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Archive for 2011

TLT testing key short-term support.

Courtesy of Chris Kimble

CLICK ON CHART TO ENLARGE

TLT has rallied off of support and broke above its falling wedge at (1), with a test of its new rising channel support line taking place at (2).

Game Plan…Remail long TLT after a purchase at (1).  Will “harvest” the TLT position on a break of support at (2) by 1%.





60 Minutes Overtime | Mortgage Mess: Who Really Owns Your Mortgage?

Courtesy of 4closureFraud

Mortgage mess: Who really owns your mortgage?

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Do you know who really owns your mortgage? As Scott Pelley reports on “60 Minutes” this week, that question has become a nightmare for many homeowners since the invention of mortgage-backed securities. Yes, those were the exotic investments that sparked the financial collapse in this country. And the’re still causing problems.

As it turns out, Wall Street cut corners when it bundled homeowners’ mortgages into securities that were traded from investor to investor. Now that banks are foreclosing on people, they’re finding that the legal documents behind many mortgages are missing. So, what do the banks do? As Pelley explains in this video, some companies appear to be resorting to forgery and phony paperwork in what looks like a nationwide epidemic.

Even if you’re not at risk of foreclosure, there could be legal ramifications for a homeowner if the chain of title has been lost. Watch the “60 Minutes” report and listen to Pelley’s discussion with “60 Minutes Overtime” editor Ann Silvio about the findings of his reporting team.

Watch Scott Pelley’s report.

Have you contacted your mortgage servicing company to find out whether your mortgage has been bundled and sold? Did you get a clear answer and a copy of your mortgage paperwork to back it up?

www.4closureFraud.org





Did The Economy Stop Blowing Jobs?

Courtesy of MoneyMcbags

The big news in the market on Friday was the release of the (No) Labor Department’s NFP Jobs Report (more commonly known as the Labor Force Participation Rate Report, or fiction) which showed the ponzeconomy™ added 216k jobs in March which was enough for the administration to pat themselves on their well insured backs and head to their local church to celebrate.  So break open the Dom, dish out the beluga, and try not to look the 13.5MM unemployed people in the eyes (or the additional ~10MM U6 fucking unemployed people), because at this rate the ponzeconomy™ will be back to full employment just around the time Bernie Madoff gets out of prison or when former Bush economic adviser Glenn Hubbard‘s sex change is finally complete (he was a woman at one point right?  Or is he just trying to crack this list?).

 

Money McBags would like to break down the jobs report with brilliant insight, unheard of prescience, and tons of boobs (as he did last month), but the story is exactly the fucking same.  No really, Money McBags could simply cut and paste this month’s numbers into last month’s column, rinse, repeat, and be done so he can spend his time building out his library and celebrating India’s victory in the Cricket World Cup, but he knows his readers have spent their hard earned dignity clicking over to the award winning When Genius Prevailed and demand new material, so Money McBags will do his best to polish this turd.

 

1.  It’s the math, stupid.  Just taking a step back and looking at the numbers in aggregate helps you realize the spin being put on them is more absurd than Don Quixote (though thankfully shorter) or a she-male who is in to chicks.  It doesn’t take Daniel Bernoulli, Grigori Perelman, or Patricia Heaton to see that the unemployment rate going from 9.77% to 8.83% since November while an aggregate ~725k jobs were added to the ponzeconomy™ makes less sense than supply side economics (or any economics for that matter).

 

There were 15MM unemployed people in November, which is now down to 13.5MM, but as we just saw, only ~725k jobs were added, so um, something smells fishier than Cy Waits schlong.  Shit, remember that in January a headline 50k jobs…
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Sola Dosis Facit Venenum?

Courtesy of Leo Kolivakis

Via Pension Pulse.

When I was studying at McGill University, I wasn’t sure what I wanted to do in life so I majored in economics, minored in mathematics and took a bunch of health science courses as electives just in case I wanted to follow my father, brother and friends into medicine. That meant a full year of organic chemistry, biochemistry and physiology. For my intellectual stimulation, I audited Charles (Chuck) Taylor’s courses in political philosophy. He’s the greatest professor I ever had, a true genius.

My friends thought I was nuts, a masochist who was biting off more than he can chew. They were right but I didn’t care. I never obtained the perfect grades needed to apply to medical school because rogue memorization of biochemical pathways just bored me to death. So I went on to finish my Master’s in Economics as I was more comfortable with macroeconomics (even though the stuff they teach students in university isn’t what I call hands-on economic and financial analysis; it’s way too theoretical, almost entirely based on mathematical theorems).

I ended up getting an “A” in my Master’s thesis criticizing the literature on growth empirics (see my comment on Galton’s Fallacy and the Myth of Decoupling). I was proud of that accomplishment because at that time (1997) I got diagnosed with multiple sclerosis (MS) at the age of 26 and had to take some time off from writing my thesis. I went through a tough period where I withdrew from my family and friends and spent all my time at the McGill medical school scouring over all the articles on MS I could find. I wanted to know everything: the good, the bad and the downright ugly.

This lasted for a couple of months but at one point I got sick and tired of reading articles on MS and decided to get on living my life. I did, however, learn a lot about MS and diet which led me to Ashton Embry’s wonderful site, Direct-MS.org. It’s there that I learned about nutritional strategies and the importance of vitamin D3 supplementation. Ashton and I have kept in touch ever since.

I don’t follow or endorse any MS diet but I do believe in eating properly and high dose vitamin D, which is something I referred to a few times in my blog.…
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Forget David Sokol, Is The SEC About To Tell Charlie Munger To “Suck It In”?

Courtesy of Tyler Durden

On March 31st, David Sokol appeared on CNBC Squawk Box (to the most distraught Becky Quick we have ever seen) in an attempt to explain why his purchase of of Lubrizol Corp, prior to Berkshire Hathaway’s purchase of the Company, was perfectly acceptable. In attempting to provide evidence of this“perfectly acceptable” practice David Sokol said a curious thing (17 minutes 15 seconds in):

I don’t believe I did anything wrong. Charlie Munger owned 3% of BYD before he asked me to go look at it.

Because we all know if everyone is doing it, then it isn’t illegal or unethical. Especially if everyone is a member of the Berkshire inner circle. But if the SEC as is now widely reported, is about to make a public spectacle out of David Sokol (if not actually press civil charges because, well, the SEC doesn’t actually pursue large scale securities fraud), shouldn’t they be looking at ole’ Charlie “Suck It In” Munger?

The Prestory

In September of 2008 MidAmerican Energy (a company controlled by Berkshire), bought 225 million shares of BYD (10%) at a cost of $230 million. On February 27, 2010, according to the WSJ, Buffet valued this stake at $1.99B. Since that time the stock has fallen about 60% and we would roughly value MidAmerica’s stake at $852M. A nice 370% gain since the initial purchase. Which means that Munger’s 3% is now worth about $280m. This 3% stake in BYD makes up about a little less than 30% of Munger’s $1 Billion total net worth . A not inconsequential sum, and significantly more valuable that the $13m stake Sokol had in Lubrizol.

Charlie Munger dispatched then loyal Berkshire lieutenant David Sokol to do the due diligence on BYD. But make no mistake, the purchase of MidAmerica’s stake in BYD was initiated by, and subsequently endorsed by, if not executed by, one Charlie Munger.

From Fortune:

Buffett, who is 78, was intrigued by Munger’s description of the entrepreneur behind BYD, a man named Wang Chuan-Fu, whom he had met through a mutual friend. “This guy,” Munger tells Fortune, “is a combination of Thomas Edison and Jack Welch – something like Edison in solving technical problems, and something like Welch in getting done what he needs to


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PURPLE RAIN? Fukushima Fallout Reaches the US

Courtesy of MIKE WHITNEY

Originally published at CounterPunch

Three of the six nuclear reactors at Fukushima Daiichi nuclear plant have partially melted down and plutonium is seeping into the soil outside. Plutonium is less volatile than other radioactive elements like iodine or cesium, but it’s also more deadly.  According to Business Week, "When plutonium decays, it emits what is known as an alpha particle, a relatively big particle that carries a lot of energy. When an alpha particle hits body tissue, it can damage the DNA of a cell and lead to a cancer-causing mutation." If plutonium leaches into groundwater or pristine aquifers, the threat to public health and the environment will be extreme.

This is an excerpt from an article in the Guardian:
The radioactive core in a reactor at the crippled Fukushima nuclear power plant appears to have melted through the bottom of its containment vessel and on to a concrete floor, experts say, raising fears of a major release of radiation at the site. The warning follows an analysis by a leading US expert of radiation levels at the plant….

Richard Lahey, who was head of safety research for boiling-water reactors at General Electric when the company installed the units at Fukushima, told the Guardian workers at the site appeared to have "lost the race" to save the reactor…" ("Japan may have lost race to save nuclear reactor", The Guardian)
It also appears that underground tunnels at the facility have been flooded with radioactive water that contains high-concentrations of caesium-137. A considerable amount of the water has made its way to the sea where samples show the levels of contamination steadily rising. This is from the Wall Street Journal:
Levels of radiation in the ocean next to the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plant have surged to record highs, the government said Wednesday, as operators try to deal with large amounts of radioactive water—the unwanted byproduct of operations to cool the reactors.

The Nuclear and Industrial Safety Agency said water taken Tuesday afternoon from the monitoring location for the troubled reactors Nos. 1 to 4 had 3,355 times the permitted concentration of iodine-131. That is the highest yet recorded at the sampling location, which is 330 meters south of the reactors’ discharge outlet." ("Seawater Radiation Level Soars Near Plant", Wall Street Journal)
All fishing


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Thanks To 60 Minutes’ Report On Fraudclosure, US GDP Is About To “Soar” By $50 Billion

Courtesy of Tyler Durden

Several days ago, courtesy of an analysis by JPM’s Michael Feroli, we quantified that the implied “rents” benefit to the US economy arising from squatters not paying mortgages is about $50 billion per year, or just about 0.4% of GDP. Today, thanks to 60 Minutes, this number is about to soar, because if anyone didn’t know before that paying mortgages is for suckers, now virtually every single mortgage borrower, and there are about 48 million of them, will think long and hard before mailing out the next mortgage payment. And if not all, then certainly the 11.1 million underwater mortgages will be one step closer to throwing in the towel on feeding the mortgage monster. Considering that 4.6 million mortgages are currently delinquent for 30 days or more, look for this number to at least double as everyone who is underwater says no mas to a losing game. Which of course is precisely what the banks want: consider that the “rents” benefit is about to double to $100 billion per year, all of which will accrue to the banking system first, then one can see why a $20 billion settlement deal is not a bad investment for the bank to generate a 2.5x ROI in a few short months.

Full 60 Minutes clip on Fraudclosure:





Sawdust, Shredded Newspaper, Diaper Chemicals Fail to Plug Leak at Japan Nuke Plant

Surprise! (Seriously) "Sawdust, Shredded Newspaper, Diaper Chemicals Fail to Plug Leak at Japan Nuke Plant"

Japan’s Prime Minister Naoto Kan (R) speaks to an employee of the Tokyo Electric Power Co.(TEPCO) clad in a protective suit as he visits J-village, about 20km (12 miles) from the Fukushima Daiichi Nuclear Power Plant, at Naraha town in Fukushima prefecture, April 2, 2011. (REUTERS/Prime Minister’s Office of Japan/Handout)

Absorbent yet to soak up radioactive water at Fukushima plant

Workers tried Sunday to block the leakage of highly radioactive water into the sea from the crisis-hit Fukushima Daiichi nuclear plant by injecting polymeric water absorbent that can soak up 50 times its volume, but the water flow remains unaffected, the government’s nuclear safety agency said.

Chief Cabinet Secretary Yukio Edano, meanwhile, told a press conference that it could take several months before radiation stops leaking from the plant, suggesting a lengthy battle ahead to resolve the crisis triggered by the devastating March 11 quake and tsunami.

Engineers put 8 kilograms of the polymeric water absorbent together with 60 kilograms of sawdust and three bags of shredded newspaper into pipes leading to a pit connected to the No. 2 reactor building where a 20-centimeter crack has been found to be leaking radioactive water into the Pacific Ocean, the agency said.

Read more here: Sawdust, Shredded Newspaper, Diaper Chemicals Fail to Plug Leak at Japan Nuke Plant | Common Dreams.





Goldman Capitulates (Again): Downgrades Q1 GDP To 2.5%, Sees Outlook For H2 As “Messy”

Courtesy of Tyler Durden

No QE3? Really? Oh yes, Zero Hedge 1, Goldman Sachs (who can possibly forget Goldman’s shark jumping “New US Golden Age” report from December after all it took was one bad NFP print for Goldman to launch QE2 back in August?) 0 (here and here)

Just out from Jan Hatzius

1. With the first quarter now behind us, we have downgraded our Q1 GDP estimate to 2.5% from 3.5%. By itself, that’s not a big deal. Most indicators other than those that happen to go into the GDP bean count—in particular, virtually all business surveys and labor market indicators—continue to look solid and are probably a more accurate guide to the economy’s true strength. We believe that first-quarter GDP was held down by temporary factors, including poor weather and perhaps a bad draw from noisy data. Because temporary factors must eventually reverse by definition, this could mean a very strong quarterly GDP reading in Q2 (we are at 4%).

2. But the risks to our second-half GDP forecast of 4% also remain on the downside, and that’s more meaningful. We don’t see anything dramatic at this point, just a few weaker signals here and there. Gasoline prices are making new highs again, fiscal policy is starting to tighten a bit more aggressively, and a couple of indicators—specifically ISM new orders and consumer expectations—have softened a bit. So H2 is on downgrade watch.

3. The inflation news is also a thorn in our side. We still think the pass-through from commodity prices into core inflation will be very limited, and there is still a large amount of slack even after the 1-percentage-point drop in the unemployment rate over the past four months. But the core inflation data has clearly been a little firmer than we thought, with rent and owners’ equivalent rent leading the way. At some level, this sounds a bit odd because it’s hard to believe that the battered housing sector is a genuine source of upside inflation risk. Nevertheless, the risks to our forecast that core inflation will stay at 1% are on the upside.

4. Some Fed officials have reacted to the firmer inflation numbers by slightly hedging their earlier calls for continued accommodation, emphasizing that significant second-round effects and higher inflation expectations would not be tolerated, and implying that monetary policy may…
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Goldman’s History Of Borrowing From The Fed

Courtesy of The Daily Bail

Bloomberg reporter Bob Ivry discusses the release of the Federal Reserve’s discount-window lending records and Goldman Sachs Group Inc.’s borrowing history.





 

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

Poster Children

Poster Children

Courtesy of 

IBM, Coca-Cola and McDonalds are three of America’s largest corporations and most well-known brands. They are true multinationals in every sense of the word and they dominate their industries both at home and abroad. They are numbers 23, 58 and 106 on the Fortune 500 list, respectively. Together, they make up 12 percent of the Dow Jones Industrial Average’s total weighting.

And all three are plagued by the same problem – they’re shrinking. More than this, their shrinkage is finally being recognized on The Street, now that investors are peeling back all of the layers of buybac...



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Zero Hedge

Chicago Hospitals Monitoring 2 Sick Passengers From Liberia, CDC Not Testing For Ebola

Courtesy of ZeroHedge. View original post here.

Submitted by Tyler Durden.

Just when you thought it was safe to BTF-Ebola-Is-Fixed-Dip... ABC7 Chicago reports, two unrelated passengers (one child - vomiting, no fever; one adult - nausea, diarrhea, no fever) originating from Liberia became ill en route to O'Hare International Airport. The two patients are being monitored in isolation at The University of Chicago Medical Center and Rush University Medical Center but based on the latest reports and risk exposures (from the Chicago Ebola Resource Network), the CDC has determined not to test them for Ebola...



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Chart School

S&P 500 Snapshot: Biggest Gain in More Than a Year

Courtesy of Doug Short.

Europe was in rally mode when the US markets opened, and the EURO STOXX 50 would subsequently close with a 2.19% gain. The S&P 500 opened at its intraday low, up 0.28%, and headed higher through the day to its 2.02% high in the final hour. Its closing gain of 1.96% was its best one-day performance since its 2.18% surge on October 10th of last year. The popular financial press attibutes today's gain to speculation more ECB stimulus and the strong Apple-earnings effect.

The yield on the 10-year Note closed at 2.23%, up 3 bps from yesterday's close.

Here is a 15-minute chart of the past five sessions.

Here is a daily chart of the index. In yesterday's update I pointed out the proximity of the close to the 200-day price moving average. It certainly offered no resistance today, and volume was 23% above its 50...



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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

Sector Detector: Sharp selloff in stocks sets up long-awaiting buying opportunity

Courtesy of Sabrient Systems and Gradient Analytics

Last week brought even more stock market weakness and volatility as the selloff became self-perpetuating, with nobody mid-day on Wednesday wanting to be the last guy left holding equities. Hedge funds and other weak holders exacerbated the situation. But the extreme volatility and panic selling finally led some bulls (along with many corporate insiders) to summon a little backbone and buy into weakness, and the market finished the week on a high note, with continued momentum likely into the first part of this week.

Despite concerns about global economic growth and a persistent lack of inflation, especially given all the global quantitative easing, fundamentals for U.S. stocks still look good, and I believe this overdue correction ultimately will shape up to be a great buying opportunity -- i.e., th...



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Digital Currencies

Goodbye War On Drugs, Hello Libertarian Utopia. Dominic Frisby's Bitcoin: The Future of Money?

Courtesy of John Rubino.

Now that bitcoin has subsided from speculative bubble to functioning currency (see the price chart below), it’s safe for non-speculators to explore the whole “cryptocurrency” thing. So…is bitcoin or one of its growing list of competitors a useful addition to the average person’s array of bank accounts and credit cards — or is it a replacement for most of those things? And how does one make this transition?

With his usual excellent timing, London-based financial writer/actor/stand-up comic Dominic Frisby has just released Bitcoin: The Future of Money? in which he explains all this in terms most readers will have no tr...



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OpTrader

Swing trading portfolio - week of October 20th, 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

Falling Energy Prices: Sober Look takes a Sober Look

Falling Energy Prices: Sober Look takes a Sober Look

What do falling energy prices mean for the US consumer? Sober Look writes a brief yet thorough overview of the consequences of the correction in the price of crude oil. There are good aspects, particularly for the consumer, bad aspects, and out-right ugly possibilities. For more on this subject, read James Hamilton's How will Saudi Arabia respond to lower oil prices?  In previous eras, Saudi Arabia would tighten the supply to help increase prices, but in this "game of chicken," the rules m...



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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 this week's Stock World Weekly. Just sign in with your PSW user name and password. (Or take a free trial.)

#457319216 / gettyimages.com

 

...

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Option Review

Release Of Fed Minutes, Icahn Tweet Boost Shares In Apple

Shares in Apple (Ticker: AAPL) are near their highs of the session in the final hour of trading on Wednesday, adding to the muted gains seen earlier in the day, following the release of the September FOMC meeting minutes and after activist investor and Apple shareholder Carl Icahn tweeted, “Tmrw we’ll be sending an open letter to @tim_cook. Believe it will be interesting.” Icahn’s tweet hit the ether at 2:33 pm ET and was met with a spike in volume in Apple shares. The stock is currently up 2.0% on the day at $100.75 as of 3:15 pm ET.

Chart – Apple rally accelerate...



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Promotions

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When you register for the webinar, you’ll also get instant access to following trading videos:

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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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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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