WEEKEND EDITION - 3.20.10 CV vs. Obama (NCAA Brackets)

The 2010 NCAA Basketball Tournament is underway, and thus, is also the 2010 Survivor Capital Bracket Selection Tournament. The President of the United States, Barack Obama, as it turns out, is a huge SURVIVAL CAPITAL basketball fan, and decided he'd like nothing better than to join finds himself unwittingly tossed in our little tournament.

From the looks of things so far, it looks as though that he'll be looking to make an annual appearance because he is beating up on everyone in the tournament thus far and is atop the leader board. However, they have only completed the FIRST ROUND (out of FOUR on the road to the FINAL FOUR), so a lot can still, um, "change".

Here's a look at Obama's bracket vs. CV's bracket (and the overall standings).



By the looks of things, there are 4 crucial distinguishing games to be played this weekend that could turn the tables. Those games are:

- Pitt vs. Xaxier
- Maryland vs. Michigan St.

In both of these games, Obama & CV have chosen different teams to advance. The other games in question are:

- Texas A&M vs. Purdue
- Tennessee vs. Ohio

Each of these games represents a FREE PASS of sorts. A win by the Volunteers would give CV points at the expense of Obama (since Georgetown has been eliminated). Likewise, a win by Texas A&M over Purdue would give Obama a slight edge (because CV has no dog in that fight).

The overall standings of the SURVIVAL CAPITAL Tournament are as follows:

1. BARACK OBAMA - 25 (points)
2. McFEARLESS - 24 
3. CV - 23 (CV presently holds tiebreaker advantages over next two)
3. I-MAN - 23
6. BOB - 22
7. P2GUF - 21
7. CV's BRO's FRIEND - 21
9. CV's BRO - 20
9. ANON - 20
11. 2SMALL2DUNK - 19
12. MANNWICH - 16

Upsets still abound, many things can still happen!

AmenRa's Daily Candle Wrap

Bearish long day. Confirmed bearish harami cross. Held above fibo extension 1153.47 and next price target is 1172.08. No daily 3LB changes. Only 8 more days of QE!!! (yeah right)

Bullish long day. Closed above 10 SMA & 21 SMA. Uptrend may be back. Daily 3LB reversal up with reversal price now 79.70.

Bullish engulfing day (probably more bullish because it engulfed the shadows also). Closed back above the fibo ext of 61.8% (support). Midpoint still below 10 SMA. No daily 3LB changes.

Bearish LONG day. Closed below the 89, 55, 21 and 10 SMA's. But it did not close below weekly 3LB mid (1099.50). No daily 3LB changes.

Bearish long day. Midpoint is now below 10 SMA. Closed below 21 SMA. Daily 3LB reversal down with reversal price 1.3758. Guess no one wanted to be long the Euro over the weekend.

Bearish spinning top day. Stayed above the monthly 3LB reversal of 18.61. Didn't close below midpoint of previous day. No daily 3LB changes.

Bearish long day. But it still closed higher than the doji from yesterday. Midpoint still above 10 SMA. They sent Google another fruit basket today. No daily 3LB changes.

Morning Audibles 3.19.10 - How to Survive a RIPTIDE

I got to the party late last evening, (actually, didn't get to it until this morning). Nevertheless, I did enjoy reading all the "back and forth", and my metaphorical 'takeaway' was that it reflected exactly the position that traders find themselves in at the moment. The topics ranged from NCAA brackets (and bracket entries being "torn in half" with the quick exits from Georgetown, Marquette, & ND (Big East ain't representin' so well), to divorce letters, to rip tides. This was all in the backdrop of the eve of an OPEX Friday which happens to be a quadruple witching. Equities seem technically overbought, yet the DOW broke to new highs this week, suggesting 'bullish' technicals. Is the Fed 'accommodating' (with low rates for an extended period of time), or are they ending some programs at the end of the month? Is Greece bailed out or not? If so, by whom?

It's safe to say that none of those questions that anyone had on their minds when they went to sleep last night were answered this morning when they woke up. So the best CV can do (when faced with the question of where we're going, is to simply understand where we are).

I'm going to start with some basic FIBO levels from this weeks high on the SPX of 1169.84.

.008 = 1160.48
.013 = 1154.63
.021 = 1145.27

Those are pullback levels that could give it a little 'technical breather' from being overbought, but NOT dissuade and new bulls that might have come on board the past month, or so. Yesterday, SPX flirted with 1160-1161, but never touched it. Futures are down a little this morning and it's possible we'll be visiting that first number. It might be a good idea to watch the first 5 one minute candles to see how it behaves. Overall, however, today may be duller than most people expect (for an OPEX day). It seems like many INDIVIDUAL stocks are already "pinned" to their proper integers. One "head scratcher" for CV remains the fact that, the MAX PAIN for EOQ SPY was 106 the last time I checked. From where we are now, that would take many by surprise. It begs the question. How much of the move this past week was portfolio rebalancing for the end of the quarter, and how much remains to be done.

Another thing that caught CV's attention were, what seem to be "absurdly low" readings in the VIX (by contrast to the fundamental economic & geopolitical climate). So I took a look at the WEEKLY VIX going back a few years.

What stands out like a sore thumb is the fact that the VIX 16 level was only hit TWICE since the crisis began (and both times it served as a springboard for higher volatility, and lower equities going forward. The first 16 was during the October '07 highs (It had been elevated since the summer when the Fed "knew nothing - per Cramer", and decided to warm up the helicopter). Then, in May '08, it settled there at the PEAK of the May '08 rally (after, it was thought, that they had successfully 'contained' any financial meltdown to Bear Stearns). We're just about at 16 again, so stay tuned.

I'm not making any short to mid term bull or bear calls. Remember, the beginning of the week, Andy T put up a chart which showed a possible case for equities reaching the 1235 level (not an endorsement, just a scenario). I suppose on the downside, one can't completely dismiss that 106 MAX PAIN number on the SPY (Think of it this way - the January move from 1150 to 1044 was a .09 move - If you apply the same to 1169.84, that puts you down around 1064 - near the MAX PAIN for SPY). After today, there are still 8 trading days before the end of the month. Maybe some of those "minor fibos" I presented earlier could provide the map for baby steps. The "Greece Fire" still hasn't been put out. Peolsi is out there challenging the constitution trying to get HC passed. So it's hard to say what kind of RIP TIDE we're in.
In any case, here's how to survive a REAL one.

Or, the CNBC version. Just keep buying stocks.
Or, the Warren Buffett version. ("When the tide goes out")...

The other metaphor is "torn" (and I had to find a way to get a picture of Natalie Imbruglia on the screen, and otherwise set you up for music offerings later in the day - good luck!)

AmenRa's Daily Candle Wrap

Bearish harami cross day (confirmation would be sweet). Held above fibo extension 1153.47 and next price target is 1172.08. No daily 3LB changes. Buy the dip! Buy the dip! (snark off)

Bullish long day. Tested 10 SMA and passed. Tested 21 SMA and failed. No daily 3LB changes.

Bearish short day. Closed below the fibo ext of 61.8% (which may be the launching point). Midpoint still below 10 SMA. New low for daily 3LB with reversal now 22.27. Also it's now trending down on the daily 3LB.

Spinning top day that confirmed the bearish thrusting from yesterday. Closed above 89 SMA but held the 10 & 21 SMA's. No daily 3LB changes.

Bearish long day. Midpoint is now below 10 SMA. Tested daily 3LB reversal and passed. Is it me or does this look like an evening star pattern? No daily 3LB changes.

Bullish long day. Decided to avoid the monthly 3LB reversal by trading back above 18.61. Confirmed the bullish harami cross from yesterday. No daily 3LB changes.

Doji day. Traded into the gap but closed above it. Is it the bulls or bears who are indecisive here? Midpoint still above 10 SMA. No daily 3LB changes.

March Madness Special Edition - 3.18.10 - Fuck the Markets for a day!

This is it my friends... No more joking around, it's time for March Madness... We all know that the markets ARE IN FACT a joke, so I decided to post something serious... The following are CV's picks for the teams that will make it through this weekend... The Four team logos that you see, along with the team write-up are my case for the teams winning both games this weekend and advancing to the Sweet 16... I've included the 'SEEDS' for each team so that rookies might understand which ones are 'chalk' picks, and which ones are UPSET SPECIALS... I'll make some more comments in the comment section... For this, the first year, I'm pleased to announce that we have 10 entries into the OFFICIAL "Survivor Capital" blog BRACKET Tournament... I'm ESPECIALLY pleased to announce that the PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES, Barack Obama, has graciously accepted an invitation to enter our blog sweepstakes... CV is somewhat taken aback because the selections of the POTUS are eerily, eerily, similar to that of his own... Nevertheless, this is a fair competition... To the winner will be granted the spoils... Before tipoff, here are CV's thoughts for the first weekend... Oh yeah, and I think some stocks, or something like that will be traded on these things they call EXCHANGES sometime today as well... Good luck with that s***... :-)


#1 Kansas (32-2) - Kansas is solid. Sherron Collins is the best experienced point guard in the NCAA Tournament. He was on Kansas' championship team and knows what it takes to win. Experience gets you far in this tournament. The Jayhawks are also tenacious on D. They allow just 63.6 points per game. They can win on the road. All in all, they fill most of the requisites of a national championship team. They should be able to cruise their way all the way into making an appearance in the FINAL FOUR, and might just win it all.
#2 Ohio State (27-7) - When 6-7 junior Evan Turner broke two bones in his back everyone said the Buckeyes were done. Turner, however, came back way ahead of schedule and has been playing at an extremely high level. He's capable of carrying Ohio State deep into the NCAA Tournament. Ohio State shoots well from beyond (37.9%). Four regulars hit better than 36 percent: Buford (36.5), Diebler (41.9), Lighty (38.5) and Simmons (37.7). The Buckeyes play excellent defense, limiting opponents to 60.4 points per game. This team is on fire; they finished the regular season on a 10-1 clip. It's tough that they got put in the bracket with Kansas. They'll most likely go to an 'Elite 8' matchup, but their lack of ability to average over 76 points of game might hurt them facing Kansas in that matchup.
#3 Georgetown (23-10) - Georgetown is a "formulaic" team that always features a big man (this version is sophomore Greg Monroe, 6-11, 247), whose presence opens up easy jumpers for junior Austin Freeman (17.3 ppg, 47.9% 3PT) and sophomore Jason Clark (10.3 ppg, 3.7 rpg, 42.2% 3PT). The Hoyas can win tough road games, however, none of Georgetown's starters are seniors & they lack bench strength. The Hoyas come into the Tournament on a roll (having gone deep into the Big East Tournament). It should get them through the first weekend here, but the road will get tougher after the Sweet 16.
#4 Maryland (23-8) - Gary Williams is an outstanding coach who hasn't lost a first-round NCAA Tournament game since 1997. In fact, look at Williams' results when he's had a team with 23-plus victories since 1999: Sweet 16, Second Round, Final Four, NCAA Champion, Second Round. The Terps won't likely be upset in the first round, and have the talent to get by a 2nd round matchup with Tom Izzo & Michigan State. Senior guard Greivis Vasquez is one of the top players in the country. Vasquez averages 19.6 ppg, 4.6 rpg and 6.3 apg. He also nails 38.2 percent of his threes. Maryland finished 8-3 on the road. Impressive away victories came against Florida State and Virginia Tech. Maryland, thus, fulfills all five requisites in the Portrait of a Champion (returning head coach, scored 76 ppg, 10+ margin of victory, in the tournament last year, seeded 1-4). This is a very good Maryland team, they have an excellent chance of making it to the Sweet 16 unless Vasquez goes totally cold.
#1 Syracuse (28-4) - This Syracuse team has a lot to offer: They have five double-digit scorers. They have experience (four of those five players are upperclassmen). They can hit from long range, nailing threes at a 38-percent clip as a team. Wes Johnson (38.1%), Andy Rautins (39.4), Brandon Triche (39.7) and Mookie Jones (46.3) are all lethal from deep. They have a coach who knows how to win in March. They were 8-1 on the road this year, losing only at an emotional Louisville (playing its last game in historic 'Freedom Hall'). They won at Georgetown, Notre Dame and West Virginia. They fulfill all five requisites in the Portrait of a Champion (returning head coach, scored 76 ppg, 10+ margin of victory, in the tournament last year, seeded 1-4).Syracuse should be able to make it to the Final Four.
#5 Butler (28-4) - Butler is the hottest team in the country; they've won 20 in a row, and the last time they lost was Dec. 22. The Bulldogs have four double-digit scorers: sophomore swingman Gordon Hayward (15.4 ppg, 8.5 rpg), sophomore guard Shelvin Mack (13.9 ppg, 3.5 rpg, 3.1 apg), junior forward Matt Howard (12.3 ppg, 5.4 rpg) and senior forward Willie Veasley (10.3 ppg, 4.3 rpg). The Bulldogs play terrific defense, limiting foes to just 60.0 ppg. The team had a taste of the NCAA Tournament last year, losing to LSU in the first round by four points. They'll probably get out of the opening round here, and with some luck, there's a chance they could shoot their way into the Sweet 16.
#6 Xavier (24-8) - Xavier shoots the ball very well, hitting 47 percent of its field goals and 37.7 percent of its threes. Four X-Men drill better than 36 percent of their threes: Crawford, Mark Lyons (36.2), Dante Jackson (39.7) and Brad Redford (42.7). Xavier's just 7-5 on the road, but the Musketeers lost at Butler by only one point. They lost at Wake Forest in double overtime. The Musketeers may rebound well, but they don't play good defense. They allow 68.3 points per game. What I like is a potential match-up vs. Pitt in the second round. Xavier is a perennial overachiever, while Pitt tends to choke.
#2 Kansas State (26-7) - Guard play wins in March, and Kansas State has two great ones. Jacob Pullen (18.9, 2.7 rpg, 3.6 apg, 38.0 3PT) is the team's leading scorer, while Denis Clemente (16.0, 3.9 apg) is a dynamic point guard. Both are experienced; Pullen is a junior and Clemente is a senior. Kansas State was an impressive 8-2 on the road, beating tough teams like Baylor and UNLV outside of Manhattan, KS. The Wildcatsare smallish, so it'll be tough for them to contend with the likes of Syracuse that have both a talented frontcourt and backcourt. Nevertheless, Kansas State is a dangerous team that ought to slide through to the second weekend.
#1 Kentucky (32-2) - This is tough because usually freshman point guards don't win the NCAA unless they happen to be very special. John Wall qualifies. He is one of the top players in the country and might go #1 in the 2010 NBA Draft. I'd rather see some experience 'somewhere' on this team, but all their best players are underclassmen. Notwithstanding, their 7-2 road record is impressive for a young team. The Wildcats will probably be in the Final Four, and despite their youth, they'll be in the mix to win it all. I like Kansas and possibly Syracuse more than Kentucky, but Wall, Cousins, Patterson and Bledsoe are so good that they could easily come out on top.
#4 Wisconsin (23-8) - I like coaches who know how to advance their teams in the big dance. Bo Ryan qualifies with an NCAA Tournament record of 11-8, and he has lost in the first round only once. It's hard not to like a team that gives up only 56.1 points per game, turns the ball over only nine times per contest, and includes four double-digit scorers: senior guard Trevon Hughes (15.4 ppg, 4.7 rpg, 2.7 apg), junior forward Jon Leuer (14.9 ppg, 5.7 rpg), senior guard Jason Bohannon (12.0 ppg) and sophomore guard Jordan Taylor (10.2 ppg, 3.1 rpg, 3.6 apg). Wisconsin has a tough draw however in that it is likely to encounter a tough Temple squad assuming it makes it past its opening match. That's actually a "toss up" match for me but I'll go with the Badgers here to reach the Sweet 16.
#6 Marquette (22-11) - Marquette can beat anyone. They're so dangerous from long distance; in fact, as a team, the Golden Eagles hit 40 percent of their threes. That's effin INSANE! They are paced by Darius Johnson-Odom (47.5%), Maurice Acker (46.7) and David Cubillan (37.3). They also have experience. Of Marquette's top six scorers, three are seniors. This includes forward Lazar Hayward (18.0 ppg, 7.8 rpg) and 5-8 point guard Maurice Acker (8.4 ppg, 3.7 apg). The Golden Eagles are also hot. Entering the Big East Tournament, they were 9-2 since the end of January. They got crushed in the Big East Tournament by Georgetown, but it seemed like GT was on a mission in that game and that Marquette was only treating it as a practice game after a certain point. It 'felt' to me like they were saving themselves for the dance. I'm taking a little risk here moving a #6 seed forward. If they go cold shooting, they could be out in the 2nd round. However, it's likely that they'll face a New Mexico team that no NCAA Tourney experience and thus I'll take a shot here.
#2 West Virginia (27-6) - West Virginia is a hot team. They marched through the Big East Tournament, knocking off Notre Dame and Georgetown. They also won at Villanova earlier this month. Da'Sean Butler is a great player who has proved repeatedly that he can hit big shots in the clutch. Butler is a 6-7 senior forward who averaged 17.4 ppg, 6.3 rpg and 3.3 apg. The main thing that bothers me is coach Bob Huggins' horrible NCAA Tournament track record. Since 1997, here's what happened: whenever Huggins took a 25-plus win team into the NCAA Tournament: 2nd Round, 2nd Round, 2nd Round, 2nd Round, Sweet 16, 2nd Round, 2nd Round, 2nd Round, Sweet 16. Three of the Mountaineers' top four scorers, including the point guard, are sophomores. Foul trouble could kill them (as they're not very deep). These "underachievers" I'll take to make it to the Sweet 16, but no further.
#1 Duke (29-5) - Duke, if you ask me, is a #1 seed by process of attrition. It just seems like other potential #1 seeds just kept falling by the wayside. Nevertheless, the Blue Devils do sport, perhaps, the best trio in college basketball. Three players score at least 17 points per game: senior guard Jon Scheyer (18.9 ppg, 3.5 rpg, 5.2 apg), junior guard Nolan Smith (17.6 ppg, 2.8 rpg, 3.0 apg) and junior forward Kyle Singler (17.2 ppg, 6.8 rpg). They also can bury 3's (hitting 38.9 percent as a team). Amazingly, four players nail at least 38 percent of their long balls: Scheyer (39.9%), Smith (40.4), Singler (38.6) and freshman guard Andre Dawkins (38.8). I can't pinpoint it, but there's just weird stuff going on. Jon Scheyer is playing really well at point guard, but that's not his natural position. In March, it might hurt. No real impressive road wins this year to boast about (save for the win at Clemson). They could even struggle to make the Sweet 16 if the happen to face Cal in the 2nd round. In a strage way, I have a #12 & #13 seed reaching the Sweet 16 in this bracket, so Duke may make it to the Elite 8 by virtue of facing a softer test after this weekend. It's tough for me to see them reaching the Final Four though.
#13 Siena (27-6) - Siena has four players who average more than 13 points per game: senior forward Alex Franklin (16.3 ppg, 8.0 rpg), senior swingman Edwin Ubiles (15.2 ppg, 3.7 rpg), junior forward Ryan Rossiter (13.9 ppg, 11.1 rpg) and junior guard Clarence Jackson (13.6 ppg). Siena has a ton of experience. In last year's NCAA Tournament, they beat Ohio State in the first round and then gave Louisville all it could handle in Round 2. The Saints rebound very well and shoot a solid 45.9 percent from the field, but don't have a quality win all year. They're 0-3 against teams in the NCAA Tournament (losing to Temple, Georgia Tech and Butler). But Siena knows what it takes to win in March. I'm going to take them as a darkhorse "low seed" to move forward. It could be the "year of the Saints". This is a very solid team that no one should want to play.
#3 Baylor (25-7) - Baylor has a great balance of terrific guard play and size. The Bears are led by junior guard LaceDarius Dunn (19.2 ppg, 4.7 rpg) and senior point guard Tweety Carter (15.8 ppg, 6.3 apg). The interior presence comes from Ekpe Udoh (13.4, 9.8), a 6-10 junior. The Bears hit 3's to the tune of 39.1 percent as a whole. Dunn (42.4%) and Carter (39.0) are great from beyond the arc. The Bears are 7-4 on the road, and handled Texas easily. They also gave top seed Kansas all it could handle in Lawrence. This Bears squad has nothing that says "don't take me". I wouldn't be surprised to see the Bears make it to the Final Four. They'll make it through first weekend without many problems.
#2 Villanova (24-7) - The Wildcats were one of my early season picks to go all the way this year. However, they have run into a rough patch as of late. Think of it this way. Save for Dante Cunningham, this is the same team that went to the Final Four last year, so you know that they're capable of making a deep run. The Wildcats are led by senior guard Scottie Reynolds (18.8 ppg, 3.4 apg), who has hit huge shots in the Big Dance before. The top four scorers are upperclassmen. Villanova is dangerous from outside, hitting 37.2 percent as a team. Four guys are better than 35 percent from deep: Reynolds (39.9%), Corey Fisher (38.9), Corey Stokes (35.5) and Taylor King (36.2). They're never OUT of a ballgame because they can score at will. Impressive road wins include West Virginia, Maryland, Marquette and Louisville. It's disturbing that Villanova limped its way to the finish line; entering the Big East Tournament, the Wildcats concluded the year with a 2-4 slump. Then, they lost the Big East opener to Marquette. I've said before though that I don't put too much stock into conference tournaments. A trip to the Elite Eight is likely in the cards for Villanova. We'll see who they meet there. Duke? If so, since I'm not that impressed with Duke, the Wildcats might be booking a ticket to the Final Four for the 2nd straight year.
The Bracket of the President of the United States

AmenRa's Daily Candle Wrap

Bullish long day. Everyday is momoday. Closed above fibo extension 1153.47 and next price target is 1172.08. New high for daily 3LB with reversal now 1150.24.

Doji day. Tested 10 SMA and failed (again). Didn't test Gann 2x1 today so the 3x1 is next target. New low for daily 3LB with reversal still 80.64.

Spinning top day that gapped lower AND did not trade through the gap during the day. Midpoint still below 10 SMA. New low for daily 3LB with reversal still 27.31.

Bearish thrusting day. Closed below 89 SMA but held the 10 & 21 SMA's. No daily 3LB changes.

Bearish spinning top day. Midpoint is still above 10 SMA. Tested fibo major .09 and failed but held the fibo ext at 85.4%. No daily 3LB changes.

Bullish harami cross day. Still has a monthly 3LB reversal by trading below 18.61. Tested Gann 1x1 and passed. No daily 3LB changes.

Bearish long day. Confirmed dark cloud cover but didn't touch gap (yet). Midpoint still above 10 SMA. No daily 3LB changes.

Morning Audibles 3.17.10 - Happy St. Patricks Day!

Call me dumb, call me idiotic. It took me this long to figure it out. 13 green candles in a row on the SPY. Never been done before in the history of mankind. What's the meaning of it this time? Why now? 

Nothing has changed. Not even for this guy:

We're still fighting wars, unemployment is still way up. Deficits are increasing, entitlements programs, which are only "promises" in the first place, are being bloated to the point of insolvency. The world is still warming (I guess - rolls eyes... Hmm maybe it's "overheating" because of all that free money). The only thing that works, (until it doesn't), are bankers bonuses. The banks that are PAYING those bonuses are insolvent and getting money from the taxpayers to make more bad bets and further enrich themselves.

But then it hit me... This has just been an early St. Patricks Day celebration. We're good at celebrating things in this country (something, I think, we learned from the Romans - before the Irish). I mean, assuming you get through tonight's celebrations, hopefully you'll have enough energy to wake up tomorrow for March Madness (which extends all the way through "this" Tournament, (where they give out a, yup, you guessed it, "green jacket" for a prize - and all the flora & fauna that comes with it, wink, wink!)...

So, at least for a day, if you're a bear, don't worry if your portfolio is doing one of these numbers:

Or even if you're a bull, that's fine too, just keep distracting yourself:

I'm sure it will all work out in the end because those "Chicago politicians" (now transplanted in Washington), sure know how to do things right!
Wait, you're doing it WRONG again!

This is how I'd do it! (But what do I know? I'm just a lowly blog journalist - I might as well just be the Unabomber for crying out loud.)


This blog should not be interpreted as investment advice of any kind. The authors are NOT representing themselves CTAs or CFAs or Investment/Trading Advisor of any kind. The authors may or may not trade in the markets discussed. The authors may hold positions opposite of what may by inferred by this blog.The information contained in this blog is taken from sources the authors believes to be reliable, but it is not guaranteed by the authors as to the accuracy or completeness thereof and is presented here for information purposes only. Commodity trading involves risk and is not for everyone.