Daily Market Update – February 29, 2016 (Close)

 

 

 

Daily Market Update – February 29, 2016 (Close)

This week seemed to be starting like so many weeks of late, except that the less than effusive bad news around the world doesn’t seem to be taking hold here this morning.

Foreign stock markets were lower, as was oil.

While that was the case early this morning, the US stock market futures had turned around from their lows during the early trading in the session and were getting ready to start the day at the flat line.

Then a funny, or maybe not so funny thing happened.

Or didn’t happen.

Oil reversed itself and actually enrt on to finish the day 3% higher, but the US stock market didn’t follow and instead lost 0.8% on the day.

That’s something that might be noteworthy, but let’s hope not.

There’s not too much else of note this week other than the week ending Employment Situation Report and maybe some more gyrations for the price of oil, as some cautious bulls are coming out of hiding and predicting significant gains by the end of the year.

On the surface that would seem like good news, but I wonder if the market would actually feel that way if they started seeing some tangible increases in prices, not just for oil but also for those products that rely on oil.

That might result in more days like today. That’s something that I’ve been fretting about for a few weeks. That would be the worst of all worlds.

The market going lower following oil and then going lower as oil rises.

As with most market gains, I prefer that they come slowly and methodically, so I’m not really hoping for any kind of drastic move higher this week.

With a little money in hand I could per persuaded to use some of it to open new positions this week, but I’m going to remain cautious. 

Today may have been a good day to sit on the sidelines, seeing how the day really did deteriorate.

While the tenor of February has been very good for the last two weeks, just as last Friday’s GDP could have been a major mover in either direction, the same holds true for this week’s Employment Situation Report.

As has been the case of late, I would like to see the market move higher, but more so that I can get some more opportunity to get some calls sold on currently uncovered positions.

That has been a very, very slow and arduous process, but it does feel good each time something that has been sitting for far too long as an unproductive member of my portfolio actually does something worthwhile.

With lots of ex-dividend positions this week I don’t have quite the compelling need to make trades, but I wouldn’t run away from the opportunity either, particularly as there are no positions that could be potentially rolled over this week. 

Maybe tomorrow, but I think that my caution continues.


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Daily Market Update – February 29, 2016

 

 

 

Daily Market Update – February 29, 2016 (9:00 AM)

This week seems to be starting like so many weeks of late, except that the less than effusive bad news around the world doesn’t seem to be taking hold here this morning.

Foreign stock markets are lower, as is oil.

While that’s the case the US stock market futures have turned around from their lows during the early trading in the session and were getting ready to start the day at the flat line.

There’s not too much of note this week other than the week ending Employment Situation Report and maybe some more gyrations for the price of oil, as some cautious bulls are coming out of hiding and predicting significant gains by the end of the year.

On the surface that would seem like good news, but I wonder if the market would actually feel that way if they started seeing some tangible increases in prices, not just for oil but also for those products that rely on oil.

As with most gains, I prefer that they come slowly and methodically, so I’m not really hoping for any kind of drastic move higher this week.

With a little money in hand I could per persuaded to use some of it to open new positions this week, but I’m going to remain cautious.

While the tenor of February has been very good for the last two weeks, just as last Friday’s GDP could have been a major mover in either direction, the same holds true for this week’s Employment Situation Report.

As has been the case of late, I would like to see the market move higher, but more so that I can get some more opportunity to get some calls sold on currently uncovered positions.

That has been a very, very slow and arduous process, but it does feel good each time something that has been sitting for far too long as an unproductive member of my portfolio actually does something worthwhile.

With lots of ex-dividend positions this week I don’t have quite the compelling need to make trades, but I wouldn’t run away from the opportunity either, particularly as there are no positions that could be potentially rolled over this week. 


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Daily Market Update – February 29, 2016

 

 

 

Daily Market Update – February 29, 2016 (9:00 AM)

This week seems to be starting like so many weeks of late, except that the less than effusive bad news around the world doesn’t seem to be taking hold here this morning.

Foreign stock markets are lower, as is oil.

While that’s the case the US stock market futures have turned around from their lows during the early trading in the session and were getting ready to start the day at the flat line.

There’s not too much of note this week other than the week ending Employment Situation Report and maybe some more gyrations for the price of oil, as some cautious bulls are coming out of hiding and predicting significant gains by the end of the year.

On the surface that would seem like good news, but I wonder if the market would actually feel that way if they started seeing some tangible increases in prices, not just for oil but also for those products that rely on oil.

As with most gains, I prefer that they come slowly and methodically, so I’m not really hoping for any kind of drastic move higher this week.

With a little money in hand I could per persuaded to use some of it to open new positions this week, but I’m going to remain cautious.

While the tenor of February has been very good for the last two weeks, just as last Friday’s GDP could have been a major mover in either direction, the same holds true for this week’s Employment Situation Report.

As has been the case of late, I would like to see the market move higher, but more so that I can get some more opportunity to get some calls sold on currently uncovered positions.

That has been a very, very slow and arduous process, but it does feel good each time something that has been sitting for far too long as an unproductive member of my portfolio actually does something worthwhile.

With lots of ex-dividend positions this week I don’t have quite the compelling need to make trades, but I wouldn’t run away from the opportunity either, particularly as there are no positions that could be potentially rolled over this week. 


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Dashboard – February 29 – March 4, 2016

 

 

 

 

 

SELECTIONS

MONDAY:   Oil lower, world wide markets down to start the week and an an Employment Situation Report to end it. Momentum has us moving higher, but let’s see how the week can begin with the burdens of the morning

TUESDAY:  Futures are pointing sharply higher a day after it seemed to disconnect from oil. After oil turned nicely higher during  yesterday’s mid-session, the market started a sharp decline. Today, they’re again traveling together, at least to get started

WEDNESDAY:  A great day yesterday is being followed by some flatness in the futures, but those futures seem to be ignoring weakness in oil.

THURSDAY: A flat day yesterday without too much evidence of the market following where oil was going. This morning appears to be another flat day as we await tomorrow’s Employment Situation Report.

FRIDAY:. Futures were again flat this morning, but this time the Employment Situation Report loomed, but still the week looked to close higher for  the third consecutive week.

 

 

 

 



 

                                                                                                                                           

Today's TradesCash-o-Meter

 

 

 





 “SNEAK PEEK AT NEXT WEEK” APPEARS ON FRIDAYS

Sneak PeekPie Chart Distribution

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Weekly Summary

  

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Dashboard – February 29 – March 4, 2016

 

 

 

 

 

SELECTIONS

MONDAY:   Oil lower, world wide markets down to start the week and an an Employment Situation Report to end it. Momentum has us moving higher, but let’s see how the week can begin with the burdens of the morning

TUESDAY:  

WEDNESDAY:  

THURSDAY: 

FRIDAY:

 

 

 

 



 

                                                                                                                                           

Today's TradesCash-o-Meter

 

 

 





 “SNEAK PEEK AT NEXT WEEK” APPEARS ON FRIDAYS

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Weekly Summary

  

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Weekend Update – February 28, 2016

It is really amazing that as big as the United States’ economy is, everything may now simply be part of a very delicate balancing act.

“Momentum” is a simple concept in classical mechanics and is generally expressed as the product of the mass of an object and its velocity.

The term “momentum” is often used when describing stocks, but many described as having momentum can be easily pushed off their track.

Another simple concept and part of classical physics, is that of “inertia.” Inertia is the resistance of any physical object to any change in its state of motion.

When a “momentum stock” has a relatively low market capitalization it isn’t too hard for resistance to match and overcome that momentum.

Greed and fear may play roles, too, in such cases, but those aren’t terms that Isaac Newton used very often.

The US economy may often move at what seems like a glacial speed, but its easy to overlook how difficult it is to alter its path due to its huge size.

That’s what makes the job of the FOMC so difficult. 

Outcomes resulting from their actions may take a long, long time to become obvious. Sometimes the FOMC acts to increase momentum and sometimes they have to act to increase resistance.

Stock market investors prefer the former, but history suggests that the early stages of the latter may be a great time for optimism.

While both momentum and inertia may be simple concepts, when considered together that’s not so much the case. Fortunately for the FOMC, the “Irresistible Force Paradox” suggests that there can be no such thing as an unstoppable object or an irresistible force.

Something has to give over the course of time.

While I’m no apologist for the George Bush presidency, the seeds for the beginning of an improvement in the economy often cited as beginning in about February 2009 could only have been sown much earlier. Similarly the economic stress in early 2001 could only have had its roots quite a bit earlier. However, our minds make temporal associations and credit or blame is often laid at the feet of the one lucky or unlucky enough to be in charge at the time something becomes obvious.

We’re now facing two delicate balances.

The first is the one continually faced by the FOMC, but that has been on most everyone’s mind ever since Janet Yellen became Chairman of the Federal Reserve.

The balance between managing inflation and not stifling economic growth has certainly been on the minds of investors. Cursed by that habit of making temporal associations, the small interest rate hike at the end of 2015, which was feared by many, could be pointed to as having set the stage for the market’s 2016 correction.

That leaves the FOMC to ponder its next step. 

While stressing that its decisions are “data driven” they can’t be completely dismissive of events around them, just as they briefly made mention of some global economic instability a few months ago, widely believed to have been related to China.

This past week’s GDP sent mixed messages regarding the critical role of the consumer, even as the previous week showed an increase in the Consumer Price Index. Whether rising health care costs or rising rents, which were at the core of the Consumer Price Index increase could hardly be interpreted as representing consumer participation, the thought that comes to mind is that if you’re a hammer everything looks like a nail.

The FOMC has to balance the data and its meaning with whatever biases each voting member may have. At the same time investors have to balance their fear of rising rates with the realization that could be reflecting an economy poised to grow and perhaps to do so in an orderly way.

But there’s another delicate balance at hand.

While we’ve all been watching how oil prices have whipsawed the stock market, there’s been the disconnect between lower oil prices borne out of excess supply and stock market health.

For those pleased to see energy prices moving higher because the market has gone in the same direction, there has to be a realization that there will be a point that what is perceived as good news will finally be recognized as being something else.

It’s hard to imagine that a continuing rise in oil will continue to be received as something positive by investors. Hopefully, though, that realization will be slow in coming. Otherwise, we face having had the worst of all worlds. Stocks declining as oil declined and then stocks declining as oil moves higher.

Now that JP Morgan Chase (JPM) has let everyone know just how on the hook it may be on its oil loan portfolio, it’s becoming more and more clear why the market is following in the same direction as oil has gone.

If the price of oil goes too low there may be drains on the banking system if there are defaults on those loans. We could again be hearing the phrase “too big to fail,” although this time instead of over-leveraged individuals losing their homes, all of the beneficiaries from the US oil boom could be at risk.

Of course, if oil goes too high and does so without being fundamentally driven, it can put a damper on a consumer driven economy that isn’t looking very robust to start.

We’re just 3 weeks away from the next FOMC Statement release and Chairman Yellen’s press conference may tip some balances. For much of the past two weeks the stock market has been celebrating higher oil and data suggesting no immediately forthcoming interest rate increase.

Of course, the FOMC may have its own irresistible force at play, perhaps explaining the earlier interest rate hike which didn’t seem to be supported by economic data. That force may be. a pre-determined intention to see rates rise

The market is of the belief that oil price momentum higher won’t meet its match in the negating force of increased interest rates, but one person may hold the balance in her hands.

As usual, the week’s potential stock selections are classified as being in the Traditional, Double Dip Dividend, Momentum or “PEE” categories.

Speaking of momentum and being easily thrown of track, Cypress Semiconductor (CY) comes to mind.

It trades at a high beta and is prone to volatile moves in either direction. It’s most recent direction has been lower, after having spiked sharply higher on news of its proposed buyout of another company.

When they were stranded at the alter by another suitor shares started a sharp descent from which it may finally be ready to emerge.

With a market capitalization of less than $3 billion it was easily knocked off track, but could just as easily get back on.

With an ex-dividend date in the April 2016 option cycle and with earnings in the May 2016 option cycle, I’m likely to add shares this coming week and will probably sell the April 2016 options while doing so.

I do have some concern about the company being able to continue its dividend, but IU don’t imagine that most who are invested in Cypress Semiconductor are doing it for the dividend, so I don’t believe that would represent significant downside pressure.

While February’s nice turnaround has left the S&P 500 significantly less in the hole for 2016. the financial sector has been continuing to have a difficult time as expectations for rising interest rates have proved premature.

American International Group (AIG) is near a 52 week low, but it hasn’t been the worst of that group even as it approaches a 20% correction for 2016.

What the downward pressure in the financial sector has brought has been enhanced option premiums. With a now respectable dividend as part of the equation and an ex-dividend the following week, I would consider selling something other than a weekly option

Abercrombie and Fitch (ANF) is on a roll of late and has earnings announced this week. It has a habit of being explosive when it does announce earnings and also has a habit of quickly giving back gains from news perceived as being positive. However, it has not given back the gains since its gap higher in November 2015.

What may make consideration of Abercrombie interesting this week is that it is also ex-dividend on the same day as earnings are announced.

While I normally consider the sale of puts before or after earnings, the combination of earnings, an ex-dividend date and a 13.3% implied price move has me thinking a bit differently.

I’m thinking of buying shares and then selling deep in the money calls.

Based on Friday’s closing price of $28.50, the sale of a weekly $25 strike call option at a premium of $4 would result in an ROI of 1.8% if assigned early in order to capture the dividend.

Since the ex-dividend date is March 2nd, that early assignment would have to come on Tuesday, March 1st and would preclude earnings exposure.

If, however, early assignment does not occur, the potential ROI for a full week of holding could be 2.5%, but with earnings risk. The $25 strike price is within the lower boundary implied by the option market, so one has to be prepared for a price move that may require further action.

Weyerhauser (WY) is also ex-dividend this week and its 2016 YTD loss is nearly 15%. The consensus among analysts, who are so often very late to react to good or bad news, are solidly bullish on shares at these levels.

With its merger with Plum Creek Timber now complete, many expect significant cost savings and operational synergies. 

It’s dividend isn’t quite as high and its payout ratio is almost half that of Cypress Semiconductor, but still far too high to be sustained. REIT or no REIT, paying out more than 100% of your earnings may feel good for a while if you’re on the receiving end, but is only a formula for Ponzi schemers of “The Producers.”

For now, that doesn’t concern me, but with an eye toward the upcoming ex-dividend date, which is on a Friday, I would consider selling an extended weekly option and then wouldn’t mind terribly if the options were exercised early.

Finally, I’m not one to be very interested in getting in on a stock following a climb higher, nor am I one to spend too much time reading charts.

But Coach (COH) which is ex-dividend this week gives me some reason to be interested.

A one-time favorite of mine either right before an ex-dividend date or following a large earnings related price decline, I’ve been holding onto an uncovered lot of shares for quite some time. Only the dividend has made it tolerable.

Ordinarily, I wouldn’t be terribly interested in considering adding shares of Coach following a 16% climb in the past month. However, shares are now making their second run at resistance and there is an 11% gap higher if it can successfully test that resistance.

It has been a prolonged drought for Coach as it was completely made irrelevant by Kors (KORS) for quite some time. During that time Kors had momentum and was also perceived as the force to stop Coach.

Time and tastes can change lots of things. That’s another delicate balance and for now, the balance seems to be back on the side of Coach.

Traditional Stocks: American International Group

Momentum Stocks: Cypress Semiconductor

Double-Dip Dividend: Coach (3/2 $0.34), Weyerhauser (3/4 $0.31)

Premiums Enhanced by Earnings: Abercrombie and Fitch (3/2 AM)

Remember, these are just guidelines for the coming week. The above selections may become actionable — most often coupling a share purchase with call option sales or the sale of covered put contracts — in adjustment to and consideration of market movements. The overriding objective is to create a healthy income stream for the week, with reduction of trading risk.

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Week in Review – February 22 – 26, 2016

 

Option to Profit

Week in Review

 

FEBRUARY 22 – 26, 2016

 

NEW POSITIONS/STO NEW STO ROLLOVERS CALLS ASSIGNED/PUTS EXPIRED CALLS EXPIRED/PUTS ASSIGNED CLOSED EX-DIVIDEND
0  /  0 2 0 0   /   0 0   /   0 0 0

 

Weekly Up to Date Performance

February 22 – 26,  2016


No matter how each week ends, it’s pretty clear that all that matters was, is and maybe will be, oil.< /strong>

This past week saw multiple examples, including multiple examples of intra-day reversals in oil and then the obligatory intra-day reversals in the stock market.

This week, those reversals were good.

But again, there were no new positions opened for the week, as it continues to be mostly a situation of the market going lower and then stocks attempting to erase some of those losses.

During the week the S&P 500 was 1.6% higher and that was good enough again for me. Watching portfolio value claw back does feel good, especially when that performance exceeds the market, as it did by 0.9%

Also feeling good was the ability to sell calls on a couple of uncovered positions, although some other hoped for trades went unrequited.

This was another week of nothing more than oil, oil and oil.

With some suggestion that the economy may be heating up, maybe more than just rents and health care, has to come the concern that interest rates will be rising soon.

In the past, that has mostly been a concern and received lots of negative reaction, but as the March 2016 FOMC meeting draws more near, we may get to see whether the market has a more forward looking penchant, rather than being so negative about the prospect that would actually reflect an improving economy.

With no new assignments this week, I at least do look forward to 7 ex-dividend positions next week, but would still love to see some chance to open some new positions and put some existing positions to work.

Even as prices do show some ability to climb and volatility does decrease, there is still the chance to secure some better premiums than was the case through almost all of 2015.

Increasingly, I look at using the longer term options and am slowly seeing some light at the end of the tunnel for some positions that had been badly beaten down
, but could end up having been reasonably good performers, even if assigned at their purchase prices.

I’d rather be able to get even more than that when having to hold a position for an unduly long time, but for me, it’s still about beating the index for the same period of holding time.

I hope that the market doesn’t forget to follow oil higher in the event that there is some sustained move in that direction. It would be a real shame to have seen it follow oil lower, only to come to the realization that a move higher has some real negative implications with regard to the expense side of life.

So, I wouldn’t mind making some trades next week, but I also wouldn’t mind more passivity, as long as asset values continue to climb and make up for some lost ground.

I haven’t asked for much lately, so I hope that’s not over-stepping my boundaries.

 

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This week’s details may be seen in the Weekly Performance spreadsheet * or in the PDF file, as well as in the summary below

(Note: Duplicate mention of positions reflects different priced lots):



New Positions Opened:  none

Puts Closed in order to take profits:  none

Calls Rolled over, taking profits, into the next weekly cycle: none

Calls Rolled over, taking profits, into extended weekly cycle:  none

Calls Rolled over, taking profits, into the monthly cycle: none

Calls Rolled Over, taking profits, into a future monthly cycle:  none

Calls Rolled Up, taking net profits into same cyclenone

New STO:  BBY

Put contracts expired: none

Put contracts rolled over: none

Long term call contracts sold:  none

Calls Assigned: eBay

Calls Expired:  Ford

Puts Assigned:  none

Stock positions Closed to take profits:  none

Stock positions Closed to take losses: none

Calls Closed to Take Profits: none

Ex-dividend Positions   none

Ex-dividend Positions Next Week:   ANF (3/2 $0.20), BAC (3/2 $0.05), COH (3/2 $0.34), HAL (2/29 $0.18), HFC (3/2 $0.33), MOS (3/1 $0.28), WY (3/4 $0.31)

For the coming week the existing positions have lots that still require the sale of contracts:   AGQ, ANF, AZN, BBBY, BBY, CHK, CLF, COH, CSCO,  CY, DOW, FAST, FCX, GDX, GM, GPS, HAL, HFC, HPQ, INTC, IP, JCP, JOY, KMI, KSS, LVS, MCPIQ, MOS, NEM, RIG, WFM, WLTGQ, WY (See “Weekly Performance” spreadsheet or PDF file)



* If you don’t have a program to read or modify spreadsheets, you can download the OpenOffice Suite at no cost.



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Daily Market Update – February 26, 2016

 

 

 

Daily Market Update – February 26, 2016 (7:30 AM)

The Week in Review will be posted by 10 PM tonight and the Weekend Update will be posted by Noon on Sunday.

The following trade outcomes are possible today:


Assignments:   none

Rollovers:  none

Expirations:  none

The following were ex-dividend this week:  none

The following will be ex-dividend next week:  ANF (3/2 $0.20), BAC (3/2 $0.05), COH (3/2 $0.34), HAL (2/29 $0.18), HFC (3/2 $0.33), MOS (3/1 $0.28), WY (3/4 $0.31)

Trades, if any, will be attempted to be made prior to 3:30 PM EST


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Daily Market Update – February 25, 2016 (Close)

 

 

 

Daily Market Update – February 25, 2016 (Close)

Yesterday’s turnaround was great, but it was also disturbing and today’s was also great and also disturbing.

But great, too.

It was just more of the stock market blindly following oil.

As oil was sharply lower yesterday morning, so, too, was the stock market. It was threatening to make it 300 points lower at one point in the late morning.

But when oil moved higher, the stock market reversed course and recovered all of that loss and more.

So that wasn’t so good unless you care about your bottom line, so I guess I won’t complain.

Today was more of the same, except that the market was never really down much on the day, but when oil bounced back from being 2% lower, only to see it end 3% higher, stocks followed suit.

If you’re keeping track, it was just another one of those 200 point gain days.

But what left me even more confused as this morning was about to begin was that as a double blow was facing the stock market’s futures traders as Shanghai was about 7% lower and oil was again lower, stocks were basically unchanged, maybe even a bit higher in the early part of futures trading.

With hints that there could finally be a disassociation between stocks and oil then becoming false within a day, it’s hard to have any idea of what any of these things mean.

Things mean even less now,

Tomorrow, with the GDP Report being released, another factor can possibly get thrown into the equation to either soothe, confuse or frighten.

That factor is going to be interest rates.

If the GDP seems to show that the consumer is awakening, when coupled with last week’s CPI, there could be reason for another small interest rate increase when the FOMC meets in a few weeks.

If the initial response to that idea is fear, I don’t think I want to be watching things if, coincidentally oil and Shanghai again decide to go much lower in tandem tomorrow.

With the large loss on Tuesday and the reversal yesterday, I just would be very happy to see some of the confusion take a rest and see some of that consolidation, even if only for a few days or even if only lasting a week.

A little of that consolidation, while volatility induced premiums are still at decent levels, would make it much easier to invest parked cash on a short term basis.

With nothing to expire this week and with no new positions opened, while I do want to see that stability, at the moment I wouldn’t mind some more unbridled and unjustified enthusiasm, though.

I don’t mind seeing the bottom line increase, but would be much happier if that increase also brought some trades along with it to create a cushion, ideally an additive one, to whatever the broader market is doing.

So far this week has a nice cushion already, but I would love to get that cushion even bigger and really back on track to more consistently have relative out-performance, but it generally takes trading to do so and not passivity.

Today saw no consolidation, but at least there was that solitary opportunity to sell some calls and maybe more to come if the market keeps acting irrationally.


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Daily Market Update – February 25, 2016

 

 

 

Daily Market Update – February 25, 2016 7:30 AM)

Yesterday’s turnaround was great, but it was also disturbing.

It was just more of the stock market blindly following oil.

As oil was sharply lower in the morning, so, too, was the stock market. It was threatening to make it 300 points lower at one point in the late morning.

But when oil moved higher, the stock market reversed course and recovered all of that loss and more.

So that wasn’t so good unless you care about your bottom line, so I guess I won’t complain.

But that now leaves us even more confused this morning as a double blow is facing the stock market’s futures traders as Shanghai was about 7% lower and oil is again lower this morning and stocks are basically unchanged, maybe even a bit higher in the early part of futures trading.

With hints that there could finally be a disssociation between stocks and oil then becoming false within a day, it’s hard to have any idea of what any of these things mean.

Tomorrow, with the GDP Report being released, another factor can possibly get thrown into the equation to either soothe, confuse or frighten.

That factor is going to be interest rates.

If the GDP seems to show that the consumer is awakening, when coupled with last week’s CPI, there could be reason for another small interest rate increase when the FOMC meets in a few weeks.

If the initial response to that idea is fear, I don’t think I want to be watching things if, coincidentally oil and Shanghai again decide to go much lower in tandem tomorrow.

With the large loss on Tuesday and the reversal yesterday, I just would be very happy to see some of the confusion take a rest and see some of that consolidation, even if only for a few days or even if only lasting a week.

A little of that consolidation, while volatility induced premiums are still at decent levels, would make it much easier to invest parked cash on a short term basis.

With nothing to expire this week and with no new positions opened, while I do want to see that stability, at the moment I wouldn’t mind some more unbridled and unjustified enthusiasm, though.

I don’t mind seeing the bottom line increase, but would be much happier if that increase also brought some trades along with it to create a cushion, ideally an additive one, to whatever the broader market is doing.

So far this week has a nice cushion already, but I would love to get that cushion even bigger and really back on track to more consistently have relative out-performance, but it generally takes trading to do so and not passivity.


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