Not a positive look here

August 18, 2008

Financial and Consumer Discretionary sectors lead the way lower.

XLF (Financial Select Sector SPDR ETF) looks to be rolling over. Multiple indicators confirm the XLF is running out of steam (MACD, RSI, Relative Strength, ADX).

Our entry into the SKF (UltraShort Financials ProShares) looks poised to deliver great returns going into the fall.


What goes around comes around

July 17, 2008

This post is a follow up to Rotation, Rotation, Rotation in June.

Over the last month, we have seen the trends highlighted in that note accelerate. The March lows did not hold in the SPX and the financials led the way with the XLF (Financials Select Sector SPDR) dropping a full 26% for the month at its lows just two days ago. The SPX “only” dropped almost 11% in comparison.

But in the last two trading days, both have almost halved their losses for the month with the XLF jumping almost 25% from top to bottom in two days! Of course the math still leaves XLF down over 12.5% since our writing and SPX lagging relatively in the comeback with a loss of still over 7%. Since Wrong Again Ben in December, the XLF is down over 31% with the SPX down almost 15%.

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Rotation, Rotation, Rotation

June 16, 2008

Since Bernanke’s bungle (See Wrong Again Ben) in early December, rotation has been everything if you intended to not lose your shirt (possibly even your mind) in this crazy market.

Financials were absolutely the worst sector to be long despite having started to fall as early as April of 2007. Put options on stocks like BSC and LEH and GS proved to be big winners. The XLF Financial Select SPDR ETF fell faster from December to March than it had in all of 2007.

The S&P 500 was not spared, dropping as far as 13.5% from the December Fed meeting to the March bottom.

So where do you hide? Bonds did pretty well relatively.

But commodities really made your money grow!

Here is a comparison of two widely held mutual funds, the Dodge & Cox Stock Fund (DODGX) and the Pimco Total Return Fund (PTRAX). Even though DODGX is a waning fund, crushed by the weight of its own success, the difference here is quite remarkable. By making the switch, a passive buy and hold 401k investor could have saved two years worth of gains (at an average of 8% per year) in only six months. Not to mention the lower stress level that comes with a shallower drawdown in equity.

Update:

What goes around comes around July 17, 2008


Lehman Bros. is Losing More than Money

June 9, 2008

By STEVEN M. SEARS
barrons.com

The investment bank’s credibility is shot and its put options have gotten red-hot.

LEH since suggesting short

ON A DAY WHEN MOST stocks are rising simply because some 90% declined in the previous trading session on Friday, Lehman Brothers (LEH) is an exception.

The stock of the nation’s fourth-largest investment bank fell about 11% in midday trading Monday after the company warned investors that next Monday’s second-quarter financial report will reveal a big loss.

Ineffective hedges, and apparently a breakdown with the bank’s decision making, caused Lehman to unexpectedly announce that it thinks it lost $2.6 billion, and that it will now rebuild its finances by issuing $4 billion of common stock priced at $28 per share and $2 billion of mandatory convertible preferred stock.

Of course, this is just a pre-announcement, and the final results could be different when announced next Monday, said Lehman’s chief financial officer, Erin Callan, in a morning conference call with investors and analysts.LEH performance since suggesting short

The options and debt markets had expected earnings troubles, though arguably not even the legion of traders aligned against Lehman anticipated a loss of this magnitude. Lehman’s expected second-quarter equals $5.41 per share, markedly higher than the analyst consensus of a loss of 20 cents.

Put options on Lehman, which increase in value when the stock price declines, were obscenely expensive last week in anticipation of Lehman’s weakened position. Today, they are still richly priced, and though they have declined somewhat from last week’s doomsday scenario level, anyone interested in hedging against further weakness in Lehman’s stock will pay a princely risk premium.

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