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.

The Obvious Cover

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Back on February 11, there was a widely-circulated story that the hedge fund manager Whitney Tilson – who had very publicly and loudly broadcast a huge short position months earlier in Netflix (NFLX) – had finally thrown in the towel and decided to accept the massive losses he had suffered from this short.

Naturally, the world of contrarians (such as here, and on ZeroHedge) declared that there was no better signal to short the stock, but anyone sensible knew that shorting NFLX was still kind of insane, so I doubt anyone really did anything about it.

The funny thing is this: when was the lifetime high of the stock? The very next day. And in just the tiny amount of time since then – – less than a month – – the stock is down about 20%. A little too obvious, wasn't it? But it sure worked out the way people thought.


Chart on Junior Gold Miners ETF (Mike Paulenoff)

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The hourly chart of the Market Vectors Junior Gold Miners (GDXJ) has two powerful aspects to it.   One is that the base-like accumulation pattern that developed between early Jan and late Feb has propelled prices above its key breakout plateau at 38.50.  This triggers potential upside targets at 42.50 and then 44.40.

The other is that the series of higher-lows and higher-highs off of the Jan 27 low at 32.51 suggests strongly that the most recent "higher-low" at 36.73 from Feb 24 initiated a new, powerful upleg.  The magnitude of this should approximate the length of the upleg from 32.51 to 39.96.

Should that be the case, then the current upleg has a "swing" target of 7.45 points, or to 44.00/20, which aligns with the upper target measured from the breakout from the base pattern. At this juncture, only a decline that breaks 38.00-37.80 will compromise the timing of the anticipated surge, while a break of the Feb 24 low at 36.73 will invalidate the bullish scenario altogether.

Originally published on

ISM Manufacturing Feb 2011 (by Ultra Trading)

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Today's ISM Manufacturing came in at a very healthy and robust number of  61.4 (above 50 shows expansion, below contraction).  There is no arguing with the headline number and one of the comments from respondents such as, "our plants are working 24/7 to meet production demands." (Fabricated Metal Products)."   There is somewhat of a disconnect though between the many strong manufacturing reports and GDP, employment and other economic data which at a minimum would raise some flags about the true health of the manufacturing sector. One of the respondents did comment as such, "overall demand is off 10 percent." (Plastics & Rubber Products).

Two things have stood out among all of the manufacturing reports, inventories and prices paid and today's ISM is no different.  Inventories have begun contracting signaling an end to the inventory build that helped fuel GDP the past seven quarters.  Additionally customer inventories have contracted at an even quicker pace.  Why would customer inventories contract in the face of growing demand as this report would indicate? Lastly, look at the levels and rate of growth of the prices paid component.



The ISM report had a total of 5 comments from respondents, two of which are mentioned above and the remaining three below.  So the ISM number on the surface was strong as expected but there are a number of warning signs within the report.

"Prices continue to rise, while business limps along at last year's pace." (Nonmetallic Mineral Products)

"A continued weak dollar is increasing the cost of components purchased overseas. It is going to force us to increase our selling prices to our customers." (Transportation Equipment)

"We continue to see significant inflation across nearly every type of chemical raw material we purchase." (Chemical Products)

Submitted by Ultra Trading.  To read more, please visit -