Americans can take comfort in the likelihood that the showdown between mortgage lenders and homeowners will not resemble Greece’s battle-to-the-death with its creditors. In the U.S., the banks are slowly losing ground to a populist, election-year tide that eventually will force lenders to accept a moratorium on mortgage debt for tens of millions of homeowners. In the rapidly escalating legal battle to bring this about, last week’s $25 billion settlement between the banks and the U.S. did not settle much of anything, since the banks in theory can still be sued into oblivion by aggrieved homeowners. The plaintiffs will be claiming in effect and with a straight face that they got in over their heads because lenders forced them to borrow more than they could repay. Who would have imagined just a decade ago that an army of reckless borrowers would seek the protection of the courts under the remorseless deadbeat’s battle flag “Kick me, beat me, make me write bad checks”? That’s what it’s come down to, evidently, and woe to any bank that asks the court for help in turning a family out onto the street. The five big banks that signed onto the deal are undoubtedly running scared, since the legal latitude afforded those who could conceivably claim “questionable lending practices” has been widened to include just about anyone who lives in a home – including, presumably, tens of millions more homeowners who are not yet underwater but eventually will be. Keep in mind that the costs of the yet-to-be-unveiled Homeowner Bailout Act of 2014 have already been socialized, since the GSEs have been originating 90% of all new mortgage loans. » Read the full article
With Athens streets engulfed in flames, there is no doubting the sincerity of Greece’s austerity pledge. Nor can we underestimate how dire the country’s financial crisis will become if the bailout money does not arrive soon. We know this is so because even socialists in Greece’s parliament are supporting the deal with Europe’s bankers. Try a free trial to Rick’s Picks by clicking here.
Come tomorrow, the 1353.00 pivot will have held for a week, hinting that the short-covering that has been driving stocks from one plateau to the next is not of the rampaging variety; rather, it is of the quietly psychotic variety, premeditating each new leap on the basis of whatever the latest, fabricated GDP/payroll numbers and “good” news from Europe will allow. Absent any truly horrifying geopolitical news — and I’m not sure that even that would restrain buyers — we should expect the futures to break out shortly and head for the 1362.50 Hidden Pivot noted here earlier. Traders can test the water near that price with a tightly managed short, but camouflage is advised because of the rally pattern’s less-than-stellar pedigree. Want to learn how to nail price reversals like a pro? You can learn to do it in as little as six weeks. Click here for information about the upcoming Hidden Pivot Webinar and receive a $50 discount.
After pushing decisively past it, the stock appears to be consolidating at the 24.94 midpoint pivot of a bullish pattern projecting to 30.65. That would represent a 23% rally from current levels, implying traders should position from the long side. You can do so most aggressively if using ‘camouflage’, and the best place to find it at the moment will be on the 10-minute chart, which contains several ‘external’ peaks that can be used for leverage. _______ UPDATE (7:48 p.m. EDT): Some chat-roomers evidently took my bullishness on the stock as a go-ahead to buy call options. Keep in mind that I suggest using options for directional plays only if one is fairly confident the position will go into-the-black within perhaps 15-30 minutes. Practically speaking, this means buying puts or calls only at Hidden Pivot swing points. Going out to May expiration is okay if you plan to calendar-spread calls you’ve bought, but for all intents and purposes, going out further in time with options is only stacking the deck against yourself. For all buyers of options at all times, time works against you, and the further out in time you go, the greater your odds of losing. I will be tracking SLW closely in the days ahead, looking for an opportune spot to get long. If you’re interested, stay tuned to the chat room and to email notifications. _______ UPDATE (March 11, 8:36 p.m.): A Hidden Pivot support at 24.37 looks like opportunity. Accordingly, I’ll recommend bidding 24.34 for 400 shares, stop 24.24. You can increase your size to 1000 shares if you use camouflage, assuming theoretical entry risk can be held to no more than 4-6 cents per share.
We got a clear and decisive answer yesterday to the question that has been on every tiny, fevered brain up and down Wall Street: How long do we have to feign concern over the situation in Ukraine? The Dow finished up 228 points after being up as much as 250 points intraday, proving yet again that the stock market, fed by a limitless stream of easy money, has absolutely no connection to the world of events. Unfortunately, traders had little opportunity to grab the rally by the tail, since it was effectively over on the opening bar (see inset). And by day’s end, it had left bears pinned to the ropes yet again, ready if unwilling to energize the next freakish, short-squeeze to who-knows-how-high.
Actually, we do know how high, since there’s a clear-as-day Hidden Pivot target at 16437 on the intraday charts, and another at 16607 if the first fails to contain the opening-bell stampede. A move exceeding the lower number by as little as 4 points should be regarded as the go-ahead for achieving the next. Traders looking to get long using the ‘camouflage’ technique should focus on the 10-minute chart, since it was bullishly impulsive at Tuesday’s close. You should also view a retracement to 16339 as a possible buying opportunity, since that is the midpoint Hidden Pivot of the rally pattern yielding the target at 16607. Either of the two targets is shortable using the Diamonds, and the second can be shorted with a micro-tight stop-loss instead of camouflage. If you’re lucky enough to have been long on the way up, I’d suggest using a portion of your gains to short 16607 more aggressively. For a simple strategy using put options, check out today’s tout for the Diamonds.
This popular gold mining vehicle is taking its sweet old time consolidating, but when it develops sufficient thrust for takeoff, expect the move to reach the 50.71 Hidden Pivot target shown in the chart. That would represent a move of nearly 20% from these levels, but if it unfolds with the speed of the initial leg we could be there by April. The rally should be considered under way when GDXJ has decisively exceeded the 45.55 midpoint (i.e., by perhaps 20 cents) or closed for two consecutive days above it. Traders looking to ‘camo’ their way aboard with minimal risk should do their hunting on the 15-minute chart, where there are some decent ‘external’ peaks to be found in price action over the last two weeks.
Facebook has just paid a whopping $18 billion for an instant-messaging application that evidently has caught on with the kids. The company, WhatsApp, has 55 employees, and its two founders are now billionaires. It would hardly surprise if their clerk-typist and janitor have become multimillionaires. No one knows what kind of revenues the company has been generating because that’s a secret. But they do not use an advertising model, and subscriptions are free for the first year, rising to $1 a year thereafter. Zuckerberg paid about $40 per for each of WhatsApp’s 450 million users — supposedly the going rate. Frankly, we view these valuations as absurd. However, such concerns didn’t stop Wall Street’s OPM stewards from goosing FB sharply higher yesterday, pushing the stock well past a 67.43 Hidden Pivot target that we might have expected to contain FB for more than a few days. Keep the number 75.82 in mind, because Hidden Pivot analysis says that’s where this gas-bag will bump up against something solid. We’ll be looking to short aggressively up there, so stay tuned to the chat room and to the tout updates if you’re interested. _______ UPDATE (February 28, 2:50 a.m. EST): Yesterday’s detour south could take the stock down to 67.66 if the intraday low, 68.85, gets taken out. The target can be bottom-fished with a limit bid and a stop-loss as tight as 5 cents. ______ UPDATE: Friday’s 67.38 low overshot my target by 28 cents, stopping out any bidders who played it by-the-book. The overshoot of the target suggests that still-lower prices may impend. _______ UPDATE (March 10, 11:33 p.m.): Once past a midpoint resistance at 72.20, expect this stock to cruise to at least 74.93 (daily chart, A=66.51 on 3/3), the next Hidden Pivot resistance of significance.