Category Archives: Best-of-Slope

Pushed to the Brink

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October is turning out to be far more “trick” than “treat” for equity bears.

At the midpoint of the month, things looked sensational. Stocks were breaking down left and right, and it seemed that we had finally encountered a sea-change in the market.

Since then, however, stocks have exploded higher with a gusto that I underestimated. I certainly expected a bounce, but nothing of this degree. Much worse, it seems that the cessation of QE (announced yesterday) has done nothing to slow the equity bulls down.

This kind of environment can really mess with one’s head. Let’s take a look at the past couple of days on the ES: (more…)

Revisiting Truth’s Moment

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Way back on August 30, I did a post called Past Fear, Present Fear, which offered up an analog of the VIX (please read it if you don’t remember; it’s a pretty good post). I would daresay it was one of the best posts I did in 2014, and things certainly unfolded as I hoped they would (although today was no fun for me). I followed up on October 9th with my Moment of Truth post, which was just before the markets started really falling hard. Thus – so far, so good. (more…)


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You’ll pardon me if I pin the Gold Medal for Technical Analysis on my bare chest for my VIX prediction. As I said virtually every single day on TastyTrade for weeks, and as I said here countless times as well, I intended to stay aggressively short until the VIX reached “between 22 and 23″. Well, it peaked at 22.46 today, and that’s when I got out of any big shorts and – gasp – actually bought a bunch of stocks. The graph is fantastically glorious in its clarity. Thank you; thank you; yes, it is a beautiful thing. (more…)

The Moment of Truth

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First, a bit of shameless commerce – – for those of you potentially interested in joining Slope Plus, remember that this month I’m running a special (the first I’ve had in about half a year) in which you can use the service for free for a month. Just enter the coupon code trickortreat on the Subscription page, and voila, a virtual $29.95 is in your hands!

Now, on to my post………

Back on August 30, I did a post called Past Fear, Present Fear which, it seems, turned out to be really, really, really prescient. I urge you to give the post a glance, but in short, it drew a powerful parallel between the volatility leading up to the financial crisis and the volatility we were witnessing through this summer………. (more…)

Index Overview: Yellow Jacket Edition

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It’s 7:10 p.m. as I begin typing this, which means it’s beddy-bye time for a lot of folks on the East Coast already, and here I am just beginning my end-of-day wrap-up. The time is just slipping away from me lately, largely due to the sheer quantity of positions I am managing (one hundred and sixty equity shorts). Mojave has also gotten into the habit of getting me up at 4 in the morning, but I’ll try to make use of this tonight by looking at the lunar eclipse. When life gives you lemons, right?

I was originally going to do a video for this post, which is about one-fifth the work of a typed post, but I ran out of time at home and now, a la Dick Cheney, and am in a remote, undisclosed location. (more…)

My Marketmax Tale

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I worked at Apple Computer from April 1987 until February 1990 (a story unto itself), and I left Apple after having a falling-out with a boss over some, shall we say, ethical lapses on his part (yet another story unto itself). Happily, I had a job offer waiting for me which had three big things going for it: (a) it was a startup; (b) it was financial technology; (c) I would have a cool title – Vice President of Technology. All at the age of 24!

Cooler still, it was located in San Francisco’s financial district in the city’s most iconic building, the Transamerica Pyramid. Since my working life has been spent in jeans, khakis, and polo shirts, I was excited at the prospect of being a honest-to-God grown-up, putting on a suit, getting on a train, and heading to the big city each morning.

And that, my friends, was the high point of my entire stint with this new company, TriStar Market Data. The prospects were exciting, the (inflated) title was impressive, the pay was (at the time) excellent, and I had finally left the big corporation of Apple for a startup. This was no garage, however. TriStar was a seven-person outfit that had been put together by Montgomery Securities, a regional investment bank, based on technology it had bought from a firm in Chicago. (For those deeply in-the-know, Avram Grey was the original creator of this aforementioned system).

The product that TriStar owned was a Macintosh-based trader’s platform called MarketMax. Take note of that critical phrase: Macintosh-based. In 1990, approximately nobody on Wall Street used the Macintosh. That computer was the domain of desktop publishers, graphic artists, and other weirdos. It isn’t something you had on your desk at JP Morgan. Anyone who traded used Sun. Period. (more…)

Clinkle is the New Color

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Greetings from Palo Alto. Over three years (and thousands of posts……) ago, I wrote Color and the Mania in This Valley. The thrust of my post was:

+ had received $41 million to develop an app;
+ The app sucked out loud;
+ The company deserved to fail.

Well, fail it did (as I announced in the 4th post I did about the stupid place), and in those three+ years, the bubble has just continued to inflate. 2014 makes 2011 seem downright sensible. (more…)