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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ValueWalk

5 truths about the second round of coronavirus stimulus checks

By Aman Jain. Originally published at ValueWalk.

Whether or not Congress will be able to issue another coronavirus relief package or if there will be another round of direct payments is the biggest question nowadays. Although no one has accurate answers to these questions, there are a few truths about the next round of coronavirus stimulus checks.

Truths about coronavirus stimulus checks

The first truth is that everyone wants to send stimulus checks. “Everyone” here means Republican and Democratic lawmakers and President Donald Trump. Both Republicans and Democrats have included stimulus checks in their proposals, the HEALS Act and HEROES Act, respectively. Alt...



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Zero Hedge

The State's Response To This "Virus" Is Nothing More Than A Weapon Of Mass Submission

Courtesy of ZeroHedge View original post here.

Authored by Gary Barnett via LewRockwell.com,

“The great masses of men, though theoretically free, are seen to submit supinely to oppression and exploitation of a hundred abhorrent sorts. Have they no means of resistance? Obviously they have. The worst tyrant, even under democratic plutocracy, has but one throat to slit. The moment the majority decided to overthrow him he would be overthrown. But the maj...



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Phil's Favorites

Venture Capital...Big Money Still Flowing and Power In The Valley

 

Venture Capital…Big Money Still Flowing and Power In The Valley

Courtesy of Howard Lindzon 

Money continues to flow into the venture capital industry.

I won't complain.

The money flow should increase as rates stay low and the mantra of alternative investing picks up pace. I can feel that happening.

One big rule change that should really accelerate money flows is the final Volcker Rule:

The Final Volcker Rule[1], which goes into effect October 1, 2020, makes a number of significa...



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Kimble Charting Solutions

Key Inflation Indicators Facing Big Test In September!

Courtesy of Chris Kimble

Inflation has long been a word that the Federal Reserve uses but the general markets have forgotten about.

Why? Well because it’s been virtually non-existent for years. Key indicators like commodities (i.e. copper) have been in a down-trends and the Materials Sector (XLB) has lagged… until this year.

In today’s chart 3-pack, we take a look at the Equal Weight Commodity Index, ...



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Digital Currencies

The Great Unbanking: How DeFi Is Completing The Job Bitcoin Started

Courtesy of ZeroHedge View original post here.

Authored by Paul De Havilland via CoinTelegraph.com,

While most of us will prefer to forget the horrors of 2020, DeFi may well prove to be the guarantee of a better, more liberated future...

...



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Politics

'Colossal Backdoor Bailout': Outrage as Pentagon Funnels Hundreds of Millions Meant for Covid Supplies to Private Defense Contractors

 

'Colossal Backdoor Bailout': Outrage as Pentagon Funnels Hundreds of Millions Meant for Covid Supplies to Private Defense Contractors

"If you can't get a Covid test or find an N95, it’s because these contractors stole from the American people to make faster jets and fancy uniforms."

By Jake Johnson

Secretary of Defense Mark Esper and Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff Army Gen. Mark Milley hold an end of year press conference at the Pentagon on December 20, 2019 in Arlington, Virginia. (Photo: Drew Angerer/Getty Images)

Instead of adhering to congressional inten...



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Biotech/COVID-19

How and when will we know that a COVID-19 vaccine is safe and effective?

 

How and when will we know that a COVID-19 vaccine is safe and effective?

How much longer must society wait for a vaccine? ANDRZEJ WOJCICKI/Getty Images

By William Petri, University of Virginia

With COVID-19 vaccines currently in the final phase of study, you’ve probably been wondering how the FDA will decide if a vaccine is safe and effective.

Based on the status of the Phase 3 trials currently underway, it i...



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Chart School

Stocks are not done yet - Update

Courtesy of Read the Ticker

There are a few times in history when a third party said this US paper (stocks, funds or bonds) is worthless.

Here is two.

1) 1965 Nixon Shock - The French said to US we do not want your paper dollars please pay us in gold. This of course led to the US going off the gold standard.

2) 2007 Bear Stern Fund Collapse - Investors said their funds collateral was worth much less than stated. This of course was the beginning of the great america housing bust of 2008.


In both cases it was stated .."look the Emperor is naked!"... (The Empe...

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The Technical Traders

Adaptive Fibonacci Price Modeling System Suggests Market Peak May Be Near

Courtesy of Technical Traders

Our Adaptive Fibonacci Price Modeling system is suggesting a moderate price peak may be already setting up in the NASDAQ while the Dow Jones, S&P500, and Transportation Index continue to rally beyond the projected Fibonacci Price Expansion Levels.  This indicates that capital may be shifting away from the already lofty Technology sector and into Basic Materials, Financials, Energy, Consumer Staples, Utilities, as well as other sectors.

This type of a structural market shift indicates a move away from speculation and towards Blue Chip returns. It suggests traders and investors are expecting the US consumer to come back strong (or at least hold up the market at...



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Lee's Free Thinking

Texas, Florida, Arizona, Georgia - The Branch COVIDIANS Are Still Burning Down the House

 

Texas, Florida, Arizona, Georgia – The Branch COVIDIANS Are Still Burning Down the House

Courtesy of Lee Adler, WallStreetExaminer 

The numbers of new cases in some of the hardest hit COVID19 states have started to plateau, or even decline, over the past few days. A few pundits have noted it and concluded that it was a hopeful sign. 

Is it real or is something else going on? Like a restriction in the numbers of tests, or simply the inability to test enough, or are some people simply giving up on getting tested? Because as we all know from our dear leader, the less testing, the less...



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Insider Scoop

Economic Data Scheduled For Friday

Courtesy of Benzinga

  • Data on nonfarm payrolls and unemployment rate for March will be released at 8:30 a.m. ET.
  • US Services Purchasing Managers' Index for March is scheduled for release at 9:45 a.m. ET.
  • The ISM's non-manufacturing index for March will be released at 10:00 a.m. ET.
  • The Baker Hughes North American rig count report for the latest week is scheduled for release at 1:00 p.m. ET.
...

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Promotions

Free, Live Webinar on Stocks, Options and Trading Strategies

TODAY's LIVE webinar on stocks, options and trading strategy is open to all!

Feb. 26, 1pm EST

Click HERE to join the PSW weekly webinar at 1 pm EST.

Phil will discuss positions, COVID-19, market volatility -- the selloff -- and more! 

This week, we also have a special presentation from Mike Anton of TradeExchange.com. It's a new service that we're excited to be a part of! 

Mike will show off the TradeExchange's new platform which you can try for free.  

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Mapping The Market

How IPOs Are Priced

Via Jean Luc 

Funny but probably true:

...

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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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