Testy Tuesday – Q4 Begins With a Lot of Concerns
Of course not, that's idiotic as the voters elected the representatives (by actual majorities) that exercise their Constitutionally Mandated oversight of the President who was, in fact, put in power by an elitist Electoral College that did, in fact, ignore the popular vote. Still, that's the headline Fox "News" is going with this morning as part of an all-out GOP effort to discredit our Government, our laws and our processes – whatever it takes to keep their guy in power.
The "President" is, in fact, calling for a Civil War now and is back to his usual media bashing, making me wonder if it was all a dream when we were told in school that a free press is the backbone upon which a Democracy is built. Since Coporate Dollars have now crept into every click an article generates, there is really no such thing as a free press anymore as it's now all about pleasing the advertisers anyway.
"Liberty cannot be preserved without a general knowledge among the people, who have a right, from the frame of their nature, to knowledge, as their great Creator, who does nothing in vain, has given them understandings, and a desire to know; but besides this, they have a right, an indisputable, unalienable, indefeasible, divine right to that most dreaded and envied kind of knowledge, I mean, of the characters and conduct of their rulers. Rulers are no more than attorneys, agents, and trustees, of the people; and if the cause, the interest, and trust, is insidiously betrayed, or wantonly trifled away, the people have a right to revoke the authority that they themselves have deputed, and to constitute other and better agents, attorneys and trustees." - John Adams, A Dissertation on the Canon and Feudal Law (1765)
"The moment we no longer have a free press, anything can happen. What makes it possible for a totalitarian or any other dictatorship to rule is that people are not informed; how can you have an opinion if you are not informed? If everybody always lies to you, the consequence is not that you believe the lies, but rather that nobody believes anything any longer. This is because lies, by their very nature, have to be changed, and a lying government has constantly to rewrite its own history. On the receiving end you get not only one lie—a lie which you could go on for the rest of your days—but you get a great number of lies, depending on how the political wind blows. And a people that no longer can believe anything cannot make up its mind. It is deprived not only of its capacity to act but also of its capacity to think and to judge. And with such a people you can then do what you please." - Hannah Arendt
In the First Amendment, the Founding Fathers gave the free press the protection it must have to fulfill its essential role in our democracy. The press was to serve the governed, not the governors. The Government's power to censor the press was abolished so that the press would remain forever free to censure the Government. The press was protected so that it could bare the secrets of government and inform the people. - Hugo L. Black, (New York Times Company v. United States, 1971).
"The last right we shall mention regards the freedom of the press. The importance of this consists, besides the advancement of truth, science, morality, and arts in general, in its diffusion of liberal sentiments on the administration of Government, its ready communication of thoughts between subjects, and its consequential promotion of union among them whereby oppressive officers are shamed or intimidated into more honourable and just modes of conducting affairs." - Letter sent by the Continental Congress (October 26, 1774) to the Inhabitants of Quebec.
That last one was about as directly from the Founding Fathers as you can get. The press is here SPECIFICALLY to hold our Government leaders accountable to the people who elected them AFTER they get to office. Trump thinks getting to office (by any means necessary) then means he has to answer to no one but, if that were the case – why are there Rules for Impeachment in the Constitution in the first place?
“The President, Vice President and all Civil Officers of the United States, shall be removed from Office on Impeachment for, and Conviction of, Treason, Bribery, or other high Crimes and Misdemeanors.” — U.S. Constitution, Article II, section 4
And what are "Hign Crimes and Misdemeanors"? Well, we can ask the lady who wrote the book (literally) on the subject in the Watergate Era – Hillary Clinton. As noted in the bi-partisan Watergate Report, "high crimes" was not an invention of the framers of the constituation but a long-settled phrase in English Law that generally meant crimes committed by people of a high office – not some special super-crime that Trump hasn't been caught doing yet – simply extortion and perverting his oath of office is more than enough to get him impeached.
So why doesn't the market seem to care about all this turmoil (or anything else, for that matter)? Here we are, back near our all-time highs with a Dollar at long-term highs and stock valuations at all-time highs – as if everything is great and can only get greater… Well, for one thing, "we didn't start the fire – it was always burning since the World's been turning" – if you can trivialize the things we worried about 50 years ago – why worry abotu this now?
"Birth control, Ho Chi Minh, Richard Nixon back again
Moonshot, Woodstock, Watergate, punk rock
Begin, Reagan, Palestine, terror on the airline
Ayatollah's in Iran, Russians in Afghanistan
"Wheel of Fortune", Sally Ride, heavy metal, suicide
Foreign debts, homeless vets, AIDS, crack, Bernie Goetz
Hypodermics on the shores, China's under martial law
Rock and roller cola wars, I can't take it anymore"
This too shall pass is the mantra for the stock market, which has outlived all this nonsense and the Great Depression and two World Wars. In fact, the "Brugse Beurze" (pictured in center) was established in 1409 and THAT was the first institutional stock market but bankers in Venice were trading Government Securities since 1351 so, to put it mildly, Stock Markets have survived pretty much everything – Donald Trump isn't going to take them down – even if he goes down, which is looking very likely.
There are plenty of opportunities in the market – no matter what's going on in the World or the economy. As I mentioned last week, in our Tuesday Mornng Report, we were playing Soybeans (/ZS) long at $895.50 in anticipation of China placing a large order for Soybeans and, finally, we got the order yesterday – for 1 MILLION TONS! There's also a few Million more tons coming and /ZS has popped up to $908 this morning and those /ZS contracts pay a very nice $1,120 per $1 move so, just since last week – they are up another $14,000 for EACH long contract – (you're welcome!) and our options spread (for the Futures Impaired) was:
- Buy 50 Nov $14 calls for $1.10 ($5,500)
- Sell 50 Nov $15 puts for 0.95 ($4,750)
Which we began with at net $750 in May but was already net $3,750 last week but we said it would be good to stick out for the additional double at $7,500 and already they are at $1.60/0.70 for net $4,500 – up another $750 (20%) since last week's report – which you saved $21 on by not subscribing for the week – BRILLIANT!
We also featured a brand new trade idea for Coffee (/KCH20) at $102 and we hit $108 yesterday for a nice $2,250 gain per contract and our ETF (JO) trade idea (all from the same day's Report) was:
Coffee does have an ETF (JO) and, like SOYB above, we can pick up a spread that can give us a nice return. We think $100 (though it can dip below) is a good floor for Coffee as it's a point below which the farmers simply can't make money selling it. For the ETF, which is at $32.50, we can do the following spread:
Sell 5 JO March $30 puts for $1.40 ($800)
Buy 10 JO March $30 calls for $4.40 ($4,400)
Sell 10 JO March $32 calls for $3.20 ($3,200) That's net $400 on the $2,000 spread so $1,600 (400%) upside potential if JO holds $32 into March. As long as /KC stays above $98, you should get paid in full. The downside to this trade is that, below $30, you would be forced to buy 500 shares of JO at $30 ($15,000) but we like that price and you can turn right around and sell calls against it to lower the basis further.
Already the 5 short March $30 puts are 0.98 ($490) and the $30/32 bull call spread is $4.70/3.45 for net $1.25 ($1,250) is net net $760 and up $360 (90%), which isn't bad for a week's work – just something fun we can do with our CASH!!! while we wait on the sidelines this month.
Today, with the Dollar up at 99.25 and likely to at least pull back from $100, we can take advantage of Silver (/SI) testing the $17 line and playing bullish above it and Gold (/YG) at $1,465 is another good bullish play and Natural Gas (/NG) is a nice long at $2.25 as it's still hurricane season and could spike up quickly and, if not, $2.25 is still a pretty good price for /NG.
The chart says it could drop close to $2 and /NG contracts cost you $100 per penny if you are wrong so that's $2,500 to lose but I'd put a stop below the $2.25 line and go long again at $2.15 with conviction and double down at $2.05 to average $2.10 in 2 contracts and hold onto that for the long run.
If you are Futures impaired, there is a Natural Gas ETF (UNG) and the way I would play that one is:
- Sell 5 UNG Jan $19 puts for $1.80 ($900)
- Buy 10 UNG Jan $15 calls for $4.80 ($4,800)
- Sell 10 UNG Jan $19 calls for $2.50 ($2,500)
That's net $1,400 on the $4,000 spread so $2,600 (185%) upside potential if UNG can hold $19 into Jan 17th expirations. If not, the break-even is $17.70 so /NG would have to drop more than 10% for you to get burned on this one. Hopefully it does as well as our last set!
See, there's always something we can play…