Still Time To Keep Personal Finance Resolutions

This article originally appeared in the Motley Fool. It’s estimated that just 8% of Americans actually succeed in keeping their New Year’s resolutions. If you really want 2017 to be the year you get on top of your finances, here are four promises you can’t afford to give up on. 1. Get out of debt If… read more

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.

read more

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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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Let the Partying Begin

partyfavor What a way to start the new year.

Not even close to the way 2016 started, but then again, 2016 wasn’t all that bad.

Right?

For a little while it looked as if 2017 was going to start off with a major disappointment as the market decided to do something that it hadn’t done for a while.

In fact, it hasn’t really happened since we accepted the fact that we were getting someone very unexpected as our new President.

What happened today was that the stock market actually followed oil, again.

That was the story for most of 2016 and the story worked out pretty well, as long as you didn’t sell your oil losers in 2015, or repeatedly went back to the literal and figurative well in pursuit of the gains.

Even though there wasn’t too much evidence that the rise in oil prices was actually tied to increasing demand, the stock market just looked at a year of slowly, if not steadily increasing oil prices, as a good thing.

Who would have guessed? read more

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Week in Review – December 26 – 30, 2016

 

Option to Profit

Week in Review


December 26 – 30, 2016

NEW POSITIONS/STO NEW STO ROLLOVERS CALLS ASSIGNED/PUTS EXPIRED CALLS EXPIRED/PUTS ASSIGNED CLOSED EX-DIVIDEND
2  /   0 0 2 0   /   0 2   /   0 0 3

 

Weekly Up to Date Performance

December 26 – 30, 2016

Well, 2016 is over and the Christmas Rally came way too early and left nothing for the final week.

Surprisingly to me, I actually opened 2 new positions in the final week of the year.

Those new positions were 1.3% higher, as they outperformed the adjusted S&P 500 by 2.1% and the unadjusted S&P 500 by 2.4%, as the unadjusted S&P was 1.1% lower for the week to end the year 9.5% higher.

Existing positions outperformed the S&P 500 by 0.9%, but that still meant that they were lower 0.2% on the week.

Still it was a good 2016, even if the end wasn’t anything to write home about.

What was nice this week was the ability to rollover a few positions, even as 2 did expire and will begin 2017 uncovered.

There were also 3 ex-dividend positions on the week, although one of those was for only $0.01.

Also not much to write home about.

2016?

That I would write home about, though, even as there were so few closed positions for the year.


This was a mixed way to end the year, with the relative good news of outperforming the market, but without the good feeling that comes along with actually making money on paper.

Or the even better feeling of making money by closing a position.

What the week was good for was for generating some revenue and keeping the ball moving forward.

2016 was a good year for that as there were lots of rollover opportunities and lots of dividends, even as there weren’t anywhere near as many closed positions as I might have liked.

That leaves 2017 with cash on hand, stocks near their all time highs and a big question as to what the new administration will actually do.

I don’t have a clue, but I won’t be shy about using that cash and looking for opportunities.

Earnings season will be interesting as will the new President’s first State of the Union speech.

For now, I look at 2017 as being a continuation of where the past 2 to 3 weeks have been.

That means a continuing uncertainty about what tomorrow may hold.

But I think that tomorrow holds some good things regarding company profits and guidance and that there is more upside, but I would be very happy to see some profit taking bring us further away from the current levels.

That’s always easier to say than it is to live through and as I’m often reminded, you do need to be careful what you wish for.

I hope everyone has a Happy and a healthy New Year and is ready to enter 2017 with a continuing positive outlook.

This is the last Week in Review, but if you have the time and inclination, I’ll be posting periodically on TheAcsMan.com and will still try to have trades posted in real time.

Just much less of the other fare.

Thank you to all of the loyal subscribers that have stayed with me for so long and always in good humor and in constructive ways.

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:  BX, UA

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:  MRO

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: none

Put contracts expired: none

Put contracts rolled over: CLF

Long term call contracts sold:  none

Calls Assigned:  none

Calls Expired:  none

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   CY (12/27 $0.11), GPS (12/30 $0.23)

Ex-dividend Positions Next Week: BMY (1/4 $0.39)

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 – December 30, 2016

 

 

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


The Week in Review will be posted by 10 PM and for the first time in years, there will be no Weekend Update..

The following trade outcomes are possible today:

Assignments: none

Rollovers: UA

Expirations:   M

The following were ex-dividend this week:    CY (12/27 $0.11), JOY (12/28 $0.01), GPS (12/30 $0.23)

The following are ex-dividend next week:  BMY (1/4 $0.39)


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

HAPPY NEW YEAR TO ALL AND BEST WISHES FOR A WONDERFUL 2017

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Daily Market Update – December 29, 2016 (Close)

 

 

Daily Market Update –  December 29, 2016 (Close)

Yesterday was a surprise. Today, not so much.

At a time when the DJIA nears 20,000, it shouldn’t be too surprising when we see triple digit moves, anymore. Maybe what should be more surprising is when there is very little movement, just like today and so many recent days.

What was really surprising was 30 years ago when the DJIA was standing at about 2500 and we were seeing lots and lots of triple digit moves.

Now, 100 points is nothing.

But yesterday was only the second time since the election that we had a triple digit move lower, not as if there have been many of those higher, either.

There really was no reason, except maybe related to some end of the year strategies by people who thought they would out-smart everyone else.

This morning, it seemed back to normal, even as that might not really be very normal.

I’m glad that I had the chance to do a couple of rollovers yesterday, leaving only a single position still in contention for a rollover this week.

What really surprised me today was that while I had the money to spend, I actually spent some, as looking at the final 2 days of trading in 2016 ass some sort o opportunity that would never return.

For tomorrow, I think I will just watch the year come to its happy end and any trades that may come along the way just add to the happiness of 2016.

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