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26 Million Out of Work, 50,000 Deaths, 870,000 Infections – Are We Great Yet?

I WAS going to write an upbeat article.

Then Trump suggested injecting disinfectants into infected people's lungs AND NO ONE CONTRADICTED HIM!!!  That was yesterday's live press briefing at the White House where Trump suggested injecting poison and also using ultra-violet light inside the body – since it seems to hinder the growth of the virus in the environment.  

Trump said that just seconds after those items were mentioned (not in the same way) by DHS's Bill Bryan (yet another Trump unconfirmed appointment) and it was very clear that Trump himself is only getting the information for the first time at the briefing and then he makes ridiculous and dangerous inferences from what he misunderstands and, because this is all being done on camera – no one has the guts to contradict him – no matter how insane his comments are.  

“This notion of injecting or ingesting any type of cleansing product into the body is irresponsible and it’s dangerous," said Dr. Vin Gupta. "It’s a common method that people utilize when they want to kill themselves."

"As a global leader in health and hygiene products, we must be clear that under no circumstance should our disinfectant products be administered into the human body (through injection, ingestion or any other route)," said a spokesperson for Reckitt Benckiser, the United Kingdom-based owner of Lysol, in a statement to NBC News.

Yes, this is what America has come to.  Lysol has to issue official statements telling people not to listen to the President and inject yourself with their product.  While I certainly don't think anyone reading this is going to start shooting up Lysol just because the President said it's a promising treatment – people have died from taking hydroxyclhloroquine after the President called that a miracle cure.  It turns out to be not at all effective against Covid-19 but, to be fair, we haven't tested injecting Lysol yet – BECAUSE IT'S BAT-SHIT CRAZY!!!

Not proving something doesn't work is not the same a proving it works.  You don't HAVE to go walking on the surface of the sun to prove that it will kill you.  There is a lot of solid scientific research that tells us how much heat a human body can tolerate and what temperature the surface of the sun is and, by knowing those two things – we are able to save you the cost of a 93M mile trip to your doom just to see if it's true.  

"It ain't no joke, I'd like to buy the world a toke

And teach the world to sing in perfect harmony

And teach the world to snuff the fires and the liars

So don't delay, act now, supplies are running out

Allow if you're still alive, six to eight years to arrive

And if you follow, there may be a tomorrow

But if the offer is shun, you might as well be walkin' on the sun

And it ain't no joke when our mama's handkerchief is soaked

With her tears because her baby's life has been revoked

So don't sit back, kick back and watch the world get bushwhacked

News at ten, your neighborhood is under attack" – Smash Mouth

That is how science works but it doesn't work if people don't believe in FACTS and we are very much in a post-fact society at this point where the truth seems to be up for interpretation in almost any situation – mainly because people don't know the difference between facts and opinions.  This is also true in the stock market as people tend to believe what they want to believe and you can go to content aggreggation sites like Yahoo, Market Watch, Seeking Alpha, etc. and find articles that agree with your viewpoint – no matter how wrong it is.

And yes, investing is like science and you SHOULD be able to predict what is going to happen next but, like the weather, there are simply too many variables for even a super-computer to take into account so we can only get "indications" of trends and make predictions based on those but always that is subject to change due to intervening events.  

ImageThe virus has been quite the intervening event so far and, as you can see, earnings expectations have plunged 15-20% so far but that's only because 75% of the companies haven't reported yet – so they haven't had a chance to lower their forward guidance and, of course, about half the companies have pulled guidance – so these expections are generally coming from very few companies who weren't impacted badly enough to scare their investors.  

I was very bullish after the March crash because the Government was throwing $6 TRILLION at the economy and today they are approving another $484Bn (because $500Bn would be too much?) and of course that's going to help because 6,500 BILLION DOLLARS is an incredible amount of money – it's 1/3 of our entire GDP so, if we are having a 3-month lock-down, it should be more than adequate to support the economy.

Unfortunately, 45-days into the lockdown, 95% of small businesses still haven't gotten their bailouts, 26M people are now unemployed (up from 3.5M in Jan), 50,000 people are dead and, by next week, 1M people (1/330 Americans) are sick and 10% of those people are deathly sick and not likely to live.  There was an assumption that it wasn't possible to completely misspend $6Tn but, so far – Trump has done it.  

Rather than do whatever it takes to make sure we are all tested and make sure we all have masks (not bandanas!) and make sure we have procedures in place to sterilize public places so it is safe to go back out there.  NONE of those things are happening!  That's why Trump is talking about injecting YOU with Lysol and flooding your body with UV rays – he has no solution to stop you from getting the virus in the first place, so his "fix" is based on curing you after you get it.  

Trump's Crisis Mismanagement | The Nation

Am I being anti-Trump?  I think I'm being anti-incompetence and Trump just happens to be sitting at the desk where the buck is supposed to stop.  I can refer to him as President X if it makes you feel better but by the time he becomes an ex-President it may be far too late to avert a catastrophe.  And, by catastrophe, I mean the Coronavirus, not Global Warming or the National Debt or the Infrastructure or America's Status in the World, Domestic Terrorism and Racial Tensions or the Trade War with China or the Rising Inequality, the Russian Interference into US Elections or the loss if impartiality in the Supreme Court or even Voter Suppression.  Just the Coronavirus crisis for now….

So we will have to adjust our own portfolio expectations based on the FACTS as they come in and, so far, I'm not as confident now as I was back in late March.  That's why, in Wednesday's Live Trading Webinar, we decided to add another $100,000 worth of protection to our Short-Term Portfolio (where we keep our hedges) giving us $400,000 (80%) worth of protection for our $500,000 Long-Term Portfolio and I STILL am not happy being 40% invested in our LTP so we're going to have to go throuth it and cut even more positions as we approach the 1M infection mark next week.  

I've lost confidence in IMAX turning around in the next 18 months, Alaska Airlines (ALK) seems too risky as it may be a long time before people want to sit in a tube with 200 other people and breath their air for 4 hours.  McConnell is such a tool that I'm not sure our infrastructure ideas for FCX and VALE will play out … we'll have to review all of our positions very closely and, if we can't get over that Must Hold Line on the S&P 500 at 2,850 very soon – we might have to pull the plug on all the longs and simply wait out the virus.

We're not rushing into things if we have a positive day but next week we'll see how investors react to 1M infections and more deaths (60,000) than the 20-year Vietnam War (58,220) which, according to your Conservative buddy, was "no worse than the flu".   

Have a great weekend, 

- Phil


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  1. Long Lysol?! :)  

    Thanks, President Tide Pod

  2. Good Morning.

  3. Phil – This is the National Enquirer at the checkout stand, kinda sh*t.

    There will always be the 20% (and I refuse to believe it's more) that will buy it and believe everything they read.

    You need to be comforted that common sense will prevail for the rest and only pity the fools that follow the advice….


  4. Phil, you will die on a heart attack if you carry on getting too excited about your great President.
    The man is the greatest joke at all times. But the worse thing is the Government follows the clown.
    There is really not much you can do about it but only express your anger. On TV here in Europe they show him as a derailed clown just to introduce some jokes in to the serious situation at present time. Even the other clown Johnston from England learned his lesson.



    Pink Floyd

    Breathe, breathe in the air
    Don't be afraid to care
    Leave but don't leave me
    Look around, choose your own ground
    For long you live and high you fly
    And smiles you'll give and tears you'll cry
    And all your touch and all you see
    Is all your life will ever be

    Run, rabbit run
    Dig that hole, forget the sun
    And when at last the work is done
    Don't sit down, it's time to dig another one
    For long you live and high you fly
    But only if you ride the tide
    And balanced on the biggest wave
    You race towards an early grave

  6. Treading water for now!

  7. Yodi – Great advice from Europe!  :)

  8. The level of insanity that is coming out of the WH is at level 11 out of 10 now… We had Trump say that the CDC director was misquoted by CNN and the Washington Post only to have said director confirm that he was properly quoted  minutes later! We had Trump say that the virus will not re-appear in the fall only to have 3 more people say that it will re-appear in the fall! It looks to me like we won't be ready again in the fall if that happens because people are simply confused by the mixed messages! We are in really dire straits now!

    And McConnell bitching about bailing out blue states is adding to the divisiveness being sowed by Trump. In the last 20 years, NY state has contributed more than $2T than it has received and Kentucky has received more than $2T than it contributed. No one complained about bailing KY every year… Please wake me up in November.

  9. And agreed with Yodi – I would love to have Merkel in charge here today! People in Europe look at our situation and are befuddled by the level of idiocy.

  10. personally I think trump is so crazy that at some point way before its safe to do so he will resume holding his base rallys. Perhaps then he will learn about the science of covid first hand.

  11. Economy / Phil – Based on my own experience, I think that there will be lasting changes of behavior that will have a big impact on some businesses. I mentioned yesterday that my company organized an industry wide online conference and we ended up with well over 2000 unique attendees and that's about 2-3x more than the biggest offline conferences in the industry (I know bragging now). We have now had comments from people who organize offline conferences in our industry mentioning that we basically killed their model. Why would a small business (the majority of the industry) pay $2-5000 to go to an offline conference when they can get the same information for free online. We had Slack channels setup where people networked, exchange information and ideas like they would in person. Conference centers, hotels, restaurants, airlines are going to have a tough time going back to the pre-virus baseline I think.

  12. Stjean:  I think the remote working phenomenon will also lead to a migration out of densely populated areas out to less dense areas, which should be good for certain homebuilders.

  13. Daveo/Phil — continuing the margin discussion from yesterday…

    what would be the mechanics behind selling the put spread as opposed to naked? 

    If I have the naked WBA 2022 30 put @ 3.75  ($700 margin) – how would the put spread work on that to save me from the margin requirements.  Thanks

  14. True Kinki – but then bad for local small businesses and opportunities in other places (or more opportunities for Amazon)

  15. Good morning!

    Lysol/Potter – I'm not sure, how much do you need to inject per person?

    Anything/1020 – You mean like this:


    It is terrifying how many people ask me if this is true.  

    There's a huge right-wing attack on Bill Gates now as he is one of the World's leading authorities on viruses (due to his decades of charity work fighting disease) and people trust him AND he doesn't agree with the President.  That makes him public enemy #1 at the moment.  

    Here's some FACTS that none of these people will read or listen to – even if you put it right in their faces:

    A 2013 article published in The Lancet, reported that the MenAfriVac vaccination campaign in Chad reduced meningitis incidence by 94%. In three regions of Chad, approximately 1.8 million people from one to 29 years old received a single dose of the vaccine in December 2011.[7][8] Vaccinating the 70% of the population in that age group is enough to create "herd immunity".[9] During the 2012 meningitis season no cases of the meningococcus sub-type serogroup A caused disease in places where mass vaccination took place. Carriers of serogroup A were found to decrease by more than 97% post vaccination. Surveillance is needed to continue for several more years to establish the length of effective period of the vaccine and whether other meningococci serogroups may surge to replace serogroup A.[7][8]

    In 2015, the caseload of the illness fell to zero in 16 countries that used MenAfriVac in mass vaccination campaigns. Ten other countries have not launched vaccination programs. Epidemics were expected to return in about 15 years unless MenAfriVac becomes a routine childhood vaccination as WHO recommended.[9]

    The tetanus toxoid protein used in the vaccine increased the share of people with long-term tetanus immunity from 20% to 59%, although it is not strong enough to stand alone against tetanus. Neonatal tetanus kills nearly 50,000 newborns a year in sub-Saharan Africa. Rates of neonatal tetanus fell by 25% in countries following a MenAfriVac campaign.[9]

    Epidemics of meningococcal A meningitis, which is a bacterial infection of the thin lining surrounding the brain and spinal cord, have swept across 26 countries in sub-Saharan Africa for a century, killing and disabling young people every year. The disease is highly feared on the continent; it can kill or cause severe brain damage in a child within hours. Epidemics usually start at the beginning of the calendar year when dry sands from the Sahara Desert begin blowing southward.

    The largest meningitis epidemic in African history swept across sub-Saharan Africa from 1996 to 1997, numbering 250,000 new cases and taking 25,000 lives.

    So yes, some people – out of Millions who are vaccinated (and millions more who benefit from herd immunity) die from vaccine complications but many, many hundreds of times more are saved.  Those are unfortunate decisions that have to be made but the way they twist the facts is sick….

    Heart Attack/Yodi – Good, healthy venting is all.  Better than keeping it bottled up inside.  And it's not a joke when he's running your life!  People in the US don't understand how badly he has trashed our reputation around the World.  

    Big Chart – Doesn't look so bad but we're testing our downsloping 50 dmas next week at exactly the same time we hit 1M infections and more deaths than Vietnam so I'd say be VERY WELL-HEDGED or in CASH!!! or both….

    PMP's 2020 State of the Industry Report - Pest Management Professional

    Misquoted/StJ – Then Trump had him reverse that and the guy finally walked off stage – too embarrassed to be part of the charade anymore.  The President is not supposed to be this powerful – it's kind of the whole point of the Constitution.   

    I agree, StJ – it's been a superior model for a long time but the trick was to get enough people to try it to change their behavior.   Now it IS their behavior and the whole Trade Show/Conference thing is such a dinosaur of a scam anyway – it's going to put a major dent in that industry.  

    This Bulwark article was great about how hard it will be to reopen Travel and Entertainment in general:  

    Las Vegas will not “reopen” because the city as we knew it in February 2020 is gone.

    Las Vegas is the 28th-largest metropolitan area in America, home to 2.2 million people. Its main business is gambling-related tourism. The city welcomes roughly 42 million visitors a year who pour $58 billion dollars into the local economy and support 370,000 jobs. Almost 40 percent of the area’s workers are employed in the hospitality industry.

    Up until this past January, 70,000 people got off an airplane in Las Vegas every single day, mostly to take in the city’s charms.

    On these flights, passenger seats are roughly 17 inches wide with 31 inches of pitch. So in order to get to Las Vegas—where the principal pleasure is spending disposable income on hotel rooms, while eating expensive meals, and playing casino games—something like 150 people would share 8,000 cubic feet of cabin space and recycled air for anywhere from one to four hours.

    So tell me: When the state of Nevada lifts the stay-at-home order that it issued on March 12 and the casinos that drive the state’s economy reopen their doors, do you think that Las Vegas is going to come roaring back?

    Because I do not.

    What is much more likely is that the former steady flow of visitors to Las Vegas will resume as a trickle.

    There are economic reasons for this: National unemployment levels will be near 20 percent, so people will be grappling with a great deal of financial uncertainty. Disposable income will be at a low ebb. When disposable income is in retreat, people generally do not take extravagant vacations where the primary purpose is to lose money in an entertaining manner.

    But there are health reasons, too: People who are older or immunocompromised—or who come into regular contact with someone who is older or immunocompromised—are going to curtail their behavior in order to cut down on unnecessary personal interactions.

    Getting on an airplane to fly to a city so that you can stay in a hotel, eat in crowded dining rooms, and stand elbow-to-elbow with strangers around a craps table will be far, far down the list of behaviors on which most people are open to taking a risk.

    Which means that the 28th-largest city in America is going to hollow out.

    If the tourism industry were to only decline by 30 percent in Las Vegas, it would be an utter catastrophe. No tourists means no work for maids, taxi drivers, cooks, dealers, waiters, and the tens of thousands of jobs that make up the invisible, back-of-the-house operations in hospitality.

    No jobs for the people in hospitality means a shockwave to the local economy: The retail and service sectors will be crunched. Real estate values will implode. The strain on social services will be gigantic.

    The central fact to be grasped here is that “reopening” the economy is a largely a formality until there is a vaccine. Because only then will people modify their behavior to something approximating pre-pandemic levels.

    He also has notes on Movies which make me rethink bothering with IMAX for now.

    Builders/Kinki – I think the more immediate problem for them is like 2009, when people simply didn't have deposit money anymore to buy new homes and lack of immigration is going to kill demand.

    Margin/Jeff – It depends on how your broker does margin.  The assumption is that you are being charged $30 in margin (less the $3.75 collected) for having the short $30 puts.  In reality, for those of us with even ordinary margin accounts, the margin requirement of the 2022 $30 put is $1,684.90 against $3,750 collected so it's what we call "margin-efficient."  But, if you have a retirement account and have to set aside $26,250 in margin to make $3,750 – then you are making just 14% on margin, which means there are probably better things to do with the cash.   

    If instead you buy the $22.50 puts for $2 (they don't go lower) and sell the $30 puts for $3.75, then you have collected net $1.75 and the margin required is your max loss of $5.75 so now you can make up to 30% if your stock is over $30 and if you did 2x, you'd collect the same(ish) $4 on just $11.50 of margin (and risk) vs the $26.25 you could lose though, at $22.50, your 2x spreads lose all $11.50 while the short $30 calls would have only lost $3.75.  

    That's why we don't bother with the spreads in our portfolios – if you can't do the margin plays – just stick to the bull call spreads.  The other flaw in the bear put spread is you never get to cash out early while we often take our short puts off the table once they cross 60% as it's usually not worth waiting for the last 40% unless we're POSITIVE the options will expire worthless AND we don't need to margin they are taking up.

    These ramped up margin requirements last hit us in 2008 and before that in 2000 so about once a decade you get burned while the rest of the time you make fantastic money and all three times – we've certainly seen these drops coming well in advance and hedged accordingly but, again, if you can't hedge – then simply pull back the short puts and naked short calls until things calm down. 

    NFLX still going down nicely.  

  16. Oh, by the way, on the Gates thing.  The India claim was just too stupid for words but people seem to believe that too:


    • The Gates Foundation has long supported polio vaccination efforts in India.

    • There is no evidence that 496,000 children were paralyzed due to a polio vaccine.

    • Numbers from the WHO show that there have been 17 cases of vaccine-derived polio in India since 2000.

    It is F'ing exhausting simply refuting the BS that is being spewed around on the Internet.  That's the problem – even claims that are completely false are allowed to be spread and those spreaders are relentless (half of them are bots) and it gets to the point where the lies just drown out the truth.  

  17. That rally was fun while it lasted (less than an hour!).  

  18. Phil – thank you for the explanation — still reading through it to understand thoroughly but


    I have TOS – in what I assume is a normal margin account (?) – not an IRA account

    I have only the one WBA put sold for 3.75 and it says that it has a BP effect of (707.50)

    If i go to enter a trade to sell another one for $4.00 (example) it tells me in the trade confirm box that my BP effect will be (300.75) — which I assume will be changed to that amount plus the price of closing out the short put if needed  — thus the (707.50) in the one I already own

    Are you saying that your margin would only be $168.40 for the one contract from your example?  So your BP effect would be approximately (568.40) — adding in the 4.00 to close the contract.

    Sorry for all the questions  — I don't have many short puts and the ones I have are really conservative (or so I think)

  19. Misinformation / Phil – In fact, we had a presentation yesterday from Translators without Borders about how exhausting it is to fight misinformation in all the languages. They are developing technology to help answer typical questions that people have in their own language with science backed fact (all down by volunteer translators)  to fight the BS that is spreading.

  20. Well Phil,   I woke up today feeling pretty good till I read your post.   Also, my insurance agent, the guy I trust to protect me, sent me the very same RFK Jr. article and asked me if I thought it was true.  

  21. jeffl – the amount of margin of short options depends on several factors . If you haven’t already, I recommend reading TDA’s Margin Handbook (, page 12 looks at “Equity Straddles” and goes over examples of short calls and short puts for each part of a straddle.

  22. U.S. food banks run short on staples as hunger soars

  23. jeffl – page 11 of that guide (“uncovered equity options”) has the examples for what you’re asking (page 12 is for straddles, etc.).

  24. thank you  ted

  25. If anyone needs, I can get a fairly unlimited supply of 3M 1860 N95 masks for about $4 (50,000 or more per order).  


    Been busting my ass to round these up in NY/NJ for the Government and finally found a good supply but the prices are outrageous compared to $1.25 usual retail.  Still, the reality is people don't have these masks in stock and these are the ones that can be cleaned and reused up to 5x.

    If your community has other mask needs or you want to go into the mask business – try Alibaba!

    WBA/Jeff – Maybe it's got something to do with the size of your account but I get this:

    And our hedge fund pays much less than that!  And no, there's no adding – that's the total margin requirement.   It's $5.55 in margin less the $3.75 you collect = $1.80 in net buying power.

    And what Ted said! 

    Misinformation fighting/StJ – It's a new growth industry!  

    Sorry Stockbern – I was in a good mood too until I saw what Trump said.  It's so scary who I see posting that nonsense on FB and Twitter.  You can see how Fascists start driving those wedges.  Another one I got today is "Why are the Democrats insisting the Kennedy Center get funding – the Kennedy's can afford to fund it."  How do you even begin to answer that without seeming condescending?  

  26. Does anyone have a account at tastyworks  ?

    Is is as good as TOS ?


  27. Fair and balanced news here at PSW.    posted 11:20 am

    Why Jared Kushner is the man to help win the war on Coronavirus    Oh, I thought he just skimmed several books. 

  28. Phil, what program do you use to track your portfolios? 

  29. Tastyworks/qcmike – I have an account at TW. Strike selection in the option grid is better. You can drag the legs around. Much simpler than manipulating the drop-down menus in TOS. But, that is about it. Charting is minimal, analyzing trades is a bit clunky. It really is more suited to the tastytrade-style of trading. Commissions are $1 + fees per contract on entry (I think they have a max per leg). Closing orders are free (+ fees). It ends up being the same as TOS's $0.65.

    I find it is easier to play around with spreads (width, strikes) on TW

    I would try it out. It is different. Tom Sosnoff built TOS so he knows what he's doing. 

  30. Margin — interesting, so I see ($300) buying power effect in my TD Ameritrade account for the same order, which means it's using the 10% calculation method: 10% x $30 strike x 1 put x 100 + market value of option ($3.75 x 100), which is $675, and then -$375, which is the net credit you get for the sale of the put, total $300 of margin.

    Phil – No idea how you get $181 of margin, though.

  31. AYTU/UV Light:  This might have been what Trump was referring to when he talked about "opening up the body to UV Light" a company called AYTU BioSciences (ticker: AYTU) has developed a technology called "Healight": 

    Cedars-Sinai-Developed ‘Healight’ Medical Device Platform Technology Being Studied as a Potential First-in-Class COVID-19 Treatment

    "The Healight technology employs proprietary methods of administering intermittent ultraviolet (UV) A light via a novel endotracheal medical device. Pre-clinical findings indicate the technology’s significant impact on eradicating a wide range of viruses and bacteria, inclusive of coronavirus.

    'Our lab at Cedars-Sinai has extensively studied the effects of this unique technology on bacteria and viruses. Based on our findings we believe this therapeutic approach has the potential to significantly impact the high morbidity and mortality of coronavirus-infected patients and patients infected with other respiratory pathogens. '"

    Stock itself looks like a penny stock. 

    Any opinion on this, Pharma and doctors?

  32. Ted It looks like PM Margin and as well it depends what you already you have of WBA in your portfolio.

  33. Yodi – ah, I had heard about PM (for those interested, description here:, but wasn't familiar with it. Maybe I'll sign up for it, but I'd also have to take a test! And I'm not sure I want to be able to unintentionally lose lots of money.

  34. Ted The test is prity taugh I remember 2 or three worng answers ans you failed.

    It is mostly good for short puts and calls. Otherwise you wise to better stay with normal margin.

    Minimum cash requirements aswell.

  35. Phil:

    Just put this VIAC trade on.  Wondering how I did in your opinion.  Thanks.

    Bot 30 Jun '22 $5 Call @ $11.46

    Sold 30 Jun '22 $15 Call @ $6.17

    Sold 20 Jun '22 $17 Put @ $7.30

  36. daveo



  37. Why is IRBT flying higher?

  38. Surely the clown hit the news in Europe with his latest Lysol injection. He could not make himself a greater idiot. Please look this man up!!!!

  39. Kushner/Stock – I always strive to present both sides.  No matter how wrong the other side is…

    Tracking/Jbiz -

    Margin/Ted – Might be some kind of factor of how much is in the account or maybe because it's a very old account operating under old rules?  I don't know.  I do know our HF account is much newer though and uses PM and is generally 60-75% less margin than that.

    AYTU/Kinki – While you are reading their press releases, take some time for this too:

    INVESTOR ALERT: Law Offices of Howard G. Smith Announces Investigation of Aytu BioScience, Inc. (AYTU) on Behalf of Investors

    SHAREHOLDER ALERT: Pomerantz Law Firm Investigates Claims On Behalf of Investors of Aytu BioSciences, Inc.  - AYTU

    AYTU INVESTIGATION: Bronstein, Gewirtz & Grossman, LLC Notifies Investors of Investigation of Aytu BioSciences, Inc.

    Aytu BioScience Investigated for Possible Securities Laws Violations; Investors Who Lost Money Should Contact Block & Leviton

    Aytu BioScience Regains Compliance with NASDAQ Minimum Bid Price Requirement

    Aytu Announces $9.0 Million Registered Direct Offering Priced At-the-Market

    Aytu Announces $20 Million Registered Direct Offering Priced At-the-Market

    As far as I can tell, the company inserts themselves into any fad that comes along and then does a publicity blitz and raises money.  They use some of the money to buy drug lines with a bit of revenue to legitimize their operations but none of this activity makes a profit, of course.  The Covid test they are pushing is one they just licensed, not something they developed themselves.  Even the article you sent said AYTU singed a license FROM Cedars-Sinai to develop and commercialize Cerars' Healight System.  I can't imagine why Cedars would have signed with them though…

    This is just people chasing after miracle cures in the fact of a terrifying illness.  The problem is that the President of the US is a rube who sits on his toilet reading tweets from other wing-nuts who send this sort of unproven nonsense around to each other the same way they send out tweets on miracle diets and 3-headed babies. 

    PM/Ted – Nothing to mess around with as you can easily blow up an account if you are not careful.  Same as 5x margin from IB. 

    VIAC/Hicket – Well it's all about picking a reasonable target and $17 is not very ambitious. Net $1,270 is a nice entry but keep in mind you are obligating yourself to own 2,000 shares at $17 ($34,000) plus the $1,270 you may lose on the rest of the spread but, as long as you are comfortable with that – why not as you have a $30,000 spread that's almost 100% in the money to start out with.  It is an aggressive put, however so, unless you are going to be THRILLED to get assigned at $17 when the stock is at $5 and buy 4,000 more shares for $5 (still a $9 average) and then sell 2024 $7 calls for $2 to at least get to a place where you'll get out even one day – then I'd keep a tight stop on 1/2 the short puts (if VIAC can't hold $15).   

    IRBT/Jeff – That's a nice Earnings Portfolio play for us.  JPM just cut them to underweight but earnings are next week so most likely someone thinks they are going to do well.

    IRBT Short Call 2022 21-JAN 65.00 CALL [IRBT @ $54.72 $3.54] -20 10/22/2019 (637) $-20,400 $10.20 $3.45 $-6.20     $13.65 $1.73 $-6,900 -33.8% $-27,300
    IRBT Short Put 2022 21-JAN 40.00 PUT [IRBT @ $54.72 $3.54] -10 10/23/2019 (637) $-13,000 $13.00 $-2.20     $10.80 - $2,200 16.9% $-10,800
    IRBT Long Call 2022 21-JAN 30.00 CALL [IRBT @ $54.72 $3.54] 20 3/23/2020 (637) $34,000 $17.00 $12.20     $29.20 $2.70 $24,400 71.8% $58,400

    It's a $70,000 spread and we are blazing along at net $20,300 so "only" $49,700 (244%) upside remaining on our trade, which was one of the first ones in our portfolio back in October and we started with a bull call spread but then they went lower the next day so we sold puts and we rolled the calls lower when the market dipped.  

    Top Trades for Tue, 22 Oct 2019 14:37 – IRBT

    IRBT took a pounding this year, back to $56.  That's just $1.5Bn and they are good for $85M/yr in earnings – so 20x.  We used to like them but bailed at $90 – and then they went up to $130 before finally falling apart.  As with most stocks – if you wait long enough – they go on sale again.

    IRBT spun out their military stuff so it's all consumer robots and they have a lot of competition now but business is still growing about 10% a year and would be doing better if not for trade war (most of their stuff is made in China and tariffed at 25%).  

    They are still in the tariff storm so I don't expect great things here but long-term they should recover so I do like the 2022s and we can play the following:

    • Buy 10 IRBT 2022 $50 calls for $19 ($19,000)
    • Sell 10 IRBT 2022 $65 calls for $13 ($13,000)

    That's a simply net $6,000 on the $15,000 spread so $9,000 (150%) of upside at $65 and we're $6,000 in the money to start.  If IRBT does well and pops, we're well on the way to a 150% gain in two years and, if it is flat or down, I have my eye on selling 5 of the 2022 $45 puts, now $10 ($5,000) to drop our net to $1,000 but 150% is very good money and $6,000 is not much to tie up and the margin on 5 short puts is $2,253 so we don't NEED to save the money so there's no sense taking a risk before we have more facts, is there?


    IRBT bounced fast so, officially, in the Earnings Portfolio, we're selling 5 of the 2022 $40 puts for $9 ($4,500).

    Submitted on 2020/03/20 at 1:23 pm

    IRBT – This should be a good bottom as $40 is just over $1Bn and they make just under $100M so 10x earnings on strong growth is great.  Maybe no growth this year but so what?  The short calls are ridiculous but we can roll the 10 2022 $40s at $12 ($12,000) to 20 of the $30s at $17.50 ($35,000) and sell 10 of the $65 calls for $7 ($7,000) and 5 more of the $40 puts for $15 ($7,500) so that's net $8,500 spent to turn a $25,000 spread that was at the money into a $70,000 spread that's $20,000 in the money.

    The problem is, you have to be willing to do those DD moves when the chart looks like this:

    And the news looked like this:

    |About: iRobot Corporation (IRBT)|By: , SA News Editor 

    IRobot (NASDAQ:IRBT) says it plans to report Q1 revenue of $175M to $185M vs. $210M consensus.

    The company also discloses that its request for an exclusion for its Roomba robot vacuum products from Section 301 tariffs has advanced to "stage 3" of the exemption process.

    Due to the uncertain environment amind the coronavirus outbreak, iRobot is withdrawing its full-year guidance issued in February.

    IRBT -1.15% AH.

    Source: Press Release

  40. The Gates attacks started when Gates was in a "fake news media" interview and openly laughed about an exchange he'd had with trump being unable to differentiate between HIV and HPV. The current divide in America is not about facts or science versus faith (or whatever fantasy the "other side" is). It's about identity. Gate's comments identify him as an intellectual who as openly mocking their anti-intellectual leader. The anti-intellectuals identify with Dump, therefore Gates was attacking THEM. The sincerity of the mistake should be noted: HPV and HIV are very different sexually transmitted disease. Had this mistake been easy to make that no one would give a shit about, say like the difference between King Louie the 16th and King Louie the 14th, this whole thing would've blown over and there would've been far less backlash. The fact is anti-intellectuals are incapable of making this distinction when they know they should be able to do so.

    Assault on identity is the MOST powerful political force currently. It can be used by those in power to victimize themselves despite the fact they are in power. Identity touches very close to anxiety, the most fragile and powerful emotion experienced by humans. Anxiety is the driver for almost all negative behavior: drug issues and abuse, anorexia, hoarding, OCD, over-eating, fears (like flying), they are all ultimately manifestations of the same mechanism: to manage or avoid anxiety. 

    A human being will do almost ANYTHING to avoid anxiety. Watch an episode of "Hoarders," "Intervention," or "My 600-lb Life." The psychological driver for their relative pathologies are identical. As a viewer, one wonders, my Lord, how can you sit there in that pile of trash, a literal landfill and not change your life (or drug habit, or OCD, or weight problem, etc, etc). NO amount of potential happiness or even one's own life being at stake is incentive enough to cessate anxiety avoidance behavior. This has been proven so many times over but doesn't need to be honestly: raise your hand if you've ever dealt with an addict.

    60% of this country is overweight. 40% are obese. This is shocking on so many levels. How can people care about who is president if they don't care about themselves, I mean, really if they literally hate themselves? Through this prism, attacking Gates isn't the least bit shocking at all. Their identity is being threatened and free will takes over: attack this man! Get the drug into the body! Dump's base are rage addicts. It's like a drug. The form it comes in is NOT RELEVANT. The further from the facts the better. The outrage is better. The drug is better. 

  41. Trump said Lysol! Outrageous! Facts! Science! I just roll my eyes at this. You're getting played by the way, and Trump's winning. Trump is transactional and he uses these transactions to incrementally figure out what he can get away with so he can push the boundaries of the new normal we live in, the bifurcation of America into a Good Side and  a Dark Side. A binary world, one with facts and science and one with Nigerian Prince scam emails. The emails work or they wouldn't have sent them. They are outrageous to the point of being silly. But. They. Work. 

    Trump promoted his fraudulent AVN pyramid scheme in 2009 right when people were at their most vulnerable. But the people showed up. They knew it was a pyramid scheme and they sat there and chanted "money money money." 

    Trump trails by 8% in the polls and still at 51% for "re-election." You don't want to lose heart muscles on this clown like Yodi said. He's a bona fide human piece of shit. His supporters are shit. Just like hillary said. They are violent criminals they show you in plain view the violence they intend to inflict on you if you stand up to them.

  42. So what BDC, you suggest we ignore it?  That's worked so well since 2016 hasn't it?  If the people in this country don't grow a spine and draw a line at what behavior is unacceptable (and unPresidential) then we are doomed as a nation.  

    Yes, people want to be left alone with their steel-belted radials and their color TVs (as I quoted yesterday) and that's human nature – they want to be left alone.  What separates us from the animals is the SOCIETY we've built but that Society requires effort to maintain – group effort.

    We need to be better than that – you need to be better than that.

  43. Tastyworks/qcmike – Agree w/what Daveo says about TW. I've moved 3 accounts to TW and only have 1 remaining at TOS.  

  44. Learn from history, BDC.

    In an article on September 21 that year, the Observer echoed the widely held belief on the left that Hitler was the creature of big capital. It saw the real dangerman not as Hitler, but as the media tycoon and leader of the German National People's party, Alfred Hugenberg. The "Hugenberg manoeuvres", it stated, had aimed to promote both Communists and Nazis as a vehicle to weaken the organised working classes. "Hugenberg, and not Hitler, will ultimately call the Nazi tune."

    A week later, the newspaper dismissed Hitler as "dramatic, violent and shallow", and "a lightweight", seeing him as "not a man, but a megaphone" of the prevailing discontent, fronting a militarist reaction, which would mean the destruction of peace. The newspaper went on to claim, remarkably, that Hitler was "definitely Christian in his ideals", and, even more strangely, that these matched the ideals of German Catholics.

    The Guardian maintained its view, however, that Hitler, "while full of the verbiage of revolution", was "no revolutionary leader". It claimed that he lacked courage, and that his baleful threats before the Leipzig court raised unnecessary fears, while his assurances of proceeding legally had hardly been noticed. It dismissed him on September 29 1930 as "the ranting clown who bangs the drum outside the National Socialist circus". Few things, the newspaper had remarked three days earlier, were less likely than that Hitler would gain sole power in Germany.

    Consistently playing down Hitler's importance and viewing him as a reactionary inevitably meant that the final machinations that brought him to power on January 30 1933 were seen as the "victory" of the reactionary forces of German nationalism.

  45. PSW subscriptions prevent you from getting coronavirus!  Does anyone here have it?  SEE!!!

  46. Phil / Hitler – the only difference between Trump and Hitler is 25% unemployment.

    He's getting exactly what he wants.

  47. Trump cultists explained quite well here.

    This is key: "The way to escape a mind control cult's power and influence is for a person to find a way to access who they were before they got involved in the cult."

  48. Bio By the time this clown is finished, Hitler will look like a good man!!!!

  49. Phil,

    Thoughts about GE? Trading around $6. Do you think it has value?

  50. Well, to some extent, we're closing well today (so far) so the gains are a bit of a buffer and we do have new hedges but these are the positions I'm strongly considering killing as they are too risky:


    • THC – I'm not sure hospitals are making money as they have to turn the entire place into biohazard wards and they can't do profitable surgical work.  It will come back one day but not sure when.  
    • ALK – Can't see risking an airline stock without more clarity – this one is certainly going.
    • DFS – I'm a bit worried on defaults and such.  Need to do more research.
    • FCX – Infrastructure looks far down the list.  
    • IMAX – If they had longer options maybe, but not worth it with short-term. I'd rather buy more DIS but I'm worried about them too if they lose the summer. 
    • LB – With the deal off the table I think maybe we don't risk it.
    • VALE – Same as FCX, may never be infrastructure.

    Dividend Portfolio:

    • TD – We got out on LTP, need to dump these too.
    • NLY – Might take longer than we want to wait to turn around. 

    Future is Now:

    We made no changes and we're up 7% for the week!

    Money Talk - I'm on Wednesday but taping Monday so:

    • FCX – Same reason 
    • IMAX – Same reason

    Butterfly Portfolio: 

    • DIS – I'm still inclined to stay in but I'll have to recheck a lot of stuff
    • X – Another one I'm not sure the infrastructure will come but so cheap it's hard to ditch.  

    Earnings Portfolio:

    • CLF – Infrastructure again
    • HRB – We're at the money but I'm not comfortable with them.
    • IMAX – Same problem

    Since I'm very close to going totally back to cash, it's very likely I'm going to want to kill all of these on Monday. 

    GE/Aug – I was going to take them but no infrastructure (in the US) and no aircraft business is very hurtful so I'd like to see earnings first.  That will be next Wednesday. 

  51. /USO/Phil

    U.S. Oil Fund to register an additional 4B shares In a regulatory filing, United States Oil Fund stated: "USO intends to attempt to continue tracking USO's benchmark as closely as possible, however, in the current market and regulatory environment, significant tracking deviations can be anticipated to occur above and beyond the differences that historically occurred when the primary investment was the Benchmark Futures Contract and light, sweet crude oil futures contracts of the same month traded on ICE Futures. In addition, the types of permitted investments that USO invests in as a result of regulatory and limits imposed by its futures commission merchants in trying to approximate its investment objective such as later months in Oil Futures Contracts than the tenor of the Benchmark Futures Contract are and will likely to continue to experience greater effects from contango. While it is USO's expectation that at some point in the future it will return to investing in the Benchmark Futures Contract or other similar futures contracts of the same tenor based on light, sweet crude oil, there can be no guarantee of when, if ever, that will occur. As a result, investors in USO should expect that there will be continued deviations between the performance of USO's investments and the Benchmark Futures Contract and that USO may not be able to track the Benchmark Futures Contract or meet its investment objective, which is for the daily percentage changes in the NAV per share to reflect the daily percentage changes of the spot price of light, sweet crude oil, as measured by the daily percentage changes in the price of Benchmark Oil Futures Contract, plus interest earned on USO's collateral holdings, less USO's expenses. The inability to closely track the Benchmark Futures Contract and the impact of higher levels of contango will impact the performance of USO and the value of its shares. On April 24, 2020, USO intends to file a Pre-effective Amendment to its Registration Statement filed with the Securities and Exchange Commission on April 13, 2020 to register an additional 4 billion shares, aggregating the total amount to be registered to 8 billion shares. While USO has received a no review letter from the SEC with respect to the originally filed registration statement, that was prior to the Pre-effective Amendment being filed today. The Registration Statement must be declared effective by the SEC and the prospectus included therein is a Disclosure Document that must be approved before use by the National Futures Association."

    Read more at:

  52. Seems like all they did is drop the front month (now June) to 40% and raise the 4th month (Sept) to 20% – not sure how that will fix anything.  

  53. Phil

    What do you think of AMZN, Inc.

    Any trade ?


  54. Phil, 

    I'm curious, what do you think the airline industry needs to do to get people back? Do you believe this will lead to a fundamental change in the business model? Airlines can offer masks, Purell, temperature scans etc but is that enough? Maybe plastic shields between seats…I can tell you this, not filling the middle seat is not a long term solution.. No airline can make money at 60-65% load factors….Thoughts?

  55. FCX is up big also.  Someone must have liked their earnings.

  56. Phil

    i have some spreads on SDS.   The short calls are about 25% down from what i collected.  Should i use that profit to roll the 30s out to say 35s?  Is that overtrading or making good use of an up day on the S&P?

  57. Las Vegas/Phil – it's not just planes that go to LV, here in LA there are hordes of buses running there – or there were. Mostly people who'd rather not drive, so older folks, tourists on a budget. A lot of those gambler buses don't go to Vegas, though, probably most of them go to the closer casinos, and those must be in pain. Quite a few are Indian casinos; I hope they've stashed away funds for times like this…….I would've prepared for wildfires and earthquakes at least, and I'll bet they did too.

  58. Phil

    On the N95 mask is there a way to order maybe 50 mask

    I am need to travel in sept. 4 hour flight and 2 hours van ride

    As crazy as it sounds I could use  the Mask on the flight


  59. its amazing that trump is even successful hes not even a good liar  "sarcasm ya right" inject Lysol lol

  60. AMZN/QC – I think they ran their course.  I certainly wouldn't gamble into earnings up here.  We had some short puts and took them off the table rather than risk blowback.

    Airlines/Sun – I think putting in a nice air filtering system will help on the planes – something  they could have done long ago.  At the airports, for now, they'll need to screen people for fever at least.  This is only for 6 months and we'll either have a vaccine or herd immunity by next year.  It will be a long time before people are willing to fly or maybe they'll just have to make air travel 50% more expensive and take out those middle seats.

    FCX/Jeff – Yes, very nice, perfect time to get out.  It was an 0.16 loss vs 0.22 loss expected – not the kind of beat I'd bet the farm on!

    SDS/Potter – I think it's over-trading.  Do you change your life insurance every time you get a fever?  Just make sure you are well-hedged and protecting your downside.  

    Casinos/Snow – Total disaster.  I stopped playing poker very early in the virus cycle.  Imagine how many people touch those chips!  Same goes for all the table games (same chips) and the whole thing is not much less crowded than a concert – and don't forget the actual shows they put on.  DISASTER!

    Masks/QC – Sorry but the guys I'm dealing with are massive bulk – I don't have them for myself or anything – I'm just facilitating some orders.  I'm sure between now and Sept AMZN will have them – you just have to keep checking.  Or use Alibaba.  They sell smaller quantities.

    Well, we had a nice strong finish so that's our buffer going into the weekend.  We can print up our 1,000,000 hats for next week (886,213 now, 50,780 deaths).

    Have a great weekend, 

    - Phil

  61. Sundevils – YES!

    Abandon the cattle class carrier model of the Before Times. Turn entire cabins into Emirates-style first class pods. Charge more. There's no point in chasing 60% traffic volume that's never returning so why bother. Instead, chase the top 40% and turn the game into a perks endeavor. Modern inequality favors this anyhow. The only business model now is to make the top 10% to the top 1% (above that they fly private) feel safe and special at the same time. Give them plastic bulkhead separators, masks and Purell and the whole nine. According to this graphic, 14 pod seats take up about as much as 100 economy seats. A SWA cattle plane with 175 seats = 24 pods. If the average Boston to Seattle fare is $350 then SWA collects $61250 and now they would need to charge $2450 for the same result.

    Also, one idea I've had is to turn seats into "options" (tradable assets among individuals). This turns airline's inefficient yield management into fair market price discovery (via open market efficiency).  Someone buys a seat but instead of having complicated change fees they can simply sell the seat. So it doubles for insurance, change fees, and all of that stuff necessary for a proprietary, one-way trading system, which can now all replaced by individuals making decisions (pricing their own risk). No more overbooking. The airline could care less if the purchaser never was able to resell the ticket and also chose not to fly, the "option" expires worthless and there's no one in the seat (but no one would ever do that, instead they'd clear it out at the last minute to someone else in the clearinghouse even if it was cut rate).

  62. By the way, indications are that 15-20% of the population in large cities have antibodies for the virus.  That means probably 50% by July and that means we could end up with a bifurcated population of people who (assuming you can't be re-infected) can go out and travel etc. and people who can't.  That will be interesting!  

    If that happens, I predict most people under 40 will say "F it" and go out anyway and that will leave 50% of the people over 40 (maybe 70M out of 330M) who are afraid to go out and a good 1/3 of them will say "F it" and either get sick or won't and that will leave maybe 40M people, mostly seniors but including me – who is pretty old (57) and overweight (xxx) and doesn't feel the reward of freedom outweighs the risk of exposure.  

    Economically though, we'd be very much on the way to full recovery in that case because I can afford to be afraid and be a shut-in but other high-risk people, who have to go out to make a living – are going to say "F it" and roll the dice anyway. 

    That's essentially the desired outcome of flattening the curve.  You aren't preventing people from getting the virus – just spreading it out over time so it's manageable for health care, funeral parlors and insurance companies.

  63. Careful BDC, you are in sync with the President there – he wants the government to buy 3 years worth of airline tickets to inject cash and then they will sell them off to the public.  Maybe if you send him a note he'll make you Secretary of Transportation – I'm sure there's an empty seat there as well.

  64. Phil – I am fighting it! That's the problem I have – the people that are fighting it wrong blame me first. What you go tout of my commentary is that I want to just sit here? Pleas tell me, and be very exact, where I said that in my commentary. Spare me the Hitler anaogy. 

    The "fight" against hitler failed, at least from the perspective of the german people that had to crawl out of the ruins of post-way germany and figure out what the happened. His Death Cult was so blindly manipulated they still shouted his name as their neck snapped in Nuremberg months after Hitler took his own life. For german woman, aged 8 through 58, they were raped into oblivion by the storming Soviet army. However, this created an entire generation of people sympathetic to democracy and antagonistic to cults, something we seem to be forgetting in the modern anti-intellectual internet age.

    So that's what you're saying right? That's what needs to happen in our country?

  65. You can't buy an airline ticket if it's not for sale. Anyway, why would the government get involved.

  66. Masks / QC – If you go on Amazon, and Search for both the N95 and K95 masks you'll find some.  In Feb I bought 20 of the n95 for 80 Dollars…. However just 3 weeks ago noticed that if you bought higher quantities you you could a good deal as long as you are willing to wait.   I bout 200 of the K95 makes for 100 dollars – took three weeks to get here but they are arrived and a fine..  

  67. Phil call me 917 836 6789 for the masks

  68. Biden should let Trump self-destruct

  69. ‘A Perfect Storm’ in Brazil as Troubles Multiply for Bolsonaro

  70. Happy Sunday Folks! As promised…here is my new post on Arena Pharmaceuticals.  

    I am playing the December $60/70 BCS, selling a few puts OTM short dated to help pay down the spread. You can drive a truck through the spread, but if you can pick it up for < $2.75, that works.  

  71. Europe prepares to ease lockdown measures

  72. Great Plague of Marseille – Wikipedia

  73. Phil or Anyone,  I can no longer read most of the news linked on PSW.  I have all ready read my 4 free stories on The New York Times, Bloomberg, Barrons, Wall Street Journal, Washington Post and on and on. Is there anyway around this?


  74. Stockbern    I'm in the same boat, I was looking at the Apple News app for $10 a month as the best aggregate option. Any other opinions?

  75. Pharmboy – The link provided for your writeup on Arena Pharmaceuticals generates an error message:

    You do not have permission to preview drafts.

    Has the article been posted somewhere else on the website? Thank you

  76. Eric.  Pharmboys article is on the PSW main page.