Posts Tagged ‘FFIV’

Testy Tuesday – How Many Times Will You Fall for the Same Thing?

Isn't this exciting!

The pre-markets are up 1% after a long weekend.  That hasn't happened since – two weeks ago!  Of course last Tuesday, we were jammed up as well and the Tuesday after Christmas, we were jammed up as well but THIS TIME – we're REALLY feeling it, right?  

The funniest thing is the way they have dozens of idiots saying all sorts of ridiculous things on CNBC and not one of them mentions even the vaguest hint of deja vu in what has been the most consistent pattern of late 2011, early 2012.

On this Dollar chart from Scott Pluschau, you can see the dives that are occasionally taken to goose the markets and we have another one this morning with the Dollar down 1%, making the 1% pop in the futures slightly less impressive when taken in context.  

This time may be different because, according to Friday's Legacy Commitments of Traders Report released by the CTFC, Commercial Traders are now net short on the Dollar to the tune of 59,023 to just 6,061 longs – about a 10:1 ratio that is EXTREME to say the least.  Non-Reportable, Non-Commercial Traders (ie. Speculators), on the other hand, are almost 10:1 the other way with 9,765 long contracts and just 1,390 shorts.  Reportable Non-Commercial Traders (Hedge Funds) fill out the rest of the longs with 52,644 long contracts against just 8,057 shorts.  

To some extent, hedge funds are also speculators and usually you would assume their bets are covered but that's kind of hard to see with a 7:1 long/short ratio.  Keep in mind that Commercial Traders are institutions with business reasons to hedge – they are not going to be flip-flopping their positions so they will NOT be buying Dollars just because they get cheaper.  So, if it all hits the fan and the Funds shift to short – we could get quite a tidal-wave of Dollar selling.

That's an odd sort of positions for the speculating class to be taking (super-long on the Dollar) considering the possibility of a highly dilutive quantitative event (QE3) in the very near future.   This is why we can't be gung-ho bearish – tempting though it may be and this is why every little rumor of Europe being "fixed" sends the Dollar flying down – there are no buyers – only nervous long Dollar holders.  

As you…
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Weekend Reading – Reviewing the Reviews

 I am still trying to get more bullish

I was thinking about writing something cute like I resolve to get more bullish but that would be wrong.  I try, in my own humble way, to "get" the market right.  That means I am not bullish or bearish but Truthish (to further botch Stephen Colbert's use of the word) and, as Buddah says: "There are only two mistakes one can make along the road to truth; not going all the way, and not starting."  Confucious reminds us that there are three methods by which we may learn wisdom:  "First, by reflection, which is noblest; Second, by imitation, which is easiest; and third by experience, which is the bitterest."

In that spirit, we will spend the day in reflection so that we are better able to start on that long road to the truth so that we will be better able to imitate the things that will work in the year to come while trying to avoid making mistakes that will give us bitter experiences.  

This post is not about me – We had a fantastic year and I've already given some outlook for 2011 back on the 19th in that weekend's "It's Never too Early to Predict the Future" and our current position is short-term bearish in the Jan-April time-frame, looking for a pullback to at least 1,200 on the S&P and possibly back to 1,150.  

After that, we are expecting a return to steady gains but without the irrational exuberance we're currently experiencing.  So no, I am not bearish – I simply think we've gotten ahead of ourselves.  Since we don't know where the rally train will stop, we have our "Breakout Defense – 5,000% in 5 Trades or Less" from Dec 11th, which were a set of very bullish, highly levered plays where a little bet can pay off a lot if we simply hold our long-established breakout levels.   

How much is "a lot"?  Well my GE trade idea, for example, was to sell the 2013 $12.50 puts for $1.10 (net $1.15 in ordinary margin according to TOS) and to use that money to buy the 2012 $17.50/20 bull call spread for .95, which was a net .15 credit on a $2.50 spread
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Weak Weekly Wrap-Up – Charting Uncertain Waters

I’m just doing a quick wrap-up this week because, surprisingly, it MIGHT be time for a new Buy List!

I had said to Members on Cinco de Mayo, in our 5% Rule Review, that if we broke below 1,155 we would retrace all the way to 1,100 with our 5% Rule resistance points around 1,100 at 1,155, 1,114, 1,100, 1,073 and 1,045.   We actually spiked as low as 1,066 on Thursday but finished the week at a very sad 1,110 as we watched for that "weak bounce" zone to be broken all day.  This does not bode technically well for the markets next week but I told Members we would have to give the markets a pass for the day.  Based on the uncertainty of the weekend, we can’t expect a lot of capital commitments ahead of the EU decision.  After all, we’re in cash – why shouldn’t other smart funds be too?

When I predicted we’d hit 1,000 on Wednesday, I did not think it would be on Thursday!  The markets are now negative for the year and the S&P has spiked almost to the Feb low of 1,044 (and our lowest close was 1,056).  That’s right, these 5% Rule numbers are the SAME ones we used back then and it’s the same series we used to measure our winter run at the end of last year.  We expect a bounce here, hopefully at least a test of 1,155 on a relief rally if Greece is "fixed" yet again on Monday but we’re not going to be too impressed until we’re over that line. 

Still that means it’s time to at least lay out a new Watch List, which is the prelude to a Buy List – giving us a list of stocks we’d like to get into at lower prices.  Our last Member Watch List was back in December and by Feb 6th we had our famous Buy List, which we triggered at Dow 10,058 for a very successful run through March 18th ("Bye Bye Buy List!"), when we closed 2/3 of the positions and we have since cashed out the rest as I got more and more worried about the rally, finally calling for all cash last week.  

Speaking of last week, for those of you who say I don’t pick enough straight stocks – I listed 33 short trade ideas from my unofficial "Sell Listlast Friday (4/30) when the Dow was way up at 11,167…
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GDWheee Friday – Could be a Wild Ride!

Attention ladies and gentlemen:

The stock market will soon be leaving the station, please secure all personal items, pull down the safety bar (our Disaster Hedges) and keep all body parts inside ride at all times.  Well you know you can follow all of the safety instructions and STILL get smacked in the face with a black swan (like our friend Fabio, pictured here) which is why we elected to get back to cash ahead of this report.  The markets were just too insane this week and who the heck knows if Europe will still be a Union on Monday or what the GDP number is going to be (but I do think it's a miss). 

Since our biggest weekend fear is financial panic in Europe, our cash US dollars will become more valuable in a crisis and if the market drops, all the better as we can ride back in and do some bargain hunting.  If the market takes off on good GDP and Greece is "fixed" and Spain is "fixed" and Portugal and Ireland are not really a problem (especially for MS and JPM) and the CRIMINAL charges against Goldman look beatable and and the Financial Reform Bill doesn't disrupt the market with a disorderly breakup of the big banks and the Bank of International Settlements Report continues to be ignored and the run on the Greek banks doesn't spread to other STUPID counties – well, then we can BUYBUYBUY because, if all this doesn't matter, then it's very likely that the entire planet Earth could explode but Wall Street will keep ticking higher.

Yep, I can't wait to ride this baby mindlessly higher!  After all, what can go wrong?  BIDU is ONLY $710 a share, BLK is $190, CMP is $76, GOLD is $84, BUCY is $65, FAST is $56, MMM is $90, FOSL $40, F $13.50, DECK $149, SHOO $55, TPX $35, LZB $14, CTB $22, NOG $16, CEO $176, FTI $75, CLB $150, CIB $46, BBD $19, TD $75, BCA $45, BAP $87, ITUB $22, EDU $94, WYNN $93, FFIV $72, CY $14, CREE $77, UPS $70, UNP $78… 

These were stocks I was looking at last week, when I told members I thought it was easier to construct a Sell List than our usual…
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Bearish Put Butterfly Spread Materializes on Emerging Markets Fund

Today’s tickers: EEM, GE, PXD, STI, VLO, UPS, RF, NWL, HNT & FFIV

EEM – iShares MSCI Emerging Markets Index ETF – A contrarian options trader established a large-volume bearish put butterfly spread in the June contract this afternoon even though shares of the emerging markets exchange-traded fund, which looks for investment results that correlate to the price and yield performance of the MSCI Emerging Markets index (an index designed by MSCI as an equity benchmark for international stock performance), are trading 0.65% higher to $41.47 as of 2:30 pm (ET). The massive pessimistic play yields maximum benefits to its owner if shares of the underlying stock plummet more than 15.50% from the current price to $35.00 by June expiration. The investor enacted the butterfly by purchasing 20,000 puts at the June $31 strike for a premium of $0.24 apiece [wing 1] in conjunction with the purchase of another 20,000 puts at the higher June $39 strike for $1.41 each [wing 2]. Finally, the body of the butterfly spread involved the sale of 40,000 puts at the central June $35 strike for a premium of $0.58 apiece. The net cost of the ‘fly amounts to just $0.49 per contract. Therefore, the bearish player is positioned to reel in maximum potential profits of $3.51 per contract – total net profits of $7.02 million – should shares of the underlying fund slip to $35.00 by expiration day. Shares of the EEM must surrender at least 7% of their current value by June expiration in order for the investor to breakeven at $38.51. The transaction is a very efficient way for this investor to establish a pessimistic stance on the emerging markets fund because maximum potential gains trump maximum possible losses on the position. The parameters of the butterfly spread represent a reward-to-risk ratio of more than 7-to-1.

GE – General Electric Co. – The diverse conglomerate’s shares are standing 0.30% higher on the day at $16.55 with one hour remaining in the trading session. General Electric’s shares have rebounded 6.30% in the past month since dipping to $15.57 on February 12, 2010, but one big options strategist is positioning for continued bullish momentum in the price of the underlying stock through expiration in May. The optimistic investor initiated a large-volume bullish risk reversal play by shedding 20,000 puts at the June $15 strike for an average premium of $0.37 apiece, spread against…
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Testy Tuesday – Have the Markets Become Comfortably Numb?

"There is no pain you are receding
A distant ship's smoke on the horizon.
You are only coming through in waves.
Your lips move but I can't hear what you're saying.
When I was a child
I caught a fleeting glimpse
Out of the corner of my eye.
I turned to look but it was gone
I cannot put my finger on it now
The child is grown,
The dream is gone.
but I have become comfortably numb
." – Pink Floyd
 

I have a theory that the markets (and the American people in general) aren't irrational, they are simply shell-shocked after suffering a very traumatic group financial experience… 

To be shell-shocked is to be "mentally confused, upset, or exhausted as a result of excessive stress" and the most common symptoms are: Fatigue, slower reaction times, indecision, disconnection from one's surroundings, and inability to prioritize – That certainly sounds like our Congress doesn't it?  Combat stress disorder was first diagnosed in WWI, when 10% of the troops were killed and 56% wounded – far worse than had been experienced in previous wars.  Our current financial crisis has similarly affected more people than any previous crisis with almost everyone knowing someone who is bankrupt or lost their jobs or homes and almost no one escaped the carnage of the downturn without some financial damage. 

Combat fatigue may go a long way to explaining the severe drop-off in volume that has plagued the markets since March, with participation now down to 25% of where we were last January and that leaves us open to the blatant sort of market manipulation that Karl Denninger caught last week as well as the usual nonsense we get daily from HFT programs that drive the market with such precision that we are able to tell how the day is going to go by simply checking our hourly volume targets.  Here's a clip from CNBC where a floor trader discusses market manipulation as a fact of trading (2 mins in).  

As Nicholas Santiago points out on In The Money Stocks,   "January is usually a very high volume month, yet it has started off the New Year even lighter than the last two months of 2009.  Light volume markets are very difficult to
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Werner Enterprises Sees Bearish Activity

Today’s tickers: WERN, MDVN, GT, XRX, SLE, AMGN, ESI, EBAY, FFIV & SLE

WERN – Werner Enterprises, Inc. – The truckload freight services firm edged onto our ‘hot by options volume’ market scanner due to bearish trading in the June contract. Shares of WERN slipped 0.5% lower this afternoon to $20.22. One investor initiated a ratio put spread by purchasing 6,000 put options at the June 20 strike for 2.25 apiece, and by simultaneously selling 12,000 puts at the lower June 17.5 strike for 1.10 each. The net cost of the trade is reduced to just one nickel per contract. The trader is probably aiming to protect the value of a long position in shares of WERN through expiration. Downside protection will kick in if shares decline more than 27 cents from the current price given the effective breakeven point on the trade at $19.95.

MDVN – Medivation, Inc. – Long-term bearish activity in the June 2010 contract suggests one investor may be bulking up on downside protection in case shares of biopharmaceutical company, Medivation, Inc., continue to decline. The stock is currently trading less than 0.5% lower to stand at $26.51. A put spread was established through the purchase of 10,000 puts at the June 22.5 strike for 7.80 apiece, marked against the sale of 10,000 puts at the lower June 12.5 strike for 1.87 each. The net cost of the pessimistic play amounts to 5.93 per contract. The spread was most likely initiated by an investor holding a long position in the underlying shares. Putting on the protective stance shields the investor from losses beneath the breakeven point at $16.57. However, if the trader is in fact long the stock, he will suffer a 38% decline in the value of MDVN before downside protection kicks in at the breakeven price described. An alternate scenario is that the investor does not hold a long position in MDVN. If this is the case, the trader is uber-bearish and expects to garner profits from significant declines in Medivation through expiration in June.

GT – The Goodyear Tire & Rubber Co. – Option traders populated the November contract on GT with bullish plays this afternoon. Shares added more than 2.5% during the session to arrive at the current price of $17.83. Some investors targeted the now in-the-money November 17.5 strike to purchase 3,800 calls for an average premium of one dollar apiece.…
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Phil's Favorites

Ray Dalio Is Kinda, Sorta, Really Wrong, Part 3

 

Ray Dalio Is Kinda, Sorta, Really Wrong, Part 3

Courtesy of John Mauldin, Thoughts from the Frontline 

Two weeks ago I started a mini-series in the form of an open letter responding to a series of essays by Ray Dalio, the founder of Bridgewater Associates. I wrote here and here that he was kinda, sorta wrong in Why and How Capitali...



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Zero Hedge

Exposing The Fed's False QE/QT Narrative With Its Own Data

Courtesy of ZeroHedge. View original post here.

Authored by Daniel Nevins via FFWiley.com,

“The fact that financial markets responded in very similar ways... lends credence to the view that these actions had the expected effects on markets and are thereby providing significant s...



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ValueWalk

Beyond Meat vs Impossible Burger: Comparing The Vegan Meat Burgers

 

Beyond Meat vs Impossible Burger: Comparing The Vegan Meat Burgers

Courtesy of Vikas Shukla, ValueWalk

Pexels / Pixabay

The trend of vegan food has been gathering momentum in the last few years as people become more health conscious. They have also begun to realize the environmental impact of raising meat for human consumption. According to PETA, it takes an estimated 1...



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Insider Scoop

Wedbush Steps To The Shopify Sidelines

Courtesy of Benzinga.

Shopify Inc (NYSE: SHOP) ha introduced multiple new initiatives to spur growth, but the stock's valuation is already full at current levels, according to Wedbush.

The Analyst

Wedbush's Ygal Arounian downgraded Shopify from Outperform to Neutral with a 12-month price target lifted from $270 to $305.

The Thesis

Shopif...



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Kimble Charting Solutions

Wilshire 5000 Creating A Triple Top? An Important Breakout Test Is In Play!

Courtesy of Chris Kimble.

The stock market has been on fire of late, rallying up to the edge of price resistance on several indexes. Today, we look at one of those stock market indexes: the Wilshire 5000.

The Wilshire 5000 tracks all of the stocks in the US market, so it is a broad-based index that carries significant importance when gauging the health of the overall US stock market.

Looking at the long-term “weekly” chart above, it is pretty clear that the index is at an important price juncture.

The Wilshire 5000 spent the last 25 years trading within a rising price channel (1)...



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Chart School

Formula for when the Great Stock Market Rally ends

Courtesy of Read the Ticker.

When valuations for the boring water company or the boring electric company is trading like your Facebook, Apple, Amazon or Netflix or Google (ie FANG) you know something is wrong.

This is when a seriously over valued market is screaming at you.

Of course the reader must understand in a world where money printing goes super nuts (Zimbabwe style) the stock market may go hyper inflationary and picking a time frame for a top is never a good idea, but we are not there yet. There is no Ben Bernanke helicopter money to the masses yet (ie MMT). 

To see when water company's (and such like) are nearing the crazy FANG like valuations a review of the Dow Jones Utility Index channel shows us how history can repeat. The c...

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Digital Currencies

Cryptocurrencies are finally going mainstream - the battle is on to bring them under global control

 

Cryptocurrencies are finally going mainstream – the battle is on to bring them under global control

The high seas are getting lower. dianemeise

Courtesy of Iwa Salami, University of East London

The 21st-century revolutionaries who have dominated cryptocurrencies are having to move over. Mainstream financial institutions are adopting these assets and the blockchain technology that enables them, in what ...



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Biotech

Consumer genetic testing customers stretch their DNA data further with third-party interpretation websites

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

 

Consumer genetic testing customers stretch their DNA data further with third-party interpretation websites

If you’ve got the raw data, why not mine it for more info? Sergey Nivens/Shutterstock.com

Courtesy of Sarah Catherine Nelson, University of Washington

Back in 2016, Helen (a pseudonym) took three different direct-to-consumer (DTC) genetic tests: AncestryDNA, 23andMe and FamilyTreeDNA. She saw genetic testing as a way...



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Members' Corner

Despacito - How to Make Money the Old-Fashioned Way - SLOWLY!

Are you ready to retire?  

For most people, the purpose of investing is to build up enough wealth to allow you to retire.  In general, that's usually enough money to reliably generate a year's worth of your average income, each year into your retirement so that that, plus you Social Security, should be enough to pay your bills without having to draw down on your principle.

Unfortunately, as the last decade has shown us, we can't count on bonds to pay us more than 3% and the average return from the stock market over the past 20 years has been erratic - to say the least - with 4 negative years (2000, 2001, 2002 and 2008) and 14 positives, though mostly in the 10% range on the positives.  A string of losses like we had from 2000-02 could easily wipe out a decades worth of gains.

Still, the stock market has been better over the last 10 (7%) an...



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Mapping The Market

It's Not Capitalism, it's Crony Capitalism

A good start from :

It's Not Capitalism, it's Crony Capitalism

Excerpt:

The threat to America is this: we have abandoned our core philosophy. Our first principle of this nation as a meritocracy, a free-market economy, where competition drives economic decision-making. In its place, we have allowed a malignancy to fester, a virulent pus-filled bastardized form of economics so corrosive in nature, so dangerously pestilent, that it presents an extinction-level threat to America – both the actual nation and the “idea” of America.

This all-encompassing mutant corruption saps men’s souls, crushes opportunities, and destroys economic mobility. Its a Smash & Grab system of ill-gotten re...



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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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