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4 Million Fatalities Thursday

4,002,924.

That is how many Global Citizens have died from Corona Virus in the past 18 months.  Despite all the improvements made under Biden in the last 6 months, the US is still leading the World in both infections and deaths though, with almost 70% of our population now vaccinated – it does liik like India and Brazil will catch up to us.  

India has 1.4Bn people so it's understandable they might have as many infections and deaths as the US, with our 330M people (less than 1/4) but Brazil only has 211M people, just 2/3 the size of the US so their deaths per capita have already surpassed ours.  

Coronavirus (COVID-19) - Google NewsThis is not a chart of something that is over, no matter how much we wish it to be.  Less than 15% of the World population has been vaccinated and that means 85% of the people are still exposed – including an alarming 32% of the US population, though that is mostly Conservatives who don't wish to be vaccinated.

While you may think it's fine and dandy for people to choose not to be vaccinated for whatever crazy reason - those people, in turn, breed variants of the virus in their unvaccinated population and, eventually/inevitably, some of those variants end up being vaccine-resistant strains and then the 70% of us who are vaccinated are right back in danger anyway.  

Coronavirus (COVID-19) Cases - Statistics and Research - Our World in Data

Chart: Rise in UK Covid cases continues unabated | StatistaLook what has already happened in the UK, India and Nepal – the Delta Variant has become dominant as our current vaccines are far less effective against it and you can see how quickly UK Covid cases are ramping back up despite 68% of their population having had at least one dose of the vaccine (51% fully vaccinated).  

"Trump Lite", Boris Johnson, said on Monday that the "continuing effectiveness" of the vaccine rollout allows England to consider loosening restrictions, rather than tightening them, as cases rise.
"I want to stress from the outset that this pandemic is far from over," Johnson told a news conference. "It certainly won't be over by [July] the 19th," he said.
"We're seeing cases rise fairly rapidly," Johnson added. "There could be 50,000 cases detected per day by the 19th, and again as we predicted we're seeing rising hospital admissions, and we must reconcile ourselves sadly to more deaths from Covid."

Must we?  Why must we?  Why can't we learn from the countries that actually beat Covid, like China, who used very strict lockdowns and kept them in place until the virus was so low that they switched to testing and, to this day, only allow uninfected people to mix with the general public.  Amazingly, that plan seems to work, in country after country.  Setting arbitrary openings and sticking with them becuase you don't want to upset the business community, on the other hand, has generally led to failure.

Case in point, Japan (the world's 3rd largest economy, by the way) has now moved back to restrictions and there will be no spectators at the Olympics.  Bars are closed, the people have been asked to go out only if absolutely necessary, larger stores have been requested to be shut down – even travel is being strongly discouraged and, worst of all Karaoke has been suspended!  You know it's serious if you can't even get drunk and hear strangers sing badly…

So that has investors concerned this morning and, even though US Investors are generally trained to ignore the rest of the World – I still like to check things out globally once in a while.  Meanwhile, on the home front, though the Fed signalled no actual signs of raising rates or tapering any time soon, the underlying reason for that was that the real economy still SUCKS and is not likely to be able to function without constant stimulus.  That's not the kind of sentiment that makes you think RECORD HIGH MARKETS – is it?  

Later today, the ECB will announce their 18-month strategy review, followed by a news conference by Christine LaGarde – so we'll see what page those guys are on but with the UK (6th largest economy) and Japan (3rd largest) on lockdown and India (5th largest) in deep trouble along with France (7th largest) – I would at least suggest some prudent hedges – if you don't already have them in place.

In yesterday's live trading Webinar we discussed our Short-Term Portfolio (STP) and its hedges and the STP has lost 20% ($41,508) since our June 15th review as of yesterday's close but these are good hedges and can make that money back very quickly if the market actually sells off – just a little bit:

 


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  1. Good Morning.


  2. The Bug/research – Over time, I've found that this reddit site does an exceptional job of reporting the science of covid-19 and discussiing the hot news stories.  https://www.reddit.com/r/COVID19/


  3. LOL, told you so on the STP, popped 13.3% this morning!

    Seems like we're pretty well-protected for the while…


  4. Phil / BABA – Is it time to close the LTP position?


  5. I think one of the portfolios has X (US Steel) – it might be possible today to roll the long $20 calls to $17 calls for < 1.5 (1.45 at the last trades, but low volumes)…


  6. TMI/Phil – skim through the pinned weekly summary. One highlight: the Israel study is controversial because of some bias in the comparison groups, and thus far it appears that vaccines are as effective against delta as against other strains. Alpha is a bit more of a concern, but it's nearly gone. Early returns out of Peru show vaccines effective against lambda.


  7. UK employers struggle with worst labour shortage since 1997


  8. Plunge in Treasury yields reverberates around markets


  9. Dow tumbles as Delta variant fears grip Wall Street


  10. The lie of “expired” food




  11. BABA/Jeff – I think I said if they didn't hold $200 and, clearly, this is nothing specifically about BABA – they are just caught up in a downturn so I'm wiling to see what happens.  

    That's one of the reasons we hedge – so we don't HAVE to panic in and out of positions.  At the moment:

    LTP:  Value Change Today:$-24,843

    STP: Value Change Today:$22,042 

    So we get to sit back and watch without feeling pressure to dump 18-month spreads based on a single day's action.

    X/Rn – Yes, it is possible but I'm not into spending money until the market shows me whether it's going up or down.  It's a sensible move and there's nothing wrong with making it but, officially, we don't like to make daily adjustments unless they are necessary or things would be chaos.

    In the Earnings Portfolio we have:

    X Long Call 2023 20-JAN 20.00 CALL [X @ $22.38 $-0.56] 20 5/25/2021 (561) $19,000 $9.50 $-2.48 $9.50     $7.03 $-0.58 $-4,950 -26.1% $14,050
    X Short Call 2023 20-JAN 30.00 CALL [X @ $22.38 $-0.56] -20 5/26/2021 (561) $-12,400 $6.20 $-1.90     $4.30 $-0.15 $3,800 30.6% $-8,600
    X Short Put 2023 20-JAN 17.00 PUT [X @ $22.38 $-0.56] -10 5/25/2021 (561) $-3,500 $3.50 $-0.49     $3.02 $-0.04 $485 13.9% $-3,015

    https://www.philstockworld.com/2021/06/18/philstockworld-june-portfolio-review-2/

    • X – Another nice, new spread.  This one is $20,000 and it's currently net $2,925, which is better than our entry with $17,075 (583%) left to gain though X fell right out of the zone on the chart – so maybe wait until we're back on track over the bottom of the channel…  

    We spent net $3,100 on the spread and it's about the same as our end of May entry and the stock is at about the same price on the $20,000 spread.  You want to spend $3,000 more to make it a $26,000 spread so double the cash outlay to make 30% more.  I don't see the urgency.  

    Now /GC bouncing off $1,800 seems more urgent to me – great place for a long with tight stops below!

    Vaccines/Snow – Unfortunately, the overall take is that we have another year of danger to get through and the way people are acting, whatever the worst-case is, it won't have a lot of trouble gaining traction.


  12. The Bug/Phil – yup, you've got the essence of it. The biggest problem with vaccines is, just like with masks, we're thinking this is the solution to end the US epidemic. 1. It isn't and 2. What about the rest of the world.

    It is encouraging, though, that apparently the sputnik vaccine works well.


    • Just one shot of the Pfizer(PFE -0.8%)/BioNTech(BNTX +0.5%) or AstraZeneca (AZN -1.4%) COVID-19 vaccine "barely" generated a neutralizing antibody response against the delta variant, according to a new study.
    • Results, published in the journal Nature, found that two doses of either of the vaccines produced a neutralizing response against the delta variant, first found in India, in 95% of patients. In addition, the level of antibodies were three to five times higher against the delta variant than the alpha variant, first discovered in the U.K.
    • Yesterday, a letter published in the New England Journal of Medicine, said that protective immunity provided by mRNA vaccines — the ones from Pfizer/BioNTech and Moderna (MRNA +2.9%) — is effective against the kappa variant, also first detected in India, and delta as well.
    • Some Asian countries that relied on the COVID-19 vaccine from Sinovac Biotech (SVA) are considering the administration of booster shots amid concerns over its efficacy as the prevalence of coronavirus Delta variant rises across the globe.
    • After vaccinating millions of its healthcare workers with the Chinese vaccine, Indonesia is reporting thousands of positive COVID-19 cases among them, prompting health authorities to seek recommendations for boosters.
    • "It is the time for medical workers to get a third booster to protect them from the impact of more vicious and worrying new variants," Melki Laka Lena, deputy chairman of the country’s parliamentary commission overseeing health, has told, according to Reuters.
    • Siti Nadia Tarmizi, an official from Indonesia’s health ministry, has said that it is waiting for the country’s immunization advisory group and the Food and Drug Agency (BPOM) to issue recommendations for booster doses.
    • Meanwhile, Thailand is planning to offer Pfizer/ BioNtech COVID-19 vaccine to 700K medical workers, most of whom were fully immunized with the Sinovac vaccine.
    • According to senior health official Udom Kachintorn, the plan is to boost immunity as the Delta variant drives case counts amid reinfections in scores of medical workers who were fully immunized with the Sinovac vaccine.
    • Turkey and the United Arab Emirates have already started administering boosters for those who were previously inoculated with the vaccine named CoronaVac.
    • Such moves are likely to hurt the public confidence in the vaccine, according to experts. "It will definitely have an impact on the trust in the vaccine," said icky Budiman, an epidemiologist at Australia's Griffith University.
    • "The vaccine isn't necessarily ineffective, but its efficacy slides down after six months. That's my prediction," he added. Sinovac has not responded to Reuters’ request for comment.
    • Ealy last month, the World Health Organization (WHO) greenlighted SinoVac’s COVID-19 shot listing it for emergency use.
    • According to the WHO, the Delta variant, which is thought to be 60% more contagious than the Alpha variant, is becoming a globally dominant variant.
    • Wells Fargo (WFC -1.6%) is ending all existing personal lines of credit within weeks and won't offer the product any longer, CNBC reports, citing customer letters it has reviewed.
    • The move will allow the bank to focus on personal loans and credit cards, the company said in the letter.
    • The revolving lines of credit typically allow customers borrow from $3K to $100K and were advertised as a way to consolidate higher-interest credit-card debt, pay for home renovations, or avoid overdraft fees on linked checking accounts. In the letter's FAQ section, the bank said closing the account may affect the customer's credit score.
    • The bank told CNBC that it's taking the action "to simplify our product offerings."
    • The move comes after the bank has shed several other products since Charlie Scharf took over as CEO to improve the bank's standing with regulators in the wake of its 2016 bogus account scandal.
    • Since February 2018, Wells Fargo has been subject to a $1.95T asset cap as punishment for the scandal. Last July, Wells Fargo said it sold hundreds of millions of dollars of assets during market turmoil at the start of the pandemic to keep its assets under the limit.
    • In April WFC scaled back on its jumbo loan refinancing and said it would stop making home equity loans; and in December it agreed to sell its private student loan portfolio.
    • A combination of falling Treasury yields signaling concerns about growth projections and rising COVID-19 cases is hitting airline stocks again.
    • The U.S. Jets ETF (NYSEARCA:JETS) -1.3% is looking at a fourth-straight session of losses, but is well off its lows of the day.
    • JETS is off 14% from its highs hit at the start of June.
    • Slumping longer-term yields has led some to speculate that the market isn't all in on the big economic recovery Wall Street predicts.
    • The 10-year Treasury (NYSEARCA:TBT) -2% (NASDAQ:TLT) +0.9% is down another 5 basis points today to 1.27%.
    • There are also worries that the high number of new COVID cases, even with hospitalizations and deaths still low, could curb travel, especially internationally.
    • The COVID Delta variant is now the dominant strain in the U.S.
    • Spirit Airlines (NYSE:SAVE) -1.9% is the biggest decliner in the sector, followed by United (NASDAQ:UAL) -1.4% and Delta (NYSE:DAL) -1.2%.
    • Southwest (NYSE:LUV) -0.6% is down, but American (NASDAQ:AAL) -0.2% is making a run at the flatline.
    • Still, July 4th weekend travel was reasonably encouraging for carriers.
    • Between July 1st and July 5th, the Transportation Security Administration screened over 10 million people, which was shy of 12.2 million travelers who went through airports in 2019 prior to the Covid-19 pandemic.

        

    • Beyond Meat (BYND +0.8%) has launched its new, awarding-winning, delicious plant-based Beyond Chicken Tenders which are breaded to perfection for a crispy outside and irresistibly tender bite.
    • The consumers can find the latest must-try product from Beyond Meat at select restaurants across the country, starting today.
    • Consumer demand for chicken is continuing to skyrocket; in fact, chicken is so in-demand that the nation is currently facing a shortage.
    • As restaurants are rebounding while struggling to meet soaring consumer demand, Beyond Meat is proud to offer a plant-based option for the ultimate everyday addition to sandwiches, salads and tacos.
    • Beyond Chicken Tenders are also made with no GMOs, antibiotics or hormones, and have no cholesterol.
    • “We’re innovating the poultry market with the new Beyond Chicken Tenders – the result of our tireless pursuit for excellence and growth at Beyond Meat,” said Dariush Ajami, Chief Innovation Officer, Beyond Meat.

     

     

    • Purdue Pharma, the makers of the prescription opioid OxyContin, has reached an agreement with 15 states who will now drop opposition to the company's bankruptcy reorganization plan, The New York Times reports.
    • In exchange, the company will release millions of documents and the Sackler family, owners of Purdue, will pay an additional $50M.
    • Purdue is facing thousands of lawsuits accusing the company of helping to fuel the nation's prescription opioid crisis through its marketing of OxyContin.
    • The agreement can now pave the way for many of these cases to be settled for around $4.5B, according to the newspaper.
    • Late last month, a jury trial began in Long Island, N.Y., that accuses AbbVie (ABBV -0.7%), Endo International (OTCPK:ENDO +0.7%), Teva Pharmaceutical (TEVA -2.5%), as well as pharmaceutical distributors AmerisourceBergen (ABC -1.2%), Cardinal Health (CAH -1.4%), and McKesson (MCK -1.1%) of playing a role in the opioid epidemic.
    • Days before the trial began, Johnson & Johnson (JNJ -0.9%reached a $230M settlement with New York state

    That was a good pairing of news items!  


  13. Here is the replay of this week's webinar

     

     

    • One of the emergency lending facilities that the Fed formed to support markets during the pandemic will start gradual sales of its corporate bond holdings on July 12, 2021, the Federal Reserve Bank of New York said in a statement.
    • Secondary Market Corporate Credit Facility corporate bond sales follows the start of sales of SMCCF exchange-traded funds on June 7.
    • The sales of both the corporate bond and ETF holdings "will be gradual and orderly, and will be conducted in a manner that aims to minimize the potential for any adverse impact on market functioning by taking into account liquidity conditions in the secondary market for corporate debt," the NY Fed statement said.
    • The Fed announced in June that it would end the SMCCF program.
    • Included in the Fed's emergency lending facilities were Primary Market Corporate Credit Facilities, a Municipal Liquidity Facility, and Main Street Lending Facility
    • The higher incidence of COVID-19 cases in areas with low vaccination rates could prompt authorities to reimpose social restrictions to contain outbreaks, experts point out.
    • There will be “two Americas,” CNBC reported quoting Dr. Paul Offit, a former panelist of advisory committees for both the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and the Food and Drug Administration (FDA).
    • “There is the vaccinated America and the unvaccinated America, and I think the unvaccinated America is about to pay a price for that,” he added.
    • According to the latest CDC data, slightly over two-thirds of the U.S. adult population have received at least one shot of the COVID-19 vaccine. Nearly 58% are fully vaccinated.
    • Data from Johns Hopkins University indicate that the national seven-day average of new COVID-19 cases has dropped to ~15K cases a day from a peak of ~250K in January. Per day average of COVID-related deaths has also slumped to ~225 per day from over 3.4K in January.
    • Yet, the new cases are higher in under-vaccinated regions prompting the reimplementation of pandemic restrictions.
    • In Arkansas where only ~35% of the population is fully vaccinated, 13 percentage points lower than the national average, the weekly rate of new COVID-19 cases stands at 110, the highest in the country, The Wall Street Journal reported citing CDC data.
    • In Mississippi where less than a third of its eligible population are fully vaccinated, the officials urged the residents to continue to wear masks indoors amid reports that the unvaccinated people contributed to about 96% of new cases there.
    • Meanwhile, Dr. Offit expects mask requirements in several more states this fall. However, the federal mask mandate on public transportation is set to expire on September 13.
    • Dr. Vin Gupta, a pulmonary care physician and an Affiliate Assistant Professor at the University of Washington thinks that mask requirements should be reimposed at the local level depending on vaccination rates and the level of transmission of the virus.
    • “There has to be some specificity there and several local jurisdictions have to make their own decision, especially as the seasons shift and get back into cold, dry air,” Gupta said.
    • According to CDC director, Dr. Rochelle Walensky about 1,000 counties mostly in the Southeast and Midwest have vaccination rates below 30%.
    • “It is clear that communities where people remain unvaccinated are communities that remain vulnerable,” she said, pointing out that 99.5% of COVID-related deaths over the past six months occurred in those who remained unvaccinated.
    • A recent study conducted in Israel has indicated that Pfizer (PFE -0.3%)/BioNTech (BNTX +1.0%) vaccine lost a certain degree of efficacy with easing of social restrictions amid the rising prevalence of Delta variant of the coronavirus. But the vaccine remained highly effective against serious forms of illness.
    • Other COVID-19 vaccine developers: Johnson & Johnson (JNJ -0.4%), Novavax (NVAX +3.6%), Moderna (MRNA +5.1%) AstraZeneca (AZN -1.0%)
    • The reemergence of pandemic-related concerns hurt retail stocks in morning hours today.
    • Crude oil futures have turned higher today following the government's weekly report that showed big drops in U.S. crude and gasoline inventories, but gains are limited by the lingering uncertainty over the continued OPEC dispute.
    • The Energy Information Administration said U.S. crude inventories fell by 6.9M barrels in the week ended July 2, while gasoline inventories sank 6.1M barrels, both more than expected.
    • Oil also may be caught up in a recent investor aversion to risky assets, with stock indexes falling around the world as investors recalibrate bets on an accelerating economic recovery and rising inflation.
    • August WTI crude (CL1:COM) +0.8% at $72.81/bbl and September Brent (CO1:COM) +0.7% at $73.99/bbl, while August RBOB gasoline futures (XB1:COM) +1.5% at $2.24/gallon.
    • ETFs: XLEUSOUCOXOPVDEGUSHOIHERXBGRBNOUGA
    • The S&P energy sector (XLE -0.3%) wobbles between small gains and losses after skidding nearly 7% for the week before narrowing the loss to ~4.5%.
    • Cabot Oil & Gas (COG +3.3%) and Cimarex Energy (XEC +3.5%) – which have announced merger plans - are two of the day's best gainers.
    • Also trading higher: DVN +1.7%RIG +1.3%MRO +1%OXY +0.9%.
    • Bank of America recently upgraded Cimarex "in spite of the deal – and pre-supposes that the deal may not close, at least not at the current terms."
    • Adam Jonas, managing director of research at Morgan Stanley, said Thursday that a recent research note warning of increased Chinese regulatory scrutiny of Tesla (NASDAQ:TSLA) is part of a larger trend of countries taking a more serious national-security position when it comes to their automotive industries.
    • Jonas told CNBC that China and other countries could start looking at the automotive industry "like a utility," which would place companies like Tesla under increased regulatory focus.
    • In this environment, countries would take seriously the idea that "GDP and national security runs" on the auto industry, Jonas said.
    • The comments follow a research note issued Wednesday, in which Morgan Stanley warned that Tesla will likely face increased scrutiny in China, amid signs of increased government intervention in that country.
    • In the CNBC interview, Jonas suggested that it would be "unrealistic" for "a Chinese transportation autonomy company" to operate in a major U.S. city.
    • "We're pretty skeptical on the long term future of foreign companies that operate in dual-purpose, arguably military-grade, AI for civilian use in natural monopoly networks in foreign countries," he said.
    • Still, despite the regulatory worries, Jonas remained "very constructive" on Tesla generally, maintaining an Overweight rating and a $900 price target.
    • Jonas's comments follow a wave of aggressive actions by the Chinese government. Most recently, the country launched a cybersecurity probe against recent U.S. IPO DiDi (NYSE:DIDI), which prevents the ride-hailing service from adding new customers in the near term.
    • TSLA dipped fractionally in Thursday's midday trading to reach $644.30. Overall, the stock has been in a range over the past few months, after coming off a 52-week high of $900.40 set early this year.

    • While concerns over the COVID-19 Delta variant and its potential to slow the recovery put pressure on the major U.S. stock averages, and retail stocks in particular, investors don't seem as worried over mall and hotel REITs.
    • The big mall operators are mostly in the green: Simon Property Group (SPG -0.2%), Pennsylvania REIT (PEI +1.3%), Tanger Factory Outlet Centers (SKT +1.0%), and Macerich (MAC +1.9%).
    • Stocks of shopping center REITs, which mostly don't operate enclosed malls, are more mixed — Washington Prime Group (WPG -3.1%), which filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy last month; Kimco (KIM -0.6%); Federal Realty Investment Trust (FRT +0.4%), EPR Properties (EPR -1.1%), Whitestone REIT (WSR -1.4%), Site Centers (SITC -0.9%), Brixmor Property Group (BRX -1.1%), Seritage Growth (SRG +0.7%).
    • And investors apparently don't expect vacationers to change their plans  — Chatham Lodging Trust (CLDT +0.2%), Apple Hospitality REIT (APLE +1.1%), Ashford Hospitality Trust (AHT +3.4%), Host Hotels & Resorts (HST +1.0%), and Pebblebrook Hotel Trust (PEB +0.9%). Of the major hotel REITs, only Service Properties Trust (SVC -1.2%) was in the red in early afternoon trading.
    • Over the past year, SPG, MAC, CLDT, and APLE all outperformed SPY as seen in chart below.
    • Wind and solar power capacity expanded rapidly in 2020 and was "relatively unscathed" despite the plunge in global energy demand caused by COVID-19, BP says in its annual Statistical Review of World Energy.
    • Last year's economic slowdown as countries sought to contain the pandemic led to a 4.5% drop in global energy demand, including a 9.3% plunge in oil consumption, and carbon emissions sank 6.3% – its biggest decline since World War II – Spencer Dale, chief economist at BP, says in the report.
    • "There is a good chance that much of [the] dip proves transitory," Dale says, as changes in 2020 were a byproduct of the pandemic and the world still needs "tangible, concrete differences" to meet climate targets.
    • Wind (NYSEARCA:FAN) and solar (NYSEARCA:TAN) installed capacity increased by a "colossal" 238 GW last year, largely at the expense of coal-fired generation, whose 4.4% drop was one of its largest annual declines on record.
    • Solar capacity expanded by 127 GW in 2020, while wind grew by 111 GW, nearly double its previous highest annual increase, driven mainly by China, which accounted for about half of the global increase in wind and solar capacity.
    • BP announced in February 2020 it aimed to reduce emissions from the oil and gas it produces to net zero by 2050.
    • The major averages are improving in choppy trading, now near their highs of the day but still significantly down.
    • The Dow (DJI) -0.6% is leading, getting a little help from IBM and Boeing.
    • The S&P 500 (SP500) -0.7% and Nasdaq (COMP.IND) -0.7% have halved their losses from earlier in the session.
    • Yields are also off their lows, calming equities some, with the 10-year off 3 basis points to 1.29% after falling as low as 1.25%.
    • Deutsche Bank's Jim Reid surveyed 300 people on why yields are falling and found these top reasons:
    1. Supply and demand technicals (such as a supply drop as the U.S. reduces the cash balance of the Treasury General Account).
    2. Fears of secular stagnation.
    3. The pivot by the Fed to sooner rate hikes.
    4. COIVD and Delta variant concerns.
    • "With the 10-year yield temporarily below 1.3% today, we are now at the point in which the bond market is pricing in a sub-trend (near recessionary) growth pattern next year," Michael Darda, chief economist and strategist at MKM Partners writes.
    • "Yet, high yield spreads have barely budged and… the ratio of copper to gold (tightly correlated to rate levels) has flattened but not collapsed," he adds. "These phenomena would be highly unusual if a legitimate growth/recession scare were underway."
    • Nine of 11 S&P sectors are lower, with the big decliners a mix of value and growth.
    • Financials (NYSEARCA:XLF) are the weakest, followed by Materials (NYSEARCA:XLB) and then Info Tech (NYSEARCA:XLK).
    • Real Estate (NYSEARCA:XLRE) and the volatile Energy (NYSEARCA:XLE) sector are the only gainers.
    • All the megacaps are lower. Apple is the weakest, while Tesla is hugging the flatline.
    • Among other individual issues, Ball Corp. is the biggest gainer in the S&P 500, while Kansas City Southern is falling the most on a report President Biden may target railroads.

  14. The Bug – just had an interesting browse around the surveillance sites. It appears Branson, Missouri, is preparing to give us a rerun of the Sturgis covid outbreak.


  15. Tightly packed casino and concert town full of the type of people who don't believe in vaccines.


  16. Selling some puts in the LTP on stocks we'd like to buy on a dip:

    Sell 20 ING Jan $12 puts for $1.10 ($2,200) 

    Sell 20 BCS 2023 $10 puts for $2.10 ($4,200) 

    Sell 10 ENVA Dec $30 puts for $3 ($3,000) 

    Sell 10 KBH 2023 $35 puts for $5 ($5,000) 

    Just a way to pick up a quick $14,400 for promising to buy value stocks if they become even more of a value.  In KBH, for example, we're promising to step in at net $30 – about 25% below the current price and $30,000 would be just 15% of our $200,000 allocation blocks in the LTP, so lots of room to double down, roll, etc.  All these stocks have PE's around 10 and no obvious reason they won't do well in the year ahead.

    PHM, TROX, TD and UBS also made my list today but we already have those.


  17. WSJ Conference on the Future of Cities:

    Will the pandemic leave a lasting impact on our metropolitan centers? Join us online July 27 from 12:30 — 2:00 p.m. ET to hear from city leaders and visionaries on how they expect urban communities to evolve as cities come back to life. Register now to secure your complimentary spot.