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Phil's Stock World



Daily stock picks and option trades, market analysis, and investing strategies for investors and traders of all types.



Last Build Date: Tue, 25 Jul 2017 02:37:28 +0000

 



Manic Monday – Saudis Cut 600,000 More Barrels and it’s Still Not Enough!

Mon, 24 Jul 2017 12:20:22 +0000

(image) As we predicted on Friday, the Saudis have unilaterally cut production.

It was less than we recommended, however – 600,000 barrels vs. 1Mb needed to make enough impact to get Brent Crude back to $50 so we'll be back to shorting oil once the bulls get done reacting to the headline.  At the moment (8am), US Oil (/CL) is trading at $46.06 and hopefully we can short it at $46.50 but we'll take a short under $46 with tight stops above as they may not get there on this half-assed effort.

The Saudis have to act in loco parentis at these meetings but it was hoped by oil bulls that holding the OPEC meeting in St. Petersburgh meant Russia would be joining in with more cuts.  Not only didn't that happen but both Nigeria and Lybia have room to INCREASE their production under today's agreement, which offsets most of the Saudis' new cuts.  The success of this deal rests on the rest of OPEC complying with November's production cut – something they are notoriously bad at.  

(image) Long-Term, the OPEC nations face a disaster of biblical proportions as their oil-dependent economies are running headlong into the end of the oil era.  According to a new book. Burn Out: The Endgame for Fossil Fuels takes the view that oil prices will not just be “lower for longer”, as BP chief Bob Dudley predicted, but lower forever.  The evidence for author Dieter Helm’s case rests on plentiful supply unlocked largely by the US shale revolution, “unstoppable” global action on climate change, and technological advances.  

My view is that oil prices will probably carry on falling forever, and $50 is a high price for oil, not low,the University of Oxford professor told an audience in London.    

Helm described his book as “very bleak” about the fate of the Middle East’s oil producers, who he warns face challenges “at best uncomfortable and at worst close to existential”.  Of Opec, he writes: “The popular narrative … assumes that these countries still have the power to move the price, and hence assumes that, eventually, Opec will restore order and return to the good days of ever-higher prices. This narrative is profoundly wrong.”…
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Faltering Friday – Will Oil Drag the Markets Down in August?

Fri, 21 Jul 2017 12:36:06 +0000

(image) Will the last short seller please turn out the lights?

According to S3 Analytics, Bets against the SPDR S&P 500 (SPY), the largest ETF tracking the broad index, fell to $38.9Bn last week, the lowest level of short interest since May, 2013.  The same thing is going on in hedge funds as we're well below 2013 levels in short funds – people have simply given up on the idea that this market is going to go down – and that's probably the best time to short it!  

In our Portfolio Reviews this week, we have been pressing our hedges by using about 1/4 of the money we have made on our longs, simply trying to lock in our gains as we certainly don't expect the market to make 4-7% every month – that would be silly, right?  These days, you have to wonder as the S&P is up 25% from the mid-point (not the lows) of 2015 and early 2016 (2,000) yet, as I noted in yesterday's Live Trading Webinar (Members Only, but you can see the replay here) the earnings of the components of the S&P are not matching those gains at all:

Apple (AAPL) is the top component of the S&P.  With an almost $800Bn market cap, it makes up 3.7% of the index.  In 2015 they had $233Bn in sales and made $53Bn, last year they had $215Bn in sales and made $45Bn and this year they are looking for $220Bn in sales and $46Bn in profit yet AAPL is trading 60 points higher (66.6%) than it was at the beginning of last year (after 2015 earnings were reported).  What has AAPL actually done to justify a 66% gain?  Mostly, it was drastically undervalued but, other than that – it has added no profits to the overall S&P.  In fact, it has subtracted them!  

AAPL is also the largest Dow component and $1 in share price is 8.5 Dow points (yes, it's an idiotic system).  So AAPL alone is responsible for 510 points (12.5%) out of the Dow's 4,100 point run from 17,500 (23%).  Now I love AAPL, it was our Stock of the Year in 2013, 2014 and 2015 (this year it is WPM), so I'm fine with their value now, it was…
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500,000 Thursday – Trump Orders GOP to Kill Over 4,000 People Per Month

Thu, 20 Jul 2017 12:29:41 +0000

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Every 12 minutes.

That's how often an American citizen dies due to lack of health care.  Trump gave a fiery speech yesterday ordering his Republican goons to repeal Obamacare at any costs – and the costs are turning out to be staggering.  According to the Congressional Budget Office, Trump's plan will throw 32 MILLION Americans off health care and that will cost over 500,000 of them their lives over the next 10 years.  

That will make Trump, the GOP and the people who voted for them, the greatest mass murderers in the history of this country – right up there with the worst in World history (would rank #12, actually).  And why are they doing this, why do 4,000+ Americans have to die every month?  Well, according to the Congressional Budget Office, taking health care away from 1 out of 10 people you see today will save us $473Bn – over 10 years.  That's $47.3Bn a year and that does sound like a lot but there are 165M taxpayers so we each save $286.66 per year.  

$286.66 a year!  How many people would you kill for that kind of money?  Next time you are at a football stadium (50,000 people) pick 8 people to kill because that's how many out of 50,000 (1/6,400) are being killed to give you $286.66.  In fact, the amount of people in the stadium (all of them) is just about how many people your vote will be killing each year.  Isn't that GREAT!?!?  America is truly great again when we can value $286.66 over 50,000 human lives.  

(image) And, if you think your own health care bill won't rise quite a lot more than $286.66 without Obamacare protections, then you are way too far down the rabbit hole to be saved.  The repeal-only act will increase premiums for those who hold plans, according to the CBO.  The office estimates that "average premiums in the nongroup market (for individual policies purchased through the marketplaces or directly from insurers) would increase by roughly 25%" in one year.  That average premium increase would hit 50% by 2020 compared to projections of rates under the current law, and double by 2026, the CBO said. …
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Will We Hold It Wednesday – New Highs Again?

Wed, 19 Jul 2017 11:38:27 +0000

(image) Up and up she goes.  

Now we're watching that 6,000 line on the Nasdaq (/NQ) Futures which is up 33% in 18 months and up 40% from the lows of Jan, 2017.  We barely paused at 5,000 and didn't pull back at 5,500 but our first attempt at 6,000 was rejected and, if we call it a 1,500-point run from 4,500, then the "weak" reatracement, according to our 5% Rule™, would be back to 5,700 – and it was.

Holding the weak retracement is a sign of strength – indicicating that it's more likely we're consolidating for a move up than making a sustained move down and now we're testing 6,000 again but now we have to raise the bar and cannot accept more than a 150-point correction (5,850) to stay bullish on the Nasdaq and failing 5,700 would signal the start of a broader correction, down to 5,400 or possibly all the way to 5,000 before stabilizing.  That's why we pressed the hedges in our Short-Term Portfolio (which protects our Long-Term Portfolio) as well as our Options Opportunity Portfolio, though we still didn't find many long plays we wanted to take off the table.

That leaves us, so far, net bullish and more bullish than we thought as we "only" have about $300,000 of downside protection in our Short-Term Portfolio against a Long-Term Portfolio that gained $200,000 (17%) in the past 30 days – very aggressively bullish.  The Nasdaq is up 300 points (5%) since our last LTP review and that in itself calls for at least a 1% correction (60 points), back to 5,840 but that would then be below 5,850 – so you can see why this is such a tricky spot.  

(image) Not much to do but see how the week plays out.  In yesterday's Live Member Chat Room, we took the money and ran on our Tesla (TSLA) short position and we added a long on Chipotle (CMG) towards the close as their sell-off has just gotten silly.  I'm not supposed to be giving away trades but this is such a juicy one I'll tell you what I said to our Members at 2:37:

"CMG Aug $370 calls are $14.30 and were $47 two weeks ago.


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