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Thursday Thoughts – Wild Market Gyrations Continue

Wheeee!  That was exciting!  

Fortunately, we were expecting the bounces yesterday morning and, even more fortunately, we expected them just to be bounces and my opening call in our Live Member Chat Room was 

Looks like a bit of a bounce this morning and we'll see how far but the Dow is the laggard to the upside and, if we get over 24,350, you can play /YM bullish with tight stops as long as the VIX keeps going down (now 1,580) and the Dollar stays under 95 (now 94.75).

The Dow flew higher but we were already taking it off the table at 10:16 with a non-greedy exit:

Don't be greedy on /YM longs, of course, 150 points is a quick $750 per contract and you can get back in over 24,500 with tight stops below that line if you are worried about missing out.

Forutnately, we had laid out the likely bounce lines in Tuesday Morning's Report so our Members were prepared for AND NOT FOOLED BY the morning "rally".  My comment on Tuesday was:  

Notice how technically neat the S&P is behaving, bouncing right off the 50-day moving average at 2,716 and that's exactly down 2.5% from the high at 2,785 so we're right on the money with our 5% Rule™ and that means we'll watch for 14-point bounces to 2,730 (weak) and 2,744 (strong) though anything over our 2,728 line is a pretty bullish recovery for the moment.

Other bounce lines will be:

  • Dow 25,400 to 24,200 is 1,200 points (4.7%) and we'll call the bounces 250 points to 24,450 (weak) and 24,700 (strong)
  • Nasdaq 7,350 to 7,000 is 4.7% but really 350 was a 5% overshoot of 7,000 (and we're on the way to 6,500) but the Nas will bounce 75 points to 7,075 (weak) and 7,150 (strong) before taking another leg down. 
  • Russell 1,720 to 1,660 was only a 3.5% drop so look for the least bounce here but 1,657.50 is the 2.5% line from 1,700 and the rest was on overshoot so let's call that the real range (42.5 poins) and round off to 9-point bounces to 1,666 (weak) and 1,685 (strong).  /TF failing at 1,666 would be a good sign to short the rest.
  • The VIX is at 16 and below 15 means shorting time is over and the Dollar, more importantly, has already fallend from 95 to 94 so 0.2 bounces to 94.20 (weak) and 94.40 (strong) but 94.20 has failed this morning and that helps the indexes stay bullish for the moment.

The S&P (/ES) Futures topped out at 2,747.50 (over the strong bounce line by 3.5), the Dow topped out at 24,575 (halfway between the weak and strong bounce), the Nasdaq hit 7,150 (strong bounce on the nose) and the Russell was also right between at 1,677.   We were not fooled because the VIX remained above 15 and the Dollar kept rising (now 94.92).

So, as planned, we got signals to re-short the S&P at our 2,744 line as well as the Nasdaq at 7,150 as the market stumbles along to our Nasdaq 6,500 goal (10% corrections all around) but of course it doesn't get there in a straight line, so we learn to play the bounces and recognize a good run for what it is and tale profits off the table – like this morning, where we're down another 100 on the Dow already – we just look for the next likely support and see how it plays out – probably at the 24,000 line.

From there we use our 5% Rule™ (it's not TA – it's just math!) to calculate the weak and strong bounces and then we're back to where we were Tuesday, watching to see how high the bounce can take us (while playing /YM long at 24,000 with tight stops below, of course).  May as well make money while we wait, right?  

On the other hand, if 24,000 fails along with 2,700 on the S&P (/ES) and 7,000 on the Nasdaq (/NQ) and 1,650 on the Russell (/TF) and the VIX is over 17 – then those are too many shorting lines to ignore and we go back to shorting the Nasdaq below the 7,000 line as we're still expecting 6,500 to be tested and that's a $10,000 per contract gain on a 500-point drop ($20 per point per contract).  I've been telling you this since 7,300 and that was $6,000 ago!  In fact, what I said just last Thursday was:

Yesterday, in our Live Trading Webinar, we discussed some of the many reasons we were not going to chase the indexes higher and, in fact, we took a short on the Nasdaq as it tested 7,330 and caught a nice dip back to 7,300 for a $600 per contract gain and this morning we'll look for a chance to short it again as it's up for no reason.

We're still not a believer in the "rally" until we see the NYSE get back over that 12,800 line and we're about 1% away from it now and it's very, very doubtful that we'll get there today, no matter how quiet the US investors are.  

In fact, on the NYSE, we are wathing for a failure at 12,600 (the 200-dma), which would signal the very strong possibility of a leg down for the indexes.  We still have our long hedge on the Nasdaq and our 10 QQQ 2020 $220 calls from our June 12th Morning Report at $2,000 are already $2,550 for a 27.5% gain even though QQQ is only at $177.25, up $2.25 or 1.3% so we are getting the 20x leverage we expected on a move higher – just in case we're wrong and the index doubles before it drops 10%.

Still, that 6,500 target is very tempting with /NQ at 7,300 as it's down 800 points and that would pay $16,000 per contract on a correction – that puts the risk of playing here with tight stops above into perspective, right?  While US Investors may not be worried about the impact of Trump's Trade Policy, Fed Chairman Powell sure is, saying:

  “Changes in trade policy could cause us to have to question the outlook,” Federal Reserve Chairman Jerome Powell said during a panel discussion at a European Central Bank conference in Sintra, Portugal. “For the first time, we’re hearing about decisions to postpone investment, postpone hiring.”  

Remember – I can only tell you what is going to happen and how to make money trading it – the rest is up to you!  

As I mentioned above, this is not technical trading that we're doing, we are Fundamentalists and yes, the TA that drives much of the market is A factor in what we look at but not THE factor that drives our decisions.  IF we see the market heading for a downturn THEN we do the math and look for where the TA sheeple will make the turn and THEN we can place our bets accordingly.  

Fundamentally, we are in a Trade War and the extent of the damage from that Trade War is unknown but it's not the only reason we're shorting – just the catalyst that drove our timing to jump on the shorts last Thursday and caused us to stick with them yesterday because, as I said in our morning report:

We will certainly bounce this morning on the news that Trump is pursuing a less-crazy policy than the one he said he would pursue but it's not good to have a President who doesn't mean what he says, nor is it good to have random trade policies and, anyway, we still have all the stuff that took the markets down BEFORE things got crazier so I'm not sure what we should be getting excited about.

We're just going to watch our bounce lines and see if there's enough technical energy left to get us back into bullish territory but, for me, I stand by my month-old prediction that we're going to be 10% off our highs and at Nasdaq 6,500 over the summer – and it's only June 27th so, be careful out there! 

Certainly nothing Fundamental has happened to change my opinion over the past 24 hours….

 


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  1. Good Morning.


  2. Phil/WBA, What are your thoughts on latest news? Down over 7% Pre mkt. I had them on my watch list. Maybe wait til smoke clears? Thanks


  3. Phil, 

    Now that we have hit the lines in the sand from yesterday, are you expecting the big boys to take the index up? Just want to know how to trade the futures? Thanks as always



  4. Am in Quebec all week and they don't like Trump much here…



  5. Yodi/Germany-thanks for your comments.  Most Germans I speak with say the same thing (not statistically significant and skewed toward white collar).  Seems like they are reluctant to hire an 'auslander' even if that person has the skills necessary and has language skills (and a Christian background). 

    I see the same age discrimination in the US.  There is a skills shortage, but people over 50 with the relevant skills are still not hired.  I think this drives a lot of the anti-immigration sentiment among many (or at least makes it easy to whip up that fervor).

    I wonder how this will all get resolved.  In both Germany and the US these shortages are not going away any time soon.  How do you think this will ultimately get resolved in Germany?


  6. /SI hitting the bottom of the range pretty hard… nibbling a little


  7. You can sell the Sept VXX 100 calls for $1 against $650 of margin. Not a bad return rate… VXX is at $40 now so very little risk there. And they would roll easily!


  8. Pharmacy Chains – This is why all the pharmacy chains are not doing well today…

    https://www.marketwatch.com/Story/amazon-acquisition-of-online-pharmacy-startup-pillpack-sends-health-care-stocks-into-a-nosedive-2018-06-28?&siteid=yhoof2&yptr=yahoo

    Many of them rely on filling prescriptions to bring traffic in the stores (to buy other products), so if they lose those trips, it will impact their economics significantly.

    (P.S.  didn't WBA just replace GE on the Dow….?)


  9. WBA: The good ol' "Curse of the Dow" LOL!


  10. Good morning!

    No webinar today, things are too crazy with all these people here for the funeral (and shiva, which goes on for a week!).  My mom's friend was also her neighbor so both houses are like Grand Central Station with the whole community visiting.  A lot of them are just here for the food, I think….

    WBA/Jomp – Wow, so silly.  WBA already delivers to you if you choose but PillPack is the future and they'll have to respond to that now, more so than putting it off.  Unless AMZN is going to swallow the co-pay – I don't see what their competitive advantage is going to be and the disadvantage of not having an actual pharmacist to talk to doesn't seem like it's going to work to me – though they'd be smart to drive people to Whole Foods Pharmacies if they can get that going.

    WBA is costing the Dow about 50 points this morning and $60 is a great entry point.  We added them on 3/29 in the LTP with 20 2020 $60/75 bull call spreads at $6.75 ($13,500) and sold 10 short 2020 $65 puts for $7.70 ($7,700) and that positioon is down about $2,000 at the moment but I still like the targets so great for a new entry and, in fact, let's go with 10 of the $60/75 bull call spreads at $6 ($6,000) and 5 short $65 puts for $9 ($4,500) in the OOP as a new trade for net $1,500.

    Up/Jasu – As noted above, we certainly expect a weak bounce and I like playing for that but very carefully as I'm pretty sure we're still on the way down.

    Quebeck/StJ – From Canadians I talk to they mostly just can't believe we "let" him be our President.  

    Opiods/StJ – But great for pro-gaming!  Seriously though, that's a pretty direct correlation – no wonder they (employers who want cheaper labor) consider it a crisis.  

    Labor/Seer, Yodi – I think we should educate and integrate immigrants and treat them (young labor) as a valuable resource to be cultivated instead of a blight to be exterminated or we'll end up like Japan – isolated and old and weak.

    /SI/Atit – I definitely like them long at the $16 line with tight stops below as well as /YG, of course, at the $1,250 line.  Copper is sucking wind at $2.95 though.

    Blame the Dollar for this one but it should pull back a bit at 95 (good for the indexes too)

    And oil

    VXX/StJ – Wow, that's crazy.  I still wouldn't do it but what huge odds.

    WBA/Mito, Kinki – I think Bezos was pissed AMZN wasn't put on the Dow and timed this announcement to dig at them.


  11. CMG down 7.5% great for my Jun 29th 450 caller. You just need to have staying power with a yoyo stock like this.


  12. Between funerals and Costco, many of these Seniors are well fed!  ;)


  13. Meanwhile, GDP came in weak at 2% this morning, down from 2.2% in the 3rd revision to Q1.  I'm having a hard time squaring the data with all this enthusiasm for 4.5% in Q2 – I can only assume the numbers will be an aberration and won't follow through for the year.   Tomorrow we get Personal Income and Spending, which should be up 0.5% but even that won't be enough to pop Q2 GDP as much as they are projecting.

    I didn't get to talk about it but Durable goods were DOWN 0.6% in May after being down 1% in April – aren't both of those months in Q2?  Strange stuff….

    CMG/Yodi – That's why we played it for the pullback.  I was getting a bit worried, as noted in the last review:

    • CMG – I was hoping for a pullback but it isn't happening so far. 
    Short Put 2020 17-JAN 270.00 PUT [CMG @ $418.73 $-38.51] -5 1/2/2018 (568) $-17,600 $35.20 $-25.95 $-115.14     $9.25 - $12,975 73.7% $-4,625
    Short Call 2019 18-JAN 420.00 CALL [CMG @ $418.73 $-38.51] -6 5/24/2018 (204) $-32,640 $54.40 $-10.80     $43.60 - $6,480 19.9% $-26,160
    Long Call 2020 17-JAN 400.00 CALL [CMG @ $418.73 $-38.51] 15 5/24/2018 (568) $143,400 $95.60 $-11.60     $84.00 - $-17,400 -12.1% $126,000
    Short Call 2020 17-JAN 480.00 CALL [CMG @ $418.73 $-38.51] -15 5/21/2018 (568) $-87,675 $58.45 $-8.45     $50.00 - $12,675 14.5% $-75,000

    We were up $4,000 on the 15th, now +$15,000 on this move down!  It is hard to stick to valuation models when the stocks go crazy…

    Submitted on 2018/06/22 at 2:09 pm

    CMG very strong just because no one got sick lately:

    Best-case scenario is $10/share this year so getting towards 50x here. 

    • Chipotle (NYSE:CMG) is trying out new menu items like quesadillas, nachos, salads and chocolate shakes at its test kitchen in New York City.
    • The new menu selections are expected to be rolled out nationally if the NYC test goes well.
    • CMG +0.18% premarket to $464.00.

    And, from our 5/17 LTP Review, when we made the adjustment:

    • CMG – This one screwed us as we rolled 3 short April $300 calls at $33.50 ($10,050) to 4 short June $325 calls at $23.40 (9,360) so we spent $690 to buy $25 in strike and that didn't help as CMG blasted up over $400.  Not a tragedy as our longs are going to pay us $50,000 and we've got $4,400 more coming from the short puts but we need to adjust this one. 
    • The 4 short June $325 calls at $115 ($46,000) can be rolled to 6 Jan $420 calls at $58 ($34,800) and we're going to cash out our 2020 $300 ($169)/350 ($132.50) bull call spread at $36.50 ($36,500) and pick up 15 of the 2020 $400 ($100)/$480 ($62) bull call spreads at $38 ($57,000).  
    • We started the spread with a net $10,460 credit (and we already had a profitable cash-out in Feb) and now we're spending net $31,700 so we're now in for net $21,240 on the $120,000 $400/480 bull call spread that is about 1/3 covered with short $420 calls so we're hoping for a bit of a pullback, but not too much!  

    The same way a stock can be too low – it can be too high and it's good to know the VALUE of the stocks you are playing with.  In CMG's case, we jumped on the dip in Feb and bought 10 of the 2020 $260 calls on 2/9 for $57 and we sold them on the 27th for $105.50 and then we established our current position.  This time, instead of going too low, CMG has gone too high, so we're now playing it a bit bearish and we may even sell more calls if it breaks down below $420. 

    It's important to look back on trades like this so we're more confident doing the same thing in future situations.  As Yodi noted, you need to have staying power to ride out these crazy stocks (remember when they were trading like they were going BK? – that was only last year!).

    Speaking of crazy, STP now up 114%, so up about $45,000 on this dip.  Doing exactly what it's supposed to do as the LTP dropped to up 22% so 8% is a $40,000 loss in the LTP – HEDGING!  

    LOL 1020!  






  14. CVS also seriously down 6.3%


  15. FTR down more than 8%


  16. IBM up .95% today but are they still a buy at 138.79 ????


  17. Phil,

    CL seems to be up, any thoughts on taking a stab at these levels ?

    Thanks as always

    Pat




  18. BJ’s Wholesale Club shares soar on 1st trading day


  19. /Rb/Phil- worth trying shorts?



  20. Phil/Telstra Corp

    Do you have any idea on this Australian Giant Telstra Corp? It had a major drop due to a strategy change recently. In case you follow, want to know your thoughts.

    regards


  21. Just closed a Tree planting job on MU Jan20 45/65 BCS @ 7.96 and sold the Jan20 50 put for 8.55 and 1/2 Jul 55 call for 1.54


  22. Phil, I finally joined you in FTR.  Sold 10 Jan 5 puts for $1.05.

    Although I remain heavy in CTL, and am enjoying their high divided, think FTR is worth a shot at $3.95.


  23. Should read CTL's high dividend.


  24. Albo fools rush in where angle fear to try


  25. Phil SCO are we still buying back the Sep 18 caller .65 cents now?


  26. Indexes turning back up now but Europe looks like it's closing down 1% – maybe they were the drag…

    VIX still very high so I wouldn't buy into it – nice time to take profits if you played the bounce.

    FTR/Jabob – Maybe testing $5.  

    IBM/Yodi – I think still a buy.  People keep underestimating not only Watson but their chip work, which is already leading to radically higher ram storage.  

    All we have on IBM is 5 short 2020 $145 puts we sold for $12.50 on 1/17.  They are now $19 but, more importantly, IBM is at about our target low so, as noted above, we stick to our valuation model and now is the time to add the bull call spread.  So, in the LTP, let's add 15 $120 ($22.50)/150 ($8.50) bull call spreads at $14 ($21,000) on the $30 spreads and, when IBM bounces, we'll start selling calls like 5 Aug $150s for $3 ($1,500) as 10 sales like that will pay for most of the spread.  At the moment, the Aug $150s are just 0.82 though, so we need about a $10 bounce. 

    Of course with the same short puts at $9,000 – it's good for a new trade at net $12,000 too!  At just $150 (up $10 in 18 months) this trade pays back $45,000 for a $33,000 (275%) profit and your worst case is being a long-term investor in IBM…

    /CL/Pat – As I keep saying – it's too dangerous into the holiday weekend.  For the moment, see yesterday's SCO adjustment as SCO can't bankrupt you in your sleep like oil futures can.  Not only is next week a huge driving holiday but we're early in the contract cycle so there's no natural downward pressure and, of course, this Iran talk is causing massive panic that won't quickly subside. 

    /RB/Dave – Same as above on /CL – just too dangerous into the holidays.  We have so many times when we can make obvious trades on oil and gasoline without too much risk – why play now, when it's so dangerous?

    Telstra/Pat – I'm aware of them but I don't follow them.  I'd have to study all of Australia's Telco Industry to even pretend to have an opinion on them, sorry..

    FTR/Albo – Welcome!  

    SCO/Yodi – Of course, that's what we wanted. 

    MU/Yodi – Almost where I'd like to give them a toss ($45)


  27. WMB a rising star setting up an other armchair Jul 27 27/28 strangle for .95 with stock at 27.07 gives a combined div of 4% per month. Have an other armchair at 25.79 stock price


  28. Phil/Webinar, Will we have webinar tomorrow? It would be great to have an update before the long weekend(also with next Wednesday of market closure)? Thanks.


  29. What an other long week end? Is America working ?


  30. Phil – LOL !


  31. Yodi – I hear you.  Maybe a case of good buy, good buy, good buy, good-bye, but perhaps worth a shot down here.


  32. Webinar/Ayyaps – I'm down in Florida with my Mom and things are crazy so no webinar this week or next – as it's a holiday.  If you have a question, you can certainly ask it here though.  

    Working/Yodi – All we get is Wednesday off.  Let he who is without 13 holidays cast the first stone!

    Official public holidays in Germany 2018

    (N) = National (R) = Regional

    • Monday, 1 January: New Year’s Day (Neujahrstag) (N)
    • Saturday, 6 January: Epiphany (Heilige Drei Könige) (R) – Baden-Württemberg, Bavaria, Saxony-Anhalt
    • Friday, 30 March: Good Friday (Karfreitag) (N)
    • Monday, 2 April: Easter Monday (Ostermontag) (N)
    • Tuesday, 1 May: Labour Day (Maifeiertag) (N)
    • Thursday, 10 May: Ascension Day (Christi Himmelfahrt, 40 days after Easter) (N) 
    • Monday, 21 May: Whit Monday (Pfingstmontag) (N) – seventh Monday after Easter, also called Pentecost Monday.
    • Thursday, 31 May: Corpus Christi (Fronleichnam) (R) – Baden-Württemberg, Bavaria, Hesse, North Rhine-Westphalia, Rhineland-Palatinate, Saarland, and some local authorities in Saxony and Thuringia.
    • Wednesday, 8 August: Peace Festival (R) – Bavaria (Augsburg) 
    • Wednesday, 15 August: Assumption Day (Maria Himmelfahrt) (R) – Saarland and some local authorities in Bavaria.
    • Wednesday, 3 October: Day of German Unity (Tag der Deutschen Einheit) (N)
    • Wednesday, 31 October: Reformation Day (Reformationstag) (N) – celebrated as a German national holiday in 2017 to celebrate the 500th anniversary, although typically it is a regional holiday in Brandenburg, Mecklenburg-Western Pomerania, Saxony, Saxony-Anhalt and parts of Thuringia.
    • Thursday, 1 November: All Saints’ Day (Allerheiligen) (R) – Baden-Württemberg, Bavaria, North Rhine-Westphalia, Rhineland-Palatinate and Saarland.
    • Wednesday, 21 November: Day of Prayer and Repentance (Buß-und Bettag, Wednesday before 23 November) (R) – Saxony.
    • Tuesday, 25 December: Christmas Day (Weihnachtstag) (N)
    • Wednesday, 26 December: Boxing Day/St Stephen’s Day (Stephanstag) (N) – also known as the second day of Christmas.

    By comparison – we get:

    • New Year's Day  January 1  Monday

    • Memorial Day   May 28  Monday

    • Independence Day July 4  Wednesday

    • Labor Day  September 3  Monday

    • Thanksgiving Day  November 22  Thursday

    • Friday after Thanksgiving  November 23  Friday

    • Christmas Day  December 25 Tuesday

     

     

    Just 7 days a year and only 2 week's vacation!


  33. Touché you got me there.


  34. This is interesting, we work like a 3rd World Country;

    Image result for workdays by country

    And this Yodi:

    Image result for workdays by country

    I'm not sure if that's US getting you – we are just idiots, I think…

    I'm gonna be a happy idiot

    And struggle for the legal tender

    Where the ads take aim and lay their claim

    To the heart and the soul of the spender

    And believe in whatever may lie 

    In those things that money can buy


  35. OK, we're making some progress now but still not good and still not even back to our weak bounce lines from yesterday.  

    Trump did not see the irony of welcoming a 100% China-owned company to Wisconsin…

    VIX coming down but not calm.

    Unfortunately, we won't know how much of this is window-dressing until after the Holiday because Monday doesn't matter and no one will be working Tuesday (or Thurs or Friday, for that matter).

    We had a poor note auction today so heading back down to test 120.

    • Dow 25,400 to 24,200 is 1,200 points (4.7%) and we'll call the bounces 250 points to 24,450 (weak) and 24,700 (strong)
    • Notice how technically neat the S&P is behaving, bouncing right off the 50-day moving average at 2,716 and that's exactly down 2.5% from the high at 2,785 so we're right on the money with our 5% Rule™ and that means we'll watch for 14-point bounces to 2,730 (weak) and 2,744 (strong) though anything over our 2,728 line is a pretty bullish recovery for the moment.
    • Nasdaq 7,350 to 7,000 is 4.7% but really 350 was a 5% overshoot of 7,000 (and we're on the way to 6,500) but the Nas will bounce 75 points to 7,075 (weak) and 7,150 (strong) before taking another leg down. 
    • Russell 1,720 to 1,660 was only a 3.5% drop so look for the least bounce here but 1,657.50 is the 2.5% line from 1,700 and the rest was on overshoot so let's call that the real range (42.5 poins) and round off to 9-point bounces to 1,666 (weak) and 1,685 (strong).  /TF failing at 1,666 would be a good sign to short the rest.
    • The VIX is at 16 and below 15 means shorting time is over and the Dollar, more importantly, has already fallend from 95 to 94 so 0.2 bounces to 94.20 (weak) and 94.40 (strong) but 94.20 has failed this morning and that helps the indexes stay bullish for the moment.

    Amazingly, CNBC is saying "big rally" and crediting softening stance on trade (like yesterday) and the FoxCon deal, which is not new – this is just a groundbreaking for a plant that's been announced 10 times..


  36. $4Bn in government subsidies to FoxCon works out to $300,000 per worker – idiots!


  37. TSLA having a good week. 


  38. WBA/Phil- adjustments for WBA? thinking tighten the spread by closing the short calls and sell 70 calls when bounce…


  39. WBA/Dave – We're only down a bit so no hurry to change.  As above, we added it to the OOP but the position we have is fine.  We don't KNOW how the AMZN thing will shake out or if analysts will downgrade the sector on competition fears so no harm in waiting but I don't object to upping the position if you wished you had more when they were added to the Dow.


  40. Si/Phil- been picking longs and scaling in the silver futures… hoping for the dollar to take a break and a nice bounce for silver which is now at almost $16.


  41. /SI/Dave – Holding up very well against the strong Dollar.  

    Ok, in order to crash the market again, I'm going to leave now (family stuff).

    Later all, 

    - Phil


  42. Hundreds arrested in DC protesting Trump immigration policy


  43. Iran Is Running Out of Options on Oil


  44. The Tragedy of Angela Merkel