Archive for 2010

Guest Post: Lies Across America

Courtesy of Tyler Durden

Submitted by Jim Quinn of The Burning Platform

Lies Across America

“Every single empire, in its official discourse, has said that it is not like all the others, that its circumstances are special, that it has a mission to enlighten, civilize, bring order and democracy, and that it has a mission to enlighten, civilize, bring order and democracy, and that it uses force only as a last resort.”Edward Said

The increasingly fragile American Empire has been built on a foundation of lies. Lies we tell ourselves and Big lies spread by our government. The shit is so deep you can stir it with a stick. As we enter another holiday season the mainstream corporate mass media will relegate you to the status of consumer. This is a disgusting term that dehumanizes all Americans. You are nothing but a blot to corporations and advertisers selling you electronic doohickeys that they convince you that you must have. Propaganda about consumer spending being essential to an economic recovery is spewed from 52 inch HDTVs across the land, 24 hours per day, by CNBC, Fox, CBS and the other corporate owned media that generate billions in profits from selling advertising to corporations schilling material goods to thoughtless American consumers.  Aldous Huxley had it figured out decades ago:

“Thanks to compulsory education and the rotary press, the propagandist has been able, for many years past, to convey his messages to virtually every adult in every civilized country.”

Americans were given the mental capacity to critically think. Sadly, a vast swath of Americans has chosen ignorance over knowledge. Make no mistake about it, ignorance is a choice. It doesn’t matter whether you are poor or rich. Books are available to everyone in this country. Sob stories about the disadvantaged poor having no access to education are nothing but liberal spin to keep the masses controlled. There are 122,500 libraries in this country. If you want to read a book, you can read a book. The internet puts knowledge at the fingertips of every citizen. Becoming educated requires hard work, sacrifice, curiosity, and a desire to learn. Aldous Huxley  describes the American choice to be ignorant:

 “Most ignorance is vincible ignorance. We don’t know because we don’t want to know.”

It is a choice to play Call of Duty on your PS3 rather than reading Shakespeare. It is…
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Euro Sells Off Following Comments By Banque De France Governor Noyer

Courtesy of Tyler Durden

…But did traders pick the wrong currency to sell? Tonight’s prompt sell off in the Euro is now being attributed to comments by Banque de France Governor Christian Noyer who said monetary easing creates the potential for global imbalances. While it is true that Noyer stated that The European Central Bank will keep its emergency measures as long as needed, this is not news. Obviously all of Europe is now reliant solely on the ECB’s bidding of last resort for each and every failed bond auction and to prevent bond routs in the secondary market. Again: this is not news. Yet what is interesting is that instead of selling off the EUR, traders may have picked the wrong currency. To wit: Noyer was actually blasting the pegged CNY, which means that the CNY-derivative currencies, the AUD and the NZD should have taken the brunt of tonight’s action, and in the wrong direction at that. And, ultimately, the target was the USD. The moment this became clear (9pm Eastern) is when gold took off.

Confirmatory headlines:


In other words, Noyer indirectly attempted to push the EURUSD. And failed… Was that the extent of Europe’s intervention for the evening?

Investor Sentiment: Smells Like A Top

Courtesy of thetechnicaltake


It was only 2 weeks ago that the “dumb money” indicator and Rydex market timers were bullish to an extreme degree and company insiders were selling shares at a clip that had not been seen in 4 years.  In most instances, these are bearish signals.  The exception would be the scenario where too many bulls actually leads to a bull market.  This is what happened in 1995, 1998/ 1999, 2003 and 2009.  Will this scenario be repeated in 2010?  It is seeming less and less likely, and if this is the case, then it is worth repeating what I have stated for 3 weeks in a row: “If the market hasn’t topped out already, it should do so within a couple of percent of the recent highs.  Rallies should be sold and stops tightened up.  The market is prone to sudden sell offs.  There will be better risk adjusted opportunities to buy in the future.


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Investor Sentiment 11.28.10

Play China’s Yuan From the Long Side

Courtesy of madhedgefundtrader

Any doubts that China’s Yuan is a huge screaming buy should have been dispelled when news came out that it had displaced Germany as the world’s largest exporter.

The Middle Kingdom shipped $1.2 trillion in goods in 2009, compared to only $1.1 trillion for The Fatherland. The US has not held the top spot since 2003. China’s surging exports of electrical machinery, power generation equipment, clothes, and steel were a major contributor. German exports were mired down by lackluster economic recovery in the EC, which has also been a major factor behind the weak euro. Sales of luxury Mercedes and BMW cars, machinery, and chemicals have plummeted.

Four back to back interest rate rises for the Yuan, and a constant snugging of bank reserve requirements by the People’s Bank of China, have stiffened the backbone of the Middle Kingdom’s currency even further. That is the price of allowing the Federal Reserve to set China’s monetary policy via a fixed Yuan exchange rate. Is certain that Obama’s stimulus program is reviving China’s economy more than our own.

The last really big currency realignment was a series of devaluations that took the Yuan down from a high of 1.50 to the dollar in 1980. By the mid nineties it had depreciated by 84%. The goal was to make exports more competitive. The Chinese succeeded beyond their wildest dreams.

There is absolutely no way that the fixed rate regime can continue, and there are only two possible outcomes. An artificially low Yuan has to eventually cause the country’s inflation rate to explode. Or a global economic recovery causes Chinese exports to balloon to politically intolerable levels. Either case forces a revaluation.

Of course timing is everything. It’s tough to know how many sticks it takes to break a camel’s back. Talk to senior officials at the People’s Bank of China, and they’ll tell you they still need a weak currency to develop their impoverished economy. Per capita income is still at only $3,000, less than a tenth of that of the US. But that is up a lot from a mere $100 in 1978.

Talk to senior US Treasury officials, and they’ll tell you they are amazed that the Chinese peg has lasted this long. How many exports will it take to break it? $1.5 trillion, $2 trillion, $2.5 trillion? It’s anyone’s guess.

One thing…
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The Definitive Unwrapping Of The “Irish Package”

Courtesy of Tyler Durden

Everything you desired to know about the “Irish Package” and then some, dissected with clinical post-mortem precision by Goldman’s Francesco U. Garzarelli. We can only hope the Spanish, Italian and French packages are deemed more satisfactory by the market.

On the Irish Package and EMU Sovereign Debt

In an emergency meeting this afternoon, EU Finance Ministers and the IMF have agreed to extend financial support to Ireland. According to EU Commissioner Rehn, no ‘haircuts’ will be applied to holders of senior bonds issued by the Irish banks. However, we would caution that additional liability management transactions are still likely at the major Irish banks. The agreement will be formalized in coming weeks in a Memorandum of Understanding.

We think the Irish deal will lead to a moderate compression in Irish government bond spreads. The encouraging elements are the relatively speedy negotiations under the emergency framework agreed this Summer, the emphasis given to the recapitalization of domestic banks, and the long maturity of the loans. We provide details below.

Separately, the Eurogroup (comprising the finance ministers of EMU member states) issued a statement summarizing a political agreement on a new sovereign debt crisis resolution mechanism applicable from 2013, forming part of a broader overhaul of the Euro-area fiscal governance framework. The plan envisages a permanent conditional funding facility (ESM), shaped along the lines of the EFSF but of yet unknown size.

In order to gain access to external conditional funding, an EMU sovereign will in the future need to pass a debt sustainability test conducted by the EC and the IMF, in liason with the ECB. A failure to pass would result in debt restructuring involving private sector participation. To facilitate the process, from June 2013, all bonds issued by the EMU member states will include collective action clauses, as is currently the case in the US and the UK. ESM funds will be junior to IMF loans, but senior to existing bondholders.

The ministers’ announcement clearly states that no private sector participation in restructuring procedures will apply ahead of mid-2013. This will validate the upward sloping term structure of peripheral EMU sovereign bond spreads, particularly up to 5-yr maturities. For currently outstanding bond redeeming after June 2013, the impact should be broadly neutral, as the probability of a credit event does not change in light of this announcement, while the benefits from a…
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Weekly Recap, And Upcoming Calendar – $39 Billion In Monetizations In The Next Week

Courtesy of Tyler Durden

Per Goldman Sachs

Week in Review:

It was another week of nervousness, choppy price action and gradually rising risk aversion. Most of the concerns were linked to the evolving European sovereign debt crisis, the gradual escalation of the conflict on the Korean peninsula and China policy tightening in response to rising inflationary pressures. Macro data was mixed to good, with outstanding European business surveys, further improvements in the US labour market with a sharp drop in weekly claims below the range but also a worrying drop in durable good orders.

In response to these developments pro-cyclical currencies dropped across the board, including the EUR, the AUD and many NJA currencies, whereas the USD strengthened notably. Since the Fed QE announcement, the broad trade weighted USD has now rallied by about 3%, correcting half of the 6% sell-off which occurred in anticipation of the Fed decision.

Week Ahead:

The upcoming week will be dominated by the same key themes as last week. News on the European sovereign debt crisis, China tightening, the Korean conflict and macro data will remain in the limelight. However, with key US releases including Chigaco PMI, ISM and payrolls data watching may become relatively more important in the coming week. Then again, there is always the trust old FRBNY, which kicks off the reflation trade with not one but two POMOs tomorrow: altogether $39 billion in monetizations coming up in the next week.

Monday, 29th

Hungary MPC – policy rate to stay unchanged at 5.25% according to GS and consensus forecasts.

Swedish GDP (Q3) – GS and consensus expect a +1.2% increase qoq.

Euroland Business confidence (Oct) – After the good PMIs recently, we expect this to increase to +3 compare to +2 for the consensus and 0 in the last reading.

US Dallas Fed business survey (Nov) – Given the huge range of surprises in the Philly Fed and Empire surveys, there is probably more focus on the other regional surveys than normally. Consensus expects a moderate increase to 3.0 from 2.6.

Also interesting – Swedish retail sales (Oct), Korean industrial production (Oct).

Tuesday 30th

Chicago PMI (Nov) – GS and consensus expect a 60 reading, virtually unchanged from 60.6 in October.

Conference Board Consumer Confidence (Nov) – Consensus expects a small uptick to 52.6, similar to the last U Michigan survey.

Case Shiller Home Price index (Sep) – With…
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Guest Post: Ireland, Please Do the World a Favor and Default

Courtesy of Tyler Durden

Submitted by Charles Hugh Smith from Of Two Minds

Ireland, Please Do the World a Favor and Default

Ireland would save the world from much misery by defaulting now and driving the vampire banks into liquidation.

The alternative title for today entry is: Ireland, please drive a stake through the heart of the vampire banks which have the world by the throat. The entire controlled demolition of the Eurozone’s finances can be summed up in one phrase: privatize leverage and profits, socialize losses and risk.

The basic deal is this: protect the bank’s managers, shareholders and bondholders from any losses, while heaping the socialized losses and risks on the taxpayers and citizens.

While there are murmurings of “forcing bondholders to share the pain,” any future haircut will undoubtedly be just for show, while the Irish pension funds are gutted to bail out the banks.

EU Outlines Bond Restructuring Plan (

Europe Goes “Completely Mad” At Suggestion Of Irish Default Demanded By 57% Of Irish Population (Zero Hedge)

Here is a chart which illustrates the dynamic at play in Greece, Ireland and indeed, the rest of the world as well: leveraged speculation and mal-investment lead to asset deflation and collapse.

Here is a chart which illustrates how asset deflation leads to taxpayer-funded bank bailouts and then sovereign default. It’s fairly self-explanatory:

It’s rather straightforward: as asset bubbles rise, they enable vast leveraging of credit and debt. Once mal-invested assets collapse in value, then the debt remains, unsupported by equity or capital.

As the Financial/Political Elites transfer these catastrophic losses onto the citizenry, they set off a positive (runaway) feedback loop: the Central State austerity required to pay the borrowing costs of the bailout sends the economy into recession, which reduces borrowers’ incomes, triggering more defaults which further sink housing prices. As prices continue falling, bank capital declines, requiring ever-larger bailouts to provide the banks with a simulacrum of solvency.

Austerity measures must be tightened to channel more of the citizens’ incomes to the banks, which further suppresses the economy, lowering tax revenues and incomes, which leads to more austerity to fund more bailouts, and so on, until the haggard remnants of a once-wealthy citizenry finally rebel against their Financial/Political Overlords and topple the government which arranged the bailout.

A new populist…
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Following Hungary And Ireland, France Is Next To Seize Pension Funds

Courtesy of Tyler Durden

If the recent Hungarian “appropriation” of pension funds, and today’s laughable Irish bailout courtesy of domestic pension funds sourcing 20% of the “new” money was not enough to convince the world just how bankrupt the entire European experiment has become, enter France. Financial News explains how France has “seized” €36 billion worth of pension assets: “Asset managers will have the chance to get billions of euros in mandates in the next few months for the €36bn Fonds de Réserve pour les Retraites (FRR), the French reserve pension fund, after the French parliament last week passed a law to use its assets to pay off the debts of France’s welfare system. The assets have been transferred into the state’s social debt sinking fund Cades. The FRR will continue to control the assets, but as a third-party manager on behalf of Cades.” FN condemns the action as follows: “The move reflects a willingness by governments to use long-term assets to fill short-term deficits, including Ireland’s announcement last week that it would use the country’s €24bn National Pensions  Reserve Fund “to support the exchequer’s funding programme” and Hungary’s bid to claw $15bn of private pension funds back to the state system.” In other words, with the ECB still unwilling to go into full fiat printing overdrive mode, insolvent governments, France most certainly included, are resorting to whatever piggybanks they can find. Hopefully this is not a harbinger of what Tim Geithner plans to do with the trillions in various 401(k) funds on this side of the Atlantic.

More from FN on how first France, and soon every other socalized pension regime, will continue to plunder a nation’s life saving to fund short-term deficits:

The decision has prompted a radical restructuring of the FRR’s investments. The new strategic investment plan, which will be released in the new year, will see a rapid reduction in its 40% allocation to equities and a shift to cash and short-term government bonds, according to a source close to the situation.

There will be a focus on liability-driven investment, where asset managers are told to minimise risk by matching assets closely to liabilities.

The transfer of the FRR’s assets to Cades is controversial. Force Ouvrière, a trade union confederation, accused the government of “provoking the clinical death” of the FRR.

The decision was

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As Sliding EURUSD Takes Out Friday Lows, Market Response To Bailout Is “Concerning”

Courtesy of Tyler Durden

Despite its illiquidity, The FX market has been the first and earliest indicator of how the market is taking the Irish bailout. So far it has been a complete abortion, and after opening in the mid 1.33 in the interbank market, the EURUSD has just touched on 1.3196, and is about to take out Friday support. The vigilantes refuse to go away. In addition to LCH margin hikes on Portugal and Spanish bonds tomorrow which now appears inevitable, we continue to expect that FX margin requirements will be hiked over the next few days across the board. Lastly, expect to hear rumors of secret service chasing any and all bond shorts/CDS longs. The war for the Eurozone’s survival is now on in earnest.

Drop Dead in the Future? What About Today?

Courtesy of Bruce Krasting 

The surprising (to me) result of the Irish bailout is the related agreement by EU leaders to force bond-holders to face a haircut should an EU state become “insolvent” after 2013. I think this was done in an effort to placate the many voices that are saying “no” to the state bailouts. It sounds as if the leaders are responding; “We will fix this problem now, but in the future will let the chips fall on the bondholders back.”

That may sound like a reasonable approach. I see some unintended consequences. From the WSJ:

Creditors of euro-zone countries that face insolvency after 2013 will see their bond holdings restructured.

Okay, we get that. After 2013 holders of bonds of troubled countries get hit. But what happens between now and 2013? Again from the Journal:

Ms. Merkel has stressed in that the proposal would affect only bonds issued from late 2013.

Wait a second. If bonds issued after late 2013 are at risk, does that mean that bonds issued before 2013 are not at risk? That sure is what it sounds like to me. 

The bond market is going to call this bluff. There are Greek, Irish and Spanish bonds that are trading at 9%, 7% and 5% respectively that are the buy of a lifetime if I am reading this right. Who wouldn’t want to buy a nice 9%, ten-year Greek bond that was also guaranteed as to payment by the big hitters of the EU? A “fully” guaranteed bond would trade closer to 3% than 9%. 

So I am left confused by this development. Other questions:

-If the “at risk” provisions for all existing EU sovereign debt is somehow eliminated you have to ask; who is making the promise that all that debt is money good? The ECB? I would think not. We are talking of a few trillion Euros if you add in Spain and Italy. You need a big stick to guarantee that nut.

-What the hell is going to happen in 2013? By setting a “date certain” situation where the status of a borrower changes from one day to the next is just begging for a crisis. Depending on the circumstances one of the countries could be blocked out of the credit market overnight. This plan is a set-up for failure, not success.

It’s possible that…
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Zero Hedge

Goldman Finally Looks At The Freight Charts, Raises Alarm About The "Broader Health Of The US Economy"

Courtesy of ZeroHedge. View original post here.

Submitted by Tyler Durden.

In the first days of November, we showed that global trade is in freefall with "China Container Freight At Record Low; Rail Traffic Tumbles, Trucking Slows Down." Now, Goldman has finally caught up, and writes that "indicators of freight activity—the volume of goods carried by truck, rail, air or ship—have slowed recently, raising concerns about the broader health of the US economy."

This is how Goldman finally admits what we have been saying for the past two years: the biggest threat to the US, and global, economy is the gradual and e...

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Phil's Favorites

Flight Paths Over Turkey Analyzed; Obama Defends Turkey; Choose Your Friends and Enemies Wisely; Merkel Madness

Courtesy of Mish.

In the wake of Turkey shooting down a Russian aircraft over Syria, the immediate impact will be to make negotiations on the removal of Assad all the more difficult. First let's analyze the flight path of the downed aircraft courtesy of Stratfor.

Map of Flight Path of Downed Russian Aircraft

Deadly Few Seconds

The short distances involved and the speed at which fighter jets fly does support the view made by a US official: "They were in Turkish airspace only 2 to 3 seconds".

Obama Defends Turkey

Voice of America reports ...

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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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Chart School

2-0 Bulls

Courtesy of Declan.

A second day for bulls to shine despite modest end-of-day gains. Some indices did better than others. The Russell 2000 was the key performer. It finished with a MACD trigger 'buy' and looks ready to outperform the Nasdaq 100.  This is an important development for bulls looking for more from other indices. A move to challenge - then break - its 200-day MA, would convert August-November action into a healthy basing action.

The Nasdaq registered higher volume accumulation as a brief sojourn below the 20-day MA was reversed. It's nicely set up for a push to new swing highs.


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Market News

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Financial Markets and Economy

U.S. Index Futures Drop After Turkey Shoots Down Russia Warplane (Bloomberg)

U.S. stock-index futures declined after Turkey said it shot down a Russian warplane, while investors await data for further indications of the strength of the world’s biggest economy.

Airline shares are plummeting as easyJet suspends more flights to Egypt (Business Insider)

Shares in British listed airlines are tan...

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Kimble Charting Solutions

S&P 500 – Dangerous for bull case, if prices turn weak here!

Courtesy of Chris Kimble.


The S&P 500 remains inside of a rising channel that has been in place since 2010. The 5-year trend is up.

The 5-month trend is a different story, at this time.

Over the past 5-months, the S&P 500 has created a series of “falling weekly closing highs,” which is represented by line (1) above.

The S&P is testing this falling resistance line at (2) above.

If weakness takes place at (2) above, at falling resistance, it would be concerning price action for the bullish case!


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Sector Detector: Bulls wrest back control of market direction, despite global adversity

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

Courtesy of Sabrient Systems and Gradient Analytics

Some weeks when I write this article there is little new to talk about from the prior week. It’s always the Fed, global QE, China growth, election chatter, oil prices, etc. And then there are times like this in which there is so much happening that I don’t know where to start. Of course, the biggest market-moving news came the weekend before last when Paris was put face-to-face with the depths of human depravity and savagery. And yet the stock market responded with its best week of the year. As a result, the key issues dominating the front page and election chatter have moved from the economy and jobs to national security and a real war (rather than police ...

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Swing trading portfolio - week of November 23rd, 2015

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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Digital Currencies

Bitcoin's Computing Network is More Powerful than 525 Googles and 10,000 Banks!

Courtesy of ZeroHedge. View original post here.

Submitted by Reggie Middleton.

I've decided to build our startup - Veritaseum, a peer-to-peer financial services platform, directly on top of the Bitcoin Blockchain. Many queried why I would voluntarily give up a lucrative advisory and consulting business to chase virtual coins in cyberspace. That's exactly why I decided to do it. That level of misunderstanding of what is essentially the second coming of the Internet gave me a fundamental advantage over those who had deeper connections, more capital and more firepower. I was the first mover advantage holder.

You see, Bitcoin is not about coins, currency or price pops. It is a massive computing net...

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PSW is more than just stock talk!


We know you love coming here for our Stocks & Options education, strategy and trade ideas, and for Phil's daily commentary which you can't live without, but there's more! features the most important and most interesting news items from around the web, all day, every day!

News: If you missed it, you can probably find it in our Market News section. We sift through piles of news so you don't have to.   

If you are looking for non-mainstream, provocatively-narrated news and opinion pieces which promise to make you think -- we feature Zero Hedge, ...

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Whitney Tilson On LL, EXACT, And Martin Shkreli


Whitney Tilson On LL, EXACT, And Martin Shkreli

Courtesy of Value Walk

1) The shares of one of my largest short positions (~3%), Exact Sciences, crashed by more than 46% yesterday. Below is the article I published this morning on SeekingAlpha, explaining why I think it’s still a great short and thus shorted more yesterday. Here’s a summary:

  • The U.S. Preventative Services Task Force’s Colorectal Cancer Screening Draft Recommendation issued yesterday is devastating for Exact Sciences’ only product, Cologuard.
  • I think this is the beginning of the end for the company.
  • My price target for the stock a year from now is $3, so I shorted more yes...

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Baxter's Spinoff

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

Baxter Int. (BAX) is splitting off its BioSciences division into a new company called Baxalta. Shares of Baxalta will be given as a tax-free dividend, in the ratio of one to one, to BAX holders on record on June 17, 2015. That means, if you want to receive the Baxalta dividend, you need to buy the stock this week (on or before June 12).

The Baxalta Spinoff

By Ilene with Trevor of Lowenthal Capital Partners and Paul Price

In its recent filing with the SEC, Baxter provides:

“This information statement is being ...

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Mapping The Market

An update on oil proxies

Courtesy of Jean-Luc Saillard

Back in December, I wrote a post on my blog where I compared the performances of various ETFs related to the oil industry. I was looking for the best possible proxy to match the moves of oil prices if you didn't want to play with futures. At the time, I concluded that for medium term trades, USO and the leveraged ETFs UCO and SCO were the most promising. Longer term, broader ETFs like OIH and XLE might make better investment if oil prices do recover to more profitable prices since ETF linked to futures like USO, UCO and SCO do suffer from decay. It also seemed that DIG and DUG could be promising if OIH could recover as it should with the price of oil, but that they don't make a good proxy for the price of oil itself. 


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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 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.

Thank you for you time!

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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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