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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Phil's Favorites

Another Health Care Chart Looks Sick


Another Health Care Chart Looks Sick

Courtesy of Dana Lyons

A popular pharmaceutical ETF is testing its (ill-fated?) post-2009 bull market trendline.


As the major stock averages continue to bide their time in sideways fashion, one of the weaker sectors in the market continues to look sick. We have covered the relative laggard health care sector plenty over the past few weeks. The focus in many of the posts has centered around the various indices’ tests of their post-2008-2009 bull market Up trendlines. Some tests have been successful (e.g., ...

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Zero Hedge

"The Outcome Is Undeniable" - Global Debt Investors Face Reality Of A World Devoid Of Options

Courtesy of ZeroHedge. View original post here.

Authored by Danielle DiMartino Booth,

More haunting even than the terrified screams of lambs being led was the silence that followed their slaughter.

Such was the searing pain of relentless recollection for FBI agent Clarice Starling, the tortured lead played to Oscar perfection by Jodie Foster. In an agonizingly whispered scene that has forever left its imprint on the minds of horrified audiences, we hear the bleating of Starling’s long-dead tor...

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Blind Capital

By BroyHill. Originally published at ValueWalk.

According to Morningstar, the average US equity manager, has underperformed the S&P 500 Index over the past one, three and five years. Given investors natural tendency to chase what’s working, and ditch what’s not, “the death of active management” is becoming a popular consensus sentiment.

Before writing off active management and jumping on the index fund bandwagon, investors would be well served to pause and reflect.  Might this be a cyclical phenomenon?  If so, when have we seen this in the past?  And most importantly, how did it play out last time?  Spoiler alert: yes, this is cyclical; yes, we have seen this in the past; no, it didn’t turn out so hot for overvalued indices overweighted in overvalued large caps.

Ed Chancellor’s ...

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Market News

News You Can Use From Phil's Stock World


Financial Markets and Economy

Crude Rally May Clinch Top Stock Market Status for Canada in ’16 (Bloomberg)

Gold’s best run since 2010 pushed Canadian equities to the top spot among developed-market stocks this year. Fifty dollar crude will give them an opportunity to stay there.

Would Cutting Corporate Tax Rates Really Grow the Economy? (The Atlantic)

One of the things Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump disagree most strongly about is how to stimulate the economy. Donald Trump has one idea that conservative economist...

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Kimble Charting Solutions

Bio-Tech; In more trouble if this fails, says Joe Friday

Courtesy of Chris Kimble.

At one point in time, actually for years, Bio-Tech (IBB) was a market leader. From the 2009 lows to 2015, IBB out gained the S&P by more than 250%. Since the summer of 2015, Bio Tech has remained a leader, a “downside leader!” IBB has lagged the S&P by over 35% in the past 15-months.

Is the downside leadership over for IBB? Below updates the pattern on IBB


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Chart School

Mini-Bearish Wedges in Lead Markets

Courtesy of Declan.

The last few days have seen little movement in key markets. The one potential development to look to resolve tomorrow or Monday are rising wedges in certain markets. The advantage bulls have is that if markets can push above wedge highs (which are close), shorts will be squeezed in a buying scramble.

The S&P has a created a small, rising wedge off a larger rising wedge from September. The 20-day and 50-day MAs lend additional overhead resistance as does higher volume distribution for the index today (although the trading range for the day was very narrow).


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Members' Corner

The Orlando Massacre Part 3

Courtesy of Nattering Naybob.

A continuation of a Naybob of IT's Natterings from Part 1 and Part 2...

While many Christian churches expressed grief and offered free funeral services for the victims of the Orlando shooting, the fundamentalist Westboro Baptist Church held an anti-gay protest during the funeral of the victims.

But the Westboro Baptist Church's protest rally was blocked by about 200 people who formed a human barricade on the main street in downtown Orlando, ...

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Swing trading portfolio - week of October 17th, 2016

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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Mapping The Market

The Most Overlooked Trait of Investing Success

Via Jean-Luc

Good article on investing success:

The Most Overlooked Trait of Investing Success

By Morgan Housel

There is a reason no Berkshire Hathaway investor chides Buffett when the company has a bad quarter. It’s because Buffett has so thoroughly convinced his investors that it’s pointless to try to navigate around 90-day intervals. He’s done that by writing incredibly lucid letters to investors for the last 50 years, communicating in easy-to-understand language at annual meetings, and speaking on TV in ways that someone with no investing experience can grasp.

Yes, Buffett runs an amazing investment company. But he also runs an amazing investor company. One of the most underappreciated part of his s...

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Digital Currencies

Gold, Silver and Blockchain - Fintech Solutions To Negative Rates, Bail-ins, Currency Debasement and Cashless

Courtesy of ZeroHedge. View original post here.

By Jan Skoyles

I was so pleased yesterday by the announcement that I have joined the Research team at GoldCore as it meant that I could finally start talking about it and was back in a role that lets me indulge in my passion by researching and geeking out on all things gold, silver and money.


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Epizyme - A Waiting Game

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

Epizyme was founded in 2007, and trying to create drugs to treat patient's cancer by focusing on genetically-linked differences between normal and cancer cells. Cancer areas of focus include leukemia, Non-Hodgkin's lymphoma and breast cancer.  One of the Epizme cofounders, H. Robert Horvitz, won the Nobel Prize in Medicine in 2002 for "discoveries concerning genetic regulation of organ development and programmed cell death."

Before discussing the drug targets of Epizyme, understanding epigenetics is crucial to comprehend the company's goals.  

Genetic components are the DNA sequences that are 'inherited.'  Some of these genes are stronger than others in their expression (e.g., eye color).  Yet, some genes turn on or off due to external factors (environmental), and it is und...

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All About Trends

Mid-Day Update

Reminder: Harlan 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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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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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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