Author Archive for ilene

Amazon By the Numbers: Cyber Weekend Spending, Prime Accounts, Online Share, P/E

Courtesy of Mish.

Amazon has some pretty startling numbers. Let’s dive into various reports for a closer look.

Amazon captured 31% of online spending over Cyber Weekend


CNBC reports Amazon captured 31% of online spending over Cyber Weekend

According to new data by Slice Intelligence, which scanned more than 1 million online shopping receipts from Thanksgiving through Cyber Monday, Amazon accounted for 30.9 percent of sales. It was followed by Best Buy at 7.4 percent, Target at 4.4 percent, and Wal-Mart at 4.1 percent.

Amazon Prime

Barrons reports Amazon Prime Grows to 50 Million Members

Amazon’s Prime membership is up 23% from a year ago, according to new data from Cowen & Co. doesn’t disclose its Prime membership count, so Cowen bases its estimate off a panel of 2,500 U.S. consumers. Some 45% of that panel now has Prime, which translates to 49.5 million total consumers, Cowen estimates, up 23% from a year ago, when the firm estimated 40 million Prime subscriptions.

Prime costs $99 a year. It gives Amazon shoppers free two-day shipping, plus free access to the company’s growing library of streaming TV and music.

Other Data from Cowen’s Report

  • 83% of Prime members purchased an item from Amazon in October versus 49% of U.S. consumers that don’t have Prime.
  • The number of people making “Grocery and consumable” purchases at Amazon are up 12% from last year, Cowen estimates.
  • Meanwhile, those making the same kind of purchases fell 2% at Wal-Mart and rose just 1% at Target.

Online and Mobile Sales

Continue reading here…

Not Zero Sum: World Bond Markets Endure $1.7 Trillion Sell Off; Equities Gain $635 Billion

By The_Real_Fly

According to Bloomberg, world equity markets gained $635b in market cap, while bonds lost $1.7t — leaving a deficit of more than $1 trillion since the election. Much of those losses were absorbed by foreign governments, the cucks participating in never ending QE schemes. The balance sheets of the ECB and Federal Reserve are looking much worse now than just one month ago.

Source: Bloomberg

“The market has moved with remarkable swiftness to price in the anticipated reflationary impact of a Trump administration,” said Matthew Cairns, a strategist at Rabobank International in London. “This has, in turn, prompted a notable rotation out of fixed income and into equities.”

Still, Cairns cautioned the moves are “remarkable given the distinct lack of clarity as regards what policies the president-elect will actually pursue.”

November’s rout wiped a record $1.7 trillion from the global index’s value in a month that saw world equity markets’ capitalization climb $635 billion.

The yield on 10-year U.S. notes rose 56 basis points in November, the biggest jump since 2009, and was at 2.44 percent as of about 4 p.m. in New York, after reaching the highest since June 2015.

The average yield on the Bloomberg Barclays Global gauge climbed to 1.61 percent on Nov. 23, after touching a record low of 1.07 percent on July 5.

“A lot of people are beginning to think that it is the end of the bull rally,” said Roger Bridges, chief global strategist for interest rates and currencies in Sydney at Nikko Asset Management’s Australia unit, which oversees $14 billion. U.S. 10-year yields may rise to 2.7 percent in January, Bridges said.

I think it's important to remind people that the stock market has been soaring on the hopes of rapid GDP growth under Trump — who promised to build all sorts of stuff — walls, tunnels, bridges etc. What people don't seem to grasp, unfortunately, is that in order to fund these projects the government needs to tap the bond markets.

The 10yr bond yield has risen from 1.75% to 2.44% over the past month. The cost to service the national debt has skyrocketed — making it increasingly difficult to enact ambitious fiscal

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Trust in Mainstream Media Dips to Record Low: Here’s Why

Courtesy of Mish.

A Gallup poll shows trust in mainstream media fell to a record low 32%. Trust has been on the decline since 1972.

On November 30, Armstrong Economics reported Gallup Poll: Trust in Mainstream Media Falls to 32%.

Armstrong posted a chart of the decline. Armstrong did not link back to the Gallup article, one of my pet peeves.

A search led me to this September 14 report: Gallup poll Americans’ Trust in Mass Media Sinks to New Low.

Americans’ trust and confidence in the mass media “to report the news fully, accurately and fairly” has dropped to its lowest level in Gallup polling history, with 32% saying they have a great deal or fair amount of trust in the media. This is down eight percentage points from last year.


Gallup began asking this question in 1972, and on a yearly basis since 1997. Over the history of the entire trend, Americans’ trust and confidence hit its highest point in 1976, at 72%, in the wake of widely lauded examples of investigative journalism regarding Vietnam and the Watergate scandal. After staying in the low to mid-50s through the late 1990s and into the early years of the new century, Americans’ trust in the media has fallen slowly and steadily. It has consistently been below a majority level since 2007.


Bottom Line

The divisive presidential election this year may be corroding Americans’ trust and confidence in the media, particularly among Republicans who may believe the “mainstream media” are too hyperfocused on every controversial statement or policy proposal from Trump while devoting far less attention to controversies surrounding the Clinton campaign. However, the slide in media trust has been happening for the past decade. Before 2004, it was common for a majority of Americans to profess at least some trust in the mass media, but since then, less than half of Americans feel that way. Now, only about a third of the U.S. has any trust in the Fourth Estate, a stunning development for an institution designed to inform the public.

With the explosion of the mass media in recent years, especially the prevalence of blogs, vlogs and social media, perhaps Americans decry lower standards for journalism. When opinion-driven writing becomes something like the norm, Americans may be wary of placing trust on

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GDPNow Sunk to 2.4% Yesterday, Up to 2.9% Today, Was 3.6% on November 23

Courtesy of Mish.

The Atlanta Fed GDPNow Forecast for fourth quarter GDP stands at 2.9% following today’s economic reports.

The November 23 high of 3.6% collapsed all the way to 2.4% yesterday, but thanks to construction spending is back up to 2.9% today.

Still, that’s quite a drop in eight days.

GDP Now: November 30

The GDPNow model forecast for real GDP growth (seasonally adjusted annual rate) in the fourth quarter of 2016 is 2.4 percent on November 30, down from 3.6 percent on November 23. The forecast of the combined contributions of real net exports and real inventory investment to fourth-quarter growth fell from 0.61 percentage points to 0.18 percentage points after last Friday’s advance economic indicators report from the U.S. Census Bureau. The forecast of fourth-quarter real consumer spending growth fell from 3.0 percent to 2.2 percent after this morning’s personal income and outlays release from the U.S. Bureau of Economic Analysis.

I missed capturing that snip yesterday. It’s from the Forex Live report Atlanta Fed GDPNow down to 2.4% from 3.6% on November 23.

Latest forecast: 2.9 percent — December 1, 2016


The GDPNow model forecast for real GDP growth (seasonally adjusted annual rate) in the fourth quarter of 2016 is 2.9 percent on December 1, up from 2.4 percent on November 30. After this morning’s construction spending report from the U.S. Census Bureau, the forecasts of fourth-quarter real residential investment growth and real government spending growth increased from 7.1 percent to 12.4 percent and 0.1 to 0.6 percent, respectively. The forecast of real nonresidential structures investment growth fell from 1.4 percent to -3.4 percent after the same report. The forecasts of real consumer spending growth and real nonresidential equipment investment growth increased from 2.2 percent to 2.5 percent and 4.6 to 6.6 percent, respectively, after this morning’s Manufacturing ISM Report on Business from the Institute of Supply Management and the incorporation of earlier released November data in the model’s estimate of its dynamic economic activity factor. The factor is used to forecast yet-to-be released monthly source data for GDP.

Contributions to GDP

Continue reading here…

Manufacturing ISM Increases Slightly to 53.2

Courtesy of Mish.

The November ISM Report shows the PMI® at 53.2%, up from 51.9. New orders, production and employment are growing. Inventories are contracting and deliveries are slowing.

These are improvements from a dip into negative territory four months ago.

However, it is important to keep ISM is a diffusion index as are the Fed regional manufacturing reports.

All these indices measure is improvement or not. For example, employment rising by 10 employees at one company will offset employment falling by 500 at another company.

The above spreadsheet shows that new orders are up at 53% of the companies surveyed. We do not know by how much.

Nor do we know if there is a total increase or decrease in the dollar amount of new orders, production, etc.

Mike “Mish” Shedlock

Original article here.

October Construction Spending Up 0.5%, Positive Revisions for August and September

Courtesy of Mish.

Construction spending reports from the Commerce Department remain a joke with wild month-to-month revisions. An error discovered earlier this year caused revisions dating back for a decade, some of which still have not been factored into prior GDP statements.


Construction Numbers


Public construction jumped 2.6% in October. Cleverly timed or just an accident? Question aside, numbers are so volatile, we don’t even know if that happened.

September as Initially Reported


October Construction Spending Revisions

  • October revised September and the already revised August.
  • September jumped to 1,166,509 from 1,150,005.
  • August jumped to 1,166,513 from 1,154,388 in July.
  • July remained at 1,160,407 (hooray).
  • Total construction spending for September (from August) went from -0.4% to 0.0%.
  • Total construction spending for August (from July) went from -0.4% to +0.5%.

These numbers will add a small amount to third quarter GDP estimates, assuming they are not revised away.

Continue reading here…

Who’s Really to Blame for Fake News


Who’s Really to Blame for Fake News

Courtesy of

Consider for a moment the oxymoronic concept of “fake news,” which we have been hearing so much about lately. This isn’t your typical disinformation or misinformation — generated by the government, or foreign adversaries, or corporations — to advance an agenda by confusing the public. It isn’t even the familiar dystopian idea of manipulated fact designed to keep people lobotomized and malleable in some post-human autocracy. Those scenarios assume at least an underlying truth against which nefarious forces can take aim.

Fake news is different. It is an assault on the very principle of truth itself: a way to upend the reference points by which mankind has long operated. You could say, without exaggeration, that fake news is actually an attempt to reverse the Enlightenment. And because a democracy relies on truth — which is why dystopian writers have always described how future oligarchs need to undermine it — fake news is an assault on democracy as well.

What is truly horrifying is that fake news is not the manipulation of an unsuspecting public. Quite the opposite. It is willful belief by the public. In effect, the American people are accessories in their own disinformation campaign.

That is our current situation, and it is no sure thing that either truth or democracy survives.

Investigations of fake news have reported that it is a commodity — primarily a way for its perpetrators, many of whom are young people overseas, to earn money by blasting out ludicrous material for which there is an audience, and in that respect it is no different from many of the alt-right sites. Commodity or not, fake news has already played a role, perhaps a substantial one, in Donald Trump’s election, especially since his campaign was aided by Russian hackers and trolls disseminating falsities — everything from Hillary Clinton using a body double to Pope Francis endorsing Trump to ongoing charges of voting irregularities to Clinton heading a child-trafficking ring out of a pizzeria.

There is now a Gresham’s law in news as in money: Phony news pushes out real news.

We have been heading in this…
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Washington Post Reporter Spreads Blacklist of Independent Journalist Sites

Courtesy of Pam Martens.

Craig Timberg (right) of the Washington Post Interviews Google's Eric Schmidt at the Koch Brothers' Financed Cato Institute.

Craig Timberg (right) of the Washington Post Interviews Google’s Eric Schmidt at the Koch Brothers’ Financed Cato Institute.

Craig Timberg, a Washington Post reporter with an interesting history (which we’ll get to shortly), doubled down last night with a new article suggesting that Congressional legislation may be coming to further crack down on independent journalists not properly adhering to the dogma of Washington. Timberg has become the deserving piñata of writers like Matt Taibbi of Rolling Stone, Ben Norton and Glenn Greenwald of The Intercept, Max Blumenthal of AlterNet, Robert Parry at Common Dreams and numerous other writers at alternative media.

Timberg and the Washington Post, which is owned by the billionaire CEO of Amazon, Jeff Bezos, are being stridently called out as McCarthyites for an article published on Thanksgiving Day that cited unnamed “experts” at a shadowy group called PropOrNot to smear 200 alternative media sites as tools of Russia. The blacklist included some of the most informed and courageous voices on the Internet like Naked Capitalism, Truthout, CounterPunch, and Truthdig, where the brilliant Chris Hedges, part of a New York Times team that won the Pulitzer Prize in 2002, regularly asks the uncomfortable questions — like this one: “When we look back on this sad, pathetic period in American history we will ask the questions all who have slid into despotism ask. Why were we asleep? How did we allow this to happen? Why didn’t we see it coming? Why didn’t we resist?”

Theories abound as to why Timberg would write such a shoddily sourced article and smear some of the best writing and thinking on the Internet. One line of thought is that corporate media is struggling to survive financially and needs to take out its competition. Others see something far more nefarious. Max Blumenthal sums it up this way at AlterNet:

“Fake news and Russian propaganda have become the great post-election moral panic, a creeping Sharia-style conspiracy theory for shell-shocked liberals. Hoping to punish the dark foreign forces they blame for rigging the election, many of these insiders have latched onto a McCarthyite campaign that calls for government investigations of a wide array of alternative media outlets.”

The Black Agenda Report’s Executive Editor, Glen Ford, builds on Blumenthal’s theory, writing:

Continue Here

Breaking News And Best Of The Web

Courtesy of John Rubino.

OPEC agrees to cut output. Oil jumps, stocks rise, gold falls. The political focus shifts to upcoming Italian, French and Austrian elections, all of which could go against the establishment. India’s war on cash may turn into war on gold. Political class still searching for an explanation (see “Best of the Web”). Trump’s cabinet takes shape, with mostly old and a few new faces.  

Best Of The Web

This map shows how much debt the world is in – M2
What a professional disinformation campaign looks like – Zero Hedge
Decade of negative real interest rates: who benefited? – Mish
The view from under the bus – Peak Prosperity
The Washington Post: useful-idiot shills for a failed, frantic status quo –
First Brexit then Trump. Is Italy next for the west’s populist wave? – Guardian
Weekly commentary: Revisiting the global savings glut thesis – Credit Bubble Bulletin
Gold price skyrockets in India after currency ban – part III – Acting Man
Why the polls got it wrong: deliberate versus accidental survey bias – Financial Sense
Did Trump just accidentally kill the golden goose? – MATA SII
As exciting as the 1930s – Credit Bubble Bulletin
Ringside with Steve Bannon at Trump Tower – Hollywood Reporter
The technosphere hiccups – Club Orlov


Breaking News

The Economy

12/01  Factory activity improved in November, ISM data show – MarketWatch

12/01  10-year Treasury yield hits fresh 17-month high – MarketWatch

12/01  Brent hits more than one-year high above $54 – CNBC

12/01  The bond bloodbath is back: US, Chinese yields soaring – Zero Hedge

12/01  Trump will end growth-zapping fiscal austerity – CNBC

12/01  Italy referendum: Could domestic affair become euro zone crisis? – CNBC

12/01  6 million Americans delinquent with auto loans – MarketWatch

12/01  Fed says U.S. economy continued to expand across most regions – Bloomberg

12/01  China’s ‘extraordinary leverage’ tops Bank of England’s list of concerns – CNBC

12/01  Carmen Reinhart: financial repression requires a captive audience – FRA

12/01  McDonald’s unveils job-replacing self-service kiosks nationwide – FFF

12/01  Korea household debt evokes 1997 crisis, says ex-BOK member – Bloomberg

12/01  A tale of two job markets – ECRI

Precious Metals

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Reader Questions and Comments on Productivity, Stagnation, Protectionism, Jobs

Courtesy of Mish.

In response to White Anger: Fed Helped Elect Trump; Tale of Two Job Markets, readers chimed in with pertinent comments on productivity, stagnation, and protectionism.

Reader James has free trade and jobs on his mind. James asks: How does the election affect free trade and jobs?

Let’s start there.

I responded, to James … It’s doubtful the election changed much of anything. More precisely, the election is a reflection of change that already occurred.

Q: What changed?

A: Attitudes

Changing attitudes handed the election to Trump. I talked about attitudes numerous times.

Here’s a pertinent flashback from January 31, 2016: Nate Silver’s Continual Underestimation of Donald Trump’s Chances

On January 18, I sent the article below (starting with the title Nate Silver Off the Mark on Donald Trump Nomination Odds) to the New York Times as an Op-Ed. They did not publish it. …. I just cannot accept Silver’s current assessment of Trump’s chances of winning the Republican nomination. … This is a one-on-many play, where voter attitudes have consistently sided with Trump, no matter who he offends. It’s a mistake to discount such sentiment.

Emphasis added.

People are upset. Donald Trump fed off that anger. He promised them better jobs and better deals, and more protectionism, precisely what they wanted to hear.

Continue reading here…



Pakistan And Russia Boosting Military Ties With 2017 Drills

By Polina Tikhonova. Originally published at ValueWalk.

Pakistan and Russia are letting go of their Cold War-era grievances and actively strengthening their economic, military and diplomatic ties, while India – Pakistan’s top enemy – is becoming enraged over Pakistan’s friendship with Russia.

Image: Flags of Pakitsan and Russia

Amid the news of U.S. President-elect Donald Trump’s bizarre phone call with Pakistan PM Nawaz Sharif, Cold War-era foes Islamabad and Moscow are melting the ice between them. On Thursday, the Russian Defense Ministry confirmed that R...

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Phil's Favorites

A Big Swirling Italian Mess


A Big Swirling Italian Mess

Courtesy of John Mauldin, Mauldin Economics

“Move to Italy. They know about living in debt: They don’t care.”

– John Lydon

“Italians were eating with a knife and fork when the French were still eating each other.”

– Mario Batali

Italians are headed to the polls this Sunday (and thus this letter is reaching you a little earlier than usual) – but no one is quite sure what is on the ballot. On the surface, the voters are considering whether to approve constitutional reforms that should make the government operate more effectively (or not, depending on your point of view). But many people think t...

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Zero Hedge

Official Washington's "Info-Wars"

Courtesy of ZeroHedge. View original post here.

Authored by William Blum, originally posted at,

On November 16, at a State Department press briefing, department spokesperson John Kirby was having one of his frequent adversarial dialogues with Gayane Chichakyan, a reporter for RT (Russia Today); this time concerning U.S. charges of Russia bombing hospitals in Syria and blocking the U.N. from delivering aid to the trapped population.

When Chichakyan asked for some detail about these charges, Kirby replied: “Why don’t...

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Market News

News You Can Use From Phil's Stock World


Financial Markets and Economy

Ten Good Pieces of Economic Data From All Around the World (Bloomberg)

It's been a big week for bullish economic data across the globe, from South Korean exports to European manufacturing figures. 

The most important number of the week comes tomorrow: November's U.S. jobs report.

Why 2016 May Be the Year of 'Peak Housing' for Can...

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Kimble Charting Solutions

Interest rates could peak here, says Joe Friday

Courtesy of Chris Kimble.

The talk over the past couple of months has been, interest rates are rising and the Fed will raise rates very soon. Joe Friday feels a big test is in play, before one can say the “rate trend has changed!”

Below looks at the yield on the 10-year note, over the past 20-years.


The yield on the 10-year note has remained inside of falling channel (1), creating lower highs and lower lows, for the majority of the past 20-years. The top of the channel is bein...

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Chart School

Semiconductors Hit Hard

Courtesy of Declan.

Internet troubles have limited me tonight, but the one chart I want to show is the near 5% loss in the Semiconductor Index.  Having escaped relatively unscathed from recent day's selling it was a whirlwind of action for the index today.

This had obvious consequences on the Nasdaq. The Nasdaq did relatively well to suffer just over a 1% loss.  However, there were 'sell' triggers for On-Balance-Volume and Directional Index. There was also an acceleration in the relative underperformance of the index to the S&P. ...

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Members' Corner

Second Hand Stink?

Courtesy of Nattering Naybob.

In what seems to be a recurring scatological humor theme, aka our "Toilet Thursday's" or "Thursday's in the Loo" of the past few weeks, we follow up on The Story of Poo-Pourri.

In Second Hand Stink?, men are not so subtlety reminded that an odiferous fog wafting from the bedroom loo, can indeed kill the moment. 


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Swing trading portfolio - week of November 28th, 2016

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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Digital Currencies

Largest US Bitcoin Exchange Is "Extremely Concerned" With IRS Crackdown Targeting Its Users

Courtesy of ZeroHedge. View original post here.

Last Thursday we reported that in a startling development seeking to breach the privacy veil of users of America's largest bitcoin exchange, the IRS filed court papers seeking a judicial order to serve a so-called “John Doe” summons on the San Francisco-based Bitcoin platform Coinbase.

The government’s request is part of a bitcoin tax-evasion probe, and se...

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Mapping The Market

The Most Overlooked Trait of Investing Success

Via Jean-Luc

Good article on investing success:

The Most Overlooked Trait of Investing Success

By Morgan Housel

There is a reason no Berkshire Hathaway investor chides Buffett when the company has a bad quarter. It’s because Buffett has so thoroughly convinced his investors that it’s pointless to try to navigate around 90-day intervals. He’s done that by writing incredibly lucid letters to investors for the last 50 years, communicating in easy-to-understand language at annual meetings, and speaking on TV in ways that someone with no investing experience can grasp.

Yes, Buffett runs an amazing investment company. But he also runs an amazing investor company. One of the most underappreciated part of his s...

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Epizyme - A Waiting Game

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

Epizyme was founded in 2007, and trying to create drugs to treat patient's cancer by focusing on genetically-linked differences between normal and cancer cells. Cancer areas of focus include leukemia, Non-Hodgkin's lymphoma and breast cancer.  One of the Epizme cofounders, H. Robert Horvitz, won the Nobel Prize in Medicine in 2002 for "discoveries concerning genetic regulation of organ development and programmed cell death."

Before discussing the drug targets of Epizyme, understanding epigenetics is crucial to comprehend the company's goals.  

Genetic components are the DNA sequences that are 'inherited.'  Some of these genes are stronger than others in their expression (e.g., eye color).  Yet, some genes turn on or off due to external factors (environmental), and it is und...

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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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PSW is more than just stock talk!


We know you love coming here for our Stocks & Options education, strategy and trade ideas, and for Phil's daily commentary which you can't live without, but there's more! features the most important and most interesting news items from around the web, all day, every day!

News: If you missed it, you can probably find it in our Market News section. We sift through piles of news so you don't have to.   

If you are looking for non-mainstream, provocatively-narrated news and opinion pieces which promise to make you think -- we feature Zero Hedge, ...

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About Phil:

Philip R. Davis is a founder Phil's Stock World, a stock and options trading site that teaches the art of options trading to newcomers and devises advanced strategies for expert traders...

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Ilene is editor and affiliate program coordinator for PSW. She manages the site market shadows, archives, more. Contact Ilene to learn about our affiliate and content sharing programs.

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