Home / The Maven

The Maven

I've been doing this a long time.

Crude Futures: Sell the hurricane. Buy the hurricane. Rinse. Repeat.

I made a lot of money trading crude futures on Thursday. It is something I rarely do and do not recommend it to any sane individual.

A gem for all you energy commodity traders, from an astute long-time trader I greatly respect:
“Besides the 6/21 uptrend channel bottom line that we are on @ or near 49 I am looking at the recent selling activity before the last 3 hurricanes to make US landfall. the heavy selling occurs the day before the storm hits with very strong buying the following days. Harvey US landfall Aug 25, selling on Aug 24 from 48.40 to 47 and a few days after takes it to 45.50 then hard spike up to 49.40.

Sept 8th hard selling from 49.10 to 47.22 a day before Irma Sept 10th then a big spike for new high 50.50.

Sept 18th selling from 50.85 to 49.70 (Maria) Sept 20th then hard spike to 52.80. I think the retrace is done, the production shutdown with refineries in harms way and the increased gas usage for any evacuations is going to spike this to 53.53.”

This is better research than anything you will ever get from a chartist/technical trader. So after buying and selling five contracts like a Contrarian Boss, to great reward on Thursday, today I bought again near the hurricane-hysteria LOD. Five futures contracts with an average cost of 49.32. Stop loss be damned, I am willing to hold it until the hysteria dies on the vine. Hurricane Harvey was an anomaly. This one incoming is Cat 1, at best. In fact, this time it will be offshore production that suffers, not the refineries. That sounds positively bullish.

We’ll see how this plays out by Wednesday. Until then, stay safe and warm, dear friends on the Gulf Coast. I’ll be up on the positively BALMY Connecticut Gold Coast, the wife is away for the weekend and I will be cranking up YouTube through one of the Rokus and annoying my neighbors with very loud music through open windows. No open screens, the fucking Stink Bugs are clamoring to come inside for the winter (another positively horrid accidental import from the hellish insect world of Asia).

Ladies and Gents, wait for the amazing Les Paul of the Master, Martin Barre, setting the tone for my weekend…


Comments »

The Death of $AAPL. Hysteria, Revisited.

Wow, that is a big screen

Let’s skip the new phones for a second and delve into the past:

I have been beating the same drum for almost fifteen years. And listening to the same horseshit for the same amount of time. There were no iPods or iPhones in 1999, but Jobs was already well on his way in forging the behemoth we see today. In 1998 we had the new iMacs, which were far and away the epitome of Nerd Chic:

I always liked their products, in fact my first Apple computer was the Apple IIe Professional, which garnered the Professional label due to it’s TWO floppy disks – one for the OS and one for data. No longer would the user be burdened with the tedium of popping out the OS to load data. All that and MASSIVE memory…I forget exactly how much. It was an awesome upgrade to my Radio Shack/Tandy PC.

But I did not buy another Apple computer until the late 90’s when I bought a new iMac. It was translucent, it was colorful, it looked like a giant egg. It had a handle on top. It had a built-in CD-ROM reader. And horrors…it did not have a floppy disk. I still remember the wailing and the moaning…how will we survive without a floppy? But what it did have was Intel’s new USB interface, so if you still wanted a floppy drive, have at it, along with a whole slew of external devices that could also connect to the innocuous little USB slot.

Next came the G3:

and then the stunning G4 and the OSX operating system:

OSX was brilliant. I was running both a programming department and a graphic arts department at the time though my background was programming/I.T. There was the usual disconnect with the graphic artists and the nuts-and-bolts PC guys, where the former swore by the Macs while the programmers and analysts stayed in their IBM/MicrosoftSun Microsystems bubble.

I credit those graphic artists with my love for all things Apple. They refused to work on anything else as nothing could touch the Mac’s color rendering. And the new operating system GUI created by Jobs and Co reminded me of the powerful Sun Micro UNIX workstations that we used to power things like our super-fast, enormous Xerox “laser printers” like the 9700 Series. OSX was a true multitasking OS, it ran on the Apple/IBM PowerPC platform (far superior to the Intel chips that would forever be beholden to the 8080 Windows-centric OS) –  and the industrial design of the G4 was stunning.the OS was loosely based on a UNIX/LINUX kernel and directly attributable to the neXt platform that was bought by Jobs a few years earlier.

In other words, groundbreaking and very cool stuff, mate.

So I dumped my full-service broker and started doing my own investing and started buying Apple stock. Every month for years. And through it all there was a constant…a shrill chorus of naysayers proclaiming the death of the company. When the first iPhone came out around 2007, it was proclaimed a worthless toy – by fucktards.

After  all, what could possibly replace Muh Blackberry? A silly phone with a GUI? Haha. Nobody, and I mean NOBODY, could grasp the concept that this little device was a powerfull hand-held computer. “You are going to buy a phone to take pictures?”

The Shrill Chorus continues to this very day. A year ago I wrote this:

BUY THE DIP – while you can, under $115 Average down if further weakness tomorrow. See me in March for further discussion. The Tenth Anniversary iPhone Edition due in 2017 is rumored to be a game-changer. Everything this fine American company does is planned years in advance. Target $130 June 2017.

$130? Hee.

We are now at $160 and $200 is right around the corner. I also said this:

Beats consensus. IPhone7 above expectations. Ridiculous +24% beat on services, Second-Gen watch and iPhone7 will do well this Christmas, (not enough data to contribute to 4th-Q numbers), 10th-Anniversary iPhone in-queue, buybacks continue,

Right before that post, the noise was that the iPhone7 was nothing more than a revamped iPhone6. Read the comments over the last two weeks and you will see the same theme regarding the iPhone8. They just don’t get it. There is a reason Jobs hand-picked Tim Cook as his successor. Cook may not have the charisma of his mentor (far from it) but he has been nothing short of brilliant in his execution of the core mission of the company.

“The iPhoneX, as the latest iteration is called, will be a runaway success. It is truly a game-changer. “But it is $1000!”, you bleat. You bonehead. Who buys an iPhone when you can lease one with carrier subsidies at $45-$55 a month?

Wired Magazine states:

THE NEW IPHONE X packs more new stuff into any device since the original iPhone. It’s the most complete redesign of the product ever and even offers a glimpse at what the iPhone might become when the world no longer wants smartphones.

Remember that quote. We will revisit it sometime in the not too distant future. You can get into the nuts and bolts in Wired’s article here.


Augmented Reality (AR) and Artificial Intelligence (AI). The Billions being spent now and in years to come, funded by the Ever-Growing Cash Horde, on Future Tech is starting to show results. The Home Button is gone, sacrificed to the gods of the full-screen interface…you 3-D map your face to enable unlocking your phone. Slick.

The 3rd-Gen Watch is also imminent. The Apple Watch is now the best-selling watch in the world.  Watch Gen-3 will ramp those numbers way up. I look forward to other wearables in the near future. Apple Shirt, anyone? I look forward to Augmented Reality displays hovering in space in front of me, fully controlled by my voice, eye movements, and gestures. This will all be brought to you by the fine folks from Cupertino, California. They might not be the first with the products, but they will be first with the ones you want.

And the growth will continue to be powered by Services. Value-added, baby. The ultimate upsell.

I’m getting tired of pimping $AAPL. Ignore at your peril. Rant to be continued, no doubt. We’ll revisit at $200/share.  And that dividend!  You are thick, man.



Comments »

Richard Branson, Genius

Imagine owning your own airline but deciding to stay in the path of the strongest CAT5 ever recorded, because you are glamorous and a Risk-Taker. On a small island in the Atlantic Ocean.

Now imagine encouraging your “team” to ride it out with you. In your wine cellar – and make sure you Tweet-out to all the poor schlubs on the island that their mud huts and grass shacks are probably not a good place to be…best to hightail it to the local shelter (if no wine cellar available) which I am sure will be there after the 200mph winds have subsided.

It is important when working for über-wealthy dipshits like this that you show you are a Team Player by putting your life at risk.

What fun.

Imagine putting out statements on social media where your assholery is on display for all the world to see.

Imagine railing about “Climate Change” as fhe culprit and issuing dire warnings about said climate change whilst downing a few cases of vntage Champagne with your slavish toadies.

Ah, but the lawn furniture is secure. Climate Change can not and will not fhreaten the lawn furniture when you are on the right side of the climate-change debate.

Behold the narcissistic ravings of a lunatic, a stupidly-wealthy clown who seems to thrive on danger and risk-taking and is not afraid to take others along for the ride because, well, they want to keep their jobs and the best way is to show Doctor Yes that you are a Team Player is to risk your own life alongside the Good Doctor. One can clearly surmise that this is the need to build and maintain Image because we all know how important it is that the Little People know how awesome it is to be you:

“It may sound strange, but I consider hurricanes one of the wonders of the natural world. Two powerful hurricanes, Earl and Otto, hit the BVI in 2010 and caused extensive damage. I beheld nature at its most ferocious. The power of the sea breaking over the cliff tops, the eerie hush when you are in the eye of the hurricane and then the roar of the winds, the lightning and the rain.”

I am also concerned for the wonderful wildlife of the BVI, not least on Necker and Moskito, where many flamingos, lemurs, scarlet ibis and other stunning species live. Hopefully all people and animals can keep out of harm’s way in the coming days.

I doubt there are any flamingoes, scarlet ibis and lemurs left on Richard’s Fantasy Island, unless they were invited into the wine cellar.

The leftards love to bash Trump’s billionaire narcissism while lauding the same behavior in another billionaire as long as said billionaire says all the right things about Climate Change.

The Twitterati predictably lost no time in eviscerating Branson after his tweetstorm, though I doubt people like Branson even bother to read the responses from the little people. The moving hand, having writ, moves on.


Comments »

The Crude Circus

Today’s Trade Rumor of the Week goes to Tropical Storm Irma, even though nobody knows the storm’s trajectory. Many traders got whipsawed when /CL dropped like a hot turd right before things got messy.

Your Labor Day Rumor will be the little fat man with the funny haircut and the possibility he is offed by Chinese agents before Mad Dog Mattis delivers a MOAB to his front door. Trade accordingly.

And if you somehow find yourself in the Leeward Islands, listen to the Authorities. Better yet, get the fuck out of the Leeward Islands and any spit of land with the word “Lesser” in it, pronto.

What do these rumors have to do with /CL futures, you ask? Nothing. And everything. It has been a rumor-driven and confounding ride for The World’s Most Volatile Commodity™ for many months and I do not see that changing any time soon. Hookah rules the trade and only the nimble will survive the month of September while trading crude oil. Welcome to the Big Top.

I have not updated my unofficial trading contest with the esteemed T. Boone Pickens due to the noise surrounding Hurricane Harvey but I feel Supremely Confident that my High-Risk-Mother-Of-All-Short-Squeezes basket of stocks will beat his Low(er)-Risk-Dividend-Enhanced basket. I will wait for la tormenta Irma to either make an appearance or fizzle out somewhere west of The Doldrums before I update the stats. Subscribers to Exodus can follow along and even pick apart my Methods. But I am right and you are wrong. I am just letting you know ahead of time.

Harvey confounded the speculators last week when it was clear the effect on crude pricing was going to be negative, which sent people scurrying for the exits. I naturally looked for more bargains in this horribly oversold sector and settled on adding yet another 1000 shares of Sanchez Petroleum aka Dirty Sanchez ($SN) when the beaten-down thing dropped another 5% in the chaos…plus I picked up a few hundred shares of $SOI, which had been on my radar, but in light of the massive damage inflicted by Harvey it became a no-brainer and it is moving higher daily. $SOI has proven technology that saves drillers a ton of money out in the field. This is a long-term hold. As for Dirty Sanchez, the company assuaged hapless investors by dropping a feel-good press release on the 28th. They delivered no updates in the days since, so either the management drowned or things are ok in their neck of the Eagle Ford (and all indications are that is the case, which my Texas Moles have assured me).

The nutcase running the Democratic Republic Of Korea just may have overstayed his welcome on the world stage by setting off his first hydrogen bomb. This should spike crude futures near-term and send the VIX back up to the high teens. Blessings to anyone holding $XIV and the like. But who knows, these days it would not surprise to see WTI drop on the news.

The spread between WTI and Brent stands somewhere around $5.50 last I checked, with backwardation being the norm with Brent for quite some time now. Market makers had a field day over the last seven trading days taking out the stop losses of retail dupes.

Said dupes can take solace in the strong late-day finish on both Thursday and Friday. /CL is currently trading up two cents in Asian trading which promises to be rather uneventful through Tuesday premarket. But one well-placed MOAB can change that in a heartbeat.

So pray for those in the (possible) path of Irma. Paradise ain’t all it’s cracked up to be.

Comments »

Shitcago Bishop calls for removal of a George Washington statue from a city park.

Mayor Rahm Emanuel has been petitioned to remove statues of George Washington and Andrew Jackson from city parks.

I am looking forward to Mayor Rahm attempting to ignore this fiasco-in-the-making.

“Representatives for the mayor did not immediately respond to requests for comment.”

I also hereby call for the abolition of the racist Democratic Party, whose prominent members founded the Ku Klux Klan.

From CBS Shitcago:

“The pastor also said President Andrew Jackson’s name should be removed from nearby Jackson Park, because he also was a slave owner. He said he’s not necessarily asking the city rename the parks altogether. He suggested Washington Park could be named after former Mayor Harold Washington, and Jackson Park could be named after civil rights leader Rev. Jesse Jackson or singer Michael Jackson“.

“I am feeling ambivalent that I would have to walk my child, attend a parade or enjoy a game of softball in a park that commemorates the memory of a slave owner,” he wrote. “Therefore, I call on the immediate removal of President George Washington and President Andrew Jackson names from the parks located on the southeast side of Chicago. They should not have the distinct honor of being held as heroes when they actively participated in the slave trade.”

The sculpture was designated a Chicago Landmark on September 15, 1971.



Comments »

T. Boone vs The Maven – Week 3

A strong week for crude futures gives me a resounding win this week and that makes three weeks in a row of my high-risk oil basket beating the more conservative dividend play of T. Boone Pickens. Big numbers for the week, with $RIG and $SN the only outliers for me. Dirty Sanchez market cap now under $500 million. Possible M&A target?

Here is Boone’s results for the week, barely eking out .35% on the plus side:

My basket of crude-related stocks brought strong returns last week with a +3.36% average:

All gains or losses shown are  unrealized. In the case of the Pickens portfolio, I am waiting for his Q2 data to be released so that I can update his basket.

I sold my stake in $REN last week for a gain of 14% in four days. I also bought and sold a couple of thousand shares of Dirty Sanchez ($SN)  for a one-day gain of 5.4%. My remaining shares are deep under water, although I have day traded it extensively over the past year to great success so my numbers are somewhat skewed.

Ceude is doing it’s Monday Dance, down .7 at time of writing. I will be looking to get back in a couple of names if we see any significant drop today. There is still plenty of uncertainty and pessimism surrounding the current price of crude oil even after it hit $50 in the overnight session for the first time in months. The dollar swings in my oil basket are not for the feint of heart. But I am not going to get myself in a lather over it.




Comments »

Clinton Releases Title Of New Book. Internet Explodes.

“Now I’m letting my guard down’


Well the latest shill attempt to suck the dollars from her adoring fans is not going well. “What Happened” may not have been the best choice of title. It’s ok, The Internet has fixed things:

It started out well…

Things went downhill from there:

That smug face, those immortal words:

Yes, Shillary…what happened?

The Chappaqua Paparazzi have not been kind, either. Yikes!

What happened?


Comments »

The Delaware Basin Oil Play -$BX

I wrote this a year ago but never published it. Blackstone is way up since then. I’ll just leave it here now.

Blackstone Group LP said Thursday that it has agreed to invest $1.5 billion in a pair of drilling deals there. One came about after the New York investment firm early this year lost out to a big oil company bidding on about 12,000 acres south of New Mexico. Blackstone didn’t walk away from the auction empty-handed, though, having convinced the sellers to join it in a new billion-dollar drilling venture in the area.

The firm also committed $500 million more to another group of experienced oilmen who had purchased 16,000 acres about 100 miles to the northeast, in another section of the region’s red-hot Permian Basin.

Cash for the deals came from an $8 billion pool that has otherwise sat largely untapped since Blackstone raised the money to invest in energy early last year.

Comments »

Crude Reality Report: OPEC Non-Event weighs; Maven vs T. Boone Week Two Results

New Mexico breaks record with July oil and gas lease sales

State Land Commissioner Aubrey Dunn reported Thursday the State Land Office collected more than $30 million from monthly oil and gas lease sales in July, an all-time high. The earnings from lease sales of 82 tracts of land in July was nearly double the agency’s Fiscal 2018 budget.

I am amazed at how many people I encounter on Twitter who have no idea the Delaware Basin extends into New Mexico. The Enchanted State is raking in the cash and it seems the Natives are not restless as they are in the Dakotas, with Sioux riding around on horseback in full war paint, accompanied by unemployed social-justice “warriors” of the Caucasian Tribe.

Back in the real world, Private Equity and Institutional Investors continue to pour money into the Permian, with the core acreage located in the Delaware.

Crude short-sellers have not given me a good explanation as to why so much capital is flowing into a commodity that allegedly will be “selling at $20/bbl for the foreseeable future”. It is said that Eagle Ford breakeven is ~$46 and Permian ~$45.

EIA once again shows massive draws of crude oil and gasoline. Rig Counts continue to fall in the major producing regions of the USA. Distressed companies are wallowing in fiscal Limbo. Perhaps Purgatory is a better term. Give them a taste of The Fire before lighting the eternal flame.

Last week I started comparing my basket of oil stocks with recent additions to the Q1 portfolio of T.Boone Pickens. Here are the results as of Week Two as I hold a small but unimpressive lead. My Oil Basket was on fire before crude oil was sent to the Shit Farm on Thursday and Friday with investors running for the exits ahead of today’s insignificant OPEC/NOPEC meeting:

I say “insignificant” yet the Hookah rules the price.

NOTE: I sold my small position in $SND for a quick and dirty loss and added the proceeds to my position in $PUMP this afternoon on a 4.5% dip…with their strong presence in Midland, TX, I expect this recent IPO to soar over the next few years.

I am still ahead of Boone, though not enough to offset his advantage in dividend generation. Next update should be at the One Month mark, hopefully with updated Q2 data from Boone’s portfolio.

Comments »