Thursday, May 31, 2012

Late night munchies (updated)

9:47 pm (Hawaii) Had another couple of very small losses today despite being up in one at an early point, and the fact that FAZ finished the day up off its lows didn't bring me any consolation. It finally fricking dawned on me: I've been trying to time breakouts (as was the case successfully last week) instead of simply, simply trading the ranges.

Yeah. It's that fricking simple. In hindsight, of course. We are now in the midst of all this PMI economic news across the globe, not that any of it changes the banking nightmare in the Western world. It's bad enough that one Mr. Fly, who has always insisted that the puppeteers will have no choice but to print en masse sooner or later, is cautioning against hero behavior in this wretched market.

Under a do nothing scenario, stocks will crash. Economies will grind to a halt and life as you know it will change. I am fairly certain, under a full retard scenario, the markets will close, possibly for months until shit gets figured out. They’d have to do this in order to avoid bank runs.
My advice to you: keep the majority of your net worth out of the market. It’s okay to play with stocks, since we all like to gamble. But it won’t be funny if your net worth gets halted for trading for 6 months, while you starve to death in your fucking Mcmansion. This advice applies to short sellers too. Your fantastic tailwinds will be kept away from your purse, if the markets go on holiday.
A bit more from Le Fly regarding the possibility of deflation:
This is as bad as it gets. The markets are tame because people believe QE3 or some bailout is around the corner. If we do not get either, bear with me as I prepare this next sentence: WE ARE GOING DOWN 5,000 DOW POINTS IN SHORT ORDER. 
Rumors that Greece cannot secure credit to buy oil, are running rampant, and have been forced to secure it from large European corporations, with onerous conditions. Spanish and Italian credit is in danger too, which is why oil is tanking so hard. See, boys and girls, that’s what deflation does. Credit is non-existant and money becomes scarce. Food, oil and basic materials will not be delivered.

Update 11:08 pm Business Insider reports that European markets and US futures are sinking because of the PMI data. An hour ago, futures were roughly -45. They're now at -81. But really, the more this teeters off center, the closer the market gets to a reprieve from the central banksters. Or not.
Josh Brown:
In 2008, with global markets in free-fall and the Beijing Olympics looming, the Chinese Ministry of Doing Whatever The Fuck It Wants pulled a stimulus package out of its ass so large that it represented almost 20% of the country's GDP. We're talking General Tso's Shock and Awe. 
And it did the trick - a little too well. Chinese real estate and infrastructure spending went banoodles, getting to the point where they were building ghost cities just to keep the machinery cranking and home prices greatly exceeded what anyone could actually afford to pay. The central government decided enough was enough and began to use policy to tamp down on the bubble. And things haven't been the same ever since.

This story in the NY Times is more than two years old, but already Spanish citizens were stuck between a rock and a hard place, unable to return to farm labor jobs. Like China, an unprecedented construction boom preceded the inevitable downturn in the economy.

Not a pretty place for the average joes of the world. Always getting screwed over, sure 'nuff.

Wednesday, May 30, 2012

Looking ahead (updated)

2:39 pm (Hawaii) Kinda regretting not holding any FAZ. Realizing that smaller positions, even smaller than what I've sometimes traded, will work best through the choppiness.

Business Insider: Nikkei tanks right away as industrial output comes in weak (May 30)

But @TraderFlorida has been spot on in regard to technical analysis, riding AAPL down until last week, and now he's bullish on it for the short term.

TraderFlorida (video): Nice bounce today (May 30)

I'm all cash for now. Who knew AAPL would jump $10 while the Dow would plunge 160?

From earlier today:

Business Insider: ECB sends out rejection of FT report that it blocked Spanish bank recap (May 30)
Business Insider: Here comes the busiest 48 hours in history of economics (May 30)
Telegraph: Spain faces 'total emergency' (May 30)

Update 8:53 pm 

AZ Daily Sun: Asia stocks fall as Italy, Spain bond costs rise (May 30)
Orange County Register: Robert Samuelson: Why is there no Greek bank run? (May 30)
Bloomberg: Spain's banking rescue should become example for Europe (May 30)

Wacked Wednesday? (updated)

3:46 am (Hawaii) Didn't like my trades yesterday. Liked the market whiplash even less. Aimless but I got myself stuck in that merciless washing machine. This time, the market shows direction (down) and I'm back in with FAZ (at 26.78) and TVIX (at 8.48). The TVIX position is quite small this time, meaning I can withstand a 2% or 3% drop. Stop losses, as always, are in place.

Why the drop in indices today (1% to 1.3%)? China says no stimulus, serious stimulus is coming. Is this really news? No. But volume is in this negative market today.

Update 3:56 am A wtf moment indeed. FAZ dipped to 26.69 and stopped me out. But TVIX went even more dippy down to 8.45 and stopped me out. It touched 8.45 for a few seconds and ran back up to 8.55. In other words, they played me and my stop loss orders. I'm at a net loss (very small) but it sucks that I was up (small) for the past 25 minutes or so and got suckered. Yeah. Note to self, no stop losses on TVIX from now on.

Update 11:08 am Woke up about 25 minutes ago to see the Dow closed -160. Indices were off by 1 to 1.4%. But the move in financials, FAZ, TVIX are major. My entire Debt Spiral list is red with big losses today. FAZ fell to 26.99, then ran into the close and is at 27.55 after hours. In other words, I would've had a winning trade if I'd stayed in. (I wouldn't have held all the way down below 27, but I could've started a new position in that area.)

TVIX, which I bought early today at 8.48, dipped to 8.32 by 2 pm Eastern time before running hard. TVIX was at 9.10 after hours and is now at 8.94. I traded in and out of FAZ and TVIX with zero success today. Time to change strategy. I had the right picks, but the wrong timing.

It's unpredictable even though so many bloggers and analysts claim it is not. Sure there's a bounce ahead, but when? Nobody really knows anything except that when it bounces, it will be big. Until then, the dollar keeps rising, the euro keeps dropping (below 1.24) and my timing needs to be better.

Oddly enough, AAPL ran to 579.99 before cutting back to 578.10 after hours, up 1% for the day. @TraderFlorida, as usual, is dead on about AAPL's bounce. His call was bullish if AAPL gets above 576 on big volume. Today's volume, 13.4M shares, is a bit more than Monday and Tuesday levels, but not close to last week's numbers (22M+).

AAPL up, Apple plays down

Tuesday, May 29, 2012

Bouncy indeedie (updated)

4:11 am (Hawaii) Volume plus a bounce on the bull side got me into FAS at 81.75. I was up a teeny bit when the consumer confidence report was released and I got stopped out flash crash style for a small loss. Within a couple of minutes, FAS rallied off 81.25 and head right up to 82. I re-entered at 82.25, put my stop loss order in and it has ranged around that price since.

AAPL had been up to 570 briefly, came down to 566+ and is now back at 570. If there is no bad news coming down the pike, this bounce could last a few sessions or more. Short squeezes galore.

Update 4:38 am Out of FAS at 82.15, teeny loss. JPM tanked horribly even as FAS stayed above 82. In the meantime, AAPL surged higher. So that ended the FAS trade. Whatever happened with JPM, I wasn't going to stick around waiting to see FAS drop like a rock, too. Got in AAPL at 573 with a stop loss in. AAPL is already up $10 (+1.8%) but if today turns out to be pivotal, even just for a short-term bounce, there's way more upside coming. If.

Update 1:59 pm In AAPL at 573, stopped out at 570.50. Wicked churning and I should've had the sense to stay the hell out. AAPL closed above 572, but dipped below 571 in the past hour or so after hours. Three trades today, three small losses, but psychologically not good. Need to protect confidence and capital.

Friday, May 25, 2012

Weekend cinema & library (updated)

10:37 am (Hawaii) Gold (and silver) got a nice gap up this morning thanks to the CME mafia's loosening (death) grip on margin requirements. Most of the market though was flat, meandering, aimless. The skeptic in me wants to be in FAZ since we have Memorial Day weekend ahead and that gives the Euro boneheads three entire days to keep screwing their system up. (Is it reasonable to expect such disparate cultures and nations to be unified? We would never enter a union with Canada, Mexico, Panama and Haiti, would we? Bad comparison, I know, but how can Germany not despise Greece at this point?)

So gold's leap higher appeals to the optimist in me. Maybe the puppeteers are ready to jolt this market to new highs like 2011. But craziness in the euro zone is going to happen, just a matter of when. So I remain neutral, all cash.

Bloomberg: Deutsche Bank's Fitschen said failed Greece lacks leaders (May 25)
Zerohedge: About that European stress test (2011) and where pain in Spain is raining next (May 25)
Zerohedge: Greece has proved that ECB bailout scheme based on lies, fraud (May 25)

Update Monday 8:14 pm The pessimists/realists/skeptics could be right 99% of the time. I could agree with them 99% of the time. But that 1% they're wrong could be precisely when the market bounces. Probably when more fiat starts rolling off the digital presses. Then what? What good will it do anyone to be short the market?

Still, it's good to hear both sides of the story.

Economic Collapse: 25 signs that smart money has written off Southern Europe (May 28)
Reggie Middleton (video): Breaking down muppetology (May 28)
Le Fly: One more great trade until September (May 28)

Sandstorms and saliva (updated 9:46 am)

1:25 am (Hawaii) Traded just once on Thursday (small loss in TVIX, a truly wicked bitch of an ETF), just busy running errands, getting things done. No choice. Had to be done. Trading in a thin market that does nothing but eat its own vomit? Yes, I can take a pass on that even if I'm not running around away from from home.

This morning, CME mafia is lower margin requirements. I haven't kept track much of precious metals for months, so if this is a first this year or last, this might be huge news. Remember when CME kept raising margin requirements awhile back? They did it four times in nine sessions and gold spot price cratered.

So, my conspiracy theorists out there, is this an engineered move to get the market rolling higher?

MarketWatch: CME Group cuts margins for gold futures (May 25)
NY Times: In Spain, bank transfers reflect broader fears (May 25)
CBS News: EU summit ends with lots of uncertainty, few plans (May 24)
Bloomberg: Monti says Germany can be persuaded on euro bonds (May 24)

Update 8:43 am Back in FAZ at 26.91. I bought (impulsively) on a spike from 26.72 to 26.93. Soon as I re-entered, it sold off back to 26.75 or so. My stop loss was in place had it gone lower. Now FAZ is back to 26.91. Volume that spiked in the past 30 minutes. Roughly an hour and a half ago, both FAZ and gold rose and held their gain. Banks selling off and gold rising? Unusual.

AAPL also made a run during that time, from 560 to 563, but gave back all of it and more in short time. AAPL fell to 559+ and is now above 561. Thin market, unpredictable, a lot of games being played.

Not planning to hold FAZ over this three-day weekend. There's always the possibility of some form of compromise out of the euro zone. There's also the possibility of ugliness as tension rises in Greece and Spain.

Update 9:46 am Out of FAZ at 26.93 (+0.02/share) for a break-even trade. It ran a bit to 27.13, but I just raised my stop loss instead of selling for a smallish profit. The market is indecisive as ever going into the close.

Wednesday, May 23, 2012

Postmarket prognasticating

11:31 am (Hawaii) Well well. On TV, the jabbermouths at CNBC claim that EU leaders went into tonight's summit with an open mind about Eurobonds. Yet this story in Ireland's Journal notes that Merkel remains staunchly against such things.

“I believe that they are not a contribution to stimulating growth in the eurozone,” Merkel said, adding that such instruments were expressly forbidden by the EU’s own treaties.

Can't blame her. This story came out roughly at 5 pm Eastern (35 minutes ago), which may explain the little pop in FAZ after hours. It's at 26.85 on the usual thin volume. AAPL is smoking hot, now at 573. I'd love to re-enter, but anything negative out of that summit will knock the market down immediately.

Huge hump day (updated 9:55 am)

5:31 am (Hawaii) It could be huge. Or just a puff of smoke blowing by. Will anything really change with the "informal" EU summit?

Re-opened a position in FAZ at 28.05. With each passing day in May, it's easy to say in hindsight that it's better to just let a position run. Just hold it overnight; Europe is a long way from printing more euros. But I've been burned before on overnight holds of FAZ. And mornings like this when I can't get wake up before 5 am, too risky. There's time to catch any (Eastern time) afternoon runs.

RTE News: What can the EU summit deliver? (May 23)
Bloomberg: European Banks Unprepared for Greek Exit from Euro (May 23)

Update 6:44 am Stopped out of FAZ at 28.25 (+0.21/share). Tiny profit, I'll take it. Volume at its softest of the day as FAZ faded from its high. Indices are all roughly -1.3%. Nothing bullish (or bearish) out of the EU summit. Yet.

Update 6:58 am Re-entered FAZ at 28.24 as it bounced off a swing to 28.15. Stop loss as always is in place. Volume low, whipsaw action could get more drastic. Maybe at the top of the hour.

Update 7:23 am Stopped out of FAZ at 28.07 (-0.17/share) for a tiny loss. I'm now break even for the day. The chart looks like it's tiring and the indices are starting to rally a bit. (DJ -1.1%, Nas -1%, S&P -1%.) FAZ could jump from here, but I'm not going to force a trade.

AAPL back in the green, now 559.40, up more than $2. No idea if it will stick, though @TraderFlorida has a clear-cut view of where it will go.

Update 7:52 am The Fibonacci retrace from today's high (off yesterday's close of 27.03) is at 27.90. FAZ was at 27.88 just a minute ago, now bouncing to 28.03. Funny how that usually works. A little more volume and I might be convinced.

Update 7:58 am Back in FAZ at 28.06. Stop loss in place.

Update 8:03 am Need to check news far more frequently. This hit the wire at about 7:15 Hawaii time (45 minutes ago):

Bloomberg: Greek Capital Boost May Help Banks to Staunch Deposit Outflows (May 23)

FAZ was at 28.20 before this headline. Then it plummeted to 27.88, which I saw earlier. But I left my stop loss alone after buying at 28.06, and it's now back at 28.10 after wavering below 28. The injection of 18B euros ($23B in dollars) is a band-aid on the bank jog problem.

Update 8:34 am Stopped out of FAZ at 28.12 (+.06/share) for the teeniest of profits. It was up to 28.32 and yanking back violently in the past several minutes on strong volume.

Update 8:44 am That was ugly. Entered FAZ at 28.03, and the second it hit, it slumped to 27.98 and it got fugly after that. Dropped to 27.83 in a matter of 1 minute if that and I was stopped out for a small loss. Volume was big, and I should've taken the cue from a long red candle on the 3-min chart just 12 minutes ago or so. Trying a bit too hard here, time to step away.

Update 9:35 am In AAPL at 568.80. Passed on it earlier at 566. Stop loss is fairly tight. Strictly a day trade. Nasdaq crossed over to green a couple of minutes ago. The summit in Europe has the market bullish for the time being.

Update 9:47 am Out of AAPL at 570.80 (+2.00/share) for a tiny profit. I raised my stop loss a few times, but once it hit 572.80 and sold off fast, I needed to get out. I wanted to change the stop loss to a limit sell for a higher price, but it moved a little faster to the downside and I chose not to get too greedy. Just wanted to get out with a profit and took a price below bid due to the speed of price action downward. (Stop loss was at 570.30, so I did better making the quickie adjustment.)

No way I would've held AAPL overnight. Too much risk at the summit.

Update 9:55 am Euro madness? More like euro anxiety. Tempting to get a little position in FAZ here, being pessimistic on Greece, but probably staying out until we get some news from the summit.

Reuters: Eurozone tells members to make contingencies for Grexit (May 23)

Furious anger awaiteth?

12:02 am (Hawaii) "Awaiteth" surely can't be a word, but I like the way it sounds right after "furious anger." Here's another piece by one of my favorite stock bloggers, Le Fly. He's very somber, not a lick of humor. That kind of saddens me. Here, Fly asks, 'Can it possibly get any worse?'

I had my share of a bad trade or two this month. But I managed to avoid getting long and deep these past couple of days. That's nothing to be proud of; my quick triggers and paranoia prevent me (often) from those nice, large gains, while a pro like Le Fly banks and banks and banks. But he's up a river of worry right now. Hope it works out.

Scott Bleier, who blogs on Le Fly's site, suggests going all cash in the 401(k) before the market crashes. In an earlier blog, Bleier notes this:
This year is just like last year. And the year before. And being an election year won’t help. Remember what happened in 2008?

Tuesday, May 22, 2012

Bankster purgatory

11:45 am (Hawaii) Morgan Stanley (MS) hit 13.90 early in the day as the RobotMarket pushed financials higher and higher for a second day in a row. But it is now at 13.10 and falling after hours on news that Massachusetts has subpoenaed the company over the Facebook mess.

Add to this the coming congressional hearings into JPMorgan that will give every media channel an abundance of Jamie Dimon footage (ie plank walking interrogation) and it's unlikely FAS and the finnies will rally again for awhile. So why am I not long FAZ?

The whole Greek show tomorrow is going to set the table tomorrow. I'd rather wait for that first.

Rudderless market (updated 12:32 pm)

8:08 am (Hawaii) I still think the robots are in control, just not as firmly as yesterday. AAPL ran to 573 and ran out of steam. The buying ended and it has since pulled back to 563 where it drifts in an abyss. The indices looked about ready to give all its gains back today, but have stayed positive in the past hour.

Somehow someway the financials are getting a "lift". That's where I think G8 hit the switch and got the robots cranked up. Again. 95% of my Debt Spiral list is green, and that includes NBG and STD. JPM is up 5.3% to 34.24 even though it is (in my mind) almost certain that their losses are about to double or triple (or worse).

Sure no stock goes to 0 in a straight line, but this is borderline comedy that insolvent institutions are being propped up on nothing (that we peons can know about). In the end, the printing presses will hum. In the end-end, they will not. But that's not today and I haven't hit a buy order yet. All for the best.

Some reading for your pleasure and education:

Jim Wyckoff: Top 10 mistakes traders make (May 21)

Update 9:25 am Back in FAZ at 26.85. I wanted in at 26.70, missed it by a hair. Was looking for a breakout above 26.80 or a pullback to the range low of 26.55. Indices pummeled in the past 15 minutes. Nasdaq in the red with AAPL back to 557.

Greek/Eurozone has a big day tomorrow. Not looking to play either side, just watching FAZ price action, have my stop loss in place. So much for that dead cat bounce. JPM had been up large today, pulling back now to 34.09. It was at 32.99 early today. Might close there, who knows.

When AAPL started to crater, I just didn't have the guts to short it. I've never shorted anything directly, only through something like FAZ. But AAPL has already hit 546 recently, my Fibonacci retrace price (from 396 to the 644 high), and it was at 521 just two sessions ago. Strange times indeed.

Update 9:41 am FAZ reached higher, above 27.40, before pulling back some to 27.29. My stop loss target has been raised three times already. Maybe four.

Greece's former PM feels no obligation to toe the party line, the EU line, the ECB line, any line. His words today are fuel for the fire on financials like JPM, which is now sub 34 (33.93) and eroding.

BBC (video): Papandreou: Greek euro exit would 'destroy' economy (May 22)

Updated 9:52 am Out of FAZ at 27.33 (+0.48/share). Sticking to price discipline even though FAZ could easily open tomorrow above 27.50 or even 28.00 with the way the whole Greek bank run/Eurozone paranoia is shaking out. Just had to secure a decent profit before traders do the same in these final minutes before the bell.

Might try a very small position right before the bell to play tomorrow's scenario. Just don't see the Greeks coming to any kind of compromise with eurozone. It's too early for the new politicians.

Updated 12:32 pm In all, I changed my stop loss on FAZ eight times in that last trade. It was worth it each time.

Monday, May 21, 2012

Machines rule earth

7:44 am (Hawaii) I woke up early enough to get out of DGP at 47.74, taking a small loss (-0.46/share) on a weird open. I was totally worn out by this cold and sleep debt though, and crashed out until now. The indices are up and strangely enough, internet/social stocks started poorly and spiked after that roughly 30 minutes in. YELP, for example, sank to 16+ but rose to 20 or so.

FB is down 9% to 34.79, but it was at 33 earlier. AAPL is up 4.4$ to 553. It hit a recent low of 521+ on Friday and closed that day at 530. FAS is up 2.6% though JPM is down 2.7%.

Strange day, indeed. DGP has drifted, still red, now at 48.00. The G8 effect has been minimal, did little to help bulls or bears. gold bugs or bank haters.

Volume is weak. AAPL volume is at 15M+ shares; it was at 26M+ on Friday.

The machines are in control. Again. I suppose this is the one thing that was generally agreed upon at Camp David over the weekend. It feels like melt-up time again.

Friday, May 18, 2012

Weekend library & cinema (updated)

G8 gathers at Camp David this weekend

"We think the worst is over for the euro," said David Bloom, currency chief at HSBC. "The central banks will have to step in massively and that will be a soothing balm for the markets. The Fed is already leaving the door open for more QE. We could see quite a powerful rally."
Financial Times: Spain hit by rise in bad bank loans (May 18)
ABC News (Australia): Greece tops G8 agenda as markets tumble (May 18)
The World: Moody's downgrades Spanish banks (May 18)

Library of Barcelona

No fizzling out for FAZ (update 11:37 am)

9:02 am (Hawaii) Back from doing some work on the road. Between that and this cold, I've been feeling ragged and had to get sleep this morning. I missed the run for FAZ, which opened in the 27.50s/27.40s area and would've been a great re-entry point. (I sold yesterday at 27.54.) It ran to 28.51, then pulled back to the 28.00 area by the time I woke up. I almost put in a buy order, but the possibility of profit taking at the end of huge week — FAZ was 22.88 a week ago — had me willing to go do my work and be patient.

I re-entered after returning at 27.65. That was just a few minutes ago. It went to 27.76 (and I raised my stop loss), but now it seems profit taking is truly kicking in and my stop-loss price is about to kick in. If that happens, it's a quite small loss and I can live to fight another day. That's the biggest takeaway for this week. Stop-loss is necessary. Mandatory with a fast mover like FAZ (3x ETF). Mandatory with a pushover like GSVC. The big losses are rare but they knock me down and erase all of the small wins. Price discipline is key.

FB is now at 38.65, just over its IPO price, despite a lackluster market. That's being kind. This is a correction we're in. I'll be happy to get some FB at 25 or 30. They always pull back, the IPOs. Doesn't matter how great the stock and company are. Patience is key.

Update 9:20 am Stopped out of FAZ at 28.53 (-0.12/share). Tiny loss. As expected, traders holding from 27.50 this morning or all the way down to 22+ a week ago are cashing in for the weekend. FAZ has bottomed near term at the 28.40 area, now rising again. Should be interesting how the new buyers do against the heavy selling.

Update 9:36 am Back in FAZ at 28.66. Stop loss in place. Seems preposterous to be buying it when I sold yesterday more than a dollar lower, but that was a long time ago in the FAZ universe.

Update 9:39 am FB pulling back to 38.00, but there's a huge wall of buyers there with orders of 16K, 27K, 65K, 51K, 3360K (3.36 million shares?) protecting the price.

Update 9:47 am Stopped out of FAZ at 28.72 for a teeny gain. Thought about selling when it hit 28.92, but that was so quick. It went from that high to 28.80 in an instant. Let the trade ride instead of trying to change, adjust on the fly. That can be dangerous if a stop loss order is changed to a limit order while the price is sprinting either way.

Update 9:52 am It's hard to listen to gold. Spot gold is up big the past three days, an indication that the Fed/puppeteers are ready to unload trillions in new fiat currency. Damn austerity, they cry. So gold is tempering my desire to trade FAZ one more time before the closing bell.

Update 9:57 am Entered DGP at 48.10 before the closing bell. There will be some consensus out of Europe this weekend about stimulus, new bonds, whatever the hell the can imagine and create to soothe the overheated markets. I'm staying out of FAZ here. The only way I'd stay in is if I'd stayed long since 22.88 (a week ago).

Update 10:28 am DGP moving higher after hours, now 48.31 on thin volume. My position is small and it would take a serious move higher for me to consider selling. Weekend in Eurozone at the G8 meeting will be interesting. If there's some progress, FAS will run. If not, the weight of these "bank jogs" will take a toll.

Update 10:38 am I've probably underappreciated the effect of JPM on FAZ today. JPM hit an intraday low of 33.01 or so today, and the news from them continues to be horrible. Loss on that botched "hedge" trade is likely $5B, not $2B or $3B. I won't be surprised when it turns out to be $10B. They can't unwind it so they just keep betting against it on the other end.

So, even if/when Europe starts taking steps toward really dealing with the issues in Greece and Spain (and Portugal, France, etc), FAZ could still jump on problems at JPM. How much, don't know. But the kryptonite will be a new round of stimulus, and there's nothing that will help FAZ by then.

When that round of QE/whatever you want to call it is over, though ... gold and FAZ will spike like nobody's business.

Update 11:37 am FAZ coming down, like yesterday, in after hours trading. Now at 28.65. If it can pull back lower, say to 28.30, I might pull the trigger. Why hold DGP and FAZ? The onset of fiat currency printing alone fuels gold. The bank runs and political schemes to control ban runs, even with G8 strategies, are just a thumb in the dike. Banks are in deep, deep kim chi.

Thursday, May 17, 2012

Why I avoid overnight holds

11:37 pm (Hawaii) I try not to hold overnight in this murderous hellhole of a market. One reason is that you never know what the banksters will cook up next. In Spain, they're asking for short-selling bans.

MarketWatch: Europe stocks fall after Spain bank downgrades (May 18)
Other Spanish banks such as Banco Santander SA ES:SAN +2.18% STD -1.94% —dropped two notches by Moody’s—and BBVA SA ES:BBVA +2.79% BBVA -2.93% added 2% and 3% after a report in Spanish daily Cinco Dias said Spanish banks were going to ask regulator CNMV to reinstate a ban on short-selling of domestic banks. A spokeswoman for the regulator said there had been no changes.


8:28 pm (Hawaii) Not that I'll buy a single share of FB in the morning, but this is worth storing away for (possible) listening later. The Facebook conference call, May 16 (yesterday).

Facebook conference call

Update 11:40 pm My guess? First day, FB reaches a high of 69, closes at 51.

All things bankster (updated 12:30 am)

4:58 am (Hawaii) Even without making another trade, I find it fascinating, a bit scary and definitely entertaining that the common man in Greece — and now Spain — is taking his and her hard-earned money out of the banks there. The banks can lie to us forever, but how long can we keep believing them?

Update 6:11 am Back in FAZ 25.75. Wish I'd gotten back in at 25.25, but played it safe. Price consolidated for awhile (ie about an hour?) before it jumped at noon Eastern time. Now at 27.24. Put in a stop loss right away and have raised it twice. TZA (3x Small Cap Bear) is interesting too but I'm late on that).

Update 6:21 am Stopped out of FAZ at 27.05 (+0.30/share). Pros and cons of stop loss on a play that has done nothing but go up for the past week. (I had it at 22.88 just a few days ago, sold it too soon.) But FAZ will swing and swing and swing. That is a guarantee. Now at 26.98. Will re-enter at a lower price. Or not.

Update 7:23 am Back in FAZ at 26.82. Stop loss in place. A drop from here to the bell would be the end of a daily streak that takes the price higher from morning/mid-day to close. A lot of "tweezer" candles (as StockGuy22 would say) on the 3-min chart. Not promising.

Update 7:43 am FAZ at 27.00, raised my stop loss. CNBC reports that Fitch has downgraded Greece again.

Update 8:41 am FAZ hit 27.32, high for today. Raised my stop loss again. Debating whether to hold overnight, but price action will dictate before I get to decide, probably.

Update 9:08 am Almost got stopped out of FAZ again, but since it has exploded from the 27.18 area to 27.34 (again). It was tempting to get more shares but I'm comfortable with this position size. Can't make it all back in one swing.

Update 10:08 am Holding FAZ for now. It hovered around 27.70 near the close, then jumped to 27.80 at the bell and is above 27.90 after hours. No question the banksters are shorting themselves and will ride all financial bear ETFs until the money printing machines start humming again. Decided against adding more FAZ (or starting a position in TZA). Stop loss still in place after raising it several times. Giving it more room than usual. Still leery about holding this overnight.

Dow Jones -156 (-1.2%), Nasdaq -60 (-2.1%), S&P 500 -19.94 (-1.5%).

Is this bloodbath the market has "needed"? Or is there more to come? Facebook IPO has priced at 38.

SPY is still positive year to date. JPM closed at 34.05; it opened the new year at 34.06. How close is the market to getting stimulus? All the puppeteers are former bankers or ex-banking lobbyists, Obama needs bankster funding for his campaign, and it's an election year. It's a matter of when, not if, stimulus kicks in.

Update 12:30 pm Chickened out, sold FAZ after hours at 27.54 (+0.72/share). That's well off the high of the day (27.92) and I had plenty of opportunity to sell after the bell when it jumped above 27.80. But by then I started thinking seriously about holding overnight. But I can't do it. It's psychology. If I was making a big profit this year, this would feel like house money I'd be risking. But with the earlier loss today on GSVC, I feel obliged to make up for it. This sale of FAZ covers more than half of that loss. (Though if I'd sold at 27.90, that would've almost made up for the entire loss.)

After hours, the first plan was to hold the FAZ position and a stop loss order at 27.60 (good until cancelled). But as they moved the price into the 27.80s and 27.70s, I thought about selling right there instead. When it dropped to 27.60, that rang bells. Europe will probably be fugly in the morning with bad news and nothing good will come from JPMorgan. But after 11 down days out of 12 in the indices, plus Facebook's IPO, I prefer to stand aside and wait for the next opportunity than risk losing the profit.

Damn I'm a chickenshit!

Blood in the streets?

4:05 am (Hawaii) There's no blood in the streets. Yet. But one blogger/writer yesterday insinuated that the set up is there for an almost necessary bloodbath-type selloff for a couple of days. It was ChessNwine of who put it so frankly, and it makes sense. There are just no buyers for a number of reasons. Vacation. Fear. Lack of will.

There's blood in my account, no joke. I held GSVC overnight, it opened at 18.11 and I breathed a little sigh of relief, being down only about a quarter instead of 75 cents a share. Then it sold off for the next 30 minutes to sub 17. And it looked like the orders were after-hours style. In other words, lack of liquidity had the market maker manipulating price action. I got out at 16.80 for a major loss (-1.55/share) that adds up to more than 3% of my entire account.

That may sound insignificant to you, but I'm a small player and every dollar matters. I violated Rule No. 1: Don't lose money. In this instance, the only way I could've prevented this would've been by putting a stop-loss sell order in. I would've done it at 17.50 or so. But there's no question, this little stock is absolutely controlled and somebody cleared out all the stop losses to get the price back down. Another rule I broke: I didn't know that there had been a secondary on Friday (?) with shares at 16.25, which explains why the price tanked that day.

But price discipline, PRICE DISCIPLINE is always key no matter what events occur, and I had none this morning. It's a different time from the flash crash year; stop loss is almost necessary with a small stock in an extremely thin market. I hope this rant of mine helps someone reading this. Get your stop-loss in on a selloff day like this. Sure, the indices are down fractionally, but just about EVERYTHING is red. There are no buyers, and games will be played that take your stocks to shit.

FAZ rocketed above 27, so of course I regret not holding my shares overnight. The JPM news (losses now $3B) set the tone, along with the Greek bank run. FAZ was available at 26.20 or so early on today, but I was preoccupied with GSVC. They moved almost inversely, simultaneously. One plunged, the other surged.

Wednesday, May 16, 2012

Wednesday wind-down

2:39 pm (Hawaii) Not holding any FAZ, but the more I catch up on news, the more I wonder why I don't have at least a half-position. Chris Martenson's piece at Zero Hedge breaks it down best.

NY Times: Softening, Merkel says she is open to stimulus for Greece (May 16)
BBC (video): Greek Syriza leader Tsipras attacks EU and Merkel (May 16)
BBC: Watch deposit flight, not the eurocrats (May 16)
CBC (video): Greek bank run (May 16)
NY Times: Flight of Euros Accelerates, Adding to Greece's Worries (May 16)
Zero Hedge: This is the Greek ELA Borrowing Capacity (May 16)
Zero Hedge: What Happens if Greek Payments Stop: Goldman's Thought Experiement on 'The Day After' (May 16)
RT (video): Greek bank run starts (May 16)
Bloomberg: Greek Presiddent Told Banks Anxious as Deposits Pulled (May 15)
Zero Hedge: Has the Greek Bank Run Started? (May 15)
Economic Collapse: Bank runs in Greece will be followed by bank runs in other European nations

Funny how CNBC didn't show any footage of Greek bank runs today. Nada.

Windup Wednesday (updated 12:29 pm)

3:34 am (Hawaii) Feels like a pitcher on the mound, finally out of the dugout and throwing his first few pitches. I had bet against that hurler, thinking he'd get hit and hit deep by Europe. But the market is net positive this morning. Green everywhere. It's probably more of a dead cat bounce than anything, but it was enough to chase me out of my position in FAZ at 24.60, taking a loss of 0.70/share. That's a small loss, but it's still a loss and the losses are racking up.

Of course, soon as I sold, FAZ bounced right up to 24.82. So this rally isn't going straight up. Looks and feels more like a range bound move. Still holding GSVC, down a dime or so, not bad.

Update 5:09 am Still holding GSVC, which rallied off its low and is hovering at 18.25. FAZ exploded in the past 7 minutes from sub-25 to 25.27. In other words, had I held, I'd be almost break even.

Dow Jones nearly gave back all of its gains, was at +7 a minute ago. Are the algos buying up dips today? AAPL barely in the green. GRPN exploded to 13+ before pulling back to 12.65.

Update 5:23 am Bloomberg reporting that the ECB will not enact stimulus until June or July. That may explain the jump in FAZ and the selloff in the indices. Or not. Long FAZ at 25.10.

Update 7:10 am Reggie Middleton talked about insolvency in the banksters long ago and he's still right. This video is from around New Year's. He'll continue to be right until the next QE.


Update 7:46 am Indices biting the dust again. This has been far more predictable than I ever imagined. Wish I'd noticed the pattern sooner. Interesting piece on a Lehman/Greece comparison. But seeing AAPL plunge from 551 to 546 in the last several minutes is a stunner. I've anticipated AAPL doing a Fibonacci retrace to 546 and here it is. 

Update 8:16 am FAZ running above 25.60 as traders pile on the banksters. Below, the string of afternoon (Eastern time) upswings by FAZ.

Indices are fractionally down, AAPL still holding on at 546.

Update 9:20 am JPM was in the green much of the day, now struggling to stay above 35. That's rock bottom and it will probably dip a little more and remain stagnant for some time. AAPL at 541 ... spooky. This morning, when I sold FAZ (for a small loss), 70% of my Debt Spiral Dance (banksters) list was green. Now? It's 19% green, 76% red. Fugly, indeed.

FAZ his at 25.99. That's green for me, but the downturn in the indices means GSVC sold off in a fugly way, so I'm net down for the day so far.

Update 9:32 am Out of FAZ at 25.95, locked in profit of 0.85/share. There's plenty of upside from here, but 1) there's a huuuge load of shares waiting on the sell block at 25.98, 25.99, 26.00, and 2) this will likely sell into the close as traders rake in profits, and 3) I don't want to hold this overnight again.

This puts me just barely over break even for the day on closed trades. I still have GSVC sitting out there at 17.78, down from my buy yesterday at 18.35. Fugggly.

Update 12:29 pm All kinds of coverage of David Einhorn at the hedge fund conference in NYC. He doesn't say anything about HLF and it spikes 9%. He pans a few other stocks, they crash (get halted too). He raves about AAPL and it goes from 542 to 546 in the final minutes before the close.

Tuesday, May 15, 2012

Remorse in the rear view (updated)

8:09 am (Hawaii) It was premarket and I was in bed. The alarm went off, I check my sole position, FAZ. It was down in the 24.30s, not long after I'd gotten back in at 24.76 (the day before). I knew it was higher risk than usual since the financials (and JPM) had been beaten to a pulp for such a long time. The bounce had to come at some point, and this was it. I got out at 24.31 and took a small loss.

From there, FAZ eked its way higher, all the way to 24.87 several minutes ago. Now trading at 24.62. I haven't turned the TV on all day, but obviously, the JPMorgan shareholders meeting, the scuttle about possible investigation by Capitol Hill, etc are having an effect. JPM had rallied to 37.27, but is now back at 36.78. Is it a clean bounce or a dead cat bounce?

More annoying than frustrating, it's the trades I didn't make in GRPN and GSVC that I'll remember more. I got in GRPN yesterday at 13.30 and got out at 13.56.

Decided not to re-enter GRPN even though it seemed highly probable that the increase in Facebook IPO share price would have a ripple effect. That on top of the earnings beat and heavy short covering. GRPN opened with a huge gap up at 14.93, and has sold off since to 13.07. Still a 1.3% gain from yesterday's close, but all the after hours trading action has come and gone. This was 9.92 at the close on Friday, so there's going to be plenty of range trading.

GSVC and SVVC are pure beneficiaries of FB's bullish news. GSVC closed yesterday at 17.89, opened at 18.69 and has stayed up here. Now trading at 18.88, up 5.5%. SVVC is up 5.1%. This should've been easy money, but I was overly cautious.

Indices are barely green, but it wouldn't matter for the FB plays. AAPL is trying to stay above 560. No strength there. Today is a chance for bulls to reclaim the market. It's not happening.

9:17 am Back in FAZ at 24.96. Sure, it sucked selling in premarket way back at 24.31, but that's the past.  Moving on. AAPL cratered, as did much of the market, in the past 15 minutes or so, and FAZ began to take off. The Eurozone circus is too much and any big money that thought it would stay long today has pulled out and run for shelter. Can't blame 'em.

FAZ at 25.13, not assuming it stays here or goes higher. Ready to jump with my little parachute any time.

9:25 am Out of FAZ at 25.11, +0.15 per share, small gain. Now FAZ is 25.17. Timing...

10:08 am Traded FAZ for a quickie again, tiny loss. Would've been better off holding that buy at 24.96. I re-entered FAZ at 25.28, goes against my intuition, but today's closing momentum was decidedly negative thanks to Euro circus and continuing lack of confidence stateside. Also got back in GSVC at 18.35 after it sold off from 18.97 in the final hour.

Monday, May 14, 2012

Facebook roller coaster (updated)

12:07 pm (Hawaii) After the negativity from mainstream media last week on Facebook, two sources are saying FB will "increase its IPO price range to $35-40." One is CNNMoney's Maureen Farrell. See her tweet here.

That info was posted a few hours ago and I didn't see it. Otherwise I might have jumped back on board GSVC, which is at 18.20 after hours. (bid 17.93, ask 18.20.)

Here's MarketWatch saying basically the same thing about "large orders from retail investors." See the info via MW via IPO Botique

SVVC is practically unbuyable AH too: bid 28.87, ask 38.39. The move in GRPN plus the FB news is creating momentum, and the shorts are under fire.

Update 3:18 pm Kara Swisher reports that FB will debut at "$34 to $38."

Official pricing will be done on Thursday, she adds. 

GRPN fireworks show (updated 11:41 am)

10:19 am GRPN beat estimates and the stock spurted to from 11.76 (closing price) to 13.47 in 4 minutes. The Fibonacci retrace for that range is 12.86, and GRPN dropped to 12.72. Now it's at 13.16.

Too bad for me I broke price discipline and jumped in at 13.30 instead of waiting for the bounce (StockGuy22 is a master at that technique). The good thing is, momentum is on the stock's side for a change. This is strictly a short-term trade, definitely no gimmie since it's already up 33% for the day.

The effect of GRPN's beat is tough to measure right now. LNKD, SVVC and GSVC trade very lightly after hours, and the spread is enormous. But it's not a bad guess that they'll gap higher in the morning.

Update 10:53 am Here comes the pre-Fast Money move on GRPN, back to 13.30. Could pop a little more or fizzle depending on what the FM panel says. I expect a mixed bag from them. Nobody really likes the company's business model, but short-term momo is with the stock.

Update 11:07 am GRPN conference call underway, stock hit 13.44. Nearly sold half at 13.23 before the call. Hear it here. They've added more customers in Q1 than 2011 Q4, cut marketing costs big time. margins are 7% compared to a loss previously. They also have $1.2B in cash money. And 75% revenue growth in N. America. (info from Brian Bolan (@bbolan1)

GRPN now at 13.50. Looks like the shorts and pessimists have to acknowledge a better business model now.

Upate 11:12 am More info via Brian Bolan (@bbolan1) ... GRPN has added board members from AXP and Deloitte - deep financial and operating experience ... 30% of deals were done on mobile compared to 25% four months ago ... now does 1.5M purchases ... high online satisfaction survey, strong rollout of new merchant systems (Groupon rewards) - 2,500 merchants signed up ... more than 100K unique merchants in the quarter ... intl on a different technology platform, which is why the growth in NA was better ... first tech initiative underway ...

With 8.4% short interest, the covering is well underway, as well.

Update 11:41 am Got skittish and sold the position at 13.56 as it dipped (+0.26/share). Gave up a lot of paper profit after the run to 13.80, but I got a small profit on a quick trade, cannot complain about a + trade.

Always tempting to hold an earnings winner, but this run from 9.90 (yesterday's close) is massive and there will be fluctuations as traders take profits and new retail dives in. I'd rather play the swings than hold from 13.30. If GRPN is at 20 soon, then I'm wrong and it would be better to just buy and hold. But if it bounces between 13 and 15 all summer, it's a nice way to play the social trade.

Keeping it tight (updated 10 am)

3:04 am (Hawaii) Taking no chances, sold a small position in JPM at 24.24 (entry 23.57, +3%). Most gap-ups in the past couple of weeks get sold off after the opening bell. No good news for JPM over the weekend.

Update 9:34 am FAZ rose to 24.57 or so after I sold this morning (before the opening bell). No regrets though. Even with all the negative financial news, FAZ is not something that climbs to a peak and rests there. It's a pure trading vehicle, and through the day, there were three drastic pullbacks. It sat around 24.20 before making another major run higher in the past hour and is now at 24.65.

It's tempting to chase, but with the price up 4.6% for the day, I expect profit taking before the closing bell. Greece's politicians will meet again in the morning, and the flood of bad news out of JPMorgan will likely slow down some.

In addition, volume in FAZ is "only" 15M shares today compared to 20M on Friday. The run may be done for awhile, and once it slows, price will fall off a cliff, as always.

GSVC is fascinating. Now at 17.91 after touching 18.00 about an hour ago. It's up 4.7% today and up much more since bottoming at 16.25 on Friday (intraday) on a huge gap down. Facebook is moving a lot of the social stocks. LNKD +3%, SVVC +6.5%.

GSVC's volume is above average, but far below what it had on Friday (nearly 6M shares). It's another toy for the big boys, able to drop a dollar in a few minutes, leaving you and me as the retail bagholders instantly.

AAPL is testing its intraday low at 559.82. I still anticipate a drop to its Fibonacci retrace (range 396 to 644), which would be 546.

Update 10:00 am Considered going long GSVC even after a 4.1% gain today, but with GRPN announcing its earnings after the bell, too risky. Bad guidance and/or numbers would hit all the social stocks. I want to be in GSVC (made and lost on it the past two weeks), but this can wait until tomorrow. Or after GRPN's report.

Did get back into FAZ before the close at 24.76. The Greeks meet in the morning but my expectation is that nothing gets solved overnight. They'll drag it out just like everything else, accepting Euro help for decades and then complaining when their lifestyle is threatened.

AAPL traded down to 557.60 before the bell. Big money is off the field and watching from the VIP luxury boxes.

Friday, May 11, 2012

Friday flutter (updated)

2:53 am (Hawaii) AAPL has slid from 567 to 563+ in premarket. FAZ remains above 24, but there's been no move back to 24.50, which is where it was in afterhours trading yesterday. Less than an hour before the opening bell, 67% of my main watch list is red, albeit many of them don't trade at all before the bell.

Various scenarios could play out.

A. The market is long overdue for a bounce, and the JPMorgan debacle simply gives it a chance to capitulate (barf out remaining toxins) for the near term, bottom out and move higher

B. The market absorbs the JPMorgan-induced fears and refuses to crater, but also refuses to rally. A lingering fever with flu symptoms, so to speak

C. The machines are ordered to trade higher immediately, as has been the case in the mornings recently, before selling off in the afternoon.

C appears possible especially since it's a Friday and holding anything long over the weekend is not going to be a popular strategy.

There is, of course, a D. That would be a flush-out with the opening bell that stays down for the count through the entire day, and additional selling near the closing bell as traders run for the hills with Europe in flux and domestic financials unable (or unwilling) to guarantee that there will be no further JPMorgan-like screwups leading to losses in the beeeeeeeeeellions.

I'm not married to any of these or other possibilities. Must lock in and capture profits. Period.

Still long FAZ. For now.

Update 2:51 am Interesting that an NBC host is saying this morning that Dimon is still upset with the White House, yadayadayada ... seriously. After the environment that allowed Wall St to rake in huge profits and still get bailed out, that's ludicrous.

This can't end well for most of the banksters, though I doubt the bosses on top ever do time in lockdown.

Update 4:18 am out of FAZ at 23.48, a loss of 0.18 per. Small, small loss. But that's not relevant. What's relevant is I didn't pull the sell trigger while it sat there hovering around 24.12 after the opening bell. I was not prepared to see it go from 24.30+ just before the opening bell to 24.10+ at the bell. Plenty of sellers, should've anticipated that. 

But I contemplated adding more. I felt 24 was going to be a new floor instead of sticking to price discipline. So instead of a decent profit, it turned into a small (paper) profit. And when it couldn't hold 24, it was a nosedive to 23.60. I held through a couple of dips below 23.50 and finally got out. The indices are turning green, which means the whole JPMorgan mess didn't spur a major selloff, but may have completed (temporarily) the recent downturn. 

It's annoying to say the least. But JPM has held above 37, AAPL is back to 570 and FAS, which was below 90 earlier, is now at 93.20. 

FAZ is at 23.32 now, still up 2% for the day. But until more banks confess their derivative sins, buyers will keep pouring in. Maybe. 

So, it seems A and C are still in play. The sellers are out of product and buyers are waiting eagerly (A). Or the machines are buying up the market and will sell it off in the afternoon (C).

Nowhere does it seem possible the market heads lower, not if it can gulp down JPMorgan's mess and move up.

Update 11:15 am Indices were green for a majority of the day, then sold off toward the close. Nasdaq finished barely positive (+0.01%) while Dow was -34 (-0.27%) and S&P was -4.6 (-0.34%). Essentially, they were flat.

Business Insider reported that Fitch downgraded JPMorgan, which is interesting. Why Fitch and nobody else? How much fear is there of Dimon and his minions? People may despise the banksters, but he is what he is and he's usually fantastically good at it in a way that requires doses of finesse, outright thuggery and charisma. In other words, he would've been a hell of a mafia boss.

Mike Khow of Options Action suggested that ZNGA is one way to play the Facebook IPO. Said that Zynga is trying to steer its users to the company's website, to capture more ad revenue, etc. Still not touching that. Just like GSVC, which had a huge gap down to 16 today (from 18+) and rallied to 17+. It sold off on ... what? JPMorgan news? Are you kidding me?

Maybe I get a few shares of GSVC the next time it touches 16. But with FB so focused on its own game (yeah, Zuckerberg and his hoodie were a basic F-You to Wall St), it clearly didn't help FB plays like GSVC and SVVC much this week. They both were up big already this year, so buying GSVC at 18+ (I've done it) is an act of greed, to a degree.

But, the day is about done and the lesson is clearer than ever: Take profits quickly. As soon as I held FAZ more than overnight, for more than a few hours (or minutes), it loses footing and falls through the ice. During the latest run (in the past 24 hours), I've owned it twice and had two very small losses. Both times, I had decent paper profits.

Back in FAZ before the closing bell. We're only 1/3 of the way through May and there's no clear catalyst in sight for the rest of the month. If Europe's financial disaster gets a little fixed up over the weekend, I'm ready with some gunpowder to load up long. But Greece doesn't fix anything soon with that cast of characters.

Update 11:31 am AAPL ran from 561+ to 574+ this morning during the post-JPM rally. Then it sold off back to 566+. I still anticipate a pullback to 546 (Fibonacci retrace). Apple had a little iCloud leak/peak today, and there was talk on CNBC about the Apple TV, a supposedly leak from Foxconn in China.

'People with knowledge of the matter'

I find it amusing and interesting that mainstream media would refer to supposedly credible sources — "people with knowledge of the matter" — rather than quote them when it comes to something like Facebook.

Bloomberg's piece about supposed soft demand for IPO shares doesn't bring anything new to the table. So what's the point of the piece? Doesn't really seem to be one, other than the reporter was assigned to come up with something about FB before deadline and this is the best she could do.

Seriously ... she refers to "two people" without offering anything but general blahblahblaah.

Here's the story: Facebook IPO said to get weaker-than-forecast demand (May 10)

What Facebook/Zuckerberg have said recently about the priority — product over profit — says more than anything written in vague references.

I'm not long GSVC or SVVC or anything FB related, so I don't care if the IPO sinks or swims. But readers deserve a little more than what this piece offered. I suppose Bloomberg won't push harder for something with more substance. So I pass on most Bloomberg links.

Thursday, May 10, 2012

Turning point Thursday (updated)

Or maybe it's no turning point at all. The market's been down for so many days. It hardly even matters if it's decidedly bearish for awhile. Technically, it's due for a bounce. That's why I was hesitant about going long FAZ (in other words, short financials) after hours yesterday.

It worked nice in a tiny way, jumping from 23.17 to 23.40 or so, but this morning, FAZ is at 22.64 and I got out. I'm not stubborn enough anymore to ride out something like this (3x ETF) in this kind of skittish, fickle environment. If the market rallies in the near term, maybe FAZ will be available below 22 or 21 at some point (again).

AAPL, which I bought at 567+ and sold at 561+ earlier in the week, is now at 574+ premarket. When it moves with massive volume, I'll be convinced (maybe) that it's going somewhere. For now, just flopping on the table.

FAZ as a hedge of sorts when long AAPL works fairly well. FAZ as a stand-alone, not so good.

Update 10:46 am The pros and cons of stop loss orders. I got a handful of FAZ before the bell at 22.88. It ran to 23.07. Tried to sell before the bell, didn't sell. After hours, I put in a stop-loss limit sell order at 22.93, but it sank to 22.55. I decided to wait it out since the selling (and previous buying) looked like big money was just playing the weak hands.

Then a few minutes ago, news got out that JPM possibly has $4.2 billion in legal losses. FAZ jumped to 23.20 and kept going (to 23.70). Totally forgot about that sell order. So in reality, instead of a nice, quick profit, I was out just barely above break even.

The thing with stop losses and limit orders is that it should be maneuvered before price action gets to that level, not at the same general time. Otherwise, it's time to cancel it and set a new order, or change it. Being distracted by work doesn't help, of course.

FAZ now at 23.68, not really interested in chasing here, but this is huge news.

Update 11:07 am Back in FAZ at 23.66, watching closely. CNBC says JPM will talk at 5:30 Eastern. Fast Money boys not mincing words, tomorrow will likely be a rough day for financials. Adami believes it's not just JPMorgan that has a "whale" or prop trading disaster on hand.

FAZ now at 23.96.

Update 11:19 am Willing to see how this shakes out tomorrow. JPM's not saying anything that can reverse the bad momentum. FAZ now at 24.25 and gaining a new wave of momo.

Wednesday, May 9, 2012

Wild Wednesday (updated)

3:43 am (Hawaii) No truce in sight over the other side of the pond. Europe still frazzled and puzzled without a clear solution in sight, though it's inevitable after all this drama that stimulus will be the result. I sold GSVC at a small loss (17.98), sill holding AAPL, which is off its low (561+). FAZ is up 3% and I'm holding that too. The market seems to want to bounce here, so I'm leery of holding anything like FAZ. This is probably the last time in awhile I'll dip into GSVC; the small caps are getting squashed and AAPL is more prime to recover from this dip than anything else. Already back to 566.

Update 4:17 am Out of AAPL at 562. Tiny position, so the loss was miniscule. Market just doesn't have the push, buyers staying out, and AAPL's Fib retrace (546) is still in play, my guess. Still holding FAZ.

Update 4:39 am Out of FAZ at 23.53. Not quite the top, but it's teetering and I took the 4.4% gain. That leaves me at break even for this morning after the small losses on AAPL and GSVC. FAZ was my smallest position, so that insurance was welcome.

No idea where the market goes from here. After all these down days, a bounce would seem logical, but I'm not counting on that or anything else.

Update 10:01 am Back in FAZ, small position, at 23.17. (17 for Jeremy Lin, who is reportedly warming up for today's playoff game). No other positions, so this isn't a psuedo hedge like it was yesterday through this morning. I got some sleep through the session and was surprised to see AAPL moving to 572+ and GSVC rise to 18.50. AAPL is due for a bounce, but it will always depend on the institutional money, not us retail guys. And GSVC's move was very suspicious; it ran from sub 18 to mid 18 in a span of just 3 or 4 minutes. Then it sold off back to 18, then sub 18 within a few minutes. (GSVC is at 17.70 after hours.) There's a lot of funny money in there, big boys just using the market and the little guys like toys. So I leave that alone for now.

Same with ZAGG. I don't touch it, not with all the controversy, even though the product is gaining reach (via Wal-Mart, other big box stores). Too many tentacles on that thing.

Until Europe shows sign of maturity, the banksters are hanging on the edges of cliffs. Once talk of stimulus returns, I'll be happy go (and stay) long AAPL and FAS.

Tuesday, May 8, 2012

Turrbl Tuesday (updated)

7:00 am (Hawaii) Turns out Monday was no big deal compared to Tuesday's open. I slept through the first 3-4 hours, woke up to find that the indices are down 1.3 to 1.5%, and that my lone position, GSVC had dropped all the way to 17.50. But seeing it at 18.30 now was a relief ... until I refreshed my browser and realized that I'd forgotten that stop-loss order at 17.76.

In other words, I got GSVC at 17.72 a week ago, saw it run to 19.71 by late Friday, held it ... and sold it today for a 4-cent gain. Yeah. That sucks. The defensive measure, the "insurance" I had in case the market cratered, turned into a paper loss. In hindsight, I should've sold above 19, but frankly I imagined GSVC bolting above 20 this week with Facebook on its IPO tour.

It's something else to see a net account value rise nicely on just one fairly small position, then see it evaporate into a non event. Now the question is, do I re-enter GSVC at 1830? (Now 18.38.) Or is a play on the financials better? Or too late. FAZ is near its intraday high, up 4% to 23.02 as the finnies are in a bloodbath.

I'm going on the road in a few minutes, so managing anything will be almost impossible. Best to be neutral/flat in this market. But the GSVC trade today will take awhile to get over. It's just very difficult to manage things when the market opens at 3:30 am (Hawaii time) and I can't sleep early enough or stay up long enough.

Could be worse, of course. GSVC could be at 17 or 16. Then I'd be wishing I had a stop loss. Or I might be getting more shares.

Update 9:59 am Back in GSVC (moderate/half position) at 18.35. It held up on a selloff day, though vulnerable like nay other stock (as this morning showed). Still on the road, so I haven't had a chance to catch up on the market news. Looking at FAZ as a possibility (again).

Biggest question is not whether the EU and US get stimulus (stimuli?), but when the big money will flow back into the markets.

Felt real good to have GSVC the past week at 17.72. From this point on, though, for the next few days (or weeks), strict price discipline is required. Or I can have one position as a long-term hold and another for swing trades. I tried that with AAPL a few years back and did decent. Just couldn't hold on long term from 96 and 215. A woulda coulda.

Update 10:31 am AAPL bottomed today (for now) at 558.73, closed at 568.17. Lowest point since April 24, when it hit 555+ — the day before the earnings report. Is 558+ going to do it? Has it really filled the gap? I still look at 546 as the real test (Fibonacci retrace from 396 to 640).

Can't blame anyone for picking up some AAPL down here though. Nothing is wrong, nothing has changed (really) since the earnings blowout. But the worst in Euroland is yet to come, probably, and I would love to get some apples below 550. Is that greedy?

Which comes first for AAPL: a catalyst or big money simply having nothing left to sell any more?

Update 11:23 am Added a handful of FAZ. I realize the Greece/EU pile of shit news may be done (for now), but it's a little protection against my long position in GSVC. What I really want is to nibble into AAPL ... but without a real catalyst in the near future, there may be enough time to be patient.

As Germany, Greece and the EU, Germany is finally telling Greece that it is S.O.L.

National Post: Germany to Greece: No austerity, no aid

Monday, May 7, 2012

Mercurial Monday? (updated)

2:27 am (Hawaii) Asia wasn't so hot. Then Europe opened and the radical elections in France took effect. As a result, the Euro sank, as did finnies there, and FAZ got up to 23.42 in pre-premarket trading. In regular-people trading, which started 27 minutes ago, FAZ was up to 23.00. it closed at 22.48 on Friday (and I took a pass imagining that the EU would start babbling about another stimulus or some other shady hero action).

Fib retrace would put FAZ at 22.80, which is close to its current price (22.89). No rush to get in here.

Update 3:41 am Out of ZAGG at 11.50, a loss of 0.56 per share. Not a tiny loss, not a huge loss. But it was pointless not because the company doesn't have a huge revenue base in the future, but because there is so much negativity surrounding it. One essay/analysis after another from amateurs and academics alike saying the financial numbers don't add up, the company is not being forthright, blah blah blah.

At a certain point, I surrender rather than be stubborn. It's not about my ego. It's about price action, and 3% down is more than enough to walk away.

Meanwhile, AAPL is up 1.2% to 572. The Nas and S&P are green, Dow is down 30 points. Europe has not altered the US market after all. ZAGG is doing an awful tumble down the hill on its own just fine, now at 10.98. The shorts own this completely, as they showed last week.

Sunday, May 6, 2012

Apple Tree (May 6)

It's a sleepy, cool Sunday morning in the islands. Adding a video (and link) to this list from ZAGG. It's more of a promotional than anything objective, but it's worth a watch if you are long ZAGG. I didn't expect to be long after earnings, but the fundamentalist in me is winning the internal debate. It's the price action that's bizarro, and how that affects weak longs (me included) is a big issue.

Apple Tree
Broadcom (BRCM)

Cirrus Logic (CRUS)

Qualcom (QCOM)

Skullcandy (SKUL)
Fahad Kahlid: Chart by Opinterest (May 2 2012) Cool headsets. CFO quit recently. Never a good thing. 
SKUL down big after today's earnings report. 

Skyworks Solutions (SWKS)

Zagg Inc (ZAGG)

ZAGG: CEO thanks customers (May 4 2012)
Rupert Nicholson (Seeking Alpha): The stock that everybody should be considering (May 3 2012)
Nicholas Pardini (Seeking Alpha): Real numbers do not match reported earnings claims (May 3 2012)