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TGIF – Stop the Week, We Want to Get Off!

This week was no worse than last week.

As you can see on the S&P 500 chart, we've fallen about the same amount and bounced about the same amount this week and last and if we slow-step our way to a correction – that can be nice and healthy for the markets.  Notice we have support on the Strong Bounce Line at 4,559 on the S&P 500 and, if that holds today – it bodes well for next week.  If the week bounce line at 4,512 fails, however, we'll be looking to add more hedges into the close.  

We went over the bounce lines for all our indexes yesterday but, to summarize, we have: 

  • Dow  36,000 to 34,200 has bounce lines of 34,560 (weak) and 34,920 (strong) 
  • S&P 4,700 to 4,465 has bounce lines of 4,512 (weak) and 4,559 (strong) 
  • Nasdaq 16,500 to 15,675 has bounce lines of 15,840 (weak) and 16,005 (strong) 
  • Russell 2,400 to 2,080 has bounce lines of 2,144 (weak) and 2,208 (strong)

These bounce charts are useful because the let us know when we nee more hedges (when they go all red) and when we're out of danger (all green).  At the moment, it's telling us to wait and see but things are not too bad with only one red box at the moment.  

We're still watching the Russell as our canary in the coal mine as that index is undergoing the bigger correction (10% vs 2.5% for the others) and failing that (2,160) will almost certainly drag the others down with it.  As you can see – we've barely held that line for the last two days so one day above it is no cause for a party.  

We have picked up plenty of stocks while they were on sale.  We added 4 of them to our Money Talk Portfolio when I was on that show on Wednesday evening, so we are bullish enough for the following quarter.  As I said on the show, I'm bullish that the Government and the Fed have at least one more bailout left in them but I would certainly take that opportunity to cash out – because we're at a real tipping point with our debt.  

Speaking of debt, the "good" news this week is that Congress has kicked the debt ceiling can down the road again – all the way to Feb 18th and it passed with bi-partisan support in the Senate: 69-28, which indicates the next one will pass as well.  Extending current federal spending, set under the Trump administration, through mid-February will give lawmakers more time to negotiate and pass a new set of funding bills. Republicans have sought to preserve the current funding levels for as long as possible, while Democrats are pushing for more funding for a variety of domestic programs, including education, healthcare and research efforts.

8:30 Update:  Not good is only 210,000 jobs created in November, missing the estimate of leading Economorons of 545,000 by 159%.  6.9M less people are employed now than before the pandemic and, at this pace, we will be finding jobs for them by maybe 2030.  The good news is that weak jobs numbers keep the Fed on the table and gives them and excuse to put off raising rates a bit longer.  

We'll see how the market digests all this but, to me, it's just another sign that we're heading into Stagflation – and that is a very unpleasant economic situation to be in.  

Our $29 Trillion Deficit, Interest Rates, Inflation, And Debt

Stock Market Struggles to Reprice Risks That Credit Traders Saw in September

"Staggering 1-Day Moves": Nomura Warns The Market "Remains Shockingly Dysfunctional"

Oil Extends Gains After OPEC+ Takes Flexible Stance on Supply

U.S. sues to block Nvidia merger with Arm, the largest semiconductor deal in history

N.Y. Hospitals Fill as State Sees Most Covid Cases Since January.

Google workers in U.S. won’t return to office as expected on Jan. 10

Suburban NYC Home Sales Plunge Because There’s Nothing to Buy.

Tesla says it needs graphite from China for batteries, requests tariff waiver

Have a great weekend, 

- Phil


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  1. Phil-thoughts on what to do with DIDI?

  2. DIDI/Phil – We should be able to convert this to HK shares like CHL but no requirement to divest. Guess the long calls are toast (offset by the shorts).  

  3. Good morning!  

    DIDI/Hicket, Seer – Yeah, I would just move them over to HK if you don't mind holding them.   We were going to add them to the Future is Now Portfolio but we never actually did.  

    Oil blasting back up – what a head-fake yesterday to flush the stops:


  4. Oops, the rally's over already:


    • The stock market is looking for direction after a miss in payrolls, but a drop in the jobless rate and rise in the labor participation rate.
    • The S&P (SP500) +0.1%, Nasdaq (COMP.IND) -0.3% and Dow (DJI) +0.2% are essentially little changed.
    • Nonfarm payrolls rose by 210K in November, well below expectations. But the jobless rate dropped and the labor participation rate rose.
    • Labor participation has been the biggest concern among economists.
    • "There are nearly 2.4 million workers still missing from the labor force compared to pre pandemic levels, and their return has been slow," Odeta Kushi, economist at First American, tweets. "The labor force participation rate did increase in November, from 61.6 to 61.8%, but remains below pre-pandemic (63.3%)."
    • The Treasury yield curve continues to flatten, with the 10-year steady at 1.45%, while the 2-year is up 3 basis points to 1.65%.
    • See the individual stocks making the biggest moves this morning.

    • With spot liquified natural gas ("LNG") prices in Asia shattering records this winter, supply challenges persist as Shell (NYSE:RDS.A) sees downtime at flagship Prelude vessel 
    • Earlier in the week, it was reported that Chevron (NYSE:CVX) was performing unplanned maintenance at Gorgon for the second time in the quarter, raising concerns the supermajor could be a buyer of spot LNG, rather than a seller, as the Company looks to fulfill long-term contracts
    • The Prelude outage appears to be temporary; caused by a fire which was has since been extinguished, Shell is hoping to to recommence production when primary power is restored to the vessel
    • Having blown it's construction budget by nearly 50%, delivered late and sat idle for much of it's in-field life, Prelude has been a thorn in the side of RDS.A's gas business

    Dec. 03, 2021 9:45 AM ET

    • November U.S. PMI Composite Index (Final):  57.2 vs. 56.5 consensus and 57.6 prior.
    • The upturn in new business was solid midway through Q4 amid a strong expansion in services new orders; foreign client demand signaled a renewed rise.
    • The rate of growth in backlogs of work softened, but it was the third-steepest on record.
    • Service Index58 vs. 57 consensus, 58.7 prior.
    • Although the pace of expansion was stronger than the series average of 54.8, it was subdued in comparison to rates seen through 2021 so far.
    • November data indicated a strong rise in new business across the service sector, with the rate of increase holding close to October's 3-month high though remaining below the strong gains seen earlier in the year.

    GE -0.96%Dec. 03, 2021 7:25 AM ET6 Comments

    • GE Hitachi (GEOTCPK:HTHIYwins an order to build small modular reactors from Ontario Power Generation at the Darlington new nuclear site, the only site in Canada licensed for a new nuclear build.
    • The joint venture plans to construct up to four small module reactors, with the first projected to be completed as early as 2028.
    • Financial terms are not disclosed, but the project likely will cost several billion dollars.
    • Small modular reactors generate 300K kw of electricity, much less than conventional reactors that generate ~1M kw, and it takes a shorter period to build them.
    • GE shares have slipped ~5% since news of the new coronavirus variant discovered in South Africa.

    PTON -1.78%Dec. 03, 2021 6:58 AM ET9 Comments

    • Deutsche Bank starts off coverage on Peloton Interactive (NASDAQ:PTON) with a Buy rating on a positive view of the upside for investors who are patient.
    • Analyst Chris Woronka and team believe that there are scenarios in which Peloton shares go lower from the current level, but see many more scenarios which result in a rally based off of fundamental and unemotional analysis of the company's earnings power in a "normalized fully-reopened economic environment."
    • The firm assigns a price target of $76 to PTON to rep 70% upside potential.
    • Shares of Peloton Interactive (PTON) are up 2.61% premarket to $45.61.
    • PTON trades at its lowest price-to-sales ratio of the last year.

    MRNA +0.01%Dec. 03, 2021 6:49 AM ET21 Comments

    • According to a peer-reviewed study published in The Lancet on Thursday, Moderna (NASDAQ:MRNA) COVID-19 vaccine has shown the strongest antibody effect in a trial that evaluated the different combinations of COVID-19 vaccines as boosters.
    • The Phase 2 "COV-Boost" study conducted across 18 different U.K. locations involved nearly 2,900 individuals aged over 30 years. Half in the study had received two doses of Oxford-AstraZeneca (NASDAQ:AZN) vaccine, and the rest had received the Pfizer (NYSE:PFE)/BioNTech (NASDAQ:BNTX) vaccine.
    • The trial was designed to evaluate the safety and efficacy of seven booster vaccines developed by AstraZeneca (AZN), Pfizer (PFE)/ BioNTech (BNTX), Novavax (NASDAQ:NVAX), Johnson & Johnson (NYSE:JNJ), Moderna (MRNA), Valneva (NASDAQ:VALN) and CureVac (NASDAQ:CVAC).
    • While all seven vaccines except Valneva’s (VALN) boosted immunity in those who had received initial doses of Pfizer (PFE)/ BioNTech (BNTX), all seven had upped the immunity level when given 10 – 12 weeks after the initial regimen of the AstraZeneca (AZN) vaccine.
    • Notably, Moderna (MRNA) COVID-19 shot had generated the strongest booster effect leading to an over 32-fold rise in antibody level in the AstraZeneca (AZN) group and over 11-fold increase in the Pfizer (PFE)/ BioNTech (BNTX) group, The Guardian reported.
    • Read: Shortly after the FDA authorized its COVID-19 vaccine as an additional dose in the U.S., Piper Sandler expected Moderna (MRNA) to take market share from Pfizer (PFE)/ BioNTech (BNTX) in the U.S. market for booster shots.

      MRNA Short Put 2024 19-JAN 200.00 PUT [MRNA @ $305.19 $3.70] -5 10/5/2021 (777) $-12,500 $25.00 $11.25 $-25.00     $36.25 $-1.75 $-5,625 -45.0% $-18,125

  5. See, that's why you have to learn to ignore option prices in your portfolio – they get very silly.  We went into the MRNA short puts at $300 and now it's at $305 but the puts are 45% higher (great for a new entry, of course).  Same strike but the recent volatility of MRNA has pumped up the prices – even though, on the whole, it's looking pretty steady around $300, whereas we risked buying it after it fell 33% while it was still, arguably, heading lower.  

  6. Oh, also a good example of how a Fundamentalist ignores the chart.  To me, MRNA had simply gotten to a point where I thought it had value so, at $300, I was ready to buy, despite the crap-looking chart.  We certainly didn't take a lot of risk, selling the $200 puts (another 33% lower) for $25 (another 12.5% below that) and we didn't panic when the stock came close to $200 because we REALLY would love to own 500 shares at net $175.  Now that we're back over $300 – I feel even better about the short puts – especially at 45% more than we sold them for.

  7. IBM taking off on a down day – good sign.

  8. Morning, thoughts on BIG earnings. They topped estimates but guided lower for 2022

  9. BIG/Jeddah – Well if they guide lower, we have to believe them.  Still, it's overall a good report and they are up 3% and that's on track for us:

    BIG Long Call 2024 19-JAN 40.00 CALL [BIG @ $45.29 $1.67] 20 10/1/2021 (777) $23,000 $11.50 $1.80 $11.50     $13.30 - $3,600 15.7% $26,600
    BIG Short Call 2024 19-JAN 55.00 CALL [BIG @ $45.29 $1.67] -20 10/1/2021 (777) $-13,500 $6.75 $1.20     $7.95 - $-2,400 -17.8% $-15,900
    BIG Short Put 2024 19-JAN 40.00 PUT [BIG @ $45.29 $1.67] -10 10/1/2021 (777) $-10,000 $10.00 $-0.20     $9.80 - $200 2.0% $-9,800

    The guide-down seems to be related to the supply chain and that will work itself out eventually.   They are a good recession stock and a growth stock so I love them down here.  

  10. JUst a note on graphene-graphite. Own a small cap Canadian co ticker ECORF for while. They are Canadian producer's and are expanding. Just a bet as they are only .08 but am buying more. They are expanding worldwide, but shares are not always available. The minerals are in short supply for batteries. Kind of reminds me of AMYZF which is down again,  but picking up .

  11. BABA really going on sale today 

  12. Viac is up a whole dollar after hitting 30.!! 

  13. Pirate, VIAC green for more than 10 min is a site for sore eyes 

  14. Ted Cruz Is the Disease

  15. 159 Dark Jokes For Those With A Twisted Sense of Humor

  16. Graphene/Pirate – Absolutely the material of the future.  

    BABA/Yodi – DIDI has them in a total panic.  

    VIAC/Pirate – As I said, $30 is the point at which someone will buy the whole company (for $40+)  

    Ouch on Nasdaq, 15,700.

    16,000 x 0.975 is 15,600 – see how easy it is to play along at home!  Then you have a 400-point drop so 80-point bounces make 15,680 weak and 15,760 strong intra-day.

  17. DIDI / Phil – we have actually played it, would appreciate your thoughts on how to salvage the position. TIA

  18. Hey , If BABA delists I will get more tax losses to match against gains at some time. Maybe I should have converted my CHL into HK , seemed like a hassle at the time.

  19. Meant to include :)

  20. CHL/randers1 – Converted mine, collected a couple of dividends, AND sold for a profit (not the double we were expecting, but still up). Have Fidelity, but some brokers seem to not be able to do it. Got charged both ways, but still made money. 

  21. Supply bottlenecks are easing – The Daily Shot

  22. Anybody have insight into what happens if BABA delists? They just buyback the shares cheap?

  23. AAPL/Phil. Should I be trying to buy back or roll these short calls while AAPL is taking a breather?

    155 '24 $130c    ($32.9)

    -80 Jun '22 $160c  ($15.8)

    -40 '23 $160c    ($20)

    -25 '24 $170c   ($22.6)


  24. wingwalker, I always see that I possible get the full spread price when closing or even rolling 

  25. Carlsen vs Nepo Game 6 is a good distraction today

  26. Nas bottomed out at 15,560 so far.  15,675 was predicted by the 5% Rule on Monday but intra-day it's just an overshoot.

    DIDI/Hwtdr – The trade was proposed on July 29th but we forgot to do it and, at the end of August, we went back to mainly cash so we never ended up adding it into the Future is Now Portfolio but, the trade idea was:

    While it's very dangerous to take China at it's word, I'm liking DIDI, who have fallen below their IPO price of $14 to $8.87, which is a $10.5Bn market cap for a company with $30Bn in quickly growing sales (no profits so far but manageable losses).  They are likely to be up 20% at the open, though.  Amazon owns a piece of them and I think they are worth a toss down here so let's add them to our Future Is Now Portfolio as such (I'm estimating the opening prices):

    • Sell 20 DIDI Feb $10 puts for $2.50 ($5,000) 
    • Buy 50 DIDI Feb $10 calls for $3 ($15,000)
    • Sell 50 DIDI Feb $15 calls for $2 ($10,000)

    That's a net $0 cost on the $25,000 spread and our only obligation is owning 2,000 shares of DIDI for $10 so, as long as we REALLY want to invest in DIDI over the long-haul, the risk of assignment should not bother us.  The upside potential is a clean $25,000 if they get back to $15 and, of course, we intend to roll the Feb $10 calls out to longer strikes when they are published.  

    So, currently, the 2023 $10 puts are $4.85 ($9,700) and the $10 (0.55)/15 (0.25) bull call spread is 0.30 ($1,500) so the net loss on the spread is $8,200 and that's that – if you don't want to play the stock in China – it's just a loss and best to walk away.  There's no magic fix at this point unless you want to chance that they don't get de-listed.  

    Hong Kong/Randers – Don't forget the unrest in HK was making that look dicey too.   Still is a bit.

    BABA/Seer – Same screw job as CHL if you leave it up to your broker.  As Seer said, you have to move it to an HK account and suddenly you are a big-shot international investors with interested around the World and brokers at your beck and call on several continents.   cool

    AAPL/Wing – Well you have 155 longs and only 145 short calls so all seems well there.  If you want some faster action, you can roll 20 of the June $160s at $15.85 ($31,700) to 30 of the Jan $160s at $8.15 ($24,450) and those will burn off premium more quickly and give you more chances to sell premium over the next 2 Qs.  So, rather than waiting for $31,700 to expire, you can sell perhaps $75,000 worth of premium at the same strike and you are still fully covered.  

    Carlsen/Rn – Riveting!    I like Clash Royal (app), it's very chess-like.  

  27. Would you roll the BABA trade .. seems like every fund/ETF is getting rid of it on the DIDI news.  Thoughts?  

  28. Interesting development on graphene electronics:

    If graphene electronics happen, we're looking at a quick 250-1000x improvement in processing performance.  It's expected that graphene electronics will support multi-terahertz clock speeds. 

  29. Phil / BABA puts

    What happens to the BABA puts that we have sold in LTP incase it gets delisted. Can those be carried over to overseas account or would we have to liquidate them.

  30. BABA, LI, NIO all getting hammered. Very strange. 

  31. What a disastrous end to the week.  

    BABA/Nom – There's not enough information to spend more money on it.  Just have to watch and wait for the moment. 

    Cool JPH!  Moore's Law gets another decade.

    BABA/Jij – You would have to exercise them ahead of the delisting and transfer the stock.  Too risky to leave the puts open.

    In the STP, let's spend $39,200 to roll 100 of the 2024 $40 calls at $13.25 to 100 of the 2023 $50 calls at $9.33.  That gives us $200,000 more protection if the market totally collapses and, if not, gives us faster-expiring short calls at a higher strike.  Since we sold the short calls for $35,000 more than we paid long calls (we bought back 100 of the short 2023 $50s for $5), we're still around net $0 on the spread and less of a clean-up in 2024. 

    TZA Long Call 2023 20-JAN 20.00 CALL [TZA @ $31.88 $2.58] 200 11/16/2021 (413) $160,000 $8.00 $7.38 $12.74     $15.38 - $147,500 92.2% $307,500
    TZA Short Call 2023 20-JAN 50.00 CALL [TZA @ $31.88 $2.58] -100 5/7/2021 (413) $-77,000 $7.70 $1.63     $9.33 - $-16,250 -21.1% $-93,250
    TZA Short Call 2024 19-JAN 40.00 CALL [TZA @ $31.88 $2.58] -200 11/16/2021 (777) $-168,000 $8.40 $4.85     $13.25 $0.25 $-97,000 -57.7% $-265,000

    I think that's all we need as we have $300,000 of downside protection there and another $200,000 in SQQQ and the LTP is only down $100,000 since last review so $500,000 should cover it and we have TQQQ (in the money) CMG and AVGO for another $150,000 as well.  

  32. If BABA delists and your short puts are not in the money, then they just expire worthless. That's what happened to CHL. The shares can't get put to you above the strike price.

  33. As to BABA in the LTP – thank goodness for short calls!  

    BABA Short Put 2023 20-JAN 200.00 PUT [BABA @ $111.81 $-10.19] -10 2/3/2021 (413) $-33,250 $33.25 $59.58 $-2.45     $92.83 $9.63 $-59,575 -179.2% $-92,825
    BABA Long Call 2024 19-JAN 180.00 CALL [BABA @ $111.81 $-10.19] 40 10/18/2021 (777) $156,000 $39.00 $-22.33     $16.68 $-1.23 $-89,300 -57.2% $66,700
    BABA Short Call 2024 19-JAN 240.00 CALL [BABA @ $111.81 $-10.19] -40 10/18/2021 (777) $-136,000 $34.00 $-25.55     $8.45 $-2.35 $102,200 75.1% $-33,800

    So the stock is at $112 and it has nothing to do with earnings.   The stock will continue to exist if it's no listed in the US.  In fact, some very large companies are not listed in the US and they trade just fine.  It's a question of whether you want to own BABA on the HK Exchange or not – IF they delist, which is only a rumor.   

    As it stands, we can ditch the spread and take a $46,675 loss (1/4 allocation block) or we could just kill the long calls for $66,700, which is more than we paid for the spread and see how the rest works out.  That would be margin-intensive though.  We could kill the bull call spread and leave the short puts because, with CHL, the short puts couldn't be assigned (since there was no stock listed to assign) and they ended up worthless.  That's a fun gamble as we either get a sneaky win or we get assigned and more the shares to HK (or the broker could force us to close at a loss – maybe).  

    If we cash the bull call spread for $33,000 we had a net $13,250 credit on the spread so we're in the short puts for a net $46,250 credit or $46.25/share.  The short 2023 $200s are $93 and the 2024 $135s are $45.   That's net $153,750 if assigned 1,000 shares (net $153.75) as is vs $226,750 if assigned 2,000 shares (net $113.37).

    We're at $112 so if BABA goes up 30% and we did nothing, we'd be about even and certainly so if we roll the short puts along.  If BABA stays flat, that's net $38 which is about what we sold the puts for so $59,000 loss goes away and if BABA drops 30% to $80, then net ($153 + $80)/2 = $116.5 – about the same as if we did a 2x roll now.  So the 2x roll does not make us worse off in any situation so there's no reason not to do it unless we REALLY don't want to own 2,000 shares of BABA on HKX for $113.37/8 = $14.17 per HK share.   

    BABA is currently at 119.4 in HK, $15.26 American.  

    So those are our choices and I don't see enough urgency to rush them.  We can give it a week or two and get more information before we decide. 

    What is common, however, in all of these possibilities, is that we'll end up buying back the 40 short 2024 $240 calls and, since that only costs us $33,800 we're going to spend anyway and since they are two years out and 75% profitable – it's not likely we'll miss much by exiting at this point and BABA heads lower (and, of course, we would sell more short calls or cash out our long calls).  HOWEVER, if BABA were to suddenly pop back – it could be a massive benefit for us so – let's buy back the 40 short 2024 calls at $8.45 ($33,800)

    Catherine The Great GIFs - Get the best GIF on GIPHY

    Have a great weekend, 

    - Phil

  34. BABA/Seer – Yes but can they get put to you below?  I think people may put them to you just to get out of the stock so you have to be prepared to own them but, of course, that's not a death sentence.  If we got assigned 16,000 shares at net $14.17 and they are trading in HK at $12.17, then we're down $32,000 – that's all.  


  35. Phil if RUT weak bounce holds is that good for next week (thinking not since you are buying more TZA) but thought I'd ask 

  36. Hi Phil,

    Any thoughts on BLK (blackrock)? They are always going in a single direction :-)

  37. RUT/Coulter – We can't quibble over a few points.  2,152 is essentially 2,144 in the grand scheme of things – especially since we began the day at the strong bounce line so today was a nasty breakdown.  Nas is right on the weak bounce now – so they lost 2 green boxes the Dow went red too so bad, Bad, BAD day for the indexes is why we spent $40,000 bumping up our hedges.  

    Next week, if we do stay over the low's we used to calculate the bounces above, then we're not at all bullish until all those boxes are green – no exceptions!  Failing to hold strongs into the end of the week would be a hold to the next week but failing to hold weak bounces next week (assuming still above lows) would indicate consolidation for a move lower with 2 weeks until Christmas.

    BLK/Harip – Love them.  We played them when they were cheap but that was a while ago.  $900 is $140Bn and they make $6Bn so not terrible but they own a lot of stocks so their fortunes are tied up in the market so not enough diversification to me.  I prefer BRK.B at $276 ($628Bn) making $26Bn as I feel they have a better-quality selection of companies and I think the Buffett-trained team is going to be a bit more agile on the way down (they made a fortune in 2008).  So, better diversification in BRK.

  38. Oh, and BRK is sitting on a kilo-ton of cash and sets a floor to buy their own stock.

  39. My only concern with BRK/B is that Munger and Buffet are too old and the impact their passing might have on the stock and company

  40. We felt that way when Jobs died – worked out for AAPL.

  41. My local JCI rated hospital right outside of NYC was getting 0-4 COVID cases a day and has been getting 15+ and rising for the last week. 

  42. Elon Musk Needs China. China Needs Him. The Relationship Is Complicated.

  43. Newsflow has been terrible since the close – could be rough on Monday.  

    As noted by Seer, virus spreading fast again, Bitcoin took a huge hit, GS downgraded the GDP, no Nuclear Deal with Iran, Evergrande back in trouble (was never out of it), Turkey falling apart.  

    Bitcoin, the largest cryptocurrency by market value, was trading at $47,555.84 around 9:30 a.m. Eastern Time on Saturday, down 16% in 24 hours, according to data from CoinDesk. Around midnight it had plunged to $42,000 before bouncing back. Ether, the second-largest cryptocurrency, was down more than 13%.

    The declines were widespread across the cryptouniverse. Other widely traded cryptocurrencies including Solana, Dogecoin and Shiba Inu coin lost more than a fifth of their value.

    Fears of another economic slowdown mixed with heightened worry by the Federal Reserve over inflation. Earlier this week, Chairman Jerome Powell said the central bank was prepared to pull back its easy-money policies quicker than previously expected, opening the door to raising interest rates in the first half of next year.

    Higher rates make holding speculative assets such as bitcoin less attractive. When the Federal Reserve raised rates in 2017 and 2018, bitcoin prices fell dramatically, referred to among crypto aficionados as a bitcoin winter. The coin took off again during the pandemic. Bitcoin hit an all-time high on Nov. 9 of $67,802.

    President Biden and many state and local leaders are urging Americans to wear masks and take other precautions against to the Omicron variant but are largely avoiding endorsing broad mask mandates and lockdowns.816 min read

    The e-signature software maker missed on a key earnings metric during the October quarter, pulling in billings that fell short of its prior guidance.

    A surge in Covid cases and a shortage of health care workers is filling hospitals and nursing homes past their capacity in upstate New York, creating a growing crisis in the health care system even before the Omicron variant is known to have spread through the area, according to hospital executives from Buffalo to Albany.

    Covid hospitalizations in the region have more than tripled since August when the Delta wave began to sweep through the state, Gov. Kathy Hochul said this week. At the same time, tens of thousands of health care workers have left their health care jobs, for reasons ranging from pandemic burnout to a refusal to get vaccinated in spite of the state’s strict mandate for health care workers, and some systems have posted hundreds of available job openings.

    The result has been a decrease in upstate hospital capacity of about 10 percent. And a perfect storm of high patient volumes, reduced staff and an inability to discharge patients to nursing homes — which are themselves full — has begun to overwhelm some facilities, particularly in Western New York, the Finger Lakes region and the North Country, hospital executives said.

    OK, now the World is officially ending:

    All over New York City, bagel makers say, a schmear shortage is threatening one of the most treasured local delicacies: a fresh bagel with cream cheese.

    This is bad. This is very bad,” said Pedro Aguilar, a manager at the Pick-a-Bagel chain, which has several Manhattan locations.

    On Friday afternoon, Mr. Aguilar said he had only enough cream cheese to last until Monday. Nick Patta, who has worked at Absolute Bagels on the Upper West Side for 11 years, said his usual supplier in Queens had run out of the shop’s go-to cream cheese brand for the first time that he could remember.

    “We went this week and the shelves were empty,” he said. Supply chain issues have plagued the United States for months, causing scarcities of everything from cars to running shoes. In Alaska, residents are struggling to acquire winter coats.

    Now, New York’s bagel purveyors are starting to feel the effects in a sudden and surprising development that has left them scrambling to find and hoard as much cream cheese as they can. Scott Goldshine, the general manager at Zabar’s, estimated on Friday that he had enough to last 10 days.

  44. You know it's funny as I was at the grocery store last Sunday and there was very little cream cheese and I didn't think anything of it – just figured because it was Sunday they ran out.  Too bad BAGL went private – would have been a fun short.  

  45. COST is at 40x but they just put up 12% E-Commerce growth.  These guys could threaten AMZN with $230Bn in sales (only $5.5bn in profit, though).  

    I don't even know that I'd want them for $450, still 33x profits but $350 I would certainly love to see.

  46. Just to take some steam off BABA I will possible enter Monday a play with IB not TOS, poor mans trade buy the 65 call and sell the 100/125

    Strangle all Jan 24 I enter with 2 options and it cost about 746$ Should BABA go over 125 by Jan 24 it brings 11.3K Bottom line at 85 where it will cost money.

  47. I agree Yodi.  Americans think if something stops trading in the US it ceases to exist.  

  48. Nobody in NYC cares about COVID, but go ballistic when they run out of cream cheese.

  49. May as well end it all if you can't get a nice brunch…

  50. Berkshire- certainly the passing of Buffet/Munger will have an impact. If so it's a buying opportunity. As a holder and student of company for many years I am vey confident that the unique culture and management structure will continue to provide very good results for many years to come. Warren is buying, are you?