After 11 years, Federer and Nadal renew Wimbledon rivalry

first_imgBy Martyn HermanLONDON (Reuters) – It has been a long wait but the most captivating modern rivalry in men’s tennis returns to the scene of its most dramatic episode today when Roger Federer and Rafael Nadal meet for a place in the Wimbledon final.Much has changed since that epic Sunday night in 2008 when, as the last strands of daylight ebbed away, Nadal dethroned the king of Centre Court in a rain-hit final that will forever be part of Wimbledon folklore.Centre Court now has a retractable roof as does Court One, for a start, and Federer has two sets of twins. Nadal’s knees are creakier, his hair thinner and the sleeveless tops and pirate pants he wore as a 22-year-old tyro have been replaced by regular tennis attire.They have both had dips and comebacks and both have been written off at times. But form is temporary. Class endures.Federer is approaching his 38th birthday and Nadal is 33, yet they remain the two central pillars of men’s tennis with 20 and 18 Grand Slam titles respectively. They have met 22 times since that epic five-setter when Nadal became the first Spaniard since Manolo Santana in 1966 to win the men’s title, proving he was not just a claycourt bully but had evolved his topspin game after losing consecutive Wimbledon finals to Federer in 2006 and 2007.There have been memorable clashes since — the 2009 Australian Open final after which a beaten Federer shed tears and the 2017 Australian final when the Swiss ended a five-year wait for his 18th Grand Slam title. They played last month in the French Open semis when Nadal blew Federer away in a gale on his way to claiming a record-extending 12th Roland Garros title.Today’s showdown will be the 40th meeting between the duo with Nadal leading 24-15 and 10-3 in Grand Slams.HOUSE OF HORRORSFederer is seeking a ninth Wimbledon singles title which would move him level on the all-time list with Martina Navratilova while Nadal is eyeing his third, and first since beating Tomas Berdych in 2010.Since then Wimbledon has often resembled a house of horrors for Nadal with shock losses to journeymen like Steve Darcis, Lukas Rosol and Dustin Brown.Irritated by being relegated to third seed behind Federer, despite being ranked two, he looks fired-up to reclaim the title and has dropped just one set so far, against Nick Kyrgios in a riveting second-round grudge match.“Playing against Roger always is a unique situation,” Nadal said after beating Sam Querrey in the quarter-finals. “Excited to be back on this court against him after 11 years. “Means a lot for me and probably for him, too. Always I say the same: of course, the opportunities to play against each other every time are less, but we are still here.”It is easy to forget there is no silverware at stake on Friday, with the winner likely to play defending champion Novak Djokovic, the Serb who could eventually surpass both of them in the all-time Grand Slam title haul, in the final.But it has the feel of a final. Federer, bidding to reach his 12th Wimbledon final, has dropped two sets so far, and has looked in fine fettle.While much water has passed under the bridge since 2008, somewhere in the darker recesses of Federer’s mind will be the bitter imprint of one of his most crushing defeats.With the clock ticking on their careers, Friday could be his last chance to set the record straight, although he says Nadal is a far superior player to the 2008 version.“Haven’t played each other in a long, long time on this surface,” Federer said. “It’s going to be tough. Rafa really can hurt anybody on any surface.”last_img read more

Qantas dive

first_imgQantas will shed 5000 jobs, cut routes and  ground planes after posting a record statutory loss before tax of $305 million for the six months to December 31.The airline is pulling all levers in an effort to pull the icon flying kangaroo out of the nose dive.It will cut routes and ground planes.The airline is facing intense competition from overseas airlines and only commands 17 per cent of the inbound / outbound market to Australia.Its average staff cost is $92,000 compared to Singapore Airlines at $42,000.On the domestic front its costs are estimated to be up to 17 per cent higher than Virgin Australia which now offers a business class product.Since Virgin Australia launched its business class in 2011 premium class airfares have plummeted by 40 per cent.From 2001 when Ansett collapsed till 2011 Qantas enjoyed a monopoly on domestic business class.Earlier this month Qantas chief executive Alan Joyce warned in a speech in Canberra that the cuts would be greater than those achieved by American Airlines in 2012 of 17 per cent.In a separate announcement Qantas said it had reached agreement with Brisbane Airport Corporation (BAC) covering terminal and runway access at Brisbane Airport, which includes arrangements for the airline to dispose of its long-term lease on its terminal.Qantas holds a 31 year lease, signed in 1987, on the northern end of the Domestic Terminal at Brisbane Airport which is due to expire on 30 December 2018.Under the new arrangements, Qantas would retain exclusive use and operational control over much of the northern end of the terminal until the end of 2018 while securing rights to key infrastructure beyond this period.In addition, BAC plans to make a significant investment in upgrading and improving facilities and services within the terminal, such as lounges and will assume control of the retail space of this part of the terminal.Qantas will receive total cash proceeds of $112 million from BAC under the arrangements.The arrangement also covers Qantas’ use of the runway system at Brisbane Airport, including current infrastructure and the new parallel runway, currently under construction.Qantas Group Chief Executive Officer Alan Joyce said the agreement was a win-win for both parties which would have significant benefits to Queensland.“Brisbane Airport is one of the most important airports for Qantas today and increasingly so into the future. This investment is vital to the ongoing growth of aviation in Queensland which helps drive tourism and boost the economy,” Mr Joyce said.See the Qantas Group Strategy herelast_img read more

Selling options as part of a marketing strategy

first_imgShare Facebook Twitter Google + LinkedIn Pinterest With corn planting starting in about 30 days, the western Corn Belt is currently dry and the east is extremely wet. Combined with the dryness in South America the market is noticing these less than ideal conditions and making adjustments.Two months ago farmers were hoping for a 20-cent rally to sell some corn. Now after a 30-cent rally, many continue to hold on thinking there is more upside potential. Basis values are slightly off their highs, but considering the large futures run up, not as much as I would have expected. That is likely a sign of a lack of farmers selling.Last week’s USDA report indicated an increase in corn exports, which is helping to reduce the massive supply from the last few years. Corn may have finally turned a corner as summer approaches. Now the market will wait to focus on the end of March report concerning planting intentions. Straddles and callsOn 2/23/18 several of my options strategies expired. Following shows why I placed the trades at the time as well as the results.On 8/30/17 I sold a March $3.70 straddle for 38 cents (I sold the $3.70 put and the $3.70 call and collected a total of 38 cents) for 10% of my production.Trade Expiration 2/23/18Expected Market Direction for Late Feb: I’m expecting a small rally but in general I expect another sideways market similar to last yearPotential Benefit: If March futures close at $3.70 on 2/23/18, I keep all of the 38-cent premiumPotential Concern: Reduced or no premium if the market moves significantly in either direction. For every penny lower than $3.70 I get less premium until $3.32. At $3.32 or lower a new crop corn sale is removed, but any profits gained on that trade can be added to a future sale. For every penny higher than $3.70 I get less premium until $4.08. At $4.08 or higher I have to make a corn sale at $4.08 against March futures.On 12/4/17 when March corn traded at $3.55 I sold a March $3.60 call for 10 cents on 20% of my ’17 production.Trade Expiration 2/23/18If corn is trading below the strike price of $3.60 when this option expires I keep the 10-cent premium and add it to another trade later.If corn is trading above the strike price of $3.60 when this option expires I have to sell corn for $3.60 PLUS I keep the premium, which means, I will have a sale price of $3.70.What happened?On 2/23/18 corn closed at $3.67 on March futures. I let all of the options get exercised, the following details the result of that action:Since the market was above the $3.60 strike price I sold 20% of my corn production at $3.60 + 10 cents = $3.70.Since the market was below the $3.70 strike price I kept 38 cents of premium but reowned 10% of my production at $3.70. That is because a straddle is a sold put position which is a trade that makes me have to buy futures at the strike price. What does this mean?Between the two trades above I ended up only selling an additional 10% of my 2017 production for $4.08 against March futures ($3.60 sold futures +10 cents of call premium + 38 cents of straddle premium).Having the final day of trading price land between $3.60 and $3.70, resulted in the best possible outcome for these two trades. Plus, it allowed me to sell another 10% of my corn for $4.08. Collecting market carryOn 2/27/18, the last trading day for March futures, I picked up an additional 8.75 cents of market carry premium by buying back the net short futures and selling May futures at the same time (i.e. “rolling” my position forward). So, now my sale above is worth $4.15 against May futures after commissions.I also rolled all of my previous sales for my 2017 crop from the March futures to May and collected 8.75 cents of market carry there too. After accounting for these additional sales and all the others I have made to this point, I’m approximately 30% to 35% done with my 2017 crop. Selling options as part of a marketing strategyI hear some analysts scare farmers out of selling options with nightmare scenarios of unlimited potential loss. While I disagree with generalizations and fear tactics when it comes to marketing strategy education, I understand why they are usually so opposed to it. It really comes down to more of a narrowed focus of their “point of view” that keeps them from fully embracing alternative marketing strategies when goals are not fully aligned. Or in other words, it’s because of the differing viewpoints of speculators and farmers.In all fairness, I doubt that speculators fully understand how I, as a farmer, do my trades. As a farmer, I can profit from these types of trades because I have flexibility that speculators do not. I have unpriced grain stored at home and know more will be grown next year. Because I also have sales on for the current crop, as well as next year’s crop, I can back up any potential purchases or additional sale from selling straddles or call options if the market moves higher or lower.Speculators, on the other hand, don’t usually have any physical grain on hand. If I was them, and did these type of trades without having some grain sold and/or more unpriced grain available to back the trades up, I would have unlimited risk too and I would not consider selling options either.While I’m a fan of selling options because it allows me to take advantage of profitable opportunities that can be available in the market, farmers still need to be smart about it.Moderation: If you’re a long time reader of mine, it may seem like I have a lot of trades going at any given time. In reality, I’m very careful to limit the amount of options to a certain percentage of my crop that I’m likely to produce. As with most things in life, moderation is key. Selling more options than I have grain to cover is speculation. Speculation means added risk, and I try to minimize my farm operations risk exposure.2. Understand all potential outcomes: Options can be a great tool, but they certainly aren’t perfect and they don’t work in every situation. The key is to outline for each trade all possible market scenarios (i.e. if the market goes up, down or sideways like I did above) and be willing to accept all three outcomes. If one can’t accept a potential outcome, then one shouldn’t do the trade in the first place.It’s tough for farmers to be profitable at any time, but especially right now. That’s why being open to alternative marketing strategies that take advantage of the inherent flexibilities farmers have, can help one be more profitable year after year. Jon grew up raising corn and soybeans on a farm near Beatrice, NE. Upon graduation from The University of Nebraska in Lincoln, he became a grain merchandiser and has been trading corn, soybeans and other grains for the last 18 years, building relationships with end-users in the process. After successfully marketing his father’s grain and getting his MBA, 10 years ago he started helping farmer clients market their grain based upon his principals of farmer education, reducing risk, understanding storage potential and using basis strategy to maximize individual farm operation profits. A big believer in farmer education of futures trading, Jon writes a weekly commentary to farmers interested in learning more and growing their farm operations.Trading of futures, options, swaps and other derivatives is risky and is not suitable for all persons. All of these investment products are leveraged, and you can lose more than your initial deposit. Each investment product is offered only to and from jurisdictions where solicitation and sale are lawful, and in accordance with applicable laws and regulations in such jurisdiction. The information provided here should not be relied upon as a substitute for independent research before making your investment decisions. Superior Feed Ingredients, LLC is merely providing this information for your general information and the information does not take into account any particular individual’s investment objectives, financial situation, or needs. All investors should obtain advice based on their unique situation before making any investment decision. The contents of this communication and any attachments are for informational purposes only and under no circumstances should they be construed as an offer to buy or sell, or a solicitation to buy or sell any future, option, swap or other derivative. The sources for the information and any opinions in this communication are believed to be reliable, but Superior Feed Ingredients, LLC does not warrant or guarantee the accuracy of such information or opinions. Superior Feed Ingredients, LLC and its principals and employees may take positions different from any positions described in this communication. Past results are not necessarily indicative of future results. He can be contacted at [email protected]last_img read more