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200M Infections Thursday – “Learn to Live with Covid” says WSJ

200,370,643 infections!

That is more than double the 89,586,548 we had as of January 4th so the total amount of Global Covid cases is accelerating, not declining at all.  Note the huge bump we had in the spring as country after country rushed to re-open – declaring victory as soon as the first people got thier shots.  1,997,597M people had died as of January 4th, now it's 4,259,874 and, as we discussed in yesterday's Live Trading Webinar, India may be undercounting their deaths by another 4M – according to NPR as Modi, like his friend Donald Trump, likes to underplay the data in order to pretend the virus isn't a threat.  

Of course, as we discussed yesterday, this Summer is squarely on Biden's shoulders as 13M new cases (out of 35M) and 233,000 deaths (out of 609,000) since January 4th are on his watch and Biden did not "follow the data" and keep things closed – he let things open up chosing business over 233,000 American lives – not to mention the debilitating long-term damage that 13M infections can bring.  10% of our population have gotten Covid at this point – many of those people still have diminished capacity – long after the initial infection is gone.

Chart: How Vaccines Eradicated Common Diseases | Statista"Eradication of Covid Is a Dangerous and Expensive Fantasy," says the fact-free Wall Street Journal, who are calling the lockdowns which do save people's lives "ruinous and oppressive".  I guess a person who valued human life over commerce might call them necessary but those kind of people don't write for the Wall Street Journal and, unfortunately, it takes a fairly united front to get people to do things that are necessary and Mr. Murdoch's (is he still alive?) papers and TV stations have made very sure this World has not done what is necessary to stop the spread of Covid-19 – even in 21….

We live with countless hazards, each of which we could but sensibly choose not to eradicate. Automobile fatalities could be eradicated by outlawing motor vehicles. Drowning could be eradicated by outlawing swimming and bathing. Electrocution could be eradicated by outlawing electricity. We live with these risks not because we’re indifferent to suffering but because we understand that the costs of zero-drowning or zero-electrocution would be far too great. The same is true of zero-Covid.

Scrooge Reacts - ImgflipWe have vaccines, says the Journal, we have hospitals – so let's use them.  That's nice except we don't have Universal Health Care so essentially this logic translates to the good old "Kill the Poor" platform that is at the heart of most Conservative thinking these days.  So far, 2Bn people in the World have been vaccinated – the Top 20% of most countries with 70% of the people in rich countries like the US having the vaccine vs 250M of India's 1.4Bn people (18%).

"Living with Covid" means vaccination expenses forever more – another burden on the health-care system and, as we're seeing with the virus' resurgence in the US – even vaccinating 70% of the population doesn't get us there.  That's about how many people get flu shots now and we still have 65M cases of the flu each year (20% of the population).  Are we going to lean to live with a more fatal, long-term debilitating disease that hits 20% of the population each year?  Is that really the plan for America?

Just like with Climate Change, which Murdoch and company worked hard to prevent us from addressing until it's pretty much too late – the longer we put off eradicating a virus, the more entrenched it becomes.  That should be obvious even to the people who think Science is some modern form of witchcraft.  


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  1. Good Morning.

  2. Good morning 

  3. wow silver and gold went down fast

  4. bitcoin as well….

  5. Comment content omitted because it is too long.

  6. Good morning!  

    Metals having a rough couple of days off Dollar resurgence. 





    Just another whipsaw day as no sell-off goes unrallied.  

  7. Bitcoin went from $10,000 to $60,000 with a little consolidation around $35,000 so I'd say that's the pullback line.  So call the run $35,000 to $60,000 is $25,000 and that means you have $5,000 bounce lines at $40,000 (weak) and $40,000 (strong), which is where it is now.   At this point, if it's over $40,000 then it was consolidating for a move back up but if it fails $35,000 again, then we could be seeing $20,000 pretty soon.

    • The stock market is finding firm direction difficult to come by and may be due for sideways trading ahead of tomorrow's big employment report.
    • The S&P (SP500) +0.2%, Nasdaq (COMP.IND) +0.1% and Dow (DJI) +0.4% are slightly higher.
    • Goldman Sachs is boosting its targets for the S&P 500, but it still sees just a 7% rise in the benchmark index for the rest of this year and only a 6% rise for all of 2022.
    • Stocks are shrugging off a new round of restrictions in China due to rising COVID cases.
    • The 10-year Treasury yield is up more than 1 basis point to 1.2% after weekly jobless claims fell in line with expectations.
    • "With 10y Treasury yield continuing to weaken over past few months, spread between S&P 500 earnings yield and 10y yield has continued to creep up … hovering in same range as December 2020," Schwab's Liz Ann Sonders tweets.
    • With global market uncertainty surrounding the Delta variant of COVID-19, we saw 10-year Treasury yields drift lower and consequently mortgage rates followed suit," Chief economist Sam Khater commented.
    • 30-year fixed-rate mortgage averaged 2.77% for the week ending Aug 5, down from 2.80% recorded in prior week and down from 2.88% averaged in same period a year ago, according to the Freddie Mac Primary Mortgage Survey.
    • 15-year FRM averages 2.10% unchanged from last week and down from 2.44% in year ago.
    • "The 30-year fixed-rate mortgage dipped back to where it stood at the beginning of 2021, and the 15-year fixed remained at its historic low. This bodes well for those still looking to refinance, renovate or even purchase a new home," Khater added.
    • 5-year Treasury-indexed hybrid adjustable rate mortgage averaged 2.40%, down from 2.45% in prior week, and lower from 2.90% a year ago.
    • For July 30 week ending, Mortgage applications tracked by the Mortgage Bankers Association dropped 1.7% compared to increase of 5.7% in the prior week.
    • "Refinance application volume slightly decreased following an 11% jump last week, and purchase application volume decreased again, reflecting the ongoing lack of inventory that continues to drive rapid home-price appreciation across the country," MBA's SVP and chief economist Mike Fratantoni commented.
    • Ajita Atreya, a senior economist at Freddie Mac, in a recent podcast with HousingWire Daily stated, "We're in the camp that believes the inflationary pressure that we’re seeing now is transitory, but definitely something that we should be watching out for, because that’s going to have a major implication in the housing market, and especially if the Fed decides to correct it."
    • Chief economist at states, "This wait-and-see approach tends to lead investors to favor bonds, which means lower rates in the near term."
    • However with shortage of homes for sale still persisting, the market is unsure if home buyers can take advantage of the historically low rates.
    • June Pending Home Sales were down 1.9% M/M to 112.8  compared to growth of 8% in May.



    • Uber (NYSE:UBER) CEO Dara Khosrowshahi said Thursday that the company missed expectations with its Q2 adjusted EBITDA because it invested in bringing drivers back to meet demand amid the post-COVID reopening.
    • Khosrowshahi told CNBC that the company is in a "good position" for Q3 and Q4, and Uber remains on track for adjusted EBITDA profitability by the end of the year.
    • Uber dropped as much as 8% in Wednesday's after-hours trading as investors ignored its better-than-expected Q2 revenue to focus on the weak adjusted EBITDA figure, but the stock has staged a comeback Thursday morning. It was fractionally into positive territory at last check.
    • Khosrowshahi said July volumes and margins were both "very constructive," as the company managed to pull back on driver incentives and target them more precisely.
    • But the CEO added that additional spending on drivers was necessary during Q2 because spiking demand in the post-COVID reopening's wake had led to higher wait times.
    • Khosrowshahi said it was important to get supply back in line with demand in order to bring wait times back to the typical three- to six-minute window.
    • "That's the magical experience we want to bring back as quickly as possible," he said.
    • Discussing the Delta variant, Khosrowshahi said it was difficult to gauge whether that was impacting Uber's volume as of yet.
    • However, he argued that Uber's business model had a built-in "hedge" against rising COVID cases. He noted that if people start staying home again, delivery volume would increase even as ride-hailing use declined.
    • After setting a 52-week high in February, UBER stair-stepped lower over the next several months.
    • Shares drifted lower headed into Wednesday evening's quarterly report and an initial slide Thursday took the stock to its lowest level since November 2020. However, UBER quickly bounced back and was up fractionally in intraday trading at $42:

    • Apparel retail stocks are pushing higher as earnings reports and conference call commentary on Q3 trends tamp down some of investor concerns on the potential impact of the Delta COVID-19 variant.
    • Notable gainers in early trading include Boot Barn (BOOT +5.4%), Zumiez (ZUMZ +4.2%), Children's Place (PLCE +3.2%), Shoe Carnival (SCVL +4.4%), Guess (GES +3.3%), Gap (GPS +3.8%), Urban Outfitters (URBN +3.5%), Kohl's (KSS +3.1%), Nordstrom (JWN +3.0%) and Dillard's (DDS +4.6%). Discounters Big Lots (BIG +1.6%) and Dollar Tree (DLTR +1.2%) are also higher.
    • Boot Barn stood out with its update on demand trends during the retailer's earnings conference call.
    • U.S. Sen. Ted Cruz (R.-Texas) said Thursday that he opposed a $1T bipartisan infrastructure bill because it served as a "gateway drug" for future government spending.
    • In an interview with CNBC, Cruz also argued against government mask and vaccine mandates to combat COVID-19. He said individuals should make those decisions as a matter of personal choice.
    • "We shouldn't step into a regime where the government says 'show us your papers,'" he said.
    • The senator said he supported businesses having the choice to require their employees and customers to wear masks. However, he does not think that companies should be able to mandate vaccinations, since that could be characterized as forcing a "medical procedure."
    • On the infrastructure bill, Cruz noted that he could support the bipartisan $1T bill if it seemed like a standalone effort. But he thought it will only serve as a starting point for further government spending, especially a separately proposed $3.5T "human infrastructure" bill sponsored by Democrats.
    • The senator argued that heavy government spending would open the door to "punishing" inflation. He also contended that the $3.5T bill would initiate harmful new taxes.
    • Looking for ways to invest in potential infrastructure spending? SA breaks down the five ETFs poised to benefit from the bipartisan bill

    ROFL!  Isn't Infrastructure pretty much the whole point of having a Government?  

    • Moderna (NASDAQ:MRNA) says that its COVID-19 vaccine is 93% effective six months after the second dose.
    • That's just one percentage point lower than the 94% effectiveness reported in its initial clinical trial that led to the vaccine's Emergency Use Authorization.
    • Moderna said the sustained efficacy is based on a final analysis of the phase 3 COVE study. The company made the announcement during this morning's Q2 2021 earnings call presentation.
    • However, the company said it expects antibody levels created by the vaccine to eventually wane, making booster shots likely.
    • CEO Stephane Bancel also said Moderna will not manufacture more than the 800M to 1B doses already planned this year because of capacity constraints and is not taking additional orders for deliveries this year.
    • Moderna beat on income and revenue in its Q2 earnings

  8. Phil / VIAC – if you go into the details – this was a pretty good quarter…..   in terms of sub growth, advertising growth etc…..  this should be taking off…

    ViacomCBS (NASDAQ:VIAC): Q2 Non-GAAP EPS of $0.97 misses by $0.02; GAAP EPS of $1.50 beats by $0.52.

    Revenue of $6.56B (+7.9% Y/Y) beats by $50M.

    Adjusted OIBDA was down 25% Y/Y to $1.24B.

    Added 6.5M Global Streaming Subscribers to Reach Over 42M in the Quarter, and Realized 82% Year-Over-Year Growth in Streaming Subscription Revenue, Fueled by the Diverse Global Content Offering of Paramount.

    Generated 102% Year-Over-Year Growth in Streaming Advertising Revenue.

    Press Release

  9. Phil / VIAC – this article has better breakout…

    ViacomCBS stock (ticker: VIAC) was about flat in premarket trading on Thursday, versus S&P 500 pointing to a 0.2% rise at the open.

    ViacomCBS reported $1.50 in second-quarter earnings per share, up 205% year over year, versus Wall Street analysts’ average estimates of 98 cents a share. Adjusted earnings per share were down 20% to 97 cents, which excludes a tax benefit, a gain on a sale, and other non-recurring income and costs. Without those items, the company’s earnings beat wasn’t as pronounced—analysts had been expecting 96 cents in adjusted earnings per share on average. 

    ViacomCBS’ second-quarter revenue came in at $6.6 billion, up 8% from a year earlier and about $75 million more than consensus. Adjusted Oibda—short for operating income before depreciation and amortization, ViacomCBS management’s preferred profit measure—was down 25% year over year at $1.2 billion, but higher than the $1.1 billion consensus. Net income was $995 million, ahead of the $627 million consensus and more than double the year-ago period.

    Round TripViacomCBS stock more than doubled inearly 2021—before giving it all back.Year-To-Date PerformanceSource: FactSet


    A rebound in advertising revenues relative to the pandemic-depressed second quarter of 2020 plus continued growth in ViacomCBS’ streaming business were behind the year-over-year growth. The company’s non-streaming advertising sales were up 24%, to $2.1 billion, while affiliate revenue—the fees that distributors like cable companies pay monthly to include ViacomCBS’ channels like CBS, Comedy Central, MTV, and Nickelodeon in their bundles—were up 9%, also to $2.1 billion.

    Streaming was the standout performer in the quarter: ViacomCBS said it added 6.5 million streaming subscribers—versus 4.1 million consensus—to end the second quarter with more than 42 million globally on Paramount+ and Showtime. The services added about 6 million subscribers in the first quarter. The company’s streaming subscription revenue was up 82%, to $481 million, in the latest quarter, accounting for about 15% of total revenue.

    Pluto TV, ViacomCBS’ ad-supported free streaming service, saw more than 52 million monthly active users last quarter, up by about 2 million over the previous quarter and a little below analysts’ average forecast. That follows growth of 6 million in the first quarter. Pluto-specific revenues were up 169%, and CEO Bob Bakish said on Thursday’s earnings call that he expects the service to have more than $1 billion in revenue this year. ViacomCBS’ total streaming advertising revenue—which includes an ad-supported tier of Paramount+—was up 102% last quarter to $502 million. 

    Total streaming-related revenues were $983 million, up 92% year over year. That’s fast growth and what investors want to see from a legacy media company transitioning its business model to keep up with changing consumer preferences. 


    Still, there was plenty in ViacomCBS’ report to temper enthusiasm.

    For starters, the economy is reopening and people have more in-person entertainment options than they have had for the past year. That’s a headwind to overall streaming industry growth: Less time sitting on couches with nothing to do means less demand for Paramount+, Netflix (NFLX), or Walt Disney’s (DIS) Disney+. 


    Secondly, ViacomCBS is pouring money into new shows and movies for its streaming services to keep those subscribers coming. The 25% year-over-year decline in Oibda last quarter despite an 8% rise in revenues reflected that high e content investment. ViacomCBS won’t get much credit from investors for its gains in legacy advertising and affiliate revenues if it’s plowing that cash back into money-losing streaming. The company’s free cash flow was negative $25 million last quarter. And the year-over-year comparisons for those legacy cable and broadcast TV businesses will get tougher in the coming quarters, so momentum there might not last long.

    The streaming wars aren’t a winner-takes-all game. Consumers have shown that they’ll subscribe to multiple services at once. But Paramount+ and Pluto are small fish in a pond with deep-pocketed behemoths like Netflix, Disney, and soon a combined WarnerMedia and Discovery (DISCA). ViacomCBS is off to a strong start, but long-term success in streaming as an independent company is still far from assured.

    • Exxon Mobil (NYSE:XOM) is considering a pledge to cut its net carbon emissions to zero by 2050WSJ reports, in what would amount to a significant strategic shift by the oil company.
    • CEO Darren Woods once described emissions targets made by European rivals as nothing more than a "beauty competition," but according to the report, Woods and others on Exxon's board are now giving the same idea serious debate.
    • Exxon has not made a final decision on a net-zero pledge, but it likely will introduce a series of strategic moves on environmental and other issues before the end of the year, WSJ says.
    • Exxon shares have drifted lower since reporting strong Q2 results that were overshadowed by the lack of a stock buyback program.
    • June International Trade in Goods and Services-$75.7B vs. -$74.0B consensus and -$71.0B prior (revised from -$71.2B).
    • June exports were $207.7B, $1.2B more than May exports.
    • June imports were $283.4B, $6.0B more than May exports.
    • Year-to-date, the goods and services deficit increased $135.8B, or 46.4%, from the same period in 2020. Exports increased $150.9B or 14.3%. Imports increased $286.7B or 21.3%.
    • On a three-month moving average, the goods and services deficit increased $0.2B to $71.9B.
    • Bitfarms (NASDAQ:BITF) mined 391 new Bitcoin during July 2021 marking its largest monthly production rate achieved in 2021 and ~96% higher from January levels; per day mining capacity stands between 12½ and 13½ bitcoin each day.
    • In the first seven months of 2021, the company mined 1,748 bitcoin, largest mined bitcoin in North America.
    • Through Aug.1, the company deposited 1,678 bitcoin into custody representing ~96% of its bitcoin production and valued at ~$69.8M.
    • "As we work to execute on our growth targets, we anticipate adding more Bitcoins to our balance sheet at a faster rate than we have in 1H21," founder & CEO Emiliano Grodzki commented.
    • Q2 results scheduled for release on Aug.16, after market close; analysts consensus estimates for revenue stands at $22.7M.
    • Shares trading 0.8% down premarket.

    That will be an interesting report to read. 

    • Fiverr International (NYSE:FVRR) is down sharply in early trading after issuing guidance below expectations. In a nutshell, the retailer says people are traveling more and taking more vacations and spending less time online as many parts of the world reopen, which prompted FVRR to pull back on its financial outlook after posting 60% growth in Q2.
    • Looking ahead, the company sees Q3 revenue of $68.0M to $72.0M vs. $80.2M consensus and full-year revenue of $280M to $288M vs. $308.3M consensus.
    • FVRR outlook update: "The reduced online activity translates into more modest new customer cohorts and less activity for older cohorts. We are providing the following guidance accordingly. Given the uncertainty of the ongoing impact and unprecedented conditions surrounding the COVID-19 pandemic on economies globally, we will provide investors with updated business trends as they evolve."
    • Shares of Fiverr International (FVRR) are down 18.55% premarket to $187.96 despite the Q2 revenue and EPS beat.
    • Cheniere Energy (NYSE:LNG): Q2 GAAP EPS of -$1.30 misses by $2.15.
    • Revenue of $3.02B (+25.8% Y/Y) misses by $180M.
    • Adjusted EBITDA of approximately $1.0 billion and $2.5 billion for the three and six months ended June 30, 2021, respectively.
    • Distributable Cash Flow of approximately $340 million and $1.09 billion for the three and six months ended June 30, 2021, respectively, an increase of approximately 30% over the first half of 2020.
    • Increasing full year 2021 Consolidated Adjusted EBITDA guidance to $4.6 – $4.9 billion and full year 2021 Distributable Cash Flow guidance to $1.8 – $2.1 billion due primarily to improved LNG market margins and an increase in forecasted LNG production.
    • Press Release

  10. Here's your opening pop:

    • Better earnings and lower rates are bullish tailwinds for the broader market.
    • Goldman Chief U.S. Equity Strategist David Kostin is raising his target for the S&P (SP500

       15.49 0.35%

      ) (NYSEARCA:SPY) to 4,700, up from 4,300 for 2021 and to 4,900 from 4,600 for 2022.

    • "The combination of higher-than-expected S&P 500 earnings and lower-than-expected interest rates drives our upgraded price targets," Kostin writes in a note. "Our new targets imply a 7% S&P 500 price return for the remainder of 2021 and full year price returns of 25% in 2021 and 4% in 2022, respectively (27% and 6% including dividends)."
    • The baseline case for the targets assumes the 10-year Treasury yield (NYSEARCA:TBT) (NASDAQ:TLT) rises to 1.6%.
    • "If interest rates were to remain at or near current levels (1.2% for the 10-year US Treasury yield) without a major downgrade to growth expectations or risk sentiment, the implied S&P 500 fair value at year-end would equal 4950 (+12% vs. the current S&P 500 level) and the P/E multiple would equal 23x," Kostin says.
    • If rates rise more than expected then fair value would be 4,350, below current levels, with P/E of 21x, he adds.
    • Meanwhile, T.S. Lombard is out with a note arguing that while Q2 may have been the peak of Q/Q GDP, it's not peak growth.
    • All "this talk about peak this, peak that, makes for good headlines but misses the critical point – a higher real growth and inflation profile for the coming expansion," Steven Blitz, chief U.S. economist, writes. "The coming expansion will deliver a lot more than the one, two or even three quarters of outsized growth tied to reopening. This expansion will likely prove out to be a better decade of real economic expansion and income gains than the past decade, complete with better gains in productivity."
    • Blitz is looking for the 10-year to rise to 1.8% this year, to 2.5% next year and to 3.5% in 2023.
    • "This forecast has real yields 'normalizing' towards 75bp by the end of 2023, reflective of growth not a tightening of financial conditions, like what happened in 2017," he says.
    • Currently, S&P companies are beating earnings expectations at a record pace.
    • Yeti (NYSE:YETI) swings lower even after Q2 results arrived comfortably ahead of consensus expectations.
    • Direct-to-consumer revenue was up 48% to $196.9M in Q2 and wholesale revenue increased 41% to $160.8M.
    • Drinkware sales increased 69% during the quarter to $192.9M, driven in part by the continued expansion of the company's product offerings, including the introduction of new colorways and sizes and strong demand for customization. Coolers & Equipment sales increased 23% to $157.8M as a strong performance in soft coolers, bags, outdoor living products, cargo and hard coolers factored in.
    • Gross profit increased to 58.5% of sales vs. 55.7% a year ago. The 280 basis point increase in gross margin was primarily driven by a favorable mix shift to the DTC channel, product cost improvements, and lower inventory reserves, partially offset by the unfavorable impact of the non-renewal of the Global System of Preferences program on import duties and higher inbound freight.
    • Looking ahead, Yeti (YETI) sees sales growth of 26% and 28% vs 23% consensus.
    • Shares of Yeti are down 3.73% premarket to $96.00 after running up more than 45% YTD. Yeti (YETI) still trades well-above its 50-day, 100-day and 200-day moving averages.

    YETI Holding (YETI) – Started out as a cooler company but have expanded into all sorts of things.  Very expensive at $90, which is close to $8Bn and they are only making $200M a year (40x earnings) but they made $50M in 2019 on about half as much revenue so we can split the baby on this one and promise to buy them if they drop 33% by selling the 2023 $65 puts for $7.50, which would net you in at $57.50, which would be down to a $5Bn market cap and that I'd love to own it at so let's sell 10 of those in our Long-Term Portfolio (LTP) for $7,500.

    • Challenger Job-Cut Report18.942K from 20.476K in June.
    • So far this year, employers have announced plans to cut 231,603 jobs from their payrolls, down 87.5% from the 1,847,696 jobs eliminated through the same period last year.
    • July cuts were led by the Pharmaceutical sector, which announced 2,249 cuts, primarily due to diminishing demand for COVID tests and related materials. Industrial Goods manufacturers announced the second highest with 2,037. These companies are still plagued by supply chain issues from the beginning of COVID lockdowns. The Services sector announced 1,941 cuts in July.
    • Siemens (OTCPK:SIEGY) powers ~3% higher in Europe after reporting stronger FQ3 profits and revenues while raising its full-year guidance for the third time this year.
    • Q3 net profit attributable to shareholders jumped to €1.35B (~$1.6B) from €539M in the year-earlier quarter, beating the €948M consensus of analyst forecasts gathered by the company.
    • Siemens says Q3 revenues rose 24% Y/Y to €16.1B from €12.98B a year ago, beating forecasts for €15.11B, led by double-digit growth in the Healthineers subsidiary as well as its digital industries and smart infrastructure units.
    • Orders jumped 47% to €20.49B from €3.91B a year earlier and ahead of forecasts for €16.32B.
    • In Siemens' core industrial business, adjusted EBITDA climbed 29% to €2.32B, beating expectations for €2.09B, while adjusted EBITDA margin for the business rose to 15.3%.
    • As a result of the strong showing, Siemens raised its full-year profit guidance again, following previous increases in February and May.
    • Siemens now sees FY 2021 net income of €6.1B-€6.4B, which includes the acquisition of oncology specialist Varian by Healthineers, raised from prior guidance of €5.7B-€6.2B.
    • The company also expects full-year revenues to rise 11%-12% instead of its previous outlook for a 9%-11% increase.
    • Higher raw materials prices and supply chain bottlenecks, such as in semiconductor chips, are a problem but are being overcome, CEO Roland Busch said.
    • The company also says it is buying rail software company Sqills for €550M.
    • Siemens recently announced plans to launch a stock buyback program totaling as much as €3B.
    • Global health services company Cigna (NYSE:CI) shares fell nearly 4% premarket after the company failed to keep a tight lid on costs in its second-quarter, partly due to the disruptions caused by the COVID-19 pandemic.
    • The company's medical care ratio, the amount of money spent on claims vs income from premiums, worsened to 85.4% in the quarter compared to 70.5% in the same period last year.
    • The significantly lower medical care in second quarter 2020 was due to the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic, an acceleration in the return to historical levels of utilization, the direct costs of COVID-19 testing and treatment, and the pricing effect of the repeal of the health insurance industry tax.
    • The company's quarterly revenue rose 10% to $43.1B, beating analysts average estimate by $1.93B.
    • FY21 Guidance: Adjusted revenues is projected to be at least $170B vs consensus estimate of $166.5B; Consolidated adjusted income from operations is at least $6.96B, or at least $20.20/share vs estimate of $20.42.
    • The company highlighted that the outlook includes ~$2.50 per share in net unfavorable impacts of COVID-19.
    • Cigna also posted adjusted quarterly profit of $5.24 per share, beating analysts estimate by 27 cents.
    • Robinhood Markets (NASDAQ:HOOD) stock drops 13% in premarket trading after the company registers to offer ~97.9M shares held by existing stockholders from time to time.
    • Since the shares are being sold by pre-IPO investors, the company won't receive any proceeds.
    • Entities affiliated with Andreessen Horowitz is offering 9.28M shares; after the offering it expects to hold 11.0M HOOD shares.
    • ICONIQ Capital offers 13.6M of the 15.5M it currently holds.
    • New Enterprise Associates is offering ~2.90M shares, leaving it with 71.9M shares after the offering.
    • Previously, Robinhood becomes a meme stock with options driving the big moves
    • ViacomCBS (NASDAQ:VIAC): Q2 Non-GAAP EPS of $0.97 misses by $0.02; GAAP EPS of $1.50 beats by $0.52.
    • Revenue of $6.56B (+7.9% Y/Y) beats by $50M.
    • Adjusted OIBDA was down 25% Y/Y to $1.24B.
    • Added 6.5M Global Streaming Subscribers to Reach Over 42M in the Quarter, and Realized 82% Year-Over-Year Growth in Streaming Subscription Revenue, Fueled by the Diverse Global Content Offering of Paramount.
    • Generated 102% Year-Over-Year Growth in Streaming Advertising Revenue.
    • Press Release

  11. CAH worth looking to sell the Jan 23 47.5 put for 5.70 or even the 50 for 6.30 

  12. Here is the replay of this week's webinar. Enjoy

  13. VIAC/Batman – Last chance to buy them cheap, I think.

    In the LTP, we're aggressive with just 10 short calls against 30 longs:

    VIAC Short Put 2023 20-JAN 40.00 PUT [VIAC @ $41.00 $2.21] -10 3/29/2021 (533) $-12,300 $12.30 $-4.33 $0.82     $7.98 $-0.88 $4,325 35.2% $-7,975
    VIAC Short Call 2022 21-JAN 60.00 CALL [VIAC @ $41.00 $2.21] -10 3/29/2021 (169) $-6,500 $6.50 $-5.60     $0.91 $0.19 $5,595 86.1% $-905
    VIAC Long Call 2023 20-JAN 30.00 CALL [VIAC @ $41.00 $2.21] 30 5/6/2021 (533) $39,750 $13.25 $0.73     $13.98 $1.48 $2,175 5.5% $41,925

    In the Money Talk Portfolio, we have a more conservative spread:

    VIAC Long Call 2023 20-JAN 30.00 CALL [VIAC @ $41.00 $2.21] 20 5/13/2021 (533) $27,000 $13.50 $0.48 $13.50     $13.98 $1.48 $950 3.5% $27,950
    VIAC Short Call 2023 20-JAN 45.00 CALL [VIAC @ $41.00 $2.21] -20 5/13/2021 (533) $-15,400 $7.70 $-0.90     $6.80 $1.04 $1,800 11.7% $-13,600
    VIAC Short Put 2023 20-JAN 35.00 PUT [VIAC @ $41.00 $2.21] -10 5/13/2021 (533) $-7,000 $7.00 $-1.23     $5.78 $-0.06 $1,225 17.5% $-5,775

    That is still only net $8,575 on the $30,000 spread that's $21,000 in the money at the moment – they are just giving money away on that one!  

    CAH/Yodi – See CI earnings above.  There's a reason I've stayed out of insurance companies the past year.  

  14. sold a few CAH 2023 $42.50 puts      watch out for fake option quotes 

    (thx Yodi for the idea) 

    YETI is like iPhone for the outdoors folks.  I saw a nice fabric cooler, then noticed the price for $299.  Costco has a copy but not as nice

  15. Stockbern-Look at YETI cash balance sheet. Not pretty. I am going to probably do a short. With people not getting the extra bucks I wonder if they will hold up. I sure would not pay those prices for a mug or cooler. I always surmise that people who float labels are insecure. I have family members like that and they never have anything worthwhile, but they have been the same their whole lives. Years ago when younger it was the dang alligator on the shirts and Calvin Klein jeans, or Levis. I realize that I am not "normal."

  16. Yeti/Stock – It's kind of like those Canadian Goose jackets – people will pay very stupid prices to be fashionable but the underlying product has to actually be high-quality.

    These guys are doing over $1Bn in sales up over 3x in 5 years.   Making $152M (because they are so expensive) and still growing nicely but $42.69 is $4.7Bn in market cap so 30x for clothing is a bit steep.

    YETI is $8.7Bn at $101 is no better though – I just think they have a more defensible niche and more ability to expand product lines to the same core audience.  Also at 1Bn in sales with $156M in profit so almost double the price of GOOS but very fast bottom-line growth as they have better mfg scale-up.

  17. The chip shortage is getting worse

  18. We never play LG Display (LPL) because they don't have long-term options but they are right at $10 so we have a chance to sell a lot of premium at a good strike – so let's do that for the Earnings Portfolio:

    • Buy 50 LPL Jan $7.50 calls for $2.45 ($12,250)
    • Sell 50 LPL Jan $10 calls for $1 ($5,000) 
    • Sell 25 LPL Jan $10 puts for $1.35 ($3,375) 

    That's net $3,875 on the $12,500 spread that's starting out pretty much 100% in the money so all LG has to do is hold $10 for 169 days and this trade makes $8,625 (222%).  The risk is owning 2,500 shares at $10 + $1.55 (the $3,875 loss) but LG should be making about $1.4Bn this year against what is now a $7Bn market cap so stupidly cheap means we don't mind getting "stuck" with them for the long-haul.

    Let's say it drops to $8 and we we have 2,500 at $11.55 so we sell 25 $7.50 puts for $1.25 and that knocks our net down to $6.25 on round 2 for an average of $8.90 and we could then sell 25 $10 calls to drop our basis to $8.65 with a call away at $10 for a 15.6% profit, despite the dip.  Worst case then is owning 5,000 shares at ($7.50 + $8.65)/2 = $8.075 ($40,375) so the bottom line is, if we don't REALLY want to own 5,000 shares for $8.075 – why would we sell any $10 puts?  

    I like any stock where a simple call sale pays 10% in 6 months as it means as long as they don't go bankrupt in 5 years – I should get my money back!  

  19. Phil, chart above for "LG" is for LPL

  20. LPL is LG Display

  21. Rising Covid cases take a toll on Biden’s standing

  22. Okay, then the trade recommendation needs to be updated.  The symbol for the trade is listed as "LG".

  23. Thanks, I had LG stuck in my head.  

  24. Phil, SSSS has declared another special $2.25 divvy after the one in May (for $2.5). I have a 1000 share position (from call exercise) and am short 15 adjusted SSSS '23 $17.50 calls (effective strike $14.69, the stock is just above $14 after today's run-up). I have been trying to repurchase 5 short calls before the run-up but the spreads were too wide. I assume these short calls will get adjusted once again. Would appreciate thoughts on the best course of action (I was thinking of selling puts for the difference after the stock goes ex-divvy). TIA

  25. SSSS/Hw – That's going to be pretty messy but why not just buy 500 more shares to cover, collect the special and then let yourself get called away?  Those options are pretty illiquid but they should be about $1.50 so you can always just offer to buy them back and see if you get a nibble.  I just don't like paying that kind of premium for out of the money calls – I'd rather just buy the stock or buy 5 $12.50 calls ($4.40) to cover.  

    SSSS is a cute stock, investing in startups has been good business this year:

    As you can see, they mostly own COUR, who have had a rough patch and should bounce back a bit:

    I think it was pure luck with the pandemic so I wouldn't want to get too heavy in SSSS/COUR.

  26. SSSS / Phil

    Thank you – they had Palantir which they sold at decent prices in Q1 (source for their prior divvy) and they sold Coursera this past quarter which would fund their currently declared divvy. The adjusted calls have 119 shares as deliverables, so I guess I need some 785 more shares (8 calls).