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S&P 3,000 Friday – Windows Must be Dressed!

And we're back (again).  

As we expected, the stops are being pulled out to give us a boost into the end of the quarter and we still have the Fed's Randy Quarles speaking at 8:30 followed by Patrick Harket at noon in order to buffer what's likely to be a poor Durable Goods Report at 8:30 and a poor Consumer Sentiment Report at 10.  We also get the Farm Price Report at 3pm and the China situation doesn't bode well for that.  We also still have Monday, that's the 30th.

Not that we care because we CASHED OUT last week – but it's still fun to watch from the (mostly) sidelines.  President Trump considers the stock market to be some kind of scorecard for his Presidency the same way frat boys count how many girls they slept with and call it their "love life".  Still, that means that, behind closed doors, Team Trump is doing whatever they can to boost the market so the boss can feel good about himself – despite all the things he should be feeling bad about.

Yes, despite all the spin, this isn't the Mueller Report and Trump is still getting impeached because this is a very simple, 9-page document that very clearly outlines a single, impeachable offense and so, despite Team Trump's protestations – there WILL be an impeachment though it's still doubtful the Senate will have 60 votes needed to actually remove Trump from office – but the elections will do that.

That's why the Health Care ETF (XLV) is taking a downturn – on fears of a Warren Presidency as it's not likely she will take a kind eye towards excessive profits in the Pharma space but this is a bit of a replay of late 2009, when we took advantage of the sell-off ahead of Obama's first term and the coming of Obamacare to pick some very successful health care plays (see my "2010 Outlook – A Tale of Two Economies") – so I recommend a re-read and we'll update some of the picks on our new Watch List.

Related imageIt's not all bad news for Health Care as there may be some cost pressure but just cutting out the Insurance Companies and their team of coverage deniers, salespeople and endless commercials in exchange for just walking into a doctor and getting fixed FOR FREE is going to save this country 1/3 of their $4,000,000,000,000 health care costs.  

When the GOP says "You don't want someone standing between you and you Doctor" – they want you to forget that someone already is – your insurance company and, unlike the Government, your insurance company is OBLIGATED to make a profit by giving you the least medical care possible.  As Nixon's WH Counsel (like Guiliani) and since-convicted felon (like Guiliani?), John Ehrlichann said when he set up the for-profit HMO System (it used to be illegal to profit off your health needs in America – when it was Great):  "This is a private enterprise one.  Edgar Kaiser is running his Permanente deal for a profit and the reason he can do it… all the incentives are toward LESS MEDICAL CARE because the less care they give them, the more money they make."    

And that's where we stand today, almost 50 years later, with 20% of our GDP now being spent on Health Care.  75% of that health-care spending flows through insurance companies and JUST the 8 largest insurance companies in Americal take in over $500Bn in revenues and, although they make only about $30Bn in "profits" – THAT's NOT THE POINT because – if we had Universal Health Care – the ENTIRE $500Bn funciton they provide – AND WE PAY FOR – would not be necessary.  

When the Republicans try to scare you by saying Universal Health Care would cost $3Tn a year – they are ignoring the fact that we are spending $4Tn now!  Also, aside from cutting out the middle-man insurance companies – we would empower the Government to negotiate REASONABLE fees (and profits) for medical goods and services.  You DO want a powerful Negotiator standing between you and your health-care provider on your behalf - don't you?

Image result for medical costs by country

I couldn't find a more recent chart comparing US to Europe (and, by the way, those "-" mean ZERO) but here's one comparing our costs (up over 50% in 5 years) to Asian countries – makes you cry….

Image result for medical costs by country 2018

So, like in 2010 – there is going to be good and bad in the health-care sector if we have a Warren Presidency.  Though they may be paid a little less, there will be 30M more people covered in a Universal Plan – that's 10% of the population so 10% more revenues will offset things like no longer paying $50 for an advill in the hospital.  One of the big problems we have with health care is the insuance companies pay the hospitals less so the hospitals charge more and then they insurance companies pass it on to the consumers and it spirals higher and higher and the insurance company makes more money – so they have no incentive at all to stop it.

Health Insurance Companies pay the average GOP Congressional Representative $144,000 a year and twice that to Senators in addition to the $550M they spend on lobbying our 535 Congrsspeople ($1,028,000 each) on an annual basis.   Oddly enough, they have been throwing money at the Democrats in the current cycle – trying to buy SOMEONE off if they can.  There's $1Bn that wouldn't have to be spent if we had Universal Health Care...

Meanwhile, as we wrap up the week, Durable Goods were not as bad as we thought, up 0.2% but still way down from 2.1% in the prior reading.  Consumer Spending, on the other hand, was only up 0.1% vs 0.3% expected so it's a mixed signal to take us into the weekend.

Have a good one, 

- Phil

 


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  1. In this impeachment drama, we still forget that we are adding $1T to the deficit to get a 2% GDP growth! What happened to the 3-4% we were promised? 


  2. To follow up on the healthcare thread:

    These are simply insane and unsustainable numbers!


  3. Financial regrets:


  4. Good Morning!






  5. Good morning!

    I was on Benzinga this morning but not sure how to link it (8:35).  

    Big Chart getting scary  – can't afford a red week now.

    Growth/StJ – Failed economic policies against promises that led to a massively over-valued market – just like Bush 2.0.  Have I mentioned how much I like CASH!!! lately?

    $20,000/StJ – That's just bat-shit crazy!   And it ties back to why people have no retirement savings when 30% of the average family's income goes to Health Care.  

    Damn, they were on the Watch List:

    • Vail Resorts (NYSE:MTN) rallies after spilling Q4 numbers. While the quarter was a slow month for revenue due to a general lack of skiing activity, Vail's pace of 2019-2020 pass sales (+14% in units and +15% in dollars) impressed.
    • "MTN has seen continued strong growth from the Northeast markets, which are benefiting from the first full year of unlimited access to Stowe, Okemo, and Mount Sunapee", notes Janney analyst Tyler Batory on the pass sales growth.
    • Shares of Vail are up 5.61% to $243.18.
    • Previously: Vail Resorts edges higher after earnings (Sept. 26)

    • Needham raises its Micron (NASDAQ:MU) target from $50 to $60 after yesterday's earnings report.
    • The firm notes the downside GM guidance, which is attributable to the excess NAND inventory and related pricing. But Needham sees several upcoming catalysts for the memory cycle, including 5G and a normalized supply/demand.
    • More action: Piper Jaffray raises its MU target from $36 to $46, but notes concerns over NAND supplies and ASP pressure.
    • Micron shares are down 9% to $44.17. The company has an Outperform average Sell Side rating.

    • September Consumer Sentiment (Final): 93.2 vs. 92.0 consensus and 92.0 prior.
    • Current economic conditions 108.5 vs. 106.9 consensus and 106.9 prior.
    • Index of consumer expectations 83.4 vs. 82.4 consensus and 82.4 prior.
    • Wells Fargo lowers Booking Holdings (BKNG -0.5%) to a Market Perform rating from Outperform.
    • "The primary driver of this ratings change is valuation as well as changes to BKNG’s business operations impacting the short term (2H’19). BKNG is currently up 19% YTD (S&P 500 +19% YTD), and while we still believe BKNG is well-positioned to capitalize on solid room night growth trends and the expansion of its alternative accommodations business segment, we believe the stock’s valuation at this range is reflective of this growth," reads the WF note.
    • The Wells price target of $2150 is 12.2X the 2020 EBITDA estimate and is still above the consensus sell-side PT on Booking of $2,092.
    • Eyes will be on REITs to see how WeWork's decision to halt all new lease agreements affects the commercial real estate market.
    • JC Oviedo points out via Twitter that Boston Properties (BXP -0.8%) mentioned in a presentation earlier this month that co-working is 3.5%-4% of its rent roll in New York and San Francisco; that may not be all WeWork, though.
    • Other REITs that have mentioned WeWork in presentations include: Columbia Property Trust (CXP), Hudson Pacific Properties (HPP), Armada Hoffler Properties (AHH +0.1%), Piedmont Office Realty Trust (PDM +0.4%), SL Green (SLG +0.6%), and Cousins Properties (CUZ +0.1%).
    • Also of note is Paramount Group (PGRE +0.2%) avoiding WeWork and other co-working firms, as noted in their Q2 earnings call. When asked about WeWork and opportunities to lease to co-working space companies, CEO Albert Behler said, "We could have leased all of our vacant space to co-working companies. We have chosen a different route because we like long-term credit tenants in our space with the growing rents. "
    • Last week, Boston Fed President Eric Rosengren warned that low interest rates and the increase in co-working spaces  could push up commercial real estate values, which could then collapse during a recession.

    This is funny, they more than double the maximum and then act like it's great that banks only borrowed 95% of the previous maximum.  

    • The New York Fed takes up $71.7B of Treasurys and securities in combined overnight and term repo operations, less than the $160B maximum.
    • The results indicate that the money markets have calmed since last week's crunch where overnight repo interest rate jumped to 10%.
    • The New York Fed takes up $49.0B of Treasurys and securities in 14-day term repo operations, less than the $60B limit.
    • By collateral type, it took up $34.55B of Treasurys at stop-out rate of 1.85% and weighted average of 1.873% and $14.45B of mortgage-backed securities at stop-out rate of 1.85% and weighted average of 1.895%.
    • For the overnight repo operations, the New York Fed took up $12.7B of Treasurys and securities, far less than the $100B limit.
    • The Baltic Dry Index fell 5.4% in London to 1,857. The BDI is now down about 25% over the last three weeks after a strong summer rally.
    • Capesize rates led the way down again with a drop of 8.39%, while Panamax rates were down 2.28%. Supramax and Handysize rates declined by less than 1%. A short-term factor with rates is anti-pollution efforts out of Beijing. Industrial cities in parts of China have shut down factories ahead of the week-long National Day celebration in an effort to cut back on pollution.
    • Facebook (NASDAQ:FB) COO Sheryl Sandberg could testify in front of the U.S. House as early as next month, according to Bloomberg sources.
    • Sandberg would discuss Facebook's market power, potential antitrust issues, and plans for the Libra digital cryptocurrency.
    • FB is still negotiating with the House Financial Services Committee and the details could still change.
    • Facebook shares are up 0.2% pre-market to $180.45
    • CrowdStrike (NASDAQ:CRWD) shares are heading into Friday down 15.4% on the week after the cybersecurity firm found itself involved in the call between President Trump and Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky.
    • According to the released call transcript, Trump asked Zelensky to look into CRWD, which helped investigate the hack of the Democratic National Committee servers.
    • Key quote: "I would like you to do us a favor though because our country has been through a lot and Ukraine knows a lot about it. I would like you to find out what happened with this whole situation with Ukraine, they say Crowdstrike … I guess you have one of your wealthy people… The server, they say Ukraine has it."
    • Trump had previously suggested the DNC should hand over the investigation and servers to the FBI rather than CrowdStrike. He also previously told the AP he had "heard" CRWD is "owned by a very rich Ukrainian," though that isn't backed up in the IPO filing.
    • August Personal Income and Outlays: Income +0.4% M/M vs. +0.4% consensus, +0.1% prior.
    • Consumer spending +0.1% M/M vs. +0.3% consensus, +0.5% prior (revised from +0.6%).
    • PCE Price Index 0.0% M/M vs. +0.2% consensus, +0.2% prior.
    • Core PCE Price Index +0.1% M/M vs. +0.2% consensus, +0.2% prior.
    • August Durable Goods+0.2% vs. -1.2% expected, +2.1% prior (unrevised).
    • Core Durable Goods: +0.5% vs. +0.2% expected, -0.5% prior (revised from -0.4%).
    • MGM Resorts (NYSE:MGM) could start construction on a casino resort in Osaka, Japan as early as 2021 and open the doors by 2025, according to Bernstein.
    • The firm sees the Japan market as structurally similar to Singapore and notes that MGM is expecting a return on investment of up to 20% in Japan off a total capital cost of approximately $10B..
    • MGM is competing with Galaxy Entertainment and Genting Group for a license in Osaka.
    • Apple (NASDAQ:AAPL) will pursue theatrical releases for some of the original films the tech giant is producing for Apple TV+, according to WSJ sources.
    • Apple hopes the tactic will help attract big name directors and producers.
    • Up first is Sofia Coppola's "On the Rocks," which stars Bill Murray and shares a production company with the Oscar-winning film Moonlight. The film could hit theaters in mid-2020.
    • Apple is spending $2B on original content this year, compared to the roughly $10B spend for rival Netflix.


  6. Another one of our Watch List stocks popping away:

    • Six months after Tim Sloan stepped down as CEO after attempting to restore the bank's reputation after a rash of scandals, Wells Fargo (NYSE:WFCnames Charles W. Scharf CEO and president as well as a member of the board as of Oct. 21.
    • WFC gains 2.2% in premarket trading.
    • Scharf comes to San Francisco-based Wells Fargo from Bank of New York Mellon (NYSE:BK), where he was chairman and CEO.
    • C. Allen Parker, who has been interim CEO and president and a board member will continue in those roles until Parker joins the company; then, he'll return to his role as general counsel.
    • Scharf has his work cut out for him as he strives to transform the bank under the scrutiny of regulators and lawmakers.
    • Before his role at BNY Mellon, Scharf was CEO of Visa. He'll remain located in New York.
    • Previously: Wells Fargo faces fewer choices in CEO search – Bloomberg (July 12)

    • The post-Neumann era has begun…
    • WeWork (WE) is halting all new lease agreements with property owners as the U.S. office-sharing startup looks to curtail costs, according to the FT.
    • The company's new leaders have also moved to pare headcount and assets, including advancing plans to purge nearly 20 friends and family members of ex-CEO Adam Neumann and his wife, Rebekah Neumann, WSJ reports.
    • AGNC Investment (NASDAQ:AGNC) prices its public offering of 14M depositary shares with a liquidation preference of $25.00/share for gross proceeds of $350M.
    • Each Depositary Share represents represents a 1/1,000th interest in a share of the Company's 6.50% Series E preferred stock
    • The greenshoe option in for another 2.1M depositary shares.
    • The Company intends to apply to list the depositary shares on Nasdaq under the symbol "AGNCO."
    • Closing date is October 3, 2019.
    • Net proceeds will be used to finance the acquisition of agency securities, non-agency securities, other real estate-related assets and hedging instruments, and for other general corporate purposes.
    • AGNC +1.25% after hours to $16.25
    • Source: Press Release
    • Amid speculation about consolidation in the fragmented U.S. exploration and production industry, Morgan Stanley energy analysts propose some combinations they say would make sense based on "accretion and geographic overlap."
    • For Exxon Mobil (NYSE:XOM), the firm suggests Pioneer Natural Resources (NYSE:PXD) and Diamondback Energy (NASDAQ:FANG) as potential takeover targets.
    • For Chevron (NYSE:CVX), Cimarex Energy (NYSE:XEC) would provide a smaller target than Anadarko, whose offer from the company earlier this year was topped by Occidental.
    • Other potential combinations could include Marathon Oil (NYSE:MRO) and Devon Energy (NYSE:DVN), which have Permian Basin exposure; Range Resources (NYSE:RRC) and Southwestern Energy (NYSE:SWN), two natural gas producers; and Oasis Petroleum (NYSE:OAS) and Whiting Petroleum (NYSE:WLL), two Bakken producers.
    • One of the challenges for M&A activity is that mergers at large premiums have not been well received, which can act as a deterrent to buyers and could result in "low- or no-premium mergers of equals," Stanley says.
    • Front-month natural gas prices (NYSEARCA:UNGtumbled 3% today to a three-week low $2.428/MMBtu after data showed U.S. inventories surged by a higher than forecast 102B cf last week.
    • Natural gas demand typically increases when more people use their air conditioners in the summer and heaters in the winter, but some of that demand may have been tempered by milder weather in the Northeast, said Kent Bayazitoglu, director of market analytics at Gelber & Associates.
    • Top gas producers all closed sharply lower: RRC -7.6%AR -5.2%GPOR -4.9%EQT -2.4%COG -2.3%SWN -1.9%CHK -1.4%.
    • Separately, the global natural gas glut and the accompanying decline in liquefied natural gas prices is a top subject as energy ministers and company executives met today at an LNG conference in Tokyo.
    • Some participants warned that a lack of investment in projects needed to maintain supply will cause problems with natural gas prices 3-4 years in the future.
    • Lockheed Martin (NYSE:LMT) says its board authorized the purchase of as much as an additional $1B in common stock under its repurchase program.
    • LMT says the remaining authorization for future buybacks under the repurchase program totals ~$3.3B.
    • LMT also says it will pay a Q4 dividend of $2.40/share, a $0.20 increase over Q3.
    • Shares +0.2% after-hours.

    Our Stock of the Decade is doing very well! 


  7. Really strange that Putin doesn't want calls to be made public! 


  8. Was that a warning?….


  9. what do you think of trumps curbing portfolio investing in china another escalation how bad?


  10. most likely a well timed diversion to change the conversation for the wknd away from impeachment 





  11. Administration appears to be turning up the heat prior to Oct. 10 meeting. A lot of plates spinning.


  12. Putin/StJ – I think he's just messing with us.

    China/Tommy – A lot of negative signals re. China makes it seem like trade is not doing all that well.  Haven't heard from China in a while and it's almost October – when we have been promised a deal.

    Image result for trump distractions cartoon

    Here's the Benzinga link:

    I gave them a very nice bottom call in /YG, but they stepped all over it while I was talking.  

    Also talked about yesterday's TXN short play, which I like even more after the way MU was treated this morning.

    September 26th, 2019 at 3:50 pm | (Unlocked) | Permalink 

    P/E for TXN is 23.5 at $120Bn at $128.50 – that's historically high for them.  They are pegged to make less money than they did last year but they are up 40% and earnings expectations for Q3 ($1.42) haven't come down since last Q even though chip prices have crashed.   Of course TI sold most of their DRAM biz to MU ages ago and 75% of their business is analog semiconductors now but revenues were down 9% last Q and will be down 9% (from last year) again this Q with no end in sight so $130 is silly for them.

    As a short on TXN, I'd go for:

    • Sell 3 TXN Jan $130 calls for $6.25 ($1,875) 
    • Buy 5 TXN Jan $140 puts for $14.50 ($7,250) 
    • Sell 5 TXN Jan $125 puts for $6 ($3,000) 

    That's net $2,375 on the $7,500 spread so $5,125 (215%) upside potential if TXN is below $125 into Jan.   Ordinary margin is $7,179 but hopefully short-term and a nice return either way.

    Also, we talked about Truelieve (TCNNF) who are still cheap at $8 (I liked them at $9.15 two weeks ago!).  They failed the falling 50 dma but Kim is speaking at a conference on the 2nd in NYC so this might be a good time.

    Check out the quarterly numbers:

    Revenue 6/30/2019 3/31/2019 12/31/2018 9/30/2018
    Total Revenue 57,920.112 44,475.965 35,945.457 28,325.604
    Cost of Revenue -45,868.393 4,364.181 2,199.512 -7,427.494
    Gross Profit 103,788.505 40,111.784 33,745.945 35,753.098
    Operating Expenses
    Research Development - - - -
    Selling General and Administrative 14,519.501 11,896.75 10,442.113 8,041.347
    Non Recurring - - - -
    Others - - - -
    Total Operating Expenses -29,509.002 17,721.768 13,131.875 914.115
    Operating Income or Loss 87,429.114 26,754.197 22,813.582 27,411.489
    Income from Continuing Operations
    Total Other Income/Expenses Net -2,185.865 -1,214.923 -652.441 -1,756.244
    Earnings Before Interest and Taxes 87,429.114 26,754.197 22,813.582 27,411.489
    Interest Expense -1,910.064 -1,225.961 -691.379 -372.936
    Income Before Tax 85,243.249 25,539.274 22,161.141 25,655.245
    Income Tax Expense 27,714.464 10,837 11,441.468 8,153.553
    Minority Interest - - - -
    Net Income From Continuing Ops 57,528.785 14,702.274 10,719.673 17,501.692

    $8/share is $883M – I'd buy the whole thing for that price!


  13. China / Phil – What would be the incentive for China to help Trump at the moment? If I were them, I would wait out the impeachment process and see how it goes. They want him out anyway so not likely to offer a lifeline.


  14. China/StJ – Well they have him on the ropes and can get him to sign a deal that favors them – that's a pretty good incentive.  So it still could go either way.

    This needs to be shared a lot:


  15. Wow, down 136 – Nas down 1.5%!  What a mess.

    They can still take the Dollar down Monday and give us a pop.

    I called Gold on the button this morning for the $10 move!

    /KC back on sale.  It's amazing how many times we've played this bullish to win but it's still at 100.


  16. China / Phil – A deal too one-sided for China would add to the narrative that Trump is getting played and is incompetent. Might play OK with the base (and Trump's ego), but not sure that it would help the markets or Trump. 


  17. And, an important message from our President:

    Donald J. Trump  To show you how dishonest the LameStream Media is, I used the word Liddle’, not Liddle, in discribing Corrupt Congressman Liddle’ Adam Schiff. Low ratings @CNN purposely took the hyphen out and said I spelled the word little wrong. A small but never ending situation with CNN!

    I'm pretty sure "Liddle" isn't a word no matter what you do with it.  And, of course, I think those things are apostrophes, not commas and, of course, we're not even talking about "discribing".  It would be hypocritical of us to tell Trump not to pick on the Autistic Climate Girl while we pick on him for whatever the F mental problems he has…

    Image

    See, it's probably genetic!  

    WOW!  I mean WOW!!!

    Jerome Powell
     

    @JayPowellsDiary

    ·

    I'VE ALREADY CUT RATES TWICE AND I'M DOING DAILY REPOS!!!! WHAT ELSE DO YOU WANT ME TO DO!!!! MAKE NEW HIGHS ALREADY!!! MY JOB'S ON THE LINE HERE!

    Meanwhile, here's some good news to end the week:

    After briefly breaking up, Sony Pictures and Marvel have found a way to get back in the Spider-Man business together.

    On Friday, the two companies jointly announced that Marvel Studios and its president, Kevin Feige, will produce the third film in the “Spider-Man: Homecoming” series. It will once again feature Tom Holland reprising his role as the titular hero. The rumor mill roared back to life this week with hints that the two companies were close to brokering a new agreement.

    Hey, you take what you can get…

    Jeff Goldblum was right, they worked it out!

    I love how he's self-confident enough to just admit he didn't have a clue.  

    China/StJ – I think that ship has already sailed for Trump – this is just about getting any sort of "accomplishment" under his belt.  No matter what the deal is – he'll say it's the best deal ever anyway.  Like NAFTAII – what ever happened to that anyway?

    Oh and China's 70-year anniversary is Oct 1st – so they may just be being nice until then as they don't want a cloud on their celebration but, after that, they might really put the screws in.


  18. I love the NY Times – the best writers:

    “It turned out to be a nothing call,” Trump said. He also described it as “beautiful” and “perfect” and asked for an apology from his critics.

    This was a “nothing call” only to a man with nothing for a moral foundation. This was exculpatory only to someone who thinks that the crime he has just outlined for all the world to see does not matter. This was “beautiful” and “perfect” only to someone who has crossed so many lines in his life that he has no idea where the boundaries are…

     

    …the politically perilous road to impeachment will start and end with the words of a morally bankrupt man who has spent his entire adult life skirting, mocking, ignoring or breaking the law.

     

    Trump sees this as no big deal because he’s always gotten away with his many transgressions, floating above the law in a padded world of privilege and prevarication. From trying to prevent black tenants from renting the apartments owned by his family, to his stiffing of contractors, cabinetmakers, drivers and others who worked for him, to defrauding students at a phony university, Trump’s life is a biography of scam and scofflaw.

    Cue "Jaws" theme music:

    Image

    Image

    Down 200 now.  Have I mentioned how much I like CASH!!! lately?


  19. Oh, keep in mind that, on the other occasions debt was this high to assets – it was UNINTENTIONAL.  In other words, tech assets of 1999 were drastically written down, causing the ratio to spike and, in 2008, the value of real estate assets and loan portfolios were written down, causing the ratio to spike.  This, however, if the first time in history that Lenders are INTENTIONALLY handing money out to borrowers who have so little coverage.  


  20. Pstas -Thanks.  

    Looking to get back into WLL.  Sold some Jan 8 puts for $1.92


  21. A little bit of a stick into the close,but not enough to save things.

    Have a great weekend,

    - Phil 


  22. Those WLL puts were March 8's.


  23. I bought back WLL calls (stock covers) right about when you were selling those puts out Albo. Also added some covered RIG.


  24. Brexit talks close in acrimony with EU saying UK ‘solely’ to blame


  25. Giuliani cancels paid appearance next week at Kremlin-backed conference