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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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 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

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Financial Markets and Economy

Here's your complete preview of this week's big market-moving events (Business Insider)

It's the first week of the last month of 2015, and that means there's a lot of economic data on deck.

First, we'll get finalized numbers on Thanksgiving weekend and Black Friday sales. Preliminary estimates from RetailNext and ShopperTrak show sales were down in the low single-digits.

Think of Debt as Pollution (Bloomberg View)


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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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Zero Hedge

Paul Craig Roberts Rages At The "Arrogance, Hubris, & Stupidity" Of The US Government

Courtesy of ZeroHedge. View original post here.

Submitted by Tyler Durden.

On the heels of the Chinese stock market plunging 5.5%, continued turmoil in the Middle East and the price of gold hitting 5 year lows, former U.S. Treasury official, Dr. Paul Craig Roberts told Eric King of King World News that Putin and the Russians are now dominating in Syria and the Middle East as the West destroys itself.

Dr. Paul Craig Roberts:  “It could well be that this is going to work out so much in Russia’s favor that Putin will send a letter of thanks to the Turkish President and say, &lsquo...

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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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Market News

News You Can Use From Phil's Stock World


Financial Markets and Economy

The Fed just tweeted a brutal chart showing the sorry state of US department stores (Business Insider)

It's Black Friday, which means American consumers everywhere are knocking down doors in their efforts to take advantage of what they perceive to be a good deal.

Oil prices fall more than 3% as dollar and oversu...

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Kimble Charting Solutions

Does Black Friday Matter For Gains The Rest Of The Year?

Courtesy of Chris Kimble.

We are entering one of the most bullish times of the year historically.  As we mentioned last week, the final 30 trading days of the year have been higher each of the last 12 years.


Getting to today, it is Black Friday – the official start to the holiday spending season.  We’ve seen many stats that show this day isn’t quite as important as it once was.  From many sales now starting on Thanksgiving, to Cyber Monday this coming Monday – there are other times people are looking for the best deals.  None the less,...

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Chart School

Greatest risk to the stock market is?

Courtesy of Read the Ticker.

Nope it is not interest rates, nope it is not Donald Trump, it is!

It is the CRUDE OIL crash, simple!

Jim Willie has good comments in the first 40 min of this pod cast.

Energy company ...
- Debt is blowing up (See energy element of HYG).
- Hedging at oil $100 is coming to an end.
- Iran coming back to the market, more supply.
- Saudi still providing massive supply.
- Oil tankers holding oil parked in the ocean are coming in to harbor to unload
- US dollar strength supports lower oil prices
- World wide DEMAND slump for energy or deflation.
- More oil being sold outside the US Dollar
- The Oil futures can not be manipulated easily as folks actually ...

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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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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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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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