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  1. phil

    Good morning!  

    Weather finally got better so we're having a lovely weekend, hope you guys are too.  

    Right now there's a pack of girls sleeping over so this is the only quiet time I get!  

    Obama had a nice meeting with Xi, apparently so we'll see if any new initiatives get announced.  

    President Obama yesterday warned Chinese counterpart Xi Jinping to halt his country's hacking of U.S. businesses, saying that continuing the cyber-theft would be a very difficult problem in the nations' economic relationship. Meanwhile, China wants a "level playing field" for its companies that invest in the U.S. Despite the areas of contention, one Chinese participant called the "shirtsleeves" summit "constructive, strategic and historic."

    Meanwhile, China factory prices fell 2.9% in May, indicating crap demand and that's accelerating from 2.6% down in April.  They're talking about a "weak" Q2 and, don't forget, Chinese companies release earnings too, so it's not just US companies we should be concerned about.  

    "In the corporate sector the overall situation is still bad, especially for small and medium-sized enterprises," said HSBC economist Ma Xiaoping. "Output prices are decreasing, which could reflect deteriorating profit margins for them."

    Meanwhile, the central bank said on Sunday that Chinese financial institutions issued 667.4 billion yuan ($107.6 billion) of new yuan loans in May, down from 792.9 billion yuan in April and below economists' expectations. Total social financing, a broader measurement of credit in the economy, came to 1.19 trillion yuan in May, down from 1.75 trillion in April.

     

    The broad M2 money supply also expanded at a slightly slower pace, climbing 15.8% at the end of May compared with a year earlier, against the 16.1% rise at the end of April.

    15.8%!!!  Holy crap, and we thought our Fed was printing a lot of money!   When this Global House of cars finally goes off the rails – it's going to be look out below (crash) or look out above (hyper-inflation) – that's why things are so tricky to play this year and that's why I like – CASH!!!

    Speaking of discounts:  

    Bargain-basement Buffett: After five years of climbing prices to win the annual "lunch with the Oracle of Omaha" auction – last year's winner paid $3.46M - the winning bid this year was a relatively measly $1,000,100. According to eBay there were 106 bids; the winner bidder is as yet unidentified.

    At the close: Dow +1.36% to 15246. S&P +1.28% to 1643. Nasdaq +1.19% to 3465.

    Treasurys: 30-year -1.17%. 10-yr -0.64%. 5-yr -0.34%.

    Commodities: Crude +1.47% to $96.16. Gold -2.66% to $1378.15.

    Currencies: Euro -0.21% vs. dollar. Yen +0.47%. Pound +0.29%.

    Market recap: Stocks powered up and closed near session highs after the monthly jobs report painted a Goldilocks picture of steady economic growth that's slow enough for the Fed to maintain its stimulus policies. Fund clients added to positions and hedge funds closed out some bearish bets, as some of the calm that had prevailed for much of the year was restored. The dollar nosed higher and Treasury prices fell in choppy trading.

     

    F'ing unbelievable:  HFT Robot Art

    Irrespective of today's strong jobs numbers, Doug Kass is sticking to his bearish thesis that market is headed much lower from here. The problem, Kass says, is that "central bank liquidity blurs the line of demarcation between economic reality and stock market euphoria." The narrative now is whether the Fed is simply "pushing on a string," and Kass thinks many market participants are coming to this 'aha' moment." (Video).

    This is the way Blue-Collar America Ends - Automation, computers, robots, higher skill requirements for workers, out sourcing jobs to cheaper labor markets, bringing in cheaper skilled/trained workers from over seas, all are working against the working people. This appears to be a trend and I don’t see most of it stopping soon. The future is here. So where do middle class workers go, lower paying service jobs, unemployment, or fall off the cliff. I see lots of unemployment/ under employment being a permanent thing with standards of living for the masses continuing to fall.

    It's looking like the June policy meeting when the Fed will officially signal it's set to begin tapering asset purchases, according to Jon Hilsenrath. Yesterday's lukewarm jobs reports removed pressure to act right away, but the prerequisite necessary to cut back QE – an improving economy – has been met.

    Twenty-Year Anniversary of Market Backstops

    The percentage of the stock market now owned by hedge funds (5%) is the highest since Q2 2008, BofA Merrill Lynch finds in its Hedge Fund Quarterly Report. Hedge funds reduced cash holdings to the Q2 2007 trough of 4.3%, and raised net equity exposure to the Q2 2007 peak of 59%. Their largest exposure is to consumer discretionary stocks (XLY) followed by IT (XLK) and financials (XLF).

    The rout in junk bonds over the last 5 weeks is well known, but now leveraged loans (BKLNSNLN) have joined the tumble, notes Barclays. It suggests credit is becoming an issue along with higher rates as leveraged loans are floating rate and would seemingly be unaffected by rising Treasury yields. Also affected are short-term high-yield ETFs: HYSSJNK. 

    Watch out when Cramer makes convoluted arguments about why you should be bullish against bearish signals!  CNBC's Jim Cramer isn't worried so much about Fed tapering anymore. He's watching the 10-year bond. "When the ten-year goes down," Cramer says, "people step in and start buying." Stocks like Whirlpool (WHR), Toll Bros (TOL) banks that are levered to mortgages. If we can get 10-year rates to around 2.01% there, he thinks we could have a big rally. (Video). 

    Construction Improves, Yet Is Still Historically Low

    What does it mean to have “predicted the crisis”? (Noahpinion)

    Boring stocks can bring exciting returns, Mark Hulbert discovers, as his research reveals stocks exhibiting the least historical volatility on average comfortably outperform the most "exciting" (i.e., volatile) issues. One believer in the boring-is-beautiful school, Guggenheim Partners' Nardin Baker, likes these stocks: SODKMB,CLCOST. Too volatile are AAPLGSCMSHPQMET.

    Worried about the dreaded QE taper and the market volatility that will likely accompany it? Consider buying shares of CME Group (CME) and CBOE Holdings (CBOE), Barron's says. CMEshould benefit from ambiguity regarding the direction of interest rates as a quarter of "clearing and transaction-fee revenue [comes from] interest-rate derivatives," and CBOE has seen VIX trading volumes rise 111% Y/Y through May. (Also: Wells Fargo likes CME)

    Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe plans to introduce tax cuts for capital expenditure in the autumn as part of the government's sweeping plan to pull the economy out of deflation. The lack of a nationwide reduction in corporate tax disappointed markets when Abe initially unveiled the program last week. He also wants to scrap regulations that shackle research and investment.

    Chinese industrial production +9.2% on year in May vs +9.3% in April and consensus of +9.3% also. Retail sales +12.9%, as expected, vs +12.8% in April. Fixed-asset investment excluding rural areas +20.4% in January-May vs +20.6% in January-April and +20.5% forecast. New local-currency lending -15.9% to 667.4B yuan ($109B), missing forecasts. Aggregate financing +4.4% to 1.19T yuan. "On balance, this weekend’s data is likely to strengthen the calls for a more expansionary macroeconomic policy stance," says RBS economist Louis Kuijs.

    China's exports +1% on year in May vs +14.7% in April and consensus of +5.6%. Imports -0.3% vs +16.8% and +6.6%. Trade surplus +12.3% to $20.4B vs consensus of $19.3B. The sharp slowdown in exports reflect a crackdown on invoicing, which is thought to have distorted the April data, especially regarding Hong Kong. Imports of copper and copper products -14.5%, indicating stuttering domestic demand

    Jeff Immelt believes China is serious about cleaning up its environment, and the GE CEO says he will "double down" his clean energy investments there. But Immelt worries that western CEOs who throw around terms like "green" and "sustainability" are hurting their own cause: "When a Chinese CEO hears the word sustainability, he thinks they're being lectured to by the U.S. on how to do things in an uneconomical way."

    Six families in Pennsylvania are angry with Chevron (CVX) and claim the company's gas wells have made it impossible to "quietly use and enjoy" their land. The Fayette County group seeks "unspecified compensatory and punitive damages" tied to what they say are the pernicious effects of twelve nearby wells which allegedly leak natural gas, methane, and "other toxic radioactive substances," according to documents reviewed by Bloomberg. The suit has not been verified with court records. 

    Ballard Power (BLDP +16%) soars again today on heavy volume. In an earlier press release, the company noted that recent growth in shipments of its ElectraGenTM Telecom Backup Power systems is being driven by the need for backup power in Asian, African and Latin American regions with regular, even daily, power outages due to unreliable electricity grids, as well as markets with reliable grids yet vulnerable to extended power outages in crisis situations.

    GT Advanced (GTAT-2.8% AH after filing a $50M mixed shelf. The struggling solar/LED equipment maker only says it will use the proceeds for "general corporate purposes." GT had $320.2M in cash and $259.6M in debt on its balance sheet at the end of Q1, or a net cash balance of $60.6M. That's down from a net cash balance of $275.9M a year earlier.

    Several plant scientists are questioning conclusions Monsanto (MON) drew from its investigation of an escaped GMO wheat variety, and say there is still a risk that rogue grain is in the seed supply. “Sure they tested it, but that doesn’t mean it’s all clean,” says one. “It just means it’s not so widespread that it could be detected easily."  - Here's a great quote from the Monsanto Representative

    Tesla's (TSLA) a short says Barron's Bill Alpert in a cover story which rehashes familiar arguments, but notes the shares – recently essentially unborrowable – can now be had for a single-digit interest rate. Perhaps the most interesting part of the story is Elon Musk hanging up on Bill Alpert during an interview for the piece: "I have no interest in an article that debates what we consider to be an obvious point – which is that there is a dramatic reduction in battery costs … I am terminating this interview." 

    GameStop's (GME +6.2%) big rally on the Microsoft Xbox One trade-in news "is a gift to short sellers," says SA Pro's Josh Burwick. "Great entry point here." The entry point was even better 3 weeks ago when Burwick penned a piece arguing negative catalysts were emerging and for investors to "look out below." 

    Maxim's John Tinker thinks shares of Barnes & Noble (BKS) are cheap (does that still apply after today's rally?), but says he wouldn't be surprised "if the quarterly numbers are worse than expected" given the likelihood that Chairman Leonard Riggio will "be looking to pay as little as possible" for the retail division. Tinker notes that the retailer trades at a historically low EV/EBITDA ratio.

    Tech companies may be telling the truth by saying they have not provided the National Security Agency with full access to their servers, but they have reportedly taken steps to make data-sharing with the government easier. For example, Facebook (FB) has built a separate and secure portal to which it can deposit data requested by the NSA. Other companies that negotiated with the government include Google (GOOG) Microsoft (MSFT), AOL (AOL) and Apple (AAPL); Twitter has limited its co-operation as much as possible.

    While Sprint (S -1.3%) slumps on a report SoftBank (SFTBF.PK) is talking with Deutsche Telekom (DTEGY.PK) about buying its 74% stake in T-Mobile USA (TMUS +4.1%) should the Sprint deal falter, Dish (DISH +1.5%) has spiked higher, as investors take the report as a sign SoftBank would rather abandon its Sprint efforts than significantly raise its bid. Sources tell Reuters SoftBank and DT have been talking since last year, but that talks "intensified" following Dish's $25.5B offer for Sprint. Clearwire (CLWR +3.3%) has also moved higher, and is now $0.02 above Dish's $4.40/share offer price. (previous) 





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ValueWalk

2017 List Of The Best Investing Blogs On The Planet

By The Acquirer's Multiple. Originally published at ValueWalk.

Every year Tobias and I sit down to pick out fifty of the best investing blogs on the planet. This list is by no means complete and is certainly not in any particular order. If you’re an investor take some time to read through the great blogs on this list, they’ll provide you with an awesome starting point for your investing education.

If you think we’ve missed a great investing blog, stick it in the comments section below.

Here’s 50 of the best investing blogs on the planet for 2017, plus a couple more:

]]> Get The Timeless Reading eBook in PDF

Get the entire 10-part series on Timeless Reading in PDF. Save it to your desktop, read it on your tablet, or email to your colleagues.

We...



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Zero Hedge

In Memoriam, 2017

Courtesy of ZeroHedge. View original post here.

Authored by Robert Gore via StraightLineLogic.com,

You don’t fight for your country, you fight for your government.

The Golden Pinnacle, by Robert Gore

On Memorial Day, America remembers and honors those who died while serving in the military. It is altogether fitting and proper to ask: for what did they die? Do the rationales offered by the military and government officials who decid...



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Phil's Favorites

Investors Slowly Waking to Technology Tailwinds

 

Investors Slowly Waking to Technology Tailwinds

Courtesy of Wade Slome, Investing Caffeine

In recent years, investors have been overwhelmingly been distracted by geopolitical headlines and risk aversion caused by the worst financial crisis in a generation. In the background, the tailwinds of technological innovation have been silently gaining momentum. Although this topic is nothing new for Investing Caffeine followers, the outperformance of technology stocks has been pretty stunning in 2017 (see chart below), with the S&P 500 Technology sector rising almost +20% versus the Non-Tech sector eking out a little more than +1% return. Peered through the style lenses of Grow...



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Market News

Market Moving News

 

Financial Markets and Economy

This is the one thing veterans want you to know about Memorial Day (Business Insider)

Do not thank me for my service because today is not about me at all.

That's what a number of fellow military veterans said, when I asked what they wanted people to know about Memorial Day.

"It's not about us," said Staff Sgt. Jay Arnold, a soldier with the Illinois Army National Guard. "It's about those who went before us."

European Stocks Steady; Italian Banks Fall After Renzi Comments (Bloomberg)

European stocks were steady while shares...



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Digital Currencies

One Professional Investor's Take On Bitcoin

Courtesy of Zero Hedge

By Kevin Muir via The Macro Tourist blog

We all know Dirty Harry’s viewpoint about opinions, but I wonder what Detective Callahan would think about today’s bitcoin mania. It seems like every Tom, Dick and Harry feels obliged to weigh in about the manic action of the their favourite virtual currency, yet I am curious how many of these crack pundits have ever even transacted in bitcoin.

I am by no means an expert, but have at least owned bitcoins, mined th...



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Chart School

Weekly Market Recap May 28, 2017

Courtesy of Blain.

Another winning week for the bulls, in a year full of them!  Things kicked off with a bang with a gap up Monday as the after shocks of the Comey removal – the one thing that seemed to shake this market for 24 hours – passed in the night.   Wednesday, minutes of the Federal Reserve’s latest policy meeting showed broad agreement on plans to begin shrinking the central bank’s balance sheet and also pointed to a likely rate increase next month, as widely expected.   Another gap up to start the day Thursday and serenity was found for the week.  Every day was up for the S&P 500 to book a weekly finished of +1.4% while the NASDAQ raced ahead +2.1%.

The minutes of the early May meeting showed that members were ...



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Members' Corner

Robert Sapolsky: The biology of our best and worst selves

Interesting discussion of what affects our behavior. 

Description: "How can humans be so compassionate and altruistic — and also so brutal and violent? To understand why we do what we do, neuroscientist Robert Sapolsky looks at extreme context, examining actions on timescales from seconds to millions of years before they occurred. In this fascinating talk, he shares his cutting edge research into the biology that drives our worst and best behaviors."

Robert Sapolsky: The biology of our best and worst selves

Filmed April 2017 at TED 2017

 

p.s. Roger (on Facebook) saw this talk and recommends the book ...



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OpTrader

Swing trading portfolio - week of May 22nd, 2017

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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Biotech

Beyond just promise, CRISPR is delivering in the lab today

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

Beyond just promise, CRISPR is delivering in the lab today

Courtesy of Ian HaydonUniversity of Washington

Precision editing DNA allows for some amazing applications. Ian Haydon, CC BY-ND

There’s a revolution happening in biology, and its name is CRISPR.

CRISPR (pronounced “crisper”) is a powerful technique for editing DNA. It has received an enormous amount of attention in the scientific and popular press, largely based on the promise of what this powerful gene e...



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Kimble Charting Solutions

Brazil; Waterfall in prices starting? Impact U.S.?

Courtesy of Chris Kimble.

Below looks at the Brazil ETF (EWZ) over the last decade. The rally over the past year has it facing a critical level, from a Power of the Pattern perspective.

CLICK ON CHART TO ENLARGE

EWZ is facing dual resistance at (1), while in a 9-year down trend of lower highs and lower lows. The counter trend rally over the past 17-months has it testing key falling resistance. Did the counter trend reflation rally just end at dual resistance???

If EWZ b...



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Mapping The Market

Bombing - Right or Wrong?

Courtesy of Jean-Luc

I am telling you Angel – makes no sense… BTW:

Republicans Love Bombing, But Only When a Republican Does It

By Kevin Drum, Mother Jones

A few days ago I noted that Republican views of the economy changed dramatically when Donald Trump was elected, but Democratic views stayed pretty stable. Apparently Republicans view the economy through a partisan lens but Democrats don't.

Are there other examples of this? Yes indeed. Jeff Stein points to polling data about air strikes against Syria:

Democr...



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Promotions

Free eBook - "My Top Strategies for 2017"

 

 

Here's a free ebook for you to check out! 

Phil has a chapter in a newly-released eBook that we think you’ll enjoy.

In My Top Strategies for 2017, Phil's chapter is Secret Santa’s Inflation Hedges for 2017.

This chapter isn’t about risk or leverage. Phil present a few smart, practical ideas you can use as a hedge against inflation as well as hedging strategies designed to assist you in staying ahead of the markets.

Some other great content in this free eBook includes:

 

·       How 2017 Will Affect Oil, the US Dollar and the European Union

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All About Trends

Mid-Day Update

Reminder: Harlan 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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FeedTheBull - Top Stock market and Finance Sites



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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