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Which Way Wednesday – Testing the 10% Line on the S&P 500

Here we are again.

We blasted back to the 10% line at 3,135 yesterday but failed to hold it and we'll try again this morning in a very forgiving Futures market as the Fed's Powell made enough good noises yesterday about the Fed's Infinite Balance sheet that the bulls don't think there's much to worry about.

As I've mentioned, I live in Florida and over 2,700 people came down with the virus yesterday in one of the most open states in the Nation and 7.5% of the people are now testing positive for the virus but, keep in mind, that's a bit skewed towards people who think they have the virus anyway.

Just to the south of us, 34,918 people caught the virus yesterday in Brazil, about 1/4 of the 139,479 people who caught the virus around the World – one of the worst days on record.  In the New York Times this morning, Thomas Friedman, who has 3 Pulitzer Prizes, asks: "Is Trump Trying to Spread Covid-19?" and he makes a good point.  The President literally would seem to need a panel of experts who are advising him to do the WORST possible thing to contain the virus every day.  Literally NOTHING would be better than what this Administration is doing to the American people.

We are miles past Vietnam (70,000) in American lives lost to Trump's incompetence and we're heading towards World War II's 405,000 American deaths and, after that, only the Civil War (620,000 casualties) would be able to top the disaster we are facing now in this country.  We'll see what the President has to say about this on Saturday, when he holds an indoor rally for 20,000 people in Tulsa, OK – an event some are predicting will become a "Super-Spreader" as people are coming from all over the country to gather and infect each other so they can take it back to their home towns.  BRILLIANT! 

Tulsa County already had 89 new cases on Monday, the most ever, with active cases climbing from 188 to 532 in the past week as the county re-opens in preparation for the rally.  Keep in mind, those are just the cases they know about – there could be thousands of locals at the rally who are infected and just don't know it yet – in an enclosed space, shouting and screaming right next to you.  Have fun!

“There’s just nothing good about this, and particularly in an enclosed arena,” said Karen Keith, a Tulsa County commissioner who oversees the area where the rally is supposed to take place. “I don’t want people to lose a parent. I don’t want them to lose a grandma. I don’t want them to lose a family member over this.”

Epidemiologists are envisioning a worst-case scenario for viral spread. The novel coronavirus can transmit through thousands of tiny respiratory droplets that hang in the air indoors, especially when people are talking loudly, laughing, singing and sharing bathrooms.

The president also asserted Monday on Twitter that “Almost One Million people” had requested tickets for the event.

The longer people linger in a contaminated area, the more virus particles they can inhale, and Mr. Trump’s political speeches often last more than an hour.

Mr. Trump said on Monday that criticism of the rally was the result of the news media “trying to Covid Shame us on our big Rallies.”

We're going to be reviewing our portfolios this week into options expiration on Friday and I'm very inclined to pull the plug, or at least add a LOT of hedges as even our little Hemp Boca Portfolio is up almost 40% for the year.

That's right, Macy's, Molson's and Marijuana – who'd have thought it would be such a winning combination in a small ($50,000) portfolio?   Well, we did, of course!


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  1. Good morning, All! 

    Join Phil at 1pm (EST) for today's webinar, here:

  2. It's no secret that I'm conservative. Far right of Trump even, since he's a lifelong democrat with an elephant mask. But talking to conservative friends that watch conservative news media, and listen to Trump, they've got some of the most bizarrely unscientific ideas about COVID-19. The best I've heard recently was that, because it's basically just like the flu, most people are already immune. Even after I whipped out the internet and explained that the two viruses literally have nothing in common and are almost, but not quite, as far apart as two viruses can be in terms of biological classification, the best I could get was that while my argument *sounded* convincing, he was still pretty sure that he had some immunity. So I said yeah, right and by that flawed logic you're clearly immune to the Ebola virus as well. I give up. 

    Phil – you aren't going to turn me into a liberal (sorry, people should not be insulated from the consequences of their choices by the ever-flowing teat of mother government) but shit, we are definitely fucked. Otherwise seemingly intelligent people (or at least smart enough to go to the bathroom without pissing down their legs) are totally sucked into these Trumpian superstitions. I don't know what else to call them. It's madness. Everyone has just stopped thinking for themselves. Fox leads half the population around by the nose while CNN and MSNBC leads the other half. Fucking sheep. I guess everyone has become such a slave to confirmation bias that they're unable to discern truth from lies anymore. 

  3. Call it the "Tulsa" experiment, or as Trump would call call it "Thinning the herd and getting herd immunity." Always put a positive spin on every lame brain idea. Dawg-being "at the mother government teat" is fine for the 1% isn't it? Just let the losers keep losing because "that's what they deserve" because they don't work hard enough! Truly amazing how low this country keeps sinking.

  4. Spectrum/Dawg – I think it's no secret that I"m loony radical, far to the left of Bernie (which isn't that far left anyway), but, mate, there's conservative, which we need to have in balanced society, and there's harmfully superstitious – not quite the right term, but the science denier crowd….really harmful. Anyway, glad you're not among 'em, they're clearly dangerous as there're so many.

  5. Dawgydaddy. That's really the issue.  Facts are no longer absolute. They have been replaced with feelings and opinions supported by echo chambers (on both sides). That's why this virus is so dangerous. Not only is it in itself very effective at transmission (kill a few and move on) it has arrived at a time when people are uniquely vulnerable due to wilful ignorance of science. Someone tried to convince me the other day that eggs were dairy and said we should agree to disagree. I give up. 

  6. Both sides / Dawg – But one side does not deny science. It's a critical difference. There is confirmation bias on policies, ideology. But not on scientific facts. Conservatives now are more akin to a cult from the middle ages than a political party and that's really, really scary and dangerous.

  7. Good Morning.

  8. malsg-there is no cure for ignorance except education. I am hopeful as more of my family is coming around to seeing and believing FACTS instead of hype. Amazingly the last hold outs are a DR and his wife, a educated nurse!! Both with underlying serious health problems!!! Slowly they are doing a shift. So there is still some hope.

  9. Dawg – That comment "people should not be insulated from the consequences of their choices by the ever-flowing teat of mother government" is so ironic to hear today.

    When was the last time you felt proud to be an elephant?

  10. For republicans, it's not about ideology, it's about the scorecard….


    That's what's wrong with America.

  11. Dawg/Snow

    In " Stricto sensu"  we are here for an investment opinion that takes into consideration Politics, of course, but where we are not biased by it in the way of losing investment opportunities because of political sides or tastes.

  12. Good morning!

    We're rising right along with that 20-day moving average, so keep an eye on that for topping action.  Nasdaq attempting 10,000 again.  AAPL $354! 

    Turning liberal/Dawg - Glad I could be a good influence on you.  Well me and Rachel Maddow….  cheeky

    I Have Seen A Light! GIF - TheBluesBrothers JohnBelushi Koliet ...

    Wow Pirate, Dawg makes one conservative-sounding comment in a very well-balanced introspection that I appreciated reading and you jump on him?  No wonder Conservatives find Liberals so annoying!  Calm down!

    And what StJ said.  

    Eggs/Malsg – That's funny, because it's so sadly true.  Your facts do not TRUMP other people's beliefs and that is how civilization grounds to a halt.  At least the Roman leaders knew all that deity worship was simply a tool to placate the masses….

    Education/Pirate – That's why they've been defunding it all these years, creating the kind of low-IQ population that is susceptible to that kind of politics and then they blame them for not being able to get good jobs.  BRILLIANT!

    Speaking of the market (hear, hear Advill!), rejected again at 10,000 and 3,135 – going to hard to cross if they are synchronized and, as I said, Powell needs to spook people into the 20-year auction today to keep the rates down.

  13. Dawg – I'm glad your here, even if it may feel like the teams are lopsided. I had an interesting experience as a young man, after college, just starting work as a researcher in biotech. There was this hardcore "science only" type of PhD who I, oddly, couldn't disagree more with. He's this and that about the stupidity of religion and the idiocy of non-sciencers and it just rubbed me the wrong way. Science is a process, a mechanism that can be described as the reduction of knowledge to practice. There's nothing, technically, to "believe" in.  And so I ask this guy, you know, looking at the universe, why it exists, where it came from, why humans exist, what life means and why we are here, there's no answers that science provides for. But even more so, there's no mechanism for science to provide those answers. So there's no spirituality to it and I look at this guy and then take an evangelical guy who believes in the "literal translation" of the bible, with Adam and Eve and the Earth being 4000 years old and all of that nonsense, and I see two sides of the same person: set in a way where what they believe establishes their identity (and a recalcitrant ability to use this identity to serve for internal anxieties) and to threaten their belief system threatens their sense of self. Once i could see it this way, the literalist religious actually made more sense to me, that is, why they do it. So extending this to the contemporary situation, COVID comes along and the first thing that needs to be protected is their belief system. 

    It's just as ugly as it is functionless, science without spirituality, as it is vice versa. Something about your post made me think of this. One thing I've learned is always be thinking, and, never think o fothers as "sheep" because I disagree with them.

    But Trump has to go. And that has nothing to do with being liberal or conservative.

  14. CARV – huge BLM bet on microcap 

  15. There's this theory that when you have nothing to lose, chaos only favors you (in economic terms, chaos = volatility), When you're at the bottom, you have nothing to lose. So from a high level, the incumbent party, the current for of the GOP (white nationalists), have everything to lose; 1) they are currently in power, 2) they are a statistically significant minority.

    Enter COVID pandemic: they hunker down, dismiss it as a "flu," and order collectively (apparently) one million tickets to sit in a confined space and spread this flu. This doesn't make sense, but doesn't it??THE "FLU" IS A BETTER OUTCOME THAN VOLATILITY, because volatility doesn't favor them. 

  16. For those weary about the upcoming election, remember that Trump Our King, God and Leader got 62.98M votes (46.1%) to Killiary's 65.85M (48.2%), a net deficit of -2.87M. But somewhat more importantly, only 61.4% of eligible voters showed up meaning trump got 28.3% of the total vote.

    Trump was put into power by 28.3% of the population.

    If you take a look at the 2014 midterm elections, the entire House (which are elected every 2 years) was elected 35M to 25M GOP over Dem gross total votes. In the 2018 midterms, where the Dems picked up 40 seats (most bigly gain ever), the vote was 60M to 50M in favor of the Dems, a 140% increase for them.

    Americans are a wily bunch. They may pray us with teargas and robo-call us into oblivion about dying from COVID if we go vote, but we're going to show up. And that's going to change some stuff around here in 5 months. 

    I predict ~65% participation and 75M votes for the Dem candidate (Biden I guess). Trump may break even, 63M. That's 54.5 to 45.6%, or +8.7% Dem. Trump loses MI, PA, WI (and the election) but also FL, NC and AZ, ME-2, and OH, IA, TX, GA come into play but stay red. The story this cycle will be how remarkably accurate the polls were.

  17. Phil – i know you were working on putting together an income producing fund using options. 

    Got some promotional material today for a fund produced by one of the large Canadian banks (BMO) that uses dividend stocks, short calls and short puts. the ticker is ZPAY. 

    I'm sure your fund would do it much better but at least this shows there must be an appetite for similar products  out there!

  18. I knew Powell wouldn't be helpful.

    Webinar time!

  19. One of the questions I have based on todays discussions is how do we think the markets will react if a democrat wins the presidency? 

    Bio, Dawg and everyone thanks for your thoughts today.  

    crs10  There's an ETF for that, but then you dont get Phil.

  20. Re: June 17th, 2020 at 11:54 am – Biod, I like that comment. 

  21. Yikes, good morning!  

    I was so tired during the webinar I had to cut it short and take a nap…

    Feel much better now but the market does not – down a bit since I passed out.

    Appetite/CRS – Oh for sure.  That's why we're doing it.  Putting money in a bank or a bond is useless – people need something to be able to invest in that pays a reliable income.

  22. trump in hot water bolten says he asked china for hekp getting reelelcted 

  23. Phil- I have food bank tomorrow so it is sometimes hard to keep seeing so many suffering when they have worked HARD their whole lives and now don;t have enough to eat because of this mother government not doing anything to help many in their "golden years." What a joke not getting RX costs under control and other necessities like health care reasonable and available and letting people die without hope. I guess when you see it face to face it makes a big impression.

  24. Coffee – JO/Phil

    In the webinar you mentioned you liked coffee given how low it is now. Can you suggest a bull call spread on JO?


  25. Good morning!

    Trump/Tommy – And then they didn't help him and he blamed them for the virus and banned travel and slapped more tariffs on them?  Come on, that's just foreign policy….

    Food Bank/Pirate – I had my worst days and my best days doing that up in NYC.  I very much understand how you get mad at Dawg when you think about the people who lost their jobs and are getting laughable Government "benefits" and are embarrassed to come in seeking food enough so that their children don't go hungry (again) and then he says "people should not be insulated from the consequences of their choices by the ever-flowing teat of mother government" but that kind of talk comes from ignorance of what's really happening in this World and you have to help educate people like that, not antagonize them into retreating back into the Conservative bubble.

    It's just a talking point and we have to be better than that if we're really going to win this fight in the bigger picture.  That's why I started writing Philstockworld, we have 400,000 unique people a month hitting this site and I have 450,000 Twitter followers and I get on TV and I push for change as best I can.  I got credit for being the first person to popularize the concept of the Top 1% – I think that in itself can be called my life's work – just bringing that group into the light and hopefully, focusing people's attention on what this country's problem really is:  Not racial inequality, but wealth inequality.

    JO/Saguaro – Sure, remind me later. 

  26. I take it back, I'm prouder of the fact that our Morning Report was carried by Forbes for 2 weeks and they got so many complaints from their readers that a "Socialist" was being featured on their web site that had an emergency board meeting and they not only stopped running the Reports but they redacted all the ones they did run.  That was fun!  

    And yes, of course I was purposely provoking their readers.  wink

  27. My only concern is that being a highly politically motivated fellow, your investment criteria are not biased by your political conviction.

    Could you recommend a Koch company? ( I know, none is in the market) base on their merits?

  28. Sure, we play MO and oil companies I find morally repugnant – though I personally to this day don't use either XOM or BP to punish them (but I invested in BP WHILE the oil was still pouring into the Gulf).  Koch is private or I would have gotten them long ago and NAK is an environmental disaster in the making.

    You know me, I've often been accused of being too analytic and not emotional enough – I guess that you can accuse me of the opposite is a sign of personal growth – thanks!  heart

  29. Belief systems are difficult to re-wire. All we can do is wait for these ignorant views to fade away…. and look forward to a better educated and more empathetic tomorrow….