once Gadaffy gave up his nuclear program, he signed his death warrant. So Kim will agree not to make missiles that reach us, but will keep his nukes to threaten S. Korea and Japan and in exchange we will lift sanctions and Trump will claim victory. And Trump's base will cry for a Nobel Prize – which by the way should have never been awarded to Obama in the first place!

  39. some interesting stuff:

    1.  Received paperwork in the mail to participate in the GTAT $37M litigation settlement. I was a reminder of my worst trade here at PSW.  Fortunately, it was a expensive lesson in position sizing.  Most of my losses were in options, so I doubtful if I'm able to participate in the settlement.

    2. GNC   Got a phone call and 2 letters urging me to approve the issuance of stock to Harbin Pharmaceutical.  According to the letter " 93% of the proxies approved, but only 45% if the share holders have responded to the proxy. I never thought my 500 shares would make a difference. 

    BBBY, My wife pointed out to me that Best Buy has a program for an automatic 20% everything and free shipping for an annual $29.95 fee. I told her the breakeven was $300 in annual purchases, but no more coupon collecting.  Phil, if Jackie goes to college away from home, Best Buy will be one of your first stops.  Of course, you're letting her make the college decision. 

  40. GTAT , unfortunately it was an expensive lesson in position sizing

  41. Stupid me, that BBBY breakeven is $150. 

  42. C/Phil- we have 10 short may $70 calls expiring in 4 days time, what should we do with it?

  43. Looking at the news here This was a black day for the US Sorry guys, Thinks do not look to good.

  44. Keeping Nukes/StJ – What?  He only has one or two in the first place.  I thought the idea was that people should have NO Nukes, not Some Nukes!

    GTAT/Stock – The shareholders were totally ripped off on that one.  As to options, wouldn't seem fair if there's a settlement and a guy who sold his options got paid and we didn't.

    GNC/That's the Australia thing, voter apathy is a problem.  

    BBBY/Stock – That's Bed, Bath and Beyond, not BBY.  Jackie will probably shop at both.  

    C/Dave – We'll probably roll them along.  I'll be doing Portfolio Reviews the next few days.  

    Black day/Yodi – We're getting used to them.

    • California’s new solar mandate will benefit panel installers and manufacturers while increasing volatility in the state’s power market, says Height Capital analyst Katie Bays, pointing investors to ways to play the new law.
    • The huge knee-jerk reactions in solar stocks such as Sunrun (RUN +1.8%) may be misdirected, Bays believes, saying manufacturers such as SunPower (SPWR +1.6%) and First Solar (FSLR+1.6%) will be the biggest winners in the long term and could sell to homebuilders directly.
    • “As with the city of Lancaster, outside of Los Angeles, homebuilders like KB Home who were required to add rooftop solar to new properties chose to contract directly with a manufacturer to supply solar panels for housing developments," Bays writes.
    • In terms of potential negative market impact on electric companies, Bays says PG&E (PCG-0.5%) is more insulated than Edison International (EIX -0.1%) or Sempra Energy (SRE -0.7%), since PG&E's territory includes less new home construction.
    • ETFs: TANKWT
    • Caesars Entertainment (CZR +5.5%) issues a statement on the U.S. Supreme Court's decision to strike down the federal ban on sports betting.
    • "Caesars currently has licensed gaming operations in thirteen states and currently manages a successful legal sports wagering business in Nevada. The company plans to expand its U.S. sports betting business wherever secure and responsible wagering on sporting events is legalized."
    • "We expect to be able to provide safe, exciting sports wagering experiences to consumers across the country, as we do today in Nevada.  We plan to announce our specific approach to this business as we better understand the opportunities and regulations which evolve from today's Supreme Court decision."
    • Source: Press Release

  45. Jogging – the big flaw with the Harvard study is that it looks at what lengthens life in a sick country. Life expectancy here in south Korea is 10 years longer than the US, and it's not because everyone follows those 5 healthy habits. Walt Willett and company need to go re-read Geoffrey Rose' seminal paper, "Sick populations, sick individuals".

  46. Health / Snow – That's true, but that level of exercise is needed to burn the extra 1000 calories we consume each day! And by the way, the top 10% in this country have a much higher life expectancy than the bottom 20% so there are other factors at play:

    Related image

    The problem in the US is not simply healthy habits, it is our screwed up healthcare system that prioritize wealth over health. They should rename it wealthcare system. The top 10% here live as long as the anyone else in the world. But still, if you are in the bottom 20%, quitting smoking and drinking probably has an impact on your life expectancy.

  47. Good morning!

    Futures down but not oil ($71.50) and gasoline ($2.21), which are more playable now as it's a tension trade, with no real reason for the rally other than the skirmish in Israel.  Still, that's up DESPITE the Dollar punching up to 92.77.  Brent at $79.25 so $80 will finally be a good spot to short or maybe $72.50 on /CL but I can get behind shorting /RB here ($2.212) with tight stops above.  

    /SI back to $16.40, I like that spot long but not catching a knife as we hit $16.20 on 5/1 and /YG $1,305 would be better if it tests $1,300 too, but I don't mind scaling in for the bounce here IF both /SI and /YG start basing AND the Dollar stops rising.  

    /ES right back to 2,728 so yawn on Monday!  

    /RTY 1,600 is our directional indicator today as well as 2,728

    24,850 in play again. 

    Harsh rejection at 7,000 so far:

    U.S. Embassy Move, Bloodshed Add to Friction With Allies

    Washington’s allies in Europe and the Middle East criticized the U.S. for opening a new embassy in Jerusalem and called on Israel to restrain its forces. 82

    Erdogan Blasts: "Terrorist State" Israel Is "Guilty Of Genocide", Withdraws US Ambassador. 

    Investors Are Wary as Companies Ramp Up Capital Spending

    U.S. companies are ramping up spending on their businesses at the fastest pace in years, a long-awaited development following years of tepid growth. But investors may question whether it is worthwhile.

    Global Shares Falter Amid Mixed Economic Data

    World stocks edged lower amid mixed data from key global economies and as trade negotiations between the U.S. and China continue.

    The Stocks to Watch as China Gains Entry to the MSCI Club.

    Steve Eisman, of ‘The Big Short’ fame, is bearish on cryptos and Deutsche Bank.

    Three key unanswered questions in the landmark legal sports betting decision.

    Harvard Endowment Goes All-In Apple, Microsoft And Google.