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Archive for 2012

United Welfare States of America: In 2011 Nearly Half The Population Received Some Form Of Government Benefit

Courtesy of ZeroHedge. View original post here.

Submitted by Tyler Durden.

While politicians may debate whether or not America is the most “generous” (with other generations’ money of course) socialist welfare state in the history of mankind, the undoctored numbers make the affirmative case quite clear and without any chance for confusion. The single most disturbing statistic: in 2011 nearly half of the population lived in a household that receives some form of government benefit, which in turn accounted for 65% of total federal spending, or $2.5 trillion, and amount to 15% of GDP. And yet some people out there still think these people, long since indoctrinated to do little but mooch off the welfare state (which will continue subsidizing its existence so long as debt rates are so low that the government can issue trillions each year without fears of consequences) will halt their iTunes purchases, will voluntarily stop subsisting on the government’s teat, or will rebel against a government which is their only source of income? Why? Especially since something tells us that there will be a peculiar overlap between this 50% and the 50% of Americans that pay zero taxes.

Of course, this chart should be observed in conjunction with the “What is this?” chart we presented two days ago from Morgan Stanley which pretty much explains everything about the US “economy”

From John Lohman





Weekend Virtual Portfolio Update 1/22/2012

Here is the virtual portfolio weekend update. Basically a recap of the positions and some notes about the trades. As usual, I’ll post the previous week’s P&L for comparison. Not the greatest of week in general!

AA Money

Only transaction last week as we bought back the AA Feb 9 puts on Tuesday for close to a 70% profit. The idea is to sell another set of put as soon as we get a chance.

Previous week P&L – $400.00

We lost some ground this week, but we’ll keep on selling premium!

FAS Money

We also lost some ground in this virtual portfolio, but we have sold plenty of premium for the coming week. A little correction would go a long way to help! On Wednesday we sold the FAS Feb 72 puts (already good for 50%), on Thursday we added the Jan4 78 calls and on Friday we had to roll the Jan 78 puts to the Jan 80 puts. We were hoping for these ones to expire worthless on Friday, but a late stick killed that hope.

Previous week P&L – $4372.00

IWM Money

Not the best of week either here… As with the other portfolios we were a tad bearish with more calls sold. On Wednesday we sold the TNA Feb 47 puts (already up 40%) and on Thursday we rolled the TNA Jan 46 calls to the Jan4 49 calls.

Previous week P&L – $2046.00

As with the FAS Money portfolio, plenty of premium sold to get us back on track.

FAS Strangle Experiment

One bad move on Friday almost wiped out the entire week’s profit. There might be 2 lessons learned from that:

1) Every Friday will be different –  the week before, patience was rewarded, this week, a late stick punished it.
2) Better to take the profits when we can.

I also tried to time the entries better and it did help earlier this week but I still need to work on that.

Previous week P&L – $10,190.00

We start the week with over $1 of premium sold. All we need is a move to the downside to make up the loss.

25KP Virtual Portfolio

I’ll let Phil comment any of the trades. Here is a recap of the positions.

The SQQQ Jan calls expired worthless on Friday.

Apple 50k Virtual Portfolio

I’ll let lflan add his…
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Activism-In-Motion

Courtesy of ZeroHedge. View original post here.

Submitted by Tyler Durden.

After months of increasingly aggressive shareholder activism, the long-standing co-CEOs (Balisillie and Lazaridis) of the struggling Blackberry maker have resigned as the former COO takes over as CEO and former-exchange executive takes over as chairperson.

  • RESEARCH IN MOTION CO-CEOS/CHAIRMEN QUIT POSTS – BBG
  • RIM NAMES BARBARA STYMIEST INDEPENDENT BOARD CHAIRMAN – BBG
  • RESEARCH IN MOTION NAMES THORSTEN HEINS PRESIDENT, CEO – BBG

Research In Motion has clearly morphed into Activism-in-Motion as the Globe and Mail reports: “The catalyst for change appears to have been the entry of a new personality: reserved but revered investor Prem Watsa, the CEO of Fairfax Financial. Mr. Watsa, who has been called Canada’s Warren Buffett.While chatter appears to be that change-is-good, G&M go on to note, “Critics of the company’s performance may not be immediately impressed by
a management shakeup that involves so little fresh blood.” as the Playbook fiasco is fresh in many people’s minds but perhaps new CEO’s Heins view that “We are not at a point where we try to define a strategy, that’s done” will not hearten those looking for real change.

The Globe And Mail – Jim Balsillie, Mike Lazaridis out, Thorsten Heins in as new RIM CEO

Research in Motion leaders Jim Balsillie and Mike Lazaridis are stepping down as executives and co-chairmen of the board of directors in the the biggest shake-up in the 27-year history of the Waterloo, Ont.-based startup turned global giant. The sudden move follows a year of decline in which RIM lost three-quarters of its market value, botched the launch of its PlayBook tablet and watched rivals eat into its market share for smartphones.

 

The new chief executive of RIM will be Thorsten Heins – a man they recruited five years ago who came to be a trusted advisor and their hand-picked successor. Calls for radical change at the company have been mounting in recent months. Its BlackBerry device blazed the trail for smartphones and has 75 million active subscribers around the world, but RIM has struggled of late with dwindling market share and fierce competition from Apple Inc.’s iPhone and an array of devices running Google Inc.’s Android operating system.

 

The catalyst for change appears to have been the entry of a new personality:


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UPDATE: New Research in Motion Vice Chairman Lazaridis to Purchase $50M of RIMM Shares

Courtesy of Benzinga.


For more Benzinga, visit Benzinga Professional Service, Value Investor, and Stocks Under $5.





The End is the Beginning is the End

Courtesy of The Automatic Earth 

Tyne & Wear Archives and Museums Just watch me June 9 1902
Fron album of prisoners brought before the North Shields Police Court in England between 1902 and 1916.

Time has stopped before us 
The sky cannot ignore us 
No one can separate us 
For we are all that is left 
The echo bounces off me 
The shadow lost beside me 
There's no more need to pretend 
Cause now I can begin again."

Smashing Pumpkins, The Beginning is the End is the Beginning

Ashvin Pandurangi: The latest revolution of the Euro Crisis Cycle has brought us back to talks of restructuring Greek sovereign debt through "Private Sector Involvement" (PSI), which are somehow taking place in a Universe where debt restructuring is not allowed to be confused with "debt default" or "bankruptcy". On Friday January 20, the IIF (representing some of Greece’s creditors) and the Greek government announced that they had finally reached an "agreement" on the basic structure of the restructuring (or the basic restructuring of the structure?).  

Here’s the live blog update from The Guardian on Friday, which really stood out to me:

A framework of the deal — the basic structure of the bond swap that the Greek finance minister Evangelos Venizelos wants to present at Monday's eurogroup meeting — has been accepted by both sides, "put in place" and I understand committed to paper. 

But it would also seem that other aspects of the agreement – be them legal, technical or matters of substance — remain unresolved and will be discussed at negotiations that resume at 7:30pm local time [6.30 GMT] and look set to continue over the weekend. 

If Greece's massive €360 bn debt load is to be made manageable much will depend "on the inter-related role of all the interests at stake" insiders say. Even if a decisive agreement is reached, the proposal will have to be put to technocrats — given the complexity of the deal — and they could very likely change it again. 

"The outline won't be the end of the beginning but the beginning of the end," said another source again requesting blanket anonymity because of the delicacy of the talks.

That’s how these anonymous blankets, with their linear mindsets and scripts, really think about the process and justify the charade to everyone else who looks…
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Australia Roundup: Oceanfront Homes for 65% Off; Chain Sales and Contingent Offers; Retailers Brace for More Job Cuts; Cusp of a White-Collar Recession

Australia Roundup: Oceanfront Homes for 65% Off; Chain Sales and Contingent Offers; Retailers Brace for More Job Cuts; Cusp of a White-Collar Recess

Courtesy of Mish

Reader "Brisbane Bear" from down under sent potpourri of links on the dwindling prospects for the Australian economy. 

Oceanfront Homes for 65% Off

In apples, rot starts at the periphery and spreads to the core. In real estate, rot starts in condos and vacation homes, then slowly encompasses city after city.

Please consider Investors snap up coastal property bargains in Queensland.

While prices soar in some coastal towns close to mining centres, astute buyers are managing to secure ocean- front homes in traditional tourist locations for $500,000 or more off peak prices as vendors cave after years of trying to sell.

One buyer scored an oceanfront unit in a marina development at Cardwell, halfway between Cairns and Townsville, for $157,000 – almost $300,000 less than it sold for in 2006. The unit had been on the market for three years.

A penthouse with ocean views in the same development sold for $570,000 less than its 2007 sales price.

RP Data senior analyst Cameron Kusher said buyers of the most affordable seaside holiday homes needed to be prepared for a long commute. But he said coastal market values had fallen across Queensland, meaning bargains could even be found in popular locations.

Chain Sales and Contingent Offers

When all else fails, buyers accept any offer they can get including contingent sales as noted by The Age in Risky ride on the vendor-go-round.

SELLING a home is stressful at the best of times. Failing to sell at auction in the midst of a property downturn can be its own kind of nightmare.

But imagine if it turned out that the only way to sell your home depended on the buyer having to sell theirs first.

It is a scenario Gavin and Verity Carson never considered when their Abbotsford terrace house went to auction and was passed in.

After later negotiations with a bidder broke down, they were left at a loss about what to do next. Looming was the threat of a lengthy wait in the private sale market, already flooded with thousands of unsold homes.

"All the people that had been interested were no longer interested – we had to really start the campaign


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Interactive Visual History Of Financial Crises Since 1810 – Note Where The Fed Arrives

Courtesy of ZeroHedge. View original post here.

Submitted by Tyler Durden.

As the name implies. What is funny is how only after the advent of the Federal Reserve in 1913 did Financial crises expose increasingly more of world GDP to a crisis state. But at least the Fed and ECB tell us all they do is enforce price stabeeletee. Could they be lying!? We thought it was all the gold standard’s fault for causing unprecedented economic volatility… Guess not. From History Shots: “The giant wave in the top section of the graphic depicts the percentage of world GDP by region in crisis during the 200 year period. It includes the four major financial crisis types (sovereign default, banking, currency, and inflation) along with stock market crashes. The bottom section provides a detailed chart of all sovereign defaults by country, region and year. It shows the repeating nature of sovereign default, a central theme of Reinhart and Rogoff’s book.”

Full chronology after the jump.

Source: HistoryShots





Weekly Recap And Key Events In The Coming Week

Courtesy of ZeroHedge. View original post here.

Submitted by Tyler Durden.

By way of Goldman Sachs

The week past was one of improving sentiment for risky assets. The positive stream of data surprises out of the US continued with a sharp drop in initial jobless claims. The less positive Philly Fed print did not shake markets to a substantial extent. Optimism in Eurozone extended as well with the newsflow over the Greek PSI. Up until Friday (January 20) it appeared increasingly likely that an agreement could be imminent. However, on Saturday talks came once again to a stalemate due to ongoing disagreement over the level of sustainable coupons for the new Greek bonds.
This implies that the PSI deal will not be ready for approval during the European finance ministers meeting, starting on Monday. The market will look for any signal on the pace of discussions over the ESM pre-funding details and the fiscal compact. Flash PMIs in the Eurozone and the IFO will also be key to watch given market fears over the activity impact of tight fiscal policy linked to the Eurozone fiscal crisis.

Attention will likely shift to the US this week. Q4 GDP will likely exceed 3% mostly due to one-off drivers and less so due a genuine pick-up in final demand in our view. The FOMC statement and press conference are unlikely to lead to a change in US monetary policy. However, we will be focusing on the publication of the FOMC participants’ views of appropriate policy (specifically the path for the federal funds rate and guidance for the size of the balance sheet going forward). In addition, President Obama will give his State of the Union speech Tuesday night.

Monday 23rd January:

Ecofin Meeting: The Greek PSI, the ESM pre-funding schedule will be among other issues in the agenda.

Also Interesting: Euro-zone Consumer Confidence (Jan), Israel Monetary Policy Meeting (no change).

Tuesday 24th January:

Turkey Monetary Policy Meeting: We do not expect a change in the base rate but it will be interesting to assess the current CBRT thoughts on ongoing policy initiatives.

Hungary Monetary Policy Meeting: In response to currency risks, NBH is widely expected to raise interest rates by 50bp to 7.50%.

Euro-zone Flash Composite PMI (Jan): Consensus expects a print of 48.5, up from 48.3 in December.

Also Interesting: US Presidential State of the Union address,…
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Weekly Market Commentary: Another Good Week For Indices

Courtesy of Declan Fallon

Nothing fancy for the week, just steady gains for indices.  These gains keep in play the rally from October. Market breadth continued to improve alongside index gains. Certain market breadth indicators are at declining resistance dating back to 2010, important tests, because breach these and the rallies will be well placed to continue for the next few weeks (if not months).

The Percentage of Nasdaq Stocks above the 50-day MA is one such market breadth indicator at resistance. With 72% of stocks above this intermediate trend average it suggests the Nasdaq is only in the early phase of its rally (a couple of weeks ago the percentage of Nasdaq Stocks above 50%, was just above 50%).

Nasdaq Bullish Percents are above the 50% mark

And the Summation Index is above zero

These breadth indicators suggest there should be enough for the Nasdaq to break declining resistance (already breached for Small and Large Cap indices) and push on to new highs.

The Russell 2000 has made it to neckline resistance and it’s next big area of supply

The S&P managed resistance breaks in the parent index and supporting market breadth indices ($NYSI shown)

While resistance might stall things in the Nasdaq for a week or two, it should eventually follow the leads of the Russell 2000 and S&P.  Bulls maintain their edge and should be able to hold on by the end of the coming week.

——

Follow Me on Twitter


Dr. Declan Fallon is the Senior Market Technician and Community Director for Zignals.com.


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Help One Of Our Own PSW Members

"Hello PSW Members –

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

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

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

Thank you for you time!

 
 

Zero Hedge

Spot The Lone Objector

Courtesy of ZeroHedge. View original post here.

Submitted by Tyler Durden.

Yesterday, Navi Pillay, the UN rights chief told an emergency session of the council on Wednesday that Israel's military actions in Gaza could amount to war crimes.

Shortly thereafter, the 47-member council voted (and adopted) a draft resolution titled "Ensuring respect for international law in the Occupied Palestinian Territory" to conduct an investigation whether Israel is indeed engaging in war crimes. Note: this was a vote just to conduct an investigation, nothing more nothing less, no military intervention, no aid, nothing: just an attempt to get some information aside from the constant propaganda barrage.

29 states voted in favour of t...



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Chart School

New Jobless Claims at Lowest Since February 2006

Courtesy of Doug Short.

Here is the opening statement from the Department of Labor:

In the week ending July 19, the advance figure for seasonally adjusted initial claims was 284,000, a decrease of 19,000 from the previous week's revised level. This is the lowest level for initial claims since February 18, 2006 when they were 283,000. The previous week's level was revised up by 1,000 from 302,000 to 303,000. The 4-week moving average was 302,000, a decrease of 7,250 from the previous week's revised average. This is the lowest level for this average since May 19, 2007 when it was 302,000. The previous week's average was revised up by 250 from 309,000 to 309,250.

There were no special factors impacting this week's initial claims. [See full report]

Today's seasonally adjusted number at 284K was well below t...



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Phil's Favorites

Reuters Debunked: Khodakovsky Denies Interview Aspects

Courtesy of Mish.

As I suspected would happen, the exclusive Reuters interview in which "Commander Alexander Khodakovsky acknowledges rebel fighters had BUK missiles" has been challenged.

In my analysis of the Reuters article (see Ukraine Rebel Commander Admits Having BUK Missiles; Damning Contradictions?),  I point out considerable discrepancies in what Reuters author Anton Zverev wrote and actual quotes Reuters presented.

The discrepancies were so big I stated "It appears to me Reuters may have stretched this interview quite a bit."

Thus I am not surprised to discover Khodakovsky challenge...



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Insider Scoop

ArcelorMittal Completes Sale of ATIC Stake to HES Beheer - Analyst Blog

Courtesy of Benzinga.

Steel giant ArcelorMittal (NYSE: MT) has completed the divestment of its 78% stake in European port handling and logistics company ATIC Services S.A. (ATIC) to HES Beheer for €155.4 million (roughly $213 million).

With this transaction, HES Beheer now owns 100% stake in ATIC where it previously held 22% stake. The transaction reflects ArcelorMittal`s strategy of selective deposal of non-core assets.

ArcelorMittal posted a net loss of $0.2 billion or 12 cents per share in first-quarter 2014, narrower than a net loss of $0.3 billion or 21 cents a year ago.

Revenues inched up 0.2% year over year to $19.8 billion in the reported quarter. Sales were almost unchanged from the prior quarter as improved steel shipments were partly offset by lower...



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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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Option Review

Sizable Call Spread Trades On Orexigen

A large call spread initiated on Orexigen Therapeutics, Inc. (Ticker: OREX) on Monday morning looks for shares in the name to rally approximately 30% by September expiration. The September expiration is noteworthy as the company awaits the results of the FDA’s review of its resubmitted New Drug Application (NDA) for NB32, an investigational medication being evaluated for weight loss, after the review was extended for three months back in June. The upcoming Prescription Drug User Fee Act (PDUFA) date is September 11, 2014, according to a press release issued by the company. Shares in Orexigen today are up roughly 0.40% at $5.34 as of 2:15 p.m. ET.

...

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Sabrient

Sector Detector: Bulls remain unfazed by borderline Black Swans

Courtesy of Sabrient Systems and Gradient Analytics

Despite a highly eventful week in the news, not much has changed from a stock market perspective. No doubt, investors have grown immune to the daily reports of geopolitical turmoil, including Ukraine vs. Russia for control of the eastern regions, Japan’s dispute with China over territorial waters, Sunni vs. Shiite for control of Iraq, Christians being driven out by Islamists, and other religious conflicts in places like Nigeria and Central African Republic. But last Thursday’s news of the Malaysian airliner tragically getting shot down over Ukraine, coupled with Israel’s ground incursion into Gaza, had the makings of a potential Black Swan event, which in my view is the only thing that could derail the relentless bull march higher in stocks.

Nevertheless, when it became clear that the airline...



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OpTrader

Swing trading portfolio - week of July 21st, 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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Stock World Weekly

Stock World Weekly

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

Here's the latest Stock World Weekly. Please use your PSW user name and password to log in. (You may take a free trial here.)

#452331232 / gettyimages.com ...

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Market Shadows

Danger: Falling Prices

Danger: Falling Prices

By Dr. Paul Price of Market Shadows

 

We tried holding up stock prices but couldn’t get the job done. Market Shadows’ Virtual Value Portfolio dipped by 2% during the week but still holds on to a market-beating 8.45% gain YTD. There was no escaping the downdraft after a major Portuguese bank failed. Of all the triggers for a large selloff, I’d guess the Portuguese bank failure was pretty far down most people's list of "things to worry about." 

All three major indices gave up some ground with the Nasdaq composite taking the hardest hi...



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Digital Currencies

Bitcoin Vs Gold - The Infographic

Courtesy of ZeroHedge. View original post here.

Submitted by Tyler Durden.

While Marc Faber has said "I will never sell my gold," he also noted "I like the idea of Bitcoin," and the battle between the 'alternative currencies' continues. The following infographic provides a succinct illustration of the similarities and differences between gold and bitcoin.

Please include attribution to www.jmbullion.com with this graphic.

...

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Pharmboy

Biotechs & Bubbles

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

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

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



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Promotions

See Live Demo Of This Google-Like Trade Algorithm

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

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

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

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

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



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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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