February 14, 2012, Rhinelander, Wisconsin, USA
- Two weeks ago the SPUs (/ESH2*) were trading in the 1315 range and last Tuesday's early morning futures were in the 1335 handle. After another week they are now in the 1350 range, and at this early hour look to open relatively flat, after ranging between 1343.75 and 1352 overnight. Gold (/GCJ2*) is trading almost exactly where it was last week - 1720 ish. The grains have spent another relatively boring week, although they are bifurcated this morning with Corn (/ZC) and Wheat (/ZW) slightly lower, while Soybeans (/ZS), which were 1184 two weeks ago are now 1255. The autos, Ford and GM (F* and GM*) were higher last week, but have been sputtering ever since. Apple (AAPL*) continues to more-or-less laugh off any downturns that may occur in the overall market, and had you bought the stock on November 25th, at $365, you would now be up about 140 points, as the stock looks to open near $505. If you recall, we did mention that date, back at Thanksgiving, that Santa seemed to show up early, and most stocks have had incredible rallies ever since. We still don't know what all the austerity talk in Greece and the Moody's downgrades of Spain, Italy, Portugal and a couple of others will do to our markets, and we continue to cut our long positions, thinking there has to be a pull-back at some point.
- It was great meeting so many folks at the World Money Show in Orlando, and this hopefully restful week in Rhinelander is now even more needed. The New York Trader's Expo starts on Sunday, and we hope to see many of you at the Times Square Marriott (MAR) Marquis. Our flights to and from Orlando on Southwest (LUV*) and Frontier (RJET*) were uneventful and booked 100%, and the Gaylord Palms Hotel was very busy. Our one night out-on-the-town, including a small FHW birthday celebration, at a nice restaurant (Johnnies Hideaway) was fun, and the steak/seafood house was also very crowded, with the traffic in-and-out of the Disney (DIS) area incredibly busy. So, if we believe in our old personal consumer indices like the FIX (Fun Index) and SLIX (Stand-in-Line Index), we should still be bullish, but after such a run-up since November (/ES moving from 1145 to almost 1355), we are really somewhat leery. And when almost every TV talking head and market maven are talking it up, we have to at least show a little concern. It is definitely too late to jump on the long stock bandwagon, and with the VIX in the 19 range, puts are probably too cheap to sell. Sometimes, at times like these, if you can get your overall delta relatively flat, not making any trades is just like making a trade. Better safe than sorry is an old adage, and sitting on your hands watching the daily moves, waiting for an opportunity, is the way to go.
- Have a great week. The snowmobile trails around Rhinelander are awful, and the stories of trucks going through the ice into neighborhood lakes might keep us from ice fishing. Gosh, what will we do for a winter week in the Northwoods? The daily online Swim Lesson Chat will be attended (10:30 - 1:30 CST), and we are WAY behind in writing our MyTrade blogs, so a lot of time may be spent at our Wisconsin desk. Then, on Saturday, it will be back on another Frontier jet to Milwaukee and an Air Tran (LUV) flight to New York's LaGuardia. Stop by the booth and see us.
"Travel sucks! I would rather stand here and lose money than deal with everything that goes along with going anywhere." GUR in OEX pit circa 1986