Updated: Market Shadows (8-31-14)

As regular readers know, Paul has discontinued updating the virtual portfolios and I’ve been deciding what to do with the positions.

The virtual put selling portfolio will be closed. Rather than adding more positions, we’ll allow some puts to expire and buy back others. Details coming up.

I see no reason to take any action in the virtual [Continue Reading]

How Corporate Share Buybacks are Destroying America

With an endless supply of stock market websites, gurus and forecasts on the internet, enough to find support for every opinion you have, if you want to limit your exposure to the best sources of information, Josh Brown’s The Reformed Broker is one of my top ten favorite blogs. Today he discusses an article “[Continue Reading]

Options Trading Part II – The ‘Currency’ of Options

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Options Trading Part II – The ‘Currency’ of Options

Courtesy of Michael Taylor, Bankers Anonymous

How Wall Street thinks about options trading

Non-professionals who engage in options typically do not understand the ‘currency’ in which they’re trading.

By ‘currency’, I don’t [Continue Reading]

Stock World Weekly: All Clear Overhead?

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Here’s the latest issue of Stock World Weekly: 9-1-2014 SWW PDF.

Click on this link and take a free trial to the weekly newsletter. 

Note: I have recently brought up the issue of whether selling puts is a safe enough trading method for retail investors. In this newsletter, there are some complex option strategies that should [Continue Reading]

Obamacare Fine Print: Beware the Medicaid and Medi-Cal Clawbacks and Liens

Courtesy of Mish.

Obamacare greatly expanded Medicaid coverage, but there is a hidden gotcha that may come back and haunt your heirs for benefits you receive from age 55-64.

This is not new news, but few read and understand the “fine print”.

In a warning about the “fine print” and in response to [Continue Reading]

Moral Dilemma: Should a Libertarian Who Does Not Need Food Stamps, but Qualifies for Them, Take Them?

Courtesy of Mish.

Here’s the moral dilemma of the day:

Suppose you are a staunch Libertarian, doing reasonably well and you don’t need food stamps. Yet, under perverse rules, you qualify for them. Should you take them?

Reader Steven faces that exact question. Steven writes …
Hi Mish

In response to [Continue Reading]

Options Trading Part I – NFW Edition

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My first guess about what NFW stands for was 33.3% wrong. However, my friend Michael Taylor’s opinion of selling put options is clearly expressed by the title. Michael is adamantly opposed to retail investors selling puts as a means for generating income (in exchange for agreeing to buy a stock, typically at a lower price).

In the following article, Michael responded to a question [Continue Reading]

The “Real” Retail Story: The Consumer Economy Remains At A Recessionary Level

Courtesy of ZeroHedge. View original post here.

Earlier this month, Retail Sales missed expectations for the 3rd month in a row, essentially flat on the month. As Doug Short rhetorically asks 'how much insight into the US economy does the nominal retail sales report offer?' With the release of the [Continue Reading]

Dear Future American Generations, You Are Screwed

Courtesy of ZeroHedge. View original post here.

Submitted by Tyler Durden.

Faith that the future will be better than the present is slipping, as despite President Obama's demands that Americans not be "cynics," a new report shows there is a major lack of confidence that the next generation will have it better [Continue Reading]

Has Ukraine Shot Itself In The Foot With Gas Pipeline Deal?

Courtesy of Igor Alexeev via OilPrice.com

Last week, Ukrainian Prime Minister Yatsenyuk pushed a bill through the Verkhovna Rada that would see his country’s gas transportation system sold off to a group of international investors. The provisions of the law would permit the transit of natural gas to be blocked. This decision may hurt the [Continue Reading]

Three Things Worth Thinking About

Courtesy of Lance Roberts of STA Wealth Management

The Missing Ingredient

I have been in the "money game" for a long time starting with a bank just prior to the crash of 1987. I have seen several full market cycles in my life, and my perspectives are based on experience rather than theory.

In 1999, there was a media [Continue Reading]

“Economic Pilot in Reverse:” US Consumer Spending Unexpectedly Dips; Zero for 79

Courtesy of Mish.

Mainstream media headlines in the last two days offer an amusing look at GDP forecasts.

GDP Stronger Than Expected

Yesterday, the Financial Times reported US Rebound Stronger than First Thought.

The US economy’s second quarter bounce was stronger than previously thought, with the official annualised growth estimate increased from 4 per [Continue Reading]

“Economic Pilot in Reverse”: US Consumer Spending Unexpectedly Dips; Zero for 79

Courtesy of Mish.

Mainstream media headlines in the last two days offer an amusing look at GDP forecasts.

GDP Stronger Than Expected

Yesterday, the Financial Times reported US Rebound Stronger than First Thought.
The US economy’s second quarter bounce was stronger than previously thought, with the official annualised growth estimate [Continue Reading]

Debt Rattle Aug 29 2014: This Is Why The Fed Will Raise Interest Rates

Courtesy of The Automatic Earth.

Esther Bubley Greyhound bus driver off duty, Columbus, Ohio Sep 1943

Given recent developments in Ukraine, and the accompanying PR, spin and accusations, the whole by now familiar shebang, I’m sure you would expect me to address the Kiyv vs Moscow vs [Continue Reading]

Can A National Quasi-Religion (Pro Sports) Go Broke?

Courtesy of Charles Hugh-Smith of OfTwoMinds

Attending costly games is on the margins of the household budget. When the credit card gets maxed out, attending is no longer an option.

I'm not suggesting professional sports isn't the greatest thing since sliced bread. I'm simply asking if attending pro sports games has become unaffordable to the average American.

Who [Continue Reading]

Expect Another Strong Employment Report Next Week

Courtesy of EconMatters

Sleepy August Closes Out

Lost in what is one of the lowest trading volume weeks of the year, and a really sleepy August month in general where many folks are getting to use some vacation time before markets start getting serious again in September after the Labor Day Holiday was another week of [Continue Reading]

Putin Says Everything U.S. Touches Turns Out Like Libya Or Iraq

Courtesy of ZeroHedge. View original post here.

Submitted by Tyler Durden.

Having been quiet for a few days, comfortable sitting back and watching NATO, Europe, and the US escalate each other's talking points to a frenzy of populist revolt, Russia's Vladimir Putin has come out swinging this morning:

*PUTIN: NO MATTER WHAT U.S. DOES, [Continue Reading]

Japanese Household Spending Slumps 5.9%; Cries for More Monetary Stimulus

Courtesy of Mish.

Consumer spending in Japan slumped in June because of a tax hike pushed through by Prime Minister Shinzo Abe. Economists claimed it would be temporary and spending would quickly recover thanks to inflation.

Let’s take a look at what actually happened.

Japanese Household Spending Slumps 5.9%

Yahoo!Finance reports [Continue Reading]

Pump And Dump VC Style: Kleiner Perkins’ Gambit To Shear The IPO Sheep

Courtesy of David Stockman via Contra Corner

That was quick! Last November Snapchat was valued at $2 billion in the private VC market; by Q1 that had risen to $7 billion; and yesterday it soared to $10 billion. Gaining $8 billion in market value in just nine months is quite a feat under any circumstance – but that’s [Continue Reading]

Venezuelan Bolivar Plunges to Record Low on Black Market; Bond Default Coming Up in October?

Courtesy of Mish.

Please consider the “official” exchange rate of the Bolivar to the USD.

Bolivar vs. US Dollar

From 2005 to 2009 the official exchange rate was 2 bolivars to one US dollar.
In 2009 the official exchange rate soared to 4.3 to the dollar.
In 2013 the official exchange rate soared [Continue Reading]

Debt Rattle Aug 28 2014: EU Gas Supply Is In Real And Imminent Danger

Courtesy of The Automatic Earth.

NPC Robey Motor Co., 1429 L Street, Washington, DC 1926

More accusations fly across the media, like so many flocks of Canada geese, of direct Russian involvement in Ukraine. Much is made of an interview with Donetsk National Republic leader Alexander Zakharchenko, [Continue Reading]