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Faltering Friday – Rally Retraces from the Top

It's not much in the grand scheme of things.

As we noted and predicted on Tuesday, the Russell Index is undergoing a long-overdue correction to the 1,640 line from 1,705 and, as noted on Tuesday – it's not really bearish unless we fail to hold 1,640.  So far, the other indexes have not really followed suit – yesterday's 200-point drop in the Dow was nothing – not even 1% of it's 26,825 start to the day.  BUT (and it's a big but), if the Russell does fall into a proper correction and fails to hold the 1,640 line – then we can look for all the indexes to begin correction and THEN things can get very interesting.

We calculated the retrace zones for the other indexes in yesterday's Live Member Chat Room and they are:

Still looking for 1,678 (weak bounce) on /RTY going back to Tuesday's notes and below 1,670 is more likely that we're legging down to 1,640 (strong retrace from 1,700) and then we can expect the other indexes to AT LEAST weak retrace from their highs.

That's off the year runs so, for the Dow, we're looking at 25,000 to 27,000 which is 2,000 points so 400-point retraces are 26,600 (weak) and 26,200 (strong):

/ES is essentially the same /10 so 2,700 to 2,900 means 2,860 and 2,820 and, since /ES is still at 2,923, it makes a great short below the 2,920 line with tight stops above.

/NQ 6,400 to 7,600 is 1,200 so 240-point retraces and Nas loves 25s so call it 250 to 7,350 and 7,100.

We hit 26,600 on /YM yesterday and our /ES shorts paid $1,650 per contract at 2,890 but that's still not a proper correction on the S&P and we can re-short it on a move back below 2,900 with very tight stops over that line (2,904 now).  The Nasdaq fell to 7,450 and still above it's 7,350 weak retrace so, on the whole, the indexes are still very strong and will remain so if the Russell holds up its end, which it's likely to do today since it's Friday and thin trading is unlikely to break key technicals.

Next week, however, may be a different story so, if you haven't done so already (we have), it may be a good time to check your hedges and make sure you are ready for a 10-20% market correction (long overdue).  We may or may not have a new Supreme Court Judge over the weekend and, either way, the political turmoil will increase and the Chinese Chip Scandal will not disappear overnight, nor will the Trade War or the Italian Debt Crisis and Brexit is also coming to a head – all with just one month until the November elections.  

"May you live in interesting times" is a Chinese curse and these are certainly going to be interesting times!

September payrolls were a huge miss at just 134,000 jobs created but last month was revised higher, from 201,000 to 270,000 so really, what's the point?  Bonds are still in free-fall with rates rising all over the World and all this stress and strain on the global economy is bound to have repercussions which are not likely to neatly reverse a day or two later – like most of our crises seem to do when they are quickly swept under the rug.

Now we have a rug with a huge lump of things we've been ignoring underneath it and we're running out of places to hide the mess.  Kavanaugh has been a welcome distraction for President Trump as people have hardly had time to focus on the fraud and tax evasion charges but we always have Iran to start a war with if people find they have enough free time to think about those scandals.

Interesting times indeed! 

 


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  1. Good Morning!


  2. Russell down over 5% in a month!



  3. Some lessons learned are tough to unlearned:

    https://awealthofcommonsense.com/2018/09/revisiting-the-fall-of-2008/

    It’s difficult to offer sweeping generalizations from the financial crisis because that period of time affected different people in different ways.

    A lot of investors had their brain broken by the financial crisis and will spend their days predicting the next big one at all times. Others probably learned the wrong lessons or have completely forgotten everything they should have learned.

    My single biggest takeaway is that anything is possible in the markets. Panics are real and no one knows how or why they will end.


  4. Not investment related, but has anybody noticed that a lot of the "From Our Partner" links are pretty pro Trump?


  5. Good morning! 

    Links/Bill – Yes, I have noticed that.  I also notice on many of my news feeds there are "special" news outlets that are non-stop Trump propaganda.  They seem to start whole "news" organizations, rank them up and then evolve them into Conservative outlets – kind of like the Fox template on steroids -  over and over again.  

    Now they are advertising some sort of "balanced" news network on TV – for people sick of biased news.  There's no math in advertising a real service so I have to imagine it's another Trojan Horse to jam propaganda down people's throats ahead of the election. 

    AllSides | Balanced news via media bias ratings for an unbiased news …

    Hmm, that left article doesn't seem very left, does it?  In other sections, it puts the Murdoch-owned WSJ under "News from the Center" and rates the completely irrational Washington Times as just "right of center" and treats Breibart like it's news on level with the NYTimes just "from the other side".

    This is how democracy dies – they take it from you inch by inch…

    Not much happening in the market – VIX has calmed down but mostly flat.


  6. It's dodgy and dangerous out there, so for those looking for the 'safer' kind of play then look no further than a take on the SuperPut and a discussion from Phil back in 2009. I guess memories were still raw from the challenges many portfolios faced pre and post financial crisis of the day and this setup looks to offer a solid hedge on a covered call. See the post: Hedging Your Way To Healthy Dividends – Part 3

     

    I chose Campbell Soup for a current day example to see if the strategy was still valid. CPB is at $37.03. The setup is Using round numbers for simplicity) :

     

    Buy 1000 shares of CPB @ $37 (cost $37,000)

    Buy 10 contracts May 19, $47 put @ $11 (cost $11,000)

    Sell 10 contracts May 19, $27 put @ $0.55 (credit $550)

    Sell 10 contracts Jan 20, $45 call @ $1.90 (credit $1,900)

     

    Cost of stock and bought puts is $48,000 and the sales bring in $2,440 – so net debit of $45,550.

     

    The long put means you can sell CPB anytime up until May next year for $47 ($10 more than the current price) and CPB currently pays a $1.40 dividend (3.8%)

     

    The sold puts need to be managed if CPB keeps dropping (choose a stop to buy back those puts if doubling down does not fit your risk profile). There was some discussion if it was worth selling those puts given the relatively low premium received. But lots of opportunity for prudent option sales along the way. 


  7. winston--why sell the put for $550. Seems like a small amount even if it is "safe" sort of. probably not worth the hassle if it keeps dropping. just my opinion.


  8. Hedging/Winston – Classic!  I forget how good I am sometimes but then I go back and read myself and go "WOW – that guy's good!"  While I like CBP enough to sell 2021 $35 puts for $5.20 (LTP play 9/28), that's net $29.80 while you are netting in at $45.55, which is more – 50% more, in fact.  

    I know the put is locking the sale but it's a lot of work to make $2,440 as you can just sell 5 of the 2021 puts for $2,500 and yes, you have to wait until 2021 but, if it's on track, you can sell 5 more – and still only 1,000 at $30 is the worst case and THEN you can do all that other fun stuff to squeeze money out from a much lower basis.

    Of course the 2021 $47 puts are only about $12.50 so, if you were going to do that play, you pay net $49.50 for the stock and you are assured to get $47 back and you can sell Jan $41 calls for $1.05 which can be rolled to the May $44s, etc.  or, hopefully, you'll pick up $1,000 8 times while you wait and once you have 3 sales under your belt, you are profitable without the additional short put risk.

    And what Jabob said.  If I'm going to sell a put, I want to sell one that gives me a good price if it crashes, so at least it's worth the effort to roll.  If you sell 10 May $27 puts for $550 (0.55) and the stock drops $5, the delta on the puts is 0.10 so they go $500 against you (100%) then you are stuck rolling it for ages just to hopefully get your $500 back but if I sell the 2021 $35 puts for $5 and the stock drops $5 to $32 – the delta is 0.37 so down $2 (40%) but still well in profit at $32 and I can afford to just stick to my plan and wait it out. 

    And, of course, the margin requirement is about the same either way.

    Oh no, things are turning sour again! 

    • Stocks inch lower following the release of the September jobs report, which showed a weaker than expected increase in non-farm payrolls with a notable upward revision to August result, while wages rose 2.8% Y/Y last month to match expectations; S&P flat, Dow -0.1%, Nasdaq -0.3%.
    • U.S. Treasury prices remain under pressure following the report, as the yield on the benchmark 10-year note rises another 2 bps to 3.22% and the Fed-sensitive two-year yield is up 3 bps at 2.89%
    • "The labor market is going to keep getting tighter and that will mean higher wages," says Peter Cardillo, chief market economist at Spartan Capital Securities. "This is going to keep upward pressure on rates and continue to put downward pressure on stocks."
    • European bourses are broadly lower, with U.K.'s FTSE -1%, Germany's DAX -0.9% and France's CAC -0.8%; in Asia, Japan's Nikkei -0.6% while China's Shanghai Composite remains closed for a holiday.
    • In the U.S., early sector standings show consumer discretionary (+0.4%), health care (+0.4%) and communication services (+0.3%) out in front, while materials (-0.1%) and energy (-0.1%) are the weakest performers.
    • U.S. WTI crude oil -0.2% at $74.19/bbl.
    • The Trump administration’s replacement of Obama-era carbon regulations will not save U.S. coal-fired power plants from shutdown, according to a Reuters survey of utilities.
    • The survey of 44 utilities that have announced plans to shutter coal units in coming years showed none of them currently expects the new EPA proposal will affect the timing of those retirements; the 35 operators that responded account for more than 75% of the nearly 150 coal-fired units scheduled for retirement in the U.S. in the coming decade.
    • The responses suggest that the years-long shift away from coal likely will continue on the basis of economics and not regulation.
    • There's inside debate at Toyota (TM +0.1%)about manufacturing Lexus vehicles inside of China, according to Reuters.
    • The Japaneses automaker is considering the once-unthinkable option with the relationship between China and Japan considerably improved.
    • Toyota already produces some models such as the Highlander, Corolla and Camry inside of China through local partners.
    • JPMorgan Chase (JPM) is reducing headcount by about 400 in its consumer mortgage banking unit as parts of the market slow down, the Wall Street Journal reports, citing people familiar with the matter.
    • The move affects employees in cities including Jacksonville, FL; Columbus, OH; Phoenix and Cleveland. One of the largest mortgage lenders, JPMorgan has about 34,000 mortgage-banking employees.
    • Home sales have slowed as mortgage rates and home prices rise amid a lack of homes for sale and reduced tax incentives for home ownership in some areas. Refinancing has also slowed due to rising mortgage rates.
    • Delinquencies have declined, as well, and current mortgages require fewer servicing resources than delinquent mortgages.
    • Previously: Wells Fargo lays off 638 in mortgage business: Financial Times (Aug. 24)
    • Mattress Firm officially filed for bankruptcy as expected, according to CNBC.
    • The Chapter 11 filing includes a notice that about 200 stores will close within a few days. The precise store liquidation plan of Mattress Firm could have implications for a number of retailers – including Tempur Sealy International (NYSE:TPX), Sleep Number (NASDAQ:SNBR), Hooker Furniture (NASDAQ:HOFT), Target (NYSE:TGT) via the Casper business and La-Z-Boy (NYSE:LZB).
    • Mattress Firm operates over 3K stores in the U.S., which could put a little bit of pressure on certain strip mall operators depending upon how many stores end up being boarded up.
    • Shares of Tempur Sealy are already up 5.81% in premarket action following the bankruptcy update.

    The Senate voted 51-49 to advance the nomination of Supreme Court pick Brett Kavanaugh to a final confirmation vote, expected as soon as Saturday. GOP Sen. Lisa Murkowski voted “no” on the key procedural vote, and Democrat Joe Manchin voted “yes.” 


  9. Winston CPB I did set up your suggestion in my Oracle calculator and must say I do not see much greatness besides what Phil just said. I have as well left out the put sale. If the stock say goes up to 40 May 19 you lost 1,400.00 up 45 3,700.00 in reverse if the stock goes down to 30 you gained 592.00 down to 25 772.00. So I do not see why spending some 45K to gain what. Obviously I did not take the div. in to consideration.


  10. Phil I think we missed a new TSLA play of last week when it was at 315 again !!!!! 265 now.


  11. BRK.b – popping up the last few days

    - I think some folks are moving into this as a safe haven….  


  12. FNSR – hitting 18 today – looking at some putters – but waiting to see if it holds this or not


  13. Happy to see people moving into GE as well, though it's probably not related to the selloff. It's not a party until /NQ is off by 300 right?

    Thanks to option decay (hooray) I'm almost back to even in GE for the year even though the stock is lower than my basis. Great when it works out!


  14. Loving these hedges right now!!!!!


  15. Just erased the last 5 weeks gains in 2 days! Russell bouncing around its 200 DMA. Could be interesting.


  16. TSLA/Yodi – Too crazy to play until it's way up in the range but yes, was way more likely to fail – which I think I said somewhere.  Oh yes, Monday:

    Congratulations are in order this morning for Elon Musk, who will not be going to jail (so far) and "just" has to pay the SEC $20M and step down as Chairman but he gets to remain CEO, which has sent the stock flying higher as the faithful celebrate the return of the man who's lost over $10Bn of investor cash and is still struggling to make 250,000 cars a year (yes, that's all 5,000 cars a week is – even if they can keep that up). 

    Image result for tesla musk fraudTLSA is bouncing right back towards $310 this morning in pre-market trading and we'll be thrilled to get a chance to short them again if they go higher.  I'm not going to get back into why TLSA sucks – you can read last week's reports for those details or Value Walk's article from Fridaythat compares Tesla to Enron and Valeant – just before they collapsed.

    Meanwhile Tesla continues to downsize its SolarCity division while a civil securities fraud case accusing Musk of using Tesla to bail out his (and his family’s) interests there proceeds; earlier this year Zero Hedge included an excellent summary of the suit by Twitter user @TeslaCharts in this story about SolarCity’s latest retrenchment, which will undoubtedly help fuel that fraud case, as will this later story describing how Tesla sales people have no idea when the solar tiles or PowerWalls used to justify that merger will ever be available. (Remember that when Musk was promoting that merger he used fake solar tiles on a fake house at a movie studio… How appropriate!)

    Finally, Tesla is increasingly besieged by a wide variety of lawsuits for securities fraud, labor discrimination, worker safety, union-busting, sudden acceleration and lemon law violations, and new ones appear on a regular basis.  This SEC settlement will put a lot of teeth into lawsuits by the shorts caused by Musk's manipulation of the stock – which he just pled guilty to.  We're still short on TSLA stock but our shorts pay us below $420 in January from back when TSLA was over $360 - we'd by happy to buy more of those!

     

    It's hard to be a Fundamental Trader as you have to learn to ignore the PRICE of stocks and concentrate on their VALUE and the two can be very, very different at times.  What's the "value" of TSLA when it goes up and down 15% in two days and up and down $135 (40%) in a month?  The answer is "none of the above" as the VALUE of TSLA is based on how many cars it can make at what margins over time compared to their peers and Musk has purposely attempted to obscure that valuation by adding all sorts of other projects to the mix but, overall – until he shows actual sales of batters, roofs, tunnels or rockets – Tesla is an electric car company and should be valued as such.

    You can trade GE or TSLA for whatever price you want – that doesn't change its VALUE which, in TSLA's case – is barely $150 – even giving Musk the benefit of the doubt on his various projects over the next 5 years.  $150/share would still be a very large $25Bn market cap – very, very generous for a company with $14Bn in sales and $3Bn in losses over the past 4 quarters.  Keep in mind that $25Bn is about HALF of what the stock is trading for now – RIDICULOUS!  

    BRK.B/Batman – Certainly a good value compared to SPX.  We sold some puts but they never pulled back enough to buy a bull spread. 

    GE/Ati – Yes, as I said, $13 is good progress if we steady up here.  /NQ is getting there with a 2% drop today though 7,350 is only the weak retrace line.  

    Hedges/Soma – When they finally work, you remember why you have them.  


  17. SuperPut – Gadzooks! I certainly am not jumping into an argument between Phil v.2009 and Phil v.2018. The setup was a copy/paste of the KMI trade back in 2009. And as the Phil v.2009 said:

    "This may be tough to get your head around". Note from Winston to Phil v.2009 – nothing's changed in 9 years fella!!!!!

    From Phil's original post on hedging:

    KMP is also in the energy business so be aware that these two are NOT diversified as a set but there's nothing wrong with going halves on each for your energy segment if you are limited in investment size.  Another long-time favorite of ours, KMP is going to be less exciting than our smaller plays but also closer to a Blue-Chip investment.  Since the stock is closer to our budget and does pay a $1 dividend in July and October, this is a good time to learn one of our "stupid options tricks" that lowers your risk significantly on a stock.

    Buying just 100 shares of KMP for $47.55 ($4,755)

    BUY the Jan $57.50 put for $12.35 ($1,235)

    Sell the Jan $37.50 puts for .95 ($95).

    Sell the Jan 2011 $55 calls for $1.20 ($120)

    This may be tough to get your head around but you are paying a net of $57.75 for your shares and the put options you purchased guarantee your right to sell those shares (should you wish) on Jan 15th for $57.50.  Your risk on the trade is .25 as long as it doesn't fall below $37.50 and trigger the other put.  That being the case, a stop should be placed on that put at $1.50 so you are now risking losing .80 between now and Jan 15th.  If you do NOT stop out the put, you would still be able to exercise your put to sell your existing shares for $57.50 and you would have another 100 shares put to you at $37.50 and you would still have the Jan 2011 caller at $55 but they would be far out of the money of course.  That would leave you in KMP at net $3,775 – 20.6% lower than the current price and that would make your $2 dividend collected by Jan 15th 5.3% over 6 months.

    +++++++++++++++++++++++++

    I also thought this was showing Phil at his best. I'd hate to have to resign the logic of his thinking on hedging back in 2009 to the dumpster! 

    Please someone help me – why would Phil write something like that?


  18. winston--hilarious!!!

    Maybe, all the FU stocks have made Phil rethink selling an 8 month put for only 55c???


  19. jk Phil :-)


  20. Today BABA  is getting the  Supermicro effect and is in the lowest price in a year, Phil, any idea?


  21. Not a bad day to sell more VXX calls! The Dec 70 calls at $0.75 look OK to me. I sold my monthly allotment yesterday or I would add more. But Monday might be interesting and I might add then.


  22. Bear Cam

    COOL

    https://explore.org/livecams

     


  23. Phil any thoughts on Manulife? recent news about a hedge fund suing them has them down. (basics of the lawsuit seem to be that this hedge fund purchased a universal life policy way back and the policy came with an investment account that guaranteed 4% return and now the hedge fund is suing saying they should be able to put in as much money as they want and get the return). So a lot does depend on the outcome of the lawsuit but if anyone has a take would be interested to hear it. 

    PSW investments – also just wondering if the next conference call/webinar/info dump for PSWI has a prospective date? Not urgent, just invested in the latest round and am excited about so any info / updates etc regarding PSWI would love to see!

    Thanks, and for those in Canada have a great Canadian thanksgiving this weekend!


  24. Why/Winston – Well, first of all that was in the context of collecting dividends on stocks you already own (but were way down) and not for major profits and second of all the VIX was much higher and the option premiums were much better at the time. Big difference between collecting 0.95 for short puts and 0.55.  In mid 2009, we were just looking for ways to re-invest without worrying about another collapse as things were still shakey – now it's a needlessly defensive play.  Times change, that's what's different.  

    BABA/Advill – Not China, thanks!  All you people invest like abused spouses – any sign of affection and all is forgiven until the next time.  BABA may LOOK attractive at $200 but $153 is still $400Bn for a company making about $8Bn so 50x earnings and Jack Ma is stepping down and we've talked about their very questionable numbers in the past.  Most of all though, the Chinese market is correcting hard and there's no reason to think BABA will be immune.

    Year End 31st Mar 2013 2014 2015 2016 2017 2018 TTM 2019E 2020E CAGR / Avg
    Revenue CNYm 34,517 52,504 76,204 101,143 158,273 250,266 281,002 393,918 550,973 +48.6%
    Operating Profit CNYm 10,506 24,801 22,716 28,200 45,930 67,561 59,821     +45.1%
    Net Profit CNYm 8,532 23,315 24,261 71,460 43,675 63,985 58,022 100,209 135,916 +49.6%
    EPS Reported CNY 3.52 9.90 9.66 27.9 17.0 24.5 22.2     +47.4%
    EPS Normalised CNY 4.92 9.96 9.85 28.4 17.9 25.5 22.3 38.3 51.8 +39.0%
    EPS Growth % +181.7 +102.5 -1.1 +188 -37.0 +42.6 +10.2 +50.5 +35.3  
    PE Ratio x           42.1 48.0 28.0 20.7  
    PEG x           0.83 0.95 0.79 0.65
    Profitability

    VXX/StJ – One of these days it will jam back to $40 or better:

    MFC/CRS – Muddy Waters went after them and they are in a lawsuit that went against them, sending them sharply lower this week.  Again this is a China play with difficult to verify numbers so I tend to stay away – insurance is tricky enough when you have well-audited financials in demographic zones you understand.  If you take their growth at face value, it looks good but you don't know whether or not the insurance they are selling is mis-priced and will come back to bite them – like the one they just got sued on.

    As to PSWI – We usually get our quarterly numbers from the accountant around the 15th and I put out the quarterly letter by the end of the month after the close of the Q so, in short, by the end of the month there will be an update but, if you just got in on the Purchase of New Age that we closed at the beginning of this month and you are expecting "excitement" after 30 days – you may be disappointed! 

    What will be interesting for PSWI in Q2 of next year is that we should be setting up a new hedge fund specifically to invest in the fast-growing marijuana industry.  Hopefully we will be able to raise $20M which will then allow us to partner up on projects in various states – leveraging the huge manufacturing advantage we now have with New Age Ventures (PSWI now owns 27.5% of New Age). 

    Minimum investments will be $250,000 but it would be more helpful if we find a few multi-million Dollar investors so, if you are someone or know anyone who would like to be involved at the formation level – let me and Greg (at philstockworld dot com) know so we can get the ball rolling.


  25. Phil / thanks for the context. Although given the delicate balance of the current market, we are more likely to be tested on the quality of our defensive strategies than the ability of our offensive strategies to generate major profits (of which we have many).


  26. Thinking of parking some cash for a short term but with relatively safe yield.  What do you think of selling NLY Jan $10 puts?  Not a catastrophe to end up owing the stock at $9.65


  27. That's true but, right now, we're not getting paid enough premium to bother with those vs staying in cash and waiting for a better chance to deploy.  

    BBBY pays 0.64 on $14 and you can do this:

    • Buy 1,000 shares of BBBY at $14 ($14,000) 
    • Sell 10 2021 $10 calls for $5.25 ($5,250) 
    • Sell 10 2021 $10 puts for $1.72 ($1,720) 

    That's net $7,030 or $7.03 per share, called away at $10 (33% below current price) with a 42% profit AND getting 0.64 dividend, which is about 9% a year while you wait.

    That's the kind of play I'd rather do in this market.  You can make it totally safe by buying the puts instead of selling them and then your net is $10.47 and the dividend above 0.47 is your profit with no chance of a loss but that's about 0.81 (8%) over 2 years which is better than the bank but you are literally making $810 over 2 years so I'd rather do 200 of the less safe spread for $1,406 and sell at $10 for $2,000 (up $594) plus 2 x $128 is another $256 so $850 back on a 200-share spread is A LOT more fun AND more profitable than tying up $10,470 to make $810.  

    NLY/Tangled – As noted above, that's the way I prefer to play them.  Find a good stock you REALLY want to own at a net strike and sell some puts.  Worst case is you get your stock at a good price. 


  28. tough investing market, very strange: bonds getting killed even as stocks are down.

    DIA, BND down together (5-day at -0.9%), and IWM -3.9%. Utilities up (+2.2%), perhaps the only safe place to go? 

    Playing QQQ calls expiring today for a EOD slight rebound.


  29. Phil / AAPL – What about the 'M' pattern now?


  30. VXX / Phil – If I sell the 70 calls, not worried about VXX going to $40. That would be a back the truck event. Keep in mind, the VIX moves 3x more than VXX so if the VIX goes to 30 tomorrow, VXX will go to $37. If the VIX goes to 60, then VXX will go to $48. if the VIX is at 60, we might be worried about many other investments than my small VXX position…And I'll be rolling before that. The plan is to roll up when deltas get over 20. And the roll in time after that. There is no long term correlation between the VIX and VXX. You can pick a date in time and have the VIX up 40% and VXX down 90%. The decay is simply crazy. 


  31. SAUDI CROWN PRINCE SAYS ARAMCO IPO WILL GO AHEAD BY EARLY 2021

    MOHAMMED BIN SALMAN STICKS TO VIEW ARAMCO IS WORTH $2 TRILLION

    I wonder what the price of oil would have to be for Aramco to be worth that much?


  32. AAPL/Batman – Well, we knew it wouldn't be immune from a Nasdaq sell-off but an M pattern is like SPWR was back in May with the low legs in March and June and the little dip in the middle in early May between the two highs.  

    I was worried about AAPL making an M when it topped out at the end of Aug, dipped in Sept and came back in Oct but it's a sloppy M at best and not that likely to fall back to $190 as there has been good consolidation at the top now (unlike SPWR had).

    Rebound/BDC – Nice call.  

    VXX/StJ – No worries if you can ride out the spikes – never seems to sustain for more than a few days.  

    Aramco/Stock – Not again?  Well, they really need the money so I guess they'll keep trying.  Needs $85 oil to be sustained to get to that level – people have to think $85 is steady and $100+ is possible. Keep in mind Brent (/BZ) is still $84 now – that's why they care about, not WTIC ($74.50).


  33. Looks like Collins voting yes for Kavanaugh


  34. stjeanluk VXX   Is it because contango generally crushes VXX but not the VIX ??


  35. VIX/Bill – VIX is just a daily measure of volatility whereas VIX contracts are bets on where volatility will be on that expiration date – it's like a roulette play as volatility has no inherent "value" – or even really a norm.

    Have a great weekend, folks!

    - Phil


  36. Relentlessly Rich


  37. Saudi Prince Sees Deal With Kuwait to Restart Oil Fields ‘Soon’




  38. OPEC Takes a Backward View of the Future





  39. F.B.I. Review of Kavanaugh Was Limited From the Start






  40. In Iowa debut, Booker tells Dems to turn despair into action


  41. Central Banks Are Piling Into Gold






  42. The above article by Tom Nichols is an excellent read…..


  43. 1020…which article?






  44. Climate Crisis Spurs UN Call for $2.4 Trillion Fossil Fuel Shift



  45. Human Nature and the Ethical Life


  46. America’s international image continues to suffer | Pew Research Center



  47. Good morning!

    Futures down a bit more as China sold off back from their holidays and trade stuff is no better and bonds still in trouble.

    Oil down as we pull back a bit from super-firm Iran sanctions (since the entire World was pissed off at us) – really just to avoid the embarrassment of ineffective sanctions.

    Coffee don't care:

    Or sugar

    I always like /YG below $1,200.