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Weekly Highlights: Amazon’s First Smartphone, Google’s Latest Acquisition And More

Courtesy of Benzinga.

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This week was an unusual one.

Instead of being dominated by headlines from Apple, the week proved to be ruled by Google (NASDAQ: GOOG).

The search engine giant made a key acquisition, filed a promising patent, and received investor hype from Jim Cramer.

Amazon (NASDAQ: AMZN), whose newly released Fire TV received high marks from a number of publications, might be ready to release its first smartphone.

IKEA will use wind power to generate electricity for numerous stores and facilities.

Tru Optik revealed the grim truth behind Game of Thrones piracy.

Twitter (NYSE: TWTR) acquired Gnip.

Last but not least, MovieLaLa teased its upcoming launch.

Disclosure: At the time of this writing, Louis Bedigian had no position in the equities mentioned in this slideshow.

Posted-In: Amazon Fire TV Game of Thrones Google HBO IKEA MovieLaLa Tru OptikNews Rumors Success Stories Tech Best of Benzinga





Sears And Others Insiders Have Been Buying

Courtesy of Benzinga.

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Both Sears Holdings and Sears Hometown and Outlet Stores have seen insider buying lately. So have Aircastle and Opko Health, which frequently see insiders scooping up shares.

Insiders may sell shares for any number of reasons, but conventional wisdom says that insiders really only buy shares of a company for one reason — they believe the stock price will rise and they want to profit from it. Pullbacks and sell-offs provide a perfect opportunity for investors who have faith in a company to snap up shares.

Here are some stocks that have seen insider buying recently.

Aircastle

Japanese trading company Marubeni Corp. has been scooping up batches of Aircastle (NYSE: AYR) shares since last August. That included more than 239,000 of them in the past two weeks, for more than $5.5 million. The jet-rental company Aircastle has been a rumored takeover target.

The market capitalization is about $1.5 billion and the long-term earnings per share (EPS) growth forecast is more than 34 percent. The dividend yield is about 4.3 percent. Shares have traded mostly between $18 and $20 since the end of October. Over the past six months, the stock has underperformed competitors Aercap and Air Lease.

See also: Hamblin Watsa’s Position Reduction In The Bank Of Ireland Raises A Red Flag

Equinix

A hedge fund with a greater than 10 percent stake in Equinix (NASDAQ: EQIX) acquired more than $12.3 million worth of shares. That was almost 7,200 shares of this data center and Internet services company. An analyst upgraded the stock last week, citing potential growth in the cloud.

Equinix has a market cap of almost $9 billion. But its price-to-earnings (P/E) ratio is very high, and short interest is about 21 percent of…
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Sunday Times Reports Pfizer Considering $100B Offer for AstraZeneca

Courtesy of Benzinga.

New York-based Pfizer (NYSE: PFE) has reportedly approached UK’s Astra Zeneca (NYSE: AZN) about a potential takeover deal, according to sources reported by the UK Sunday Times. The deal could be worth as much as £60 billion ($101 billion).

View full article http://www.thesundaytimes.co.uk/sto/business/Companies/article1401626.ece

Posted-In: News Rumors M&A





Apache Agrees To Sell Western Canada Assets For US$374M

Courtesy of Benzinga.

Apache Corporation (NYSE, Nasdaq: APA) and its subsidiaries today announced an agreement to sell producing oil and gas assets in the Deep Basin area of western Alberta and British Columbia, Canada, for $374 million.

Incremental to Apache’s earlier $2 billion share re-purchase announcement, the company plans to use the proceeds of this transaction to buy back Apache common shares under the 30-million-share repurchase program that was authorized by Apache’s Board of Directors in 2013.

Apache is selling primarily dry gas-producing properties comprising 622,600 gross acres (328,400 net acres) in the Ojay, Noel and Wapiti areas in Alberta and British Columbia. In the Wapiti area, Apache will retain 100 percent of its working interest in horizons below the Cretaceous, retaining rights to the liquids-rich Montney and other deeper horizons. During 2013, production from the fields to be sold averaged 101 million cubic feet of natural gas and 1,500 barrels of liquid hydrocarbons per day.

The effective date of the transaction is Jan. 1, 2014, and it is expected to close on or about April 30. The transaction is subject to customary post-closing adjustments.

“This transaction is part of Apache’s portfolio rebalancing, which was undertaken last year to enable Apache to focus on growing liquids production from a deep inventory of crude oil- and liquids-rich opportunities in North America,” said G. Steven Farris, Apache’s chairman, chief executive officer and president.

“The sale of these natural gas assets – and other Canadian gas-producing properties sold last year – will permit Apache’s Canada Region to concentrate on liquids-rich opportunities that can provide more attractive rates of return and more predictable production growth,” Farris said.

Since the rebalancing was announced in 2013, Apache also divested operations on the Gulf of Mexico Shelf and in Argentina and sold a one-third interest in its Egypt operations.

About Apache

Apache Corporation is an oil and gas exploration and production company with operations in the United States, Canada, Egypt, the United Kingdom, Australia and Argentina. Apache posts announcements, operational updates, investor information and copies of all press releases on its website, www.apachecorp.com.

Forward-looking statements This news release contains forward-looking statements within the meaning of Section 27A of the Securities Act of 1933 and Section 21E of the Securities…
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Delhaize Group Announces Sale of Bosnian & Herzegovinian Stores

Courtesy of Benzinga.

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Delhaize Group (Euronext Brussels: DELB, NYSE: DEG), the Belgian international food retailer, announces that it has signed an agreement with Tropic Group B.V. on the sale of its Bosnian & Herzegovinian stores.

Delhaize Group has signed an agreement with Tropic Group B.V., to divest all of its 39 Bosnian & Herzegovinian stores. Tropic Group B.V. is an entrepreneurial organization founded by Mr. Bojan Risovic. He is an established retailer with a long history of successfully running retail enterprises.

The transaction is expected to complete in the third quarter subject to regulatory approval and working capital adjustments.

» Delhaize Group

Delhaize Group is a Belgian international food retailer present in nine countries on three continents. At the end of 2013, Delhaize Group’s sales network consisted of 3 534 stores. In 2013, Delhaize Group posted €21.1 billion in revenues and €179 million in net profit (Group share). At the end of 2013, Delhaize Group employed approximately 160 000 people. Delhaize Group’s stock is listed on NYSE Euronext Brussels (DELB) and the New York Stock Exchange (DEG).

This press release is available in English, French and Dutch. You can also find it on the website www.delhaizegroup.com. Questions can be sent to investor@delhaizegroup.com.

» Contacts

Investor Relations: + 32 2 412 2151 Media Relations: + 32 2 412 8669

cautionary note regarding forward looking statements

Statements that are included or incorporated by reference in this press release and other written and oral statements made from time to time by Delhaize Group and its representatives, other than statements of historical fact, which address activities, events and developments that Delhaize Group expects or anticipates will or may occur in the future, including, without limitation, when the sale of Delhaize BH (Delhaize Group’s operations in Bosnia & Herzegovina) to Tropic Group B.V. is expected to be completed; the financial flexibility that will result from the sale; the ultimate value of the transaction to Delhaize Group after working capital adjustments, expected costs savings, the…
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Actavis Completes Divestiture of Commercial Operations in Seven Western European Countries to Aurobindo Pharma Limited

Courtesy of Benzinga.

Actavis plc (NYSE: ACT) today announced that it has successfully completed the divestiture of its generics commercial operations in seven markets in Western Europe to Aurobindo Pharma Limited (BSE: 524804). The agreement to divest the commercial operations was announced in January 2014.

Actavis plc logo Aurobindo acquired Actavis’ pharmaceutical commercial infrastructure in France, Italy, Spain, Portugal, Belgium, Germany and the Netherlands, including products, marketing authorizations and dossier license rights. The two companies also entered into a long-term strategic supply arrangement.

About Actavis Actavis plc (NYSE: ACT) is a global, integrated specialty pharmaceutical company focused on developing, manufacturing and distributing generic, brand and biosimilar products. Actavis has global headquarters in Dublin, Ireland and U.S. administrative headquarters in Parsippany, New Jersey, USA.

Actavis develops and manufactures generic, brand, branded generic, legacy brands and Over-the-Counter (OTC) pharmaceutical products and has commercial operations in approximately 60 countries. The Company’s North American branded pharmaceuticals business is focused principally in the Women’s Health, Urology, Gastroenterology and Dermatology therapeutic categories with a strong pipeline of products in various stages of development. Actavis also has a portfolio of five biosimilar products in development in Women’s Health and Oncology. Actavis Global Operations has more than 30 manufacturing and distribution facilities around the world, and includes Anda, Inc., a U.S. pharmaceutical product distributor.

For press release and other company information, visit Actavis’ Web site at http://www.actavis.com.

About Aurobindo Aurobindo Pharma Limited (www.aurobindo.com), headquartered at Hyderabad, India, manufactures generic pharmaceuticals and active pharmaceutical ingredients. The company’s manufacturing facilities are approved by several leading regulatory agencies like US FDA, UK MHRA, WHO, Health Canada, MCC South Africa, ANVISA Brazil. The company’s robust product portfolio is spread over 6 major therapeutic/product areas encompassing Antibiotics, Anti-Retrovirals, CVS, CNS, Gastroenterologicals, and Anti-Allergics, supported by an outstanding R&D set-up. The Company is marketing these products globally, in over 125 countries.

Aurobindo Europe represents a significant segment within the Group’s global presence. Aurobindo is committed to grow its operations in Europe considering the importance of the generic market. Since launching its European commercial operations in 2006 with the acquisition of Milpharm in the UK and Pharmacin in the Netherlands in 2007, Aurobindo has further expanded its footprint in continental Europe by commencing…
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Pernix Agrees to Divest Manufacturing Facility

Courtesy of Benzinga.

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Pernix Therapeutics Holdings, Inc. (“Pernix” or the “Company”) (NASDAQ MKT:PTX), a specialty pharmaceutical company, today announced that it has signed a definitive agreement to divest its Houston, TX-based manufacturing operations, Pernix Manufacturing, LLC (“PML”) to Woodfield Pharmaceutical LLC (“Woodfield”).

Woodfield will acquire the entire PML operation and will assume the mortgage associated with the facility. Pernix expects to receive approximately $1.2 million in net proceeds at closing and realize approximately $5.0 million in annualized cost savings from the divestiture. As part of the agreement, Woodfield will continue to manufacture the existing Pernix products under a long-term supply agreement. Pernix anticipates a closing of April 15, 2014. Closing of the transaction is subject to standard closing conditions and deliveries. In addition, closing on the sale of certain of the real estate assets may extend beyond the anticipated closing date.

Commenting on the sale, Doug Drysdale, President and CEO of Pernix said, “The sale of PML, along with the previously-announced closure of our distribution centers in Madison, MS and Magnolia, TX continues our efforts to reduce and simplify our operating costs. The transaction will be a significant contributor to profitability in 2014. We sincerely appreciate the contributions the PML team has made as part of the Pernix family and we look forward to working together with Woodfield to effect a smooth transition.”

Adam Runsdorf, President of Woodfield Pharmaceutical, LLC said, “We are pleased to participate in this transaction with Pernix and look forward to expanding the current platform of operations which will be dedicated to the service of existing and future customers requiring outsourced contract manufacturing.”

About Pernix Therapeutics Holdings, Inc.

Pernix Therapeutics is a specialty pharmaceutical company primarily focused on the sales, marketing, manufacturing and development of branded pharmaceutical products. The Company markets a portfolio of branded products, including: CEDAX®, an antibiotic for middle ear infections and a number of treatments for cough and cold conditions including ZUTRIPRO®, REZIRA® and VITUZ®. The Company also markets SILENOR, a…
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FelCor Agrees to Sell Doubletree Suites in Charlotte for $37M

Courtesy of Benzinga.

FelCor Lodging Trust Incorporated (NYSE: FCH) today announced that it has agreed to sell the 208-room Doubletree Suites Hotel Charlotte-SouthPark for $37 million. The purchaser has paid a $900,000 non-refundable deposit toward the purchase price. FelCor expects the sale to close in May.

FelCor continues to progress with its portfolio repositioning plan. The Company is currently negotiating contracts or has agreed to sell four other hotels for aggregate proceeds of approximately $80 million. FelCor will use the proceeds from selling these assets to repay outstanding debt. To date, FelCor has sold 26 non-strategic hotels as part of its plan.

About FelCor

FelCor, a real estate investment trust, owns a diversified portfolio of primarily upper-upscale and luxury hotels that are located in major and resort markets throughout the U.S. FelCor partners with leading hotel companies to operate its hotels, which are flagged under globally renowned names and premier independent hotels. Additional information can be found on the Company’s website at www.felcor.com.

With the exception of historical information, the matters discussed in this news release include “forward-looking statements” within the meaning of the federal securities laws that are qualified by cautionary statements herein and in FelCor’s filings with the Securities and Exchange Commission. We undertake no obligation to update any forward-looking statement to conform the statement to actual results or changes in our expectations.

Posted-In: News Asset Sales





Willbros Announces Sale of Certain Downstream Oil & Gas Assets; Terms Undisclosed; Will Pay Down $25M Term Loan

Courtesy of Benzinga.

Willbros Group, Inc. (NYSE: WG) announced today that it has sold certain assets and operations of its Oil & Gas Segment’s downstream businesses to a privately held company. The sale includes the union refinery maintenance turnaround service line, a related fabrication facility and associated tools and equipment. The service line and fabrication facility being sold are both located near Tulsa, Oklahoma. As a result of the sale, the Company is paying down its Term Loan debt by $25 million.

Randy Harl, President and Chief Executive Officer of Willbros, said, “The sale of these downstream assets supports our stated objective to improve our operating performance and financial flexibility. By applying proceeds from this sale to reduce our debt levels, we will continue to decrease our interest expense, improve our liquidity and strengthen our balance sheet. The remaining downstream assets enable us to focus our resources on tank, terminal, heater, fabrication and related services where we have been successful and where the market provides us with significant growth opportunities.”

Willbros is a specialty energy infrastructure contractor serving the oil, gas, refining, petrochemical and power industries. Our offerings include engineering, procurement and construction (either individually or as an integrated EPC service offering), turnarounds, maintenance, facilities development and operations services. For more information on Willbros, please visit our web site at www.willbros.com.

This announcement contains forward-looking statements. All statements, other than statements of historical facts, which address activities, events or developments the Company expects or anticipates will or may occur in the future, are forward-looking statements. A number of risks and uncertainties could cause actual results to differ materially from these statements, including new legislation or regulations detrimental to the economic operation of refining capacity in the United States; the identification of one or more other issues that require restatement of one or more prior period financial statements; contract and billing disputes; the consequences the Company may encounter if it is unable to make payments required of it pursuant to its settlement agreement of the West African Gas Pipeline Company Limited lawsuit; the existence of material weaknesses in internal control over financial reporting; availability of quality management; availability and terms of capital; changes in, or the failure to comply with, government regulations; ability to remain in…
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UPDATE: McClatchy To Sell Anchorage Daily News To Alaska Dispatch Publishing for $34M

Courtesy of Benzinga.

The McClatchy Company (NYSE: MNI) announced today that it has reached a definitive agreement to sell the Anchorage Daily News to Alaska Dispatch Publishing LLC for $34 million. The transaction is expected to close in the second quarter of 2014.

“The Anchorage Daily News is a profitable newspaper that makes us proud journalistically,” said Pat Talamantes, McClatchy’s president and CEO. “We weren’t looking to sell the Daily News, but after Alaska Dispatch Publishing approached us, we saw advantages to local ownership in this case and opportunities for consolidation that would strengthen both news organizations.” At the conclusion of the transaction, McClatchy will publish 29 daily newspapers and their affiliated print and digital products in 28 U.S. markets in 14 states. “We are proud to return the Anchorage Daily News to Alaska ownership once again,” said Alice Rogoff, owner of Anchorage-based Alaska Dispatch Publishing LLC, which publishes the AlaskaDispatch.com news website founded in 2008. “Across the country over the past few years, we’ve seen several daily newspapers successfully transition to local ownership. We look forward to working with the talented team at the Daily News to help build its future.” McClatchy acquired an 80 percent ownership stake in the paper in January 1979. It represented McClatchy’s first publishing foray beyond California’s Central Valley. At the time, the morning Anchorage Daily News was in financial trouble and much smaller than its afternoon rival, the Anchorage Times. The Anchorage Daily News ultimately prevailed to become the largest daily newspaper in the state, but only after surviving an old-fashioned, bare-knuckled newspaper war that lasted many years and saw McClatchy invest significant resources into the paper, including construction of a new headquarters building in 1986. Over its rich history, the Anchorage Daily News established a reputation for journalism excellence, winning two Pulitzer Prizes for Public Service in 1976 and 1989. Kevin McClatchy, the company’s chairman, said, “This is a bittersweet moment for all of us at McClatchy. We are extremely proud of the Daily News and its employees, their exceptional service to Alaska’s diverse communities and all of their contributions to McClatchy over the years. However, this sale not only makes sense from a local ownership perspective, but it also allows McClatchy to focus more resources on…
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Phil's Favorites

Markets beginning price in US inflation stabilizing

Markets beginning price in US inflation stabilizing Courtesy of SoberLook.com   As evidence continues to emerge that US labor markets are gradually healing and wage growth is starting to stabilize (see story), market participants are beginning to consider the possibility that inflation in the US has stabilized, albeit at low levels (see post). Other signals seem to pint in the same direction.

Outside of China-driven raw materials weakness, commodity prices are off the lows and rising, though remain at depressed levels relative to the past five years.  ...

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Chart School

World Markets Weekend Update: Japan, the US and Europe Advance

Courtesy of Doug Short.

This past week, holiday-shortened for most indexes, was generally positive, with the Japan's hyper-volatile Nikkei taking the top spot with a 3.98% advance. That's impressive, but far short of reversing the dramatic 7.33% selloff the week before. The index is down 10.90% year-to-date. The second biggest gain was posted by the S&P 500, its largest weekly increase since July of last year. The three European indexes also finished the week higher. India's SENSEX was essentially flat at -0.001%. China's Shanghai and Hong Kong's Hang Seng both declined.

The Shanghai Composite remains the only index on the watch list in bear territory -- the traditional designation for a 20% decline from an interim high. See the table inset (lower right) in the ...



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Zero Hedge

Donetsk "Letter To Jews" Found To Be A Forgery

Courtesy of ZeroHedge. View original post here.

Submitted by Tyler Durden.

In the days before the Geneva "de-escalation" conference (and coincidentally, days after the secret visit of CIA director Brennan to Kiev), the top story across western media was the "undisputed" proof that east-Ukraine, populated by "terrorist separatists", is preparing to unleash a neo-nazi wave against local jews, when a leaflet was unveiled, beckoning the Jewish population to register and declare their assets.

The ...



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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 PSW user name and password, or sign up for a free trial.

...

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Market Shadows

Canary In the Yen Shaft: $10 trillion JGBs; No Bids!

Two guest authors, David Stockman and long-time contributor John Rubino, write about the current state of Abenomics. 

Canary In the Yen Shaft: $10 trillion JGBs; No Bids!

By  

This one matters a lot. Abenomics was predicated on a lunatic notion—namely, that the economic ills from Japan’s massive debt overhang could be cured by a central bank bond buying spree that was designed to be nearly 3X larger relative to its GDP than that of the Fed. Yet anyone with a modicum of common sense and market...



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Option Review

Wild Ride For Chipotle

Shares in Chipotle Mexican Grill Inc. (Ticker: CMG) opened higher on Thursday morning, rising more than 6.0% to $589.00, after the restaurant operator reported better than expected first-quarter sales ahead of the opening bell. But, the stock began to falter just before lunchtime on concerns the burrito-maker will increase menu prices for the first time in three years. The price of Chipotle’s shares have since fallen into negative territory and currently trade down 3.5% on the session at $532.89 as of 1:50 p.m. ET.

Chart – Shares in Chipotle cool by lunchtime

...

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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

What the Market Wants: Positive News and Stocks at Bargain Prices

Courtesy of David Brown, Sabrient Systems and Gradient Analytics

Last week’s market performance was nasty again, especially for the Small-cap Growth style/cap, down 4%.  Large-caps faired the best, losing only 2.7%.  That’s ugly and today’s market seemed likely to be uglier today with escalating tensions over the weekend in Ukraine. 

But once again, positive economic trumped the beating of the war drums. Retail Sales jumped up 1.1% over a projected 0.8% and last month’s tepid 0.3%, which was revised up to 0.7%.  While autos led, sales were up solidly overall.  Business inventories were about as expected with a positive tone.  Citigroup (C) handily beat estimates to add to the morning’s surprises.  As a result, the market was positive through most of the day, led by the DJI, up 0.91%, and the S&P 500, up 0.82%.  NASDAQ had a less...



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Digital Currencies

Facebook Takes Life Seriously and Moves To Create Its Own Virtual Currency, Increases UltraCoin Valuation Significantly

Courtesy of ZeroHedge. View original post here.

Submitted by Reggie Middleton.

The Financial Times reports:

[Facebook] The social network is only weeks away from obtaining regulatory approval in Ireland for a service that would allow its users to store money on Facebook and use it to pay and exchange money with others, according to several people involved in the process. 

The authorisation from Ireland’s central bank to become an “e-money” institution would allow ...



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OpTrader

Swing trading portfolio - week of April 14th 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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Promotions

See Live Demo Of This Google-Like Trade Algorithm

I just wanted to be sure you saw this.  There’s a ‘live’ training webinar this Thursday, March 27th at Noon or 9:00 pm ET.

If GOOGLE, the NSA, and Steve Jobs all got together in a room with the task of building a tremendously accurate trading algorithm… it wouldn’t just be any ordinary system… it’d be the greatest trading algorithm in the world.

Well, I hate to break it to you though… they never got around to building it, but my friends at Market Tamer did.

Follow this link to register for their training webinar where they’ll demonstrate the tested and proven Algorithm powered by the same technological principles that have made GOOGLE the #1 search engine on the planet!

And get this…had you done nothing b...



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Pharmboy

Here We Go Again - Pharma & Biotechs 2014

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

Ladies and Gentlemen, hobos and tramps,
Cross-eyed mosquitoes, and Bow-legged ants,
I come before you, To stand behind you,
To tell you something, I know nothing about.

And so the circus begins in Union Square, San Francisco for this weeks JP Morgan Healthcare Conference.  Will the momentum from 2013, which carried the S&P Spider Biotech ETF to all time highs, carry on in 2014?  The Biotech ETF beat the S&P by better than 3 points.

As I noted in my previous post, Biotechs Galore - IPOs and More, biotechs were rushing to IPOs so that venture capitalists could unwind their holdings (funds are usually 5-7 years), as well as take advantage of the opportune moment...



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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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