The Market Usually Reverses Big Moves After Reports

If the market falls on light volume to the S&P’s lower uptrend line in the 1250 area ($125 for SPY) tomorrow, then that will be a good long-side entry point.

If the volume is heavy, then it will be best to wait for a reversal pattern to appear since the market will be unlikely to just snap right back. Even so, there will be buyers on a high-volume decline.

Jim Cramer has ordered his followers to ignore the jobs report if it is bad and buy the dip. Cramer’s followers are not just people watching TV, but there are actually quite a lot of hedge funds that take direction from his rantings. They will buy.

Also, Jason Goepfert at has done statistical studies showing that out-sized gains and losses from big events like the jobs report and FOMC meetings are usually reversed within a few days, and then the market gets back to what it was doing before the event.

The market burned off a good deal of its short-term overbought condition before the close Thursday. So, a large gap down Friday morning will get us to oversold country in a hurry.

If the market holds at the lower trendline and then bounces with increased volume, then that will indicate strong support. That’s what happened after the gap down Thursday morning. The market could not push to new highs because it was overbought, though it did hold up almost the entire day. A big gap down Friday morning will establish a more oversold condition, and any bounce is likely to stick better.

Other ways to play:

1) Wait for a high-volume breakout above Thursday’s high and jump on.

2) Let the breakout run, and then buy in when the market comes back down to test the breakout to see if the resistance has become support.

3) Same as above but in reverse if there is a heavy-volume breakdown below the lower uptrend line.

Watch the comments for updates during the day.

Trading the Triangle – Day 2

SPY’s ascending-triangle pattern is still intact after today’s low-volume selling. A low volume trip down to the uptrend line (black) will be a very attractive long-side entry point. Click the chart to enlarge:

SPY also held above Wednesday’s low. So, while today was disappointing for too-eager bulls, the market didn’t do anything wrong technically.

If SPY falls on heavy volume, then the triangle will likely break down into a less bullish rectangle pattern, and require a scary test of the July 15th low.

Trade the Triangle!

SPY’s chart, and many other charts, now has an “ascending triangle” pattern (click to enlarge):

If you don’t know what an ascending-triangle is, stop trading until you have read this.

This is a very bullish pattern. My textbook says it resolves upward 90% of the time. After the breakout, SPY could run to $138.

Look at the last five days on the chart. Notice that the volume was lighter and falling on the three down days, and heavier and rising on the up days. That is exactly how it’s supposed to be and is wildly bullish.

You might want to draw your lines slightly different than mine, but I drew the top line (blue) at a nice round number of $129. This is where the shorts have taken their stand. The up-sloping lower line (black) shows that the longs are gaining ground.

1) Something, such as the unemployment-claims number or the jobs report, causes the market to fall. If the volume is light, and prices hold at or above the black line, then you have a screaming buy signal.

2) If prices push below the black line, then the pattern degrades into a less bullish rectangle.

3) If prices shoot above the blue line, a correction back down to the blue line on low volume is a good place to buy.

4) If your an insane swashbuckler, you might try shorting the next approach up to the blue line. The market is likely to fall back and coil the spring before bursting through, however you won’t catch me trying this short play.

Should the market be rallying while the global economy grinds to a halt? NO!

But will the market rally as the global economy grinds to a halt? It sure looks like it!

Does this make sense? NO!

This is the market we are talking about! It has its own logic!

What kind of crazy, insane logic is that?

Bear market rallies are where the market lures in the bulls and slaughters them.

This triangle will likely produce a fantastic bear-market rally that we can make a fortune shorting a few weeks from now.

Even if the jobs data continues to be bad as I expect, many traders will dismiss it as a trailing indicator. Unemployment is indeed a trailing indicator, however I don’t think we are anywhere near the end of the trail. As the job losses mount in coming weeks, that is very likely the trigger that puts an end to this bear-market rally as the bulls slowly emerge from their delusions.

Note: I’m guessing that the market corrects down to the black line this week. Jim Cramer wrote an article titled “Embrace the Bullish Sea Change” Wednesday after the close, so that will probably mark the crest of this wave.

Bankers Lie

The 50% Dilution Rally
Even Republican perm-bull, Dennis Kneale was baffled by Tuesday’s rally. On Kudlow, he expressed confusion as to why stocks would rally on Merrill Lynch’s disastrous news. MER shareholders were diluted by an astounding 50% by the new stock MER dumped on the market. And this came just a few days after CEO John Thain said everything was cool. Perhaps this can be called “The Last Lie Rally” as the market celebrates the very last lie from the bankers.

The Last Write-Down?
But have the bankers really told their last lie? Jim Cramer says that the market rallied because we finally got a clearing price for all the junk mortgage paper on bank balance sheets: 15-20 cents on the dollar. Banking analyst Meredith Whitney also praised MER for marking to market. But is this true? If you read any of the stories on this deal, you probably noticed a lot of weird details such as MER loaning 75% of the cost of the paper to the buyer. Bizarre, right? Economist Nouriel Roubini says that we don’t have a clearing price after all because this deal wasn’t a real market-based sale, and I agree. Merrill paid somebody to take the paper off of their books. So it was more BS from the bankers.

Bankers are Allowed to Lie
On Fast Money, there was disgust over how the government is cracking down on short sellers, but bankers like John Thain are allowed to lie like rugs. While true, this misses the point. Short sellers must be silenced precisely because they are telling the truth. The only way to get Larry Kudlow’s “Summer Rally” going and save the Republican party in November is by having an army of John Thains out there dispensing a tidal wave of BS.

Will it Work?
You can see why the stock market has a history of not faltering during an election year. Every time you turn around, Paulson and crew are hatching a new crazy scheme. As Todd Harrison says, they have a mandate to get stock prices up. But will it work? I don’t think so. While they can reduce shorting activity, in the end, they can’t make you buy stock. And even though the BLS has been creating hundreds of thousands of phantom jobs with their birth/death “adjustments”, enough of the jobs truth is getting out to keep traders from clicking the buy button. And amazingly enough, during the banking panic on July 15th, Bernanke didn’t even deliver a token quarter-point rate cut. So, it doesn’t look as if the entire federal bureaucracy is successfully being marshaled to enforce this mandate.

Just Another Month-End Rally
So, if John Thain is not our savior, then why did the market rally? I think it can be easily explained as typical month-end window-dressing action. The market closed on Monday leaning short, and the light volume made it easy for the mark-up elves to get a short squeeze going. The elves should pull back and bid underneath Wednesday and Thursday, so while the market is overbought, it may be able to levitate until the end of the month just like at the end of June. Lucky for the elves, their work will be done before the jobs report hits on Friday, though they may have to burn through some extra capital if we get another bad unemployment claims number on Thursday.

What is Getting Marked-Up?
Have momentum funds piled into financials? Will they keep them up until the end of the month? I haven’t studied this closely, so if you have ideas, please post in the comments. What I did notice is that the XLE was the only sector to finish in the red on Tuesday. Of course, the big funds began dumping their energy stocks on July 1st, so nobody’s trying to mark them up now, and they should continue to be weak. And while KOL and POT finished in the green, they were down in the morning, and floated up on low volume in the afternoon. This reluctant participation in the big rally indicates to me that nobody is trying to mark up coal or ag stocks either.

What is the Pattern?
You can make a case that SPY and QQQQ are developing ascending-triangle patterns. You could draw the top line of SPY’s triangle at $129, and that of the Q’s at $46. Both will need to fight up to their top lines soon or face being downgraded to symmetrical triangles. I think the jobs data could easily trigger that downgrade. Also, it’s important to look at the patterns of leading stocks. As Paul pointed out yesterday, Google has a classic bear-pennant pattern on its daily chart. If this pattern continues to play out in textbook fashion, Google could drop another 70 points. Not good for the Q’s or SPY.

Jubilation in the Bull Camp
There was quite a lot of celebrating in the bull camp Tuesday, and that is rarely a sign of a lasting rally. Lasting rallies are met by skepticism, because skeptical traders have not yet bought in. Celebrating bulls have abandoned skepticism and bought in, indicating that everybody who is likely to buy at this level have already done so.

Global Crunch
Starbucks is closing most of its stores in Australia. Wasn’t Australia supposed to be a strong resource-based economy with huge exports to Asia? And now the Ausies can’t afford coffee any better than Americans? What is going on there? This can’t be good for S&P 500 earnings which have benefited from the global economy and weak dollar.

Tuesday’s Outlook
I actually had “MONTH-END MARK-UP” penciled onto my calender for Tuesday, so I feel stupid for putting my short positions on too early. However, I don’t think SPY, XLE, KOL, or POT are going to run away from me, so I will just have to put up with any mark-up action on Wednesday and Thursday. When June’s mark-up action ended, the market opened on huge gap down July 1st. It did rally back, but then rolled over and took out the March low. So, perhaps we will see another post-mark-up plunge, even if the jobs numbers don’t throw cold water on the rally.

Watch the comments as I will be posting updates during the day Wednesday.

Nothing Left to Short?

With the market down so much over the last three trading days, you might think that there is nothing left to short. Not so.

KOL – today I bought some KOL puts. KOL has floated back up to the top of its downtrend channel on light volume. I made money shorting it the last two times it did that. (Here is my first post on KOL.)

GLD – tomorrow I will be looking to buy some GLD puts. GLD has a classic bear-flag pattern on its chart: A high-volume plunge on Tuesday and Wednesday of last week, and a low-volume float-up Thursday, Friday, and Monday. It may not be able to get through the resistance at $92. Or if it does, it may be able to float up to its new downtrend line, which you can see by drawing a line from the peaks on July 15th and July 22nd. As long as the volume stays light, I will be looking to short it.

POT – Potash is a great company, but that isn’t preventing Apple from getting a beating, right? So, POT is a short too. It spiked down on heavy volume on Thursday, and floated up on light volume Friday and Monday. Another classic bear-flag.

Note: I didn’t have time to make charts, but the patterns are very easy to spot as long as you are studied-up on your technical chart analysis.

Stock Market Overbought

The market is overbought on the daily chart, and oversold on the hourly chart, so perhaps some low-volume sideways-to-upward consolidation action is in order before the next leg down. I think any move upward is a shorting opportunity.

Does somebody know if the BLS’s birth/death calculation is used for the unemployment rate? Gerard? Crash? I’m thinking that maybe the unemployment rate may carry more weight with the market than the actual number of jobs which is now a widely ridiculed statistic.

Watch the comments as I will be posting updates throughout the day.

SPY Exhaustion Gap

Some traders dismiss Thursday’s big move down because the volume was low. Normally, that would be a good argument because the low volume would indicate that large funds were not dumping shares. But this time, I think the low-volume must be viewed as a negative.

The big funds didn’t have to dump stock on Thursday after the nasty unemployment-claims report because they had not bought into the rally off of the July 15th low. That rally was all short-covering. So on Thursday, bids were simply pulled and stocks went into free-fall – the air-pocket.

Air-pockets often appear as rallies lose steam, and are a warning sign that the big dogs are not interested in taking stock at the current level; that there is no bid under the market.

Some traders also dismiss last week’s action as mere sideways movement as the S&P 500 was barely changed. That is simply crazy.

After a three-day struggle, the March low was recaptured on Tuesday. On Wednesday morning, SPY registered an “exhaustion gap”. On Thursday, the market hit the air pocket and plunged right back through the March low. On Friday, the market could not re-capture the March low, even with an assist from falling oil.

That was not uneventful, inconsequential trading. Hopes were raised high, bulls were sucked into the trap, and then slaughtered.

SPY has now closed below the March intra-day low at $126 for two days in a row. One more day of that and the market will likely roll over again just as it did on July 14th, the last attempt to recapture the March low.

War is being waged over the March low because that is the line-in-the-sand between a banking crisis, and a banking crisis plus a main-street recession.

The rally that was birthed on March 17th was received as proof that the Fed had saved the financial system, and the all-clear had been sounded.

The loss of the March low in July, and the quick recapture, seemed to prove that it was the same old financial crises that our government had once again fixed. Many traders still don’t believe the economy is in trouble because of all the cooked economic data like the GDP numbers (which are not properly deflated.)

Thursday’s unemployment-claims number had nothing to do with the financial crisis. It came straight from Main Street. And it sent the market back under the psychologically crucial March low.

So, far from being inconsequential, last week’s trading may have seen the market’s final acceptance that there really is a serious recession going on underneath the tidal wave of election-year propaganda trying to mask the facts.

The market’s frantic reaction to Thursday morning’s unemployment claims number shows that the market may only be beginning to price in the Main Street recession.

I am 98% in cash now, and 2% short the SPX, but I will be looking to increase my short positions soon.

Credit Crunch Crunches Chrysler

You probably heard about Chrysler no longer offering auto leases. However, the story goes much deeper. Chrysler had no choice to stop the leasing because the banks that loan them the money pulled the plug.

(This is the Wall Street Journal’s story, so that’s were you want to read up about it.)

As the value of gas-guzzlers plunge, the banks are worried about how well the leases will hold their value. So, they are reluctant to make auto leases for the same reason they are reluctant to make mortgages: deflation.

July 2008 may be the beginning of the shift from inflation to deflation as the intensifying credit contraction tightens its death grip upon the economy. The prices of just about everything are falling now: real estate, SUV’s, natural gas (UNG), oil (USO), commodities (DBC), and of course, stocks.

When credit tightens, the prices of just about everything must fall.

Jobs Report Looms

There are lot of traders trying to dismiss, or put a happy face upon Thursday’s plunge and Friday’s weak bounce. That’s what you do when you buy into a sucker’s rally and then get blind-sided by something like Thursday morning’s unemployment-claims number.

Those same trapped bulls were the reason why the market could not lift on Friday even though it should have been able to manage an oversold bounce – especially with oil continuing to fall. The trapped bulls just kept unloading their positions into any lift. They want out.

So, the market is selling-off well in advance of Friday’s jobs number. Of course, there is no way of knowing what that number will be given how the politicians statisticians at the BLS arrive at their numbers. But the reality of the main-street recession is finally starting to sink in. And that means more selling – lots of it.

Where do you think the S&P 500 will go when the unemployment rate goes to 10%? That’s the number that Marty Chenard at is projecting.

I don’t have an estimate for the unemployment rate, however, I think we are about one-third of the way down to the bottom of the jobs trough. We are tracking the 2001 recession pretty closely, only this one is worse. Eventually, the official numbers will show that.

Was July 2001 anywhere near the bottom of the last recession? No, and neither is July 2008 anywhere near the bottom of this recession. And if the recession had been priced-in, the market would not have jumped out of the window on Thursday morning.

The July 15th low will be tested, and found wanting. You heard it here first.

XLE Sell-Off

Helene Meisler made a good point about the XLE on Thursday. If you look at the daily chart, you will see it go over the cliff right after the end of the second quarter. An excellent example of how big funds levitate their stocks to make their quarterly numbers look good. How much longer will the sell-off go? I don’t know, but if the XLE floats up on light volume for a day or two, that will be another bear-flag pattern, after which another leg down could be expected.

I updated my housing-vacancies chart today. There was a small tick down in the vacancy rate, but there are still an astounding number of houses sitting empty. And now the home-builder stocks are rallying, when we probably don’t even need a home-building industry at all for years to come.

If the sell-off continues Friday morning, keep an eye on the volume. Heavy volume will be a bad sign.

Watch the comments for updates on Friday.

Ride the Wild SPY

Back on July 6th, in a post titled “No Bottom For SPY“, I used a “broadening” pattern to correctly predict that the S&P 500 would fall through its March low. Here is the chart that I used back then (click to enlarge). The pink lines outline the broadening pattern:

Here is an updated chart. (The blue lines on the charts labeled 126.09 highlight SPY’s intra-day low on March 17th.) Look how it developed! The lower line of the broadening pattern (in pink) set the slope for SPY’s decline right down to the bottom on July 15th!

Now look at the new broadening pattern (in black) birthed on Tuesday of this week as SPY burst back above the March low. One of those black lines will likely set the trend going forward. Will it be the top one or the bottom one? Will plunging oil send stocks up to the top line? Or will the crumbling economy send it to the lower line?

If you know the answer, please post in the comments. I am agnostic. I am 99.9% in cash. My only position is a handful of Apple puts that I tried to sell at the close but didn’t get the trade in on time. If I had a book to talk, I would think harder, but since I don’t you’re on your own!

REALLY Dumb Money

Yesterday, after the market closed, I posted in the comments:

“…the market will be looking for an excuse to sell-off. That excuse could be the unemployment-claims number tomorrow morning.”

And yet, I was caught by surprise by today’s unemployment-claims inspired sell-off! How did that happen? First, I wasn’t surprised by the number. I mean, who couldn’t see that coming? Every company in the USA seems to be laying off workers, except for Google, The Spending Monster, as Jim Cramer calls the company.

What got me by surprise was the sheer number of people who were surprised by the number. If you were one of those surprised people selling today, congratulations, you are an official member of the REALLY dumb money crowd.

So, today’s lessen is that there are billions, maybe trillions, of REALLY dumb money thrashing around in the market, and that my goal of becoming the world’s first trillionaire is doable.

XLF Short Too Crowded?

The S&P 500 is short-term overbought, so I am looking for a correction soon; perhaps SPY will go down and test $126. However, if the market works off its overbought condition by going sideways on light volume, then I will consider going long.

The velocity of oil’s decline is slowing. The price declines are not as severe and the volume is not as strong, so it may be able to bounce in the next day or so. That could trigger the correction in stocks that I am looking for.

I will start Thursday with two positions: XLF puts and XLE puts. These two ETF’s should continue moving opposite of each other, so it is a paired trade. Ultimately, I should be able to make a profit on both positions. If oil catches a bounce, I will take profits on the XLF puts since XLF will fall. Then, when oil flops over again, I will take profits on the XLE puts since energy stocks have been tracking oil.

I feel good about the XLE puts. The XLE chart is in a well-defined downtrend channel.

I’m not so comfortable with the XLF puts. While the XLF is overbought and due for a correction, there are too many traders agreeing with me and trying to short financials. So, the trade is a bit crowded, and that is usually not a good sign.

In Bulls Load Cannons, which I posted two days before the giant rally on July 16th, I wrote:

“Bears should not be counting on the market to act rationally!”

And that still holds true. Just because the economy is weakening doesn’t mean that the market can’t rally. The March-to-May bear market rally was one of the longest such rallies in history. The market can do that sort of thing whenever it feels like it. Of course, eventually economic reality will re-assert itself. But until that time, it is important not to underestimate how far a bear-market rally can run.

Note: Watch the comments section as I will be posting my thoughts throughout the day Thursday.

Will SPY Hold It’s March Low?

Since there was so much war waged over the March low, both falling through it, and then bursting back above it, it is very likely that the market will fall back to test Tuesday’s breakout at some point during the next few days. So, how will you play it?

The textbook says that the first test should hold. So, I’m thinking that if SPY falls back to $126, and is oversold when it arrives there, then going long for a bounce will be the correct trade. It might feel scary, but the odds will make it a pretty safe trade.

Watch the comments, as I will be posting as I trade on Wednesday.

Will QQQ Hold It’s Low?

While Apple got the bulk of the attention on Monday, American Express dropped a major bomb on the market. Take a look at this post from Calculated Risk.

This recession just ain’t going away.

Debka reports that the US, UK, and France are preparing a naval blockade of Iran. Debka makes it look like Operation Brimstone is taking place in the Persian Gulf, but it is actually taking place in the USA. Nevertheless, it looks like a naval blockade will be the next step in the Iran conflict.

The big question for Tuesday is, will the QQQQ hold its low from July 15th; only a week ago. There was quite a lot of volume on that day, so there should be some support there. However, with the best-of-breed Google and Apple getting slaughtered, the group looks helpless.

By time the Q’s get to $43.30, they will be short-term over-sold. So, I’m thinking they bounce at the July 15 low, flop over and proceed to test the March low at $41. What do you think?

Note to readers: I didn’t have time to respond to many comments today, but I did read them all. The comments are very helpful to me, so keep them coming.

UPDATE: Oil plunged and helped stocks to reverse their plunge from last night. So, my prediction was spoiled. However, I traded through it very nicely and finished the day with a large profit. I took profits on my puts in the morning, and went long IWM and SPY calls in the afternoon.

Thinking About Shorting Apple

It’s Sunday night and as I expected, the oil futures are up a bit, and the S&P 500 futures are down a bit. If oil can close even modestly higher on Monday, we will have a good test for this rally. If stocks get slapped around by oil, then that will be a piece of evidence that the rally lacks animal spirits.

I’m thinking about putting on an Apple short Monday; maybe half before the earnings report and half afterward. Apple is a great company which I’m sure will continue to do well, but that didn’t prevent its stock from plunging in January, and it will probably fall again as the recession rolls on. The chart is clearly rolling over, and the stock is hanging by a thread. The big institutions also seem to be dumping tech, so Apple looks like an attractive short play.

Watch the comments as I make updates throughout the day.

Market Crash on Monday?

Now that the Iranians have nuked the Geneva talks, over-sold oil will almost certainly catch a bounce on Monday. The tidal wave of oil money that sparked last week’s rally in stocks will flow back into the commodities market, and the already over-bought, and starting-to-roll-over stock market will plunge. And since all the shorts have been squeezed out, there may not be anybody willing to step up and buy. We might finally get the big wash-out that everybody had been anticipating.

The June decline was orderly because shorts were constantly buying-to-cover and taking profits each time the market dipped. A huge number of those shorts were burned off last week. So now the market is free to plunge. At a minimum, last week’s low should be tested.

As oil fell on Friday, tech fell harder, and that is why I put on a large short-tech play Friday. So, if you want to buy some QQQQ put options in a panic on Monday, don’t worry, I’ve got some to sell to you!

And I’m not alone either. As Jon Najarian reported on “Fast Money” Friday night, a gorilla bought 144,000 September $42 QQQQ puts in one trade on Friday – a ginormous trade. So, somebody huge is making the same bet that I am. Now, I have no idea who this gorilla is, but suppose you were running a huge fund and you decided to rotate out of your tech stocks and into health-care stocks. You know that when you start selling your techs you will knock the market down because you are so huge. So, why not buy a few puts and profit from your own selling?

Note: If you are not an options trader, you can still see this QQQQ put position by logging into your broker’s website and then looking at the September options for QQQQ. You will see that the open interest in the $42 puts dwarfs all the other strikes.

I must say that I am surprised by what happened in Geneva. These diplomatic things are usually decided in advance, with the actual meeting just a choreographed formality. But, as I have been saying, the Iranian government’s actions are somewhat lacking in rationality.

So now, instead of having a nice deal, we have a two-week deadline for Iran to knuckle under, which they have already said they will not do.

With the meeting ended badly, maybe the Iranians will go back to testing missiles. And also potentially affecting oil is Tropical Storm Dolly which will enter the Gulf of Mexico as the market opens Monday morning.

The S&P 500 is at the March-low resistance, and the VIX has fallen to its uptrend line which has triggered a plunge in stocks each time it has been touched during the past two months.

So, it looks like a perfect market storm is brewing for Monday. Perhaps there will be some other news before Monday morning to offset these factors, but don’t count on a miraculous over-night recovery of the futures like we had Friday morning. That was just the options elves propping up the market to save their options positions. None of the big players have to buy on Monday.

Note: You may want to watch C-SPAN Sunday night. The interview with Shelia Bair will be aired at 6pm. This is the one that caused the big sell-off in stocks Friday before the close when CNBC reported that Bair was training up an army of regulators to handle more bank-runs. Oddly enough, I anticipated this a week ago:

“I wonder what the capacity of the FDIC is? For example, how many banks could they seize in a week? Are they staffing up? What about the Fed? Won’t Bernanke need a whole new army of people to oversee all the new stuff he will be responsible for? Let’s hope there’s a Bureaucrat Boot-Camp somewhere training up a battalion of babycrats to man the trenches before things slip out of control.”

It looks like that is exactly what is happening.

Update: I just watched the Bair interview on C-SPAN (which was also aired at 10am.) While she was confident that the FDIC could handle the problem, Bair did indeed say that she was “vigorously beefing up staff” (9 minutes in) and that there would be more bank failures (28 minutes in). The FDIC is also building a new computer system and requiring banks to interface with it so that seizures of failing banks can be done more quickly and efficiently. Bair also touched her nose several times during the interview, which is a “tell” that she thinks the situation stinks.

Note: While oil can catch a dead-cat bounce off of the Geneva news, falling oil is actually a recession signal. Consider this quote from Barrons:

“The last time oil fell by 2% or more on three consecutive days from its year’s highs was in September 2000, which marked the start of a rocky patch and a year-long decline.”

…and a two-year plunge for stocks!

Friday’s Trading

Barring spectacular news in the morning, Thursday’s rally will be wiped out with a large gap down Friday morning. If you had to make a trade at the open, what would it be?

Do you think dip buyers will step up to get in on the miraculous “end of the bear market” as Larry Kudlow trumpeted on his show Thursday night?

How will options expiration and oil effect your decision?

You have to make a trade at or before 9:30am; somebody is holding a gun to your head! What will it be?