Monthly Archives: December 2013

Another Year (Tchin)

priorite-a-droiteAre you already tired of top 10 lists and reviews; the best, worst, top, bottom, favorite, saddest, ugliest, or even funniest? The people we lost, the music, the films, and viral videos all get pulled off a virtual shelf then pulled from a a virtual box. In truth these lists are stored in a relational database and prepped for release in November. You never know – the top 10 most viewed YouTube videos might need to be recycled for 15.

Of course predictions will be arriving any day. Here’s mine: in 2014 Google will  start adjusting the “Lists of Top” I prefer, automatically. The top 150 wing-suit videos, 45 cat jokes and the 5 most effective Federal Reserve programs. They’ll appear on my android phone without my asking. Relational databases are smart but Google is much smarter.

Lists of absurdities still catch my attention. I admit. (Thank you FTAlphaville) It’s harder to define absurd and as far as I know, you can’t measure absurd in hits, votes or dollars. Absurd appears only in hindsight.

Here are a few of my favorite dubious absurdities:

  • Buying a Tesla with Bitcoins.
  • My telephone asking me if it should record my commute and share it with my friends on Google+. (Anyone that knows my routine will appreciate this just a little bit more.)
  • Nicorette prices fluctuating with the price of cigarettes.
  • Debt, QE and its positive impact on ‘growth’ forever.
  • Herbalife pyramids

When you live, work and eat in France, absurdity often passes into the realm of the surreal.

My trading year left a lot to be desired, it was frankly absurd. Absurdities abound and they deserve attention (with or without a relational database) and a few lists of their own.

Hello?

Gold – GC Analysis

Gold is one of my favorite and most frustrating products to trade, so it was a pleasure to ramble on and point out some technical levels. Enjoy the video.

Another Huge VIX Bet

Richy RichBloomberg reported today (here) a $5 Million VIX bet – 40,000 April calls with the VIX at 15.5 – this follows the $6 Million spread I saw in November  (here).

Things are getting interesting.

The trader purchased 40,000 April calls on the VIX with a strike price of 22 for $1.28 each, according to Trade Alert LLC. The bullish volatility bet was the biggest single block of options to change hands on U.S. exchanges, the research firm said. The VIX rose 0.8 percent to 15.54 today.

Investors are positioning for a possible jump in volatility with stocks poised for the biggest annual advance since 2003 after the Federal Reserve refrained from reducing monthly bond purchases. The central bank may begin reducing its $85 billion of monthly bond purchases at its Dec. 17-18 meeting, according to 34 percent of economists surveyed Dec. 6 by Bloomberg, up from 17 percent in a Nov. 8 poll.

“Customers continue to hedge their stock-market risk by buying upside calls in the VIX,” Mark Caffray, who brokers contracts on the index for clients at Chicago-based PTR Inc., said in an interview. “There have been very aggressive customer buyers of VIX calls in March 23, April 24, and today April 22 call strikes,” he said. “We do not expect this activity to subside until a Fed decision on tapering.”

An explanation from ZH which also suits this trade; “everyone remembers the summer very vividly, the last thing anyone wants is to be the last Kool-aid drinker at the centrally-planned party.”

That was fun

There we have it.

The S&P in moderate panic mode on news (presumably) that a budget deal is in the works. So good is bad for another Fed fix. It’s been a long time since we saw such a smooth ride down. I like this chart, look where we stopped, surprise.

ES Chart

For those of you looking at Fib extensions we have a bit more downside. (Or not…) What was so fun (and profitable) about today’s trading was the failure to find 1800 again and then the breakout under 1792.

These opportunities are rare these days, it was a beauty.

ES Chart Levels

The VIX screamed higher 10% to 15.42. This in itself isn’t so extreme, but if the end of the week shows some follow through we’re in for some volatility. Finally!

The other possibility is we’re going to find a range here 1775 -1805. That also offers some interesting possibilities.

Good Trading.

Selling Vol on the radar.

Urgent Request To Pump Up A Penny Stock

There’s a first for everything.

Yesterday I had an odd and urgent request: “I need a stock chart on TDEY — I need it done within 3 hours, and I need you to hype it saying looks like it could see an NTEK type move long run.” 

Curious, I thought to myself what could this be about, and what in the world is TDEY? Or for that matter, NTEK? I actually read ‘DDAY’ in my head… Being in Normandy. The guy sent me to a link for AZFL and a charting video (with over 115,000 views) . I thought, this IS curious.

I don’t know the first thing about Penny Stocks, who buys them or how they come to be. I don’t like to be completely ignorant so I poked around a bit. Obviously, even if I was  offered a small percentage of the company I wouldn’t “Hype” a company to manipulate its stock price. I’m naive maybe, Apple spends billions to do just that. I imagine a college kid (or small get-rich marketing team) pretending to be Goldman Sachs, Apple, Disney, or General Electric. Master of the(ir) empire.

First, TDEY – 3D Eye Solutions, Inc.
3D Eye Solutions is a service provider, a developer and integrator for the 3D Stereo and Auto-stereo media industry. Ok… There’s a 3D Stereo industry?

TDEY

Seeking Alpha does a better job digging in a bit. (here) and there are hundreds of sites concentrating just on Penny Stocks (example). This surprised me.

I won’t waste more of your time on this, but the urgency did get me thinking. I noticed volume in Penny Stocks. Another surprise. After a quick Google search you see a press release explosion in November and the spam energy moves into over-drive. I wonder if it’s the same guy sending all this crap out.  How many companies start out with Penny Stock funding? Maybe I should fund brandnet under this regime. Would that even be possible? I could be providing services for the 3D investment industry.

This parallel universe, is it for real or for charlatans and hucksters?

Johnny Cash

Johnny CashI have no explanation for it. Johnny Cash sings in my head. I don’t think his last name has anything to do with it, but I can’t entirely exclude the possibility.

Driving back to Paris on Sunday, I hear The Caretaker on FIP. Last night a friend in New Jersey tells me he’s coincidentally been on a Johnny Cash hokey-sentimental-reunion-tour, pulling out vinyl.

Maybe it’s the classic lines: The beer I had for breakfast wasn’t bad so I had another for dessert, or the holiday arriving, and A Johnny Cash Christmas subliminally starts to leak back into my consciousness.

I’m off track, and that, thanks to Grant Williams, who is growing increasingly frustrated with the state of the Gold Market. Aren’t we all?

His latest TTMYGH is as good as most, even if you’re tired with his fixation on Gold, you’ll learn something from his (what’s the adjective?) latest newsletter. He deconstructs Gold Price fixing. There is little doubt that 2 times per day in London a mini-cartel, with no legal constraints around their ability to trade or share trades, profits handsomely from their insight into forward prices. No manipulation there… He draws a common sense parallel with the London Gold Pool failure in 1967. Worth the read, again.

Besides Johnny Cash and Grant Williams, I’m intrigued today by the weakness in the S&P index. We’re all looking for signs of a top, might this be it? The VIX is creeping upward, and we see crowded Long Nikkei/Short Yen bets. What would a reversal confirmation look like, in a market that’s been climbing for years?

The chart mavens are calling in sick.