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The Wall Street Greek blog is the sexy & syndicated financial securities markets publication of former Senior Equity Analyst Markos N. Kaminis. Our stock market blog reaches reputable publishers & private networks and is an unbiased, independent Wall Street research resource on the economy, stocks, gold & currency, energy & oil, real estate and more. Wall Street & Greece should be as honest, dependable, passionate & photogenic as The Greek.



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Wednesday, August 19, 2015

This Market is a Minefield of Risk

This volatile period for the market will continue with a minefield of risk this week. Investors will have several relatively important factors to weigh while determining the market path, including the Fed meeting minutes and Consumer Price Index (CPI). I continue to warn investors to avoid the inclination to buy the dips at this point and hold substantial cash for a stock sale over the near-term, at which point long-term investors can add to holdings. See this full stock market warning here.

Please see our disclosures at the Wall Street Greek website and author bio pages found there. This article and website in no way offers or represents financial or investment advice. Information is provided for entertainment purposes only. Article should interest investors in SPDR Dow Jones Industrial Average (NYSE: DIA), SPDR S&P 500 (NYSE: SPY), PowerShares QQQ Trust (Nasdaq: QQQ), ProShares Short Dow 30 (NYSE: DOG), ProShares Ultra Short S&P 500 (NYSE: SDS), ProShares Ultra QQQ (NYSE: QLD), NYSE Euronext (NYSE: NYX), The NASDAQ OMX Group (Nasdaq: NDAQ), Intercontinental Exchange (NYSE: ICE), E*Trade Financial (Nasdaq: ETFC), Charles Schwab (Nasdaq: SCHW), Asset Acceptance Capital (Nasdaq: AACC), Affiliated Managers (NYSE: AMG), Ameriprise Financial (NYSE: AMP), TD Ameritrade (Nasdaq: AMTD), BGC Partners (Nasdaq: BGCP), Bank of New York Mellon (NYSE: BK), BlackRock (NYSE: BLK), CIT Group (NYSE: CIT), Calamos Asset Management (Nasdaq: CLMS), CME Group (NYSE: CME), Cohn & Steers (NYSE: CNS), Cowen Group (Nasdaq: COWN), Diamond Hill Investment (Nasdaq: DHIL), Dollar Financial (Nasdaq: DLLR), Duff & Phelps (Nasdaq: DUF), Encore Capital (Nasdaq: ECPG), Edelman Financial (Nasdaq: EF), Equifax (NYSE: EFX), Epoch (Nasdaq: EPHC), Evercore Partners (NYSE: EVR), EXCorp. (Nasdaq: EZPW), FBR Capital Markets (Nasdaq: FBCM), First Cash Financial (Nasdaq: FCFS), Federated Investors (NYSE: FII), First Marblehead (NYSE: FMD), Fidelity National Financial (NYSE: FNF), Financial Engines (Nasdaq: FNGN), FXCM (Nasdaq: FXCM), Gamco Investors (NYSE: GBL), GAIN Capital (Nasdaq: GCAP), Green Dot (Nasdaq: GDOT), GFI Group (Nasdaq: GFIG), Greenhill (NYSE: GHL), Gleacher (Nasdaq: GLCH), Goldman Sachs (NYSE: GS), Interactive Brokers (Nasdaq: IBKR), INTL FCStone (Nasdaq: INTL), Intersections (Nasdaq: INTX), Investment Technology (NYSE: ITG), Invesco (NYSE: IVZ), Jefferies (NYSE: JEF), JMP Group (NYSE: JMP), Janus Capital (NYSE: JNS), KBW (NYSE: KBW), Knight Capital (NYSE: KCG), Lazard (NYSE: LAZ), Legg Mason (NYSE: LM), LPL Investment (Nasdaq: LPLA), Ladenburg Thalmann (AMEX: LTS), Mastercard (NYSE: MA), Moody’s (NYSE: MCO), MF Global (NYSE: MF), Moneygram (NYSE: MGI), MarketAxess (Nasdaq: MKTX), Marlin Business Services (Nasdaq: MRLN), Morgan Stanley (NYSE: MS), MSCI (Nasdaq: MSCI), MGIC Investment (NYSE: MTG), NewStar Financial (Nasdaq: NEWS), National Financial Partners (NYSE: NFP), Nelnet (NYSE: NNI), Northern Trust (Nasdaq: NTRS), NetSpend (Nasdaq: NTSP), Ocwen Financial (NYSE: OCN), Oppenheimer (NYSE: OPY), optionsXpress (Nasdaq: OXPS), PICO (Nasdaq: PICO), Piper Jaffray (NYSE: PJC), PMI Group (NYSE: PMI), Penson Worldwide (Nasdaq: PNSN), Portfolio Recovery (Nasdaq: PRAA), Raymond James (NYSE: RJF), SEI Investments (Nasdaq: SEIC), Stifel Financial (NYSE: SF), Safeguard Scientifics (NYSE: SFE), State Street (NYSE: STT), SWS (NYSE: SWS), T. Rowe Price (Nasdaq: TROW), Visa (NYSE: V) and Virtus Investment Partners (Nasdaq: VRTS).

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INVESTOR WARNING - No Longer Buy the Dips

The stock market reversed course Wednesday, turning an opening decline into a green day for the SPDR S&P 500 (NYSE: SPY). But I’m warning investors that we need to treat this market differently than how we have grown accustomed to. Times have changed and a very sensitive stock market should continue to exhibit volatility into this fall. In fact, I’m anticipating a market correction sometime over the next couple months. If I’m right, then that means we have to stop blindly buying the dips. See the full report warning to investors. Article interests SPDR S&P 500 (NYSE: SPY), SPDR Dow Jones (NYSE: DIA), PowerShares QQQ (Nasdaq: QQQ), iShares Russell 2000 (NYSE: IWM), SPDR Gold Trust (NYSE: GLD), iShares Silver Trust (NYSE: SLV), Apple (Nasdaq: AAPL), Facebook (Nasdaq: FB), Google (Nasdaq: GOOG), ProShares Ultra VIX (NYSE: UVXY).

Please see our disclosures at the Wall Street Greek website and author bio pages found there. This article and website in no way offers or represents financial or investment advice. Information is provided for entertainment purposes only.

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One Security to Save us All - iPath S&P 500 VIX ST Futures (NYSE: VXX)

In anticipation of market turmoil and volatility, I sought a security to survive the storm. The iPath S&P 500 VIX ST Futures (NYSE: VXX) is just what the doctor ordered to hedge portfolios against a downturn now. On occasion, it can also serve the most morbid of investors to enjoy capital appreciation while most investments are being slaughtered. This appears to be just such an occasion, as I see risk of a 10% or greater market correction heightened from here through October. See the full report on the one security to save us all

Sector Security
Wednesday Midday 8-12-15
iPath S&P 500 VIX ST Futures (NYSE: VXX)
+5.4%
SPDR S&P 500 (NYSE: SPY)
-0.9%
SPDR Dow Jones (NYSE: DIA)
-1.1%
PowerShares QQQ (Nasdaq: QQQ)
-1.1%
iShares Russell 2000 (NYSE: IWM)
-1.3%
Vanguard Total Stock Market (NYSE: VTI)
-1.0%
PowerShares DB US Dollar Bullish (NYSE: UUP)
-1.2%
SPDR Gold Trust (NYSE: GLD)
+1.3%
iShares 20+ Year Treasury Bond ETF (NYSE: TLT)
+0.4%

Please see our disclosures at the Wall Street Greek website and author bio pages found there. This article and website in no way offers or represents financial or investment advice. Information is provided for entertainment purposes only.

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Wednesday, August 12, 2015

Elon Musk’s Daredevil Antics Add Risk to Tesla Shares

Elon Musk wing walk daredevil

Elon Musk just did something Tesla (Nasdaq: TSLA) shareholders have good reason to worry about. Musk just strapped himself to the top of a biplane and went for a joy ride in the sky. The daredevil stunt (see video) may play well for his legendary status as a young eccentric genius and playboy jetsetter but it is probably unfitting for the CEO of a $30 billion company. If God forbid something went wrong, TSLA shares would have been critically displaced and billions of dollars in market value would have gone with him.

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Our founder earned clients a 23% average annual return over five years as a stock analyst on Wall Street. "The Greek" has written for institutional newsletters, Businessweek, Real Money, Seeking Alpha and others, while also appearing across TV and radio. While writing for Wall Street Greek, Mr. Kaminis presciently warned of the financial crisis.

The departures of some corporate leaders are actually celebrated by their shareholders. For instance, when McDonald’s (NYSE: MCD) embattled CEO Don Thompson said he would walk away earlier this year, the stock jumped 3%. However, Tesla’s shares have performed far better than McDonald’s shares over the last several years. TSLA is still up approximately 10.6% year-to-date despite recently soft production guidance given at its earnings report.

Furthermore, the iconic Chairman and CEO of Tesla Motors (Nasdaq: TSLA) is as important to his company and its shares as arguably any CEO today. So when he plays daredevil, the shares are likely to take a hit. If he had died in the stunt, which he thankfully pulled off, the shares of Tesla would very likely have seen their valuation permanently impaired as well.

Musk is integrally tied to the company he co-founded, Tesla Motors. The importance of Musk to the organization is evident in his extensive title alone: Co-Founder, Chairman, Chief Executive Officer and Chief Product Architect. That’s four critical roles he fills for the company. He is the visionary behind Tesla’s founding, and so its evolution is presumably following a path he envisioned. If that role were passed forward to another person at this point, certainly Tesla’s historic development from dream to reality would be overshadowed by questions about how it might proceed without Musk. That is exactly what happened to Apple (Nasdaq: AAPL) shares after Steve Jobs died.

As Chairman and CEO, Musk has played a critical role in the operational efforts and progress of Tesla; would another person fill those roles adequately? And who would have confidence in another chief architect considering how well a job at it Musk has done? The Model S has been named Motor Trend Car of the Year and Best Overall Car by Consumer Reports for two years in a row. So if overnight these four critical roles for Tesla were suddenly vacated, left empty by the sudden and tragic death of a visionary of this age, how do you think TSLA shares would react?

Tesla stock chart
Day Chart of TSLA Against that ofthe QQQ


TSLA would have tanked Monday morning had a tragedy occurred. TSLA shares actually did open lower Monday and suffered into midday while the shares of the PowerShares QQQ (Nasdaq: QQQ), which tracks Tesla peers in the Nasdaq-100, opened higher and traded steadily in the green on the day. While TSLA has been under pressure since reporting its earnings last week, its shares had stabilized. Monday’s trading may be indicative of a realized risk being incorporated into the valuation of Tesla shares given the death-defying stunt of Musk over the weekend.

Elon Musk is a special sort of CEO, a nonconformist and we love him for it. Though, in this day and age of younger CEOs at companies like Google (Nasdaq: GOOG), Facebook (NYSE: FB) and GoPro (Nasdaq: GPRO), I suppose we might expect to see more CEOs take similar risks. So perhaps because of Musk, the contracts of CEOs will in the future contain clauses requiring the non-participation of the executive in risky behavior. The contracts of well-paid and team-critical professional athletes contain such clauses, so corporations would be taking the lead from that precedent. I’m sure such clauses already exist for some, but obviously not in this case.

Having Musk sign such a clause would serve two value-added purposes now. First, it would serve to reassure Tesla shareholders that he won’t be taking such risks in the future and perhaps restore any value discount that might register because of it. Secondly, it might help Tesla to realize its full potential over the next decade or two. If I were a Tesla shareholder, I know I would rest easier.

There’s just one problem. The penalty to athletes for injuries sustained while participating in restricted activities is adjustment to their otherwise guaranteed salary. Does Musk even care about having his salary penalized for skydiving or whatever he may choose to do? He is growing his wealth with the share price appreciation of Tesla and his other investments, and he has a good deal of wealth already safely set aside. And I’m not even sure the guy cares about money to begin with. Thus, all Tesla shareholders can do is pray and maybe hope Musk gets into less risky games, like say playing bridge with Warren Buffett and Bill Gross. I follow Tesla and other iconic ideas of the day, and invite interested investors to follow my column here at the Wall Street Greek blog for updates.

Please see our disclosures at the Wall Street Greek website and author bio pages found there. This article and website in no way offers or represents financial or investment advice. Information is provided for entertainment purposes only.

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Monday, August 10, 2015

The Herd is in a Hurry to the Butcher's Block

According to the broad market media, stocks got an early lift Monday because of a developing fresh deal for Greece. More likely, though, stocks are simply higher given the dearth of U.S. data this morning to stop it. The S&P 500 is also benefiting from support at its 200-day moving average. Still, watch out friends, because today a previously disruptive force is due to deliver a dose of reality again. Also later this week, critical data will reach anxiously awaiting eyes fearful of being poked out. But mostly, we cannot get comfortable now because we are locked in a waiting game heading into the important September Fed meeting, where it may finally initiate its program of monetary policy tightening. Considering capital flow factors as well, this is hardly the time to get comfortable and to follow the herd to the butcher’s block. See more on this market report here.

Sector Security
Monday Morning 08-10-15
Vanguard S&P 500 (NYSE: VOO)
+0.9%
SPDR Dow Jones (NYSE: DIA)
+1.0%
First Trust NASDAQ-100 Tech Index ETF (NYSE: QTEC)
+1.0%
iShares Russell 2000 (NYSE: IWM)
+0.9%
Vanguard Total Stock Market (NYSE: VTI)
+1.0%
iPath S&P 500 VIX (NYSE: VXX)
-3.3%

Please see our disclosures at the Wall Street Greek website and author bio pages found there. This article and website in no way offers or represents financial or investment advice. Information is provided for entertainment purposes only.

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