Reflation ETF Call Options Active on ISE: TBT, SLV, USO, UNG, MOS

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Reflation ETFs had the most customer call options/puts opened today on the ISE (International Securities Exchange). The ISE widget on the right column shows the most actives from the ISE Put/Call Ratio. The ISEE ratio is actually measured by Calls/Puts (opened) * 100. Today the reflation squadron topped the list (QE2?). In words:

Reads: Highland Hospitality, Treasury Butterflies/ES, Gross on GSEs, Waddell's Steve Avery on Markets

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  • BREAKING: Ex-Illinois Gov. guilty on one count, faces retrial - Reuters 
  • *Presenting The New Correlation Regime: Treasury Butterflies And Risk (2s10s30s/ES Chart) - Zero Hedge
  • U.S. bankruptcy claims trading hits record in July - Reuters 
  • Manager in flash crash: markets too fragile (Waddell's Steve Avery) - Reuters 
  • Trading Group Fined for Driving Up Oil Price ($12 million fine for 2008 $100 Oil)- FT
  • Pimco's Gross Urges `Full Nationalization' of Housing Finance - Bloomberg
  • Fed Buys $2.551 Billion Treasuries in Resumption of Purchases - Bloomberg
  • Dana in talks to buy more Suncor assets - sources - Reuters 
  • Dollar Libor dips again on low rate forecasts - Reuters (via Yahoo UK)
    • Gold rises to highest since July as euro gains - Reuters 
    • GM recalls Chevy Traverse, GMC Acadia, Buick Enclave, Saturn Outlook over seat belt - USA Today

    Similarities/Differences Between Japan of 1990 and U.S. Today (National Inflation Association Video)

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    Will the U.S. experience hyperinflation or deflation from here? The National Inflation Association thinks hyperinflation. They put out an interesting video explaining Japan's lost deflationary decade(s) and showed similarities and differences between "Japan of 1990" and the U.S. today. For example, the Japanese Government borrowed from its own citizens who saved their money, while the U.S. borrowed "$4 trillion" from foreigners and "$1 billion" from Japan", the narrator said. U.S. citizens are starting to save though. The Nikkei 225 (Japan Stock Index) peaked in 1989 at 38,900 and troughed in 2008 at 6,900 (-82% in 21 years). In 2008 it revisited the 2003 AND 1982 lows. See my post from 3/2009 with a long-term Nikkei chart. Deflation and unemployment were so bad in the 1990s that the Bank of Japan lowered rates to 0% in 2001. The Nikkei then followed the U.S. leverage bubble/bust and Yen carry trade/unwind. Which will it be, chronic deflation (Gary Shilling), hyperinflation or stagflation? Watching $TLT, $GLD and $SLV.

    Gregor Macdonald: We're in a Debt Deflation Depression, Nominal-to-Real Values Widening (MacroTwits Video)

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    Macro-economist, energy analyst, investor, Gregor Macdonald (
    @gregormacdonald on twitter), who writes about energy and economics at (w/ premium newsletter), and runs the MacroTwits Hour on StockTwits TV (Sunday/9pm eastern) had an interesting show last night. I embedded the video below. Here are a few topics he covered:

    • Fake Pound coins in circulation, Gresham's Law (bad money drives out good)
    • Treasury bond prices haven't broken their 2008 highs yet, how will they react to QE2?
    • We're in a "debt deflation depression" not recession; we're not in a 1930s style depression yet
    • Fed printing money vs. debt deflation and money velocity
    • Post-war economics and contemporary economists
    • Deflation in "real" vs. "nominal" terms, spread widening between nominal and real values
    • Potential end game for Japan and the Yen (JPY)
    • Downward revisions to GDP

    30-Year Fixed Rate Mortgage at Record Lows 4.44%, Falling Wedge Reversal Pattern (chart)

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    As of 8/12, the Freddie Mac 30-Year Fixed Rate Mortgage stood at 4.44%, a record low. I threw up a chart from the St. Louis Fed which starts at 1975. There will soon be a crazy multi-decade falling wedge reversal. It will be hard to time, but watch out for the bond vigilantes when rates start breaking out and Treasury volatility moves. Hopefully as a result of reflationary growth instead of stagflation. These rates are currently being fueled by the Fed and appetite for Treasuries by banks, savings et al. Also 78% of all "loan applications nationwide", according to the Mortgage Bankers Association, are refinancings (Washington Post).

    MORTGAGE30US - 30-Year Fixed Rate Mortgage US Average (Freddie Mac)

    Chronic Deflation Will Send 30-Year Treasuries to 3% (Gary Shilling)

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    Gary Shilling still sees a 3% yield on the 30-Year US Treasury Bond and a lower stock market due to "chronic" deflation. His views haven't changed since 
    July 21, when he was interviewed on Bloomberg. Since then the 30-Y Treasury yield ($TYX) lost 93 basis points and price ($USB) gained 1.5% to 132. The yield is sitting on floor support and could breakdown tomorrow. You can also see a clear descending channel, so if support gets violated 3.6% looks like support. Bonds are in bubble mode and could spike to form a capitulative top (yields move inversely with price). In my opinion, either Gold or 30-Year US Treasuries move parabolically from here to new highs. Which will it be.. I put up a chart of the 30-Year Treasury yield and embedded the Shilling interview courtesy of Tech Ticker. The deflation topic is hot right now. I'm writing about about the high yield bond-S&P yield spread on my next post with charts and videos. HY overvalued here?

    David Rosenberg: Bring Out Post 1700 History Books, Not Post 1945 (Video Interview)

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    From this article at (Is a Crash Coming? Ten Reasons to Be Cautious), I found this 26 minute WSJ interview with Gluskin Sheff's Chief Economist David Rosenberg (former Chief Economist at Merrill Lynch).

    7:00 mark
    "This is a whole new paradigm. This is where we bring out the history books, not post 1945, maybe you know post 1700. This is a credit contraction of historical proportions and what happened was that for a period time, say for 3 quarters, maybe 4 quarters, we had this tremendous policy stimulus at the same time we had the green shoots from the effects of the inventories. That's all behind us right now."

    "The range of outcomes right now is extremely wide, wider than I've seen certainly in my professional lifetime. So I'm willing to say that there's tremendous uncertainty out there."

    "When I look at the economy bottom up, it's tough for me to get GDP growth rates much above 1% and in fact I think the odds that we could be contracting by the 4th quarter, barring some major unforeseen exogenous positive shock, I think that the odds that we slip back into recession, if we ever left the first recession, I think are a lot higher than a lot of market pundits are talking about right now."

    Rick Santelli Goes Off On The Federal Reserve, Quotes Zero Hedge (CNBC Video)

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    Rick Santelli went off on the Fed again Friday and quoted (CNBC Video). For more rants click the label below. Off to drink beer in Chicago.

    Crude Oil Prices Fall Below $80 Again as Officials Anticipate Slower Growth - Guest Post

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    Guest post by

    Crude Oil Prices Fall Below $80 Again as Officials Anticipate Slower Growth

    Oil Market Summary for 08/09/2010 to 08/13/2010

    Crude oil prices slumped below $80 a barrel again this week as the Federal Reserve and other official forecasters took a dimmer view of the economic recovery.

    Friday’s closing price for the benchmark West Texas Intermediate futures contract of $75.39 a barrel marked a retreat from the contract’s short-lived foray outside the $70 to $80 a barrel range it has been trapped in for months. Prices fell nearly 7% from last Friday’s close of $80.70 a barrel.

    A Dow Candlestick Signal and Historical Nasdaq Pattern (Guest Videos)

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    In the videos below, Adam Hewison of MarketClub charts out the Dow and Nasdaq and integrates his trade triangles technology. He saw an interesting historical pattern in the Nasdaq and a Japanese candlestick signal in the Dow.

    Wharton's Siegel: No Double Dip Recession, Sees Dip in Treasuries (Long-Term Bonds)

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    If you missed it, Wharton's Jeremy Siegel was on Bloomberg TV on August 9 before the FOMC statement:
    "I think there is now a very broad consensus that this slow patch is not going to develop into a double dip recession and despite the slow GDP growth in the second quarter, another good quarter of corporate earnings. So I think there's some good things that are coming through that are more than just what we expect tomorrow from the FOMC."

    Back in March he thought there'd be a mid-year correction as the Fed started raising rates. The Europe sovereign debt crisis threw him a curve ball.

    Marc Faber: Buy Farm With High Voltage Fence! Jurassic Park?

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    Marc Faber who writes the GloomBoomDoom report said some interesting things in his most recent report. This was from on 8/5/2010:

    "With tongue apparently in cheek, he says buy a farm you can tend to yourself way out in the boondocks. And protect it with high voltage fences, barbed wire, booby traps, military weapons and Dobermans."

    Hey, I've come to respect all potential black swans. According to the article Faber also said that Robert Prechter's Dow 1,000 call "shouldn't be excluded" given his track record. Prechter is in the deflation camp (see recent video comparing Dow to 1987). However, in the CNBC video below he said that all of the stimulus and money printing would be positive for equities if investors ditch Treasuries and the US Dollar, given the US fiscal situation. That could happen if inflation hits the economy and bond vigilantes invade the Treasury market (Niall Ferguson). Wouldn't Treasury Bill rolls and gold compete with equities for "real" return protection? What if it's stagflation. Also, would the risk free rate be replaced by stable US investment grade corporate bond yields, instead of Treasuries? Interesting days lie ahead!

    8/3/2010: Printing will Create 'Final Crisis' (CNBC)

    Bob Prechter: Dow Chart Similar to 1987 Top, Bullish on US Dollar, 100% Cash (Video, 8/12/2010)

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    After calling the market top in late
    March, Elliott Wave's Robert Prechter told BloombergTV yesterday that the Dow chart looks similar to the 1987 top (*see post with NBR and FNN videos reporting the 1987 stock market crash). We already experienced a stock market crash on May 6 at the head, is a right shoulder crash next? The chart does look vulnerable here with the potential head and shoulders setup. I'll post Dow charts tomorrow on multiple time frames. Prechter is still bearish on the stock market and bullish on the US Dollar (in 100% cash) and thinks deflationary forces will drag down commodity prices, including gold.

    Reads: Nassim Taleb (stay in cash), Cisco Uncertainty, Gold (Goldman and Cramer), GLD, CSCO, TBT

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    Links for 8/11/2010

    Taleb Says Government Bonds to Collapse, Avoid Stocks -
    Cisco sees "unusual uncertainty," sales disappoint - Reuters
    Goldman Sachs: "Gold Market Poised For A Rally As US Real Rates Head Lower" - Zero Hedge
    Jim Cramer: Why You Should Buy Gold Right Now - CNBC
    Trade gap likely points to slower economic growth - AP
    Guest post: El-Erian on violent market moves - FT Alphaville
    Yen Advances Versus Euro, Dollar as Growth Concerns Spur Demand for Safety - Bloomberg
    JGB 10-yr yield hits 7-yr low with yen near 15-yr peak - Reuters
    U.S. Two-Year Treasury Yield Is Near Record Low as Investors Seek Safety - Bloomberg
    Exotic debt in US spreading its wings - Economic Times
    Bankrupt Vallejo Should Pay Debt With Car Fees, MBIA Unit Says - Bloomberg
    UBS Sued for Copying Oil Reports in Investor Research - Bloomberg, DealBreaker
    Youth unemployment hits record high (UK) -
    Judge orders Wells Fargo to pay back $203M in fees - AP
    Debts Rise, and Go Unpaid, as Bust Erodes Home Equity - NYT
    Fortress to buy most of AIG consumer finance unit - Reuters
    Is There A Liquidity Problem At Goldman Prime? - Zero Hedge
    New York Times article on Société Générale's Albert Edwards - link
    Spanish Crisis Threatens Second Front as Catalonia Rates Rise - Bloomberg
    Soaring food prices hit Pakistan - Al Jazeera English

    DV Link Arbitrage LLC
    North Canal Street
    Chicago, IL 

    If $SWKS Trend Breaks, 200 Day Average or $12.5 Support Next (Chart)

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    If you read my previous post on Skyworks Solutions (SWKS) a few weeks ago [Skyworks Breaks Out of 8 Year Channel (SWKS, RFMD, TQNT, SMH, AAPL, QQQQ)], I said it broke out of an 8 year channel, which could be good thing, structurally, for the long term. However, if the market rolls over here, specifically the Nasdaq, there's a chance $SWKS could violate a rising wedge and test the 200 day moving average (hits today at $15.14) or floor support line ($12.55). It closed at $17.29 today, below the 50 day moving average.

    I'm not seeing that much option activity, but the $17.50 August and November call strikes are loaded with open interest (Aug $17.50 C: 13,976 open contracts, Nov $17.50 C: 30,396). Wondering if it's long or short exposure (or hedging). Check out the SWKS chart. Click the image above (courtesy of for a larger view.

    William Black: We're Following Japan Hiding Losses, Rating Agencies Need To Go, Disses Wall Street Pay

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    Professor William Black on Tech Ticker touches on the "perverse" incentive structures on Wall Street and how executives and professionals aid the frauds instead of protect from them, fueled by accounting firms, auditors, appraisers, rating agencies, lawyers. Haha, pretty much the majority of the labor force. He then wants to know why these Wall Street institutions still exist since they are too big to fail, essentially borrowing at zero and buying long-term Treasuries, at the expense of unemployed America. He stresses that we're going down the Japan deflation route by hiding losses on bank balance sheets. He says look at the Nikkei, it lost 75% in nominal terms. In the third vid he says get rid of the ratings agencies. If interested read my post
    Knock Down Existing Financial Infrastructure, Accredited Investor Rule is Nonsense (Exposed in 2008).

    E-Mini S&P 500 Future -1%, ES Technical Analysis and ETF Action (SPY, GLD, UUP, TLT)

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    Here's an update on UUP, SPY, TLT and GLD and the overnight S&P Future (ESU10). When the
    FOMC Statement hit, you can see that GLD and SPY rallied while TLT (Long Treasury Bonds ETF) and UUP declined. TLT fell pretty hard from its high. When looking at the full trading day though, TLT, UUP and GLD closed up around 0.25% while SPY closed down 0.55% (2 charts below).

    It's 3:38am eastern time and the E-Mini S&P 500 September Future (ESU10) is down 1% at 1,108. ES is hitting ceiling resistance at the January and June highs (potential shoulders) and is sticking to its 200 day moving average (1,105).

    FOMC Statement: Maintains Rate at 0-0.25%, Reinvesting Agency Debt, MBS Principal In Long-Term Treasuries (SPY, UUP, GLD, TLT Reaction)

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    Federal Reserve "FOMC Statement" for August 10, 2010, from Market reaction as of 2:55pm:

    $SPY/S&P ETF -0.36% (regains losses)
    $UUP/US Dollar ETF  +0.14% (erases gains)
    $GLD/Gold ETF +0.42% (new highs on day after initial gap down)
    $TLT/20+ Treasury ETF -0.14% (takes steep fall from high on day)
    Release Date: August 10, 2010
    For immediate release

    September and October VIX Call Options Active In Futures (Volatility)

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    Videos below are from the
    OptionMonster Volatility Sonar Report, which provides updates on VIX options daily (OptionMonsterTV). VIX September and October calls were active today and yesterday. The curve is in contango, the Aug VIX Future is at 24.10 and Oct VIX Future is 29.60, with VIX spot bouncing around multi-month lows at 23 (see chart). It's always interesting to see what's going on in the VIX options, in size. VIX options and futures hedge or speculate on the price of volatility going forward. There are two ETFs that play the short term and mid term VIX futures (VXX and VXZ), but they have monthly rolling risk. The ETFs move with the VIX Futures not the spot measure you see streaming everywhere. The VIX (Volatility Index) is the overall price of fear or insurance in the S&P Index options (

    John Taylor (FX Concepts) Eyeing EUR/USD Trend Reversal, Greece, Spain Will Default, COT Chart (EUR/USD, USDX, DXY, UUP, FXE)

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    I originally found this interview at 
    Zero Hedge, find the video there, hat tip.

    John Taylor of FX Concepts LLC (largest currency hedge fund in the world) was on Bloomberg TV on August 6 (video) calling for a trend reversal in EUR/USD (Euro/US Dollar). I see that large speculators and commercial hedgers are converging on the Dollar Index Future Commitment of Traders chart (COT). Large traders are net long 12,375 contracts (green line, 3rd chart) while commercial hedgers are net short -14,082 (blue line). In March the spread was 30,000 and -40,000, so it narrowed significantly. Catalysts will widen the spread and confirm a direction from here. Watch the Fed reaction tomorrow.

    Reads: Negative Equity Falls to 21.5%, Goldman Lowers S&P Target, FRBSF Warning, Structured Notes Next Bubble

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    Global Link Arbitrage for 8/9/2010 (some articles are a few days old). I could arb links all day long.

    Negative Equity Falls in Second Quarter, But National Home Values Continue to Decline
    "Home values in the United States continued to decline in the second quarter of 2010, with the Zillow Home Value Index falling 3.2 percent year-over-year and 0.6 percent from the first quarter to $182,500. The national rate of decline decelerated from the first quarter, marking the second consecutive quarter of slowing declines, and negative equity fell to 21.5 percent, according to the second quarter Zillow Real Estate Market Reports(3)." (Zillow Press Release)
    Bank of Japan Keeps Policy on Hold to Gauge Risk on Yen Gain - Bloomberg

    JAL to Cut More than 19,000 Jobs by March 2015: Report - CNBC

    China Trade Surplus Soars, Putting Yuan in Focus - CNBC

    Goldman Sachs lowers 2010 S&P Target to 1,200 - Zero Hedge

    Albert Edwards: U.S. Conference Board Leading Indicator Back in Recession Territory - Zero Hedge

    David Tice Sees Double-Dip Recession Ahead, Watch Out (Video 7/30)

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    David Tice, Federated Investor's chief portfolio strategist for "bear markets" (his Prudent Bear Fund got bought out), was on Bloomberg TV on July 30 and believes a double dip recession is "in the cards". The Prudent Bear Fund hedges long exposure by shorting stocks. BEARX is back at summer 2008 levels, pre-financial crisis. The 50 day moving average is at 5.34 and the 200 day is at 5.36, so a long term directional decision is near for this mutual fund (trend reversal vs. continuation). Here's a summary of what D. Tice said plus chart.

    Wheat Price Volatility (CBOT:W, Subindex), Golden Cross, Employment Reports

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    Distressed Volatility was out of commission for the past few days as it was relocating blog
    offices on very short notice. To re-up on financial news, here's a link fest for 8/5/2010 - 8/6/2010 and charts of the Wheat Future (CBOT:W) and DJ UBS Wheat Subindex, which had huge upside moves on Russia's export ban. I think you're about to witness a golden-cross in the DJ Wheat Subindex chart (50 day moving average crossing the 200 day moving average to the upside). It already occurred in the rolling wheat future. Wheat tumbled today on overbought conditions, look at the relative strength index. Higher bread and cereal prices coming?

    David Rosenberg Says 67% Chance of Recession Based on ECRI Weekly Leading Index

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    David Rosenberg of
    Gluskin Sheff + Associates was on Tech Ticker last week giving his thoughts on the market and economy. He thinks there's now a 67% chance of a double dip recession based on the ECRI Weekly Leading Index (Economic Cycle Research Institute). He still likes gold (3,000 is his conservative target), thinks the S&P should be around 900 and believes "cash is trash".

    "His prediction is based on the sharp decline in the ECRI's weekly leading index, where the growth rate has fallen for 7 consecutive weeks." (Tech Ticker article with video)

    Peter Schiff 2006 Mortgage Bankers Association Speech, Tech Ticker July 2010

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    Peter Schiff of
    Euro Pacific Capital gave a great speech at the Las Vegas Mortgage Bankers Association conference in November 2006. Everything he warned about came true with regards to the recession, housing crash and mortgage crash (financial crisis). The spike in Treasury Yields and dump in the US Dollar have yet to occur. Actually the US Dollar Index went from 85 in November 2006 to 70 in 2008, but spiked when the financial crisis hit and covered the carry trade. Treasury yields will be something to watch as the tug of war between deflation and reflation continues. Watch out for quantitative easing part two.

    Gary Shilling thinks the 30-Year Treasury Bond will yield 3% on deflation (video), however, Michael Pento (now at Euro Pacific Capital) thinks a sovereign debt crisis is 3 years away. The US Dollar Index is very close to testing its200 day moving average. $UUP (US Dollar Index Bullish ETF) tested it today and bounced. Schiff was recently on Tech Ticker saying interest rates should be higher, the US Dollar is a "bottomless pit", real estate prices are still too high and the Dow will keep falling in real terms (priced in gold). See the videos below.

    Harvard's Niall Ferguson recently told Bloomberg that the US Treasury bond vigilantes will eventually hit the United States (video) and the Black Swan, Nassim Nicholas Taleb, thinks Government deficits could be the next "black swan" event (BusinessWeek). It seems like higher Treasury yields are inevitable and hopefully as a result of real inflationary growth. The question is will the 30-Year Treasury Yield hit 3% before 10%?

    S&P in Descending/Sideways Channel, Under 200DMA (SPX, SPY) - Chart

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    Here's a quick technical look at the S&P 500 in log form. SPX is selling off at the 200 day moving average (1114) and near term resistance level. It's also trading in a descending and sideways channel. There needs to be a variety of technical confirmations to get out of this trading range.

    Pimco's Gross: Population Decline Will Weigh On Growth, Deleveraging Cycle

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    Bill Gross of PIMCO released his August Investment Outlook titled Privates Eye, which talks about the decline in global population growth and its affect on economic growth and the current deleveraging cycle. If you want to see the chart of world population growth declining since the early 1960s visit his full post at Gross said this doesn't include the wave of baby boomers retiring, who will eventually park most of their money in fixed income. Add to that Gen-Y is either unemployed or makes a fraction of what previous generations made, are loaded with debt and have higher taxes looming, and somewhat offset by rolling inheritance. Read: Gen Y: No jobs, lots of loans, grim future (msnbc). Gross also explains how Government and private debt (leverage) bridged the gap between lower population growth and stable GDP since the 1970s. Overall, very interesting piece imo.

    Charts of Bond Prices and Yields at

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    If you're interested in bond quotes and yields, provides free bond market information to investors and the general public via TRACE. Check it out at

    ISEE Index Jumped 116% to 182 on 7/28 (ISEE, SPY, VIX Charts)

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    I stumbled upon the ISEE Index Ratio chart today (total ISE calls opened / puts opened x 100) and saw that it jumped 116% to 182 from 84 the day before. When eyeballing it, it looks to me like the biggest one day move since 2006. See the interactive chart at aka the International Securities Exchange. I threw up two snapshots below.

    The second largest one day move occurred on 4/14/2010, when the ISEE Index jumped 111% to 165 from 78 (Chart 1). Surprisingly, that marked the peak in the S&P during the past 3 months. On the contrary, the third largest one day move occurred on 3/9/2009 when the ISEE Index rose 103% to 220 from 108 (Chart 2). That 220 reading marked the official market bottom in 2009 which sparked the initial breadth thrust of SPY's 86% 12 month move. On the long term ISEE chart 220 was the all time high going back to 2006. So what's the ISEE Value saying this time?

    Rentals Up, Sell S&P Options?, Jim Rogers, Robert Shiller, Marc Faber, Taleb, Kass (Action News, 7/28)

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    Quick news break, 24 links below for you to arb.

    Major Option Volume In MSFT, September 28 Calls, January 2012 30s

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    Microsoft (MSFT) options were active on the ISE Today. On my ISE widget it was the most active on the call side. As of 3:30 it had an ISEE Ratio (customer calls opened/puts opened x 100) of 17,814. In total, across all strikes, 154,624 calls traded and 868 put contracts were opened on the ISE exchange. According to, someone *bought 110,000 September 28 calls at $0.24 and 20,000 at $0.23 (130k total). They noted the bid/ask was 0.22/0.24 (activity was closer to the ask). Also, 30,000 January 2012 30 calls were *sold at $1.98 and 20,000 at $1.97 (50k total). The bid/ask in this case was 1.97-2.03, closer to bid. Hschwartz over at * said the September calls were bought and the January 2012s were sold. He also mentioned a 700,000 share hedge and a big spread yesterday. That's some decent institutional size making moves.

    Skyworks Breaks Out of 8 Year Channel (SWKS, RFMD, TQNT, SMH, AAPL, QQQQ)

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    The last time I wrote about semiconductor company Skyworks Solutions was 185% ago on
    2/6/2009, right after it broke above resistance on positive earnings. It closed at $6.77 that day with call options running amok. SWKS then rallied 140% by August on strong smartphone growth. They just reported Q3 2010 results. I'm not going to analyze the financials or price valuation ratios in this post but revenues were up 44% YoY and Non-GAAP Operating Income was up 122% (press release). See $SWKS, $TQNT, $RFMD, $SMH technical analysis, chart comparables and updates/downgrades after the jump.

    Mark Zuckerberg Interview With Diane Sawyer (ABC Video, 7/21)

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    A new movie about Facebook is coming out called "The Social Network", I embedded the trailer in a previous post. Diane Sawyer on ABC on July 21 interviewed Facebook's CEO and Founder Mark Zuckerberg. She spoke with him about Facebook hitting 500 million members (third largest country in the world), plans to go public, the recent contract dispute with Paul Ceglia claiming he owns 84% of Facebook (which Zuckerberg calls BS), the new movie which he calls "fiction" and reflections on Harvard. He also answers viewer questions. Dude is on top of the world at 26. Below is a 6 minute interview clip and links to more footage from the interview.

    Ford Beat EPS Estimate, Retired $7B Debt; $F Call Options, Stock Realize Value On Week (Technical Analysis)

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    Ford reported second quarter net income of $2.6 billion or 61 cents per share, up $338 million from second quarter 2009. Pre-tax operating income totaled $2.9 billion or 0.68 cents a share, up $3.5 billion from second quarter 2009. Ford beat the Bloomberg consensus estimate of
    $0.41. They unlocked vehicle value, read this Bloomberg article:
    "Mulally is boosting profit by reducing discounts while selling new models such as the Taurus and Fiesta subcompact with more options that fetch higher prices.

    Buyers paid an average of $30,309 for Ford cars and trucks in June as they splurged on extras like voice-activated phones and stereo systems, according to Edmunds."

    Before I get into the $F chart and option activity that made traders cheese, here's a summary of their earnings release including net income, revenue, cash, debt, interest costs, liquidity and overseas numbers. View the full release to see their outlook.

    North Korea State TV Threatens South With "Sacred War", Nuclear Deterrent

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    keep an eye on this. The video and articles are courtesy of Reuters.

    7 More Banks Fail In US, Bank Deleveraging Continues

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    The FDIC said seven banks failed on Friday 7/23/2010. Below I provided the bank name, asset base, deposit base and acquiring bank through an FDIC "loss-share" transaction. Community banks are still in full failure mode so debt deleveraging is still alive and well in the banking system. As of March 31, 2010, these seven banks had a total of $2.1 billion in assets. Crescent Bank had $1.01 billion alone. The estimated cost to the FDIC deposit insurance fund was $431 million. So far this year 103 banks have failed and a total of 140 banks failed in 2009. See the complete failed bank list at

    Tax Cuts Expire End of 2010, Expect Boring Market (Kass), Unemployment Benefits Extended

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    Here are *premium* news links for 7/22. The market indices violated a few resistance levels today. Developing...

    Securing Uganda’s Oil Industry Urged But Repeat Terrorist Attacks Seen As Slim - Guest Post

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    Guest post by

    Securing Uganda’s Oil Industry Urged But Repeat Terrorist Attacks Seen As Slim

    Although the Ugandan government can boost the security of its fledgling oil industry from future terrorist attacks that may scare away certain investors, Africa analysts doubt violence replicating the twin bombs that struck during the World Cup final is likely.

    Somali militant group al-Shabab claimed responsibility for explosions that tore through the capital Kampala July 11 and killed more than 70 people.

    Quicken Loans Moving 1700 Employees to Detroit, Light Rail Coming #Detroit

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    This is potentially good news for Detroit's tax base, tech and financial districts, and the city economy in general. All they need to do now is build that M-1 light rail up Woodward (CNN), move the Palace of Auburn Hills downtown (Detroit Pistons) and Detroit could start attracting corporations, jobs and people back to the city on the cheap. What do you think? Detroit's downtown actually looks good, can it not build out from the core? Below is the Quicken Loans press release, a Detroit link fest and view of Campus Martius Park/ Kennedy Square.

    Quicken Loans to Move Headquarters, 1,700 Employees to Downtown Detroit by Mid-2010

    Move establishes large Quicken Loans presence downtown two years earlier than original plan

    LIVONIA, MICH. - JULY 13, 2009

    Quicken Loans today announced plans to move its headquarters and approximately 1,700 of its team members to leased space in downtown Detroit’s Compuware Building by mid-2010. The move is subject to state and city approvals.

    Ford (F) Earnings Friday, Chart, Options Setting Up (Part 3)

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    Get ready for Ford (F) earnings on Friday. I've been watching the chart ($F) and option activity for over a week now (see post on
    7/14 and 7/20). Calls were mainly active in my previous posts, but today saw put volume in August above open interest. Calls were still heavily traded though and the ISEE ratio actually favored calls, I'll get into that later. At the close a total of 31,099 August $11 Puts traded with 24,116 already open. I'm not sure if they were opening or closing trades, naked sales or connected with stock, just pointing out that the Aug $11 put was in play (like calls last week) with volume > open interest in decent size. The put closed at $0.36 and would profit if $F traded below $10.64 before August expiration (or volatility spikes on a downside move). Ford closed at $11.55. Back to the ISE Call/Put Ratio. The ISEE ratio (ISE customer calls opened vs. puts) favored calls today: Calls: 3.83K / Puts: 802 with ISE implied volatility at 44.77 and historical volatility at 40.75.

    Animated Explanation of Wall Street Reform Bill, White House Video (Kumar?)

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    The White House put out an animated youtube video explaining the Wall Street Reform Bill (full text) which was signed today by Obama. I originally found this video at ZeroHedge. Is Kumar the voice on this? White Castle!!!

    China Consumes More Energy Than US For First Time, China Denies It (USO, Crude Oil, CL)

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    IEA graphic, full size at
    China surpassed the United States in energy consumption for the FIRST TIME according to the IEA.
    "IEA calculations based on preliminary data show that China has now overtaken the United States to become the world's largest energy user. China's rise to the top ranking was faster than expected as it was much less affected by the global financial crisis than the United States." (
    China denied it.

    Bernanke Testimony, Semiannual Monetary Policy Report 7/21/2010

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    The Federal Reserve released their semiannual Monetary Policy Report today and Chairman Ben Bernanke testified before Congress. Find the full testimony text and video below. The full report PDF can be found here or at the Federal Reserve website. In other political news, President Obama signed the Financial Regulation Bill H.R. 4173 (CSPAN video) and the Senate passed the unemployment insurance extension bill 59-39. It is headed to the House tomorrow. The bill H.R. 4213 would extend benefits for 2.5 million Americans out of work for 6 months+ through November. The Dow closed down 109 points.

    Chairman Ben S. Bernanke
    Semiannual Monetary Policy Report to the Congress

    Before the Committee on Banking, Housing, and Urban Affairs, U.S. Senate, Washington, D.C.
    July 21, 2010

    Chairman Dodd, Senator Shelby, and members of the Committee, I am pleased to present the Federal Reserve's semiannual Monetary Policy Report to the Congress.

    Economic and Financial Developments
    The economic expansion that began in the middle of last year is proceeding at a moderate pace, supported by stimulative monetary and fiscal policies. Although fiscal policy and inventory restocking will likely be providing less impetus to the recovery than they have in recent quarters, rising demand from households and businesses should help sustain growth. In particular, real consumer spending appears to have expanded at about a 2-1/2 percent annual rate in the first half of this year, with purchases of durable goods increasing especially rapidly. However, the housing market remains weak, with the overhang of vacant or foreclosed houses weighing on home prices and construction.

    Taliban Using Monkey Fighters (Taiwan News Re-enactment)

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    The Taliban in Afghanistan are using monkey fighters. Here's a re-enactment by NMA News (, Taiwan). Monkey soldiers are armed with AK-47s. Stay strapped around Monkeys!

    30-Year Treasury to Hit 3% on Deflation Bid -Gary Shilling, TYX, USB Charts

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    Economist Gary Shilling of A. Gary Shilling & Co. was on Bloomberg TV yesterday talking about deflation, Treasuries and the Euro (EUR/USD). Watch the full embedded Bloomberg interview below. If they yank it, the media file is at Shilling hasn't really changed his views, but he did say he lightened up on Euro shorts when the trade went against him recently. He's still anticipating a turn though (has small short position). Here's a summary of what Shilling said.
    • Euro will hit parity with US Dollar, problems will deepen in Europe
    • 30 Year Treasury Bonds will yield 3%, 10 Year Treasury Notes closer to 2%
    • Real return for Treasuries will be higher with 2-3% deflation (example)
    • Sees a double dip recession, slower growth (2% Real GDP growth annually over next decade)
    • Decade of deleveraging by financial sector and US consumer will bring deflation, slow growth
    • Government replacing private sector deleveraging, how much can they do...

    Levels and Indicators to Watch in Gold Spot Chart XAU/USD

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    Adam Hewison's new MarketClub blog video gives you potential support levels and technical indicators (Fibonacci, MACD, proprietary trade triangles) to watch in Gold Spot. His monthly trade triangle is still green but hopefully you're well hedged from the recent top.  It's a free video.

    VIX August 60 Calls Trade and VXX Puts? VIX, VXX, SPY #Volatility

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    Yesterday's action in the VIX (volatility index) futures options was interesting. The
    OptionMonster volatility sonar reported that 50,000 August 60 calls traded at 0.20. There was also activity in September (1x2). The action was "re-establishing protection in August and September". If SPY fails again at the $104-105 shelf and the $VIX spikes, the Aug VIX call and future will probably rise in value.

    VXX is the ETF for near term futures on the VIX (a rolling long in the first and second month NOT spot Today there was an article in the WSJ talking about the VIX futures curve being in contango (July: 26.10, August: 29.50, September: 31.8, October: 33 and Jon Najarian mentioned that a trader bought August VXX puts yesterday, a 25-22 put spread I believe. The article said "a put in this instance signals expectations that the market will be calmer. Thus, this investor may have an outlook that is more like the VIX than the index's stormier futures". 

    VXX is losing value today and the market is back in the green. The July VIX future expires tomorrow. So were those 50,000 AUG 60 calls for $1,000,000 simple disaster insurance in size before August expiration? The strike price is currently double the August contract. Watch $104-105 area on SPY in my opinion. In other VIX news look at this Barclays Rolls Out Inverse VIX ETN (XXV). See SPY, VXX and VIX Spot charts plus the volatility sonar video after the jump.

    Watching Ford (F) Stock, Option Action Pre-Earnings, July Auto Sales (Part 2)

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    I'm watching Ford stock and option activity. I'll arb some Ford news and update the chart later. Last week I saw interesting call activity from
    August to January 2011. The options were also active before that post. I'm not quite sure of the exact nature of the in-and-out of the money call trades, but either way position accordingly for the technical catalyst on Friday, July 23 (Ford's earnings release). The trading channels on the chart are at an inflection point and $F is just above the 50 and 200 day moving average. An ascending triangle breakout above $12.15 resistance (January high, perhaps left shoulder) could confirm more upside. All in all, $F needs to hold the rising channel and 200DMA if it wants to retest the recent highs. Were the calls speculative in nature gaming Q2 earnings and July US auto sales on Aug 3? Hedge breakdown risk people, like GLD last week (imo). After the jump is a chart and surprise Ford video.

    China’s Stocks Rally on Policy Outlook, Automakers Earnings - Bloomberg
    "AW Car Co., which makes passenger cars in China with Volkswagen AG, added 1.8 percent to 17 yuan. Chongqing Changan Automobile Co., the Chinese partner of Ford Motor Co. and Mazda Motor Corp., rose 4.6 percent to 9.94 yuan."

    Mike Pento Sees Sovereign Debt Crisis 3 Years Away, Hobbs vs. Pento (CNBC Video)

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    Michael Pento, Chief Economist at Delta Global Advisors, appeared on CNBC on July 16 and debated with Simon Hobbs and Daniel Gross of Newsweek. As always Pento made some interesting points about the economy and unleashed some data. CNBC's Hobbs put up a good fight though, until maybe the AAA credit rating part, I'll come back to this post in 3 years. Pento still sees trouble on the horizon for the US economy and told Hobbs he was writing off the economy for years. This was a decent debate. Below are quotes and the CNBC video. The original topic was why S&P 500 companies are hoarding so much cash.

    30Y Bond/USD Decoupled, SPY, VIX, TLT, IEF, Copper, $UST, $USB Charts, Pre-Market Update

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    Desayuno with Distressed Volatility for Monday 7/19: First off here are a few news items mostly from my
    Twitter feed. These events aren't affecting Shanghai, EUR/USD or US index futures so far.

    1. BP down 5%+ as FTSE opens, concerns over seepage detected near damaged well - @SkyNewsBiz

    2. Hungary Forint Tumbles Most in Six Weeks as IMF Ends Talks With Hungary - Bloomberg
    (*Here is Hungary CDS Quote at

    3. Ireland's credit rating downgraded by Moodys to Aa2 - Irish Times
    (*Here is Ireland CDS Quote at

    4. Man buys Europe’s entire cocoa supply, analysts suspect market cornering - National Post

    I saw that the 30Y Treasury Bond and US Dollar Index decoupled since mid-June. $USB is up 9.95% and $USD is only up 1.90% over 3-months. The US Dollar Index could eventually test the 200DMA and perhaps bounce at the March high. It's still trading in a descending channel with 50DMA resistance up above.

    Stock Prices, Economic Data Buffet Crude Oil Futures in Lackluster Trading - Guest Post

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    Guest post by

    Stock Prices, Economic Data Buffet Crude Oil Futures in Lackluster Trading

    Oil Market Summary for 07/12/2010 to 07/16/2010

    An unexpectedly sharp drop in a key consumer confidence index sent stocks plummeting on Friday and drove down prices for crude oil futures so that the benchmark contract finished the week virtually unchanged from last Friday.

    Lawrence McDonald Thinks SEC Going After Lehman Next (Goldman Settlement)

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    Lawrence McDonald, former Lehman trader/VP who wrote the book "A Colossal Failure of Common Sense", thinks the SEC will go after other firms more active in the synthetic CDO space after the Goldman settlement. He told PBS Newshour, "I think the big fish that the SEC wants is Lehman Brothers". The movie might not be over for $LEH.
    "Goldman Sachs was actually a third-tier player in these kind of synthetic CDOs. Other firms were much more active. And I think you will see things there in terms going after the other firms on these toxic products.

    But, more interestingly, I can give you some -- I can break some news tonight. Behind the scenes, I think the big fish that the SEC wants is Lehman Brothers. Lehman Brothers' bankruptcy is 10 times the size of Enron. It's bigger than Enron, WorldCom, Adelphia combined. And I'm hearing behind the scenes, the SEC, the FBI, and the Justice Department are active in going after Lehman Brothers executives."

    Find the full article and video at PBS Newshour:

    Was Record Settlement Against Goldman Sachs a Good Deal for Company?

    Wall Riding in India (Videos)

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    Sunday entertainment. I had to put these videos up. Watch people ride motorcycles and cars around a vertical track in India.