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Archive for 2012

As WTI Passes $105, Guardian Says Iran “Military Action Likely”, Would Send Crude Soaring

Courtesy of ZeroHedge. View original post here.

Submitted by Tyler Durden.

Between the Chinese 'surprise' RRR and the Iran export halt to UK and France (and escalating tensions), Oil prices are off to the races this evening. WTI front-month futures have just broken $105 (now up more than 10% in the last two weeks), the highest levels in over nine months and just 8% shy of the 5/2/11 post-recession peak just under $115. Brent (priced in EUR) remains off last week's intraday highs (as EUR strengthens) but still above the pre-recession peak but in USD it traded just shy of $121 – well above last week's peak.

Of course, this will be heralded as a sign of demand pressure from a 'growing' global economy rather than the margin-compressing, implicit-taxation, consumer-spending-crushing supply constraint for Europe and the US that it will become in the not too distant future. As we post, The Guardian is noting that US officials are commenting that "Sanctions are all we've got to throw at the problem. If they fail then it's hard to see how we don't move to the 'in extremis' option." The impact of any escalation from here is gravely concerning with PIMCO's $140 minimum and SocGen's $150-and-beyond Brent prices rapidly coming into focus – and for those pinning their hopes on the Saudis coming to the rescue (and fill the Iranian output gap), perhaps the news that our Middle-East 'allies' cut both production and exports in December will stymie any euphoria.

From The Guardian: US officials believe Iran sanctions will fail, making military action likely

Growing view that strike, by Israel or US, will happen
• 'Sweet spot' for Israeli action identified as September-October
• White House remains determined to give sanctions time

"It's not that the Israelis believe the Iranians are on the brink of a bomb. It's that the Israelis may fear that the Iranian programme is on the brink of becoming out of reach of an Israeli military strike, which means it creates a 'now-or-never' moment," he said.

"That's what's actually driving the timeline by the middle of this year. But there's a countervailing factor that [Ehud] Barak has mentioned – that they're not very close to making a decision and that they're also trying to ramp up concerns of an Israeli strike to drive the international community towards putting more pressure on the Iranians."

Chart: Bloomberg





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Courtesy of Declan Fallon

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Net Euro Shorts Rise Again In Past Week – Tom Stolper Bullish Call On Euro Imminent?

Courtesy of ZeroHedge. View original post here.

Submitted by Tyler Durden.

Just in time for the latest headfake out of Europe where sentiment at least on thus Sunday afternoon is that Greece is somehow saved (on a rehash of an old story, namely that the ECB welcomes the combination of the EFSF and the ESM - something that Germany has previously expressly refused to comply with, and something which is utterly meaningless – where will the money come from – Italy and Spain? Or will China invest more than the single digit billions in EFSF bonds raised to date?), we look at the CFTC Commitment of Traders for an update on speculative sentiment. There we see that just as the general public was starting to comprehend that Germany may let Greece fail after all, a fact confirmed by Tom Stolper’s most recent flip flopping on the EURUSD, which caused the Goldman catalyst to end his call for a rise in the EUR currency (and for ZH to take the opposite side as usual, a trade which is now 160 pips in the money-  recall “Needless to say, we are now closing our short reco at a profit 9 out of 9 times in a row, and doing the opposite – i.e., going long.”), speculators ended the two consecutive weeks in reducing net short exposure, and the week ended February 14 saw net short interest rise again from -140.6k to -148.6k. So if one is wondering what the weak hands are doing that just got burned shorting the pair in the past 10 days, the 100 pip move higher (which has sent the ES over 1370 and the DJIA futures over 13K) this afternoon explains it. For those wishing to bet on a contrarian outcome, which in Europe is pretty much a given, our advice is to wait for Tom Stolper to issue his latest EUR bullish forecast, which will likely be forthcoming any minute, and which will cement the FX strategist’s place in the FX anti recommendation hall of fame.





Presenting The Goldman Wall Of Worry, And The One Key Item Missing

Courtesy of ZeroHedge. View original post here.

Submitted by Tyler Durden.

Now that the bipolar market has once again resynced general risk appetite with the EURUSD (high Euro -> high ES and vice versa), everything in the macro front aside from European developments, is noise (and the occasional reminder by data adjusting authorities in the US that the country can in fact decouple with the entity responsible for half the world’s trade. This will hardly come as a surprise to anyone. In fact, the conventional wisdom as shown by Goldman’s latest client poll has European sovereign crisis worries far in the lead of all macro risks. Behind it are Iran and nuclear tensions, China hard-landing, the US recovery/presidential election and the Japanese trade deficit/record debt/JGB issues. Which for all intents and purposes means that the next big “surprise” to the market will be none of the above. What are some of the factor not listed as big macro risks? According to David Kostin ‘Risks that clients did not mention include late March US Supreme Court review of health care reform (implications for 12% of S&P 500); mid-year deadline to implement Dodd-Frank financial reform (14% of market); and the French Presidential election on April 22nd where polls show incumbent Nicolas Sarkozy trails opposition candidate Francois Hollande.” Oddly enough, one very crucial item missing is once again surging inflation courtesy of trillions in stealthy central banks reliquification, sending crude to the highest since May 2011, and the most expensive gas price in January on record.

That this has somehow failed to penetrate investors’ skulls shows just how erroneously transfixed the market is that Bernanke has inflation, or rather deflation, under control. As WTI passes $105 in the next few hours, look for Op-Eds lamenting the hundreds of billions in lost purchasing power that have already more than offset the benefit from extended tax cuts. Alas, as noted previously, the central bank tsunami is only just starting. Watch for inflation, and concerns thereof, to slowly seep into everything, especially in the chart below.





ReTuRN To EURO PLaNeT of THe APeS

Courtesy of ZeroHedge. View original post here.

Submitted by williambanzai7.

EURO PLANET OF THE APES

On the beach of a strange foreign land

A symbol emerged from the sand

He fell to the ground

He knew what he found

Another poor victim of Rand

The Limerick King

 

EURO PLANET OF THE APES
.

Schauble was simply in shock
Merkel appeared like a rock
They’re theory was moot
They could not refute
Those Greeks sure know how to get into hock!!!

The Limerick King and WB7

EURO PLANET OF THE APES II
.

 

ESCAPE FROM EURO PLANET OF THE APES

A leader emerged from the pack
And carefully planned his attack
His first move was key
To ensure victory
The office of Goldman he’d sack!

The Limerick King





Guest Post: Our Tolerance For Fashionable Deception

Courtesy of ZeroHedge. View original post here.

Submitted by Tyler Durden.

Submitted by Ben Tanosborn

Our Tolerance For Fashionable Deception

Nothing appears as ugly as unmasked raw propaganda, or seems as fashionable as well-crafted deception.  Yet, the catwalk for both forms of propaganda is one and the same, deception wearing the most titillating togs provided by the top fashion house, the House of Public Relations. And the deceptive PR isn’t limited to multinational firms or businesses in general; it is part and parcel of our daily existence, having infiltrated most if not all institutions, totally poisoning politics, and eroding away whatever little honesty might still be left in our elected officials.

During the past century we have seen the transformation of the raw epithet known as propaganda, and all its implied vilification, to that of an accepted social science with full academic accreditation, unashamedly sitting at the same table with all reputable and time-honored professions.  We, members of society, have swallowed lock, stock and barrel the presumed need by notable individuals and institutions to receive help from specialized professionals to show us all the good things about them, their positive contribution to society.  But much of what we get is tainted with deceit.

From press releases to the practice of damage control, public relations, the pseudo-science, is there more often than not ready to deceive us all.  The alchemy of spinning factoids into facts, the use of euphemisms and constant truth cherry-picking, has reached such degree of sophistication that we are, as individuals, no longer able to discern fact from fiction.  Yet, the one place we should be looking for help to unravel deception from truth, the government, is often complicit with those engaged in the deception… that is, when not being the source of the deception itself.  Now, to further complicate matters, we have entered the age of Internet-mediated PR!

Americans have been victims – some might argue, beneficiaries – of three grand deceptions during the past three generations, in all cases having the government as either the deceiver or co-deceiver; the very instrument for the capitalist entrenched power.  One of the three grand deceptions has to do with the very defense of predatory capitalism, a system we are told to equate with democracy and our very constitutional freedoms.  That supreme deception has allowed the build-up of an imperial military, and permitted America’s…
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The Volcker Rule: A User’s Manual

Courtesy of ZeroHedge. View original post here.

Submitted by MacroAndCheese.

 

macroandcheese.org

 

The Volcker Rule, named for the former Chairman of the Federal Reserve credited with taming inflation in the early 1980s, is a specific section of the Dodd-Frank Act that was signed into law on July 21, 2010.  Although the Dodd-Frank Act is now law, the Volcker Rule is not slated to be implemented until July 21, 2012, on the two-year anniversary of the original bill.
 
This entry provides a brief overview of the Volcker Rule and its key statutes, including what entities are impacted, which bank trading activities will be prohibited, the measures that will be required for compliance, and the implementation timeline.   This explanation frequently references the original document itself, with specific citations sourced with the relevant page(s) provided in parentheses.  The original document can be found here:
 

  http://www.sec.gov/rules/proposed/2011/34-65545.pdf

 

 

What is the Volcker Rule?

 

The Volcker Rule (“VR”) is an addendum to the “Dodd-Frank Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act.”  The VR runs 298 pages.  Its intent is to prohibit commercial banks from engaging in “proprietary trading” according to a limited, prescribed definition (see below).  The VR does not prohibit banks from trading altogether, although it will require banks to document all trades that are not “exempted,” and to demonstrate that these trades follow procedures as mandated.  The VR will be overseen by five separate government entities, including the Federal Reserve, SEC, CFTC, FDIC, and OCC (Office of the Comptroller of the Currency.)

 

 

What is the Dodd-Frank Act?

 

The Dodd-Frank Act (“DFA”) was enacted to carry out financial reform measures in response to the financial crisis and recession of 2007-2009.  The intent of the bill
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Dis and Dat

Courtesy of ZeroHedge. View original post here.

Submitted by Bruce Krasting.

.

Self-Serving Accounting

There’s been an ongoing row about changes in lease accounting. Big players in the leasing industry (think GE) have been fighting the changes tooth-and-nail. This article had some interesting data on the consequences of the new accounting rules:

 

 

Consulting firm Chang & Adams found that proposed standards for lease accounting will result in an increase in total reported debt liabilities of $1.5 trillion; increased costs of $10.2 billion annually; job losses of over 190,000; and a lowered GDP of $27.5 billion annually.

$1.5 trillion is a hell of a lot of money to suddenly appear on the balance sheet of these lessors, for that reason alone I expect that the new rules will be watered down. No one wants to see another $1.5T of debt exposed those days. From the C&A report:

 

Essentially, the standards will require tenants to place leases on their balance sheets—an enormous line item that consists of anything from office, business and farm machinery to, yes, real estate.

 

But really, it’s there. I can’t imagine how the accounting rules can bury this debt. I’m amazed there a is even any debate, after all we’ve been through. The conclusion that it could cost 190k jobs and $28b annually might be correct. I would like to see a different report. What is the cost (in both jobs and money) of allowing phony accounting to persist? A few years ago we were measuring this in the Trillions. We still are.

 


Self-Serving Forecasts

This week the Fed came out with its consensus forecast of inflation for the next three years. No surprises, the Fed governors believe that inflation is a non-event:

 

 

I’m not sure if the Fed is trying to fool us with this very tame view of inflation. But the Fed is not fooling the market. The Ten-Year TIPS/Bond spread is now forecasting inflation at 2.3%. That’s the highest reading in…
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The Trouble with the Volcker Rule

Courtesy of ZeroHedge. View original post here.

Submitted by rcwhalen.

“I believe that the officers, and, especially, the directors, of corporations should be held personally responsible when any corporation breaks the law.”

– Theodore Roosevelt, speech at Osawatomie, Kansas
“The New Nationalism”  August 31, 1910

For a while now I have been saying that the Volcker Rule is a bad idea.  I share the respect and admiration we all have for its namesake, former Fed Chairman and full-time public citizen Paul Volcker.  But Volcker has never been a hawk on bank superivision, especially when it comes to large banks like his former employer Chase Manhattan Bank.  I called Volcker “the father of too big to fail” in my 2010 book, Inflated: How Money & Debt Built the American Dream.  The epyhonimous rule that now terrorizes much of the financial industry is thus especially incongruous and for the following reasons. 

<http://www.amazon.com/Inflated-Money-Built-American-Dream/dp/0470875143>

The Volcker Rule seeks to forbid banks from acting as principal in the financial markets for tactical trading gains of any time duration, limiting the investments by the bank to held-to-maturity positions for the corporate treasury.  Most of the comments by the industry, media and other observers have focused on the sales/trading area of the large universal banks affected by the Volcker Rule, but the changes imposed by this draconian prescription also impact the activities of the investment side of the house.  Hold that thought.

In conceptual terms the Volcker Rule is a step back towards the 1930s era Glass-Steagall separation of investment and commercial banking, but only a half-step and this is the crucial point.  The Volcker Rule imposes activity limits on the entire bank without separating the agency and principal functions into different corporate buckets with separate capital in a legal and financial sense.  The Volcker Rule focus on imposing the limitation upon the whole organization does great mischief, as noted by the hundreds of public commenters on the rule. 

Keep in mind that most of the capital in a bank is meant to support principal risk taking by the bank, not customers, in the form of either lending or investing, while the agency activities for customers such as brokerage, trust and asset management are relatively less capital intensive, like an order of magnitude less.  By not bifurcating the capital inside the large universal banks between the…
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On The Greek “Glitch”, Systemic Instability And Skating On Water

Courtesy of ZeroHedge. View original post here.

Submitted by Tyler Durden.

By Bill Buckler of The Privateer

The Greek “Glitch”

Cast your mind back to the first half of 2007. In the US, Fed Chairman Bernanke was telling his colleagues that the sub prime mess was “grave but largely contained”. Meanwhile, at the White House, President Bush was echoing his predecessor. When the first signs of the Asian Crisis of the late 1990s began to emerge, President Clinton called it a “glitch in the road”. Mr Bush used the same phrase to describe the sub prime situation in 2007. Fast forward to the new potential financial crisis, this time in Europe. As far as the global markets are concerned, this is yet one more in the long line of “glitches”.

The Asian crisis was not allowed to derail the global financial system. It was “fixed” by throwing a huge amount of money at it. The result was the “tech wreck” of 2000-2002. The sub prime mess in the US was not allowed to derail the global financial system. It was “fixed” by so much money that it made the Asian crisis bailouts look like a shower of loose change. The result was the global stock market swoon of late 2008 – early 2009. That one was “fixed” by trotting out the financial “nuclear option”, the direct monetisation of sovereign debt by central banks which came to be known as “Quantitative Easing” (QE).

The current crisis is a sovereign debt crisis. This one is focussed on Greece and has a publicised deadline of March 20 – just over a month from now. On that date, the Greek government must roll over a “tranche” of debt coming due. The amount of this debt is 14.5 Billion Euros. In the context of the serial reliquification of the global system which has been the recurring theme of the last two decades, this sum is less than a rounding error. It is a sub-atomic particle in the structure of the global system.

That fact, in itself, should be enough to starkly show how fragile the entire system is. When the prospect of a nation being unable to roll over a paltry few Euros of maturing debt is enough to galvanise the entire financial world into monetary excess exceeding anything imaginable as recently as late 2007, one must conclude that the
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Chart School

Michigan Consumer Sentiment for November Slightly Trims Its Strong Preliminary Reading

Courtesy of Doug Short.

The Final University of Michigan Consumer Sentiment for November came in at 88.8, a bit off the 89.4 preliminary reading but up from from the October Final of 86.9. As finaly readings go, this is a post-recession high and the highest level since July 2007, over seven years ago. Today's number came in below the Investing.com forecast of 90.2.

See the chart below for a long-term perspective on this widely watched indicator. I've highlighted recessions and included real GDP to help evaluate the correlation between the Michigan Consumer Sentiment Index and the broader economy.


...



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Zero Hedge

He Blew THeM ALRiGHT...

Courtesy of ZeroHedge. View original post here.

Submitted by williambanzai7.

.

 

"We blew it..."

Schmuck Schumer

...

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Phil's Favorites

The Brutal Monotony of All Time Highs

The Brutal Monotony of All Time Highs

Courtesy of 

There’s only one subtle joke in the film Anchorman and it involves the fact that the San Diego news team’s weather man has a sub-100 IQ. In a city where “72 and sunny” is the forecast 365 days a year, even Brick Tamland has no problem reliably delivering this news to the viewers.

In the chart below, via my firm‘s Research Director Michael Batnick, you’ll see the S&P 500 ETF overlaying a chart indicating new all time high closes (in red). The monoton...



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Insider Scoop

Morgan Stanley: Nimble Storage Increased Its Market Four-Fold

Courtesy of Benzinga.

Nimble Storage Inc (NYSE: NMBL) reported its third quarter results on Tuesday after market close. The company reported a loss of $0.15 per share, slightly better than the $0.16 per share loss analysts were expecting, while revenue of $59.10 million was higher than the $57.75 million analysts were expecting.

In a note to clients on Wednesday, Katy Huberty of Morgan Stanley noted that the company “continues to disrupt the storage market” as new customer adoption doubled year-over-year, increasing its installed base to more than 4,300 customers.

The analyst also notes that international investments are “beginning to pay off” as revenue grew 135 percent from a year ago, contributing 20 percent of total revenue in the quarter.

However, Huberty singles out the addition of the Fibre Channel (FC) protocol. The analyst states that the company has now ex...



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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: Holiday fever takes hold of stock investors, but a pullback is needed

Courtesy of Sabrient Systems and Gradient Analytics

With warmer weather arriving to melt the early snowfall across much of the country, investors seem to be catching a severe case of holiday fever and positioning themselves for the seasonally bullish time of the year. And to give an added boost, both Europe and Asia provided more fuel for the bull’s fire last week with stimulus announcements, particularly China’s interest rate cut. Yes, all systems are go for U.S. equities as there really is no other game in town. But nothing goes up in a straight line, not even during the holidays, so a near-term market pullback would be a healthy way to prevent a steeper correction in January.

In this weekly update, I give my view of the current market environment, offer a technical analysis of the S&P 500 chart, review our weekly fundamentals-based Sector...



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Digital Currencies

Bitcoin Mining

Bitcoin Mining

Courtesy of Global Economic Intersection

By Rod Garratt and Rosa Hayes - Liberty Street Economics, Federal Reserve Bank of New York

In June 2014, the mining pool Ghash.IO briefly controlled more than half of all mining power in the Bitcoin network, awakening fears that it might attempt to manipulate the blockchain, the public record of all Bitcoin transactions. Alarming headlines splattered the blogosphere. But should members of the Bitcoin community be worried?

Miners are members of the Bitcoin community who engage in a proce...



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OpTrader

Swing trading portfolio - week of November 25th, 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 Happy Thanksgiving Edition of Stock World Weekly!

Click on this link and sign in with your PSW user name and password. 

Picture via Pixabay.

...

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Market Shadows

Official Moves in the Market Shadows' Virtual Portfolio

By Ilene 

I officially bought 250 shares of EZCH at $18.76 and sold 300 shares of IGT at $17.09 in Market Shadows' Virtual Portfolio yesterday (Fri. 11-21).

Click here for Thursday's post where I was thinking about buying EZCH. After further reading, I decided to add it to the virtual portfolio and to sell IGT and several other stocks, which we'll be saying goodbye to next week.

Notes

1. th...



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Option Review

Yamana Gold call options sink

Yamana Gold call options sink

By Andrew Wilkinson at Interactive Brokers

A four-year low for the spot price of gold has had a devastating impact on Yamana Gold (Ticker: AUY), with shares in the name down at the lowest price in six years. Some option traders were especially keen to sell premium and appear to see few signs of a lasting rebound within the next five months. The price of gold suffered again Wednesday as the dollar strengthened and stock prices advanced. The post price of gold fell to $1145 adding further pain to share prices of gold miners. Shares in Yamana Gold tumbled to $3.62 and the lowest price since 2008 as call option sellers used the April expiration contract to write premium at the $5.00 strike. That strike is now 38% above the price of the stock. Premium writers took in around 16-cents per contract o...



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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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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!




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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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