Phil's Newsletter

Troubling Tuesday – China Slows Down While IMF Warns of Global Contagion

Da-vos, Da-ay-ay-vos.

So the World leaders (the ones that matter) are gathered at Davos this week and, so far, they are not too optimisitc about the economy with China's economy posting the weakest growth in 28 years and the IMF taking the entire Global Growth forecast down to 3.5%, from 3.7% last quarter, knocking 0.3% off Europe and 0.6% off Germany in particular – all the way down to 1.3% for Europe's largest economy.    

According to Price-Waterhouse, the number of US CEOs feeling optimistic about the economy also fell off a cliff – from 63% last year to a current 37%, barely over 1/3.  “It is important to take stock of the many rising risks,” said Gita Gopinath, the IMF's new chief economist. “Given this backdrop, policymakers need to act now to reverse headwinds to growth and prepare for the next downturn.”  The IMF also warned the US GDP will fall to 1.8% in 2020 as stimulus from the tax cuts fades and the economy begins to feel the pressure of higher rates – so we have that to look forward to.

Unsurprisingly, the Futures are down a bit this morning but only half a percent and that's nothing after the recent rallies.  What matters this week is whether or not we hold those 50-day moving averages as well as the Must Hold line on the Russell on our Big Chart – which really MUST hold if we are to truly reverse our market downturn.  These are just the strong bounces we expected so far – at this point, we're really not expecting much more lift from the markets without re-opening the US Government and establishing a workable trade arrangement with China which, according to recent reports – is at an impasse over Intellectual Property Issues.  

Meanwhile, Brexit continues to drag on with Theresa May barely surviving a vote of confidence and now Parliament is asking the EU to extend the March 29th deadline while they negotiate for changes in Irish border rules, which seem to be the main blockage at the moment.  Italy's economic growth forecast has been cut to just 0.6% from an October estimate of 1% and likely down to 0.9% in 2020 BUT – at…
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Philstockworld January Portfolio Review (Members Only)

Image result for one million dollars animated gifWhat an amazing first year!  

As of Friday's close, the LTP alone is at $1 Million, finishing the day up 101.1% from our Jan 2nd, 2018 start date.  We've spent a lot of time in December discussing our system as we had a lovely real-World situation to see how it works in action in a market reversal that occurred in weeks, rather than months.  

The way our system is designed to work is to force you to buy low and sell high through the discipline designed into our trading pattern.  First of all, we SCALE into our positions, usually starting with a short put sale and then, if the stock gets cheaper – we initiate our initial long position but it's usually just a 1/4 allocation and we don't get to a 1/2 allocation unless the stock gets EVEN CHEAPER as we roll and scale into a larger position.  

That means we are buying when things are low – that's the plan from the minute we buy and we don't buy unless we think we have a bargain in the first place.  If we get our Fundamentals right and the stock does turn back around – the rewards can be incredible – especially as we're using option positions to greatly leverage the stocks bullish recovery.  

But, in order to ride out a 10-20% market correction, you have to have CASH!!! and you have to have margin in reserve and that means you have to NOT over-extend – even when things are going very well and that means we are also forced to cash in our positions when the market goes too high as well.  So, following our system simply forces you to do the most basic thing any stock guru tells you to do (more or less) – buy low and sell high!  What can be simpler than that?  

As you can see from the S&P chart for this year, we've had 3 times when the market has fallen 10% along with one 6.66% correction so it's not at all rare that we get a chance to add to our positions on dips.  Also you'll note that the 2,600 line on the S&P (…
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TGIF – Trade Progress Trumps Government Shutdown – Again

500 points!  

That's how far the Dow (/YM) Futures have climbed since yesterday morning on rumors that trade negotiations with China are progressing but China but we've seen this fade before so we reserve judgment for the moment and we're not going to get all bullish into a Holiday Weekend (Martin Luthor King Day on Monday), not with all this uncertainty still in the air. 

We have been, however, very bullish since the bottom on 12/26, only the second time all year we've been very bullish and it's paid off nicely in our Member Portfolios so now is the time to protect our gains – not to add to the risks.  We added hedges to our Short-Term Portfolio and our Options Opportunity Portfolio this week to lock in the month's gains and now we can happily enjoy the long weekend ahead.  

While the headlines on China SOUND good, let's consider it from China's perspective.  Apparently Treasury Secretary, Steve Mnuchin, has floated the idea of pulling back some tariffs in exchange for China doing the same as long as China makes some long-term concessions on policy.  US Trade Rep, Robert Lighthizer is against this but, then again, he has spent his whole career telling people how evil China is (and he's the guy Trump put in charge of the negotiations), so what else would you expect from him?

So ignoring Lighthizer and focusing on what Mnuchin proposes, he's essentially saying to China that we began tariffs to make them change their policy and then China said "no, we're not changing our policy" and placed retaliatory tariffs on US and now Mnuchin says, "how about we drop the tariffs and you change your policy?"  My kids were better negotiators when they were toddlers!  Certainly they were not so transparent about their motives.   

Image result for lighthizer trump china cartoonIf we were serious about Trade, we'd also be making concessions, not simply saying we'd stop doing something we only started doing so we could use it as a negotiating tool down the road – which is now.  Even if China were that stupid (and they are not), Lighthizer didn't come all this way just to make a deal.  His goal is the economic destruction of China and he
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Faltering Thursday – Trumpdown Continues to Weigh on the Markets

As of this morning, the 50-day moving averages are:

  • Dow 24,364, now 24,072 on /YM
  • S&P 2,628, now 2,604 on /ES 
  • Nasdaq (100) 6,640, now 6,650 on /NQ
  • NYSE 11,924, now 11,850, (no futures)
  • Russell 1,450, now 1,449 on /RTY

To say that we are at a critical inflection point in the market would be a huge understatement and, as I noted in Tuesday morning's PSW Report, we took precautions against a downturn by adding hedges to our Short-Term Portfolio in Monday's Live Member Chat Room – just in case things spiral further out of control.

On the whole though, we're still a bit optimistic, though we are looking to cash out some longs today – so we will have less to hedge against, which, in turn, makes our existing hedges more powerful (as they will be hedging a smaller amount of longs).  It's going to be easier to have a positive event – like ending the shut-down or agreeing with China or a Brexit Deal – than it is likely to have an event even more negative than the damage we're causing to ourselves (maybe that strange asteriod is an alien invasion?).

Meanwhile, our current economic momentum is down so SOMETHING needs to change or things will really start falling apart.  Both the US and China are suffering from Trump's idiocy and the US is also suffering from Trump's other idiocy but the UK has their own team of idiots that are ruining their economy with a little help from the idiots in the EU, who seem to flip-flop between dancing on England's grave and worrying that an unscripted Brexit will also be the beginning of the end for their Union as well.

Maybe I might have changed 
And not been so cruel 
Not been such a fool 
Whatever was done is done 
I just can't recall 
It doesn't matter at all 

You see it's all clear 
You were meant to be here 
From the beginning – ELP

The markets turned…
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Which Way Wednesday – Brexit Deal Fails, US Government Continues to Not Open

Brexit failed by a 2:1 margin yesterday.

With just 10 weeks (March 29th) to Brexit day, the UK faces a "hard brexit" where they quit the EU without any trade deals, which would throw all of Europe into total chaos.  British PM, Theresa May essentially demanded a "No Confidence" vote after the defeat and her challengers were happy to call for it so today her leadership will be put up for vote but I doubt she would have called for it if she wasn't sure she would be keeping her job – despite the widespread dissatisfaction with the Brexit negotiations.  

If, however, May has miscalculated and is removed from office, CHAOS is not a big enough word to describe the weeks ahead as the entire Government would have to be re-formed with new leadership – all the while as the clock ticks towards the hard date of March 29th.  As you can see, the Euro is tumbling and that's pushing the Dollar back to 96, which is putting pressure on US Equities and Commodities, which trade in Dollars.  

All this uncertainty is slowing the UK economy, which is getting dangerously close to a recession and this morning Goldman Sachs said that, while they do not see a US Recession in 2019, they do see a sharp slowdown with very low profit growth from 2018.  

A survey of 500 U.S. institutional investors by Natixis in December showed that the majority felt that the longest bull market in history will come to an end in 2019. Forty-one percent of those surveyed said they would be reducing allocations to U.S. equities.  The growth outlook for 2019 is also beset with trade concerns, a slowdown in China, Brexit and political uncertainty in Europe making forecasts for the global economy tricky.

The indexes made constructive moves yesterday, hopefully consolidating to get back above their 50-day moving averages but it's a tricky time as any negative move will be seen as a technical rejection of those averages – and that could trigger a whole new round of selling.  I'd say that could easily happen if May loses her vote this afternoon.

 





Technical Tuesday – Trumpdown Keeps Markets Weak

Well, we're making no progress.

On Friday we looked at our bounce levels and we were encouraged that we'd improved enough to be a bit more confident into the weekend but the ongoing Government shutdown by the President is making us more and more concerned every day – especially with the mounting evidence that President Trump may be a Russian Agent who's actual intent is to weaken this country.  Still, the entire GOP is going along with this insanity and they can't all be in Putin's pocket – can they?

Even if Trump isn't destroying America on behalf of Vladimir Putin, he's still destroying America so we added some hedges to our Short-Term Portfolio yesterday in our Live Member Chat Room in order to lock in our recent profits as well as to protect ourselves from the next Twitter rampage coming out of the oval office.

Trump is meeting with Congress this morning and, hopefully, it will go better than Friday's meeting, where he threw a tantrum and walked out because Nancy Pelosi said no to his wall – even after he offered her candy.  Meanwhile, you can see the Brits debating Brexit all day and all night in their Parliament because, when something important is affecting your Government – a real Government tends to focus on the problem.

That's a live feed – how cool is that?

Image result for british parliamentDon't even try to compare that to CSpan – it will make you cry.  British Parliament is based on debate and consensus so any MP is a skilled orator – it's basically a job requirement.  Most of our Congresspeople can't put two coherent sentences together without their entire staff working overtime to prep them and God forbid our Congresspeople get interrupted – that's game over for them but that's the entire game in the UK – a much better way to discuss the issues.  

With about an hour to go before the markets open, the Futures are down a bit and that may not seem bad but the Dow (/YM) Futures were up 200 points around midnight and have since collapsed…
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Monday Market Mayhem – Trumpdown, Day 22

Image result for no government shutdownAt the end of this week, we'll have gone a month without a Government.

That's kind of dangerous as people may begin to realize they don't need a Government.  Well, rich people don't need a Government – poor people are screwed…  Federal workers are screwed as they didn't get paychecks on Friday, despite 420,000 of them being considered "essential" and working without pay.  When you go to work you spend money on gas, tolls, lunch, day care – it's not like the Government is just asking people to work for free – they are essentially forcing people to dig into their own pockets to support Trump's madness.

Not only that but missing bill payments due to not getting paid will impact the Federal Workers' credit ratings – damaging them and their families for years to come.  #TrumpDontCare

Meanwhile, nothing is getting done and that's slowing US commerce down and we're talking a month – that's 10% of the year and we're not going to be back to 100% right after the shutdown ends as there must be piles and piles of backlogged things sitting on the desks of the 380,000 furloughed workers as well.  Already the Wall Street Journal has estimated that this shutdown will bring GDP growth for Q1 down to 2.2% from 3.1% for all of 2018 – another month and we'll be below 1.5% but it will give Trump an excuse for failing to deliver on his GDP promises – and he needs an excuse because nothing Trump has done has really helped the economy anyway. 

Related imageWe're right in the middle of Flu Season and 30 people are dead and 9,000 people are hospitalized but money to the CDC's Influenza Program (our front-line defense against a national outbreak) has been cut off and that means we have no coordinated program to track and identify flu strains, which is how doctors get guidlines for treatment and how vaccine makers are able to prepare batches of antibiotics to contain the outbreaks.  In other words, not only are people going to die during Trump's little temper tantrum, but this could lay the groudwork for a massive outbreak – the kind that usually doesn't
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TGIF – Market Rally Pauses Just Shy of our Weekly Goals

Image result for stock market dead cat bounceWell, we're right on track…

Back on Dec 26th, in our Morning Report, when the market was collapsing, we began playing for a bounce.  At the time I said:

Each month the Government is closed knocks 2% off our GDP and the slowing economy will contract wages and Corporate Profits and, guess what?  That will make the deficit explode as it lowers the rate of tax collections.  That's why the market had such a harsh reaction to this shut-down but it's still been an over-reaction nonetheless and we are certainly now looking for at least a weak-bounce correction, which would be a 4% gain on the indexes from these levels.  Let's call it from the 20% correction lines:

  • Dow 27,000 to 21,600 is 5,400 points so 1,080-point bounces to 22,680 (weak) and 23,760 (strong) 
  • S&P 2,950 to 2,360 is 590 points so 120-point bounces to 2,480 (weak) and 2,600 (strong) 
  • Nasdaq 7,700 to 6,160 is 1,540 points so 300-point bounces to 6,460 (weak) and 6,760 (strong) 
  • NYSE 13,200 to 10,560 is 2,640 points so 528-point bounces to 11,058 (weak) and 11,586 (strong) 
  • Russell 1,750 to 1,400 is 350 points so 70-point bounces to 1,470 (weak) and 1,540 (strong)

Remember:  I can only tell you what is likely to happen and how to profit from it – the rest…
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Thursday Thoughts: Trade Progress Trumps Shutdown Impasse

Image result for trump pelosi candyWell candy didn't work.

Trump started his meeting with Pelosi and Schumer yesterday by handing out cofee and snacks (Butterfingers, M&Ms and Baby Ruths) as if they were there to trick or treat but when Pelosi refusted to accept the bribe in exchange for caving on Trump's wall demands – and I'm not kidding:  "A frustrated Mr. Trump put his hands in the air—two open palms on either side of his face—and said, “Bye-bye,” and left the room." 

All in all, the meeting lasted 20 minutes with most of it taken up by Trump trying to get Nancy to have a 500-calorie snack and Pence, who's not allowed to be alone in a room with a woman, could not understand why this one was talking in the first place when there was a perfectly good man around to make decisions.  Trump even wore one of his big, phallic ties and the President could not understand why the House Speaker was not overcome with a desire to please him.  Body language says it all in that photo – we're doomed!  

That makes today day 20 of the Government shut-down and it's only 2 days until we make the record for the longerst shut-down ever – so it would be silly to stop now, right?  Well, there's no danger of that after yesterday's debacle, which included this brief exchange, right before Trump stormed out of the room:

Mrs. Pelosi and Mr. Trump then argued over the White House’s justification for the border wall. Mrs. Pelosi said reducing drugs coming into the country would require additional port-of-entry infrastructure improvements. Mr. Trump said that human trafficking was also an issue, and painted a vivid picture of sexual abuse and human trafficking as women and children attempt to cross the border.

“Mr. President, as I said before, the plural of


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Walless Wednesday – Trump Whimps Out, Dems Stand Firm

President Trump aimed to create a sense of crisis with his national address, while Democrats also appealed to their base in their response. WSJâ??s Gerald F. Seib explains.Pretty, pretty please?  

Mommy and Daddy had to put up a unifed front last night and tried to explain to Donald, using very small words, why he couldn't have a great big wall to play with.  The wall would be "expensive and ineffective" Pelosi said.  “Democrats and the president both want stronger border security. However, we sharply disagree with the president about the most effective way to do it,” said Schumer.  Donald also said the Santa Mexicans were going to pay for his wall and that turned out not to be true and Mommy and Daddy said we simply can't afford a $30Bn wall this year ($5.7Bn is just the downpayment to get started). 

Not only that but, once you get the wall home, it's expensive to keep as you need 2,500 miles worth of guards and then there's the repair bills – which we don't pay on the other infrastructure we already bought.  It's like when you let a kid take care of a goldfish before trusting him with a puppy and President Trump has given us a very dead goldfish as far as infrastructure goes and now, rather than repair roads, bridges, damns or power-lines, Trump wants a new wall to play with but, as responsible parents, we already know it's only going to end up neglected like all his other toys. 

Of course, Trump's temper tantrum which is ruining the lives of 830,000 Federal Workers and the Millions of Americans who depend on their services, is not just about the wall.  “This president just used the backdrop of the Oval Office to manufacture a crisis, stoke fear, and divert attention from the turmoil in his administration,” Schumer said.  Democrats have urged President Trump and Congressional Republicans to support legislation that would reopen the government while they continue the debate over border security.  “President Trump must stop holding the American people hostage, must stop manufacturing a crisis, and must reopen the government,” Speaker Pelosi said.

This was the first speech of Trump's Presidency from the Oval Office and, though it started out sort of Presidential, it quickly veered back to the usual fearmongering and completely made-up…
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Zero Hedge

'Hedge Fund Hotel' Arconic Crashes 25% As Sale Plan Abandoned

Courtesy of ZeroHedge. View original post here.

Widely-held by hedge funds (e.g. Elliott Mgmnt with 52mm shares), aerospace company Arconic has decided to no longer pursue a potential sale of the company. The shares are down over 25% pre-market...

What changed in 4 days?

Jan.18: Arconic Hopes to Finalize Sale to Apollo This Weekend: NY Post

    ...


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Kimble Charting Solutions

S&P and Crude both testing key breakout levels!

Courtesy of Chris Kimble.

The correlation between Crude Oil and the S&P 500 has been rather high over the last 100-days, as each looks to have peaked at the same time around the 1st of October at (1).

After peaking together in October, Crude fell over 40% and the S&P nearly declined 20%, with both bottoming on Christmas Eve at each (2).

Both have experienced counter-trend rallies since the lows, as Crude is up 23% and the S&P 13%.

These rallies have both testing dual resist...



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Insider Scoop

10 Stocks To Watch For January 22, 2019

Courtesy of Benzinga.

Some of the stocks that may grab investor focus today are:

  • Wall Street expects Johnson & Johnson (NYSE: JNJ) to report quarterly earnings at $1.95 per share on revenue of $20.17 billion before the opening bell. Johnson & Johnson shares gained 0.1 percent to $130.80 in after-hours trading.
  • Analysts expect IBM Common Stock (NYSE: ...


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Phil's Favorites

Martin Luther King Jr., union man

 

Martin Luther King Jr., union man

Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. on the picket line at the Scripto plant in Atlanta, Ga., December, 1964. AP

Courtesy of Peter Cole, Western Illinois University

If Martin Luther King Jr. still lived, he’d probably tell people to join unions.

King understood racial equality was inextricably linked to economics. He asked, “What good does it do to be able to eat at a lunch counter if you can’t buy a hamburger?”

Those disadvantages have persisted. Tod...



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Chart School

Weekly Market Recap Jan 20, 2019

Courtesy of Blain.

After entering the week quite overbought, indexes took a small retreat Monday before hurling back upwards.  This is typical of the “V” shaped moves up after any significant selloff, we’ve seen most of the past decade and watching them unfurl is quite amazing actually.  Thought maybe this time would be “different” but not so much.  So two week’s ago we asked “Has the Fed solved all the market’s problem in 1 speech?” – and thus far the market has answered resoundingly yes.  The word of the year thus far in 2019 is “patience” as that simple insert into a speech change the whole complexion of everything.

China has also been busy stimulating; on Tuesday:

An announcement from the People’s Bank of China that ...



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ValueWalk

Everyone Else Is Selling Stocks, So Is It Time To Buy?

By Michelle Jones. Originally published at ValueWalk.

After a difficult few trading days in the beginning of the year, U.S. stocks are bouncing back with meaningful gains on Monday following Friday’s strong rally. The S&P 500, Dow Jones Industrial Average and Nasdaq 100 were all up by more than half a percent by midday. It looks like investors could be taking advantage of the end-of-the-year declines, but is this a wise time to be buying?

Trying to time the bottom of the market will almost always be a fool’s errand, but one firm suggests equities could have much farther to fall before they hit bottom in 2019.

...



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Digital Currencies

Transparency and privacy: Empowering people through blockchain

 

Transparency and privacy: Empowering people through blockchain

Blockchain technologies can empower people by allowing them more control over their user data. Shutterstock

Courtesy of Ajay Kumar Shrestha, University of Saskatchewan

Blockchain has already proven its huge influence on the financial world with its first application in the form of cryptocurrencies such as Bitcoin. It might not be long before its impact is felt everywhere.

Blockchain is a secure chain of digital records that exist on multiple computers simultaneously so no record can be erased or falsified. The...



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Members' Corner

Why Trump Can't Learn

 

Bill Eddy (lawyer, therapist, author) predicted Trump's chaotic presidency based on his high-conflict personality, which was evident years ago. This post, written in 2017, references a prescient article Bill wrote before Trump even became president, 5 Reasons Trump Can’t Learn. ~ Ilene 

Why Trump Can’t Learn

Donald Trump by Gage Skidmore (...



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Biotech

Opening Pandora's Box: Gene editing and its consequences

Reminder: We are available to chat with Members, comments are found below each post.

 

Opening Pandora's Box: Gene editing and its consequences

Bacteriophage viruses infecting bacterial cells , Bacterial viruses. from www.shutterstock.com

Courtesy of John Bergeron, McGill University

Today, the scientific community is aghast at the prospect of gene editing to create “designer” humans. Gene editing may be of greater consequence than climate change, or even the consequences of unleashing the energy of the atom.

...

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Mapping The Market

Trump: "I Won't Be Here" When It Blows Up

By Jean-Luc

Maybe we should simply try him for treason right now:

Trump on Coming Debt Crisis: ‘I Won’t Be Here’ When It Blows Up

The president thinks the balancing of the nation’s books is going to, ultimately, be a future president’s problem.

By Asawin Suebsaeng and Lachlan Markay, Daily Beast

The friction came to a head in early 2017 when senior officials offered Trump charts and graphics laying out the numbers and showing a “hockey stick” spike in the nationa...



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OpTrader

Swing trading portfolio - week of September 11th, 2017

Reminder: OpTrader is available to chat with Members, comments are found below each post.

 

This post is for all our live virtual trade ideas and daily comments. Please click on "comments" below to follow our live discussion. All of our current  trades are listed in the spreadsheet below, with entry price (1/2 in and All in), and exit prices (1/3 out, 2/3 out, and All out).

We also indicate our stop, which is most of the time the "5 day moving average". All trades, unless indicated, are front-month ATM options. 

Please feel free to participate in the discussion and ask any questions you might have about this virtual portfolio, by clicking on the "comments" link right below.

To learn more about the swing trading virtual portfolio (strategy, performance, FAQ, etc.), please click here ...



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Promotions

Free eBook - "My Top Strategies for 2017"

 

 

Here's a free ebook for you to check out! 

Phil has a chapter in a newly-released eBook that we think you’ll enjoy.

In My Top Strategies for 2017, Phil's chapter is Secret Santa’s Inflation Hedges for 2017.

This chapter isn’t about risk or leverage. Phil present a few smart, practical ideas you can use as a hedge against inflation as well as hedging strategies designed to assist you in staying ahead of the markets.

Some other great content in this free eBook includes:

 

·       How 2017 Will Affect Oil, the US Dollar and the European Union

...

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About Phil:

Philip R. Davis is a founder Phil's Stock World, a stock and options trading site that teaches the art of options trading to newcomers and devises advanced strategies for expert traders...

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About Ilene:

Ilene is editor and affiliate program coordinator for PSW. She manages the site market shadows, archives, more. Contact Ilene to learn about our affiliate and content sharing programs.

Market Shadows >>