Tag Archives: Trading

New Data: AMC Fails to Deliver Down 85%

New data from the SEC today shows fails to deliver in stock of AMC Entertainment Holdings, Inc. dropped 85% in the second half of August:

AMC fails to deliver from 8/13 (last day of prior reporting period) to 8/31 (last day of current reporting period), from SEC data

Investors have closely watched fails to deliver in this popular stock. Its large and persistent fails to deliver, or trades that don’t close, may be a sign of naked short selling.

Let’s review what short selling is and how naked short selling fits in. Short selling is borrowing a stock to sell, then giving it back to the owner later.

A short seller is betting the stock’s price will drop. That means he’ll make money because the shares he has to return aren’t as valuable as those he sold.

Naked short selling is selling short shares without borrowing them first. It’s generally illegal.

Naked short selling can powerfully push down the price of a stock. If you never have to find shares to borrow, you can sell as many as you want!

A long term pattern of huge fails to deliver, which we see in AMC stock, often happens because of naked short selling. Trades don’t close because the shares never existed in the first place.

Hedge funds have been short selling AMC shares all year, and have taken some brutal losses along the way.

I suspect they are using illegal naked short sales to drive down the price and save themselves.

I suspect hedge funds are using illegal naked short sales to drive down the price and save themselves. $AMC #AMC
https://tremendous.blog

Just because fails to deliver dropped at the end of August doesn’t mean the problem is gone. As you can see from the chart above, when they become extremely elevated the market makers tend to clear them up, only to see them rise again.

AMC still has a huge amount of fails to deliver compared to other stocks. With 140,978 shares failing to deliver on August 31st, AMC has 28 times the fails to deliver of Apple.

Apple is the biggest stock in the market, at over 100 times AMC’s size.

The SEC and market makers have a long way to go to make the market in AMC shares work properly.

What will it take to get their attention?

More on AMC:

AMC on the Threshold List: Strong Evidence of Naked Short Selling

AMC in Top 4% of Stocks for Fails to Deliver

For Retail Traders, AMC Has Become the Only Meme Stock

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AMC Fails to Deliver Up 1088% in Latest Data

Major new data just came out today from the SEC. It shows fails to deliver in AMC Entertainment Holdings, Inc. up 1088% in the first half of August:

These fails to deliver sometimes happen for benign reasons. But when massive fails to deliver occur in a stock over a sustained period, it’s often a sign of naked short selling.

Naked short selling is the illegal practice of intentionally selling shares short (betting against them) without ever borrowing the shares as required. This is a powerful tool to distort markets. Since you never have to actually obtain any shares, you can sell as much as you want, pushing down the price.

The fails to deliver in AMC are truly enormous. And after falling significantly last month, they’re back with a vengeance. As of August 13, the last day in the series, AMC’s fails to deliver were 157 times larger than Apple’s. Apple is the largest stock in the market, at 113 times AMC’s market cap.

How could there be so much questionable activity in such a small stock? I strongly suspect illegal trading, likely on the part of hedge funds.

Maybe they’re trying to make back some of their losses.

More on AMC:

AMC #3 on Robinhood for September, Behind Only Apple & Tesla

For Retail Traders, AMC Has Become the Only Meme Stock

Short Sellers Lost $1 Billion Yesterday in AMC and GameStop

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Amazon Business American Express Card

You already shop on Amazon. Why not save $100?

If you’re approved for this card, you get a $100 Amazon gift card. You also get up to 5% back on Amazon and Whole Foods purchases, 2% on restaurants/gas stations/cell phone bills, and 1% everywhere else.

Best of all: No fee!

Fundrise

This platform lets me diversify my real estate investments so I’m not too exposed to any one market. I’ve invested since 2018 and returns have been good so far. More on Fundrise in this post.

If you decide to invest in Fundrise, you can use this link to get your management fees waived for 90 days. With their 1% management fee, this could save you $250 on a $100,000 account.

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The only place I buy vitamins and supplements. I recently placed an order and received it in less than 48 hours with free shipping! I compared the prices and they were lower than Amazon. I also love how they test a lot of the vitamins so that you know you’re getting what the label says. This isn’t always the case with supplements.

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Misfits Market

My wife and I have gotten organic produce shipped to our house by Misfits for over a year. It’s never once disappointed me. Every fruit and vegetable is super fresh and packed with flavor. I thought radishes were cold, tasteless little lumps at salad bars until I tried theirs! They’re peppery, colorful and crunchy! I wrote a detailed review of Misfits here.

Use this link to sign up and you’ll save $10 on your first order. 

Wall Street Has a New Tactic in its Fight Against AMC: Options

Hedge funds were burned big time trying to short shares of AMC Entertainment Holdings, Inc., with losses of approximately $4 billion after the stock did this:

But like moths to the flame, they can’t seem to shake the temptation to bet against AMC and the Reddit retail hordes. Reuters reports that a new strategy is gaining popularity on Wall Street. It involves a complicated options trade called the “bear put spread”:

In the trading strategy, the investor buys one set of put contracts, which gives them the right to sell the underlying shares at a certain “strike” price by a certain time, and sells another set with a lower strike price valid for the same time frame.

The sale of the put options offsets most of the upfront cost of buying the first set of contracts. If the shares don’t fall, or fall less than anticipated, the trader’s losses from the put purchase will be covered to a large extent by the proceeds of the sold put.

This strikes me as a lot safer than short selling, but with a stock as unpredictable as AMC, I think a better move would be to avoid betting against it at all. Other overvalued stocks, of which there are no shortage these days, may be a better bet.

Not to be outdone, retail traders are piling into bullish options on AMC. These derivatives can magnify their gains beyond what simply owning the stock can provide:

Traders last week spent $11.6 billion on options contracts tied to AMC, more than on the SPDR S&P 500 ETF Trust, Invesco QQQ Trust and Tesla Inc. combined, according to Cboe Global Markets data. Options on those stocks are typically among the market’s most popular.

Bloomberg reports this demand is coming primarily from retail traders:

Trades involving 10 contracts or fewer are rising as a percentage of overall equity-call volume, according to data from the Options Clearing Corp.

This retail option buying can help drive the stock higher as option sellers need to buy shares to cover their exposure. After all, if the stock goes up substantially, they’ll have to pay out those gains to the option holders.

Because one option contract covers 100 shares, it’s easier to lose money faster in options than owning the underlying stock. Traders, both retail and institutional, would do well to be cautious.

More on meme stocks:

Photo: “Police Stationed outside AMC Theater showing Joker film 4573” by Brechtbug is licensed under CC BY-NC-ND 2.0

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Fundrise

This platform lets me diversify my real estate investments so I’m not too exposed to any one market. I’ve invested since 2018 and returns have been good so far. More on Fundrise in this post.

If you decide to invest in Fundrise, you can use this link to get your management fees waived for 90 days. With their 1% management fee, this could save you $250 on a $100,000 account. I will also get a fee waiver for 90-365 days, depending on what type of account you open.

iHerb

The only place I buy vitamins and supplements. I recently placed an order and received it in less than 48 hours with free shipping! I compared the prices and they were lower than Amazon. I also love how they test a lot of the vitamins so that you know you’re getting what the label says. This isn’t always the case with supplements.

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My wife and I have gotten organic produce shipped to our house by Misfits for over a year. It’s never once disappointed me. Every fruit and vegetable is super fresh and packed with flavor. I thought radishes were cold, tasteless little lumps at salad bars until I tried theirs! They’re peppery, colorful and crunchy! I wrote a detailed review of Misfits here.

Use this link to sign up and you’ll save $10 on your first order. I’ll also get $10.

Departing GameStop CEO Gets $179 Million Payout

GameStop CEO George Sherman will be leaving the company soon, but not empty handed:

As a condition of his exit, GameStop is speeding up the time frame for Sherman to receive the shares, generating the award.

Sherman, who has been CEO since April 2019, forfeited $98 million worth of stock this month because he did not meet performance targets, GameStop disclosed last week.

Still, he stands to receive a stock payout currently worth $179 million because GameStop granted him more shares linked to his tenure at the company rather than to his performance as most companies do with their CEO, said Eric Hoffmann, a vice president at compensation consultant Farient Advisors LLC.

This strikes me as bad policy and poor corporate governance, especially for a company that is losing a lot of money and facing rapidly declining sales. Why should an executive be rewarded simply for sticking around, as opposed to actually accomplishing something?

Why should an executive be rewarded simply for sticking around, as opposed to actually accomplishing something? $GME

I am hoping the new board, which will be chaired by Chewy founder Ryan Cohen and includes several other former Chewy executives, will put a stop to payment for no performance. After all, GameStop is already being robbed enough:

Two dozen cars squealed up to a GameStop store in Emeryville early Thursday and their occupants smashed the front door glass, broke inside and rifled the store shelves, police said.

An unknown amount of goods, including collectible figurines, was taken from the store at 3980 Hollis Street shortly after midnight.

Dig into these posts for more on GameStop:

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Photo: “Retail GameStop” by ccPixs.com is licensed under CC BY 2.0

The Unstoppable Wave Behind Stocks

In the last year, a torrent of money has flooded into Exchange Traded Funds (ETF’s) that track the stock market:

Over the last 12 months, about $650 billion has flowed into stock and bond ETF’s, a flow that’s unusually large versus history and may help explain why markets have been so strong.

Despite the attention to volatile stocks like GameStop, a far bigger firehose of cash is aimed at ETF’s. When investors buy ETF’s, fund managers have to buy the stocks in the index. If I buy an S&P 500 index fund from Vanguard, for example, Vanguard has to buy the 500 stocks in the index in proportion to how much of the index each comprises. This pushes up the stock market.

A big force behind this buying may be increasing personal income, partly due to COVID-related stimulus. With consumer balance sheets looking flush with cash, I expect this trend to support markets for the forseeable future.

Dig into these posts for more on markets:

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Photo: “Huge wave” by bluesbby is licensed under CC BY 2.0

You Can Now Buy a Rolls Royce with Dogecoin

Post Oak Motor Cars is now accepting dogecoin, a cryptocurrency that recently gained new heights of popularity following support from Tesla founder Elon Musk, as a form of payment. New Bugatti, Bentley, Karma, and Rolls-Royce vehicles are sold at the boutique sales location next to Houston’s only five-star hotel, The Post Oak Hotel at Uptown Houston.

This is the second form of cryptocurrency the Houston dealership has accepted. In 2018, Post Oak Motor Cars announced that it would allow customers to pay using bitcoin after integrating cryptocurrency processor Bitpay into its payment system.

More here.

Given the enormous price spike in the currency recently, I imagine quite a few holders are in the market for Rolls Royces.

This is the same pattern I saw with bitcoin: increasing acceptance in the real world as the price increases. I don’t own cryptocurrencies due to their volatility and lack of an income stream. That said, in the crypto market, dogecoin has long seemed like one of the better bets. Its market cap is a fraction of bitcoin’s, despite using the same underlying technology.

Its biggest disadvantage was a lack of acceptance as a form of payment, but that too is changing. Perhaps this coin has a lot further to run.

For more on dogecoin, check out these posts:

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Photo: “Mansory Conquistador Rolls Royce Phantom – Team 93 – Team Rolls Royce Austria” by daveoflogic is licensed under CC BY-ND 2.0

The First Stock Trades On the Blockchain Just Happened

Credit Suisse and Nomura just did the first stock trades settled via blockchain technology:

This week Credit Suisse cut some US equities trades with the Nomura-owned broker Instinet, using blockchain. This technology has been used before to verify other kinds of transactions. But these trades were a “first” because settlement occurred in hours and not the two days needed with America’s Depository Trust and Clearing Corporation, the industry-owned utility that normally settles stock trades.

This long settlement period is inefficient and costly:

“This is an incredibly inefficient way to operate,” Charles Cascarilla, Paxos’s chief executive tells me, pointing out that $15bn to $30bn of industry capital and twice as much liquidity are tied up in DTCC systems.

The two day settlement period was the key factor behind Robinhood stopping buy orders for GameStop shares earlier this year. The price had become so volatile that it could move against Robinhood a great deal in those two days. Given that, brokers insisted Robinhood post a large amount of colatteral. That expense was too great, so instead, Robinhood blocked buy orders for the stock. In a world where trades settled in hours via the blockchain, this would be much less likely.

However, blockchain technology is incredibly energy hungry. If we moved the massive volume of stock trading onto it, I suspect the energy needed might be prohibitive. I think instant, or at the very least faster, trade settlement is likely. But I expect that to happen via more standard computer systems, rather than blockchain technology.

I think instant, or at the very least faster, trade settlement is likely. But I expect that to happen via more standard computer systems, rather than blockchain technology.

For more on blockchain technology and cryptocurrencies, check out these posts:

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Photo: “Crypto Kitties on Blockchain” by marcoverch is licensed under CC BY 2.0

28% Of Americans Bought Meme Stocks in January

I came across a shocking fact this morning: 28% of Americans bought a meme stock like GameStop or AMC in January:

Over a quarter of American adults say they bought GameStop (GME) or another viral stock in January, according to a new survey from Yahoo Finance and The Harris Poll.

All in, 28% of Americans say they bought one of these viral stocks, the Yahoo Finance-Harris Poll found.

AMC was the most popular, closely followed by GameStop and then Blackberry:

In relative terms, 35% of people who bought one of these stocks bought AMC, 33% bought GameStop, and 23% bought BlackBerry.

And they went beyond just buying the stock, getting into sophisticated and potentially risky strategies like options and buying on margin:

Meanwhile, 29% used conditional trading like a limit order, 22% bought call options, and 15% bought with margin — borrowing money to get in.

The people using these sophisticated techniques were largely novice traders:

The survey found that 43% of the people who said they had a brokerage account had signed up within the past month, an enormous uptick that matches Google trends results that showed that more people were googling “how to buy stocks” than ever before.

More here.

I see real risk if novice investors buy heavily touted stocks with debt. They could lose a great deal. And the more they lose, the bigger the push for regulations to stop such speculation will be.

For more on the Wallstreetbets phenomenon, check out these posts:

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Photo: “Retail GameStop” by ccPixs.com is licensed under CC BY 2.0

Palantir Options Are Bullish, But This Company Is Still a Dog

We are seeing strong options activity on Palantir Technologies, Inc., which is a darling of the Reddit crowd:

On CNBC’s “Options Action,” Mike Khouw said about 610,000 contracts traded in Palantir Technologies Inc on Wednesday and calls outpaced puts by about three to one. The most active calls were the 26 strike calls that expire at the end of this week.

See the full video here.

Regardless of what the options market is saying, my view on Palantir is that it’s a terrible, money losing company. It has lost money every single year of its 18 years in business, and its current burn rate is $100,000,000 a month. Other major tech companies like Amazon and Google made it to profitability much sooner, so I’m not inclined to give Palantir a break. This is one you want to avoid.

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Photo: “PandoMonthly – April 2012 – Sarah Lacy Interviews Peter Thiel” by thekenyeung is licensed under CC BY-NC-ND 2.0

Wallstreetbets’ Next Stop: Asia

Stock mania has gripped the US throughout the year. And now it’s spreading to Asia, where trading volumes are rising far faster than even in the US:

The value of stock trades matched on exchanges, in what is known as electronic order-book trading, gives a sense of the trend. Such trading on the Shanghai and Hong Kong exchanges more than doubled in January from a year earlier, to $1.37 trillion and $517 billion respectively, World Federation of Exchanges data shows. In South Korea, it more than tripled to $709 billion.

For comparison, similar trading for Nasdaq Inc. in the U.S. stood at $2.2 trillion, up 54% from a year earlier, while for Germany’s Deutsche Boerse AG and the London Stock Exchange Group PLC the equivalent figures were $178 billion and $148 billion.

I would expect to see higher volatility in some Asian stocks given this trend. This would mirror the increase in volatility in the US this year that we saw during big run-ups in meme stocks in late January and late February, as seen in the VIX index:

For more on Wallstreetbets, check out these posts:

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