29 August 2008

Gold Doesn't Fall in the Fall

As this rather autumnal August comes to a close, Trader's Narrative offered up a seasonal trade in gold worthy of consideration:

According to historical seasonality, one of the best instances of such
trading opportunities in gold is about to set up:

As you can see, for most of the year gold goes sideways, flopping around and making everybody dizzy. Then towards the end of August and the beginning of September, it rockets up almost vertically only pausing a bit to finally close the year strong.

Gold doesn't fall in the Fall.

This trade thesis now has a catchy tagline. But does it hold up?

I dove into the decomposing leaf piles at Seeking Alpha to find this post, corroborating that this phenomenon exists.

Below are my own annotated charts of the weekly price of gold throughout the aughts. Click on the images to make them large and the writing legible. You should see that the seasonal trade was successful (and profitable) six of the last eight years. The other two years were basically flat. In this market, a record of six wins, zero losses, and two ties ain't too shabby a risk/reward scenario.

How will I take advantage of this trading opportunity? Presumably GLD, the SPDR gold ETF.

13 August 2008

Today's Moves with a Bonus Annotated Chart at No Cost to You!

Click on the chart to make it huge and legible.

I fortified my holdings in UYG at $19.75, and in DDM at $62.09.

12 August 2008

Bought Some UYG

A brief follow-up to a brief post this morning:

As the financials sold off today, I reloaded my position in UYG, adding shares at $21.66 and at $20.97, for a new cost basis for my entire UYG holdings of $21.67. I bought back a bit over 50% of the position I sold yesterday.

As per Todd Harrison and Barry Ritholtz, I still believe we are experiencing a bear market rally, so my long positions in UYG (and DDM) are for a short-term trade.

Speaking of DDM, I attempted (and failed) to add to my DDM position sub-$63. My order almost filled at around 3:30 today

Sold Some UYG

A quick note: I unloaded approximately one-half of my position in UYG yesterday at $24.02. The cost basis for those shares was $21.81, leaving me with a gain of 10.1%.

The news this morning from UBS, Wachovia, and JPMorganChase has been pretty poor--I may soon have an opportunity to get back into UYG at my original cost basis.

05 August 2008

Perfect Ending to a Post on Sirius (SIRI)

While munching on a Wendy's spicy chicken sandwich, I perused the posts at clusterstock.com, a new addition to the Pig Pen blogroll on the left-hand side of the page.

I clicked on Henry Blodget's provocative story on Sirius possibly heading towards the pink sheets, or even to zero.

I don't particularly care one way or another about SIRI. My Honda Fit is contented with a terrestrial radio and an auxillary jack for an iPod.

The post is written by the poster boy for what was wrong with the analyst community during the dot-com bubble about a stock that's been a perennial speculative play (yes, I'm using 'perennial' just as I intended). You'd expect the comments to draw some pretty intense, vitriolic responses.

You should click the above link to get the flavor of them. Here's the first:

Neil M. said:
Aug. 02, 10:37 AM
Well Henry, You did a fine job of pumping Merrill's IPO's in
the 1990's (remember Interliant , INIT)? I remember INIT very well since you
were soooo bullish on the company I broke my cardinal rule and invested heavily
in the company only to lose EVERYTHING I had saved for 15 years (I know, It's my
fault but you were the Jim Cramer of IT and Internet stocks then). Now that I
have once again decided to invest heavily in SIRI 3 years ago and watch the
price plummet for a variety of reasons you have turned into the bearish guru and
decided to kick this dog while it is down (pun intended). I stand to lose my
life's savings once again if this stock goes in bankruptcy. I notice that you
said the word "could" for the 4 reasons you gave that might cause this company
to fail. I "could" come up with a variety of ways you might suddenly find
yourself at death's door but why speculate on the ways you "could" suddenly die
when I have no proof that will be the case. Speculation whether it is bearish or
bullish is just that. In the end we just don't know what "will" happen but when
people who have the power to make these things occur simply by talking about
them (e.g. Jim Cramer) then you have crossed the line and an agenda becomes
clearer. You have name recognition and power because of it. You could die from a
sudden intracerebral hemorrhage or get hit by a truck or have someone who is
disgruntled by your comments plan your execution ( for the record, I am not that
person) but as you see the word "could" implies many things and you ought to be
more careful when throwing it out there when you do your crystal ball gazing.

Blodget even chimes in with a rational response to this creepy commenter:

Aug. 02, 2:59 PM

Neil, Thanks for the note. Very sorry to hear the Interliant story.
Diversification is crucial (I said this in the 1990s, too), and all of these
stocks--the dotcoms, Sirius, etc--are speculative. That said, I was too late in
cutting the dotcoms, and I'll always regret it. Re Sirius, I think they have a
chance, although I think this will always be a niche business. The analyst who
is most persuasive on the stock (to me, anyway) is Goldman's, and he is
extremely negative. So I don't think McIntyre's call is far-fetched. You're
right: Anything *could* happen. But you'll find that, with any stock at any
given time, the bull and bear cases are usually equally plausible--or the stock
wouldn't be trading where it is. That's why I think the best play for just about
every investor is low-cost index funds.

But the punchline is the following perfect response to all of the hooey-ladened back-and-forth:
Force McCochen said:
Aug. 03, 3:56 PM
You're all a bunch of cunts.