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Global Business Confidence Collapses To Post-Lehman Lows

Courtesy of ZeroHedge. View original post here.

Submitted by Tyler Durden.

As we noted here, despite record high stock prices and talking-heads imploring investors to believe CEOs are confident, they are not (consider the clear indication of a lack of economic confidence from tumbling capex and soaring buybacks), That is further confirmed today as Markit's survey of over 6000 firms showed optimism falling sharply in October, dropping to the lowest seen since the survey began five years ago. Hiring and investment plans were also at or near post-crisis lows, while price expectations deteriorated further. More worrying, perhaps, is the US is not decoupled whatsoever, with future expectations of US business activity at the lowest since the financial crisis.

 

The Markit Global Business Outlook Survey, which looks at expectations for the year ahead across 6,100 companies, showed optimism falling sharply in October, dropping to the lowest seen since the survey began five years ago. Hiring and investment plans were also at or near post-crisis lows, while price expectations deteriorated further.

Long list of worries

The surveys highlight a growing list of concerns among companies about the outlook for the year ahead that led to a cooling of business optimism in recent months.

Key threats include fears of a worsening global economic climate, and notably a renewed downturn in the Eurozone, the prospect of higher interest rates in countries such as the UK and US next year, geopolitical risk emanating from crises in Ukraine and the Middle East, plus growing political uncertainty in many countries, notably the US, UK and Japan.

“Clouds are gathering over the global economic outlook, presenting the darkest picture seen since the global financial crisis. Companies’ hiring and investment intentions have both fallen to post-crisis lows alongside the bleakest outlook for future business activity seen over the past five years.

“Inflationary pressures are expected to ease further, meaning central banks will have leeway to keep policy looser for longer to help support economic growth, especially as the risk of deflation remains a major worry.

“Of greatest concern is the slide in business optimism and expansion plans in the US to the weakest seen over the past five


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No indictment in Ferguson case

No charges to be filed against police officer Darren Wilson for offenses ranging from involuntary manslaughter up to first degree murder (not indicted). Not surprisingly, the news sparked a night of rioting, looting and gunfire in Ferguson and protests across the nation. In Ferguson, businesses burned, 61 people were arrested, protesters threw bricks at police officers and set police cars on fire. The St. Louis police claimed the violence was worse than in August. (Source).

News first appeared on USA Today:

FERGUSON, Mo. — A white police officer will not face charges for fatally shooting an unarmed black teenager in a case that set off violent protests and racial unrest throughout the nation, an attorney close to the case said Monday night.  (Full article) 

Hopes for peaceful demonstrations vanished quickly as violence erupted right after the announcement. 

FERGUSON, Mo., – Violent protests erupted here Monday after demonstrators learned there would be no criminal indictment of police officer Darren Wilson for the August shooting death of unarmed teen Michael Brown.

Demonstrators taunted police, shattered windows and set fire to two St. Louis County police cars. Scattered, intermittent gunfire was also reported. Scores of police officers, armed with riot gear, dispersed a crowd of about 300 with volley after volley of tear gas, pepper spray and bean bags. Looters plundered a Walgreen and Autozone store, while a Little Casears pizza restaurant and local beauty shop were set ablaze. (Keep reading: Violence erupts following Ferguson grand jury announcement)

How did officer Wilson escape further inquiry?  argues that his story makes no sense in Officer Darren Wilson's story is unbelievable. Literally.

So Brown is punching inside the car. Wilson is scrambling to deflect the blows, to protect his face, to regain control of the situation. And then Brown stops, turns to his left, says to his friend, "Here, hold these," and hands him the cigarillos stolen from Ferguson Market. Then he turns back to Wilson and, with his left hand now freed from holding the contraband goods, throws a haymaker at Wilson.

Every bullshit detector in me went off when I read that passage. Which doesn't mean that it didn't happen exactly the way Wilson


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Fed “Mystified” Why Millennials Still Live at Home; My Answer May Surprise You (It Isn’t Jobs, Student Debt, or Housing)

Courtesy of Mish.

A New York Fed research paper wonders What’s Keeping Millennials at Home? Is it Debt, Jobs, or Housing?

The paper says “it’s a mystery” why the housing recovery did not have a bigger impact on millennials living at home.

The research paper, written by Zachary Bleemer, Meta Brown, Donghoon Lee, and Wilbert van der Klaauw notes correlations to debt, jobs and housing.

Yet, “student debt only explains about 10% of the increase in parental coresidence since 2004, with another 10% being explained by house prices during the mid-2000s“.

I have the answer below, but first a few charts and notes on the charts.

Notes:

  • CCP is the Federal Reserve Bank of New York’s Equifax-Sourced Consumer Credit Panel
  • CPS is the Current Population Survey, a joint effort between the Bureau of Labor Statistics and the Census Bureau

Coresidence 25-30 Year-Olds 1999-2013

Coresidence 25 Year-Olds 1999-2013 Census Corrected

Coresidence 30 Year-Olds 1999-2013 Census Corrected



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The 2014 Oil Price Crash Explained

Courtesy of The Automatic Earth


NPC Capitol Refining Co. plant, Relee, Alexandria County 1925

This is an article by our good friend Euan Mearns at the University of Aberdeen. It was originally published here .

  • In February 2009 Phil Hart published on The Oil Drum a simple supply demand model that explained then the action in the oil price. In this post I update Phil’s model to July 2014 using monthly oil supply (crude+condensate) and price data from the Energy Information Agency (EIA).
  • This model explains how a drop in demand for oil of only 1 million barrels per day can account for the fall in price from $110 to below $80 per barrel.
  • The future price will be determined by demand, production capacity and OPEC production constraint. A further fall in demand of the order 1 Mbpd may see the price fall below $60. Conversely, at current demand, an OPEC production cut of the order 1 Mbpd may send the oil price back up towards $100. It seems that volatility has returned to the oil market.

Figure 1 An adaptation of Phil Hart’s oil supply demand model. The blue supply line is constrained by data (see Figure 4). The red demand lines are conceptual. Prior to 2004, oil supply was fairly elastic to changes in price, i.e. a small rise in price led to a large rise in production. This is explained by OPEC opening and closing the taps. Post 2004, oil supply became inelastic to price, i.e. a large change in price led to marginal increase in supply. This is explained by the world pumping flat out. Demand tends to be fairly inelastic and inversely correlated with price in that high price suppresses demand a little. Supply and price at any point in time is defined by the intersection of the supply and demand curves. 72 Mbpd and $40 / bbl in 2004 became 76 Mbpd and $120 / bbl in 2008 as demand for oil soared against inelastic supply.

 

Figure 2

Followers of the oil market will be familiar with the recent evolution of…
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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?

Blog_Bitcoin_iStock_000039182710_450x331

Miners are members of the Bitcoin community who engage in a process that validates new additions to the blockchain in exchange for a reward that comes in the form of newly issued bitcoins. The process is essentially a tournament, where the likelihood that a miner receives a reward is proportional to the amount of computing power he or she employs. Mining pools are groups of miners that pool their computational resources together and split the rewards. An individual or group of miners that provides more than 50 percent of computational power to the validation process can manipulate the blockchain, but this power is limited by the fact that blockchain is, as mentioned above, a public record; no one can add false transactions to the blockchain.

There are only two manipulations a controlling pool could attempt: refusing to validate specific transactions (which prevents people from sending bitcoins between addresses) or reversing transactions the pool sends during the time it is in control. Such actions would likely lead to a huge decline in the value of bitcoin, if not a complete collapse of the entire system. So would it be worth it for a pool of miners to manipulate the blockchain?

Think of the situation as an infinitely (or indefinitely) repeated game. Is there a one-shot manipulation that will earn the controlling mining pool more than its expected future earnings? If not, then the pool has little incentive to manipulate the blockchain, as doing so would destroy its source of future income. We argue that the incentives for a 51 percent attack are low given the current conditions of the bitcoin market, but that the incentive for such an attack may increase in the future.

The Current Situation

In order to evaluate the costs and benefits of a manipulation one needs…
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Juncker’s €315bn EU Slush Fund is €299bn Sleight of Hand Magic

Courtesy of Mish.

Last week France asked for a "New Deal" with "Real Money" not fake EU promises.

France was a bit wary (and rightly so) over sleight of hand math from Jean-Claude Juncker, the new head of the European Commission.

Today we have the facts.

Juncker's €315bn EU Slush Fund looks like this.

95% Leveraged Magic, 5% Fund

  • €16bn from the EU budget
  • €5bn in guarantees from the European Investment Bank (EIB)
  • €299bn is magic.

Supposedly, private money will come up with €299bn based on €5bn in guarantees.

Of course someone has to administer this action plan. So Juncker unveiled a new “investment advisory hub” run by "financial professionals" with direction from the European Commission and EIB.

After padding their own pockets, the group will decide which projects to undertake, no doubt based on kickbacks, bribes, and political favoritism to friends.

To make the deal even sweeter for their political cronies, the EU will offer a “first-loss” guarantee, where the EU money would absorb any initial investment losses in an effort to “crowd in” private investors looking for more secure upside.

Given that it's all funny money anyway, I have a question: Why not provide €50bn in guarantees raising €2.99 trillion in the process?

Mike "Mish" Shedlock

http://globaleconomicanalysis.blogspot.com

More by Mish here > 

 





U.S. Senate Tries Public Shaming of New York Fed President Dudley

Courtesy of Pam Martens.

New York Fed President William Dudley Got a Dose of Public Shaming at the Hands of the U.S. Senate Last Week

New York Fed President William Dudley Got a Dose of Public Shaming at the Hands of the U.S. Senate Last Week

Last Friday, the Senate Subcommittee on Financial Institutions and Consumer Protection, chaired by Sherrod Brown, effectively put William Dudley, President of the Federal Reserve Bank of New York, in stocks in the village square and engaged in a rather brilliant style of public shaming. With each well-formed question posed by the panel, Dudley’s jaded leadership of a hubristic regulator came into ever sharper focus.

There were a number of elephants in the room during the lengthy session that were only briefly touched upon but deserve greater scrutiny by the press. First, Congress knew that the New York Fed was a failed, crony regulator during the lead up to the financial collapse in 2008, but it granted it an even greater supervisory role under the Dodd-Frank financial reform legislation in 2010. This Congress has also failed to engage in public shaming of President Obama for brazenly ignoring the Dodd-Frank’s statutory mandate that calls for him to appoint, subject to Senate confirmation, a Vice Chairman for Supervision at the Federal Reserve Board of Governors, who could have shaped and monitored a more credible policing role for the New York Fed.

Senator Sherrod Brown Questions the New York Fed President During Senate Hearing , Novemer 21, 2014

Senator Sherrod Brown Questions the New York Fed President During Senate Hearing

Section 1108 of Dodd-Frank requires: “The Vice Chairman for Supervision shall develop policy recommendations for the Board regarding supervision and regulation of depository institution holding companies and other financial firms supervised by the Board, and shall oversee the supervision and regulation of such firms.” President Obama was required to nominate this individual once the Dodd-Frank Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act became effective; that was July 21, 2010 – more than four years ago. The President has simply ignored this provision of the law – no doubt to the extreme satisfaction of Wall Street.

The final elephant is that as a result of giving a failed regulator enhanced power and failing to appoint a person to a leadership role in supervision, the U.S. Senate has effectively become Wall Street’s cop on the beat, doing the job the New York Fed’s cronyism prevents it from doing.



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The Mystery Of America’s “Schrodinger” Middle Class: Thriving Or About To Go Extinct

There's a lot of confusion regarding Schrodinger's cat, so here's an explanation to get the concept down solid before reading Zero Hedge's article. (By Dhatfield at Wikipedia)

The Mystery Of America's "Schrodinger" Middle Class: Thriving Or About To Go Extinct

Courtesy of ZeroHedge

On one hand, the US middle class has rarely if ever had it worse. At least, if one actually dares to venture into this thing called the real world, and/or believes the NYT's report: "Falling Wages at Factories Squeeze the Middle Class." Some excerpts:

For nearly 20 years, Darrell Eberhardt worked in an Ohio factory putting together wheelchairs, earning $18.50 an hour, enough to gain a toehold in the middle class and feel respected at work. He is still working with his hands, assembling seats for Chevrolet Cruze cars at the Camaco auto parts factory in Lorain, Ohio, but now he makes $10.50 an hour and is barely hanging on. “I’d like to earn more,” said Mr. Eberhardt, who is 49 and went back to school a few years ago to earn an associate’s degree. “But the chances of finding something like I used to have are slim to none.”
 
Even as the White House and leaders on Capitol Hill and in Fortune 500 boardrooms all agree that expanding the country’s manufacturing base is a key to prosperity, evidence is growing that the pay of many blue-collar jobs is shrinking to the point where they can no longer support a middle-class life.

 

In short: America's manufacturing sector is being obliterated: "A new study by the National Employment Law Project, to be released on Friday, reveals that many factory jobs nowadays pay far less than what workers in almost identical positions earned in the past.

Perhaps even more significant, while the typical production job in the manufacturing sector paid more than the private sector average in the 1980s, 1990s and early 2000s, that relationship flipped in 2007, and line work in factories now pays less than the typical private sector job. That gap has been widening — in 2013, production jobs paid an average of $19.29


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Central Banks: When We Succeed, We Fail

Courtesy of Charles Hugh-Smith of OfTwoMinds blog,

Central banks around the world share a few simple goals:

  1. Defeat deflation by sparking inflation--in the cost of goods and services, not wages.
  2. Weaken the currency to boost exports and counter beggar thy neighbor devaluations by other exporting nations and trading blocs.
  3. Boost the value of stocks to keep pension plans afloat and project a politically powerful message of "growth" and "prosperity."
What no central bank dares say is what happens should they manage to boost inflation, devalue their currency and continue pushing assets higher: when we succeed, we fail.
 
Consider the consequences of juicing inflation: every click up in inflation further reduces the purchasing power of wages, which do not keep up with inflation in a world of labor surplus.
 
When central banks succeed in jacking up inflation, they will fail the households and enterprises whose income is stagnating or declining:Were European Central Bank head Mario Draghi honest, here is what he would say:
 
 
Devaluing one's currency is another way of pushing down the purchasing power of households' income and savings. Were Bank of Japan head Haruhiko Kuroda honest, here is what he would say:
 
 
Goosing stocks ever higher will eventually push wealth inequality to the point that it unleashes social instability. Were Federal Reserve chair Janet Yellen honest, here is what she would say:
 

Should central banks succeed in jacking up inflation, devaluing the purchasing power of fiat currencies and pushing stocks to the moon, they will have failed their citizenry. Should they succeed in reaching their goals, they will trigger catastrophic instability.

 





“Regin” World’s Most Advanced Cyber Snoop Hits Russia, 4 Other Countries; Western Intelligence Agency Likely Responsible

Courtesy of Mish.

Telecom companies in Russia and Saudi Arabia have been hit by the world’s most sophisticated hacking software to date.

Symantec believes a Western intelligence agency is responsible.

Please consider World’s Most Advanced Hacking Spyware Let Loose

A cyber snooping operation reminiscent of the Stuxnet worm and billed as the world’s most sophisticated computer malware is targeting Russian and Saudi Arabian telecoms companies.

Cyber security company Symantec said the malware, called “Regin”, is probably run by a western intelligence agency and in some respects is more advanced in engineering terms than Stuxnet, which was developed by US and Israel government hackers in 2010 to target the Iranian nuclear programme.

The discovery of the latest hacking software comes as the head of Kaspersky Labs, the Russian company that helped uncover Stuxnet, told the Financial Times that criminals are now also hacking industrial control systems for financial gain.

“Nothing else comes close to this . . . nothing else we look at compares,” said Orla Cox, director of security response at Symantec, who described Regin as one of the most “extraordinary” pieces of hacking software developed, and probably “months or years in the making”.

Symantec said it was not yet clear how Regin infected systems but it had been deployed against internet service providers and telecoms companies mainly in Russia and Saudi Arabia as well as Mexico, Ireland and Iran.

The security software group said Regin could be customised to target different organisations and had hacked Microsoft email exchange servers and mobile phone conversations on major international networks.

“We are probably looking at some sort of western agency,” Ms Cox said. “Sometimes there is virtually nothing left behind – no clues. Sometimes an infection can disappear completely almost as soon as you start looking at it, it’s gone. That shows you what you are dealing with.”

Do Dirty Work Then Leave

The software somehow attaches itself, does the dirty work of stealing files or whatever, then vanished without much of a trace, apparently deleting its presence.

It’s unknown who did this but I side with Symantec, more specifically willing to suggest the NSA. …



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Zero Hedge

The Swiss Referendum On Gold: What's Missing From The Debate

Courtesy of ZeroHedge. View original post here.

Submitted by Tyler Durden.

Authored by Eric Schreiber, via GoldSilverWorlds blog,

The Swiss will vote on a referendum on November 30th that would ban the Swiss National Bank (SNB) from selling current and future gold reserves, repatriate foreign stored gold holdings to Switzerland, and mandate that gold must comprise a minimum of 20% of central bank assets. The SNB does not usually comment on political referendums. However, in this case it has done so quite vocally.

Why has the central bank decided to step into the political fray and oppose this initiative? What are its concerns? Are...



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Chart School

S&P 500 Snapshot: Dithering Near the Record High on Mixed Signals

Courtesy of Doug Short.

The S&P 500 traded in a bit of a confused fashion during the morning, oscillating between its 0.23% and -0.23% intraday peak and trough in the first two hours of trading. The Second Estimate of Q3 GDP beat forecasts with its upward revision from 3.5% to 3.9%. But Consumer Confidence unexpectedly dropped, probably not a welcome signal as we approach the holiday shopping season. The index then dithered through the day in a narrow range, the only drama being whether it would log its 47th record close of 2014. It did not, ending the day with a fractional -0.12% decline. But perhaps tomorrow's close will give us a rationale for an extra helping o...



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Phil's Favorites

Follow The Sand To The Real Fracking Boom

Follow The Sand To The Real Fracking Boom

By James Stafford of OilPrice.com

When it takes up to four million pounds of sand to frack a single well, it’s no wonder that demand is outpacing supply and frack sand producers are becoming the biggest behind-the-scenes beneficiaries of the American oil and gas boom.

Demand is exploding for “frac sand”--a durable, high-purity quartz sand used to help produce petroleum fluids and prop up man-made fractures in shale rock formations through which oil and gas flows—turning this segment into the top driver of value in the shale revolution.

“One ...



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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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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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