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Thursday Thrills – Democracy in Danger, Market at All-Time Highs

Trump supporters storm Capitol, clash with police; 1 dead | Deccan HeraldWho needs law and order?

Not the stock market.  Despite all the turmoil, the market is still chugging along at the highs.  Of course, the Democrats took control of the Senate yesterday and Mike Pence didn't violate the constitution and certified the election so it looks like our long, National Nightmare will finally come to a close a week from next Wednesday (Jan 20th) but, unfortunately, like many nightmares – the worst part comes just before you wake up.

Did Trump incite the riot that led to an assault on Congress and our Capitol?  We report, you decide:

All of us here today do not want to see our election victory stolen by emboldened radical left Democrats, which is what they’re doing and stolen by the fake news media. That’s what they’ve done and what they’re doing. We will never give up. We will never concede, it doesn’t happen. You don’t concede when there’s theft involved.

Crowd: (07:11)  Fight for Trump! Fight for Trump! Fight for Trump!

We want to go back, and we want to get this right because we’re going to have somebody in there that should not be in there and our country will be destroyed, and we’re not going to stand for that.

You know what the world says about us now? They said we don’t have free and fair elections and you know what else? We don’t have a free and fair press.

Our media is not free. It’s not fair. It suppresses thought. It suppresses speech, and it’s become the enemy of the people. It’s become the enemy of the people. 

You’ll never take back our country with weakness. You have to show strength, and you have to be strong.

We will not be intimidated into accepting the hoaxes and the lies that we’ve been forced to believe over the past several weeks. We’ve amassed overwhelming evidence about a fake election. 

And just like the radical left tries to blacklist you on social media, every time I put out a tweet, even if it’s totally correct, totally correct. I get a flag. I get a flag. And they also don’t let you get out. On Twitter, it’s very hard to come on to my account. It’s very hard to get out a message. 

And we got to get rid of the weak congresspeople, the ones that aren’t any good, the Liz Cheneys of the world, we got to get rid of them. We got to get rid of them.

In Georgia, your secretary of state, I can’t believe this guy’s a Republican. He loves recording telephone conversations. I thought it was a great conversation personally, so did a lot of other … people love that conversation, because it says what’s going on. These people are crooked. They’re 100% in my opinion, one of the most corrupt. 

And Mike Pence, I hope you’re going to stand up for the good of our constitution and for the good of our country. And if you’re not, I’m going to be very disappointed in you. I will tell you right now. I’m not hearing good stories. 

The Republicans have to get tougher. You’re not going to have a Republican party if you don’t get tougher. 

If we allow this group of people to illegally take over our country, because it’s illegal when the votes are illegal, when the way they got there is illegal

And we fight. We fight like Hell and if you don’t fight like Hell, you’re not going to have a country anymore.

So we’re going to, we’re going to walk down Pennsylvania Avenue, I love Pennsylvania Avenue, and we’re going to the Capitol and we’re going to try and give… The Democrats are hopeless. They’re never voting for anything, not even one vote. But we’re going to try and give our Republicans, the weak ones, because the strong ones don’t need any of our help, we’re going to try and give them the kind of pride and boldness that they need to take back our country.


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  1. Phil / WBA -

    Walgreens Boots Alliance Fiscal 2021 First Quarter Results Exceed Expectations



    Jan. 7, 2021 7:12 am ET





    Company Accelerates Healthcare and Omnichannel Investments 

    First quarter results, year-over-year 

    — Sales increased 5.7 percent to $36.3 billion, up 5.2 percent on a
    constant currency basis

    — Loss per share was $0.36, compared to EPS of $0.95 in the year-ago
    quarter, including a $1.73 per share charge from the company's equity
    earnings in AmerisourceBergen; Adjusted EPS decreased 11.2 percent to
    $1.22, down 11.6 percent on a constant currency basis, reflecting an
    estimated adverse COVID-19 impact of $0.26 to $0.30 per share

    — Net cash provided by operating activities was $1.2 billion, an increase
    of $134 million; Free cash flow was $763 million, an increase of $90
    million, or 13 percent

    Fiscal 2021 outlook

    -- Company maintained guidance of low single-digit growth in adjusted
    earnings per share at constant currency rates.


    Strategic transactions 


    — Company executes portfolio transformation with divestiture of
    pharmaceutical wholesale business. For more information click here.

    — Company accelerates its investment in VillageMD and boosts the
    large-scale rollout of full-service primary care clinics in stores. For
    more information click here.

  2. Phil / WBA - 

    DEERFIELD, Ill.--(BUSINESS WIRE)--January 07, 2021--

    Walgreens Boots Alliance, Inc. (Nasdaq: WBA) today announced financial results for the first quarter of fiscal 2021, which ended Nov. 30, 2020. 

    Executive Vice Chairman and CEO Stefano Pessina said, "Our first quarter results exceeded expectations as we continue to deliver on our strategic priorities. As announced yesterday we have taken a major step forward in our transformation; we are divesting our pharmaceutical wholesale business with plans to use the proceeds to accelerate our investments in healthcare. While the business environment remains challenging, we are rising to the occasion with agility and discipline and we are confident in our outlook for adjusted EPS for the fiscal year. Our role in the healthcare system has never been more important, as the communities we serve continue to turn to our trusted brands and expert pharmacists. I am so proud of our teams and the historic and critical role they are playing to help the world emerge from the pandemic, administering COVID-19 vaccinations to frontline healthcare workers and vulnerable members of our society." 

    Overview of First Quarter Results 

    WBA had fiscal 2021 first quarter sales of $36.3 billion, an increase of 5.7 percent from the year-ago quarter, and an increase of 5.2 percent on a constant currency basis(1) , reflecting growth in Retail Pharmacy USA and Pharmaceutical Wholesale. 

    The company had an operating loss of $440 million in the first quarter, compared to operating income of $1.0 billion in the same quarter a year ago, entirely due to a $1.5 billion charge from the company's equity earnings in AmerisourceBergen. Adjusted operating income was $1.3 billion, a decrease of 9.9 percent from the same quarter a year ago and a decrease of 10.1 percent on a constant currency basis. 


    Net loss attributable to WBA(2) was $308 million for the first quarter of fiscal 2021 compared with net profit of $845 million in the same quarter a year ago. The loss was entirely due to the AmerisourceBergen charge. Loss per share was $0.36, compared to earnings per share (EPS) of $0.95 in the same quarter a year ago. 

    Adjusted net earnings decreased 13.9 percent to $1.1 billion, down 14.3 percent on a constant currency basis, compared with the same quarter a year ago. Adjusted EPS was $1.22, a decrease of 11.2 percent on a reported basis and a decrease of 11.6 percent on a constant currency basis, compared with the same quarter a year ago, reflecting an estimated adverse COVID-19 impact of $0.26 to $0.30 per share. 

    Net cash provided by operating activities was $1.2 billion in the first quarter and free cash flow was $763 million, an increase of 13 percent compared with the year-ago quarter. 

    Company Outlook 

    The company maintained fiscal 2021 guidance of low single-digit growth in adjusted earnings per share at constant currency rates, with the profile skewed to opportunity:

  3. And on to our next conspiracy from our GOP congresspeople – it was a bunch of antifa agitators! Perpetrating the next set of lies!

    In the meantime, the battle flag of the Confederacy flew inside the Capitol for a few hours! Robert E. Lee would be proud!

    And zero arrest inside, these insurrectionists walked in and walked out… During the healthcare debate, they arrested people in wheelchairs in the Capitol. 

  4. Something Different My this morning play 

    WDC WDC210416P47.5 16-Apr-21 47.5 -2 PUT 2.55 2.535 0.59%

    WDC WDC210416C60 16-Apr-21 60 -2 CALL 3.81 3.8 0.26%

    WDC WDC220121C35 21-Jan-22 35 2 CALL 22.1 22.125 0.11%

  5. 16 % by April 21 WDC

  6. WDC

    Entry cost: $3,130.00 (net debit) 

    Maximum risk: $12,629.80 at a price of $0.00 at expiry

    Maximum return: $2,010.00 at a price of $60.00 at expiry

    Breakevens at expiry: $48.76

  7. Good morning!

    WBA/Batman – Well, I'd say that pick is settled.

    Now I have to find another stock nobody believes in….

    By the way, in yesterday's Webinar we talked about a new trade on GOLD before it pops back up.  

    • Sell 10 GOLD 2023 $20 puts for $3 ($3,000)
    • Buy 30 GOLD 2023 $23 calls for $5.75 ($17,250) 
    • Sell 30 GOLD 2023 $27 calls for $4.50 ($13,500) 

    That's net $750 on the $12,000 spread so the upside potential at $27 is $11,250 (1,500%) and all you are doing is obligating yourself to buy 1,000 shares of GOLD at $20.75 (assuming you lose the $750), which is $3.75 (15%) below the current price.  TOS says ordinary margin on the short puts is $1,617 so it's a very margin-efficient way to make $11,250 and a great inflation hedge as well. 

    We don't have GOLD in the LTP anymore so let's do a double order of this (20 puts, 60 spreads) and see how it goes as our first official trade of 2021.

    WBA/Batman – They are avoiding saying "We are going to make a fortune on this virus!"  

    Bigger Chart – It looks like we'll need that 20% line on the S&P as we're clearing 10% in the NYSE.   All boxes are green now and that's a signal that we need to reset our targets (if it holds into next week).

  8. I just put GOLD in Top Trades and I was scrolling down and noticed GS:

    Top Trades for Wed, 14 Oct 2020 10:06 – GS

    Don't forget our GS play from the main post for the LTP:

    There's been some spillover from Main Street to Wall Street as Bank of America's (BAC) profits are down 16% in today's report and Wells Fargo's (WFC) are down 56% but Goldman Sachs' profits almost doubled expectation at $9.68 per $215 share in a single quarter – very impressive.  We don't have much banking in the LTP and GS is a good one (well, evil, but good earnings) so let's add them with the following trade:

    • Sell 5 GS 2023 $165 puts for $20 ($10,000) 
    • Buy 10 GS 2023 $170 calls for $60 ($60,000)
    • Sell 10 GS 2023 $210 calls for $40 ($40,000) 

    That's net $10,000 on the $40,000 spread that's 100% in the money to start and all GS has to do is not be lower than it is today in 2.25 years and we make $30,000 (300%) – aren't options fun?  Our worst-case scenario is owning 500 shares at net $185, 15% lower than the current price and the ordinary margin requirement is just $5,718 – so it's a very margin-efficient way to make $30,000 too!

    Crazy how they took off already.  

  9. I'm liking /ES short at 3,800.

  10. IBM/Phil- We have a few short term short calls, 120 Jan 15th to go with our BCS and puts.

    Are you planning on adjusting this call this week or wait till next week? How will you adjust? Thank you.

  11. IBM/Ravi – We'll roll them next week.  They were $3 higher yesterday so let's see if they calm down some more.

    •'s Monthly Housing Trends report indicate that the December number of homes for sale in the U.S. stood below 700K, an all-time low, for the first time led by active buyers  throughout the holiday season.
    • Typical home spent 13 days lesser on the market than last year.
    • National inventory dropped 39.6% Y/Y while inventory of newly listed properties inched down by 0.8% nationally and grew by 7.6% for large metros over the past year.
    • December national median listing price was $340K (+13.4% Y/Y) down from a summer high of $350K; large metros saw an average price gain of 8.8%.
    • Quick look at the regional statistics:

    • While newly listed properties indicate mixed trends, December trends reflect relief with major dents in areas with large COVID surges, and consistent improvement will be key in order to get out of this extreme shortage.
    • "Looking forward, we could see new lows in the next couple of months as buyers remain relatively active, but a surge of new COVID cases may slow the number of sellers entering the market… eventually expect to see improvements in the supply of homes for sale, especially in 2H20," Chief Economist, Danielle Hale commented.
    • Recent Statista report for indicates that new residential construction in U.S. is to increase by $15B led by home improvements – additions, alterations and major replacements; chart below indicates residential construction (2005-2019) and forecasts (2020-2024):

    • Quick look at revenue statistics of leading home builders - (NYSE:LEN)(NYSE:DHI)(NYSE:TOL)(NYSE:PHM)(NYSE:NVR)(NYSE:MTH) - in past three years. A few others to watch: (NYSE:TMHC)(NYSE:KBH)(NASDAQ:LGIH)(NYSE:CCS)

    • In the upcoming 12 months home price appreciation will increase significantly in the 100 most-populated markets, Veros Real Estate Solution indicated in its latest Q4 2020 VeroFORECAST report.
    • By Q4 2021, the overall average forecast is 5.9%, an additional increase of 0.9 percentage points vs. 5% in the prior quarter, largely driven by the ultra-low interest rates and population migration trends.
    • Freddie Mac Primary Mortgage Market Survey indicated 30-year fixed-rate mortgage rate averages 2.65% for the week ending Jan. 7 vs. 2.67% in the prior year and 3.64% at this time a year ago.
    • The 2020 pandemic could halt housing prices appreciation only for a quarter and then it started appreciating in the subsequent quarters and continues to perform remarkably.
    • "The VeroFORECAST data remains strong into 2021 with almost no major metro area showing notable home price depreciation over the next 12 months," CEO Darius Bozorgi commented.
    • With Western states leading the national price increases, cities in Idaho, Washington, Arizona, Utah, and Colorado comprise the entirety of the top 10 metro areas; appreciation is seen continuing strengthening with Boise up a significant 14.1% by Q4 2021.
    • Pandemic has led geographical trends to reverse with home values rising sharply in large cities on the coasts, where supply is leaner and demand is stronger.
    • S&P Case Shiller Index indicated home prices rose nationally 8.4% Y/Y in October vs. a 7% gain in the prior month and the largest one-month move in more than a decade.

    • Veros believes, home prices across the nation have returned to their pre-pandemic level and will move upward steadily in 2021 as job creation is restored and vaccinations take hold around the country.
    • Also read: December homes for sale fall to all-time low below 700K
    • JPMorgan says it believes three Nikola (NKLA +8.7%) Tre trucks are now in Arizona and are at various stages of commissioning.
    • The process is expected to conclude by the middle part of February.
    • Analyst Pau Coster: "At least one of the trucks is already mobile, but optimal performance requires software-based integration of approximately 20 subsystems, which is an iterative process. The company seems happy with the performance of the trucks, and expects delivery of the next batch (9 trucks) by early February."
    • JPMorgan has an Overweight rating on Nikola and price target of $35.
    • The negative news flow has slowed down for Nikola and the stock is participating in a broad rally in EV stocks today.
    • American Express (AXP -1.0%) shares pare their decline after Wells Fargo analyst Donald Fandetti defends the credit card company, saying the market's reaction to investigations into AXP's sales practices is overdone.
    • "Keep in mind this is not a new issue, it's not their consumer card segment and AXP is already highly regulated," Fandetti writes.
    • AXP had declined as much as 4.3% after the report about the federal probes.
    • Reiterates Overweight rating.
    • Still, "given the election, regulatory risk for financial institutions is higher", so he'll keep be watching carefully.
    • AXP's stock drops soon after WSJ reports on federal probes into business-card sales practices:
    • T-Mobile is up 1.7% in action after preliminary Q4 results of 1.7M net subscriber adds despite a significantly hotter competitive environment.
    • Morgan Stanley has reiterated its Overweight rating off those results. Postpaid phone net additions in particular came in ahead of the firm's expectations – notable not only amid the heightened competitive environment, but with a switching pool that was diminished by the pandemic.
    • It also points to a modest increase in churn, given the inclusion of the Sprint customer base, and says second-half postpaid phone net adds are a positive indicator for the near year. The firm has a $143 price target, implying 7% upside.
    • KeyBanc is also positive on the results, saying the numbers beat its expectations as well. It's reiterating its Overweight rating and a price target of $135.
    • It says read-throughs from T-Mobile's results include a potential risk to Verizon (VZ +0.7%) subs, and potential upside for AT&T (T +0.4%).
    • JPMorgan is constructive on L Brands (LB +6.7%) after taking in the retailer's holiday sales update.
    • The firm keeps LB set with an Overweight rating and raises its price target to $56 (7X the FY22 EBITDA estimate).
    • JP's bull case: "The combination of (i) BBW high-single-digit sustainable long-term growth, (ii) 2H gross profit dollars returning to growth (lapping seven straight quarters of decline with inventory clean), (iii) $400M announced 'net' cost savings through FY20 or 12% of FY19’s expense base, and (iv) 250 VS store closures (= 27% of N/A fleet) with commitment to establish BBW as a pure-play public company and return to shareholder value actions."
    • L Brands reported a 5% jump in comparable sales for the holiday period.

    • Bitcoin's (BTC-USD) crazy run higher breached $40K minutes ago, rising to as high as $40.25K before quickly tumbling nearly 10%. The price at current pixel time is $36.7K.
    • It was in the weeks leading up to and just after Thanksgiving that all were wondering if bitcoin could top the $20K level, and roughly one month later it crossed $40K. To say a correction was in order would be an understatement. The Grayscale Bitcoin Trust (GBTC +3.3%) remains higher on the session.
    • The action today has triggered yet another service disruption at major crypto exchange Coinbase (COINB), which is hoping to come public early this year at a valuation perhaps nearing $30B
    • The latest Fed head to give his take on the economy, Chicago Fed President Charles Evans doesn't see interest rates starting to rise until 2024.
    • That will give inflation time to return to the Fed's inflation target of 2%.
    • "With continuations of labor market improvement, unemployment falling to 4% and hopefully below that, it’s probably going to be 2024 before we see interest rates start to rise," he said in a virtual discussion held by the Wisconsin Bankers and Indiana Bankers Association.
    • It's been a busy morning for Fed officials. James Bullard talked about long-term bond yields rising as the economy strengthens and Patrick Harker and Thomas Barkin see strong growth in H2 2021 without inflation resurging.
    • In a post-earnings look, CFRA Research turns bullish on Constellation Brands (STZ +2.7%) with an upgrade to a Buy rating from Hold and price target boost to $270 from $190.
    • The firm increase its adjusted FY21 EPS estimates by $0.70 to $10.00 vs. $9.50 consensus and by $0.50 to $10.60 for FY22 EPS vs. $10.26 consensus.
    • "We are positive on STZ's pivot toward premium brands and believe the intermediate-term value of its Canopy Growth stake has increased due to shifting prospects surrounding the timing of U.S. federal cannabis deschedulization."
    • Constellation Brand topped earnings estimates earlier today
    • Scotts Miracle-Gro (SMG +4.6%) soars to an all-time high as Truist Securities boosts its stock price target to $250 from $180 while reiterating its Buy rating, citing cannabis legislation possibilities that could come from the incoming Biden administration and Democrat-controlled Congress.
    • "We do not see national legalization on the horizon, but we do believe that improved banking laws and regulations will enable the legal cannabis growers to accelerate hydroponics purchases," which could be a positive for Scotts' Hawthorne unit, the Truist team says.
    • The firm also says the company should benefit from further COVID-19 restrictions, which will keep consumers in their homes and ensuring a strong upcoming lawn and gardening season.
    • Truist also says its "survey work indicates that a high majority of the new entrants to the category in FY20 enjoyed gardening and will continue to garden for the foreseeable future."
    • SMG shares have more than doubled over the last year, and its average Wall Street analyst rating is Buy.
    • Long-term bond yields are likely to rise as U.S. economic growth strengthens, though they're still very low, said St. Louis Fed President James Bullard during Q&A after a virtual speech.
    • "These are extremely low rates no matter how you cut it," Bullard said, pointing out that 10-year Treasury yields are barely over 1%.
    • "With the economy doing better in 2021, you would expect a natural increase in longer-term rates."
    • 10-year yield recently at ~1.08% vs. ~0.92% on Tuesday. The higher rates have helped push up bank stocks, which have underperformed during 2020.
    • The financials sector of the S&P 500 is up 1.8% in midafternoon trading in New York, following information technology (+2.3%) and consumer discretionary (+2.0%).
    • Earlier Thursday, two other district Fed presidents, at separate events, said they're not worried about rising inflation.
    • YouTube (GOOG +2.2%GOOGL +2.5%) – so far notably absent from the social-media conversation around Twitter and Facebook suspending President Trump's accounts – now says it's accelerating enforcement of voter fraud claims.
    • That's a move that could lead to a permanent ban of President Trump on the video platform, Brian Fung notes.
    • YouTube last month said it would begin assigning strikes to channels under a "three-strikes" rule on Jan. 20, but it is apparently starting that policy immediately.
    • A first strike includes a one-week restriction on uploading and live-streaming; three strikes in a 90-day period means a permanent removal from YouTube.
    • Twitter (TWTR -2.2%gave Trump's account a 12-hour block yesterday evening, but it's not clear when the president will be able to resume tweeting. And Facebook (FB +1.7%) today said it would block Trump's accounts indefinitely, and at least for the two weeks remaining until Joe Biden's presidential inauguration.

    • Shopify (SHOP +6.1%) says it has terminated stores affiliated with President Trump after his speech yesterday was followed by the breach of the U.S. Capitol building.
    • "Shopify does not tolerate actions that incite violence. Based on recent events, we have determined that the actions by President Donald J. Trump violate our Acceptable Use Policy, which prohibits promotion or support of organizations, platforms or people that threaten or condone violence to further a cause," updates the online platform.
    • Trump had campaign and personal brand merchandise for sale on Shopify.
    • Shares of Shopify are up more than 165% over the last year and trades above all of its moving averages.
    • Wynn Resorts (NASDAQ:WYNN) cut to sell from buy at Citi mainly on valuation, according to analyst George Choi.
    • With its Macau subsidiary's high exposure to VIP it's hard to justify the 12.4x 2-year forward EV/EBITDA multiple that it's currently trading at; WYNN PT raised to $99 from $88
    • MGM Resorts (NYSE:MGM) cut to neutral from buy as most of the upside from a potential Entaindeal largely “priced in''; PT upped to $32 from $24
    • MGM Resorts down 1.6%
    • WYNN down 0.33%
    • A combination of drugs from Sanofi (NASDAQ:SNY) and Roche (OTCQX:RHHBY) has improved the survival rates and sped up the recovery in critically ill COVID-19 patients, Daily Mail reports, quoting the results of a study published online today.
    • Based on a trial involving 3,900 patients, the combo of Roche’s Actemra (tocilizumab) and Sanofi’s Kevzara (sarilumab) have reduced the mortality rates by 8.5 percentage points among patients hospitalized and severely ill with the disease. Both Actemra and Kevzara are Interleukin-6 (IL-6) receptor antagonists and approved for moderately to severely active rheumatoid arthritis.
    • The death rate has stood at 35.8% in a control group compared to 27.3% among patients receiving either tocilizumab or sarilumab, according to study data that are not yet peer-reviewed.
    • In the study run across 15 countries, the patients treated with either treatment have recovered swiftly, and were discharged from intensive care units around seven to 10 days earlier than those who did not get these drugs, said Anthony Gordon, a professor from Imperial College London who co-led the study.
    • “A crucial difference may be that in our study, critically ill patients were enrolled within 24 hours of starting organ support,” he added, pointing to a potential early opportunity to treat the sickest patients to gain the maximum benefit.
    • However, the drugs individually had a checkered past against COVID-19. In July, Roche announced that Actemra failed to achieve the primary endpoint in Phase 3 clinical trial in adult patients with severe COVID-19. In a global Phase 3 trial in severely or critically ill COVID-19 patients, Sanofi’s Kevzara faced a similar fate as announced in September.
    • Previously, in a WHO-sponsored study, the ant-viral Veklury (remdesivir) from Gilead Sciences' (NASDAQ:GILD) failed to show a treatment benefit, prompting the President of the European Society of Intensive Care Medicine, Jozef Kesecioglu ask the healthcare professional not to use the drug routinely in COVID-19. Remdesivir is fully approved in the U.S. for COVID-19 patients.

    Wow, look who woke up:

    3D Systems up nearly 30% after strong preliminary Q4 numbers

    • American Express's (AXP -3.8%) business-card sales practices are getting attention from federal investigators, the Wall Street Journal reports, citing people familiar with the matter.
    • The inspector general offices of the Treasury Department, Federal Deposit Insurance Corp, and Federal Reserve are looking into whether the credit-card giant used aggressive and  misleading sales tactics to sell cards to business owners and whether customers were harmed.
    • The civil probe is in early stages. They're also reviewing whether AXP's compensation plans encouraged salespeople to cut corners, the people told the WSJ.
    • The Office of the Comptroller of the Currency is also investigation business-card sales practices used by the company, according to people familiar with the probe.
    • In March 2020, the WSJ reported on AXP salespeople misrepresenting card rewards and fees when urging small businesses to sign up for its cards.
    • The certification of the U.S. presidential election by Congress for Joe Biden and Democrat wins in the Georgia Senate races have combined to put another spark in the electric vehicle rally on the expectation for heightened industry support.
    • Today's broad auto rally includes gains from Chinese auto names and key suppliers, with Blink Charging (BLNK +10.0%), Ayro (AYRO +9.6%), XPeng (XPEV +5.3%), Nio Technologies (NIU +12.6%), Li Auto (LI +8.4%), Workhorse Group (WKHS +9.4%), Nio (NIO +6.7%), Nikola (NKLA +7.3%), Electrameccanica Vehicles (SOLO +5.0%), Lordstown Motors (RIDE +3.3%), Fisker (FSR +1.7%), Tenneco (TEN +8.6%), American Axle & Manufacturing (AXL +12.2%), Westport Fuel Systems (WPRT +6.4%) and Superior Industries (SUP +5.5%) all higher.
    • Tesla (NASDAQ:TSLA) is up 6.32% and the EV mother ship printed a new high of $804.02 earlier in the session. The gain was enough to make Elon Musk the richest person in the world on paper.
    • Following up strong U.S. auto sales reports for December, Ford (F +1.4%) and Fiat Chrysler Automobiles (FCAU +1.0%) are having respectable days, but General Motors (GM +0.3%) is lagging. Meanwhile, Toyota (TM -1.0%), Honda (HMC -0.5%) and Nissan (OTCPK:NSANY -1.4%) are in retreat.
    • The electric vehicle is getting larger by the day with Baidu reported to be partnering with Geely and Apple tipped by Morgan Stanley to be a serious contender
    • The Philadelphia Fed institutionally is considered one of the more hawkish regional Fed banks, but President Patrick Harker sounded dovish this morning. Discussing a possible taper of QE purchases, Harker talked about potential "disruption in markets" if the Fed acted too sign to reign in its monthly asset purchases.
    • On inflation: "It's hard to find it in the numbers."
    • Meanwhile in Congress, the Blue Wave has re-ignited talks about $2K stimulus checks being sent out to most Americans on top of the $600 just received.
    • Stocks are having themselves a day, particularly the mega-cap tech names that sold off yesterday for no apparent reason. The Nasdaq is ahead 2.25%, led by 2%-4% gains for Apple, Amazon, Google, Facebook, Microsoft, Nvidia, and Netflix.
    • The S&P 500 is up 1.5%, with the financials joining tech as leading sectors. And newish S&P member Tesla is ahead another 5.7%, pushing Elon Musk ahead of Jeff Bezos as world's richest person.
    • The news is all manna to crypto fans, who have sent bitcoin up 13% to more record highs just shy of $40K.
    • A list of blockchain-related names shows lots of green.
    • Two district Fed presidents don't expect inflation to become a problem this year, they said in comments made Thursday morning.
    • Philadelphia Fed President Patrick Harker: "There’s no signs, in my mind, right now, that inflation is going to go out of control."
    • Meanwhile, his counterpart at the Richmond Fed, Thomas Barkin, sees "continuing disinflationary pressures from global labor markets, technology which enables price transparency and purchasing organizations with market power."
    • He is likely one of the "few participants" mentioned in the Fed's meeting minutes who expected technology-enabled disruption to restrain companies' pricing power.
    • At the December meeting, though, the Fed officials generally expect downward pressures on pricing to abate this year.
    • For the economy overall, Barkin sees a robust H2 as businesses start to return to normal after a slow H1.
    • Q1 growth could turn negative, Harker said. "The good news is that the weakness should stay relatively short lived — as we all hope COVID-19 vaccinations become more widely available," he said.
    • He's more optimistic about H2 as "the economy — and frankly, life — should begin to look more normal."
    • He also doesn't expect the Fed to pull back from its bond purchases until at least very late in the year. At the Dec. 15-16, 2020 FOMC meeting officials agreed to continue with monthly Treasury purchases of up to $80B and MBS purchases of up to $40B.
    • Netflix (NASDAQ:NFLX) is up 2.4%, rebounding from yesterday's off day, after Cowen raised its price target on optimism about the company's fiscal fourth quarter.
    • It's expecting solid subscriber numbers again, with seasonal strength bolstered by ongoing shutdowns, and analyst John Blackledge notes the "elevated pricing power" that should add to average revenue per user.
    • The company is implementing the U.S. price hike it announced at the end of October, and Blackledge says any near-term pressure on subscribers due to that is a buying opportunity.
    • He's raised his price target to $650 from $625, now implying 27% upside.
    • Netflix is scheduled to report results in a couple of weeks, on Jan. 19. Consensus estimates are for EPS of $1.39 on revenues of $6.6B.
    • Baidu (BIDU +2.7%) jumps after Reuters reports the company is moving forward with creating an electric vehicle company.
    • Baidu will reportedly hold a majority stake in the new entity and Geely Automobile Holdings (OTCPK:GELYF) will hold a minority stake. Sources indicate that the new venture will revamp some of Geely's existing car manufacturing facilities to make the vehicles, while Baidu will provide the software for the vehicles.
    • The Baidu development has been widely anticipated with Apple's auto ambitions expected to kickstart big auto-tech partnerships this year.

  12. Phil/AAPL  Following up your suggestions for AAPL.

    You suggested rolling out my 30 '21 $115 calls later. Maybe now, roll to 40 Jun $130c at $13.35 or $135c at $11.10? 

    80 AAPL Jun '22 $105 calls ($24.34)

    - 30 AAPL Jan '21 $115 calls ($9.24)

    - 40 AAPL Jun '22 $160 calls ($21.08)

    -20 Jun '22 $50 puts ($5.17)

    Still holding 20 '22 $60 c ($12.17) and 20 '22 $75c ($16.81)


    The long June 2022 $112s are $21 and the $105s are $24, so that's a no-brainer for a roll, isn't it?  Just $40,000 to make that work and then you are 3/4 covered and you roll the 20 Nov $100s ($14.75) to 30 Jan $115s ($9.10) for about even and then you are 70/80 covered and you keep rolling them up $5 or $10 every 3 months and you should match the $160 calls by June, 2022 and then you'd have 80 $112/160 spreads for up to $384,000.  

  13. AAPL/Wing – I would stay conservative for now.  You have 80 $105s covered with $115s and $160s and we have to roll the $115s, now $16.50 but they were great protection.  The June 22 $160s are now $13.75 so you can do an even(ish) roll there but I would rather have the protection so I'd roll the 30 Jan $115s at $16.50 ($49,500) to 40 June $135s at $11.30 ($45,200) so for $4,300 you widen the spread by $80,000 and you still have pretty good protection.  And I would really, REALLY cash in those calls – you don't need them and you are risking too much.  Just buy 40 2023 $120 ($32.70)/160 ($18) bull call spreads for $14.70 ($58,800) to replace them and they pay $160,000 if all goes well but they also allow you to stop out 40 (half) of the June $105s if AAPL pulls back and you'd still have a good cover on the short June calls.  

    3,800 again – still a good short on /ES

  14. bitcoin 40000

    who knew

  15. This … it will take a long time to purge this lunacy from the system.

    It reminds me of the scene in the Handmaids Tail where June is in the Boston Globe and realises the Sons of Jacob were hiding in plain sight. 

    Dow 40k !!!

  16. Tulips Bro….

  17. Oh I have the shovel out

  18. Malsg that is Avery disturbing article

  19. Does anyone else wonder how easy it would've been for someone to strap explosives onto their body and just rushed into the Capitol with everyone else and set it off?  Anybody else worried as I am at how incredibly lax and discombobulated D.C. law enforcement and military is in general?

  20. Ambulance waiting times in parts of England ‘off the scale’

  21. Iraqi judge issues arrest warrant for Trump