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Flip Flop Friday – Nasdaq Fails at 7,500 on Turkey, Russia Issues

Image result for putin poison cartoonEconomic War!  

That's what Russian Prime Minister, Dmitry Medvedev called US sanctions early this morning and he threatened "other means" of retaliation so Congresspeople better invite some Food Tasters to their barbeques this summer as this whole thing started over Russias use of nerve agents (allegedly) to murder former spys in the UK, which recently killed a bystander who thought a bottle of poison was perfume.   

These sanctions are not coming from the White House – Trump says Russia denies it and that's good enough for him.  The Senate and the House are not convinced though, and they have proposed sweeping sanctions against Russia on August 2nd, which are slated to go into effect on August 22nd and get much worse 90 days later if Rusia does not provide "reliable assurances"  it will no longer use chemical weapons, allow on-site inspections by the UN or other international observer groups, and respond to other U.S. demands.

The Ruble crashed yesterday and Medvedev said this morning that Moscow would consider it a "declaration of economic war" and would retaliate "economically, politically, or, if needed, by other means" if the United States imposes bans on Russian banks or their use of a particular currency.  While he did not go into detail, Medvedev's reference to "other means" appeared to have been aimed to raise the prospect that Russia could respond with military force or some other form of warfare, such as a cyberattack or even more nerve gas.

In other Cyrillic news, Turkey's Lira is also crashing as negotiations bread down over the jailing of an American Pastor, Craig Brunson, who has been held there for two years on terrorism charges for his involvement in an attempted coup in July of 2016.  Turkish officials have accused Mr. Brunson of aiding the group accused of orchestrating the coup and another Kurdish separatist movement, charges that the American pastor and U.S. officials have denied.  

Last week, the Trump administration accused Turkey’s justice and interior ministers of human rights abuses and imposed economic sanctions on both men. The crisis sent Turkey’s lira plunging to record lows. Publicly, Mr. Erdogan was defiant. Privately, his government was trying to secure a face-saving way to end the standoff.  On Monday, Turkey’s currency plunged again after the U.S. said it was considering new penalties against Ankara as the two countries battle over economic tariffs.

It's funny what the market chooses to finally pay attention to (see yesterday's notes on trade) but any excuse wold have at least snapped us back off the 7,500 line on the Nasdaq Composite, which is a neat 50% higher than we were when the market collapsed in 2000.  As I said to our Members in our Live Chat Room yesterday:

AAPL/That – Not sure how many people time AAPL on the dividend but /NQ rejected at 7,500 is on a run from 7,200 so 300 points means a weak retrace is 60 points to 7,440 and that'd down a bit from here and a strong retrace goes back to 7,380, which still seemed high until this past week blasted us over. 

This morning we flipped long at our goal but with tight stops below and we are also picking up long positions on Silver (/SI) and Gasoline (/RB) as they bottom out against a strong Dollar - see our morning Tweet for details.  We're still following the Tesla (TSLA) saga, of course and they are now hovering around $350, which is great for our trade on them (see "Wednesday’s Whopper – Musk Claims Some Idiot Offered Him $420/share for Tesla!") which was:

Let's take Elon at his word and sell 2 TSLA Jan $420 calls for $23 ($4,600) in the STP and buy 3 Jan $450 ($100)/420 ($79) bear put spreads for $21 ($6,300).  That's net $1,700 on the $9,000 spread.

It's not just that TLSA has pulled back but the premium has drained out of the position so, already the short Jan $420 calls are down to $15.50 ($3,100) while the Jan $450/420 bear put spread is now $107/84 for net $23 ($6,900) so that's net $3,800 and already up $2,100 (123%) in two days but that's just "on track" for our expected $7,100 gain.  Even from $3,800, this trade still stands to gain $5,200 (136%) from here which most people would consider a fantastic 4-month gain but here, at PSW, we call those our "scraps"…

Speaking of scraps, that Silver (/SI) trade from this morning is already up $300 per contract and Gasoline (/RB) is up about $900 per contract - enough to pay for our Egg McMuffins this morning and we're still waiting to see if the indexes cross back over to pay for lunch.  If not, we're very happy to call it a day at $1,200 as I'm sure we'll find something fun to trade next week as well.

We'd better make money every morning as the Consumer Price Index (CPI) just came in hot with 2.9% year/year inflation.  We haven't hit 3% since 2011 and, if it has not been for a surprising 0.2% drop in hourly wages, we would have certainly hit it today.  Gold and silver are both very cheap and make great inflation hedges for the long term at these prices.  WPM is our favorite in the space – it was our 2017 Stock of the Year when it was back in the teens but, even at $21, it's still a good value.

No one seems to like Barrick Gold (ABX) except me so we just keep buying the unloved mega-producer.  They made 0.75/share last year and they are going to make about 0.55 this year but that's all assuming gold stays around $1,200 as they sell 5M ounces for $6Bn and drop $1.5Bn to the bottom line.  BUT, if gold went up 10% and they sold the same 5M ounces for $7.2Bn – the costs wouldn't change and they'd make $2.7Bn or over $1/share.  That's why they make a good inflation hedge, they are a high-leverage way to play gold without the risk of holding it yourself.

We're still holding plenty of CASH!!! and we're very well-hedged into the weekend uncertainty but the market technicals are very impressive, no matter how silly the traders are being.  Last year we had a 1.5% drop in the indexes into the August expirations, which are coming next Friday so we'll see if we survive that before going back to deploying some of our cash to pick up companies that have been unfairly punished for their earnings.

Have a great weekend,

- Phil


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  1. This Russia situation could have been avoided completely if they had not felt emboldened by Trump to begin with. They thought that they could get away with lots of stuff because Putin would call Trump and make it disappear! If we have been more forceful to begin with, it would be completely different today. As far as economic war is concerned, there is not much that Russia can do to hurt the US economy. But if they decide to go cyber, it could get ugly! But ugly for them as well – if we have the capabilities to know on what terminal the GRU agent was sitting when posting on Facebook, I am sure we can do some damage there as well!

    Same with Saudi Arabia – we basically gave them to the go ahead to do what they pleased there and even help setup a blockade of Qatar because they would not lend money to Jared! And now we are surprised of the outcome!

  2. Good morning! 

    This is why the GOP is freaking out about Cortez – she's no dummy! 

    Oh no, a young non-white person who articulates the Democratic message clearly with passion!  

    These are the people my little resistance group have been working with for the past two years – nice to see it hasn't been in vain though no pre-November celebrations is the rule…

    Futures down on the same thing they were down on before except Trump just upped the ante on Turkey:

    I have just authorized a doubling of Tariffs on Steel and Aluminum with respect to Turkey as their currency, the Turkish Lira, slides rapidly downward against our very strong Dollar! Aluminum will now be 20% and Steel 50%. Our relations with Turkey are not good at this time!

    Now THAT's diplomacy!  

    “There has been no evidence whatsoever that Donald Trump or the campaign was involved in any kind of collusion to fix the 2016 election. In fact the evidence is the opposite, that Hillary Clinton & the Democrats colluded with the Russians to fix the 2016 election.”

    This is an illegally brought Rigged Witch Hunt run by people who are totally corrupt and/or conflicted. It was started and paid for by Crooked Hillary and the Democrats. Phony Dossier, FISA disgrace and so many lying and dishonest people already fired. 17 Angry Dems? Stay tuned!

    Stay tuned?  Does he think he's doing a reality show where he's just "playing" the President?  I wish! 

    Space Force all the way!

    Image result for space force

    Jenna Ellis “FBI thought they wouldn’t get caught because they thought that Hillary was going to win. There is overt bias and that depends on whether you are Democrat or Republican – a double standard that needs to stop.”

    . “No evidence to launch even an investigation into potential collusion between Donald Trump and the Russians – and here we are, a year and a half later.”

    The NFL players are at it again – taking a knee when they should be standing proudly for the National Anthem. Numerous players, from different teams, wanted to show their “outrage” at something that most of them are unable to define. They make a fortune doing what they love……

    …..Be happy, be cool! A football game, that fans are paying soooo much money to watch and enjoy, is no place to protest. Most of that money goes to the players anyway. Find another way to protest. Stand proudly for your National Anthem or be Suspended Without Pay!

    I don't think he gets the whole concept of "Freedom of Speech". 

    Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the Government for a redress of grievances.

    Well, prepare for crazy stuff to happen but I think the Dollar will calm down (96.15) and, once the pressure is off, the indexes will push back up.

    • /SI still good to buy at $15.34 -was 0.10 higher ($500) before Trump's tweet.  
    • /NQ 7,420 is a good entry with a tight stop below.
    • /ES 2,835 is also a good entry with a tight stop below.  
    • /RB is not terrible at $2.01 but, like yesterday, could easily test $2 again at $420 per penny!  

    The weak bounce in Europe was a clue to get out earlier so watch carefully for a bounce off 12,400 on the DAX at the -2% line so 0.4% weak bounce is 50 points, back to 12,450 and 12,500 is strong. Failing weak is a good sign to ditch index longs.

     Call Euro 100 ponts to 3,420 so 20-point bounces back to 3,440 and 3,460.

    VIX breaking over 14 would be bad but not even 13.5 yet.

    Big Chart – That 50 dma on the RUT is catching up to the index, which makes it les and less impressive as it struggles to move higher.

    Emabling/StJ – So true.  People think it's no big deal to bumble through foreign policy but it's actually the biggest deal on Earth!  

  3. Diplomacy / Phil – And we get crap from this gang about Obama's diplomacy when we actually had good relationship with other democracies and got deal done with some of the bad guys. Yes, it was not perfect, Syria was a mistake but we did actually have friends then! 

  4. Good Morning.

  5. Cortez – Too bad she won a solid Democratic seat…. We could use the likes of her in florida, texas, michigan and on and on…..

  6. GM PSW!  Wow, I am finally back in my seat.  Things are absolutely crazy in biotech land, and I am not spared being swamped with putting out my own fires.  Anyway, one trade you all need to pay attention to:

    LQDA - For a longer term trade, if one can stomach biotech, LQDA went public a week or so ago. Their lead drug is UTHC's drug, in a different inhalation form. Data are due out next year, and approval 9 mo later…but the drug works, so they should pop considerably after the first of the year. I would start accumulating under 11, but buy a smidge here as it is moving up quickly.

  7. GM Pharmboy!

  8. Pharm/LQDA

    It is currently above 12 so wait till it come below 11?


  9. Elon Musk Is No Longer Scaring the Shorts With Tesla Tweet Saga

  10. Debt Is the Enemy (Part 2)

  11. American Dad foresaw this

  12. Diplomacy – you guys have it right. I have a number of friends who are career diplomats, who have served in tough locations like Iraq and Los Angeles. The intelligence, training, and ongoing education that they bring to the job is impressive, very different from the opinion of the general US public (diplomats are regarded very positively in Korea) and the upper levels of the current US government. One good friend even has the courage to be the prime candidate for US ambassadorship to north Korea should the position open. These people accomplish tons, most of it very unappreciated.

  13. Turkey on the Economic Brink, Explained in a Dozen Charts – WSJ

  14. LQDA – for now wait and watch.  Buy small lots on any pullback, and if it gets back to the 11 range, I would start buying more aggressively.  They will not become UTHC, but they could be bought out by UTHC.

  15. Covered some OLED.

    Also, sold some OSTK.  Keeping a little.

    Tempted to sell some CTL, but think it has further to go. Greed taking over ?

  16. phil – maybe in STP buy back August 33C for 0.10?

  17. sorry that's maybe in STP buy back 100 DXD August 33C at 0.10?

  18. Phil – HRB

    Any updated thoughts on HRB in the OOP?  Getting near $26 and the 22 call is uncovered and expires in Jan.



  19. Come on Mr. VIX , higher…

  20. Is the NFL anthem thing really a free speech issue? If players are employed by the teams/league is it not within the rights of the organization to ask them not to kneel for the anthem? 

    I think its silly in any case, the kneeling never bothered me, and i dont think it's an issue the president should be weighing in on like he has. But i just dont feel like those players rights to free speech are being violated by telling them not to protest during the anthem /game. 

    If you were saying they must stand for the anthem in their everyday personal life then I would agree 100% that that seems like a major violation of ones rights. I think NBA policy is that players must stand for the anthem but nobody seems up in arms about that?

  21. NFL thing is a distraction. Trump is using it to gin up his base just pushing fear onto idiots.  Mueller is coming.. 

  22. This is why we have distractions….


    A serious clip.

  23. Looking to put back on a position in FCX.

    Sold a few Feb $14 puts for $1.10.  Hope these get put to me.

  24. Wow, /RB just paid for my vacation – $4,700 on the day is enough for me at $2.05  

    Cortez/1020 – There are lots of up and comers off the radar still.

    Welcome back Pharm!   What do you think of this BXQ-350?

    LA/Snow – That's a rough assignment! 

    Greed/Albo – If you think you are being greedy, take half off the table!

    DXD/Rexx – I'm not clear on why you want to buy back short calls that are $1.50 out of the money with a week to go?

    HRB/Jeff – Much as I love to go over every position every day on every little move they make, I do try to teach people that they don't have to constantly adjust positions. Our HRB position in the OOP is:

    Long Call 2019 18-JAN 22.00 CALL [HRB @ $25.70 $0.07] 10 1/19/2018 (161) $5,750 $5.75 $-1.50 $3.50     $4.25 - $-1,500 -26.1% $4,250
    Short Put 2020 17-JAN 25.00 PUT [HRB @ $25.70 $0.07] -5 1/19/2018 (525) $-2,100 $4.20 $-0.70     $3.50 - $350 16.7% $-1,750

    3 weeks ago, in the review, I said:

    • HRB – They guided lower and tanked hard and we took the opportunity to buy back the short calls.  I'm pretty sure they get back to $26, which would be $4,000 and then we can sell calls or cash out.  At the moment it's net $1,075 so we have at least $2,925 more to gain.

    We were consolidating at $24 then and now we're consolidating at $26 and there's solid support at $25 and the delta on the Jan $26s is 0.50 at $1.80, so I'm risking 0.50 by waiting and seeing which way it breaks though not really because, if it breaks low, we'll probably sell the $25s for the same $1.80.

    Free Speech/Crs – Do we really uphold the values of free speech and expression in America or only in certain circumstances when we find it convenient and we approve of the speech?  That's right, kneeling never bothered anyone except snowflake Conservatives who couldn't take the mild rebuke of the way they blatantly oppress minorities.  What's your take then?  You have freedom of speech unless you work for someone, then he gets to decide what you say?  Perhaps if you sign a contract specifically to that effect but that's not the case with NFL players.   I think the players should form a religion called "Anthem Kneelers" and their sole religious practice is to kneel whenever the US anthem is played.  Then you'd be abridging religious freedoms trying to stop them and I'd love to see that battle at the Supreme Court. 

    Image result for sports protests

    Somebody should have stopped those guys!  

    And these guys (the sign was essentially an FU to Hitler at his games):

    Courtesy of

    If you really, really believe strongly in something – DON'T SAY ANYTHING – just keep it bottled up inside you forever and ever and ever and, if the atrocities that are bothering you get worse – just work harder to bottle it up and keep it in or something might change!  

    FCX/Albo – I do like them when they are cheap.  

    We'll see if things perk up now that those gloomy Europeans are done trading.  

  25. Trump officials plan to cut 2nd rule policing for-profits

  26. Pharm – Welcome back !  

    I'm short some SGYP Jan 1.50 puts.  Do you have any thoughts currently on this name ?   Thanks.

    ~~•Synergy Pharmaceuticals (SGYP) announced that leading U.S. pharmacy benefit manager Express Scripts will add TRULANCE to its National Preferred Formulary List, effective January 1.

  27. 11 Ways AI Can Be Used By The Government

  28. China auto sales down 5.3 percent as SUV demand sags

  29. Consumer prices up 2.9 pct, leaving Americans worse off

  30. New tree planting trade with cherry call.

    NCLH buy the Jan 20 45/55 BCS for 5.20 and sell half Jan 20 42.5 put for 3.10 and sell half of the BCS play the Sept 21 52.5 call for 1.00. Here as usual it is my intention to sell over the 18 month periot cherry calls for extra cash.

  31. Afternoon, All!

    Phil's laptop recorded the webinar locally. (Bandwidth wasn't good enough to record to the cloud, I guess.) Phil sent me the weird webinar file (a 1Gb .g2m file), and I managed to get it converted to a normal format and uploaded… SO……

    This week's webinar replay is now available!

  32. Question as to trade structure.   GOOGL  do the  June 20 1260/1280 spread for $10.  Sell 1/ Sept 21  $185 Ps for $20 to pay for the trade instead of selling a Put.  If Google stays below 185 for 40 days, its a free spread. Am I missing something as to risk? 

  33. SGYP….well, I have always loved the drug, and now they are starting to gain a little ground with ExpressScripts.  The drug is better than IRWD, and there is a competitor behind them with an even better drug, so only time will tell.  For now, they need to make a bit of $$…which is hard to come by!  

    BXQ-350 drug, Phil, that is simply amazing.  I need to look into the mechanism of action of a SapC protein, as lysosomes are basically the garbage factory of the cell.  Very interesting science!

  34. Phil--any thoughts on Brazil?

    EWZ getting spanked this week.

  35. DXD / thanks (what was I thinking?)

  36. GOOGL trade correction    sell 1/2   Sept 185 Ps

  37. Pharm

    What do you think of Verastem, Inc. VSTM


  38. Thanks Greg!

    Dollar blasting higher is driving things back down – won't be a pretty close if this keeps up. 

    Nailed it on the /RB exit! 

    Can short /RTY again if the rest are failing their lows:

    What, us worry?

    Oh no, they caught Trump on tape saying the "N" word – what a total and absolute surprise that is – so out of character.  Watch the GOP say "it's just locker-room talk" and he'll do a photo op with the Black evangelicals and everyone will just move on to the next horrible thing he does…

    GOOGL/Tx – Well, I'm not sure about selling a put instead of a put works out but I get the idea though you lost me on $185 puts with the stock at $1,250 – can't figure out what that is.  

    Brazil/Jabob – With Venezeula in the neighborhood, I don't get the warm fuzzies for Brazil.  

    Maybe if they show a good bottom near $30 we could take a poke.

    You're welcome, Rexx.  

  39.  LB

    Jabob – This is for you.

    L Brands initiation details — Neutral at Wedbush ; tgt $33  (31.47 -0.04)

    Wedbush initiates LB with a Neutral and price target of $33 as they view LB as a compelling story led by an experienced, bluechip mgmt team focused on the right key initiatives able to drive meaningful multi-year runway ahead. With strength in core brands, a rapidly growing direct channel, and proven supply chain speed and agility as key drivers of rev and gross margin expansion during the next several years.


    The words don't seem to match the rating and the target.

  40. Google   Sorry Phil,  I had crossed two stocks options.   The basic difference I am looking at is selling a call instead of a put.  So Should have been    Selling 1/2 the Sept 1280  C for $20 vs selling the Sept 1230 P for the same $20.   Would it depend on where the price action seems to be moving? Either down so sell a C or up sell a P? 

  41. LB / Albo – Wow, I wonder what rating these guys would give to a story that is not "compelling"… Hedging their bets is more like it!

  42. thanks albo…

    Wish these dogs would stop dropping (GE, ABX, LB)..

    looks like HMNY will be a tax loss carry forward.. what a POS! ;-(

  43. VSTM/qc – PI3K inhibitor.  Some are ahead, some behind in a very crowded field.  Looks like they want to go higher, but not sure where they are in the trials…so, proceed with caution as they have popped higher!  I still like ARNA as well….just call it a hunch….although they are years away from any readouts.

  44. 25,250, 7,400 and 2,830 are good to play for bounces. 

  45. STJ – They are probably hoping to participate in an upcoming underwriting.

  46. July budget deficit $77Bn vs $43Bn last July – Go Trump! 

    LB/Albo – That is a bit strange.  

    GOOGL/Tx – Nothing wrong with that – just keep tight stops on 1/2 so you drop back to a 1/4 sale with a manageable, rollable loss.  You can always make up a shortfall next month or next Q – as long as you don't let yourself get buried in a huge move.  Realistically, GOOGL moves $20/day so $25 with an 0.40 delta will cost you $10 so maybe stop out 1/8 at $30 and 1/8 at $40 which would leave you with 1/4 short at net $5 (but they would be $40) and then you'd have to roll the 1/4 higher but, even if you had sold the Sept $1,190s, which are now $80 the Jan $1,240s are $82 and 2x (back to 1/2 cover) the $1,340s are $76 so significantly higher rolls are available and, of course, your longs would be in the money – so you could add another layer.  

    HMNY/Jabob – I don't know, I couldn't fill my 24,000 at 0.05 so someone is buying.  The float still says 324,000 shares but they traded 117M times today.  Hmmm….   

    Even if HMNY is selling 1117M shares, at 0.05 it's just $5.8M and well over 1Bn shares have traded this week so they could only keep this up for a month, even if it is a scam though the shelf only authorized 1.2Bn so, in theory, they would have to file something else to keep it up (if that's what's happening).  

    So, to justify $1Bn ($1/share) they'd have to make at least $50M so $4M/month and 3M subscribers is $30M/month in revenues and I can't see them squeezing $4M off that – not if they all go to one movie!  They need more scale so MAYBE with 5M/month they have enough clout (15% of total Box office) to start making money though they did just sign Bruce Willis to make a film, which is interesting.  One big movie can make $100M and that would drive them to $1Bn right there.

    That's why I still like them as a lottery ticket play.

    The week/CRS – Wow, I missed that one (yet, I'm sadly not surprised):

    Also on Monday, The Associated Press reported that as part of a quasi-genocidal, U.S.-supported war in Yemen, Saudi Arabia is providing quiet assistance to al Qaeda, including funding, arming, and straight-up recruiting jihadis into their coalition. What's more, America was in on it: "Key participants in the pacts said the U.S. was aware of the arrangements and held off on any drone strikes."


    The awesome rottenness of the American elite was well demonstrated by their response to this transparent fraud. A veritable parade of politicians, bigshot media figures, and various businessmen swallowed bin Salman's story hook, line, and sinker. It wasn't just President Trump and various other Republicans — though the president has been a loyal Saudi stooge ever since they put his face up on a fancy hotel — but also many centrists and liberals. Bin Salman got cordial meetings with Bill and Hillary Clinton, Mike Bloomberg, Bill Gates, Jeff Bezos, Elon Musk, and sundry other Big Tech CEOs. David Ignatius in The Washington PostThomas Friedman in The New York Times, and Jeffrey Goldberg in The Atlantic all gave him extensive and credulous coverage.

    Of course, that is only one of many examples of the Blob's corruption. Qatar, Israel, Morocco, the U.A.E., Kazakhstan, and many other countrieshave purchased American influence or toleration by spreading money around Washington, D.C. Corrupt Investor-State Dispute Settlement trade deals have led the U.S. to sign away a huge chunk of its economic sovereignty to international corporations. Defense contractors create an enormous bias in favor of imperial aggression overseas, benefiting themselves while costing the nation as a whole trillions in war spending. And so on.

    The Trump administration is so saturated with corruption that it would take several books to describe it all in detail. Aside from Ross, there's Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchinformer Health and Human Services Secretary Tom Price, and former EPA Administrator Scott Pruitt wildly abusing their powers of office for personal gain, including millions of dollars in government-funded flights. And Trump himself is directly using the presidency to enrich his vast business empire.

    Then there is the recent Republican tax bill, which not only stuffed hundreds of billions of dollars directly into the Sarlacc maw of the top 1 percent as a direct payoff for campaign donations, but also personally benefited most members of Congress who voted for it. Sen. Bob Corker (R-Tenn.) seemingly got a personal kickback in the form of tax benefits for real estate (one of his major assets) for his vote.

    I like that writer! 

  47. Bottoms not holding, what a train wreck!  

    No closing rally so far with 90 mins left.  

  48. Phil:  You may have already addressed this, but what do you think of TWTR at these levels?  Any play?  Thanks.

  49. Maybe this upcoming Monday will actually be interesting!

  50. /VX with a nice move today….

  51. Wow, last-minute stick in progress.  Bonus money!  I might be able to get a cabin upgrade at this rate…

    Not being greedy, cashing in on this silly spike despite 30 mins left as it's a lovely gain. 

    TWTR/John – I'm not sure what "these levels" are as they've been all over the place but I was cheerleading for TWTR at $20, lost interest at $35 and $32 is a bit better but it's $24Bn for a company that still hasn't made a profit and has just $2.5Bn in sales (before purging bots) so I don't see putting money into this one unless they are back at $20 but, even then, we have to look closely at how many of their accounts were actually real – as the value of their eyeballs was the reason I was willing to pay $20.  

    I can't believe we worked all month just to end up back at 2,840!

    VIX/1020 – Well we knew that was coming. 

    As to playing the VIX – it COULD go lower but pays better up than down, most likely so maybe something like VXX Oct $23 ($6)/30 ($3) bull call spreads for $3 as you're $5.66 in the money with a potential 133% upside at $30+

    VXX Oct $23s at $7.35 and the $30s are $3.75 so net $3.60 is up 20% so far.  As $30 can't really be sustained and the spread is $7, I'd cash the $7.35 and see how things look next week. 

  52. Oh no, I just bought 40,000 more HMNY at 0.05 with 1/2 of my Futures winnings (well, 1/2 of the afternoon).  I think I may soon have to file a 13D!  cheeky

  53. Doubtful, Phil.  They probably have 200-300 million shares outstanding at this point ! 8-)

  54. So my net in on HMNY is $12,000 or 0.15 per my 80,000 shares after all the fuss.  

    In the OOP, we should also DD on HMNY at 0.05 to 40,000 shares and, for the LTP, we should have 40,000 (10,000 more at 0.10) so we want to add 40,000 more there.  

  55. You would think like your broker app would show the actual number of shares outstanding for a company – TOS shows 6.7M share or so which is probably wrong by a factor of 10!  Of course, it impacts all the ratio – the EPS is -$4135/share at $0.05 per share :-)

    That's probably a record ratio although probably not true!

  56. HMNY/Albo – Officially, the float is still just 324,000, which would mean we must own all of it by now, right?  At least they haven't had an outage this weekend (yet).

    MoviePass Has Something Other Than Tickets to Talk About


    MoviePass Films' upcoming feature is titled 10 Minutes Gone. The synopsis, according to the fledgling studio, is that it's a mystery-thriller in which a man hit by a stray bullet during a bank heist loses 10 minutes of his memory. Action director Brian A. Miller (ViceThe Prince, and the soon-to-be-released Reprisal) will take the lead.

    The real glitter from this announcement is that Bruce Willis will be playing the lead antagonist, a crime boss out to recover cash from the heist. All of this sounds exciting for Helios and Matheson shareholders. This isn't a slam dunk, though. Movie production can carry big risks and could accelerate the bad news at MoviePass.

    Its film venture could be a way to recoup losses. There are two ways this could happen.

    First, MoviePass will charge MoviePass Films marketing fees for promotion of its productions. If the movie is a failure, that doesn't do either subsidiary any good, as accountants will just be moving cash around but still realizing an ultimate loss for parent Helios and Matheson. If the movie is a success, though, the marketing costs get covered by receipts from the box office, creating a win-win for MoviePass and MoviePass Films.

    The second way this could work: MoviePass says 49% of its users say they go see movies they otherwise would not have because of the service. Seventy percent say they are more likely to see a film even if it receives poor reviews. That's good news for lower-budget flicks, the kind that MoviePass Films is planning thus far. While MoviePass loses money on its monthly-movie-ticket plan, it could make some money back if it can successfully herd traffic to its sister company's movies through box-office sales at theaters. Pretty sneaky.

    It's all garbage with all these changes happening so fast.  Just close your eyes and enjoy the ride!

  57. Finviz shows 2.86M shares outstanding so they are all probably 10 days behind!

  58. Damn, I have to buy another 200,000 shares – does anyone have $10,000?

  59. Very feeble attempt at a stick at the end! I hope we have a proper selloff next week… Nothing major, 10% would do it :-)

  60. Have a great weekend,

    - Phil

  61. You too Phil!

  62. Phil / HMNY – Morgan Stanley has filed a 13G for owning 102,404 shares of HMNY. Claim their ownership represents 1.5% of class (outstanding common shares).

  63. as of date appears to be July 31st.

  64. That matches the share count you see on TOS! Most likely it's 0.15% now.

  65. Wow, I have almost as many shares as Morgan Stanley – we should do lunch…  cool

  66.  Fel/Phil — Thank you for the feedback yesterday morning.  

  67. HMNY – Has anyone in the USA used their RedZone app?  I just D/L it appears to be socially empowered similar to the Waze app.  But, they mention using local gov't data to provide real-time alerts of crime (based off GPS location) which would be wicked cool.  I am in Asia and it doesn't do that at all.  But if it does leverage the data….  

    I'd like to have lunch with HMNY leadership and have them refocus the teams efforts towards using the real time gov't data and sending alerts via Twitter, FB, Snap, than wasting money on an app.  I would think it is the data that serves to be most valuable.  I can envision millions of wanting real time 'crime' alerts.   

    Phil,  What are your thoughts on HMNY — if MoviePass fails?  

    I assume the cash burn goes away and they continue on being a data analytical company before MoviePass was a thing.  I am considering DD on my position, but if it is more likely these things turn into bankruptcy than moving forward… I'll just hold onto my current lottery ticket.  No need to throw good money after bad.     

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  76. Good morning!

    I'll be around today but have a boat field trip tomorrow so just around for the open then.  There is a class I want to take at 11, if it's not too crazy.

    Weds I'll be here as we're at sea and Thurs is another excursion day, Friday is the Disney Island so half day, I suppose as I do like some stuff.

    Anyway, not much going on – just follow-through from last week from the looks of things.