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ATO Australian tax treatment for options trades 🇦🇺

I am posting this as I hope it will help other Australian options traders trading in US options with their tax treatment for ATO (Australian Tax Office) purposes. The ATO provides very little guidance on tax treatment for options trading and I had to do a lot of digging to get to this point. I welcome any feedback on this post.

The Deloitte Report from 2011

My initial research led me to this comprehensive Deloitte report from 2011 which is hosted on the ASX website. I've been through this document about 20 times and although it's a great report to understand how different scenarios apply, it's still really hard to find out what's changed since 2011.
I am mainly relating myself to the scenario of being an individual and non-sole trader (no business set up) for my trading. I think this will apply to many others here too. According to that document, there isn't much guidance on what happens when you're an options premium seller and close positions before they expire.
Note that the ATO sometimes uses the term "ETO" (Exchange Traded Option) to discuss what we're talking about here with options trading.
Also note: The ATO discusses the separate Capital Gains Tax ("CGT") events that occur in each scenario in some of their documents. A CGT event will then determine what tax treatment gets applied if you don't know much about capital gains in Australia.

ATO Request for Advice

Since the Deloitte report didn't answer my questions, I eventually ended up contacting the ATO with a request for advice and tried to explain my scenario: I'm an Australian resident for tax purposes, I'm trading with tastyworks in $USD, I'm primarily a premium seller and I don't have it set up with any business/company/trust etc. In effect, I have a rough idea that I'm looking at capital gains tax but I wanted to fully understand how it worked.
Initially the ATO respondent didn't understand what I was talking about when I said that I was selling a position first and buying it to close. According to the laws, there is no example of this given anywhere because it is always assumed in ATO examples that you buy a position and sell it. Why? I have no idea.
I sent a follow up request with even more detail to the ATO. I think (hope) they understood what I meant now after explaining what an options premium seller is!

Currency Gains/Losses

First, I have to consider translating my $USD to Australian dollars. How do we treat that?
FX Translation
If the premium from selling the options contract is received in $USD, do I convert it to $AUD on that day it is received?
ATO response:
Subsection 960-50(6), Item 5 of the Income Tax Assessment Act 1997 (ITAA 1997) states the amount should be translated at the time of the transaction or event for the purposes of the Capital Gains Tax provisions. For the purpose of granting an option to an entity, the time of the event is when you grant the option (subsection 104-20(2) ITAA 1997).
This is a very detailed response which even refers to the level of which section in the law it is coming from. I now know that I need to translate my trades from $USD to $AUD according to the RBA's translation rates for every single trade.
But what about gains or losses on translation?
There is one major rule that overrides FX gains and losses after digging deeper. The ATO has a "$250k balance election". This will probably apply to a lot of people trading in balances below $250k a lot of the FX rules don't apply. It states:
However, the $250,000 balance election broadly enables you to disregard certain foreign currency gains and losses on certain foreign currency denominated bank accounts and credit card accounts (called qualifying forex accounts) with balances below a specified limit.
Therefore, I'm all good disregarding FX gains and losses! I just need to ensure I translate my trades on the day they occurred. It's a bit of extra admin to do unfortunately, but it is what it is.

Credit Trades

This is the scenario where we SELL a position first, collect premium, and close the position by making an opposite BUY order. Selling a naked PUT, for example.
What happens when you open the position? ATO Response:
The option is grantedCGT event D2 happens when a taxpayer grants an option. The time of the event is when the option is granted. The capital gain or loss arising is the difference between the capital proceeds and the expenditure incurred to grant the option.
This seems straight forward. We collect premium and record a capital gain.
What happens when you close the position? ATO Response:
Closing out an optionThe establishment of an ETO contract is referred to as opening a position (ASX Explanatory Booklet 'Understanding Options Trading'). A person who writes (sells) a call or put option may close out their position by taking (buying) an identical call or put option in the same series. This is referred to as the close-out of an option or the closing-out of an opening position.
CGT event C2 happens when a taxpayer's ownership of an intangible CGT asset ends. Paragraph 104-25(1)(a) of the ITAA 1997 provides that ownership of an intangible CGT asset ends by cancellation, surrender, or release or similar means.
CGT event C2 therefore happens to a taxpayer when their position under an ETO is closed out where the close-out results in the cancellation, release or discharge of the ETO.
Under subsection 104-25(3) of the ITAA 1997 you make a capital gain from CGT event C2 if the capital proceeds from the ending are more than the assets cost base. You make a capital loss if those capital proceeds are less than the assets reduced cost base.
Both CGT events (being D2 upon granting the option and C2 upon adopting the close out position) must be accounted for if applicable to a situation.
My take on this is that the BUY position that cancels out your SELL position will most often simply realise a capital loss (the entire portion of your BUY position). In effect, it 'cancels out' your original premium sold, but it's not recorded that way, it's recorded as two separate CGT events - your capital gain from CGT event D2 (SELL position), then, your capital loss from CGT event C2 (BUY position) is also recorded. In effect, they net each other out, but you don't record them as a 'netted out' number - you record them separately.
From what I understand, if you were trading as a sole tradecompany then you would record them as a netted out capital gain or loss, because the trades would be classified as trading stock but not in our case here as an individual person trading options. The example I've written below should hopefully make that clearer.
EXAMPLE:
Trade on 1 July 2020: Open position
Trade on 15 July 2020: Close position
We can see from this simple example that even though you made a gain on those trades, you still have to record the transactions separately, as first a gain, then as a loss. Note that it is not just a matter of netting off the value of the net profit collected and converting the profit to $AUD because the exchange rate will be different on the date of the opening trade and on the date of the closing trade we have to record them separately.

What if you don't close the position and the options are exercised? ATO Response:
The option is granted and then the option is exercisedUnder subsection 104-40(5) of the Income Tax Assessment Act 1997 (ITAA 1997) the capital gain or loss from the CGT event D2 is disregarded if the option is exercised. Subsection 134-1(1), item 1, of the ITAA 1997 refers to the consequences for the grantor of the exercise of the option.
Where the option binds the grantor to dispose of a CGT asset section 116-65 of the ITAA 1997 applies to the transaction.
Subsection 116-65(2) of the ITAA 1997 provides that the capital proceeds from the grant or disposal of the shares (CGT asset) include any payment received for granting the option. The disposal of the shares is a CGT event A1 which occurs under subsection 104-10(3) of the ITAA 1997 when the contract for disposal is entered into.
You would still make a capital gain at the happening of the CGT event D2 in the year the event occurs (the time the option is granted). That capital gain is disregarded when the option is exercised. Where the option is exercised in the subsequent tax year, the CGT event D2 gain is disregarded at that point. An amendment may be necessary to remove the gain previously included in taxable income for the year in which the CGT event D2 occurred.
This scenario is pretty unlikely - for me personally I never hold positions to expiration, but it is nice to know what happens with the tax treatment if it ultimately does come to that.

Debit Trades

What about the scenario when you want to BUY some options first, then SELL that position and close it later? Buying a CALL, for example. This case is what the ATO originally thought my request was about before I clarified with them. They stated:
When you buy an ETO, you acquire an asset (the ETO) for the amount paid for it (that is, the premium) plus any additional costs such as brokerage fees and the Australian Clearing House (ACH) fee. These costs together form the cost base of the ETO (section 109-5 of the ITAA 1997). On the close out of the position, you make a capital gain or loss equal to the difference between the cost base of the ETO and the amount received on its expiry or termination (subsection 104-25(3) of the ITAA 1997). The capital gain or loss is calculated on each parcel of options.
So it seems it is far easier to record debit trades for tax purposes. It is easier for the tax office to see that you open a position by buying it, and close it by selling it. And in that case you net off the total after selling it. This is very similar to a trading shares and the CGT treatment is in effect very similar (the main difference is that it is not coming under CGT event A1 because there is no asset to dispose of, like in a shares or property trade).

Other ATO Info (FYI)

The ATO also referred me to the following documents. They relate to some 'decisions' that they made from super funds but the same principles apply to individuals they said.
The ATO’s Interpretative Decision in relation to the tax treatment of premiums payable and receivable for exchange traded options can be found on the links below. Please note that the interpretative decisions below are in relation to self-managed superannuation funds but the same principles would apply in your situation [as an individual taxpayer, not as a super fund].
Premiums Receivable: ATO ID 2009/110

Some tips

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Hibiscus Petroleum Berhad (5199.KL)


https://preview.redd.it/gp18bjnlabr41.jpg?width=768&format=pjpg&auto=webp&s=6054e7f52e8d52da403016139ae43e0e799abf15
Download PDF of this article here: https://docdro.id/6eLgUPo
In light of the recent fall in oil prices due to the Saudi-Russian dispute and dampening demand for oil due to the lockdowns implemented globally, O&G stocks have taken a severe beating, falling approximately 50% from their highs at the beginning of the year. Not spared from this onslaught is Hibiscus Petroleum Berhad (Hibiscus), a listed oil and gas (O&G) exploration and production (E&P) company.
Why invest in O&G stocks in this particularly uncertain period? For one, valuations of these stocks have fallen to multi-year lows, bringing the potential ROI on these stocks to attractive levels. Oil prices are cyclical, and are bound to return to the mean given a sufficiently long time horizon. The trick is to find those companies who can survive through this downturn and emerge into “normal” profitability once oil prices rebound.
In this article, I will explore the upsides and downsides of investing in Hibiscus. I will do my best to cater this report to newcomers to the O&G industry – rather than address exclusively experts and veterans of the O&G sector. As an equity analyst, I aim to provide a view on the company primarily, and will generally refrain from providing macro views on oil or opinions about secular trends of the sector. I hope you enjoy reading it!
Stock code: 5199.KL
Stock name: Hibiscus Petroleum Berhad
Financial information and financial reports: https://www.malaysiastock.biz/Corporate-Infomation.aspx?securityCode=5199
Company website: https://www.hibiscuspetroleum.com/

Company Snapshot

Hibiscus Petroleum Berhad (5199.KL) is an oil and gas (O&G) upstream exploration and production (E&P) company located in Malaysia. As an E&P company, their business can be basically described as:
· looking for oil,
· drawing it out of the ground, and
· selling it on global oil markets.
This means Hibiscus’s profits are particularly exposed to fluctuating oil prices. With oil prices falling to sub-$30 from about $60 at the beginning of the year, Hibiscus’s stock price has also fallen by about 50% YTD – from around RM 1.00 to RM 0.45 (as of 5 April 2020).
https://preview.redd.it/3dqc4jraabr41.png?width=641&format=png&auto=webp&s=7ba0e8614c4e9d781edfc670016a874b90560684
https://preview.redd.it/lvdkrf0cabr41.png?width=356&format=png&auto=webp&s=46f250a713887b06986932fa475dc59c7c28582e
While the company is domiciled in Malaysia, its two main oil producing fields are located in both Malaysia and the UK. The Malaysian oil field is commonly referred to as the North Sabah field, while the UK oil field is commonly referred to as the Anasuria oil field. Hibiscus has licenses to other oil fields in different parts of the world, notably the Marigold/Sunflower oil fields in the UK and the VIC cluster in Australia, but its revenues and profits mainly stem from the former two oil producing fields.
Given that it’s a small player and has only two primary producing oil fields, it’s not surprising that Hibiscus sells its oil to a concentrated pool of customers, with 2 of them representing 80% of its revenues (i.e. Petronas and BP). Fortunately, both these customers are oil supermajors, and are unlikely to default on their obligations despite low oil prices.
At RM 0.45 per share, the market capitalization is RM 714.7m and it has a trailing PE ratio of about 5x. It doesn’t carry any debt, and it hasn’t paid a dividend in its listing history. The MD, Mr. Kenneth Gerard Pereira, owns about 10% of the company’s outstanding shares.

Reserves (Total recoverable oil) & Production (bbl/day)

To begin analyzing the company, it’s necessary to understand a little of the industry jargon. We’ll start with Reserves and Production.
In general, there are three types of categories for a company’s recoverable oil volumes – Reserves, Contingent Resources and Prospective Resources. Reserves are those oil fields which are “commercial”, which is defined as below:
As defined by the SPE PRMS, Reserves are “… quantities of petroleum anticipated to be commercially recoverable by application of development projects to known accumulations from a given date forward under defined conditions.” Therefore, Reserves must be discovered (by drilling, recoverable (with current technology), remaining in the subsurface (at the effective date of the evaluation) and “commercial” based on the development project proposed.)
Note that Reserves are associated with development projects. To be considered as “commercial”, there must be a firm intention to proceed with the project in a reasonable time frame (typically 5 years, and such intention must be based upon all of the following criteria:)
- A reasonable assessment of the future economics of the development project meeting defined investment and operating criteria; - A reasonable expectation that there will be a market for all or at least the expected sales quantities of production required to justify development; - Evidence that the necessary production and transportation facilities are available or can be made available; and - Evidence that legal, contractual, environmental and other social and economic concerns will allow for the actual implementation of the recovery project being evaluated.
Contingent Resources and Prospective Resources are further defined as below:
- Contingent Resources: potentially recoverable volumes associated with a development plan that targets discovered volumes but is not (yet commercial (as defined above); and) - Prospective Resources: potentially recoverable volumes associated with a development plan that targets as yet undiscovered volumes.
In the industry lingo, we generally refer to Reserves as ‘P’ and Contingent Resources as ‘C’. These ‘P’ and ‘C’ resources can be further categorized into 1P/2P/3P resources and 1C/2C/3C resources, each referring to a low/medium/high estimate of the company’s potential recoverable oil volumes:
- Low/1C/1P estimate: there should be reasonable certainty that volumes actually recovered will equal or exceed the estimate; - Best/2C/2P estimate: there should be an equal likelihood of the actual volumes of petroleum being larger or smaller than the estimate; and - High/3C/3P estimate: there is a low probability that the estimate will be exceeded.
Hence in the E&P industry, it is easy to see why most investors and analysts refer to the 2P estimate as the best estimate for a company’s actual recoverable oil volumes. This is because 2P reserves (‘2P’ referring to ‘Proved and Probable’) are a middle estimate of the recoverable oil volumes legally recognized as “commercial”.
However, there’s nothing stopping you from including 2C resources (riskier) or utilizing 1P resources (conservative) as your estimate for total recoverable oil volumes, depending on your risk appetite. In this instance, the company has provided a snapshot of its 2P and 2C resources in its analyst presentation:
https://preview.redd.it/o8qejdyc8br41.png?width=710&format=png&auto=webp&s=b3ab9be8f83badf0206adc982feda3a558d43e78
Basically, what the company is saying here is that by 2021, it will have classified as 2P reserves at least 23.7 million bbl from its Anasuria field and 20.5 million bbl from its North Sabah field – for total 2P reserves of 44.2 million bbl (we are ignoring the Australian VIC cluster as it is only estimated to reach first oil by 2022).
Furthermore, the company is stating that they have discovered (but not yet legally classified as “commercial”) a further 71 million bbl of oil from both the Anasuria and North Sabah fields, as well as the Marigold/Sunflower fields. If we include these 2C resources, the total potential recoverable oil volumes could exceed 100 million bbl.
In this report, we shall explore all valuation scenarios giving consideration to both 2P and 2C resources.
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The company further targets a 2021 production rate of 20,000 bbl (LTM: 8,000 bbl), which includes 5,000 bbl from its Anasuria field (LTM: 2,500 bbl) and 7,000 bbl from its North Sabah field (LTM: 5,300 bbl).
This is a substantial increase in forecasted production from both existing and prospective oil fields. If it materializes, annual production rate could be as high as 7,300 mmbbl, and 2021 revenues (given FY20 USD/bbl of $60) could exceed RM 1.5 billion (FY20: RM 988 million).
However, this targeted forecast is quite a stretch from current production levels. Nevertheless, we shall consider all provided information in estimating a valuation for Hibiscus.
To understand Hibiscus’s oil production capacity and forecast its revenues and profits, we need to have a better appreciation of the performance of its two main cash-generating assets – the North Sabah field and the Anasuria field.

North Sabah oil field
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Hibiscus owns a 50% interest in the North Sabah field together with its partner Petronas, and has production rights over the field up to year 2040. The asset contains 4 oil fields, namely the St Joseph field, South Furious field, SF 30 field and Barton field.
For the sake of brevity, we shall not delve deep into the operational aspects of the fields or the contractual nature of its production sharing contract (PSC). We’ll just focus on the factors which relate to its financial performance. These are:
· Average uptime
· Total oil sold
· Average realized oil price
· Average OPEX per bbl
With regards to average uptime, we can see that the company maintains relative high facility availability, exceeding 90% uptime in all quarters of the LTM with exception of Jul-Sep 2019. The dip in average uptime was due to production enhancement projects and maintenance activities undertaken to improve the production capacity of the St Joseph and SF30 oil fields.
Hence, we can conclude that management has a good handle on operational performance. It also implies that there is little room for further improvement in production resulting from increased uptime.
As North Sabah is under a production sharing contract (PSC), there is a distinction between gross oil production and net oil production. The former relates to total oil drawn out of the ground, whereas the latter refers to Hibiscus’s share of oil production after taxes, royalties and expenses are accounted for. In this case, we want to pay attention to net oil production, not gross.
We can arrive at Hibiscus’s total oil sold for the last twelve months (LTM) by adding up the total oil sold for each of the last 4 quarters. Summing up the figures yields total oil sold for the LTM of approximately 2,075,305 bbl.
Then, we can arrive at an average realized oil price over the LTM by averaging the average realized oil price for the last 4 quarters, giving us an average realized oil price over the LTM of USD 68.57/bbl. We can do the same for average OPEX per bbl, giving us an average OPEX per bbl over the LTM of USD 13.23/bbl.
Thus, we can sum up the above financial performance of the North Sabah field with the following figures:
· Total oil sold: 2,075,305 bbl
· Average realized oil price: USD 68.57/bbl
· Average OPEX per bbl: USD 13.23/bbl

Anasuria oil field
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Doing the same exercise as above for the Anasuria field, we arrive at the following financial performance for the Anasuria field:
· Total oil sold: 1,073,304 bbl
· Average realized oil price: USD 63.57/bbl
· Average OPEX per bbl: USD 23.22/bbl
As gas production is relatively immaterial, and to be conservative, we shall only consider the crude oil production from the Anasuria field in forecasting revenues.

Valuation (Method 1)

Putting the figures from both oil fields together, we get the following data:
https://preview.redd.it/7y6064dq8br41.png?width=700&format=png&auto=webp&s=2a4120563a011cf61fc6090e1cd5932602599dc2
Given that we have determined LTM EBITDA of RM 632m, the next step would be to subtract ITDA (interest, tax, depreciation & amortization) from it to obtain estimated LTM Net Profit. Using FY2020’s ITDA of approximately RM 318m as a guideline, we arrive at an estimated LTM Net Profit of RM 314m (FY20: 230m). Given the current market capitalization of RM 714.7m, this implies a trailing LTM PE of 2.3x.
Performing a sensitivity analysis given different oil prices, we arrive at the following net profit table for the company under different oil price scenarios, assuming oil production rate and ITDA remain constant:
https://preview.redd.it/xixge5sr8br41.png?width=433&format=png&auto=webp&s=288a00f6e5088d01936f0217ae7798d2cfcf11f2
From the above exercise, it becomes apparent that Hibiscus has a breakeven oil price of about USD 41.8863/bbl, and has a lot of operating leverage given the exponential rate of increase in its Net Profit with each consequent increase in oil prices.
Considering that the oil production rate (EBITDA) is likely to increase faster than ITDA’s proportion to revenues (fixed costs), at an implied PE of 4.33x, it seems likely that an investment in Hibiscus will be profitable over the next 10 years (with the assumption that oil prices will revert to the mean in the long-term).

Valuation (Method 2)

Of course, there are a lot of assumptions behind the above method of valuation. Hence, it would be prudent to perform multiple methods of valuation and compare the figures to one another.
As opposed to the profit/loss assessment in Valuation (Method 1), another way of performing a valuation would be to estimate its balance sheet value, i.e. total revenues from 2P Reserves, and assign a reasonable margin to it.
https://preview.redd.it/o2eiss6u8br41.png?width=710&format=png&auto=webp&s=03960cce698d9cedb076f3d5f571b3c59d908fa8
From the above, we understand that Hibiscus’s 2P reserves from the North Sabah and Anasuria fields alone are approximately 44.2 mmbbl (we ignore contribution from Australia’s VIC cluster as it hasn’t been developed yet).
Doing a similar sensitivity analysis of different oil prices as above, we arrive at the following estimated total revenues and accumulated net profit:
https://preview.redd.it/h8hubrmw8br41.png?width=450&format=png&auto=webp&s=6d23f0f9c3dafda89e758b815072ba335467f33e
Let’s assume that the above average of RM 9.68 billion in total realizable revenues from current 2P reserves holds true. If we assign a conservative Net Profit margin of 15% (FY20: 23%; past 5 years average: 16%), we arrive at estimated accumulated Net Profit from 2P Reserves of RM 1.452 billion. Given the current market capitalization of RM 714 million, we might be able to say that the equity is worth about twice the current share price.
However, it is understandable that some readers might feel that the figures used in the above estimate (e.g. net profit margin of 15%) were randomly plucked from the sky. So how do we reconcile them with figures from the financial statements? Fortunately, there appears to be a way to do just that.
Intangible Assets
I refer you to a figure in the financial statements which provides a shortcut to the valuation of 2P Reserves. This is the carrying value of Intangible Assets on the Balance Sheet.
As of 2QFY21, that amount was RM 1,468,860,000 (i.e. RM 1.468 billion).
https://preview.redd.it/hse8ttb09br41.png?width=881&format=png&auto=webp&s=82e48b5961c905fe9273cb6346368de60202ebec
Quite coincidentally, one might observe that this figure is dangerously close to the estimated accumulated Net Profit from 2P Reserves of RM 1.452 billion we calculated earlier. But why would this amount matter at all?
To answer that, I refer you to the notes of the Annual Report FY20 (AR20). On page 148 of the AR20, we find the following two paragraphs:
E&E assets comprise of rights and concession and conventional studies. Following the acquisition of a concession right to explore a licensed area, the costs incurred such as geological and geophysical surveys, drilling, commercial appraisal costs and other directly attributable costs of exploration and appraisal including technical and administrative costs, are capitalised as conventional studies, presented as intangible assets.
E&E assets are assessed for impairment when facts and circumstances suggest that the carrying amount of an E&E asset may exceed its recoverable amount. The Group will allocate E&E assets to cash generating unit (“CGU”s or groups of CGUs for the purpose of assessing such assets for impairment. Each CGU or group of units to which an E&E asset is allocated will not be larger than an operating segment as disclosed in Note 39 to the financial statements.)
Hence, we can determine that firstly, the intangible asset value represents capitalized costs of acquisition of the oil fields, including technical exploration costs and costs of acquiring the relevant licenses. Secondly, an impairment review will be carried out when “the carrying amount of an E&E asset may exceed its recoverable amount”, with E&E assets being allocated to “cash generating units” (CGU) for the purposes of assessment.
On page 169 of the AR20, we find the following:
Carrying amounts of the Group’s intangible assets, oil and gas assets and FPSO are reviewed for possible impairment annually including any indicators of impairment. For the purpose of assessing impairment, assets are grouped at the lowest level CGUs for which there is a separately identifiable cash flow available. These CGUs are based on operating areas, represented by the 2011 North Sabah EOR PSC (“North Sabah”, the Anasuria Cluster, the Marigold and Sunflower fields, the VIC/P57 exploration permit (“VIC/P57”) and the VIC/L31 production license (“VIC/L31”).)
So apparently, the CGUs that have been assigned refer to the respective oil producing fields, two of which include the North Sabah field and the Anasuria field. In order to perform the impairment review, estimates of future cash flow will be made by management to assess the “recoverable amount” (as described above), subject to assumptions and an appropriate discount rate.
Hence, what we can gather up to now is that management will estimate future recoverable cash flows from a CGU (i.e. the North Sabah and Anasuria oil fields), compare that to their carrying value, and perform an impairment if their future recoverable cash flows are less than their carrying value. In other words, if estimated accumulated profits from the North Sabah and Anasuria oil fields are less than their carrying value, an impairment is required.
So where do we find the carrying values for the North Sabah and Anasuria oil fields? Further down on page 184 in the AR20, we see the following:
Included in rights and concession are the carrying amounts of producing field licenses in the Anasuria Cluster amounting to RM668,211,518 (2018: RM687,664,530, producing field licenses in North Sabah amounting to RM471,031,008 (2018: RM414,333,116))
Hence, we can determine that the carrying values for the North Sabah and Anasuria oil fields are RM 471m and RM 668m respectively. But where do we find the future recoverable cash flows of the fields as estimated by management, and what are the assumptions used in that calculation?
Fortunately, we find just that on page 185:
17 INTANGIBLE ASSETS (CONTINUED)
(a Anasuria Cluster)
The Directors have concluded that there is no impairment indicator for Anasuria Cluster during the current financial year. In the previous financial year, due to uncertainties in crude oil prices, the Group has assessed the recoverable amount of the intangible assets, oil and gas assets and FPSO relating to the Anasuria Cluster. The recoverable amount is determined using the FVLCTS model based on discounted cash flows (“DCF” derived from the expected cash in/outflow pattern over the production lives.)
The key assumptions used to determine the recoverable amount for the Anasuria Cluster were as follows:
(i Discount rate of 10%;)
(ii Future cost inflation factor of 2% per annum;)
(iii Oil price forecast based on the oil price forward curve from independent parties; and,)
(iv Oil production profile based on the assessment by independent oil and gas reserve experts.)
Based on the assessments performed, the Directors concluded that the recoverable amount calculated based on the valuation model is higher than the carrying amount.
(b North Sabah)
The acquisition of the North Sabah assets was completed in the previous financial year. Details of the acquisition are as disclosed in Note 15 to the financial statements.
The Directors have concluded that there is no impairment indicator for North Sabah during the current financial year.
Here, we can see that the recoverable amount of the Anasuria field was estimated based on a DCF of expected future cash flows over the production life of the asset. The key assumptions used by management all seem appropriate, including a discount rate of 10% and oil price and oil production estimates based on independent assessment. From there, management concludes that the recoverable amount of the Anasuria field is higher than its carrying amount (i.e. no impairment required). Likewise, for the North Sabah field.
How do we interpret this? Basically, what management is saying is that given a 10% discount rate and independent oil price and oil production estimates, the accumulated profits (i.e. recoverable amount) from both the North Sabah and the Anasuria fields exceed their carrying amounts of RM 471m and RM 668m respectively.
In other words, according to management’s own estimates, the carrying value of the Intangible Assets of RM 1.468 billion approximates the accumulated Net Profit recoverable from 2P reserves.
To conclude Valuation (Method 2), we arrive at the following:

Our estimates Management estimates
Accumulated Net Profit from 2P Reserves RM 1.452 billion RM 1.468 billion

Financials

By now, we have established the basic economics of Hibiscus’s business, including its revenues (i.e. oil production and oil price scenarios), costs (OPEX, ITDA), profitability (breakeven, future earnings potential) and balance sheet value (2P reserves, valuation). Moving on, we want to gain a deeper understanding of the 3 statements to anticipate any blind spots and risks. We’ll refer to the financial statements of both the FY20 annual report and the 2Q21 quarterly report in this analysis.
For the sake of brevity, I’ll only point out those line items which need extra attention, and skip over the rest. Feel free to go through the financial statements on your own to gain a better familiarity of the business.
https://preview.redd.it/h689bss79br41.png?width=810&format=png&auto=webp&s=ed47fce6a5c3815dd3d4f819e31f1ce39ccf4a0b
Income Statement
First, we’ll start with the Income Statement on page 135 of the AR20. Revenues are straightforward, as we’ve discussed above. Cost of Sales and Administrative Expenses fall under the jurisdiction of OPEX, which we’ve also seen earlier. Other Expenses are mostly made up of Depreciation & Amortization of RM 115m.
Finance Costs are where things start to get tricky. Why does a company which carries no debt have such huge amounts of finance costs? The reason can be found in Note 8, where it is revealed that the bulk of finance costs relate to the unwinding of discount of provision for decommissioning costs of RM 25m (Note 32).
https://preview.redd.it/4omjptbe9br41.png?width=1019&format=png&auto=webp&s=eaabfc824134063100afa62edfd36a34a680fb60
This actually refers to the expected future costs of restoring the Anasuria and North Sabah fields to their original condition once the oil reserves have been depleted. Accounting standards require the company to provide for these decommissioning costs as they are estimable and probable. The way the decommissioning costs are accounted for is the same as an amortized loan, where the initial carrying value is recognized as a liability and the discount rate applied is reversed each year as an expense on the Income Statement. However, these expenses are largely non-cash in nature and do not necessitate a cash outflow every year (FY20: RM 69m).
Unwinding of discount on non-current other payables of RM 12m relate to contractual payments to the North Sabah sellers. We will discuss it later.
Taxation is another tricky subject, and is even more significant than Finance Costs at RM 161m. In gist, Hibiscus is subject to the 38% PITA (Petroleum Income Tax Act) under Malaysian jurisdiction, and the 30% Petroleum tax + 10% Supplementary tax under UK jurisdiction. Of the RM 161m, RM 41m of it relates to deferred tax which originates from the difference between tax treatment and accounting treatment on capitalized assets (accelerated depreciation vs straight-line depreciation). Nonetheless, what you should take away from this is that the tax expense is a tangible expense and material to breakeven analysis.
Fortunately, tax is a variable expense, and should not materially impact the cash flow of Hibiscus in today’s low oil price environment.
Note: Cash outflows for Tax Paid in FY20 was RM 97m, substantially below the RM 161m tax expense.
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Balance Sheet
The balance sheet of Hibiscus is unexciting; I’ll just bring your attention to those line items which need additional scrutiny. I’ll use the figures in the latest 2Q21 quarterly report (2Q21) and refer to the notes in AR20 for clarity.
We’ve already discussed Intangible Assets in the section above, so I won’t dwell on it again.
Moving on, the company has Equipment of RM 582m, largely relating to O&G assets (e.g. the Anasuria FPSO vessel and CAPEX incurred on production enhancement projects). Restricted cash and bank balances represent contractual obligations for decommissioning costs of the Anasuria Cluster, and are inaccessible for use in operations.
Inventories are relatively low, despite Hibiscus being an E&P company, so forex fluctuations on carrying value of inventories are relatively immaterial. Trade receivables largely relate to entitlements from Petronas and BP (both oil supermajors), and are hence quite safe from impairment. Other receivables, deposits and prepayments are significant as they relate to security deposits placed with sellers of the oil fields acquired; these should be ignored for cash flow purposes.
Note: Total cash and bank balances do not include approximately RM 105 m proceeds from the North Sabah December 2019 offtake (which was received in January 2020)
Cash and bank balances of RM 90m do not include RM 105m of proceeds from offtake received in 3Q21 (Jan 2020). Hence, the actual cash and bank balances as of 2Q21 approximate RM 200m.
Liabilities are a little more interesting. First, I’ll draw your attention to the significant Deferred tax liabilities of RM 457m. These largely relate to the amortization of CAPEX (i.e. Equipment and capitalized E&E expenses), which is given an accelerated depreciation treatment for tax purposes.
The way this works is that the government gives Hibiscus a favorable tax treatment on capital expenditures incurred via an accelerated depreciation schedule, so that the taxable income is less than usual. However, this leads to the taxable depreciation being utilized quicker than accounting depreciation, hence the tax payable merely deferred to a later period – when the tax depreciation runs out but accounting depreciation remains. Given the capital intensive nature of the business, it is understandable why Deferred tax liabilities are so large.
We’ve discussed Provision for decommissioning costs under the Finance Costs section earlier. They are also quite significant at RM 266m.
Notably, the Other Payables and Accruals are a hefty RM 431m. What do they relate to? Basically, they are contractual obligations to the sellers of the oil fields which are only payable upon oil prices reaching certain thresholds. Hence, while they are current in nature, they will only become payable when oil prices recover to previous highs, and are hence not an immediate cash outflow concern given today’s low oil prices.
Cash Flow Statement
There is nothing in the cash flow statement which warrants concern.
Notably, the company generated OCF of approximately RM 500m in FY20 and RM 116m in 2Q21. It further incurred RM 330m and RM 234m of CAPEX in FY20 and 2Q21 respectively, largely owing to production enhancement projects to increase the production rate of the Anasuria and North Sabah fields, which according to management estimates are accretive to ROI.
Tax paid was RM 97m in FY20 and RM 61m in 2Q21 (tax expense: RM 161m and RM 62m respectively).

Risks

There are a few obvious and not-so-obvious risks that one should be aware of before investing in Hibiscus. We shall not consider operational risks (e.g. uptime, OPEX) as they are outside the jurisdiction of the equity analyst. Instead, we shall focus on the financial and strategic risks largely outside the control of management. The main ones are:
· Oil prices remaining subdued for long periods of time
· Fluctuation of exchange rates
· Customer concentration risk
· 2P Reserves being less than estimated
· Significant current and non-current liabilities
· Potential issuance of equity
Oil prices remaining subdued
Of topmost concern in the minds of most analysts is whether Hibiscus has the wherewithal to sustain itself through this period of low oil prices (sub-$30). A quick and dirty estimate of annual cash outflow (i.e. burn rate) assuming a $20 oil world and historical production rates is between RM 50m-70m per year, which considering the RM 200m cash balance implies about 3-4 years of sustainability before the company runs out of cash and has to rely on external assistance for financing.
Table 1: Hibiscus EBITDA at different oil price and exchange rates
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The above table shows different EBITDA scenarios (RM ‘m) given different oil prices (left column) and USD:MYR exchange rates (top row). Currently, oil prices are $27 and USD:MYR is 1:4.36.
Given conservative assumptions of average OPEX/bbl of $20 (current: $15), we can safely say that the company will be loss-making as long as oil remains at $20 or below (red). However, we can see that once oil prices hit $25, the company can tank the lower-end estimate of the annual burn rate of RM 50m (orange), while at RM $27 it can sufficiently muddle through the higher-end estimate of the annual burn rate of RM 70m (green).
Hence, we can assume that as long as the average oil price over the next 3-4 years remains above $25, Hibiscus should come out of this fine without the need for any external financing.
Customer Concentration Risk
With regards to customer concentration risk, there is not much the analyst or investor can do except to accept the risk. Fortunately, 80% of revenues can be attributed to two oil supermajors (Petronas and BP), hence the risk of default on contractual obligations and trade receivables seems to be quite diminished.
2P Reserves being less than estimated
2P Reserves being less than estimated is another risk that one should keep in mind. Fortunately, the current market cap is merely RM 714m – at half of estimated recoverable amounts of RM 1.468 billion – so there’s a decent margin of safety. In addition, there are other mitigating factors which shall be discussed in the next section (‘Opportunities’).
Significant non-current and current liabilities
The significant non-current and current liabilities have been addressed in the previous section. It has been determined that they pose no threat to immediate cash flow due to them being long-term in nature (e.g. decommissioning costs, deferred tax, etc). Hence, for the purpose of assessing going concern, their amounts should not be a cause for concern.
Potential issuance of equity
Finally, we come to the possibility of external financing being required in this low oil price environment. While the company should last 3-4 years on existing cash reserves, there is always the risk of other black swan events materializing (e.g. coronavirus) or simply oil prices remaining muted for longer than 4 years.
Furthermore, management has hinted that they wish to acquire new oil assets at presently depressed prices to increase daily production rate to a targeted 20,000 bbl by end-2021. They have room to acquire debt, but they may also wish to issue equity for this purpose. Hence, the possibility of dilution to existing shareholders cannot be entirely ruled out.
However, given management’s historical track record of prioritizing ROI and optimal capital allocation, and in consideration of the fact that the MD owns 10% of outstanding shares, there is some assurance that any potential acquisitions will be accretive to EPS and therefore valuations.

Opportunities

As with the existence of risk, the presence of material opportunities also looms over the company. Some of them are discussed below:
· Increased Daily Oil Production Rate
· Inclusion of 2C Resources
· Future oil prices exceeding $50 and effects from coronavirus dissipating
Increased Daily Oil Production Rate
The first and most obvious opportunity is the potential for increased production rate. We’ve seen in the last quarter (2Q21) that the North Sabah field increased its daily production rate by approximately 20% as a result of production enhancement projects (infill drilling), lowering OPEX/bbl as a result. To vastly oversimplify, infill drilling is the process of maximizing well density by drilling in the spaces between existing wells to improve oil production.
The same improvements are being undertaken at the Anasuria field via infill drilling, subsea debottlenecking, water injection and sidetracking of existing wells. Without boring you with industry jargon, this basically means future production rate is likely to improve going forward.
By how much can the oil production rate be improved by? Management estimates in their analyst presentation that enhancements in the Anasuria field will be able to yield 5,000 bbl/day by 2021 (current: 2,500 bbl/day).
Similarly, improvements in the North Sabah field is expected to yield 7,000 bbl/day by 2021 (current: 5,300 bbl/day).
This implies a total 2021 expected daily production rate from the two fields alone of 12,000 bbl/day (current: 8,000 bbl/day). That’s a 50% increase in yields which we haven’t factored into our valuation yet.
Furthermore, we haven’t considered any production from existing 2C resources (e.g. Marigold/Sunflower) or any potential acquisitions which may occur in the future. By management estimates, this can potentially increase production by another 8,000 bbl/day, bringing total production to 20,000 bbl/day.
While this seems like a stretch of the imagination, it pays to keep them in mind when forecasting future revenues and valuations.
Just to play around with the numbers, I’ve come up with a sensitivity analysis of possible annual EBITDA at different oil prices and daily oil production rates:
Table 2: Hibiscus EBITDA at different oil price and daily oil production rates
https://preview.redd.it/jnpfhr5n9br41.png?width=814&format=png&auto=webp&s=bbe4b512bc17f576d87529651140cc74cde3d159
The left column represents different oil prices while the top row represents different daily oil production rates.
The green column represents EBITDA at current daily production rate of 8,000 bbl/day; the orange column represents EBITDA at targeted daily production rate of 12,000 bbl/day; while the purple column represents EBITDA at maximum daily production rate of 20,000 bbl/day.
Even conservatively assuming increased estimated annual ITDA of RM 500m (FY20: RM 318m), and long-term average oil prices of $50 (FY20: $60), the estimated Net Profit and P/E ratio is potentially lucrative at daily oil production rates of 12,000 bbl/day and above.
2C Resources
Since we’re on the topic of improved daily oil production rate, it bears to pay in mind the relatively enormous potential from Hibiscus’s 2C Resources. North Sabah’s 2C Resources alone exceed 30 mmbbl; while those from the yet undiagnosed Marigold/Sunflower fields also reach 30 mmbbl. Altogether, 2C Resources exceed 70 mmbbl, which dwarfs the 44 mmbbl of 2P Reserves we have considered up to this point in our valuation estimates.
To refresh your memory, 2C Resources represents oil volumes which have been discovered but are not yet classified as “commercial”. This means that there is reasonable certainty of the oil being recoverable, as opposed to simply being in the very early stages of exploration. So, to be conservative, we will imagine that only 50% of 2C Resources are eligible for reclassification to 2P reserves, i.e. 35 mmbbl of oil.
https://preview.redd.it/mto11iz7abr41.png?width=375&format=png&auto=webp&s=e9028ab0816b3d3e25067447f2c70acd3ebfc41a
This additional 35 mmbbl of oil represents an 80% increase to existing 2P reserves. Assuming the daily oil production rate increases similarly by 80%, we will arrive at 14,400 bbl/day of oil production. According to Table 2 above, this would yield an EBITDA of roughly RM 630m assuming $50 oil.
Comparing that estimated EBITDA to FY20’s actual EBITDA:
FY20 FY21 (incl. 2C) Difference
Daily oil production (bbl/day) 8,626 14,400 +66%
Average oil price (USD/bbl) $68.57 $50 -27%
Average OPEX/bbl (USD) $16.64 $20 +20%
EBITDA (RM ‘m) 632 630 -
Hence, even conservatively assuming lower oil prices and higher OPEX/bbl (which should decrease in the presence of higher oil volumes) than last year, we get approximately the same EBITDA as FY20.
For the sake of completeness, let’s assume that Hibiscus issues twice the no. of existing shares over the next 10 years, effectively diluting shareholders by 50%. Even without accounting for the possibility of the acquisition of new oil fields, at the current market capitalization of RM 714m, the prospective P/E would be about 10x. Not too shabby.
Future oil prices exceeding $50 and effects from coronavirus dissipating
Hibiscus shares have recently been hit by a one-two punch from oil prices cratering from $60 to $30, as a result of both the Saudi-Russian dispute and depressed demand for oil due to coronavirus. This has massively increased supply and at the same time hugely depressed demand for oil (due to the globally coordinated lockdowns being implemented).
Given a long enough timeframe, I fully expect OPEC+ to come to an agreement and the economic effects from the coronavirus to dissipate, allowing oil prices to rebound. As we equity investors are aware, oil prices are cyclical and are bound to recover over the next 10 years.
When it does, valuations of O&G stocks (including Hibiscus’s) are likely to improve as investors overshoot expectations and begin to forecast higher oil prices into perpetuity, as they always tend to do in good times. When that time arrives, Hibiscus’s valuations are likely to become overoptimistic as all O&G stocks tend to do during oil upcycles, resulting in valuations far exceeding reasonable estimates of future earnings. If you can hold the shares up until then, it’s likely you will make much more on your investment than what we’ve been estimating.

Conclusion

Wrapping up what we’ve discussed so far, we can conclude that Hibiscus’s market capitalization of RM 714m far undershoots reasonable estimates of fair value even under conservative assumptions of recoverable oil volumes and long-term average oil prices. As a value investor, I hesitate to assign a target share price, but it’s safe to say that this stock is worth at least RM 1.00 (current: RM 0.45). Risk is relatively contained and the upside far exceeds the downside. While I have no opinion on the short-term trajectory of oil prices, I can safely recommend this stock as a long-term Buy based on fundamental research.
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Wall Street Week Ahead for the trading week beginning May 27th, 2019

Hey what's happening wallstreetbets! Good morning and happy Saturday to all of you on this subreddit. I hope everyone made out pretty nicely in the market this past week, and are ready for the new holiday-shortened trading week ahead.
Here is everything you need to know to get you ready for the trading week beginning May 27th, 2019.

Trade and the economy have become the new roller coaster for markets - (Source)

Trade headlines could be a big factor for markets in the week ahead, but investors will also be attuned to fresh inflation data and moves in the bond market, which is flashing new worries about the economy.
Stocks were on a roller coaster ride in the past week, as markets reacted to worsening trade tensions and concerns that negotiations could be prolonged, causing pain for the global economy. But the bond market’s move was perhaps even more dramatic, as yields, which move opposite of price, fell to levels last seen in 2017, and the futures market began to price in three Fed interest rate cuts by the end of next year.
“There’s not a lot of economic data next week, so events hang over us,” said Marc Chandler, chief global strategist at Bannockburn Global Forex. “It’s more about the evolution of old issues than new issues, like trade and Brexit.”
Brexit will continue to be a focus in global markets. U.K. Prime Minister Theresa May stepped aside Friday after failing to get agreement on a plan for the U.K. to leave the European Union. Chandler said investors will be watching the jockeying among candidates hoping to succeed Prime Minister May, with hard line Brexit proponent Boris Johnson expected to seek the job, among others.
As for trade, Chandler said it’s possible that President Donald Trump’s comments that Huawei could be part of a trade deal may be the start of a new approach by the administration to tone down its rhetoric. The telecom giant has been blacklisted by the U.S. and is expected to be denied access to U.S. components for its equipment.
“In some ways, it’s a headline problem. We think of it more as event risk,” said Nadine Terman, CEO and CIO at Solstein Capital. “China thinks in dynasties and U.S. investors seem to think in durations of days and months, so I think we are misunderstanding the duration of their negotiating strategy.”
She said the issues between the two countries go way beyond trade and extend to China’s military aspirations in the South China Sea and its global campaign of influence through the Belt and Road initiative, Chinese President Xi Jinping’s signature program.
“It’s now become more nationalistic, emotional, to say: ‘We’re going against the U.S. and we’ve got to be in it for the long haul.’ I don’t think you have the same emotion here in the U.S. You don’t have the same nationalistic pride to say ‘we have to fight China at all cost,’” she said.
In the past week, Wall Street increasingly began to expect the Trump administration to turn up the pressure on China with another wave of 25% tariffs on the $300 billion or so in goods remaining that have no tariffs. Those tariffs would directly hit American consumer goods and are expected to take a bigger bite out of the economy.
Fears of a trade war hurting global growth and concerns that the U.S. is already beginning to weaken were evident in the bond market. Treasury yields reflected lowered growth expectations. The 10-year hit a low of 2.29% on Thursday and was at 2.32% Friday.
J.P. Morgan economists Friday downgraded their view of the economy, slicing second quarter growth to just 1% from an earlier forecast of 2.25% and first quarter growth of 3.2%. The economists blamed weak U.S. manufacturing data and said risks were signs of weakness in the global economy and also indications that the trade war was hurting business sentiment.
“The concerns the markets have right now are that we’re moving towards a worst case scenario, and that could persist for quite some time,” said Mark Cabana, head of U.S. short rate strategy at Bank of America Merrill Lynch. “If that’s the case, then the market is believing economic data, and the Fed will likely need to respond to that by trying to offset and prevent a recession.”
The most important data point in the coming week will be Friday’s personal consumption expenditures, which includes the PCE deflator inflation data that the Fed monitors. It was at 1.6% year-over-year last month, and is expected to be the same for April, well below the Fed’s target of 2% inflation.
Inflation has become a key focus on Wall Street, particularly after Fed Chair Jerome Powell said low inflation appears to be transitory and not enough of a concern to make the Fed cut interest rates. Powell and other Fed officials have stressed the Fed is pausing in its rate hiking cycle, is monitoring the economy and does not yet know which way it will move next.
Solstein Capital’s Terman said she is watching the PCE inflation report to see if it confirms her view that inflation and the economy will be weaker this summer.
She also expects the markets to be choppy, and by late summer, around its annual Jackson Hole symposium, the Fed could indicate it could cut interest rates.
“People are going to start getting even more concerned this summer about the U.S.,” Terman said.
Terman said she has been positioned for lower inflation and slower GDP growth with key holdings in utilities, REITs, Treasurys and gold.
“What would do well this summer? Staples, utilities, health care, REITs. You want fixed income. You want to be underweight tech, energy, financials and industrials,” she said.
There is also home prices data Tuesday and advanced economic indicators Thursday. That comes in addition to a few earnings reports, including Costco, Ulta Beauty and Dollar General.
Markets will also be watching the outcome of European parliamentary elections, and if there is a strong showing by populists, there could be a negative impact on the euro and risk assets.

This past week saw the following moves in the S&P:

(CLICK HERE FOR THE FULL S&P TREE MAP FOR THE PAST WEEK!)

Major Indices for this past week:

(CLICK HERE FOR THE MAJOR INDICES FOR THE PAST WEEK!)

Major Futures Markets as of Friday's close:

(CLICK HERE FOR THE MAJOR FUTURES INDICES AS OF FRIDAY!)

Economic Calendar for the Week Ahead:

(CLICK HERE FOR THE FULL ECONOMIC CALENDAR FOR THE WEEK AHEAD!)

Sector Performance WTD, MTD, YTD:

(CLICK HERE FOR FRIDAY'S PERFORMANCE!)
(CLICK HERE FOR THE WEEK-TO-DATE PERFORMANCE!)
(CLICK HERE FOR THE MONTH-TO-DATE PERFORMANCE!)
(CLICK HERE FOR THE 3-MONTH PERFORMANCE!)
(CLICK HERE FOR THE YEAR-TO-DATE PERFORMANCE!)
(CLICK HERE FOR THE 52-WEEK PERFORMANCE!)

Percentage Changes for the Major Indices, WTD, MTD, QTD, YTD as of Friday's close:

(CLICK HERE FOR THE CHART!)

S&P Sectors for the Past Week:

(CLICK HERE FOR THE CHART!)

Major Indices Pullback/Correction Levels as of Friday's close:

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Major Indices Rally Levels as of Friday's close:

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Most Anticipated Earnings Releases for this week:

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Here are the upcoming IPO's for this week:

(CLICK HERE FOR THE CHART!)

Friday's Stock Analyst Upgrades & Downgrades:

(CLICK HERE FOR THE CHART!)

S&P 500 Down Four Straight Day After Memorial Day

Our office will be closed for observance of Memorial Day on Monday, May 27. U.S stock and bond markets will also be closed. As you spend some quality time off with family and friends please take time to commemorate those who have paid the ultimate price while serving in the U.S. military.
For decades the Stock Trader’s Almanac has been tracking and monitoring the market’s performance around holidays. The trading day after Memorial Day has a mixed record going back to 1971. Both S&P 500 and NASDAQ have declined more often than risen on the day, but average performance is still positive. Since 1986, the frequency of gains has improved, and average performance has also risen however, over the last four years S&P 500 has declined. The second trading day after Memorial Day has since more advances than declines, but average performance is negative for NASDAQ. The third day after appears to have the best long- and short-term record combined with solid average performance.
(CLICK HERE FOR THE CHART!)

The Bespoke Report - It's All Relative

Hut, Hut, Cut! With weaker economic data to contend with this week on both a domestic and international basis, plus escalating tensions between the US and China, investors are increasingly pricing in a higher likelihood of rate cuts from the FOMC before the year is out. Through mid-day Friday, the Fed Fund futures market was pricing in over an 85% chance of a rate cut between now and the January 2020 meeting. Those are the kind of odds that would make James Holzhauer say "All in."
(CLICK HERE FOR THE CHART!)

Fed Members Side With “Transitory” Inflation

Investors just got more details on Federal Reserve (Fed) policymakers’ views of inflation.
Minutes of the Fed’s most recent meeting, which ended May 1, showed that “many participants” considered slowing consumer inflation as “transitory,” and agreed that the Fed’s current patient approach should help stoke economic growth and inflation. Policymakers’ optimistic view on inflation runs counter to a growing opinion in financial markets that slowing growth in core personal consumption expenditures (PCE) could warrant lower rates.
Markets think the grace period for a “transitory” excuse has passed, but data show it’s too soon to tell. Another measure of inflation, the Fed Bank of Dallas’s “trimmed mean” PCE measure, points to higher pricing pressures ahead. As shown in the LPL Chart of the Day, the trimmed mean PCE, which has proven to be a less volatile version of core PCE, has hit 2% year-over-year growth for the past several months.
(CLICK HERE FOR THE CHART!)
“It’s tough to make a case for lower rates with over 3% gross domestic product growth, healthy wage growth, and a labor market close to full employment,” said LPL Research Chief Investment Strategist John Lynch. “If consumer inflation picks up, the U.S. economy will be near full employment with healthy inflation across the board, fulfilling the Fed’s dual mandate.”
Of course, much has happened on the global front since the Fed’s last meeting. Trade tensions have flared up again, with the United States raising tariff rates on $200 billion of Chinese imports and threatening to increase rates on the remaining swath of goods. Logically, tariffs should be a catalyst for higher consumer inflation, as higher costs should boost price growth. However, the opposite has happened over the past few months, and there are several factors to consider when thinking about future inflation.
Overall, we don’t see a strong argument for a rate cut right now, and we side with the Fed in thinking consumer inflation could pick up as wage growth accelerates and growth stabilizes. At the very least, it’s becoming more obvious the Fed doesn’t have enough clarity to move policy in either direction.

Another Reason For Bulls To Smile

The S&P 500 Index has officially gained each of the first four months of the year for the first time since 2013. This comes on the heels of the best first quarter since 1998. Six straight months in green has been the best monthly win streak to start a year, and that last happened in 1996.
Starting a year with strength like this historically has been a good sign, even though stocks in May saw a nearly 5% correction.
“Although we wouldn’t be surprised to see continued volatility over the coming months, the good news is a great start to a year has had a funny way of eventually resolving higher,” explained LPL Senior Market Strategist Ryan Detrick. “In fact, the rest of the year has been higher an incredible 14 out of 15 times after the first four months were in the green!”
As our LPL Chart of the Day shows, the S&P 500 returns the rest of the year (final 8 months) have been more than twice as strong as the average year returns—10% versus 4.7%—following four straight monthly gains to kick off a new year. There’s always a catch though, and in this case we’ve seen an average pullback of more than 8% the rest of the year.
(CLICK HERE FOR THE CHART!)

Earnings Season Takeaways

We consider earnings season a success based on the amount of upside to prior estimates generated by S&P 500 Index companies despite several headwinds. Companies handily beat expectations to get first quarter earnings up to flat, as shown in the LPL Chart of the Day.
(CLICK HERE FOR THE CHART!)
When earnings season began in mid-April, consensus estimates called for a 4–5% drop in S&P 500 earnings, according to FactSet data. Beating results by this much is impressive considering persistent trade uncertainty and the drag on overseas profits from a strong U.S. dollar. Also consider that the median stock in the S&P 500 has grown earnings several percentage points faster because a few large companies are dragging down the market-cap-weighted calculation.
Resilient estimates are also encouraging. Since April 15, the 2019 consensus estimate for S&P 500 earnings per share has risen slightly to $168 (a 4% year-over-year increase). We consider that a win given that estimates typically fall during earnings season.
“Escalating trade uncertainty and the threat of more tariffs are huge wild cards for corporate profits,” said LPL Chief Investment Strategist John Lynch. “We are hopeful that significant progress can be made on the trade front next month, when President Trump and China’s President Xi are expected to meet at the G20 summit. A prolonged impasse that lasts through the summer would make mid-single-digit earnings growth difficult to achieve in 2019.”
Our base case remains that we will get a trade deal with China early this summer and consensus expectations for 3–4% earnings growth may prove to be conservative. Earnings are hardly booming, but with a continued economic expansion, low inflation, and low interest rates, we see enough earnings growth ahead to push stocks up to our year-end S&P 500 fair value target of 3,000—though it probably won’t get there in a straight line.

Pre-election Year June: Tech and Small-caps Best

June has shone brighter on NASDAQ stocks over the last 48 years as a rule ranking eighth with a 0.6% average gain, up 26 of 48 years. This contributes to NASDAQ’s “Best Eight Months” which ends in June. June ranks near the bottom on the Dow Jones Industrials just above September since 1950 with an average loss of 0.3%. S&P 500 performs similarly poorly, ranking tenth, but essentially flat (–0.02% average). Small caps also tend to fare well in June. Russell 2000 has averaged 0.6% in the month since 1979.
In pre-election years since 1950, June ranks no better than mid-pack. June is the #8 DJIA month in pre-election years averaging a 0.8% gain with a record of nine advances in seventeen years. For S&P 500, June is #5 with an average gain of 1.2% (10-7 record). Pre-election year June ranks #6 for NASDAQ and #7 for Russell 2000 with average gains of 1.9% and 1.1% respectively. Recent pre-election year Junes in 2015, 2011 and 2007 were troublesome for the market as DJIA, S&P 500 and NASDAQ all declined (Russell 2000 eked out a modest gain in 2015).
(CLICK HERE FOR THE CHART!)

STOCK MARKET VIDEO: Stock Market Analysis Video for May 24th, 2019

(CLICK HERE FOR THE YOUTUBE VIDEO!)

STOCK MARKET VIDEO: ShadowTrader Video Weekly 05.26.19

(CLICK HERE FOR THE YOUTUBE VIDEO!)
Here are the most notable companies (tickers) reporting earnings in this upcoming trading week ahead-
  • $NIO
  • $MOMO
  • $GOOS
  • $COST
  • $PANW
  • $ZS
  • $OKTA
  • $WDAY
  • $NTNX
  • $ULTA
  • $DKS
  • $VEEV
  • $ANF
  • $BZUN
  • $DG
  • $DLTR
  • $BNS
  • $YY
  • $MRVL
  • $ASND
  • $CSIQ
  • $CPRI
  • $BAH
  • $BURL
  • $VMW
  • $AMWD
  • $KEYS
  • $ZUO
  • $BMO
  • $PLAN
  • $JT
  • $HEI
  • $GPS
  • $NXGN
  • $PVH
  • $QTNT
  • $NM
  • $EXPR
  • $SAFM
  • $BITA
  • $CMCO
(CLICK HERE FOR NEXT WEEK'S MOST NOTABLE EARNINGS RELEASES!)
(CLICK HERE FOR NEXT WEEK'S HIGHEST VOLATILITY EARNINGS RELEASES!)
(CLICK HERE FOR MOST ANTICIPATED EARNINGS RELEASES FOR THE NEXT 5 WEEKS!)
Below are some of the notable companies coming out with earnings releases this upcoming trading week ahead which includes the date/time of release & consensus estimates courtesy of Earnings Whispers:

Monday 5.27.19 Before Market Open:

([CLICK HERE FOR MONDAY'S PRE-MARKET EARNINGS TIME & ESTIMATES!]())
NONE. (U.S. MARKETS CLOSED IN OBSERVANCE OF MEMORIAL DAY!)

Monday 5.27.19 After Market Close:

([CLICK HERE FOR MONDAY'S AFTER-MARKET EARNINGS TIME & ESTIMATES!]())
NONE. (U.S. MARKETS CLOSED IN OBSERVANCE OF MEMORIAL DAY!)

Tuesday 5.28.19 Before Market Open:

(CLICK HERE FOR TUESDAY'S PRE-MARKET EARNINGS TIME & ESTIMATES!)

Tuesday 5.28.19 After Market Close:

(CLICK HERE FOR TUESDAY'S AFTER-MARKET EARNINGS TIME & ESTIMATES!)

Wednesday 5.29.19 Before Market Open:

(CLICK HERE FOR WEDNESDAY'S PRE-MARKET EARNINGS TIME & ESTIMATES!)

Wednesday 5.29.19 After Market Close:

(CLICK HERE FOR WEDNESDAY'S AFTER-MARKET EARNINGS TIME & ESTIMATES!)

Thursday 5.30.19 Before Market Open:

(CLICK HERE FOR THURSDAY'S PRE-MARKET EARNINGS TIME & ESTIMATES!)

Thursday 5.30.19 After Market Close:

(CLICK HERE FOR THURSDAY'S AFTER-MARKET EARNINGS TIME & ESTIMATES!)

Friday 5.31.19 Before Market Open:

(CLICK HERE FOR FRIDAY'S PRE-MARKET EARNINGS TIME & ESTIMATES!)

Friday 5.31.19 After Market Close:

([CLICK HERE FOR FRIDAY'S AFTER-MARKET EARNINGS TIME & ESTIMATES!]())
NONE.

NIO Inc. $3.86

NIO Inc. (NIO) is confirmed to report earnings at approximately 4:30 AM ET on Tuesday, May 28, 2019. Investor sentiment going into the company's earnings release has 47% expecting an earnings beat The company's guidance was for revenue of $202.00 million to $220.00 million. Short interest has increased by 127.4% since the company's last earnings release while the stock has drifted lower by 53.3% from its open following the earnings release. On Friday, May 17, 2019 there was some notable buying of 20,289 contracts of the $4.00 call expiring on Friday, May 31, 2019. Option traders are pricing in a 16.5% move on earnings and the stock has averaged a 12.7% move in recent quarters.

(CLICK HERE FOR THE CHART!)

Momo Inc. $26.02

Momo Inc. (MOMO) is confirmed to report earnings at approximately 4:30 AM ET on Tuesday, May 28, 2019. The consensus earnings estimate is $0.54 per share on revenue of $533.07 million and the Earnings Whisper ® number is $0.57 per share. Investor sentiment going into the company's earnings release has 56% expecting an earnings beat The company's guidance was for revenue of $529.00 million to $544.00 million. Consensus estimates are for earnings to decline year-over-year by 21.74% with revenue increasing by 22.51%. Short interest has decreased by 3.1% since the company's last earnings release while the stock has drifted lower by 27.9% from its open following the earnings release to be 25.6% below its 200 day moving average of $34.98. Overall earnings estimates have been revised higher since the company's last earnings release. On Friday, May 10, 2019 there was some notable buying of 2,208 contracts of the $30.00 call expiring on Friday, May 31, 2019. Option traders are pricing in a 13.3% move on earnings and the stock has averaged a 13.0% move in recent quarters.

(CLICK HERE FOR THE CHART!)

Canada Goose Holdings Inc. $47.89

Canada Goose Holdings Inc. (GOOS) is confirmed to report earnings at approximately 6:45 AM ET on Wednesday, May 29, 2019. The consensus earnings estimate is $0.02 per share on revenue of $118.39 million and the Earnings Whisper ® number is $0.06 per share. Investor sentiment going into the company's earnings release has 73% expecting an earnings beat. Consensus estimates are for earnings to decline year-over-year by 71.43% with revenue increasing by 19.86%. Short interest has increased by 24.8% since the company's last earnings release while the stock has drifted lower by 19.9% from its open following the earnings release to be 18.7% below its 200 day moving average of $58.93. Overall earnings estimates have been revised higher since the company's last earnings release. Option traders are pricing in a 11.1% move on earnings and the stock has averaged a 15.0% move in recent quarters.

(CLICK HERE FOR THE CHART!)

Costco Wholesale Corp. $247.30

Costco Wholesale Corp. (COST) is confirmed to report earnings at approximately 4:15 PM ET on Thursday, May 30, 2019. The consensus earnings estimate is $1.83 per share on revenue of $34.80 billion and the Earnings Whisper ® number is $1.84 per share. Investor sentiment going into the company's earnings release has 76% expecting an earnings beat. Consensus estimates are for year-over-year earnings growth of 7.65% with revenue increasing by 7.54%. Short interest has decreased by 2.4% since the company's last earnings release while the stock has drifted higher by 9.7% from its open following the earnings release to be 9.2% above its 200 day moving average of $226.54. Overall earnings estimates have been revised higher since the company's last earnings release. On Tuesday, May 14, 2019 there was some notable buying of 3,428 contracts of the $250.00 call expiring on Friday, May 31, 2019. Option traders are pricing in a 3.8% move on earnings and the stock has averaged a 4.0% move in recent quarters.

(CLICK HERE FOR THE CHART!)

Palo Alto Networks, Inc. $216.26

Palo Alto Networks, Inc. (PANW) is confirmed to report earnings at approximately 4:15 PM ET on Wednesday, May 29, 2019. The consensus earnings estimate is $1.25 per share on revenue of $703.44 million and the Earnings Whisper ® number is $1.29 per share. Investor sentiment going into the company's earnings release has 81% expecting an earnings beat The company's guidance was for earnings of $1.23 to $1.25 per share on revenue of $697.00 million to $707.00 million. Consensus estimates are for year-over-year earnings growth of 20.19% with revenue increasing by 24.04%. Short interest has decreased by 8.1% since the company's last earnings release while the stock has drifted lower by 16.2% from its open following the earnings release to be 1.2% above its 200 day moving average of $213.65. Overall earnings estimates have been revised higher since the company's last earnings release. On Thursday, May 16, 2019 there was some notable buying of 1,160 contracts of the $237.50 call expiring on Friday, June 7, 2019. Option traders are pricing in a 8.4% move on earnings.

(CLICK HERE FOR THE CHART!)

Zscaler, Inc. $73.76

Zscaler, Inc. (ZS) is confirmed to report earnings at approximately 4:05 PM ET on Thursday, May 30, 2019. The consensus earnings estimate is $0.01 per share on revenue of $74.54 million and the Earnings Whisper ® number is $0.03 per share. Investor sentiment going into the company's earnings release has 77% expecting an earnings beat The company's guidance was for earnings of approximately $0.01 per share on revenue of $74.00 million to $75.00 million. Consensus estimates are for year-over-year earnings growth of 116.67% with revenue increasing by 51.62%. Short interest has decreased by 8.0% since the company's last earnings release while the stock has drifted higher by 28.3% from its open following the earnings release to be 50.6% above its 200 day moving average of $48.98. Overall earnings estimates have been revised lower since the company's last earnings release. On Monday, May 20, 2019 there was some notable buying of 1,380 contracts of the $72.50 put expiring on Friday, June 7, 2019. Option traders are pricing in a 13.6% move on earnings and the stock has averaged a 16.4% move in recent quarters.

(CLICK HERE FOR THE CHART!)

Okta, Inc. $109.63

Okta, Inc. (OKTA) is confirmed to report earnings at approximately 4:05 PM ET on Thursday, May 30, 2019. The consensus estimate is for a loss of $0.21 per share on revenue of $116.66 million and the Earnings Whisper ® number is ($0.17) per share. Investor sentiment going into the company's earnings release has 82% expecting an earnings beat The company's guidance was for a loss of $0.22 to $0.21 per share on revenue of $116.00 million to $117.00 million. Consensus estimates are for earnings to decline year-over-year by 133.33% with revenue increasing by 39.51%. Short interest has increased by 33.4% since the company's last earnings release while the stock has drifted higher by 46.6% from its open following the earnings release to be 48.1% above its 200 day moving average of $74.02. Overall earnings estimates have been revised lower since the company's last earnings release. On Tuesday, May 21, 2019 there was some notable buying of 1,003 contracts of the $90.00 put expiring on Friday, June 7, 2019. Option traders are pricing in a 10.9% move on earnings and the stock has averaged a 8.4% move in recent quarters.

(CLICK HERE FOR THE CHART!)

Workday, Inc. $210.72

Workday, Inc. (WDAY) is confirmed to report earnings at approximately 4:00 PM ET on Tuesday, May 28, 2019. The consensus earnings estimate is $0.41 per share on revenue of $814.68 million and the Earnings Whisper ® number is $0.44 per share. Investor sentiment going into the company's earnings release has 71% expecting an earnings beat The company's guidance was for revenue of $812.00 million to $814.00 million. Consensus estimates are for year-over-year earnings growth of 7.89% with revenue increasing by 31.69%. Short interest has decreased by 12.5% since the company's last earnings release while the stock has drifted higher by 5.4% from its open following the earnings release to be 27.6% above its 200 day moving average of $165.20. Overall earnings estimates have been revised lower since the company's last earnings release. On Thursday, May 23, 2019 there was some notable buying of 1,587 contracts of the $235.00 call expiring on Friday, June 21, 2019. Option traders are pricing in a 7.8% move on earnings and the stock has averaged a 25.2% move in recent quarters.

(CLICK HERE FOR THE CHART!)

Nutanix, Inc. $35.14

Nutanix, Inc. (NTNX) is confirmed to report earnings at approximately 4:00 PM ET on Thursday, May 30, 2019. The consensus estimate is for a loss of $0.60 per share on revenue of $296.48 million and the Earnings Whisper ® number is ($0.58) per share. Investor sentiment going into the company's earnings release has 40% expecting an earnings beat The company's guidance was for a loss of approximately $0.60 per share on revenue of $290.00 million to $300.00 million. Consensus estimates are for earnings to decline year-over-year by 185.71% with revenue increasing by 2.44%. Short interest has increased by 59.1% since the company's last earnings release while the stock has drifted lower by 4.4% from its open following the earnings release to be 20.5% below its 200 day moving average of $44.18. Overall earnings estimates have been revised lower since the company's last earnings release. On Wednesday, May 15, 2019 there was some notable buying of 5,000 contracts of the $40.00 put expiring on Friday, June 7, 2019. Option traders are pricing in a 15.3% move on earnings and the stock has averaged a 11.3% move in recent quarters.

(CLICK HERE FOR THE CHART!)

ULTA Beauty $335.09

ULTA Beauty (ULTA) is confirmed to report earnings at approximately 4:00 PM ET on Thursday, May 30, 2019. The consensus earnings estimate is $3.06 per share on revenue of $1.74 billion and the Earnings Whisper ® number is $3.10 per share. Investor sentiment going into the company's earnings release has 87% expecting an earnings beat. Consensus estimates are for year-over-year earnings growth of 16.35% with revenue increasing by 12.72%. Short interest has increased by 16.3% since the company's last earnings release while the stock has drifted higher by 2.2% from its open following the earnings release to be 14.1% above its 200 day moving average of $293.81. Overall earnings estimates have been revised higher since the company's last earnings release. Option traders are pricing in a 7.7% move on earnings and the stock has averaged a 6.7% move in recent quarters.

(CLICK HERE FOR THE CHART!)

DISCUSS!

What are you all watching for in this upcoming trading week ahead?
I hope you all have a fantastic Memorial Day weekend with family and friends, and a great trading week ahead wallstreetbets! :)
submitted by bigbear0083 to wallstreetbets [link] [comments]

US Venezuela Policy is About Oligarchy, Not Democracy

US Venezuela Policy is About Oligarchy, Not Democracy

The proven oil reserves in Venezuela are recognized as the LARGEST in the world, totaling 297 billion barrels.
While ignoring (and even supporting) the atrocities of authoritarian regimes in places like Saudi Arabia, Bahrain and Uzbekistan, US oligarchs have targeted Venezuela for “regime-change” in the name of “democracy”.
Currently, the US is engaging in economic warfare against Venezuela to foment a coup and remove its democratically elected president Nicolás Maduro.
Without providing solid evidence, our corporate-controlled government and mainstream media portray Maduro as a corrupt, repressive, and illegitimate leader with little to no support.

Ask yourself:

Do I ever see officials from the Venezuelan government appear in corporate news shows to tell THEIR side of the story?
What people DO get to comment on Venezuela and what are their credentials and agenda? Are these people essentially public relations agents for the US-orchestrated coup?
Does corporate news provide me with historical background of US imperialism in Venezuela to put these current events in context?

What Corporate-Controlled Media will NOT Tell You

The CIA was involved in the failed coup against Venezuela's popular leader Hugo Chavez in 2002.
Venezuela is not a strictly socialist country; it has a “mixed” economy - not unlike Norway or other Scandinavian countries.
Venezuela is a DEMOCRACY - unlike US-allies Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates, Qatar, Bahrain, and Kuwait.
In 2012, Jimmy Carter went on record saying:
“As a matter of fact, of the 92 elections that we've monitored, I would say the election process in Venezuela is the best in the world”
The opposition to Maduro knew they were going to lose the last election and so boycotted it in attempt to delegitimize the results.
The US actually tried to dissuade Maduro’s opponents from running!
Maduro invited international observers into the country in 2018 to monitor the last election but the opposition asked the UN not to send observers!
More than 80% of the Venezuelan population had not even HEARD of Juan Guaidó before Trump and the US state proclaimed him the “rightful” president.
Maduro’s approval ratings within his country are on par with opposition-controlled National Assembly. According to an October poll by opposition-aligned pollster Datanalisis, Venezuela's National Assembly, of which Juan Guaidó is president, has a disapproval rating of 70%.
Venezuela WANTS to sell its oil to the US – the US is their largest market and refines a majority of their oil.
US companies Chevron Corp, Halliburton, Schlumberger, Baker Hughes and Weatherford International all have operations in Venezuela, and are allowed to continue to engage in transactions and activities with PDVSA and its joint ventures through July 27.
“No State or group of States has the right to intervene, directly or indirectly, for any reason whatever, in the internal or external affairs of any other State. The foregoing principle prohibits not only armed force but also any other form of interference or attempted threat against the personality of the State or against its political, economic, and cultural elements.” Organization of American States Charter

Why is the US Corporatocracy so Keen to Remove Maduro?

While Venezuela’s economy is not a strictly-state-run economy, its oil industry is nationalized and uses its revenues for the benefit of its citizens (especially the poor).
After years of crippling US sanctions Maduro stepped over a crucial line in October when his government announced that Venezuela was abandoning the US dollar and would be make all future transactions on the Venezuelan exchange market in euro.
Saddam Hussein also went off the dollar in favor of the euro in 2003 – we started dropping bombs on him the next month.
A similar decision by the Gadhafi government in Libya (2011) was quickly followed by a devastating US-orchestrated conflict - culminating in Gadhafi's capture by radical Islamists who sodomized him with a bayonet before killing him. Since then, Libya has gone from Africa's wealthiest country to a truly failed-state complete with a slave trade! To make matters worse, after the collapse of the Libyan government, its military arms were smuggled out of that country and into the hands of ISIS fighters in Iraq and Syria - enabling US-orchestrated chaos in those countries.

Who cares what currency a country uses to trade petroleum?

Answer: US oligarchy

The US dollar is central to US world economic domination.
Like all other modern currencies, it is a fiat currency – backed by no real assets to prop up its value.
In lieu of a “gold standard” we know operate on a de-facto “oil-standard”:
"After the collapse of the Bretton Woods gold standard in the early 1970s, the United States struck a deal with Saudi Arabia to standardize oil prices in dollar terms. Through this deal, the petrodollar system was born, along with a paradigm shift away from pegged exchanged rates and gold-backed currencies to non-backed, floating rate regimes.
The petrodollar system elevated the U.S. dollar to the world's reserve currency and, through this status, the United States enjoys persistent trade deficits and is a global economic hegemony." Investopedia
“The central banking Ponzi scheme requires an ever-increasing base of demand and the immediate silencing of those who would threaten its existence. Perhaps that is what the hurry [was] in removing Gaddafi in particular and those who might have been sympathetic to his monetary idea.” Anthony Wile

US Foreign Policy is about Oligarchy Not Democracy

Since World War II, the US has attempted to over-throw the 52 foreign governments. Aside from a handful of exceptions (China, Cuba, Vietnam, etc.), the US has been successful in the vast majority of these attempts.
US foreign policy is not about democracy – it is about exploiting the world’s resources in the interests of a small, ultra-wealthy global elite.
This exploitation benefits a small percentage of people at the top of the economic pyramid while the costs are born by those at the bottom.

US CIA Coup Playbook:

How to Plunder Resources from Foreign Countries While Pretending to Support Democracy
  1. Find a country with resources you want.
  2. Send in an “Economic Hitman” to offer bribes the country’s leader in the form of personally lucrative business deals. If he accepts the deal, the leader will amass a personal fortune in exchange for "privatizing” the resources you wish to extract.
If the leader will not accept your bribes, begin the regime-change process.
3) Engage in economic warfare by imposing crippling sanctions on the country and blame the ensuing shortages on the leader’s “socialist” policies.
4) Work with right-wing allies inside country to fund and organize an “astroturf” opposition group behind a corporate-friendly puppet.
5) Hire thugs inside country to incite unrest and violence against the government in coordination with your opposition group. Use corporate media to publicize the orchestrated outbursts as popular outrage and paint a picture of a “failed state” mired in corruption and chaos.
6) When the government arrests your thugs, decry the response as the brutal repression. Use corporate-owned media to demonize the target government as a despotic regime while praising your puppet opposition as champions of democracy.
7) Work with right-wing military leaders to organize the overthrow the government (offer them the same business deals the current leader refused).
8) If a military-led coup cannot be organized, create a mercenary army to carry out acts of terrorism against the government and its supporters. Portray the mercenaries as “freedom fighters” and their acts of terrorism as a “civil war”.
9) If the target government has popular and military support and is too well-defended for your mercenaries to over-throw: label the country a “rouge state” and wait for the right time to invade. Meanwhile, continue to wear the country’s government and populace down using steps 3 – 8.
10) Escalate the terror campaign within the country to provoke a military response from the country against the US. If they won’t take the bait , fabricate an attack or threat that you can sell to the US population as justification for an invasion.
11) Once the government is removed, set up your puppet regime to provide the illusion of sovereignty. The regime will facilitate and legitimize your appropriation of the country’s resources under the guise of "free" trade.
12) As you continue to extract the country’s resources, provide intelligence and military support to the puppet regime to suppress popular dissent within the country.
13) Use the demise of the former government as yet another example of the impracticality of “socialism.”
What Can I Do?
Call your senators and representatives to voice your opposition to US regime-change efforts in Venezuela.
https://www.commoncause.org/find-your-representative/
Please share this message with others.
Sources included at: https://link.medium.com/8DiA5xzx4T

‘Venezuela’: Media’s One-Word Rebuttal to the Threat of Socialism

ALAN MACLEOD FEBRUARY 8, 2019
A recent Gallup poll (8/13/18) found that a majority of millennials view socialism favorably, preferring it to capitalism. Democratic socialist Bernie Sanders is the most popular politician in the United States, while new leftist Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez’s (AOC) policies of higher taxes on the wealthy, free healthcare and public college tuition are highly popular—even among Republican voters (FAIR.org,1/23/19).
Alarmed by the growing threat of progressive policies at home, the establishment has found a one-word weapon to deploy against the rising tide: Venezuela. The trick is to attack any political figure or movement even remotely on the left by claiming they wish to turn the country into a “socialist wasteland” (Fox News, 2/2/19) run by a corrupt dictatorship, leaving its people hungry and devastated.
Leading the charge have been Fox News and other conservative outlets. One Fox opinion piece (1/25/19) claimed that Americans should be “absolutely disgusted” by the “fraud” of Bernie Sanders and Democrats like Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, Elizabeth Warren and Cory Booker, as they “continue to promote a system that is causing mass starvation and the collapse of a country,” warning that is exactly what their failed socialist policies would bring to the US. (Back in the real world, while Sanders and Ocasio-Cortez identify as socialists, Warren is a self-described capitalist, and Booker is noted for his ties to Wall Street, whose support for his presidential bid he has reportedly been soliciting.) A second Fox Newsarticle (1/27/19) continues in the same vein, warning that, “At the heart of Venezuela’s collapse is a laundry list of socialist policies that have decimated its economy.”
The Wall Street Journal (1/28/19) describes calls for negotiations in Venezuela as “siding with the dictator.”
In an article entitled “Bernie Sanders, Jeremy Corbyn and the Starving Children of Venezuela,” the Washington Examiner (6/15/17) warned its readers to “beware the socialist utopia,” describing it as a dystopia where children go hungry thanks to socialism. The Wall Street Journal (1/28/19) recently condemned Sanders for his support of a “dictator,” despite the fact Bernie has strongly criticized Venezuelan President Nicolás Maduro, and dismissed Maduro’s predecessor, Hugo Chavez, as a “dead Communist dictator” (Reuters, 6/1/16).
More supposedly centrist publications have continued this line of attack. The New York Times’ Bret Stephens (1/25/19) argued: “Venezuela is a socialist catastrophe. In the age of AOC, the lesson must be learned again”—namely, that “socialism never works,” as “20 years of socialism” has led to “the ruin of a nation.” The Miami Herald(2/1/19) cast shame on Sanders and AOC for arguing for socialism in the face of such overwhelming evidence against it, describing the left’s refusal to back self-appointed president Juan Guaidó, someone whom less than 20 percent of Venezuelans had even heard of, let alone voted for, as “morally repugnant.”
This useful weapon to be used against the left can only be sustained by withholding a great number of key facts—chief among them, the US role in Venezuela’s devastation. US sanctions, according to the Venezuelan opposition’s economics czar, are responsible for a halving of the country’s oil output (FAIR.org, 12/17/18). The UN Human Rights Council has formally condemned the US and discussed reparations to be paid, with one UN special rapporteur describing Trump’s sanctions as a possible “crime against humanity” (London Independent, 1/26/19). This has not been reported by any the New York Times, Washington Post, CNN or any other national US “resistance” news outlet, which have been only too quick to support Trump’s regime change plans (FAIR.org, 1/25/19).
Likewise, the local US-backed opposition’s role in the economic crisis is barely mentioned. The opposition, which controls much of the country’s food supply, has officially accepted responsibility for conducting an “economic war” by withholding food and other key goods.
For example, the monolithic Empresas Polar controls the majority of the flour production and distribution crucial for making arepa cornbread, Venezuela’s staple food. Polar’s chair is Leopoldo Lopez, national coordinator of Juan Guaidó’s Popular Will party, while its president is Lorenzo Mendoza, who considered running for president against Maduro in the 2018 elections that caused pandemonium in the media (FAIR.org, 5/23/18).
Conspicuously, it’s the products that Polar has a near-monopoly in that are often in shortest supply. This is hardly a secret, but never mentioned in the copious stories (CNN, 5/14/14, Bloomberg, 3/16/17, Washington Post, 5/22/17, NPR, 4/7/17) focusing on bread lines in the country.
Also rarely commented on was the fact that multiple international election observer missions declared the 2018 elections free and fair, and that Venezuelan government spending as a proportion of GDP (often considered a barometer of socialism) is actually lower than the US’s, and far lower than most of Europe’s, according to the conservative Heritage Foundation.
The London Daily Express (2/3/19) demonstrates that redbaiting works equally well on either side of the Atlantic.
Regardless of these bothersome facts, the media has continued to present Venezuela’s supposedly socialist dictatorship as solely responsible for its crisis as a warning to any progressives who get the wrong idea. So useful is this tool that it is being used to attack progressive movements around the world. The Daily Express (2/3/19) and Daily Mail (2/3/19) condemned UK Labour Party leader Jeremy Corbyn for his “defense” of a “dictator,” while the Daily Telegraph(2/3/19) warned that the catastrophe of Venezuela is Labour’s blueprint for Britain. Meanwhile, the Greek leftist party Syriza’s support for Maduro (the official position of three-quarters of UN member states) was condemned as “shameful” (London Independent, 1/29/19).
“Venezuela” is also used as a one-word response to shut down debate and counter any progressive idea or thought. While the panel on ABC’s The View (7/23/18) discussed progressive legislation like Medicare for All and immigration reform, conservative regular Meghan McCain responding by invoking Venezuela: “They’re starving to death” she explained, leaving the other panelists bemused.
President Trump has also used it. In response to criticism from Senator Elizabeth Warren over his “Pocahontas” jibe, he replied that she would “make our country into Venezuela” (Reuters, 10/15/18).
The weapon’s effectiveness can only be sustained through a media in lockstep with the government’s regime-change goals. That the media is fixated on the travails of a relatively small and unimportant country in America’s “backyard,” and that the picture of Venezuela is so shallow, is not a mistake. Rather, the simplistic narrative of a socialist dictatorship starving its own people provides great utility as a weapon for the establishment to beat back the domestic “threat” of socialism, by associating movements and figures such as Bernie Sanders, Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez and Jeremy Corbyn with an evil caricature they have carefully crafted.

Corporate Propaganda Blitz Against Venezuela’s Elected President: MSM Will Not Let Facts Interfere With Coup Agenda

Facts Don’t Interfere With Propaganda Blitz Against Venezuela’s Elected President Joe Emersberger
Guaidó, anointed by Trump and a new Iraq-style Coalition of the Willing, did not even run in Venezuela’s May 2018 presidential election. In fact, shortly before the election, Guaidó was not even mentioned by the opposition-aligned pollster Datanálisis when it published approval ratings of various prominent opposition leaders. Henri Falcón, who actually did run in the election (defying US threats against him) was claimed by the pollster to basically be in a statistical tie for most popular among them. It is remarkable to see the Western media dismiss this election as “fraudulent,” without even attempting to show that it was “stolen“ from Falcón. Perhaps that’s because it so clearly wasn’t stolen.
Graph: Approval Ratings of Main Venezuelan Leaders Nov 2016 - July 2018 Data from the opposition-aligned pollsters in Venezuela (via Torino Capital) indicates that Henri Falcón was the most popular of the major opposition figures at the time of the May 2018 presidential election. Nicolás Maduro won the election due to widespread opposition boycotting and votes drawn by another opposition candidate, Javier Bertucci.
The constitutional argument that Trump and his accomplices have used to “recognize” Guaidó rests on the preposterous claim that Maduro has “abandoned” the presidency by soundly beating Falcón in the election. Caracas-based journalist Lucas Koerner took apart that argument in more detail.
What about the McClatchy-owned Miami Herald's claim that Maduro “continues to reject international aid”? In November 2018, following a public appeal by Maduro, the UN did authorize emergency aid for Venezuela. It was even reported by Reuters (11/26/18), whose headlines have often broadcast the news agency’s contempt for Maduro’s government.
It’s not unusual for Western media to ignore facts they have themselves reported when a major “propaganda blitz” by Washington is underway against a government. For example, it was generally reported accurately in 1998 that UN weapons inspectors were withdrawn from Iraq ahead of air strikes ordered by Bill Clinton, not expelled by Iraq’s government. But by 2002, it became a staple of pro-war propaganda that Iraq had expelled weapons inspectors (Extra! Update, 10/02).
And, incidentally, when a Venezuelan NGO requested aid from the UN-linked Global Fund in 2017, it was turned down. Setting aside how effective foreign aid is at all (the example of Haiti hardly makes a great case for it), it is supposed to be distributed based on relative need, not based on how badly the US government wants somebody overthrown.
But the potential for “aid” to alleviate Venezuela’s crisis is negligible compared to the destructive impact of US economic sanctions. Near the end of the Miami Herald article, author Jim Wyss cited an estimate from the thoroughly demonized Venezuelan government that US sanctions have cost it $30 billion, with no time period specified for that estimate. Again, this calls to mind the run-up to the Iraq invasion, when completely factual statements that Iraq had no WMDs were attributed to the discredited Iraqi government. Quoting Iraqi denials supposedly balanced the lies spread in the media by US officials like John Bolton, who now leads the charge to overthrow Maduro. Wyss could have cited economists independent of the Maduro government on the impact of US sanctions—like US economist Mark Weisbrot, or the emphatically anti-Maduro Venezuelan economist Francisco Rodríguez.
Illegal US sanctions were first imposed in 2015 under a fraudulent “state of emergency” declared by Obama, and subsequently extended by Trump. The revenue lost to Venezuela’s government due to US economic sanctions since August 2017, when the impact became very easy to quantify, is by now well over $6 billion. That’s enormous in an economy that was only able to import about $11 billion of goods in 2018, and needs about $2 billion per year in medicines. Trump’s “recognition” of Guaidó as “interim president” was the pretext for making the already devastating sanctions much worse. Last month, Francisco Rodríguez revised his projection for the change in Venezuela’s real GDP in 2019, from an 11 percent contraction to 26 percent, after the intensified sanctions were announced.
The $20 million in US “aid” that Wyss is outraged Maduro won’t let in is a rounding error compared to the billions already lost from Trump’s sanctions.
Former US Ambassador to Venezuela William Brownfield, who pressed for more sanctions on Venezuela, dispensed with the standard “humanitarian” cover that US officials have offered for them (Intercept, 2/10/19):
And if we can do something that will bring that end quicker, we probably should do it, but we should do it understanding that it’s going to have an impact on millions and millions of people who are already having great difficulty finding enough to eat, getting themselves cured when they get sick, or finding clothes to put on their children before they go off to school. We don’t get to do this and pretend as though it has no impact there. We have to make the hard decision—the desired outcome justifies this fairly severe punishment.
How does this gruesome candor get missed by reporters like Wyss, and go unreported in his article?
Speaking of “severe punishment,” if the names John Bolton and Elliott Abrams don’t immediately call to mind the punishment they should be receiving for crimes against humanity, it illustrates how well the Western propaganda system functions. Bolton, a prime facilitator of the Iraq War, recently suggested that Maduro could be sent to a US-run torture camp in Cuba. Abrams played a key role in keeping US support flowing to mass murderers and torturers in Central America during the 1980s. Also significant that Abrams, brought in by Trump to help oust Maduro, used “humanitarian aid” as cover to supply weapons to the US-backed Contra terrorists in Nicaragua.
In the Miami Herald article, the use of US “aid” for military purposes is presented as another allegation made by the vilified Venezuelan president: “Maduro has repeatedly said the aid is cover for a military invasion and has ordered his armed forces not to let it in, even as food and medicine shortages sweep the country.”
Venezuela Accuses U.S. of Secretly Shipping Arms After Weapons Found on Plane with Possible CIA Ties | Democracy Now!
Calling for international aid and being democratically elected will do as little to protect Maduro’s government from US aggression as being disarmed of WMD did to prevent Iraq from being invaded—unless there is much more pushback from the US public against a lethal propaganda system.

When Is a Democracy not a Democracy? When It’s Venezuela and the US is Pushing Regime Change. Venezuela has as much right to call itself a democracy as does the United States. Until that is understood by enough people, the Trump administration will continue to devastate Venezuela’s economy with illegal sanctions and push it towards civil war.
Suggested Reading:
UN Rapporteur: US Sanctions Cause Death in Venezuela
Guaido is playing it fast and loose with the Bolivarian Constitution to justify a dictatorship
Trump’s Economic Sanctions Have Cost Venezuela About $6bn Since August 2017
How could Venezuela's president 'steal' the 2018 election from an unknown who didn't run?
In other news...
The Largest Protest Ever Was 15 Years Ago. The Iraq War Isn’t Over. What Happened?
submitted by roy_batty3000 to EndlessWar [link] [comments]

Wall Street Week Ahead for the trading week beginning June 24th, 2019

Good afternoon and happy Saturday to all of you here on wallstreetbets. I hope everyone on this subreddit made out pretty nicely in the market this past week, and is ready for the new trading week ahead.
Here is everything you need to know to get you ready for the trading week beginning June 24th, 2019.

What to watch in the market in the week ahead: Stocks on track for best first half in 22 years - (Source)

The fate of U.S.-China trade talks could play out in the week ahead, and that could set the tone for markets and the economy in the second half of the year.
Stocks set new highs in the past week, after the Federal Reserve signaled it was ready to cut interest rates if necessary, and Fed Chair Jerome Powell said trade and the global economy are two factors the Fed is watching.
The S&P 500 was on track, as of Friday, to score a more than 17.6% gain for the first half, which ends Friday. If it stays at that level that would be the best first half performance since 1997, when the S&P was up 19.4% in the first six months.
The big event in the coming week has been as anticipated for weeks, and it could sway sentiment for weeks to come. At the end of the week, the G-20 meets in Osaka Japan for meetings Friday and Saturday.
‘Could go either way’ President Donald Trump and Chinese President Xi Jinping are expected to have their own dinner meeting at the G-20 next weekend, following discussions between their trade representatives. That meeting could decide how trade negotiations go forward, and whether the U.S. proceeds with another round of tariffs, this time on $300 billion in goods.
“Everybody knows the Trump, Xi meeting could go either way,” said Marc Chandler, chief market strategist at Bannockburn Global Forex. “I think everyone expects a new tariff freeze. That the $300 billion won’t go into effect. The most you can hope for out of G-20 meeting is the tariffs are where they are right now, and there’s no more escalation.That also means China will not release the list of companies they won’t do business with.”
Chandler said he will be looking for signaling from Trump and Xi on whether they are working on a deal that would be just on the trade topics, or bigger issues like North Korea and differences on the South China Sea.
“I do think the G-20 is quite important in that there’s not question in recent months, the trade war started to really move into measures of confidence and measures of manufacturing activity,” said Ethan Harris, head of global economics at Bank of America Merrill Lynch. Harris said he expects a positive message with an agreement of no further escalation, but probably not signs of significant progress. “I think the vibes coming out of it will be modestly positive,” he said.
“Whether there’s an escalation to the next round of China tariffs is going to set the theme for the rest of the year. Even if tariffs on China are reversed, or partly reversed, at some point, every time there’s an escalation or temporary escalation, it’s another kind of blow to confidence,” he said.
Harris said there’s the same risk as after the Trump, Xi meeting at the last G-20, where it was a positive tone but there was little progress afterwards and the markets then reacted negatively.
“I think there’s been this broad increased awareness from every economist that the trade war is starting to have noticeable impact. Further escalation with China would be quite a big signal. If the Trump administration puts tariffs on all the Chinese products it roughly doubles the size of the trade war and it sends a very strong message that there are very few constraints on where [Trump] goes next,” he said.
Powell and data Besides the meeting between Trump and Xi, the market focus will be on anything that could provide clues on what the Fed or even the European Central Bank will do, after ECB President Mario Draghi last week basically promised a new era of easing. Consumer price inflation data is expected for the euro zone, and on Friday, the U.S. personal consumption expenditure data is released, including the PCE deflator, a major inflation indicator for the Fed.
There are also a few Fed speakers, including Powell who speaks at the Council on Foreign Relations Tuesday.
“It’s probably going to be a big picture kind of talk about the broader challenges of the Fed,” said Ethan Harris, head of global economics at Bank of America Merrill Lynch. “They’re certainly going to ask questions about political influence at the Fed, and he’s going to dodge those. I think what I’m waiting for him to comment on is what it is they’re looking for to determine whether they’re going to cut in July or not.”
Harris said Powell is not likely to say anything he did not reveal at his press briefing in the past week, and the big focus will be on the lead up to the weekend G-20.
Falling interest rates and rising oil prices were two big factors in the market int he past week. The 10-year Treasury yield dipped briefly below 2%, a near 3-year low, as the Fed signaled its willingness to cut interest rates.
“Should we get some sort of trade agreement that would be a nice pop to the [stock] market, but that could take the rate cut off the table,” said Sam Stovall, chief investment strategist at CFRA.
Stovall said the stock market will also be watching oil after its rapid run higher, and the events in the Middle East surrounding Iran. West Texas Intermediate futures were up more than 9% in the past week, to $57.43.
“The old adage is every $10 increase in the price of oil takes off 20 to 25 basis points off of real GDP growth,” he said.
Stovall said stocks have had a solid run so far this year, but they may face some rocky times between now and the end of the summer. “For the rest of this ‘sell in May’ period we could be facing some challenges, headwinds. I think we’ will still end higher on the year. I think the seasonally optimistic September to November period will kick in but there will be a lot of challenges...will the Fed be cutting rates? what are the growth prospects?” he said.

This past week saw the following moves in the S&P:

(CLICK HERE FOR THE FULL S&P TREE MAP FOR THE PAST WEEK!)

Major Indices for this past week:

(CLICK HERE FOR THE MAJOR INDICES FOR THE PAST WEEK!)

Major Futures Markets as of Friday's close:

(CLICK HERE FOR THE MAJOR FUTURES INDICES AS OF FRIDAY!)

Economic Calendar for the Week Ahead:

(CLICK HERE FOR THE FULL ECONOMIC CALENDAR FOR THE WEEK AHEAD!)

Sector Performance WTD, MTD, YTD:

(CLICK HERE FOR FRIDAY'S PERFORMANCE!)
(CLICK HERE FOR THE WEEK-TO-DATE PERFORMANCE!)
(CLICK HERE FOR THE MONTH-TO-DATE PERFORMANCE!)
(CLICK HERE FOR THE 3-MONTH PERFORMANCE!)
(CLICK HERE FOR THE YEAR-TO-DATE PERFORMANCE!)
(CLICK HERE FOR THE 52-WEEK PERFORMANCE!)

Percentage Changes for the Major Indices, WTD, MTD, QTD, YTD as of Friday's close:

(CLICK HERE FOR THE CHART!)

S&P Sectors for the Past Week:

(CLICK HERE FOR THE CHART!)

Major Indices Pullback/Correction Levels as of Friday's close:

(CLICK HERE FOR THE CHART!)

Major Indices Rally Levels as of Friday's close:

(CLICK HERE FOR THE CHART!)

Most Anticipated Earnings Releases for this week:

(CLICK HERE FOR THE CHART!)

Here are the upcoming IPO's for this week:

(CLICK HERE FOR THE CHART!)

Friday's Stock Analyst Upgrades & Downgrades:

(CLICK HERE FOR THE CHART LINK #1!)
(CLICK HERE FOR THE CHART LINK #2!)

Big S&P 500 Junes Drain Life from Julys

S&P 500 is off to it best June performance since 1955, up 7.34% as of yesterday’s close. If yesterday was the last trading day of June, this performance would have been strong enough to push the month to 6th best going back to 1930. Looking back to late May, this performance is still impressive even though it was anticipated following May’s abysmal showing. However, such strong performance in June may not carry over into July.
Below S&P 500 performance in June has been split into positive and negative tables. Each table contains July’s historical performance as well as full-year performance. Historically July has been weaker after a positive June. July averages just 0.48% after an up June compared to a gain of 2.84% after a down June. Examining the Top 20 Junes and subsequent Julys showed only a modest improvement in performance with average July gain climbing to 1.11%. However, even if July does disappoint this year, the full year is likely to still be quite fair as past positive Junes where followed by full-year gains 80% of the time with an average gain of 13.44%.
(CLICK HERE FOR THE CHART!)
(CLICK HERE FOR THE CHART!)

Can Stocks Really Gain 20% This Year?

U.S. stocks could have a big year if LPL Research’s forecasts prove correct.
All year, we’ve maintained our fair value target on the S&P 500 Index of 3,000, implying that we expect this bull market and economic expansion to continue. If the S&P 500 closes the year at 3,000, the index will have gained 19.7% in 2019.
On the surface, that seems like a high hurdle for U.S. stocks. However, the S&P 500 has already gained about 16% this year, so a rally to 3,000 isn’t far out of reach.
The S&P 500 also hasn’t posted a 20% gain for the year since 2013, an unusually long stretch compared to history.
“It is interesting that the S&P 500 hasn’t gained more than 20% in any one year for five consecutive years,” noted LPL Senior Market Strategist Ryan Detrick. “Only once since 1950 did it go more than five years in a row without gaining 20%, thus if this pattern continues we very well might get to 20% in 2019.”
As our LPL Chart of the Day “Can The S&P 500 Index Really Gain 20% This Year?” shows, it is quite rare for the S&P 500 to go this long without a 20% annual gain. Could the streak end in 2019? Be sure to read our Midyear Outlook 2019, which is set for release next week, for more on why this could be the case.
(CLICK HERE FOR THE CHART!)

Prospect of Lower Rates Lifts Gold

As widely anticipated, the Fed did not change its target rate today. Instead, the Fed set the stage for cuts possibly later this year. Overall, the market’s response was a choppy climb to a modestly higher close. A more enthusiastic move by the market may have occurred if the Fed cut rates. Gold’s reaction was more favorable, finishing the day higher by over 1%. Generally, the lower interest rates go, the more desirable gold can become as lower rates typically result in a weaker dollar.
(CLICK HERE FOR THE CHART!)
In the above chart, gold’s monthly performance from 1975 to 2018 is displayed. Historically, October has been gold’s worst month and June is a close second. Historically, after weakness in June, gold has, on average, enjoyed solid gains in July, August and September. Some of this strength in gold is likely due to safe-haven demand during the stock market’s worst two months, August and September. Gold’s best three months, July to September, could easily be above average this year, especially if the Fed decides to cut sooner rather than later.

Are Bulls An Endangered Species?

The S&P 500 Index closed at a new all-time high yesterday, the 5th new high so far in 2019. After May, the worst month for the S&P 500 since 2010, June is up 7.3% as of 06.20.19, which would be the best June since 1955.
Much of the rally this month has been sparked by a more dovish Federal Reserve (Fed), combined with U.S.-China trade discussions potentially back on track.
What’s quite interesting about things now though, is many signs of investor sentiment are a long way from bullish. Remember, from a contrarian (or opposing) point of view, this can suggest there is still money on the sidelines.
“The S&P 500 might be at new highs, but global fund managers and individual investors are quite underweight equities right now,” explained LPL Senior Market Strategist Ryan Detrick. “If you are looking for a reason this rally can continue, that could be it.”
For example, the recent Bank of America Merrill Lynch June Global Fund Manager Survey (a survey of managers who oversee more than $600 billion in assets) showed the largest jump in cash since August 2011. Additionally, equity allocation was the lowest it had been since March 2009, and the equity-to-bond allocation was the lowest since May 2009. Not to mention the allocation to bonds was the highest it had been in eight years. “Money on the sidelines might sound cliché, but it really seems to be the case this time,” said Detrick. With the S&P 500 hitting more all-time highs, having money in the market may make more sense (or cents!).
Individual investors are skeptical as well, as the recent American Association of Individual Investors (AAII) Sentiment Survey showed more bears than bulls for six straight weeks, the longest stretch since November 2016. Finally, as our LPL Chart of the Day shows, AAII bulls have been under 30% for six consecutive weeks for the first time since January 2016.

Broad Strength in Health Care Sector

In an earlier post, we highlighted the fact that some of the ten best performing S&P 500 Industries between the S&P 500's highs on 4/30 and 6/20 were from the Health Care sector. It hasn't just been these four industries that have been strong in the Health Care sector either. The performance snapshot of the sector below shows just how strong the sector has been lately. While all six of the industries within the sector aren't up YTD or so far in Q2, between the S&P 500's highs on 4/30 and 6/20, Health Care is the only sector where every industry within the sector has posted positive returns. Not even the industries within the Utilities sector have been this uniformly positive. The best performer of the bunch has been Health Care Technology, which is up 8% since the end of April and has extended its YTD gain to 36.8%. The worst performing industry in the sector has been Biotech which is up 2.1% since 4/30, and while that may not sound like much, it's still better than more than half of the other industries in the index.
(CLICK HERE FOR THE CHART!)

Best and Worst Groups Between Highs

While the S&P 500 made a new high for the first time in 35 trading days yesterday, many of the characteristics of the groups driving the rally have shifted. To highlight this, in the table below we summarize the ten best and worst performing S&P 500 Industries from the close on 4/30 through yesterday. During that 35 trading day stretch, 34 Industries saw positive returns while another 27 declined.
Industries that have seen the biggest gains between the two new highs are primarily defensive in nature as all but three come from sectors that are typically considered defensive (Consumer Staples, Health Care, and Real Estate). Health Care has been the real star of the show, though. Of the sector's six different industries, four of them made the top ten!
On the downside, cyclical industries have dominated the weak side. When industries like Semis, Autos, Construction & Engineering, and Air Freight are lagging the market, it really illustrates the presence of economic concerns. Leading the way lower, Energy Equipment and Services declined over 10%, followed by Semiconductors which were down just under 10% after failing at resistance on Thursday for the third time in a month. These two industries are followed by two industries (Tobacco and Power and Renewable Energy) that come from sectors that are traditionally considered defensive, but they have their own specific issues to deal with.
(CLICK HERE FOR THE CHART!)

STOCK MARKET VIDEO: Stock Market Analysis Video for June 21st, 2019

(CLICK HERE FOR THE YOUTUBE VIDEO!)

STOCK MARKET VIDEO: ShadowTrader Video Weekly 06.23.19

(CLICK HERE FOR THE YOUTUBE VIDEO!)
Here are the most notable companies (tickers) reporting earnings in this upcoming trading week ahead-
  • $MU
  • $BB
  • $FDX
  • $NKE
  • $GIS
  • $WBA
  • $STZ
  • $LEN
  • $FDS
  • $PAYX
  • $SOL
  • $CAG
  • $ACN
  • $RAD
  • $INFO
  • $SNX
  • $KBH
  • $AVAV
  • $JKS
  • $UNF
  • $SCHN
  • $MKC
  • $ATU
  • $PIR
  • $MLHR
  • $SJR
  • $AITB
  • $SKIS
  • $SGH
  • $GMS
  • $APOG
  • $FUL
  • $NG
  • $PDCO
  • $WOR
  • $ACST
  • $FC
  • $CAMP
  • $PRGS
(CLICK HERE FOR NEXT WEEK'S MOST NOTABLE EARNINGS RELEASES!)
(CLICK HERE FOR NEXT WEEK'S HIGHEST VOLATILITY EARNINGS RELEASES!)
(CLICK HERE FOR MOST ANTICIPATED EARNINGS RELEASES FOR THE NEXT 5 WEEKS!)
Below are some of the notable companies coming out with earnings releases this upcoming trading week ahead which includes the date/time of release & consensus estimates courtesy of Earnings Whispers:

Monday 6.24.19 Before Market Open:

([CLICK HERE FOR MONDAY'S PRE-MARKET EARNINGS TIME & ESTIMATES!]())
NONE.

Monday 6.24.19 After Market Close:

([CLICK HERE FOR MONDAY'S AFTER-MARKET EARNINGS TIME & ESTIMATES!]())
NONE.

Tuesday 6.25.19 Before Market Open:

(CLICK HERE FOR TUESDAY'S PRE-MARKET EARNINGS TIME & ESTIMATES!)

Tuesday 6.25.19 After Market Close:

(CLICK HERE FOR TUESDAY'S AFTER-MARKET EARNINGS TIME & ESTIMATES!)

Wednesday 6.26.19 Before Market Open:

(CLICK HERE FOR WEDNESDAY'S PRE-MARKET EARNINGS TIME & ESTIMATES!)

Wednesday 6.26.19 After Market Close:

(CLICK HERE FOR WEDNESDAY'S AFTER-MARKET EARNINGS TIME & ESTIMATES!)

Thursday 6.27.19 Before Market Open:

(CLICK HERE FOR THURSDAY'S PRE-MARKET EARNINGS TIME & ESTIMATES!)

Thursday 6.27.19 After Market Close:

(CLICK HERE FOR THURSDAY'S AFTER-MARKET EARNINGS TIME & ESTIMATES!)

Friday 6.28.19 Before Market Open:

(CLICK HERE FOR FRIDAY'S PRE-MARKET EARNINGS TIME & ESTIMATES!)

Friday 6.28.19 After Market Close:

([CLICK HERE FOR FRIDAY'S AFTER-MARKET EARNINGS TIME & ESTIMATES!]())
NONE.

Micron Technology, Inc. $33.25

Micron Technology, Inc. (MU) is confirmed to report earnings at approximately 4:00 PM ET on Tuesday, June 25, 2019. The consensus earnings estimate is $0.75 per share on revenue of $4.72 billion and the Earnings Whisper ® number is $0.75 per share. Investor sentiment going into the company's earnings release has 40% expecting an earnings beat The company's guidance was for earnings of $0.75 to $0.95 per share. Consensus estimates are for earnings to decline year-over-year by 75.96% with revenue decreasing by 39.46%. Short interest has decreased by 16.6% since the company's last earnings release while the stock has drifted lower by 20.3% from its open following the earnings release to be 14.5% below its 200 day moving average of $38.89. Overall earnings estimates have been revised higher since the company's last earnings release. On Thursday, June 20, 2019 there was some notable buying of 12,540 contracts of the $25.00 put expiring on Friday, July 19, 2019. Option traders are pricing in a 4.5% move on earnings and the stock has averaged a 5.5% move in recent quarters.

(CLICK HERE FOR THE CHART!)

BlackBerry Limited $8.48

BlackBerry Limited (BB) is confirmed to report earnings at approximately 7:00 AM ET on Wednesday, June 26, 2019. The consenus estimate is for breakeven results on revenue of $249.12 million and the Earnings Whisper ® number is $0.02 per share. Investor sentiment going into the company's earnings release has 66% expecting an earnings beat. Consensus estimates are for earnings to decline year-over-year by 100.00% with revenue increasing by 16.96%. The stock has drifted lower by 14.1% from its open following the earnings release to be 4.2% below its 200 day moving average of $8.85. On Wednesday, June 12, 2019 there was some notable buying of 3,499 contracts of the $9.00 call expiring on Friday, June 28, 2019. Option traders are pricing in a 10.2% move on earnings and the stock has averaged a 8.4% move in recent quarters.

(CLICK HERE FOR THE CHART!)

FedEx Corp. $165.35

FedEx Corp. (FDX) is confirmed to report earnings at approximately 4:00 PM ET on Tuesday, June 25, 2019. The consensus earnings estimate is $4.81 per share on revenue of $17.96 billion and the Earnings Whisper ® number is $4.95 per share. Investor sentiment going into the company's earnings release has 45% expecting an earnings beat. Consensus estimates are for earnings to decline year-over-year by 18.61% with revenue increasing by 3.73%. Short interest has increased by 60.1% since the company's last earnings release while the stock has drifted lower by 4.3% from its open following the earnings release to be 14.3% below its 200 day moving average of $192.96. Overall earnings estimates have been revised lower since the company's last earnings release. On Wednesday, June 19, 2019 there was some notable buying of 3,273 contracts of the $175.00 call expiring on Friday, July 19, 2019. Option traders are pricing in a 2.7% move on earnings and the stock has averaged a 4.8% move in recent quarters.

(CLICK HERE FOR THE CHART!)

Nike Inc $85.75

Nike Inc (NKE) is confirmed to report earnings at approximately 4:15 PM ET on Thursday, June 27, 2019. The consensus earnings estimate is $0.66 per share on revenue of $10.16 billion and the Earnings Whisper ® number is $0.71 per share. Investor sentiment going into the company's earnings release has 70% expecting an earnings beat. Consensus estimates are for earnings to decline year-over-year by 4.35% with revenue increasing by 3.79%. Short interest has increased by 0.6% since the company's last earnings release while the stock has drifted higher by 0.6% from its open following the earnings release to be 6.8% above its 200 day moving average of $80.27. Overall earnings estimates have been revised lower since the company's last earnings release. On Thursday, June 20, 2019 there was some notable buying of 3,156 contracts of the $92.50 call expiring on Friday, July 19, 2019. Option traders are pricing in a 2.6% move on earnings and the stock has averaged a 4.8% move in recent quarters.

(CLICK HERE FOR THE CHART!)

General Mills, Inc. $53.77

General Mills, Inc. (GIS) is confirmed to report earnings at approximately 7:00 AM ET on Wednesday, June 26, 2019. The consensus earnings estimate is $0.76 per share on revenue of $4.23 billion and the Earnings Whisper ® number is $0.79 per share. Investor sentiment going into the company's earnings release has 52% expecting an earnings beat. Consensus estimates are for earnings to decline year-over-year by 3.80% with revenue increasing by 8.73%. Short interest has increased by 1.3% since the company's last earnings release while the stock has drifted higher by 11.2% from its open following the earnings release to be 16.9% above its 200 day moving average of $45.98. Overall earnings estimates have been revised higher since the company's last earnings release. Option traders are pricing in a 5.3% move on earnings and the stock has averaged a 4.4% move in recent quarters.

(CLICK HERE FOR THE CHART!)

Walgreens Boots Alliance Inc $52.45

Walgreens Boots Alliance Inc (WBA) is confirmed to report earnings at approximately 7:00 AM ET on Thursday, June 27, 2019. The consensus earnings estimate is $1.43 per share on revenue of $34.53 billion and the Earnings Whisper ® number is $1.45 per share. Investor sentiment going into the company's earnings release has 38% expecting an earnings beat. Consensus estimates are for earnings to decline year-over-year by 6.54% with revenue increasing by 0.57%. Short interest has decreased by 8.1% since the company's last earnings release while the stock has drifted lower by 6.1% from its open following the earnings release to be 21.7% below its 200 day moving average of $67.02. Overall earnings estimates have been revised lower since the company's last earnings release. On Tuesday, June 4, 2019 there was some notable buying of 1,012 contracts of the $50.00 put expiring on Friday, June 28, 2019. Option traders are pricing in a 3.0% move on earnings and the stock has averaged a 6.2% move in recent quarters.

(CLICK HERE FOR THE CHART!)

Constellation Brands, Inc. $183.73

Constellation Brands, Inc. (STZ) is confirmed to report earnings at approximately 7:30 AM ET on Friday, June 28, 2019. The consensus earnings estimate is $2.09 per share on revenue of $2.06 billion and the Earnings Whisper ® number is $2.16 per share. Investor sentiment going into the company's earnings release has 73% expecting an earnings beat. Consensus estimates are for earnings to decline year-over-year by 5.00% with revenue decreasing by 7.62%. Short interest has increased by 66.1% since the company's last earnings release while the stock has drifted higher by 2.9% from its open following the earnings release to be 3.0% below its 200 day moving average of $189.32. Overall earnings estimates have been revised lower since the company's last earnings release. On Wednesday, June 12, 2019 there was some notable buying of 1,200 contracts of the $110.00 put expiring on Friday, January 17, 2020. Option traders are pricing in a 3.2% move on earnings and the stock has averaged a 6.0% move in recent quarters.

(CLICK HERE FOR THE CHART!)

Lennar Corp. $51.35

Lennar Corp. (LEN) is confirmed to report earnings at approximately 6:00 AM ET on Tuesday, June 25, 2019. The consensus earnings estimate is $1.13 per share on revenue of $5.11 billion and the Earnings Whisper ® number is $1.16 per share. Investor sentiment going into the company's earnings release has 54% expecting an earnings beat. Consensus estimates are for earnings to decline year-over-year by 28.48% with revenue decreasing by 6.39%. Short interest has decreased by 3.6% since the company's last earnings release while the stock has drifted higher by 0.7% from its open following the earnings release to be 9.6% above its 200 day moving average of $46.84. Overall earnings estimates have been revised lower since the company's last earnings release. On Wednesday, June 19, 2019 there was some notable buying of 7,349 contracts of the $52.50 call expiring on Friday, July 19, 2019. Option traders are pricing in a 6.4% move on earnings and the stock has averaged a 5.1% move in recent quarters.

(CLICK HERE FOR THE CHART!)

FactSet Research Systems, Inc. $298.08

FactSet Research Systems, Inc. (FDS) is confirmed to report earnings at approximately 7:00 AM ET on Tuesday, June 25, 2019. The consensus earnings estimate is $2.37 per share on revenue of $358.95 million and the Earnings Whisper ® number is $2.39 per share. Investor sentiment going into the company's earnings release has 47% expecting an earnings beat. Consensus estimates are for year-over-year earnings growth of 8.72% with revenue increasing by 5.60%. Short interest has increased by 37.7% since the company's last earnings release while the stock has drifted higher by 26.3% from its open following the earnings release to be 25.6% above its 200 day moving average of $237.31. Overall earnings estimates have been revised higher since the company's last earnings release. On Tuesday, June 18, 2019 there was some notable buying of 2,350 contracts of the $280.00 put expiring on Friday, July 19, 2019. Option traders are pricing in a 5.7% move on earnings and the stock has averaged a 4.9% move in recent quarters.

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Paychex, Inc. $86.52

Paychex, Inc. (PAYX) is confirmed to report earnings at approximately 8:30 AM ET on Wednesday, June 26, 2019. The consensus earnings estimate is $0.65 per share on revenue of $979.93 million and the Earnings Whisper ® number is $0.66 per share. Investor sentiment going into the company's earnings release has 48% expecting an earnings beat. Consensus estimates are for year-over-year earnings growth of 6.56% with revenue increasing by 12.49%. Short interest has decreased by 0.8% since the company's last earnings release while the stock has drifted higher by 9.1% from its open following the earnings release to be 16.0% above its 200 day moving average of $74.61. Overall earnings estimates have been revised higher since the company's last earnings release. On Thursday, June 13, 2019 there was some notable buying of 2,024 contracts of the $90.00 call expiring on Friday, September 20, 2019. Option traders are pricing in a 4.0% move on earnings and the stock has averaged a 1.3% move in recent quarters.

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What are you all watching for in this upcoming week ahead?
I hope you all have a fantastic weekend and a great final trading week of June and Q2 ahead wallstreetbets.
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