Posts

July 12, 2019

Global Market Comments
July 12, 2019
Fiat Lux

Featured Trade:

(THE QUANTUM COMPUTER IN YOUR FUTURE),
(AMZN), (GOOG),

(THE WORST TRADE IN HISTORY), (AAPL)

 

July 11, 2019

Global Market Comments
July 11, 2019
Fiat Lux

Featured Trade:

(THE INSIDER’S VIEW ON THE FUTURE OF TECHNOLOGY),
(AMZN), (GOOG), (DELL), (MSFT), (EBAY),

(MY DATE WITH HITLER’S GIRLFRIEND)

June 21, 2019

Global Market Comments
June 21, 2019
Fiat Lux

Featured Trade:

(MONDAY, JULY 8 VENICE, ITALY STRATEGY LUNCHEON)
(PLAYING THE SHORT SIDE WITH VERTICAL BEAR PUT SPREADS), (TLT)
(WHY TECHNICAL ANALYSIS DOESN’T WORK)
(FB), (AAPL), (AMZN), (GOOG), (MSFT), (VIX)

June 14, 2019

Global Market Comments
June 14, 2019
Fiat Lux

Featured Trade:

(WEDNESDAY JUNE 26 BRISBANE, AUSTRALIA STRATEGY LUNCHEON)
(MAY 29 BIWEEKLY STRATEGY WEBINAR Q&A),
(TSLA), (BYND), (AMZN), (GOOG), (AAPL), (CRM), (UT), (RTN), (DIS), (TLT), (HAL), (BABA), (BIDU), (SLV), (EEM)

June 12 Biweekly Strategy Webinar Q&A

Below please find subscribers’ Q&A for the Mad Hedge Fund Trader June 12 Global Strategy Webinar with my guest and co-host Bill Davis of the Mad Day Trader. Keep those questions coming!

Q: Do you think Tesla (TSLA) will survive?

A: Not only do I think it will survive, but it’ll go up 10 times from the current level. That’s why we urged people to buy the stock at $180. Tesla is so far ahead of the competition, it is incredible. They will sell 400,000 cars this year. The number two electric car competitor will sell only 25,000. They have a ten-year head start in the technology and they are increasing that lead every day. Battery costs will drop another 90% over the next decade eventually making these cars incredibly cheap. Increase sales by ten times and double profit margins and eventually, you get to a $1 trillion company.

Q: Beyond Meat (BYND)—the veggie burger stock—just crashed 25% after JP Morgan downgraded the stock. Are you a buyer here?

A: Absolutely not; veggie burgers are not my area of expertise. Although there will be a large long-term market here potentially worth $140 billion, short term, the profits in no way justify the current stock price which exists only for lack of anything else going on in the market. You don’t get rich buying stocks at 37 times company sales.

Q: Are you worried about antitrust fears destroying the Tech stocks?

A: No, it really comes down to a choice: would you rather American or Chinese companies dominate technology? If we break up all our big tech companies, the only large ones left will be Chinese. It’s in the national interest to keep these companies going. If you did break up any of the FANGS, you’d be creating a ton of value. Amazon (AMZN) is probably worth double if it were broken up into four different pieces. Amazon Web Services alone, their cloud business, will probably be worth $1 trillion as a stand-alone company in five years. The same is true with Apple (AAPL) or Google (GOOG). So, that’s not a big threat overhanging the market.

Q: Is it time to buy Salesforce (CRM)?

A: Yes, you want to be picking up any cloud company you can on any kind of sizeable selloff, and although this isn’t a sizeable selloff, Salesforce is the dominant player in cloud plays; you just want to keep buying this all day long. We get back into it every chance we can.

Q: Do you think the proposed merger of United Technologies (UT) and Raytheon (RTN) will lower the business quality of United Tech’s aerospace business?

A: No, these are almost perfectly complementary companies. One is strong in aerospace while the other is weak, and vice versa with defense. You mesh the two together, you get big economies of scale. The resulting layoffs from the merger will show an increase in overall profitability.

Q: I had the Disney (DIS) shares put to me at $114 a share; would you buy these?

A: Disney stock is going to go up ahead of the summer blockbuster season, so the puts are going to expire being worthless. Sell the puts you have and then go short even more to make back your money. Go naked short a small non-leveraged amount Disney $114 puts, and that should bring in a nice return in an otherwise dead market. Make sure you wait for another selloff in the market to do that.

Q: What role does global warming play in your bullish hypothesis for the 2020s?

A: If people start to actually address global warming, it will be hugely positive for the global economy. It would demand the creation of a plethora of industries around the world, such as solar and other alternative energy industries. When I originally made my “Golden Age” forecast years ago, it was based on the demographics, not global warming; but now that you mention it, any kind of increase in government spending is positive for the global economy, even if it’s borrowed. Spending to avert global warming could be the turbocharger.

Q: Why not go long in the United States Treasury Bond Fund (TLT) into the Fed interest rate cuts?

A: I would, but only on a larger pullback. The problem is that at a 2.06% ten-year Treasury yield, three of the next five quarter-point cuts are already priced into the market. Ideally, if you can get down to $126 in the (TLT), that would be a sweet spot. I have a feeling we’re not going to pull back that far—if you can pull back five points from the recent high at $133, that would be a good point at which to be long in the (TLT).

Q: Extreme weather is driving energy demand to its highest peak since 2010...is there a play here in some energy companies that I’m missing?

A: No, if we’re going into recession and there’s a global supply glut of oil, you don’t want to be anywhere near the energy space whatsoever; and the charts we just went through—Halliburton (HAL) and so on—amply demonstrate that fact. The only play here in oil is on the short side. When US production is in the process of ramping up from 5 million (2005) to $12.3 million (now), to 17 million barrels a day (by 2024) you don’t want to have any exposure to the price of oil whatsoever.

Q: What about China’s FANGS—Alibaba (BABA) and Baidu (BIDU). What do you think of them?

A: I wanted to start buying these on extreme selloff days in anticipation of a trade deal that happens sometime next year. You actually did get rallies without a deal in these things showing that they have finally bottomed down. So yes, I want to be a player in the Chinese FANGS in expectation of a trade deal in the future sometime, but not soon.

Q: Silver (SLV) seems weaker than gold. What’s your view on this?

A: Silver is always the high beta play. It usually moves 1.5-2.5 times faster than gold, so not only do you get bigger rallies in silver, you get bigger selloffs also. The industrial case for silver basically disappeared when we went to digital cameras twenty years ago.

Q: Does this extended trade war mean the end for emerging markets (EEM)?

A: Yes, for the time being. Emerging markets are one of the biggest victims of trade wars. They are more dependent on trade than any of the major economies, so as long as we have a trade war that’s getting worse, we want to avoid emerging markets like the plague.

Q: We just got a huge rebound in the market out of dovish Fed comments. Is this delivering the way for a more dovish message for the rest of the year?

A: Yes, the market is discounting five interest rate cuts through next year; so far, the Fed has delivered none of them. If they delayed that cutting strategy at all, even for a month, it could lead to a 10% selloff in the stock market very quickly and that in and of itself will bring more Fed interest rate cuts. So, it is sort of a self-fulfilling prophecy. The bottom line is that we’re looking at an ultra-low interest rate world for the foreseeable future.

Good Luck and Good Trading.

John Thomas
CEO & Publisher
The Diary of a Mad Hedge Fund Trader

 

 

 

 

 

 

April 16, 2019

Global Market Comments
April 16, 2019
Fiat Lux

Featured Trade:

(WHY YOU WILL LOSE YOU JOB IN THE NEXT FIVE YEARS,
AND WHAT TO DO ABOUT IT),
(BLK)

April 15, 2019

Global Market Comments
April 15, 2019
Fiat Lux

Featured Trade:

(MARKET OUTLOOK FOR THE WEEK AHEAD, OR QE IS BACK!),
(SPY), (TLT), (TSLA), (DIS), (FCX), (GOOG), (MSFT), (AMZN)

The Market Outlook for the Week Ahead, or QE is Back!

Let me warn you in advance that I am only going off drugs long enough to write this newsletter.

This year’s flu has finally laid me low and let me tell you it is a real killer. Perhaps it is my advanced age that has magnified its effects. Then I developed an allergic reaction to the flu medicine I was taking. For a couple of days there, I was looking like the Michelin Man.

However, I did have a lot of time to read research. And what I learned was sobering.

For a start, we are fully back to a quantitative easing market. In one fell swoop, the Fed went from an expectation of four interest rate hikes in 2019 to none. By ending quantitative tightening early, it has cut the amount of cash it is withdrawing from the financial system from $4.3 trillion to only $1.5 trillion.

The Fed is in effect reflating the bubble one more time. And what do you do in a QE-driven economy. YOU BUY EVERYTHING! This explains why stocks, bonds, commodities, and energy have all been marching upward in unison this year even though that is supposed to be theoretically impossible.

Yes, the decade long liquidity-driven bull market may have another leg up to go.

A higher high inevitably leads to a lower low. The trades you are executing now may be akin to picking up pennies in front of a steam roller. We are clearly planting the seeds of the next financial crisis. But for now, the pain trade is clearly to the upside.

Those of who who traded through the dotcom bubble are seeing déjà vu all over again. Huge money-losing tech companies are now floating IPOs on a daily basis. This too will end in tears, which is why I have recommended to followers to avoid all of them. This is a sucker’s game.

There is a cloud behind this silver lining. After a ballistic 21.43% move in the Dow Average in four months, markets are trading as if risk is a thing of the past. The euphoria is here and complacency rules. That means the number of new possible low risk/high return trades out there has fallen to zero.

There is another cloud to worry about. The more excess stimulus the Fed provides the economy now, the fewer resources it will have to get us out of the next recession, which might be only a year off. As a result, everyone is long but extremely nervous. They are still participating in the party but are standing next to the exit door. Pent up volatility is building like a volcano ready to explode.

The other great revelation is that markets have been trading extremely short term in nature, only one quarter ahead of what the real economy is doing. So, a stock market meltdown in Q4 2018 discounted a collapsing GDP growth in Q1 2019 of a 1% rate or less. That is down 80% from a year ago peak.

The ultra-strong market in Q1 is anticipating an economic rebound in Q2, After that, who knows?

That’s why I am moving both of my trading portfolios for Global Trading Dispatch and the Mad Hedge Technology Letter to 100% cash positions in the coming week.

Last week was the week when Walt Disney (DIS) morphed from being a has-been media stock hobbled by a failing holding in ESPN to a dynamic company that is suddenly taking over the world. The reward was an eye-popping 25% move in three weeks, which we caught.

Copper demand is rocketing, off of soaring global electric car production. Each vehicle needs 22 pounds of the red metal, and 4 million have been built so far. That number reached 5 million by June. Take a second bite of the apple with (FCX) as well.

General Electric got slaughtered again, with an earnings downgrade from Morgan Stanley. It will take years to sort out this mess. Avoid (GE).

The 30-year fixed rate mortgage plunged to 4.03% and may save the spring selling season for residential real estate.

Apple Topped $200. It looks like the market is finally buying the services story. Stand aside for the short term. It’s had a great run, up 42% from the December low. I’m waiting for 5G until I buy my next iPhone, probably next year.

The Mad Hedge Fund Trader hit a new all-time high briefly, up 15.46% year to date, and beating the pants off the Dow Average. Good thing I didn’t buy the bearish argument. There’s too much cash floating around the world. However, my downside hedges in Disney and Tesla cost me some money when I stopped out. I was late by a day.

We are taking profits on a six-month peak of 13 positions across the GTD and Tech Letter services and will wait for markets to tell us what to do next.

April is so far down -1.50%, as my downside hedges in Tesla (TSLA) and Disney (DIS) cost me some sofa change.  My 2019 year to date return retreated to +13.92%, paring my trailing one-year return back up to +27.22%. 
 
My nine and a half year return backed off to +314.06%. The average annualized return appreciated to +33.65%. I am now 100% in cash.

The Mad Hedge Technology Letter has gone ballistic, with an aggressive and unhedged 30% long which expires this week. It is maintaining positions in Microsoft (MSFT), Alphabet (GOOGL), and Amazon (AMZN), which are clearly going to new highs.

It’s going to be a dull week on the data front after last week’s fireworks.

On Monday, April 15 at 8:30 AM, we get the April Empire State Index. Citibank (C) and Goldman Sachs (GS) report.

On Tuesday, April 16, 9:15 AM EST, we learn March Industrial Production. Netflix (NFLX) and IBM (IBM) report.

On Wednesday, April 17 at 2:00 PM, we get the Fed Beige Book Indicators. Morgan Stanley reports (MS).

On Thursday, April 18 at 8:30 the Weekly Jobless Claims are produced. At 10:00 AM EST, we obtain the March Index of Leading Economic Indicators. American Express (AXP) reports.

On Friday, April 19 at 8:30 AM, the markets are closed for Good Friday.

As for me, I am staying planted in my bed reading up on research and watching HBO until I kick this flu. After that, I should be good for the rest of the year.

Good luck and good trading.

John Thomas
CEO & Publisher
The Diary of a Mad Hedge Fund Trader

 

 

 

 

 

 

Flat on my Back

March 25, 2019

Global Market Comments
March 25, 2019
Fiat Lux

Featured Trade:
(MARKET OUTLOOK FOR THE WEEK AHEAD, OR GAME CHANGER)
(SPY), (TLT), (BIIB), (GOOG), (BA), (AAPL), (VIX), (USO)

The Market Outlook for the Week Ahead, or Game Changer

“When the facts change, I change. What do you do sir?” is a famous quote from the great economist John Maynard Keynes which I keep taped to the top of my monitor and constantly refer to.

The facts certainly changed on Wednesday when the Federal Reserve announced a change in the facts for the ages. Not only did governor Jay Powell announce that there would be no further rate increases in 2019.

He also indicated that the Fed would end its balance sheet unwind much earlier than expected. That has the effect of injecting $2.7 trillion into the US financial system and is the equivalent of two surprise interest rate CUTS.

The shocking move opens the way for stocks to trade up to new all-time high, with or without a China trade deal. Only the resumption of all-out hostilities, like the imposition of new across the board 25% tariffs, would pee on this parade.

As if we didn’t have enough to discount into the market in one shot. I held publication of this letter until Sunday night when we could learn more about the conclusion of the Mueller Report. There was no collusion with Russia and there will be no obstruction of justice prosecution.

However, the report did not end the president’s legal woes as it opened up a dozen new lines of investigation that will go on for years. The market could care less.

At the beginning of the year, I listed my “Five Surprises for 2019”. They were:

*The government shutdown ended and the Fed makes no move to raise interest rates

*The Chinese trade war ends

*The US makes no moves to impeach the Trump, focusing on domestic issues instead

*Britain votes to rejoin Europe

*The Mueller investigation concludes that he has an unpaid parking ticket in
NY from 1974 and that’s it

Notice that three of five predictions listed in red have already come true and the remaining two could transpire in coming weeks or months. All of the above are HUGELY risk positive and have triggered a MONSTER Global STOCK RALLY

Make hay while the sun shines because what always follows a higher high? A lower low.

The Fed eased again by cutting short their balance sheet unwind and ending quantitative tightening early. It amounts to two surprise interest rate cuts and is hugely “RISK ON”. New highs in stocks beckon. This is a game changer.

Bonds soared and rates crashed taking ten-year US Treasury bond yields down to an eye-popping 2.42%, still reacting to the Wednesday Fed comments. This is the final nail in the bond bear market as global quantitative easing comes back with a vengeance. German ten years bonds turn negative for the first time since 2016.

Interest rates inverted with short term rates higher than long term ones for the first time since 2008. That means a recession starts in a year and the stock market starts discounting that in three months.

Interest rates are now the big driver and everything else like the economy, valuations, and earnings are meaningless. Foreign interest rates falling faster than ours making US assets the most attractive in the world. BUY EVERYTHING, including stocks AND bonds.

Biogen blew up canceling their phase three trials for the Alzheimer drug Aducanumab. This is the worst-case scenario for a biotech drug and the stock is down a staggering 30%. Some $12 billion in prospective income is down the toilet. Avoid (BIIB) until the dust settles.

Europe fined Google $1.7 billion, in the third major penalty in three years. Clearly, there’s a “not invented here” mentality going on. It's sofa change to the giant search company. Buy (GOOG) on the dip.

More headaches for Boeing came down the pike. What can go wrong with a company that has grounded its largest selling product? Answer: they get criminally prosecuted. That was the unhappy news that hit Boeing (BA), knocking another $7 off the shares. It can’t get any worse than this, can it? Buy this dip in (BA).

Indonesia canceled a massive 737 order for 49 planes, slapping the stock on the face for $9. Apparently, they are unwilling to wait for the software fix. Buy the dip in (BA).

Oil prices hit a new four-month high at $58 a barrel as OPEC production caps work and Venezuela melts down. At a certain point, high energy prices are going to hurt the economy. Buy (USO) on dips.

The CBOE suspended bitcoin futures due to low volume and weak demand. It could be a fatal blow for the troubled cryptocurrency. Avoid bitcoin and all other cryptos. They’re a Ponzi scheme.

Equity weightings hit a 2 ½ year low as professional institutional money managers sell into the rally. They are overweight long defensive REITs and short European stocks. Watch out for the reversal.

December stock sellers are now March buyers. Expect this to lead to a higher high, then a lower low. Volatility is coiling. Don’t forget to sit down when the music stops playing.

Volatility hits a six-month low with the $12 handle revisited once again down from $30. (VIX) could get back to $9 before this is all over. Avoid (VIX) as the time decay will kill you.

Weak factory orders crush the market, down 450 points at the low. Terrible economic data is not new these days. But it ain’t over yet. Buy the dip.

The Mad Hedge Fund Trader was up slightly on the week.  That’s fine, given the horrific 450 point meltdown the market suffered on Friday. We might have closed unchanged on the day but for rumors that the Mueller Report would be imminently released.

March is still negative, down -1.54%.  My 2019 year to date return retreated to +11.74%,  boosting my trailing one-year return back up to +24.86%. 
 
My nine-year return recovered to +311.88%. The average annualized return appreciated to +33.71%. I am now 40% in cash, 40% long and 20% short, and my entire portfolio expires at the April 18 option expiration day in 14 trading days.

The Mad Hedge Technology Letter used the weakness to scale back into positions in Microsoft (MSFT), Alphabet (GOOGL), and PayPal (PYPL), which are clearly going to new highs.

The coming week will be a big one for data from the real estate industry.

On Monday, March 25, Apple will take another great leap into services, probably announcing a new video streaming service to compete with Netflix and Walt Disney.

On Tuesday, March 26, 9:00 AM EST, we get a new Case Shiller CoreLogic National Home Price index which will almost certainly show a decline.

On Wednesday, March 27 at 8:30 AM, we get new Trade Deficit figures for January which have lately become a big deal.

Thursday, March 28 at 8:30 AM EST, the Weekly Jobless Claims are announced. We also then get another revision for Q4 GDP which will likely come down.

On Friday, March 29 at 10:00 AM, we get February New Home Sales. The Baker-Hughes Rig Count follows at 1:00 PM.

As for me, I’m praying that it stops snowing in the High Sierras long enough for me to get over Donner Pass and spend the spring at Lake Tahoe. We are at 50 feet for the season, the second highest on record.

Good luck and good trading.

John Thomas
CEO & Publisher
The Diary of a Mad Hedge Fund Trader