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PhilStockWorld March Portfolio Review – Part 1

Happy Death Cross Day!  

There's no excuse for forgetting to bring a present – I told you this was going to happen last Thursday, when I said:

As we predicted in our Live Trading Webinar last month, we're about to hit that "Death Cross" on the S&P 500 and that is BAD.  Even though we could see it from literally a mile (and a month) away, it will still come as a surprise to traders and analysts, who use TA completely wrong on a mass scale.  As I said at the time, if you understand HOW a chart is made, then you can predict what it will look like in the future.  If you are GUESSING where the market will go based on the chart you see - you're doing it wrong.

Very simply, the 50-day moving average changes slower than the 200-day moving average and "slower" isn't just some vague notion – it does, in FACT, change at a pace that is 25% slower than the 50-day moving average so every day the market closes below the 200-day moving average, it drags the 50-day moving average 4x lower than it does the 200-day.  Therefore, we KNOW how many days it will take before we get our crosses long, long in advance.

What does the Future hold?  Well we have the Fed Meeting next week and inflation is out of control so it's not at all likely they don't hike at all and the market expects 0.25% and 0.5% would be a big negative – so there's no likely positive there.  We also have PPI, Retail Sales, Housing Starts, Industrial Production and the NY and Philly Fed – hard to see any of those things popping us over the 200 dma so, if we assume we have another 7 trading days below the 200 dma – that is likely to pull the 50 dma below 4,450 – where we'll get our cross into Q1 Earnings – which are not going to be very positive either. 

Meanwhile, we watch and wait for the market to resolve itself but that looming Death Cross means it's not likely we'll be jumping off the sidelines in the next two weeks.  We went over our hedges yesterday and they seem adequate but I do keep thinking I'd rather be in CASH!!!

And thank goodness we didn't as all these head fakes were just that and, this morning, China is melting down (also as we predicted) with the indexes over there down more than 5% this morning and now more than 10% below their pandemic lows.  The main catalysts for China are the ongoing builder crisis, the sudden persecution of tech giants and now Covid is spreading though the Middle Kingdom, shutting things down again.  

CASH!!! was a good call and still is as – looking at China's market melt-down – there is NOWHERE to hide once investors start selling so I'm still strongly considering pulling the plug on our portfolios, rather than trying to ride out this storm.  That brings us to our Short-Term Portfolio Review (STP), which is where we hedge our long portfolios.  Let's see if we feel like we have enough insurance after last week's adjustments in our Live Member Chat Room (CVX yesterday dropped too fast so it was a voided play):

  • COIN – Not worried at all.
  • LABU – Happy to own them for net $7.50.
  • UNG – Easy money.
  • W – Killed us in the past week, losing another $12,000 but our net is $126.55 and we can roll the Jan $150 puts to 20 of the 2024 $90 puts at $27 for about $4,000 (we collected $23,450 to start), which would put us in 20 2024 $90 puts at net $9.75 so $80.25 if assigned is our longer-term target and we can live with that.  Keep in mind this is a bullish offset in a bearish portfolio.  

  • TQQQ – This is a $50,000 spread that's well in the money on 20 and then we have 10 short Jan $75 puts.  The spread is at $24 out of a possible $25 so it's of no further use to us so we'll close 20 and that leaves us with 10 short 2023 $75 puts and, rather than buy them back at $37.65, let's buy 10 TQQQ 2024 $70 puts at $37.  The premium on the short Jan $75s will wear out faster than the 2024s and, once that happens, we can roll to a 2024 spread and hopefully retain some of the net.

  • DIA – Dow is falling a little faster than we thought but the March puts expire on Friday and we'll either roll them along or sell new puts for the next cycle.  This is a $150,000 spread at net $59,100 so we have $90,900 worth of downside protection.

  • SQQQ – Thos was our original primary hedge but we've cashed most of it out.  Still $450,000 at net $110,865 so $339,135 of downside protection if SQQQ goes up 20%, which would be a 7% drop on the Nasdaq.  

  • TZA 1 – We have 50 extra short Jan $40 calls and we're at $37 but we'll just buy more longs and roll them if we have to.  This is 2 $200,000 spreads – one is in the money and the other one is really there to cover the extra 50 short Jan $40s, so we won't count that as protection.  So the $200,000 Jan $20/40 spread (calling the extra 50 part of the 2024 spread) is net $76,000, so we have $124,000 left to gain at $40.
  • TZA 2 – Here we have a $600,000 spread and the short April calls are still out of the money so just a lot of premium there.  We're at net $87,875 not counting the 50 short 2024 $40 calls, which we will have to deal with some day.  That means we have an incredible $512,125 of downside protection at $45 which is also about 20% away so a 7% drop in the RUT would put us in the money.  This is fantastic for a new hedge (with just the short April calls).  

A few things to make note of:  These hedges don't pay out unless the indexes go down AND STAY DOWN into the expriation date.  They are hedges, not BETS – which means their main purpose is to let us keep our longs so, if the market bounces back – we lose on the hedges and win on the longs.  If we start cashing out longs – these become bets and our strategy will need to shift.  

One Million Dollars GIFs | TenorAs it stands, we have $1,066,160 worth of downside protection, most of which kicks in after just a 7% drop from here.  It's a lot of protection and, so far, our long portfolios are holding up well so I'm not inclined to add more at the moment.  Unlike our other portfolios, we adjust the STP whenever we need to (as opposed to monthly around expirations), so I don't see any reason to change.  If anything, we'd like a bounce to get us out of trouble on some of these short-term covers we sold that are in the money.  

We have a Fed day tomorrow and we'll be in our Live Trading Webinar so, if things go crazy – make sure you're watching us live as we may need to adjust things then.

Money Talk Portfolio Review:  $240,929 is up $3 since our Feb 16th review.  I am so proud of that as it shows we are very well-balanced and the S&P was at 4,460 that day, now 4,192 so down 6% for the month yet we held up.  It's important that we are balanced in the MTP as we can only make changes when we're live, on the show – about once per quarter.  

I am super-proud that we took a big chance and got more bullish on SPWR as it was right before they finally popped – now we have to hope they can hold it as we're stuck bullish until probably May.  Still, it's a very strong collection of stocks in generally well-hedged positions yet we're still up 140.9% in just over 2 years – nothing wrong with that:

  • BYD – Right on track at net $12,100 on the $40,000 spread so we have $27,900 (230%) left to gain by Jan if BYD makes $75.  What's not to love? 

  • GOLD – Gold is up and down like crazy but I think $2,000 is the right price for Gold and that makes GOLD (Barrick) undervalued at $27, which is our target.  This is a $30,000 spread that's currently net $13,837 so $16,163 (116%) left to gain and we're already $8.64 ($21,600) in the money.  Aren't options fun?  

  • HPQ – Hit our goal a year ahead of schedule yet we're only at net $6,760 on the $20,000 spread.  That means there's $13,240 (195%) left to gain by January if HPQ can get over $35 – just one more Dollar!  If not for the markets turning sour, this would simply be free money there for the taking and I still love it as a new trade but we came in with a net credit!  

  • IBM – Our Trade of the Year for 2022 and we're well in the money at net $9,075 on the $30,000 spread and yes, that's correct, there is $20,925 (230%) left to gain DESPITE the fact that we're already in the money.  Options be CRAZY!   Needless to say it's good for a new trade – even though our Members and Money Talk Viewers came in at just $2,600 in December – they are already up $6,475 (249%).

  • INTC – Supply shortages are killing them and we knew 2022 was going to be rough but we didn't want to miss it if they popped.  No danger of that at the moment.  So, you can get in better than our entry at net $2,275 on the $30,000 spread that's $8,800 in the money to start.  This spread has $27,725 left to gain and we have two years so I'm still confident.

  • LABU – We just added these on last month's show and no luck so far as we got crushed on the $54,000 spread.  It's currently a net $6,100 credit so the upside potential is $60,100 (985%) but I'm not going to count this one since LABU is looking so bad but it's a Biotech ETF and I'm sure it will get hot again when things settle down.

  • MO – So nice and boring.  It's a $15,000 spread that's in the money at net $7,400 so $7,600 (102%) left to gain – yawn.  

  • PARA – Changed their name (was VIAC) and perked up a bit.  This is a $60,000 spread that's $40,000 in the money but only net $25,675 so there's still $34,325 (133%) left to gain and I've broken 5 tables banging for people to buy this stock so I'll just say it's good for a new trade and leave it at that. 

  • SPWR – Damn, we hit $20 and now pulling back.  That's OK, I'm very confident we hit $25, which would put us $35,000 in the money and we're currrently net $18,425 so $16,575 (90%) left to gain but we'll reduce the basis selling short calls, hopefully in May.  

  • WBA – Still holding up is a good sign.  This is an $18,750 spread at net $6,137 so $12,613 (205%) left to gain makes it great for a new trade.

So we have 10 positions that we expect to gain $177,066 over the next two years and we still have $145,344 of CASH!!! on the sidelines to play with.  If the market doesn't collapse, we're well on track towards making another 50% for each of the next two years, which is the goal of this portfolio (30-40% really) 






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  1. Good Morning.

  2. What do you attribute the commodity pull back to phil?

    is market saying war will end soon?

  3. Russia Is Spiraling Toward a $150 Billion Default Nightmare

  4. How to store renewable energy

  5. Good morning! 

    Sorry, was reading a lot of stuff.

    Commodities/Tommy – The general consensus is that Putin won't have the stomach to go past a month and this is week 3 so they believe he'll look for a way to exit gracefully.  That won't work if Ukraine starts taunting him – which I've seen happening.  We knew it was all a huge over-reaction – oil simply can't cause gasoline to be over $5/gallon as that's over $8/gallon in Europe – it's enough to cause a recession within a quarter so it's kind of a self-correcting mechanism and there's similar blowback on other commodities.  Like with lumber last year from March until June it was up to 300% higher than the year before but, by 45 days, people just stopped buying it.  We're having a more sustained run now at 200% over normal ($400) but that's about to collapse as well as we're already seeing home-building start to dry up – despite high demand for housing.

    I think Putin way underestimated Biden's willingness to inflict sanctions as they do harm us as well and he gets blamed for it and it hurts him and the party but Democrats aren't like Republicans and they don't sell their souls for votes as easily or as quickly as GOP Congresspeople do.  4 year of dealing with Trump and "Moscow Mitch" may have led Putin to miscalculate how the Dems would respond to his aggression.  

    Mitch McConnell, Senate

    Robert Mueller had testified that Russia was meddling in the 2020 U.S. elections. McConnell, the Senate majority leader, responded by shooting down Democrats’ efforts to bring two election-security bills to a vote — bills that McConnell, in his familiar fashion, had previously sentenced to quiet deaths after they passed the House. In the hailstorm of opprobrium that followed, McConnell had been tagged by “Morning Joe” Scarborough with the indelible nickname “Moscow Mitch.” The Washington Post’s Dana Milbank called him a “Russian asset.” Twitter couldn’t decide whether he was #putinsbitch or #trumpsbitch. 

    In January, he had raised red flags among Republicans and -Democrats alike when he took a key role in lifting sanctions on Russian oligarch Oleg Deripaska, a Putin ally under FBI investigation for his involvement in 2016 election-meddling; three months later, Deripaska’s aluminum company, Rusal, announced a $200 million investment in Kentucky. A billboard funded by a -liberal group was subsequently erected on a busy stretch of I-75: “Russian mob money . . . really, Mitch?”

  6. Intel unveils $88B chipmaking expansion plan for Europe

  7. The Future Is Not Yet Portfolio Review:  $159,982 is up just under 60% but so disappointing as we were up over 100% and then everyone turned against speculative stocks.  We only lost about $3,000 since the last review (2/17) so stabilizing a bit and we still have $110,800 in CASH!!!, which is 2/3 of the portfolio's value, so I'm not terribly worried.  I want to stick with these to see if we're right about the trends over time but, if this is money you can't afford to lose – I think the risk is too great in the current conditions.  Remember, this portfolio was a $100,000 gamble pot out of $1.2M in portfolios – it was always our riskiest set.

    • NAK – $200 better than last month.  
    • RWLK – Earnings did not help but, when you are this small, just a couple orders shipped one day and not another can throw you off.  The lose 0.06 per share vs 0.04 expected – not a catastrophe and revenues are growing.  I'd like to buy more but $1 would take us down to $1.45 avg and cost us $20,000 so let's instead sell 200 of the Oct $1 puts for 0.45 so, if we're assigned, it's adding 20,000 more for net 0.55 ($11,000) and, if we're not assigned, we still knock our $1.89 basis down to $1.44.

    • BIIB – Just added these.

    • COIN – They are crashing out and we're pretty aggressive too.  We rolled down last time so not good.  I think they are way oversold here.  $153 is $33.5Bn but they made $3.6Bn last year, so the potential is there and it's a growing sector.  Q4 was great but they are guiding a possible loss for 2022 as sanctions and declines in crypto have dropped their trading volume significantly in Q1.  This is coming at the same time as they are doing a major spend to build an NFT marketplace.  This is very early stage on a future exchange.

    • COWN – This is old-school financial and also not doing well but just down with everything else.  I don't think they'll come back by June but it's dead so I don't want to put more in – we'll just roll the short puts.

    • CRSP – How can this not be the future?  Gene editing!    If the above stocks weren't so likely to need money, I'd add some here.

    DAL – We keep getting notes that the airlines are doing well but it's not reflected here yet.   It's net $1,475 on the $30,000 spread – I say we double down.

    • ERJ – We got into them because they are building flying taxis but they are also a defense contractor so bonus!  Still good for a new trade.   They had a nice beat in Q4 but guidance was flat so people sold them off last week but those people are silly.   Let's roll the 2024 $15 calls to the 2024 $10 calls for $2.50 and buy back the short 2024 $20 calls.  

    • F – We are still in the money despite the 40% pullback.  

    • FF – Last month, we added FF to the Dividend Portfolio and they popped 20% since so nice start there and we love them long-term.  

    GPRO – Let's buy back the short 2024 $12 calls and double down on the 2024 $7 calls.  At $7.50 we're down to $1Bn, which is below 1x Sales and only 5x earnings – ridiculous!  

    • IGT – You can't tell me gaming/sports betting is a bad idea?  Terrible chart but I love this trade.  They are buying their own shares for the first time ever.

    • RKT – The strikes changed as they just paid a special $1.01 dividend – almost 10%.  That's why the stock dropped.  We're already aggressive and again, if the rest of the portfolio were doing better – I'd press this one.

    • SPWR – My baby!  Recovering from a bad start today is a good sign after a week of gains.    We're very aggressive here.

    • THO – Disappointing so far but we just looked at them and there's nothing here we don't like.

    • WTRH – Well, I guess we'll buy back the 100 short 2024 $3 calls at 0.08 – in case we want to sell calls in the future.  Also the Jan $4 calls and there's nothing to be done about the short puts until 2025s come out.  

  8. FF earnings are this afternoon , fyi 

  9. Comment content omitted because it is too long.

  10. I like the late reporters, let's you take the time to really look things over.

    Different phases of the 5% Rule:  2.5%, 1.25% and 0.67%


    Not as impressive in the bigger picture, though:


    Bonds are getting crushed ahead of the Fed:

    MU +4.27%Mar. 15, 2022 2:04 PM ET

    • Anyone looking for the market for memory chips to improve before the first half of 2022 is over better just cool their jets and stay patient for a while longer.
    • That's the assessment of the state of the DRAM memory market from Citi analyst Peter Lee, who said that factors such the war between Russia and Ukraine, and new Covid-related lockdowns in some of China's tech-manufacturing regions, should cause any sector turnaround to be postponed until at least the second half of the year.
    • Lee said that industry checks over the last week suggest that because weak demand from mobile device and PC makers, "overall memory demand has turned bearish". Among the main reasons Lee gave for his opinion was the "geopolitical tension" caused by the conflict between Russia and Ukraine. Lee said that while the war hasn't yet had a meaningful impact on worldwide demand for memory chips, the war has led many potential chip customers to take a "wait and watch" approach with regards to opening up their checkbooks.
    • Lee also the shutdowns around the city of Shenzhen due to a rise in Covid cases in the area has added to a sense of uncertainty about the memory chip market. Lee said expects there to be "potential memory demand weakness" if Shenzhen and other manufacturing areas keep plants idled for a prolonged time.
    • Despite the possible impact of the Chinese shutdowns, memory chip giant Micron Technology (NASDAQ:MU) saw its shares climb almost 4% on Tuesday.
    • Lee's take on memory chips came a day after Citi analyst Christopher Danely issued a grim view of semiconductors, and called the market "a den of bears" at the present time.

    Mar. 15, 2022 1:29 PM ET52 Comments

    Here are the latest headlines in the Russia-Ukraine crisis:

    Biden to Talk With Leaders in Europe

    President Joe Biden will travel to Europe next week for face-to-face talks with European leaders about the Russian invasion of Ukraine.

    Russia-Ukraine Displaces Hawkish Central Banks as Top Tail Risk

    Money managers in the latest BofA survey see the invasion as the biggest tail risk to markets, followed by a global recession.

    Saudi Arabia May Accept Yuan for Oil

    Saudi Arabia is considering accepting Yuan in place of USD for Chinese oil sales.

    Civilian Vehicles Leaving Mariupol

    Officials in Ukraine say 2,000 civilian vehicles have left the besieged city of Mariupol on an evacuation route, the AP reports.

    Brent Crude Falls Back Below $100

    As prospects for a diplomatic solution in Ukraine rise, and energy commodities continue to flow from Russia, the geopolitical risk premium on commodity prices (CO1:COM) (CL1:COM) has fallen quickly.

    EU to Help Western Balkans' War-Affected Economies

    The European Union’s foreign policy chief said the bloc would support the Western Balkan countries to overcome the economic crisis caused by Russia's war on Ukraine.

    Three EU Leaders Head to Kyiv

    The leaders of Poland, the Czech Republic and Slovenia are heading to Kyiv on a European Union mission to meet with Ukraine’s top leadership, an unprecedented move in a war zone, the AP reported.

    Meta Modifies Hate Speech Policies Surrounding War in Ukraine

    Facebook parent Meta (NASDAQ:FB) opened a can of worms last week after temporarily easing its hate speech policies. The social network allowed posts calling for violence against Russian soldiers, and even the death of Vladimir Putin or Belarus' Alexander Lukashenko, in the context surrounding the invasion of Ukraine. The policy, which kept up related posts unless they included "method and location," was only applied to users in Ukraine, Russia and surrounding countries, but has since been modified.

    Ties With Russia May Be Weighing on China Stocks

    Reports suggest that Moscow asked China for surface-to-air missiles, drones and armored vehicles as the lingering invasion exhausts its resources. The Kremlin denied the reports, saying it has ample supplies, while a Chinese spokesman also rejected the "malicious" rumors as "disinformation" before the meeting.

    "Media reports suggest the US believes China is 'open to supplying military equipment to Russia," UBS chief economist Paul Donovan said. "China's foreign minister said the country does not want to incur international sanctions. These are not consistent – which matters to markets. Sanctions against Russia have a limited impact – it is not a significant economy and lies at the start of global supply chains. China is a more significant economy and lies at the end of global supply chains, so sanctions would matter more."

    How Plausible Is Chinese Military Aid for Russia?

    Questions remain about how far Beijing would go backing its “most important strategic partner,” as China’s foreign minister recently described Russia.

  11. SBUX +4.42%Mar. 15, 2022 1:21 PM ET4 Comments

    Volvo Car USA and Starbucks (NASDAQ:SBUX) plan to collaborate to establish the first public electric-vehicle charging network at the coffee chain's stores in the U.S.

    The pilot program calls for Volvo Car USA to install as many as 60 Volvo-branded, ChargePoint DC fast chargers at up to 15 Starbucks (SBUX) locations along a 1,350-mile route from the Denver area to SBUX's Seattle headquarters. Plans include a charging location about every 100 miles, which is well within the battery range of most electric vehicles. ChargePoint Holdings' (CHPT +0.8%) DC fast chargers can bring EVs like the Volvo C40 Recharge from a 20% charge to 90% in about 40 minutes on average. While cars are recharging outside, drivers and the passengers will have the option to eat or drink at the Starbucks store.

    "We are thrilled to partner with Volvo Cars to test how we can charge our customers’ electric vehicles at Starbucks stores," said Starbucks Chief Sustainability Officer Michael Kobori. "Imagine a future where Starbucks helps our customers to connect – more sustainably," he added.

    Volvo Car USA is a subsidiary of Volvo Car Group of Gothenburg, Sweden, which is majority-owned by Zhejiang Geely Holding Group. That group also sells autos under the Geely Auto (OTCPK:GELYF), Lotus, Lynk & Co and Polestar (NASDAQ:GGPI) brands.

    LLY +2.14%Mar. 15, 2022 1:19 PM ET8 Comments

    Biden administration is at risk of running out of supplies of COVID-19 antibody therapies as early as late May, and the government will have to scale back plans to purchase more unless Congress clears additional funds, the White House said on Tuesday.

    "We need this money now," Reuters reported quoting a senior administration official who added, "Time is not on our side."

    Without more cash, the government will not have adequate funds to deliver additional COVID-19 booster shots or variant-specific vaccines, according to the White House.

    After objections from both Republicans and Democrats, a request made by the White House for $22.5 billion in immediate emergency funding for pandemic response had to be scrapped from the latest government funding bill enacted by lawmakers last week.

    Unless the government can secure additional funds, it will have to cancel or scale down a purchase order for what could be hundreds of thousands of doses of monoclonal treatments planned for March 25, the official said on the condition of anonymity.

    COVID-19 antibody therapies developed by Eli Lilly (NYSE:LLY), Regeneron (NASDAQ:REGN), and Vir Biotechnology (NASDAQ:VIR)/ GlaxoSmithKline (NYSE:GSK) were major tools in the U.S. response against the pandemic.

    This week, top executives at two leading developers of COVID-19 vaccines in the U.S., Pfizer (NYSE:PFE) and Moderna (NASDAQ:MRNA), issued divergent views on the need for additional COVID-19 vaccines.

    WTF did we spend $6Tn on?  

    SPY +1.29%Mar. 15, 2022 1:18 PM ET24 Comments

    Six in 10 fund managers see stagflation as the most likely U.S. economic scenario, according to the latest BofA Securities Fund Manager Survey.

    Of the 341 respondents, with $1T in assets under management, in the March survey, 62% expect the combination of high inflation and slow growth, up from 30% in February. That's the highest level since September 2008.

    Expectations for a boom fell to 35% from 65%. Those predicting a Goldilocks scenario of low inflation and strong growth fell to 1% from 3% and those seeing a recession dropped to 1% from 2%.

    With "growth expectations at 14-year low, but CPI expectations up (a) majority now expect inflation to be 'permanent,'" strategist Michael Hartnett wrote in a note. "(No) surprise 6/10 now forecast stagflation."

    Fund managers now see a "Fed put" that would lead the S&P 500 (SP500) (NYSEARCA:SPY) to 5,000 coming into play 3,636, down from 3,698 in the previous survey.

    Not surprisingly, Russia and Ukraine is considered the top tail risk for markets at 44%, up from when it debuted on the list last month at 7%.

    Following the invasion, a global recession is in second place at 21% in March, up from 8% the previous month. Inflation is third at 18%, down from 23%. Hawkish central banks, which topped the list in February, is fourth at 9%, down from 41%.

    Among the most crowded trades, long oil is at the top, replacing long tech, which drops to second. That's followed by long ESG, short U.S. Treasuries and long Bitcoin.

    It is too early from a contrarian bull call, though, and Hartnett says "we remain tactically and cyclically bearish."

    Drill down into the causes and consequences of stagflation.

    JPM +0.94%Mar. 15, 2022 12:55 PM ET

    • JPMorgan Chase (NYSE:JPM) credit card delinquency and net charge-off rates crept up in February
    • The delinquency rate of 0.72% edged up from 0.70% in January and 0.66% in December. The level is still lower than 0.97% in February 2021.
    • The net charge-off rate of 1.04% in February also rose slightly from 1.02% in January and 0.99% in December and remains well below the 2.11% rate in February 2021.
    • Principal receivables slipped to $10.1B from $10.3B at the beginning of the month.
    • Previously (Feb. 15), JPMorgan Chase credit card delinquencies, charge-offs edge up in January

    SPY +1.18%Mar. 15, 2022 1:01 PM ET

    The exchange traded fund marketplace appears to only be growing into 2022 with institutional investors, financial advisors, and fund managers across the United States, Europe, and Greater China stating that they intend to increase their ETF allocation in 2022 according to a Brown Brothers Harriman survey.

    According to the survey conducted, 84% of global ETF participants intend to increase their ETF allocations, a 12% increase from the 2021 survey directed by Brown Brothers Harriman. Additionally, per the survey, U.S. participants stated that they would increase their ETF allocation by 88%, whereas European and Greater China investors plan to increase their ETF positions by 80% and 84%.

    Where are the increased allocations going?

    Fixed Income ETFs: Virtually all U.S. investors, 86% to be exact, anticipate they will increase their fixed income ETF exposure over the next 12 months, ticking up significantly from 67% in 2021. Three fixed income ETFs that can see a potential inflow surge are the world's three largest fixed income funds: iShares Core U.S. Aggregate Bond ETF (NYSEARCA:AGG), Vanguard Total Bond Market ETF (NASDAQ:BND), and the Vanguard Total International Bond ETF (NASDAQ:BNDX).

    Digital Asset/Crypto-Themed ETFs: As the explosion of interest continues around digital assets and cryptocurrencies, so in turn do thematic ETFs that support these strategies. Brown Brothers Harriman's survey states that 54% of investors plan to add digital asset and cryptocurrency thematic strategies to their portfolio in 2022. Supporting this stance are ETFs like the Amplify Transformational Data Sharing ETF (NYSEARCA:BLOK) and the world's first Bitcoin exposure ETF, ProShares Bitcoin Strategy ETF (NYSEARCA:BITO).

    Actively Managed ETFs: Active strategies in 2021 represented roughly 10% of net inflows. However, global interest is building as 78% of the surveyed respondents expect to increase exposure to actively managed ETFs, up from 65% in 2021. While there are numerous actively managed ETFs at the disposal of investors, it would be hard-pressed not to mention Cathie Wood's ARK Innovation ETFs (NYSEARCA:ARKK), which was one of the first funds that really broke the barrier of active management.

    ESG ETFs: Environmental, social, and corporate governance ETF exposure looks to increase with 89% of investors intending to add ESG positions to their portfolios, including 56% who will access ESG exposure through thematic ETFs. Exposure to ESG specifically sees traction in Europe, with 90% of participants planning to increase allocations. Two prominent ESG ETFs investors can consider are the iShares ESG MSCI USA ETF (NASDAQ:ESGU) and the Vanguard ESG U.S. Stock ETF (BATS:ESGV).

    Thematic ETFs: The fifth focus area is the thematic space, where 38% of surveyed individuals plan to place 11-20% of their portfolio to thematic ETFs over the next five years, with the internet and technology space generating the most interest. Supporting this space are funds such as the Global X Lithium & Battery Tech ETF (NYSEARCA:LIT) and the First Trust Cloud Computing ETF (NASDAQ:SKYY).

    ETF year-to-date price action: AGG -4.9%, BND -5.1%, BNDX -4%, BLOK -26.6%, BITO -15.1%, ARKK -45.1%, ESGU -12.6%, ESGV -14.6%, LIT -22%, and SKYY -24.2%.

    Through the entire 2021 year, ETFs surpassed $10T in assets under management and garnered $1.2T in capital inflows, setting yet another record. According to Brown Brothers Harriman, the bulk of it was all led by the growing appetite of U.S.-based investors who invested $3 into ETFs for every $1 in mutual funds.

    Further supporting the growth of the massive ETF market is the world's largest ETF, the SPDR S&P 500 ETF Trust (NYSEARCA:SPY), with its $376.85B AUM and 0.09% expense ratio continues to draw new money. See below a one-year performance chart on SPY:

  12. Now that's an IPO!

    Marijuana medicine!

  13. TTE -0.64%Mar. 15, 2022 12:27 PM ET10 Comments

    Two major French non-profit groups threaten to take legal action against TotalEnergies (TTE +0.2%) over possible human rights abuses unless it cuts business ties with Russia following the invasion of Ukraine, Reuters reports, citing a letter to CEO Patrick Pouyanne.

    Greenpeace and Friends of the Earth say the company must comply with a 2017 French law requiring multinationals to be vigilant about violations of human rights associated with their commercial activities in countries affected by armed conflict.

    TotalEnergies and its directors may be held criminally liable for an offense under the French criminal code, particularly complicity in war crimes and crimes against humanity, the letter reportedly said.

    Russia represented 24% of TotalEnergies' proven reserves and 17% of its combined oil and gas production in 2020.

    TotalEnergies has criticized Russia's invasion but, unlike European peers including BP and Shell, it has not pulled out of the country.

    RBLX +1.72%Mar. 15, 2022 11:55 AM ET4 Comments

    • Roblox (RBLX +0.7%) has posted February metrics, seeing some negative bookings impact against tough pandemic comparisons but also logging continued user and engagement growth.
    • Daily active users rose 28% year-over-year to 55.1 million, and hours engaged rose 21%, to 3.8 billion.
    • Revenue is estimated at $204 million-$207 million – up 60-63% from the prior-year period. But estimated bookings of $203 million-$206 million are down 2-4%, and estimated average bookings per DAU were at $3.68-$3.74, down 24-25%.
    • Those bookings numbers are a disappointment, says Benchmark, which has a Sell rating on the company. There should still be “lingering weakness in U.S. and Canada, and in their core under-13 player group, as engagement normalizes and play experiences decay," the firm says.
    • It has a $45 price target, implying 22% upside.
    • Still, the stock is slightly higher at the moment after hitting its all-time low in the first hour of trading.
    • Last week, Deutsche Bank joined a crowded camp of bulls on the stock, calling Roblox the "next platform play."

    Told you so! 

    AAL +6.60%Mar. 15, 2022 11:41 AM ET

    • American Airlines Group (AAL +8.9%) is trading higher on Tuesday after the airline company provided a guidance update.
    • The carrier said it expects Q1 revenue to be near the better end of -17% from the level seen in 2019, compared to its prior guidance of -20% to -22%.
    • Capacity is expected to be down 10% to 12% in Q1 from levels recorded in 2019 vs. previous guidance of down 8% to 10%.
    • Total cost per available seat mile excluding fuel and net special items is expected to be up approximately 11% to 13%.
    • "In recent weeks, the price of crude oil has risen significantly and as a result the company has experienced an increase in the price of jet fuel. Using the forward fuel curve as of March 10, 2022, the company now expects to pay an average of between $2.73 and $2.78 per gallon of total jet fuel (including taxes) in the first quarter. As of the date of this report, the company does not have any fuel hedging contracts outstanding to hedge its fuel consumption……the company will continue to be fully exposed to fluctuations in aircraft fuel prices," the company statement.
    • American Airlines currently expects to end the first quarter with total available liquidity of above $15B, comprised of unrestricted cash and investments and undrawn capacity under revolving credit facilities.
    • Earlier today, These travel and leisure stocks are gaining because vacations are still a go

    Mar. 15, 2022 11:13 AM ET17 Comments

    Federal Reserve policymakers are facing a delicate balancing act as they start their two-day monetary policy meeting on Tuesday — on one hand the economy looks strong as demand isn't retreating and the unemployment rate stays slow, but inflation, poised to push even higher with surging oil prices triggered by the Ukraine war, reduces the central bankers' chances of successfully pulling off a soft landing. And the increased uncertainty stokes fears about a "stagflation" scenario, where GDP growth stalls but prices march higher.

    "The Fed is currently navigating in an economic and financial environment that is more complicated than any other in recent history," Luis Alvarado, investment strategy analyst at Wells Fargo Investment Institute said in a recent note.

    Currently, markets are pricing in seven rate hikes this year, which would average a 25 basis point hike for each meeting remaining in 2022. Earlier this month, Fed Chair Jerome Powell said a 50-bp hike at a later meeting or meetings is an option. Keep in mind that Powell recently emphasized that the policymakers aren't on "auto-pilot" and need to be nimble in assessing incoming data.

    After the January Federal Open Market Committee, the Fed officials indicated they'll start raising rates in March, two years after they slashed their key interest rate to near zero in response to the COVID emergency. Soon after the January meeting, traders saw an increasing probability that the Fed would boost the federal funds rate target range by 50 basis points, instead of the typical 25 bps hike. That changed when Russia moved into Ukraine. The probability of a 50 bps increase has faded to 1.7% vs. 41.1% a month ago, according to the CME FedWatch Tool.

    Even in good times, a soft landing can be tricky. Wait too long to raise rates and inflation can surge, suppressing economic activity. Act too early and the higher rates can limit growth leaving workers on the sidelines.

    "The Fed has little choice but to withdraw financial accommodation as anticipated prior to the Russian invasion of Ukraine," Tim Duy, chief U.S. economist at SGH Macro Advisors. "The fresh supply shock only aggravates the inflation picture."

    Paul Gray, managing partner of IronHold Capital, said it's likely the Fed will raise rates. "With inflation surging, there is really no alternative to the Fed raising rates, which has the possibility of sparking a surge of selling in the equity markets," he said in a note to investors.

    "The amount by which they rise will make or break the overall markets, but it will be hard to stop the surging inflation and please equity investors at the same time," Gray added.

    "We believe the Fed's hand has been forced to act swiftly and they will attempt to raise rates several times in 2022," Wells Fargo's Alvarado said. "However, after some hikes, the Fed could take a more cautious approach."

    Due to global economic uncertainties, Powell and the Fed board aren't likely to be too aggressive with this first rate hike, said SA contributor John M. Mason. At the same time, though, inflation may push central bankers "to do more than they would really like to do," he added.

    Expect Powell to provide more guidance on the central bankers' plan for shrinking the Fed's ~$9T balance sheet. During his testimony to Congress earlier this month, he said he expected it would take about three years to get the Fed's balance sheet where it needs to be. The policymakers aren't expected to discuss a plan at this meeting but not finalize it.

    Goldman Sachs strategists expect the FOMC to publish its balance sheet plan at the May meeting and start the balance sheet reduction at the June meeting. "We continue to expect the FOMC to permit passive runoff at $60B per month for Treasury securities and $40B per month for mortgage-backed securities and to ultimately shrink the balance sheet from just under $9T today to just over $6T in 2025," the Goldman note said.

    Duy doesn't expect Powell to soften his hawkish tone of the past couple post-FOMC press conferences. "Importantly, he won’t be inclined to send any signals that trigger market participants to back down from current pricing and if anything, probably wants more rate hikes priced in for 2023," Duy said in a note to clients.

    Also see: Want to bet on the Fed? Here are ETFs to watch ahead of the FOMC rate decision

  14. AEG -0.66%Mar. 15, 2022 11:00 AM ET2 Comments

    U.S. life insurance sales in 2021 jumped over the prior year due to fears of death from COVID-19, the Wall Street Journal reported Tuesday, citing data from research firm Limra.

    “As we zero in on one million Americans who tragically lost their lives, it’s not a surprise that people are thinking about their own mortality and the impact on loved ones if anything were to happen to them,” Limra Chief Executive David Levenson told the WSJ. “As a result of the pandemic, there is greater consumer demand for life insurance to cover burial and final expenses,” he added.

    Specifically, premium volume for new individual life insurance policies soared 20% vs. 2020, while the number of policies issued gained 5%, the largest Y/Y percentage gains since the 1980s, Limra noted. And the outperformance seen in annual premiums collected from new sales partially reflects an increase in average size of policies sold. Meanwhile, the number of policies sold is expected to top 10M, up from 9.83M in 2020, Limra highlighted.

    Life insurance stocks: Brighthouse Fianncial (NASDAQ:BHF), MetLife (NYSE:MET), Prudential Financial (NYSE:PRU), Lincoln Financial (NYSE:LNC), Manulife Financial (NYSE:MFC), Sun Life Financial (NYSE:SLF), Principal Financial (NASDAQ:PFG) and Aegon (NYSE:AEG).

    Previously, (Dec. 9, 2021) U.S. life insurers' death benefit payments jumped in 2020.

    Mar. 15, 2022 10:51 AM ET

    Medical cannabis supplier Akanda (AKAN) saw its stock soar during its first day as a publicly traded company following a $16M initial public offering on Nasdaq.

    Shares of the cannabis grower and distributor last changed hands at $17.99, up $350% from its IPO price of $4 per share, at approximately 10:30 a.m. ET. The stock opened at $30 and hit $31 before moving lower.

    Akanda priced 4M shares at $4 per share, raising approximately $16M. The company said in a filing in February that it planned to grant underwriters a 45-day option to buy up to 600K additional shares at the public price.

    Incorporated in Canada and based in the UK, Akanda operates a cannabis cultivation and processing facility in Lesotho through a wholly owned subsidiary called Bophelo. The company also owns CanMart, a UK-based medical cannabis products importer and distributor.

    For a more in-depth look at Akanda, check out SA contributor Donovan Jones’s “Akanda Readies $20M US IPO”.

    Mar. 15, 2022 10:45 AM ET192 Comments

    It was reported Tuesday that Saudi Arabia is considering accepting yuan in place of USD for Chinese oil sales. The news comes one day after it was reported that Foxconn is in talks to build a $9b factory in Saudi Arabia. And just as Aramco (ARMCO) puts the finishing touches on a deal to construct a $10b refinery and chemicals complex in North East China.

    Saudi's pivot towards China is in part a natural evolution, as China is the largest buyer of Saudi crude, and growing. However, Wall Street Journal sources indicate that talks with China over yuan-priced oil have accelerated in the past year. With sources pointing to the Kingdom's frustration over Washington's attempts to strike a deal with Iran, and following the precipitous US withdrawal from Afghanistan.

    Saudi's pivot is unlikely to have a major impact on oil markets. As long as oil hits the water, global prices will adjust accordingly (NYSEARCA:USO) (NYSEARCA:XLE). However, the largest oil refinery in the US, Motiva, is owned by Aramco (ARMCO). The Kingdom has historically been a top 20 holder of US Treasuries, but a net seller in recent years. In 2017, Foxconn committed to a $10b investment in Wisconsin, since mostly abandoned. And in summer 2021 the Kingdom signed a military cooperation agreement with Russia.

    The US and Saudi have a long-standing security relationship, and Saudi remains the largest buyer of US military equipment. Lockheed (NYSE:LMT) recently announced plans to spend $1b to localize military manufacturing in Saudi. Suggesting that Saudi's pivot could eventually impact weapons sellers like Raytheon (NYSE:RTX) and Lockheed (LMT), more than oil companies (XLE).

    JBLU +5.84%Mar. 15, 2022 10:35 AM ET4 Comments

    The airline sector ripped gains on Tuesday after a round of Q1 guidance updates indicated strong booking trends in March and confidence in second half profitability. Top gainers were Frontier Group (ULCC +10.7%), Delta Air Lines (DAL +8.7%), United Airlines (UAL +8.1%), American Airlines Group (AAL +8.2%), Spirit Airlines (SAVE +8.7%) and JetBlue Airways (JBLU +7.5%).

    Travel and leisure stocks in general saw gains with inflation and gas price fears fading ever so slightly with Americans expected to spend right through the inflation-heavy summer months.

    Travel service stocks like Travelzoo (TZOO +4.4%), Booking Holdings (BKNG +3.5%) and Airbnb (ABNB +3.4%) were up in early trading.

    Cruise line stocks Carnival (CCL +4.8%), Norwegian Cruise Line Holdings (NCLH +5.7%) and Royal Caribbean (RCL +4.2%) all broke higher.

    Theme park stocks Six Flags Entertainment (SIX +2.3%), Cedar Fair (FUN +2.4%) and SeaWorld Entertainment (SEAS +2.3%) were also notably higher.

    Lodging stocks Wyndham Hotels & Resorts (WH +3.9%), Marriott Vacations Worldwide (VAC +2.5%) and Choice Hotels International (CHH +2.6%) were also strong.

    In the casino sector, the standouts were regionals Century Casinos (CNTY +5.0%), Red Rock Resorts (RRR +4.2%) and Boyd Gaming (BYD +3.9%).

  15. MET +0.37%Mar. 15, 2022 10:23 AM ET

    • MetLife (NYSE:MET) Pet Insurance on Tuesday has partnered with LifeBalance, a discount network for employees and health plan members, to provide pet owners access to discounts on pet care essentials.
    • Specifically, the MyPets rewards program enables policyholders to redeem up to five rewards per calendar year with a maximum value of $25 per reward.
    • The new program came after MetLife launched a pet insurance offering in July 2021.

    Mar. 15, 2022 10:21 AM ET2 Comments

    • U.S. consumers' confidence in paying their expenses stagnated from January to February, with Gen Xers' increased confidence offsetting Gen Z adults' declining sentiment, according to Morning Consult's "Smart Finances" tracker.
    • Income volatility remains a salient factor, with 37% of U.S. adults reporting their income was higher or lower than the previous month. The majority of those adults reported lower income.Source: Morning Consult
    • Still, consumers were able to make progress toward most of their financial goals in January and seem to be prioritizing paying off debt, Morning Consult said.
    • In February, consumers were less likely to use digital wallets — typically used for online shopping — or BNPL services, and were less likely to consider switching providers in the next six months.
    • In the past year, a number of payment services stocks have lagged the S&P 500 as seen in this chart. Check ratings and performance history for a sample portfolio of fintech/payment stocks here.
    • On Monday, the New York Fed said U.S. consumer spending growth expectations for the year ahead reached a record high in February.

    HG1:COM -0.72%Mar. 15, 2022 9:30 AM ET1 Comment

    Industrial metals move broadly lower as coronavirus outbreaks in China dampen the economic outlook for the top metals consuming country, but supply concerns prevent prices from falling too much.

    Aluminum (LMAHDS03:COM) on the London Metal Exchange -1.5% in recent trading to $3,269/metric ton after falling as much as 3% following Monday's 4.7% drop; copper (HG1:COM) turns +1.1% to $9,823/ton after declining earlier, but lead, tin and zinc all trade lower.


    Nickel trading on the LME will resume on Wednesday, more than a week after being suspended following a huge surge in prices.

    China has reported more than 5K new COVID-19 infections for the first time since the early days of the pandemic, prompting Morgan Stanley to cut its forecast for China's economic growth this quarter to zero.

    Base metals "have generally been hurt by a double whammy of China lockdown and the general deflation of the war premium… all helping to offset lingering supply worries from Russia," Saxo Bank's Ole Hansen says.

    COVID-19 related lockdowns in parts of China such as Shenzhen and Jilin means that demand for base metals could ease, ANZ says, noting the lockdowns have led Volkswagen to suspend operations at three plants in Changchun while Shanghai has halted construction work.

    Copper mining shares plunged on Monday on concerns over China's new COVID-19 restrictions.

    That too, Tommy. 

  16. JETS is a nice play on the airlines picking up.  

    In the LTP, let's sell 20 of the JETS 2024 $19.86 puts for $4 ($8,000).

  17. Mar. 15, 2022 8:34 AM ET1 Comment

    • Empire State Manufacturing Index-11.8 vs. 7 consensus and +3.10 prior.
    • New orders: -11.2 vs. +1.4 prior
    • Shipments: -7.4 vs. +2.9 prior
    • The prices paid index remained very elevated, and the prices received index reached yet another record high.
    • The unfilled orders index came in at 13.1. The delivery times index climbed eleven points to 32.7, pointing to a substantial increase in delivery times, and inventories rose at the fastest pace in years.
    • Looking ahead, firms were slightly more optimistic than last month that conditions would improve over the next six months.

    That's a disaster!

    Mar. 15, 2022 8:33 AM ET25 Comments

    • February Producer Price Index+0.8% vs. +1.0% consensus and +1.2% prior (revised from +1.0%).
    • The PPI number increased on higher prices for goods; the index for services was unchanged from the prior month. Prices for final demand for goods rose 2.4% in February, the largest increase since the data was first calculated in December 2009. Two-thirds of that was from an 8.2% increase in the index for energy, with gasoline rising 14.8%.
    • The index for fresh and dry vegetables fell 9.4%; prices for beef and veal and for hot rolled steel sheet and strip also declined.
    • +10.0% Y/Y vs. +10.0% consensus and +10.0% prior (revised from 9.7%).
    • Core PPI: +0.2% vs. +0.6% consensus and +1.0% prior (revised from 0.8%).
    • +8.4% Y/Y vs. +8.3% consensus and +8.5% prior (revised from 8.3%).
    • Also see: (March 10) Consumer price inflation surges 7.9% in February, most in 40 years

    YUMC +8.06%Mar. 15, 2022 8:20 AM ET4 Comments

    Nomura warned on a negative impact on restaurant operators in China due to the continuation of a zero-tolerance COVID policy.

    Analyst Emily Lee noted Shenzhen was placed under COVID-19 lockdown until 20 March.

    "On 13 March, China announced that Shenzhen will be put under a citywide lockdown from 14 March, implying ~17mn residents of Shenzhen will be impacted by the COVID-19 lockdown, after the local government reported 66 new confirmed cases. Residents are required to conduct tests three times between 14-20 Mar, and they are required to stay home to avoid further large-scale community transmission. Workers of non-essential businesses must work from home, which will undoubtedly affect traffic flow, in our view. Restaurants are banned from providing dine-in services, and they are only allowed to serve takeaways."

    Lee also pointed out that other cities have reported outbreaks with heightened measures, including Shanghai closing schools and dine-in bans in Suzhou.

    Starbucks Corporation (NASDAQ:SBUX), Yum China (NYSE:YUMC) and Luckin Coffee (OTCPK:LKNCY), Haidilao International Holding Ltd. (OTCPK:HDALF) and Jiumaojiu International Holdings Limited (OTCPK:JIUMF) are some of the stocks impacted by a zero-COVID policy in China.

    PFE -0.17%Mar. 15, 2022 7:10 AM ET20 Comments

    Amid concerns over how long the efficacy of mRNA COVID-19 vaccines would last, top executives at the two major developers of those vaccines have issued divergent views on the need for additional vaccine doses.

    Albert Bourla, Chief Executive of Pfizer (NYSE:PFE), that partnered with German company BioNTech (NASDAQ:BNTX) for the first U.S.-authorized COVID-19 shot, said in a CBS interview on Sunday that the protection of three vaccine doses would wane, and a fourth dose is required “right now.”

    Meanwhile, Stephen Hoge, President of the rival vaccine maker Moderna (NASDAQ:MRNA), predicted that only the elderly and the immunocompromised would probably need an additional booster shot, and the rest of the public could be more selective about it.

    “Is it necessary? I think that’s a strong word. I think it will provide a benefit to anyone who gets it.” Business Insider reported Monday quoting Hoge. “Whether or not public health continues to recommend it for everybody is a more complicated thing, because not everybody’s wanting to get the first couple ones,” he added.

    According to Business Insider, Moderna (MRNA) is optimistic that a potential bivalent booster against Omicron as well as the original strain of the virus could be ready this year.

    However, both Bourla and Hoge agreed that the virus would continue to stay.

    Last week, Bourla said in an interview with Bloomberg that Pfizer (PFE) was close to submitting the data on the efficacy of its fourth COVID-19 shot to the U.S. regulators.

  18. And a big finish to end the day.  

    What, us worry?

  19. funny putin seams to have forgotten to include trump on his new sanction list

  20. This chyron will live in infamy.

  21. Good morning. Here is the link to today's webinar