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BETWEEN THE HEDGES



Portfolio Manager's Commentary on Investing and Trading in the U.S. Financial Markets



Updated: 2018-02-22T21:06:43.712-05:00

 



Friday Watch

2018-02-22T21:06:43.780-05:00

Night Trading Asian equity indices are +.25% to +.75% on average.Asia Ex-Japan Investment Grade CDS Index 70.25 -.25 basis point.  Asia Pacific Sovereign CDS Index 12.75 unch.Bloomberg Emerging Markets Currency Index 75.64 +.07%.FTSE 100 futures -.37%. S&P 500 futures +.18%. NASDAQ 100 futures +.04%. Morning Preview Links Earnings of Note Company/Estimate (COG)/.11(DFRG)/.43(HUN)/.66(TDS)/-.09 Economic ReleasesNone of noteUpcoming Splits None of noteOther Potential Market Movers The Fed's Dudley speaking, Fed's Rosengren speaking, Fed's Mester speaking, Fed's Williams speaking and the German GDP report could also impact trading today.BOTTOM LINE:  Asian indices are mostly higher, boosted by commodity and technology shares in the region. I expect US stocks to open mixed and to weaken into the afternoon, finishing modestly lower.  The Portfolio is 50% net long heading into the day.[...]



Stocks Higher into Final Hour on Lower Long-Term Rates, Oil Gain, Earnings Optimism, Energy/REIT Sector Strength

2018-02-22T14:52:32.535-05:00

Broad Equity Market Tone:Advance/Decline Line: Around EvenSector Performance: MixedVolume: Above Average Market Leading Stocks: UnderperformingEquity Investor Angst:Volatility(VIX) 19.19 -4.2% Euro/Yen Carry Return Index 137.10 -.57% Emerging Markets Currency Volatility(VXY) 8.55 +.94% S&P 500 Implied Correlation 41.15 -6.01% ISE Sentiment Index 74.0 -37.82%Total Put/Call 1.10 +5.77% NYSE Arms .81 -62.5% Credit Investor Angst:North American Investment Grade CDS Index 56.64 +1.67% America Energy Sector High-Yield CDS Index 407.0 +9.04%European Financial Sector CDS Index 55.67 +5.37%Italian/German 10Y Yld Spread 136.75 +4.0 basis pointsAsia Pacific Sovereign Debt CDS Index 12.72 -.31%Emerging Market CDS Index 124.18 -.68%iBoxx Offshore RMB China Corporate High Yield Index 147.64 +.18%2-Year Swap Spread 25.5 -1.25 basis points TED Spread 26.0 +1.0 basis point3-Month EUR/USD Cross-Currency Basis Swap -30.75 +3.5 basis points Economic Gauges:Bloomberg Emerging Markets Currency Index 75.59 +.24% 3-Month T-Bill Yield 1.64% unch.Yield Curve 66.75 -.75 basis pointChina Iron Ore Spot 76.66 USD/Metric Tonne +.22%Citi US Economic Surprise Index 51.90 +1.9 pointsCiti Eurozone Economic Surprise Index -5.0 -4.8 pointsCiti Emerging Markets Economic Surprise Index 5.50 +.2 point 10-Year TIPS Spread 2.12 -1.0 basis point100.0% chance of Fed rate hike at May 2 meeting, 100.0% chance at June 13 meetingOverseas Futures:Nikkei 225 Futures: Indicating -6 open in Japan China A50 Futures: Indicating +56 open in ChinaDAX Futures: Indicating -15 open in GermanyPortfolio: Slightly Lower: On losses in my index hedges and emerging markets shortsDisclosed Trades: Covered some of my (IWM)/(QQQ) hedges and some of my (EEM) short Market Exposure: Moved to 50% Net Long[...]



Bear Radar

2018-02-22T14:26:26.469-05:00

Style Underperformer: Small-Cap Value +.3%Sector Underperformers: 1) Social Media -1.4% 2) Tobacco -1.4% 3) Gaming -1.0% Stocks Falling on Unusual Volume: MIC, AAOI, HASI, W, SRCL, TSEM, TYPE, TPX, SPTN, RPXC, ROKU, CLR, MMLP, SAM, TREE, CJ, APA, IDCC, DMRC, JELD, GWPH, TREX, UCTT, SNPS, UTHR, CLI, QDEL, TRHC, CCOI, PRAH, SNAP, IDCC, TFX, HASI, SM, SRCL and SPTNStocks With Unusual Put Option Activity: 1) JACK 2) W 3) MBI 4) ROKU 5) AAOI Stocks With Most Negative News Mentions: 1) MIC 2) AAOI 3) ALKS 4) SNAP 5) WYNN Charts: ETFs Falling on Unusual Volume Stocks Falling on Unusual Volume [...]



Bull Radar

2018-02-22T14:09:04.193-05:00

Style Outperformer: Large-Cap Value +.4% Sector Outperformers: 1) Oil Service +2.7% 2) Disk Drives +1.8% 3) Energy +1.8% Stocks Rising on Unusual Volume:SGMO, QUAD, ECPG, STMP, ZBRA, GDOT, AYX, BLMN, MANT, LDL, TUSK, AIG, CRESY, ASND, CAR, NHF, WLL, FIVN, AAWW, SAIL, MB, EIG, CAKE, HSC, HTZ, CECO, GTLS, CLVS, LOPE, SAIL, STML, PODD, RCKT, ACIW, IOVA, EVTC, DRNA, AKR, SSTK and CAKEStocks With Unusual Call Option Activity: 1) HLT 2) STI 3) ILG 4) RF 5) WLL Stocks With Most Positive News Mentions: 1) STMP 2) CHK 3) ZBRA 4) CAR 5) SGMO Charts: ETFs Rising on Unusual Volume Stocks Rising on Unusual Volume [...]



Morning Market Internals

2018-02-22T10:16:28.513-05:00

NYSE Composite Index:
(image)



Thursday Watch

2018-02-21T21:55:21.491-05:00

Evening HeadlinesBloomberg:Chinese Traders Return to More Bullish Markets After Holiday. The world is looking a better place for China’s investors as the nation’s financial markets reopen following a week-long break. Global equities have rebounded during the Lunar New Year holidays as the fear of faster inflation ebbed. Hong Kong stock gauges are among the world’s best performers, with the Hang Seng Index rallying 3 percent. The offshore yuan -- which traded during the break -- strengthened past the onshore rate.Italy Has Built a Buffer to Shield Debt From Higher Rates.Asia Stocks Slip With U.S. Futures, Dollar Gains. (video) Asian stocks declined with U.S. equity index futures as investors adjust to the Federal Reserve’s latest comments on the economy. The dollar jumped alongside Treasury yields. Futures on the S&P 500 Index slipped after a rally fizzled Wednesday following minutes from the Fed’s January meeting showing increasing confidence that economic growth will pick up steam despite its concerns around inflation. Stocks opened lower in Japan and South Korea, with traders in Chinese markets due to return after a holiday. Japan’s Topix index fell 0.8 percent as of 9:24 a.m. in Tokyo and South Korea’s Kospi index retreated 0.7 percent. Australia’s S&P/ASX 200 Index was little changed. Futures on the S&P 500 slid 0.2 percent. The gauge lost 0.6 percent on Wednesday. The MSCI Asia Pacific Index declined 0.5 percent.Five Things You Need to Know to Start Your Day. (video)Hedge Fund Manager Palomba Leaves Citadel After Losses.Bond Market Guide to Trading When 10-Year Treasury Yields Hit 3%.Wall Street Journal: The FBI’s Parkland Fail. The list of fatal mistakes by federal agencies in recent years is staggering.Iran’s Syrian Front. Assad’s atrocities grow as Tehran builds a new anti-Israel satellite.Fed Gives Bullish Signals on Economy. Economic data bolsters central bank officials’ plans to keep raising short-term interest rates this year.Toys “R” Us Plans to Close Another 200 Stores. Retailer’s corporate staff would also suffer layoffs following a disappointing holiday season.Boko Haram Kidnaps More Schoolgirls in Nigeria. Raid by Islamist militants at technical college leaves scores missing, echoing seizures in Chibok that sparked global outcry in 2014. MarketWatch.com:  Why the stock market’s highs and lows are nothing to fear.Venture capitalist to tech leaders: Stop pretending AI won’t destroy jobs.Fox News: Trump on preventing mass shootings: 'we're going to get it done'. (video)Iran could soon be spying on smartphones worldwide, report claims.CNBC: US is looking at potential new sanctions against Russia.British lawmakers are launching an inquiry into cryptocurrencies. (video)Stocks making the biggest moves after hours: Roku, Pandora & more.Telegram is holding a secretive second pre-ICO sale.Malicious use of A.I. could turn self-driving cars and drones into weapons, top researchers warn.SEC charges former bitcoin exchange and its founder with fraud.Zero Hedge:  Broward Sheriff: Deputies Will Now Carry Rifles On School Grounds.'Crumbs' Crushed - Soaring Economic Optimism Could Ruin Dems' "Blue Wave" Midterms.WTI/RBOB Rebound After Surprise Crude Draw. (graph)Why Are The Taxpayer-Funded Salaries Of A Quarter-Million Federal Employees, A State Secret?"They Had More Information Than Us" - Sanders Blames Clinton For Not Exposing Russian Meddling.Watch The Boston Dynamics Robot Dog Fight Back Against A Human. (video) Libor-OIS Blowing Out On Rising Repatriation Concerns, Collapsing Front-End Funding. (graph) CNN Doxxes Elderly Woman, Badgers At House Over Russian Trolls.Dow Plunges 500 Points As Bond Yields, Dollar Spike. (graph)Business Insider: Amid controversy over Intel CEO's stock sale, SEC warns executives about trading shares before disclosing security breaches.A fracking sand shortage could put a[...]



Stocks Reversing Lower into Final Hour on Rising Long-Term Rates, US/European/Emerging Markets Debt Angst, Oil Decline, Food/REIT Sector Weakness

2018-02-21T15:47:09.309-05:00

Broad Equity Market Tone:Advance/Decline Line: Substantially HigherSector Performance: Most Sectors RisingVolume: Above Average Market Leading Stocks: OutperformingEquity Investor Angst:Volatility(VIX) 18.52 -10.10% Euro/Yen Carry Return Index 137.98 +.05% Emerging Markets Currency Volatility(VXY) 8.48 -.24% S&P 500 Implied Correlation 41.44 -1.1% ISE Sentiment Index 131.0 +37.9%Total Put/Call 1.02 +18.6% NYSE Arms 1.75 +40.7% Credit Investor Angst:North American Investment Grade CDS Index 54.70 +1.25% America Energy Sector High-Yield CDS Index 372.0 -2.14%European Financial Sector CDS Index 52.84 -4.12%Italian/German 10Y Yld Spread 132.75 -.75 basis pointAsia Pacific Sovereign Debt CDS Index 12.74 +1.15%Emerging Market CDS Index 123.29 -.86%iBoxx Offshore RMB China Corporate High Yield Index 147.37 +.09%2-Year Swap Spread 26.75 unch. TED Spread 25.0-2.75 basis points3-Month EUR/USD Cross-Currency Basis Swap -34.25 -1.25 basis points Economic Gauges:Bloomberg Emerging Markets Currency Index 75.45 -.17% 3-Month T-Bill Yield 1.64% +4.0 basis pointsYield Curve 67.5 +1.25 basis pointsChina Iron Ore Spot 76.35 USD/Metric Tonne n/aCiti US Economic Surprise Index 50.0 +1.2 pointsCiti Eurozone Economic Surprise Index -.2 -23.8 pointsCiti Emerging Markets Economic Surprise Index 5.30 +1.1 points 10-Year TIPS Spread 2.13 +2.0 basis points100.0% chance of Fed rate hike at May 2 meeting, 100.0% chance at June 13 meetingOverseas Futures:Nikkei 225 Futures: Indicating +40 open in Japan China A50 Futures: Indicating +337 open in ChinaDAX Futures: Indicating -33 open in GermanyPortfolio: Slightly Higher: On gains in my retail/medical/biotech sector longsDisclosed Trades: Added to my (IWM)/(QQQ) hedges and to my (EEM) short Market Exposure: Moved to 50% Net Long[...]



Today's Headlines

2018-02-21T15:05:47.748-05:00

Bloomberg: Americans' Economic Expectations Reach Second-Highest Since 2002. Americans’ outlook for the U.S. economy improved in February to the second-highest level since March 2002, indicating lower taxes are resonating, the Bloomberg Consumer Comfort Index showed Wednesday.Wall Street Overreacts to Data But Fed Shouldn't, Kashkari Says. (video)Soybeans Could Dethrone Corn as U.S. Crop King After 35 Years.Bank of America(BAC) Says FX Traders May Be Off on Dollar Bearishness. (video)Four Charts: Home Depot(HD) Benefits From the Housing Market ReboundWall Street Journal: Fed Officials Marked Up Growth, Inflation Outlook in January. Economic data bolsters central bank officials’ plans to keep raising short-term interest rates this year.China Humiliates Another Western Company. Beijing increasingly demands corporate self-censorship. Amazon(AMZN) Is Taking Over the Stock Market, Too. The online retail giant has accounted for 27% of the S&P 500’s gains this year, followed by Microsoft and Netflix.Trump Economic Report Blames Obama Policies for Slow Growth. The nearly-600 page report is the most detailed analysis of the economy and economic policy by President Donald Trump’MarketWatch.com: Why the worst may be over in the stock-market correction. Fox News: Maryland police officer shot and killed is second cop murdered in 12 hours.CNBC: Fed minutes: All signs pointing to more rate hikes ahead. (video)Here are 3 key Senate races that show why Democrats are at risk of losing seats in 2018.Trump administration may make it easier to wipe out student debt in bankruptcy. (video)JP Morgan’s(JPM) ‘branch warfare’ to beat up on Wells, support 19% stock surge: Morgan Stanley.Trump signals open to mileage tax with praise of Oregon program.Don't worry about higher interest rates for now, JP Morgan says. (video)Zero Hedge: In Unexpected Twist, Judge In Flynn Case Asks Mueller For "Exculpatory Evidence".Exchange Glitch Allows Traders To "Buy" $20 Trillion In Bitcoin For Free.BofA: Clients Sold Bond ETFs For The Longest Streak On Record.Conservatives Furious After Twitter(TWTR) Purges Thousands Of Accounts.Who Got Hit: Here Are The Best And Worst Performing Hedge Funds Of 2018.Fed President Sounds Panic Over Level Of US Debt."We've Never Underperformed Like This": Einhorn Has Worst Month Since March 2000.Amid Soaring Cobalt Prices, Apple Will Buy Direct From Miners. (graph)Existing Home Sales Extend Plunge, Biggest Annual Drop Since 2014. (graph)As Europe Slumps, US PMIs Signal GDP Growth Above 3.00%. (graph)Mortgage Applications Plunge Most Since 2015 As Rates Soar. (graph)Judicial Watch Asks "What Is The FBI Hiding In Its War To Protect Comey?[...]



Bear Radar

2018-02-21T13:43:06.023-05:00

Style Underperformer: Large-Cap Value +.6%Sector Underperformers: 1) REITs -.5% 2) Foods -.4% 3) Steel -.1%Stocks Falling on Unusual Volume: QTS, LHO, JELD, SLCA, DVN, AIMT, KRA, NFX, BYD, UTHR, GRMN, SHOP, INOV and PTLAStocks With Unusual Put Option Activity: 1) AMLP 2) DIN 3) DUST 4) RCII 5) GIS Stocks With Most Negative News Mentions: 1) SIEN 2) LC 3) PTLA 4) BYD 5) VNOM Charts: ETFs Falling on Unusual Volume Stocks Falling on Unusual Volume [...]



Bull Radar

2018-02-21T13:29:25.808-05:00

Style Outperformer: Small-Cap Value +1.3% Sector Outperformers: 1) Road & Rail +2.3% 2) Social Media +2.0% 3) Alt Energy +1.7% Stocks Rising on Unusual Volume:HFRO, QUAD, WBAI, LPSN, NHF, UBNT, DIN, HSTM, CBRL, TXRH, HCKT, LXFT, TGTX, JUNO, AAP, LZB, TX, VYGR, WIRE, MCHI, NCI, CNDT, CHGG, KL, GNBC, FATE, WEX, UVE, ADMS, FOSL, AKBA, BHGE, CHGG, ACC, IRTC and APTIStocks With Unusual Call Option Activity: 1) BYD 2) WMT 3) AAP 4) MNST 5) RF Stocks With Most Positive News Mentions: 1) ASTE 2) DIN 3) FINL 4) MOS 5) ABBV Charts: ETFs Rising on Unusual Volume Stocks Rising on Unusual Volume [...]



Morning Market Internals

2018-02-21T10:32:30.874-05:00

NYSE Composite Index:
(image)



Wednesday Watch

2018-02-20T21:54:25.729-05:00

Evening HeadlinesBloomberg: Productivity Primed to Pick Up in U.S. and Europe, McKinsey Says. The era of anemic productivity growth may be coming to an end in the U.S. and Europe. So says the research arm of consultation company McKinsey & Co. in a new 147-page report. It argues that productivity could expand at a 2 percent-plus annual clip over the coming decade versus the roughly 0.5 percent pace in recent years. “We are very optimistic” about the potential for achieving significant gains, Jaana Remes, a partner at McKinsey Global Institute in San Francisco, said in an interview. Asia Stocks to Drop; Dollar Gains as Yields Rise. Asian stock futures indicate a lower open after U.S. equities snapped a six-day rally on a disappointing result from Walmart Inc. and as Treasuries fell amid massive debt issuance. The dollar advanced. Futures on equity indexes in Japan declined and Australia’s benchmark inched lower at the open. The S&P 500 Index slipped below its average price for the past 50 days. Walmart sank the most since 1988. The U.S. Treasury on Tuesday sold $179 billion of securities, with yields on two-year notes and three- and six-month bills climbing to levels unseen since 2008. Futures on Japan’s Nikkei 225 Stock Average dropped 0.4 percent in Singapore. Australia’s S&P/200 Index dropped 0.1 percent. Futures on the S&P 500 rose less than 0.1 percent as of 8:24 a.m. in Tokyo. The underlying measure fell 0.6 percent. The MSCI Emerging Market Index declined 0.5 percent, the biggest drop in more than a week.Five Things You Need to Know to Start Your Day.Inflation's Come and That's Good for Commodities, JPMorgan Says. Inflation’s back and raw materials stand to benefit, according to JPMorgan Chase & Co., which has raised forecasts for metals. “Inflation has come and it should be good for commodities,” the bank said in a report received on Wednesday. Among signs of the shift, JPMorgan cited stronger U.S. wage numbers as well as recent core consumer price inflation.Market's Red Line for Yields Isn't Where Everyone Thinks It Is. (video) Among the myriad theories for the violent correction in equities two weeks ago, one of the most prominent was a spike in Treasury yields toward the dreaded 3 percent level. It’s wrong, according to Jonathan Golub, chief U.S. equity strategist at Credit Suisse AG. At least that’s the case when the 10-year rate is below what he calls the neutral level of 3.5 percent, Golub wrote in a note to clients Tuesday. The last time the 10-year yield topped that was in 2011.OPEC Roars Into 2018 Oil Cuts. Allies Stumble, Shale Soars. Wall Street Journal: Russian Trolls Tweeted Disinformation Long Before U.S. Election. Tweets about contaminated water, tainted turkey look to security experts like practice for the political season.Fox News:  Trump urges ban on 'bump stocks,' other gun modifiers. (video)CNBC: Stocks making the biggest moves after hours: LendingClub, Boyd Gaming, Texas Roadhouse & more.'No Gay? No Way' is wrong message on Amazon HQ2 decision.Zero Hedge:  FOMC Minutes Preview: Beware The Hawkish-Tilted Ides For March. (graph)This Is Where The Next US Debt Crisis Is Hiding."The Petro Is Born Today" - Maduro Launches Oil-Backed Crypto "For The Welfare Of Venezuela". Sony Developing AI-Powered Taxi Hailing System.Dennis Gartman Blows Up With Investment In Riot Blockchain. Sex, Hot Girls, And Dating? There Is Now An ICO For That.Pelosi Pummeled As A Majority Of Americans Now Support Trump Tax Cuts. 'Dead-Cat' Dies As Stocks' Six-Day Win-Streak Ends Abruptly. (graph)Business Insider:  The US Navy is sending destroyers into the Black Sea to send Russia a message.Night Trading  Asian equity indices are +.[...]



Stocks Lower into Final Hour on Russia Probe Worries, Earnings Jitters, US/European/Emerging Markets Debt Angst, Road & Rail/Metals & Mining Sector Weakness

2018-02-20T15:34:53.082-05:00

Broad Equity Market Tone:Advance/Decline Line: LowerSector Performance: Most Sectors DecliningVolume: Around Average Market Leading Stocks: OutperformingEquity Investor Angst:Volatility(VIX) 20.27 +4.16% Euro/Yen Carry Return Index 137.81 +.05% Emerging Markets Currency Volatility(VXY) 8.55 -.23% S&P 500 Implied Correlation 42.15 -.64% ISE Sentiment Index 106.0 +15.22%Total Put/Call .82 -10.87% NYSE Arms 1.13 -.97% Credit Investor Angst:North American Investment Grade CDS Index 53.76 +4.43% America Energy Sector High-Yield CDS Index 381.0 +.15%European Financial Sector CDS Index 54.52 +5.19%Italian/German 10Y Yld Spread 133.50 +5.5 basis pointsAsia Pacific Sovereign Debt CDS Index 12.59 +1.61%Emerging Market CDS Index 124.64 +3.86%iBoxx Offshore RMB China Corporate High Yield Index 147.23 -.39%2-Year Swap Spread 26.75 -.25 basis point TED Spread 27.75 unch.3-Month EUR/USD Cross-Currency Basis Swap -33.0 -.5 basis point Economic Gauges:Bloomberg Emerging Markets Currency Index 75.56 -.56% 3-Month T-Bill Yield 1.60% unch.Yield Curve 66.25 -2.25 basis pointsChina Iron Ore Spot 76.35 USD/Metric Tonne n/aCiti US Economic Surprise Index 48.80 -1.4 pointsCiti Eurozone Economic Surprise Index 23.60 -12.1 pointsCiti Emerging Markets Economic Surprise Index 4.20 +1.7 points 10-Year TIPS Spread 2.11 +1.0 basis point100.0% chance of Fed rate hike at May 2 meeting, 100.0% chance at June 13 meetingOverseas Futures:Nikkei 225 Futures: Indicating -59 open in Japan China A50 Futures: Indicating +177 open in ChinaDAX Futures: Indicating -49 open in GermanyPortfolio: Slightly Lower: On losses in my retail/medical/biotech sector longsDisclosed Trades: Added to my (IWM)/(QQQ) hedges and to my (EEM) short Market Exposure: Moved to 50% Net Long[...]



Today's Headlines

2018-02-20T15:04:24.127-05:00

Bloomberg:Draghi Stays Silent as ECB Seeks Clarity on Latvia. (video) More than 48 hours since Latvian Governor Ilmars Rimsevics was detained by anti-graft authorities and pressed by the government to step down, the ECB is still unclear on the details of the case, the people said. The Governing Council expects to be briefed by the Executive Board at a scheduled meeting on Wednesday, they said, asking not to be identified as internal discussions are confidential. The ECB has been in contact with Rimsevics, one person said.How Japan's Central Bank Policy Is Driving Speculation About Stimulus.World's Biggest Container Liner Looks for Deals Outside Shipping. The world’s largest container company will start looking for takeover targets outside the shipping industry as it tries to pre-empt a new competitive landscape in which customers are morphing into rivals. Jakob Stausholm, A. P. Moller-Maersk A/S’s chief financial officer and head of transformation and strategy, says the company needs to expand its land-based activities to meet a growing need from clients. “We’re currently very big in the ocean segment, and we’d rather grow in non-ocean, so it may be a good idea to look for M&A targets there,” Stausholm said in an interview Tuesday.Buy the Dip Isn't Dead. In Fact, It's Just Getting Stronger. (video)Fear's Gone But Greed Hasn't Materialized in U.S. Stock Options. Warren Buffett once quipped that aspiring investors “should try to be fearful when others are greedy and greedy only when others are fearful.” Tell that to the options market. While the volatility-induced jolt of fear that rattled markets in early February has subsided, options buyers are sitting tight and betting on the status quo, even on the heels of the best week for U.S. equities since 2013. Put options that would pay off in mid-March if the SPDR S&P 500 ETF Trust (ticker SPY) re-eclipses its lowest closing level of 2018 have tumbled by more than 80 percent from their recent peak. Money Managers Think the Worst Is Yet to Come for S&P 500. About 57 percent of investors surveyed by Strategas Research Partners expect the S&P 500 Index to break the intraday low of 2,533 reached on Feb. 9, while the rest say the market has bottomed for the year after a two-week selloff sent the index to its first 10 percent correction since 2016. The poll, conducted Feb. 16, covered roughly 500 institutional investors.Wall Street Journal: Qualcomm(QCOM) Raises Bid for NXP(NXPI) to $44 Billion. Move could also help chip giant as it seeks to fend off takeover interest from Broadcom.Is a 3% Treasury Yield Good News or Bad? For Now, Investors Say Good. This year’s rise in yields points to a long-awaited return to economic normalcy, overcoming fears about the staying power of the postcrisis recovery.Syrian Forces Backed by Russia Bombard Hard-Hit Suburb of Capital. Airstrikes target hospitals, rescue centers in Eastern Ghouta, as rebel-held area appears ready to fall to Assad regime.Albertsons Scoops Up Remainder of Rite Aid as Retailers Face Online Threat. Transaction would create company with revenue of $83 billion and allow Albertsons to go public. Jihadists See a Funding Boon in Bitcoin. Cryptocurrencies come under increased U.S. scrutiny as militants seek anonymous donations. MarketWatch.com:  Home Depot(HD) sales lifted by tax cuts and booming housing market.BlackRock says it’s time to give U.S. stocks more love — try these sectors.Charting the market recovery attempt, S&P 500 holds firmer technical ground. (graph)Fox News: Dems fume as Trump pushes low-cost, ObamaCare alternative health plans. (video)CNBC: Investors might be freaking out abou[...]



Bear Radar

2018-02-20T14:09:35.250-05:00

Style Underperformer: Small-Cap Value -.6%Sector Underperformers: 1) Gold & Silver -1.9% 2) Road & Rail -1.8% 3) Foods -1.2%Stocks Falling on Unusual Volume: UBNT, ADMS, WMT, CBRL, BBL, CTB, GCI and ATIStocks With Unusual Put Option Activity: 1) RAD 2) AXL 3) AAP 4) MDXG 5) DPZ Stocks With Most Negative News Mentions: 1) MDXG 2) UBNT 3) SNAP 4) GPS 5) GES Charts: ETFs Falling on Unusual Volume Stocks Falling on Unusual Volume [...]



Bull Radar

2018-02-20T13:46:47.585-05:00

Style Outperformer: Large-Cap Growth +.3% Sector Outperformers: 1) Semis +2.2% 2) Disk Drives +1.5% 3) Papers +1.5% Stocks Rising on Unusual Volume:FOGO, NXPI, DIN, PAR, DPZ, MULE, TGH, EROS, DRNA, VYGR, RAIL, FBR, WBAI, RYAM, TVPT, NBL, X, OMAB, CAI, RNG, BL, ANET, URGN, SEDG, FICO, NBL, PGTI, EROS, UIS and COUPStocks With Unusual Call Option Activity: 1) UPL 2) RAD 3) DPZ 4) SMH 5) HD Stocks With Most Positive News Mentions: 1) RYAM 2) ADI 3) RIG 4) AGS 5) DPZ Charts: ETFs Rising on Unusual Volume Stocks Rising on Unusual Volume [...]



Morning Market Internals

2018-02-20T10:40:28.683-05:00

NYSE Composite Index:
(image)



Tuesday Watch

2018-02-19T22:01:54.620-05:00

Today's Headlines Bloomberg: Russia Warns U.S. Not to ‘Play With Fire’ in Syrian Conflict. Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov warned the Trump administration not to “play with fire” as he lashed out at the U.S. over what he described as its “provocative” support for autonomy-seeking Kurds in Syria. “The U.S. should stop playing very dangerous games which could lead to the dismemberment of the Syrian state,” Lavrov said at a Middle East conference in Moscow on Monday, alongside his Iranian counterpart Mohammad Javad Zarif and a top adviser of Syrian President Bashar al-Assad. “We are seeing attempts to exploit the Kurds’ aspirations.”U.K. Has a Secret Plan to Hold Brexit Cash If EU Refuses to Trade. Prime Minister Theresa May’s team is eyeing up a contingency plan to hold back billions of pounds in Brexit payments, if the European Union refuses to give the U.K. the trade deal it wants. Senior British officials have privately discussed the idea as a fall-back option that could be triggered if negotiations go wrong, three people familiar with the matter said.Asia Stocks Track U.S. Futures Down; Dollar Steady. (video) Asian stocks took their cue from a decline in U.S. futures to open lower and the yen consolidated after its biggest drop in two weeks. The dollar steadied and oil climbed in holiday-thin trading. Japan’s Topix index dropped after staging it’s second-best performance this year, while shares in Australia and South Korea also fell after the Stoxx Europe 600 Index declined for the first time in four days. The yen steadied after retreating from a 15-month high. Treasuries declined. European markets were the center of investor attention on Monday as U.S. stocks and Treasuries took a break for Presidents’ Day holiday. Traders return to their desks in Hong Kong on Tuesday, while Chinese markets reopen on Thursday. The Topix fell 0.7 percent as of 9:25 a.m. in Tokyo. Japan’s Nikkei 225 Stock Average declined 0.8 percent. Australia’s S&P/ASX 200 Index fell 0.3 percent. South Korea’s Kospi index was down 0.4 percent. Futures on the S&P 500 lost 0.1 percent. The MSCI Asia Pacific Index fell 0.4 percent.Five Things You Need to Know to Start Your Day. (video)Oil Rises Above $62 as Risk Assets Recover From Global Rout. U.S. Oil Exports Go Up a Gear as Supertanker Sets Sail for China. (video) The flood of U.S. oil exports stepped up a gear on Monday after the first fully laden supertanker sailed from an American port, alleviating a bottleneck that’s limited overseas shipments.Hedge Funds Turn Short on Tech Just as Stock Rally Intensifies. A key group of investors has just missed out on the biggest tech-stock rally since 2014. Hedge funds and other large speculators turned net short on Nasdaq 100 Index futures for the first time in 21 months, according to weekly data compiled by the Commodity Futures Trading Commission through Feb. 13. In fact, they became the most bearish since 2011. Meanwhile, the tech-heavy index gained 5.6 percent in the five days through Friday, the most since October 2014.Coinbase Runs From One Fire to the Next. Coinbase Inc. is one of the most popular online exchanges for digital currencies. But last year, it started seeing complaints soar on the U.S. Consumer Financial Protection Bureau’s website. Unfortunately for the San Francisco business and its customers, things have only gotten worse.Wall Street Journal: The Parkland Massacre and the Air We Breathe. What’s gone wrong with our culture that produces such atrocities? It’s a very long list.Oil Pr[...]



Weekly Outlook

2018-02-19T21:59:29.203-05:00

Wall St. Week Ahead by Reuters. Stocks to Watch Next Week by Seeking Alpha. Weekly Economic Calendar by Briefing.com.BOTTOM LINE: I expect US stocks to finish the week mixed as positive earnings outlooks, oil gains and economic optimism offset higher long-term rates, profit-taking and technical selling. My intermediate-term trading indicators are giving neutral signals and the Portfolio is 75% net long heading into the week.[...]



Today's Headlines

2018-02-18T16:12:53.512-05:00

Bloomberg:Bezeq Probe Is Said to Widen, Ensnaring Netanyahu Associates. The Israel Securities Authority and police are questioning five suspects over involvement in a plan whereby the Communications Ministry allegedly crafted rules to benefit Bezeq Israeli Telecommunication Corp. in exchange for positive coverage of Netanyahu and his wife on Bezeq’s Walla! news outlet, said the person, who requested anonymity as the matter is sensitive. Two of the detainees worked closely with Netanyahu in the past, the person said.Wall Street Journal:  Like Peter Thiel, Entrepreneurs Feel Alienated by Silicon Valley ‘Echo Chamber’. Venture capitalists say they are defecting away from the high-tech cradle in part because of resistance to different values, ideologies.Silicon Valley Explores A New Investment: Your Home. Startups backed by deep-pocketed investors are looking at a new way to profit from rising home prices.Household Debt Sees Quiet Boom Across the Globe. A decade after the crisis, a number of economies face a familiar problem—but regulators are better prepared.Fed Chairman Powell Taps Two Advisers. Monetary policy specialists Jon Faust and Antulio Bomfim will serve as senior advisers.After Florida School Shooting, Some GOP Lawmakers Renew Gun-Control Talk. Students who survived the shooting at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School have blasted lawmakers for taking contributions from the NRA and called on them to enact new gun-control laws. Fox News: Trump slams FBI over 'missed signals' on Florida shooting, asserts Russia was distraction.Nikolas Cruz showed no warning signs before Florida school shooting, say couple who took him in. (video) CNBC: Crude's pullback appears done for now, with gasoline set to spur prices higher: Tom Kloza. (video)Prepare for a good year on Wall Street, but not a repeat of 2017, says JP Morgan Private Bank. (video)Zero Hedge: Trump Lashes Out At FBI And HR McMaster In Saturday Night Tweets.'Ring Of Fire' Quake-Cluster Prompts Scientists To Warn Of "Large Rupture Sooner Than Later"."He Has Her Blood On His Hands" - Father Of Florida Shooting Victim Viciously Attacked Online For Supporting Trump.CIA Argues The Public Can't See Classified Information It Has Already Leaked To Favored Reporters. "There Is An Acute Crisis Coming": Apartment Developer.NYSE's Most Iconic Stockbroker Admits He's "Never Owned A Share Of Stock In My Life".Hezbollah Leader Threatens "We Will Open Fire" On Disputed Israeli Offshore Oil & Gas Operations. Business Insider:  Silicon Valley parents are raising their kids tech-free — and it should be a red flag.[...]



Today's Headlines

2018-02-17T16:56:36.730-05:00

Bloomberg: Trump Must Weigh Retaliation Risk in Deciding Tariffs on Steel. (video)Winn-Dixie and Tops Owners Are Said to Prepare for Bankruptcy. Two U.S. supermarket chains are readying bankruptcy filings, according to people with knowledge of the matter, a sign of the mounting pressures in the grocery industry.Wall Street Journal: The Russian Indictments. Where were James Clapper and John Brennan when the Kremlin was meddling?Russian Influence Operation Allegedly Ran Like a Propaganda Startup. A federal indictment describes the Internet Research Agency as having a deep understanding how to use Silicon Valley technology to sow discord.Budget Deal Likely to Deliver Hefty Business to Defense Companies. Increase in planned spending looks to benefit Lockheed Martin, Northrop Grumman, Raytheon and even Boeing.The Robots Are Coming for Garment Workers. That’s Good for the U.S., Bad for Poor Countries.Wall Street’s Five CEOs Get Biggest Payday Since 2006. Combined compensation for chiefs of the biggest banks hit $126 million, the highest annual tally since before financial crisis.Barron's: Had bullish commentary on (CMI), (GOOGL), (BXP), (SLG), (SPG), (TCO), (DEI), (LRCX) and (C).MarketWatch.com: Walmart(WMT) preview: It has a competitive moat in food that even Amazon may have trouble crossing.Fox News:  McMaster: FBI indictments prove Russia meddled in US elections. (videoCNBC: Stock rebound could continue as long as the Fed doesn't spook markets.Trump backs Facebook's VP of ads, who says Russia's meddling was designed to divide America. Cisco(CSCO), Intuit(INTU) and 31 other stocks are leading the market out of correction.The bull case for Dow stock Home Depot ahead of earnings next week. (video)Walmart(WMT) rolls out new apparel brands for women, kids and plus sizes.Volatility is back, and that could lead to a late ‘90s-style market rally, Barclays says. (video)Wall Street veteran who predicted sell-off says bull market has 'years left'. (video)Amazon(AMZN) threat to FedEx(FDX) overblown, it's the postal service that's in trouble, JP Morgan says. (video)These are the most popular cruises for partying, relaxing and dining, according to Instagram.This bricklaying robot works five times faster than a human. (video)This self-driving ship could be the future of military warfare. (video)Zero Hedge: This Year's Stock Buybacks Are Already Bigger Than All Of 2009's.DOJ Complaint: The Russians Organized A Rally Called "Trump Is NOT My President".Trump Responds: Mueller Indictment Shows "Campaign Did Nothing Wrong. No Collusion!"George Soros To EU: Fight Populism, Regulate Social Media. Tech Start-Up Launches 'Active-Shooter' Mobile App For Schools. Turkish Forces Hit Kurds With Toxic Gas After Crossing Into Syria: Report.How WaPo, BuzzFeed, And Soros-Backed Group Pushed The Phrase "Fake News" Until It Backfired. Peter Thiel "Makes A Killing" With Massive Vol-Spike Bet.Florida Governor Says FBI Chief Chris Wray Should Resign.Weekend Reading: Hurricane Boost Dissipates.Massive Squeeze Sparks Best Week For Stocks In 7 Years As Dollar Crashes. Business Insider:  Visa(V) takes the blame for a glitch that hit Coinbase cryptocurrency investors with thousands of dollars in 'ghost' charges.Trump's defense budget is a wishlist for a massive military buildup — these are the planes, ships, and missiles he wants.Twitter users are being called out for posting fake claims of racially motivated assaults at 'Black Panther' showings.Ethereum founder warns cryptocurrencies 'could drop to[...]



Weekly Scoreboard*

2018-02-16T17:09:36.483-05:00

S&P 500 2,732.22 +4.30%* The Weekly Wrap by Briefing.com.   IndicesDJIA 25,219.38 +4.25%NASDAQ 7,239.46 +5.31%Russell 2000 1,543.55 +4.45%S&P 500 High Beta 43.17 +4.66% Goldman 50 Most Shorted 145.70 +6.16% Wilshire 5000 28,221.77 +4.34%Russell 1000 Growth 1,411.48 +5.0%Russell 1000 Value 1,226.40 +4.17%S&P 500 Consumer Staples 572.90 +3.54%Vanda Cyclicals-Defensives 1.6230 +.63% NYSE Technology 1,840.52 +6.90%Transports 10,534.20 +4.0%Utilities 682.20 +3.18%Bloomberg European Bank/Financial Services 101.47 +2.42%MSCI Emerging Markets 48.85 +4.87%HFRX Equity Hedge 1,297.73 +1.43%HFRX Equity Market Neutral 1,012.19 +.59%Sentiment/InternalsNYSE Cumulative A/D Line 312,231 +1.48%Bloomberg New Highs-Lows Index 159 +521 Bloomberg Crude Oil % Bulls 19.1 +4.79% CFTC Oil Net Speculative Position 739,097 +.62% CFTC Oil Total Open Interest 2,589,270 -2.06% Total Put/Call .92 -30.30%OEX Put/Call .78 -59.38%ISE Sentiment 96.0 +37.14% NYSE Arms 1.05 +82.76%Volatility(VIX) 19.90 -30.87%S&P 500 Implied Correlation 41.47 -11.66%G7 Currency Volatility (VXY) 8.74 -3.53%  Emerging Markets Currency Volatility (EM-VXY) 8.55 -8.2% Smart Money Flow Index 19,294.16 +4.58%ICI Money Mkt Mutual Fund Assets $2.829 Trillion +.07%ICI US Equity Weekly Net New Cash Flow -$15.176 BillionAAII % Bulls 48.5 +31.0%AAII % Bears 21.4 -38.9% Futures Spot PricesCRB Index 193.58 +2.71%Crude Oil 61.64 +4.32%Reformulated Gasoline 175.14 +2.75%Natural Gas 2.57 -1.57%Heating Oil 191.30 +3.15%Gold 1,348.40 +2.58%Bloomberg Base Metals Index 216.64 +4.85% Copper 323.95 +6.15%US No. 1 Heavy Melt Scrap Steel 319.40 USD/Metric Tonne-.5%China Iron Ore Spot 76.44 USD/Metric Tonne +2.95% Lumber 510.0 +4.87%UBS-Bloomberg Agriculture 1,025.15 +1.23%EconomyAtlanta Fed GDPNow Forecast +3.2% -80.0 basis points ECRI Weekly Leading Economic Index Growth Rate 8.5% -30.0 basis pointsPhilly Fed ADS Real-Time Business Conditions Index -.0675 +4.53% US Economic Policy Uncertainty Index 153.03 +10.9% S&P 500 Blended Forward 12 Months Mean EPS Estimate 159.36 +.72%Citi US Economic Surprise Index 50.20 +7.5 points Citi Eurozone Economic Surprise Index 35.70 -7.0 points Citi Emerging Markets Economic Surprise Index 2.5 +3.4 points Fed Fund Futures imply 0.0% chance of no change, 100.0% chance of 25 basis point hike on 3/21US Dollar Index 89.10 -1.44%MSCI Emerging Markets Currency Index 1,719.08 +.84%Bitcoin/USD 10,005.81 +16.6% Euro/Yen Carry Return Index 137.51 -1.0% Yield Curve 68.5 -9.25 basis points10-Year US Treasury Yield 2.87% +5.0 basis pointsFederal Reserve's Balance Sheet $4.394 Trillion +.32%U.S. Sovereign Debt Credit Default Swap 20.14 unch. Illinois Municipal Debt Credit Default Swap 252.80 -.03% Italian/German 10Y Yld Spread 128.0 -2.25 basis pointsAsia Pacific Sovereign Debt Credit Default Swap Index 12.62 -8.25%Emerging Markets Sovereign Debt CDS Index 32.84 -5.60%Israel Sovereign Debt Credit Default Swap 52.97 -1.12% South Korea Sovereign Debt Credit Default Swap 52.20 -11.78% Russia Sovereign Debt Credit Default Swap 109.49 -15.12% iBoxx Offshore RMB China Corporate High Yield Index 147.72 +.21%10-Year TIPS Spread 2.10% +4.0 basis pointsTED Spread 27.75 +2.0 basis points 2-Year Swap Spread 27.0 -.5 basis point 3-Month EUR/USD Cross-Currency Basis Swap -32.75 +8.5 basis pointsN. America Investment Grade Credit Default Swap Index 52.70 -12.59%America Energy Sector High-Yield Credit Default Swap Index 382.0 -5.99% European Financial Sector Credit Default Swap Index 51.39 -6[...]



Stocks Slightly Higher into Final Hour on Less US/European/Emerging Markets Debt Angst, Economic Optimism, Oil Gain, Pharma/Homebuilding Sector Strength

2018-02-16T14:57:39.696-05:00

Broad Equity Market Tone:Advance/Decline Line: Modestly HigherSector Performance: MixedVolume: Above Average Market Leading Stocks: UnderperformingEquity Investor Angst:Volatility(VIX) 19.39 +1.36% Euro/Yen Carry Return Index 137.33 -.72% Emerging Markets Currency Volatility(VXY) 8.55 -.93% S&P 500 Implied Correlation 43.74 +2.93% ISE Sentiment Index 100.0 +6.38%Total Put/Call .89 -3.26% NYSE Arms 1.11 +34.3% Credit Investor Angst:North American Investment Grade CDS Index 52.72 -3.23% America Energy Sector High-Yield CDS Index 382.0 -.84%European Financial Sector CDS Index 51.20 -3.56%Italian/German 10Y Yld Spread 128.0 -2.25 basis pointsAsia Pacific Sovereign Debt CDS Index 12.62 -.98%Emerging Market CDS Index 120.21 -2.25%iBoxx Offshore RMB China Corporate High Yield Index 147.72 +.02%2-Year Swap Spread 27.0 -.75 basis point TED Spread 27.75 +1.0 basis point3-Month EUR/USD Cross-Currency Basis Swap -32.5 -.25 basis point Economic Gauges:Bloomberg Emerging Markets Currency Index 76.01 -.03% 3-Month T-Bill Yield 1.60% +1.0 basis pointYield Curve 68.5 -3.25 basis pointsChina Iron Ore Spot 76.35 USD/Metric Tonne n/aCiti US Economic Surprise Index 50.20 +15.0 pointsCiti Eurozone Economic Surprise Index 35.70 -1.4 pointsCiti Emerging Markets Economic Surprise Index 2.50 +.1 point 10-Year TIPS Spread 2.10 -2.0 basis points100.0% chance of Fed rate hike at May 2 meeting, 100.0% chance at June 13 meetingOverseas Futures:Nikkei 225 Futures: Indicating +130 open in Japan China A50 Futures: Indicating +389 open in ChinaDAX Futures: Indicating +23 open in GermanyPortfolio: Slightly Lower: On losses in my tech/biotech sector longsDisclosed Trades: Added to my (IWM)/(QQQ) hedges Market Exposure: Moved to 75% Net Long[...]



Bear Radar

2018-02-16T13:22:15.068-05:00

Style Underperformer: Mid-Cap Growth +.3%Sector Underperformers: 1) Gold & Silver -2.1% 2) Networking -.7% 3) Restaurants -.5%Stocks Falling on Unusual Volume: ANET, IO, SHAK, PI, COHU, PCRX, TRUE, LOGM, CGNX, MDRX, SNBR, VFC, R, IPGP, MDXG and PDFSStocks With Unusual Put Option Activity: 1) GNC 2) ANET 3) DKS 4) RIOT 5) TJX Stocks With Most Negative News Mentions: 1) RIOT 2) COHU 3) LYB 4) AAP 5) SHLM Charts: ETFs Falling on Unusual Volume Stocks Falling on Unusual Volume [...]



Bull Radar

2018-02-16T12:57:07.268-05:00

Style Outperformer: Small-Cap Value +1.1% Sector Outperformers: 1) Steel +3.1% 2) Pharma +1.7% 3) I-Banking +1.4% Stocks Rising on Unusual Volume:MULE, RRR, AIA, JELD, WAAS, EFAV, GLOB, BL, THS, BRX, DE, CARB, TYPE, FBR, KURA, KMPR, VRSN, WEN, DOOR, BXC, X, TWLO, QTEC, MHO, FWRD, COWN, CENX, NMIH, RRR, ETSY, CMG, ICHR, AMN, THS, KMPR, SYNT, BRX, AMAT and VRSNStocks With Unusual Call Option Activity: 1) GNC 2) ANET 3) FOXA 4) FITB 5) DE Stocks With Most Positive News Mentions: 1) DE 2) WEN 3) GVA 4) OMC 5) HD Charts: ETFs Rising on Unusual Volume Stocks Rising on Unusual Volume [...]