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Archive for 2010

LBMA Gold Manipulation Story Hits The Mainstream

Courtesy of Tyler Durden

First, the gold manipulation story that Zero Hedge and select others have been beating a drum over for months, had finally made inroads into the broader public, first via the Huffington Post, and earlier today via the NY Post. It has also gone global thanks to the Melbourne Herald Sun, the largest newspaper in Australia, whose column by John Beveridge “More bull than bullion” is reproduced below, courtesy of the GATA. Most importantly, Zero Hedge will soon disclose some very stirring details on the manipulated gold market courtesy of yet another whistleblower, and add a new twist in the greatest precious meals fraud saga of all time. Stay tuned.

 





So, How Are Stock Prices Now That We’re Back At DOW 11,000? They’re 30% Overvalued

So, How Are Stock Prices Now That We’re Back At DOW 11,000? They’re 30% Overvalued

Courtesy of Henry Blodget at Clusterstock/Business Insider 

So, how do stock values look now that the DOW is back to 11,000?

Not outrageous.  But certainly not cheap.

Measured using our favorite valuation technique, Professor Shiller’s cyclically adjusted PE analysis, the S&P 500 has a PE of 22X.  The long-term average (1880-2010) is about 16X.  The current level is actually close to the big bull market peaks of the past--with the exception of the gigantic one that peaked in 2000.

Check out the chart below, from Professor Shiller’s web site.  The blue line is the cyclically adjusted PE ratio for the last 130 years.  (The cyclically adjusted PE mutes the impact of the business cycle by averaging 10 years worth of earnings.  This reduces the misleadingly low PEs you get at peak profit margins, like the ones in 2007, and the misleadingly high ones at trough profit margins, such as the ones we had last year).

Note a few things:

  • The long-term average for the cyclically adjusted PE is about 16X. 
  • Stocks have spent vast periods above the average and vast periods below it, usually in multi-decade cycles
  • We’ve just descended from the longest period of extreme overvaluation in history, suggesting (to us, anyway) that the next multi-decade cycle is likely to be below average


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More BOJ Policy Members Join Hoenig’s ZIRP Vigilantism; Japan’s Central Bank Realizes It Is A Media Manipulated Puppet

Courtesy of Tyler Durden

The just released minutes from the March 16-17 policy-setting meeting by the Bank Of Japan indicate that dissension to global ZIRP, and its mutant step brother, Galactic Moral Hazard (we can’t wait for Goldman to LBO Uranus, with $1 of taxpayer equity and a 0.001% perpetual PIK loan from the Federal Reserve), is growing: the vote to double the BOJ’s 0.1% interest lending facility to Y20 trillion saw a final tally of 5 to 2, with two opposing. It is no surprise that as time goes by, ever more rational people will emerge at most central banks, and join such vigilantes as Tom Hoenig in expressing that extremely rare CB quality – unbribed common sense. Yet what is more notable in the last sentence is that Japan just increased the amount of funds to be injected to cover 3 month cash needs among commercial banks, and not only that but that the BOJ will also double the frequency of the new operation from once to twice per week. In summary: the fiscal tragedy discussed earlier by Koo is starting to once demonstrate the powerlessness of monetary policy when you are dealing with a defunct state. Yes America, this is coming here too. Here’s why – the reason for all of this newfound excess monetary flooding: “To encourage a decline in longer-term interest rates.” Because that is just what Japan need – more deflation. 

In the words of the BOJ:

In December 2009, the Bank newly introduced a fixed-rate funds-supplying operation against pooled collateral (hereafter the fixed-rate operation) to further enhance easy monetary conditions, and has been implementing such measure to encourage a decline in longer-term interest rates. Given that the amount outstanding of funds provided by special funds-supplying operations to facilitate corporate financing will gradually decline from April 2010 onward, the Bank will expand the measure to encourage a decline in longer-term interest rates by substantially increasing the amount of funds to be provided through the fixed-rate operation.

And with the BOJ shows that once again the cause and solution to all of life’s problems is simple: just print more money.

An amusing anecdote in the March minutes, indicates that even the BOJ now realizes just how hilarious any calls to central bank independence are. To wit:


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The Guy Who Brought Down AIG – and Maybe the World Economy – Gets Off Scott-Free, and Gets to Keep $315 Million in Loot

The Guy Who Brought Down AIG – and Maybe the World Economy – Gets Off Scott-Free, and Gets to Keep $315 Million in Loot

Courtesy of George Washington 

Joseph Cassano, the guy who brought down AIG – and maybe the world economy – with trillions in risky derivatives deals which AIG couldn’t back up, is getting prosecuted … and the government will claw back all the money he made, right?

Uh, no.

In reality, Cassano is walking away scott-free with $315 million.

As Cent Uygur points out:

Prosecutors will likely not charge him with fraud. They are not going to try for clawbacks to get some of the money back. In the end, he gets away scott-free. But it’s better than free, he gets to keep all the money he never really made in the first place …

I told you about his $35 million thank you note [his exit bonus] for robbing the place clean. But how about the original robbery? How much did he make for himself from 2000 to 2008 by gambling with the company’s money? Only $280 million.

In the end, he walked away with over $315 million for destroying the company and maybe the whole economy. So, why wouldn’t he do it again? Well, next time it won’t be him. We’re on to him, so he’s going to have spend his retirement on his yacht. It’ll be someone else. It’ll be another Cassano. And we’ll fall for it then as well. 

 





Don’t Want To Read That Gigantic Report About The Hedge Fund Magnetar?

Don’t Want To Read That Gigantic Report About The Hedge Fund Magnetar? Here’s The Condensed Version

Courtesy of Courtney Comstock at Clusterstock/Business Insider 

A 7-month long investigative report into the hedge fund Magnetar’s role in the housing crisis was published by ProPublica on Friday.

Here’s what you need to know about it.

1. Magnetar asked banks (for example, JPMorgan, Merrill Lynch) to create CDOs that were bundles of bonds made up of people’s home insurance mortgages. If the people paid off their mortgages, the bonds made money. They named most of these CDO packages using astronomical terms: Orion, Libra, Scorpius, etc…. Read more here.

2. The banks used CDO managers to select which mortgages actually went into these bundles. Magnetar requested that the managers put the most risky mortgages, the mortgages least likely to be paid off, inside Orion, Libra, etc. Read more here.

3. Magnetar bet that the bonds in these CDOs (Orion, Libra…) would be worthless because the mortgages would default. In other words, they shorted the CDOs they asked the banks to create. Read more here.

4. Magnetar then found (through the banks) investors that were willing to go long on the CDOs, to bet that the mortgages would be paid off. One of those investors was Mizuho, one of Japan’s biggest banks. Those investors, like Mizuho, actually "bought" Orion, Libra, or just parts of them. They were basically buying very risky debt obligations that offered a big pay off if the mortgages did not default. Read more here.

5. The Magnetar Constellation Fund, the fund investing in these CDO "shorts," returned +76% in 2007 because the mortgages defaulted. The investors on the other side of the trade, like Mizuho, lost money.

Two sets of documents in this report are interesting: the emails between Magnetar and the CDO managers and the graphs that show the (estimated) proportion of the number of CDOs Magnetar created to the number of the CDOs everyone else created (most famously, Goldman Sachs, although they were by no means the only ones).

The emails clearly show Magnetar’s wanting the riskiest, most unlikely-to-be-paid-off mortgages inside their CDOs.

Here are the graphs. Magnetar’s CDOs (black) make up a huge portion of the total market’s CDOs (blue). This is why the report claims Magnetar "kept the bubble going." Because they created a large portion of what would become worthless CDOs and found buyers that would lose tons of money by investing…
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Goldman’s Take On The Greek Bailout: The Lawsuits Are A-coming

Courtesy of Tyler Durden

From Erik Nielsen

Europe this week

A few more details have come out on the Greek bail-out since I circulated my Sunday email this afternoon, specifically with respect to the potential size of the package.

Specifically, the Euro-zone finance ministers agreed this afternoon to make available – if requested by Greece – EUR30bn to be disbursed during the first 12 months, and (apparently) with a 3-year maturity, at an interest rate of either 3-month EURIBOR rates or a fixed-rate based upon the rates corresponding to Euribor swap rates for the relevant maturities.  Either way there’ll be a 300bp charge on top of the base rate (and a further 100bp for loans longer than 3 years, if that were to be the case), as well as a one-time service charge of max 50bp.   As agreed earlier, the all Euro-zone governments will participate in a ratio equivalent to their capital share in the ECB.  The ministers also said that they envisage a 3-year IMF program worth 10-12 times quota, which would be about EUR12-14bn extra.  There was no comment on the potential mis-match between 3-year money from the IMF and 12-months money from the European partners, but an unidentified senior finance ministry official said that “a logical amount for the three-year period would be significantly higher than EUR 40 billion, but this has not yet been determined.”

In my view, this is good news because the amount of money is more than I had expected (although for only a 12 months period), although the program would still not be fully funded (but close.)  Even if it were to be a full EUR45bn for the first 12 months, this would cover “only” about 2/3 -3/4 of their needs during this period.  The interest rate is about the 5% I mentioned in my email earlier.  The issue of whether this is concessional or not will be debated for a long time.  My view is clear:  Sure it is concessional, so we’ll probably see some interesting court cases if the loan gets disbursed.

Beyond the size, I am not particularly surprised.  As we have been arguing for months, Greece would not be allowed to default in April-May, so money would be made available, if needed.  But as discussed before, there always were two key issues to get comfortable with: (1) the


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Radical Concentration of Wealth is Destroying Both Capitalism and Democracy

Courtesy of George Washington

Washington’s Blog

Note: If you wish, feel free to substitute the word “republic” for “democracy”.

As I wrote in 2008:

 

The economy is like a poker game … it is human nature to want to get all of the chips, but noted that – if one person does get all of the chips – the game ends.

 

In other words, the game of capitalism only continues as long as everyone has some money to play with. If the government and corporations take everyone’s money, the game ends.

 

The fed and Treasury are not giving more chips to those who need them: the American consumer. Instead, they are giving chips to the 800-pound gorillas at the poker table, such as Wall Street investment banks. Indeed, a good chunk of the money used by surviving mammoth players to buy the failing behemoths actually comes from the Fed.

 

No wonder billionaire George Soros says that the way US Treasury Secretary Henry Paulson was handling the situation was “very reminiscent of the way the central bankers talked in the 1930s”, the time of the Great Depression.

And no wonder Nobel-prize winning economist Joseph Stiglitz stresses putting poker chips back in the hands of the little guy …

This is not a question of big government versus small government, or republican versus democrat. It is not even a question of Keynes versus Friedman (two influential, competing economic thinkers).

It is a question of focusing any government funding which is made to the majority of poker players – instead of the titans of finance – so that the game can continue. If the hundreds of billions or trillions spent on bailouts had instead been given to ease the burden of consumers, we would have already recovered from the financial crisis.

As FDR’s Fed chairman Marriner S. Eccles explained:

As in a poker game where the chips were concentrated in fewer and fewer hands, the other fellows could stay in the game only by borrowing. When their credit ran out, the game stopped.

As I pointed out last August, and again last month, fewer people…
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Concentration of Wealth is Destroying Democracy

In this excellent essay, George Washington II concludes that America is no longer a nation governed by the rule of law.  Might this be why the stock market rally over the past year has been labeled by some as the "most hated rally"? – Ilene 

Concentration of Wealth is Destroying Democracy

Courtesy of Washington’s Blog

As I wrote in 2008:

The economy is like a poker game … it is human nature to want to get all of the chips, but noted that – if one person does get all of the chips – the game ends.

In other words, the game of capitalism only continues as long as everyone has some money to play with. If the government and corporations take everyone’s money, the game ends.

The fed and Treasury are not giving more chips to those who need them: the American consumer. Instead, they are giving chips to the 800-pound gorillas at the poker table, such as Wall Street investment banks. Indeed, a good chunk of the money used by surviving mammoth players to buy the failing behemoths actually comes from the Fed. 

No wonder billionaire George Soros says that the way US Treasury Secretary Henry Paulson was handling the situation was "very reminiscent of the way the central bankers talked in the 1930s", the time of the Great Depression.

And no wonder Nobel-prize winning economist Joseph Stiglitz stresses putting poker chips back in the hands of the little guy …

This is not a question of big government versus small government, or republican versus democrat. It is not even a question of Keynes versus Friedman (two influential, competing economic thinkers).

It is a question of focusing any government funding which is made to the majority of poker players – instead of the titans of finance – so that the game can continue. If the hundreds of billions or trillions spent on bailouts had instead been given to ease the burden of consumers, we would have already recovered from the financial crisis.

As FDR’s Fed chairman Marriner S. Eccles explained:

As in a poker game where the chips were concentrated in fewer and fewer hands, the other fellows could stay in the game only by borrowing. When their credit ran out, the game stopped.

As I pointed out last August, and again …
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Greece Offered $61 Billion in Standby Loans; Someone in the “Know” Already Profited

Greece Offered $61 Billion in Standby Loans; Someone in the "Know" Already Profited

Courtesy of Trader Mark 

Notwithstanding the fact that markethave rallied on

  1. A rumor of a potential bailout for Greece a few months ago
  2. Confirmation a bailout was being discussed
  3. A framework of the bailout version #1
  4. A framework of the bailout version #2

And late Friday and most likely Monday, a more precise bailout…. it is almost sad to see the Greek problem go away being kicked down the road.  Each time we talk of more moral hazard the markets rally; at this point it seemed best to leave Greece hanging so we could get a new rally on a new bailout news item every 2-3 weeks…

That said, "smart money" investment banks who have close ties to global governments already knew this late Friday.  (I cited it on the blog as well)  It is hard to find a good intraday chart of the Athens Exchange, but I cut and paste what was available from the exchange website below… as you can see, the "smart people" got whiff of the news as a market that was doing nothing all day, suddenly spiked 3% in the closing hour. 

Once again fellow peons, the stock market is all about analyzing, PE ratios, profits, and homework.  It has nothing to do with having the right people placed in the right places to take advantage of all the information leaks… nope, not one bit.  Will anyone look into this to see who profited? Nah – it was just a 


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The Wheel

The Wheel

Courtesy of Allan

Below is my QQQQ chart, including the Daily Trend Model, an EW count, Auto-Trend Channels and the Elliott Oscillator.

Since the mid-February LONG signal, the index is up about 10%.  Prices have been contained in a well defined trend channel, all the time safely above the Daily Trend Line (navy).  On the bottom oscillator, the recent new highs in price are not being confirmed by new highs in the oscillator.  This suggests that the proposed wave count on the screen is correct and that after the completion of the Wave 5 of 5, a significant decline will be likely.

Below is the same QQQQ chart, less all of the bells and whistles save one, the Daily Trend Model: 

This chart suggests only one thing:  that the market is in an uptrend and traders/investors should be LONG.  The late January EXIT was good for about a 10% decline before the index flipped back to the bullish camp.  There is no suggestion here about any imminent declines,  non-confirmations, wave counts or trend channels.  Just that one thing: LONG.

There may be a market environment coming where such simple, observable, understandable analysis will fail.  Alternatively, this kind of market analysis will continue to be an effective steering current for navigating market direction.  All I can say is that this analysis continues to amaze me with its effectiveness across so many indexes, ETF’s and stocks, as well as across multiple time frames.

I don’t claim to have re-invented the wheel here, only to have found one and am now employing it in all of my market decisions. 

*****

Allan’s new newsletter, “Trend Following Trading Model,” incorporates his chart-based, trend-following method. Most trades last for weeks to months. Allan’s offering PSW readers a special 25% discount. Click here.  For a detailed introduction to the Trend Following Trading Model, read this introductory article.


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Help One Of Our Own PSW Members

"Hello PSW Members –

This is a non-trading topic, but I wanted to post it during trading hours so as many eyes can see it as possible.  Feel free to contact me directly at jennifersurovy@yahoo.com with any questions.

Last fall there was some discussion on the PSW board regarding setting up a YouCaring donation page for a PSW member, Shadowfax. Since then, we have been looking into ways to help get him additional medical services and to pay down his medical debts.  After following those leads, we are ready to move ahead with the YouCaring site. (Link is posted below.)  Any help you can give will be greatly appreciated; not only to help aid in his medical bill debt, but to also show what a great community this group is.

http://www.youcaring.com/medical-fundraiser/help-get-shadowfax-out-from-the-darkness-of-medical-bills-/126743

Thank you for you time!

 
 

Phil's Favorites

France Needs a "Thatcher Moment" But First a Depression

Courtesy of Mish.

It is amusing reading day in and day out the Keynesian cure for what ails Europe, especially France.

Consider France. Public spending amounts to 57% of French GDP, yet Keynesians want still more. The sad irony is that 100% would not be enough. In fact, it would make matters worse.

France suffers from too much government spending and too much government interference everywhere one looks.

The Problem

On Sunday, in Eurozone Currency Dispute Intensifies: France Wants More ECB Action to Correct Overvalued Euro, Germany Doesn't I summed up the problem.
Inflation Won't Cure France

Contrary to popular belief, inflation will not spur consumer spending. Nor will inflat...



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Insider Scoop

NXP To Supply Apple With Mobile Payment Chips

Courtesy of Benzinga.

Related NXPI Stocks Hitting 52-Week Highs Morning Market Movers

NXP Semiconductors NV (NASDAQ: NXPI) gained three percent in pre-market trading Friday on a report it's providing wireless chips to the Apple (NASDAQ: AAPL) iPhone 6, enabling a mobile payment system.

The Netherlands-based semiconductor company makes so-called Near Field Communications chips that smartphones use to communic...



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Chart School

The S&P 500, Dow and Nasdaq Since Their 2000 Highs

Courtesy of Doug Short.

Here is a update in response to a standing request from a couple of sources that I also share with regular visitors to my Advisor Perspectives pages.

The request is for real (inflation-adjusted) charts of the S&P 500, Dow 30, and Nasdaq Composite. In response, I maintain two overlays — one with the nominal price, excluding dividends, and the other with the price adjusted for inflation based on the Consumer Price Index for Urban Consumers (which is usually just refer to as the CPI). The charts below have been updated through the August 29th close.


...



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Zero Hedge

Asian Property Prices Are Falling "As If There's A Global Financial Crisis"

Courtesy of ZeroHedge. View original post here.

Submitted by Tyler Durden.

With China's property developers slashing prices, piling on incentives, and still seeing sales slump; it is no surprise that demand from the top to the bottom across Asia is falling. As Reuters reports, even Singapore's Sentosa Cove (the man-made island resort billed as Asia's Monte Carlo) is eerily silent as the billionaires seem to be staying away with prices down over 20-30% in the past year. New mortgage business is down over 40% as "the...



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Stock World Weekly

Stock World Weekly

Newsletter writers are available to chat with Members regarding topics presented in SWW, comments are found below each post.

Here's the latest issue of Stock World Weekly. Click on this link and use your PSW user name and password to log in. Or take a free trial. 

Enjoy!

...

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Option Review

Puts Active On Buffalo Wild Wings

Buffalo Wild Wings Inc. (Ticker: BWLD) shares are in positive territory in early-afternoon trading on Thursday, reversing earlier losses to stand up 0.50% on the session at $148.50 as of 12:15 pm ET. Options volume on the restaurant chain is running approximately three times the daily average level due to heavy put activity in the October expiry contracts. It looks like one or more traders are buying the Oct 140/145 put spread at a net premium of roughly $1.45 per contract. As of the time of this writing, the spread has traded approximately 3,000 times against very little open interest at either striking price. The put spread may be a hedge to protect a long stock position against a roughly 6% pullback in the price of the underlying through October expiration, or an outright bearish play anticipating a dip in BWLD shares in the next couple of months. The spread makes money at expiration if shares in BWLD decline 3.3% from the current price of $148.50 to breach the breakeven point...



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All About Trends

Mid-Day Update

Reminder: David is available to chat with Members, comments are found below each post.

Click here for the full report.




To learn more, sign up for David's free newsletter and receive the free report from All About Trends - "How To Outperform 90% Of Wall Street With Just $500 A Week." Tell David PSW sent you. - Ilene...

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Sabrient

Six Companies Push Tax Rules Most

Reminder: Sabrient is available to chat with Members, comments are found below each post.

Courtesy of Sabrient Systems and Gradient Analytics

Gradient Senior Analyst Nicholas Yee reports on six companies that are using a variety of techniques to shift pretax profits to lower-tax areas. Featured in this USA Today, article, the companies include CELG, ALTR, VMW, NVDA, LRCX, and SNPS.

Six Companies Push Tax Rules Most

Excerpt:

Nobody likes to pay taxes. But some companies are taking cutting their tax bil...



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Digital Currencies

Disgraced Mt Gox CEO Goes For Second Try With Web-Hosting Service (And No, Bitcoin Not Accepted)

Courtesy of ZeroHedge. View original post here.

Submitted by Tyler Durden.

Mt Gox may be long gone in the annals of bankruptcy, but its founder refuses to go gentle into that insolvent night. And, as CoinDesk reports, the disgraced former CEO of the one-time premier bitcoin trading platform has decided to give it a second try by launching new web hosting service called Forever.net and is registered under both Karpeles’ name and that of Tibanne, the parent company of Mt Gox.

From the company profile:

“TIBANNE Co.Ltd. ...



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OpTrader

Swing trading portfolio - week of August 25th, 2014

Reminder: OpTrader is available to chat with Members, comments are found below each post.

 

This post is for all our live virtual trade ideas and daily comments. Please click on "comments" below to follow our live discussion. All of our current  trades are listed in the spreadsheet below, with entry price (1/2 in and All in), and exit prices (1/3 out, 2/3 out, and All out).

We also indicate our stop, which is most of the time the "5 day moving average". All trades, unless indicated, are front-month ATM options. 

Please feel free to participate in the discussion and ask any questions you might have about this virtual portfolio, by clicking on the "comments" link right below.

To learn more about the swing trading virtual portfolio (strategy, performance, FAQ, etc.), please click here ...



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Market Shadows

Helen Davis Chaitman Reviews In Bed with Wall Street.

Author Helen Davis Chaitman is a nationally recognized litigator with a diverse trial practice in the areas of lender liability, bankruptcy, bank fraud, RICO, professional malpractice, trusts and estates, and white collar defense. In 1995, Ms. Chaitman was named one of the nation's top ten litigators by the National Law Journal for a jury verdict she obtained in an accountants' malpractice case. Ms. Chaitman is the author of The Law of Lender Liability (Warren, Gorham & Lamont 1990)... Since early 2009, Ms. Chaitman has been an outspoken advocate for investors in Bernard L. Madoff Investment Securities LLC (more here).

Helen Davis Chaitman Reviews In Bed with Wall Street. 

By Helen Davis Chaitman   

I confess: Larry D...



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Pharmboy

Biotechs & Bubbles

Reminder: Pharmboy is available to chat with Members, comments are found below each post.

Well PSW Subscribers....I am still here, barely.  From my last post a few months ago to now, nothing has changed much, but there are a few bargins out there that as investors, should be put on the watch list (again) and if so desired....buy a small amount.

First, the media is on a tear against biotechs/pharma, ripping companies for their drug prices.  Gilead's HepC drug, Sovaldi, is priced at $84K for the 12-week treatment.  Pundits were screaming bloody murder that it was a total rip off, but when one investigates the other drugs out there, and the consequences of not taking Sovaldi vs. another drug combinations, then things become clearer.  For instance, Olysio (JNJ) is about $66,000 for a 12-week treatment, but is approved for fewer types of patients AND...



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Promotions

See Live Demo Of This Google-Like Trade Algorithm

I just wanted to be sure you saw this.  There’s a ‘live’ training webinar this Thursday, March 27th at Noon or 9:00 pm ET.

If GOOGLE, the NSA, and Steve Jobs all got together in a room with the task of building a tremendously accurate trading algorithm… it wouldn’t just be any ordinary system… it’d be the greatest trading algorithm in the world.

Well, I hate to break it to you though… they never got around to building it, but my friends at Market Tamer did.

Follow this link to register for their training webinar where they’ll demonstrate the tested and proven Algorithm powered by the same technological principles that have made GOOGLE the #1 search engine on the planet!

And get this…had you done nothing b...



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About Phil:

Philip R. Davis is a founder Phil's Stock World, a stock and options trading site that teaches the art of options trading to newcomers and devises advanced strategies for expert traders...

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Ilene is editor and affiliate program coordinator for PSW. She manages the site market shadows, archives, more. Contact Ilene to learn about our affiliate and content sharing programs.

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