Posts Tagged ‘SRS’

World of Worry Wednesday – The China Syndrome

Strap in kids, it's going to be a bumpy ride!  

Nomura Holdings joined Goldman Sachs in advising investors to cash out of China and that sent the Hang Seng down 478 points for the day (2%) along with another 2% loss on the Shanghai.  “The likelihood of a re-introduction of price controls on food is growing,” Nomura's Sean Darby said in a report today. “The recent run-up in agriculture prices worldwide and signs of hoarding appear to have pushed the authorities to reconsider draconian measures.”  Premier Wen Jiabao confirmed on state television that the cabinet is drafting measures to counter overly rapid price gains.  “Command style economic principles generally mean much lower multiples over time on the sector and stocks,” said Darby.

The US has it's own "command style" economy with B-B-B-Bennie and the Fed commanding our inflation to go higher while China is trying to get their 4.4% inflation under control.  The joke is, like Sidney Poitier and and Tony Curtis, our economies are shackled together through the Yuan peg as well as our codependent trading relationship.  That has the World's #1 (falling) and #2 (rising) economies engaged in a Global tug of war that threatens to tear the rest of the World to pieces and it's just getting worse every day.    

ith the US pushing top-down QE2 inflation and China's Premier calling for consumer price controls on food (and soon fuel too as a severe winter is forecast for China) it's not surprising that Carlsberg's Chongquing Brewery Company fell limit down (10%) on the Shanghai this morning along with several other food and beverage distributors.  Copper, sugar and rubber also went limit-down in China with copper dropping all the way to $3.60 (down 10% in a week) into China's close at 3am.  

Meanwhile Bernanke is like the Sorcerer's Apprentice: Given the magic hat – he commands his broom army to fetch buckets of dollars to inflate the economy the easy way but his lazy solution quickly turns into disaster as the waters start rising and he finds he has no way to stem the rising tide of inflation.  Already, the rest of the world is drowning and not many have China's ability to bail themselves out.  This is not likely to end well…

Europe (who are caught in…
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$100,000 Virtual Portfolio Update – Week 2

10 Winners and 5 losers but our loser is a doozy!

Despite being down $7,170 on our FAZ hedge, we are at net $99,079.64 in the virtual portfolio after two weeks, which is fine as we still have plenty of premium to collect and we still have $92,884.64 in cash with $163,661.13 in available buying power.  Now comes the hard part – where (if anywhere) do we need to make some adjustments?   I was a little too skeptical of the rally, we could have grabbed some more bargains but I thought we'd at least try to make our adjustments to this well-balanced set first and THEN worry about adding more complexity – kind of like this video on balance

We closed our first position on Friday, buying back the FAZ Apr $17 calls for .95, a $1.68 gain off our $2.63 short entry (up 64%) for a $2,860 gain.  As we expected, our other positions did very well as FAZ went down but it does look like we could do with a few more of them, especially if this continues.  Don't forget we were supposed to fill the FAZ spread at $2.20 and it filled at $2.53, which is a $990 difference on 30 contracts and that is the entirety of our loss.  If you have a broker that does "little things" like this to you – THEY ARE KILLING YOUR PROFITS!   Don't let them get away with it…  Our other positions are all open and as follows: 

How are our trading plans holding up?

BAC - 10 Apr $15 puts sold for .46, now .23.  - up 50% (margin $1,730) $1,730 in margin is a lot to try to make $230 but not if you're not using it for anything else.  Also, it's $230 in 6 weeks on $1,730, which is 13% or 112% a year so don't sell these little victories short!  We are 50% ahead and way ahead of our goal for 2 weeks on this trade but the real questions are: 1) Do we have any better use for the margin?  No, we do not as we are still early in our scales and we anticipate having lots of cash around for a few months.  2) Are we worried about losing the 50% ($230) we…
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$100,000 Virtual Portfolio – Conservative – 25% Annual Returns

I've had a few new members ask me about deploying a new virtual portfolio.

I thought it would be a good idea to do a little practice run using the WSS platform with ORDINARY margins so these will be trades anyone can make.  My intention with this virtual portfolio is not to touch it very often and I WILL NOT be able to watch it all day.  So, this will be an ideal virtual portfolio for the "set and forget" crowd.  Obviously, you can do this with $50,000 or even $25,000 – just buy less positions!

Our goal is conservatism and earning a least 2% a month.  We did this with last spring's Q2 $100K Virtual Portfolio, which was doing better than $1,000 PER WEEK until we closed it in week 18.  If those two things don't seem to go hand in hand – I hope to get you to think again as we use many of the techniques we learn ever day at PSW to take advantage of different market movements.  I haven't tried the new option system at WSS yet so we'll see how it goes and how much of a pain in the ass it is but, basically – if you are the kind of trader who is busy during the day and has little time to deal with a virtual portfolio – then we're in the same boat on this one!

If you are brand new to our site I seriously request that you don't "experiment" by following this live.  You can paper trade too until you get the feel for managing these positions.  For new Members, we have a "New Member’s Guide" which pretty much lays things out with these standard assignments:

  • If you are new to options, read Sage’s Book
  • Read 1 full month of my posts and all comments, you will get a good feel for the site, the kind of trades we do and also get to know a bit about the people in chat.  Knowing people’s various expertises and understanding their market philosophy and position makes the next live comment they make much more informative…
  • Read Option Sage’s articles under his tab, many were co-authored by me that highlight various option strategies with real-world examples.
  • Watch The Man Who Planted Trees,

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Testy Tuesday Morning – Coincidence or Confidence Game?

What will hold up?

As you can see from our chart set, our major indices are trading very much in synch, more likely than not propelled by trade-bots that already have the next 25 trading days already mapped out to take us through the end of the quarter.  Of course you can argue that it's perfectly natural for 8 of 9 different indexes to follow virtually identical patterns as a result of the random trading of millions of individuals trading Trillions of Dollars worldwide and that's your perogative.  I prefer to think of it as one giant scam and then figure out ways to make a little money off it for ourselves

Several times last week I said to members I thought "THEY" were running the market higher so they could sell calls to suckers at high prices but, in general, the move was "fake, Fake, FAKE."  What do we do in the face of flagrant market manipulation?  What do you think we do – we play along!  We don't complain about good manipulation when we see it – we join in!  Don't be confused by the fact that I complain about it in my morning post – once the bell rings we move right to the other side of the table and happily run with the wolf pack.  We've tried to fight the power – it's not fun, nor is it profitable…

We remained fairly conservative last week and, as I discussed in our "Weekend Trend Spotting" post, we are more inclined to believe we are in a range that centers around 10,400 than about to break back over 10,700.  The bounce zones we predicted when we first began to sell off in January are finally being tested (red lines on above charts) but the 5% line (blue lines) are still exerting a pull and we NEED some healthy consolidation in between those blue and red lines if we are ever going to get serious about making a real move higher.

Speaking of healthy consolidation – Congrats to our own David Ristau of the Oxen Group and all the members who played along with yesterday's specially featured selection of SAH.  David nailed it in his 1pm post (also sending out a 1:06 Alert to our Members) and put us into the stock right in his target range at $9.45 and
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Prior Weekly Wrap-Up – February Expiration Day Special!

I didn't get to do a wrap-up last week so we have a lot of trades to go over and, with expiration looming and the Fed tightening, I thought it would be good to just get the list out on Friday so we can adjust our rolls to March where neccessary (in bold under appropriate positions).

In our Feb 7th Wrap-Up, I was gung-ho bullish saying "It's Only a 55-Point Drop You Wimps!" and we had  been BUYBUYBUYing at the bottom all week, especially Wed-Fri as the market spiked through our projected support at Dow 10,000 but not enough to change our minds as we bottom-fished on AAPL (2 trades), ABX, ACOR, AKAM, AMED, BRK/B (2), C, CCJ (3), CSCO, DELL, FXI, GE,  GOOG, IBM, LLY, LOW, NLY, TBT (5 times!), TM (3), TNA, USO (yep, we wen long oil) and UYG.  To say we were weigting bullish by that Monday was an understatement as we has finished the weekend in a bullish stance and were relying on our disaster hedges to protect us

Those disaster hedges are an interesting set to look at, especially now that we've recovered 400 points:

  • DXD July $27/33 bull call spread at $2.50, now $2 – down 20%

    • We can roll the $27 calls to the $25 calls for $5 to widen the spread and drop our b/e from $29.50 to $28.50
  • EDZ July $3/8 bull call spread at $2.10, now $1.60 - down 23%
  • EDZ Apr $10 calls sold for .70, now .15 – up 78% (pair trade)
  • SDS 2011 $36/40 bull call spread at $1.30, now $1 – down 18%

    • We can roll the $36 calls to the $33 calls for $1.10
  • TBT Jan $35/45 bull call spread at $6.30, now $7.40 - up 17%
  • TBT March $50s sold for .65, now $1.22 – down 87% (pair trade)

This is what is great about disaster hedges.  The potential upside on these spreads, if the market headed south was up about 100% on the 4 trades so a commitment of 5% of your virtual portfolio to each one (20%) would give you back 40% of your virtual portfolio in cash if the markets tanked.  Already, after 2 weeks, we have the markets heading in the opposite direction and what is the cost?  Not even 20% of…
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Thursday – Are We Thawing Out or Melting Down?

Greece is resolved!

Well, sort of, maybe – who knows?  The EU made some nice noises and it does seem there is an agreement which I detailed in my previous post so let’s move on and see what that’s going to do for us today.  We’ve been playing for a resolution in Greece giving us a boost back to test 10,300 but yesterday’s market movement was, as they say at Wharton, LAME and we’re going to have a tough time punching through 10,058 and 10,165 on the way to 10,300 today (see yesterday’s Dow charts), even if the Dow were so inclined

10,300 is 2.6% higher than yesterday’s 10,038 close but a little far away considering commerce is still shut down in about 1/3 of the US today as we sit under a massive amount of snow.  This kind of weather is bad for most retail but good for HD and LOW, who sell salt and shovels and other fun snow stuff.  Business people are stranded all over the country, moms are suddenly found unexpectedly with kids at home and people can’t park anywhere – a big problem when you have this much snow as you run out of places to push it to. 

Another problem with snow is it’s an unavoidable cost, like disaster spending, that couldn’t be hitting cities at a worse time.  Washington DC had already blown through their $6.2M snow budget for the year before yesterday’s storm, which may double the costs, adding to the city’s debt woes.  230,000 Federal employees are off for the 4th day in a row today, costing the US government $100M a day in lost productivity.  Public transportation is down and over 6,000 flights were canceled with travelers being told "maybe Sunday" for flights they missed on Wednesday – Greece’s national strike is nothing compared to the economic impact of this storm!

Speaking of coming storms.  We’ve been leery of getting back into SRS but I’m back to liking them (and the short IYR plays) as a report by the Congressional Oversight Panel shows nearly 3,000 small banks may have to dramatically cut lending as losses on commercial real-estate loans, which could reach as high as $200B-300B. Banks "are about to get hit by a tidal wave of commercial-loan failures."  This should finally push an issue we’ve been discussing since last Fall onto the front pages, where we can make some money. …
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Weekly Wrap-Up, it’s Only a 55-Point Drop You Wimps!

That's right, I said WIMPS! 

I have never heard so much whining and crying and complaining about a market drop as I have the past few weeks.  Last week, I pointed out that we had only fallen 105 points from the prior week (10,172 to 10,067) and this week we fell ALL THE WAY to 10,012 to finish the week and you would think the world was ending (again) from the way the MSM has been acting.

By Friday the panic was palpable as we gave up Monday and Tuesday's bogus gains to test new lows for the year – testing, in fact, the lowest levels the market has hit since last November and I pointed out in Friday's post that it reminded me of when BSC and LEH went under and everyone panicked and sold Financials off to the point where Warren Buffet was willing to give GS $5Bn AFTER they bounced 50% – THAT's how undervalued the financials were in November of 2008. 

Fear and Greed are market driversWhat do we do while people are panicking?  We BUY!  We don't BUYBUYBUY like Cramer's Pavlovian Peons but we sure do BUY and take some nice entry positions with sensible hedges.  I was finally motivated to finish updating our Buy List on Friday and 18 of our 38 positions were highlighted (immediately actionable) on Friday.  Sure they may go lower, but we're buying them with 20% buffers built into the positions and then we can double down if they drop 40% (back to Nov 2008 lows) and then we'll have our entries down 10% from the lowest levels of the past decade or so that we can hold until the next decade – what's there to panic over?

If I wanted to buy IBM in January but thought it was a little pricey at $134, why would I not be HAPPY to have the opportunity to make an enty at $122, back at where they were pre FABULOUS October earnings?  I can buy IBM for $122 and take advantage of the panic-induced VIX at 26 to sell July $125 calls for $6.60 and the July $120 puts for $6.65 for a net entry of $108.75 with a call away at $125 for a $16.25 profit (15%) in 5 months.  If
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Wednesday Rejection Weakness

So close but yet so far!

We set our bounce levels way back on Jan 25th and just yesterday I posted up the WEAK BOUNCE levels we need to see before taking our bullish betting to the next level but we have only skimmed along our lines, finishing yesterday at Dow 10,296 (down by 2), S&P 1,103 (down by 2), Nasdaq 2,190 (down by 10), NYSE 7,001 (up by 1) and RUT 614 (down by 6).  This may be seem like some pretty amazing targeting 10 days in advance but, actually, we could have predicted this move last year as it's nothing more than the same 5% Rule levels we've been using since the middle of last year.

That is why, we are not in the least bit impressed by close.  Close, as they say, is no cigar!  Don't forget those are the natrural dead-cat type bounce levels off the drop from the top that we are trained to IGNORE as they are meaningless in the grand scheme of things.  What is meaningful is when they we retake those levels and that means we found a true floor at 5% (see weekend chart)  NOT taking back AND holding our retrace levels means we are very likely to see phase 2 of our leg down and hit 10% drop levels of Dow 9,630, S&P 1,035, Nasdaq 2,088, NYSE 6,660 and Russell 585 so we will now become much more concerned by failure or those lower levels (10,058 on the Dow etc) which MUST HOLD.

We're not there yet, we MAY be consolidating along the 5% lines and that would be good, but unnerving.  We have our disaster hedges in place and we got our commodity rally so we can on some oil puts (what a joke at $77.50 already with yet another inventory build to be announced today) and perhaps even some gold puts as we test $1,130 (GLL $9 puts have very little premium at .90).  Our favorite hedge of the moment is once again EDZ, who are back to $5.50 thanks to a nice move up in Asia today.  March $5 puts can be sold for .45 and that's a very nice way to collect premium as EDZ has to fall 20% before you even owe the putter a nickel but the July $4/6 bull call spread at .85 pays…
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Global Chart Reveiw Shows Key Inflection Point

Chart Review by Michael Clark

“By a continuing process of inflation, government can confiscate, secretly and unobserved, an important part of the wealth of their citizens.”

    -- John Maynard Keynes


What a week it was.  The Bears gave the Bulls some payback.  Obama got a wake-up call.  And the banks got a well-deserved scare (and we hope they will get a well-deserved hair cut).

The markets reacted, as one might expect, with selling.  Actually, the selling began before the Massachusetts election and before Obama sent a shot across the Goldman Sach's bow.  Last week Intel announced surprisingly strong earnings; and the stock started up and then sank.  For the past half-year investor behavior had been the reverse: a buying spree for any stock that did not lose as much as it might have — beating 'Street expectations' that had been dumbed down over and over again during a quarter so that the company could report 'surprising' strength.  Suddenly, now, even good earnings are being greeted with selling.  Then came Massachusetts — wasn't that a Bee Gees' song?

All the lights went out in Massachusetts

Anyway, readers want to know where the markets stand today, after the sell-off this week.  My view of it — my 'view', not my gut-feeling — is that we are, so far, merely correcting from an over-extended rally.  This rally has been bizarre, to say the least.  This has been a 'fear rally' — usually the 'fear' side of the equation is when selling comes in, 'greed' driving the expansion.  But fear of systemic failure has driven this rally; and Ben Bernannke has been the captain sailing the 'Boat of Fear',   Ben's logic — that more debt will solve the insolvency crisis — has a shadow side, the logic that a collapse in stock prices will result in systemic failure, international chaos, revolution, repression…made him believe that preservation of the status quo was requiired, at any price.  A 'make-believe' recovery could be jump-started, perhaps, if the Fed could just stimulate (and simulate) another asset-bubble.  After all – that is how his mentor and predecessor, Alan Greenspan, had become the darling of the coctail party crowd, leading member of Time Magazine's 'Committee to Save the World';
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Wild Weekly Wrap-Up

Wheee – that was fun!

Last week, I asked the question were we "Too Bearish or Just Too Early?"  I said in that wrap-up: "This Friday the market topped out about 150 points higher than last Friday, closer to the top of our range so we went much more bearish on Friday, perhaps too bearish considering this was the best Friday finish since Nov 6th and we haven’t had a down Monday since October 26th."  We did get the move up we feared on Monday but we stuck to our guns and had a fabulous week.

Even as the market was going against us Monday morning, my first Alert of the week to members at 9:44 said: "I’m still more inclined to look downward at: Dow 10,250, S&P 1,100, Nasdaq 2,187, NYSE 7,200 and Russell 600…  I’m still bearish because oil is weak, gold is weak, the financials (XLF at 14.30) are weak and most of the good news we are hearing is nothing but fluff."  That was a pretty good call as we hit our target levels yesterday and held them, so we flipped more bullish right at 11:30 on Friday, in what was some very good timing for our intra-day play. 

We are still on a stock market roller coaster that's going to have plenty of ups and down in the thin, holiday trading that will likely characterize the end of the year.  The market will be closed 2 Fridays in a row and good luck finding people around this Thursday or the next one so 6 proper trading days left to 2009 at best.  We got out – that drop was very satisfying and we've moved mainly to cash (our $100K Virtual Portfolio has $88,000 in cash at $107,249 at the end of it's first month).  Last week we were able to cash out the bull side, this week we got satisfaction from our bear plays and that leaves us footloose and fancy free to have fun the next two weeks.  If our day trading goes as well as it did on Friday, we can end this year with quite a bang.

Manic Monday – Dubai, CitiGroup and GS Move Markets

This picture says it all.  When you want to blow smoke
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Phil's Favorites

QOTD: The Uphill Battle


QOTD: The Uphill Battle

Courtesy of 

The New York Times:

One central tension at Facebook has been that of the legal and policy teams versus the security team. The security team generally pushed for more disclosure about how nation states had misused the site, but the legal and policy teams have prioritized business imperatives, said the people briefed on the matter.

“The people whose job is to protect the user always are fighting an uphill battle against the people whose job is to make money for...

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Zero Hedge

Tempe Police Say "No Fault By Uber" In Fatal Crash

Courtesy of ZeroHedge. View original post here.

Following yesterday's market-moving report of a fatal accident involving a self-driving Uber car on the roads of Tempe, Arizona, legal experts immediately chimed in, saying this case presents many thorny legal issues - chief among which is the issue of who could be at fault.

Since it was the first recorded fatality involving a self-driving car, would investigators point the finger at the car's human driver? Uber? The car's manufacturer? Some combination of the three (or none of the above).


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Peter Thiel: Need To Rethink Tariffs In Light Of Trade Deficit With China; SF Sucks, Bitcoin Rocks

By VW Staff. Originally published at ValueWalk.

PayPal cofounder Peter Thiel in a wide-ranging interview on President Trump’s trade tariffs, China’s economy, technology regulations and his outlook for bitcoin.


Check out our H2 hedge fund letters here.

Peter Thiel: Need To Rethink Tariffs In Light Of Trade Deficit With China

Peter Thiel On Leaving Silicon Valley For Los Angeles

Billionaire investor Peter Thiel argues Silicon Valley is is a ‘totalitarian place’ where people are not allowed to have dissenting views.


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Chart School

Weekly Market Recap Mar 18, 2017

Courtesy of Blain.

Indexes were coming off a massive week and entered this past week somewhat overbought, so certainly were due for some sort of rest.   For the week, the S&P lost 1.2%, and the NASDAQ 1%.  While most of this political mumbo jumbo stuff is not really market moving for more than a hot minute while the algorithms scramble to react, it is worth noting the movement in key economic positions.  To that end:

Lawrence Kudlow of CNBC fame has been officially named as director of the National Economic Council to replace Gary Cohn, who resigned earlier this month. Kudlow has supported Trump’s tax cuts but opposes tariffs.

Trump said ...

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Insider Scoop

The Market In 5 Minutes: AT&T, Facebook Data, Apple Screens, Google Shopping And More

Courtesy of Benzinga.

Related SPY What You Need To Know About Larry Kudlow, Trump's New Economic Advisor Appeals Court Overturns Fiduciar... more from Insider

Digital Currencies

Bitcoin Soars $1000 Off The Lows After G-20 Rejects Crypto Crackdown

Courtesy of ZeroHedge. View original post here.

While advertising bans and Mt.Gox Trustee overhangs remain, the FUD of a possible global regulatory crackdown in the G-20 Communique was a major driver of this weekend's weakness... until Les Echos confirms FSB has rejected calls for regulation.

After headlines suggesting a global crackdown on cryptocurrencies spooked the markets on Friday, ...

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Members' Corner

Cambridge Analytica and the 2016 Election: What you need to know (updated)


"If you want to fundamentally reshape society, you first have to break it." ~ Christopher Wylie

[Interview: Cambridge Analytica whistleblower: 'We spent $1m harvesting millions of Facebook profiles' – video]

"You’ve probably heard by now that Cambridge Analytica, which is backed by the borderline-psychotic Mercer family and was formerly chaired by Steve Bannon, had a decisive role in manipulating voters on a one-by-one basis – using their own personal data to push them toward voting ...

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How your brain is wired to just say 'yes' to opioids

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


How your brain is wired to just say ‘yes’ to opioids

A Philadelphia man, who struggles with opioid addiction, in 2017. AP Photo/Matt Rourke

Courtesy of Paul R. Sanberg, University of South Florida and Samantha Portis, University of South Florida


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Mapping The Market

The tricks propagandists use to beat science

Via Jean-Luc

How propagandist beat science – they did it for the tobacco industry and now it's in favor of the energy companies:

The tricks propagandists use to beat science

The original tobacco strategy involved several lines of attack. One of these was to fund research that supported the industry and then publish only the results that fit the required narrative. “For instance, in 1954 the TIRC distributed a pamphlet entitled ‘A Scientific Perspective on the Cigarette Controversy’ to nearly 200,000 doctors, journalists, and policy-makers, in which they emphasized favorable research and questioned results supporting the contrary view,” say Weatherall and co, who call this approach biased production.

A second approach promoted independent research that happened to support ...

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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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NewsWare: Watch Today's Webinar!


We have a great guest at today's webinar!

Bill Olsen from NewsWare will be giving us a fun and lively demonstration of the advantages that real-time news provides. NewsWare is a market intelligence tool for news. In today's data driven markets, it is truly beneficial to have a tool that delivers access to the professional sources where you can obtain the facts in real time.

Join our webinar, free, it's open to all. 

Just click here at 1 pm est and join in!

[For more information on NewsWare, click here. For a list of prices: NewsWar...

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Kimble Charting Solutions

Brazil; Waterfall in prices starting? Impact U.S.?

Courtesy of Chris Kimble.

Below looks at the Brazil ETF (EWZ) over the last decade. The rally over the past year has it facing a critical level, from a Power of the Pattern perspective.


EWZ is facing dual resistance at (1), while in a 9-year down trend of lower highs and lower lows. The counter trend rally over the past 17-months has it testing key falling resistance. Did the counter trend reflation rally just end at dual resistance???

If EWZ b...

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All About Trends

Mid-Day Update

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

Click here for the full report.

To learn more, sign up for David's free newsletter and receive the free report from All About Trends - "How To Outperform 90% Of Wall Street With Just $500 A Week." Tell David PSW sent you. - Ilene...

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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 >>