Author Archive for ilene

Nomi Prins, How Trump Became Trump and What That Means for the Rest of Us


Tomgram: Nomi Prins, How Trump Became Trump and What That Means for the Rest of Us

Courtesy of Nomi Prins and TomDispatch 

Written by Nomi Prins, posted at TomDispatch, introduction by Tom, and cross-posted at Zero Hedge.

Sometimes when I look at the increasingly bizarre, never-ending campaign for the White House and the staggering fundraising that goes with it, I think to myself: if we were in Kabul, Afghanistan, we would know what this was. We would recognize warlord politics. We would understand that (Bernie Sanders aside) politicians running for the presidency now need patrons — modern-day Medicis who can fund the super PACs that are increasingly the heart and soul of a process leading to the first $10 billion election. Those billionaire funders are, of course, America’s warlords. In his book No Good Men Among the Living: America, the Taliban, and the War Through Afghan Eyes, reporter Anand Gopal offers a riveting up close and personal look at how the process works far from home. One of the Afghans he follows is a remarkable woman who, under the patronage of just such a warlord, finds herself a senator in the Afghan Parliament.

In our system, the candidates now first test their “electability” not with voters in primaries, but with a tiny coterie of the super-rich.  In the case of the Koch brothers, for instance, they literally audition for support. In twenty-first-century America, these should undoubtedly be considered the real primaries and what happens starting in Iowa and New Hampshire early next year should be thought of as the secondaries. The increasingly fierce contests for money are America’s new electoral reality, the one the Supreme Court let loose on the land with its 2010 Citizens United decision that freed the voice of money to overwhelm the many voices of this country. The process of fundraising has only gained momentum since then and yet this new form of electoral politics is a system still in formation, like molten lava only now beginning to cool and settle into its future shape.

To give credit…
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Bad News Piles On For Hedge Fund Hotel SunEdison: First $315MM Margin Call, Now Mass Layoffs

Courtesy of ZeroHedge. View original post here.

It has been a long way up and quick ride down for SunEdison but bad news keeps piling up for the hedge fund hotel even as it dead-cat-bounces again. As the stock bounces, just as it bounced in September after Steve Cohen's Point72 exposed their stake and JPM jumped to the rescue, uncertainty remains extreme. Amid a surge in debt and increasingly negative operating cash-flow, the plunge in stock (asset) price may have triggered a cross-collateral margin call of around $315 million. Furthermore, mass layoffs are on the cards as the CEO attempts to "optimize" the business.

Another squeeze…

Charts: Bloomberg

Some investors have dumped the stock due to low oil prices and turmoil in commodity markets — a problem for other public solar companies as well. However, short sellers have targeted SunEdison more than its competitors.

Recent acquisitions have nearly doubled SunEdison's debt load and increased negative operating cash flow. The Vivint acquisition, which wasn't an obvious fit with SunEdison's culture and traditional business of building large solar-power plants, added to investor skepticism.

The stock has become a playground for hedge funds.

But uncertainty remains extreme…

SunEdison may have triggered a collateral call on its $410 million margin loan, a report from CreditSights says, citing a decline in the financially-linked TerraForm Power Inc (known as a "yieldco," the spin-off of a related business venture), which fell 36% in September and continued to slide, down 49% year ­to ­date.

After sifting through four different SEC documents – a 10Q at SunEdison, an equity prospectus at TerraForm, a convertible bond 8K from SunEdison and a margin loan agreement at SunEdison… the report concludes it is possible SunEdison to be dragged down by TerraForm and the added burden of posting cash collateral for the margin loan that was backed by stock.

CreditSights says the margin loan is yet another example of lack of disclosure but they reiterate their our conclusion on the collateral call.

As Creditsights concludes…

there are a lot of moving parts to SunEdison and the more we find the more negative we get on the sponsor

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Tax Plans of Hillary Clinton vs. Donald Trump: Which do Clinton Supporters Favor?

Courtesy of Mish.

Here is an amusing video that reader Curt shared with me moments ago. It's about tax plans of Hillary Clinton vs. Donald Trump.

Link if video does not play: Hillary Supporters Like Trump's Tax Plan.

Mike "Mish" Shedlock


Recession Watch


Thoughts from the Frontline: Recession Watch

By John Mauldin

“Growth is never by mere chance; it is the result of forces working together.”

– J.C. Penney

“Strength and growth come only through continuous effort and struggle.”

– Napoleon Hill

“We’re lost, but we’re making good time.”

Yogi Berra, 1925-2015, RIP (For a most moving and memory-laden tribute to Yogi, see The Lefsetz Letter.)

The Yogi Berra quote above, which was brought to my attention this week, seems an apt description of where the markets and the economy are today. Nobody is quite sure where we are or where we’re going, but we all seem to think we’re going to get there soon.

I think it’s pretty much a given that we’re in for a cyclical bear market in the coming quarters. The question is, will it be 1998 or 2001/2007? Will the recovery look V-shaped, or will it drag out? Remember, there is always a recovery. But at the same time, there is always a recession out in front of us; and that fact of life is what makes for long and difficult recoveries, not to mention very deep bear markets.

The problem is that our most reliable indicator for a recession is no longer available to us. The Federal Reserve did a study, which has been replicated. They looked at 26 indicators with regard to their reliability in predicting a recession. There was only one that was accurate all the time, and that was an inverted yield curve of a particular length and depth. Interestingly, it worked almost a year in advance. The inverted yield curve indicator worked very well the last two recessions; but now, with the Federal Reserve holding interest rates at the zero bound, it is simply impossible to get a negative yield curve.

Understand, an inverted yield curve does not cause a recession. It is simply an indicator that an economy is under stress.

So now we are in an environment where we can look only at “predictive” indicators that are not 100% reliable. Actually, most are not even close. Some indicators have predicted seven out of the last

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Milton Friedman Accurately Explains the Immigration Problem in US and Europe, Government, Taxes, and Economic Freedoms in General

Courtesy of Mish.

In previous articles I summed up the immigration problems in Europe and the US as the direct result of an “unlimited demand for free services, free shelter, and free food”.

Let’s tune into what Economist Milton Friedman has to say about Illegal Immigration.

Also consider Milton Friedman Quotes.

Friedman on Governments

  • Governments never learn. Only people learn.
  • If you put the federal government in charge of the Sahara Desert, in 5 years there’d be a shortage of sand.
  • A society that puts equality before freedom will get neither. A society that puts freedom before equality will get a high degree of both.
  • One of the great mistakes is to judge policies and programs by their intentions rather than their results.
  • Nothing is so permanent as a temporary government program.
  • I am favor of cutting taxes under any circumstances and for any excuse, for any reason, whenever it’s possible.
  • Many people want the government to protect the consumer. A much more urgent problem is to protect the consumer from the government.

Friedman on Free Trade

  • Underlying most arguments against the free market is a lack of belief in freedom itself.
  • Well first of all, tell me: Is there some society you know that doesn’t run on greed? You think Russia doesn’t run on greed? You think China doesn’t run on greed? What is greed? Of course, none of us are greedy, it’s only the other fellow who’s greedy. The world runs on individuals pursuing their separate interests. The great achievements of civilization have not come from government bureaus. Einstein didn’t construct his theory under order from a bureaucrat. Henry Ford didn’t revolutionize the automobile industry that way. In the only cases in which the masses have escaped from the kind of grinding poverty you’re talking about, the only cases in recorded history, are where they have had capitalism and largely free trade. If you want to know where the masses are worse off, worst off, it’s exactly in the kinds of societies that depart from that. So that the record of history is absolutely crystal clear, that there is no alternative way so far discovered of improving the lot of the ordinary people that can hold a candle to the productive activities that are unleashed by the

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Lashed To The Zero Bound – The Fed’s Ship Of Fools

Courtesy of David Stockman at Contra Corner

If you don’t think financial markets have been utterly destroyed by central bank intrusion then how can you explain Friday’s 460 Dow point reversal higher after the post-NFP low?  It was pure machine rage triggered by another implied “lower for longer” Fed policy signal.

While I think the BLS establishment survey isn’t worth the paper it’s manipulated on, it did take a drastic turn for the worse. So doing, it thereby monkey-hammered the recovery narrative of the Keynesian chorus on Wall Street and at the Fed.

In fact, the alleged 245,000 monthly rate of job gains registered during the year through July was about the only fig leaf of proof they have been able to offer as to why “escape velocity” was finally at hand; and why household consumption would soon accelerate, thereby powering up a new leg of recovery.

Well, that meme was shot dead by the September report including the sharp downward revisions to prior month. The average gain for August/September was 139,000. That is, until the BLS revises it all away, the last two-months rate of jobs gain has averaged 42% lower than prior trend!

And by your way, the BLS has already announced its benchmark revision expectation for February, and its a 200,000 downward adjustment to the levels reported Friday.

Even then, we are mainly talking about waiters, bartenders, sales clerks, home health aides and temp agency gigs. But since these BLS paint-by-the-numbers results are used by the monetary politburo to navigate, the fast money was not confused as to the September report’s implication. They hit the “buy, buy, buy” button so hard and fast that even Cramer would have been proud.

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Ron Paul: I Wish Nobody Was Bombing Syria

Courtesy of ZeroHedge. View original post here.

Submitted by Ron Paul via The Institute for Peace & Prosperity,

The US regime change policy for Syria has been a catastrophe. More than 200,000 killed and an entire country reduced to rubble at least partly because President Obama decided that “Assad has lost his legitimacy.” How is it that the president of a country 6,000 miles away has the authority to decide whether another leader belongs in office or not? What if Rouhani in Iran decided that Obama had lost his legitimacy for killing a number of American citizens by drone without charge or trial? Would we accept that?

At least three years of US efforts to train rebels to overthrow the Syrian government has produced, as General Lloyd Austin, Commander of US Central Command, testified last month, “four or five” trained and vetted “moderates” in Syria. The $500 million appropriated for this purpose has disappeared.

The neocon solution to this failure to overthrow Assad and “degrade and destroy” ISIS is to increase the bombing and lead a ground invasion of Syria. The confusing policy of fighting Assad and also fighting his enemies does not seem to bother the neocons. They want us to forget all about their recent failures in Libya and Iraq and to try the same failed strategy one more time.

But something dramatic happened last week. Russian president Vladimir Putin delivered a speech at the United Nations criticizing the US policy of partnering with one set of extremists – al-Qaeda and its allies – to attack both ISIS and Assad. “Do you realize now what you have done?” asked Putin.

Shortly after Putin’s UN speech, he requested and was granted authority from the Russian parliament to use force in Syria in response to the Syrian government’s request for assistance against the rebels. Russian fighters and bombers began flying sorties over Syria almost immediately. In less than a week of Russian bombing, considerable damage appears to have been done to both ISIS and to al-Qaeda affiliates – some of which are considered allies by the US and were actually trained by the CIA.

It may be tempting to cheer Russian military action in Syria, as it seems ISIS is finally suffering some considerable losses. Press reports suggest large numbers of…
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Adam Posen Calls Financial Stability Oversight in U.S. “a Mess”; Speech Goes Missing

Courtesy of Pam Martens.

Adam Posen Testifying Before the Senate Banking Committee, July 8, 2015

Adam Posen Testifying Before the Senate Banking Committee, July 8, 2015

Last week we wrote about the invisible hand’s removal of a negative paragraph on the financial industry from the Pope’s speech before a joint session of Congress and some bizarre shenanigans with Fed Chair Janet Yellen’s highly anticipated speech in Amherst, Massachusetts. This past Saturday, Adam Posen, the President of a powerful think tank, the Peterson Institute for International Economics, delivered a speech at a conference sponsored by the Federal Reserve Bank of Boston, calling the U.S. Financial Stability Oversight Council (FSOC) “a mess.” That speech has gone missing from online access.

FSOC is the body created under the Dodd-Frank financial reform legislation of 2010 to reassure the American people that Wall Street would never again be able to take the U.S. economy, the financial system, and the housing market to the cleaners and then get a multi-trillion dollar bailout. FSOC is chaired by the U.S. Treasury Secretary, Jack Lew (an alumnus of the biggest bailout recipient, Citigroup), along with the heads of every other major U.S. financial regulator.

According to Bloomberg Business, in his conference remarks on Saturday, Posen also said that what individual financial institutions are able to do with discretion from regulators was “huge.” (That two of the mega banks in the U.S., JPMorgan Chase and Citigroup, admitted to criminal felony counts in May for rigging foreign currency markets along with other banks and that serial findings of collusion among the mega banks in multiple markets has now achieved epic dimensions, Posen’s comments would hardly seem an overstatement.)

The New York Times added more gravity to Posen’s remarks with this quote from him at the Saturday conference: “The current U.S. institutional setup is likely to fail in a crisis and will do less to prevent a crisis than it should, and we are likely to suffer from this.”

There are two places one would expect to find such a remarkably candid speech. At the official conference site where other speeches are posted or at Dr. Posen’s official page of speeches and publications at the Peterson Institute. We could not find the speech at either site, nor could we find it elsewhere on the Internet.

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Why Are Mules Stubborn? Why Can’t Blind Jackasses See?

Courtesy of Mish.

Here's my theoretical question for the day: Why are mules stubborn, and why can't blind jackasses see?

I ask that question in regards to a few recent news articles. One is on Japan, one the US, and one on emerging markets with various overlaps in between.

Let's start with Japan.

Brink of "Technical" Recession

The Financial Times reports Japan on Brink of Technical Recession.

Japan is on the verge of a technical recession after data on industrial production raised the prospect of a second consecutive quarter of negative growth.  Industrial production for August — a crucial input into gross domestic product — unexpectedly fell by 0.5 per cent on the previous month after a 0.6 per cent fall in July.


“It’s likely we’re already in technical recession,” said Masamichi Adachi, senior economist at JPMorgan in Tokyo, who forecast an annualised contraction of 1 per cent in the third quarter after 1.2 per cent in the second.

In an interview with the Financial Times this week, Mr Abe’s economic adviser, Etsuro Honda, said additional fiscal stimulus was an “urgent task”, while an increasing number of analysts expect the Bank of Japan to expand its monetary stimulus at the end of October.

Last week Janet Yellen, US Federal Reserve chair, implicitly criticised the BoJ’s policy, noting in a speech: “I am somewhat sceptical about the actual effectiveness of any monetary policy that relies primarily on the central bank’s theoretical ability to influence the public’s inflation expectations.

The BoJ has a wide range of policy options for further easing. It could increase the rate of asset purchases from the current Y80tn ($670bn) a year; expand the range of assets it buys; or use communication tools to signal how long it will keep monetary policy loose.

IMF Warns of New Financial Crisis

The Guardian reports IMF Warns of New Financial Crisis if Interest Rates Rise.

The debts of non-financial firms in emerging market economies quadrupled, from $4tn (£2.6tn) in 2004 to well over $18tn in 2014, according to the IMF’s twice-yearly Global Financial Stability Report.


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Carly Fiorina’s No-Fly Zone Proposal Now Viewed as Impossible; Good News, Bad News

Courtesy of Mish.

Carly Fiorina's No-Fly Zone Proposal Dead?

(Previous article by Mish questioning "our" no-fly zone here.)

The Financial Times reports Moscow Scuppers US Coalition Plans for No-Fly Zone in Syria

Russia’s bombing of anti-regime rebels in Syria has been described as a disaster for the US-led coalition’s efforts to destroy Isis, the Islamist militant group, but the Kremlin’s real challenge to Washington is in the skies above the war-torn country.

Alongside a modest Latakia-based contingent of two dozen Su-24 Fencer and Su-25 Frogfoot jets — planes designed to strike land targets — Moscow has deployed assets which render the prospect of no-fly zones enforced by the US or its allies over Syria impossible to enact.

“The ultimate reason all this is happening is because of the renewed focus on Syria and the need for some sort of political solution there — something which we thought we could achieve by enforcing no-fly zones, safe zones,” said one senior European diplomat.

But any hopes of military co-ordination with Russia to achieve this, even in the wake of its disruptive deployment, are swiftly being dashed.

Deployment of S-300s — or other similarly sophisticated systems, also known as triple-digit Sams — has long been one of the Pentagon’s biggest fears in the Middle East. The S-300 system, which has an operating range of 150km, is capable of striking down all but the most sophisticated stealth aircraft. It means most missions flown by Washington’s coalition allies — Jordan, for example, uses F-16 jets — are now highly vulnerable. Even the UK’s deployment of Tornados and Typhoons at the Royal Air Force’s base at Akrotiri, Cyprus, is threatened by the missiles.

“The Russian forces now in place make it very, very obvious that any kind of no-fly zone on the Libyan model imposed by the US and allies is now impossible, unless the coalition is actually willing to shoot down Russian aircraft,” says Justin Bronk, research analyst at the Royal United Services Institute.

“The Russians are not playing ball at deconfliction — they are just saying, ‘keep out of our way’. The coalition’s operations in Syria will be vastly more complex from a risk assessment point of view and from a mission-planning point of view.”

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Phil's Favorites

Nomi Prins, How Trump Became Trump and What That Means for the Rest of Us


Tomgram: Nomi Prins, How Trump Became Trump and What That Means for the Rest of Us

Courtesy of Nomi Prins and TomDispatch 

Written by Nomi Prins, posted at TomDispatch, introduction by Tom, and cross-posted at Zero Hedge.

Sometimes when I look at the increasingly bizarre, never-ending campaign for the White House and the ...

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Zero Hedge

Nomi Prins: How Trump Became Trump And What That Means For The Rest Of Us

Courtesy of ZeroHedge. View original post here.

Submitted by Tyler Durden.

Authored by Nomi Prins via,


The Donald’s Finances and the Art of Ignoring Conflicts and Contradictions

The 2016 election campaign is certainly a billionaire’s playground when it comes to “establishment candidates” like Hillary Clinton and Jeb Bush who cater to mega-donors and use their money to try to rally party bases. The only genuine exception to the rule this time around has been Bernie Sanders, who has built a solid grassroots following and funding machine, while shunning what he calls “...

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Chart School

Markets Post Gains - Breakout in Dow and Semiconductor Index

Courtesy of Declan.

A fresh day of gains keeps bullish momentum running in healthy action. The Dow was the first index to break past declining resistance established by July - August declining trendline. Volume also climbed to register accumulation.

The Semiconductor Index was another to make a move higher. It cleared declining resistance and the 50-day MA. Better still, it was the first key index to return net bullish in technicals.

This will help the Nasdaq 100 which is ...

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Market News

News You Can Use From Phil's Stock World


Financial Markets and Economy

Charting the Markets: Global Stocks Jump on Weak U.S. Jobs Report (Bloomberg)

Emerging market stocks advance, commodities rise on weaker dollar and Glencore rises again.

The oil price is killing Rolls-Royce and it's cutting 400 jobs (Business Insider)

Rolls-Royce is slashing 400 jobs from its marine division, blaming the fall in the price of oil and a need to cut costs.


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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: Searching for solid support in the face of global headwinds

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

Courtesy of Sabrient Systems and Gradient Analytics

Uncertainty about the health of the global economy led investors to flee U.S. equities during Q3, primarily driven by worries about China's growth prospects and the Federal Reserve’s decision to not raise rates. Sure, there are plenty of real and perceived headwinds, but on balance it seems that a recession here at home is not in the cards. And when you consider sentiment and the technical picture, it appears that a continuation of Friday’s bounce is in store. The question remains as to whether the seasonally strong Q4 will be able to propel the bulls through levels of resistance that have built up.

In this weekly update, I give my view o...

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Kimble Charting Solutions

Indicator triggers first time since 2000, “Threats & Opportunities” that follow

Courtesy of Chris Kimble.

A “Performance Indicator” with a very good track record, just sent an alert, for the first time since the 2000 highs.

Good friend and market strategist Ryan Detrick and I will be discussing “Opportunities” that follow when our 125/5 Indicator gets triggered.

Ryan and I will be conducting a FREE Webinar this Wednesday at 5 PM eastern. If you haven’t signed up yet, you can by CLICKING HERE

One of the many things we will be discussing is how should one construct a portfolio when the 125/5 indicator gets triggered and the “Th...

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Swing trading portfolio - week of October 5th, 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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Some Hedge Funds "Hedged" During Stock Market Sell Off, Others Not As Risk Focused

By Mark Melin. Originally published at ValueWalk.

With the VIX index jumping 120 percent on a weekly basis, the most in its history, and with the index measuring volatility or "fear" up near 47 percent on the day, one might think professional investors might be concerned. While the sell off did surprise some, certain hedge fund managers have started to dip their toes in the water to buy stocks they have on their accumulation list, while other algorithmic strategies are actually prospering in this volatile but generally consistently trending market.

Stock market sell off surprises some while others were prepared and are hedged prospering

While so...

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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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Watch the Phil Davis Special on Money Talk on BNN TV!

Kim Parlee interviews Phil on Money Talk. Be sure to watch the replays if you missed the show live on Wednesday night (it was recorded on Monday). As usual, Phil provides an excellent program packed with macro analysis, important lessons and trading ideas. ~ Ilene


The replay is now available on BNN's website. For the three part series, click on the links below. 

Part 1 is here (discussing the macro outlook for the markets) Part 2 is here. (discussing our main trading strategies) Part 3 is here. (reviewing our pick of th...

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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!

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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About Ilene:

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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