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Thursday recap - here comes Santa Claus?

 

Thursday, 12/18/14, Prescott, Arizona, USA
 
- Today's birthdays: Ty Cobb (1886); Betty Grable (1916); Keith Richards (1943); Christina Aguilera (1980). An automobile speed record was set on this date in 1898 - 39 MPH! On 12/18/1932 the Chicago Bears beat the Portsmouth Spartans 9 - 0 in the 1st NFL playoff game, and in 1991, General Motors (GM*) announced the closing of 21 plants, including the one near our old summer home in Janesville, Wisconsin. 
- Stocks flew higher on Wednesday after the Federal Reserve said it will be "patient" with respect to raising rates. (Dow +1.69%, NASDAQ +2.12%, S&P 500 +2.04%). Energy and materials outperformed the broader market indices, which was just the opposite of last week's mid-section when oil and the related energy sector led the markets dramatically lower. The VIX, which had been over 25, fell 17.86% to 19.36. The SPUs (/ESH5*) are soaring again in the early morning hours, they were up to 2036 (my alarm went off at 2025!), as all asset classes look to open much higher. 
- Oil (/CLG5*) has recovered from its recent lows - trading over 59 overnight and as low as 56.11. The overnight moves of late have us thinking about "pulling an all-nighter" to trade oil and gold- someone is clearly up all night trading some of these volatile futures. Because of the oil patch rally, Exxon Mobil (XOM +3.02%) and Chevron (CVX +4.25%) led the Dow Jones Industrial Average higher (+1.69%). Darden (DRI) and General Mills (GIS) were also big winners on better earnings numbers, whereas FedEx (FDX) missed and was lower (-3.72).
- The bonds reacted when Fed Chair Yellen said the Fed will most likely not raise rates over the next couple of meetings in her press conference. The 30-year Treasury yield rose to 2.72%, and the 10-year and 5-year yields climbed to 2.13% and 1.60% respectively. Gold (/GCG5*) is back over 1200, although it was lower on Wednesday and traded 1188.50 overnight. The US Dollar (/DXH5) has remained mostly over 89, whereas the Russian ruble has cratered. Perhaps Sony should make a movie like "The Interview" about Putin? Oh wait, maybe not a good idea. Okay then, how about one about our new best friend Raul Castro? Bill Clinton could have a cameo role in that one - of course with a Cuban cigar this time! 
- Today's possible movers: EMES*, AAPL*. BBRY*, BAC*
 - Another big day for economic events:
Initial Jobless Claims
Bloomberg Consumer Comfort Index
PMI Services Index Flash
Philly Fed Business Outlook
Leading Indicators
EIA Natural Gas Inventory
Money Supply
Fed Balance Sheet
 
- Notable earnings before the open: ACN, ATU, BRLI, CAG, NEOG, RAD, SAFM, SCHL, WGO, WOR;
and after today's close: AIR, CTAS, NKE*, PIR, RHT. Blackberry's (BBRY*) earnings come out tomorrow, expiration Friday, before the open. 
Current prices (5:30 AM AZ time): 
E-mini S&P Futures  2,031.25  (+1.15%)  
E-mini DOW Futures  17,544  (+1.09%)  
E-mini NASDAQ Futures  4,214.75  (+1.33%)  
US Dollar Index  89.126  (-0.01%)  
Crude Oil  58.29  (+3.22%) 
 
"The practice of putting women on pedestals began to die out when it was discovered that they could give orders better from there." -- Betty Grable  
 
Follow us on Twitter (TWTR): whatsfrankthink- like us on Facebook (FB*) - Frank Walsh Prescott, AZ  -- Look for us on Linkedin (LNKD). 
You can also find us in the daily Swim Lesson chat room (10:30 - noon CST). 
 
We will also be at the Market Drive in Scottsdale on January 10th, and the Orlando and New York trade shows in February. 
 
FHW
(* = FHW position) 
fhwoption@hotmail.com 
What's Frank Thinking? | 12/18/2014 8:28:59 AM | 0 Comments
"Shoot 'em in" - now when you can!

 

Wednesday, December 17, 2014, Prescott, Arizona, USA
 
This Friday is December monthly expiration and a week-from-today it will be Christmas Eve. The Thursday holiday, and then the same situation a week later, should really skew the weekly options and even the January monthly cycle - which ends on 1/16/15. So please, if you have options in any of the weekly series or the January monthlys, make sure you know all of the ramifications and when the cycles actually end. Some of the index products have different AM vs PM settlements in the weeklys vs monthlys, and the holidays falling on Thursdays and Fridays could add even more to the confusion. Either go to the CME (CME) website (http://www.cmegroup.com/market-data/settlements/), the CBOE (CBOE*) site (http://www.cboe.com/TradTool/ExpirationCalendar.aspx), the TD Ameritrade (AMTD*) site (www.tdameritrade.com), call the thinkorswim trade desk at 866-839-1100, or ask on the platform's Live Support tab. DO NOT wait until the close on the Wednesdays before the Thursday holidays either, because by then it could be too late!  
 
Another possibility in the next few weeks is that many traders will be away from their desks (present company included), and the lack of their usual support and liquidity could make for some exascerbated moves that might not have otherwise occured. The moves over the last few days might be attributed to, considering the large swings that have occured on large volume, some institutions or large funds setting themselves up for the end of the year, so they too can enjoy the holidays. So, be very careful. Enter orders in partials at least for price determination, as we have consistently seen, over the last few months, many fills have been coming-in well better than the thinkorswim (AMTD*) mid-price. All self-directed retail customers should appreciate the better fill prices and take advantage of them while we can, because they most assuredly won't last forever. If some of these newly added exchanges, that are currently fighting for the retail paper, like the relatively new MAX / Miami Exchange, ever merge and/or simply go out-of-business, the up-tick in fill prices at the retail level will return to prior levels. But for now, while the coals are hot, and hopefully not in your Christmas stocking, take advantage of the price advantages being afforded to the retail customer thanks to the competition at the exchange level. We always implore you to "Trade 'em when you can, NOT when you have to"... NOW is when you can. 
 
"Shoot 'em in! Shoot 'em in!" "Shoot what in?" "Anything and everything! Trade whatever there is to trade, we may never get this chance again." -- MCG and FHW (OEX pit circa 1987)
 
Like us on Facebook (FB*) -- https://www.facebook.com/frank.walsh.169 or follow us on Twitter (TWTR) at whatsfrankthink or on Linkedin (LNKD) 
And also look for us in the daily Swim Lesson chat room 10:30 - noon CDT, and at the Scottsdale Market Drive on 1/10 or the February trade shows in Orlando and NYC. 
 
FHW 
fhwoption@hotmail.com
(* = FHW position)
What's Frank Thinking? | 12/17/2014 7:59:31 AM | 0 Comments
Tuesday Tidbits

 

Tuesday, 12/16/14, Prescott, Arizona, USA 
 
- Today's Birthdays: Catherine of Aragon (1485) - 1st wife of Henry VIII; Beethoven (1770); Steven Bochco (1943). On this day, in 1431, England's King Henry VI was crowned King of France, and the anti-tax Boston tea party began in 1773. Einstein published his "General Theory of Relativity" on 12/16/1915, and on this date in 1979, Roger Staubach played his last game for the Dallas Cowboys.  
- Stocks continued their drop on a very choppy Monday (12/15) with further concerns about falling oil prices. (S&P 500 -0.63%, Dow -0.58%, NASDAQ -1.04%). McDonald’s (MCD-2.38%) and Goldman Sachs (GS-1.74%) were the heavy losers on the Dow Jones Industrial Average. American Realty Capital Properties (ARCP*-8.51%) said its chairman and chief executive have stepped down, and about the only stocks in green were on upgrades - Exxon Mobil (XOM +.35%) and Oracle (ORCL +2.90%). And Boeing (BA) announced it is raising it's dividend 25% and buying back $12 billion of it's shares! The SPUs (/ESH5) had a HUGE intraday range on very heavy volume - moving from 2012 to 1961 - in Presidential administrations, that move went from Obama all the way down to JFK! 
- Most of the talk and lots of the trade is in the oil patch, as crude oil futures for January delivery fell $1.90 to $55.91 a barrel. This decline led lowered expectations as to inflation and more long-term U.S. treasury buying. The 30-year bonds (/ZBH5) are trading well over 146 (146'12), their yield falling to 2.74% - continuing their record setting up move as the rates continue to decline and the FOMC begins their meeting this morning. Gold (/GCG5) had been bouncing around the 1200 level, and the poplularly traded yellow metal had a $30 range in the overnight market - so yes, someone is moving the metal around. In the overnight session gold traded as low as 1193.6 and as high as 1223.9 - that is indeed a big swing. The dollar (/DXH5) fell under 88 last week, but after touching over 89.50 on Monday (12/15), it is right back on that 88 number, with another relatively big overnight swing - 87.83 - 88.735. 
- Today's possible stock movers and shakers: On downgrades: MSFT*, HES, EOG, MAC, ADSK. Lloyds (LYG) and Royal Bank of Scotland (RBS) may have failed the Bank of England stress test, so they may also see some selling. 
- Today's economic events:
FOMC meeting begins
ICSC Retail Store Sales
Housing Starts
Redbook Chain Store Sales
PMI Manufacturing Index Flash
 
- Notable earnings before today's opening:DRI, FDS, NAV. And after today's close: HEI.
 
- Current prices: 
E-mini S&P Futures  1,970.00  (-0.67%)  
E-mini DOW Futures  17,103  (-0.51%)  
E-mini NASDAQ Futures  4,130.50  (-0.80%)  
Crude Oil  54.24  (-2.99%)  
 
"There are no traffic jams along the extra mile.” -- Roger Staubach 
"Then let us all do what is right, strive with all our might toward the unattainable, develop as fully as we can the gifts God has given us, and never stop learning” - Ludwig van Beethoven
 
- Like us on Facebook (FB*) -- https://www.facebook.com/frank.walsh.169 or follow on Twitter(TWTR) at whatsfrankthink, or on Linkedin (LNKD).
Look for us in the daily Swim Lesson Chat room (10:30 CDT), at the Market Drive event in Scottsdale on January 10th, and trade shows in Orlando and New York in February, 2015 - see ya there. 
 
FHW
(* = FHW position)
fhwoption@hotmail.com 
What's Frank Thinking? | 12/16/2014 8:37:59 AM | 0 Comments
The Ides of December/Hanukkah eve.

 

Monday, December 15, 2014, Prescott, AZ., USA
 
Monthly expiration week and the one before Christmas. How weird are the next two-weeks going to be? The SPUs (/ESH5) are all over the place, the rolls are all whacked out; no one is sure of when, how, what, why and who will be adjusting or closing; fading or doing nothing, all leading into the end of the year. "Remember Remember the Ides of December" is Sagittarius Black's latest creation and "The Ides of December" is also a book by Sean Oakley. But listening to Sag Black or reading Oakley can be done anytime. If you are in any monthly or even next week's Dec4 Christmas weeklies, however, something HAS to be done AND SOON! You do NOT want what could have been another wonderful Christmas/Hanukkah holiday disrupted by some early exercising trader that might not have a clue of what they are doing. No, being assigned early is not necessarily a bad thing. But if you, like me, are awakened in the middle of the night with thinkorswim (AMTD*) alerts and emails, one of the exercise-kind might get you out of bed at 3:00 am, or at least have you bringing up the mobile platform as you readjust your pillows. The best Christmas/Hanukkah middle-of-the-night surprises should be Santa on your roof, a spinnning Dreidel, and presents being placed under the tree, NOT assignments in your trading accounts. 
 
If you have any questions as to Christmas/Hanukkah or New Years expirations -call the thinkorswim trade desk (866-839-1100) or ask on the trading platform up on Live Support. DO NOT wait until options expiration eve! The only "eve" you should be waiting for is the night before Christmas! Tonight, however, is actually Hanukkah eve, with the first of the menorah candles being lit at nightfall tomorrow (12/16). We might be taking some time off over the next couple of weeks, although we will be "family-less" and the usual melancholy this holiday season, there is still lots to do. So don't look for our daily missives in their regular time and format, and we won't be lighting any menorah candles or putting any presents under the tree. But we will be remembering the wonderful blessed reasons for season and we hope everyone has a happy and healthy one. 
 
"Most Texans think Hanukkah is some sort of duck call." -- Richard Lewis 
 
Follow us on Twitter (TWTR): whatsfrankthink, like us on Facebook (FB*) - Frank Walsh Prescott, AZ or on Linkedin (LNKD), and join us in the online Swim Lesson chat room - everyday at 10:30 AM Central time. We will be at the World Money Show in Orlando 2/5 - 2/7 and the New York Trader's Expo at the end of February.
 
FHW 
(* = FHW position)
fhwoption@hotmail.com
 
 
What's Frank Thinking? | 12/15/2014 8:21:45 AM | 0 Comments
Thursday's Wednesday recap

 

12/11/14, Prescott, Arizona, USA
 
- Today's birthdays: Fiorello LaGuardia (1882); Walter Knott (1889); Alexander Solzhenitsyn (1918); Nikki Sixx (1958). This was the day, in 1620, that 103 pilgrims landed on Plymouth Rock, and in 1930, the Bank of the United States, in an effort to avoid a bank "run", asked the US Superintendent of Banks to take over their assets. Germany and Italy declared war on the US on this date in 1945, and in 1949, Chicago Bear Johnny Lujack passed for 6 TDs in a victory over the Chicago Cards. In 1975 1st class postage was raised from .10 cents to .13 cents, and on 12/11/1985 the Dow Jones closed above 1,500 for the first time - 1,511.70. 
- Stocks fell sharply on Wednesday (12/10), led by technology, the energy sector on falling oil prices, health care and financials (Dow -1.51%, NASDAQ -1.73%, S&P 500 -1.64%). So the broad sell off probably affected most traders on the long side. But had you been holding stocks for any time period other than the day before, you should still be okay. The VIX popped to 18.53, up over 24% on the day. Boeing (BA - 3.87%) and Exxon Mobil (XOM - 2.97%) were the Dow leaders to the downside.
- Oil has been suffering over the last few weeks, getting treacherously close to the 60 level on Wednesday (dropping some 2.88), another $6 lower than last week, and a full $30 lower than where it began October, reaching a 5 -year low. The bonds have moved out of the range (140 - 143) they had been stuck in since October and are now trading near the 144 half range (144'15). Results of a $13B 30-year note auction are released today at noon CST time, so be careful if trading them. Gold (/GCG5*) is solidly back over 1200, traded over 1233 overnight, but is now closer to 1223. We still can't get all the gold naysayers out of our heads when the metals were all getting crushed a couple months ago and gold got down to 1130 and all of the "experts" were calling for it to go back to 1,000. The US Dollar (/DXH5) had made it up well-over 89 but fell to just over 88 in the overnight session, and is now trading near 88.60. No one really knows where the dollar, the metals, the "softs", the bonds, or the markets can go into the end of 2014, but if you trade small and stay small, diverse and risk defined, the end-of-the-year direction - either way - shouldn't do that much damage. We are concerned with some world event that might affect things more dramatically than they would otherwise move, but other than some geopolitical event or terrorist action, we should be fine through the upcoming Holidays. 
- Today's possible movers: LULU*, JPM, LLY, CASY, MW, EMES*, AAPL*. 
 - Another big day for economic events:
Initial Jobless Claims
Retail Sales
Import/Export Prices
Bloomberg Consumer Comfort Index
Business Inventories
EIA Natural Gas Inventory
Money Supply
Fed Balance Sheet
 
- Notable earnings before the open: CIEN, LULU*, MEI, MNR, RSH;
and after today's close: ADBE, DDC, ESL, NDSN, ZQK.
Current prices (5:30 AM AZ time): 
E-mini S&P Futures  2,030.00  (+0.17%)  
E-mini DOW Futures  17,565  (+0.13%)  
E-mini NASDAQ Futures  4,228.75  (+0.04%)  
 
"How can you expect a man who's warm to understand one who's cold?" -- Alexander Solzhenitsyn
 
Follow us on Twitter (TWTR): whatsfrankthink- like us on Facebook (FB*) - Frank Walsh Prescott, AZ  -- Look for us on Linkedin (LNKD). You can also find us in the daily Swim Lesson chat room (10:30 - noon CST), and we will be at the Market Drive in Scottsdale on January 10th, and the Orlando and New York trade shows in February. 
 
FHW
(* = FHW position) 
fhwoption@hotmail.com 
What's Frank Thinking? | 12/11/2014 8:25:04 AM | 0 Comments
Hawaii here I come - NOT!

 

Wednesday, 12/10/14, Prescott, Arizona, USA 
 
In a few days we will bid farewell to our family as they head off to Hawaii - from December 14th to the 28th. The heir-to-the-mortgage will be flying from school in Portland and his mom will be leaving from Phoenix. "Meet ya at Honolulu International, mom" was something I was never lucky enough to say! Yes, they will spend two wonderful weeks on the Hawaiian Islands, while this old guy works at his cluttered desk in Prescott, with four-legged friend Romeo snoring at our feet. Of course we had to do some research...
 
The Islands are actually an archipleago of eight major land bodies, several atolls, and numerous smaller islets in the North Pacific Ocean; extending some 1,500 miles from the island of Hawaii in the south, to the northernmost Kure Atoll. They are actually the exposed peaks of the undersea Hawaiian-Emperor seamount chain, having been formed from volcanic eruptions, which literally continue today. The islands statistics are interesting, in that there are over 1.4 million Hawaiian inhabitants, but only 10% of them are native Hawaiian or some other Pacific Islander. And, although many think of Hawaii as a haven for retirees, the population under 18 is about 28%, whereas those over 65 only make up about 15.6%. The inhabitants are wise, not only because of the temperatures on their islands, but over 90% of the residents have at least a high school education, and almost 10% are military veterans. The median household income is approximately $68,000, and that is a good thing, because the median value of owner-occupied housing is almost $520,000. Asians own the largest amount of Hawaiian businesses, with over 47%, while native Hawaiians own less than 10% of island firms. 
 
Not surprisingly, especially seeing how much the upcoming two-week trip has already cost, tourism is Hawaii's biggest source of outside income, but cane sugar, pineapples, coffee beans, bananas, macadamia nuts and flowers are big exports. The capital, Honolulu, on the island of Oahu, is the largest city on the islands, with a population of over 387,000. Hawaii does have a sales tax (4%), a relatively low state income tax, and the population is almost exactly split between men (50.1%) and women (49.9%). Much of Hawaii is obviously at sea level, but the state's highest peak, Mauna Kea, reaches 13,796 feet. Engish explorer, James Cook, was the first European visitor, and he named the lands the Sandwich Islands for the English Earl of Sandwich. Hawaii had sought statehood since the late 1930s, but despite the Japanese bombing of the US naval facilities at Pearl Harbor on December 7, 1941, the islands weren't admitted as a state until Aug. 1, 1959. 
 
Soon after Hawaii was admitted to the Union, our uncle Bud (dad's brother), who was in the Navy stationed at Pearl Harbor during the Japanese attack, returned to his favorite spot to buy a motel, only to learn he had recurring malaria which he had originally contacted almost 20 years before. We remember his war stories and his love for the islands, and how upset he was coming back out of his early retirement to Chicago and his tool & die company in our home town of Lincolnwood. The most popular tourist attraction is Uncle Bud's WWII worksite, Pearl Harbor, and our family has already made plans to visit the historic battle-site. Golf is also a popular "play" for tourists, and our college-golfer son is bringing his clubs along on the trip, as two of his teammates' families live on the islands. We can see it now, as the young BFW tees off on some beautiful island, we will be at our desk watching the SPUs (/ESZ4*), trying to roll those out to March (/ESH5*) along with about a dozen other underlyings that still need to be adjusted from this week/month out to next week/month. We also can't help but think of an old college professor whose favorite saying was to "laugh at LAF, because Life Ain't Fair." Ain't that the truth!  
 
Our next trips will be in January and February, to Chicago/Wisconsin and trade show trips to Orlando and New York City. Gosh, no matter the costs, Hawaii sure sounds a lot better! 
 
"Little islands are all large prisons: one cannot look at the sea without wishing for the wings of a swallow.” -- Richard Burton
 
Like us on Facebook (FB*) -- https://www.facebook.com/frank.walsh.169 or follow us on Twitter (TWTR) at whatsfrankthink or on Linkedin (LNKD). And also look for us in the daily Swim Lesson chat room 10:30 - noon CDT.
 
FHW 
fhwoption@hotmail.com
(* = FHW position)
What's Frank Thinking? | 12/10/2014 8:34:08 AM | 0 Comments
Tuesday Tidbits

 

Tuesday, 12/09/14, Prescott, Arizona, USA 
 
- Today's Birthdays: Clarence Birdseye (1886); Dalton Trumbo (1905); Eugene "Tip" O'Neill (1912); Redd Foxx (1922); Al Kaline (1934); Dick Butkus (1942). On 12/09/1925 the Chicago Bears with Red Grange beat the NY Giants in NYC in front of over 73,000. On this date in 1953 General Electric (GE) announced that all communist employees would be fired, and in 1958 Robert Welch formed the John Birch Society. The Dow Jones hit 570.01 on 12/09/1974, and in 1985, Phoenix, Arizona got 3" of snow! In 2011 France's 3-largest banks, Credit Agricole, BNP Paribas and Societe Generale were downgraded by Moody's, and on December 9th of last year AMR Corp, the parent of American Airlines merged with US Airways, forming American Airlines Group and began trading under the symbol AAL. 
- The 30-year bonds (/ZBH5) are now trading just under 143 (142'30), exactly a point over where they were last week at this time. Watch for some bond movement this week, as the Treasury will sell $25 billion of 3-year notes today, $21 billion of 10-year notes tomorrow (12/10), and $13 billion of 30-year bonds on Wednesday (12/11). Gold (/GCG5) had been bouncing around the 1200 level, traded as high as 1220 last week and is currently in the 1215 range. Oil (/CLF5*) is trading about $5.00 lower than where it was last week, in the 63.70 range, and when it went over 64 overnight our thinkorswim (AMTD*) alert lit up our iPhone. Last week we asked "will crude test 60.00 or get back to 80.00? No one really knows, but the subsequent cheaper fuel costs might make this a slightly happier holiday season for some, while those long the oil sector could be looking at coal in their Christmas stockings! Now we are wondering what powers Santa's sleigh? Unleaded? Diesel? Coming from the North Pole, it probably isn't solar. What might uptick oil is the fact that Congress is considering lifting the 40-year ban on exports of crude, a ban that has been in place since the Arab Oil Embargo of the 1970s. Does this mean, if lifted, we will be closer to being "in bed" and under the sheets with the "sheeted ones"? The dollar (/DXH5) fell under 88 last week, but has continued it's incredible march higher - now trading on 89, after touching 89.53 overnight. Stocks finished lower on Monday (12/08), led of course by the energy sector (Chevron (CVX) down 3.67%) as crude oil prices declined to five-year lows. (Dow -0.59%, NASDAQ -0.84%, S&P 500 -0.73%). 
- Today's possible stock movers and shakers: Get in the Zone - AZO, TMUS, WAG, KKD, FDX, WMT, KSS, GM*, FB*, PBR*, EMES*, SUNE*, AAPL*, MSFT*
- Today's economic events:
NFIB Small Business Optimism Index
ICSC Retail Store Sales
Redbook Chain Store Sales
Wholesale Trade
Job Openings and Labor Turnover Survey
Results of $30B, 3-Year Note Auction
 
- Notable earnings before today's opening: AZO, BURL, CONN, HDS, JW.A, PTRY, SAIC, UTIW;
And after today's close: KFY, KKD, NCS.
- Current prices: 
E-mini S&P Futures  2,050.00  (-0.46%)  
E-mini DOW Futures  17,777  (-0.41%)  
E-mini NASDAQ Futures  4,257.00  (-0.51%)  
Crude Oil  63.69  (+1.02%)  
10-yr T-Notes  126-000  (+0.21%)  
 
Please note many of the futures have recently flipped from the December "Z4" contract to the January "F5" or March "H5" contracts. The emini S&Ps (/ESZ4*) now have 10 days remaining on the December "Z"s, and they will be flipped this Friday (12/12) to the March 2015 contracts (/ESH5). The roll from Dec to March is currently trading about 7, and if you have any December positions, the default contract on the thinkorswim platform will become the March at the end of this week, so pay attention. If you have any questions about the roll - call the trade desk at 866-839-1100 or ask on Live Support on the Support/Chat at the top right on he platform. 
 
"When I played pro football, I never set out to hurt anyone deliberately - unless it was, you know, important, like a league game or something." -- Dick Butkus 
 
- Like us on Facebook (FB*) -- https://www.facebook.com/frank.walsh.169 or follow on Twitter(TWTR) at whatsfrankthink, or on Linkedin (LNKD).Look for us in the daily Swim Lesson Chat room (10:30 CDT), and trade shows in Orlando and New York in February, 2015 - see ya there. 
 
FHW
(* = FHW position)
fhwoption@hotmail.com 
What's Frank Thinking? | 12/9/2014 8:21:32 AM | 0 Comments
Christmas expenditures - 2014 style

 

Monday, December 8th, 2014, Prescott, Arizona, USA 
 
Okay - on your mark, get set, SPEND! C'mon kids, it's darn-near Christmas, and we all have to do our very best to keep the US economy "movin' on up". Although this morning's early emini futures (/ESZ4*) are currently trading down 7 to 2060.) I quess quoting The Jeffersons is still WAY more acceptable today than quoting Bill Cosby (sorry Paul S.). As to holiday spending, most of our Christmas spending has already been done. Our small family, sans the old guy, is going to Hawaii for two weeks - wrapped around Christmas, and then to Mexico for four-days in early January. Holy Cow! Flights to and around the islands are NOT cheap, and hotels once there are as expensive as anywhere on the mainland. 200 bucks just to go from Oahu to Maui? Why not a cheap slow boat, we questioned? Are you "dinghy"?, was the response. No, we are certain the pun from the son's mother was not intended, as "dinghy" is, after all, a small boat, and we never have figured out why folks use it as a replacement for "nutty". 
 
So, even though there will be nothing under this year's Yuletide tree; in fact, there isn't even a tre! We have atready spent more this Christmas on the other two-thirds of Team Walsh than ever. The trip's costs are up to about $9,000 already, and this is before they get there and start golfing and shopping! Have you ever golfed Hawaii? How about a nice dinner out? What about a rental car on both islands, for a week each? Even the golf courses in Mexico have gotten expensive, and that doesn't include any "armed" guards, or the mandatory Clamato mixed Bloody Marys on the course. 
 
So, all-in-all, this will be about a $15,000 Christmas for the old Walsh guy who pays the bills; but staying home with the little four-legged man, Romeo, will be cheap, nice, and quiet. This will be the first year in 63 that we aren't spending the holidays in Chicago and Wisconsin, so that will be strange. But we will hoist a solitary toast or two while singing mostly Vince Gill Christmas songs, and watch a lot of football and basketball on TV. Oh, did we forget to mention the new 65 inch Vizio M650VSE Christmas present? Ho-Ho-Ho! 
 
“A word to the wise ain't necessary, it's the stupid ones who need the advice.”-- Bill Cosby 
"If I paid you to think, you could cash your check at the penny arcade." -- George Jefferson 
 
Follow us on Twitter (TWTR): whatsfrankthink, like us on Facebook (FB*) - Frank Walsh Prescott, AZ or on Linkedin (LNKD), and join us in the online Swim Lesson chat room - everyday at 10:30 AM Central time. We will also be at the trade shows in New York and Orlando in February.
 
FHW 
(* = FHW position)
fhwoption@hotmail.com
What's Frank Thinking? | 12/8/2014 8:45:26 AM | 0 Comments
Thursday re-cap

 

Thursday, 12/04/14, Prescott, Arizona, USA
 
- Today's birthdays: Charles Keating (1923); Max Baer Jr. (1937); Freddie Cannon (1940); Chris Hillman (1942). On 12/4/1674 the 1st building in what is now Chicago was built by Father Marquette, and in 1816 James Monroe was elected the 5th President, defeating Federalist Rufus King. On this date in 1933, FDR created the Federal Alchohol Control Administration, then, in 1942, he ordered the end of the WPA (Works Project Administration). Walter Reuther was chosen chairman of the CIO in 1952, and on this day in 1970 the US unemployment rate rose to 5.8%. 12/4/1990 saw a new high of $1.60 a gallon gas, thanks to the Persian Gulf crisis, and in 2013, six banks were fined after the European Commission found them guilty of fixing interest rates. 
- The Dow Jones Industrial Average (DJX) and S&P 500 (SPX) reached record highs again on Wednesday (12/03/14), closing at 17,912.62 and 2,074.33 respectively, and they both look to open slightly higher this morning. The VIX fell 2.96% to 12.47. Will the Volatility Index get to 10 if the SPUs (/ESZ4*) get to 2200? Did we really just put up 2200 for the SPUs? Oh my, that would really be a Santa Claus / end of year rally! 
- Oil has been suffering over the last few weeks, and it has dropped into the mid-66 level overnight, a full ten bucks lower than last week. The "sheeted" OPEC dudes are silent on the subject, but the lower prices have to be killing the Russians while helping the common citizen who drives to work everyday. The bonds are trading exactly where they have been for the last few weeks - in the mid-141 range, but they could move today with the European Central Bank meeting and the U.S Jobs report data. So be careful trading the 30s or 10s, but put them up on the Active Trader page to watch the possible bouncing fun. Gold (/GCG5*) is solidly back over 1200, currently trading 1207. Will our favorite yellow metal also rally into the end of 2014? The US Dollar (/DXZ4) has made it up over 89, as money from around the world continues to buy our Greenback. Corn (/ZCH5) and the rest of the "soft" commodities have been stuck in a mostly higher range, and we still wonder if corn can get back to 4.00 for the end of the year - it seems like only yesterday that it was over 8.00 (August 2012). 
- Today's possible movers: DIS ups their dividend, KMI, SNE vs North Korea?, COST better sales. 
 - Another big day for economic events:
Chain Store Sales
Challenger Job-Cut Report (7:30 am EST)
Initial Jobless Claims (8:30 am EST)
Gallup US Payroll to Population
Bloomberg Consumer Comfort Index
EIA Natural Gas Inventory (10:30 am EST)
Money Supply
Fed Balance Sheet
 
- Notable earnings before the open: BKS, DG, EXPR, GIL, KR, SHLD, TTC, TD*, UNFI;
and after today's close: AMBA, AEO, CBK, COO, FNSR, FIVE, RALY, SD, SWHC, ULTA, ZUMZ.
Current prices (5:30 AM AZ time): 
E-mini S&P Futures  2,074.50  (+0.10%)  
E-mini DOW Futures  17,913  (+0.09%)  
E-mini NASDAQ Futures  4,317.50  (+0.16%)  
US Dollar Index  88.977  (+0.02%)  
Crude Oil  67.04  (-0.50%)  
10-yr T-Notes  126-000  (+0.02%)  
 
"The politician is an acrobat; he keeps his balance by doing the opposite of what he says." -- Maurice Barres 
 
Follow us on Twitter (TWTR): whatsfrankthink- like us on Facebook (FB*) - Frank Walsh Prescott, AZ  -- Look for us on Linkedin (LNKD)
 
FHW
(* = FHW position) 
fhwoption@hotmail.com 
What's Frank Thinking? | 12/4/2014 8:23:45 AM | 0 Comments
Hoover Dam - Pat Tillman bridge and the Depression?

 

Wednesday, December 3rd, 2014, Prescott, Arizona, USA 
 
Having recently driven over the Hoover Dam, on last week's Vegas trade show trip, we always marvel at the incredible structure and think back to the 31st President of the United States, Herbert Clark Hoover, after whom the dam was eventually named. We actually also marvel at Hoover, who was the 1st President to "redistribute" his salary, the only other being John F. Kennedy, both donating their government checks to charity. Hoover, although not considered one of the great Presidents, did promote partnerships between business and government under his "economic modernization" plan. Also an early follower of the "Efficiency Movement", Hoover believed, as do we, that the government and the overall economy are riddled with inefficiency and waste. And that was way before most of the government "hand-outs." 
 
Hoover, because of his incredible humanitarian efforts during and after World War I, both Republican and Democratic parties courted him as a Presidential candidate in 1920. At the time Franklin Roosevelt actually said about Hoover; "He is certainly a wonder, and I wish we could make him President of the United States...there could not be a better one." Hoover's tenacity in the heading up of the post-war Ameican Relief Administration, brought food to millions in Central Europe, even feeding the famine-stricken Bolshevik-controlled areas of Russia. When questioned as to his feeding the Russians, he said "Twenty million people are starving. Whatever their politics, they shall be fed." Twelve years later, Roosevelt and Hoover became dreadful enemies for the presidency - which Roosevelt won by a landslide. Amazingly enough, after being appointed to all of his previous government positions, Hoover did win the presidency in 1928 in his first ever elective race. Hoover was in command during the Crash of 1929, with the Smoot-Hawley Tarriffs and his tax hikes (top bracket from 25% to 63%), leading to the Depression, and his eventual defeat to Roosevelt's New Deal in 1932.  
 
Considering President Hoover is most famous for the massive Arizona/Nevada project over the Colorado River, he wasn't even invited to Roosevelt's dedication of the dam on September 30, 1935. The dam was approved while Hoover was the Secretary of Commerce and under construction for much of his presidency, but Roosevelt's secretary of the Interior, Harold Ickes, who despised Hoover, said "Hoover had very little to do with the dam", and changed its official name to Boulder Dam. At the dedication ceremony's speech, Roosevelt didn't even mention his predecessor's name. However, in 1947, President Harry Truman signed a law that restored the original name—Hoover Dam. And we now enjoy driving next to the wonderful dam on the Mike O'Callaghan-Pat Tillman Memorial Bridge, the integral part of the Hoover Dam Bypass project that we witnessed first hand for years on our trips to and from Las Vegas. 
 
"Your help will enter history as a unique, gigantic achievment, worthy of the greatest glory, which will long remain in the memory of millions of Russians whom you have saved from death." -- Maxim Gorky in a July 1922 letter to Herbert Hoover. 
 
Like us on Facebook (FB*) -- https://www.facebook.com/frank.walsh.169 or follow us on Twitter (TWTR) at whatsfrankthink or on Linkedin (LNKD) 
And also look for us in the daily Swim Lesson chat room 10:30 - noon CT. And remember the February trade shows in Orlando and New York. 
 
FHW 
fhwoption@hotmail.com
(* = FHW position)   
 
What's Frank Thinking? | 12/3/2014 8:17:46 AM | 0 Comments