Saturday, July 18, 2015

More Bull 47 - 5 for July Grade B+

I count 47 winners 5 losers for the July option cycle. For me, it is a month of modest gains punctuated by some mild discomfort from the dips on the news from Greece and China. 

Last month's I used the subject line "Bull Market is Intact." This month the message is the same. Big tech stocks are leading, with AMZN, GOOGL, FB, NFLX at all time highs.. This kind of leadership tends to bode well for the bull market. Another interesting group is oil refiners (TSO, VLO). I don't have any position in the refiners, but will look at them. Gasoline prices are near record highs, but oil prices are 50% off their highs. That's a lot of potential for profits. 
There has been much hand wringing over the valuation of the biotechs, but IBB is also near all time highs. I took a shot on the short side of IBB and so far it it a loser. I may bail on IBB for a potential break even with some added risk. I also bought some SPY insurance during the crisis week, some Sep put spreads. This bearish position has been a loser, though I've been selling weeklies against it, so I have already made back my insurance money.

Gold makes a new five-year low. Silver drops below $15 on the spot market, down over 66% from the highs around $49. Does that mean it is time to buy? Maybe for trading, but long term investors need not be in any hurry. Look for confirmation in the gold miners (GDX) and a technical chart bottom. With so much damage, there are so many layers of resistance.

Bonds are down too. TLT is down more than GLD for calendar 2015 (not counting dividends). The great bond bear market may be upon us. As always, virtually no one shorted or sold at the recent top (Jan/Feb 2015). I've been avoiding both gold and bonds because the premiums seem so small compared to how much they are moving.

So what next? The U.S. bull market for stocks is intact. To paraphrase the old Merrill Lynch commercial, "we're bullish on America." As always a 5% or 10% correction can happen at any time. However, a 20% decline or more (aka as a bear market) is not yet on the horizon.

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