Month: January 2013

Interesting price breakouts, for January 28, 2013, $LNKD $KORS $ROSE $CHUY $MTH $$ h/t incl: @sectortrends @macromon @sjosephburns @antichartjunk among many traders

LOTS of new highs, presented by the market’s current admixture of ebullience and trepidation. Right now, there seems to be more buys than sells within the equity-verse.  In summary, I present charts of $CHUY $KORS $MTH $ROSE $LNKD, and one to “watch” $OIH, an ETF that tracks the PBOE Oil Service Index (^OSX):






And one stock-tweeter, @sectortrends, has observed, the PBOE Oil Service Index has broken a longer term “descending trend line”, extending back to ’07 – ’09.  I observe recent fresh highs, with a potential build towards higher lows and highs. In addition, another stock-tweeter, @macromon, has observed how Dow Transports, as a leading indicator, presage the rise in energy demand and prices.


following, via @macromon:

jan22_transports LEADS crude by 2 months or so 012213


Do you worry about “looking” versus DOING good? – Ray Dalio’s principles

“People who worry about looking good typically hide what they don’t know and hide their weaknesses, so they never learn how to properly deal with them and these weaknesses remain impediments in the future.”

Jesse Livermore had his inspirations $$STUDY

A simple and extraordinary passage from Jesse Livermore’s 1940 text, How To Trade Stocks:

“Many years ago I heard of a remarkably successful speculator who lived in the California mountains and received quotations three days old.  Two or three times a year he would call his San Francisco broker and begin writing out orders to buy or sell, depending on his market position. A friend of mine, who spent time in the broker’s office, became curious and made inquiries. His astonishment mounted when he learned of the man’s extreme detachment from market facilities, his rare visits, and on occasions, his tremendous volume of trade. Finally he was introduced, and in the course of conversation inquired of this man from the mountains how he could keep track of the stock market at such an isolated price.

‘Well,’ he replied,’ I make speculations a business. I would be a failure if I were in the confusion of things and let myself be distracted by minor changes. I like to be away where I can think. You see, I keep a record of what has happened, after it has happened, and it gives me a rather clear picture of what markets are doing. Real movements do not end the day they start. It takes time to complete the end of a genuine movement. By being up in the mountains I am in a position to give these movements all the time they need. But a day comes when I get some prices out of the paper and put them down in my records. I notice the prices I record are not conforming to the same pattern of movements that has been apparent for some time. Right then I make up my mind. I go to town and get busy.”

That happened many years ago. Consistently, the man from the mountains, over a long period of time, drew funds abundantly from the stock market.He was something of an inspiration to me.

Notes and trades as of January 9, 2013 $$STUDY

Lots of ideas in action and to look at, avoiding all the marquee names due to volatility and the sense that rotation and institutional exits can cause havoc.

Current trades in place, but really, it’s less about ideas, and more about trade and risk management:

Right now, we have energy, the Internet, Chinese market rebound and Financials front and center:

BCEI_010913 QIHU_010913 MTZ_010913 C_010913 oas_010913

Energy (as expressed in BCEI and OAS above) can include Noble Energy (NBL)


“CLOUD” plays are promising, and have included Amazon (AMZN) but Equinix (EQIX) is another candidate:


China, in the form of the Shanghai Composite, looks promising. “Bond King” Gundlach at DoubleLine mentions this play, and what has fallen into disrepute could be promising. I don’t like using iShares FTSE China 25 ETF (FXI), but looking at it and the Steel Vectors ETF (SLX) is a starting point for me.



Another hated area is Europe, and many commentators on stocktwits are noticing Spain, so I present the Spain ETF (EWP) and Santander (SAN):



A close friend asked me to post this how-to list on protection against violence and predators

The horrific tragedy of a gang-rape of a young medical student in Delhi has broken the hearts of millions, including my own, and during a talk with a close friend, I was forwarded a self-protection “how  to ” list and I wanted to post it. I normally focus on the markets and speculation, but this my dear friend asked me to share it in the small hope it helps someone out there. We live in a world filled with all kinds of predators, and we must be on our guard, like it or not:

BELOW is the TEXT of the HOW-TO SELF PROTECTION from would be attackers/predators:

It seems that a lot of attackers use some tactic to get away with violence. Not many people know how to take care of themselves when faced with such a situation. Everyone should read this especially each and every girl in this world.


Through a rapist’s eyes! A group of rapists and date rapists in prison were interviewed on what they look for in a potential victim and here are some interesting facts:

1] The first thing men look for in a potential victim is hairstyle. They are most likely to go after a woman with a ponytail, bun! , braid or other hairstyle that can easily be grabbed. They are also likely to go after a woman with long hair. Women with short hair are not common targets.

2] The second thing men look for is clothing. They will look for women whose clothing is easy to remove quickly. Many of them carry scissors around to cut clothing.

3] They also look for women using their cell phone, searching through their purse or doing other activities while walking because they are off guard and can be easily overpowered.

4] The number one place women are abducted from / attacked at is grocery store parking lots.

5] Number two is office parking lots/garages.

6] Number three is public restrooms.

7] The thing about these men is that they are looking to grab a woman and quickly move her to a second location where they don’t have to worry about getting caught.

8] If you put up any kind of a fight at all, they get discouraged because it only takes a minute or two for them to realize that going after you isn’t worth it because it will be time-consuming.

9] These men said they would not pick on women who have umbrellas, or other similar objects that can be used from a distance, in their hands.

10] Keys are not a deterrent because you have to get really close to the attacker to use them as a weapon. So, the idea is to convince these guys you’re not worth it.



1] If someone is following behind you on a street or in a garage or with you in an elevator or stairwell, look them in the face and ask them a question, like what time is it, or make general small talk: can’t believe it is so cold out here, we’re in for a bad winter. Now that you’ve seen their faces and could identify them in a line- up, you lose appeal as a target.

2] If someone is coming toward you, hold out your hands in front of you and yell Stop or Stay back! Most of the rapists this man talked to said they’d leave a woman alone if she yelled or showed that she would not be afraid to fight back. Again, they are looking for an EASY target.

3] If you carry pepper spray (this instructor was a huge advocate of it and carries it with him wherever he goes,) yelling I HAVE PEPPER SPRAY and holding it out will be a deterrent.

4] If someone grabs you, you can’t beat them with strength but you can do it by outsmarting them. If you are grabbed around the waist from behind, pinch the attacker either under the arm between the elbow and armpit or in the upper inner thigh – HARD. One woman in a class this guy taught told him she used the underarm pinch on a guy who was trying to date rape her and was so upset she broke through the skin and tore out muscle strands the guy needed stitches. Try pinching yourself in those places as hard as you can stand it; it really hurts.

5] After the initial hit, always go for the groin. I know from a particularly unfortunate experience that if you slap a guy’s parts it is extremely painful. You might think that you’ll anger the guy and make him want to hurt you more, but the thing these rapists told our instructor is that they want a woman who will not cause him a lot of trouble. Start causing trouble, and he’s out of there.

6] When the guy puts his hands up to you, grab his first two fingers and bend them back as far as possible with as much pressure pushing down on them as possible. The instructor did it to me without using much pressure, and I ended up on my knees and both knuckles cracked audibly.

7] Of course the things we always hear still apply. Always be aware of your surroundings, take someone with you if you can and if you see any odd behavior, don’t dismiss it, and go with your instincts. You may feel little silly at the time, but you’d feel much worse if the guy really was trouble.



I know you are smart enough to know these pointers but there will be some, where you will go “hmm I must remember that” After reading, forward it to someone you care about, never hurts to be careful in this crazy world we live in.

1. Tip from Tae Kwon Do: The elbow is the strongest point on your body. If you are close enough to use it, do it.

2. Learned this from a tourist guide to New Orleans: if a robber asks for your wallet and/or purse, DO NOT HAND IT TO HIM. Toss it away from you…. chances are that he is more interested in your wallet and/or purse than you and he will go for the wallet/purse. RUN LIKE MAD IN THE OTHER DIRECTION!

3. If you are ever thrown into the trunk of a car: Kick out the back tail lights and stick your arm out the hole and start waving like crazy. The driver won’t see you but everybody else will. This has saved lives.

4. Women have a tendency to get into their cars after shopping, eating, working, etc., and just sit (doing their checkbook, or making a list, etc. DON’T DO THIS! The predator will be watching you, and this is the perfect opportunity for him to get in on the passenger side, put a gun to your head, and tell you where to go. AS SOON AS YOU CLOSE the DOORS, LEAVE.

5. A few notes about getting into your car in a parking lot, or parking garage:

a. Be aware: look around your car as someone may be hiding at the passenger side, peek into your car, inside the passenger side floor, and in the back seat. (DO THIS TOO BEFORE RIDING A TAXI CAB).

b. If you! U are parked next to a big van, enter your car from the passenger door. Most serial killers attack their victims by pulling them into their vans while the women are attempting to get into their cars.

c. Look at the car parked on the driver’s side of your vehicle, and the passenger side. If a male is sitting alone in the seat nearest your car, you may want to walk back into the mall, or work, and get a guard /policeman to walk you back out. IT IS ALWAYS BETTER TO BE SAFE THAN SORRY. (And better paranoid than dead.)

6. ALWAYS take the elevator instead of the stairs. (Stairwells are horrible places to be alone and the perfect crime spot).

7. If the predator has a gun and you are not under his control, ALWAYS RUN! The predator will only hit you (a running target) 4 in 100 times; and even then, it most likely WILL NOT be a vital organ. RUN!

8. As women, we are always trying to be sympathetic: STOP IT! It may get you raped, or killed. Ted Bundy, the serial killer, was a good-looking, well educated man, who ALWAYS played on the sympathies of unsuspecting women. He walked with a cane, or a limp, and often asked “for help” into his vehicle or with his vehicle, which is when he abducted his next victim.

I’d like you to forward this to all the women you know. It may save a life. A candle is not dimmed by lighting another candle. I was going to send this to the ladies only, but guys, if you love your mothers, wives, sisters, daughters, etc., you may want to pass it onto them, as well.

Send this to any woman you know that may need to be reminded that the world we live in has a lot of crazies in it and it’s better safe than sorry.



‘Helping hands are better than Praying Lips’ – give us your helping hand.


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Tony Hsieh, Zappos founder, spells out lessons from Poker h/t @mcovel ‘s blog for source $$STUDY

This is just a post for yours truly, sparked by Michael Covel’s Blog.

Tony Hsieh’s rules of success, gleaned from good poker playing habits, applies to so many things, including the art of speculation.

from Hsieh’s excellent December 2008 post on the Zappos blog:


  • Table selection is the most important decision you can make.
  • It’s okay to switch tables if you discover it’s too hard to win at your table.
  • If there are too many competitors (some irrational or inexperienced), even if you’re the best it’s a lot harder to win.


  • Act weak when strong, act strong when weak. Know when to bluff.
  • Your “brand” is important.
  • Help shape the stories that people are telling about you.


  • Always be prepared for the worst possible scenario.
  • The guy who wins the most hands is not the guy who makes the most money in the long run.
  • The guy who never loses a hand is not the guy who makes the most money in the long run.
  • Go for positive expected value, not what’s least risky.
  • Make sure your bankroll is large enough for the game you’re playing and the risks you’re taking.
  • Play only with what you can afford to lose.
  • Remember it’s a long term game. You will win or lose individual sessions, but it’s what happens in the long term that matters.


  • Don’t play games that you don’t understand, even if you see lots of other people making money from them.
  • Figure out the game when the stakes aren’t high.
  • Don’t cheat. Cheaters never win in the long run.
  • Stick to your principles.
  • You need to adjust your style of play throughout the night as the dynamics of the game change. Be flexible.
  • Be patient and think long term.
  • The players with the most stamina and focus usually win.
  • Differentiate yourself. Do the opposite of what the rest of the table is doing.
  • Hope is not a good plan.
  • Don’t let yourself go “on tilt”. It’s much more cost effective to take a break, walk around, or leave the game for the night.


  • Educate yourself. Read books and learn from others who have done it before.
  • Learn by doing. Theory is nice, but nothing replaces actual experience.
  • Learn by surrounding yourself with talented players.
  • Just because you win a hand doesn’t mean you’re good and you don’t have more learning to do. You might have just gotten lucky.
  • Don’t be afraid to ask for advice.


  • You’ve gotta love the game. To become really good, you need to live it and sleep it.
  • Don’t be cocky. Don’t be flashy. There’s always someone better than you.
  • Be nice and make friends. It’s a small community.
  • Share what you’ve learned with others.
  • Look for opportunities beyond just the game you sat down to play. You never know who you’re going to meet, including new friends for life or new business contacts.
  • Have fun. The game is a lot more enjoyable when you’re trying to do more than just make money.

Happy New Year 2013 $SPX $SPY $COMPX $FXI $USDJPY $NKD_F

The objective this year is frankly to do “less” but achieve more. Attending to the gyrations and noise during the second half of 2012 has taken their toll, and I am the chief architect behind my results, which have been subpar, in what has been a volatile period punctuated with some promising trends, in homebuilding shares, finance, some tech, and within the futures arena, great trends have emerged within softs, the Japanese Yen and grains. Right now, we’ve had a handful of great ideas that I have not maximized, with too much spread out over to many priorities. Not again. 🙂

We begin the year with shorts in the Japanese Yen and Corn, which are worrisome for their violent success to the downside, and could prove painful during a profit taking/ “consolidation” period. HOWEVER, my reading of other traders (twitter handles include: MarzBonfire, traderfoxxx, peterlbrandt and johnfmauldin) ALL point, despite their different approaches to a secular trend driven by politics and the reality that the Japanese national balance sheet has come to a reckoning. The price action has been short Yen against anything else, and long the TOPIX and NIKKEI. We will see how far we get past this first inning, or if that was it.

Going forward, a nascent rise in Bank of America, past the $10 per share mark, could prove to be in early days, with more to come, as I see an argument for a fragile continued recovery for the U.S. economy. So an eye on financials in 2013 could prove as fruitful as homebuilders were in 2012. It all depends if we can stumble forward, “cliff” or no “cliff” which has technically come due as of this writing, this evening, Tuesday, January 1, 2013.

Conversely, another “BIG TRADE” for 2013 could include something Ray Dalio, of Bridgewater Associates fame and success, hinted at, that the vaunted US Treasury bond bull could finally come to a turning point. We’ll see, that’s really a multi-year turn.

Next up, the emerging markets, with China in focus, could prove to offer at a minimum a robust bounce for speculators. Without resort to the Shanghai Composite, traders may lean heavily upon instruments like FXI, perhaps the Hang Seng Index and I include the possibility in investing in the largest energy enterprises for the more “risk” (or volatility) tolerant speculator.

Other big picture ideas which are NOT really for trading, include my continued interest in energy and in places like Mongolia, with its nascent wealthy and rising standards of living.