Markman Capital Insight

Alcoa calls up 40%

January 6th, 2015

We had a successful play on Alcoa October $16 calls this week. Alcoa is a $19.5 billion aluminum miner and producer based in Pittsburgh. It went through some hard times earlier in the decade but has come out very nicely on the other side in synch with improvements in end markets such as automobile, airplane manufacturing and commercial real estate development.Shares...

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AOL Beats, Guides Up, Crows "We've Got Buybacks!"

January 6th, 2015

Some good earnings news emerged Wednesday from fallen dot-com star AOL (AOL), which reported a top- and bottom-line beat for Q2 as well as announced a $150 million buyback program thanks to a 20% increase in ad revenue. Shares gained nearly 8% as a result.Before Amazon.com, before Yahoo!, before Google, before even the term...

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Smarter consumers a drag on retailers

January 6th, 2015

Cornerstone Macro analysts were out with a fascinating report this week that tries to explain why retail sales growth is stagnating despite the improvements in hiring and the economy. The short version is that consumers feel so burned by debt over the past twenty years that they are finally taking steps to reduce it in persistent ways.CM analysts note...

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How to Buy and Short Futures

January 6th, 2015

To buy and sell futures efficiently with the Gemini services, you will first need to open and fund an account at a futures brokerage. There are many good ones, including RJ O'Brien, AMP Futures and Think or Swim. We like Interactive Brokers because its no-nonsense software platform is easy to use, customer service is good and commissions’ charges...

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How to Buy and Sell Stocks

January 6th, 2015

To buy and sell stocks efficiently with our services, you will first need to open and fund an account at a brokerage. There are a dozen good discount brokerages, including Charles Schwab, TD Ameritrade, Fidelity, Etrade and ScotTrade. We like Interactive Brokers because its no-nonsense software platform is easy to use, customer service is good and commissions’...

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How to Buy Call and Put Options

January 6th, 2015

To trade options, you first need to request permission to buy "naked" calls and puts at your brokerage. This means you want to speculate on the direction of a security rather than hedge a current holding. Our recommendations will consist of four elements: A security (stock or ETF) name; the month and date of expiration; the strike price; the buy...

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MCI Tradecraft: Setting "Limit on Close" Orders

December 4th, 2014

Limit on close orders are very common in futures trading, particularly in the Gemini systems program that we license and distribute. LOC orders instruct traders to buy or short a contract only if it is in the recommended range in the final minute of the main daily trading session. The final minute -- 4:14 to 4:15 pm ET for equity index contracts --...

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Pentagon Contractors Rev Their Engines

November 15th, 2014

Now that there is a hint of war in the air again, Pentagon contractors in the iShares Aerospace/Defense (ITA) exchange traded fund are roaring back. If it weren’t for the persistent weakness of Boeing (BA), in fact, that fund — which performed so well last year — might be back at highs. It had been worrisome that the jet-fighter, aircraft carrier...

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