Outta Space

spce chart

Chart by Steven Sarnoff, h/t stockcharts.com

I hope you’re all enjoying the Presidents’ Day holiday.

FYI: This past week, call options on Virgin Galactic quadrupled.

The header for my most-recent recommendation to our subscribers (see 02-09-20 Options Hotline) was, “Outta Space.”  It was a subtle tribute to Billy Preston’s funky 1971 instrumental track, which your then 13-year old editor saw him perform with the Rolling Stones during one of their 1975 shows at Madison Square Garden.

billy preston

Billy Preston, circa 1975

My idea was that shares of Virgin Galactic (SPCE) were set to launch another leg higher.  Here was my chart from that bulletin.

spce chart

Chart by Steven Sarnoff, h/t stockcharts.com

With SPCE at $18.93, the option I was eyeing closed $2.45 bid at $2.55. I recommended the SPCE April $20 call for $2.50 or less.  The option expiration date was April 17th.

As you can see on the chart at the top of this post, shares rocketed higher from my reco point A.  SPCE closed Friday at $28.68.

The low trade for my recommended option was $2.56, on Monday the 10th, so my recommended trade was not officially triggered.

I prefer using limit orders for entry, because you always know your risk.

The option closed Friday the 14th at $10.00, quite a Valentine’s gift for those who bought anyway.

By week’s end the Superleverage power, available only to option buyers, was on display.

Congrats to those who profited.  If you didn’t get it, don’t worry.

There’s always opportunity in options.

Best regards,

Steve

The Tragedian

The Tragedian by Tracy & Steven

The banana went for $120k.  The Constitution is going for much more.

Our little Presidents’ Day art project:

It’s our answer to last year’s viral piece, “The Comedian.”

2019 and 2020 by Tracy & Steven

Vote!

Thanks and best regards,

Steve

Ikigai

ikigai

h/t M. Sarnoff

Back in 1987, I realized that the Japanese had a superior way of depicting price movement.  I focused my study and work on becoming an expert in combining the best of western technical analysis with those ancient Japanese charting techniques.  They also have a very valuable way of looking at life and work.

The concept is known as “Ikigai,” which can be translated to “reason for being.”  Understanding Ikigai can help transform your outlook on life and business.

My wonderful and wise brother Mitchell lives his life along the lines he wrote on the card pictured above.

I thank him for sharing with me and I share them with you, along with wishes for your health and happiness in the New Year and for many years to come.

Find and follow your Ikigai.

Best regards,

Steve

 

Mythbusters

Mythbusters

Mythbusters h/t The Discovery Channel

This past week, an article in Vanity Fair went viral.  It claimed that some futures traders made billions of dollars using inside information about Trump’s chaotic tweets.

One paragraph in particular caught my eye:

“There is no way for another trader, let alone an outsider such as me, to know who is making these trades. But regulators know or can find out. One longtime CME trader who has been watching with disgust says he’s never seen anything quite like these trades, not at least since al-Qaida cashed in before initiating the September 11 attacks. ‘There is definite hanky-panky going on, to the world’s financial markets’ detriment,’ he says. ‘This is abysmal.'”

First,  Business Insider points out there is much in the Vanity Fair article’s claim that is simply false and reveals how desperate people are for the news they want to hear.

Second, seeing a trader perpetuate the myth of terrorists profiting from the 9/11 attacks gives me pause.  You see, I’m in the 9/11 Commission Report’s “Pre-September 11, 2001 Trading Review,” because so much of the options activity in American Airlines puts at that time was based on my Options Hotline recommendation from Sunday, September 9, 2001. “In every instance where we noticed unusual trading before the attack, we were able to determine, either through speaking directly with those responsible for the trading, or by reviewing trading records, that the trading was consistent with a legitimate trading strategy.

Terrorists aren’t that smart, and Trumpians, well….it seems a mythbuster’s work is never done.

Finally, as with all news these days, think critically about what you hear.

Consider the source.

And find out for yourself.

Enjoy your weekend!

Best regards,

Steve

Your Almost Daily Bit of Wall Street Wit & Wisdom

The Stock Trader's Almanac

From the archives: First edition of The Stock Trader’s Almanac, with a note from my dad.

“Perhaps it’s Talmudic wisdom but, selling stocks before the eight-day span of the high holidays has avoided many declines, especially during uncertain times.”
— Jeff Hirsch, The Stock Trader’s Almanac

We shall see if last week’s sharp decline is completely retraced, or if Thursday-Friday’s strong rebound is rebuffed, heading into Yom Kippur.

The important thing to remember with such indicators is, as Richard Russell would say, “It’s the little exceptions that get you.”

Best regards,

Steve

 

Your Almost Daily Bit of Wall Street Wit & Wisdom

procrastination cartoon

Cartoon by Ellis Rosen, @Ellis Rosen

“It never rains on Rosh Hashanah.”

— Paul Sarnoff

I remember one year, walking to shul with my dad, we got soaked!

Rosh Hashanah begins Sunday evening, marking the start of Jewish year 5780.  The High Holy Days, from Rosh Hashanah to Yom Kippur, are known as The Days of Awe and begin 10 days of reflection, introspection, and repentance.

We wish all who celebrate a very Happy, Healthy, and Sweet New Year!

Best regards,

Steve

 

Your Almost Daily Bit of Wall Street Wit & Wisdom

grizzly bear snacking on berries

Grizzly Bear snacking on berries, h/t Drew Rush / NatGeo

After an early bounce, tired bulls are on the back foot. Hungry bears are selling. When asked why the market moved up or down on a given day, my dad would answer in his Brooklynese, “Sometimes the bulls gotta get fed and sometimes the bears gotta get fed.”

Best regards,

Steve

Your Daily Bit of Wall Street Wit & Wisdom

Pluggers cartoon

h/t Tribune Media Services

“Pluggers are self-deprecating and have a healthy sense of humor about themselves. They represent the majority of us who don’t live for the latest trend, who keep plugging along without fanfare and try to balance work, play and family life.”
— Gary Brookins

Throwback Thursday to this date in 2005 when I made the funny papers (see cartoon above).

Having a good sense of humor and the persistence to keep plugging along through the ups and downs of life are valuable qualities which help you on your way.

Have fun, plug away, and enjoy a great day!

Best regards,

Steve

Your Daily Bit of Wall Street Wit & Wisdom

“Don’t anchor your self-worth to your net worth. Almost everything that is important in life can’t be measured in dollars.”
— Ian Cassel

…or pesos.  We’re back, recharged after a wonderful week with my in-laws down on the Baja.

Simple care and lovingkindness for your family, friends, other people, animals, and the planet, that’s the good stuff.  You see, that’s what endures.

Go get ’em, folks!

Best regards,

Steve