Archive for October, 2011

Unbelievable, Must-See Video: Heroic Navy Sailor Stands Tall In the Middle of Oakland Tear Gas Firestorm … Holding Up the Cons

Courtesy of ZeroHedge. View original post here.

Submitted by George Washington.

Here he is a couple of minutes before, standing with marine veteran Scott Olsen before Olsen was hit in the head and nearly killed by a projectile:

In fact, retired members from every branch of the military support the protesters.

And even active service members are starting to come out to support them.

Note: By comparing the video above with prior videos of Scott Olsen’s shooting, I believe that video experts should be able to confirm the identity of the shooter and the guy who threw the tear gas canister in the middle of the group trying to rescue Scott Olsen.

Markets Spook On Halloween (SPY, DIA, QQQ, IWM, MF)

Courtesy of John Nyaradi.

Markets spooked out today on Halloween as the SPDR S&P 500 ETF (AMEX:SPY), SPDR Dow Jones Industrial Average (AMEX:DIA), PowerShares QQQ Trust (NASDAQ:QQQ), and the iShares Russell 2000 Index (AMEX:IWM) all took a nose dive to end a crazy month.

The nose dive was mostly a correction related to last weeks Europe debacle; moving forward this week, it is unclear whether the rally will continue until the end of the year, or if it was just a short sigh of relief before things could get really ugly.

One thing is for certain: MF Global Holding’s (NYSE:MF) file for Chapter 11 bankruptcy is not a positive sign by any means.  The bank failed for several reasons, including its purchase of European sovereign debt.  I wonder how European banks are feeling today as well for purchasing European sovereign debt, it certainly wasn’t a sugar high from too much Halloween candy.  Spain and Italy are likely next, proceed with caution.

Read more about how Gold ETFs and Energy ETFs were affected by the MF Global Holdings bankruptcy.

In other news, business activity reports were mixed today; reports showed slowing business in Chicago but increased manufacturing in Texas, the mixed reports being a further reminder we are not out of the woods yet.  Tomorrow is a big day with an ISM report, construction spending report, and motor vehicle sales.

To continue, the Bank of Japan sold off 7 trillion Yen to slow down its currency, thus strengthening the dollar.

And lastly, G-20 leaders are set to meet this Wednesday; topics of conversation include growing the world economy and further solving the European crisis.

Global Stock Market Summary:

SPDR S&P 500 ETF (AMEX:SPY): -3.15, -2.45%

SPDR Dow Jones Industrial Average (AMEX:DIA): -2.70, -2.21%

PowerShares QQQ Trust (NASDAQ:QQQ):-1.00, -1.7%

iShares Russell 2000 Index (AMEX:IWM): -2.06, -2.71%

Happy Halloween!

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No More Golf or Pizza for the Yakuza

Courtesy of ZeroHedge. View original post here.

Submitted by testosteronepit.

By Wolf Richter

Tokyo’s organized crime exclusionary laws went into effect in October—and they’re already creating havoc. The laws criminalize doing business with boryokudan (“violent group” or colloquially yakuza). In an ingenious twist, paying off the yakuza in an extortion racket is also a crime. Now restaurants have to stop paying protection money. Even victims of blackmail—hush money is an outright industry in Japan—commit a crime if they pay.

First, there’s a warning. But if violations persist, authorities will add the business or person to a public list of perps who have a “close relationship” with the yakuza. Instant loss of face. And then the financial nightmare: customers flee, banks shut their doors, government agencies won’t renew licenses, office leases get terminated—all based on the organized crime exclusionary clauses in their contracts. Individuals may lose their jobs, as comedian and TV host, Shimda Shinsuke, found out.

If contact with the yakuza continues despite all this, a person risks up to one year in the hoosegow and a fine of ¥500,000 ($6,400).

It hit the golf industry hard.

“If customers are yakuza, we ask them to leave even if they’re in the middle of playing,” said the general manager of Akabane Golf Club (Mainichi, article in Japanese). He is also the chairman of the Council of Golf Clubs for the Expulsion of Organized Crime in Tokyo. How would he know if someone is a yakuza? “We refer the names of suspicious people to the police,” he said.

And the pizza delivery industry is in uproar.

“We don’t know if the address we deliver to is the place of a yakuza,” said the Delivery Business Safety Driving Council. But don’t panic. “One or two pizzas are OK,” the Council said, “but delivering a huge amount of pizza, knowing that the customer is a yakuza is a no-no.” They’re planning to invite police officers to a study meeting with store managers.

A famous temple in Tokyo is grappling with the new laws. A number of its members are yakuza, and the graves of top yakuza are always full of incense. They held a huge funeral for one in July, but no more. Small family-and-relatives-only funerals of yakuza are tolerated. Not big ones. “But it’s difficult to decline a request for a funeral made by a powerful
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On FOIA, Obama wants a license to lie

Pic credit: Jr. Deputy Accountant 

It’s not often that the liberal American Civil Liberties Union and conservative Judicial Watch agree on anything, but the Obama administration’s lack of transparency has brought the two together. Obama’s Justice Department has proposed a regulatory change that would weaken the Freedom of Information Act. Under the new rules, the government could falsely respond to those who file FOIA requests that a document does not exist if it pertains to an ongoing criminal investigation, concerns a terrorist organization, or a counterintelligence operation involving a foreign nation.

There are two problems with the Obama proposal to allow federal officials to affirmatively assert that a requested document doesn’t exist when it does. First, by not citing a specific exemption allowed under the FOIA as grounds for denying a request, the proposal would cut off a requestor from appealing to the courts. By thus creating an area of federal activity that is completely exempt from judicial review, the proposal undercuts due process and other constitutional protections. Second, by creating a justification for government lying to FOIA requestors in one area, a legal precedent is created that sooner or later will be asserted by the government in other areas as well.

Keep reading here: On FOIA, Obama wants a license to lie | Examiner Editorial | Editorials | Washington Examiner.

China Manufacturing PMI Drops To 32 Month Low

Courtesy of ZeroHedge. View original post here.

Submitted by Tyler Durden.

China Manufacturing PMI prints at 50.4, down from 51.2, when consensus was expecting an increase to 51.8. This is the lowest print in 32 months, and the lowest since February 2009. But wait, before concluding that this is very bad news, uh, ahem… well, sorry, we haven’t taken the CNBC spin school yet. It’s bad news and the hard landing is coming. We leave the spin to the professionals. Oh wait, yes, China will go ahead and ease immediately if not sooner. Because the PBoC has surely completely forgotten how much fun it was to see pork prices rise by triple digits year over year, and because it knows all too well that no matter what it does the Fed will never, ever print, and thus export metric tons of inflation straight across the Pacific. How’s that for spin?

Someone Is Going To Jail For This: MF Global Caught Stealing Hundreds Of Millions From Customers?

Courtesy of ZeroHedge. View original post here.

Submitted by Tyler Durden.

Say you are the head back office guy at MF Global, it is the close of trading on Thursday, the firm has already completely drawn down on its revolver, and all the resulting cash in addition to all the firm’s cash at your disposal in affiliated bank accounts, up to and including petty cash, has been used to satisfy margin demands due to declining collateral value, yet the collateral calls just won’t stop, and impatient voices on the other side of the phone line demand you transfer even more cash over immediately or else risk default proceedings commenced against you within minutes. What do you do? Do you go ahead and tell your superior that the firm is broke even though the co-opted media is trumpeting every 5 minutes that "MF Global is fine", knowing full well you will be immediately fired for being the bearer of bad news, or do you assume that courtesy of your uber-boss being the former head of the Vampire Squid, and thanks to infinite moral hazard which after Lehman made sure nobody would ever fail ever again, that there is simply no way that you will be left without some miraculous rescue, if only you can last one more day, and as a result proceed to "commingle" some client funds with the firm’s cash.

It turns out that at MF Global you do the latter… over and over… until you have literally stolen hundreds of millions from the firm’s client accounts in hopes that the miracle rescue will come on Friday… then over the weekend… and then you realize no miracle is coming, partly because your actions have been exposed, partly because miracles only exist in fairy tales. The next thing you know, your firm is bankrupt and hundreds of clients are about to learn that all their money is gone. Poof. This is not a fictional tale. This is precisely what very likely happened at MF Global in the past 72 hours. And someone has to go to jail. That someone, if indeed this criminal act is proven to have taken place, should be none other than Jon Corzine himself.

The sad truth of just how low Wall Street has fallen comes to us courtesy of the New York Times:

Federal regulators have discovered that

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US Dollar ETFs React To Japanese Yen Intervention (UUP, UDN, UDNT, UUPT, FXY)

Courtesy of John Nyaradi.

US Dollar ETFs such as PowerShares DB US Dollar Index Bullish (AMEX:UUP) and PowerShares DB 3x Long US Dollar Index Futures (AMEX:UUPT) rose today against the Japanese Yen after the Bank Of Japan sold off nearly 7 Trillion Yen to weaken the currency.

The US Dollar rose significantly compared to the Japanese Yen today, and several US Dollar ETFs reacted sharply to the upward trend.  The PowerShares DB US Dollar Index Bullish (AMEX:UUP) ETF rose 1.94% today, as it directly correlates to US dollar prices.  Today was also a good day to be investing in the PowerShares DB 3x Long US Dollar Index Futures ETN (AMEX:UUPT), as it rose 6.09% today.  This ETN tracks the US Dollar on a long position, and today’s rise created enormous wealth in this currency ETF.

The Japanese intervention, though strong, is likely to be short lived, as Japan’s Yen continues to face higher prices due its perceived perception as a safer currency then US Dollars or Euros.  This “safer” currency mentality likely comes from fears about Europe and a possible Chinese bubble.  (AMEX:UUP) and (AMEX:UUPT) are likely to be contenders for profitable dollar ETF trading, as long as The Bank Of Japan keeps injecting Yen into the system, and Europe remains on firm footing after last weeks debacle.

On the other side of the spectrum, PowerShares DB US Dollar Index Bearish (AMEX:UDN) and its brother ETN PowerShares DB 3x Short US Dollar Index Futures (AMEX;UDNT) reacted negatively to the dollar rising, as (AMEX:UDN) dropped nearly 2% today while (AMEX:UDNT) dropped a whopping 5.22%.  Both of these ETFs track the dollar inversely, with (AMEX:UDN) and (AMEX:UDNT) shorting the market.  It is likely that as the Japanese Yen recovers from the Bank of Japan’s sell off, the US dollar will fall and (AMEX:UDN) and (AMEX:UDNT) will be very profitable investments and an easier way to make money on a falling US dollar.  However, if the current “fiat” currency rally continues, in which markets continue to rise on continued positive Euro and US economic sentiment, then these ETFs would be the first on the chopping block.

Lastly, the CurrencyShares Japanese Yen Trust (AMEX:FXY) ETF reacted very negatively to the Bank of Japan’s Yen sell-off, dropping nearly 3.13%.  This ETF will likely rebound in the next few days as the Yen corrects its down spell, but in the…
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Trader: The MF Global Bankruptcy ‘Decimated’ The Floor Of The CME Today

Courtesy of Joe Weisenthal of The Business Insider


Image: Eric Wilkinson

There was a lot of confusion this morning about what kind of impact the bankruptcy of futures dealer MF Global would have on trading operations.

One place the impact was felt big: The floor of the Chicago Mercantile Exchange.

We caught up by phone with Eric "The Wolfman" Wilkinson, the independent floor trader who many know because he stands near Rick Santelli on CNBC.

He explained to us what happened.

The gist: MF Global is the clearing firm for a huge chunk of the traders on the floor of the exchange. That means, essentially, that they guarantee that all trades get paid out, a role that the Chicago Board of Trade used to play directly, but which was outsourced to third parties as part of the CBOT’s move towards being publicly held. Importantly, MF is/was the clearing firm for many sub-firms, which means that many traders ultimately were having their trades cleared through MF Global, even if they didn’t know it.…
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Papandreou Calls for Voter Referendum on EU Debt Deal

Courtesy of Mish

In an extremely risky move, Papandreou calls for referendum on EU debt deal

Prime Minister George Papandreou has stated his intention to hold a referendum on last week’s agreement in Brussels for Greece’s bondholders to accept a 50 percent haircut and the country to receive some 130 billion euros in loans from its eurozone partners.

Speaking to PASOK MPs, Papandreou also said that he would ask for a vote of confidence in Parliament. This is likely to take place next week. The referendum could happen later this year.

Papandreou said he had faith in Greeks making the right decision. “Let us allow the people to have the last word, let them decide on the country’s fate,” he said. He said handing the vote over to Greeks was «an act of patriotism."

The premier insisted that calling snap polls – ahead of elections scheduled for 2013 – would be “simply dodging the issue.”

The vote of confidence – likely to be held next week – would come just over four months after a similar vote that Papandreou sought, and won, to bolster his government ahead of a Parliamentary vote on austerity measures.

The premier’s bombshell came a day after an opinion poll, carried out by To Vima, found that 60 percent of Greeks regard last Thursday’s EU debt deal as «negative» or «probably negative."

Things will become unglued in a hurry if Greek voters decide to tell the EU where to go. Moreover, but less importantly, Papandreou just may not survive the next vote of confidence.

Mike "Mish" Shedlock

What the Market Wants: The Cause of Monday’s Sell-Off

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

Courtesy of David Brown, Chief Market Strategist, Sabrient

So why did the Dow drop 275+ points, the S&P 500 32 points and the NASDAQ nearly 53 points?  The S&P closed at 1253, still above the range-bound area of 1220 to 1120 that had held it captive from August 2 until October 21.  Of course I don’t actually know, but I can give you a few clues.  First, October had delivered an incredible +13% gain to the S&P 500.  One of the best months in history! Last week produced mediocre economic data and an EU plan, while spectacular in goals, had few details or actual deals.  And while Q3 continued to deliver solid earnings gains, there were plenty of disappointments.  Another clue should have been that the week with all the EU hoopla ended with a paltry 0.5% gain for the S&P on Friday.  With no clear progress from EU or the gridlock in our congress over the weekend, a stout round of profit-taking on Monday makes sense. Oil was down and the dollar was up sharply.  Neither helps the market generate positive movement.

It would seem that we need specificity from the EU on its resolution of the current Euro crisis.  We need our dysfunctional congress to end its gridlock and move our economy forward.  Finally, we need the banks to resume lending and the cash-rich corporations to begin spending.  Let’s face it: the alternatives to equities right now are the moribund opportunities in the fixed income market or the continually crashing real estate universe.

Here are the market stats.

Market Stats. However, not all is lost.  October ended with Net Revisions at 10.8 for the last 30 days for our 100 highest rated stocks, (its highest reading since early August).  Even better, the forward quarters estimated valuation score for the same stocks is 6.43 compared to 4.84 back at the market high on May 2, 2011 (nearly a 50% increase).  Finally, the secular 5-year forecast for earnings growth of these stocks reached 12.95%/year, the highest since early 2007. Results for the top 300 and 1000 stocks had similar highs.

Last week our own economic releases were barely decent with the 2.5% gain in Q3 GDP leading them.  Keep in mind that the first estimate is frequently revised downward.  Personal income was…
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Phil's Favorites

Thanksgiving amid the Threats


Thoughts from the Frontline: Thanksgiving amid the Threats

Courtesy of John Mauldin

“Nobody in Europe will be abandoned. Nobody in Europe will be excluded. Europe only succeeds if we work together.”
– Angela Merkel, December 15, 2010

“Within our mandate, the ECB is ready to do whatever it takes to preserve the euro. Believe me, it will be enough.”
– Mario Draghi, July 25, 2012

“We have to safeguard the spirit behind Schengen,” Mr Juncker told the European Parliament on Wednesday. “Yes, the Schengen system is partly comatose. But . . . a single currency does not exist if Schengen fails. It is one of the pillars of the construction of Europe.”

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Market News

News You Can Use From Phil's Stock World


Financial Markets and Economy

IMF Approves Reserve-Currency Status for China's Yuan (Bloomberg)

The IMF will add the yuan to its basket of reserve currencies, an international stamp of approval of the progress China has made integrating into a global economic system dominated for decades by the U.S., Europe and Japan.

The most creative thing central banks have done since the financial crisis has had 'unspectacular' results (Bloomberg)

The most creative thing done by central banks since the financial crisis is taking benchmark ...

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Zero Hedge

Seeking A Savior

Courtesy of ZeroHedge. View original post here.

Submitted by Tyler Durden.

Submitted by Jeff Thomas via,

It’s an unfortunate truth that, when people are worried about the future, they often put their faith in politicians to somehow make everything better.

Politicians, of course, are famous for promising panaceas for whatever is troubling voters, and they even invent new troubles to worry about, presenting themselves as the only ones who can solve these woes.

Not surprising then, that, over time, any nation may slowly deteriorate into a population of nebbishes who turn to their government to do their thinking for them and take responsibility for their futures.


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Chart School

Semiconductor Index Breaks 200-day MA

Courtesy of Declan.

Today offered a heavier than expected volume day post-holiday. The majority of this action was to the downside, but the Semiconductor Index bucked the trend.  The latter index was able to push above its 200-day MA as it posted a relative advantage against the Nasdaq 100. While the Nasdaq and Nasdaq 100 suffered losses today, both will be helped by strength in the Semiconductor Index.  All technicals for the Semiconductor Index are in the green, with a return of the MACD to a 'buy' trigger (above the bullish zero line - a bullish development).

The Nasdaq suffered a minor loss. It wasn't able to challenge the recent high, but it's close enough ...

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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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Kimble Charting Solutions

Crude Oil Market As Oversold As 1999 Lows

Courtesy of Chris Kimble.

Crude Oil is quite simply the most important commodity on the planet. But volatility with Crude Oil prices emerges every time there is conflict in oil producing nations or an economic slowdown.

And this has led to some pretty big swings in Crude Oil prices over the past several years.

But the latest swing lower is nearing a moment of truth. In fact, this decline may be the most important swing lower of the 2000’s.

Why?  Because oil prices are currently testing a key price support level comprised of the 2004 breakout level (above the 1990 highs) and the 2009 price lows – see red circles and line. In fact, this price support area also marks the 23.6 Fibonacci support level (from the 1999 lows to 2008 highs).  AND crude oil is as oversold as it was back at the 1999 price lows!

But that’s no...

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Swing trading portfolio - week of November 30th, 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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Insider Scoop

An Inexpensive Small-Cap ETF For December Gains

Courtesy of Benzinga.

Related IJR Of Rate Hikes And Small-Cap ETFs Active Management Mediocrity Continues There's still time to go small (Seeking Alpha)

Tuesday marks the start of December, and with the arrival of the last month of the year imminent, there... more from Insider

Digital Currencies

The Bitcoin Universe Explained

Courtesy of ZeroHedge. View original post here.

As evidenced by the Greek, Chinese, and now Argentine 'jumps', the world remains increasingly aware of the inevitable worth of fiat currencies and fears the desperate acts of governments as the react to that reality (and is looking for alternatives).

This infographic explains the wide ranges of the Bitcoin universe, accompanied with quotes from some of its best-known business leaders.

Courtesy of: Visual Capitalist ...

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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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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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