Satire Thrives in Times of Political Uncertainty

U.S. President Donald Trump declared in his inauguration speech January 20, “From this day forward, it’s gonna be only America first! America first!” At the time, he probably had no idea he was touching off a viral video sensation that would inspire people in countries around the world to mock not only him, but their own… read more

Retail Me Yes

About 5 years ago, maybe a little less, but at this point I don’t feel a sense of obligation to go through my data, I was way over invested in retail.

As someone who really does believe in diversity, I wasn’t too happy about carrying that much retail liability, especially as those shares weren’t faring too well.

Like just about everything else, there are periodic ups and downs.

Individual stocks behave that way, as do sectors.

Markets, too.

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Copyright 2017 TheAcsMan

If You Like Uncertainty……

If you like uncertainty, you may really love what’s ahead.

Of course, no one ever knows what is ahead, but I’m certain that it won’t be as certain as the market’s climb since Election Day.

Coming on the heels of Wednesday’s 300 point gain, today’s triple digit loss was muted, unless you were in metals and perhaps energy.

Those two certainly helped me out a lot in 2016 and had been pretty good to me in 2017, as well.

I put quite a bit of money into retailers in the past two weeks following the post-earnings swoons in L Brands, Target and Best Buy.

Abercrombie and Fitch, on the other hand, was just a lucky call, as it didn’t nosedive after poor numbers.

There was one other trade in the week that I didn’t report, because it was made in the final minute of trading on Tuesday and it didn’t involve the immediate sale of call contracts.

That was for Las Vegas Sands, which subsequently soared on Wednesday at which time I did sell some weekly calls, only to watch those shares give up much of their gain today.

But that’s the theme of what I really want to talk about.

If you don;t quiver too much, there have been some really good opportunities in some down beaten stocks.

You may have followed my recent trades in and out of Cliffs Natural Resources, for example. read more

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Back From Vacation

This may be a little hard to believe, but the past 2 weeks have been the first “real” vacation that I’ve taken since retirement.

That “retirement” was about 6 years ago.

While I have gone away during that time, including a nice trip to England, at which time I had the good fortune of surviving a heart attack, I never had my laptop away from my side.

My wife still jokes about how I was unplugging monitors in the hospital to plug in that laptop and cellphone.

I don’t find it as funny as she does, however.

One of the really nice things about having pivoted away from the old subscription service (I can’t use its name for a year) is that I don’t really have any obligation to write something every day.

And so, I didn’t for the past 2 weeks. read more

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White House warns of crackdown on recreational marijuana use

In a departure from the Obama administration’s policies, the White House said Thursday that the Trump administration is likely to crack down on recreational marijuana use. “I do think you’ll see greater enforcement,” said White House press secretary Sean Spicer. “The Department of Justice, I think, will be further looking into [the issue]. I believe they… read more

Taking Possession

Usually, when I sell puts, I’m not that enamored of the possibility of taking possession of shares.

Really, all I care about, whether buying shares or selling puts is just how much income I can generate from the position and how much risk is associated with the income production.

When selling puts, I especially like being able to roll them over, just like has been the case recently with Cliffs Natural Resources, where I have some puts that expire next week and that have been rolled over since mid-December, or so.

During that time there were more than a few occasions at which it was looking pretty bleak, but as with most stock positions, if you can wait long enough the good becomes bad and the bad becomes good.

Sometimes, though, it does make sense to take possession. read more

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All the Kremlin’s Victims

The list of murders laid at the feet of Vladimir Putin has gotten so long now that you need a chart to keep track of them. That’s just what the Association of Former Intelligence Officers produced in a recent edition of its quarterly bulletin, The Intelligencer. To be sure, AFIO, which represents 4,500 former CIA, FBI… read more

Slim Pickings

After last Friday’s best gain for the year, the market is less than 0.5% from its all time high level.

When you get to those kinds of markets, one of three things is likely.

There’s plenty of evidence that shows that new highs beget new highs.

There’s also plenty of evidence that shows that new highs make traders nervous and they lead to profit taking.

It’s hard to go onto new highs if others are cashing in their chips.

Then, there’s always the possibility of treading water while most are just trying to see what the next guy is doing.

As all of this is unfolding, there’s reason to believe that the first possibility has already become true.

We tested and then surpassed the 20,000 level and on the way toppled record after record.

Lately, though, we’ve been treading water, but what we really haven’t seen is much in the way of profit taking.

If you were to listen to all of the talking heads, what we’re in store for right now is the Trump Correction that all expect to come after the Trump Rally.

I have no clue, but what I do know is that as I collect more cash, it’s getting harder and harder to find anything that seems worth buying. read more

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Trading on Trump’s Twitter Tantrums

When Donald Trump this week gave his first press conference since winning the presidential election, he alternately lauded the press and shouted down reporters he didn’t like with jeers such as: “Fake news!” He slipped into stream-of-consciousness rants about everything from Chinese hackers to hidden cameras in hotel rooms “all over the place.” And he denounced… read more