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George Acs  

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  • What's Going On? [View article]
    There's no doubt that volatility is good if you're on the selling side, but the volatility hasn't really been climbing as much as you would expect, because there actually has been very little intra-day volatility.

    In the past 2 weeks there have only been 2 days in which the market turned around. That's where the real volatility changes come. When you have alternating straight up and straight down days it may seem volatile, but the actual volatility changes very little, if at all. The real tangible effect of that is that it still remains relatively expensive to rollover so many positions because forward week premiums reflect low expectations for movement. When the volatility increases those rollovers are easy and profitable.

    I miss Marvin and the old days of volatility. But at least the latter has a chance of returning.
    Mar 28, 2015. 11:25 AM | 1 Like Like |Link to Comment
  • What's Going On? [View article]

    As far as being fun to hang out with, I can tell you what my wife says when someone else says "your husband is funny,"

    "NO HE'S NOT"

    Here's the thing. I don't do breakfast, nor lunch. It's hard otherwise to maintain this girlish figure.

    I do have to tell you that I've wanted to try Shake Shack, but until recently thought that they were concentrated in and around New York. In the 20 years since I've left NYC I've only been back about 5 times for something other than a funeral, wedding or Bar Mitzvah, so I thought that it would have to wait until someone died.

    But I just saw that they even have a location in Dedham, MA, where I used to live. Back when I lived there they couldn't even support a Dunkin Donuts and in Massachusetts there are 2 Dunkins on every street corner.

    How things change.
    Mar 28, 2015. 09:42 AM | 2 Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • What's Going On? [View article]
    All of that extra money is definitely going somewhere just not back into the economy. Who knows, maybe people are paying debt down, maybe it's going into health care insurance or maybe it just hasn't piled up enough to be noticeable.

    Still, I don't mind those gas prices staying at this level. Lower would be even better, although I don't do too much driving these days and haven't really seen too much of a decrease in heating costs,

    At least we can all be comforted knowing that at some point we'll be talking about how high fuel prices are again.

    CSCO and AXP are just a reflection of the feeling that sometimes dividends are more important than at other times. Right now I wouldn't mind having dividends collect, especially while option premiums remain low.
    Mar 28, 2015. 09:36 AM | 2 Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • What's Going On? [View article]
    It's sometimes curious to see prices move up across the board in a small sector on the basis of a takeover bid. Especially when you consider that there aren't too many likely Intels left to make big purchases.

    Maybe Texas Instruments won't want to be left behind, I suppose. But it's usually a good thing when interest perks and people start to wonder whether there's more value than meets the eye.
    Mar 28, 2015. 09:20 AM | 1 Like Like |Link to Comment
  • What's Going On? [View article]
    I greet the word "entropy" with some mixed feelings.

    That's ever since I saw the 20/20 episode that revealed my high school physics teacher was a founding father of NAMBLA.

    Here's a hint. If you don't know what NAMBLA is, don't use your personal computer's web browser to look it up. You won't want to leave traces of your curiosity.

    Unlike SOuth Park's episode years ago, it doesn't stand for "North American Marlon Brando Look Alikes"
    Mar 28, 2015. 09:14 AM | 2 Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • It's As Clear As Mud [View article]
    I couldn't think of a better reason to ever make a decision, although I still haven't given up on The Bangles approach to commodities in low interest rate environments
    Mar 27, 2015. 11:36 AM | 1 Like Like |Link to Comment
  • It's As Clear As Mud [View article]
    The more shares that you have the more flexibility you have in trying to whittle down paper losses. The AC/DC strategy, where you sell calls on only a portion of your shares can be used and if not likely to be assigned you don't need to rollover, instead you sell new calls on the uncovered shares at that point that you feel confident that you won't be assigned on the first lot of shares.

    The re-purchase strategy, if assigned at a loss is great with tax deferred accounts, but gets a little more complicated with taxable accounts because of the wash sales rule. You can eventually adjust your cost basis if buying back those shares within 30 days.

    If you're really aggressive you can fish for crumbs, by selling near the money calls in the days before expiration, collecting small premiums. However, you have to be nimble enough to rollover those positions if assignment is likely, because the risk - reward is low, unless you need the tax loss. Those are just like "DOH" trades, except generally even shorter duration

    RIG, CHK, LVS and FCX are all very good for collecting crumbs, as are most stocks with higher beta, as long as there's liquidity in the option market. But if there's a sudden pop in share price you have to be proactive in avoiding the assignment, basically trying to use time to your advantage by continuing to rollover the positions until shares sink below the strike and can expire. Then you start all over again, if you have the time and temperament.
    Mar 27, 2015. 09:08 AM | Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • It's As Clear As Mud [View article]
    It's all so fragile, as you well know. At the very least the human mind is an amazing tool to perpetuate life and memories.
    Mar 23, 2015. 11:43 AM | Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • It's As Clear As Mud [View article]
    You can blame the cropping for that road sign being absent.
    Mar 23, 2015. 11:02 AM | Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • It's As Clear As Mud [View article]
    The funny thing is that if the initial increase is just 0.25% there are probably going o be those who press the sell button because they'll believe that such a small increase means that the economy isn't growing fast enough.

    Of course there will be others that press the sell button simply because it's an increase and then there will be those, like yourself, who wonder what the fuss is all about and may just see it as a green light to add new positions.

    I think you're right. Banks, maybe because of more stringent capital requirements, are still wary about lending and are keeping the economic expansion below most everyone's ability to notice.
    Mar 23, 2015. 11:02 AM | Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • It's As Clear As Mud [View article]
    Holy shades of Prechter.

    DJIA 100000 in 5-6 years? That would take 29% compounded annually for 6 years.

    Let's do it.

    With that kind of stock market appreciation we might actually be able to finally see some trickle down that would help an economy recover before that 10 year period that you think is impossible.
    Mar 22, 2015. 05:15 PM | 1 Like Like |Link to Comment
  • It's As Clear As Mud [View article]
    I think you may be giving well too much power to the Federal Reserve. I'm certain that an esteemed ancestor, John D., would sooner roll over in his grave than to take orders from the Federal Reserve as to when to drill and when to pump. It's more likely that he would decide when and where to get on or off of the supply-demand curve on his own.
    Mar 22, 2015. 04:27 PM | 1 Like Like |Link to Comment
  • It's As Clear As Mud [View article]
    I believe that DOW announced plans to shed its Kuwaiti interests back in November 2014, but as far as I know, they still hold the interest. Liveris' comments regarding the role of Dow's energy interests in Kuwait came recently at the annual Davos meeting.
    Mar 22, 2015. 10:48 AM | Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • It's As Clear As Mud [View article]
    Human behavior has little role in a game of red and black other than to mis-interpret statistical probabilities and to take actions that may not be in their best interests.

    Because of that, I think it's much more likely to be able to see 7 consecutive spins of the wheel result in alternating outcomes, than it is to see those alternating outcomes in the stock market.
    Mar 22, 2015. 10:40 AM | Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • It's As Clear As Mud [View article]
    A fact or two? Think 20 or 30.

    But you are quite right. 8 meetings this year. May 2015 has a release of previous meeting minutes.

    The actual statement last week, however, was "Consistent with its previous statement, the Committee judges that an increase in the target range for the federal funds rate remains unlikely at the April FOMC meeting..." still leaving the door open for an increase before June.
    Mar 22, 2015. 10:35 AM | Likes Like |Link to Comment