Category Archives: Risk

The EKG Market

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When the powers that be are doing everything that can to keep the dance music going, the moves are going to get more and more violent. What we’ve seen just in the past couple of days is a sneak preview of the absurdity ahead: waterfall drops (AKA reality) and explosive up-moves (AKA desperate bidding from the big boys). My motto? Three words. Sell into strength.

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Silent Scream

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It’s obviously more of a kick when things are falling, but looking at today’s action, we have seen this movie before. In fact, we’ve seen it multiple times lately. The unicorns are cavorting once more in the meadow, and everyone is bidding assets up. But one glance at the past couple of months on the ES simply screams “short me!” even though it’s virtually impossible to do so on a day like this and feel good about it. It only feels good after the fact. That’s why hardly anyone does it. “Sell into strength” are three of the easiest words to say but most difficult to actually execute.

0414-es

Downside Protection For ADM

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In a post on Monday (“VXX Sucks”), our host Tim noted the double digit move in the VIX (though not in VXX, which has made longs’ money evaporate since inception) on the day. With volatility getting a mild bump, I thought I’d take a look at the hedging costs of a few widely-traded stocks trading near their 52-week highs. Agricultural powerhouse Archer Daniels Midland (ADM) was one that was relatively inexpensive to hedge. Here are two ways of doing that over the next several months. (more…)

Softening The Blow For Netflix Longs

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Shares of Netflix (NFLX) dropped nearly 7% on Monday, as Carl Icahn told CNBC that he may have sold half of his Netflix stake. In a post last month (“Investing alongside Carl Icahn while limiting your downside risk”), we presented a hedged portfolio constructed out of the holdings of Carl Icahn’s Icahn Enterprises (IEP) by the automated portfolio construction tool at Portfolio Armor. That portfolio included a hedged Netflix position, circled below. (more…)

Adding Downside Protection To Biogen

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Biotech stocks took a beating on Friday, with the ETF that tracks them, iShares Nasdaq Biotechnology (IBB), down 4.74% on the day. One of the harder hit biotechs was Biogen (BIIB), which was down 8.22% on the day. Despite the drop, Biogen had one of the 10 highest expected returns of the securities in Portfolio Armor’s universe as of Friday’s close. In case its actual return over the next several months ends up being in the opposite direction, here are a couple of ways to hedge it. (more…)