Awesome photorealism show at the Smithsonian American Art Museum

What’s visually different about cities compared to the natural world? Reflections and artificial light are two big ones. What’s different about photography and painting? Depth of field is one big difference. Everything in an oil painting can be equally sharp.

The Richard Estes show at the Smithsonian American Art Museum is an excellent place to explore the above differences. Highly recommended based on my visit today.

Philip Greenspun’s Weblog

IKEA assembly as corporate team-building

I’m trying to move into a new house in suburban Boston this weekend, in time to host a gaggle of cousins for Thanksgiving. There is a big stack of IKEA furniture in the garage, waiting to be assembled. It occurred to me that I could offer the assembly project as a corporate team-building exercise, charging $ 1000 per person per day so that four-worker teams could put together tables and chairs, enjoy a wonderful catered lunch, and then talk about (a) what they learned, (b) the value of diversity, (c) what went well, (d) what still needs work, (e) what strengths did each member bring, (f) what helped in accomplishing goals, etc.

Brilliant or stupid?

Philip Greenspun’s Weblog

The Weekend Trader – Tools for Your Toolbox

Yes, we’re back to WEEKLY installments of the Weekend Trader, the momentum of which I plan to continue to give traders weekly perspectives during their R&R (& R for Reading).

Today’s column focuses on some of my favorite tools and perspectives, using a combination of new and existing “building material”, with relevant links noted below the video.

Lastly, I remind us what these tools are … and more importantly … are not.

So enjoy your third “R”.

This past week’s CNFT Trading Webinar by Charlie Cochran

Dr. Alexander Elder’s “The New Trading for a Living”

Viewer Choice and Personal Favorite Posts from the Past including the Chinese Bamboo Tree, Lessons from John Wooden, and a post containing 10 additional links including the video I posted right after the May 2010 Flash Crash

That infamous “There’s no Crying in Trading” Flash Crash post.

Subsequent post-crash weekend perspective.

The Svithjod Rock post (from the original diary blog!) which was also syndicated for use by the NY Trading Expo.  Note other key post inks in the lower left margin.

The Jazz Trader post, also from the original blog and syndicated by MoneyShow.

My personal inspiration from four years ago that still gives me chills … posted shortly after the 2010 Flash Crash.

Not-So-Shameless Plug for Chronicles of a Million Dollar Trader with 100% of proceeds supporting World Vision

Don Miller’s S&P Trading Tank

Watching the Cup and Handle in Hewlett-Packard

Written By: DragonFly Capital


It seems that CEO Meg Whitman must be a tea drinker. I say this because when I look at the weekly chart of the stock price I see a lot of tea cups and handles. Take a look.


The chart above shows 4 nested Cup and handle patterns, with the potential for a 5th if it can get to 48. The latest one in yellow, carries a target to 62 on a break above 37. The target for the green one that is active is to 42, and the other two have met their targets.

With the MACD about to cross up and the RSI bullish and rising, the prognosis for this one triggering is good as well.

Get my book, Trading Options: Using Technical Analysis to Design Winning Options Trades.


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My friend’s new job with the Commonwealth of Massachusetts

A friend proudly showed me his new business card. He is a now a full-time senior official with the Commonwealth of Massachusetts. A few minutes later his wife told me about the painful cost of buying health insurance through COBRA. The state tells employers with more than 11 workers that they must provide employees with health insurance, so surely they would be providing it to their own employees? “It’s not a permanent position so they don’t provide it,” explained the wife.

Philip Greenspun’s Weblog

Nov 10 More Bullishness Market Update and Stock Scan for the Day

We have “more of the same” upside action in the stock market, defying bears all the way to even more new highs.

The short-squeeze continues and we have a repetitive morning pattern to study on the intraday frame (as seen Friday) which continued today.

Here’s our updated levels as the S&P trades through more all-time highs:

Our key pattern is the highlighted region where price traded down in the morning session, only to see a surge of impulsive, intervention buying that helped propel the market higher and trigger the stop-losses of the bears (short-sellers) at each breakout to new highs.

Patterns repeat and we continue to observe this pattern propelling price to new highs.

It’s difficult to buy a grossly extended market, but this ‘creeper trend’ has become the norm lately, so keep that in mind (we have to apply different tactics to impulsive movements like this).

When the market keeps doing the same thing, we’ll keep analyzing and trading it the exact same way.

Breadth is slightly mixed – much like the market at the moment:

Money flow – as seen by Sector Strength today – is strongest in the DEFENSIVE Sectors of Staples, Health Care, and Utilities although there’s a bright spot in Financials and Technology.

Our worst performing sector again is Energy as oil prices continue to struggle to reverse off a low.

We have potential bullish trend continuation plays in the following stocks:

CSX, Eli Lilly (LLY), Marriott (MAR), and International Paper (IP).

Potential downtrending candidates exist in stocks showing relative weakness today:

Grainger (GWW), Time Warner Cable (TWC), Gamestop (GME), and Michael Kors (KORS).

Afraid to Trade Premium Content and Membership

Follow along with members of the Daily Commentary and Idealized Trades summaries for real-time updates and additional trade planning.

Corey Rosenbloom, CMT
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Corey’s book The Complete Trading Course (Wiley Finance) is now available along with the newly released Profiting from the Life Cycle of a Stock Trend presentation (also from Wiley).

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Trading AstraZeneca for less than the Cost of a Little Purple Pill

Written By: DragonFly Capital

There are a few stocks in the Pharmaceutical space that I have my eyes on for a longer term trade. One of them presented a good opportunity today, AstraZeneca, $ AZN. AstraZeneca has had a storied life this year, involved in merger discussions and then a falling out. But the chart of the stock looks lovely.


The weekly chart above shows that the stock went through a long basing period from 2009 until it broke that in November last year. It spiked up to 80 around the merger talk and fell back when the options was not accepted. Since then it has consolidated in a bull flag and recently found the 50 week SMA for the first time since September 2013. A break of the flag to the upside targets a move to the 95 to 100 area.

During the consolidation the MACD has worked off its peak and is back in the same range where the stock based, but may be ready to cross higher. That is a bullish signal. The RSI has also worked off an overbought condition and is holding in the bullish zone on the pullback. It just needs a trigger over the flag. Or a low cost way to trade it.

I opted for the latter, putting a trade on using options. With the near term resistance from the prior tops at 75 and longer term potential, I bought the November/April 75 Call Calendar for $ 2.85. This is selling the November 75 Call and buying the April 75 Call. Far less than the cost of buying the stock. I give up the possibility of a dividend in February by using options, but my reward to risk ratio more than compensates for that. And with only $ 2.85 at risk I avoid needing that little purple pill they make.

The plan following the November Options Expiration would be to sell December Calls to build another Call Calendar and lower my basis. Should the November Calls expire worthless the full premium for selling December Calls will go towards my basis. If those November Calls are in the money I will need to use some of the December Call sale to buy them back.

Get my book, Trading Options: Using Technical Analysis to Design Winning Options Trades.


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Who has something heavy on top of a new-generation Steelcase file cabinet?


In one of my offices I have two Steelcase 42″ lateral filing cabinets, purchased back in the 1990s, supporting a 120-gallon aquarium (rule of thumb is that an acrylic aquarium weighs 10 lbs. per gallon, including the tank and gravel):

2014-11-05 16.12.22

I’m setting up a new office and thought it would be nice to replicate the set-up. I contacted Red Thread, the Steelcase retailer in Massachusetts, and the saleswoman, Jessica Andrews, responded with “… that will not work.  That is far too heavy for these lateral files, we don’t recommend it.” I replied with the photo above. She answered with “The particular file you have under that tank currently, is a work horse.  Unfortunately, Steelcase no longer has that series.  Their files have come a long way over the years, they are more environmentally friendly…less metal.  Therefore, we cannot say that these files will support that tank.”

So I asked how much the new cabinets weighed. The answer was over 300 lbs. each. Given that a 96 lb. wooden cabinet can support a 220-gallon tank, was it really the case that 600 lbs. of steel couldn’t support a 120-gallon tank? I’m asking the Steelcase cabinets to handle 1/11th of the load per lb. of stand. I asked her if she could repeat the test that I did before placing a heavy aquarium on these cabinets: Have three 6′-tall guys sit on them and see if the drawers still function normally. She responded “we are not going to have employee’s sit on a lateral file” and then Frank Tenaglia, VP of Sales for Red Thread, added in a separate email “As Jess stated earlier, our 3 drawer lateral files are not intended to hold 120 gallon fish tanks. We want no part of this.”

Do any readers work in an office with a 42″-wide Steelcase lateral file (2- or 3-drawers high) of recent vintage? Have a trio of 200-lb. guys available and willing to sit on top for a test? If so, please let me know what you find! Alternatively, if you have some of these newer, supposedly wimpier cabinets from Steelcase and something heavy on top, please let me know how it has worked out.

Thanks in advance for any help.

Philip Greenspun’s Weblog

SPY Trends and Influencers November 8, 2014

Written By: DragonFly Capital

A weekly excerpt from the Macro Review analysis sent to subscribers on 10 markets and two timeframes.

Last week’s review of the macro market indicators suggested, as the calendar turned to November that the equity markets were looking higher. Elsewhere looked for Gold ($ GLD) to continue lower while Crude Oil ($ USO) consolidated, watching for a reversal. The US Dollar Index ($ UUP) looked to continue higher to new multi-year highs while US Treasuries ($ TLT) were biased lower in consolidation. The Shanghai Composite ($ SSEC) and Emerging Markets ($ EEM) were biased to the upside with China looking very strong. Volatility ($ VXX) looked to remain subdued after the pullback keeping the bias higher for the equity index ETF’s $ SPY, $ IWM and $ QQQ. Their charts showed great strength on the weekly timeframe with some potential exhaustion signals in the short run.

The week played out with Gold pushing lower before a bounce Friday while Crude Oil started lower but held and bounced back to finish the week steady again. The US Dollar took another leg higher while Treasuries may be coming in for a landing. The Shanghai Composite consolidated sideways this week while Emerging Markets pulled back mildly. Volatility continued to drift lower back to its pre-spike range. Against this backdrop the Equity Index ETF’s moved in place over the week with the exception of the SPY which drifted higher. What does this mean for the coming week? Lets look at some charts.

As always you can see details of individual charts and more on my StockTwits feed and on chartly.)

SPY Daily, $ SPY
spy d
SPY Weekly, $ SPY
spy w

The SPY started the week where it left off the prior week, printing small topping candles. By Wednesday that topping look was drifting higher and Thursday and Friday ended the week a bit stronger to the upside. Another new all-time high close, in fact 4 of them this week. The daily chart shows the rising trend resistance nearby over head around 204.50 and support to continue towards that level from the rising and bullish RSI and the rising MACD. On the weekly chart the continuation higher printed a smaller candle to the top of the Bollinger bands. The RSI continues to rise and the MACD is about to cross up. There is no resistance higher and over 204.50 the 138.2% extension of the last down leg targets 209.53. Support lower comes at 201.80 and 200 followed by 199 and 198.30. Continued Uptrend.

Heading into next week, the equity markets look healthy but maybe a bit extended on the short term basis. Elsewhere look for Gold to possibly reverse higher in its downtrend while Crude Oil may also be ready for a reversal of trend higher. The US Dollar Index may continue to consolidate in its uptrend while US Treasuries consolidate the move lower at support. The Shanghai Composite looks like it could take a breather from its run higher while Emerging Markets are continued to be biased to the downside. Volatility looks to remain subdued after the spike higher keeping the bias higher for the equity index ETF’s SPY, IWM and QQQ. Their individual charts show the IWM and QQQ consolidating in the short run while the SPY inches higher, but all 3 better to the upside in the intermediate trend. Use this information as you prepare for the coming week and trad’em well.

Join the Premium Users and you can view the Full Version with 20 detailed charts and analysis: Macro Week in Review/Preview November 7, 2014

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Haiti After the Earthquake

I’m just about done listening to Haiti After the Earthquake as a book on tape. One thing that Americans could take away from this book is how much we over-invest in central government and housing. As noted in my previous posting, the earthquake had little long-term effect on Haiti’s GDP despite the fact that Haiti’s central government was mostly destroyed (ministry buildings in the capital city flattened; civil servants killed while at their desks) and approximately 1.5 million were rendered homeless. What have Americans invested in during the last few decades? A bigger central government (state governments count too, since a lot of states are roughly comparable to Haiti in population (10 million)) and fancy houses. Haiti’s GDP didn’t shrink; should we be surprised that the US GDP is growing only slowly?

Farmer is not a believer in the old saying “If the government is big enough to give you everything you want, it is big enough to take away everything you have.” He wants governments in rich countries all over the world to raise taxes so that more money can be given to Haiti’s government (not spent directly by NGOs in the country). At the same time he decries traditional Big Government policies such as agricultural subsidies that render Haitian agriculture uncompetitive (thus requiring more people in Haiti to live on hand-outs from the countries that are providing hand-outs to their domestic farmers). Farmer doesn’t explain how governments can be as big as he wants them to be and at the same time immune from lobbying by farmers and other competing domestic groups looking for hand-outs. The U.S. provides a good example here. When Congress raised taxes on American workers and investors, it spent the money to subsidize the U.S. health care industry (“Obamacare”) rather than to help poor people around the world get better health care, clean water, etc.

Philip Greenspun’s Weblog

Ideas from the Prop Desk to Improve Your Trading – The Partner Rips (Video)

Last week I presented at #Stocktoberfest the @Stocktwits event masterminded by @howardlindzon.  My presentation was titled: 8 Ideas from the Prop Desk to Improve Your Trading.  Below is part 4 of the video series reconstructing my presentation.

In this video Mike discusses:

1) Larges losses an SMB partner was taking in afterhours trading

2) The importance of understanding your edge

3) The necessity to eliminate trades where you do not have an edge based on statistics

4) Even the best traders must eliminate some trades from their quiver

You can sign up for our free daily trading video here!

Mike Bellafiore Read more […]
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