RF's Financial News

RF's Financial News

Sunday, July 19, 2015

This Week in Barrons - 7-19-2015

This Week in Barrons – 7-19-2015:

“I’ve learned … that often all someone needs is a hand to hold, and a heart to understand.”


Just enough to win … ma”:

A headline this week stated: “China reveals size of gold reserves, but nobody believes Beijing’s numbers.”  You see on Friday of last week, The People’s Bank of China published figures on their gold reserves for the first time since April of 2009.  The latest report showed China holding between one-half and one-tenth of what the market thought that it was holding.  The market remains confident in their thinking, and figures China is ‘low-balling’ their reserves in order to maintain confidence in their substantial U.S. dollar holdings.  The IMF will be considering the inclusion of the Chinese Yuan under their special drawing rights in October of 2015, and this ‘low-ball’ number could signify the Chinese accumulating even more gold over the coming months.  Paralleling silver with gold, I (never in a million years) believed that the price of silver would get below $20/ounce to this week’s low of $14.65/ounce.

The last time that I was ‘pounding the table’ bullish on Gold and Silver was back in 2000 and 2001.  As much as the Wall Street crowd shuns gold, every sovereign nation keeps a significant amount of gold around as part of their nation’s wealth reserves.  Although gold went from under $300/ounce in 2000 to a high of $1900/ounce in 2011, silver didn't get in gear nearly as early.  Silver caught the fever in 2009 and by 2011 had moved from $7/ounce to $48/ounce.  But then it suffered one of the more ‘in your face’ manipulations that resulted in its price continuing to fall – all the while demand was so strong that the mint was continually running out.

So was the $48 price just wild speculation, or just what happened?  I've tried to explain the manipulations time and time again.  Big banks illegally ‘naked shorted’ positions far above what the exchanges allow.  Reputable individuals and organizations have sent proof of J.P. Morgan’s and others illegal activity – all to no avail.  Just last week the mint (once again) ran out of silver.  There is no commodity on earth that has demand outstripping supply and all the while price continues to fall.  If prices reflected demand, silver would be HIGHER than its  $48/ounce peak price in 2011.

It costs between $20 and $22 to mine an ounce of silver.  In 1900 there were 12 billion ounces of silver in the world, and by 1990 that figure had gone down to 2.2 billion ounces.  Today, that figure has fallen to less than 1.4 billion ounces.  This means that all of the silver in the world is worth less than $20 billion.  It is estimated that between 50% and 90% of all the silver that has ever been mined has been consumed by the global photography, technology, medical, defense, and electronics industries.  Demand has been outstripping mining supply for most of the last 20 years – driving above ground supplies to historically low levels.

Silver has a number of unique properties including its strength, excellent malleability and ductility, electrical and thermal conductivity, sensitivity to and high reflectance of light, and the ability to endure extreme temperature ranges.  Silver's unique properties restrict its substitution in most applications.  Industrial applications for silver have always been significant but have increased in recent years due to the cell phones, medical devices, solar energy, batteries, tablet computers, and flat-screen televisions.  

A couple reasons to consider buying silver again:
-       The longer the dichotomy of strong demand and low prices continues – the closer we are to the market ‘logically’ correcting.
-       I also seeing a number of ‘the big boys’ accumulating the metal by using their paper shorts to drive the price down, and then making their physical buy on the cheap.  In fact, I believe that J.P. Morgan is holding hundreds of thousands of ounces of physical silver.
-       I also think that once China gets in the IMF's SDR basket (October 2015), some of the downward pressure on gold and on silver is going to come off. So the most recent low prices, are potentially the lowest we are going to see for some time to come.

How would I invest in silver?
-       First, I'm a big believer in physical ownership.  Nothing says: "I own this" better than having a stack of silver eagles on your desk.  It's not a digital entry somewhere.  It's not some form of proxy stock that says you might own silver.  You have it.  You can move it around.  You can guard it.  Recently many bullion dealers have gone out of business, but Cornerstone Bullion dot com is still around.
-       Secondly, by using Call options.  Right now you can buy January 2017, $10 call options in Silver for $5.  Given Silver is trading for about $14.35 – that means you’re paying $0.65 to see Silver exceed $15 over the next 18 months.  If you’re a little more adventurous, you can buy January 2017, $20 Call options in Silver for $0.65.  Do you think that over the next 18 months silver may exceed $20 – heck it was over $17 in May?

Could silver go lower?  I most certainly could.  Friday it went down on a large, ‘fake gold’ sale.  I honestly hope that it does – because I’ll buy even more.

The Market:

It was pretty hard for me to wrap my head around the S&P gaining over 80 points in 7 days.  When I started investing, the S&P wouldn't gain 80 points in a year, let alone in 7 sessions.  So how did we do it?  We started by partying over a deal to keep a bankrupt country – in a union with other bankrupt countries – using money printed by the bankrupt union – that the bankrupt country has to immediately give back to the bankrupt union.  And then there were earnings:
-       Netflix reported earnings that ‘beat estimates’ – sort of.  They missed revenues.  Their free cash flow fell to its lowest level ever.  But they gained subscribers/eyeballs.  So we have a company trading for 280 times earnings of 6 cents.  Does this remind you of 1999?
-       Intel also beat earnings – sort of.  They beat earnings by adjusting their tax rate downward to just 9% instead of 29%.  Their bottom line actually decreased by 25%, and they also lowered their full-year’s revenue guidance.  But hey, they beat their earnings estimates.  

-       Shipping demand remains weak (April’s demand was down 3%), while capacity is both overbuilt and saturated.
-       Retail sales remains weak (June’s sales were down 1%), with the adjustments on earlier months being revised downward.
-       And it’s beginning to appear that a GDP forecast of 2.5% for 2015 could be a bit optimistic.

I believe that our stock market is broken.  It is a centrally planned casino, fixed and rigged to go where the planners want it to go – when they want it to go there. This makes the 16th time over the past 6 years that the Central Bankers have rushed in to save a market that desperately wanted a rest – a correction – a break in the action.  How far can they push it?  I don’t know because it’s no longer based in reality, simply Central Banker’s desires.  The all time closing high was 2130, and we’re at 2126.  History tells me that we should pull down, and maybe test the 50-day moving average at 2101.  This week only time will indeed tell.


I continue to sell (admittedly more slowly) Iron Condors (40 to 90 days out) on the SPX at a delta 14 or less.  I slowed my selling because the volatility index was crushed last week, but it won’t remain below 12 for long.

I’m watching:
-       DPZ, LL, RH and KR for another Iron Condor opportunity following their respective earnings announcements,
-       SVXY looks good for a 100 / 105 Call Credit Spread, and
-       RUT looks tempting for another, monthly Butterfly.

I’m currently holding:
-       IWM – SOLD the August 112 / 114 to 132 / 134 Iron Condor,
-       RUT – SOLD the August 1140 / 1150 to 1330 / 1340 Iron Condor,
-       SPX:
o   SOLD – Iron Condor – July4 @ 2010 / 2015 to 2130 / 2135,
o   SOLD – Iron Condor – July4 @ 2010 / 2015 to 2145 / 2150,  
o   SOLD – Iron Condor – July5 @ 1950 / 1955 to 2185 / 2190,
o   SOLD – Iron Condor – July5 @ 1970 / 1975 to 2140 / 2145,
o   SOLD – Iron Condor – July5 @ 1995 / 2000 to 2150 / 2155,    
o   SOLD – Iron Condor – Aug1 @ 1935 / 1940 to 2165 / 2170,
o   SOLD – Iron Condor – Aug1 @ 1985 / 1990 to 2155 / 2160,
o   SOLD – Iron Condor – Aug1 @ 1935 / 1940 to 2145 / 2150,
o   SOLD – Iron Condor – Aug2 @ 1920 / 1925 to 2170 / 2175,
o   SOLD – Iron Condor – Aug2 @ 1945 / 1950 to 2160 / 2165,
o   SOLD – Iron Condor – Aug @ 1885 / 1890 to 2170 / 2175,  
o   SOLD – Iron Condor – Aug @ 1890 / 1900 to 2170 / 2175,
o   SOLD – Iron Condor – Aug4 @ 1895 / 1900 to 2180 / 2185,
o   SOLD – Iron Condor – Aug4 @ 1895 / 1900 to 2170 / 2175,
o   SOLD – Iron Condor – Sept1 @ 1870 / 1875 to 2175 / 2180,
o   SOLD – Iron Condor – Sept2 @ 1850 / 1855 to 2180 / 2185,
o   SOLD – Iron Condor – Sept @ 1870 / 1875 to 2215 / 2120, 
o   SOLD – Iron Condor – Sept4 @ 1795 / 1800 to 2205 / 2210, and
o   SOLD – Iron Condor – Oct1 @ 1785 / 1790 to 2210 / 2215.

To follow me on Twitter.com and on StockTwits.com to get my daily thoughts and trades – my handle is: taylorpamm. 

Please be safe out there!

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