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  • The Obvious Case For Buying Apple [View article]
    Great fundamentals article to rally the Apple faithful. I've been an Apple user and fan for nearly 25 years, but am continually frustrated by its stock movement as compared with its company performance.

    Apple is without peer; it is arguably the most successful company on the planet. Critics complain that Apple is now a one-trick pony--only the iPhone (I disagree strongly). But most companies are one trick ponies. When I walk around DC and NYC, all I see are iPhones, like 90%. Everyone's eager to upgrade and wants the watch when it hits 2.0. Computers and tablets are great, but smartphones are indispensable. And Apple iPhone users won't switch to Android. They are happy with the ecosystem and only want to enlarge their Apple device world. For them, Apple doesn't have to blow their minds with new releases, just refine and improve, and allow them to do more, faster in the palm of their hand.

    As to the stock price, whether $130 is "fair value," I understand the author's reasoning, while believing that Apple should be at least a $150 stock. The problem with AAPL, the stock, is the world is long it. So the best trade for the big boys is to short it, which I believe has been what's been going on since it hit $134. With commodities slaughtered and China weak, the best place for big traders to go to replenish cash and cover margin calls, is to raid the cash out of the AAPL atm. Generally speaking they can count on retail traders to buy on dips, so there is always a good floor to hammer into. I suspect that come January, the big-boy shorting strategy may flip to ultra long. I hope so. We shall see.

    While I believe Tim Cook should just concentrate on product development and execution, I do think that Apple should do more to reward longterm Apple shareholders. Perhaps increasing the dividend and its frequency to make shorting more risky. Perhaps another reverse stock split. I'd also like to see Apple start an Apple Labs for more pure R&D to push the ways that technology can impact medicine and global problems. In short, to get some of Google's genius spotlight for pie-in-the sky research that in the long run increases Apple's reach and brand image. Perhaps the Apple Car will help with this.
    Sep 24, 2015. 03:51 PM | 10 Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Apple launches cheaper iMac [View news story]
    Seems like a good move. Basically a macbook air with a large screen. Apple is slowly making it easier for more iPhone/ipad users to expand their Apple ecosystem. Once you buy a few Apple products, you never want to leave.
    Jun 18, 2014. 12:57 PM | Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Afternoon rally pushes stocks higher, Nasdaq up for the week [View news story]
    May option expiration + QE + buy the dips. We will likely rise into new highs for the Memorial Day weekend.
    May 17, 2014. 10:23 AM | 1 Like Like |Link to Comment
  • How Does VelocityShares Daily Inverse VIX Short-Term ETN Work? [View article]
    You make some great points. While I don't have the data, I suspect the $ spent on put options on SPX is much less than the hedging activity that is done with VXX. In addition, the VIX futures which drive the share price of most of the VIX ETF/ETN have volumes on the order of 880 contracts a day for current month (May) and 440 contracts for forward month (June). It seems crazy to me that trading activity worth $1.3 million ($1k/contract) can affect the value of perhaps more than half billion dollars of VIX ETF trading.

    It would be interesting if somebody researched the trend in VIX style hedging (SPX puts) vs SPY puts vs VIX ETF product calls (VXX, UVXY, etc.) over the last half-decade. I suspect that by 2010, after the worst of the financial meltdown was over, while the VIX is still probably a decent snapshot of SPX put activity, the majority of hedging/speculating has been done in VIX ETF products, thus making the VIX (SPX puts) less accurate as a real “fear” index. What does this mean? I don't know.

    But I do know that we live in a complex, meta-indexed and correlated world, one in which most developed nations are engaged in massive stimulus and the stock market is the only place offering any returns. While it seems to me that volatility is too low right now, it might be appropriate for a market protected by the Yellen (formerly Bernanke) put. Thus we will have low volatility for as long as QE remains and the FED is determined to prop up everyone’s 401Ks and real estate values until the real economy actually takes off.
    May 15, 2014. 09:23 PM | Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Video appears to confirm Apple-Beats; Iovine reportedly set to join Apple [View news story]
    While I'm not happy about the price, I think this may be a very smart move and possibly be spurred on by the new Burberry CEO hire. Let's face it, the smartphone market is maturing very quickly and conspicuous high-end accessories are where the margins are. In NYC where I live, just walking down the street, I see about a quarter of the under 30 set, wearing these headphones--men and women alike and they seem to wear them as much for fashion as to escape from the world in music. The brand has a very loyal following and a cool cachet, both great things for Apple to leverage. I don't know which phones must of these hipsters are using, but Apple knows that if they bring them on board, they will find plenty to buy in the giant ecosystem.
    May 9, 2014. 09:23 AM | Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Tesla Motors higher on Apple enthusiasm [View news story]
    The premarket rally had nothing to do with the Apple meeting. Tesla has already chosen Android for their on board OS. Tesla's earnings are coming up and the stock needed some juicing before it heads down to reality on the 19th.
    Feb 18, 2014. 11:03 PM | Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Gold higher amid Yellen testimony; eyes $1,300 [View news story]
    Seems like gold is the hedge now rather than VIX and long volatility ETFs.
    Feb 11, 2014. 12:57 PM | Likes Like |Link to Comment
  •, Inc. misses by $0.18, misses on revenue [View news story]
    A $239 million dollar profit over the whole year--wow, kind of pathetic! Apple makes that much profit every day and a half--$13 billion for a quarter, 13 weeks in a quarter, $1 billion a week, $140 million a day!
    While I love the convenience of Amazon, I cringe at the end game of retail shopping that Amazon is chasing: destruction of all local mom and pop stores via cutthroat pricing and the eventual monopoly for goods that they need so they can finally raise prices and become profitable. Not a world I'd like to live in.
    Jan 30, 2014. 05:21 PM | Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Apple beats estimates, but guidance disappoints [View news story]
    I think you are right as well--<$500 during conference call. Retail and the man on the street are long Apple and Wall Street could not resist selling expensive calls to us. Perhaps after the big boys cash out their puts tomorrow, the stock will slowly begin to rise again. The complicating factor is that since the Nasdaq is so heavily weighted with AAPL, the broad market selloff could continue bringing all stocks down, keeping AAPL down as well. We shall see.
    Jan 27, 2014. 05:07 PM | 1 Like Like |Link to Comment
  • Stocks snap five-day losing streak, S&P closes shy of 1700 [View news story]
    I assume the run up was algo-controlled with low volume so shorts can be in place for tomorrow morning. The VIX and its futures haven't risen either. Nor has there been large put activity on SPY. These days the big boys have no reason to go long volatility ahead of time as they can front run at cheaper prices. I can't believe this complacency over debt ceiling can last much longer. You'd think the big boys would want to sell overpriced VIX calls so they can crush volatility on Monday afternoon when a deal comes through. Perhaps gold will be the hedge instead of puts and VIX products. We shall see.
    Sep 26, 2013. 11:19 PM | 1 Like Like |Link to Comment
  • Apple's New 64-Bit ARM A7 Chip Is Absolutely Amazing [View article]
    Good article, though will mostly appeal only to techies. As a longtime Mac user (almost 20 years), I'm hoping they deliver the new Mac Pro soon with the best specs of any consumer desktop. Apple's original core business, macs, has been innovatively stagnant for a few years now. Releasing a seriously powerful workstation would beef up the company's prestige not just as a tech leader in mobile consumer products but as a high end computer manufacturer for creative pros and scientists as well.
    Sep 19, 2013. 09:34 AM | Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Apple: Now The Fun Begins [View article]
    While I am very bullish Apple longterm, I worry about the unfortunate timing of Apple's product launch: right in the midst of the Syria vote and the 9/11 anniversary. Markets are likely to be volatile this week, and though I'm hoping for a 5-10% pop in Apple stock price, I would not be surprised if short sellers push Apple down to $460.
    Sep 8, 2013. 09:56 PM | Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Apple: Reality Bites, So Time To Sell [View article]
    I've heard that, too, but out in Mountain View. Of course googlers are given android phones and chromebooks, but they don't necessarily prefer to use them.

    Anyway, your point is taken. I live in Brooklyn and everyday I am out and about on the streets and I see just about 90% iphones and ipads everywhere--parents, hipsters, middle-aged people, and even kids. While it may be true that galaxy now has more bells and whistles, they just don't have the loyalty and investment of the apple community. Between itunes, apps, and computer hardware, the user-friendly ecosystem makes everything easy. People don't just have phones, they have music, movies, books, podcasts, calendars, contacts, apps, and software, and they continue to buy more and deepen their ties to the Apple, virtually guaranteeing future revenue streams.
    Aug 11, 2013. 09:14 PM | 1 Like Like |Link to Comment
  • Volatility ETFs In A Free Fall: How To Profit [View article]
    Shorting VXX or UVXY is much more profitable, but also much more risky. Shorting UVXY is so popular that shares are nearly impossible to borrow. (A good indicator of the direction of volatility is how hard UVXY is to borrow.) Very experienced traders consider shorting UVXY a gift from the gods because contango and rebalancing and fee drag work doubly in your favor. Just look at the graph since inception in October 2011: from a split-adjusted $18K to $40! The safest strategy is to short UVXY for a few days after a pop in volatility, then cover and wait for the next pop. But I would only do this if you are a real day trader. If you aren't able to watch the market actively then buying and holding XIV is still quite profitable if you loosely monitor the VIX:VXV ratio.
    Jul 25, 2013. 01:53 PM | Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Volatility ETFs In A Free Fall: How To Profit [View article]
    My opinion is that you will NEVER get it back. UVXY is designed to go to zero by nature, but it reverse splits every 4-6 months so it can continue to make money for ProShares. Volatility is a losing trade as long as Bernanke and QE live. Sure UVXY will occasionally have 10% up days (5% down for XIV/SVXY), but it always quickly reverts to mean. So the only profitable longterm strategy is to short VXX and UVXY or go long the inverse ETF/ETNs, XIV and SVXY. Shorting UVXY is the most profitable, but it requires strong nerves and lots of cash and margin and the ability to accumulate shares; there will be draw downs, but it will always eventually lose, especially with QE and an improving economy.

    Almost everyone who is making $ in reverse VIX proxies started out dreaming of hitting it big with UVXY. It usually takes losses of $5-100K in UVXY ($24K for me) to wise up and join the short VIX crowd. UVXY is useful a few times a year and only for day trading. Never hold it!

    Macro's article is sound and I believe the math is basically right--though I'm no expert. There are, however, lots of websites dedicated to the VIX so you can learn more about the nature of VIX futures etfs; here are two valuable resources:

    There are many strategies on how to time short VIX investing so as to avoid the rare times when the VIX futures curve goes into backwardation. Most of these strategies use the ratio VIX:VXV and enter and exit trades when the value is in a certain range. Google around and/or read the enormous resources on vixandmore.

    It's a pity that there are no options on XIV, because it is much more liquid than SVXY. Options on SVXY are alright, but the spreads are quite wide. Best to just buy VXX puts since there is like 100x more open interest.

    Finally, tamsh, I think you can make your $ back. You just have to be disciplined and stay away from UVXY, though definitely sell some calls because they are way-overpriced.

    Remember: timing a VIX spike is very hard, but shorting one is fairly easy. Much easier to jump in short as fear is dissipating than to remain solvent through contango and fee drag trying to time a spike.
    Jul 23, 2013. 10:54 PM | 3 Likes Like |Link to Comment