Author Archive for ilene

This Video Is For Up-and-Coming Traders (Video)

Courtesy of EconMatters

We discuss two videos in one here, the first is some mentoring advice to struggling traders, and the last half is some specific market education that will help struggling traders develop some of the fundamentals needed to properly analyze daily price action in financial markets related to tracking the fund flows. Most people at Investment Banks are just faking it, because they will never make it on their own with a profitable Fund independent of Investment Bank Resource advantages.





Is Your Corporate Pension Benefit Safe Under the Trump Administration?

Courtesy of Pam Martens

Steven Mnuchin, U.S. Treasury Secretary Nominee, During His Senate Confirmation Hearing on January 19, 2017

Steven Mnuchin, U.S. Treasury Secretary Nominee, During His Senate Confirmation Hearing on January 19, 2017

Most Americans are unaware that the Pension Benefit Guaranty Corporation, the Federal body that stands behind corporate pension plans known as defined benefit plans, has only three members and three votes on its Board of Directors: the U.S. Labor Secretary, the U.S. Commerce Secretary and the U.S. Treasury Secretary. Under the Donald Trump administration, all three votes could be problematic for workers’pension interests if Trump’s current nominees are confirmed by the U.S. Senate.

Andrew Puzder is Trump’s nominee for Secretary of the Labor Department. Puzder is already on record as opposing a substantial increase in the Federal minimum wage and an opponent of making more workers eligible for overtime pay. Much less is known about Puzder’s eyebrow-raising earlier career. From 1978 to 1991, Puzder was a trial lawyer in St. Louis at the law offices of Morris A. Shenker, the man Life Magazine called the “foremost lawyer for the mob in the U.S.” According to the book, The Money and the Power, by Sally Denton and Roger Morris, a colleague of Shenker’s called him the “front man for the St. Louis Mob.” The book reports that Shenker took over the Dunes Hotel and Casino in Las Vegas and remained its Chairman until 1984. Shenker was indicted in 1989 but did not stand trial due to serious health issues. He died the same year he was indicted at age 82.

Puzder came to his current position as CEO of the fast food chain, CKE Restaurants, by virtue of being its top corporate lawyer. After working with the mob’s lawyer in St. Louis for 13 years, and other legal stints along the way, Puzder became General Counsel for CKE Restuarants in 1997 and moved into the slot of CEO in 2000.

The controversial Steven Mnuchin, who was subjected to withering criticism by Democrats on the Senate Finance Committee during his confirmation hearing last Thursday to become U.S. Treasury Secretary, will be the second vote on the Pension Benefit Guaranty Corp. That raises even more alarm bells. Mnuchin has garnered the reputation of a cold-hearted foreclosure king who got rich on the misery of the poor…
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Everything Is Awesome!

Courtesy of Mish.

The market is pricing in a lot of “Everything is Awesome”. Reader Jason Leach, CFA, asks “Is all this awesomeness, real or fantasy? Has it been pulled forward?

Pulling Awesome Forward

What follows is a guest post from Jason B. Leach of Fusion Point Capital. His title is Pulling Awesome Forward.

awesome1

U.S. markets have “celebrated” the Trump election, with the S&P 500 rising ~8% after a quick ~4% drop pre-election (and much deeper drop in futures the night of the election). There are quite a number of themes, positive and negative, continuing into the new year from 2016. The “positives” – infrastructure spend, tax reform, healthcare reform, and deregulation – have built a relentless bid, or scared off sellers…for the time being.

awesome2

The “negatives” – dollar strength, dollar scarcity, global debt bubble, Fed divergence, stress in European and Chinese banks, Yuan devaluation, rising populism in Europe (with French, Italian, German elections around the corner), low but rising probability of Euro-Exits, protectionist leanings (Smoot-Hawley tariffs contributed to a 66% decline in global trade from 1929-1934), and U.S. equity valuations at the third highest level ever (median stock on the S&P 500 at 98th percentile, and the all-time highest valuation for the index when including the enormous amount of corporate debt growth over the past decade) – are relegated to the dark recesses of pre-election…pre-light.

awesome3

There are myriad estimates of what Trump’s policies could add to GDP and thus corporate earnings. If these policies are well thought out and passed quickly, no doubt there will be boosts. But, and there are several big “buts” here, with the current state of divisiveness, every issue is “third rail” and unless Republicans are willing to use the nuclear option (reconciliation where simple majority passes in the Senate) like a tactical weapon (i.e., repeatedly), the “positives” being pulled forward into today’s market pricing may take many more moons than anticipated. And, as detailed in iterations of Trillion Dollar Sam, these deep structural problems are decades in the making and will require more than outpatient Trump surgery in the first 100 days to rectify.                                            awesome4


Continue reading here…





What I Learned in Washington DC

 

What I Learned in Washington DC

Courtesy of John Mauldin, Thoughts from the Frontline

I have been in Washington DC for the last three days. The ostensible reason was to participate in a board meeting of a public company, Ashford Inc. (AINC). We manage hotel REITs that own three hotels here in DC, and the group decided to move our board meeting up a few weeks and hold it in DC during the inauguration. That gave me the opportunity to set up a few meetings to try to gain some insight into what the first 100 days, the first six months, and the first year of the Trump administration might look like.

This is going to be a short letter summarizing my impressions from the last few days. I think it might be easiest to present them in the form of a list.

  1. If you listen to the media you might have the impression that the Trump transition team is in complete disarray. Talking with leaders of the transition team certainly didn’t leave me with that impression. They have broken the transition process down into over 30 departments and have created a “landing document” for each department. The analogy they are using is that this process is like planning an invasion, and they are going to hand the landing document off to the “beachhead teams” who will then execute the plans.

I was briefly allowed to look at (without actually being able to read) the plan for one cabinet-level department. It appeared to be about 100 pages plus of serious detail as to exactly what executive orders would need to be removed and added, what personnel would have to be replaced (both appointees and regular staff), what policies would need to be changed, and so forth.

I was told that this level of planning was being done for every department. My impression is that there are a lot of people from various think tanks and others with experience in the presidential transition process who are involved in directing the plan for each department. That level of detailed planning doesn’t happen in less than two months. My guess is that some of that thinking has been going on for years, and now…
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French First Round Socialist Primary Winner Proposes Tax on Robots, Universal Income, Right of Foreigners to Vote

Courtesy of Mish.

France24 reports Benoît Hamon and Manuel Valls take top spots in first round of left-wing primary in a field of seven candidates.

Let’s take a look at other reports, then we will look at Hamon’s amazing platform.

Bloomberg notes Valls, Hamon Qualify for French Socialist Primary Run-Off.

In the first round of voting Sunday night, Hamon was first with 35.2 percent with Valls on 31.6 percent, with about one-third of voting stations reporting, the primary authority said. Former Industry Minister Arnaud Montebourg, who was third with 18.7 percent, endorsed Hamon saying that the primary shows that Socialist voters want more leftist policies.

The voters “have massively and seriously condemned” the government’s policies, Montebourg said. They “want the left to return to the path of the left.”

hamon

Benoît Hamon’s Platform

Benoît Hamon is a 49-year-old former education minister. Here is his platform.

  1. Universal basic income.
  2. Tax on robots.
  3. Progressive taxation of wealth.
  4. Reduction of tax loopholes.
  5. 32-hour working week.
  6. Legalization of marijuana.
  7. National conference on “environmental democracy”.
  8. 50% renewable energy by 2025.
  9. Differentiated VAT for the “most virtuous products”.
  10. Ban on pesticides.
  11. Better repayments for dental care.
  12. A “Sixth Republic”.
  13. Transformation of the Senate into “college of territories”.
  14. The right of foreigners to vote in local elections.
  15. “Humanitarian visa”  and redo of France a land of asylum.
  16. Consideration of the white vote. If the white vote is a majority vote, the election must be postponed.
  17. Media antitrust law.
  18. Labor law repeal to provide additional protection to employees.
  19. Help facilitate the takeover of SCOP companies by employees.
  20. Recognize burn-out as an occupational disease.

That reads like it came from The Onion. However, it’s translated from Benoît Hamon, favorite of the primary: his very left program.

According to the Financial Times, “Mr Hamon’s proposals have been criticized as unrealistic and costly by rivals including Arnaud Montebourg”.


Continue reading here…





The Oil Production Cuts Are Purely Symbolic Marketing Trickery (Video)

Courtesy of EconMatters

The OPEC and Non-OPEC Oil Production cuts are actually a joke in the bigger scheme of things, the oil markets have been over supplied for a decade. The Market`s self serving definition of a balanced oil market is complete nonsense on a larger macro view of the market.

There is a reason the 5-year averages for oil stocks have been rising every year I have been trading the oil market. It isn`t a coincidental indicator that more oil storage facilities are being built or expanded every year for the last 15 years of the modern electronic oil markets.

There is so much oil and derivative oil products in storage on a global calculus, that it is a joke if OPEC thinks they have cut enough to actually long term balance the oil markets.

In addition they are delusional if they think a little six month seasonal pullback in production is going to do anything other than artificially set the oil market up for the next leg back down in the second half of 2017.





Is Global Equality the Enemy of National Equality?

 

Is Global Equality the Enemy of National Equality?

Courtesy of Economist's View

Dani Rodrik:

Is Global Equality the Enemy of National Equality?: The question in the title is perhaps the most important question we confront, and will continue to confront in the years ahead. I discuss my take in this paper.

Many economists tend to be global-egalitarians and believe borders have little significance in evaluations of justice and equity. From this perspective, policies must focus on enhancing income opportunities for the global poor. Political systems, however, are organized around nation states, and create a bias towards domestic-egalitarianism. 

How significant is the tension between these two perspectives? Consider the China "trade shock." Expanding trade with China has aggravated inequality in the United States, while ameliorating global inequality. This is the consequence of the fact that the bulk of global inequality is accounted for by income differences across countries rather than within countries. 

But the China shock is receding and other low-income countries are unlikely to replicate China’s export-oriented industrialization experience. So perhaps the tension is going away?

Not so fast. The tension is even greater somewhere else: Relaxing restrictions on cross-border labor mobility would have an even stronger positive effect on global inequality, at the cost of adverse effects at the lower end of labor markets in rich economies. On the other hand, international labor mobility has some advantages compared to further liberalizing international trade in goods.

I discuss these issues and more here.

 





Netflix Can Add Subscribers – But At What Cost? (Video)

Courtesy of EconMatters

We discuss the real problem facing Netflix in this video, and why this stock is a long term sell, and ultimately going to crash like Blackberry`s stock. These High Tech Flyers all Crash and Burn the same way – you sell 400 P/E Stocks with huge Cash Burn problems!





Erdogan Seeks Powers to Stay in Office Until 2029: Expect Perpetual State of Emergency

Courtesy of Mish.

Recep Tayyip Erdogan’s carefully planned move to become legal dictator of Turkey is in its final stages. In the wake of a foiled coup, Erdogan removed or imprisoned every judge not on his side, shut down all opposition newspapers, and jailed all of his political opponents.

After his hand-picked court approved the changes Erdogan wanted, all that remains is a Public Referendum which Erdogan will win simply because he gets to count the votes.

Recep Tayyip Erdogan has begun a final push to increase his power as Turkey’s president — a goal he has sought for years — after the country’s parliament agreed far-reaching constitutional changes that will now be put to referendum.

The proposed changes, which were shepherded through parliament on Friday night in alliance between Turkey’s ruling AKP and a nationalist party, would crown Mr Erdogan’s 14-year rule by boosting his formal role as president and allowing him to remain in post until 2029.

In a sign of the tension that may mark the referendum, fist fights broke out in parliament over several days, while a television blackout of the opposition speeches forced one opposing MP to bring his own cameras into parliament, only to have his microphone stolen.

Since the failed coup and the introduction of emergency powers, he has ruled the country by decree and 100,000 people accused of backing the coup have been imprisoned.

It is unclear if the president will lift the state of emergency before the poll, scheduled for an unspecified date after April 2, but some of the permanent powers he seek resemble the emergency powers he currently holds.

Expect a Permanent Emergency

Expect a permanent emergency with increasing power every step of the way to Erdogan. This is likely to continue until he is overthrown in a coup, assassinated, or until Turkey disintegrates into hyperinflation.

Turkish Lira Down 62 Percent Since September 2010

turkish-lira-2017-01-22

That’s not close to hyperinflation material, but hyperinflation is an increasing possibility when madmen dictators are in charge.

Meanwhile, German Chancellor Angela Merkel is in bed with Erdogan who wants visa-free access to the EU for 80 million Muslim Turks.

Are German election threats and fireworks due to Erdogan coming up?


Continue reading here…





Tomorrow’s Ten-Baggers From Jay Taylor

Courtesy of John Rubino.

Jay Taylor’s Gold Energy & Tech Stocks Newsletter has unearthed some huge winners lately. Here’s an excerpt from his weekly update that concludes with three top junior gold miners.

The Crack-up Boom Is Ending and That’s Very Bullish for Gold

Straight out of the Ten Commandments was “Thou shalt not steal”! But massive robbery has been institutionalized by the petrodollar orchestrated by Kissinger after Nixon defaulted on the U.S. obligations under Bretton Woods. With that, the ruling elite pulled off the biggest heist by far in human history. By combining America’s military power with the petrodollar, not only did it enable the U.S. to rob the rest of the world with its fake currency—the dollar—it also paved the way for our eventual ruin. Like a drug addict that gets addicted to crack cocaine, the American Military Industrial Complex and other government entities became addicted to never-ending greater and greater government expenditures. But there is one problem with the fiat dollar and that is that it is itself a big fat lie. The dollar has no value. It is not backed by anything of value. In fact it is manufactured by debt and as such contains value only to the extent debts can be repaid.

This has resulted in what Austrian economists refer to as a “crack-up boom.” Austrian economist Ludwig von Mises pointed out many years ago that once a central bank indulges in expansion of credit by lowering the rate of interest it charges on loans, it cannot stop expanding credit; it has to go on expanding credit by lowering even more the interest rate it has set. If the central bank decides to let the market once again set the interest rate (which is now happening in the U.S.), then the previous expansion will turn into a general liquidation to clear out the mal investments created by the artificially induced expansion. If the central bank does not allow the market to set the interest rate, then the expansion of credit will continue until it produces the crack-up boom, which is followed by a massive debt liquidation.

The chart above suggests the world has entered that point where a general liquidation had to set in. This major pathology was not Trump’s fault, but if he follows up with attempting to keep imports from coming


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Kimble Charting Solutions

Doc Copper; Time for it to out perform the S&P 500?

Courtesy of Chris Kimble.

Some feel the price action of Copper is important to watch, because it could send important macro messages, about world wide growth or lack of.  Since 2011 Ole “Doc Copper” has been very weak, no question about it. During this weakness, the S&P 500 has continued to move higher. So is the price action of Doc Copper not useful or relevant anymore?

Below looks at ratio of Copper to the S&P 500-

CLICK ON CHART TO ENLARGE

Doc Copper has clearly been ...



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Zero Hedge

Limo Destroyed By Anti-Trump Rioters In DC Belongs To Muslim Immigrant, Fears Livelihood Lost

Courtesy of ZeroHedge. View original post here.

Images of so-called anti-Trump rioters breaking Starbucks' windows, busting trash cans, and burning bourgeois limousines in the streets of Washington DC really exposed the reality of the alt-left's tolerance and 'stuck it to the man'. The only problem being, in the case of the limo, 'the man' was Muslim immigrant Muhammad Ashraf whose small business now faces $70,000 losses and an injured employee.

...



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ValueWalk

Mohnish Pabrai Speaks to University of Puerto Rico MBA Students On Charlie Munger latticework of mental models

By VWArticles. Originally published at ValueWalk.

Published on Jan 23, 2017

September 2016, San Juan, Puerto Rico Museum of Art, Raul Julia Theater
Mohnish gives a completely new talk.
He discusses the Charlie Munger latticework of mental models and the work of David Hawkins on Power vs. Truth.

]]> Get The Full Series in PDF

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

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Phil's Favorites

Smart Shoppers Wait for Sales (Ross and Costco)

 

Smart Shoppers Wait for Sales (Ross and Costco)

By Paul Price of Arrow Loop Research

In recent years retail's sweet spot has been "off-price" merchandise. That means high-quality, yet deeply discounted goods. People want nice things but are insisting on bargain prices.

Ross Stores (ROST) and Costco (COST) are businesses that have prospered along with that trend. Both companies appear on track to post all-time record earnings in their current fiscal years. Shares of each have risen significantly since the end of The Great Recession.

These firms make money because educated consumers know what things are worth and appreciate getting them at marked-down levels.

...

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Chart School

RTT browsing latest..

Courtesy of Read the Ticker.

Please review a collection of WWW browsing results.



Date Found: Thursday, 30 June 2016, 11:51:18 PM

Click for popup. Clear your browser cache if image is not showing.
Comment: Bullion Banks Are Starting to Lose Control of Silver youtu.be/lxZBYK1eN00



Date Found: Friday, 01 July 2016, 03:30:33 PM

Click for popup. Clear your browser cache if image is not showing.
Comment: Cashin - Market Beats Fed



Date Found: Friday, 01 July 2016, 11:06:14 PM

Click for popup. Clear your browser cac...



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Market News

News You Can Use From Phil's Stock World

 

Financial Markets and Economy

Dollar on defensive, Asia stocks subdued amid U.S. trade unease (Reuters)

The dollar was under pressure in Asia on Tuesday as U.S. President Donald Trump's focus on trade protectionism fuelled suspicions his administration might seek a competitive advantage through a weaker currency.

The head of the biggest exchange group in the world on Trump, China, and handling $1 quadrillion in trading (Business Insider)

Terrence "Terry" Duffy is a popular man.

Upon visiting the CME Group office in New York on January 11 to speak with Duffy, chairman and CEO at the $40 billion exchange group...



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Promotions

Phil's Stock World's Las Vegas Conference!

 

18 people have signed up, but it's not too late to join in!

Learn option strategies and how to be the house and not the gambler. That's especially apropos since we'll be in Vegas....

Join us for the Phil's Stock World's Conference in Las Vegas!

Date:  Sunday, Feb 12, 2017 and Monday Feb 13, 2017            

Beginning Time:  9:30 to 10:00 am Sunday morning

Location: Caesars Palace in Las Vegas

Notes

Caesars has tentatively offered us rooms for $189 on Saturday night and $129 for Sunday night. However, we have to sign the contract ASAP. We n...



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Digital Currencies

As China Slaps Fees On Bitcoin Trades, Japan Monthly Volumes Soar by 8,900%

Courtesy of Zero Hedge

There is one reason why bitcoin quickly became the darling of HFT and various high speed algo traders operating out of China and the rest of the world: domestic transactions were "frictionless", as there were no fees on buys or sells. Until last night, that is, because as China's three largest bitcoin exchanges, BTCC, Huobi and OkCoin, all said in separate statements on their websites late on Sunday, starting Tuesday they will charge traders a flat fee of 0.2% per transaction. This is only the latest fallout from the recent crackdown on Chinese bitcoin exchanges whose activities have drawn increased scrutiny from the centra...



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OpTrader

Swing trading portfolio - week of January 23rd, 2017

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

 

This post is for all our live virtual trade ideas and daily comments. Please click on "comments" below to follow our live discussion. All of our current  trades are listed in the spreadsheet below, with entry price (1/2 in and All in), and exit prices (1/3 out, 2/3 out, and All out).

We also indicate our stop, which is most of the time the "5 day moving average". All trades, unless indicated, are front-month ATM options. 

Please feel free to participate in the discussion and ask any questions you might have about this virtual portfolio, by clicking on the "comments" link right below.

To learn more about the swing trading virtual portfolio (strategy, performance, FAQ, etc.), please click here ...



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Members' Corner

Secular Stagnation and Pension Crisis?

Courtesy of Nattering Naybob.

From Jeffrey Sniders The Denominator Prevails...

PSS57 - "There is absolutely no data supporting a premise of demographics. "

Bingo, the vile filth known as "Secular Stagnation" emanated from Larry Summers, and was given an unqualified Fed benediction.  Voila, no real data, no proof, an MSM narrative and repeated URBAN MYTH.  The Flatworld Society has a more promising premise than this intellectual claptrap.

Its another "boogey man" same as the "pension crisis", which will be utilized to take away all forms of private and public pension, and have everybody forced into fee laden 401K/IRA. They will also force Social Security into the same fee laden hole using...

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Mapping The Market

If we try it enough, it will work.

Via Jean-Luc

Brownback wants Trump to emulate what he did in Kansas because it worked so well:

Sam Brownback Calls on Donald Trump to Mimic His Kansas Tax Plan

By RICHARD RUBIN and  WILL CONNORS

Sam Brownback, the Kansas governor whose tax cuts brought him political turmoil, recurring budget holes and sparse evidence of economic success, has a message for President-elect Donald Trump: Do what I did.

In 2013, Mr. Brownback set out to create a lean, business-friendly government in his state that other Republicans could replicate. He now faces a $350 million deficit when the Kansas legislature convenes in January and projections of a larger one in 2018. The state’s economy is flat and his party is fractured...

...

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Biotech

The Medicines Company: Insider Buying

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

I'm seeing huge insider buying in the biotech company The Medicines Company (MDCO). The price has already moved up around 7%, but these buys are significant, in the millions of dollars range. ~ Ilene

 

 

 

Insider transaction table and buying vs. selling graphic above from insidercow.com.

Chart below from Yahoo.com

...

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All About Trends

Mid-Day Update

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

Click here for the full report.




To learn more, sign up for David's free newsletter and receive the free report from All About Trends - "How To Outperform 90% Of Wall Street With Just $500 A Week." Tell David PSW sent you. - Ilene...

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FeedTheBull - Top Stock market and Finance Sites



About Phil:

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

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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.

Market Shadows >>