The Evolution of Dude

Lola Gayle, STEAM Register We all know The Dude from The Big Lebowski. But did you know there’s a long history of the word “dude” that spans all the way back to the 1800s? In the 1880s, being called a dude was an insult of the highest order. That’s because dude was used to describe a… read more

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

Wouldn’t that be Great?

everydayIf only this picture was true.

At least when it came to trading.

So far, this year has been a trader’s dream come true.

I’ve made trades each and every trading day of the year, but the only problem has been that there is no trading on Saturday and Sunday.

On top of that, you’ve got those pesky holidays.

The past couple of years I welcomed some of those pesky holidays.

But for a really large part of the 2007 to 2014 period I was actually upset whenever there was a day off from trading.

It’s nice to feel that way again. read more

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Small Victories

smallvictoriesIt may be too soon to call this a victory, but for the moment, I’ll take whatever I can.

In this case, the victory was waking up this morning an still having Monday’s share purchase of Whole Foods in the account.

Whole Foods was ex-dividend today for $0.14

But shares closed yesterday at $30.73, which meant that the $30.50 strikes could have been assigned early.

But it’s all about the math and the probability of what could still happen over the course of the days remaining on the option contract.

In this case, following the $30.73 close and then deducting that $0.14 dividend, Whole Food shares would then start being available to trade at $30.59

For the option holder, the question was would it be worth actually paying the $30.50 for shares in order to grab the $0.14 dividend or hoping that maybe there was still some juice in that option contract.

Of course, if the option holder decided to grab the dividend, not only would he have to pay the $30.50 for shares, but he would also take the risk of shares declining in value at the open. read more

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Deal Me In

dealI don’t know what it is about 2017, but whatever it is, I want to be dealt in on it.

While a 1.3% increase YTD on the S&P 500 isn’t necessarily the kind of thing that legends are built upon, it’s far, far better than the first 10 days in 2016.

I don’t like to project very much, especially if that means counting and spending money that you don’t really have, but 2016 ended being up such a nice year when compared to the already good S&P p500 performance, that I am beginning to salivate about the prospects for 2017.

That’s probably not a really good idea.

What I especially like is that I’ve had a trade in each of the 6 trading days to date.

That’s a pattern that I would really love to continue.

Today’s early rollover of the Cliffs Natural Resources puts in the face of commodity strength is something that I hope to be doing a lot of, much as was the case with Marathon Oil in the latter half of 2016. read more

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Spending Money

spending-moneyI wasn’t really expecting to spend much money this week.

What I really wanted was to replicate last week and to do that for the remaining 51 weeks of 2017.

Back in the days when I did initiate lots of new positions, if you go all the way back to 2015, it always seemed as if money was burning a hole in my pockets or that maybe I believed that cash was only good to wipe one’s butt.

That’s pretty far from the truth, but that’s what it looked like and that’s what it felt like, even though I know myself pretty well.

So no one was more surprised than me, after having toiled hard to raise cash reserves for about a year and finally getting to a point that I felt was good enough to be prepared for whatever awaited, that within 30 minutes of the opening bell I had already opened 2 new positions.

I’m still of the mindset that I would like to see my existing positions get used on a much more frequent and regular basis through the sale of calls, but I just couldn’t resist this morning. read more

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It Really Shouldn’t Come As a Surprise

supriseThere’s really no reason to be surprised, but I woke up this morning realizing that earnings season has to be starting soon.

As if it ever really ended.

What really makes things different this quarter is that Alcoa, even though it has now been out of the DJIA for a little while, is no longer the official/unofficial start to earnings season.

The official start of earnings season honors went to JP Morgan after Alcoa left the DJIA, but Alcoa still came first.

No more.

This week, earnings start for real on Friday morning, with JP Morgan getting things started and Alcoa doesn’t announce  until a full 11 days later.

It’s a whole new world order.

 tweetI was greeted this fine snowy Sunday morning with a very nice Tweet.

What was also very nice was not having to write an article in a rush to meet an unclear deadline in order to get potentially time sensitive material posted.

Or, for that matter, writing it at all.

My response to the Tweet was that 300 of those articles was enough and so I then did what was the only seemingly natural thing. read more

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Will Common Sense Make a Comeback?


I didn’t vote for Donald Trump, but I really can’t wait until he steps into the Oval Office.

It’s not that I suddenly find myself agreeing with whatever Donald Trump believes, although it is hard to tell what he really believes, it’s just that I think that he will bring out the best in people.

He will do that at the same time that he has shown that he can bring out the worst in people.

You can’t disagree with Hillary Clinton’s reference to “deplorables,” although you would really have to question both her estimate of how many of Trump’s supporters really did fit into that category, as well as simply questioning her judgment in making the comment, itself.

By the same token, there are clearly “deplorables” on the other side of the political spectrum and in that group I might include those who have a hard time accepting the fact that Donald Trump will be our next President.

My father used to always say that “money brings out the best in people and the worst in people.”

For years, I thought that his lack of command of English as a language caused him to use the conjunction “and” when he really meant “or.”

It was only a few years ago that I realized that he said exactly what he meant.

Money can bring out both the best and the worst in someone and I think that Donald Trump will do the same with our elected officials.

Some, unfortunately, will feel even more emboldened to act in a ridiculous manner, while others are going to realize that the only way to move the nation forward is to come to some reconciliation across the aisle.

Remember when there were actually moderates in both parties who could stand one another professionally and personally?

Donald Trump may be the enzyme that brings them back together again.

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Santa Steals Away Joy from Retailers

santaclausFollowing a pretty good day today, where we really did come close to the mystical 20,000 level of the DJIA,. there was a big surprise after the closing bell.

The surprise that came can give you just a little idea of how well anyone really knows what’s truly going on.

If you were following the market today, you may have noticed that national retailers were really strong.

In fact, I took the opportunity to sell some calls on a couple of lots of Macy’s shares that have been sitting around uncovered for the past week or so.

I like to at least consider selling calls, even if the strike price isn’t something to really make me salivate, as long as the shares are moving strongly at the time.

That described Macy’s, as it was more than $1 higher earlier in the trading session.

While I didn’t think about selling calls on Coach, Kohls, nor Abercrombie and Fitch, they too were all strongly higher during the day.

You may also remember that I sold calls on The Gap, yesterday.

Then a funny, well maybe not too funny thing happened after the close.

The bottom fell out as Macy’s and others reported the not so good Christmas sales news.

Sales stunk.

Not only did sales stink, but guidance was moved lower.

How could that be? Especially as the economy is supposedly heating up?

So we await tomorrow’s Employment Situation Report and will be left to wonder, if the news continues to be good, just where people are spending their money.

The obvious answer is that they’re doing it on Amazon or they’re just not spending it on old fashioned things like sweaters and place settings.

Maybe they’re spending it on streaming data plans. read more

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