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Scientists figure out to unboil an egg

 

Scientists unboil an egg, and it may be a big deal

By Robert Ferris, at CNBC.com

It may seem like a mere parlor trick, but it is an achievement that could "dramatically" cut costs for cancer treatments, food production and other research in the $160 billion global biotechnology industry, according to a press release that was posted online Friday.

It also means "unboil" is now a word.

As anyone who has ever cooked an egg knows, egg "whites" are clear until they are cooked. Egg whites are high in protein, and when they cook, the proteins start to unfold, and then fold back up in a tighter, more tangled structure. This is why they go from being clear and mucus-like to white and rubbery.

Researchers at the University of California, Irvine, and Flinders University in Australia have figured out a process that can pull apart the tangled proteins, allowing them to refold and return to their original structure.

Keep reading Proteins and research: Scientists figure out to unboil an egg.

*****

Next up: Scientists turn a chicken back into an egg…

Picture via Pixabay. 

 





Swiss Franc Yield Curve Negative for 12 Years; Bond Crash – Austrian Bank Raiffeisen; Another One Bites the Dust

Courtesy of Mish.

The casualties continue to pile up in the wake of the Swiss National Bank dropping its peg to the euro.

(See Rabbit Hole Intervention Fails: Wild Moves in Swiss Franc as Switzerland Abandons Euro Peg; Morals of the Story).

The first moral of the story was “Don’t borrow money in other currencies, especially long-term mortgages.

The same applies to lenders. And banks that lent money in unhedged Swiss francs to customers in Poland, Hungary or elsewhere now finds collection difficult.

Austrian bank Raiffeisen is in deep trouble doing just that.

Austrian Bank Raiffeisen’s Bonds Crash

Bloomberg reports Raiffeisen Debt Signaling Distress as Currency Woes Mount

Raiffeisen Bank International AG (RBI)’s junior bonds slumped to levels typically viewed as distressed after gains in the Swiss franc added to woes triggered by the tumble in the Russian and Ukrainian currencies.

Subordinated bonds sold by the Vienna-based lender slid as low as 63.4 cents on the euro, with yields of as much as 10 percent, after trading at 91 cents at the start of December, according to data compiled by Bloomberg.

Investors are concerned because European Union rules forcing losses on junior bondholders before banks can get state aid came into force in Austria on Jan. 1. The government has injected about 8.1 billion euros into three banks in the past six years and guarantees on bonds of stricken Hypo Alpe Adria Bank were revoked to avoid a taxpayer-funded bailout.

Raiffeisen had a total of 4.3 billion euros of Swiss franc loans outstanding as of September 2014, according to estimates by Moody’s Investors Service. The largest part of these are in Poland, where the franc has appreciated 17 percent against the zloty since Jan. 14, threatening to push up defaults on the bank’s 2.9 billion euros of mortgages in the Swiss currency.

Ruble Losses

Interestingly, Raiffeisen is also the third-biggest foreign bank in Russia after Societe Generale SA  and UniCredit SpA….



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This Is What It Means To Lose A Currency War

 

This Is What It Means To Lose A Currency War

Courtesy of John Rubino

The term gets tossed around a lot, but the meaning and consequences of a “currency war” aren’t intuitively clear to most people. Especially confusing is the idea that you lose the war when your currency goes up. The suddenly very strong dollar, for instance, should, one would think, be a good thing, since it seems to imply that the rest of the world is impressed enough to covet our currency.

That’s true in a sense, but in another sense — and beyond a certain point — it becomes a potentially huge problem, because a strong currency makes exports (priced in dollars) more expensive and therefore a tougher sell. Consider today’s headlines:

Commodities rout slows Caterpillar
CHICAGO (Reuters) – Caterpillar Inc on Tuesday reported lower quarterly net profit that missed expectations as lower prices for copper, coal and iron ore hurt mining equipment orders, and warned the recent fall in oil prices would make for a difficult year in 2015. The report sent the company’s shares down nearly 6 percent in premarket trading.

Plunging profits have sent shares of Microsoft tumbling
Microsoft shares slid more than 7.6% in pre-market trading after second-quarter earnings showing a dip in earnings. Microsoft reported earnings per share of 71 cents, meeting estimates but falling below the 78 cents reported during the same quarter last year.

Procter & Gamble Profit Down 31%, Hurt by Exchange Rates
Procter & Gamble’s second-quarter earnings sank 31 percent as the strong U.S. dollar cut into the performance of the world’s largest consumer products maker.

The Cincinnati company, which sells products ranging from Tide detergent to Crest toothpaste, said Tuesday that exchange rates will remain a challenge well into fiscal 2015, especially in the second half of its year. Overall, it expects foreign exchange to chop its core, fiscal 2015 earnings by 12 percent and reduce its revenue by 5 percent.

And why should we care about falling corporate profits?

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How Capitalism Dies

Courtesy of Bill Bonner via Acting-Man

Two Comedy Acts

Today, we’re going to tell you why America’s middle class is getting poorer. Or put another way, we’re going to show you how capitalism dies.

Two comedy acts appeared last week: President Obama’s State of the Union address and Mario Draghi’s QE announcement.

Mr. Obama claimed credit for a “recovery” that has left the typical American poorer than he was before. And not only is he poorer, but also he is more dependent on the very people who engineered the phony recovery. (See below.)

Mr. Draghi followed up with a series of one-liners, the gist of which was that he now proposes to save Europe from the specter of inadequate inflation.

casino royale-1

Europe’s casino boss. Photo credit: Roesseler/EPA

ECB to the Rescue

Who could take Draghi seriously? After all, what’s wrong with stable prices? Nothing at all! The 19th century had fairly stable prices… as well as the fastest GDP and wage growth in human history. Serious consumer price inflation didn’t begin in the US until the 1970s, when America’s new flexible, adaptable, expandable, super-duper fiat money came into service.

Since then, the cost of living in the US is up roughly 600%. And the rate of economic growth has fallen. Mr. Draghi did not mention these facts when he announced his euro-debasement program. But it hardly mattered. The real purpose of euro-zone QE is the same as the real purpose of the US version – to prevent the cronies from getting what they deserve.

They own hundreds of billions of euro worth of European sovereign bonds – now trading at the highest prices and lowest yields in recorded history. Many were bought with negative yields. And now, with aging populations, rising debt levels, gummed-up regulations, rising living costs, rising taxes and falling revenues, there is almost no way these bonds can be worth what speculators paid for them.

How are the insiders going to get their money back? The ECB to the rescue! It promises to transfer $1.3 trillion to the financial elite over the next 21 months – buying sovereign bonds and other slippery obligations at the rate of €60 billion ($67 billion) every month. Not that we are complaining;…
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Beware The Correction Of False Prices

Beware The Correction Of False Prices 

Courtesy of Charles Gave of Gavekal Dragonomics

I want to start this paper by reiterating a few of my strongly held convictions about the role of central bankers:

  • Economics is a branch of logic, itself a branch of philosophy, and not a branch of astrology (the good case) or mathematics (the bad case).
  • So when I see the guardians of the Temple of Mammon—otherwise known as central bankers—following an illogical policy, I am mesmerized. I start to have doubts, either about my ability to follow a path of logical reasoning, or about the sanity of the current breed of central bankers. As far as the first option goes, our readers can decide, and the market will be the ultimate judge. As for the second, allow me to make a few remarks…

Four basic postulates for central bankers

To think ‘logically’ one generally starts with a few postulates learnt from experience. What should these postulates be for central bankers?

  1. I expect central bankers to know that the future is unknowable. This has been generally accepted wisdom at least since the time of the New Testament: “But of that day and hour knoweth no man.”
  2. Since Karl Popper, central bankers should know that the amount of risk in a system is roughly constant over time and that any effort to minimize risk or volatility at any point in time (usually just before an election) will lead to its more forceful re-emergence later on (hopefully after the election). In this sense an economic system is much like one of Alexander Calder’s mobiles: if you restrict the motion of one of its branches, any disturbance of the system will lead to much bigger movements elsewhere.
  3. Since Knut Wicksell, central bankers should know that the greater the difference between the ‘natural’ interest rate and the ‘market’ rate, the bigger the subsequent booms and busts. If sustained, a false price for the cost of money increases the risk in a system exponentially. A false price for interest rates leads to a false price for the exchange rate. From there all prices become false and the economy moves ex-growth,


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Evidence Grows Showing Wall Street as a Negative Economic Force

Courtesy of Pam Martens.

Gallup Study on Negative Business Growth in U.S.Earlier this month, Jim Clifton, Chairman and CEO of Gallup, published a stunning indictment of Wall Street as a job creating engine. Clifton reported that the U.S. now ranks 12th among developed nations in business startups with countries such as Hungary and Italy having higher startup rates. Of equal concern writes Clifton, “American business deaths now outnumber business births.”

Clifton has a theory on why America’s crisis in creating new businesses is a well-kept secret. He writes:

“My hunch is that no one talks about the birth and death rates of American business because Wall Street and the White House, no matter which party occupies the latter, are two gigantic institutions of persuasion. The White House needs to keep you in the game because their political party needs your vote. Wall Street needs the stock market to boom, even if that boom is fueled by illusion.”

A key function of Wall Street is to bring promising new companies to market to ensure that the U.S. remains competitive in new industries and good jobs and innovation. This process is called Initial Public Offerings or IPOs. But the nation was put on notice as far back as 2001 that Wall Street was more snake oil salesman than the locomotive for new business launches. The largest investment banks were calling the startups they were peddling to the public on the Nasdaq stock market “dogs” and “crap” behind closed doors while lauding their virtues in publicly released “research” announcements.

Writing in the New York Times in 2001, Ron Chernow precisely analyzed how the Nasdaq stock market, Wall Street’s primary market for tech startups, had served the country. Chernow wrote:

“Concern has centered on the misery of small investors maimed in the tech wreckage. But what happened to all the money they squandered in the I.P.O.’s? Think of the stock market in recent years as a lunatic control tower that directed most incoming planes to a bustling, congested airport known as the New Economy while another, depressed airport, the Old Economy, stagnated with empty runways. The market has functioned as a vast, erratic mechanism for misallocating capital across America.”

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Preview of January FOMC Meeting and Beyond

Courtesy of Marc To Market

The Federal Reserve’s two-day meeting concludes Wednesday.  To the extent the FOMC meeting is ever routine, this should be it.  Its forward guidance evolved at the end of last year.  The “considerable time” between the end of the asset purchase program, which it never called quantitative easing, and the first hike has been replaced with “patience”.  

At Yellen’s first press conference last year, she abandoned the Fed’s purposeful, strategic ambiguity and suggested “considerable time” was around six months.  She again yielded to temptation in December to define “patience” as a couple of meetings.  

The January meeting is covered by that forward guidance.  It is unlikely to change.  The next meeting in March is a different story.  If the Fed wants to prepare the market for a potential rate hike in the middle of the year, the March meeting, which will see updated macro-economic forecasts and a press conference, is more important.  Patience at the March meeting would seem to preclude a June hike. 

Economic activity has unfolded largely as the Federal Reserve anticipated.  Its macro-economic assessment is unlikely to have changed dramatically over the past six week.  There was an unusual large number of dissents at the December meeting.  Not only have those regional presidents surrendered their votes on the FOMC amid the annual rotation, but all three have indicated plans to resign this year. 

The decline in yields at the short-end of the curve, including the Fed funds and Eurodollar futures, suggest that the consensus expected a June hike may be fraying.  There are three reasons for the creeping doubts, and they are related to each of the Fed’s three mandates:  price stability, full employment, and financial stability. 

At heart of the matter are developments in Europe.  The dramatic decline in the euro and European interest rates is spurring a strong dollar rally.  The dollar’s appreciation will, the argument maintains, will undermine US exports and growth, slowing progress in the labor market.  The dollar’s rally will further depress prices.  The Fed’s preferred measure of inflation has been below target for nearly three years.  The flow of capital out of Europe may endanger US financial stability.

While the economic theory behind these concerns is valid, in practice a…
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Time to Focus on Europe?

Weighing the Week Ahead: Time to Focus on Europe?

Courtesy of Jeff Miller, 

There is plenty of economic data this week and earnings season is in full swing. Despite this, I suspect that news from Europe will dominate the market discussion.

I expect market participants to be watching closely for The Message from Europe.

Prior Theme Recap

In last week’s WTWA I predicted that there would be a focus on the message from corporate earnings reports. That was very accurate for the week as a whole. The big exception was the ECB celebration and commentary on Thursday. There was plenty of speculation about what the corporate news was telling us about energy price effects, the impact of dollar strength on earnings, and especially the outlook. I expect that to continue this week as well.

Feel free to join in my exercise in thinking about the upcoming theme. We would all like to know the direction of the market in advance. Good luck with that! Second best is planning what to look for and how to react. That is the purpose of considering possible themes for the week ahead.

This Week’s Theme

This is an especially difficult week for my regular approach of guessing the theme. I could be completely wrong by the time you read this post on Sunday or Monday. Sometimes you plan, but also remain flexible.

  1. The Greek snap election has important implications for the Eurozone, a possible “Grexit,” changing bailout rules, and policies involving other Eurozone members. Sara Sjolin at MarketWatch has a good account of the issues, the contending parties, and how to interpret the news.
  2. The ECB plan for QE is still actively debated. Most are trying to use the US program as a template to interpret the needed size and potential for success. Dr. Ed is rather skeptical.
  3. The FOMC announces policy at mid-week. Will anyone care?
  4. Earnings season is still in the early stages. Since this provides an independent source of economic data, it will command respect.

These competing themes have a common thread – the influence of Europe on the world economy, corporate earnings, and


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Self-Driving “Fully Automated” Vehicles on German Autobahn; Supply Chain Math; Uber and Kahn Academy

Courtesy of Mish.

Don't worry taxi drivers, this is only a test: Self-driving cars to hit German Autobahn.

A section of the A9 Autobahn in Bavaria will be converted into a test route for self-driving cars, Transport Minister Alexander Dobrindt said on Monday.

"We will set up a test stretch on the A9 Autobahn" Dobrindt told the Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung in an interview, adding that the first steps towards the "Digital Testing Ground Autobahn" project would be taken this year.

Under Dobrindt's plan, the upgraded road will offer infrastructure allowing the cars to communicate with the road and with other vehicles around them.

"Cars with assisted driving and later fully-automated cars will be able to drive there", Dobrindt said.

"The German car industry will also be able to be world leaders in digital cars".

He added that "German manufacturers won't rely on Google" – the current leader in the field – to produce their own self-driving vehicles.

Cars, Trucks, Taxis

People will not give up their cars. But who needs truck drivers? And who needs taxi drivers?

I suspect trucking will be the first industry to go mostly driverless.

The Last Mile

Many claim trucks cannot load or unload themselves. Others argue trucks cannot maneuver around cities. Let's assume those objections are true whether they are or not.

Here's the simple solution as I have proposed before: Nothing stops a trucking company from having distribution facilities right off an interstate near major cities where local drivers deliver the goods the last mile….

Continue Here > 

Picture source here. 





Self-Driving “Fully Automated” Vehicles on German Autobahn; Supply Chain Math; Uber and Khan Academy

Courtesy of Mish.

Don’t worry taxi drivers, this is only a test: Self-driving cars to hit German Autobahn.

A section of the A9 Autobahn in Bavaria will be converted into a test route for self-driving cars, Transport Minister Alexander Dobrindt said on Monday.

“We will set up a test stretch on the A9 Autobahn” Dobrindt told the Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung in an interview, adding that the first steps towards the “Digital Testing Ground Autobahn” project would be taken this year.

Under Dobrindt’s plan, the upgraded road will offer infrastructure allowing the cars to communicate with the road and with other vehicles around them.

“Cars with assisted driving and later fully-automated cars will be able to drive there”, Dobrindt said.

“The German car industry will also be able to be world leaders in digital cars”.

He added that “German manufacturers won’t rely on Google” – the current leader in the field – to produce their own self-driving vehicles.

Cars, Trucks, Taxis

People will not give up their cars. But who needs truck drivers? And who needs taxi drivers?

I suspect trucking will be the first industry to go mostly driverless.

The Last Mile

Many claim trucks cannot load or unload themselves. Others argue trucks cannot maneuver around cities. Let’s assume those objections are true whether they are or not.

Here’s the simple solution as I have proposed before: Nothing stops a trucking company from having distribution facilities right off an interstate near major cities where local drivers deliver the goods the last mile….



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Market Shadows

Trade by Fibonacci Numbers?

The Fibonacci series of numbers make me think of designs in nature, and patterns that come to life again in art and architecture. Images like these:

(Source)

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(...



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Zero Hedge

Meet The Extreme Super Rich: A List Of The 80 People Who Own As Much As The World's Poorest 3.6 Billion

Courtesy of ZeroHedge. View original post here.

Submitted by Tyler Durden.

Submitted by Mike Krieger via Liberty Blitzkrieg blog,

Before I get into the meat of this post, I want to make it clear that the definition of oligarch, a term I use a lot, does not center solely around money.

Late last year, in the post Inside the Min...



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Phil's Favorites

MarketWatch Infomercial: Can Millennials Finally Afford a Home?

Courtesy of Mish.

The Outside the Box MarketWatch Opinion of Damian Maldonado is Millennials Can Finally Afford Homes with New Mortgage Rules.

Let's start with a look the new rules.

New Rules

  1. The administration earlier this month cut the premium that borrowers with a Federal Housing Administration loan must pay for mortgage insurance to 0.85% from 1.35%. The half a percentage point reduction will reduce the cost of the average FHA loan by about $1,000 per year.
  2. Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac last month dropped the minimum down payment to 3% from 5% on some of its mortgages. FHA requires a 3.5% down payment.
  3. Grant programs, such as CHFA in Colorado, allow home buyers to purchase...



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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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Chart School

RTT browsing latest..

Courtesy of Read the Ticker.

Please review a collection of WWW browsing results.Date Found: Tuesday, 13 January 2015, 01:43:37 PM

Click for popup. Clear your browser cache if image is not showing. Comment: Ouch! See the last point of demand between $60 and $70 In Dec at resistance, now strong selling, Large pattern forecast sees a price under $40

Date Found: Tuesday, 13 January 2015, 06:54:16 PM

Click for popup. Clear your browser cache if image is not showing. Comment: Coffe ETF bounces off support, minor spring, if get some strength to $40, a trade may be on!

Date Found: Friday, 16 January 2015, 02:28:29 AM

Click for popup. Clear your browser cache if image is not showing. ...



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OpTrader

Swing trading portfolio - week of January 26th, 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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Sabrient

Sector Detector: With the Fed fading into shadows, investors look overseas for new catalysts

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

Courtesy of Sabrient Systems and Gradient Analytics

By Scott Martindale

Last week, the S&P 500 put an end to its streak of weekly losses, despite giving back some gains on Friday. Thursday provided the big catalyst, with the ECB’s announcement of its bold new monetary stimulus plan. Investors were cheered and soothed for the moment. And U.S. fundamentals still look strong. But with Greece trying to turn back time, with volatility elevated (and likely to continue as such), and with the technical situation still dicey, the near term outlook is still worrisome.

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



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Digital Currencies

Jitters After Bitcoin Exchange Suspends Services

So as I was saying yesterday (Bitcoin: The Biggest Clown Show In History?), Bitcoin has several obstacles on the path to potential success as an alternative currency. But I forgot to mention hacking and theft at Bitcoin exchanges and other technical problems. This is related to the lack of government backing and the fact that the value of Bitcoins is based entirely on confidence.  

Jitters After Bitcoin Exchange Suspends Services 

By 



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Pharmboy

2015 - Biotech Fever

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

PSW Members - well, what a year for biotechs!   The Biotech Index (IBB) is up a whopping 40%, beating the S&P hands down!  The healthcare sector has had a number of high flying IPOs, and beat the Tech Sector in total nubmer of IPOs in the past 12 months.  What could go wrong?

Phil has given his Secret Santa Inflation Hedges for 2015, and since I have been trying to keep my head above water between work, PSW, and baseball with my boys...it is time that something is put together for PSW on biotechs in 2015.

Cancer and fibrosis remain two of the hottest areas for VC backed biotechs to invest their monies.  A number of companies have gone IPO which have drugs/technologies that fight cancer, includin...



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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 this week's Stock World Weekly.

Click here and sign in with your user name and password. 

 

...

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Option Review

SPX Call Spread Eyes Fresh Record Highs By Year End

Stocks got off to a rocky start on the first trading day in December, with the S&P 500 Index slipping just below 2050 on Monday. Based on one large bullish SPX options trade executed on Wednesday, however, such price action is not likely to break the trend of strong gains observed in the benchmark index since mid-October. It looks like one options market participant purchased 25,000 of the 31Dec’14 2105/2115 call spreads at a net premium of $2.70 each. The trade cost $6.75mm to put on, and represents the maximum potential loss on the position should the 2105 calls expire worthless at the end of December. The call spread could reap profits of as much as $7.30 per spread, or $18.25mm, in the event that the SPX ends the year above 2115. The index would need to rally 2.0% over the current level...



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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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