Slope of Hope Blog Posts

Slope initially began as a blog, so this is where most of the website’s content resides. Here we have tens of thousands of posts dating back over a decade. These are listed in reverse chronological order. Click on any category icon below to see posts tagged with that particular subject, or click on a word in the category cloud on the right side of the screen for more specific choices.

Charlie X

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Long-time readers probably know I'm a pretty big Star Trek fan. This market reminds me somewhat of the Charlie X episode. Near the end, after young Charlie has taken over the ship, the crew on the bridge flip on every system they have. Charlie is overwhelmed by the complexity of everything going on around him at once, and he loses his grip.

I'm starting to picture the Feds in D.C. (principally Geithner and Obama) are the new Charlie X. Things are moving so fast (and in a bad direction) that they are flailing about. It doesn't seem like anyone is really in control anymore.

I am standing slack-jawed and agape at the market. The selling pressure is simply relentless. Look at this monthly graph of the Dow 30:

What we have above is:

  • Unrelenting buying pressure back in 1995/1996 (can you believe stock markets used to behave that way?), tinted in green;
  • A mirror image of unrelenting selling pressure over the past six months (tinted in magenta);
  • A break in the very long-term Fibonacci fan line (circled in red);
  • The next major support of the same fan line (circled in green), at around 4,800 or so on the Dow.

What would make the most sense, and the easiest trade, would be (a) a retracement to somewhere in the high 8000s, then (b) a final plunge to under 5,000.

But I've been waiting for "the retracement" ever since Henry Paulson still had hair. It's getting ridiculous. Sometimes I wonder if it'll ever come, or if we'll simply keep eroding our way down to sub-5,000 on the Dow.

My portfolios are doing extremely well (notwithstanding my IRA, which, being based on pure "lottery" plays, is down 16% this year), but I have a gnawing sense of dread.

Quote of the Day

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Even though I have missed out on literally the most recent 2,000 comments, I happened to glance at this one:

And immediately I thought to myself, "That is why I am feeling the way I am feeling!"

Today has been an extremely profitable day. Lately, I've never made so much money as I've been making. But I've been feeling really weird and rotten about it.

It's not out of guilt. God knows I've waited long enough for a market like this, and God knows I work my tail off at all hours of the day and night trying to do a good job at trading.

But there comes a point where you start to feel like you're making bets on gang warfare and watching your account grow as people are getting shot. There's something unseemly about it.

This market is far weaker – and far sicker – than I ever dared imagine.

A Few Puts

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I haven't read comments since Friday, and I'm feeling so "out of Slope" right now. I just know I'm missing a lot of good thoughts and ideas. Argh.

I remain very largely short, in spite of my enthusiasm for USO. I'm sort of thinking we've wrung all the blood we can get out of the /ES turnip for now, but we'll see if 703 snaps or not. I have no /ES position.

Here are a handful of puts (with stops) I'm buying or augmenting.

fcn 44.91
pcln 88.89
pot 87.65
stra 179.73
tra 26.39