Posts

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

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

March 14, 2019

Global Market Comments
March 14, 2019
Fiat Lux

Featured Trade:

(LEARN MORE ABOUT ME THAN YOU PROBABLY WANT TO KNOW),
(GOOG), (AMZN), (AMGN)

Learn More About Me Than You Probably Want to Know

As you may imagine, the most interesting man in the world is impossible to shop for when it comes to Christmas and birthdays.

So, it was no surprise when I opened a box and found a DNA testing kit from 23 and Me. So, I spit into a small test tube to humor the kids, mailed it off, and forgot about it.

I have long been a keeper of the Thomas family history and legends, so it would be interesting to learn which were true and which were myths.

A month later, what I discovered was amazing.

For a start, I am related to Louis the 16th, the last Bourbon king of France who was beheaded after the 1789 revolution.

I am a direct descendant from Otzi the Iceman who is 5,000 years old and was recently discovered frozen in an Alpine glacier. He currently resides in mummified form in an Italian museum.

Oh, one more. The reason I don’t have any hair on my back is that I carry 346 gene fragments that I inherited directly from a Neanderthal. Yes, I am part caveman, although past girlfriends suspected as much.

There were other conclusions.

I have a higher than average probability of getting prostate cancer, advanced macular degeneration (my mother had it), celiac disease, and melanoma.

The service also offered to introduce me to 1,107 close relatives around the world who I didn’t know, mostly in New York, California, and Florida.

The French connection I already knew about. During the 16th century, my ancestors rebelled against the French kings over the non-payment of taxes and were exiled to Louisiana. Fleeing a malaria epidemic, they moved up the Mississippi River to St. Louis and stayed there for 200 years. When gold was discovered in California in 1849, they joined a wagon train west. We have been here ever since.

I am half Italian and have birth certificates going back to 1800 to prove it. But 23 and Me says that I am only 40.7% Italian (see table below). It turns out that your genes show not only where you came from, but also who invaded your home country since the beginning of time.

In Italy’s case that would include the ancient Greeks, Vikings, Arabs, the Normans, French, Germans, and the Spanish, thus making up my other 9.3%. Your genes also reflect the slaves your ancestors owned, for obvious reasons.

23 and Me was founded in 2006 by Anne Wojcicki, wife of Google founder Sergei Brin. It is owned today by her and a few other partners. Its name is based on the fact that humans’ entire DNA code is found on 23 chromosomes.

23 and Me and other competitors like Ancestry.com, MyHeritage, and Living DNA have sparked a DNA boom that has lead to once unimaged economic and social consequences. DNA promises to be for the 21st century what electricity was to the 20th century. The investment consequences are amazing.

Talk about unintended consequences with a turbocharger.

A common ancestor going back to the early 1800s enabled Sacramento police to capture the Golden State killer. Unsolved for 40 years, it took a week for them to find him after a DNA sample was sent to a DNA database.

Thirty and 40-year cold cases are now being solved on a weekly basis. Long ago kidnapped children are being reunited with parents after decades of separation.

California just froze all executions. That’s because DNA evidence showed that approximately 30% of all capital case convictions were of innocent men. That was enough for me to change my own view on the death penalty. The error rate was just too high. Dozens of men around the country have been freed after new DNA evidence surfaced, some after serving 30 years or more in prison.

23 and Me had some medical advice for me as well. They strongly recommended that I get tested for diabetes and high blood pressure as these maladies are rife among my ancestors. They even name the specific guilty gene and haploid group.

This explains why major technology companies, like Amazon (AMZN) and Apple (AAPL), are pouring billions of dollars into genetic research.

I have long had a personal connection with DNA research. I worked on the team that sequenced the first ever string of DNA at UCLA in 1974. It was groundbreaking work. We obtained our raw DNA from Dr. James Watson of Harvard who, along with Francis Crick, was the first to discover its three-dimensional structure. As for my UCLA professor, Dr. Winston Salser, he went on to found Amgen (AMGN) in 1980 and became a billionaire.

The developments that are taking place today then seemed to us like science fiction that was hundreds of years into the future. To see the paper created by this work please click here.
 
As research into DNA advances, it is about to pervade every aspect of our lives. Do you have a high probability of getting a disease that costs a million dollars to cure and is counting on getting health insurance? Think again. That may well bring forward single-payer national healthcare for the US, as only the government could absorb that kind of liability.

And if you can only hang on a few years, you might live forever. That’s when DNA-based monoclonal antibodies and gene editing are about to cure all major human diseases. DNA is about to become central to your physical health and your financial health as well.

To learn more about 23 and Me please visit their website here.

Maybe the next time I visit the Versaille Palace outside of Paris, I should ask for a set of keys now that I’m a relative? Unfortunately, it’s much more likely that I’ll get the keys to my Neanderthal ancestor’s cave.

 

 

 

January 24, 2019

Global Market Comments
January 24, 2019
Fiat Lux

Featured Trade:

(FROM THE FRONT LINES OF THE TRADE WAR),
(AAPL), (AVGO), (QCOM), (TLT),
(HOW THE MAD HEDGE MARKET TIMING ALGORITHM TRIPLED MY PERFORMANCE),

January 23, 2019

 Global Market Comments
January 23, 2018
Fiat Lux

Featured Trade:

(PLAYING THE SHORT SIDE WITH VERTICAL BEAR PUT SPREADS), (TLT)
(WHY TECHNICAL ANALYSIS DOESN’T WORK)
(FB), (AAPL), (AMZN), (GOOG), (MSFT), (VIX)

December 31, 2018

Global Market Comments
December 31, 2018
Fiat Lux

Featured Trade:

(WILL SYNBIO SAVE OR DESTROY THE WORLD?),
(XLV), (XPH), (XBI), (IMB), (GOOG), (AAPL), (CSCO), (BIIB)

December 28, 2018

Global Market Comments
December 28, 2017
Fiat Lux

SPECIAL ISSUE ABOUT THE FAR FUTURE

Featured Trade:

(PEAKING INTO THE FUTURE WITH RAY KURZWEIL),
(GOOG), (INTC), (AAPL), (TXN)

November 2018

Global Market Comments
November 27, 2018
Fiat Lux

Featured Trade:

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

(THE WORST TRADE IN HISTORY), (AAPL)

November 26, 2018

Global Market Comments
November 26, 2018
Fiat Lux

Featured Trade:
(THE MARKET OUTLOOK FOR THE WEEK AHEAD, or ARE WE IN OR OUT?)
(FB), (AAPL), (AMZN), (NFLX),
(GOOG), (SPY), (TLT), (USO), (UNG), (ROM)