Global Market Comments
May 5, 2020
(FIVE STOCKS TO BUY AT THE BOTTOM),
(AAPL), (AMZN), (SQ), (ROKU), (MSFT)
Global Market Comments
May 5, 2020
(FIVE STOCKS TO BUY AT THE BOTTOM),
(AAPL), (AMZN), (SQ), (ROKU), (MSFT)
With the Dow Average down 1,400 points in three trading days, you are being given a second bite of the apple before the yearend tech-led rally begins.
So, it is with great satisfaction that I am rewriting Arthur Henry’s Mad Hedge Technology Letter’s list of recommendations.
By the way, if you want to subscribe to Arthur’s groundbreaking, cutting-edge service, please click here.
It’s the best read on technology investing in the entire market.
You don’t want to catch a falling knife, but at the same time, diligently prepare yourself to buy the best discounts of the year.
The Coronavirus has triggered a tsunami wave of selling, tearing apart the tech sector with a vicious profit-taking few trading days.
Here are the names of five of the best stocks to slip into your portfolio in no particular order once the madness subsides.
Steve Job’s creation is weathering the gale-fore storm quite well. Apple has been on a tear reconfirming its smooth pivot to a software services-tilted tech company. The timing is perfect as China has enhanced its smartphone technology by leaps and bounds.
Even though China cannot produce the top-notch quality phones that Apple can, they have caught up to the point local Chinese are reasonably content with its functionality.
That hasn’t stopped Apple from vigorously growing revenue in greater China 20% YOY during a feverishly testy political climate that has its supply chain in Beijing’s crosshairs.
The pivot is picking up steam and Apple’s revenue will morph into a software company with software and services eventually contributing 25% to total revenue.
They aren’t just an iPhone company anymore. Apple has led the charge with stock buybacks and gobbled up a total of $150 billion in shares by the end of 2019. Get into this stock while you can as entry points are few and far between.
This is the best company in America hands down and commands 5% of total American retail sales or 49% of American e-commerce sales. The pandemic has vastly accelerated the growth of their business.
It became the second company to eclipse a market capitalization of over $1 trillion. Its Amazon Web Services (AWS) cloud business pioneered the cloud industry and had an almost 10-year head start to craft it into its cash cow. Amazon has branched off into many other businesses since then oozing innovation and is a one-stop wrecking ball.
The newest direction is the smart home where they seek to place every single smart product around the Amazon Echo, the smart speaker sitting nicely inside your house. A smart doorbell was the first step along with recently investing in a pre-fab house start-up aimed at building smart homes.
The optics in 2018 look utterly different from when Bill Gates was roaming around the corridors in the Redmond, Washington headquarter and that is a good thing in 2018.
Current CEO Satya Nadella has turned this former legacy company into the 2nd largest cloud competitor to Amazon and then some.
Microsoft Azure is rapidly catching up to Amazon in the cloud space because of the Amazon effect working in reverse. Companies don’t want to store proprietary data to Amazon’s server farm when they could possibly destroy them down the road. Microsoft is mainly a software company and gained the trust of many big companies especially retailers.
Microsoft is also on the vanguard of the gaming industry taking advantage of the young generation’s fear of outside activity. Xbox-related revenue is up 36% YOY, and its gaming division is a $10.3 billion per year business.
Microsoft Azure grew 87% YOY last quarter. The previous quarter saw Azure rocket by 98%. Shares are cheaper than Amazon and almost as potent.
CEO Jack Dorsey is doing everything right at this fin-tech company blazing a trail right to the doorsteps of the traditional banks.
The various businesses they have on offer makes me think of Amazon’s portfolio because of the supreme diversity. The Cash App is a peer-to-peer money transfer program that cohabits with a bitcoin investing function on the same smartphone app.
Square has targeted the smaller businesses first and is a godsend for these entrepreneurs who lack immense capital to create a financial and payment infrastructure. Not only do they provide the physical payment systems for restaurant chains, they also offer payroll services and other small loans.
The pipeline of innovation is strong with upper management mentioning they are considering stock trading products and other bank-like products. Wall Street bigwigs must be shaking in their boots.
The recently departed CFO Sarah Friar triggered a 10% collapse in share price on top of the market meltdown. The weakness will certainly be temporary, especially if they keep doubling their revenue every two years like they have been doing.
Benefitting from the broad-based migration from cable tv to online steaming and cord-cutting, Roku is perfectly placed to delectably harvest the spoils.
This uber-growth company offers an over-the-top (OTT) streaming platform along with the necessary hardware and picks up revenue by selling digital ads.
Founder and CEO Anthony Woods owns 21 million shares of his brainchild and insistently notes that he has no interest in selling his company to a Netflix or Apple.
Roku’s active accounts mushroomed 46% to 22 million in the second quarter. Viewers are reaffirming the obsession with on-demand online streaming content with hours streamed on the platform increasing 58% to 5.5 billion.
The Roku platform can be bought for just $30 and is easy to set-up. Roku enjoys the lead in the over-the-top (OTT) streaming device industry controlling 37% of the market share leading Amazon’s Fire Stick at 28%.
The runway is long as (OTT) boxes nestle cozily in only 40% of American homes with broadband, up from a paltry 6% in 2010.
They are consistently absent from the backbiting and jawboning the FANGs consistently find themselves in partly because they do not create original content and they are not an off-shoot from a larger parent tech firm.
This growth stock experiences the same type of volatility as Square.
Be patient and wait for 5-7% drops to pick up some shares.
Global Market Comments
October 4, 2019
(LAST CHANCE TO BUY THE NEW MAD HEDGE BIOTECH AND HEALTH CARE LETTER AT THE FOUNDERS PRICE)
(SEPTEMBER 18 BIWEEKLY STRATEGY WEBINAR Q&A),
(SPY), (VIX), (USO), (ROKU), (TLT), (BA), (INDU),
(GM), (FXI), (FB), (SCHW), (IWM), (AMTD)
Below please find subscribers’ Q&A for the Mad Hedge Fund Trader October 2 Global Strategy Webinar broadcast from Silicon Valley, CA with my guest and co-host Bill Davis of the Mad Day Trader. Keep those questions coming!
Q: Would you do the S&P 500 (SPY) bull call spread if you didn’t have time to enter the short leg yesterday?
A: I would, because once again, once the Volatility Index (VIX) gets over $20, picking these call spreads is like shooting fish in a barrel. I think the long position I put on the (SPY) this morning is so far in the money that you will be sufficiently safe on a 12-day and really a 2-week view. There is just too much cash on the sidelines and interest rates are too low to see a major December 2018 type crash from here.
Q: I could not come out of the United States Oil Fund (USO) short position—should I keep it to expiration?
A: Yes, at this point we’re so close to expiration and so far in the money that you’d need a 30% move in oil to lose money on this. So, run it into expiration and avoid the execution costs.
Q: How do you see TD Ameritrade (AMTD) short term?
A: Well, it was down approximately 25% yesterday, so I would buy some cheap calls and go way out of the money so as not to risk much capital—on the assumption that maybe next week into the China trade talks, we get some kind of rally in the market and see a dramatic rise. 25% does seem extreme for a one-day move just because one broker was cutting his commissions to zero. By the way, I have been predicting that rates would go to zero for something like 30 years; that’s one of the reasons I got out of the business in 1989.
Q: Would you consider buying Roku (ROKU) at the present level?
A: Down 1/3 from the top is very tempting; however, I’m not in a rush to buy anything here that doesn’t have a large hedge on it. What you might consider doing on Roku is something like a $60-$70 or $70-$80 long-dated call spread. That is hedged, and it’s also lower risk. Sure, it won’t make as much money as an outright call option but at least you won’t be catching a falling knife.
Q: Will we see a yearend rally in the stocks?
A: Probably, yes. I think this quarter will clear out all the nervous money for the short term, and once we find a true bottom, we might find a 5-10% rally by yearend—and I’m going to try to be positioned to catch just that.
Q: At which price level do you go 100% long position?
A: If we somehow get to last December lows, that’s where you add the 100% long position. And there is a chance, while unlikely, that we get down to about 22,000 in the Dow Average (INDU), and that’s where you bet the ranch. Coming down from 29,000 to 22,000, you’re essentially discounting an entire recession with that kind of pullback. But we’re going to try to trade this thing shorter term; the market has so far been rewarding us to do so.
Q: The United States Treasury Bond Fund (TLT) looks like it’s about to break out. How do you see buying for the November $145 calls targeting $148?
A: We are actually somewhat in the middle of the range for the (TLT), so it’s a bit late to chase. We did play from the long side from the high $130s and took a quick profit on that, but now is a little bit late to play on the long side. We go for the low-risk, high-return trades, and $145 is a bit of a high-risk trade at this point. I would look to sell the next spike in the (TLT) rather than buy the middle where we are now.
Q: Will Boeing (BA) get recertified this year?
A: Probably, yes—now that we have an actual pilot as the head of the FAA—and that will be a great play. But if the entire economy is falling into a recession, nothing is a good play and you want to go into cash if you can’t do shorts. That would give us a chance to buy Boeing back closer to the $320 level, which was the great entry point in August.
Q: Do you expect General Motors (GM) shares to bounce if they settle with the union on their strike?
A: Maybe for a day or two, but that’s it. The whole car industry is in recession already. The union picked the worst time to strike because GM has a very high 45-day inventory of unsold cars which they would love to get rid of.
Q: What are the chances of a deal with China (FXI)?
A: Zero. How hard do the Chinese really want to work to get Trump reelected? My guess is not at all. We may get the announcement of a fake deal that resumes Chinese agricultural purchases, but no actual substance on intellectual property theft or changing any Chinese laws.
Q: Will they impeach Trump?
A: Impeach yes, convict no; and it’s going to take about 6 months, which will be a cloud hanging over the market. The market’s dropped about 1,000 points since the impeachment inquiry has started.
Q: What about the dollar?
A: I’m staying out of the dollar due to too many conflicting indicators and too much contra-historical action going on. The dollar seems high to me, but I’ve been wrong all year.
Q: E*Trade (ETFC) just announced free stock trading—what are your thoughts?
A: All online brokers now pretty much have to announce free trading in order to stay in business, otherwise you end up with the dumbest customers. It’s bad for the industry, but it’s good for you. The fact that all of these companies are moving to zero shows how meaningless your commissions became to them because so much more money was being made on selling your order flow to high frequency traders or selling your data to people like Facebook (FB).
Q: What’s your take on the Canadian dollar (FXC)?
A: It will go nowhere to weak, as long as the US is on a very slow interest rate-cutting program. The second Canada starts raising rates or we start cutting more aggressively is when you want to buy the Loonie.
Q: Fast fashion retailer Forever 21 went bankrupt—is it too late to short the mall stocks?
A: No but be very disciplined; only short the rallies. Last week would have been a good chance to get shorts off in malls and retailers. You really need to sell into rallies because the further these things go down, the more volatility increases as the prices go low. Obviously, a $1 move on a $30 stock is only 3% but a $1 move on a $10 stock is 10%. If you’re the wrong way on that, it can cost you a lot of money, even though the thing’s going to zero.
Q: Comments on defense stocks such as Raytheon (RTN)?
A: This is a highly political sector. If Trump gets reelected, expect an expansion of defense spending and overseas sales to Saudi Arabia, which would be good for defense. If he doesn’t get reelected, that would be bad for defense because it would get cut, and sales to places like Saudi Arabia would get cut off. I stay out of them myself because it’s essentially a political play and we’re very late in the cycle.
Q: Mark Zuckerberg says presidential candidate Elizabeth Warren’s proposal is an existential threat. Do you agree with him and her policies? Will they crash the economy?
A: They would be bad for the economy; however, I think it’s highly unlikely Warren gets elected. The country’s looking for a moderate president, not a radical one, and she does not fit that description. If you did break up the Tech companies, they’d be worth more individually than they are in these great monolithic companies.
Q: Does the Russell 2000 (IWM) call spread look in danger to you?
A: It’s a higher risk trade, however we are hedged with that short S&P 500, so we can hang onto the long (IWM) position hedging it with your short S&P 500 (SPY) trade reducing your risk.
Q: What do you have to say about shrinking buybacks?
A: It’s another recession indicator, for one thing. Corporate buybacks have been driving the stock market for the last 2 years at around a trillion dollars a year. They have suddenly started to decline. Why is that happening? Because companies think they can buy their stocks back at lower levels. If companies don’t want to buy their stocks, you shouldn’t either.
Q: When is the time for Long Term Equity Anticipation Securities (LEAPS)?
A: We are not in LEAPS territory yet. Those are long term, more than one-year option plays. You really want to get those at the once-a-year horrendous selloffs like the ones in December and February. We’re not at that point yet, but when we get there, we’ll start pumping out trade alerts for LEAPS for tech stocks like crazy. Start doing your research and picking your names, start playing around with strikes, and then one day, the prices will be so out of whack it will be the perfect opportunity to go in and buy your LEAPS.
Q: Was it a Black Monday for brokerages when Charles Schwab (SCHW) cut their commission to zero?
A: Yes, but it’s been one of the most predicted Black Mondays in history.
Q: Will the Fed save the market?
A: I would think they have no ability to save the market because they really can’t cut interest rates any more than they already have. There really are no companies that need to borrow money right now, and any that does you don’t want to touch with a ten-foot pole. The economy is not starved for cash right now—we have a cash glut all over the world—therefore, lowering interest rates will have zero impact on the economy, but it does eliminate the most important tool in dealing with future recessions. You go into a recession with interest rates at zero, then you’re really looking at a great depression because there’s no way to get out of it. It’s the situation Europe and Japan have been in for years.
Good Luck and Good Trading
CEO $ Publisher
The Diary of a Mad Hedge Fund Trader
Global Market Comments
September 9, 2019
(MARKET OUTLOOK FOR THE WEEK AHEAD, or SAVED BY A HURRICANE)
(FXB), (M), (XOM), (BAC), (FB), (AAPL),
(AMZN), (ROKU), (VIX), (GS), (MS),
This was the week when the stock market was saved by Hurricane Dorian.
Why a hurricane?
Because it gave President Trump something else to Tweet about beside China and Jay Powell. The White House went totally silent, at least on matters concerning the stock market. There, the focus instead turned on whether Trump predicted Dorian was going to hit Alabama (it didn’t).
Thank goodness for small favors.
Instead, investors got to hear about progress was purported to be made on the China trade talks with a possible October meeting.
It all reminds me of the 1968 Paris peace talks, which I visited, where I remember Ambassador Avril Harriman storming out of the Majestic Hotel with a very stern expression on his face. They had just spent a year arguing with the North Vietnamese over the shape of the table (they finally settled on an oval).
Brexit finally started lurching towards its inevitable demise. Hard Brexit failed in Parliament, a disaster for Prime Minister Boris Johnson, whose own party and even his own brother voted against him.
Elections will follow which will finally plunge a dagger through the heart of Britain’s attempt to leave the European Community. If this happens, it will be a huge positive for risk markets globally. This is the beginning of the end. Get ready to buy the pound (FXB).
The bad news? Don’t count on this happening again this week, unless we get another hurricane. When a stock market rally is led by sectors with the worst fundamentals, like retail (M), energy (XOM), and banks (BAC), you want to run a mile. It means the rally was driven by short-covering, we are now at a market high, and the short players have a ton of cash.
I have been pounded with questions all week if the bottom is in and if it’s time to load the boat with tech stocks yet again. I have to answer with a firm “Not yet!” We still have three weeks to go in September with plenty of time for more volatility.
If the Fed cuts interest rates by 25 basis points, the Dow average could crater by 1,000 points. If they don’t cut, which I give a 50/50 chance, it will be down by 2,000 points.
They will be encouraged to cut by an August Nonfarm Payroll Report that came in at a tepid 130,000. The headline Unemployment Rate remained unchanged at 3.7%, a 50-year low. Average Hourly Earnings were an inflationary 0.4%, or 3.2% YOY. June and July were revised down.
The 2020 census was a big factor in August, where the US government hired 25,000 workers to prepare for next year. Without this, August would have come in at a weak 105,000 jobs.
Manufacturing hiring amounted to only 3,000, while Retail lost 11,000 jobs for the seventh consecutive monthly decline. The broader U-6 “discouraged worker” unemployment rate rose from 7.0% to 7.2%.
To demonstrate how much value you are gaining with this service, I generated the chart below. Since January 26, 2018 when the S&P 500 peaked, the total return has been zero, with a lot of heart-stopping volatility, including one 20% drawdown.
That has been the cost to the stock market of the trade war, which started only a few days later. The profit created by the Mad Hedge Fund Trader during the same period has been 58.97%.
You couldn’t even beat the Mad Hedge Fund Trader by pouring all your money into big technology stocks. Over the same time, Facebook (FB) fell 4.1%, Apple (AAPL) rose 21.7%, and Amazon (AMZN) by 22.2%.
The only way you could have topped my performance was to pour your life savings into Roku (ROKU), right when Amazon was about to put it out of business. Jeff Bezos partnered with Roku instead of delivering a 225% pop in the shares.
You might think such a performance is blown out of proportion, exaggerated, and fake. However, it is perfectly consistent with the numbers generated for the in-house trading books by senior traders at Goldman Sachs (GS) and Morgan Stanley (MS) where I come from.
In fact, during my day, if a trader earned less than 30% a year on his capital, he got fired or transferred over to covering retail accounts because the firm had so many better places to invest. They are also consistent with the performance of the top-end hedge managers, of which I used to be one.
Chinese Manufacturing Activity fell for four consecutive months taking the Purchasing Managers Index below a recessionary 50. If you wreck the economy of the world’s largest customer, the rest of the world goes into recession.
US Manufacturing hit a three-year low, the ISM Manufacturing PMI diving from an average 56.5 to 49.1 in August. Anything below 50 is a recession indicator. Hoping that China will bleed worse than us in a trade war is not a winning strategy. Stocks dove 300 points and the Volatility Index (VIX) shot up to $21 on the news. Avoid risk, as this is going to be a terrible month.
The prospect of a China meeting popped stocks 400 points, with an agreement to meet in October, citing progress on a phone call. Boy, I’m getting tired of this. When can we go back to looking at earnings, dividends, and book value?
The European Central Bank will almost certainly ease this week. It hasn’t worked for ten years so let’s try it again. They’re obviously not printing enough Euros. Overnight rates will fall from -0.4% to -0.6%. Some 30 billion euros a month will hit the economy in a new QE.
The Atlanta Fed downgraded the economy, cutting its Q3 GDP growth forecast from 2.0% to 1.5%. Expect a string of poor data points in the coming months as the delayed effect of an escalated trade war. However, the non-manufacturing service economy remains strong. That’s me, and probably you too.
The Mad Hedge Trader Alert Service has posted its best month in two years. Some 22 or the last 23 round trips, or 95.6%, have been profitable, generating one of the biggest performance jumps in our 12-year history.
My Global Trading Dispatch has hit a new all-time high of 334.48% and my year-to-date shot up to +34.35%. My ten-year average annualized profit bobbed up to +34.30%.
Better yet, since July 31, we generated a 20% profit for the trade alert service while the gain in the Dow Average was absolutely zero!
I raked in an envious 16.01% in August. All of you people who just subscribed in June and July are looking like geniuses. My staff and I have been working to the point of exhaustion, but it’s worth it if I can print these kinds of numbers.
As long as the Volatility Index (VIX) stays above $20, deep in-the-money options spreads are offering free money. I am now 40% long big tech. It rarely gets this easy.
The coming week will be a snore, as it always is after the jobs data.
On Monday, September 9 at 11:00 AM, August Consumer Inflation Expectations are out.
On Tuesday, September 10 at 12:00 PM, the NFIB Business Optimism Index for August is released.
On Wednesday, September 11, at 8:30 AM, the US Producer Price Index is announced.
On Thursday, September 12 at 8:30 AM, the Weekly Jobless Claims are printed. At the same time, the US Inflation Rate is published.
On Friday, September 13 at 8:30 AM, the US Retails Sales are printed. The Baker Hughes Rig Count follows at 2:00 PM.
As for me, I’ll be driving up to Lake Tahoe to make final preparations for the October 25-26 Mad Hedge Lake Tahoe Conference. A record number of black bears have been breaking into homes this summer and I just want to make sure my lakefront estate is OK.
It seems that Airbnb tenants have been leaving trails of cookies to their front doors and painting their refrigerators with peanut butter so they can get better selfies with their ursine neighbors.
Not a good idea.
I’ll be avoiding Interstate 80. A truck carrying 1,000 live chickens crashed there yesterday and the California Highway Patrol was last seen chasing them down the freeway.
Good luck and good trading.
CEO & Publisher
The Diary of a Mad Hedge Fund Trader
Global Market Comments
September 6, 2019
(SEPTEMBER 4 BIWEEKLY STRATEGY WEBINAR Q&A),
(INDU), (FXY), (FXB), (USO), (XLE), (TLT), (TBT),
(FB), (AMZN), (MSFT), (DIS), (WMT), (IWM), (TSLA), (ROKU), (UBER), (LYFT), (SLV), (SIL)
Below please find subscribers’ Q&A for the Mad Hedge Fund Trader September 4 Global Strategy Webinar broadcast from Silicon Valley with my guest and co-host Bill Davis of the Mad Day Trader. Keep those questions coming!
Q: If Trump figures out the trade war will lose him the election; will he stop it?
A: Yes, and that is a risk that hovers over all short positions in the market at all times these days because stocks will soar (INDU) when the trade war ends. We now have 18 months of share appreciation that has been frustrated or deferred by the dispute with China. The problem is that the US economy is already sliding into recession and it may already be too late to turn it around.
Q: Do you see the British pound (FXB) dropping more on the Brexit turmoil? Do you think the UK will stay in the EU?
A: If the UK ends Brexit through an election, then the pound should recover from $1.19 all the way back up to $1.65 where it was before Brexit happened four years ago. If that does happen, it will be one of the biggest trades of the year anywhere in the world, going long the British pound. This is how I always anticipated it would end. I was in England for the Brexit vote and I was convinced that if they held the election the next day, it would have lost. The only reason it won was because nobody thought it would— a lot like our own 2016 election. That brings Britain back into the EEC, saves Europe, and has a positive impact on markets globally. So, this is a big deal. Not to do so would be economic suicide for Britain, and I think wiser heads will prevail.
Q: Do you think it’s a good idea for Saudi ARAMCO to go public in Japan as reports suggest?
A: When the Arabs want to get out of the oil business (USO), (XLE), you want to also. That’s what the sale of ARAMCO is all about. They’re going to get a $1 trillion or more valuation, raising $100 billion in cash. And guess who the biggest investors in alternative energy in California are? It’s Saudi Arabia. They see no future in oil, nor should you. This is why we’ve been negative on the sector all year. By the way, bankruptcies by frackers in the U.S. are at an all-time high, another indicator that low oil prices can’t be tolerated by the US industry for long.
Q: Is it time to buy the ProShares Ultra Short 20 year Plus Treasury Bond Fund (TBT)?
A: No, not yet; I think we’re going to break 1.33% — the all-time low yield for the (TLT) will probably be somewhere just below 1.00%. We probably won’t go to absolute zero because we still have a growing economy. The countries that already have negative interest rates have shrinking economies or are already in recession, like Germany or Great Britain can justify zero rates.
Q: Are you going to run all your existing positions into expiration?
A: I’m going to try to—it’s only 12 days to expiration, and we get to keep the full profit if we do. As long as the market is dead in the middle here, there are no other positions to put on, no extreme low to buy into or extreme high to sell into. It’s a question of letting this sort of nowhere-trend play out, but also there’s nothing else to buy, so there is no need to raise cash. So, we’re 60% invested now and we’re going to try running as many of those into expiration as we can. Looks like all the long technology positions are safe (FB), (AMZN), (MSFT), (DIS). The only thing we’re pressing here are the shorts in Walmart (WMT) and Russell 2000 (IWM).
Q: Do you think it’s a good idea for Tesla (TSLA) to build another Gigafactory in Shanghai, China during a trade war? Will this blow up in Elon’s face?
A: I don’t think so because the Chinese are desperate for the Tesla technology and they just gave Tesla an exemption on import duties on all parts that need to go there to build the cars. So, that’s a very positive development for Tesla and I believe the stock is up about $10 since that news came out.
Q: Will Roku (ROKU) ever pull back? Would you buy it up here?
A: No, we recommended this thing last year at $40; it’s now up to $165, and up here it’s just wildly overbought, in chase territory. Of course, the reason that’s happening is that the big concern last year was Amazon wiping out Roku, yet they ultimately ended up partnering with Roku, and that’s worth about a 400% gain in the stock. You know the second you get into this, it’s over. There are just too many better fish to fry in the technology area.
Q: What happens if our existing Russell 2000 (IWM) September 2019 $153-$156 in-the-money vertical BEAR PUT spread Russell 2000 position closes between $156 and $153?
A: You lose money. You will get the Russell 2000 shares put to you, or sold to you at $153.00, which means you now own them, and you’ll get a big margin call from your broker for owning the extra shares. If ever it looks like we’re getting close to the strike price going into expiration, I come out precisely because of that risk. You don’t want random chance dictating whether you’re going to make money in your position or not going into expiration. If you’re worried about that, I would get out now and you can still come out with a nice profit. Or, you can always wait for another down day tomorrow.
Q: Is it time to get super aggressive shorting Lyft (LYFT) or Uber (UBER) when they openly admit that they won’t make a profit anytime in the near future?
A: The time to short Uber (UBER) and Lyft was at the IPO when the shares became available to sell. Down here I don’t really want to do very much. It’s late in the game and Uber’s down about one third from its IPO price. We begged people to stay away from this. It’s another example where they waited for the company to go ex-growth before it went public, but it didn’t leave anything for the public. It was a very badly mishandled IPO—it’s now at $31 against a $45 IPO price and was at a new all-time low just 2 days ago. You knew when they offered the drivers shares, the thing was in trouble. Sometime this will be a buy, but not yet. Go take a long nap first.
Q: Is the fact that rich people are hoarding cash a good indicator that a recession is approaching?
A: Yes, absolutely. Bonds yielding 1.45% is also an indication that the wealthy are hoarding cash from other investment and parking it in US treasury bonds. I went to the Pebble Beach Concourse d’ Elegance vintage car show a few weeks ago and all of the $10 million plus cars didn’t sell, only those priced below $100,000. That is always a good indicator that the wealthy are bailing ahead of a recession. If you can’t get a premium price for your vintage Ferrari, trouble is coming.
Q: Argentina just implemented currency controls; is this the start of a rolling currency crisis among emerging nations?
A: No, I believe the problems are unique to Argentina. They’ve adopted what is known as Modern Momentary Theory—i.e. borrowing and printing money like crazy. Unfortunately, this is unsustainable and results in a devalued currency, general instability, and the eventual hanging of their leaders from the nearest lamppost. This is exactly the same monetary policy that the Trump administration has been pursuing since he came into office. Eventually, it will lead to tears, ours, not his.
Q: Is the new all-electric Porsche Taycan a threat to Tesla?
A: No, it’s not. Their cheapest car is $150,000 and it gets one third less range than Tesla does. It’s really aimed at Porsche fanatics, and I doubt they will get outside their core market. In the meantime, Tesla has taken over the middle part of the electric market with the Model 3 at $37,000 a car. That’s where the money is, and Porsche will never get there.
Q: How will the US pull out of recession if the interest rates are at or below zero?
A: It won’t—that’s what a lot of economists are concerned about these days. With interest rates below zero, the Fed has lost its primary means to stimulate the economy. The only thing left to do is use creative means like feeding the economy with currency, which Europe has been doing for 10 years, and Japan for 30, with no results. That’s another reason to not allow rates to get back to zero—so we have tools to use when we go into a recession 12-24 months from now.
Q: What’s the best way to buy silver?
A: The ETF iShares Silver Trust (SLV) and, if you want to be aggressive, the silver miners with the Global X Silver Miners ETF (SIL).
Q: Have global central banks ruined the western economic system as we know it for future generations?
A: They may have—mostly by printing too much money in the last 10 years in order to get us out of recession. This hasn’t really worked for Europe or Japan, mind you, though who knows how much worse off they would be if they hadn’t. What it did do here is head off a Great Depression. If we go back to money printing in a big way, however, and it doesn’t work, we will not have prevented a Great Depression so much as pushed it back 10 or 15 years. That’s the great debate ongoing among economists, and it will eventually be settled by the marketplace.
Global Market Comments
August 27, 2019
(FIVE STOCKS TO BUY AT THE BOTTOM),
(AAPL), (AMZN), (SQ), (ROKU), (MSFT),
(HOW TO EXECUTE A VERTICAL BULL CALL SPREAD)
Mad Hedge Technology Letter
August 14, 2019
(WHY UBER BOMBED)