Posts Tagged ‘SPX’

SPX Call Spread Eyes Fresh Record Highs By Year End

Stocks got off to a rocky start on the first trading day in December, with the S&P 500 Index slipping just below 2050 on Monday. Based on one large bullish SPX options trade executed on Wednesday, however, such price action is not likely to break the trend of strong gains observed in the benchmark index since mid-October. It looks like one options market participant purchased 25,000 of the 31Dec’14 2105/2115 call spreads at a net premium of $2.70 each. The trade cost $6.75mm to put on, and represents the maximum potential loss on the position should the 2105 calls expire worthless at the end of December. The call spread could reap profits of as much as $7.30 per spread, or $18.25mm, in the event that the SPX ends the year above 2115. The index would need to rally 2.0% over the current level of 2072.5 in order for the bullish trade to realize maximum possible gains.

Chart – Six-month chart of SPX


Tags:




Which Way Wednesday – Fed Minutes Pending

SPY 5 MINUTEFed day (again). 

Yesterday was TERRIBLE, with volume finally coming back – and it was all downhill, with 3x more declining volume than advancing.  Still, as you can see from Dave Fry's SPY chart, the fix was in and the failure to hold $196.50 during trading hours was corrected at the bell by the powers that be, forcing the Market-on-Close suckers (401K, IRA, ETFs) to pay an extra 0.2% for their fills

There's something strangely comforting about playing a rigged game like this.  I yesterday's live webcast, we were able to make a quick $150 per contract playing a very predictable bounce in the Russell Futures (you can see the Webinar Replay HERE).  

Of course that was small potoatoes compared to the trade ideas we gave you in yesterday's morning post (which you can have delivered to you every day by subscribing here) as the TZA Aug $14 calls shot up from 0.91 to $1.20 - up 32% for the day.  

The QQQ calls I mentioned were the July $97 puts and we closed those out at $2.30, up 47% in less than a full day.  

With returns like that, we could compound $1,000 into $1M in no time at all!  wink

Though they were, in fact, small positions, our entire Short-Term Portfolio jumped up 2% on the day – as it's positioned bearish to protect our much larger and still bullish ($500K) Long-Term Portfolio, which is weathering this little storm quite nicely as we wisely moved it to mainly cash when we thought the market was toppy.  

Now we anxiously anticipate earnings and the potential to bargain-hunt some more.  

As you can see from our Big Chart, the Nasdaq and Russell were saved by their 5% lines (2.5% on the RUT) but the NYSE failed their critical 11,000 line and now we are 3 of 5 bearish and that means we lean bearish until one of our 3 lagging indices gets back over their line.  


continue reading


Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,




Tricky Tuesday – Fed Funds Fake EOQ

6-30-2014 6-10-45 PM Fixed RateThank you Fed may we have another?

And, by another, I mean another $340Bn that the Fed paid out to their Bankster buddies in "Reverse Repo" purchases at the end of the month.  That's right, the Fed essentially bought THE ENTIRE STOCK MARKET (in terms of transaction value) from the banks over the last few days of June and THAT injection of cash is how they kept the rally going into the end of the quarter.  

As you can see from the NY Fed's own chart (via Dave Fry and Zero Hedge), this kind of charity buying isn't unusual for the Fed – more like Standard Operating Procedure to inflate equity prices into the end of each quarter.  Does it work?  Sure, look at the results:

As you can see - as the market gets more and more expensive, it takes more and more money to push it higher.  Also note the Fed tweaked (hopefully not twerked – there's an image of Yellen I don't want burned in my mind!) their timing to move it close and closer to the very last day, to maximize their bang for the buck.  

SPX WEEKLYUNFORTUNATELY, as you can see from the S&P chart above, these effects are short-term and demand a correction in the not too distant future. 

What's very interesting is that our stimulus theory is still holding up.  We developed this back in 2012, through observation of the effect of Central Banksters market meddling on Global Equities and it turns out that $10Bn per quarter buys 1 S&P point.  Look how perfectly that aligns on the chart!  

Bill Dudley, New York Fed president, warned last month that if use of the repo facility were to grow too quickly it might “result in a large amount of disintermediation out of banks through money market funds and other financial intermediaries into the facility. This could encourage further enlargement of the shadow banking system.”

Hey, a little enlargement of the Shadow Banking system never hurt anyone, did it China?  China, in fact, also pitched in with more stimulus of their own by changing the…
continue reading


Tags: , , , ,




The End of May – Heading into June with CASH!!!

I hurt myself today
To see if I still feel
I focus on the pain
The only thing that's real – Nine Inch Nails

Were we wrong to cash out?  

It's hard to feel bad about taking a 19% profit off the table after just 6 months (in our $500,000 Long-Term Portfolio) but we had another low-volume pump-job yesterday that sent some of the positions we closed up sharply and left us regretting our timing – just a little.  

Still, the time to sell your positions is when other people are buying, not while everyone is panicking.  We got great exit prices and, on the whole, it was fairly stress-free.  S&P 1,920 was our predicted top and we pulled the trigger to take the money and run at 1,910 because, as experience has taught us – it doesn't pay to be greedy! 

Last week and this week, I laid out my case for why the economy is not as good as it seems and certainly not good enough to be paying all-time highs for stocks.  As you can see from the chart on the left – I'm certainly not the only one who thinks so as the "smart money" has flown out of the market this year, taking advantage of each record high to sell, Sell, SELL!!!

We were a little more patient, we moved our Conservative Income Portfolio ($500,000) to cash at the end of March and avoided the April sell-off and have since been buying bargain stocks in that portfolio.  We had left our more aggressive Long-Term Portfolio ($500,000) on the table but this last leg of the rally left it up a ridiculous 19% for the year – and that's halfway to our best-case goal so it's a good time to take a break, step back, and see how the market handles early June.  

SPY 5 MINUTEIt's not like we can't find anything to do with our cash.  In additions to our usual Futures trading, we still have our Short-Term ($100,000), Butterfly ($100,000) and $25,000 Portfolios to play with and, since Wednesday
continue reading


Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,




Weakening Wednesday – Can Yellen Save the Day?

SPY 5 MINUTEI told you so!  

All of last week, I kept saying the market was only hitting highs because it was being manipulated that way and, by Friday we'd had enough and took our ill-gotten gains off the table once again.  This week, it's obvious we're in trouble – but it's a lot harder to sell your stocks when they're already in trouble, isn't it?

It's a very hard discipline to take winners off the table but you should scale out of posiitons on the way up the same way you should scale into them on the way down (and the Strategy Section at Philstockworld has a great article about scaling – also lots of additional commentary in chat below the article).  

There's nothing wrong with being in cash.  Yesterday, from 1pm until 2:30, we had on of our Live Futures Trading Workshops (replay available here) and our 4 trades made $360 by the close (4pm) for a very nice $100+ per hour salary for just trading a few contracts.  Our trade idea from yesterday's morning post (which you can get delivered to you pre-market, every day by SUBSCRIBING HERE) was to short the Nikkei (/NKD) at 14,350 and this morning we hit 14,050 – good for a $1,500 PER CONTRACT profit!  

SPX WEEKLYThat's one of the things you can do with cash.  We also have fun making earnings plays, like the FSLR trade we added to our Short-Term Portfolio yesterday.  That trade idea was:

I think it's worth a try at selling 5 July $75 calls for $3 ($1,500) and buying, to cover, 4 Jan $77.50/85 bull call spreads at $2 ($800) for a net credit of $700 – let's do a set of those in the STP

If FSLR is under $75 (it's about $69 after earnings), we pocket $700 PLUS whatever value remains on the January bull call spread (probably about half).  That's against zero cash outlay ($700 credit, in fact) and possibly we'll just take quick money off the table…
continue reading


Tags: , , , , , , , , ,




Tempting Tuesday – Weak Dollar Props Up the Markets

UUP WEEKLYWhenever the manipulators need to boost the markets, they just crash the Dollar.  

And what a dive we've had!  As you can see from Dave Fry's Chart, the Dollar is down 7% since last summer and down 2.5% this year and that keeps stocks and commodities 2.5% higher – because we buy them with Dollars.  

Keep in mind, at the same time you are buying IBM shares for $200, someone is buying the same shares for 20,400 Yen and another guy is buying them for 340 British Pounds and yet another guy is buying them for 280 Euros.  

It's obvious that, if the value of the Pound or the Yen or the Euro changes, the price of IBM in those currencies will change to reflect the currrency valuation but Americans tend not to realize the same thing happens when the Dollar gets stronger or weaker too.  Once you do realize this – you have a huge advantage in trading the Futures (and we have a Live Futures Workshop this afternoon at 1pm).

SPX WEEKLYThe Fed's easy-money policies keep the Dollar weak (because we're printing another Trillion of them each year and, in this economy, no one is using them – ie. no demand) and that has goosed the market by 7% since last summer, when the S&P was about 1,650 – about 10% lower than it is now.  

That means that 75% of the gains in the S&P since last summer have been the result of a weak currency and have noting to do with a "strong" economy.  Now THAT makes sense, doesn't it?

"THEY" had to tank the Dollar to get us over the 1,600 level, which was a very key technical off our consolidated bottom at 800 during the crash.  It's no coincidence that we were hitting resistance there in May and pulling back to 1,560 and looking weak in July when, suddenly, the Fed went into a new round of crazy, which led to 6 months of fairly steady value erosion for every single Dollar you have worked for and saved your entire life.  

It's kind…
continue reading


Tags: , , , , , , , , ,




Wednesday Worries – Yentervention, Euro Style

78.50 on the Dollar!

The Yen finally got back to 77 and EUR/CHF back to 1.21 so my theory that the BOJ has given up on the Dollar and moved to boosting the Euro is playing out nicely.

This does not make me more bullish (expecting falling Dollar to boost the markets) because, in the grand scheme of things, this is kind of like now there are two kids building a sand wall on the beach instead of one – sure it will last longer than the wall just one kid was building but, eventually, the tide will get it anyway or, as Jimi Hendrix said more poetically: "Castles made of sand, fall in the sea, eventually." 

Once you start messing around with Forex markets, you are messing with major macro forces that are hard to control.  Japanese banks have $7.5Tn of Japanese bonds at 1% – what happens to the value of those bonds if the BOJ does push the Yen down 10%?  Who takes that $750Bn hit?  What if rates go up to 2% – what's the value of the bonds then?  Who will bail out the Japanese Banks when they have a multi-Trillion Dollar (several hundred Trillion Yen) hole in their balance sheets?  Do Japanese spreadsheets even have room for Quadrillions?  They are going to need it!  

Then there's this Bloomberg article on the Central Banks, who have doubled their balance sheets since 2006 to $13.2Tn but, magically, have caused no inflation (according to Ben Bernanke – not according to people who actually buy food and stuff).   China is now sitting on $4.5Tn of other people's TBills (mostly ours) and that's up $1.5Tn in a year.  The ECB is right behind them with $3.6Tn and another $1Tn supposedly coming in the next EFSF round and the Fed has $2.9Tn plus whatever nonsense they are running off book.   

So, how is it that WE are the bad currency here?  If the Dollar is a problem, then China, who's GDP is only about $8Tn (optimistically, possibly $5.5Tn depending on who's measuring) is almost as insane as Japanese bankers and maybe more so as they are betting on our country's ability to pay and maintain the value of the Dollar (already a fail, right?).  I suppose no one can ever recognize losses and just carry more and more junk…
continue reading


Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,




Tempting Tuesday – Again

SPY DAILYWell here we go again.  

Once again it's Tuesday and once again it's a primary and once again we are meant to believe everything is right in America as the Futures take the markets back to levels not seen since last August.  As we discussed last week and as noted by David Fry this morning

 Throughout the week Fed governors will be making speeches: Dennis Lockhart (2 speeches), Charles Evans (2 speeches), Esther George, John Williams, Charles Plosser and Jeffrey Lacker. This is part of their transparency mission and/or a campaign to pump-up investor confidence. You choose.

Yesterday we made our breakfast money shorting the Dow off the 12,350 line and today we already had a double dip at the Dow off the 12,450 line but, on the whole, it would have been easier to drink the Kool-Aid and go long.  

Unfortunately, I'm a Fundamental Investor and not a TA guy so, impressive as this run may seem, it doesn't match up with the data and, so far, it's neither matching up with Q4 earnings or Q1 outlooks.  We HOPE the Fed will go for QE3 (Friday's Fed speak indicated that and more today) and we HOPE Europe is fixed and we HOPE China doesn't implode – is this a sound investing premise?  Let's see how things have been going in the last Quarter:  

Up 15% in all of our indexes and led by the Transports, which are up 21% – even with oil up 25% over the same period which once again proves our theory that trucks and airplanes must poop oil when they run – which explains the non-inverse correlation between Transports and Fuel Costs that those of us who took Econ 101 may be familiar with.  

VIXThe most interesting thing about the above chart set is the uniformity of the moves up in the majors but I think it's the NYSE and the Russell which PROVE beyond a shadow of a doubt, that this market is traded by robots.  Look at those two charts – they are practically tick by tick matching – even to the point where the Russell is almost exactly 1/10th of the NYSE.  Sure, you could assume some similarities in two broad indexes but this is 6 full months of daily moves that are in lockstep.  That's just not natural on the order of…
continue reading


Tags: , , , , ,




Monday Market Movement – Strap in for a Wild Week!

This chart from the NYTimes pretty much says it all:

The average annual inflation-adjusted return for the S&P 500 has been in decline since the late 90s, the decline only paused in the 00s and that fooled us into thinking it was a recovery but we only stopped getting worse for a while.  Meanwhile, real personal income has been in decline since Nixon lifted the gold standard in the early 70s and that, like our real GDP adjusted for inflation, should certainly not be the "envy of the World" – even if we assume it still is.

$20Tn was pumped into our $60Tn Global Economy since the 2008 crisis and that is not including "stealth" stimulus like the estimated $8Tn handed out by our own Fed to their Bankster buddies as well as tens of Trillions handed our around the World by other Central Banks.  

Like the late 70s, my expectation is that we will see a bottoming of real stock returns over the next few years as the inflation train pulls into the station.  The markets will do great on the surface but, underneath, they are not going to be able to keep up with the massive inflation that is likely to begin as the flood of money being used to "fix" the global banking system begins leaking out into the Global Economy.  

Speaking of fixing the global economy – Merkozy are holding a press conference this morning to craft a "master plan" for rescuing the euro over the next three months. The two leaders gather in Berlin to flesh out a new rulebook for fiscal discipline negotiated at a Dec. 9 summit that seeks to create a “fiscal compact” for the 17-member euro area.

The German and French leaders have sponsored a plan to install new guidelines by March. A crisis that began in Greece more than two years ago has moved to the euro area’s core, and leaders are struggling to persuade investors they can contain the risk and assure the euro’s survival. “They urgently need to formulate and clearly communicate a vision for a sound and stable euro area that deserves the name fiscal compact,” said Thomas Harjes, senior European economist at Barclays Capital.

Meanwhile, the Euro fell to an 11-year low against the Yen and a 16-month low against the Dollar this morning ahead…
continue reading


Tags: , , , , ,




Warren Buffett’s Secret to Making 100% a Year

I love the Berkshire Hathaway annual report!  

Especially Warren Buffett’s letter to shareholders.  The report gives us a great view of the overall economy from a man who has his finger in every pot and his letter to investors gives us a very good insight as to how things are going in the various sectors his operations cover.  Most importantly, what I have learned in my own 40 years or reading Mr. Buffett’s reports (my Grandfather was a shareholder) is what should shape any long-term investing strategy:  Patience and performance.  

I often preach to members the joys of letting gains compound and our $25,000-$100,000 Virtual Portfolio, which is currently at $27,531 (up 10%) after 4 weeks, is an exercise in how to quickly compound small gains over the course of a year.  Primarily, we try to follow Warren Buffett’s Number One Rule of Investing, which is: Don’t Lose Money.  Buffett’s Rule #2 is: See Rule #1 and like us, it’s not that nothing Warren Buffett ever buys loses money – it’s just that he doesn’t ever buy things he isn’t willing to stick with UNTIL they make money.  Sure we take a few losses along the road but, by being selective in our entries, we don’t discard stocks that we carefully selected just because the market temporarily disagrees with our valuations.  

In our $25,000 Virtual Portfolio, it’s only been a month so we’ve only closed our winners so far and they were SPWRA with a 100% gain (these are option trades), INTC with a 40% gain, NFLX with a 42% gain, EDZ with a 75% gain, XLF with a 15% gain, VIX with a 50% gain, USO with a 53% gain and XLE with a 5% gain.  In 19 trading day we have made 28 virtual portfolio moves (counting each leg) and, as I said, netted a 10% return to date.  Interestingly, we’ve been playing it very cautious as we still have over $18,000 of virtual cash on the sidelines, hoping for a sign to get a little more aggressive next week.  

How, you may wonder, are we going to get to $100,000 by December with just $27,531 in February?  THAT is the lesson Warren Buffett has to give us and that lesson is COMPOUNDING RETURNS!  Since 1965, Berkshire Hathaway has returned an overall gain of 490,409% to it’s shareholders.  $10,000 handed
continue reading


Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,




 
 
 

Phil's Favorites

Momentum Monday - Liquidity, Liquidity, Liquidity...The Startup Multiplier Effect and The SPAC is Back?

 

Momentum Monday – Liquidity, Liquidity, Liquidity…The Startup Multiplier Effect and The SPAC is Back?

Courtesy of Howard Lindzon

Good Monday morning everyone.

I will get right to it…here is this weeks Momentum Monday episode with Ivanhoff and I talking markets and momentum. We share a few new ideas – take a look at $JAMF (Apple has finally come for the Fortune 1000) and $EBAY (the long tail winner of collectibles boom) and let us not forget Tesla back at all-time highs. You can watch/listen to thi...



more from Ilene

Zero Hedge

German Official Warns Risk Of Electric Vehicle Fires Is "Completely Unaddressed" 

Courtesy of ZeroHedge View original post here.

Last month, a massive fire broke out at a German bus depot, destroying 20 electric buses. First responders weren't prepared nor properly trained in extinguishing lithium-ion fires. The fire prompted one German official to question the zero-emissions vehicles as the "spontaneously" combustion of the batteries "is completely unaddressed," according to RT News

"The risk of these fires, including in other locations ...



more from Tyler

Politics

Trump wants the National Archives to keep his papers away from investigators - post-Watergate laws and executive orders may not let him

 

Trump wants the National Archives to keep his papers away from investigators – post-Watergate laws and executive orders may not let him

Nixon resigned after tapes he had fought making public incriminated him in the Watergate coverup. Bettmann/Getty

Courtesy of Shannon Bow O'Brien, The University of Texas at Austin College of Liberal Arts

The National Archives is the United States’ memory, a repository of artifacts that includes everything from half-fo...



more from Politics

Biotech/COVID-19

An infectious disease expert explains new federal rules on 'mix-and-match' vaccine booster shots

 

An infectious disease expert explains new federal rules on ‘mix-and-match’ vaccine booster shots

Discuss with your doctor whether or not you need a booster – and if so, which vaccine will work best for you. Justin Sullivan/Getty Images News via Getty Images

Courtesy of Glenn J. Rapsinski, University of Pittsburgh Health Sciences

Many Americans now have the green light to get a COVID-19 vaccine booster – and the flexibility to receive a different brand than the ori...



more from Biotech/COVID-19

Digital Currencies

Bitcoin: why its value has rocketed once again

 

Bitcoin: why its value has rocketed once again

Shutterstock/rzoze19

Courtesy of Andrew Urquhart, University of Reading

Bitcoin’s journey into mainstream finance has reached another major milestone – and another record price. The cryptocurrency was trading at US$66,975 (£48,456) following the launch of an exchange traded fund (ETF) in the US w...



more from Bitcoin

Chart School

Price and Volume Swing Analysis on Bitcoin and Silver

Courtesy of Read the Ticker

Many take guidance from news, pundits or advisors. Well sometimes the swings of price and volume are a better measure of what happens next.

The big boys do not accumulate or distribute in single 1 second trade, they build positions over weeks, months and years. They use price swings in the market to build or reduce positions, and you can see their intent by studying swings of price and volume and applying Tim Ord logic as written in his book called 'The Secret Science of Price and Volume: Techniques for Spotting Market Trends, Hot Sectors, and the Best Stocks'.

Tim Ord is a follower of Richard Wyckoff logic, his book has added to the studies of Richard Wyckoff, Richard Ney and Bob Evans.

Richard Wyckoff after years of...

more from Chart School

Promotions

Phil's Interview on Options Trading with TD Bank

TD Bank's host Bryan Rogers interviewed Phil on June 10 as part of TD's Options Education Month. If you missed the program, be sure to watch the video below. It should be required viewing for anyone trading or thinking about trading using options. 

Watch here:

TD's webinar with Phil (link) or right here at PSW

Screenshots of TD's slides illustrating Phil's examples:

 

 

&n...



more from Promotions

Kimble Charting Solutions

Crude Oil Cleared For Blast Off On This Dual Breakout?

Courtesy of Chris Kimble

Is Crude Oil about to blast off and hit much higher prices? It might be worth being aware of what could be taking place this month in this important commodity!

Crude Oil has created lower highs over the past 13-years, since peaking back in 2008, along line (1).

It created a “Double Top at (2), then it proceeded to decline more than 60% in four months.

The countertrend rally in Crude Oil has it attempting to break above its 13-year falling resistance as well as its double top at (3).

A successful breakout at (3) would suggest Crude Oil is about to mo...



more from Kimble C.S.

ValueWalk

Managing Investments As A Charity Or Nonprofit

By Anna Peel. Originally published at ValueWalk.

Maintaining financial viability is a constant challenge for charities and nonprofit organizations.

Q4 2020 hedge fund letters, conferences and more

The past year has underscored that challenge. The pandemic has not just affected investment returns – it’s also had serious implications for charitable activities and the ability to fundraise. For some organizations, it’s even raised doubts about whether they can continue to operate.

Finding ways to generate long-term, sustainable returns for ...



more from ValueWalk

Mapping The Market

Suez Canal: Critical Waterway Comes to a Halt

 

Suez Canal: Critical Waterway Comes to a Halt

Courtesy of Marcus Lu, Visual Capitalist

The Suez Canal: A Critical Waterway Comes to a Halt

On March 23, 2021, a massive ship named Ever Given became lodged in the Suez Canal, completely blocking traffic in both directions. According to the Suez Canal Authority, the 1,312 foot long (400 m) container ship ran aground during a sandstorm that caused low visibility, impacting the ship’s navigation. The vessel is owned by Taiwanese shipping firm, Evergreen Marine.

With over 2...



more from M.T.M.

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...



more from Tech. Traders

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...



more from Lee

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.
...

http://www.insidercow.com/ more from Insider





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...

Learn more About Phil >>


As Seen On:




About Ilene:

Ilene is editor and affiliate program coordinator for PSW. Contact Ilene to learn about our affiliate and content sharing programs.