The Denizens of Intelligenz (WWE,GLD,SO,NFLX)

The Denizens of Intelligenz (WWE,GLD,SO,NFLX)   By definition, exactly half the population possesses below average intelligence.   And that’s not a comfortable statistic.   So who’s the dumb ones?   Well, it certainly doesn’t break down on socio-economic lines.  Don’t think, for example, you got smarts because you got cash, Giles.  It don’t work that way.   And intelligence, by the by, we don’t measure by how many letters you have trailing your name, either; academic credentials have absolutely nothing to do with a person’s ability to intelligize, if you’ll permit us some new coin.   Brains in the Service of Life   Rather, intelligence – as we read the dossier – has everything to do with an individual’s ability to respond to whatever predicament he encounters, and to navigate it successfully.  That may be a business deal, an unexpected visit by the ‘authorities’, a crisis in the street, or anything else that might befall a person in the course of his or her life that generally tests what we would call his ‘survivability’.   Because it clearly does not behoove a man to be the planet’s best trial lawyer, or essayist, or jet pilot or code writer if, when…

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Behind the Scenes and Under the Radar (SO,NFLX,FXI)

Behind the Scenes and Under the Radar (SO,NFLX,FXI)   It’s a political world, friends.  Has been for a while.   Everything that’s done or said or written these days, it seems, is employed to further an agenda.   Truth be damned, is what it’s all about; let ‘the story’ carry the day, whatever it may be.   If it makes me look good, so be it.   If it makes him look bad, so be it.   If it makes my team more popular, so be it.   If it hides my wrongdoing, so be it.   All that matters is that it’s done artfully and remains undiscovered.   Because truth is relative.   And if I win, it means my truth is the real Truth. It has become so difficult today to discern between what’s real, what’s psy-ops, who’s the good guy and who’s the criminal behind the lines we’re being fed.  Even what’s at stake and who’s to profit from the stories we’re told is unclear.   And we’re not just talking the world of geopolitics, friends.  The markets are equally drenched with stories that don’t hold water. Take, for example, the following –   As we come…

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Movie Lover’s Intermission (NFLX,JPM)

Movie Lover’s Intermission (NFLX,JPM)   If there’s one thing we’ve come to rely on over the last couple of decades, it’s the resiliency of tech – or at least the resiliency of the tech investor, a love junkie so consumed with his heart’s one desire that he keeps coming back – even after taking repeated beatings. We don’t make this stuff up, folks.   The dot.com bubble burst at the turn of the century; the Lehman Bros. debacle squared big tech (along with everything else) a decade back; and over the last year, we’ve seen several dumps of between 20% to 30% on all the FAANG stocks.   But does anyone care…?   Tech investors seem nonplussed.  They’re a loyal lot.  And that’s fine.   But we here at The Modern Bull are somewhat different.  We don’t have a great deal of hope for the longevity of things tech-y, but we do view them favorably as vehicles for robust and profitable trades.  Hence a company like Tesla, for whom we bear no love whatsoever, we still view as a high beta means of realizing our financial goals.   That said, there are now several reasons to be worried about big…

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Gulping Up the Silver (UUP,SLV,NFLX,FXI,DIA)

That’s it.  We’re in a downdraft.  A potentially short one, albeit, confined within a longer term uptrend.  But it’s a downdraft nonetheless.   Last Thursday, senior Normandy know it all, Matt McAbby, offered you a short term trade on the QQQs that’s worked out well.  Friday’s action saw the QUBES drop by better than one percent, and the setup still slightly favors a further decline.   We’ll have more to show-and-tell on short term market direction in a moment, but we want first to take an opportunity to discuss a few potential market-turning catalysts on the horizon.   Island Castaways   The first and most important item on the agenda is the upcoming vote on Britain’s exit from the European Union, a deal that’s come to be known as ‘Brexit’. The issue is a rather weighty one, though we can’t say it’ll affect markets in any meaningful way over the long term.  Certainly banks and bonds will be affected in the short term, but the decision is hardly likely to upend any one country or region, financially or economically, for keeps.     What’s rather more likely is that the market will be erratic going into the vote as well…

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Kill the BuzzTurds! (GLD,HYG,NFLX)

Before we get down to the business of war, money and making a killing in general, we have a number of trades that require your attention.   We start with our December 1st initiative from a letter called Why Go To Hell in a Golden Hearse, wherein we urged you to sell the GLD March 109 CALL for $1.17.   Now, it goes without saying that we missed the bomb-blast higher in the precious metals that began just a few weeks after we entered the trade. So with just a week to go before expiry and the initiative in a losing position, we’ve got no choice – we’re rolling up and out.   We still believe the rise in gold was a flash in the pan (and we’ll show you why in a moment), so we’ve no problem buying the CALL back at its current $9.00 and selling the May 110 for $8.85. We recover $0.15 in that manner and prepare for further downside in gold.   Further downside?! What the sheet!?   That’s right, as the charts below show, gold bullion, silver bullion and the goldminers were hit with bearish engulfing patterns over the last week, all of which…

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Call a Freakin’ Doctor! (NFLX,FB,TYL,MSFT)

Just a few reminders…   Back in the fall of 2008, when the indexes were almost at their bear market lows, and the situation looked as dire as it’s ever been, we saw an unprecedented government intervention and knew immediately that the markets would be buoyed and eventually lifted to new highs.   We repeated our claim numerous times in the months that followed, and those who heeded the call when the market was off nearly 50% from its peak are today sitting in the lap of luxury, not owing a penny in debt, howling like the pack of mother-stuffing money badgers that they are!   And today, we’ve come full circle.   We’re now witnessing a growing crisis of confidence in the market, but this time it’s with the ability of those same government interventionists to maintain the upward trajectory of the market. With the S&P 500 now off some 10% from its all-time highs, and other sectors even more, the question on everyone’s lips is whether we’re in for a repeat of the 2008/09 bounce, or that’s it, kaputski, sorry Charlie, g’bye.   The Rise of the Bears   Oh, the bears have their arguments, to be sure….

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Trades for Volatile Times (NFLX,IYT)

Before we look at one older trade and offer you a new one for today, just a word about volatility.   There are a number of ways of measuring volatility and each has its own root and function. The two main measures employed by traders are historical volatility, a measure of price fluctuations over any given period, and implied volatility, a number that purports to tell us what sort of price fluctuations we can expect at some point down the road.   The most popular and widely watched measure of implied volatilty is the CBOE’s VIX, the so-called ‘fear gauge’, that offers an up to date indication of how traders foresee the S&P 500 trading 30 days away.   Subjective and Objective?   The truth about the VIX is that it’s determined in both an objective and subjective manner. Sound strange? The explanation goes like this – in the first place, it’s calculated instantaneously during trading hours by tracking the objectively verifiable prices of a select number of S&P 500 options. Glad you asked.   It’s not objective because the prices of those same options are set, as are all options, by the floor traders and market makers who fix…

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The Great Wall Street Book of Revelations (NFLX)

The time has come friends, after all these years, to reveal my true identity.   You, of course, already know me as mild-mannered stock analyst and sometime comic genius Hugh L. O’Haynew. And for millions just like you, that suffices. After all, you make your money, you get your entertainment, you’re party to some of the most brilliant and insightful financial, economic and political analysis known to mankind – and it all comes to you practically free.   But that’s actually not our real name. And more than that, Normandy may or may not be the real company we’re working for. Indeed, it’s true. And the folks at Interpol, the NSA, the Mossad, MI5, the Stasi and Cheka have all attempted, unsuccessfully, to recruit us for their own nefarious purposes.   So who is ‘Hugh’?   Hugh is who, indeed?   Heh, heh, heh…   Allow me to introduce myself.   My real name is Joe Jacobson. It’s a name you’ll hear increasingly as the months pass, for the world is now ready to digest the truth of my existence.   But first a little background.   I make my home in the hill country of Northern Kashmir, where there…

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Single family home starts up, IBM stock down and Netflix (NFLX) to speed up expansion

Markets were heading higher on Wednesday after single-family housing starts reached their highest level in over six years. The Commerce Department said that starts jumped up 7.2% to an annual pace of 728,000 units. A level this high hasn’t been seen since March of 2008. Chris Rupkey, chief financial economist at MUFG Union Bank, said, “The last piece of the economic puzzle is starting to come together now as housing construction is coming back. The housing market is continuing to heal.” The positive data on single-family homes overshadowed the slight decline in multiple-family homes. There was a decline of 0.8% in the multiple-family homes. Shares of International Business Machines Corporation (IBM) were sinking after the company posted earnings that were lower than this time last year. Fourth-quarter earnings came in at $5.81 per share, which surpassed analysts’ expectation. However the data was down 6% from this time last year. Operating income from continued operations dropped 13% to a total of $5.8 billion. Chief Financial Officer, Martin Schroeter, said, “We feel very good about the overall strategy. We feel great about how we’re exiting 2014. When we exit 2015, we will have a higher-margin business than we did in 2014.” Netflix,…

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