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Free Money Friday – $1,500,000,000,000 for US, $13,600,000,000 for Ukraine

Passed 68-31! 

That's the first thing these guys have agreed on in years.  Don't get too excited – it's only the Budget they should have passed last June but anything passing in Congress is simply amazing these days.  The basic bill provides $730 Billion in NonDefense funding, a $46 Billion increase over fiscal 2021, and $782 Billion in Defense funding, an increase of $42 Billion.  What it does not have is funding for Covid, which had to be stripped out to make the GOP happy.  That will now be a completely separate fight for vaccines, medicine and testing – despite the fact that 1,293 people died of Covid yesterday with 35,795 new infections.  

As you can see from the map, the war is still raging on but the markets don't actually care about that and the indexes are up another 1.5% in pre-market action but still no 4,320 on the S&P 500 (see yesterday's PSW Report) and this week is a technical failure if we can't get back over that line and hold it.

The Volatility Index (VIX) is still at 29 so don't get complacent but Gold (/GC) has dropped back to $1,968 and Silver (/SI) is at $25.87 – both off their highs and Oil (/CL) is "only" $107 this morning and Gasoline (/RB) is down to $3.26/gal wholesale – what a bargain!   Wheat is well off the highs at $1,063 – up from the usual $750 but Corn is persistently elevated at $750 – usually $600.  

We picked the only commodity winner on Wednesday in our Live Member Chat Room and in our Live Trading Webinar (subscribe here so you don't miss the next one) and we're going to take the money and run at $4.75 with gains of $2,500 per contract in 2 days because it's just too much profit to risk over the weekend with all the other commodities selling off.  Congratulations to all who played along at home!  

Futures Trading is something every trader should know how to do but it should also be something you very rarely do.  We try to only play very obvious tops or bottoms and $4.50 has been a great bottom for /NG but we've been unwilling to make a top call on Oil or Gasoline – even though these levels are clearly unsustainable.  Keynes was right when he said "The market can remain irrational longer than you or I can remain solvent" – the Futures remind you of that on a regular basis if you don't maintain a strict trading discipline and learn to make non-greedy exits. 

We are entering the weekend very well-hedged and we haven't traded much this week as we wait on the Fed next week.  Putin is making some noises about peace this morning but he also said he was wirthdrawing troops the day before he attacked so why should we believe a word this man says?  

Next week we will do our portfolio reviews and, if the S&P can get back over 4,320 and hold it – we may even make some bullish adjustments as we're close enough to the 20% sell-off we predicted since last year to be happy to start buying a few, select, long-term positions.  

Have a great weekend, 

- Phil

 


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  1. Good Morning.


  2. What is stagflation? Fears are rising that the U.S. economy is headed for a 1970s-style death spiral



  3. ‘Economic War’


  4. The Case for Declaring a National Climate Emergency



  5. Good morning! 

    Indexes dropping at the bell – not good. 

       

    Our Bounce Chart tells us to ignore everything other than 4,320 anyway – so this is no surprise.  Notice where we were rejected.

    That's the point of the 5% Rule, it tells us where the computers kick in and, since this market is 90% computer trading – it works out pretty exactly.

    Brent finding a bottom at $110 – it was actually lower than WTIC on Wednesday for a few minutes.  

        

     

    Hard to say what traders are thinking is going to happen.  Feels good to be essentially neutral with our hedges as this is just too much uncertainty for me. 


  6. Capital Gains and Dividend Tax Rates for 2021-2022



  7. Could we really live forever as a chatbot or a hologram?




  8. Deutsche Bank faces questions over plan to stay in Russia


  9. Biden just officially took away Russia's trading status.

    PTON -4.87%Mar. 11, 2022 10:34 AM ET1 Comment

    Peloton Interactive (PTON -5.0%) fell again on Friday as investors do not appear ready yet to buy into the company's plan to try a new pricing strategy.

    On Wall Street, the exercise services and equipment company still has plenty of supporters. Cowen reiterated an Outperform rating on PTON following the announcement of a new pricing model pilot. The firm remained confident that Peloton is still in the early innings of long-term transition to connected fitness.

    "Underscoring the limited nature of PTON's pricing test, customers will need to sign up either in-store or at Peloton studios, and it will not be available online, where the company presumably consummates the vast majority of hardware sales."

    Earlier this week, Peloton Interactive hired a new supply chain chief in an effort to improve the manufacturing process.

    Read more about Peloton Interactive's planned pivot under its new CEO.

    Peloton (NASDAQ:PTON) traded as low as $21.45 earlier in the session as it threatened to fall below the prior all-time low of $21.33.

    Mar. 11, 2022 10:01 AM ET1 Comment

    • March University of Michigan consumer sentiment59.7 vs. 61.7 expected and 62.8 prior.
    • Expectations: 54.4 vs. 58.8 expected and 59.4 prior.
    • Current conditions: 67.8 vs. 66.0 expected and 68.2 prior.
    • Inflation expectations: 5.4%, highest since 1981, vs. 4.9% prior.
    • Expected gas prices posted their largest monthly increase in decades. Personal finances were expected to worsen in the year ahead by the largest proportion since the surveys started in the mid-1940s, according to the report.
    • "Current expectations are consistent with heightened pressures on wages to meet the continued growth in demand," said Richard Curtin, the chief economist of the University of Michigan Surveys of Consumers. "Like the game of musical chairs, everyone continues racing around the circle of rising prices and higher wages. Although everyone knows the game will end, everyone still wants to obtain the highest income possible before they exit."
    • He pointed out that the "greatest source of uncertainty" is inflation and the potential impact of the Russian invasion of Ukraine. "In the March survey, 24% of all respondents spontaneously mentioned the Ukraine invasion in response to questions about the economic outlook."
    • From Thursday, Consumer price inflation surges 7.9% in February, most in 40 years

    JNJ +0.72%Mar. 11, 2022 10:25 AM ET10 Comments

    • New CDC data has found that more than 98% of the U.S. population is living in areas with low or medium spread of COVID-19.
    • The CDC established "COVID-19 Community Levels" based hospital beds being used, hospital admissions, and the total number of new COVID-19 cases in an area.
    • The goal is to help localities determine what steps to stake to stem the spread of COVID.
    • In areas with low and medium levels, most people do not have to wear a mask indoors.
    • Vaccine makers: Pfizer (PFE +1.3%), BioNTech (BNTX +2.0%), Moderna (MRNA +1.8%), Johnson & Johnson (JNJ +0.2%), AstraZeneca (AZN -0.5%), and Novavax (NVAX -0.5%).
    • Mask manufacturers: Alpha Pro Tech (APT -2.6%), Allied Healthcare Products (AHPI), 3M (NYSE:MMM), and Ulta Beauty (ULTA -0.6%).
    • On Thursday, the Transportation Security Administration said it was extending a mask mandate on planes, trains and public transport into April.

     

    USO +1.80%Mar. 11, 2022 10:06 AM ET177 Comments

    Legislators introduced a bill Thursday to tax the windfall profits of large oil companies at a 50% rate. Tax proceeds would be returned to consumers earning less than $75k/y through direct payments. The bill, as written, could create challenges and opportunities across the energy value chain.

    The tax would apply to those companies producing or importing more than 300kb/d. The rate of 50% applies to barrels produced in or imported to the US. Importantly, the windfall tax is a "top line" tax, calculated as the difference between the average price of Brent oil from 2015-2019 and the current price.

    The tax would reduce profits for the large integrated companies like Exxon (NYSE:XOM) and Chevron (NYSE:CVX), but also most of the large-cap shale names like Pioneer (NYSE:PXD), Devon (NYSE:DVN), Marathon (NYSE:MRO) and Conoco (NYSE:COP). The proposal could reverse a trend towards consolidation in the industry, as smaller assets would become less valuable once integrated into a larger operation.

    The US imports ~6mb/d of mostly heavy oil for the production of diesel and jet fuel, while exporting excess light oil grades from the shale patch. Refineries profit from the narrow difference between the price of products like gasoline and the price of crude oil. In Q4, Valero (NYSE:VLO) for example, earned $4.71 per barrel processed. Applying a top-line tax at multiples of profits, would create havoc with financial results and refinery operations.

    Perhaps most important for policy makers, companies and consumers will be the reaction from industry. The reason oil markets were oversupplied and prices were low from 2015 to 2019 is because US oil companies spent all their income (and then some) to invest in the oil patch and grow production. The bill hopes to provide consumers with $120 per year in stimulus. If levying a windfall tax reduces industry's willingness to invest, consumers around the world could bear the consequences of sustained high oil prices (NYSEARCA:USO).

     

    DOCU -19.76%Mar. 11, 2022 10:05 AM ET61 Comments

    DocuSign (NASDAQ:DOCU) shares plunged sharply on Friday after the electronic signature company posted fourth-quarter results that topped estimates, but provided guidance for slower growth, a concern for investors.

    DocuSign reported revenue of $2.1B for the fiscal year ending January 31st 2022, and provided revenue guidance of $2.48B for the fiscal year ending January 31st, 2023. DocuSign's year-over-year revenue growth in the just completed fiscal year was 45%, and its guidance suggests revenue growth for the coming year of about 18%.

    Wedbush Securities analyst Dan Ives slashed his price target to $80, down from $200, but kept the firm's neutral rating, noting that the company management is not grasping the problems related to sales execution and headwinds in the field.

    "Last night the demise of the DocuSign growth story continued as the WFH [work from home] poster child delivered good January results which were more than offset by very weak and concerning guidance which speaks to some darker days ahead," Ives wrote in a note to clients.

    He added that the COVID-19 pandemic appeared to pull forward sales and as the world comes out of the pandemic, DocuSign (DOCU) has "an incredibly difficult uphill selling environment."

    DocuSign (DOCU) shares plunged nearly 20% to $73.75 in early trading on Friday.

    On Thursday, DocuSign (DOCUsaid it earned an adjusted 48 cents per share on $580.8 million in sales, compared to estimates of 48 cents per share and $561.6 million in revenue.

    The company added that subscription revenue in the quarter rose 37% year-over-year to $564 million and billings were $670.1 million, up 25% year-over-year.

    However, DocuSign (DOCU) expects first-quarter revenue to be between $579 million and $583 million and full-year revenue to be between $2.47 billion and $2.482 billion, indicating slower growth than in the past.

    In January, investment firm Baird picked DocuSign (DOCUamong its top cloud software stocks for 2022.

    BA +1.46%Mar. 11, 2022 9:54 AM ET1 Comment

    Boeing (BA +2.8%) has not seen any respite from the freeze in 787 Dreamliner deliveries, but the company has not stopped testing suppliers' capacity to meet production scenarios as high as seven per month by year-end 2023, Reuters reports.

    The company has stopped making public predictions on when it will win approval from U.S. regulators to resume Dreamliner deliveries, but according to the report, it has discussed scenarios with parts makers despite labor and materials shortages that may be exacerbated by Russia's invasion of Ukraine.

    Boeing's recovery plan could see it raise the current monthly rate of two 787s to three by May, if deliveries have started by then, and again to four around November, and suppliers are said to have been asked to be ready to tackle rates as high as seven per month by October 2023 if requested.

    Jefferies analyst Sheila Kahyaoglu forecasts monthly output will stay at two in 2022, rising to 3.5 in 2023 but remaining below five "to facilitate the burndown of inventory," adding that an April delivery restart "may be aggressive."

    With Dreamliner deliveries still paused, Boeing reported just 22 total plane deliveries in February, down from 32 in January.

    T +1.72%Mar. 11, 2022 9:30 AM ET19 Comments

    AT&T (NYSE:T) has set a roadmap for growth following a media merger with Discovery (NASDAQ:DISCA) in comments released ahead of today's Investor Day presentations – including guidance toward free cash flow in the $20 billion range in 2023.

    With the close of the deal (and the creation of Warner Bros. Discovery) approaching, they're "near the starting line of a new era for AT&T," CEO John Stankey says. And that means ramping up investment in 5G and fiber: “The transformation we’ve undergone over the past 18 months while delivering outstanding operational results has brought us to this point. We will be a simpler, more focused company with the intent to become America’s best broadband provider."

    Along the way the company reiterated its guidance for 2022 and opened up guidance for 2023. This year, the company is expecting revenue growth in the low single digits from $118.2 billion (pro forma) in 2021 – driven by 3%-plus growth in wireless service, and 6%-plus growth in broadband revenues.

    It sees 2022 EBITDA of $41 billion-$42 billion (up from $40.3 billion pro forma), benefiting not only from revenue growth but "incremental cost transformation savings" of about $1 billion. And earnings per share are forecast at $2.42-$2.46, vs. 2021's pro forma $2.41, with capital investment up to $24 billion range from $20.1 billion pro forma.

    Looking to 2023, it sees "continued low single-digit revenue growth," with low single-digit growth in wireless service revenues and broadband revenues ramping to mid- to high single-digit range. Adjusted EBITDA is expected to come in at $43.5 billion-$44.5 billion (about $1.5 billion in additional cost transformation savings).

    Earnings per share are forecast at $2.50-$2.60, with capital investment in the $24 billion range.

    The company will use Investor Day to detail the strategy for pursuing free cash flow in the $20 billion range for 2023. It's revised its methodology for measuring free cash flow and expects the $16 billion range this year (pro forma) compared with $20 billion, reflecting $4 billion in expected vendor financing payments.

    The stock is up 2.2% premarket. Discovery (DISCA) is up 1.3% premarket.

    AT&T's Investor Day kicks off at 10 a.m. ET. The lineup for the day:

    AT&T Investor Day lineup


  10. Comment content omitted because it is too long.


  11. GE +2.00%Mar. 11, 2022 9:27 AM ET7 Comments

    General Electric (NYSE:GE) +2% pre-market following Thursday's Investor Day event, where the company reiterated 2022 financial guidance as well as longer-term profit and cash generation goals, impressing several analysts.

    According to Barron's, Credit Suisse's John Walsh says GE's lean management activities should take $2B in annual costs out of the business and drive improvement in free cash flow generation.

    "GE had been losing share in [power services] until 2021, and we see a path for share gains going forward," says the analyst, who rates the stock as a Buy with a $116 price target.

    RBC analyst Deane Dray raises his price target to $118 from $113 after the meeting, saying the Investor Day "showcased significant lean manufacturing productivity success that GE is realizing under [Culp's] sweeping transformation."

    "We walk away from the GE Outlook meeting with confidence in management's abilities to continue along its lean journey," Dray writes.

    Barclays analyst Julian Mitchell, who also rates GE as a Buy, sees the company's lean manufacturing improving inventory utilization that can free up $4B in annual cash flow.

    Earlier this week, GE announced plans to buy back $3B in stock.

    RBLX -3.69%Mar. 11, 2022 9:05 AM ET1 Comment

    Deutsche Bank has started coverage of Roblox (NYSE:RBLX) at a Buy – joining a bullish analyst camp that's only gotten bigger lately as the stock has pulled back.

    Some 11 covering analysts rate the stock Buy or Strong Buy, a number that's grown over the past few months. That's just about enough time for the stock to have shed 70% of value off its 52-week high, reached Nov. 22.

    For Deutsche Bank, Roblox is the "next platform play" with "growing moats and strong network effects."

    The company has scaled beyond 50 million global daily active users, the bank says, marking a 56% compound annual growth rate over the past three years – and while growth will slow due to pandemic comparisons this year, there are "multiple paths" to 96 million DAUs by 2025, it says.

    Its strong network effects, meanwhile, should result in a typical "winner-takes-most" dynamic, where an early advantage counts. One of Roblox's key competitive advantages, Deutsche Bank says, is a "large supply base" of developers, having doubled that community over three years to about 10 million today. "More developers -> more experiences -> more users -> more revenue for developers -> more developers …" the bank concludes.

    As for the share decline, it says many aren't account for the benefits associated with a supply-side pull-forward. "We think Roblox comes out of the pandemic structurally stronger, with more developers/creators utilizing Roblox's platform to publish a growing number of experiences."

    That creates an attractive opportunity to add a market leader at a discount, it says.

    The bank has a price target of $60, implying 45% upside from Thursday's close.

    Seeking Alpha contributor Star Investments recently said the company had received a "dose of reality" but that the stock would move higher over time following increases in users, hours engaged, and average bookings.

    They are still on drugs asking $25Bn for this company with $3Bn in sales at a $500M loss.


  12. KWEB -5.93%Mar. 11, 2022 8:37 AM ET20 Comments

    Hong Kong's Hang Seng Index closed down 1.6% after the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission named five China-based companies that could be delisted if they don't allow U.S. authorities to review company audits for three straight years.

    That followed a selloff of U.S.-listed Chinese shares, especially in tech names, on Thursday. KraneShares CSI China Internet ETF (NYSEARCA:KWEB) fell 9.8% and KraneShares MSCI All China Index ETF (NYSEARCA:KALL) slid 2.7% in Thursday trading.

    KE Holdings (NYSE:BEKE), a real estate-focused fintech, dropped 24% and fintech Futu Holdings (NASDAQ:FUTU) fell 16% in regular trading in New York on Thursday.

    In the U.S., many Chinese stocks are poised for a positive open. JD.com (NASDAQ:JD), which sank 16% on Thursday, was up 4.0% in premarket. Futu (FUTU), which reported earnings on Friday, is gaining 5.7% premarket. Yum China Holdings (NYSE:YUMC), one of the stocks named by the SEC, fell 11% on Thursday, but is rising 1.4% before Friday's bell rings.

    Not all U.S. listed Chinese firms are headed for gains today. DiDi Global's (NYSE:DIDI) are dropping 13% in premarket trading. BeiGene (NASDAQ:BGNE), another name on the SEC's list, is down 0.7% in U.S. premarket.

    Previously (Dec. 21), SEC wants more disclosure for Chinese companies that want to list in U.S.

    WE +1.43%Mar. 11, 2022 8:31 AM ET

    • Flexible workspace provider WeWork (NYSE:WE) is expecting higher revenues this year as the company saw sequential gains in occupancy throughout 2021, according to its earnings report Friday.
    • Shares of WE edge higher 0.8% in premarket trading.
    • Sees 2022 revenue of $3.8B-4.0B compared with $2.57B in 2021.
    • Memberships of 514K in December rose from 464K in September. Occupancy rate of 63% in December also jumped from 56% in the previous month.
    • Q4 location operating expenses were $3.08B, down from $3.54B in the same period a year ago.
    • Q4 loss from operations of $3.69B vs. $4.34B in Q4 2020.
    • Q4 interest income of $18.97M compared with $16.91M in Q4 of last year.
    • Net interest and other expense of $930.64M drops from income of $532.41M in Q4 2020.
    • Q4 EBITDA of -$1.53B vs. -$1.88B in Q4 2020.
    • Building margin was a loss of $512.04M, down from -$273.23M in Q4 2020.
    • Earlier, WeWork's Q4 revenue of $717.65M increased from $661.03M in the third quarter.

    Another one you shouldn't be fooled by at $3.7Bn:

    Year End 31st Dec 2015 2016 2017 2018 2019 2020 TTM 2021E 2022E CAGR / Avg
    Total Revenue
    $m

          1,822 3,459 3,416 2,519     36.9%
    Operating Profit
    $m

          -1,691 -3,919 -4,424 -4,271      
    Net Profit
    $m

          -1,611 -3,265 -3,129 -4,864      
    EPS Reported
    $

    0.000 0.000 0.000 -2.25 -4.56 -4.37 -6.79      
    EPS Normalised
    $

    0.000 0.000 0.000 -2.29 -4.10 -2.89 -5.25      
    EPS Growth
    %

                       
    PE Ratio
    x

                       
    PEG

    So last year, they lost their entire market cap – same as the year before.  Wow, where do I sign up?  


  13. We used to play these guys:

    PSO +18.41%Mar. 11, 2022 8:27 AM ET

    Update 8:27am: Adds Pearson rejection of offer.

    Pearson Plc (NYSE:PSO) soared 23% on a report that Apollo (NYSE:APO) is considering making a cash offer for the education company. Pearson said it rejected the Apollo offer from Monday.

    Apollo is in the preliminary stages of evaluating a possible cash offer for Pearson (PSO), Apollo said in a statement, according a Reuters report. There is no certainty that an offer will be made. Pearson has a market cap of $7.7B.

    Pearson said in first received an offer from Apollo on Nov. 5 for 800 pence a share and the textbook publisher received a second offer of 854.2 pence ($11B) a share on March 7, according to traders, who cited Bloomberg headlines from a Pearson statement. Pearson's board "unanimously rejected" the second Apollo offer and said the price "significantly undervalues" the company.

    The Apollo (APO) bid would represent a 31% premium to Pearson's (PSO) closing price in the UK yesterday and a 41% premium to the March 4 closing price, before the bid was made on Monday. Apollo is required by not later than April 8 to either announce a firm into to make an offer for Pearson or talk away, according to the Pearson statement.

    The Apollo and Pearson statements come after a Betaville item earlier said that a mystery buyer was said to be circling Pearson.

    The Apollo (APO) bid for Pearson (PSO) comes after Veritas Capital agreed to buy Houghton Mifflin Harcourt (NASDAQ:HMHC) for $2.8B last month, a deal that several investors said they plan to not tender their shares into as it undervalues the education company.

    And these guys:

    • DiDi Global (NYSE:DIDI) shares tumbled as much as 40% Friday as the Chinese ride-sharing leader put off plans to list its shares in Hong Kong.
    • The Cyberspace Administration of China told DiDi (DIDI) that the company would not be able to list its shares on the Hong Kong stock exchange because DiDi's (DIDI) proposals to prevent security and data leaks fell short of regulatory requirements. According to a report from Bloomberg, DiDi's (DIDI) main apps will also remain suspended from local app stores in China for the foreseeable future.
    • Friday's share decline was the latest act of drama for DiDi (DIDI), which went public in the United States in a $4.4 billion IPO last June. Shortly after its IPO, China pulled DiDi's (DIDI) offering off app stores in China amid a cybersecurity probe of the company's operations. And in December, DiDi (DIDI) said it would move its shares from the New York Stock Exchange to Hong Kong.
    • The halt on DiDi's (DIDI) Hong Kong stock listing potentially throws a monkey wrench into the plans that other Chinese tech stocks might have about moving their share listings out of the U.S.
    • DiDi's (DIDI) big share losses come on the heels of a broad decline in Chinese tech stocks on Thursday. That selloff was spurred on by the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission saying that five Chinese companies that trade in the U.S. are in danger of being de-listed for failing to meet American accounting regulatory guidelines.

    And these guys (still do, actually):

    Wheaton Precious Metals (WPM -2.8%) drops off a 52-week high after missing estimates for Q4 earnings and revenues, as the company produced and sold less gold compared with the prior-year quarter.

    Wheaton also set its FY 2022 production guidance, seeing gold output of 350K-380K oz., above the 342.5K oz. produced in 2021, and 23K-25K silver oz., below 26M oz. produced in 2021, resulting in total production of 700K-760K gold equiv. oz., in line with nearly 753K gold equiv. oz. in 2021.

    In Q4, Wheaton produced 88,321 oz. of gold, 4% lower than the year-ago quarter, as Salobo, the company's biggest source of gold, suspended operations for 18 days in October after a conveyor belt fire.

    The company also produced 6.4M oz. of silver, down from 6.5M oz. in the prior-year quarter, as output at Antamina, the company's second largest source of silver, fell 29% due to lower throughput and grades.

    Wheaton also declared a $0.15/share quarterly dividend, in line with previous.

    WPM doesn't PRODUCE gold, they have contracts with miners to produce gold, which they then sell.  So there will be 10% less gold at a 10% higher price and WPM makes their money off the spread so all good for them:  

    No big deal for our play:

    WPM Long Call 2024 19-JAN 40.00 CALL [WPM @ $47.36 $-1.77] 50 10/18/2021 (679) $43,500 $8.70 $4.78 $8.70     $13.48 - $23,875 54.9% $67,375
    WPM Short Call 2024 19-JAN 47.00 CALL [WPM @ $47.36 $-1.77] -50 10/18/2021 (679) $-32,700 $6.54 $3.69     $10.23 - $-18,425 -56.3% $-51,125
    WPM Short Put 2024 19-JAN 35.00 PUT [WPM @ $47.36 $-1.77] -20 10/18/2021 (679) $-11,000 $5.50 $-2.01     $3.50 - $4,010 36.5% $-6,990

  14. Phil / BABA

    Oops…I made a mistake in the question I asked yesterday.

    I have 5 short Jan 2023 $200 puts and 10 Jan 2024 $120 – $140 call spread. Should I roll the short puts into short Jan 2024 $100 puts now or wait?


  15. SPY +0.09%Mar. 11, 2022 7:42 AM ET4 Comments

    Even as prices of S&P 500 (SP500) (NYSEARCA:SPY) stocks have soared in the past decade, the number of companies doing stocks splits has plunged, eToro strategist Ben Laidler points out Friday.

    "We think this reflects an over-focus on institutional investors and further overlooks the rising importance of individual retail investors," Laidler wrote in a note.

    A split changes nothing about a stock or a company.

    But "it may open it to a broader investor base, improve tradability, signal management's positive outlook, and better allocate stock compensation," Laidler said. "Data clearly shows a pickup in retail ownership after stock splits, and a bump in share price performance. A lower price could also open up to Dow (DJI) (NYSEARCA:DIA) index inclusion. Fractional share ownership has become more available but is still far from ubiquitous."

    Why are companies reluctant?

    "Some see prestige in a higher stock price," he said. "Others focus on ‘serious investors’, whether institutions or ETF behemoths."

    About "25% of individual investors are new to markets," Laidler added. "US household equity ownership is at records."

    "Retail investors are overlooked in stock splits but also fundraisings, investor events, management access, and research provision. Tech mega caps are taking a stock split lead, but many others should follow."

    BofA says these 20 companies could follow a new stock split wave.

    AMZN +0.60%Mar. 11, 2022 7:59 AM ET6 Comments

    Deutsche Bank started off coverage on Amazon (NASDAQ:AMZN) with a Buy rating and price target on $4,100 on its view that the tech giant could see growth accelerate as the AWS and grocery business continue to mature following a period of heavy investment.

    "Now, as investment growth slows, we believe that revenue will revert back to more closely match growth in the underlying infrastructure, which CFO Brian Olavsky mentioned should closely match the growth of our underlying businesses," updated analyst Lee Horowitz on the AMZN setup..

    It was also noted that North American Retail infrastructure will grow more than 25% this year vs. the Street revenue growth estimate of 12.5%.

    Horowitz and team believe the market is under-appreciating the share price upside for Amazon (AMZN) in the post-pandemic setup.

    50 out of 53 firms covering Amazon on Wall Street have a Buy-equivalent rating or higher on the stock.

    Shares of Amazon (AMZN) rose 1.85% in premarket action on Friday after gaining 5.41% on Thursday when the announcement of a 20-for-1 stock split and more buybacks excited investors.

    DISCA -1.32%Mar. 11, 2022 11:01 AM ET1 Comment

    • Discovery (DISCA -1.3%) stockholders have approved the company's media merger with WarnerMedia (T +1.6%), the last key formality before the creation of Warner Bros. Discovery as a key media-industry player.
    • At a special meeting the shareholders signed off on charter amendments, a proposal to issue shares in connection with the deal, and a nonbinding advisory compensation proposal.
    • Both boards had approved the deal and it's received regulatory go-aheads.
    • The two companies have recently been signaling that with Discovery holder approval in hand they will proceed toward closing by mid- to late April.
    • Morgan Stanley last week took a look at catalysts driving the new, media-free AT&T to come.
    • AT&T is currently holding its Investor Day presentations describing its way forward as a communications and broadband company.

    AMAT +0.68%Mar. 11, 2022 7:38 AM ET3 Comments

    • Applied Materials (NASDAQ:AMAT) declares $0.26/share quarterly dividend8.3% increase from prior dividend of $0.24.
    • Payable June 16; for shareholders of record May 26; ex-div May 25.
    • The company approved a new $6B share repurchase authorization, supplementing the previous authorization which had $3.2B remaining at the end of the 1Q22.
    • “The new share repurchase authorization and dividend increase demonstrate Applied Materials’ confidence in the long-term growth of our markets, the strength of our technology, and our ability to generate strong cash flow and attractive shareholder returns,” said Gary Dickerson, President and CEO. “Our broad portfolio of innovative products puts Applied in a great position to outperform our markets in the years ahead.”
    • See AMAT Dividend Scorecard, Yield Chart, & Dividend Growth.

    BLK -0.80%Mar. 11, 2022 7:34 AM ET27 Comments

    BlackRock (NYSE:BLK), the world's largest asset manager, has recorded ~$17B in losses on its Russian securities in the aftermath of Russia's invasion of Ukraine, the Financial Times reported, citing the company.

    Closed markets and worldwide sanctions imposed after the attack made most of the $18.2B in Russian assets held by BlackRock (BLK) clients unsaleable, leading the company to mark them down drastically. While the $17B charge is a huge number, BlackRock (BLK) has more than $10T in assets under management.

    On Feb. 28, the company suspended purchase of all Russian securities in its active and index funds in light of the situation. At that time, Russian Securities made up less than 0.01% of its clients' assets. A company spokesperson told the FT that the total value was ~$1B at the time. On Feb. 25, Bloomberg reported that the firm topped the list of holders of Russian bonds, with ~$1.5B of bonds.

    The asset manager marked down the value of its largest Russian exchanged-traded fund, iShares MSCI Russia Capped ETF (NYSEARCA:ERUS), to a total value of less than $1M vs. ~$600M at the end of 2021, the FT said.

    "This has been a highly complex and fluid situation, and BlackRock (BLK) will continue actively consulting with regulators, index providers and other market participants to help ensure our clients can exit their positions in Russian securities, whenever and wherever regulatory and market conditions allow," CEO Larry Fink said in a LinkedIn post.

    If Ukraine-Russia negotiations bring about a resolution and sanctions ease, then Russian securities could start trading more freely again and recover some of their value, the FT said.

    BlackRock (BLK) shares are rising 0.9% in premarket trading.

    From Thursday: JPMorgan (NYSE:JPM) follows Goldman Sachs' (NYSE:GS) move to exit Russia

    I love how they say "But BLK has more than $10Tn in assets under management."  So what?  They only make $6.5Bn managing those $10Tn and they just lost $17Bn.  The question is, is that a loss to the company or to their asset holders – in which case it shouldn't impact earnings too much.  Need clarity.

    https://seekingalpha.com/warnings/3811938-warning-blk-is-high-risk-of-performing-badly

    BABA/Jij – Well that makes more sense then.  The Jan $200 puts are now $110 and the 2024 $130 puts are $51 and your obligation goes up from $100,000 to $130,000 but it's a worthwhile roll.   You don't want to spend more money if you can avoid it.  2025s should be out in July, then maybe to the $100s.


  16. Phil – This is for DOW. I have 15 BCS ($50-65), and 5 short $55 Puts (all 2024). Entered for a net of $3,800. Thinking of selling $65 monthly calls (maybe 5 every month) against this every month, as long as feasible, to reduce the net to 0. Does that seem reasonable?


  17. Hi Phil,

    Do you think all the chinese ADRs will get delisted soon either due to SEC audit requirements or Chinese restrictions? If so, is it good idea to buy puts on FXI/KWEB etc?


  18. Another question. Do you think financial sector is exposed to CDS on Russian bonds which will be declared to be default soon? 


  19. Thoughts on taking profits on the miners/iron and steel producers?  Their charts are usually cyclical and are all mostly at or past their recent highs.

     

    I have an X 17/27 spread that is at $7 out $10 with X at $32 — but still 315 days away from expiration.  I would love to wait for long term capital gains but I fear this could be back at 20 next year…


  20. Only the Dow is still green at the moment – not a good way to finish the week.  Speaking of which:

    DOW/Rn – Sounds like our LTP play (1/2).  I'd start by doing a 1/3 sale and see how it goes, no need to be greedy.  If $60 doesn't hold, you can sell 5 $60s and put a tight stop on other 5, etc.  

    China/Harip – I think some will comply and others will not.  Chinese companies play fast and loose with their books, so a lot of them can't comply to GAAP accounting, I'm not very interested in new Chinese plays at the moment due to the property crisis that is still unwinding over there.  

    Russian Bonds/Harip – Well BLK just took a $17Bn hit so sure, there's some exposure.  As Buffett says, "you don't know who's swimming naked until the tide goes out" so I'd be careful, especially with CS, DB and others who like to swim in those waters.  

    As usual, TD is king:

    Miners/Jeff – Sure we have a big pop not but we're only at the very beginning of a decade-long infrastructure cycle.  The thing is, you have $7 and will make $3 (42%) if nothing goes wrong the rest of the year.  Not waiting for long-term gains will cost you about 15% of them.  You could sell 2024 $35 calls for $10, which is as much as you'll collect on the whole spread and that will certainly cover your downside but, if X goes higher, you'll have to cover those (the $30s are now $12), but, as long as you cover them for $13.50 or less, you still have a $5 spread at net $3.50 and the only reason you'd be doing that cover is because you were wrong and X is continuing safely higher.  

    For me though, I'd just leave it alone as I have faith in the long-term macro.


  21. DIDI -40.83%Mar. 11, 2022 1:42 PM ET

    Chinese tech stocks were battered for a second-straight day, Friday, as DiDi Global's (NYSE:DIDI) plans to put off listing its shares in Hong Kong led to a broad selloff in the sector that dragged down the likes of Alibaba (NYSE:BABA), Baidu (NASDAQ:BIDU) and Tencent Holdings (OTCPK:TCEHY).

    DiDi (DIDI) shares were pulverized, and fell 40% by Friday afternoon, after the ride-sharing giant said Chinese regulators put the kibosh on the company's effort to move its shares listing to Hong Kong from New York. The Cyberspace Administration of China told DiDi (DIDI) that the company failed to meet the agency's guidelines for preventing data and security leaks and would not be allowed to list its shares in Hong Kong.

    Last fall, DiDi (DIDI) announced its intentional to move is stock listing out of New York and to the Hong Kong Stock Exchange.

    Along with DiDi (DIDI), social media and search company Weibo (NASDAQ:WB) fell almost 10% as UBS cut their rating on the company's shares to neutral from buy. UBS analyst Felix Liu cut his rating on Weibo's (WB) stock due to a handful of factors, including expectations for "weaker monetization and margins in 2022."

    Nearly every major Chinese tech stock suffered in the wake of the performances of DiDi (DIDI) and Weibo (WB). Among sector notables, Alibaba (BABA) fell by 5%, Baidu (BIDU) was off by almost 10%, Tencent Holdings (OTCPK:TCEHY) gave up more than 4%, Bilibili (NASDAQ:BILI) dropped by almost 11%, and the KraneShares CSI China Internet ETF (NYSEARCA:KWEB) fell by 8%.

    Friday's battering came on the heels of Chinese tech shares swooning on Thursday after the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission named five Chinese companies that are in danger of being de-listed from U.S. stock markets due to their failing to adhere to SEC accounting guidelines.

    SPCE -1.32%Mar. 11, 2022 1:36 PM ET4 Comments

    Richard Branson-backed Virgin Galactic (NYSE:SPCE) stock is trading at a 52-week low as it ramps up the commercial launch of its space tourism business. Does the prospect for consistent revenue generation make the once high-flying stock a buy?

    Can Virgin Galactic Turn Space Tourism into a Viable Business?

    SPCE shares have seen a rollercoaster ride since the middle of last year. The stock soared to a 52-week high of $57.51 late last June, a few days after it received its commercial operating license from the Federal Aviation Administration. However, this investor enthusiasm proved short lived.

    Not long after making that peak, SPCE reversed course, dropping sharply in July and continuing a steady slide from there. All told, the stock has plunged 72% over the past 12 months and 45% since the beginning of 2022. The stock hit a 52-week low of $7.05 on March 8.

    In comparison, the S&P 500 has fallen 9% over the past 12 months and 13% since the beginning of January. Peer comparisons are difficult as SPCE’s main competitors, Blue Origin and SpaceX, are privately held. The company also doesn’t fall neatly into the defense contractor or commercial airline categories.

    Valuations are made more complicated by the fact that the firm is in the process of ramping up commercial operations for its space tourism business. As a speculative stock with no earnings, it falls into a category of company that has been treated with growing skepticism on Wall Street so far this year.

    On Feb. 22, SPCE released a Q4 earnings report that was largely in-line with expectations. The company also revealed that it had around $1.3B in cash, thanks to a recent debt offering.

    Currently, SPCE is in vehicle maintenance and enhancement mode, with both its mothership VMS Eve and spaceplane VSS Unity out of service until Q3. The company is actively planning to expand its fleet, with production details for new motherships expected later this year. Production of the company’s next-generation Delta class spaceplanes is expected to begin in the second half of 2023.

    Meanwhile, passenger service with Unity and Eve is scheduled to begin during the fourth quarter of this year. A second spaceplane, VSS Imagine, is expected to be brought into service during the first half of 2023. Commercial service using the new Delta spaceplanes is targeted to begin in the 2025 to 2026 timeframe.

    The new spacecraft will help cut turnaround time between flights significantly. Unity currently has a turnaround time of around one month, with two weeks for Imagine and only one week for the new Delta class spaceplanes, according to the company’s Q4 presentation.

    SPCE has also cranked up the price of a 90-minute flight on one of its spaceplanes to $450,000 from $250,000, with a required deposit of $150,000. The company started selling tickets to the public on Feb. 15 and hopes to sell 1,000 tickets in advance of its first commercial flight, scheduled for Q4. According to Morgan Stanley, SPCE has already sold at least 700 tickets.

    “Additional ticket sales continue to prove that there is more demand for space tourism, but do not change the execution risks facing the company,” said Morgan Stanley analysts in a note dated Feb. 15. They added that didn’t see any near-term “meaningful” positive catalysts for the stock until Eve was put back into service later this year. The firm maintained its underweight rating on the stock.

    Is SPCE a Buy?

    Wall Street, in general, seems to echo Morgan Stanley's wait-and-see attitude towards SPCE, although many have expressed significant skepticism.

    Analysts, on average, have a Hold rating on SPCE. Of the 11 analysts tracked by SA, four had a Strong Buy rating, four had a Hold, one had a Sell, and two rated the stock a Strong Sell. SA authors, meanwhile, rate the stock a Buy, on average.

    SPCE’s Quant ratings indicate that the stock is showing strong sell signals. While SPCE was given an A for growth and a C for revisions, it also received a D on valuation, D- on profitability, and an F on momentum.

    In a note issued Feb. 23, SIG Susquehanna said, “We are encouraged by SPCE’s progress on sales and the vehicle enhancement program, however, the long road to profitability includes risks and competition.”

    SIG added that while it was maintaining its Neutral rating, it was lowering its price target to $9 from $22 “given our view that the market is now paying a significantly lower multiple on earlier stage companies.”

    Bank of America Securities recently reiterated their Underperform rating and lowered their price target to $8.40 from $10 as they “await further evidence of progress toward consistent revenue generation and a regular flight cadence."

    Canaccord Genuity was more positive, reiterating its Buy rating with a price target of $36.

    “It is important for investors to understand that Virgin Galactic is a long-term investment story,” Canaccord analysts wrote in a note in February. “While the first half of 2022 may be light on key milestones to track, we believe that the completion of the spaceship/mothership upgrades in Q3 are the most important near-term execution catalysts for the stock.”

    For a more in-depth look at SPCE, check SA contributors The Value Pendulum’s “Is Virgin Galactic a Buy After Opening the Spaceflight Ticket Window?” and Cestrian Capital Research’s “Virgin Galactic Stock: Can It Reach for the Stars?”

    BTC-USD -1.11%Mar. 11, 2022 1:30 PM ET2 Comments

    Cryptocurrency firms in the United Arab Emirates are getting flooded with requests to liquidate billions of dollars of digital assets as Russians seek a safe place to park their fortunes, Reuters reported, citing company executives and financial sources.

    Some customers are seeking to convert their crypto into real estate, while others want hard currency so they can keep it elsewhere, the article said. The UAE has remained neutral on the issue of Russia's military action in Ukraine and abstained from the United Nation's Security Council vote to condemn Russia for the action.

    In the past 10 days, one crypto firm has received lots of queries from Swiss brokers seeking to liquidate billions of dollars in bitcoin (BTC-USD) because their clients are worried that Switzerland will freeze their assets, one executive told Reuters. That person said one broker was looking to liquidate $6B of bitcoin (BTC-USD) so the client could send it to Australia.

    Some bitcoin veterans are skeptical of the claims. Adam Back said he's "calling a hard fake news on this one," because Australia is "not a place to evade sanctions."

    And the requests to liquidate crypto may not actually lead to transactions. "This kinda feels like the 2018-2019 deluge of emails to OTC desks about whales wanting to sell 10-100K slugs of BTC," said Meltem Demirors. "Will believe it when the ticket gets printed."

    In Friday trading, bitcoin (BTC-USD -0.8%) is relatively stable at $38.8K, ether (ETH-USD) -1.2% at $2.57K, Binance coin (BNB-USD), though, rises 1.1%.

    Previously (March 7), Coinbase (NASDAQ:COIN) blocks 25K crypto wallets related to Russians involved in illicit activity


  22. VWAGY +0.14%Mar. 11, 2022 1:19 PM ET1 Comment

    • Volkswagen press release (OTCPK:VWAGY): FY Earnings of €15.43B.
    • Revenue of €250.2B (+12.3% Y/Y).
    • 2022 Outlook: Deliveries expected to increase between 5 and 10%, operating return on sales to reach between 7.0 and 8.5%. However, this guidance is subject to the further development of the war in Ukraine and in particular the impact on the Group’s supply chains and the global economy as a whole.
    • Strong Automotive Division: net cash flow up by 35% to €8.6B compared to prior year; net liquidity solid at €26.7B, an increase of more than €5B vs. end of 2019 despite comprehensive transformational steps.
    • Board of Management and Supervisory Board propose increased dividend of €7.50 per ordinary share and €7.56 per preferred share, equivalent to a payout ratio of 25.4%.

    USO +2.82%Mar. 11, 2022 1:13 PM ET6 Comments

    Active drilling rigs in the U.S. jumped by 13 to 663 according to the latest Baker Hughes weekly survey, resuming its recent pattern of steady gains after a one-week breather.

    Rigs targeting crude oil in the U.S. increased by 8 to 527, while gas rigs gained 5 to 135; rigs targeting oil in the Permian Basin jumped by 6 to 316, while the Eagle Ford shale added 2 to 47.

    The total rig count had climbed for eight consecutive weeks before last week's pause; oil rigs had increased for six straight weeks heading into last week.

    ETFs: USOUCOSCOUSLDBOUSOINRGUOILKOLEM

    Bank of America's commodities team has forecast 900K bbl/day of lower-48 supply additions on ~100 horizontal rig additions throughout 2022; the oil rig count is now up 37 in the first nine weeks of this year.

    GRUB +14.33%Mar. 11, 2022 12:31 PM ET3 Comments

    Update 12:32pm: Updates shares, adds background.

    Just Eat Takeaway.com (NASDAQ:GRUB) advanced 20% on a report that the food delivery company is the subject of takeover speculation.

    There is speculation that the GRUB may be looking at its strategic options with an investment banker, according to a Betaville "uncooked" alert. The food delivery firm may have attracted interest from private equity. Some people following the matter suggested Uber (NYSE:UBER) may be around the situation.

    The takeover speculation comes after a Bloomberg report in January that the company's management may be open to a sale of Grubhub, the U.S. segment of the company. The company has also seen pressure from at least one holder, Cat Rock Capital, which urged the company in late October to explore options for the Grubhub business.

    Just Eat (GRUB) management had indicated to some investors the company may be open to selling Grubhub, according to the Bloomberg report. Advisers were said to be pitching a take-private deal or breakup.

    The speculation also comes after the Just Eat Takeaway CEO reportedly said in November that he had no plans to sell Grubhub.

    Just Eat didn't immediately respond to Seeking Alpha email request for comment.

    Just Eat Takeaway.com (GRUB) announced last month that it notified Nasdaq of its plan to voluntarily delist its American Depositary Receipts from the exchange.

    Also see last week, DoorDash (NYSE:DASH) is said to have held takeover talks with Deliveroo last year.

    Mar. 11, 2022 12:29 PM ET52 Comments

    Adding to the raft of sanctions on Russia for its invasion of Ukraine, the Group of 7 nations said they'll deny Russia's Most Favored Nation status related to key products, including energy, luxury goods, iron and steel, and access to capital markets.

    "This will revoke important benefits of Russia’s membership of the World Trade Organization and ensure that the products of Russian companies no longer receive Most-Favoured-Nation treatment in our economies," the group said in a statement.

    In line with the statement, President Joe Biden signed on Friday an executive order banning the importation into the U.S. of fish, seafood, alcoholic beverages, and non-industrial diamonds from Russia. In addition, the order also prohibits the exportation, re-exportation, or supply from the U.S. to Russia of any U.S. currency. The EU is also agreeing to the additional sanctions to be implemented by the G-7.

    The EU statement also points to bans on importing iron and steel into the EU from Russia and will propose a ban on new European investments across Russia's energy sector.

    In addition, the G-7 nations (France, Germany, Italy, Japan, U.S., and U.K.) are working to prevent Russia from getting financing from leading multilateral financial institutions, including the International Monetary Fund, the World Bank, and the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development.

    The group also said it will intensify efforts to prevent evasion of the sanctions and to close loop holes, specifically with an eye to cryptocurrency. "Specifically, in addition to other measures planned to prevent evasion, we will ensure that the Russian state and elites, proxies and oligarchs cannot leverage digital assets as a means of evading or offsetting the impact of international sanctions, which will further limit their access to the global financial system," the statement said.

    The allies will continue to develop and put in place measures that further limit Russian entities (that either directly or indirectly support the war) from accessing international capital markets.

    They're also ready to further restrict exports and imports of key goods and technologies into Russia, and plan to put pressure on Russian elites and oligarchs. "We will make sure that the elites, proxies, and oligarchs that support President Putin's war are deprived of their access to luxury goods and assets," the statement said.

    They conclude the statement saying they're prepared to take further measures to hold Putin and his regime accountable.

    Earlier, U.S. set to revoke Russia's favored trade status, Moscow hits back

    VALE +0.36%Mar. 11, 2022 12:27 PM ET7 Comments

    • The European Commission released a proposal for additional sanctions against Russia Friday, in a step to ratchet up pressure on Putin following continued violence in Ukraine.
    • The measures will "prohibit the import of key goods in the iron and steel sector from the Russian Federation" and are likely to provide a pricing tailwind for European steel producers like Arcelor (NYSE:MT) and international iron ore producers like Vale (NYSE:VALE).
    • Additionally, the Commission will "propose a big ban on new European investments across Russia's energy sector" a measure that is unlikely to impact European energy companies, as Shell (NYSE:SHEL), BP (NYSE:BP) and others have already announced an exit; for Total (NYSE:TTE) and OMV (OTCPK:OMVKY), existing investments appear to be unimpacted.

    Mar. 11, 2022 11:15 AM ET54 Comments

    • In what is sure to be a controversial call, JPMorgan analyst Phil Gresh downgraded Chevron (NYSE:CVX) to sell Friday.
    • Gresh points to strong recent performance, Chevron having outperformed the index (NYSEARCA:XLE) by 11% in the past month, as the primary reason for the downgrade.
    • The bank assumes Brent oil prices will average $90 in 2022, $85 in 2023, and $80 long-term.
    • The analyst remains buy-rated on Exxon (NYSE:XOM) and Cenovus (NYSE:CVE), with hold ratings on Canadian Natural (NYSE:CNQ), Conoco (NYSE:COP), Imperial (NYSE:IMO), Occidental (NYSE:OXY) and Suncor (NYSE:SU).
    • Gresh sees Chevron as fairly valued, with a $169 price target, but sees almost 50% upside at Cenovus, as Canadian fundamentals continue to improve.

    Tempting but too risky.  


  23. Phil / GILD – I have the '24 $60 puts ( 11.1) and looking at adding  BCS o n this one…..  I know they are having issues with approval ( more broad approval of their breast cancer drug) I'm wondering this is a good time to maybe at to this with a "24 BCS  of 50 / 60 ?   thoughts?


  24. AAPL/Phil  Have been slowly rolling my '24 $160 longs down to $150s .. looks good now for only about $1.50, but would it be better/safer to pay about $6.4 to roll further down to the $140s which doesn't seem like such a bargain but still good at $6.4 to gain $20?

    150 AAPL '24 $150 calls ($36.74)

    50 '24 $160 calls ($36 .71)

    - 140 '24 $200 calls ($20.8)


  25. Lost the Dow too, not a good week.

    Although, on the whole, the S&P is only down 100 (2.5%).  

    This is more stock market physics – how long did it take to get from 4,800 to 4,600?  About 9 sessions.  Then 4,600 to 4,400?  4 more sessions.  So that was an accelerating decline.  Then we bounced and the next time from 4,400 to 4,200 was also 4 days – and then bounce and now 4,400 was toppy on 3/3 and in 2 days we were back to 4,200 and now bouncing.  This is not a good trend, the drops are getting stronger, not weaker.  Also, look how many red days vs green – very unhealthy.   Plus the volume story you are well aware of.

    GILD/Batman – While I think that's great in a vacuum, I just thing it's best to wait to see an actual support bottom before using cash – unless you are so well-hedged you need bullish positions?  

    AAPL/Wing – I think if AAPL does well, then $1.50 well spent and be happy and, if it does poorly, then the next roll should get a lot cheaper – so either way you win.  If you have 200 longs and 140 short calls, then I don't see any reason not to sell 50 of the May $165 calls for $5.25 ($26,250) and see how things go.  You can use that money to widen the spread if AAPL goes lower and, meanwhile, it's a good hedge while you impatiently wait.

    Now!

    Wow, last rat is leaving the sinking ship!  

    DB -3.21%Mar. 11, 2022 3:14 PM ET4 Comments

    • Germany-based Deutsche Bank (NYSE:DB) has stopped conducting new business in Russia amid the country's invasion of Ukraine, Bloomberg reported Friday.
    • “Like some international peers and in line with our legal and regulatory obligations, we are in the process of winding down our remaining business in Russia while we help our non-Russian multinational clients in reducing their operations,” Bloomberg reported, citing the lender's statement. “There won’t be any new business in Russia.”
    • Deutsche Bank is joining Wall Street giants JPMorgan Chase (NYSE:JPM) and Goldman Sachs (NYSE:GS) in shutting down operations in Russia as war breaks out in Ukraine.
    • Earlier, Deutsche Bank outlined its exposure to Russia.

    AMZN +0.60%Mar. 11, 2022 3:01 PM ET6 Comments

    Amazon Prime Video (AMZN +0.5%) has pulled off a rare feat: It's topped the streaming ratings with a program for the first time – a chart position that's usually the province of Netflix (NFLX -4%).

    Amazon's action thriller Reacher (based on Lee Child's Jack Reacher book series) streamed 1.589 billion minutes to top Nielsen's most recent weekly streaming ratings (for Feb. 7-Feb. 13).

    That total was actually down from what Reacher pulled the week prior: 1.843 billion minutes. But then, it had to contend with the ongoing success of a new season of Ozark (NFLX -4%), which streamed 2.372 billion minutes then. In the latest week, Ozark fell off to 1.222 billion minutes, good enough for third place behind Netflix's Sweet Magnolias (1.556 billion minutes).

    Netflix's debut of Inventing Anna, meanwhile, landed at fourth with 1.219 billion minutes streamed, just ahead of two entries from Disney+ (DIS -0.4%): animated-film hit Encanto (1.183 billion minutes) and The Book of Boba Fett, which used its season finale to yet again boost weekly numbers, hitting 885 million minutes.

    Rounding out the overall top 10 were four other Netflix (NFLX -4%) programs: No. 7, NCIS (796 million minutes); No. 8, Raising Dion (757 million); No. 9, CoComelon (674 million); and No. 10, Criminal Minds (653 million).

    Netflix led the acquired-series chart with library titles (NCIS, CoComelon, Criminal Minds, Seinfeld and Grey's Anatomy), but Hulu (DIS -0.4%CMCSA -0.4%) landed at the sixth spot there with Rick and Morty (385 million minutes streamed), and Disney+ at No. 7 with The Simpsons (295 million).

    The original-series list is also usually dominated by Netflix, though Amazon's Reacher topped it for this week, and Disney's The Book of Boba Fett settled in at fifth.

    And Disney continued topping the streaming movies chart as Encanto marked its seventh straight week streaming a billion minutes-plus, ahead of a list of Netflix titles including The Tinder Swindler (480 million minutes), Despicable Me 2 (362 million), Despicable Me (253 million), Tall Girl 2 (195 million), Home Team (180 million) and The Privilege (163 million). Disney also put Moana (161 million) and Luca (153 million) on that list, ahead of Amazon's I Want You Back (149 million).

    (A reminder that Nielsen streaming ratings incorporate viewing from five major streamers: Amazon Prime Video (AMZN +0.5%), Apple TV+ (AAPL -1.7%), Disney+ (DIS -0.4%), Hulu (DIS -0.4%CMCSA -0.4%) and Netflix (NFLX -4%).)

    Amazon has recently cut off Prime Video to Russia, following a service cut from Netflix.

    FCEL -4.32%Mar. 11, 2022 3:00 PM ET

    Welcome to Seeking Alpha's Catalyst Watch – a breakdown of some of next week's actionable events that stand out. Check out Saturday morning's regular Stocks to Watch article for a full list of events planned for the week or the Seeking Alpha earnings calendar for companies due to report.

    Monday – March 14

    • Volatility watch - Options trading is elevated on Akebia Therapeutics (NASDAQ:AKBA) and Camber Energy (NYSE:CEI). Stocks generating strong interest on Reddit's WallStreetBets include AST SpaceMobile (NASDAQ:ASTS) and Bumble (NASDAQ:BMBL). Nio (NYSE:NIO) zoomed back to the top of the list of most discussed stocks on Stocktwits after a week of wild swings. Short interest positions as a percentage of total float moved higher again on Root (NASDAQ:ROOT) and Cinemark Holdings (NYSE:CNK).
    • All week - The conference schedule includes the 34th Annual Roth Conference, the Deutsche Bank Media, Internet & Telecom Conference, the JPMorgan Industrials Conference, the Barclays Global Healthcare Conference, the Oppenheimer Annual Healthcare Conference and the William Blair Tech Innovator's Conference.
    • 9:35 a.m. Astra Space (NASDAQ:ASTR) CEO Chris Kemp will participate in a panel discussion and a fireside chat at the Deutsche Bank’s Media, Internet & Telecom Conference.
    • 10:00 a.m. Mereo BioPharma Group plc (NASDAQ:MREO) will host a virtual R&D Day to review the company’s alvelestat (MPH966) program.

    Tuesday – March 15

    • All day - The three-day Adobe Summit begins. Featured speakers include Adobe (NASDAQ:ADBE) Chairman/CEO Shantanu Narayen, Nike (NYSE:NKE) CEO John Donahoe and Walgreen Boots Alliance (NASDAQ:WBA) CEO Rosalind Brewer. The event has been a share price catalyst for Adobe in the past.
    • All day - Shareholders with Peter Thiel-backed Bridgetown 2 Holdings (NASDAQ:BTNB) meet to vote on the deal to take Singapore online real estate firm Property Guru public in a SPAC transaction.
    • All day - OPEC will issue its monthly oil market report.
    • All day - Companies with notable IPO lockup expirations include Dutch Bros (NYSE:BROS) and Sportradar Holding (NASDAQ:SRAD). Dutch Bros has more than doubled from the IPO pricing level, while Sportradar is down more than 40% from where it debuted.
    • All day - Transunion (NYSE:TRU) will host an Investor Day event. The last time Transunion held a similar event the strong outlook from the company helped spark a +25% rally over the next few months.
    • 8:30 a.m. Watch for some potential market ripples with forecasts for the producer price report indicating the headline number will rise 1.0% month-over-month and 10% year-over-year. The report will throw another spotlight on the impact of supply chain disruption and the Russia-Ukraine war.
    • 9:00 a.m. Credicorp Ltd. (NYSE:BAP) will broadcast the company's Investor Digital Day. Credicorp management team members participating in the event will discuss how accelerating innovation and the group’s digital transformation strategy is leveraging the full potential of its growth strategy.

    Wednesday – March 16

    • All day - Shareholders with FirstMark Horizon Acquisition (NYSE:FMAC) meet to vote on the $1.7B SPAC deal to take U.S. fixed wireless broaddband provider Starry public. If the deal is approved, Starry expects to receive $452M in cash on its balance sheet and start trading under the symbol STRY.
    • All day - Floor & Decor (NYSE:FND) will hold an Analyst Day event that Jefferies has circled as a potential share price catalyst. The firm expects FND’s whitespace opportunity in the U.S. to be discussed, along with the market opportunity in Canada and an update on the company's growth in the commercial segment.
    • All day - The go-shop period on the 51job (NASDAQ:JOBS) buyout by DCP Capital and Ocean Link Partners expires. Shares of JOBS trade below the deal price of $61.
    • 8:00 a.m. CSX Corp. (NASDAQ:CSX) will be one of the more interesting presenters at the JPMorgan Industrials Conference with investors looking for an update on demand expectations and cost headwinds.
    • 10:00 a.m. FuelCell Energy (NASDAQ:FCEL) is scheduled to hold a virtual investor day. Topics on the agenda include the company's long-term growth opportunities and strategy, business execution and financial outlook, capital allocation priorities and plans to drive long-term shareholder value. Shares of FuelCell are up more than 20% over the last six weeks with investors focused again on alternative energy.
    • 10:00 a.m. Oak Street Health (NYSE:OSH) is scheduled to make a presentation as part of the company's first Investor Day event.
    • 2:00 p.m. The Federal Reserve is expected to start off the rate hiking cycle with a 25-point increase in the fed funds target range and issue more specifics on the unwinding of their holdings of Treasuries and agency securities. The probability of a 50-point hike fell to below 2% following Fed Chairman Jerome Powell's testimony to Congress last week. Traders will watch the dot plot of rate increase expectations for the latest read on the central bank's stance.
    • 2:00 p.m. Box (NYSE:BOX) will host its Financial Analyst Day event. Shares of Box pushed higher the last time the company held a similar event.
    • 2:30 p.m. Federal Reserve Chairman Jerome Powell will hold a press conference.
    • 5:30 p.m. FedEx (NYSE:FDX) holds its earnings conference call with analysts. Shares of FedEx have reversed direction during the last couple of calls when FedEx execs gave more granular details on demand, labor and supply chain trends.

    Thursday – March 17

    • 8:00 a.m. Lantheus Holdings (NASDAQ:LNTH) will host its inaugural investor day event.
    • 9:00 a.m. Allstate Corporation (NYSE:ALL) will conduct a webcast focused on the current auto insurance operating environment.
    • 11:00 a.m. Brunswick (NYSE:BC) holds a live Q&A session in regard to its Investor Day presentation and Next Wave strategy.
    • Postmarket - Companies reporting earnings with big share swings anticipated include Astra Space (ASTR), GameStop (NYSE:GME) and BigbearAi Holdings (NYSE:BBAI). Options is implying a swing of more than 20% for Astra Space, more than 14% for GameStop and more than 12% for BigbearAi.

    Friday – March 18

    • 10:00 a.m. The latest update on North American pulp, paper and board pricing will be released. Analysts are focused on WestRock (NYSE:WRK) in particular for a bounce if the announced $70 containerboard price increase sticks. "If fully realized, the $70 price hike would improve WRK EPS by ~55% off of a 2021 base with half realized this year," noted Bank of America ahead of the report. International Paper (NYSE:IP) and Graphic Packaging Holding Company (NYSE:GPK) will also be watched closely.

     

    Have a great weekend folks, 

    - Phil


  26. I love Jonathan Pie!  


  27. Phil / GILD –  I was on the fence on this one….  I 'll. wait a bit….  




  28. Could Putin actually fall?





  29. JPMorgan Leads Talks to Contain Nickel Crisis Damage